Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Family Vacation...the bad beginning...

It took me three days to pack the van...I had kids putting their suitcases in the car on Wed., we weren't leaving till Sunday. We thought we were so smart this year to do a Sunday to Sunday rental so we wouldn't need to hassle with the traffic and get a good start to Outer Banks, NC. We left promptly at 6am.
We were doing great and the kids were being pretty good, we were making great time. We had the van packed with Grandma and seven of our kids. Following behind was my sister and three of the teenagers. We drove great for about four and and a half hours till I heard a clunk. I looked at my husband and he gave me one of those know the one that says don't say anything right now. He pulled to the side of the road and try to figure out the problem. The car was not starting and it looked pretty bad. It was hot and the kids were starting to sweat, so I took my very pregnant self over to my sister's car with the four littlest kids and kicked out the teenagers. We sat there trying to find a car rental on a SUNDAY, that had a van big enough for ten of us. We couldn't find any and we had to rent two cars from the airport fifteen miles in the wrong direction...but, we were desperate and hot.

My husband got in touch with a tow truck through triple A and contacted a taxi service to send TWO taxi's. So here we went two taxi's, my sister following with the three babies, and a tow truck with my husband and two boys following. As I was telling the taxi driver our woes. He felt really bad for us, especially since we couldn't find a van and had to go in the wrong direction to get two cars to rent. So he got on the phone and got me a number of a car rental really close to the triple A that was actually open on a Sunday and had a van!!!

I can't tell you how many times the little guys asked "how long" before the car broke down...but one thing all my kids know, is how to keep quiet when we break down...and unfortunately we break down often. The teens started to laugh and say, "it wouldn't be a vacation if we didn't break down." Then they started taking pictures to capture the family saga!!!

So we made it to Outer Banks just about three hours later than planned. It reminded me of this trip last year....

The house we rented it pretty perfect...and I will post on the rest of the "good" news of the trip later.




Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The kids were on a Robin Hood kick and they got the Battat Tree House from grandma and grandpa for Christmas about five years ago. We got a great deal on it from Sam's club. I think it may be discontinued. It was easy to put together and has held up great. They climb on it. The regular price is pretty expensive. This one looks just as good.

What I like:
*guest love playing with it
*boys and girls like it

What I don't like:
*size-takes up lots of room


Saturday, July 25, 2009



Friday, July 24, 2009

Just don't have time to blog today...

This is a picture from last summer. We are getting ready for the beach now, so I just wanted to post this picture...nothing makes a momma happier than seeing all her kids in one spot.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

got milk?

Milk Lovers May Live Longer Because of Decreased Disease Risk

By Albertina Torsoli
July 22 (Bloomberg) -- The secret to a longer life may be
this simple -- milk.
Drinking milk can lessen the chances of dying from
illnesses such as heart disease and stroke by as much as 20
percent, researchers led by Peter Elwood at Cardiff University
and Ian Givens from the University of Reading said today in a
statement distributed by the AlphaGalileo Web site.
Cow's milk provides calcium, potassium, protein, and
vitamin D, but also sugars and saturated fat and is often
portrayed as an unhealthy choice, the researchers said. The
study, based on evidence from 324 studies of milk consumption as
predictors of coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes, found
that health benefits associated with the drink outweigh dangers.
"Our findings clearly show that when the numbers of deaths
from coronary heart disease, stroke and colorectal cancer were
take into account, there is strong evidence of an overall
reduction in the risk of dying from these chronic diseases due
to milk consumption," Givens said in the statement. "There is
convincing overall evidence that milk consumption is associated
with an increase in survival in Western communities."
Coronary heart disease causes arteries to harden and narrow
because of plaque. Heart disease causes about 27 percent of all
deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. It's the number one killer worldwide, according
to the Geneva-based World Health Organization.
Increased milk consumption is also likely to reduce health
care costs "substantially," due to reduced chronic disease,
the researchers said.
"There is an urgent need to understand the mechanisms
involved and for focused studies to confirm the epidemiological
evidence since this topic has major implications for the agri-
food industry," Givens said.
The research was funded by the universities that led the
study, Givens said in an e-mail.



1 whole lg. chicken breasts, halved, skinned and boned (or any chicken)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (16 oz.) can sauerkraut, drained
1 (8 oz.) bottle Thousand Island dressing
6 oz. Swiss cheese, sliced (actually I use whatever cheese I have)

Layer ingredients in 10 x 6 inch baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

***This is one of my oldies but is one that I used to cook all the time. So I don't cook it as often. Most kids don't appreciate sauerkraut, so I just put it on the adult pieces.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Toy Review Tuesday...

