Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (almost!) - St Louis edition

We have been on a lovely family vacation to Saint Louis, MO this week.  So....  I'm going to post pictures WITHOUT captions of the places that we have visited (so far) and the first one to guess correctly where the picture was taken will recieve a special gift (either mailed or delivered)!! 

No more words to follow, I promise - other than your guesses in the comments....






Sunday, May 22, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays

"Thanks be to God for his
inexpressible gift."
-2 Corinthians 9:15

We are working our way towards One Thousand Gifts (and more!).  It definitely makes me focus on God's presence in all moments of my life - not just during the good, happy times.  He is fully present all the time.  All we have to do is be aware and be in constant conversation with Him.  I read somewhere that the secret to prayer is that it has no end!! 

Thanks be to God for these and all gifts this past week....

#209 - cute, kissable, quiet kids reading
#211 - my lunch helper, Max
#212 - a big sink to do dishes in
#213 - fresh cut grass
#214 - neighbor friends for kids
#216 - Fone's natural love and talent for the piano
#217 - an extra guest for dinner
#220 - clean laundry
#222 - bubble kisses
#224 - 11 years!
#225 - safe travels to FL for my sister and her family
#227 - lilacs have bloomed outside my bedroom window
#229 - kids who offer to help during busy times
#231 - safe and fun travels in Big Red
#232 - trip to our local zoo with friends this past week

#233 - fresh produce from our local organic food co-op

#234 - making it to the parking lot, then car, then restaurant before a severe thunderstorm hit

#235 - lovely trip to the Saint Louis Zoo with the family

#236 - free admission into the children's zoo for the first hour of opening

#237 - free parking at the zoo - still kinda confused with this one, but nonetheless thanking God for this unexpected gift

#238 - Fone helping Pookey walk at the zoo and giving him a stroller break

#239 - educational activity booths at the zoo and interested, inquisitive kids

Won't you join us in counting and giving glory to our good
and gracious God, who gives time and time again? 

Friday, May 20, 2011

11 years today

May God continue to bless us in our marriage! 

Changing over of seasons

Happy and blessed Friday to you all!  I'm taking part in another Five-Minute Friday.  Today's topic is "When seasons change".... 

Ready, set, go!!!

Here in the mid-west, we truly get the "best of the best" when it comes to the seasons.  When one season is dwindling down and we are ready for change, we are blessed with a new season right around the corner.

The long hot, dry days of summer become the cool, crisp, colorful days of fall. 

The dampness and dying of life in fall is covered with the crystal, beauty, and sparkling snow of winter.

The deep freeze and cabin-fevered bodies of winter changes over to the newness of life in spring.  (Now, If I were to pick, this is definitely my favorite of all.  Warmer temperatures.  No coats.  The reasons for being outside are endless!!)

And, not that I can offer much complaint about spring or maybe it's my dread of the heat of summer....  but the lovely days of spring must become the hot, hot, hot days of summer.  A few weeks of temps in the 90s would make this fair-skinned momma with fair-skinned children happy.  But, turning on the air and sunscreen is doable too, because I always have in mind the change that is right around the corner...  the cool, crisp days of fall are coming up next!! 

And, that's what I love about the four seasons kind of life.  When you've had enough of one season or are too comfortable living in one, a change in weather occurs to stir things up! 

Thank the Lord above that throughout all this change and newness, His guiding, leading, and loving presence is always the same! 

Ding!!  That's all for now!

Now, won't you join in on this fun challenge of Five-Minute Fridays??

Monday, May 16, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays

"Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his
name; make known among the nations
his deeds. Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds."
-1 Chronicles 16:8-9

As a family, we are counting our way to One Thousand Gifts (and more!).  Here's a peek at some of the gifts that our family has received this past week....

#181- no coats or sweatshirts to have to take with to Mass
#184 - warm breezes
#185 - lots of outdoor play and first picnics of the year

#187 - listening to the birds and bugs with wide-open windows while going about our day
#188 - leftovers = easy meals and a cleaned out fridge
#189 - bumping into cousins unexpectedly at the library and piano lessons
#192 - 3 great days of school this week
#193 - sweet Little Flowers friends for Melody
#196 - successful referrals
#197 - brunch with my Grandma in the nursing home to celebrate Mother's Day

#200 - lego's to inspire creative play and are played with on a daily basis
#202 - Daddy Date Night at Village Inn during the Little Flowers gathering
#203 - no rain for the outdoor Mary Crowning
#204 - beautiful end-of-year homeschooling Mass and potluck afterwards
#205 - a phone call to offer babysitting for our upcoming 11 year anniversary this week (love you Mom!!!) 
#206 - a good cry on the way home after receiving a generous donation of food given to our family
#207 - scratchy, busy birds building outside my window
#208 - little ones who wander in to snuggle in the middle of the night

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lord, fill me with your breath of life....

