Saturday, December 30, 2006

A fond farewell...

After great consideration and prayer, and the reality that I have a lot of paperwork that musts be done, if I am to begin earning a steady wage to help augment the business income, I have come to the sad conclusion that, at least temporally, I must hang up my blogger's hat.

I love to write, but it takes a lot of time and right now I have so much on my plate that I simply can not afford the time to write for pleasure and not for financial gain. I am beginning a home study course that will require quite a few hours of private study, as well as attendance of an out of town workshop, the auditing of a series of childbirth courses, the attendance of six births etc. Once completed, and I pass my exam, I will be a certified DOULA. I hope to also become a certified birth educator, but am starting first as a DOULA, unless I can somehow combine the studies for both things.

I also need to earn the money to pay for the books as well as the workshops etc. (Our library has only ONE of the books on our required reading list!) Therefore, come January I will begin teaching ESL (or ELP) classes again. So I also need to begin to prepare a course outline for my paying clients. I already have a few interested. And of course, I will still be homeschooling, doing tax prep for the business, making travel arrangements for the business etc, and trying to be the best mummy and wife that I can be.

I do hope to continue, on a more relaxed basis, to write reviews and keep them in "storage" so that when I can begin blogging on a regular basis again, I will have a nice back up file of reviews ready for those weeks when time, illness or life does not allow you time to write, and so be able to provide my readers a steady flow of book and movie reviews. It is my hope to maybe someday be able to provide such a steady and reliable serving of reviews that readers will be willing to support it. But financial constraints will not allow me the time to actively follow this dream at this time.

It is very, very hard to let go of my blog, even temporarily. I hope all of my faithful readers (you number well over 100!!) and will check in now and then to see if I have been able to squeeze a post in. I hope that once I have my course work out of the way, and my DOULA /childbirth practice up and running I can begin to blog on a daily basis again. I can not tell you how hard this choice is, but it must be. I will try, once a week, to post something and preferably on the same day of the week.

In the meantime, I bid you Adieu and God Bless!
I will miss you all!
And as always... prayers gratefully accepted!

Happy New Year!!
Read more!

Emma is Grieving the Christmas Tree...

On December first, only about three weeks earlier than we normally put up our tree, there was a knock on the door. Bethany (8) opened the door and there, filling the whole doorway, was a 7 foot high, possibly 4 foot wide, tree.

"What the HECK!" exclaimed Bethany, and suddenly her older sister's face popped out from behind the tree grinning like a Christmas Elf bearing gifts.

I was shocked at the earliness of it's arrival and I tried to suggest we let it 'rest' in it's stand outside on the porch, suggesting that being out in the cold might keep it healthy and fresh longer. I was outvoted by 11 to 1. The tree went up and Advent was heralded in with the need to protect the tree from one 20 month old who was more than amazed by the sudden growth of a tree in her living room. A tree that sported shiny, breakable bulbs that made such nice tikling sounds as they hit the floor. By about the 23rd, she finally lost interest. We thought.

Then yesterday, after many hours of errands outside the home, I bribed the children with a movie in hopes of speeding up the completion of the supper chores. It worked and while we were relaxing as we watched a rather old movie Elsa, sitting on her God mother's lap, innocently reached up and tugged on a bright, red, shiny apple hanging within a tempting reach.

A sudden gasp caused all heads to swivel and more gasps joined the chorus as we watched the tree swivel in what seemed like slow motion but was, in fact, too fast for us to stop it or even react. Then it toppled over and both Elsa and Gabriela dissappeared from sight in a bower of branches. Bulbs tinkled as they hit the living room floor.

Miguel appeared as if from no where and lifted the tree up revealing a rather shocked set of children who, thankfully, were none the worse for wear and someone grabbed a broom and someone else a dust pan. Within minutes we had the tree back upright and the floor swept and tidy but the decision was made for us. I had hoped to eek a few days more out of the tree. However, the tangled decorations hanging from the tree were not much to look at anymore so today - it came down.

But Emma is mourning the loss of the Christmas tree. She sat on the floor surrounded by the needles and lovingly gathered them up. Tears filled her eyes as she glared accusingly at Miguel who had done the evil deed of hauling the tree out. I was suddenly inspired both by the aroma of pine needles that filled the room, as well as the pile of them that Emma had swept up with her bare hands.

A pillow, we could make a memory of the first tree that Emma remembers. Gabriela already has a tree that she has been embroidering that we will add the numbers 2006 to and sew onto the pillow. Emma is tickled by the idea and not so sad now.

But now, you must excuse me. The kitten just knocked the bird cage over. Read more!

Truth or Urban Legend?

Remember the old adage, truth is stranger than fiction… well, I do not know if this story is truth or urban legend, but it is food for thought so please read it and feel free to share it with others.

Know what money you are carrying! You will see why as you read!

Be sure every lady is aware of this . Share with it your wife and daughters.
Know what money you are carrying.

This was the first I have heard of a scheme like this. I wanted to pass it along. Be safe! It is something very serious to pay attention to.

Criminals are coming up with craftier, less threatening methods of attack, so we have to be extra cautious. Read on. I live in Alexandria , VA, but I often work in Lafayette, LA , staying
with friends when I'm there. As you know from America 's Most Wanted TV
program, as well as the news media, there is a serial killer in the
Lafayette area. I just want to let you know about an "incident " that happened
to me a few weeks and could have been deadly.

At first I didn't go to the police or anyone with it because I didn't realize how serious this encounter was. But since I work in a jail and I told a few people about it, it wasn't long before I was paraded into Internal Affairs to tell them my story.

The day of the incident it was proximately 5:15 a.m. in Opelousas , La. I had stayed with a friend there and was on my way to work. I stopped at the Exxon/Blimpie Pie station to get gas. I got $10 gas and a Diet Coke. I took into the store two $5 bills
and one $1 bill (just enough to get my stuff).

As I pulled away from the store, a man approached my truck from the back side of the store (an unlit area). He was an "approachable-looking" man (clean cut, clean shaven, dressed well, etc.).

He walked up to my window and knocked. Since I'm very paranoid and "always looking for the rapist or killer," I didn't open the window. I just asked what he wanted. He raised a $5 bill to my window and said, "You dropped this." Since I knew I had gone into the store with a certain amount of money, I knew I didn't drop it.

When I told him it wasn't mine, he began hitting the window and door, screaming at me to open my door, and insisting that I had dropped the money! At that point, I just drove away as fast as I could. After alking to the Internal Affairs Department and describing the man I saw, and the way he escalated from calm and polite to angry and was determined that I could have possibly encountered the serial killer myself.

Up to this point, it had been unclear as to how he had gained access to his victims, since there has been no evidence of forced entry into victim's homes, cars, etc. And the fact that he has been attacking in the daytime, when women are less likely to have their guard up, means he is pretty BOLD.

So think about it...what gesture is nicer than returning money to someone that dropped it?!?!

So take care ladies and please share this with others. Truth or Urban Legend, it is something to beware of. Read more!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The upside...

