Archive for the month “January, 2011”

number one

and the winner is……….

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Timestamp: 2011-01-31 06:17:40 UTC


You are like me, I think. I like to believe that my blog is something I do just for myself and my distant friends and family, but yeah, I notice the stats, and comments make me happy, and being ignored does not. Having a blog is an ongoing spiritual battle for me. I know God would likely prefer my obscurity and humility, but I just can’t quit!

Lovely bag…and I know your taste in goodies. Keeping my fingers crossed!

dear friend, i guess this proves that it doesn’t hurt to keep your fingers crossed!

you were number one after kim…

i already have your address, so i’ll be sending this out to you this week!

thank you all for playing along.

and just for the record…i don’t blog to get stats…like i said…i just noticed a decline and thought this would spice things up a bit around here…

i honestly think that this little community… the Catholic mama bloggers…is akin to a slice of heaven….

happy monday, friends!

if you need me, i’ll have my nose in a tangle of textbooks…


hitting publish

i do wish i was a more spontaneous blogger. i wish posts didn’t float around inside my head all. week.long…. sometimes making it as far as my journal…or a scrap envelope deep in the dark recesses of my purse….never to see the light of day here….but i am rather self-conscious.

and i don’t want to waste your time…you’ve got things to do…places to go and people to love.

and so do i!

but i noticed i lost some readership last week.

i rarely pay attention to stats. but it was noticeable.

maybe too much talk about God and tragedies makes people go away.

it scares them.

and i understand because it scares me too.

so to boost my popularity  show y’all that i am not afraid to have some fun, i am going to do a little give away.

see this lovely bag? i bought one for myself and i thought….”self, this would the perfect thing to give away (filled with a few sweet/surprise goodies btw) for valentine’s day.”

just leave a comment in this post sometime between now and sunday. i will pick a random winner and announce it monday.

i am signing off now as there has been one heck of a mini civil war here as we try to get back into a semi-normal school routine.

there just might be a secession…and it makes me tired.

they feel like it is an injustice that i ordered a whole slew of textbooks and am actually making them do work.

i feel like a charlotte mason drop out as it goes completely against my nature to resort to textbooks

but desperate times call for desperate measures.

for today the three teenagers sitting at the table with books, papers and half-finished plates of spaghetti eerily reminded me of a scene from the breakfast club.


not my idea at all of the happy. holy. homeschoolers we once were.

happy weekending, friends!

wishing you HIS peace.

ps. this give-away-offer is not good for members of my same household. you know who you are. and you may not enter to win. i say that with all my love.


joining barb:

52 weeks of daily life in pictures.

:: trials and celebrations, the extraordinary and mundane — whatever is unique to the week.

it’s kind of too early for these…but i couldn’t resist. and they were so yummy!

they are also delicious on top of gluten-free pancakes and paired with vanilla-greek yogurt-cream-cheese-fluffy-wonderfulness.

 pretty table-settings. and impromptu tea with friends.

thank you….half-half. i will never lose weight because of you….and your creamy presence in every. single. cup. of coffee. i drink.

thank you, Lord, for sweet looking weeds….that almost look like flowers.

girls with pink cheeks and creative spirits don’t belong locked up learning in classrooms. they should be free (with limits) to sketch in a pile of comfy blankets when inspiration strikes.

thank you krusteaz  for finally making a mix that won’t kill my children…i do so love it when the kids can make things with a little help from a box….(this muffin is sans blueberries. but these are oh. so. good when you add a cup of blueberries to the batter. and spoiler: they might not last long enough to take photos.)

hello. nice. big. stack of red linen napkins.

you look like you could use some embroidery. and i sure could use an easy project that will travel. we’ll see how it goes.

and last but certainly not least….

the pure. unadulerated bliss. of having a big brother that will ride you really fast around the yard in a wagon….

