endeavoring…

to make myself write something here.

i’ve been journaling like mad.

and putting this together. let me know what you think. i am excited. scared. nervous.

oh. and homeschooling. running a home. cooking 3 meals a day and chasing the dream of being caught up on the laundry!!!

what are you up to?

is anyone out there???  i wouldn’t blame you if you’re not…..

i’ve been a terrible bloggy friend lately.

barely even lurking.

there are only so many hours in the day….

and so much to see…

life according to aesop

sometimes i find myself feeling guilty that we are not more schoolish around here, but then my mind and heart are quickly put at ease when i remember the benefits of our Learning Lifestyle: children that are LIVING and LOVING. learning skills which have long-term effects and not just “sitting at a desk all the day long.” these children are gaining wisdom and knowledge. they are communicating with adults and peers and doing it well. they are learning what REAL life is all about. this is what education is all about. this is the REAL world.

i wish i could give credit to the author of those words. they are not mine. i found them around the same time that i found: fret not my soul, on God rely.

they were words that i needed during this particular point in my day. week. month. year. season.

the season wherein piano lessons and algebra. british literature and american government are added to an already busy schedule.

the season wherein the middle boy struggles to find a clear thesis statement. and the mama struggles with the overwhelming burden of just being the mama.

the mama whose clearest thesis statement would be that homeschooling and parenting are each a daunting task on their own

combine the two and, well, sometimes there is a spontaneous combustion of sorts.

and you just have to scratch everything you thought you knew and live life according to aesop: slow and steady wins the race.

because when everything blows up in your face and you sit amidst the wreakage of your illusions….there comes this wonderful sense of detachment from those illusions.

you know them too, don’t you? the ones of the perfect homeschool. the perfect life. the perfect marriage. perfect meals….a perfect house.

and you get a grip on the reality that is your life. and that life needs work. and unless that work is united to something greater. SOMEONE greater…then you might as well curl up in a ball and die.

so there are sticky oatmeal kisses. and close body contact during story time. an early morning coffee date with the husband. rubbing faces with a stubbly-faced man-child who has the capacity to make your blood boil and heart melt almost simultaneously.

fervor is renewed by seeing the baby walking around the yard with a pick ax slung over his shoulder. observing ants and fallen eggshells.

yes, finding that clear thesis statement is a struggle.

but anything worth doing well is worth the struggle, my father once told me.

a dear priest friend said to me just this morning that there is strength and courage in the Sacrificial Heart.

strength and courage.

more words that aren’t mine. but i would so like to make them my own.

slowly. steadily.

one step at a time.

that aesop!

tickled

that what started out as just a little photo op….

slowly became very friendly and intimate…

a very ordinary moment turns extraordinary

after all…how often does one get to share something so wonderful…

as butterfly kisses…literally.

stops and starts

i wanted to call this post: a nightbook. stealing the phrase from one of my favorite people. but i didn’t. because it’s not fair to steal other people’s ideas without asking first and since she is on the other side of the ocean that might take too long!

besides, given the nature of these photographs and what i wanted to talk about, stops and starts sounded more appropriate.

life is a  lot like these flowers. beautiful. promising. sweet-smelling. and colorful. and then it fades.

and then you wither. die. and end up laying on top of a piano?

no. really i was going somewhere with this. but i am extremely distracted by a new kitty. and the swooshing sound of pens on paper as the two middles lie on my bed next to me and draw. it really is a delightful sound. not distracting in a bad way.

the fact that my allergies are acting up really badly and i am typing with one eye closed could have something to do with the loss of my poetic train of thought.

i guess what i meant to say is when life fades. and loses color. buy a new one?

nope. not that either.

just buy some new flowers i guess.

i have nothing. as my husband says when he is at a loss for words.

except maybe this….

“she endured. and survived. marginally perhaps, but it is not required of us that we live well.” ~anne cameron

not my words. no.

but i like the idea of living well

something good to chew on as we head into a new school year.

a new season of  wonderful dead things which late summer and then fall brings.

a season of stops and starts of all sorts.

picking things up and putting them down again is good for the soul.

always praying for discernment.

for what should be stopped and started.

and for the courage to get back up when you fall down.

liturgically speaking, august began with peter in chains.

and immediately i could relate to those chains. bound. constricted. and many times because of my own pride. 

i can relate to so much about peter.

prideful.

willing to serve our Lord so readily, yet skulking away at the first sign of danger. hiding. denying.  

yet feeding lambs and fishing for souls.

these are all things i do.

or at least i try.

much like this prince of the apostles i try.

to do the will of God.

to say i love YOU with more than just my lips.

