Friday, December 30, 2016

When I am discourged about my parenting...

My favorite Christmas gift: Notes from my big kids to help me when I feel discouraged with my little guys:

* “You taught me how to read. Read us books, took us for walks, and didn’t let us watch TV!” –Alex

*“Thank you for making it “normal” and “cool” to be Catholic, especially for surrounding me with great friends when I was younger, it made it easier for me to be good.”  –Josh

*“Mom always taught me to work hard and go the extra mile. By encouraging us to get jobs, and work for everything we wanted. She instilled a motivation and drive in all of us that has given myself and the rest of us kids great success.” – Caleb

*“You taught us to work hard and how to earn things and be independent. You didn’t let us get away with stuff.” –Lizzie

*“You taught us how to be self-sufficient.” –Barbara
*“By homeschooling us, no dating till 18, and no iphones until 17”. – Joey

*“Always there to talk to” –Robert

*“Homeschooling us!” -Dominic

Thy Will Be Done!!! +JMJ+


I thought I used to be a good mom. This weekend made me feel like a failure! Having 8 boys and foster baby being a boy makes #9 makes me shake my head often! Especially since growing up I constantly mentioned that I had four big brothers! I always felt like it was such a big deal. When I had baby boy number five I was in shock!

My three youngest boys are typical boys but add to that five big brothers with lots of  "character" and big ideas of what is funny (aka rude).

This weekend was one of the worst with the boys or maybe it is the lack of sleep I have had with a five week old who is up every 3 hours.

It started Friday after mass and school, the house was (is) a mess and the weather was hot and sticky. The boys were bouncing off the walls and going crazy all day. My 9 year old was bored (not allowed) and sitting in the kitchen messing with the phone while I made dinner. As he dialed 911-23 he hung up and ran to the bathroom. Phone one could get it and I was knee deep in chicken. About 5 minutes goes by and 2 very friendly police officers knock on the door to make sure everything was all right. Of course I knew what happened the minute I saw the police what had happened.

After I explained to the very kind  officer what happened, I made sure to explain to my son with the officers standing there, how because of what he did the officers were taken away from their duty!

Lord Bless and protect my children!

+JMJ+ Thy will be done!!!

Monday, September 12, 2016

4 Spiritual Habits for Homeschooling

My Daughter's friend interviewed me for this article...she just re-posted it so I thought I would share:

4 Spiritual Habits for Homeschooling, Whether with 1 or 13 Kids

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be homeschooling my 3-year-old son for preschool, I probably would have laughed.
Not that I had anything against homeschooling; I knew a wonderful homeschooling family growing up, the Fatzingers, but it was never something I had considered for my family.
I always assumed our children would attend Catholic school like my husband and I had done.
However, during a discussion at a mother’s group of our children’s education prospects and the actual cost of private school, homeschooling entered the radar for the first time for my family. I spent the next year or so anxiously pondering my son’s education until I heard the Holy Spirit tell me while I was praying the rosary one day to just try it.
My husband and I figured preschool was the best time to “try it” because it’s not required in our state and, like I tell everyone who asks, even if it’s an epic failure, it won’t scar my child for life; it is only preschool after all.
So here we are. We are venturing into the world of homeschooling with our son and using the Seton preschool curriculum.
We chose Seton because I immediately fell in love with Seton’s Early Literacy for Young Catholics Pre-K Activity Book, and a woman in my mother’s group has been using Seton for years with great success.
Knowing I had to spiritually prepare myself for this year-long battle, I turned to Sam Fatzinger for her words of wisdom and advice. When I was growing up, she was a friend of my parents’ while her older kids were the same age as my siblings and me.
With 13 kids, her youngest child is the same age as my oldest, and I consider her an excellent mentor.
She offered four spiritual habits she has used through the years that have already helped me as I start this adventure:

1. Load up on graces.

While packing the car with many young kids early in the morning to attend daily Mass was a challenge, Sam knew the graces would be worth it.
“I have been going to daily Mass since I was 16,” she said. “It has been a source of strength and wisdom for me ever since. Any big or small decision I have needed to make has come from the grace I receive from the Eucharist.”
Going to Mass is a little easier now with older kids able to babysit, but even when she has to schlep everyone with her, she knows it’s good for her and her family. Plus, it’s part of their religion curriculum, so “Check! One class done for the day,” she said.
Another way Sam covers herself with graces is by attending a silent retreat once a year. She never knows what challenges the upcoming year will bring, so it’s important for her to devote an entire weekend to prayer.
“During that retreat, God pours down all the graces I’ll need to get me through the year,” she said.

