Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The heavens are telling the glory of God!

"O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! You have set your majesty above the heavens!... When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place-- What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?"
Psalm 8: 2,4-5

What a beautiful evening God graced us with yesterday! I just had to get out my camera and capture the sky. Here are some pics of the girls biking in front of our duplex with the gorgeous sky and sunset:

"How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them!
Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity."
Psalm 139: 17-18


My message today (through spiritual guidance): simplify. How do I do that? I'm not so sure yet, but I'm sure the Lord in his great love will answer me. I know I need to simplify (aka declutter) our home. I know I need to simplify our meals adding more fresh fruits and veggies and simple meats, doing more baking rather than buying snack foods. I know I need to simplify my daily life by staying off the computer, having simple housework goals (today: fold laundry and do dishes), and enjoying ourselves at home more. I know I like to complicate things and keep my days full of outside activities, but like little Saint Therese I need to just take each minute as it comes and offer to God every little joy and sacrifice. Right now I need to go change a dirty diaper with love...may it convert a soul!

Sometimes I forget how something as simple as baking cookies can make for such a beautiful memory and joyful afternoon. Mary Clare and Ellie had so much fun using the cookie cutters, eating the cookie dough, and especially eating their final products! And I was SO happy to finally find a sugar cookie recipe that makes for soft, smooth cookies that aren't too sweet or sugary. Mary Clare was still thanking me today for letting them bake cookies. The simple things...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New Blog Name

This is my final ultimatum to Steven...he better come post something here or I'm going to have to think of a new name for my blog!!! It can't be called "Blair and Steven" if he only reads but never posts. So...dear hubby, you have until, let's say your birthday next week...yeah the one where you'll be OVER THE join me in my addictive blogging or you're name will be off the title and banished to post conversations. You've got lots you can talk about: fishing, hunting, tractors, cattle, sports, family, Church...many choices!

I love you :)

P.S. Here's the cutie-pie with his biggest catch. Feel free to add some comments of encouragement to the blogophobe!

The Holy Rosary

(Edited to add a thanks to Amy for letting me know that we are actually encouraged to pray the Joyful on Saturdays...I was wrong on that one (4th paragraph below)!)

I try to pray a decade of the Rosary every day. It doesn't take long and is a beautiful way to meditate on the life of Christ and participate in an ancient tradition of the Church. I was excited when our late Pope John Paul II added a new set of mysteries to the Rosary, the Luminous Mysteries. Each of them helps me to know the Man of Christ better, remembering his Baptism, the Wedding at Cana, the Proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist.

My favorite set of mysteries is the Joyful...the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, and Finding in the Temple. The Visitation is the one I relate to the most as a mother and friend, as I meditate on Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth, where the Prophet and the Lord first met in the wombs of their mothers. The Sorrowful Mysteries help me to understand redemptive suffering and to know just how much my Lord loved me as he suffered and died for my sins.

But the Glorious Mysteries are the ones I have the hardest time with. The Resurrection, Ascention, Descent of the Spirit, Assumption of Mary, and Crowning of Mary. For me they are a harder meditation because, aside from meditating on Pentecost and recognizing my own need for the Holy Spirit's guidance, the other ones are just hard for me to relate to. They seem more theologically deep and deal with the body and Heaven, both of which are concepts I am still learning to grasp.

And so I mentioned to Steven that I don't like how the Church recommends we pray the Joyful on Mondays, the Luminous on Thursdays, the Sorrowful on Tuesdays and Fridays, but...the Glorious on Wednesdays, Saturdays AND Sundays. That's 3 days a week to meditate on my least favorite mysteries! Why not even it out and do the Joyful or Luminous on one of those days?

But my wise hubby reminded me that those are the ones I need to meditate on even more, since I have a hard time with them. Bingo! And so I'll make a concerted effort to ask Christ to help me understand these mysteries of our Faith better, especially as I meditate on our eternal home. Here is a website I find really helpful with pictures and verses for each mystery:

Oh, and my friend Veronica also mentioned last week a great idea to try for our laminate images of each mystery and bind together to put on the wall so we can reflect throughout the day. Great idea!

