Saturday, November 30, 2013

Three Things I love about Advent

The word Advent comes from the Latin “advenit” which means “he is coming.”  
And the Latin word for “Watch” is “Vigilate.”
The English words “be vigilant” from that; 
Vigilant means alert, wide awake.

1.
I love the traditions of the advent season and how each family celebrates it is as individual and unique as each family is. The Catholic traditions practiced in the home express and illustrate our own family's culture. The rituals are ones from our own childhood, families we admire or ideas in books and movies. That beauty we want to bring in and make part of our culture, our traditions, that make our family...us. 

My mother had an unbreakable nativity set when we were kids; we were welcomed to handle and play with during advent. As a new mom, it was the first thing added to our advent traditions, along with the advent wreath on the kitchen table. As a kid, I loved to watch the candles burn and drip wax down the candles and on the table, hoping some of each candle make it to the next week. One usually didn't last that long, a sign we often had dinner together, the only time we lit the candles. Warm memories, I want my kids to share in.

There are so many opportunities in Advent and Christmas time for making warm memories and starting family traditions. This special time to stop and welcome Christ into our lives, make sure we keep pulling our focus back to Him when we countdown days on the Advent Calendar, and light a candle on the Advent wreath, and when we read the Old Testament stories pointing to Christ.

I really enjoy learning about others' traditions. Some put their tree up for Thanksgiving festivities or many wait until Christmas eve. I enjoy hearing and seeing other traditions, and know we all have our own beautiful ways to celebrate the season and welcome Christ into our hearts and home. There isn't one right way or wrong way to wait in joyful hope.

2.
I love the Richness of the Season.
Everything looks more festive by candle light. Starting in Advent we have more candles lit and it spreads a sense of awe through the children. It signifies something is different, something special.

Music! We love to listen to and sing O Come O Come Emmanuel. It is the age old haunting call to Christ to come to us. Remembering the longing of the ancient Hebrews knowing He will come, but to wonder when. As we wait upon His second coming.

We do have a challenge to balance the festivities of the season with the penitential nature of Advent. The priest wears violet as a reminder, this is a penitential season. Advent keeps bringing our focus back to Christ.

We don't resist Christmas music, Christmas recitals, parties, gatherings, but approach each with the proper attitude of preparing and waiting for Christ's birth with the gift of knowing He came and fulfilled the age old promises and that we are still waiting for him to come again. We save our full celebrations for Christmas and the following week. There is usually much to fit in a short period of time.

We slowly bring out decorations during the Advent season, weekly making changes to our home. Bringing out the decorations is like greeting old friends each year. We read books, poems and listen to and play music reserved for this time of year, trying to align our home festivities with Liturgical Season also celebrating the saints whose feast fall during December like St. Nicholas, St, Lucia, St. Eulalia and Our Lady of Guadalupe. I especially love to end the season with Midnight Mass.

3
I love the call to simplify during Advent, when the world is calling us to do otherwise. Some years I listen and obey the message better than others. Traditions help to keep it simple, instead of creating a new plan each year. Different kids have different activities they enjoy and don't enjoy about the season.

This season is about Love.
The meaning of Life is Love.
The true meaning of Christmas is Love.

Jesus is Love!


It's that simple.

Gifts? Budget? Shopping? Food preparation? Balancing schedules with parties and recitals and all. Yes, we still have to manage and survive this. But keeping our focus on Jesus, keeps us prayerfully centered so instead of buyers remorse, by Christmas Day, our goal is to have an enriched spiritual life.

Happy Advent!

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Very Happy Thanksgiving 2013

I am thankful for all these generous, loving, fun, creative people in my life,
all the wonderful get togethers and fabulous feasts we had over the last few days,
and for my very blessed life!























Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What we're reading...a day early


1. The House of Arden by E. Nesbit.
When I finished reading The House of Arden, Nick said, "Well, that was fun!" I've been a big fan of Enid Nesbit over the years, discovering her from DYOCC's book list with my favorite,  Five Children and It, and second favorite, Railway Children.
HoA was Illustrated by H. R. Millar


We haven't read Nesbit in a year or two as a read aloud. I can't read too many treasure seeking adventure books by the same author in a row, without comparing stories too much or just missing the previous group of kids.

