The year without a Christmas tree

We’re late Advent, get a tree later kinda people.

All the other last-minute -ers beat us out. Not even one of the small ones was left at the grocery store.

Years ago I would have been disappointed, (or crushed, devastated even.)

Now I am so over the hustle and bustle and people not even knowing what, or shall I say WHO they are celebrating. (It ain’t Santa.)

My kids are being raised different from me or the whole rest of society it seems. And that’s good.

Other kids would complain or throw tantrums for years over not tree. My eldest said it’s ok we can put up lights. And he truly meant it even though there was a small hint of disappointment in his voice.

Or the other night when they missed getting bags of candy from Santa on a fire truck. They got over it quick.

There is so much sadness and disappointment I have seen or heard others speak of recently when Christmas doesn’t go exactly as planned.

We don’t need the lights or the trees or the cards or the general onslaught of Stuff that’s being given.

All we need is Him.

And all I want is forever one to have Him. But as was said tonight at church (and may I paraphrase as I was busy shushing everyone during the homily) a gift has to be received before it can be enjoyed. Please enjoy jesus this holiday (Holy Day!)

HE is all you even want and need.

It grieves me and I had heard this song before but that everyone stresses out this way and has no “Silent nights”.

“Look at us now rushing around trying to buy Christmas peace.”

You can not buy it. HE is the peace the world cannot give.

Learn to let go and have peace.


Continue reading

THE Christmas Card Post : Our year in pictures (And words-mommy writes a lot!)

*Under construction. Please excuse our mess. (Or, knwoing me, poor grammar, typos, and bad spelling. Any proofreaders out there?)

For those of you receiving a card in 2015 (as I mailed them out on December 31st) I am not late. Christmas is from the 25th till Epiphany on January 6th. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.(That and we were sick and then it was actually Christmas Day and stuff like that.)

Let’s take you back to last Christmas. Well, Christmas Eve to be exact. It was cold. Really cold! (Don’t worry, the whole post is not going to go into enough detail to make it take till next Christmas to read.:) )

I drove all over creation dropping the hubby off, dropping stuff off at a new favorite charity, to our “new house”-don’t get me started) and ended up back at church to sing with the choir before the 7pm Mass. Then, then, we made the mistake of going in the choir loft with daddy. And kids behaved badly. So we returned the next day for 10am Mass and parked ourselves IN THE VERY FRONT ROW! This routine for a while helped with much better behavior from the “older” children so they can stay un-mommy assisted in the choir loft if need be which, you will soon see, I needed for sanity’s sake.

Which moves us on to New Year’s Day. (I know. You’re saying “Gee. Only 365 more to go!”) We had to break the news to Pappy that the trip he wanted to take around a certain persons birthday in the fall was gonna have to happen sooner-because there was no way we were going to be traveling with a newborn!

Six days later (“At least she skipped a few…”) I went to FINISH moving the majority of our belongings into the house I gave you all the address of in our card last year. HA! I stepped in water from the pipe that froze, when the electricity went out, during the Polar Vortex. Ugh! Big messes and lots of confusion later….well, we still haven’t officially moved. But that story is WAY to long for here. (“Oh thank goodness she isn’t going to tell us every last detail.”)

Aside from all that, a “huge” snowstorm in February on someones birthday and some Easter excitement I can’t remember too much of what happened the rest of winter and early spring.

So moving onto May (“Oh thank goodness. She might finish this before THIS New Year’s after all!”)

Everyone under the age of seven went on their first plane ride. (Except I think this pic is from the bus but the eldest wanted me to include it.)


A trip to Disney (sponsored by Pappy who has always wanted a Princess)


wore them out.


(Or was it too much “Small World”? I know, I’m evil cause it is in your head now, isn’t it?)


So they watched Disney cartoons.




But the excitement of the two extroverts can never be completely contained!


