Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I hate clutter.  And I hate being a Mom who is always cleaning.  Remember that scene in the "Incredibles" where Elasti-girl is vacuuming and Mr. Incredible picks up the couch for her.  I feel like I'm constantly vacumming, but instead of couches, I'm picking up kids.

I wanted kids.  I wanted lots of kids.  I also wanted to be a super hero Mom who maintained an immaculate home while having fresh baked cookies every afternoon for spic and span children politely lining up with clean and manicured hands asking for a "treat".

My house is gross and I'm overweight.  So much for "super Mom":)

I have a storage unit and we've constantly cycled through storing stuff.  We've downsized and downsized.  We've gotten rid of most everything save the children.  And yet, it still seems to get in!

I know there are people who are going to give me the lame excuse that I have lots of kids, therefore its a foregone conclusion that I'm going to have a messy house.  And then there's the other excuse that I work part time and otherwise I'd have a lovely home that was mess free.  Well, I'm friends with a lot of women who have much larger families than mine, and when I visit them, regardless of the time of day, their homes are always tidy and in order.  And my own mother, who worked incessantly to support her family also kept an immaculate house, althewhile attending to my brother who has intense medical needs.  I know neat houses can be accomplished.  I just have no clue how.

I feel like I walk around all day grumpy, snarking at the kids.  That's not the person I want to be.  I get guilt complexes when I feel like I'm turning into that housewife that the rest of the world part despises/part makes fun of.  Again, most definitely not who I want to be.  Generally speaking I'm a fun-loving, easy-going individual.  But my kids tremble in fear when they start to hear the water boiling in my brain "WHO LEFT THE MARSHMALLOW CEREAL ON THE TABLE...OUTSIDE OF ITS BAG?!?!?!"  "PICK UP THESE THOMAS TRACKS NOW!!!"  "PICK UP THESE LEGOS NOW!!!"  "COME AND HOLD YOUR SISTER I HAVE TO CLEAN UP PEE, (OR PUKE)!!!"  "CAN YOU PLEASE LIFT THE LID AND AIM FOR ONCE!!!"  The only times I don't scream are when the baby's sleeping or when I'm afraid to hurt my voice before a singing gig.

I want a routine.  I want to know that I'm going to (at least strive to) get up at the same time every morning.  Do schoolwork at the same time.  Allow time for housework and cooking and other daily needs.  I'd like to make time to spend with my children before they're grown up.  I'd like to make it to Mass more than once a week (and even better...Before the Responsorial Psalm!!)  And yet, when we go to bed early, something (or someone) always wakes us in the middle of the night.  Be it a bad dream, a cat, or even a water heater...And the next day I'm functioning on lack of sleep and kids that are looking to take advantage of that fact.

So what's the first step?  What's the next step?  How do I get out of this cycle of ensuing chaos?  If I'm striving for a healthier lifestyle, isn't it only right that I should include my mental health? 

Well, I'll figure it out...Right after I blast through those 8 loads of laundry still waiting to be attended to, and that pile of dishes in the sink, and the rest of our school day is finished up, and the baby's next size up clothes are done being sorted through...

Sacred Vespers for Laetare Sunday

Vespers for Laetare Sunday
St. Michael Church, Pawcatuck CT
On Sunday, April 3,
the Fourth Sunday of Lent,
all are invited to celebrate
Solemn Vespers at 5:00 pm.
Bishop Cote
will preside
and the Schola Cantorum  of St. Michael Church will lead us in singing
the Church’s evening prayer of

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life Happenings...

Life is good!  Praise God!  Mike is doing incredibly well at his new company.  He has a newborn on his hands though, and his lifestyle right now reflects that:)  He's been working 18-20 hour days to get everything established, but what a blessing it is to have TOO much work to do.  Especially in this economy.

My oldest and I are going through our third quarter tests right now.  If he keeps going in this fashion, he'll be finished up with first grade by May.  I'm so excited for him!  He's done very well in this his first official year of homeschooling.  My other two boys, both in school as well, are doing excellent!  One finished his kindergarten curricula in January, and the other one will be done with Kindergarten by June.  These early years fly by, and I love how excited they become with school.

The girls are both doing great.  My little Mary is growing leaps and bounds.  She went to the Doctor yesterday who was quite impressed with her.  She is pigeon-toed, but after talking to the Doctor I'm comforted to know that some kids grow through this.  She should naturally grow out of it, and doesn't need braces or anything.  As this is a confirmation of her PCP's thoughts, I'm going to leave it at that.

My little Gabby is doing wonderfully as well.  She was 4 months old on March 1st and already has two teeth and IS CRAWLING!!  Not kidding!  She's amazing, and the kids are all amazing with her.

There is so much to be thankful for, and I can't help but praise God in this Holy time for those most precious moments with my little ones.  I have a beautiful family, and they are growing, thriving, healthy, and getting more wonderful everyday.  Thank you God for these my most special gifts.

Please know, my dear readers that I continue to pray for you all during this Holy Lententide.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

More P.P. Closings!!!

