Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I will try not to judge...

This woman, Bonnie McKay is a saint! I do not know that I could be as forgiving as she is being with the loss of her son, one of eight children. Her son was one of the four fireman that died recently when the wildfire that was deliberating set over took him and his crew. I heard her statement that was made to the public on Fox News:

"I know my son; forgiveness is in his heart," she said. "It was a major part of who Jason was."
"I truly believe you didn't think that things were going to happen the way that they did. But they did," she said. "I, for one, will try not to judge you, for there is only one who can do that." "Don't let the remorse eat you alive. Come forward."

I wish I could find her statement in whole, perhaps if I have time and can so a little research I can.

I know I can borrow a page out of her book and put it in mine and be a little more forgiving in even the little day things. Read more!

Note to self

When leaving the kitchen for only a moment , don't leave the flour box opened or you might find this... Read more!
Read more!

Which leads to this....

Arguments as to whose turn it is to suck up the flour with the monster vacumn cleaner Read more!

Second Note to self in the same day!

When removing babies from the tub remember to remove plug as well, or while you are helping to clean up the mess the older scoundrels made the baby might decide to take a second bath. This time in her diaper. Sorry no pics of this! Read more!

Thank you...

Thank you…

Recently, I was watching a beautiful video about life that the Room At The Inn had produced so as to be able to share their past year’s successes, as well as showcase some of the lives saved in the past year through their endeavors. Across from me sat our 21 year old son Jonathan, who was a volunteer at the function. Seated at the same table but away more than in her seat, was Jenny our 22 year old daughter. She was the event coordinator for this event so it was not surprising that we were seeing little of her. And beside me was my husband.

We were both touched by this beautiful video but strangely I felt a sudden surge of gratitude for the man sitting next to me. Perhaps it was because of the lack of fathers in the video that I found myself thinking about a comment a friend had repeated to me that her husband had shared with her. She said: ‘He told me that he finds Hugo an inspiration because despite all the difficulties, challenges and problems you have encountered the past five years, he is still there, in the harness, doing all he can to support your still fairly young family. Despite the weight of knowing he has nine dependents whose needs all rest with him, he is still there.’

And he is. He is also usually cheerful, joking with the kids and teasing me, making us all roll our eyes. Yes, he gets down and the worry pesters him, sometimes late into the night. But he is still here. Still plugging along. Still asking God for guidance. Getting up and dusting himself off repeatedly all the times that life throws him a hard ball that knocks his feet out from under him.

And for that - I want to thank him. Thank you for working so hard to support us. Thank you for all the little things you do to try and cheer me up when I get down. Thank you for being my husband and the father of our twelve children. Read more!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Novena to the Infant of Prague

If any one would care to join us in prayer, we will be doing a nine hour novena today in supplication for the needs of our family, spiritually and materially.


O Jesus, Who has said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened," through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted.
(Make your request)
O Jesus, Who has said, "All that you ask of the Father in My Name, He will grant you," through the intercession of Mary Your Most Holy Mother, I humbly and urgently ask your Father in your name that my prayer will be granted.
(Make your request)
O Jesus, Who has said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My word shall not pass away," through the intercession of Mary Your Most Holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.
(Make your request)

Divine Infant Jesus, I know You love me and would never leave me. I thank You for Your close Presence in my life.
Miraculous Infant, I believe in Your promise of peace, blessings, and freedom from want. I place every need and care in Your hands.
Lord Jesus, may I always trust in Your generous mercy and love. I want to honor and praise You, now and forever. Amen. Read more!

Saving time?

Okay, so how many of you showed up too early for Mass yesterday? Be honest now! Any funny stories to share in the comments? Happily, I was aware of the time change (or routine change as we sometimes call it!) as I was looking forward to making the sun co-operate with my routine! I have been trying to get our day started earlier, but having the sun still in bed while I was trying to get out of mine was making it difficult. I vote we just get rid of clocks altogether and just rise with the sun, and go to bed with the sun!

As a writer in 1947 noted, "I don't really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves." (Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks, 1947, XIX, Sunday.)

For some interesting facts and stories regarding ‘daylight savings’ click HERE

Look for a book review or two to be posted this week.
Read more!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hat in Hand...

This morning I woke up and I looked at the ceiling. Yup, always a bad sign when you lie in bed staring at the ceiling. You just know you make a good subject for a cartoon and the only thing missing is the cigarette in hand while you suck in the carcinogens and exhale while still staring at the ceiling - wondering how you got to this place of worry.

I thought about the day ahead of me and trying to push away the many worries laying at my door, I prayed:
“Help Us God, Help us with all these problems. I am so worried, God. Please help us. I am trying to have faith, Jesus. I’m trying not to worry and I am really trying to have faith.”

I stopped short and thought. ‘Wait a minute. Haven't we been told that faith is a gift. If so isn't God responsible for how much Faith I have? I am responsible for what I do with the faith He gives me. But He has to give me the faith.”

It was a light bulb moment. Maybe in addition to praying for the monetary assistance, I also need to ask for the faith to get through the tough moments. I know when I ask others to pray for me to have peace when feeling particularly stressed, my level of peace actually does increase. Yet, when I begin to stumble in fear and begin to flounder and almost feel as though I am going to drown in my fears, I never think to pray; Help my FAITH Jesus. Give me FAITH.

So I changed my prayer from an apology for the lack of faith I felt and instead asked: ‘Please give me Faith Jesus. I need more faith.‘

And thus my day began.

Hugo and I checked our business emails and made plans to try and rescue the business vehicle that broke down three days ago. There was a time when one could safely leave their vehicle for short period of time in a parking lot but in post 9/11 you know a white van sitting unattended for too long is going to cause problems so we needed to act soon.

This break down is such a small problem that has caused a host of problems for us. After purchasing some much needed merchandise to sell, we are now in the next phase of picking it up. This business is a game of luck and skill. You need skills in research, writing, even in the area of being able to bid on a multiple auctions as you discard one auction when it gets too high while keeping multiple others going. And luck comes into play as you begin to pick up the merchandise. Sometimes everything goes smoothly and all of the bases have appointments open on the days and times you need and you are able to pick up all your merchandise in a speedy manner, begin posting it and the well oiled engine of success begins to purr nicely. But, it only takes a little hic up to begin to knock the dominoes down and when one goes, they all begin to cascade in quick succession.

So it is with this break down. With this unexpected breakdown, the money allocated for the cost of pick up trips begins to be needed for living expenses and has dwindled quickly. And a few more dominoes have fallen.

Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by the trees that we can not see the forest. That is where I am . It is so very difficult to see a solution to our financial woes, esp when you hit a rough patch within a rough patch. Yet a number of readers over the past year have written and asked how can we help you? How can we assist you financially? (On occasion God allows you to be greatly humbled by the generosity of others!)

So after a terrible struggle with my pride, with hat in hand, I have humbly come to the conclusion that I will put a little donation jar up in the corner of my blog. In this way any reader who happens to stumble across this blog and has enjoyed what they have read and would like to leave a small tip as a thank you, or a regular reader who would like to extend a helping hand on occasions can do so. In this way I am hoping that I am also opening another window through which Christ can work as we refuse to believe that He will not provide for the children we welcomed into our lives when times were good. It can not be that we are meant to live in fear when we are open to life thinking - well, I must limit my family because at some point, possibly years from now, I will lose my job, my spouse will die or some other calamity will befall me. Recently I have posted twice about being open to life and having faith that God will provide for the blessings he has bestowed on us. When we started our family, we were in college and ultimately my husband was able to provide for our ever growing family with a well paid high tech job. The salary grew as our family expanded. We knew this was not only because of Hugo’s abilities and his hard work, but also because of God’s blessings.

Now, like so many other families, we have fallen on hard times. With such a large family to feed and house, Hugo cannot return to school to hone new skills, and while this is a very difficult business we repeatedly, through prayer and long discussions, come to the conclusion that the business pays better than any of the current jobs that he could get. So we sojourn on, depending on God to get us through the scrapes and lean times and learning how to thank Him for the stones in our path and to praise Him for the little bits of green grass that gleam between them.

We have beautiful, intelligent and talented children. We are mostly healthy. We are discovering talents and skills we did not know we had. Our faith is being stretched and God has lead us to a very loving parish. So while life is very difficult right now, God is with us. I just need to keep asking - give me FAITH Lord, give me FAITH that I may continue to carry my cross with you.

(PS I have played around with the pay pal donate button and it now will give my current email address as the owner of the button, not mom2ten any more! :-) As well, I have worked through various steps so as to remove the shipping address so as to help those who wish to be annonymous be annonymous! I do believe I will be able to see an email address to which I would like to send a thank you note, but I have also added the ability to leave a note for me and if you prefer not to be contacted, please leave a note to that affect and I will respect your request. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, as well as any support you send our way!) Read more!

Hello Jesus!

Back to the drawing board…

I recently wrote in our parish bulletin about the cry room and shared how young teens not busy with younger siblings could maybe assist families who have more babies and toddlers than they can hold on one lap. I shared how they can help engage a neighboring toddler’s attention by drawing it to the Alter when the bells are rung. “In an excited whisper you can share with the little one. Look, look there is the bread. The bread IS Jesus. Jesus IS the bread. “

This is what I typically do at that moment in the Mass with my little ones. “Listen Emma. Do you hear the bells? Jesus is coming. He’s coming to visit us. He’s almost here. Look, there’s the Bread. It’s Jesus. Jesus is looking at you! “

Typically this helps Emma to refocus and quiet down as she stares in awe at the Host elevated by the priest. Last Saturday was no different. Following Mass I stepped outside with both Emma and Elsa so I could reflect quietly with Jesus, and not worry so much about keeping them quiet in the pew. As it was the evening Mass, and so, lightly attended, it was not long before other people followed us out of the church. Soon our priest and the deacon, who had assisted in the Mass, were standing outside so as to greet parishioners.

Emma had been enjoying the leaves as they blew about, and she had been skipping and dancing in the evening breeze while Elsa had cuddled quietly in my arms. Suddenly I heard a sharp intake of breath from Emma as she came to a sudden halt. “JESUS!“ she whispered in delight and then in a hop, skip and a jump she deftly landed squarely in front of the Deacon. Standing in front of him with the breeze whipping her bangs about her sparkling eyes, Emma grasped his hand with great enthusiasm and shook hands with our dear deacon. Little did he realize the sudden elevation in status he had just reached in this four year old's eyes.

Myself, I realized that I have still a bit of work ahead of me. Read more!

Friday, October 27, 2006

On a lighter note...

Where has mum2twelve been lately?

Why to London to visit the Queen of course. Okay not really, but she has been to Charlotte to enjoy the 12th annual Fundraiser for Room At the Inn

The keynote speaker was Patrick Madrid.

And before we left last night for Charlotte I reminded the children as I closed the front door; “Remember, if I come home tonight to a clean downstairs with all your chores done - we will spend to tomorrow finishing our costumes for the Trunk or Treat party at church.

My children, lollipops hanging from their lips and eyes glued to the tv screen as they watched a DVD Teddy had received for his birthday, murmured their assent. That unified and vague response left me feeling assured that I would not be needing to do any sewing today!

However, I am happy to announce that work on our costumes today - we did! When I opened the front door at about midnight last night, I was met with swept and gleaming doors, toys tidy in their toy boxes and the supper dishes in the dishwasher awaiting for morning so as to be put away.

So today, we have been cutting, sewing, and gluing while listening to Christmas music. (Weird I know - but preferable to Monster Mash in my opinion!) The only downside - the floors are no longer clean and tidy. Rather they are covered with wood shavings, pieces of thread and others bits of evidence of a hard days worth of creativity. Now I just have to figure out what is for supper -although the warm pile of chocolate chip cookies Anna and Gabriela have just pulled out of the oven might do. What do you think? Read more!

Uh oh - here I go again!

When reading a comment left on Antonia's blog where a reader was defining the definition of “artificial” contraception as taught by the Catholic Church, I was struck again by how when someone expounds on the use of NFP as a means of fulfilling the teachings of the Catholic Church’s against the use of artificial contraception, the following teachings of the church are typically neglected.

John Paul II, 14 Dec. 1990: Humanae Vitae, n. 10
Through this sense of responsibility for love and life, God the Creator invites the spouses not to be passive operators, but rather "cooperators or almost interpreters" of His plan (Gaudium et Spes, no.50). In fact, they are called out of respect for the objective moral order established by God, to an obligatory discernment of the indications of God’s will concerning their family. Thus in relationship to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood will be able to be expressed "either by the deliberate and generous decision to raise a large family, or by the decision, made for serious moral reasons and with due respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, another birth"
(For more excerpts from Church documents regarding this teaching click HERE.)

