Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Incorruptibles

I chose this video today because it reminds me of my own conversion, or rather, reversion to the Catholic faith, as I never left, but was very lukewarm.  I am a cradle Catholic, but, sadly, did not understand my faith or "get it" until I was about 25 years old.  Within a few months, I'd describe it as I was infused by the Holy Spirit, with knowledge of our faith.  Of course I gobbled up everything I could read about our faith, but there was a new understanding that could only come from God.  One of the first things I "found out" was about all the incorruptibles in our faith.  What a gift we have!  I was so excited and happy.  I couldn't believe the media was not telling the world of this. There are many more than listed in the video, but I thought they did a beautiful job of showing some of them.  If you are not Catholic, please do not be offended, I am just showing part of my journey to God. We all have a journey, we all must decide, DECIDE to follow Christ, at some point. 

 "Lord, Illumine my intellect to see the truth, and give me the strength to follow it."
Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

Monday, April 29, 2013

My View for the Summer!

It's been 12 years since I had a baby about this age for the summer.
All the girls were summer babes and close to 2
6 months makes a huge difference.
He loves it outside and cries every time we have to come in.
He prefers to walk away from the park,
away from where everyone else is.
He's thinking, "I'm free!"
I'm thinking, "It's going to be a looong summer."

Just kidding, it's a blessing, and I very much appreciate it!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thankful April

 April is almost over and I am so very Thankful for that!
After a week of serious posts, 
Here, and here, and here,
I thought you might enjoy a little
  a lot of light heartedness!
Thankful for sweet moments like this one,
 he's always so happy to see everyone in the morning!
Thankful we had some mud pie days in April
 Thankful for icicles to play with (in April)
 Thankful for rubber boots, they get a workout!
 Thankful for lunch at the counter!
I realize as these kids are getting older and not fitting as good,
these days are numbered where they can all fit here! 

 Thankful for Pinterest finds like this craft for the Easter Season!

 Thankful that plain ol' boxes can give so much joy and play time!
(Simeon got a new car seat!)
 Thankful for horsey rides and
 Thankful these 2 girls play like crazy together!
 Thankful we got to see tons of robins one day
 Thankful they stayed, even when it snowed the next day....
 a TON!
Thankful the kids made the best of the snow in APRIL
 and made huge forts and snowballs...
 Thankful Simeon is now eating normal food
and his arm guards are gone!
 Thankful for hand me down outfits like this one 
that have gone through all 4 girls!
 Thankful Tom had help taking apart our basement bathroom,
we had to take the shower unit out (all day job) and the toilet...
and empty the basement, (we are finishing this weekend)
to prepare it for a tile-drain system, guaranteed for 40 years to not flood!

 Thankful for little babes....and moments like this...
 Thankful for another Pinterest find...it worked, but was messy!
 Thankful messy is good sometimes...
 Thankful for homemade granola! 

 Thankful for babies in the sink!  
(I will be so sad when he's too big for the sink)
 Thankful we did make the best of the last giant snowfall we got,
just a week ago, and made Peanut Butter Cookies, hot cocoa,
and popcorn, watched a movie and made
 SNOW FORTS!
Thankful for the SUN!
These girls actually got sunburned, 
from the sun and glare off the snow
 Thankful they love it outside, they were out for over 3 hours!
 Thankful for muffin Mondays...
 Thankful for vegetable soup!  
I've been eating it all week!  
(I love veggies!)
chicken broth,
Basil, pepper,
salsa,
minced garlic,
 and
 all the low cal veggies I had that would last all week!
(Carrots, onions, green pepper, celery, green beans)
 Thankful this little boy is always on the move,
 his hair, hands or feet are almost always a blur!
Now, you CAN'T tell me that is not red hair!!
 Thankful we finally got Sims to wear a hat, he needs this for shade!
 Thankful it's probably because his favorite person in the world wears a hat!
 Thankful for a new venture, in unicycling!
She loves it and is such a quick learner! 
We'll be seeing her in parades all summer!
Thankful this is today, the snow is melted off the trampoline,
it's 58 degrees out, and Tom promised the kids once it  hit 60,
we were going to the DQ--
I"m off to enjoy this beautiful, long awaited spring day!!

