Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our Week in Review - 3rd Week of Easter

~~~Praise the Lord!~~~

Well, we finally found a mother's helper!  The kids have been feeling like they are the Von Trapp children...there are 7 of them, and now they have a "governess."  Well, not exactly, but she did live in Switzerland (close to Austria!) for a while.  She looks nothing like Julie Andrews, but she's about as sweet and loves the kids.  Lejla (Lay-la) officially starts tomorrow.  She'll be here to watch over the little ones and help with a few household tasks while the rest of us try to get school work done.  This is really an answer to prayer.  My peace of mind has already begun!

~~~A Week of Firsts~~~

Lucas had an incredible week!  And let me say, it was all I could do not to blog about this as it was all happening on Monday & Tuesday.  Staying off the computer has been a bit difficult to say the least!  So here is the first "first."

He was so excited about losing his first tooth, he couldn't stop showing it to everyone.  He lost it toward the end of the day!  So, the tooth fairy left him this note...and $5.00!

Dear Lucas - I found your tooth in the driveway.  Here's a little treat.  If you find it tomorrow it's probably because I dropped it.  It was too heavy for me to carry!  -     T. Fairy

As if that weren't enough, the next day he started riding his bike!  It's amazing how you go from this...

to this

to this

We are so proud of him!

~~~A sweet friend~~~

Maria has had a beautiful Sister from the Missionaries of Charity teaching her Evening School of Religion class.  Sr. Julian Paul has been so excited all year about the baby, Nick, because Maria has been keeping her updated weekly.  I finally got Nick over there so Sr. could meet him.

I love this photo!

~~~The Garden of the Good Shepherd~~~

Like I mentioned in the last post, this week we were focusing on God as creator of the heaven's and earth.  To celebrate this week we took a field trip to the Science Museum and spent a lot of time in the Science of Weather area.  It was a lot of fun!  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so no pics of that.:(  This week we will be focusing on the sea and being fishers of men.  I'm really loving this aspect of family formation with the kids.  They love putting the stickers on the calendar and reading the Scripture passage that pertains.  It's been really great!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our Week In Review...2nd Week of Easter

Things, again, have been pretty busy around here!  So much so, we have had a packed week, are looking for a part-time mother's helper, and are reworking the downstairs office/guest bedroom.  Here are a few highlights from the week...

~~~Turtle Spotting~~~

This prehistoric creature was found slowly walking across the parkway near our house.  The kids love seeing these snapping turtles, but they make parents nervous!  They could snap off a little finger or charge one of the kids very easily.  This is a mother and was either looking for or had already laid her eggs.

~~~Cute Little Brothers~~~

There's really nothing to say about this except...CUTE!

~~~Home Improvements~~~
After many days of consternation, we decided to move from complaining to action.  I do believe that God will answer prayers if you do your part.  I never know how much is my part, but in both these cases, I have had to do a little more than I wanted to.  I would love it if God would just miraculously organize my home and drop a nanny from the sky!

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way!  So we've been using these services to find a mother's helper.  Fabulous, really.  We get to screen everyone online without a whole lot of effort.  The site is secure and fairly easy to use.  I highly recommend it.  Already I have 2 interviews scheduled for the week, and I hope to have someone hired by Friday!  Lord, knows I need the help ASAP so I'm glad I stumbled upon this.

The next thing we decided to tackle is the office/guest bedroom.  For years we have used storage solutions that are ok, unattractive, and not really a fit for our stuff.  Of course, we need to do a lot of pitching and sorting.  But there's a lot to be said about getting a storage unit that works.  So it was off to IKEA we went.  We used the help of a showroom salesperson and came up with this system.  Paul already has the frame assembled and we should be moving in by the weekend!  Next, we'll be replacing the desk and get a proper entertainment system for the TV.  Exciting!

~~~Rub-a-dub-dub come play in the...sink!~~~

It won't be long before these "sink" baths are a thing of the past!!!

~~~Garden of the Good Shepherd - Week 2~~~

Last week in the Good Shepherd's garden we were focusing on the banquet.  You can see the table, chairs, and food in the lower left hand corner.  The kids loved the food focus, but we didn't do a tea party or a big dinner.  We celebrated with another baby meal that was brought over on Thursday.  My friend, Meghan, even included a bottle of wine.  We were just missing the honey on the table...I forgot that!

This week we will be focusing on God, the creator of the heaven's and earth.  I love this song that we usually here on the Christian radio station, KTIS.  As a fun outing, we hope to visit the weather room at the Science Museum in St. Paul.  It should be fun!

