God's hand is present at all times....last week

It's been a long week full of trails and opportunity to rely solely on God's providence. The three little ones and I became sick with a bad cold. It lingered but still we managed. Sparkles is the most pleasant sick child we have. She asks for little and rarely complains. That is until Sparkles fever persisted for 4 days. I took her in for a checkup and after a three hour visit she was diagnosed with the early stages of pneumonia. She was prescribed an antibiotic and sent home to recover. We gave thanks to God for her medical insurance (we have gone with out for some time), early diagnosis and the technology of medicine. Sparkles gave thanks for her time out with mom alone. Oh, the simple pleasures of being six.


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This time of illness in our home has been like no other. My man (dear husband) has a new schedule that requires him to be gone during the day. In the past he has worked from home. Recently, he has taken a job that allows him to maintain a night schedule and be with us during the day. My children and I are accustomed to having him with us 24/7. He is the head of the home and I couldn't imagine our days without him. Well, Our Gracious Lord has slowly weaned me to days without him. Currently, his school schedule requires him to be gone during the day too. We will continue to adjust and rely on Our Heavenly Father to guide us.


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I had a regular check up schedule (since last month) for all my little ones on Friday, Oct. 23. I was tempted to reschedule because I didn't want to take all the sick ones out. However, Papi woke up Friday morning not as his usual self. Needless to say, we were running late. Very late! The girls were checked and Sparkles was showing improvement but the story was not so optimistic for Papi.

He was immediately sent for a breathing treatment on a Nebulizer. This was his first treatment ever. Lets just say, it wasn’t fun. Papi is nothing like Sparkles when he is sick. He is a fighter naturally and being ill seems to give him an extra edge.


Papa’s stats after his treatment caused alarm to his doctor. She immediately sent him off for a chest x-ray and I was told that he would need to stay at the doctor's office for 3 hours for his oxygen levels to rise. Sparkles and Sweetie were already on their second movie and although they probably wouldn't have mind hanging around a couple more hours for a few more movies their brother, I called their Papa. He graciously agreed to pick the girls up.


Papi had his x-ray and the girls waited in the lobby with their snacks. Rose is awesome and always prepared. Praise be to God for older sisters.


Papi and I were taken directly back to the treatment room when we arrived back upstairs. The girls worked their way downstairs to be picked up by Papa. They were a little nervous to leave their brother.


Papi's doctor meet us in the treatment room with the results from the x-ray. The news was not good. Papi had severe pneumonia in both lungs and would need to be admitted to the hospital. I gave thanks for health insurance (once again), cell phones, grandparents, medical technology and our faith.


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Last week my mother added a line to her plan for my husband. We had been sharing a cell phone for a couple years now. I don't know how I would have been able to get in touch with him had he not had a cell since he was in class for the day.


My parents have been a great blessing to me and my family. Most recently, they have provided for us during the last two-plus years while we have been but through many trials. At first it was difficult for myself to accept their help but with spiritual direction and prayer I have been able to allow Our Lord to work through my parents. They help without ever expecting anything in return and have been patient with us during this difficult time. We pray that we can glorify God and lead our family closer to Our Lord. We also pray to be able to repay my parents for their unconditional love and generosity, in anyway the Lord permits.


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I waited at the doctor's office for close to 2 hours before a bed became available for Papi. He took a cat nap, read every book and tried out the doctor's office bathroom 3 times as we waited. I picked up my husband on the way to the hospital. It worked out perfectly since my husband's school is near the hospital and our alternate car broke down earlier in the week.


Papi had not eaten lunch. We stopped for Taco Bell. Any fast food is a treat for us. He wasn't thrilled but I knew it was our best hope for him to get something in his stomach. He's room was ready to go when we arrived. It was the smoothest hospital/emergency visit we've ever had.


I was able to get half the burrito in Papi before all the necessary tubes and prodding started. He was excited about the cartoons, another treat for him.


