Sunday, June 30, 2013

The trip and arrival at our cabin - welcomed by a cloud of misquitoes!

The feast day of St Peter and St Paul – our first day at the cabin!
 Rose getting ready to get in the van for 7 hours for our trip to the Big Lake - Michigan!
Shared prayers in the van on the way. Morning prayer on in the office on line reminded us that it was the feast day of two amazing Saints Peter and Paul! The trip seemed short and painless as we left from the Cities fairly early, and arrived late afternoon, made a nice family meal and enjoyed some books, walks, Ruth is starting on her Christmas stockings for her new little boy, Nancy is working on come crafts for her blog, we had a mini celebration for Paul and Simon's feastday.... there was some ice cream left in the freezer that we used to celebrate. Thanks to those that bought our party for St Peter and St Paul. I found a novel it the bookcase called The Apostle by Sholem Asch. I will give it a try and think that it will be a great find! I will let you know if it is. 


It was so good to see the grandkids so happy here and to see little Rose so big and happy crawling around – on the verge of walking for the first time. She probably will walk here... especially when Grandpa gets here to encourage her with his big fingers. Mary and I just took our first walk down at sunset to see the fossils and to check out the water temps. Mary says that it is warm. I agree that it doesn't seem too cold as we are conditioned with the spring fed pond at our state park by the farm.

The two celebrate their feastday at the cabin - the beginning of super family time !

The feastday reminded us of this day 3 years ago when we were in Kansas City to say goodbye to Hallel. Many times today the Community came into our conversations as we traveled here. Nancy and Bill shared how wonderful their visit was to Vienna ,Austria – the small monastery sandwiched between two huge apartment buildings. They had a the most wonderful meal on their entire trip there with course after course and lots of great joyful visiting and laughter. Then we talked about going in September for the dedication of the little Monastery in Kansas City, and the Postulant, Marie taking her habit and changing her name the day before. The other 3 Americans will take their habits in France, I am told. There is a chance that Hallel will be here for that... so team Verly could very well be there in force. Time will tell. It is hard today as even before we got into Wisconsin on our trip we got a call from Maria having us look at their blog with all the things listed that they wanted us to do while in Michigan. It is very sad and hard to not have them here with us and there were a few tears as we read their wishes for us to do here, and knowing that they are with us in spirit. We miss you our special military family in Texas! We miss Pat back home, and we know that he is yearning to be here with us too! 
  Mary and I take our first walk on the beach - she thinks the water is warm, and it isn't near as bad as I thought it would be.  So good to be here, and having her here reminds me of my days with my sister Mary under my arm!

Jesus, we are so blessed by our family time, and this place holds so many glorious memories of special times here. Fossils, and watercolors, and family meals around the big table – there are 12 of us here! Grandma was in grandma heaven with the two baby girls all over me on the couch. I know grandpa will be so jealous when he reads this. Thank you for all the laughter and the love and the JOY. Jesus, we trust in YOU. Amen and Halleluia
sunset on the rock shelf and fossils!

Bless-bless, Barb

Now to Sunday - Go out and find the 99 and leave the one behind - Pope Francis

So wonderful to be here in the coolness of our Big Lake - it is the year of the misquitoes  here, and we are doing what we have to for that battle - there must be more water and perfect conditions for them.  We are adjusting to a house full of 12 and half of them children.  Except for asking that the organ be shut off on a regular basis... without the TV, it is a lot of visiting, praying, eating, playing, and grandma time holding the little ones while their parents are busy with meals, etc.  So far the girls are making the meals and grandma does the clean up.  Mass was good with Mary looking for her patron saint and finding her in the windows and the statue in the front of Church.  We both felt sad when we saw the Therese window.  Sigh....  We all have to keep a closer eye on the little ones because we don't have T here to watch them and take care that they don't fall down the stairs etc!
We miss you T and family so much!  But we are grateful that Rose is good on the stairs up and down to the loft.  She took two steps to dad in the back of Church after mass, getting ready to walk next Sunday for us... 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Goodbye to the farm for two weeks... on the road to our cabin in Michigan in the morning

