Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lip Synch Competition: Maddy vs. Natalie

The other day we were lip synching to songs on the radio as we drove to the pool. Mares is a big music fan . Me, not so much. I can never seem to remember the words to pop songs, whereas Mary always seems to know them. Needless to say, we frequently resort to lip synching, using our fists as pretend microphones. Recently, Madge has picked up on the fun. Here's a clip of her facing off with Natalie Cole. Talk about a Drama Queen!

(Note how Maddy seamlessly weaves Guadalupe's name into the lyrics.)

A Little Scary When They Know So Much So Young

Dear Madgie,

Today you made me chortle out loud at the office. Here's the story:.

9:30am at the Office. I noticed that I had missed a call from Mom's phone. I played the message and this is what I heard:

"Hi Dad. It's me, Madge O. How are you doing today? Call me back soon, k, Dad? Love you. Bye."

It gave me a laugh, especially the part about calling you back. I figured that it was one of those parroting moments, when you were just repeating whatever Mom told you to say. I was wrong!

9:30am at Home. Mom knew that you had her phone and that you were hiding out in the guest bedroom. When she came in to see if you were getting into any phone mischief, you said, "I am just calling Dad." You had called me and left a message all by yourself! Kind of scary for just a 2.5 year old! From what I hear, you were wearing your signature smirk. (This is the smirk that seems to say, "I am just here, hanging out, doing my ho-hum job. Yeah. Okay.")

I love you, Madgie. Please stay my little girl for ever!

Photo caption: Madge fell asleep while in the backpack when we were at Mt. Vernon last week.

Talk about a life of love, total service. Christ-like or what?

I was very fortunate to meet the daughter-in-law to the late Thomas Vander Woude at the March for Life. I am glad I didn't pass up the opportunity to meet her. What a dynamic family: all stemming from this beautiful life. What a dad. What a man. What a servant of Christ.

Monday, February 23, 2009

So young

As I was working out the other day I was listening to this and just thinking about the foursome that magically reinvented this song with an acoustic guitar (even for electric guitar parts), "played" the violin without even touching the strings, beat the pots, err "drums" and sang into a flashlight... But, hey, we're so young! I love you and thanks for those good times.


Thanks to God for His good sense in giving this world husbands to complement wives and wives to complement their husbands. This gift hit me once again last night as Pita fussed (she's receiving her fourth tooth and overcoming a little case of the sniffles). Usually she can be nursed and life is all better, but not much was satisfying her last night, until Caleb suggested he take her for a drive. I agreed, because my heart was breaking as I heard her cry, and I knew I had tried all that I could from holding her, attempting to nurse her, giving her Beeatrice and Quinny. I quickly bundled her into her carseat and Kiddopotumus and sent her with Dad for some relief. Not long after their departure their arrival came, and wa-la: Pita was asleep. She had cried several minutes before falling asleep, but she stopped fussing as soon as they hit the freeway. Thank you, Caleb, for taking her out and helping her become peaceful. I am so thankful for God's creation of marriage: one man and one woman--two totally different personalities that can balance one another's emotions. When my heart breaks, there is the balance Dad to step in and accomplish what needs to be done. (I know I have written about my love for you and your support before.) As I told Caleb's Dad this morning, I know that it is not that dads do not care when a baby cries, but they have different tolerance levels, and for those I am grateful. As his Dad asked, "What good would two basket cases do?!" Exactly.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Pita Period

Our little girl now has three teeth. Tough to see but not to feel: the gnaws can hurt! She continues to be a giggly girlie.

"When can I get my permit? I have my pilot's cap already."

A Madge Moment

At one point this evening, I exclaimed, "Woo, Doggie!"

Maddy retorted, "Dad, what did you do to your doggie?"

I love you, Madge!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Of Teeth and Sisters

The first of Pita's teeth came through this past week. The front bottom right guy. Number two should be coming out of the closet very soon. Maddy has been the big helper in the teething process, as the video below attests.

Dad, What's his Name?

We were the recipients of an random act of kindness the other day. After the good samaritan left us, Madge asked me about the man: "Dad, what's his name?" I replied, "Madge, I don't know his name." She asked me again, "Dad, what's his name?" "Madge, I don't know his name." The same questions and answers were repeated three more times. Finally, when she asked his name again, I replied, "Madge, his name is John." She said, "Oh. John." After that she moved on to another topic of conversation.

Remind me to just make up names next time. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Legend of St. Valentine

Valentine was a young priest who lived in Rome during the third century. He was jailed for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. While in prison, Valentine missed his loved ones behind. He sent them a message via a dove that frequently sat on his cell window. It said, "Remember your Valentine."

Saint Valentine was martyred for his great faith. On November 10, 1836, his relics were place in the Carmelite Church on Whitefriars Street in Dublin Ireland.

To this day, Saint Valentine remains the symbol of love... the love between God and us and our love for each other.

Take from Discalced Carmelite Friars

Happy St. Valentine's Day to All Our Loves

We love you so much and thank God for each and every one of you, your talents, life lessons, unconditional love, warmth, strength, bond. How grateful we are for our lives, for the gift of family, friends, and everyday experiences that help us to appreciate this world for what it is worth in relation to the next. Thanks to God for such good times and lots of laughter that make our days memorable. What an honor it is to be alive. Let us remember and pray for those who may never experience that joy. And, let us remember and pray for those who may never even know or feel loved.

