Friday, May 29, 2009

Dear Incoming Kindergarten Mom

I just read the below post over at Faith & Family Live, and although I am not at this stage yet, I couldn't help but think of some of my mom friends who have rising kindergarteners. I have copied the full text of the post below:

Dear Incoming Kindergarten Mom, I hope this note finds you happily celebrating your son or daughter’s preschool graduation with a construction paper mortarboard and cookies and milk! As my youngest will be graduating from our local Catholic school tomorrow, I am preparing to say goodbye to a world I’ve known and loved for the past twelve years. I know many of the moms at our school have been here much longer than that, but for me it feels as though the time has flown by so quickly! I wanted to share a few random thoughts with you as you prepare to enter our school next year - things I wished I would have learned and taken to heart much sooner. Now that we are leaving and moving on to the next phase of life, I can see clearly what a wonderful experience it has been being a part of this school community. I feel blessed that my sons were able to learn amidst families who share not only our Catholic faith, but also our values and commitments as well. So here are just a few things I wish someone would have said to me when I was in your shoes:
Steer clear of parking lot gossip.
You may see small groups of moms clumped together chatting before and after school and long to feel a part of things around here. By all means, join in and introduce yourself to the women who will become your best friends for the next nine years. But beware that sometimes these conversations can become toxic - complaints about teachers or administration, attacks on other parents or children - far from the Christian environment you are seeking for your family. Be friendly, but set the bar high for your kids and yourself too. Try to be a role model for the type of positive, uplifting person you hope your children will become.
Back your teachers.
Your precious child will likely tell you a few whoppers during the next several years about teachers who have unfairly disciplined her, lost her assignments, or just generally made life very tough for her. Listen to her with compassion, but don’t assume that the teacher is the bad guy in these situations. Our teachers have dedicated their lives to raising our children, sacrificing higher pay to teach in a Catholic school environment. Their care for our children is astounding and they deserve our support and respect.
Go on field trips.
I know the thought of a six hours on a bus with thirty-five fourth graders gives you a headache, but don’t miss out on the fourth grade trip to the California missions. In fact, join your child on as many field trips as possible during his elementary school days. The zoo, the pumpkin patch, whale watching and more have become cherished family memories around our house. If you are able, take the day and enjoy being with your child and his classmates.
Make time for school Masses.
I know you are busy, but if at all possible try to attend Mass with your child every Friday. While he’s in the younger grades, enjoy sitting next to him, nestled in with him and his classmates. When he’s in Junior High, join his class by sitting behind them in Mass. He may not want to be seen with you, but he will realize that you are there for a reason. Let him know that praying with him and for him is a priority in your life.
Well, this list could go on and on, but I know you’re anxious to get going with your new school experience. Please know that you and your family will be in my prayers as you begin this new educational adventure. The place you are entering is so very special - let it transform you and your family, looking at it as more than just the place you send your child to school. Become a part of the community by volunteering, worshiping with our faith community on Sundays, and praying for your fellow school families throughout the week. Before you know it, you’ll be sharing it with those who come after you, as the cycle continues. With love and prayers,
A Graduating Eighth Grade Mom

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Church

Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the twelve apostles. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks after Easter, this year on May 31st. This event marks the BIRTHday of the Church as with this power of the Holy Spirit the apostles went out to be Jesus' witnesses to the world, able to speak all language and perform great acts.

"But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Acts 1:8
What better way to celebrate a birthday than to have a birthday cake. Since red is the liturgical color for Pentecost, I think a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing sounds perfect. Place twelve candles on the cake representing the twelve apostles, and the lighting of the candles represents the flame of the Holy Spirit descending upon them.
"Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the holy Spirit"
Acts 2:3-4
There are so many variations of red and white cake and decorations possible, so make whatever cake combination you fancy. I am doing this for the first time this year so I don't have a picture of a red velvet cake with twelve candles on it yet. This picture is meant to sweeten your appetite to want to make this scrumptious treat to celebrate the Holy Spirit and the beginning of our Holy Mother Church.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer Organic Garden

