Monday, June 29, 2009

Mia's First Recital

Yesterday marked the day of Mia's first violin recital. It was in the backyard of her teacher's house. She started lessons in April and is progressing along quite well. We even cancelled her lessons for a few weeks because she refused to practise. A few days after we cancelled her lessons, she started practising again. Yeah! She had her final lesson a day before her recital and realized that she actually really likes violin and wants to continue on in the fall. She loves her teacher (who is amazing, by the way) and doesn't want to let her down. After the recital, both boys expressed a deep longing to take lessons. We do have a smaller violin thanks to uncle C that Owen has played on three times today. That is a novelty that will wear off, I'm sure. Well, before I go on and on like a proud mom, here is the video of her first recital. She was in hurry to get out of the spotlight, thus the somewhat strange final few bars. Enjoy!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today's Gospel: John 19: 31 - 37
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him;
33 but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
35 He who saw it has borne witness -- his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth -- that you also may believe.
36 For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of him shall be broken."
37 And again another scripture says, "They shall look on him whom they have pierced."

Once you have read the Gospel and watched the video you can attempt to draw your own picture of the Sacred Heart. There is a tutorial here. There is also an art activity in Seton's Art 1 for Young Catholics. You could read this little book or learn more about the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the promises made by Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary. You could also celebrate with a heart shaped cake or cookies. If you make a cake you can put one candle on it to represent Jesus as light of the world. I will post pictures if I make such a cake or cookies today. God bless.

An Interesting Find

I found this old photograph tucked in a frame behind one of the wedding photos below. I had no idea it was there and we got the frame as a wedding gift, so I truly don't know how it got there. I wanted to share it anyway. This picture is of my grandmother and late grandfather with 8 of their children. One was already in heaven and two were yet to be born. There are also two set of twins, can you find them? One of them is also my mom. Do you have photos like this packed away somewhere? I love looking at the older photographs. My grandmother has literally tons of pictures and when we come to visit, she show us them all (or as many as possible).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

10 Years Ago Today

10 Years Ago Today...
This man married this woman...

Legally! Ok, I know that I have mentioned before that I lived in Germany and I probably already mentioned that I got married and had my three kids there, but I haven't explained the whole "getting married there thing."

The Germans have separated state and God in many things and why should marriage be any different. EVERYONE who gets married in Germany MUST get married at their local city or town hall. That is LAW! There is no signing of the register as a part of a religious ceremony because you come to the church already legally married. So my husband and I have actually two wedding anniversaries: one at the town hall and the one that counts, at the church. To make a long story as short as possible, we got married on June 18, 1999 in Bonn, Germany at approximately 9:40am. Almost three months later, we flew to Canada and had our marriage blessed in the church I was baptized in. That was on September 3, 1999. It was strange for me, but normal in Germany. Some people wait a year in order to save up for the big church wedding and some (unfortunately a majority) never get married in a church. It was important to me to get married in my home town so that my whole family would be there to witness this wonderful sacrament. None of my family could (or was expected) to travel to Germany for the 20 minute or so ceremony in the old city hall. We weren't practising at the time, but I knew that I could never get married without getting God's blessing. Looking back, I would have done a few things differently. But I have never doubted that my husband was truly sent to me by God. The chances of us ever meeting were one in a gazillion.

I was working near Frankfurt at the time and he lived in Bonn. I had the weekend off and wanted to see Bonn and Cologne. I stayed at the youth hostel in Bonn that weekend. My husband had done his civil service year(government requirement) at the youth hostel where we met. He wasn't working there anymore. One of his buddies just finished his civil service that night and begged him to come there for a drink and then a night out on the town. If you knew my husband you would know how hard it is to convince him to go out. He is a home body and doesn't mind admitting it. He doesn't even drink! But somehow the boys convinced him to come out for one last beer. (They have a bistro and cafe there in case you were wondering) It was in the bistro that he laid eyes on me. He told the guys that I was his. He put dibs on me. He kept staring at me. I was curious, but wasn't really looking for a relationship. I left Canada with a boyfriend back home. We eventually broke up because of the distance. I just wanted to be single. God knew better. He nudged me to go introduce myself because the guy staring at me was too shy to come over and introduce himself. I introduced myself to him and his three chums in the worst German imaginable and from then on.... we were inseperable souls. I took a risk falling in love with a guy who spoke a different mother tongue than myself. I still worked in Frankfurt and he still lived in Bonn for a while. One thing led to another and I moved to Bonn, he proposed and we got married 10 months later.

