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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Violin Recital

In the fall, Bernadette began her second year of violin lessons. On November 19, she participated in the fall violin recital, playing "Moto Perpetuo" by Carl Bohm.

At one point during the piece, Bernadette paused. At her next lesson, she told her teacher, "When I am playing a fast piece of music, it's kind of like reading the Lord of the Rings. I get so caught up in the music that I forget where I am."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Wonderland or...

We were all happy to see approximately one foot of snow fall and stick in our neighborhood this week. My husband and I enjoyed looking at the beauty outside, while our children played in their winter wonderland.  Unfortunately, I did not take very many photos.

We still have a lot of snow on the ground. As of Thursday, we also have a large branch, some small madrona branches and three trees down. One of the trees that fell was an old madrona, a favorite of mine.  It came down on part of our fence.

Still, despite the cleanup and repairs that we have ahead of us, I am thankful for the beauty and enjoyment with which God provided us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dishwasher Repair - Watch the Video

About three years ago, we replaced our old broken dishwasher. When my husband purchased the new one, the store employee told him not to expect it to last more than two or three years, five years at the most. At the same time, a friend told me that she had gotten so tired of having to replace her dishwasher that she decided to invest in a Viking dishwasher. The sticker price of her dishwasher almost put me into shock.

A couple of weeks ago, our dishwasher stopped cleaning the dishes properly. We would place virtually clean dishes in the dishwasher and they would come out with a white etched film, or greasy, or just plain dirty looking. My husband tried a couple of things to fix it, but nothing worked.

On Monday, since he had the day off, he decided to find out how much it would cost to repair or replace the dishwasher. After doing a little research, he told me that a new Whirlpool or Kenmore would cost about $650, including delivery, installation, haul away, the power cord, and a hose. I told him that we couldn't afford it. In 2011, out of necessity, we replaced our old refrigerator, garage door opener, furnace and oven . In addition to this, we had thousands of dollars worth of medical/prescription bills. I decided to do a little research online to see if we could fix our dishwasher.

I stumbled upon Handy Guys Podcast and this podcast (embedded below) which seemed to address our problem. According to the handy guys, the basins of Kenmore, Kirkland Signature, and Whirlpool dishwashers usually need to be cleaned every two to three years.

After watching the video, my husband and I decided to try and fix our Kenmore dishwasher. Inside our dishwasher basin, we found a sippy cup straw, plastic wrap, popcorn kernels, a cake decorating tube lid, a metal ball, hair and caked on dishwasher detergent.  Thanks to the handy guys, our dishwasher is cleaning the dishes again and we didn't need to spend a penny. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brendan's Confirmation

On Wednesday, January 11, Brendan, his father and I went to his Confirmation evening of recollection. The evening began with a monastic type of potluck dinner, during which all of the participants remained silent while our pastor read to us about Maria (a holy young girl who lived in Mexico). After dinner, we proceeded to the church where we spent an hour in Adoration. Adoration was followed by Benediction, Holy Mass and confirmation rehearsal. Confessions were heard during Adoration and Mass. The evening, combined with the confirmation classes taught by our pastor were a wonderful preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation.

On Thursday, January 12 (my father's baptism anniversary), the Sacrament of Confirmation was conferred on Brendan and 25 other young people at our parish by Archbishop Sartain. Brendan was very excited to receive this sacrament and, thanks in large part to these two books, knew long before he did so that he wanted Saint Anthony of Padua to be his patron saint. His siblings were overjoyed to see him confirmed. As I sat in the pew, praying for Brendan and watching the confirmandi, Patrick whispered to me that he could not see. I told him that he could stand in the side aisle and watch from there. A few minutes later, Finnian whispered the same to me, so I picked him up and stood in the side aisle with him.  Both boys watched attentively as the confirmandi were confirmed. Eventually, they saw their big brother confirmed by the Archbishop. Having seen what they felt was important, Patrick and Finnian returned to our pew. Their knowledge of the importance of what was happening and their desire to truly see their brother receive this sacrament touched my heart.

