Monday, December 27, 2010

The Third Day of Christmas

Today is the third day of the twelve days of Christmas.  Recently I had the pleasure of listening to a local Baylor professor, Michael Foley, lecture on the topic of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  He was invited to speak to my Moms group and the Women's society at our church by a friend of mine.  He was brilliant and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.  I was enlightened and walked away with many new ways to celebrate not only Christ birth but ways to celebrate all the way to Epiphany.

That being said today is the Third day of Christmas and we honor St. John the Evangelist, the Beloved Disciple feast day.  A good way to celebrate today is to make St. John's wine.  Below is the prayer and recipe for St. John's wine from the Catholic Cookbook, by William Kaufman.

St. John's Wine

1 quart red wine
3 whole cloves
1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 two-inch cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar

Pour the wine into a large saucepan.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Serve hot. 8-10 servings.

The Prayer

Let us pray. Deign to bless and to consecrate with Thy right hand, O Lord God, this cup of wine and of whatever drink; and grant that all who believe in Thee and who drink from this cup may be blessed and protected through the merits of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist.  And just as blessed John drank poison from a cup and remained completely unharmed, so too may all who on this day in honor of the blessed John drink from this cup be freed by his merits from every malady of poison and from all harmful things whatsoever; and, offering themselves up in body and soul, may they be delivered from every fault.  Through Christ our Lord.

R: Amen

Bless, O Lord, this created drink, that it may be a salutary remedy for all who consume it: and grant through the invocation of Thy Holy Name that whoever tastes of it may, by your leave, receive as much health of the soul as of the body.  Through Christ our Lord.

R: Amen

And may the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, descend upon this created wine and whatever drink, and remain forever.

R: Amen

Later that night, the wine is poured into everyone's glass before dinner.  The father then takes his glass, touches it to the mother's and says, "I drink to you the love of St. John," to which the mother replies, "I thank you for the love of St. John."  Both take a sip before the mother turns to the oldest child and repeats the ritual, at which point the child turns to the next oldest, etc.  The last one to receive St. John's  love gives it back to the father, thus closing the family circle.

Happy Third Day of Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Veni Jesu

Midnight one night was still,
Heaven was whitening a hill;
Dark floundered in the wave of morn,
Infinite Infancy was born.
Eternal power sank below,
A frail white miracle of snow.
Eternal Wonder left the skies
And dwindled into two soft eyes,
Child limbs that could not reach,
Child lips that knew no speech
Spoken-save the murmurings heard
From breathing beast, wind and bird.
The unbeginning God began
To live the long slow hours of man.
His Mother, bending her fair head,
Straw-gathering--she laid His bed.
A whirling star-world came and halted
Above a blown-roofed, low, thatch-vaulted
Cave-Ah! are we not agreed
'Twas piteous royalty indeed!

-Fr. Leonard Feeney, MICM

Merry Baking

Today I did some merry baking with my little elves.

Michael and Kathryn both love to help in the kitchen but Michel is my baker.  Kathryn would rather help cook a proper meal.

This is Michael's finished creation

Kathryn added toothpicks, the natural choice for most bakers.

These are sickeningly sweet creations!

Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Merry Christmas

Feeling good because I've got our Christmas cards done early this year.   Well earlier than usual anyway.  What do you think?  Love my pretty babies.

Merry Christmas!
With Love Chartreuse Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shop for elegant Christmas photo cards.

View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who'd have thought it would have been the socks!

Last week was a very bad, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. It started on Monday when I silently let a certain burden come over me that caused me to check-out emotionally from my life. It didn't help that I was riding a hormonal roller coaster that week also.

I let everything go. The house was a wreck and I hadn't been to the grocery store so we were living on crumbs.

Then, by Wednesday my daughter came down sick. I spent several sleep deprived days watching over her, checking on her in the middle of the night, medicating her so that she would not have a seizure.

Thursday my husband brought it to my attention that my son had missed his soccer game. Now the truth of the matter is I just plain forgot he had a game. For weeks I had been thinking it was on Friday. I felt horrible that I let him down. I was off the hook because Kathryn was sick and there was no way I could get him there but I knew the truth. I JUST FORGOT.

Then the completely RIDICULOUS happened.

Friday, about 6:30 in the morning I was getting ready so I could take my daughter to the doctor when my husband came in.

He said very innocently to his sleep deprived, hormonal, emotionally checked-out wife: "Do I have any socks in the dryer?"

I'm thinking to myself, How would I know I checked-out on Monday. But I said "I don't know why?"

