Birthday Boys

Today we celebrated the boys’ 6th and 3rd birthdays. They share the same birthday, so it’s kind of nice that they get to celebrate together.

We started the day with some homemade donuts and gifts.

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Then it was dinner at their favorite restaurant, IHOP. They love their pancakes and waffles.

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IHOP with grandparents and Aunt Kim

Getting a family photo is always a struggle around here :/

It takes a lot of these…

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To get one of these…

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Happy birthday, boys! Camo and robot party this weekend! Can’t wait to see how that combination turns out…ha!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Levi

Dear Levi,

You’re our third and even though we now have baby Isaac, you’re still my baby. I don’t know what it is about you, but you’re always so sweet and love to cuddle. I’ll always see you as my baby. You still freely hug and kiss me and I cherish every single one as I know the day will arrive when they won’t be given so freely. One sweet look from you with those big brown eyes or a flash of your sweet smile, always melts our hearts. You’ve taken to being a big brother so well; you can’t get enough of your new baby brother.

You also have an ornery streak that your brothers can attest to. You love destroying their creations when you’re not running after them. Your only excuse is, “I robot, I destroy things, I break things.” Needless to say you have a love of robots, ghosts, swords, nuns and St. Nicholas. You also love keeping up with those brothers on your balance bike and showing off your motocross skills even after multiple crashes.

You love chips! You’d eat them day and night if we’d let you. You love them more than sweets.

You’re stubborn and that’s gotten more apparent as you turn 3. You absolutely refuse to clean up toys or anything for that matter…we really need to work on that!  Don’t even get me started on potty training! You always have the most random items in your bed, it practically changes daily – swords, St. Nick, a tower of blocks that you call a robot. It’s comical!

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You’ve brought us so much love and laughter. We love you more than words can say!!! Happy birthday, sweet Levi!

Love always,
Mama and Daddy

Happy 6th Birthday, Noah

Dear Noah,

It always hits me the hardest on your birthday that you’re another year older, I think because you are our firstborn. You’re definitely a Daddy’s boy! You let everyone know you’re the oldest in your natural leader abilities (or in your bossiness, as I’m sure that’s what your brothers think), you’re responsible, you love to learn (especially if it’s math, science and history), and you can practically build anything. I’m always so amazed at how well you can draw and take the most random things to create something. Most of all, you LOVE your brothers and you take care of them (well when they’re not destroying your creations, then you might tackle them, but it’s probably well deserved).

I can’t even believe that today you’re 6 and how proud I am to be your Mama! Many days you test my patience, like when you whine and complain how tired you are and you can’t complete another worksheet (I’m pretty sure you get this from your Dad, as I recall him telling me how he’d immediately get tired as soon as he would do English homework growing up). Yet you always surprise me by telling me random facts that I didn’t think you would remember and I’m always amazed at how well you comprehend stories and put facts together to ask the most insightful questions.

At 6, you’ve accomplished so much! You have 3 baby brothers to love, you’ve completed kindergarten, you’re my expert frog, grasshopper and snake catcher, you can ride a bike with no training wheels (and even do some nice motocross moves and crashes), you’ve lost your first 2 teeth and can practically swim. All because you’re the real Bear Grylls, as you like to remind me. You’re definitely ALL BOY! You can’t get enough camo and all things army. You love all sports and you’re actually pretty good at them, considering your parents have little to no athletic ability. And you’re addicted to desserts – anything chocolate and your Mama’s carrot cake.

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So happy 6th birthday, Noah! Oh how we love you and are so blessed to be raising you.

Love always,
Mama & Daddy

Isaac is 3 Months Old

Isaac is 3 months old today and he decided to usher it in with his first cold. Noah started Monday morning with a cold, then Eli and Levi and now baby Isaac. I just hate seeing any of my boys sick with anything; it’s heartbreaking. And of course when the kids are sick, the parents get to suffer along with them with even less sleep and/or catching the same stuff from them. Luckily Michael and I haven’t gotten sick and the boys have slept pretty well considering they weren’t feeling too well. I think we’re over the worst of it for now, but definitely not looking forward to a winter of colds and other viruses.

Besides the cold (which Isaac is actually handling really well), he’s really become a happy baby over the past couple weeks :) Those first couple of months were rough! He was fussy most of the time, spit up a lot and was nursing ALL THE TIME. Combine all that with little sleep and it was just plain exhausting. We’re still exhausted, but it’s easier having a happy a baby and he’s doing 5 hour stretches at night for the most part which is helping.

He’s growing so big! He’s wearing size 6 months now. His brothers still love smothering him in hugs and kisses, which always startles him in a cute way :)

Likes:

  • Loves to talk in his coos, ooos and aahhs
  • Loves to look at feet
  • Enjoys chomping on his entire fist
  • Likes spending time in his swing


Dislikes:

  • Tummy time!

Isaac at 3 Months

We don’t like to speak the truth about evil because we’re going to hurt somebody. Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that Somebody is God. If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality. It’s your obligation to speak the truth and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us. We live in such poverty of the truth today.

-Mother Angelica

 

How a Simple Christmas Card Depicts a Lost Time and Place in the Modern Church

Throughout the fall I always receive a few free Christmas Cards in the mail from a wide variety of Catholic religious orders trying to raise money. I always send these Christmas cards to all of the staff at my parish each year with a thank you and a prayer card—my sort of—signature thing I have done for the last several years.

I received this particular card in the mail from The Franciscan Friars in Cresson, PA and it just struck me in the soul as I looked at it. I slowly took in all the details of the card; the small quaint parish, the procession leading the way, the parishioners lined up in their finest clothing watching and waiting for Mass to begin.  What a beautiful, peaceful scene; a scene that used to exist but is only captured now in cards like these.

Christmas Card

Can you imagine if you asked the artist to paint a picture depicting the modern church of our time for a Christmas card? Most parishes built in the last fifty years resemble more like community centers than actual churches built for worshiping God. Long gone are the solemn processions, altar servers that wore fine surplices– now replaced with plain white cloth robes and the parishioners themselves hardly wearing their finest clothes but rather wearing their “lazy Sunday” attire of football jerseys, super short shorts and filthy tennis shoes. The pomp is gone, it was too old fashioned they’d say. Out the window with the little silly rules and rituals which have been replaced with generic, plain, streamlined processes to get us in and out and back to our more important things. I mean come on, a priest speaking a “dead language” that no one understands, swinging incense all over the place or having the People of God kneeling on a hard rail to receive communion! How absurd all this is we are told today, why this is modern day!

It’s no wonder when the artist was tasked to paint that Christmas card he chose to paint the picture he did.

I think I will keep this card on my desk for awhile, so I can look at it and remember back to a time I have never known but have only heard about in fading memories.

-Michael