2. Draw close to the saints.

Sam said she used to pray a novena leading up the first day of school, but now she finds herself praying to the saints constantly. For example, if she sees one child struggling, she’ll pray through that child’s patron saint for him. St. John Bosco, St. John Vianney, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Martha and St. Joseph are other particular favorites.
“I think the saints are sitting up there just waiting for us to ask for their help,” Sam said.
In January, she has each child pick a saint at random through the website, and she encourages them to learn about and grow closer to the saint throughout the year.
They used to celebrate the kids’ feast days in a big way, but between that, birthdays, Baptism days and other big occasions, “we were eating cake every day,” she said. However, even without the big celebrations, dedication to the saints is a big part of their daily lives.

3. Pray throughout the day.

Sam laughs when, upon seeing a candle lit in the house, her children ask, “Who’s in labor?”
She’s gotten in the habit through the years to light a candle as a reminder to pray for a specific intention throughout the day, and yes, most of the time it’s for a woman in labor. She and her friends also often make an agreement, when some of them are going through a hard time, to set their kitchen timer every hour on the hour and say a quick prayer for the friend.
She prays the Angelus at noon with her kids (“whoever’s in earshot,” she said) and she puts on a Divine Mercy YouTube video at 3 p.m. for her kids to watch and for her to overhear while she gets ready for dinner.
“Every time things start to get crazy in the house, I think, OK, when was the last time I went to confession? Did I say my morning prayer today? Did I have quiet time today? Have I taken time for spiritual reading? Have we said a family rosary recently? When those are off, that’s when school falls apart,” Sam said.

4. Be confident in your vocation.

For Sam, homeschooling is not a 9-month job during the year; it’s an ongoing part of her vocation as a mother and something she always knew she was called to do even when it required sacrifice.
Having 13 kids in 23 years and homeschooling them on one person’s salary is truly a radical choice in today’s world. Sam laughed when she said one of her daughters knows the family is rich now because they buy paper towels, showing that “they went without so much for so long,” she said.
However, even though they went without some things, they were also given unexpected gifts.
“No one said, when we said ‘yes’ to being open to life 26 years ago, that in 1994, someone will give you a car, and you’ll get this awesome deal on a Cape Cod. In 1999, you’re going to get this huge foreclosure of a house and get it for a steal. In 2001, someone will put $500 on your doorstep,” she said.
“God doesn’t tell you that. He just says, ‘Trust me, have faith, be open to life, be open to what I have in store for you.’”

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My 21st...first day of school as a Homeschooling mommy...

First Day of school...

Pretty funny that I have been homeschooling for 21 years! Each year with its different challenges and exciting changes. Many, many years in the beginning had a new baby or a tired pregnant mommy, but we made it through each year! I have successfully graduated my seven oldest!

Child #1 graduated with her masters at age 21, debt free and is now married, expecting baby #2 and is an evening hospital social worker. Child #2 graduated debt free and is now a FOCUS Catholic Missionary in Nebraska, getting married in November. Child #3 graduated debt free and is now in his last year of Physical Therapy School getting his doctorate degree and unfortunately had to take a loan. Child #4 graduated last year debt free and is now teaching high school math. Child #5 is a senior who is graduating debt free this May. Child #6 is a sophomore at the Community College and planning to transfer next Fall. Child #7 is a freshman in Comm. College. Child #8 is  in 10th grade, #9 is 8th grade, they go to a two day Tutorial. The last four are 6th, 4th, 2nd. and pre K! Our family has been blessed with a five week old foster baby that we got four weeks ago from an agency called SAFE FAMILIES .
Having a new baby in the house has added lots more fun and lots less sleep for me but its all worth it when the kids fight over who gets to hold him!

Each year when my college kids get their grades back I send a message to my younger homeschool mom friends saying, "See it works!!! By the grace of God they must of learned something all those crazy pregnant, diaper changing, nursing years!!! "

God always blesses us with so many graces we just have to trust in His wisdom to overcome the obstacles and know He is in control! A wise priest gave me a fantastic penance this summer..."PRAY LIKE MARY, SO YOU CAN WORK LIKE MARTHA!" love that advice and plan to try to use it always!

