I just delivered a bag of gifts to the mom from 11 on my own.

Photo: For the family we sponsored.

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Christmas for a family of 12

Hello friends.
Christmas is coming up fast, and a family a few towns over from ours could use a little help with some Christmas cheer. Kristin is a now single mom of 11 children, trying to put herself through nursing school so she can make a better living to support her family.

I have a Christmas wish list (plus a few extra ideas of my own) for her children (and for her) and would love your help. Any extra funds will be given directly to her and her children.

Thank you for any donations and all of your prayers. I know they welcome them.

Make a Donation Button

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Oh goodness, it’s been a while.
Well, everyone, it’s summer, officially. It’s been a very very busy few months, and though Dan would love love love to sit for a while and write, he honestly doesn’t have the time! It takes all of our effort to keep each other informed on the important issues (G popped in his underwear today….. W has been lifting T when he gets stuck, T is pushing a tooth and took his first steps today) before passing out for the evening.
Let me tell you what he’s been up to.
Since he started working for New York Life, he has been happy. Every night, when he comes home, he’s tired, still has stuff to do, misses his family, and is happy. It’s a huge change from our previous situation. He loves helping his clients. He loves chatting with young families. He loves making a difference.
And I love that we’re getting a regular paycheck. Honestly, it couldn’t be better- he loves what he does and gets paid, on time, every two weeks. Okay, maybe it could be better- we could make more and we could have more time with him. We’re still paycheck to paycheck, but we never have to wonder if it’s going to come. We see him for maybe an hour a day, 6 days a week, but he doesn’t carry any frustration home when he gets back.
But really, we have security. It’s tough, but he’s never going to loose his job, ever- this is his career until he retires, which he’ll actually be able to do someday. We get a paycheck EVERY TWO WEEKS- I still can’t get over that- it’s so new to us- i don’t even care if it’s small, IT COMES, consistently. Crazy.

Me…. I’ve been taking care of the kiddos. It’s been a little lonely, I’ll admit. They miss daddy, and with the constant changing of schedules, it’s been a little rough on them (especially since I’m such a fan of a somewhat consistent schedule). It’s summer, it’s hot now, and that makes the boys (and me) extra grumpy. But we do have a kiddie pool, and friends with pools, and a lake nearby, and a state park with the best little pond and ‘beach’ ever….. so it is what it is.  My baby isn’t a baby anymore, he’s huge, and that makes me a little sad. Lucky for me, one of my besties is having a little boy in August, and another is having a boy in September, so I’ll have some babies to smooch. I also have a great group of friends, who I never see because we’re all busy moms, but just knowing they are there is encouraging. I’m also planning on initiating a moms of young kids group at our church in the fall, hopefully- must address that with Father.  (hi Father, if you’re reading this…. it would be super duper awesome because our church is full of babies but we never meet each other because we’re busy Catholic moms hearding our gillions of babies out the door after mass…… plus there would be food)

We’re about to celebrate my 27th, and T’s 1st birthday next month, and in the fall comes W’s 4th and G’s 3rd. Birthday presents this year are days off with Daddy! Then in January will be our 6 year wedding anniversary. I have a faithful, hard working husband, three healthy, thriving kids, a wonderful church community, and so many family and friends. I am so happy. I am so thankful. I am so blessed.

A shameless plug: if you would like any of the following, please feel free to contact us, and I’ll be sure Dan sets aside time to address it:
1)want to work for NYLife and have a great career and job stability?
2)need help with financial planning? It’s free, and flexible.
3)need life insurance? security for your family.


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Chris…. Kringle?

Kaitlin here again, with maybe Dan wrapping up since I need to go grocery shopping.

Do you remember how we talked a little about the pesky, stress filled financial situation we were in, but how we were TRYING, TRYING, TRYING to trust that crafty Lord of ours?

Well, He took care of us, and boy, was it a shocker. I could never have guessed how he would provide, and isn’t that how it always is? Seriously though, I expect to get a call from Hallmark Channel any day now.

