Lent is about Conversion. Lent helps us draw closer to Christ while turning away from our own sin. In Lent, this involves giving up things that perhaps may keep us from Christ. We hear our children say, “I’ve given up chocolate or candy.” On their own, they are finding something they enjoy that they can offer up and almost unite with Christ’s suffering while they suffer through skipping a sweet treat. We discuss this suffering Christ endured during Lent and see as the end of Lent approaches, they don’t desire the treat or thing they gave up as much. When they have a focus, it becomes easier to give up something they love. For adults, it can become deeper. We can give up something that we love turning our trust over to God. For some, we can add to our 40 days of Lent by adding in something new: A new prayer book, more devotion time, time for daily Mass. As our 40 Days of Lent are now over and we are in the Triddium, we may focus on Christ’s Passion and Death and look forward to the Ressurection.


Moonbeam here donated 12 inches to Wigs for Kids. She’s awesome!

A little doll


This sweet little girl is such a joy. She brings everyone to a happy place. Max is so taken by her. He smiles at her every morning. All of the big sisters dote on her. She started enjoying cereal and really plumped up! She looks so much like a real baby doll.

Two families in need of prayers

Laetare Sunday is the Church’s reminder of Joy yet to come.

I haven’t written for so long. I have posts I could write and pictures to share in my mind, and yet I seem to never get on the computer. Today, however, on this Laetare Sunday, I am writing to share two families in need of your prayers; two sisters, two babies.
Many of you know we are dear close friends with Father Kevin. Father Kevin is one of 11 children. He has eight sisters. Two of his sisters, Regina and Christina, both delivered unexpectedly a few weeks early this past Thursday. Both babies sharing the same delivery date were born still. Regina delivered emergency c-section after placental abruption. Her baby boy was 36 weeks along. Christina’s baby, a little girl, was 38 weeks.
I know firsthand how both of these mothers will be grieving inside. It’s a pain you can’t describe. It’s a comfort found only in God’s Mercy. It’s a pain that swells inside of you the minute someone asks how you are doing.
I know both of these strong ladies. I know their faith is what will carry them through this pain. I know God’s Mercy will bring them comfort and healing. I know in time both Regina and Christina, their husband(s) and children will find healing as well. For today, though, there is great pain.

For me at the time, Joy was yet to come. I was able to find joy again from the smiling faces in my children around me. Joy came from my husband’s hand. Joy came through the Mass. Joy came knowing our baby Matthew, who had gone before us, was rejoicing in Heaven.

For Regina and Christina, I can’t speak for them, however, I know Joy will come again. For now, they need your prayers. As Liz, another sister who too, has gone through this suffering posted here.

Ok, I’m failing here…

…to keep up with this little space I’ve created. So many of you have emailed me saying you want to keep reading my blog and actually enjoy it. I am honored. We’ve moved up here to Maryland and my routine with a baby has changed dramatically. What I used to do with 5 kids has suddenly changed now with 6 in the home. There is a 6 year difference between M&M and Max. Matthew would have been 4 almost connecting the ages, but with this gap, I realized that John and I are rookie parents all over again. We keep finding ourselves saying,
“Oh yeah, I remember that.”
All the things that come with having a baby in the home… the pack and play in the living room, the jumper, the bouncy seat, the toys, the diapers have taken over the house. Little Max here has more things than we do it seems, but we love every bit of it! These little eyes that gleam back at us when we talk to him just melt us all! And yup, I think he’s a hazel eyed baby!
Moonbeam eyes, just like his big sister! And finally, he’s decided to put on some weight, once he discovered eating solids is delicious!
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Here are the brothers in a daily pose!

Getting back into the groove

from our busy days of unpacking, school beginning, and taking time to enjoy the surroundings! And I can tell you, the kids are thriving being back into our school routine and weekend routine with dad home! They’ve been enjoying their new big backyard, tree swing disc, and pool time!