... and the downside of a large bathroom cubicle.

Upside, when traveling with little ones - you can fit many of them in the cubicle with you.

Downside, it's very spaciousness makes it difficult, nay impossible, to stop four year olds from playing with the locks on the door... Read more!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ohio, here we come!

Back into the natural swing of things after a weeks bout with the flu followed immeadiatly by Christmas. Today I have one child is drawing a poster sized themometer for me for a family project, (details to follow later) and several others are enjoying the art supplies they received from good Saint Nick and baby Jesus. (Anyone, besides me, wondering what Dan got Danielle??)

I am cleaning. cleaning and cleaning some more while I prepare for a 24 hour run to Ohio. Tim Hortens anyone? I am hoping to remember my camera and take pictures of the awesome Nativity scene they have in Columbus. Let us pray no more German Shepherds narrowly avoid suicide under our wheels. Not sure my heart can handle it.

Later I must check the weather and decide if I have to pull out mittens etc for this 24 hour run. Ack! It would probably be easier to do it the other way - have to head south in the winter months. Mittens would already be out and we could just dress in layers in clothes that are already in the childrens drawers.

Look for awesome pictures of the Nativity soon! Read more!

Keeping the baby Jesus' bed warm...

Each year we set out the Baby Jesus' bed at the beginning of Advent. On the first day we put it out, it is just an empty basket. Beside the basket is a vase filled with scraps of cloth and bits of yarn. Throughout Advent the family fills the bed with acts of charity.

There are few rules to follow.

1) Do not question the amount of yarn or cloth someone is putting in the basket. What they did to earn the right to put the amount they are putting in is between them and God.

2) Do not question how much cloth or yarn someone is taking out. If they have done something uncharitable - again, that is between that person and God how much they think they have hurt the baby Jesus by what they have done.

I guess, though, we did a pretty good job lining the Baby Jesus' bed as our kitten, Milo, seemed to be finding it very comfy a whole week before Christmas Eve! Read more!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


At Christmas Eve Mass two women joined Emma and I at the back of the church, and each were carrying in thier arms a child of about 15 months or so in age. Each little boy was dressed in blue dress pants, white sneakers, stripped shirt with a red sweater over it. They each had the same hair cut and, in short, were twins.

Emma stared. And stared some more. Looking confounded she glanced down at the floor, then peered around me at the twins again and finally stepped towards the women.

"Why," she asked with great puzzlement in her tone "are you both holding the same peoples at the same time?" Read more!

Boxing Day

For our family, today is Boxing day and this is the day that we traditionally have our Christmas turkey. This tradition began in our family about 12 years ago after we had one crisis or another ruin Christmas, one year after another. We finally decided that since Boxing day was still a holiday for us that we would relax on Christmas day, enjoy snacks, let the kids have free access to their stocking candy and not stress out for hours over the dinner preparations just to have everyone too full from Christmas cookies and candy to really enjoy dinner.

Today is also the Feast day of St Stephen. A somewhat forgotten feast day, I think. Learn more about St Stephen here and Boxing Day here! Read more!

Saint Nick...

... listened to you all and as the poll clearly indicated that Emma SHOULD get Shicken Run, she received it and has watched it a total of TWO times and moved on. Clearly she still loves it but is wise as what may happen to her beloved movie should she watch it non stop as she did when she was three! Thank you all who voted and helped St Nick with his deliema!

Merry Christmas to you all!!!

Answers Votes Percent
Not sure... 3 4%
Definitely - ask old St Nick to drop it in the stocking 30 43%
Absolutely not, leave it as sister's treat. 16 23%
What's Shicken Run?? 21 30%
Read more!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Your reading glasses...

Emma: Daddy, Daddy! I have your weading glasses. I've been keeping them safe for you.

Daddy: busy with the lap top absently responds, "Hmmmm?"

Emma: Daddy!! Daddy! I have your weading glasses! I've been keeping them safe for you.

Daddy: Hmmm, oh, okay Emma.


Sound of the protected reading glasses landing at Daddy's feet as Emma, glad to relinquish them, tossed them across the room at her father. They survived. Read more!

The Answer to the riddle of the chairs... why the chairs are all laying down on the floor around the dining room table.

I loved the many guesses, esp the idea of some funny game having been played. Sadly that is not the reason as much as I love it. Rather it is Amanda that solved the riddle and so, wins an invitation to Christmas Dinner, (Of course, it helps that she is the oldest child in the family and already planning on coming home)

The reason the chairs are all on their backs is to keep 20 month old Elsa safely off the table.

She has learned how to move, push, arrange and climb on chairs and loves to dance on the table! And today I bought a Christmas gift for the family... a baby gate.

So today, the chairs are all on their four legs. Read more!

This Christmas Adam... family and I add to Father's blessings (below), my family's prayers for you and our gratitude to all of my readers who have been here for us this past, and very difficult, year. You have been here for us spiritually and some of you financially. God Bless you all and thank YOU for your PRAYERS as well as any physical assistance you have extended to us. God has been good to us this Christmas, gifts from different sources have generously appeared, as if from no where, and our children will have a wonderful Christmas. You have all, one way or the other, made room for us in your inn, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

God Bless!
Christi, Hugo and their twelve blessings.
Read more!

Borrowing from Father Corapi again

Christmas is one of the greatest of our religious feasts in the Catholic and Christian world. It is in itself a most beautiful and joyous time. Existentially, it is a paradox, however, because large numbers of people suffer terribly at this time of year. Why? I suppose there are a lot of reasons, but one is that depression—one of the Enemy’s greatest weapons—gets the better of many of us. The world can be a cold place, and rejection and isolation in its various forms takes a terrible toll on humanity.

As Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem there was no room for them with their relatives, nor at the inns.

It was cold, dark, and desolate that night, and there was no room at the inn, no room that night for the Holy Family. After two millennia has anything changed? Is there indeed room in the inn of many human hearts and minds?

Countless people are alone at Christmas. They remember Christmases of days gone by-- families gathering, warmth, midnight Mass, gifts, good times and friendship. Now they are alone, aged in many cases, not so aged in others. The bitter cold of that long ago night when there was no room at the inn takes hold of them.

Often the greatest things are born of suffering and rejection, if only we can see that the preface of victory is battle. Out of the cold indifference of that long ago night in Bethlehem was born the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He had Mary and Joseph, the cave, and the animals to keep Him warm. He was doing His Father’s will. That was enough.

This Christmas allow Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to fill you with the warmth of the Father’s love. Thank God for the gift of His only Son. Then go out of your way to radiate that love to someone who is most in need of it. A kind word, a little gift, an invitation to an elderly or shut-in person to come to dinner, etc. goes so far. Love is like fire. It illuminates the darkness and transmits heat to those around it.

God bless you and yours this Christmas, and forever,

Fr. John Corapi

Read more!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dipes and Wipers please...

I eyed Elsa as she toddled by with a most unpleasant waft following her. I pushed my paper work aside and leaned over to pick her up. As I did so, I asked Anna to:
"Please bring me some dipes and a wiper."

