Miracle Mondays: Disdain or Mercy?

Normally for this feature I look for the story of an inspiring mother, who loved despite all the odds.

This week I think I found a keeper. Thanks, Sylvia. Disdain or Mercy?

I’d also like to thank Mighty Mom for passing on this story of a truly Extraordinary Dad, Ed Freeman, a military hero who recently passed away at the age of 80. At least thirty men survived the Vietnam War because of his courage under fire.  On behalf of both these men — Sylvia’s cousin and Mr. Freeman — I’d like to offer the following.

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord,

And may your perpetual light shine upon them.

May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed,

by the mercy of God rest in peace.

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Might Mom … Wednesday: Merry Christmas!

A mother’s letter to Santa  (from Sarah … A.K.A. “Mighty Mom”)


Dear Santa,
I’ve been a good mom all year. I’ve fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor’s office more than my doctor, and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground.
I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son’s red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I’ll find any more free time in the next 18 years.
Here are my Christmas wishes:
I’d like a pair of legs that don’t ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have), and arms that don’t hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.
I’d also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
If you’re hauling big ticket items this year, I’d like fingerprint-resistant windows, and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn’t broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.
 
On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, “Yes, Mommy!” to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don’t fight, and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.
I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting, “Don’t eat in the living room,” and “Take your hands off your brother,” because my voice seems to be just out of my children’s hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.
If it’s too late to find any of these products, I’d settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a styrofoam container.
Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would also be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.
 
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don’t catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table, but don’t eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.
Yours Always,
MOM…
P.S. One more thing…you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Mighty Mom Monday: Hooligan Mass Adventure – Part Deux

Who remembers the Hooligan Mass Adventure? Well, we have a sequel!

We’ll call this one: “How the kids behave at 8:00 AM Mass before Preschool” (on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is why we went to church before school started).

For the sake of convience we went to a church that was new to us.

The Good:

We had an entire pew to ourselves. This was really good during the prayer intentions, as Sugars decided that the missilette books needed to be rearranged in the pew holder.

Every … single … one….

So each “Lord hear our prayer” found me taking a step further down the pew to keep up with her … and Sonshine moving down to stay by me. During the Gospel reading we made our way back to our starting positions as she decided that all those little books looked better in their original positions.

Just call us the Hooligan Family Pew Travelers.

The (could have been) Bad:

As is our norm Subvet carried Sugars to get in line for communion and I stayed in the pew with the boys. Before I was able to position myself between them Gator-boy went to follow Daddy and got in line too. Five people behind Dad, with Dad having no idea he was in line. Instead of going on up and getting with Dad he stood there, patiently waiting his turn……

Fortunately he looked at me and actually MINDED when I gestured for him to come back and kneel with me and Sonshine. Divine Intervention? I’d say so.

The (not really) Ugly:

There were only a few worshippers there on that early Monday morning … and no choir. It was very very quiet. I was missing the choir and realizing just how much they add to the service. Half way through everyone taking communion in silence, Sonshine must have decided that he missed the choir too … as he started singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in a lovely carrying voice.

Maybe we should start going to Mass before every Preschool day … it’d make for an interesting start to the day for sure!

Adoption “Unnatural”?

Hey, Al … Where’s Heidi?

If you got my newsletter today, and tuned in to “Kresta in the Afternoon” wondering where I am … tune in again on Thursday! We’ll be having a lively discussion about EMN and adoption at 3:00 EST. Don’t have Catholic radio in your neighborhood? Just listen in by computer by clicking here!

This afternoon I was also on Lisa Hendey’s “Catholic Moments” podcast. Right after the podcast, Lisa was leaving to attend the funeral of an eighteen-year-old boy, Russell, who was in a skateboarding accident last year, and finally succumbed to his injuries. Please pray for the soul of this young man, and for his mother, Cathy.

Mighty Mom sent this link to me today, a YouTube clip about “the dog who had cats for lunch.”

If animals are capable of cross-species “adoption” — how much more should we be willing to tend to the needs of children in need of families?

Are you a struggling adoptive parent? Is your child acting out in ways you are afraid you are not equipped to handle? Is she so destructive you are afraid to leave her alone? Is the reality of parenthood turning out to be harder than you thought it would be? Are you seriously considering just throwing in the towel?

You are in our prayers today. Take a deep breath, then find a way to take a break — hire a babysitter for a couple of hours, or talk to your agency about finding respite care (preferably someone who speaks your child’s language, if he or she is foreign-born). Then go to a coffee shop and read this article at “Destinations, Dreams and Dogs” about meeting the challenges of raising older adopted children, particularly those from Russia (though her wisdom translates well to foster children, too!).

Thanks to “O Solo Mama” for sending it!

Above all, hang in there, and remember the words of St. Teresa of Avila:

Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you.
All things pass away, but God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
She who possesses God, lacks for nothing.
God alone suffices. 

Mighty Mom Monday: Giving Thanks…

Sugars (21 months)Gator Boy (3-1/2)Sonshine (5)
Mighty Mom is back, feeling very thankful … As we enter the

Advent season, let’s join her in a moment of giving thanks.

(I’m especially thankful that the holiday weekend is over and

the kids are back in school!)

Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look

around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

So, what has Mightymom been doing for the last two weeks while

she wasn’t writing Mighty Mom Monday posts?

Cue the music! Sing along with me folks, the tune is

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”…

There was retching and puking and cleaning the carpets.
washing the sheets and changing the diapers…
But the best of all …. are the blessings that I can recall!

(Ba dum dum dum)

Sick kids are very snuggly
Even those who usually aren’t
Husbands are very handy
Renting carpet cleaners fast.

Bath time is lots of fun
even several times a day
it makes you smell so yummy
and washes all the sicks away.

Then there’s one more very big… Blessing I must share
I would up and go to work… Leaving hubby there (he’s the best)!

Now all the kids are better
Eating all the food they can
Running around like banshees
Playing hard and chasing cats!

Yup, life moves pretty fast, remember to stop and count your blessings

during this busy season, folks.

Photo credit: Church Candles Online; also photos from Mighty Mom!

Mighty Mom Mondays: Lessons Grandma Taught Me

As is our custom here at EMN, Sarah has chimed in with her weekly post of wisdom and took this month’s EMN Carnival on extraordinary moms to a whole new level! To catch more of Mighty Mom, go to her blog “My Wonderful Life.” Thank you, Sarah!!!

 

My Grandma taught me …

To speak softly and carry a big jar of cookies.

The amount of time it takes to put on a pair of knee-highs and keds is exactly equal to the amount of time it takes to start a conversation that’ll last all day.

There is never any reason to be jealous, for you will always have a special place in the heart of someone who loves you, a place that no one else can ever take.

Homemade pickles taste better.

The best beginning to any sentence is “Say, how’s so and so doing (or such and such going) these days?”

How to handle walking in on two kids (my brother and cousin) after they’ve used the wheel of your stationary bike to grind an entire package of cheetos into a big pile of dust…on your white carpet….”Well, you’ve been having fun!”

Talking about your hurts doesn’t make them go away, but focusing on your happys will make the hurts smaller.

Rolls can be bought frozen ….but cookies must be made from scratch.

Every morning when you wake up, you decide if you’re going to have a good day.

Make each child feel as if he or she is your favorite. (This from a woman with 5 kids and 11 grandkids.) 

Putting a lit match behind your teeth only makes you look like a jack-o-lantern if you have a really big smile (she did).

You can get glad in the same shoes you got mad in.

Spraying perfume on your grandchildren’s homemade yarn flowers makes them “just like real.”

Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds you up or polishes you up depends on what you’re made of.