Friday, August 25, 2006

A few pics...

Here are the girls on our walk to their grandparents' new house in the middle of a remodel. Notice the new (used) stroller I got for my walking it!

Ellie loves to write. Here she is at Grampatti and Bop-Bop's house with a newspaper:

We read the other night about the Berenstain Bears' Messy Room. This is almost always how Mary Clare's floor looks. She has done this with books since before she could walk. If anyone has ideas at how to keep bedrooms clean, especially the bookshelf, please share!

I do remember

I've joined a morning walking group with some other area moms. We stroll the kids for about 3 miles, then let them play at the park. It's really hot, but a great workout and just what I need right now! I'm feeling much healthier after just a week of exercise and eating better recently. After the walking group today we visited the Adoration chapel nearby. It's always nice to make a visit to Our Lord with the girls, especially Mary Clare who is beginning to understand the things of God.

Tonight she said that "Jesus came down to be a child so he can come to you and pick you up and carry you close to his heart." (from a Christmas movie she has) Then she told me I was the best mommy in the whole world and gave me a big hug! She was excited to show everyone her new light-up tennis shoes today, and was happy to hear that Father David noticed them from the altar even though we were at the far back of the church! Ellie too made me smile when I told her it was bathtime and she ran to the bathroom crying "Ba, Ba!" They bring me such little joys and laughs each day!

It was a beautiful mass this evening. There were dozens of college students there to start the "Welcome Weekend" retreat for incoming freshmen. And there was wonderful music too. And of course I always feel so utterly blessed to have the priviledge of receiving Our Lord and Savior in such an intimate way, to strengthen me for the journey in his gift of the Eucharist. But the thing that hit me most at mass today was a reminder to count my blessings.

When I go to mass at St. Mary's alone with the girls, we sit in the cry room up on the balcony. At daily mass we're usually the only ones up there. But today there was a familiar face sitting on a balcony pew who turned around and waved and smiled, and all of a sudden I felt some tears down my cheeks. It was S, a young mother who I remembered was in my spot in the cry room about 10 years ago. She is a widow who tragically lost her husband just before I came to St. Mary's (I think it was a car accident or heart attack). And so now she raises her two preteen girls alone. When I came to St. Mary's I remember her at daily mass with her two little girls who were about my girls' ages, and they would sit up in the cry room. They were a sweet and somber little family. Last week, I believe it was on the Feast of the Assumption, this mother led a group of teenage girls to make a commitment to chastity. What a holy witness she is.

As I've said before, weekends are pretty hard for me when I'm at home. But just as I was just starting to feel my weekend-induced self-pity about being without my husband so much, God chose to remind me that there is always someone facing a heavier cross than I do. Tonight I tried to imagine the past 10 years S has had to go through without her husband, raising these two girls. Remembering S's situation, remembering our friends whose 2 year-old died in June, and remembering the visit to my aging grandmother a few days ago, I am starting to recognize the sorrows of the world, the sufferings of marriage and family and death, but also recognizing the redeeming love of Our Savior who makes good out of it all.

S came back into the cry room from her balcony spot during the sign of peace to greet me and remind me that she spent many a year back there. "I remember," I told her. I do remember.

Thank you Father, for the abundant blessings of my life. May I never again feel sorry for myself but realize that you are the God of all goodness and kindness, and even in the midst of sorrow and suffering, you are so close to your children and are doing great works through our pain. Please be ever apparent to those who have an especially heavy cross to carry. And may we be graced with the gift of hope, the hope that we will be reunited with all our loved ones to praise your name forever.

