Saturday, June 30, 2007

At the Ranch

Our little cowgirl

Steven checking out the cattle

And the newly discovered giant spider in the barn, our own Charlotte! (The girls have recently been enjoying Charlotte's Web, the book and the movie)

And lastly, a little video of Ellie in the truck talking about the ranch. She refused to get out, scared of the cows. But she did go back to the barn later with Steven, she was so excited to see the spider!

Mary Clare the Swimmer!

At her last lesson this week. Isn't she doing great?

Ellie's Mini-Ice Cream Adventure

After Melissa's adorable documentation of her daughter's first Happy Meal, I thought I'd share Ellie successfully eating a miniature ice cream cone from the same lovely fast food restaurant...Enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Latin Mass, Coming Soon!

Looks like July 7th (07/07/07) is the big date for the release of the "motu proprio", which will allow use of the traditional Latin Mass worldwide!

I don't think I've ever been to a "Tridentine" Mass, but I do love the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Mass) said in Latin. I think it's really beautiful, and look forward to attending a Tridentine Mass in the future.

What I hope for most of all is for a unification with the groups in schism/separation with the Roman Catholic Church. I have several friends who are involved in groups such as the Society of St. Pius X, which exists in dispute of many of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. It truly pains me when I see evidence of our division at our different homeschool events.

So it is truly my prayer that this decree will bring these groups closer to communion with Rome. How exciting!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Aggies on EWTN!

(thanks for the reminder, Lillian!)
Click here to read about Aggies on Life on the Rock, but more importantly, a pro-life documentary called beingHUMAN, which will air tomorrow, Monday, at 5:30pm central on EWTN (a worldwide Catholic network, which airs in many cities and can also be watched streaming online here). Here is a description from the Coalition for Life's website about this amazing program:

The first episode, beingHUMAN: 40 Days for Life, is a call to action for the National 40 Days for Life that will occur this fall across the country from city to city. In the Fall of 2007, communities will be taking their faith to the streets to bring Christ's love to the sidewalks of abortion clinics for 40 days of prayer and fasting. National leaders, media outlets, and grassroots organizations are strategically organizing for this massive effort. One national leader stated, “This campaign could accomplish more in 40 days than one entire decade since Roe vs. Wade.”

Let's see if I can put clips here (the 2nd being one of our favorite priests from Aggieland!):

Friday, June 22, 2007


Laundry has been sorted into piles (kid clothes, t-shirts, hanging clothes, undergarments and socks). We're getting somewhere, but we'll be gone all day so the piles will have to wait until I get home! TGIF!


Nah, not totally sleepless. Just a couple hours in the early morning where I don't feel quite right. A little snack and a good surfing on the internet gets me nice and tired enough to sleep a few more hours. I think it's a glitch with getting off the nighttime progesterone supplements. Although I'm still exhausted all day...

In other news...the laundry pile has gotten worse. It's a mountain that just can't be climbed at the moment. I'll get up the courage. Just not at 5:30am when a child sleeps in there (the master bedroom that is, where most 4 year-olds sleep!).

So, I've heard of kids that roll around in their sleep. But literally, Ellie is not happy unless she's rolling around the carpet of this computer room. There is a queen sized mattress on the floor with no one on it, more than enough room for a little 2 year-old! But she must be free, not only from the bed, but also from any clothing besides a diaper. Ah, the terrific twos!

One of her new favorite phrases is, "No talk, Mommy" (or no sing, no watch, etc) as she puts her finger on her mouth or my mouth. She likes to pretend to have her own "fwee yessa" with me when Mary Clare is in her swim lesson. But I cannot tell her to kick her legs. Nor can I watch her when she's concentrating on floating while holding the edge of the baby pool. She also doesn't care for me to sing during movies that she watches. I am so loved!

As far as car repairs, Orpah the Odyssey (our minivan) is still hospitalized. They cannot seem to find a reason for her transmission malfunctions. They're trying one last idea, we'll see if it works. I'm very doubtful. But we'll hopefully be rescued from our home imprisonment by my parents today. And we will have Steven's new truck to drive around this weekend if Orpah is not delivered back home.

That's about all the news here. I'll leave you with two pictures of Ellie the goggled-girl and Ellie the floor-sleeper. Have a great day, everyone! I'm headed back to sleep :) while my hardworking hubby heads off to work...I love you, honey!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Little Fishies

I've always loved summer days at the pool and I'm glad the girls are as giddy as I am to jump into their wagon and walk down to the pool a few times a week! Yesterday, since our car is back in the shop and we're stranded at home, we even went to the pool TWICE! I remembered my camera the 2nd time...