He said "I've been out of socks for four days and I've been wearing yours."

***(disclaimer: my husband never complains, and always helps when I need him to)***

My first response was to burst into wailing sobs. My second response was to say through wailing, grinding and gnashing of teeth. "I da da da don't know wh wh what to tell you. If you're out of socks wa wa wash some!"

There he stood like a deer in headlights, having no idea what is happening. I could see that he was thinking if he stood still enough he might actually become invisible.

Who knew that socks would send me careening over the edge of reason. But I mean really, can't a girl get a shout out on day one! All I can say is it's a good thing he didn't run out of underwear!

Can you imagine?

Monday, November 1, 2010

No rest for the weary

This has been a long hard week. My head aches, my bones are tired, my patience is thin. My heart aches for things longed for and groans for heartaches of others. It is my fervent prayer that this will end soon. My household will be thankful for its end. There are lessons to be learned if I have the ears to hear, the eyes to see and the heart to accept His will. But for now there is no rest for the weary, I must endure and rely on God's grace to get me through.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Party in Pictures

Recently we celebrated Kathryn's 2nd birthday. We had a great time with family and some friends. Here are some pictures from her special day celebration.

The ladybug cake I made for her 1st birthday.

This year we had an Olivia the pig party. I did my best to create an Olivia cake for her. It was a lot of fun and I was proud of my finished product. Next year we are going to try to break out of our red/black color scheme.

The guest of honor looking super cute in her pig tails. Thank you grandma for the cute outfit!

Not at all sure why everyone is singing to her.

Make a wish!

Gift from Nina. Thank you for the fun kitchen toys!

She loves her new "pack" as she calls it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm two!

Two years ago today my sweet angel baby made her stubborn entrance into this world. I found my self being whisked off to an emergency c-section under general anesthesia. I can remember the exact moment my doctor burst through the door came to my bedside put his hand on my leg and said " We need to get her out, it's going to be okay." I was looking at him so intently I can tell you every speckle of color in his eyes. I woke up an hour after she had made her appearance to hear her healthy screams. My voice instantly calmed her and although I was able to feel her I could not see her. Through the dense fog of anesthesia I could not muster the strength to open my eyes. Almost at the very same time I could feel my husband holding my hand and saying " she's here and she's perfect and beautiful." When I was able to open my eyes and see you for the first time it felt like seeing a vision of heaven on earth. Because of the circumstances surrounding her delivery daddy did not get to experience her birth either. He had just donned his scrubs for surgery when the nurse entered the room and told him that she had already been delivered. They had to get her out. He was just relieved that she was okay and I was doing well and also probably a little relieved that he didn't have to witness me being filleted open.

We brought her home and instantly our whole world became more beautiful. She was such an easy going baby. I always said when asked if having a second child was harder to adjust to than life with one...NO! Having the first child rocked my world for a while and when she came home she just fit into place and made life sweeter. The Lord knew I needed her and I'm so glad he created such a sweet soul. Today at two she is spunky, fearless, determined and spirited and she keeps me on my toes. She can hold her own against her brother who is two years older and even win a few battles. She certainly requires more correction than Michael ever needed at this age but that is her temperament. I pray the Lord continues to teach me in mothering you. That He will mature you into a woman of character who loves the Lord and lives for Him. That you will fulfill your purpose and vocation with glory and honor and by the grace of God be blessed with abundant happiness. I love that I get to be your mother and look forward to watching you grow.

Kathryn at 1 year

Kathryn at 2 years

Monday, February 8, 2010


The last several days has been very trying for the Bennett household. Our sweet baby girl had three seizures last Thursday, one that lasted eleven minutes. Now, nothing not even medical training can prepare a mother for something like this. I was devestated watching her go through this, pleading with God to make it stop and to keep her breathing. On and on it went as I watched to color fade from her body. I had done everything one can do for someone who is seizing and the rest is sit and wait for it to be over. We took her to our wonderful pediatrician and she was diagnosed with a viral illness. Her seizures are related to fever and she has had two episodes before this latest one but this time it was far more severe.

She was started on Phenobarbital to quiet the seizure activity. This medicine has changed our little girl in many ways. We watched her fade into a medicated stupor for three days. Barely able to stay awake, not able to walk without falling or bumping into something and only opening her eyes half way. As the days have gone by and her medication adjusted she is doing better but her personality is not her usual. She is very irritable. We will have an EEG done in two weeks and then we will be sent to see a pediatric neurologist in Dallas at Cook's Hospital. We will see what the future holds for this one. Pray that this is something she will grow out of and that we will not have to keep her medicated for long.