It was the first day of baling at home and Paul's new bale wagon sat out in front of the house ready to shoot into action.   I actually got the call to drive over and help pick up bales until John came and relieved me.  The newly mowed grass, corn waist high in the field, and the flashy red new bale wagon with the beautiful sky overhead... a dazzling picture on a postcard summer day.  Now to head to the Big Lake Michigan where it is always cooler with the big icebox called Lake Michigan.  With the cold late spring the water will be very cold, but we are conditioned with our swimming in our spring fed pool at the local State Park - Camden.  My brother's family just left after a week and they swam every day!  It will feel good to hear that we are enjoying cool weather while the summer heat is making the corn grow at home. 
Fair weather clouds come with us to Michigan, and bless us with some good days to enjoy the sugar sand beach.  
Waist high corn has grown a lot in the last hot weeks of summer weather.  Thank you, Lord, for giving us the heat units we need.  Jesus, we trust in you.   Bless-bless, Barb

A rest stop for the night at Nancy's - up early and the other 7 hours first thing in the morning.  The question for this year - will Rose walk as Mary did at this age and Augustine last year?  Yes, most of us think she will.  Michigan just seems to be where the April/May babies learn to walk for the first time....usually they have ahold of grandpa's finger and they are pulling him into the Big Lake.  So that would mean that she will walk the second week when grandpa comes.  Time will tell. 

"The Word of life - for the life was made visible to us..." I John 1:1

We are very excited to be heading out for our family time on the Big Lake Michigan tomorrow!  It is a time for close family sharing and caring away from the distractions of TV and computer!  This picture of Nancy and her precious Godson, Simon, was taken just before we headed off to France in August 2009 of John's brain cancer journey.  Being together for 2 weeks in Michigan will allow Simon and Nancy to spend some special time together.  Nancy is a wealth of projects to do with the kids, and Simon has discovered that he likes to draw on paper his many wonderful imaginations he has about robotics and tractors.  All his time studying books from the tractor stores of the ins and outsides of tractors have left a definite imprint on his mind - he can now draw very precise and surprising drawings of tractors and impliments! He now thinks that art is pretty cool and definitely something that allows him to share his thinking. It is nice to see him embrace this along with his sister, Mary, who loves her pictures and watercolors.  We are just sad that our Therese will not be there to join in the art times with her Nancy and cousins!

Today a dear friend shared on facebook that she just returned from a life altering time in China!  It reminded me of the intense feeling that filled and shocked me to the core when I returned from our miraculous trip to France/Lourdes when JOhn was just three weeks out from his brain surgery and just after his second chemo for Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma!  After not being able to reach us for help to the bathroom overnight and getting there,with great difficulty, by himself.  Maybe we can go to France for his sister, Susan's, taking her habit and changing her name?  Within 24 hours we had tickets and went to join Nancy, who had flown on without us after John's cancer seemed to change everything!  We did it... we were shocked and amazed that it had worked out for us to go! 

How powerful for us... the picture was not quite complete most especially with Hallel's dad unable to drop everything and come on a day's notice, but...

Two years later for her first vows - he was there!!!  As was his mom and John!

And the night before Hallel's vows we watched 5 women take the habit and change their names - Pat wept at the beauty of the change and power of the mass/service.   At that point he understood and shared in what we had experienced with Hallel two years before!  There is a bridge in time that can heal and share experiences! As hard as it was for him to stay behind when we had come in 2009 - now he could experience all of it two years later and with tears share in the JOY and Wonder of it all!  Our daughter is joyfully a spouse of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  What proud and happy parents are we! 

