Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Looking for cousins to come for a tea party...

Little Therese looks at the snow blowing out on the road in front of our house... Grandpa had to make a path through the snow for her Aunt Ruthie and her two kids to come...  For the last day of November... it looks like a long cold winter is ahead.  Lots of time putting on snow clothes on kids for those short times outside in the wind and the snow.
It sure is pretty though................
Bless-bless, Barb
"Though your sins be as scarlet... they will become as white as snow."  Isaiah 1 : 18
That is a vivid picture is it not?

"Your Words. Lord, are Spirit and Life." John 6: 63

It was a funny sight yesterday as Maria dressed her two in the winter clothing for the first time... it took about 10 minutes with the ususal putting mittons on over and over... with the thumbs everywhere but the place where they are supposed to be... 
Therese had time to go and watch the kitten play while mom got little brother, Dave, dressed... As the snow was blowing around and the wind is howling, we just shared breakfast with Maria and her two little ones and read morning prayer and the readings for the day... Little Therese prayed for "a new baby brother"... no, Maria is not expecting yet... and for her "daddy", who is in the military for training.  We discovered to our delight that it is ST Andrew's feastday today... He was very important to both of my girls in their ventures into religious life and also is a favorite name of all 3 of our girls for a boy... we already have 2 Davids and it would be funny to someday have 3 Andrews also!
I knew that Maria had thought that if she had stayed with the Poor Clares that she would have been Mary Andrew... I asked her today to remind me why.... "When I was in Rome... he just seemed to always be there whereever I looked.  He also had died on a cross in the shape of an "X" and wrote a most beautiful thing about the cross."  It is called "Bona Cruz" and it was written and placed on Susan's altar in her room and I found it there when she left... It was still in her room when Maria moved in a few days ago and is now in her prayer space that she has set up in the "office/play room/guest room" that she has made in one of the bedrooms upstairs... Therese is overjoyed to have her toys on a shelf in that room.  They have been stored here in the basement in a box about 5 months before Joe left for the military... wonderful relaxed family time to keep them strong now with the seperation! 
The beautiful Gospel today of Christ walking along the shore and calling Andrew and his brother, Peter..."'Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.'  And at once they left their nets and followed him."   How simple and nonquestioning this was for them to "know" that He was Real and True and that there was no doubt for them to do what he asked of them!  He is calling each one of us to follow him... we hear Him in our families and our jobs and our vocations and our worship and all those that we come in contact with... we must leave all and follow him... leave all that distracts us... The Magnificat today addresses what Andrew did when he left all to follow Christ..."What made Andrew leave his nets and follow Jesus?  'Faith comes from what is heard.' Christ beckons,'Come after me...' His promise transformed the possiblities of Andrew's life.  St Andrew preached what he met in that moment.  May he always be our friend."  see http://www.magnificat.com/
A toil of love getting her kids all bundled up and then going out to do a small job that grandpa had asked her to do... it took about 5 minutes and they were all back in to get out of their layers of warm clothes...."Therese says that she is cold."  We all have done it many times in our lives... living here in the winter wonderland that we do... the last day of November and school was already late 2 hours this morning!  Grandp is now putting on his layers of warm clothes to go out and care for his animals...  I don't think that Maria and the kids will be joining him today.... howling cold wind and snow are not exactly good for a 2 and 1 year old.
The Cross and sharing the Gospel is what St Andrew signifies for us and for my girls... It is so interesting that both of my girls encountered him on their journey into religious life! 
This is what I found in Susan/Hallel's room after she had left for France... O Bona Crux             "O Good Cross, which is decorated and made beautiful by the hanging body of the Lord upon it, long have I desired you, ardently have I loved you, unceasingly have I sought you, and now my eager soul is ready for you.  Accept me from among me, and bring me to my Master.  Receive this disciple of Christ, so that by means of you He may receive me, He who, by his death upon you, redeemed me.  Amen"  - Prayed by ST Andrew before being crucified for his faith.
 Such a wonderful peaceful prayerful time... we are filled with gratitude on this week after Thanksgiving.  To have the eyes of little ones to show us the delight of the simple things in life!  Grandpa has been upstairs reading the kids books in their prayer/play room! 
Baby animals and kids... Grandma is in heaven!
Lord and Savior... your Word came to earth and showed us the face of God!  It is one of LOVE and PEACE and JOY!  How we long to follow you and to reveal you to all those around us...especially to those the closest to us... Our Family!  St Andrew we have come to know you and how you embraced without hesitation... with total joy... the Cross... the tree of LIFE!  Thank you for being such an amazing part of our life and continue to intercede for us... A shout out to our nephew, Andrew, today and his son... Andrew!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!
Bless-bless, Barb
"Then Jesus said to his disciples,'Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself , take up his cross, and follow me.'"  Mt 16: 24
Therese came to pose for pictures with both of her new kitties that grandpa got for her to spend the next months with...Thanks Grandpa!  I love you and Alice and Herbert... Ally and Herby!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea Party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Therese was excited to go down and find her tea set in the basement room where all of the things from their house are stored until they know where they will be living someday in the future...  Her dad just entered the military, so after months of training and who knows where he will be stationed... now all of the possessions are from their house in St Paul are in boxes in our basement... It was so fun for Therese to go down and find her toys and to share a "tea party" with her cousins and new baby kitties, that grandpa got for her and her brother to have while they live with us. 
The first day of our new normal was delightful!  It is winter storming outside, but John got to college in one piece... thank you, Lord.   WE had a fun time planning to make some drawings from Therese for her Godmother... Little Sister Hallel.... Her mom is starting to crochet a blue sweater to keep her sister warm... made with love and a labor of love with a tiny crochet needle!  Hallel has a Christmas wish list that we want to gather together to send in a box for her to have a "family Christmas in a box filled with love!"  She needs a sleeping bag that can be squished into a small ball in her backpack for when she goes on "mission." 

Johnnie and Godson, Davey, got to hang out with the kitties before John headed back to college.  It was wonderful to have had these last 5 days with John in such close contact and sharing!  Now we have a few days apart until we head to Rochester on Thursday!  Jesus, we need you to hold us in the palm of your hand.  Calm our fears and allow us to give it all to you and to TRUST!

It was a bit scarey to send John to the Cities with the weather starting, but he made it with an extra hour to slowly and carefully drive there. 

It was a great day and I know that we will have our ups and downs...  Maria made my heart happy by sharing that she felt a peace at being "home and with family."  Mom always likes to hear that!

Lord, thank you for the special moments when we gather in the warmth of our homes while the winter winds begin to howl and the snow to swirl...  May the warmth be from within... the fruits of your love for us... may we see you in all those around us and most of all in our families.  Jesus, we trust in you to give us all we need to love and to serve all those in our lives!  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
"If we expose ourselves deeply and humbly to the power of God's Word, he will come to us as both rain and sword, as both principle of new life and fruition and as scalpel in the hand of a surgeon who must painfully cut if he is to heal."  Brother Simeon

We are home! And Home is kind of nuts right now...

We discovered that there was a grotto of Bernedette and our Lady of Loudes just across the street from our hotel in Uniontown... It had been an coal baron's mansion and is now an amazing grounds of an order of nuns.  Kind of amazing to walk around and to see the "mountains" off in the distance.  It was a great time to celebrate with Nancy and Bill and to get an idea of the life of our new son in law!  It was great!  I am road weary today as we drove all the way home due to the bad weather on the forcast... I have a house full with grandkids and the two kittens and the other grandkids are on their way for a tea party before Mary goes to preschool at 12:30p...
So wonderful and special to have these days traveling with our precious, John!  He spoke of how he loves to hang out with his parents and we certainly appreciate our time with him. On Thursday we will be heading to Rochester for his every 3 month scan.  Some worries always accompany this for us!  We ask you to lift us up!  We need you Lord!  Every moment we have with our altered and deeply changed son...we rejoice!
It was very special for Nancy and Bill to go forth for a blessing of their "3 month" marriage... Fr spoke of the 60 year blessing that he gave to another couple that weekend!  The sacrament is to be celebrated and encouraged at all times!  We were so blessed to start our party with sharing the first Sunday of Advent together in this most beautiful church in the center of Uniontown, PA!
 They have always put their faith first in their relationship... They have embraced the Theology of the Body... Free, Total, Faithful, Fruitful is what they are called to, and what they embrace as our Church in all its wisdom holds out to each married couple.  So much depth and beauty and LIFE... can transform and create our union from two into one... into a masterpeice and a slice of heaven here on earth! 
This wonderful statue of St Therese of Lissieux was in an alcove in this church named in her honor!  Little 2 1/2 year old granddaughter, Therese, knew that this is her namesake and patron saint!  It was special to have her see me putting this on my blog and to know that she is her special namesake...
St Therese... send us a shower of roses from heaven to indicate that you have heard our pleas to heaven... This wonderful basket of roses were there to show us her concern and love for us!  Intercede for us ST Therese!
This is what greeted me after my few hours of sleep and 19 hours on the road yesterday... I find much new life and happiness in the midst of my fog today!  The other 2 are on their way over for a tea party, so grandma needs to pray and go and unpack and take pictures of the "Tea Party."
Little 11 month old, David, is ready to be here and fill our lives with lots of activity and joy!  Jesus, we love you and thank you for family and for adventures and for safety and for all the experiences that color our world with the ups and downs of life called Family and Faith and Farm... it all comes together to make life a wonderful masterpiece of the most amazing work of art!  Thank you Lord and Jesus, we trust in you! Amen and Halleluia!
Bless-bless, Barb
"Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."  Psalm 122

