/> Raising Angels: November 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Two Year Old "Logic"

Aiden is at the age of eternal questions. Dawson has not yet arrived. Instead, he is working on answering questions. What follows are questions I asked him throughout today and his...answers.

Flapping his hands and giggling like an addict awaiting his fix while watching me make him some strawberry milk this morning he said, "Ooh, I LIKE strawbewy milk!"

"Why do you like it so much?" I asked trying to get the conversation going.

"Uh...'cause...I LIKE strawbewy milk!"

When he woke up from his nap, he had one arm out of his shirt.

"Why did you take your arm out of your shirt?"

"Uh...'cause...I take my arm out of my shirt."

Then this evening, I found him squeezing the A&D ointment out all over himself.

"Dawson, why did you do that?"

"Uh...'cause...I dood it."

Logic is not anywhere in the near future.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jesus' Friend

The boys and I were saying prayers on the way to school this morning. Aiden went through his litany of intentions followed by Dawson.

"Okay, good job boys. Can I have a turn to pray now?"

"Sure!" was their whole-hearted reply.

I began my litany and reached Nelson's family, "and bless Uncle Jeff, Aunt Sheri, Kaleigh, Jared, Uncle Robert and Angel..."

At which point Aiden interrupted, "Angel?"

"Yes, Angel," I said.

"Oh!" he replied, "She's Jesus’ friend?"

"Let's hope so," I said of Uncle Robert's soon to be fiancée.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Holy Places

On the way to church Sunday Aiden was in full question mode (is there any other mode at this age?).

"Mama, we going to church?"

"Yes Aiden."

"Which church we going to, the little church (where we attend daily mass) or the nursery church (our parish)?"

"Holy Trinity buddy."

"My school is at my church?"

"Yes Aiden it is."


"Well we like to support our church and it's a good school that you like."

Finally, another voice piped in from the backseat. Mackenzie, who had apparently been paying attention to the whole line of questions observed, "Wow! Aiden and I both get to go to school at holy places."

"How's that?" I asked with curiosity.

"Well, Aiden has church at his school and we go to prayer meetings at my school."

"You know, you're right Mackenzie. You guys are pretty lucky aren't you?"

"Yes!" they answered in chorus.

I am too.

Monday, November 27, 2006


We're gearing up for the big Christmas Festival at Mackenzie's school. We've been putting hours and hours and hours into memorizing and rehearsing all three verses of her solo, Silent Night.

Growing up this song was never one of my favorites. It was too slow for me. Now, having practiced it over and over and singing it to Mackenzie again and again, I've grown to like it a lot more.

Today, however, I was blown away. Mackenzie had her first practice with the pianist after school. She was standing next to the piano in a dimly lit room. When the piano started to play, Mackenzie straightened up and got a look of total concentration with a little girly sweetness mixed in. The yellow light from the lamp above the piano framed her face in golden light.

I pictured her on Saturday in full angel regalia but the wings and halo were not needed today. Her heart was in it and she already looked like an angel singing at Jesus' birth.

I couldn't help but to think of Jesus and the other angels gathering around in heaven just to take a look at little Mackenzie singing about His birth. I could see their smiles and wide eyes as they looked with pride at a soul still so pure.

It wasn't perfect. It wasn't totally in tune. She forgot the words once or twice. None of that mattered. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought of how blessed I am to have been given this child, how happy Jesus must be with her efforts, how amazed I am at the gift of motherhood.

Whatever will I do come Saturday when she's got the microphone, wings and her halo?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

If Only It Were That Easy

This morning, after disrobing, Aiden ran into my room turning in circles looking at his underwear.

"Mama, these underwear?"

"Yes, Aiden they are."

"Oh. How come I wear underwear?"

"Because you're a big boy and can go potty in the potty."

"Oh. How come Dawson not wear underwear?"

"Because he's a baby and doesn't know how to go potty on the potty yet. Maybe one day you can teach him."

I had barely finished speaking when Aiden tore out of my room and ran down the hall.

"Dawson," he yelled as he grabbed his hand and led him to the bathroom. "When you need to go potty you can just come in here, sit down and tuck your __ down. You hold on so you don't fall in and then you go pee pee. Okay?"

