Hello from San Diego

September 23, 2008
Firstie

Firstie

Middlin catches a wave

Middlin catches a wave

Pip, diggin the dirt

Pip, diggin the dirt

Pip and Nana

Pip and Nana

3 x 2(much fun)

3 x 2(much fun)

"da wave!"  Pip was feigning fear of the waves


Smocking, Anyone?

July 7, 2008

Do you l-o-v-e smocking? Then you have to go see Cheryl’s blog and Etsy store! You will marvel at her extraordinary workmanship. The attention to detail will melt your brain. Enjoy!


Saturday Rosary: Storming Heaven for a Miracle

July 3, 2008

Please join us–and spread the word if you can. I know it’s very short notice, but I’m putting this devotion into Mary’s hands; may the Holy Spirit make it happen.

We are praying for a dear man named Galen to be healed of cancer, and are asking particular intercession of John Paul the Great and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (they both only need one more miracle for canonization).

Saturday, July 5th:
1 pm Pacific (US)
2 pm Mountain
3 pm Central
4 pm Eastern

Worldwide times are per your local time zone so that we’re all praying the rosary at the same time.

The Backstory…

When Hub was deployed this last time, I had made a comment to a fellow rosary maker and friend, Doris, that Middlin *loved* one of her rosary designs. [If you have ever been a single mother to boys (geographically or otherwise), you know how woefully inept it feels to try and be two parents. A soldier's children make countless hidden sacrifices during deployments--they are the real heroes of the home front.]

I didn’t give the conversation any more thought between the distractions of the deployment and homeschooling. Lo and behold, a few days later a package arrived for Middlin from Ms. Doris. He was taken completely by surprise and had no idea what on earth could be inside. He opened up the package and inside was the most handsome rosary, handmade just for him by this dear, dear lady.

It’s things like that that touch your heart and stay with you forever. Someone who took the time and effort to go so far out of their way for such a kindness: these moments are all kept forever in my heart.

Several months ago the shock came that Doris’s husband, Galen, was diagnosed with lung cancer. We prayed along with other rosary maker friends (and many, many other folks) for his healing and he pulled through beautifully. The cancer was gone. Until this week; it’s back and has spread.

What can you do when you are 1800 miles away and helpless to help your friends? You pray. And you ask your friends to pray. And everyone you know, plus the rest of everybody who you don’t know. We may not be able to be there to bring food, run errands, lend housekeeping chores, mow the lawn or drive to the pharmacy. But we can come together from every corner of the country and the world, at the same time, and storm heaven for the healing of Galen. We can beg God for this miracle through the intercession of John Paul II and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. What a grace that healing would be!

So…if you’re not doing anything Saturday, please join us! And if you are doing something, please join us anyway, or offer a rosary for this intention when you can. You’re welcome to link back here or track back or however the blogosphere works, but I do hope you’ll join us in praying for this most precious miracle.

Jesus, I trust in You.

God bless, and thank you -
Jennifer


If Today You Hear His Voice

May 19, 2008

Our dear friends, John & Emily, have received the worst news that any expectant parents will ever get: their baby, due in November, has passed away.

Somehow, Emily has received the strength and grace to write about it, and has shared baby’s last picture with the world.  You won’t believe your eyes!  The ultrasound clearly shows prayer hands and the biggest ear-to-ear smile.  The little one had already passed away when this picture was taken; I can only guess what joy it must have been to see and hear the Lord, face to face.

Truly, “If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart”.

Sending out love, hugs and an Ave, dear friends…


On Motherhood

May 12, 2008

My dear family gave me such a lovely Mother’s Day yesterday.

We started with Mass, and to our delight and surprise, the Bishop was here concelebrating. Wonderful! He was in town for the Sacrament of Confirmation Saturday night and stayed to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost yesterday. We don’t usually ever get a chance to see any of our Bishops (outside of Mass for Confirmation), so this was a huge treat.

