Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"Day by day I must learn to abandon myself; to keep myself available for whatever He, the Lord needs of me at a given moment, even if other things seem more appealing and more important to me: it means giving life, not taking it. It is in this very way that we experience freedom: freedom from ourselves, the vastness of being. In this very way, by being useful, in being a person whom the world needs, our live becomes important and beautiful. Only those who give up their own life find it. Let us entrust ourselves to Jesus, the True Shepherd."
~Pope Benedict XVI, Sunday, May 3, 2009 magnificat
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
and hello to wordpress.
i am happy with the move.
it kinda feels like spring cleaning.
my new place is fresh, clean,
i don't know how long it
will stay that way.
but follow me there if
you can join me in the newest
chapter of my blogging journey.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
reading this story tonight and finding out
i read that
"February arrives cold, wet and gray, her gifts disguised
for only the most discerning spirits to see..."
so i guess that means i have not been "discerning" enough
to find her gifts.
but i thank God for the gift of HIS grace
and for the gift of children.
because i cannot imagine my life without either of them.
and without their help, one might never find
the gifts which are in every day!
yesterday as i was mulling over all the things i had written,
wishing perhaps i hadn't said so much, but i felt so
grateful for all of the generous hearts who took the time
out of their busy days to respond.
and though i didn't answer any of the comments
i went over each one carefully and i came to the conclusion
that you are all so great!!
death is such a hard thing to talk about for adults, but especially with children.
when my two cousins were murdered, it was not at all like dealing with natural death.
it was so hard to even find the right words to tell them what had happened, much
less talk about it in the days, weeks and months that followed.
murder has a way of striking fear into the hearts of even the most trusting and faithful person.
probably one of the most difficult things, aside from losing people that we dearly loved,
was that the girls were killed 7 months apart and so there was still such an open,
gaping wound in our hearts, which for me, as an adult to try and comprehend was difficult enough.
but the children, had been so sheltered.
i had kept them away from the world all these years yet there it was right on my doorstep, demanding to be let in, bringing all its' ugliness with it.
i know not everything in the world is bad, but tragedy has a way of making it seem so.
tragedy tries to steal from us that sweet, gentle peace, which, as Christians, should always be present in our lives, no matter what.
at times, wallowing in my own grief, i was blinded to my childrens' needs and the day it hit me the hardest was while unpacking my daughters' things to put in her new room-we moved here over the summer of '08-when i came across a small hello kitty notepad.
and knowing that she uses these for her diary-being only 9 she has not yet discovered how to "lock" away her deepest, darkest thoughts as girls so often do-i opened it.
and as i flipped through the notepad much to my surprise she had pages upon pages of names of all the people in our family who had died and little drawings surrounding each name representing things she knew from me which each person liked to do or memories she had shared with them at a particular time during their earthly life. this little girl had already seen so much death in her short life and i didn't even realize how it was affecting her.
i am her mother, her teacher, yet i had missed all this?
how could i have been so neglectful.
it seemed so easy to shush her all those times she cried and force her along the path to healing.
when i wasn't even healed.
tears don't come easy for me, so why should they for her either.
how wrong i was.
in retrospect i realize how vital it is for children to realize that those whom we have loved and lost in this life have not been annihilated.
they still live on in eternity and they need our prayers and sacrifices,
for their purification and sometimes even ours.
this is not a professional opinion by any means.
these are just the thoughts of a mother who has hurt and who has seen her children and her family hurting.
my heart will always ache for my aunt, especially, who lost all 3 of her children.
all of them tragically taken from her.
her mother's heart forever broken as she struggles to sift through those broken pieces, to lift herself up out of the wreckage of her life and raise her two grandchildren.
how could anyone ever comprehend that?
i certainly don't have all of the answers.
yet the question remains, how do we, as loving parents, teach not only ourselves, but our children to cope with death?
it is simple: we don't.
Mother Angelica writes:" We don't have the power over life and death, but we do have the power to choose good instead of evil and to do the will of God."
the Holy Scriptures remind us that "it is a good and holy thing to pray for the dead" so that they may be loosed from their sins.
and so what have i learned from all of this?
well, i am more careful now.
i don't just shush the tears away.
i am careful to watch, not only for more notes, but for signs that something is wrong.
but most importantly i will try my hardest to teach her and the boys that there is power in our suffering here on this earth.
power made perfect in the sufferings of Jesus Christ.
and that we are made strong in HIM.
and that our life goal is to find HIS will in all things.
and together we can send fear on his way
even when something terrible happens......................
