Monday, December 31, 2012

A Few Highlights from 2012...

A New Year's Prayer 

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God's love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead. 
~ Anonymous

Inspired by Amy, I thought it would be fun to compile a few highlights from each month of 2012.  It's been a busy year, filled with love, joy, and many blessings!  And I think I am ready for a long winter's nap... ;) 













May 2013 be filled with love and blessings for you all! 
Happy New Year!  

My Christmas Daybook

Outside my window... 
It has been cold, rainy, and cloudy, but the kids have been enjoying playing inside with all their new toys, including the little set of stacking sun blocks that they received as an O Antiphon gift this year!
As you can see, all blocks make excellent cellphones! 

"Hi Dada!"

I am thinking...        
about how quickly the past year flew by... How did our baby turn one already?!  He continues to bring so much joy to our family!

Bud was waiting for Rose to push the button on one of our musical ornaments.  

Each time she did he would sit up and start bouncing (dancing).  It was so cute! 

I am thankful... 
that my sister JoAnn was willing to babysit so we could take the oldest two on an "Unexpected Journey" to see The Hobbit!

I was also very thankful that David (my youngest brother) and I were able to get in to the movie too!
David and I were going to meet Sean and the boys at the theatre, since they (JoAnn & David) were running a little late getting to our house, and when we got to the theater the line was so long and the last tickets sold to the people in line a couple groups in front of us...  They told us sorry and I got out of line and called home - to give my sister a hard time! ;)  Anyways, I went back to the ticket booth to ask if I could at least go inside to tell my husband (who was going to try and save seats for us) that we wouldn't be joining them.   She asked how many there were of us and when I told her "just us two" she said that there were only two seats in the whole theater left and they probably weren't together, or anywhere near my husband.   She said we could go in and see, and come back and purchase the tickets.   The theater was PACKED, but an usher walked over to us and directed us to the two seats, which were right next to my family!!!

Note: Had Sean and I previewed the movie we probably wouldn't have taken the boys, but thankfully they had finished listening to the book and knew what to expect.   They absolutely LOVED the movie and are still telling us that it wasn't "too scary" for them!  

Kevin (18), David (16), Mary (20), Jessica (old), and JoAnn (20)
After the movie I went on another unexpected journey (after coming back home to nurse the baby and get him to bed) - this time to the bowling alley with my four youngest siblings and some of their friends.   It was so much fun, even if it made me feel really old! ;)

Learning all the time... 
As much as I am enjoying our Christmas break, I am starting to look forward to getting back to our school work and normal routines next week.  We still have quite a few things that I would like to complete before the end of our 2nd quarter on January 25th!

Celebrating the liturgical year... 
I meant to share about this lovely set of Ornaments for the 12 Days of Christmas before Christmas, but just never had a chance.  I love that they focus on the faith filled meaning behind each of the gifts in "The 12 Days of Christmas" song.  Perhaps consider ordering a set now, to have ready for next Christmas!  They tie in nicely to our 12 Days of Christmas Lap Book.

From the kitchen... 
Chiquita, (my sister) Julianna, and I all worked on this Gingerbread Nativity on Christmas Eve, while Rascal made his own Gingerbread creation.

Snuggles, Twinkle Toes, and Rose also assembled houses, but they are still waiting to be decorated. With all of our company and getting ready for Midnight Mass, finishing the gingerbread houses wasn't hight on the list of things to do this year! Maybe we will get back to them, maybe not...

I am working on... 
sorting through my pictures from Christmas Day, rather slowly!  I haven't wanted to "waste" any of this glorious Christmas break in front of the computer.   I will have plenty of time to catch up on emails and blogging next week, when my husband is away on training...

I am creating... 
not much at the moment, but I do have plans for the new Knit and Weave Loom Kit that Sean gave me for Christmas! Just as soon as I can pick up some yarn from the craft store.

I am going... 
to miss having the twins in town! Mary left today and is headed back to Texas, and JoAnn left a couple days ago to get back to work and college.   I think I need to plan a couple trips to visit them!

I am hoping... 
that I am not allergic to our cat... Our kids love him so and (as much as he drives me crazy) I would hate to have to get rid of him.  I am still waiting for my referral to the allergist, but I had another allergic reaction late last night (for no apparent reason, after brushing my teeth and drinking a glass of water).  Thankfully I had some Zyrtec on hand this time.

I am praying... 
with the help of my beautiful new prayerbook - Mother Love!  Originally published in 1888, it was just republished by Angelus Press.

I am reading... 
A Darcy Christmas and the various books by Karen Witemeyer.  I've also been flipping through my new 2013 Day Planner!  My dear Mother-in-Law sends me a new copy every year and it is my favorite.  I use it for planning out all of our feast day celebrations and it sits next to my computer for easy reference!

Pondering these words...
spoken by Bishop Cramer which I read in my copy of Mother Love:

"O, that we could proclaim throughout the whole world and impress deeply upon the heart of every mother the words: PRAY! Pray incessantly!  Pray earnestly and fervently for your children."

I am listening...  
The boys have been having so much fun assembling all their new lego sets while listening to hours and hours of The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring!  (The unabridged versions narrated by Rob Inglis are excellent! Thank you for the recommendations!)

By the end of Christmas Day the boys had finished listening to The Hobbit and building The Hobbit Home (we decided not to save it and switched it out with a different set to save for February) and Barrel Escape among other things!

Around the house... 
lots of kiddos in new Christmas Pajamas... Christmas morning just gets better every year!

One of my favorite things...  
This gorgeous St. Francis Tenner, which I gave to my mom for Christmas, was made by Barbara.  My mom loved it so much that she said she'd like to order Tenners for each of her children for their birthdays this year.  That's a lot of Tenners! ;)

Do visit Barbara's Etsy Store!  She has such beautiful creations for sale... My children will each be receiving one of her Embroidered Scapulars in their Easter Baskets this coming March!  Yes, I have already been thinking ahead to Lent and Easter! :/

This week's plans...

