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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Preparing Our Hearts and Minds

The manger is ready and waiting to be filled with soft hay each time one of
our children offers a good deed to God during Advent.
"Before Our Lady conceived Our Lord in the flesh,
she conceived Him in the interior silence of her soul."
Advent Recollection: Silence ~

I hope to listen to this Advent Recollection Series again. If we are quiet, it is because, once again this year, my family and I will be focusing on the beauty of Advent and being Christkindls to each other. We will be preparing our hearts, minds, and souls for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

May God bless you with a peaceful, faith-filled, and fruitful Advent!

Repost from 11/30/2014 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pray the Rosary

"The single most important thing that we can do for our country is to pray the Rosary."

~ Fr. Matthew Hincks ~

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pregnancy Exercise Videos

Each time that I meet with a nutritionist during pregnancy, I am told that it is essential to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. I find it hard to find the time to do so, but I try to do so at least once or twice a week. It's better than nothing.

Living in the Pacific Northwest makes daily walks questionable; however, I do try to get outside and walk when I can. Using the treadmill gets a little boring after a while. I have found that various exercise videos, checked out from the library, can help with the monotony. The following exercise videos have been helpful. If only I could find the time to use them on a regular basis.

10 Minute Solution Prenatal Pilates Lizbeth Garcia provides a pretty easy and gentle workout.

Denise Austin's Fit and Firm Pregnancy Denise Austin provides an easy 20-minute low-impact aerobic workout which is followed by toning exercises that are geared to specific trimesters. She also includes a 20-minute exercise postnatal segment.

Suzanne Bowen's Long and Lean Prenatal Workout This is probably the hardest exercise video that I have used. Suzanne Bowen does a great job. Unfortunately, I found this workout hard on my right knee. My right knee cap isn't centered and certain exercises can make it ache. I had to skip a few exercises in this video for this reason. However, I still recommend it.

T-Tapp Total Workout This isn't a prenatal workout, but I have used it while pregnant. Teresa Tapp emphasizes proper posture and alignment which I really appreciate. I can do this workout without feeling any stress on my knee.

Please share postnatal pregnancy exercise video recommendations.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Aidan's Baptism

“When a child is given to his parents, a crown is made for that child in Heaven, and woe to the parents who raise a child without consciousness of that eternal crown!”
~ Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Life is Worth Living ~

On June 19, our little boy was baptized after Sunday Mass by our pastor. 

Priest: Aidan, quid petis ab Ecclesia Dei?

Godparents: Fidem.

Priest: Exi ab eo, immunde spiritus, et da locum Spiritui Sancto Paraclito.

Priest: Oremus: Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, Pater Domini nostri Iesu Christi, respice dignare super hunc famulum tuum, Aidan, quem ad rudimenta fidei vocare dignatus es: omnem caecitatem cordi ab eo expelle: disrumpe omnes laqueos Satanae, quibus fuerat colligatus; aperi ei, Domine ianuam pietatis tuae imbutus, omnium cupiditatum foetoribus careat, et ad suavem odorem praeceptorum tuorum laetus tibi in Ecclesia tua deserviat, et proficiat de die in diem Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Priest: Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum.

Godparents: Amen.

Priest: Aidan, ingredere in templum Dei, ut habeas partem cum Christo in vitam aeternam.

Godparents: Pater noster, qui es in cælis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra. Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie. Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem: sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Priest: Exorcizo te, omnis spiritus immunde, in nomine Dei + Patris omnipotentis, et in nomine Iesu + Christi Filii eius, Domini et Iudicis nostri, et in virtute Spiritus + Sancti, ut discedas ab hoc plasmate Dei N, quod Dominus noster ad templum sanctum suum vocare dignatus est, ut fiat templum Dei vivi, et Spiritus Sanctus habitet in eo. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum, qui venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos, et saeculum per ignem.

Priest: Ephpheta, quod est, Adaperire. In odorem suavitatis. Tu autem effugare, diabole; appropinquabit enim iudicium Dei.

Priest: Aidan, vis baptizari?

Godparents: Volo.

Priest: Aidan, ego te baptizo in nomine + Patris, et Filii +, et Spiritus + Sancti.

Priest: Accipe lampadem ardentem, et irreprehensibilis custodi Baptismum tuum: serva Dei mandata ut cum Dominus venerit ad nuptias, possis occurrere ei una cum omnibus Sanctis in aula caelesti, habeasque vitam aeternam, et vivas in saecula saeculorum.

Priest: Aidan, vade in pace et Dominus sit tecum. Amen.

Churching and Consecration to Our Blessed Mother

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

I think that it is the first time that we have ever had a priest call us to find out when we wanted our baby baptized. Our pastor had a reason for calling. Thanks to his prayers and the intercession of St. Joseph, our baby boy experienced a miracle while I was pregnant with him (that's a story for another day).

