Angels Around Us

Do you see the dove?

A few weeks ago, I went to my church to get Holy Water.  As expected, the Church’s 5 gallon Holy water’s container was empty.  I even opened it to check and not a single drop was left.  Suddenly, I notice a sweet old lady that was changing the bulletin boards.  She noticed my frustration and said: ” I can’t believe that a Catholic Church is out of Holy Water.” She smiled and told me, “follow me.”  We went inside the church and she emptied the little container where you bless yourself when you get into a church.  To my amazement, the little bit of water filled half of a big bottle.

Then, as I sat down at church to give thanks to God, I saw a lady walking around the church very fast looking for a candle to lit.  She reminded me of our kids speech-language pathologist.  My husband and I  have been trying to contact her for a long time, so she can offer therapy to one of our daughters. As she was walking towards me, she smiled and we recognized each other. I waited for her outside and talked for a long period of time. Well, now she knows what we need.

Everybody experiences these “helps” every now and then.  Next time you need help finding your keys, a parking space or any little thing, ask for help.  Angels are all around us.

A Miracle

A few days ago, while I was picking up the phone, one of my daughters moved the fence that serves as a barrier to the stairs. When I turned around, I see my baby’s little legs on the edge of the
stairs. I dropped the phone and started running towards him, but I was too late. He fell down 13 hardwood inclined steps. A mother’s nightmare.

We took him to the E.R. and the doctor said that it was incredible how he only got a little bump on his forehead. This was due to the fact that he slid down the stairs without rolling.

Also, as we are leaving the E.R., we see our pediatrician.  What an amazing coincidence.   He reassured us that the bay was just fine.

Definitely, the Virgin and his Guardian Angel were protecting him.

Lesson of the day: pray more and give thanks.

Happy Birthday to a Homeschooling Mother of a Big Family with Special-Needs Children

What a long title, but it describes most of my life.  My birthday was a few days ago.  Throughout the years, I have gotten used to not expecting any celebration or private time.   However, my children were excited about my birthday (partly because they get to eat cake).  They made me cards, colored pictures, and did their chores without having to remind them many times.The five-year-old told me:  “Mommy I feel sorry for you, I am naughty most of the time.  I will help today, and I am sorry.”
Wow, big words and she really meant them!
Any birthday wishes?  I prepared a list:

1.  I would like to sleep without being aware of what is going around me.  When I am “sleeping”, I can hear (or imagine hearing) any noise in the house.  Sometimes I wake up believing that the baby crying, but he is asleep.  More recently, I have been waking up because my three-year-old with autism starts screaming in the middle of the night.  By the time I figure out what is wrong, and I am able to soothe her, I fall asleep in her bed.2.  I wish the day was longer.  Yes, life is short and there is so much to accomplish.  But I have to accept the reality of time.

3.  For my children to become happy, independent, and generous adults, especially the ones with autism.  I am working on that.  That takes work, not a miracle.

4.  To accept the life that God has given me as a gift from him.  I do believe (but need to accept) that I have been entrusted with special-needs children for a reason.

5.  To stop getting frustrated when my carefully planned days turn into chaos, and I cannot get much done.  Still working on it too.

6.  To enjoy reading more books about autism and special-needs children.  I have been dealing with autism for eight years now, so I get tired of not seeing the end of this steep learning curve.  However, I do appreciate how much more information is readily available now compared to a few years ago.

7.   To enjoy my kids more because time flies.  I already have two pre-teens.

8.  I still wish I could take a long shower without having someone knock on my door to ask for (or complain about) something.

9.  To spend more time with my husband alone.

10.  To be able to start running again and have time to exercise.

11.  To be thankful for the lessons in love and humility that life teaches me everyday, perhaps to help me stop thinking about myself most of the time.

12.  To enjoy life’s little things and the possiblity of being a better mother, wife, daughter, and friend.

13.  To enjoy the fact that my ten-year old son with autism has improved dramatically to the point that going to college is an achievable goal for him.  Dear parents and teachers, having high expectations for children with autism is not living in denial, but with hope.

14.  Be hopeful that my three-year old with autism will follow in improve her older brother’s footsteps.

15.  To ignore people (particularly those close to me) when they tell me that I have exceeded my quota of adding 1.5 people to the world population, or when they ask me whether all the children are mine, and whether I had them with the same man.

Well, back to stop wishing and start working.

Thank you to my husband, old friends and new friends for supporting me.


