Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dog Days of Summer


Outside my window...
Dark.  It's 10 p.m.  When I walked the dog at 7:30 p.m., I thought it was delightfully cool.  By the end of the mile it felt simply muggy.

I am thinking...
About my mom.  5 years ago Saturday.  Most of the time I'm fine, but this week I don't seem to be able to shake the overwhelming feeling of sadness that pervades everything.  I'm busy, but not crazy busy, so I don't think that's why I feel the way I do.

I'm thinking about my sweet mom, but I'm definitely NOT thinking about the fact that my oldest child is Moving Out.  Yes, she's gone to college and been gone for long stretches of time, and she's been a college graduate for a year.  But she has been living in my basement, and even though I don't restrict her comings and goings, she has been HERE.  But in 2 weeks, she won't be.  She'll be officially On Her Own.

I am thankful...
For all my blessings.  Just don't ask me what I'm thankful for early in the morning, because it's really hard to think of things then!

From the learning rooms...
Ugh.  Not thinking about that either.  I told you, we're just going to open the books next Thursday (is that the 8th? or the 9th?) and see what the Mother of Divine Grace Syllabus says to do.  And we'll do it....if we have the books.

In the kitchen...
The bane of my existence.

I am knitting...
My black shawl/chapel veil which suits my mood perfectly.

I am going...
Here, there, and everywhere, and lots of places in between.

I am hoping...
For a better state of mind starting August 5, at least through my birthday, until the stress of the Move hits me.

I am looking forward to...
Getting back into a routine.  I can do without all the work that Back to School brings with it, but it also brings a routine that my soul craves right now.

I am hearing on my ipod...
I'm up to date on all my favorite Catholic podcasts, so it was Jimmy Moore Asks the Low-Carb Experts all day today, which were great, but I really could have used the soothing tones of Pat Gohn in my ears!

Around the house...
Laundry that I don't have time to do.  A nightmare of a wingback chair that needs a slipcover which I am not quite capable of giving it.  God willing, through the intercession of St. Anne, tomorrow I'll have an epiphany and figure out how to cover the arms!

One of my favorite things...
Sitting on the deck with a cool breeze blowing and a refreshing drink in my hand, while I read an engrossing book.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Slipcovering nightmares, piano, Happy 26th anniversary, sewing or knitting for fun.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Thinking of ways to cheer me up!

Hosted by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What Time is It?

Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? 

Lately, I've been pre-occupied with thoughts that time is running out. It could be due to my looming birthday in the next couple of weeks---I'm not turning 50 yet, but I'm getting there! Another factor could be the 5th anniversary of my mother's death next week. God rest her soul. She passed away at 69 with so many things left that she wanted to do.  I also wonder lately if I'm doing all that God is calling me to.

Do you have a To Do list? There's the daily To Do list: things that need to be done in our busy lives. There's the To Be Read pile, whether for pleasure or for work. There's the Bucket List: things you want to do before you die. I don't have one of those, just a bunch of crafty projects that I'd like to do in my spare time, and never have time to get to to my satisfaction. Ok, that's not true: there is a list of things I want to do, if the kids grow up or we win the lottery, like walk the Camino de Santiago, but I don't think of it as a Bucket List.

The other day, a friend expressed her concerns about her kids' activities for the coming year. I have the same issue, and no matter how I try to keep it manageable, sometimes events will conflict and cause stress. I've learned, though, that it all works out somehow. When the time comes, all that needs to happen will happen, and the worry will have been pointless.

As I work my way through 33 Days to Morning Glory, and I try every day to put God first, I still worry about all those things I want and need to do. I worry about what is going on in our country and the rest of the world. I worry about my kids and their concerns.  I bet you thought I was going to say that the worries all evaporated! They don't evaporate, but following quickly on the heels of the negative thoughts is the sure knowledge that God is in charge and everything that needs to be done will be done. That is, everything on His To-Do list!  Whenever the negative thoughts assail me (as they are wont to do when you are a Melancholic temperament), I remember that God is constant.  All these other things will surely pass away, but God never will.  He is Love, and He never changes, so if I keep my focus on Him, I need not worry about anything else.  No matter what time it is.

