Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lord You Have My Heart



I made a general confession today and it took me back to when I first committed myself to Jesus. This song was not around then, but it could be the theme of my life. It is so beautiful! And is exactly how I feel about giving my life to my Lord and Savior.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Share My Music Friday... A Musical Classic



They don't make 'em like this anymore. Too bad. What a voice!

Going to see Penny in Hospice. Please pray.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keep on Keepin On

I feel like I am just plodding along. One heavy foot in front of the other. Things have been crazy at the mission. The kids have been high strung, weird happenings with people, lots of busy, busy things, and Penny.

Penny is doing beautifully. I didn't get up to see her today because I had RCIA, but I got the report from my good friend and sister in Christ, Molly. Penny is up and around, organizing her room. She will be going to hospice soon and she is getting things in order.

I will go see her tomorrow. Being with her is an unreal experience. Sitting, talking with someone, who I know will be seeing Jesus soon, blows my mind away. She will see Him face to face, any time now. The person sitting in front of me tomorrow, laughing about funny things that have happened at the mission, can be sitting in front of Jesus, the very next day. Just blows me away.

And shows me how thin the curtain is between us and heaven.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Tired Missionary

Please bear with me friends. My Penny only has a little more time in this world, so I have been going to be with her in the hospital as much as I can. I spent a lot of time with her on Saturday and I told her I wouldn't be back on Sunday because it was my mom's birthday, but that I would come today.

So when I walked in tonight she handed me her notebook which had a note for me. I said, "How did you know I was coming?", meaning at that moment because obviously she had taken some time to write me a note. She said, "You told me you were coming today. I knew you would be here."

Then I read her note. She was asking me questions about Mass yesterday at the mission, how my mom's birthday dinner went, how my pre-k kids were today, etc. Then she wrote, "I was looking forward to seeing you all day. I couldn't wait until you got here. You are a good friend."

I was so tired when I got there. I had planned on only staying an hour. I stayed for three.

How could I not stay? She waited all day. For me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Pro LIfe Mission Kids



This is a picture of our little group of kids from the mission school who went to the pro life march in Washington. They were so happy to be there.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Womb to the Tomb

I haven't been able to write because I have been busy these last two days, taking care of two situations, on opposite ends of the life cycle.

It is with great motherly pride that I am sending two of my children to Washington to participate in the March for Life. The upper grades in our little mission school will be traveling early tomorrow morning to participate. There are just seven children and five adults going, but you would have cried to watch them studying what Roe v Wade stated, watched a pro life movie. These kids studied like this was a geometry exam. It was so beautiful to watch their faces. They all made their own posters. So wonderful. What a blessing for these kids to be able to go and be a part of this. They will never forget this. They will be telling their grandchildren what they did to change an unjust law. I could cry with happiness and pride. My John Paul, 6th grader, has been packed for a week. No lie. My Mary made a list for herself and went around the house today, checking things off. They are sleeping downstairs tonight as they are being picked up at the ripe time of 4:45am. I will miss them dearly, will count the hours until I can hug them, but praise God for allowing my children an opportunity like this. Please keep them in your prayers this weekend for safe travel.

Last night, I sat with my friend Penny who is in the hospital, dying of cancer. Myself, and one of my missionary sisters sat with her. It was a blessed time. I have never had the honor of being with someone at their deathbed. To be so close to heaven, I could taste it. God was all around us. I can't explain it to you, but those of you who have experienced it will understand. It is peaceful, calm, quiet. I just knew the room was full of angels and saints. Ready to bring Penny home. Penny is ready to be with Jesus. She told us last night. I told her that when she sees Him, to go running into His arms. She smiled a peaceful smile. She is ready.

I was busy getting the kids ready for their trip so I didn't get up to see her today. But she is still hanging on so I will go again tomorrow night and be with her. Maybe I will be blessed to send her off to her new life. I know this is going to sound weird, but I hope I am. I am excited for her. My sister in Christ is going to be with our Lord and Savior soon. I told her last night when I was leaving that I wanted her to remember me when she stood before God's throne. This experience has changed my life. It helped me to put things in perspective. Thank You God.

I am grateful that You have given me faith. Faith to believe in You, faith to know that You will come to me too when it is my time. But until then I know that You watch over me with tender care. Thank You.

Jesus, I love You.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Family Celebration

Today we celebrated my mother in law's 65th birthday. My hubby made an awesome dinner, and I made every one's favorite dessert, slush cake. It was a wonderful, wonderful, evening. Filled with good food, a lot of laughter, just an all around nice time.

