Tuesday, March 31, 2015

7 Quick Takes: January, February and March

Well hell-O, dear blog readers!  My dear, sweet readers that will be patient with me.  I am so excited to put my fingers to the keyboard tonight and give you a snippet of the happenings here in my world.

1. I'm sure you are all checking in to see the latest Lucy sweetness, and I won't disappoint.  Lucy is still smiling and loving to each person she meets, and has not decided to roll over yet.  She will, however, do crunches. Long, long crunches.  She will lie on the floor while I am exercising and do this.  Almost the whole time.  This is a moment in time, but it is not untrue!
 Five months have flown by, and she is the first baby that is actually in clothes that are near her size.  Little dainty flower we have. 
2. Scouts!  William just received his Tiger badge (one thing I figured out, the boys get the badge after the year is over.  Go figure.  They gotta earn it first).
We also had the Blue and Gold Banquet and I tried my hand at some creative cake decorating.  It was Space themed, and I attempted the moon.  I am not trying to start a business anytime soon. 

3. Sensory bins.  I have always wanted to have something like this for the kids to play with, and I threw some things in a bin, and apparently it seems that all the kids enjoy it.  ALL  On the deck, in the house, I love it.  It keeps them so occupied, and the sound of the scooping and digging is so fun.

4. Bubble machine.  Best $8 ever spent.  I love bubbles, but I can't ever blow enough to make it fun.  We have been taking care of Tommy's nephew about 2 days a week.  He is about a year and a half, and the cutest little stinker.  James loves having him here and it's so special to get to have this time.
5.  Baby's first Ash Wednesday!  Lent has come, and gone, since I am tardy to the party, but we had our Lucy's first ashes, and our first protest of the ashes from James.  I was NOT prepared for the screaming at Mass that we have had with James.  I am grateful that my arms are strong enough to carry the both of them in those moments.

I love firsts!  This boy pulled out his own tooth in the morning, as you can see he is all packed and ready to go to school.  He pulled it out all on his own.  The earliest teether in the house, so he is the youngest to start losing his teeth.  Very exciting!  Now, if only the tooth fairy can get on her game to be sure he doesn't lose the tooth fairy excitement.  They were just learning about the tooth fairy at school too.  According to William, she leaves a toy (!!) in place of the tooth.  Nope, sorry.  This fairy doesn't take the teeth and leaves a dollar. These kids are rich, in my opinion. 
7.  Snow! Our January, February, AND some of March has had snow.  We had about 13 snow (some not so snowy) days, and thankfully don't need to make up any days for the year. 

 There was one really big snowfall which gave us a 4 day weekend with Daddy, and was so needed!  Sledding, movies, and family time are always nice to have.  The kids all enjoyed hot chocolate after the sledding and shoveling, and I was happy to oblige.  Too cold for Lucy (and me!  Emma wears my boots, and I don't have any pants to go out in either.  Pretty soon she will be taking my coats and gloves.)

Our Start To Holy Week

 When your Saturday starts with a breakfast with the Easter Bunny and a freezing egg hunt (like 25 degrees with wind chill freezing), you are never sure what the Lord has in store.
Tommy decided we should all join him to go back to his office in the City, since he forgot his wallet.  Kind of an important thing, so we all went.  The groanings, moanings, and grumblings from the back seat were just so frustrating.  I was feeling overwhelmed, thinking we had failed in our Lent.  It just wasn't feeling very "lent-ish."  Pizza picnic in a deserted office on a weekend, in DC, and Tommy says we should make some kind of pilgrimage.  You know, to help us in our journey to Easter.  I have to admit that I was not too keen.  He mentioned 2 options, and I was trying really hard to stay quiet and not complain about the one he chose.

We arrived at the John Paul II Institute, and Tommy asks the receptionist if there is a museum, etc.  I overhear her (as I am across the room, ready for flight since I am not sure this is the place to be with 5 kids) say that yes, there is, but you should go upstairs to see the Relics first. 

Um, what?

We get upstairs, and are late, sitting in the back of a long room, and they are in the middle of a meditation.  I look at the booklet and see that there are 8 relics - mostly FIRST class - all from the Passion of Jesus.  I start to melt, and just can't believe how the Lord has drawn us here.  I am thanking Tommy's angel who helped get us here, and my angel who nudged me not to fight.  It was unbelievable.  There aren't that many people, but we are able to sit in the back, I get my heavy zoom on the camera, and tell Tommy to help us out.
This lady has a stack of Holy Cards, and has given some to Patrick and told him (gave him a mission, more like) that if he touches the cards to the relics, his card would become a 3rd class relic.  He is ready and more focused on that than anything else, but I am so pleased that the kids are behaving.
The 8 relics were:
A piece of the table from the Last Supper
A piece from the pillar where He was scourged
A piece of the thorns from the crown of thorns
A piece of the True Cross
A bone of Saint Longinus
A piece of a cloth that touched the Shroud/burial cloth
A Picture that was touched to the St. Veronica Veil
A piece of one of the nails
Unbelievable.  They tell us it's time to venerate the relics, and I see a lady come all the way to the back, look at Tommy, and say, "Would you like to hold a relic?"  Just like Simon, pulled from the crowd to help.  He got to hold the thorn relic while everyone was venerating it, as well as the picture.  I was thrilled for him, but nervous how I would manage all the kids and the lines, but I look up and Patrick and WIlliam are on their mission with the holy cards, and I have the stroller and Lucy.  I start to worry a bit while I look for a way to get around the columns and chairs, and I pick a spot that I can do, and it turns out to be perfect. I get Emma and James in the line with me, and we are able to venerate the first 7, and go around to the True Cross in the middle.

I am a blubbering mess by this time, and James keep asking me why I am crying.  I am so overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness, and I just can't believe we are here.  God is so good!
We get to the middle, and James decides he wants to do what the big kids are doing, and put his holy card on the relic.  I just caught that moment, and then I told him to give Jesus a kiss.  He reached up and kissed it no hesitation.  I'm not sure any of my other kids kissed or touched the relics, but they had their mission with the holy cards. 

I still can't believe we were able to start our week on such a beautiful note.  Not only that, but we got to do a little exploring in the museum, which will need a trip back, definitely. 
And, the way home?  Questions about the Shroud of Turin, saints, miracles, and my heart just expanded so much the more.