Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!

Always I loved a baby, 
A baby loved to hold,
See, I have stolen a Baby
Out of the House of Gold.

I found in the Tower of Ivory
A Little One asleep,
I have carried Him down the mountain,
He is mine to keep.

His Mother is my Mother,
His Foster Father my friend,
And I shall have Him and love Him
World without end.

~ Song of Love by Charles L. O'Donnell, C.S.C., from The Eternal Babe

The very first thing our sweet little "Christmas Rose" wanted to do, after arriving home from Mass at 2am Christmas morning, was place Baby Jesus in His manger under our Christmas tree. 

This year we were blessed to be able to attend Christmas Mass During the Night at the church where my husband and I were married fifteen years ago. It was so peaceful and beautiful. 

On the way to Mass at 10:30 pm Christmas Eve

After Midnight Mass at 1:30 am Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, From Our Family to Yours!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Instagram Recap

"Time is but a shadow, a dream; already God sees us in glory and takes joy in our eternal beatitude. How this thought helps my soul! I understand then why He lets us suffer…" 
~ St. Therese

On Saturday evening, after a fun filled day with my family at the end of our "birthday week", we went out to dinner with friends and I was telling them that I felt like I was finally turning a corner. My energy seemed to be starting to return and the painful rash I've been fighting for the past six months, since my miscarriage last June, seems to be healing. I was so excited for our Christmas break to begin! When I got in the car and charged my phone I had urgent messages from the mother of an old friend of mine asking me to call as soon as possible... Since then it has been a flood of emotions, tears, and memories from the past. My husband and I will be attending his funeral next Saturday. So many people are experiencing so much heartache and pain. Be sure to remember them in your prayers during this most blessed time of the year! 

December 20th:

Ending this day in prayer and with such a heavy heart... In your charity could you please offer a prayer for the soul of an old friend of mine who took his life this morning, and for the family and friends he leaves behind? May God have mercy on his soul and may he rest in peace+

Andrew (the older brother of one of our godsons, and godbrother to one of our boys) did such a great job!#teenmusicaltheater #achristmascarol

"Bah, humbug!"

A Christmas Carol the Musical

At the theatre with friends! It's the final show and it's sold out, the seats are filling up quickly!

Our boys are the two in the blue... It was such a fun game to watch! Their team just won 12 to 6!

Another Saturday morning at The Rrrink! This little guy's hockey game is over (the goalie was having a bad day and their team lost 3 to 10!) and now we are watching the older boys play! Last game of the year... Our Christmas break officially begins this afternoon!

December 19th:

"Happy Birthday to youuu..." that was as far as we got before he leaned over and quickly blew out all three candles with one little blow! Hahahaha! This little boy loves candles and has been practicing all Advent - in fact, he beat his sister to some of her own candles on Monday! Of course we relit them so we could finish singing and he could blow them out once (or twice) again!

You can see a few more birthday pictures here. I hope to eventually have a chance to post the rest… and the pictures from Rose and Twinkle Toes birthdays as well!

December 18th:

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammæ rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento. 
O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm! 
#oantiphons #catholic #advent #catholiccuisine #gingerbreadhousecookies #madebythegirls #stillneedtobedecorated
Made with this cookie cutter and decorated the next morning.

December 17th:

O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ. 
O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

December 16th:

I finally had a chance to look through the photos from the feast of St. Nicholas and post some on the blog! I had a hard time choosing which of the pics to post of our littlest one on his Daddy's shoulders, so I'm posting the other here!

December 15th:

Happy 5th birthday to my pretty little peacock!

December 13th:

I just finished watching the Nutcracker Ballet with my three girls for their first time! It's late, especially for my littlest one, but she loved the performance! Half way through Act I she leaned over and whispered "Can I have a Nutcracker Birthday?!?" (Her birthday is Monday and I was out late last night grocery shopping and buying supplies for a completely different theme- which I know she will love!) Then, during the Peacock/Arabian dance in Act II, she leaned over and said "I really wish I could have a peacock costume!" (The first gift she has asked for!) Now THAT I can do! I just happen to have a whole peacock outfit - costume, tights, wings, wand, and headband- thanks to the Gymboree clearance sales after Halloween! I can't wait to give it to her! And maybe I can come up with some "Nutcracker" fun for during the upcoming Christmas season!