Friday, November 24, 2006


I grew up in a VERY Catholic household. You know, the kind where you know you're in trouble if your picture is on top of the TV next to the holy candle and Blessed Mother statue. The kind where I was in high school before I realized that Thanksgiving is not a holy day of obligation. My mom's reply to my line of questioning was, "Well, it is in THIS house!" You get the point.

Nelson did not grow up thinking the same way. So, Wednesday night when I asked him what time he'd like to go to mass, he quickly replied by saying, "No time.” Now mind you, he's not opposed to mass. In fact, he got up and went to his weekly 7 a.m. Adoration time Thanksgiving morning. He just thought that was enough.

Thanksgiving morning in the great tradition of laying on that Catholic guilt, I dressed the kids and looked at him with the biggest eyes I could manage and asked him again, "Are you really not going to go to mass with us?"

"Why should I?" he asked matter of factly.

"Well, first of all why should any of us miss the chance to go to mass on a daily basis if we believe that we are really receiving Jesus? What better way to give thanks on a day like today than to give a little something back to God? Besides, dinner is not until 4, what else are you going to do?"

I knew it would be a sacrifice for both of us because we were going to our church which is a bit longer than most. I also knew there would be no nursery for the boys and Nelson is not used to them in daily mass and had no idea what to expect. He joined us anyway.

Mass was longer than I expected and the crowd was extremely sparse. I quickly dangled the prospect of lighting a candle after church for good behavior. In spite of the fact that Dawson managed to make his way through a pew two behind ours and I missed the Gospel because I was in the bathroom with Aiden, all of them did very well.

Nelson took them up front after mass and let them light their candles and then took them to the altar rail to kneel and say a prayer. I stood back admiring the beautiful picture before me. I am thankful for a husband who shares my faith and not my guilt. I am thankful for the opportunity to pass this faith on to our children and am excited that they feel a good reward is lighting a candle and saying a prayer.

I was pondering all of this when an older lady from the parish came towards me as the kids were skipping back down the aisle. "They are growing up so fast," she said affectionately. "It's just so good to see them here. They did great. Thank you for…for...well, just thank you for what you do for them," she gushed.

At that moment I was glad my mom had instilled a little bit of that good old Catholic guilt in me. I was glad I had made it to mass with the whole family. I was glad that once again, God had found such a wonderful way to encourage me in my vocation.

I have the best job in the whole world!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tis the Season to be Grateful

Like many of you, I have spent this week preparing for the big day tomorrow while trying to be mindful of my many blessings. Sometimes, in the busyness of the preparations, I tend to forget the reason behind why I'm doing all the work in the first place. At moments it seems like a lot of work for a result that is instantly consumed and quickly forgotten.

Last night however, God gave me a BIG reminder of what a little work can do. For the last two months I have been boycotting Walmart and Sams. If you know me, you know it's been a sacrifice...a BIG one. I have done the majority of my grocery shopping there for the last eight years. I know the store like the back of my hand and they know me.

When the news came out that they were actively lobbying to change legislation to redefine marriage, I had to do something. I tried to ignore it...pretend I didn't hear it. but I just couldn't. What infuriated me even more was when they publicly said it didn't matter what their Christian clientele thought. In essence they said that Christians don't stand up for what they believe and their business would not change.

It made me mad that they said that. It made it worse to think that they were probably right. I know some bold Christians who get out there on the front lines about issues that are important to them, but for the most part we sit around and wait for someone else to do something.

This time I was determined not to sit idly by and wait. I boycotted, signed petitions, prayed every time I drove near it (which is often multiple times a day) and told everyone I knew why I was no longer shopping there. Not much, I know, but a lot for me at this point in my life. It's been killing me. My one stop shopping trips turned into runs to two or three stores trying to find what I needed. The time I spent in those stores was longer because I didn't know where to find everything.

And last night it happened. I was up late when my mom called and gave me the good news. I didn't believe her until she put dad on the phone and he read the statement from the AFA about lifting the ban.

I was so excited I could hardly believe my ears. In fact, I'll admit, I was hopping a little. And, believe it or not, it was not all about shopping at Wal-Mart. A victory has been won. In a world that at times seems to be so dark and getting darker every day a little ray of light has broken through. A major corporation has seen the error of its ways (and the dip in their revenue) and turned around.

