Saturday, August 27, 2011

I can not promise you it will be easy, BUT I can promise you it will be worth it

Me + Couch= BFF

Posting is sparse these days to the horizontal, face down position of the postee, but I came across a few motivational items this past week.

I am heavily motivated by individuals who endure great amounts of suffering and come out vertical, human, and praising God. I always say "If they can do THAT, I can do THIS."

John and I watched a Netflix special "Return with Honor." It is the wonderfully heroic story of Jeremiah Denton and other prisoners of war during Vietnam. UNBELIEVABLE what they endured. Jeremiah's story was chiseled on my heart after listening to him speak about life as a POW for 8 years, being tortured, and his INTENSE love of his faith. He never faltered, in fact, his faith only grew. I want to write more later regarding the relationship I found between his ardent zeal for human dignity as a POW and Motherhood or better said "A life chosen against the grain."

I read the book "When Hell was in Session" about 10 years ago and fell in love with his story and courage. I've given so many copies of this book out that if Amazon did a buyer report, I would solely be responsible for buying all the copies listed.

I also recommend this fabulous read by Fr. Gereon Goldmann titled "The Shadow of His Wings". So good.

What is my theme this evening, self? Well, I will not lie, being terribly sick is no fun. It makes me question my own humanity. I know spiritually the war being waged, the price being paid to bring another soul into the world. You do not get off easy with the evil one in regards to the begetting of human life. Sometimes, I just wish I could flex my spiritual muscles a little stronger and not lick my wounds some days. I would rather go through labor than be nauseous. It is not a matter of gratitude because we are always so grateful for our children. I just plain and simple am weak and hate to suffer in this form.

Reading these stories, watching these movies help me to know others have endured far worse crosses of physical pain much longer and continued on each day growing closer to Christ. That is the part I want to get. Growing closer to Christ not praying that the sickness will be lifted soon.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hy-Vee Grocery Ads

Dom said to me today:
"Mom, can you save the Hy-Vee grocery ad flier? Umm, sure. "Why?"
"I like looking at all the food in the pictures."

Oh, I am so sorry, son! Food making around here these days is all but delightful. I think a better word is survival. We've had cereal for dinner the past two nights. I have been to Chipotle, Panera Bread, The Oven (2x), Papa Johns....all futile attempts to ease the Ferris Wheel feeling I feel like I've been riding on and can't get off.

Serious morning, afternoon, evening sickness. The idea of food and worse yet the preparation of it...not in my hemisphere. The ole' 9-1-1 almost had to be called today when the lunch menu was ham and cheese sandwiches. Just writing the word "ham" makes me gag.

On a happy note, they love it. They cheered when I said we were having cereal again. I promise, I will cook again. Just not for about 9 more WEEKS. Did I say that?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Read this little gem a couple days ago.

What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?

Annie Oakley

Rose calling to me from the other room:

"Mom, I'm Annie Oakley."

Monday, August 8, 2011

A little bit of Vianney by my side

Vianney's just that kind of kid that is fun to look at and upon further hearing inspection of her voice, she's just fun to listen to.

Her soft, white blond curls are any mother's dream. She is just an easy kid to have around. Not that she never loses her cool, but she's easy to calm down. She just flows with our go.

I overheard her talking to Clairvaux the other day. The conversation went as follows after Clairvaux dumped her bowl of food onto the ground.

Vianney (in a firm tone):
"Cware, don't drop bowl over side, UNNER-TAN ME?"

She then realized her approach was a bit firm, so she very quietly repeated herself and got very close to Clair's face.

"Cware, don't drop bowl over side, unner-tan me?"

We decided to take her to see an ENT doctor because she snores like Darth Vader and is a mouth breather which is an indication of enlarged tonsils/adenoids/etc., etc. Sure enough, she was a "4+" on both her little punching bags, but they want to wait to take them out until she is older because of certain risks. I find that if I keep dairy products away from her she seems to do a bit better. So for now, she won't be much fun to have as your hide-and-seek partner because she is a heavy breather and will give you away every time. Just listen for the breathing.

I love you just the same.

Friday, August 5, 2011


This was so incredibly hysterical that I called John at work to give him a play by play. It all started at a family wedding the weekend before. John was talking politics with somebody and they were discussing the politician Michelle Bachmann. They were discussing different facts about her and then somebody said, "I heard she was Missouri Senate Lutheran and they hate Catholics." ?????

I looked at John and then we see all the faces on our older kids drop. They have been playing all summer with these two wonderful neighbor children whom they found out were Lutheran. They love Alex and Noah and were devastated to hear they "hate Catholics."

We returned home from the wedding and the next morning they were outside playing with Alex and Noah. Long and behold, Lillie tells her the devastating news that "Lutherans hate Catholics." She then comes inside crying. I had to reassure her that they DO NOT hate Catholics and Alex does not hate you. Do you think that was the end of it? NOPE. Not by a long shot.

Rose then comes in to report that Alex said her church "doesn't have a crucifix" and "she didn't even know what one looked like." She then pleaded with me to take one out to show her. All I see from the window is lots of convincing andRose's hand pointing.

