Saturday, April 28, 2007

Busy month!

I just realized that I have living proof that April was a very busy month for us. My April photo folder has 500 pictures in it!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Foo!

12 years ago we were blessed with our first son. I thank God everyday for him. He is growing into such a wonderful young man!

This past year has seen him change from a little boy to a very adult-sounding man. After his tonsillectomy, his voice became very deep and he grew at least 6 inches. I sometimes mistake him for my husband!

We celebrated the day by continuing our hunt for dew berries and we were quite successful. I think we picked about 3 - 4 pounds today. We'll hunt for more tomorrow and Sunday.

Then we headed to our local Frisbee Golf park with some of Foo's friends and family. The weather was glorious and the company was even better!

We couldn't be more proud of our Foo. He is an amazing person that inspires me everyday to try be a better mom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Truth Revisited

Things are much better around here this week. Boo seems to be feeling better now and believe me, when baby feels better, everyone feels better.

We were beginning to get concerned about his speech, or lack thereof, and actually had a speech eval scheduled for today. Speech delays are not uncommon in this house. My last three babies before Foo had them, and thankfully they are doing well now.

Nevertheless, we felt it might be prudent to explore exactly how delayed Boo is and if we could take measures to prevent further delay.

Well, this weekend, Boo surprised me by saying "No!" a few times. He also said wow, ball, poopie, and mama. He has only until this point said "light", "bye-bye", and mama when he is mad!

Today, he even pointed to his nose when asked where it was! Very cute, very sweet, but totally not able to be caught on the camera. You'll just have to take my word for it.... LOL

So with the kids a bit happier, mommy is a bit less-stressed. Foo was going to make a nice breakfast for me because he thought that might help my mood a bit. Just the thought of him worrying about me like that melted me heart.
All of the kids have really tried to pitch in and help with things around here. Honestly, I am so grateful for all that they do. They really are the best children and I am blessed to be their mother.

Along with great kids, and a wonderful husband who stands by me always, I've had great friends that have checked in on me, emailed me with supportive and encouraging words, and stayed out till way to late drinking coffee and making me laugh!
Thank you to all of you. I have heard His voice through your actions.

Proud Mom

The kids headed out this past weekend for a nearby tournament. They all did so well and I am so very proud of each of them!

Bean - 1st in Forms and made an awesome Judge!
Foo - 1st in Power breaking and also made an awesome Judge!
Lem - 1st in Speed kicking, 3rd in Forms, and 3rd in Power Breaking, not too mention she was a great time-keeper for sparring rounds.
Fish- brought home 3 medals for speed kicking and creative forms!

I was not able to attend so their wonderful father took some pictures for me... about 200 to be exact!

Here are a few pictures to enjoy from the day.

Fish, being Fish..
Foo helping with Judging

Lem, showing some of her form

Bean and some of her form ( Iwish we could capture more of the moves, but the camera can't keep up with the speed)

Here's Foo, receiving his medal for his Power breaking demonstration.

Update on Hans

For those of you who have been praying for Hans, (I hope ALL of you have been), here is an update regarding his latest round of chemo.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Happy Birthdays!

To two of our favorite people, who just happen to be sisters!! We love you God Baby and Miss Iss!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Truth

Ok, so remember a few days ago, when I posted a little post about how God sanctifies us through our children? Remember I told you to remind me about what I said? Well, today's the day!

The truth in our home this week. YUCK! Schooling is minimal at best. The baby hasn't been feeling well and therefore he has been quite irritable, cranky, and miserable... and this is the good side!

I took him in to the doctor today and he does not have any infections, so we get to just wait this one out. He was almost weaned, but now he wants to nurse more than I can handle. If I walk by, it's time to nurse. If he sees a picture of me, it's time to nurse. The problem is, after a few months of only nursing 2 times per day, I don't have much to offer on all of these other occasions.

Now, as a result of being up with a cranky baby, I'm quite cranky and starting to feel quite run down. Stuffy, runny nose, feverish, you know... generally yucky, but still not yucky enough to call in reinforcements.

Fish is in rare form these days, and obeying me is obviously an optional item. I try not to discipline too much when I feel this bad because it usually isn't a very just punishment. Tonight, he put himself in the corner. Even he is recognizing how bad he's being right now.

I know that these days will pass. I know that when they do, we'll be back to normal, whatever that is. I don't think I've ever seen a "normal" week around here.

In the meantime, remind me again... I am called to this life. I am called to sainthood. My children are my path to holiness... boy do I have some work to do.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Half Birthday, Boo!

Today marks 18 months since you entered the world. What a mark you have made, little one!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

New blog

Please visit my new nature blog from time to time. Be patient with me, as I have yet to really get started on it.

