Friday, February 29, 2008

Thank you Elizabeth

Elizabeth Foss' latest article is well worth the few minutes it takes to read it!

Thank you for writing this Elizabeth. I am guilty of the comparing as I know so many moms are. Slowly I am learning to take even ALL the good, the beautiful, the worthwhile and the lovely out there with a grain of salt. Even if an idea is good and worthy, but it is keeping me from my children because I am concerned with keeping up and "doing it all," then it's not worth it. To put it this way: I can either spend days preparing an elaborate art project when we are already stressed and overloaded OR I can sit down and color with them instead.

I am thankful for all the lovely blogging ladies out there who share the beautiful gifts and inspiration they have to offer. I love surrounding myself with your beauty. Thank you for giving ideas (either to use now or judiciously tuck away), inspiration, encouragement, friendship and laughter. Blogging can be a blessing and a very good thing. I pray I may always strive to be this blessing to others.

Blessings for your weekend friends!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why my days get so busy lately!

Which also, inevitably, leads to this!

P.S. - I did not at any time leave my child unattended to go grab the camera. All I had to do was follow him around for a few minutes with camera in hand. He is fast as lightning and oh, so funny. Yes, we do take safety measures seriously. This boy keeps us hopping!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mikey is ONE!!!!!

Yes. Yes. I know.

"What???? When did that happen?"

To be exact - at 10:16 this morning during Mass. We kept an eye on our watches and when the moment came around our little family gave hugs and kisses and told him "Happy Birthday". Even some of our friends in front of us did the same. It was a sweet moment.

Actually, "one" has happened all too fast. I cannot believe how this year has sped by. Michael has grown by leaps and bounds and brought us all so much joy and laughter along the way. Yesterday at his party, Brian said the blessing and then said something about how Michael has done things that no one else in this family has ever done. Namely, his latest skill learned this week - climbing on the kitchen chairs and crawling across the table. Aaaaah!

Michael even came into this world differently. He was trying very hard to be born sunny side up and mouth first. His little determination turned into a c-section. But in the end he arrived and he was/is perfect.

You are a sweet-natured, live wire, lovable little boy. You delight us in countless ways. You fit perfectly into this family where God placed you. Your brothers and sister adore you. Michael, we love you dearly and fervently! May God bless you, dear Mikey. May you grow in wisdom and age and grace before God and man.

Sweet son, Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Princess! (a week late)

My little girl, my only little girl turned five last week. What a celebration we had!

Sadly I am just now creating her birthday post. When I realized I had forgotten to post this on her birthday, I began to feel guilty. Oh, what a bad mother am I!!!! But when I thought a moment more, I left the guilt behind. Because.......if the reason I forgot to blog her birthday is because we were busy celebrating her birthday, then that's just fine with me. The blog post can wait.

We celebrated with a super girly Flower Fairy Tea Party with her friends on Saturday and then had lots of fun on Sunday celebrating as our little family and with grandparents. She so enjoyed herself. She felt loved and special, just as she should.

Nicole, we love you. We love your strong will, your decisiveness - no one will ever walk all over this little girl! You are a sweet girl and pinker than pink itself. You epitomize pink. If it is pink, it must be made for you! You dance on your toes better than any little 5 year old ballerina I've ever seen. The care you give your baby brother comes from a precious, generous heart. We pray that you will grow in gentleness and grace and in love for Jesus.

You birthday was so much fun. May God bless you this year. We love you so much!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Little Field Trip

Today I took Jacob (and Mikey) to a presentation of the Velveteen Rabbit at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston. It was a wonderful performance. There were lots of school children there and a group of about fifty homeschoolers.

Jacob and I had so much fun enjoying the play. It is such a wonderful, heart-warming story. And I love to see things live. It is always astounding, even with a very simple production, to see how the actors do what they do.

After the play we walked to The Strand and had lunch at Fuddrucker's. Then we walked around a bit more and went to La King's for some treats. We were hoping they would be making taffy out front, but they weren't. They have the neatest old machines and it is always a treat to watch them turn and stretch and twist and package the taffy. Hopefully we can go back soon and see that.

It was a really memorable time spent with my favorite seven year old. I am thankful we homeschool. I am thankful we have such wonderful opportunities available to us so close by!

