Monday, September 30, 2013

Ending another blogathon...

Today I flew home from a wonderful couple of days with my sisters-in-law.  My girls ran to meet me at the airport, hair a bit wild, dressed in not quite matched outfits.

I learned I can write more than I thought I could this month, despite the craziness of everyday life. Thanks to Kimberly for hosting this! 

Time for sleep. :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Interest in Pinterest?

Blogging to you from the mountains of West Virginia tonight, and having trouble getting a good signal. Soooo... This will be brief! If you wish, feel free to follow me on Pinterest at  I go through fits and starts of pinning so hopefully at some point you'll find something you like. :) Have a good night everyone!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chocolate makes me beautiful

"CECILIA!  I'M WITH THE POTTY!"  I couldn't bear to use the more appropriate proposition.  Her cries for "Mommy!  Whewe ARE YOU?" continued unabated, so I persisted in identifying my position. Loudly. Till she heard me.

All the neighbors heard me too, since the windows were open....

And yes, this embarrassed me.  Because, unlike some common misconceptions about moi... (Warning: I'm about to launch into a narcissistic reflection about my character.  Please take a wine break before continuing. And please feel free to rant about yourself in the comment section; would love to hear from you.:)

Ready?  Okay... okay, you look ready...

1.  I am shy.  Yes, actually shy.  No, not on this blog, apparently.  Heh.  And no, nowhere near as shy as I was in high school, when I couldn't hold eye contact.  But do I want to be caught yelling in the bathroom?  No.  I'm easily embarrassed. Like...

2.  I find mothering in public to be an exercise in humilty/ation.  Meaning, I am more sensitive than I appear.  I have a hard time thinking clearly when my youngest kids are around; I seem to be a different person, tapped into "mommy hen" mode.  Makes me ADD... Just getting out of the van to the store: "Don't touch that!  Yucky... the weather is lovely!  Did you lock the door?  Where are my keys?  Oh... get my phone out of my pocket, will you?  Say please!  Eww not that shopping cart... you nearly knocked over that poor elderly lady!  Let's go apologize... CECILIA!"  Just like that.  And I seem all cool and calm about it, but...

3.  I'm not as laid-back as I look.  I give off the impression that I'm unfazed by the chaos of being a mom with a house full of toys and a mini van full of french fries.  When actually, it can bother me so much that I kinda get itchy... man it's tough with toddlers when cleaning their habitat is like plowing the sea.

4.  I actually want a consistently neat environment, preferably full of books.  (If you've ever had the misfortune of coming to my house, you have just fallen off your chair.  Hope you are okay!)  Legos and markers and sweet potato smeared on the kitchen chairs do, really, bother me.  Motherhood is messy.  I love my job, but I sure don't like everything about it...   I'm easily distracted.  Maybe I have...

5.  Too many alpha-waves.  Which makes me a mix of a contemplative and a space cadet.  This doesn't help with my cleaning routines.  I start to make dinner, need a pan, start to wash dishes to get to the pan (which I assume is at the bottom of my tiny kitchen sink).  Baby wants a snack meanwhile, so I put her in the highchair with cheerios, which she dumps over the floor, so I sweep them up, and then she wants "DOWN!" so I get her down, and she slips on the water that spilled from the cup she was carrying, so I comfort her, turn on a show for her, sneak back to the kitchen, clean up the spill, go back to the dishes, hear "BABY POOPED!" tend to that, it's really bad, I put her in the bathtub after and rinse out her clothes.  When that's done, I bring her back to play with her toys, and see that the pot is being used to hold My Little Ponies. (!)  In the toy box.  I get the blasted pot, and am striding back to the kitchen, when an older child peaks up from homework and says, "Mom, is dinner ready yet?"


Maybe you are laughing, but if you're a mom... yeah, daily life consists of a million riffs on "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie."  The above description is so typical, it's boring.  Like I'm yawning over here. Please get more wine.  And chocolate this time.