From the Father

The Feast of Divine Mercy

Today is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Please read more about it here

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Divine Mercy Novena - Ninth Day


"Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm,

and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy."

Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Divine Mercy Novena - Eighth Day


"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory,

and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Divine Mercy Novena - Seventh Day


Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy*,

and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:

Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

*The text leads one to conclude that in the first prayer directed to Jesus, Who is the Redeemer, it is "victim" souls and contemplatives that are being prayed for; those persons, that is, that voluntarily offered themselves to God for the salvation of their neighbor (see Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:12). This explains their close union with the Savior and the extraordinary efficacy that their invisible activity has for others. In the second prayer, directed to the Father from whom comes "every worthwhile gift and every genuine benefit,"we recommend the "active" souls, who promote devotion to The Divine Mercy and exercise with it all the other works that lend themselves to the spiritual and material uplifting of their brethren.

Are any of us "Qualified?"

Lillian had a wonderful post today that really gave me something to think about. I wrote this response to her and thought that perhaps I should post it here as well. Not for any other reason other than for a few moments today, I had a rational, somewhat spiritual thought inbetween leaky diapers, children who won't get ready for school, and a very full day that I am quite anxious about. Remind me about this post later, when I need it, OK??

You can read her post here.

God has called us to be mothers to our families. He has blessed us with the families that we have. Why? Not because we are qualified, but because He will qualify us to be their mothers. He will hand us the grace that we need as we need it. And sometimes, He watches us struggle because it is exactly what we need to grow.

A very wise lady once told me that the big secret in homeschooling is that sure, it is great for the kids, but truely, it is our path to sanctification! Every day we must die to ourselves, become "little Christs" to our families, and because we are human, we sometimes, or in my case, we often fall short of His glory.

Therein lies the beauty of our vocation. Our children, our husbands, see us as human. They see that we are not perfect and we sometimes lose our patience. Then they, as we have modeled towards them so many times, have the opportunity to forgive us as we humble ourselves and ask for their forgiveness. It is their opportunity to be "little Christs" to us.

#2 - Common sense can't be taught? I must tell you, it has to be! My children have learned much about common sense, sometimes the easy way, sometimes the hard. Fish, for example, had to learn that it is not good to eat glass. It is not good to pull down a cup of hot tea onto yourself. It is not good to go check out the fire ant's house... The older children have learned things like, make sure to ALWAYS watch the baby and DON'T let him near the stairs, always put your money in a wallet, don't buy junk, and even more difficult common sense lessons such as, don't drink, don't use drugs, don't have premarital sex, etc...

Common sense is learned. Sometimes through watching others, sometimes through personal experience. As the mothers of these precious souls, we try to teach them all that we can and then we must let go, trust in God and His angels, and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. Free will exists even in the youngest of souls.

We are called to become saints, we are called to act as Christ, but we will usually mess up somewhere along the way. Only then can we grow in our path to holiness. Holiness doesn't come from always doing everything right. It comes from doing things wrong over and over, and gradually, over time, through many sessions of reconcilliation and constant prayer, do we begin to become more holy.

In the meantime, stock up on bandaids, fill the medicine cabinet with Benadryl, peroxide, gauze, owie creams, great friends and families phone numbers, and most importantly, prayers.

And remember, as I read on another blog somewhere along the way, to kiss the hands of our children each day. After all, these are the children who will open the gates of Heaven for us.

And I'm betting Kolbe won't try to catch bees ever again... One more thing, to all you moms out there this is just for the record... I yelled at my kids three times during the writing of this post, no one, including myself is dressed for the day nor have we started school work, and it is 9:40 am. Good thing there is confession on Saturday!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Divine Mercy Novena - Sixth Day

Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children,

and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Divine Mercy Novena - Fifth Day

Divine Mercy Novena - Fifth Day


"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church*,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "heretics and schismatics," since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council's Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord's inspirations and orders, she declared: "I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus " I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me" (497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Our Family Picture

Happy Easter!

Divine Mercy Novena - Fourth Day


"Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know Me,

I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter 2007

Happy Easter to each and every one of you! May you feel the joy of Our Risen Lord today and every day!

What a glorious day it was, indeed. Some of us were concerned because the weather was looking pretty unpleasant, especially if you are interested in an egg hunt. But our prayers were answered this morning when we awoke to the beautiful sunshine, not a drop of rain to be had, and unseasonably cold temperatures. We loved the snap of cold in the air, though our Easter donnings were more appropriate for 80 degree weather. We still dressed for church and headed out with our winter coats in hand.

The Mass was beautiful. Fr. Jo-Jo was amazing. His homily was directly from his heart and as he told us, he was inspired to give his homily without writing it out. It was so beautiful, so heartfelt, and so genuine. He is such an amazing priest. I feel so blessed to have him at our parish. Honestly, all of our priests are very holy men and have such a great way of bringing the Good News of Christ to us in his unique style.

