Anointing of Ashes

The hangry fire has devoured the proud palms,

their waving glory burned to a crisp,

memories of triumph silenced

by the crackling, crimson flames.

All that remains is ashes.

They are cool, smooth and dusky on my forehead,

these humble signs of humanity

two short lines anointing me

a daughter of God,

having taken the riotous death by fire

and transformed it into a quiet cream,

a healing lotion which proclaims,

“I am dust and unto dust I shall return,”

yet I rejoice in the hope of life

beyond the blaze!

The Case of the Missing Mom

It’s been kinda quiet on the blog lately and you might be wondering…where’s my mother? Didn’t she come back from summer vacation?

Is she off having a wild toga party??

Did she shrink into a fairy and get lost in the wild chives in our garden?

Is she a total basket case who forgot she loves writing??

No, she’s homeschooling us! She misses you all and hopes to appear again soon!

We’re working really hard…see? Look at the floor!

Crazy Land is on the move!

Big news! We are moving less than one week! Our house has become a giant cardboard box fort. I’ve been slinging my tape guns so much I need a cowboy hat to complete the look. Even the baby is helping out…sort of…  

We are so excited about our new place, which is right in the neighbourhood we were hoping for, only 2 1/2 blocks from our parish! It will be awesome to have another room, and two floors instead of one. For some reason the kids are very excited to have stairs for the first time in our suite!

It wasn’t easy to find, and definitely is an answered prayer…I say this because looking for a new home to rent in the city when you have six kids is kind of like asking if you can bring six large dogs to a wedding…people look at you like you’re crazy and take back the invitation. “There just wouldn’t be room for you all,” they say. 

So many potential landlords turned us down once they heard we had six kids. Sometimes politely, sometimes….not so much. One reluctant realtor for an old small 4 bedroom house, which would likely soon be a tear down anyway, sounded reluctant but said, “They are all yours?! Well, we can’t refuse kids (he didn’t say technically, but it was under his breath), so I guess if you can manage them all…” Needless to say, we decided against the reluctant realtor of the rusty gated shabby house…and the next day, I found our current place: a beautiful newly renovated three bedroom with abundant bathrooms for all our little munchkins. No more pee dances while Daddy is in the shower! 

The lovely thing is that our new landlords are so welcoming, and actually wanted a family to live there! I had prayed for God to give me a really clear sign when I found the right house, so I would know it was the one He had waiting for us. I was asking St. Joseph to pray for us to find a home for our family, as he had to moved the Holy Family several times and knew what this kind of uncertainty was like. Well, guess what my new landlord’s name is? Joe, and he’s a carpenter! God has a good sense of humor.

To top it off, a friend who didn’t even know we needed a new one gave us a beautiful queen size mattress. Our old one was definitely ready for the dump! The kids are using it as a trampoline in the living room until it goes.
I have been missing you all and will give you more updates when I can! I’ve been so busy packing all day for the last few weeks and sending away loads to the thrift store, with the help of very generous friends, who have been helping me dig through my stuff and pair it down. The u-haul is booked for this Saturday, and a bunch of friends from our parish, including our sweet friend Father McDonnell, are coming to help us move our things, while a few others are going to help me set up the essentials at the new house. Hurrah!

A Small Step


A small step
in the midst of great difficulties
can be a miracle

The heroic efforts of a bumble bee
more impressive
than a charging rhino kicking up dust
all show

It’s not perfection
but struggle that matters
not impressive credentials
but the straining of the heart
towards something truly beautiful

living a life of love
full of little sacrifices
getting up again and again

Keep trying
keep smiling
remember the ideal
that sets fire to your heart

Never let discouragement
drown the flames altogether

Blow on that ember of hope
Remember who you are

Forget trying to please others
modifying yourself to be more palatable to them

You can never please anyone
by pretending

It’s better to go down in flames
like a shooting star
completely crazy
but lighting up the world
with your own form of madness

You will inspire
or you will be despised
but at least you will be you

There are worse things
than being rejected