Mary Clare ready for swim lesson

Ellie watching, with flip-flops of course

Yesterday the teacher had MC swim to her (instead of holding her while she kicked). She was instructed to kick hard enough to get your mommy wet. She did pretty good!

We'll see if the weather holds up for lessons today.
We'll see if I get the courage up to start conquering the laundry pile.
We'll see if I'm brave enough to post some more pics of my "problem areas"!
And we'll see if I get a chance to post a pic of Steven's new company truck. We are all SO excited! Especially since I'm carless this week, and this truck fits us all :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another Accountability Confession

This is my pile of CLEAN clothes that needs to be put away. I won't say it'll be done today since we've got swim lessons and dinner and still another load or two to wash. Hopefully tomorrow. This is why I liked Kristen's simple living ideas...we need less clothes!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Her First Swim Lesson

(hard to see the pics, but one she's on the left kicking on the steps, and the second one she's holding the teacher kicking while Ellie looks on)

I'm so proud of Mary Clare! She had been talking about going to swim lessons all summer. I wasn't sure if the timing or weather was going to actually work out so I didn't tell her until she woke up from her nap today. She got really scared and didn't want to go. Slowly we (the teacher and I) eased her into it, asking if she wanted to sit on the steps. As soon as she started she loved it! It will be a fun two weeks of lessons!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Here is my sweet Stevie and his girls today (engrossed in the TV at my parents' after naptime). I hope that he, his father, and my father all know how much they mean to me and to the girls. We are so thankful for these wonderful fathers who show us God the Father's love every day!

(notice Ellie with the blankey, flip-flops were on too, and MC holds her new twin doll close)

I had to add this sweet picture of Ellie (with the other twin doll). It'll be fun to find out in a couple months whether we'll be holding a real pink or blue baby this Christmas!


And finally, my confession. Today for Father's Day, I generously ;) cleaned out my own minivan "for Steven". Embarrassingly, these were the contents of the inside of my car:

I think I'll list the contents for the fun of it...several pairs of shoes, 2 strollers, some CDs, a few dolls, a giant stuffed bear, 2 kids' lawn chairs, a poncho, 2 aprons, some bug repellent and sunscreen, a life jacket, a beach ball, a deflated raft, a toilet paper roll, a paper towel roll, 4 umbrellas (one was my moms!), a newspaper, a church bulletin, a carseat manual (for the carseat not in my car!), a tub of hand cream, 2 blow-up baseball bats, a toy shovel and rake, a baseball cap, a tupperware bottom, a water bottle, a smelly plastic Easter egg, an old t-shirt, work gloves, an old play camera, a cardboard box (did come in handy when Steven had to change a tire in the rain!), a tool kit, a car-jack kit, a foam baseball with a bite out of it, and several items of trash! Wow.

I'm happy to report that the car is vacuumed and only about 5% of those items are still in the minivan (safety stuff and strollers). We'll see how long it stays that way. Probably not very long. Now if I can ask a silly prayer intention to whoever the patron of car repairs is...please request that Our Lord be merciful to Orpah the Odyssey (yeah, the Bible character Oprah was named after)...she's been to the repair shop about 4 times in the past two months and I think the transmission is going out again. Hopefully this repair shop, or one of the other shops in their chain, can find someone who can repair our transmission correctly and fix Orpah's other issues so the B girls can be safe on the road!

And I can't post without a little praise report and congratulations to my dear friend Marie who welcomed her first child, Clara Lucia, into the world yesterday!!! Baby and Mommy are doing great thanks to the many prayers, especially from her greatest prayer warrior in heaven, her dear father who left this world last weekend. We can't wait to meet little Clara Lucia, YAY!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy 45th Anniverary

To my in-laws! What a beautiful celebration we had today with the amazing family they have raised! Seven children and 16 grandkids (+ 1 in-utero) who all love each other and enjoy their time together. I am so blessed to be a part of your family and glad to celebrate the day it all started. Congratulations, Bop-Bop and Grampatti!!!

Headbands and Flip-Flops

My girls have several little "signatures"...They each have their blankeys (Ellie's is called her "ray-ray") and Mary Clare sucks her thumb with hers, while Ellie sucks her two first fingers. They frequently carry dolls around on our different adventures. They are usually in matching or color-coordinated outfits (I have a color thing. Still trying to figure out how to match us today!). But they each have a "signature" that has been making me laugh recently...

