Thursday, March 24, 2011

Each Life...Matters

Jesus, I promise You to submit myself to all that You permit to befall me,
make me only know Your will.
My most sweet Jesus, infinitely merciful God, most tender Father of souls,
and in a particular way of the most weak, most miserable, most infirm
which You carry with special tenderness between Your divine arms,
I come to You to ask You, through the love and merits of Your Sacred Heart,
the grace to comprehend and to do always Your holy will,
the grace to confide in You,
the grace to rest securely through time and eternity in Your loving divine arms.

May we pray to this saint, our modern-day saint, to help us in our paths toward Him and to draw our families ever-closer to each other through Him and Our Lady.

I am astounded by her links to Brazil. God knows just why we are encountering Brazil in our journey. I cannot wait to find out His reasons.

Of Accents and Accidents

A cute Madge story. With all of our current language studying going on, I asked Madge at dinner if she knew what an accent was. She responded that, "it's what happens when your undies [underwear] get a little wet and you have to tell your mom and dad." Of course, she had understood accident instead of accent. Pretty hilarious. Mares and I hid our smiles. We went on to tell her what accents are. We love you, Madge. You and your brother and sister keep us entertained!

Caleb at the Bathtub

Here is our handsome boy.

No Matter Which Way I Gaze at You... are beautiful.

Three Treasures

Sleeping...together...soundly. I love you.

Grateful to God for the Wife I have

The other day I was riding home on the metro when I witnessed a scene that caused a surge of gratitude in my heart for the wife I have. Two young women (in their twenties or thirties) were riding the metro next to me. Both of them had babies who were around 2o months of age. One of the women appeared 6 months pregnant. (Yeah, I am getting good at the numbers guessing game. Not good with people's age, but good with kids and pregnancies.) They appeared to be urban, single moms. The moms spoke loudly and rather crudely to each other. One of the babies began to cry out loudly. The moms continued talking to each other while completely ignoring for a couple minutes the loud cries of the child. All this in the midst of rush-hour hustle-and-bustle. Finally, the mother turned her our attention to her child only to hit him, telling him to shut up. The child whimpered and just sat back down. The mom promptly returned to her conversation.

It was sad to observe. I have no idea of the context of what these women have been through, I have no idea of what they are living, but I do know that these poor children deserve more.

I am very grateful to God to see how Mares works with our kids. While our kids are far from perfect, they're wonderful kids--the best! It is, nonetheless, always a work in progress: we're ever striving to improve, to work with them through problems, to talk issues through, to counsel, etc. Mares has such a delicate touch of always respecting the dignity of the child. I share with her in the belief of the dignity and respect owed to every person, even little people! Thanks, Mares, for doing such a wonderful job parenting our children. I love you and appreciate you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Grandma Mimi's Visit

Grandma Mimi came out to visit us over the past week or so. As always, it was wonderful to spend time together. Lots of exciting and fun times and lots of enjoyable down time at home, too. We love you, Mimi.

Spring is Here: To the Backyard!

An Afternoon Stroll to Occoquan

We live five minutes by foot from downtown Occoquan, one of our favorite family jaunts. Occoquan is a cute city (only 800 residents) with a lot of history (with traces back to 1735) and lots of fun shops. With such beautiful weather over the past week, we took a walk to beautiful Occoquan. We walked the docks of the marina (avoiding the green globules left by our friends the geese) and enjoyed simply being outside in the fresh air.

Madge Getting Wigged Up

My Birthday Drink: A Caipirinha

Mares treated me for my birthday by making me some caipirinhas, made from authentic Brazilian cacha├ža, alcohol made from fermented sugarcane. It was delicious. Here are some pics. Thanks, Mares!

Madge, the Kennedy Center, and the Brazilian Flag

Throughout the course of her performances at the Kennedy Center, Madge never failed to point out the Brazilian flag inside the Hall of Nations. It was very cute. She got so excited to find it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

So proud of you


You must be getting ready to take your big bow of the night! I have been watching the clock as you perform tonight, with Dad's presence backstage, and dear friends watching from the audience, while Pita, Little Cal-see and I pray for you at home. I think it was the Blessed Mama who had me look up at the clock at 9:30pm when you would be onstage. I bet you will have lots to tell me when you get home. (Sidenote: our friends just called me, Madge, and said that you were so good on stage tonight! The mommy friend told me that I should be so proud. I am, just knowing that you are using your talent for Jesus and enjoying the beauty of His gifts and virtues, like simplicity, joy, obedience, and total enjoyment of life that He has given you!)

All my love,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweet love

Actions speak much louder than words...

Happy birthday... one day late...but partying for days to come!

(Daddy and Madge-Pie, snuggle puppies, 2009)

Dear Caleb,
Happy 30th birthday! Wow. 30 years. I am so blessed to have you in my life as my husband, my help, my dearest friend. Thank you for your love, your sacrifices, your generous ways of love to me and to our children and our families. You are a true blessing to me, and I thank God for your life. You are an incredible father: always serving, always playing, always giving so much assistance, guidance, and joyful love. Our house glows with happiness when you walk in the door. You are a real gem, and we are grateful for shining your light and love in our home.

(So good at snuggling sweet little ones: Daddy and Pita, 2009)

The celebrating has only begun. Everyday is such a gift. I love you so much. Thank you for loving me. I will always give God thanks for your life, your love, your sharing your life in love with me.

(Kisses....Daddy and Caleb, 2011)

It was so beautiful and touching to watch you last night as you were so moved by Madge, her show, and her conversations with the "wig master" after the show. I saw your eyes fill as you looked on to our little girl be such a big girl, conversing with everyone, while dressed in her soft and warm jammies at the Kennedy Center. How special that you were watching her from the audience on a night to remember, forever. You are a wonderful dad. Thank you for loving our 3 treasures so very much. What wonderful footsteps from you they have to follow.

Looking forward to continuing our celebrations of your life tonight, and...for the rest of our lives, together.

I love you,