My review today is call BLUETRACK. To see videos and lots more info go here. This track is very durable. We bring it to the park, on vacation, to the back yard, and just in the house. It sticks or hangs on different services. My one year old can play with it and it can be used for mulitple kids at a time.
What I like:
*all kids and all ages
*easy to store
*works great

What I don't like:
*expense (great gift for Christmas from Grandad)
*it has tons of possibilities to make cool flips and turns...we just aren't there yet...

Of course I grew up with these orange hot wheel tracks that we still use...they are very inexpensive and I hear you can buy them at toys r us for pretty cheep...they even have improved them by making the sides higher so the cars stay on better.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Declutter? Who me?

I have found out my problem (see below)...I am really bad about cleaning...I will take an outing at any time over cleaning. I am very bad about up keep of my home. I am a big time stash and dasher!!! I also don't ever let anyone up stairs...It is one thing to get downstairs picked up, but one day I dream of my entire house clean at one time.

I know it is a problem, but I also am happy to entertain or have over company at the drop of a hat, and for my kids to envite over friends. We have guests over almost every day...I will continue to thank God for my patient husband and hopefully chip away at my cleaning problem.

So come on over...and your step!!!

Simplify your domestic church

“Sanguine Stash and Dash”

The Sanguines are social butterflies and tend to put community in front of domestic duties. A woman with this personality will excuse her mess with a wave of her hand...


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Home Birth!!!

This is not my stomach...just a famous pro life stomach has lots...and lots of stretch marks!!!

WE are very excited that our insurance is paying for us to have a home birth again!!!

Home births are not for everyone. Our nurse midwives are certified and are VERY cautious about who gets to deliver at home.

Our first child was born in a hospital, the next seven at home, then #9 at the birthing center (insurance!), next at home, then #11 our 11 pounder at the birthing center. By far we enjoy the comfort of our own home.

Thank God I have had very healthy pregnancies and deliveries!!!

If you want a good laugh read my husband's blog from last June on Home births.

BTW...I don't enjoy being pregnant or labor!!!


Friday, July 17, 2009

REMINDER TO SELF: appreciate my teens...

My son in the seminary who prays for us!!!

The four "left behind" who do all the work around here and made Sunday possible...I sure hope their friends on FACEBOOK don't see this funny picture I took in JANUARY...

Many days I complain about teenagers...well I had a "what would I do without them day" on Sunday.

My running sardonic husband did a race on Sunday. On Sat night he and one of the teenage girls went to 4:30 mass. So Sunday I got my pregnant self out of bed to get ready for mass. Two of the boys were serving 10 am mass and my 19 year old left at 9 to feed my sister's cats. Geama came and took the 3 & 5 year old over for a fun day with grandma. I woke up the daughter who went to mass earlier to watch one year old. The 13,11,9, and 7 year old and I went to mass. We rushed home, ate, put the one year old down for a nap, and the three boys and I rushed off to see dad run across the finish line. The race was a 31 mile trail run and was about 2o minutes away. We got there with about a half hour wait till we cheered on my man!!! Then the 11 year old and I headed home after picking up gift card at Target for the wedding shower I was going to. Dropped off 11 year old. Got home just in time to see one year old wake up...loved on him for a minute than the 19 year old took him to visit Geama and the girls...I got ready and left for the shower. Got home right when my daughter and the three little guys got home...(perfect timing)!Got to visit with Father Kevin who just stopped by from his year in kids settled and got ready for dinner out with Boompa for dinner...The 16 year old took the 14 year old to youth group and the 19 year old went out. The thirteen year old made dinner and put the kids to bed. We got home around 7:30 exhausted from our busy day!!! Said good night to the kids and passed out!!!

Couldn't of done it without my teens...(or Geama)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

women and babies who need our prayers...

Please pray for these women and their babies....



Matthew 11: 28-30

Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

*** Come to Me, All You Who Labor and Are Burdened If you struggle daily to do what is morally right even when those around you take shortcuts, then come to Jesus. If the life of selfish pleasure and illicit gain seems exceedingly attractive, then come to Jesus. If you are burdened with your patterns of sin and weaknesses of character that affect your vocation as a spouse, a parent, a friend, a consecrated soul, a Christian…, then come to Jesus. If life seems unfair and God seems distant at best, then come to Jesus. He calls us not to a set of principles and noble ideals, but to his very person. We do not follow rules for the sake of rules; we follow Jesus. Only when we have first come to him will we understand the need for the rules which simply help protect the dignity of this relationship.

