Friday, March 30, 2007

A good day.

I did it! Yesterday the kids picked up after doing some school while I put most of the newsletter together. After Bible Study I finished it in time to email it to DH and he did get the copies made. I'm very pleased with it. I don't include pictures like the previous person, its not as pretty. But because we read different things and live 1/2 hour away have different interests, etc. it does have a unique tone. I do wish more people contributed but I'm starting to get the teens writing for us again.
Bible Study was really nice. We were one family short but my yard wasn't flooded so I was able to let the kids play in the yard. It was far more peaceful because they were much happier.
It can be hard to convince a busy mom to join the Bible Study. 'How is doing one more thing going to help? I need to fold clothes and buy groceries not sit for tea!'
Then they try it, oh the peace! No we aren't the most studious group. But we try like Martha's sister Mary to chose they better part, before returning to all those necessities.
Our questions focused on our talents and lack of talents. That we are a Beloved Daughter for Who we are and because of Who brought us into being. Our lack of talents does not mean we are not loved. Strangely none of us felt like we are good at cooking yet that's one of our jobs. (Bake sure! especially chocolate but we aren't supposed to serve that for dinner!)
Our talents are gifts not only for ourselves but also for our family and community. I mentioned the perspective my teens are finally starting to get at the joy of using a talent. It has always been hard for my family when I go somewhere to use a talent: choir practice, meetings etc. It can be very hard to determine when I should still go to these and when I should give them up for family time.
One of my talents is the energy boost I get when I am enthusiastic about a new project. It can create problems though. I can be so enthused I don't see the problems to be worked around, or the toes I'm stepping on, or I run out of energy when we get past the fun part and never finish.
I am easily tempted by discouragement and despair when things are difficult. I have to remember whose tools those are. I try to hang on to my mother's words: "Seek out Joy! It defeats sad and is better than happy." D. E. Murphy

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Today I will be disciplined.

I will write the Homeschool newsletter quickly and well FIRST.
I will patiently ask the children to help get the house ready for Bible Study.
I will make sure we occuply the children so little ones don't get hurt.
I will remember I am a Beloved Daughter of the King!

and I will try to believe.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fear, Failure, and the Feminine

'Perfect loves casts out all fear' 1 John 4:18 but I struggle to live in that Truth. Fear seems to control me now even as it did when I was younger. My latest revelation that I'm still a woos has been my attempt to get in shape. I do not exercise. I do not want to wear sweats, or to sweat. I want to sit for tea not glug down a water bottle. I like fabulously high heels and despise sneakers. I don't always connect being inshape with being feminine.
Seven kids later, with my Mum facing Osteoporosis, droopy parts and a bad knee, I have no choice. My husbands Valentine's gift was a Family membership to the YMCA. The idea was he could exercise, enjoy the steam for his bad sinuses and I could learn how to get in shape.
He is loving it, especially finding he can lift more than in High School.
I come home feeling horrible. Its not the stiff muscles. Not the sweat. Not the ugly sweats or sneakers. Its the fear.
Fear of looking stupid,(yes I know I'm in my 40's and not in High School anymore) Fear my clumsiness will get me sore, or make the knee worse, or I'll sprain my foot again--long story.
Fear that the hour out of the house will leave me 2 hours behind. That most of all.
You see last night I couldn't get out till almost seven but my husband asked if I'd be home for tucking. He did not mean, "Be home for tucking or they'll be miserable because you weren't here, so I'll be miserable and needy when you get home and tomorrow they'll be clingy and unhelpful" but I was afraid that was exactly what would happen so I started to rush.
Of course there was no parking close the door and its not the best neighborhood. And they had a sign that there was no hot water today. I can't get through the turnstyle fast enough after putting my card in. My chart was lost so I had to try and remember how to set the machines and start a new chart. It was crowded. I decided not to do a cool down bike ride since the warm up just about killed me only to find I couldn't remember the lock combination. 10 minutes later I stumbled home to find my self feeling like PMS had hit again, my son had used up all our hot water and silly me had given up alcohol for Lent!
Then my husband learned how fun I am when I feel rushed, clumsy and stupid; when I feel fearful. Not Very Fun At All.
So this will not be a lesson in muscle development and cardio strengthening for me. No this will be about conquering my fears. Somehow I must love myself enough to go even when its hard for everyone else. I must love my family and esp. DH enough to come home happy I got out, proud that I tried. I must love this life I was graced with and the God who calls me his Beloved Daughter to stay healthy and strong and happy even if that's work.
Mum says, "Seek out Joy! Its better than happy and it defeats sad" Maybe that's what I need to focus on for now. Joy.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Beauty and the Beast

