"When we had our children, our ideas changed somewhat. Thenceforward we lived only for them; they made all our happiness and we would never have found it save in them. In fact, nothing any longer cost us anything; the world was no longer a burden to us. As for me, my children were my great compensation, so that I wished to have many in order to bring them up for Heaven" -- Saint Zelie Martin, mother of St. Therese of Lisieux, canonized October 18, 2015 along with her husband St. Louis Martin.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

In Europe

Who is this world traveler, and where is my daughter?!
The Cathedral
(my husband was worried about sunburn.  my brother found not only sunscreen, but a hat!)

en route to Warsaw

 In Warsaw--if you can't guess who that Saint is, I'm not telling you!  (hint: he's a "Great", if unofficially still).

 Shrine of Divine Mercy

After lunch on a Riverside terrace.  You can see how beautiful the weather was for them!

 Auchwitz.  Sadly, not all good experiences are "fun".

WWII museum (yes, my boys were jealous)

There are so so many photos for me to post.  There were music concerts, ethnic restaurants, and of course, the ordination!

I hope to share more.  I really need to get back to cleaning: I want a nice homecoming for this little girl of mine!  

Awaiting Reunion

You saw when the Mama Robin made her nest, and you saw the first chick hatch.  I told you they were about to fly.  And then I might have cried, because my baby was flying to Europe with my parents for the ordination of her uncle.  The longest she had ever been away was about 5 days at a camp that was 40 minutes away (and she was with her cousin).

feathered and ready to fledge

This morning Bilbo came running into my room as I got ready for the day: "Mom! Aragorn's bird flew!"  My boys each picked a bird to name.  Aragorn's was "Gerald", Gimli's was "Buckey", and Bilbo's was "Francie".  I know.  We're nuts.

Today Gerald flew for the first time.  And it was the sweetest thing to watch the Mama Robin greet her chick on the green grass.

I couldn't help but be a little jealous: her chick was safe and sound; on the ground!

Mine is en route!  (prayers again please!)

Friday, May 20, 2016


The robins are getting so big in their nest.  I know that soon the young chicks will take off.  They will fly.


My heart is so full.  I shouldn't try to blog about this.  I just sent my oldest to the other side of this planet.

I know.  People travel.  Travel is a glorious opportunity and not always possible, so it is a gift.

It was a gift I chose to give to my daughter after much prayer and consideration with my husband.

A gift.  Something good.

But not easy.

Not easy to say goodbye.

 To entrust her care to others (even if it is my own Mom and Dad, and her Uncle!)

Even if she's so lucky to go.  And I'm proud of her for having the courage to go.  And I'm so excited to let her have this chance of a lifetime.

We miss her!  (prayers welcome) :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

{This Moment} All Out!

These guys actually hatched a few days ago...it's just hard to get a picture of them all looking cute with their heads up and beaks open, mostly because I don't spend that much time hanging out of my boys' bedroom window.  Anyway, here they all are--three of them--fuzzy and tired out.  (Arwen gets the photo cred).

Monday Morning in Mid-May

I'm posting this one a day late.  Arwen noticed all of the drafts I have sitting in my box that I haven't finished and said I should post them.  I'll try to finish this one up quickly and post it just for her!:)

Outside my window:  I can see the sky this morning.  The sun is glowing gently.  Yesterday we saw sun, but it was really chilly.  Friday and Saturday were really quite awful: sleet and snow as well as rain awful.  I think rain is predicted for tonight.  One really could get discouraged.  However, I have found that this Spring the key to survival is to appreciate every moment of blue sky and sunshine that breaks through the clouds.  Focusing on the moments of dry and sun, and preferably getting outdoors to enjoy those moments, has been keeping me (more) sane this Spring.

I am listening to: The muffled voice of Legolas who is buried in a pillow igloo in my living room.  And Reina getting restless in her kennel: I should be taking her on her morning walk!

( I should add that he sings to himself as he plays)

I am noticing: My pregnancy ticker says I have 40 days left of this pregnancy!  No wonder I am beginning to lose my sanity.  Balancing the patient completion of my daily tasks and our home schooling year along with all of my urgent desires to nest has begun to take its toll.  I finally decided upon a quilt for the crib: I went to buy it...and then noticed it was $140!!! Back to the drawing board.
(It was so cute!)
**Update: I found Legolas' old bedding, which I thought was lost! I'm so happy! I loved that bedding!!

