Friday, March 31, 2017

Joy abounds in our family! Welcome Joy Jean Lanoue! Hallel on the phone in KC to get the news!!!

She's here!  Our 15th grandchild is here safe and sound and we are so joyful!!!!  Welcome to our family Joy Jean!  Big and healthy and nursing like a champ we are told.  The family will visit after school, and grandma can't wait to see the complete picture... all 8 of them!

Up early watching cow TV and listening to the kids awake up where my kids were many years ago!  The large picture window still with the angel that Maria rubbed on there over 20 years ago.  Today she expressed special excitement with the rising sun!
We have had a string of gloomy overcast days, so to watch the sun rise so bright and beautiful with all the excitement we all felt knowing that Ruth was in having her little girl!  The prayers started with our breakfast blessing and continued with rosary beads...
Rose went to get her rosary beads and join grandma in prayers for her new little sister.  "I am getting my baby sister today!  I can't wait to go and hold her!"   Soon the news of her safe arrival came to us along with pictures of her... there she is!  Rose just wanted to look at her and look at her and had so much joy and excitement! 
Rosary and cow TV - a true Catholic farm girl!  Prayer fills us with all that we need to get through the times of waiting and hoping and with the dawn - JOY!
Prayers in the dark quiet house at 6a this morning... The Holy Family was gifted to Ruth at her first baby shower for Simon from Paul's Grandmother!  It was always in a place of honor in their home as they welcomed 12 children, and it was such a powerful thing when she passed it on to Ruth and Paul.  It has a place of honor in their home now as they welcome their 6th child.  Paul and the kids got Ruth flowers for the occasion of their new little Joy Jean!  A candle representing the prayers without ceasing answered with safety for Joy and her amazing mom, Ruth Ida!
Grandpa surrounded by 3 of his loving granddaughters!  How he loves them, and they love him, too!
He always wants to hold the babies, and the sunlight is so warm and bright! 

Today in the first reading from Wisdom... we hear the words and thoughts of those that harmed Jesus during the carrying of the Cross and the crucifixion.... "God will take care of him."  is true yet he still had to suffer and die for us.  We are asked to take up our cross and follow after him, and that means dying to self!  Being open to family and raising lights certainly allows us to do that as we serve without counting the cost.
The girls are busy making cards for their newest sister/cousin, while the boys will be boys!
A short time after she entered the world!  Perfect in every way!  Our hearts are filled with more love with each new life and our family has become more rich and full of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT! 

There have been some horrible news that brings tears to my eyes and pain to my heart about babies that survive abortions are killed brutally!  How can this happen? I am just sick about it, and find myself just filled with such horror at the thought that I can only weep!  Not too much removed from the innocent soul of our Lord facing his death and cruelty when he was perfect/without sin/God/man!  To consider that a perfect creation/made in the image of God could be brutally and painfully murdered!  "the innocent soul's reward."  Heaven forever with Jesus, Mary and the Saints, but how I pray that this evil will end!  There are so many empty arms that long for a child to love, how can these little ones not find them?  Jesus, we turn to you and trust in you!
Excited and happy and basking in the morning sunlight!  An angel pondering the wonder of another family filled with LIFE living on the farm!  "It is so right that they are here on the farm!"  Pat and I both are so convinced of how right this is!  In a couple days Joy will join them and the picture will be complete!
I just love these! 

Jesus, the JOY is filling me to overflowing.  It was such a gift to talk to Hallel on the phone this morning and share with her that her newest niece is here safe and sound.  There are limited times that we are able to know that she is sharing in our family happiness and joy, and today was a total gift in so many ways!  All those prayers have surrounded both Joy and Hallel with her long days of travel to join their Community of the Lamb in KC today, and little JOY from the moment we knew she was in Ruth's womb!  Such a work of art she is and so much excitement and great JOY to finally meet her and hold her.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Please end the taking of innocent souls and cherishing of all life from conception to natural death.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen
Luke and Jenny the dog playing on the deck... love the family on the farm!  So perfect, and as it should be!  Now a new baby to bring home a year after they moved in... just as I brought John home to this farm a year after we moved here in 1989.  It looks like Paul just got here to put WELCOME JOY JEAN on the little red barn.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
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The spectacular sunrise on this your day of birth sweet Joy Jean!  You are sharing this birthday with your grandpa, Larry Lanoue!  So special and a happy birthday to both!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

"She is traveling today and should get here in KC tonight!" Holy Mother!

