A New Baby!

Peter René
Peter René, born June 8th, 2016 at 645 am.


Welcome to the outside, Peter! As is tradition on my little corner of the internet, I’ll share with you the story of his birth.

On June 7th, I received a phone call from a real estate agent that a couple wanted to look at our house at 9am on the 8th. I agreed to the showing then let the agent know I was 39 weeks pregnant, so there was a slight possibility that we might have to cancel if I go into labor. I didn’t think I would but you never know, right? So we spent the day getting things in shape and ready to show the house. Joshua came home from work and spent the evening mowing the lawn and we all went to bed exhausted.

I would say that labor probably started around Midnight, maybe 1230. I woke up to use the bathroom and noticed some contractions. I wasn’t trying to time them, mainly because I was in denial about being in labor, after all, we did have a showing in just a few hours. I tossed and turned for a while and went back and forth to the bathroom all while unofficially timing the contractions. They were only 10 minutes apart, so I figured I was just dealing with the “pre-labor” that my body likes to do before getting down to business a few days later.

I continued the tossing and turning and going to the bathroom for a while longer, then I just couldn’t get comfortable at all. I was willing myself to sleep in between contractions and praying the Divine Mercy chaplet during them, still denying the fact that I could be in labor. I had a showing at 9am folks, I want to sell this house!

I think it was around 230 I decided to move around a bit more, to stop the contractions. When I stood up, my water broke, except I didn’t think it was my water breaking, I just thought I’d had an accident. Then the sharp pains started. I stumbled over to Joshua, startled him awake and told him I was having some pretty hard contractions and that I just needed him to time them.

We laid in bed timing them for a good long while and they were irregular but getting closer together. I was also shaking a bit during them, having a hard time breathing through them, and sweating as each one came to an end. We still tried to deny that I was in labor (showing at 9am, showing at 9am!!). Another trip to the bathroom confirmed that my water was in fact broken (because no one has that much water in her bladder, no one) and I said to call the midwife.

After calling her, we moved to get the birth stuff set up the rest of the way. Realizing that it was nearing dawn and not sure how much longer I had, I asked Joshua to move the birth pool into the bedroom, so I could labor without the kids around when they woke up. He moved it and began to fill it up. I wasn’t in denial as much at this point and I was hoping it was real. With each labor, I have a hard time making the call to the midwife, because I’m afraid of not really being in labor, so I was hoping I’d made the right decision in calling her. (Thinking, for me, in labor is very interesting, panic about one thing, not worry about another, it’s strange.)

I got into the pool and just sat there for a bit, working through each contraction, and trying to hurry it along and then trying to slow things down, so the midwife could make it. Honestly, I knew that if I moved to my hands and knees, I’d have that baby in about two minutes, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it yet. The midwife arrived, she checked me and said I was an inch away from having a baby. Thank goodness. I was still terrified about that part though, so I stayed put on my back. After some encouragement, I moved to my hands and knees, pushed once, pushed again and had a baby. (I may have yelled at them to get the baby out of me (like hey, pull it if you have to, I can’t do this!). Then he was here. Peter René, born at 645am.

A few of the kids were up and we sent Karol up to get the other ones so they could meet their new baby brother. The cord was cut and then Joshua took Peter out to the living room so they could look at him and the midwife and her assistant could attend to me.

So there you go, the birth of Peter René. Joshua did call the real estate agent and cancelled the showing. They had a good laugh together because I had told her I didn’t think I’d have the baby this week.

After I was cleaned up, the midwife and her assistant left and I snuggled with Peter. I would say that I was pretty much in shock that he was on the outside already. I’m very thankful that labor and delivery went as smoothly as it did. I didn’t feel like it has been 7 hours, those went by pretty quickly.

I normally pray or try to pray during contractions but this time there was something different and as we prayed a Hail Mary or the Memorare, or invoked the saints, the contractions though strong, weren’t as painful as they had been with previous children. It was awesome to know that I was wrapped in Mary’s mantle and the whole communion of saints were praying for me.13413017_10157000254210716_7559765663507976833_n


Filed under: General Stuff

Priestly Ordination

This morning, two men were ordained for the Diocese of Savannah. One of the men, Father John Wright was at our parish for six months in 2014, so we got to know him a bit. Sadly, because I’m due any day now, the drive to Savannah for the ordination was out of the question, but thankfully we were able to watch the ordination on line.
I was getting some screenshots of the ordination for the vocation page, this one being my favorite:



Father Wright is hugging our pastor Father Ferguson, look at the smile on his face!

Filed under: Catholic

Feast of Corpus Christi

From our parish bulletin for this week:

Dearest Friends in Christ,

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, in Latin Corpus Christi. It is a day within the Church calendar given to the faithful in order to contemplate this great gift of Jesus’ own Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the form of bread and wine. It was before the Eucharist that St. Thomas Aquinas once wrote, “Godhead here in hiding whom I do adore, masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more; see, Lord, at Thy service low here lies a heart lost, all lost in wonder at the God Thou art!” Such contemplation upon the mystery of the Eucharist, which is the Source and Summit of our Christian life, will necessarily lend itself to us perceiving how the Eucharist is truly the heart that gives life to any Catholic family, meaning that we should begin or continue to avail our lives to the life of grace by embracing in our lives the mystery of the Eucharist.