We were not eligible for unemployment, which meant we would have absolutely no income from October 14th until Dan’s new job (commission only) triggered (which will happen next week most likely). That’s quite a long time to go with nothing. We leaned on family, and were wonderfully surprised by friends, but it was still stressful, even though we knew (and kept telling ourselves) that we would be okay, that God would continue to provide, and that this new job, while tough now, would be a great career move for our family.

Then, out of the blue, Dan received a voice mail from ‘Chris’ in the unemployment office, saying that he had reviewed his file and thought he could help us out.

Dan here (Kaitlin went grocery shopping).  So since I had only just missed Chris’ call I called the number on my cell phone’s caller ID right back.  Sure enough, it was the unemployment office.  I hit 0 to get to an operator and I then explained my situation and asked if I could speak to Chris.  The operator said, after thinking for a minute, that she didn’t know anybody by the name of Chris in that department (inter-state since Chris had said I would be eligible for the Federal Extension of benefits from my previous claim 2 years ago in MA).  Curiouser and curiouser

Since Chris’ voicemail had said he would try again (instead of leaving me a number to reach him) I decided I would just wait for his call.  When he called back and we finally connected he asked me some fairly general questions about what I had been doing for work since the beginning of 2011 (when my last unemployment claim ended) most of which he already had but was just looking for some confirmation of a few details.  He then said that he was going to send off the paperwork to Massachusetts and that I should hear from someone either via mail or phone in a week or two.

Sure enough, I received the two calls that Chris had predicted – one telling me that I was ineligible for benefits and the second (from the same person ironically) telling me that I was eligible for the Federal extension of benefits through the end of this year.  3 days later, 8 checks arrived in our mailbox containing enough funds to see my family through January and into February by which point my new job should be providing enough income.

So, Hallmark, I wonder, how does Chris spells his name and what his last name might be?  Kris perhaps?  Kringle perhaps?  or perhaps it’s Nicholas?

Anyway, this was a story about how God, yet again, provided for our needs and about how we can trust that He will continue to do so.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Rachel Weeping…


“A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.” Mt. 2:18

It’s hard to put (figurative) pen to (figurative) paper in light of an event as evil as the massacre that happened in Newtown, CT on Friday.  A colleague’s niece was among those killed.

I’m grateful for the way my writing this post is continually being interrupted by the sound of my children playing happily (at the moment anyway) in their playroom, the sound of their feet as they come running to show me some toy or (pretend) food they have.  Gabriel just brought me a pretend carrot with, he says, chocolate chips on it.

Theodicy, or in layman’s terms, the problem of evil.  No good explanation of theological terms and concepts, no matter how true, logical or inspired, can ever give an answer to Rachel weeping.  Rachel weeping, refusing to be consoled.  How can you even speak any words of hope when everything seems to be darkness? Every phrase that people murmur in times like these rings hollow, as worthless cliches.

Yet not all is darkness.  

The fundamental truth on which Christianity is based is that Golgotha always must proceed Easter.  Christ crucified is what we proclaim.  That Christ, God, Infinite, Innocent and Holy, suffered, took on all suffering, death and sin, that darkness fell over the land, the sun was covered and all hope was lost. That he gave up his spirit and died, murdered by those He had come to set free.  If the Infinite suffered, the suffering was infinite and contained all suffering including Fridays.  Christ crucified contains the suffering of those families – their suffering participates in the Cross.

Yet darkness was not the end of the story.

Today is still too soon to write about Easter for those families.  Rachel weeping, still refuses to be consoled. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou amongst women
and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of death.

The vigil/service tonight is at 7:00PM.  For those, like me, who can’t be there I encourage you to offer a Rosary, or Divine Mercy chaplet (For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have Mercy on us and on the whole world) or other suitable prayer for all those families directly affected by this horror.  For all of those who are Rachel weeping, refusing to be consoled.  Trust that “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

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Focus on what matters.

Focus on what matters.

No matter who is president, Jesus is King.

My family will be taught good strong morals and have a strong, solid foundation.

Times are tough, and we can hold our mother’s hand (PRAY YOUR ROSARY).

and this.

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Kaitlin here.

