Friday, August 26, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: My Little Man Edition

I can't believe how quickly my sweet baby boy has grown! Lately a lot of people have been commenting about how big he is getting, saying that he is a little boy and no longer a baby. It's true.
A rare serious, still moment! Photo by Ashley Bell.

What a true joy he's been too! Aside from the screaming and occasional food throwing, everything thing he's been doing just delights me. I could just play with him and watch him explore all. day. long.

Playing daddy's Rockband drums.

Probably my favorite thing right now is his recent love for prayer. We've been doing bedtime prayers for a while now with him, but now he lives for it! I'll say "Dominic, time for bed and prayers." He will immediately fold his hands, run into the bedroom, and stand at the foot of the bed (where my husband and I kneel) and wait patiently, hands still folded. When we actually start our prayers, he will usually resume the position for a little while, and then decide that now is a great time to shower mommy and daddy with hugs and kisses. I guess we look extra lovable when we are praying. 

Yesterday Dominic and I spent most of the day at work/Church. Before we left I asked Doc if he wanted to "say hi to Jesus", who is waiting longingly in the prison of love aka tabernacle. "Yep" my little guy replied as he ran down the hall to the Sanctuary. Upon entry, He dipped his little hand in the holy water and began a "Sign of the Cross", which consisted of touching his forehead briefly. Then, following me, he knelt down and folded his hands while I genuflected. We processed to the kneelers on which he stood, hands folded, whist I prayed. When we were done I said "bye bye Jesus" and blew a kiss at the tabernacle, to which my great imitator did the same. OH HE JUST MELTS MY HEART!!

When I was praying, I asked dear sweet Jesus to give Dominic such a desire in his heart for Heaven. I pray that he longs for Jesus in the Eucharist with such fervor every day of his life.

Watching Dominic grow is such an incredible blessing. Truly, I thank God every day that he entrusted this precious soul to Geoffrey and I. I pray we can raise him to be the Saint that God is calling him to be. Heaven knows we need help.

St. Dominic Savio, pray for my little man!

Happy Friday all and thanks Jen for hosting!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pin It Zuch

I've been on Pinterest now for a few months and I have to say, I love it!
My dear SIL had been telling me about it for quite some time,
but I'm always hesitant to new things so it took me a while to check it out.
Boy am I glad I did!
It is a place where I can catalog all the cool stuff I see on teh interwebs
like clothes, home decor ideas, crafts, etc.
Last night I was looking at other people's pins
and saw a recipe for Zucchini pizza.
We have tons of Zuch in our garden right now
and I never know what to do with it all.
I can only grill and stir fry it so much.
And truth be told, I'm not a big zucchini bread fan so I stay clear of that.
So when I saw this idea, I was so excited!
So tonight I decided to take the idea and make it my own, and it totally rocked.
We also have a bajillion green bell peppers so I used a few of them too.
Here's what I did, and you will have to forgive me as I'm kind of a creative cook and rarely measure things.

First I browned some Italian sausage and onion in a skillet.
While that was cooking I cut up the zuch into thick slices and the peppers into wide slices and put them on a baking pan.
I brushed them with a little bit of olive oil,
put them in the oven at 350, and cooked them for 5 mins.
I cut up some fresh basil parsley and garlic and added it to a can of tomato sauce.
When the sausage was done I added the tomato sauce to the skillet and
cooked until bubbly.
After the 5mins I took the veggies out of the oven and spooned the sauce mixture onto the zuch and peppers.

And of course, what kind of "pizza" would it be without cheese on top?
After I put some sliced mozzarella on each pizza, I put it back in the oven for another 15 or 20 mins, until the cheese is melted.
Srsly you guys, this was scrumptious.
So scrumptious I think I just might Pin It.
Dominic enjoying dinner.

Friday, August 19, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: WYD Edition

Thanks Jen for hosting!
My last post was my 100th blog! Huzzah!

