Sunday, January 17, 2010

Around Our World in a Few Weeks

Christmas Morning
~ a few presents + lots of kids = lots of presents

Santa brought a trampoline...

Joseph wanted a walking stick for Christmas. So Dani being the sister that she is, chose a stick, removed the bark, sanded it down and she and Paul burned the words together. This was easily my favorite gift - I love it :)

Therese's godmother sent her these ornaments. Therese immediately decided that she didn't want to hang them on the tree. Rather she wants to hang them above her bed around her crucifix. She took them to Mass and had Father bless them. On our way home she informed me that we can't throw the box away because it's been blessed! LOL - Hmmm...
Tossing Our Cookies
~ in a sequel to this post our family was bombarded by whatever the virus that's hitting everyone is called! It started with 4yo Joseph Christmas morning (after gift-opening), then Therese that evening and the rest is a blur. It spared NO ONE!!
~ New Years Eve continued the sickness -this time one of the families from out of town- getting sick during the party. Not fun. A Barf-O-Rama right out of Stand By Me!! It made its way to another of the families and ended there, as far as I know. I'll spare you all details and there are no pictures (but you can click on the barf link above to get a visual !!! :)
Thanks Celeste for the title idea ;) - and so sorry you ended up tossing YOUR cookies! 
Oh Baby Baby

~congrats to my brother Chris and my sister-in-law Nina on the birth of their first baby, Benjamin! 01/02/10 He is gorgeous and I can't wait to meet him! Enjoy that little guy... all the snuggling and nestling cause it won't be long 'til he's running around, throwing whatever he's got in his hand and tackling legs - maybe even a little head-butting. I'm just-a-sayin' ;)

This is my brother's pout :)

~ a new workout routine for me. I'll keep you updated. But for now, 2 weeks in, I see NO results. Not what I call motivating. I won't go into it, though I really could! Keep on keepin' on.....
Potty Training 101, 201 and 301
~ Charlie has good days and not-so-good days. It's frustrating. One of my friends reassured me that he won't be in college not yet potty-trained. I said that's fine and dandy, but what am I going to do in 5th grade!!! LOL -
Paul and I were joking that the only math he needs to know right now is the number ONE and TWO!
Another One Bites the Dust
~ Therese's second hamster died this past Tuesday. It was rather sad. She is our animal lover and is very sentimental. She wants to get another one. Paul half-joked to me (as if to grab her by the shoulders), "Are you sure you want to go through this pain again?" They only last about a year. At least by now she knows what to expect ::sigh::
Homemade Popcorn
~ after seeing this list and hearing moms in our group advocate the "homemade" microwave popcorn I've decided that when we're through with our huge box of popcorn I'll just buy a big bag of popcorn and add my own olive oil and pop away. Heck, I may even pop some on the stove top. The kids would surely get a kick out of that!
Heaven on Earth
~ as I hastily blurted in the previous post, I went on a women's retreat - more precisely a homeschooling mother's retreat - the weekend of January 8th to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I had been with my family oh... 9yrs ago. Hard to imagine we only had 3 kids at that time. Back then we went to Mother Angelica Live and I met Mother backstage with our then 9mo Therese. Mother held Therese's little hand as she said a quick hello and then out the door she went after the show. Back to the monastery. Kayla was actually on T.V. for that episode - Michael Brown, I believe, speaking about the topic of his book. I don't remember too much about that, for we had a baby we were trying to keep quiet! LOL You think it's bad enough at Mass but during Mother's T.V show! Gees - it's such a small studio. I know Therese's shrills, squeals and fits are a part of that show, that is, until Daddy whisked her out the door and sat in Mother's personal office (where he happened to meet Raymond Arroyo :) Oh the stars we meet in Catholicwood - instead of Hollywood. Get it? Oh, nevermind!

Anyway, I digress! Major-ly! LOL - that was then...

The retreat was unbelievable. Really indescribable. I could use words like great, awesome, amazing, heavenly - but it wouldn't come close. A vacation for the soul!

We started out Friday afternoon (promptly at 2:47! LOL ::wink wink::). Got to our retreat house - which is brand new - 7 bedrooms - twin beds in each room, each with their own full bathroom. A kitchen, large dining room, a living-type room with bookcases already stocked! The house was adorned with (new) statues (beautiful statues), rich artwork, rosaries, holy cards, holy water fonts, Confession pamphlets. It was so wonderful. This post would have SO MANY PICTURES except..... I forgot my camera. And by the time I thought about it (still in my neighborhood) I opted not to turn back. It's fine. Cause I'll be back there soon ;)

So Friday night we basically just ate dinner, chatted a long while, and then hit the hay.
Saturday began with Confession at 8am. We heard the nuns saying their rosary during this time. It really was angelic.

