Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Grampa!

Yesterday, the boys and I went down to my parents' house for the day. We were celebrating Grampa's birthday. It was a very relaxing day. Brian took a special ride on the wave runner with Grampa. They sought out some waves so they could ride the "bumps". The boys played. Grampa relaxed. And I got to get an oil change - excitement abounding!

One of the neatest moments of the day, however, was when a peacock couple decided to roost and preen on the top of my car that was parked in the driveway. It was a most amazing site.
After leaving my car top, they wandered around the side of my parents' house to the backyard where they promptly hopped up onto the gate surrounding the pool.
This led the female to hop down to the pool deck, and wander about,
while the male hopped up to the higher part of the fence, onto the table,
and eventually right up to the doors.
I did some checking on the significance of the peacock, and this is what I found:

What the peacock is meant to represent is open to many, many interpretations -- many of them likely valid and true, others a bit more fanciful. Amongst the most common are these:

  • There was an ancient Greek tradition that a peacock's flesh did not decay; hence it was a particularly potent symbol of eternal life.
  • Over the life of a peacock, its grows new feathers each year; and each year these are more brighter than those of the past. As such, there is an image in this of newness of life and lustre.
  • The 'eye' patterns in the peacock's tail feathers, when the tail is spread open, have often been taken to represent the vault of heaven bespeckled with the sun, moon, and stars, giving the bird the symbolic significance of the cosmos.
  • More commonly, the 'many eyes' of the peacock's tail are taken to symbolize the all-seeing vision of God.
  • Following an old Persian and Babylonian custom, the peacock was associated with Paradise and the Tree of Life (which is why it is so often seen next to the Tree of Life in religious depictions), and hence associated with immortality.

St. Michael's Chaplet

I wrote a few days ago that I have been starting to pray the St. Michael's Chaplet before going to bed each night. I found that I was having to use my Rosary beads to try and keep track of how many Hail Mary's I had said. Inspired by my friend, Andrea, I tried to make my own St. Michael's Chaplet. Here are the fruits of my labor.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Marital Scale

I found this on Amy's blog and thought I'd give it a whirl. I guess I could have made it as a wife even back in the "old days".

72

As a 1930s wife, I am
Superior

Take the test!



Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Name Day Feast to Me!

My parents in their ever present brilliance baptized me with the name of St. Anne. Today, is the Feast Day of St. Anne and her husband St. Joachim. So in celebration of my saint's feast day, enjoy these wonderful prayers.Memorare to Saint Anne

Remember, O glorious and Good Saint Anne, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored they help and sought thy intercession, was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, behold, I cast myself at they feet, and beseech thee, by thy great prerogative of being the Mother of the Queen of Heaven and the Grandmother of Jesus, come to my aid with thy powerful intercession, and obtain from Almighty God through the ever Blessed Virgin Mary, this special favor which I beg of thee...

Cease not to intercede for me until, through Divine Mercy, my request may be granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace one day to behold my God face to face and with thee and Mary and all the Saints praise and bless Him through all eternity. Amen.

Litany of Saint Anne

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Angels and Saints
Pray for us.
St. Anne, instrument of the Holy Ghost,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, faithful spouse of St. Joachim,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mirror of the married,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, example of widows,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, miracle of patience,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of confidence,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of constancy,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of prayer,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of blessing,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, vessel of sanctity,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, merciful mother,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, comfortress of the afflicted,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, help of the poor,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, protectress of virgins,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, support of the oppressed,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, refuge of thy clients,
Pray for us.
We sinners,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy love for Jesus and Mary,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy virtues and merits,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy goodness and mercy,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy compassion and charity,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the graces bestowed on thee by God,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the joys thou didst experience with Jesus and Mary,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the happiness thou dost enjoy for all eternity,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the honor given thee by the Saints in Heaven,
We beseech thee, hear us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, St. Anne,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to endow blessed Anne with grace so that she might be worthy to become the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we who devoutly venerate her memory may also be helped by her powerful intercession. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rosary of Saint Anne

This little chaplet dates back to 1875. The
author is unknown. This chaplet is the source of
a great number of favors both spiritual and
temporal.

