Tag Archives: Amstenrade

U and V

My nephew Joseph asked me to teach him a little Dutch by making him a Dutch Alfabet. The easiest way for me to do this for him is through my blog. These are written for him, but hopefully anyone else reading this can learn a little Dutch! 

U is for Uil

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Uil is the dutch word for Owl.

Where I lived in the Netherlands the Owl was the symbol for the town.

During Karnival, which is the five days before Lent starts, the Owl is unveiled to mark the beginning of the Karnival festivals.

On Fat Tuesday, the last day of Karnival, the owl is covered up again, telling everyone the festivities are over and lent has begun.

 

V is for Vuurwerk

fireworks4_amk

Vuurwerk is the dutch word for firework.

In the United States we have fireworks in the summer, and especially on the Fourth of July. In the Netherlands they save most of their fireworks for a different holiday: New Years Eve!

On New Years Eve, right when the clock strikes midnight, all the towns set off fireworks so if you are standing outside you can see fireworks from every direction!!

 

 

365 Days of Joy: Week 24

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato, author of the Story of a Rose blog).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every week, and hopefully, along with joy, I can gain a little consistency in my life. 😉 So here we go, week 24!

1b711321c20e2400aabe6e403b3485a4This week I took that quiz that has been going around Facebook, the “Which Bible verse describes you” one. I was so happy when it gave me this one from Psalm 91. I have always loved Psalm 91 because it is about total faith in God and in yourself. It’s about trusting that God will help you through everything, the good times and the bad, and with him you can do all you need to do. I have used this Psalm to get through the times I have felt the hand of fear or when I have felt alone.  This Psalm is often known as the “Soldiers Prayer” and while I’m not a soldier in the military, I have always felt like a soldier for Christ. Right now our morals, our beliefs, our rights and our faith are under constant attack and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. In this time I think we all need to remember Psalm 91 and remember that God has our backs and we just need to trust in Him and keep fighting the good fight.

06.18.15

Had a fun time playing with the kids in the trees and teaching them how to make little houses in the roots like I used to do when I was little. We never actually got one made, apparently the destruction of any progress is a lot more fun than seeing it completed…despite this it was still a lot of fun!

06.19.15

First day of the season picking Raspberries!

I also put up my blog post about my weekend in Prague. You can read it here!

06.20.15

I had the kids for the night and so I used up some time by calling Kilty and my nephews and introducing them to the kids here. It was really cute seeing Lambert-Joseph talk to Pepe, and Elisabeth was so excited to finally see baby Maria! The rest of the night the topic of conversation was Pepe’s hair and the question “why is it yellow?”

06.21.15

Spent some time reading Pope Francis’ new Encyclical “Laudato Si” –I didn’t make much of a dent but what I have read so far is good and I’m looking forward to finishing it.

06.22.15

I’m starting this horrible mess called packing…somehow I have to fit all my stuff into two bags–it may be impossible. But my joy of the day came from Clemens-August walking by himself for more than 10 steps! Whooo!

06.23.15

More Raspberry picking and the continuation my mission of getting these kids accustomed to the Oldies…mainly The Eagles and James Taylor.

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06.24.15

It is officially my last month in Europe. This is a very bittersweet day and it has been spent mostly packing since I’m leaving for Spain in a week and I should have most of my things packed before that…yikes. But I did spend the day reminiscing with the Top Hits of 2001…that year gave us some great songs.

And that’s my week! I don’t know how the next few weeks will go for my blog because I will be in Spain. I’ll try to post, but no promises 🙂

Peace!

365 Days of Joy: Week 19

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato, author of the Story of a Rose blog).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every week, and hopefully, along with joy, I can gain a little consistency in my life. 😉  So here we go, week 19!

IMG_7971.PNGSince February I have been apart of a Bible study over the book of Esther. This study’s main theme is the idea  of a reversal of destiny–of taking the life you think you are meant to live and turning it into the life God has planned for you to live, and having the courage to follow his path when the moment comes along.
This quote is from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and I think it fits perfectly to what my Bible study has been talking about in our Esther study. We are not meant to be spectators in the world, but players. We cannot wait for the world to give us what we want, but we need to give to the world what we have–our gifts.
Spring is a wonderful time to set goals and start projects. One of my goals this spring is to work on enhancing the gifts God gave me in order to spread His glory to everyone I can.

