Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Article: A Secular Reflection on the Role of St. Joseph at Christmas

It was nice to see a mainstream article which provides a secular reflection on the role of St. Joseph in Christ's life and particularly at Christ's birth.
Joseph was not an absent father; he was there, with Mary and with Jesus; and the Christian Church, by underplaying the importance of this in the story of Christ, has missed a real example of selfless dedication and commitment which should resound today.

In parts of our society, too many young men and women grow up without the experience of a loving father. And we seem to have forgotten what an important role a father plays. It’s about far more than earning enough money to provide shelter and place food on the table; it’s about nurturing, support and loyalty, it’s about providing the best male role model that a man can.
St. Joseph has been and will continue to be a role model for all fathers. What an example he provides of simplicity, dedication, service, and loving support. I thank God in a special way for the earthly father he has provided me: he is a true follower of St. Joseph who ever inspires and challenges me to be a better person and father to Madge, Pita, and little Caleb. I love you, Dad! St. Joseph, pray for us.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby Caleb at the Docs

Today Baby Caleb went to the pediatrician to get paperwork for his medical clearance. We need the medical clearance so we can move overseas. Everything looks great. He's in the 90th percentile for height and 75 percentile for weight. He's our cutie!

Madge's 1st Dentist Visit (and phew, no cavities!)

Today Madge had her first visit to the dentist. She was a great little patient, sitting still for her x-rays and getting her teeth clean.

After the check up, I asked the dentist about whether he could augur orthodontics needs for Madge (clutching my wallet in my pocket), he replied that usually dentists aren't able to make predictions until kids are 6 or 7. However, he noted that everything looked really good: good spaces between teeth, good teeth, good jaw, etc. Thanks, Madge. I owe you one! Now, Madge and Peach have new toothbrushes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mom, I'm a teacher!

Last night Madge walked into the room after getting already for bed.. hair damp, night clothes on, smelling fresh... but her eyes looking, like this:

(wearing my old frames-- no lenses in them!) "Mom (giggling in between), I'm a teacher!"

Seeing Dad in Daddy's City

Today we went to DC--Daddy's City-- as the girls call it to visit with Caleb and his co-workers during his "bon-voyage" party. It was wonderful to visit with everyone and enjoy our three treasures alongside the company at work. They brought a lot of life to the party, and Little Caleb was like the "mascot" that just kept getting passed around to loving arms the whole party. While we were about to step out our own door and climb in the car for the ride to the city, snow began to fall... and it fell... and fell some more! We had a few inches by the end of the day and very cold temperatures. It is a little white wonderland outside, and we give God thanks for our warmth in doors. How blessed we are. What a fun day it was!

Do you know the muffin man?

...named Sweet Little Cal!


Gingerbread...and Friends

We have been reading Jan Brett's books, Gingerbread Friends and Gingerbread Baby. So, yesterday was perfect. We made gingerbread cookies and we had friends join us for a visit and play time. We had a wonderful time baking and visiting.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sister Love

Madge and Pita,
To my two girls, best friends to one another and sweet helpers to the other. I was just looking at some pictures of you. I love how much you love to be together and play non-stop. These pictures speak more than I can say. What I can tell you is this: I love you, and I love the good times you have...together, while remaining the the you God created you to be!

Sweet Blue Eyes

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

(Belated) Photos from Our Seattle Thanksgiving Trip

Over Thanksgiving week, we traveled to Seattle to visit Mary's family. Everyone in her family was able to come together for the holiday, excepting (regrettably) the Australian contingent. We had a wonderful time with everyone.

Congratulations to Micah and Suzanne!

This past week Micah and Suzanne got engaged! Congratulations to you both! We're so elated for you! You make a wonderful couple. Suzanne, welcome to the family. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago around New Year's. Micah, you're going to be a married man! Woohoo! (See I did a post about you without mentioning hot sauce, frogjumpers or wizards...oh, wait...) We love you so much.

(Belated) Photos from a Quick Trip to Michigan

In mid-November, we were able to get in a quick trip to Michigan to visit my family. It was nice that we were all able to come together. Lots of fun bonding.

Mary Theresa's Visit

Here are some pics from the visit of my little sister Mary Theresa and her boyfriend Adam. We had a wonderful time. As always, it's fun and special to have time as one big family (like when we get together for family reunions and big holidays), but it's also fun and special--in a different way--when we get together on a more one-on-one basis. A lot of the time we just hung out: always fun! Other activities were visiting the National Botanical Gardens (and its Christmas train display), visiting the National Christmas Tree and seeing Santa, going to Ikea and Wegmans, playing games, listening to a symphonic of Handel's Messiah at the Kennedy Center, dinner at Olive Garden, and lots of great conversations.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Feast Day, Guadalupe!

Pita, Our "Little Guadalupe," We love you dearly. You are true to the message that Our Lady brought to St. Juan Diego-- full of surprises. You give us so much joy. You are an affectionate spirit (who deeply cares for your big sister and your little brother) and yet, you can truly hold your own weight when it comes to sharing an opinion or emotion! You are our treasure, our little rose that brightens the dimmest of moments with your silly eyes and funny lips. Rest in Our Lady's arms, sweet girl, and always remember that she is with you every step of your journey toward Jesus.

Our Lady of Guadalupe:
Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief.
Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain.
Am I not here who am your Mother?
Are you not under my shadow and my protection?
Am I not your fountain of life?
Are you not in the fold of my mantle?
In the crossing of my arms?
Is there anything else you need?"

"...Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God...
here I will show and offer all my love, my compassion and protection to the people.
I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me.
Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows...
their necessities and misfortunes..
Listen and let it penetrate your heart...

Santa Claus at the National Tree

On December 11, 2010, we went as a family for a picture with Santa Claus at the National Mall. Caleb's sister Mary Theresa and her boyfriend Adam have joined us for the weekend. (I guess they were too mature to sit with Santa. :) ) The National Christmas Tree was lit a couple days ago. We also went to see the Christmas train display at the National Botanical Gardens, always one of our faves. Hopefully pics to follow.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Simple Discoveries

Two days ago, Little Caleb discovered his precious (and perfect!) ears. While he nurses now, he touches his little ear. Simple. Precious. Perfect moments of life.

Two days ago, Little Caleb discovered his precious (and perfect!) ears. While he nurses now, he touches his little ear. Simple. Precious. Perfect moments of life.