Sunday, November 27, 2016

November 2016 In Review

Happy First Sunday of Advent!

Today Phil was instituted a an Acolyte and Lector at St. Joseph's Co-Cathedral.  
 The children were able to bring up the gifts to give to Bishop Coyne.  Miriam was so excited and said this was "one of the most important Masses of her life."



Here is the rest of November in Pictures:

Halloween fun - Thomas our little monster next to the pink princess. 
Then we have Luke the Dragon.

Here's an action shot of our brave knight fighting the fearsome dragon to protect the princess while the blue monster looks on :-)

I tried to get John to wear the Thomas the train costume but he left it on just barely long enough for me to snap a picture.
He went out trick-or-treating as a squire in training.  
This was one of our stops - the local funeral home always has a cool theme for Trick or treaters.  This year was Star Wars.
Here are our Saints for All Saints Day.  We just had a simple celebration at home this year. William dressed up as St. Francis Xavier.
Luke was St. Florian.
Miriam was St. Bernadette.

And Thomas was St. Sebastian

Here's a group shot. 


Luke is really enjoying Tiger Cub Scouts and wa able to do some archery with some other scouts.
Here is one of Thomas and Luke's Lego "set-ups."  They have been playing Lego's a lot lately and getting along really well together.  Lego's are definitely on my list of "best toys."
Here's one of our science lessons - the kids got to make models of hydrogen and Oxygen atoms using paper plates and candy.

This is a gorgeous fall sunset - the view from our front porch. 
A fall picture of our home. 
Phil trimmed the overgrown Apple Tree in back and the kids had fun playing in the branches.
Here are some of the Simple Saints I've been painting lately..


We had our first snow fall and the kids are loving it!  They have been out in the snow almost everyday!

William was able to do a two day wood working shop this week with the Thanksgiving holiday.

For Thanksgiving we had friends come visit  - the Kimani's, our friends the Queor's and our piano Teacher Mrs. Siegel.  Unfortunately, I was too busy preparing/cooking/serving to get a picture of everyone but we had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Clara Kimani made this beautiful fruit basket for us! 

 This picture was taken while everyone was outside just before dinner time. 


We have so much to be thankful for  - God has blessed our family abundantly.  In closing I'll just add a Thanksgiving meditation that I wrote many years ago, that we'll often read just before enjoying our Thanksgiving meal.  May God bless each of you and know our prayers are with you!

A Thanksgiving Meditation

What does “Thanksgiving” bring to mind? Does it bring to mind the thought of the first American Thanksgiving…The voyage of the Mayflower, the first devastating winter for the Pilgrims, the help of the American “Indians,” and a celebration of God’s generosity in a bountiful harvest. 

Perhaps you may reflect upon the many things we have to be thankful for such as a gift of new life, the answer to a prayer, coming to know more fully the vocation to which God has called you, the gift of faith, of family, of friends, of good health, of the many comforts we’ve been given, perhaps gratitude for the struggles God has given us the strength to overcome.

What about gifts you prefer not to be given … an acceptance of God’s will even when it is not easy, an acceptance of sickness and pain, even death and embracing it joyfully because this is God’s will and He can do much good through our suffering.

Everything is a “gift” from that first moment of conception, and the moment of our first breath until the moment we breath our last– how undeserving we are of all the gifts weare given…how little we do in return.  Perhaps one turns to the “Giver” and ponders His amazing generosity -  And then perhaps the greatest “Gift” comes to mind:  God’s gift of Himself, to become man so that He could take our sinfulness upon Himself in the face of our ingratitude and Love dies on the Cross, conquers sin and death and gives us the gift of eternal Life – His own Life- that we had shunned and lost through disobedience. 

Perhaps then we think of our choice each day to take this new life offered to us or to shun it and we realize that God knew human nature was weak and He gave us another gift - His presence in the Eucharist to sustain us.  "The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ. Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in humanity." CCC,1359

God gave us a way to say Thank you: "The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all 'thanksgiving.'" (CCC, 1360) . “It is called: Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek words eucharistein 141 and eulogein 142 recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim - especially during a meal - God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.”  (CCC,1328)











Sunday, October 30, 2016

September and October 2016 In Review

November is almost here - where did the last 2 months go?
 Here's a summary of the what we have been up to in pictures: 
 The kids had a great soccer season.  It kept us hopping 6 days a week since each of the three oldest children had practice 2 days a week and they were all on different days.  All three children had games on Saturdays too.  It was a huge time commitment but well worth it.
 We had a fun children's carnival at St. Luke's parish - the kids had a great time.
 The kids got to see Dad on T.V. as he was on the local morning news show to talk about a Vigil for Peace he was helping to organize for that evening for the Diocese of Burlington.
 We went on a field trip to Fort Ticonderoga.  

Here's a picture of my "little priests in training."  The like to play Mass in the evening before bed time. 


 On October 15 we Phil received the rite of Candidacy in preparation for ordination to the diaconate in February.

 Thomas turned 4 years old!
 We went to the Inspire conference in Lake Placid, New York. 

 The kids helped me clean out pumpkins to bake for pie and muffins and cookies.
The children began Catechesis of the Good Shepherd again and are really enjoying it.

  And then the big trip to California!  Taking 5 kids on an airplane couldn't have gone smoother. They did a great job and it was an intense 9 days of travelling and visiting family and friends but so full of blessings and love!


 All 12 grandchildren together for the first time!
 We stayed with Chris and Mimi and their girls - it was such a blessing and joyful stay!
We had dinner with good friends Jamie and Vi and got to meet their children for the first time.
The kids got to go to Legoland!




 Another attempt to get all 12 grandchildren together....


 Dinner with Fr. Ed Horning who con-celebrated our Wedding Mass with Fr. Robert Schaller in San Diego. Our good friends Edward and Andra graciously hosted the dinner and we got to spend more time with their beautiful family.

 We went to the zoo. 
and of course we had to visit the beach!
We had such a great time and the children were so sorry to leave all of our family in San Diego. It was such a gift to spend time with Grandparents, Cousins, Aunts, Uncles and friends and we miss you!  
 We had a great harvest of carrots this year from our garden.  
 Luke started Boy Scouts!
 The fall weather was beautiful!
 This year's Carrot Cake.
 Phil turned 40!
 William had a great soccer season.  
 We celebrated Thomas' Baptism Day.  
 I'm getting ready to sell my Simple Saints at my first craft show next Saturday!

 We carved our homegrown pumpkins today.




 Luke carved both sides. 

Praise the Lord for His many blessings!!!  We wish you a blessed Sunday and Happy All Saints and All Souls Day this week!