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Friday, July 25, 2014

Hope Didn't Die With the Baby, Dimitri's Legacy

Nineteen years ago today, when I was twenty-four and my husband twenty-six, we made a mad dash to the midwife Annie's office. The hot southern July sun was just beginning to heat up the air and the morning traffic rush was under way. My concentration was centered inward (in a kind of hypnotic state), but I remember distinctly watching the cars moving outside the window. Feeling my face contort now and again, I wondered if anyone could see me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Is The Building That Cried Out To God

This is the building.
This is the building we used to drive a half an hour to get to.
This is the building that we used to park our big, pro-life stickered van in front of.
This is the building that drew us down to our knees.
This is the building which beckoned us to pray.
This is the building where I encountered my first real taste of venomous words (shouted at my children and me).
This is the building that reduced me to tears.
This is the building where babies were slaughtered, ripped, suctioned and incinerated.
This is the building where women went in whole and came out broken.
This is the building that cried out to God.

God heard the cries.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stepping Through Our Doors To Minister to Those On The Outside

With a ten month old at hip, I'd taken up my usual place at the rear of the sanctuary so as to distance my noise-maker from the attentive audience. It was Pentecost Sunday, the Church's birthday, and Monsignor was traversing the aisles between pews. A pine branch in place of the aspergillum, he was dotting his parishioners with holy water blessings.

He seemed to take an extra long time, weaving through the maze of pews, all the while dipping and flicking that broken, wet branch. Just when I thought he'd direct his path towards me, he turned again done another row. Of course, paying attention to the details and taking extra care in sacred matters wasn't surprising, this was Monsignor Williams after all. And while not exactly as dismissive of time as St. Pio of Pietrecina (who was known to celebrate three hour long Masses), he wasn't in the habit of curtailing the Lord's Holy Sacrifice in order to satisfy forty-five minute man-made quotas either.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Delicious Veggies On The Grill via Chef Cheapo's Sous Chef

My 17 year old son, Nikolai, helped Mr. B (aka Dad) cook up some truly delicious grilled veggies this week and he jotted down the simple recipes. Grilling brought out the vegetables' sweetness and gave them each a nice, tender texture. They make a lovely compliment to burgers, chicken, or fish or you could just enjoy them as the main course.

Today is the perfect summer day here in Brelinskyville.
Iced sweet tea, lemonade, fresh cookies, and dad fired up the grill.

So let me get right to the point.
Here's some epic recipes for grilled veggies!
Mostly they involve prepping the veggies, seasoning them, and tossing them on the grill.
There are simple and taste amazing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Did You Hear The Whippoorwill? Protecting Our Senses

Did you hear that bird last night?” The question rolled off the tongues of sleepy, eye rubbing pilgrims as they made their way down the hill toward the breakfast line. Talk of the noisy whippoorwill would not only rattle around the chow line, but it was the hot topic dominating the men's mid-morning break-out session.

The bridled bird sang away the full-mooned night. Bellowing its repetitive chirps across the old Craig Springs resort, nestled in a Virginia mountain side. Its constant calling broke the country silence and caused more than a couple of travelers to lie wide-eyed in their bunks fantasizing about clever and violent ways to end the bird's seemingly relentless serenade.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Supporting Creativity - Log Your Vote

Elizabeth & Tim #557
While meandering around the hallways at the national Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Home School conference, I was approached by an agent (of sorts). She was working the crowd, handing out 3X5 fliers. Her sincerity and warm smile hooked me, so I listened to her case. She was soliciting votes for her son, who is trying to win a scholarship contest.

He and his friend are participating in the Duck Tape Stuck at Prom contest and so they created these incredibly original outfits from Duck Tape and soda can pop tops. Accepting the little handmade flier, I promised to do my best to get the word out and promote her son's endeavor on the blog.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Picturing Parties, Peacocks & the Perfect Beach Day

Just another week in Brelinskyville I say. And by that I mean: traveling to celebrate our first graduate, hosting 86 of the world's most awesome party guests, a stray peacock, field tripping to the beach and an extra blessing to count.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Run Chicken Run: Choosing the Narrow Gate

Holed up in the nursery, the baby had just drifted off to sleep in my arms. It was that blissful moment when eyes finally took rest behind their lids and slumber won out over a fussy little one. The tides of peace and calm had just begun to rise in my mama brain. Yes, that four-walled, pale blue sanctuary was fulfilling its purpose- quarantining us (baby and me) from the bustling household long enough to give rest a chance to settle in.

Friday, May 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes: A PSA, a home remedy, DYI, a library must-have & the Big Fibber

                                                 My Public Service Announcement

Well, after Pio's accident I was freaking out about our basement door. Every time I turned around someone was forgetting to close it inspiring nightmarish visions of a repeat performance. I made three trips to two different big name hardware stores and purchased two different door closing devices, but all that merited us were holes in the door.

My mother owns a rental building and the law in her state requires that all the entrance and exit doors from each apartment close automatically, so I knew there was a simple device to accomplish the mission of kid-proofing our doors. Thankfully, my husband put an end to my city by city wide search and found the solution on Amazon. This simple spring fits over your existing hinge (no holes required) and voila!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Miracles Abound, God Is Still Moving Mountains

Spying her from across the room at least half a dozen times in recent months, for some reason the connection was short-circuited each time. Either she was heading toward some other business or I was, or one of us was engrossed in conversation with some other confidant.

She'd been on my mind and in my prayers, this beautiful mother of six who is currently engaged in a fierce battle against breast cancer. I merely wanted to check in on her, but the timing made it difficult.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Fall, An Accident Inspires Gratitude

Doing the baby jig at the rear of the adoration chapel, I glanced down at the book of thanksgiving. Perusing the list of gratis for health and healing, family and friends, my eyes were drawn to two lines in particular. The familiar scratching of P. I. O. called my attention. Truly this wasn't the first time my nine month old's name has been sprawled in childish print in that book, but on this day he was mentioned in two consecutive entries.

Thank you God for protecting Pio.

For keeping Pio safe.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Home schooling 101, Stuff In Our School Cabinet

our generally organized school closet
We've opted to keep our home schooling supplies in a relatively small space, so as not to turn our home into a school house alone. Early on, my husband expressed his concerns that our house should be a comfortable place to live and entertain and not just a warehouse for kids' toys and books. I tend to agree with him. Additionally, as the primary teacher in the house, I like the feeling of “being done” (with at least one job) for the day which means all textbooks, cubicles, pencils and school boxes get put away (out of sight).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My First Home School Graduate

To-do list:
wash laundry
scrub toilets
wipe counters
make bed
graduate son
mop floors
pay bills

Hey wait, did you catch that? I just ED off an item on my to-do list FOR-EV-A! Unlike the laundry which will never be finished or the crumb piles that will only reappear five minutes after I've cleaned them up, my son will never again require me to re-home school him (okay I will probably have to remind him of his manners and to pick up his wet towels, but that's a different kinda schoolin'). That's right, I'm doing the happy dance now that my numero uno son has completed his last assignment, making him a high school graduate.

Friday, April 18, 2014

When Our Candles Are Extinguished, Keeping The Faith

Passing through the narthex doors, the balance on my kids' excitement meter tipped far right as they spied the ushers with those thin, white, paper-circle sheathed candles in hand. Of course, my meter headed in the opposite direction as I considered the possibilities ahead (think of two little balls of constant energy armed with flaming torches one inch away from flowing brunette locks and loose shirt tails). Ah, yes, a procession was in our immediate future on this Holy Thursday evening.
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