It was 12am last night and I was a mom on a mission.
Friends, I am looking for your recommendations on the best websites from which to purchase lots of this:
We are overseas, so I do not have the luxury of going to a store, so websites only if you please. My 2yr.-old trainhead (and the rest of us) thank you.
My husband and I play a little game with the boys when we hit a red light: "Mommy, Mommy," they beg, "make the light change! Remember to ask it nicely!"
And then we begin a short or long request for the light to change to green using lots of big words and fancy language by keeping our eye on the lights the other direction waiting for them to change yellow to make our final triumphant request for green. The boys squeal with glee that we have once again made the light change at our command. Rocket science it is not, but it does give the illusion to a 3 year old of power over the lights.
And then on judgement day we shall get our first square look at ourselves. We shall see the full picture of the workings of grace in our life. We shall see how little we ourselves had to do with our heroic decisions and our supposedly noble deeds. Almost, we can imagine God smiling at us in loving amusement as he sees our chagrin; as he hears us exclaim in confusion, "Why God! It was you all the time!"He later writes, "It becomes our responsibility, then, to do our best in removing obstacles to the operation of grace; to do our best to facilitate the effects of grace."
I have a 2.33 year-old son who revolutionizes my parenting daily. Many times strangers and friends alike have either commented that he is "all boy" or "soo two".... neither of which I think were particularly complimentary. He gives me no peace in his waking hours, but I don't think he has been sad for a moment in his life. Totally exuberant.
As much trouble as this middle guy makes, I am still rewarded with little puffs of refreshment from the Holy Spirit every once in awhile. Or rather, moments of humor - I credit the Holy Spirit with both in my life. Last night I had to smile as I carefully folded and smoothed a pair of his brown courduroy pants to be put away. I laughed as I thought, "how hysterical that I am meticulously folding these little 2T outfits that will be dirty and rumpled within seconds of them going on him." The actions of folding this boy's clothes are almost laughable. Yet the Holy Spirit helps me over the futile folding with thoughts of smoothing love and attention through my palms in hope that these emotions seep through his pores later when he wears that particular pair of pants or shirt. The joyful moment with Whirlwind Boy came over me just an hour ago as we lay in his trundle bed surrounded in Bob The Builder sheets. He was going down for his afternoon nap, and do you know what those chubby long arms did? The arms that get him in trouble all day for pushing, hitting, hammering, or throwing.... those little appendages wrapped around my neck and pulled my nose right up to his as his breathing became deeper and deeper and he fell asleep. The most peaceful 2 hours this apartment sees daily are now underway, and I just wanted to ensure I captured these futile and joyful tidbits of life with a 2yr.-old boy.
We've been having some fun with planting this spring, thanks to Christopher's interest in gardening (they're learning about plants at school this month!). Last week, Christopher came home with a lima bean plant and wanted to plant it in the clay behind our garage, along with some apple seeds, so he built himself a makeshift garden and was very excited that he did it all by himself...Well, with a little help from his sister, who diligently brought him rocks for his border :)
I just have to post these because I know that you will all want to see my sweet Holly on her First Communion Day. Here she is at the altar, with her godmother Red and with her entire family. Thanks to those who have been praying for her in preparation for this big day, it was very wonderful!
During my last labor, I had a natural delivery because I had to wait on lab results before getting the epidural. It stalled me long enough and out boy #3 came!
Here is a novena to St. Gianna, it begins today and finishes on her Feast Day, next Wed. April 28th.
Novena To Obtain Graces Through the Intercession of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
God, our Father, You have granted to Your church the gift of Gianna Beretta Molla. In her youth she lovingly sought You and drew other young people to You, involving them, through apostolic witness and Catholic Action, in the care of the sick and aged, to help and comfort them.
We thank You for the gift of this young woman, so deeply committed to You. Through her example grant us the grace to consecrate our lives to Your service, for the joy of our brothers and sisters.
Glory be …
Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, You called Saint Gianna to exercise the medical profession as a mission for the comfort of bodies and souls. In her suffering fellow men and in the little ones, deprived of all support, she saw You.
We thank You for having revealed Yourself to this servant as “one who serves” and who soothes the sufferings of men. Treasuring her example may we become generous Christians at the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those with whom You deign to share Your Cross.
God, Sanctifying Spirit, who love the Church as Your Bride, You poured into the heart of Saint Gianna a share of Your Love so that she could radiate it in her family, and thus cooperate with You in the wonderful plan of creation, and give life to new children who could know and love You.
We thank You for this model wife and, through her encouraging witness, we beg You to grant to our families the serene and Christian presence of mothers committed to transform their homes into cenacles of faith and love, rich with generous activity and sanctifying service.
O God, Creator and lover of mankind, You were close to Saint Gianna when, affected by illness, she was in the painful dilemma of choosing between her own life and the life of the child whom she was carrying in herself, a gift long-awaited. Trusting You alone, and aware of Your Commandment to respect human life, Gianna found the courage to do her duty as a mother and to say “yes” to the new life of her baby, generously sacrificing her own. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and after the example of Gianna, inspire all mothers to welcome with love the sparkle of new life. Grant us the grace we are praying for …………. and the joy to find an inspiration in Saint Gianna who, as a model spouse and mother, after the example of Christ, gave up her life for the life of others.
