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An unexpected "Thank you!"

Shamiel, our friend in Lahore, Pakistan,
received his May Catholic, today.
What a kind "Thank You!"
We remember in our prayers
all the brave Catholics in Pakistan.

We offer our full solidarity and communion with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

"This is precisely the moment in which to demonstrate esteem and appreciation for the Holy Father and the service he carries out; to show full solidarity with him and thus, to demonstrate communion, unity, and coherence with how this situation is dealt with".
Fr. Lombardi, S.J.
Press Officer of the Holy See.
referring to the Vatican Leaks.
Oremus. ~ Let us pray.

For God's Holy Church
Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine,
preces placatus admitte:
ut, destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis,
secura tibi serviat libertate. 
Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
Graciously hear, O Lord, the prayers
of Thy Church that,
having overcome all adversity and every error,
she may serve Thee in security and freedom. 
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.


Oremus. ~ Let us pray.

Pro Papa. ~ For the Pope.
Deus omnium fidelium pastor et rector,
famulum tuum Benedictum quem pastorem
Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti
propitius respice; da ei quaesumus verbo et exemplo,
quibus praeest, proficere;
ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito,
perveniat sempiternim.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
O God the shepherd and ruler of all the faithful,
look with favour upon Thy servant Benedict
whom Thou hast been pleased to appoint pastor over Thy Church:
grant him, we beseech Thee,
that by word and example he may be of profit
to those over whom he has been placed,
and together with the flock committed to his care,
attain unto life everlasting.
Through Christ our Lord.

Busy Bodies

Our kids (as I'm sure all kids do) need to be constantly entertained. Yes, they can sit and watch a video and play independently with their toys. But they also need to be stimulated. This toddler thing is so new to me. There are days when I'm scrambling to keep their little hands busy and their little minds entertained.

This weekend it is my mission to make them each a busy box to help with some of these rainy days where we've been stuck inside for a week and even our toys stopped being fun. I also think they'll be great to have when we have errands to run which require our kids to be independently entertained (i.e. a lot of these vendor meetings we've been dragging them off to for the new house).

I have a bazillion ideas about things to do with the kids, but I often feel limited by doing these things by myself (i.e. berry picking, our animal farms, etc.) since the kids are so determined to exercise their independence and I worry about their safety in public places. I've been trying to branch out more and just wing things. It's not always as hard as I have it built up in my head.

My friend Gina is amazing at entertaining her toddlers. The stuff she thinks up, oh my god. I want her to be MY mommy. I need to get on her page. (G, if you are reading this, I'm about to email you for help. Ha!) So, dear mommies out there, what do you do to keep your kids stimulated and learning. Stuff both inside and outside would be great. I'm in need of some serious help here.

Mini Matisse(s)

We had some finger paint left over from my wonderful mother's day gift that the babies made me, so while Joe and I set about to some yard work over the weekend, the kids painted us some beautiful pictures. I thought for sure this was something they'd do independently and run with it. Especially since they finger paint with their dinner so often :/ But they were both so apprehensive. 

So instead of doing yard work we painted with them. And by with them, I mean on them. Hey, why not? 

Reese decided that using her toes was better than using her fingers because then she could paint herself and the canvas at the same time.

{ Reese's masterpiece }

Ryan pretty much lost interest after two minutes of painting. And found an old bubble wand to amuse himself with. That lost his attention shortly thereafter and he decided to go back to playing in the dirt with his Dad. Boys are a funny breed.

After we got the kids cleaned up we took them for a walk in their cozy coupes. I forgot to bring the camera with me, but this is a (terribly colored, but oh so cute) picture that I shot right before we left. Little diva baby. I can't stand her lately, she just kills me with her little personality. She's feisty and opinionated like I am, but independent like Joe. It's an interesting combination.

Both kids fell asleep while we were pushing them in their cars. At one point Ryan slumped forward and honked the horn with his face and kept sleeping. What a riot. 

Ryan's Clothes

I'm putting together all of Ryan's stuff to start selling this week. Our house goes on the market in three weeks so I'm hoping to have everything posted and sold in that time frame. We have PJ's and clothes from newborn all the way up to 12-18 months that will be posted. Some things (like pajamas and seasonal clothes) will be sold in lots. I am still trying to figure out whether or not to post some of Reese's items that Lola will likely not be able to use based on the time of year. I'll likely unload some of her 3-6 month summer items, so if you're looking for girl clothes be sure to check in periodically over the next month.

I should have the PJ's up on the resale blog later today, feel free to email me with any questions. 

Across the fields and throughout the centuries they keep coming.

Father Anthony Mary with some of the pilgrim priests
before they leave
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

Pilgrim priests
throngs of pilgrims.
Pilgrims of all ages
and especially
the young here kneeling.
Mass and Holy Communion
before they leave.
Pilgrims kneeling
before setting off.
The Standard of the Cross 
and Our Lady 
leading the thousands ever onwards.
Yes, we know these as they set out.

Procession to Mass in the fields.
A long procession.
Franciscans of the Immaculate beside our Brothers.
Tom Esteban, Br. Seelos, Br Clemens...
Holy Mass.
and Communion
O Esca Viatorum ~ O Food of men wayfaring...
Through the fields
they pilgrimage onwards
an image of the Church pressing on through the ages
these fields saw pilgrims last century
and two hundred years ago pilgrims passed here...
...five hundred years ago it was the same Church, doing the same thing...
doing what their ancestors in the faith did 100 years before them
in 1400 A.D.... and 1300 A.D.
  ... in 1200 AD it was the same story of pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres;
the days of prayer and 75 miles on foot as penance for sins;
prayer and penance in action, 
a proclamation of the Kingship of Christ.
The Cathedral is packed with pilgrims.
Many are still quite young.