And Lourdes happened both trips!  John was thrilled to go back and thank Our Lady for her healing and motherly LOVE that cradled him in her arms throughout his cancer battle!  Here he holds a candle that he bought and lit to Our Lady for a young girl, Lisa.  She is now with her Lord after a courageous battle with brain cancer - she was just a year older than John.  John says that he still struggles with why he is still here in this world... that can be difficult and challanging as we all know.  He sometimes seems to wonder why he wasn't spared the struggle and join our Lord, yet at the same time he has a feeling that he is here for a greater purpose.  He is thrilled that Fr Craig is helping and encouraging him to share his story and bring others to the Truth that Jesus is alive and well and healing just as He did in the days that he walked the earth!  John is a living breathing example of all that!  One thing about this job/vocation search he is on is that he is asking the Lord what he wants for John, and not so much what John would selfishly want.  That is not done so much with young people these days, but imagine how much happier and more fulfilled they would be if they approached their futures in this way!  Life would fall into place and your path would be through the doors that open ahead of you... Trusting in HIM!

"Sweet Mother of God... I love you and thank you for how you held me and brought me to your Son - so that I would find the Faith that I half-heartedly asked for.  I love you as a loving son, and will always look to you in all that I face in life.  You are my Spiritual Mother and I am your weak and lowly son."  To see John contemplating his love for her and the devotion and passion he has towards her after his year in seminary is so out-of-this-world for me.  Those rosary beads were in my hands as a lifeline throughout the year of John's battle for life against the giant - brain cancer!  John and I shared many rosaries and decades of the rosary at each time of need for us or for others that we met along the way - Lisa was one of those! 
Jesus, we are filled, once again, with the great beauty and JOY that we found on our journey towards healing armed with all that You and Your Bride, The Church,could offer us!  It was so much that we could not contain it all!  Each day was filled with Your Word/Jesus which became visible to us - LIFE through the Gospel!  We shared mass daily many days, the sacraments of reconcilliation often and healing of the sick/annointing 4 times, then all the Saints that walked the journey with us carrying their Most Cherished Crosses and showing John how to do that without counting the cost!  How we loved and embraced our Cross that brought LIFE to us and showed John the Faith he had witnessed from afar in his sisters - now his own!  St Irenaeus, on this your feastday - knowing that you were a second generation disciple of St John the Evangelist and his Gospel of LIFE/LOVE/ LIGHT!  Thank you for fighting to bring the Truth to us today, and continue to show us the glory of Christ in our midst.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
How Pat loved to help in Saint-Pierre!  There is a very funny story about cement and this little pickup(?) and the steep hills in the foothills of the Pyrannies Mountains where St Pierre is located, but another time for that...
Psalm 128 - from mass today
"Blessed are you who fear the Lord,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children life olive plants
around your table.
See how the Lord blesses those who fear him."

"Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases."

Is that cute or what???
Danielle Rose - Singing Mary's Heart!

It was raining and they were very wet with water from heaven and John went into the healing baths with his dad too!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rose seems very happy with mom and baby...

While mom had her doctor's visit today and the others had swimming lessons and signing up for 4H projects - I had Rose all to myself.  Mom dressed her super cute and put her hair in dog ears, so after the bed was made grandma tried some photos, of course!  I thought it would be neat to get Mary with baby Jesus statue as her mom was going to have her 20 week ultrasound and for the first time was going to ask to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl.  Rose seemed so happy and touched by this wonderful beautiful statue of Mary with Jesus!  She cradled it and gave grandma this huge sweet smile!

What do you think is going through her mind and heart?  "I love my mommy, and it would be pretty special if she had a tiny new baby to love and hold and I could be a big sister then!"  Yes!  That is just what she wants even though she doesn't know it at this point.  This new baby brother will be looking up to her and always very close to her as they grow up together in the Lanoue bunch!  She is a very lucky farmgirl to be growing up in a wonderful family on the farm!  In my family this was Susan and the one following - #5 - was her little brother John, who she loved and protected and modeled living a good and holy life to.  Rose I am sure you will be an eqaully wonderful older and loving sister.  Families are a little slice of heaven when we look to Jesus and Trust and are open to LIFE through which our LOVE grows more and more!  And most important to raise these children to be LIGHTS for the world.  "The world needs LIGHTS."  Patrick Verly 35 years ago.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb

Yes, that is the baby that brought LIFE into the world, little Rose.  Love Him with all that you have and without counting the cost.  That is your grandma's prayer for you, and maybe he will call you to be his spouse just like your Aunt Little Sister Hallel!  You look just like she did when she was a baby, and that is such a wonderful gift to this old grandma!