Two days from Evangeline's 5 month milestone, one day til we welcome her cousin outside the womb/Ruth's 6th giving birth day, and today Little Sister Hallel lands on American soil after 2 years away, and 4 years since she was home on the farm!  I called KC last night to hear if Susan/Hallel had arrived safely, and Benedict told me that she had traveled to Paris yesterday, and would come to the U.S. today.  I told her that I would call later today and make sure she arrived safely as any mother would do, right?  Then tomorrow I will call and let her know that her new little niece is born.  Then I will stop, as we are not supposed to be bothering them during Lent.  It just happened that I have a reason to call 3 days in a row, and I might not talk to Hallel at all but I have a feeling she will speak to me briefly.  I think it is obvious that I am very excited to know that she is close by. 
Farm supper last night in Ruth's large open farm kitchen while Ruth and Paul went and "taught kids about Jesus" at Faith Formation.  Pat and I are praying a lot for safety for our wonderful Ruth Ida and her new baby daughter tomorrow morning bright and early (5a) they are going in for the scheduled C-section!  This wonderful song by Eric Clapton - Holy Mother came across my mind and heart as she certainly is our spiritual Mother and holds us close at times of anxiety and worry. 
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How is that for a shot in the arm and reminder that our worries and fears are not needed except to complicate the work God wants to do in our lives!
Dad listen to this one... you will love it!
Eric Clapton - Holy Mother
Farmer Ruth made a marvelous supper for 10 kids and 6 adults!  Even both oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies, and orange jello with manderine oranges on top!  My heart swells with such happiness/joy as I recall the many meals with my own kids and having homemade cookies for them after school.  Little Rose, who will be 5 in a month, put on her coat and went out to "ride her bike" in the dark... we saw her scoot by on a scooter in her pink coat, and then she came in and reported that she had let the wet dogs ( it was lightly raining) and cats into the warm shop to sleep on their pile of hay.  Pat's wonderful new heated shop is just steps away from the house, and the animals would never go in there to stay at night... they would run out the first chance they could get, until Pat accidentally dropped some hay on the floor... now every night they long to get in there and lay in their nest in the hay to sleep warm and content.  So cute!  There is a new ritual of going out to let the animals in for the night, and "early in the morning I see the kids run out to let them out before they go to school."
Baby girl fell asleep on the couch this morning with a bootie missing and her fingers in her mouth.  7 year old brother, David, picked out her clothes this morning, and she turned out pretty cutsie wootsie!

Another comforting reminder today of Moses standing up for the people after they had made the molten calf and worshiped it... similarly we do this in our lives as we worship things and obsessions and other ways we are separated from Christ.  Jesus offers us his very life!
All we need do is humbly confess our sins and we will be healed of our wounds and need not carry them forth with us after being forgiven of our sins!

Jesus, I need you and thank you for your healing graces that are always poured out upon me!
Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life.  CCC #1997
"So grace isn't just help; it's actually a new kind of life- God's eternal life, poured into our soul 'to heal it of sin and to sanctify it" (CCC#1999) so that we can become like Him and live the way He lives."  Vinny Flynn  Wow!  Lord, this is just what I long for!  To become like you and live the way you live and follow after you down the narrow path carrying/dragging my Most Cherished Cross to the final goal of being forever with you in heaven!  Yes, that element of sacrifice and suffering is always part of the path we are called to follow, and we need to die to self in order to pursue a good and holy life and to become the saints we are each called to become.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen
So close to having our new little sweet girlie/lamb in our arms!  LIFE is a gift to protected and cherished from conception to natural death.  "A person's a person no matter how small."  Dr Suess
Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Halllel in the air/ a Hallel Psalm at mass today! "The Lord is good to all..." Psalm 145

Our Lady of Medjugorje looks down on the warm scene of our little 5 month old granddaughter, Evie/Evangeline, getting a bubble sink first thing in the morning, while we are all gathered around eating breakfast.  Her grandpa, Pat's, huge hands gently holding her up in the sink of warm water and bubbles. 

Pat and I awoke realizing that with the time 7 hours ahead in Rome that our Little Sister Hallel is most likely in the air coming to the U.S. today as she had a stand-by ticket for today.  Prayers for safe travels and knowing that she is safely here in Kansas City... How delightful as a prayer of praise from our hearts knowing that our daughter is here in our country and soon we will be united with her for some precious family time and "real hugs!"  In the midst of the readings for mass today - A Hallel Psalm - Psalm 145!

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18

R. (8a) The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
We know that our Hallel is truly calling upon her spouse, Jesus Christ, in Truth!
Ruth back from her doctor's appointment... all is well, "see you on Friday."  Soon we will have our newest granddaughter in our arms! 