After Mass, Hub made the most wonderful home-cooked breakfast. Thick-cut bacon, eggs over easy (very yummy, although not dippable ; ) and gluten-free pancakes. Everything done to perfection–I felt bad for everyone around our hotel room, with the smell of bacon wafting through the halls on a Sunday morning. The pancakes were so good, though! We loved them so much that it inspired a new recipe that I’m going to have to save for when we either write the cookbook or open the B&B. Super-secret surprise! (sorry Emily!) I drive my friend nuts with my super-secret recipes…

As soon as dishes were cleaned up and we had a little rest, we piled in the car and pointed it towards Civilization. We went to the storage shed and picked up the business boxes that have been in storage for nearly two weeks. It was so good to bust them out of storage jail! I love my business and can’t wait to get going here in California (Friday we’ll make a family day of going to get my new business license and all that other good stuff; it’s kind of a haul to get there, so might as well have an adventure and see something new). Then picked up some new walking shoes and a pair of sunglasses from the mall there. Batting .500: the shades are great, shoes…not so much. My entire foot is very wide (a Men’s 8.5 EEEE fits like a glove…a very scary foot!), but my heel is just too wide for the wide width Reeboks that I got. I can return them, but I’ll hang onto them for the moment, until we go back to town. I wish that there were a New Balance shoe store around here. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find one on our route this weekend! You never know.

Then last night, the weather was really nice–a bit breezy, but still great–so we hit the soccer field/running track. Firstie and Middlin did some evening PT, alternating walking and jogging and went 3/4 of a mile! A great effort, considering that we haven’t been real organized in any sort of family fitness routine. Firstie is 12 1/2, and reminds me of a 5-6 month old great dane puppy: all PAWS! He’s not as naturally athletic as his younger brothers, but he is stubborn determined, and once he puts his mind to something, doesn’t give up. Middlin is like watching fireworks on the 4th: blaze a path, fade and rest…blaze a path, fade and rest… And keep going like that until you flop into a pile of mush. He’ll be a great runner once he learns to pace himself. And not care if his older brother beats him. That last part will take some finessing of the will, for sure. Fireball? That boy just goes–perpetual motion, never tired. As the saying goes, if I could bottle that energy… : )

The sweetest part was the Mother’s Day card they made for me. Beautiful penmanship, with hearts and butterflies in purples (my favorite) and red (nice coinkydink for Pentecost, don’t you think?), and all of their names sweetly inside.

So much joy for these dear boys…but at the same time, I did find myself thinking about my children whom I haven’t met yet, Rose, Mary, Pio & Thomas. I have a lot of walls built up; the pain of miscarriage is just too great right now to even process. Since December, Hub’s returned home from Iraq; we’ve celebrated and sorrowed the discovery and loss of a new pregnancy–twice; and a cross-country move on top of that…not to mention the added stress of having to figure out why I’m not carrying these little ones. A good piece of the puzzle came last month, though, when a blood test the day before miscarrying Thomas showed progesterone levels so low that these last two babies never even had a chance to see the light of day. It’s a good place to pick this up here in California, and continue moving forward. I think once we move out of the hotel and into our permanent housing and get a little bit settled, I will feel safe to mourn their losses; for now, it’s just too much. So far, losing them exists pretty much in my head…I’m just not high enough up Maslow’s Ladder, I guess, to get any further than that.

But thinking of these littlest ones is a good reminder that Mother’s Day isn’t only for those who have given birth. It’s for all women. Whether you’ve had a baby, have adopted your children, are a spiritual mother, or have experienced the loss of your child, motherhood exists in many forms, none more important than the others. Motherhood exists as the driving component of our feminine nature; we are all mothers by nature.

And on this day of mothers, we are so fortunate to have Our Blessed Mother as our example, showing us the way, comforting our wounds, cheering us on, and loving us every moment, as only a mother can.


The Island in the Desert

May 5, 2008

Sometimes, it’s just what you need.

We are stationed in a very remote place–here in the United States, no less. But you still could probably use a passport to get here. : )

Life in Texas was very good to us, even with two deployments in four years, training time, blah, blah, blah, good neighborhood, great friends, phenomenal parish and our tireless shepherd, Father Richard.

Even so, we are tired, tired people, desperately needing a break from the deployment-go-round. Our last duty station has about the *worst* hospital system in the entire military and we are very excited about the hospital here (its excellent reputation precedes it) and being able to actually get an appointment when we need to be seen.

Hub’s work schedule is set in stone through 2010–a luxury that we’ve never had in sixteen years of military life. I’m still processing the idea that we’ll actually get to plan family time…vacations…VACATIONS?!… And I’m sure there’s other stuff people do with time off, but we’ve never really had any, so we’ll just have to figure that one out as we go along.

