Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Wilkersons and their user-friendly little people Triduum

Hey All! I was going to write this as a facebook post, but then I realized it would be a bit lengthy. I'm gonna tell you our plans for the next two days to live these holy moments.

There are all kinds of blogs who have way better ideas and certainly with waaaaaay more effort.  But, I've decided the best way to go about life with our family is to start with baby steps.  We'll only go up from here right?

Gosh, I used to love this time of year.  And in a lot of ways, I feel like God gave us an opportunity to uniquely walk with Christ this Holy Week in our domestic church.  Our family van was totaled, RSV hit our house and put Malia in the hospital for a couple days, etc... The Lord moved in my heart during those wee hours of the night on the pediatrics floor of the hospital and allowed me to understand Him deeper (between the irrational, exhausted evil text messages I sent my husband). I hope to share some of that with you guys in the days to come.

Though I am not able to sit through the long beautiful liturgies anymore (those of you who do it with young children, you are my heroes)... there are little things we can do to carry our family through this very holy time in our Church.

So, without further ado, here are the plans I have for today and tomorrow.  I haven't thought through Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday yet (beyond traditions we already do)- but if I think of something good, I'll let you know.  Most of these ideas were stolen from others, some are tweaked to meet a very young family's needs.

Today we will take a trek up to an International Market (Ishtar in West Bloomfield for local friends) and buy the best darn pita bread on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.  We will also buy some authentic, good hummus.

During the day, I will show the kids various little videos on the Last Supper and, in a particular, the foot washing. I am planning on just searching for these on 'the youtube'

At 5:30 pm, we will lay blankets on our floor in the family room and sit on pillows.  We will have a platter in the middle with the best.darn.pita, hummus, and apple slices.  We will talk about how Jesus ate and discuss the Last Supper/Eucharist (Note- this will NOT be a Seder Meal, which is apparently controversial, though I'm still not sure I agree).

After, Aaron and I will wash the feet of the children and invite the children to wash each other's feet.  I will think of some words we can say that are easy that the kids can say (perhaps, 'to serve others is to serve Christ').

The Children will go to bed.

1)  We will begin the day by 'shrouding' all the Holy Images in our House.  The crosses, the Crucifixes,and the Statues.  We will talk about Good Friday as the darkest day in our history.

2)  Thank you cards.  We will make Thank You cards with stickers, pictures and words (for little Aaron).  We will discuss our Thank You to Jesus for the gift of the cross.  We will then go to a local Church and drop them off at the foot of a crucifix.

3)  We will dress in black as a way to remind ourselves Good Friday is a day of complete mourning.

3)  This is cray, and some of you might be scandalized, but we are going to watch that Passion that was broadcast on Fox Sunday night. I know Lil' Aaron, Big Aaron and I will love it.  And I happen to think it was a super cool moment, in a really not super cool culture.  We are a musical loving family, and I like how it brought the Gospel alive.

Then... we will go to bed.

Those are our plans. I think they will work well with our four children who are 4 and under.  I always tend to bite off more than I can chew, but I think these are good, realistic ways to live the next couple days.  I'll let you know how it goes ;)

Friday, March 11, 2016

7 Quick Takes updates, unfollowing and more

Oh, my goodness.  Things have been busy around here ministry wise.  This has probably been the busiest stretch I've had since right after John Paul was born. And it's so.much.good.stuff.  I have loved speaking with wonderful groups of men/women.  I've grown from intentionally recognizing God's goodness in our lives.  I think I might have even got a job offer.
 "If you'd ever think about working here, we would seriously love to have you... no, seriously"
As per usual, it just makes that discernment of vocation so much more important.
So far though, I'm just taking it one 'yes' at a time.  We shall see what God wants to do.

I said it on "the facebook", but imma say it again...
Praise you Jesus for the 'unfollow' button on facebook.
I have unfollowed more people in the past 48 hours than I ever have before.
Whether people are 'feeling the bern',
or taking smug satisfaction in Trump being the front runner.
Whether people are inclined to imply Trump represents the racist/bigoted mindset of the right,
or pretend the follies of Ms. Clinton are insignificant.
My gosh- I've even started turning off the notifications on my own posts!

I have deeeeeeeeeeeeelighted in that little button in the upper right corner which allows me to pretend the world is a very different place than it actually might be.

Is that healthy?
perhaps not.
Does it allow social media to continue to be a place of happiness and joy for me?

you guys.
Having a daughter right?
Let me show you something if we are not facebook or insta friends...

Those eyes.
That smile.  She is always smiling!!!
And the pigtails. freaking pigtails!!!!
The things this little girl does to our hearts are hard to put into words.
I feel so much joy when I am around her.  She has completely and totally turned my world inside out with love.

I'm going to tell you a secret.
I am not a co-sleeper.
I am not an attachment-parenter
And yet, this little girl is still in a bassinet right next to my bed.
She is bursting out of it, literally, her little feet stick out of it when she stretches them.

It's because of her reflux.  But girlfriend is 6 months old. We are going to move her into her room next week. I am SO sad about it.
I have never felt SO sad about a kid growing up.
precious and few are these months my friends, precious and few.

