Sunday, May 19, 2019

Happy Everything!

This has been an exciting weekend! Sarah graduated Summa Cum Laude with an undergraduate degree in Communications Disorders from Bridgewater State University. It’s been an exciting journey...a very quick journey I might add. Sarah managed to finish a four year degree in almost two years!! How you might ask? Well, Sarah is truly an exceptional student. She took 9 AP classes in high school and passed all of the tests for credit. She also took the Spanish CLEP test the summer before she started college and did so well that she got 12 more college credits. Somehow, all the credits that she had going into college fit just right into Bridgewater’s framework, and she started college with enough credits to be considered a junior! 

Sarah was Sarah all through college and was her normal overachieving self! She even pushed herself in the very last semester. She found out Bridgewater offered a certificate course is TESOL.(Teaching English as a Second or Other Language) It required four classes, but one she had already taken as part of her major. So, the last semester of college Sarah still took 6 courses to earn that certificate! #overachiever

Sarah wants to be a Speech Therapist and will be continuing on at Bridgewater to pursue a Master's Degree. That was a tough decision for Sarah. She applied to several Master's Degree programs, and Emerson was her absolute favorite. Yet, when numbers were crunched and the positive and negatives of each program were weighed, Sarah decided that Bridgewater would be the place she could earn the degree she wants without creating a massive amount of debt. She's already been trying to get an assistantship at Bridgewater. It's very promising that she will be able to get one, which would pay for her tuition plus a little extra that should cover most of her living expenses. If everything falls into place, Sarah will graduated with a Master's Degree with zero college debt since she got a full scholarship as an undergraduate and commuted so she wouldn't have to pay for dorming. 

That's definitely not a bad way to start out life as an adult!

Sarah's graduation cap:
~picture of the brain which Sarah colored and labeled
~ComD..short for Communications Disorders
~See You Again Soon...bc she'll be back in the fall for Grad School
~sun,fossil,bus: " 's' sound in a word in the initial, medial, and final position"...that's a speech therapy thing.

As if this weekend wasn't exciting enough, today is Sarah's 20th birthday! What a way to start a new decade!

Happy Everything, Sarah! 

Dad and I are so proud of your achievements! Even more than that, we are so proud of the faithful and kind young woman you are! We are so blessed to be your parents! 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Run To Jesus

I have been blessed to raise 8 children. These children have taught me to love and give as I never thought I could. They have brought me incredible joys, and at times, have brought me to the brink of despair. Life with my children has been a strong catalyst in strengthening my own relationship with God. Nothing brings me to my knees faster than their struggles. Nothing brings me to praise God quicker than their personal victories. They have taught me to run to Jesus in all things.

One of our sons, Peter, is profoundly Autistic. When Peter was around 7, he was still in the thick of the difficult years of parenting him. He was a very wiggly kid who still had a habit of bolting away from us. Peter needed to have constant...and I mean 24/7 kind of constant...supervision. He had the impulsiveness of a young toddler and the physical coordination of a child his age. We had keyed locks on all our windows to keep him from escaping the house...put on after he escaped out of a window when I took my eyes off of him for a literal two minutes and didn't find him until 10 minutes later halfway down the street of our neighborhood sitting on one of our neighbor's lawn mower tractors in their driveway. Life with Peter at that point in time was extremely stressful.

Every Sunday, Peter sits next to my husband, Jay, at Mass. It was a challenging hour to get through for Peter...and us! One Sunday at Mass when he was around 7, Peter slid out of the pew and...........

Click here to keep reading my blogpost over at Catholic Sistas

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

"What Do Those Stones Mean To You?"

It's a really interesting stage of life we are in with our two engaged sons. I'm enjoying listening to their plans and watching the process as they start creating the details of their (not so distant) future lives as husband and wife. Besides all of the actual wedding plans, of which there are many(!), there's all the practical decisions to make, like where they will actually live.

Our son, Andrew, has been looking for an apartment that will be the first home for him and his fiance, Liz, once they are married in August. The most important features that they were searching for in an apartment was a safe location and a price that could fit into their budget. Liz was hoping for a two bedroom for a little extra room, but that was in a category of “wish list” rather than “must haves”.

They have been searching for several weeks and haven't found much that fit into their location/price criteria. They did get offered a small one bedroom, third floor apartment. Andrew wanted to take it because they hadn't found anything else, but Liz didn't really like it. The wedding isn't until August so they have some time, and together they made the decision to pass on the apartment and keep looking.

A couple more weeks passed and still nothing. Andrew tried contacting some listings he found on Craigslist, but his emails went unanswered. Jay and I were praying for Andrew and Liz to find the right place for them. Jay was praying in particular to St. Joseph. St. Joseph certainly understands trying to find shelter and the desire to care for your family! In my own prayers for the situation, the scripture line “I prepare a place for you.” John 14:2, kept popping in my head. Certainly we had some extra opportunities to practice trust!

Yesterday, I was at work and one of my parent's tenants came in to pay their rent. This particular tenant lived on the second floor of the tenement house my mom grew up in. He handed me a letter for my mom and explained that he and his wife bought a house and would be moving out by the last day of May.

I was overjoyed...and incredibly thankful! God couldn't have worked out the timing any better! Like my mom said when I told her the news, “It must have been meant to be!”. This apartment is in a safe neighborhood, in the price range they could afford, and it even has two bedrooms. Check, check, and check! Isn't is a great thing when God not only takes care of our needs but also our wants?!?

I have said many prayers of thanksgiving since this apartment became available for Andrew and Liz yesterday. I started thinking that the blessing of this apartment will be a memorial stone for both of them. Do you remember the story of the memorial stones from the Book of Joshua? God parted the Jordan so that the Israelites could pass through and He wanted them to always remember the miracle.

“When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua,
“Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them,
Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan,
from the very place where the priests' feet stood,
and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight..
....when your children ask in time to come, 'What do those stones mean to you?
Then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan
were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord;
when it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.
So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial for ever.”Joshua 4:1-3;6-7

There have been so many times in my life when God has “parted the Jordan” for me. In the last 26 years of marriage, Jay and I have collected our own memorial stones in our hearts. They are reminders of the times that God has interceded for us; moments when our faith and trust in God was nurtured and grew.

For Andrew and Liz, the blessing of the timing in this apartment's availability will be a memorial stone for them. When they recall the story throughout their marriage, it will be a reminder that God is faithful and will provide for their needs.

It is a beautiful beginning. 

You can find these trust rocks on Etsy!