Sunday, October 28, 2007

Home again. Home again. Jiggety jog.

Yep, we're home. Yep, we were gone.
But we did not go to market. And we bought neither a fat pig or a fat hog.

We left at 5:30 am on the 19th and returned this evening at 6:45pm.
We travelled to Orlando.
We saw the shuttle launch into outer space on Tuesday the 23rd - unbelievable!
We did 5 million other wonderful things.

It was a fantastic trip! It couldn't have been more perfect, more fun, more anything!

Thank you too all of you expressing concern for Michael. He is fine. As you can imagine the Thursday before our trip was madness, pure madness. I never got to enter a final post before getting 2 hours sleep and hitting the road. I am sorry you were left hanging. I took him to the doctor on Thursday afternoon and like he said, Michael was pretty much well before we got there. Praise God!

I am great and, yes, I will be boring you with all the details - soon - and the 500,000 photos we took (well,maybe not that many)!

Much love to you all. Prayers for you! I have so much catching up to do! I know it was your prayers that got Michael well so quickly and kept us all well during the trip.

God bless you, dear ones!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

First Fever

Michael began yesterday afternoon with a fever. His first. I hate for him to be sick. I hate for any of them to be sick.

Please pray that he will be over the fever very quickly and that whatever it is he has will be mild. There would be better weeks for him to be sick.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I know I have said it before

but I will say it again.


They actually had this CD!!!!!!!! I got the heads up on this recording at Real Learning and we were listening to the samples on Amazon. What fun! Then I searched on our library website and sure enough!!!!!!!!! I ordered that CD faster than you could blink an eye!

I wouldn't have it any other way

Today, the song of choice for Jacob and Nicole is the Gloria from Mass. How precious.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

At the speed of life

I have way too much in the backlog for posting. I think if I were to attempt to post it all, I would end up completely frustrated. So I won't!


What you get here, today, is a fruit salad type post - lots of very different good things all mixed together for one mighty nice bowl full!

First we have the beautiful clear blue skies that have accompanied our lovely pleasant weather this last week. This would be my view from my lawn chair while the children played.

Next we have Nicole pushing Michael in the little car - one of the kids' favorite things to do of late. When did he get old enough to ride in a push car? Tell me, please!

Here is Jacob posing with his Spanish Galleon ship that we made in honor of Columbus Day. It was a really fun craft and he named it honor of me - the "Celeste".

Yesterday brave Brian took Jacob and Nicole and Andrew to the Cub Scout Zoofari event. This was a kick-off event for the scouting season held at a nifty place in a neighboring town called Bayou Wildlife Park. The kids rode ponies and went to the petting zoo and, best of all, took a forty minute tram ride where all the animals (except the alligator and the rhino) get up close and personal with the visitors. They even feed them. Everyone had a great time. And it was such perfect weather!

And, of course, some cute poses of the kids. Everyone wanted to have their picture taken with Michael at lunch today.

And one of my favorite photos for today...

Well, now I feel better. I have gotten all that off my chest! I much prefer single topic type posts, but I just couldn't see that happening. Something is better than nothing. Right?


Friday, October 12, 2007

Girls Being Girls

This afternoon Nicole and I made these darling little flower fairies using her new kit that arrived yesterday in the mail. They were so much fun to make. While I did do a good bit of the work, there was an awful lot that Nicole could do. We still have lots of supplies in the kit to make many more little fairies. It was a fun activity for us girls to do! Simply enchanting.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Healed by our children

I finally read this post of Elizabeth's just now. I felt myself sighing and nodding my head in agreement. How true it is that I am healed by children (the ones that I think cause me so much stress!) when I stop and listen and allow myself to be completely available and present for them. Thank you Elizabeth.

Don't forget to visit Serendipity. It is a treasure!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Faster than I can keep up with

At seven and a half months....

He has 3 teeth coming in all at once.

Eats like a horse.

Army crawls faster than I can walk.

Gets anywhere he pleases before I know he's gone.

Can get up on his knees - oh, boy!

Either I am getting older and slower or the fourth baby is just faster than the others were!!!! I think that would be the first option.

True Blue Friend

You know you have the very best kind of very best friend when...

You feel completely comfortable calling her on her cell phone while on her trip in Ohio to see if she has any lasagna noodles in her pantry here at home that you can go borrow since you only have four noodles left and the engaged couple you've been sponsoring is coming for dinner in thirty minutes.