(The things I find on Wikimedia... hmmm.  Not sure about this concept...)
That, in sum, is why my house is not clean.  Some of you can manage it.  I honor you.  Meanwhile, I work on my distracted self.  Honestly, I can stew in deep thoughts as I put folded clothes in the fridge, and not even see the child painting the high chair with jelly.  Really! :) Anyway....

6.  When I talk with people in person, I don't always mean what I'm saying.  As in, I have a blasted dry wit and sense of sarcasm that throws people off sometimes.  Because I sound serious.  Joking around is second nature to me. So unless you have a sense of humor, we are likely not to get along all too well... though I will sure try because...

7. I'm a chameleon.  I'm pretty good at finding what's expected of me, what's needed from me, and how a person will best relate to me, and will act accordingly.  I even seem to unintentionally speak in the same accent as I'm spoken to with (so far, people find this humorous when they catch me, thankfully). This natural actress tendency does not always serve me well...

So, I'm trying to be more true to myself or--better--more the person God wants me to be.  Not the one everyone else wants me to be.  Which is hard, because I'm a people-pleaser.  But in the end, I'd rather please Him, first and foremost.  Otherwise, what's the point, really, right?  :)

Back to people-pleasing: I've been asked to answer the following questions.  You must eat one more piece of chocolate before proceeding.  You ready?  Good...

These are questions posed to those who receive the "Liebster Award" from Embrace the Struggle.  I'm told that "Liebster is a German word that can be translated as “sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”  Aww shucks...

But no, I have not received this award.  But since it's given to bloggers with less than 200 followers... at 8 (precious, beloved, adored, my precioussss) followers, I figure I can hope to quality:

  1. What’s your guilty pleasure?  So You Think You Can Dance.  The dancers just seem like nice people.  Don't care for the more raunchy stuff (that's what the fast forward button is for), but I do like the contemporary dances... such an art!  I don't watch much TV, so when I do... well,  I'm still catching up with episodes.   I'm down to the final 10, which was aired in July.  DON'T TELL ME WHO WINS!!  You'll ruin my TV watching for the next 2 months if you do!
  2. You’re forced to choose between buying shoes and buying makeup.  Which one wins? Dark chocolate.  Chocolate makes me beautiful.  
  3. Which skill, or set of skills, do you still want to master?  Drawing.  And learning foreign languages.
  4. Which movie recently made you weep?  A movie?  Ha!  Try the Johnson & Johnson baby lotion commercial.  (Sob)
  5. What tidbit about you would surprise most of your blog readers?  I just auditioned for the role of Mrs. Cratchit.  I had to pretend to show love and concern to a man I just met.  It was interesting.  
  6. If I took away books and music from you, which would cause you to have withdrawal symptoms?  I hope never to find out...
  7. What is a deal-breaker for you in friendships?  Dishonesty.
  8. Planes, trains, and automobiles. Which is your preferred mode of transportation?  Why?  Horses.  They have personality, and are alive. :)
  9. Who was your favorite musician when you were a teenager?  Celine Dion.
  10. Which subject did you hate the most in school? Political Science.
  11. What fashion trend did you try out and live to regret?  I do not try fashion trends.  I wait till they correspond with what I wear all the time, and then I go about with my nose in the air for a whole month or two.  
Speaking of "in the air,"  I will soon be taking a very short flight to visit beloved family.  And I am all kinds of nervous.  Thanks for your prayers for your wet blanket of a blogger here.  I will be meditating a bunch on Isaiah 41:10...
"Do not fear...  I will uphold you." 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Ten Things you hope your kids don't yell while you pay at drive-thru

(And my kids have said most of them.:)

10.  "Look!  A PLAYPLACE!  WHAT?  We are NOT going to the playplace?  WAHHHH!!!"

9.  "My mommy doesn't like crazy-painted nails.  Like yours."

8.  "Can I JUST get a slushie?  Or do we not have money again this week?"

