Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Am Thankful for...You!

Our Lady of Fatima~Our Parish Shrine
Ablaze in Autumn Color

Happy Thanksgiving!
We will be traveling this week so I wanted to send out Thanksgiving wishes before we left.
There are so many things to be thankful for,
including the world of faith sharing and connections we are afforded through the bloggy world.
Though I have never met most of the people I connect with through blogging,
I am thankful for them.
It is a blessing to share faith and daily inspiration around the globe.
I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving...
I am Thankful for You.

"Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us."
From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley

All God's Blessings and Ave Maria!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christ and Kids Triumphant!

~This week we have celebrated Christ and Kids Triumphant~

First of all, I am grateful for all the prayers this week...Thank you all!

We had no idea that we'd start the week with my Grandfather passing away on Monday...
 I was so thankful that I was able to pay him one last visit on Sunday.
He was alert and I was able to tell him that I loved him...despite the gaps in our family relationships.
I have come to realize that those are 3 mighty words.
He was a WWII Veteran and a man of "his own way."
It wasn't a tragic loss for our family but a sad one, in many ways, including the spiritual sense...
Lets just say we have a new soul to dedicate our prayers to.
I am trusting in God's love, peace, and mercy.

Moving on to our triumphs!
We survived a week without Dad...
well, kind of .
We had moments like these!
Gotta love this expression...
"Is Mom gonna laugh, scream, or cry?"
My jaw dropped wide open...
The silent scream "AAaaaaaack!" never came out.
Just a surrender to my sanity with a good hearty belly-laugh...gotta love it.
And Praise God, we are all healthy again!

The trophies rained down this week, as we wrapped up a season of sports.
After a few awards ceremonies, we've had our fair share of pizza for awhile!
Kids Triumphant 
Football* Water Polo*Soccer

Celebrating the end of the week was
Christ Triumphant,
the best part of the week!

We made these fun 
Christ The King Krispy Crown Treats!
We put yellow food coloring in our Rice Krispy mix...
Then used a crown cookie cutter to make the kingly treats!
Mini M&M's were used for the crown jewels
and red gel icing for the cross and trim...Easy peasy!
This weekend, we celebrate the last Sunday of our Church year,
The Solemnity of Christ the King.
Jesus is Christ the King, triumpant over sin and death.  He came to lead us into His kingdom, the kingdom of God.  He rules over all of us with love and mercy, and His kingdom will last forever.
Now if that isn't reason to celebrate, I don't know what is!

Artist of this image:  Anna Mae McCullum
From one of her lovely books

~Prayer to Christ The King~
Christ Jesus, I asknowledge You as the King of the Universe.  All that has been made has been created for You.  Make full use of Your rights over me.  I renew the promise I made in Baptism, when I renounced Satan and all his works.  I promise to live a Christian life.  I, with fervent love, undertake to help to the extent of my means to secure the triumph of the rights of God and his Church.  Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You my poor efforts so that all hearts may acknowledge Your sacred royalty.  May the Kingdom of Your peace be established throughout the entire universe.

I also wanted to share this easy and Awesome Christ the King craft from
Family In Feast And Feria
If you print and color on cardstock paper,
it makes a quick and easy center piece for your tables this weekend!

*Shouting joyful praises for Christ Triumphant in our lives!*

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Television Is The Tabernacle

"My television is the tabernacle."
~Mother Teresa~

I just loved this quote from Mother Teresa.  I can really relate, especially when
there are days when the only peace I find is the ability to
close my eyes and picture Jesus here with us on earth,
there on the altar,
waiting for us to come to Him like little children.

It's been a long week around here with a household of sick kids, including Mama.
It's hard to keep up with prayer life when there's sleepless nights
and bedsides to be tended to.
Regular chores pile up and household duties slip out of their regular routine.

Tomorrow is Monday and the week begins all over again.
I start to feel weary about the tasks ahead with husband gone for a week.
But then I remember to close my eyes and turn on the television for a little peace and quiet...
The tabernacle is my television.

I can picture the Prince of Peace
waiting to guide me through the week
His Mother is there too,
Hostess of the show,
leading us directly to His loving arms.
We are never alone,
when our television is the tabernacle.

"The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white host."
~Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen~

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We Salute Our Veterans!