We were able to snap a few pictures at church while we were still dressed in "nice" clothes. It is so hard to get a picture now-a-days, with all of the kids together. Of course, Alicia wasn't with us, so technically, not ALL of the kids are in the pictures. I hope MC posts them soon!

Then we headed home to change and gather up the goods for our afternoon with family, family, and more family! We just love to be together!

The kids had a great time hunting eggs, and the adults had great fun hiding them. We enjoyed the fellowship of one another, each of us so grateful for the time we have with one another. Of course, many of us broke our Lenten penances and indulged in a variety of sweets, meats, and other yummy treats! I ate enough sugar to last me quite awhile! It was all so delicious, how could I say no? I think the thing I enjoyed most of all was having a cup of Calm tea with honey. I am sipping on it as I post this now. It is so warm, soothing, and sweet. I should sleep well tonight.

I am sure there must be a marathon Mah-Jong party going on right now! The adults need to earn money towards next year's eggs!

Here are a few shots from the day! I hope you enjoy them!

Fish and his BIG bunny!
Enjoying the morning
Dad and his son Foo
Giving Thanks to God
Foo and Alicia

Boo finding his first egg
Gotta love the godbaby! Her first Easter!

Yes, these are my daughters, no you can not have them!! LOL

Papa and his Bean

Mommy and her Boo
Sisterly Love

The best husband in the world

Our wonderful hosts for the day
Uncle Kev and baby Boo

Fish - A self-portrait

Tonight, I decided to upload the pictures from our wonderful family celebration of Our Resurrected Lord when I happened upon these treasures from our Fish...

I'm so glad he doesn't listen to me when I ask him not to touch my camera...

He is a cutie, and these were obviously taken before his hair cut!

I just have to wonder what exactly goes through his mind when he is doing this stuff...

I mean seriously... what is he thinking??

I guess this is his impression of the "angry eyebrows"...

Ok... maybe not so angry...

This one is totally out of focus, but I didn't feel I could leave the "artist's" message incomplete.

Divine Mercy novena - The Third Day

*** I apologize in the late posting of this day. Family took precedence ***


"Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness."

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Divine Mercy Novena - Second Day


"Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious,

and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard -- upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun "us" since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Holy Triduum

The holiest time of our liturgical year is here. I never feel as though I am ready, in fact, this year more than any before, I feel that I am less prepared spiritually than I should be. I suppose being who I am, I will never feel as though I am worthy enough to enter into this time or any other, being truly ready for Christ. I am, after all, human.

Today we will make our way to the church to venerate the cross. This service always brings me to tears. It is MY sin that has put Our Lord on that cross. MINE. Bearing that thought is too much. His love for me, for all of us, is so pure, so freely given, if only we will accept it.

Today also begins the Divine Mercy Novena. I will be posting the daily prayers here each day.

Divine Mercy Novena - First Day


Jesus asked that this Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena of Chaplets to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. Say one chaplet each day following the novena intention. In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:

"On each day of the novena you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls. By this novena I will grant every possible grace to souls." (Diary 1209, 796)
"Today bring to Me All Mankind, especially all sinners and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges me."

"Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just for Aunt MC

Because I know how much you love frogs, these are for you... if you look very closely, you can see a mosquito hawk's leg sticking out of his mouth. It was dinner-time after all!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Nature Study

**** Snail Update - the snails have been identified, thanks to Mamabear! See below***
We've had a few chance moments of nature study over the last few weeks. I love having the availability of the digital camera because usually the things we find don't stay still long enough for us to sketch them. Also, those of us with less than wonderful art skills really appreciate not having to humiliate ourselves...

One night, a tree frog paid us a visit. We had to take this picture. He was adorable. What was even more interesting was watching him catch his dinner and then watching him eat it!

Here, we thought we had the privilege of seeing a Peregrine Falcon's nest, but rather, it was a Mockingbird's nest with a Peregrine Falcon raiding the eggs! We were able to capture video of the Mockingbirds attacking the Falcon. It was really amazing. We aren't sure if any of the eggs survived...

A visitor to our home discovered this lovely site! I have never seen these types of snails here...

We just loved the way they were hugging each other! I know nothing about snails. If anyone could identify these for me, I would appreciate it!

Thanks to Mamabear, we now know that these are called "Rosy Wolf Snails." You can read more about them here.

I don't recommend reading about them during lunch...

On Sunday evening, I found this beautiful Luna Moth on our front door. Monday morning, he was sitting on our chair on the front porch. He eventually found his way into our home and his flapping wings were as loud as a bird's! Thankfully, we were able help him back outside without any injury.

We are looking forward to more adventures in our yard this year! Hopefully we may even get in a nature walk or two...