Thursday, March 28, 2013

{Theme Thursday} & pretty, happy, funny, real

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life at  Like Mother, Like Daughter~

I'm late because I didn't think I had any fresh pictures of celebrating or most categories of {phfr}. 
Then, I remembered a nice visit on Monday with friends for a photo fun shoot with bluebonnets.

This is Ceci from our Celebration of Bluebonnets earlier this week...

sun was pretty much over head, so I edited to deepen up the colors.

{happy & real}
Tonight we participated in the celebration Holy Thursday...
Maundy Thursday...
Maundy = mandate...
"Do this in memory of me." 
Institution of the Holy Eucharist...
My favorite liturgical event of the year. 
We are still meeting in a family life center of another parish, but it was still absolutely beautiful, just hard to capture good pics under those lights.
(If you have any tips for flourescent lights, please share.)
Love it when Nick serves as thurifer.
Washing of the feet
Eucharistic procession to the Altar of Repose

stripping of the altar,
because He is no longer here.
The Altar of Repose
for adoration after mass until midnight.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spy Wednesday

Spy Wednesday

"Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests.
And said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver."

Spy seems too nice of a label for Judas, is vile betrayer better? Regardless, the actions Judas took to betray Jesus set in motion the events of The Passion. It makes us ask the "what if" questions... those decisions by Judas, Caiphas, Pilate, would any of it have stopped His death, lessened any of His suffering? What if Peter hadn't denied Him, would anything have been different? Humanity's debt had to be paid.

Are we to find and identify ourselves with those present at The Passion?
Are we Peter: mostly faithful but waiver when pressured?
"The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Or Judas, taking His love and compassion and defiling it when it seems He asks much of us?
Pilate: turning away responsibility, as if He has nothing to do with any of us?
Herod: only wanting Him to prove who He is and perform miracles, but ignoring the miracles when He does?
Caiphas: trying to rid the world of Him completely?
The murmuring crowd there, not invested, just watching from a safe distance?
Simon, a reluctant follower?
Or are we standing with Mary, praying walking the path and carry our crosses?

Jesus came to save us, all of us people who are fickle in faith and seem to refuse to be saved. Would any other Divine action captivated our attention? It happened as it was foretold centuries earlier. This was God's plan. From the beginning.
"How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?"
We have free will, could we have changed it? Can we, two thousand years later change anything? I hope our actions now could change the level of suffering. If I don't sin, would that be one less strike, one less injury to him? Less weight of the cross for my sin, lighter blow of the Romans scourge? If I then go further away from sin and give more, sacrifice more, pray more, would lighten the load? All these actions would help my present and future life and those around me.

Is it all about me? Can It be that personal? Yes!

He died for me and my sin, He died for you and your sin, all and all, each through time... Hard to wrap our mind around. Hard, but bittersweet.

I can own this in my heart. He died for me. He suffered for me. He opened heaven for me. How will I live with this Love? He died for you. He suffered for you. he opened heaven for you. How will you live?

 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.
 Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Scripture passages from Matthew's Gospel.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Texas in the Spring

The Legend of the Bluebonnet

The official Texas state flower
Lupinus texenis
The Texas fields are covered
With a blanket of deep blue.
But for a little Indian girl,
This would not be true.

Texas land was buried and dry.
Rains just would not come.
Indians danced and prayed for rain,
And beat upon their drums.

The Chief made a proclamation.
He appealed to one and all.
A prized possession must be sacrificed
Before the rains would fall.

The Indian camp was silent,
While each person searched his heart.
But when it came to sacrifice,
With possessions they would not part.

Suddenly a little girl stepped forth,
Holding her blue-clad doll.
She placed it in the roaring fire
and raindrops began to fall.

The rain brought forth the grass,
Among its blades, flowers of blue.
To be a sign for all the time
Of a love so pure and true.

We read these annually around the time we search for bluebonnets for picture opportunities. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Journal


Outside my window...
Cool snap! Only low 50's today breezy and sunny.
I am thinking...
This is a good lesson in the twenty four hours of Christ's Passion- from the missal sheet from Una Voce

I am praying for..
a quick and painless recovery for my husband after a fence post accident resulting in the need for five staples to his head.

I am thankful...
we had over thirty come to our annual homeschool teen group outdoor in our backyard candlelit Stations of the Cross. The teens led it, took turns praying each station. It was beautiful. The candles were blown out at each station, leaving mostly complete darkness when done. I do think praying Stations together leaves a lasting impression. I was happy they went with the "long version" on including all the prayers and sang at each station.

