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love – Mommy of Many®

Archive for the love Category

A Lullabye for My Kiddos Who are Away

March 6, 2013

It’s been a really long and full day. Part of the fullness is how much I’m feeling filled up with love for my kiddos who are far away. Clayton called this evening, to talk to me and the little kiddos and he gave us all a finish to our day that was full of love and the memories of the few months he was with us, last year. We all felt how much we miss the members of our family who are far off.

So I’m ending today’s Dance with a lullabye that I’ve sung to each of my kiddos and that my mom sang to me.

Good night, sweet dreams and much love; Kateri, JJ (Clayton), Mariah and Maddi. I love you~

I see the moon and the moon sees me
And the moon sees the one that I long to see.
So God bless the moon and God bless me
And God bless the one that I long to see.
It seems to me that God above
Created you for me to love.
He picked you out of all the rest
Because he knew I loved you the best.
I once had a heart called mine you see,
But now it’s gone to you from me.
So take good care as I have done
For you have two and I have none.
I see the moon and the moon sees me
And the moon sees the one that Iong to see.
So God bless the moon and God bless me
And God bless the one that I long to see

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Hey Lex, Will You Promise Me Something?

July 9, 2012

This morning, as I brushed his hair and teeth, washed his face and kissed his cheek, I just had to say these words;

“Lex, will you promise me something? Will you promise me that when you grow up to be a big boy and then a man, that you will remember to do and say everything out of love, in truth and with respect? Will you promise me to be a good, loving man who remembers that God has a plan for you and that you are SO loved?”

He smiled at me and said, “Yes, but you won’t see me very often because I’m going to be on adventures and finding the lost city and the center of the world.”

Alright then, as long as we’re on the same page~

Doing the Dance of the Children and Getting a Little Mushy~

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Bedtime Sweetness With Lex

March 7, 2012

I know the blog has been “Lex heavy” lately, but how the heck do I NOT post these things that he’s saying? He’s TOO sweet and I want to capture as much of it as possible because someday, when he’s an angry teenager who thinks I’m stupid for not letting him do…whatever it is he thinks he should be able to, I’m going to be able to snuggle up with my computer and come back to these posts, smile and know that somewhere deep inside him he loves me.

Tonight, he climbed into my bed while I was working on the computer. Soon he laid his head right up against my leg and said, “I need to get closer so I can cuddle”. Then he asked me how much I love him. I told him I love him as big as the whole world. He smiled up at me and said, “and how much do you love Gabi?”. I said that I loved her as big as the whole world too and that I love ALL my kids as big as the whole world. His reply, “No, you only love Gabi as big as 6 states”.

Lil pooper!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Mommy of Many Morning Short-G’morning From Lex

March 3, 2012

You probably know that each night I’m usually sharing my bed with my 2 youngest. If they don’t fall asleep here from the beginning, it’s most certain that 1 or both will be climbing in before morning.

This morning is was only Lex and he didn’t come in until about 6:30. He climbed in and I rolled over to face outward (sometimes that morning breath right in my face is too much). He tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Mama, please roll back so I can look at your face while I’m sleeping”.

He always hits me right in the heart!

Good Saturday Morning to all of you.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Emmaus Ministries-Worth Reading, Sharing & Supporting!

February 21, 2012

I don’t believe I’ve ever asked you to read a write up on a cause before, so I’ve saved up until now.

I ask that you take a few moments to read these heartfelt words that Kateri, my 22 yr. old daughter, has put together about her upcoming, 2nd year on this mission. For those of you who don’t know Kateri, I’d like to preface this note with a few words;

Last year, when Kateri briefly described to me how she would be spending her Spring Break, working with homeless, male postitutes in Chicago, I was both in awe and frightened for her safety. I felt blessed that my daughter had become that kind of person who would even consider such a thing and prayed for all those going on the mission and those that they would be working with. She came back with a heart so full of true love for people that most of us wouldn’t want to even glance at, let alone share a table and meal with. I’m profoundly proud of Kateri and all the young adults that are choosing to spend their break in this way. I ask that you read what she has to say and that if you are not able to help fund the team that you, please, keep each of these people in your prayers.