Hope you are having a good new school year! Pray for all families dealing with change and anxiety!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Very proud of my husband and my college graduates!
See article below from the Washington Post:

Thy Will Be done!!! +JMJ+

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fried Rice

Best Fried Rice ever!

Dice up the following and set aside.
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
In a deep saute pan I first cut up about 6 slices of bacon and fry in sesame oil until almost done.  I then add the diced onion, carrot and celery.  Saute until onions, carrots and celery are well cooked.
In a small bowl scramble 2 eggs.  I push the cooked vegetables to one side of the pan and pour the eggs in and scramble.
Next add your cooked rice. Mix well.  Add the following spices:
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons ginger powder
  • crushed red peppers
  • about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.  Add a little more if rice seems too dry. Add diced meat or shrimp if making this as a main dish.
  • Mix everything well and then add about a cup of frozen peas.  2 cups of shredded cabbage and 2 green onions diced. Cover and steam on low until cabbage and peas are cooked, about 10 minutes.  
This is great to put in left overs like chicken, pork, or whatever...
Go to link for more info!

Why go to daily mass?

The Mass is the best means we have:
1. To render God the highest form of worship.
2. To thank Him for all His blessings.
3. To make reparation for all our sins.
4. To obtain all the blessings we desire.
5. To release souls from purgatory and to shorten our own time there.
6. To preserve us from all dangers to soul and body.
7. To be consoled at the hour of death, for at that moment their memory will be our greatest consolation.
8. To intercede for us at the Judgment Seat of God.
9. To bring down God's blessings; therefore, try to assist at Mass every day, or as often as possible, and, of course, on Sundays.
10. To better understand the sublimity of the Passion of Christ, and, therefore, to increase our love for Him.

More here: 

From Seton:
77 Graces and fruits from daily mass:

