Thursday, June 28, 2012

God Speaking?

 I love this story, and because I was familiar with it I think I was able to clearly see an answer to one of my own prayers.

I found the following at
 The Flood
It had been pouring down rain for days and the river was cresting far above flood stage. The town was being flooded and emergency evacuation procedures were being exercised. The old man in the yellow house had been a faithful follower of God nearly all his life, so he was not afraid. He knew that God would take care of him.
As the water came lapping up to his window sills, a man in a rowboat came paddling by. As he rowed by the house, he noticed the old man in the window, and asked, "Would you like me to row you to dry land?" "No," the man replied. "God will save me!" "Okay," responded the man in the row boat, and he went on looking for others he might be able to help.
The water continued to rise, and soon it was lapping at the second story window sills. By this time, dramatic rescue operations were in progress. The water was so deep that a large yacht was passing by. Seeing the old man now leaning from the second story window, they called to him: "You are in serious trouble -- let us save you!" But the old man's faith in God had not diminished, and he called back, "No, God will save me!" "Well," they replied, "we don't have time to convince you -- others need to be saved, too." So the yacht passed on by.
The water continued to rise. Soon, nearly the entire house was under water, with only the very top of the roof above the water. Perched atop the house, the old man patiently sat when a helicopter came roaring by overhead. Through a bullhorn, the helicopter pilot boomed, "The water is still rising and your house is about to be swept away by the current. We'll throw out a rope and save you." Again, the old man replied, "No, God will save me!" The pilot said, "We can't be responsible for what happens to you if you don't let us save you!" But the old man was steadfast and would not allow them to save him.
As the water rose even more, the house was torn from its foundation and was swept away, breaking up in the raging torrent. The old man didn't have a chance and he drowned.
Now the old man finds himself standing in front of the pearly gates. He is very dismayed, and says to St. Peter: "I've been a good Christian all my life. I've always trusted in God, and indeed, God has saved me on many occasions. What have I done wrong? Why didn't God save me this time?"
To this, St. Peter replied, "I don't really understand what the problem is. We sent two boats and a helicopter!"

When we feel like we need God's help, we know that we can count on Him to be there for us. The problem is that we sometimes expect God to perform a sensational miracle to save us.
God doesn't usually resort to miracles when there are much more efficient ways to accomplish what He wants. All He needs to do is plant an idea in someone's head, or make sure help is available for us when we need it. It's up to us to do our part and not just sit around expecting God to do what we are perfectly capable of doing ourselves.

I've been praying lately for direction.  I've wanted to volunteer but wasn't sure where.
Over the past several months I've received emails from the Director of Religious Education from our parish with information about CCD classes and such.  Every email contained a plea for help regarding the need for catechists and aides.  I've thought about helping out in the past, but figured I wasn't well suited for it.  However, this week I decided to go to my church for Adoration.  While I was there, I continued to pray for direction.  The very next day I received yet another email explaining the need for volunteers for the CCD program.  It was then that I remembered the story above.

I have a meeting with him next week to see in what capacity I can help. 

Are you like me and need to be hit over the head?  Or do you leave your heart open to hear God speaking?

Monday, June 25, 2012


No pictures this time but our weekend was jammed packed with fun stuff.

*3 year old birthday party for Matt's friend complete with bounce house and swimming.
*Graduation party for our friend's son.
*Basketball game.
*Out to dinner at a pizza place
*Brave-the movie
*Another basketball game
*Mass (in shifts)
*Retreat reunion picnic
*Family party to celebrate Bill's sister visiting from Florida.

*And the best part of all......News that a new addition to the family is on the way and will make his/her appearance in January!!  Bill's brother and sister in law are expecting their #2 and had their #1 wear a t-shirt that read, "I'm the big brother."  Happy news indeed!

Today was back to reality.  We spent the first 2 weeks of summer vacation chilling out.  Now it's down to business.  Remember the chore chart from last summer?  Well, the 2012 addition is here.

  It needs to be tweaked a bit, but today it was successful.  Along with that, a trip to the library, book store to get our summer workbooks, and the grocery store....and no one complained.  A miracle indeed!

Something new I'm trying is to have one on one time with each child.  They get to pick the dinner they want and cook it with me.  Tonight was Tommy's turn, although in typical fashion there was not much one on one because someone always wants to "help."

Tommy learned how to peel carrots and how exactly I make Grandmom's chicken stew.  Hopefully one of the kids will turn into a culinary genius and I'll never have to cook again.

 Wishful thinking indeed!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ms. Renee

A couple of weeks ago we had to say goodbye to our beloved piano teacher.  Ms. Renee and her family are moving to another state and we are really going to miss them.

Renee started teaching Billy when he was in 3rd grade. Mary Kate started soon after and most recently, Tommy. I first met Renee when she moved to the area and joined Moms N Tots.  As any mom knows, the friendships you make as you are first starting out on the journey of motherhood are lasting ones.  She was more than just a piano teacher.

She gave my kids the confidence to play a Winter Recital in front of forty piano families; at the mall  in front of hundreds of strangers; and also at our local nursing home. She was extremely flexible with our schedule as it needed to be changed many times due to sports and activities.  In fact, she sometimes knew my schedule better than I did and could foresee my needing to make a change to the lesson schedule. She went above and beyond any amount we were paying her. And every week she greeted us with a smile.

Before she left she generously threw a party for her kids and their friends.  It was a blast, complete with trays of food, chips, pizza, and cookies.  She had games and activities.
Renee, Grant and Ellie

Later that day Billy and Mary Kate had their final lesson with her.

 We will miss keep in touch!

Best wishes to you and your family in your new home.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

14 Years Ago Today

Today Bill and I celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary.  I am a lucky girl.

When I was young I was always on the "lookout" for Mr. Right. (sounds kind of desperate, doesn't it?)
I had three criteria.  He had to be Catholic, Pro-Life, and go to church. In fact, whenever my friends and I were out and they saw me talking to a boy they would joke and ask him those three questions so no one's time would be wasted.

I clearly remember there were times when I was young and dating that I wished the relationship would work out.  When it didn't I couldn't understand why.  When I met Bill it finally became clear to me.  God was just answering my prayer in His own time. 

Are you familiar with the song "If" by the group "Bread"?  It is one of my all time favorite songs and there is a line in there that goes like this.

"If a man could be two places at one time I'd be with you....tomorrow and today; beside you all the way."

I am teary as I write that line because even though Bill didn't write those words, he lives them and makes me feel special every day.

I love you my Love!  Happy Anniversary.  You have made all my dreams come true.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Have You Done This?

Picture this:

Early morning, breakfast time. Running late. Each child wants a different kind of egg for breakfast. We have 15 minutes to cook and eat before we need to head out the door. Three pans going. Toast in toaster. I feel like a short order cook.

Handing out the plates I notice what Tommy will notice in about a half a second. That his fried egg is a little burned overdone. I know what's coming so I start talking to him real fast.  Are you excited about basketball camp? What's your favorite part? Who wants orange juice? In the midst of my attempt at distractions I hear Tommy say quietly, almost to himself, "This is burnt."  My reply is, "No it isn't Tom, that's just the Pam cooking spray that got a little brown on your egg. It's fine."

I hold my breath. We have to be in the car in 5 minutes. I say a quick prayer, "Please let him be okay with this breakfast."

He was. 4  minutes later he's bringing me his empty plate.

Dodged a bullet there. 

I love you Tommy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

"What a father gives a child is part of who he is
and who they will become--
his love, wisdom, and example 
will shape them for a lifetime.
We have to have our children's heart."
                     -Courageous, the movie

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Complete Yum

Get your sweet tooth ready because I have found pure heaven.  I ate this "cookie" at a party a few weeks ago.  I walked from guest to guest (complete strangers by the way) until I figured out who brought them.  When I finally found the baker she told me how to make them and I committed the recipe to memory.  If you taste them you will know why.  I don't even know what they are called. I'm going to make up my own name.