While I agree with Antonia's reader's definition that NFP is not a contraceptive, as in it does not stop the procreative potential of a given act of intercourse at any time; I find the lack of children in the pews these days an indication that within the Catholic Church NFP can be, (and quite likely is being) used in an immoral fashion.. In other words, with a contraceptive mentality.

Not only does the Church forbide the artificial means of contraception BUT one is not suppose to frivolously limit the size of their family. I think too many Catholics today have fallen for the secular mentality of materialism. The “we can’t afford to raise a large family” belief. Or they succumb to the idea that each child must be perfectly provided for with a savings account for an expensive college education, summer camps, lots of sport activities, clothes that are brand name and allow their children to hang with ’The Best’ and how are we to do that if we have more than 2 or 3 children? These parents are (possibly) well intentioned BUT have they properly and seriously attempted to complete “an obligatory discernment of the indications of God’s will concerning their family.”

So some couples begin to use NFP as a means of limiting their family without having really educated themselves with what the church teaches about when and why it is appropriate to practice NFP as a means of limiting their family size. And sadly the very success of NFP (NFP has a 99% method effectiveness, click HERE to read more statistics) has become an evil in itself, with many Catholic families believing that by using NFP (as a natural contraceptive) they have met the 'law of the church’.

On a more personal note, while I myself have given birth to twelve beautiful blessings and have six in heaven besides, I do not believe it is the duty of every family to have a family of this size. Neither does the church.

John Paul II, 14 Dec. 1990: Humanae Vitae

In relation to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised, either by the deliberate and generous decision to raise a numerous family, or by the decision, made for grave motives and with due respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, a new birth. (9)

Rather She is calling us to prayerfully to consider when it is right and necessary to limit the size of our family. To do this we must establish an ongoing relationship with God and the regular reception of the sacrament of confession and especially the receiving of the Eucharist will help us in that regard, as will an established prayer life. If we do not seek to know God, we cannot know His will for us, or for that of our family.

I will close with a famous quote of Mother Theresa.

It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.

To this I add, it is poverty to decide that a soul will never have had the opportunity to be conceived so that we may live as we wish. Read more!

For further edification...

... I have included the following:

Gaudium et Spes (Second Vatican Council)

50.2 Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted. They should realize that they are thereby cooperators with the love of God the Creator, and are, so to speak, the interpreters of that love. Thus they will fulfill their task with human and Christian responsibility, and, with docile reverence toward God, will make decisions by common counsel and effort. Let them thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already born and those which the future may bring. For this accounting they need to reckon with both the material and the spiritual conditions of the times as well as of their state in life. Finally, they should consult the interests of the family group, of temporal society, and of the Church herself. The parents themselves and no one else should ultimately make this judgment in the sight of God. But in their manner of acting, spouses should be aware that they cannot proceed arbitrarily, but must always be governed according to a conscience dutifully conformed to the divine law itself, and should be submissive toward the Church's teaching office, which authentically interprets that law in the light of the Gospel. That divine law reveals and protects the integral meaning of conjugal love, and impels it toward a truly human fulfillment. Thus, trusting in divine Providence and refining the spirit of sacrifice,(12) married Christians glorify the Creator and strive toward fulfillment in Christ when with a generous human and Christian sense of responsibility they acquit themselves of the duty to procreate. Among the couples who fulfill their God-given task in this way, those merit special mention who with a gallant heart and with wise and common deliberation, undertake to bring up suitably even a relatively large family.(13)
Marriage to be sure is not instituted solely for procreation; rather, its very nature as an unbreakable compact between persons, and the welfare of the children, both demand that the mutual love of the spouses be embodied in a rightly ordered manner, that it grow and ripen. Therefore, marriage persists as a whole manner and communion of life, and maintains its value and indissolubility, even when despite the often intense desire of the couple, offspring are lacking. Read more!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Father Jonathan...

I typically keep my blog to the challenges of racing a large family, the joys, the struggles and ups and downs of being a large family in this day and age.

However, elections loom large in the near future and here is a blog I think we would do well to follow, esp if we live in a State where our vote will make the difference in the life and death of an unborn child.

Meet Father Jonathan from Fox News
Read more!

A Whisper in My Heart

Based on a true story, A Whisper In My Heart, is the touching account of an 'orphan’s’ transition from feeling abandoned to knowing she is loved by the family that forgot her behind the Communist curtain in Europe in 1956 . We meet with Klari, for the first time, her mother and extended family when at nearly 10 years of age she is reunited with her parents in Toronto, Canada. Only we are privy to her private thoughts while she struggles with the difficulties of being unable to speak the language of her new country and the fears she faces as she becomes acquainted with her parents as well as the Canadian way of life. Angry with her parents for leaving her behind when her mother, father, aunt, uncle and cousin escaped seven years earlier from Hungary, Klari is determined not to share her fears and frustrations with those whom she feels betrayed her, first by leaving her behind and then by ripping her away from all she knew and was comfortable with.

This exciting and emotion filled narrative keeps you engaged through to the very end. It holds appeal for children as young as eight and kept my attention as well. My daughters, aged 12 and 14 also enjoyed it thoroughly and could not put it down until finished. Something that occasionally caused a problem at chore time.

Catholic writer, Kathy Clark, author of A Whisper in My Heart is the only daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Both her mother and aunt were two of hundreds of Jewish children who escaped certain death by being hidden in monasteries all across Europe during the genocide of WWII. In their case they were hidden in the convent of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul (Nicknamed Angel Guardian House) in Hungary.

Later in life Kathy’s mother and step-father, along with other family members, escaped communist Hungary in the dead of night. Believing the journey too dangerous for her enfant daughter, her mother had to make the heart wrenching decision to leave the then two year old Kathy behind in the care of her maternal grandparents. Little did any of them realize that it would be seven years before the Communist government of Hungary could be convinced, through the tireless efforts of Kathy’s grand father, to release Kathy and allow her to emigrate to Canada so as to re-join her parents.

Born Jewish, Kathy Clark later converted to the Catholic faith and, with her husband Bruce Clark, has raised six children. It was her daughter’s questions about Kathy’s childhood and the memories that these evoked that led to her writing A Whisper In My Heart.

This book not only entertains, but also educates and can be used as the spring board for many ideas and questions well worth discussing. After sharing in Klari’s struggles in a new country we can discuss with our children (or students) how we can make new emigrants feel welcome in our country. This book also provides an opener to discussing the blessings and benefits of living here, in the free world, when we are faced with the question as to why a family would take the risks that Klari’s family took so as to come to North America. It also provides a doorway to history when children ask us about Communism. No home library should be without it.

