Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chess Obsessed

Dominic is part of a chess club that plays once a week.  Consequently, he has taught all his sisters (and parents, ahem) to play.  Clairvaux even knows how to play.  I bet they play 20+ games of chess a day.

Kapaun gets a crash course.

Stripes were required for this match.

First thing in the AM.  I love if one of the pawns are missing they will substitute with another play figurine.  (See the man on the top of the board and Mother Teresa is the queen near Zellie).

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Twins

Kapaun looks almost identical to Vianney when she was a baby.

8 weeks old

I thought his ears were cute sticking out of his beanie.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Guys

The fellas

7 weeks old

First captured camera smile. Although, he smiles eagerly most days.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Saintly Solutions

Our older children attended Catechesis of the Good Shepherd when they were little.  It is no longer available to our little kids which saddens my heart greatly.  I remember a song that the teacher used to sing that had a line, "I see the love of God in you."  I can still hear her voice and remember how fondly she looked at each child in their eyes while singing that song to them.
Let me introduce my newest companion.
I discovered this book last week and found that it would be easier to highlight the parts I don't want to remember as I am highlighting the whole book.  I will become yet annoying again about a book and my love for it.  The book offers extremely practical advice to many of life's struggles and shows how the saints attempted to overcome them.  You can skip around to whatever topic is on your heart at the moment.  I would buy each person a copy if I could.  Please get it into your hands.

I have been praying with this book in the mornings as I get ready for the day. Today I read,

"To overcome argumentativeness, we must first, in the words of St. Vincent de Paul, "love our neighbor as being made in the image of God and as an object of His love."  We would not dare speak disrespectfully to Jesus himself, so we must remind ourselves that He dwells in other people-even those with whom we're angry."

I made this my prayer and motivation for the day.  I told myself that Jesus dwells in each of my children and those I encounter today.  What I am speaking to them, I am speaking to Him because he dwells in THEM.  Treat them as such.

I really realized today the value of attempting to be in constant prayer and union with God.  After I prayed this prayer, I walked out of our bedroom to a major blowout.  No big deal. We have been doing a lot of batch cooking as of late so I was browning 12 pounds of turkey meat to make three huge pots of soup.  As I was doing that, there was another leaky diaper and several other stops and starts to the soup making process.  Although, nothing crazy yet.  As we usually do each morning, I began sending the children off to take a shower and get ready for the day.  Suddenly, one of the disclosed children came running out, "MOM, the toilet is flooding and water is all over the floor and carpet.  I can't get it to stop."  I run back to our room to try to stop the overflowing toilet.  The best part is the child had used the toilet and all her contents were on the floor and were leaking onto our carpet.  I am majorly gagging and the offender stood near me in horror and apologized over and over.

The grace of morning prayer was given at that moment. I recalled the words I had read just thirty minutes before about Christ dwelling within each child and person you meet.  I turned to her and reassured her like I would if it were Christ standing next to me.  That incidence set the tone for the rest of the day for the good.
I couldn't wait to share the little wisdom offered by St. Vincent.  Let us pray to continue to handle each person as if Christ were in them. 

6 1/2 weeks old.

I have to plug my favorite Catholic bookstore, Gloria Deo.  Not only is it run by a beautiful family, the store itself is the Narnia of Catholic bookstores.  I could stroll the aisles forever.  I know it is easy to order off the internet, but I enjoy supporting a local businessman and his family.  They did not ask me to write about their store, I just wish to support them.  To order this book or any other for that matter:
Call 402-420-1830.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Husker Baby

John was given tickets to the Husker game this past weekend against Northwestern. It was Lillie's turn to go and actually was her first game ever. His tickets were in the skyboxes so she had extra special treatment for her first game. Lillie is our #1 sports fanatic.  She will watch any sport, any time.  She usually keeps track of the score in a notebook.  She looks forward to Sundays as she enjoys the NFL the most besides Husker football or if Texas A&M is playing.  She thoroughly enjoyed the world series last week.  It is truly an experience to attend a Nebraska football game and to see the Sea of Red for the first time. 
The game was extra exciting with Nebraska winning in the last seconds with an incredible Hail Mary pass.  I was watching the game with the kids at home and we all screamed.  The first thing out of my mouth was, "OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!  I wonder what Lillie did?"  I immediately thought of her because of all the excitement in the stadium and she actually was able to witness this incredible play.  I called John and he told me she jumped 20 feet into the air.  She was overcome with all the excitement and actually cried when she came home because she was so excited.  She witnessed history and will never, ever forget her first Nebraska football game. 

Husker baby is 6 weeks old.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My little Brigitta

I always loved the scene from The Sound of Music when the children are first meeting Maria.  I loved when Brigitta walked in engrossed in her book unaware of the real world around because she was lost in the literary world.  I loved how Anne Shirley loved to read and Jo March devoured books like food.  My mother tells me that I always had my nose in a book.  I wish so much for our children to love reading. 