Father Shawn Aaron, LC

Lord please keep me at rest as I prepare for the Labor of my usual, I am anxious about the delivery. Thank you for this daily gospel reading to remind me that all is in your hands.


Top 5 Must-Have No-Cost Homeschooling Resources

I found this list at THE HOME SCHOOL MOM:

Top 5 Must-Have No-Cost Homeschooling Resources

Jim Erskine’s Freebie of the Day - If you are not aware of this site, then I am excited to share it with you. Jim works with homeschool publishers to provide you with 1 freebie each day. The link to the freebie is only active for 24 hours, so you have to act fast, but these are quality offerings and not just filler junk. Trust me, I have participated in this program and we have given away a full U.S. geography curriculum on one occasion and another full ebook on another occasion. Other publishers are doing the same thing. So sign up using the “Join List” tab at the top of the page.

The Old Schoolhouse’s Teacher Toolbox - Most of you are probably aware of their Freebie Friday newsletter (if you are not, then sign up for that one as well). But the Teacher Toolbox newsletter is a lesser known treasure. The Teacher's Toolbox is a great way to inject something extra into your teaching plans especially when you are homeschooling on a shoestring.

The Homeschool Mom Unit Studies - Actually, the entire Homeschool Mom site is a gem and you should spend some time there getting familiarized with it and find out what it has to offer. But I specifically highlighted the unit study page because unit studies are a great way to homeschool your children especially if you are working with limited funds. You can teach them all the same topic but at varying levels. You can often utilize library books and online information resources – all for free.

Donna Young Printables and Resources - Yes, this site is a treasure trove of lessons, planners and forms. There is a form for everything you could ever need. I especially like her diplomas! If you are looking for a specific form, a planner or a lesson for a certain subject, make sure that you check here! Donna Young has so many useful forms and resources that you will think you have hit the jackpot.

Homeschooling ABCs Free 5 Day MiniClass – Sometimes when you are throwing it all together yourself and not using pre-made curriculum, you can start to wonder if you are on the right track. Worry no longer… sign up for the free 5 day mini-class at the site above and receive information on:

What to Teach and When
4 Steps to Homeschooling Success
Homeschooling on a Dime
Getting the Help You Need
Planning and Scheduling

There you go – 5 “Must-Have” No-Cost Resources for Homeschooling. Take advantage of them. Let them be the fuel that starts your creative engine and keeps it going strong. My hope and prayer for you is that you have NOT been hit hard by this financial mess our country has found itself in. But if you have been, then look for the silver lining amongst the gray clouds. As Patti Handy says, “Don’t let a good financial crisis go to waste.” (

Let me know if you get any good info from them or have used them!!!

I have to add my favorite Saint Coloring Blog. Waltzing Matilda it is a great resource for feast day coloring.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Eight of my 11 soon to be twelve kids having chicken fights in Boompa's pool...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Toy review Tuesday...Automoblox Cars...

Besides being really expensive (great gift for Grandparents to give) these cars are very durable and fun to play with.

I think we have five big cars and three minis. The Mini van is my favorite (especially for girls) because it comes with the most people.

All the kids like to take apart and change pieces with the different cars.

What I like about them:

*interchangeable pieces

*made well

*go far and fast

*for girls and boys

*come with info to get a "driving licence and other stuff

What I don't like:



My wonderful state in life !?@*

Part of my morning routine when I am pregnant is waking up around 6 putting on my support hose and heading out to 6:30am mass before the kids wake up. this morning as I was walking out the door I thought I heard a squeak...should I just keep going and pretend I didn't hear the baby or EMBRACE my state in life and go get my boy.

I went upstairs and found my almost 2 year old playing "guys" with his 7 and 9 year old brother...oh yea, he had a real stinky I stayed home and played playmobile with the boys for about an hour.

So much for making mass...I guess I will just say a good Spiritual Communion Prayer:

Spiritual Communion Prayer

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

Sorry gotta go...I hear at least three of my "state in life" calling me!!!

Thy will be done!!! +JMJ+

Monday, July 13, 2009

Visions of mom...

