Saturday, June 29, 2013

whatever it takes

Oh sure -- there's plenty to write about:
  • the elder lad's First Holy Communion and eighth birthday
  • an amazing Day of Service at our home parish
  • summer adventures close to home 
  • minor victories of the prayer variety
  • ongoing efforts to be a better steward and help our bambini do likewise
  • creative outlets I've been utilizing at the expense of this chronicle
  • the continued challenge of managing minute-to-minute while taking the long view
  • other random musings loyal readers have come to expect from me
But for now, this will have to do: homemade chocolate granola.  Easy, tasty, healthy, and a whole lot less expensive than the stuff in the grocery store.  It ranks right up there with our favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but healthier and more versatile.

Check it out at Foodie Proclivities!
(and stay tuned for more about those other things up there)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

[insert favorite Batman reference here]

In that special kind of crazy that is the hallmark of a bedtime routine that should've started already, here is yet another exchange that I couldn't make up if I wanted to:

me to lad who shall remain nameless: "My patience is really waning.  Please listen and follow directions."

him: "What does 'waning' mean?  Like Bruce Wayne?"

something like that...

Friday, April 05, 2013

the secret of success

This is a special day for my beloved's family, for it is the anniversary of his grandparents.  He is their eldest grandchild, born on their 25th wedding anniversary.  That was a while ago, and a lot has happened since then. 

Sixty-plus years of marriage do not elapse without struggle.  Arriving at this milestone requires each spouse’s commitment every day to living the vocation to which God has called them.  This daily acceptance of God’s will is a choice each spouse makes to work for the good of the other, to love each other as God loves each person.  When asked how they accomplished this feat of longevity, my beloved's grandmother is quick to note that prayer is essential to the equation.  Without a prayerful perspective, the ins and outs of daily life weigh heavily on shoulders with the best of intentions but little foundation upon which to rest.  

The pair who now call me their granddaughter (omitting the "in-law" part) continue to give witness to the power of faith, hope, and love in action by their daily commitment to prayer and self-sacrifice, using words only when necessary to explain with great humility the great blessing they have received of so many years spent hand in hand serving the Lord.  Built on the foundation of sacramental marriage, this couple (like so many others) has seen its share of happiest joys, deepest sorrows, and the gamut of emotions and experiences in between.   Their family and friends rejoice with them on the happy occasion of their anniversary and thank God for the blessing of knowing and learning from this couple as we do.    

Stories like this one serve as inspiration to those wondering how to make marriages last so long or how to keep children close to the faith.  My beloved's grandparents and other long-time married couples like them know the accomplishment is really a blessing that, along with the blessing of relative good health for both spouses, comes through having allowed themselves to be the instruments through which God works out his plan, by cooperating with the Lord through an attitude of self-giving, and by taking up the crosses big and small that the Lord sees fit to place in their paths every day.  This approach has made the Earthly journey the couples have traveled together an altogether happy one, but their ultimate goal is to see each other in Heaven. 

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Twenty-some odd questions: 6yo younger lad

A couple of weeks ago, our tender-hearted, fun-loving, precious younger lad earned another candle on his (King Boo of Super Mario Brothers) birthday cake.  He remains imaginative, thoughtful, sensitive, generous, cheerful, friendly, and enthusiastic.  In the past year, he has grown taller, kinder, sillier (if that's possible), rougher, and keener than ever on being a valiant young squire.  How blessed we are to have him in our midst.


Some of his preferences have changed, but his sweet nature is still his hallmark. 

How does it feel to be six?
good [his stock answer to most open-ended questions, by the way]

What's the best thing about being six?
opening presents

What do six-year-olds do?
go to first grade

What's the most important thing you've learned in life so far?
being good to God -- not being an evil person

What do you like most about yourself?
being a redhead
self portrait
Are you a morning person or evening person?
I'm a morning person!

What do you like learning about?
how to play Star Wars

Do you know what God's plan is for your life?
to be a good person

What's your favorite thing to do with Daddy?

