Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memories of Mary

I have my aunts and grandmother to thank for Mary being a part of my life. Growing up, we went to church weekly and I was enrolled in CCE through high school, but we never prayed together as a family except before dinner. We didn't really talk about Mary and the Saints, and when I think about that it makes me sad. We have this rich tradition in our church that I missed out on as a kid. Then again, it's okay, knowing my personality, I would have rebelled. Plus, I'm happy where I am on this journey of faith and I know my parents helped form my faith.

I did have the seeds planted by another generation. A generation that prayed every morning, offered novenas and had statues and pictures of Jesus and the saints and Our Lady all over the house.

I have a great rosary collection and most people think it started with my friend Sarah. To her credit, Sarah has given me my favorite rosary of all - my wedding rosary. Sarah and her husband Chris were the padrinos of the rosary at my wedding. She had two different rosaries made for me and Lance. She requested the crucifix on my rosary be the same crucifix that John Paul II used to carry. She knew I would love that. Over the years, she has given my several beautiful rosaries, but it all started with my aunts.

My aunts used to give me a rosary each time we visited them, which was a few times a year. I had one aunt who used to be a nun. I was fascinated by her decision to be a nun and would ask her tons of questions about her life. She would always tell me to pray the rosary. My grandmother always had a rosary in her hand, even when she died earlier this year at the age of 98. I didn't really listen to them about praying the rosary very often. In fact, I used to ask my mother why they always gave me rosaries. Did they think I lost the other ones? I'd like to think that now they would be pleased with me and my children. We don't pray the rosary together as often as I would like, but that's okay, we're getting there. Squirt is the proud owner of my glow in the dark rosary. That was a favorite of mine growing up. Recently he told me that he was not passing that one down to the little ones. I'm fine with that. If having a favorite rosary inspires him to pray a little more then I'm happy.

Since we've been focusing on Mary this month, Goose made flowers for Mary to leave at her altar. He was so precious leaving flowers and praying the Memorare. He learned this prayer this month as did the rest of the family. I didn't even know about this prayer until law school when my friend Bob told me about it.

Looking at Goose this morning took me back to my wedding when Lance and I took flowers to Mary's altar. He said the most beautiful prayer for our marriage outloud. I always tease him about this because I assumed that we would each say a prayer to ourselves rather than outloud. I am so glad he did it his way because that is my favorite moment from my wedding.

As Catholics we don't worship Mary, but we do ask for her intercession. I do this daily. I hope my children will do the same throughout their lives. Maybe I need to buy more glow in the dark rosaries.

I have one word for my husband


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Daybook- May 26, 2009

For Today...May 26, 2009

Outside my window...humid, sunshine mixed with clouds, the Houston summer is here.

I am thinking... how great a clean house is. I love for my house to be clean and organized. Thankfully, my kids are neat too.

From the learning room...It's a slow week in our homeschool. Goose continues to read nonstop. I'm thinking we'll just read and focus on religion this week. The Easter season has ended and next is Pentecost. I have a few activities planned for the kids.

I am thankful for...a great Memorial Day weekend. We had a great BBQ with family on Sunday and spent the rest of the weekend being lazy. It was wonderful to wake up next to Lance Monday morning. I'm also grateful for public libraries. We went today and checked out 20 books.

From the kitchen... Leftovers from our BBQ, then Lance and I will be trying some new recipes.

I am workout cloths, I promise I usually change right after I workout.

I am hoping...for peace about a decision I have made.

I am praying...a novena to the Holy Spirit. Lance and I are praying together and that helps. We have a very specific intention right now. We're frustrated and nothing helps but prayer. Why do I always have to be reminded how healing prayer is for me?

Around the house... everyone but me is watching a movie. It's family movie night. When Squirt had to ride home from swim practice with Lance instead of staying and flirting, he was not happy. Once he found out about movie night, things were right again for the teenager. I'm happy that he still wants to have movie night with the family.

One of my favorite things...listening to a baby babble.

A few plans for the rest of the week...swim team practice and taking it easy. Squirt is done with school on Thursday so we're getting ready to celebrate.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Date Night With Warriors

There is a great exhibit at the Museum of Natural Science called the Terra Cotta Warriors, and Lance and I went to see them last night for our date night. We have been dying to see the Warriors in person since first seeing them on the Amazing Race a few years ago. Since I won't leave the boys for longer than a weekend, this is the closest we'll get to the warriors.

