Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Love one another"
I can't wait for mass tomorrow. The gospel ends with "Love one another".
I just had a drama filled visit from our neighbor. To say she has been difficult is an understatement. At least I can say that I have always held my integrity when dealing with her. WOW! I heard a sermon once that Jesus said "Love thy neighbor" because to say love your friends is easy, to love your neighbor can sometimes be more difficult then to love a stranger.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Why Jumping Jelly Beans

This was one of my first posts. Donald has been adding to our art gallery lately. I thought it was time to retell the story of the Jumping Jelly Bean.
When visitors come to my house they usually comment on our artwork. I love art. It can speak in ways that words can’t. What it says to one person, is not what it says to the next. Lately, the artwork that they comment about most, are not the paintings framed on the wall. Our guests give the most attention to the murals drawn in crayon and marker.

All three of my boys have considered “wall art” a prime medium at one time or another. I remind myself this is only a stage they go through. I try to keep it in perspective. In 10 years our problems will be bigger, and much more complicated. Unfortunately, I have a feeling most of our future problems will not be able to be fixed with a fresh coat of paint. I am going to enjoy this simple life while I can. This doesn’t mean that I keep every creative item my boys leave on the wall. I believe there must be a place in heaven for the inventor of the Magic Eraser. That white rectangle has brought a small slice of sanity to my life. Every Christmas and Easter, I go through the house, and try to create a clean slate on my walls. There has to some since of balance to this chaos.

There are a few pieces of art that last longer than others. The jumping jelly bean of course is one of those long term pieces. It has stayed with us longer than most, because it is drawn in permanent maker. Jelly Bean will be with us until we repaint the bedroom. I have mixed feelings about Jelly Bean. My middle child drew him. He must have been standing on a box when he drew him. Jelly Bean is at least 4 foot tall. He is taller than Nicholas was when he created him.

At the time Nicholas was not drawing faces, and had no interest in pencil and paper (obviously). So this was a bit of a breakthrough in his self expression. He was so proud of his creation. When I walked into the room, I held back my initial reaction. I simply asked him to tell me about his drawing. He exclaimed with a giggle and a hop, hop, bounce…”It’s a jumping jelly bean!” I stood there for a moment then replied, "Of course it is. How could I miss that?"

That has been two years now. Jelly Bean is still on my wall. I pick out colors to repaint the bedroom, but I can’t settle on anything. Maybe it’s the bean. I think I might miss him, and these memories, when we finally repaint. I have a friend who says, “Perspective is key. Perspective gives you a since of calm. Calm leads to peace. Peace leads to happiness.” May your life be full of perspective, peace, and happiness. I also hope they are full of colorful memories that are treasured.

The original jumping jelly bean has faded away. Now most of our new artwork comes from Donald, our youngest. This is a portrait he drew of the two of us. We are riding on a caterpillar. He says I am driving, and he is in his car seat.

just when I thought it was safe, part 2

A few days after the "I'm making my bed famous" episode. I notice that the house is suspiciously quiet. I start to search for my five year old. I find him again in the bed room. This time he is stamping his wall with an ink blotter. It was a mini gingerbread man stamp. There must have been 50 of them on his wall. He was pounding away more. He looks up. With pride he announced, "I am creating an army!"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Just when I thought it was safe...

I finally broke down and bought some paint. I thought it was safe to paint over the many fingerprints, scratches, and artwork on the walls of our home. I walk into a room and catch two boys, age 5 and 7, drawing on their bedroom wall. My 5 year old looks up and proudly announced, "Look Mom! I'm making my bed famous! They are star wars guys!"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More of what?

Oh the frustration of trying to learn something new. Time seems stretched these days. Here I am wasting my time, because I don't know the proper sequence of buttons to push. All of these new gadgets that are suppose to add more to my life. More time to do the things I want to do. The promise of being more organized. The idea of saving more money in the long run. The only more I feel is frustrated.