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
i think the rain makes me feel this way.
cold, distant, thoughtful.
and then i read such encouraging, hopeful things and i am reminded that the internet is a tool, just like any other tool and as long as it is used wisely, there shouldn't be a problem.
i mean, i wouldn't sit in front of the bread maker or my alarm clock and stare at it all day, mindlessly clicking the hours away while the laundry piles up and the kids forage thru the fridge for their own food, now would i?
i guess the hardest thing is delegation of time.
there is always so much to be done.
things like making monkey bread and reading story after story.
but then again i need to write, it is so healing for me.
it is natural, kind of like breathing.
i know i am not a very good writer, by writing standards, i am much better at breathing.
but then again writing is only one of the many hats i wear,
i am not being paid to write and luckily i have a day job.
i don't want this to be a whiny post, wherein i complain about all of the injustices in my small life, because when i sit here and think about what is right, there is so, so much that is right.
however, there are things i want to say.
even if just to get them off my chest,
sending them into cyber space so that they'll bother me no more.
the sadness of this recent tragedy, is probably what really got me thinking again.
you know how those serious thoughts come and go, the ones about life and death.
i found these things in one of my journals, i am not sure how old they are.
they are probably from about 3 years or so ago.
they are not my words, of course, but they went along with what i was
feeling at the time and so i wrote them down.
i guess loss has a way of coloring our worldview many different colors.
sometimes grey and even black.
and sometimes it even manifests itself in things like me screaming, "the kids can't eat red dye #4o because don't you know that it causes cancer in laboratory rats?" and then suddenly i am the bad one. the mom who won't let them eat poisonous popsicles from the ice cream man or hot cheetos. the mom who tries to convince them that Joe's O's taste the same as cheerios and that's that! the mom who is no fun because danger lurks around every corner and in every box......it lurks in your sleep, when you cross the street, in gum and microwaves.......
but i wonder if they will ever understand me.
because my reasons behind my method of thought are painful ones.
Monday, February 9, 2009
owl always love you
don't forget to visit here for more daybook fun.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
so off i go to make him a white-texas sheet cake-
it is his FAVORITE cake in the whole wide world.
it probably has more calories than all the cakes in the whole wide world too.
i chose this LIFE............
and i don't ever want to imagine what kind of life i would've had without him.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
one of my students sprouted his wings as a writer.
you may have a student like this, he is the reluctant one,
the one who reads later than the rest.
he takes longer to learn
his multiplication tables and he pretty much despises any
kind of structured learning.
he is the middle child.
not the oldest, not the baby and not the only girl.
it has always been hard for him to find his place.
not just with regards to school, but in life.
he is the stubborn one.
the one who makes my blood pressure
rise every time we have some sort of confrontation about
not putting forth his best effort or paying attention.
he is the one that made me doubt whether or not i should
even be homeschooling at all.
he is the reason i searched feverishly for different ideas about teaching.
it is because of him that i found out that not all children are auditory learners,
which you'd think i'd know, because i am not one either.
yet he is the one with the neatest handwriting.
he is the first one to put his boots on and lead me outdoors.
he is the one with an artistic eye and a gentle heart,
he can quite often be seen following the shadow of another
small boy, his little brother.
he has his ears tuned to the birds that frequent our yard
and constantly comes inside with descriptive narratives
of things he has seen as he peruses the property,
pellet gun in hand and camera in his pocket.
the assignment was simple enough:
write me a paragraph about our day at nannie and papa's yesterday.
make it in chronological order, starting with breakfast,
which were yummy "mamacakes".
pay attention to punctuation and spelling and i will help you
with paragraph structure later.
he is in the sixth grade, this should be no problem you say.
well, not for my boy.
this is usually a most painful process,
ending with discouragement on his end
and disappointment on mine.
disappointment in myself because maybe i have
not been the best teacher.
maybe he needed special ed.
maybe i wasn't patient enough.
but in the end it was because
he just wasn't ready,
he hadn't sprouted those wings.
but today he did
and it happened so much like all of the rest of his
"learning", very out of the blue, quite naturally
almost as if he'd always written this way.
beautifully constructed sentences, colorful adjectives,
very well written feelings and emotions about what
he did, what he saw, tasted, touched and felt.
and all i can say is
i am one PROUD mama bird!
my kids have taken this project much farther then i ever thought they would.
i'll upload all of their birds on flickr when i get a chance, but i am so impressed
with the bluebirds, woodpeckers, cygnets, crows, hummingbirds
and yes, even a flamingo with sunglasses on, that have all come out of
their imaginations, with just a little felt, some pom-poms and glue.
this duckling and chick don't have eyes, but beads and glitter glue
work just fine in case you'd like yours to be able to see.
and if you love usborne books, like we do, the usborne books for beginners
are great. they have links here where you can look up the book you
are reading and play, read or watch online activities pertaining to the book.
great pictures of baby birds.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
the back cover reads:
"in the past a woman's spirituality has been separated from her lifestyle.