05.07.15

The kids had bath time with NO FREAK OUTS! I guess there is a first for everything!

05.08.15

Night to myself! I had gnocchi and white wine for dinner and binge watched House of Cards–that show is a whole bunch of messed up.

05.09.15

KINDERDIJK! Finally got to see some windmills (19, in fact) and it was glorious! Definitely a good bucket list moment.

Almost all 19 windmills at Kinderdijk. Panorama beauty.
Almost all 19 windmills at Kinderdijk. Panorama beauty.

05.10.15

Had a Skype movie date night with Marissa and Kate, and we watched Anne of Green Gables! It took us a while to get the movies in sync, and I don’t think we ever really got them perfect, but it was so much fun–it was just like hanging out!

Talked to my mom and family for Mother’s Day!

05.11.15
Spent all afternoon outside because the weather was like middle of summer weather! At night I took a rosary walk. We used to do this all the time as a family, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I did it tonight. It’s so relaxing and refreshing to walk at sunset and pray the rosary at the same time–it’s a habit I want to bring back to my life.

05.12.15

The dandelions are in seed right now and the kids are having more fun than I’ve ever seen anyone have with dandelions–even if it’s the 50th one they’ve seen that day, they still scream out of joy when they see one. It’s hilarious.

Also, I finalized all my tickets and reservations for my Germany–Austria–Czech Republic trip!! Just a couple more days!!!

05.13.15

Today was the last day of my Esther Bible study–it was a great study and I’m sad to see it end. Esther is a great book to see the power God has in our lives and how he uses each and every one of us to complete a wonderful mission on Earth!

I also spent some time today writing fiction. It’s been a little while since I’ve done this and it was nice to have some creative time in my day again.

 

 

And that’s my week! I don’t know if I will have the chance to put up my blog next week because of my trip, but you can see updates if you follow me on Instagram (maddiemmaher) or if you are friends with me on Facebook!

I am going to try to put up a travel blog either today or tomorrow about my recent dutch travels, so keep an eye on goingdutchtravels.wordpress.com for that!

Please keep my trip in your prayers and I look forward to telling you all about it!!

Pax Ex!

365 Days of Joy: Week 18

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato, author of the Story of a Rose blog).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every week, and hopefully, along with joy, I can gain a little consistency in my life. 😉  So here we go, week 18!

8b39af641637a3c04ab962d6a45f7a4fUgh. I’ve started that awful process of searching for and applying to jobs for when I get back to Iowa at the end of July. If you are ever feeling too good about yourself, just job search for a little while and you will find soon find out how many things you are not qualified to do…trust me, you will be humbled very quickly. It’s hard staying positive in this process, and it’s hard sticking with it–I feel under qualified for every job I see, and it makes me feel like I will never find my true calling (if I even have one).  But, even if I feel under qualified and inexperienced, I still have to do it, because money is a real thing that I need, so I am giving it to God and trusting that He will help me find the courage and strength to continue this job search, and help me remember that I do have some nice things about me and so someone out there will hire me … hopefully!

4.30.15
Welcome to the world Bernadette Marguerite Kautzky! My dear dear friends Aaron and Alex Kautzky added a beautiful new member to their family! I can’t wait to get back to Iowa and meet the little princess!!

5.01.15
My sister Grace’s senior pictures went up online and they are beautiful! It’s so cool seeing her all grown up, but her pictures show how she still has all the joy she had as a child! You can see her pictures here!

5.02.15
My teenage past came back to me when I found Moulin Rouge playing on TV…I happily sang along to every song and teared up just like I did when I was 16.

5.03.15
Happy 5th birthday to my nephew Pepe!! This boy is so hilarious and sweet and we had a very entertaining Skype birthday call!