Friday, July 27, 2012

7 Quirky Takes


I've just discovered that it's the end of July!  That means that the various schools start in less than 2 weeks!!  I am soooo not ready for school to start, despite the clown at Costco who said---in front of the 2 children I had with me---"I'll bet you can't wait for school to start!"  (What would he have said years ago when they were all 6 with me?)  Well, yes, sir, I can wait for school to start.  I enjoy having my children around.


But if we're being honest, I also don't want school to start because I have to teach it.  And I haven't done one lick of planning.  I expect I'll just open up the ol' syllabi and say, "Start with math" while I hunt around for all the other necessary books.  No, on second thought, we'll start with religion because God knows I need the help, and so do I.  So that's two subjects down; I feel better already!


Make that 3 subjects!  I just took a little break and signed up at BraveWriter.com for a monthly subscription to 2 of their language art programs.  They have great books on their lists, and I think Meg and Pip will enjoy them AND be challenged by them.


I printed out my sample voter's ballot this morning, and then checked the Georgia Right to Life website to see who they support.  There are a lot of judges on the ballot this go-round; that's no fun.  Most of them are unopposed, so the most you can do to show your displeasure in their rulings is to abstain.  That's sort of like slamming down a cell phone when you hang up.  


Another big wedding anniversary coming up next week.  They're pretty much all big from here on out, right?  After 25, it's all uphill!  What do you do to celebrate your anniversary?  For a couple of years, we spent all day at the movie theater seeing everything we wanted to, but since we are up-to-date on the blockbusters this year, and I think we'll have to spend the weekend moving someone into his new college apartment, I'm looking for other suggestions.  So far, the best I could come up with was, Oh hey, I won't have that AHG board meeting on The Big Day.


I think my burst of household-decluttering-energy was exactly that:  a burst.  And it's gone.  I spent 3 days in Meg's room while she was at summer camp getting it organized! After that, I couldn't face Pip's and I let him do it himself.  It took 3 days of nagging, but he got it done properly.  (Look!  Miracles still happen!)  Now they each have a calendar on their dresser with the 5 things they need to do every day:  keep things off the floor, keep things off the surfaces, put clothes in the hamper, put clothes in the drawers, keep things out of the closet (where they shove them to clear the floor).  They get a point for each of those during my random checks each day, and when they get to 150 they get a Mommy-date.  I want you to notice that I didn't even ask them to make their beds, just put things in their proper places.  Meg is the Queen of Putting Things Away Where They Don't Belong.  I ask you---why bother?  They are doing great so far, and I'm looking forward to going to the movies!


I'm drowning in books, here!  You'd think I was a Book Reviewer or something, but I have this huge TBR pile, and I don't know what to do with it.  All Melancholics are invited to tell me how they handle their To-Do lists and To-Be-Read piles.  Some of them have deadlines because of Book Club or an Actual Book Review to do, but most of them are just self-imposed requirements.  How do you organize your reading time?  It's funny I should ask because my big brother just reminded me the other day that we always got criticized for reading too much as children!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Musings

Monday mornings are a good time for just musing when you've had a really nice weekend, and the week dawns with black clouds over your head.

Yesterday was officially the last day at our parish of 16 years.  I could list a dozen (or more) complaints about the parish, but on reflection they all seem rather petty, until you add them up and get a church that is so far from the one we joined that we barely recognize it.  I hear all the time from people who say that the homily, the music, the building, etc. don't matter because they go there for Jesus.  I think that's wonderful that people can tune all that stuff out and just be present for Jesus, but we can't.  No matter how hard we have tried to adjust our attitudes, it isn't working.  We come home from Mass angry and frustrated.  And that is NOT how we're supposed to feel after Mass!  

So, we are moving to the parish whose boundaries we are in.  I know we can pray better there; the kids have friends there from school and Boy Scouts, and even from our neighborhood.  Our old parish was like a second home to us, and I hope the new one becomes that quickly.