Now, a word from Kateri;

The Chicago Mission is a 10 day trip to Uptown Chicago where a group of fourteen college students stay and work with Emmaus Ministries. Emmaus is a ministry center that serves men that either have been or are involved in a lifestyle of same-sex prostitution. Emmaus is a safe place where these men can get their lives back together, they can wash their clothes, do chores, take showers, go to prayer groups, it’s a place they can have mail sent, where they can make phone calls, it’s their home.  My favorite part of the mission is that everyday for lunch everyone stops what they’re doing: all the staff, all the volunteers and all the men who have come to Emmaus that day, come together at a long table, right in front of a huge mural of the Last Supper, and have a meal together. They pray, they eat, they laugh. For some of the men at Emmaus it’s the only place they’ve ever had a meal like this: around a table, in a safe place with people that love them.

Something I didn’t realize until I had the opportunity to go to Emmaus last year was that male prostitution is a totally different culture than I had imagined.  When I think of the poorest in society I think of the homeless.  Many of these men are addicts, alcoholics as well as homeless; they’ve come from impossible backgrounds without family or shelter and most often without love of any kind. They sell themselves for mere dollars, often to get their next “fix”.  They can’t go to homeless shelters because the homeless know who they are and often beat or rape them.  Emmaus is a safe haven where they don’t have to worry about being hurt, they don’t have to explain themselves, they are just loved and cared for, they are given the opportunity to get their lives back on track.

Emmaus had a profound impact on my life, in ways I never expected. I went to Emmaus ready to serve the men. Ready to smile and laugh with them. Ready to cook and clean. Ready to listen and have conversations with the men I’d meet.  I did these things but what I wasn’t expecting was the way that the men would serve me.  There wasn’t a day I was there that one of the men didn’t open a door for me, pull out the chair for me while we sat down for lunch. I was never allowed to clear my own plate, God forbid I try to take theirs!  I may have cooked, but they ALWAYS did the dishes.  They loved me without strings, without expectations.  I quickly realized that we are all prostitutes in one form or another, “we are all poor and broken.  The only difference between me and the men of Emmaus,” as the founder of Emmaus, Deacon John Green, once said, “is that we know where the food is.” We are all on a walk to Emmaus the difference is that I know where it leads.  These men have such a profound ability to love and they each had an incredible impact on my life.

One of these men was David. He was a firefighter who had been in an accident and had suffered severe brain damage. He lost his job, his wife left him taking the children with her. He began drinking which then led to hard drugs. Before long he was living on the streets with all he owned in a duffle bag and a tent that he slept in.  He turned to prostitution to pay for his next high and no one left who cared.  Emmaus was a place where people noticed when he wasn’t there, it was a place where people knew his name, they knew his story, they loved him.  We’d go outside and smoke cigarettes together, he didn’t say much but he’d come because he knew I’d give him cigarettes and if he ignored my questions long enough I’d leave him alone.  So we’d sit outside in silence.  One day I caught a glimpse of his eyes and was so taken aback by their piercing color and vibrancy that I had to tell him.  His reaction is still fresh in my mind as I write this.  He looked up, straight in my eyes and smiled. He talked for maybe 10 minutes about his parents’ eyes and how his were such a mix of the two. He told me how he thought they were his best feature and that no matter what he had gone through, or what he looked like, they were still the same.  We finished our cigarettes, he hugged me and we went inside.  I think about him and pray for him everyday.  Emmaus is a place for men like David, who have had to turn to prostitution because of the impossible situations they’ve found themselves in.

The week we get to spend with Emmaus is life changing. I feel so blessed to be going back this year as a co-leader, ready to share the experience I had with 11 new people who are eager to meet the men I have such a great love for.  The Chicago Mission leaves on March 9th, just over a month away! Our goal is $12,000 and unfortunately we are still thousands of dollars away.