Trust is a tricky thing. It sounds cliche to talk about trust, so I’m going to with as many cliches as possible.

I’d like to think I’m great at it, that I never worry, that I never fear the unknown, that I completely and utterly trust 1)my God, and 2) my husband. But realistically, I’m a hormonal, emotional, crazy person (okay, woman- I know my husband is thinking: that’s redundant- hush you!). I worry about what tomorrow brings. I get nervous thinking about the what ifs. I fear for the safety and welfare of my children.  I’m concerned that I’m not able, experienced or good enough…. for anything. And, most currently, I’m worried about our financial situation. Here’s what we’ve been dealing with the last few years/months.

What I do during these times (what I try) is to remind myself how God has provided in the past, and how my husband has never left my side. When we were trying for Will, Dan’s job moved from an hour away, to a mile. When Will was born, I was in the care of my two absolute favorite members of the OBGYN team, making my (huge) child birth a little less stressful. When we were scared because Will was puking up blood, my cousin met the ambulance (Will and myself) at the children’s hospital while Dan was delayed getting our stuff together and driving behind us. When we tried to buy a house, even though it was crazy, Dan had the best month of his life (financially) and was able to work from home (though no one else was). When Gabriel was born, and we got calls IN THE HOSPITAL from his work, and a week later found out the US company was going down the tubes, we got an email that HIS job was secure. I’m sure if you look into your own life, you can find times of unexpected support.

I must remind myself of these events, and others like it, in times like these. I know I have family and friends that would gladly help us out should we need it, financially and emotionally, but it’s soooo hard to remember that!

When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s tough- I know many people out there who are aware of this too. For me, I can deal with that, even if it means being on a very tight budget (thanks, mom, I can budget like…. something that’s good at budgeting….. fail) but the not knowing WHEN we’re going to get the next paycheck, or how much it will be, that kills me. I never know if we’re going to get the money, or when. We’re owed a lot, but we can’t see it or use it, and our bills and debt keeps whispering in my ear. Trust is hard when you’ve been doing it for a long time, and keep feeling let down. We’ve been in uncharted waters since late last summer, and we kept getting told it was going to get better soon. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but how do we trust that it’s real, when it seems to have been fake many times in the past?

I don’t know when we’re getting our next paycheck. I don’t know what is in store for my family, for my children, for my own future. I can’t see into the future, as much as I’d like to. Trusting in God doesn’t mean you’ll have an easy life, or a perfect future. For me, though, it means that no matter what happens, I’ll have someone to turn to, spiritually (God), but also tangibly- I know my husband will always choose to be with me, and beyond that, God has always provided someone to be there.  That’s what I’m going with for now.

Life has been pretty hectic around here the past few weeks. My wonderfully talented husband is no longer working for his boss in the uk. This is both awesome and terrifying. I just keep telling myself, God always provides- he has in the past, he will again. We are getting about 1/3 of what we’re owed (or at least we hope so) and he’s looking for work. Exciting, because by Christmas, I’ll never have to deal with that guy again (not going to lie, i’m a little grouchy with him). Exciting because my superhusband is going in for his third interview with New York Life (by the way, who wants to let him practice on you? seriously, send an email if you’re in the area- he’s pretty smart) and it looks like the direction we’re heading in for his career. Proving to us that God provides- the day after he and his boss parted ways, he had three interviews scheduled. Scary because, where is our income going to be coming from the next weeks/months until his commission kicks in? (hint hint Lord)

So that’s the financial situation. We also just faced Sandy. I was prepared, but scared. My kids are young, and I irrationally worry about things like trees falling on them in their beds (yeah, I know, I have all the scripture versus to recite, and my kids do the rosary with me, but I’m also human). I can’t believe that 1/3 of our town was without power and we were not among them. We also had no damage to our home or car. I’m so very very thankful.

See? God provides. Not always how I want. Okay, almost always not how I want or plan. But He does, you just have to figure out how He’s doing it. And I, as a planner, don’t always enjoy doing that, but I know it’s good for me. makes  me grow as a person and spiritually and all that.

this really should have been two or three posts. oh well. snaps to you if you read it.

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