“not in the multitude of words but in the purity of heart.” ~st. benedict

but sometimes living well means being humiliated.

and even being crucified upside down.

by the world’s standards, no, that is not living well.

perhaps that is something we should all stop.

measuring ourselves by the world’s standards.

because much like that prince of the apostles i, too, am called by God.

to this particular vocation. in this particular home. in this particular family. at this particular point in time.

there are no accidents with God.

i may not be able to relate to the idea of being something solid. like a rock.

petra.

maybe i’m just simon.

without the peter.

nevertheless….”every VOCATION becomes more agreeable when united with DEVOTION” ~st. francis de sales

devotion to a SOMEONE.

WHO makes you believe you can walk on water.

even choppy waters.

cold? wet? tired?

those are perfectly normal feelings.

HE is still there to calm the storms.

 until we are ready to start again.

“Lord, save me!” the rock cried.

that just might very well be my motto for this 2011-2012 school year.

it worked for him after all.

so i sort of  found some of my words.

but now my foot is asleep…which is a hint that the rest of my body should be doing the same thing.

goodnight, friends.

i do so love that rosary, btw, barb.

it was just what i needed.

thank you.

 

a collective effort

it started with the idea to make the grammie a quilt.

a colorful mish-mash of fabrics from our stashes.

(those sunflowers are from my garden!!)

for a little woman who had a passion for her garden in her stronger days.

then it turned into a lesson in using the big machine for the girl-child.

those two were my mother’s ideas. she is the patient one.

notice her hands are helping. not mine.

i’m just the picture taker. sans wedding ring and with chewed fingernails *gasp* more bad habits

so i worked on my half alone because there are certain things i won’t do with my children.

teaching them to tie their shoes is one of them.

another is enduring painful lessons wherein i teach something that i really like to do for fun and recreation-but somehow leads to frustration and sometimes even tears on their part-because-well-frankly i don’t really know why-maybe that’s just not my forte.

besides that’s what nana’s are for. don’t you agree?

there was some hand stitching to be done.

a block which read: with love to the woman who taught us to work with our hands.

and the binding. which i really enjoyed sewing with some pearled cotton thread.

two things which ARE right up my alley!

it is now complete. tied with a rainbow of  silk ribbon bows. washed and ready to be delivered today.

because sometimes weekends are for giving…even when you’d rather be taking. a break. or a nap with a newly made quilt that you worked so hard on….

see i’m really not the one with good ideas….i told you so.

ps. tongue in cheek: i did add a small piece of our lady of guadalupe fabric(just in case the little grammie wants to have a “reversion” back to our beloved Catholic faith anytime soon…that was a good idea, huh? *wink*wink*)

some like it hot

i think i have decided i’d like it cold too.

the whole death thing.

freezing vs. volcanic lava.

on another note: the baby’s corner is coming along nicely. i really wanted this spot to be his. but not too cluttered because it is in the main part of the house.

i moved the church pew back upstairs to accommodate this little corner.

after all, we’ve only had mass here once. and i’m sure my strong big boys will gladly bring it down again if there is a need.

they are quite used to my moving-the-furniture-whirlwinds.

it really does make me feel better.

i also moved a bigger table into the girl child’s room.

she is an artist you know.

with a real easel. and brushes and papers everywhere.

so just giving her some extra space clears up clutter from the dining room. and probably adds clutter to her room. but until her and i have a studio someday this will have to do.

encouraging them and giving them space in their creative endeavors is one thing i am really good at as a mama…my next post will deal with a few gray-er areas.

happy saturday friends.

thanks elisa for all of your organizing home posts. you really inpsired me. even if it took me half the summer to get things done. and the other half to write about it!

write on

i have started and stopped this post at least four times in the last couple of weeks.

the title was all wrong and for me when the title is all wrong, well, then the whole post is off…

so what does a lazy perfectionist do in a situation like this?

she. they don’t write anything. that’s what.

and then she they can’t sleep really well for many nights because there are all of these unwritten thoughts swirling around in the head of said lazy perfectionist.

which is not me of course.

wink. wink.

so. as i make this last-ditch. late nite effort to “write on”: what do i want to tell this space?