Yesterday was the Last Day because I was scheduled to cantor, but all our other commitments were finished.  I was afraid that it was going to be another Mass of music that I dislike, but by the grace of God, they were all beautiful, reverent hymns that I enjoyed singing!  I half-wondered if that was a sign that we should stay, but then I realized that it was a gift that enabled me to tender my resignation gently and not with bad grace, which I probably would have done.

We went to see Spiderman on the spur of the moment yesterday, using Pete's free-tickets benefits.  As an extra perk, it was in 3D, which we hadn't anticipated!  People seem to be pretty divided over this one and the Toby Maguire franchise, but I think we're all firmly in the camp of Andrew Garfield, now.  

Dh and I saw Batman on Saturday, and I didn't enjoy that one as much as Spiderman.  Bruce Wayne does need to move on with his life and stop dwelling on the death of his parents.  OTOH, my enjoyment may have been tempered by the fact that I was pretty nervous sitting in the movie theater, especially once it started.  I said a couple of Hail Mary's and a prayer to my Guardian Angel, and after that I was able to relax.

Praying for my friend who just got out of surgery this morning...I just heard it went well, but a quick prayer from you for her speedy recovery would be appreciated!

And now, I'm going to see if I can deal with some of those black clouds over my head and shoo them away!  Have a great day, even if it is Monday.

Friday, July 20, 2012

7 Quick Takes

The 4 kids who are home all went to the midnight show to see Dark Knight Rises last night.  I heard them come in safely and go to bed around 3 a.m.  I am so sad to hear about the tragedy in Aurora, CO this morning!  I can't imagine what kind of desperation or hate drove the shooter to his actions.  He and the families will be in my prayers today.

Yesterday, my kids woke up after 10 a.m. having gone to bed at a reasonable 10-11 p.m.  I think I'll have the house to myself most of today since they went to bed after 3 a.m.!

Do you think they store up all this sleep to help them get through the school year?  I wish it worked that way!

In the summer of 1986, Mom and I were shopping for my wedding and she bought me 10 place settings of everyday china for a gift.  I've always loved it, and when the young 'uns came along and started breaking it, I bought a couple of sets of sturdier stoneware that I don't particularly love and packed away my beloved Blue Danube.  The time has finally come to put away the stoneware and break out (poor word choice!) retrieve the Blue Danube !

Now I have to find replacement pieces because it's out of production and hard to find, but I'm going to use it and enjoy it because Mom would have wanted that, and it will be a happy reminder of her every day.

Ok, so that made get teary eyed.  I had sort of forgotten that the 5 year anniversary of her death is 2 weeks from tomorrow, even though I discussed it with my dear friend with whom I had lunch the other day.  Her mother died just a couple of weeks before mine and we bonded that summer through our shared grief.  That's just the way it is---you forget for a while, or remember without pain, and then something suddenly strikes a chord that brings back the suppressed pain.

On a much lighter note....Author/blogger Melissa Wiley and her husband, comic book writer Scott Peterson are now co-writing a web comic called Into the Thicklebit, which looks like it will be a lot of fun.  Stories of their adorable children will feature heavily, I think.

Lovers of children's and YA books, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and DC comics should be reading their blogs. :-)

What do you do when you have tons of free time without the kids?  There are always a zillion and one things I want to do while they're underfoot (not that mine are young enough to be underfoot) or around and talking at me, or asking me to drive them somewhere, or when I have laundry to do and food to prepare.  But now that I have practically the whole day to myself, I'm wasting it on the computer.  The internet belongs in the same category as Target:  a giant time sucker of a black hole.

Katie and I spent approximately 3 grueling hours, made only sightly less grueling by the addition of sangria at noon, making a simple shirt for her out of an Ethiopian blanket.  We were copying designs on a website (that makes simple shirts out of Ethiopian fabrics, probably by Ethiopians), and it still took forever.  And she's not sure how much she likes it, or if it needs to be modified.  I'm going to make her wear it all day today (when she wakes up) to find out!

