"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Feast of the Visitation

I am sorry that I do not have time to write on this beautiful Feast. However, we will be praying the Rosary tonight, as we usually do, and I will place a special focus on Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Our Lady's Garden is Blooming

We spent the weekend at the ocean and came back to some beautiful flowers in Our Lady's Garden. As we drove up, we noticed St. Mark's Plants (our lupines) were in full bloom.

St. Mark's Plant (Lupines)

Walking to our front door, we noticed one of Our Lady's Roses had produced a double blossom.

Our Lady's Rose (Red Rose)

In the back yard, we found that our Impatiens were flourishing.

Impatiens: Double Victorian Rose

Finally, Theresa noticed that our lilac-colored St. John's May Flower had decked itself out in all it's splendor for our return.

St. John's May Flower (Rhododendron)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Thank You, God!

We spent an enjoyable weekend at the ocean. We arrived on Saturday and after unpacking, we went to visit my parents-in-law. We spent the day at their new house, playing outside when it wasn't raining and enjoying the ocean front view when we were inside. The children liked looking at the "neat" things (Theresa's words). In the evening, they treated us to a delicious dinner at Galway Bay. (Here, I need to diverge a little from my topic to describe the banquet room at the restaurant. In addition, to the Irish pictures, world maps, etc., there was a photo of Blessed Mother Teresa and another one of Pope John Paul II hanging on one of the walls. A picture of Pope John Paul II, with palms tucked behind the picture, hung above one of the doors. A small picture of Pope Benedict XVI hung above the same door. St. Brigid's cross hung above the door to the entrance of the restaurant. It was nice to see a successful business that shared its faith.)

On Sunday, we woke early and went for a walk along the beach. Daddy and the children discovered, what Bernadette quickly named, Sand Dollar Island and the children's imaginations went to work. After our morning stroll, we went to Mass. Following Mass, we ate breakfast with my parents-in-law and then returned to their house. Our two oldest spent the night at their grandparents and we did our best to get a good night's rest back at the condo. Monday morning saw us back on the beach and then at my in-laws, where we said our thank yous and goodbyes.

As my husband drove home, I thought about each of my children and their visit to the beach. I thought about Patrick for whom everything was so new. He enjoyed splashing in the tide pools and touching the sand, but when he picked up some kelp, he immediately dropped it with an emphatic "Yuck!" I thought about his excitement over a dog that he saw and his constant, "Bye, doggy." as we left the beach. I thought about Theresa who didn't remember her last visit to the Pacific Ocean with its roaring waves. She delighted in finding "baby sand dollars" and enjoyed walking through the tide pools. She also took pleasure in singing to and with me, as we strolled along the beach. I thought about Brendan who had counted the days until it was time to go, making himself a fishing pole and telling us about the silver fish and the shark that he hoped to catch. He only knew one way to get to the beach, running. The only time he stopped running was to look at a snail that he or someone else noticed along the path and to pick up a bird's wing. I thought about Bernadette who wanted to find a sand dollar, so that she could study it and was excited to find "millions" of sand dollars. She seemed so happy to be at the ocean once more and let her imagination come to life. I thought about Catherine, who like her sister, was happy to be at the ocean once more. I thought about my little girl who couldn't help digging in the sand and inviting her brothers to do the same.

Thank you, God, for blessing us with a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy belated 1st Birthday


Ascension Thursday

I desire the Virtue of Hope

Think of...

The Ascension of Jesus Christ, forty days after His glorious Resurrection, in the presence of Mary and His disciples.
from Pray the Rosary

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Today, during my daughter's Ballet class, I began reading G.K. Chesterton's, The Everlasting Man (published by Ignatius Press). The thesis of this great work is
that those who say that Christ stands side by side with similar myths, and his religion side by side with similar religions, are only repeating a very stale formula contradicted by a very striking fact. (p. 7)


Today, Daddy saw a stellar jay on the lawn. He placed our little boy on a stool and told him to look at the bird. Patrick got very excited and started pointing. He kept repeating, "Birdy!" in an animated fashion. The bird flew away, but Patrick continued to point and say, "Birdy!" I told him the bird had gone away and he still continued to say, "Birdy!" and point.

Eventually, my husband realized that Patrick's "birdy" was never on the lawn. Patrick's "birdy" was a fly that Theresa had trapped between the window and the screen. Oh, to be a child again!


Motherhood is one of the greatest gifts that God has ever given me. I am sitting here, unable to sleep, due to nausea, and all I can think is that I am truly blessed. My children are all unique and precious gifts from God. Their happiness and love of life are infectious. Thank you, God, for blessing me with such a wonderful family. Please help me to be more like Mary.

