I think I can!

Last year, I gave up sweets and the Internet during Lent (except for the Sunday reprieve).  This year, I had myself pretty well convinced that I was not going to be able to do the latter.  Give up the Internet? Can't do it - its my primary resource for homeschooling information and ideas for living out the liturgical year I need it too much - its my main connection to family and friends.   I'll miss too much- its my only link to news and weather.

However, as we move closer to Lent, I can feel my resolve getting stronger.  I think I can do it, I whispered last night.  "I can...I know I can," I declared today. 

Too cool!

Thanks to Angela for posting this on her blog.  I know this video is old and it's not May right now, but I still liked it!!

March for Life 2010

We survived!! 

Actually, everything went incredibly well - friendly people, decent weather, not too much crying!  The boys really did great on the bus trip and received many compliments.  Gregory had a little trouble falling asleep.  Thankfully, not many people needed the bus's bathroom, so I was able to wear him in the mei tai while walking in place.

We weren't really able to participate in much.  I had no idea how many people go to this march.  Incredible!  We arrived fairly early and headed down to the rally site with others from our church.  After being in the same spot for almost an hour, we decided we'd better get the boys to a wide-open space where they could run around and have some snacks.  Ha!!  We were so trapped!  After about ten minutes (and only because a lady had a panic attack and we were following on her heels), we found some sort of grating that nobody wanted to stand on and quickly headed there to get our bearings and BREATHE! We then realized that the only way we could get out was to venture over the fence onto the freshly seeded grass - which we promptly did and then backed ourselves out a couple blocks for some breathing room.

We attempted to actually be in the march and even got in line a couple times, but there were so many people that it was completely bottlenecked.  We were really worried about how easily one of the kids could slip away and get lost in all those people.  We decided to wait for the absolute end of the march, but by that time, we would have had only 45 minutes to go the 1/2 mile to the Capitol and back before the bus picked us up.

I have to say, I was discouraged at this point - that we had come all this way and didn't really do anything - and resolved not to add this to our list of yearly activities.  However, back at the bus, everyone was so excited to see us and the kids and expressed how glad they were that we had made the trip with them.  Then, we learned that our parish priest never participates in the march itself, but,instead, walks to the Capitol on a different course and watches the sea of marchers as they finish the march. 

That's when I understood.  We didn't have to participate in any of the organized events of March for Life to be participants. Our mere presence - our full-of life children, our precious baby, all of us together - and the sacrifices we made to be there - waking up even earlier than normal, entertaining kids on a bus for 10 hours, braving the 20 degree temperatures for 5 hours - these were our events, our contribution to the beauty of life. 

We only took 4 pictures, so I'll leave you with all of them!  And then I'm writing some notes to myself, so I can refer back to this post for next year's march!

We don't know this man, but he posed perfectly!

Sooo many people!

We are looking pretty haggard here.  This is after two attempts to actually 'march" and we finally decided to just go around everybody and get closer to where the bus would pick us up.

Hangin' with Aunt Billie!

Notes to self for March for Life 2011:

*Bring cookies or some other treat for everyone on the bus (to be shared after the March.)

*Don't bring many books to read to the kids.  The videos are too loud.

*Get snowsuits out of storage in Breezewood, so we can get the kids ready before D.C.

*Get jammies out of storage before leaving D.C., so we can get the kids ready for bed before Breezewood.

*Schedule:  Meet Billie and eat upon arrival in D.C. (on the Mall on the side of Constitution closest to Capitol building - near Air and Space museum) Say goodbyes and walk up to Capitol via Air and Space and Native American museums route.  Return to Air and Space for bus pick-up.

*Make homemade signs?

*Reference 2010 packing list (need to make pdf for this)  

We're going! Yikes!

I told myself last year, "We'll do this next year."  I tried to tell myself that we still weren't ready, but, really, when will we be?  When I called to get reservations for the bus, it was full and they put us on a waitlist.  Wouldn't you know, a family of 4 cancelled yesterday.  So, with 6 people in 4 seats, we are headed to our nation's capitol on Friday!  Keep us and all the other marchers in your prayers!

Ideas for Lent 2010

OK, I learned from my Advent/ Christmas ideas post that it would be better to start a draft of ideas right away rather than bookmarking them (or just trying to remember sites) and trying to find them all later!