You can buy directly from the author by writing to:


Or you can click HERE to order this book.
I have ordered from this company and received good service as well as quick delivery of my purchases.
Read more!

Book Reviews and Movies too!

Look for an exciting book review to come soon. I am going to try and jump start my other blog Catholic, Classic, and Current Books and Movies that I started last year sometime around the Christmas Season. To give you a taste of the types of reviews I will be writing, you will find the occasional review here with a link to my other blog included.

With as many children as I have and the ages we span; we come across such a variety of books, classical and otherwise that I thought it rather selfish of us not to share these treasures as well as warn against the not so great and even not acceptable books that lurking out there on shelves everywhere.

The first book that I will be reviewing is A Whisper in My Heart, written by Kathy Clark of Canada. Look for it soon, along with many other book and movie reviews! Read more!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Facing Fears

For me there is nothing more difficult that having to call a stranger to plead for an extension for a bill that is over due. I am not sure which is the most difficult part of the exercise, confessing to a stranger that I can not pay this bill, or fearing the possible negative answer. So - I play ostrich. I wait until the last possible moment, which has sometimes lead to the power being turned off.

Today was the 24th and the date of the 25th was playing around in my brain as the last possible date to pay the now past due utilities bill. If my utilities were turned off in this case it would mean no water, no electricity and no heat… a most unpleasant event to be avoided at all costs. More unpleasant that a phone call to a stranger. So we prayed our chaplet at 3 pm and I changed my request from the past few days from please help us pay the bill to ‘Please let the person in charge of my account give us an extension‘.

Then I screwed up my courage, drew a deeeeep breath and dialed the number, listened carefully as options had changed and then selected “2” to punch as that took me to a clerk who would assist me in making credit arrangements and then help my breath.

The phone rang and I was connected almost immediately. A good thing as I was starting to turn purple from holding my breath. A pleasant voice informed me that my phone was breaking up and could I please repeat what I had just said. I tried again, and added that it had been a difficult month and the bill was unusually large…

The nice lady on the other side of the wire paused for a moment as she perused my account and then nicely explained that it seemed we had a water leak somewhere and hence the 200 dollar increase in the bill and would November 3rd work as an extension.

I tried not to gasp my relief too loudly as I thanked her profusely for the extension and accepted her wishes that I have a blessed day. And then I hung up and thanked God. I thanked Him for the courage that He had given me to face my fears. I thanked Him for the extension we have been blessed with. And I thanked Him for the peace I feel despite the fact that I really do not understand why he is answering our prayers for help paying our bills in this way.

But as I wrote earlier, like Emma I want to turn the page and see what is next before it is time. I want to KNOW NOW and I want to know WHY? But I have to accept that I am not the author of my book, just the principle character. As such, I must be patient and wait for the Lord to reveal the answers to the deep mysteries that my family and I currently face.

And now I have another challenge - a leak. A rather expensive leak. Prayers please?
Read more!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hello Florida!

Today I am literally dropping in from on the road. I am on the I-95 in Florida, and accessing the internet via cell phone towers. We have driven through the night and, as usual, breakfasted at Cracker Barrel.

As we tucked into the pancakes and bacon, oatmeal and biscuits with the coffee coming as fast as we could drain our cups I heard chuckles from various tables. The last chuckle was followed by; "Hup - it's off! Isn't she a doll?"

I glanced at the end of the table and sure enough Elsa's bib was off and she was digging into her pancake and blackberries with great gusto. You could barely disguinish her eyes from the smudge of berries that were disguising her chubby cheeks. Her delight in her breakfast drew admiring glances and more chuckles from all around. Glad for a lull in her high spirits that had kept me in full motion, I went back to my pancakes.

Suddenly a voice spoke from over my right shoulder.

"You have such lovely children and so well behaved!"

"Thank you." I responded gratfully, while trying to hide my embarrasment. It was so good to know that despite my needing to crawl under the table numerous times to retrieve the endless stream of crayons that flowed there as well as hunt down runaway spoons and straws (not to be used again!) that my children appeared to be well behaved.

But then it dawned on me as I helped the children gather up their napkins, activity books and stickers while we prepared to leave that perhaps one of the reasons my children seem to be so well behaved is because we don't hang up my parent's hat at the restaurant door. Even though this break from driving is as much needed by my husband and I, we are still focussed on the children. We are attentive to their needs, we converse with them and engage their attention until the dinner arrives. We also realize that while traveling to different States can be an adventursome - the long hours remaining stationary in the van are not.

After so many hours of sitting the children need to be able to move about as much as possible, one of the reasons we typically choose Cracker Barrel for our only sit down dinner break. While waiting for our table, the children are able to preuse the merchandise, touch the stuffed toys and drool over the barrels of candy sometimes eliciting bribes, errr, I mean promises of possible treats if 'we behave ' at the table. After dinner before we strap up the car seats and do up the seatbelts there is our now customary race to the front porch barrel and back. Several races were needed today before the young ones seemed even just a little tired.

Now as I type on the keyboard Elsa, once again recognizable after a quick wash down by her daddy, is snoozing in her car seat. The others are once again enjoying the scenery and calling punch buggies on me and I am basking in the various compliments we received today. And feeling grateful. Very, very grateful for strangers noticing and taking the time to compliment my husband and I on our children's behaviour! Truly our children's behaviour is thanks enough, but the compliments certainly add icing to the cake. Read more!

Friday, October 20, 2006


Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman was in the library and better yet it was in Spanish, Eres tu mi Mama? I snapped it up and was looking forward to reading it to both Emma and Nathaniel. I remembered reading it to the earlier brood and the middle kiddos too. Each had loved it.

All were fascinated as the little bird searches for his mother, asking a kitten, a cow and enventually a SNORT if they were his mother. Emma and Nathaniel were each curled up on either side of me leaning in towards the pages as we read about how the little bird was looking for his mummy, and actually passes her while she is pulling a humungous worm out of the ground for his breakfast.

Nathaniel smiled at the silliness of the baby bird asking a plane as it flew overhead and calling down to a boat as it drifted by if they were his mother. But tender hearted Emma grew more and more concerned that he was alone and could not find his mummy. She shifted anxiously beside me and tried to turn the pages ahead of the words we had read. She was impatient to learn what was going to happen. She put her hand over mine and pulled on it and finally when the Snort lifts the wee baby bird into the air she gasped and struggled to turn the page before I had finished reading it. She burst into tears, desperate to know what would happen.

