/> Raising Angels: November 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

No Better Way to Give Thanks

This is the picture you get when you tell them, "Okay, look holy."
We started our Thanksgiving gathering with a mass in our home.
My brother said the mass and my boys served.
There are so many things to be thankful for during this season, but having a brother who's a priest say a mass in my home that is big enough to host both of our family meals, surrounded by my beautiful family certainly top the list.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Umm...Kind Of

Setting the table for round two of Thanksgiving today Mackenzie asked me, "Mama, are we going to use the Chinese plates again?"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Track Mind

Dawson accompanied me on three shopping trips yesterday to gather groceries for the Thanksgiving feast. One bag (which included ice cream for the pie) got left at the store, which involved a trip back to re-shop for the items they didn't give to us.

Today I asked him, "So Dawson do you know what Thanksgiving is all about?"

"Ice cream!" he shouted happily.

"Well, I mean...what do we do on Thanksgiving?" I offered as a rephrasing.

"We eat ICE CREAM!"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Some Moms Might Agree

Tonight at dinner Nelson commented on the classical music that was playing in the background.

"It sounds like an orchestra," Mackenzie added. "We're learning about orchestras."

"Oh? Tell me what you know about them," I said in true curiosity.

She went on to explain what they are and then answered questions about each section and its included instruments. Nelson quizzed her on the strings, brass and woodwinds.

"Okay," he continued, "what another section?" She appeared stumped so he helped her out a little. "It's the one with the drums."

"Oh!" she realized with delight. "That's the persecution section."

Please Pray

for the soul of my Uncle Tom who died tonight. May his soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saint and Swords

This morning Dawson and I were reading a children's book of saints. It included a picture and sample of 10 different saints. We started with Mary and Joseph. Next in line was Joan of Arc pictured in a suit of armor holding a sword.

"She won the battle but was later killed because she believed in God," I explained.

Dawson's eyes got wide as he asked, "She got killed?"

"Yes, they used to kill people who believed in God."

We continued to Saint Paul, who was also depicted with a sword. "People didn't like him talking about God so they killed him."

"He was killed too?" he asked in surprise. Then the little wheels started turning. He flipped back to the cover of the book which had little pictures of each of the saints. "So she was killed?" he wanted to know as he pointed to Saint Joan of Arc.


"And he wasn't?" as he pointed to St. Joseph. "And she wasn't?" pointing to Mary. And he went on to each of the ten in the same way.

"That's right buddy," I said, impressed that he remembered all of them.

"So...all of the ones with swords were killed and...all of the ones without swords weren't."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Totally Bummed

Tonight I am bemoaning the fact that two weeks ago I lost my digital camera. I took it to a high school football game, left it in the bleachers and now it is gone. It makes me upset because it's no one’s fault but mine. I had it and then in the hustle and bustle of trying to get the kids and their drinks and coats out of the stadium and up the giant bleachers, I forgot it.

What makes me even sadder is that no one has turned it in. It has our name and address on it. We made announcements about it at the following week's game and still no camera. It wasn't there when the people cleaned out the bleachers which means that someone saw it and took it.

If it was cash, I could understand but this is an expensive item that is labeled with my name. The pictures on it include some of my brother who teaches and coaches at the school so it would be easy to find us if someone were trying...but they're not.

I've prayed and prayed and prayed. The more I think about it the more upset I get. If it were me, I would go out of my way to try to return it. It's almost the Christmas season for crying out loud. Where's that spirit of kindness? SIGH.

That being said, looks like I'll be getting a camera for Christmas. Any recommendations?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Car Thoughts

Today I was driving down the road listening to the questions from the back seat once again. Only today the questions were from Dawson and the babbling was from Max. There was a brief flash back to not so long ago when it was Aiden asking the questions and Dawson doing the babbling. And now Aiden has gone off to kindergarten and there's a new kid in the infant seat.

I can't even remember what the particular line of questioning was today, only the dimples dug into the face that was asking them. I remember that face and the idea that times are changing faster than the days let on.

I suddenly felt a pang of sadness as I saw my life flash forward several years to a time when I might actually ride in the car without anyone to accompany me. I pictured myself in the silence with no questions to answer, no babbling to speak over. I wondered what in the world I would do with that quiet, with that time.

And then as quick as it came the moment was over. I was back in the present day answering the little boy in the back seat. I was happy he was there. I was grateful for my life. I even laughed at the idea of missing the questions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Darling Dawson,

You were born when Mackenzie was barely 4 and Aiden was 15 months old and I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage another baby. That being said, I was sure that God had sent you to us. I was excited to meet you. I felt blessed and privileged to have you as my own.

You came into our lives and were the most peaceful and content baby. You were just what we needed and everyone loved you. You surprised us with your dark skin and black hair. It was if you were trying to prove to us that you were your own person.

You have the most wonderful smile, sweetest dimples and cutest laugh. You have a sensitivity that is beyond your years. You are always concerned about others' feelings and you would give anyone the shirt off of your back.

This was the year you learned to swim; you graduated to the big kids’ class at school and finally made it to a booster seat in the car just like the big kids. You are smart, thoughtful and funny.

I am so blessed to be your mom. I am so glad for the chance to know you. I can’t wait to see how you mature. Happy Birthday!

I love you,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Good Reason to Grow Old

This morning during mass I was explaining (as best I could anyway) the Consecration to Dawson, when he looked at me and asked, "Mama, when do I get to have the Body of Christ?"

"When you're in the second grade," I told him.

"When I'm in kindergarten?" he countered.

"No, second grade."

"When I'm in the first grade?" he asked once again.

"No, second grade."

