November - 2012
Family Name: Puringtons
Parents: Theo and Jennifer
Children: Sienna (10 months)
Our questions for the Puringtons:
Tell us a little about yourselves - a paragraph or two . . . Where do you live? What parish do you attend?
Theo grew up in Bedford, NH and Jennifer grew up in Coral Springs, FL. We actually met each other on Facebook through pro-life networking, months before we ever met in person! While we were skeptical and had long distance concerns, mutual friend and pro-life speaker, Rebecca Kiessling, encouraged us to meet face-to-face, so we in fact did just that. And as Theo says, it was "love at first sight". We got engaged a year later. And, eight months after that in July 2010, Fr. Marc Montminy celebrated our Nuptial Mass in Punta Gorda, Florida. Nine months in to our marriage we received the wonderful news that Jennifer was pregnant! We welcomed our first child, Sienna Maria, to the world in early January of this year. We recently moved from Florida to Manchester, NH and now attend Ste. Marie Parish. Theo currently works full-time from home as customer service and sales representative for a collegiate sportswear company called Pennington & Bailes. And Jennifer currently works part-time as an office aide at Brophy Wealth Management.
What is your favorite family activity?
This past year, we would say our favorite family activity has been getting away for the weekend and going toLake Winnipesaukee. As often as possible we would join our greater extended family for tons of family fun. We can be pretty competitive so we particularly loved playing each other on the tennis court. Sienna sits courtside, watching the ball bounce back and forth and cheers on her parents. We also loved jumping into the lake for a family swim afterwards - during the warmer months of course. When we're at home, another favorite family activity is singing and dancing along to music while cleaning up after dinner.
What is a favorite family tradition?
Since we're a relatively young family, we're still blending things and trying to find what works best for us. We've already lived in 3 different states as a married couple, so it's been a real challenge finding opportunity for repetition and tradition. So far, we would say most of our family traditions revolve around our Catholic faith. For example, we like to keep an advent wreath with candles outon our kitchen table during the season of advent. Every night before dinner, we say our advent prayers and light the candle(s). We find it to be a great way to keep us engaged and focused on prayer and scripture as we prepare for the birth of our Lord. Since we're very pro-life, we hope to make family traditions of pro-life activities like the March for Life, Life Chain, prayer outside abortion mills, Silent Day of Solidarity, rosary rallies, and so forth.
How does your family pray together?
Family prayer is so important and powerful! We have our daily prayers before meals and bedtime. Theo reads scriptures and bible stories to Sienna, which she truly enjoys. And, every now and then instead of playing the news, we'll pop in our 'Holy Baby' DVD for Sienna. The 'Holy Baby' DVD is song, prayer, and cartoon put together with Catholic images. It gives Sienna a chance to hear prayer and phrases from the Mass in a different setting and she loves it. Also of course, we love going to Mass as a family. The graces we receive as a family through the holy sacrifice of the Mass are amazing. We've realized we don't pray the rosary as a family as often as we should, so we've been focusing on changing that. Along with some friends of ours, we have been turning to families in the area and pursuing the growth of a home rosary prayer group. Not only does it help us all grow closer to Christ and our Blessed Mother, but we think it will help our children grow in their faith as they see other families come together who share the same beliefs and follow the same practices. If you're interested in joining us, please let us know! Nonetheless, we find the best family prayer to come about randomly throughout the day when we know we need to turn to God for praise or help in a situation.
What does your family find most challenging to living as a Catholic family in our society?
It can be discouraging at times when we see what our society chooses to value. Our family focuses on finding balances, but when we speak to others about the way we want to raise our daughter, and the morals, values and Catholic faith we will give her to live by, it can be challenging when others say we are old-fashioned, have too high expectations or will cause her to rebel. Our daughter's salvation is something we will not be compromising. We don't find it to be much of a challenge when others question us for not using birth control, because we love explaining to others why we choose NFP. But as a smaller, younger Catholic family it is upsetting to Jennifer when we speak about wanting to have as many children as God blesses us with and we hearothers say something like "Give it time, you will change your minds" or "You're crazy". Most of society is against big families now, but our family has a hard time understanding why children have become the plague, something to fear, or something that will ruin you. It seems that selfishness has become a repetitive theme in our culture. Something that at times, we ourselves are guilty of too. With our busy, hectic, go-go-go lifestyles we have to work hard to remember to stop and live out our faith and give ourselves to Christ daily.
Thank you Puringtons! Check back next month to see another family featured on our Family Spotlight.