Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Week 9 In Review

The Week in Pictures: 

 William participated in a workshop at the Local Library called "toy hacking"  It was suppose to last 1 hour but after an hour & 15 minutes, I had to pull him away so we wouldn't be late for noon Mass.  He was enjoying it so much the time flew!

 On Friday afternoon, we had a picnic lunch in the living room.  We were supposed to eat lunch on the road to an appointment but a dead car battery changed plans for us...
 The table was set for an important visitor that evening....
 We were blessed to have Bishop Coyne and Monsignor Routhier over for dinner!!  
Phil let me know on Monday that I would get to prepare dinner for the Bishop on a Friday in Lent :-)
 On Saturday, (after a trip to Costco to purchase an emergency battery jump-starter for my peace of mind) we went to a kids carnival where we saw real live Zebu (for those Veggie Tale fans)...
 and the kids got to ride on a camel!

Highlights from the Week: 

This was the week of dinner guests!  On Tuesday night we had a young couple come for dinner that Phil met through his work with the Diocese.  It was delightful to have Simeon and Julia Lewis over for dinner.  Simeon teaches for the local Catholic High School and Julia is a Catholic therapist who is also very involved in Rachael's Vineyard and presented on this topic for the priests in our diocese. 

 Our pastor Msgr. John McDermitt stopped by on Thursday to measure some windows in the rectory (which will become his home as soon as we move out).   The kids were excited to show him their art work - they love Msgr. McDermitt and we will miss seeing him almost everyday when we move to Fairfax. He unfortunately didn't have time to stay for dinner but we sent him off with a dinner to go.  

Finally, on Friday we welcomed the pastor of the Cathedral, Msgr. Routhier and our very own Bishop Coyne into our temporary home!  Luckily, I only had a few days to worry about what to prepare for dinner since Phil let me know on Monday.  In the end I served a Veggie Lasagna, salad and fresh bread and despite some anxiety, everything went well - it was a delightful evening and we feel truly blessed.    (I did keep his reflection on humility in mind and resolved to be at peace whether things went well or not.)

Everything is going smoothly with the purchase of our home.  Our closing date is still set for March 18th and we may even be able to close on the house a few days earlier if everything falls into place. We are eagerly counting down the days when we can unpack all the boxes again!

Our days continue to pass by quickly full of joy and challenges, always striving towards serving Christ with our whole hearts and greeting each person we meet with His love.  Our prayers are with you, please continue to pray for us!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

2016 Week 8 In Review

The Week in Pictures
 A surprise package arrived from Aunt Susan who lives in San Diego and the kids were so excited to open their presents. :-)
Thomas shows off his fishing game. 
William was so excited to assemble his "Tin Can Robot."
Miriam was excited to get new books from Aunt Susan!
Luke showing off his "bat ball" and new green shirt. 
 William posing in his cowboy attire just for fun. 
We took a trip to our local Burger King play place for a Saturday lunch time outing.

 William spent Saturday afternoon assembling his "tin can robot" from Aunt Susan.
 Family Monopoly Night after haircuts for the boys
Sunday morning comics
 Miriam helped make cinnamon roll bread today!

Highlights from the Week: 

The week passed quickly with a day off for President's day on Monday (Phil had the day off so we had a nice day with Dad), the monthly home school co-op on Wednesday and Atrium on Thursday.

We are continuing through the home-buying process and everything looks good - the last big hurdle is the appraisal.  Hopefully the house is worth at least what we offered. :-)  

We had to fish out a box of books from the garage for Miriam because she's reading everything in sight!  She's now read Charlotte's Web, the three Indian in the Cupboard books, The Saints in Story, several Calvin and Hobbes books  and many shorter library books - it's fun to seeing her enjoy reading so much!  

Praise the Lord for His many blessings!  Life in Vermont is not without its daily challenges but among the challenges are so many blessings and affirmations that this is where God has called our family to be and we rejoice in His plan.  Phil continues to enjoy his work at the Diocese of Burlington and we continue to meet and get to know new friends in the area.  We definitely miss our many friends and the community we had in Green Bay but we know that the sacrifices God has called us to make are efficacious in His plan so we abandon ourselves to His Will and find comfort in His Sacred Heart.  May God bless each of you and your families!  Our prayers are with you - please pray for us as well!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

2016 Week 7 In Review

The Week in Pictures: 
 Working on our Catholic School House Art projects.  Thomas is making his Roman Fresco in the abstract art style..  
 Luke and William show off their tromp de l'oeil Roman Arch and Roman Fresco.

 Thomas helping to clean up the play room. 
 John turned 10 months old on Ash Wednesday. 
 Ash Wednesday at the Diocesan Offices with Dad. 

 My little knights

 Tom can write his name - sort of.  Not bad for a three year old though.  
 Tired after a busy day of homeschooling, Thomas fell asleep at the dinner table.  
 St. Valentine's Day flowers to brighten up the room :-)
 Phil and I got to enjoy an evening out.  A local catholic women's group sponsored an evening for couples with a nice dinner, the Augustine Institute's Session one of "Beloved" and time for discussion with free babysitting.  We enjoyed our time there and the materials from the Augustine Institute are really wonderful and well done!  This picture was taken by Miriam.

