Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Ariel messaged Neil and I a belated anniversary picture she created for us today. Three days ago marked 17 years of being married to my sweetie. Can you believe it? 17 seems like so many years; yet it seems to have gone so fast and I truly do feel so young still!
I look at us here and wonder what we were thinking...
Like the 5 kids I was wanting became 9! Would I think my future self was CrAzY or blessed? Somedays I'm still in awe, like is this our life? Pinch me; it's too good to be true. Not that it's been easy or is easy. Because it's not! It's far from it - lol! Large family living is tough. Homeschooling is tough.
Like our new house that we wanted to build would become buying my brother-in-law's family house that HE grew up in? No brand new house where we get to pick out and design everything. Nope. Nada. God planted in some very important wisdom that came from my mother-in-law, "Do not consider Katie's salary into your house price. You know once you start having kids, she won't want to go back to work". She was right! And thank God, we listened!!! (and thank you, Jean, for speaking up!! You are a great mom!! Then and still today - we are SO blessed by you!). Our dream house that we were wanting to build became an older house that has been added onto once and renovated multiple times to accommodate our growing family. And it's SO close to our families whom we treasure so much!
Like would we have thought I'd quit working after less than a year of teaching. Even if I hadn't been in an accident in March and forced to quit my first year early, I wouldn't have gone back. Baby numero uno was on his way!!! And, my mother-in-law was right - I didn't want to go back to work. But, WORK is what I did and still do today... I run a household of 11 people, homeschool 7 of our 9 children, balance being a mom of teens, pre-teens, a toddler, a baby, and a few in-betweens. There's never much quiet to my job. There's always some place to run, something to do, someone who needs extra love and snuggles, and on and on. It's not a job that many brides dream about. Nothing that seems life-changing and world-altering. But, man-oh-man, is that stereotype SO wrong!! I am forming 9 souls for Christ to send out in this world. The 1+1 (+1 being Christ) = 11 !! We became a family of 11! That's great WORK I'd say. A Magnum Opus, if you know what I mean! ;)
And then I look at us here. Two smooching lovers (well, actually 4 smoochers - I had a double wedding with my sister!! They're pretty cute too, eh?). And, I think of my own kids... what will their future hold? Will they experience the beauty of Holy Matrimony? Holy Orders? Only God knows. Neil and I will continue doing our best to foster all vocations and trusting our children into His hands and the hands of Our Lady. And then to never never never EVER forget that we did our job. Our children do have free will. They may stray. They may make mistakes. And if they do, then Neil and I need to let go and trust even more.
++Thank you, Lord, for these last 17 blessed beyond all measure years married to my groom. Please continue to live in us and through us as we love each other and lead each other to Heaven.++
Monday, May 22, 2017
This year's May Day was a "grin and bear it" kind, as I was in between surgery #1 and surgery #2 and had the 24/7 uncomfortableness of the stent. Oy! The things you do for those you love, even when you are not feeling 100%. Thank God for His grace and strength. The kids did 99% of the prep! They needed a little help with set up and the idea, but they carried it all out after that. Ariel rocked the prep this year, since Melody and Fone were busy with their play. And, for the actual carrying it out, I got to play chauffeur, which was doable for me too.
(You probably wonder HOW DO YOU DO May Day with a crew of kids and the busyness of a large family living and homeschooling PLUS dealing with health issues. Come check out my write up over at Cuppa Catholic.... it's "Easy as 1, 2, 3"!)
**ding and dash day**
++Thank you, Lord, for your grace and strength and traditions like this that bond our family together in love and generosity!++
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Our Pookey received his Second Holy Communion yesterday and his First Holy Communion the week before. All in the midst of my recovery from my surgeries and a 5 day stretch of fever after the surgeries. We had to cancel his party at our house afterwards, but the most important part was the Sacrament and him receiving Jesus for the first time. He was so sweet and reverent and did a great job with all his preparation this year. We are super proud of him and love him so much. And what a blessing Our Lord gets to reside in him whenever he receives Him in Holy Mass now!! It's such a turning point in our faith and a huge step in our kids' lives where they seem to grow up overnight.
Jesus, come to us.
Lead us to Your Light.
Jesus, come to us.
For we need you.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Yeah! Stinkin' stones! Would't you think they could have held off a little while and not pop up in the middle of a crazy few weeks of Sacraments, dances, birthdays and plays? Ah well, not much we can do but say "yes" and accept these goofey burdens/crosses when they come our way. Last Wednesday, I had to have a second "blasting" surgery. It was not a BLAST, by the way. Although I'm very happy to say that I did not react to the antibiotic and thankfully, had a normal recovery. I actually woke up! No hives or throwing up this time. I was able to walk on my own, get dressed, sipped the sprite and munched on crackers. I was such a good patient this time around!! Go me!!!
++Thank you, God, for a smooth surgery the second time around!!++
Monday, May 8, 2017
Fone and Melody were casted parts in the spring play at the local children's theater. They had two months of practices and for the last month, their practices picked up to 4-5 nights a week. It's pretty intense and a lot of work. Not to mention a lot of driving to and from by dearest mom and dad. With my kidney stones popping up in the middle of all this, it made it a little harder too. But thankfully with Neil's parents helping with rides and another sweet mom whose daughter was also in the play, things went very smooth. And the two weekends of plays were SO enjoyable. Fone is so dramatic and had a pretty big part and did amazing! And Melody is just adorable up on stage - she gives her all and enjoys every minute of it. It's so much fun as a mom to see your kids up on stage and knowing what to do and say with such ease. Such a proud momma!!!
++Thank you, God, for the blessing of theater, fine arts, and the confidence it provides our kids!!++
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Last Monday, after our beautiful blessed Sunday, I had a birthday. My last year in the 30's. Better enjoy it while I'm young, eh? Because I was still recovering from my kidney stone surgery and the fun stent, I was feeling not so young. But thankfully, God blessed me in so many ways - kids and hubby who loved me and jumped all day for me to make me more comfortable (Neil even had lunch delivered), sweet friends stopped over gifting food and a Catholic Russian Doll set. My sisters gifted me with Bath and Body Works lotions and soaps. My in-laws dropped off some morrel mushrooms to fry up and eat - yummy!!! And I received many texts and phone calls wishing me a "happy birthday". I felt so loved and blessed, despite feeling cruddy. God's grace has a way of distracting your mind sometime to focus on and enjoy the love around you a little more on special days like this. And, I sure felt the love. It was a great day!
++Thank you, God, for the gift of life and all these birthday blessings!!++
Friday, May 5, 2017
Rather than having a party to celebrate Melody's Confirmation, her Daddy took her, Ariel, and Rose out to dinner and then to a Daddy Daughter Dance. Here are pictures of their fun night...
What a blessed day it was!! Melody's Confirmation in the afternoon and the Daddy Daughter Dance in the evening!!
Oh yeah... Neil didn't forget his littlest girl. When he got home, he played her song "My Girl" and danced her all around the kitchen with plenty of smooching and an occasional dip! Such a good daddy! And she giggled almost the whole time - she loves her daddy so very much!
++Thank you, God, for these fun father/daughter memories made!++