Sunday, June 30, 2013

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Welcome, friends~~

~As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.~

            One of my favorite Biblical passages. We all know it. A  simple, beautiful verse. Joshua. A path of service and generosity of spirit? It clearly assigns value to these. Yet when this path is chosen on a “full time” scale, it is denigrated by our current culture of materialism, self centered-ness and mothers seeking fulfillment within careers outside their homes.
Being a Catholic woman is my value, my worth. And quite simply, I am blessed.
Titles? Awards?  Pay increases? No, not any more.  Those are in the past.  It’s all much greater than that now. It’s largely unseen. And unnoticed.
But it’s bigger.
I don’t look to be fulfilled by looking beyond my home. It all happens here. Everything important, and unimportant. And I’m thankful for the glimmer of humility bestowed upon me by our Lord that I see it.
 While I steer the boys’ academics daily, orchestrate the minutiae of their social calendars and sports schedules and manage the home keeping in its entirety, my husband is the power behind it all. His encouragement at home, his dedication at work, well, cliché as it sounds, he  makes our family journey possible. His quiet willingness to carry the burden of our family’s financial necessities? Recognizing this treasure is the most valuable gift.

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even tempered. Proverbs 17:27
            On a recent Sunday, my husband opened the magazine section of our New York newspaper, eager to reach the article detailing “family day trips” to one of our travel destinations this summer. Initially assuming that the story might supplement the wealth of information I have been gathering for our westward journey, he was consequently quite dismayed to discover that the piece was not in the slightest a family vacation guide, but more a pseudo ad for a Mom-and-Dad-can-relax-on-the-beach-we’ll-take-the-kids-off-your-hands-and-keep-them-busy-beading-swimming-boating-playing-with-lanyard-for-a-full-day-so-you-don’t-feel-guilty-because-they’re-having-fun-too ‘camps.’
          “Who in the world would buy into THIS??  This isn’t a family trip….this is glorified daycare!”
           That’s my man.
            He gets that our kids’ lives, our lives, are passing as a car speeds down the highway. Trees and telephone wires a blur. These precious, fleeting days? He wants to be with them, not just with them:
            He sends regrets to a family wedding rather than hire a babysitter for our children.
            He holds the consequences for undesirable behavior even though it makes him the most unpopular person around.  
            He prefers family-movie-night-based-on-that-novel-we-just-finished to let’s-go-out-with-another-couple-night.
           He is gratified and proud from behind the scenes when the bat cracks the ball, the basketball is sunk, the square roots are learned, the scripts are memorized, the chords are mastered and the curtain calls are taken.
            And when attempts fail, he is there with the shoulder, the eraser, the net.
            He’d love nothing more than just a little quiet after an endless day at work. But “Daddy, guess what?” trumps his downtime.
            He witnesses, as coach as well as Dad,  as his child reaches down to help a fallen opposing team member from a muddy soccer field rather than scoring that goal, easily within his grasp.  
            Because he’s modeled for his son the score that really matters.
            And no, this is not the All Rainbows and Unicorns All The Time Channel. We, too, have bottomless laundry baskets, short tempers,  volunteer commitments which impose on family time, algebra, science research and Latin grammar that require review. We too, occasionally place pizza orders out of desperation, wondering h-o-w it got to be 6:00 pm. And we show up at the little league field feeling pretty darn together,  to find that we have given our son his uniform from last year for his weekly game. Yeah. Way to go.
              But we pray for patience and for focus on what matters, rather than getting bogged in the mire of what doesn’t.  Alongside the man who keeps his family going.
             Daddy: A word. whispered-with-reverence and full of hope. Daddies are building cathedrals, really. Of both defining moments and  the ordinary, which will weave themselves into the brightest of snapshots in their children’s tapestry of memories.


Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sunday Snippets: 6/30/13

Welcome, friends, to my spot on the web!
Thank you so much for stopping in!

Time once again 

for Sunday Snippets, 
graciously hosted by RAnn 

Vintage Spring divider

I've only one post this week
to link to  the Carnival, which is mainly bloggy "business,"
but contains info on what is sure to be am inspiring
 series on marriage throughout the month of July,
Hot Summer Nights.

And since today is the 'anniversary' of our engagement
....17 years ago!.....
I'm including a wedding pic!
(Actually, it's the only one of our wedding photos that is digitized.
Gotta do something about that!)
Anyway, about the Hot Summer Nights Series,
please click over for  the details on contributors and topics.
Or click to Jen, the series hostess, for the scoop.

Vintage Spring divider

Thank you to RAnn for hosting the Carnival!
Be sure to visit the other bloggers who've linked...
Have a lovely Sunday!

