Sunday, November 30, 2014

Nancy's shots from Thanksgiving

 Reaching Luke...
 "Grandpa, do you know what I will be in 3 years?"  "A teenager!"
 Augustine in a serious pose
 A huge smiling Dave for Nancy's camera.
 Two little toddler two year old cousins in braids made by grandma with great JOY!
Getting ready for the family picture...
Thanks, Nancy, for all the great pictures they are a gift that means more to me than anything else!  Bless-bless, Barb

2014's version of Advent begins

Precious and such a happy and good boy - we are loving getting to know our new grandsons from 2014!  Soon we will be able to hold and snuggle our newest grandson, Romeo!  I am adding to the bunch 1 year old Luke as he has filled 2014 with his sweetness and so many hugs!
Luke and Rose jumping in the crib... Life is filled with all that is new and wonderful for the little ones.

I am very excited for this to be the first Sunday of Advent.  My advent wreath will have to be found tomorrow morning as I am off to work today.  Although this is my 43rd Advent since becoming Catholic in 1971 at Christmas midnight mass at the Cenacle convent, each one has been one of great preparation and longing for the coming of my Lord more and more fully into my LIFE.  Advent never grows old and worn out!  It just is the filled with so much reflection and longing for the LIGHT to come into the world of darkness.

To share 2014 with 3 new grandsons is so amazing!  They are just blossoming as they are surrounded by so much love and care.  The way our family is growing in size with new ones and as the little ones grow a year older.  We all say around here that the gifts and excitement is for the little ones... I could care less about getting the gifts!  For me the gathering together to share our time and the LOVE of Jesus and His Bride, The Church, is all I want!
Dear Lord, go with me this day and help me to be a good servant.  May I hold that seed of excitement within me as I look to the LIGHT that is coming into the world.  Not only with the coming of Christmas and your birth, but also with the promise that we are to be always ready for when you come again.  May we always carry your LIGHT within and share it with all we meet.  Most especially those closest to us in our domestic Church/family.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Advent begins with BVM Saturday!

Such a beautiful setting for these pictures - I just had to get more and more.  Three precious grandchildren sharing a big tire swing on a cold beautiful winter day on the farm.  The white snow muffles all sounds as does the wind, and all the animals are out of the pasture and into the yard to be fed by Pat.  Ruth asked  Rose if she thought there were any strawberries or raspberries and she went over to check the plants... dormant and peaceful for the long winter months.  Yet, there sweet young faces with rosy cheeks are the epitome of LIFE!
Gus in with the chickens and they are now inside with a heat lamp to ward off the cold.  Mary picking the eggs.

Saturdays are devoted to The Blessed Virgin Mary and just reading grandmothers sharing how they receive the utmost of JOY from their grandchildren... it brings the grand in grandmother and father to a whole new meaning.  It is an elegant and elevated kind of LOVE we are gifted with as in our older ages we are able to experience the Love without all the work and sacrifice of our own.  At times we are called upon to step into that role once again, and we find a new appreciation for all the years we did it day after day.  How does this rambling relate to Our Spiritual Mother?  Well, thanks to her sacrifice and saying "Yes" to the Holy Spirit true healing LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT entered the world!  She did not have any earthly grandchildren, but spiritually we are adopted sons and daughters of The Lord and she is our GRANDMother!  She looks after our needs and loves us and holds us and takes us to her Son, Jesus our Savior!
Sharing with Maria and Joseph and family was a special time of sharing our LOVE one for the other, and meeting Romeo for the first time kind of in person!

It is so appropriate that we begin the first weekend of Advent with a day devoted to The Blessed Virgin Mary!  Nancy, John and Pat were remembering 6 years ago when they took two of the Little Sisters back to the Community in KC after studying English up in the Cities for a few weeks.  They shared the vigil tonight and into the morning hours of Advent, and shared a meal and grew in the knowledge and love of our new family!
Jesus and your loving Mother, Mary the Mother of God.  We have no doubt that you are with us this day as we are beloved to you and your Son!  May we ever die more and more to self so that we may truly love and serve those around us without counting the cost.  "Wounded, I will not cease to LOVE."  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Friday, November 28, 2014

Farm times in the snow and hide and go seek with the grandkids tonight...

