July - 2011
Family Name: Watson
Parents: Seth and Mandi-Bre
Children: Dylan Thomas Roy, Danica Ruth, and Adeline Faith
Our questions for the Watsons:
Tell us a little about yourselves - a paragraph or two . . . Where do you live? What parish do you attend? How did you meet?
Seth and I reside in Manchester, NH with our 3 wonderful children, Dylan, Danica and Adeline Faith. We met in high school and have been inseparable since. This year we celebrate 13 years of marriage. We are both entrepreneurs. Seth is a web site developer and graphic designer for the company he established, Design Lab 87. I teach the fundamentals of skin care and make up application and techniques with Mary Kay Cosmetics. Our children are very involved in our business' from setting goals to celebrating successes and also encouraging one another through set backs. Everything we do is centered around our children and Seth and I are very passionate about family life.
We worship at Ste. Marie Parish and were drawn to the church in 2001 after a friend of ours urged us to go and "experience" the 11:30 Mass. It was powerful, alive and filled with the Holy Spirit. We immediately felt welcomed into the church and were in awe of how much the parish focused on family life, from the father daughter dances and the father son camping trips to the marriage encounter weekends and the many Bible studies offered, we had found our home! Seth officially joined the Catholic faith in 2006, when he was Baptized at the Easter Vigil Service, just one week after the birth of our daughter Danica.
What is your favorite family activity?
We have two family favorites. When it's nice out you will find the Watson's hitting the beach!! We all love the ocean and can't get enough and often times renting a cottage for a week of summer fun never gets old for us. Our other favorite is family game night. It's a time when we can just relax, be goofy, play games and have fun... and there is always a special desert that we indulge in on this night!
What is a favorite family tradition?
One of our favorite family traditions happens every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is our no media day! No cell phones, no computers, no TV, and we stay home (so we have to prepare ahead of time to make sure we have everything we need for the day because we don't leave), which is a good thing because we have also declared this day "PJ day"- cause we stay in our PJ's ALL DAY LONG! We bake, we play, we decorate the house. . . just a day to spend together and prepare for Advent. This night also starts our "Advent Box" (another family favorite that our son Dylan came up with 4 years ago.) We all write a love note to Jesus, thanking him for whatever we are thankful for that day. We keep this going every night of the Advent season and invite visitors who stay for dinner to do the same. As you can imagine, the box gets quite full. This is the first thing that is opened on Christmas morning, Jesus' gift, we pass the box around and each read a love note out loud until the box is empty. There is rarely a dry eye around, as it is very heart warming and we feel this helps us to keep focused on what this day is really about.
How does your family pray together?
Praying during every meal and every night at bedtime is a given in our household, but it's those "in between time" prayers that stick in my mind the most. Like when our Son comes home from school worried about someone who is going through a rough time and wants to pray, or when our daughter is nervous about something and knows "Jesus can fix it" and wants to pray, or when we hear of someone that needs to be lifted up and as a family we pray. It's in those times when we stop the business of life to bring these things to God in our own words as a family that really brings us together. We are so elated that our children's first reaction to problems is prayer, and feel it's important to establish that at their young age and set the example for them to follow. As a couple it is very important to pray together for each other and our children. Most often we find doing this together in the morning centers our entire day.
What does your family find most challenging to living as a Catholic family in our society?
What we find most challenging living in our society as a Catholic family is the fact that so many are ignorant when it comes to the Catholic faith and family life. Even other faiths sometimes can view us as "not living true Christian lives" because they have warped beliefs that we pray to statues or that we don't really "pray" because we have "repetitious" prayers or that we don't "read" the bible. If they only knew how rich and wonderful the Catholic faith can be. Secular society has made the Catholic family and the Catholic Church the enemy, because we do what is right, and by default makes others feel uncomfortable. Our son Dylan who is 10, and our daughter Danica 5, to some degree, have already experienced this, through neighbors who question our beliefs or disagree with our philosophies and children whom they associate with that challenge their faith. We hold onto this scripture as a family "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12 This scripture reminds us that we will be challenged for the love of Christ, but we are to rejoice and pray for those that hurt us. It's wonderful that scripture is so comforting and instructing in situations such as these and helps us to rear our children.
Also visual media in secular society, immodest dress, vulgar language and the constant negative stimuli through the news also make it hard in raising a strong Catholic family. However we try to look at these challenges as ways to instruct and train our children of what we expect from them, what is acceptable to God and to pray for others who are not walking in the ways of the Lord. These things along with having a strong Catholic community where families can praise and worship together does help make the challenges more bearable.
Thank you Watsons! Check back next month to see another family featured on our Family Spotlight.