Smelly Chrism and Confirmation and stuff!



As most moms know, the first few months after you have a baby are spent stumbling around in a sleep deprived, hormonally-imbalanced stupor. You hold that teeny little life in your arms and you can’t remember a moment when your heart wasn’t aching with love for your child. (You also can’t remember the last time that you took a shower or have eaten a warm meal, but that is beside the point.)You can’t begin to fathom the idea that this helpless little one will one day learn how to walk and talk. You teach your little ones their ABCs. You take them to church and you claim them for the God in Baptism. You teach them kindness and thoughtfulness.(Or at least to not hit their siblings over the head with a bat.) It feels almost as a  betrayal when your child begins school and their once little world, that revolved around you and your family, seems to explode. You are no longer the center. You are somewhere in their periphery, a stable, constant presence. You pray that as their world grows, they cling to the same center that grounds your life, a faithful God.


And then it happens…you blink. Suddenly they have changed overnight from sweet little chubby-faced babies to lovely, bright-eyed young ladies.

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Like a crazy person I start to hear that favorite wedding song, “Sunrise, Sunset”play in my head.” Is this the little girl I carried???”  There is no freaking way.

And yet, here they are, all grown up. Hannah and Gianna were confirmed on Sunday. They have stood up in our church and claimed the Catholic Faith for their own. They no longer need an adult to speak up for them as their godparents did years ago at their Baptisms. No, they spoke for themselves. They each chose their Sponsor to help guide them as “adults” in the eyes of the church.(Hannah chose DJ. Gianna chose Coley) They each chose a special saint to look toward for guidance.(Hannah chose Saint Cecilia and Gianna chose Saint Rita.) They have each chosen to keep God firmly at the center of their lives.

As the Bishop anointed their heads with the deliciously smelling chrism and their sponsors placed their hands on their shoulders, it struck me as such a beautiful moment. Not only have Hannah and Gianna made this choice, but they each chose one of their siblings to help them through this journey. I could truly see the Holy Spirit alive in my children as they shared that special moment. Proud Momma here!





Relay For Life

This is 7 years old, but it is the other side of DJ’s journey.


There are defining moments in every one’s life. You know what I mean. Those moments that you look back on and say before this happened or after that happened. For our family one such moment occurred on July 6th, 2001. We were at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh with our oldest son DJ. He was having alot of pain in his shoulder and after seeing doctor after doctor and being poked and prodded, he was finally sent for a bone marrow test. I remember the moment so clearly. It is forever seared in my mind. Doctor Wollman walked into the room and in his kind gentle voice said those terrifying words that NO parent wants to hear. “It’s leukemia.” He went on to say that they weren’t sure, but he was confident that it was Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) which is the “best kind to have if you are…

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April Fools…

As the mother of 9 intelligent, spunky, mischievous kids, few things put me on high alert like April Fool’s day. Ugh. It is a constant barrage of pranks and jokes. The little ones try desperately to “get” the big kids. The mid-kids are in it full swing! They have no mercy. They will prank little and big kids alike. Yesterday was a day full of whispers and conspiratorial glances. Gianna and Noah were bound and determined to trick Jake. Let’s just say, they used a lot of tape and chocolate syrup…I don’t really want to relive it. (They did clean up after themselves. Which I thought was somehow a joke on me.)

But the best prank had to be by Jake. He is using good old-fashioned fear and paranoia to trick the mid kids, Noah and Gia in particular. He keeps dropping hints that something is coming. He is going to get them when they aren’t expecting it. Just wait….Needless to say, they are completely freaked out. They are on the look out for some big prank. They are anxiously waiting and fretting. But the joke is that it isn’t ever coming…. Ahhh mind games. Gotta love it!