I suppose we can count it as a field trip, if for no other reason, than learning the all important “real school” skill of waiting!

for the bus….


and waiting in line EVERYWHERE, and of course the ever “popular” (unless you’re the three-year old right before pretty, pretty princess time) forced group potty breaks.


We had lots of fun but also found irony that some of their favorite activities could have been done at home.

“Hey kids! You too can fly all the way to Florida and play with Lego’s!”





And wear “goofy” hats….


(“Mine wasn’t goofy, it was a princess hat.”)

Don’t get me wrong though. There are definitely things you can’t do at home. For example, our little animal lover thoroughly enjoyed the safari ride. (Mommy and baby not so much. Bumpity, bump, bump.)


And we also took Sunday off as a day of rest and one child got his picture taken with his name sake. (If that is the actual size of David, I would hate to see Goliath!)


But then it was back to home and the reality of (a still very relaxed) homeschool. (I can’t recall if this was posed, natural, or because the elder was in time out and the younger follows him.)


We enjoyed one of mommy’s favorites, an Independence Day concert.

(Which these two were too tired to go to, so I took their picture for posterity sake cause they looked so darn cute in the color coördinated outfits.)



Moving on to the end of summer, the big moment finally arrived. Baby girl was born. This wore everyone out too!


Since then we have just been hangin’ out doing normal kid stuff like….

bow wearing



book reading


fort building



“car” building



snow man (or bear?) building


and train building (till the “station master” said we were doing too good a job and we needed to leave something else for other volunteers to do).


And a little man just had a birthday and proudly showed off his favorite present-a bag of peaunut butter M & M’s (Can he stay this cute and easy to please forever?)


We saw Santa when we weren’t expecting him. (BEFORE Thanksgiving. Does this mean next year Macy’s will have to do an Independence Day parade and put him at the end of that instead?)


(Just purely for comic relief at this time of year.)

Keep it all in perspective people! It’s about Jesus, and friends, and family. Presents are nice but we would much rather be in your presence. But since we can’t be everywhere at once we will just wish you Merry Christmas from here!

*Please do return sometime after the 25th (if I even get these out by then (*fixing @ 11:18 pm Dec. 24th-didn’t happen, did it!) since it is already december 17th when I started this post and the Christmas card 2014 bonanza) for another holiday outfit co√∂rdinated picture after this years 7pm Mass. We WON’T however be sticking around with daddy for the newly added Midnight Mass! I would be about ready to run around silly in the choir loft by that point and will be dancing with the sugar plums.)

(I think this first one is my new favorite! Don’t forget to rejoice.)

Just do something already!

Don’t misjudge my complaining here cause it is 12:09 am and I just fought to figure out how to cut and paste part of this from Facebook cause the original thing I opened wasn’t working but….

I am sick of hearing everyone complain! Sure my kids complain, but they have nothing on the “adults” I’ve been listening to recently.

“I don’t like this or that politician.” Then don’t vote for them! Spend time educating your friends and neighbors instead of making them listen to your moaning.

“I don’t think this religious leader is holy enough.” Why don’t you try being holy instead of GOSSIPING about them!?! Pray for them to become the leader you want instead of leaving their church in search of the “perfect ” one that doesn’t exist because, let’s face it, we are all human. (Sorry if your religious leader didn’t mention this fact in his imperfection but if you look around hard enough it is kinda obvious.)

“Her blog post was mean and she must hate her kids. Why doesn’t she discipline them and give up being their entertainment director and then she wouldn’t have to listen to them complain about being bored.” How about it was called venting sarcasm (kind of like this piece as that was the one that sent me into this mood…)? How about we are ALL guilty of giving our kids too much , just to varying degrees and who are we to judge another parent?

Oh and don’t get me started on judging other parents! Unless you know first hand (which the random strangers who give comments NEVER do!)
the challenges that kid (and parent for that matter) face on a daily basis you don’t know what a good, bad, or ugly day is to them. (For some reason people seem to complement me on my kids when I think they are being complete brats.)