7.  (On bad mommy days): "Why do we have to come here again?  We were just here this morning!"

6.  "Baby just [disgusting bodily function verb, past tense.]"

5.  "NO FAIR!  She had a munchkin last week, and I didn't have one, and that's SO NOT FAIR that she gets that again..." (!!!!!)

4.  "You know that huge bag of garbage you just put in the drive-thru trash can, mom?  I found some more!!  And it's a DIAPER: LOOK!!"

3.  "Fwies!  FWIES! FWIES!  Where FWIES??  Wahahah..." (And there's a 10 minute wait on the blasted things...)

2.  "So Mom, IS there or ISN'T there a Santa Claus?"

1.  "How exactly did God put me in your tummy, Mom?"

(The last two actually happened.  Recently.  At a drive thru window.)

May your days be filled with (easy, quick, healthy, and popular) home-cooked meals...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sex, lies, and the posts about them

This post is about the second of these: lies.  As in, I have misled you: this post has nothing to do with sex.

However, I am ever humored that the posts whose titles could remotely relate to the marital act are among my most viewed.  Really?  Ha!  Pack of humans out there...

Most viewed, that is, but for a few notable exceptions:

Like "Prayers for Rosie" was my most viewed post by a wide, wide margin.  More viewed then the stories of my second trimester miscarriage.  Which is good because Rosie's news was urgent and required immediate prayers, whereas mine was recounting the past.  And you have all done much good in praying for a 26 year old girl dying of cancer, God rest her soul.  Prayers are now needed for her family.

I like to think this was not a case of "bad news travels fast" but rather about the goodwill of so many concerned people, spreading a call for intercession.  Beautiful and inspiring you are.

I've been asked to highlight a post I didn't think got enough press... and really, I can't.  I don't have any complaints.  :) You all have been swell.  Looking back at titles, pictures or lack-thereof, and whether or not I announced the post on Facebook seems to have made the difference in viewing.  If I must recommend something, take a look here.

I have not yet figured out how to monetize my blog.  But I'm working on it.  Supposedly, it would help if I have more Twitter followers, so feel free to "follow" me @TLC_kt.  Thank you so much friends! :)

Have a wonderful week!  I'm off to kayak with my brother (hopefully)...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

You have to...? Again? Okay, fine...

My immediate family is impatiently permissive with my blogging.  As in, "Okay, we understand you like to write, and we like your writing, but we wish it didn't take time to do."  Like my little one yesterday (this pic cracks me up so I'm using it again:)

At times while typing at a furious rate at the table, I sense a slightly disapproving presence looming behind me.  These generally disappear with a sigh after awhile. Spooky... :D

I'm constantly working at balancing normal life and this new hobby of mine... :)  Mostly, I sacrifice time sleeping for time to write....  Which likely results in some not-well-edited posts but, oh well...  No one's paying me for writing.  Not yet... :)  Hope springs eternal.

The extended family that's aware of my blogging activities have been very supportive and want me to try publishing.  Those who don't know I blog have not been told because they tend to be cautious of even humble email.  So... yeah.  :D  They would likely be displeased.  I don't like people displeased with me. Therefore... they remain in the dark about my clandestine blogger life over here...

And no, my parish family doesn't know I blog either... unless you find this through online methods, it won't be found: I'm not egotistical to walk around talking about my blog.  Not yet, anyway.  :D 

Of course, one could argue that my "parish family" doesn't know I actually exist.  This is partly my fault... you see, we are spoiled for choice for church services where I live: Mass times are pretty much every half hour Saturday night through Sunday morning.  So if you find yourself running late for the 11 AM at St. Peter's, there's always the noon at St. Kevin's, the 1 at the Cathedral, or the 8 PM at Providence College.  So, even if my parish were the neighborly sort that asks your name and what your story is and has coffee together after church, we haven't given them abundant opportunities to get to know our family...  Hopefully that will change someday.  