It may seem like nothing but it's not. God is showing us that He is still in charge and we can make a difference. It should give us all the motivation to pick a cause and fight for it. Can you imagine if Planned Parenthood did the same thing one day?

With God ALL things are possible! Yeah God!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tis the Season to Volunteer

After spending the morning with Mackenzie's class Thursday, I felt it only fair to help out with the Thanksgiving Feast at the boys' school. Preparing a Thanksgiving meal for 20 toddlers was my life multiplied by 10. Buttering rolls, cutting turkey into bite size pieces and opening juice boxes made me feel right at home.

Our pastor and Director of Religious Education came to eat lunch with the kids which I thought was great. They sat in the little chairs just like everyone else. They did however, cut their own food.

The kids presented Father Tim with three big boxes of food for the poor and then sang him two Thanksgiving songs. Did you know there were such things?

My favorite of the two goes like this:

A turkey is a funny bird.
His head goes wobble, wobble.
He only has one fine thing to say,
"Gobble, gobble, gobble!"

Phinizy Swamp

I chaperoned my first field trip of the year last Thursday. Mackenzie's class went to a local swamp to learn about amphibians and reptiles. I found it hard to believe that in all of the years I’ve lived here, I've never visited this place. It’s only about 15 minutes from my house.

Even though it was much colder than any of us anticipated or dressed for, we had a great time. I was inspired and hope to bring the kids back for lots more hikes through the grounds. Imagine, leaves, bugs, reptiles, rocks and water! My boys would love this place.

Of course, the highlight was touching a real snake. I even braved it. Well, okay, I had to since all of the kids did. It wasn't too bad. Besides that, I learned a lot about the habitats and characteristics of some of the amphibians and reptiles that live here. Very cool indeed.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Parris Delicacy

This morning Dawson was busily cooking away in our Fisher Price kitchen. He dumped something into a cup and came running to me. "Lookit I cook Mama!" he shouted with glee extending the cup to me. "Eat it!"

"Oh my," I said with excitement for my little chef. "What is it?" I asked looking into the cup to discover a purple bouncy ball and then pretending to eat it.

"It's a ball!" he exclaimed.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Self-Control Vs. Volume Control

I came into the house this morning after my early workout at the Family Y. The hallway and kitchen were dark so I went to Mackenzie's room to make sure she was getting ready for school.

I was standing there telling her what to put in her backpack when I turned to see Aiden standing in the door, a bright smile across his face.

In what was close to the volume of a yell he said, "Good morning Mama! You need to be quiet ‘cause my brother Dawson is sleeping."

It was all I could do to say, "Okay", instead of, "Look buddy, you're the one who needs to be quiet."

Thursday, November 16, 2006


This week as I passed the dairy case at the grocery store, my eyes landed on the first shipment of eggnog. I love it and Mackenzie has loved it from her first taste so I decided to get some as a little treat.

Tonight after coming home from a meeting I rewarded the kids with a glass of eggnog before bed. It was Dawson's first taste.

He took one sip, then another. "Ed not is gooood! Mmmm! Have more peas!"

I guess it runs in the family.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good Thing I Love You Kevin

Well it's been awhile but tonight I received the call once again.

Kevin: "Hey Amy. What are you doing right now?"

Me: "Just looking some stuff up on the computer and getting ready to cook dinner. Why?"

Kevin: "If I send you something do you think you could just take a look at it?"

Me: "What is it?"

Kevin: "Well it's that application for the leadership position at school I told you about earlier this week."

Me: "You mean the one that has to be 25 to 30 pages long?"

Kevin: "Um, yeah, but it's not really that long and it's not totally finished so you won't have to read the whole thing."

Me: "When do you need it back?"

Kevin: "Well, I'd like to take it to the printer's in the morning."

Kevin is the third in line of brothers needing my assistance with papers. Some called on me more than others but all have ALWAYS waited until the last minute.

So tonight, after cooking dinner, eating, making Nelson's sweet potatoes to take to his office Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow, packing lunches and cleaning up the kitchen, I sat down to read the paper.

