Jude Landry Store

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

She's learning...

I'll admit, sometimes when I take a video, I'll do it a few times to make sure that Joan will cooperate and say the "right" answers to my questions. But this one is a one take wonder and it makes me feel like she's actually remembering stuff we talked about during the day. So even though she's watched Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer twice since we got it on Netflix, she also knows what we're truly waiting for and celebrating, and this makes me happy. Now excuse me, while I change into my pjs, drink a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy watching a Charlie Brown Christmas with my family next to our beautifully lit tree. Good tidings to all.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The little things

Jude tucks me in randomly at night when the covers shift and my shoulders aren't covered. Sometimes he thinks I'm sleeping, but I'm not.

I like this, and I'm thankful.

Monday, November 22, 2010


"She's gonna be shaptized."
"Do you mean baptized?"
"Yeah, baptized and shampoo."

"Joan, what did you watch today?"
"Some news."

"Momma, can I have a sip of that?"
"Of what?"
"Of butter."

"Momma, I want to go to Anna's house."
(this wouldn't be that cute, except that she means Louisiana)

"Momma, I need to go poo poo."
"Well, it's ok if you want to go poop in your pull-up, but if you want to wait until we can find a gas station or a store, then you can go poo poo there."
"No, I don't want to go poo poo in a store, I want to go poo poo in Wal-Mart."

"Papa, I'm going to a party?"
"Oh, a party? Who's gonna be there? Anastasia?"
"No, she's in the TV."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is it too much to ask,

that you let me finish eating my lunch alone,
or finish hemming your father's pair of pants,
or finish cooking dinner,
or finish using the bathroom,
or finish folding the laundry,
or finish paying that bill,
or finish typing an email,
or finish writing this post without being interrupted?

It is?

Fine. Then I'll have a Dr. Pepper.
But can I finish it?

Monday, November 15, 2010

I know, I know... I'm one of those...

I'll confess. I was ready for Christmas music and decorations before Halloween this year. I'm sorry. It's just that my house looks so pretty and smells so good and sounds so beautiful (Jude loves to play live Christmas music for us on the guitar).

But in my best efforts, I made it a point to not gloss over Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. We celebrated those days with new traditions this year and that helped me table my Christmas obsession for a while.

And I still want to give equal attention to some fabulous feast days and holy days coming up, namely, Christ the King and the Presentation of Mary, St. Nicholas's day, and The Immaculate Conception. And we'll also be starting Advent in a few weeks, so I can get my wreath out (along with other decorations, right?) to kickoff our Christmas season. And for the first time since I was in Catholic school, we'll put up a Jesse Tree. (I had to take back the ornaments I bought yesterday because I can't excuse spending the money on them, when I can find printable symbols here...)

Anyway, this post is really about getting me some free Christmas cards from Shutterfly here. (Bloggers can get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly). 

We've never done Christmas cards before (we're too cheap) but Shutterfly is giving us such a great deal  and just look at some of these designs... I haven't decided yet what we'll choose, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a flat stationery card with photos because Jude really prefers matte pictures to glossy ones. But wait, isn't my birthday coming up, too? Just a week before Christmas. I might need to plan a party just so I can send out these cute invites

Are you ready for Christmas, too? Then you should check out Shutterfly!

Friday, November 12, 2010


So, I've kind of been writing this post for a long time, now. Basically the second we found out about more expenses for our Illinois house. And I had this great shpeel about Earthly contentment and then Fr. John's homily last weekend made me rethink some of my reflections. Bonnie also said some of the exact same things I wanted to say in her post here. So I'll try not to sound redundant.

I have a tendency, some might even call it pessimism, to speak in an absolute tone. Without actually using "always" and "never," (because my Family Relations 101 professor would be so disappointed if I did...), I can somehow make whatever situation I'm in sound like it will last for eternity. Does anyone else do that?

