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Showing posts from August, 2015

Why I Wear a Bikini With My Daughters

As a mother of tween and teen daughters, I’m aware that I am responsible for guiding them into developing healthy body images for their lives. Until recently, I thought I was doing a pretty fair job. And then… Recently my teen and I were shopping for clothes and to save time we shared a dressing room. No sooner had I taken off my shirt then I heard, “I didn’t know your stomach looked like THAT!” Naturally, it would be nice to pretend she was impressed by my rockin’ six pack abs hiding under my shirt, but alas no. She was staring at my pale, flabby stomach that has seen a few pregnancies. I turned around and noticed she’s comparing our stomachs and by the look on her face, feeling pretty good about herself. Ouch. To add a little extra salt to the wound, a few days later I was in the pool with the family wearing a tankini. I’m relaxing on the inner tube when my nine-year old Birdie came over to poke at my belly that was peaking out. Seriously. She called the rest of the

Make Time for Daily Prayer

"In our continuing catechesis on the family, today we reflect on the importance of devoting time to prayer.  We all know how important prayer is, yet it seems so difficult to find time for it.   "Perhaps we need to ask if we truly love God, as he asks us to, with all our heart, and all our mind and all our strength.  For the heart of prayer is the love of God, the source of our life, who constantly "caresses” us with his own love.   "A heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or a small gesture of devotion a moment of prayer.  The Holy Spirit teaches us to pray, to call God our Father, and to grow daily in his love. Our families need to ask for the gift of the Spirit!  Through prayer, even in the busiest times, we give time back to God, we find the peace that comes from appreciating the important things, and we encounter the joy of God’s unexpected gifts.   "Through daily prayer may our homes become, like the house

Back to School: Our Mother's Perspective

Lisa and Shelly welcome a special guest post this morning from our mom!  Please leave her a comment about your own "first day of school" experiences.  Lisa asked me to send her some photos taken of hers and Shelly’s first day at school. Hmm – surely I have some. That was a momentous day in the kids lives, and certainly, in mine. I found ONE picture of each of them – that’s all – and not even good pictures. No one would know that it was from their first day of school except that the month and year are written on the back.  Lisa - age 5 - Kindergarten Shelly - age 7 1/2 - Third Grade Why didn't I take more photos?  Perhaps one reason is that summers were different in the mid 1970’s – 1980’s than they are now. Our biggest event was six weeks of Saturday swim meets for their younger brother. We took an occasional vacation out of town. Once, when Lisa was almost ten, she attended Camp Cullen.  I have a photo of her with her trunk. I'

Unplugged on Vacation

I'm one of those people who is always connected to a device - usually in front of my Macbook or attached to my iPhone.  Last year when we took a family vacation to the beach in Mexico I was unconnected from the online world for 5 days.  My computer stayed at home and my iPhone remained off and in the hotel safe.  Whew, it was hard at first but by the end I hated turning it all back on.  This year when planning our family vacation, I found myself really looking forward to getting unconnected and relaxing. We decided to head back down to Tulum in Mexico to the same resort we stayed in last year.  Man, I was looking forward to my beach chair, reading my books, and chilling without my phone.  One small hiccup, I wanted to use my phone to take pictures this year. Last year I bought a point and shoot camera to take with us and the quality of photos wasn't really great.  I didn't want to carry my big DSLR camera to the beach so I wanted to use my iPhone.  Its small and takes

Thrilled to be Three: Holding Jesus

Sunday evening we attended Life Teen Mass as usual. We always try to sit in the front row for a number of reasons, but primarily so Douglas will pay attention and watch the Mass. After receiving Eucharist and a moment in prayer I watched my older daughter, recently confirmed, serving as Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist while the choir sang Hosanna (by Hillsong United). I glanced to my right to check that my little man is behaving. This is what I see (yes, later I snuck the iPhone out to click a picture)... He sees me looking at him and solemnly says, " I'm holding Jesus in my heart ," before turning back and gazing reverently at the altar and crucifix. And yes, there were tears in my eyes that my little three year old recognizes God is present in his life and heart. - Shelly

VBS is AWESOME

It was a crazy, awesome, amazing, wonderful, and inspiring week! Kids, teens and adults at our parish learned about Conquering Challenges with God's Almighty Power at Everest VBS. You want to know why I've been director of our parish VBS for four years?  What keeps me coming back even with the demands on my time and sometimes stressful planning? It is because of days like these. Days when you hear and see that the kids are getting the message of God's infinite love. When I see the kids having fun with each other... When I see the volunteers engaging with the kids... When I see the teens and adults bonding and connecting with one another... When I see the smiles, and smiles and smiles... When I hear the kids share with our priest what they've learned about God this week... When I see the kids seated as a large group on the floor praying in the mass... When the kids (and their parents) give me the most heartfelt "Thank You" for the week...