Archive for the tag “teenagers”

home again.

friday night the big boy came home. i should’ve posted that sooner, i know. but i’ve been so exhausted. and sLeep deprived. having a naughty teenager is Like having a newborn. onLy not nearLy as thriLLing…

today was better. which is saying a Lot for a monday.

i am trying my hardest to focus on good things. pretty things. positive things. Like LittLe boys who Like to eat their snack out in the tree in the backyard and a certain girL who is rockin’ some mint coLored toenail poLish…toes stiLL so cute i’d Like to eat them!!!

we are experiencing some gLoomy weather  which does not heLp my psyche…

but….apriL showers bring may fLowers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i wish i had some pictures to share, but i have been kinda Lazy in that department, taking mostLy pictures in this spot. it is way too much fun.

weLL, i am off to bed, friends. just had to say thank you for aLL your prayers, wise words and sweet thoughts. i know we are not out of the woods yet with this kid…i won’t every stop worrying about my kiddos. it’s what i do. i don’t know how to do anything eLse. and it doesn’t mean i don’t have faith in a GOD Who is bigger than aLL of this…it just means i am smaLL.

but i am smart enough to Leave everything in HIS hands. because that, too, is what i do….

that and wrap him in the mantLe of our bLessed mother…the safest spot i know for a young, vuLnerabLe man-chiLd…something sort of simiLar to the way i’d snuggLe him when he was a baby…


of bairns, barns and secrets

the word bairn used to come up a lot in stories i read when i was younger. i didn’t like the word. it didn’t roll off of my tongue very easily. not that i read out-loud to myself but the tongue inside-my-brain so to speak.

but now that i have a whole batch of bairns, i like it.

so anyway, the bairns have been taking up every moment of my life these days. and it seems like the more i give the more they take and if they see me, even if for one minute, sitting with a brightly lit screen pointing towards my face, and they think i might possibly be enjoying myself, they come. they pile. they laugh. they fight. they want this or that. they need to go here or there. and i cannot form a single intelligible thought. on the tongue inside my brain.

speaking of bairns…do your boys leave the door open every time they go outside? because last night when i was cooking sunday dinner and daddy was playing dodge ball with said bairns outside, every.single. time. one of my male children came inside and went outside again. they left the door open! and i heard the girl say: “geesh! so and so, were you raised in a barn?”

and then it occured to me, our house is indeed quite barn-like.

or as my dad calls it: the asylum.

and he really means that in the sweetest way.

he just calls it that because quite often when he telephones me there are screams and noises and general goings-on in the background that might make it sound like we are indeed running some sort of an asylum here.

i just realized yesterday that march was a blur. my anniversary came and went. and i had some thoughts about marriage. a la von hildebrand. but then i forgot to post them. and this morning. as i lay in bed. with the baby’s warm breath on my back. the cold morning waiting for me to get up. i started thinking again…

about how that husband of mine, already up. reminded me of a bookend and how we are like two bookends of a very full library shelf. with all sorts of wonderful stories crammed between us. (uh-oh, the cursor is blinking at me like what next? and i don’t even know where i was going with all this). love perhaps? and greatness. fullness and wonderfulness.

stemming possibly  from that gospel reading yesterday: the one where Jesus says: before abraham was I AM. giving me chills and scattering me all at once.

i start thinking all of these strange deep things that don’t make sense to anyone but me.

and then i have trouble finding the right words because…well, because the baby turned seven last week and now he’s getting ready to make his first Holy Communion. the biggest boy is gone for a week at another fire academy/thing-a-ma-bobber. the middle boy is playin’ the blues on the guitar. the girl is turning 12 soon and after reading this post. i had a revelation suddenly and realized that i am not the crazy one.

at least most of the time.

and then, well, then…. there is the secret of the big girl.

i have shared this with a few of my closest friends that my husband has a daughter. born before we were married. long. long. ago. who recently came to live with us during this oh. so. tumultuous time in her life (almost 18. remember those days?) adding a highschool senior to my roster. another female to deal with. and love. but at this point of boyfriends. and strong wills and sagas. its more dealing than anything. for her. and for me.

with God’s grace. we are finding things to laugh about.

and there is love here.

but i mean, three teenagers? really?

so there you have it… my heart is just swelling from all sorts of stuff.

 and in pulling away from HIS fullness i easily get swept away by my own emotions.