Today, I’m joining in on a 5 Minute Challenge…  it involves reading a prompt and responding on it in 5 minutes, without any preparation. 

The topic for today is BREATHE…
Ready, Set, Go!
Wow!  This is something I strive to do on a daily basis.  Not because I need physical help, my lungs are functioning absolutely fine.  It’s just that I get caught up in doing too much, too fast on my schedule and not His. 
When I feel overwhelmed, I often say, “I just need to BREATHE”.  My children can quote me on this one too often.  SLOW DOWN is what this really means.  It’s a moment for me to STOP and BREATHE in the presence of God, who is carrying me through the to and fro of our days. 
He is there to fill me with His breath of joy…  when a little one begs me to “stay” and snuggle for just a few more minutes in the morning.
He is there to fill me with His breath of patience…  when three children all need assistance with their schoolwork at the same time, while the 5 year old just stole a really cool toy away from her now screaming toddler brother, the baby is eating the dog’s food and playing in the spilled water, AND of course, the phone is ringing.  These are true tests of patience.  Am I going to lose it?  Or am I going to BREATHE? 
He is there to fill me with His breath of humility…  when we arrive late time and time again for scheduled activities to make me realize that I am not as “perfectly” punctual as I used to be.  Not quite “perfect” anymore…
He is there to fill me with his breath of encouragement…  when I get a phone call from a friend who just wants to say “hi” at the exact moment when I really needed a listening ear OR when scripture or my devotional says just the right thing at the right time.
He is there to fill me with His breath of responsibility…  when I know I have been called to serve and need to chose to do it with love even when I am not feeling it inside. 
He is there to fill me with His breath of love…  in His own gift of life to fill me on a daily basis and through all His thousands of gifts that are meant just for me.  I just have to make sure to take the time to stop and BREATHE and recognize His presence throughout my days!
Ding!  It’s been 5 minutes (or so…).  I guess that means I am done. 
Won’t you join in on this challenge today??  Go here to read and link up and don't forget to BREATHE!   

Monday, May 9, 2011

In Honor of Our Lady....

....we will be taking part in the Marian Artist Trading Card Swap 2011
How about you?? 


What to do with old Birthday cards??

It's as easy as...1...2...3...!!!

1- take the birthday cards and 3-hole punch them
2 - cut three pieces of yarn/ribbon
3 - thread and tie the yarn/ribbon through each of the holes

There ya go!!  A simple, little "scrapbook" to remember your child's birthday by - created in less than 5 minutes!!  If you have time and want to spend another 5-10 minutes, simply open a Word document and cut/paste a few pictures from the actual party to print and that can be the title page to your mini-scrapbook.  For busy momma's like me who have NO time to scrapbook, this is an easy way to remember those special days without having to be away from the family too terribly long. 

**another tip...  if you look at the title page, you will see Max posed with all his birthday presents and it forms the words "Thank You".  Of course, this serves not only as the title page to the "scrapbook", but also a perfect little thank you letter to send out!! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our Easter 2011

How blessed I was to have shared my birthday this year with the Resurrection of our Lord!  The last time my birthdate landed on Easter Sunday was in 1859, so chances are this was the only time in my lifetime for this special sharing to take place.  Of course, we celebrated the Risen Lord with morning Mass as a family - Fone served and Melody and Ariel sang their little hearts out in the children's choir.  How strange it is for us to sit in the pew with only 3 kids!  We had two Easter celebrations with our extended family that weekend.  Both gatherings were wonderful - yummy food, eggs to hunt, nice weather = lots of outdoor play, and a very happy birthday girl!!

May the JOY of this Easter season and the HOPE in our Risen Lord live in your hearts!! 


Mario and Fone




Max pushing Pookey

Fone after Mass (he always waves at us and scares us when his candle is lit!)

Ariel, Melody, and Mrs M. (their choir leader)

Fone, Max and our 6 lb. killer dog, Sophia

Sophia, Mario, Max, Ariel, Fone

Young cousins
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