There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Playing doctor?

 Matthew doesn't feel well today. You know the drill; achy, fever, tummy ache. So I asked his brother the
Special Forces Medic to take a look in his ears and throat just in case there is a need to take him up to the Dr. before they close for the day.  Watching him in action didn't instill a lot of confidence in his mother's heart.
Of course it is his brother that he was examining and Matthew is not really seriously ill so....

I guess that leaves a lot of room for some brotherly horsing around.

Does that mean that Matthew can't feel too bad or that his big brother has the magic touch?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa's work may never be done but....

This elf is done with this particular assignment.  Below are the dresses that I created for a little girl's American Girl doll.  I hope that she has fun with these outfits and that her doll looks stunning in them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Did you think you were going to take a nap, dad?

Not when Layn is around!

Ater lunch, when the men have been working hard, they like to take a short nap before going back outside to work.  Layn doesn't like that idea, not one bit.  His daddy is there and available to play with him so forget about this whole sleep business. Besides, how can you resist such cuteness?

There really are no words...

no words to describe the rightness of having small children in the house

Who cares about the messes, the joy on their faces....

and the squealing of their voices is enough to cover all the messes.

Too soon they are all grown and gone and these opportunities vanish.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Decking them halls.

Today Matthew and Brett went outside to hang the Christmas lights on the front of the house for me.  While they were out there I couldn't resist going out to see how things were going.  They both have a unique way of doing things.

Matthew chose to forego the ladder and simply hung from the rafter by one hand and manipulated the lights with the other.  I could visualize the headlines: Boy Knocked Unconscious While Decking the Halls!!

Brett is the "Discretion is the better part of valour" type.  He stayed on terra firma and "critiqued" Matthew's work.

Me and Santa!

I was recently hired to play Santa and make some American Girl style outfits for a doll that a little girl is getting for Christmas.  The doll is the character Kitt whose story is from the 1930's.  I checked out the website and selected some of the fashions pictured there. 

Pictured here is the nightgown for Kitt and my attempt to copy it.  Not too bad since I was using only a picture and adapting a pattern.

This is one of the dresses pictured for Kitt and my attempt to copy it.  Again I was going by the picture and adapting a pattern.
That's two down and three more outfits to go.  Santa and I have been spending a lot of together and it doesn't look like we are going to part company any time soon.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Safely home and profoundly thankful.

I returned from South Carolina Saturday evening.  The funeral for my father was not only extremely devout, the way that he would have wanted it to be, but also the vast majority of his family was there.  After the funeral two of my sons and his eldest son formed an honor guard and presented my mother with the American flag in honor of my father's service in the Air Force.  Another of my brothers played Taps on his trumpet.  My dad would have warred with his humble self and the justified pride he felt at seeing his progeny thus displayed.
After that bit of ceremony was over a good time was had by all celebrating the life of a man who started out as an orphan, carried a desire for a large family, and managed to attain not only his dream but to accomplish all that and pass on his deep and abiding faith in God.
And so we all return to our lives saddened because we personally miss the man who raised us and set us on the courses that we follow today and yet so much more because he was the man that he was.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.  AMEN.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord.

Theodore Pelicano, 74, of Liberty, SC, died Saturday, November 26, 2011 after a lengthy illness.

Born in Blairsville, PA on May 27, 1937, he served in the US Air Force and retired from General Electric, where he worked as a Components Engineer until 1992. He was a long-time member of Our Lady of Good Counsel parish in Verona, NY and, most recently, of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, SC.

Surviving are his wife of 53 years, Mrs. Theodore (Carol) Pelicano of Liberty; 8 children; 42 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

The funeral Mass will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Greenville, SC on Friday December 2, 2011 at 12 noon. Contributions may be made to Hospice of the Upstate in Memory of Theodore Pelicano by calling (864) 224-3358.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yes! I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

     I am thankful that I can cook.  I am thankful that God has once again, in his wisdom and mercy seen fit to provide this family with, in the immortal words of Charles Dickens, "Meat and drink and a bit of warmth this holiday season." 
     I am immensely thankful that there will be many members of my family physically around the table and the missing few will be there in spirit. 
     I thank God daily for the guiding wisdom that he gives to my husband and the prayerful and godly children that we have raised. 
     My prayer for the coming year is one of continued awareness of the blessings that surround me and that I respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the grace that God is giving to be a blessing to those that I serve.

Monday, November 14, 2011

This moment

A moment to truly be caught, saved and savored. My son the newly minted green beret and my father, the patriarch of this family, waiting patiently to meet his Lord and Savior.