Jesus tree:

This is a great idea as the continuation of the Jesse tree with readings and corresponding "ornaments."  You can purchase a kit here.  I haven't decided if I will purchase the kit or try to make my own.  I'm probably more likely to make them if I buy the kit, but $21 plus shipping seems so steep for felt and instructions!  (I may just print the pictures and cut them out as a backup this year, since I barely even have time to brush my teeth!)

Lenten Mantle:

Here's Dawn's.

I love the idea of "burying the Alleluia" by painting wooden letters gold and putting them in a box until Easter.


Lenten calendar:

Here's Jessica's.  (She's amazing!)

I especially like the idea about picking an object to count and putting that many pennies in the rice bowl.  The boys would love it!!  Some object ideas - radiators, cars, doorknobs, baskets...

I also like the idea of donating canned goods each day from the pantry. (Note to self: Stock it ahead of time!)

Here's Dawn's.



40 Trash Bag Challenge:

OK, Kevin actually agreed to do this with me!  One of our favorite quotes when we first got married was "The less you have, the less you have to take care of." (This does not apply to kids!! We love having more of them to take care of!)

Here's others who have done it and left valuable feedback:

I'd like to have the "cut list" planned out:
1. Piano music
2. Coat closet
3. Children's books
4. Kev's and my books
5. Magazines
6. Food items
7. Cookbooks
8. My closet
9. Kev's closet
10. My dresser
11. Kev's dresser
12. Shoes
13. Holiday decorations
14. Maternity clothes
15. Craft cabinet
16. Stuffed animals
17. Bath toys
18. Sheetrock
19. Computer stuff
20. Diapers
21. Co-sleeper and Bassinet
22. VCR, TV/VCR, and VHS tapes

That's all we've come up with so far. I'm sure we'll think of more.

Candle Day: 

We did this with the boys last year and they loved it.  In trying to think of something we could sacrifice as a family that wouldn't be too difficult for the kids to participate, I came up with the idea of giving up electric lighting every Saturday during Lent.  We'll definitely be doing it again!

Stations of the Cross:

Using candles

Easter Vigil:

This is the Mass we'll be attending. I know the readings will be really long, but the boys will really enjoy the fire, the candles, and the baptisms.


Lots of ideas and links here.

Thanks, Ian!

I was trying to find time (in between Kevin starting a fire and running the boys through the shower) to slip out and shovel the walk.  I peeked out the window and discovered that my neighbor had already shoveled it for us!! 

I love winter on this block!  The boys and I shovel the sidewalks of our two closest neighbors whenever we can.  On really heavy snow days, Gary (across the street) will go up and down the length of the street on both sides with his snowblower.  On light snow days, Mimi will shovel for Gary.  Lee always shovels for his wheelchair-bound neighbor.  It's just such an incredible example of shining Christ's love for each other! I am so humbled and thankful that our family can be a part of this loving service.



Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Andrew had a really hard time waiting for this birthday and prayed several times to "please not let me be sad until my Birthday."  Two nights ago, he announced that his birthday was so close that he did not need to pray about being sad - the end was in sight!! 

Happy Birthday, blue eyes!

2 weeks:

This kid had hair! 4 mos:

Baptism! (Notice, I did trim his bangs!) 5 mos:

Almost 1:

1 yr.:

1.5 yrs:

2 yrs:

3 yrs:

Awaiting 4 yr. old picture!

More gifts

After his shower tonight, Matthew came to me with a list of supplies in his head.  He needed my help getting everything and then wanted to work privately in the bee room to prepare some presents for Andrew's birthday tomorrow.  He spent at least an hour and came back down with these two beauties:

(Judging by the supplies Matthew had me get, Andrew is receiving a box of Origami and electronic parts. He is also getting Matthew's Lowe's semi. I know only because I can tell by the shape of the wrapping paper.)  

After he was done, Matthew was really concerned that he had run out of time to make anything for the guys' stockings.  Kevin assured him that he would have time in the morning. (Matthew is always awake by 5:30, if not earlier!)

What a beautiful example of generosity from one of God's precious souls!



Melissa Foote
melissa -at- footefamily.net

Catholic,Homeschooler,Mom to four boys (and one big one)

Lent - goals

40 days 40 bags

    Boxes of Stuff :: 28
    Bags of Trash :: 1
    Other Items :: 0

    11 Left to go

(via HouseBlogs.net)