There was a short pause before he thoughtfully added, "I wish I could be in the second grade right now."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Only a Boy

This morning I was trying to tame Aiden's wild locks before school. I sprayed his hair with water, brushed it and still it would not behave. In fact there was just one stray. It stood up on the top of his head and did a perfect loop.

I laughed at it and turned him towards the mirror so he could see why. "Look at that," I told him and he joined in.

I turned him back towards me and took out the spray bottle again. "What are you doing Mama?" he asked.

"I'm going to fix it for you."

"He put his hand on the bottle and said, "No Mama! I want to show it for show and tell."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Man and His Boots

Tonight we were heading out the door to my mom's when Dawson looked down at his new boots and said, "I bet Bama is going to LOVE my boots!"

"I bet you're right," I agreed. "You remember she gave them to you don't you?"

"She did? I thought Dampa gave them to me."

"Well he did bring them to you, but Bama picked them out."

"Oh," he said, even happier, "I'm going to tell her that I love them more than you!"

"Really?" I asked him, acting a little hurt. "Do you REALLY love those boots more than you love me?"

He thought for a brief moment and answered, "Okay, I'll tell her I love them the SAME as I love you."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Truly Cool

Yesterday at mass we sat towards the front and on the aisle. Since Dawson is the smallest, I posted him on the end so he could watch the procession.

He intently watched each person in the procession but his eyes brightened when recognized the priest coming down the aisle. "That's Father Mike," he whispered excitedly and turned to watch him coming closer to our pew.

And then Father Mike did something that made Dawson’s day. When he caught Dawson's eye, he waved to him. You would have thought he handed Dawson some cash by the way he reacted.

We are so blessed to have two priests at our parish who do things like wave to kids while processing into church. One has been know to perform a magic trick or two in the back of the church to quiet a curious redhead of mine. When my kids greet them after mass, they don't just say hello- they hug them. When the kids play outside at preschool, they stop by to watch or blow bubbles or answer questions.

These acts of kindness to the littlest parishioners they have probably do more to build the church than any homily they preach. They are bringing the faith to the next generation. They are showing the little ones that priests are real people who can have fun AND be holy. They are allowing my children to see a vocation as an option that is actually pretty cool.

As for us, well, we think they are VERY cool.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fashion Approval

Tonight as we were getting into the car Mackenzie looked at me, put both hands out in front of her, moved them back and forth and said, "Mama, we're so uh-huh, uh-huh."

"Really?" I asked with a giggle. "How did we manage that?"

"Well," she said coming towards me, "first you're wearing that cool shirt and you've got that cool jacket on."

"Sweet!" I commented to Nelson as he opened my door. "I just scored some coolness points from my 8 year old."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hoarse-ing Around

I was reading a story to the kids tonight. This is not totally abnormal; however, I have recently lost my voice and sound really terrible.

Unfortunately for all of us the story they picked was on the longer side. About halfway through, Mackenzie leaned over and said, "Mama, try and go ahem," she directed clearing her throat. I tried to no avail.

I read a little further and Dawson said, "Mama, quit talking like that. I don't like the story when you read it that way." Then he added, "Do you still sound worse than you feel?"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Night

On nights like tonight when it would be tempting to feel a sense of doom and gloom for our country, I'm reminded of a saying that a favorite priest friend of ours always used when things went wrong - "Oh well, there's still Jesus."

The fact of the matter is that the world will not end when the elections are over. God will still be in charge and the President is not God. There's no need to worry but there will ALWAYS be a need for prayer.

And that...I can do!

Monday, November 03, 2008


Does anyone know why no titles appear when I post a picture? Does this happen to you?

Pig Pancakes

Something to do when children fail to realize that they can have an extra hour of sleep.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Raising Angels/Saints

If you've been reading here for awhile, you may remember my issue with All Saints Day last year. Interestingly enough, I was not asked back this year. The calendar said Halloween/All Saints Day party so I guess there was an attempt to appease me in that little thing. However, the craft was a spooky spider and everything was Halloween themed with no attention at all to the saints. It made me a little sad.
Friday morning when it was time to get Dawson dressed, he came into my room and said, "Um...Mama, I changed my mind, I want to be Batman."

"Well Dawson, today is All Saints Day and you're going to dress up like the Pope. Remember?"

"Yeah, but I still want to be Batman."

There was a very tiny part of me that wanted to say okay, but I knew that would be a missed opportunity for all of us. "Dawson, you can dress like Batman any day, but today is a day we honor all the holy men and women in our faith. These are people who are truly heroes, people we want to be like. Let's dress like a saint today to remember them."

He agreed and after donning the Pope outfit decided he looked pretty cool. We practiced his Papal Blessing a few times and headed out the door. On the way to school I said a little prayer. I had a feeling he would be the only saint there and I was worried that no one would know who he was or worse yet, make fun of his costume

The classroom was full of animals, army men and skeletons until a tiny Pope walked in and all heads turned. "Wow!" we heard throughout the room, "Look at Dawson!" With all eyes on him he gave out his first official blessing of the day and suddenly was the hit of the party.

When I picked him up, he was still wearing the outfit. Later that night at our neighborhood All Saints Day party, he won first place for his costume. I think he handed out at least 20 blessings. He also won a prize for guessing the correct amount of candy corn in the jar.

Just for the record, I don't have a problem with costumes. I think it's fun to dress up. However, I think All Saints Day is such a missed opportunity to teach our kids about real heroes, to let them delve into the amazing lives of the saints who have built our faith. We could do that everyday for years and still not scratch the surface so I don't think it's too much to ask that our Catholic preschool make the effort to do it for just one day.

God was so faithful to Dawson that day. He was so faithful to me. I think it will be a day Dawson will remember for a long time and I'm glad when he does, he will conjure up images of a shiny Crucifix, a Papal outfit and a pretty darn good Papal Blessing.