Thy Kingdom Come!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Trip to H-Town

MC was playing with her almost-5-yr-old cousin E yesterday. They were playing really well together for an hour or two. Then we started hearing them arguing and pronouncing the all-girl threats "Then I won't be your friend anymore!" Finally we realized they were arguing and crying over....A PURPLE RUBBER BAND!!! Steven put it away. Mary Clare was crying and whining, "but I never get to play with rubber bands very much!" Then E started saying the same thing. Finally sister-in-law (E's mom) found some other rubber bands and gave both MC and E their own rubber band and we all went home. Apparently they were using them as collars for their stuffed puppies. Who would've guessed that a little rubber band could cause that much turmoil!

Well, we also got to see other sis-in-law, the one who is nearing the halfway mark in her pregnancy with triplets! And we got to see the home my in-laws are almost done remodeling. A quick trip to the Galleria so we could visit hubby's favorite...the Mac store! And the girls fell asleep on the way home. Ahhh, sweet car silence! I'll post some recent pics later, but as for now, hubby has Ellie in the tub since she was covered head to toe in yogurt, and I must get cleaned up to run errands and go to daily mass :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hard question of the day

Today Steven took Mary Clare to the Livestock Auction. As they were walking through the back of the auction house looking at thousands of cattle, she asked him how cows make meat. He said they eat grass and turn it into meat. "Well, how do they make it?" she says and points to an empty stall asking if the mud on the ground was meat. "No," he said, "I'll tell you when you're older." She asks why. He says because it's bloody. Now on her 4th birthday, she'll probably ask us about meat again! Yikes!

Homeschooling Meme

I've been tagged by Lillian at Smithflections although I'm not an official homeschooler yet ;) Let's see if I can figure out enough answers to participate:

1. One homeschooling book you have enjoyed.
Catholic Education Homeward Bound by Kimberly Hahn and Mary Hasson, it was the first book I read about homeschooling

2. One resource you wouldn't be without.
Crayons! My oldest is only 3 1/2

3. One resource you wish you had never bought.
Markers, they don't keep the caps on them so they run out quickly. Plus Ellie likes to bite the tips off!

4. One resource you enjoyed last year.
DVDs. We have no TV, so now at least MC can watch educational movies from the library

5. One resource you will be using next year.
Possibly Five in a Row, when MC turns 4 in January

6. One resource you would like to buy.
I can never have enough kids' books!

7. One resource you wish existed.
I'm going to ditto Lillian that I'd like a private housekeeper and cook!!!

8. One homeschooling catalogue you enjoy reading.
Catholic Heritage Curricula

9. One homeschooling website you use regularly.
Blogs of homeschoolers...Lillian, Danielle Bean

10. Tag five other homeschoolers.
Hmmm, I don't know if any homeschoolers read this who haven't been tagged already. But if you are reading and you're a homeschooler or homeschooler-wanna-be, let's hear from you!

adding my pic so I can put in my profile:

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Nana!

Dear Nana,

Today is your 91st birthday. I wish I could spend these last years with you and that you wouldn't be spending them alone in a nursing home. And I know my mom wishes it too, and is sad that she won't be able to come see you today like I will. It's been a year since we've visited, so I hope you remember who I am and who my sweet little girls are. I wish they could get to know you better, but hopefully we'll make a few memories and take a few picures that they can have forever.

Your house was such a fun place as a child! I have great memories of building with blocks and Lincoln Logs, looking through old pictures, climbing the big tree in the backyard, and playing with the dollhouse in your sunroom. You made some interesting meals (which we rarely ate) but I loved scrounging through your fridge for ice cream and cake frosting. And I really thought that water spout on the inside of the fridge door was cool. Every picture in the house told a story, and we made many memories there too.

We visited the museums, the parks, and the mall. My cousins and I played games outside, and Pops would make us all laugh. I miss his laugh. I'm sure you do too. But the one place we'd always go everytime we visited you was to Mass. And we visited that little church gift shop you ran, but sadly I never had much interest in any of those items. But now those special rosaries and prayer books are some of my greatest treasures! I wish I could come help you in that gift shop and look at all those beautiful things. I wish we could go to that church and pray together. I wish we could go and see your dear husband's grave there at the military base where he honorably worked his whole life. But at least I get to give you a hug and show you my little growing girls, my precious treasures. And we'll be praying for you, hoping you will have some comfort and consolation from Christ in these final years as he prepares you for eternity with him and with Pops.

