Monday, September 28, 2015

Things to remember about when the Pope came to town

   By the time most of you read this Pope Francis will be home, and we will be returning to the day-to-day routine of the week -- in my case with a bit more hope and a renewed sense of purpose.  Attending the Festival of Families last Saturday was exhausting and amazing, as so many things are when you share your days with little people.

  Getting out the door, having checked and double-checked that we had what we would need and were using in the right size bag for security was just the first of many challenges to meet and overcome.  However as I watched the kids marvel at the bus and subway ride and the excitement of being in the city, my excitement also returned and set the tone for rest of the afternoon and evening.

  And as life would have it, that's exactly what Pope Francis spoke so movingly about at the end of the Festival. Family life is challenging, and exhausting at times, and so very worth it if we can see the fun that is to be had with each challenge met and tackled. For example, by the time we arrived at the Festival, they had closed the gate to the seats until the Pope's motorcade had passed (an hour or so later). Initially this seemed to be quite the set-back, but in fact allowed us more time with friends, and meant we got to watch and take pictures of the Pope going by in his pope-mobile.  Later, we were allowed in to find our seats, where we enjoyed the rest of the concert.

Taken by Lisbeth sitting on my shoulders.

  So this Monday finds me back in the car-line and catching up with the laundry, but as this post suggests, remembering to smile a bit more, treasuring my kids (especially when they walk miles without complaint and thank me for a soft pretzel as if it was the tastiest thing EVER!!), and recommitted to the ideal that Pope Francis suggested in his wonderful closing statement: at the end of the day, even with all its miscues and missteps, make peace with those you love and who love you back.

And so happy that the Pope came to town and shared his warmth and wisdom with us!

Linking up with the ladies of CWBN; please visit and enjoy other reflections on the Pope's visit.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Quick Takes #192: Popes and links

 Sharing some of the wonderful posts I've enjoyed during this Papal Visit and WMOF week.

  1. Firstly Julia Walsh of These Walls as graciously lent her site as a launching site for posts from the many bloggers of the CWBN of the Mid-Atlantic. Go and enjoy A Walk in Words With Pope Francis.
  2. Kelly writing about the World Meeting of Families
  3. Rachel writing about celebrating from home
  4. Abigail sharing her experience of the Papal Parade with her family.
  5. Mary about the Communion of Saints and grieving.
  6. I've enjoyed watching the coverage thus far and sharing with my kids. Upon watching the Pope's arrival at Andrews Base; Liam asked when he was coming to our house. I explained that he was coming to our city and we were hoping to see him at a celebration there.  He allowed that going to a festival might be as fun as a playdate here.
  7. Any great links that I missed??
Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

five faves: fall reads

Linking up with Jenna and inspired by this reading list I thought I would share some of my 
favorite fall reads

  1. Anne of Green Gables series: While I love to read and almost always have a book with me in college I was reluctant to start anything new until I had a sense of what the required reading of various classes would be and so every fall I would reread the series. It would be impossible for me to pick of favorite among the eight but for the purposes of this list Anne of the Island (#3) and Anne of Windy Poplar (#4) are especially fun to read in the fall.
  2. September by Rosamund Pilcher; nothing like being swept away to Scotland, London and Ibiza with interesting people as they go about their daily lives, heal old wounds and prepare for a big birthday bash.  I truly enjoy how Pilcher juggles many characters and plot lines bringing it all to a very satisfying conclusion.
  3. Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris; a memoir of her time as artist in residence at a monastery where she is a Benedictine oblate and then transitioning back to the everyday at home is a wonderful read at anytime but as it begins in the fall I enjoy starting it then too.
  4. Madeleine L'Engle's Crosswick Journal four book collection is a wonderful read and while the first two Circle of Quiet and Summer of the Great-grandmother belongs to the summer; Two-part Invention belongs to the fall. A memoir of her husbands battle with cancer is also a lovely remembrance of a long marriage well lived.
  5. Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold; a great space opera turn later in life romance between two people who thought they had their lives all figured out and then life with its many plot twists intervenes.

What do you love to read in the fall?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Quick Takes #191

  1. This was the first week all three kids went to school or in Caitie's case play group and while juggling three drop-offs and making sure had everyone has what they need is a challenge ~ 2 kid-free hours may very well be worth it.
  2. The 'me-time' as it were is very valued this week as Dr Daddy is on hospital duty and so I'm largely soloing and while overall it has been a good week I will admit to being a bit envious of a priest friend who recently was on a silent retreat.
  3. One of the fun things of being part of a blogging community is when another blog takes the words right out of your keyboard as it were and post something right out of your head and heart;  like this Martin Family Moments post.
  4. Pope Francis is arriving in about a week and after over-reacting a bit the City of Brotherly Love is finally finding the balance of getting ready and havin some fun: exhibits A and B.
  5. I have not watched The View in years and so boycotting would be a distinction without a difference. That being said over the past 20+ years I have been a nurse I have heard all kinds of crazy stuff but never has anyone insinuate that the stethoscope I was wearing was a doctor's. #nursesunite!
  6. For those following along with the tales of our frustrated artist toddler she had quite the week; the computer, the keyboard, some wall, some floor, and another piece of furniture.  Current consequence she sits in 'time-out' till Mommy is done cleaning whatever requires cleaning. Updates as warranted, tips welcomed!!
  7. The weekend has me soloing and gardening but hopefully some bike riding with kiddos.
Now please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Birthday Bike!

