Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Apologize for the Apologist

If you'd like a funny and quick article to read, here it is.  And thanks to Patrick "Cool Cat" Madrid - on many levels ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010


Well, with no more hamsters around, Therese was sure she wanted another panda bear hamster to replace her Oreo. She also let us know that Sophia would need a hamster too - because it wouldn't be fair if she was on her third hamster while Sophia has only owned one. Anyway, the girls were all set on choosing new hamsters on Saturday - that is, until I brought up the possibility of getting Guinea pigs. With minimal research, we set out Saturday afternoon in search of guinea pigs (aka cavies).

It was at the third petstore where we found more than one guinea pig - we just had to get two. Of course one for each daughter, but also because they do better with a companion. We got two females (they only sell females at the store we were at - plus the little research I did do said that you really want females vs. males. Males smell worse (ha ha!) and they're more active).

The girls picked out two babies who just happen to be sisters!

Aren't they adorable?

This is Therese's "Carmelite" (aka Augustina - "Gus Gus") I don't know if she's really decided on a definite name yet!

And here is Sophia's "Agnes"

Having never had guineas before, we're finding them to be quite awesome! They just LOVE to cuddle (with people and each other) and make purring noises when they're content - it sounds sort of like pigeons cooing- it's SO CUTE!!! They also squeal a bit - mostly in the middle of the night - which is very loud. Not sure if this is due to their nature (I believe it's only Carmelite making the noises) or if it's because they're babies. At any rate, it wakes me up for now. And that's saying something, as I am quite the sound sleeper :)

Carmelite is very friendly. She has more of a bunny-looking nose. While Agnes would rather stay in her cage (which they share) and hide. Not very social.

This is only our third day with them - so if you have any experience with guinea pigs can you share your thoughts about them?

19 Years!?

Happy Birthday to you, Kayla!!
~You are such a blessing to us~
We Love You, Beautiful!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Feast of St. Agnes

Take a look to see Pope Benedict blessing two lambs - on the feast of St. Agnes - for the pallium.


Over at Shoved to Them, she shares this story which totally made me smile!  Have you ever done something like that?  I'm sure I have; I'll be thinking of something....

Someone Failed Lunch

Have you seen this one concerning the win in Massachusetts?  It's pretty creative, funny and right-on!

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 picnik.com. 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~

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I have sooo much to post, but lack the time.  I went to Hanceville, AL this past weekend to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament (Mother Angelica) and Fr. Joseph Mary spoke to 11 of us hsing mothers.  The following quote is with what he ended his inspirational talk.  I probably don't even need to add that there wasn't a dry eye after these words were spoken:

"The Most Important Person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral, a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body. The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God's creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation…What on God's good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?" Cardinal Mindszenty