As I've been blabbing about all week, World Youth Day is going on in Madrid right now. On the official WYD homepage you can watch the Pope Benedict XVI driving around in the Pope-Mobile greeting the millions of young people who flocked to see him. It is awesome! I sure it is very humbling for this old German Shepard. We love him so much!

If you keep watching the video on the WYD homepage, you can pray the Stations of the Cross with Pope Benedict. It is absolutely beautiful. Even though it isn't all in English, you certianly understand it all. The depictions of Christ are breathtaking and the music, moving. It is long, but worth the time.

Our Pope led the youth in prayer at the stations saying: "When faith’s gaze is pure and authentic, beauty places itself at its service and is able to depict the mysteries of our salvation in such a way as to move us profoundly and transform our hearts, as Saint Teresa of Jesus herself experienced while contemplating an image of the wounded Christ. Let us look upon Christ, hanging on the harsh wood of the Cross, and let us ask him to teach us this mysterious wisdom of the Cross, by which man lives. The Cross was not a sign of failure, but an expression of self-giving in love that extends even to the supreme sacrifice of one’s life. The Father wanted to show his love for us through the embrace of his crucified Son: crucified out of love. The Cross, by its shape and its meaning, represents this love of both the Father and the Son for men. Here we recognize the icon of supreme love, which teaches us to love what God loves and in the way that he loves: this is the Good News that gives hope to the world."

There was 1.5 MILLION people gathered for the Stations of the Cross with the Pope.

In a short reflection after the stations Pope Benedict XVI told the young people gathered for the celebration, “you are open to the idea of sharing your lives with others, so be sure not to pass by on the other side in the face of human suffering, for it is here that God expects you to give the best of yourself: your capacity for love and compassion.” -From the WYD website.

As I write this the husband and I are watching one of the best eps of Star Trek: Next Gen ever. "THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!!" Yes you can nerd alert me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WYD Moment #1

Through most of our fundraising and prep we were expecting to see Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day, and we were so very excited. As you know, in April 2005 Pope John Paul II rose into eternal life and we were left a bunch of sad pilgrims. We were going to WYD for many reasons, one main one being to see him. However when Pope Benedict XVI was elected Pope, we knew seeing him, He is the successor of Peter and the vicar of Christ after all, would be just as amazing. We were right. 
On Day two of WYD in 2005 we woke up super early to get front row grass along the Rhine River for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict's arrival. We spent at least 6 hrs meeting other young Catholics, playing hacki sack, watching priests from all over the world play soccer in their cassocks, and praying. Finally the moment arrived.
Can you see him??
How about now??

And there he goes.

 I know it may not seem like much, especially looking at the pictures, but it was simply...breathtaking. I was suprised how truly overwhelmed I was, and it is a feeling I will never ever forget. I got to see the Pope! He gave us many blessings on his ride up the river. Tears whelled in my eyes and streamed down my face. This is the man God chose to lead his Church during a very trying time and he has took time out of his very busy schedule to spend with us young people. What a blessing.

Pope Benedict arrives in Madrid in 7.5 hrs. I'm so excited for the youth that are waiting right now to see him.


Today, August 16th began World Youth Day 2011. This is a big deal. Our Holy Father called young people from all over the world to journey to Madrid for the week. Even more importantly, he is calling all of us to be "planted and built in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith." 

In 2005, I went to Cologne, Germany on my own WYD pilgrimage. I was blessed enough to go as a chaperone at the age of 22. This was certainly a turning point in my life. I had already realized that I wanted to spend my life serving God and doing something for the Church, I just didn't know what that "something" was. Pope John Paul II said as we were preparing for the pilgrimage "turn to Christ and He won't let you down." Okay, that is a challenge I can take. I went on the pilgrimage with a open heart and listening to what direction God had for my life. Instead of the loud voices and lightning strikes I was expecting, God instead worked on me interiorly. He spent the trip making me painfully aware of my many vices and where I lacked of virtue. Throughout the week He tested me over and over again, and called me to significant spiritual growth. It honestly wasn't what I expected. I was was ready to serve, to do, to rock things out, but God didn't agree. He knew I needed work and lots of it; a continuing proccess to be sure.