She'll be wearing it while we start working on a slipcover for a yardsale chair that she bought.  Prayers would be appreciated.  Thank heavens there is still plenty of sangria!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} in St. Augustine

~Capturing the contentment of everyday life~

~Every Thursday with Like Mother, Like Daughter~

The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche is on the grounds of the Mission de Nombre de Dios.  I've wanted to go there for years since I became Catholic and a card-carrying member of La Leche League, which got its name from this shrine since the founding mothers were Catholic.

Our Lady of La Leche
I prayed for all my lady friends there---past, present, and future mothers, and those who mother in other ways because they have no children of their own.

 The grounds of the mission were very shady, as you can see below, and very pleasant to walk through and pray.  DH and I prayed the Seven Sorrows of Mary since they had the stations around the cemetary.
The cross is huge; you can see it all over St. Augustine.
Standing at the base of the cross, in the woods across the water is the altar where the first Mass in the country was said.

They desperately wanted to ride the carousel that we had to drive past every day.  Kids just love carousels!  I love roller coasters.  Carousels, not so much.

We went on a tour of Whetstone's Chocolate factory.  It was fun, informative, and, most of all, delicious.  Oh, and a little embarrassing!
Yes, that is my son.  And the rest...
No idea who that crazy woman is!
She looks good in anything.
It's nearly impossible to get a good picture of my sweetie, but now he cooperates!

One more funny pic of my boy with a Spanish moss (which is neither Spanish, nor moss) beard.

Here is where we gorged on the best barbecue ever for Pete's birthday.  You'd think we hadn't eaten in days considering the way we inhaled that food!  If you're ever in St. Augustine, stop in!  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Done Whining Daybook


Outside my window...
It was cool enough for my 7 a.m. walk this morning, but extremely humid.  Pretty skies, though---I always enjoy a beautiful sky with changing clouds as I did on the drive home Saturday.
Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve--an estuary, basically.
I am thinking...
About my vocation.  Reading Elizabeth Foss's post this morning was an excellent antidote to feeling sorry for myself that vacation is over!  Taking care of a home that is blessed with 6 children and a hard-working husband takes a lot of effort, which I don't mind doing for the most part, and I need to remember this is a calling from God.  He has given more than I ever imagined or deserved.  He hasn't always given me what I wanted, but I know that He knows that's for the best!

I am thankful...
For all the ways God shows me that He loves me, whether it's through something someone says or does, a blog post, Twitter (yes, even Twitter!), or an email.

From the learning rooms...
Meg is off to summer camp this morning, but there will be Math all week for the Pipster!
Mr. Tortoise from our hike on the GTM-NERR
In the kitchen...
Oh, I know it's a vocation, but could we just eat leftovers and scavenge for a few days until I get my act together! ;-)

I am wearing...
Shorts, a ratty t-shirt for walking the dog, my Vibrams five-fingers, and I think I'll be wearing this for a while (in public, no less!) since we're running out of the house in a minute to get last-minute camp items!

I am knitting...
Citron.  In black merino which I have had for ages.  It will be pretty, though not exactly the right color for it's name, and it will make a nice chapel veil if the need arises.
"Alligators Can Be Dangerous" they say.  If you see any, which we didn't.
I am going...
Michaels and Target.  It would be nice if I could get my stuff done early enough to let Pete have the car, and then I don't have to drive him all his places this afternoon.  I can stay home and...Keep House.

I am reading...
33 Days to Morning Glory, The Truth About St. Therese.

I am hoping...
All Meg's stuff fits into my friend's car with their stuff for summer camp!

I am looking forward to...
Getting organized, again, and getting the clutter out of the house, or just put away from the vacation.
I think the estuaries are gorgeous!
I am hearing on my ipod...
SQPN Catholic Weekend, and Pat Gohn's Among Women.  In Ep. 138 she talks to Kelly Wahlquist about the 33 Days to Morning Glory consecration program.  You should listen.  Pat is always informative and gives real guidance with her guests for helping us live out our Catholic womanhood.