Mary Clare has wanted to wear a headband in her hair for as long as I can remember. Now this doesn't mean she wears only a headband, because in that case her hair gets tangled and sprinkled with food and it still ends up in her face. No, Mary Clare wears a headband with whatever hairdo she has, usually ponytails, pigtails, etc. When she awakens in the morning, and as soon as she leaves the bathtub, she must find a headband. It's her little signature! And no matter how many times I try to hide them or discreetly remove them from her head after fixing her hair in a nice 'do, she manages to find another to wear!

Ellie's current signature is her obsession with Mary Clare's turquoise Old Navy flip-flops ("wop-wops" as she calls them). They are a few sizes too big, but she insists on wearing them wherever we go. Right now she is laying on the floor with her blankey wearing only a diaper and the flip-flops! She wants to sleep in them and when she awakens in the morning she panics while trying to locate them around the house. She has thrown a fit the past several times we've gone to mass because I make her put on her regular sandals. And this week when my cousin was visiting, her 2 1/2 year old daughter kept trying on the flip-flops when she found them lying around, both Ellie's as well as Mary Clare's or my flip-flops. Ellie would fall to the floor sobbing, saying "Mer-Mer's wop-wops!!!" or "Mommy's wop-wops!!!" It was kind of funny watching her reaction. This week we also went to an art class for our homeschool group. Surprisingly, Ellie decided she wanted to wear her "tor-shoes" (tennis shoes). But not surprisingly, she carried the flip-flops around the whole time we were at the art class!

What "signatures" do your kids have?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord. We will spend part of it at the funeral mass of my friend's father, a true servant of Christ, and wonderful husband and father.

I pray that God has mercy on the soul of Grant R. and that his family and friends all be filled with the peace and hope that only Christ can give! I also pray that the arrival of Marie's baby tomorrow is a true gift of hope and joy in the midst of sadness. God bless them all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Minimalist Living

If you haven't yet, check out Kristen's post about storing treasures in heaven, having only a handful of outfits for each of her family members and keeping possessions to a minimum. I am awed and inspired by these minimalist ideals, but imagine that if I tried to purge my home to be like this, it would fill a dumpster and clothe a small village of young girls! Must work on this virtue of simplicity...

A Beachy Day!

The day at the beach was just what we needed! Watching the waves roll in, and feeling my stress and emotions roll out with the water...

My girls and my cousin's girls had such a fun time in the sand and sea. Only wish the day was longer...and that I would have remembered my camera! Oh well, hopefully there will be a few more days at the beach this summer.

Monday, June 11, 2007

From Death to Life

I am once again faced with the need to process all the life and death around me. With the loss of my dear friend's father, death becomes real again, and yet as she will deliver her first child the day after burying her father, life is real too. A day doesn't pass when my email inbox is filled with prayer requests from various groups asking for prayers for a young mother with brain cancer, a little boy diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a priest undergoing heart surgery, a childhood classmate who died, or a toddler in a near drowning incident...and all in my circles of friends and acquaintances. It is hard not to stay up late wondering just what this whole life, suffering and death is all about.

But I think our children, raised in the Faith, give us the best answer. In Mary Clare's simple questions and encouragement that "it's okay, he's happy in Heaven, he's with Mary Clare R., Agnes, and Augustine" make me so thankful to have a God who speaks to us through others, especially our own children. We all laid down together tonight and remembered some stories about Mr. Grant. And I thought about the beautiful example of a holy marriage and loving family example that Grant and Clara have taught me. Later, as I was whining to Steven about my eczema-attacked fingers and lack of needed sleep this week, little Mary Clare came from the bathroom with my tub of lotion. Such sweet relief to my hands and my heart!

Tomorrow, God-willing, we will be graced with a much-desired trip to the beach with my aunt, my visiting cousin and her two young daughters. I think it will be just what I need in the midst of this busy and emotional week (I've also just started a tutoring job). But my heart is with my friend and her family this week and I pray that the example of Mr. Grant's life will be an encouragement to me, to all the husbands and young men he encountered, and to all those close to them. May his soul rest in peace, and may God grant us the faith and the hope that through suffering we are united with Christ, and through death, we are united with him forever.

Mr. Grant, Rest in Peace!

My dear friend Marie's father Grant passed away on Saturday after a brief illness. I am so sad and shocked. Her parents are the dearest couple, always opening their home, generous, with a heart for Christ and for others. In the picture above, Marie sings with her dad at our house blessing Mass in February. Sadly, he will miss the arrival of Marie's first baby this weekend. May baby Clara Lucia's new life be a sign of the eternal hope we all have in the life to come and may Mr. Grant pray for our peace here on earth. He will be dearly missed...