 Afterwards, they ate, some played Apples to Apples, some tried to see how many teens could fit on the trampoline, (being sweet kids, they did listen to my husband's suggestions of limiting the number), some just visited with friends. Many dads brought their kids and my hubbie had a great time sharing stories with them.
It is a beautiful annual event here.
I hope the Stations reflections stay with us all through this last week of Lent.

Ok one blooper of the night, I thought it would be pretty to put clear red cups on the candles to keep lit and to catch the wax. Quickly into it, one cup planted by a station burst into flames. My chemical engineer friend said, quite calmly, "Oh that's bad, that releases benzine." (which I gathered was very bad), so I removed the rest of the cups quickly and was thankful for the breeze.
Another hiccup; of the two sets of the Stations by Liguori one has
"Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us" the other does not. We should pencil in before next time.

I am wondering...
How do you choose between a book in hand, kindle version or an audio book?
Share-ability? Price? Ease? Resell opportunity?
I'm look at Ranger's Apprentice based on the recommendation by a friend for my kids, and thought it might be good for them to be able to listen at their own pace while waiting for lessons or riding in the car. But I like that have a book in hand.
What do you prefer, how do you decide?

I am reading...
The Light Beyond the Forest by Rosemary Sutcliff about the Quest for the Holy Grail with Nick
And continuing Jesus of Nazareth.

I am watching...
Les Miserables... oh, my goodness, so good! Anne Hathaway's voice is incredible.

In the kitchen...
Molly is making a Cream of Chicken recipe she had at Paneras before. Yumm.

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today...

Though men failed in this crisis (of Calvary) there is no instance of a single woman failing. In the four trials the voice heard in Christ's defense was that of a woman, Claudia Procul, the wife of Pontius Pilate...On Calvary it is woman who is fearless, for there are several of them at the foot of the Cross. Magdalene, among them as usual, is prostrate. But there is one whose courage and devotion was so remarkable that the Evangelist who was there indicated the detail that she was "standing." That woman was the mother of the man on the central cross. Our Blessed Lord willed her presence there. Since he was the second Adam undoing the sin of the first, Mary would be the new Eve proclaiming the new race of the redeemed.
-- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Bluebonnet picture hunting, confession, repairs scheduled, Holy Thursday mass, Good Friday services, Easter Vigil, preparations for family in for Easter...and some of last week's goals put off -due to Craig's injury -relating to garden work which will now wait until after Easter.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mother Teresa's List for Humility

A very challenging list to strive for humility that Mother Teresa gave to her sisters. Good to contemplate while focusing on our Lord's Passion this week. Just reading though the list, I feel my spirit rebelling at the possibilities. She shared much wisdom!

1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.

2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.

3. Avoid curiosity.

4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.

5. Accept small irritations with good humor.

6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.

7. Accept censures even if unmerited.

8. Give in to the will of others.

9. Accept insults and injuries.

10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.

11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.

12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.

13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.

14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.

15. Choose always the more difficult task.

--Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Friday, March 22, 2013

7 quick takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 212)
Crazy pics found on phone taken from Lilly's not so exciting view on our bike ride and of herself showing her lack of excitement. Can't blame her now I see for myself.

One more week of Lent!
It started slow but has been flying by these last days. It should get pretty busy next week. We traditionally get new Easter clothes and do a thorough house cleaning, as we get ready to spend many hours from Holy Thursday evening through the wee hours of Easter morning at church. The kids are suggesting we camp out in the parking lot to save driving back and forth.

We are hosting our teen group Stations of the Cross tonight.
Praying the rain holds off to keep these teens outdoors.
I always think: what a blessing to our neighborhood when the angelic voices sing the verses of the Stabat Mater flowing up on the breeze floating down my street.

Baby Emma, her parents Jessie and Tim, and her lifetime of twenty six precious minutes on this side of heaven.
Patti's gift of comforting words.
Grace of God.

Lilly is still having and causing bouts of insomnia. It starts with her kicking and fussing over a yet unseen ant bite. I tried Sting Stop lathered all over her leg, foot rubs, songs (which never worked because I can't sing) . She eventually drops back off and I'm left wide awake. It's good when it happens on Thursday night early hours of Friday so I can do a quick peek at all the early/late night posters on Jen's quick takes. Go take a peek yourself and keep Jen, and her upcoming medical procedures that will end with a baby, in your prayers.