The Chaplet consist of the recitation of the
following prayers:

  1. In honor of Jesus, one Our Father and
    five Hail Marys.
    After each Hail Mary say:
    Jesus, Mary and St. Anne, grant the
    favor I ask.
  2. In honor of Mary,one Our Father and
    five Hail Marys.
    After each Hail Mary say:
    Jesus, Mary and St. Anne, grant the
    favor I ask.
  3. In honow of St. Anne,one Our Father and
    five Hail Marys.
    After each Hail Mary say:
    Jesus, Mary and St. Anne, grant the
    favor I ask.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Prayer Life

Over on the 4 Real Boards, someone asked what other people's prayer routines were like. This really got me to thinking about how I would describe my prayer life & routine.

Lately I have been in a very dry patch in my prayer life - and I have felt the effects of it, let me tell you! Once I realized that I was under attack, I asked for prayers from my friends, and with their prayers for me, I began to refocus on the Lord and have been feeling my life settle back into order.

In the morning, before I get out of bed, I say a St. Anne's Chaplet. I have developed a deep devotion to the grandmother of Jesus as of late. The chaplet is quick and easy to say, and I like to start my morning off with this devotion.

Throughout the day I will find myself saying short, informal prayers for people I know who are in need of prayers. I typically don't stop in the middle of the day to say a Rosary. Maybe I should try, but for the time being, I pray my Rosary in the quiet moments in my house while Chris is putting the boys to bed. Or if he is out of town, I go to my room after I've gotten the boys down, and pray my Rosary. I am finding that this centers me and has been helping me transition from being mommy all day to being Cindy.

Right before I head off to bed at night, I have begun praying the Chaplet of St. Michael. I have been reading the book Angel Power on the recommendation of my spiritual director for my Christ Renews His Parish formation group. I am gaining a better understanding of angels. Last week, Andrea gave all of us at formation this Chaplet prayer. One of the nice things about this chaplet, is that if said daily, St. Michael promises that an escort of 9 angels from each of the 9 choirs will escort you to receive communion. And deliverance from purgatory for me and all my relatives isn't a bad deal either! This prayer is a little more complex than my other ones and harder to memorize, so I've been reading it nightly. It gives me a sense of peace before I go to sleep.

What does your prayer life consist of? Do you do anything special for yourself, or with your kids? I'd love to hear it.

Vocabulary 101

Monday...

Brian: Mommy, I am hurrying frantically to get my jammies on before Daddy gets up here!

Mommy: Brian, do you know what frantically means?

Brian: It means doing something really, really fast.

Alright. We got something going on here!

Today...

Brian: Mommy, I'm exhausperated.

Mommy: What does exhausperated mean?

Brian: It means I'm so tired I can hardly stand up!

I'll give him an "A" for effort on that one!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

About Our Family

I am a Catholic homeschooling mom of 3 little men. I've been the proud wife of Chris since 10.6.01. I am the creative element behind CC Websites & CP Creations.

Chris - now works for Harris and has his own web design company - CC Websites. He writes on his own blog 350 Degrees.

Brian (5) - is my brilliant first-born. He looks just like his daddy, and has an engineering brain as well!

Sean (3.5) - is my bibliophile. This is the child that taught himself to read just after his 3rd birthday, and loves to sleep with his books.

Colin (20 months) - is my cuddly baby. He is quick with a smile, and loves to dance, and laugh.