What's your favorite thing to do with Mama?
ride in the car... to the ice cream shop.

What do you like most about our family?
a lot
The lad's Kindergarten teacher conducts interviews as well.
What do you like to do with our family?
I like going to the zoo.

What are some of your hobbies?
playing battle

What's your favorite color?

What's your favorite TV show?
Wild Kratts

What's your favorite movie?
the pod racer scene from Star Wars

What is your favorite food?
cinnamon rolls

What is your favorite dessert?
mint chocolate chip ice cream

Your favorite thing to wear?
my Mario overalls

What sports do you like to play?
baseball, soccer, basketball... that's pretty much all the sports I know how to play.

What's your favorite thing about Kindergarten?
nap time because I like to read my Star Wars book

What's your favorite subject in school?

What do you want to be when you grow up?
an army soldier

May the Lord bless you all the days of your life, dear lad, and preserve both your sunny disposition and your zeal for life and the world around you.  May he guard your heart and fan into flame the desire you have to serve him as he calls you to. And may you always remember how precious you are to us.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

no blarney

Confession: I did a double take when I pulled this out of the elder lad's take-home folder:

elder lad's pot of gold art

Sure enough it *does* say "My brother means more to me than gold because we lov each other and he my brother." [sic]

Considering their interactions go from thick as thieves to gauntlets thrown down in the blink of an eye, I am amazed at this declaration for anyone and everyone to see.  Then again, it isn't without precedent.  And there was that whole staring-at-the-ceiling thing...

The younger lad made a similar piece in return, declaring his elder brother "his best friend." Chalk my incredulity up to my still-stymied understanding of sibling relationships

Sunday, March 10, 2013

good and evil

The two-and-a-half-year-old younger lass has a way with words:
"My eyes are choc'late." (referring to their luscious dark color)
"Bad boy!" (directed at her sister)

Every time the latter zinger is hurled, one of us always responds (even if it's not quite the "teachable moment" yet), "she's not a boy, and she's not bad."  Under normal circumstances, the younger lass *does* know that her sister is a girl like herself, but in moments of upset, that crusher is her biggest gun.  She picked it up from a sibling who shall remain nameless known for using it as a sort of heat-seeking missile against his brother.  In such cases, a similar response is given about the lad not being bad (laying aside the gender confusion). 

I'm not sure how this epithet came into being, since neither my beloved nor I employ it ourselves in the course of correcting inappropriate behavior on the part of our bambini.  Nonetheless, these fighting words persist and still sting, even though we are quick to say "God made [your brother] good.  He's not bad," and go on to talk about how we all make mistakes in the form of bad choices now and again, but that we are essentially good people -- even the sibling that has just pressed another's hot button.

As adults, we probably don't go around calling other adults names like "bad boy!", but we'd probably be fibbing if we didn't acknowledge at least once thinking to ourselves something along those lines (or worse).  We might even go so far as to think of a particular person as "evil," especially when considering the track record of a person who clearly has little respect for others to the point of destroying them literally or figuratively. 

It is contrary to our Catholic faith to think of people as evil.  God made us good.  He gave us free will, and sometimes we make bad choices from which evil has its way.  We can be under the influence of evil, and we struggle mightily against the effects of original sin, but we can also choose to do good (however difficult this may be) and have recourse to the grace we receive at Baptism and through the sacraments to live uprightly. 

Halfway through this Lenten season, we are far enough on the journey to Easter to have gained a little perspective since Ash Wednesday when some of our Lenten practices began in earnest.  God willing, we have come to recognize some ways in which evil has insinuated itself between us and the God who loves us.  With this reminder of pure, perfect love to encourage us, we dare to believe in our inherent good.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Pinewood Derby, vol. 2

Pinewood Derby this morning, Blue & Gold Banquet this evening, and Daylight Savings Time overnight -- that's what I call a trifecta.

elder lad's gold & black Pinewood Derby truck
the elder lad's second-place-in-his-den-winning truck

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