Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Weeks 16 & 17 In Review

Week 16 and 17 in Pictures: 
This week Miriam made her First Communion on her 8th birthday! In preparation for her First Communion, she had a retreat through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  The day before the children receive their First Communion, they receive their First Confession.  In Miriam's case it wasn't her first but it was still a wonderful way to prepare her heart to receive Our Lord for the first time!
 After their confession, the children renewed their baptismal vows and were robed in a white garment and lit a candle they had made while on retreat.
Miriam had Thursday evening and all day Friday to do many special activities in preparation for her confession on Saturday and Communion on Tuesday, her birthday.
 Getting ready!
 Miriam received her First Communion on Tuesday, April 19th at Christ the King Parish from Msgr. John McDermott.  This is the same parish we had the blessing of attending daily Mass at while living in the parish rectory for our first 3 months.  It was a  joyful day and a blessing to share it with the parishioners there as well as many of our homeschooling friends.

 Miriam received a new bike for her 8th Birthday :-)

 Amidst the joyful preparations for Miriam's First Communion, we were blessed to spend time with some old friends from LaCrosse diocese -  Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.  Phil asked them to come and visit while they were travelling around the East coast and while they were here in Vermont they spoke to around 500 people - not bad for a 48 hour visit.

The boys and I were blessed to join them for lunch (Miriam was on her retreat)... 

and Miriam spent time with the sisters Friday evening.  

Around the house we have been working on many projects!  We planted 4 apple trees.  
We also were able to get a free play set.  Phil and William brought it to our house in 2 trips with the trailer.  It still needs some work but the kids are already enjoying it!

 Phil built a new sandbox and was able to find some free sand to fill it!
 The kids love their sand hill.  

 Phil built himself a work bench and a side table for me to use in the school room for painting my peg dolls.

 And my favorite amazing project was the bookshelves Phil built me so that we could get our books out of boxes and organize the basement.

The basement play space is coming together and we are almost completely unpacked.  There are a few boxes to unpack in the garage, basement and a couple closets but our home is now almost box-free and it's great to be able to find things again!  
 Today we walked in the St. Albans Maple Fest parade with the Vermont Right to life group.

The kids got to ride in this cool car - do you see Miriam in the back seat?

A neat fact about St. Albans  (which is about 20 minutes from Fairfax) is that it is named for the first English martyr.  

Highlights from the last two weeks:

 These past two weeks were filled with many blessings!  We rejoice that our second child can now receive Our Lord in Holy Communion!  How beautiful it is to see our little ones growing in faith. Each day presents it new challenges, joys, struggles and graces that help us hopefully to grow closer to Christ and become more like Him.  Recently, Facebook reminded me that 4 years ago we celebrated our oldest children's 6th and 4th birthdays in Stevens Point with the amazing families there who had become part of our family at St. Peter's Parish.   Little did we know know then that we would soon be called on a pilgrimage of faith that would lead us to Gaylord, MI and then to Green Bay, WI and now to the diocese of Vermont in Burlington.  Each step on this journey has been challenging and joy-filled and has prepared us for the next step.   Praise God for His many blessings and may we be faithful to His call!  Our prayers are with you please continue to pray for us!      

Sunday, April 10, 2016

2016 Week 15 In Review

The Week in Pictures: 
John turned 1 today!!!  Where did the year go? 

It's also only 9 days until Miriam's 1st Holy Communion & 8th Birthday!  This weekend, among other preparations for this special day, I made a white garment for her to wear next Saturday.   This week, through the  Catechesis of the Good Shepherd,  Miriam will be on retreat Thursday evening(4-6), Friday (9-4) and Saturday(9-4).  When she goes to Confession as part of a retreat with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in preparation for her First Holy Communion, she'll be clothed in a white garment and renew her baptismal vows.  
We now have a "new to us" piano!  Miriam is excited to begin piano lessons again!
Father Henry Furman, our pastor, came to bless our new home.  We enjoyed a wonderful evening with him here for dinner - what a blessing!

This is the beautiful view from our front porch. 

Highlights from the week: 

My head is spinning :-)  Life is joyfully busy and each day if full, praise God!  I am so grateful for the many blessings and the joys of settling into our new home.  We are mostly out of boxes and the house is slowly becoming home.  We're looking forward to celebrating Miriam's First Communion next week and having friends join us for this special occasion.  Our prayers continue to be with each of you during this blessed Easter Season - please pray for us!

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 Week 14 In Review

The Week in Pictures: 

 Aunt Jenny came to visit us!  She drove all the way from Wisconsin in "Molly" her trusty car to spend Easter week with us. 
 She did the finishing touches on Miriam's 1st Communion dress while she was here. 
 Jello Easter eggs :-)
 She made these amazing eggs for each of the children!
 Miriam's beautiful First Communion dress made from the Wedding dress I wore in Rome when Phil and I received our "Sposi Novelli" Papal Blessing on our honeymoon.  Thank you Aunt Jenny!!
A bit of Super hero fun - here are my "Tiny Titans" :-)
 We set up the "Play Mass" Altar in the boys' room and Thomas was really excited to play Mass.  In fact, this morning while the older kids were home schooling, I found him upstairs in his room playing Mass.
 I was asked to paint Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help along with some more St. Therese peg dolls.

We made a Rice Krispie Lamb Cake to finish off the Easter Octave.  
I had intended to frost it but due to sickness we kept it really simple :-)

Highlights from the Week:

We loved spending time with Aunt Jenny but the days passed much too quickly and were way too short - we miss you already!  

Thomas and Phil had been fighting a cold and it caught up with everyone else on Saturday.  Poor John was up every hour so unfortunately the younger children stayed home with Mom on Divine Mercy Sunday.  Everyone is on the mend now though I can hear the echo of coughs as I type.  

May the blessings of Divine Mercy Sunday and the delayed Feast of the Annunciation be with your families!  Our prayers are with you, please continue to pray for us!