Saturday, February 26, 2011

You went...

You auditioned.
You rehearsed.

You enjoy, LIFE.
I love you so much,

Love without ceasing

"The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost." –GK Chesterton
I wasn't planning to write anything this moment. It is quiet, though: Caleb is sleeping here (Little Caleb, that is). Pita is sound asleep too, and well, the man I am about to write about is out... with his biggest girl at opening night's performance. I didn't plan to come here until I read the quote above. It hit me. It is so true. Caleb's birthday comes this week. We have already begun celebrating. (How fun birthdays are with children around. How full of life and gratitude they become with the presence of sweet little ones.) I am so grateful for what we have, each other, the lives we have been blessed with, yes, they are true blessings. How quickly everything can be taken away, and yet I am so grateful to God for the fact that we can build our eternity now with the choices we make individually and together, as a family.

I am so grateful for the life of my dear husband. Giving. Loving. Gentle. Filled with laughter. Hardworking. Never counting the cost. Thank you. You have made so many choices that have allowed us opportunities to give and to receive, mostly, to grow together and challenge ourselves and each other. I love you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Little Love Note to My Children

Dear Madge,
Recently with all of your rehearsals and shows at the Kennedy Center, I have had the privilege and wonderful opportunity to spend exclusive moments with you. Mom and I were talking how we love to watch you interact with all of the show cast and the technicians backstage. I'm always amazed to see how much you understand and how well you're able to articulate your thoughts and feelings. You're such a sweet girl and so much fun to be around. Last night, were to talking with the character Goro about how he had shaved his head for the role in the opera. I asked you afterward if you wanted me to shave my head (not that I would, but more out of curiosity to hear your response). You said, "no, Dad. Your hair is perfect just the way it is. I love your hair." And you began to stroke it. You're our sweetie pie. You and Pita are always so quick to think of one another. When we took you out for a special ice cream date on Tuesday, your first request was to take an ice cream home for Pita. Ever considerate. I treasure our moments together. I know that at some future moment we will to part, but for the time being I am enjoying every moment with you.
Love, Dad

Dear Guadaloops,
You are our sweet cuddler. My favorite moments with you are when you come running into my legs for a hug. Every time we see each other, you're coming over to spread some loving affection. You have so much to say...we can't wait for all those vocabulary words to arrive so we can understand your many thoughts! Know that your Mom and I are making a concerted effort that you don't develop middle-child syndrome. I don't think you'll have a problem with that as your creativity, uniqueness, and love overflow. It's wonderful to see your areas of growth. It's also wonderful to see your caring side. I find it amazing how one second I can be providing some rather strict discipline and then the next second you're all over me with affection and love, and we're playing again. Just like your big sister, you're so much fun to be!
Love you, Pita,

Dear Caleb,
Our healthy, happy and beautiful little boy! We all love. I will have to write some more for you later on as I am running to Portuguese lessons now.
Love you lots,

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Evening Performance

Madge and Peach enjoy putting on plays for us. Here's a clip of an evening play. This one is a bit on the melodramatic side, as Madge is being influenced by the undertones of Madame Butterfly. :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Little Caleb's Fade Away

Happy 7 Months!

Beautiful boy.

Sitting so tall.
You give us such joy.
And, bring love to us all.
Happy seven months, sweet face. We love you and cannot imagine our life without your presence. What a gift you are to us.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My pictures

Today I was organizing some paper work in the laundry room, and Madge came down with three papers in hand. She said.

Madge: Mom, I made these for you.
Mommy: These are beautiful, Madge. Now, what did you draw here?
Madge: Here is your purse with jewels.
Mommy: And, who is this here?
Madge: That is you and me.
Mommy: What are we doing.
Madge: Hugging

And then, we really did hug. I love you, sweet face. Thanks for loving me and being my in-house arteeest!(Butterflies, with smiles!)


This month our virtue to work at is SIMPLICITY. I went in to the Modern Catholic Dictionary by Fr. John Hardon to read over this word that describes something so simple and yet something that can be made so complex when we put it into daily action (or try!) and pull ourselves from the things, tasks, extras that take us away from Him, and from our families.

In defining simplicity, Father Hardon wrote: "As a character trait, the quality of not being affected; therefore, unassuming and unpretentious. A simple person is sincere, honest, and straightforward. Simplicity is single-mindedness. As a supernatural virtue, it seeks only to do the will of God without regard to self-sacrifice or self-advantage." (Modern Catholic Dictionary, p. 506)
As I try and focus my day on a prayer, a thought, and an action, I try and read one of my wonderful sources of daily goodness. This simple book is a wonderful help so that I can be a better wife and mom and take these small steps. In doing so, my heart is calmed more and more. For, our kingdom, our domestic church is continually being built up by the souls that live within it.

