Wednesday, March 28, 2012


This week's theme is CUTENESS.

I can't help it ; I think in alliteration.  Probably from the years of listening to Ken prepare sermons?

                                                               Cuteness on the carpet.

              I am not a dog person and even I think he's pretty cute.  Pic taken by Clare.

                                                           Cuteness at the computer.

                                              Ken's happy ; Addie's happy ; Mama's happy.

                                                                  Cuteness in clothes.

         He has no idea that wearing your little sister's leopard print capris in size 6 months is Not Cool.
                                                                    Which is funny.

                                                                  Cuteness in a cave.

       I know I'm too old to say a boy is cute, but that's my husband in a snow cave.  And I think he is.
                                     (And I can't get the picture to turn around . . .)

Have a wonderful day,
Love,  Allison

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lenten Sunday #5

This week's focus : Think of Jesus sad,  and :

PRAY : for our Holy Father, as he prays for the sadnesses of all people,
FAST :  from wallowing in our own sadness,
GIVE :  ourselves to noticing and helping with someone else's sadness.

Our Tobit passage continues :

Give to the hungry some of your bread, and to the needy some of your clothing.  Whatever you have left over, give as alms ; and do not begrudge the alms you give.  (vs. 16)

Inspiration :

He gives us His Hands to take hold of, His Power to make it a redeeming thing, a blessed thing, His Life to cause it to flower, His Heart to enable us to rejoice in accepting our own and one another's burdens.    (Caryll Houselander)

This is Ian, eight years old in May  (Getting cozy for the night in our snow cave, which most members of my family think is Fun.).  He and I have been preparing for his first confession and Thursday evening was The Night.  He gripped his favorite book, marked to the act of contrition page with a 3x5 card he'd scribbled with his examined sins.  The half hour drive to church was almost completely silent, peppered with occasional, nervously worded questions.  Do priests do confession?  (Yes, Honey.)  Will you do it, too?  (Yes, Honey.)  What if I forget everything?  (He'll help you.  He's very nice.).

We arrived, got in line  (Gotta love being Catholic ; hard to be holier-than-thou when you're all standing in line to confess sins!), and then he was gone.  Into the little room, just Father Luz and him.  I was without my boy, wondering what was conspiring, praying for him and his sweet soul.  Since Ian was the final child from class, a party began when he stepped out of the confessional, involving cookies, cranberry juice, and snowballs.  They'd done it!

The drive home had decidedly different questions : When can I go again?  (Father is there Saturday afternoons or I can call for anytime.)   What should I do with my paper?  (Tear it up and throw it out!).  Can I go with John next Saturday?  (Yes, if you need to.).  As soon as I opened the door, Ian threw himself into Ken's arms and told him that he was right, Father Luz was really nice and he loved confession

Once again, I've fallen deeper in love with our Holy Faith and highly recommend reading children's catechisms and allegories. 

Do go before Easter, friends!

Love,  Allison

Thursday, March 22, 2012


This week's PHFR theme is that all the pictures were taken yesterday before noon.  Noon is when we closed up shop (such as it was) and began bashing around the house, throwing granola bars, water bottles, books, and extra clothes into tote bags for a city trip.  Adddie had a doctor's appointment.  Ready?  Weight is up to 7 lbs, 4 oz ~ yippee!

Who can possiblly work on "lessons" when it looks like this outside?  Sun high enough to actually shine and a glorious 25 degrees ~ ABOVE ZERO!

This is how we get 15 minutes here and there when nothing is destroyed and no one gets hit.

Funny because it made me smile ~ Ian did not want Addie to cry and he did not want to stop reading (D'Aulaire's Greek myths).

Who DOES these things?  WHY would a child wet and wad TP and throw it onto the mirror for me to discover?  I guess I'll just take a picture . . . 

Have a great day,
Love, Allison

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Boys and orphans and Lenten Sunday #3

The fourth Sunday in Lent ~

Think about :  Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her!

Pray : for Israel,
Fast : from grudges, as the Lord holds not our sin against us,
Give : mercy, as the Lord to His people.

And continuing our Tobit passage :

"Do to no one what you yourself dislike.  Do not drink wine until you become drunk."