The second time we read it, she enjoyed it more. She was relaxed and no longered strained to turn the pages, even playing with me as we made the noises of the animals the little bird encounters in his search for his mummy.

However, over the past few weeks I have discovered that no matter how exciting the story or even if it is a somewhat mundane book that I am reading to Emma, if it is new to her she chafes at the bit to turn the page and take a peek at what is coming next. She wants to know what lies ahead. She is impatient. No matter what the story line is she just cannot relax and enjoy the book until she knows all. And it struck me the other night, that I am just like her.

I, too, am very impatient to know just what the future has in store. I am always trying to see around to the other side of the page.

Like Emma I need to learn to be patient, relax and enjoy life while allowing God to unfold the mystery of what the future holds for me. All in His good time. Read more!


This is why Elsa is waking from her naps... still tired and cranky!
I think sleeping with my head against hard white bars would
give me a headache too...
Read more!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Calling for Volunteers

I am preparing a questionnaire for University Students and another for high school students. The information used in this questionnaire will be used to help develop a pilot video program that will be aimed at Catholic/Christian teens.

The program will be dealing with areas of interest ranging from topics such as chastity to the difficulty of living one’s faith while still having to live in the world whether home schooled or in a secular schooling situation.

It will not be a very long questionnaire, and will require mostly yes and no answers that need only be circled. There will be a few questions that will require answers of a few sentences or more depending on how much the participate wants to say.

I am looking for volunteers ranging in age from 13 - 21 to answer these questionnaires.

If you know someone who would be interested and willing to commit to answering such a questionnaire please email me, or have them email me at

mycatholicfaith (symbol for at) gmail.com

And depending on the person's preference a questionnaire can be emailed, or mailed to the individual. If mailed, a self addressed envelope will be enclosed for the completed questionnaire to be returned in.

The answers will be private and no names will be used in the pilot and/or scripts developed from the information gathered. Addresses used for mailing questionnaires will not be kept on file or used in any way other than for mailing the questionnaire.
Read more!


All seat belts, car seats and booster seats were finally done up, a deep sigh of relief was issued all around the van and then...

6 yr old Tanny Paul: "I need to go to the bathroom!"

4 year old Emma Louise: "I neeeed to go to the bathwooo - WAIT! I alweady went!"

Oh thank you God for that little grain of honesty! That child earned a big kiss and hug! The other one... got to get out, traipse back into the church hall under the guard of two older brothers and... use the Mens Room. Read more!

Powerful thoughts

Many readers wrote to me after I posted about the stress of the past five years. Thank you for the love, concern and favourite prayers that were shared. It was very meaningful and I truly appreciated it. I have tried to write to each person who sent me an email directly. If I have missed anyone - please accept my apologies. In my defense I was ill with a stomach bug and had been for a few days now and so am a bit tired and a little thick between the ears, as my Dad would say. (Slow...)

One reader in particular shared some very powerful thoughts that are deep and quite meaningful, especially when one's goal is to become a Saint. A goal I sometimes misplace, to my shame. Here are his thoughts...

"I wish there were words to say that all will be all right with houses and jobs ... but I don't think this is what God cheered Julian of Norwhich with, in her illness, "all will be well... " is to lean on God in pain, in poverty, in all need, for the joy and inward love to keep plowing a field of stone. I think if we plow that field of stone expecting a harvest that will sustain us, saying I am suffering for thee Lord, so reward me... then we face harder times ... but when we thank God for the stones, we begin to find the small green between them, find what enough is ... and there is hope for untold bounty.

...... But, I also know many find joy in less. I am reminded that the elder rabbi's in Auchwitzs put God on trial literally for breaking the covenant, watching their families murdered - and in the end said, To us it seems God is guilty, the covenant was broken ... and then, they prayed and thanked God. There is where faith is found, to say, I hurt, it is unfair, what next? and by the way, dearly and deeply from the bottom of my soul, thank thee Lord for all I have grant me strength in thee if not understanding of thy ways."

Thank you Lor.
Read more!

Sorry - it wasn't in the wedding contract!

(While trying on her Charlie Chaplin costume)

"Mummy could you tie this tie for me?"

"I'm sorry, I don't know how to tie a tie."

"What? How can you be a WIFE and not know how to tie a tie..."

Ooops, I must have missed that lesson when preparing for married life! Read more!

Sam! What are you doing there?

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?
Read more!


On Friday, I was finally able to complete and post a good schedule for us to follow for school. It looked realistic, covered all the subjects and remembered we need to eat as well as study. It was bright and colourful with large enough print that we can see it from across the room. It is even unusual in that it is made of index cards taped together.

But it does not have any spots on it scheduled for:
Blowing nose(s)
Running to the bathroom repeatedly times several children
Stopping to take mega doses of Vitamin C
Looking for the Zicam
Looking for Tylenol for acking backs and necks
blowing noses again...
console grumpy, crying toddlers and preschoolers who are just too ill to be nice to anyone

It is only 8:27 and the schedule is already shot so I think I will just... go back to bed and start over?

In the meantime, please keep mum2twelve's gang in your prayers while we do battle with a host of germs and viruses that have invaded the household, overnight it seems! Read more!

Could I say No to God's face?

Hearing God's directive Moses replied:

"O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." (Exodus 4:10-13)

When we hit that passage in bible study on Sunday morning, I thought to myself, "Wow, imagine seeing God FACE to FACE?! Hearing his voice as clear as one of my children calling to me, or my husband chatting with me. Could I say 'NO, I can't Lord.' to HIS FACE?"

I wondered if I could possibly doubt my ability to do what He was asking me, while standing on Holy Ground seeing Him, GOD, in front of me? Wouldn't I, if God was speaking to me directly assume He would give me all I needed, to do what he wanted of me.

Then I thought about how I daily tell Him.... NO.

Each and everytime I complain about my crosses, I am saying;
" No God, I don't think I can do it. I don't think I can complete this errand you are giving me. I don't want this job - please give it to someone else. "

I think instead of sighing and saying I can't do this anymore Lord, I will try to just ask for help.

"Help me o' Lord. My cross is becoming heavy and I am afraid I will drop it. I feel as though I am falling. Send me the graces not to fall, to not drop my cross! Thank you for hearing me Jesus, thank you for helping. I know you are there Lord because you promised me you would be!"

'Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Mathew 11:29-30

Read more!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

While out shopping...

...buying our two tons of weekly groceries Anna, who was observing the various little children we passed by suddenly said with a chuckle; "You know the more we are out and the more we see children, the more we see how normal Emma actually is!"

