Friday, January 29, 2010

you gotta do what you love...


Seeing your child do what they love is a great experience. 

When a 7 year old boy, who can't sit straight in his chair during dinner for more than 30 seconds, who pokes his pencil in his ear and between his toes while doing a math lesson and taps both feet, conducts the choir from his pew and pretends his fingers are little men during Mass... 

When this Tom-Sawyer-of-a-boy can sit for an hour and a half with an 18 year old girl on a couch covered with a yellow coverlet and discuss the best way to sketch a cotton field and his preference for vine charcoal over pastels...

when THIS happens...

you know you've hit the jackpot.

You just gotta do what you love...

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Novena for Kathy Amish

Don't know what a novena is? Read this...

Novena and Litany for Complete Healing and Recovery from ovarian cancer for
Kathryn Elizabeth Amish
Our friend, child, mother, wife and beloved child of God

Dear Jesus, 

We offer our prayers up to you for Kathy. We know she is your precious child and that you hold her in the palm of your hand during this time of trial. We ask you to protect her, strengthen her, give her joy, peace, strength and perseverance. We ask that you bless her family and friends to know the ways to help and encourage her and her family. We ask that you inspire and enlighten her doctors and surgeons. We pray that you give them wisdom, clarity of mind, and steadiness of hand. We thank you for the gift of Kathy, David, Abby and Gavin. We thank you for the opportunity to see your hands at work in her healing and recovery!

We ask our dear friends, the saints, to pray for her as well. Dearest friends in heaven, we know that your pure hearts are full of love for all of us. And when we ask for your help, you are ready and eager to be at our side. Like St. Therese of Lisieux, all of you want to “spend your heaven doing good on earth.”

So dear holy friends in heaven, we call upon you to join us and storm heaven with your prayers for our friend Kathy!

St. Catherine of Siena
St. Elizabeth Anne Seton
St. Thomas Aquinas

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Cancer Patients
St. Giles

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of hospitals 
St. Camillus of Lellis
St. Jude Thaddeus
St. Vincent de Paul

response: pray for us

Patron Saint of Illness
St. Therese of Lisieux

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Doctors, Physicians & Surgeons 
St. Cosmas,
St. Damian,
St. Pantaleon,
St. Foillan
St. Roch

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Nurses 
St. Camillus de Lellis,

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Parenthood 

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Motherhood & Mothers 
St. Anne
St. Monica

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Families 
St. Joseph

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of family happiness and harmony
St. Dymphna
St. Ksenya Blazhennaya

response: pray for us

Patron Saint of Fathers 
St. Joseph
St. Joachim

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Children 

St. Solange

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Boys 

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Girls 
St. Irene

response: pray for us

Patron Saint of Married Women, Wives 
St. Monica

response: pray for us

Patron Saints of Pilots, Flyers

response: pray for us

Patron Saint of Married Couples 
St. Joseph

response: pray for us

Patron Saint of Friendships 

response: pray for us

Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen of families, Queen of Peace, Health of the sick, Cause of our joy, Virgin most powerful, Our Lady of Good Remedy, Our Lady of Hope, Morning star,  Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, Help of Christians, Queen of angels, Immaculate Heart… Pray For Us

Official prayer to ask favors through the intercession Pope John Paul II

O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen.

Dearest Savior and Divine Physician,
We offer these prayers up to you in complete confidence. We know that you love us beyond measure. We know that you hold our every need in the palm of your hand. Hear our prayers now, for the complete healing and recovery of Kathy Amish, and answer them, in your great mercy.


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5 things I've read...

I love to read. I am anti-Kindle. I think I am going to start the "resisting the kindle" fan group on facebook. I love books. With pages.

I first was going to post on my 5 favorite books of ALL TIME, but that was impossible. There are too many. I would never write again, because I would be lost in piles of books, comparing, flipping pages, stacking and sorting and never coming down to just 5. So, I decided to go with 5 books that have been meaningful to me over the past year.

Here they are

The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander
Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
The Better Part By Fr. John Bartunek, LC
The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander
A lovely, rambling glimpse into the heart and mind of this amazing woman, Caryll Houselander, who should be up for beatification if she isn't already. The book is about Mary, but unlike any Marian book you've read before.
"Because He is in the little house of our being, we will learn to control our minds, to gather our thoughts to silence, and to crown them with peace, just as we learn to control our voices and to move softly when a child is asleep in the house of bricks and mortar."