I made chicken wings for the kids and they we taken completely by surprised when I told them it was ok to eat with their fingers! They were cracking up the entire meal and it was so fun!
5.04.15
Went to a nearby thrift store for a little therapy on my half day off. The parents had been in Lourdes for the past five days, so it was nice to have a little time away after working double time.

5.05.15
I brought the celebration of Cinco de Mayo to the family here by making Tacos and drinking Corona! It was Muy Bueno!

Also, my host parents had gone to Lourdes with the Order of Malta and they brought me back an honorary pin from the Order because they while I am not apart of the Order, I helped them achieve the mission of the Order to serve those who are sick. It was a very special gift from them.

5.06.15
Put up my second Dutch Alfabet blog post! My nephew asked me to make him a Dutch Alfabet to teach him about the Netherlands, and so I’m using my blog as the median for that! You can check it out in the Dutch ABC’s category on my menu bar!

And that’s my week–I can’t believe I don’t have pictures to post…this has got to be a first!! Hope you all had a good week too and I’ll write again soon!

365 Days of Joy: Week 17

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato, author of the Story of a Rose blog).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every week, and hopefully, along with joy, I can gain a little consistency in my life. 😉  So here we go, week 17!

benrectorbeautifulThere are some days when a song just hits you hard in the guy…but in a good way. This happened to me with Ben Rector’s song “Beautiful”. This song is all about loving life again and living with a childlike innocence. It’s a nice reminder of how we can fall into the serious routine of everyday life that we forget to celebrate life with joy and enthusiasm, like we did when we were kids.

4.23.15

Mary left today 😦 Had such a great time with her, but unfortunately she had to go back and work, or some nonsense like that. The kids and I went to the park for the first time this spring and we had so much fun running barefoot in the sand and picking flowers…Spring is just the best!

4.24.15

Skyped with Kilty and the Gonzo boys and in the middle my grandparents come to her house so I got to say hi to them too!

4.25.15

We went to Saturday Night Mass in a Church in a little village close by. It was so lovely. There was a georgian choir and and a beautiful back chapel for Our Lady!

4.26.15

WILD WIN, WILD WIN, WILD WIN!!!!! WHOOOOO! The Minnesota Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1 to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second year in a row. Next they travel to Chicago on Friday to take on the Blackhawks. Oh and my dear friend Katie Desme attempted to watch the game in my honor, and apparently it was so difficult for her… 😉

Also, my lil’ sibs got their London hats and showed them off to me!

4.27.15

Kings day! It’s a National Holiday here in the Netherlands, and everyone wears Orange, because it is the most attractive color on everybody….right? In the morning we went to mass in the village and in the afternoon we went to The White Village of Thorn, which sounds super awesome, and it actually is. It has kept the tradition of painting the buildings white and it is just a perfect little village.

4.28.15

The kids and I went on a really long walk, and in the middle Elisabeth got really cranky so Lambert-Joseph and I had to distract her by asking her what color every car was and she would get really excited when she got the question right.

4.29.15

Finally wrote my London blog (yes, I know I said it would be done during the weekend, but I’m a liar, ok!) and it’s up on my travel blog! You can click HERE to check it out and look at the copious amount of pictures that Mary and I took. 🙂  Also, Clemens-August is almost walking! He can now walk behind a stroller by himself!

That’s my week! If you want to hear the full song that my quote is from, here is the video. Ben is awesome and everyone should love him.

365 Days of Joy: Week 14

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato, author of the Story of a Rose blog).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every week, and hopefully, along with joy, I can gain a little consistency in my life. 😉  So here we go, week 14!

no matter how long the winter

4.2.15

Lambert-Joseph has the idea that everything yellow in nature is used to make honey, and today he explained to me how mixing salty things with a dandelion makes honey…he was also very surprised I didn’t know how to already.

I made Chili for the family, and while they said it didn’t smell American, it tasted American 🙂

Elisabeth is really into tickling right now and Lambert-Joseph yells “Picante! Picante!” whenever she tickles him….I have no idea why.

4.3.15

Good Friday–the day the greatest sacrifice known to mankind was made. The joy however, comes from us knowing the end result!