SIMPLE ABUNDANCE shows you how your daily life
can be an expression of your authentic self...
as you choose the tastiest vegetables from your garden,
search for treasures at flea markets,
establish sacred space in your home for meditation,
and follow the rhythm of the seasons of the year."
does this sound like a good read or what?
well, we are off to the mountains to do some school.
hoping to enjoy some simple abundance.
a visit to nannie and papa's mountain home
always does each of us some good.
the little ones will be bird watching and doing watercolors,
me~i want to finish my
and my husband is taking the big boys on a hike.
they found a bedding area of a
deer family on their last hike.
they saw a mama, her baby doe
and a buck, all tucked in for the night
my prayer for you today is
that you'll find some simple abundance
in your little corner of the world too.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Oh, who will cry out for YOU, to tell everyone how faithful
YOU are to Your friends!
All things fail; You, Lord of all, never fail!
It seems, Lord, You try with rigor the person who loves You
so that in extreme trial she might understand the greatest extreme of Your love.
All fails me, my Lord; but if You do not abandon me, I will not fail You.
Let all learned men rise up against me, let all created things persecute me,
let the devils torment me; do not You fail me, Lord, for I already have
experience of the gain that comes
from the way You rescue the one who trusts in you alone.
~St. Teresa of Avila
i stumbled upon this site the other day while looking for some activities to do while we read these two books.
there is also a link way at the bottom of the page that seems like it could be useful.
as you can see one is for my pre-schooler and the other is for my middle kids.
but both of them seem to be appealing to all of my students.
i know the "content" standards are for california, but if you are not in a charter, those things won't matter anyway.
just thought i'd share the info.
it is kind of nice to stumble upon free lessons that have already been planned and use them to your advantage.
and it makes less work for mama, which means i can plan crafts and activities instead!
so off i go to make way for some pom-pom ducklings......
Monday, February 2, 2009
you all know that song from the carpenters'.
rainy days and mondays.
and yes, they both tend to get me down.
especially if either falls on a day when the house is a wreck.
i don't know why, but when the house is a wreck i am a wreck.
even though my sinful nature fights against forcing myself to clean,
i am SO much happier when everything is well-ordered.
which is probably why i was so unhappy this cheerful, bright and sunny day.
i did actually do a lot on saturday but practically nothing yesterday.
so how could a woman, who woke up and spent some quiet time with her Lord,
her husband home from work today, all her children safe,
healthy and snug in their beds, be so grumpy and ungrateful, you say.
well, i guess that's just life sometimes.
so after feeling sorry for myself i got up from where i was sitting,
made breakfast, fixed my hair, dressed and left to my two favorite thrift stores.
i know you all probably went to mass.
i couldn't because my kids are still fighting colds and mass is over an hour-one way- away.
and so we will have to settle for a small candlelit celebration in our little domestic church.
i am particularly feeling drawn to the feast today because as you all know i have chosen the sorrowful mother as my patron saint this year and simeon's words are resonating in my ears...
"and a sword shall pierce your heart.........."
my mind keeps going back to yesterday and how i eyed an almost 15 year old boy, my boy, attempt to drink alcohol at the super-bowl party we attended.
i am trying to understand why he did it when he knew i was watching him.
what was he trying to tell me? help me.....stop me......set some boundaries for me.
he wasn't really being sneaky, yet he was.
and so i stopped him. i gladly set the boundaries.
but needless to say, a sword pierced my heart.
i know that it is not the same sword that pierced our Blessed Mother's heart by any means.
and unlike the mother of james and john
i am not even asking our Lord that my son sit at His right or left in the kingdom of heaven.
i am simply just wondering how i am going to manage to help my children get to heaven in a world gone wrong.
a world filled with temptations and lies calling out from every which way, attempting to lead these souls, whom I have been entrusted with, to an eternity where they might possibly be separated from God.
a phone call to one of my dearest friends, who also has a teenager, quickly made me feel better.
these are good kids, her daughter and my son.
we have raised them well.
i thought i did all the right things.
natural birth, breastfeeding, bed sharing, tons of stories,
laughing, loving, cuddling, nurturing.
he has been taught the faith, received the sacraments.
she wonders if it is because they have money and maybe the world is starting to creep in.
her husband is a faithful catholic doctor, he catechizes the children on a regular basis.
i wonder if it is because we haven't always had a lot of money and maybe staying with my
fun-loving-functioning-yet still-alcoholic husband has been a bad influence.
i have always been faithful, but maybe i haven't done enough........
i could go on and on, but i won't because the what ifs are endless.
my life, just as yours, is what it is.
if it were a recipe, it might read like this:
one ton of undeserved-pre-packaged blessings.