If you are still here after all that,
Happy weekend everyone, God bless you!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Theme Thursday--Sky

 "SKY" is the theme this week at Clan Donaldson!
My kids are always climbing trees--up to the sky!!
(click on the pictures, for a much better view)
 You didn't think I'd only show you one picture, did you?
Bye bye snow, we've got 60's in the forecast for tomorrow!!
(it was about 40 degrees in this picture)
Hoping to get to my "Thankful Thursday" post today!

 Back to add this photo of today, just a few minutes ago!
"Way up to the sky!"
Doesn't that bring you back to childhood?
High around 50 today!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On Marriage

I've been wanting to write about marriage for a long time now.
I've been praying about it.
I feel as if I won't be able to do it justice, 
it's such an important subject.
I also am humbling myself by writing about it,
as so many people will see the imperfect,
the private,
 but maybe they will also 
see themselves.

Which is why I post this.

We've had a very hard year and a half.
Now with Simeon's last surgery (for a while) completed,
we are playing "catch-up" on every aspect of our lives.

Let's look back on our year to two years:
High risk pregnancy
(6th C-section, over 40, type one diabetic)
up to 5 doctor appointments per week during the pregnancy
Special needs baby born
Special feeding
4 surgeries plus an extra hospital stay
Pumping breastmilk (big timesucker)
6 Kids and all that goes with that!
One child diagnosed with ADD and ODD and Anxiety issues
Counseling and numerous issues
 that go along with that diagnosis
Homeschooling with a special needs baby and a toddler
Tom suffers from depression, 
and this winter has been his worst year yet.
Tom has a really bad back, with constant pain,
preventing him from doing exercises
Tom has a bad knee, causing constant pain
He also has a really painful jaw thing--his jaw is out of joint
(seeking help for all of these--with little/no relief)
(Gosh I love my husband, he never complains)

I'm sure I've missed a few things

To say the least, we are happy to have this past year behind us!

This past year has, though, 
caused some stresses in our marriage.
It has also helped us to realize there were 
stresses already there, and ignored.
for a long time.
We're talking years.

All these stresses have, believe it or not, 
made our marriage stronger than ever.


My husband and I have been going to Christian marriage counseling
since January.
As I explain it, we need to learn how to communicate better.
Up to that point, I'd say looking back, 
I didn't really think anything was wrong.
My husband, on the other hand, was ready for the big D

I see now, how wrong I was.
How much better life is now.

We were co-existing.
Taking care of a family with 6 kids and all that goes with that.
We were not taking care of eachother, not our relationship.  
Our love, our friendship.  
He is my best friend, yet I was not acting like he was.
He is the love of my life.
I don't want to wake one day
when all the kids are grown and gone
and not be in love or feel love any more
for this man, the man I promised to
love and cherish.

I believe that our priorities should be in this order:
  1. God
  2. Marriage/husband
  3.  Children
I had the kids and Tom mixed up.
I had a very hard time changing that, 
learning to put Tom before the kids.
It's still a constant struggle.
They are needy and demanding.
We need to pray and beg God for those Graces
 from our Sacrament of Marriage.
Oh, the blessings and Graces from this.  
They are immediate when asked for.
We are so blessed to have a Sacramental marriage.
To be able to see that Love in action.


We were lonely.
Isn't that something?
8 people living in this house and we, 
the grown ups, 
were lonely.

There's a difference in asking
"How was your day?"
or asking,
"How are  you doing today?" 
(and looking him in the eye,
 touching his back and waiting for an answer)

 We have learned some things these past few months.
We try to meet every day for at least a half hour, alone, 
with no kids, to just talk and kiss and touch, and just be together.

(now this doesn't happen every day, but we try, 
and when it doesn't happen, we can tell, we need it,
we miss it)

I have to say this is KEY.
I wish someone would have told us before we were married,
that if at all possible, to take a half hour each day, 
even when you start having kids and it seems impossible,
(they sleep sometime)
to take that time, to TALK.
My husband comes up with questions like
"What 3 places would you pick to go for vacation, one with the kids and 2 without?"
Or
"What is heaviest on  your mind right now?"
or
"What is the one thing you'd like to do this week?"

We have never run out of things to talk about.
One rule:  We can't talk only about the kids.

He's teaching me how to play Cribbage.  

We used to watch movies or a show after the kids went to bed,
but that's not the same thing as actually talking.

