Saturday, February 26, 2011

Women of Christ Conference

I had the privilege of attending the third annual Women of Christ Conference in late January.The speakers included Immaculeé Ilibagiza who survived the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, Fr. Larry Richards and Helen Alvaré with Vicki Thorn as our Emcee. Immaculeé's presentation was amazing! Her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is palpable and very inspiring, and her story is one of amazing conversion that challenges anyone who desires to know God to go deeper.  I hope to read one of her books and learn more about her story.  Her second presentation on the approved only apparation of Mary in Africa - Kiboho, was an important message for today. The part that stuck in my memory was Mary's message to the people of Africa who were praying for the death of their corrupt and unjust president: "Do you know what can happen if he dies- pray rather for his conversion."(my paraphrase)The President's assasination was used to ignite the the hatred that spurred on the genocide causing the death of hundreds of thousands of people. How important prayer is and how important that we are known by our love.

Father Larry Richard's Presentation was great -  he's a blunt, "take me as I am" sort of Priest that isn't afraid to say it like it is.  His examination of conscience was great!  The beauty of our Catholic faith is that it liberates a person to truly be themselves and Father Larry is a great example of a man of faith who knows himself and has a great understanding of human nature.  His stories and examples were excellent.

Since I attended the conference with Luke, I definately didn't catch every part of the presentations.  The final presenter before Holy Mass, Helen Alvaré, was excellent in her no-nonsense, factual approach to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.  She spoke using concrete statistics bearing proof that when you break the natural law, you can't escape the natural consequences and that the Church's moral teachings are based in a true understanding of what is best for every human person.  I unfortunately missed most of her presentation due to a necessary diaper change but would love to hear her speak again.

It is an amazing experience to see over 2000 Chrisitan women coming together in one place to learn more about the beauty of the Catholic faith.  It's also a great blessing to have Eucharistic adoration available during the whole conference and the sacrament of Confession available as well.  I am always inspiried by how long the line gets for this beautiful sacrament!  The vendors and display tables with many great Catholic resources were great as well, it is helpful to see the many ministries and Catholic resources that are out there.

What a great blessing it was to attend this conference and though my state in life makes it difficult to attend every year - I look forward to the years I am able to be there.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sick Babies

This has been an especially hard winter for my little almost 9 month old Luke.  He has literally been sick from December until now of varying degrees of severity with a few healthy days here and there.  Have any of you had an especially hard winter with sickness?  Those who haven't battled sickness or who have, what has worked for you?  Do you have an immune system booster you rely on?  It seems there is so little you can do for a baby since it is difficult and undesireable to give them most over-the-counter remedies.  With that said, here are the things that work best for us:
For Congestion, coughing especially croup and stuffy noses the thing that works best at least temporarily is to go into the bathroom & turn on the shower with hot water - the steam really helps loosen the congestion.  We also use a humidifier. 
I love vicks baby rub since it can even be used on little babies. 

So I'd love to hear what works for you!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cafe Cana

The U.S. Bishops have been encouraging Married couples with their program "For Your Marriage" and as a response to this initiative the Green Bay Diocese piloted a program they developed called Cafe Cana.  This program is modelled on the very popular Theology on Tap which is geared to young adults. 

Our Parish, St. Peter's in Stevens Point picked up on this idea and we had over 60 people attend our first "Cafe Cana" night - the topic was "Men are like Waffles, Women like Spaghetti" and it was presented by Jeff and Alice Heinzen from the La Crosse Diocese (our Diocese) office of Marriage and family life. 

 It was a helpful presentation and here's a segment:

St. Peter's is planning to host future sessions and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Luke's Moving

Well, It's official, Luke is mobile.  While he can't control direction just yet, it is only a matter of time until he's into William's and Miriam's things.  I think it's more of a challenge to baby-proof for number three since the older two have little toys they enjoy playing with. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Some Winter Fun

Though the Winter days may seem long and sickness has kept us home and inside more often
than we would like, we have had some really fun winter days.

William and Phil built a snow castle outside:

William has built many and varied tents in our house, Cleo is a good sport since William has claimed her corner for this one.  It was thoughtful of William to make sure she was warm and cozy in her new spot.

We went to our local Children's Museum for it's Grand Opening in its new location.
Here Miriam is enjoying their play area.

Miriam and William have had fun building with Legos.  They built this "house" together.

We went to a friend's house to help them make a "Tigger Pinata" for Anna's 4th Birthday.  Here's an interview with the soon to be birthday girl:

Once it is dry we'll be able to add another coat of Papier Mache and paint it.  A messy but fun project. Considering the fact that we had 7 kids age 5 and under working on the pinata I think it turned out pretty well.

We are ready for spring and to be out and about and illness free..yet we're grateful for the fun days we've had this winter.  Praise God for His many blessings!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Making Snow Ice Cream

This week we had a fresh snowfall and decided to make "Easy Ice-Cream Snow." Since I grew up in Southern California, I had never sampled this treat before so I was suprised at how easy it was to make. We mixed 4 ingredients in a bowl (Miriam, my faithful kitchen helper really enjoyed whisking them together): 1 cup of milk, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Then we used our big bowl of fresh snow to add snow to the ingredients.
It really looked like ice cream when we were done and was quite tasty!

Both kids thought it was especially tasty with Chocolate Syrup:-)