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Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

So this ‘write a sentence or two on thurs even if you have to go back later’- thing is really working ! Behold, this week’s Quick Takes, on time again!

1. Actually, I’ve decided I prefer the Dance Central 2 game for my morning exercise.
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I’m not one for popular club music, but the two songs in the demo are not that bad, and in addition, the dance moves in this game are both more challenging and the game is more strict that you do them right. The grease game usually doesn’t seem to care when I’m on the wrong foot, or slightly off tempo, but Dance Central picks up on it right away. As a long-time dancer I much prefer the game play in the 2nd one.
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2. Last weekend I finally listened to the 2nd Focus on the Family Broadcast on thriving in a spiritually unequal marriage. I had several articles, and the forum chat etc, I felt I almost had too many resources to really absorb the information, so I didn’t rush to listen to it right away. That and I wanted peace and quiet time to myself to really listen to it the first time.

The first broadcast was very good and I had taken a page of helpful notes, and the 2nd did not disappoint either. Yet, even though I had listened to part 1, it wasn’t until I heard part 2 starting up that it really hit me – as they re-introduced the speakers for the continuing discussion on the topic, my heart just melted completely, I was so touched to finally hear these radio personnel that I’ve grown to love speak directly on my subject. And to hear these women share how they are going through the exact same thing as me and the discussion and the questions from Focus – it was just so validating to hear them talking about MY story. I’ve never heard it addressed anywhere before, I don’t know anyone else in the same situation (besides my mom) and it felt like something that was only me and God. So it was so good to hear about it from other human beings, out loud, with voices and emotions. My heart mirrored theirs as they talked. It was a beautiful experience.

Here is the link to part 2 : Thriving in an Unequally Yoked Marriage
http://www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.aspx?ID=22532A07-635C-4542-AF51-22BDE5C7CFAF

3. There was another Focus on the Family broadcast that I listened to, that really stood out for me. Jim Garlow was speaking about impacting the culture but what he said has stuck with me: it’s impossible for us to truly love God, simply BECAUSE He loved us first.

We tend to say, ‘oh, I love God ‘ John said that but Paul writes in a different way: He says, ‘Agape love is so pure, so compelling, it’s so unmotivated by what it sees in the person it sends it to – that you can’t love God.’ Because you’re loving God because you’re motivated to love God because you can get something pretty good out of it –we don’t have the capacity to fully express that agape love back to God, that’s the purity of His love for us, and it comes without any motivation on God’s part of what He can get out of us. That’s why He can love Hitler, as much as he loves Mother Theresa. That’s jolting, it’s hard for a human being to understand that, but that’s the nature of who God is. It doesn’t mean judgment doesn’t come for wrongdoing, but at the same time , the love that God has is for ALL his created order, especially for the highest aspect, humans.

-The local priest gave another excellent homily recently:

Think of 2 prominent people died close together… Princess Diana and Mother Theresa. One lived a beautiful life, and the other lived life beautifully.
We’re afraid to live! The mess and the tough stuff, the aging. Vitality-life short??
Now I’m changing roles, mentoring the priest to lead the mission, I’m no longer the quarterback, now I’m the coach.
Look around, you don’t see very many big guys in nursing homes. I’ve only got 20, maybe 30 years left. He’s living it for his family, working for his son’s education etc…

It’s not about preserving life, it’s to LIVE!
Wrinkled shriveled and bent.
Loved and loved till there was nothing left
Mother Theresa, she gave it all, she left it all on the field.
She wore herself out taking care of others, every drop of love squeezed out…
At the end of my life, I want to be shriveled and bent, I want to be able to say that I wore myself out taking care of the people I love!

Me too, Father, me too.

4. As I was taking pictures of my kids lately, I remembered a neat trick I’d read to get a more natural grin: Ask the children to laugh, instead of smiling.

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It really worked. I hadn’t tried it on my kids when I first read it because I didn’t think they’d be able to, but when I tried it on a whim my almost 4 year old really got it. I probably could have been using the trick for a while now. And he remembers that this is what makes mummy happy, and doesn’t even have to be asked sometimes!

Best of all, as I’ve gotten quicker with my manual shooting I’ve noticed the kids have gotten much more cooperative when mummy wants a pciture! They try to sit/stand still and look at the camera, they don’t run away and it lets me grab a photo or two quickly, and then move on. I was able to get several cute shots of the 3 of them all in their Easter best 🙂

And, thanks to the photographer interviews I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of reading, I discovered an online community for Mummy photographers, mentored by real professionals complete with a wealth of blog posts, workshops and even forums for questions etc.

