Saturday, December 31, 2005

Welcome 2006

As I reflect on the past year, I realize that we have come through so much. The loss of Mom, the difficulties with A, the heart problems with the pregnancy, and the welcoming of our newest son. I am sad to see 2005 pass away. I have done so much growing within, it seems this year. Trials tend to do that to us.

Typically, New Year's Eve is a night I spend in quiet, setting goals and dreams for the next year. Reflecting on the goals and dreams of the previous year. Tonight, I will spend with family and friends and cherish every moment of it. I will spend some time in reflection tomorrow, though I do have an idea of some of my goals already.

1. Spend more time reading to the children and less time worrying about housework.

2. Spend more time with the Lord in Adoration and less time talking about doing it.

3. Spend more time listening to others and less time talking.

4. Spend more time praying for others and less time telling them what I think they should do.

5. Spend more time with my husband and less time whining to him about spending time together.

6. Spend more time counting my many blessings and less time wishing for more.

What are some of your goals? Happy New Year!

What am I doing??

The house is in shambles, the fridge is bare, the checkbook needs balancing, and I don't care! (Hey, my first poem!!)

Honestly, we are expecting folks over tonight and I need to get some food for the event. But the blog calls.

I am so inspired reading other blogs. I wish I had the brain power to put mine together, but with a 10 week old in my arms 90% of the time, it is difficult to say the least.

I wanted to share what Christmas in a home with 6 kids looks like... I forgot to take a picture of the amount of garbage that we through out, but suffice it to say that my family alone is the reason our landfills are disappearing at an alarming rate!

My dear friend MJ was witness to the probably 15 bags that existed outside of the trash can which probably held 10 of its own. She'll vouch for me. She's a great friend... she didn't turn me into CPS! She even helped fold the laundry and then took us to lunch. Thanks, MJ!! I love you!

Enjoy the pictures of my home... I must be out of my mind!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy 1st Day of Christmas!

Today is the first day of Christmas! Don't put away the decorations just yet. Enjoy them a bit longer, say until Epiphany??

Advent is now gone and the preparation that we have all just come through now ends with great celebration. For 12 days we should be enjoying the season of Christmas! Sing those carols, give gifts, send cards, whatever makes you happy. Christmas is not over, despite what the "real" world tells us... it is just beginning

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas to All

I am off the blog for the next few days. I plan to enjoy the holiday with my wonderful family focusing my attention and time towards them.

Have a safe and beautiful Christmas, and may God bless you many times over in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I survived one, five more to go!

Well, I can't believe it, but I have survived the raising of one child. My sweet Alicia turns 18 today. I realize that I will always be her mom, and that I will never truly let go of the "raising" of her, but officially, legally, my role as her guardian ceases today. Is this a relief or a time of great sadness? For me, it is both.

I will never forget holding her the moment that she was born. Still purple, screaming, and drawing in her first few breaths of life. It was a cold, snowy, Hartford CT. morning. It had been a long hard labor, and I was exhausted. Mom was there waiting to see me. She was worrying about her "baby". I suppose one day, I'll do the same for Alicia.

I recall holding this precious bundle sent from Heaven above on my chest. She was swaddled ever so tightly and as she breathed in, so did I. We were in synch. It was probably the last time, (LOL) but nevertheless, we were.

These eighteen years have flown by. Some moments seemed as though they would never end, but all in all, as the saying goes, I don't know where the time has gone. I pray for her well being each and every day. I pray that she learns from each experience that she encounters. I pray I don't meddle too much or back away too far. It is such a fine balance, an art really, this parenting an adult child thing. I really don't like it much yet. I imagine it will get easier with time.

I remember thinking about becoming a parent one day. How I would teach the child many things about the world. How I would love her/him. How I would raise them to be a great and wonderful addition to society. But a funny thing happened along the way. Becoming a parent caused me to change the most. I had never considered how the core of my existence would change. I knew things would be different. No more late nights out with friends. Changing our daily routines to accomodate for naps, illnesses, school schedules, work schedules, etc. But again, I never realized how I would change.

Almost everything I thought I knew, I found out, I didn't. God is funny that way. He must look down on us, especially me, and chuckle to Himself. "Karen, when are you going to get it?? You are NOT in control!! LOL" Well, Lord, I think I am beginning to understand that now.

I believe that God has sent these 6 beautiful children to me with a purpose. These wonderful creatures have been hand selected by Him with my sanctification in mind. Each child has caused me to look deep into myself and has challenged my very being. I have become stronger, more faith-filled, and more committed to preserving LIFE as a result of raising God's gifts to me. Thank you Lord for all that you have presented me with. I take the responsibility of raising these precious souls very seriously and pray that I can return them to You as beautiful gifts for Heaven.

To Alicia, Happy Birthday, Honey. You are my world. You are the one who made me a mom. You are the reason I continue to have faith. You will set the world on fire one day and I will be so proud. I AM so proud. I Love You!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Back to homeschooling?

Baby is 8 weeks old today. We have had every intention of getting back into to "groove" of schooling, but babies tend to create different plans for you... aren't they wonderful??

Brendan is a great baby. He is happiest when someone is holding him, and honestly, we are all happiest when we are holding him. So, not much official schooling is getting done. And that is ok.

We are in a preparation phase around the house. We are preparing for Christmas. I love the season of Advent. Almost as much as I love Lent. The time for reflection and preparation of our hearts and minds to receive Christ is a wonderful opportunity to deepen our relationship with Him as well as with the others we share our lives with.

