Our magnum opus, or 'our great work', is raising and educating our eight children in the beautiful, Catholic faith. This huge undertaking involves daily joy, laughter and challenges. We hope to share some of those here.
It was a wild decorating event. They had contests to see who could jump to hang the highest ornament and who could spread the most tinsel in one fling. There was much bickering spirited discussion of ornament placement. We enjoyed our processed Little Debbie Tree cakes, which is very old tradition here and even managed to cram in many of our St. Nicholas traditions on his feast day. Though his cookies got rolled, cut and decorated a day late. :)
Monica may have been a little stressed by her decorating crew. LOL
As much as I try to get in front of events and planing for them, we just realized last night that today was really the only time for the annual tree hunt. Luckily two of the cousin families we usually go with could make it on short notice! The weather was pretty mild compared to many frozen years tramping around in search of the perfect tree. Well, the older people search, the younger people (and dogs) run happily wild. A tree farm is the perfect place for snow ball fights and tag.
Funny, we hardly took any pictures of Thanksgiving dinner and we only took eating pictures, which are not my favorite. We did sit and chat for a while and the cousins had a grand time waging epic battles throughout the house and yard. We didn't even take food pictures, but here are our eating pictures. LOL
We had to celebrate the night before Monica's birthday since Dad couldn't be home on her actual birthday. Monica loves Italian food so we enjoyed Italian sausage stuffed ravioli and Tiramisu for dessert. Heavenly.
This is the last of our 2014 birthdays. When you have a lot of fall birthdays in a large family, you pretty much celebrate from the beginning of the school year till Epiphany. I am lucky that our birthdays end just before Thanksgiving. We can begin the holiday partying now.
Eighteen years ago I went into labor in the wee hours of the morning. I labored quietly for a while wanting to let Kevin sleep as long as possible. His sister, Kari, lived with us at the time. Alex's birth seventeen months previous, had been very fast, so Kari was a little nervous that I would deliver at home. We teased that she would have to catch the baby. Now Kari was a heavy sleeper. She could nap on the couch while the boys built Duplo buildings right on her and ran their matchbox vehicles over her. Their play did not wake her up.
When it was clear that contractions were picking up, I went to wake her to let her know she was on babysitting duty. I bent over and whispered to the woman who could sleep through a helicopter landing, "Kari... time to catch the baby." That poor thing sat straight up in a panic, I'm pretty sure her heart stopped for a second there.
Well, she didn't have to catch, we made it to the hospital and the delivery was perfect. After two boys, we were surprised and delighted to have a baby girl placed in our arms. So girly. So sweet.
We did try to make up for teasing Kari by asking her to be Monica's Godmother. I guess she's done a good job praying because Monica has turned out to be beautiful inside and out. She is finishing her senior year with diligence, she works, she bakes, she crafts and draws, she sings, she laughs with us, and cares deeply about the happiness of family and friends. We love her and are grateful beyond words for her.
Happy 18th Birthday Dear Monica Rose Maria Soledad Torres Acosta!
FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine agony in the Garden, in Thy scourging and crowning with thorns, in the way to Calvary, in Thy crucifixion and death, have mercy on the souls in purgatory, and especially on those that are most forsaken; do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in paradise. Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal rest, etc.
FOR ALL THE DECEASED By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham's bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom.