Tag Archives: children

Life giving friendships

These girls, ladies, women, amazing friends and sisters in Christ.  They’ve been an integral thread in my life for a dozen years.  We met during a women’s retreat at our parish and many of our husbands participated in the men’s retreat that took place after ours.  Our retreat group was probably twice this size after formation, but this group……THIS group struck a bond.  A bond that went beyond formation and providing the next retreat.  A bond strengthened over bible studies, rosaries, dinners and desserts.  In spite of busy lives and season changes, we’ve managed to stick together, each taking a piece of the other’s heart so that we are all forever sisters regardless of distance and life’s plans for us.  These are life giving friends.

This picture captures a rare moment of togetherness recently,  and marks the move of one friend and her family to Washington D.C.  The fact that we were ALL able to make the dinner (with school over and summer ON, one with laryngitis, one leaving the next day with her husband and 6 kiddos on vacation, myself being 4 hours away, and one with a newborn) was an amazing accomplishment in itself–on a Wednesday night no less!  It was a bittersweet dinner (saying goodbye is NEVER easy) however, we were ALL able to take turns “catching up” in a roundtable discussion and enjoy each other’s company, laughing at stories and enjoying super delicious food, too–BONUS!

12 years brings much opportunity for prayer, encouragement, hope, love and comfort.  What a blessing in these friendships, an abundant harvest resulting from following the prompting of our Lord to attend a weekend retreat.

These friendships are a tapestry of prayer and God reveals the image one story at a time.  Through the years He’s weaved that tapestry through praying for one another and sharing in each other’s lives.

Prayers for struggling marriages and praises for God’s gift of forgiveness, compromise, commitment, and strength in fighting through the challenges and the fruit of  healed hearts.

Prayers for babies born and unborn and praises for those who took their sweet, sweet time.

Prayers for being open to life  and praises for the many varied gifts of life in this culture of death.

Prayers for children’s health, novenas for treatment and praises in God’s gift of talented physicians, compassionate nurses and a network of prayer warriors storming heaven.

Prayers for children lost in the sea of peer pressure and hurt as they spread their wings and fly solo, praises for God’s path and the gift of  healing through angels on earth who allow the Holy Spirit to form their words and gently redirect their path.

Prayers for the unfairness of cancer and all the promises it robs, praises for the power of prayer, God’s will and the promises of His plan far exceeding our own.

Prayers for guidance and advice in the ongoing vocation of motherhood and marriage, and praises for God’s wisdom and love provided through friends as we all weave our families through this obstacle course of life.

Prayers through job loss and financial struggles and praises for jobs found, opportunities presented a faith to step out of comfort zones into Trust.

Prayers throughout a family’s prison ordeal and praises for a family restored.

Prayers for friends who move away and praises for the unexpected gifts received in stepping out in love and hope.

Prayers spoken, fears whispered, tears shed, hope restored, love shared, faith renewed.  Prayer warriors and lifetime friends.  A bond not weakened by distance.  A bond strengthened through prayer, sharing, love and faith.

Thank you, Lord for the gift of friends.  I am truly blessed.

Proverbs 11:14 

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

For more on friendship Scripture check here…

Morning time=Quiet time

Morning time is my favorite time of the day.  Yes, it’s full of promise, fresh start, good intentions and all that jazz, but it’s truly the QUIET TIME of the day for me.  Which is why it’s worth it to me to get up a good hour (or more) before my offspring.  I want my coffee in peace.  I want to read the daily Readings.  I want to think and process through the day or yesterday.  I pray in peace.  There is no speaking (something Hubby has finally realized!).  And at some point, when Hubby has moved on to getting ready for the day or has left for work our little cat settles for Lap#2 (me).  His first choice is Daddy.  A fact that perplexes and infuriates our daughters to no end.  Either way, when it’s MY turn for some kitty cuddles, he’s all up in my business, paws on keyboard, nose on coffee mug, head butting my petting hand.  It’s his quiet time, too.

And…..since today is July 4th and we will be celebrating America’s birthday with my sister and her family in town for the night, I am enjoying the only QUIET I’ll see all day 😉  It will be beach in the morning and then pool and BBQ in the afternoon and a certainty of fireworks tonight which will be going off despite the fact that I will be getting up in the morning to work.   It’s all good though!  There’s something to be said for having a day off mid-week!

Friday is my favorite day….

Good morning, Friday!!!

Friday.  A beautiful sound.  Even in summer.  Especially if you work all summer.  Friday. Ahhhhh.

Wrapping it up for the week with Jen and friends @ Conversion Diary….check ’em out!

1.   After taking the girls to their annual physical last week, it was time for “The Talk” with our oldest girl.  God provided a window and it went so well.  She was very attentive.  Lots of good questions.  Phew!

2.  GREAT workout week.  Gym @ lunch twice already and boot camp twice.  I even managed to somehow still walk after endless varieties of lunges and squats around an entire block.  (OK, maybe not a REAL block, but a HUGE parking lot!!!

3.  Our garden is huge!!! Who knew Hubby had such a  green thumb.  We have so many tomatoes that I am making homemade salsa this weekend….I even found my recipe!!!

4.  I’m mid-process of moving my old blog from apple’s iWeb over to wordpress….8 days left….2 years to go….I think I can, I think I can!!!  It’s crazy to think as user-friendly as apple is (for the most part) that they didn’t give more thought to helping people move their blogs more EASILY since they weren’t going to continue their service….I’ll continue to cut and paste, cut and paste, cut and paste!!!