**We're Saluting Our Veterans**
Happy Veteran's Day, coming up on November 11th!

As a family of Veterans we hold this day dear to our hearts...
"The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
~General Douglas MacArthur~

Starting with the most recent Veteran, we salute my brother!
My brother is the most recent Veteran, serving 2 tours in Iraq.  He is now stationed at West Point, NY with his wife and three children.  We salute his heroic military wife as well.  She gave birth to their second child without my brother by her side, while he was deployed to Iraq!  They are an outstanding Veteran Team.
(My brother is pictured here with my 2 oldest sons on the Army Football Field at West Point)

The flag is honored at all Army Football games...Go Army!
My husband was in the Marines so we have 2 Veteran's honored here!
~"Semper Fi" and "This We'll Defend"~
(Marine and Army Mottos)
This is my husband on the left pictured with my brother in the middle with our 2 oldest sons during their visit to New York.
And don't forget our National Motto:
"In God We Trust!"
I don't have any pictures scanned from my own Army Days so I just took a picture from my scrapbook!
These are photos from the 1st Gulf War in 1990...Gotta love the camel.
~Saudi Arabia and Iraq~
I was married to my late husband at the time, also a Veteran of the same war...
~His father was also a Marine~

Fianlly, we salute the 2 oldest Veterans in our two living Grandfathers.  This is my fraternal grandfather who served in the Army, just prior to WWII.
This is a current photo of my fraternal grandfather, now 90 years young!
I was unable to get ahold of any pictures of my maternal Grandfather and his military service in time for this year.
*Mental note for next year!*

My maternal Grandfather is slightly younger than my fraternal Grandfather and he served in the Navy during WWII.
He was stationed in the South Pacific with 2 of his brothers during this war.
I can't imagine the aching heart of their Mother who watched and waited for those 3 sons to come home safely! (And by the grace of God they did)
Hence we also salute the families of all service personnel for their courage to endure their own sacrifices here at home, just like my sister-in-law.

It is with a grateful heart that we thank all Veterans and their families
for defending our freedom.

"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."
~Daniel Webster~

Thank a Veteran by passing on the list of places that are offering free meals and other services!

Operation Gratitude is a wonderful site to visit if you'd like to do something concrete for our troops.  This site is constantly posting a variety of ways to get involved by sending letters or packages overseas to our soldiers.

Our Sunday Visitor is praying for our troops.  You many join in or
submit prayer requests at their site.  There also some beautiful Christian prayers at this site

That Resource Site  has a lovely post about Veteran's Day and The Veteran's Administration also has a teacher's site.  I linked up here to the K-5th grade.  They also have a 6-12 grade link
This Apples4theteacher link  has some great ideas for your social studies unit!  I also loved the poetry for memory or copy work.  This was one of the poetry samples that I liked:
Veterans Day

by Cheryl Dyson
On Veterans Day we honor all,
Who answered to a service call.
Soldiers young, and soldiers old,
Fought for freedom, brave and bold.
Some have lived, while others died,
And all of them deserve our pride.
We’re proud of all the soldiers who,
Kept thinking of red, white and blue.
They fought for us and all our rights,
They fought through many days and nights.
And though we may not know each name,
We thank ALL veterans just the same.

"Be alert to give service. What counts a great deal in life is what we do for others."
*God Bless America and the Veterans who
defend her, past, present and future*

Click on this beautiful song and video of
A Soldier's Prayer
(Scroll down to the bottom right of my blog to turn off the blog background music if both are playing at the same time)  I apologize for not being blog-savvy... I don't know how to get the blog music to stop internally!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Am Thankful to Remember~

For the past nine years, our parish has held a 
Service of Remembrance 
the first Sunday in November, the month dedicated to 
All Souls.
It has been an honor for me to serve on the Bereavement Ministry team 
who organizes and sets up for this beautiful event, each of these nine years.
I truly admire the ladies that make up this ministry.  They are my mentors and true living examples of how to live our Catholic faith.  When I am with them, it is like dwelling among angels!
The service is held after Sunday Mass at 3:00 PM, The Hour of Divine Mercy...
We gather together to remember and pray for...
all those who have died, especially those in the past year.
Their names are recorded in this Book of Remembrance
The names of those who have died in the last year are also read out loud during the service.
A bell is rung after the sounding of each name...Powerful, as you can imagine!

