Sunday, December 31, 2006
1. Favorite devotion or prayer to Jesus? Morning Offering.
2. Favorite Marian devotion or prayer? The Magnificat.
3. Do you wear a scapular or medal? Neither. But if I had one, I would certainly wear it!
4. Do you have holy water in your home? No. And I regret not asking if I could keep some of the holy water our priest used when blessing our home a few days ago.
5. Do you offer up your sufferings? I really try to.
6. Do you observe First Fridays and First Saturdays? No...although I hope to make more of an effort in the new year.
7. Do you go to Eucharistic Adoration? How frequently? No.
8. Are you a Saturday evening Mass person or Sunday morning Mass person? Sunday morning.
9. Do you say prayers at mealtime? Yes. And at dinner, following the traditional prayer before meals, we each take a turn saying something we are particularly thankful for that day, be it good news we received, something exciting that happened or that we did, or whatever else we may be especially thankful for.
10. Favorite Saint(s)? St. Francis.
11. Can you recite the Apostles Creed by heart? Yes.
12. Do you usually say short prayers (aspirations) during the course of the day? Absolutely.
13. Where is your favorite place to pray? In my recliner, in the dim morning light before anyone else is awake.
14. Bonus Question: When you pass by an automobile accident or other serious mishap, do you say a quick prayer for the folks involved? Yes. And I do the same even if I just hear sirens.
I tag: Jennifer and Nicole.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Still basking in the glow of our "babymoon", and mindful of the many dreadfully contagious illnesses abounding at that time of year, I chose to remain home with her while Darren took Dylan and Caitlyn to our family's traditional Christmas festivities. I spent that day peacefully gazing at my tiny newborn, quietly enjoying the wonder of her.
This year, there was nothing even remotely quiet about the joy I found in watching her play happily with her big brother and sister! It is so amazing to me that this little girl of mine, the one who thinks she has to climb on everything now, is the same sweet angel I so tenderly cradled in my arms just one short year ago.
This year, in stark contrast to last Christmas, we spent all day visiting with various members of my family. The morning began with the sweetest rendition of "Happy Birthday" I've ever heard, sung by Dylan and Caitlyn to baby Jesus as they placed Him beneath our Christmas tree alongside Mary and Joseph.
And they couldn't have been more thrilled with the gifts that Santa left for them! We now have our own little drummer boy and one adorable, piano playing princess. (Darren and Meghan complete the ensemble with their new electric guitar and toy saxaphone, respectively. Give us a few years, and we'll be taking this show on the road!)
My dad and brother came over late Christmas morning to open gifts with us. (Although "late" is a relative term here...it was actually only 8:30, but considering we had been up since before six it just felt late!) We munched on cookies, sipped our coffee, and enjoyed the antics of our very excited children! After 10:00 Mass, we headed over to my aunt and uncle's house to celebrate with much of my extended family, where we indulged in lots of food, lots of sweets, lots of presents, and lots of laughter! Later, we joined my brother at my mom's house to open the last of our gifts. It was a wonderful conclusion to a wonderful day, but I was sad to see it come to an end. I'm already looking forward to next Christmas!
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
After leisurely perusing some delightful little shops, we bundled up and let Dylan and Caitlyn play in the snow (of which there was more than either had ever seen!) To say they enjoyed it would be a terrible understatement. They loved it!
The drive home was every bit as beautiful as the ride there had been. We had packed a change of clothes for each of the children, so they were warm, dry, and happy as we sang along with their Christmas music and watched the stunning scenery pass us by. This photo was taken just as we were leaving Cloudcroft:
We live not far beyond the beautiful mountains in this next photo. Whenever we see this view of them, we know we're nearly home!
And the perfect ending to this perfect day? Hot cocoa, cozy jammies, and snuggling by the fire while listening to the beautiful songs on one of my new favorite CD's (The Nativity Story: Sacred Songs). You know something? Life doesn't get much better than this.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
After letting them "set" for a few hours, I took a paper plate, cut out the center, wrapped the resulting ring with gold ribbon, tied a red bow to the top, and attached our little gingerbread family to the perimeter, creating a sweet wreath which is now hanging on the door to our bedroom. And I love it!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
His Little People farm and animals comprised a large majority of the scene, but he also included one of my favorite Willow Tree statues to represent the Holy Family, accompanied by his miniature wise men:
My favorite part, though, is evidenced in this next photo--a shepherd riding a John Deere tractor and two angels "riding a buggy, because they want to hurry just as fast as they can to see baby Jesus!" (His exact words! How precious is that?!)