Monday, October 31, 2011

His first Jack o' Lantern

We don't do Halloween here. It is just too much of a paganization of a beautiful Catholic feast.  We do celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day.  However there is nothing wrong with carving a few pumpkins and putting them out to decorate the landscape.  Yesterday Ian and Melissa helped Layn carve his first Jack O'Lantern.  He was not only truly into it but he enjoyed eating the roasted seeds after and seeing it lit up.

He wanted to clean that thing out all by himself, thank you very much!

I am glad that Ian didn't let him wield the knife though. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

It is getting cold out there.

It is right and proper to pray, always.

This has been copied and pasted from a friend's blog. Please join me in praying for this most worthy intention.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Special Novena Intention to St. John Bosco

Labels: Prayers, Saints

The following letter is from our son's pastor, a priest our family feels honored to know (especially Gabey who shares a name-patron, and any of our our boys who've enjoyed his company at Boys' Camp):

Dear Friends in Christ,

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

Could I ask your help in praying for a special intention? The prayers for this novena, which will start today, are at the end of this email. The reason for it is as follows.

In 1847 St. John Bosco wrote a book of prayers and spiritual advice for youth called The Companion of Youth. It was his best-seller so to say. During his lifetime it went through 122 printings and three editions (The first had 352 pages and the 3rd had grown to 520 pages). Each printing was about 50,000 copies.

In his Memoirs of the Oratory St. John Bosco speaks of this book as follows: “Another need showed up: a prayer book suitable for the times. There is no shortage of prayer books which have been put together by excellent people and are available to everyone. But, on the whole, these books were written for educated people, for adults, and most of them could be used by Catholics, Jews, or Protestants. Seeing how insidious heresy was spreading quietly every day, I undertook to compile a book suitable for the young, adapted to their religious ideas, based on the Bible, and setting out the foundations of the Catholic religion clearly and concisely. This was The Companion of Youth.”

In 1851 St. John Bosco added another section called “Fundamentals of the Catholic Religion”. It had been published earlier as a separate pamphlet. Speaking of this pamphlet he said: “Its aim was to put Catholics on the alert lest they let themselves be caught in the nets of the heretics. Its distribution was extraordinary; in two years it sold more than two hundred thousand copies. This pleased the good, but it enraged the Protestants, who had begun to think that they had the field of evangelization all to themselves.” He also wrote to a friend: “If you get involved in these booklets you're sacrificing any support you might have from La Gazzetta del Popolo [a violently anti-Catholic newspaper], and maybe from others. This booklet, tiny as it is, is a nuisance to them, and they would just love to burn any copies they can get hold of.”

The book was translated into English for the first time in 1938, then again in 1955. Later revised or incomplete translations were published by the Salesians after they had become very liberal. These included changes in the Mass. Neither the old and complete translations, nor the new are in print, except for some small excerpts in another work. They are almost impossible to obtain (the Salesian publishers in NY did not even have a copy of the 1938 edition in their archives).

I obtained a copy of the 1938 edition to scan and have compared it with the 101st Italian printing (3rd edition, the most complete one published by St. John Bosco). It is a complete and accurate translation. The only omission is the Vespers of Our Lady, Vespers for the whole year, and the Office of the Dead. These were left out in order to keep the size small and because they can be obtained from many other prayer books.

There are so many of our youth today who could benefit from this book, if we could only get it in their hands. Unfortunately, due to a change in copyright law in 1996, the book is still in copyright (owned probably by the Salesians). Could you join me and a couple hundred others to whom this email is being sent in praying this novena from today, October 27th to November 4th to get permission to republish this work?

The prayers below are selected from several novena prayers to St. John Bosco which were added to the 1938 edition of The Companion of Youth. Could you pray at least one of them each day of the novena? Thank you in advance, and may God reward you abundantly for this act of zeal for the souls of the young!

In Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Gabriel

Novena prayers for permission to reprint St. John Bosco’s book, The Companion of Youth: prayers and spiritual advice for the youth.

O glorious St John Bosco, by that great love which thou didst bear towards Youth, of which thou didst make thyself Father and Teacher, and by the heroic sacrifices thou didst bear for its salvation, obtain for us, that we also may love with a holy and generous love this chosen portion of the Heart of Jesus and that in every child we may see the adorable person of our Divine Savior.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

O glorious St John Bosco, who didst love the virtue of purity with a love of predilection, and who didst inculcate it by word, writing, and example, obtain that we too, enamored of so indispensable a virtue, may practice it constantly and diffuse it by every means in our power.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

O glorious St John Bosco, who wert ever so compassionate towards human miseries, look down upon us, so greatly in need of thine aid; pray that the maternal blessings of Mary, Help of Christians may descend upon us and upon our families ; obtain for us all the spiritual and temporal favors of which we stand in need ; intercede for us in life and in death, so that we, too, eternally may sing the Divine mercies in Paradise.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

Prayer to Mary, Help of Christians

Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin, Help of Christians, we consecrate ourselves entirely to Thee and we promise always to labor for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls. We pray Thee to turn thine eyes of pity on the Church, priests and missionaries; on our relatives and benefactors; on the youth confided to our care; on poor sinners and the dying, and on all the souls in Purgatory. Teach us, O most tender Mother, to copy in ourselves the virtues of St. John Bosco, particularly his angelic modesty, profound humility and ardent charity.

