Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

One year ago today we were present at the ordination of my brother in law, now Fr. Edward Bentley. It was an amazing day filled with many graces we are still and will forever reap the benefits from. It was a tough trip and I have to say I am glad to be home this year to sit under a Christmas tree tomorrow morning and eat my mom's famous baked ziti tonight. But, nevertheless, it was a Christmas to remember for all eternity. Congratulations to Fr. Edwards on his one year anniversary as a priest. You have blessed our family in many ways through the sacrifice and grace of your vocation.

And to everyone else, Merry Christmas ... from the Bentley's!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Christian Life...

I read this last night when I was praying...

"The more we love others as Christ loved us - serving ingeniously and without looking for recompense, being equally kind with everyone no matter how costly it is to our natural feelings, forgiving quickly and without conditions, always speaking positively and never gossiping, detracting, or destructively criticizing - the more his grace flourishes in our souls. The virtue takes root and grows. Then we begin to experience in our own lives the happiness, peace, and 'joie de vivre' Christ wants for us. That, in turn, attracts others to the Lord. We must invite those around us to follow Jesus more closely, but our words will be hollow if our lives are devoid of grace."
-Fr. John Bartunek, The Better Part

What an outrageous and adventurous challenge to our hearts!! Right? I mean, the biggest challenge. To serve someone else without looking for ANYTHING AT ALL in return? Being EQUALLY kind to everyone? To forgive without ANY conditions attached? To never criticize? We have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of heart to grow. We are reminded daily of our human nature when we fail in pretty much all of these areas... but, the challenge and adventure... is to try not to fail. To love in the incredible way we are called to. And the part we sometimes forget... the incredible reward... the presence of God for all eternity!

It was a tough day today, so I needed a little inspiration. Hopefully it inspired you too. To love is the greatest freedom we have and on hard days it feels good to know I am still left with the power to love.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween 2011: Mickey Mouse & Tigger

This year Mickey Mouse and Tigger arrived in my home on Halloween. Anthony hated his hood and spent most of the night without it... and if Gabriel wasn't eating, he insisted on having his gloves on! It was a great night. We had a neighborhood party early in the evening and Mia and Ania joined us for our night of Trick or Treating fun...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Brotherly Love...

They really are inseparable. They follow one another around. Anthony always wants to play what Gabriel is playing, always wants to be laying on him, and always wants to be in the same room. Gabriel has become quite the care taker, announcing to me when Anthony has a poop, when he needs a drink and what kind, and tonight he even saved him from swallowing a toy... I heard him yell, "No, Anthony, you can not put that in your mouth. You will choke. I will get it out." And he did. He dug his finger right into his mouth and yanked out the toy. (he wouldn't have swallowed it... it was too big... but big brother saved the day anyway)!!

I hope to record more of these moments when they are interacting because it really cracks me up on an hourly basis. I love it. I love that they have each other. And I think they are glad too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Anthony

On his birthday... smiling away for me.

Eating the funniest looking fall cake on his birthday... yeah, it still tasted good.

The two above pictures... one is him stealing Aunt Dana's pretzel and the other is when I asked him to smile with his stolen pretzel! Hilarious. Yes, he does smile on command.

One of those moments he wouldn't stop laughing... to make us laugh. All four of us were busting our cookies laughing at him. I need to post a video of this soon.

Birthday party with the neighbors last night... above.
And below... photo shoot out back...

A Patrick face.
"Hey, Mom!"
His very serious face he gives when he does not want to do something.

Oh, so sweet.
Most of the day... he stands. Love those chubby feet.

Profile shot.
Another picture where he is trying to crack us up. Gabriel is thinking... this gets so old.
Cuddle bug. It got rough real fast...
And below... my crazy baby with his big baby blues.

Above is a combination of pictures of my one year old cuddle bug, maniac, hysterical, rough and tough baby boy. When Fr. Baker told me that he was going to pray that Anthony was BIG because he knew he would need to defend himself from Gabriel, his prayers were answered. My big boy turned one on September 23rd. The year has flown, but I think life does with two kids. Anthony has taught us the joy in being flexible because he has never found his schedule. He has taught us the joy in being awake because he is ALWAYS awake. And he has taught us the joy in being reckless with our affection because he will tackle you, munch on you, grab you and lay himself right across you if you give him the chance. He is ALL over you with his LOVE!

He has starting eating lots of fruits and vegetables and will eat at least 3 eggs in the morning. He likes to cruise the furniture and finally right before he turned one he started crawling... this kid has army crawled since forever. I think he will be walking soon and he just broke his 4th tooth yesterday... the 3rd one came on his birthday. He has a super hilarious laugh that he uses specifically to get others to laugh and he will use it until the laughing stops. It's super great. He has started shaking his head no at me when he doesn't want something and he pretends often that he is talking on the phone and tells, "HEYYY." That is the only other word he says besides, "DADA." He adores his brother and wants to go everywhere he does. They are best buddies. Anthony is FINALLY sleeping through the night... it took till he turned one. It has been a long year of crying it out! Lastly, he still loves to swing... he would swing all day if I let him. Love this little man.

Happy Birthday, Ant. Thank you, Jesus for my precious baby boy, Anthony Edward.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gabriel's First Day of School

Breakfast with Daddy!

Handsome little dude.

Not a shy bone today for pictures... lots of smiles.

Daddy and Gabriel while watching the trash truck... can't miss it!

In the car... we're almost there. The excitement is boiling over... you can see it on his face.

As his teacher, Ms. Julie, bent down for the picture, Gabriel thought
it appropriate to bend down to. I couldn't get him to stand up straight.
He wanted to lean down like his teacher! Crazy boy.

Anthony throwing a party in the parking lot after we dropped Gabriel off...
"MOMMY IS ALL MINE." (for three short hours) Haha.

After much debate, mostly because I wanted to keep Gabriel all to myself, we decided to send him to one half day of preschool. So happy to have made this decision... he ran into the classroom, yelled, "Bye Mommy," and never looked back. My little social butterfly had the best day ever. He returned home to skip his nap because the excitement was unbearable! My baby boy is growing up. Love it. I think he may start running the classroom soon... they said he is the first 2 year old they have encountered with a vocabulary of a 6 year old... we were pretty proud! And this year Anthony didn't care at all that Gabriel was leaving, but like Jeanne (my sister-in-law) reminded me, next year he will be. Until then, Anthony is throwing a party since he gets me all to himself!