Praise God in the Highest!  This is just in from  Elijah Ministries in Texas.  May we live to see the day when all Planned Parenthoods and her affiliates are gone from our lives (and the lives of our unborn brothers and sisters.)

Wouldn't it be nice to see a crisis pregnancy center take the place of each of these safe havens for death and destruction?  Like a lily on a tomb:)

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn, 

This is the breaking story that came forth today. We have known for awhile that our local death camp is on the ropes. We are pressing in. We are trusting God that soon we will see the salvation of the Lord manifest as this evil is defeated in our city and beyond. John Pisciotta, Director of Pro-life Waco, sent this report out a few minutes ago. It affirms that our Lord is on the move. To those of you that have eyes to see and ears to hear, come join us in this battle for the lives of children, the souls of men and the future of our nation. There are two down and one more to go!

Breaking News: Planned Parenthood in Texas closes clinics in Marlin & Groesbeck.

Friends who challenge Planned Parenthood at every turn, good news!

Planned Parenthood of Central Texas has closed its clinics in Marlin and Groesbeck-the affiliate's only clinics outside Waco.

I happened upon this news last evening while searching their web site for other information. The website indicates the closings are "temporary." With all the bad news facing PP locally and nationally, I suspect this will be a long temporary closure.

Within the last four years PP Central Texas opened these clinics with great publicity and fanfare. These facilities did not commit abortion. They did provide birth control, promoted promiscuity, and counseled for abortion.

We rejoice in the retraction of Planned Parenthood pernicious tentacles.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Richer or Poorer

Author: Trust in God to Find True Wealth
Book Exposes Spiritual Side of Money Management
By Traci Osuna
HYATTSVILLE, Maryland, March 17, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Gregory S. Jeffrey has spent the last 25 years working as a development consultant, helping Catholic schools, parishes and organizations around the country with their fund-raising campaigns. Throughout his career, Jeffrey has met people from all walks of life, from those struggling to make ends meet to others at the pinnacle of corporate success. And, he says, he sees a common thread -- everyone he's met has real concerns about their financial situation.
"One of the things I discovered early on, probably three or four years into my career," he said in a phone interview with ZENIT, "was that money alone didn't erase people's worries about money."
In his new book, "Why Enough is Never Enough: Overcoming Worries about Money -- A Catholic Perspective" (Our Sunday Visitor), Jeffrey explores why so many faithful Catholics struggle daily with concerns about their material well-being.
As a development consultant, Jeffrey has discussed tithing and donating to the Church with everyone from suburban mothers concerned with balancing their household budgets to business tycoons wrestling with just how much they can afford to donate to their parish. What he has found is that people from all backgrounds and from all tax brackets worry about their financial situation in one way or another. And while it would seem that simply having more money would help ease our worries, he says that this is often not the case.
Among the many incidents he shares in his book, Jeffery said that one in particular stands out to him: "I gave an example in the book of a gentleman who made a $100,000 pledge to his daughter's Catholic high school. Then he leaned forward, and with a very grave face, said to me, 'If my wife finds out, you guys aren't going to get a dime.'"
Taken aback, Jeffrey said he wasn't sure if the man was kidding or very serious: "He sat back in the chair [...] and he got very reflective. And he said, 'My wife doesn't understand that we've got enough money to last several lifetimes.' It just struck me: here was a woman married to a guy at the pinnacle of corporate success and no matter how he tried to reassure his wife, he couldn't." Jeffrey noted that, while it may be difficult to understand, this fear is actually very common.
A journey
"This experience got me thinking," the author continued, "that there's got to be something else at play here other than the amount of wealth. There are a lot of books on the market that try to address that issue of bringing our spending into line with our income […] and, in a way, that's good. But where [they] fail to go far enough is helping people realize that once they get their household budget balanced and once they get a little bit of money saved in the bank, don't immediately assume that that alone is going to solve this overwhelming anxiety that some people continually feel about money."
Compared to other books on the market, Jeffrey's book is different in that it leads the reader on a journey to reflect on one's financial situation, including one's overall trust in and relationship with God. "I actually wanted to title the book 'Why Enough is Never Enough: Making Peace with God and Money.' I thought that would have been a more accurate title but my editor didn't think so, that's why I ended up with the longest subtitle in the world," he said with a laugh.
Jeffrey acknowledges that one's financial situation can be a difficult subject to talk about, even with one's spouse. For that reason, each chapter in the book concludes with several reflection points that aim to help stimulate those important conversations. He said that he hopes these discussion points will allow true feelings, and possibly some fears, come to light.
"Once you start talking about money, part of your interior life [becomes exposed]," Jeffrey commented. "It's hard to discuss our financial situation because it opens the door to […] other areas of life. That's my premise; whether it's true or not, I'll leave that up to the reader to determine."
Jeffrey told ZENIT that even the strongest Catholics have trouble letting go of their money concerns: "It's one thing to sit in Mass and hear a sermon about trust in God; [but] when you really have to put that into practice […] that's where it becomes really hard."
He referred to the story found in Luke's Gospel (Luke 18:18-24) in which a young man asks Jesus what he needs to do to gain eternal life. When Jesus responds that the man should sell all his possessions, give his wealth to the poor and follow Jesus, the man goes away sad.
Walking the walk
He explains that in his visits to parishes all over the country, he continually encounters the same types of people: "It's like they've attained everything […] they're great members of the Church, they're spiritually on fire for the Lord; but they haven't been able to take that one final step of saying to the Lord, 'Ok, I know you'll take care of me if I give away even some small portion of my assets.' It's so sad to see; but it's hard and the thing is, I place no judgment on those people, whatsoever, because the hardest part about writing this book was having to take my own advice."
Jeffrey shared how he struggled with accepting God's providence at work in his own life.
He is very honest in sharing how it was his wife who led him down the path to having a greater trust in God when it came to his family's finances. In his book he shares several examples of how his trust in God was answered speedily once he finally took the steps toward giving of himself.
Another issue that Jeffrey takes on in his book is the commonly, but unjustly, held belief that wealth equates greed. "That attitude bothers me, because fundamentally it's an injustice rooted in prejudice against the wealthy. And all prejudice I find repugnant."
Jeffrey adds that, throughout his career, he has worked with a lot of wealthy people and feels he has a more well-rounded view of the wealthy: "This is not to say that there are not greedy people; there are greedy people […] I've worked for plenty of them. But to take this broad brushstroke to say anybody who has attained success in business must have gotten there because they're greedy is just hogwash.
"But here's the thing," he adds, "as long as there is a common belief that only the rich have to deal with greed, 95% of us have excused ourselves from self-reflection. That's why it's so dangerous."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Seven Last Words of Christ

Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
St. Joseph's Church, Willimantic (CT)

Renaissance Revival

Artistic Director Michael McCarthy presents

The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross
Early Choral and Organ Music of Cesar Franck (1822-1890)

"The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross" refers to the seven short phrases uttered by Christ during his hours on the cross, as gathered from the four Christian gospels and set by Franck.  Soloists include soprano Annete Pavone, mezzo-soprano Patricia Johnson, and baritone Dan Pavone, with organist Angela Salcedo.  Other works on the program include two organ compositions by Franck, and his magnificent setting of Psalm 150 for organ and chorus.

Voluntary donations welcome.

I thought this was amazing!

I'm not a huge Ukulele fan, but this guy was fantastic!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Onwards and Upwards

I know we've all heard the horror stories wrought by this economy.  Whether they are friends, family, or our very selves, all around us people are losing jobs, homes, security and comfort.   How long O Lord?

Well, its happened to Mike and I.  He came home last week after 10 years at his current position to tell me the sad news.  As of this week, he's officially unemployed.  And the company he worked for?  Closing.

We had been praying.  Novena after Novena to both Sts. Therese of Liseux and Joseph for an answer.  Any answer.  We received sightings of roses, but nothing concrete.  It seemed as if the Lord was leading us just a little bit farther into the dark to both trust Him and to cling to Him just a little more.  I finally laid it all down at his feet, my breaking point being this last weekend.  Lord, you gave me this family, these beautiful children, this home.  But if you're asking for it all back, every blessing that I took for granted would continue to be mine, then...with a heavy but trusting heart, I give it all back to you.

Then the money started coming in.  The speculations and ponderings of Mike kept coming back more concrete and more positive.  A tax return here, a gift from friends there, a little cash from family here.  Farther and farther he lead us on.  Then there was the Gospel passage this last weekend..."Trust all of your needs to God.  He will not forsake you.  He cares for all that you need.  Leave the future to him." (Yes, I'm paraphrasing.)

Mike is starting his own company tomorrow. An answer to a prayer that began over a year ago.  We've moved slowly, cautiously at such a monumental concept.  But I believe that God is not only calling us to this next venture in our marriage, but that He has prepared a place for us.  I'm not going to ask for more than that He prospers the work of our hands, that we can be generous as He has been generous to us.  I do not know the end of the road, or where we will turn up.  I can say honestly that we've been praying to St. Joseph for 5 years this coming October for a better job and for a house.  It's beginning to dawn on me that this could be a combined answer to both of those prayers.  I have to wonder if when I get to Heaven I'll hear that same raspy voice that was featured in "It's a Wonderful Life" preparing Clarence for his wings job, say something to the effect of,  "I had to grant both, so that you'd give me a little peace and quiet up here!"  Time will tell...

If I can ask your prayers.  We're cautious but no longer afraid.  The road is long, but at least we know there's a desination.  And that if we continue along it, we have the ability to work towards a common goal, a common future.  I am married to the most amazing man.  And I've needed 8 years of growth to recommit to him every single day.  We've been yoked to work through our family, I trust him with my life and the lives of our children.  And now we've been called to mutually trust one another and the Lord that "the plans He has for us will give us hope and a future" in this endeavor.

St. Joseph and St. Therese (and all the rest of you my dear readers;), pray for us.