This was met with peals of laughter and I looked at Anna.

"Dipes and a wiper?" she questioned me.

"Ah yeah, dipes and a wiper!" I said defensively!

Me thinks I am still a bit tired from the flu bug that has had us all in its nasty grip since Sunday! What says you? Read more!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A fun Christmas meme... borrowed from Mama Hefalump.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

We ALL love hot chocolate here in our home, esp. the homemade stuff I make with real whipped cream on top but Egg Nog is only available for purchase at Christmas time so I LOVE it most at Christmas time!!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Baby Jesus (Nino Jesus in Spanish) and Saint Nick place the gifts under the tress, all of them. Saint Nick comes on Christmas even and sometimes Christmas Adam (the 23) to help me wrap gifts so he is using our paper. While he and I work, the children slide notes under the locked door to him and send us candy canes etc to sustain us!

3. Colored lights on tree or white?

Oh coloured and tiny! All the way!!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

No, nor have I ever been kissed under it. Have I missed anything? LOL

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Usually on Gaudette Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, is typically when the tree goes up, but each Sunday as we draw closer to Christmas we put up a few more decorations until by the last Sunday before Christmas all the decorations are up. This year all that went out the window when our second oldest found a 7 foot tree for 50 dollars and brought it home on the 2nd of December. Plus all of our decorations except the ones for the tree were lost in the move.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

All of Christmas dinner is my favourite! I can’t pick. I love the potatoes and gravy, I love the stuffing. I love the turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce and mayo. Emmm!!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:

The year that my Christmas stocking came with a beautiful chocolate bell (colourfully wrapped) and greenery attached to it. It was so beautiful looking in the dawn light. It is my first Christmas memory, so the next year I expected the same but sadly that was the only year I ever received that beautiful chocolate!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

Hmmm… how does one answer that? Let’s just say that in our home Saint Nicolas who is a true Saint in heaven helps us at Christmas time.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

As a child we were always allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve, but in our family there are no gifts under the tree until after baby Jesus arrives and is tucked into his manger by Saint Nicolas. Before though, baby Jesus helps Saint Nicolas arrange all of the gifts.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

Each child has a bulb form their first Christmas that is hung with great care and then we have a real mish mash of decorations, including a box of cloth and wood ornaments, many of which my Grand mother made. These ornaments, not being fragile are placed on the bottom by the younger children and the more fragile ones are placed on the higher branches by the older children.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?

LOVE IT! Ditto, until March, that is, and then I am more than ready for spring. We really miss the snow here in the south.

12. Can you ice skate?

Yes and I miss it!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

Not really. But our first Christmas with a new baby was awesome, our first was born just 10 days before Christmas!

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

Trying to keep Jesus as the center of the celebrations.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Shortbread, sugar cookies and molasses cookies decorated with chocolate M&Ms!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

The baby Jesus under the tree in His manger and all the children singing Happy Birthday to him before opening their gifts.

17. What tops your tree?

A beautiful Angel made from soft spun wool that is from sheep at Madonna house in Canada.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?

Oh I LOVE to give but it is fun to open my stocking that the oldest girls put together every year. Makes me feel like a little kid again.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?

I simply cannot choose, but I am enjoying much of the classical pieces that are being palyed on channel 113 on XM. Sadly they will stop on Boxing Day (the 26th) and all of our Christmas music is lost, so we will not have any to listen to during the 12 days of Christmas.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum??

Oh, I definitly love Candy canes, esp when pregnant. The peppermint is so soothing on my tummy. I also really love the chocolate peppermint candy canes that came out recently. Yum yum yum!! Everyone here loves to stir their hot chocolate with a Candy cane too.

Read more!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Change of plans...

This week was going to be our all out bake-athon prepare for Christmas week. However, the metal bowls typically used in the kitchen have been called to duty all over the house. Some are here beside the bed in my room, others are lolling about the living room floor strategically placed between the couch and inflatable mattress that is covering the floor space between the couch and the TV. The TV is grinding along, cheerfully spinning out video after video and DVD after DVD entertaining those too ill to really care what is on the screen.

Your prayers are gratefully received and we beg for their continuance.

My posts may be a little sporatic over the next fews days, but do look for the results for the poll regarding Shicken Run and St Nick as well as what St Nick decided to do about this much loved

In the meantime, during this lull in the storm I will do a little writing as well try to catch up with email.

God Bless
Christi aka mum2twelve Read more!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Buurp! Prayers Please!

Burb! Burb! Burb! A lot of us, esp myself are burping quite a bit these days. The question is - is it a pyscholocial response to a very sick baby girl who is tossing her cookies every hour, or are we all fighting this nasty bug that has baby Elsa in it's vicious grip!

So I am asking for prayers as we head into the last week of Advent when the light of coming birth of the Baby Jesus grows larger and our hope grows with it. I hope and pray that I can keep my eyes on Jesus this last week, whatever this week brings! I pray that Elsa recovers quickly. There is little harder in the world than to have to watch a child suffer, and it seems the younger they are, the harder it is.

And now (burp) I will head off in search of a tea and a little sustenance, both spiritual and physical. Read more!

Friday, December 15, 2006

You get three guesses...

And the first two don't count!

Why are all the dining room chairs like this?
Read more!

24 years ago today....

...I became a mother for the first time.

After many hours of labour at last my joy was held in my arms and a tiny bright eyed baby with the cutest red nose stared back up at me. She was three days early and perfect in every way. Her little nose earned her the nickname of Rudolf with the nurses in the nursery.

Today, twenty fours years later, I am still cuddling little ones, changing diapers and laughing at the antics of small people who are always imitating their elders. And while the baby gear has changed a lot over two decades, the joy that I experience as a parent has not.

Whether I am enjoying a cuddle with a little one, or sharing a cup of tea over the miles by chatting through IM with an adult child in another State, the wonder of being a parent is as miraculous now as it was that first day, twenty four years ago.

Happy Birthday Aimee! Read more!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

But I thought...

Bethany: Emma, stop erasing the prayer off the board. Mummy, look what Emma is doing!

Me: Emma stop erasing the board!

Bethany: Mummy - look she is still doing it. EMMA - Stop!

Sound of Emma giggling!

Me: Emma stop! (This is accompanied by a stern look.)

More giggles followed by:

Bethany MUMMY!!

Me: Emma stop! (This time I remove her off the box she is standing on to reach the board)

Emma: Momma, can I have a chocolate?

Me: (Seeing an opportunity to teach sorrow for ones sins!) No, not after what you were just doing.

Emma: I'm sorry Momma.

Me: Thank you Emma.

Emma: Can I have a chocolate now?

Me: (A little exasperated) No Emma, you can't. Not after how you were behaving.

Emma: (Surprised) But I thought that if you were sorry you could have a chocolate! Read more!

Checking out the blog... see if Mummy has penned anything about me lately!
Read more!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A New Review...

But this time it is for a book, The Shining Company. If you have a moment drop by and check it out! Read more!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Where is that last biscuit?