This is why as a parish family we see great importance in adoration. Adoring the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of God’s infinite generosity towards man, is our generous response to Him in this sacrament of love. These moments before the Lord are simple and yet very profound! As one man once described it to St. John Mary Vianney, “I look at Him, and He looks at me.” What could be more profound then those quiet moments before the Presence of our Lord? It is during this time in adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament that we come to the Source and Summit of our Christian lives in order to configure our lives more to that of Christ.

To encourage more people to take advantage of this opportunity to spend time before our Lord, St. John Bosco once wrote, “Do you want the Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want Him to give you few graces? Visit Him rarely. Do you want the devil to attack you? Visit Jesus rarely in the Blessed Sacrament. Do you want him to flee from you? Visit Jesus often…take refuge often at the feet of Jesus.” Also I encourage families to make an effort to come early to Mass or stay a little while after Mass in order to adore our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, to take refuge often at the feet of Jesus. Faithfulness here will unquestionably lead to fruitfulness in your life.

Pax et bonum,
Fr. Justin

Filed under: Catholic

Cast Iron Pizza





I made pizza in cast iron pans tonight. They were amazing, if I do say so myself. Here’s the recipe I used. Just a note: I made the dough at noon and put the pizzas in the oven at 530, I hear it’s even better if you let it go overnight.


Filed under: Food

Thoughts in Bullet Points

  • I had my midwife appointment today. Everything is going well and I’m at 37 weeks, so this baby can come at any time. (No really, kid, come out soon, please!)
  • We did an impromptu trip to the park after my appointment and since I hadn’t planned for it, we stopped by Joshua’s office for ice and water. It’s always fun to stop by “work” and hang out for a bit.
  • The kids told me they were bored at the park. I can’t even. 😉
  • I spent the morning working on plans for the next school year. We’ve used Kolbe for the past five years, however this year I’m making a switch to Memoria Press for most of the subjects. I really like the way that Memoria’s books look and how their subjects are laid out as well. We’ve used it for Latin, Composition, and History for a few years now, so I’m making the plunge for a few other subjects. I still plan on using Kolbe for Math and Religion though.
  • I do think I’m crazy for making a switch like this for a school year that begins a month after I have a baby. However, if we are making lots of changes, why not with schooling as well?
  • Have I mentioned that the baby is hanging out on my hip? Have I mentioned that it’s not pleasant? It gets worse after driving because of all the moving my leg has to do.


Filed under: General Stuff

Scholastica the Holy

Last night, while we were praying our family prayers, I glanced over at Scholastica to see her looking sternly at Benedict and doing something strange with her thumb. I quickly realized she was trying to snap at him so that he could see that he was not folding his hands properly. She confirmed this by yelling across the room at to him and telling him to fold his hands right.

This evening we said prayers earlier than we normally do so that she could go to bed before the rest of the kids. She was dozing off while we were singing the Salve, but she kept singing along.

Everyone needs a Scholastica in their lives.

Filed under: General Stuff

Just a note: There’s nothing better than assisting at a Mass that has been celebrated with all of the reverence due our Lord.

Filed under: General Stuff

A Very Long Day

I’m sure my friend Andrea appreciated my text messages from yesterday’s marathon grand day out, so I’m going to share it with you all now.

As you know our kids participate in the South Georgia Strings Project. This program is supported in part by generous donations from many people in the South Georgia area. At the end of the semester, we are invited to play for the Symphony Guild, so off we went. Practice started at 10 am at Valdosta State, so I dropped of the three big kids and took the two little one to Joshua’s office for a morning of fun having. I headed back to campus to collect the other kids then head to the country club where they’d be playing.

They played their pieces beautifully (check here and here to hear) and then we headed out to find lunch then collect the little kids. Karol ended up staying at Joshua’s office, helping out with a mailing while I took the rest of the kids to my midwife* appointment and then to the park for a half hour. Oh, have I mentioned that I’m 35 weeks pregnant and that it was 90 in the Swamp yesterday. To me, anything about 68 is hot right now.

So, after playing at the park for a bit, we picked Karol back up then headed to the Little Flowers meeting/end of the year tea party. The girls finished wreath two and did a great job this year. We modified the program a bit so that all the kids from our family and the other family could could participate as well, so the tea party was for all of them.

After visiting for a while with our friends, we headed back to Joshua’s office where he was catching up on work (as we’d invaded his space for a good portion of the day). I left the kids with him and headed off to get my hair cut as I probably won’t be able to again until December.

So for us homebodies, let me recap that we left the house at 915 and didn’t get home until 630 (the kids and Joshua) and 8 for me. It was a long day.