This exhibit is incredible. It is fascinating to think that the first emperor had this built, but also disturbing when you realize that approximately 700,000 convicts or enslaved citizens were used to construct his necropolis which included over 8,000 handmade warriors and other life-size figurines. Here is a National Geographic video which gives you some details:

I strongly recommend visiting this exhibit and buying the $90 coffee table book they have there. Then again, it is easy for me to recommend buying a $90 book when I'm hoping to get it for my birthday so that I won't have to pay for it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Puppy Shirts

Goose and Baby Hulk each have a favorite shirt. Goose's favorite shirt is a hand me down red shirt with a goofy blue and white dog on it. When I saw the shirt, I placed it in a bag to donate, but somehow Goose saw it and immediately decided he had to wear it. That was a year ago. He wears this shirt every week no matter how much I discourage it. I can't stand this shirt. When we were on vacation I had visions of perfect pictures in the mountains. I had the outfits picked out, but Goose wanted the dog shirt. Baby Hulk seems to have better taste, although I am getting a bit sick of this puppy shirt from Gymboree too.

It's good that the boys are so independent, right? I think we are going to lose both of these shirts very soon. There is no way I can handle seeing these shirts another summer or on another kid in a year, esp the red one.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Week in Review

1. Today is Squirt's birthday! To celebrate we went to Double Dave's with the family. Here is a picture of our favorite dessert, the chocolate chip pizza. The manager couldn't believe we ate the whole thing.

2. Look who is standing:

3. Friday was my dad's birthday. We went to Pappasito's with the young kids while Lance and Squirt went to the 8th grade graduation banquet. My poor dad had to wear a sombrero while the waiters sang to him. If anyone knows my dad, this is SO not him, but he was a good sport since the boys were with him.

4. The Rockets won their game on Thursday, and we were so hopeful about today's game. So hopeful that the whole family wore red today. Then reality set in and the kids ran away because dad was scaring them.

5. Baby Hulk has now decided that he can pick up Kobra just like the rest of us. The only problem is that he picks him up by his neck. I just informed Squirt, and he is so angry about this. Squirt is so protective of his younger brothers and people picking them up. He gets really uptight about it so much so that he pulls me aside to discuss the situation with me. And when I use the word situation, I am not exaggerating.

6. Goose and Baby Hulk were playing together, and I could hear Goose being really bossy with the Hulk. Soon Baby Hulk was crying, and I asked Goose what happened. He paused and I reminded him to tell the truth. He said, "fine, but are you going to yell at me?" I promise I am working on the yelling thing.

7. Baby Hulk's cute new move is to yell "mama, mama"when I'm talking to someone. Once I turn to him, he says, "I love you!" He's a smart one.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Should I be Worried?

I asked Squirt how his trip went and the first thing he wanted to tell me was that he held hands with a girl. On the one hand, I am glad that he shares this kind of thing with me, but on the other hand, I am so not ready for him to date and have a girlfriend.

Vacation Notes

We returned from our trip last night. We had a great time relaxing in the mountains and then spending time with friends in Atlanta. We rented a cabin in Blue Ridge about thirty minutes out of town, up in the mountains. We were so excited about our cabin because we were on the river.

109 steps from the cabin to the river. At about 35 steps, you realized you weren't even halfway done climbing, but the view was worth it.

We found the cabin on the Internet and talked with the owner several times before our trip about the different amenities. When we planned this trip, we weren't worried about basketball, but then something happened: The Rockets made it out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in twelve years. Wednesday night was game 2 against the Lakers. No biggie we thought, the cabin has satellite. When we finally made it to the cabin, we had about thirty minutes before game time. We saw the satellite dish outside, and Lance went to get the channel ready, but after thirty minutes he gave up. We weren't going to see game 2.

Turns out the owner had turned off the satellite because it only worked in winter when the leaves had fallen. I can't describe how mad Lance was. He declared the trip a disaster, and we hadn't even been gone a day. Our cell phones did not work, we had no Internet and no TV. I realize most people wouldn't need TV while on a relaxing vacation, but this was the playoffs. Turns out the game was incredible with players getting kicked out and technicals galore. A new rivalry has been born, and we missed it, oh and my husband talks about this kind of thing for a living.

