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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Week Daybook

Outside my window 
The sun is coming up.

I am thinking about 
and praying for a friend whose husband is in Afghanistan for a year. She has three young boys and a newborn baby girl.

I am thankful for 
the Triduum Masses at our parish. Words cannot describe the beauty of these Masses. A priest and a seminarian from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter assisted our pastor in offering the Solemn High Masses. 

A friend from the pro-life community, who was at the Mass on Holy Thursday, called me a few of days ago and asked, "Why did they ever change it?" She went on to say that it was one of the most amazing Masses and that she was struck by the focus on Christ and the Eucharist. She is planning on coming to all of the Triduum Masses next year. I think she understands why my family and I became parishioners at this FSSP parish over two years ago. I also think that she would do the same if the parish wasn't over an hour away from her.

This same woman also shared, "After going to the Mass of Our Lord's Last Supper, the use of Latin makes a lot more sense. On Good Friday, the church where I went read the readings in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, making the liturgy a lot longer than it should have been." I shared that the Stations of the Cross and liturgy at our parish had taken about four hours, but the time flew by very quickly.

I wish
that we lived closer to our parish. I know that I said something similar last week, but that longing is still there. I really want to be able to go to Mass at our parish daily, not just twice a week.

From the kitchen,
I am hearing children pouring cereal.

From the learning rooms,
the children are asking questions about Pope John Paul II and asking if they can watch his beatification.

I am wearing
my pajamas.

I am reading
books to the children.

A few plans for the rest of the week
We will be going to Mass. I am hoping to visit a local garden center and nursery. I want to spend some time gardening, pulling weeds and planting plants this weekend. We might walk to the library and pick up some books that we have on hold. I have towels and bedding to wash (not to mention clothes). This Saturday, as I iron and do laundry, I am looking forward to listening to some lectures/talks on virtues that were given by our pastor.

I need
to possibly buy a new rose bush to replace one that may have died (I have never had a rose die before). It looked fine last summer and I am perplexed as to why it has no real growth, yet. Thanks to my parents (they had some beautiful roses in their garden), I know that a rose should not be planted in the same location as a previously planted rose; however, I need a rose in the same location, so I will be following this advice, "Never plant a rose where another has been growing – if you must use that spot – then dig out the soil and replace with soil from another part of the garden."

We are planting:
vegetables again. I will be buying garden netting to hopefully prevent the crows and any other winged or furry garden friends from devouring our vegetables.

I hope
that everyone has a joy-filled Eastertide.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing:

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real} ~ Holy Week Edition


~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~


When I look outside my window and see these English Daisies, I think that they look pretty. However, looking at this photo makes me realize that I have some weeding/grass removal to do in my flower beds.


My boys are always happy when their dad decides to shoot a few hoops with them when he arrives home.

Yes, that is real moss that needs to be cleaned off of our roof.

And yes, that is a basket that someone made.


My tall little boy thinks it is funny to tease his sisters and his parents. After posing for this photo, he decided to tease his youngest sister with the butterfly. He laughed when she shrieked.


That is a real rainbow in the sky. Brendan saw it above our house and took a photo.

I hope that everyone has a blessed Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Week Daybook

Outside my window 
There are patches of blue sky peeking out from behind the clouds.

I am thinking about 
one of my favorite quotes from St. Francis de Sales:
"Kiss frequently the crosses which the Lord sends you, and with all your heart, without regarding of what sort they may be; for the more vile and mean they are, the more they deserve their name. The merit of crosses does not consist in their weight, but in the manner in which they are borne. It may show much greater virtue to bear a cross of straw than a very hard and heavy one, because the light ones are also the most hidden and condemned, aud therefore least conformable to our inclination, which always seeks what is showy."
I am thankful for 
the Tridentine Rite Mass, the Fraternity of St. Peter, an excellent pastor, and a great parish.

I wish
that we lived closer to our parish.

From the kitchen
I have dishes to wash and meals to make. I also need to think about what I will serve with the spiral-sliced ham (we usually have leg of lamb) on Easter Sunday. I am leaning towards scalloped potatoes and asparagus.

I am wearing
a skirt with a brown long sleeve shirt.

I am reading
A Year With the Saints. This is actually my second year with the saints. The book focuses on one virtue each month, quoting saints (see quote above) and sharing a little bit about saints and holy people who exemplified the given virtue. The virtue for April is patience.

I am hoping for
beautiful weather the rest of this week and that my youngest children will behave (no whispering) during the Triduum Masses and liturgies.

Some of my favorite things
are the Masses and liturgies of the Triduum. I am happy to hear my children counting the days until Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter vigil.

We are planting:
Zucchini again. A crow removed all of the leaves from our zucchini plant. A friend told me that broken egg shells can act as a deterrent to slugs; I am hoping that they might do the same for the crow. So far, "Mr. Crow" has removed the largest leaf of our second plant and has started moving the little pieces of egg shell one at a time. Our next line of defense is a broom stick handle with plastic bags attached to it, standing next to the zucchini.

A few plans for the rest of the week
We are going to go to the Triduum Masses and liturgies. As I told the children, going to Mass each day is a small gift that we can give to Jesus who gave us His life, who died on the cross for us and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. We are also going to continue working on pysanky, make Easter cards, and clean the house.

I am hearing
Bernadette practicing her violin. She is practicing the Ashokan Farewell for her May recital. Usually, I fold laundry while she is playing.  It is so relaxing and peaceful to simply sit and listen to her play. As I type, Catherine has joined her and they are practicing a piano/violin duet of Edelweiss that Catherine's piano teacher wrote for them. They will most likely play the duet at Catherine's piano recital in May.

Around the house
The children are working on lessons and playing.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Morning Inspiration

My godmother, Aunt Alice, sent this video to me this morning. I am thankful to have watched it again.