Giving our little sister lots of love, sleeping in new rooms, dying Easter eggs (yes, we were a little late this year, but it was a perfect opportunity to explain to the children that Easter lasts for 50 days)...This has been our life recently! The past couple of weekends have been consumed by moving the children into their new bedrooms, and all of the organization and decorating that comes with this task, but I'm thrilled to say that we're. almost. done. Thanks to my hubby for all of his hard work in this regard!
How's this for exotic?
AWOL Mommy and I spent much of this Tuesday and Wednesday together in Bella Roma, along with our families, feasting in our apartment, attending an audience with Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square, and picnicking at the playground behind the Castel Sant'Angelo (pictured above). How delightful it was to share family adventures with our dear friends AWOL and Mr. AWOL and their loving, creative, fun children!
Wish you all could have been here.
(The kids watching Ratatouille while we adults wined and dined in the next room. In this photo, one junior AWOL is on each side, baby AWOL is not pictured, and mine are the three in the middle... they sure got along swimmingly.)
Do you have allergies? Do your kids? Do you treat them? I feel like an antihystimine ad right now, I am walking through my day with a cloud around my head, my nose runs, my throat itches, and my kids seem to be the same. I took an OTC generic medication today and I don't think it helped, except that very honestly I feel a little bit jumpy, and I hesitate to give it to the kids, should I be consulting a doctor first? Should I keep trying for myself, are the effects cumulative? I know that some people have been dealing with this for years, so please advise! Thanks!
What's almost as cool another family moving in with 3 boys and a little girl on the way???
Ladies, I write to you on this Monday morning looking for some culinary advice. My almost 6-year-old would like a frog cake for his birthday party, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about making it! The last time that I attempted a frog birthday cake, the guests all thought that I had made the Arthur character - somehow the frog eyes looked like glasses. I'm considering just making a round cake, frosting it with blue icing to look like a pond, and sticking plastic frog figurines on top. But I would love to make an actual frog cake - so if you have any ideas, please share!
My sister was in town for Easter, and in the past few years she has taken up photography as a new hobby (and she is getting quite good!). There are definite perks in this for me, and I took full advantage during her visit. I'm shamelessly posting some of my favorites from Claire's 6 month photo shoot. Enjoy!
...Then you will appreciate the Divine Mercy Chaplet, found here in beautiful sung form. Perhaps we could each take some time to pray for each other's intentions sometime over the weekend, and most especially that our families and marriages would be strengthened as we walk through our daily lives together.
Dear friends, we are in week #2 in Rome. The kids are thriving on all the sunshine and good Italian food (there's my happy boy enjoying Nutella pizza outside St. Peter's Basilica), we are filled with grace from our daily visits to holy pilgrimage sites, and we are reveling in all the unique aspects of family life in Italy.
There are fewer comforts and conveniences, but people take life more slowly and seem to embrace it more here. Things like line-drying our wet clothes in the sun, eating the fresh fruit as we shop at the open air produce markets, and letting the kids cover public plazas with sidewalk chalk designs are welcomed. Things like rudeness and rushing, on the other hand, are not culturally acceptable.
The kids and I walk several miles a day to churches and playgrounds along the cobblestone streets with our double stroller and Ergo carrier. We meet my husband along the Tiber River in the early evening on his way home from researching at the Jesuit archives in the shadow of St. Peter's Basilica. The archives are only open 6 hours each weekday, so we are relishing the family time.
Learning to cook seasonal Italian cuisine (from signs and labels I can't translate) has been a challenging and wonderful way to break out of my cooking rut. Hazelnuts, sundried tomatoes, pesto, prosciutto, romano cheese and all those delicacies are abundant, commonplace and cheap.
Our hundreds-of-years-old charming fourth-floor walkup has wide open windows and a courtyard in the center, so we can hear cheerful noises of neighbors and passers by in the morning, noon, and night. There is a warmth and neighborliness and love of strangers, in a real Catholic spirit, that runs deeper than what I'm accustomed to in suburban America.
There's still no place like home sweet USA, but Italians have a beautiful way, Christ is present here, and in a sense Rome is always home after all.
Neighbor children are now vacuuming my pool, because I made it look so fun! Suck up all those earth worms, kids!
Top five phrases not to say to a pregnant lady:
Our family tradition is that the Easter leaves rhyming couplets telling each child where their basket is hidden in the house. It is a good warm up for the Easter Bunny, who will start his haiku season today. Well, as Charlotte Mason teaches us, exposure to great art inspires creativity, so last night a five year old composed this:
Gone, Sean, John,
Your hair is so blond,
You can find your basket,
In the kit-chun.
Also, the kids are hard at work trying to find a rhyme for toilet.
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!
But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky he's King, Alleluia!
I am sorry to interrupt your Good Friday, but this Peggy Noonan piece is the first response to the scandals, and reporting of scandals, in the Church that has made any sense at all, and I think it is a must read for all Catholics.