Daddy's Reading

A couple of months ago, I noticed a book titled The Mauritian Command in someone's LibraryThing catalog. Since my dad was born and raised in Mauritius, I e-mailed the individual, asking about the book. He sent back a review and advised that I begin with Master and Commander (the first book in Patrick O'Brian's series), if I liked the movie Master and Commander. My husband and I both enjoyed the movie, so I placed the book on hold at the library.

On his way home from work one day, my husband picked up some books for me at the library. When he came home, he gave me the bag with the library books. I handed each child a book from the bag and I put my book, Master and Commander, on the kitchen counter. That night, I noticed the book lying open on the counter. I commented to my husband that one of the children must have been looking through it. My husband confessed that he had been the one looking at the book. A short while later, the book was no longer on the counter. My husband had claimed it as his.

Our oldest was delighted. Her daddy reads periodically and she does not always see him reading. However, he had a hard time putting this book down. Almost every night, we found him lying on the couch and reading. One night, Catherine could not contain her excitement. She came in to my room and said, "Mommy, Daddy's reading! It is so good to see him reading." She left the room and went to share her enthusiasm with her father.

I did not read the book, but my husband did tell me about it. He is currently reading a book on the Crusades. Next time, there seems to be a lull in his reading, I know what to check out from the library. :)

Mr. Fix It

What do you do when you are one and your toy stops working? You go and get a screwdriver, of course. Patrick doesn't miss a beat.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What's Your Mothering Style?

Hat tip to Jennifer at St. Therese Academy for this little distraction.

Your type is: intp —The “Love of Learning” Mother

“I keep the encyclopedia in the kitchen so we can look up things together while we eat.”

Intellectually curious and patient, the INTP mother relishes those times with a child when they are learning something interesting together. Whether they’re at the zoo or computer terminal, she sparks to answering his or her “whys” with in-depth responses or new knowledge.

The INTP mother is also objective and introspective. She listens to and discusses children’s ideas and questions as she would those of a peer, fostering self-esteem and confidence. Open and non-directive, she allows children the freedom to do for themselves and quietly encourages them to believe they can do it.

Independence, autonomy, intellectual development, and self-reliance are probably the INTP’s highest priorities for her children. An avid reader, she naturally imparts an appreciation and love of reading as well.

Drawn to all types of learning, the INTP may also value her mothering experience for all the new insights about life it provides her.

You can learn about your mothering style at MotherStyles

Friday, May 19, 2006

Sleep Deprivation

Patrick had a bad night. I had a bad night, too. My husband had a bad night, also. Patrick woke up a couple of times, crying (actually, he was screaming). When I tried to calm him down, he would scream louder. Eventually, he would throw himself on top of me and go back to sleep. At one point, he woke up and said, "Mommy, I want you." At the same time, he climbed on me and fell asleep.

Patrick sleeps next to me, every night. He doesn't just sleep next to me, he pushes himself against me, making it impossible for me to move. Sleeping on me, as though I was standing up and holding him in my arms was something new for my toddler. I hope it's a one-time thing because sleeping with 30 pounds on your chest is not exactly easy. However, the alternative of sleeping with a screaming toddler in the bed is an impossibility. Therefore, if I have to choose between a screaming toddler and an uncomfortable night, the uncomfortable night will win hands down.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

One Day...

One day, I will long for my little boy to be in my arms, to cry when I leave or am out of sight, to follow me everywhere I go. One day, I will look back on my golden years and wish I had them back.

I had a difficult morning. My niece was coming over and I really wanted to clean up a little bit before she arrived. I didn't succeed in doing so because Patrick insisted on being in my arms. When I went to take a bath, he opened the bathroom door and stood next to the bath, crying at me. My husband called, eventually, and I expressed my frustration over never being able to do anything without my little appendage. A picture of a teenage boy flashed through my mind and I immediately apologized to God for my brief frustration. I love Patrick more than I love myself. He is an active little boy, who keeps me on my toes and lets me know how much he loves me with hugs, kisses, cuddling and sometimes even crying when he can't be in my arms.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with Patrick and all my children! Thank you, God, for these golden years!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lesson Learned

On Saturday, I decided to spend a little time weeding in Our Lady's Garden. Since then, I have learned a valuable lesson. With Patrick standing near me, I pulled some Blackberry bushes, some Dandelions, some unnamed weeds and Herb Robert. The latter was spreading everywhere and had a noticeably unpleasant odor. I was happy to be able to accomplish this small amount of weeding.

Yesterday, Patrick decided to help me with my job of weeding. He had observed me so carefully and in doing so, he had learned that flower picking was for the novice. He pulled up most of our forget-me-nots. Next time, I decide to do some weeding, I will make sure it is during my little one's nap time.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day

Yesterday morning, I woke up with my husband offering to bring me breakfast in bed. I declined his thoughtful offer, as I was afraid Patrick might wake and make a mess of the food on my tray. Upon entering the dining room, I found the perfect card from my husband. It was uncanny how accurately the words reflected our life together.

