Tuesday, November 24, 2015


During the summer, Kapaun and Damaris brought me these flowers everyday.  "Put them in a vase Mama up there."  So proud of their love given.  At times, my sink was decorated with numerous glasses bursting with their thoughtfulness.  Have you ever watched a child pick flowers?  You really should.  Don't miss it.
Everyday someone is always reading on the couch.  I think we should just live at the library and then drive home occasionally.  We go there so often and have so many fines all the time because I can't keep our library cards straight and remember when everything is due back.  The nice lady over at Walt Branch knows my first name way too well.  Absent-Minded Professor at your service I am.

Everyday.  This baby is well-loved from John all the way down to Kapaun. She is a celebrity in our home.  They sprint to get her out of bed and cry if it's not their turn.  Clairvaux has reached the age where she can throw her five-year-old hip out well and tote Tiny around.  Tiny loves it.
Everyday.  These three play outside during school in the mornings.  I can see Kapaun's head popping out.  Their life is fun.  It is new everyday and they play hard. 
Everyday.  They wait together in the music room for someone to be walking their dog.  Although, the mail truck offers equal joy.  They wait and wait for the neighbors to walk their dog.  I heard the run down just last night of the walking schedule.  "Mom, did you know the So-and-So's only walk their dog at night? Why do you think they do that?"  What is especially cute is that he knows the names of each dog passing taught to him courtesy of his little mothers.  He loves every dog, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned Corgi walking by.  Corgis are his favorite hands down.
I love this picture of these two. Completely unaware that I was watching.

Everyday.  More reading.  More chatting together.  Always eating.

No-Shave November

This small incident will go down as one of the funniest, freakish, near panic attackish experiences to-date currently with one of our children.  I was sitting outside pushing Lourdes in the baby swing in Beloit.  Directly beneath me is an old cement stump that once held a fence post.  Kapaun came running towards me, tripped perfectly and fell face first into the cement stump.  I waited for it.  I flinched, twisted, cringed in all sorts of directions because I knew he had just knocked out all of his baby and permanent teeth.  He ran fast and fell hard.  I waited.  No sound.  Did he knock himself out?  Did he hurt himself so bad that the delay cry was coming in 3 seconds.  Nope.
He popped up looking like this.  I don't know what happened because it defies logic and physics.  Imagine my surprise when down went a clean-faced boy and up popped no-shave November.  I laughed and laughed and laughed.  How in the world?  The dirt was so perfectly formed it almost looked like I painted it on.  Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Who's that girl?

Right before my eyes I am watching the transformation of a little girl into a woman. Mostly woman now.  It is hard to wrap my mind around our children getting older.  We spend our days together everyday, but somehow they are slowly emerging out of their childhood shells into adults.  I still see them as someone I should/might/maybe would carry around in the ERGO so why are you wearing those clothes and thinking such deep thoughts?

Lillie has probably grown the most this past year.  We wear the same shoe size and she is almost as tall as me.  How?  Why? Where?  She really is the best older sister to her siblings.  She loves Lourdes so much that she gets tears in her eyes when speaking about her.  She is full of love and excitement.

Lillie's best trait is loyalty and compassion.  She can spot someone struggling from a mile away and is so eager to intercept and help out.  She has such a beautiful heart.  Out of all of our children, Lillie loves animals the most.  She is a natural with them.  I have noticed a simple consistency with people that those who love animals seem to be so aware of others and their needs.  Interesting.

These pictures capture perfectly why mothering is hard.  In the above picture, I see a growing mature girl blossoming into womanhood.  In the below picture, I see a little girl who was so excited to dress up for All Saint's Day and ran around and played like a child.  It leaves your head spinning at times.
My VERY favorite thing about Lillie is that she doesn't care a drop about her appearance.  She is so unaware and carefree about her clothes, hair, shoes, whatever.  She is thankful for anything in her drawer and would much rather be doing a million other things than worry about that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All Saints Day 2015