As the week went on, my desire for Him grew. My love of His bride, the Church grew. The call to put Him first, something which I thought I had been doing, also was ringing in my heart. I returned home with a renewed faith and firm resolve to advance in holiness; to root out my many vices and increase in virtue. Like I said before, a continuing proccess.

I received so many graces on that pilgrimage and consider myself so very blessed to have gone. Please pray for the young people now on their own WYD pilgrimage from the 16th-21st. Throughout this week I'm going to share some of my favorite WYD moments and memories. I hope you join me!
A pic I took at the Cologne Cathedral right after we arrived at WYD. So many young Catholics. So awesome!

Friday, August 12, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Vacation Edition

Sorry for the absence lately. Last week was crazy busy due to me preparing for two trips. One I was going on and one I wasn't. 10 pilgrims (8 youth, Fr. L. and 1 adult) left on Tuesday to a wonderful pilgrimage which consists of Fatima, Lourdes, and WYD in Madrid. Yes, I am trying hard not to be jealous. We have been preparing spiritually and doing fundraising for over a year and finally the time has come! I made this blog for them if you are interested in following and sharing in their pilgrimage over the next two weeks.

I am however as we speak on my own much needed Vacation on Table Rock Lake in Missouri. It has been awesome! I came here with my family when I was 5 and finally my family decided to come back. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the birthday present!! The week has been full of firsts for Dominic and lots of swimming, tubing, boats, fishing, laughing, grilling, and sleeping in for all of us.

Despite the fun time I am having, I am a bit devastated. You see for my last birthday my sweet loving husband got me a smart phone. I love the thing. I use it way too much and for every little thing. Other than my phone it is my camera, clock, voice recorder, gaming device, blog tool, interwebs, news agency, alarm, stopwatch, MP3 player, radio, piano, weather man, yada yada, I could go on and on. Well yesterday Doc and I were enjoying some time on the dock with some wonderful cousins and, well I guess you know where this is started to pour cats and dogs so I took the phone out of my backpack to check the radar. It confirmed for me that yep, it was raining, boy I'm sure glad I figured that out. Anyway I knocked my phone through the dock and into the water. Under the dock it went sinking into it's new 35 ft deep watery tomb. No hope of retrieval. Gone. Sigh. Boy do I feel dumb. What an expensive mishap.

The worst part is now I'm going to have to beat Plants vs Zombies all over again!!!

This morning when I woke up, I didn't know what to do. I had no idea what time it was. I tried to gently look at my still sleeping husband's watch, which he was wearing to get an idea. And then I needed to get kid and I dressed, but I didn't know what was the temperature like outside!!? But then I remembered in the olden days, like 5 months ago pre-smart phone, when I used to open the door and go outside to see what it was like and sure enough that still worked.

Listen to your guardian angel people! Mine totally rocks. She (Gertrude) is always such a big help and I try to constantly ask for it. I kid you not RIGHT BEFORE I dropped my phone I heard "you are going to drop your phone in the lake". I said to myself, well I'm just gonna do this one thing and I'll be really careful. *CLUNK* *SPLASH* *Sigh* Well hopefuly I learned my lesson. Gertrude, you always protect me and guide me, I will try and listen to you better!

Yes I realize it was just a material good. Even though I am upset about it, and will probably be even more upset when I find out how much I need to pay to get a new one, it was just a phone. It is replaciable and many things in life aren't. Like my wonderful husband and my dear sweet little Dominic who are both safe, healthy, and happy. It hasn't spoiled a wonderful vacation and I'm not ready to leave in two days. Will share pictures, from our actual camera which has not yet been thrown in the lake, when I get home.

Thanks Jen for hosting. Have a great weekend everyone!