Living the Liturgical Year: We're back in Ordinary Time!  Wow--way back when Lent started and then through the Easter season--it's been a long journey.  I am looking forward to seeing the green vestments again!:)

From my garden:  my Lily-of-the-Valley is in bloom!!!  I am in LOVE with lily-of-the-valley.  It spreads like crazy and can take over a garden, but when it is in bloom (which never lasts long) it is the most heavenly little flower! I am in love with how fragrant it is!

Eowyn and I went out yesterday to collect flowers for Jesus and Mary.  Jesus got the Lily-of-the-Valley, and since no flowers bloom in my yard...

I broke some blooms from our crabapple tree for Mary:

 Funny toddler talk:  Eowyn: "Buckle me out!"

(I dashed to the grocery store with just Eowyn yesterday.  She is always afraid I'm not going to unbuckle her when we arrive somewhere.)

Plans for the week:  Get Arwen packed for her trip to Europe to attend my brother's ordination.
A baseball game for the kids with their dad.  School.  Overhaul, weeding/purging, re-organization and deep cleaning of every square inch of our home (look at the pregnancy ticker and you'll understand where this is coming from)!  Baseball and softball practices.

A birthday party for a favorite nephew on Saturday at the park--I'm really looking forward to a day at the park with my sisters and friends!  I need to refill my tank with some girl time! If the kids get cupcakes while I'm at it, all the better!!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

May! {PFHR}


The days of rain on Tuesday left lots of new Spring growth in its wake.
This is me looking on the bright side, because I'm really longing for more sunshine!


 Galadriel picked out a candle for me for Mother's Day!  It matches my Mary statue and I love it!  (Sugar Blossom is the name of the candle scent--really a winner!)



These pictures crack me up, but my story is "not-so-funny":  Coconut had her first "false pregnancy".

For those without experience of such a thing first hand, it entailed her plucking out about half of her fur to make a huge fluffy nest in her cage.  The neighborhood girls were delighted and ran around shouting "Cokey's having babies!"

This left me frantically googling what one does if there is indeed an "unplanned litter".  I was doing the math and the bunnies would have been ready for homes right about the time I was delivering my own little bunny!

However, it was just our crazy female rabbit doing what we crazy females do best: being hormonally wonky!


Just hatched this morning!

(the kids are thrilled!)

This Moment


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A 6th Birthday for Rosie!

"When I was One, I had just begun.

When I was Two, I was nearly new.

When I was Three, I was hardly me.

When I was Four, I was not much more.

When I was Five, I was just alive.

But now I'm Six, 

And clever as clever,

So I think I'll be Six now 

For ever and ever!"

                                                                             --A.A. Milne, "Now we are Six"

Happy Birthday Rosie!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rain Day

Eight years ago I set up an aquarium at my mother-in-law's "spare house" that she lets us stay in when we visit.   I think I set it up in the Spring and I'd replenish the fish whenever we visited.  We used to visit more frequently than we are able to now, and she has a housekeeper who loved to feed the fish and add water to the aquarium as needed in between our visits.

I just never had one at "our" house!

For a long while I wasn't sure where I'd like to put an aquarium.  I was also deterred by the cost and the general effort it takes to buy one, set it up, and stabilize the water before adding fish.

This year I decided I knew I wanted one: in our schoolroom.   And the schoolroom was up and running in October.  Then it was the holidays.  Then our vacation to the Southwest was on the horizon, so I waited (one less "pet" for my dad to take care of while we were away).

And the school year is rapidly winding down!  So I was at Petsmart with Gimli last Friday and I (foolishly) decided that it would be the perfect time and chance to "pick up" that 40-gallon aquarium I had set my heart on.  My husband had ok'd the overall decision, but I knew he wouldn't want to be troubled with details.  However, I am seven-months-pregnant (remember?), and of course I didn't ask for help out to our van!  Gimli worked very hard to help me lift that tank into our van--I love Gimli!  He is always willing to try (even if it was a really desperate attempt by the two of us!)  We managed to get it into the van and bring it home.

I filled it, and ran the filter, we put in the gravel, and stabilized the temperature.  Of course, we were all waiting for one final detail: the fish!

Today was a very rainy day, all day!  After Mass the younger kids were listening to a "book on tape" (ipod these days) and I snuck out with Aragorn.  Ten neon tetras, 8 "glo fish" (platys), one ciclid (I think!) and two spotted fish (I am forgetting what type, but they're all good community fish (aka non-aggressive) later, we headed home.

We added some shells and decor, floated the fish in their bags in the aquarium to acclimate them to the temperature, and then added them--at long last--to the tank!

 We finally have realized a very long awaited hope of mine.  I'm pretty excited about it in case you missed that;)!  And it gives us a little extra incentive to finish out our school year strong by spending a bit more time in our school room enjoying our new friends.