Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Longing for Lent

"Longing For Lent"

Yeah, I know what you are thinking.  No way, Jose!

But, yeah, I mean it.  Our oldest is 15 years old, I mean 15 years "young".  ;)  So we have been doing this Lenting thing as a family for quite some time.  That doesn't mean I'm getting old, does it?  Nah - I'm forever young.  We have many traditions that we have carried through many years.  These traditions bond us and shape us as a family.  They help form our faith and plans for different seasons of the Liturgical year.  And for some reason, I'm always "longing for Lent".  So ready to begin.  Not that I'm 100% ready and set up and prepared to begin.  But my heart and soul is ready to jump in.  Same with my kids.  They can't wait.  Even with the giving up of things - tv time, electronics, sweets, coffee, pop, etc... and doing/giving more, they are ready to jump right in and surprise me with their sacrifices each year.  These sweet kids have a heart to give.  A heart to love.  And a heart to sacrifice.  The Holy Spirit dwells so beautifully and shines during Lent - in the love, sacrifice, and family bonding.

So, what do we do?  Let me share a "few"...

**pictures and tutorial found here of how to make a table top display and tool for keeping track of our Lenten sacrifices

**Lent song for kids (and review of Dogma Dogs cd) found here

**We make the large cross out of brown constructions paper and tape it to a door or wall.  Each family member traces their hand on construction paper, cuts it out, writes their Lenten promises on it, and  tapes it to the cross.  We also hang up some printable Lenten calendars, where the kids color a square each day of Lent, counting down the days to Easter.

**Multiple times a week, we march around the house with flashlights and pray the Stations.  The Stations we use are these posters and they are hung up throughout the house, so we can march from room to room as we pray them.

**See my post over at Cuppa Catholic on our favorite Lenten devotionals

**You can buy a kit here to make this beautiful Jesus Tree felt tree and ornaments, which ends up being a Family Lenten Bible Study - starts at Genesis and leads up to the Death and Ressurection of Our Lord

**Let your kids build away!!  Here's a look at some of our Lenten Legos.

**A look at my fasting from last year

**food and scripture to teach the meanting of this day

**food and scripture to teach the meaning of this day

Linking this post up with Siena Sisters, which will have a Lenten Blog Hop

Click on the image below to get more ideas for Lent this year!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

14 Fabulous Years With You

Hi, darling Mario!!!

Today, you turn 14!!!  Oy!  How and when did that happen.  You are our second son.  So very different from your older brother, Fone.  So uniquely blessed in your very own way by God!  We love you and wish you a blessed day today!

To celebrate 14 years of your life, here are 14 of the many things we love about you...

#1 ~ you are my BEST friend (Fone)

#2 ~ that you are MY Godfather!!!  (Lady)

#3 ~ that I am a mini-YOU (Max)

#4 ~ your cheery and positive personality

#5 ~ you jump on the trampoline nice with me (Pookey)

#6 ~ that you always tell jokes and make me laugh (Ariel)

#7 ~ you play with me and love me (Yoda)

#8 ~ your creativity

#9 ~ how you naturally enjoy playing with and spending time with your younger siblings

#10 ~ you are easy going

#11 ~ that you let me play Air Soft wars with you (Melody)

#12 ~ that you are SO silly (Rose)

#13 ~ you are SO handsome!!!  Ooooh la la!!

#14 ~ your giggle

We love you bunches, Mario!!

++Thank you, God, for Mario!!!  Please bless him abundantly over the next year!!++

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Cool Dude

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ramblings on Tuesday

Hi there!

Some thoughts on this lovely Valentine's Day....

  • We've been sick.  With the stomach bug.  Ugh!  Well, at least 9 of out the 11 of us.  And if you count other sickness (colds too), then all 11 of us have had something over the last week and a half.  And to put it nicely, I'm totally SICK and tired of being sick and taking care of and cleaning up after sick people.  sigh....   It is only by grace that I survive days like this.  
++All for You, Lord!++

  • Today is Day 2 of my 90 Day Nineveh Challenge that I'm taking part in.  Like I shared, I have switched things up a bit for me.  As a mom of 9, I'm stretched WAY thin in so many areas already, I wasn't going to force upon myself even more intense penances.  And, yes, I *need* some sugar every once in a while - so I'm allowing myself dessert once a day and one sweet drink too (either sweetened coffee or a pop).  My challenge probably looks a lot different than priests, older individuals, those called to the single life, and moms who don't homeschool, moms who don't have a crazy number of kids like me too.  And that's ok.  God can call us each differently to sacrifice for Him.  My schedule is planned 100% by kids.  I get to drink cold coffee daily because of the zillion distractions of parenting that don't allow me to sit and drink it hot or even warm!  We pray the Angelus at 9am and 1:30pm because "it's noon somewhere", right?  So, yeah, it's not perfect at all.  But as I found out long ago, "nothing is perfect except for God".  Are you taking part in the Nineveh 90 Challenge?  How's it going for you??  

  • Valentine's Day - As a Catholic, my heart is warmed so much seeing all these people celebrating a saint's feast day today and they don't even know it!!  I'm seeing posts and pictures all over about valentines and flowers and chocolates and many more acts of love, and little do these people know, they are celebrating the life of St. Valentine with us Catholics!!!  And, speaking of valentines, here are some of my sweeties, jammies and all, with a little valentine surprise from Neil and I this morning.  No big boys though - they were still in bed getting their beauty sleep!  ;)
++St. Valentine, pray for us!++   

  • And there's nothing so precious like a daddy loving a baby, gooing and gahing at her and making her coo and smile!!  I fall in love with Neil ten times over every time I find this happening....

  • For some more good news, after the grumpy children Wordless Wednesday post last week - I think the ground hog was wrong!  We have had SO many days in the 50s and 60s lately and here's the upcoming forecast and a quick snap of my 5 boys running around outside today....

God bless you and love you always!!  

Thanks for reading and stopping by!! 

And please do share and comment on some of your ramblings and what God is doing in your life right now....

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Thanks, Phil!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Our Marchers

A few weeks ago, Neil and our four oldest took a bus up to Chicago for the March for Life.  It was their first time standing to take part in this awesome event standing for life and I'm so proud that they took the time to do it.  In winter.  In the freezing cold.  Way to go, marchers!!

++Dear Lord, please help our world love and respect all life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.++

Monday, February 6, 2017

Welcome to the Church, Lady!!!

Our beautiful Lady was baptized two weekends ago.  She was fussy through the prayer part at the beginning, but quieted down and was a perfect little Lady for the rest of the ceremony.  It was so beautiful and special and brings me to tears every time.  She's now a daughter of the King and a new baby Catholic!!   

"Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.  Teach them to your children and to their children after them."
~Deuteronomy 4:9

"All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children."
~ Isaiah 54:13 

"For the Lord is good....  His faithfulness continues through all generations."
~Psalm 100:5

Never forget, Lady, that you are a child of God!!
You are royalty though Him, with Him and in Him!!
Love you to pieces, sweet baby girl!!

++Thank you, Lord, for Lady and for making her one of Your children!!  Help her to always love, know, and serve You in this life so she can be happy with You in Heaven forever and ever!!++

++St Edith Stein, please pray for and always intercede for our Lady!++

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