Each family comes to the altar and is given a gift from our presiding priest...
They receive a bookmark with helpful scripture for the bereaved and a candle.
The candles were made by a widow from India whom we sponsor through our Parish Mission to India.  
My husband so patiently prints out and laminates these book markers each year~God love him!
This is the front...
And this is the back...
 It is a bi-lingual service and some of my favorite hymns are played and sung by our lovely parish choir.  The hymns include Hosea, Pescador, You Are Mine, Ave Maria, and Amazing Grace.  This year I cried my eyes out during the Ave Maria, sung by a sweet friend and incredible young teen with an angelic voice!
~Five candles are lit, representing our Sadness, Courage, Memories, Love, and the Unborn~
A basket of other names, of loved ones who have died in past years, is also lifted up in prayer at the altar.  Though their names are not called out loud, we still remember.
"If love, even human love, gives so much consolation here,what will love not be in heaven?"
~St. Josemaria Escriva~
The Service closes with praying a Litany of Remembrance...
~We Remember Them~
And only by amazing grace can we go forward in peace to forever cherish our loved ones, until we meet again...
May your troubled hearts find peace and comfort in the knowledge that you are never alone.  May God's presence ease the trembling spirit, and give you rest.  
"Fear you not; for I am with you:
Be not dismayed; for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; yes,
I will help you; yes.
I will uphold you with my right hand."
~Isaiah 41:10~

I Am Thankful to Remember!

I continue to participate in the Thankful Hearts Blog Hop this month, trying to remind myself
"In all things give thanks." (Eph 5:20)
I am constantly learning that we can increase our joy in daily living, as the saints did, by letting our thoughts dwell on all that is good, especially the promise of our final redemption and salvation.

I love this quote from St. Ignatius of Antioch:
"Be eager for more frequent gatherings for thanksgiving to God and His glory.  For when we meet thus, the forces of Satan are annulled and his destructive power is cancelled in the concord of your faith."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Am Thankful For...Hallelujah Moments!

I just love those little Hallelujah Moments in life....
The small things that bring joy to the soul.
I am participating in the Thankful Hearts Blog Hop over at 
A Slice of Smith Life...Hope you'll join in!

We just confirmed that hubby will be off for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year.  This is definitely a Hallelujah Moment!  As a firefighter, hubby hasn't had both of these days off in about 
5 years.
This is an early Christmas gift and definitely one of those moments to be thankful for!

I'm not one to complain but the firefighter schedule can get a little rough on the family with a job that doesn't regard weekends and holidays as sacred.   Hubby often misses out on many things that our culture does at these moments and times.  Sunday Mass,  holy days, holidays, our children's sporting games, birthday parties, and other social invitations are not always attended with or by Hubby/Dad.  

There are a few people I know who seem to think our firefighter is 'always around' as he is able to drift in and out of our weekday.  Truly, it is a blessing for us to have him home during our homeschooling days when he is available.  But they fail to see the reality of a Daddy that has to miss many special things. The kids never seem to "get used to it." They still whine when Daddy slips away in the wee hours of the morning for several days.   And they cry when he has to miss Thanksgiving or Christmas, just to name a few.  Even I try to be tough about carting our family around by myself...But I definitely have weak and vulnerable moments!  Of course when all is said and done, there is one thing that is certain...we are always grateful when he is with us!  We never take him for granted.We learn to pray harder for his safety and to offer up our sacrifices (including his) for all those who are blessed to be served by him during an emergency.

I often think about and pray for military families who have to go-it-alone while their spouse deploys.
Having been in the military myself, gives me all the more appreciation. 
 I know many military families who dig in for a year(or more) at a time without their spouse...My brother, his wife, and three boys, are one of those families.  They are heroes and may God Bless them. He must have a special place in heaven for the incredible souls who sacrifice so much for so many.

Isn't it during these tough times of trial and challenge that we see the Hallelujah moments more clearly?
For this I have a thankful heart.
It's going to be a blessed Christmas with our Firefighter home with us and for this, I am beyond  grateful.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Time Does Not Take You Away

Time Does Not Take You Away

I thought about you today...
your brilliant smile, your witty way.

I longed for you today,
your jubilant voice to tell me things are okay.
My heart leaps from my chest today,
the longing, the agony, the dismay.

My humanness cries,
My soul yearns,
My spirit connects.

A flood of emotions consume me today,
Your memory is only an impulse away.

The rustle of the leaves whisper
the turning of the season.

I remember you today...
just like I do everyday.
~My son at the grave of his father~
On this All Soul's Day, 2010
I am reflecting on this poem that I wrote in 1995, just 18 months after my husband's tragic death.
Having weathered this storm of suffering, I am joyful once again...
But those who grieve never forget...
We are not resigned but relentless in our hope.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...