 1. For thy salvation God the Father sends His beloved Son down from heaven.
2. For thy salvation the Holy Spirit changes bread and wine into the true body and blood of Christ.
3. For thy sake the Son of God comes down from heaven and conceals Himself under the form of the sacred host.
4. He even abases Himself to such an extent as to be present in the minutest particle of the sacred host.
5. For thy salvation He renews the saving mystery of the incarnation.
6. For thy salvation He is born anew into the world in a mystic manner whenever holy Mass is celebrated.
7. For thy salvation He performs upon the altar the same acts of worship that He performed when on earth.
8. For thy salvation He renews His bitter passion in order that thou mayest participate in it.
9. For thy salvation He mystically renews His death, and sacrifices for Thee His precious life.
10. For thy salvation He sheds His blood in a mystic manner, and offers it up for thee to the Divine Majesty.
11. With this precious blood He sprinkles thy soul and purifies it from every stain.
12. For thee Christ offers Himself as a true burnt-offering, and renders to the God-head the supreme honor which is its due.
13. By offering this act of worship to God thou dost make reparation for the glory which thou hast failed to give Him.
14. For thee Christ offers Himself to God as a sacrifice of praise, thus atoning for thy omissions in praising His holy name.
15. By offering to God this oblation which Christ offers thou givest Him greater praise than do the holy angels.
16. For thee Christ offers Himself as a perfect sacrifice of thanksgiving, making compensation for all failures on thy part to render thanks.
17. By offering to God Christ's act of thanksgiving thou dost make ample acknowledgment of all the benefits He had bestowed on thee.
18. For thee Christ offers Himself as the all-powerful victim, reconciling thee to the God Whom thou hast offended.
19. He pardons thee all thy venial sins, provided thou art firmly resolved to forsake them.
20. He also makes reparation for many of thy sins of omission, when thou didst leave undone the good thou mightest have done.
21. He removes many of the imperfections attached to thy good deeds.
22. He forgives thee the sins, unknown or forgotten, which thou hast never mentioned in confession.
23. He offers Himself as a victim to make satisfaction for a part at least of thy debts and transgressions.
24. Each time thou hearest Mass thou canst do more to pay the penalty due to thy sins than by the severest work of penance.
25. Christ places to thy credit a portion of His merits, which thou mayest offer to God the Father in expiation of thy offenses.
26. For thee Christ offers Himself as the most efficacious peace-offering, interceding for thee as earnestly as He interceded for His enemies on the cross.
27. His precious blood pleads for thee in words as countless as the drops which issued from His sacred veins.
28. Each of the adorable wounds His sacred body bore is a voice calling aloud for mercy for thee.
29. For the sake of this propitiatory victim the petitions proffered during Mass will be granted far sooner than those that are proffered at other times.
30. Never canst thou pray so well as whilst present at Mass.
31. This is so because Christ unites His prayers to thine, and offers them to His heavenly Father.
32. He aquaints Him with thy needs and the dangers to which thou art exposed, and makes thy eternal salvation His particular concern.
33. The angels also, who are present, plead for thee, and present thy poor prayers before the throne of God.
34. On thy behalf the priest says Mass by virtue of which the evil enemy will not be suffered to approach thee.
35. For thee and for thy everlasting salvation he says Mass, and offers that holy sacrifice to God Almighty.
36. When thou hearest Mass, thou art thyself in spirit a priest, empowered by Christ to offer the Mass both for thyself and others.
37. By offering this holy sacrifice thou dost present to the Blessed Trinity the most acceptable of all oblations.
38. Thou dost offer an oblation precious indeed, of greater value than all things in heaven and earth.
39. Thou dost offer an oblation precious indeed, for it is none other than God himself.
40. By this sacrifice thou dost honor God as He alone is worthy to be honored.
41. By this sacrifice thou dost give infinite satisfaction to the most Holy Trinity.
42. Thou mayest present this glorious oblation as thine own gift, for Christ Himself gave it unto thee.
43. When thou hearest Mass aright, thou dost perform an act of highest worship.
44. By hearing Mass thou dost pay the most profound reverence, the most loyal homage, to the sacred humanity of Our Lord.
45. It is the best means whereby to venerate the passion of Christ, and obtain a share in its fruits.
46. It is also the best means of venerating the Blessed Mother of God, and increasing her joy.
47. By hearing Mass thou canst give greater honor to the angels and saints than by reciting many prayers.
48. By hearing Mass devoutly thou canst also enrich thy soul more than by aught else in the world.
49. For in this act thou dost perform a good work of the highest value.
50. It is a signal exercise of pure faith, which will receive a great reward.
51. When thou dost bow down before the sacred host and the sacred chalice, thou dost perform a supreme act of adoration.
52. For each time thou dost gaze reverently upon the sacred host thou wilt receive a recompense from heaven.
53. Each time thou dost smite thy breast with compunction some of thy sins are remitted to thee.
54. If thou hearest Mass in a state of mortal sin, God offers thee the grace of conversion.
55. If thou hearest Mass in a state of grace, God gives thee an augmentation of grace.
56. In holy Mass thou dost spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink His blood.
57. Thou art privileged to behold with thine eyes Christ hidden under the sacramental veil, and to be beheld by Him.
58. Thou dost receive the priest's benediction, which is confirmed by Christ in heaven.
59. Through thy diligence in hearing Mass thou wilt also obtain corporal and temporal blessings.
60. Furthermore, thou wilt be preserved from many misfortunes that would otherwise befall thee.
61. Thou wilt also be strengthened against temptations which would otherwise have vanquished thee.
62. Holy Mass will also be to thee a means of obtaining the grace of a holy death.
63. The love thou hast shown for Holy Mass wilt secure for thee the special succor of angels and saints in thy last moments.
64. The remembrance of the Masses heard in thy life time will be a sweet solace to thee in the hour of death, and inspire thee with confidence in the divine mercy.
65. They will not be forgotten when thou dost stand before the strict Judge and will incline Him to show thee favor.
66. Thou needest not fear a long and terrible purgatory if thou hast already to a great extent atoned for thy sins by frequently assisting at Holy Mass.
67. One Mass devoutly heard will do more to mitigate the pains of purgatory than any act of penance, however difficult of performance.
68. One Mass in thy lifetime will be of greater service to thee than many said for thee after death.
69. Thou wilt attain a high place in heaven, which will be thine to all eternity.
70. Thy felicity in heaven will, moreover, be increased by every Mass thou hearest on earth.
71. No prayers offered for thy friends will be as efficacious as a single Mass heard and offered on their behalf.
72. Thou canst amply recompense all thy benefactors by hearing Mass for their intention.
73. The best help, the greatest consolation, thou canst afford the afflicted, the sick, the dying, is to hear Mass for them.
74. By this same means thou canst even obtain for sinners the grace of conversion.
75. Thou canst also earn for all faithful Christians saving and salutary graces.
76. For the suffering souls in purgatory thou canst procure abundant refreshment.
77. And if it is not within thy power to have Mass said for thy departed friends thou canst by devout assistance at the holy sacrifice release them from the tormenting flames.