See how the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres is overflowing with them...
...and after this our exile
show uto us the blessed fruit of Thy Womb,
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Happy Memorial Day

I started writing this post on Wednesday and like most things in my life right now, it slipped through the cracks and I just remembered to hit publish today. Too late for those fun barbecues, but still worth sharing.

I made this bean salad as a side for dinner. It was wayyyyy more than our family of four could eat in a sitting, but everyone devoured it with a smile. And healthy food that everyone eats makes mama happy. This would be a great dish to bring to a barbecue, especially on a holiday weekend like this one!

If you're going to transport it you may want to wait until you get where you're going and then top it with the avocados so they stay fresh and green looking. The lime in the recipe will only take them so far :)

Happy Memorial Day, friends. And to our fellow military families (yes, we're one too!), thank you for your sacrifice.

Pinto, Black and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado


1 cup halved heirloom grape or cherry tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt, divided

3 ears shucked corn

1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1 jalapeño pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil $

Cooking spray

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 diced peeled avocados


1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

2. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.

3. Brush corn, onion, and jalapeño evenly with oil. Place vegetables on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill corn for 12 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 6 minutes. Grill onion slices and jalapeño 8 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 4 minutes. Let vegetables stand 5 minutes. Cut kernels from cobs. Coarsely chop onion. Finely chop jalapeño; discard stem. Add corn, onion, and jalapeño to tomato mixture; toss well. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and next 4 ingredients (through kidney beans) to corn mixture; toss well. Top with avocado.

Update of Chartres Pilgrimage.

Fr. Anthony Mary, F.SS.R. hearing Confessions 
during the Great Pilgrimage to Chartres.
(Thanks to Thomas Em via Facebook).

Glorious Dawn follows a long night of Vigil.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

The Deaconing Ordination
Vigil of Pentecost
26 May, 2012.

Te Deum laudamus...We praise thee, O God :
    we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee :
    the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud :
    the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.

Jesus and Mary go with ye!

Afore ye go.
Fr. Anthony Mary and the Brothers
before they depart for the 80 mile pilgrimage
between Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
and Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres, France.
The pilgrimage begins tomorrow 
and closes on Monday 28, May. 

With banners flying. 
Br. Seelos bearing the banner of
the Most Holy Redeemer on Golgotha.
The sturdy wooden banner hafts were made 
by our friend Surik. Thank you!

  "Make Her known!"
Blessed Pius IX gave Redemptorists the command
to "Make Her known".
Mr. Esteben with the banner of 
the Mother of Perpetual Succour.

"Few but good!"
The little band takes to the sea to join 
the throng of 15,000 pilgrims.

In this storm battered boat 
they are an image of a missionary monastery:
a religious family afloat on the sea of the world 
holding aloft the banners of Jesus Crucified 
and Most Holy Mary;
They are making for the Port of Salvation themselves,
and they want to take others with them, as they go.
Afore ye go, and when ye go, and as ye go:
Jesus and Mary go with ye!

First World Problems

In a conundrum that can only be classified as a first world problem, I'm struggling to pick stone, siding and an exterior door for the new house. We need to pick these out in the next three weeks. I'm stuck. And my biggest problem is that I don't visualize things well, I can't just imagine what something will look like. I actually need to see it first.

Our home's exterior is craftsman in style. As part of our build for our neighborhood we need to incorporate stone on the exterior. And we also added other craftsman-like details, such as 6-lite windows over blank panes and shake mixed with traditional siding.

One of the things that is weighing heavily on me is that the stone we select for the exterior will also be inside our home on our fireplace. I've been using this image as inspiration for what that wall in the great room will become. Although their colors are much warmer than we're leaning toward.

AP Savino | Traditional Shore

This is sort of the color palette that we have in mind, just really cool grays and lots of natural elements.

I really like monochromatic exteriors, where the siding and the stone seem to blend together and the door just sort of melts into the exterior.

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I especially like this look when dark wood elements are incorporated. I've seen dark front doors, garage doors, beadboard ceilings and shakes.

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I saw this door when we were out door and window shopping last week and instantly fell in love. Of course, the door costs $13,500. OMFG. So...I'm hoping to find something sort of like it for 1/10 of the price, if that's even possible.

And while I was looking for examples of monochromatic stone and siding, I found examples in the completely opposite direction. Mixed palettes and still stunning.

{ via }

And by mixing warm and cool colors we would *possibly* have more stone to choose from. We went to our stone vendor over the weekend and there wasn't a lot to look at in the showroom, so we left with a catalog and a style that we liked better than the others - Cobblefield - it's not quite as natural in shape or appearance as some of the these inspiration houses are, and that's disappointing. But it's not compact, round or stacked which are all looks that we're trying to avoid.

These are two of the stones we have available to us -- Gray and San Francisco -- that we are strongly considering. The other stones available to us through our builder (all are Owens Corning cultured stone) just don't seem to fit our taste. But I feel somewhat limited by these colors and styles, and that's where my biggest issue comes in. How do I bring these pictures to life with these two stones? And what will they look like INSIDE my house.

{ carriage house via }

I honestly think this is the hardest decision I've had to make with this house so far. It seems so (obviously) permanent and it's the first thing people will see about our home. I also feel kind of bound by the seeming lack of choices for stone. I wish I could see what this will look like; or at least imagine it.

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