Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Now Matter How Small

A baby in this house is loved. I think it is a love that many in the world would like to feel. It is complete, it is unconditional, it is given from the very beginning. I watch my children interact with each other and know that the love they show each other is rare. I believe it is the love we are called to in the Bible. We are far from a perfect example of God's love. They fight, they push, they shove, they argue for no reason. Mom and dad are around to keep those arguments to a minimum. My point is not to make them appear above the normal temptations that all children face. Instead I want to point out that at the end of the day the underlined motivation is love.

A baby is loved even from the moment we mention that we might be pregnant. The joy that is expressed is extremely hard to describe. It is contagious. The idea that God might send more to love to this house draws each one the the true core of their own existence. There is a new baby giggle that can be heard all around. This is a joy that can not be contained.

If you don't live close you would not have heard those giggles but they have been a part of our home for the past six weeks. We have been overjoyed that God blessed us with another one. This little one came into being around St. Patrick's day and we shared our news with the family on Divine Mercy Sunday. Pickle's Holy Communion was shared with the news of our newest member that would be due on Christmas Eve.

That has all changed today as we learned that little David Patrick was not to be with us that long. Our hearts have broken as we learned that he was called to Heaven. We all longed to hold him, to kiss him, and play with him. All of that will have to wait. Today we mourn him, knowing that someday we can embrace him in the Resurrection.

If you read this blog on a regular basis you know that it is a scrap book of sorts of this family and their adventures. This is a big event but few words are appropriate here. We thank you for sharing in our joy of this life even if it was for a such a short time. Please offer a prayer for us as we heal.

David Patrick we all love you long to meet you in the Communion of Heaven. David Patrick, pray for us!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An Official Sick Day

For the most part the T family are very healthy. The doctor even pointed out today how long it had been between our sick visits. "You are healthier than most." That is a very true statement. I laugh at friends sometimes that try to live an ultra healthy life style and are sick more times than us. Maybe they are prone to it and are healthier because because of their lifestyle. But according to the latest news reports I should be dead because of my weight. I laugh at that. I am active and healthy. I get sick once every few years and it usually is just a cold. We are bad and we eat french fries, we eat meat, we drink soft drinks, we have sugar cereal, all the bad stuff. We even make cookies sometimes. I don't mean the oatmeal raisin ones made with apple sauce and not butter, I am talking about the fantastic chocolate chip cookies.

I think that because we homeschool and usually hang out with only homeschooled kiddos we pick up less of the illnesses that the children's peers do in traditional school. Swim team times always gets us. We are introduced to some stuff that we would normally avoid.

Bear has strep throat, Sugar has swimmers ear and I have a bad cold that has settled into my chest. Coughing is a real issue. We have all had something the past few weeks. We pass the stuff around and then God willing we come out of it healthy again. Today was the first official day of nothing in a while. It felt good. I only wish we felt better so we could better enjoy the doing nothing. Maybe we will try to take a sick day soon when everyone is healthy.

Sick update: Bear better, Sugar better, mom still coughing, dad has an infection in his mouth and after an emergency dentist visit and antibiotics he is slowly getting better.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bagel and Pooker: a sister's kind of love

Pooker started another set of classes this week. She is talking a mini-mester class as she works to accumulate credits. She has herself on a very aggressive schedule. Bagel must have thought that Pooker was off for the summer and that she would NOT have to share her. We were blessed with a short school week the week before. Pooker had a final and then was off for the rest of the week.

Tuesday Bagel came down stairs and crawled into my bed. She was sobbing. She said that she missed dad who was out of town for a few days on a short business trip and she missed Pooker. Upon further discussion Bagel broke down in uncontrollable sobs.
"I miss her so much, mom. What will we do when she goes away to school? I don't want Pooker to ever go away to college. Or get married. Or move away."

My response didn't help.
"I can't wait for Pooker to go away. I will miss her so much but it is just part of growing up."

"How can you say that? I love her and don't ever want her to leave."

I was the oldest so I guess I can't relate to those feeling much at all. I know that my heart will break as each child moves away but I hope that it will also be filled with joy as they grow into the adults God calls them to be. I suspect that with Pooker we will grow closer. We are so much alike in many ways that it is hard for me to find that balance of pushing too hard and then not pushing hard enough. We have a wonderful relationship. I trust her and I admire her. I know we will be friends for life. I love how close I have grown to my mom in the years of adulthood. I look forward to sharing that with each child.

Bagel's life is very different. Pooker is the outlet for the little ones. When everyone needs a break from mom she packs them up and takes them out. She helps them with their studies, their toys and their chores. She isn't told to do these things she just does them. Pooker loves her siblings so much and she takes great care of them. I knew she would want to know about Bagel's stress. When she got home from morning classes we talked.

Without skipping a beat Pooker decided that Bagel needed some one on one time. They headed out for a slushy. They talked and they came home to take these silly pictures. I am confidant that the two will grow closer over the years and always be friends.
Thank God for sisters.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Natalia needs our prayers today 5-12-09

Please pray for her today as she is having a bone marrow transplant on the 22nd after this round of chemo starting today!

Read more of her story here!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Time Trials

We love the craziness that comes with the neighborhood swim team season. The hardest part is getting up early on Saturday morning. We show up with our party tent and others come to help us assemble it.

The kids laughed about how others knew to help. They just came over and got to work. It is the nature of swim team. You might not know the team member standing next to you but you help. That is way our team works. That same spirit is what we saw the week after the hurricane. Neighbor helping neighbor, that is what it is all about!

