Thursday, January 31, 2008

Uncle レストビッチ

Our favorite basball player in now playing for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of Japan. This is making it a real challenge to track his progress, read the team web site, or to catch a game in person. None the less we are very excited for him this season. We wish his new team much success.

Go Uncle Resto
or should we say "Uncle レストビッチ"?
Way to go!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Scream for Ice Cream

We love the stuff! It is a very big deal for us to all pile into the van and head out to get it. Too often we take the lazy man approach and just eat it from the fridge. That is much less costly but not nearly as much of an adventure. Our neighbors were so kind to us at Christmas this year. They gave us a gift certificate to a ice cream joint in town. We finally redeemed it Saturday evening. The ice cream was delicious. The two teens behind the counter were incredibly kind and patient with all of the indecisive kiddos and their father (the most indecisive of all!) If you are looking for a fairly inexpensive adventure to have with younger kiddos pile them up and go get ice cream. I might be lot of work and I guarantee it will get messy. It will be tons of fun! Everyone will come home with smiles on their faces.
Even Cowboy tried some. Thanks Dad.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Lord is My Light and My Salvation

First Reading Is 8:23—9:3

First the Lord degraded the land of Zebulun
and the land of Naphtali;
but in the end he has glorified the seaward road,
the land west of the Jordan,
the District of the Gentiles.

Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness:
for there is no gloom where but now there was distress.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 27
R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Today's Gospel MT 4:12-17

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The theme for today was related to Christ being a light in the darkness. This was too funny. About 15 minutes before the 6:00p.m. LifeTeen Mass began the transformer outside of the church blew. No power. We entered church with the Sun light shinning through the windows. Slowly it got darker and darker. Mass began with candles all over. People were using small lights from their key chains or the light from their cell phones to sit down. We sat in almost complete darkness as the readings were read. The homily was just as wonderful and completely appropriate considering it was dark. Then just as soon as the Liturgy of the Eucharist began the lights popped back on. He really is the Light of the World!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stop growing up, you are stressing me out!

Poor Pooker had to deal with a moody mom today. We talked about ACTs, SATs, which colleges we want to visit and all other kinds of stress causing topics to high school juniors and their moms who don't ever want to let go. My husband and I have raised a beautiful, smart, and talented young woman. It is an honor to be in her presence much less to be her mother. When she becomes filled with the fear and anxiety of failing at these college endeavors, I get so upset. This is one talented woman. Pooker can do anything she sets her mind to. How do you get her to realize this? Not by yelling, as I discovered! I guess it is only fair to say mom is a tad stressed out as well.

While I am trying to talk with our Pooker, all the others were fluttering around, moving things and giggling. They had decided that one of my other babies, the little one was ready to grow up some more. I didn't agree. My baby is not ready for a high chair. While deep in thought and conversation with the oldest I turn around to this cutie sitting in his seat and acting like a big kid. Cowboy, mom is not ready for this.

Dear God,
I beg you to help me deal better with the stresses of a college bound teen and have that skill mastered by the time this little guy is headed out the door.
Love, Me

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Throw out the bath water!

One might assume that with all my babies that I would have experienced it all. One thing that I had never used before was a baby bath tub. It was never important to own one. They are not expensive but I could never justify spending $15 on something that I didn't need and that was kind of a silly thing. You might use it for a month or two, at the most. When we were surprised with the news that Cowboy was coming a dear friend that had a similar surprise the summer before gave me a box full of goodies. She asked me if I would want a baby bath. I laughed and told her that I always had wanted one but just never got around to buying one. She confessed that she had been the same way. I was so excited to have one to try. I did find that it is just as easy to use the sink but that this little bath tub isn't half bad. For us, it has meant that Cowboy's bath would be a production. I guess that makes it just like everything else in this well loved little life. Cowboy doesn't get to do much without constant fanfare and the paparazzi known as his siblings around. Anyway we are looking at Cowboy's last bath in the little tub. He was so tiny when he had his first bath and and now just 5 1/2 months later he is too ginormous to use it any more. At least I got to try the tub.

