A Little Love

For St. Valentine's Day TJ surprised me by leaving work early, picking the kids up from school, taking them to the grocery store and buying all the fixings to make a delicious meal!  I told him that was the perfect gift.  He knows me well!
Tuna steak, asparagus, risotto, and crusty bread.  He even made sure to bring home a super chocolaty chocolate cake.  Again, he knows me well!
We all got out on the trampoline after dinner.  I'm telling you jumping for a bit is a great workout!  They LOVE it when I get on with them.  Probably because I can do some serious double bouncing.  They fly up in the air squealing!
I did something different this year.  When they got home from school I had a St. Valentine Day Healthy Heart Challenge.  They each got a sheet and had to see how many sit ups, push ups, squat jumps, jumping rope, and jumping jacks they could do in one minute.  I laminated them, so they could write their score on them with a dry erase marker.  It was super fun, and we all did it together.  George wrote down something like 62 push ups in one minute...

Sylvia Kateri

My sisters first daughter!  What a sweet little girl! 



How Will You Love ME Today?

And here we are again, the beginning of Lent.  This year I felt like I was starting Lent already behind.  It snuck up so quickly on me this year.  The night before Ash Wednesday I found myself saying "now what am giving up? What are we doing as a family?" 
There are so many areas of my life right now that could use some attention.  Lent is most definitely the time for that. I should be more patient with my children,  more self-less, be spending more time with Jesus in prayer, through scripture and just being present with Him in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
I felt so overwhelmed actually, of all the ways I should be growing in holiness this year that I couldn't decide WHAT to focus on.  The day after lent began, I stopped in the Pink Sisters to spend a moment with Jesus after my early morning run.  As I was kneeling there it struck me.  I heard in my head the words, "How will you love ME today Kristi?"
And that was it.  I felt a sense of peace, of what I should be focusing on this Lent.  By picturing Jesus asking me those words every day, every moment really, then I will be taking care of all the areas I should be working on in my life.
Loving Jesus today might look like patiently putting George and Evie to bed instead of losing my temper with them when it takes longer than I'd like.  It could be helping one of them with something instead of sitting down at the computer. It could be kneeling down at my kneeler to read the bible BEFORE going out to run or have coffee in the morning.  Waking up fifteen minutes EARLIER than my normal early rising to pray. 

I love making our Lenten Calender each year.  It helps having a visual for counting the 40 days of Lent.  The kids count the item for that day then put in the number they counted in coins into their rice bowl.  We also pray a special Lenten prayer every morning (or try to!) and offer each day for a specific intention.

 I had to laugh this morning.  We had a snow day yesterday due to the blizzard that threatened the Midwest.  I wasn't expecting a snow day today....long story short, we got up, dressed, ate breakfast, studied spelling words, bundled up, and TJ drove them to school.  As they left the house I spent a moment praying, hearing the question How will you love ME today Kristi?  Just then the three kids who just left for school, came walking back into the house.  School had been cancelled, don't know how I missed that.   A quick shift in gears as I was preparing for two little ones all day, instead of all five being home!!  God was going to show me how I could love Him today, for sure!  Patience, in dressing little people in snow clothes fifty times today! 




 My little Pete turned ONE.  I have been storing up all the sweet little things that he does lately in my heart, trying to hang on to all of it. 
The way he crawls using only his arms as he slides across the kitchen floor. 
 How he grabs a hold of my pant leg with one hand while I'm standing in the kitchen, sticks his thumb in his mouth, and lays his head down on my foot.  Code for, "mom I'm tired, stop doing the dishes and put me to bed." 
How he scratches the back of his knee with his foot the second I take off his feet jammies.
How he takes his hand and pushes my chin the other direction while nursing, as if he doesn't want me to watch.
The fact that there is one single curl resting on the back of his neck.  I love it.  None of our other children have ever had curls.
And my favorite is that he says as clear as day "Oh Yeah" for everything.  As him anything and he responds, "Oh Yeah."
 This year I had the itch to take down all winter/Christmas decorations even before Epiphany.  I was hoping to help Spring along I guess!
 My good friend was nearing the end of her pregnancy with her sixth child.  A group of us met for coffee and to shower her with gifts!  I got to make blueberry scones for everyone.  I love celebrating life!
 The first really nice day we had in January TJ and Craig helped set up each others trampolines!  Kids were thrilled!!!

For my birthday we went out to lunch at one of our favorites.  While we were eating it started snowing these huge beautiful snowflakes!  TJ and the kids gave me a beautiful necklace and earrings!
Found this drawing in Annie's journal that we write to each other.  Notice Joseph flying in heaven! 
Made these little mini cupcakes for a friend who was hosting a baby shower.  Hands down this is the best cake/ cupcake recipe ever.  Lots of lemon....