Sometimes I get so caught up in the emotion that I'm feeling, be it disappointment, exhaustion, abandonment, or jealousy, that I can hardly imagine a time, past or future, when I won't feel it anymore. And thank God for Jude, the voice of reason and reality in my life, because he reminds me about the goodness of the past and of great things to come and can even find something good about that moment, as horrible as I feel during it. (This is what made him a ridiculously great birthing coach!). He tries to encourage me to find goodness right now and to stop longing for something better.

I'm constantly saying, "Won't it be nice when..." and "I can't wait for...." And when those things come to be, I find something else wrong and say, "Won't it be nice when..." and "I can't wait for..."

My whole defense for this line of thinking was our innate longing for eternal salvation. I'll always be able to find something wrong with Earth, right? And Heaven will be perfection. And even though this is absolute truth, I'm forgetting some important things. Fr. John reminded me...

We are a resurrection people, an Easter people. We celebrate the resurrection here, in present time. And while our hope for people who have died is to go on to a "better place," we live in a good place. And this does not negate the burdens that we carry daily, but instead gives meaning and purpose to those crosses - salvation.

And I'll bet that this isn't new to most of you - many have probably heard of redemptive suffering or uniting our suffering with Christ. And I'm sure a lot of us offer it up when we're dealing with something. But when do we ever unite our resurrections? When do we rejoice with the Communion of Saints for something good in our life - even small pleasures? Without death, there is no resurrection, and there is no resurrection if we dwell in death.

Today, my prayer is that I may participate more fully in both Christ's passion and resurrection and that I, too, may say, "Abba Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will" (Mark 14:36). And when the time comes for me to carry my cross, may the courage for every step come from joy and gladness.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Joan says some pretty funny things. Here's a few that I've been holding on to to share...

"Joan, where do you live?"
"I live at Chuck E. Cheese."

"Joan, what did you dream about?"
"The Jacket Man."
"Is the Jacket Man a nice man?"
"Oh really?"
"He's a cute man."

"Joan, what are shenanigans?"
"They're in Sulphur." (FYI: Sulphur is where my parents live...)

"Joan, have you ever seen Mary in the sky?"
"Oh really? What did you say to her?"

Friday, November 5, 2010

3003 Geranium Dr.

(disclaimer: I usually think a lot about my posts before writing them, but I have a feeling this one might be a rant. Get ready to read a line or two from Debbie Downer...)

Who knew an address could make me nauseous? I'm being a bit overdramatic, but truly when I hear this address, see it on paper, or just mentally think of our house in Illinois, I get a fat knot in my stomach.

It has been the source of so much tension and frustration in our lives, and hopefully, the source of tremendous grace. I realize I haven't mentioned the house too much on the blog. I think that's because I'm still in some kind of denial about it. If I don't talk about it and don't write about it, the problems there aren't really affecting us. But the latest news regarding the house deserves its own blog rant.

We put the house up for sale in February of 2009. It stayed on the market even after we moved to Mississippi. We lowered the price several times before and after we moved to MS until it finally got down to $16,000 below what we paid for it. We saw two separate contracts fall through and one was only a week away from the closing. We paid mortgage on the vacant home for 11 months while we rented in Mississippi and waited for renters for 7 months. The renter we desperately settled on has 4 kids and is using Section 8 assistance to help pay for the rent - which doesn't cover our total mortgage cost. We switched realtors, prayed novenas, and buried St. Joseph. It's been an ordeal.

And now finally, after having a bit of relief from carrying that vacant house for so long, we learn what a great burden it is to be landlords. For Section 8 to approve of the house, a few minor repairs needed to be made. And then we learned of a mice infestation (gasps! I know you're thinking, "what kind of renters are they?"). Our property manager reassures us that the renter is actually quite clean and seems to take good care of the house. The only thing we can think of is that having the house empty for a long time and having a little creek and weedy area behind the house caused some mice to move in unnoticed. Either way, extermination is hopefully doing its job. And then the dishwasher needed to be replaced because the cost of a repair is almost equivalent to a slightly used dishwasher. And now the furnace needs a repair. And did you know, all of this costs money? Money that we kind of need right now.