Around the house...
Clutter.  Have I mentioned that?  I think I have.  New clutter, old clutter, clutter, clutter, clutter.  I've realized over the years that what makes a vacation so great is not the spending of vast amounts of money to do exciting things, but the simplifying of life.   We take hardly any clothes with us, so there is less to wash and store.  If you rent a house, it's nicely furnished with a minimum of knick-knacks, and we don't bring all our toys, so there is much less picking up to do.  Cooking is simplified by eating out a lot or by having other people do it---as I did last week.  I cooked only once and had the kids cook all the other nights!  I think it's time to take some of those lessons and apply them at home!

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Besides driving around, which I will minimize.  I plan to stay home and Get Stuff Done!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Heading into the jungle for a very hot, buggy hike which only the parents seemed to enjoy.  I guess beause we like torturing kids, right?

Hosted by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Sunday, July 15, 2012

God is Enough!

We came home yesterday from a week at St. Augustine beach, which I will tell you about in due time, and to a lot of unpacking.  Fortunately, I had done 99% of the laundry at the beach house so I would not be overwhelmed by that today!

Katie was home from her European tour and we sat down to watch her lovely slide show of all the beautiful places she had visited.  She and her friend had simply absorbed the culture wherever they were for almost a month.  She had thoughtfully brought gifts for each of us, and mine was a St. Teresa of Avila medal with a prayer card.  Written in Spanish, which I don't speak, the contents were somewhat of a mystery for the moment.

Having finished the slide show, I took the dog for a long walk around the neighborhood, where I proceeded to have a mini go-to-pieces (as my mother+ used to call it).  Overwhelmed and melancholy, little tears were dripping as I walked, though I wasn't even sure why, so I started a rosary.

As I walked and prayed, I wondered what good it was doing.  Yes, I know I'm supposed to meditate on the mysteries, but sometimes that doesn't happen as it ought!  I knew in my head that all the same tensions would be present when I got home:  unpacking, repacking Meg for summer camp, house cleaning and decluttering, getting ready for school, AHG, feeding my family...Yet I doggedly persisted in my prayer, reaching the last glorious mystery, The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven, as I came up the hill toward home.

All through the walk there had been this niggling little urge to find the translation of the St. Teresa prayer card, and as I started that last decade, I knew in my heart that it held the answer I needed.  If you know what it's like to be a mom, you know that for a myriad of reasons, I wasn't able to look it up until this morning!  This is what I found, and yes, it is the answer to my problems:

May nothing disturb you!

(St. Teresa of Avila had these verses written in herbreviary**)

May nothing disturb you.
May nothing astonish you.
Everything passes.
God does not go away.
can attain anything.
He who has God within,
does not lack anything.
God is everything!*

(Translation by Jorge W. Suazo)
(*This last verse may be interpreted as "God is enough.")

I'm still a little overwhelmed and melancholy, and I still have lots of work to do, but I know it will be okay.

Friday, July 13, 2012

7 Hot Quick Takes

Do you know that it takes far more time choose which knitting projects to take on vacation than to pack your clothes?  You have to carefully weigh your possible moods, yarn stash, and patterns to decide what to take.  And then you have to choose several for every eventuality.

And then there is the possibility that you might not knit at all...

I cant't wait to see my sweet girl home from almost a month in Spain and Italy! She has had the trip of a lifetime, justing traveling around with one of her best friends from high school.
Even though I just did the Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary on the feast of the Annunciation, I'm starting it again. This time I am using the book 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley. I'm looking forward to it as it's simpler and should help a simple, uncomplicated soul like me understand it better. I'll let you know how it goes! If you have done it, please share your experiences!
Yesterday was Pete's 19th birthday, and the only thing he asked for was BBQ for dinner! What do you do when a kid doesn't "want" anything? So, Hubs found a BBQ place on the Internet that was supposed to be really good. We drove quite a long ways to get there, passing another place that smelled great, and when we arrived, it was just a shack on the corner of country intersection! We debated for a moment, but then decided to be adventurous, and ordered a huge family meal. They stay open until they sell out every day, and they closed up shop right after us!