I am happy that Brendan asked to be confirmed this year. I pray that he continues to grow in the Catholic faith and becomes a great saint.

May God bless Archbishop Sartain, Fr. Saguto, Fr. Harkins and all of the confirmati!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Priestly Role Models

Sedes Sapientiae, ora pro nobis.

Our parish has been blessed with a second priest, Fr. Harkins. His presence has inspired my two youngest sons to pretend to be priests and "offer" Mass. They've been dressing up, cutting "hosts" from printer paper, ringing their little bell, and using their child-size thurible. The other day, Finnian came to me and said, "Mommy, I am Fr. Saguto and Patrick is Fr. Harkins." I smiled and thought to myself, "Imitation is truly the best form of flattery. I pray that if God calls you to be a priest, you answer His call and become a holy and faithful  priest." We are very thankful that our boys have such great role models at our parish.

O Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us many holy priests.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Baby Update

At my doctor's appointment this morning, baby's heart rate was 145 beats per minute and my "baby belly" measured 23 centimeters which matches up nicely with the baby's age of 22 weeks and 4 days. I have another appointment in two weeks to check on the baby's growth and test my anti-factor Xa levels again. Thank you to everyone who has let me know that they are continuing to pray for the baby and for me. I can't wait to hold this little one in my arms.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Ten Rules for Being Happy Parents

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone has a blessed Feast Day.

In 2012, I am going to attempt to live by the rules below which are adapted from Father Raoul Plus, S.J.’s Christ in the Home. I would also like to reread his book. 

1. Always appear before your family in good humor.  Nothing is so depressing as a father or mother out of sorts.  See that the family never has to suffer because of your nervousness or irritability.

2. Never weary in cheering your family with your smile.  It is not enough to avoid depressing them; you must brighten them up and let their spirits expand.  Be especially vigilant when the little ones are around.  Give them the alms of a smile, hard though it be at times.  What a pity when children have to say, “I don’t like it at home.”

3. What can be shared, speak of it openly.  If something must not be told, then don’t tell it.  Do share what you can so everyone profits by your experience, especially the family.

4. Amiably show the greatest interest in the smallest things.  Family problems are generally not affairs of state, but everything that concerns those we love most in this world should be worthy of interest:  the baby’s first tooth, the honor ribbon won at school, the entrance of one of the little ones into the Holy Childhood Association.

5. Banish exaggerated asceticism from your life.  If your home is Christian and each member of the family is learning to carry his cross, then it is essential to avoid making others suffer by a too ostentatious or inopportune austerity.  There is abundant opportunity for self renunciation in devoting oneself to procuring joy for others.  Marie Antoinette de Geuser used to sacrifice her great longing for recollection and her taste for a simple life by accompanying her brothers to evening affairs for which she wore dresses that she said “made her look vain.”

6. Be sure to treat all alike.  Nothing is so disrupting to home life as favoritism for one or the other child.  The same measure for all!

7. Never think of yourself, but always of them in a joyous spirit.  Henry the Fourth of France used to crawl around on all fours, with his children on his back, to enliven the family get-together.  Louis Racine, son of the famous French playwright, author of “Athalie,” relates, “My father was never so happy as when he was free to leave the royal court and spend a few days with us.  Even in the presence of strangers, he dared to be a father; he belonged to all our games.”

8. Never begin an argument; always speak prudently.  Discussion should not be banned unless it develops into bickering.  A free habit of exchanging ideas on a broadening subject cannot but be profitable; the children should even be encouraged and led into it to develop in them a wise and discriminating mind and a habit of suspended judgment.  Unsavory and disturbing subjects and those beyond their depth naturally ought to be avoided.

9. Always act patiently and answer graciously.  That it takes the “patience of an angel” to rule vigilantly over the little world of the family is beyond question.  Affability is essential.

10. By good will you will gain hearts and souls without exception.  Loving much is the key to gain all.  These slogans for a happy home life are not marvels of prose, but do express a precious rule of wise family discipline.

Thank you to Cindy K. who shared this with members of our parish.
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