Sunday, December 20, 2009

God's Goodness

" thy goodness, O God, thou didst provide for the needy."

My husband's employer gave a small bonus this year. I immediately thought "Christmas!" and proceeded to spend it. The rest of his check was spoken for, of course, with everyday bills. I did not go wild: each child gets only three gifts, but with five children... plus, I didn't want to be in town Christmas week, so the bulk of the money went for three weeks of groceries. I reached the end of the bonus before I reached the end of the shopping.

So. I have two godparent gifts and my mother-in-law left the day before I meet the girls in my Mom's Group for our Christmas Outing. We usually get a little ornament there; so one of the godparents' gifts would be taken care of. I run the Secret Sister Program - so I wouldn't be getting anything from that corner, I THOUGHT. But in His goodness, God provides for the needy. I received three gifts that day, parts of which I could re-gift to my mother-in-law, and one of the ladies made a sweet craft for everyone - which went to the other godparent!

I had worried about the food lasting us until the next paycheck, then remembered the Lion's Club in their kindness always gives us a box at Christmastime. But it turns out, Bill had called to say we got a bonus this year and to please give our box to someone who needs it more. So. God in His goodness, will take care of the needy. I can hardly wait to see what He has in store!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby

My baby is five! That's right. Today Quinta, my youngest child, turns five years old. I spent six months on bedrest to get this child full-term. She was worth every minute. I had a caesarean section to deliver her. She was worth every anxiety. There were complications with her delivery and I ended up with a hysterectomy. She is greater than my wishes for more children.

This sweet child on her fifth birthday is a bright shining jewel: a tremendous blessing from God. She fills our lives with laughter and dancing. I am more grateful than she can know for her very being and her being in OUR family. I love you, Sugar. Happy Birthday, Baby!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thank Goodness!

Today I received, via US Mail, an early birthday present. My husband ordered it for me at my request. I've been waiting anxiously for it to arrive because my devotions and daily writing had come to an end until it came in. You see, recently I filled up my journal; where I write my thanksgivings and hopes; where I jot thoughts on my morning and evening devotions. So I finally received a new Gratitude Journal. It has a nice layout, with good questions to help me recall the day and all the good that happened. My birthday's in a couple of weeks, so I was able to justify to myself buying the same journal I had even though it's a bit pricey and a simple notebook would suit the purpose.

I must also mention how very thankful I am for my family. I tend to get migraines; my children are very understanding about being quiet and keeping the lights low. My husband waits on me hand and foot. So last night I developed a migraine. Bill took over making the meatball subs for supper; my son Tertius finished his project in the living room and turned the lights down; Secunda helped ensconce me on the couch. After supper we turned on the tv to watch "The Biggest Loser". (I went to high school with Allen, one of the contestants, so even with a migraine I didn't want to miss an episode.) My daughter Quarta spent the entire two hours brushing my hair and occasionally putting her cool, sweet hand on my brow, which made my whole body relax. She is an extremely loving child and she sure showed it last night. I am so blessed and so thankful.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Homeschooling ABCs

Recently Terri Johnson, of Homeschooling ABCs held a promotion. She sent the first five (of 26) lessons for free to those who expressed interest. We were then to comment on her blog our thoughts on each lesson. Twenty-five people would be randomly selected to get the rest of the lessons free, etc.

As I finished up my last post on the last lesson, I prayed. "Dear God, I have found these lessons to be helpful. If You think the rest would be helpful to me, You're going to have to see to it that I win the rest of the lessons. Because You know no matter how reasonable the price, we can't afford to buy them."

The drawing was held September 1, and guess whose name was on the list?! God is faithful. I'm looking forward to getting the rest of the lessons. They're short, packed with information and useful even for a "veteran" homeschooler like myself.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Claim His Victory

My devotion book is currently a thick little thing called God's Promises and Answers For Women. Small sections with a heading and Bible verses to go along with that heading. This morning I came to: God Blesses Women When They... Claim His Victory.

I thought, "What a Protestant thing: claim His victory." But in actuality it's not. Because God is victorious - in everything! We have only to enjoy His creation, accept His promises, await His coming. These things are for all who believe in Him.