On top of all this Michael is sick and running fever also. He is on the mend with antibiotics and has been very good with his sister during this time.

On a lighter note I have to tell you something funny our little guy said to his dad on a trip to H-E-B. He was being a bit of a smart mouth that particular evening and had been reprimanded by my husband a few times. In the car on the way home my husband says to him. "Michael you really have a smart mouth don't you." Michael replies "Yes I do, I know my letters, numbers and sounds." He did of course have consequences for his attitude but Doug and I had a good laugh when he wasn't in the room.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How could someone persecute Jesus!

I have a little desk calendar that I read daily. It gives me a scripture for the day and a brief thought to ponder. Today's was particularly powerful and I thought I would share.

I heard a voice speaking to me..."Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
Acts 26:14
Stubbornness and selfishness will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Every time we stand on our own rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Him. And when we finally understand that it is Jesus we have been persecuting all this time, it is the most crushing revelation ever.
Desk Calendar My Utmost for His Highest - Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just call me Pam.

I picked Michael up from school today and he was in a very good mood. I proceeded to ask him some questions about his day.

Me: "Michael how was school today?"

Michael: " Mom can you say Mike how was school today? And I'll call you Pam."

Me: " Is that what your going by now? Mike."

Michael: "yes"

Me: "Mike how was school today?"

Michael: "Great, thanks Pam for asking!"

Seriously, the things this kid says! He is still calling me Pam.

Let them eat cake!

We celebrated Michael's birthday party last night at good ol' Chuck-E-Cheese. This year I had the pleasure of making his birthday cake as I have done in years past. I have made all his cakes except the one for his 2nd birthday. I was too busy gestating to be bothered, but Wal-mart did and excellent job in my place. I have made a train cake for his 1st birthday, and a Wow Wow Wubbzy cake for his 3rd. This years party theme was Wall-e, Michael's favorite movie. Wilton makes a Wall-e cake pan but I decided that I really didn't want to add to the collection of cake pans I already have. Not to mention the time it takes to pipe all the icing stars on the cake. So I went searching for another option. I found on the internet a Wall-e edible icing cake topper, inexpensive with the option to personalize it. So I decided to give it a try.

I ordered the cake topper in a 1/2 sheet cake size. I figured that we certainly did not need a full sheet cake and 1/2 would be plenty big. Lesson learned! You only need a 1/4 sheet cake unless your feeding an army. That small glitch aside, this was the easiest cake I've made yet. I certainly think the Wilton specialty cake pans are far prettier to look at but this cake served our purposes fine. It's just going to get demolished anyway. I was able to get the cake made and decorated while the kids played at my feet. In years past the other cakes took much more effort and I would have to send the kids somewhere else so that I could finish decorating.
Before and after

I will leave you with pictures of the cakes I've done in the past for his birthday.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Growing pains

Happy birthday Michael!

Today Michael turns 4. I cannot believe four years ago today I gave birth to my precious son. His birth date is very special to me. January 23 is both the worst day of my life and also one of the best. January 23, 2004 was the day I had to kiss my husband good-bye and prayed for his safety as he deployed to Iraq. I was filled with fear that day. I spent my days unable to sleep, eat or think clearly. Every time the phone rang I feared that it was someone calling to tell me he had been hurt. Not knowing exactly where he was stationed for several months added to my anxiety. Every city mentioned in the news where solders were hurt or killed could have been the city he was in. I prayed daily as well as with members of my family for his safety and the well being of his unit. I had to give all my anxiety to the Lord and rely on Him alone to get me through that difficult time. He did, and my husband came home as well as his entire unit.

Fast forward to January 23, 2006. My precious angel son was born. A hefty 8 pounds and 21 inches long. He, in the instant he was born made me a mother. I remember every detail of that day. I had a long unpleasant pregnancy but in one second it was made completely worth it when he took his first breath. I thank you Lord for such a joyful child, full of laughter and play. Intelligent and sweet. I love your kisses and the flowers you bring me to brighten my day. I love to see you develop daily into the man of character your going to be and pray that God will give me wisdom as I guide you on your way. It is only by the graces of God that he can take your worst day and make it the best! Beauty comes from ashes!

Michael you keep me on my toes and I love you. Your growing but the only one having growing pains is me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not so sure.

Well I've gone and done it. I'm blogging! Let me tell you I'm not so sure about this new adventure. I'm wondering if I'll actually have the time to post anything of consequence. I do love reading my friends blogs so why not give it a try. Stay tuned!