Please help us get to Chicago this year.  Time is running out but although we have a ways to go, we are confident that your generosity will get us there! You can donate online at: https://giving.franciscan.edu/sslpage.aspx?pid=383 in the “designation” area put “Chicago”.

Please keep our mission in your prayers and know that you are in ours.

God bless~

Kateri Lang

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any further questions or would like more information:  kateri.l.lang@gmail.com

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How To Love-By Lex

June 5, 2011

The conversation between me and Lex concerning love;

Lex-How do we love our friends? Are we supposed to love our friends?
Me-Yes! Jesus told us to love one another. We love them by wanting whats best for them and being kind to them.
Lex-But not kissing!
Me-Right. Not kissing. There are different kinds of love. The kissing kind of love is for when you are with someone you think you might marry or you want to spend a lot of your life with them or for when you are married. For friends we love them by being good and kind to them.
Lex-Our hearts grow to be able to have all that love for all our friends. We can have more friends because our hearts will keep growing and growing to give more and more love.
Me-Right! We can have really really big hearts and love all the people in our life.
Lex-But not kissing.
Me-Right, not kissing. But the kind of love Mommies and Daddies have for their kids means lots of cuddles and kisses and hugs. But that’s different than the “kissing” kind of love.
Lex-Wow, we are going to have really big hearts!

He sure makes my heart grow!

Doing the Dance of the Children With Lots and Lots of Love~

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Fill Up Your Heart Envelope

November 7, 2010


Yesterday was such a beautiful and relaxed day! I took many little pieces of it and tucked them into my Heart Envelope. That little envelope is becoming full and cushiony and I love to place things into it and revisit what’s in there. I believe everyone should be conscience of their Heart Envelope and fill it up bit by bit. You know, that little place inside your heart where you store the bits of Good Stuff that you draw from in the times of life when nothing seems to be going right. Deciding to grab those good things and save them has been a key tool for me.

Yesterday I put in a relaxed conversation with friendly companions, the smell of the ocean (though this one was already in there. I like to have some duplicates), the feel of the ocean breeze (another duplicate), a bike ride with one of my daughters and a laugh over a silly one-liner. From time to time I go open that envelope and check on the contents-A rock thrown at a window from an admirer when I was a teenager, the zing of holding a crushes’ hand for the first time, a drive near the water in a convertible, a ride on the back of a motorcycle, standing on an overlook with the kids and watching Clay vertrep, riding a bike with no hands, being at a Rod Stewart concert, doing an interview, holding my newborn babies, the pure joy of my lil one when he wakes up to my voice, listening to and watching the pure joy of the St. Greg’s guys after graduation while they sang their hearts out, spending the night alone in a hotel room, etc. etc.

These are the important pieces that keep me from sinking low in the times when life gets hard. I’m always able to peek inside that envelope and remember that the tough times are just mere snippets in this life that’s been cushioned with the contents of that Heart Envelope.

Don’t forget to grab your moments and tuck them away. I promise you’ll find a reason to smile whenever you open your Heart Envelope up!

Here’s to the beauty that life gives us and to holding onto and drawing from it~

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October 30, 2010

At midnight I was fast asleep but was woken to talking next to my bed. Talking that I started answering. It was one of the girls. Huh? It’s late. Huh? Wait! I stumbled out of the bed in the dark, over to the light switch. I had to see what I thought I was hearing. Kateri?! Kateri! She started laughing at me and told me that JJ was in the kitchen. I went running out and sure enough! They were both standing in my house! What? Who? How?

They are here until Monday and then they both head back. What a surprise!

