Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Is Risen!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

memory lane :: Easter

One of my very favorite pictures of my boys, taken in the spring of 2008.

Monday, March 25, 2013

another college choice

Jake had another college acceptance letter come in the mail today. :)


Boston College. So proud of you Jake!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

weekend lens

Ribbet collage
Tyler home for a week of spring break :: March Madness bringing a house full of high school boys :: Drew playing in the Preview Cup hockey tournament and making the All-Tournament team :: 
pre-game stops to TGI Fridays :: measuring a 6'1" Jake ::
Bella waiting for Tyler's sandwich crusts (she has missed him) :: 
homemade spaghetti and meatballs with the whole family at the dinner table

Friday, March 22, 2013

an ordinary day

I have seen this video before, but was just reminded of it again today when a friend shared it on Facebook. It is such a beautiful reminder to cherish the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days and to savor every minute of the life you have right now.

And as my basement is full to the brim of high school boys watching March Madness, an XBox and music are blaring from another boy's bedroom, and my college boy brings home his huge basket of laundry... I am savoring this moment, counting my blessings and cherishing this ordinary day. My heart is full.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

a magnet

This morning I had an appointment for a cardiac MRI and I have been a bit nervous about it. (A couple of months ago I had a CT scan of the heart and for that test they had to slow my heart rate down using medication in an IV in order to take the pictures that were needed. I was so out of it and really didn't feel well for the rest of the day.) So remembering that appointment and my dislike of doctor's offices in general and my worrying tendencies; I was really not looking forward to this appointment. :)

But God is good! This morning as I opened my Jesus Calling devotion book to today's date, this is an excerpt of what was written on that page: "Trust Me and don't be afraid, for I am your strength and Song... My power is absolutely unlimited! Human weakness, consecrated to Me, is like a magnet, drawing my Power into your neediness. However, fear can block the flow of my strength into you. Instead of trying to fight your fears, concentrate on trusting me..."

I am always so amazed and absolutely love when these 'coincidences' happen and the exact words that I need to hear are shown to me! These words could not have been more perfect for me today and totally gave me peace.

First, I needed to trust God and not to be afraid. And the words: "Human weakness, consecrated to Me, is like a magnet, drawing my power into your neediness" kept playing in my mind as I was laying in that MRI machine for 45 minutes. So comforting and I felt at total peace. I was giving God my fear and He was giving His power to me, like a magnet! So amazing! God is good!

See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation. 
Isaiah 12:2-3

Monday, March 18, 2013

weekend lens :: St. Patrick's Day

Ribbet collage
Ribbet collage
Ribbet collage
Friday night fish fry at Tavern on Grand :: Guinness :: a pizza pie and the movie Life of Pi :: 
All-Star hockey game for Drew :: choosing a kitchen paint color (finally) :: green smoothie :: 
green beer :: corned beef and cabbage dinner :: Jello poke cake

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

a new Pope

As Pope Benedict XVI resigned and the cardinals starting gathering in Rome to elect a new Pope, the entire world followed and watched with anticipation and excitement.

I grew up in the Catholic church and went to Catholic schools through high school, but I would have to say that it was our trip to Rome this past October that has really sparked for me an appreciation and understanding of this historical event.

TV's were turned on this afternoon as news was spreading that white smoke was coming from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and a new Pope had been elected.


The newly elected Pope has chosen the name Francis which is a special name. The name symbolizes poverty and humility and also rebuilder of the church. The name Francis also happened to be my Grandpa's middle name and is also my Mom's middle name- so this gives the name a little more special meaning to our family. And it is a favorite prayer.

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

This has also brought back memories from childhood, when Pope John Paul II visited my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. It was October, 1979 and I was not quite 11 years old. I can't remember a lot of the details, but I do remember waking up very early and waiting on a big farm field for many hours. I remember everyone being very excited when the Pope finally arrived via helicopter and I remember him speaking to the crowd. I remember knowing what a special opportunity that this was and being very excited.

These are a couple of pictures that I took that day with my little Kodak camera. :)



A video that gives more of the story of that day.

"Farmer's everywhere provide bread for all humanity, but it is Christ alone who is the bread of life. He alone satisfies the deepest hunger of humanity. " Pope John Paul II

Monday, March 11, 2013

weekend lens

Ribbet collage
Ribbet collage
Ribbet collage
State Hockey Tournament weekend :: Wild game :: Como Park Conservatory :: flowers :: 
Morelli's Italian Grocery :: volunteer hours at the hockey rink

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

snow day

We woke up this morning to a winter wonderland of 8+ inches of snow...and a snow day for the boys! It is the first time in years that our school district has had a snow day, so needless to say the boys were extremely surprised and very happy when I told them they could turn their alarms off and go back to sleep.

snapshots of our snow day:


snow blowing


shoveling (with doggie supervision watching from inside)



perfect snowy morning with a cup of coffee and time for my bible study


Later in the day the roads were clear and we were able to take Bella to her grooming appointment. She came home all clean and with a nice new haircut topped off with bows and a bandana. :)


We all enjoyed our bonus day off, and Jake summed it up perfectly when he said; 
"I didn't know how much I needed a day off!"

Monday, March 4, 2013

weekend lens :: Notre Dame

After school on Wednesday, we left for an 8 hour road trip to South Bend, Indiana. We were going to try to make it to the Chicago area that evening, but due to snowy and icy conditions we decided to stop in Madison for the evening. Thursday morning we made the rest of the trip


and arrived at Notre Dame. Jake was invited for an admitted student weekend. He would have the chance to meet with an admissions counselor, attend an open house, stay overnight with a current student, and go a couple of classes. This was a great opportunity for Jake to really get a feel for the campus.






The Main Building.


Notre Dame Law School.


Jake sharing some of his many ND Bookstore purchases. (a golf club cover)


(and a hat) :)


Jake spent the afternoon with his student host and we met up with him in the evening for the Admitted Student and Family Open House.


The open house was held in the Rotunda (under the Dome) of the Main Building. The Director of Admissions gave a  warm welcome to the students congratulating them on their acceptance. He then gave a very motivational speech. I wish I could remember all of his words, but his point to the students was that to succeed in school and in life you need to do what you love & where your passion is and you will go far. He also stressed the importance of giving back to your community. Good lessons for everyone to hear.

Then there was time to walk around and talk to professors, student service officers (ROTC) and current students.



Leaving the Open House we walked by the Basilica of the Sacred Heart all pretty at night and Jake met  back up with his student host for the evening.


We stayed at the Inn at St. Mary's which is right near campus. The location was great


where Drew enjoyed the complimentary bathrobe and slippers :)


and also the waffle breakfast. :)


Friday morning we went over the the Compton Ice Arena to see the facility and also to buy tickets for the game that evening.



It is a beautiful rink that was just recently built in 2011.




We then met up with Jake and did some more exploring of the campus.



Touchdown Jesus.





Inside the Basilica of the Sacred Heart- which was absolutely stunning.


We walked over to the Grotto.



And then had dinner at O'Rourkes at Eddy Commons before the hockey game.






The student section was quite entertaining with their changing signs :)


and a leprechaun :)


Look at those gold helmets.


It was fun to be able to see a Notre Dame hockey game and I'm glad that it worked into our schedule.


Saturday morning we headed back to Minnesota, but we had to first make a stop in the Chicago area for our favorite hot dog. :)




A great way to end a fun trip! 

Jake hasn't made his decision on colleges yet as he is still waiting for responses from a few more schools in the next few weeks--but this was a great opportunity for him and to get more of a feel of the student life at Notre Dame.