4.4.15

The village had an easter egg hunt at the castle for the kids, and a lot of people came to participate, so that was exciting.

I saw this quote on Facebook, and it gave me chills:

“There is a Great Silence on Earth today, a great silence and stillness. Silence because the King is asleep. God has died in the flesh and Hell trembles with fear.”

Watched LOTR “The Return of the King” because it’s probably one of the most Holy Saturday appropriate movie that I have…I mean, it’s called The Return of the King…that’s straight up Biblical.

4.5.15

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Today, I was actually a little homesick, as it usually is on Holidays, but that was cured by a nice long convo with the family back home, lots of chocolate, and delicious Georgian wine. Fun fact, Georgia (the Country, not State) is actually where wine originated from.

4.6.15

Lazy Easter Monday= reading a lot, watching copious amounts of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart videos, and a short, but very sweet, Facetime with the big bro, Jack 🙂 Also, this isn’t the first time I have had this, but I want to tell you guys of the greatness of Speculoos butter…OMG it’s a cookie in peanut butter form…it’s AMAZING!

4.7.15

We played outside all day! The weather is beautiful and warm, putting all of us in a good mood! Also, the Minnesota Wild clinched playoff spot–What Up!

4.8.15

Tulip garden trip! Went to the Keurkenhof gardens! You can read more about it on my travel blog by clicking HERE!

Well, that’s my week! This upcoming week I’m getting ready for Mary to come on Wednesday and enjoying the wonderful weather! Hope all is well with everyone back home, or wherever you are!

Pax Ex!

365 Days of Joy: Week 13

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato, author of the Story of a Rose blog).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every week, and hopefully, along with joy, I can gain a little consistency in my life. 😉  So here we go, week 13!


BYS

I don’t know about any of you, but I am constantly looking for fulfillment, yet I can never seem to find it. It doesn’t matter how many places I go, people I meet, compliments I get, likes on Instagram, whatever, they are never enough–I’m never fulfilled. C.S. Lewis wrote,
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
That’s it! That must be it–my fulfillment won’t come because it’s not possible obtain it through worldly goods. Well, now I’m set, right? I know my fulfillment will come from something greater than me, greater than all humanity, greater than the universe, so now I just have to sit back and let the fulfilling take place, right? Well, so far, it hasn’t exactly happened that way for me.  Just like any relationship, one with the Lord takes work. You can’t just walk in, day one, and expect to have a perfect, open, stress free relationship. While he is ready and willing to begin with us, it’s harder for us to begin with him than we think it will be–building a lasting relationship does not come in 3 simple steps. I have focussed this lent on building that relationship with Christ, and what I have learned is that our relationship is like a constant wave, and it’s all my fault.  Some weeks I keep it up so well, I’m constantly praying, I’m going to adoration, I’m focused and attentive during mass, and I physically feel the connection with Christ. And then there are other weeks where I am the worst friend in the world, I don’t start conversations, I don’t reply, when He’s right in front of me, I look away and pay no attention to Him. During those weeks, I feel very alone, but for some strange reason, I know it’s not because He left me, but it’s because I left him.
Now, many of you may know this about me, but my friendships usually start off slow and then escalade really really quickly. Usually I meet a person, barely talk to them for two months or so, and then a breakthrough happens and boom, we are best friends in a couple of hours. Well, with God, that is a difficult approach for me because that “breakthrough” happened over 2,000 years ago when he died for me, so I feel like I’m constantly playing catch up in our friendship. This knowledge causes me to feel guilty for not being good enough, so then I avoid Him even more, because I don’t know how to apologize for not being a perfect friend.  This is where I have been so wrong. First of all, God doesn’t just want to be my friend. No, He wants me to be IN LOVE with Him, because He is Love. Secondly, God doesn’t need me to be perfect, he knows I can’t be. He knows it’s physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally impossible for me to be perfect on this earth. He doesn’t care. He made me not so I would be perfect for him, but so that He would be perfect for me. He is my perfect companion. I’m not made to be perfect, I’m made to know, love and serve Him. He is enough for me.
The quote I chose above is from the band, Tenth Avenue North. Not only do they know how to sing and rock like any Top 40 artist, but they also have countless songs about God’s unfailing, never ceasing love for us. They focus on taking our fears, doubts, failures, etc., and giving them all to God. They really are a wonderful, inspirational band. I’m pretty sure their new CD “Cathedrals” was written about me. This quote has been my unofficial motivator this lent, my constant reminder of what I am striving for. In addition to that, the band has also given me a prayer to end lent with and bring in Easter (and it will be especially relevant come Pentecost). So, before I begin my week of joy, I would like to share this small prayer, found at the end of their song “We Won’t Numb the Pain” (It sounds much better in song form than just read out, so you should just go listen to it).
“Let me get a taste of Your sweetness
Give me one glimpse of Your lovely light
Lord, be my joy, treasure, my delight
Let me have a sense of Your presence
May I trust Your mercy all my life
I just want to be a fire burning in the night