Saints comments about the power of mass: 

Any time my family life falls apart, I know it's time to get to confession and get the kids back to daily mass. Dear Lord help me to be a good and holy mom...and help my children love daily mass and never commit a mortal sin!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Grab those gifts!!!

God gives us many gifts, packages, presents, and graces, at our baptism. He wants us to use and enjoy them not disregard them and hide them in a corner or use them for the wrong purpose. There are tons of gifts/graces that were never opened or used by his loving children who have died. They are still sitting there at the altar. Through HIS MERCY, He wants us to take them and use and embrace them for HIS purpose and desire. Don't forget to ask and seek those gifts!!! Ask! Ask! Ask!!!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Get more sleep...

I have been a huge fan of people, especially mommies, to sleep more. Get on a good bedtime routine. Early to bed, early to rise...

I was recently introduced to the TED video series. I have only seen two and they are very informative. I hope the others aren't offensive.

This one is about sleep:


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken
I doubled this was a hit!


Recipe By:C. PEREZ
"A delightful chicken dish with a little spicy kick. Serve with rice and your favorite vegetable."
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley. Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts.
  2. Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons garlic powder and lime juice. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

We love Blessed Margaret Castello.
She is one of our favorite examples of humility and people who overcome their many problems. We are hoping she becomes canonized soon. More info here.
Blessed Margaret Pray for us!


Thursday, January 28, 2016 different story...

My NFP- LOVE story
I guess I should start with the way my husband proposed to me…
First of all we started dating when I was 16 and he was 19. Yes, my parents were desperate to marry me off. I mean come on, I was the baby, the ninth child, and the fifth daughter. We dated for almost two years. I was ready to get married at age 18 but he decided that he needed a break…and I got the break…it was in my heart! A week after I decided I never wanted to see him again, he came by my house to visit. I looked shocked and he said, “I am going to marry you some day.” I looked at him and thought, I don’t even like you right now. Almost two years passed and we started to date again. After just a few months we went to Sugarloaf Mountain. Up on a very high peak, he proposed. I think he was as surprised as I was at his question. I looked at him in shock and he said, “Who else will give you 10 kids, a dog, and a white picket fence?” I thought for a moment and realized that was pretty accurate. In 1988 finding a guy who wanted to have kids at all was a bonus. So I said, “Kill the dog, make it 11,” and I said yes!
So, when I was engaged to my husband, Rob, we did what most Catholic engaged couples do when they are engaged. We took NFP classes with the diocese; I was shocked to learn how intricate and fascinating women’s bodies were.  After the class I started charting and taking my temperature and being watchful of other ways my body would change during my cycle. I did this for about 3 months and learned my ovulating pattern. 
One night I attended a pro life talk with a guest speaker named Joan Andrews (now known as Joan Andrews Bell). She spoke of the responsibility Catholic couples have to follow the will of God in their lives. This may be using the gift of the church, NFP, or letting God be in total control.
Since I had dreamed of being a mom since 2nd grade, was very healthy, and had a fiancé who also was willing to have a big family, I started to reconsider why we were even going to use NFP.
Rob too, after spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, felt as if God was asking us to be open to life. So after sharing our experiences with each other we decided to put away the thermometer and prepare for our life together being open to life. 
It helped so much that we were surrounded by wonderful couples who mentored us in spiritual, as well as married life.  Many of them used NFP and some just depended on God’s planning. One night at a prayer meeting, before our wedding, the women prayed over me. One of the women said, “I am having a vision of you being surrounded by children.” Ha, ha, she laughs even now seeing me with my 13 kids.
After about a year engagement, May 11, 1989, I got my period. We were to be married on May 20th and I knew right away that I would be ovulating on our honeymoon! Rob and I did get pregnant on our honeymoon. It was the best thing that ever happened to us. Then when my daughter Alex was about 4 ½ months old and nursing fulltime, I got pregnant with Joshua. He was about eight months old when I got pregnant with Francis Jude. I then miscarried at about 8 weeks. Then two months later I got pregnant again, thanks to Our Lady of Guadalupe’s intercession, with Caleb Michael. When he was about 10 months old I got pregnant with Elizabeth. When she was about 8 months old I got pregnant with Barbara Philomena. Then came Joseph, Robert, Dominic, Mary, Cecilia, Eric, and Kolbe. All about 18-22 months apart. I weaned Kolbe at one year so I could try to get pregnant again (I know I am crazy).  Kolbe was almost 3 when I got pregnant with Hope Grace- I didn’t know I was pregnant. I was going to the doctor because I thought I was going through menopause as I kept spotting and thought I was having short periods.  My doctor suggested that I go for a mammogram and sonogram to check if I was really going through menopause or not. The sonographer asked again why I was there and when I said to find out why I wasn’t able to get pregnant, she said I was 6 weeks pregnant! Shocked, excited and very scared because I had been spotting, I texted my husband a photo our new baby. A couple weeks later we found out Hope didn’t have a heartbeat and again my heart broke. 
At this time I begged God for a baby (again). Little did I know God was hearing my prayer and in another state my little Ray was being conceived by an unwed mother. Later she would find herself at the Gabriel Network unwed mother’s home. I was called by an employee at the Gabriel Network asking if my family would be willing to take in a 12 week old baby while his mom tried to get situated. On April 12, 2013 Raven Gabriel came into our lives. When he was six months old, we got legal custody of Ray. To this day we are still praying to finalize his adoption. 
Little did I know I was about five weeks pregnant with Steven Thomas when we got Ray. After lots of doctor appointments and tests we found out all was great and I was healthy enough to deliver this baby. At 17 weeks I was feeling fantastic and on top of my game.  Unfortunately, my water broke out of nowhere and my world crashed down around me.  I was given no hope of my baby's survival and was told I could terminate the pregnancy since it was impossible for Steven to survive. I was given better advice by my second opinion, which was to go home and wish for the best. After 2 weeks of bed rest, and asking people all over the world to pray for a miracle, Steven went back to his Father in heaven at about 20 weeks, to intercede for our family. This time more than my heart broke, it felt as if it was crushed and my thoughts of ever having a baby again were pretty unbearable.