The only place to "dine" was back at the house or the "picnic table" made of flats and 8 tree stumps! We went for the tree stumps, and proceeded to gorge ourselves on the best ribs, beef, and pork ever. The cole slaw was good, and the beans were pretty amazing. They weren't your typical baked beans, but they were spicy and different. They didn't provide anything except napkins and plastic forks, so we used paper bags for placemats and ate with our fingers, passing around the containers of slaw and beans. It was a ridiculous orgy of eating! We had a great time!
I read Valerie Bertinelli's memoir, Losing It this week. I don't know why I bother with celebrity memoirs! I feel as if I sort of grew up with her, so that's why I was interested, but they (the celebs) never fail to disappoint. It's just so tawdry to read about how they sleep with everyone with no concern for anything but how they feel in the moment. I would hate to think of any of my children in that line of work and surrounded by that hedonistic lifestyle! I can't help but think of Brad Pitt and his poor mom.
On the flip side, there has been a lot in the Catholic blogosphere lately about sex within marriage which is encouraging. I'm very excited about the new 1flesh.org website which is full of great information that doesn't preach the religious angle. Check that out if you haven't already!
I'll be packing my baby off to summer camp Monday morning. I'm not going with her this year, which makes me kind of sad. Not because I think she needs me (one of our good friends will be there with her daughter), but because it is surprisingly fun and relaxing to work and sweat in the heat all day every day! I'm sure I'll have plenty of fun at home. There is always plenty of work and sweating to be had there!
Join the fun at Jen's for more 7 Quick Takes!

Cute pic of the kids after our chocolate factory tour. Fun AND delicious! You can see me in the window sporting the dress that I made and was stitching in the car. That was in Saturday's post. No link because blogging on the iPad is ridiculously painful. I'm surprised this one has any formatting at all! (does that count as an 8th take?)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Magical Womanhood

I read a very interesting, wide-ranging movie review the other day. Sister Helen Burns's review of Magic Mike covered so much more than the movie itself! She gave a beautiful explanation of the definitions of lust, and male and female sexuality, and the theology of the body. I haven't read her blog before, but I will certainly be going back after this! Stop by now and see what she had to say; I will be happily waiting for you here.

I grew up in a very worldly, sexualized society, like most people my age, that has changed quite a bit in my lifetime! In fact, you could almost say that I've grown up with the birth control pill since it was legalized just a few years before I was born.

Wow, it only just occurred to me to wonder why my (non-Catholic) mom had three children very close together when the pill was available. I know that by the time she got pregnant with me, the last, she was miserable and wanted out. I've always known I was unwanted, but very much loved once I arrived. I have years worth of birthday cards telling me what a gift I was to my mom, and how much joy I brought her. I have no illusions that I merited any of that (although I was pretty cute and sweet!); it was merely the fact of my existence. And that is a whole different blog post about how much joy a life can give, no matter what the circumstances.

Oh, it looks like this is going to be a wide-ranging blog post, too! Back to the movie-review...which filled me with thoughts about what it means to be a woman and a sexual creature...

I grew up (along with the pill, remember?) thinking I had to dress a certain way (immodestly) to be attractive. I had to have the perfect figure, and if I didn't have those things, I had to do certain things to be worthy. Of course, not all those things I felt compelled to do were sexual (nor did I do everything. I was very uncool in that way!); I also felt that I needed to have a big career---you know, bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan.

All I really wanted, as it turns out, was to get married at 21 and have children, preferably staying home to raise them. It was the Catholic Church and my loving husband, that opened my eyes to the true beauty of this lifestyle, which society continually tries to destroy. Children have become disposable commodities to have at our discretion. More and more, we are wanting them to be designer, perfect babies, if we want them at all. Women are not fulfilling their potential by staying home to take care of them.

These days I consider myself a feminist---one who believes that caring for a husband and family is the highest of callings. Extended breast feeding, which is a form of mothering as well as nourishing, is part of that. Now, I don't care if you couldn't breast feed, or if you feel you have to work, either for your sanity or for your bank account. I'm not here to judge your choices or abilities, and I wish that people would stop judging me for mine. I might wish you didn't feel as if you have fit a certain mold, but that doesn't mean I think less of you!