I am finally catching up to the itunes/ipod/mp3 player craze. Trying to convert our minimal CD collection into digital media. Next month my cell phone service contract expires. Wish me luck, as a shop for a new phone. Chances are that I will end up with a phone that holds more promise then I have patience to learn.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Preparing for the Pinewood Derby

The big day is a week away. We have two boys in cub scouts this year. That means two cars for the Pinewood Derby. I pulled this article from last years post. It is as true today as it was then. Things are coming together, but will probably not be finished until the last minute. (no that is not a chocolate bar, it is a carefully wrapped block of wood. :)

Anticipating the Pinewood Derby It is in mine, and my husbands nature to be last minute. Not complete procrastinators, but always up to the last minute with the finishing details. I'm afraid we are passing that trait on to our boys. Maybe they can't escape it. It's just in their geans.Last night I was pushing John to finish his history report. Tonight he was working with his Dad to finish up his Pinewood Derby car. The race is tomorrow. Just in time for the boys to go to bed, the car is finished. A big bonus, the wheels are on, and it rolls. This is Johns 4th Pinewood Derby. The first two were hard lessons in loosing. The first year was tears and frustration. Last year was just a bit of frustration. This year we took time while building the car to reinforce that the fun was in the journey. Win or Loose, we pointed out that he enjoyed the time he spent with Dad. The he had fun creating the design, and changing that block of wood into a new toy. Here's to a good nights sleep, and a fun day tomorrow. Hopefully no more tears.

Snow day

Lots of snow coming our way for the next two days. School is called off, and the boys are so excited they can't seem to go to bed.

Christmas 2010 in a blur of pics

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I find this odd, but true.

I have chocolate milk on my ceiling.

The cup slipped out of my 5 year old's hand. It hit the ground. Both of us stood in amazement. Chocolate milk was everywhere including above our heads.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Advent and the little ones

Getting ready for Advent. I've been searching around for some good ideas for Advent crafts for our little ones. I came across . Lots of neat ideas under "Faith". I really like the brief child friendly explanations that coincide with Holy days and Sundays liturgy. They provide coloring pages, and word puzzles that reinforce the message of that weeks gospel. I printed a few off, and hope to give them a try starting next Sunday. November 21st we celebrate the last Sunday in Ordinary time. The priest will wear either gold or white vestments. This Sunday we will focus on the triumph of our Savior Jesus Christ. The following Sunday, November 28th will be the start of Advent, and a new calender year in the Catholic faith. I am so excited that I can share this with my children.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

sunday fidgets

Sunday Oct 31
Luke 19 1-10

The lesson was not about Zacchaeus seeing Jesus. It is about Jesus seeing Zacchaeus.
Put yourself in a place for Jesus to see you.

We are all connected. What you do affects me, what I do affects you. A reminder to make good choices. We do not have to climb a sycamore tree for God to see our deeds, or the intentions of our hearts. Put yourself out there, take chances, be generous with the gifts God has given you.

Halloween joke

In St. Louis it is a Halloween tradition for the trick or treater's to exchange jokes for candy.

This year our 5 yr old was in on the action. His dad told him a joke. "where do fish go when they are sick? To the dock." So the boys go up to the first house.

John (our 10yr old) gives the first joke, "What is a ghosts favorite toy? A Boo marang."
Nicholas (our 7 yr old) was second, "Trick or treat, I like sweets, Halloween can't be beat." (I know, it's not a joke, but he thinks it is funny.)
THEN Donald steps up. "Where do fish go when they are sick? To the DECK." I couldn't help but to laugh. A dock looks just like a deck, just on water. It was close enough to get a chuckle, and score some candy.

a barb-isum

If I don't TRY it, I'll never DO it.


I have started taking a yoga class. Loving it.
WOW! Where is the time going? School is in session. The calender is filling up with activities.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


first night of PSR (parish school of religion). all seems to have gone well. celebrated the night with ice cream.

Monday, August 23, 2010

sunday fidgets

Fathers message:
Don't try... STRIVE to fit through the narrow gate.

The following was not part of the sermon, but my thoughts as they ramble sometimes. As I sat and listened to the sermon, my mind started to wonder. Earlier that day I had stopped into church to pick up something a friend had left in the vestibule. I had Nicholas with me. We paused to watch father pour two buckets of water into the baptismal fountain. This was a behind the scenes sneak peek for Nicholas (7yrs). As father finished and greeted us, Nicholas had questions. "What were you doing?" Father explained that the water was low in the fount, and he was adding holy water to it. Father gave a brief explanation of evaporation, and the need to replenish the water. Nicholas followed him around the corner to see where the buckets belonged, and asked "Is this where you get the water?" No, father explained, this is where the buckets go.

