Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Freight Train

Jacob will be playing this in his next recital. It really does sound like a train, doesn't it?


Friday, March 25, 2011

Portrait of Our Cat

Alex drew this portrait of our cat, Tipsy.


Zachary requested pineapple cupcakes for his birthday celebration and we delivered. These were delicious! He's officially seven.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday, Zachary!

Make an on-line slide show at

Seven years ago you entered our family and while we loved you from the very start, we had no idea what a kind, handsome, funny, bright, talented and loving boy you would turn out to be. You are a blessing to us all. We love you to pieces, Zachary! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Anthony Esolen writes a poignant and touching piece about the needs of boys and how our culture is not meeting them, "Benign Neglect or Calculated Malignity?"

Dr Esolen, please write a book on this topic. Thank you.

H/T: The Anchoress

You Can't Trust Just Anyone With Your Lizards

If you asked me how my weekend went I'd probably say that the weather was amazingly beautiful on Friday and Saturday. After giving him a haircut and dropping Simeon to leave on a weekend camping trip with the boy scouts, I pruned the rose bushes out front and thoroughly cleaned the back porch getting it ready for spring. I even picked up a new coffee table for the porch and some fresh colorful flowers and pillows. Saturday was St Joseph's feast day which ended a very important novena I had been praying and now I'm just anxiously awaiting the answer. I did laundry, housework and cooking and I worked four hours of appointments with Creighton clients.

This morning, our oldest son returned from his camping trip and I was amused to overhear his brothers telling him about their weekend. "So, what did you guys do while I was gone?" Simeon asked.

The answer went something like this: We had four cheese pizzas and watched Open Season 3. Jacob slept in your bed and Saturday we went to Wendy's for lunch with Dad while Mom was working. We played at Alex's house in the woods, but had to run home because we heard a Timber Rattlesnake and Jacob saw it! We had rides in the wheelbarrow until Zachary got hurt. We caught five lizards and let some go. The rest we gave to Austin (the neighbor boy) to keep safe for us.

"You let Austin take some of your lizards?" Simeon said incredulously, "You can't trust just anyone with your lizards."

True enough.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Feast of St Joseph!

Good St Joseph, pray for us.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Observation of the Day

Jacob: Mom, I never would have thought that I could learn to play piano and now I can't remember ever not knowing how to play.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Elephants Live in Trees

Zachary: You have to look in your family tree to find all your grandcestors.

Alex: They're not grandcestors, they're your relephants.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Fasting with Joy and/or Goofiness

After my husband explained the purpose of Lenten fasts to the children, Zachary informed me that he is overly attached to me, loves me more than he should, and is therefore giving me up for Lent. Then he thought he should probably give up breathing as well.

And this morning, I ran an early errand. When I returned, the house was eerily silent. All children were doing schoolwork. The baby delivered a note to me from the oldest informing me that while I was gone everyone decided to give up speaking, except for on Sundays. I would have encouraged this if it weren't for the crazy gestures and elaborate sign language they were using to ask me questions about long division, and language arts exercises.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Slightly older brother: Mom, I don't know that Micah should be watching Blue's Clues. That Steve guy isn't very bright.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

St Joseph

St Joseph's feast day is fast approaching. Begin a novena on the 10th or 11th, the Thursday or Friday after Ash Wednesday this year, to end on the 19th.

Words of St.Teresa of Avila
“To other Saints Our Lord seems to have given power to succor us in some special necessity—but to this glorious Saint, I know by experience, He has given the power to help us in all. Our Lord would have us understand that as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth—for St. Joseph, bearing the title of father and being His guardian, could command Him—so now in Heaven Our Lord grants all his petitions. I have asked others to recommend themselves to St. Joseph, and they, too, know the same thing by experience . . .” —Autobiography, VI, 9

“Some Saints are privileged to extend to us their patronage with particular efficacy in certain needs, but not in others; but our holy patron St. Joseph has the power to assist us in all cases, in every necessity, in every undertaking.” --St Thomas Aquinas

Friday, March 04, 2011

Pain is and quick and sharp
while healing is gentle and slow.

But what, in a moment, tears apart the heart
may, in grace and time, make its capacity grow.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Loving a Lawyer

My husband is forever making subtle distinctions and correcting me in highly nuanced ways. He did it again at lunch today and I complained mildly.

Him: I'm sorry, it's just that I need to do this at work all the time.

Me: Yes, but you're at home now.

Him: (He's working from home today) Well, not exactly...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord

My friend and Creighton doctor called yesterday to gently inform me that my my HCG levels are rapidly dropping. Though it brought a kind of official finality, this did not come so much as news. Over the weekend I had sure signs that things were not going well and so, really, we began grieving Saturday.

It is strange to remember how, months ago, I had told my husband that I would truly love to have a daughter. A seventh son would also be a blessing, but the one thing I did not want (and I was adamant about this point) was to miscarry either. In short, I didn't want a broken heart. Now, on this side of events, I am surprised to say that if it had to be this way, if our only opportunity to have this child was in this brief and painful way, then I would not undo it if I could. I would, in fact, do it all over again.

This child has been a great blessing to us, bringing us closer to one another first in joy and then-- perhaps even more acutely so-- in sorrow. We have learned a little something about hope and courage, and giving our will over to God's. There is much more than this, too, of course that is very personal and much we don't fully understand, but that we will carry with us and wonder over in our hearts. Also, there are the prayers and sacrifices that all of you offered on our behalf and the graces that we have received, and even felt, on account of them. Thank you for this.

And then there is the fact that we now have two saints in heaven (14 years apart to the very month) I like to think they are together and watching over us. We have registered their names in "The Book of Life" at the Church of the Holy Innocents in NY. Special thanks to my sister, Helene, for telling us about this.

Last, but not least, the beautiful rosary above was made by Ruth Tucker of Just Another Day In Paradise and Loreto Rosaries to help me through Limbo and now, as a commemoration of our little one. Thank you, Ruth, it is even more beautiful than I had imagined. I will treasure it always.

When it arrived my boys admired it, "Did Mrs. Tucker buy these pearls or did she find them in nature?" Zachary asked. The image of Ruth in scuba gear fishing each pearl by hand brought a smile to my face and so I must mention, too, that a house full of loving and very funny boys cannot fill, but goes a long way to distract me from this deep, aching, empty feeling that I carry with me now.