Nana, you are the one who has brought the Faith to my life. You married Pops before he became Catholic, and you raised your children in the Church. My other grandparents weren't Catholic either. And so my parents were married in the Church and I was baptized Catholic. The graces of the sacraments and probably your many rosaries somehow graced me with a desire to know the Lord and the Holy Catholic Church he founded. I am so blessed. So blessed because of you, Nana.

Thank you. And Happy Birthday! See you in a few hours.
Your devoted granddaughter,

Here are you and Pops with Mary Clare at 9wks old, what a special memory!

Friday, August 18, 2006

MC funnies

Mary Clare's "mommy" Barbie doll talking to her "child" little Barbie doll:
"How many times do I have to tell you to stop putting your finger in your nose?"

Mary Clare after me asking what her favorite thing was today:
"What do you think Father David's favorite thing was he did today? We should get together with him at his house or at the park sometime."
(I think she has crushes on priests and religious brothers!)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Tonight while out to eat (again!) at a cafeteria, Mary Clare kept running around and wasn't obeying very well. So she didn't get any jello. As we were getting in the car I told her I was sad that she wasn't obeying and how I love her and want her to show how she loves me by doing what I ask. This topic came up at our couples' group after reading the verse "If you love me then you will keep my commandments."

I told her I don't like her running away from me because she could get lost. She said she wouldn't get lost. And I said, "but someone could take you away." "Who?" she asked. I didn't reply, wondering if she was old enough for the stranger talk. She was thinking hard and said, "You mean like Spiderman? What does Spiderman look like?"

I just chuckled. She's so innocent that I hate to have to tell her there is evil in the world. But I guess it's about time. Last week Steven was commenting on soldiers or something and said the word war. She asked what war is and he said he'd tell her when she got older. I'm sad that my little girls will have to learn about evil soon :( We already had to tell her about death when our friends' 2 year old daughter died in June :(

I wish that the only bad thing she would know of in her life would be Spiderman. I wish we were back in the Garden of Eden. I can't wait to put up a beautiful print of the Garden I got from Rome, when we get a house. If it weren't for that old Adam and Eve and the apple, my life as a mother would be so much easier!!!

Un-Super Size Me!

I've been motivated to really work on my eating and exercising habits recently after watching the documentary Super Size Me about a man who lives on 3 McDonald's Value Meals every day for a month and discusses the effects the fast food industry has had on Americans. I grew up on fast food, literally eating McDonald's hamburgers or Hartz fried chicken almost every night as a child as I went to dance class. My involvement in dance is probably the only thing that kept me pretty healthy!

Now that I'm a mom, I'm noticing how our eating habits greatly effects our family life. Just sitting down to eat lunch or dinner together can be so hard, but is so important. It's easy for me to just grab fast food. I'm trying harder to cook meals and keep a good supply of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats on hand. I also made my first loaf of bread last week (picture below, it was delicious!). Steven cooks a lot which really helps, but it's still a constant struggle for me.

Then today I found a good transitional option for me! I had a mom's group this morning and knew I didn't have much in the house to make for lunch. So I went to Souper Salad, which has a to-go option where I got a box to fill with salad, fruit, and pasta and a bag for baked goods (baked potato, bread)...all for under $4!!! I thought that was a really good deal to feed me and the two girls, much cheaper and healthier than fast food. Not to mention the workout I got while trying to fill the to-go box, hold a wallet, push Ellie in a high chair, and chase Mary Clare who was pushing herself around the restaurant in another high chair! A little challenging, but worth the extra work.