I enjoyed it and now can return it to that friend who has another surprise coming in a few months.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Prayer Time

We want prayers to be an important part of our day. We do take our conversations with God very seriously. We are a happy, joy filled group that struggle with concentration. I remember years ago dreaming of a large family that would kneel each morning and night together to say their prayers. A family rosary would be the thing that held us together. I spent years in denial and frustration. We would start our prayer time and it would get chaotic. I would beat myself up and yell like crazy. These "unholy hooligans" were ruining my prayer time. God is so good to me. He calmly spoke to my heart.
"These are my children, I want them to talk with me, I like the way they are not the way you think they should be!"
I am slow to understand Him sometimes but I do enjoy our family prayer time. It might not be good for your family but it is perfect for ours. On as many nights as we can we gather together to pray.

1) SIGN OF THE CROSS - This is a big prayer for the little ones.
2) We all say the names of our Godparents, then mom and dad say the name of their God children. We ask Mary to help each of them with a HAIL MARY.
3) Special intentions. This is the longest and sometimes most challenging part of our prayer time. It can get long, but it is my total favorite. When someone is kind enough to ask you to pray for their intentions you have a window into their soul. I love that our family shares these prayers with each other. We try to limit ourselves to 3 each. (It sounds mean to say, but each of the kiddos will list 10 minutes worth of prayer, and we all miss bed time. After each person says around 3 then we also pray for all those that we couldn't list that night. We offer the OUR FATHER for all these prayers.
4) The next prayer is for an increase in vocations and for all good and holy priests. We list two of our favorites every night with others sneaking in every now and again. We also include the intention of anyone mislead my miss guided priests. We offer this with the Hail, Holy Queen.
5)/6) If we remember we add GLORY BE TO THE FATHER and the Memorare here. We often skip these and go right into the next bunch.
7) Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
8) Holy Michael, the Archangel, Defend Us in Battle
9) Guardian Angel
10) Prayer for the Home This is a little known prayer but a wonderful one to say the least. It is one of my favorites.
11) Now we ask everyone to close their eyes while we do a small and quick examination of conscience. I will say, "Now we need to call to mind our sins, what have we done or not done that would be sinful. Did we yell at each other,not listen to mom or dad or our children, did we say bad words, did we hit?" They know not to answer out loud and often they will offer suggestions to each other. (They are not supposed, but it happens.) Then we say the Act of Contrition together.
12) SIGN OF THE CROSS - to close things up.
13) If I have not completely lost my mind, no one has been injured during prayer time and as they walk upstairs we will try to ask our saint to pray for us. Each child will call out their favorite Saint or their namesake and we will all say "Pray for us!"

Our prayer time is simple. It is what God wants of us for now. It isn't too much and it isn't too structured. I am glad God loves us for who we are. We are always trying to add to our prayers and include more. Just today Goobers asked if we could add The Angelus before lunch again. We will try. My prayer for you is that you remember to keep is simple and faithful. If you are waiting until they are big enough to meditate on the rosary with you, then you are missing some wonderful family prayer time. Our prayer time is special, crazy, loud, wonderful and only looks like prayer to Him. After I gave up on what prayer time should look like I discovered what He wants from our family. We are called to talk with Him, share with Him, cry with Him, and even laugh with Him. Most importantly we are called to be faithful to Him.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cowboy giggle take 2

The picture quality is horrible. Goobers didn't even know that you have to be steady when video taping. I would recommend listening to the giggle and maybe not watching. The video isn't clear but the sound is beautiful. Way to get him to laugh Moogie and thanks for thinking of the blog Kiddos!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Help me paint a house.

Wow, I stand in awe of so many of my fellow citizens that spend so much of their time helping others. Our wonderful parish is in the process of sponsoring a Habitat for Humanity home. I am always amazed to find that it is the same people doing all these projects with smiles on their faces and love in their hearts. It is often the same people that inspire the rest of us on. It is people that have very busy lives but some how find the time, money and love to push themselves into service of others.

