Sunday, December 29, 2013

Our lives are a miracle:

On Dec. 7th I got to visit St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home for their Christmas Party. This is the place I spent my first 12 days of life as my birth mother decided what to do.

It was a great part of my Advent as I pondered Mary's pregnancy, Joseph's job as a foster parent, and Jesus sacrificing so much to come into this world as an infant born in a stable.
The Cardinal decided we needed to get a picture together!

I can meditate on Mary because I have been pregnant 15 times. Many times I have been very full of life during Advent. (12 live births, three miscarriages. Two babies died very early in my pregnancy but my last loss was our sweet Steven Thomas who was almost 5 months old. It was a traumatic experience that we still feel the hole in our hearts. Not just the loss of our baby but the possibility of never getting pregnant again.) I am grateful for my wonderful children and people think I am crazy for wanting more...but if you knew my kids you would want more too!
The tombstone for Steven's plot at the baby cemetery at our parish
I can meditate on Joseph being a foster parent because I am a legal guardian of a wonderful almost two year old boy who we have had since he was 10 weeks old. Every time I beg God to just let us have full adoption of "our baby" so he can never be taken away from us...God says, "Trust! Ray is your baby just as much as the 12 you gave birth to. You are a "foster parent" to all your children...they are MINE and I have asked you to take care of them for me!"

Of course none of us can imagine the impact of God becoming is just a miracle that God gave us! I can relate to miracles. Not the kind of miracle that I was blind and now I can see...or I was cripple but now I can walk...but the MIRACLE OF MY LIFE.

I left St. Ann's with a contemplated I am with 12 of my 13 children in a building that I was given room in their "INN." My birth mom had found a haven in their "home" to decide what to do in a time of crisis. An unexpected pregnancy that was a "date rape" unknown to her family and most of her contacts, in 1968, a time when abortion was illegal but not impossible. I spent my first 12 days in this "INN" before I was placed in a foster home that was to be my permanent family for the rest of my life.

So, if you know me or me or not...prolife or not...just ponder with me...if I was aborted...I would not be here...but even more moving and 12 children would not be here! They are pretty amazing by the way...and what of my little Ray? Where would he be? I can pretty much bet he wouldn't be in a family being spoiled with love by 12 siblings who thinks he rocks their world. Not to mention the balm of healing my husband and I have with him during the time of mourning two babies gone. He is the light in our darkness the extra boost we need to get up in the morning.
Look at my baby #13 looking at all the others..."ok Lord, what did you get me into???"
(Yes I know there are son in love has #1 just like my oldest)
So, my advent was spent pondering and being grateful for a woman who was in a crisis pregnancy who said yes to life and her small yes has brought about what I would say one hundred fold. This is just the beginning!!! The grandchildren haven't started to pour in yet...and I can't wait!!!
More miracles to add to my list.

Thank you Mary for saying yes to God, thank you Joseph for saying yes to God, thank you Jesus for saying yes to God, thank you birth mother for saying yes to God, thank you to my adoptive parents for saying yes to God. I will strive to always say yes to God to keep the miracles happening!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I really wanna : Live Like That!!!

All week when I have made time for meditation in the morning...
these words have echoed in my mind: When they see me will they see you???
Wow, I could meditate on that for the rest of my life!
Over and over I say it...when my husband sees me...when my kids see me...when the world sees me???
 Lord, I love you please change me and my pride!!! Help me show the world that I love you. When they see me, let them see you in all my works!!! Amen!!!

 Lyrics to Live Like That:
"Live Like That"

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I'm only just a memory
When I'm home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of us
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change our heart
Do I live like Your love is true

People pass
And even if they don't know my name
Is there evidence that I've been changed
When they see me, do they see You

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

I want to show the world the love You gave for me
I'm longing for the world to know the glory of the King

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that
I want to live like that


Sunday, December 1, 2013

CC Turned Eight!!!

Happy Birthday to my sweet little princess!!!
 Wow, you are eight! How in the world did that happen? 
It was just yesterday when you were stealing your sisters makeup 
and I was finding candy wrappers under your bed!
You have always been our "Hunter" girl moving and keeping us busy! 
You are an awesome bike rider and now you are reading up a storm!!! 
So very proud of you! Most of all I am so glad that Jesus is your best friend!!! 
Stay close to HIM and he will guide and direct your every path!!!
Daddy loves to write about you!!! 
Like here and here  
and here and also here!

