Saturday, November 8, 2014

Praying for Henry Holdren

Please pray for the oldest son of our dear friends, Joe and Marci Holdren.  They are they loveliest young family.  Henry is their oldest son and was life-watched to Kansas City yesterday morning due to a very sudden and severe kidney infection after having had the flu last week. 

If you feel so called, good friends of theirs have set up a fund to help defray the medical expenses.

Please go to their Go Fund Me account.

Thank you for your prayers for this wonderful family.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Fall Walk

We really cannot complain ever this winter due to the beauty this fall offered us for so long. I would be ashamed of myself. I love taking the kids on walks.  I "try" everyday after lunch to stroll around our neighborhood.  I think they enjoy it too.  I love to point out God's fingerprint everywhere to them.  I know when they are older and look back at their childhood, they will delight in our simple walks.  My father enjoyed walking through the cemetery because he knew so much history about the residents of Beloit, KS.  He knew I loved the connections of  different family members.
I read during naptime from the book Echo in Celebration the following paragraph:

"One of my favorite books is Exuberance: The Passion for Life, by Kay Redfield Jamison.  The first chapter, read in a restaurant, inspired me to walk a mile in 35-degree weather past a windy New England waterfront, rather than take a taxi, just so I could feel more of life.  I was very cold, but I spent 30 minutes reveling in a fisherman in a bright yellow dory, the song of automobile wheels on a 100-year-old bridge, a set of armor on a porch, lace curtains in a Colonial window, and lots of "hellos" to bundled up strangers.
I live and breathe life and learning.  Jamison's book made me want to share, with anyone who would listen, the joy and enthusiasm that results from living a life grounded in the exuberant love of learning--or rather, playing hide and seek with God as He reveals His creation (Prov. 25:2).  
This pictures doesn't capture how thoroughly incredible this scene was. These two trees were shaded every, orange, yellow, green, pink, purple and the ground was covered with crayon shavings of each color.  Pink was the dominant color which was so enchanting.  I took them up really close to look at that beauty. 
I knew the days were numbered to enjoy the array of color so I was determined to go for a walk at dusk for them to fully understand how amazing fall is.  We walked for an hour and half.  Ironically, most of the trees lost their leaves the very next day.  Isn't it funny how God prompts even in the smallest of details.
Children are just so simple.  I feel as though we have attempted to show them many great and small wonders, but they usually can recall with great detail the smallest wonder with much more excitement and nostalgia.  My friend and I talk about how her kids always remember the time they sat under their covered porch during a heavy rainstorm to do their school work. Her kids ask to do that over and over. 

Every girls' worst nightmare.  This happened to me AT college, ON CAMPUS, IN FRONT OF MANY FELLOW CITIZENS.  I guess it is genetic.  Here she is all looking darling and little does she know...She not know now, but she know soon....(Mammy!!!)
She watched her sisters gather an abundance of leaves and toss them into the air.  So, she gathered her bundle and proceeded to drop them on the ground.  We have same thing....(Mom!!!)

Our Shop Around the Corner

Chapter books and series we have enjoyed:

-Redwall series by Brian Jacques
-The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
-Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
-The Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence
-The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
-Biggles' Big Adventures by Captain W.E. Johns
-NERDS:  National Espionage, Rescue and Defense Society by Michael Buckley
-The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
-Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne
-Alvin Fernald Mystery Series by Clifford B. Hicks
-American Girl series
-The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Our Shop Around the Corner

The Roman Mysteries Series by Caroline Lawrence
Dominic, Lillie, and Rose have all enjoyed this series of books. (Grades 5-8)

Book I:  The Thieves of Ostia
Book II:  The Secrets of Vesuvius
Book III:  The Pirates of Pompeii
Book IV:  The Assassins of Rome
Book V:  The Dolphins of Laurentum
Boook VI:  The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina
Book VII:  The Enemies of Jupiter
Book VIII:  The Gladiators from Capua
and many more

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis and Gilbert Ford
I just loved this story of American inventor George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. and his wonderful Ferris Wheel invention.  What was particularly interesting was the fact the Walt Disney's father worked at the Chicago World Fair where the first Ferris Wheel was unveiled.  Disney's father worked as a young man building sets at the fair.  He told his son about the illuminating lights and sounds he witnessed during his time there which sparked an interest in Walt Disney Jr. to build his now famous theme parks.