''When I was a small child, someone for whom I had a great respect told me never to do anything that Our Lady would not do; for, she said, if I did, the angels in heaven would blush. For a short time this advice 'took' in me like an inoculation causing a positive paralysis of piety. It was clear to me that all those things which spelt joy to me were from henceforward taboo ­ blacking my face with burnt cork, turning somersaults between props against the garden wall, putting two bull's-eyes into my mouth at the same time-all that was over! But even if I faced a blank future shackled with respectability, it was still impossible to imagine Our lady doing anything that I would do, for the very simple reason that I simply could not imagine her doing anything at all."
Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
This book represents all the Steinbeck books. It really is my favorite of his, maybe. This fall, Curt and I had the opportunity to go to the Steinbeck Museum in Monterrey, CA. They had to drag me out! Sweet Thursday is the sequel to Cannery Row, which I love almost as much... I guess I enjoy the "end of the story" in Sweet Thursday.
"Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass."
"Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there’s time, the Bastard Time."

The Better Part by Fr. John Bartunek, LC
This is my daily companion (on good days!:) The Better Part contains reflections on the entire 4 gospels as well as discussion questions and catechism references. It is a very special book!

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
Picking up this book reminded me of those days back in middle school, when I used to go to the "classics" section of the bookstore, look for the thickest, most obscure book I could find and then see if I could read it. I'd get a stack o' books and sit right in the aisle, flipping through pages, reading prefaces, deciding which book to challenge myself with. (can't do THAT with a kindle!) I'm sure people thought I was weird. I think Tolstoy intimidated me even then... if I had even heard of him!  And this book could change your life. I guess you can probably figure out what it's about.
"It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false."
 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
It's just such a good book. I will love it forever. Now that my children are getting older, they love it, too. 
Why everybody liked him was what puzzled Jo, at first. He 
was neither rich nor great, young nor handsome; in no respect
what is called fascinating, imposing, or brilliant; and yet he was
as attractive as a genial fire, and people seemed to gather about
him as naturally as about a warm hearth. He was poor, yet
always appeared to be giving something away; a stranger, yet
everyone was his friend ; no longer young; but as happy-hearted
as a boy 5 plain and odd; yet his face looked beautiful to many,
and his oddities were freely forgiven for his sake. Jo often
watched him, trying to discover the charm, and, at last, decided
that it was benevolence which worked the miracle. If he had any
sorrow "it sat with its head under its wing", and he turned only
his sunny side to the world.

I'd love to hear about your favorite book - leave your thoughts in "comments".

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

sing it, girl!

Curt and I joke that one of our greatest fears is that one day Katherine will end up on American Idol.

We'll be those parents on the clip before her performance, reminiscing over cheesy background music, "oh yeah, she was like singin' since she came home from the hospital... just a born performer... we just luv her... she's got REAL talent" (say that with a good Texas drawl to get the full effect) Then, she'll win, get plastic surgery, die her hair black, date 5 men at once, move to L.A. and never talk to us again....

That was our fear, till today, when I saw this clip from American Idol. Now there's hope!

Maddie Curtis is the daughter of pro-life activist Barbara Curtis. You can follow her blog as well. What an amazing family! Thank you American Idol for portraying this family in a positive light!

Katherine, if you can pull if off like Maddie, then have at it!

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Monday, January 18, 2010

FREEBIES for those who need a break...

I have another creation for you all.

My sweet friend Beverly included a magnet in her Christmas card. I just loved the quote. I have put the magnet at eye-level on my refrigerator so that I MUST see it every time I get the creamer out early in the morning, when I get someone a cup of milk, when I'm going for the jelly at 11:45. Because this quote helps me - ALOT!

So, I thought you might like it, too. Unless you got Beverly's Christmas card, and have already been enjoying the magnet... then, you can ignore this post.

Here are the downloads. They are 5x7s. Hopefully you can print them out and scrounge around under your bed for a frame like I did, or you can shrink it down and make your own magnet.

or you can use this one:

Thanks, Pioneer Woman, for the lovely free flower photo!


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Thursday, January 14, 2010

FREEBIES for lovers of pretty things...

I love designing. I love designing websites, logos, art, images in photoshop, you name it. This past year I've really come to see that this is a very important part of who I am.

I like pretty things. I've tried to hide it, thinking that this passion is too materialistic, too worldly, a waste of my time and money. And, yes, sometimes it is. I realize that this little part of me could take me to a place I'd rather not go... spending too much time on decor websites, spending too much money at Target or etsy, spending too much time contemplating the next rearrangement of my living room. Oh, yes.

But, now that I'm being honest with myself: "You love pretty things, Lauren!" It seems easier to handle.

So, I'm trying to find free ways to meet my "prettiness" factor.

Photography and Graphic Design. Two things I can do that only cost me time. That's it.

So, I've had fun lately creating things for me. Not for a client. Not for a website. Not for someone else. me.