I do like my parish though.  The pastor is a fantastic preacher... I always leave with something to think about when he's giving the homily.  And a close second favorite to the preaching is the (blush) child-care for the pre-K set.  Oh yeah.  During Mass.  I actually get to pray so... Yes, I'm there whenever we can make it out the door completely clothed by 10:50.  :)

Linked to and RX and This, That, and the Other Thing 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Things that make me happier, healthier, and wiser

That's an interesting question for a mom of many, in full-time survival mode, during the "witching" hour when everyone under 18 is just a wee bit screamy over nothing.  Like, nothing.  Like, "Filet mignon?  C'mon MOM, that's GROSS."  (Okay I made that up, but stuff like that.)  And the toddler is just plain, "AGHGHRRRRHAHAWAAWAA."

Actually, she's currently saying, "MOMMY!  NO!  LIE!  DOWN!"

Case in point:

Mommy, how COULD you??
Apparently, leaning back while typing is analogous to (God forbid) lying down.  Which is currently, it seems, anathema.  She fears I may not be adequately able to open her popsicles from this position perhaps...

I have learned how to be happier as a mother... I think it took years though.   There was definitely a curve. But eventually, I learned to let things go more, and not have the constant messes that kiddos make get to me (as much).  I've learned to drink more coffee.  I find being more awake makes everything sooo much easier to handle.  I've learned to really (really really) appreciate the quiet when I can get it, and use those rare times--whenever possible--to do something that makes me feel like, well, me.  I like trying very (moral) non-mommy things whenever I can.  Like ziplining, archery, kayaking, and painting most recently... (love Paint Nite, I do...):

Being healthier is also much trickier as a mom: you get little sleep, you forget to eat, and then you eat what is there, which is usually a leftover chicken nugget.  You join a gym and want to exercise but your kids get sick sometimes and then you don't go and then it throws off your routine.  You try to exercise at home during the day, but the toddler shrieks in dismay to see mommy doing karate hip hop with the TV; you try to do it when they are asleep and then you laugh because, see the first problem above: you need sleep, so badly.

So... besides attempting to eat more vegetables, I try to just go outside in the sun.  Winters are tough for that, so I'm trying to be outside as much as I can these days... I'm happier there.  And even when I'm exhausted, I find I can do yoga.

Being wiser... well, reading helps with that.  I'm having great difficulty finding time to both write and read, but I love when I succeed.  And homeschooling has been fantastic for relearning old material and, I admit, learning some new things too. :)  But most of all... remembering to pray is important for me.  And learning to be patient, waiting on God's mysterious timing.

Discipline from the dentist's chair

1.  I thought it would work out okay.  Really, I did.  I had both of my responsible, older daughters with me. We had staggered appointment times.  I didn't want to bother my mom about watching them... and when I did, her cell phone was deceased, forgotten, or left in the car, as is wont to occur.

That is the mindset I had when I singlehandedly took all four of my children to a dentist appointment.

Oh, it started so smoothly.  The baby was asleep.  I sent my oldest to check in, and sighed.  This was good. Really good.  A nap would help the youngest's mood for this brave experiment in mommy idiocy.


2.  As we waited in the snoozing silence, I spent time catching up with Claire, my non-homeschooled kiddo. I miss her during the day... But she's loving her classroom, and has a million, trillion, bazillion things to say about the new kid Dante, and which tests she aced, and what they did at recess, and how gym went, and what book Mrs. So and So read at library, and and and she was called in.  And then so was I.

Oh dear, this was not the staggered, one after another appointments I expected!  This was not perfect!  But okay.  Offices can run late and early sometimes, I suppose.

Regretfully, I picked up my little one (thus rousing her from a deep sleep), hoisted her onto my hip, and made my way down the narrow hall.

3.   The dental hygienist blinked at me.  Just blinked.  Like a non-comprehending bird.

"Uh.  You have kids here."