“but such is precisely the value of the trial; it is to the extreme edge of faith that the soul has to be pushed. the life of faith, says caussade, is nothing else than a perpetual pursuit of God through everything that disguises, disfigures, destroys, and if we may use the word, annihilates Him. the case cannot be expressed more strongly than that. in a world of apparent lunacy and false purpose, the soul has to cling to the assurance that Christ has triumphed over material things and that the only reality is serving HIM in spirit and in truth.”

~How to Find God  and discover your true self in the process!

there are probably many reasons why that gentle mama love i so easily felt for my babies flies out the window the minute a conflict arises. it could be hormonal. it could be just a phase.

or i really could be as mean as my kids think i am.

although i never imagined i’d be so edgy and combatitive. it’s just not in my nature.

so in this short period of stepping back (retreating with Fr. Bill Casey). reclaiming our lent. and sort of trying to re-connect with all of the inhabitants of this barn…i had no epiphanies from the Great I AM.

just a few small miracles and some gentle reminders to keep fighting the good fight.

because folks, it is a fight.

and our only hope lies in the HOLY EUCHARIST.

there is REAL strength in HIS Presence.

and that is enough for me.

crazy old me….

who is turning 35 this week….

am i really turning 35 this week?

april will be a blur. it already promises to be.

may and june too.

mercy me!

hope i can find a second wind to keep up with this space…i really miss it here.


i am.

staring alternately between the computer screen and a most glorious sunset.

the sky is pink. and purple. with bits of grey. and wispy clouds.

it was a gloomy stormy day. i woke up to the pitter patter of rain. made my way to mass. came home and stared at a dark. still sleeping house. dirty pots and pans littered the kitchen counter. plates were left on the table from dinner last nite. never cleared. because i was just too tired.

and i then i was mad. mad because things are always falling apart around here in one way or the other. it seems like i can’t turn my attention elsewhere for one second or chaos takes over.

you would never know that i had received Holy Communion just minutes earlier. it doesn’t take me that long to get home. what is wrong with me you might say. or maybe you feel this way too.

spiritual dryness perhaps?

or i am in need of a good cry?

i am.

the immense responsibility of homeschooling is a heavy, heavy burden.

but burdensome and beautiful. sweet and sour. agony and ecstasy.

so many contradictions, huh?

it is something i often have a hard time putting into words without someone misunderstanding me.

after all i chose this cross didn’t i?

well, sort of.

because there really was no other alternative.

the schools here are bad. in a very bad way.

and so this is the right thing to do.


“when your soul is crushed with sorrow, know that it is crowded with God. a man or woman without suffering of some kind would be like a world without Divine Revelation. they would know only the twilight of God, but see dimly His vestiges and know Him almost not at all.”

not my words. but oh so consoling.

i am crushed. sorrowful.

and yet i am constantly, albeit very gently reminded that it is ok.

there are still rainbows and sunsets. promises and hope.

i have not thrown the towel in yet.

i am still trying to get used to being in the passenger’s seat. in more ways than one.

as of today we officially have our first young driver here too. one more reason for me to forever remain sorrowful. and crushed.

but it’s all just part of this season.

this season of raising children. big and little.

an exhausting season wherein quite often i, weakly raise my hand…

still crushed and sorrowful.

and say “here i am….”

and i wait for HIM to pick me up.


and again.


frabjous-ness and random-ness

ranunculus are frabjous.

if you’ve been to wonderland recently, as we have on sunday, you’ll probably want to use that word too.

fresh flowers tucked in different parts of the house really cheers me up.

today was wicked cold and dreary. it felt a lot like march is supposed to feel. my fingers are numb. fingerless mitts simply aren’t enough.

i am really loving this song. but the video is so weird. i must be getting old. (but not old enough to not be contemplating going to see them in mexico this summer. even after i promised my mother i wouldn’t be going there again after our last stint there wherein our taxi driver talked so nonchalantly with my husband-in spanish- about how peoples’ organs were being stolen and harvested in local hospitals and the recent murder at the airport for something drug-related-while i silently prayed a litany of ave maria’s that we’d get home to our babies.)

but back to the song.

it did make me think a lot about my cousins who were killed in the last few years. such tragic. untimely deaths.

the trial for olivia is starting this month. i type her name because people don’t often want to say the name of a victim of a violent crime. they are afraid of the painful memories it evokes.

