Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fun Times!

We have from left to right:
St Veronica, Big  Pumpkin, Nerd, Fisherman,
Puppy, and Little Pumpkin

We only did 2 blocks and we have enough candy to last til next Halloween!
Our homeschool group did not have an All Saints party this year,
 so we tricked or treated!

The kiddos are watching Monster's University with daddy now!

Hoping to post a "Thankful" post soon, 
God bless, have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Halloween!

or All Hallows Eve!
("Rosie" and her friend Maggie carved this!)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Big Sisters

"My big sister keeps dressing me up in her old ATA Tae Kwon Do things.
I love it!"

(Mama, though, however, 
feels it is so wrong on so many levels...)

Monday, October 28, 2013

After Earth

 Tom and I watched this Friday night 
and both thought our 2 oldest would love it, 
so we watched it again on Saturday night!
It was pretty good!

It has Will Smith and his son in it,
and takes place 1000 years from now.
This movie did not get great reviews, 
but we liked it.
The only thing I didn't care for was 
what happens a lot in these kind of movies,
God disappears.
The closest thing to "praying" was 
Will Smith's character would say to his son, 
"Take a knee"
This would ground him, 
and he would be present in the moment and the task at hand.
(like praying does, right?)
Really, though, it was a good movie,
I give it a thumbs up!

We let our 11 and 13 year olds watch it,
But not our 9 year old, she gets nightmares easily, 
and there is an alien monster in it (a little)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Consoling the Heart of Jesus

 Consoling the Heart of Jesus

I've been reading this book over the past 2 1/2 weeks.
I'm almost done
It's actually written to be read in a retreat style weekend
but it can, of course be read like I've been reading
(every chance I get)
I've been wanting to write about this book,
but afraid of not doing it justice.
It's that good!

If you feel your faith life, or spiritual life is in the desert now,
this book is for you.
If you feel your faith life is right where it needs to be,
this book is for you.
If you feel there is no way you can add anything else,
 even one thing more,
this book is for you.
If you feel you need a change, or that God is calling you to a deeper
relationship with Him, 
this book is for you.

My copy is written on, marked up,
 highlighted, tabbed and has pieces of paper all throughout it.
I'm actually glad I am not doing it all in a weekend, 
I get to read some, contemplate it, 
pray about it,
and yearn for more!
(although, it would be very very nice to go to a hotel,
without the kids, and read all weekend!!)

It has been life changing, totally life changing, 
which has changed my soul.
My soul yearns like never before.
For Jesus.
To console Jesus.

Fr Michael E. Gaitley, quotes many saints,
 St Faustina, Saint Mother Theresa, 
St Maximilian Kolbe, St Louis de Montfort, 
Blessed John Paul II and St Therese to name a few.

I have been yearning more than I ever have
 to go to Mass
to go to Adoration, 
and just to pray and be close to Jesus.
(and to read more of this book!)

No wonder.
Fr. Gaitley talks about Christ's words from the Cross:
"I Thirst"
He tells us to tell Jesus,

I thirst for You, Jesus, 
help me to thirst for You more.
Please pour Your grace onto me, I beg You, 
fill me with Your Grace.

(those are my words, but that is what he explains to ask for)

He writes these meditations that take you right to Jesus.
He's really good at writing in terms you understand and can 
relate to.
I'm going to give you an example with the first meditation.
I was so on fire for our Lord after reading this, 
I could hardly contain myself.

(Beginning quote of Meditation)

We're at the bottom of the hill of Calvary, also known as Golgotha.  Look up the hill.  See Jesus at the top, hanging on the Cross.  He doesn't see us because he's surrounded by a huge crowd of people.
The people who surround the Cross laugh at Jesus.  They mock him and insult him right to his face.  They aren't afraid to go to him.  No, they go right up to him, laughing and even spitting at him.  The Lord loves them, but his Heart is broken because of their rejection, which means their own death, 
if they don't change, for he is Life.
Many dark shadows go in and out of the crowd.  They're demons.  They enjoy stirring up the crowd to mock and torture Jesus more.  Seeing us at the bottom of the hill, two of them approach.  The first one stands about seven feet tall, and his face is a featureless void.  He stops directly in front of you.  As he towers over you, he says in a terrible, hissing voice, "You jussst ssstay right where you are and everything will be jussst fine."  Meanwhile, the other demon, a ghost-like little creature no bigger than a sparrow, settles on your shoulder and whispers in your ear:

