Friday, December 29, 2006

Big Bibles

View the video below and get a good laugh...good or bad! Oh, and let your teens see it...they'll like it.

Henry's 1st Christmas

How Henry Spent His First Christmas Day:

1. Midnight Mass
2. Getting lost in a flood of ripped up wrapping paper
3. Drinking Milk
4. Slipping from brother's arms onto the hardwood floor
5. Getting Soothed by Mom
6. Drinking Milk
7. Taking a nice long nap snuggled in mom's arms
8. Visiting with cousins
9. Playing with Uncle Dave
10. Drinking Milk

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Think Snow

It's been unusually warm in North Carolina this December; in fact we had to turn on the air conditioner this afternoon to fight off the humidity and poor air quality. There are a couple of snow sleds in our basement that I've been eager to use for the first time. (I bought them 2 years ago) Therefore, click on the THIS LINK, have a wonderful Christmas and THINK SNOW for North Carolina!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The most important day in Henry's life....

Henry in the baptismal garment that was worn by his other three brothers.

One of the biggest reasons I love being Catholic is the fact that the church celebrates seven sacraments: Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Annointing of the Sick and Holy Orders. We CELEBRATE the receiving of these sacraments and grow in holiness when each one is received. Henry became a Christian last week as we baptized him in front of his godparents, family,friends and the entire STM church community. Our fifth child was as good as gold as our pastor slathered him with chrism oil and baptized him (in his birthday suit, no less) in the name of the father, son and holy spirit. His hair smelled of the sweet chrism throughout the week and served as a gentle reminder of our commitment to raise Henry up as a Catholic christian. At our parish, parents are instructed to arrive at the church with the infant clothed in regular baby attire only to change into the white baptismal garment AFTER the actual baptism. (This was not the practice at my home parish where my older children were baptized.) This symbolizes the child becoming holy and clean...white as snow..without sin. After the child has been changed, there is a final blessing in front of the congregation so that all may witness the "new" christian in white and be a part of raising him as a good Catholic. (I'm thankful for this since we need all the help and prayers we can get!) After the baptism, we celebrated with many good friends and family at our home. What a wonderful day to celebrate.... the most important day in Henry's life! His baptism in Christ Jesus!

Fr. John baptizing Henry Ingatius with family and friends witnessing.

Friends and family afterwards...

Godparents: Mary and Scott Workman (My father in law stood in for Scott who is currently serving in the Middle East with the Air Force.)

My pathetic excuse for a post...but it sure is good!

From my inbox:

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, 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 anymore 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. If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would 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 ringing 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 can cancel all my requests if you can keep my
children young enough to believe in Santa.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

In my inbox...

I Corinthians 13—A Christmas Version

If I…
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’ t envy another’ s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

7 is enough?

Tonight I started the process of hauling out the many Christmas decorations I have stored in my bedroom closet. There must be 4 or 5 large plasic containters that hold precious holiday art projects completed by my kids over the years, ornaments from favorite places visited, wreaths, garlands and tree lights of every color. But by far my most favorite item to pull out are the family stockings. My stocking collection was begun by my mother-in-law about 14 years ago when Chris and I were newly married. She ordered the needlepoint stockings and had our names embroidered on the top. As our family grew, so too grew the stockings on our mantle. This year is extra special since we get to add a NEW stocking to the group....bearing the name, "Hank" in honor of the newest Clemens babe. As I peer at the large collection of 7 stockings hanging on my fireplace mantle this evening, I simply shake my head in disbelief. I jokingly wonder out loud to my husband, "Where in the world did all those stockings come from? Are there really SEV-EN people in our family? When did that all happen?"

My husband looks across the room at me and non-chalantly responds, "Wanna make it 8?"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fat and Happy

Who needs a neck? I've got cheeks for a whole army!

Photo credit: Rebecca Clemens

Catholic Women's Book Club

Here is what we are reading this month. A good read, especially if you were educated in a Catholic school. We plan to read this doozy in January. These are great gift options for your Catholic friends! Let me know what you think of the content.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Milk Moustache Take II

As I was sitting on the couch nursing Henry, Gus came and sat next to me and asked:

Gus: Mom, is that milk hot or cold.

Me: It's warm, Gus.

Gus: (falling to the ground) I hate warm milk!!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Happy Advent!!

During the four weeks of Advent, we christians are supposed to be expectant with awe; the season is pregnant with MEANING!! How can we not be excited!! If you have not yet put out your Advent wreath do it and make a big deal of it in your home. Three violet candles represent the penitential aspect of the season, one rose colored candle represents the joy of Christ's birth. Some people add a larger white candle in the middle to represent Jesus. That one will remain unlit until the Christmas Eve Vigil on December 24, then lit again on Christmas. Every color, scent, and object is infused with symbolic meaning. The Advent wreath traditionally involves these:

Wreath:................The Eternal nature of God; the king who is coming and will come again
Ivy:......................Clinging to God's strength
Bay......................Victory over sin and death
Cedar..................Eternal life through Christ
Green (wreath).....Hope in God
First Candle.........Isaiah and prophets who foretold the coming of Christ
Second Candle.....The Bible
Third Candle........Mary, the Mother of God
Fourth Candle......John the Baptist, who called Jesus the "light of the world"
Middle Candle......Jesus, Light of the World

-Resource: The Catholic Home by Meredith Gould

Friday, December 01, 2006

Santa Baby

I have a neighbor who owns a baby boutique in the local mall. Every year she invites Santa to her store for her friends and patrons to enjoy. He is a really GREAT looking Santa, so I thought I should take Henry to meet Santa for the first time. When I entered the store, Santa immediately invited me to bring the baby over for a picture. It had been so long since I had an infant that part of me was afraid that Hank would cry in absolute terror like Gus had the past few years when he saw Santa. But no. My worries were calmed when my angelic Hank just slumped in Santa's arms, cooed and gooed with satisfaction and simply stared at all the commotion around him. Click. Picture taken. Santa baby!!