Nesbit knew children, and how to talk and tell stories to children, making her so distinct in her time when children should be seen and not heard. She was friends with a few other innovative and inspiring authors of her time: CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.

She loved to encourage children's natural curiosity and logical minds. My kids love to discover and reveal her hidden messages; regarding behavior, natural consequences and diligence in studies. In the House of Arden, the brother sister adventurers can't go ahead with an adventure if they quarrel, and they discovered on their own it would have been better had they paid attention in history class to know the outcome of a certain historic scene they found themselves in. She also encouraged a love and study of nature.

If you haven't read Nesbit, you can't go wrong, but you might want to start with Five Children and It, mostly because once you've come to know the characters you hate to say goodbye, and there are two sequels: Phoenix and the Carpet and The Story of the Amulet. Most of her stories involve siblings together in the adventures with occasional help from adults, showing the character of the adults from the child's perspective.

The House of Arden is a fun, fairly quick read about a brother and sister raised by an aunt, who found themselves inheriting a castle in ruins with the possibility of finding the hidden family treasure that could rebuild the castle and help the surrounding neighbors. Exciting adventures wait for them in different times. A fun story if you are one who doesn't dwell on the "how exactly does time travel work" question and the "how does magic work exactly" question and can roll with the imaginative adventures that unfold. 

Euly said this story ended as a cliffhanger. There were some loose ends that weren't wrapped up. Some stories we come to love the people so much, as new friends, then suddenly, every thing is neatly wrapped up and too quickly we hear: The End. And we're left wondering, what about tomorrow, what happened to Cousin Richard, was it all imaginings and what does"happily every after" look like? Shouldn't the story go on to the next year... ? I know the feeling, we've lived in their world, we hate to say goodbye. I am so happy when my kids feel the same way about a story.


2. The Defenders by Ann McGovern
Story/biography of three Indian leaders who tried to work out ways to live at peace with the White man in a time and place in our United States history when coexistence of these different live styles proved to be impossible. We can't fully understand this time of such vastly different cultures clashing, so we read many books from different perspectives. Both sides could be cruel and break promises. I'm glad we read it, it inspired some great discussions.



3. Cari's book:
Pope Awesome and Other Stories,
I couldn't wait for it to be delivered in print, so I ordered on Kindle.

I read until very late at night, until I had to get some sleep, then picked it back up first thing in morning!
Loved it! I felt like I was reading the story of a very good friend, she's so natural at telling her story, bringing us in to her life and home.  How natural her and Ken's conversion were, just as natural as having six kids in such a short time after not thinking they would have kids. Well, natural for their being big open hearted people changing their lives how the Holy Spirit led them! I love the way she retells these events in her life, showing God working in their life decisions, her and Ken's acceptance. 

I thought it was funny, a girl from Michigan finding her Catholic faith in the South. I learned so much about my faith spending time in Michigan after growing up in the South. Truly, the Lord meets us where we are.

If you read Cari at Clan Donaldson, you will be happy to see her humor in her book as well as her blog, the personalities of her children and how the family works together.

Get a copy, you still have time to enter Iris' giveaway.  but hurry, as in: go. there. now, it ends Wednesday.

4
For Lilly
Caps for sale. A book I remember loving from my childhood, it has become part of our family culture. When any of us read this book aloud, "Caps for Sale, Fifty cents a Cap!" is yelled as the cap seller would yell it , and everyone in the house joins in. Maybe it's just one of those things you can't explain. We love it, we love the cap seller's perseverance and the monkeys' silliness.  I'm glad to see it is still in print.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekending/beginning


Outside my window...the weather has been crazy extremes lately making us debate turning the AC back on after heat, until this weekend brought in the cold and rainy air. It makes me want to have hot chocolate and a nap.

The kids Saturday soccer games continued despite the weather, with Ceci playing in the cold and rain, and me, valiantly cheering from the sidelines trying to stay dry and warm. Okay, Ceci deserves the valiant compliment since she played as if the weather was perfect.

I am hoping...we don't go too long without sunshine. I am missing the sun and our bright blue skies already. I am not one of those homeschoolers we get burned out in the winter months, usually, to endure the ugly winter days, we get comfortable and cozy and get more work done since nature isn't calling us outdoors. November, December and January are the months I find we get more reading done together. I love to read; read aloud, read for myself, read about others places, read familiar stories, read new stories. So there is a upside to all this outside dreariness.

