Thursday, October 16, 2014

ONE 'Blessed be God'

It is quoted by St. John of Avila in my favorite work of all time Uniformity With God's Will the following,

"One 'Blessed Be God' in times of adversity, is worth more than a thousand acts of gratitude in times of prosperity."



With that knowledge, we humbly say "Blessed Be God."

It was discovered four weeks ago that our unborn baby daughter has a serious birth defect called Omphalocele. I HATE saying defect, but have not come up with a more dignified word to use in conversation.  She is not defective only certain anatomical features did not form correctly.  Once she is born and stabilized, she will be taken immediately to Omaha, NE by a transport team to undergo surgery immediately.  I will be dismissed shortly after so John and I can travel to be with her.

I will write the whole story when I manage to muster up the desire and mental energy to pound it out on keyboard.  Right now, each day is met with these three words 'Blessed Be God.'  Around Easter this year, I discovered this quote from St. Francis de Sales that I knew at some point in my life would provide comfort and peace.

"The everlasting God has in His wisdom forseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart.  This cross that He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with His loving arms, and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you.  He has blessed it with His holy name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God." -St. Francis de Sales

Yes, we cried so hard our eyes were swollen and our hearts felt like the weight of Mt. Everest.  "Blessed Be God."

I have repeated the passage in Matthew 26:39:
 "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will."

 We have a wonderful Pro-Life doctor whom I met with this past Tuesday.  After much conversing and sharing with him a study I had read about Omphalocele, I looked up at him with tears in my eyes and said, "I am so glad He gave her to us. I am so glad she is safe.  She is safe with us.  John and I love her and will take care of her."  As I looked into his tear filled eyes, he said "Yes Lindsay, babies diagnosed with this are aborted."  That just breaks my heart. 

We are surrounded by incredible family and friends who value each and every life.  We would be so humbled and honored if you would join us in praying to these two spiritual giants for a miracle for our little girl and first and foremost that God's will is done through us, we and others are led to Christ, and for an end to abortion.

We are praying to Matt Talbot and Fr. Emil Kapaun to intercede on her behalf to Our Lord.  If you are reading this and not of the Catholic faith, please understand that we do not worship or put these men above Our Lord.  We admire their lives and service to Our Lord.  Their lives were spent in adoring and worshipping HIM in a way we can only hope to imitate.  We believe them to be in heaven with Him so we humbly ask "their ear" to ask Him for a miracle. We cannot thank you enough for your prayers.  We give glory to God for this child who is safe in our hearts and arms, but if it is God's will a miracle may occur.  Matt Talbot is my confirmation name.  I really don't know why I chose him all the way back in high school and have often wondered what role he would play in my life.  Obviously, Matt Talbot chose me those 20 years ago.  I am not shy about my love and admiration for Father Emil Kapaun. His love of Christ and service to others brings me to tears at the mention of his name.  As time passes these next few months, I will write more on their individual stories. 

Official Prayer for the Canonization of Matt Talbot:

Lord, in your servant, Matt Talbot you have given us a wonderful example of triumph over addiction, of devotion to duty, and of lifelong reverence of the Holy Sacrament. May his life of prayer and penance give us courage to take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Father, if it be your will that your beloved servant should be glorified by your Church, make known by your heavenly favours the power he enjoys in your sight. We ask this through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Intercession of Father Emil Kapaun:

Father Emil Kapaun gave
glory to God by following
his call to the priesthood and
thus serving the people of Kansas
and those in the military.

Father Kapaun, I ask your
intercession not only for these needs
which I mention now. . .but that I
too may follow your example of
service to God and my neighbor.

For the gifts of courage in battle
and perseverance of faith,
we give you thanks O Lord.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary,
and one Glory Be.