The planning involved is so intense. I LOVE it and only wish I could sew elaborate costumes because it would be really fun to deliver their desired costumes complete with elaborate plans to fly, bilocate, and all the good things the holy saints did.   Every year, the planning begins way before October.  We always vacillate between going all together as a theme or just letting everyone pick their own.  I could trick-or-treat for hours.  I especially enjoy watching our little ones sprint from house to house trying so hard to keep up with the big kids.  I love watching them lug along their props only to find myself five houses into the the whole ordeal weighted down with paraphernalia.  The kids were ready to go home and it was ME asking them, "Let's go one more block."  We had our traditional Chipotle feast where everyone gets to have their OWN bowl or burrito.  We then make a few stops at old neighbors before hitting up the neighborhoods.
Dominic as St. George

Lillie as St. Gabriel

Rose as St. Agnes

Zellie as St. Zelie Guerin the lace maker

Vianney as St. Ursula

Clairvaux as St. Zita

Damaris as St. Kateri

Kapaun representing the Holy Martyrs of China.  John provided the hair split down the middle for added pleasure.

Baby Kateri played by Lourdes

A great picture into the sun at the Super Bowl of Saints with the Christ the King Sisters.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Please pray

Please pray for my mother tonight.  She is suffering so much.  I am desperate for her. 
Thank you.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Radiant Rose

When I grow up, I want to be like Rose. My sister and I joke about that we've learned much about parenting from Rose. She is gentle, kind, sweet, and ever-patient. She knows how to handle every situation with children and loves to learn anything that comes her way. She is the tenderest of souls and loves John and I with a Godliness that must please Our Lord very much. She is a perfect daughter, sister, and friend.   How we were blessed with such a soul, I will never know.
She is determined in the kitchen.  She loves to bake and create to surprise our family.  Shortly after Lourdes was born, I had just started avoiding dairy to see if it would help her stomach.  Rose felt so sad for me, so during nap time she created a chocolate cake to surprise me.  She went to extra lengths to make it free from all things that might upset Lourdes.  I remember with such fondness her scurrying around the kitchen to surprise me and frosting the cake with such pride.  What a sweet girl.  She is the first to make cards for me when I leave the home and the first to recognize any effort I put forth in my daily tasks.  She thanks me for folding the laundry, for making dinner, for cleaning the bathrooms, and teaching her.  She really is a dream.
I find her praying a lot.  I watched her sit down to practice her piano and pause for a moment to pray. She is such a soft place to land.  She loves animals and wants to much to be a dog owner.  She falls asleep clutching her stuffed animal dogs.  How I would love to surprise her someday!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

9 Months Old

I am thousands of pictures behind and even more blog posts in my attempts to capture how I feel about our children.  I can sure worry with the best of them.  I am not easy going when it comes to them and their lives.  The time I have with them can not compete with the love I have in my heart.  Their lives are so wonderful and have brought such joy into our hearts.  With that joy, I have felt so many daily sorrows.  Some big and so many are so small that I have never vocalized them to anyone.  Sitting with Dominic tonight before bed, I sat and listened to him tell me all about everything.  Gosh, that is so painful.  Why?  Time slipping away I am sure.

I cannot help but whisper to God, "Please let me have more children."  I love these children so much.  Their lives are so beautiful to me. 

Our Lourdes is NINE months old today.  She has her bottom two teeth and is standing everywhere.  She says a few words and loves to show us where the light is.  She came with strong velcro attached to my hip.  She is very slow to get on solids and still won't take a bottle.  Her little stomach is very sensitive and seems to react to most foods I've given her.  She still nurses like a newborn.  The girls carry her around all day so much so that I realized today that she was never on the floor.  Ever.  If she wasn't sleeping, someone was playing with her.  What a lovely life you have.

I had planned to go last week to be with my mom, but we had to take Lourdes to the ER in the middle of the night for a croup attack.  After several hours there, we headed home and I just didn't feel comfortable leaving her as she still didn't feel well.  On Friday, I left her with John for three days while I went to be with my mother.  The Thanksgiving turkey never took a bottle for three days.  I have a freezer full of milk, yet she waited for her beloved to come home.  He fed her baby food and gave her drinks all day of breastmilk out of cup.  One would think after that long she would have taken it. Nope.  I told my sisters when I returned home that she nursed her lips off.  Goof.  Anyway, I was so thankful to sit with my mother and am so grateful to John for his saintly love and heroic efforts in holding down the fort.