My next goal is to figure out a way to exercise. I just learned of a mom's walking group nearby which could be a good option for me. I've also considered taking some dance classes, since that was the exercise method of choice for me during most of my early life, something I know I'd enjoy. I haven't decided if I'll put Mary Clare in dance again this fall either. We've got to tighten up as Steven finishes out his last semester of school. But I do think exercise needs to be a priority for me. I watched Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church on TV at my parents' this weekend and he talked about the importance of keeping our bodies healthy...doing our work so God can work His work in us. So I better go nap while I have the opportunity...those are rare!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sister Sister

One of my favorite things right now is to watch the love and friendship develop between Mary Clare and Ellie. They really do have so much fun playing together and being silly! And they don't like being apart from each other. I grew up almost like an only child, having just one brother who is 6 years younger than me. So I don't know a sister relationship, except that of close friends. I look forward to watching them grow closer through the years.

Last night we had a couples' group at church. Mary Clare was playing with some friends downstairs (a fun family with 6 kids, 3 of them are triplets!), and Ellie was asleep in her stroller in the meeting. After it was over, Ellie was awake and my friend was talking to her saying, "You have so much fun playing with your sister, don't you?" Ellie ran to the door and started grunting, wanting to get out and play with Mary Clare! Then a little bit ago, Mary Clare left with Steven to go on some errands and to the Livestock Auction (his favorite place to go on Tuesdays). Ellie was beside herself. She really gets sad when her sister isn't around. Although she does talk (babble) a lot more without her sister gabbing away!

I am very thankful that God has blessed us with these two little girls. We hope to be blessed with many more children, but even if we weren't able to conceive again or welcome more children through adoption, I am so happy that the girls have each other! Last night at our couples' group we were talking about the anti-life mentality prevalent in the world today; a society which worships self and is concerned with gaining more material things and and "experiencing life to the fullest." But someone mentioned about how life isn't about the experiences we have (vacations, parties, outings), it's really about relationships. First of all a relationship with God our Father, Christ our Savior, and the Holy Spirit our Advocate. Secondly, these sacrificial relationships with our family and friends, and our self-giving in charity to our neighbor who we may not even know.

So on days when I'm really wanting to do something fun with the girls, get out of the house and "experience the world", I need to remember that their relationship with each other is what is going to last and what I should be spending time fostering. As someone wise has said (can't remember who), "The best gift you can give your child is another sibling."

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I bought Mary Clare some plastic kitchen stuff at a garage sale today (at the Jewish Synagogue...guess they don't do sales on Saturdays!). She was wanting me to play restaurant with her as I was getting myself some ice cream :)

MC: "Come on Mommy, you be the waitress and I'll be the waiter."
Me: "Well, who am I going to wait on?"
MC: "Me, mommy. You be the waitress and I'll be the waiter."
Me: "But who's going to eat?"
MC: "Me, I'm the waiter. I'm the one WAITING for you!"

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Yesterday I got together with a group of friends from high school. Tonight is our 10yr reunion, which several of us couldn't attend, so we had our own dinner the night before. It is so much fun to be back together with them; I feel like things have never changed and that I still know them so well. But it makes me sad that my close friendships with many of them are no longer what they were. Now they are merely a once or twice a year visit and a few emails here and there. Our lives are very different; I'm the only one with kids (besides one who is about to pop!) so I'm the only one with this kind of job, a stay-home-mommy. But still I have a rich history with these ladies that makes for many fun memories!

We took a bunch of pictures at the end of our party, which reminded me of all the fun times we had in high school and memories I have from the pictures (Sadly, I hardly remember anything I don't have a picture of). We weren't really party-ers or drinkers, but we found some silly, crazy things to keep us busy on weekend nights in high school!