I have got to give “Opie” a new name. Opie from the Andy Griffith show is his personality for sure though. If I asked him he’d say, “Steve” leaving his best buddy laughing. So for now, it remains Opie. Opie can’t get enough of little Max. He told me just today is Max wasn’t so cute, we’d probably be moved in by now. Here they are together on the screened in porch probably watching their little polar bear sisters shivering swimming.
I am almost positive, Max has hazel eyes. This leaves Bluebelle delighted as she’s been the only one until now with hazel. All others are blue.

When we moved in, I asked about finding a path to take the kids biking. Not too far from our backyard is the Chesapeake Bay. Its absolutely beautiful and I can only imagine how it will look in the fall!

We finally made it into our new school year. We’re only on week two now, but, at least we’ve started and I have to say, I think everyone is relieved. They are not being told to keep unpacking something or to continuously hold Max while I keep going with the boxes. Here are the new students sitting on the front porch in Maryland. I’ll be posting their individual first day pics soon.

Prayers for all of the students this school year and their teachers who are instructing them.

If you enjoy God’s Canvas and want to still be able to view it, please email me. With all the gps hype I’ve heard from facebook and tracking, we are going private soon.

Max pictures before we move!

We are heading to Maryland in a week. This morning we said goodbye to all of our friends at church and now we start the hustle of packing before the packers show up. John’s command is over and we are looking forward to a change of pace in our new home… if we could just find a home. I keep telling the kids God already knows our address. Now if John and I could just hear Him tell it to us directly, it would be a lot easier. 🙂
Little Max was 10 lbs 5 ounces at his 2 month well baby check this past week. He’s been steady on the chart. No more, no less, just right where he started. 10%. He’s such a sweet baby and loves to pass out smiles. The kids and I truly don’t get much done.
DSC_0315 Cheryl sent Max this adorable outfit. He wore it to Mass early before I had a chance to take a picture of him in it. By the time we got home, he was a bit wrinkled. I just wanted to be sure she saw him in it!
I took this shot so you could see the details in the peter pan collar and the buttons.
I love the hair on the back of his little head.
So sweet!

Despite getting ready for the Change of Command and packers this week, we’ve managed to squeeze in eye exams for 4 kids, a well baby visit, a doctor’s appt in Nashville, and a birthday party for two girls who will be celebrating their 9th and 11th birthday on the road! I hope to share pictures from the party later. For now, I need to start labeling items in our home to store, to pack and to not pack. Have a great week!

around the house…and car

Well, leave it to Moonbeam to be the first in the family to need a cast. She and the dog collided in the driveway and the dog won. She did not have a broken bone, but injured the growth plate in her wrist. She wore this green cast two weeks and is now in a splint. She’s much more comfortable now since she is able to take it off to sleep. This has not stopped her from picking up Max and loving on him at every moment.

Max doesn’t get much tummy time in this house. When he does, everyone flocks to his side to entertain him on the ground. Max received this beautiful handmade Shamrock quilt from my parent’s neighbor. He really loves trying to focus on the contrasting squares.
Even Sam is interested.. from afar.. at all the excitement surrounding this quilt!

Our Son turned into a teenager this month! He is about to pass me up and you should hear his deep voice! I had great ambitions to wake up and make him homemade cinnamon rolls. I skimmed the recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook the night before and couldn’t wait to offer them to him when he woke up. I was prepared for the hour the dough needed to rise, but not allllll the other steps to get to the finished product. Well, with Max in my arms rather frequently, along with gift opening, and a trip to see Monster’s University, I served him his “breakfast” treat! No one complained even though it was 4:30!
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I think my camera roll on my phone has over 1000 pictures of Max, taken by any one of us at any given moment. I was thumbing through and found this one that was taken after praying the Rosary. I just love babies in hats!
Look who is starting to notice us!