Monday :: New Year's Eve Party
Tuesday :: New Year's Day and Mass (Holy Day of Obligation)
Wednesday - Thursday :: Enjoy the rest of our Christmas Break
Friday :: Mass and Brunch with Father C.
Saturday :: Attend the Vigil Mass and take down our Christmas tree...  (Unless I want to figure out how to do it myself this year!) Our Nativity Sets will remain out until February 2nd - Candlemas Day.
Sunday :: Celebrate Epiphany; Sean leaves in the early morning for another training session... He will be gone for three weeks.  Please keep us in your prayers!

A little peek at my day...

Headed to the pizza parlor (a couple days after Christmas) to visit with relatives from out of state...
(And wearing my favorite new neck warmer! Thank you Jacqui! I love it, and what a fun surprise!!)  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

On the 5th Day of Christmas...

"Remember the sufferings of Christ, the storms that were weathered...the crown that came from those sufferings which gave new radiance to the faith...All saints give testimony to the truth that without real effort, no one ever wins the crown." 
~ St. Thomas Becket

"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."
~  Revelation 2:10

St. Thomas Becket, Pray for us! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

On the 3rd Day of Christmas...

... Eagle Brownies for the Feast of St. John the Evangelist! 

O Glorious Saint John, you were so loved by Jesus that you merited to rest your head upon his breast, and to be left in his place as a son to Mary. Obtain for us an ardent love for Jesus and Mary. Let me be united with them now on earth and forever after in heaven.

Merciful Lord, we beseech Thee to cast Thy bright beams of light upon Thy Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine of Thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John may so walk in the light of Thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

{pretty, happy, funny, real} :: On Christmas Eve

I have so many pictures to post from this week, I hardly know where to start !  We have really been enjoying Christmas, spending time with extended family, a few fun outings, and lots of of time just relaxing (and very little time online).  It's been so nice!  I hope you are all having a very Merry Christmas too! 


Getting ready for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve...


Julianna, Jessica, JoAnn, and Mary

I was so happy to have some of my family in town and over on Christmas Eve!  
My mom and brother Kevin were traveling back from a golf tournament in Georgia on Christmas Eve, and Jennifer hadn't made it to town yet either, but we had my Dad, brother Brian and his family, Julianna, JoAnn (home from college), Mary (home from Texas), and David over on Christmas Eve!  I'll be sure to share more Christmas Eve pictures soon...  


Any guesses on what Rascal created instead of a Gingerbread house this year? He is so creative! 
(You can find the answer here.) 


I took my camera to Midnight Mass, but only took this one blurry picture of Father preaching the homily in a candlelit church.   (The lights were shut off during the homily.) Sean sang with the choir, which was just a small group, but they did a beautiful job singing traditional hymns and even chant!  (Very rare for our area!)  We have been feeling so very blessed lately!

I haven't mentioned it here yet, since it still wasn't a for sure thing, but we are finally going to have a LATIN MASS in our area!!!!  (Thank you all so much for your prayers for this intention of ours!) We spoke with our pastor when we had him over for dinner, but one of the challenges at that time was finding a priest that was capable of offering the Mass.  When we attended Mass over at the coast in August the priest there offered to come over on a monthly basis to offer it for us, without us even asking!   Over the past few months Sean has met and spoken with both our Pastor and the priest from the coast a number of times and we will be having our first  (quarterly) Latin Mass in February!   This is an answer to many many years of prayer!   We can still hardly believe that it is official, and that it will be offered at the little mission church just 5 miles from our home!   We will be praying for its success, and that someday we will be able to have it on a more frequent basis.  Deo Gratias!! 

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more pictures of contentment.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishing you all...

The Welcome
by Leonard Feeney, S.J.

No music He heard, and no angels He saw
As He lay in His wrappings of linen and straw;
And the ox and the ass could not kneel and adore
For the poor creatures never were angels before.
The palace He found was an old cattle stall
With a broken-down roof and a windowless wall,
And it looked so ashamed of its spider-worn wood;
But it tried to be Heaven, as well as it could.

A dull stable-lantern that hung dark and dim
Was the small bit of moonlight that flickered on Him.
Now it longed to be beautiful, starry and bright;
And it sputtered and wept for the dearth of its light.

But a Lady of Beauty stood over His head.
While she gathered the strewings about for His bed.
And her soul was as sweet as a fresh-budding rose
And as white as the fusion of myriad snows.

And her hands did not soil this immaculate prize,
And her breath did not sully the bloom in His eyes.
On her breast sweet and safe could He slumber and nod:
The lily-white village-maid, Mother of God.

~ Excerpt from The Eternal Babe Twenty-five Nativity Poems

May you have a blessed and joyous Christmas! 

Some Peace On Earth {In Remembrance of Fallen Troops}

My friend Danielle's sweet little girl, who lost her daddy in 2010, is in this Christmas video at 1:02...

You are all-powerful, God, and live forever in light and joy. Look with pity and love, we beg You, on those men and women who bravely fought and gallantly died for their country. By laying down their lives, they showed supreme love for others.

Accept, we ask You, their sacrifice and their belief in the justice of the cause they died for. Let their offering not be in vain. Please forgive any sins and faults they may have committed. Speedily, we implore You, bring them into Your Presence where fear, sadness, mourning, and death cannot exist.

Have pity in Your loving kindness on those they leave behind. In Your own unsearchable ways, make good for their absence, and lavishly bestow Your love and consolations on those deprived of their presence. This we ask in the Name of Christ, our Victor King. Amen.