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Posts Tagged ‘big family’

Pope Benedict XVILike many Catholics, I heard the news of the abdication of Pope Benedict today and was shocked.  It seemed so far from what we have come to expect from our strong shepherd.  A man who has faced mountains of prosecution over almost every area of his life.  A man, who in the face of a dictatorship of relativism constantly and consistently presented Truth without apology.  A man who loved music and beauty.  A man who fully grasped the amazing grace that comes with family life.  A man who taught so many things to so many people.

I remember when he was chosen as our new shepherd, there was so much speculation, so much reserved hope.

I remember picking up Deus Caritas Est and having it change ever single relationship in my life, especially my marriage.  I learned about love from him.  I learned about hope from him.  I learned so much.  It was like, just when I thought I knew enough, he opened the door to more.  He was brilliant.  He was loving.  He was a good pope.  We were blessed to have him, and I am grateful that he had enough humility and grace to let us know when the Spirit moved him to leave the seat of Peter.

I am praying with my family each day that our new shepherd again brings hope and Truth to this world so lacking in both.  I pray that the Holy Spirit works as always in the mystical way that happens with prayer.  I am excited, hopeful, and trusting that God knows where he is leading his Bride in these very difficult times.

Thank you Pope Benedict for sharing yourself with us.

“To have Christian hope means to know about evil and yet to go to meet the future with confidence. The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say Yes, not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all, to men, to try to see the image of God in each person and thereby to become a lover. That’s not easy, but the basic Yes, the conviction that God has created men, that he stands behind them, that they aren’t simply negative, gives love a reference point that enables it to ground hope on the basis of faith.”
― Pope Benedict XVI

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Having a family of four is a strange thing. My friends with bigger families scoff when I refer to my family as large, and smaller families are shocked that I have so many. The most interesting part of my family (I think) is that I never thought I would ever have or want a big family. I was never particularly maternal. I never had the ‘clock’ ticking. Each child came naturally from a gentle nudge when it was time. I thought at one I was done, then I thought I could never handle more than two. As three and four came, I just realized my cup didn’t empty, it just got bigger. My girls bring me so much joy. My marriage has been strengthened so much by our roles changing and developing together. I think I have had the graces to become a better person throughout this journey.

One of the funny things are some of the things I constantly hear. People just seem to have the same standard responses. Normally they are:
“Are you done now?” – Not sure. For today I am, but I have had my heart changed in the past, so who knows…
“All girls?!?! Are you trying for a boy?” – Nope, I like girls. In fact, I had a priest once tell me he would pray that God blesses me with a boy and that he become a priest. Thank goodness that prayer hasn’t been answered yet. I don’t understand boys at all. Although my nephews are freaking fantastic!
“You must be busy!” – Nope. (I say as I flop down to fold ten loads of laundry while on the phone sorting volunteering hours, changing a diaper, kissing a boo boo, and cooking dinner)
“Your poor husband!” – Don’t even get me started on this one
“Better you than me” – I am never quite sure how to respond to this… ‘yes, I MUST be soooo much better at this than you??’ (which is ironic since I spend half the time trying to figure it out)

I am not thinking about joining the quiverfull movement anytime soon (www.quiverfull.com) I don’t quite fit the 2.5 children box.  I am just me.  Learning each day how to be a better wife and mom.  Learning that I can grow and that I can forgive myself when I screw up.  Learning that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to love with all I have.

And because I love lists, I will end with this:

Things I would love my children to learn from being in our “big” family:

1. Love multiplies as numbers increase.
2. Extra kids mean extra opportunities to give.
3. Fighting is impossible to avoid, but easy to end.
4. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are not only for guests.
5. Even mom and dad have to say I am sorry when they are wrong.
6. Easter and Christmas are about Christ, not candy.
7. What we DO is far more important than what we have.
8. We sometimes have to choose to love someone. If we rely only on our emotions, we are not going to make it very far in life.
9. Doing things to help others is not an option, it’s a requirement.
10. Big things can be done when one person starts small.
11. Ikea tables are made too small for real dinners.
12. A messy house is okay sometimes.
13. People are ALWAYS more important than things.
14. Being kind is contagious.
15. Our lives are an example to each other and the people around us.
16. Birthday cakes come in extra extra large.
18. It’s important to tell people what you need. Nobody is able to read your mind.
19. Sometimes people just need a hug. Always be ready to give one, and be grateful in accepting one.
20. Family is the absolute, number one, without a doubt, most precious gift you have ever been given.

Pray for me and my family as we pray for you always.

Catholic Momma

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So, I recently spoke to someone about our grocery budgets.  She was shocked at how low mine was.  Not sure why.  I am certainly not a coupon clipper.  I don’t scout for sales or pre-plan my shopping.  I like brand names.  I was thinking and thinking about it, and then I came to some sort of run down.

School lunches make me want to punch myself in the face.  I hate them.  LOATHE them.  I don’t know how people do it.  I can never seem to find the right set of easy yet healthy yet cheap.  Half of it comes home wasted.  I hate them. I wish I knew how other super moms pack their lunches.  I looked into those bento box lunch boxes and almost fainted.  Some people spend 40 bucks on these things!  My kids would lose them in 2 days.  Permanent lunch containers are a no go for us.  I googled “Five dollar meal” lunches.  One site sent only 2 boiled eggs, some water, and an apple.  Is this the norm?  My kids would starve on that!  I have not in any way been able to come to a conclusion about this.  I have gotten better, but certainly haven’t mastered it.

As for dinners and other meals, basically, I buy what is on sale, plan out my meals while I am walking through Safeway (the only place I shop because the music is always good.  Make fun of me now…) .  I shop once a week, so every week has different items on sale.  I use up my pantry before I shop.  That’s about it.  I find the fact that I cook at home with basic ingredients is the main reason.  I love http://www.mealsmatter.org.  They got me started on the basics of meal planning.  And sometimes, I just look in my fridge, enter some ingredients into google with the word “recipe” and see what comes up. That’s it.  That is all I do, and my grocery bill seems to be quite a bit lower than some people (if you also factor in take out as groceries, which I do).  I love the fact that my husband brags to his friends about my cooking.

Other items?  Well, I was watching Nineteen Kids and Counting.  Man, those people make their own laundry soap!  Wha?  I am certainly not that domesticated yet.  I just buy what I like, and try to wait for it to be on sale.

And now for my kid story of the day.

Yesterday, I stood my eight year old in front of a mirror and asked her “Honey, what do you see there?”  She looked and said “I see a tall, wise girl…  Standing behind me.”   And THAT is why she is so awesome.  😀

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