And, I realized she's right. My chortling, high energy, very imaginative, somewhat bossy four year old is actually a normal preschooler, and yet she is still very much her own little person - my special Emma Wewe!

Read more!

Read more!

Too much imagination

Gabriela: "Emma you need to get some shoes on, you KNOW you need shoes on outside!"

Emma; "But Lala, I has pwetend shoes on!" Read more!

Friday, October 13, 2006

My Lord and My God

My Lord and My God;
I know that you are here,
that you see me, that you hear me.
I adore you with profound reverence.
I beg your pardon for my sins
and the graces to make this time of
(prayer) (work) (study) fruitful.
Mary, my immaculate mother,
Saint Josef, my father and Lord,
My Guardian Angel,
Intercede for me
Read more!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I have often seen a list of questions posted on this blog or that sometimes with other bloggers tagged and sometimes not. (I have never been tagged and so I am trying to feel superior about that and hence will not tag anyone else either, so that ALL my readers may feel superior right along with me.)

I found these questions on a reader's blog. Teri left a comment on my post about Booh Bah and guess what? All the way across the world in Libya, young minds are being influenced by BOOH BAH! It's a small world after all.

Teri, I have learned through exchanging a few emails, is also the mum of a large family and an ESL teacher. Some day I should share some of my incredible experiences teaching English to Migrant Farmers - out in the fields.

Okay - the Questions.
Here they are, with my answers.

I am thinking about... how to answer these questions...

I said... I feel ill - can I have some pepermint gum please?

I want.. to read more than I do, study more than I have time to, play with my cmaera more than I can... there is lots I want, but mostly I need to learn to be happy with what I have!

I wish... I didn't feel so sick so I could do something besides sit and say "I feel sick..." and then run to the bathroom.

I miss... having a newborn in the house. (And no, I am not pregnant! LOL)

I hear... Blues Clues and am remembering how watching this helped Noah learn to talk. His first word/expression was Boo coos! Now he is 11 and talks all the time! LOL

I wonder... if the new routine we are planning will work for our family. We are trying very hard to make some important changes, esp in our prayer life.

I regret... shouting at Emma this morning, who was only being honest and was very confused by my annoyance and anger with her. Sometimes honesty does NOT pay!

I dance... with my children.

I cry... when I remember my childhood and when I feel alone and can not reach God.

I am not always... doing what I know I SHOULD be doing.

I write... and I LOVE it!

I need... peace! In order to gain this peace I need to learn to Trust God more than I do. This is a very hard lesson to learn.

I finish... the day usually wondering how I could have done better and always very tired.

Have fun with the questions! I hope some of you share your answers. BTW - I lied - I AM going to tag someone. Oh dear, should I? Will others feel left ou... err, superior when they are not tagged?

Oh well - here goes.
Chealsea, Dorry, M.Alexander, Diane and Jen. YOU are ALL tagged. Sorry guys, just thought it is better to only tag women! But please everyybody - tag along too if you wish - the more the merrier! Read more!

A word to the wise...

It is better NOT to allow curious kittens to peek in toilet bowls while you flush one since you may find yourself having to rescue said kitten from swirling, flushing water. At least that is what I have been told today while someone was drying off the hind legs of a small yellow kitten whom I often hear playing on the back of the toilet. Read more!

Oh no!

Mum2twelve has more competition for the key board. Velcro baby, my nickname for nursing babies, has been introduced to BoohBah! So no longer is she content to sit on my lap and chuckle as she hits buttons causing whole paragraphs to dissapear. No, now she climbs up on my lap, fights for the mouse and screams BOOHBAH mummy! Boohbah! Until someone, usually me, gives in.

Then we listen to 'air blowing' sounds, whistle noises and, I have to admit, to some fun music while these amazing blobs that only a baby could find fascinating, dance around on the screen. There are games to play and it all entertains young minds for a looong time. Much longer than it entertain, uh, mature minds.

Not having cable I can not vouch for the tv programme, assuming there is one. At any rate, boohbah is the 2006 answer to Tellie Tubbies!

Now my question is - are the adults that come up with these shows genius or simply infantile?

At any rate - if you notice a little less posting from mum2twelve - you can assume Boohbah is the culprit and that Elsa, and her little buds, are dancing on my lap erasing words faster than I can type. Read more!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Confession 101

Well - I hear that Sister Pat is in a bit of a pickle. Fall and her order of her book Confession 101 have arrived together. So now her garage is full of ....books when it should be full of summer furniture.

If you would like to give her a hand with emptying her garage just click here and you will be directed to a website where you can place an order for this book. I have already ordered two and can't wait for them to get here. I am especially impatient to see the work book that comes with the book.

If you would like to know more about Sister's Monastary than take a trip here! Read more!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It was quiet this afternoon...

... while I was working this afternoon researching for a new course we are putting together. History through the Arts. The girls and I are quite excited about this project and have already learned a lot of facts about different authors of the Classics that we did not know. For instance, did you know that Louisa May Alcotts early death was the result of poor health brought on by mercury poisoning? This was caused by the, then popular, method of treatment for typhoid fever; which she caught while working as a nurse during the civil war. She was only 56 and died 2 days after her father, leaving behind her young niece whom she had been raising. I have yet to discover what came of Lulu, her name sake.

While I searched the internet and scribbled down these very interesting facts, I did wonder what had become of my two boys, Teddy and Noah. I discovered later in the afternoon when Anna asked me to explore the house she had built out of mud in the back yard just what they had been about. Read more!

Please step back in time with me...

Read more!

Anna's house...

...of clay will appear later as the photos I took were a dismal failure.

While I was typing, googling and scribbling little known facts about authors and Anna was digging in the ground and the boys creating battles galore, little ones were building train tracks and blissfully fighting over each track - Gabriela was cooking up a storm in the kitchen. She provided some very nourishing, not to mention delicious, tucker for supper tonight.

Using mostly the left overs, she made the following recipee along with two batches of Rich Tea Biscuits, from Company's Coming; Muffins and More.

For the fun of it, I have left the soup recipe with the amounts we require in order to have enough for our family.