I am thinking... we are finally ready to start and follow through with a Jesse tree this year. We participated in a Jesse tree ornament exchange with our homeschool group, So fun! It was a little like Christmas: getting 23 new ornaments crafted by others in return for two my girls did:

Ceci's brick wall for "Return to Promised land"
Euly's Globe for "Creation"

I am praying for..health and perseverance of family and friends.

I am creating...Advent chain for Sunday school kids. I have the best class this year! The kids are engaged and so happy to have an advent chain to take home with them today. It makes me so happy to see them skip out of class to show their parents.

I am reading... A new to me series starting with The Children of The Green Knowe. We are half way through the first book and are trying to see if it should be classified as a ghost story, it's isn't scary...just mysteriously imaginative..may be a good way to describe it...? Reality/fantasy/imaginative...kids are enjoying it so far, and I was delighted to find a movie series based on the books, one with some of the same actors from Downton: From Time to Time... (let me know if it is good). We will hold off on watching until we are done with the books. 
Isn't it fun to find a new books series?! 
The BBC also made the books into a series..this is just like the book so far, except Nicholas disagrees with what Toseland looks like. 

I am watching...a video of George W Bush with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. Don't we all miss him? I read that some of his artwork is available for purchase. I though his comment about not commenting on Obama was straightforward and classy:
"I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor."

I am listening to...Molly's currently favorite group: Twenty One Pilots. All the girls have favorites, so they play DJ while I drive the car. Little pics Wee Sing America when she has her turn.

I am looking forward to...seeing everyone for Thanksgiving!!

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


A peek into my day...Ceci getting ready to start the soccer game.



Something interesting shared on facebook...to show and encourage my violin and viola players. Beautiful.
We're thinking maybe their orchestra can do something like this with Canon in D in one of their upcoming performances...


Happy Thanksgiving week to you, and wishing that you enjoy your company, turkey and sweets!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Theme Thursday - Shaming


Today's theme - shaming

Found something sticky, ignored and unclaimed early this morning...





That straw and cup point guilt to my littlest sweetie. Good thing that my three year old has a sweet big sister who cleaned it up before she even woke up, but sure wondered why I would take a picture.
Now, I'm thinking of a new improvement project to re-seal the floors with something very shiny, ... about the consistency of dried apple juice.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

{WWRW} Do you know Father Pro?...

...Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro?
...The Mexican priest who was martyred by his government for being a Catholic priest?

Just less than a hundred years ago, what just seems impossible to us north of the border, it was illegal to practice the Catholic faith in Mexico: the land of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A land steeped in Catholicism would have brave souls protecting the faithful, risking capture, torture and death to tend to their flock.

Blessed Miguel Pro's life story as told by late Texan author Ann Ball in Blessed Miguel Pro is a quick read because of the fascinating and adventurous life of this brave and holy priest. The scratchy but dramatic black and white photos included in the book tell of his last years, days, moments.

One of eleven children of a mining engineer who traveled much in his life, especially after starting the journey toward priesthood when war was breaking out in Mexico. He was high spirited, a prankster and charming and used his creativity living among the people, foiling the authorities to avoid capture for the crime of being a priest for as long as he did.

He dressed in disguise to be able to have Eucharistic stations around the city. His life story is incredible and ends in martyrdom; a martyrdom that didn't have the effect the authorities wished it would have.

Tan also has it as ebook.

This prayer is in book and on this website dedicated to him - so much to learn about Blessed Miguel:

Chaplet of Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

Blessed Miguel, before your death, you told your friend to ask you for favors when you were in Heaven. I beg you to intercede for me and in union with Our Lady and all the angels and saints, to ask Our Lord to grant my petition, provided that it be God's Will. [Here mention the request.]
We honor and adore the triune God. 1 Gloria.
We ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Come Holy Ghost.
We pray as Jesus taught us to pray. 1 Our Father
We venerate with love the Virgin Mary. 1 Hail Mary.
All you angels, bless you the Lord forever.
Saint Joseph, Saint [name of your patron], and all the saints, pray for us.

