June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

What made me smile at mass today. Again it is Fr. Peter, James going up with Mama to communion Fr. Peter blessed him with a big cross starting across his eyes and down his forehead. He needed it with the type of mass he was having and then Thomas went up with Daddy and after Fr. Peter blessed him Thomas gave Fr Peter the best smile ever!!! Thomas does give good smiles!!
de Niall Family surrounding Fr. Peter
  While getting annoyed at my 3 year old at mass trying to get him to be obedient at mass I kept reminding him to talk to his guardian angel, Peter, and ask him to help you behave. At the end of mass I just said thanks your guardian angel and didn't say his name. James responds saying "Mama I have 2 guardian angles Peter and guardian angel." He probably does have 2 guardian angles but that is not what I meant at all!
Red Root vine that was killing our privacy trees
Happy Father's Day to my dad, Paul Bell, my husband, Michael Niall, and all the priest and father's out there. Fr. Peter once again made ma laugh today. James was saying Happy Father's Day to Fr. Peter in the sanctuary after mass and Fr. Peter kept saying say it louder. James and Fr. Peter went back and forth for the next 5 minutes down the halls of the abbey!
If you look closely you can see the vines growing crazy especially on the left tree!
And the fence look at it growing wild around the gate!
Still making me smile! Don't worry Fr. Peter you aren't insisting my son disturb and annoy anyone who was trying to pray after mass. I love having the spiritual community around us!! The sanctuary is right behind the chapel at the abbey right were everyone can see and hear.
Looks so much better.

Amazing difference, night and day!
After Mass we planned to go for a hike but daddy wanted to do a little yard work first.  Mama then started to tell daddy about the crazy vines that our garden lady told her was killing the privacy trees in our neighbors yard.  Daddy decided we would take on the project of clearing these tree (our neighbors are an elderly couple).
Hard work pulling the weeds.  They had a thick root,
Mama was even using tools!!
Adriana says "Timber!!" as she pulls on the roots.
  Daddy went to the neighbors and asked if it would be alright to take down these weeds.  It was of course a larger project then we excepted.  It is going to take the whole summer to get rid of this weed and we are so thankful to our garden mentor, Carol, for telling us about this weed.

Finishing up the afternoon weeding!
Even though it is mostly in our neighbor's yard it would take down the privacy trees which benefit us an the fence separating the property.  It was and still is a great way to get to know our neighbors and for our children to see charity in action.  Our neighbors are pleased with the work we got done today.  Daddy was happy on Father's Day even though he didn't go on his hike he climbed a tree and was happy!

Daddy is happy climbing trees!
So is Adriana even though she was scared!

June 18, 2011

Backyard Birds

It took a while before we saw this Robin in her nest in the tree in our backyard

Mama Robin sitting on her baby eggs
It has been an amazing experience having this Robin in our tree.  We have started eating dinner out on our deck.  One night we just happened to look up and spot the Robin quitely watching us.  She is a good Mama protection her babies.  Adriana has enjoyed watching the Robin although James isn't quite sure what to make of her.  He wants her to go away  so we often caught him yelling at her to go away.  Three days ago while cooking on the grill Mama looked up and saw the robin feeding her baby chicks:
Mama Robin and her chicks
Baby robins calling for Mama   

While Mama was watching the robin and babies she took a really bad video:

Mama is amazed at the aw of God's creation. Seeing the daddy Robin feed the babies was so amazing. Really sorry for the poor video but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

It is amazing that Adriana gets to see these robins and babies in our yard. I beleive this is homeschooling at it's best.

June 15, 2011

Dinner with Friends

We have been doing dinner with our friends Ben and Rebecca a few time a month.  It is a great we to switch cooking and enjoy company with friends.  Last night we enjoyed the company of our friends and we ate a delicious summer salad with steak and some lettuce from our garden. 
Lettuce growing in our garden

Adriana and the boys playing just before the Urban's were leaving. 

Leo procrastinating his departure.

Jules adding to the procrastination.

Being silly wanting a ride with Jules

Adriana adding to the silliness

Now Ben joining in on being silly and procrastinating

Not sure Jules was enjoying this as much as the rest, poor Jules
We always enjoy the company of our friends and believe we are fostering friendships together (especially among the men) and among our children. 

Fun Here

Adriana wanted me to have some fun with her hair!! We haven't done this in a long time but because she is older it took half the time. IT was fun and looks really CUTE!!!

Top pf the head

Happily posing and showing off!

Back, her hair is long! 

Left side view

Right side view

I think this is going to be her new summer look! 

What do you think?

In Blogging de Niall

This mom went through a period of everyone including me being sick and got so out the habit of blogging.  I'm going to start blogging again and work backwards in the inportant posts I missed like Adriana's First Communion and Easter.  I was in deNiall so much that I waited until after everyone left on Easter night to get sick.   Sorry for slacking off.  Glad to be getting back to you friends!!!

June 12, 2011

Party with the Repitiles and other Creatures

Happy Birthday to our 4 year old friend
Evan Lucus 

Today we went to join Evan's celebrates!

It was a great party with daddy joining in on the fun (he usually can't join us when we are visiting our friends but it was on a Sunday so he could come this year).

Evan petted every creature that came out!