We planted our summer garden this past weekend. For our spring garden we planted seeds, with some success and some failure. We are a couple weeks past the peak time this summer, so we decided to plant seedlings instead. This is the way we may go from now on especially for tomatoes and lettuce. I like planting seeds for the large seed plants like peas and beans or for onions and garlic. I forgot in my planning to plant beans for this summer. We planted celebrity tomatoes (probably too many), red and green leaf lettuce and yellow peppers and Serrano peppers. The big leafy plant in front is swiss chard I haven't picked from our spring garden. The two plants behind the raised bed are our blueberry plants we planted last year that won't fruit until next summer. We love gardening and our kids think it is neat. They also love eating the food we grow, even the lettuce, actually especially the lettuce. Please believe me when I say we really don't know what we are doing in regards to gardening and that all we are doing is learning as we go along. I'm saying that because anyone can easily plant a vegetable garden. All you need is soil, sun, seeds (or seedlings) and the joy of your hands in the dirt. Our garden is organic, which takes little extra effort with organic garden soil, fertilizers, etc. available at all local garden stores. Most people who know me know I do not enjoy sticky, hot summer weather and would give anything to escape to the NC mountains for the entire summer. I am not that excited about the upcoming summer heat, but I am very excited about the delicious summer salads we'll be eating. I'll post the yummy tomato zucchini casserole I make with the recipe later on this summer.

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Post Soon

I am feeling much better and promise to post again soon. I just haven't felt up to doing much lately. Thanks for your patience, my many readers ;)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Miracle Blessing

I am overjoyed to share with you that my prayers to Our Lady of Fatima and St. Gianna were answered. After the miraculous news that what the doctor's thought was an ectoptic pregnancy bleeding into my abdomen was unbelievably a ruptured bleeding ovarian cyst, I am in awe of the power of prayer that I have been granted another miracle. Following my surgery, one of the OB's in my practice gave us very little hope that the pregnancy was viable if not already gone. We were heartbroken especially after experiencing such grace two days before. I continued to pray for a miracle and anxiously awaited today for a recheck ultrasound. My wonderful Pro-Life OB was so calm and comforting for the exam and I felt a peace even before I saw on the screen a tiny little baby with a beating heart. Blessed Mother and giving mother St. Gianna, you are so good to our family. I will always be grateful and share this story with my children and do all I can to make sure they are children of God. I truly believe this baby was a Miracle blessing. Please continue to keep this baby in your prayers.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Exccellent Kids Bible Story Coloring Book

I am constantly searching the Internet for coloring pages of various bible story scenes to use as a fun teaching resource for my children throughout the liturgical year. This search is over now that I have the Great Adventure Kids Bible Story Coloring Book. It has 49 pages of wonderfully illustrated coloring pages. Each page is of a particular story or incident in the Bible and on the bottom of the page is a story summarizing the scene and a corresponding Bible passage. For example, the coloring page for the First Passover depicts a man painting his door frame with lamb's blood with a woman inside the door standing behind a loaf of unleavened bread. The picture summary explains the scene: "The Jewish feast of Passover is celebrated every year to remember how God brought the children of Israel up out of Egypt. On that first night, they ate a lamb and made unleavened bread so they would be ready to go at any time. They painted lamb's blood on their doorways so the angel of death would pass over their houses." The corresponding Bible passage from Exodus 13:3 provides further explanation and opportunity for reflection, "And Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage...'" The bulk of the coloring pages depict Old Testament stories, which is great because I personally have found those to be the hardest images to find in other places. There are also scenes of Jesus life as told in the Gospels. Additionally, there are four coloring pages depicting scenes following Jesus' Resurrection, mostly from the Acts including the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Stoning of Stephen, Peter & Paul leading the church, and Priscilla and Aquila Spreading the Gospel. The coloring images are appropriate for a child from preschool age up to middle school because they are simple but also very detailed. This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Great Adventure Kids Bible Story Coloring Book .

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Health Update

This week has given us quite a scare but things are going well. I'll just backtrack and tell the story and then catch up to today. Wednesday, May 13th on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, right before the kids woke up when I was doing some things before going to work, I had severe cramping and passed out for I don't know how long. I crawled to the phone and was able to call my husband who was already at work. He rushed home and took me to the OB as I'm 5.5 weeks pregnant. The OB did an exam and ultrasound and told me I likely had an ectopic pregnancy that was bleeding into my abdomen and I needed emergency surgery. I was so sad, I knew when she didn't say anything during the ultrasound and that something was wrong and tears just rolled down. I didn't even know if the baby was a girl or a boy. Anyhow, they transferred me to the hospital in an ambulance which was scary. Thank goodness no sirens since I was stable. I was so sad to be losing the baby we had tried so long for. I prayed the rosary to St. Gianna and Our Lady of Fatima for a miracle and that maybe my baby would survive. They taped my rosary that has Lourdes water in it onto my gown. Amazingly, in surgery they found not an ectopic pregnancy but a ruptured ovarian cyst that had bled into my abdomen. There was no embryo tissue in the removed blood. Also a small gestational sac was seen on ultrasound in my uterus so they thought the baby is where it should be in the uterus. So far I believe I was given a miracle by Our Lady of Fatima and St. Gianna's intercession I am on an assortment of various medications and just trying to relax. All I can do now is continue to pray for my miracle baby. I am still asking St. Gianna and Our Lady of Fatima to intercede on my baby's behalf and give her a healthy pregnancy and birth. Thank you for your kind thoughts and please continue your prayers for us.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Everything is Fine

