Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Something a little different

I found these great little glasses at a second hand store and I thought they would be fun!

Today, I decided we would use them just to break up the school day and do something a little different. I cooked up some pudding, lit a candle, put in a CD of Mozart, and gathered the kids arounds the table. We had a delightful time listening to the music, learning a little info about Mozart's life, eating dessert, and talking and laughing with one another.

I have a new Goddaughter!

In December these two beautiful girls became a legal, permanent part of our family. Their parents went before the judged and promised to raise the girls as their very own. To love them, provide and care for them. This past weekend, these parents gave their girls the gift of baptism and they are now a part of God's family as well.
"What do you ask of Christ's church for Saundra and Jasmine?", to which the parents replied "Baptism."

"Saundra, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit"

"Jasmine, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit

"The annointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one "annointed" by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ." (Catholic Catechism 1241)

"The candle, lit from the Easter candle, signifies that Christ had enlightened the newly baptized. In Him the baptized are light of the world" (CC 1243) This light is entrusted to the parents and godparents to be kept burning brightly.
Congratulations girls. You have now become a new creation in Christ.

Jasmine, I feel blessed and honored to have been chosen for your godmother.

"Let's eat!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Epiphany (the feast in which we celebrate the coming of the Magi to worship the Christ child) has always been a big celebration for us. Paul and I had decided, even before Myriah was born, that we wanted one day set apart during the Christmas season for just us and the children. Epiphany, which traditionally lands on January 6th is celebrated in the Catholic Church on the 2nd Sunday after Christmas. This year Epiphany proved to be a difficult day for us, even more so than Christmas. It just didn't feel like our family day without Paul here to celebrate.... but, we still chose to make the best of it and it was a good day.

After Mass we headed to the cemetery. I had one gift for the children along as they wanted to open at least one at the cemetery. (Each year the we wait to exchange our gifts until Epiphany Sunday). Due to a heavy snowfall the night before it was a little tricky getting to the gravesite. I told the kids that they would have to blow dad a kiss as we drove by because once I turned down the lane in front of the grave there was no stopping (or we'd be stopped there for awhile.) Thankfully, we made it to the other end!It was a pretty cold day so we sat in the car at the end of the lane and the kids opened their gifts.

Once home we gathered in the living room and gave our gifts to Jesus. I keep a small decorative box on our family altar that contains our "gift" from the year past. We read through last year's and chose our gifts for this year. (This can be anything you feel that the Lord wants you to work on, like spending daily time in prayer, keeping your room clean, being more obedient....) We wrote down our gifts, put them in the box and, placed them under our tree by the creche. Then we exchanged the remainder of our presents.

After gift time, we played. The kids with their new items, me with my kids. Myriah got us a new family game, the Disney edition of Scene It. It was a game we all enjoyed playing together (and by the way, I won!!)

A friend of mine brought us a nice dinner for the evening meal. (Many thanks to you, Meredith.) Then we finished the day with a movie and popcorn.

Here's a picture of the kids with their new webkinz.

I can honestly say, I am glad the holidays are over. Over all, they went really well. We had many moments of smiles and laughter; but, there were also moments of tears. We remembered Paul and talked of him often; but, we all miss him terribly and days that hold so many memories are difficult. Now we are trying to refocus, get the house back in order, and start school again.

Just for fun

I saw this meme on a few other blogs and it seemed like fun. They don't come simpler than this: if you have done it, bold it; if not, don't.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (high school symphonic and marching band... saxophone)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (a lunar eclipse)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox (twice)
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Our Christmas

Obviously our Christmas was much changed this year. We kept things simpler, changed a few traditions, and did our best to still share in the joy of Christ's birth. In all the years Paul and I were together, I can't remember even one Christmas Eve spent at home. We would usually head up north to spend time between his family and mine. This year the kids and I stayed home. The first request the kids had about how to celebrate this Christmas was to be home Christmas morning so we could go to the cemetery for dad.

We decided that we would wait to decorate our tree until Christmas Eve. This was also the first time we strung popcorn and cranberries for the garland. It was actually quite fun. Paul's brother came by to snow blow our driveway and brought his wife and daughter along for a visit. It was a very nice surprise to have them come by.

We decided to make our small tree a "rememberance tree;" hanging only the ornaments that represent those family members who have already gone to heaven.
The first five ornaments are for the babies we lost due to miscarriage.

Lewis Andrew(1997)

Mercy Jalynn (1999)

Lee Mary (2004)

Mary Lee (2005)

Luke James (2006)

This ornament was given to us by Paul's mother the 1st Christmas after Paul's dad had passed away in 2003

And of course... we have our ornaments for Paul.
This one was a gift from a mom's group I am a part of.
And this one the kids and I found at Target. A perfect reminder since I often told Paul he was my "frog prince." (He was given the nickname Kermy when he was in the military and it stuck between us.)
I really like the rememberance tree and I do believe that if we go back to gettinng a big tree, this small tree will continue to serve as our rememberance tree.
We attended Christmas Eve mass and then came home to watch a movie and have ice cream. At around 10:00pm a friend dropped by with some secrect santa presents (what a blessing!) so the children and I opened a few gifts before heading off to bed.

Christmas morning we went to the cemetery.
We left Paul with a small tree (his favorite part of winter was always the way pine trees looked after a fresh snowfall) and a knight. A couple of the kids had found it and insisted that since he was mom's knight in shining armour he should have one at the cemetery.

It was a nice visit, but, hard leaving. We all felt Paul's absence as we headed up north to visit family. We stopped at Paul's mom's to sing a christmas carol (as we have for the last few years) on our way to my mom's. We spent Christmas day with my family. Then headed back to Paul's mom. We had a good time at both places; but, Paul was never far from my thoughts.

The last couple days have been even harder. I think all the emotions of the holidays have hit. New year's is always a time of reflecting on the year past and looking at the year ahead. It's been a difficult six months. Life can change so fast and so drastically. It's difficult to look at all that lies ahead and know that Paul will not be here with us to share in it. We know he's looking down and praying for us; but, that doesn't make us miss him any less. With God's grace to sustain us, I know we will continue to heal and continue to make our way even though life is so different from what we had planned. I pray this new year is filled with many blessings for all our friends and family. Please know that you hold a special place in our hearts. We are so thankful for the love and support we have been given. Happy New Year to you all.