"Yes.  Yes. I do.  I'm so sorry I couldn't find a sitter.  I thought..."

It didn't matter what I thought.  Delighted where wakefulness had found her, the toddler was already clambering onto the chair, while my preschooler grabbed a metal sharp tooth jabber-scraper thingie.

"Mom what's THIS do...  Oh look, A BABY MIRROR..."

The hygienist was still blinking.  Frozen in awe of what was, apparently, her first sighting of human children.

4. I decided to fake it till I made it.  I turned on my Montessori teacher voice.  Smooth and calm as a puddle of cream.

"Okay, we're going to come here and sit peacefully, just like this, on the floor by the window.  You see?" Keeping the lilting quality in my tone, I gestured at the 1.4 feet of space between the foot of the dentist's chair.  I balked a little.  Germs be damned or..."Or you could stand by the window and count cars."

This worked long enough for the chair to groan into position,  the light to click on, and for me to pry my narrow mouth open enough to get sharp instruments put in.  (Really, what kind of mental evolution does it take for us to voluntarily allow strangers to stick sharp things in our mouths?  Humans are so bizarre...)

Exuding doubt from every pore at the presence of miniature humans in her pristine working space, the hygienist's eyes narrowed in grim determination.   Even with a masked mouth, I could tell from those eyes: this was to be a fast appointment.

I don't think my teeth were ever before attacked quite so vehemently.  But I'm pretty tough, and I was so distracted by the behavior of my children that I didn't feel much.  I kept trying to peer down my cheeks at them from my severely reclined position.  I strained to hear past the mouth vacuum that was devouring the inside of my cheek while sounding like a pterodactyl dying of a respiratory illness.

5. Then they did it.  Those tiny, miscreant minors: they found the wind-up toys.

What's wrong with that? you say.  No no no, my friends, my friends: these were decorative toys.  Not meant for something as basic and vulgar as "playing."  This was apparently the eyelash-batter's prized collection of wind-up toys on display.

Nothing could be more appealing to my children at that moment then a squirrel with a whirling nut on its nose.

And nothing could be more breakable.  Not only were they (gasp) playing with them, attempting to overwind them, but they were starting to fight over them...

6.  I dare you to try disciplining your children, in any form or fashion, while lying on a dentist's chair with your mouth full of metal and sucking instruments.

"Gerr gerr GERR gerr gerr GERRR!" was pretty much what I managed.

My tooth attacker was choosing to ignore the existence of the little wretches, and so was of little use or assistance in the escalating clamor over whose wind-up toys now belonged in whose sticky fingers...

Most mercifully, my oldest came in shortly after that moment.  Placing my fist on my open palm, I signed "help," my eyes begging her for assistance.  I circled my palm over my heart.  "Please!"

I bless the Lord I taught them basic signs.

"All right you two, come with me."  And taking each of them by a hand, she led them to the waiting room with promises of stories.  She's SO good with the little ones...

Beaming with pride, I settled back to drool in peace over my paper bib.  And I was soon finished, the hygienist acted as though the disturbing vision of youngsters had not ever disrupted the sanctuary of her room.  I did notice that I was not given a choice of toothbrush color however, nor offered a prize from the prize box...

7.  My peace remained until I entered the waiting room to collect my offspring, where the following waited for me:  Two older daughters, entranced by a cooking show on the blaring set.  And the occupants of the waiting room, entranced by my youngest, who was most joyously bottomless, her sodden diaper having been cast off beside a perturbed older woman with a red bag which was not, however, as red as my face.

"Clothe yourselves with humility."  1 Peter 5:5

Thursday, September 19, 2013

May perpetual light shine upon Rosie

I posted the following at 9:32, right after getting this email:

Rosie was just anointed by Fr. Hildebrand Garceau, O. Praem.; she's not very conscious and is struggling to breathe. Please keep her in your loving prayers.

--Dan Grimm (her father)

Eternal Father, we offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world, especially Rosie.