His visit was set for one night but due to his need for oxygen, he's stay was extended. My husband stood the night with him while a picked the girls up from Papa and Nana's house.


We prayed for acceptance of God's will.


In the morning as I prepared and debated if I should go to the hospital (due to all the Swine Flu out breaks), my husband called with wonderful news. Papi was able to be taken off the oxygen last night (Fri) and was going to be released after another breathing treatment.


The girls eagerly prepared the house for his return and I went to pick up my handsome boys.


He is now home recovering and almost back to himself. Praise be to God!

Stuffed Mushrooms


My mom's (AKA Nana) birthday was on Sunday, Oct. 11. She is so simple and doesn't ever ask for anything. We're always trying to come up with surprises for her. This year was easy. Nana has been asking for her favorite......stuffed mushrooms. We purposely would not make them for her all year so we could treat her on her birthday.

We showed up with a dozen stuffed mushrooms especially for her. She was so sweet, offering them to everyone else. She didn't realize there were 30 more mushrooms to share.

Here’s the recipe to the best stuffed mushrooms.

Ingredients:
24 large mushrooms
3 hot Italian sausage links
1 cube cream cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese (freshly shredded)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg yolk
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
Dry white wine (small amount)
Olive oil (very little)


Directions:
Set oven to 350
Remove stem from mushrooms
Clean mushrooms with moist cloth
Brown sausage in skillet (remove from casings)
Add basil to sausage while cooking
Drain sausage and set aside
Mix cream cheese, garlic powder, egg yolk, and Worcestershire sauce
Add sausage
Add 3/4 parmesan cheese

Lightly coat cookie sheet with olive oil
Place mushroom caps on cookie sheet
Use 1 large mushroom cap to hold/distribute white wine to other mushrooms
- pour a couple of drops of white wine in ea mushroom. Too much wine will make the mushrooms soggy
Fill ea mushroom to the brim with the stuffing
Top with remaining parmesan


bake in oven at 350 for 17-20 min or until golden/bubbly


Sunflower Headbands

The girls celebrated the traditional Feast Day of St. Therese at our second meeting on Oct. 3.  Each Little Flower received a sunflower headband in honor of her feast day.

Handprint Lily Pen

I held my second Little Flowers meeting of the year on the the first Saturday of October.  St. Faustina, Mercy and Lily were the themes.  I chose a Handprint Lily for the craft but added a twist.

Here is my tutorial. 
I prepped all the supplies into individual baggies for each girl.  I would suggest to have the hands traced and cut prior to the meeting/craft.  It is helpful to have a few extra glue guns available.

I placed a tag with the memory-scripture verse for Mercy on the pens that the girls will be delivering to the women on our parish staff.  Each girl had the option of putting the tag on their pen to give away.



Have mercy on Me, Oh God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion, wipe out my offense.  ~Psalms: 51.3-4

Little Flowers - Mercy


The girls were ready to go for their second meeting.  We had 10 Little Flowers at Mass.  Two more joined at the meeting. The girls learned about St. Faustina and Mercy.  The coordinaating flower was the Lily.  It was also the traditional feast day of St. Therese the Little Flower, our patron saint.

The girls had Divine Mercy Strawberry Shortcakes, St. Therese Rose Cupcakes, chip mix and drinks for snack. 


St. Faustina Bios



We then discussed the life of Helena.  I briefed the girls on her life as 1 of 10 children and the fact that the family was very poor.  I also shared a story of how St. Faustina and her sisters only had one dress to share for Mass.  They would take turns wearing the dress and going to Mass on Sunday.  St.  Faustina heard God calling her to religious life when she was only seven.  At age 15 she stopped attending school and by age 18 was ready to enter a convent.  Her parents refused her request.  She was obedient to her parents.  Later, while at a dance St. Faustina received a visit from Jesus.  He appeared to her asking, "How long will I put up with you, and how long will you keep putting me off?"  She followed God's prompting and went to enter a convent.  She worked for her dowry to enter a convent, The Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.  The girls learned of the great gifts that St. Faustina received from our Heavenly Father; hidden stigmata, bilocation, and visions of Jesus only to name a few.  The Little Flowers noted her virtue of OBEDIENCE and willingness to say YES to God.