Thursday night was the opening of the High School musical and it was wonderful! When my daughter was 2 the Disney version came out and one of my daughter's nicknames became LissaBelle and it stuck. She looks like Belle, reads like Belle, dreams like Belle, encourages us but no she did not play Belle. That part went to a senior who did a really lovely job.
No my beauty played Chip and she was FUNNY. Every line, expression, giggle perfect. Best of all she had fun.
At this High School, musicals have become a major event; a tool the teacher use to build teamwork and spirit. The whole community gets involved and the students push themselves to new heights each year.
My graduating son has been on the tech crew every year. He knows sound but loves lighting. The day of the second show- Friday- he got his first acceptance letter, to the college he wants, in their new Theater Arts major. I actually expect him to end up writing plays, advertisements or maybe producing. He really found something to be passionate about doing.
Sunday was the last showing, a matinee. We brought my husband's boss and her husband then had them over for dinner. It was our first time entertaining a higher up at all! It went over well because she is so nice but also because a High School show gave us so many things to discuss besides work.
At the end of the show all the Seniors were recognized so my son actually went on stage! He really prefers to hide in back. I've know these kids for a few years now and it was really a special moment for them.
No rest for the weary though. This week the drama teacher will begin auditions for Arsenic and Old Lace. I've been helping him with costumes the past few years and he's been hoping to do this for a long time. It will really bring out the crowds.
And who knows, maybe next year my Beauty will have the lead and my Beast will be designing at college?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Things Spring

The first day of Spring! Praise the Lord!

Not that it looks like spring around here. The children's colds aren't worse but more of them have it. We still have a lot of snow from our St. Pat's storm... in fact we can't park in front of the house because the plow came by early before someone moved their car and plowed them in. Either the person is away, ill, or too embarrassed to be seen digging it out 3 days later. Either way, we are stuck with it for a while.

Spring Cleaning takes on special meaning this week. For the first time we are entertaining my husband's boss. Not only have we never done this at his other jobs but he's only been at this company a year. It looks like they are grooming him to take her sons spot when she eventually retires so we have officially moved up to the 'entertainment is necessary' stage of life. I'm surprised at how it all happened so fast. She and her husband are so nice.... kind, committed Christians, who expect their employees to put family first even as they work hard.
So we are taken them to our children's High School show-- Beauty and the Beast-- Then my husband will serve his famous Baked Salmon, Yummmy! I just have to clean, make side dishes, and get a sitter. Could be worse.

The rest of spring cleaning will happen in stages. Holy Week will involve sorting spring clothes, shoes, cleaning out closets and drawers etc. After Easter will involve the yard and the school supplies. By the end of May I'll be packing up every duplicate or unnecessary item in the kitchen and dining room and creating a temporary kitchen in the dining room so we can remodel. I am so excited!
In our old house we had a Galley kitchen. It was very small but well planned. as the family grew we put a freezer in the basement with some shelves for extra paper goods and that worked for a while. Finally after 12 years we stole a small amount of the Living room to expand just enough to build in a dishwasher and hide the messy kitchen. 3 months after finishing we found out a friend was remarrying and offered to buy his house, a 4 bedroom, 8 room Victorian in my old neighborhood. He agreed.
Its a wonderful home. I'm just blocks from my mother, our church, the store. The oldest go to my Alma Mater. The neighborhood has loads of kids and parks and dogs and gramma-types. Our friend had done lots of work on the house. We redid one bathroom he hadn't gotten to, upgraded the basement electric, finished repointing the foundation, some outside work and a fence, then built a huge bedroom in the attic. Last year we made the porch safe and beautiful and replaced the waterheater.
The kitchen is the last big project. Being a Victorian its a project because there are 5 doorways and almost no walls. (to the basement, pantry, study, dining room and back exit) One redo by our friends ex-wife involved a bad floor, popcorn ceiling (can't clean it) and 3 feet of cabinets. The only benefit is the pantry but to do what we want we must eliminate that as well as close of the door to the study.
Our goal is to spend as little as possible. I managed to buy a complete cabinet set from an expensive home's remodel at The ReStore: a non-profit re-use it center. The 5 uppers 4 lowers and pantry only cost $600! All that I need to do is paint them.
We are not replacing any appliances but are setting up to replace the stove with built ins ASAP. We will build in our portable dishwasher and put in plumbing so someday we can have a fridge with water and ice. The floor will be commercial tile like you see in schools. We tried it in the attic first. Now they are not covered in wax but in a polymer that is a breeze to keep clean!
Style is my last priority. The cabinets will be a cool blue, aqua most likely, which was original to the cabinets. Walls and floors will be white. Backslash will probably be whatever tile I can get at The ReStore. Decoration will be the food and the cooks: my kids, the boyfriend whose family on both sides are chef's, my husband. I'm too short to clean things on the walls anyway;)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