Bacon and Potatoe Soup


  • 25 thick slices bacon (Note: to keep costs down, we omit the bacon.)
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups and 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 2 cups and 1 tablespoon chopped carrots
  • 4-1/4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 16-2/3 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
  • 16-2/3 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups and 1 tablespoon shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Cook bacon until crisp in 3-quart saucepan, remove and drain well on paper towels. Discard bacon grease and wipe pan thoroughly with paper towel.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Add olive oil to saucepan and add onion, carrot, and celery as they are cut up. Saute until onion is soft but not brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir in cheese, heating just until melted--do not boil. Chop bacon and add to soup. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding salt, if desired. Serve at once.
(Note: to keep costs down, we omit the bacon. Also should you wish to make this soup adjusted to your family size click here. ) Read more!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thank you for the prayers...

...that were extended to our family over the past few days. They have blessed us and supported us.

As to what we are struggling with? I am at a loss as how to explain. I, who love to write, who loves to use words to create and share thoughts, draw pictures with and entertain with words am at a loss how to explain in as few as words as possible where we are at and what is at the heart of our struggle.

It is not as some have supposed, a dream house gone wrong, or a weight loss plan not working or acclimatizing to the stresses of having moved to a new town, although these are all things that can cause a person a fair amount of angst.

It is more in line with the fire that completly destroyed the home of the family who had no insurance, that Annonomous wrote about.

In the past five years we have:

Lost a job and it's 120,000 annual salary and benifits.
Lost two babies within the same year , each (Thankfully) in the first trimester. I do not know if I could have coped with losing a baby I had actually felt move!
Dealt with serious illnesses (Lyme Disease, serious back injuries, asthma and its complications) and continue to deal with illness, on varying levels.
Helped a daughter escape a an abusive spouse, and on Christmas eve in 2003 placed her on a plane to NYC so she could hide with friends there.
Lost our home.
Lost our family van.
Given birth to our 12th blessing for which we are most grateful for!
Moved again.

Through all of this we have been trying to build a business so as to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. In my husband's industry, he was amongst the last to be laid off in our part of the State. And he was a manager. In his 20 years of experience - he knew that managers have never been hired from outside - only promoted from within. It's a morale issue. Unless he could find a small start up company seeking an IT project manager despite what was the worst time economically for his industry - he knew he had not a hope of gaining employment. Still he sent out resumes, joined church support groups, attempted to network and had resumes "walked" into Human Resource departments where he knew there was a rare job opening. Not one was acknowledged.

All the while he continued to also build, with no capital besides his severance and eventually what money we made, his online business. A few friends have lent personal time to assist us in whatever manner they could. For this, we have been incredibly grateful.

At our worst, most stressful moment while dealing with the forclosure on our home, we were literally persecuted by people we thought were friends who were Catholic and members of our parish. When our priest was approached by another family, dismayed at what was happening, his advice was to suggest we move to a different parish as 'the rich in his parish felt morally threatened by our being able to fill a pew on Sundays with all of our children while they filled the parking lot with their Mercedes and Cadilacs.'

And so we moved. To protect our children.

...and then we moved again. To an area that is physically safer for our children, more affordable to live in (1500 for a 3 bedroom home vs 600 for a 5 bedroom home). We prayed before moving, sought direction from the wonderful priest who was spiritually adminstering to our family about the move. He approved it.

We were convinced we were doing the right thing, for the right reasons.

We have sought to understand the burden Christ has given us. He has promised He would share the yoke. We continue to try and Hear Him in our despair. We are tired. Oh, so very tired, spiritually and physically and emotionally. We are trying to pray as a family, despite what feels like real attacks from the devil.

It has been five long years of continuously straining to pay the mortgage, and then eventually the rent on time. Often we are only able to pay the car insurance only hours before the deadline of it's being canceled. At least once these past five years we have had the utilities cut. It always a case of borrowing from Paul to pay Mary and then from Mary to pay Paul. For five long years. There is always the stress of worrying that we will be evicted, often receiving such a note in the mail. After a desperate novena the money will appear and we will be able to stave it off for another month.

We had grown lukewarm in our faith the last years before my husband's lay off. Mind I had always felt gratitude for his job, and owed it to God's blessing on us as well, as Hugo's abilities. While others were being laid off for the last four years of his employment, he was not. So as we struggled over the past five years - we re-learned the value of prayer. The value of having God the center of your life. God is a jelaous God and will not have any other God before Him. We got the message loud and clear.

But now we are completly worn out and as we sit here, over a month late with every single bill not knowing how we will pay for the rent, nor how we will buy more merchandise, I keep asking God - what is the lesson? What are you trying to tell us? What am I/we not getting?

My husband struggles as well, and I do not feel free to share his personal struggles but his questions have begun to impact on my faith.

I always felt certain God Loved me. I always believed He would provide. But after month after month of watching things go wrong and we struggle so hard to keep the business going while we pray for guidance. Again and again, we seem to just catch a break and think - this is it, we will finally be self sufficent, only to slide back further than the three steps we had just gained. "Show us, Oh Lord your Will. If this is not what you wish us to do - show us the way..."

It seems these prayers are met with silence. Or we are too stupid to hear Him, or too stubborn??

This constant struggle has begun to leave mne with more questions than answers, with less strength rather than more and with a shaken faith, that was once very strong.

As you have seen from my normal postings, we try to be positive. We take great joy from the twelve blessings God has bestowed on us. We try to foster a sense of gratitude in ourselves, no matter how difficult it gets but it has become harder the past year to do so, because we are tired. Tired, tired, tired.

"Please God, help us to Hear you. Guide us in the direction you wish us to go. Have mercy on us and send Your blessings upon us. Give us the strength to get through one more day, and one more day and then one day more again. Help us to count our Blessings, and to trust though we can not see nor understand the Why of our life right now."

Thank you, all of you, for your prayers and I humbly ask you to continue as I can only attribute our current sanity to your prayers. THANK YOU!

And now you have a bit of an idea of the spiritual struggle that we are going through. And so now I will go back to my fun, sometimes amusing and hopefully once in a while insightful postings. I prefer sharing that side of being a large Catholic family. Read more!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

thought for the day...

Heard in passing:

"You know Daddy - if a lizard had a blanket - it wouldn't be any warmer." Read more!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Read more!


I will be doing some baking - a little of it with all of my "little" help. Some, hopefully, by myself! I will be doing some writing as I try to pull together some thoughts I have put to paper over the past months during these very difficult times. I will be pursuing a business idea that smacked me in the face this morning when I got up at 6 am to help my two teens and adult son get ready to leave for the Eucharistic Congress that they will attend today.