Until next time,


Some Bloggy Business in No Particular Order: Goodbye Google Reader, "Robin in the 'hood" and Etc....

Welcome friends!
I hope this finds you well....

I'm popping in from my blogging break
to touch base with a few bloggish and other updates~~ 

Yup, you've heard it all over:
Google Reader will be no more as of this Monday, July 1...
If you do subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
through Google feed, please switch over to receive posts by email.

I'd hate to lose  to any readers and friends!

In fact, when you subscribe by email, you'll be treated to a
much cleverer- than-the-regular-Feedburner verification email!
My son  
adapted the verification email you'll receive just for my blog.

It's nice and easy:
1. Scroll to my blog's top left side bar.
2. Type your email in that little box that is directly above the 
"Families are Forever" blinkie.
3. Open and click 
the verification email 
which will be immediately sent to your  inbox.


And thank you!
Of course, you're subscribing just in time for my
 scheduled tech break!
Sorry about that!
But by July's end,  I will be back and connecting with friends regularly.
I look forward to a refreshed perspective and to seeing you here as well!

Other "news"~
 I've blogged tons  about my sons' involvement in theater.
In fact, here's one of my Bard posts,  detailing a few of the boys' experiences
with Shakespeare.
A post about the Arthur Miller play in which  my youngest had a role recently.
 And this post describes prep for a Les Mis audition.
Well, tomorrow, my oldest opens in an original production,
written, directed, produced by an uber talented gal
 at one of our   
local theaters.

At the end of July, I'll have oodles of production pictures   
splashed all over here!
But for now, here is one promo shot 
of my guy, "Robin" in
"Robin in the 'hood:"

Cute costume, huh?
Sort of a modern-day parody of Robin Hood, but set in the 'hood
The whole cast is working incredibly hard, 
as is, of course, their fearless director!
We know they'll have fun and break legs up there tomorrow!
We're really proud of all of them!
And so happy our son could be a  part of this experience!

Lastly, (and thank you for sticking with me thus far!)
is a little plug for what is sure to be an awesome and inspiring marriage series
running throughout the month of July,
Hot Summer Nights.
I know you've seen details swirling around the blogosphere 
for the Hot Nights series.
For the whole scoop, as well as the list of topics and guest bloggers,
 head  to Jen's post
Jen, of The Best Titled Blog Out There,
 is graciously pulling the whole, entire she-bang together.

I will be participating and, believe me, I am thrilled to do so!!
I'll have a post published right here on Monday July 1st 
which will subsequently be shared by Jen on July 16
through the series.

After my Hot Nights post goes up,

 I'll not see you here for a month of so.
Please have a safe, fun and memorable July!

Until next time,


Monday, June 24, 2013

Disconnecting For a While/ Hot Summer Night series~

Hi there, friends and welcome!

I will be unplugging for the better part of this summer
 in order to focus on  family and home
without the self - imposed distraction of technology.

I'm stopping in today to wish
 my friends from the USA 
a wonderful red, white and blue Fourth 
filled with all things
Americana and patriotic....

(Plus, of course, the essential BBQ 
festive strawberry, blueberry and whipped cream flag cake!)

 And here's wishing  all of you 
a happy July,
brimming with 
warm family memories.

But I will, however, 
 be back next week with a post  for the 
Hot Summer Nights series.

I was thrilled and humbled when Jen asked me to participate.
Head on over to Jen's blog for all the details around
the unique and passion-filled  series on marriage
that Jen is graciously 
organizing and hosting.
As our hostess cleverly states,
it all 'ignites' on July 1!
Go, check it out!

Two other items of note around Hot Nights
 For updates, check  Jen's Catholic column
 bloggers, you can  link up or read others' date night suggestions at Jen's 
date night hop, here, which begins July 1!
Lots of wonderful marriage reflections, ideas, etc 
the whooooooole month through!

Know that you're in my thoughts, friends,
while I take a tech break this month.
 I am ever so grateful for the friendships 
that have developed within this space 
since I began blogging in December!

All the best!
~God bless~

Until next time,


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sunday Snippets: 6/23/13

Welcome, friends, to my spot on the web!
Thank you so much for stopping in today!

Time once again 
for Sunday Snippets, 
graciously hosted by RAnn 

Vintage Spring divider

I've only one post this week
which is suitable for  the Carnival of Catholic posts....

Yesterday's post in my Artful Friday series,
"God Saw All He Had Made..."
around JPII's Letter to Artists

Vintage Spring divider

However, I do have a few posts with "cute Catholic kids!"