My mother in law does not look 65. And I am not just saying that to be on her good side. I don't even think she reads my blog. But I was surprised to find out that she turned 65, maybe it's because she always acts so young. Like she is computer literate, even has her own facebook page! It seems like yesterday when we were celebrating her 60th. Boy, time goes so fast!

When I was rocking the four year old, (she still insists on her mommy time!), I was thinking about how important family is. All of my children were here, and the older two girls had their boyfriends over too. The boyfriends have become a part of our household, and I really love both of them, so it is a joy when they join us for family celebrations. It was also a joy to watch all the interactions, between siblings, between grandparents and grandchildren, between myself and the children. What a blessing to have such loving grandparents in my children's lives. What a blessing to have a full house, with great food and company.

I love seeing the relationships between my kids, and as they grow older, the interactions get better. Sisters who fight, yet love just as deeply. My oldest daughter's boyfriend gets right into the fray. He loves to give a hard time to my oldest son, and he can hold his own! My other daughter's boyfriend is awesome with the two little girls. What a blessing those two boys have become to our family!

I love watching the kids climb into gramma's lap while grampa talks to the older boys and my hubby about sports. I love the craziness when we all play Apples to Apples. We get loud. Okay. I get loud. But we laugh like crazy. And everyone plays. Even the little girls. Family.

It's all about family. Feeling like you belong somewhere. To someone. Knowing you always have a place to go where you will be accepted. Loved.

When my dear hubby and I started this family, we dreamed of having nights like tonight. A houseful of family, having fun. A place where our children would want to bring their friends for food and conversation and fun. A place where God would be the center, because He is love.

We wanted our home to be full of love and joy. And family.

Tonight was one of those nights. I have said it before and I will say it again.
I am a blessed woman. Thank You God.

God is a good God, yes He is!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bought more tunes on itunes....



and I just couldn't help it. I had to share one of my favorites. This song totally can turn around a bad, bad day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Everything



This song reminds my hubby dearest of me. Especially the "get to kiss you everyday" part. Yeah, I am a lucky, blessed woman!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Penny

I am asking all of my new friends in the blogsophere to please pray for my dear friend Penny. She is battling cancer and it doesn't look good. She's in the hospital and they eventually want to move her to hospice.

Her greatest fear is that she will die alone. Penny is Catholic, and very faithful. When she first came to the mission Penny was an active alcoholic. My hubby the nurse, helped Penny get meds and the things she needed and then she went into recovery and through many struggles, managed to maintain sobriety.

For a long time Penny lived in what we used to call "the convent", upstairs it was a homeless men's shelter, downstairs the single missionary women lived with a few homeless women. Penny cleaned and played house mom to the joint. She kept things neat and tidy and listened and helped and just became the best asset to the shelter. The guys loved her, she gave them food at all hours, helped with their laundry and did the housekeeping for all the ladies. I loved going to visit and have a cup of tea because she made it so homey.

The convent was converted totally into a men's shelter, so Penny was moved into a house with another woman we were helping who has mental health issues. Penny keeps her company and on the right track. Penny also got a job, ironically, at our local cancer hospital and worked her way up. She became a "go to" person at the mission for people who are struggling with alcoholism. She is a crusty old broad who is never afraid to tell the younguns the way it really is. She doesn't let any one off the hook, and lets them know when they are flirting with danger and their sobriety.

All in all, Penny is a good person. She's had a really tough life that included an abusive husband. But through it all, she maintained her faith, kept her faith, and God brought her to us. God brings these precious souls to us. We love them so much.

Please, tonight, before you close your eyes to sleep, pray for Penny, that she is ready for the bridegroom who loves her tenderly, that she lose her fear, and that when it is time to meet Jesus, she will be calm and free.

Pray for my community. We are about to lose one of our beloveds. We have lost too many the last two years. It's started to wear on some of us missionaries. Though we are happy that our friends will be with Jesus, we miss them. It's so hard.

Life can be so hard. Knowing that one day we will all be reunited makes it worth it all. Makes the bitter pill easier to swallow.

Someday in heaven, I will be able to introduce Penny to all of you, the unknown souls to her, that helped to carry her home. Won't we have a great time! It's a good thing it will be for all of eternity!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Men vs Women:Relaxation


My husband and I have had some pretty long days, today was certainly one of them. Just the busy, crazy responsibilities we each have. The kind that a husband and wife with nine kids are gonna have.