3/4 cups remnants of past mistakes
1/2 of which turned out for the better because there is a God and He loves me
1/4 part slivers from the Cross
(some of which seem so unfair and heavy at times)
1/4 temptations, emotions and struggles
(all sent to me from Him)
because He knows that if i continue to trust in HIM,
hands folded in prayer, heart pierced with a sword,
i just might make it to the "well done" part.
you know, the one where HE tells me well done good and faithful servant
and these mondays will go with me into eternity.
after a little time in the fires of purgatory of course.
i'll wear them as my badge.
and by now......
there is a checker tournament going on under the peppertree,
a wooden box that needs to be built for the pansies,
strawberries dying to get into the ground, if you know what i mean.
and i am just glad that it's not a rainy day!
p.s. i hope you find happiness
and peace wherever you are.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
well, in order to keep myself from rambling, here goes:
1. sorry i haven't completed the tote meme, but i went to that retreat monday and tuesday night, then yesterday morning i went to mass and was blessed to receive the apostolic blessing, which felt exhilarating.
2. i have 4 sick kids. nothing too serious, but 4 runny noses and 4 different coughs equal lots of vicks, tissues, stories, chicken soup and well, i am sure you all know.
3. i am still struggling with this pain in my back/neck and i truly feel sorry for people with chronic pain.
4. for christine- i don't capitalize my "i" because this is sort of like my diary. there aren't any grammar rules here. it is funny that you said this because that is the first thing my kids noticed when they saw me writing here and they know what a punctuation psycho i am. i do, however, worry about the Good Lord's name. i don't mind reaching for caps lock for HIS sake.
5. yesterday at Mass i couldn't help but think about the people who don't kneel for the consecration or for Holy Communion. the church i attended for the retreat is a novus ordo church, not a chapel, like i usually go to, but it does have the indult Mass and is very reverent in every way. the communion rail is still in place and most every one kneels for the consecration, however, i am curious about those who don't participate, those who'd rather lean forward in a truly awkward manner, to receive their KING. i don't want to step on toes if you don't do either of these things, but my feeling on this is, it is common courtesy to bow to a king, is it not? then how could we do any less for OUR LORD? is it a matter of preference? something decided by the bishops? or is it something that has to do with the individual? i know that just because the very thought of HIM coming to me brings me to my knees, it might not be that way for everyone. i sort of imagine the magi and how they fell down worshipping the infant in the manger. and if we truly believe that the Host contains the same infant, why don't we ALL do the same thing.
so how is it for you? how do you receive HIM? you don't have to tell me if you don't want to. but i won't judge you, i promise.
6. i am very excited about doing a little planting around here. i've been itching to get my hands dirty. the soil is nice and soft from the rain and i think it is calling to me.
7. i am having trouble ending this unit on birds. there is so much to learn, so many beautiful books and projects, but i do wish we could move on to california, i can't wait to do the missions. not just because of the field trips i want to take, but because this state does have some great history.
8. i am in a cooking rut. i really need to plan some meals and go to the store with a written list. yesterday i felt so lost, wandering around without a plan. as hard as it is to plan all the details of my life, when i don't plan, i always regret it. even if i don't stick to my plans.
9. i have to mail the flowers for the craft swap. i heard yesterday that yoda is on his way. they are finished, but just need to get packaged and sent off.
10. well, i have much to do today, so this is me, signing off, for now anyway.
ps. sarah(JOT) i am not posting the pretzel recipe, but king arthur has the greatest recipes. i love their flour and you can choose from many types of pretzels there. we prefer soft pretzels, but you many not.
the heart rag is coming along very nicely, i decided just to tie the ends together. somehow the huge ball of rag yarn i had isn't going very far and i don't know when i'll have a chance to cut more strips, though.
barb, i'd love to try a basket. i've had a basket or a bowl in my mind for quite some time, just haven't found the right twine i'd like to use, maybe the rag strips would be better-in browns and neutrals...........
jenn, my daughter has a little rag rug for her doll house that my mom made and it is adorable. of course she has everything in a vintage/cottage style. and i forgot to ask you if you've gone to see swan lake yet. i am such a dummy because i told you i'd never seen it and i just remembered yesterday, on my way home from ontario, that i HAVE seen it. i saw it last summer at the redlands bowl, performed by the santa barbara street ballet. i also saw a midsummer nights' dream and madame butterfly as well. all were spectacular productions. i am glad that i was reminded of those memories. sometimes i..........wonder where my brain goes! maybe that's what i'll change my blog title to!! =)
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
to have this priest just close enough
to go and listen to his talks
every night for the next three nights.
you may've seen him on EWTN before.
he is the one with those penetrating sermons
that hit you where it hurts.
and believe me,
i need to be hit where it hurts!