Sean took all the younger children home from Hockey so I could take this quickly growing teen of ours shopping for some new clothes! It's so nice to spend some time with just him. 

"Mommy, hold me!" It's freezing cold here at the rink... I think it's time to move to the fireside room for the rest of the boys game!

Darkness shall soon depart From vale and mountain She brings good news to us Light like a fountain Soon day shall rise anew Day-star is coming In skies of rosy hue Salvation's dawning Maiden so sweet and fair, Bright candles in your hair, Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!  Happy Santa Lucia Day!

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately and Thursdays are especially full from start to finish. I'm not complaining and it's totally worth it, but homeschooling all these kids is HARD work! In between piano lessons and taking the 7 year old to the dentist I picked up a coffee to help get me through the rest of the day. I'm not sure what I love more... My favorite Coconut Milk Annihilator or the lid! #thanksforthepeptalk

Little Creatures... How do they Move? #homeschool#sciencelab #focusonbiology

December 10th:

Making rosaries to send to children in an orphanage in Nigeria for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Celebrating the Feast of St. Nicholas :: 2014

Each year our celebration of the feast of St. Nicholas looks a little different, but some things always stay the same… The children always wake up to their slippers or shoes filled with treats and receive new Christmas booksLast year we stayed home all day enjoying the snow (completely unaware that we would soon be without running water for six days due to freezing pipes!), this year the weather was much warmer and we spent most of the day enjoying activities outside of our home.  Of course I have some pictures to share with you all!

.: Gifts from St. Nicholas :.

We have had a very full schedule this year which doesn't leave much time for crafts. My children didn't even notice that the coins weren't decorated with images of St. Nicholas and they loved this year's Blended Maple Candy St. Nick's from Maple Grove Farms in Vermont and purchased at our local health food store! 

Our oldest two boys still fit last year's slippers, so instead of new slippers they were happy to be able to make a donation to a local charity. Our younger children were delighted to discover their new slippers and all the children loved discovering all the treats.  In addition to the candy mentioned above they also received a cutie, Saint Blessing Blocks, a painted saint doll, and a new picture book.  There was even a St. Anthony painted saint (a gift from Catholic Folk Toys) to remember the baby we would have been preparing to welcome (Jan 5th) this month or next... 

.: St. Nicholas Day Brunch :.

My boys had been asking me to come watch their Saturday morning Hockey games for a few weeks and I wasn't able to go due to other commitments. With St. Nicholas Day falling on Saturday as well I told them I could go this week, as long as they didn't mind skipping our usual brunch and have a simple breakfast. They didn't mind at all and were so excited! And, even though I didn't get many pictures, I ended up being able to throw together a couple Cherry Cheese Candy Cane Coffee Cakes while my husband scrambled eggs and cooked some maple sausage, before we all ran out the door after all!  

.: Hockey :.

It was so much fun to watch them play… and they won their game

.: Victorian Christmas :. 

After the hockey game we drove out to one of our favorite little historical towns in the area, where I used to own the local phone book! We visited many of the little shops including the toy store, enjoyed the popcorn and cider that was being handed out, toured the Catholic Rectory, went on a horse-draw wagon ride, and then shared a gourmet pizza before heading home! 



The evening ended with a 7pm bilingual Quinceañera Mass and reception for one of my past Little Flowers! It was such a wonderful day filled with so many blessings… 

God, we pray that through the intercessions of St. Nicholas
you will guide and protect our children. 
Keep them safe from all harm and help them grow
to become loving disciples of Jesus in your sight. 
Give them strength to always mature into deeper faith
in you, and to keep alive joy in your creation. 
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.