Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween family fun time!

 Dominic surprises mom by seeming to be happy in his Olaf costume.  Tonight she would like to stuff it with some quilt batting... that would be super cute!
 Ninja pose by Augustine!
 Princess Anna and Gus give grandma the special icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the shrine in Mexico - "It is blessed, too!"  I love it!  Thank you, Bill, for thinking of me!
 I am surprised with a cameo appearance as the Old Lady who swallowed the fly!  I guess that there will be others taking the role including great-grandma with candy and the other grandma.  Too fun!  The fly and the spider are hard to beat, but I love that Simon changed the story to make it have a better ending. He is the doctor that saves the life of the old woman after she eats the horse! 
 The fly was picking his nose...
 Luke the adorable fly!
 David the Spider, Mary the horse and Simon the doctor.
 The new song with a better ending... "she swallowed a horse... she died, of course, until the doctor saved her life by doing CPR!" 
 Rose the cat with the dog.
 David the Spider is quite something!
Thank you Dr Simon for making this a Halloween story with a happy ending.  It is nice that you felt that you wanted to change it up.  Happy Halloween everyone!  Bless-bless, The Verly/Bandzuch/Lanoue/and John bunch!

"Totus Tuus" - "Totally Yours, My Mother of heaven and earth!" St John Paul II

 Bernadette in the Indian dress her dad brought back from his trip to India...

Spending the morning with daughter, Nancy, and family after spending a day with my parents.  Lots of excitement with Halloween here!
 I think the Indians have it right - wearing dresses is good for little girls to know that they are beautiful and special. 

Another role model for us women is our Spiritual Mother, Mary Mother of God!  I find it empty and hard to not have her with me on this journey of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT.  She brought all that into the world through her "yes" and giving birth to Jesus!
 Love reflection pictures!
 Love when Bernadette is sharing something with me on the soft pink blanket on the bed that I use when I am here...  She has her mommies' skin and eyes!   She has so much personality and is a delight to me! 
 Also love the lighting in that room.

I love my amazing St John Paul II and his total love for Mary!  Totus Tuus - totally yours  - this statement of trust in the Blessed Virgin Mary is not an unimportant factor in reflecting on the life of this great pope, John Paul... entrusted all his prayers and works to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We would do well to entrust all our cares and our very lives to her, for she is "the safest, easiest, shortest, and most perfect way" to Jesus and to sanctity (Treatise on the True Devotion to Mary, 55).
 Berna found grandma's pearls, and borrowed them for a little while.  Dominic is walking now, too!  So fun!

Jesus, I do love you and give you all the honor, and I love to come to you being held by the hand of your wonderful Mother, Queen of Heaven and earth!  My heart is always that of a mother and I am most fulfilled as that of a mother.  To have my Mother Mary always with me I find so much comfort and care for all my needs and prayers!  So may blessings!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
 Being women/girls in The Church is special and we are blessed.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke and Bernadette Anna
 Mom made Dominic this costume and Dominic is warming up to it. 
 The ninja knows the stance!
The three do some early trick or treating for grandma.  I am one lucky grandma!

Friday, October 30, 2015

The next leg of the journey... from mom Nancy to daughter Nancy

 My dad reminded me of this cool setting on my camera.  So I had fun with it while my mom was playing cards on her computer in front of the stunning pictures window with the fall leaves outside.  It becomes so filled with LIGHT, and I love mom's icon in the corner up and down.  We were sharing some of our deepest feelings... looking out on the woodsy landscape of the Wisconsin border town of St Croix Falls.  With many of the leaves gone you can barely see the river through the trees... the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin is the St Croix River with its rock bluffs.
 One more for good measure.

After supper partially supplied by me... our homemade tomato soup and pumpkin pie, I headed down to Nancy's after rush hour was done.  Mom and dad were so appreciative of the food I bring. I told them they are why we do the work..."When I see the grandkids loving tomato soup or applesauce - that is why we do the work!"  "We love it, too!"  "I know and that is why we do the work!"
 I was greeted by 3 excited and happy kids to see grandma!  Dominic is now a walker, and I admired this frame on the wall of Nancy's beautiful pictures of him.  So special!  I discovered a special sharing that they have with their grandma in Pennsylvania - she skypes with them and reads them stories at night! 
 Zesty Bernadette!  Dimples, dirt, and an animal lover with attitude!
 Now Augustine!  I can see that having a good camera and knowing how to use it gives you some great pictures to cherish.  We have a plan to have the kids dress up in their costumes for grandma in the morning before I head out for home.  I am sure that cameras will be snapping and flashing and maneuvering.
Soon #4 will have to have a place on the wall!  LIFE is a wonderful gift to be cherished and protected no matter the cost.  Bless-bless, Barb

"I speak the Truth in Christ." Romans 9:1

 A special family picture of our family when we blended with my 4 younger siblings after their parents were killed in a car crash... it graces my parents' home.  The youngest on mom's lap has her broken leg behind her brother.  If there was ever a time for a family picture it was when we suddenly had 4 new members, and we needed to see us all together.  Now 45 years later... we have grown to 106 with at least 3 new members on the way.  Each year at Cross Christmas Camp we try to capture most of us in a yearly family picture!
 My mother's prayer space... We have been gabbing and working on projects together at the computer all morning.  Mom just was shocked to see that it was after noon already.  So much to share and catch up on!