Yes, to be like her you would have to be silly too, but isn't that called making life fun?

Exciting day for the Lanoues and all extended family!

Rose looks to be the poster girl for the JOY we are having today... her mommy,Ruth, is going in to have her 20 week ultrasound and for the first time ever... after all 3 older kids voted to find out... she will be finding out if it's a boy or a girl.  They always wait to be surprised, but this time will be different!  How wonderful and exciting to be able to pray for our new little one by name!  Ruth might want to keep that under wraps, but we will see...  The kids are here waiting for the news and armed with a present for mom on this special baby day - Baby Ruth candy bars.  "How long have there been Baby Ruth candy bars, grandma?"  "Since I was a little girl."  "So they are really old?"  "They have been around a long time, Mary." 

The 6 ice cream pails of strawberries we picked yesterday were quickly made into yummy freezer jam!  So nice to have all the little helpers along with my oldest daughter, mommy/Ruth! 

Rose's first time in the hot stawberry patch - she kept smacking her lips for the yummy big sweet berries. 
Lord, there is so much we are thankful for with the family times we have making food and sharing the work together.  Those are the best times ever. Now we await the joyful news of who our newest member of the family is!  So many prayers have been surrounding this baby from day 1!  On the way home from swimming lessons,Simon was talking about a book that he is wanting to look at in Michigan - about Jonah's junk is God's treasure.  This turned into a cool pattern of thought about how we are junk,in many ways, but Jesus turns us into treasure.  And Simon talked about how some think that they are junk, because they don't know Jesus, but HE loves them and His LOVE makes them treasure.  Mary and I wanted to pray for those that don't know Jesus and think that they are "junk."  Yes, Lord, we know that you see the Treasure in us - may we build our lives upon the rock - You and your Bride, The Church!  We are heading to our cabin in Michigan, which in reality is built upon the sand.  We ask for safety and your presence with us as we travel and gather to share Faith/Family/Fun time together.  Jesus, we are made beautiful by your LOVE - may we share your Treasure/LOVE with those in our domestic Church/family.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Halleluia

I wish I looked that cute in those glasses little Rose Ida!
Bless-bless, Barb
55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters;

and you who have no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost."  Isaiah 55: 1 What joy to find this in the office yesterday morning with John!  Every time I see this verse somewhere it reminds me of the great happiness and HOME I found when my dad read this and the Holy Spirit told him to come into the Church!  And to know that yesterday morning we were reading these Spirit filled words with the entire members of the priesthood, Deaconate, sisters, Brothers in monasteries all over the world.  That makes is mega powerful and amazing, wouldn't you say? 

Ruth just came home from the doctor with...
Blue cupcakes - It's a boy!!!!  The pattern continues to work... boy, girl, boy, girl, and boy!  Life is a gift! 

Rose thinks that it is fine to be sadwiched between two brothers!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

John on fire - "By their fruits you will know them." Jesus in Matt 7:20

Yes, John is around this summer, and not out in a parish as he would prepare to go for his second year in the seminary.  I have been sharing in small ways that John discerned that he would not be going back for year 2 at this time, but that he would take some time off and see what he could do in the real world.  He has been here at home with dad and I, and applying many places in the area.  It seems that he has the firm direction to be here and work.  So far he has applied to Church related job as well as farm related at the local elevator.  They did not work out.  He has many other resumes at most businesses in the area and is constantly on the look out.  On the feast day of St John the Baptist on Monday as I was blogging about John's journey - I had the thought that he should try to get into speaking - his passion and gift from God- about his Faith journey!  There are many people that make this their life's profession to travel and speak as well as write from their wealth of understanding brought to them by the Most Cherished Cross - for John it would be cancer/healing/seminary/now what Lord?...