I just finished it. Why do I do these things to myself? It's not been so long since I was doing it myself and I always had people willing to edit my stuff when needed. I'm his sister (and in essence his second mother being 14 years his senior) so that's just what I do.

You always hope that your college education will come in handy. It's just that the opportunities to use it always seem to come at the most inconvenient times.

Good thing I love you Kevin.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Well, yet another thing happened this weekend that rocked my world.

It was Saturday morning and with nowhere to go until the afternoon we all stayed in our pajamas while I made banana pancakes and the kids played, happily anticipating the late breakfast.

I was busy flipping the second batch when I heard it - a loud, low, oddly familiar sound. It didn't register the first time because of its somewhat foreign nature so I kept on flipping.

Then, I heard it again. And this time I recognized who it was coming from but not what he was saying. It was Dawson hopping down the hallway shouting my name...not his name for me...just my title. That's right. In hopped my newly two year old shouting, "Mom!" at the top of his lungs.

What happened to "Mama"? What about "Mommy"? Where did my baby go? I decided then and there that this was a word not unlike a dirty one coming from him. I am not ready to accept this level of maturity from my baby. I don't want to be Mom all around just yet.

Monday, November 13, 2006

What if..

Nelson returned yesterday after a four night trip with his brother. It's always hard for me when he's gone. Now that I have three little ones, it's even harder. But I've learned to deal with it and manage to get by just fine on my own.

In fact, while he's gone I usually have a moment or two when I think, "Hey, I really can do this by myself." Granted, I don't prefer it or even like it, but for some reason it gives me peace of mind...just in case.

All that flew out the window yesterday morning. I was expecting his plane to come in to Atlanta around midnight and thought he'd told me he'd be home in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I looked forward in anticipation to feeling him climb into bed that night. In fact, I couldn't sleep. I watched a movie until 1 a.m. and then tossed and turned for awhile after that.

When I heard Dawson calling me at 7 a.m. Sunday morning, I rolled over to find myself alone in the bed. I walked into Dawson's room and set him up in front of Dora. Then I searched the house and looked out the window to find the driveway empty.
Okay. Still doing fine. This is not unusual I told myself. He probably pulled off the road to sleep and just got too comfortable. I called his phone and got no answer. It's okay. He'll be here soon.

8 a.m. came and went and still no Nelson. I called again. No answer. Now I was mad. Why does he do this to me? Why can't he know he's going to have a late night, get some extra sleep, and get himself home? It's broad daylight now. Where is he?

I began to get ready for church. Then, I got the kids ready for church. It was 9 a.m. and still no Nelson. I called again. I sent a text message. No response. Now I was worried...really worried. It's not like him to just not show up. It's hours and hours past when he said he'd be here. His phone is not working.

My mind began playing evil tricks on me. I envisioned a knock on the door with a policeman waiting outside. The phone rang and I thought I'd hear an unfamiliar, "Are you Mrs. Parris?" My heart started racing. My mind was jumping all over the place.

I didn't know what to do. I didn't know why this was happening. I tried to stay calm for the kids but I was on the verge of calling the police myself. It makes me crazy to think about it even now.

Then I heard it. The familiar squeak of the brakes and slam of the car door. The key turning the kitchen lock and the footsteps on the floor. "Daddy!" Mackenzie squealed.

I was frozen. I couldn't look up. I couldn't move. He came in as if nothing had happened. "Where were you?" my voice squeaked as the tears came to my eyes.

He didn't understand. Apparently, he had known all along he was coming home at this hour and had just been really unclear with me. His phone had died and he didn't want to stop to call for fear of missing the chance to go to church with us.

I collapsed. I was exhausted. It took me hours to recover. I spent mass on the verge of tears, thinking about what would have happened if...

I don't want to ever feel that way again. As independent as I pretend that I am, I cannot do this by myself. I need him. I want him. I am so glad he came home.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Veterans' Day

This morning we attended a Veterans’ Day program at Mackenzie's school. Included in the program were the usual Pledge of Allegiance, Star Spangled Banner, and patriotic songs. Mackenzie's class sang "My Country Tis Of Thee" and it was precious.