"For God is the king of all the earth....God sits on His holy throne....He is greatly exalted." (Psalm 47:7-9) Claim His victory.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Consider the Lillies....

We all took a ride tonight through the country. Just meandered around, and gleaned wildflowers from roadsides and ditches. Just Illinois farm country, decorated by God. How well He cares for us!

I spent some time arranging the flowers and accent pieces in three vases. It's the first creative thing I've done in weeks. I miss being creative; but I just don't have the energy or the same desire I once had to do things. Thank goodness our Lord still creates! Even if it's just some pretty weeds and wildflowers, He's always making things just for His pleasure.

Leisure. Creative hobbies. Artistic endeavors. These are things that separate us from the animals. God gave man the directive to "Rest". But rest is an active concept, something that renews us. As I consider the lillies we gathered today I have to conclude I am not resting as God would have me do.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Boy, your hands are full!

We had 6 children in 9 years. One of our daughters died soon after she was born, so technically we've only raised 5 children. But whenever someone would see us together at a store, the comment was invariably, "Boy, your hands are full!"

My reply was always, "Full of joy!"

Here is a wonderful blog entry from someone else who has her hands full of joy. I wish I had thought all this through when my children were babies and toddlers. But there's still much to learn from Jennifer's post even though my children are 4 - 12 years old now.

It seems 5 children is so far out of the norm now; people were amazed not only at their number but how close they were in age. Most people are happy with their girl and boy. They are "allowed" to have 3 if their first 2 were of the same sex - to "try" for their opposite sex child. I always cringe when I hear a Catholic couple say "We're done. Our family is complete."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lonesome and Blue

Well, my oldest is off to camp; the others are outside playing. Bill's grilling our lunch. There's just me and the computer. Sigh. Think I'll go play outside with my babies while they're still babies.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Queen of the Holy Ordinary

An excellent article about the most wonderful, least recognized job in the world.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bears, Oh my!

I normally go to bed before the rest of my family. Usually, by 9pm I'm dragging myself up the stairs. Because we homeschool, the earliest bedtime for the children is 9:30pm. It works for us.

I came downstairs to check on sleepers and get a little yogurt. My way was blocked by a veritable forest of snow boots! Carefully tucked inside each boot, facing forward to the next adventure, was a Beanie Bear. It looked as though I'd caught them tobagganing across my family room floor. I wish our camera worked - I'd love to post a picture with this entry.

This was definitely my daughter M's doing. I can hardly wait 'til morning, when she'll tell me what she was imagining when she dragged all the boots out of the closet and put her bears in them. It's going to be good!

I love my children!

Friday, March 13, 2009


My Lenten sacrifice, the main one, is not going well this year. I'm a hypersomniac, and I'm trying to give up my daily naps. It is not going well. I'm just so fatigued - and besides, I like naps.

Last year I gave up shouting for Lent. That worked very well. My children were the chief beneficiaries of that "sacrifice". But I was highly motivated to change that behavior; I didn't like it. Our Father, in His wisdom, gives us the long winter days of Lent to make a habit of our little sacrifices. However, I caught myself shouting at my children just this week. I wish I could say it was a momentary lapse.

Perhaps, I'm trying to stretch this year's sacrifice too far. I'm giving up naps for Lent, but I'm also putting them toward my husband's intentions. Did I mention it's not going well?

Lent does begin with long winter days when things seem gray and cheerless. It also includes spring days, when hope rises with the sun. The Triduum is Lent in a nutshell: except on Easter our hope rises with the Son.

I need to just keep trying to make my bit of sacrifice; it will get easier to face just as the days get easier to face. I'm hopeful that what isn't going so well at the moment will be time I can spend in the Word and with my family as Lent continues.

I love Lent...I love Lent...I love Lent...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Political Position

Where I stand:

My Political Views
I am a right moderate social libertarian
Right: 4.56, Libertarian: 1.31

Political Spectrum Quiz

Political Spectrum Quiz from Bill, from Dylan.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dismissed Dreams

I found a great quote by Sue Monk Kidd, in an interview with her detailed in her book The Secret Life of Bees (which I just finished reading).

"Ah, but never underestimate the power of a dismissed dream. I think there must be a place inside of us where dreams go and wait their turn."

