Thursday, March 28, 2013

Last Supper {With Word Bubbles}

Don't think me blaspheming or making light of this holy season.

I just couldn't help but post this coloring page complete with Jonah's interpretations.

(click the photo if you can't read his writing)

Let us not lose sight of all that goes on around us during the Triduum symbolizing the holiest of days in our Church.

Monday, March 25, 2013

They Meet And I Rejoice

After I said good-bye to Pope Emeritus Benedict, I felt a bit lost and sad that he would be kept hidden from us.

Then Pope Francis arrived on the scene and was all like 'hey, how are ya?'

Secretly though, I almost felt as if we were all betraying Pope Benedict and the leadership that he took in our Church. I heard so many negative comments and media slanders indicating that Pope Emeritus was anything but what a Pope might have been.

And then we all hopped on the Pope Francis wagon (as well we should) and oohed and aahed as we gazed. Again, as we should, because the man is clearly an outstanding role model and the perfect person to clearly lead our Church at this time.

Something in me longed for something and I felt restless.

And then I saw this on Saturday:

They finally met! Now is that not the cutest.picture.ever? I smiled when I saw it and then smiled some more. I finally felt at peace and a little less like I was betraying and a little more like I was still honoring.

They prayed together and then spent some time chatting. You know, like buddies do.

Oh to be a fly on that wall. (I'm nosey like that, you know.) Or maybe the cook who served them some tea or something. 

Now we are in the climactic point of the church year this week, so I can rest at ease as we fully engage in the sacredness. I'll keep praying for both of these humble and faithful men and remain thankful that both of them so graciously accepted their role to lead our Church.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Show Me Some Lovin'

Haven't tried it yet? Give it a whirl. It's like the new happening hot spot.

If you'd like, check my sidebar and click to follow me there.

This has been your Weekend PSA.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Theme Thursday: Mud

 Finally joining Cari and the clan today. Long time follower of all you other Theme Thursday pals and this week I actually remembered BEFORE Thursday to come up with something.

This is an oldie, two years ago, since currently we still have a bunch of snow in our yard.

(dry-ish) MUD

Click over and see what other muddy adventures are posted today!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Life At The Sink

She hears the water running in the sink and the dishes start to clatter. Her ears must have a special radar that can hear me from miles away. With lightning speed she runs to the kitchen, grabs a chair and pushes it to the sink. The chair leg catches the two rugs in its path as she drags it to the sink.

It's like this every single time I do dishes and yet most of the time I still find myself frustrated by the process. Upset by her lack of understanding how annoying her 'help' is to me. 
I should get over it, I know I should. 

But every time it's the same thing. She insists that the water be left on by repeatedly saying 'push button'. She's just playing in the water, I remind myself. She fills and refills the bowls, cups and containers over and over and over again. Until she tries to pour water from one item to another on the counter and the flood appears. Then that's the end, because I have limits and she knows that the limit is one flood per washing. 

Impatience is a funny thing that brings out the worst in even the best of us. Patience is tested in the face of toddlers. She's learning and growing and this is all a process, but it's also the process by which I shall (hopefully) gain Heaven. She's teaching me about Heaven and Christ while she's helping me get there. 

If only I pay attention. 

I usually don't.

How often must I make my God impatient with me as I return to the sink and spill and make a mess. He must sigh and forgive me for being human and born with a free will. He knows I'll be back, because I always am. He also knows I will return to His living water and we'll be reunited. 

My toddler does teach me a lot about forgiveness and love, even in the most unlikely places.

All of this is an inconvenience to me. A waste of time. But to her this is a skill building activity and a memory she is making. All of this is time with her mom at the sink building a relationship.

Rinse and repeat. These years are passing, but the sink is always full of water and there are always more dishes to be done.

Like my toddler, Christ is always rushing to help me, even when I least expect Him to or desire His help the least. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Insert {happy} Dance Here

Two posts in one day, say it ain't so!