My mom is great...she raised nine children and was a devoted wife and mother. Her generation took being a house wife seriously. Our house was always clean, meals were always great, and she catered to my dad like he was a king. Oh if I could only do as well!!!

I once was at a mother/daughter potluck where a young lady who was one of twelve shared a story of what memory she had of her mom...It was of her mom sitting in a chair in their living room holding a rosary, with green socks on.

What will my kids remember? Probably not cleaning, or cooking a real tasty dinner, and unfortunately not treating their dad like a king. OH, for progress. I am constantly working on cleaning, I would love to be a better cook, and I try to treat my husband as the king of our home.

On Sat. night, my husband took five of the kids to a ball game with our parish. So I stayed home with three youngest and my 16 year old son. After I put everyone to bed my five year old remembered how hungry she she came down for a bite to eat. I gave her some food and went to bed. As I was in bed she came in to tell me she was heading up. I sat in my bed watching a movie with my laptop on my lap. As she headed up...I thought wow, what a memory she will have of me tonight. Will this be embedded in her memory? Wouldn't I rather her remember me sitting on a chair saying the rosary with green socks on?

Well, she just came back off to cuddle and rub her back...maybe that will replace the lazy vision of her mom in her head.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Family dinner!!!

Our dinners may not taste as good as most families- just like I said here, but at least we are together!!! WE eat very simply and usually have over a friend or is always exciting-in a crazy kind of way!!! We are very strick about what our kids are involved in. When the activities take place and how often they are away from home.

After reading this article I had to share it.

The Importance of Family Meals
Rebecca Hagelin
Wednesday, July 08, 2009 –

How often does your family have dinner together?

That simple question often evokes an answer of, "Ummmmmm......"

What used to be the most basic of activities has become increasingly difficult to schedule in today's busy world. But bringing back the time-honored practice of "breaking bread" with your own family could be the single greatest step you take toward saving your family from all kinds of ills.

For more than a decade, the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University has been studying the tremendous impact that family meals have on children. Their research repeatedly shows how children suffer when they don't spend regular, casual time with their parents gathered around the dinner table. Consider this summary of their findings:

"Compared with teens who frequently had dinner with their families (five nights or more per week) those who had dinner with their families only two nights per week or less were twice as likely to be involved in substance abuse. They were 2.5 times as likely to drink alcohol, and nearly three times as likely to try marijuana."

Dining together makes a huge difference in general family relationships too. Children from families who don't have frequent meals together are more than twice as likely to say that the family has strained or tense relationships. And, sadly, they often don't feel as if their parents are very interested in their lives.

There's no reason to wonder if lonely meals lead to strained relationships or vice versa - find out by making togetherness a priority. "Just do it." It might be a worn-out phrase, but as the parent, you need to determine in your heart to make family dinners happen.

And, although they won't tell you, your teens want you to make it a priority. Really.

The pop culture constantly tells parents the pernicious lie that teenagers don't want them around. But teenagers say something very different. CASA's research, for instance, reveals: "When asked whether they prefer to have dinner with their families or to eat alone, 84 percent of teens surveyed say they prefer to have dinner with their families, compared to 13 percent who say they prefer to eat dinner alone (three percent responded 'don't know' or gave no response)."

Yet, statistics show that as teens grow older they are less likely to eat with their parents. My guess is that it's because mom and dad often feel too overwhelmed to take the initiative to bring them around the table, or have bought the lie that older children don't need family time.

The truth is that both parents and children experience more joy and satisfaction in life in general when we are part of a strong family unit. One study conducted by The Associated Press and (believe it or not) MTV, found that spending time with family is the number one activity that young adult children between 13 and 24 said makes them happy.

So what are you waiting for?

As a mother of three, I know how difficult it can be to manage schedules -- especially of three young adults all running in different directions and wanting to spend time with their friends in the summer months. But several years ago when my children first hit their teen years and I discovered the fierce competition for their time, I forged ahead, designating nights each week when we would absolutely eat together. And I found that adding one simple sentence to the mandate opened up a whole new world of fun: "Your friends are welcome to join us." This firm but inclusive directive made for many now-treasured evenings when we bond with our children and their friends. The time, laughs and discussions have a powerful impact on all of us.

It makes sense when you think about it. When your children know that your being with them is a priority for you, they feel valued and loved. They also begin to understand that the sacred bonds of family will sustain them through any challenge life throws at them.