If you haven’t seen it before, check out ClickinMoms, you’re bound to learn something new!

5. Also on the topic of photography, there is a really neat movement/project etc going on this May to capture the world in one day of pictures. It’s open to anyone, old and young, professional or cell phone, everyone is encouraged to take pictures to document their life and their little perspective on the world and the photos will become a big collaboration to show future gennerations what our life was like!

Here is an article that explains it a little better: Photo Project Aims to Capture the World in a Day

6. The awesome thing about Easter, From Catholic Icing:

“There was no pressure to “get it all in” before Easter day. You can still make Resurrection Rolls, Easter crafts, or fun jelly bean recipes. It’s not “over”…. it just started!”
This is really encouraging. I brought home supplies to finish holiday crafts for both valentine’s and St Patrick’s Day, and never had the time to do anything with them until it was too late. With Easter, not so! We can keep bringing out the resurrection eggs, and I won’t feel bad making my easter tissue paper cross sometime soon (I got them made with the kids, but never made the big one for the middle of the window). I might even try this awesome empty tomb craft! And we could always do a remake of easter cookies-the weather was bad and they didn’t rise very well leaving me with less than hollow tombs, but they were delicious, and I’d happily eat more!

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7. Saturday is the DefendLife conference. It’s put on by Life Coalition Nova Scotia and it’s the first event of it’s kind here. I’m quite excited to learn more that I can do to help, espeically the women who are facing these unplanned pregnancies, as well as to have my stirred heart up again over this issue. Babies are losing out as women put their own desires above their unborn children, and I never want to be ok with this.
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Nov 27

A friend was going to the youth rally with Father Stan Fortuna and told me the kids and I were welcome to go with her, so we drove out to the church in the snow. Fr Stan is known as the rapping priest, and well, that was something I really wanted to see. Fr Stan was pretty great, the kids (I call them kids but they’re teens) actually seemed to respond to him. I wasn’t a huge fan of his music just because rap is not my style, but his talks were excellent.

In addition, I ran into one of my old teachers who is no longer at the school and who I hadn’t see in years. She is the choir director of a girl choir there and they sang some really beautiful songs. One in particular stood out, a wonderful, spiritual adaptation of the old classic Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah.

Kelley Mooney – Hallelujah

A crown of thorns placed on his head
He knew that He would soon be dead
He said, did you forget me Father, did You?

They nailed Him to a wooden cross
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before us, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

He hung His head and prepared to die
Then lifted his face up to the sky
Said, “I am coming home now Father, to You.”

A reed which held His final sip
Was gently lifted to His lips
He drank His last and gave His soul to Glory

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

The soldier who had used his sword
To pierce the body of our lord
Said “truly, this is Jesus Christ our Savior”

He looked with fear upon his sword
Then turned to face his Christ and Lord
And fell to his knees crying, “Hallelujah!”

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Took from His head, the thorny crown
and wrapped Him in a linen gown
and laid Him down to rest inside the tomb

The holes in His hands, His feet, His side
Now in our hearts we know He died
to save us from ourselves, oh Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Three days went by, again they came
to move the stone, to bless the slain
with oil and spice anointing, Hallelujah

but as they went to move the stone
they saw that they were not alone
for Jesus Christ has risen, Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

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I had never been to Holy Thursday Mass before, but it worked out that I could drive my mom to that one and she would take me to Good Friday service. For whatever reason we had the time wrong and got there very late. It wasn’t a Sunday or a holy day of obligation but we still weren’t sure about it, so we stayed in the pew while everyone else went up for communion. It was a bit of a let down.

On Good Friday I ended up home alone with the kids because my in-laws went out and DH went to play paintball. It was a bit of a down day as was to be expected. I took the kids for a nice long walk during which my toddler discovered the joy of a basket ball and riding a scooter. I held his hands on the handlebars and pushed him around but he got the hang of it and I was able to just push him around, he even knew how to put his feet one behind the other.

That afternoon we went to Good Friday service-with the kids in tow. We weren’t planning to take them along but every plan to have someone watch them fell through. Some of the things that stuck out for me at the service was the words that by the end of his passion Christ was ‘barely recognizable’ as a man. He was that badly tortured. And along with the image of Christ’s great suffering, the knowledge that all of us through our sins had a hand in crucifying Him. It’s a hard truth to swallow.