Checking out the flyers in the hallway of the hotel here, it looks like there will be plenty to keep Boyville humming right along. A “Smart Start” camp for Fireball; British Soccer Camp for Middlin; Grappling for Firstie (anyone know anything about Grappling? I guess I’d better google it…)

Tess The Newf is still in Puppy Jail, and we miss her terribly, although we do go at least once a day to visit and take her for a walk. That’s a real high point in our day when we can play with the Kid. Hopefully, we’ll be able to move into Temporary Housing this week and be able to bring her in with us. Not sure on that one, but we’ll see.

Starting up the business is proving interesting so far, but I have the first piece of this mysterious puzzle figured out. Now, if I could only get the rest of the pieces to fall nicely into place, I can actually start working on the orders that my kind friends and clients have placed. Getting very itchy pliers, too–they’re ready to start winding up a sterling and bronze storm! :)


MOOSHEDer

April 27, 2008

three days down one to go and i don’t give a hoot about punctuation


Miscarriage & Personhood

April 19, 2008

Well, my friends, we’ve fallen off the nest.

I don’t quite know how to articulate the pain of losing a child that I’ve never met, someone who I only know through two pink lines, bone-weary exhaustion and hope. But what I do know about this soul is that he will live forever in the Kingdom of God, eternally. Hub & I desire baptism for all of our miscarried children, and just as Christ taught that the faith of the friends saved the paralytic, we are hopeful that our faith and desire for them has baptized them into the Family of God.

I have no doubt that life begins at conception: no life, no cell division–that much we know. We believe that our children are persons from the very first cellular moment (and no, I don’t mean “Can you hear me now?”). They are small, and hidden, but they are uniquely alive. My friend, Sue, has that wonderful Dr. Seuss quote on her blog, “A person’s a person no matter how small”. I know many women who can tell you that there is a definite personality on the inside that is plain as day once they are born; I experienced this with all three of my full-term babies, who have only grown in the personalities that they shared on the inside.

There is speculation that I have low progesterone, which can make it darn near impossible to maintain a pregnancy. This little one caught us completely by surprise; after losing Pio in February, we wanted to give my body a break and find out what exactly is going on with me via the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha. And then there was Thomas…and then there wasn’t. So now we are really wondering what in the world is going on and are very anxious to get to our new duty station to get the ball rolling on figuring this out.

But for now, I am numb. The emotional highs of this wonderful little surprise that wasn’t even on our radar to begin with, then the lows of losing him, all in the midst of packers and movers. Misery with an audience; not so much my cup of tea, but so be it.

I should say, too, that we don’t care one iota about having a certain number of children, and we’re not in a race to have as many as we can before we can’t anymore. It’s not about what we can do, but about what God can do through us, whether that is many more children or not even one more, it’s about saying yes to His will for us, whatever that may be.

To our family and friends, thank you for all of your love and prayers, whether it be joy or sorrow. To know of your love and prayers is more than enough, making us unbelievably blessed. Thank you, thank you.

For our children who we’ll never meet in this life, we are lovably bound together, safe in the arms of the Body of Christ. The veil may be opaque, but it is very thin, and I know that they are there and I love them all very dearly: Rose, Mary, Pio & Thomas. Pray for us, dear children, that we can see you all someday, and that I will hold your sweet faces in my hands and kiss your cheek one by one, bathed in the glory and love of the Beatific Vision.


Goofing Off

April 17, 2008

What do you do for fun when your life is all packed up in boxes?

Ready? Set?

GO!

Sometimes, baby, you just gotta fly!

And don’t forget to show off your genetic ability to roll your tongue…

Nevermind being totally goofy… :-)

And this one is for Nana C, who doesn’t believe that Firstie and Middlin are really that big!

Surprise!


boxes! Boxes! BOXES!

April 14, 2008

…and I’m supposed to have our house ready for the packers, bright and early Wednesday morning?

In the words of Bill Cosby, “RIGHT!”

Look at Fireball: he’s got no clue about what it means to move, poor bubbie.

Ask me whether or not I freaked out when Moving Guy started to take the Sacred Heart & Immaculate Heart down off the wall.  YES, I had a little moment. Sorry, world.  O: /


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