Other Family Blogs We Visit:
Kelsey Summer
Kellys Summertime Fun
The Burkhart Blog
Raleigh Mom
The Phillips Family
Decor 2 Ur Door
Mom On Wheels


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mosaic Meme

I've seen this before, but when I saw it today on Waltzing Matilda's blog, I just had to play along. Instructions to play are at the bottom of the post thanks to Jessica.
The Questions (and The Answers):

1. What is your first name? Cindy 2. What is your favorite food? Mexican 3. What high school did you go to? Coral Springs High School 4. What is your favorite color? Blue 5. Who is your celebrity crush? Kiefer Sutherland 6. Favorite drink? Appletini 7. Dream vacation? Young Island 8. Favorite dessert? Creme Brulee 9. What you want to be when you grow up? A saint 10. What do you love most in life? God and family 11. One Word to describe you? Mommy 12. One hobby of yours? Reading


Your turn to jump on the bandwagon! Go ahead and make one of your own. Here's how: a. Type your answer to each of the questions above into Flickr Search. b. Using only the first page, pick an image. c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. d. Save image to hard drive and post to blogger. e. Copy HTML code for flickr photo credits and paste into blogger at the bottom of the post.

**Please let me know if you play along! I'd love to see your mosaic!


1. Congrats Cindy :), 2. Covet My Lunch, 3. Sunset over the canal, Coral Springs, Florida, 4. The Chesil Beach at Portland - Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, 5. Kiefer, 6. appletini, 7. young island, 8. Crème Brulée, 9. Madonna della Salute, 10. Day 27/365: Two years, 11. Always by your side, 12. The Old Library

Monday, July 21, 2008

Salted Fish

For those of you who know Brian, you know he's the originator of my picky eaters. He started out so promising back in the days of baby food. He ate everything I put in his mouth - even spinach! When we went to solid foods, he was still pretty good at eating. I'm not sure when the pickiness started, but it took hold of Brian and hasn't let go. His influence is long as he's helped Sean and Colin turn from really good eaters into the picky boys they are today.

My dad told Brian that the best birthday present he could give to Gramma & Grampa would be to start eating "grownuper" food. Who knew that the day after he turned 5 he would be chowing down on fish! We had grilled some tilapia on our new grill. Chris made one fillet plain for the boys, and the others he put some lime juice and McCormick's Montreal Chicken spices on. Dinner was proceeding as usual - Chris and I eating, and the boys ignoring everything on their plates but the fruit. We asked Brian to try the fish. He told us he wanted blue fish with a mouth. I tried to explain to him that even if the fish was blue to start with that the blue part would be scraped off before you cook it. Next he asked for salted fish with a mouth. Again, the explanation of how he really wouldn't want a fish with a mouth on his plate. Finally, he said he would like fish like "you guys". Chris went and got the other fillet and put it on Brian's plate. We had to pick our jaws up off the floor as Brian started to chow down on his fish. I really tried to not make a big deal of it while he was eating - I didn't want to distract Brian and have him stop eating! At one point, Brian tried to get Sean to try the fish "Sean, just try it, it's good." - I had to laugh at the irony. Hopefully this new Brian will continue and his influence on his brothers can turn the tide back to some good eaters!

PS - Brian later told Chris that he would eat "salted fish" anytime we made it. I'm seeing a weekly fish meal in our future...

Stay Tuned

Exciting things are happening! Chris and I are working hard to make Serendipity easier to navigate (and oh so pretty if you ask me!).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Baby is 5!

7/17/03

7/17/08
What a difference 5 years can make. Not only in physical changes, but in emotional ways as well. This is the child who changed me into a mother. Not only was Brian born 5 years ago, but with his birth came the birth of my new family. A piece of me now resided outside of my body and Chris and I were charged with loving, caring and raising this gift from God.

I have so enjoyed watching Brian grow these last 5 years. He has gone from the tiny little baby the doctors were worried about not gaining weight, to a really big boy. He has always been a mini-me of Chris, although as he gets older he's developing into his own look. He has always made me smile just thinking about him, but now he can make me laugh with his sense of humor, and his imagination - he can tell some really funny stories! Brian is no longer my little baby, but my big boy.

Last night I pulled Brian into bed with me so that he could wake up on his birthday right next to his mommy. As we were laying there in the middle of the night, I was stroking his hair as he fell back to sleep. Thinking he was asleep, I whispered, "I'm so lucky that you are my boy." To my surprise a sleep voice answered me, "I'm so lucky you're my mommy." Tears sprang to my eyes. No, Brian isn't a baby anymore - he's a big boy with big thoughts and feelings all his own. I'm so excited to see what this year will bring.