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Caught up in this powerful mystery, I went up to take communion. The hymn ‘Were you there’ was echoing in the background as I walked up the aisle. When the priest held up the host before me I saw the little cross on the bread, and as I tasted it I was moved to tears, so profound was that moment.

That evening DH came home from a long day of paint ball with 2 of his guy friends so we took the kids to the playground. My toddler had fun playing on the equipment with 3 big kids! We all played grounders, it really took me back. As I type this I just figured out why I was so bad at it, when we played the person after everyone else had to keep their eyes closed…It’s not hard for me to lose against strong young men with their eyes open!

Later we were sitting in the hall resting and my toddler went to hug the baby when the cell phone we let him play with made a noise – he stopped his tracks and instead talked in the phone as if to answer this, ‘whoops, gotta take this’.

Holy Saturday was beautiful and sunny. We put my toddler in the front yard on a leash so he could roam around without running into the street. He was not terribly impressed… Too bad, my little brother used to love roaming out backyard tethered to the clothesline.

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That night we went to the Easter Vigil downtown, because our church wasn’t holding one this year. I was also there to watch a fellow CCO acquaintance become a full member of the church, and it was really nice to be there to support her. The Archbishop was the main celebrant, along with 5 or 6 priests. He had a very good homily, and his sense of humor was not lost on anyone. Right before we all renewed our baptism vows he wanted us to be loud and proud so he said “God’s the only one listening so let’s wake him up.”

My mom and brother thoroughly enjoyed it, they read all 7 readings and even sang some latin hymns. I felt a little out of place, the church is much bigger and I didn’t find it as meaningful as Good Friday (and as I had hoped), though it was very pretty with all the candles. It also seemed a bit long, I was really tired by the end, with the kids I’m used to going to bed early.

Easter Sunday morning I got up bright and early (7am?) to play Easter Bunny #2 (Easter Bunny #1 had already made her rounds because the table was full of easter baskets 🙂 ).

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I hid eggs for DH, his sister and her bf, my toddler and anyone else whop might be lucky enough to stumble on some. My toddler’s eggs were all down low, a bunch were in his toys.

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We kept the baskets in the playpen to keep the toddler out of the chocolate.. He’d never wanted to go in his playpen so bad!
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I had to help my toddler by pointing a lot of them out to him, though he had had some experience looking for things before. My husband was really eager/determined. Every now and then I’d subtly peek in some of the spots I hid eggs and then announce that there were still to more to be found in the kitchen… etc.

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The kids each got one present as well. I picked out velcro fruit and veggies for my toddler who has always been fascinated with how things go together (lids on jars etc). It said age 3 and up but he’s already getting the hang of them.

The food also sticks to other things…
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For the baby I picked up an adorable fabric tool set with a screwdriver, hammer, two nails with blocks of wood a crinkle saw and a drill that vibrates when you pull the cord. It is such a neat little toy! I dressed him in the Daddy’s Little Helper tool shirt and took some adorable portraits with his new toy.

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It was also another beautiful day, in fact even nicer than the day before! If Holy Saturday felt like spring, Easter Sunday felt like summer. It was sunny and hot! There were multiple trips to the playground where my toddler chased birds, watched the young adults play Frisbee and swung on the big kid swing by himself (with an adult right nearby). We also took some family portraits while we were all dressed up nice (minus DH!)

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In the afternoon we all went out in the backyard and blew bubbles, something new for my toddler.

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I remember running around the grass in bare feet just soaking it all in. And there was a moment when I was chased a bubble that floated up by the clothesline full of clean clothes hanging out to dry. Standing there in the grass in bare feet, with the taste of watermelon gum and looking up at that little bubble I tasted summer, and then became obsessed with capturing the moment in a photo…

(closet thing I could get- it’s edited…)

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I drank in the sun that day, it will be a while before we get another day like that!

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Ahhh Summer 🙂

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1. Easter was different this year. First it was the first time I felt anything on Good Friday, and so I felt more Joy at the Easter vigil than I have before. Also, during the prayers of the faithful there was the most beautiful Freudian slip. “May the Lord eliminate…illuminate the minds of our world leaders.” My mother and I couldn’t stop giggling, oh well we shouldn’t feel bad, laughter is a form of great joy 🙂

Then Easter Sunday was different because DH was working. He was not originally scheduled but traded shifts to work Easter Sunday so he could play paintball on Good Friday. 👿 I was not impressed, and was rather cranky all Easter Sunday as a result of being home alone with the baby. I didn’t really get to do any Easter stuff until dinner that night.