Blessed be God.
 Blessed be His Holy Name.
 Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
 Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
 Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
 Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
 Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
 Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
 Blessed be the Name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
 Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Vala's Pumpkin Patch- 2014 Vianney

The minor trouble that Vianney's sweet personality presents is that it is easy to assume she is doing fine in all circumstances. Not until I ask her opinion, do I realize that beautiful face has so many deep thoughts and questions. I call my own mother often to tell her the amazing and insightful tidbits Vianney offers us each day. She is a very deep child.  A quiet observer by nature, but bursting with ideas and interesting facts.  I told my sister this summer after watching Vianney hesitantly crawl up on her lap that she is just waiting for you to ask to hold her.  She is just waiting for you to reach your arms out and hug her.  She is just so appropriate that she would never impose herself upon somebody, but LOVES so much when you offer.  My sister made a marked effort to play and be with her.  The rewards reaped were pure love and affection.  I was with her, Clairvaux, and Damaris tonight and felt so much that she is much like an oldest child.  She is smart beyond her years, responsible, wise, and respectful. 
Vianney- 6 months old
Vianney- 18 months old

Vianney- 2.5 years old

Vianney- 3.5 years old

Vianney- 4.5 years old

Vianney- 5.5 years old

She ran into a sharp sign at the pumpkin patch.  She bled pretty good, but after all was cleaned up we realized that there was only a small gouge.  True to her nature, she walked over to me with blood dripping down her forehead and just rested in my lap.  Sweet child.
When we are in a crowd, I write our phone number on their arm in case someone wonders off.  The concerned Americans were worried how and when they were going to get lost. I kept reassuring them that we would all stay together, BUT just in case.  Vianney couldn't let her little heart rest.

Vala's Pumpkin Patch- 2014 Zellie

Look at little Zellie. A whole two years of age.  It really is endearing how much she mimics my every move.  If I wear a watch, she wears a watch.  If I put on lip gloss, she puts on lip gloss.  If I wear a bracelet, she wears a bracelet.  She is such an affectionate child.  Looking back at my childhood pictures, Zellie looks the most like me.  What still fascinates me about her is her intense love of Kapaun.  She loves him so much.  She mothers him like each day is the first day she has met him. In turn, he loves her so much.  It is so cute to see her little body toss his fat thighs on her hip.  She knows how to distract him.  She knows how to calm him.  What a handy gal to have around during dinner time.  She would gladly ditch her school work to play with him.  
                                                       2009- Zellie 2 years old

2010- Zellie 3 years old

2011- Zellie 4 years old

2012- Zellie 5 years old

2013- Zellie 6 years old

2014- Zellie 7 years old

The yearly hay jump!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vala's Pumpkin Patch-2014 Rose

Being with Rose, it is easy to forget she is only 8 years old. She is so aware of helping her siblings and especially John and I. She is constantly asking what I need, who she can help, and what baby can she hold. Her mothering instincts are so strong. I will remember her at Vala's this year asking me repetitively how she could help me. What a dear soul. She and Dominic are male and female versions of each other. What is most endearing is that they are the best of friends. I find this uniquely interesting given their young ages to have a friendship so close with another sibling. They just understand each other probably because God gave each of them a servant's heart. She is such a wonderful daughter. What a gift it is to see her grow. My mother tells me that this was me as a child. She reminds me that at four-years-old I could handle a baby like a teenager and she trusted me. Rose is a friend to everybody.
2009- Rose 3 1/2 years old
2010- Rose 4 1/2 years old

2011- Rose 5 1/2 years old

2012- Rose 6 1/2 years old

2013- Rose 7 1/2 years old

2014- Rose 8 1/2 years old

She would best be defined as having a gentle spirit.  She loves dogs so much.  She would pass out from excitement if we ever let her get a dog.  Her dream dog is a Cocker Spaniel like Lady from Lady and the Tramp.  It is remarkably fitting that she would love such a gentle dog because Lady resembles Rose so closely. 