We chose our second oldest daughter and a family friend to be the godparents of our baby. We have been impressed by the faith of both Aidan's godmother and godfather over the years and were happy that both of them graciously agreed to be our baby boy's godparents.

We are so thankful to our family for their prayers on our youngest son's Baptism day and to all of our friends who witnessed and celebrated our youngest's baptism with us.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

And Baby Makes 12

"Behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb."
~ Psalm 126:3 ~

Early one morning, we were blessed with another little miracle from God. Aidan was born on his due date at 6:19 a.m. He weighed 8 lbs and was 20 inches. It's hard to believe that our little boy is actually here. I could (and probably do) spend hours looking at my sweet baby boy.

Our two oldest sons were away at camp when their baby brother was born. They came home the day that I came home from the hospital, making me happy to have a full house. We are so thankful for everyone's prayers.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Advice from My Mom

Growing up, my mom shared a lot of her wisdom with my siblings and me. One of the best pieces of advice that she gave us came when my sisters and I were fighting. Like all children, we would sometimes tattle on each other. My mom would remind us that there are two sides to every story, and then she would say, "God knows the truth and that is all that matters."

I heard these words so many times from my mom that I internalized them. I learned that false accusations against us and what others say about us doesn't matter. We are not in this world to win approval from our fellow man. We are here to learn to know, love, and serve God. We are here to bring Him greater glory. When Padre Pio (one of my mom's favorite saints - he wasn't canonized until after she died) was calumniated, he followed Christ's example and remained silent. We are called to do the same. 

If someone wrongs us, speaks about us behind our back, and tries to turn others against us, we should simply pray for them. If someone falsely accuses us and leads others to think badly of us, we can simply offer it up. Our focus should not be on earthly matters, it should be on Heaven. Our focus should be on striving to become great saints so that we can one day be with God in Heaven, singing His praises. In the end, God knows the truth and that is all that matters.

St. Padre Pio, ora pro nobis!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Faith, Hope, and Charity

Our pastor had me in tears on Mother's Day after mentioning "deceased mothers" in his comments prior to his sermon (I didn't hear the latter due to a noisy little boy who I love with all my heart). I am so thankful for my parents who taught my siblings and me the theological virtues as we prayed the family rosary each night. I know that my sisters are too because they have been sharing these photos and writing things like, "She is my namesake and the builder of my foundation of faith." and "I couldn't be more blessed or grateful for the example they set for each of, LOVE and family."
My Wonderful Parents
My Family

My Mom, Uncle, Grandpa, Cousins, Siblings, and Me

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Our Little One

At 28 Weeks

And 32 Weeks

Please keep our baby in your prayers.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Missing My Mom

It's hard to believe that so many years have passed since my mom died. She was a truly wonderful mother, one of my best friends, and most importantly a faithful Catholic. She loved God with her whole heart and always stressed the importance of going to daily Mass. 

She used to tell me that when I was a baby, she would take my two older siblings and me to daily Mass and sit in the front pew. I would cry all through Mass. Her first instinct was to leave the church when I did so, but one of her friends told her to stay where she was. The priest didn't make a single comment to her about my crying; however, she told me that had she been wiser, she would have followed her instinct. She was horrified thinking about what a disturbance I must have been.

My Family
(minus 12 family members who weren't able to join us due to distance)
Recently, my brother (in the front row) came to visit. My two younger sisters traveled over the mountains to be with us all, and we celebrated being together by going to dinner. During dinner, my youngest sister toasted everyone with the toast that our mom taught us when we were growing up, "Never above you. Never below you. Always by your side." She taught us well. 

Please whisper a prayer for my mom

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tasha Tudor

When I was in grade school, the librarian read us Fairy Tales from Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Tasha Tudor. I remember going to the library each week and anxiously waiting for the librarian to finish reading the book, so that I could check it out and look at the lovely illustrations. When I grew a little older, I delighted in her illustrations in The Secret Garden. As an adult, I still like Tasha Tudor's illustrations. I also find pleasure in looking at photos of her amazing garden.

Postcard available from Tasha Tudor and Family
The other day, I came across the quote below from Tasha Tudor, and she endeared herself even more to me.
"I enjoy doing housework, ironing, washing, cooking, dishwashing. Whenever I get one of those questionaires and they ask what is your profession, I always put down housewife. It's an admirable profession, why apologize for it. You aren't stupid because you're a housewife. When you're stirring the jam you can read Shakespeare." 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Christmas 2015

"At that time there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city."

"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child."

"And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered." 

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

"And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock."

"And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David."

"And this shall be a sign unto you."

"You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger." 

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will."

~ Luke 2:1-14 ~

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