Sunday, March 30, 2008

Divine It Is

Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday to all!

On the inspirational wings of Margaret and Dawn- the kids made their first stained glass project this weekend. Although we didn't pray our daily novenas and chaplets as a family, all three of them can assuredly hum the Divine Mercy on any given moment. How's that for background music?

And speaking of music, Dawn had a post one day about this CD. No one has calmed down yet from number 7. Number 7 is a big hit in our house!

And to end this Sunday post-may the fountain of grace be yours and remember to trust. For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Ah Ha!

We now know where the "Old Man with the Beard" is stashing his/her stuff. There is a nest being built right outside the kitchen window. There has been a flutter of activity back and forth today.

We're In!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go KU!!

Crimson and the Blue

Far above the golden valley
Glorious to view,
Stands our noble Alma Mater,
Towering toward the blue.
Lift the chorus ever onward,
Crimson and the blue
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater
Hail to old KU.

Far above the distant humming
Of the busy town,
Reared against the dome of heaven.
Looks she proudly down.


Greet we then our foster mother,
Noble friend so true,
We will ever sing her praises,
Hail to old KU.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Old Man With The Beard

Affectionately named by my children. I hope she enjoys the dog fur for her sweet, little nest.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Reporting to the Lost and Found

We're sitting at the table working today and my daughter had a math assignment requiring a calculator. My son, always knowledgeable of electronic gadgets says, "I'll get one". Thank you...

As were knee deep in division I looked closely at the back of her calculator.


Darren? Darren! Oh my gosh, I went to college with Darren like one hundred years ago (no offense, my friend). My maid of honor and close friend married Darren. How in the world did I get his calculator?!

Sorry Nikki, sorry Darren- I hope you haven't been looking for it!

A What?!

Ummm, am I correct in saying that the current season is spring? Is there some confusion with the weather?



Of Saintly Causes

Last September, just weeks before we moved from the desert Southwest, I received an email story from our friend Dave. What he sent made us all cry. It was the story of a young girl- joyfully suffering from cancer. I think every single parent first internally thinks , "What if that were my child?" followed by "Thank you, God, that my child is okay". It's human nature, I believe, to put oneself into the shoes of another and to be thankful for their own familiar pair.

But my heart never really forgot that story of little Gloria Strauss. She was an 11 year old girl with such maturity, faith and fortitude. As for her family- what a beautiful, loving and reverent family. And what a small world to open my Magnificat this month to read the inside cover;

Dear Friends of MAGNIFICAT,

A few months ago, a newspaper carried a moving story about Gloria Strauss, a courageous eleven-year old girl with a devastating and very painful form of cancer. Gloria and her family are fervent Catholics, and Gloria's parents, Doug and Kristen, realized that the only way to face such an unbearable situation was by relying on their faith. They are daily MAGNIFICAT readers. And they have saintly friends, like the one who encouraged them to pray this way: "You're asking for Jesus to come close to this situation and be who he is. You say, 'I want you. Come close. Be who you are. And bring salvation.' That's the first miracle." He told them to pray with confidence, not seeking some thing but some One. He assured them that "when we say yes to Jesus, in some mysterious way, God uses that." This excellent counsel is a good way for all of us to live our Lent. We pray for the Strausses and for all those facing excruciating trials in their life. We beg the Crucified On to come close.

In Jesus and Mary,
Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P.

To purchase the Magnificat, visit your local Catholic bookstore. Or, to subscribe, visit

And more acts of divine providence...this month at the women's group at church I met a young nurse from Children's Hospital in Seattle. She proceeded to tell me how many employees and patients were touched by the spirit of this young soul. Other women at the meeting shared their experiences of the rosary vigils held for sweet Gloria. And yet another friend spoke of inquests for nominating young Gloria for sainthood.

As I cannot fathom the pain that the Strauss family and many others endure, I am drawn to the beauty of their acceptance and am in awe. In awe of their selfless acts of love and their current cause to help others.

If you would like to learn more about Gloria's Angels please visit

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wet and Happy

Remember in Forrest Gump when Forrest talked about the rain?
We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin' rain... and big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath.