They are my duty. They are my vocation. I pray that I will always follow God's call, with little steps, and follow the foot steps of a 4 year old, 2 year old, and 6 month-old, who all lead me to Him, on this journey of motherhood and in marriage. (Elizabeth Foss wrote a wonderful article on "Simplicity.") Just when it is easy to say that one person has it "harder" or "easier" than another, it is good to take a step back, and realize that each person has the path unique unto himself as God allows.

Tea Time

Our tea times.

So enjoyable.
Sweet, and FUN moments!

..with two sweet girls.
And, one dashing boy!
(Gram, we love you, and we pray for you when we have our tea.)

The real moments of education

One day as we were learning together in our school room, Madge cared for Caleb. Caring for him is something she does every day. These are the real learning days. Lessons that go far beyond the books. I love these moments, which remind me to s.l.o.w. down, swallow the goodness of our little children, and allow them to live as siblings who are forming lifetime connections, socializing with one another: the best socialization they could possibly receive. A socialization that is built by learning how to love, forgive, work out differences, rejoice in good times and to get along because of the good souls each one of us was created with by our Creator, in whose image and likeness we are made. I love these moments, because they are the foundations on which all other life experiences are built. And, if they are not built at home, where else will they be built? For, I know that no one else will ever love these little treasures--our children-- like we will, nor will any one else ever take the time to walk them through life steps as we should. God blessed us with these precious, and specific lives. It is hard work. But oh so worth it.

There is a last sentence in Elizabeth's Foss's book, that I love, because it is something that we strive for here in our home where education is not an entity, but our lifestyle. She speaks about a situation with her oldest child that is similar to the one I described with Maddy. It is a lesson of love and compassion between siblings. For our family, school, education, learning is our atmosphere, our discipline, and our life. Charlotte Mason and Elizabeth Foss speak more about this and so nicely explain what that means. At the very least, it is our desire to live what we are learning and to give it back to one another, and then the world.

Yesterday, as I snuggled Pita and then Caleb, sometimes simultaneously, Maddy helped too. This is real life. At one point, Madge had empty arms. (She had just been snuggling Peach and telling me how we could switch once I got Caleb settled.) Then, she walked up to me and said, "Now, who can I hold Mom?" Yes, these are the life moments. These are the lessons. Put them together. We are building life lessons in the days we live...together.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Article: Is it true, kind, necessary?

A great article from the Arlington Catholic Herald:
In his classic, Spiritual Conferences, Father Frederick William Faber writes:

“Devout people are, as a class, the least kind of all classes. This is a scandalous thing to say; but the scandal of the fact is so much greater than the scandal of acknowledging it, that I will brave this for the sake of a greater good. Religious people are an unkindly lot.

“Poor human nature cannot do everything; and kindness is too often left uncultivated, because men do not sufficiently understand its value. Men may be charitable, yet not kind; merciful, yet not kind; self-denying, yet not kind. If they would add a little common kindness to their uncommon graces, they would convert 10 where they now only abate the prejudices of one. There is a sort of spiritual selfishness in devotion, which is rather to be regretted than condemned.

“I should not like to think it is unavoidable. Certainly its interfering with kindness is not unavoidable. It is only a little difficult, and calls for watchfulness. Kindness, as a grace, is certainly not sufficiently cultivated, while the self-gravitating, self-contemplating, self-inspecting parts of the spiritual life are cultivated too exclusively.”

Caleb the Cutie

Some random photos of our sweet boy.

Dancing to one of your songs...

..last night during our time together, we got to enjoy the song that we used to listen to when you were in Mommy's tummy. I love you. You really do make me SMILE.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Love is in the air...

...and in our hearts and home!

The threesome just headed to the Valentine Dance for Fathers and Daughters....So, our beautiful girlies, and their handsome "date" just took off. That leaves me with a super handsome and happy boy here at home. Little Calsee, how can I not just love this time with you and think back to those moments when you were within me, beneath my heart? You and I will have our own dance here tonight and dance to your two songs.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Abstract Art?

...never a dull moment with our creative artist Madge who sees the good...or awesome figures even in the "must-dos" of the baby spit up!

Madge runs into the room.
Mommy: What's up?
Madge: Caleb just spit up.
(Madge and Caleb had been hanging out in the prayer room as Pita pretended to be a "baby" in the pack-n-play there.)
Mommy: Is it a lot?
Madge: No. It looks like a turkey!

...who said cleaning up spit up---or turkeys---isn't FUN!?