Fire in my heart
Fire in my soul
May the fire of Your love
Burn away control
Satisfy my heart
‘Cause I don’t want to steal
Or give in to my lust just to feel”

3.26.15

The kids were all sick today, but that just means all they want to do is snuggle and read books–which is an ideal day for me! I also got to talk to the cute Gonzalez family, and Maria waved to me!

3.27.15

A bunch of Seminarians arrived at the castle from the North American College in Rome. They were mostly from the mid-west and it turned out we knew a lot of mutual people, which was really random, but very cool. It was kind of a culture shock to be around American guys again after being away for so long. I have a feeling coming back to the States will take a little getting used to.

3.28.15

Skype date with Katlin that was full of wonderful laughter.

3.29.15

Talked to my Mema and Opa today for Mema’s 91st birthday. They both sounded so lively and happy on the phone, it was such a joy to talk to them! Then later I got to catch my Aunt Bridget at Kilty’s at quite a few family members were there too!

grouphug

Also, with it being Palm Sunday, I got to experience yet another dutch tradition. Instead of the traditional palms, they have these hedge looking branches and they also give you a sweet bread in the form of a roster, symbolizing the cock that crowed when Peter denied Jesus.

palm sunday

3.30.15

I received proof that my nephew takes after me 😉

pepeandmaria

3.31.15

We had a hot chocolate and yogurt party and it was adorable.

hightea

4.1.15

My joy came from Mary, Grace, and Joe meeting Tenth Avenue North and getting to hear them play acoustic for an hour after the show. They were all so excited, I couldn’t help but be excited with them, even if I was extremely jealous. Oh also, Elisabeth almost has the entire song of “Itsy, Bitsy Spider” memorized…and she is so cute when she sings it!

As I was writing this post, I realized how horrible I am about writing down cute things the kids do every day! They have been so adorable the past few weeks, and I always mean to write down funny things they say, but then I forget–I’ll try to be better in the future.

Ok, well that is my final lenten post! I wish you all a holy Holy Week and a wonderful Easter. I will for sure post lots of pictures of our Easter activities, so stay tuned!

365 Days of Joy: Week 12

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato, author of the Story of a Rose blog).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every week, and hopefully, along with joy, I can gain a little consistency in my life. 😉  So here we go, week 12!

e9f89a7fa61358c9e84f904b9c80ecf7After such a great week, it’s so easy to find reasons to be thankful!

3.19.15

Happy feast day to St. Joseph! What a man! I finished his novena, and it was such a beautiful experience. There is an Australian priest staying with us and he welcomed us to his daily mass for this wonderful feast day.

“Let us allow ourselves to be “infected” by the silence of St. Joseph! We have much need of it in a world which is often too noisy, which does not encourage reflection and listening to the voice of God.” -Pope Benedict 3/19/2010

Also, tonight there was a reception for Henri as he officially became a Consulate for Belgium in the Netherlands. There were over 200 people here for the reception to congratulate him. While I was mostly on baby patrol, I did get to meet the Belgian Ambassador in the Netherlands. Pretty fun stuff!