If you're feeling at a loss on how to get and keep those kids gathered around your table, CASA offers great ideas on how to make meals interactive and enjoyable. Their fantastic website was designed with your family in mind. As CASA says, "Dinner Makes a Difference."


Saturday, July 11, 2009

IMITATION OF CHRIST: meditation of the day

The Fifty-First Chapter
When We Cannot Attain to the Highest, We Must Practice the Humble Works

The Voice of Christ
MY CHILD, you cannot always continue in the more fervent desire of virtue, or remain in the higher stage of contemplation, but because of humanity’s sin you must sometimes descend to lower things and bear the burden of this corruptible life, albeit unwillingly and wearily. As long as you wear a mortal body you will suffer weariness and heaviness of heart. You ought, therefore, to bewail in the flesh the burden of the flesh which keeps you from giving yourself unceasingly to spiritual exercises and divine contemplation.

In such condition, it is well for you to apply yourself to humble, outward works and to refresh yourself in good deeds, to await with unshaken confidence My heavenly visitation, patiently to bear your exile and dryness of mind until you are again visited by Me and freed of all anxieties. For I will cause you to forget your labors and to enjoy inward quiet. I will spread before you the open fields of the Scriptures, so that with an open heart you may begin to advance in the way of My commandments. And you will say: the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the future glory which shall be revealed to us.

Book three of the Imitation of Christ really is difficult. No one really wants to talk about suffering. There are eight more chapters then we move on. I know for myself it is important for me to be reminded that through any suffering it strengthens me for future problems. If I can persevere through the little inconveniences than I will be able to be stronger during real trials.


Friday, July 10, 2009

IMITATION OF CHRIST: daily meditation...

The Fiftieth Chapter
How a Desolate Person Ought to Commit Himself Into the Hands of God (PART THREE)

The Disciple to God:

You know all things without exception, and nothing in man’s conscience is hidden from You. Coming events You know before they happen, and there is no need for anyone to teach or admonish You of what is being done on earth. You know what will promote my progress, and how much tribulation will serve to cleanse away the rust of vice. Deal with me according to Your good pleasure and do not despise my sinful life, which is known to none so well or so clearly as to You alone.

Grant me, O Lord, the grace to know what should be known, to praise what is most pleasing to You, to esteem that which appears most precious to You, and to abhor what is unclean in Your sight.

Do not allow me to judge according to the light of my bodily eyes, nor to give sentence according to the hearing of ignorant men’s ears. But let me distinguish with true judgment between things visible and spiritual, and always seek above all things Your good pleasure. The senses of men often err in their judgments, and the lovers of this world also err in loving only visible things. How is a man the better for being thought greater by men? The deceiver deceives the deceitful, the vain man deceives the vain, the blind deceives the blind, the weak deceives the weak as often as he extols them, and in truth his foolish praise shames them the more. For, as the humble St. Francis says, whatever anyone is in Your sight, that he is and nothing more.

Say it with me: "Grant me, O Lord, the grace to know what should be known, to praise what is most pleasing to You, to esteem that which appears most precious to You, and to abhor what is unclean in Your sight." wow... and the word "rust of vice" that Thomas À Kempis uses really convicts me today...


Boy name contest!!!

My husband is sure we are having a he won't even discuss boy names!!! Over at his blog he is having a PET PEEVE PHRIDAY about names. He doesn't have room to talk...since he won't even give me some choices to pick from...

My favorite is: KOLBE PETER

Kolbe for one of my favorite saints: Maximillian Kolbe and Peter for by big bro!!!

Post your best boy name and maybe you could win one of my husband's old running shoes or something cool!!!


Raised them too well??? Doubt it!!!


Last week one of my teenagers (remaining nameless) was whining about not having any thing to do. All friends were busy and it was a good night to go out and have fun..."the teenager" looked at me and said, "This is your fault, IF YOU DIDN'T RAISE ME TO BE SO AMAZING I WOULDN'T BE SO PICKY ABOUT WHO I HANG OUT WITH!!!"

Now I remember blaming my mom on alot when I was a teen...but this was way out there...I just looked totally confused toward the "teen" and winced. The "teen" then said, "If I wasn't amazing I would hang out with partiers, dirt bags, mean people, and the like".

SO, I guess I accomplished the good old self esteem lesson in life and now I know the "teen" has my husband's and my pride problem!!!

