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Peaceful Silence

Wow - how time flies.  September 27th was my last post.  I have been enjoying a kind of interior silence which allows 'keeping all these things in my heart.'

So, what has prompted this post now, so close to Christmas, in the middle of the hustle and bustle that is this joyous season?  I have received a few responses from you, my readers, via email and posts, (and in person for those who know me!) wondering if I will ever return to this little corner I have often called my sanity.

Well, the answer required a bit of reflection, (of course!) as this whole blog is a series of self reflections.  For so long, taking time to reflect on the daily occurrences or formative lessons for our family was always viewed by me as not only a sanity saver, but a real joy.  I absolutely regard myself as a person who appreciates the written word - where I can describe something, an event, a feeling by simply typing, and have that experience again and again, even when my memory fails me.

I had hoped…

A Friend Request

With all of my children having vacated my home for 8 hours of the day, a new chapter has opened up to me.  While at first I was apprehensive, I have seen something truly new and challenging happening.  Making real and close friendships while having to give so much time and attention to my children, used to be so tough, the work involved, well, it was too much and the result:  as it tends to happen to many Moms, is the lack of true friendships. 
Sure we have friends, but when examining closely, I found those friends were more like acquaintances, or superficial relationships without the real meat of understanding each other, giving support, encouragement and motivation.
So in the past month, a friendship of mine, which used to be more work related has evolved into a closeness that I haven’t had, probably since college.  And just today, I realized that she was there for me, in the few first days that school started and my home was so empty.  She called me, we sat at Starbucks, cried to…

Expanding My World

So many times, I am reminded that a big piece of this life is about trust.

But our human nature, our fallen, human nature tends to question, doubt and take charge...with ourselves, with others, and with God.  Interestingly, my last post was, in a nut shell, waiting to hear God's plan with these many hours of the day.  I didn't want to rush into something or commit to anything until I knew, how it would impact the family.  This is a hyper sensitive issue when considering the 3-7pm hours are filled to the max with 5 kids homework, projects, demands, needs, husband's work download, negotiating disputes, sporting events, as well as guiding the teenage awkward years.

The hours in the day while kids are in school is complete silence.  In the beginning, the lack of sound in this house was deafening.  It was clear something wasn't right.  It took a good two weeks to adjust to silence.  And now, I actually enjoy it.  But these hours of silence are a drastic 180 degree shift in…

Seeking God in Everything

School is back in session and tomorrow*(This post was written on Wednesday.) starts a whole new day.  
Not just a new day, a new chapter for me, your typical Stay At Home Mom.  My last child, my Babe will start Kindergarten, and all my children will leave each and every week day morning, to go off to learn and experience snippets of the world at large.
They will find themselves transitioning from a world of numbers, into the world of letters, from our nation’s history to scientific methods and so much more.   Friends will influence them and they will leave their mark on others.  They will learn more and more about God, His Love and the truths of our Faith.   It’s school life, academics, spirituality, formation and friendships.  It’s all good and fine and normal. 
But my Babe has always been home with me, giving me purpose, destination and fulfillment.  For thirteen years I have dedicated my life to these little people God has entrusted to me.  I did not pursue a career, I left my jo…

How Do You Do It?

BE FOREWARNED..... A RANT IS COMING....

I tend to understand why people have the tendency to ask this question....  I get it.  I especially get it if the person asking it only has one or two or three kiddos.  I have a larger family.  I may have five kids to care for, yet this question, reasons I mean to explore, is really digging at my very core.

"And oh my, with five, HOW DO YOU DO IT?"

And it's rhetorical in nature.  They really don't WANT to know how it all gets done.

I get it, fellow questioner.  I get it.  You probably don't feel right complaining about this or that, diaper changes, laundry, school supplies, school uniforms, meals, cleaning and so much more.... to ME. Oh my, I must have it so much worse.

Really has our quality of ranting between Moms come down to this?  Let's compare who has it worse?  Who has it better or easier?  Interesting.  Is that the level of complaining we've succumbed to?

I have done this job for almost 13 years.  You CAN …

Pack Leaders

This past week we have added a new member to our family of seven.  And before anyone starts to think I am pregnant or just delivered Baby #6, the newest member of our clan is a Yellow Labrador puppy.  It’s our first family pet, aside from the fish or occasional snake we find.  Our family is truly coming together in new and fun ways in order to play with, clean up after, train and teach this little pup.  It’s been such a treat to watch her interact and learn new things.


I admit, I was a little more than nervous bringing a dog into the family.  When I was a young girl a big black, neighborhood dog pounced on me and my bike, knocked me over and took a good hard bite.  Ever since, dogs that were any bigger than a poodle really did send me into panic mode.  Deep down I am hoping if we start with a puppy, and she and I become fast friends, I will ease out of my fear into real confidence when it comes to dogs. 
In my effort to become fast friends, I have read the book, “Short Guide to a Ha…

Surpassed 50,000 Page Views!