So many posts and news of suffering tonight, which always seems to compound and intensify as the days count down through Good Friday commemorating the Passion of our Lord.

Prayer in time of suffering:

Behold me, my beloved Jesus,
weighed down under the burden of my trials and sufferings,
I cast myself at Your feet,
that You may renew my strength and my courage,
while I rest here in Your Presence.
Permit me to lay down my cross in Your Sacred Heart,
for only Your infinite goodness can sustain me;
only Your love can help me bear my cross;
only Your powerful hand can lighten its weight.
O Divine King, Jesus,
whose heart is so compassionate to the afflicted,
I wish to live in You;
suffer and die in You.
During my life be to me my model and my support;
At the hour of my death,
be my hope and my refuge.


Best way to combat insomnia, I'm off to pray my rosary for all souls above mentioned and any of you who happen to stop by this blog, you are covered as well.

And a bonus..
Follow the pope app:

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Parenting Teens with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Motherhood is a beautiful, rewarding calling but sometimes parenting teens can be overwhelming and frustrating. I only have experience raising three teens at this point and know Do as I say not as I do parenting does not work with teens, or really, any age. They want and need honesty, clarity and examples of humility. Let us not forget the gifts of the Holy Spirit we received at confirmation! These gifts are not to be reserved only for Sunday use, religion class or the day of confirmation. These are for every day formation of who we are, who our children are and how we are to live this journey.

Take seriously the gifts our children are to us, and lovingly embrace our Divinely designed role as their guides and counselors to adulthood. So that Our Lord will be able to give you His gifts. Pray especially for the gift of Wisdom, which will help you to build up a childlike faith. Practice the virtue of humility and awaken in your heart the desire for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We need to be mindful to ask for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as we parent.

[1] And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, 
and a flower shall rise up out of his root. 
[2] And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: 
the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, 
and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. 
[3] And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. 
He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, 
nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears. 
(Isaiah 11:1-3)

Wisdom, the calling to encourage our children's belief in their faith. We can help them see and order their relationship with God, and to then turn and order their relationships and behaviors with others. Wisdom is to help them understand all good comes from God, all is due back to Him. Wisdom will help them know what battles are worth fighting.

Talk to them, explain each and every one of us were created in the image and likeness of God. He knew us from the beginning of time, where He would place us in time, who our family was to be. Trusting this, turning over to God and accepting our place in the world as picked out special for us in love, can and should grow love of our family, siblings and place in it. We don't need to waste time wondering why we are here in time and place, but knowing it is God's design for us, and make the best of these situations and relationships.
Never subscribe to the "Let them discover Truth on their own" theories; why waste the opportunities to help them grow and love their place? Why ignore the gifts and beauty of our Faith? Wisdom helps them see their purpose.

Teenagers can seem to be in their own world, but really they aren't any different. I grew up thinking as a teenager I did not quite fit in my world. I was not anymore a carefree child, yet I was not yet a responsible adult. I was not sure what I was. I floated though those years spiritually undirected. The gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit allows us to grasp the truths of our Faith. The truths of God’s plan in our world, His plan in our lives. We are to do our duty, whatever our state or age in life.There are no periods of life to fly under the radar, to experiment with sin.  These can be painful years with so many physical, emotional and hormonal changes happening at the same time while having pressures to define who we are. 

The gift of Understanding can help remove those worldly pressures, and give teens the goal to take one step in front of the other, do what they need to do today, and set the worries of life aside. As parents we need to stay firm, offering an example of living Christian faith. Pray together. Go to mass together. Make sure they receive and practice the sacraments. Celebrate feasts of the Church together. If it is important to you, it will be important to them. Give them good saintly examples to learn about and follow. Our Catholic Faith is a wealth of beauty and wisdom fuller than we could absorb in a lifetime. Spend time educating yourself and share with your children the Church's abundant beauty.

Counsel being the next gift of the supernatural from the Holy Spirit; a Divine gift, to help judge our actions buy intuition. A time to teach our kids to listen to that inner voice. To thank the Holy Spirit and Guardian angels for their guidance so that we can become closer to intuitively know the right choice. We may still yearn for neon signs for the path God wants us to follow. Although, the paths won’t always be marked, and won’t be free of dangers and temptations;  this gift can help us stay in the safest part of the road, and give us opportunities to stand up for our faith to convert others. Counsel is the gift of striving for perfection of the cardinal virtues. 

