Sunday, June 7, 2009

May Madness

The much anticipated month of May is over-with. Our calendar was filled with so many end of year happenings, it's been a whirlwind of activity and fun. We only had one unexpected glitch--Mike ended up in the hospital for 3 days starting on Mother's Day. We were told by the paramedics, ER nurses, & cardiologist that he was having a heart attack--not might be--WAS!!! He was rushed up to have a heart catheterization, but thankfully, all was well and it was NOT a heart attack. What he has is pericarditits--inflammation in the lining around the heart-- from a virus he had at the time. It mimics a heart attack from the chest pain to the EKG & blood tests, so the way to rule it out is to go in and take a look. He is recovering nicely and has to take it easy for 3 months. Other than that, I'd like to share pictures of the happy events that took place this month.

Reid's JROTC Banquet

After Final Review, Brian
came home from Texas A&M
(these are from parents weekend)

We had visits from family. Here Pop-Pop
shows Andrew & Kaitlyn how to make
Pizzelles. He also made Biscottis, Irish Soda Bread
and Baked Ziti. We all ate too much!

Reid's Confirmation by Cardinal DiNardo.
Kyle was his sponsor.

Reid's Godparents, Tammy (Mike's sis) & Greg (Mike's bro),
came in for the sacrament. We enjoyed having
them visit us in Texas!

I found this picture of them all from
Reid's First Communion. Reid sure has grown,
what a difference 8 years makes!

I had a birthday...who's counting???

Michelle had her Spring Piano Recital

High School Graduation Day!

Mom, Dad, & Grad

Grandmom & Pop

Some of his friends
Kyle wanted to eat ribs to celebrate.
Can he eat that huge rack??

He did!

Kaitlyn tried to keep up

We're hoping for a relaxing summer!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

When In Texas....

(This post is a long time coming. Sorry I've been away for a while. I'll start catching up now with this entry.)
The state flower of New Jersey is the Violet. I know this because I just googled it! Perhaps I learned this in elementary school and just forgot. What I do know is after spending most of my life there, I never had the urge to run thru a meadow full of wild violets. The state flower of Texas is the Bluebonnet. I know this because I now live in Texas and EVERYONE in Texas knows this!
Within the first year of moving here, I often heard people speaking excitedly about the Bluebonnets being in bloom and about having their kids' pictures taken in fields. I shrugged this off as just another strange curiosity about people who lived in Texas. The next spring, I again heard people
chattering on about the Bluebonnets. I started to understand that this is a very special time and something people really do look forward to every year.

Last year was the first time I actually saw them. They bloom during March & April and while traveling quite a bit out in the country, I had the pleasure of seeing what the fuss was all about. Along the sides of major highways and country roads you'll see patches, some stretching just a few feet wide and others stretching across whole fields, of beautiful blue carpet. I thought it was funny watching people pull over and take pictures in the flowers. I even saw one woman wrapped in a sheet laying in the field while being photographed. However, after witnessing this I started to think I might, afterall, be missing out on something special.
This year I made a secret vow to photograph my kids in the Bluebonnets and see what this craze is all about. As they began to bloom, I kept my eyes peeled for the perfect spot. About 40 minutes from our home, on the way to take Brian back to college after spring break, I found it!! Plans were made and together with a friend, I took the 3 youngest kids & 2 dogs out to the Bluebonnet field.

What had I been missing all this time? A truly wonderful way to enjoy the the gift of nature that God has given us! How many times have I driven by a patch of wild flowers without giving them more than a passing glance. Well, on this day, we all experienced the beauty of our world using our eyes to enjoy the brilliant color, our noses to smell the fragrant aroma, & the full tactile sensation of laying in a bed of flowers. After posing for some pictures, the kids started an impromptu game of hide & seek and had a morning they'll never forget. I have no doubt that my kids will always know the name of the state flower of Texas!

The perfect patch:

Taking it all in:

The dogs check it out:

Playing hide n seek:

Sharing the experience with friends:

We're one step closer to really being Texan!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Pictures

Here are some pictures from this week:

Kaitlyn & Andrew on the "hunt" earlier this week

Visiting the Bunny--Kaitlyn insisted we go!

Kyle had some friends over to dye eggs on Easter Saturday.

Easter morning. He Is Risen & the kids are digging in! The big boys still want a basket, but it only has a few of their favorites. The girls slept with spongy hair rollers.

Even the dogs got some new chewy bones.

All dressed up for Mass. Here are the "babies"


Big Boys--Reid recently purchased the Leprechaun hat on clearance--don't worry--he didn't wear it to church!

All together, even pup.

Mom & Dad

It was also Brian's 20th Birthday! More to celebrate.

