Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Baptism photos- professional edition.

We got Jude's pictures in the mail today from our very talented friend, Mike Blaha.  If you live in the MSP area, you might want to look him up.  It's kind of sad that Jude didn't smile all afternoon, but it did add a certain comical element to the pictures.

How can you not laugh at this:
He's so gangster in this photo.  The funny thing is, it's not even our dog.
Here he's wining terribly here, but at the photo has some character, right?
All 19 of us. My mom, dad, and all their children and grandchildren.
Our little family

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Look what I got in the mail: artwork!

Elaine @ "Drawing the Line" sent me this beautiful piece of art that she drew:

It's hard to believe she is only 17.  You can get your own piece of art by emailing her.  She gives away all her artwork for free.

I will be framing this and putting it in the baby's room. I just love pictures of Mary and baby Jesus.  Thank you, Elaine!!

I'm Back! Vacation photos

Jude's feet- his first touch of the ocean. 

I'm back from 9 days of sand, sun, sand, water, sand, and more sand. I LOVE the beach- minus the sand that comes in from the beach.  Tonight will be my first sand free night in my bed.  No matter how hard I try, there is no way to get every last grain of sand off the condo floor, and some of it always ends up in bed with me-which is just the worst feeling.  I want my husband in bed with me, my nursing baby most of the time, and the occasional kid, but sand, you are not welcome to sleep with me.

It was a perfect week for the ocean- not too hot, not too cold.  I didn't mind the cloud cover either- it kept back the sun exposure so that no one even came back with burn.  

Here's a few pics from our relaxing vacation in Ocean City, MD...
the kids spent most of the time doing this- playing in the sand. 

saw lots of these: dolphins. Mostly at 5:30am when Jude woke up.
This was the first year I saw this guy: a fox! His little family lived right next to the pool and I saw them every morning.  This morning he felt brave and snuck a drink in the pool.  They were so cute.

The first day at the beach: running to the water.  I love those first moments of experiencing the grandness of the ocean.
Hanging out in the condo.  We did a lot of this too. 
she who collects sea shells.  What fun little girls are!

Jude being calmed by the waves.   Having a baby by ocean is always challenging when it's nap time, but this seemed to help.
This was great for nursing and napping!  I'm so glad we bought this baby tent.
My little sister, Christina, was so helpful.  Without her, it may not have felt like a vacation!
and without my sis, Eric and wouldn't have been able to have this much fun in the waves.
I will be opening my shop tomorrow :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Visiting Colleges

F.U.S. Campus Tour- Christina is the one holding Jude. 

My sister is in town for three weeks to visit colleges and hang out with me and all my peeps.  The first order of business was, of course, to visit my alma mater, Franciscan University in aSteubenville, OH.   I cannot tell you how great it felt to be back on my old stomping grounds!  The student tour guides who showed us around couldn't be more nice and helpful.   It's no secret that I'd love for her to go to F.U.S. but to be fair, we will also be visiting a few other campuses in the area.

We stayed with my household sister who lives in Pittsburgh and whom I haven't seen in three years.  It was fun to reconnect and to "introduce" my two youngest kids to her. 

Now we're packing for the ocean! The shop will be down for a short time.   Hope you all are enjoying your summer days!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Work as a Ministry- part two

I received a very special package today with the key chain that was made with the beads I donated to the TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) retreat of 230.  This key chain was given to all the tecites on the retreat and made by the retreat director (I believe).  On the card attached is the verse from John 12:24 "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."   The front of the card is a little welcome to the teens.  I think it is adorable and I am so thankful they gave me one. I keep getting emails from the people on the retreat giving thanks for the beads I gave them and saying they will keep me in their prayers.  Now when I look at this key chain, I will keep those teens and adult leaders in my prayers too.

Also, in the package, was a super nice thank you card with the leaders' signatures.

I am just blown away with all thanks these people have given me for such a small thing I did.  It really makes me realize how I should be more thankful for the things- big and small- that people do for me.  Great things are coming out of these retreats--it is obvious just by the attitude of the leaders and parents.   A thankful heart really is a happy heart!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Making My Work a Ministry Also

This "part time" job of mine has been such a big blessing to our family and I've been praying and thinking of ways I can give back.  I was thinking of how I love to donate my rosaries to various Catholic school silent auctions and other Catholic organizations' silent auctions and how maybe I could do more of that.  It was right around this time that I got an email from someone who asked if I sold individual beads.  I do not sell individual beads, I told her.  She then emails back and says she didn't think so, but she thought she'd ask since my bead meaning for the wheat bead has the same meaning as TEC retreat meanings.  She leads teen TEC's in Kansas and was looking to make some key chains for the teens on the retreat. 

The timing was too perfect. My sister and brother just made a TEC in Minnesota not more than two weeks prior.  I have also made a TEC many years ago and know the blessing it is. (here is a website about TEC.   I don't know if it's the same location as this one in Kansans. I know Minnesota has a different website for their TEC retreats, but it will give you an idea of what the retreats are about.)

I decided to email her back and tell her I'd donate the beads.  The response from the tecites and family members of the tecites has been so heart warming.  (and very undeserved!) Here is an email from one of the moms who thanked me:

Dear Sarah,
My son spent this last weekend at a TEC Retreat, and may have had a life-changing experience. I am told that your "Wheat" beads used for his gift on welcoming him to the TEC Family were made possible by your charity. I would like to say, "Thank you!"
Your actions told my son that he was a part of another "family" and was cared for by those whom he's never met. My husband and I were touched by the entire story and our family assures you our prayers for your kindness- which is in abundance because [my son] has 7 brothers and sisters!
I'd like to take my time to peruse through your website before ordering, but I promise to place one soon.
Again, thank you for your generosity!!!
In Christ~ A.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Other Hobby

You may have seen in the side lines that one of my other hobbies is scrapbooking.  I never really mention scrapbooking here, but I figured it would be ok to show you the other hobby that I love besides bead making.

Probably a big reason I never mention my love for scrapbooking is because a lot of people just hate it! I guess they think it's a waste of time.  It would be a waste of time if it was something you didn't enjoy doing.  But to me, scrapbooking is the epitome of a creative outlet.  It's what Disney is to amusement park lovers.  When I have a creative itch, there is nothing like pulling out my scrapbook supplies and letting it all out. 

Having said all that, I don't do it often because it is time consuming and there is usually something else that needs to be done.  I used to do it more when I had no children or just one.  So, I've narrowed it down to making a scrapbook for the kids' first year- which turned into three scrapbooks for my daughter, Analee.  See Here:

I started her First Year in January and almost finished by the end of that month.  When I started getting busy with rosaries again, I had to put it down and it has sat where I put it 6 months later.  Last week, I picked up where I left off and today, I finally got it finished, Hooray! Now I can put away this mess:

Here are some of my pages, in case you are curious.  Even more fun than scrapbooking, is looking back on my old "art work". It really is an art when you pour so much creative energy into it. 
My favorite scrapbooking material is paper.  There is so much you can do with just paper, you really don't need all the other stuff. Plus, have you seen all the cool designs they have now with scrapbook paper?? It makes me giddy.

With scapbooking, there is so much freedom to add as many or few pictures on a page as you want.

A cool thing about scrapping is being able to tell a story through pictures, words and design.

I love that with scrapbooking, you can nicely display cards, letters, and other memorabilia.

Another display of birthday cards. I hope that one day, I can give my scrapbooks to the kids and they will enjoy looking at them with their children as much as I enjoy it.

So, that's why I love scrapping. Now time to put it all away until next time :)