Teens need silent time, in this day and age more then ever, time to be able to listen to God answer their prayers, questions and pleas. Encourage them to spend time daily in prayer, to dedicate time to listen.

How can I can make it, and hold out against temptations? Then the next perfect gift is  Fortitude. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength to follow through on the advice we received through the gift of Counsel. This gift goes beyond courage, it is the stuff that gives martyrs their vision of the order of priorities in this world, when they made their choice to give up human life instead of renouncing their Faith.

Help guide their influences, friends, activities, companions and job choices. Help them discern for themselves who and what may help or hinder their spiritual health. Be where they are on facebook, at sports event, support their ventures, know their friends. Help counsel them to come up with the best conclusions in their own terms.

Knowledge is the gift to help us know ourselves, know our children and assist them to see their own strengths and weaknesses; to know they were created by God’s loving hands with them in mind. To love God, love themselves and others God placed in their lives.

Frequent Confession is needed to help guide and form their ability to judge themselves, and repent when needed, be thankful and enjoy the gifts of freedom of sin dearly purchased for us by Our Lord. A confessor willing to also be a spiritual director can be very helpful during these years.

The Holy Spirit’s gift of Piety unites the heart with the will to give us the desire to worship God, honor our parents, and walk this journey with  Faith, practicing our Faith, and living knowing each day is a gift from God, whom we owe homage. 

Pray for their vocation, for their future spouse and for an increase in vocations for religious life. 

With so many glorious gifts, understanding and getting to know their influence on our lives, can leave many teens worried. Fear of the Lord sounds more ominous when we don’t understand it. This gift gives us hope, gives us the desire to not want to offend God.

A daily Act of Contrition and examination of conscious can firmly plant this concept and gift in our heart and minds.

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, 
and I detest the loss of heaven and the pains of hell,
 but most of all I because I offend Thee, my God,
who art all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve with the help of Your Grace 
to confess my sins, do my penance and amend my life.

Deserving of all my love.... this daily prayer illustrates how Fear of the Lord is fear of losing His Love. Teens can understand this as their hearts are wide open. They can understand the desperate state it would be to be separated from our True Love.  By our gift of love to Him, we stay in His Grace.

Pray to Holy Mary to call upon her guidance and protection. She was present at the Pentecost, and received the gifts of the Holy Spirit along with the apostles. Jesus gave her to us as our Mother from the cross. She understands. Invoke the Holy Spirit, thank Him for the gifts we seldom think to utilize in our parenting so we can be best armed to guide their souls.

Come Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit,
did instruct the hearts of the faithful, 
grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations,
Through Christ Our Lord.

{Theme Thursday } Mud


Perspectives in mud....

This will be interesting to implement....

Add one patient daughter who doesn't mind playing in the mud puddle under a backyard swing.
Mix a fairly dried out yard, so that mud doesn't get on me or the camera.
Result, one weird lesson in angles of Molly's feet in the mud.

I do love the idea and exercise of moving myself to get a different angel, different perspective. 

(Go see Cari's perspective angle pics for more examples...)

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Every Thursday, over at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

My girls planted flowers in my favorite pot to welcome guests with a color of spring.

soooo {happy}
Lilly loves Creepy Castle by John Goodall (wordless). She loves for me to read it and add voices of the characters. We talk about the dragon and how creepy he is. We review how the creepy guy is creepy at different times during the day. She loves to think about shooing the creepy bats away.

Today she decided she wanted to read it to her sister.
Her sister was busy reading her own book.

But with Lilly's animated storytelling, Euly couldn't keep her attention on her book.

Slowly, curiosity won out.

and she had to see what Lilly was "reading."

"Want me to read this to you, mom?"
 Is that a halo?

Yes, I am still complaining about the pollen. 
When you can leave foot prints on the pollen in the sidewalk, you know allergy season is going to be rough.

leaves a clingy, grainy dust on everything outside..
sticks to two year old and brought inside. 

dusted Shelia's nose,
and she doesn't look happy about it.

A soupy goo

Welcome, spring!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Counting Gifts: 3300 Gifts...