While singing the Star Spangled Banner, it happened. I got so choked up I almost couldn't sing. Before I became a teacher, that song merely signaled the beginning of sporting events. I knew it meant more, but I never really thought about it.

As a teacher I was conned into teaching American History (as an English major this was not on my list of preferred teaching topics). I taught at the small private school Mackenzie now attends. The superintendent who hired me answered my doubts of being able to teach the subject by saying, "You're better than nothing, which is what we have right now." Not words of great encouragement but enough to keep me from running out the door.

I loved the literature classes I taught, but I also learned to love American History. I had too. I had to study harder than my students just to know enough to stand in front of them everyday.

Today, it all came back to me. That song, so often taken for granted, means so much. We have so much to be thankful for.

I thought about our forefathers and what they sacrificed to give us a country in which we are free to worship as we choose. And, even though they are probably rolling over in their graves with the thoughts of how we've abused this privilege, it's still a great country.

I thought of my grandpa, a veteran, who would have loved seeing this program and knew he was probably watching from heaven. I thought of my Uncles Mike and Jim, also veterans who were watching from their heavenly seats as well. I thought of my Uncle Dick, who is retired from the military. I thought of Mark and June, who are currently serving in this war. I thought of all the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect this gift we've been given. I thought of all the men and women who gave their lives doing the same.

The theme here is that I thought. What a difference that makes.

Have you thanked your veteran or soldier today?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Show and Tell

Mackenzie has been begging to bring Charming to Show and Tell at school since she got him for her birthday. Today I finally gave in. She was proud and Charming was fairly calm for the energetic young kitten he is. Way to go guys!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rome Trip: Day 5, Part 2

I think this may be why I did not cry too much at the ordination. I had a priest friend's camera and had to take pictures, which is no easy task in St. Peter's. And, just for the record, all of the photos from Part 1 were taken by the official Vatican photographer, not me.

We didn't have much time after the ordination because there was another service shortly after ours. We did, however, take time for a family photo with the newly ordained Reverend Mr. Aaron.

That night, Aaron arranged for all of his guests to eat at a restaurant down the hill from the NAC. I was so proud of him. He planned (and paid for) the whole thing. And, I have to say, it was my favorite meal. The main course was roasted veal that was out of this world.

In spite of the late nights, early mornings, little sleep and loads of walking, the kids hung in their like champs - always, with smiles on their faces. These are my cousin’s children, Grace and Sam, who are the same ages as my Mackenzie and Aiden.

Rome Trip: Day 5, Part 1

This gives you some idea of how many people were present for the ordination, not to mention how truly awesome it was.

Here Aaron is promising obedience to the Bishop.

This is him receiving the Gospels. When the bishop gives it to the men he says, "Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach."

This is the actual moment of ordination. It still gives me chills. I can not describe the event well enough to give it justice. What I do know is that something in my brother changed at this moment and he will never be the same again.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Isn't God Good!

I've had some time to reflect on Aiden's rock incident and I think I've learned something.

I had already planned to use Friday as my retreat planning day (none too soon since it started Saturday!). Consequently, I had built in a few hours to pray and get my thoughts together - just for the record, I had been THINKING about the retreat for several weeks. Anyway, I think God showed me something between taking my friend to pick up her van and writing my talk.

Aiden’s action, did not change the way I feel about him. I love him regardless of the effects of his bad decision. I know he didn't mean to do it. I know his heart is in the right place. I also know he can't pay for the window, so I did because I'm his mom and that's what I do.

We are all God's children and heaven knows, we've probably all picked up some rocks along the way. In fact, we've probably thrown a few just to see what would happen. The results, unfortunately, are not pretty.

In spite of this, in spite of us and our silly, stupid mistakes, God loves us. Our actions do not make Him love us any less. Sure, there are consequences to deal with, but He is always there to help us out. He is always willing to give us a big hug and tell us how much He loves us. And, when the debt is more than we can pay on our own, He pays it for us.

Isn't God good!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Retreat Report

Thanks for all of the prayers. The retreat was fantastic. I don't think I've ever spoken in front of a more welcoming and receptive group of people.

I have to admit that when I got out of the car and the first two groups of women I saw were much older than I am, I got nervous. What could I possible tell these women that they didn't already know? Why would they want to hear from someone like me? I've always spoken to youth before, never adults. My heart was racing as I prepared to speak.