Therese is feeding grandma's deep feelings of JOY for having my family all together on the horizon.  "You will get grandpa holding all 3 baby girls, and can I help you pick out their matching dresses, grandma?"  Yes, there will be hundreds of family pictures to hold close to my heart the memories of all being together with our Little Sister Hallel  - the first time in 4 years that she has come home to the farm!
A hot pink sun hat and lunch with short sleeves on the porch on a glorious day yesterday!  Ruth has plans to put her new porch on the house she grew up in on the farm - now their newly remodeled farmhouse.  Her goal is to have her porch completed in time for a huge breakfast on the farm - the crowd attending could reach 1,000!  They certainly are willing to do the work and promote the farm!  Amazing!
Meals are a production, and we have it down to a science.  A crew does the cooking and another crew does the cleanup.  I usually let the girls do the cooking and then I chase them out of the kitchen and do the dishes, and put the food away.  We know that each meal we fill the dishwasher!  25 of us with two nursing babies among them adds up to huge meals!  Family time supreme! 

I have been quizzing John and Maria to try to remember the food that Susan/Hallel likes - I guess we just decided that after living in Europe for these many years that she would love to have just homemade farm meals.  Lots of beef in every meal with lots of fresh vegetables - the first week in May there could be radishes and lettuce from the garden!  Lots of our wonderful food we can for 6 families including her Community of the Lamb in KC!  I notice that there is really no milk served with meals, and so I think that she will enjoy that while home... lots of cold Milk!!!  "Nothing like cold milk!" is something the kids have heard from their dad over and over, and now I hear it echoed most especially from Ruth! 
So adorable - baby girl napping in the sun with her little hands behind her head.

Of course with Ruth just a little over a day away from having her baby girl the first reading from Isaiah really strikes a cord for me...
"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?  Even should she forget, I will never forget you."  Isaiah 49:15  How comforting these words are knowing that our sweet new granddaughter is being cared for by her loving Savior!  So many prayers and trusting in his caring for them until she is safely here in her families loving arms!  We too take heart knowing how much we are loved - from here to eternity with Jesus, Mary and all the Saints!
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These words from St Pio fill me with the Trust I need to know that all will be well!  It will be so amazing to call KC and tell Hallel that her newest niece is here safe and sound, and thank her for her prayers without ceasing we are all blessed with as she daily spends time in Adoration and mass in her contemplative life as a spouse of Christ!
Surrounded and warmed by the LIGHT as she is protected and loved no matter the cost!  Babies are such a gift and are totally dependent upon their family for their cares!  All life should be protected and cherished from conception to natural death no matter the cost!
A picture of relaxation... how she laid back in the warm bubble sink totally relaxed and at peace and trusting in our care for her every needs!
Such a sweet and happy little girl, who is gifting us with so much joy at having a little one living with us, and those smiles that are like sunshine in our lives when we look at her and our eyes hold each other!
School, supper, and family time along with begging dogs... never a dull moment in our house filled with Maria and her family, John, farmer Pat and I...  We have a very big house and we fill it up regularly with family.  "Family time is the Best" on our little red barn, and so true!
Little girl fell asleep on mom's shoulder while her 4 older siblings had an adventure at the creek in the pasture on a beautiful spring day! 

The Gospel speaks today of Jesus accomplishing the work of his Father in this world.  Jesus speaks of judgment...
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If only we die to self and allow LOVE to fill us through The Holy Spirit... then we yearn always to be forever in heaven with Jesus and our eyes of focused on HIM... although we sin and fall short, he "never will forget you" if only we fall on our knees and humbly ask for forgiveness, and then return that forgiveness and mercy to those the closest to us in our domestic Church/family!
The cat in the tree... happy times!

Jesus, life is so rich and filled to the brim! Never a dull moment is so true of our following you down the narrow path carrying/dragging our Most Cherished Cross.  Be with our Little Sister Hallel as she comes across the ocean to be close to us... allowing us to spend Easter with her and her family of the Lamb!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen
Big brother and sister helping Romeo back across after he had fallen and gotten wet and muddy!  What fun!  All the other kids want to join him, but mom said "no." 
Back to the house and in the tub... another reason that falling into the creek is fun!  The balloons found a home there after the birthday celebration for Therese.  Even grandma has a few balloons join her in the Jacuzzi!  Anything but dull around here!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Red barn and red rubber boots... Maria might get to help plant the garden this year!  There is something wrong about getting older and losing all of your helpers.  Ruth and her bunch are very good about helping grandma I have to say!
The swings are a hit!
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Answer our prayer, O Lord!
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Along the way are trials, which allow us to die to self and we long for victory over sin and death!
"Nothing, how little ever so it be, if it is suffered for God's sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God." -Thomas A. Kempis 
Thomas A'Kempis is my mentor of Truth as a baby Catholic I devoured Imitation of Christ!