As I sat in the bench on Saturday, I replayed this little exchange. I thought about the holy spirit in the form of water, transformed (or evaporating) into the air we breath. The mystery of it all. My son, "So that's where the buckets go." The real question on his mind, the same question many of us have from time to time was, where the holy spirit might be found. Can I see it, touch it, take a little bit home? Like the air we breath, the holy spirit is always ready to touch us, fill us, and take us home.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Why is bed time so challenging? Oh yeah, because I'm so tired. I wish this little guy would stop flopping around and go to sleep.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Through prayer we keep our friendship with God keenly alive" Pope Benedict XV

Sunday, July 18, 2010

sunday fidgets

(Luke 10 38-42) Mary and Martha was our reading today at church.

The readings today were about hospitality. We prayed for forgiveness for the times we were not as hospitable as we should have been. 'You can be at the right place at the right time, but with the wrong attitude.'

Forgive me, there is more to say. I will have to revisit this again on a day that has not been quite so taxing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Don't make me come down there

"Don't make me come down there!"-GOD

sign hanging in my friends kitchen.

Kitchen Table Wisdom

The other day I found my self sitting at a friend's kitchen table. Three ladies sharing tid-bits of our summer. Passing back and forth a bit of wisdom, as we talk about the struggles that go along with being a mom, a wife, a friend. The time passed too quickly. As we stood up to leave, my friend suggested a book, "Kitchen Table Wisdom". I am on the look out for that book. With any luck I will find it before my birthday. As I type this I am sitting at my kitchen table. It is probable the most functional piece of furniture in our house. As I grow older I am coming to realize how much I enjoy having friends in the kitchen. It changes your pace, and widens your focus. I certainly could use more Kitchen Table Wisdom in my life.
("Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along. The stuff that helps us to live a life worth remembering."
- Kitchen Table Wisdom; Stories that heal by Rachel Naomi Remen")

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
-John Lennon

Growing Pains

Growing pain is the name we give the pain our children feel when they are little and their legs ache in the middle of the night from a hard days play. The pain they feel with the breakup of their first love. Or the disappointment that comes, when they find out that the hard work they put into a project just isn’t enough. But, growing pains do not end in adolescence. They carry on into adulthood and plague us at different stages of our lives.

There are times in our lives we can see change coming, other times we can be completely side swiped. When you go to bed the night before your wedding, you know tomorrow things will be different. You leave behind your single life, and begin a new life with your spouse. You know the day the test comes back positive, it marks a turning point in your life. A time that calls you to be more then who you were the day before. Whether we want it to or not, our life will not continue with the old status quo. Parents grow older, kids go through tough stages, friends move away, loved ones pass away. This is the flow of life. Our hard times may change us, but they do not define us.

When we are on the door step of change there can be a pang in your chest. These are the times that we reflect on where we have been, and where we want to be. Sometimes it is a matter of growing out of one person’s shadow, to move into place that you can claim for yourself. Mistakes can be made, some big, some small. Stretching beyond the old, into the new is not always a pleasant time. There is a commercial I like on TV. It is advertising for a business collage. The actress is wearing a fast food outfit and the announcer says “If you keep doing the same thing, what is going to change?” I don’t like to think of commercials as holding wisdom, but this one does. I turn my thoughts to that commercial when I find myself attacking problems with old habits that don’t give results.

Recently a friend sent me an article about Hillary Clinton visiting Our Lady of Guadalupe. From the questions Hillary asked, you could tell she did not know what to expect. She did not wake up that morning expecting to be face to face with a miracle. It occurred to me how much Mother Mary urns for us to come to her. To embrace her, and find comfort with her. She urges us to take up her cause, and fallow the path that God has laid before us. How will this change Hillary? I spent the day wondering….What would it be like if Hillary Clinton became a pro-life advocate? It seems it is not our choice to grow. Our choice is weather we grow closer to God. We are bound to stumble along the way. We have to try to be patient with ourselves and others. Growth can be painful , and it is not always easy. Change does not come in a day, a month, or a year… but a in a moment.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Fidgets - Pentecostal Birthday Cake

After church today we celebrated Pentecostal Sunday with a Red Velvet Birthday Cake. The boys helped me make it. We sang Happy Birthday to the Church. We enjoyed the cake. The boys, especially my Kindergartner, had a lot of great questions. They were very interested in this Holy Day. They asked about the Holy Spirit. Who is he, where is he, what does he do? Why was this the church's birthday? Why red? This could have been the most interactive, and constructive conversation about religion I have shared with my boys. I love moments like this. It was practically effortless, yet nothing short of amazing.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


"We should run the race that God sets before us with endurance."
I read this as I passed by the local church. It was posted on their outdoor sign.

