Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Day

Yesterday my daughter asked me what the biggest thing was that happened this year. I didn't hesitate, "moving" I answered. Her eyes were big as saucers. She looked at me incredulously. "MOM! Did you forget my first Holy Communion?!" Oops.

So there are the two toppers. Moving out of state to a new life and a most important sacrament. Of course there are plenty others that make the list:

*Starting off 2007 vacationing with dear friends in Zion, Utah (not the stitches part!)
*The big 10 year anniversary surprise trip to Vancouver Island
*Having fun in San Luis Obispo with Grandma and Grandpa
*Uncle Jim and Aunt Tala's wedding
*Uncle Ike and Aunt Abby's wedding
*Visiting with Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Moebeck in St. Louis
*Thanksgiving with lots of family
*PJ getting his tonsils out like a champ

Not a shabby list. We've had a great year. Naturally there have been some minor setbacks but that's what makes life interesting, right?

Here's to a healthy, happy and holy 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's been a few weeks now so I have had plenty of why doesn't it get easier?

PJ lost his first tooth today. For me it's like a slow motion movie- you know when the character slowly goes back through time and sees the past?? Images flooded my mind of my sweet, little baby and his first tooth that broke through.

You moms know what I'm talking about, right? It's actually painful to see it sitting on the bathroom counter. Somehow I just wish I could put it back in and start over; sleepless nights and all...

PJ only wishes that the tooth fairy and Santa could have met each other on Monday night. Now that would have been fun!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Blessings

For unto us a child is born.

Let us rejoice and be glad!

This Is What It Looks Like

When a little boy is caught half way through opening his Christmas gifts from his cousins.

"Joey, you have to be patient for two more days".

"But I want my fiwr twuck!!!"

What would you do? Not me...we hid it.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Total Retraction

Remember the other day when I said we loved the dog??? Is it too late to take it back?

We left for Mass and when we came home... the gingerbread house* that daddy and I struggled with last night for a very long time was, well, you can see for yourself.

Only one wall left. Roof is gone. Side walls are gone. Frosting is gone.

No wonder she was hiding.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Grrrr.

*The same gingerbread house that took driving to THREE stores to find. No small feat when you live way out in the country.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Meet My Guardian Angel

Some of you already know about Michael and know of the stories. That's okay because I'm going to share it again anyway.

Michael's parents were good friends to my folks back in the early 70's. We were very close in age. I remember nothing of Michael, sadly. Even more sad is that on Mother's day not long after, he drowned while boating with his dad. From what I understand his dad turned from him to do something and when he turned back again- Michael was gone from sight. Not even the splash was heard. It was devastating on his family and the marriage dissolved. Drinking became heavy for the father and the friendship with my folks suffered some distance as well.

Years later I received a phone call from Michael's father. He sounded drunk and he was crying. He wanted to tell me it was Michael's birthday and that he would be my age. I was a teenager and I didn't know what to say. It was an uncomforable call. He told me that Michael watches over me. Even more uncomfortable.

When I was 22 I had a cancer scare. I didn't think much of it- I was young and invincible. I'm sure it frightened my parents. Originally doctors thought I had malignant melanoma- skin cancer on my upper right back. I quickly had surgery to go deep down and remove any cancerous tissues. A few days after the surgery my father got a long distance phone call from Michae's dad. He was asking if I was okay. My father told him what was happening and that we were awaiting results. "She's going to be okay" he said. Michael had come to him in a dream the night before and appeared to be standing behind me. He raised his hand over my shoulder and a white light shone all around. He let his dad know that everything would be fine now.

Well surprisingly this story didn't make me uncomfortable at all. In fact it gave me peace and hope. I was okay then and I will be because I know that I am watched over and cared for. Merry Christmas, Michael.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Dog's Day

She's been notoriously naughty but today she's 10. It still feels like yesterday that I cried for a puppy.
After much "pitchin it" to my husband we found Belle. We brought her home and took a gazillion pictures of her. We loved her as if she were our child. I cried again the day she lost her first puppy tooth. "Our baby is growing up" I yelled as I ran into the room and woke up a sleepy husband.
Three kids later with many chewed shoes and stolen loaves of bread...and here we are. She's getting very white in the face and we hope - I MEAN wonder if she'll go to doggy heaven soon. Don't get me wrong- we really do love Belle. We'll leave it at that and say 'Happy Birthday Belly Boots'!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Some Christmas Cheer

His name is Frank. He is 91 years old and he lives two doors down from us- alone. In 1951 he used to milk the cows at 2am where our house now stands. He moved from Holland the the US when he was 31 years old. We know that he had a wife whom has died and no children. So there he is all by himself in this quiet little farm area.