The two toddler girls close the door to the playhouse... trying to keep out the cold, but it doesn't work too well.
 Found a kitten on the way to the chicken house.
 5 eggs today, but closer to a dozen a day... green brown and white -  "the egg color is the same color of her earlobes."  Ruth informed us today.  Earlobes on chickens?
 Simon brought an armload of kittens into the chicken/bunny house from the cold snowy world outside.
 In with the chickens...
 David catches one and it is soft to pet it's feathers... but none of us want to take our mittens off to feel them... too cold.
 Mary and her bunny, Beverly.
 Luke pets the bunny...
 "Now can I pet you Mary?"
 I love looking out the door pictures at all the activity on a winter's day.
The girls getting a ride from the boys... heading to the sledding hill in the pasture.
 Big silo - little girls in the sled.
 Augustine clears a path with that fun shovel.
 Hard worker
 Two two year old girls in the snow - spot the tire swing under the tree house...
 The lone cottonwood makes a pretty sight against the mottled sky, and the perfect covering of snow.
 The tire swing is shared by Rose, Bernadette and one year old, Luke!
 Cold but fun!
 "Look at the kitty climbing up the tree." says Ruth to the 3 little ones
 Such a pretty winter scene - nothing can beat that cute red barn in the white white snow along with a cute one year old and his beautiful mother. 
All the kids came home and took a nice afternoon nap along with some of the parents.  Grandpa had promised to do something fun with the kids tonight, but what do you do with a 3 year old and a 2 year old and a 5 month old?  Answer:  play hide-and-go-seek!
Dominic hiding under Bernadette's blanket...
It was fun after supper to watch the little ones and grandpa, mom and dad play hide-and-go-seek together.  Gus is famous for telling where he is, and tonight he just talked so was quite easy to find.  But we all had fun!  Me watching and laughing and the others counting, hiding and finding/seeking!  Fun was had by all and we didn't have to go out in the cold or go anywhere.  That along with turkey meal left-overs made it a great time for young and old!  Now they are in the front room watching Muppets Christmas Carol.  This old lady is heading to bed as I have to work at the nursing home this weekend.  I just had to say goodnight/goodbye to Dominic til they return while Bill is in Colorado in a week.  Bless-bless, Barb
 Just had to share one more of these precious ones... I am in love with them!
Then this wonderful bunch, too!  Soon they will be here and we will be together at long last!

Inside out of the cold - warm with family

 How I love having the little girls around to do their hair.  I have decided that it fills me with such JOY as I am able to step back to my nest days of doing 4 girl's hair down the line!  Berna got Indian/Pipi Long Stockings braids two days in a row.  Today they truly stuck out!  Yes, it is a cold snowy world out the patio door behind her.
 We headed over to Ruth's for a big wonderful breakfast.  It is so crazy to see little Dominic now in the boppy on the table... just a few months ago it was Luke!
 Dominic was happy in the jumper and Luke is practicing his walking... the boys are growing and growing and so sweet and fun!  Luke gets up on his feet and walks over to you for a big hug provided by Luke to anyone he can get his arms around their neck! 
All 3 girls with braids today!  I am in girl hair heaven, and they all sit so nice for me while I have so much fun!  Jesus, thank you for the little simple things in life that bring us happiness.  Jesus, we are thankful and grateful for all your blessings.  Jesus, we trust in YOU.  Bless-bless, Barb
I am off with lunch for the troops!  I will end with a picture of our sharing on facetime with Maria and family last evening... so wonderful!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanking the Good Lord - A complete Family day!

Nancy fulfilled my wish and set up her nice camera on a tripod to grab a picture of our family, minus 8, just before we blessed our food and shared what we are grateful for... everything from a sweet "mom and dad" from the ever loving David, a lot of thanks for family, and I for a call from Rome giving many of us a chance to talk to Hallel bridging the distance between us - we are together in Spirit!
We  were entertained by Nancy's camera as it was not only set on a timer and would blink, but it snapped about 8 pictures in quick succession.... so if this looks a lot like the first one, well it was taken a few seconds before or after the other one.
One of the moving one they put together from all our pictures - Nancy is trying to get Bernadette to look at the camera and then you see her look around and see her eye.  It is kind of fun to see how they put us together... some don't do much and some do a lot.  Enjoy!  Bless-bless, Barb
Our Family Thanksgiving is now complete with a wonderful facetime sharing with Maria and family in Texas!  It was so sweet to see Patrick and Rose reconnect after they were so close in Michigan!  It makes me so excited to know that in a couple weeks they can play and hang out at Cross Christmas Camp!
It was so great to see Romeo for the first time.  Soon we can all hold him and meet him for real!  A wonderful sharing with both Maria and family plus Hallel - our family time is complete in the modern sense of phone and computer and all the ways that Pat and I don't really understand but we use and enjoy!
Patrick and Rose were sweet and smiling.... Soon we can meet Romeo!  Life is good!  Bless-bless, Barb