They also learned about the vision of Jesus' Divine Mercy and His order to her to have the image created with the words, Jesus I Trust In You.

The girls then thought of a few ways God shows us mercy.  We briefly discussed the sacrament of confession - mercy.  The girls also brainstormed ways in which they can show mercy to others.



We then began our craft, Handprint Lily Pens.  The Lily was the flower chosen to represent mercy. 





Miss. Casi reviewed the Works of Mercy with the girls.  Each girl received a book to further review at home.  The book is by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S. V. D.  This full-color illustrated children's book from the collection of St. Joseph Picture Books explains both the Corporal Works of Mercy and the Spiritual Works of Mercy, in terms young children can understand.


Father L visited the girls during their craft.  The girls did an excellent job greeting Father.  He spoke of St. Therese when she was three.  He said it was the first story he had ever heard of the Little Flower.  The story showed St. Therese's vow to obedience.  He also gave the girls a special blessing for the feast day of their patron saint.  Praise be to God for Priests.


At the close of the meeting the girls received their Little Flower binders.  These binders are meant to last the girls their entire Little Flowers career.  The girls will need to keep all their work in their binder and bring it with them at each meeting. 

Their first assignment is included in their binder.  Girls who have completed any or all assignments will be rewarded with a trip to the Little Flowers box.  This box includes goodies such as lunchboxes, folders, snacks, stamps, holy cards and etc...

In addition to the assignments, the girls received coloring and activity pages related to St. Faustina.
Coloring & Activity Pages

This is an additional Virtue Page that the girls opted out of doing.  The idea came from Jessica.

Here is a the line up for the remainder of the year.  I tried to assign the Saint to the month of their feast day.
September -
St. Terese the Little Flower (Oct. 1, Oct. 3)
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcuta (Sept. 5)

October -
St. Faustina (Oct. 5)
~ Mercy
~ Lily
~ Cream

November -
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Jan. 4)
~ Perseverance
~ Lotus
~ Peach

December -
St. Lucy (Dec. 13)
~ Loyality
~ Poppy
~ Poppy Red

January -
St. Angela Merici (Jan. 27)
~ Prudence
~ African Violet
~ Violet Purple

February -
St. Clare of Assisi (Aug. 11)
~ Joy/Mirthfulness
~ Tulip
~ Bright Orange

March -
St. Katherine Drexel (March 3)
~ Generosity
~ Daisy
~ Leaf Green

April -
Blessed Mary of the Incarnation (April 18)
~ Justice
~ Aster
~ Gold

May -
Blessed Margaret Pole (May 28)
~ Courage
~Yucca
~ Pine Green

June -
St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) (Aug 10)
~ Wisdom
~ Irish
~ Silver

Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Oct. 7
Coloring Pages

St. Faustina - Feast Day

“Have mercy on Me, Oh God, in your goodness in the greatness of your compassion, wipe out my offense.” - Psalms 51.3-4
Little Flowers 2nd Meeting - October 3, 2009
St. Faustina (Oct. 5)
Mercy
Cream
Lily
Coloring & Activity Pages

Divine Mercy Chaplet


Feast Day of the Little Flower

New Calendar: Oct. 1 - Memorial St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, virgin
Old Calendar: Oct. 3 - St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, virgin

"On the day of her death, in the evening of September 30th 1897, St. Therese said: 'Never would I have believed it was possible to suffer so much! Never! Never! I cannot explain this except by the ardent desires I have had to save souls.' St. Therese suffered for you also, so that you too could be 'possessed' by God as she was, so that you too could live an Evangelical radicalism as she did."   (The Gift of Faith, pg. 92-93)
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