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Sunday of Advent - Prepare He is coming!

 Thankfully the snow didn't amount to much... the roads look good for our travel today!  Thank you Lord!

We gathered at St Therese of Lisseux Church last evening to have a wonderful mass and rosary to start our evening of celebration of Bill and Nancy's 3 month wedding...  It was so special to be reminded that these first two weeks of advent are not looking to the coming of the Christ child, but more of a reminder that we need to be prepared for his second coming... it could happen at any time!  The need we have to..."The night is advanced , the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light."  Romans 13: 12
Dear Lord,  We love you and thank you for the joy that there is for those who love you and follow your plan for their lives.  Give us the strength to be good servants of yours and to always be ready to follow you whereever you may lead us. Thank you for the gift of Advent and its reminder of how we need to love and honor you in all things and at all times!  We ask for safe travels these days, and peace among men.  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
"So, too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."  Luke 24: 44 The Gospel for today

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Be vigilant at all times and pray..." Luke 21:34-36

No, this is not the view here except that the snow coming down looks similar... this was what we faced when we went to get John's MRI last year in late October in Rochester. The weather was the usual Minnesota/challanging...  One thing you have to admit about our weather is that it is rarely boring!  I am not able to add the pictures from here in Uniontown, PA, so I am going to some that I can from a year ago and using them to show you the snow that we are watching come down... We hope and pray that the milder temps here will prevent it from sticking and making those up and down highways we drove on to get here treacherous!  This early snow in Rochester was gone quickly too!
A year ago we were in the midst of a huge situation with John's tumor growing back right through a new chemo he had started!  Then we faced radiation with a deep sadness and with John a real fear that it could damage his brain for the future.  We had to TRUST!  Then the powerful prayers at morning mass the weekend before Thanksgiving...annointing #3 and then prayer for healing using the relic of St Solanus Casey that my parents had brought here.  Then Hallel and Judith arrived for Thanksgiving week and drove John to radiation in Rochester.... they would drive him there for his 10 minutes clamped into his mask on the table and "seeing" blue lights... then they would head back to St Paul and spend the time in between with Maria, Joe, and Nancy and the little Therese.
I decided to stay home with some time with Pat... it was great!  But when Ruth and the kids went up for a couple days and all 5 kids were together, and grandkids.... I suffered knowing that I was missing the primo of family time... when they were all together.  That just does not happen to speak of these days.  It was wonderful for them and a true sacrifice for me not to be there recording every minute!  Today in the Gospel n this feast day of the Blessed Virgin and the vigil of the first Sunday of Advent..."Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap."
Nancy and Bill helping with pie filling a year ago...On Dec 1st we had our week of Prayer!  So powerful!  It has gotten very busy in this small hotel room and distracting...I will just say that we are looking forward to celebrating Nancy and Bill's union.... it is definitely fruitful and faithful!  All are overjoyed with the news of a new one on the way! 

Hail Holy Queen

Mother of mercy:

our life, our sweetness,

and our hope, hail.

To thee do we cry,

exiles; sons of Eve.

To thee do we sigh,

moaning and weeping

in this valley of tears.

Ah then, our Advocate,

those merciful eyes of thine turn towards us.

And Jesus, the blessed fruit of thy womb,

after this exile show unto us.

O clement: O holy: O sweet Virgin Mary. We ask you to intercede for us to your Son, who honors you as the best mom that ever was... the Queen of heaven and earth!  He honors you with so much gratitude and joy!  How special to have John here and telling us that he loves to be with mom and dad!  Tears spring to my eyes and I am forever grateful for the gift of being a "mom"... of both children here with me and also in heaven!  Life is a gift, and the comings and goings of our families an ocean of love that is always changing and moving.  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia! 
Bless-bless, Barb
"So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma."  Ephesians 5: 1-2


Friday, November 26, 2010

We have arrived!