Here are some more pictures of our first day as husband and wife.

Exchange of the rings

Sascha signing the first time with his new name (yes, he took my name!)

Me signing the first time as Mrs. Sascha V

Us sealing the deal

Both of us grinning from ear to ear outside city hall

This last picture was taken back at our place. How symbolic?!? The frozen strawberry cake that I made was so solid that it took both of us to chip and saw away at it until all of our guests got a piece. Talk about having to work together.

As I finish writing, I am dreaming back to the time of no kids, no worries and lots of love. I wish he were here and not working tonight. I can't believe how young we looked. I thought I loved him a whole heap back then, but the truth is that I love him more now and continue to grow in loving him each day that passes. Thank you Lord for this wonderful sacrament and this wonderful man.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunday in Nature

I would love to spend more time on nature walks, but we somehow don't get to it. The sub-zero temperatures in the winter cause me to cringe and with no (second) vehicle, we don't get to see nature very often. We live in the suburbs and you generally have all the same types of vegetation and birds to observe everywhere you look. We do live close to a provincial park, but it is not within walking distance. This Sunday we finally made it to the Fish Creek provincial park for some family bonding time. We had a lot of fun and hope to visit it more.

After our visit to the park, my husband had the great of idea of window shopping for cars. We don't Sunday shop unless it is an absolute emergency. Ok, so we didn't really window shop, but we did drive to the used car dealer where we bought our car to see if they had any great deals. We didn't expect them to be open, but they were. We were looking for more room and more seats in the hopes of expanding our family. One particular van caught my husband's eye and was right in our price range. It was a red GMC Safari 8 seater van. Ok it is old and has almost 250,000km on it, but we aren't into new and fancy anyway. Mom needs a taxi and this van is great. Lots of room in comparison to our VW Jetta. The first thing Noah said was, "Mom now we can go to daily Mass and Holy Hour!" Precisely what I was thinking. We try to attend daily Mass as often as we can, weather permitting of course. Children's Holy Hour has not been attended to often this past winter because of the -20C weather we had on most Fridays during our very long winter. This spring they have had thunderstorm warning and rain on most of the Fridays. I don't want to risk getting caught in it. We did last year and the kids were so frightened. I can't do that again. So you see, we need a van. We also need a few more kids to fill it. My littles have been praying for twins. I really hope for more, but twins??? Well, an ept was faintly positive yesterday, so who knows? Could I really be pregnant again? Please say a little prayer.

So here are some picture of our wonderful Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Small Successes

I haven't posted any small success for a long time because I frankly didn't feel very successful. This week I think I should try to at least look like I did a few things right.

1. I help Mia with her violin almost everyday this week. She didn't need help yesterday and I think we missed one day otherwise. She just started taking Suzuki violin lesson and hasn't wanted to practise very much. We gave her an ultimatum last weekend and told her if she doesn't practise more we will cancel lessons. Well, she practises more, but I still have to help. I don't mind if it isn't like pulling teeth.
2. We have been really had to household our money lately. My husband's job has been just barely paying the bills. We try really hard to budget and still have food on the table. We are doing ok. That is something. Dh is starting a new job on Monday, I hope the purse strings loosen up a little, eventually.
3. I planned this coming year's school year for all three kids. I made up my own preschool program for the littlest and bought books for the two oldest. They all want to start school in two weeks. We made a plan to school year round (3 weeks school, one week off with more time off in December and at Easter). I finally feel confident in my teaching the kids and that is a small success of its own.

What are your successes? Follow the link to see more small successes and to write your own.

Do You Believe It???

This is a picture of our backyard less than an hour ago. Look at the poor lilacs on the neighbour's side of the fence. The tulips were just starting to bloom and the cherry tree was in full blossom. There were even a few strawberry blossoms to be seen and the morning glories sprouted this past week too. The weather here is abominal! I lived in Canada for almost 20 years before I left for Germany and almost two since then and have never seen anything like this. Aparently the city we are living in can see snow every month of the year. I really don't think this is something to strive for. It was +20C and more the last few weeks and now this! God save my tomato plants and everything else, please.

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