Easter was just like that. It rained the entire day. This is why we have about 5 pathetic picures of the day- no kids frolicking in the green grass looking for eggs. No shots on the way to Mass sitting by flowers. No afternoon baseball game with new bats and balls.

But that's okay. Because what we did get was one beautiful Mass. With the choir above us sounding like legions of angels. The bishop presiding. Flowers alongside every isle and an alter that was glowing.

This followed by lunch with good people and great fun for the kids makes for a memorable Easter in our new home.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

And Here We Are

The culmination of Lent for me is Good Friday. "What's so good about Good Friday?" my daughter asked years ago. She now knows. I love that the kids understand this and that we talk about it. I know people that shy away from discussing the passion of Good Friday with their children; unnecessary violence, they say. I disagree. This is our faith. It's the truth. It really happened. And for the record, they're right, it is a painful realization.

But here we are at the end of it. What have we learned? Have we changed? I pray that my family has- I know I have. I was doubtful of my strength in resisting all sweets-candy, chocolate, cake, scones, pastries...but I managed. I did it. And when everyone else around me was enjoying something for a special occasion, I just offered it up, my minute sacrifice. These past few weeks have brought so much more than just a resistance to temptation. I pray a lot. A lot more than I did. I find myself waking up praying. Saying prayers for people I pass on the street. Praying for people I can't stand. (Trust me- this is very new to me). But something has come alive. God has removed me from my everyday life and put me in a quiet corner of the world. Away from my friends, away from outside distraction, away from my vanity. It's been a struggle but it's been good.

So this Lent has been a different one for me and for that I am thankful.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dad's Day

Our St. Patrick's day began in it's usual fashion- a visit from the Leprechaun leaving treats at the door. (Much to the surprise of the kids who thought there might not be any wee lads running through these parts). We heard from our neighbors that he had been there, too. What a coincidence!

The house was a buzz for the rest of the day getting ready for daddy's birthday celebration. Many a note and card was made. Games were invented. Prizes were assembled. Even a secret delivery of balloons to daddy's office- what a day!

Perhaps the best part of the day came last. As we sat down for dinner we saw the most glorious, vibrant, full rainbow that we've ever seen. Oddly it hadn't been raining- just a quick drizzle and bam- there it was.
Moments later it became a double rainbow just beckoning us to reach out and grab it. Better yet the the pot of gold, which is exactly what the kids tried to do.

We wrapped up the day walking off our chocolate cake jitters (no, I didn't have any but thanks for wondering) down to the river. We skipped rocks, listened to the birds going to bed, laughed as the frogs announced themselves, and strolled home the way it should be; kids on bikes with one snuggly tike in his stroller and mom and dad hand and hand.

Happy Birthday honey, we sure do love you!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Seattle Saturday

What's for dinner, you ask? Fresh salmon with asparagus from Pike Place Market. It's always an interesting place to visit on a drizzly day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away

Mere coincidence I dare ask? Aside from mommy being tired and grumpy this morning (and so soon after a restful vacation)- my thoughts have been on the weather. We're having a gray day, make that week, here in the Pacific Northwest. Gray and wet. It's like a preemptive Good Friday.

Back to the coincidence...As we were finishing up some lessons this morning my daughter burst out laughing and ran to me with her science book. "Read this!", she cried.

Climate is how the weather always is in a place, or how it is for many years. We can look at rain and snow and notice that Olympia, WA, has 164 rainy days and 50 inches of rain in an average year, while Las Vegas, NV has only 26 rainy days and 4 inches of rain a year.

Well that sums it up nicely. We've not yet fully embraced this climate. Compare the two; 164 days to 26 days of rain - it's enough to make a mommy sing come again another day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

From The PJ Files

PJ: Mom, you know how sometimes you go like 5 miles over the speed limit?

Me: Ummmm

PJ: Well, how come the police man never pulls you over???

I think it's time to move his car seat....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rules are Rules

I'm not naming names but this is a story involving a major airline company and a very popular chain restaurant.

Yesterday we were preparing to fly out of Arizona. I'm always flustered to fly- not a fear of flying but the panic of security and traveling alone with 3 children gets the best of me. With all those shoes and belts and watches and backpacks and get the picture.