Next up, Dominic comes in crying. Man, this morning isn't going well. "Dominic, what is wrong?" "Noah said he's never coming over again because he said he doesn't believe in purgatory because he's never heard of it and it isn't even in the bible. I assured him that he would be back. He then grabs his bible and headed outside to which I see the following.

After all the scuffle, I decided it best that I call their mother to make sure she knew what was going on and where it all started. She's a real sweetheart and we laughed at the intensity of their discussions and agreed it was good they were talking about such pressing issues at the ages of 5,6,7, 8 and 9. First things first when your playing with neighbor kids.

*For the record: I KNOW LUTHERANS DON'T HATE CATHOLICS* ok Martin!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

There's nothing like a Dollar Tree Birthday

I celebrated my 34th year of life in July in fine fashion. If you've not experienced a Dollar Tree Birthday, well you are missing out on all the good things in life. I've requested this now for a couple years and every year proves to be better than the last. The only strict instruction I give John is that he takes pictures and remembers the things they say.
I was greeted at the door and ordered to put on my party hat.

Lillie always organizes the banner making.

It is fun to me because they can pick from the whole store what they think "I" would like best.

Here is the run down the gift selection (not in order by favorite):

From Dominic:
Dom selected this angel bell. We pray the Angelus at noon and he thought this should replace our school bell. Perfect.

From Lillie:
She went through terrible distress trying to figure out what to give me reported the male parent. Lillie knows my heart so she couldn't figure out whether she should satisfy my sweet tooth or buy me something elegant.

Lillie got me lilies.
Two packs of M&Ms and Vanilla Wafers.

From Rose:
Rose is a simpleton. She is precise and decisive and always proud of her selection.
Good ole Aunt Rose.

From Zellie:
Zellie won the "Please let me take you to the Dollar Tree everyday" award. I guess she was unstoppable in the cute antics department. John said she was dropping lines left and right. I think she was shaking when I opened her gift due to proudness. She KNEW I had been wanting a watch so what better gift than a princess watch which I might add has a flip top (take that!!) and matching purple necklace and beads.

This was her first selection...ROPE which she thought was yarn. If only.

From Vianney:
A party hat. She was just glad to be there.

From Clairvaux:
Ole' Johnny he is a character. He had Clair's little note wrapped up and in her hand.

My dear Kristi took me to our favorite spot, The Oven. You are good to me.

I am spoiled. It was a wonderful day. Since I take them out to breakfast on their birthday, they each wanted to take me out individually on my birthday for breakfast. Oh my.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our newest gift

How do I feel about being pregnant? Well, if you know me, you can answer that question, but if you don't and if you are my children reading this in 40 years let me tell you.

To me, I could shout from the roof tops with JOY. I could tell strangers in the supermarket "We just found out we are expecting a baby!" (I have).
"Is this your first?", they might ask. NO, it is my seventh and we are so very grateful. And we are.

"Was this baby planned?" My YES!, by God.

Our fertility is something that we will never, ever take for granted nor the gift of each child to our family. It is something that is quite puzzling to me in speaking with so many women. I think most assume fertility will and ALWAYS will come easily to them. We need to realize it is our greatest gift as a woman. God did not give that gift to men. Only to women. AND it is not a given.

Oh, but you already have six, you must be use to this.

To which I reply, "I have never had THIS baby before and I can't wait to see who God decided to give us this time."

A whole new face, a whole new soul, a whole new personality. A whole person that God willing will join us for all eternity in heaven.

You see, children are the ONLY gift we can give GOD that He doesn't have. Let me say that again, God does not need anything because He has everything and is everything, BUT He did not have THIS child, this soul. He gave John and I the free will to say "YES, we are open to LIFE." Slowly think about the concept. What a daunting privilege!
We will give you the greatest gift as a small token of our LOVE for you. It is the greatest gift because it is the only thing on this earth that is eternal. We can do great acts of love in other forms, but a SOUL and the workings of it is the greatest act of love because it brings the human nature to its greatest extreme and greatest potential-continual self-denial and death of SELF.

We must use our fertility wisely and see it as a gift. A gift to God. It is a gift in marriage, but ultimately it is our gift to God. Plain and simple. I asked John's wise mother once a child-rearing question and she replied, "We must realize we have very little control, very little control."

If I trust God on the opposite end of the life spectrum (death), I must trust him at the beginning of the life spectrum (conception). As we cannot plan our deaths, Can we plan our beginnings? If a parent loses a child in an accident, it is debilitating. The loss is tragic. We must see the seriousness on the other end of the spectrum on the begetting of life. We are NOT in control. God is in control. To John and I, THIS is left up to the good God who sees all in our lives and knows what we need and what we don't need.

Our child "planning" motto can be found in the gospel of Luke "'Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to thy word.' And with that the Angel left her" (Lk. 1:36-38). ...

At our wedding, we were asked the following question to which we responded "YES."

"Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?"

"Yes Lord, we will accept children lovingly from You."

So to you my dear little one as your mother, I couldn't have been more excited to find out you were on your way. I know that a time will come that I will never be pregnant again, so for this season of my life, I strongly embrace it with both arms. I could only beg God to let me see your face and know who you are. I have said this before, but the moment I see those two pink lines, a small part of me has already changed. I know that at this moment, only God and I know of your existence.

It is as if He hugged me and said, "Thank You!" Thank you for this gift that I didn't have.