I will say the first five have turned out pretty good...well so far...let's all pray for the next seven to be as amazing!!!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Imitation of Christ: meditation for the day

The Fiftieth Chapter
How a Desolate Person Ought to Commit Himself Into the Hands of God (part two)

The Disciple

Let him be a little slighted, let him be humbled, let him fail in the sight of men, let him be afflicted with sufferings and pains, so that he may rise again with You in the dawn of the new light and be glorified in heaven.

Holy Father, You have so appointed and wished it. What has happened is what You commanded. For this is a favor to Your friend, to suffer and be troubled in the world for Your love, no matter how often and by whom You permit it to happen to him.

Nothing happens in the world without Your design and providence, and without cause. It is well for me, O Lord, that You have humbled me, that I may learn the justice of Your judgments
and cast away all presumption and haughtiness of heart. It is profitable for me that shame has covered my face that I may look to You rather than to men for consolation. Hereby I have learned also to fear Your inscrutable judgment falling alike upon the just and unjust yet not without equity and justice.

Thanks to You that You have not spared me evils but have bruised me with bitter blows, inflicting sorrows, sending distress without and within. Under heaven there is none to console me except You, my Lord God, the heavenly Physician of souls, Who wound and heal, Who cast down to hell and raise up again. Your discipline is upon me and Your very rod shall instruct me.

Behold, beloved Father, I am in Your hands. I bow myself under Your correcting chastisement. Strike my back and my neck, that I may bend my crookedness to Your will. Make of me a pious and humble follower, as in Your goodness You are wont to do, that I may walk according to Your every nod. Myself and all that is mine I commit to You to be corrected, for it is better to be punished here than hereafter.

I know many people have a hard time with the idea of "fear of the Lord" I have been taught that it is not fear, but respect. Respect is falling away from today's society. We forget that it is a loving response and not a feared one. I know many have lost the right to be respected, but God is a God of love and as His followers we should look to him for guidance.


easy chicken fajitas:


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 stick butter
1 cap full Mrs. Dash (regular or chipotle)
1 large onion
1 green pepper
1/4 brown sugar
lettuce, tomato, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, tortillas

Slice chicken into long strips, place in pan with half of the butter and Mrs. Dash. Cook until done and lightly browned. Stir in a small amount of water or chicken broth and the brown sugar. Cook until caramelized.
Chop the pepper and onions into strips and rings, sauté in a separate skillet with the remaining butter. Cook until onions are caramelized and peppers have crispy edges.

These fajitas are really easy to make and a little different because they're sweet and spicy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

IMITATION OF CHRIST: meditation for the day

The Fiftieth Chapter
How a Desolate Person Ought to Commit Himself Into the Hands of God (part one)

The Disciple
LORD God, Holy Father, may You be blessed now and in eternity. For as You will, so is it done; and what You do is good. Let Your servant rejoice in You—not in himself or in any other, for You alone are true joy. You are my hope and my crown. You, O Lord, are my joy and my honor.

What does Your servant possess that he has not received from You, and that without any merit of his own? Yours are all the things which You have given, all the things which You have made.

I am poor and in labors since my youth, and my soul is sorrowful sometimes even to the point of tears. At times, also, my spirit is troubled because of impending sufferings. I long for the joy of peace. Earnestly I beg for the peace of Your children who are fed by You in the light of consolation. If You give peace, if You infuse holy joy, the soul of Your servant shall be filled with holy song and be devout in praising You. But if You withdraw Yourself, as You so very often do, he will not be able to follow the way of Your commandments, but will rather be obliged to strike his breast and bend the knee, because his today is different from yesterday and the day before when Your light shone upon his head and he was protected in the shadow of Your wings from the temptations rushing upon him.

Just Father, ever to be praised, the hour is come for Your servant to be tried. Beloved Father, it is right that in this hour Your servant should suffer something for You. O Father, forever to be honored, the hour which You knew from all eternity is at hand, when for a short time Your servant should be outwardly oppressed, but inwardly should ever live with You.

