September - 2011
Family Name: Babineau
Parents: Mike and Brenda
Children: Amanda(26), Cara(16), Jonathan(16), Alana(13)
Pets: Dog "Molly" and Cat "Rosie"
Our questions for the Babineaus:
Tell us a little about yourselves - a paragraph or two . . . Where do you live? What parish do you attend? How did you meet?
Mike and I met on a blind date arranged by a close childhood friend. We hit off immediately and were married three years later. Mike is a West Side native and I grew up in Merrimack. We decided to buy our home in Manchester and raise our family here. Our oldest, Amanda (Mike's daughter from a previous marriage) has her Master's degree in Social Work and works at a geriatric community in Exeter. We are very blessed to be able to send our three younger children to Holy Family Academy in Manchester where the twins are in tenth grade and Alana is in the eighth grade.
We have been parishoners of Sacred Heart Church in Manchester since we were married in 1992. We have always felt very strongly about being involved in our church and doing what we can to keep it alive. Mike is in the folk group, on the fundraising committee, social committee, and the parish council. Jonathan and Alana both altar serve. Alana helps me with Children's lectionary and teaching the home based family program. Cara helps me on the Arts and Environment committee and has recently started singing with her dad at the Saturday mass.
What is your favorite family activity?
Our family loves the lakes! I grew up spending part of my summers on a small lake in Southern Maine. For the last few years, we have been able to vacation on Great East Lake in New Hampshire. We love everything that the lake life has to offer. We fish, kayak, water ski, swim, and enjoy the camp like atmosphere. The best part is we get to spend time together as a family, unplugged, from the rest of the world. We make memories that last the whole year through.
My husband and kids play music. Mike loves to play bluegrass and the kids play a lot of rock music. Mike plays guitar and bass. Amanda plays guitar and sings. Jonathan plays guitar, bass, piano, and drums. Cara plays bass, piano, and sings. Alana plays guitar, drums, and piano. Her passion is singing. And I have gotten really good at listening.
What is a favorite family tradition?
When I asked my family what they thought our favorite family tradition was they unanimously agreed it is our Christmas Morning Brunch. When the kids were young, I started making a big, fancy breakfast on Christmas morning as a way to celebrate with Amanda as she would have to split her time with us and her mother's family on the holiday. I make a traditional egg casserole that my mother used to make and about ten other foods to pick from. We set out the fine linens, Christmas china, stemware, sterling silverware, and tea cups just for the six of us! It is quite a treat and obviously very memorable.
How does your family pray together?
With Mike and I working full time, we find it very challenging to carve out time to pray as a family. Our prayer is centered around our dinner. We eat dinner together most nights of the week even if we don't sit down until 8:00 or 9:00pm to start the meal. That is when we pray. Before our meal we pray and include intentions for family members, friends, work, our school and it's faculty and for any issues we may be struggling with. The great thing is the prayers carry over into our dinner conversation. We ultimately end up laughing our way through the end of our meal. We all look forward to this time of day together. We find doing parish sponsored activities is a great opportunity for us to grow in our prayer life as a family. Participating in the tent revival, the Life in the Spirit Seminar, and our Parish Mission of the Sacred Heart was a great way for us to spend time praying together.
What does your family find most challenging to living as a Catholic family in our society?
As I mentioned earlier, we are very blessed that we are able to send our kids to Holy Family Academy. At the school, the faculty, students, and other parents involved truly care about the souls of our children. In this society, it is so important that we surround ourselves and families with others who can support us in our Catholic faith. Our society has lowered the bar for social behavior that we are getting confused as to what is the truth and what God wants for us. It's as if everything we are teaching our kids is undermined by the internet and media. Being aware of the outside influences and keeping communication open with kids helps us to persevere. The kids know their faith. We pray that they will continue to learn about their Catholic Faith and take ownership of it as they enter adulthood.
Thank you Babineaus! Check back next month to see another family featured on our Family Spotlight.