We went straight to the home of Bill's family for a wonderful meal... WE were dissapointed that we could not see Pennsylvania due to the dark, but we were very impressed by the lights that would go up the hills on both sides of us as we would come over the hill and find ourselves in another town...  Quite a sight to see the lights below and above us... We will be very interested to see it in daylight! 
I am using pictures that we took a year ago when we had prayers for John at mass in early November for healing of the tumor that had returned through the cancer...Nancy and her boyfriend now husband Bill came to be with our family and support John ... It was a beautiful day and the bales were all around our house so we had fun having a photo shoot... It is fun to use them in celebration of their reception #2 which is happening here in Uniontown, PA tomorrow!
I will say goodnight for now... Jesus, we love you and thank you for the ocean of love that fills us with wonder and joy! Jesus, we trust in you! Amen and Halleluia!

bless-bless, Barb

Our adventure East to continue!

The guys are ready to hit the road... I wish you all a wonderful day ahead!  A year ago this was the last day that Susan drove John for radiation and then they came home for the weekend and saying farewell to Hallel once again!  The family is like a huge ocean with the waves that rise and fall with the wind... ever changing and moving us with the power of LOVE!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Bless-bless, Barb

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Peroria, Illinios!

I am thrilled that I can use my web albums of pictures taken a year ago on Thanksgiving up in St Paul... as I share a greeting as we sit in Red Roof Inn in a questionable part of town in Peroria... It was kind of a blur of a day as I tried to sleep in the back while Pat and John listened to football, visited and looked at the countryside... They both realized that the farthest East they have been is Rochester, Mn. other than the upper penninsula of Michigan!
I was born in Boston and lived in New Hampshire, and have been back to visit as well as hitting Niagra Falls! So the exitement is high as they see new sights!  It was pretty spectacular crossing the Mississippi river as we crossed from Iowa into Illinios right at sunset!  The roads are wonderful so far and we are so grateful!

The guys were very aware that no one was on the road around dinner time from noon to about 2p... everyone was somewhere eating turkey and pumpkin pie!  They only saw a car every 5 minutes or so!  Then after that the traffic picked up a bit...  Still not what you would call heavy traffic!  It was a fun and smooth day on the road!  Thank you , Lord for answering our prayers.  We hope and pray that all of you traveling had equally as good a trip!

Although we did not have a big meal with family.... we had a family day...laughing, sharing an adventure, and starting with a prayer led by John asking for safety and enjoyment of family and blessing upon Nancy and Bill and their new little one growing in Nancy's tummy!  It was a great Thanksgiving!  A Thanksgiving that is going to involve 5 days!  Starting with an amazing meal last weekend... a redo of the one we shared a year ago in the midst of John's 3rd week of radiation!  We were so blessed with the wonderful meal that Bill and Nancy cooked for us both years!

Little Therese had gotten to know grandma really well with all the time we spent there as we drove John back and forth to Rochester.... That was a wonderful gift!  Now she will be coming to live with us while her daddy is gone to boot camp - as he is joining the army...Maria will be moving in and settling in the upstairs bedrooms of our big farm house on the farm, while we are gone to PA... She is looking forward to making our house her home away from home!  Grandpa has already gotten two house kittens just for the two kids!

We started with hymns of praise to our God last year..  WE shakily gave the control to Our Lord...trying to TRUST in Him and his love and concern for the welfare and healing of our beloved son...brain cancer had come back to our shock and horror..  In a few days a year ago... Dec1- Dec8 was the week of Prayer!  So powerful as for all 168 hours many were praying during each and every one of those hours!

Psalm 138

"I thank you, Lord, with all my heart,
you have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I will bless you.
I will adore before your holy temple.

I will thank you for your faithfulness and love
which excel all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered;
you increased the strength of my soul.

They shall sing of the Lord's ways:
'How great is the glory of the Lord!'"

The fatigue is setting in... time to get some badly needed sleep!  Hope you all had a wonderful day of Thanksgiving with family and friends!  We are forever grateful to find ourselves here a year later with John healed, Nancy and Bill married and expecting their first child, Maria and kids coming to live with us, while Joseph takes a huge step into his future, and a happy daughter in an amazing religious community in France!  Life is good and full and we are forever grateful!
Jesus, may we always look to you and find within ourselves the gratitude you deserve for all that you have given us starting our life!  May we cherish life from conception to natural death!  Jesus we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia! 

Bless-blesss, Barb
"Be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual song with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."  Colossians 3: 15-17