We've changed some things, 
He's staying a little later in the morning, 
so I can go to daily Mass 
(when there are no sick kids or icy roads)
so I can have some "me" time.  (Jesus and me time)
And
I am making lunch on Saturdays, 
I'm talking a real cooked meal, 
not a kid meal of corn dogs or chicken nuggets.
And
I'm making Brunch every Sunday 
after Mass
He's helping me write out the menus,
every 2 weeks, we look on the computer and pin away!

Love in action

( And food is the key to a man's heart sometimes)

We are trying, now that the kids are older,
to run errands together whenever we can
to touch each other more.
to go on a "date" outside the home
every other week.
(it's not much, about an hour and a half)
Every little bit helps.
Trying to spend as much time together as possible.
And I mean together, not just by each other.

It's a constant work in progress, 
but it's so worth it.
My husband is my best friend
I love him and can't wait til he's home every day.

And I tell him that.
My best advice?
Spend time together
and
Pray together
Every day.


The Good Shepherd

Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.
(John 10:27)

I have a little daily reflections book
 I read each morning,
(The Little White Book--our church gives them for free)
in it,
 they explain that the shepherds
 really did need to save their sheep 
quite often on mountain sides like this one,
 and they would (save their sheep)
They knew their sheep, they loved their sheep, 
and they protected their sheep.

Just like our Heavenly Father does for us.

Sunday, our visiting priest (Father Mischke)
brought along this image of our Good Shepherd,
 saving one of his sheep.
(since it was Good Shepherd Sunday)
He explained the details to us
How the Shepherd is holding on with his left hand, 
reaching with his right hand to save his sheep.
How, if He does not save the sheep, 
he will die.
He explained the detail of the birds of prey flying overhead
waiting to prey on the sheep when it dies.

He went on further to explain 
that we must hold onto the Shepherd's right hand, 
and reach for his sheep.
That we must save his sheep, with His help.

(I was then distracted by the littles,
 but
 I think I did pretty good at catching
 some of the Homily this week)

I'd never seen this image before. 
Upon looking even further into it, 
I think those birds of prey can mean a lot too.
All the birds of prey waiting to get us as soon as we fall.

I love this image.
Sometimes I feel like the sheep.
Sometimes I feel my children are the sheep.
Sometimes I feel like Father explained,
in-between, reaching.
In all times, I never let go of the Shepherd.

Hold on to the Father.

I'll be singing this all day!
The "Hold on" part...


Monday, April 22, 2013

I'm Stuck Every Day

Feeling defeated.
I've been trying to go to daily 7am Mass,
  (except on snowy days and sick kid days)
which means I have to get up at 5 to workout
 to be done by 6 to shower 
and be ready for Mass.

I just have no energy
and 
I've given up Diet Coke

For the first time in my life,
I have no ambition.

I even take "Before" pictures like this, hoping to motivate 
Here's my problem areas
Although, I am told by my doctor that my stomach will not go away
unless it is surgically removed.

I've never experienced a "no ambition" time in my life

Is it age?


Friday, April 19, 2013

One More Chance!

With a new foot of snow outside, today, April 19th
Believe it or not, this is rare even for Minnesota
 We've gotten snow every day since Sunday
The kids were starting to get sad and even mad about all the snow.
One of the girls was asking why God would do this to us...
A hard question to answer,
so, I decided we needed to praise God for this,
instead of complaining about it.

(I guess we won't be grilling this weekend!)
So, Thank You God for all the snow we have!!
It's perfect for making snow forts & snowmen
(it's the heavy, wet kind)
You've given us one LAST chance to play in the snow,
come inside for hot cocoa and fresh baked cookies!  

The attitudes of the kids changed immediately 
now they are planning on movies and popcorn in the afternoon!

Only God knows the reason for the especially long winter here in MN, 
I am thinking He wants us to really appreciate SPRING & SUMMER this year!
Sing with me now,
"Rejoice in the Lord Always, again, I say AMEN!"

OH, and it's Christine's birthday,
go wish her a happy birthday!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Boys!

 "Size matters not" (Yoda, Star Wars)
"I am your brother!"
 "You will now look at mom and smile!"
 "Good, my young apprentice!"

"May the force be with you!"


The theme is "Boys" over at Clan Donaldson
and Cari suggested we play around with our photos!
(I tried)
I have bookend boys and I love it!!
I love having a boy for the oldest, he's so protective and loving.
I also love having another boy after 4 girls, he's been such a blessing to us all
especially his big brother!  
(who is teaching him what all young Jedi must know)

Thankful for my boys this Thursday!

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