It is amazing how many things can happen in just two months.  After the surgery, two of my kids had MRSA.  Two weeks later,  another two had strep throat and scarlet fever.  Thank God, they are healthy now.
Before the surgery, I was desperate to cut my hair.  I tried many salons, but none worked out.  So, I did it myself.  The funny thing is that all my friends have seen me, but nobody noticed. That means I didn’t do such a bad job.  I did it late at night.  When my husband saw me the next day he said: “It looks good.  I can see that your medicines don’t cure your bipolar disorder.”

Prayer, Pain, and Friendship

This struggle with my surgery has been breathtaking.  I won’t deny that the pain and frustration has been unbearable at times. Nevertheless, pain opens new doors in understanding our relationship with God and the people in our lives.
It’s been lovely to experience so much love around me.  So many friends have called, written, stop by with meals, and offer words of encouragement. Suffering makes me put my life on hold, so I can reflect about my relationship with God.  How sweet it is.  Now, I see the little things that I worry about as nothing of great importance. I really feel blessed.
I have received a lesson in humility.  I can barely do anything by myself.  I cannot even hold my little ones.  It breaks my heart to see their sad look in their faces when they want me to hold them, but I just can’t.
On the other side, it’s been extraordinary seeing my boys and husband step up to the challenge.  They are cooking, doing laundry, dishwashing and taking care of the little ones.  I am proud of all these men in my life.

These pictures are from the Rosary walk.  I stayed behind with Catalina.  How much I enjoyed nature that day.  It was so easy to talk to God.  For me, prayer it is just thinking about God and letting Him talk.  Sometimes I just ask and ask, talk a lot, but I don’t listen.  This is something I have to work on.

Rosary Walk

The Sunday before my surgery, we were invited to take part of a Rosary walk at a Catholic family’s house. The Rosary was led by a priest from the Opus Dei.   It was wonderful to share a time of prayer with other “big” families like ours.
The children also enjoyed nature while praying to our dear Mother in Heaven.

Cuban Black Beans

Cuban Black Beans


  • 1 lb. black beans
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2/3 cups olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 green pepper
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 2 tbs. vinegar
  • 2 tbs. dry cooking wine
  • 2 tbs. olive oil


Wash the beans and soak in water with the green pepper. When the beans swell, cook in the same water until soft. (45 minutes. approximately). Heat the oil in a frying pan and add onion, garlic, followed by ground green pepper. Add 1 cup of the beans to the pan and mash. Add this to the remaining beans together with the salt, pepper, bay leaf and sugar. Allow to boil for a further hour and add the vinegar and wine cooking slowly for another hour. If there is still too much liquid, cook uncovered for a while. Add 2 tbs. of oil just before serving.

You can use a slow cooker.

Recipe courtesy of:

Worrying About Little Things

It is incredible how much we worry about little things that are not important. The only thing that matters is finding our way to get to Heaven.

As Saint Josemaría Escrivá once said: “We are all called to be saints in the middle of the world by doing ordinary things.”  So, can mothers and wives be saints?  Can all the kid’s screaming, cooking, cleaning, the never ending mountains of laundry, and the lack of sleep take us to heaven?  Yes, it can, but this is not an easy road.  I always remember what one priest once told me: “If things are going perfectly fine, without problems, you should worry.  That is not the way to heaven.”

When I was a mom in my twenties, I used to get so mad when I overheard other women complaining about how their kids were not reading or writing the way they wanted.  During this time, one of my sons was receiving speech and physical therapy services many times a week, so he could do what other kids just learned by themselves.  I wanted to yell and tell them to stop whining.  That they had a “normal” life.  But, what is normal? My crazy life with two kids with disabilities and four with unique  and demanding needs is now normal to me.

To tell the truth, I learned a lot from those experiences, even when I don’t remember most of it.  Nevertheless, when I think about those times, I feel like my stomach is going to burst.  Now, I tell to myself: “Don’t worry about these little things, you are paving your road to heaven.”



I finally decided to start this blog, against my will. By experience, I know that when you don’t want to do something, it is best to do it.  The things that costs you the most, are the ones that will bring you the most happiness. Also, my friend Ginny, convinced me by stating that she uses her blog to keep a journal of her life. Since I am bipolar, this was it for me. I don’t remember most of my life due to this illness.  It was only two years ago, when I was diagnosed, that I discovered that this is not normal.

My kids are an example of this against my will proposition.  I went to a Catholic school, but ended up being a non-practicioner.  I was going to be a career woman who was never going to get married, less have kids.  Well, I was the first one from my group of friends to get married.  I was only twenty years old. After almost 15 years of being married and 8 kids, two are in heaven, I can finally say that I am truly happy.