My water Theme Thursday post


Father's Day in photos

Vintage Spring divider

Thank you, RAnn, for hosting!
Please click over to RAnn's for more Catholic posts....

Until next time,


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Artful Friday: "God Saw All He Had Made..." ~ JPII's Letter to Artists

Welcome friends, to Artful Friday, 
here at my spot on the web.

A gem, a beacon, a guide,
to those who are artists in any capacity,
is Blessed  JP II's 1999 

As parents, as homeschoolers, as Catholics,
it is vital that we familiarize ourselves 
not only with our 
Beloved Holy Father's intent, but also 
his style, 
his benevolence toward his flock 
his love of The Arts.
 Have you read it?
Now that the school year has wound down,
I felt I needed the rejuvenation of
his words.
After all, he is my family's hero.
He's our go-to guy for all things Catholic,
all things love,
 all things right.
I've written about being in the presence of this saint
here and here, 
if you have the time to click over and  read further.

In our homeschool 
The Arts play a significant  role
in that each of my children
study several instruments and
act in local community theater.  
In addition, my older son  blogs and writes a column at a tech site.
They "do" art.
They "live" art.
They need BL JPII's guidance.
So do I. Big time.
As a writer and blogger, I find I need to read and reread his words to artists
to remind myself about the why and the how of my craft.
Not the competition.
Not the bells and whistles of blinkies on my  blog sidebar ...
Yeah they're cute though. No?
Not the stats and the linky parties.
Not the number of "likes" or shares  my recent
 Catholic Mom column garnered.....
(Not many.)
But still.

When I get another freelance rejection.
When I see a post I poured my heart into is not widely read or commented upon.
 I need the reminder of this.
Do you, also?
About the real reason behind why we do what we do?
The real driving force?
Here is the beginning of Blessed John Paul II's
 Letter to Artists:

To all who are passionately dedicated
to the search for new “epiphanies” of beauty
so that through their creative work as artists
they may offer these as gifts to the world

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gn 1:31)

The artist, image of God the Creator

1. None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.

To read the full text of this landmark piece 
by our 264th Pope 
 my favorite artist/actor/writer 
turned priest....
Revel in the words he intended.
Just for you.
Their beauty and their magic.
Thanks for visiting, friends!
If you'd care to dust off something from the archives of the past
Artful Fridays,
here is the list of previous posts:

As always,  thank you for spending some
of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,


 Until next time,


Theme Thursday 6/20/13~ "Water"

Hi there and welcome to my little spot on the web!
 I'm so happy to link up today with 
for her super fun blog hop,

My  memories around "water,"
were sparked by 
Cari's theme for this week
and so...
here goes:

Summer 2008
summer 2012

"Our" lake,
which I write about here  in
Lengthening Shadows.

Hiking on a glacier,
Glacier Nat'l Park.
I wrote a reflection here, called
Glacial Peaks.
Summer 2012

The Pacific for the very first time.
Ruby Beach, WA in
Olympic Nat'l Park
July 2012

The LI Sound
Spring 2013
CT in the distance, to the right/north

Our pool,
which we've since ripped out.
Too much work/expense....
Summer 2009

Thanks, friends, for stopping in!
Please click over to Carit's for more TT photos 
and if you're a blogger, join in the fun!

Have a  lovely day, friends and thank you for visiting!

 Until next time,


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day Weekend 2013 ~ In Pictures

Hi there and welcome to my spot on the web today!
We had a fun and busy Father's Day weekend
 and I thought I'd organize a few of my many pictures here!
Thank you for stopping in to take a peek....

Trophy Day
Saturday, June 15
White Sox
Dad/Coach awards trophies

Big bro with cupcakes to celebrate 
season's end for little bro's team
 K, at HIS last game that afternoon.....

Nice, huh?

 T learning "Horse with No Name"
as a Daddy's Day gift.
Sounds pretty good.

~Father's Day~
Sunday June 16

Making soup!
Chicken and veggies!
His own concoction!
He did a great job.

The finished product!

 Shishkebob BBQ

K made cheesecake!!
It was awesome....
We're big cheesecake people around here.

K gifted his Dad with a laptop skin. 
It was a perfect picture, given my hubby's love of astronomy.

T made a "catch-all" for small items, the DVD remote, etc....
Both were hits!


A catch on the beach that evening~
We're so close to the LI Sound and yet, we rarely go.....

Thanks, friends for visiting!
Have a lovely day.

Until next time,


blog post dividers courtesy of

This week, I am gratefully linking this post 
with the Wordless Wednesday hops 
whose buttons are featured on my sidebar,
 as well as Collage Friday.