As usual, I am no one to talk about suffering...I am a big wimp. Even in my little suffering I am weak. I will try to remember it is all for Christ.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Toy Review Tuesday: woopsie wednesday

(my auto post didn't work yesterday):
We love legos!!! Any shape and size and of course we have been collecting Duplo's for 19 years. The smaller legos for about 15!!! We have most of the star wars and buckets and buckets of misc ones from friends, garage sales, and gifts!!! I do think it is possible to have too many legos. So for pretty much every boy birthday party we give them in goody bags or put them in pinatas. For the pinata I just fill it up with as many legos as possible and when the pinata breaks the kids gather their goodies. Once they have their own pile we have a contest to see who can make the coolest thing within about 15min...they have to try to use all the misc pieces they collected!!! For goody bags I take big zip lock bags and fill them so each kid gets about the same amount...then I send them off (out of my house forever!!!) with the boys when they get picked up.
*stepping on them in the middle of the night!!!
*trying to organize them
*little brothers and cousins who distroy very expensive and time consuming "sets"
*keeping all sets together
*having to call the lego company to ask for the "red gem" replacement
*the many hours my kids spend playing with them
*the creativity that comes with building
*the way they can combine sets to build another creation
*the lego company is easy to work with

LEGO DUPLO Community People Set

We got these for Christmas. We got two sets so no one would fight. I am very happy with them!!!The girls of corse fight over the little girl babies in the world set.


Imitation of Christ: meditation of the day-

The Forty-Ninth Chapter
The Desire of Eternal Life; the Great Rewards Promised to Those Who Struggle

The Voice of Christ(part three)

But consider, my child, the fruit of these labors, how soon they will end and how greatly they will be rewarded, and you will not be saddened by them, but your patience will receive the strongest consolation. For instead of the little will that you now readily give up, you shall always have your will in heaven. There, indeed, you shall find all that you could desire. There you shall have possession of every good without fear of losing it. There shall your will be forever one with Mine. It shall desire nothing outside of Me and nothing for itself. There no one shall oppose you, no one shall complain of you, no one hinder you, and nothing stand in your way. All that you desire will be present there, replenishing your affection and satisfying it to the full. There I shall render you glory for the reproach you have suffered here; for your sorrow I shall give you a garment of praise, and for the lowest place a seat of power forever. There the fruit of glory will appear, the labor of penance rejoice, and humble subjection be gloriously crowned.

Bow humbly, therefore, under the will of all, and do not heed who said this or commanded that. But let it be your special care when something is commanded, or even hinted at, whether by a superior or an inferior or an equal, that you take it in good part and try honestly to perform it. Let one person seek one thing and another something else. Let one glory in this, another in that, and both be praised a thousand times over. But as for you, rejoice neither in one or the other, but only in contempt of yourself and in My pleasure and honor. Let this be your wish: That whether in life or in death God may be glorified in you.

I just love this line:

But consider, my child, the fruit of these labors, how soon they will end and how greatly they will be rewarded, and you will not be saddened by them, but your patience will receive the strongest consolation.

This is total a mom I stress over the little annoyances...the tedious things that happen over and over again. This is my reminder (as if I didn't already know) that God will reward my small sacrifices and give me the grace to handle anything.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Wierd sleeping kids:

I shared about our bedtime routine here. Well, my bedtime routine is to go and check on everyone before I go to bed. It is usually anywhere between 9-10pm. Usually it is uneventful. Blankets on, fans off or on..., toys moved off bed, just simple silly things. There is always something exciting happening upstairs with 5 bedrooms and 9 kids.

We actually have 2 upstairs with their own room...2 in 2 other rooms and the college sister gets to share with the 3 & 5 year old when she is home...lucky soul!!! We have two bedrooms downstairs one is ours and my 13 year old has her own till she shares with the babe soon.

Well, sometimes I have to search for a missing child who has decided to fall asleep in someone else's bed, some have fallen asleep in the closet, hallway, or even under the can be kinda scary searching for a little guy who is not where they are supposed to be...

Recently this is what I found in two different bedrooms:

Yes, that is my three year old daughter with a small umbrella on top of her???
And our "sleeping puppet" this kid wins all kinds of awards for sleeping anytime, anywhere, and in the strangest positions and places!!!
Thank God they all make it to bed somehow. Kudos for my oldest daughter who does the much later check up on the kids...turning off teenagers lights, carrying kids half her size back to bed, and all sorts of amazing things most 19 year olds would shudder to think about!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


15 year old Lizzie Palmer put this “YouTube” video together.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Imitation of Christ: suffering explained

The Forty-Ninth Chapter
The Desire of Eternal Life; the Great Rewards Promised to Those Who Struggle (part two)

The Voice of Christ

I know your longings and I have heard your frequent sighs. Already you wish to be in the liberty of the glory of the sons of God. Already you desire the delights of the eternal home, the heavenly land that is full of joy. But that hour is not yet come. There remains yet another hour, a time of war, of labor, and of trial. You long to be filled with the highest good, but you cannot attain it now. I am that sovereign Good. Await Me, until the kingdom of God shall come.