The next day we realized we could receive texts if we stood in a certain area of the cabin. So that is how my husband found out that the Rockets lost game 2 and how exciting it was. What was funny is the different versions we heard about the game. It reminded me of that game you play when you are a kid where you have a big circle and the first person tells a secret and the info is whispered all the way around the circle. By the time it gets back to the beginning, it's a total mess. We heard six guys were thrown out of the game, when only two were actually thrown out, (I think). Lance got over it and even managed to have a sense of humor about missing game 3 and game 4. Right now the series stands at 2-2 so he will be able to watch at least two more games.

Lance and I are not what I would describe as outdoorsy people, but we love the mountains. I love to hike so even though very pregnant when we came here last year, I thought we would hike and see all the waterfalls in the area. We saw two snakes within five minutes and decided against that. This year, it was the same. Lance saw a dead snake on the side of the road and that stopped us picnicking by the river with the boys.

My favorite discoveries on the trip had to do with food, of course. Mercier Orchards had the most amazing fried apple pies. Yes, something you might find at McDonald's only better. They were so good we stopped again before leaving for Atlanta. I might order these online. The other hit was a frozen dessert we found at the grocery store. I could not believe that Edwards Turtle Pie was so good. Thankfully, Edwards is carried in our local HEB so I don't have to order that online.

On Saturday we stayed with my Goddaughter. She is 8 years old and just amazing. She loved Kobra and Baby Hulk really liked her. I love my Goddaughter so much. I have only seen her a few times, but each time I see her I am so proud to have her in my life. She is smart, kind and was interested in me and my family. One of my favorite things that she did was ask what I liked to do at home. She also gave me a Pandora bracelet. She has the same bracelet, and we have a matching charm, the Bible. She was really excited because as our charm collection grows, she thought we could continue buying matching charms. I thought that was so sweet. I wanted to see the pandas and gorillas so we took the kids to the zoo. I could have sat there watching the gorillas all day. The new baby panda was pretty cute too.
My Goddaughter received her First Communion on Sunday. This was a beautiful day for her, and she was so excited. She looked gorgeous in her dress and veil. I remember when she was baptized. She wore an amazing gown that has been in my friend's family for years. In fact, I think the original is in a museum. It is so special for me to witness these events in her life. I hope she knows that I pray for her always and just how special she is to me.

This trip was such a blessing for me. I had time with my kids and husband, and then had the chance to catch up with a dear friend. I hate living so far from the people I love so I am so grateful for the times we do see each other.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Daybook- May 3, 2009

FOR TODAY May 3, 2009

Outside my window...the sun is shining. The morning was beautiful and the humidity low. It's been so hot and humid that we really appreciate days like this.

I am thinking...of everything I need to get ready for our trip this week. My husband and I are taking the little ones to Blue Ridge, GA. While there we'll stay in a cabin, then go to Atlanta to visit my Goddaughter who is receiving her First Communion this Sunday.

I am thankful for...a husband who loves to travel as much as I do and children who have a sense of adventure already.

From the learning's an easy week since we leave for vacation on Wednesday morning. Today the kids saw an opera, we'll spend time next to a lake and end up at the Atlanta Zoo. (nature and science, I think.) We're also focusing on Mary this month.

From the kitchen...easy meals for the next two nights, meaning cereal for me and mac and cheese for the kids.

I am workout clothes...still.

I am FINALLY buy my four almost five year a booster seat. I have waited and waited to buy one. It still has a five point harness, so I'm happy. Kobra is more than ready to move up to a new car seat.

I am oldest son's school trip to Washington DC isn't cancelled due to the swine flu. He will lose it.

I am hearing...nothing. Three boys are all sleeping right now, something that rarely happens.

Around the house...just getting ready to take four boys to the mountains and send one to DC. Trying to make sure we have everything we need before we leave.

One of my favorite things...taking a picnic with my kids.

A few plans for the rest of the week...relaxing and spending time out of Houston.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Black Plague

Last week we heard Goose singing while his brother was playing the guitar. We only had him start over 3 times to get this on tape.