Brendan came into the dining room with a big smile on his face. He told me to go out on the deck to get my present from him. On the deck, I found a little wheelbarrow planter. He had made it, with minimal assistance from my husband, at Lowe's on Saturday. He had even planted two petunias in it.

The other children soon woke and wished me a "Happy Mother's Day". They gave me a much needed necessity.

After Mass, we went to Port Orchard and enjoyed a picnic with sandwiches, apples and juice, all prepared by my husband and Catherine. The children enjoyed running around on the grass, especially Patrick. Everyone thanked me for a wonderful day and I thanked my husband. Bernadette thanked me for giving the whole family a gift for Mother's Day, the picnic. Theresa, in true Theresa style, wanted to know when we could go on a picnic again.

Thank you God for blessing me with such a wonderful family and for blessing us with such a beautiful day!

Saturday, May 13, 2006


This morning, our little boy climbed in the bed to say, "Good morning." After a short while, he informed me, "Mommy, I love you, but I like Daddy a crumb more because he is more fun. Sometimes, he sleeps with me and sometimes he even brings me places."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Prayer to St. Gerard

My youngest sister is so sweet. She e-mailed me the prayer to St. Gerard, below, saying that she is praying for me.
O Great St. Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of thy meek and humble Saviour, and devoted Child of the Mother of God: enkindle within my heart one spark of that Heavenly fire of charity which glowed in thee and made thee a seraph of love. O glorious St. Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, thou didst bear, like thy Divine Master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, thou hast been raised up by God as the Patron and Protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the lustrial waters of baptism, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What my baby sister most likely does not know is that the day I gave birth to my third child (there were known complications beforehand, so I was induced), my parents and my uncle arrived at my house early in the morning and my mom gave me a holy card of St. Gerard. I have been crying, remembering my mom (my sister's namesake) and reminiscing about the birth of my third child. He was the last one of my children whose birth my mom attended. May my beautiful mother rest in peace!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Appropriate Attire for Mass

Danielle Bean is discussing Mass attire on her blog, today.

This afternoon, I received information on appropriate attire for Mass in the mail from my parents-in-law. The paper they sent was an insert in their Sunday bulletin, written by their pastor, Fr. Martin Bourke.

The first side is titled, Holy Mass Etiquette. Under the heading, We should remember: number 2 reads, "to dress appropriately" (the emphasis is Fr. Bourke's, not mine).

On the reverse side of the paper, Fr. Bourke writes:
What to Wear, What to Wear
We should wear to Mass what we would wear if a King invited us to his home for a feast. That is, we should wear our best.
Our best should never draw attention to ourselves but give the utmost respect to the King (and His family) of whom we are special guests.
What Not to Wear*
1. Immodest or revealing clothing is never acceptable.
[Examples follow]
But Why?
Immodest dress (especially with women) distracts others and could cause them to sin in their thoughts, which is not why we are at Mass.
2. Dirty clothes are never acceptable.
3. An unkept body is never acceptable (e.g., dirty hands or fingernails).
*There will be times that our only opportunity to attend Mass is after a physically demanding job or after helping Gramma bail out her flooded basement. There is nothing to worry about in such times. We should never let circumstances that are out of our control keep us away from the Sacraments! God knows what we've been through, and it's no one else's job to judge us. By all means, come to Mass!
Still, modest dress is always in our control - if we dress modestly every day, this will never be an issue.


Two of our seven rhododendrons (also known as St. John's Mayflower) are starting to bloom. My son was excited about their blooming because, as he observed, "Bees love these flowers and they make honey from them." He then went on to say, "The bees make honey in a little house. The people take the honey from the bees' little house and keep filling their jars with it. When their jars are full, they put it for sale."

What Color Should Your Blog Be?

Your Blog Should Be Blue

Your blog is a peaceful, calming force in the blogosphere.
You tend to avoid conflict - you're more likely to share than rant.
From your social causes to cute pet photos, your life is a (mostly) open book.

Hat tip: Jenn

I found the results fairly accurate.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Thoughtful Son

I have been in bed a lot, lately. Today, Brendan came to me and said, "Mommy, I know what you can do when you are lying in bed and feeling sick. It shows you in this Treasure Box book." He proceeded to give me the book, which was opened to the appropriate page.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with such a sweet and thoughtful boy.

Doctor's Appointment

I finally scheduled my first OB appointment, today. The receptionist told me that my estimated due date is December 26. She then told me that the first available appointment is May 31. I went ahead and scheduled the appointment, marking it on my calendar. When I got off the phone, I looked at the calendar to make sure I had written down the time. In doing so, I noticed that May 31 is the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth.