When I create something for ME, no one tells me that the colors are off. No one asks me to make 5 million "little quick changes". No one takes a glance at my lovely creation and then says, "You just don't get the look I'm going for, do you?"

Not that I'm an easy customer for myself. I'm not. Just ask me why I don't scrapbook and you'll find out.

But, when I DO like something I make, that's that. Finito. Done. I'm happy. And that's all that matters.

So... I am going to share some of these creations with you all, so you can have some pretty things for free, too. You just can't criticize, okay? Okay.

For today, I'm uploading my new favorite image. I have it framed and resting on top of my piano in our living room. It's a quote from the great Bach regarding the tremendous talent and precision it takes to play piano. If you, or someone you know is a piano lover, then download this, print and frame.

This is the 5x7 version of the print.

It reads:
"There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach

Encouraging, right?

My kids think it's funny!

This is the 8x10 version of the same quote:

So, I hope you enjoy these. If you do print one out, I'd love to hear back on where you put it or who you gave it to!

p.s. It doesn't print out as yellow as it looks on the screen.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

5 things I love about Katherine

This will be the first of a new series I'm starting. 5 Things. Keep an eye out...

5 Things I Love About Katherine

Katherine's 4th birthday was Tuesday. She has been waiting for a long time to be 4. She's disappointed that she wasn't quite a bit taller when she woke up on January 5th. But she had a good day anyway!

1. I love Katherine's name. Katherine Therese Gulde. We named her after the 3 women Doctors of the Church: Catherine of Siena (cool lady who told the pope to get back to Rome), St. Theresa of Avila (founder of the discalced (shoeless) Carmelites and author of Interior Castle) and St. Therese of Lisieux (the little flower hardly anyone knew about till her sister published her memoirs after her death at the age of 24).

Such a strong name. For a girl who will do amazing things in her life. Whether they get public acclaim or are done quietly in the sweetness of her heart. She will do great things.

2. I love Katherine's words. She says things like, "Can you please help me with my hungry situation?" and when she doesn't want us to get her face wet in the bath, she'll yell, "Don't touch my property!" (that one might come in handy in another way some day! :) )

If she's the slightest bit happy, she'll hop up and down, clap and squeal, "I LOVE IT!" like the ultimate cheerleader.

3. I love how Katherine's SO not like me!  She's an eternal optimist. She's an extrovert. If we were the same age in middle school, she'd probably be one of those girls that totally intimidated me. When she was an infant, the more people in the room, the more she smiled, giggled and cooed.  She tries to see the good side of everything. She's a performer through and through. She loves to sing. The other kids have dubbed her the "constant radio". She'll sing Christmas carols in June (as well as ALL Christmas long) and belt out Mylie Cyrus' "Party in the USA" like it was written for her.

At the dinner table, she want us to listen to HER. If we're all talking and she has something to share, she'll get up on her knees in her chair, clap her hands three times and yell, "Everyone listen to ME right now!" Sounds a bit bratty, but she's usually very justified. She doesn't let us ignore her. Which is good when you're the third child!

4. I love Katherine's girliness. She's very silly.She sleeps with her purse. She changes clothes on average of 4 times a day. She runs across the room and puts her hands behind her head so she can feel her hair flying behind her. She walks on her tip toes. Her favorite thing to do after dinner is wash dishes and sing. We think she thinks she's Cinderella.

5.  I love her mind. She thinks. At Curt's mom's funeral, she was the one of our children most concerned with heaven and where Grandma was.

During the Rosary, she told her cousin Michelle, "I don't want to die. Then I won't ever get to wear this dress again..."

On the way to the burial, she told us that Grandma wasn't dead, she was in the car behind us.

Last week she told Curt, "Grandma is in heaven. But she goes with Grandpa... Grandma and Grandpa are just supposed to go together, right? Like Nana and Pop and Grandpa and Dottie."

Last night, she decided that she might want to go to heaven. But, she had one request:

"Mom, can you just go up there real quick and see if there is ground. 'Cause I like ground."

"I'm afraid to fly."

I told her that if she wanted ground in heaven, Jesus would cover the whole thing up just for her.
That's how much He loves her.

We love you too, little Katherine!

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Friday, January 1, 2010

I'm back!

I told myself several months ago, "I will blog again. Next year." Well, here we are.

So, I must post today, or I will have failed on a resolution on day one. Can't have that, now can we!

Here's our lovely Christmas photo - which most of you have already seen.

Here's the celebration after we were DONE snapping 500 photos to get this ONE good one!

So, for my blog this year, I'd hope to focus on the following:
  • my sweet family
  • my homeschooling adventures
  • my work endeavors
  • my creations
We'll see how it goes!





me and my Curt...

Best wishes for a great start to 2010!

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