Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Dear Meema and Beeba,

31 years ago today two young people in love made a commitment to each other. Today, two mature people in love are celebrating a commitment beautifully upheld. Here's to another 31 years of togetherness! Our heartfelt congratulations and love to you both as you celebrate another year of marriage. You impress us. You inspire us. You challenge us.

I can only imagine that not every day has been easy, let alone perfect. Nevertheless, a marriage is not about convenience or perfection. A marriage is about journeying life together and persevering as a unit, in good times and bad. And, that, Mom and Dad, you have done to perfection.

We love you deeply and admire you profoundly. I owe my life to the existence of your marriage: I wouldn't be alive otherwise. I owe a great part of my person to the witness of your marriage: I wouldn't be the man I am today without your daily example of love.

Congratulations, love, and prayers from all of us. May God continue to bless your love and make it fruitful.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Love You

Today, Madge, was one of those olden days. Pita was asleep in her carseat at Mass this morning. You and I were having some special time. You know those little times when you sit really close to me and we just talk and I give you lots of kisses? Yeah, it was one of those days. I stopped counting how many times I told you that I love you, because I love you so much and I don't think I could ever say it enough or count how many times I tell you. I think I just intermingled the kisses on your golden locks with the "I love yous." You are my little companion. We have shared so many times together, trips, conversations, laughs, cries, bumps and bruises, cooking moments, teaching moments, songs, joys, sad times, and bonding moments. More and more each day I see that God is present in each of us, and especially in you and your little sister, innocent and full of love. Madge, I just wanted to tell you how much I love you. You are a true gem to me. Thank you for blessing our lives with love, love, and more love. Here's to you, your song.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

10 (from a multitude of) Homeschooled Celebrities

(As featured today in MentalFloss and CNN.)

Agatha Christie was a painfully shy girl, so her mom homeschooled her even though her two older siblings attended private school.

Pearl S. Buck was born in West Virginia, but her family moved to China when she was just three months old. She was homeschooled by a Confucian scholar and learned English as a second language from her mom.

Alexander Graham Bell was homeschooled by his mother until he was about 10. It was at this point that she started to go deaf and didn't feel she could properly educate him any more. Her deafness inspired Bell to study acoustics and sound later in life.

If Thomas Edison were around today, he would probably be diagnosed with ADD -- he left public school after only three months because his mind wouldn't stop wandering.

His mom homeschooled him after that, and he credited her with the success of his education: "My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint."

Ansel Adams was homeschooled at the age of 12 after his "wild laughter and undisguised contempt for the inept ramblings of his teachers" disrupted the classroom. His father took on his education from that point forward.

Robert Frost hated school so much he would get physically ill at the thought of going. He was homeschooled until his high school years.

Woodrow Wilson studied under his dad, one of the founders of the Southern Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS).

He didn't learn to read until he was about 12. He took a few classes at a school in Augusta, Georgia, to supplement his father's teachings, and ended up spending a year at Davidson College before transferring to Princeton.

Mozart was educated by his dad as the Mozart family toured Europe from 1763-1766.

Laura Ingalls Wilder was homeschooled until her parents finally settled in De Smet in what was then Dakota Territory. She started teaching school herself when she was only 15 years old.

Louisa May Alcott studied mostly with her dad, but had a few lessons from family friends Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Can you imagine?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Beeba!

Dear Dad,

Happy Birthday! We hope that you have an enjoyable birthday, filled with love and applesauce. You know the rule: the crock pot is a must! It's difficult to put into words my ever-growing love for you and my appreciation for who you are and all that you do. I can say that your life has been an abundant blessing to people everywhere. The virtues that you exemplify are numerous: some salient and indicative ones are your thoughtfulness, caring spirit, generosity and spirit of prayer.

I, along with countless others, look to you as a source of inspiration, motivation, and strength. You never fail to provide! Thanks for giving me the gift of life and for the love that you have showered me with constantly throughout my life. The happiness I see in your face when you're around Maddy and Pita is one of my greatest joys. I feel like finally in some small way I can give back to you. I love you so much, Dad. Thanks for the example that you set of fidelity in marriage, perseverance in parenting, and simplicity of life. I keep waiting to catch up to you spiritually, but as time progresses, the more I realize how impossible the endeavor is!

The girls send you lots of big hugs and slobbery kisses. Mary and I accompany them in sending you our thoughts, our love, our prayers,

Your Son (and Favorite-Born),

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Official New Words of the English Dictionary

Will these be accepted in Scrabble? Maddy thinks so.

Orgalize: the act of ordering Easter candy.
Use: Since she wasn't allowed to eat all the candy in one sitting, she could at least orgalize them to her heart's content in the interim.

Snapnich: the only substance a two-year old is permitted to apply to her lips.
Use: As the lipstick and lip gloss in her mother's purse were not kosher, she slathered her lips with snapnich whenever there was a dull moment.

Other Madgism Words:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Easter Weekend

Holy Saturday: blessing of the Easter baskets at the parish, trip to the Catholic bookstore, felt board construction, dying our Easter eggs, baking sugar cookies
Easter Sunday: unveiling of the Easter baskets, breakfast of crepes, 10am Mass...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Big Sister, Little Sister

A photo worth a thousand words...

Title: Sister Artists in Pink - Picture Collage
Stylist: Mom
Clothing: Grandma Mimi and Pa-Pa

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy 13th Birthday, Pludo!

To my little brother, known as Joseph, Joe, Little Joe, Little Booger, or simply Pludo (oh, Pudo and Pudy, too): Happy Birthday! I can't believe that you're already 13! I remember when you were just a cute little baby. I have such wonderful memories of times with you from that moment until now. I am proud to be your godfather (except when I have to remind Dad that you're his son ;)).

I would say that your hallmark quality, the one I admire most in you, is your sense of generosity and caring. You are already a wonderful caretaker for mom. You've always been one to spend all your purse on gifts for others. (However, I am still waiting for you to share your secret hoards of candy--just wait till I find them at of these days, you just wait!) No, Joe. I'm serious. All of your little nephews and nieces flock to you because you're such fun and exhibit such patience with them. Madge is always talking about her times with you. (Pita would be too, but...) You're a superb young man, a fun brother, a caring son, and a wild uncle! We love you.

Little Milestones: Pita Walking & Madge's ABCs

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nine Months of Love, Laughter and Gratitude

You are 9 months old today, and what a joy you continue to be. You are such a jolly girl and a ball of laughs. Oh how I love to tickle you and hear you giggle away. You are a true delight, a gift from heaven, a beautiful creation of the Lord's and we are so pleased that He has allowed us to share in your life. You have a little mouth of six teeth and you love to crawl so quickly. I love standing near you, because you crawl to me, grab a hold of my pants or legs and pull up to stand between my legs and peek through. You little sweetie! Your baby chunkiness has begun to diminish, since you are on the go. You love to walk around the chest and hold on. Aren't you big stuff! Your big sister loves you so very much and tells you all the time. She hugs you and says, "I love you so much, Peets!" There isn't a moment that she does not want to be my your side or at least know where you are. You are her joy when she awakes. You are ours too. We love you so much and give God thanks once again for the gift of you, our dear Guadalupe.