I just had to post and give a ginormous cyber shout out to Lisa of All Things Gale. She is the winner of Make-My-Day-Monday. Why, you ask?

In regards to my earlier frustration today, I was startled by the number of peeps who didn't use Google Reader. Feeling as though I may not find an answer to my quest, Lisa commented and shared a little tidbit hinting at Bloglovin' to be where it's all at.

Then I read her post and went to check it out for myself.

I'm pleased to announce that in less than half an hour, I signed up for Bloglovin', imported my Google Reader blog list and read a couple of new posts that showed up there. Heck, I even downloaded their app on my tablet while I was at it!

Just read Jamie's Double Standards post through Bloglovin' and Patty's Mammoth Site Field Trip too.

It works fabulously! {bliss}

Give it a try. Super easy to do and get all your blogs in one place. Way to make my Monday!

I think I may just ditch that darn Google Reader sooner than anticipated.

Why You Mess With Me?

Thanks to Google's announcement last week, I'm looking for a new outlet to replace my beloved Google Reader.

Sure, I got the memo that it doesn't go into effect until July 1st, but whatever.

I will need the next 3.5 months to figure out my alternative, make the change and then spend time readjusting.

Hello, Google, I'm an OCD planner who strongly dislikes change.

Why must you go and rain on my parade? We had a good thing going here. I liked you, you worked with me, we were buds.

Yes, I found the thousand different posts online listing the tend different alternatives, but really I don't have the time to sort through all that jargon.

Please tell me one (or several) of my super talented/brainiac readers has already figured out the best alternative and back up plan.

Put me out of my misery and leave a comment, would ya?

Better yet, how about I pay for you to fly here from wherever you are and just do all the importing/changes for me?

Again, must I remind you how much I despise technology and change?

Friday, March 15, 2013

5 Things And A Liebster

I am honored to be doubly tagged for the 5 Things & Liebster award. A shout out to Billie Jo at Afternoon Coffee & Evening Tea, who is a sweet lady and faithful commenter here. The other came from a new-to-me blogger, Erica at Boys, Books & Balls. You both are so sweet to think of me!

Five Interesting (um, maybe) Things About Me:

1. When I was young I most often could be found reading a book in the corner somewhere or in my room. These days, I just dream about doing it. Or fall asleep when I actually do get to read.

2. I never attended college. I thought about it and started the process even just for the local technical college when I was about 19, but didn't go through with it. I was going to enroll in either the hotel/motel management program or the travel agent/guide program. Oh how things change. Every once in a while I think about what would be different if I had obtained some type of degree, but it sure is nice not having any school debt.

3. I served with NET Ministries in 1998-99 on Team Four. The team number doesn't matter to you, but if you are NETter, it most certainly does. It was the hardest year of my life and yet probably helped me grow the most emotionally and spiritually.

4. I only have one brother, 15 months older than myself, and he was in the seminary for 4 1/2 years. While that has nothing to do with me, in a way it almost has everything to do with me. My family spent a lot of time visiting him and the seminarians since he was just under 2 hours away for 4 of those years. Those years I was blessed to meet and spend time with seminarians and priests and I think they fostered a fondness for seminarians and priests that I still have. (Now, now, don't go thinking me weird or that I liked it because HELLO, there were a ton of guys there and I was young. Not the point.)

5. Reed and I began dating mid-December 2000, quickly starting talking love, marriage and family. We were engaged February 13, 2001 and married September 8, 2001. A whirlwind, but I wouldn't change a thing.

Now, for my questions. Since I had two nominations and I don't have time to answer all of their questions, I'm going to choose 5 from each of the ladies.

From Billie Jo:

1. Would you rather drink coffee or tea?

Coffee, for sure. With flavored creamer. I'm spoiled.

2. What is your ideal day? Staying home, or going out?

I'd say staying home, because that is what I'm used to. I do have to say that I do enjoy/need to get out sometimes too (alone) because I need the time away. Most often though, I just enjoy being home and my hubby is the exact same way. 