So we took our gift certificate and headed for our local Mexican joint which happens to be a one minute walk from our house, albeit, a cold one minute walk, and had some nice conversation and a decent meal. I said, "I think I am going to just relax tonight, not do all of the things I had hoped to get done tonight." "Yes," hubby dearest said, "Me too."

For my hubby relaxation meant, heading for his recliner where he proceeded to put up the foot rest, placed his lap top on his lap, American Idol playing on the television in front of him. This is where he stayed for the next two hours.

In that two hours, I washed three loads of laundry, put two of them away, (Plus a load that had been in a basket since this morning), got the four year old to sleep, listened to eldest daughter's day over the phone, (she's on a service trip in NYC, I am a proud mama!) chased a stupid kitten from underneath my bed because if I don't she will continue to rip to shreds the bottom of my mattress, connived oldest son to take half of the dishes in his room downstairs, broke up an argument in the girls' room and picked up the dirty clothes and towels in the bathroom and threw them down the chute.

It was relaxing because I didn't clean the cat litter like I had planned to do today. Yes, that was my relaxing evening. I didn't clean the cat litter.

My husband asked me from his comfortable perch on his recliner why was I in such a grumpy mood?

No, I didn't throw anything at his head.

In his favor, he later asked me if I would like him to make me a cup of tea.
That is why we are still married after almost twenty one years. The guy has impeccable timing!

And he can cook better than me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jesus and His tender love...



I have this picture in my preschool classroom. Today, I am that little girl whose face is being held by Jesus. Won't that be awesome someday, to see Him and have Him greet me like that. I have been meditating on His tender love for me and I feel it the most when I am sitting with Him in Adoration.

There I am in the front row, me lookin at Him, Him lookin at me. Doesn't that alone make a person flippin happy to be Catholic!!!! I mean seriously. Jesus is present. Sitting in front of me. And I know it is true, because since I have started going to Adoration five times a week for an hour, now almost an hour and a half, my life is changing. It has changed my heart.

I have a place to go, like St. Faustina, to throw myself in front of Him, well, maybe not throw, but I do often kneel as close as I can get to the monstrance, and I can cry, and I can let loose. I can tell Jesus everything. All my hurts, all my desires. And I can feel Him looking at me tenderly. Lovingly. Adoration changed me.

One of the things that has changed is my level of gossip. I used to get on the phone and just gab about everything, because that is how I always worked things out. With any girlfriend who would listen. And sometimes that was okay, we could help each other, pray together, have each other's backs. But for the most part, it was a slander session. One ball of ugly slices of the tongue. Not good. Not helpful.

Our priest, Fr. Jack did a lot of homilies on gossip, forgiveness, pride, envy and the like. Sometimes I would be sitting in the front row thinking, "Oh, my goodness, he is talking about me in front of everyone". Worse were the times when I sat there thinking, "OOOOOh, I wonder who he's talking about now. What did they do?" And spending the rest of my time trying to figure out who the homily was for.

Eventually I learned, "Duh, it's for you, ya dummy. And anyone else the Holy Spirit is trying to reach through Fr. Jack." So then, I started asking for the smarts to know what pertained to my life, and as I sat listening intently and trying to discern what I was supposed to learn, I forgot about looking around and guessing, and condemning others. And I started looking at my own self. What I needed to change in my own life. More importantly, what did God want me to change in my life?

What I found out was this: He wanted me to stop telling every Gladys and Harriet every little thing about my gossipy struggles with others, and go directly to Him.

And not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I have gotten quite good at it. Verizon misses my long phone conversations, but I sure don't. I have a free, direct line to my Savior, and He always listens and then gently, tenderly, shows me what I need to do to make things better. Sometimes by me just sitting in front of Him, but also sometimes by what I read when I am sitting with Him. Sometimes I sit with Him and just go off somewhere. And when I come out of it, I have a solution to my situation.

And then I smile at Him, and He smiles at me.

Tenderly.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lou Gramm, Midnight Blue



What a voice! Doesn't the music make you want to dance? And where else on the internet are you going to see the Blessed Mother next to a rock song?

Been Busy with My Peeps


I am glad I don't believe in New Years Resolutions and the like. I have totally blown my "blog everyday" promise. Oh, well. When you have nine kids and a hubby, you learn how to cut yourself some slack. Okay. You learn how to cut yourself a lot of slack, which is why my kitchen floor hasn't seen a mop in a long, long time!