Are you missing a roll of string? Has the top to your favourite pen dissapeared. How about the mate to your brand new socks that you know you put in the laundry basket? Maybe those nail clippers that you left on the bathroom counter have vanished? Is your husband complaining about nails not where he left them or tools?

Well -look no further. I believe I may have discovered where these things have gone to. A few weeks ago the children discovered in one of their closets evidence of small people living there. Perhaps you too have borrowers living in the walls and closets of your house. They are sometimes refered to as "little people" in the original books written about these little visitors! Read more!

Read more!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Socializing and homeschooling

One of the most frequent, if not the most frequest question we are asked when people learn we home school is - how do your children socialize? I have many answers to that but here,I think, is the best answer I have ever read. Read more!


We are a very modern, up to date household and our communications skills demonstrate this...

"9:21 AM me (on the laptop upstairs checking my email before making my bed): are you STILL on the internet?
Anna (downstairs in the living room): I'm about to get off
-- Gee-eez!

Now, if I could just afford blackberries for everyone, I could be in constant contact with all eight children during the day... and never leave my bedroom.
Read more!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Check out these cheerful thoughts...

Anna has posted some fun Christmasy facts. Click HERE to read them.
Read more!

Flat but grateful!

I woke up this morning and felt absolutely dreadful. I felt flat. Depressed. And I was devastated that I felt that way. We experienced such a miracle yesterday. I lay there and examined my feelings and asked myself questions I knew others would ask or say to me if I shared how I was feeling.

Aren’t you grateful? Do you not feel gratitude for the blessings in your life? How can you feel like this after such a wonderful miracle yesterday?

Yes, I answered myself. I do. I do feel so incredibly grateful for the ability to have paid our utility bill and so have lights and heat. I feel grateful especially to have affordable heat for the first time in about four years. It is so awesome to be able to turn a furnace on and feel the house fill with warmth and not have to count on little heaters placed here and there that constantly blew fuses. Nor do we have to scramble weekly, looking for the cheapest source of wood possible and then deal with the side effects of children struggling with asthma made worse by the dust created by the wood stove. There is nothing more romantic than a cracking fire on a cold evening with a hot cup of cocoa and we have wonderful pictures of children roasting marshmallows in the fireplace, their faces glowing and red cheeked. But all of this is quickly side checked when you end up with children ill because they cannot breath.

I am grateful for all of the wonderful and different personalities that I am surrounded by, that God has blessed my husband and I with. The other night Elsa, 19 months old, leaned across my face as we cuddled on the bed together and she rested for a minute with her tiny heart beating directly into my ear and I felt so in awe of the fragility of life supported by this one continuous drum beat. Thumpity thump, thumpity thump, never missing a beat. I prayed for her safety and for all of my children while I lay there listening to this holy music given and sustained by God.

So why did I feel so flat? Why did I not want to jump out of bed and rush to get dressed and hurry downstairs, ready to start a new day? I thought of my second oldest daughter living in a nearby town and I imagined her stretching in bed and then jumping up, excited to meet friends or maybe her fianc√© for a coffee somewhere in town. I don’t know what are her plans for the day really are - but I could imagine her enthusiasm. Where was mine?

What to do?

I prayed. I prayed for more gratitude and to feel some enthusiasm for life. And it came. And with it… more gratitude. I did not immediately feel a difference but I got up, got dressed. Focused on the children, looked for heaters because the furnace (that I had just been feeling so grateful for) on the coldest day we have had all season, decided NOT to answer its wake up call. While my son and my husband messed around with fuses and wires and pages and pages of instructions, I swept the floor and helped children find socks and slippers and admonished my six year old to change from shorts to his jogging pants.

Now while I am typing in between research for the business, my husband is baking spice cookies, children are munching on sugar cookies that our 13 year old made and I am waiting for a fresh cup of coffee to enjoy more of that delightful banana bread that has just come out of the oven. The furnace, miraculously, is once more warming the air.

Life is good and I am grateful. There are many battles ahead and I am praying now in anticipation of them for the energy, strength and most especially the faith to deal with them. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. Now I need to sign off, seek that cup of coffee and continue to ignore that mountain of dishes growing in proportion to the goodies that are being consumed almost as fast as we can bake them. Oh and thank you Lord for one more thing - rubber gloves! Read more!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Immaculate Mary

Conceived without sin... thank you for your prayers and intercession. Thank you for your holy love that you bestow on us, your spiritual children.
Read more!

Thank YOU!

Thank you every one who prayed. We were paid in time to meet the dead line with time to spare. Praise you Jesus, Divine Infant of Prague!
Read more!

Please pray...

... we have a deadline to meet by 5 pm today. Several customers owe us for auctions they have won, but not paid for yet. If enough of them pay before five pm, we will be fine. If they do not.... our proverbial goose is cooked. So please join us in prayer!

We will be doing a nine hour novena to the baby Jesus, Infant of Prague. Click HERE to locate the prayer we are using.

God Bless and thank you for your prayers! Read more!

The note was...

... for my birthday and the kids gave me a delightful breakfast in bed and I had the day off. Thank you to one and all for your kind birthday wishes. I hope to share the many delightful birthday notes I received from the children, but I will have to wait until I am in the office as that is where the scanner is located. Read more!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This note was delivered...

... to me this morning via Miss Emma, offical Post Lady of the House.

Upon opening this note I read the following:

Mamas are not allowed downstairs
(until further notice )

Can anyone guess why?

PS I am still in my room, luckily I had the laptop and am still able contact the outside world!

Watch for later updates.... Read more!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How do you...

...stretch six bananas into breakfast for eleven?

With this delicious banana bread recipe from Company's Coming, Muffins and More.

Butter softened .............................. 1/2 cup
Sugar .............................................. 1 cup
eggs ................................................. 2
Mashed ripe bananas ................... 1 cup (3 medium)

All purpose flour .......................... 2 cups
Baking Soda .................................. 1 tsp
Baking Powder ............................. 1/2 tsp
Salt .................................................. 1/2 tsp
Walnuts .......................................... 1 cup (we ommited them due to allergies )

Cream first four ingredients adding eggs one at a time.

After blending dry ingedients togethere, add to banana mixture, stirring only to moisten.

Bake in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan @ 350 for about 1 hour or until inserted toothpick comes clean.

We enjoyed two of these loaves this morning compliments of our 11 yr old son, Noah. Read more!

Silver Linings

Everyone was busy with different tasks and I was busy on the lap top, researching something or other. I spied a short curly red head pass me out of the corner of my eye, my desk being in one corner of the dining room where I can supervise the kitchen, as well as the front door.

The curly head stopped beside my desk and sat down. On the rim of a rather large water bucket that was half full. Of course, not being designed as a seat for toddlers or anything short of a small bird this half full bucket tipped and emptied its contents, including the surprised toddler, onto the floor. I gasped, as did Bethany, who also happened to be in the same room. We stared in shock for a few seconds at the river and small currents of water that were spewing in all directions around Elsa, who for the first time that day was motionless, her legs sprawled out in front of her soaking up the cold water.