The season goes by so quickly. I never seem to be able to get all that I want to done, especially in my prayer life. Somedays the only prayer I get out is, "God help me..." Amazingly, He does.

So I must stop and ask myself from time to time, what exactly my goals are for the children as we travel the road of homeschooling together. Of course, I want them to become well-educated, well-socialized, and upstanding citizens of our society. But more importantly, I hope and pray that my husband and I will be instill in them a deep sense of faith that helps to guide them toward good decisions throughout their entire lives.

I asked my middle two children yesterday if they understood why we attend Mass? They must have thought me crazy! Of course, mother, we go to Mass because we are supposed to and it would be a sin not to! I applauded their answers and then said, "but do you really understand why God calls us to worship Him?" Their reply was precious. They both talked about how important it is to attend Mass so that they can receive God's grace through Holy Communion. The younger of the two has not made her first Holy Communion yet, but she still understands the importance of this act in our lives.

I asked if they thought they would continue to go to Mass when they were older and not under mom and dad's rules. They both said that they would. And I pray that they do. I wish I had. I wish my eldest would.

Back to my goals for my children... Heaven. Attain Heaven. I pray we will all arrive there together someday.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A look at the hotel

Well, I didn't get a chance to get the outside of the hotel, but here are a few of the inside...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Did I mention...?

That our "hotel" is under renovation? Yep, that's right. Our floor looks like a run down roach motel! The room isn't bad, but the hallways getting to it are nasty! The carpets in the hall are moldy, coming up, wrinkled... just generally yucky. The mold in the hotel is pretty bad. My head is killing me because I am allergic to it all.

There is an area on the front of the hotel that looks like its been blown up. Maybe something out of Bagdad? I'll try to get a picture tomorrow. I know no one will believe me unless I can show them the pictures.

We're off to see if we can find our way to the Riverwalk. Our hotel is supposed to be on it, but turns out, it's not... What a surprise!

We made it!

Here we are in the lovely town of San Antonio. We arrived around midnight and checked in to our room.

We thought we were getting a queen size bed, wanted a king, but hey, we'll take what we can get...

The oh so cheerful front desk clerk hands us the key to our room which has two double beds... EXCUSE ME??? Did I mention that this was our first get away in FIVE years?????

About 1 am, we try to turn the tv on, but to no avail. We get static with no volume contol and it is stuck on LOUD!

About 1:20, maintenance shows up to tell us after fiddling with the tv that it is broken... uuummmmm ok.... glad we have the expert opinion on that one!

Lights out. In seperate beds. If this wasn't my life... I'd be laughing hysterically!

Baby and I slept great. Heck, we had tons of room in our own bed! I am sure Mark slept well too!

I plan to head to the Missions today and check them out while he is in his conference. It's a bit overcast today, but all in all, looks pleasant. Maybe by the time we get back, our tv will be working!

PS I say most of this tongue in cheek. I am elated to be away for a bit, just to have some time to relax...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Off for the weekend, I think

My wonderful husband and I haven't been away in well over 5 years together. You might ask why, until you meet my 5th child, Joe-fish. Then you'd understand...

This little guy is all personality mixed in with a healthy dose of "creative explorative" qualities as well as some health issues that make me a bit protective of him... need I say more? Ok, you twisted my arm.

Before his 1st birthday:

Our wonderful pediatrician discovered a hole in his heart which was miraculously healed. A miracle it was indeed! Thank you Rosa Mystica!

He then developed a seizure disorder which it appears he may have finally outgrown.

By his second birthday he had the experience of TWO ambulance rides! The first was for his first seizure, the second was for the 2nd and 3rd degree burns he received on his chest when he reached up and pulled down a cup of hot tea onto himself. After driving him to the ER on my own, the doctors decided he needed to go by ambulance to Texas Children's Hospital for a possible round of plastic surgery for the extensive burns he received on his chest. Again, another miracle. When the doctors removed his bandages the next morning, his burns were merely 1st and 2nd degree. Everyone was shocked. We again were shown the power of prayer and Our Lady's special blessing on this child. His new skin grew in quickly and for the longest time, it looked as though he had an angel on his chest.

This is the year he ate glass as well... don't ask... he was fine.

He gets into anything and everything. If you say no, it's an automatic yes in his mind. If you say he's too little, he'll prove you wrong.

Don't misunderstand me here, he is the sweetest little guy you'll ever meet. He's very smart, very caring, and very loving. But he is opinionated, strong-willed, and goal directed!

Back to my weekend away. Mark and I have been battling sickness all week ourselves. He a cold, mastitis for me. As if that does not bring enough joy to our world, we wake this morning to our sweet little fish man having a 101 degree fever... UUUGGGHHH.... This is one of those, "I'm gonna ask God about this someday" moments.

So the whole day I try to discern whether or not I should go. Mark has to go, he is attending a professional conference. Fees are paid and will not be refunded. My dilema is whether or not I should stay home and take care of him, which really just entails dolling out fever reducing medication every 4 hours and wiping his nose from time to time along with cuddling up with him when he looks so pitiful. Or should I take the chance that his uncle can handle the task, take the baby, and hit the road?

By 5 pm, we decide that Fish is ok enough for me to go... Now the real challenge... telling a woman that she has to pack for the weekend away not just for herself, but for a 6 week old baby in a record 45 mins!! An impossible task you might say, but I did it!

Pray for us to make it to SA without forgetting something very important... like the Baby!

I'll check in later!