“Dance as if no one were watching, Sing as if no one were listening, And live every day as if it were your last”- Anonymous

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Earlier this week Maddy was sitting in her chair, finishing up lunch. Then, she closed her eyes and said, "Mom, wake me up." She had her eyes squinted. Then I looked over and she asked, "Mom, kiss me, please." (She wanted me to wake her up with a kiss, which is a little game she and Caleb play. He acts like he is sound asleep until he gets that little kiss from Maddy.) Here she is in action.

A Few Moments Worth Sharing

...A few short stories about the pictures to follow at the bottom.

These are the moments, and I thank God for them. Amidst the busyness of days and moments in patience-building, I can tell God is there. It is a true joy to wake up and begin a new day with you, Maddy and Pita. You put such smiles on my face. The other night, Madge, I came into the room after I had put Pita in our bed. You were there too! You had left your bed and laid down by Pita. I asked that you wouldn't touch her so she wouldn't wake up. You told me you kissed her, and that was sweet of you. I came in a bit later and found your holding her hand. I had to take come pictures, because it was beautiful to see. You are best friends, and the love you have for your little sister oozes out.

The other day I took the girls down to Belmont Bay for a walk. It is a beautiful area of colonial homes, a golf course, the Occoquan, geese, boats, and a trail WITH a tunnel (Maddy loves tunnels). The sun was shining and we came down to the trail with a coffee and a little treat. I had gotten Maddy 2 Munchkins. What control... she saved a piece of one of her inch-wide Munchkins to eat in the tunnel. It was so cute to see this lonely little piece of donut sitting in a bag so that she could eat it around the bend of the path. We galloped down the path, ran, drank in the sun. I looked at the girlies and had to call Caleb to say thanks. These two delights are real gifts in my life, in my every day. What fun I have, and this is my job. I didn't have to earn billions to have my dream job.

Two days ago the girls and I drove to Sam's to pick up some groceries. This store is great not only for the delectable "treats" it offers as samples, but also for its double-seated carts. As I sat in the car just before packing the girls in the cart, I saw a mom with her two little ones side-by-side in the cart. I thought, "I can do that too!" since Pita can sit up all by herself. (What big stuff you are, Peetster!) So, this was a big deal...Pita's first time of riding up front with "the driver." (I might start calling her Tootie.) It was so sweet to see Pita leaning over to Maddy as we drove through the store. When we returned to the car after shopping I parked Madge and Pita next to the car as I unlocked the other side. As I stood on the other side of the car I could hear Maddy talking to Pita, and she leaned over to her and said: "I had a good time with you." There they were: the twosome, the dynamic duo, the sisters, side-by-side enjoying each other's company.

Just like College Days

Do you remember those college days when you tried to get lots of studying in before a big event or before you packed your bags to get out of town? Those couple of hours may have been weeks of fruitful study because so much was accomplished on that minimal amount of time since that was all that was there. The reason I make the correlation is because today I had about 1-2 hours to get things cleaned up and organized at home before we headed back in the car to pick up Caleb from the carpool. Who-hoo! Within that amount of time both bathrooms got cleaned, dishes washed, floors washed, etc, etc, etc. We had been gone all morning out to Silver Spring to visit some friends and to enjoy lunch with them before heading to the Metro to pick up our good friend from down South and spend some wholesome time with her chatting, catching up, and playing with the trains at B&N. What made this day even more delightful was that friends were interspersed throughout. What a fulfilling day. Thanks, Lord, for your love spread to us in so many ways. Mimi called too and to top it off one of my sisters rang, and we got to talk for a long time. Ah, the simplicities of life. I love them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy 8 Years!

Jenny and John,
Happy eighth year of marriage! We hope that you have a beautiful day together as you celebrate the many blessings God has given to you throughout these years of marriage. Thank you for all of the joy and lessons you have brought to our lives through your marriage and your unity as a couple. We love you and pray for many more years of happy and holy marriage.

Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family - a domestic church.

Pope John Paul II

Monday, February 9, 2009


Today Madge was standing in the livingroom when we got home from our friends' home. On arrival Madge takes off her shoes and coat and washes up. Our next step was to get some lunch and then nap. But, when I came into the livingroom and saw Maddy she had other plans. She had nicely taken off her shoes and coat but was standing in the front room swinging her arms back and forth (just like Caleb does for exercises.)
Our conversation:
Me: Madge, ready to eat lunch?
Maddy: No, I'm gonna e-sir-cise sirst.

Later in the day (twice it took place) Madge walked up to me and said, with rosary in-hand:
Maddy: Mom, wanna say a rosary with me?
Me: Yes
Maddy: (Making the sign of the cross) Fadder, Son, Holy Spirit. Con-tum-pate mystries. Hail Mary, full-a grace. Lord is wif dee. Bless are you 'mong women. Bless is fruit a-your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Modder of God, pray us sinners, now and at hour a'def, amen.

Saturday, February 7, 2009