You don't belong here. Don't you have other things to do?
You don' tneed to be here.  This is much too painful for you to see.
  After all, aren't you the reason for that man's torture?
Don't you have some important business to take care of?
Isn't that television show you like so much going to start soon?
Go ahead.  Go take your mind off this.  There's nothing you can do.
Look at the huge crowd.  What difference is your being here going to make? 

These words are tempting.  Thoughts come into your mind: "Yes, what am I among so many?  Jesus won't notice if I go home.  He'll never even know I was here.  Besides, it's cold, and he'll probably be dead soon anyway."
So there you are at the bottom of the hill.  The crowd is overwhelming.  These demons are frightening.  You're a sinner aren't you?  Perhaps you've lost your right to be here since you've sinned so much, and really, what can one person do amid such a multitude of people?  Standing here, hesitating, you're stuck at the bottom of the hill.  Meanwhile, Jesus suffers alone.
What was that?  Did you hear it?  What's such a beautiful sound doing amid so much blasphemy and raucous laughter?  It's a woman's voice.  Sweetly, it begins to fill your soul, bringing it  light and peace:

Listen and put it into your heart, my dear little child. 
The thing that frightens you, the thing that afflicts you, 
is nothing.  Do not let it disturb you.  Am I not
here who am your Mother?  Are you not under my 
care and protection?  Am I not the source of your joy?
Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing 
of my arms?  Do you need something more?
Let nothing else worry you or disturb you.

Mary is with us.  Let's go with confidence to the foot of the Cross. Let's run there.  Nothing can harm us.  Mary is with us!  She'll teach us what to do.  Let's go console Jesus with Mary.
Filled with courage, we run up the hill.  Demons scream in horror as they're cast aside by some invisible force.  One cries out, "No! Don't let them!  Everything will be ruined!"  The ugly mob parts like the Red Sea, and some are struck dumb.  We arrive at the foot of the Cross.  Look up.  Behold that Heart which loves so much yet is so little loved.  Unfortunately, Jesus still doesn't see us.  His sorrowful gaze is on the crowd.
Turn to Mary.  Speak to her from your helplessness:
"Mary, what can I do?  I'm so weak, and I, too, have hurt Jesus and caused this."
Smiling, despite her tears, she tenderly speaks to you:

Just tell him.  Tell my Son that you love him.  Thank him for
what he is suffering right now out of love for you-
 he only sees the rejection of the crowd.
  You touch his cheek with your hand and direct his face toward yours. 
 Now he sees you.  You smile and speak to him from your heart:

Lord, don't look at them.
  Look at me...Lord Jesus, even though my sins are many,
 I know the mercy of your Heart
I'm sorry I was afraid to go to you.  
I'm sorry I left you alone.  But look, here I am
Please forgive me my sins.
I'm going to try to do better.
Please forgive them their sins, too. 
Lord, if only they knew you, they'd love you.
Lord, I can't offer much right now,
except for my weak trust and love.
Jesus, I do trust in you, and I love you.
Praise you Jesus, and thank you for everything, 
especially for what you're suffering right now
friend.  Don't be sad.  I love you, and there's nowhwere
else I'd rather be than right here, praising you, 
thanking you, and consoling your broken Heart. 

(End of Meditation)

This did it in for me!!
Wow, I was right there!!
Were you?

There are a lot more wonderful meditations 
in this great book! 

I want to keep that yearning 
and still take care of my family.
 I think they go hand in hand.
One makes the other stronger, if I let it.

It's that balance of my vocation as a wife and mother, 
and yet still a child of God.

Although, I'd rather go to Mass and stay for Adoration 
for hours, I know I must take care of my family.
and that makes me thankful to God that I have 
the opportunity to do so.