It seems to go reinforce my "unexpected renewal" theme running through my life lately. So much in life depends on us to simply keep plugging away. It took me too many years to realize that the dependable employee, was the more valuable employee. A dependable employee with a good attitude? Invaluable. That same wisdom carries across the board in life.

On a more literal note. As I passed by, I also thought of the many 5Ks that benefit charities. What a great excuse to get moving, and donate to a good cause. There are so many to choose from. Hope to see you at one soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Starting spring with a Garden

Look closely and you can see the tiny tomato plants. It has rained for 4 days since I planted them. It has been a strange spring. It was so hot in April, now in May it has been chilly with a lot of rain.

Unexpected renewal

The running theme in my life is: Unexpected renewal.
The picture above is the perfect example. A tree fell on our swing set. At first my heart sank as I looked at the damage. My next thought was how we could rebuild. I am hoping we will be able to go to the lumber yard soon. With this unexpected destruction, we have the opportunity to replace it with something stronger and better.
Every spring I turn over the dirt in my garden to get rid of the weeds, and soften the ground. I throw aside the rocks, raked the rough ground until it was smooth. Then I add a little fertilizer, and finally plant the seedlings.
Sometimes God does the same in my life. Things get disturbed, and out of place. With work we smooth out the rough spots, throw out the distractions, then do the work that will ready ourselves for harvest. Sometimes you have to let go and let God.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I came to the computer to write a thank you note. I find myself editing old tid bits to share on Jumping Jelly Beans. What I really should be doing is going off to bed.

A while back a friend asked, "Would you still love to write, even if no one would read it?"

my answer, Apparently so. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Servant Song

Saint Theresa's Prayer

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing.
Dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sunday Fidgets

Sunday Fidgets on Friday?
John 6:1-15
I slipped into daily mass today. What a treat! I wish I could get there more often. Today Fr. John spoke to the 8 grade class which will be confirmed this Sunday. He spoke about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. How God gives each of us gifts to use. We should never question whether those gifts are good enough to share with others. God does not make mistakes, if he gave you a gift it was with the intention that you would use it. Don't be afraid you are not good enough, you are always good enough. Keep your intentions pure, and your faith in God. Like the little boy who offered up his fish, we should be willing to speak up, and share our gifts with others.
It was a shot in the arm for me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Every morning prepare your soul for a tranquil day"
- St. Francis de Sales

Saturday, April 10, 2010

a trip to Botanical Garden

I had a great day with the boys! The weather has been amazing these last few weeks. After this long cold winter, we can really appreciate a beautiful spring day.

I took the boys for a long stroll through the Botanical Gardens. We saw a coco tree, banana tree, fish, turtles, sculptures, butterflies, and of course beautiful flowers. On the ride in I was a little worried it would be too tame for the boys. As we left John said, "What a great day! It was beautiful and fun."

At one point we took a detour. A short path, that was not stroller friendly. It led us to the edge of a large pond. The end of the path was lined with large flat rocks so you could stand close to the water, and enjoy a more private view of the garden. During this short detour, we found a turtle sunning itself on a rock, a goose begging for food, and another nice family. I am always surprised when those rocky, uneven paths lead to little gems.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why do we boil and decorate eggs for Easter?

Eggs symbolize new life. At Easter we celebrate our new life in Christ. The egg has three parts, reminding us of the Trinity: the hard outer shell (God, our refuge); the egg white (Jesus, our purifier); and the yolk (the Holy Spirit, our nourishment).
"Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway."-Mary C. Crowley

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sunday Fidgets

The church was so full on Sunday. The only seats left were the little red stools in the back corner. The ones that are just the right size for a second grader. They are completely out of place. They don't match the decor, their size is awkward, and you can't see anything if you sit in them. There is probably a story that goes along with why they are in the corner. As I sat there I couldn't help but to think this is a taste of purgatory. Can you picture me? Sitting in "The seats of purgatory", listening to the mass. I was just happy I have a seat, in the warm church. I was happy I could listen, even if I couldn't see. However, I have to say I really wanted to be in the bench with a kneeler. I was secretly hoping the guy in the bench next to me would scoot over and make a little room.

The sermon was based on the first reading. "I am your Lord, and you are my people."

Note taken: That includes me and you no matter where we are.