3. How did you choose you first child's name?

I just came up with the name Lily one day and mentioned it to Reed. He didn't like it right away, but came back to me a couple weeks later and said 'you know I've been thinking and I really like the name Lily.' It grew on him and I loved it's simplicity. When we saw her for the first time, we looked at one another and said "that's our Lily" and knew for sure.

4. What is your favorite meal to eat? And to prepare?

Hmm...this is tough. I really don't have a specific favorite for either. I guess an old stand-by at our house is lasagna made with my homemade, canned spaghetti sauce. Delish!

5. Which of your child's tv shows would you choose to run for a 24 hour marathon in your home?

Gosh, a number of them annoy me or I've learned to tune them out. Off the top of my head, I guess I'd say Arthur since it doesn't bug me too much and is something my big kids still tolerate and don't make fun of.

From Erica:

6. If you could have a conversation with one of the women of the Bible which lady would you choose and why? 

Mary. I think she has a lot she could teach me and she is such a perfect role model for me as a mom and wife.

7. Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Favorite season of the year and why? 

I guess I would have to say Spring, mostly because it follows Winter and I despise Winter. Spring is so full of new life, a new garden planting season, flowers that start to grow again and the grass gets green again.

8. Do you ever dream of taking a short vacation alone or with a couple of close girlfriends? If so, where would you go and what would you do? 

I long to go on a dream vacation with my husband, but I don't know if I could manage to be away from the kids for too long. I want to travel to Rome with my husband one day before we are too old.

9. Night owl or morning person? 

Morning person, but not by choice. My kids are early risers so I've forced myself to get up before them to start the day and became a morning person.

10. How many states have you visited? 

18, but most of them I merely drove through or stopped for a short amount of time while traveling.

Alrighty, enough about me. How about you? I think I am suppose to tag anyone with less than 200 followers and give them 10 questions. Please forgive me if I tag you and you've already done this post. I know I've seen a number of you post recently, but can't remember each of you.

I tag:

For you:

1. What is your favorite hobby? Something you spend lots of time doing or something you wish you could spend more time doing?

2. Do you have a favorite breakfast cereal? What is it?

3. When was the last time you went on a retreat? Would you do it again/are you planning on another one soon?

4. What color were your bridesmaids dresses at your wedding?

5. What would an ideal date night with your hubby be? 

6. Haircoloring. Yes or No?

7. What is a boy or girl name you like, but would never use?

8. If you could get away from your kids and travel abroad, where would you go?

9. Favorite holiday, Christmas or Easter? Why?

10. Most recent book you read or are currently reading?

Thanks for joining in and reading my Five Things list. I look forward to reading more from you!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

On Chimney Watching And Pope Gazing

 Hey, did you hear the news? We have a new Pope!!

Well, sure ya did. Who doesn't know that this simple, already beloved man has become our Shepherd:

Pope Francis

And dare say, I think I already love him.

Yes, I dared say it.

I do, however, have a small problem with a throbbing headache that came from a Pope-arazzi hangover of an afternoon. What about you?

Thanks to Karen, I linked to a good live feed from the Vatican and watched the chimney. For well over an hour++ I watched. My big kids watched intently. I tried to break it to them gently that in no way would we see white smoke. But heck, it was getting dark out there and if that smoke wasn't white how on earth were we going to see it?!

And then it came. White smoke!!

My fingers started texting on my phone in lightning speed and we flipped on the television.

For what seemed like a milennia before they announced his name and he came out.

I knew I should be taking photos or doing something while we waited, but I just couldn't even take away from the moment. There I sat eagerly awaiting with my four little Catholics and realized that this moment was exactly how I wanted them to remember it. I basked in it as my stomach fluttered.

And then came the announcement and the cheers.

And eventually, the man.

Oh dear, I was worried. He seemed sad and so uncertain. I started to cry. Holy Spirit, remind him to smile and give him peace.

And then he spoke, he was humble and my heart melted.