A main theme of the whole book is Trust, Praise and Thanksgiving 
in all things!
You know I love that, right?
That's what my "Thankful Thursdays" are all about
Seeing all the blessings in our life, no matter how small, 
and even sometimes the hard things, the struggles.
(like snow in October or messy houses)

Here's a quote that spoke to my heart:

"Jesus, I thirst for you. Help me to thirst for you more.
Use me, Jesus.  
Form me into a saint. 
Make up for all my faults.
I trust in you.  With Mary's help, I give you my yes."

"Form me into a saint."  !! 
Did you read that?
Lord, make me a saint. 
A prayer I pray often.

In fact a lot of the things in the book 
were things I do and pray all the time, 
but it was more.
More intense, deeper.  
So much more.

(the above picture is a picture of a Monstrance, which holds Jesus, in the Eucharist, we, as Catholics, believe once the bread and wine is consecrated during Mass, it becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus)
(John chapter 6--Jesus says it 6 times in a row)

Now, of course, if you've ever done daily Mass,
or weekly Adoration, you already know that 
somehow the Holy Spirit works in your soul 
and you start to yearn for more.
More often, more Jesus.

When we do the bare minimum, 
it seems our souls become content and 
the yearning is gone, the fire within extinguishes.
But not completely.

Something like this comes along 
and we are on fire again. 

Gaitley has a lot more in store for you in the book.
He has ways of thinking about prayer,
ways to imagine your soul and your spiritual life
so much so that you feel it.  
You feel the grace working in your soul.

We all need grace, right?

I love his spiritual book suggestions, and of course he 
suggests the Bible as the first book to read for your spiritual reading.
I admit, I struggle with what to read in the Bible.
I have my favorite quotes, I love the Sunday Gospels,
but to pick it up and just read...I struggle.
He gives suggestions where to start and how to do it.
(I can't wait!)

He also has an appendix that he includes 
selections from St Faustina's Diary.
I have her whole book 
and it's huge!!  
It's kind of nice to have it broken down
into selections like
 Knowledge/Love and Loneliness/Longing
 like he has done for you.

Have I convinced you yet to order this book?

And because Colleen and Madeline told me to, I'm linking up
Housewifespice has weekly book link ups,
Christine, you'd love it!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Excited Girls!

 I had some very excited girls this morning!
Now, what would these cute little girls be so excited for in October, do you ask?
 Halloween?  Pumpkin carving?  

We do live in Minnesnowta, you know!!  
 It did look a little odd today,
the bright orange pumpkins, we just got last night
next to the bright white snow
And the bright, still-green trees
(not for long)
But it brought a little more beauty and almost tranquility in the air

 Seemed like the perfect day to make some apple crumble...
(I'll give you my recipe at the bottom)
 And soup!
(click on "soup" for the recipe--it was great!)
I've never used Kale before, but it was really good in this soup.
It reminded me of the green stuff they put around salad bars for decorations
but it was really good in the soup, really, it was!
And sandwiches!!
I'd have been fine with just the soup,
but my meat and potatoes man needs a little more!

These are called:

 Italian Muffuletta

Italian bread
Swiss cheese
provolone cheese

chopped green olives
chopped black olives
6 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian dressing
2 tsp fresh minced garlic

Mix the last 5 ingredients together
spread onto bread and layer the rest!

Apple Crumble

Bag of apples (we used Mclintosh)
peeled and sliced
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla

mix and put in bottom of 9x13 pan

add crumble mixture:
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups oatmeal
2/3 cup melted butter

mix crumble mixture together and put on top of apples.
Bake 350 degrees 45 minutes


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Priests Need Our Prayers, And We Need Theirs

Blessed Martin Martinez Pascual, priest executed during the Spanish Civil War at the age of 25. When he was asked if he would like to face away from the rifles during his execution, he said no, all he wanted to do was bless those who killed him and pray that God would not hold his death against them. Then he shouted VIVA CRISTO REY! Right before being shot, he smiled for the photographer, who took this last picture of him. In his eyes, one sees the courage and joy of a faithful priest.

