Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 facts about me and my better half

Mrs. Beguiles asked for ten facts about you and your better half. Well.. I love to talk about my husband, so... here you go!


My husband and I met online on


He was interested in someone living in a 100 mile radius of Stanford or St. Louis. I lived in Belgium


After corresponding for a while, he added a few miles to the radius and ended up marrying me.

4. I adore him and feel very lucky that I stole him from under the nose of all my American friends. Sorry girls!


I actually had the pattern for my wedding dress before he asked me, though that is another story.


He asked to marry me in the Cathedral of Antwerp, where we later were married.


Two weeks after the wedding, my husband left for the USA, while I had to wait to get the paperwork in order to follow him. We were incredibly lucky and less than a month later, I could join him!


We both revel in being great, big, nerds, which is why our children already have more books than most adults.


I feel cherished as his wife, every single day.


Our five year anniversary will be here soon. We are doubting between a short pilgrimage to Lourdes when we are in Europe. Or a weekend in Vegas when we are back.

Just a few pictures

More later about why this blog has been so quiet the last week or so. For now, just a few pictures.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

baptismal stole

Remember this? That was the main medaillon on a baptismal stole. After that, I just added the initials for the sweet baby girl lower down the fabric. A bit of washing, ironing and packing... and off it went to the proud godfather. This weekend his Goddaughter was baptized, and the stole was used.
In Cathlic baptism ceremonies, babies or young children often wear a family heirloom gown. During the rite however a 'white garment' is mentioned that is placed upon th child. This can be a bib, or a stole, but the idea is that it is something that the child can take along on his sacramental journey. A personal keepsake.

For my first son we bought one. For my second son, I made one last minute. Now that I have done this, I know that if I ever have a third child, I definitely want to embroider one for him.
But for now, here are some pictures of the baptismal stole in use on the baptism day.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A perfect day: picnic with gnome!

Oh it's such a perfect day... I'm glad I spent it with you...

That has always been one of my favorite songs, with it's lyrics about the joys of simple zoo visits and being together on a lovely day, just enjoying eachother. Lately, the boys and I have had very few of those perfect days. Each in turn being ill, or in Michael's case just generaly crabby and crying have left me frazzled and holding on by the skin of my teeth. And then, all of a sudden comes a day like today.

The weather is beautiful and the boys act like human children (actually, Joseph has been behaving really well in general lately). We decide on a visit to Jesus in a nearby church and a small picnic afterwards. But first we had to go to the store for an important purchase: our first Garden gnome. I have always loved Garden Gnomes, under the influence of Rien Poortvliet, the Efteling and all the folklore surrounding them. Now that we have a gnome worthy garden with trees and leaves and squirels, we needed a gnome. And I had spied the perfect one a week or so ago: a nice old countrygnome riding a ladybug and reading a book. Perfect. Joseph loves Ladybugs, and everyone in our house loves books!

So off we went, to get the gnome. We picked up some bubbles and drove to Church. I had miscalculated and daily mass was going on, so we joined in for the end of that. After mass we went in for a few more moments to blow a kiss to Jesus and genuflect, and then... we had our picnic in the church garden.The gnome was invited too.

The boys frolicked on the playground, ate the food we had packed, chased the bubbles I blew and proved to be the perfect fodder for my clicking camera in between.Such a perfect day. I hate to say it out of fear of seeing it pop like one of our soapbubbles, but the memory will last me a while.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Youth Minister

I am a wife and mother first of all. I stay at home with my children and for my husband because I believe it is the most important job I can do. Since this year, I also work ten hours a week as a youth minister. Most of those hours are spent at home, doing prep work, video editing, lesson preparations, etc. And about two hours a week I teach. A few times though, there are extra duties (or pleasures). This weekend I attended the Diocesan Highschool Youth Conference. I drove back and forth instead of overnighting to be home at bed and breakfasttimes, and dada took wonderful care of the boys in between. There was a mix up in our order of the conference T shirts. We were missing two smalls, and there was one X large. Since nobody seemed to want it, I volunteered. I added a belt, a long skirt and boots. Aparently I looked like a cross between a traditional nun, and a Western gunslinger. Here are some picures.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Whitework pattern finished

This little pattern was made on an openwork stitched linnen and will be the baptismal stole for a little girl named Anastasia Elise.

I finished the pattern and now only need to add the initials and the date, but I lost my thread, and I do not want to work with another shade of white, so I have some searching to do.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spiritual bouquet

Today Lent begins. Lent is a wonderful time of reflection and preparation for the mystery and feast of Easter! With Joseph being three, I am more and more finding things that I can do with him to start understanding this period. Small things.
One of the things I really want to do with him is to take time each day to pray for people.
I was encouraged yesterday when 'my' class of teens did their confirmation. (later more about that), but behind me sat the family of one of our confirmants, a wonderful mature, intelligent and faithful young lady. Who comes from a wonderfully devout (and fashionable!) family. They have five children, and behind me I heard the one but youngest kneel down as time for communion aproached, and start making the act of contrition (asking Jesus forgiveness for his sins) as part of a spiritual communion.
I was floored. This young boy was earnest, devout and knew his stuff. I nearly cried. I want my children to have his kind of faith. I want them to grow up into young people that radiate Christ the way these children do. Have I mentioned that they are also funny, smart, articulate and responsible and have their own personalities, interests and quirks?
Anyhow, it gave me another morale boost to not let time go to waist and usher in lent with my children, instead of trying to do it my way and trying to sneak in 'spiritual time' around my children.

One of the things I am going to do is help them pray for other people (including their mommy!) but also for those shepherds of the church.
And this website is giving me a wonderful idea. Children's prayers should be expecially pleasing to the Lord. Will you join me during lent to pray for the pope or for the spiritual leader of your church?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Feast days

One of my resolves this year is to celebrate more. To make more special moments in the day to day business of our lives. The church is such a wonderful guide in this. Today is the feast day of St. Thomas of Aquinas who is the patron saint of academics, and.. surprise.. my husband's confirmation saint.

We do not have any big plans, and we are certainly not going to use the day as another excuse to buy gifts. (Though it is tempting, so tempting to buy him a book). Catholic Cuisine however gave me the idea of doing something with the symbol of St. Thomas Aquines which is the star. It reminds me of the motto of the University of Utrecht (my own alma mater) though that one concerns the sun:
‘Sol Iustitiae Illustra Nos': Sun of Righteousness, enlighten us. So today, let us send up prayers for all academics and academic students: that they may be enlightened! That righteousness may guide them.

As to 'Our House' we will of course follow the Lord. And in this case, let us have St. Thomas' beloved star to guide us.