Yes, the Holy Spirit most definitely led those Cardinals to help choose a successor that is the right man to lead us at this particular time in history.

I look forward to following such a worthy Shepherd of the Church.

Now I just need to get Gianna to stop running up to me and saying "Pope sad" and giving me a worried expression. (Apparantly she heard me too loudly exclaiming his sadness)

Now it's off to bed in a bit to sleep of this emotionally charged day of smoke watching and Pope gazing.

**In case you are challenged by Italian like myself, someone was kind enough to let us know what Pope Francis' first words were to his flock. In English. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Go And Sin No More

While Cardinals gathered in Rome for the conclave, my son was gathering his wits for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

My dear husband even took off the day from work to make it more special and for Jonah to remember this day.


He's ready!! There he goes....

And the choirs of angels sang and his soul rejoiced!


Can't you just see that glow??

We have noon Mass in our little parish on Tuesdays, so we celebrated Jonah's big sacramental step by attending as a family.

Jonah, with his first confessor, our priest Fr. Michael:

If you know my boy, you would know how creative he is. He couldn't let lunch even go by without a commemoration of the sacredness of the day.

A syrup cross on his Eggo.

How else can we keep the celebration going?

Water park with daddy, anyone?

(Insert photos here of big kids with daddy having fun at water park. Without the Momarazzi there to take the photos, they forgot.)

Once everyone was back home again it was time for Jonah's favorite, spaghetti, for supper. 

Finish the day off right with a bowl of ice cream.

I'd say we did good and made this a very memorable day for Jonah.

We so love our sacramental life.

A clean soul with a side of ice cream. *Bliss*

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ten On Ten: March

One photo an hour for ten hours on the tenth of the month.

Linking up with Rebekah at A Bit of Sunshine.

The best way to start the day after you spring the clock forward.

Heading out on the road to go speak at one of our diocesan marriage courses. Crusty, icky road after rain, sleet, snow and slush on Saturday.

Our destination.

For serious? Isn't anyone else more qualified to speak on this topic?
They're stuck with us I guess.

A sale at Payless Shoes and a 30% off coupon = Sweet deal for almost every member of the family and a $35 savings.

Finally back on the way home.

The little photographer of the household.

Waving goodbye to Papa and Grams as they head home.

Chicken. It's what's for supper.

"Can't a girl get some peace and quiet around here?!"

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spiritual Health Check-up


Lent can really get us asking questions about our spiritual health and finding honest answers about our relationship with Christ.

It can also help us find a new place to start spiritually or finding our niche to keep this up for the duration. I find that it's the test of endurance AFTER the six weeks of Lent that really measures my fitness level.

Let's be honest. I'm trying to find the endurance to keep plugging along in the third week of Lent, let alone the all out marathon that keeps on afterward.

I'm finding though, that spiritual health and growth are very prudent and necessary to my physical well being too.

Our parish priest graciously bought each family in our parish the book The Four Signs Of A Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly. He has asked us to read it prayerfully over lent and he will expand on each chapter in his Sunday homily. (Have you read it yet? I highly recommend it.)

Last week I was struck by Matthew Kelly's words:

'One of the key indicators of spiritual health seems to be gratitude. When I am spiritually healthy I am grateful. But when I am not, even the smallest things drive me crazy. At those times I tend to be irritable, restless, and discontented.' (page 41)

Straight to the heart, "Ah-ha" moment!

How true! I have felt this so many times, but didn't always make the connection. When my heart is restless, I am irritable, (seemingly) nothing goes right and life is drudgery, I am guilty of being less grateful. I then made the connection that those times are also times when my prayer time isn't fulfilled or I just plain didn't make the time.

Matthew Kelly also frequently mentions in the book becoming the 'best-version-of-myself'. I love this term. When I am irritable, restless and discontented, I am not my best version of me. In fact, I get even more irritable and frustrated at myself that I am not.