Upon further researching, this picture puts that last photo more into perspective

A Prayer for Priests

O Almighty Eternal God, look upon the face of Thy Son, and for the love of Him Who is the Eternal High-priest, have mercy on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop's hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.

O Jesus, I pray Thee for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests; for Thy lonely and desolate priests; for Thy young priests; for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in purgatory.

But above all I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me; the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me or helped me and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly (mention name). O Jesus, keep them abundantly in time and in eternity.


Anne linked this beautiful website 
You can be assigned a priest to pray for!
Click HERE 

Here's another great link to an article 
about what it's like as a priest behind the Confessional
Click HERE 

(Thanks Patty)



Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Divine Mercy

Last weekend, I thought I was going to see Father Michael E. Gaitley, MIC speak about 
Divine Mercy and after just completing his book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, 
(which I highly recommend)
 I was very excited to see him!
He was unable to be here though, so they 
sent another man, transitional Deacon Chris, 
from the Marion Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, 
in Stockbridge, MA
(to be ordained a priest in May 2014)
He was a dynamic speaker and talked about the Shroud of Turin, 
you know this picture I have pictured on my blog:

 The shroud of Turin, believed to be the cloth that Jesus Christ was wrapped in.
(to learn more about the Shroud, see HERE or HERE)

He spoke all about the Shroud, and all the amazing findings
and then, he talked about Divine Mercy, St Faustina

 and the image 
she had painted of our Lord.
And then, at the end of his first talk, 
he ended it with this image of the two combined,
The Shroud and the Divine Mercy Image.
It was found by accident when somewhere they were able to hang an image of 
the Shroud and an image of Divine Mercy was already up, 
with the light shining through both, 
this was seen:

It brought tears to my eyes, just seeing it,
as the Shroud has always been a favorite of mine,
so  much so, that I have His face 
(an actual picture of our Lord!)
hanging all over my house!
in our living room, I have the two right next to each other.
When they compared the two originals, they matched with a
99.5% accuracy.

I took away so much from this speaker. 
I get very excited, I can hardly contain myself.
I'm reminded of my vocation of motherhood 
and although,  my heart wants to be in prayer, 
at Mass, at the Adoration Chapel, I know 
and am thankful for what I am called to do at this time.

I am reading another of Father Michael E. Gaitley's books, 

A book, I've had a hard time putting down 
to do those vocation of motherhood things!
I have to say it has been life changing, 
or even better, soul changing.

I hope to write about it this week. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Odd Things in My Head

What do you use?
Do you use the real stuff?
 or do you used this stuff?
I've always used this stuff, because, well, 
it keeps forever.
I've recently tried using the real stuff 
(we try new recipes every 2 weeks)
and we can all tell a huge difference!
it just tastes more, I don't know, 
fresher?  More real?
(cuz it is!)
(I don't like the way it makes my fingers smell after cutting it up though)
 Another Pinterest success!!
(not my picture)
Easy Pizza Dough

1 cup self rising flour
1 cup plain greek yogurt

Lots of flour for kneading,
Knead for 5 minutes
Bake for 5-8 minutes once it's rolled onto the pizza pan
(I do 425 degrees)
put toppings on, bake til cheese is melted
(I always make 2 pizza crusts, this recipe makes one thickish crust)
 Another fun dough to make with littles!
Soap Dough
2  35 ounce boxes of cornstarch
1 56 ounce bottle Dawn dishsoap

I have to tell you, the measurements are wrong, 
they don't make those ounces in those products, 
so I improvised and just got close to that...
I also used generic Dawn
 We had friends over for this one!

 Big warning, click on the picture to
 1. see cuteness up close, 
and 2.  see the BIG mess it makes.
This is also all over the floor.
But it keeps good and cleans up! 
 See why I don't picture the big kids much?
OK, I'm showing this picture because I have a question for you...
Go ahead, click on the picture to see me up close.
Look at those gray hairs!!  (wow--it's been a hard couple years)
How the heck do I naturally get rid of the dark circles and puffiness?
I recently started working out
(30minutes/day on treadmill)
(3 weeks ago)
(why am I putting so much in parentheses?)
I would think the working out would help with all of that...
(well, not the gray hairs)

And wow...I am so white, I need some sun man.