Waiting for baby…

Well I think I’ve cleared through every room in the house to include the buckets in the attic. We’ve made so many trips to drop off donations that my car can probably get there on its own. I’ve hustled through drawers, refolded things, and still managed a few little projects. I received several sweet little things in the mail from some of you, thank you! I cannot wait to hold this little guy. I did turn in the little burp cloths and diaper stacker I made at the local embroidery shop, along with a few gifts. I’ve blurred the initials so we can announce his arrival with his name on his birthday.
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I’ve also found a few minutes here and there to smock a few little girl gifts that are not quite done, but still on my list. I’ll show those once I’ve mailed them off so I don’t give them away before the receiver gets them.
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John and I went to a dinner last week on post so this is probably my last picture showing off my baby belly.
We’re hoping this little guy arrives this week! I’ve got everything ready.. so we wait… My family thought it would be fun to make a list of statistics while we wait. You’re welcome to join in the fun. Just let us know what you think in the comments!
(these are in this order.. Mom, dad, Cookie, Opie, Moonbeam, BlueBelle, and MM)
We’ll come back and let you know who in our family was the closest and then which one of you came close, too! St Gerard, pray for us!

Divine Mercy Sunday

This is one of our favorite Feast Days! I bought this beautiful tall statue of St Faustina for John when he returned from Afghanistan.
Moonbeam decided it was such a great feast day to celebrate, it needed a dessert all of its own, even though we already had plenty of sweets in the house. Her idea turned out great and I think she really captured the blue and red rays in this simple dessert! We made the icing out Dream whip.
From her Diary:
The two rays denote Blood and Water. the pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. (Diary 299)

Read more:
Jesus, I trust in You!

Easter 2013

Our son was able to serve at the Easter Mass and carried the incense. He served with such reverence. I love how our Faith used all of the senses in the Mass. The smoke symbolizes the prayers of the faithful drifting up to heaven: the Psalmist prays, “Let my prayer come like incense before you; the lifting up of my hands, like the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141).
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Here are the children after Mass all ready to change out of their Easter wear and dig into their candy and Easter baskets.
We enjoyed making deviled eggs, resurrection rolls, and a fruit bowl after Mass. If I had only bought enough white vinegar, we would have tried Catholic Icing’s wonderful egg ideas with food coloring… there’s always next Easter.
A rare picture of John and me after Mass. I felt like an Easter egg myself with my tummy at almost 35 weeks. We are ready to have this little fella anytime now and meet him face to face!

I’ve been quiet most of the time this Lent as I tried to stay off the computer as much as I could. I did a bit of sewing, to include these little burp cloths I made for the baby. I’ve also made several as gifts and had them monogramed. I am thinking about having “little brother” put on one or two of these for this little guy.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter week! May God Bless you.

A Significant day in many many ways…

*I am 32 weeks along today. Three and a half years ago, I was 32 weeks along and in the OR delivering little Matthew Karol.
*Today is my only sister’s birthday! Today is also my Brother-in-law’s birthday! Happy Birthday to you both! What historical birthdays for both of them!
* Obviously, I’m nesting… I’ve torn every room apart… we can’t walk down the hallways because I’ve filled them with items for give-away, items for the attic, and things I am ready to get rid of. I want furniture this and that moved, I have sewing projects pleated, and the entire refrigerator contents are all over the kitchen island (as I sit and watch EWTN all afternoon!)
All the tiny baby boy clothes are washed and folded and put away.
the crib is up and ready…
*Today, my only living grandmother has moved into a memory care home. I have my grandfather heavy on my mind. This is a big change for my grandfather who has only known life with his wife by his side. Please include a prayer of peace for them.
*Today we all woke up wondering if today was the day the day our Church would elect a new shepherd.
* Habemus Papam! Today we welcome Pope Francis as our new Shepherd! His first blessing on the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica was very humble. He asked for a prayer from the people to ask the Lord to bless him. The entire crowd of pilgrims were silent in prayer. It was amazing to watch. The Church began with St Peter. This is our new leader! Matthew 16:18-19.
* Obviously a celebration was in order. The children all voted to make a red velvet cake with white (cream cheese) icing. The red velvet with white icing in honor of the papal outfit. The significance of the red accessories: Red is the colour of martyrdom and the pope is the successor of the martyred St. Peter, “red is the color of burning love, the color of the fire of the Spirit.”
I let the two little girls make this from start to finish, they did a great job!