Well oddly enough, the gal checking us in at the unmentioned airline was even more flustered than I. So much in fact she was mentioning to those working next to her that she was leaving her post due to "too much drama". She handed me my gate check and that was it. I say that was it because there was no questioning what I was traveling with, or who was traveling- not even and ID check. This actually bothered me to no end. Why didn't she check on 4 people traveling? Did we look that harmless?

Here comes the funny part. My parents treated us to dinner at- oops, I said I wouldn't tell. Anyway, we sit down to dinner and I ordered a beer. A nice, cold beer would take the edge off that security point, I thought. I got carded for my beer (thank you!!) but then I had to laugh - my parents were carded as well and the guy wasn't kidding. Yes, they look great for their ages but they are both obviously over 21. story is really about the rules. Do we truly live in an age where a 72 year old man gets carded for a beer in the same airport that his 30-something year old daughter doesn't get id'd to check into a flight? Please explain!

"After Midnight"

"We gonna let it all hang out..." Come on- sing it with me.

What a wonderful trip we had this past week to sunny Arizona. We took in a Cubs spring training game, a quick road trip to see our great friends in Las Vegas, swimming, the park, some outlet mall shopping, a visit with our cousins and I even snuck in a pedicure and massage. Ahhhhhhhh....

We arrived home late last night. Very late. Shortly before midnight we pulled into the driveway only to have the 2 year old tell us his every intention of going outside to ride his bike and then go downstairs to play with his toys. (In that order). Well do you think he liked it when we said, "No, no, no little one. It's sleepy time". No- he didn't- at all. He let us know about his disappointment for some time. Thus, the title for this post- "We gonna jump, shake and shout..." Somewhere around 12:30 I fell asleep while he read books in his bed. And how is it that said child played for an hour in his bed instead of napping today? Even the 5 year old has been asleep for 2 hours this afternoon!

And in case you didn't get the memo- the official date of the end of spring break has been changed until tomorrow. zzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sun, Here We Come

I truly didn't think after 5 months of living in the Pacific Northwest that I would miss the sun as much as I do. As much as I'm looking forward to the seasons to come, I needed an out for winter has been long.

So just like college kids on the way to Padre Island...we're off for some fun in the sun in Arizona. (Perhaps a little more tame I might add). Please say a prayer for me that flying by myself with the three kids will be a non-event. Gulp.

Go Figure

Is sleep over-rated? Do we really need a whole bunch of it all at the same time? Or are little bouts with major interruptions satisfactory?

It never fails at this house. I admit I'm part of the problem- I've always been a stinky sleeper. A light sleeper who wakes upon anything. Couple that with a screaming 2 year old that's thirsty but you brought him the wrong cup at 4 am with the phone ringing off the hook trying to fax something... What I'm trying to say is that I'm tired. I simply can't get up in the night and fall peacefully back to sleep. I wish it were that easy.

My friend, Kathleen, taught me that when we are awakened in the night it's for a reason. So... amidst my grumpiness I try to be thankful for the interruptions and I do believe that I am wide awake to pray for someone who needs it. My secret? The Divine Mercy chaplet. I usually sing it in my head because it's ingrained from EWTN- but I do this over and over again until I eventually slip away. I mean until the phone rings again with no one but a beep on the other end!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Little Bit

What a beautiful way to spend a glorious Sunday afternoon- supporting a local charity. My family went to an event today at Little Bit, a therapeutic riding center.

The refreshments were nice. The horses were awesome. But the people there were amazing. Both the volunteers and the riders. The list was long of the disabilities in which these riders came. However the inspiration they brought was exceptional. There couldn't have been a dry eye in the entire barn listening to the stories of how far they've come and witnessing first hand what riding these horsies has done for them.

I felt abundant blessings today. Blessed with the gifts of the volunteers that make Little Bit what it is, blessed with the spirit of the disabled, and blessed for the fruits of health in my own family. So that leads me to pray and discern why we were brought there today. Perhaps it's my calling of gifts to bring forth- perhaps it's time to learn a Little Bit more....