Sunday, May 30, 2010

Soldier's Coming Home

These videos always make my heart melt. Here'a a "Best of" Compliation. Thank You Soldiers Past & Present.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

St. Philip Neri Daily Maxims

I am loving this website with a quote by the cheerful St. Philip Neri for every day of the year. "Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits." February 7th "Nothing helps a man more than prayer." October 29th

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Let's Go Fly A Kite

To celebrate Pentecost Sunday we made a kite to fly in "the mighty wind." We used popsicle craft sticks, tissue paper and streamers as described here. Our kite is orange with red streamers like the "tongues of fire" with a white cross on the kite symbolizing Christ.
"When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak." Acts 2:2-4
We watched this Mary Poppins "Let's Go Fly a Kite" clip, and sang the song before we headed out to fly our kite.

Although we could feel the "mighty wind" of the Holy Spirit today, we didn't have as much luck with mother nature so flying our kite was not that successful. We decided we would take the kite with us on our summer beach trip and try to fly it then.

There were some silly antics with the kite flying.

After dinner we read about Pentecost and the start of the Church and we sang Happy Birthday to the Church. We ate our Church Pentecost Birthday Cake, red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.
Hope you had a lovely Pentecost Sunday!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mother. 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. Here are some ideas to celebrate this day with your family.
Since I wrote this post to auto post, Jessica posted a Pentecost post with even more ideas, so check out her list too. "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 Prayer Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy Faithful; and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created, and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary or a decade focusing on the third Glorious Mystery - The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Finish or start the Holy Spirit Novena "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 Reading & Learning
Wisdom - Understanding - Counsel - Fortitude -Knowledge - Piety - Fear of the Lord
Charity - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Generosity
Gentleness - Faithfulness - Modesty - Self-control - Chastity
Learn the Twelve Apostles Andrew - Bartholomew - James (the Greater) - James (the Lesser)
John - Jude Thaddeus - Matthew - Matthias (who replaced Judas) Peter - Philip - Simon - Thomas
Though not one of the twelve Apostles, Saint Paul is numbered as an Apostle of the first rank. The name is also given to Saint Barnabas. The Apostles of Jesus by Lawrence Lovasik Tomie DePaola's Book of Bible Stories by Tomie dePaola The Very First Christians by Paul L. Maier I Believe: The Nicene Creed by Pauline Baynes
The Twelve Apostles by Marianna Mayer Crafts & Activities
Make Dawn or Jessica's Pentecost Windstock, and then you can use it as a Pentecost decoration every year Make this Holy Spirit mobile Fly a kite or make a Pentecost kite described in The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions since the wind to fly the kite symbolizes the wind of the Holy Spirit
Decorate your table using a red tablecloth or table runner since red is the liturgical color of Pentecost
Make a matching game with doubles of holy cards or printed pictures of the Twelve Apostles
Food & Treats

Make a red velvet cake with white cream cheese frosting for the Church's birthday, since red is the liturgical color for Pentecost. Inspired by Jessica at Catholic Cuisine the decorations have the following symbolism: White Frosting - For "Whitsunday" Large Candle in Center - represents Christ our Light, who promised to send the Holy Ghost. 12 Birthday Candles - represent the 12 Apostles and the tongues of fire. 7 red hearts - made of candy or icing, represent the 7 gifts of the Holy Ghost 12 strawberries - represent the 12 fruits of the Holy Ghost Before cutting the cake, let the children blow out the candles representing the "mighty wind." Pentecost is also known as "Whitsunday, so serve white foods such as chicken, egg white omelets with white cheeses, cauliflower, pasta with alfredo sauce. Jessica had a cute idea of white powdered sugar donuts and milk for breakfast.

Jessica's Holy Spirit Crackers are a cute snack idea For more Pentecost food ideas, visit Catholic Cuisine.
Happy Birthday Holy Mother Church!!
May the Holy Spirit be with you.