So just a little note that say a HUGE thank you to all my readers!  This blog has just surpassed the 50,000 Page View milestone!  WOW.  I continue to be amazed that my little corner of the blogosphere can generate these kind of numbers. 

Every Mom is "At Work" in whatever sense that means for you - It could mean that you are the bread winner for your family, in this case, Good for You.  Perhaps you stay at home each and every day, and Work in all those big and small ways for your family, in this case, Good for You.  Perhaps you are a mix - do you manage both?  In this case, Good for You.  Is your Work a kind of personal path to better yourself..... Well, Good for You!

Moms come in so many forms, shapes and colors - and if we are doing our best, meeting the needs, comforting and loving, then we are doing our job....one day at a time. 

Please continue to read, as I will do my best and keep up typing as my sanity demands. 

Thank you for your support and your feedback for th…

Boys Into Gentle-Men

This summer we've joined a pool at a nearby park district.  We’ve been there swimming several times now, and it never fails, some young teenaged girls as well as hum, well, more mature women will be sunning themselves in scantily clan bikinis.  This is the world we live in, and I am a firm believer in giving the tools to my children to go out into this world.  I can’t shield them forever, nor sequester them in my home all summer long.  I am not here to debate issues of modesty either.  I gently review with my own daughters the value and dignity of a one piece swim suit, but today I was reminded, how my job isn’t just working with my daughters, but also my sons.
Today, as we took a break from swimming to have an ice cream treat, I happened to see my 11 year old son, (hopefully) innocently watching a few teenaged girls applying their sun screen to their arms, then their legs, stomachs and then, as you can imagine, to the cleavage left out in the open by their ‘barely there’ swim to…

Medical Frenemies

Medical technology is awesome.Truly, I believe it.How doctors can pin point what ails us with specific medical instruments have always baffled me.Even how the most basic thermometer works, tends to make me awe and wonder.This little thing can help me to starve the fever or feed the cold?Love it.

Well, I used to. I had a surreal experience as of late.Working to determine the cause of a few symptoms I was having…ie daily exhaustion among others, my doctor had ordered blood tests and a thyroid ultrasound. Now, having five kids, I have had many an ultrasound.And each time I visited radiology to have this test to see my unborn child, to hear and see a heartbeat, to see a tiny glimpse of their profile, wonder and awe always filled me.I was amazed at not only God’s creation, and my cooperation with it, but the wonder at advances in medical technology, where I could see my unborn baby in the womb, see them suck their thumb, swallow, and dare I say it, actually smile at me!When the later children…

Mother's Day Pearls

Mother’s Day has come and gone, yes I am aware, yet this past Mother’s Day my eyes were opened to something so uniquely feminine, it deserved a moment of pause.  At times Mother’s Day is so focused on us Moms, which is well deserved and rightly so.  Our social culture will sell us on the perfect gift for her, flowers, mani/pedis or string of pearls.   Yet, I was overcome with a profound understanding this year about our role as mothers, as caretakers having that ‘feminine genus’ that I’ve heard of so often, yet I rarely understood.
We attended Mass that morning, and as God designed, my daughter and 1st Communicant was invited to not only wear her 1st Communion finery yet again, but to be the selected little girl to climb the high ladder in our parish and crown Our Lady for the May Crowning.  As I took the extra time to dress her again, curl her hair and use the many bobby pins to secure her crown and veil, I remembered something I shared with a friend, when she asked me about doing m…

Finding Each Other

We had a serious discussion prior to getting married, my Hero Husband and I.  I was determined to not marry someone who even believed divorce was an option.  So I put my beloved to the test.  I flat out asked him, “Do you believe in divorce?  Because I don’t.  I won’t marry someone if there is the slightest chance, you think this won’t last a lifetime.”   Obviously, he passed, and the rest is history.  However, I wonder how many couples have had this frank of a discussion prior to their wedding day.
Over the years, we've heard friends of friends who have had marriage trouble.  We've heard stories of others, we've seen people separate and divorce and because they were more like acquaintances, it never really hit home.   We could feel sorry for them, but in the end, we really weren't empathizing.  We never let it in.
This past year, a friend of my husband separated and divorced, and a close family member of mine is currently involved in a bitter divorce.  Being no stran…

Living in the Now

The past is dead.  The future:  we don't know.  All we have is the Now.

Lent came and went, and just as quickly we saw Easter fly by.  We enjoyed our spring break and while things get back to normal around here, so has my time for reflection and prayer.  And yes, as you can guess, something has hit me quite extraordinarily.