Our Shop Around the Corner 9/30/14

What we read today:

*****The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman (This might be my favorite picture book.)
***The Goose Man: The Story of Konrad Lorenz by Elaine Greenstein
*****Dr. Welch and the Great Grape Story by Mary Lou Carney (Rose's favorite)
***Sweet Dream Pie by Audrey Wood & Mark Teague
*****Minette's Feast:  The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat by Susanna Reich
*****A Hero and the Holocaust:  The Story of Janusz Korczak and His Children
*****Amos and Boris by William Steig
****Joan of Arc:  Heroine of France by Ann Tompert
*****Mr. Lincoln's Boys:  Being the Mostly True Adventures of Abraham Lincoln's Trouble-Making    Sons, TAD and WILLIE by Staton Rabin
*****Becoming Babe Ruth by Matt Tavares

Read-Aloud Revival

If you know me in the real world, I apologize if I CANNOT stop filling your mind and ears with what I am learning from listening to the exhilarating series Sarah Mackenzie has so generously offered on her amazing blog Amongst Lovely Things.  I read a only a handful of blogs consistently.  She is one of my favorites.  You will find a treasure chest of knowledge, encouragement, and wisdom from her servant's heart.  Specifically, I have devoured her Read-Aloud Revival series.  After listening to each podcast, I often couldn't believe they were free and available right here on the internet.  Each one expanded my perceptions of reading and specifically reading aloud.  Every episode seemed to cover a different aspect of reading that I had never occurred to me.  I listened to each podcast at night when folding laundry.  John equally enjoyed the knowledge each guest offered.  Each guest offered several book recommendations which has further exploded our library visits.  We usually average a visit a week, but now we are stopping by at least three times a week picking up various selections.  I started with podcast #9 which I listened to three times because there was so much goodness present.  You can never go wrong with Andrew Pudewa so just start at the beginning if you want!  Podcast #2 by Adam Andrews (Founder of Center for Lit) has been life changing.  We have starting doing basic literary analysis after most stories we read.  It has been delightful to see their minds working.

Head on over! Get.  Skedaddle.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Shop Around the Corner


I was reading the book Grandma Moses tonight to our children and was pleasantly struck by two simple paragraphs.

   "One day an art collector from New York, Louis Caldor, passed through Hoosick Falls and saw Anna Mary's pictures.  He liked her scenes of farm life and of days gone by.  He said the cozy pictures made him feel happy and he thought other people would feel the same way." 

    "People liked the honest way Anna Mary painted memories of her heart.  They smiled at scenes of long-ago days-quilting bees, playing in the snow, families getting together on holidays."


I have always enjoyed reading aloud to our children.  Since Dominic was small, we have clocked hours upon hours of reading together.  With each additional child, my elbows, shoulders, and head have grown accustomed to having children clamoring, hoping to catch a glimpse of the illustrations while they listen to me read a new or old favorite literary work.


I have such vivid childhood memories especially about the books I read as a child.  I can remember most titles, but there are a handful of stories I particularly remember loving, but can't seem to recall the exact names of the book to check them out for my children.  The memories of reading and visiting the library came to mind when I read these passages tonight about Grandma Moses.  As the years continue to click on, I know the wonderful stories we read together will become childhood memories of days long-ago and they will look back with such fondness. 

For the benefit of my children, my own records, and anyone looking for some great titles, I hope to record each day (or most) what books we read together under this heading Shop Around the Corner. I couldn't help but naming these featured posts after Meg Ryan's bookstore in You've Got Mail.  Wasn't it enchanting how she loved her whimsical bookstore?  Wasn't it wonderful how she decorated with twinkle lights?  I remember loving the sound the lights made when each bulb tapped the one adjacent to it.  I loved how she knew about each book and was able to help people through her knowledge of books. 

Our Shop Around the Corner 9/28/14:

(While my primary intent is for my own record keeping,  I will put an asterisk in front of the titles I personally would recommend.)

*Grandma Moses by Alexandra Wallner
Martin de Porres by Gary D. Schmidt
**Corgiville Fair by Tasha Tudor (One of my favorite authors.  I could read any of her books on repeat.)
Starry Messenger Galileo Galilei by Peter Sis
*Mark Twain and the Queens of the Mississippi by Cheryl Harness
*Blockhead:  The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D'Agnese
*The Little Plant Doctor:  A Story About George Washington Carver by Jean Marzollo
**The Mouse of Amherst (about Emily Dickinson) by Elizabeth Spires  (The voracious vocabulary included in the book was outstanding.)
**Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot:  A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy that dropped from the Sky by Margot Theis Raven.