Prayers Please

Please pray for this little boy Peter who was born prematurely at 24 weeks on May 4th. He is the son of a friend of a dear friend of mine. She asked for my prayers, and I knew all of you had room in your hearts to pray for him too. Thank you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cute Clogging

I sent my husband an email with my upcoming birthday wish list which included this pair of clogs. He sent me back an email asking if I was taking up clogging and attached this video. It is so adorable. I am cracking up watching it.

Great Homemaking Post

I just read this wonderful homemaking post by Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things. Sarah and I have a very similar approach to homemaking and cleaning our homes. She also has this follow-up post with more on the subject. A few things I took away from reading this to focus on are:
"If I clean my home every morning because I simply must have it clean to be at peace, then I have become slave to my own selfish desires. If, however, I clean my home every morning so that my family has a warm and happy place to be, that's very different, and it means I must approach things differently."
"the point of teaching young children to help (daily) is not to reduce MY workload. The point is to teach a lesson. Children need to contribute to the smooth running of the home in order to be well prepared for adulthood. That being so, taking the time to walk them through housecleaning tasks is one of the best uses of my time. These lessons are, perhaps, more important than many other lessons I make time for in our day. These are life skills!" "I think it's really, really important that we always choose relationships over tasks. Always. And that we never let our own selfish desires get in the way of serving our families."
and because I have a tendency to be more focused on clean than lived-in, I needed to hear this:
"The goal is not a clean house. The goal is a place for living. And real, joyful, no-regrets living is messy. We do not aim to keep the house clean; we aim to provide a comfortable place for spontaneous, messy, joyful LIFE."
Thanks for the wonderful post Sarah.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Daily Acts of Love

I am pondering this in my heart lately... "Do ordinary things with extraordinary love." - Mother Teresa I will think of this and create JOY out of LOVE today when I.... change diapers wipe dirty faces make beds turn the pages of a book fold laundry buckle seatbelts cut grapes fasten buttons pick up toy cars and baby dolls get up right away when I hear, "Mommy look..." push the swing hold little hands crossing the street

Monday, May 17, 2010

Air To Breathe

Some people are beach people, some people are mountain people. I enjoy the beach and can't imagine not going there every year, but I crave the mountains. If it weren't for almost our entire family and for dear friends, most of whom I have known since grade school days, who live here, I know I would live in the mountains of North Carolina or Virginia. I feel more at home there than I do where I have grown up and call home now. I have always dreamed of a plot of land, a farm, a rustic old house and rocking chairs facing west with children chasing the sunset. That image played in my head as I danced my first dance with my husband...
"...See the children run as the sun goes down Among the fields of gold..."
(we danced to Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy, a beautiful version of Sting's classic)
My husband and I are high school sweethearts, and we used to spend time in high school and college daydreaming about our future - a little farm with goats, lots of children, a field, a tire swing, a mountain view. So anytime the opportunity arises, I drive there as fast as possible. I really should do it more often. A couple weeks ago I was blessed enough to go with my in-laws for a family event. The view was beautiful, the weather divine and I could breathe. Really deep breaths that made my heart slow and my mind relax and my heart happy.
I know that is how vacation is wherever you are, but it is more than that, and I know it. But I stay where I am because the people I love are here and the opportunities for my children are here. But at least every few days, I wonder if I will look back someday and realize I should have made a different choice. Not a mainstream choice, but happy little babbling brook choice.
That wonder keeps me up at night sometimes.
Speaking of night, I loved seeing so many stars. I saw Venus before the sun finished setting. I even saw a shooting star. Was that a sign from Heaven? Anyhow, these are some pictures of our few happy days there. I want more.