When I mentioned this to John - he lit up and immediately was on the phone to speak to all his priest friends in the area.  He found great enthusiasm from his cousin and fellow warrior in his battle - Fr Criag Timmerman!  A day later he headed down to Canby to attend mass at 6p and then they had supper and visited about how this could be John's call!  So many things started to flow from the conversation about how the Lord could be calling John to evangelize the message - The Lord is listening to our needs, He answers our prayers, He heals through His Bride, The Church and The Sacraments!  As a side note - yesterday was the 4th anniversary of John being annointed for the first of 4 times in his cancer journey!  Very powerful to have a priest friend of our son-in-law, Joseph, come to St Joseph's Hospital cancer floor to annoint John.  I recall that he was given the time for confession/reconcilliation as we were asked to leave the room for him to have this opportunity.  The sacraments were there for us - with Eucharist daily wherever we found ourselves, and the Prayers were in the thousands and all around us!  The word just came that strawberries are to be picked and jam made... so this will be wrapping up quickly!

What JOY to be having the time to pray and share with John for this time!  It will take a lot of time and energy and prayer and listening to Christ speak to us through his Word, his priests, the wisdom of John's father... so many ways that we are led to the Truth.  So many exciting options for John to go forward to share and serve the HIM - sharing the message of Faith that he was blessed with when he half-heartedly prayed for faith to become real for him - the next week he had brain cancer!  Sitting in a small chapel at Mayo - in a wheelchair and unable to walk on his own - surrounded by all of his sisters and parents... John realized that he had prayed for this and the Lord had answered him!  The cries of agony that came from him in that tiny room with Jesus on the altar to feed him and bring him to the new John - they piereced my soul and heart just as watching her Son suffer and die and be misunderstood did to Mary the Mother of Heaven and earth!  Lord!  This is such an amazing path for John and you are probably asking John to find a real job and do this on the side, but could it be that you want him to serve you in your church as a layman with this message of Hope and JOY and Truth?  We trust that you are showing him your path and opening doors into the future for him.  He is a young man on fire for YOU and your Bride, The Church!  We know that You need someone, as John the Baptist before him, out shouting your Truth at the top of their lungs and baptizing those for forgiveness of their sins... just as you did for John on the anniversary of his first annointing 4 years ago!  Such a gift of your unconditional LOVE and forgiveness we are given, O Lord!  May we come to YOU often and lay all our burdens at your feet, and go soaring up light as a feather with your LOVE!  Jesus, thank you for lighting John up on fire and filled with your LIGHT for all to see, and to come to know that You are alive and well in this world!  Jesus, we Trust in YOU.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
"Remain in me, as I remain in you says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit."  We hold onto this promise, Lord!  Who am I?  Casting Crowns

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

She's better tonight

Beautiful Bernadette is better today.  I have a feeling that some teeth will be showing up soon, as we don't know why she was running a temp and not sleeping well for 3 nights.  Being 7 1/2 months - I just have feeling that it is related to her teeth.  There were many special pictures that I did not use so I thought I would add a few of them tonight in celebration of her being her wonderful happy self tonight!

Grandma is so happy that you are feeling your wonderful precious self tonight, little Birdy!  Soon grandma can spend time with you in the sugar sand of Lake Michigan!  Stay better for our time together there.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb

Sharing the stroller with Rose out in the pasture last week.

Eating her mommy's chin - all is back to normal once again.  It is hard when babies are sick - we have all been there.  As babies and we don't remember that, and as mom with sick babies and that too becomes a distant or forgotten memory.

That beautiful smile makes them all fade away - those memories of a sick and crabby baby - what her?  No way, she's too sweet! 