First Things First

After a very crazy weekend, (7 kids, parade weekend, plumbing issues and colds starting all around) I'm going to limit my post to what I eventually want to accomplish here:

Decide whether I am capable of, or called to, creating a web page for a group I help run.
Review books I'm reading and process what I get out of them.
Evaluate the value of the time I spend on the internet.
Record the history of our family as I've been unable to do with crafty, tedious things like scrapbooking.
Discuss the restructuring of our diocese: both the hope and the fear.
See how open I 'really' am to hearing comments and criticism.
Explore this new, post-baby world I'm entering.
Adsense or no?

And mostly, I hope, to pray more and let the Spirit move me more each day.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Marraige Meme

My friend at My Thoughtful Spot was tagged to do this so I decided it would be a great second post.I have to say DH is my Very best friend and I don't tell him often enough.

1. Where/How did you meet? at the pool at age 13
2. How long have you known each other? nearly 30 years!
3. How long after you met did you start dating? immediately for 1 year, then again in High School.
4. How long did you date before you were engaged? 6 years
5. How long was your engagement? almost 3 years; was supposed to be 2
6. How long have you been married? 20 years
7. What is your anniversary? 8/9/86
8. How many people came to your wedding reception? About 150 ?
9. What kind of cake did you serve? Atkins farms-with fresh flowers on top
10. Where was your wedding? Holy Cross
11. What did you serve for your meal? Ham for adults, Happy Meal for the kids-- lts of them!
12. How many people were in your wedding party? a maid of honor, a best man, 4 bridesmaids, 4 ushers, a sister carrying the new family bible, 1 to sing
13. Are you still friends with them all? unfortunately no
14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony? yes
15. Most special moment of your wedding day? Msgr. and DH's uncle discovering each other... they were childhood playmates!
16. Any funny moments? DH getting tired of Goodbyes delaying the honeymoon; He scooped me up an ran me out to the car through the crowd.
17. Any big disasters? I later heard the hall had a flood in the basement but they didn'y let it become my problem.
18. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Northern VT ski lodge in summer; very private
19. How long were you gone? one week
20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? get along better with the Moms
21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?: Left
22. What size is your bed? full
23. Greatest strength as a couple? communication
24. Greatest challenge as a couple? my moods
25. Who literally pays the bills? Jeff
26. What is your song? Your Song Elton John
27. What did you dance your first dance to? Same but first actual song the DJ played was Celebration!
28. Describe your wedding dress: White satin, square neck, daisy and pearl appliques, tiered skirt. Made it myself. with Mom's veil re done with fresh lace edging.
29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? Irises and daisies
30. Are your wedding bands engraved? Yes with the date we supposed to get married the year before!
How old were you when you got married? We were both 21.

Friday, March 16, 2007

New to Blogging

This is my first attempt at blogging and considering how many journals I have burned so no one will read them this is either very brave or not thought through well. I expect to use this to think through decisions about our homeschool, ideas from our Bible Study and who knows what else. Hopefully I will capture and remember the interesting things my children do rather than ignoring them so I'll say good bye to start school......
And Hello who any who join me along the way.