Sunday, September 28, 2014

These sweetums

I'm realizing more and more that our children are here to sanctify us... in our marriage and as individuals. I am being stretched and stretched and my children are allowing me to look inside myself and see where I am so far from perfection.

There are some days when I think that "all these kids" are just too much, but they are not at all. They are just enough... just enough to show me how to be holy. They are my constant sanctification and without each one, I would not be made pure in the very specific way each one provides. One pulls on my patience, while the other pushes me to order and simplicity, while another slows me down, and another draws me out to be creative.

I am every day the chef, the accountant, the home decorator, the cleaning lady, the manicurist, the tailor, the laundry mat, the comedian, the disciplinarian, the center of gravity and heart of the home, the organizer, the secretary, the gift buyer, the birthday caller, the prayer, the hostess, the pick up lady, the nurser, the shopper, the clothing sorter, and most importantly, the wife.

I am growing here in Rhode Island. As much as I resisted. I am really growing. I am able to look deeper since everything but my home life was taken from me. The gracious and loving Father who knows me so much was well intentioned. He knew I could continue to strive for holiness in a better way here. Being busy is very distracting to finding God. So, I am here now... coming up on a year... and I feel as if I am beginning to find the Lord again.

Friday, September 19, 2014

These guys... and the one little lady...

This pictures was almost a year ago. Last fall. On a farm in Franklin. It was a beautiful day. A good day to commemorate our time in Nashville and it coming to a close.

I love these boys so much. They have given me the greatest and hardest days.

Gabriel has just begun kindergarten. I wish I could get into that little brain of his and watch the transformation that has taken place in just a matter of weeks with him. He has become his own man. He is being challenged for the first time in so long. He comes home with his head held higher and a new found love of so many things. He walks in the door to get right to work on some "project" and to make sure he uses his time with his brothers well, now that it has been limited. He has been talking about various things, but the ones that stand out most: Maggie, the girl at school with the golden hair, Lego time at school, recess, books he's read with his class, his Spanish, music, PE, art and technology class, and he is constantly speaking of how many syllables are in words I say... it's always random, but makes me laugh. He leaves in the morning with his dad, backpack in hand, and something to draw on and a bag of crayons... always the doer. He impresses me every day. He is so responsible, so loving, very intuitive of others moods and needs and so incredibly social. It blows my mind. His courage to reach out to people trumps mine on every occasion. He teaches me so much. Boy, do I miss him since he has been gone. I really did think I would've homeschooled... but, for this year, he is there... and it is so good... for all of us.

Anthony has really stepped it up. His language, his sense of self, his ability to lead. He did not take it lightly when I sat him down and told him he was now the oldest brother when Gabriel was at school. It was so excited. And continues to tell me that he doesn't miss Gabriel while he is at school "at all."
Anthony is such a gentle little guy, but such a LOUD dude at the same time. I have to work on volume with him. He has really begun to lead Adam... and Adam doesn't seem to be getting to him as much these days... although Adam still loves to cause drama and Anthony is certainly my MOST dramatic child. Ant is truly the lover of our family. Best hugger ever. The ladies will be calling in no time.

ADAM. OH, ADAM. I really do love him. Sometimes I just don't like him. Ha. He has stretched me more than any child, actually, more that any person in my life. He is the most stubborn, strong willed, independent, yet clingy, mommy and daddy loving kid. One minutes he's yelling, "HOLD ME" and the very next he is yelling, "I DO IT MYSELF." Oh, you just never know what will happen with this unpredictable little peanut. He will move and climb mountains one day. Many. He's SO hilarious. I love him to pieces but he is such a challenge. I wonder what happens in his head. He cracks jokes, makes me angry, annoys his brothers, pokes his sister and hates to sleep. His words are evolving and I just love them. He starts every word with "UH" and always addresses the person he is speaking with. Its hilarious.

Not only do I love these boys, but I know also have a little girl. She is very laid back so far, although it is quite clear that she has an attitude. She is super cuddly and I would venture to guess she will be like Gabriel and be on the move very soon. At 5 months old, she just weighed in at 16 lbs, 14 oz at her last visit and has the BEST chunky thighs you will ever see. She has been giggling since I can remember and she LOVES to play close by to her brothers. It's been about 2 weeks now that she has been grabbing everything and anything she can get to. She has been incredibly fun to dress up, but I know that not before long, she will certainly be pulling all of those bows out of her hair. Evelyn is, as Adam calls her, our "PIN CESS." But, stand back, boys, I know she will hold her own.

Motherhood has been very hard for me lately. I have been struggling to get up in the morning with a smile on my face. I am realizing the terrible consequences of birth control... no one has kids anyone... and not that many if they do... and it is terribly isolating when you do have children and you take a go at this alone. Being open to life has been a struggle for me lately... it has challenged my inmost selfish tendencies. This has pushed me and pulled me to continue to trust God and allow him the control. Praying for more patience, more confidence in God, and much more charity... in my words, and also my thoughts and actions.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I just want to sit with him face to face and ask, "What do you want of me, Lord?" and I want Him to answer back, in clear words, with a gentle look, and with a clear goal. I want to hear the words. I need some contact.

I feel these days as if I am drowning... in kids, in laundry, in dishes, in financial decisions. Its constant. There is not a moment for myself. So, I wonder if he is asking for me to become less... less important, less achieved, less of everything...

He became a slave for us. Many days, I say to Patrick... "I'm just a slave, a lowly worker." Maybe that is all I am being asked. So, now to achieve it with great love. That is the part I'm struggling so much with. Then I would be more like him.

Help me, Lord. I need patience as you continue to ask humility of me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A note on spiritual reading...

I keep these books everywhere... it helps to have them where you nurse, where you sit to watch your kids play outside, near your bed, EVERYWHERE... then, you can read a page here and there and never have an excuse to not get it in.

My guest room...

For the past few weeks my guest room had been taken over by my mother in law and then my mom. I have not had the chance to go in there and blog, but now, I hope to start up again.

A few tips of practicality for your day...

1) My day remains most simple when I do not turn the TV on... I keep shows for the moments of desperation... they seem to save me when I need to cook dinner with no one at my feet and around hot pans. Its best to just open up the back door when I am temped to turn on the TV

2) With the more children I have, I realize that it's OK to just be at home. Stay at home, let them find their routine, play make believe, get along with one another. You just can't push yourself to do field trips these days... have consistency with naps, meal times, etc. It helps these little people.

3) Set a goal to read each of your children at least 3 books a day (or one long one!)

4) I am done with sippy cups. I just bought these amazing camelbak water bottles for kids. $11 on Amazon. We have a sports one, a T rex, and an underwater scene. Best decision to keep filtered water going all day long and not go through 20 million sippy cups leaking all over my house and car. Simplicity...

5) Even 2 year olds can help unload the dishwasher. Set your expectations high.

6) Always start the day with a morning offering... pray it with your kids. It counts for you and them.