Blessed Miguel, high spirited youth, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, loving son and brother, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, patient novice, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, exile from your homeland, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, prayerful religious, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, sick and suffering, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, defender of workers, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, courageous priest in hiding, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, prisoner in jail, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, forgiver of persecutors, pray for us. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Blessed Miguel, holy martyr, pray for us. 

Imprimatur: Joseph A. Fiorenza

Bishop of Galveston - Houston

August 13, 1995


For more of this time:
A recent movie For Greater Glory about other Cristeros, released in 2012.
I believe many if these are also up for canonization. 

For more from Ann Ball:
The following books were given to my son for his confirmation, great for read aloud and discussion for reader in junior high and up.
Ann Ball includes many saints, blesseds and a few that should be brought up for consideration, like sweet little Mary Ann Long in Book 1.
I enjoy her straight forward writing style and I usually need a tissue when reading about some of these heroic saints' lives.


November 23 is the feast day for Blessed Miguel.

It's also Max's 21st birthday.

Blessed Miguel Pro, pray for us.

¡Viva Cristo Rey!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

3 things I love about practicing my faith

I'm linking up Micaela with 3 Reasons I love our Catholic Faith.
1. Gestures
One can spot a Catholic by the gestures we make. Gestures help us live our faith through everyday thoughts and actions, witnessing the truths of Christ in all we say and do.

Making the sign of the cross when beginning prayer- outwardly professing beliefs in the Holy Trinity and Christ's triumph over death;
Genuflecting in front of the tabernacle in church- respect due to the King of Kings;
Making the sign of the cross when passing a Catholic Church- acknowledging Christ's presence;
The three small crosses we make at the beginning of the Gospel reading: Jesus' words be in my thoughts, on my lips and in my heart.
Right now, I'm enjoying watching my three year old work on getting it right on making the sign of the cross. She starts off right, but goes straight to the shoulders, back and forth. So cute. Why does it pull at my heart?

2. Veiling
I have been wearing a veil to Mass on and off for over fourteen years, first re-introduced to it at The Grotto in Detroit. I remember wearing veils, or even the occasional handkerchief, from my early childhood, and was so happy to see it a custom again.
Sometimes I do not like veiling, mostly when it isn't the custom of a church we are attending, and I feel all eyes on us. I do not like to be center of attention and a possible distraction to others.
I have received wonderful comments from people about memories of their mother wearing veils, or how they think it is a beautiful sign of respect. I have not received a negative comment about it, so I know it's wrong to assume what another may be thinking. When I wear mine, I do not think I am better, or more modest, or a paradigm of anything. 
I know I need to practice humility and modesty, and share the idea with my children that going into a church is different that going anywhere else. Jesus is truly present, we owe our King of kings this highest respect in our dress, our behavior especially when present in His House. I have found wearing a veil helps center my thoughts, dress and behavior this direction.
It is also fun and a very feminine exercise to shop for veils, seeing what size, color and weight is comfortable and less of a distraction in mass. Once a comfortable veil is found, I think it does help focus our attention forward in Mass.
1 Corinthians Chapter 11:1-10 
Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ.  Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you.  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.  Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head.  But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven.
 For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head.  The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.  For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.  For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man.  Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels.
For what it is worth, I don't force my girls to wear a veil. I own a few of different colors and sizes, and they know they are welcome to use them. Our parish has a box in the vestibule with veils for anyone who wants to borrow one. My two little girls like the idea, but take their off usually midway through. We discuss the reasons why they might want to wear one, we discuss modesty at mass and modesty out in the world. I believe it to be a very personal decision whether or not to wear a veil, if you are interested in looking:
Here are a couple fun places to shop for veils:
Rosa Mystica Mantilla
Veils By Lily
Headcoverings by Devorah
also check ebay for cool finds


3. Having Saint friends

Saint Apollonia      Feast day February 9, martyr in 249 AD
I met Saint Apollonia when on a search for a good dentist when my 15 month old Molly had her baby teeth eroding out of her mouth as fast as the teeth emerged. I was in a panic, and not happy with any dental advice I received about what to do for her.

Because of the frequency of dental issues in my family, Saint Apollonia and I are great friends. She has comforted my fears and been an advocate to me in my desperation and worries. When I was sitting in the dental chair this week, I thought of her, how she suffered a martyr's death, with one of the torments she endured was to have her teeth knocked out of her mouth.