Grant also, O Mary, Help of Christians, that through thy powerful intercession we may be victorious over the enemies of our souls in life and in death, so that with Saint John Bosco we may be gathered round Thee in thy home in heaven. Amen.

Ejaculation: Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us. (300 days indulgence.)

PS: Also our family is adding the intention to this novena of the spiritual well-being of all our young people, but especially our sons, that prayer being the mission of St. John Bosco's life. (We like to "Pile On" in our novenas... :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today's post is brought to you by Benadryl

There are great number of people who look at cats and think, "Oh, how cute and cuddly!" Then these same people look at someone like me and wonder if I have come unhinged because I see cats and all I think is, "Degenerate creature of darkness!"
I don't see the above image when I see cats.

I see this image.  I see the progression from itchy swollen eyes to clogged throat to blocked lungs to eyes that no longer open to their normal amount. 
Why am I saying all this? Because one of the confounded creatures got into our garage today and its dander got into our kitchen where I was sitting minding my own business.  Within seconds of closing the door between the garage and kitchen this is what I looked like.
Benadryl, take me away!

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, October 14, 2011

Something is killing the fish!

At one time we had a thriving tank full of fish now something is killing off the fish! One by one they are turning over onto their backs and and kicking the proverbial bucket.

We used to have a sucking fish like this guy.  He started out about 1 1/2 inches long when I brought him home from the pet shop.  He was affectionately known as Mr. Suck (self-explanatory).  When Matthew tried to flush him this morning he had to be a good 6-7 inches long.
I said tried to flush because he is currently stuck in our toilet which is prohibiting its use by anyone else in the family.
RIP Mr. Suck!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My latest endeavors.

I only recently learned how to knit and I am far from accomplished at that.  I have been crochetting for a long time but only recently have been able to read a pattern.  I remember my mother and grandmother teaching me how to crochet.  Since I am left-handed they had me stand facing them to learn.  Little do they know that I crochet right-handed the way that they did. Oh well, who's to blame? 
This little poncho is a pattern I found in a book in WalMart of all places.  I made it in an afternoon (when I should have been researching for my final paper!).  All that is left to do is make the little flowers that go on the bottom.  This was so easy and comes in four sizes.  I am thinking of making it for sale in my shop.

This little sweater is one I found online.  This was a little more difficult to figure out but I managed.  I tried it on Layn to see how it looked and he has become quite attached to it.  I am really glad that I made it in blue.  I'd hate see Ian's reaction if he had become attached to the pink one that I am working on now.  It is nice to have something to occupy my hands in the evening.  I used to spend the time smocking or quilting but my patience and eyesight won't let me do that now so I am glad that I still remember how to crochet.  Now I need to finish the nursing shawl that I started last fall.

This moment.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The richness of fall

Autumn is ususally thought of as a season of death and dormancy.  With the falling of the leaves and the bringing in of the harvest there is a distinct air of completion about the whole season.  I have found however that if you look closely enough there is an unexpected richness and abundance about fall that goes beyond the bounty of the harvest.

Out in the barn life is in full swing.  Both Mary-Kate's and Melissa's sows farrowed last week.  The simplicity and earnestness with which the animals go about the business of life is a richness in itself.  There is no awareness of the coming of the cold in the pens where the mothers and babies live.  There is only a calm that pervades the air and a sense of purpose as the piglets nurse and the sows get down to the business of raising their young.
Even in the gardens, though they have been stripped bare of the summer's bounty there remains the hint of newness and promise.

The hydrangeas bravely flower and hold their heads up in spite of the two or three frosts that we have experienced.  The depth of color in their foliage and the delicacy of the blooms proclaim a defiance of the coming snows.

The lawns continue to grow and shout out their lush green hurrah of the last warm weekend of the season.  It will not be overcome by frost or dismal days, the rich green spears seem to cry out.

The leaves on the trees hang on until the very end and, though the colors deepen and surrender their summer shades, the suppleness of youth is in the bright colors as well as the green.

Even my roses defy the temperatures and burst into a final glorious show before yielding to the barrenness of the winter. 

The gloominess of the day cannot dim the vibrancy of the show that God displays for my pleasure.  "Sit here and soak it in," that bench seems to beckon. 

I wonder, does the need to soak it all in, to save the beauty and splendor, infuse the young as well as the old?