(I have to add that I am proud of my gray hairs...I'm not coloring,
they are earned--it's a joy of getting old-er)

OK, ask me in a couple years if I think the same way....
Speaking of getting older,
Isn't this one of the best costumes ever for a toddler?
 OK, onto more products
Beau Monde Seasoning!!
Have you ever used this?
My sis and bro in law told us about this stuff like 
15 years ago!
It's great on baked potatoes.
(that's actually all I use it for)

Just wondering if you'd ever heard of it...
 This is one of our favorite things!!
We paid something like 60 bucks the beginning of school
(with our school order)
I am so glad we ordered when we did, 
now, all they have is this
We are loving the magnetic part of this 
and it is perfect for my 2nd grader!
Stuffed animals!!
I hate them
I don't usually use such a strong word here on the blog, 
but I do.
I just want to take the time to apologize 
to anyone I have EVER given a stuffed animal to.
I'm sorry.
Every single one is "special"
according to my girls.
 My kids are back to making book houses
Notice the doll house sits empty, except to hold a few books...
 But the book houses are mansions!! 
We've found another great Netflix show to watch!
We just started this series, 
(thanks to you readers, for suggesting it!)
It's pretty good!  

Have a great weekend!
It's pouring outside now...
so I might be back with a much deeper post.
(might is the key word here)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Tom and I decided that when the kids grow up
and get their own places to live,
we are going to go visiting!!

Here is a list of things we plan on doing:
(the number one thing is the most important)

  1. We are going to poop in your toilet and not flush, over and over and over til it's stopped up.
  2. We are going to write in all your books and tables and walls.
  3. I am going to put band-aids on and leave my papers right where I put the band-aids on.
  4. I am going to leave my bowls of cereal milk on the counter.
  5. We are going to take off our coats and just let them fall wherever they land.
  6. We are going to do the same with our socks, but with our socks, we will put them in weird places, including out in the yard.
  7. We are going to brush our teeth in your bathrooms and leave big chunks of toothpaste all over the sink and we might even leave some chunks on the cupboard too.  OH, and the rug too, of course.
  8. I am going to have to say "YUCK!" to everything you serve me.
  9. I am going to go to your cupboards and make sure to tell you that I'm hungry and that you have nothing good to eat. 
  10. We'll make sure to poop in your toilet again, before we leave and don't worry, we won't flush!
I know, kids are kids.
This brings us comfort to think of this and laugh to ourselves.
Of course we won't really do this, 
but it's going to be tempting.
Will you be visiting too?

Minnesota October

October in Minnesota is filled with a mix of days
rainy days, cold-er days
 and special blessings of warm, sunny, 70-some-degrees days
(we are in a stretch of those right now)

 I thought I'd share some of it with you here...
 These are growing all over my flower garden, they popped up after the rain
I wonder if they are edible?
 We had a late start to summer and it seems all my seeded flowers are over a month late, 
my mailbox Morning Glories are finally blooming!
 Pumpkin muffins, bread and waffles fill the air with spice!

 My Cosmos and Zinnia's are blooming finally
 Blessings all around
 We are leaving the messes inside for
warm breezes and sunshine!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

More Hair for Locks of Love!

One of the millions of benefits of having so many girls 
is the amount of hair we get to donate to Locks of Love through Great Clips!
"Mary Hannah" decided she wanted to do it after 2 years growth on her hair!
 I was sad at first when she decided this week she wanted to do it,
but after seeing her just blossom and bloom with her new cut
it just fits her spunky personality!
 Hmmmm....should I do it?
 Yep!  I've done it!!
(don't you just want to give it a mess up?)

Because Kari asked, she shall receive!!  (the back view!)

In the end, she ended getting 14-16 inches cut off total!
She likes that she "messes it up" to fix it!


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