Hi, this is Robina's husband. I know a lot of her friends check this blog so I wanted to give a quick update. She is doing fine and is at home resting/recovering from laparoscopic surgery yesterday to repair some internal bleeding. I won't go into details, because they're not mine to share, but I didn't want people to worry. Everything is fine and turned out much better than expected, so we are are all feeling very blessed today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Gift Postponed

I'll have to delay announcing and getting the Mother's Day soaps gift as I am in the hospital recovering from emergency surgery. I will post the story and updates later. Sorry I missed posting about the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, but I will talk more about that later. Please keep my family in your prayers.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

This Mother's Day I am very happy and feel so blessed. I am sharing this picture of my grandmother, my mother and my daughter. Four generations of Robinas - three mothers, two grandmothers, one great grandmother. Born in three different countries in two different centuries and two different milllenia. A stay at home mother, a working mother, a part-time working mother. Mothers come in all forms but we give to our children all that we have and life rewards us with more love than we could ever know. Mother's Day is about thanking moms but I feel like I am the one who is thankful. God bless all mothers today, old and young, those with children born and unborn, heavenly and earthly, natural and adopted, eager and reluctant - we are blessed to be just that, mothers.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Catholic Vote Ad to air on American Idol

CatholicVote.org has created this powerful commercial that has been accepted to air during the season finale of American Idol. Their previous ad Life: Imagine the Potential was rejected for airing during the Superbowl for being too political. Remember to subscribe to this blog to be entered into the Mother's Day giveaway. Click on the link on the right sidebar that says "Subscribe to Motherly Loving" or enter this blog address into Google Reader (www.google.com/reader). For directions on how to use Google Reader, go here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In Honor of Mothers - Take Two

I am re-posting this and extending the giveaway because apparently I have had my comments only open to google id users. So I think I fixed it and anyone should be able to make a comment now. Read below on how to enter the giveaway but I'll continue the giveaway until sometime during the week after Mother's Day. It will be a little belated treat. In honor of all mothers and Mother's Day, I am doing my first giveaway. I will be giving away a basket of handmade soaps by Plum Nelly Handmade Soaps. An old friend's mother makes these in her home and I was given a bar of the Angel Touch Shea Butter goats milk soap. It is very luxurious, creamy and smells so perfect. So to enter this giveaway, all you have to do is subscribe to my blog or become a follower. To do so scroll down to the links to do so on the right sidebar (that's the column to the right of this center column). If you're already a follower, just post a comment and you'll be entered. If you have any questions about how to subscribe to or follow a blog or how to use Google Reader, just contact me at drdotbeanieatgmaildotcom (. for dot and @ for at). Happy Mother's Day! And if you don't win these soaps are great for a treat for yourself or as a gift to your own mother, click here to view the soaps and to order.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pro-Life Midwife at Auschwitz

Although I had never heard of her before, I recently came across this article written about Stanislawa Leszczynska (please follow the link to teh article to read more about her) who was a Polish Catholic midwife sent to Auschwitz for assisting the Resistance against the Nazis. At Auschwitz, she served as a midwife delivering thousands of babies and defying orders to drown the babies after delivery. Although most of the infants did not survive, her heroic deliveries gave the opportunity for earthly life and her baptism of each infant in the name of Christ gave them the gift of eternal life. The process of her beatification has been started. Numerous accounts of her intercession for child-birth problems exist. She is clearly the true example of the pro-life mission and we can pray for her beatification.

Monday, May 4, 2009

In Honor of Mothers

In honor of all mothers and Mother's Day, I am doing my first giveaway. I will be giving away a basket of handmade soaps by Plum Nelly Handmade Soaps. An old friend's mother makes these in her home and I was given a bar of the Angel Touch Shea Butter goats milk soap. It is very luxurious, creamy and smells so perfect. So to enter this giveaway, all you have to do is subscribe to my blog or become a follower. To do so scroll down to the links to do so on the right sidebar (that's the column to the right of this center column). If you're already a follower, just post a comment and you'll be entered. I'll pick a winner on Mother's Day. If you have any questions about how to subscribe to or follow a blog or how to use Google Reader, just contact me at drdotbeanieatgmaildotcom (. for dot and @ for at). Happy Mother's Day! And if you don't win these soaps are great for a treat for yourself or as a gift to your own mother, click here to view the soaps and to order.

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