We wish you all a Blessed Easter Season!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Triduum Reflection

I wanted to post some kind of meditation to ponder for these most Holy days of our faith which are upon us. But, I realized this morning when I opened my email that Father John Corapi had already done that for me. After reflecting on the state of our world, especially our country and the feelings of anxiety & hopelessness that we may feel, he offers these wonderful words:

During Holy Week we celebrate the victory of Jesus Christ over all of this avalanche of sin, Satan, and death. He nailed it to the Cross. “Dying He destroyed our death. Rising He restored our life.” It is necessary that we enter into the Paschal mystery one person at a time, fully and seriously. Live in a state of grace. Do not persist in sin, for your life and mine is shorter than we think. The only way a family, a school, a parish, a city, a country, or a world can be healed is one person at a time.

All of the suffering and darkness of Good Friday finds its meaning in the burst of Light that is Easter morning. All of the fear, the insecurity, and the uncertainty; all of the betrayal, the mockery, and the suffering are vanquished by the glory of the Cross. No pain, no gain! No cross, no crown! No battle, no glory.

So stop worrying! Trust the Lord Jesus...After all, He is the Savior, and only He is the Savior. Place your trust in Him. All of this is really small potatoes. It simply provides a proving ground for saints. That’s all. We have no lasting dwelling in this valley of tears. It is the crucible wherein imperfect human beings are transformed by the fire of trial and the power of grace into the pure gold of God’s holy ones.

In the twinkling of an eye this will be over and we’ll stand before Jesus, Who will wipe away every tear, and having been faithful to our Faith we’ll hear those beautiful words:“Well done my good and faithful servant! Now at last enter into the joy of your Master’s house.”

A blessed Holy Week to you, and may the Light and glory of Easter comfort you in your struggles and confirm you in your faith.

Fr. John Corapi

I hope you all can participate in some Triduum services offered at your parishes this week and after feeding our souls, we can all rejoice on Easter Sunday "Alleluia, He Is Risen!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mr. Debonair Lives Here

Kyle was voted by his classmates to be in the Mr. Debonair Pageant, an annual event at his high school. I'm not surprised that he was honored with this nomination. Back when he was in preschool, I talked to his teacher about a concern I had with him in the academic area. She touched my arm and told me never to worry about him succeeding--that all he had to do was smile and doors would open. She told me that every day when he greeted her in class, her heart would just melt. She was only the first of many others to tell me the same thing. However, lacking the confidence that his smile would carry him through the competition, Kyle decided to pull a secret weapon up on stage--his little sister. I'd say he owes her one! While they didn't win the contest, they definitely made a wonderful memory. Watch and enjoy this video:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's Only a Number

I knew this day would come.

It all started many, many years ago when I was 17 and our family was on vacation. We were seated in a restaurant when the waitress asked me if I'd like a Kiddie menu--y'know the ones reserved for the 12 & under crew. "No," I told her, "I'm seventeen!" She apologized & I remember feeling very insulted. What seventeen year old girl wants to be told she looked twelve or UNDER?! My dad reassured me that some day I would be glad to have someone make that mistake and even take it as a complement. I snorted, feeling like that would never be the case.

Fast forward more than 25 years to today, my sweet victory. I took Brian, my very soon to be 20 year old son, to a foot specialist. As the doc turned to me to explain the diagnosis he stopped and said "Are you his....." "mother?" I supplied, "yes, I'm his mother." "Okay," he went on, "I wasn't sure cause you look so young." Mind you, this doc was probably only about 5 years older than me. Not some old guy thinking everyone looks younger than they really are, but someone of my generation.

As we were walking out, Brian said "gosh, what'd he think, you're my big sister?" "hmmm, I guess," I said, "either that or an older girlfriend." We both laughed and I knew no matter how weird I've felt about my upcoming birthday and being definitely "middle-aged", today I think I'll be ordering from the kiddie menu.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sacred Relics

Last week, we got to take part in a very special event at our parish. We hosted Deacon Carlos Martins of Companions of the Cross (soon to be ordained a priest)and his display of over 150 Holy Relics of Saints.Click to find out more information about his ministry.

To understand what relics are, why they are venerated by Catholics, and Biblical application of this devotion, please visit here.

Deacon Martins' relic ministry is one of beauty and sacredness. Upon entering the church where the relics are displayed, one can't help but feel you are experiencing a bit of Heaven on earth. All the relics are held in ornate reliquaries which are sealed with wax imprints, held together with strings. This is to certify their authenticity. Deacon Martins gives a compelling slide show & talk on how relics are classified, how he became interested in them, & how he acquired much of his collection. We are then allowed to visit each relic, pick them up, hold rosaries and other holy items against them, or just pray and meditate while in their presence.

Amazingly, on display are relics that are 2000 years old! These include a piece of the sword which pierced Jesus while he hung on the cross, a piece of the Blessed Virgin Mary's hair & veil, relics from all the apostles, including Paul, and most powerful to me, one of the largest relics of the True Cross of Christ. Read how the True Cross was found by St. Helena.

I wanted to share a few pictures and remind you all to surround yourselves with holiness this Lenten season.

Andrew (in red jacket) touching the relics:

Blessed Virgin Mary's relics:

Relics from the Apostles:

The True Cross of Jesus Christ:

God Bless You!