I'd like to tell you about a conversation I had yesterday with my eldest son.
I was reflecting with him on what a blessing it has been that we haven't been sick in a few months.
and then, kid says this.
"Yes, but daddy is going out of town, and we always get sick when daddy goes out of town"

Can we do a little knocking on the wood it doesn't happen?
I'm not telling you when he is going so you don't come and murder me, but it's sometime in the next month and it would be such a bummer if we get sick prior to Disney.  But it is true, we always get sick when Daddy is out of town.

The same kid who reminded me 'we are always sick when daddy is out of town' shared something INTERESTING this morning.

I had to drop him off at school, with all the other kids.
This rarely happens because it is a huge pain that includes taking all the kids into a building, walking down a flight of stairs, signing lil' A in and then taking them all back into the car.
The buckling/unbuckling of seatbelts alone would take down a lesser person.
We were running a wee bit late and I was getting a wee bit stressed.
Little Aaron says,
"Oh, don't worry mommy, daddy and I are late all the time, he just signs me it at the front office"

Sorry, going back to the daughter thing.
I am buying an Easter dress, for my daughter, this weekend.

And, finally-
My brother, his wife, and their seven kids are LEGIT moving back to Michigan.
His four youngest match up quite well with the ages of my four.
Cousins! In state! How much fun is that going to be?
NOW, if we can just convince my husband to shell out the cash it will take to send them all to school together!
(Catholic school already be like, 'whoa' in terms of cost, but Catholic school at some Catholic schools be like, "Whaaaaaaaa? WHOA!")

Linking up with http://thisaintthelyceum.org/  for the quick takes.  Go check it out!  And have a great week.

Friday, March 4, 2016

7 Quick Takes of election, thank yous and adulting

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for the prayers you may have said for me when I was headed out to Peoria to present on Digital Media.  The day went great, despite some hiccups on the way out having to do with a winter storm and flight delays. I gotta tell you, you know how there are those people who travel regularly for work? I could not be one of those people.

But, the day was lovely.
And Sister Maria Christi was absolutely wonderful. Well, frankly, so were all the sisters I was able to spend time with.  The hospitality of the moms group was amazing, including a mom named Karen who has 8 sons! 8!!!
The presentations went really well, and I was blessed by the Community of St. Jude.  I told them, and the ol' husband, we might have to look for a transfer out that way so we be a part of the great things happening in that part of the world.
OH! And I got to lunch with a dear old friend, Father Adam Stimpson.
All and all, a really successful trip.

I can say a lot of things here, about the election.
But it's all been said.
Well, most of it anyway.
The thing is, where we are at right now, the political climate, it's all of our faults.
And Trump just might be the match that lights the gasoline that has been poured for the past 8 years.
But maybe not?
And even if he does, what's the worst thing that can happen?
Threaten Me with Heaven?
It's all they can do.

Do your children create collections?
Mine do.
Of all kinds of things.
You should see their 'Disney World' collections right now.
The piles and piles of stuff they gather together.
It's kind of cute, until they fight if someone touches their collection.  Then, it becomes really uncute really quick.

Obligatory Malia Paul Take
Here's the thing. Maybe it's because she's a girl. Or maybe it's because appreciation grows with each kids. Or maybe she is just really special...but I am telling you, this girl takes my breath away.
Her smile, her intense eyes, dressing her in adorable outfits... I just can't handle her adorable.
She's wearing her first pair of jeans today, with this lovely little shirt 'Mommy's Sweet <3 and honestly...I cannot take it.
That is all.

I am giving a retreat for the Archdiocese of Detroit tomorrow to prepare pilgrims for World Youth Day in Krakow.  The content is mostly new, and I am excited to hang out with older young people and talk about my favorite church event.  In the next five days, I will be giving a retreat and two evenings of reflection on Mercy, using Pope Francis as the teacher.  We are so blessed to have this pope.

The Wilkersons are headed to Kentucky for Easter!
I am excited to see my sisters, my nephews and nieces and spend a drama-free holiday with the ones I love.  Also, can you imagine a better way to celebrate the Resurrection than Raising Canes?  Because I certainly cannot.

I find adulting really hard.
The big decisions.
We are constantly discussing whether or not to stay in our house or to move. I LOVE our house. I really do. It's about 1100 square feet of awesome.   But it doesn't have a dining room.  And it doesn't have a fireplace.  And I don't love our neighborhood. And Jesus might ask us to have another kid, which I think we are pretty open to (I KNOW RIGHT?!?!)- and 1,100 square feet might be a little small for 7 people.
But staying in our tiny house, in this neighborhood, allows us to do things I love. Like travel.  It allows us to do things like send our kids to Catholic schools.
So sometimes, I think we should just stay in this house forever.
And other days, I feel like we have to move RIGHT NOW.

Another tricky.
I love sending our kids to the Catholic school down the road.  And sometimes, I want to do it forever.  But then, we look at what it's going to cost, if we send all of our kids to Catholic schools for at least 9 years.  It's an overwhelming number of American Dollars.

We could move to a different house, in a different neighborhood, with a dining room and a fireplace.  We could put our kids in good Public Schools.  We couldn't travel as much, but we could still travel

I just don't know which path we should choose.
So, I told Aaron we should just take it one year at a time.  But then he reminded me, if we want to move, it's going to take planning- so we need to figure out what we need to do.

Guys- what should we do?!?!

Adulting is hard.

Linking up with http://thisaintthelyceum.org/  for the quick takes.  Go check it out!  And have a great week.