Here are some of my photos from Easter:

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I did try to take Easter photos of the baby, but he doesn’t sit still like he used to now that he can crawl!

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2. We’re moving. It’s a bit of a long story.

When we started out it was just the two of us, at the time both bringing in good money, but then I stopped working as much, we had a baby and our rent went up. So, for a while it seems that we must have been slowly depleting the money in our account each month, but we didn’t notice. Then in January my job contract ended and we were out an additional $600 a month. We’ve made some cuts in our spending but we’re literally scraping the bottom of the barrel now. Moving elsewhere would save us a lot of money.

I have mixed feelings about leaving, it will be great to be able to have some extra money for emergencies, fun things and to be able to SAVE (this has nothing to do with greed, it’s not healthy living paycheck to paycheck with no plan in place for the future) but this was our first place together and I will be very sad to leave. Ahhh.. I know I know, this will be a chance for me to exercise detachment, (but it still won’t be fun!).

3. Part of why I was quite keen on this change was because originally when we discussed moving, the plan was to move into DH’s grandparents’ house in Blandford. It’s right on the water and it’s a beautiful spot. It is a dream of both of ours (and my mom too!) that we live there someday and I thought if God was telling me it was time then I better accept the blessing and go along with it.

The trouble is that DH’s parents have joint ownership with his cousin. Thus, we need permission before we can move there. We are still waiting to hear back on that front, and now it’s looking like even if we get the ok, we won’t be going for a year or two. Then, God having closed that door again for now, (after only opening it a crack) opened a different kind of window:

4. Saturday night, DH came home from his parents after the Easter Vigil and dropped this bombshell: “My mom said we could move in with them.” Of course it sounds like a great idea to him, moving back in with his parents, but his wife is of course then the odd one out. We haven’t always gotten along the best (his parents and I), but things are stable at the moment, and this may shift the balance. I agree that things are much better than when we were dating, but already in the planning stages there are disagreements. If this is God’s will for me, then it is definitely a major trial that he is placing before me.

5. So DH and I got started on cleaning up the apartment so we could post photos and have the place looking good to show off.

The baby, trying to mess with my photo set up
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Our plans at least somewhat settled, we went to tell the Supers that we wish to leave at the end of our lease in June. Our lease is yearly and DH thought we could give 1 months’ notice-but it has to be 3, so we are automatically renewed for another year 😕 . Now we’re looking for someone to sublet. At first it didn’t seem like it would be too difficult, it seemed this was clearly God’s will for me/us and He was letting things fall neatly into place like when I was planning our wedding. We’re in a good location, the apartment is large, has a storage room and dishwasher, and the building has laundry facilities AND an elevator.We put up some ads, generated a bunch of interest and booked a total of 4 viewings in less than 48 hours. The first seemed quite interested and told us if she chose this building she would go with our apartment over the other one in the building. The second and third prospective tenants never showed up and the fourth viewing is tomorrow. We like the first one though, and if she chose us it was looking like we’d still have our tenant, however, it’s not turning out to be so simple.

6. The supers told us we had to write a formal letter of our wish to let someone take over our lease. We did this wed afternoon and wed evening we got a phone call, outlining the rules, now that our plans were official. This is the silliest thing ever: There are no children allowed because our apartment is on the top floor! Not only does this mean the nice Prospective Tenant #1 is no longer a candidate as she has a 3 yr old, but having to make this change in our ad has greatly reduced interest. We had 4 viewings lined up by this time after we posted the first ad, and as of yet we still haven’t heard from anyone. We have a kid and yet we can’t rent to someone who does, the reason we’re ok is that we had the kid since moving in 😛

7. What more could I have on my plate? The pregnancy insomnia has started, I have been short on sleep and I have an exam today. Thankfully DMIL took the baby for the night so I woke up feeling rested and with lots of hours in my day. I have also been feeling lonely because my friends both seem too busy and with all this going on I just want to talk to someone face to face. However, this is looking up, and there is a Summit tonight. 😀

I leave you with an interesting quote from the Liturgy of the Hours yesterday morning: “If it should be God’s will that you suffer, it is better to do so for good deeds than for evil.” -Peter 3:1-17

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