Bethany and I looked at each other and then we flew in differnet directions looking for towels of any size or description. As we bent together and sopped up the ever flowing water Bethany smiled and said; "Well, at least it is not carpet like in the old house!"

"YES!" I agreed fervently, at least it is not carpet! Thank God for small favours I thought as I plucked the still frozen curly head from her bed of water. Read more!

Monday, December 04, 2006

The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her:
"The Lord our justice."

Jer 33, 14-16

Our first Sunday in Advent was spent very quietly. We bought some healthy snacks and put on two funny DVDs back to back and enjoyed a peaceful afternoon laughing and giggling together as a family. While I know where BOTH of our wreaths are and had one pulled out and ready to go, four crema coloured candles and ribbons of both purple and pink... we were unable to to light our candle.

Someone accidently dropped some heavy cans on the candles cracking them . In addition to this, when we tried to place them in the candle holders, they cracked even more and then proceeded to fall over each and every time we tried again to place them on their individual holder. Our 19 year old son dug deep into his pockets and came up with as much change as he could and went to the little store across the road and bought three candles, one purple and two white. It was all they had. They would not stay in place either. I am not sure how I managed it last year, although I suspect I glued them.

But never mind, the first Candle has been lit in each of our hearts as well as in the heart of our family. And the Baby Jesus knows this. Read more!
Read more!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A new review...

When you get a chance drop by
Catholic, Classic, Current Books & Movies
to read the most recent review.
Read more!

Shicken Run...

So far my readers who think Saint Nickolas should bestow Emma with her beloved"Shicken Run" are in the lead by about 20 percent. And here I was worried her siblings would attempt to tip the scales with repeated voting!

(Click HERE to read the story behind the poll!)
Read more!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Advent Carnival

Advent Baking Carnival

Danielle has asked for some recipes for an advent baking carnival. This recipe is a great tradition for us and one that was started, like so many of our traditions have been, by the iniative of one my oldest children, in this case - my oldest daughter, Amanda.

We were living on Patterson Lake in Canada and she decided it would be fun to bake some cookies to leave for St. Nickolas, in honour of his feast day on the sixth of December. All children were banished from the kitchen, and when she was done a most festive picture was unveiled. Yet, I was dubious as she had decorated molasses cookies that have a hint of ginger to them with chocolate candies that in Canada are what we call Smarties, but resemble what here in the States are called M&Ms.

I was made to wait until the next morning when I was presented with one of the largest and most colourful cookies with a hot cup of coffee and I was immeadiatly addicted. I humbly apologized to my daughter for have doubted her culinary abilities, and then consumed another two or three.

Saint Nickolas day for us as well as Christmas morning, just isn't complete without these delicious cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 F

1/2 c White Sugar
1/2 c molasses
1/2 c shortening
1 egg

1/3 c HOT water

2 tsp baking Soda
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

2 1/2 cups of flour

1 - 2 cups M&M

Cream the first four ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the HOT water to these creamed ingredients. They will appear to have curdled but don't worry all is right!
Then mix all the dry ingredients in a seperate bowl. Slowly blend this flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
You may need to add more than 2 1/2 cups depending on the humidity. You want a soft dough that you can easily roll out on a floured board or counter.

Roll about 1/3 inch thick and then cut with you favourtie cookie cutters and decorate with the M&M's

Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.

ENJOY!!! Read more!

Stationary Gymnastics...

I have discovered a sure fire way of putting Elsa to sleep whilst burning oodles of calories and working towards my goal of being down a couple of sizes in time for the wedding! It all started the other day when Elsa was desperate for me to hold her and kept skirting past my knees while I pedaled away a couple of miles and watched a DVD on the laptop. Determined not to stop peddling as internal computer that was being generated by my spent energy would cease operating and I would have start all over again, I bent over and scooped her up. She settled into my shoulder and was asleep in less than a minute. I held her the rest of my tour de France as I figured her sleeping weight in my arms had to help burn off those nasty little calories. The next day, she was ready for our bike ride and off we took. This time though she decided she wanted a little snack as we sped up and down the imaginary hills on my screen, so she scrunched over sideways and nursed while I pedaled. Again, she was out like a light in a minute, much to my relief as balancing her while she nursed, even if on a stationary bike, is a challenge. Again today, she nursed herself to sleep whilst I biked a solid 2.7 miles. Olympics 2008, here we come. Assuming there is a category for Stationary Gymnastics, that is!

Read more!

Old Tech VS New Tech

My six year old computer geek who can locate and sign into Rush Limbaugh and select whether he wishes to watch the video, or listen to the show, has spent the past hour exploring a small manual type writer. It was not even electric.

The look of delight on his face, as his tongue stuck out to the left while he concentrated was immeasurable. He practiced changing the ribbon from red to blue. He learned how to make capitals. He struggled not to hit the keys too quickly and so cause them to catch togethere.

He grinned when he sat back to survey the results of his hard work. Lots and lots of even black and red letters all in a row. He accidently knocked the ribbon out of alignment and delicatly worked with it, trying to get it back in place. He took breaks to watch the large trucks, and the men who are operating them, as they dismantle huge pieces of machinary and then carefully washed his hands before coming back to the challenges this 'new' piece of equipment posed to him.

So today old technology was new for a while, at least to one little boy. Read more!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Survey Results are IN!

Answers How do you seek peace in your life?
1. Through my prayer life. 15%
2. Attending Adoration. 15%
3. Frequent reception of Christ through attending Mass. 2%
4. A quiet afternoon ride through the country side. 2%
5. Contemplating my childrens' faces while they sleep. 4%
6. Sharing a hot mug of coffee/tea/etc with my spouse. 0%
7. A combination of above. 46%
8. What I do is not listed. If so please share how YOU seek peace with us! 16% Read more!


...another review is up and running! It is taking a little longer to write my reviews than I had anticipated. I think over time I will get a little more stream lined and hopefully the kids will be able to help with the research soon. I am trying to really provide lots of information, not just about the movies but interesting facts about the actors, director or producers.

And of course, the diaper changes, hot chocolate breaks as well as school lessons have a way of interfering with one's concentration!

Hope you enjoy this newest review !

A word to the wise, last year we had a lovely line of Christmas movies set up in Netflix, but come Christmas time none of the ones on our Netflix list were available any more. I can not think of any other options to suggest other than getting some early and watching them to see if they are something you wish to have in your own private library. Our mix of movies as well as our reviews are going to include some that are not Christmas themed so as to help a little with this problem.

Look for reviews to come for:

Eloise at Christmas Time, as well as the Twelve Dogs of Christmas and a book review to boot! They just might not be posted as quickly as I originally anticipated.

If you have heard of a movie or book that you are unsure of and want to know if we have read it or if it is on our list of future reviews - drop us a note through email mum2twelve ( at) or through the comments. You can leave a comment on this blog, or on our review blog. Read more!

Emma's sleep over PART TWO

A short while after Jenny had called earlier to sort out the details of when I was coming to see "the" dress, the phone rang again. It was Jenny. I guess she had picked up on my disquietness that I seemed to be so completly not needed by Emma.
I answered to heavy breathing on the other side and a whispered " Say hello, Emma!" in the back ground.