I've said before (sorry, not many links today since I'm typing on the iPad!) that we started using NFP a few years into our marriage. Learning to see the beauty of the sex act, and the miracle of children led to my conversion. I could see that the Catholic Church, far from being an oppressor of women, was the one place that I and my children were to be wholeheartedly accepted and r.e.s.p.e.c.t.e.d. Years of using NFP, teaching NFP, giving RCIA talks on marriage and sexuality, and teaching a more in-depth pe-Cana (marriage prep) class on marital sexuality further ingrained that belief in the beauty of womanhood. So, finally getting to the point, I hate to see the destruction of society and femininity brought about by contraception and porn. The continued degradation of women through movies, books, and billboards. You name it. Hardly anyplace is the value of true womanhood upheld.

Now, it would be nice if the rest of the world would let children be children instead of teaching them about sex through movies, tv, radio, and schools. It would be nice if girls knew that they could say no to sex and immodest clothing, so that they could be seen as a whole person and not just a collection of body parts to be judged. It would be awesome if each young girl knew that she was totally worth the wait and that there is nothing more beautiful than married sex which is open to God's plan for life. And it would've great if women didn't feel they have to objectify men as we've been objectified all these years.

I'm going to wrap up my rambling rant now! This is what you get when I go on vacation and I have, basically, all day long to write a post! Let me know what you think and what you'd like to rant about next. Have a blessed day!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Our Fourth

{joining Like Mother, Like Daughter in capturing contentment in daily life}

A decent picture of me and my sweetie.  Of course, it's just a crummy iphone pic taken by moi in the parking lot waiting for fireworks, but it looks a lot better since I changed from the original orange lighting to B&W.  Oh, and got rid of the giant shine on my cheek!  

Happiness is having your whole family (except the 2 travelers) go to the neighborhood party.  They were acting just like siblings:  playing nicely with all ages from 10-19, and then fighting and making each other cry or pout.  I'll be thrilled with all 8 of us are together again....no idea when that will be.

The winning combination of our Fluffernutter Frenzy the other night.  Everyone wants a Fluffer-ella for breakfast, and one of my traveling children who missed the extravaganza wants to repeat the experiment at the beach.

Devil child playing with sparklers.  
 Our favorite place to watch fireworks:  the top of a parking deck about a mile from our house.  It provides just enough elevation to see the city's show which is another 2 miles away.  And the really nice part, because even though you're not lying on the grass directly below the fireworks, you can get home in 5 minutes because it's not that crowded!  We've tried being closer, but the crowds make us crazy and the traffic afterwards is even worse. 
We did read the Declaration of Independence per Leila's suggestion.  We didn't write it out by hand, but it got read!  There's some stirring language there!

Finally, this little dog who does not get the message that it's practically sacreligious to sit in Nana's pink chair!  It's his favorite spot these days.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fluffernutter Frenzy

In a case of "Mom has lost her mind!" I went a little crazy and decided to try these amazing sandwiches called Fluffernutters thanks to Maria's nutty example.  Sadly, I read too far into the Wikipedia article and had to try a couple of variations.

We had:

  • a traditional Fluffernutter---peanut butter and marshmallow fluff
  • a bacon Fluffernutter---self-explanatory
  • a Fluffer-ella---fluff + nutella
  • a bacon Fluffer-ella---self-explanatory, again.

 So how did the contest turn out?
 I could live without the Fluffernutter sandwich in my life.  It was too sweet with no real flavor.  Yummy, but it didn't live up to the hype.    It was Pip's fave, however.
 Surprisingly, the bacon didn't add much to it!  Except bacon flavor.  It seemed kind of inappropriate.  Meg's favorite was the nutella/bacon/fluff combo.
 So there was no clear winner.  Every variation got a vote.  I'll have a fluffer-ella, please.
Everyone wants more nutella and marshmallow fluff, though---they've been asking for more nutella on toast or spoonsful of fluff.  And I'll bet you anything they ask for some combo for breakfast tomorrow!

(Photos courtesy of TMax who loves the macro photog.)