(The 17 and 14 year old made weird faces at sentence #2, questioning the necessity of having the younger kids memorize such a proverb.  I made a weird face right back and told them it would be good to have the Scriptures drill that into their young heads.)

And this grand reminder from Saint Leo the Great :

When therefore, dearly beloved, the Son of God says, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by," He uses the voice of our nature and He pleads the cause of our human frailty and disquiet -- in order to strengthen patience and drive out fear in those things we shall have to bear.

And about the boys and orphans, thanks to Leila I have been changed.  Ruined, even.  I rocked my enormous 2 1/2 year old on the couch last night until he fell asleep and wept for a little boy I'll probably never meet who lives in an orphanage and cries in his sleep.  He looks like any one of my sons and I want to rock him on my couch, too, until his tears cease.  His name is Nicholas and he is listed on Reece's Rainbow, with over $5000 in his adoption fund.  His story is here.

                                         Joseph, this morning.

Since I've learned about this organization, I've found a brother and sister, both with cystic fibrosis, who have been chosen by a LA family  (See sidebar photo link.).  They have just $300 in their help fund.  They will perish without some medicines ~ please consider bonding with these 3 children (and me) in prayer.  They are my focus for Lent.  My sacrifices.  My prayers.  My troubles are nothing.


God have mercy,                                      

Sunday, March 18, 2012

HILARIOUS ~ Providing boisterous merriment

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away ; blessed be the name of the Lord  (Job 1:21b).

Last weekend was a  Lord gives  time, as we were flooded with gifts.  It was hilarious.  There were baby showers with lovely ladies and a truckload of groceries and household items from anonymous angels.

Adah Marie is definitely the best-dressed member of the family now  (Sorry, Ken.) ~ so many super clothes for her!  And special extras like a pretty pink walker, a cute carrier pouch, and a green-eyed rocking wooden moose  (Although at this point, the kids argue over it all : I'm choosing her outfit ; it's my turn to ride the moose ; Joseph's stuck in the walker again . . . ).   I was surrounded by friends and tea and laughter and snacks and babies.

The pickup truck of goods was a gigantic surprise, turning my table into a towering Christmas tree of groceries and supplies.  Were these saints wise to our calamitous car problems and chose to bless us?  Did the Holy Spirit whisper our name?  Do you know how hilarious it is to have frivolities  (for us)  like fabric softener, boxed tissues, sausage, and goldfish crackers?

Sometimes, people who have heard  No  from God have a more difficult time saying thank you to Him when there's a  Yes.   We tend to say  (or think)  things like,  Don't be hyper-spiritual ; this isn't from God, it's from whomever.  But people are the hands of God.  That's what the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, is all about ~ called to do good works  (2Timothy 3:17 and Philippians 2: 3-4).  It's tangled up together.  Just as the earth is a living organism, so is the Church.   Now to these known and unknown loves :

Thanks to you!
Thanks to God!
Thanks for being our brothers and sisters in Christ!
Thanks for goldfish crackers and tissues and pink stuff!

We are learning.  We are thoughtful.  We are flustered.  We are grateful.
It is hilarious!

Boisterously merry,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real



                                                          Luke likes to be Very Close.


                                                Joseph is happy ; not sure about Addie...


                                                         Rees and the Cube of Rubic.

The "Nanny dog"  must not be left out ; Addie doesn't even care that her head is ON THE FLOOR!


                                          John insists that this is the Magic Position.

And some great comments from the boys ~

Luke :  "Mom, do you know why I love your insides"?   (I'm thinking some sort of poetry like, 'you love me ; you're kind ; you make good food').  Answer?  "You grew us baby Addie".   Definitely poetic!

Joseph, patting my still-rounded midsection :  "Mo' baby?"

Ian : "Can you guys start another baby today so that we can have another one in 9 months?"  (I thought the teens would  D.I.E. !)

John, after arriving home from exercising the horses for Aurora Equine Therapy : "Jessie (the horse) tripped and fell over and I fell, too, and Debbie said that it was a good thing I was using a Western saddle because the horn kept Jessie from rolling onto me and breaking my back."   The other kids breathed in unison, "Cool"!

And the best news of all?  After 1 week of giving her digestive enzymes before every nursing, Addie has put on 14 ounces ~ just about a pound in a week!