Although it covers the entire top of his dresser, I'm just not ready to put any of it away yet...maybe after Christmas!
Happy Anniversary, Darren. I love you!
Monday, December 18, 2006
For months, when imagining Meghan's first birtday party, I knew it would just have to be Strawberry Shortcake. Meghan has the most beautiful red highlights when the sun catches her hair in just the right way, so the cute, loveable little red haired character I so fondly remember from my own childhood seemed to be the perfect choice for celebrating the first birthday of our own little sweetheart.
(I was so touched when Dylan and Caitlyn took it upon themselves to rummage through all of Caitlyn's toy storage drawers to find these, the little Strawberry Shortcake figures I used to play with when I was a little girl, which they lined up as "decorations" on the dining room table.)
Meghan had a great time opening her gifts! She stands so well on her own (and is even walking a little bit!) so it was really fun to watch her tear into all the tissue and wrapping paper. (And just think--on Christmas we'll get to do this all over again!)
For her birthday cake, I made...you guessed it! Strawberry shortcake! Not very traditional, I know, but perfect, I thought, for this very special party!
Unfortunately, it was nearing nap time by the time we were ready for cake, so Meghan wasn't very interested in trying any. She more than made up for it, though, when we gave her some for breakfast the next morning...on her real birthday!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
We love you so much, Meghan. You are such a sweet, sensitive, loving little girl. You are the light of our lives. I thank God every day for the privilege of being your mommy, and look forward with great joy to another year of watching you grow.
Happy first birthday, my darling girl!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
That sense of panic, though, is exactly what I was feeling last night. Meghan's first birthday party is set for noon today (her actual birthday is tomorrow, but it worked out better for us to celebrate today) and OH. MY. GOODNESS. There is still so much to be done. I won't even list it all here, because it will sound as though I didn't do anything yesterday to prepare ahead of time. (Which, actually, I guess I didn't, except for that glorious four hour long nap I took with my kids... now that was an accomplishment!)
Near tears last night, I was lamenting to Darren about everything we still needed to finish. Ever my voice of reason, he lovingly reminded that we do finish, every time, no matter how much I may panic beforehand. And so this morning, I've found that final surge of determination. Come noon, we will be ready, and we are going to have the best time celebrating an entire year with our sweet, beautiful girl.
I can barely wait!
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Here's a closer look at the tree:
I was filled with such joy last night as I rocked Meghan to sleep by the soft glow of the Christmas tree lights, and so thankful for the gift of such lovely neighbors.
But this was serious! Unable to comment, there was no way for me to congratulate Margaret on her very happy news!
And I couldn't tell Jill how sad I was to hear of her decision to leave the blogosphere.
And I really wanted Celeste to know how much I appreciated her sweet reference to me in her post on Our Lady of Guadalupe.
So, I switched this morning. Some things are just worth risking the possibility of a headache!
(But I'm happy to report that this really was a very painless process!)
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Your Christmas is Most Like: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Each year, you really get into the spirit of Christmas.
Which is much more important to you than nifty presents.
(Hat tip: Margaret in Minnesota)
Monday, December 11, 2006
It's a good thing I can laugh at myself.
Because all day long, I couldn't help thinking smugly to myself, "Wow, I am so on top of things today!" It began with such a rare and perfect morning. Having worked last night, I didn't get to bed until around 2:30 a.m., but I hopped happily out of bed this morning before Darren left for work and made quick business of getting all the kids up and ready. I still had a little Christmas shopping to finish up and thought I'd take full advantage of the early hour and our cheerful moods. Then, as I was buckling the kids into their carseats, I thought, "Oh, hey! Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!" And with a flash of pure brilliance (please, indulge me!) I devised a plan for our own little celebratory fiesta.
My shopping expedition couldn't have gone better this morning. All three of my children were so sweet and well behaved, and not only did I find most of what I needed to finish my Christmas shopping, I also bought ingredients for a royal baking extravaganza. When we got home, I fixed a simple lunch and, while we were eating, talked with my kids about Our Lady and Saint Juan Diego. After lunch, they sat up at their bar stools and helped me make some Mrs. Fields Snowy White Chocolate Crescent cookies, symbolic of the moon beneath the feet of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Next, much to their delight, we made some sugar cookies in the shape of stars, signifying the gold stars that covered her blue mantle. We had so much fun!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
(Collect, from Women for Faith & Family)