We thought he could use some Christmas cheer. His face said that indeed, he could.
Yesterday we took over a wee little tree adorned with some miniature ornaments and lights the kids found. Complimented with some 100% child decorated cookies and you have...Christmas cheer. Boy that felt good.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Here Fishy, Fishy

Wide eyed, all three kids watched today as I dismantled a fish. Is that the right way to say it?
We got our first 'real' fish today at Costco. You know, not swimming but not already packaged. "Just slice of the tail and fins and you'll be good to go" the man told me. Sounds easy enough.
But what he didn't tell me was that when we got home and took Mr. Fishy out of his bag... that he would be so bloody. I mean like all over the counter hemorrhaging! Okay, maybe not that bad but when I cut him up and removed ALL the bones and listened to all three fish mongers yell "EWWWWWW" - let's just say it looked a little crime sceney.
Let's just hope he tastes good. Maybe the way it was recommended- with a little butter, garlic salt and brown sugar... Or maybe we'll just keep buying packaged salmon after all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our Lady of Guadalupe

I have thought before about how scared and elated Juan Diego must have felt. In asking my 8 year old if she would like to receive an apparition she without hesitation said, "YES"! I doubt. It would come with great responsibility and social question. I think I'm just too weak.

"Am I not your Mother?" the Virgin is quoted as asking.
"Are you not sheltered underneath my mantle, under the embrace of my arms?"

So Juan Diego did what he was asked to do and today millions of patrons will walk in remembrance and reverence.

A parish priest we once knew told a story at the children's Mass one day. He told of being a little boy in Arizona walking to Mass. Along his walk he looked down in the field and saw something shining in the sun. Kneeling down he saw that the object was a medal. He picked it up and learned that the medal was Our Lady of Guadalupe. Years down the road as he was completing his religious orders, a package arrived for him. He opened the box and found vestments that looked just like the one Juan Diego wore with Mary's image imprinted on it. He never forgot the medal he found or the protection of our Blessed Mother.

I'm sure somewhere in the world he wearing his vestments today with fond memories and joyful hope.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I Spy

I spy with my little eye one little boy who can't fall asleep without reading- just like his big brother and sister. In our house no one ever says their prayers, turns off the light and drifts into dreamland. Nope. In our house we say our prayers, leave every light on like an airport landing strip and read "till our eyeballs fall out". (Mom's catchy little phrase that makes them feel so in control).

So they'll continue to develop their vocabulary and imagination and daddy and I will continue to make our rounds turning out the lights well after bedtime.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

St. Nicholas Has Come

I heard a bump in the night and looked at the clock. 3:45 am. I think that must have been him. For when we woke up there were gold chocolate coins in our shoes and a few around the advent wreath. What sounds of joy as they rolled out of bed wondering if he came.

Indeed he came - let the Christmas tidings begin! And please keep the chocolate away from mommy. The brownies after our special candle lit dinner didn't help.


"Mom, can we save our hot chocolate until we get back from the store?"

No problem, right?


Not only were the mugs empty but there were golden hairs all over the table. Grrrrr....

If only it were true that chocolate could be harmful to dogs!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What Do You Call This Stuff?

Oh right- snow! I've heard of that before.

A rough estimate, other than up to 'here' on the broom, would be 7 inches. Uncommon for this area and we are told to expect power outages any time now. Perhaps a shower would come in handy but I'd rather blog these pics from our early morning sledding adventure.

Our little neighbor and her older brother have been out sledding since 5 am and just couldn't wait any longer to get us out there so at 6:45 there was a knock at the door. I woke up the oldest to ship her out into the cold dark morning. (No complaints there!)

Being that we're completely snowed in- I'm going to miss Mass for the first time in a LONG time. If the power is still on we'll have to catch it on EWTN and light our advent wreath. Let me just say that this is a huge change for us- it's totally beautiful and I could just sit looking out the window at the head sized snowflakes coming down all day. Sitting with my coffee and UH OH! I'm OUT OF COFFEE!! Not only that but out of diapers, too. Call 911!!