3.20.15

Holy cow, I’m 24! Does that seem old? I feel like it does. Am I supposed to be an adult now? I had a great birthday today: the family got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, I had a private mass said for me, Leila prepared a wonderful dinner and cake, and a Byzantine priest said an blessing over me in Old Slovakian and sang a traditional birthday song from the Ukraine. I usually don’t like getting sung to, but this was absolutely beautiful. I also got to talk to my family (always hilarious), Munga and Bompa, and the Gonzalez family (also hilarious). The best was when Teo and Pepe told me I should come over for my birthday, but I told them I couldn’t today, but I’ll come over in late July and Pepe just looks at me and says “late July? hmmm, well I don’t know, I’ll have to ask my mom.”

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3.21.15

Today was another eventful day at the Castle. The New Year for the Schutterij began with a ceremony on our courtyard. Also, it was a big deal because the old commander who has been there for over 50 years retired, so they included a ceremony for him. It poured in the middle, but after a giant, bright rainbow appeared over us and it was so perfect.

3.22.15

Skype date with Katie York, and a guest appearance from Allison Sutton! I hadn’t talked to those girls in so long, so I’m very happy we were finally able to find time!

3.23.15

The moon and sunset were absolutely glorious this evening. And today was nice enough out for me to sit outside for a while and write 🙂

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3.24.15

Hockey Joy! The Wild have won 10 straight road games. They are in the top wildcard spot in their conference and they are kicking butt! So, while my March Madness bracket is completely destroyed, at least hockey can make me happy. Oh and NCAA hockey playoffs start soon. Go Gophers!

3.25.15

Guys, I discovered Netherlands Thrift shops! They blow U.S. Thrift shops out of the water. I’m obsessed. My only purchase today was a Delfts Plate Clock. It’s wonderful.

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And that’s my week! Thanks for reading this week! God Bless!

Pax Ex.

365 Days of Joy: Week 10

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato, author of the Story of a Rose blog).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every week, and hopefully, along with joy, I can gain a little consistency in my life. 😉  So here we go, week 10!

heroGodI like this as a lenten reminder of what is about to come. Jesus has already proven himself to be our hero, we just have to ready our hearts and open them up to him. He has done His part for the world; we just need to invite Him into our own stories.

3.05.15

I started reading St. Augustine’s “Confessions”–I realized I have never read it cover to cover, just bits and pieces. It starts off with beautiful questions to God, and my favorite one (so far) comes from the first section:

“Grant me, Lord, to know and understand which is first, to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and, again, to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee, not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not, may call on Thee as other than Thou art.”

3.06.15

So you know Raquel Kato, the one I always give a shout out to at the beginning of my posts? Well, not only is she an amazing blogger and mother (of my beautiful God child AvaMarie), but she is also extremely talented when it comes to anything and everything artsy/crafty. She has her own Etsy shop, called TheLittleRoseShop, and it is positively adorable. Everything is handmade with so much thought and care, and she is always adding new, original products. I really don’t know how she does it! Anyway, today I finally made my first purchase from the shop, and I bought my new niece an adorable headband with two roses on it. Hopefully in the near future I will have a picture of baby Maria wearing the headband and I can show it off to all of you, but in the meantime you should check out Raquel’s shop by clicking here!

3.07.15

Spring is definitely upon us here in the Netherlands! Saturday was so beautiful out, so the kids and I spent all morning playing outside and picking flowers! Also, that night I got to go to Mass in the Little Church in Hoensbroek–which is my favorite church around.

bettyflowers

3.08.15

Today I got to babysit an American family and it was so much fun! There is such a big difference between Dutch toddlers and American pre-teens that it was kind of a reverse culture shock for a moment! That didn’t last long, however, and before you knew it we were jumping on the trampoline, skateboarding (the oldest boy tried to teach me how to longboard…it went ok…..) and going for a picnic in the woods. It was fantastic!