 Lillie loves to read.  What I love about her is that she is open to reading anything we give her.  If she sees me reading a book, she always asks to read it no matter what it is. 
 John promised her that if she read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings he would show her certain parts of the movie.  Very light-hearted parts and nothing that was too mature or scary for her.  She got right to it and read The Two Towers  all day long.  Every time I looked at her this day, she was reading. 
 Pictures like this remind me of the scene from Father of the Bride when Steve Martin is envisioning his little girl all the while she is telling him that she met a man in Rome and they are getting married.  I know when her older years come, this is the Lillie I will remember in my mind.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Cast of Characters

The Lord of the Rings group.

What would life be like without children?  We certainly have had a fair share of days of adjustment with our new baby, but I think children must specialize in making life wonderful.  In their minds, they really looked like the character each picked with such diligence and that is all that mattered to us this year.  In my mind, I wanted them to go as something magical and matching and their hearts were set on something else with little touches that made the costume to them.  Zellie was a perfect example.  To her, she looked just like Arwen from "The Lord of the Rings."  She knew she did and that is all that mattered.  Dominic KNEW all the other boys were talking about Frodo Baggins.  
I have heard Halloween talk for months maybe even a year since last Halloween.  Daily discussions were had about who was being who and if we could look for this or that at a garage sale or thrift shop sometime "if I didn't mind."  We headed out to Goodwill last weekend with my intent to get something close to their desires. I had no idea how specific their small desires were and how important they were to them.  They had seen a picture of their character and that was that. 

Frodo Baggins.

Dominic is the easiest child to please and was so worried about spending any money on a costume.  I told him that we wanted to find a few pieces that Frodo would have worn.  I knew it was a long shot to find a Hobbit cape and WE DID.  I think both of us caused a scene at the store.  We shrieked with excitement.  I told Dominic that God winked at him that day.  He loves everything about Frodo, but his cape and ring are his masterpieces.  THEN, we found a leaf broach.  Could we have had any more fun?  Their delight is my utter delight.  I came home with an extra skip in my step watching them decide and search.

Tauriel from the Hobbit. I think Lillie came close to her desired character.

She was so proud.  She wore her costume to bed for two nights.  What happens to us that we lose that excitement? 


Rose, too, is so simple.  I wish I could put into words how each character each child picked out really resembles them.  It was so interesting to me.
Arwen.  Zellie loves Arwen I think partly because she marries Aragorn.  Zellie loves love and Aragorn.  She was so pleased to be wear a wedding veil and knew she looked just like Arwen.


Vianney was dead set on being "Gwadriel."  I couldn't convince her of anything else.  All she wanted was crown and white dress. 

 Hild...child of Gondor.  I know, I know.  BURSTING with personality.  She hasn't come out of character.

Clairvaux "got" Halloween this year.  You know, the running from door to door filled with excitement.  We would see the older kids bounding ahead and then the little child of Gondor trying so hard to run so fast and keep up.  We actually teared up because it was so precious.  To watch her be big.  Last year, she was little.  Her little legs ran so fast, but was always ten steps behind.  She was out of breath and filled with excitement.

We followed our Chipotle tradition which is what we all look forward to most.  They get to order their own bowl by themselves.  That is fun when you are little, heck it is fun when you are big.

John let him wear his wedding ring for while.  He kept pretending to disappear.  I treasure that he still dresses up and was so excited all day. 

Blurred Glee.
I made the decision in my head at the beginning of the day that nothing was going to bother me about anything.  I prayed to embrace their excitement, special desires for all the small things that were important to them, and mostly I was going to enjoy their smallness today and be fully present.  They commented at the end of the evening over and over that this was our best Halloween. 
Painting our pumpkins first thing in the morning. 

We trick or treated around our neighborhood with John for a while.  A few of the little ones still have colds so he stayed behind while I took the older five to the famous St. Teresa's neighborhood.  We love stopping by the rectory to see Msgr. Nemec and visiting the School Sisters of Christ the King.  Before giving you candy and a holy card, they take you into their small chapel to pray that God keeps you safe and holy.  Msgr. Nemec gives everyone a blessing.  We see all their friends and love walking up and down this Mayberry neighborhood.

After we were finished, we stopped in the Church to say hello to Jesus.  I said a prayer of thanksgiving for a beautiful night with the big kids and leaned back to leave.  All the other kids were finished praying, but Rose.  I wish I could remember her face.  I have never seen her like this before.  She was in a trance smiling at the tabernacle.  She looked as if she was talking to Him.  She would lean her head over, smile, and then say something.  She would smile again and again.  She then came out of it and just looked at me so sweetly.  I told John later that I wonder who she saw.