On Divine Mercy Sunday, I learned that we are definitely expecting. The baby is due during the Christmas season. I cannot help, but think that Christ and His Blessed Mother are smiling down on this little baby in my womb.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Children: A Great Good

Yesterday, a friend gave me a stack of old Catholic magazines (along with a few other things). Today, in the stack of magazines, I found a few copies of Nazareth: A Catholic Family Journal. I started to skim through these magazines and in doing so I came across an article by Anne McNeely, entitled, "The Joys of a Large Family". I stopped skimming and started to read. I am still reading, but I felt compelled to record the following:
Father Ted Colleton once spoke in a sermon about his life among the African tribal peoples with whom he had worked. He mentioned that they had no word for abortion because the very thought of it was completely foreign to them; among these people, many of whom were not even Christian, children were recognized as such a great good that the idea of destroying them was inconceivable. This particular remark made it absolutely clear to me that the culture in which we live is not just mistaken, not just heading in the wrong direction, but is one in which our very nature as human beings is being attacked. Except in the most degenerate societies, people have naturally thought of children as a great good -- and, generally, the more the better. It is only in a society like our own which has made material wealth, success, and the pursuit of pleasure the primary aims of existence, that the great good of new life can be forgotten. (Fall 1995, p. 8)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

This beautiful plant (whose religious name is Mary's heart) was flowering when we first looked at our house. A year later, I read about the bleeding heart in Karen Andreola's A Charlotte Mason Companion.

My children delight in the little heart-shaped flowers. In the spring and early summer, Brendan plucks a little heart everytime he goes out the front door. He has been doing this for the past four years and I wonder whether he will ever tire of picking these flowers.

The bleeding heart requires virtually no care. I simply remove the dead leaves and branches in the fall or winter and the plant grows back beautifully the following spring.


Brendan: Mommy, I don't like my breakfast.

Me: You poured it, so you need to finish it.

Brendan: Theresa, do you want to eat my breakfast?

Theresa: No!

Brendan: Theresa, if you eat my breakfast, you can offer it as a sacrifice to Jesus.

Couldn't my son offer finishing his breakfast as a sacrifice to Jesus, too?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Blessed Virgin Mary

On December 8, 1979, I received my First Communion. It was a special day because I had received Our Lord's precious Body for the first time. It was a special day for another reason, too. It was the feast of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception and I felt that, in some unexplainable way, I had grown closer to both Christ and His Mother.

On our wedding day, my husband and I placed two roses in front of a statue of our blessed Mother and dedicated our marriage and ourselves to the Mother of God. Three months later, we conceived our first child. We consecrated the baby in my womb to Mary. Since then, we have conceived six times and each time the baby in my womb has been consecrated to our Lady.

Whenever I enter our parish church or another Catholic church, I kneel and I look towards the statue of our blessed Lady. I renew the consecration of our children to Mary. I ask our blessed Mother to help my children do great things for the glory of God.

Consecration to Mary

O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine Immaculate Heart.
We consecrate to thee our very being and our whole life; all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. To thee we give our bodies, our hearts and our souls; to thee we give our homes, our families, our country.
We desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to thee, and may share in the benefits of thy motherly benediction. And that this act of consecration may be truly efficacious and lasting, we renew this day at thy feet the promises of our Baptism and our first Holy Communion.
We pledge ourselves to profess courageously and at all times the truths of our holy Faith, and to live as befits Catholics who are duly submissive to all the directions of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.
We pledge ourselves to keep the commandments of God and His Church, in particular to keep holy the Lord's Day.
We likewise pledge ourselves to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an integral part of our lives, in so far as we shall be able so to do.
Finally, we promise thee, O glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of men, to devote ourselves whole-heartedly to the service of thy blessed cult, in order to hasten and assure, through the sovereignty of thine Immaculate Heart, the coming of the kingdom of the Sacred Heart of thine adorable Son, in our own hearts and in those of all men, in our country and in all the world, as in heaven, so on earth. Amen.
(from EWTN)

Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May, please bless all those who read this and help them to do great things for the glory of God!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Garden of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart

Yesterday, after Mass, one of my friend's shared an idea with me. Marlene told me that when someone asks us to pray for them or when we say we will pray for someone, we should go right away and place the prayer request in the garden of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart. Then whenever you think of it, you can request that the prayers you have placed in the garden of Mary's Immaculate Heart be answered.

Dear God, please answer all the prayers that I have placed in the garden of Mary's Immaculate Heart.

Our Weekend

Saturday, it rained all day. Sunday was beautiful! Did we garden? Oh no...WE PLAYED!

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