 Daddy holding Thomas petting the chinchilla. 
 Skunks are fun!
 Adriana and Ruby (Evan's cousin) are the same age and were instant friends.
 All of the children, even Adriana, petted the turtle.  Or is it a tortoise?
 Brave James is petting a taranchula
 And even holding it with glee
Well even Mama had her fun holding a creature
 Evan followed the alligator all around

The dads hanging with the kids
Is Daddy wearing a dunce hat, NO?!?  It is a Toy Story hat!

And we sing "happy birthday" to Evan wearing animal faces!
and of course noise makers!

June 5, 2011

Mama's Away

This weekend Mama went away on retreat for the first time since James was a baby.  It was a long needed get away.  It was so refreshing and Mama hopes she was come back a much better wife and mother. 

On retreat the priest gave at least twelve mediation, there were a few talks, and spiritual direction.  We had mass daily, prayed the rosary, the way of the cross, and much more.  The food is amazing and not only because I didn't have to make it.  Thomas was loved on by all the women around him and mama had  a few breaks to pray!  Mama and Thomas made friends while on retreat and as got to caught up with old friens.  Refreshed with resolutions to work on over the new few weeks or the rest of my life.

The beautiful grounds at Arnonld Hall.

When I got home I got to see the injury James got while Mama was away.  Poor guy fell off a bike speeding (well racing a 4 year old) down a hill. 

While Mama was away she wrone letters for the family.  One of the fun things about the letters are that they have facts about ther retreat!   

Adriana's Letter:

My Beautiful Adriana,

Mama is thinking of you on my retreat.  Thomas misses you but right now he has his friend MaMurph here pushing him in his car.  I was at mass this morning remembering how amazing it is that you can receive Our Lord now.  Whenever I think of my garden I think of how you are probably watering it and tending for maple seeds.  I think of my garden often here because there are also beautiful rhododendron bushes all around.

I was thinking of you again today during our lunch.  We are listening to Fulton Sheen a bishop from the 50’s talk about his life.  He was talking about his own life and how his parents were strict, like yout parents.  Mama and daddy love and as Bishop Sheen recalled from his own life his parents helped him to build character and make him a better person.  This is Mama and daddy’s goal for you.  I am sorry for becoming too angry and overreacting sometimes.  I do not like shouting or spanking you but sometimes spankings are necessary and shouting too sometimes to get you attention.   I do demand obedience out of love.   

It is Saturday morning and I just want to start my day off saying “I love you.”  I am so thankful to God for you my darling daughter.  After the first meditation this morning I realized I need to struggle more against my bad habits and to be a better example for you.  The struggle will be hard but it will help both of us get to heaven.  I would like to be more like Our Lord in discipline, He does not yell or shout but He does spank and give other consequences. 

It is now Saturday afternoon and by this time tomorrow I will be back home with you.  I was just chatting with another mother who has nine grown children.  I was telling her how sometimes I get really angry and shout.   I told her my beautiful daughter gets yelled at the most.  This was her response:  “It seems really hard to be the oldest because you have some much responsibility but bur being the oldest really does have its perks.”  You get to help mama and daddy to start the traditions for our family.  You are able to have friends eat over and come over to play.  You were the first to make you First Holy Communion.  You can carry Thomas around the house.    It really can be fun to be the oldest even if you have responsibility to go along with the perks. 

Now it is Sunday morning after breakfast.  I spoke with you less than an hour ago.  You are a beautiful young girl and I love you.  I want to remind you how much as I have throughout this letter to you, mama and daddy depend on your obedience.   I hope that you were helpful to daddy this weekend.  We do not want to shout at you, as I mentioned earlier but we need you to help us not to yell by being obedient and doing the things we ask the first time.  We also need you to ask it you don’t understand and always ask if anything else needs to be done before you go and play.  You will be rewarded greatly by God for you immediate obedience.

I am going to end now and will see you in a few short hours.  I love you immensely you darling daughter. 


James' Letter

My Dear James,

While out with Our Lord and Thomas this morning I thought of you.  The wind was blowing and it reminded me of how much you have wanted to fly a kite.  I Hope Mama can take you to fly one soon.

Again, I thought of you at my confession when Fr. Sal said sometimes being a mom is a thankless job.  You are always so thankful and I think you learned it from your big sister, Adriana, because she also is very thankful.  I thank God and am grateful also to God for our family gratitude.  Thank you my sweet little man for always so being grateful and using those two words which mean so much, “Thank you.”

My Sweet Little James, I loved hearing your voice last night.  You are so precious.  Fr. Sal gave an awesome example of Heaven’s ride at meditation this morning and I wanted to share it with you.   We were recently talking about Heaven so I found this as a fit for you.  Fr. Sal said “God gives us all a ticket to Heaven but some of us have a stop on our way.  We need to stop to be purified (cleaned) in Purgatory.  While still others of us get derailed and end up in hell.  I hope for all of my children, including you my sweet James, to go to Heaven with maybe a stop in Purgatory. 

My sweet little man, I did not get to talk to you or your sister today, it made me sad but I know you are doing well and God is watching over you.  Daddy did say you ended up at the hospital today because you were having so much fun riding fast on a bike and split your lip open.  I am grateful your guardian angel was there to protect you from more damage.   I only wish I was there to pick you up and kiss you.  My heart aches for you my sweet little man. 

My retreat is coming to an end and I am so glad I am here renewing my commitment to Our Lord but cannot help my desire to want to see you once again.  I Love you my sweet little man. 

Love with all my heart,