This quote gives me hope. The things I've put on hold will someday demand an audience. My dreams deferred will become dreams realized. I might just surprise myself and become a writer or a textile artist or a saint. My dreams are just waiting their turn.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Asperger's Education

My son Christopher sees a psychiatrist to help him gain social skills because he has Asperger's Syndrome. This same lovely psychiatrist has a social skills group with half a dozen boys. Christopher attended his first group this week.

All of these boys have Asperger's. Boy did I get an education! I heard about the latest video games, the predictions of Nostradamus, the end of the world, the mountains of Nepal, the Napoleonic Wars, and the sacking of Rome; all in the space of about eight minutes while we waited for the Doctor. These were not conversations, really, but rather several different monologues; so it got quite loud because, of course, each boy wanted HIS monologue heard.

Christopher's pet subjects (NASCAR, tornadoes, airplanes, or ships) were not in that list because he sat in a corner with his hands over his ears. When I asked him later how Group went, he simply said, "LOUD!" They made valentines during Group to give to their mothers. Mine had a large red heart in the middle with a NASCAR race along the bottom. I love it!

This child has given me an education in many ways: he is my first child. He came ten weeks early and was painfully tiny. Because he was born early, he was born the same year in which we married and so continues to be a lesson in humility for me. He's unbelievably bright; and teaches me constantly in his narrow fields of interest. But I am most grateful to God for sharing with me the sheer joy and delight of this boy. He is a treasure.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

To Sleep Like a Baby

I check on my children at least once a night. They sleep with such abandon! They embrace sleep as they embrace everything else in their life; arms thrown wide, legs still in motion. Their blankets are nowhere near their bodies. When do we lose that abandonment?

I sleep with my arms across my body, especially now, trying to keep warm. My husband scarcely moves at night and when he does, it's a slow and ponderous undertaking. We both hug the blankets to us. When did we start feeling the cold? Was it when responsibility came upon us? When these babies with their wide arms were given to us, did we stop abandoning ourselves to God?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Out of the mouth....

We were watching the "last-chance work-out" on The Biggest Loser tonight. My five year old asks me in horror, "Mommy, will I ever have to go to that place?"

This is my skinny-minnie child, so I told her confidently, "No, Sweetheart, I don't think you'll EVER have to go to that place."

She returned with, "How do you KNOW, Mommy? How do you know I won't be as you?"


Next in Line

As I peruse the long list of who's next in line for the office of the presidency, I find myself fervently hoping President Obama did not contract pneumonia by being too long in the cold today.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Periodic Bookbag

What I'm currently reading:

Acedia & Me; Kathleen Norris
Professionalizing Motherhood; Jill Savage
Kidnapped; Robert Louis Stevenson
How Your Child Learns and Succeeds; Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

I've put everything else on hold to read Norris: she describes something I feel beyond the seasonal depression I struggle against. A fascinating book about the inability to care.

Tobias is actually two of her works (The Way They Learn and Every Child Can Succeed) in one volume. As a homeschooling mom I'm looking forward to going back to this book.

This is where I am in my current personal reading. Mostly non-fiction; kind of in the self-help genre. Hhhmmmm. Why am I still so confused? Ah, there's no Bible Study in there. I'll have to find time to add that to still my soul.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hearts at Home

So I registered for the Hearts at Home Conference today. I'm really looking forward to it. There's always good information and entertainment.

Last year my friends and I were able to stay at my friends parents' house. But this year that friend won't be going, so after several fruitless calls I was able to get a room in the area. Thank goodness. It always helps to anticipate something fun in the dead of winter.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Stop Searching Forever....

Since I was unwilling to cook on a cold winter evening, my dear husband picked up Chinese take-out for our supper. The paper in my fortune cookie read "Stop searching forever, happiness is just next to you."

As I sit beside my Beloved Bill, the smell of pipe smoke encircling us, I need not consider further. My "fortune" has come true. I am truly blessed. May you all have a wondrous night of blessings too.

Brief Update

So I'm still at home, teaching the kids. Bill works from home: we're very blessed. My eldest just turned 12; my baby is 4. She still won't speak in public, so speech therapy is one of her classes at home. It's hibernation time - just Mom's Group and Scouting to work into the schedule.