But, as always, God was God and He spoke through me. I can't describe it any other way. What a humbling experience it is. How encouraging and inspiring it was to share Jesus with others.

Talking about my own personal journey in prayer served to remind me of how very blessed I am - how much God loves me, in spite of me. It is amazing how instantly you can get to know someone when you have God in common.

Consequently, my faith was built. I am in the kitchen baking like crazy for a shower I forgot I was helping to give...TONIGHT. But, I am peaceful. In fact, I'm joyful. The praise music is blaring in the background and the boys are quietly building with Lego's. My life is good because Jesus loves me and I am so grateful that He lets me tell other people about that!

Friday, November 03, 2006

What Happens When Women Pray

I'm leaving in an hour to go to a retreat for two parishes in my diocese. In fact, I'm not actually attending. I am one of the keynote speakers.

The theme is What Happens When Women Pray. I can't wait to talk about my faith with other women. I hope I get to do it more often.

One request. Will all of you women out there who read this please pray for me to speak God's words? Pray for all of the women attending this retreat that they will hear what God wants them to hear.

I know you will and that gives me one more way to demonstrate what happens when women pray.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Viva La Difference

Okay, okay. I know boys will be boys. But really, does that have to involve throwing a rock and knocking out the back windshield of a friend's minivan?

I was standing there talking to my friend when I heard the crash. I looked up to see a hole in the back window, glass all around and Aiden standing there frozen. I was so taken back by the whole scene that I didn't even yell at him. It was such a big deal that I didn't know what to do.

My friend was more than gracious. She didn't even appear upset. I, however, was absolutely mortified. "Why, oh why, do these things have to happen?" I ruminated all afternoon.

When I finally got home and checked the messages, I heard one from Mackenzie's music teacher at school. I returned the call still feeling, well I don't know, just feeling.

"Hi," she said cheerfully. "I was wondering what you would think about Mackenzie singing a solo at the Christmas pageant this year."

"Oh," I said slowly switching gears. "I think she'll do just fine. She never shies away from the spotlight, no matter the size of the crowd," I answered her.

"Yes," she responded still cheerful and a bit excited. "I think she'll be wonderful. Do you think she can learn two verses of Silent Night by heart?"

"No problem. She'll love it."

"Okay. If it goes well, maybe she can just sing the whole thing."

I hung up the phone with a smile on my face. God came to my rescue again. I love Aiden and know he didn't break the window on purpose or maliciously. I love Mackenzie and know she will be thrilled to be in the spotlight.

So there it is. A day with the boy. A day with the girl. I love them both. Viva la difference!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy All Saints' Day!

Last night we took the kids to an All Saints' Day party. I am so grateful for this opportunity to recognize one of the Church's greatest and most forgotten Feast Days. I read a really great article from Catholic Update about the origin of Halloween and the Church's attempt to bring some holiness to the holiday. It made perfect sense to me.

Because of our choice to celebrate this way, the kids and I learned more about a few saints we were familiar with as well as one I had never even heard of before I went to Rome.
Aiden was St. Longinus, the soldier who pierced the side of Christ at the Crucifixion. He converted when darkness fell over the land at Christ's death. "Truly this man was the Son of God" (Matt 27:54). He became a monk and converted many people in his 38 years of service. He was martyred by order of Pontius Pilate. There is a beautiful statue of him in St. Peter's in Rome.

Dawson was St. Sebastian, a popular choice for this feast day. He was Captain of the Guard in the Imperial Roman Army. He usually appears with arrows stuck in him because once he was found to be a Christian, the emperor had him tied to a tree, shot full of arrows and left for dead. He not only survived, but went back to that very emperor to preach to him. Consequently, he was beaten to death.
Mackenzie chose St. Clare of Assisi since she had been to Assisi. A little known fact we learned about her is that at the end of her life, when she was too ill to attend mass, visions of the service used to appear on her cell wall. Thus, she is the patroness of television.

What a wonderful opportunity to teach my children about some true heroes. I went to the party as the mother of future saints. Hopefully, as they learn more and more about these holy men and women, they will strive to emulate them.