So all these comments are what I'd share on Facebook, if I wasn't staying away for Lent ; also if I could find the time to sit down and write a real, polished post about something important.  Pictures and funnies are all I can manage. 

More real life here.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Lenten Week ~ Sunday #3

Focus for the upcoming week :

Think about those who had compassion on Jesus, like Veronica, and ~

Pray ~ for those who work with the Church's official charities,

Fast ~ from greed by sharing more,

Give ~ compassion / help to a younger sibling.

Continuing our passage in Tobit :

"Alms are a worthy offering in the sight of the Most High for all who give them."  (vs. 11)

Inspiration regarding the Lenten fast :

"We return it all to God for forty days, not because any of it is 'bad', but because it is indeed very good.  Only good things should be offered in sacrifice to God ; only the best of the harvest could be offered as a tithe."     (Scott Hahn, Signs of Life)

I have been a bit . . . preoccupied  (the children may have another word)  this week, consumed with the nursing-with-enzyme-groove that little Adah Marie requires.  Nursing on demand doesn't work the same.  But we press on and do the right thing.  God knows.  He loves her more than I do and He loves me more, too.

I just hope and pray that the younger ones don't grow too much dental plaque, as they've been brushing their own teeth for a week now.  Oy.

Forward, March,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Close to Jesus

It is rest time here, time I'd planned to write a poignant post, complete with complicated expressions of my fears and loves.  You see, Addie's metabolic screening results have returned with numbers that indicate CF, meaning that we head to the hospital tomorrow for a more diagnostic test and a visit with the pediatric pulmonologist, Rees's doctor for 17 years, to hear how to care for a newborn with CF  (Rees was 9 months old and already eating solids.). 

But then I noticed that one of the kids had tucked a doll by sleeping Addie before tromping upstairs to rest ~

So I'm all finished.  Nothing I write could be better than this.  I'm going to curl up close to her.  And Jesus.  Maybe I'll rest, too.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lent ~ Second Sunday

Our focus for the upcoming week :  Think of Jesus betrayed and rejected and :

Pray : for those who reject and hate our Church,
Fast :  from giving place to ugly thoughts and actions,
Give : our time to turn the other cheek and do something nice to one who has been mean to us.

Next installment of our Tobit passage :

"Perform good works all the days of your life, and do not tread the paths of wrongdoing."  (4:5).

This is our Crown of Thorns, made from
play-doh and toothpicks.  When I catch
a child using his hands (or whatever the
week's focus), he may take out a thorn
and put it in the bowl.  Easter morning,
the thorns are replaced with bright and
beautiful jelly beans ~ Halleluia!
This is a reminder poster that Clare made and stuck in the
mirror.  Wonder what she'll draw for this week?


First week here.

A simple, spare diet is off the books for me this Lent, as doctor's orders are to Eat Fat.  No calorie-reduction.  Seems like the only way to do this for my tiny nursling without indulging in ice cream and brownies, which seems wrong during a season of penitence is to substitute full fat items for nonfat.

My ten year old, who loves All Things Computer, has grabbed this nutritional bull by the horns and googled phrases like, lots of fat for skinny babies ; fat without dessert ; and  (my personal favorite) fat food for mothers.  Her motivation seems to stem from concern for her skinny sister and the scientific challenge, as well as the aforementioned computer-love.  This is the kid who refuses to learn the method for long multiplication problems, but has provided me with a bullet-pointed grocery list. 

  A new bloggy friend has recently blessed me with these words, "Sometimes our lives provide Lent for us."

"As sometimes the mother gives the most attention to the child who falls the most, so our failures can be used as a prayer that God be most attentive to us, because of our greater weaknesses."   (AB Fulton Sheen)

Thank God for that,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Addie edition

*I don't have much creativity these days, but a new baby makes great pictures and certainly "captures the context of everyday life" around here  (Far more than math books.).





In case anyone is wondering, and since I promised myself that I would be true and honest here, she has lost 11oz and has not gained back anything  (along with bad diapers).  My mother-sense tells me that she has CF, so I am trying all sorts of tricks to help little Addie gain weight, while awaiting the Diagnosis, which brings with it a script of enzymes to help her . . . So there you go, friends.

Please visit these lovely ladies for more!