:: that the baby is reading green eggs and ham. yup. all 63 pages of it. over and over again. almost ad nauseum. and i wouldn’t say that if i weren’t just so darned happy that he is actually reading!

::that the quiet, pensive middle boy turned 14. big sigh. i told him that he couldn’t do that to me. but that’s a whole ‘nother post! because everything isn’t about me. (except, well, maybe here it is!)

::that the daddy had a birthday. 36. but he is a lot like peter pan…so…need i say more? ahem.

::that the biggest boy got his driver’s license. (it came in the mail today and i wanted to send it back). “that is someone else’s grown child!!” i wanted to scream at the postman. (i didn’t of course). what would the neighbors think anyway? we are already weird ’cause we homeschool.

::that the little girl got her stitches out today. and how we are finally done with that blasted needle…and we are really careful now about needles and other sharp things and where we stick them. etc. etc.

::that the biggest girl moved out and turns 18 in 2 weeks. that she sends me snail mail and it makes me cry.

::that i like to whistle the 1812 overture sometimes and the little girl whistles along with me!!! (can you just hear us?)

::that i am thinking a lot about school. lesson plans. earlier bedtimes. and winding down….

:: that i am thinking about the enormous task of homeschooling a child who asks me things like: “mom, would you rather die by burning hot volcanic lava or freeze to death?”

the jury is still out on that one.

i wasn’t quite able to decide…

 

{pretty, funny, happy, real}

“capturing the context of contentment in everyday life”

every thursday at like mother, like daughter

{pretty}: red paint for a thrifted bookshelf. which also makes me happy!

{funny}: it is funny that this girl child, even with stitches in her leg, can’t sit still. here she is up and around painting said bookshelf.

{happy}: the baby is happy to help paint same red bookshelf too. only that doesn’t make us happy. so we give him a star to paint instead. ooohhh…that shiny star is pretty too!

{real}: my very real husband caught a very real fish.

he butchered it and together we cooked it right up.

 it was very yummy. ugly. but yummy nevertheless!

my real husband looking so handsome in white. (and letting me take his picture!)

and finally a very real candle.

to mask the not-so-funny- fishy-smell that is permeating the air!

so that’s it!

random daily contentment….one doesn’t really have to look far….there is so much to choose from…..can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to!

three words

she is fine.

she is breathing on her own.

that’s six words.

thank you, doctor. three.

BLESSED BE GOD. three again.

THANK YOU, LORD. another three.

and finally: Jesus, i trust in YOU.

apparently people have simple surgeries all. the. time. in and out.

they cut you open and send you home almost as quickly as you zip thru a drive thru to order a burger and fries.

this is something that i, the super panicky type has trouble fathoming….i, who once called the paramedics (when this girl child was just a baby) because i cut her little fingernail and it wouldn’t stop bleeding.

me of so little faith.

i teeter at the edge of faithfulness. what can i say?

it’s a trust thing.

Lord, help me in my unbelief.

help me to trust even though i can’t see You.

now if you will excuse me i am going to take a very long nap while the patient and her big sis watch the king’s speech.

AND have a glass of wine later!

thank you, friends for all of your prayers and well wishes too….

dear july….

before i forget…and you are gone…

i wanted you to know that you have been so good to us.

with your cool mornings.

and your scattered wild sweet peas on the side of the road.

of course we picked a few. for our Sacred Heart Altar.

and of course there was that day at the beach…

filled with sand and seashells. the sun was hiding. and the roar of the ocean almost lulled me to sleep…

except there was so much to see…everyone made a new friend to play in the waves with. and then there were treasures to behold…

and then we tried those scones we heard about here.

they were absolutely deliciously lovely.

i was proud to perfect my hamburger buns recipe for the bread maker. quick. easy. and loved by all.

even the pickiest of eaters.

there is still so much i could i write about…but some things will just have to be our little secret…

and instead i will close with my favorite quotable that i read this month…i hope you will enjoy it too…

“one of the commonest natural experiences of the sense of loss is tiredness: it empties us out….it is useless to reproach a tired heart. and when we are tired out the only way to God is the simplest wordless act of faith. a woman too weary for articulate prayer will find that for her the best of all prayer is the unspoken act of faith in Christ in her children when she knows that  she is setting the table and baking the cake (or scones!!) for the Christ Child, her soul will be at rest.”

thank you, july magnificat for that.

those were soothing words to this weary mama.

happy weekend friends.

hope to see you monday.

with good news of a safe and successful surgery.

 

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