What I was doing instead of blogging..... date night with the hubster. We went out one night for Mexican and had a nice evening out. Last night I had a RCIA night of reflection and just did not want to blog after it. We watched parts of Les Miserables, and discussed its themes, and well, I was just too drained after that to write, if that makes any sense.

Today I spent the day doing laundry and cleaning, but I also spent quite a bit of time using some of my itunes gift card. Aaah, I love music. I mean I really love it! All kinds. I'm telling you I could be in the worst mood known to mankind and if I start playing my ipod, I go into another world. Music is a combination of poetry and instruments that combine together to make emotions just well up inside of me. Today's selections included, Peter Gabriel "Solsbury Hill", Bing Crosby singing "Oh, Lord I am not Worthy, and Vivaldi's La Primevera. I told you I was a multiple personality disorder when it comes to music!

When I put my ipod on shuffle, one minute I could be listening to "God of Wonders" and the next, Billy Idol's "Dancin With Myself". Followed by Frank Sinatra and Michael W. Smith. I just love it all!

Oh yeah, I just remembered I wanted to download Foreigner's "Midnight Blue".

It's a good thing I still have credit left on my gift card.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cold Winter's Night

Last night I crawled into my nice, warm bed, and as I drifted off to sleep, I thought, "Oh, no, I forgot to write on my blog!!!!"

But there was no way on God's green earth that I was going to get up and blog. I love you guys, and I love to write, but not that much!

It's cold here in Buffalo. I mean, really cold. Goes right through ya.

But it also makes me think of my blessings. I am thankful to God that I have a nice warm home. That we have electricity, heat, appliances are humming even as I write this. My children have warm beds to sleep in and clean clothes to put on in the morning. We ate today.

I hope I never take the simple things in life for granted. I don't think I will. When you have seen children wolfing down food they got in a mission kitchen as they walk home, well, that never leaves your mind, and it makes you grateful when sitting down at your own table, the day before pay day, to a meal of mac and cheese and carrot sticks. Or leftover polish sausage, scrambled eggs and toast. Just depends on what is in the fridge.

Sometimes I am so selfish. Sometimes I am such a whiner. I look at others, wish for what they have, wonder why I don't have this relationship, or that gift. The devil whispers in my ear, all the time, putting doubts, fears, sometimes despair in there. Lately I have discovered that gratitude wipes that all away. If I can look at my situation and be grateful, I am a lot less whiny.

I always seem to have to work through a pity party first though. I wish I could skip that part sometime. Maybe someday, I will have accomplished that. Something to work on in the future. Be grateful at the moment I feel like whining. Don't give the devil a chance to put even one little evil toe in my door!

Did you know my dear readers that there are people out there who don't even believe the devil exists? Yeah, blind fools. No wonder they call him the father of lies.

For those of us who have felt his wrath, we know he's there.

And when he tries to get us, well, that just means we are doing something right.

St. Michael, defend us in our day of battle. Amen.

Monday, January 4, 2010

No School

We didn't have school today because the classrooms didn't have enough heat. They worked on it today and we will be back in business tomorrow. So I was grumpy yesterday for nothing.

And I had my little girl that I babysit and I didn't want to take her out in the cold, so no Adoration today.

Spiritual direction tomorrow. Yeah!! That is the best. I love my spiritual director, she is my spiritual mama, she is awesome. I love talking with her. It is the highlight of my month!

I am really close with my director, we have a very close knit relationship. I am very, very blessed.

So instead of dreading going back tomorrow, I am looking forward to it. Because after my preschoolers go home, I get to spend time in direction.

I would love to write more, but my sixteen year old son is sitting next to me, waiting for me to take him to Gamestop so he can return a game he and his brothers ordered that is not working.

Yeah, that is what I want to do tonight. Go back out into the cold, snowy night.

But I told him I would, so where are my boots?..........

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back To School Tomorrow


I am grumpy. Unhappy. Back to the old grind tomorrow. Back to running around at 8am, swearing at teenagers and bumping into the four and six year old as I try and scoot children out the door. Back to running mom's taxi van in the afternoons.

At the same time. Back to my regular Adoration schedule.

Goodbye sleeping in.

Hellloooo, Jesus!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sitting With My Resa, So.......




Go back to my dancin days with me. If you dare!

Friday, January 1, 2010