Exhibit A: My five year old, yeah, he’s a bit “high strung” at times. But he’s also a heck of a lot better than he used to be, he had heart surgery at six weeks old so (when he isn’t screaming keep me awake right now!) I remember he could be dead, and that he also had a very high strung momma till I learned how to calm myself down when I am in the same mood.

What I just left elsewhere as a comment with a minor correction and revision:

“As previously stated all this negative stuff (for those of you not seeing the original content I mean here the “news” which puts me in what my husband calls “world hell hand basket” mode) got me down and I am now focusing on the local level as far as my time and effort to change things concretely. I can’t change DC or the hard core opinions of others with differing views unless I really get to know them. The only thing that is really going to change politicians (d or r) is us changing as a society. The politicians are not the problem, just a symptom of it. They wouldn’t be there if we the people hadn’t elected them and as a society we are immoral so we elect immoral. We need to pray for them and all of us but trying to change peoples opinions without prayer and trying to change their hearts first is futile.”

I can not change you. I can only change myself (and only with God’s help cause I am way to weak to do this alone.) Heck right now I can’t get my over tired five year old to stay calmed down and go back to sleep!

So my advice to everyone tonight? If Jesus couldn’t get everyone to follow Him what makes you think you can? Trust in Him to do the hard stuff, plant seeds where you can, and be the change you want to see.

Will the blog ever really begin?

I do not know. I was thinking of coming back and ranting about who knows what several days ago but my hubby has been on the computer pretty much non stop since then. Today he took the day off to finish up what he is dealing but has ended up being away all day dealing with cold weather crisis. And now my feet are too frozen to stay at this computer much longer and need to go back under a blankie. But in the meantime I leave you with this reprint written after an event that happened two years ago. After rereading this and thinking about all going on now and since that day (and spending all morning listening to glory stories about martyrs and other such people much much braver than I) I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad God’s word for me this year seems to be “Trust.”. I think i am going to need to trust Him because the world is too scary to not.

Though this blog may or may not get going more often here is a little story form my old one about the day my high pain tolerance almost killed me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Be Not Afraid
I had never heard of picking a word for the year, one on which you think God wants you to work, before sometime in the middle of last year. I didn’t pick a word for the year–instead God gave me two:

Respect and courage.


Those are two tough ones. “Really, God? You want me to be more respectful?” Okay, that one I get. This word came to me when I was tucking in the eldest and wishing we could get along better. (We are too much alike–that is, hotheads who get kind of snappy with each other.)

But courageous? “You must have me confused with someone else right?” I am not a courageous person by nature.

“Exactly, Amy. That’s why you need to work on it.”

So, a few days into the new year he gave me a chance.

I had an ectopic (think tubal) pregnancy. After two days of pain I ended up in the ER.

(This is the part where my high pain tolerance could have killed me. Most other people would have thought they were in excruciating pain the first day and gone then. Me? I just thought it was kind of annoying and only looked into going when it didn’t go away and I figured it was something more serious.)

So as I sat waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) in the ER, I was reading a book about contemplative prayer and trying my hardest to do it. (And trying not to swear like the guy a few rooms away who was definitely tired of waiting!)

I was not afraid. I knew what was happening, but I knew it was all in God’s hands, even if I died. (Obviously I am still here though.)

Whenever I would feel the fear start to come in I would give it over to Him and I knew it was all okay.

I had a laparoscopic surgery right through my belly button. (And only my belly button. No three “bullet holes” like my husband when he had his appendix out.) I knew I was in good hands. (It may have also helped that this was surgery number nine for this family. We have a wee bit of experience in this department.)

I felt especially comforted when I saw who was the on-call doctor and then that the doctor who delivered my first baby was going to be assisting. My husband said he knew the “dream team” was in charge so he felt comfortable leaving to go pick up our kids. Yes, we were both this calm.