I receive anesthetic, she didn't. The dentist is improving my teeth, not leaving me wounded, on the way to my death. Oh, thinking of her faith and bravery shames me. Except, as all good friends, I know she understands my fear, and is happy to be assistance for me.
Source
Saint Apollonia, pray for us.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Counting Gifts: Thankful November and second blogging anniversary of Counting Gifts

I started counting gifts in November 2011, and worried that my gift notes could be lost if my phone app crashed, which it does on occasion, so I thought I'd try blogging to keep up with these random little memories, prayers and tidbits of other things I wanted to have saved for me when I need it, and share with anyone interested.
{Hi Mom!} I've enjoyed creating this page, this journal of my life, our lives, trying to keep me focused on the positive when life hands me more than I think I can handle with a smile.

God is good all the time, and with reflection I do see I am always cared for, in case I didn't see it right away. I have been asked to mature, and roll with the punches, and been given new opportunities daily to give myself another chance.

This blog thing: I've developed a deep admiration for others who share their lives, and inspire readers from their corners of the world through their words and photography. I'm been blessed and inspired all the more to meet some bloggers in real life. There is good out on the internet, out in the world,  it can be found. And it's comforting to know good people living their lives, raising their children, striving for their souls and their futures and for the good of our country.

I made it past the initial 1000, now over 4000. The numbers are meaningless, I plan on keep going, adding to little things that make me smile, laugh or ponder.

I'd encourage you to do the same, take time to keep a list of things you are thankful for, gifts of grace from God. These will add to the memories of the little things that changed and enriched your life that could otherwise go unnoticed.

4300 With big bright eyes:
"It's mording. Me still tired."
Me too.
"You three Ceci?"
4299 Taking a day off.
Accepting educational and life choices
I made for my children, for better or worse.
4298 Being forgiven for my birthday insanity.
4297 Lil: "I'm just sooo nervous." "Do you mean excited?" " Yes, I'm so excited I'm nervous!" At 3..!
4296 Time to myself at soccer practice: do I read, listen to music, make a phone call? 
4295 The girl's artwork given to me as a gift



4294 Ceci confidently reading Hop on Pop
4293 hearing from Max on his field trip


4292 Girls independently cooking meals; so helpful to add to the rotation of meals.
4291 Feeling so proud of my kids for being themselves and talking to me about their lives.
4290 Feeling peace amid the storm.
4289 Any excuse for sushi lunch date.
4288 He's still a kid at heart:

4287 My crazy family
4286 That tiresome, troublesome, old excursion, at least it gave me warning, and didn't leave me stranded.
4285 Craig's plane landing in the minute I need him to talk to Jeremy about the water pump.
4284 Good cars guys that didn't talk to me like I was dumb.
4283 Smoothie escape with Ceci.
4282 Forgiving understanding friendships.
4281 Getting the kids back on track for school today.
4280 Venison in our back yard,  ooops just kidding,  I meant deer,
Look at the pretty, peaceful, harmless yummy deer:

4279 Trying to break thru the fourths ones exterior.
4278 Kids all aglow after playing with their friends. Yay great neighbors!
4277 Experiment of natural hygiene, proud of her open mind and brave heart.
4276 Evening walks and talks with Molly.
4275 Molly's work ethic: hearing her leave sooooo early to babysit.
4274 Nick as DJ. He knows what songs to play to keep a driver happy.
4273 Chocolate kiss and peanuts together in my mouth.
4272 Lil's: "Peas with Pringles on top."
Is translated as
"Please, with sprinkles on top." 
4271 Slowing down the schedule
4270 "My not mad at you. My happy to you."-Lil
I'm not correcting pronouns used improperly because it's so stinking cute!
4269 Prayers for courage: Felt!
4268 Train horn blast hello from black jeep
4267 Texas ladies' funny sayin's:
"You can eat ice cream out of his dimples."
Lol
4266 "Cc, my don't like being angry, so I'm happy with you."
Lil
4265 Having Max to hang out with me today.
4264 Little gifts of kindness.
4263 My strong brave husband protecting me from an aggressively charging dog.
4262 Seeing Sue on our walk. 
4261 Quick visit to reconnect.
4260 Snuggling and hearing all about what's in his heart.
4259 Young love blossoming brings happy smiles and a youthful glow.
4258 Phone calls with Kathy; planning slumber party with my sister and niece and my daughters and me. 
4257 Silly happy Max.
4256 Craig missing the deer from nowhere while driving.
4255 Scary stories told in back seat with a flash light.


