Friday, October 28, 2016

You and I... "a temple sacred in the Lord." St Simon and Jude, pray for us!

Our first Christmas card of many over the years with our new little ones, and now with each year it seems that our family grows larger and therefore more love to share!  I am following a theme today of men holding the little ones in their arms, after my heart burning with LOVE for my husband last night as I watched him go to 2 young neighbors doors with a small but sincere baby gift to congratulate them on a new member in their family. 

The other day Pat suggested that we give a gift to two neighbors that have a new baby in the last month, and I questioned why we would.  "Because these young families are open to new life," and are embracing The Truth of The Catholic Church that we need to be open to life and raise them as lights.  Yes, I have embellished it, but this is the basis for our family and now that of our 3 married daughters!
  My dad with me in Boston where I was born while he was in seminary to become a Protestant minister.  My parents, although not in The Church at the time modeled for me the beauty of a big family and being open to LIFE!  I being the oldest of eventually 11!
The 4 girls - Pat holding Susan like a sack of potatoes at one of our first Christmas Camps in 1986.... just 6 months after my sister, Mary, died of cancer.  Pat has always supported our many pregnancies - 7 now in heaven and two of those buried at the cemetery as they were still births - losing two boys after John at 5 months each.  William and Robert were hard and sad losses.

I had a friend ask about our Christmas Camp...  It has been going on for 40 years and we now number 110+ with the new little ones coming fast and wonderful!  Within a years time we will have 9 new little ones!  We rent wonderful camp grounds over the years and most recent we go to Camp Wapogasset in Amery, WI the weekend before Christmas starting on Friday night and go home at about noon on Sunday.  We share huge meals, crafts, cookie decorating, time outside, mass on Saturday night in a neighboring town, Santa comes, exchange of gifts for all those 12th grade on down, a dance with finger lights, lots of visiting and catching up and holding each other's babies, it is a beloved wonderful family time for my family each year!  My parents are there with us most years for the entire time  and we have wonderful family rosary and prayer to start each day for those that cam make it.  We also have a time for intentions for baby Jesus with Santa before he passes out the gifts.  We try to keep our eyes and hearts on the reason for the season.  A huge family picture happens after our huge evening meal on Saturday night and before Santa and the dance! 
Pat holding his son, John, in his huge hands!  How surprised we were as we thought we were having girl #5 from our 20 week ultrasound... not quite as clear as they are today.
My parents with the 11 at the farm in Wisconsin... about 40+ years ago.
Cross Christmas Camp about 4 years ago... it has grown since by about 25 or more!
Pat loves to share his farm life with the grandkids - here with year old Simon - our first grandchild, who just turned 12!

Today is one of Simon's feast days as we celebrate St Simon and St Jude, who shared friendship and apostleship with Jesus!  It is special to have such Saints in heaven to help us on this journey as we also are included as "members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.  Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you are also being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." Ephesians 2 - the first reading for today! 

Wow!  It really strikes me as a powerful promise to have this kind of help to become that sacred temple within and the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit!
John is a great Godfather to his David and now Josephine and Regaen!  Loving LIFE and helping to raise LIGHTS!
Arms full of grandkids - Gus and Rose about 4 years ago.  If there is a baby to be held - Pat wants to have it with him! 

Lord, I am so filled with happiness and joy that your Truth is embraced and LIFE is welcomed and protected from conception to natural death!  I pray for our country and pray that we can elect good leaders that will call us back to protecting ALL LIFE!  Each life is a temple sacred... Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Visiting my sister's grave with her 2 Goddaughters, Nancy and Susan.  They know of her prayers for them, and they pray for her.  A mystery we will understand only in heaven.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
A picture of Hallel for today - with her Goddaughter, Therese, about 6 years ago.  On Tuesday, Nov 1st/All Saints Day, which is Hallel's feast day, Therese will have her new baby sister born by scheduled C-section!  We are all so prayerful and excited!
Therese is ready and able!

Mine is calling me right now!
I shared this with my girls as a precious Halloween idea for their little boys!

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