Friday, June 08, 2007


Mary Clare requested she be video taped for the blog tonight. Here's what happens when the girls are up too late and get the giggles! And yes, she's saying TGI Fridays, since she asked me what word was on the cup she was drinking from. I thought it was kind of appropriate as we finish out the week...Thank Goodness It's Friday!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Growing Baby!

Apparently, although I still can't believe it, there is a growing 11 week-old baby inside me! I just read that nearly all organs are formed, fingers and toes have separated, kidneys are starting to function, and the little one should be about 1.6 inches!

I just heart the sweet heartbeat at the doctor office; music to my ears!

On a related note, a little prayer request for my friend Karyn...Her baby should be arriving tomorrow at 32 weeks. Please offer a prayer for them!

And two other prayer requests...for Deacon Michael, a good friend of ours who will be ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday. And for Roxy and Gerardo, also friends of ours who will be married in Holy Matrimony on Saturday. Two beautiful sacraments in one day! Now to figure out if there's any way we can attend these beautiful ceremonies...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Bye Bye Bubba!

My little brother Brice just got orders TODAY that he leaves TOMORROW to head overseas with the Navy. He and his wife just moved to California two weeks ago and now he leaves again! Hopefully he'll be back for Christmas and Allison will get settled into her apartment there and get plugged in with all the Navy wives. If you could, please offer a little prayer for his safety and for their peace (and my parents') as he continues this Navy journey with lots of time away from family. We miss you already Bubba! Enjoy your first trip overseas!!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

4 New X 2 Meme

I still seem to have writer's block, but here's a meme to get something out of the recesses of the pregnant mind...

Four new things in the past 4 years:

1. 4 new souls. Since Mary Clare was born over 4 years ago, the blessings of the past 4 years include...Agnes, Elizabeth, Augustine, and NewestBabyInUtero (likely to be named Peter or Theresa)!

2. Our first house. This is our 5th home in ~6yrs of marriage and we are positively thrilled that our dear friends were gracious enough to sell us their beautiful home! We are already making such precious memories here and enjoying all the space, the backyard, the garage, and the neighborhood park and pool!

3. Regnum Christi. About 2 1/2 years ago I felt God's calling to this beautiful lay movement. Through Christ, the movement has helped me to grow in my faith, my prayer life, my apostolic life, and my life as a wife and mother in so many ways. I have been blessed to encounter so many friends, mentors, and families who each draw me closer to God through their own witness. I am forever grateful for this calling and pray that I will continue to live it out to the fullest, in service of Christ and the Church.

4. The information highway. When I think back to our wedding and to college, I often think "I wish we had Google back then!" It's amazing how much technology has improved our communication in the past few years, from email to blogs! And now we have a digital camera, Apple computer, and high-speed internet to connect us even better. Sometimes I'm not sure how good the internet is for me, but I really can't imagine life without it (especially since we have no TV)!

Four desires in the next 4 years:

1. A few more souls :) I pray we'll be cuddling the one growing inside me this Christmas, and hope that God might entrust one or two more precious little ones to our care in the coming years.

2. Security. My hardworking husband has spent the past 4 years completing his degree and working so hard to provide for our growing family, while allowing me to stay home with the girls. I know as he continues to succeed in the workforce, he will be rewarded financially for this hard work. God has always provided for all our needs, but we both still worry about all the financial stresses surrounding us. Hopefully in the next 4 years, we will have more financial security and the opportunity to travel a little more to visit friends (especially my "nun" friends), family, religious sites, and wonders of God's creation (although the girls are perfectly happy watching snails and "doodle" bugs in the backyard)!

3. Organization. I plan to start homeschooling Mary Clare in a more formal way this fall, which means I need to get started on better organizing my home and all my teaching supplies! We now have the space to be organized, I just need to do better at keeping things in their place and cleaning up after all of us!

4. Health. I pray that our family continues to have good health in the coming years, and hope that I can do better at keeping our family healthy, especially through eating better foods and doing more exercise. I was so blessed to have a sweet community of girlfriends in our last town who walked together at the park every weekday morning. I felt so healthy during that time! I need to find or create a similar group here, or get involved in some other activity like dance, which will always be my favorite means of exercise. Must pray about this more!

Well, I do hope that everyone has a beautiful weekend and hope that some more of you will share your "4 New X 2". If you haven't done it yet, I TAG YOU!
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