3.09.15

Today I channeled my inner book nerd and brushed up on some Irish literature…and then I decided to write short blog post about it! You can check it out here, or I think there is a back button at the end of this post and you can press that. I had so much fun writing this blog because I had to search for pictures of all my quotes and in doing that I found even more that I love, resulting in me spending too much time on Pinterest, but hey, it was research!

3.10.15

This technically happened on the 9th, but since it’s so wonderful I am allowed to be happy about it for more than one day! One of my longest and greatest friends, Emily Morgan, asked me to be a reader in her wedding this October! Isn’t that wonderful!?! I am so honored that she and Kevin are including me in their day!

3.11.15

Yesterday I started a St. Joseph Novena, but I read through it very quickly and didn’t really pay attention to what I was reading. Today, I took it slower and really prayed the words, instead of just reading them. Guys, it is beautiful! I encourage all of you to pick it up–even if you are behind, the beauty and power of this prayer will still be there! Gosh, he is great!

St. Joe

Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I come to you as an example for holiness, for you are especially close with God. Therefore, I humbly commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, pray for me to have a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Day 1 – St. Joseph Most Just, Pray for us!
Day 2 – St. Joseph Most Prudent, Pray for us!
Day 3 – St. Joseph Most Loving Husband, Pray for us!
Day 4 – St. Joseph Most Strong, Pray for us!
Day 5 – St. Joseph Most Obedient, Pray for us!
Day 6 – St. Joseph Most Faithful, Pray for us!
Day 7 – St. Joseph Pillar of Families, Pray for us!
Day 8 – St. Joseph Patron of the Dying, Pray for us!
Day 9 – St. Joseph Terror of Demons, Pray for us!

Amen.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.

So, that is my week! Hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you all have had and continue to have a wonderful week! God Bless!

Pax Ex.

365 Days of Joy: Week 8

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every Wednesday, and hopefully I can stay consistent with this. So here we go, week 8!

adventure is out thereI didn’t actually go on any adventures this week, but I planned for a lot of future adventures, which made this week very exciting.

2.19.15

Today the kids and I spent an over an hour watching a tree get cut down. This isn’t usually my idea of fun, but when it occupies the kids attention for that long, I’m not going to complain. Also, the kids would cheer every time a piece of the tree would fall down, and it was adorable.

2.20.15

Friday the parents were gone all day, so I had the kids to myself the entire day, which adds a little extra chaos to an already chaotic house, but thankfully they slept until 10 a.m. giving me time to get things ready for the day. And Aunt Jean came in the afternoon, which always makes for a fun time.

2.21.15

WHOO!!! Mary decided on the dates to come visit me!!!!! I’m so excited! She will be here mid-April for a week, and I’m thinking that will be a perfect time to visit London!

2.22.15

As lame as it sounds my joy came from taking a long, glorious nap. Also, Aunt Audrey and Uncle Greg came for dinner with their two boys and having a full house makes for hilarious conversation and fun chaos. Oh and I got the cutest Valentines day card from my God Baby, AvaMarie, and some wonderful pictures of my favorite Colorado family! I miss the Katos so much!

2.23.15

Leila told me I get a week off in May to explore South Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic–let the planning begin!  I’m going to try to plan it so I can see Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava, and Prague. It’s going to be difficult and I might have to cut one or two of them, but I’m going to try!

2.24.15 

Listened to Bach while doing my Bible study “homework”–I’ve heard lots of different renditions of his work, but I think I’ve found that the Philadelphia Orchestra is my favorite. It’s just lovely.

2.25.15 

Well, I was hoping my joy of the day would come from Kilty having her baby, but the kid is being super stubborn. I tried to motivate him/her the best ways I could, but it’s hard from across an ocean, and I don’t think Kilty really listened to all my “labor” songs I sent her. I don’t think she thought “Push It” by Salt n’ Pepa would actually help… but what I did do is publish my Italy Part II blog! Yay for me! So please check it out by clicking here. It covers my trip to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum, and Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica.

Well, that’s my week, it’s a little bland with no pictures, but overall it was a good one. This upcoming weekend I’m going to Brugge, Belgium, so get ready for pictures!

Pax Ex!