 This classic photo was last May at First Communion when the bathrooms at Church broke!!!
Love you forever, like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be!!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Our little puppet is 12!!! Yikes I can't believe were the first baby born in this house and I was in shock that we had FIVE boys...
little did I know that God  had three more boys in store for our family...
You are the funniest kid...number 8 child and everyone loves make us smile...
keep it up and don't turn into a scary teenager!!! 
You can sleep anywhere at any time, it is a gift you inherited from your mommy!!!
We can't wait to see  what God has in store for you and your future...
we know it will be great if you stay on the path of CHRIST. 
Keep up the great work and thanks for always helping with the little guys!!! 
Love you forever, like  you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be!!!

Make them laugh, make them laugh, make them laugh!!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

HOMESCHOOLING WORKS...even with the toughest kids!!!

Dear friends, 
Those who know me, know my style...I homeschool from birth till they graduate from High School...most of my kids are late readers...mainly because I am very laid back objective is to have them read for fun as much as possible and do school on their own...this may mean doing "easier work" till they are confident in their ability. This may mean being embarrassed when my third grader still struggles with reading...this may mean feeling overwhelmed when I am tired and the house is a mess and we are all still in our pj's at lunch!!! 

I am, I guess considered a seasoned homeschooler these oldest is going to be 24 and I have four in college now. Plus the two in highschool, two in middle school, two in elementary school, and two running around tearing the house apart.

About twice a year I send my younger friends with houses full of babies a note to encourage them and to share my good news of my college kids when their grades come in and they are all getting A's and B's (maybe an occasional C). I feel a little boastful sending it but I always explain that many of our days we just spent reading on the couch, playing play doe, painting, and going for walks or playing outside. 
I have had easy children and difficult children, I have smart children and children who struggle, I have diligent children and unmotivated children, I have extroverted children and introverted children, I have loud children and quiet children...ok, I think you get it. 

The following letter was sent to me from my son who asked me not to share it...well, since he doesn't read my blog and I omitted his name...I figured I was safe to share this. The reason I am sending this is because this is my difficult, unmotivated, introverted, quiet child who drove me crazy...there were days when I thought I should send him to school...when I thought I was the worse teacher for pediatrician would tell me I was the best teacher for him and he would do best at home. So we persevered and made it to his highschool graduation and his introduction to four years later he is applying (and got into one of the best schools in the country!!!) to grad schools and graduating in May!!! I highlighted the words in red which made me most proud and affirmed my decision of why God has called our family to homeschool!!! 

The following are excerpts from a letter was sent from one of my child's teacher/advisers to the Graduate Admissions Committee. I highlighted the parts that made me so proud and convinced that Homeschooling works for my family!!!

" initiative, confidence and incredible work ethic are what set his apart from fellow classmates."
 " is at ease around people and his calm, warm personality creates a welcoming environment..."

 "is able to build a trustful relationship. "

" is well liked by fellow classmates because of his ability to lead by example. "

is quick to volunteer his time to participate in community service events or to organize an event."

 "ability to teach and interact with people on a thoughtful and compassionate way"

  " able to work independently and completed tasks with accuracy and on time."

 " motivation and focus seemed tireless."     
" leaves the impression of a responsible, enthusiastic, and motivated young man.
 "an individual with a thirst for knowledge and dedication."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Saint Song

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The PERSISTENT widow!!!

I love fall...I am not a big fan of September...I don't mind the weather, but the activities kill a mom of 13!!! We have school starting and every other activity beginning. Even tho we don't do alot of extra activities around our home; just CCD, youth group, school, and FALL soccer, keep us super busy.

At the end of September a dear friend and mentor died from Cancer. I was so moved by her life and her funeral really hit a cord in my being! Most moving is the fact that her 8 children and 23 grandchildren are all still practicing their faith! She died with the peace of knowing her job was well done.

There were 32 priest and one deacon at her simple funeral mass. It was life changing for me to ponder my own life and personality. I know God made me the way I am and even tho I am an extrovert and a very "pushy broad" as my hubby calls me, I still need to work on balance in my life and being more humble and contrite.

 I went on a retreat the first weekend of October after the funeral, so it was a perfect time for me to meditate on being more contemplative. I have been going on a weekend silent retreat for about 16 years. This retreat was amazing and one of the best I have ever gone on. I came home with a huge commitment to change and simplify my life more.

