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!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I guess the first clue that my sweet, little Kaitlyn was not going to be as sugar-coated as she appeared was when she was a month old. I had her over my shoulder, gently patting her back when the loudest, most grotesque sound erupted from her tiny body. Remember, she is my 6th baby, so I certainly had burped my share of babies. Never had I heard a sound like this come out of any child. I swore her whole lunch must have come up, but when I precariously turned my head to see what kind of milky mess I would be cleaning up, all I saw was my sweet girl, who burped like a truck driver at 4weeks old without even losing a drop of slobber!

Fast forward 5 years and here she is, still as cute and girly as can be, and still champion burper around our kitchen table, to the point that she is being disciplined about manners almost daily. She's also the one who cracks us up when she uses the bathroom and is heard loud & clear through the closed door grunting & moaning and then repeatedly screaming "Mom, I need Fiber!!!". She definitely fits the old saying, "We can dress her up, but can't take her anywhere".

Knowing she was not your stereo-typical "I can't mess my dress" kind of girl, I had no qualms taking her, Andrew, Michelle, & one of M's friends to the Museum of Natural History this weekend. They were having a special demonstration for Valentines Day where the kids could dissect an actual sheep's heart. This went perfectly with the Science lesson A & K had done this week on the anatomy of the human heart. While the big girls reluctantly took their seats and barely examined their heart specimens, Kaitlyn dug right in using chop-sticks to rip her heart apart. Here she and Andrew are in action:

To our surprise, the museum also had another special exhibit. They were cooking up bugs and letting the kids eat them! They explained how these were delicacies in Thailand. The dishes included Fried Chex Mix with crickets & Cheddar cheese sauce mealworms. I jokingly asked the kids if they wanted to eat any bugs. The big girls made disgusting faces & shook their heads. Andrew took two steps back and said "No way". To my surprise, in her little girl voice, Kaitlyn said "I'll try one". "You want to eat a bug, Kate?" I asked just to make sure she knew what she was doing. "Yes, I'll try the cheese one." she said. And so, while the big girls covered their mouths in horror & Andrew's eyes got hugely wide, our little Kaikee ate a cheesy mealworm and declared "It's pretty good!" She was given a button to wear on her shirt and we moved on. Later she asked to go back and eat another--so she did!! On our way home, she called from the back of the minivan, "Hey Mom, I want to eat more bugs. Can you buy some at the store?" Here she is enjoying her worm--check out the button on her shirt:

When we got home, she told her big brothers what she'd done. They high-fived her and Kyle declared her, "the coolest girl ever!"

Sugar & spice (& burps & bugs), That's what little girls are made of!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Miss You....

I wasn't going to write about this, but I just couldn't let the day go by without comment. Today is my due date. The date doctors give pregnant women as a guide for when their baby will be born. All of my children were born at least two weeks early. So, I've tortured myself practically the whole month of January wondering....

Everyday, whether for a fleeting moment or as a constant thought, I've wondered "would I be feeling really uncomfortable by now?", "is today the day I would've had my baby?", "would I be having sleepless nights & feeling exhausted?", " would we be rejoicing at the beauty of another perfect child joining our family?".

I know it's not healthy to think this way, but sometimes it couldn't be helped. Especially whenever I watched a pregnant woman waddle by me while out shopping or when I see a newborn strapped in an infant seat out with her family.

I know deep in my heart that Clare is in Heaven, but it doesn't make me feel ALL better, not yet.

We visit the cemetery and watch as more babies are
buried every month. My son told me that they're the lucky ones-- they don't have to work to get to Heaven as we do. God takes them into paradise without the suffering and trials we must endure to earn it.

A dear, elderly friend of mine gave me the most comforting words when I told her that my baby was perfect and not incompatible genetically with life here on earth. She said, "Suzi, you have to understand that your little girl did have some undiagnosed problem that was incompatible with life. She didn't just slip away to Heaven without a reason. God wanted her --completely clean from sin." Amen to that!! Thank you, Joan.

Please turn up your volume and watch this video and remember.....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Lovey Award

My friend Lee, in California, honored me with this cool award. Thanks, Lee! I thoroughly enjoy reading her blog. Through blogging, I've opened up a whole new world of friends who live nearby & far away and I get a chance to peek into the lives of some of my favorite authors & role models. My job now is to recognize fellow bloggers that I love to read and encourage you to check out their blogs as well. I ask those I choose to include the text below and pass this award on to others. Here are the rules:

The Lovey Award:“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”
Here are some of my favorite blogs:

Blair's Blessings (Blair--of course)

Finding the Roses... (Julie)

In the Heart of My Home (Elizabeth Foss--homeschool mentor!)

Spring Hailstorm (Nicole)

Survivor 73 (dear friend)

WI Catholic Musings (cyber friend)
I know I picked ten instead of eight, but I love them all!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


During our visit to the northeast over the holidays, we were introduced to a "tradition" that somehow escaped us when we lived there. Kyle came back from spending an evening with his buddies and told us about "Manuary". He explained: during the entire month of January, men (including teens who think they are "man-worthy") are to let their facial hair grow and see what they end up with. In other words, how manly they are. He challenged his two teen brothers & father to give it a go.

The whole vacation, they all tossed their razors aside and got scruffy! Brian & Reid's growth didn't last long. Both are in ROTC programs, so upon returning back to school they were forced to give in to shaving or else be in big trouble! Kyle, who tends to be the least hairy of all, used the excuse that as a swimmer who shaves his arms & legs before big meets, facial hair is a definite no-no in his sport.

So, that left Mike, who gave it a try. He tends to be baby-faced and always told he looks much younger than his age. A few people at work told him that with his Manuary hair, he looked older. He took these as positive remarks and felt he'd get more respect on the job. I laughed and said if a woman changed her appearance and was told she looked older, it would definitely NOT be taken as a complement!!

Here are Before & After pictures:

So, you decide, Manuary or not!!!