Emma acquiesced and I heard her sweet voice greet me joyfully.

HI Mummy! and as I responded her voice ran over mine.

"I'm going to the park with Jenny, Jonafin and John, can I go to the park with them? Yeah I'm going...

A voice interrupted her in the back ground and there was a whispered conference.

"Oh Jon has to work today Mummy, so I is just going with Jenny and Jonafin Mummy."

Realizing permission had been requested and assumed in one breath I moved onto the nextx topic on my mind.

"I mis... ah I LOVE you Emma!" (Not wanting to cause homesickness to set in I thought better of the original statement on the tip of my tongue!)

"Yeah, I has watched Shicken Run Mummy, okay we are going now, Bye Mummy!"

Simultaneously 'CLICK' "Okay see you at lun... time. Uh, bye."

Well - I felt better, I think.

(Post Script, it was nice to learn that Emma not only wears out her 45 yr old mother daily, but she is also capable of really keeping her brother and sister on their toes!) Read more!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Prayer request...

This prayer request was posted on a yahoo group that I subscribe to. One can never have too many prayers so I have decided to post it here minus the last names.

A fellow homeschool mom's (Clara E.) baby
(Garrett) was sent to Houston for testing. He stopped
eating and is only nursing as well as having
difficulty going to the bathroom or not going at all.

Last week he was brought to OLOL because for several
nights he was screaming and in pain--this had been
going on for some time. He did have some kind of GI
virus and was dehydrated. The doctor admitted him
for dehydration and the insurance wouldn't pay for any
tests for the other problems. So, they gave him a
feeding tube and sent him home.

Doctor friends from their church suggested their
daughter in Houston who is a pediatrician. At Texas
Children's Hospital, they were very careful about what
they admitted him for. Now they can run the needed
tests to rule out things and make a hopefully make a

Garrett is comfortable as long as he does not take
solids--this has stumped the doctors. The doctors
are supposed to come together with the results they
have so far and try to figure this out---there is a
team of doctors on this case.

Please keep the family in your prayers. It has been
really heavy on my heart and I just want to uplift
them and the doctors with as many prayers as possible.

Thank you in advance for your prayers! Those of us who are parents know there is nothing worse than watching your child suffer.
Read more!

Saturday, November 25, 2006


At long last, a few more reviews have been posted on our Review Blog. Be sure to check them out. Our goal is to add at least two reviews a week.
We want to try and provide lots of choices
For Christmas Holiday Viewing.
Drop by Soon by clicking
Read more!

Friday, November 24, 2006

First Sleep Over...

Emma is totally in love with Chicken Run (pronounced Shicken Run as if spoken with a light French accent). After we received our first copy two years ago the strip of film contained within the video case was almost worn bare with the amount of viewings that the family endured for the next six months. And then somehow mysteriously the video simply disappeared, worn filmstrip and all. The Clam shell case remained but was empty much, to Emma's complete horror.

The family sympathized deeply with her loss but not one person seemed to know what had happened to it. It was even suggested that perhaps her own guardian angel, tired of watching it daily, might have had a hand in it's disappearance. Given the hostility that had lately begun to be expressed each time this flock of birds flew across the TV screen, and the new found gusto with which chicken pies were being consumed in our home, it is possible that her angel just might have been protecting his charge by causing the video to simple vanish.

It was not under the couch, behind the video case, nor had it slipped upstairs to a book shelf. It was gone. After a few weeks, Emma moved on to another favorite but whether it was because she was wiser and feared its disappearance, or it simply could not completely replace the soft spot in her heart for 'Shicken Run', she did not ask to watch it multiple times - daily.

And then yesterday while at her sister's house for Thanksgiving dinner what to her wondering eyes should appear but a copy of SHICKEN RUN!

Emma gasped and grabbed the clamshell cover, opened it and within it, her eyes lovingly embraced the actual video. She pulled it out and scurried over to Jenny and begged that she be allowed to watch it. Now we were 16 people crowded into a small, nay tiny 2 bedroom house with the living room a mere 15 by 15 feet by a generous guess as to size. A light tremor was felt through the floor when the family, as a collective, shivered at the prospect of watching Emma's beloved film of squawking chickens.

Jenny’s eyes locked with mine across the room and she saw weakness in mine but I strengthened my resolve and suggested:
“After we eat Emma, we can watch it after we eat dinner.“

“Oh, but I am not hungry.”

Seeing that I was wavering, Jenny surveyed the room and thinking quickly she then suggested to Emma, “I know, how about you stay all night with me and then we can watch it together.”

Emma was torn, she had been pining to sleep over at her big sisters but to have to wait even another minute before watching her beloved Rocky and Ginger was almost too much to bear. I leaped on the band wagon and encouraged her to stay all night, whilst wondering how I would cope with leaving my darling Emma Wee wee behind when we returned home for the night. But Thanksgiving must, after all, be spared at all cost!

A few minutes later I saw Emma and Jennifer in conference with said movie in hand and Emma left her side and came to me asking with great animation and concern written across her face; “When are we leaving Mummy? When are we going home?”

“Well, I don’t know.” I replied somewhat perplexed. “We haven’t eaten yet and I thought YOU were staying all night with Jenny.

“Oh yes, I am and we are going to watch Shicken Run, so when are we leaving?”

“Oh I see, you mean when is the family leaving?”

She nodded solemnly.

“Ummmm, after we eat. I guess when it’s dark.”

Her eyes darted to a window as if gauging how much sunlight was left in the day.

Okay she sighed and traipsed back to Jenny. “They is leaving at night time Jenny, when it is dark outside”
“Okay,” Jenny smiled, ‘we can watch it then, Emma. When it is dark outside.”

The crescendo of noise grew in proportion with the delicious aromas issuing forth from the tiny kitchen and I mused over how Emma’s “own special Momma” had been so easily replaced by - a movie, of chickens no less. And Emma continued to watch the window and to measure how much lower the sun was in the sky. At moments she could not bear it and would ask an adult, a different one each time. “Can we watch Shicken Run now?” Somehow though there was a unity of thought and each person relied, ‘after Dark Emma, after dark.’ Finally fearing she would ultimately lose the video by dragging it through the house as well as outside when watching her brothers rake leaves I encouraged her to relinquish it to me and together we placed it in a pantry cupboard when she could see but not reach it.

Finally a trip to the local park was suggested and full ninety minutes of sunlight was worn away in great fun and energy (Look for pictures soon!) on swings , slides and foot races around the perimeter of the play ground.

It was not long after their return to the house that the turkey was pronounced ready for carving and we all gathered around for Grace and the feast began. Emma did not even notice the sun set but suddenly she realized that it was DARK outside. Her goal even closer in hand she willingly helped dump plastic plates and cutlery in the garbage bag. Finally, finally it was time to say good bye and I wondered; would she really be able to stay and watch the van drive off. She had never slept anywhere but in her own home and still often awoke in my bed cuddled up to ‘her special momma’.
Her eyes looked a little worried but stood her ground and waved good bye as we drove away. Tens minutes of driving and I could not stand it any longer and I called to see if she was bearing up to being left behind.