4254 Lil:
He was... He was...  "Bless-you-ing"
?
You mean sneezing?
Yeah
4253
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.

4252 Prayerful reminders and resources like this.
4251 Matt 17:21
"This kind does not leave but by prayer and fasting."

4250 A prayer to a sweet saint, patron of Dentists and dental patients:
O glorious Apollonia, may our good teeth reflect also the moral life we are living. How useless it is to enjoy a good dental health when our moral life is going down due to our sins. You lost all your teeth, but you were a shining light. May the whiteness of our teeth be a reflection of our virtues and values that shine before others as light and example to be followed. Amen.

St. Apollonia, pray for us.

4249 ~ Sandra Kring  
"To let go of what is lost, even though letting go is painful.To reach for what can be, even when we’re doubtful. To live as though we’re brave, even when we’re fearful. These are the trials we face, and the choices we make along the path to joy."

4248 A day without spanx.
4247 Good dental insurance and a husband who works so hard for me and our kids.
4246 Family prayer circle of passionate empathizes 
4245 Carol's dentist.
4244 Lilly running to bring me a flashlight to take on my night walk to keep me safe. She loves me.
4343 My kids think it's normal to run out at night to go pray at the cemetery for souls this week.  We love the liturgical year!
4242 Made first step and went to dentist, so happy they fit me in fast.
4241 Making the most of insomnia.
4240 Running into people we know when out running errands...wait, did we get settled?
4239 Caught me a big silly girl. "Are you happy with me? I'm happy with you?"

4238 Biggest bubble gum bubble?  No, a big balloon and one silly girl.

4237 Prayer for humility
O Father, give us the humility which realizes its ignorance,
Admists its mistakes, reconizes its need, welcomes advicel
Accepts rebuke. Help us always to praise rather than to criticize,
To sympathize rather than to discourage, to build rather than to destroy,
And to think of people at their best rather than at their worst.
This we ask for in thy names sake.

4236 Backlog of interesting books to read.
4235 Hearing about Max's scuba adventures, "Are all of your childhood dreams coming true?"
4234 Seeing Nick rise to the occasion.
4233 Kids love my chili.

4232 Painless broken tooth.
4231 Celebrating the full liturgy in the traditional Latin Mass.
4230 Cheering for others successes. 
4229 Beautiful blessing from priest to heal Ceci's poison ivy and how good it looked the next day.
4228 New Testament rules are Love.
Love is all it's about.
4227 9pm run to get the kids to cemetery to free souls from purgatory
4226 Confidence to stand my ground at committee mtg. Fighting for what is right!
4225 Making myself talk to people
4224 O'Brien generosity 
4223 Margaret telling me I am beautiful.
4222 Tears at the consecration
4221 A classroom visit from Daniel
4220 Girly giggles at nonsense jokes
4219 All saint Mass seeing friends we hadn't seen in a long time.
4218 Halloween rains stopped in time.
4217 Angel's prayer
4216 It passed in time to have a delightful Halloween evening with friends


4215 Girls willing to deal with pumpkin goo for the sake of art


4214 Pillowcase full of candy


The smells of Halloween candy all together 
4213 Lilly's expanding vocabulary
4212 Prompting and encouraging Ceci to take her medicine. She never let it slow her down or ruin her fun. Such a patient sufferer.
4211 Big sister sharing her good fortune (and fruit from hard work) with little sister, sweet!
4210 When a tree falls in the night...Thankful for minimal damage :)
4209 Something lost.  Something found.
4208 Win for the neighborhood gossip line
4207 Watching Euly's teammate help set her up to make a goal.
4206 Refreshing friendships when in a desert of hostility.
4205 "Here's your muffin pan, it's defective."
        "How is it defective?"
        "It's empty."
             :)
4204 Partners in crime with Margaret, fun to have a friend that gets me in trouble!
4203 Buyers remorse on trick candles...will there be pay back, will I be held the guilty party...?
4202 Big ole' chocolate sheet cake.
4201 Ceci telling me, assuring me, she will take care of me when I'm old.
 (after being inspired by a song).