I must be honest. I wasn't sure I wanted Pooker and her friends to do this project. I wasn't sure for their safety and I knew I couldn't stay to help. I am happy that my dear daughter pushes me all the time to give more. I am not sure where she learned that but I sure am glad she has. This weekend, my sacrifice was minor, it was just driving, dropping the group off and picking them up. They did the hard work. The group painted the outside of the home and primed the entire inside.

I hope that as I continue to grow in my faith, I will work harder to follow Pooker and Goobers example to give more of myself. Thank you ladies and gentleman for all your hard work for your fellow man.

Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you drink? When did we welcome you away from home or clothe you in your nakedness? When did we visit you when you were ill or in prison? The King will answer them:
"I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me."

Mt 25: 37 - 40

Friday, January 11, 2008

But I'm Bleeding!

I wish that we had a connection to someone in the band aid business. These are precious things in our household. The older ones never needed them as much as the younger ones do. We made a house rule years ago that you don't get a band aid unless we see blood. We have actually had to update that to you don't get a band aid unless we see dripping blood. No we are not heartless people but I remember purchasing a huge container of band aids thinking it would last a life time or at least 2 months. They were gone within a few hours. I could not believe that 1000 band aids were needed in that short amount of time without us needing a hospital doctor to confirm it. When I discovered that the band aids had been used to secure artwork to the walls of the house and to the car I knew it was time to create a silly rule.

We still go through band aids like they were toilet paper. (You would not even believe the rules we had to come up for that stuff.) I also try to prevent that whole Murphy law thing from happening. If we have band aids then we might not really need them. I can not tell you how many of our daily conversations will include comments like, "I don't see blood, no band aid." We have had to be careful because one of them will pick at a sore until she gets fresh blood.

Bed time for the younger ones means that we are starting an event that could last hours and possibly a trip to the hospital. We have learned that when they come down stairs in tears we should NOT just assume it is a ploy to stay out of bed, although 99% of the time it is. The other night we had sent the little ones up and the older ones were already upstairs trying to get their rooms clean. They were smart enough to remember that the weekend was coming and unless the rooms were clean they would not be leaving the house.

At the appropriate time I yelled up the stairs that it was bed time for the little ones and they needed to get to bed right away. Soon after the visits from the upstairs began. Bagel needed water. Pickle needed to come down stairs to use the bathroom attached to the master bedroom (I have no idea why he can't use the two bathrooms upstairs). Shortly after my second call upstairs Princess came down with tears flowing. In between sobs she screamed, "But I'm bleeding!" This is not uncommon for Princess. She is the worst one at picking at a previous sore to produce blood. If I didn't know better, I would think that band aids contained some secret candy. The conversation went as follows.:
Honey, did you pick apart a scab again? Why do you do that to yourself?

But I'm Bleeding!

Fine,come on down and show your dad.

But I'm Bleeding, I don't want to go to bed, I'm Bleeding!

Got it, now go see your dad.

Sob, sob sob!

Dad: What now babe, wow look a that arm (there was a pretty fresh wound from a bike fall.) Let me get the neosporin and a band aid.
Sob sob sob,But I'm bleeding sob sob sob.

Dad: You know you are so hard to understanding when you are crying that way. Take a deep breathe and settle down. This can't hurt that bad.

Sob sob sob, I don't want to go to bed I'm Bleeding. sob sob sob.

Dad: OK it looks like we have you all patched up, love ya, now head back up to bed.

Sob, sob, sob I don't want to go to bed I'm Bleeding Sob, sob, sob.

mom: What a broken record girl, dad gave you a band aid, it is way past bed time now go to bed!

Sob, Sob, sob, BUT I'M BLEEDING!! Sob, sob, sob

Where are you bleeding, I don't see any more blood, dad fixed your arm, now get upstairs and go to bed.

Sob smile sob, But I'm bleeding. smile, sob.

I don't understand you at all girl!

I know you don't I said I was bleeding sob not bleeding.

You're bleeding not bleeding????

NO, I'M CLEANING not bleeding. I want to stay up and help.