I spent the night in the hospital. I couldn’t sleep. (No medications and an IV and lots of water-drinking to get rid of the hairball feeling in my throat [I hate breathing tubes!] made for lots of bathroom trips.) I prayed instead.

I prayed for all of you in that time as well. That you would all find the peace that I was blessed with that evening.

I had the courage to deal with this situation head on. I know God will give me the grace to handle whatever else comes my way this year. (Though I am afraid to even start thinking about what that may be if this is the way the year starts out.) I am ever more stepping into childlike trust.

Jesus said it; John Paul II said it; now I say it to you: Be not afraid. He will give you the grace if you just ask.
Posted by Amy at 5:52 AM No comments:
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Labels: fear, miscarriage, trust

To whom it may concern

Dear fellow spoiled 21st century Americans,

We are all in big trouble when the government is shut down, the rest of the world is in chaos, and pretty much every problem since the beginning of time still exists but we are “too lazy to make oatmeal.” (which was probably instant!) as I overheard someone say this evening at the grocery store.

It is time for us to get off our collective duff and DO something. ANYTHING! But don’t just sit there. Go out and find your own way to make the world a better place.

(And please remind ME of this post seeing as I was at the store to buy ice cream because when I can’t figure out how to single-handedly achieve world peace and such I stress eat!)

One very worried American/citizen of the world

Note: If this post does not apply to you (because you have already figured out how to achieve world peace?) pay no attention and carry on. (But do inform us how to make the madness stop.)

Hopefully sometime soon (er than another four or five months from now) I will be back to share a more hopeful message I learned recently.

Sometimes silence is golden…

I know many people don’t like him for what they think he stands for: what they believe his politics to be. This video is not about politics. It is about treating others well and speaking words of love, not hate. And about freedom. We need to come back together or he is right; our children will not worry about losing their voice….

I don’t share this to divide but to inspire and unite. We need to get along even when we disagree.

Just watch it no matter what you think of the man. Listen to the message and leave me your honest thoughts, but after watching I hope you will be able to do so in a kinder gentler manner than you would have before watching.

Facebook comments that turn out long enough to be blog posts because I didn’t have time to write both. :)

This is the comment I made responding to several friends on a post that said :

You guys may be surprised but I agree with you all. I don’t want to, and know you cannot, force anyone to believe what you believe. I share my beliefs about say. abortion, to get people to think about it differently I just shared this one because I thought it was an interesting point along the lines of “if you don’t teach the good basics of the Bible (or any religion because all share some truth) like do unto others and thou shalt not kill this is what you end up with”. I’m up for public schools sharing a little bit of everything that is good , but leave out the radical (whatever it may be: Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish or Christian-yes there are radical Christians-those Westboro people, for example, are nuts! That’s not what Jesus taught!) In public ,and not just private, freedom of religion not from religion. Unlikely people die simply from seeing the ten commandments posted, but those who end up in jail for murder likely never learned it from anywhere. As far as my own kids I will teach them at home along the lines of this is what I believe and why, here is what others believe. If they go to Catholic school some day I hope they teach Catholic doctrine (unlike what we grew up with which our Rel. Ed. Director calls the “Kumbya era”) but I would still teach it at home. It is primarily the parents job to instill values but they can dole it out to others. My problem is people who soley leave teaching up to schools, church, or state and do nothing themselves. Sadly with religious ed at least it is probably because they didn’t learn it themselves. Anything I learned about being Catholic was mostly from my own reading as an adult. And I still make mistakes and sometimes rashly judge things but I am usually only basing it off what others have shared. (IE-that Marines are not supposed to hold umbrellas while in uniform. trying not to “hate” Obama, just vehemently disagree w a large number of his policies and, yeah sometimes feel he’s a bit arroigant, but don’t hate him. He’s a person just like me, however misguided some of his ideas are. Tagged specific friend who always seems to disagree with me.)”