Well...I had a little help from modern technology. The fan on my laptop broke-so no more laptop. My phone once again lost all the contacts and was cleared of everything, because I have an encryptive password lock glitch on my computer...and worst of all our family computer just died.

So God is giving me lots of extra time for prayer and mediation.

Today's Gospel Lk 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'" The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

THIS IS MY READING...the priest in this picture used to introduce me as a famous bible character: "the persistent widow" So even tho I am trying to be more humble...I need to use my persistence in prayer, not nagging.


Thursday, October 17, 2013


Join me in running or virtual running in your own home/neighborhood...for this great cause. THY WILL BE DONE!!! +JMJ+

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pro's of Homeschooling!!!

My hubby has been doing a blog on Financial Planning/Freedom!!! 
Here he talks about the Pro's and Con's of Homeschooling our 13 kids!

He really did a great job!


Saturday, September 14, 2013


1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick) at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar sifted
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place the peanut butter and butter in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds.  Stop the machine.  Add the confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons of milk, and the vanilla.  Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is well combined, 1 minute.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting lightens and is fluffy.  Blend in up to 1 tablespoon milk if the frosting seems to stiff.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Our Family 10 Commandments:

10 Commandments:

1. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me.
(You shall love God above all else, more than sports, food, tv, ipod, computer, and friends.)

2. You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain.
(Watch what you think, say, or do. Be a good example.)

3. Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day.
(Never miss Sunday mass, daily mass and monthly confession; they will help guide you all the days of your life.)

4. Honor your father and your mother
 (Speak and act respectfully to your parents and elders.)

5. You shall not kill.
(Or hate. Treat others how you want to be treated.)

6. You shall not commit adultery.
(Dress, speak, and act modestly. Be careful what you watch and listen to)

7. You shall not steal
 (Or cheat. Keep your reputation solid and trustworthy. When you have a job do your best and work hard.)

8. You shall not bear false witness
(Never lie or gossip about others.)

9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
(Be grateful for the gifts God has given you and use them to help others.)

10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods
(Tithe 10% of your money and time to God to spread His kingdom.)


Friday, August 30, 2013

Back to basics:

Thy Will Be Done!!! +JMJ+

First day of school starts on Tuesday. We are gonna start with some basics for my first grader and third grader:

My name is:

Today is:

My address is:

My phone number is:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Even Homeschool kids need to be reminded about compassion:

Hey, baby.
Tomorrow is a big day. Third Grade -- wow.
Chase -- When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.
Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn't smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don't think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.
And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.
I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I'd asked him to play, just once, he'd still remember me.
I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God's gifts to you.
So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.
Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heartache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heartache. That heartache is called compassion, and it is God's signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion -- be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.
Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.
Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can do hard things.
Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won't step in right away. That's okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then tell us. We are on your team -- we are on your whole class's team. Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me, baby. We will make a plan to help together.
When God speaks to you by making your heart hurt for another, by giving you compassion, just do something. Please do not ignore God whispering to you. I so wish I had not ignored God when He spoke to me about Adam. I remember Him trying, I remember feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn't. Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.
Chase -- We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don't care if you win a single one of them. We don't care if you get straight As. We don't care if the girls think you're cute or whether you're picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don't care if you are your teacher's favorite or not. We don't care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don't care.
We don't send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can't lose it. That's done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.
Don't try to be the best this year, honey.
Just be grateful and kind and brave. That's all you ever need to be.
Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy... with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.
I love you so much that my heart might explode.
Enjoy and cherish your gifts.
And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.
Letter originally published on Momastery on August 28, 2011


Thursday, August 22, 2013


WE started with this card:

(kinda an inside joke cuz his cousins last name is Hershey) 



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Little sunshine is 19!

It is really weird when your kids get older...especially when you feel like you are there age! 
I remember being 19 like it was yesterday...dreaming of being a mommy some day!
Actually at 19 I was considering the convent...but that is another story!
Lizzie, we love you! 
You were always our little sunshine and would try to help me clean the house...
little did you know I am a hopeless case!
You are just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside!
Magna cum laude
sweet 16!
and we like Paul too!

Stay close to Jesus all the days of your life! 
He will get you through the good times and the bad. 
Seek HIS will in all you do and keep your eye on the prize. 
Stay smart and sweet.
God Bless you on your birthday and always!