I just want it gone.

And what's sad is that I can tell myself, it could be so much worse or at least we have a big beautiful home to live in now or we have everything we need right now and more, even with these expenses or so many other people have a lot less or have hurt a lot more or at least our families have been so generous or we won't have to deal with this forever, but some days it doesn't help and it's one of those days. And I'm just hoping that God's grace carries me to tomorrow when the burden seems lighter or I'm somehow stronger. What's that St. Paul writes, "When I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor 12:10).

Want to know the first part of that passage? "Therefore, I am CONTENT with weaknesses, insults, HARDSHIPS, persecutions, and constraints, FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST; for when I am weak, then I am strong." Whoops.

Maybe tomorrow's post will be filled with a little more contentment and suffering for the sake of Christ. But in the meantime, pray for me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Best answer ever.

"Joan, how much do you love me?"
"A big much."

Super Easy, Super Yummy

I've been trying a few new recipes from a cookbook my sister-in-law gave me, Deceptively Delicious (thanks, Chloe!). They're recipes that include pureed fruits and veggies so mealtime becomes less of a head ache for mom's with picky eaters (husbands included...). And what I love, love, love about this book - other than the amazing illustrations - is that the recipes really are familiar and kid friendly. Most of the time I flip through cookbooks, I find myself smiling and thinking yeah, right. And I turn the page. And I've been hiding veggies in our meals for a long time now, but I like having some recipes to try out, too.

A few nights ago, I made chicken nuggets with a broccoli puree and served them with sweet potato fries. I'm the only one who didn't like something on my plate. I wasn't a fan of the fries. They were much better at that pub in New York.

But tonight was a real hit with the fam. I made tortilla "cigars" and homemade refried beans. This recipe is really good and simple, so I thought I'd pass it along. (I adjusted the measurements, but here's what's in the book)

1 c sauteed or roasted chicken
1/2 c shredded cheese
1/2 c yellow squash puree (I used half squash, half zucchini)
1/2 c carrot puree
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
whole-wheat tortillas

Basically, cook up that chicken and mix everything together, spread it on a tortilla, roll it, bake it for a few minutes and call it a day. I've done this before without cream cheese - and I think that's what made it so good this time, or maybe it was the veggies...

Then I just heated pinto beans, mashed them and mixed them with chili powder and garlic powder. But don't google how to make homemade refried beans - they all say it takes over an 2 hours to make.

But next time I spend 5 hours (on and off) pureeing fruits and veggies for my recipes, I'll try to eat less candy bars and drink less cokes whilst doing so - and yes, facebook users, I said, "whilst."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yay for All Saints Day!

Getting a two year old to understand and enjoy All Saints Day was a little tricky, especially after the Halloween craze had ended. But we did our best.

Jude bought us donuts for breakfast and I explained to Joan that eternity (hopefully in Heaven) goes on and on like the circle of a donut. She finally understood when I told it to her like a fairy tale, "We'll live happily ever after - forever and ever."

Joan colored a picture of St. Joan of Arc and one of St. Bernadette, or as she likes to call the portraits, "St. Joan Bernadette Landry." This evening, we turned off the lights and lit four candles for our departed family members, friends, clergy, and those forgotten while praying the litany of saints, during which Joan singed a chunk of her bangs off. And did you know it's actually, "From Lightning McQueen, Deliver us O Lord" instead of, "From the lightning and the tempest, Deliver us O Lord?"

But the finale of the night was finally getting into that Halloween candy she's been eyeing since Thursday. She's pretty smart because she chose a huge lollipop that's taken her over an hour and a half to finish. Jude just negotiated a tootsie roll for her less than half eaten sucker and now the candy bowl has been hidden.

Happy All Saints Day!

And don't forget about thinking of and praying for the souls still awaiting paradise on tomorrow's All Souls Day. I'm going to try to bring Joan to the cemetery... we'll see how that goes...