I got up early, went to Starbucks for coffee (and to surprise my sister with the sight of Kateri) and then came home and have been working away like a busy lil bee. It’s funny the mode I go into when everyone is home. I’m instantly a better cook, better cleaner, better M.O.M. I whipped up a lunch of grilled chicken sandwiches, with all the fixins (grilled onions included) for 12. It seems that whenever Kateri and JJ are home, the house becomes full of guests, the table becomes full of game playing, music playing, song singing, hungry folks. I love it! I LOVE a full house! I LOVE to entertain! I love putting out the food and having a ton of people show up to eat it! Somehow time stops a little bit while they’re here and we manage to grab ahold of extra moments. I don’t know how to explain it, but I’ll take it!


Me and Kateri enjoying the feel of the ocean air today

My sister and her roommate joined Kateri and I for coffee and a walk to the beach

JJ posed for a picture before he headed out for a haircut

Doing the Dance of the Children and Enjoying Them All~

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Today’s M.O.M. Moments

October 29, 2010

What a full day!

The kids woke up early and were anxious to get on their costumes and get to school for the carnival. I ended up with 4 Sailor Scouts, Superman, a Mad Scientist and Mark Surge-A Lego Hero Factory Character and I was Minnie Mouse.



Everyone had a great and tiring time at the carnival and I want to say THANK YOU to our good friend, Maria for making the girls’ costumes! Over the years, she’s made so many costumes and dresses for my kids that she deserves a public round of applause!

My high schoolers collaborated with friends and they dressed the part of the Sailor Scouts and Tuxedo Mask, from Sailor Moon.


Everyone was so cute!

When I left the preschool carnival and took Luke-Xavier over to the big carnival at the main school, I started to look around for Gabi. I wondered if she’d be ok, wandering around and checking out all the booths. All the kindergartners were over there, but I was just nervous that she may not find what she wanted to do, or know to go get her drink and snack, etc. After I stood in line with Luke-Xavier for a few games, I finally saw Gabi. She was with Tristan (my 5th grader) and a couple of his friends. Tristan was holding her gloves and goodie bag for her and they were all making sure she had gotten her snack and that she was having fun at all the games. I was so impressed and proud! These 11 yr old boys were kindly helping a 6 yr old girl and when they saw me, they didn’t run over and ask me to please take her, because they’d been taking her and could they please just go around together now and not have her tagging along! It was one of those parenting moments where you know your kids are going to be ok. That somehow all the times you’ve gotten after them for being mean to each other or not helping each other have actually made an impression on how they think. Not once did Gabi come looking for me or did the boys walk away from her! Everyone had a great time.
After we got back from the carnival and picking up the high schoolers, I asked if I could, please lie down for 1/2 an hour. About 10 minutes into my rest came *knock, knock, knock*. It was Gabi. Very calmly, she said, “Lex is playing with fire”. When I opened the bedroom door, I could smell that something was burning (or had been burnt). Sure enough, there was paper on the floor that was completely blackened and there was a scorch mark on the floor! I told Gabi that this was EXACTLY the right time to tattle!

I had a talk with Lex and this was his 4 year old thinking-”I caught the paper on fire and I tried to blow it out, but it kept coming. So I thought I needed water, but I couldn’t reach it and I knew I needed to yell out for an adult, but I thought I’d get in trouble”. I pointed out that he ended up in trouble anyway and that whenever there’s trouble or something scary that he needs to “yell out” for someone.


Doing the Dance of the Children and Feeling Proud of Gabi and Tristan’s Decisions~

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Happy Birthday Gabi-girl!

October 23, 2010

Gabriella Elise Lang is 6 yrs old today! The years have passed so quickly!

Here’s a little trip from down Memory Lane-

even more cropped Jen at the beach 3

Soon before Gabi’s arrival into the world


Kateri, watching me give birth to lil Gabi

baby Gabi 045

Newborn Gabi-girl, heading home from the hospital. I hadn’t had a girl in 8 years and was excited to be buying pink again!


Gabi today, happy with her new umbrella.

Happy Birthday beautiful lil Gabi! You have so much life ahead of you! We’re happy you’re here and love you SO MUCH!

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May 26, 2010

I’ve sat down at my computer, time and time again, to begin the post full of emotion and pictures that would describe JJ’s graduation and all it really meant to me. I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. There’s so much emotion behind the amazing, young man that we’ve seen him develop into. It’s a hard post to put together.