5.  Hubby got our youngest to the eye doctor and she’ll be sporting some specs…she’s thrilled….thankfully vision insurance will foot some of the price tag….OUCH!  Eyes are important though!

6.  Great date night with my Hubby this week for dinner out.  Something about an uninterrupted conversation and finishing a thought……interesting concept, we must explore this more often!

7.  I finally managed to get my morning time adjusted to summer and made it to work ON TIME the last 2 days……phew!  Hate cutting my lunch short to adjust time.  GRRRR…

Happy Weekend, now head on over to Conversion Diary!!  😉

Sleepy cat!!

Date night and U2

Hubby and I celebrated our 18th anniversary a couple of weeks ago, however, it was smack DAB at the end of the school year with a flurry of kiddo stuff, so we finally went to a nice dinner to celebrate last night.  Hey, better late than never, right?

Impressive building, eh? Not only houses the culinary school but the Photography school and Museum.

We went to the local state college because we had heard great things about their Cafe 101:  the culinary school that offers lunch (reservations only @ $10) and dinner on Wednesdays (reservations only @ $15).  The meal was fabulous.  I’m still full.  Four courses.  A limited menu, however, Hubby and I ordered opposite choices and pretty much sampled the menu.  I’ve never had such amazing conch fritters.  There goes my mouth, watering again!

Lovely, intimate atmosphere. Seats 75. I think there were 15 people tops the whole time we were there.

It was nice to get out.  We don’t realize how busy we are during the week, working and tending to children and family life.  Weekends are filled with chores and family outings (next weekend we have friends visiting–WOOT WOOT!!!) , so getting away just the two of us is rare.  Uninterrupted conversation, catching up on the week, etc, etc.  The funny thing is (or pathetic, depending on how you look at it), during the day, I jotted down notes on my phone of things I wanted to make sure we discussed during our date.  OY.  These aging, multitasking, distracted brain cells.  Know what?  It worked!

To top the evening off, we did a little price shopping on eyeglasses for our youngest and a new pair for Hubby.  Holy COW they are expensive, so we wanted to see if we could get a better deal than our ophthalmologist’s office–yes, about 1/2 off!!!!!

Came home to kiddos getting along, showered, full of pizza, settling in to watch America’s Funniest Videos and ready for bed.  It was a good night.  And my date was great!!  He smelled real good, too! Falling asleep, we both laughed recalling one of our first dates when he said something to me as U2 was playing SO SOFTLY on the radio that somehow I thought I heard “I love you”.  My response was , ” Love me?  You hardly even know me?!”  After laughing, he explained he loved U2—DUH!  That wasn’t awkward at all.  So we still laugh and we both remember EXACTLY where we were when I said it.  Good times.  Good times!  At least now I can say, “I love you, too”  and “I love U2”, because they are both still true!

Blessings and Happy GO SKATE DAY!!!

My boy, grinding a rail last year..generally he prefers to film!

Summer time….work ethic in progress

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s off to mow we go….

He’s not always this happy to get going….but there was a nice breeze that day!

Gassing up to get it done!

Companions to the workhorse lawn mower

Big Blue. Crucial accessory to summertime outdoors activity, whether it’s cutting the lawns, skateboarding or hitting the beach. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!!

Our boys’ summer.  Once a week they have 4 lawns to take care of.  3 they actually get paid for in cold hard cash or check.  The other is paid for in food, lodging, love, laundry, food, privileges, hugs, food, guidance, boundaries, kisses, security and food.

Hubby helped them to procure the jobs last year and though they don’t always enjoy the work aspect of the jobs (please, I’m grumbling every Monday so I can’t exactly fault them here…who REALLY loves work versus recreation), they DO enjoy the payment aspect of the jobs.  (They do these jobs year-round, not just summer)  They are learning the value of a dollar, taking pride in a job well-done, interacting with the public, working for a difficult boss, honing their communication skills, team work, and it passes the time at least one morning each week during the summer.

Realistically, we can’t provide for their every whim and fancy.  We have four children.  We work full-time.  Their little whims and fancies are getting progressively more expensive as they age.  Out of necessity comes valuable life lessons in work ethic, saving, tithing and communication.  We hope to add volunteering to their summer plans to further grow their hearts and spirits to a spirit of serving others and taking the focus off of “self” (a lifelong effort for us all, isn’t it?).

And so, coming across this quote on Facebook yesterday by John Talpene (though I’ve not been able to fully verify it is from him–the message is SPOT-ON!), I feel even better about encouraging their lawn business because maybe, just maybe, we are on the right path….and THAT is encouraging!!

John Talpene quote, image from HERE

This quote has been running around Facebook for a few months and though I can’t actually verify if this principal is the one who quoted it, I must say the message is OUTSTANDING!!  I fully plan on printing this out and sharing with out kiddos.  The crux of the message is old-fashioned values don’t go out of style (much like Audrey Hepburn’s LBD).  You can’t go wrong here, in fact we’ve often gotten so far from this message in our “instant gratification” society that it’s not so difficult to see the difference of the fruit born of the polar opposite styles in parenting of the message below and today’s “I-want-it-all-but-I don’t-want-to-work-for-it” generation.  A generation that WE are cultivating.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.