Friday, June 21, 2013


Jenna, Hannah, Ava, Emma, Makala, Olivia and Anne-Marie performing "Carry On".
The kids have been planning a carnival and talent show for the neighborhood kids for a week.  Today is the big day.  They have carnival games including a candy slide (candy taped to the slide and you have to grab a piece on your way down), a ring toss, a ping pong toss, a dunk tank, a rock wall, a ticket booth and a prize station.  They rehearsed a talent show all week, including harmonizing medleys to Top 40 pop songs.  All of this happened without any adult involvement!

Andy and Christian performing Thrift Shop.
I watched and listened all week and was doubtful this would go as they envisioned.  Shame on me!  The kids pulled it off!  The carnival went off without a hitch, each kid playing the games honestly, taking turns, even cooperating with the rules of how to win prizes.  They were doing so well, I decided to contribute last year's leftover popsicles and 2 giant batches of popcorn to the cause.  I was invited to join the audience of the talent show.  These are talented kids! 

Makala, Olivia and Renee perfoming "Down by the Bay".
Today, I am grateful. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom.  I'm grateful that God has blessed our decision to be a single income family and brought opportunities to us for home-based businesses.  I am filled with joy that I can be home to be part of these wonderful events.  Most days aren't filled with amazing kid productions of carnivals and talent shows.  It's easy to get so involved in keeping the house, planning the meals and all the other things that go with running a household that you miss these things.  Today, I'm grateful that God's grace allowed me to be present and aware of how blessed I am.

Ava, Emma and Jenna performing "Our Song", complete with well executed choreography.

Renee, Anne-Marie and Makala dancing to an original song by Anne-Marie.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

In the Palm of My Hand

I imagine I can hear Jesus saying to me,  "Don't worry. I love you and I won't let go."

I've been praying the Novena to the Sacred Heart this week.  I love John-Paul and Annie over at Their email reminders of novenas have helped me do just what they hoped for: pray more novenas.  Considering I couldn't remember to string two days together and consequently never finished a novena before they came along, I am grateful.  

Part of the novena to the Sacred Heart is to pray "Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you."  This is something I find ridiculously easy to say and then promptly forget, especially in times of stress.  Last night, just as I was about to fall into a deep sleep,  I found myself 2 days behind on my novena.  I rallied my energy just long enough to pray Day 5 on Day 6 with the promise of doing double duty on Day 7.  (I am hoping that since God exists outside of time and space, He will understand.)  When I finished my prayer, I realized my need for constant reminders to remember to place (and keep) my trust in Jesus, so I made this picture to save as my lock screen on my iPhone (please use it as your own, if you like).  Anyone who knows me, knows my iPhone is always with me and I'm constantly checking it for social media, appointments and generally out of habit/boredom.  So now when I open it, I see this beautiful image of Jesus looking at me with those eyes that seem to say, "Don't worry, Mary. I love you and I won't let go."   I hope you like what I've done and, if you do, please make it your lock screen image, too. 

If you'd like to read a lovely reflection on the Sacred Heart, read Sarah Reinhard's post Finding Myself in His Sacred Heart on her blog SnoringScholar.