This Lenten season I am trying to stay the course and follow through with what I set out to do. I am striving to match both my spiritual and physical exercise to build a better me. The best version of myself, if you will. I've done this before, but rarely have I been able to keep the physical and spiritual equally balanced. I find that the morning is the best time, most suitable time, to start my day in prayer. Most days I am also getting the exercise time in as well right away in the morning.

Can I tell you how much better my days are going even when they are less than ideal? How much more gratitude is in my heart and contentment even in the midst of trial?

I have often equated spiritual fitness and physical fitness as two separate entities. Over these last  six+ months of my being physically fit and in shape, I have started to see how closely intertwined the two really are.

'To run the race of Catholic motherhood, we need to strengthen ourselves emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Part of this means building our stamina through fitness, exercise, good nutrition, and proper sleep.' (A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms by Lisa Hendey, page 41)

I can attest to all of this and I know what a difference it has made for me. And what a difference it made in my thinking when I realized how all aspects fit together.

As I strive to keep on getting more spiritually healthy, I hope that it will also give me the endurance for my physical fitness goals as well.

(You have no idea how many prayers I'm praying when I try to bust my butt and run just a little further when I hop on that treadmill!)

This Lent is a season of journeying.  Let my Lenten practices continue as I run the marathon of life toward becoming the best-version-of-myself that God created me to be.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Someone's In The Kitchen With Mommy

Jonah came to me the other day and wanted to do some baking, so I agreed to lend a hand

Yes, yes, it's Lent and we shouldn't be eating sweets.

But still, I opted to seize the opportunity of helpfulness from my holed-up-in-his-man-cave-boy.

He pulled out a recipe from his favorite magazine and we got to work.

Quarry Crunchers

1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
3 tsp. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups crispy rice cereal

Line cupcake pan with liners (ours made about 18).

Combine butter and milk in saucepan on low heat.

Once butter has melted, add the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Bring to a gentle boil.

Boil 2 minutes and then remove from heat.

Add peanut butter and stir until smooth.

Stir in crispy rice cereal.

Spoon crunch mixture into cupcake liners.

Place in the fridge to set for about 1-2 hours.

Enjoy your crunchy treats!

One very happy little boy.

Our bellies thanked him afterward.

*Jonah highly recommends the Thomas magazine if you can find it at your local grocery store. He's almost eight and still requests a copy when we stop at the one area store that carries them. They have fun activities, stories and an easy recipe too.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lost And Forsaken

The Chair of Peter sits empty and I can't help but feel a little lost myself.

What can I do?

It's a different feeling of loss when the Pope Emeritus is still alive and roaming somewhere in the world. He hasn't passed away and left us, but he has moved on to a place of prayer and meditation.

I wonder what he's doing and wonder if he is alone? Perhaps he has been reunited with his brother, Georg, who can console him.

I like to think he has because that makes me feel a little bit better.

While the drama swirls about the conclave and the Cardinals, I find myself feverishly following and wandering around in the hub-bub. Clicking from here to there, scrounging to uncover the latest and make sense of the media madness.

 I must admit, I'm a bit caught up in it all. The process, the words, the Cardinals, the smoke.

And then I think of him, a meek and humble servant who was a Shepherd who led our Catholic Church.

My favorite octogenarian in red shoes.

(I know, I know, I'm not going to let the shoes die, am I?)

The Pope is another reason why I love the Catholic Church and hold the Chair of St. Peter in highest honor. Yes, probably even above the Presidency of the United States.

In the days ahead while I feel a little bit lost, I'm going to remember why I love this Church so much. And why prayer is always a good consolation when I'm not sure where to turn or what to do.

I'll pray for our Pope Emeritus, the leaders of our Church, the Cardinals in the conclave and the next Pope that God has already chosen to take the Chair of Peter.

Please join me.

**Have you heard of the Adopt A Cardinal site yet? Go there and you will be given a computer generated choice for a Cardinal to pray for specifically during the conclave. What a great idea!

We'll be praying in a special way for Cardinal James Michael Harvey from the United States. 

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