my family is going to need a lot of prayer. murder is one of those things that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. it affects you in a way like you never imagined and healing and forgiveness only comes with the grace of God.

up since 6 am i am tired.

i had to leave the house for a number of errands out-of-town. one of which took me to the big mall. i hate big malls. for various reasons. the annoying music. bright flashing lights and army of mannequins in old navy being only a few.

but my favorite face-make up (one of my luxuries i afford myself). the only make-up that covers my freckles. and makes me feel slighty pretty is at that awful mall.

and so there i went. and there i waited way too long. only to come home and find out that it is available online.

i love shopping online. for various reasons. saving money by not having to buy a certain teenager a pair of shoes. some pants and shorts being just a few.

a certain teenager who is signing up for driver’s ed this week.

that is not frabjous.

so what little luxuries do you afford yourself, if and when you can?

we all have an achille’s heel.

hello december

you are a cold. dark. month. but your flickering advent candles. twinkling lights. flannel sheets. and down comforters are just a few of your redeeming qualities. this morning i thought you had deceived me after that squabble with a grumpy teen. the spilled milk incident at the breakfast table and all those piles of leaves and laundry. you won me over again  with more bulbs to plant. crisp. smoky air as we did school outside this afternoon. and for just a few hours i was distracted by naughty, laughing faces. shells and sand that i keep finding tucked away everywhere. double-pointed knitting needles and luscious brown wool yarn. for just a few hours that big cold house with its’ dirty floors and the fact that i was out of peat moss were the last things on my mind. a couple of deep breaths and i realized there wasn’t anything too wrong. nothing that a good cup of tea couldn’t cure…but i’m not done with you yet december. we’ve only just begun. now: God grant me the grace not to be disappointed in you……

on lowering your expectations

like with regards to how clean the kitchen should be. or how much school needs to get done in ONE day. or with dresscodes.

tight high-water pants are in style when you’re 5, right? especially when accompanied by red rubber gardening gloves and rubber boots. i almost think people expect that from us homeschoolers. like it’s ok that we go out in public this way because, well, “they do homeschool.”

or what about when somebody drops by for an unexpected visit and every pan is dirty. they must understand that we had to make that pumpkin spice bread because it is the first day of fall. and what better way is there to learn about the letter S than by using spices. besides i ran out of dishsoap and didn’t want to make a special trip just for one thing. especially when i knew i had forty-two millinon errands to run this afternoon.

i cried off and on a lot today. i don’t normally do that. and i don’t even know why i am admitting it out loud.

i cried a lot because it was one of those days when i wasn’t at ease. i felt panicky and overwhelmed. i hate bioglogy and geometry. i don’t want to teach it. not to someone who asks me if he can get a tongue piercing right before we prayed the rosary. i mean it. we were all seated together. rosaries in hand and this brat asks me if he can pierce either his tongue or his chin. i had to hold myself back from going directly to the kitchen for the ice pick. (please don’t call cps on me. we really don’t even own an ice pick.)

and so today i am resenting motherhood. and i am resenting that i am resenting.

this really is a rant. and you should ignore me.

i think i became a little bit panicky yesterday after a very dear friend called me to ask for prayers for a friend of hers. she thinks i am some sort of prayer warrior *scoff*. when really i am just a big chicken. anyway, turns out this friend has terminal cancer. probably just 3 months to live. my hands shake just typing those words.  this friend probably wouldn’t want to harm her teenager the way i do. she just wants to hold her children as tight as she can before she has to let go. for good.

imagine penciling that into your planner. first day of fall. trip to the pumpkin patch. thanksgiving. first sunday of advent. death………

but isn’t that really what a life of faith is all about. and motherhood. letting go. and letting God.

three months to live sounds like a death sentence. but then again, without any real certainty, none of us knows the hour or the day. of our hour. or our day.

so don’t listen to me. don’t resent motherhood. and don’t bake pumpkin chocolate chip spice bread. at least using my recipe. i didn’t care for it. maybe it was because i used nutmeg instead of all spice. silly me.

and do stay away from ice picks and the like. love your children. pray the rosary. every. day. and enjoy life. it is so precious.

because i think God’s expectations are much lower than we think.

ps. i mean regarding dishes. wrinkled tablecloths. and rubber boots and such.




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