She was too busy to come to the phone - Ginger was leading the flock to another escape and Emma was cuddled with her big brother enjoying every minutes.

“Okay, I sighed” That is good.” and I hung up.

This morning the phone rang, early. Too early for me. It was my daughter Jenny.

“What’s up?” I mumbled.

“Not much, just wondering when you are coming up to go look at the (wedding) dress with me.” We discussed the details and finally I just had to ask what Emma was doing.

“Watching Chicken Run.”

Now my dilemma is; Should Saint Nicolas bring a new copy of Shicken Run or should we just let sleeping dogs lie? Read more!

Happy Thanksgiving

Father Corapi wrote so well about all that we have to be grateful that I felt I did not need to try and write something myself.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Holiday with your family and friends. We had a wonderful time. Originally we were to eat here at our house but last minute change in plans took us to our soon to be married daughter's house. We had a great time.

Now without further adue, here is Father Corapi's message of Thanksgiving.

As we in the United States approach another celebration of our holiday of Thanksgiving, we would do well to recall indeed what we have to be thankful for--everything.
All that we have is a gift from God. All of us, at one time or another in one way or another, have failed to live a true spirit of Thanksgiving, as well as express it with words. Whenever we feel deprived, depressed, or otherwise unhappy, a simple prayer of thanksgiving will go a long way toward healing those feelings. The fact of the matter is that we are truly blessed in so many ways. Despite all of the ups and downs locally and nationally, we still live in the best country in the world. If you don't think so, evaluate how many people are trying to get out of this country, and how many are trying to get in.
Thank God for the United States that we are privileged to live in. Thank God for the blessing of our family and each and every unique member of it--even the ones who drive you crazy. After all, they are contributing to your sanctification. They sure make us exercise virtue, don't they?
Thank God for the gifts of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and every other physical sense we have been given. Thank God for physical strength, agility, speed, and other such physical blessings. Oh, you don't have those anymore? Thanks be to God for the lack of such things. More to offer to God. After all, St. Paul says "It is when I am weak that I am strong."
Thank God for the ability to empathize with the pain and suffering of others. Thank God for the gifts of faith, hope, and charity. Thank God for the gift of our religion, for the intellect and the will to try to know, love, and serve this good God with our whole heart, mind, and strength.
In the end, as an old friend of mine used to say, "Thank God for God!"
We have a lot to be thankful for. This Thanksgiving, we would all do well to pray in that spirit of thanksgiving and to live that thanksgiving to God each and every day from now on.
Happy and blessed Thanksgiving to each and every one of you.
With God's Blessing,
Fr. John Corapi

To my readers in Canada, Australia and England, I believe that what Father says here about how wonderful the country is that we live in - can be applied to your countries as well. I hope ALL of you had a blessed holiday. Read more!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thank you Senator Kerry...

While eating fries at MacDonalds...

Me: "Some MacDonalds have really nice salty fries, like this place."

Miguel: "Yeah."

Me: "You would think that they would be more consistant and be salty in all of their locations."

Miguel: "Well, it is not like the managers can stand around watching each cook as they salt the fries."

Me: "I know, but you would think there would be a standard they would all follow though, and teach the employees that you complete so many shakes of salt over the fries."

Miguel: "Yeah, but it's not like MAcDonalds is known for their salty fries..."

Me: "Well, they were when I was kid, they always advertised their salty fries."

Miguel: "Well, that was a really loooong time ago."

Me: Jaw drops!

Miguel: Face reddens. "Ah I mean..." laughs awkwardly then says "Hey, I just botched a joke, I was really just trying to make fun of Bush."

At which point I blinked for a second, and then collapsed in a fit of laughter almost falling off my stool. Read more!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Grammar 101 for 4 year olds...

After a fairly hectic week I was ready for some important work. So I gathered the three youngest and we dug out a movie I have heard playing in the back ground fairly often lately, but had yet to see. But the giggles often heard while it was on had my interest piqued.

With Elsa on my lap and Emma and Nathaniel each guarding one side of me we hit play on the clicker (remote) and sat back to enjoy the movie. Before long something really silly happened in the movie causing Emma to giggle and look at me saying:

"That isn't the silliest thing I didn't ever see!"

"Is it?" I asked her seriously.

"Yeah!" she said and glued her eyes back on the screen.

I was left thinking over "That isn't the silliest thing I didn't ever see"

Hmmmm, translation anyone? Read more!

At last...

We have been able to post a few reviews. Our goal is to post at least two reviews a week and during November and early December we hope to concentrate on movies that will be fun to work into our holiday viewing when looking for a quiet activity to do with friends or family during the Christmas break.

We hope to have a mix of religous, classic as well as just pure funny family entertainment included in our reviews. Please peek into Catholic, Classic and Current Book and Movie Reviews often, and see if we have reviewed something you might like to watch. Read more!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Handled it like a Pro, she did!

One must be careful when trying to carry on two IM conversations at the same time as my husband learned today. You need to be especially careful if one is with your wife and the other a stranger with whom you are conducting a business transaction.

Employee: It will take a moment for that to go through, sir.

Hugo: I need to know how to make hearts signs right away!

Hugo: Ooops that was meant for someone else.

Employee: Not a problem, is there any thing else I can help you with?

Hugo: No thank you.

Tears of laughter ran down my face when he im'd me what he had done. Read more!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My life would be perfect...
if only I had the gift to see it as so.
God, give me the graces to
see my life with your eyes

Let me focus on the beauty
innocence of my children’s faith
Help me to see the wealth
bestowed on us
in ways we cannot see.

But most especially Dear God,
help us to feel
your loving presence.
Read more!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Please don't forget to check out

Read more!

Prayer Request....

A very dear friend by the name of Kelly is being induced, for medical reasons, tomorrow. Kelly and Billy have been like an adopted big brother and sister to my second oldest - Jenny. I cannot thank them enough for the love and care they have extended to my daughter over the past four or five years. The least I can do at this wondrous time of preparing to give birth, or as it is said in Spanish bring their child to the light, is to ask you all to pray for Kelly, Billy and their son who is waiting to come to the light tomorrow.

God Bless their family as they wait to welcome their fourth son into the nest!
Read more!

It's a cat's life... but whatcha gonna do?

"Man - it's crowded here and that Sam is taking up most of the space with his furry white bottom! Drat him!" thought James to himself. "But I have a plan if I can just get the youngster to go along with me. "

"Milo, my man, you like how I let you eat first at the dish, right? Well, how about you return the favour and help me push hog face Sam off. He is crowding us big time! ...
No? Fine!"

"Sam - you know how the squirt is always hogging the dish at dinner time. How about a little pay back, eh? Lets push him off so we can have this shelf to ourselves, hey buddy old boy?"

Peace reigns...
Read more!