Princess won that round because dad and I sat and laughed at the situation for quit awhile. She is such a drama queen and we fall right into every time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

That saint isn't working.

This happened a few weeks back and I forgot to mention it. I was on the phone with a friend and the little ones were playing upstairs. I was enjoying the little bit of peace as I finished the dishes and chatted away.

Out of the quiet Pickle came running into the room screaming that,
That Saint isn't doing his job, he isn't working!
You must remember that Pickle is the child that can pull any thought or idea out of thin air and then become obsessed over it. I have to answer his concerns no matter how far fetched they might be. If I neglect to respond he will get louder and louder while becoming more and more agitated. This one stumped me, where does one begin to figure out what that statement might mean.
What did you say.
That saint didn't do his job!
Honey what are you talking about? Which saint didn't do his job?
Saint Michael, he didn't do his job. I am so mad at him. I asked him over and over again and he isn't helping.

This poor little boy was speaking with complete earnest. It can be a difficult question to answer if done the wrong way. It can be like explaining why Santa didn't bring a gift or as even as hard as why God didn't answer a prayer. It can get complicated to respect the Saint and yet respect the child's earnest request. Combine that with the fact that I have been raised Catholic from the very beginning. I know who St. Michael is. You call on his help when a demon is taunting you. That might seam like an extreme to my non catholic friends but think of the movie the exorcist. My mind was going. I was thinking which priest I could call and where is the Holy Water. Those thoughts went through my mind very quickly, until I glanced back at my son. One can never try to guess what Pickle is talking about until you get the full explanation. That is just the way he is, God love him.
What do you mean babe, What did you ask St. Michael to do?
I asked him to find my robe and he won't help me.
I was so relieved to discover that my sweet little boy had just lost his bath robe and was not being temped by a devil. Everybody knows that it isn't St. Michael you call on to help you find things but St. Anthony. As I told him that he was asking the wrong saint and that is why he wasn't helping, Pickle's face became relaxed and happy again.
So what's that thing I should say to have St. Anthony help me find my robe?

Tony, Tony look around,
Something is lost and can't be found.

St. Anthony did not let Pickle down. The robe was located right away. St. Anthony helped with this little task and also restored this little boy's trust that the Saints will help him if he asks and it God allows. Thank you for your help St. Anthony and St. Michael.

No time for fooling around!

This morning Bagel really wanted to be bigger so she could pick up Cowboy. We never let her when he was tiny and now he is way too big. Cowboy is a chunk, he really is. Cowboy always has a smile on his face and his giggles are now the most celebrated sound in the house. We all stop what we are doing to hear his little voice and his laughing.

Bagel is taking her job as big sister very seriously. This morning I handed Bear a diaper for Cowboy while they sat on my bed before breakfast, Bagel said longingly I hope you have more babies when I am big enough to help. Bear laughed and walked out of the room.

As I settled on the bed to change the diaper I noticed that Bagel was trying to take care of it for me. Changing a diaper on a very active 5 month old is not easy for the professional much less a 3 year old. Bagel did a wonderful job but it did take a long time. As she tried to snap his outfit back together Cowboy grew more and more active. It was taking every thing my sweet baby girl had to try to snap his outfit. She could be heard saying
This is no time for fooling around!
over and over again. Dad and I don't use that phrase which made it sound so cute!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cowboy's Giggle

My latest obsession has been trying to capture Cowboy's new giggle. I just love this phase with babies. He is just about 5 months old. He responds so much to Goobers. He doesn't talk to me or giggle with me the way he does with his big sister. Bear was expressing his frustration with that to me also. It just doesn't seam fair that Cowboy giggles out loud for Goobers, and Goobers alone. That being said it is the cutest giggle. I think that one the best therapies in the world is listening to a baby giggle. With that in mind I have been trying so hard to capture a giggle to share with grandparents and family that live far away.

What I have captured here for you does not even begin to do justice to this kiddos laugh. He will start and we all run to find the camera, by the time we get it running he is just about giggled out. Enjoy what we have and we will try for more later.

I know you would really like it if I could upload it. Sorry!