~~~My Favorite for the Week!~~~

An item that is very well loved by Maria.  She used 4 staples and tape to salvage her scapular!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter Week in Review

~~~Lenten Lesson~~~

It's been a very busy week to say the least.  Getting back to a schedule has been a bit challenging, and I made a new resolution from my Lenten experience.  I've always wondered if people ever keep up their Lenten disciplines after Lent is over.  I never have, but this Lent I really enjoyed giving up the internet on Fridays.  I usually go to bed at night feeling guilt over something or other that I did not do with the kids:   not reading to them, not spending time playing, yelling to much, not listening enough, or being to busy with my own projects.  On my Fridays in Lent "too much time on the internet" was not on that list of guilt because I wasn't on at all.  Success!  So, I decided to keep it up and limit my internet usage.  I decided to blog only once a week...hence, the week in review...and I only get on to check e-mail in the morning or when the kids are on a break.  There were days this week when I didn't check it at all!  Success!  I had already decided to scale way back on my Facebook usage so I knew I could do it.  It's actually not been hard, and I feel a lot better about the time I'm spending with the kids during the day.  Success!  Now for our week...

~~~Easter photos with Grandpa Ben & Grandma Carol~~~

We had a beautiful Easter dinner with Ben, Carol, and my brother.  It was great for the kids for us all to get together!

~~~Wednesday Art with Miss Marianne~~~

This week the kids worked on drawing sheep.  This was very appropriate for our week in the garden of the Good Shepherd.  You'll see the sticker calendar in a bit!

~~~Fun with Friends~~~

A couple friends visited today.  They both dropped off baby gifts and stayed a while to chat and see the baby.  This is a great photo of some of the kids playing out front.  Look at those smiles!

~~~Mommy Time~~~

I also got a chance to make these for Nick's Baptism this Sunday.  I was so excited to try these!  I found a way to make a stencil and used that to make the monograms on these cookies.  I think they came out like I wanted!

~~~The Garden of the Good Shepherd~~~

Here's a pic of our sticker calendar for the 50 days of Easter from Tomie de Paola.  We were introduced to the garden this week.  And although I wanted to take the kids on a field trip to visit a sheep farm, we were not able to do that.  I will still pursue this as I think it would be awesome for us all to see real sheep and visit a farm.  I did receive in the mail today a wonderful account of a Basque sheepherder and his explanation of Psalm 23 thanks to my friend, Mary.  She's my "montessori connection!"

~~~Goals for next week~~~
  • Pursue the sheep farm field trip,
  • make cookies for a friend's First Communion,
  • continue with school work,
  • enjoy the week with the kids and Paul!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christus Resurrexit!

Christ is Risen, Alleluia!  I love being able to say that.  We attended a beautiful liturgy at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis last evening with my brother.  It was incredible not only because of the richness of the tradition, the music, and all the beautiful souls received into the Church; but also because of the profound peace I felt as we walked kids to and from the bathroom, changed diapers, nursed Nick, ate my dinner (it was long enough to still have an hour before Communion!), handed out snacks, rocked, and walked.  Incredibly, I didn't feel the least bit resentful or frustrated.  I was given the immense gift of peace knowing that I am loved and blessed to be a wife, mother, and daughter of a loving God.  Paul took these pictures of the girls before the service of light.

We were back very late so, of course, Paul & I went to bed very late preparing last minute things for this morning.  Here are a few pictures of our Easter table and breakfast.

A very sweet neighbor brought over a box of all the kids' favorite treats as a baby/Easter gift so the kids had Lucky Charms for breakfast and will be snacking on chocolate chip cookies, chips, and root beer the rest of the day.  She also gave us a coupon for one free night of babysitting!  Maybe as a "thank you" I should feed the kids all of the treats and ask her to babysit that night!!

Another Easter consolation is that the formation doesn't end with Lent.  We will continue our formation and feasting for the 50 days of Easter.  Here is a picture of our Garden of the Good Shepherd board.  This morning at breakfast we placed our Good Shepherd sticker on the board and read a reading from Scripture.  We also sang a song from the Atrium.  The kids really miss the atrium, but maybe this activity will help until we get back next fall.

We will be joining several other Catholic Mommies in these garden parties this Easter.  We'll see what we can do.  It may be as simple as just keeping up with the stickers every day. 

For now, I'm off to have a lamb sandwich!  Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Thursday 2010

Unfortunately, we are not doing our seder meal as we have in years past.  This is a beautiful seder plate...I should look into acquiring one of these!  With Nick still recovering, having a squirly two year old, and Maria injuring her arm roller blading today; I think Paul will just go to Mass alone with some of the kids after we have a simpler dinner.

Nonetheless, we will be offering up prayers for all our priests on this day dedicated to the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist.  We will especially be praying for our amazing and lately persecuted shepherd.  God bless you, Holy Father!

Prayer for the Pope

Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your vicar on earth, the Pope.  In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest.  I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd we form the true Church:  one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic.  Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father's teachings.  Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil.  Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience.  Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in her belief and action that she may truly be the instrument of your redemption.  Amen.
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