I haven’t met many people who feel the same way as me about wanting babies ALL. THE. TIME. I can honestly say that in the 26 years of marriage every time my husband and I have made love I have been open to life.  Even after my son Caleb was born 23 years ago when I had to get a MMR booster shot. I was told by the doctors and my midwife that getting pregnant would be dangerous to the baby. That my baby could be blind and get other birth defects. I was concerned of putting my baby at risk but knowing that the chance of getting pregnant while nursing a 2 month old and not having my period yet was pretty slim. I also knew that I promised to trust God and let HIS WILL BE DONE in my life. So far at age 47 it has worked out perfectly. 
All of this may sound super strange to most people reading this but I have seen innumerable fruits from being open to life and letting God be in charge of my life and my fertility. Marriage is tough enough and having my husband and me not have to worry about if I am ovulating or not, and just let God direct our love and passion is so freeing.  I can hear my kids saying, “Ew  mom, you are so gross!” That’s when I say, “Isn’t it nice knowing not one of you were a mistake? All planned by the GOD of the universe?” Since my husband and I always pray before we make love, “Lord, bless this act of love and any baby you may give us.”  It’s pretty awesome watching God give us so many blessings…I could write a book about all the miracles we have had by being open to life…the many people, gifts, and situations that God has directly took over for us is unbelievable. 
Well, it’s about three years later and I am still mourning my fertility, but loving God, and being grateful for my 13 living children and my pretty remarkable granddaughter.  I have been told by many people how they desire for another baby, but have NEVER been told by any living soul that they wish they DIDN’T have this or that child. I am so thankful that we were always open to life and chose to never use NFP to prevent children. I know it is a gift of the church for many families for very good reasons, so believe me no judgment here; but I am thankful that we didn’t need that gift and are enjoying the 16 precious gifts He did give us.
May God grant you wisdom and a spouse that shares your desires in all things holy. 

Thy Will Be Done!!! +JMJ+

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

This was super yummy...I used chicken breast and deleted the green olives

Chicken Marbella

16 pieces, 10 or more portions
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 chickens (2 1/2 pounds each), quartered
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. 2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them. 4. Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the thigh pieces yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice when pricked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour. 5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley or cilantro. Pass the remaining pan juices in a sauceboat. Note: To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring the pieces to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerated, reheat it in the juices, then allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over the chicken.