Saturday, May 29, 2010

Feast of the Visitation with My Own Spin

On May 31st, Catholics celebrate the feast of the Visitation. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, and greeted Mary by saying, "Blessed are you among women. Blessed is the fruit of your womb." I was reading in Faith and Family magazine that a good way to remember the feast day would be to visit someone who may be lonely. Bring them some cookies and tea and sit and visit with them.

My 19 yo nephew (and godson) is living in Richmond, VA for his summer internship job and this will be his only weekend off for the summer. He decided to come visit us!! He arrived yesterday and will be here until Monday. We haven't seen him since my father's funeral last July so this a real treat! Especially Jacob who really admirers his older cousin and I must add, he is an excellent role model for my Jacob.

I'm loving cooking for someone who can really appreciate a home cooked meal! This morning I made fruit salad.

And organic 7 grain pancakes!
Tonight he will join us at mass, and our church's monthly potluck cookout after. I'm confident the kids and I will all be standing prouder as we introduce him to our parish friends.

So, it may not be the way the magazine suggested we remember the feast day, but I think it will do.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Things Old and New

Mike and I finally found a table for our deck that we both agreed on and it was a good price. I think it looks really good with the umbrella and chairs we already owned. We probably won't be eating Thanksgiving dinner around it, but I'm finding it is a nice place to sit with my cup of tea and lap top this morning.
Down the other end of the deck, just off the master bedroom, you can see we invested in a......... jacuzzi tub! Well for now this as close as it's gonna get!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Good Friends

A Catholic homeschooling friend of mine lost her father-in-law completely unexpectedly last week. Her family (6 kids and husband) were in fact getting ready to spend a week with him on his farm in PA just this week. So instead of going there for vacation they are now in PA to plan and attend his funeral.

Having just lost my own father last year I easily feel their pain!

Two other Catholic homeschooling moms and myself are heading to their house this afternoon to clean the house and put food in their fridge/freezer for when they return this weekend. We can't be in PA to support them so we are feeling this will be a nice gesture here at home.

I am truly blessed to have a great network of friends. Although the 4 of us don't get to spend a lot of time together due to our separate busy schedules and the distance of where we live, it is reassuring to know we are always there for each other in the long run.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Does it really count?

Does it really count as a collection if you only have 2? and you have only had just 2 for the longest time?
I have a thing for old glass milk bottles. They usually sit on a kitchen window sill, sometimes with flowers in them, and I am crazy about them. I really don't recollect how I even came to own these 2, but I'm thankful I do. Maybe I'm crazy about them because my paternal grandfather was a dairy farmer, and I pray that some day I may just find one that could have belonged to him.

Officially I declare today to begin "collecting" glass milk bottles! (Mike, You've been warned.)

Now, point me to the nearest antique store, I need to add to this "collection".

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Year Ago

May 24
This day last year started my journey with mom and dad...

They came to Virginia for what we thought would be a quick layover on their trip to Massachusetts. In hopes of getting a better diagnosis at Dana Faber Institute and live with my brother. Dad had been fighting cancer for several months by this point and wasn't winning the battle. He knew this better than any of us. After arriving in Virginia he decided he didn't want to go any further and chose to spend his final days here.

God had a plan and we were all in for the ride. Thank you Lord for that opportunity!! I will NEVER regret a moment of those days... He lived another 5 weeks...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Silly Rabbit... Tricks are for Kids!

Back in September Mike and I (on a day of insanity) decided to get a bunny for the "farm". Take a look back at my October blog post about the little guy/girl. To top it all off we have no idea if it is a boy or a girl.

With the hours Mike works he didn't have any time to make the little bunny a hutch before the cold weather set in. So, we kept it in a dog cage out in the shed. Haley was the primary one responsible for cleaning the cage, feeding and watering the little guy.

A few months ago on a really beautiful weather day, Mike decided to move it onto the grass in the cage. Eventually the door got opened, and little bunny was allowed to roam around the yard. It didn't wander far! Haley would catch it at the end of the day and put it back in the shed. After some time of this routine little bunny got wise to those tricks, and finally one night was left to wander all over.

There was a morning when Mike was checking the oil in my car and was completely startled by the crazy little bunny who learned to climb into the engine compartment of my car!! It was quite the sight to see my husband jump when opening the hood only to see bunny staring up at him. We believe the little bunny has even gone for a ride or 2 in there!!

Now bunny, disappears for days and just when we believe he may have finally met his demise never to be seen again he reappears in the front yard nibbling the clover, or playing in the yard with the cat.
This little bunny that we bought for only $5, has brought us more entertainment than anything!

