Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eileen is Grateful

I am writing to add the things I am thankful for on a Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings this week.  Please feel free to go to Judy's blog to be part of this special meme.

I am thankful for the warm oatmeal with a small touch of light brown sugar I can have on cold mornings.  It really warms me up.

I am thankful for the Christmas ham dinner we had together.  I was able to make pea soup afterwards with the leftovers.  Unfortunately, no one else in my family will eat pea soup.  I guess that means more for me.  I really wish they would give it a try though because it is so good and very healthy.  This also warms me up.

I am thankful for the warm showers we can take in the morning to start our days, warm beds at night to cuddle under the covers, and a propane heated fireplace.  The temperature just suddenly dropped in Maryland and all these things that keep us warm I am so grateful for tonight.

I am thankful for the good friends we were able to visit during the Christmas break.  They both live on farms and have gorgeous houses.  Each house has a movie room in the basements.  My two youngest watch Toy Story III at one house with the children while I visited with their mom.  My husband watched the Maryland football game at the other house while the moms and children gathered and talked upstairs, occasionally taking a break to watch the game.

I am thankful for the good friends my children have to hang out with and have fellowship with eachother.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time for Santa's Visit

It is almost Christmas Eve.  In our home that means Santa will be visiting our house.  It has been a tradition for dh to come as Santa to bring small gifts to us.  Mom films the whole event.  My four older children know the real story of Santa (Saint Nicholas) while my four year old is caught on film with wonder and joy for this jolly man dressed in red that is so giving to others!  Afterwards, when dh is no longer dressed up, I film the conversation he has with the children about the jolly visitor to our home that he missed because he had to run out to the store.  It is a wonderful way to capture our children's Christmas joy and innocence on film while they are young.  This is all after we've attended Mass and worshipped the Lord as the best gift for us.  We all are aware that we should not get wrapped up in the commercialization of Christmas.  My children never want too much.  In fact, my two older boys just want money to be able to go snowboarding or take a special trip with their friends.  My children are aware that too much 'stuff' just clutters up our lives.  They know the true meaning of Christmas and how our Savior came as a poor needy child.  Jesus is our shining example of how we are to live our lives with honor and worship for the greatest Giver that ever lived on earth.  Santa is just a wonderful way to bring the act of giving to others as an important virtue to our children.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings

My friend has a wonderful way for others to share and show how God has blessed them during their week.  Every Wednesday, you can go to her site at Judy's blog and write five things you are thankful for that have recently occurred in your life.  So often, we can think we are not making good progress.  It is good to get into the habit of writing down some of the things that we have done so that our value in the eyes of God is reinforced and lived out in our perceptions about ourselves.  Here are five of the things I am thankful for this past week:

1)  We finally finished making 12 dozen Christmas cookies for our homeschool co-ops Christmas party today.  It was a bit time consuming but well worth it.  Every mom will have a dozen cookies for one person.  My kids will love having all these 'cookie choices' during the Christmas season.  My college age sons - I'm sure - will gobble some of them up!

2)  We thankfully cut down and put up our Christmas tree this past weekend.  It is all decorated and my toddler loves to look at the ornaments.  Sometimes, we say our prayers around the lit up tree remembering that Jesus is 'the Light of the World.'

3)  I was able to double the recipe I made for my families dinner last night.  This will allow me to bring an extra dish to the Christmas party.  There will be 26 hungry children there.

4)  Our family attended Christmas Mass at my daughters high school on Gaudette Sunday.  It is really an effort to make the 40 minute drive at times.  We were able to attend and have fellowship with all the wonderful faculty and parents at this Catholic school.

5)  Our Jesse Tree is in full swing now and our Advent Wreath is out.  We light the candles and say prayers every night before dinner.  I am reading devotions from Benedict Groeschels book "Behold, He Comes."  The meditations are very good, but we have to remember that being a psychologist - Fr. Groeschel has seen alot of troubled people.  Sometimes this comes through in his writing.  It is good though because it is a sad fact that evil does exist in our world.  He usually has a remedy, through knowing Christ, to combat the darkness.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finding Joy during the Holidays

It is now Advent season and my two youngest children and I have began our Jesse Tree.  This is all being done in the midst of cleaning, decorating, shopping and preparing for Christmas.  So often, at this time of year, I wonder how it will all get done.  Worry and anxiety can set into my mind.  Then, something wonderful happens.  I hear the voices of my children.  I hear and see how they are growing and showing compassion to eachother. 

I take a moment to turn to my Bible to read a passage:  "A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you." (Isaiah 26:3)  My life is really such a joy with Christ at the helm.  Even though it is a bit hectic and disorganized at this time, the voices of my children cause me to send up a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord.  His Word reminds me that those who keep their minds on Him will have great peace.  Any worry or anxiety seems to melt away as I read God's Word and prepare for the day ahead.  Let God's Word melt your troubles away.  How do you prepare for the coming of the Lord during Advent?