Angels at work

I have a prayer that I always try to remember to say before we leave the driveway in a vehicle, although on occasion I don't remember it until we have to make a sudden swerve or stop due to traffic or worse, a toy pelting through the air and hitting the frontseat.

It is a simple pray, possibly I have posted it before. I simply ask the Blessed Mother to place her mantle of protection over us as we drive, and through her intercession to protect us from dangerous, careless or drinking drivers as well as to help us to be careful, observant drivers while also protecting us from mechanical failure of any sort - from bumper to bumper.

Recently we made one of our 24 hour swirl trips to Ohio with the typical stop at Tim Hortens. Money being a bit tight we only purchased one can of coffee, decaf for me, and I am saving it for Thanksgiving. The anticipation of the heavenly smell of freshly brewed Tim Hortens sustains me even as I type.

But I digress, not having a cup of tea or coffee at my elbow I am not as focussed as usual.

We had made good time through the night and had stopped to rest in L'otel Van, as my husband refered to it. At about 6 we received our wake up call compliments of L'otel Van's curly red headed concierge so we deflated the mattress and tucked a few sleepy heads back into their car seats or seat belts.

We pulled back onto the highway and once more I prayed to Mary asking of her intercession and to place her mantle of protection on us. Before long we could see the tall outlines of Columbus looming ahead of us. Benjamin asked if the Christmas lights or the manger scene would be up yet. I didn't think so but we were delighted as we passed the block long manger scene and I lamented that I had forgotten the camera.

We sped along and soon left downtown behind and began to pass into the more domestic section of Columbus with houses gathered close to the roadside. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied an adult out on their front lawn with a small white dog at their feet and this drew my attention to another pet further from the owner. A handsome, full grown German Shepherd. I admired his form as we drew closer but suddenly in an effort to tease his owner the dog made a dash in the direction of the van. My sudden gasp caused my husband who was intent on the traffic and watching for the intersection he needed to glance at me. In horror we watched the owner wave his arms frantically and the dog, oblivious to death looming ahead, continued his joke. His eyes on his owner as he continued his mad dash away, he was heading straight for our front tires. In the desperate hope of not hitting him my husband slamed on the brakes and seeing room in the next lane tried to steer away. Death was certain for this foolish dog and I braced for the impact, already hearing the inevitable thud in my mind. There was not even time to pray.

Suddenly, the German Shepherd slammed into a wall of air. His head still turned to watch his owner, he came to a sudden halt with his hind quarters jamming up into his ribs. He was inches from the curb and our van slipped by, not touching him. I began to breath again while Hugo and I glanced at each other. It had all happened so fast the younger children in the back had not even noticed.

'So' I thought, 'that must be what Angels at work look like.' Read more!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We must pray...

As you know from previous posts I am very pro-life. Heck, I guess my blog’s name proclaims that for me.

I would like to offer up this article for you to peruse at your leisure. Not sure how long this URL will be active so I would not delay too long. I realize that the author of this article is not the most popular with some people, but please do not allow this to stop you. Please be warned some of this article might be very disturbing. It is not gory or anything like that, it's just seeing in black in white, where we have already advanced to in this area is rahter disturbing.

It is also serves as a reminder as to how much we really must PRAY!!

Read more!

PROLIFE CLASSICS... has recently created a wonderful way for people to donate to their great cause. As you know, I have plugged their search engine in the past because they use the funds generated by the text ads on their search page to donate to Prolife groups. You can check them out here.

What is really exciting though is this new idea they have recently introduced.
Prolife Classics!

To quote them directly; "This collection includes the "heavy hitters" of Church tradition and history including Thomas a Kempis, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Frances de Sales, St. Augustine, St. Therese of Lisieux, and many others."

You can get a "Sneak Preview" of the Essential Classics of Catholic Spirituality by clicking the link below and you can even get a Free bonus eBook they put together called Classic Quotes of Catholic Spirituality. It's full of powerful quotes by some of the authors mentioned above and is a great prelude to their Advent preparation for Christmas. I belive it can be downloaded immeadiatly."

The last I heard was that this seems to be a very popular venture and they have had to increase the bandwidth to be able to serve everyone who is jumping at the chance to support their attempt to create oodles of funds for the prolife groupss.

Please do not miss out on the chance to enjoy the classics they are offering as well as a chance to make a difference in the prolife movement. This is a wonderful way to donate to the cause. You get access online to some absolutly wonderful books and money is generated that will help safe a life.

I am so sorry I did not get this posted earlier but we have been on the road this week. I did send out this link to many of my friends but in order that more can see it I have posted it as well.

Please do check it out and be sure to share the link. I will post it as the straight URL so that it is easy for people to just cut and paste it if you want to share it with other friends you know might want to support this drive for funds for the prolife movements!

God Bless and please help make this successful I am impatient to know how much they generate through this effort. They do have a charity link where you can see to whom they have donated and how much!

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Blessed are the frazzeled...

One of the mums who has joined the MROL group that has recently sprung up has given me permission to share the following poem. We had asked for ideas for the page about dealing with little ones in Mass and she contributed this awesome poem of which she is the author! Please be sure to share this poem with other parents whom you see struggling with little ones. I know of one Dad whom I could tell by the end of the Mass was wondering WHY BOTHER!? This poem tells us why bother in such an amusing and uplifting way. Thank you SO MUCH Jayne for sharing this insightful and amusing poem! I think I will share this poem with that dad this Sunday - hopefully he will be there! Maybe I should also give him the URL to the page with ideas for coping with Mass and little ones too. Many wonderful ideas have been offered and will be posted there soon! Now with no further a due....

Blessed Are The Frazzled

I can state without hestitation
That Mass is supposed to be
A time of quiet and meditation
On our Faith and its mysteries

But there is no reflection and quiet
When accompanied by my family
At worst, it is more like a riot
Mass does not seem planned for me

The choir has rehearesed for hours
Music to inspire lofty thoughts
But alas they do not have the power
To stop the squabbling of my tots

No lofty thoughts can be inspired
While I'm busy as a referee
Instead, I think of how I'm tired
Of "Mommy, she stuck her tongue out at me"

The priest, a very learned man
Has prepared an erudite homily
I always listen when I can
But someone says, "I have to pee"

It's beyond my powers of concentration
To follow the reading and the prayers
I feel a builiding sense of frustration
That somehow this really isn't fair

I'm doing my best to do my duty
To raise a Christian family
But in the Mass, with all its beauty
Where is some support for me?

I have given up on concentration
"Children won't you please sit still"
By the time we reach the Consecration
"OK kids, its time to kneel"

I get in the Communion line
In a rather frazzled state
When the thought enters my mind
That I don't need to concentrate

Without my help, without my power
God is the One who transforms the bread
Even if I sit there an hour
Wihout hearing a word that has been said

Christ Himself enters my soul
And I am transformed by hope
The Love of God makes me whole
Gives me strength to help me cope

The Mass is for me, after all
Not just prepared for others
Though I misss out on the preaching and singing and all
Communion is for mothers.
(Author Jayne K.)
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