Yep. Truest of the true. Best of the best. That would be Robin.

I hope nobody got photos of me racing across the street barefoot clutching six lasagna noodles.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fall Sprang

(Clever title courtesy of Brian - thanks, dear one)

This weekend fall become a reality. Not outside. Inside. Outside it is still quite balmy and summery, but that is normal for here this time of year. Give it a few weeks and maybe some of those fronts will make their way all the way down here.

The kids asked so sweetly that I couldn't resist the fun of getting down the fall decorations and arranging them in their places.

For a week or two I have had this arrangement on our kitchen table - mini pumpkins and gourds in an old enamelware bowl from my Aunt. I love it! It is so fall. It is so my kitchen. (It is still patiently awaiting the fall table runner to sit upon.)

On Saturday, amidst little ones tossing fall flowers, leaves and paper pumpkins from the box that once housed them, I was able (with their help) to arrange our displays. They really enjoyed seeing it all go up. They got plastic window clings and paper decorations to place in their room. Not to mention a glowing plastic jack-o-lantern. It seems fall is everywhere we turn, but here are just a few highlights.

The right side of our mantel. A mix of pumpkins I've collected (fabric, straw, plastic, wax and wood) and lots of artificial leaves and nuts and stuff.

The left side. More of the same mixture and a lamp that's always there.

The table beside the sofa. I pulled out the usual flowers from the crock and replaced them with fall colored artificial mums. You can so cleverly see my cardboard pumpkins in the background.

The entry hall. Garland, wax swag, etc.

My little fall corner. I was inspired by this lovely lady and her enticing stack of autumn magazines. So I carved out a little space for the same. I had one fall magazine already and I bought a couple more. Some cardboard decorations are attached to the cabinet doors. And, of course, Mary stands nearby to focus any little bit of time I might stop by and flip through my magazines and enjoy the space. I might even need a fall mug to add to my corner. What fun! It is so much about the little things.

Autumn Reading Basket Update

If you are interested, I have added some books to our Autumn Reading Basket. If you click on the link in the sidebar, it will take you to the post with my updated list! There are so many wonderful books out there to celebrate the season!

With all my heart

That is how much I love Brian. With all my heart. WAMH.

In rereading some posts recently, I was struck by the one I wrote called, "Mending Socks." What I hope and pray is that it did not shed a bad light on Brian or our marriage. That is NEVER my purpose on this blog. I am SOOOO not in favor of any husband bashing of any kind, whether to family or friends, or even strangers on a blog. My blog is not a place to complain. I want it to be a place of fun, ideas and sharing. I do like to share my daily difficulties in hopes of encouraging others and aiding me in seeing how I can do better. But even that I hope to do in a fun and reflective manner.

That said, let me go on to say that my marriage and the husband God blessed me with are nothing short of "my heart's greatest desires." I always dreamed of finding the perfect husband, being happily married and having precious children. And that is so what I got. I could not be happier. Yes, life is life and none of us in this family are perfect, but we love each other, we serve each other and we are pretty darn happy! There is nowhere else I would rather be.

When I wrote that post I was feeling inspired by Danielle's topic and felt convicted about how much more I could be doing to love and serve my dear Brian. I was really feeling that I needed to be more giving. When I wrote about me changing and our marriage changing and Brian changing too as a result, I did not mean to imply that "everybody sure needs a lot of changing around here." What I hoped to convey was that when I change how I love and serve and give and when I change my attitude, things can only get better and happier. That kind of life-giving love is contagious and magnetic. If I do these things, our love can only grow and get better and better. That's what we want - right?

The post was meant to be about me and what I could use to change. I am not a horrible wife and mother, but I can improve. I can be a force in affecting how happy we all can be. I cannot pretend that I don't need to change. Even the saints were always quick to recognize where they needed to grow more, sin less, be more holy. I am so far from sainthood. So very very far.

I want to love more. I want to complain and nag and demand less. I want to be selfless not selfish in my acts of love. All this can only make our happy home life happier. This is a Great Adventure, one I could not be happier to be on.

I love my little family WAMH!

Friday, October 05, 2007

A little advice...

from a father to his eldest son during a Friday night showing of Bambi.

As Jacob crawls under a nearby chair,

Brian: Jacob, if you want to watch Star Wars someday you might need to be able to sit through Bambi.

Brian and I smile and laugh. And then we rejoice that our children still possess a sweet innocence. I know this ignorance of much of this world's madness won't last forever, but I cherish it now while it lasts.