Afterwards I was looking at the pictures of my high school friends and I on my digital camera and relishing that special evening together. Then it flipped to the pictures of my girls and their friends from the St. Clare party yesterday...Ellie with her first pigtails and first ice cream cone, Mary Clare dancing in the kiddie pool, and the kids painting a poster saying "St. Clare Pray for us!" I kind of chuckled at the stark difference between that evening with my high school friends and my normal life as a stay-home mommy. And I gave thanks, because I'm living the life I've always wanted. One of my friends commented about her sister marrying a friend she'd known since diapers and how sometimes dreams really do come true. So here I am in my dream world! Not that everything is how I envisioned it or that it isn't hard, but it's what I always dreamed of.

When I'm not at home I have a harder time being consistent with my daily prayers, particularly my morning reflection. But today, visiting with family, I just felt like it should be a day to give thanks for the beautiful, crazy, fun, exhausting, fulfilling life that God has blessed me with through my husband and daughters! We spent some time at a children's museum and later at the pool (where Mary Clare was swimming like a fish underwater!)...these are the things I really love to spend my days doing. I wish I could be doing them with those friends of my past...but maybe in a few years, we'll be having a summer pool party with all our kids...and hopefully we'll all be swimming and playing together for all eternity, in heaven one day!

Friday, August 11, 2006

St. Clare Day

The Poor Lady of Assisi, my dear daughter's patroness. Today will be the first time we celebrate her "name day" having a little party with our friends! We will also remember our dear little friend in heaven, Mary Clare, who passed away in June at age 2. May she, St. Clare, St. Elizabeth, and Our Blessed Mother always pray for my sweet daughters to stay very close to the heart of Christ! And may our other holy friend, Sr. Mary Clare of the Holy Spirit, be filled with joy on her special feast day. For all Poor Clare nuns, who sit before the presence of Christ in the Eucharist at all hours of the day and night in Adoration of Our Lord, that God might strengthen them and hear their prayers for the world.

I hope one day we can go back to Assisi, the town of St. Clare and her friend, spiritual father, and hero, St. Francis. And I hope we can follow their example of love, trust, simplicity, austerity, and faith.

Pray for us St. Clare!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fun Summer Days

Steven is pretty much finished with class and has a few weeks off. It's been a fun few days. Last night we got to visit with a dear friend who just took his final vows as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (the CFRs). He's been a missionary in Honduras for a few years and will start in the seminary next fall. It was so much fun to hear his stories and see the true joy he exudes because of his love for Christ and the Church.

When he first arrived, the girls were a little scared of this man dressed in a grey robe with a long beard. But a few minutes later he was reading books and playing games with them! Mary Clare was climbing into his lap and trying to get his attention. It's amazing how children are drawn to holiness.

One thing that really encouraged me was how he described his novitiate year being the hardest year. He said there was so much quiet and reflection that God was really able to reveal things deep within him that he needed to work through. That's how I've been feeling for awhile now. Every day I recognize a new sin, a new tendency, a new habit and how it's affecting my life and my family life in a negative way. It tends to happen at night when it's quiet and I have time to think and reflect.

It's easy for me to get frustrated and discouraged with all these problems brought to light. But instead I should be thankful. This is God purifying me, making me more holy each day. He's making me a better wife and mother, and drawing me closer to him, to know him better. I didn't know this work at holiness would be so hard!

Anyway, today we went to a water park nearby. It was funny because Steven doesn't really like swimming but has been wanting to go to this water park. I almost stayed home with Ellie and even tried to change his mind on the way there, wondering if it'd really be worth the extra money and be better than the pool around the corner. But we had so much fun! Ellie played with her buckets (it's hilarious, real work for her where she doesn't crack a smile) and Mary Clare was sharing her diving rings with other children as Steven threw them all over the pool. I taught her and a little boy how to play Marco Polo, and we watched Ellie delight in the little frog slide (Mary Clare is a little paranoid about slides after a scare on her first swim of the summer). It was a really joyful day, and the back spasms I started with this morning have now gone away. I'm looking forward to a few weeks of fun with Daddy!

Below are some pictures with Brother, and from swimming today:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Why do I like Mr. Rogers?

Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was one of my favorite shows growing up. Now my little girl has started watching it, thanks to DVDs from the library. There are some annoying things about Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. I don't like that Fred Rogers is the voice for so many of the puppets in the Neighborhood of Make Believe, especially Henrietta Pussycat! Her voice is definitely the most annoying, "Meow Meow, yes. Meow Meow, thank you," *cringe*.

But watching Mr. Rogers the past few days, I've realized why he's so appealing...He's slow, he's quiet, he's gentle. The kid shows today are all on fast-forward, from Barney to Blue's Clues, to Dora the Explorer. Everything is fast, everything is loud, nothing is slow or quiet or gentle.

All the moms and dads I really admire have that quality of gentleness. They are "slow to anger, rich in kindness." They are quiet when they discipline their children, even quiet when they talk to me. And they aren't in a rush. Sometimes I feel like I never slow down, rarely take a moment to stop and smell the roses with the girls, especially if we are running late. But I'm trying harder. Trying to enjoy the birds and the little flowers and the bugs the girls notice as we're going somewhere or doing something important.

What I am realizing is that those moments are more important than making it into Mass or into my meeting 20 seconds later (though I should be early enough for 20 seconds not to make a difference!). What I am realizing is that the girls react to things the way I react, they treat each other the way I treat them, they use the same voice tones that Steven and I do.

And so I'm motivated by Mr. Rogers. In fact, I've been brought to tears watching some show clips on YouTube yesterday and watching him receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Lifetime Achievement Award on the Emmys which were clips on the DVD. I hope I can learn to be slower, and meeker, and quieter, and gentler through God's grace. Did you know Mr. Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister? What a man!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I've always loved rainbows. My mom has even kept a drawing I made on the day I saw my first rainbow at about age 6. I think I did a presentation in school on rainbows too. When I was little, and still to this day, I could never pick a favorite color...I love them all, the whole rainbow! Something about seeing that rainbow in the sky just brings a big smile to my face and peace to my heart :)

One day in college I wore my favorite shirt at the time, a white polo with a rainbow collar, a rainbow ribbon in my hair, and my rainbow WWJD bracelet. Then someone told me it was Pride Week! I didn't hear the end of that one. Too bad the rainbow has become a symbol for something different these days...

Today I felt led to meditate on Genesis 9 and God's covenant with Noah, "I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth." The world will never flood again! My fascination with rainbows should be a reminder to me that God has given me this promise. I have no need to worry. He cares for the birds of the air; how much more does he care for me!

Motherhood has definitely brought on a new level of worry in my life. I can no longer control things like I could when it was just me. Now there are 4 of us here (not to forget our little intercessor in Heaven, Agnes) to think about, 4 totally different lives. And I can't control every aspect of each of these lives. I have to trust that God in his infinite mercy and loving providence has a beautiful plan for my family. If I could only let go and follow it! Help me Father, to trust in You. I believe, help my unbelief. Grant me the gift of Hope!

"Where troubles melt like lemondrops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me!"

My tupperware cabinet

First of all, what is the appropriate name for Tupperware containers? Plastic food storage boxes? I dunno. But I was thinking tonight about how my tupperware cabinet sometimes feels like my life.

In my tupperware cabinet, I have a few leftover real tupperware that we got as wedding gifts. Mostly it's full of old food containers like sour cream bins. I've also got some pots in there, some plastic mixing bowls, two strainers, a steamer, a few plastic pitchers, a bundt pan, and some large plastic cups and bottles. It's the biggest cabinet in my kitchen so that's where all the junk goes.

What I find so funny is just how disorganized it is. I literally throw items in there and shut the door just fast enough to prevent something from falling over on the floor. The girls like to get into it and I often find the old food containers (my current "tupperware") around the house. It's really a total junk mess, as my mom would put it.

A few times a year I organize it only to find it back in shambles a few days later. It's not unlike many other things in my house, the pantry, the closets, the junk drawer. But somehow this cabinet might just be the worst of them, one that almost has no hope of recovery because of the diversity of items it holds. I mean how can you stack a bundt pan, a sour cream container, and a stainless steel sauce pan and expect them to stand?