Mrs. McBloom, CLEAN UP your classroom by Kelly DiPucchio
We read this book several years ago and for sometime after could not remember the title of this book to check it out again.  I tried googling anything I could remember about the story, but nothing.  In particular, Dominic loved this story.  Finally, we remembered a key word in the title and were able to check it out again.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Time Marches On

These next few pictures are cute and adorably disproportionate as Zellie is shown heaving thunder thighs himself on her hip.  Not until you look back ONE SHORT YEAR AGO, do you really realize the galloping speed their lives are growing each day.  It is so intriguing to me how we develop as human beings from tiny infants to full-grown adults.  Yet, the lessons are still the same, we just get taller each year.  Looking back at my earlier years of motherhood and remembering the attempts at holding onto my old free self, but knowing that my vocation now was to be in the home carefully tending to the next generation.  Parts of that self still wanted to "See the World."  Now though, 12 1/2 years into mothering, even though the delights of the world are still interesting, I want to be home more than anywhere else without much of a second thought of anything else.  I still find world news and events exciting, but not at the expense of time spent with our family.  Even when I am away from home, my heart is pulled towards home.  When John so willingly offers me a chance to step away, I really just want to be home with him enjoying our children together.  We have invested years into our children and ironically those children become your intrigue, individual biographies to be read and re-read,  human beings to get to know over and over.  Funny how that works.  
My sister was going to come for a visit this summer.  We emailed back and forth about our plans.  I told her most what I was looking forward to was sitting out back on our porch swing together watching the kids play.  We did that multiple times this summer. 

One year ago.  ONE.  We couldn't help but chuckle at his legs.  Those legs go everywhere now at lightning speed.  He is trying so hard to talk.  He can throw a great fit.  I am surprised he learned to walk as his six other mothers carry him around like he still weighs 8 lbs. 7 oz. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I promise that I see!!

I often wonder in the fullness of our days together if I thank you older children enough for all you are and all that you do. Dominic, you sit at your school perch day after day diligently working on your Challenge work.  Your course level is full this year, but you have stepped right up to the plate taking such pride in the work you do.  You are learning and diagramming Latin sentences.  You are studying literature so in depth that your grasp of the English language is something I am envious of. I think we both delight most in geography.  I love teach it and you love learning it.   I am often jealous of all the goodness filling your brain with God's truths.  The world is so beautiful to you right now.  We continue to thank God for the calling to homeschool as the time we spend together everyday is worth more than any material possession I could ever want.  EVER.  I would sell it all to buy more time together. 

I told my friends once that you were a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Being a mother to a son like you really is something I could have only dreamed of and prayed for. 

We are now in our 8th year of homeschooling.  How that is possible I will never know.  I feel as though we are at such a wonderful spot seeing our oldest turn 13 next year.  We only have five years left together.  FIVE.  FIVE.  I am so grateful that we continue to march through each day that we are together.  The conversations we have together, the books we read together, the figuring out of math problems, the delicate conversations, the delighting in the little ones together, laughing hysterically at Kapaun's ways, and all that we do everyday together are the trophies that line my motherhood shelves. 
Lillie, you clean the kitchen like no other.  You wash dishes so perfectly and neatly.  You sweep the floor with such precision and wipe the counters off so meticulously that it is hard not to ask you everyday to be on kitchen duty as it is a delight to watch you work.  You really enjoy the kitchen. You leisurely take your time making sure all is in its proper place.  I am grateful for your good example.  Last year, your school work exploded to a whole new level.  You really took hold of your own work and take such pride marking off each day's assignments.  You began the Essentials course in Classical Conversations this year and have just blossomed. I love sitting in class with you learning each week.  I love that you love writing your papers and surprising Mrs. Essink with your completed work way before deadline. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A boy and a dog

My sister and her husband have two Boston Terriers. Each time they visit is like the first time our children have ever seen their dogs. They LOVE them. Kapaun was absolutely adorable the last time they visited. He was so overcome with glee at the dogs that he couldn't contain his excitement. He was squealing with delight. He wanted to pinch, squeeze, and slobber all over the dogs. I sure do wish we had the desire to get our children a dog as I know they would be delighted.
He really thought Sophie would talk to him. He was trying so hard to converse with them. 

I think he learned to sprint after the dogs visited last month.  His chubby legs couldn't keep up with them.

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!