Through it all I will have EWTN playing in the back ground, something I have been doing a lot of lately. I have found a great deal of comfort listening to various talk shows and interviews on EWTN. All positive, a great contrast to today's news shows. Also a great contrast to the turmoil in my heart. I try, when I find my thoughts dragging me down, to replace them with more positive thoughts by what ever means possible. While I can not sit all say and soal up all the wonderful thoughts, ideas and spiritual vistories shared on EWTN, I can let them wash over me as I work through the day and seep in and slowly work their way into my conciousness, giving me the strength and tools to deal with the spiritual battle I am engaged in.

Later today, if I think that I have managed to successfully pulled together my writings of the past month in a way that is edifying of my struggle, but without coming across as a pity party, I will post those thoughts. My purpose to sharing these thoughts would be to seek encouragement and even insight from others and at the same time also sharing what it is like to grow in the way of the Lord, while still struggling to meet the needs of others. Many others.

Thank you for your prayers. I do not know what I would have done without them yesterday when we were hit with yet one more blow, just one of many that have hit us since we moved. I really shudder to think what I would have done without your prayers and support. Thank you for your emails and thoughts. I will get back to each of you throughout the day.

Thank you!
Read more!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Oh so tired......

I awoke this morning so tired and thought my normal morning thoughts “I’m soooo tired! I can’t remember the last time I woke up NOT tired.’ As I lay there in bed, I prayed for the energy to get up and then added “Hey God, maybe you throw a few graces my way too ‘cause I need more than energy today, to get out of bed. “

Yet, never mind being tired - who wouldn’t have a hard time getting out of bed surrounded as I was with cuddly little beings dosing me with huge kisses and hugs. On one side I had my 4 year old snuggled up blowing kisses into my ear and playing with my hair and sometimes screaming in delight as I tormented her toes by twisting them on their way to market. Elsa sat on my very full bladder, bouncing and chortling in delight, while she waited in great anticipation of having her toes tweaked and tortured. Frequently she leaned forward and showered my face with kisses.

Suddenly despite my great fatigue I felt my heart almost seem to expand. It was so very full of love! Yes - I am very tired, but I am also very loved. Read more!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Time for some blantant honesty...

with a few pics to cheer you up after you read this post.

I am currently in a deep struggle with the Lord. I feel much like a rebellious child struggling to understand what exactly it is that my parent is asking of me.

We prayed and sought direction before making this move to our new home and location. Even our priest, whom we consulted, believed it was the right thing for us to do. Yet, since moving here our lives have been slowly unraveling leaving us questioning if we made the right decision, as well as causing me to question my relationship with God.

I will not burden you with the details, but life has been exceedingly painful and stressful to the point that there are days I can barely get through them. We continue to go to church, to pray and to ask for the graces we need, but I am floating in an abyss of uncertainty that is painful as well as frightening.

I ask you one and all to pray for us. And please pray especially for me.

Some may ask why I would share in this way. Because I believe that I need to share the bad with the good so that others who struggle sometimes and come here for a boost see that I too struggle and it is human to struggle. We, as fragile humans, often compare our insides with others' outsides. So I am sharing a little of my inside that is not so pretty.

Now for some fun pictures to help balance this bit of a downer of a post... Read more!
HOW many hours have we been in this van??

Whew - out of that prision at last.
Time for a little refreshment!

I LOVE my baby sister!

Ring around the Rosies and we all FALL DOWN!

Read more!
I'm sorry - I don't hear you calling me.
Nope! I don't hear a thing....

Uh... No, I don't think that I want to get back in the van so if you don't mind...
I'll just keep walking and Bear is coming with me!
Read more!

Who out smarted who, I ask.

I heard feet struggling heavily on the stairs and suspecting someone was embracing a heavy burden, I opened the second floor door. I was right. There I was met by Emma who had about 6 books encircled tightly in her chubby 4 year old arms.

Her eyes sparkled, belying the fact that she was up TWO hours past her bedtime. Evidence that our whirlwind business trips still throw us off stride despite five years of opportinty to acclimatize to them. With great cheer and energy in her voice she smiled: "Hello Mummy! I has some books foe us to read foe bedtime!"

My energy levels were no where near hers, causing me to dump a huge bucket of ice water on that idea immeadiatly.

"Oh No, Emma! It is way too late to read before bed!"

"Oh Pease, Mummy" she wheedled flashing another brillant smile.

"No, Emma, it's not even open to discussion."

"Awwww, Mummy. Pease. Dust three then. Can we wead dust three."

"No, Emma. It's just too late. We will read them tomorrow for school, okay?"

"Two Mummy, dust two?"

She peered expectantly at me as I picked up some clothes off her floor, and tossed them into the laundry basket.

I steeled myself. "No - It's too late Emma!"

"One den, Mummy, dust one book."

"Okay. BUT I get to pick!" I said, as I snatched the shortest one that, happily, was sitting on the top of her pile.

"Yay!" She hollered in delight as she bounced onto her bed.
"Mummy is going to wead us a tory Befany!" She yelled as she settled into my side.

Now the question I ask you is this.
"Was this a case of a wiley mother who talked her way out of reading six books, or that of a child who managed to wear her mother down into reading at least one book. " Read more!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The count down has begun...

All Hallows Eve may be just around the corner and Trunk or Treat, festivities planned by our parish might be in the throes of being organized, but my eight year old has her eyes set on a much bigger and more important date.

"72 days to Christmas!" She announced to me enthusiastically from her bathroom stall in Cracker Barrel where we had made our final food stop for the day as we drove back from Ohio.

"Aha", I replied and called back, "So, how many days to Advent?"

She didn't know and to be honest, neither did I. Well by my quick calculations I think it is about 53 days. The first Sunday in Advent will fall on the 26th of November. Danielle is obviously thinking along the same track as me as she has announced this blog on her website this week. I think I will mosy on over later today and check it out a little further. After all I have one child determined to keep my toes! I need to be ready!

Today it is 71 days to Christmas!
Read more!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

And its off again...

We are heading to Maryland to see our oldest child. Only for a few hours but well worth the drive! Then we head to Ohio - should be a pretty drive if we are not too tired to enjoy it after driving all night tonight. After picking up merchandise in Ohio and enjoying a coffee at Tim Hortens, we head home.

Until then cheerio and prayers are most welcome! Read more!

Soul of Christ ...

Anima Christi
(Soul of Christ)

Soul of Christ, be my santification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill my veins;
Water of Christ's side, wash out all my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be,
O good Jesus, listen to me.

In Your wounds I fain would hide,
Ne'er to be parted from your side.
Guard me should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to You above,
With your Saints to sing your love,
World without end.

(Cardinal Newman's Translation)

Read more!