And no, if you are wondering, he has not bothered the garden... yet!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This morning Mike and Faith were doing some chores outdoors around the "farm" and came across this injured butterfly.
Faith brought it indoors to show off and is now planning where it will sleep tonight. Oh Boy!
After some research we believe it is a papilio polyxenes fabricius or common name Black Swallowtail.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Dilemma? no not really!

What a dilemma! What to knit next?

(Disclaimer: Trust me I know that in the big scheme of things this is not a dilemma at all, but it makes my blog today more fun to imagine it so.)

Every knitter, or knitting addict, spends the majority of her time while knitting formulating what is going to be knit up next. I am NO exception to this rule.

Although I am currently working on a pair of socks and an afghan, I find myself deliberating over the following projects and which will be next. Shall we take a vote? to help me decide?

Shrug This by Toni Kayser Weiner
Little Cable Hoodie by Chrissy Gardiner
Olivine by Asami Kawa

Monday, May 17, 2010

Who? Me?

MamaMidwife at her blog Today Again, gave me the "Sunshine Award"! Who me? Wow!

Almost every day I post to my blog never knowing sometimes if anyone has even stopped in to read. The blog was started as a way for me to share with family my daily adventures at our new home here in Virginia, and to be honest unless I remind my family to read it they don't!

It has also connected me to a world of other stay-at-home-moms, knitting/fiber fanatics, home schooling moms, and other Catholics who also blog. I thank God for introducing us!

In the spirit of the "Sunshine Award", I am passing it on to the following fellow bloggers:

So please take your award (the flower at the top), and post it to your blog and then pass it along, please link back to my blog.

Make it a great week! God Bless!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Together for Life

When you get married it is because you want to spend the rest of your life with that other person. Spend every day of your lives together! I love being with my husband every day! After 23 years of marriage I sometimes feel like that young girl newly married when I see him and my heart actually leaps!

This week Mike had to travel to Texas for work and has been gone since Tuesday. Deep inside my stomach aches and my heart aches each day he is gone. I learned way back when we were first married, and Mike was in the Navy on submarines, you can't shrivel up and hide under the covers until he returns. No instead you have to carry on and you can't miss a beat. Especially now with kids!

As I lay in bed at night, while he is gone, and pray for his safety, my thoughts drift to my mom. She has been without her soul mate, my dad, for nearly a year. How she must ache every day. But, she is an incredibly faithful woman! She doesn't just shrivel up and stay under the covers, although I'm sure there are days she considers it. She continues on, showing her children how her faith keeps her strong to carry on without dad.

My prayers are always with her, but this week especially. Mom, you are truly an inspiration! I love you and thank you for the wonderful example you are and have always been to me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tamara Lowe at Christ Fellowship

Saw this clip this morning on TaDa Catholic Connection and just had to share. I'm going to be playing it all day, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Queen of Heaven and Earth

One of my on line blogging friends asked an excellent question of yesterday's post. Why do we crown Mary and call her The Queen of Heaven and Earth? Such a good question that I couldn't resist taking the opportunity to explain my answer it today's blog post.

Why queen?
In the Old Testament there are several references to the mother of the king being referred to as the Queen Mother. Because kings could have many wives but would only have one mother.
2 Kings 24:12, "Then King Jehoiakim, along with his advisers, nobles, officials, and the qeen mother, surrendered to the Babylonians."

JESUS IS KING, and it is understood he only has one mother.

Why crowning? and why over heaven and earth?
Revelation 12:1-2; 5 , "A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne."

Revelation 12: 7-9, "Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it."

God makes it quite clear the woman in the first passage obviously gives birth to the savior, therefore it is understood to be Mary. She wears a crown. She is a key player in the battle against the devil (the dragon), and he now resides on earth. This power doesn't come to her on her own, but by the power given by Jesus, her son.

I am in no way a theologian or an apologetic. This is just my humble understanding from what I've read. Hope it helps anyone who has questions. Thank you for the opportunity to defend my faith, it only makes my understanding of it more clear for myself. God Bless!

What are they thinking?

Growing up as a Catholic, especially one that lived where it was common to be a Catholic, there are certain things that I always just took for granted. Having a statue of Mary in the garden, saying the rosary, and religious photos around the house.