P.S. There is a nifty little video on the Opera House website about its history! I love Galveston history.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nothing some good 80's music won't fix

Today was a frustrating day. Not horrible. Just full to the brim with many frustrations of all types and seemingly all at once.

Now, don't get me wrong. Don't think my priorities are out of whack.

To remedy my mood and calm my spirit, prayer came first. All day. Lots of it. Next came the support, encouragement and loving hugs from my husband. But then.....came the 80's music. It did not accomplish what the first two remedies did, but it served to cheer me up and make me dance.

As I left after dinner to get groceries our local 80's station was playing a great old favorite. The kind where you roll your windows down and turn it WAY up. Well, I do. (OK. I know it's not quite as cool when you are driving a minivan, but hey!)

Music is a big part of my life. I have always loved music - many kinds. I have always loved to sing. Songs often times are a means to reflection and prayer. Many sad faces are turned to a smile with music. Christian and praise and worsip music are the most listened to genre around here, but there's always room for good variety.

Gotta love the 80's (and 99 cent music downloads)!

Friday, February 15, 2008

See you soon quilt

Today I delivered this quilt...

to a lovely lady here in town who will be using her great big machine to professionally quilt my creation. It was so much fun to pick out the design and the thread and know I will get back in a couple of weeks a beautifully quilted quilt. This quilt top has been done for years and I am so excited to get to enjoy it!

Sad News

Very sad news came our way yesterday as we prepare in our home to celebrate life with Nicole and Michael's birthdays.

A sweet family we know, fellow NFP Promoters in our area, lost their baby son several days after his birth this week. He died Wednesday night after distress from meconium complications. There had also been an undetected knot in his umbilical cord.

I cannot fathom the pain, the grief, the heartbreak. Please pray for this family and for their dear baby, whom I am sure is already dancing with Jesus in Heaven.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tooth Fairy Visit

Wow! And just before she turns five years old. She has been working on this tooth for a couple of weeks. We never found it yesterday at lunch. Could have been swallowed - not sure. But the Tooth Fairy is loving and forgiving!

Congratulations sweet girl!

Is Lent over yet?


I know this morning is but a wee 4 hours old, but it has been a doozie! It could be compared to being in a little flimsy raft riding wild and raging rapids through a jagged gorge of a canyon.

But now the tempest has subsided and the storm has calmed. We have all emerged unscathed. Mommy never lost her temper (by the complete and utter grace of our good God) and the children were dealt with firmly, calmly and lovingly.

Amazingly enough, as I look back over the morning, it turned out pretty darn OK. Believe me this must most definitely be a divine and grace inspired perspective and not my feeble human one. At some point, around 7:45 am as I made my bed, I realized I had a choice. As Andrew cried about some miscellaneous something for about the tenth time in the last 45 minutes and Michael continually screeched and cried and fussed over some other miscellaneous something (I so hope he's teething), I knew I was at a point where my actions would set the tone for MY day. The children had most likely already set the tone for theirs, but mine was still held in the balance. I could scream and yell and act in a generally frustrated manner - goodness knows that's what I was feeling. Or I could stay calm. And so I chose. It was a hard choice. It was a rocky morning. And the fact that I made the choice to stay calm did not change how incredibly difficult everything and everyone was. But I think that is what made things turn out OK.

This is only the morning of the Monday of the FIRST week of Lent and I am a little worried about the sacrifices and gifts of self that the rest of Lent might require. But when I look at all that happened this morning and see in it the Lenten sacrifices that God has chosen for me to make this morning, it all seems fruitful. It is part of my Lent, not just a bad morning, an interruption to what should be happiness and bliss.

I am ready. I am willing. Refine away! (I think?)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Take up your cross daily

I know I have read someone else's blog recently that spoke of God choosing our Lenten sacrifices for us. How true that is for me so far this Lent. Before Ash Wednesday arrived, I had thoughtfully and prayerfully chosen the sacrifices I would make over the next forty days. I would give up sweets and aim to get to Adoration once a week. I might even limit my computer time during the day. Such well laid out plans. They are worthy plans. They are made with a heart full of love and a great desire to grow closer to Our Lord. And I will keep these plans.