While he was away

Brian returned home Wednesday night from a short 3 day business trip. I missed him so much and couldn't be happier to have him home!

While missing him tops the list, there were two other things I was surprised I missed as much as I did.

1. The digital camera - I guess I maybe could have guessed this one, but I was amazed at how much I really use it. Taking pictures of the kids doing their work. Taking pictures of their work. Taking pictures of our displays (especially with 3 feasts in one week). Taking pictures of nature, etc.

2. The nail clippers - BIG surprise! Wouldn't have thought that one would top the list. But I guess you don't miss some things until you really need them. The baby ones just don't work the same!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mending socks

As is so often the case, Danielle got me thinking last night as I read her "Your Turn" post about handling those tricky husbands.

I actually took a moment to comment on her post last night. I so often want to comment when she has these posts on Tuesdays, but most of the time, I just plain run out of time and then everybody else has already said such great things anyway! It is just nice to sit and read all the wonderful, helpful comments without having to offer my own two cents.

After finishing my comment, I really did turn off the computer, go upstairs and mend 10 pairs of my husband's dress socks. No pats on the back, please. No "Great job, Celeste." I don't want those accolades. Why???? Because mending the pile of socks that have been sitting in my holding drawer for months now is what I believe I am supposed to do - and do it without the congrats!

Now, I know, there are probably many and varied opinions on the topic Danielle touched on last night. And, like she said, much of this doesn't apply to wives in abusive relationships, etc. I am not here to say there is one perfect way for any given wife to love her husband or serve him. But all wives are called to a common vocation. I am to love him completely and as best I can even if I don't get that same type of love in return. Doesn't that mirror God's relationship with us? He loves us perfectly and yet, we are so often guilty of returning our best love to Him. But he keeps on loving us, blessing us, giving to us. And so wives must do.

And this I have learned. When I started giving and loving without expecting a return, I change. Our relationship changes. And, often, he changes too.

I am so guilty of being lazy in my love for Brian. I put my love off to the end of the day. I will do that loving thing for him after I call the hurting friend, after I finish the laundry, after I do that nifty craft with the kids, after I tidy up, after I take some time for me. Well, usually after all that I am too tired and spent to even think about doing that loving thing now - whatever that was. But when I tend to him first (or at least much earlier in the day), I am changed. Our relationship is changed. And, often, he is changed too.

I am so guilty of waiting for him to do that special little loving thing first. Why doesn't he leave me a note? Why doesn't he treat me to some free time alone? Why doesn't he send me a special email just to tell me he loves me? Well, why does he have to go first? When I go first and make that extra effort to step out of that comfort zone (or lazy selfish zone - whichever), I am changed. Our relationship is changed. And, often, he is changed too.

I am so guilty of thinking the worst of his intentions and actions. Doesn't he know I need such and such? I can't believe he didn't love me enough to call today. He didn't clean that pot from supper because he doesn't want to help me. Even though I may be bold enough to think I can, I cannot read his mind and heart completely. Only God can. When I think the best of him and focus on all his beautiful, wonderful qualities that I treasure, things are more joyful around here. When I quickly excuse his faults and flaws, as I know he must do with all of mine, I am changed. Our relationship is changed. And, often, he is changed too.

I am so guilty of nagging my poor husband to death. Fix this thing over here, please. I need this or that. Would you please watch the kids? When are you going to do such and such? Have you thought about getting that done sometime soon? Why, oh why, do I do this to him? Because, you see, I don't mention it once. I mention it over and over and over. When I say it once and let it go, it usually gets done. He is not dumb. He already knows most of what I am nagging him about anyway. When I think a little less about my needs and my plans and stop nagging him so much, all these REALLY BIG THINGS start to seem a lot less big. And when I let it go, I am changed. Our relationship is changed. And, often, he is changed too.

I am so guilty of complaining. Need I say more? No, actually, I need to say less. My choice complaint of late is, "I am tired. I am so tired." Well, I know when Brian hears me say that one hundred times a day, it makes him tired. But when I offer up this tiredness to my Lord like I am supposed to do and try my best to be cheerful despite my tiredness, I am changed. Our relationship is changed. And, often, he is changed too.