Living in Virginia as a Catholic we are definitely in the minority. I never feel questioned about my religion or really called to defend it, but I would if I had to. Instead I silently wonder what the non-Catholic people who come to my house think when they see Mary in the garden or the large photo of Padre Pio on my kitchen wall. Or when Jacob tells his friends who call at 3:30 we didn't answer the phone because we were in the middle of saying the rosary.
At mass this past weekend we honored the Blessed Mother with a May crowning celebration. It passed through my thoughts, as I sat in the pew, "What would those non-Catholics be thinking of this ritual?" From an outsiders perspective I can see why they may say things like, "Those Catholics worship idols." or "They worship a cookie." But, I know the true reasons behind what we do, so in some respects I wish they would ask me. So I could be given the opportunity to defend my faith, and maybe help them understand a little better.

Maybe I will just be thankful I don't have to defend my faith or religion in this country. Or, at least for now...

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Cool Morning Photo

It was cool enough out this morning to put on my new sweater and take a couple photos. Wanted to share with you. I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Honoring Mary Part II

Took a photo after mass of the group of kids that participated in our May crowning. It was simple, but very nice! You can't quite see Mary's pretty jeweled crown, but it is there.
Happy Mother's day to all my blogging friends! May God bless you all!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Honoring Mary

The month of May, in the Catholic Church, is dedicated to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. We are expected to remember her and pray to her with extra attention this month.

With last Saturday being May 1st, before mass, I asked our priest what the plan was to honor Mary. Remember our parish is very small with only about 75 families, and only one mass a weekend. Although it is a nice community of people who have wonderful fellowship I find we sometimes fall short on the spiritual aspects of our faith. So, there weren't any plans to do anything. Our pastor knew we needed to fix this so by the time I walked to my car after mass I had adopted the job of co-ordinating a May crowning for this week's mass.

My first instinct would have normally been, "There is no way I want to try and pull this off in 6 days." But, it never even crossed my mind. Instead I looked at it as, "I HAVE to do this. It is for Mary."

Now I'm going to go through my day doing all my normal chores with a little bit of apprehension of how well things will go at mass today. Whenever worry or apprehension does creep in I'm going to pray and offer it up and know that all will be well. It doesn't have to be perfect, anything to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary is right.

Maybe I will even get a chance to take some photos. (Now that is optimistic!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Knitter's Rhyme

Copied this little poem from a blogging friend.

A Knitter's Rhyme

I have a million things to do

I know they must be done

Dust and mop and clean and shop

But none of that is fun

I have a billion things to do

A billion things, I know

And I will do them, yes I will

Just let me finish this one row…

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Small Successes

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, I'm going to write up a list of 3 of my recent successes.
  1. Finished planting the vegetable garden. (This was Mike's success too.)
  2. Encouraged and supported Jacob to get his paper for school finalized.
  3. Got the buttons sewn onto the sweater I finished knitting several weeks ago.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Bounty

Our strawberry harvest started about a week ago. Here is some of what made it into the house for a photo op. Enough for cereal and everyone had a few. Today there were even more!
We had our first of the radishes from the garden. My dad loved radishes and can't help but think of him whenever I have one in my hands. Just one more thing that makes me think of him.
While working in the garden yesterday, this little guy came hoping out. We now need to make a couple of toad shelters for the garden so he'll stay and maybe bring a friend or two to visit.
The daffodils and iris have all faded away, but one of the rose bushes is in full bloom, just in time for May to honor the Blessed Mother. The rose bush on the other side will bloom in fall. Maybe for October? Mary's other month of honor.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Guy, My Guy, My Guy, Talkin' bout My Guy

What do most women do when an appliance or something in their house breaks?

I'm blessed because I have this guy to "call".
He may just look like my husband, but he is my fix it guy. (Who doubles as my landscaper/gardener this time of year. LOL!)

My washing machine started acting funky again, and he knew what needed to be done right away. The solenoid valve needed to be cleaned out.
With a new well comes silt, that can reek havoc with valves and filters in the house.
Now this wonderful fix it guy really needs to make time to put install the house water filter we bought a year ago.

Thank you God for a man who knows how to fix my problems. In more ways than one!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mommy Recharging Day

There are plenty of things I could be doing on this Sunday. Baking bread, washing the kitchen floor, stripping beds and washing sheets just to name a few on the top of my head. It is Sunday after all and even moms need to take a break.

I'm going to finally decide which buttons I bought should go on my new sweater, and put them on.
Spend some time crocheting on this afghan that will be a gift for a niece's wedding in August.
And maybe a little knitting on these socks I just started.
I'm going to call it "Mommy Recharging Day"!! I deserve it!