Monday, March 25, 2013

I Can't Hear My Own Thoughts

Right now, I am sitting in the living room while Pumpkin is putting on a puppet show for her dolls, Cucumber, Gummi and Sweet Pea are bouncing ping pong balls with paddles on the laminate floor, Sweet Potato is talking about the history of rock and roll (he's not talking to anyone in particular - he's just talking), and Honey Bunches is playing the tambourine and singing.  It is loud.  It is chaotic.  It is extremely entertaining.

Tonight during supper:

Sweet Potato:  Today in school we learned about the British invasion.
Gummi Bear:  You mean the Red Coats?
Sweet Potato:  No.  The Beatles.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

Today we celebrate Palm (or Passion) Sunday, marking the beginning of Holy Week; the pinnacle of our faith.  Mass was very moving to me today.  I shed more than a few tears.  Even Honey Bunches said on the way home, "I loved Mass."

We read,
"So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount.
As he rode along,
 the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives,  the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”   Luke 19:28-40
As Father explained, a man held in high esteem would have ridden a war horse, dressed in armor or expensive clothes, wielding a sword.  Yet Jesus, the Son of God, rode into Jerusalem on a farm animal, unarmed, in complete humility and simplicity.
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:6-11

We then listened to the Gospel of Luke and the retelling of the Passion.  I have heard this story since I was a small child.  I have read it myself countless times and still,  there is a piece of me that hopes that the story will have a different outcome.  That somehow, Jesus will not have to endure the pain and suffering.  That somehow, the people will see Jesus for who He truly is.  That somehow, Jesus will save us and the whole world without having to hang on that cross.  But the story never changes.

Father shared such beautiful words of wisdom  in his homily.  He said that we experience the passion in our lives everyday.   Everyday we die and we rise with Christ.  Some of us have small crosses to carry, while others have heavier crosses to bear.  But whatever journey we walk with Christ, it is important to realize that it is Christ who journeys with us.  Not the other way around.

Mass concluded with the symbol of Holy Thursday, a basin and pitcher, brought forward and placed at the foot of the altar.  We left in silence with the piano playing "Were You There."

This week, a week like no other in our calendar year, is meant to change us.  We are called to be present and to be active participants in the suffering, death and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We come out changed people; more loving, more compassionate, more actively serving Christ through our service to others.  We, the Body of Christ, pay homage to our King and give glory to God our Father.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Visit To Children's

One week ago today, Cucumber had an appointment at the Children's Hospital and Clinic in Minneapolis.  She has had a couple of UTIs, and due to her age and the frequency of these infections, she was referred to the "experts" for further testing.  Monkey was out of town on business, so Silly graciously took the day off of work to accompany us.  Although I was confident that all would turn out fine, this visit brought back memories of when Cucumber was only 5 weeks old and was hospitalized at Children's for RSV.  I was very grateful and thankful for Silly's moral support during this trip.

Cucumber awaiting the ultrasound

Her prize from the ultrasound

Cucumber had a total of three appointments throughout the day.

Here, Cucumber is prepping her mask for the next procedure.  She picked cotton candy flavored lip balm, which she smeared on the inside of her mask.
The lovely hospital gown and robe
Cucumber was a champ during the procedure.  I was thankful that I could stay in the room with her.

Her prize for doing so well
Next was lunch.

Cucumber had been fasting since 6 AM, so she was definitely ready to eat by this time.

Silly brought a movie for Cucumber to watch while we waited

Up next was the consult.  Cucumber and her new buddies had their blood pressure checked.

Cucumber and the doctor are looking at her scans
One of the many pieces of artwork at the hospital.  Cucumber loved this one!
All of Cucumber's tests came out well.  We were sent home with a very do-able plan to keep her healthy.  I also want to comment on what a remarkable place Children's Hospital is and what a blessing they are to kids and their families.  The minute we walked through the door, I felt at peace.  From the first person that greeted us, to the nurses and doctors, all were very friendly and they love kids.  I was impressed with how the employees talked with Cucumber - often times first before greeting me.  They explained things to her at six years old, in a very concise and clear way.  She wasn't scared.  That, in and of itself, was very encouraging to me.

I am thankful that we have a facility such as this so close to home.  I am thankful that so many of the men and women who work there have answered God's call for their lives in serving in the medical field and more specifically, working with children.  And I am thankful for the health of my own children.  It is certainly a gift to be treasured.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Latin, Grammar, and You've Got To Be Kidding Me!

Sunday marked the half-way point of Lent, also known as Laetare Sunday.  Laetare is Latin for, "Rejoice!". The entrance antiphon for the Mass begins, "Laetare Jerusalem (Rejoice O Jerusalem)", Isaiah 66:10-11.

During this penitential season of Lent, Laetare Sunday offers us a glimpse of joy and hope.  The Gospel reading was the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), a parable filled with hope, joy, forgiveness and love.  It serves as a beautiful example of the importance of our relationship with God and with community.  I left Mass feeling renewed and refreshed and eager to face these last weeks of Lent, in preparation for Easter.  Add in Daylight Savings and I feel like a new person!  Tonight after supper, instead of the kids winding down for the evening, they played outside taking full advantage of the longer day.  It was great!

A few nights ago as we were eating supper, Cucumber was trying to tell a story about Sweet Potato.  Sweet Potato did not want this story told and shouted at Cucumber to stop.  This outrage hurt Cucumber's feelings and she began to cry.  Seated next to her is Pumpkin, who leaned over, put an arm around Cucumber's shoulders and then whispered, "It's o.k. Cucumber.  Did he break your heart?"

After school one day last week:

Me:  Me and the little girls drove to the cities today to visit Dad at work.
Sweet Potato:  Why don't you say that sentence again and this time be grammatically correct?

Saturday morning the boys uncle was picking them up to spend a few hours with them.  When he arrived, he told Honey Bunches to put on some socks.  Apparently Honey was having difficulty in finding some clean socks.  After being reminded again to find some socks, Honey Bunches replied, "the laundry service isn't too good here."

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Couple of "Cutesies"

Last fall I purchased a small white board for our kitchen.  I've always wanted a large black board, but for now, this white board will have to do.  My intentions with the board is to post the days happenings, such as the date, the Saint of the Day, the supper menu, and any other pertinent information.  On mornings when I am a bit rushed, one of the kids usually asks to complete the board.   On this particular day, I simply could not pass up the opportunity to take a picture of Cucumber's handiwork.

Please allow me to translate:
Monday, February 18, 2012
Happy President's Day
Supper:  Apple Pie
St. John the Second
Just to set the record straight, it's 2013 and we actually had pasta for supper and the pie for dessert.  Also, the saint of the day wasn't St. John II (I actually have no idea who that is).  When I asked Cucumber which saint that was, she responded, "I don't know.  That's the only name I know how to spell."  Clearly.

In other happenings:

This past Wednesday night the kids and I were getting ready to watch American Idol.  Sweet Potato was instructing his younger siblings to complete a multitude of tasks.  I simply kept quiet, wanting to watch this interaction.

Cucumber:  Sweet Potato, why do you get to boss everyone around tonight?
Sweet Potato:  Because I'm practicing being an adult.

I choked a little on the water I was drinking.

Cucumber:  You are NOT an adult.  You're only 10 and you have to be 13 to be an adult.
Sweet Potato:  Yeah, I know and that's only 2 1/2 years away.
Cucumber:  Oh boy!