As with the tent falling into place so were our nerves about the first challenge of the season for all these young swimmers. The older kiddos all have goals on their own times that they want to beat. The younger ones want to earn some ribbons.
Bagel was a wreck. We wanted her to try but her nerves got the most of her.
I was able to grab all my swimmers together for one family shot. 8 swimmers! These are the cutest ones on the team!
The 8 T-family swimmers with 300 or so of their closest friends. If you could see a close up you would see that we have a great looking team. The good news is that we can swim as well.
It was a very hot day! If you are not a swimmer the heat can really get to you. My position this year meant that I needed to be there early but then was free to leave later on. I helped get things going, J came up and took the Jumba and Bagel. She did try but her fear was too great. We are proud of her for trying and still will have her practice each day. Next year she will be her year!
Moogie and her friend. You have to love those wonderful caps. They tend to make all the ladies look silly. These two are still happy, happy!
Pickle and his buddy.
Not sure why Goobers is giving her mom that look. I should clip that tongue little Missy.
Pooker and Bagel had hoped to both swim this year. Bagel was being comforted by Pooker as her fear reached a peak. I love my girls. I was proud that Pooker tried to encourage Bagel but didn't add to her fear with guilt.
These two will take on the world some day soon.
Princess didn't miss Bagel that much. She was still excited to get her chance in the pool. Now this is her 4Th year in this same age group. She started at 3, swam at 4, swam at 5 and now as a 6 year old. Each year in the six and under age bracket. I think she feels like she rules that tent. I can't wait to see if her swimming keeps up with all that practice.
Bagel is such a cutie. She was upset to not swim but happy that no one was mad at her.
Pickle can't wait to test his skills. He got a new suit and loves it.
Go Princess!!!!

Go Pickle!!!

What a great Saturday. It was long and hot but it is good to be back! Next week we take on our first team. I don't care about the scores but look forward to visiting with friends again!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Yeah Seniors 2009!

Despite Pooker's current class schedule at the community college we are still acting as though she is a senior. We plan to have a formal celebration sometime next month for her completion of High School.
Last Sunday we got to participate in our parishes Senior Appreciation Dinner. It was so very nice. Each of the seniors were acknowledged by the leaders in the parish for the various activities they helped with over their high school years. The decorations were all about where their adventures in life might take them.

We dressed up the crew and headed out to join the parish in loving the class of 2009. Pooker has some wonderful friends. They do so much for the parish. Please offer a prayer for them.
STAOP High School Senior Group of 2009.

It was so fun for all of us to cheer for our big sister. Moogie is happy to do what she can to show Pooker how much she loves her.Sitting still for this long ceremony and talks is not easy for the little ones. They did a great job for their Pooker. They are all so proud of her. Goobers is so close to Pooker. She worked hard to help us keep the kiddos quiet. She was so happy for her sister.

Pooker has been a Confirmation Teacher's aid. She is a very active teen that has worked hard to serve her parish for years. This is the Confirmation coordinator thanking all the active teens.
They were given a small gift and Pooker was embarrassed to be acknowledged. "I do that stuff for Him, I don't need a thank you!"

Here is Pooker putting her "where I am going to college sticker" on the Senior 2009 map. We keep the maps up in the youth room to remind us to pray for the previous classes.

Way to go Pooker, we love you and are very proud of you!

This picture doesn't exactly scream, "we all love you Pooker and are very proud of you!" Please trust me that it is exactly what it trying to say!

Friday, May 8, 2009

You Have Great Kids!

Honestly I hear that statement several times on a daily basis. My reply is always, "I know, you are right! I am very blessed!" I do have wonderful children. I often heard my mom say (when hearing how great her kids were) "They really are great in spite of me, I had nothing to do with it." That is how I feel. I really feel that every person has that great potential and it becomes what the parents focus on. If I were to focus on what makes me angry about my children then that is what you would see. I decided years ago to instead focus on their positive traits.

Growing up I was labeled by family as being very spirited and argumentative. Now this can be viewed as good or bad. I was blessed with a strong sense of self value and I guess that encouraged me to develop my personality instead of hiding it. I often see insecure people that are afraid to be themselves because of something their older brother, a teacher or a mean parent told them when they are five. I know that God created me this way. I need to work hard to develop my personality and mirror it to Christ. Denying who I was created for is not right either.

In that same respect I look at my children and their strong traits. It is my job to help them to mold those traits into Christ. It is my job to help them find the human boundaries that they need so that they don't present themselves to the world in a way that disrespects who the Creator wants them to be. It is true that I do not know the entire plan. God only gives me a taste and for that I am most thankful.

My Moogie is one of the most strong willed and determined young people ever born. Back when she was about 4 years old I sat in church fighting with her. I could not get her to settle down. All the tricks that had worked with the first 4 were not working on her. Part of me was torn with "the way she should be" and the other part thinking about "how God made her". I remember kneeling with her little body pinned to the pew by me. I had her knees between by legs as we both knelt forward. I was keeping my knees close to hold her still.

I broke into private prayer in my mind as I struggled to settle this strong child. "I don't want to hurt this child, I don't want to kill her spirit but WHY. I don't understand why she fights me on everything. What am I supposed to do???" The answer was spoken so quietly in my mind. "This is my child and I love her very much. She is exactly the way I need her to be. It is your job to form her and bring her to me. This child needs to be this way to accomplish the tasks I have for her. Continue to teach her to behave in church but don't forget that I made her feisty and strong for me." If you read my other posts you will see that we discovered 2 years later that Moogie had a mal formed heart. God wanted her feisty, and maybe it was just so that she could endure those physical issues. I doubt that is all.

I see His Greatness in all of my children. One is extremely compassionate. She hears any story and prayers for weeks about it. Another gets locked into a thought and can't move on. Another wants to be constantly in charge and lead his siblings all the time. So many children with so many gifts and talents.

I do have great kids, but so do you. Follow their personalities and help to form the strong traits not change them. Work with God and his creation not against it. Then rejoice and celebrate when you see the positives.