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The Best!!!!  Love!!!  Dad how does this flesh out your favorite verse? 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Love is never finished." Pope Benedict XVI Waters of LIFE!

The precious results of dressing my girls alike... now I am dressing the granddaughters, and my heart soars to the heavens with so much happiness - it is just too much fun!!
I am getting super excited for our newest granddaughter, who will be here in just 3 days!  I couldn't resist getting her and our in house granddaughter, Evangeline, matching little lamb sleepers!  Look at how much they grow in just 5 months!  So many prayers surround Ruth and her new baby from the moment we knew she was growing in her mommies womb!  The quote today from Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is so true of us as we enter this world in conception and our life is valuable and precious and protected from then til we leave this world in natural death and then on into eternity!  Love is truly never finished as we long to be forever in heaven with Jesus, Mary and all the Saints as well as our family that has gone ahead of us.  We have been blessed with The Chaplet of Divine Mercy to pray for the souls of those dying, and I use it to pray for my dead as we all continue to need prayers as we work our way towards heaven!
Adventures by the creek in the pasture behind our house on a glorious spring day!  All decked out in rubber boots makes it fun!  Romeo landed in the muddy edge, but did not shed a tear.  It was fun to see these today as I took way to many, of course, as much of the readings today are centered around life-giving healing waters and pools!
Reflected in the deep pool..."If you walk in there the water will be over your boots!"  They did want to get wet, but mom said "no." 

I love the reading from Ezekiel today where he has the vision of the water coming out of the temple and starting as a trickle and eventually becoming a river which makes all water fresh, waters the trees, and "Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine." Ezekiel 47
Didn't we feel that way on such a spectacular day with the water running in the creek and the grass turning green on the bank and the cats climbing in the tree, and the kids running with their reflection on the waters in the bright sun with the blue sky with the white puffy clouds?  Yes!  Life is good and a blessing, and spring is a wonderful JOY after the long winters winds, cold, ice and snow!
Love this!!!  Therese had just said; "This is the best day ever!"  Soon the grass will be green and the cows with their calves will be grazing on it.  The best sight ever!
 Went looking for some pasture pictures, and jackpot!  These were taken 3 years ago, and grandma was dressing her little girls alike here too!  Rose will be 5 a month after her sister arrives!  Bernadette already has her new sister, and she will be one in May!  LOVE is truly never finished!
 My heart just bursts with unending JOY when I find pictures like these, and the way I try to capture every last moment these of my wonderful LIFE... I have so many of them!
Now we will have 3 baby girls growing up together and these two have with their Patchy/Patrick.  So delightful!
 And add the lilacs and it could not be better!
Melting my heart... the boys do, too!  We have 8 grandsons and in 3 days 7 granddaughters!  Love is never finished!  Our love just grows more and more!  Each day I pray for each one on the rosary.  The 5 decades are devoted to my 5 children and their growing families!  They all know that I pray for them daily and depend on it!

Continuing to the Gospel with the theme of the pools - is the man sick for 38 years, and longs to get to the pool when it is stirred up.  "Do you want to be well?"  "Rise. take up your mat, and walk."  He jumps up healed!  John 5  May we let go of all that keeps us sick and separated from Jesus!
Three years ago.  They now live on the farm and will have a new little girl in their arms in just 3 days!  A masterpiece of LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!  She will be a beautiful baby nestled in lilacs and mommie's arms by Mother's Day!

Jesus, our lives are so full with all that you pour out upon us in all the Life-giving waters of LOVE which is never finished.  WE are yours and long only to  be with you forever in heaven!  May we find a small slice of heaven here on earth as we share your LOVE in our domestic Church/family.  May we serve without counting the cost and adopt the motto of The Community of the Lamb - "Wounded, I will not cease to love!"  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen
Now all they have to do is walk out the door to see the apple blossoms and eat an apple off the trees, and take care of all the apples!  It is so good that they are now the farm family!  Pat and I couldn't be more happy with the change!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
 White face and apple blossoms 3 years back...
 Mary teaching Rose to love Our Lady... Mary's namesake!
Little girls, lilacs, Our Lady and cows in the green grass of the pasture... a picture of JOY!
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So true!  If we show the LOVE to all those around us... it truly is a glimpse of God!

Danielle Rose - Small things with great love