(as a side note: this does cause a certain amount of tipping. or so i was later told.)

this really was a good week.

and it’s great to have these pictures to remind me so.

yarn along the third:blue


the knitting:

a blue cotton scarf for the baby. he doesn’t like itchy things so this knobby cotton will be perfect. and if you notice that sunshine, well, there really isn’t a need for many wooly warm things here in sunny california.

spring is already teasing us. we’ve got doors and windows open. bare feet. and for the moment fresh squeezed lemonade has replaced warm tea and cocoa.

the reading:

the gift of an ordinary day by katrina kenison.

the part of me that is raising teenagers and the part of me that is just plain burnt out can relate to this book in very many ways.

i had a good cry the night i started it.

a favorite quote:

to exist is to change,

to change is to mature,

to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

~henri bergson

and then there are these words of hers-

words that are very much mine too….and maybe even yours….

i missed my old world and its funny little inhabitants, those great big personalities still housed in small sweet bodies. i missed my sons’ kissable cheeks and round bellies, their unanswerable questions, their innocent faith, their sudden tears and wild, infectious giggles, even the smell of their morning breath, when they would leap upon waking, from their own warm beds directly into ours.

i missed the person i had been for them, too-the younger, more capable mother who read aloud for hours, stuck raisin eyes into bear shaped pancakes, created knight’s armor from cardboard and duct tape.

certainly my talents didn’t seem quite so impressive anymore, my company not as desirable as it once had been…..

now head on over to ginny where talent and books abound!


playing along, a bit late, with barb:

52 weeks of daily life in pictures:

trials and celebrations, the extraordinary and mundane.

unique to me.

lemons and sunshine in january.

getting well: for my mama.

ordinary and clean: useful things grace a trunk top.

the house looks so bare after one puts Christmas away.

years ago:

two of my favorite pictures.

Christmas 9 years ago.  me with awful blonde hair and roots showing. the 3 bigger kids were so little.

walking down the aisle with my sweetie. was that really 11 years ago this year? where does the time go?

a doll quilt made by my mama for my girl.

it now graces the back of a chair.

what should i do with it mama? she asked me the other day.

just wrap a dolly up in it and play with her…i thought to myself… big sigh.

i don’t know i said. my mind a million miles away. just leave it there for now.

and these.

snapshots of her room. more chic than little girl. 

making me proud because she has such an eye for color and creativity.

but everything is looking more responsible and grown up.

even down to this struggling hydrangea that she brought home from my mom’s.

to take care of she said.

because you can tell that nana just can’t right now.

i will end this post by linking to this.

h/t: margaret.

i want to remember that every. single. morning.

yarn along the second:cotton & love

joining ginny for her yarn-along:

the knitting…

a cotton dishcloth with a heart right in the center.

my parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago and in the whirly-wind of holidays. emergencies and life i got behind with regards to finishing up a few things i was making for them (well, really for my mama).

she loves cotton dishcloths.

even though she can barely bring herself to wipe clean hands on them.

the book:

jacob have i loved.

i started it a few weeks ago.

and then a certain little girl stole it from me.

she thought i’d finished it-although i don’t know how-when no one reads as fast and as thoroughly as she does.

that same little girl almost spilled the beans on the ending.

so i guess i’d better get on with it.

can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to!

(ps. updated: i loved the ending! this was a sweet read. it did my heart a lot of good to finish this sweet story.)

a pouring out

our collective stories of personal epiphanies. wise men and seeing stars. big and little miracles and trustful surrender. wouldn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things unless they point to the fact that: GOD is all.

that is my motto for 2011.

i didn’t choose it.

it chose me 13 days ago when a wise man told me: “you must come to the mountains with your mother.”

“we never know,” he said, “how much time we have with the ones we love.”

“yes, daddy,” i said. ” i will go.”

i won’t lie and say that i didn’t briefly entertain all of the things i could get done with my husband working out of town. (maybe just sending the little kids in my stead, as i have done before).

but none of that matters now. because i did go.

and there was the miracle of snow. “i prayed for snow and God heard.” said the baby to me.

his beaming face so close to mine that i could feel his sweet breath.

there were deer.

and beautiful stars in the clear night sky.

life is so overflowing with miracles and God listening.

because what happened there. in that desolate place.

surrounded by majestic mountain peaks reaching higher than i could ever imagine climbing and pines hundreds of years old.

was one of those soul wounding, yet grace-filled moments.

that make you realize how every detail in our lives is so carefully placed and orchestrated by the hands of THE Creator.

for in that cozy home on a hill. a home that always has been.and still is. a place of refuge for us. when the busyness of life is almost too much to bear. my dear mother had a terrible accident. she lost her balance somehow in the split-level dining room and fell to the stone floor in the family room. hitting her head on a little wooden school desk on the way down she fractured her skull.