So, here I am, one more day, a little speechless.

It’s Wednesday and the schedule is full and busy, as always. Tristan, proudly, received his Parvuli Dei medal last night and tonight Anna and Maddi will be honored, with the rest of their teammates at the school’s Sports Awards Banquet. The end of the school year is rapidly approaching and I have 2 girls graduating 8th grade. There’s much prep to do! I MUST MUST MUST began their memory boards!

Yep, my head is full and scattered and my heart is heavy with joy, pride and even sadness.

One more day of Doing the Dance of the Children as time speeds on to each new milestone~

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A Good Monday

May 10, 2010

Normally Mondays don’t hold a good feeling. It’s the beginning of the week and we have to leave the weekend behind. But THIS Monday is a good one! It’s the beginning of a week that brings one of my sisters moving to San Diego AND Kateri coming for the summer. Whoo Hoo!

I hope you can each find something good about this Monday too! For me it’s one step closer to Doing the Dance of the Children with all of my kiddos back in San Diego~

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Mothers Day by Max

May 9, 2010

Mothers Day from Max

This morning Max brought me his Mothers Day gift that he’d made in school. It was wrapped in tissue paper and had his name on the front. This is what was inside. It made me smile so big to read through all his thoughts on what I’d be if I was a flower or music or a food, etc.

I can see where a chair is a good choice for me as a piece of furniture. After all, my lap is well used. I’m not a fan of cats or bacon, so we’ll have to talk about turning me into those things. But I love that if I was music that I’d be rock. Ha! I’m surprised he didn’t say “kid songs”! And I especially like that of all the women in history, he’s got me pegged as Mary, only twice as nice, fun, attractive and beloved. Whoa! That’s a tall order!

It’s been a day full of Motherhood, for sure! I’d also like to mention the beautiful cookies that Maddi made and decorated and the time that she’s demanded that I take for myself (without which, this blog would not be getting written).



I hope each of you Mamas are enjoying all the handcrafted pieces of artwork and hand written notes that you’ve undoubtably been given today, along with the pampering and love.

Happy Mothers Day~

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Even More Good Stuff

February 17, 2010


When I got up this morning, I found this note waiting for me on the kitchen counter.

But wait! There’s more!
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All the lunches are packed and waiting! THIS is going to be a good day! Maddi, the Lunch Fairy has visited and left behind some love.

It doesn’t get much better!

Have a great day~

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Life-The Beginning, Middle and End

October 28, 2009

The circle of life has been on my mind a lot lately.

I have a friend who’s getting ready to deliver her first baby and she’s so excited, scared, frustrated and ready to meet her little one. I remember what that feels like-how the end of the pregnancy comes and it’s all a big guessing game. You’re never sure of when the big day will arrive or if all the aches and twinges you’re feeling mean that you should go to the hospital or if you still have days to wait. It’s exciting and scary. No matter how many times I had gone through it, I was always a little scared. You just never know exactly what’s going to happen, but you know you’re there for a beautiful result. There is truly nothing in the world like the experience of seeing your brand new baby for the first time! Nothing!

I’ve been thinking a lot about that and even though I am not going to be personally delivering any babies anymore, I would love to be there for women who are. What a great thing to be there to help women through their birthing process! To be there the moment they meet their baby for the first time! I think I want to be a Doula. No, I’m not going to run out and start Doula training. This isn’t exactly the time to take anything else on (I’m barely making it through the Dance of each day as it is). But in the future, when things settle down and I’m not Doing the Dance of the Children quite as much, THEN.

I was able to travel to Northern California this weekend to be a part of a friend’s memorial and it’s really had me thinking of life; how it begins, how it ends and all the in between, where we’re supposed to be living it. It was wonderful to be at a service where so many people were celebrating a life well lived! It got me thinking about all I want to pack into the days of this life that I have left.

Have a great day…today and EACH day~

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