*The midwife appointment was great. Everything is on target but I’ll admit that I’ve had a lot more body pain with this one and I’m ready to have him/her at any point now. (Holding on for 37 weeks though.) The baby has sat low for a long time, so my sciatic nerve feels permanently pinched, I have an awesome zombie walk right now.

I keep having dreams that I had the baby already and slept through labor, that’s a nice dream to have, eh? I’m a bit nervous to go through labor again and fear that I won’t be able to do it. How is it possible to be in transition a month before my due date? So if you could offer a few prayers for me that my anxiety won’t get the best of me, that’d be great.

Filed under: General Stuff

A Florida Trip


We went to Florida last weekend and traveled about as much of the state as possible in three and a half days. Our trip started out with just a trip to Legoland. We found out they had homeschooling days with reduced ticket prices, as in $12.50 per kid. We could not pass that up, at all, so we planned the trip as part of the Easter gift for the kids.


Looking at the map and also realizing that this may be our last trip to Florida, we decided to add the Everglades to our trip. Then we decided to visit Joshua’s aunt and uncle in Sarasota, attend the Anglican Use Mass in Orlando, walk through the Holy Doors also in Orlando, then finally, added a visit to some Savannah seminarians in Boynton Beach. It was a crazy crazy trip, but totally worth it.

Our first stop was actually the seminary. We had dinner with Rev. Mr. Wright (who spent some of his pastoral year at our parish) and three other Savannah seminarians. We headed off to our hotel after that, in Boca Raton. We had thought of going to the Cathedral in Miami on Saturday but after driving for a good chunk on Friday then dinner being late, we passed on that trip and slept in a bit.

On Saturday morning we headed out for breakfast and a drive along A1A where we saw a Lamborghini, a Bentley, a Tesla, the ocean, cruise ships, yachts, and lots of cargo ships. I think we were most excited about the Tesla. We headed south toward Miami for a bit, then turned off toward the Everglades. It was also a beautiful day and we drove with the windows down and we even saw a few alligators along the side of the road.

12970856_10156777414955716_1658173629434818799_oWe stopped in Everglade City and stamped our National Park Service Passport book and checked out the visitor center. It’s pretty neat to have kids old enough to be able to read the information and to get excited about the things they are learning. We did a walk along the shore line and the kids played with rocks and shells. Then it was time to head off to Sarasota.

Note: Culver’s is in South Florida, if you care. I may have moved across three lanes of traffic to get off at the exit where the Culver’s was. Okay, I did, but I did it safely. It was worth it, every bite of it. (In case you can’t tell, we don’t live anywhere near a Culver’s.)

Joshua’s aunt and uncle graciously hosted us at their house on Saturday night. His cousins came over and we all hung out, catching up. The kids ran around and I got to hear a few stories about Joshua as a kid. (Mostly that he was quiet, not surprising at all.)

After showers and a good night sleep, we headed out to Orlando to go to Mass Incarnation Catholic Church. It used to be an Episcopal Church but it is now in line with Rome and fully Catholic.12998224_10156771442250716_3769479513480069106_oIf you have a few minutes, check them out. If you live near an Anglican Use (or Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter) parish, I highly recommend checking them out one Sunday. We visited for about an hour with parishioners who came up and said “hello!” and with the pastor as well.  I told Joshua that if we lived near that parish it would be our parish.

Our next stop was to the Holy Doors at the Basilica of Mary, Queen of the Universe. Our diocese only has one Holy Door, in Savannah, so this just made sense for us to stop at. We were able to go to confession as well, so plenary indulgences all around!

Our hotel for Sunday night was great. If you ever get a chance to stay at a Drury Inn, do it. They may cost a few dollars more, but they have some many amenities that it’s worth it.  They have a “Kickback” buffet that is essentially dinner plus adult drink vouchers, if you are so inclined. The room was clean, the pool was nice, I soaked my legs in the hot tub for a few minutes. Oh and the hotel has a quiet time beginning at 10pm, so it was very quiet as well. Breakfast is also a buffet with tons of options, good options, not just bagels and muffins.

Then we headed off to Legoland. I’m just going to say this about Legoland: “Everything is awesome!” It is very much designed for smaller kids (meaning 3-12) in mind. Benedict was able to go on all but maybe four of the rides, and he’s short. Joshua rode the roller coasters with the kids (even Benedict!) and I walked around with Scholastica. There were rides for her too though and she loved them, especially the one where she could drive a car. 20160411_140205

The employees were super friendly as well. On their name tags, they have mini figures and you can trade them for one that you brought along or bought at the gift shop and our kids has the best time doing that. In addition to the rides, there were lots of Lego sculptures and even a mini village set up.

We were also allowed to bring in a backpack with waters and snacks. That kept us from paying $4 for a water and $15 for a pizza buffet, always a plus. I seriously would go back if our travels ever take us to Central Florida  again.

One more bit of trivia: We drove through every single diocese/Archdiocese in the state on our travels.


Filed under: General Stuff