First Day Smiles!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

5 things about Liam at 5!

In honor of the newest 5 year old in the house some of his favorite things and mine about him

  1. Still very much a Transformer fan; in the last year he has discover Robots in Disguise and so we are becoming acquainted with bunch of new 'bots. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have also hit his favorite list and was the chosen theme of his party with Mikey ranking as top turtle!
  2. Liam continues to have a great appetite so much so that he is on occasion referred to as a 'mouth with legs'! A wonderful weird challenge this summer was keeping enough fruit in the house to keep up with him.  He will eat soup year round (why???), loves mac&cheese, green vegetables, sausage, and ice cream.
  3. While certainly not as outgoing as his big sister he has very much grown in confidence this year and is much more social with family members and other kids. We had a lot of 'school talks' this summer but when September came he started his new school without a bit hesitation and is having a blast.
  4. He has a very kind and loving disposition and will tell you many times a day that he is glad to be with you. Daddy still ranks as his best buddy but he is also very kind to his sisters (mostly) and has begun to make neighborhood/school friends.
  5. According to him his favorite things are: running, playing legos or imaginex, cooking with Daddy, and riding his new bike!

So excited to see what the coming year has in store for my 5 year old buddy!

Now please head over to Jenna's for more five faves

Friday, September 4, 2015

Quick Takes #190 September's Start

  1. So September is off to a good ~ and so is Lisbeth's school year. She reported good days both days this week and seems excited about the coming year.  I'm glad for the staggered start if you will and the chance to ease by into a routine.
  2. Liam's classroom visit went well and I hope began to ease some of his worries about starting a new school.   His first full day is next Tuesday.
  3. It seems a bit odd to be thinking about shifting towards fall outfits as it has been in the 90's much of the week but this and this post have me thinking and planning ahead.
  4. And now an update on the Toddler in the House: I'm now convinced that I will spend much of the time that the older two are in school cleaning up after her. Just a phase I know but I'm so ready for the Frustrated Artist ~ Draw on every surface Phase to be over. Good thing she is cute!!
  5. The recent deaths of refugees has me heart-sick and unsure what to do beyond prayer. One of the jobs for this weekend is to explore giving options but if you have a favorite option ~ shout it out! Thanks!
  6. Today I'm starting 33 days to Morning Glory as part of the Stella Maris book club hosted by Micaela and would really appreciate prayers that I am able to complete the retreat with purpose and intent.
  7. Have a wonderful weekend and please head over to Christy's hosting this week.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WWRW: September 2nd

Between Heaven and Mirth by Fr. James Martin SJ is an interesting look at how joy, humor and laughter intersects between everyday life and our prayer life. I found the beginning dry and slow-going though in fairness Martin does a good job defining terms and explaining the role humor has played in various religious traditions. Once the focus shifted onto how to better incorporate joy and happiness into our lives today I enjoyed it much more. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Thessalonians.  While I thought not good as his earlier My Life with the Saints; I am glad I read it and may from time to time re-read portions.

The Grand Tour by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevemer is the sequel to Sorcery and Cecilia and picks up where the first left off with our two heroines leaving with their new husbands on a grand tour/honeymoon. While this book isn't quite as memorable as Sorcery and Cecelia, I still really enjoyed it. The characters are still charming and the dialogue funny.  The way the plot moves is different than its predecessor, and not as suspenseful at least to me.  Cecy's entries are part of an official document she must write, while Kate's entries are from her personal journal; these two styles tie together very well but I missed Cecy's reflections on marriage and her improving magic skills.  There is apparently a third book to the series which I will likely hunt up at some point.

The Fallen Man by Tony Hillerman was my selection of a book from a genre I don't usually read for the MMD book challenge.  Contemporary mysteries are still not my 'thing' but I will admit that my husband choose a good one for me and I may even ask him for another recommendation from the series.  The series in general follows the police work of Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Police Force; in this book he is recently retired but teams up with the newly promoted Lt. Jim Chee when the skeleton of a decade old missing person is found.  The pace of the plotting was good and I enjoyed the many references to the different Native American cultures found in the Four Corners region of Arizona and Colorado.

Now please head over to Housewifespice for more WWRW