Music Playlist at

Baby Birds

We have a little bird's nest with two baby birds in the bush right outside our front door. You can sort of see one of them in this picture (taken at night so not very good, I'll try a morning picture tomorrow). The mommy bird sits in the nest sweetly chirping a lullaby to her babies all day. The daddy bird flies around back and forth to the nest all day. We spend a lot of time on our front porch, and if we get too close, the daddy bird flies up to a perch on a tree above and chirps at us. The mommy bird scuttles around on the ground around the nest nervously. I don't want to disturb them, so we try to stay away from that bush and just watch them. The children are enthralled by this little birdy family.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Degrees of Beautiful

This morning I was playing dress up with my children and Pumpkin (who has a special fondness for waste removal vehicles, thus his third birthday party theme) put a princess crown on my head. Me: "Do I look pretty?" Pumpkin: "No mommy, you look beautiful. REALLY beautiful." Me: "Why thank you." Pumpkin: "No, you look SUPER beautiful." Me: "Wow." Pumpkin: "Mommy, you look TRASH TRUCK beautiful." Well, I guess we now know the pinnacle of exterior beauty :)

A Special Anniversary

Today, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, is a special day for me as it was one year ago that I almost lost my little Sweet Pea. I was 5 weeks pregnant, had just had my first OB visit the day before but that morning I was rode in an ambulance to the hospital for emergency surgery and was told I had lost my baby. I woke up from surgery clinging to my rosary with prayers for a miracle to Our Lady of Fatima and Saint Gianna echoing in my head and with both hope and sorrow in my heart. My sweet husband told me there was a miracle, that they think maybe the baby did survive, even though it had seemed an impossibility. I wouldn't know for sure until six days later when I saw my little angel for the first time.
I have been so blessed my whole life and have never experienced such tragedy. I still haven't, but I got a taste of how awful such sorrow can be. I am amazed every day that I have been given so much.
Today I will teach my children about the the Blessed Mother's appearances at Fatima, say a special prayer, read them a book and watch a movie, and we will make a yummy treat to make the day fun. But the most important thing I will do is hug my little baby and say a prayer of thanks to have her next to me smiling and belly laughing today...
and part of our family.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

May 13th is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, venerating the the anniversary of the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children - Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima, Portugal in 1917.
"The message of Fatima includes a call to conversion of heart, repentance from sin and a dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially through praying the Rosary."


Pray the rosary including the Fatima decade prayer
"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy"
(revealed to the Fatima children by Our Lady of Fatima on July 13, 1917) Pray the Fatima Chaplet (listen to the prayers here)
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima for the Children of the World O Mary, you freely and lovingly embraced the will of God for you by accepting the call to be the Mother of his Son. With the help of St. Joseph you raised the child Jesus so that he grew in wisdom, age and grace before God and humanity. You appeared to the children of Fatima, confiding in them, though they be young and unknown, to reveal to the world your message of conversion and peace. We ask you now, Our Lady of Fatima, to gather all the children of the world into your loving embrace. Grant them God’s gifts of health and peace, of security and love. Help them to know and use the many gifts and talents they have been given for the betterment of the one human race. Inspire them one day to be men and women of peace. O Lord, through the intercession of your Mother Mary, bless and keep your children. Amen. Reading & Learning Our Lady of Fatima by Lawrence G. Lovasik Our Lady of Fatima by William T. Walsh Crafts & Activities Color this Our Lady of Fatima stained glass window coloring page Watch the children's film The Day the Sun Danced: The True Story Of Fatima Watch The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima
Watch coverage of Pope Benedict's visit to Fatima on EWTN Food & Treats Make some sun-themed treats such as Sun Cupcakes, a Miracle of the Sun cake Make a Portuguese dish for dinner, as the apparitions occurred in Fatima, Portugal

Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for Us.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day This mom is thankful for her family and to be a mother to precious little ones that teach me every day how to love. Every day I ask for the grace to be more like our Heavenly Mother - more kind, patient, loving, grateful and tender. As I receive these graces, I learn to not worry as much about the little details but instead to savor them.
These is nothing more precious than an ordinary day.

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