Heavenly Club Cookie

-Club crackers
-1 cup brown sugar
-1 stick butter
-about 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Cover the foil with Club crackers so that all sides touch

Melt butter in saucepan.
Add brown sugar and stir constantly until boiling.
Once boiling, continue to stir for 3 min.
Pour this mixture over the crackers and spread. (I remembered my camera at this point)

Place in the oven for 3 minutes. 
Take it out and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over it.
Once chips start to melt spread over all the crackers.

Place in fridge until chocolate hardens.
Break apart and enjoy.

They are even yummier than they look.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Graduation Celebration

On Saturday we traveled to celebrate my niece Eileen's graduation from 8th grade. We had a ball celebrating this wonderful, sweet, talented girl.

There was lots of food, fun, and water play.  Here is a picture of the cousins, minus one. (We missed you Amanda).


Bill and I are Eileen's godparents.  She was reluctant to have her picture taken at this time, but I think she's adorable.  Don't you agree?

Want to see more of my family?

My Dad, brothers, and sister
John, me, Jim, Mary Grace, and Bob (best siblings EVER!)
Billy with his Godmother, Aunt Mary Grace
My brother Bob with his daughters Maddie, Bridget, and Kathleen
Mary Kate, me, Mary Grace
Moira, Jim, Eileen, Kathy, Jimmy
Congratulations Eileen!  We are so proud of you.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Feast Of The Body and Blood Of Christ

Today we Catholics celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi.  This is where we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.

It is also the Fifth Luminous Mystery of the Rosary. (you know I had to tie the rosary into this somehow)

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you."...And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood."        Luke 22: 19-20.

The fruit of this mystery is Adoration.  Oh, how I love our Catholic faith and the true presence of Jesus in Communion.  Today was probably the first day I bowed before I received communion.  It had never been a practice that I grew up with, so I was reluctant to do it.  But if we truly believe in the real presence of Jesus, shouldn't we be kneeling?  Why did that practice ever change?  Can we change it back?

My friend Vicky has taken up the practice of genuflecting before receiving. It is said that it is often the first follower*, not the leader himself that starts a movement.  Maybe I can be Vicky's first follower in our parish.

For now I will step out of my comfort zone and continue to bow.  I pray I will learn what it means to fully adore Him and possibly one day shed my insecurities and pay Him due homage on my knees.


*first follower tutorial video

Thursday, June 7, 2012

First Day Of Summer Vacation

Yesterday the kids had their last day of school.  I feel like I was just blogging about Billy going off to Middle School and now he's done 6th grade headed to 7th.
Here he is with his neighbor buddies.

Grace, Billy, and Syrus
Then we waited for the elementary bus to come.  They were so excited to be done, I could barely get them to stop to get their picture.

I called everyone back over and here's the crew.

They loved me when I asked them to clean out their backpacks so I could put them away for the summer.  (That was sarcasm.)

Today I had some errands to run.  I had forgotten how much more interesting it is doing errands with all of them instead of just Matt.  One place I had to go was Sam's Club.  We scored big time there.  At every corner they had those stands set up giving away free samples of food.  Who knew that they all liked crab cakes?  So I bought them.  Who knew they liked chicken egg rolls?  I bought them too.  We got a lot of stuff.

Note to self: Never go to Sam's on an empty stomach.

Remember Tang?  It brought back memories so I bought that too.  I haven't had it since I was a kid.
And now I know why.

Matthew has been checking these hourly to see if they have "freezed" yet.

So we are all set. One day down and 80 glorious more to follow.
(and you can decide for yourself if that was sarcasm.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

I Have Arrived!

When you have a blog you have something called a Dashboard.  It is here where you can make changes to your profile, write posts, design the site, etc.  You can also check your stats to see how many people come to visit or see referring sites to your blog.

Last week I noticed that a post of mine had been pinned.  Yes, me.....Pinned.  On Pinterest!  It was for a recipe I had posted for Butterscotch Lush.

I am not on Pinterest.  I know myself well enough to know..... Stay-at-home mom + Pinterest = Obsession.

If you too are not on Pinterest but would like the recipe for the Butterscotch Lush, you can find it here. 

 Does that whet your appetite?