Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gabe's 3

I can't believe Gabriel turned 3 years today. He's such a cutie here in this pic as he smiled for the camera so proud of his birthday brownie and ice cream! Maria bought him a Thomas the Tank book and here she is reading it to all of them. Cute!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Big Day!

Today was the big day...Maria's First Communion! It was a great day...a beautiful sacrament, gorgeous weather, a fun luncheon, and a smiley girl! Who could ask for anything more?

Here's the girl of honor....Maria Therese!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photo Cookies!

I'm so glad this piece of the unknown is now KNOWN!! I wanted to get a pic of some photo cookies to post on our new website and see if I can actually do this part of my business. It seemed daunting, but it is doable!! Here are the pics to prove it. Maria's First Communion is this Saturday, and I promised her that I would make an attempt to put her image and some text on a cookie for the party favors. Here they are!

The text reads: "My First Communion" over the top of her head and the date is across the bottom, "April 18, 2009". Cool, huh!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Joy

After Mass this morning, we stopped to take some pics in the narthex. Here are some.

Christus Resurrexit!

Wow, what a morning!! Happy Easter and enjoy the rest of the Easter Season, the upcoming Feast Days, and SUMMER!!!

Here are a few pics of our morning.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Modesty & Temperance

Today we are focusing on the Fourteenth Station, Jesus is Laid in the Tomb - the completion of the supreme act of love that started with obedience. Today we are focusing on following Jesus and living as an image of God in the world. We spoke of modesty and temperance with the kids. These two virtues are often the hardest to live when we often feel like something is owed to us: comfort. We don't have to try so hard, work so hard, be perfect. However, we reap the fruits of a life lived with ease.

The ultimate irony is that in Jesus' obedience to His Father, what seemed folly and a failure leads us to rejoice tomorrow!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday - The 13th Station - O Felix Culpa!

Today we are focusing on the Thirteenth Station - Jesus is taken down from the Cross. I can't even imagine the sorrow Mary felt seeing her son treated so cruelly, watching him die slowly, then beholding her dead child in her arms. A sword pierced her heart 100 times over.

O Happy Fault, O Necessary Sin of Adam that made way for our Redeemer.

Today we are focusing on kindness...kindness to those who suffer, who feel sorrow, who are dejected, degraded, and inhumanly treated. These people are out there. Even in our comfortable little worlds, they do exist. Find them!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Little Acts Done with Great Love

Today we are focusing on the Twelfth Station, Jesus dies on the cross. St. Therese says it all. Her little way of doing things with great love is an example and lesson to all of us. Taking out the trash, changing a diaper, loading a dishwasher, getting up in the middle of the night, going to work, driving kids to school...whatever it is can be done with great love and can be transforming.

Who knew that a single man forsaken by all could transform society from the moment of his birth and passed his execution? We who believe know it could and can continue to be done in all of us one act of kindness at a time!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Today we are focusing on the Eleventh Station, Jesus is Nailed to the Cross. Our little booklet suggests that we offer some sacrifice because Jesus was the real sacrifice of love. Giving up sweets, TV, and gum are hard for the kids. Doing that which is hard for me to do is what is difficult for me: staying focused, keeping off the internet, being attentive to the children, doing my work around here without frustration and with a smile, smiling at the interruptions, and letting go of the control I think I have and never really do.

Your will not mine be done!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Courage in Humiliation

I hate being humiliated! You know being stripped, standing exposed, feeling vulnerable. This is how Jesus felt in the Tenth Station when he was stripped of his clothes before his execution.
However, with the choices I've made, it happens quite a lot. Having a family isn't easy. You get stripped of your free time, your reading time, your free trips to the grocery store, your free trips to Target, your free prayer time in the morning, and any other freedoms you enjoyed before that family. You are at the mercy of God's will on a moment to moment basis.
But I'm glad I'm not going at it alone. Paul goes through the same thing. We all do in some way or another. Following Christ isn't easy, but it doesn't mean going around the cross. It means going through it.
So let's all feel vulnerable together. After all, He went before us...stood before us cold, naked, and friendless. The least I can do is smile when He asks me to take one more step!

Monday, April 6, 2009


In the Ninth Station, Jesus falls a third time, we are focusing on prudence. I explained to the kids that we must pray and act in order to make the right decisions. So prudence helps to do that. When we act prudently, we can prevent falling into imminent traps.

Don't we all need to focus on that!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Today we are focusing on the 8th station, Jesus meets the holy women of Jerusalem. Sometimes we pray and do not receive the answers we want, or things happen and we don't understand why they do. Faith is required to believe that God will do and provide what is best for us.

We are so excited today because Palm Sunday marks our entrance into Holy Week. We don't have processions here or really whoop it up for Holy Week like in Spain or the Latin American countries (shucks!), but our faith is still steeped in tradition.

Today we prepared little ship, Jonah, and whale figures to draw the parallel between Jonah's stint for 3 days in the belly of the whale, and Jesus' death from Good Friday to his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Our little Jonah was taped onto his ship. On Good Friday, we'll stuff Jonah into the whale, and on Easter Sunday we'll take him out again.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I'm consoled that Jesus didn't just run right up to be crucified with no pain & no exhaustion. He walked, and fell, and bled, and suffered. So we've been focusing on courage today with the 7th station where Jesus falls the second time.

I left piano lessons on Thursday a little upset as I was thinking about an unresolved issue. The piano school rents space out of a church, and I've been concerned about a safety issue since we've been at that location. This is an issue that would not only benefit those of us who do lessons, but also the school program for the church. I approached the pastor last fall about my idea, and he didn't get back to me. I had pursued this with the director of the music school and now the pastor. Won't someone take me seriously?!! Mind you, this isn't my church and it's not my pastor. I'm just a concerned parent.

I came home from Family Formation with the girls this morning to find a little message scribbled on a notepad: "Pastor Gehlbach" and his number. I was shocked and Paul quickly told me the pastor had called and wanted me to call him back immediately.

Turns out, the pastor didn't forget about my idea and he's willing to try to resolve the problem. Just when I was starting to despair, God pulls this off on the day I'm focusing on courage! I guess I, too, can't just run right up to the goal with no obstacles. I need to exhibit courage in the midst of difficulty. Then God will act.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Taking Notice

We couldn't think of the actual virtue so we came up with "taking notice." So in the 4th station when Veronica wipes Jesus' face, she took notice of his need as he walked along carrying his cross.

We have a Wendy's close by that we frequent every Friday of Homeschool Coop. We've since befriended a young man who always takes our order and greets us with a smile. He mentioned 2 weeks ago that he would have a birthday either April 2nd or 3rd...we couldn't remember the exact date. This morning before HS Coop, the kids wrote a card, signed it "The kids in the big blue van", and packed it together with 3 Easter chocolates. I handed it to him along with my credit card when I paid for lunch in the drive-thru.

You should've seen his smile. He probably doesn't need the card or the chocolates, but he may have needed a friend. Now he has 7!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Patient Acceptance

So, here we are at Day 5, Simon helps Jesus carry his cross. We talked about patient acceptance; the acceptance that we might need help and can't do it alone. I'm admitting, "Yes, it's hard work being home with 6 kids" and, "No, I can't do it alone." Do I have any takers?

For now, the cleaning lady cometh. Contracting her was an act of patient acceptance. Thank God, we did!!
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