3300 Closing the gap of the miles with prayer.
3299 These girls: each others best gift and biggest challenge



kiss to make it feel better
3298 Getting proactive and ready for battle.
3297 Open hearts and open minds
3296 Getting kids involved and committed for their education.
3295 "...and for the intentions of the Holy Father..."
3294 Finding an article honoring JR in an unlikely place.
(didn't he look like James Garner?)
3293 Craig's ability to fix everything that is broken around here. ;)
3292 Craig coming home early to spend time with a daughter who needs him.
3291 Land shopping Sunday afternoon drive just me and Craig
Craig thinks this could be "it"...
3290 Planning our day together
3289 "Potty!" on her suggestion
3288 Six healthy births
3287 Six healthy pregnancies
3286 Waking up next to sweetness
3285 Focusing, motivating, challenging Molly
3284 Craig's productive afternoon off
3283 Great week with Max
3282 Visit like when they were kids
3281 Visit to Larryland
3280 Craig always comes through
3279 Engineering eight+ darta track loops FTW
3278 Pope Francis!
3277 Habemus papam!
3276 Max's answers with a side of sass
3275 "Max, where have you been?" Lilly's complete sentences
3274 Starry night walk with Max and Molly
3273 Daffodils
3272 Playing word games with Max and Molly
I'd be embarrassed to say how long it took to solve this one.
3271 Learning new acronyms - Max: YSRN
(you serious right now)
3270 Building speed on bike while dragging trailer
3269 Flag football style-bike riding with Nick
3268 Everyone excitedly gathering around Max when arriving home for spring break
3267 Willing teenage driver fro errands I don't want to do
3266 Spontaneous mass attendance
3265 What my class feels like sometimes.

3264 And a stop at the park!
3263 Bike trailer! and happy rider!
3262 Sleeping late
3261 Euly on a reading marathon
3260 A new look helping everyone keep it looking great
3259 Bulbs growing
3258 Making new connections
3257 Carpooling
3256 Butterflies - everywhere!
3255 Seeing Lilly sing to and love on her baby dolls
3254 Friends to keep them moving.
3253 Ninja obstacle course and active and imaginative teenage boys
3252 Birthday Italian cream cake
3251 Better times once I shook the unmotivated straggler
3250 Craig all happy with his big car project done!
3249 "Ready or not, here me come."
3248 Taking the time to give Lilly;  just to walk and hold her little hand
3247 The way that Lilly calls Euly "Lully"
3246 Potty training
3245 CC mother hen over Lilly
3244 Full moon extra energy. "Are you part werewolf, mom?"
3243 Nick's budding social life due to his work as a chaperone
3242 Stations of the Cross outing planned again
3241 Park days to look forward to
3240 Lilly singing songs
3239 "Looks like a castle, mom."
3238 Molly enjoying her independence responsibility
3237 a cheap transformation
3236 kids who beg to help me paint, and Euly really delivering.
3235 Good days when they start off bad
3234 Toyota's fixed
3233 Sonic run
3232 Molly imitating Shelia
3231 Pretty potty pity party
3230 Gifts and skills of Craig's friends
3229"Cc, you are my best friend in the whole world." - Lilly
3228 Playing Candyland with the kids
3227 Lilly next to me reading poetry
3226 Kids having fun on trampoline together
3225 Girls busy earning money in neighborhood this weekend and a little independence
3224 Craig won't accept conspiracy theory in nascar
3223 Comfort of this side mimi.
3222 Magic of bubbles
3221 Lilly building bubbles in the bath
3220 Battleship
3219 "Deer coming!" opportunity to comfort the fears of a poor little thing.
3218 Humidifier handy o the middle of the night
3217 Healthy kids
3216 "Teach us to give and not count the cost." St. Ignatius of Loyola
3215 a full day at home to do school
3214 Texts of good grades from both college kids and bonus from hubbie
3213 Meeting kindred spirits
3212 Wind howling outside while we are tucked safely in bed
3211 Coming to bed and seeing my room clean and tidy.My genie names Euly
3210 Two girls who put themselves to sleep.

3209 "A painter must keep his mind as clear as the surface of a mirror." Leonardo da Vinci

Lilly's art
3208 Gluten free experiment
3207 Singing while she finger paints
3206 Sunday school inspiration
3205 Molly's safe first outing without me.
3204  Kids discussing their favorite thing about Leonardo da Vinci
3203 Text from Max about nothing in particular
3202 Weekly visits.
3201 "Me happy!" Lilly's first words upon waking. It should be a good day.