You must still be tried on earth, and exercised in many things. Consolation will sometimes be given you, but the complete fullness of it is not granted. Take courage, therefore, and be strong both to do and to suffer what is contrary to nature.

You must put on the new man. You must be changed into another man. You must often do the things you do not wish to do and forego those you do wish. What pleases others will succeed; what pleases you will not. The words of others will be heard; what you say will be accounted as nothing. Others will ask and receive; you will ask and not receive. Others will gain great fame among men; about you nothing will be said. To others the doing of this or that will be entrusted; you will be judged useless. At all this nature will sometimes be sad, and it will be a great thing if you bear this sadness in silence. For in these and many similar ways the faithful servant of the Lord is wont to be tried, to see how far he can deny himself and break himself in all things.

There is scarcely anything in which you so need to die to self as in seeing and suffering things that are against your will, especially when things that are commanded seem inconvenient or useless. Then, because you are under authority, and dare not resist the higher power, it seems hard to submit to the will of another and give up your own opinion entirely.

Lord, help me to accept the small trials that cause inconvenience and stress. Let me offer them up for so many who are in great distress. This meditation calls for great humility. Give me wisdom to serve my husband with love and joy and to raise my children to always look to you for guidance.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Imitation of Christ-Meditation of the day

The Forty-Ninth Chapter
The Desire of Eternal Life; the Great Rewards Promised to Those Who Struggle

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, when you feel the desire for everlasting happiness poured out upon you from above, and when you long to depart out of the tabernacle of the body that you may contemplate My glory without threat of change, open wide your heart and receive this holy inspiration with all eagerness. Give deepest thanks to the heavenly Goodness which deals with you so understandingly, visits you so mercifully, stirs you so fervently, and sustains you so powerfully lest under your own weight you sink down to earthly things. For you obtain this not by your own thought or effort, but simply by the condescension of heavenly grace and divine regard. And the purpose of it is that you may advance in virtue and in greater humility, that you may prepare yourself for future trials, that you may strive to cling to Me with all the affection of your heart, and may serve Me with a fervent will.

My child, often, when the fire is burning the flame does not ascend without smoke. Likewise, the desires of some burn toward heavenly things, and yet they are not free from temptations of carnal affection. Therefore, it is not altogether for the pure honor of God that they act when they petition Him so earnestly. Such, too, is often your desire which you profess to be so strong. For that which is alloyed with self-interest is not pure and perfect.

Ask, therefore, not for what is pleasing and convenient to yourself, but for what is acceptable to Me and is for My honor, because if you judge rightly, you ought to prefer and follow My will, not your own desire or whatever things you wish.

Lord, help me to open my heart, give thanks, and advance in virtue and in greater humility, that I may prepare myself for future trials. You are my best friend and I need Your guidance to be the best wife and to raise my children according to Your Holy Will!!!



Lots of interesting discussion going on over at Faith and Family on tv watching...

We didn’t have a tv for nine years, and boy do I miss that special time!!! It came home for a baseball game and never left…With baby #12 on the way and my oldest 19, I miss the time I had with my older kids playing games and cards, not to mention how smart the big kids are. They used to read all the time and are so creative…now we have way to many tv’s in this crazy house.

I do say that I like having all the teens hang out at our house!!! We got a Wii for Christmas from all the relatives and it is like a teen magnet.

So BALANCE is the key as usual...


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I have been married for 20 years and I am constantly trying to get a grip on housework.

Even when I just had one kid, I wasn't that great of a housekeeper.

Now I have to accept the reality that I will never get a grip on the following:

-being done with laundry (unless we start going naked)
-having all socks matched
-having the entire house clean at once (when I clean one room-they trash the other)
-being able to get my laundry room organized (it never stays clean for more than 3 days)
-having my classroom organized
-opening the van door and not having something fall out when I open it
-having all the bikes and strollers, the garage well ordered
-being able to walk up stairs and see all five bedrooms clean (nine kids sleep up there)

Of course I will keep trying to get a grip on the housework, but I won't let it get a grip on me...because I wouldn't change my life for anything!!! I am so in love with my husband and so happy that I am expecting my 12th child.