God seems to have chosen a few more sacrifices for me to offer up. They are the crosses, the burdens He thinks I need to carry. The areas in my life where I need to trust him more.

Often times when I hear about a person and their particular cross they must bear - whether it be illness, death of a loved one, miscarriages - I wonder why is it that God has not given me such heavy crosses to carry. Why am I not faced with such difficult circumstances? And then I reread this passage in Scripture yesterday as I studied the readings for the Mass.

"Then he said to all, 'If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himselfand take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole worldyet lose or forfeit himself?'" Luke 9:10

I don't think I ever really noticed it before, but yesterday I pondered the first five words - "Then he said to ALL." He begins telling the people how they must take up their daily cross and then follow him. This is where I believe God spoke to me. You see, it's not that I don't have crosses and others do. I do have crosses. Remember? He said "ALL." ALL (including me) can't carry a cross they don't have. So we must ALL have crosses. We have our own individualized, personal crosses that I believe exist to help us grow in holiness.

During Ash Wednesday morning Mass I became keenly aware of what I believe God is doing and of the crosses that I carry - those I can give up this Lent.

I don't know if I've ever said this here and, of course, those who know me in person, know that I struggle with worry. Not about Nuclear War or death or even taxes, for that matter. I am frequently afflicted with great anxiety when I think one of my children may be getting sick. Now we are not talking life threatening, here. Just your common run of the mill kid type sickness. You know the kind. Once they are actually sick, I am usually OK. I am still not positive why I have trouble with this. The polls are still out. Possibly fear of the unknown, the uncertainty involved, the lack of control I have. But no matter what causes it, it is a burden, a cross. I don't want to do what I do. I want more than anything not to, but that is easier said than done. I have gotten better and better over the years, but sometimes it creeps up on me stronger than other times.

So Wednesday morning, Michael was getting fussy during Mass (SO not uncommon - I always take him to the back on Sundays). Brian volunteered to take him out. Usually I put him down and he explores. He is BUSY, ACTIVE. But every time I turned around to look at Mikey and Brian, Brian was holding him and he was resting his head on his daddy's shoulder. That's not my Mikey! As we made our way through the Mass, I could feel my stomach knotting and hurting, I was unable to concentrate and just generally anxious. I knew he was probably getting sick.

Every song, every word of every prayer for the remainder of the Mass made a tear come to my eye. This is my cross. This is what you want me to bring to you for healing. This is what you want me to work on this Lent. Could you be a little more clear, Lord?

Well, sure.

Michael was sick. Moderate fever, some nasal symptoms. By yesterday afternoon (about 24 hours), he was much better. Fever free, cheerful. Not bad overall. Then last night Nicole threw up (which for Nicole is not an uncommon occurence - Miss Sensitive Tummy). Oh, yes, God does have a sense of humor. I know. I know. I said I wanted a little more clarity. Check.

We stayed home from co-op this morning, though I pondered taking just Jacob and Andrew. I am SO glad I didn't. Andrew wasn't quite himself this morning and a bit pale. I was suspect. By 11:30 I was doling out Tylenol to him too. Then around 3:30 the next fly dropped - Nicole. More Tylenol. OK. OK. I get it!!!!!! Somehow I maanged to take the appearances of these illnesses more in stride. By the grace of God, but in a way I was also prepared for it. As I had been watching Michael mouth everything and drool everywhere while he was sick, I remember noting that I was pretty sure the others would get it. I guess today I wasn't surprised.

So, I have started out this Lenten season with a bang! I know the Lord is calling me to work on this. I know he wants me to be free and whole. I truly believe he doesn't want me to carry around this burden of worry. It is his to carry for me if I can give it to him with my whole heart. It is a cross I carry. For me it is heavy. It weighs me down physically, mentally, spiritually.

I am yours Lord, this Lent. Do what you will.

“Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” Mark 5:34

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Earlier today I sat resting in the glider, feeding a mildly feverish Mikey. I was praying and thinking over the events of the day thus far. I thought about Lent and all I wanted to do. Then my mind wandered. I began reading the little words under the pictures on Mikey's pants. Car. Bus. Tricycle. Plan.


Yep, underneath the picture of a little green airplane was a big fat typo!

Hee hee.

I guess the maker never thought they'd need to proofread pants.