As my Aunt Alice said, "May the message spread and touch many hearts!"

A Passion Week Daybook


Outside my window it is dark.

I am thinking about this prayer that I read:
My suffering and crucified King, can I expect an easy life when You lived such a hard one? No. I want to be like You as far as I am able in this earthly life of mine. Let me choose to work, pray, and suffer as much like You as possible. The greatest privilege I can obtain is that of living a life like Yours. You chose and bore every suffering and hardship for My sake. Let me choose to work and suffer for Your sake. I hope to meditate often upon the sufferings which You embraced for me. As I do so, help me grow in the desire to suffer more for You in my daily life. Amen.

I am thankful for my husband and children.

From the kitchen, there is currently silence.

I am wearing my pajamas and am almost ready to get up and start my day.

I am reading Life of Christ by Fulton J. Sheen. My paternal grandmother introduced me to this wonderful book. It is the last book that she ever read. This is the second or third time that I have read the book. I actually started reading it during Advent, but am thankful that I am finishing it during Passiontide. It is a book that every Christian should read.

I am hoping for a special prayer request to be answered, but am open to God's will (whatever it might be).

One of my favorite things is gardening, but our yard still needs a lot of work and I still have a lot to learn when it comes to growing vegetables and improving our garden. Thankfully, there is this gardening calendar that helps me know when to do things.

We are planting: Since February, we have been busy planting flower and vegetable seeds. We have started planting some of the seedlings outside and are slowly working on trying to beautify our garden. Hopefully, more of our flowers will be blooming by Easter.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I am going to continue to teach and learn with my children. We also want to spend some time outside, planting seedlings and pulling weeds.

I am hearing the excitement in Theresa's voice as she exclaims, "Patrick, you have eight ladybugs now!" In addition to learning about the lifecycle of the butterfly, the children have also been raising ladybugs. Insect Lore sent 9 ladybug larvae and the children have been enjoying observing their lifecycle. None of us had any idea that ladybug larvae are so ugly!

Around the house, the voices of my children are making me aware of the fact that I need to put my feet on the ground and start working with them.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing:


Monday, April 11, 2011

Early Morning Theological Discussion

Finnian: "I wish that people didn't die in the army. I wish that Adam and Eve hadn't sinned because then people wouldn't die."

Patrick: "Finnian, people don't die, unless they go to hell."

Pysanky Tip

"I've been making Pysanky since I was 12 -- it can be a very spiritual tradition, gathering around the candle and thinking of the symbols and colors and their meanings. If you melt the wax with a candle flame, the flame has to be very tall: 1 1/2" or more. The egg passes through the side of the flame, not the top, to avoid getting soot on your egg. Have a blessed time this Lent!"

Irene left the above comment here. Her timing was perfect, as we will be making pysanky once again this year. Last year, we ended up putting most of our eggs in the oven because we always got soot on the egg when using the flame. This year, thanks to Irene's tip, we will try melting the wax with the flame again.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Family Rosary

Catherine includes you in her "Dear Little Jesus" prayers each night (with my help). She is praying the Rosary with us now. Some words are said before, some with, and some after us...
(Taken from an email sent to my brother when our oldest child was 26 months)

Growing up, one of the greatest gifts that my parents gave to my siblings and me was praying the Rosary with us each night and at the beginning of every car trip that exceeded 20 minutes. My husband and I are trying to give the same gift to our children.

Around 7:00 p.m., every evening, we kneel down in our living room and pray the rosary as a family. Each night, a different family member starts the rosary, including the Apostles Creed, the Our Father, three Hail Marys (said for an increase in the virtues of faith, hope, and charity), the Glory Be, and the first decade. Since there are more people in our family than there are decades of the individual mysteries of the rosary, we have devised an unwritten rotating schedule, based on age, to insure that everyone gets an opportunity to begin and/or lead a decade of the rosary each week. For example:
Day 1: Daddy, Mommy, Child 1, Child 2, Child 3
Day 2: Mommy, Child 1, Child 2, Child 3, Child 4
Day 3: Child 1, Child 2, Child 3, Child 4, Child 5
Day 4: Child 2, Child 3, Child 4, Child 5, Child 6
Day 5: Child 3, Child 4, Child 5, Child 6, Daddy
Day 6: Child 4, Child 5, Child 6, Daddy, Mommy
Day 7: Child 5, Child 6, Daddy, Mommy, Child 1
Day 8: Child 6, Daddy, Mommy, Child 1, Child 2
Day 9: Daddy, Mommy, Child 1, Child 2, Child 3
We finish the Rosary with the traditional prayers and then the children say their personal "Dear Jesus" prayers.

On those rare nights, when we start getting into bed without kneeling down to pray (due to guests or a late activity), one of the children will inevitably say, "But Mommy (or Daddy), we haven't prayed the Rosary."

I hope that my children will always pray the Rosary each day, and if they are called to married life that they will pass this gift on to their children.

“When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.”
~ Saint Louis de Montfort ~

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Easter Butterflies

Once again this Lent, we ordered caterpillars from Insect Lore for our butterfly garden. Last week, four of the caterpillars started making their chrysalis. We have moved the four chrysalides (or pupae) to the butterfly garden and are still waiting for the last (and smallest) caterpillar to make its chrysalis. Four butterflies should emerge a  little before Easter. The last butterfly will hopefully make its appearance on or after Easter.

Video of the 4th caterpillar starting to make its chrysalis:

Books to complement our caterpillar/butterfly studies:
Waiting for WingsButterflies in the GardenWhere Butterflies Grow (Picture Puffins) Are You a Butterfly? (Backyard Books)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Two-Year-Old Vanity

"Mama, I don't want to wear that. I want to be beautiful."

Dear God, please bless my little girl with humility.
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