How I love to be able to share morning prayer/the office with my dad and mom - Permanent Deacon Robert Cross and his wife, Nancy, are required to share morning and evening prayer just as the priests are asked to daily.  After sharing the Gospel and prayer, dad goes through the family  and lifts them up in prayer.  Only imagine the monumental job they have in praying for each of their family now over 100 strong!  When I go to adoration I place each member in the monstrance with Jesus - over 100 for my family and close to 90 for Pat's!  Many prayers are answered over the years. 
 I asked mom if she is gazing at Our Lady, gifted to them when they left their ministry as deacon and wife in Manistique, MI, while dad prays for the family.  "I probably was looking at her and at our family picture."
Eyes closed in prayers for our family.  Tears leapt to my eyes when dad prayed for all religious listening to a call from Jesus... most especially "Our Little Sister Hallel."

Much of our discussions today have been about The Truth as we see it - all held out to us by our beloved Catholic Church, The Word and The Sacraments.  My father is working on encouraging those being prepared for the Deaconate - he will be 40 years a deacon next year - to be taught about Natural Family planning with the epidemic of Catholics using artificial birth control - 62%?  "It is important for deacons to understand Natural and be able to preach about it and encourage couples to use it!  Lots to pray about...
 The heartfelt asking of The Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those entrusted to my parents - their 11 children with their spouses, children, their spouses and children - now we are 4 generations!  Much prayers required and shared... how we all find comfort and support when we face those hard places/The Cross knowing that our parents lift us up in prayer each day!
 Their St Joseph statue holding his Son of God - Jesus!

Lord, I am so filled with peace and joy being here with my wonderful parents, who brought us all into The Church as they listened to the Holy Spirit...  Being able to share with them, as we speak the same language of Faith - as St Paul tells us in Romans 9 today - "I speak the Truth in Christ, I do not lie, my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness..."  There is sharing with JOY of The Truth we all recognize in one another.  Such a blessing of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT/Jesus and His Bride, The Church!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A day away...

I must have painted this photo frame about 3 years ago and given it to my parents with this picture of the 5 taken when Hallel was home for her home visit in April of 2013...the home visits happen about every 3 years, so I was hopeful for her to come again this spring.  But she warned me that I shouldn't plan on anything - "it is better to be surprised, mom."  "OK."

I have spent the afternoon partially on the road and now visiting, having a nice meal and helping my sister move.  When I got to look at the computer tonight I discovered that all 3 girls have put something special on their blogs today.... Ruth -
Nancy-, and Maria shared that they have been frantically  packing thinking they could be moving to another base, but now it has been postponed. 

It is good to see their smiling faces again even if they are next to a pile of boxes.  It seems that the cold wet weather has allowed the girls to get inside and share what has been going on in their lives.  A day away seems like the world has changed. 

It is great to be here and to catch up with family with all the harvest done now.  Thank you, Lord, for a good and safe harvest, and a safe day of travels and spending time with Family.  Bless-bless, Barb

Nothing can seperate me from the LOVE of God... except maybe me, myself and I

 The steers are cute and curious and up front was Snowball's calf, Snowman!  His mother is a pet of Mary since she was a calf like this, and it must carry over to her calves being more tame, too. 

I am super excited to go and visit my parents for a couple days!  I am going to keep this short today.
 Pat feeding the calves... it was so funny to watch the cows come running up from the pasture when they heard the tractor feeding.  They thought that with the cold winds and the snowflakes in the air that Pat would feed them too.  "Go eat some corn stalks." he told them.
 Pumpkin pie day again... this time with some wonderful duck eggs from the neighbors.  These were two pumpkins sitting out on the steps - now 6 pies!
 Completed but still to go into the oven.

I knew that Romans 8 was special and I was awaiting getting there in the daily readings...  It all happened last night when I read Romans 8:31-39!  I had read this at my wonderful friend Larry's funeral!  "If God is for us, who can be against us?"  It goes on to list all these hardships and forces in our lives, but when it comes down to it we are separated from our Lord by our own selves!  We are our own worse enemy!
 Adorable Snowman through the fence!

May we take to heart that there is nothing that can keep God away, and that he always is there for us if only we die to self so that He can live in us!
 Boot washing after working in the barn... then Pat cleaned it out and bedded them with corn stalks.  "They were so happy... they were jumping and playing in the fresh bedding!"

 Pitchfork in hand...

Lord, give me safe travels this day and thank you for your unconditional love.  May I die to self and accept your help in conquering all that threatens me this day.  Jesus, I trust in you.  Bless-bless, Barb

Mary go with me and carry my concerns and love to Jesus your Son.  Amen and Hallelujah