it all happened so fast.

in a literal instant our peace was shattered.

my little girl’s words: “help her mama, she fell.”

did not prepare me for the impact of finding my mother unconcious in a pool of blood.

a blow to her head. a blow to my heart.

panic and hysteria set in so rapidly.

how could this be? i kept thinking. she cannot die like this.

how could we be happily chatting about what we’d have for lunch. sipping tea by the fire and getting ready to do some hand-sewing one minute and in this terrible predicament the next?

we were alone. my girl. my mama and i.

my dad had taken the boys on a hike and the snow prevented me from doing so many things.

with limited cell phone service and what seemed like a million other obstacles we stepped outside of time and into eternity to entreat the help of Something. SOMEONE much greater than all of those obstacles.

stepping outside of those parameters of time can be so awful for those us bound in time. because every minute seems like an endless eternity itself.

the help that was to be had from 911 operators. firemen. paramedics. was all hindered by the snow and our location.

constantly shifting from that hysteria to anger. to shivering from fright. and/or cold. numbly. foggily. mechanically. i began to do what i could.

scared. limited. stupid. feebly. i began doing my best in my imperfect state of trust, the only rational thing that came to my mind: call repeatedly on THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS. and His Blessed Mother.

i begged God to spare her. to keep her safe. that help in some other form besides me and my daughter would come.

plagued by wanting my will to be done now. not in ten minutes or twenty. every minute that she lay there bleeding was precious.

this kind of fear is wild and primitive. the terrified kind of fear that nightmares are made of. the kind of fear that one does not expect to encounter in this age of technology and resources.

i had never needed God like i did then. so promptly and completely.

and never had i ever felt so abandoned by Him either.

“i sought Him and did not find Him, i called Him and He did not answer.” (Sg. 3)

not on my time anyway.

but at last He heard me.

and there were more miracles.

like how her wound had stopped bleeding by the time the firemen arrived. and how she didn’t need stitches or break anything else. how the bleeding in her brain remained stable enough not to need surgery. and how after 5 days in intensive care she was released with minor bruising. headaches and nausea. and while those things have been difficult to deal with, it could have been so much worse.

fatally worse.

Fulton Sheen says: life is mingled with death. truth with error. love with hate. but GOD is the ultimate goal in life. from Him we come and in HIM alone do we find our peace.

it became clear later, “when my soul was suddenly illumined with the light of grace, cleansed from all defilement of sin, and felt itself filled with consolation. and with spiritual strength and unspeakable joy, i could then say to HIM: your Name, O Lord, is for me oil poured out. for the grace of Your visitation makes me fully understand the true meaning of Your Name, which is JESUS. Savior.” (Fr. Hilton, 1396)

the ONE Who saves. Who has the power to save. is not a disinterested spectator in the lives of His children.

even in a season of joy, we are reminded of the cross. the delights of Christmas and epiphany do not spare us from sickness. suffering. or death. (january 2011 magnificat p. 109)

He is ever-present.

not only in our grace-filled moments. but also our most terrified moments. and even in our ordinariest and mundanest of moments. all are very dear and precious to HIM.

so here is to happy endings. new beginnings. and second chances.

that i plunged into this new year totally out of sorts is very humbling.

i had so planned on getting my act together. re-organizing things around here.

but my father’s prophetic words continue to haunt me a bit. we really don’t know how much time we have with the ones we love. and there always be someone up for a game of scrabble.  or wanting to snuggle and read a story. and then there are all those dishes and laundry that tend to pile up. especially when something terrible happens.

yes, life does go on.

everything has changed and nothing has changed.

we are a little busier. a bit more tired. going back and forth between my parents’ house and here.

a dear priest friend who said mass for us yesterday said that when the matriarch of the family has lost a considerable amount of blood it is like an oblation poured out. it is something holy. and our lives should be changed forever in the Eternal Word.

i feel like those words brought me full circle. back to where this all began. back to the Holy Name of Jesus.


the Word Who is.

and how our whole lives are like an oblation that we offer to Him.

let us see to it that we take nothing of our oblation back.

and that, friends, is where i will end this.

this pouring out…..

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