Saturday, February 14, 2009

saying good-bye

to blogger that is.
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'd like.
you can join me in the newest
chapter of my blogging journey.

Friday, February 13, 2009

home is where the hearts are

happy st. valentine's day

Thursday, February 12, 2009

whiskers on kittens

these are a few of my favorite things.............
little boys with curly hair and long eyelashes
bringing plants-lilies from our old house, violets and irises-
from nana's yard to start the generational garden

gardening with my very own root children

discovering charlottes' web

spotting two new nests in the yard

reading this story tonight and finding out
that these root children were painting lady bugs too!
thank you sarah sunshine for making us think happy thoughts today.
and since shelly came out of her funk i can go to bed even happier!
it's 11:18 and all is well.

when something terrible happens

sorry i've been such a wet blanket these past few days.
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

good grief

i am kind of in a funk right now with regards to blogging.
i feel like i am at a stand-still.
like i don't know where i want this to go or if i even want it to keep going.
i know the blog world will continue to run its' course without me.

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.

and i realize that these are the things that have been weighing me down and making me blue.
so if you don't mind crawling inside my head, here i go again:
"stay awake and be ready! for you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
alleluia, alleluia.
in all truth I tell you whoever keeps my word will never see death."
"our lot in this life is to live always in fear. perfect assurance is possible to no one.
God wishes us to glorify Him by a self-abandonment full of faith and love. it is the tribute of which HE is most jealous."

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 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.

and if we are caring people, which most of us are, we cannot help being affected by the pain and sadness of others.
and i am such a person.
and perhaps i feel it even more as i contemplate my own litany of lost lives.
the ones that have made my life a lot emptier than it could have been.
the ones who are missing from thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
the ones whose absences seem to taint the very food we eat as a cloud of sadness settles over the room, making everything so sorrowful and tragic.
and i, perhaps selfishly, ponder "what could've been.........."
the first time i tried to write this post, i went through each name.
i listed them and the things i remembered most about each one.
but the list was so long that i thought it might not even seem believable
that there are so many.
and then i realized it was too personal and names wouldn't matter to you,
the reader, because you did not know them.
but here i am again.
trying to do this again because they mattered to me and if you'll just bear with me because i am sure that your own life is filled with some, if not many who do matter to you.
however, since i don't want to tell anyone what to do,
instead i will kindly suggest that you try your hardest not to take the ones you love for granted because none of us know when it is time.
and by this, i mean time to go.
the timing wherein we each come and go into and out of this world is shrouded in mystery,
much like the God who decides our plight.
and i can honestly say that it doesn't matter whether death is sudden and unprovided or a slow and prolonged process.
it is never easy to say good-bye.
how can we ever be ready to say good-bye to someone we have loved.
someone who had laughing eyes and a dancing smile.
to someone who had the softest shoulder to lay your head on
or wrote you the sweetest, encouraging letters.
or worse yet, someone tiny and helpless --someone-- who never even had a chance at life.
no, saying good-bye is never easy.
but i must say that the only thing that even slightly eases the pain of losing a loved one is knowing that they were living a life pleasing to God.
because whether or not we believe,
"no man can cheat death",
and one day, each of us will stand before Him
and render an account of our lives, the lives we were given.
and there is NOTHING worse,
than to hear the words, "go away from Me, I never knew you........."
just imagining that those are the words that will echo in your ears for all of eternity
sends chills down my spine.
so while grief can be good, it is not healthy to dwell on these things for too long.
i firmly believe darkness is a tool that helps us to see the LIGHT when we might otherwise not notice.
kind of like the way that one who has always grown a garden might not check EVERY SINGLE DAY to see if seedling have sprouted.
sometimes the most obvious things are the hardest to see.
but it is so lovely to see THE LIGHT shining on a dark faith,
in a dark world.
illuminating the truth and making what was hidden, seen.
so pray always.
pray to God, His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
enlist the help of the Blessed Mother, your angel guardian and all the saints.
"But because many make it more their study to know than to live well, therefore are they often deceived, and bring forth none, or very little fruit....Verily, when the day of judgement comes, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done; nor how learnedly we have spoken, but how religiously we have lived." ~thomas a kempis, my imitation of CHRIST
ps. i actually have some really cheerful things to share if i can get around to posting them and please forgive the quirky format of these posts lately. blogger seems to do whatever it wants, regardless of what i want and so i am contemplating moving to wordpress or typepad.
i mean it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

for today

outside my's raining, it's pouring and clouds, wind and MUD abound.

i am thinking..............about whether i should wake the kids up or not. it is 7:45 a.m.

i am thankful for................heat, warm blankets and my cup of brewing tea-green tea with yerba mate, milk and honey.

from the schoolroom..............math, dictation, spelling and reading aloud The Trumpet of the Swan. the middle kids have photography and art class this afternoon.

in the chocolate, toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast.

i am wearing...........leopard pj pants and a black long-sleeved shirt.

i am creating............something for a little peach, a few things for valentine's day, lacy linen napkins.

i am clean my room and do some sewing this afternoon.

i am reading..............simple abundance and the imitation of Christ.

i am slight headache goes away, it feels kind of like a sinus headache.
i am hearing................raindrops, the hum of the heater, goats bleating(?) (from the neighbors' yard), birds playing in the rain, the click of the keyboard and a little boy snoring in my bed.

around the house..........the laundry is under control, the front room is tidy (we picked it up last night before bed), the schoolroom needs a little bit of work and there are a few dishes, but not too many.

one of my favorite who entertain themselves despite the rainy, gloomy weather.

a few plans for the rest of the week............make and send valentines, deep clean the boy's room, trip to the snow, make chocolate dipped marshmallows, plant a few more irises, lilies and some daisies, go see inkheart.

here are two picture thoughts i am sharing.............

owl always love you

don't forget to visit here for more daybook fun.