A few years back, we attended a funeral.  Friends of ours who live in Wisconsin had lost their dear newborn baby boy to SIDS.  It was a difficult funeral to attend, you can imagine.  The casket was open, and his tiny face seemed to peer just above so all could witness the value and dignity of this tiny baby's life.  The cathedral was packed, standing room only, and as our friends stood up front, walked down the aisle or turned to show their own faces - it was clear, they were struck in grief.

Their whole church community grieved with them.  Looking about the pews, I'll never forget the scene.  People here and there, crying while singing, hugging while …

Spring Break 2013

Bringing the peace this spring break....  I'll let the photo do the talking.




Living the Way of the Cross

So on this blog, I have been MIA - yes - it happens to all of us.  I can briefly state that while we've been busy, who isn't anyway, but that I have been hammering out ways to live Lent in new ways.

Got to get this done, check that off the list, ready for that tradition and somewhere find those pair of white shoes that matches this dress just perfect, and oh geez, will Carefree wear this Easter shirt, this light teal color with little complaint?  All these questions and many more.

However, so many of the things that we mothers do, in preparation for Easter are all so important, making this season really come alive for each member of the family.  The living and breathing of Jesus' sacrifice for us, and many times, we, the moms, don't have to look far for ways to put others first.  We do it all the time.

We plan the tradition, the food, the clothes, driving them here to tutoring, there to church choir practice.  And in our free moments, we wrack our brains, have we done …

Random Moments

Life is full of these little moments, times when we find ourselves amazed at what little people will say or do, at  times demonstrating a maturity or intelligence far beyond their years....

Here's my recent favs....

1.     Mom to 4 yr old Babe:  "So, what would you like for your birthday? A new Thomas train?"
        Babe to Mom:  "Oh, no, they are a little babyish now....how about,...hummmmm.... like an Ipad."

2.      12 Yr Thinker to Mom:  "You know Mom, he might just have to fail a test, to know how important it is to study."

3.      Entertainer, 8 years old:  "Mom, school work, all of a sudden got hard."

4.      Babe at bedtime:  "Mom, after I die, do I come back to life in Heaven?  And...will there be gum for me there?"


Falling Off The Lent Wagon

Not even two weeks in and I've fallen off the Lent wagon.  Sometimes, I think I focus my time and energy to ensure my kiddos are making their sacrifices and understanding this liturgical season.  And as it tends to be, I forget my own spiritual development.

My Lenten 'sacrifice' this year wasn't to be a sacrifice, in the typical sense, like chocolate or popcorn, it was meant to bring myself each day, into the light and splendor that is the Holy Mass.  Was my goal unrealistic, with five kids to prepare each morning?  I don't know, I've seen families with twice as many kids to get ready and there they are, present in the chapel, perfectly groomed with reference and piety.

When others can accomplish what I can't seem to, a little stab to my pride makes me reflect on the differences of one mother to the next.  Should I allow this family sitting in the next pew to challenge my own inadequacies?  (because for sure I do!)  Or does this family actually perform a …

Love Thy Neighbor

Understanding the will of God can be difficult.   What am I typing?  It is not only daunting, but at times simply maddening.  It can include excitement at the prospect of His plans, and at times sadness to see our own will diminished and His will exercised.  It’s like a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, until ultimately, we surrender ourselves and find the peace that can only come with His divine grace.
Lately, HH and I have had something pulling at us, as if God was trying to tell us something, so delicately that we can’t see it clearly.  In His wisdom, it’s almost like, he wants us to figure Him out first, before revealing His plan.  It’s rare that both husband and wife should feel this same stir deep within, at the same time, at least rare for us.  So we’ve spent some significant time in discernment….thinking and praying through the many facets of our family of seven to hear God’s plan clearly, to see how He is marking things out for us.  What does God want us to see and chan…

The Mall

I knew this day would come.  Of course.  Any teenage girl will want to go to the mall and hang out with friends.  I get it, I was once young and carefree like my Thinker is. 
But, I will also admit, her recent request to do this exact thing had my head spinning in a hundred different directions.  I felt like little Regan in the Exorcist. 
Thinker is twelve. 
Twelve years old.  Is this even a teen-ager yet?  Over the years, we have worked to keep our kids protected from the many outside influences that can have negative effects on them.  I rarely bring my kids to the mall, even with me.  It only took one incident to convince me to wait a few more years.  And it was when my girls pointed to a Victoria Secret life sized poster of a model, and whispered to me, “Mom, that girl has no clothes on!”
Or was it when we passed by that Halloween store, with the goolish ghost face that gave my littlest one nightmares for three days.
Or was it the many times, I overheard loud voices swearing an…

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