Motherhood - "the narrow gate the constricted road that leads to LIFE." Matt 7

A few weeks ago our last two cows had their calves on the same day - both having bulls.  Since they are new moms - they have not been put out on the far pastures yet, but together are close to the house in the pastures around our house, and they stick together with their new calves.  It is nice that they have each other, and seem to appreciate the companionship as they are always together.  Yesterday, as I headed into town, I looked to see them in the corner in the pasture by the fence laying down together with their calves.  All seem to be doing well, and peaceful with this situation of being alone- yet together close to home.   There are things going on with mothers now that this is a photo to start sharing about "motherhood."  It happens that both Pat's mom and mine are looking at some changes in their health right now.  I also am constantly praying for the health and safety of Ruth as she carries her 5th child.  I also got a call from daughter #2 about her baby this morning while I was talking to my sister about our mother - so motherhood is very strongly on my mind and heart this morning!  It is my passion and only I feel that it is my main and really only worthwhile calling in LIFE!
Today I want to use mother-child pictures and I just have to start with Patrick and Maria - after having the honor to be there for the month to of his birth/death/rebirth/healing.  Maria gave me hope when I went to see her by taxi after she came out of surgery - leaving the newly baptized Patrick with the cool cap on his head in the middle of NICU - the sickest baby there!  I fell apart when I saw Maria in SICU - "I thought I was watching Patrick die and maybe you too!"  "Mom, we both made it!"  She told me with almost JOY and wonder in her shaky voice!  And from there she proceded with great Trust to believe that her son would be fine.  That he would be able to use her milk, which she pumped from day 1, and he did soon and amazed all there!  That he would come off all the tubes and come home, which he did in short order.  That he would bring his family together to fight for his healing and health, which happened with his dad returning from Afghanistan in just a matter of days after his birth!  Then the prayers that surrounded us - just as they had with John 4 years ago.  The healing was once again encountered as our prayers were heard!  Maria was the model for motherhood and the great example of how a mother can through shere love and determination bring her child from the brink of death to newness of LIFE.  How much do you think our Spiritual Mother had to face with her virginal YES to the Holy Spirit- allowing God to come into her womb?  She had to face a lot of obstacles in our world to allow this to happen through her and in her. 
One more of this beautiful Cross/Lamb - Patrick - who showed us that the Cross can be placed upon your shoulders even before we enter this world!
So many waves of family washing over me as I try to get this written today.  Much of it having to do with my mother's health and talking to family members about it.  Also a call from Nancy about her little girl's issues of having some mysterious issue keeping her up for the last 3 nights with temps, etc - probably teeth as that is the age she is at!  So many reminders of how motherhood is a full time and at times very exhausting job- especially when they are young.  Although this being the 4th anniversary of John's cancer journey - I recall very vividly how much I was pulled back into that mother's role of being needed as though I had a tiny helpless child as we prayed and trusted that we were being carried in the Lord's hands and upon his shoulders as the lost sheep!  

Nancy with her sweet baby girl!
Lord, motherhood is a fulltime and most important vocation for us!  May we look to your Mother, Mary Most Holy, and find her help and model of how we are to say "Yes!" to LIFE and then give without counting the cost.  I have my own wonderful and amazing mother there to show me the JOY and happiness that can be found when you are open to LIFE.  Yes, the Cross was there, but that is our Most Cherished Cross and through our embracing that we find LIFE eternal!  We are blessed with the each new LIFE, whether they are here with us or in heaven, and those lives add more LOVE to our families - it is not stretched more thin.   How glorious is the masterpiece of Family/Domestic Church!  How we are blessed to share our Faith and your Truth with all those that you have given us to share the journey with!  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb
Get better soon, Bernadette!
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.  How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to LIFE.  And those that find it are few."  Jesus speaking to us in the Gospel today - Matthew 7: 12-14

In the theme of motherhood from one generation to another - here I am working at our "farm" in the allergy season.  My mom, who is also an allergy sufferer came up with this to help me as I worked on painting the outside of the windows.  It worked well.

John just left on the 4 wheeler to spray weeds in the pastures and fencelines - he is having a battle with his allergies today, and we are out of the meds to help.  So... look what we came up with to help him out there in the pollen.  Passing on help from one generation of mothers to the next.  Beginning with our original Mother of Heaven and Earth.  I am sure that she could make a handkerchief to help Jesus in a similar situation then too!  Just carrying it a bit too far, but we all know that Mary cared for her son as any mother would!
Danielle Rose - A mothers' song - get out the kleenex