This feels like my life right now. I'm trying to balance my spiritual life with my housekeeping flaws, my fears with my hopes and dreams, and my jellybeans with my caesar salad. Then I just slam the door shut and hope that one of those things doesn't fall by the wayside! And it doesn't through the grace of God.

I think my life will always be a broken mess of Megablocks and phone bills, of Saint icons and restaurant kid cups, of dog food and homeschooling books. Nothing seems to fit together quite right. But somehow Christ is able to make a useable tupperware cabinet with me...all my faults and failings, my weaknesses and fears. I try to tidy things up but it doesn't keep for long. Nevertheless, he knows that the steamer still works okay even though it has a broken leg. He also knows that a little bit of broccoli always gets stuck in the holes. I kind of like that steamer with its broken leg and bits of broccoli, just like my Heavenly Father loves me with all my quirks and all my fact, that's what's appealing about me. I just wish I had a brand new steamer sometimes.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Lonely weekends...

Steven works out of town on weekends :( About once a month we go "home" to visit family on the weekend. But on weekends like this I try my hardest to keep busy and keep from feeling sad and lonely.

This morning we went to the library to get the girls' awards for summer reading. I picked up one of my first homeschool books to read, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Dr Raymond and Dorothy Moore. It was recommended by a homeschooling mom of 7 who I really admire and know from the NFP Message Board. I look forward to starting my homeschool research!

Next weekend, we'll be visiting family and are planning a St. Clare party for her feast day on Friday. I'm looking forward to that. Since I don't have anything meaningful to say today, I'll leave you with some pictures of the girls from the past few weeks, including one for Lillian (we used your July 4th cake idea! Thanks!):

Friday, August 04, 2006

My little author :)

I've written several "first posts" only to change my mind. Why is blogging such a big decision for me? I love to write and love to reflect. But I do spend way too much time on the internet. I think my biggest issue is how to figure out WHAT to write about! My family, my faith, my day to day life...for some reason that's overwhelming for me.

I think I'll try to stick with one topic at a time, whatever is most pertinent to me right then and not try to overanalyze my blog writing, like I tend to do with most things in life. And maybe finally I'll be bold enough to comment on other's blogs as a real blogger, not an anonymous nobody...

So my blog for tonight: My daughter's first book! I used to teach Kindergarten and 1st grade before my stay-at-home mommy days began. I just started rereading a book from college I really like called (trying to link, we'll see if this works, I'm new to all this!) The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter by Vivian Gussin Paley. It's a beautiful reflection on a preschool teacher whose classroom was based upon storytelling. The children were able to dictate stories to her each day and she relates life experiences to the fantasy stories they create. It's a fun book!

Tonight my husband and baby were asleep but I knew that my older daughter (3.5yrs) wouldn't be going down quite yet. The DVD player on our computer keeps freezing up, so she couldn't watch the Mr. Rogers DVD from the library. So I asked if she wanted to "do homeschool". She got very excited and we did some simple workbooks, which she loves, and we wrote some words together (she's very interested in letter sounds right now). Then I asked if she'd like to write a story, thinking of how much I love the idea of story dictation with young children. I wrote it while she told it, then typed it up on the computer like a real book and she'll get to illustrate. It was a lot of fun!

Here's her first book:
"The Mother of the King"
Once upon a time there was a young girl and a fox.
He went on a walk and he found a bird in a meadow.
The bird walked and she ate a beautiful, yummy flower.
And the fox found a frog in a cradle with a mother.
The mother carried the frog.
The mother frog found a bunny.
The bunny found an egg, and she goes to sleep.

We've been reading fairy tales today, and the workbooks sitting out had all those animals pictured. I'll let you know how the illustrations turn out and how the next story goes! She says this is for the little girl whose 1yr birthday invite we just got today. And she wants to make one for our new priest! My little author :)
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