Dinner at Brian's favorite restaurant - Pancheros!

Yeah for presents!

God's celebration of Brian's birthday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brian's 5th Birthday - Part 2

Aargh, matey! Ye be invited for some birthday spirits at Captain Brian's birthday bash. He needs some shipmates to swab the deck and hunt for long lost treasure. Chart yer course for the 14th of July at 5:30 p.m. Join us for some grub, fun & swimming. Yo ho ho let us know, call deck hand Cindy. See ye there if ye dare.

Our birthday party ended up being more of a birthday playdate, but Brian still had a lot of fun. Leighton and Ms. Kellie came over for some celebrating on Monday afternoon. The weather didn't cooperate for swimming, but the kids played, and we ate pizza,
made some "X" Marks the Spot crafts
opened presents (Leighton did such a good job decorating her present for Brian!),
hammed it up for the camera,
got some hugs (and a marriage proposal!),
and ate cake! Chris found some pirate candles on clearance at Target back in January that worked perfectly with Brian's pirate cake.
Brian blows his candles out - hopefully he made a wish!
Happy Birthday Brian. We'll be eating cake until you're 6!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Brian's 5th Birthday - Part 1









Brian is turning 5. I'm not really sure how that happened. Wasn't it just yesterday that he was the tiny, little baby we brought home from the hospital? I guess it was almost 5 years ago, but boy, has a lot changed in those 5 years.

This year, Brian gets to celebrate his birthday week. Part One of the festivities surrounding this big birthday was a McDonald Family celebration at Gramma & Grampa's house yesterday. We had a very special guest list (although we were missing Brian's Daddy :-( ): Gramma, Grampa, Aunt Kellie, Aunt Lori, Kelsey (missing Uncle Lou as well), Great Uncle Jeff, Great Aunt Robin, cousins Amanda, & Megan, and my oldest friend Melinda and her two kids, Madison & Christian. Despite being a slightly dreary day, the kids hit the pool with Grampa. The dinner menu (for the kids!) consisted of chicken nuggets and french fries, while the adults ate some Cornish "Gay" Hens, rice, sauteed zucchini and the yummiest Vidalia Onion Casserole. There were presents abounding for Brian. He got a fun Brain Quest game from Aunt Kellie (who remembers her own Brain Quest from when she was little). Uncle Jeff and crew got Brian 3 fun dinosaur books and a dinosaur painting craft. Aunt Lori made Brian the awesome crayon holder that Brian and Sean are holding up. And to follow with Brian's current obsession with pirates, Gramma & Grampa got him a fabulous new pirate ship - complete with a cannon that shoots, a plank that the bad guys can walk, and 2 skeleton brothers!

Of course, what party would be complete without some cake? Sean began asking for cake when he woke up Sunday morning! Brian is not a big fan of signing right now, so he covered his ears while the signing was happening. Everyone got such a kick out of it, that they all covered their ears right along with Brian!

Stay tuned for Part Two - The Party.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Speaking of family videos

Check out my sister Lori's blog for a video of some of my niece's first steps. Go Kelsey!

Dance, dance. Everybody now, dance, dance...

I'm not really sure how this "dance" started, but back when Brian was a little guy, Gramma made up this silly song to get him to wiggle around. It has morphed, and become an obsession for my little men every time we see Gramma. Every time, she is requested for the "dance". So without further ado, I present you...Dance.


video

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Seredipity-do-dah!

I've spoken a number of times about the beauty of Elizabeth's Serendipity site. Now there is a way to keep up with all of the women who are implementing parts or all of the "curriculum". The Serendipity-Do-Dah blogroll. Check out my sidebar and if you have a blog and are planning on using Serendipity next year, click on "Click here to join". Even if you don't have a blog, check out the other sites to see what's going on.

Lake Norman 2008

I'll actually write a post about our family trip soon, but in the meantime, enjoy a slide show from the week.