Now this doesn't mean we put on our happy face and ignore our feelings, thoughts, needs, etc. But I do believe that when we change our behavior and our attitude, so much changes in our environment as a result. For instance, there have been times when I have called Brian at work, feeling very frustrated with the children. Sometimes he has told me to go turn on some music and dance with the kids. I don't want to because it is hard and in some weird sort of way I would prefer to wallow in my self-pity. But when I have taken his suggestion and danced, I am changed. I smile. I laugh. My burden feels lifted. It doesn't change the problem or the frustration. But it does change my perspective, my outlook, my attitude. And when those things change, my whole day can change for the better. In much the same way, when my perspective, my outlook, my attitude about my marriage and my husband change, the whole relationship can change for the better.

And so I mended socks. It would have been so. very. easy. to put it off one more day. One more week. One more month. I had to try really hard last night to be less selfish with my time and rearrange my priorities to do something for my Brian. And as I sat there in front of my machine, sewing away at the pile of brown and black socks (they all look alike), I was changed. My heart was softened. I found myself feeling a giddy sort of excitement for him to open his drawer and discover his newly mended socks. Not because I want him to thank me and think I'm wonderful. I am looking forward to that moment because I am excited for him to feel loved and appreciated and special. Because he is.

It truly is better to give than to receive.

P.S. I do not want you all to think mending socks = good wife. That is just how I needed to show him right now that I love him.

The best part of my day so far

Eating breakfast before 9 AM?

Nice, but nope.

Making salt dough letters with the kids?

Lots of fun, but no.

Having the master bathroom entirely clean all at one time for the first time in weeks?

Absolutely fantastic, but not it.

The best part of my day so far, BY FAR has been........

talking to a dear blogging friend on the telephone for the very first time!

Once upon a time, many months ago, she so lovingly and bravely shared her phone number with me. Then she shared it once again because I couldn't find it from the first time. :) I tucked it away, just waiting for the perfect day to surprise her with a call from me, her crazy virtual friend.

And so today, on a whim, I looked up her number and I was dialing before my brain new what had happened. So what made today the perfect day? Nothing at all. The house was calm (everyone was happy for the moment), things around here were relatively caught up and, well, I just felt like calling!!!! And, like I told her, congratulating her for her family's wonderful blessing via electronic media just wasn't cutting it anymore.

It was a wonderful call. In a silly, first-date sort of way, I am almost didn't know what to talk about. And that is coming from me - the one who almost never has nothing to say. We chatted about the small stuff, laughed and then ended the call before any one of our random children had an opportunity to explode.

I am so glad I called. Hearing her voice was so much fun. I feel like I know her just a little better now. I pray her impression of me is still favorable.

What a happy afternoon. I am blessed to have her as a friend. I am so blessed to know so many of you, even if only virtually.

God bless you all and thank you for always encouraging me in so many ways.

Monday, October 01, 2007


OK!!!!!! Enough! Enough! These ladies have me hooked! Hooked on beauty. Hooked on learning. Hooked!

I am entranced and enthralled by what the ladies at Serendipity are doing. It is a new website from Elizabeth Foss and Katherine Johnson. I have been reading all about fairies and fall at Elizabeth's blog and I am in love. We got one flower fairy book from the library and like I said before, we adored it. It is magical!

So tonight I ordered these in my monthly order:

Christopher's Harvest Time
Flower Fairies Alphabet
Fairies: Petal People You Make Yourself

And from the library:
The Complete Book of Flower Fairies
Home Sweet Home: A Little Book of Fairy Dwellings

Tomorrow I hope to do some of this with Nicole.

Enjoy a little fairy dust here and there!

St. Therese, pray for us

St. Therese, the little
flower, please pick me
A rose from the heavenly
garden and it to
Me with a message of love
ask God to grant me the
Favor I thee implore and
tell him I will love
Him each day more and more.

What a wonderful saint to be celebrating today! She is one of my favorites, as I know she is for many of you. We have many little activities planned for today to honor her, celebrate her and to make us want to be more like her. Help us, St. Therese, to follow your Little Way.

What we have done already:

* Made a lovely display to help us remember her today.
* Read about her in one of our saint books.
* Said a prayer at breakfast.
* Made sacrifice beads.
* Listened to our Glory Story about her.
* Listened to the rosary CD while making the sacrifice beads.

For later:

* Read another book with Jacob and Nicole.
* Color a picture.
* Watch parts of the Therese movie.
* Finish our novena.

Update: We never got around to the movie or the coloring page, but that's OK. We had a wonderful day! I think I will file the coloring page away for next year (my new filing system for feasts and holidays) and maybe postpone the movie until Friday night with pizza!