A couple of Sunday Morning pictures.  
 Our Saint dolls all lined up :-)
 Today there were a lot of robins in our "front yard" all trying to keep warm in this single digits and below 0 weather.
Phil built a Lego table for the kids this weekend to help keep the little Legos out of John's reach.  

Highlights from the Week: 
1. Everything is going well with the house in Fairfax.  We had the home inspection this week and have ordered the appraisal.  There were only a few minor plumbing and electrical fixes to take care of from the inspection - everything else looks good.  God willing, in a little over a month we'll be in our new home!  We are counting down the days and can't wait to be in a permanent home again.  John's new found skills, coupled with 4 older siblings who have toys with small parts (read Legos) and our temporary circumstances have made it challenging to "baby proof" so I'll be grateful when there are more "baby safe" spaces.  

2. We are entering into the Lenten season in our temporary home without some of the materials we would normally use (they are in boxes) so we're doing some new sacrifices to help prepare our hearts for Easter and strengthen us in virtue.   Our pastor had a really beautiful reflection on how the Lenten penances that we do are strengthening our "spiritual muscles" to give us strength to carry our Cross and follow Christ on our path to holiness so together we are striving to do just a little more each day for Our Lord who has given everything for us.  

Our prayers are with you especially during this Holy Lenten Season!  We are so grateful for this time to look into our hearts and see how we can love others better and do more to become more like Our Lord and Blessed Mother!  May God bless you and your families - please pray for us too!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

2016 Week 6 In Review

The Week in Pictures:

This week, while our friends in Green Bay enjoyed a winter storm and snow day, we enjoyed the beautiful, sunshine and unusually warm weather.  We've loved seeing the fun Wisconsin snow pictures but appreciated the nice weather since we spent a few days this week looking at houses in Vermont. 
 Here's a picture of William at Christ the King on a day he was serving.
 We went to visit Phil at the Diocesan offices and join him for Mass this week.  One of his kind co-workers gave each of the children some Mardi Gras beads and I'm amazed at all the creative ways they've been used.  This picture shows one use: an animal puppet show.  They also used them as lassos, leashes, and to chain themselves to their desks while completing their schoolwork.  Who knew Mardi Gras beads had so many uses?

 This Saturday we went to the Home Depot kids workshop to make mailboxes - so much fun!  We also went to the "Church Street Marketplace" to see some of the ice sculptures - the highlight was watching two men sculpting a throne out of ice.    It was hard to drag William away!

 The kids have been enjoying Calvin and Hobbes comic books from the Library lately so they were excited to see this picture as we were walking down Church Street.
We stopped at St. Luke's Church on Saturday while looking at houses.  This may be our new parish as long as all goes well with our accepted offer on a home in Fairfax, VT.  :-)
We went to the celebration of World Marriage Day with Bishop Christopher Coyne today and the kids made a new friend.  It was a beautiful celebration of Marriage - there were over 50 couples present celebrating significant anniversaries including 3 couples celebrating 70 years of Marriage!  What a gift to be part of such a beautiful celebration!

Highlights from the Week:

It was a busy and eventful week!  Here are the highlights:

1. John will be 10 months in 3 days (on Ash Wednesday - where did the time go?)  This week he finally mastered crawling forward and is sporting another tooth (bringing his total to 5).  Sleep has been lacking lately and we are enjoying the new challenges that go with his new abilities!  

2. The meeting with William's evaluators at the Stern Center was very helpful and confirmed what we had suspected - he does have dyslexia.  While his visual-spacial skills are strong and he is average in most areas, his mind processes language/ verbal information very slowly which makes it very difficult for him to read.  On the bright side, he is doing well and still making progress and homeschooling has allowed me to work with him one-on one and the Stern Center has a lot of great resources that will help me to teach him even more effectively and efficiently!   We are exploring the various options available to us at the Stern Center.   We also look forward to seeing the detailed results from his testing which we should have in a week or two.   

3.  Our initial offer on the Waterbury home was not accepted and because of some concerns we had with the condition of the home we decided to explore other options this week.  We spent the week looking at houses in Fairfax which is North East of Burlington and a bit further than the 1/2 hour drive for which we were hoping.  After more prayer, a lot of help from our amazing, knowledgeable and very patient realtor we found a home and have an accepted offer!!  We are really excited and appreciate any prayers as we continue through the home buying process.

God is so good!  Today we were able to go through the Holy Door at the Co-Cathedral.   What a great gift this year of mercy is!  Each evening, we pray that we can be the visible face of Jesus  - May Our dear Lord help our family to be this visible face of His Mercy!  Our prayers are with you and we pray that each of you may encounter Christ anew especially in this great gift of the Jubilee year of His Mercy!  God bless your week!