Friday, February 12, 2016

Lenten Spiritual Reading






I saw this graphic on Facebook and loved it.  It really makes Lenten sacrifices more meaningful.


One thing we've adopted the last couple years is to engage in meditative or spiritual reading for 30 minutes everyday.  I've found age appropriate materials for each of the children, even for Leo.  While the rest of the family is reading, I read to Leo and then I squeeze in my half hour wherever I'm able later in the day.  Last year, we all realized how much we all benefited from this focused time of reading, meditation, and prayer.




These are the books I'm reading to Leo.  We read from the Catechism for the first 10 minutes and then we read an entire Treasure Box book.  We read the Treasure books last year, and he really loved it.  He even remembered we had done so when I brought them to my bedroom on Ash Wednesday.





Ben is joining us for the Catechism book.  The illustrations are fantastic and we are able to really focus on some of the tenets of the faith, one on one.  He's also reading chapter books about various saints, I only have a few of the titles pictured here.



I purchased these books for Katerina, but so far she's been reading the Book of Esther from the bible. She will be confirmed this coming June and she chose Queen Esther as her confirmation saint.





These are Angela's selections.  I read 7 Women just a few weeks ago and loved it.  I've assigned Letters to a Young Catholic to some of my other children over the years and the final title was a suggestion from a good friend.  I may read that one, myself, once Angela is finished with it.





These are some of the books I have for myself.  I'd already began Called to be Holy and My Brother Pier Giorgio before Lent.  I read Father Neuhaus' Catholic Matters last Lent and Chris suggested Death on a Friday Afternoon for this year.  Mere Christianity is a title I've always wanted to read and after reading The Screwtape Letters this summer, I decided I definitely needed to tackle Mere Christianity.  The Examen Prayer is one I've read in the past, but have drifted from the practice of a daily examen, which is something I hope to remedy this 40 days.


These are our lofty goals.  With God's Grace, we hope to draw closer to him each day.


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} February 11






{Pretty}


I made this very pretty (and delicious) challah to go with a curried lentil soup for our main Ash Wednesday meal.  Fasting isn't quite as bad, if you have something so pretty waiting for you at the end.




{Happy}









It was February birthday week.  Our youngest and oldest had birthdays.  Leo blew out 5 candles on his chocolate sheet cake.



And Nadja blew out a single candle on her sophisticated cupcakes.  We decided 23 candles would be way too many to light.  No one likes candle wax on their cake.




Her cupcakes were amazing.  They were pineapple cupcakes, frosted with coconut buttercream and topped with toasted coconut, a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry.  I'll definitely be making those again.



{Funny}


The deer here have gotten down right audacious.  This doe just hung out nibbling our neighbor's bushes as we pulled up.  She didn't spook at all.



{Real}


We've got a bug traveling through the kids.  Our little guy came down with a low grade fever on Saturday and even took a rare nap.  By Monday he was coughing and sputtering and this morning I have three more with stuffy noses and coughs.  I have the diffuser going with a myriad of essential oils.  Hopefully we'll have this licked in just a couple days.



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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday 2016



"I like to think of Lent as a 40-day retreat that we enter into with the entire universal Church. It gives us an opportunity to re-examine our personal relationship with the Lord and to personally judge the spiritual state of our own life. The ashes of Ash Wednesday are a stark reminder of the shortness of life, the reality of death, the mortal nature of the human body, and the need for redemption. Salvation has come to the human race in the person of Jesus Christ. He suffered and died on the cross for the remission of our sins and to show us that death is the doorway through which we enter into eternity-eternal life or eternal damnation. Lent provides an opportunity for each one of us to contemplate the mystery of our redemption that we might more deeply appreciate the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in our daily life, the forgiveness of sins that He has purchased for us by His suffering and death, and the eternal life that He has promised to those who are committed to Him."
--Msgr Charles Parry, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Bowie, MD


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Friday, February 5, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Little Lamb is 5!



{Pretty}


5 years ago, February 4th, this beautiful baby boy was given to us. His sweet little face won us over immediately.





{Happy}


He has brought so much joy into our lives.












{Funny}


He's also added so much more laughter with is funny faces, dispositon . . .





















. . . and a mouth that does not quit moving.



{Real}


Reality has hit me hard.  Our baby is 5.  Where did the time go and can we please make it stop?



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