Afterwards we went to The Castle (where the gift shop is) and ate breakfast downstairs (I must interject here and let you know that the 3 women who put this retreat together for us cooked all the (delicious) meals and took care of everything for us. And I mean everything! One of the women just had her 5th baby and another is 4-5 weeks from having her 6th! Talk about giving of themselves. They don't know what a blessing they are!)

After breakfast we were given a talk by Fr. Joseph Mary. I must say that he really spoke to my heart. Such wonderful teaching words. He had such emotional inspirational stories too.
Afterwards we had time to go to the gift shop before Mass which was at noon (in the downstairs chapel -The Crypt - more gorgeous than most of the churches 'round here. Seeing gold everywhere really is so majestic)

After Mass we had lunch -downstairs in the castle again- and more gift shop browsing free time. Then a healing service in the chapel. Wonderful

Once back at the house, we did an activity (it has a name, can't rmbr now. It had different stations for reading a scripture verse and reflecting - doing a craft - and writing down some thoughts). Then had a wonderful dinner of soup and bread and ... ahem... wine :)

Some of us drove back to the Shrine that night for an hour or so. It was so beautiful and peaceful. Though you couldn't see the nuns, you could hear them on the opposite side every once in a while. It must have been their night time prayers. I thought of my sister at Carmel so often during my time there.

Back at the house we all said the Divine Mercy chaplet, hung out a bit and then went to bed - knowing that 7am Mass would come all too soon!

Sunday - Mass at 7am! Breakfast and then we headed out around 11ish.
It's so difficult to be gone for 2.5 days - have a piece of heaven (and have peace on earth! LOL) - and then come back to LIFE. It's loud, busy and needy. But it's my life. The one I wouldn't trade for the world. The one God blessed me with. I truly LOVE my life, my children, my husband and my vocation. It's where I am most comfortable. I pray that I please the Father each and every day and please myself less and less.
Having a Picnic
~I've been having fun with the free photo editing online at I have Photoshop, but for me, it is NOT USER-FRIENDLY in the least (and it does kind of tick me off). So I've been playing a bit with it - notice my new header? My blog design stinks, but Christmas is over and I had to do something different. Something like this:

Paul took something like 3 or 4 pictures of Therese with Hannah (our dog) and when we looked at the pictures she looked so much older. She looks like she's 14 or 15! We couldn't get over it! Even my dad said, "I thought of sending this picture to Karen (my sister in the convent) but that would probably freak her out!" (thinking that Therese has grown up that much!) She's only 9 1/2 - The camera just caught a glimpse of something rare. Something yet to come. Anyway - I love this gorgeous girl.
Will Rake for Sleep-over
~ at Thanksgiving Therese and Dani raked Grandma and Grandpa's backyard for which they requested a "Spend the Night" coupon. My parents came and got Dani, Therese, and Sophia Saturday afternoon and had a nice time (Sophia didn't lift a rake, but they couldn't NOT take one of their granddaughters, right? :) Thanks Mom and Dad for creating those memories which they'll cherish!!!

And that, my family and friends, is THE END!

HAPPY 2010!!
~Many blessings to you and yours~


Anonymous said...
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Sara said...

Nice to hear from you! The retreat sounds awesome.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

I'm enough of a nerdy Catholic to be super jealous of your Raymond and Mother encounter. I named Mariela when I heard that Raymond named his daughter "Mariella" (I heard him announce it on the program when I was pregs with Mari) I LOVE the name "Mari" and so does everyone else. Mr. Arroyo kinda looks like Peewee Herman but I think he's brilliant and awesome!

Shelly said...

oh no!! PeeWee???!!! (puke!)

I think he's adorable! (while - puke - peewee is NOT)

all of this my very own humble opinion, mind you ;)

Christine said...

OH MY that baby is so sweet!

Enjoyed a long long post and pictures of your family.

I still cannot get over that cute!

regan said...

there you are....see why you shouldn't stay gone so long? even with all that important stuff you've been up to!

awesome retreat. snuggly baby boy. sweet walking stick and growing children.


looks like God is so good to you, shelly.

Katherine T. Lauer said...

That walking stick gift is so loving. And I'm sorry you too got the illness sweeping through your house!

Dawn said...

A retreat at the shrine sounds wonderful. Especially for homeschooling mom's. I'm in Augusta, and so far, I have only discovered one Catholic homeschool family. Coming from Maryland, there were so many! I miss it. Thanks for sharing!