Monday, July 2, 2012

July Daybook

FOR TODAY Outside my window...
A little rain to soothe the parched earth after the past few days of 100+ temps.

I am thinking... 
That I need to get my act in gear and get organized.  Now that swim team is over and we don't have children in and out all morning, I need to get myself into a routine (that includes real prayer time) and working on getting the house organized.

I am thankful...
For another outing with women friends.  We met at a coffee shop where we had reserved a whole room in the back to discuss the book Extreme Makeover by Teresa Tomeo.  It wasn't a Starbucks, but I'm sure it's got a liberal agenda and the patrons who wandered past were probably shocked by what they heard about the evils of contraception and the necessity of adoration and confession!  I still haven't finished the book, but I'm going to work at it much more now, and I'll let you know what I find.  Or you can read it with me!  We had a wonderful, fun time discussing the book and sharing some of our struggles with our children and the world.

Lately, I've been blessed with conversations with women that revive my spirit.  Back when my children where very young, I used to go on playdates or talk on the phone often, but then there came a looong period where that dried up.  Was it because we had too many children for playdates and we were just too busy to get out of the house?  Even talking on the phone became a thing of the past.  Was that because of the internet and email?  Lately, though, perhaps because I'm seeking it out more, there is more community.  Women are building communities through blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, but it seems that getting together in person is becoming more important again.  Coincidentally (or not?) Jen Fulwiler writes about the need for communion here.  Even Pat Gohn has a post about it today.  So, is it my age?  Is there a cycle that exists among mothers where they get together a lot when motherhood is new and then it tapers off to be picked up again as the kids leave home and the nest empties?  Or, here's another thought, is it that we're spending so much time online that we're suddenly feeling the lack of face-to-face communion?

From the learning rooms...
Math, math, math, math....Ugh.

In the kitchen...
3 batches of brownies this morning to take to the swim team banquet.

I am wearing...
Cute summer skirt and white v-neck.

I am knitting...
I was going to make Rosary Army rosaries during my downtime this weekend, but that plan came to a screeching halt at trivia on Friday!  The end of my twine was frayed and I went to melt it with a lighter and fuse it back together (which is what you're supposed to do!), but the wind must have caught it and a big stringy bit of burning nylon fell on my leg and got on my hand.  After scandalizing my daughter (but no one else in the crowd!) with a litany of bad words (well, just one, said repeatedly) (she says it was 6 times; I say 3) (but then, I was in pain), I have a lovely spot on the inside of my knee where the nylon dripped and left rows of blisters, and a nice blister on my pinky.  So, no knotted rosaries for a while since they would rub on that blister. So...

I am knitting again.  I found that I couldn't stand having nothing in my hands all weekend.  I am knitting a black, laceweight, merino wool veil for the occasional Latin Masses.  Meg was a little shocked that I might become one of "those women" who veil at Mass, so we (I) had a very short conversation about how God calls us to do certain things, and sometimes they might make us feel a little weird or uncomfortable but we have to do them anyway.  He hasn't call me there yet, but I wouldn't put it past Him!

I am going...
Everywhere this week.

I am reading...
Still...The Truth About St. Therese, and Extreme Makeover.  My reading seems to be focussed on blogs and Twitter these days.    I've become addicted to my phone this summer---if I wasn't already---but it's gotten worse.
I am hoping...
for a productive week!  I'm not sure if I'm off to a good start or not, but blogging is on my list of things to do!

I am looking forward to...
Vacation!  We're making plans and I'm getting excited.

Around the house...
Decluttering children's bedrooms!  They love that, you know.  ;-)

One of my favorite things...
A checklist with lots of things checked off!

A few plans for the rest of the week...
---Swim team banquet (and then we're really finished!)
---decluttering 3 bedrooms
---organizing knitting stash
---AHG organizing and board meeting
---trip to the uniform store
---school pictures
---I'm getting tired and I know I'm forgetting things.  :-)

 Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
The scoutmaster tweeted this during the week of summer camp.  It's make-up from the Theater merit badge class.  Pip had a great time in that class!

 Hosted by The Simple Woman's Daybook


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