Blessed Miguel Pro, pray for us.

Soon afterwards, I found out Rosie Grimm had passed from this life into eternity a few minutes before, at the age of 26. :_(

Feel free to send a good message to the family via messaging "Rosie Grimm" on Facebook; I will post any memorial info I receive.  This is the first time I've watched a Facebook friend pass into eternity via cyberspace.  It is so sad to see years of pictures of plays she's been in and Scrabble games she's played; it is so beautiful to see her wall flooded every 2 minutes now with messages of love and remembrance from so many lives she has touched.  From "Enjoy Paradise sweet Rosie; we love you!" to "the heavenly choir gained a beautiful voice today" to the most recent:

 In the first play I ever directed, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," seven-year-old Rosie Grimm played a dancing fairy. Her radiance as a child is the most definitive thing that I remember about her, and that she should now be the first member of that cast to pass away grieves me deeply. Rest in peace.

At least we can "be there" in some way for her and the family online.  Along with prayers, messages of love on her wall/inbox would be appreciated I'm sure, or to her sister Wendy-Irene  

Thank you all for praying for this young woman who is now in the arms of Christ.  Please continue to pray for the family as they cope with the loss of a young daughter, sister, aunt, and friend.

"We will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet them in the air. 
And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Snapshots of turning 4

Been so busy celebrating the day I've had no time to "post" it till a few minutes before midnight...  Here are images from Cecilia's big 4 day!  :D

On our way to the zoooo!!

We found out emus nip, unintentionally...

Sheep with horns with cow markings.  Bizarre.

Oh!  Deer!!

"All aboard!  Ladies and gentlemen, please don't be late!" were her words here...

And we, are never, ever, ever, getting off this playground were my thoughts here (trying not to rush them and all)

Adorable.  Hard to photograph.  A complete ham, always pulling a face when she sees a camera...

Except when she forgets.  Then you can see big, blue eyes :)

Love her expression!

Why not high five the rock, huh?
Took castle building very seriously

Aggressive and sweet, very Ce

She likes birthday service:  Here she is waiting for her sisters to plant her bulbs, so she can water them...

This cake had her name and balloons on it and everything.  Until she "decorated" it to her taste...


She had a wee bit of trouble sharing at first... it's hard to have birthdays so close together...
But they made up later, because they are best friends.  :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Further updates on Rosie...

Top ten reasons I'm not doing a top ten today:

10.  It's my other daughter's birthday tomorrow, and I don't have time to finish any of the top ten drafts of top tens I'm working on, really...
9-2. I'm exhausted...
and #1: The following is more important:

For everyone who has been praying for Rosie Grimm, I want to continue to give updates here as I receive them.  Here is the latest I saw from her mom:

"Her spirits are still good, but she has lost most of her strength and just about all her mobility.  She has asked her father to carry her to the choir loft at TAC [Thomas Aquinas College] on Sunday, because she can still sing.  I really hope that happens, even though it seems a little crazy.

Love, and ongoing thanks for your prayers, which are sustaining us."

On September 3rd, Rosie's nephew and godson Carl was born.  She did not think she'd live to see his birth, and is very happy about spending time with him!  (Pictured with her dad holding a slightly older little relative.)

And this is the latest from Rosie herself:  

Dear friends,

So you may know my devotion to Blessed Miguel Augustine Pro. He was a Mexican priest who died before a firing squad crying Viva Christo Ray!

I especially love him for his sense of humor. As a teenager he kidnapped a padre's robe and went wandering around preaching and collecting donations. When he was caught it turned out he preached well and nothing heretical so they merely took the donations and left it at that.  

I also love his particular sense of charity. He was working as a legal advisor for a widow shortly before his death. After his shooting she went to her lawyer to say her work would have to be delayed because her advisor had died. The surprised lawyer told that Fr Pro had just dropped off all paperwork completely finished.

I myself received reassurance in prayer from Padre Pro on his feast day. I felt I had a real answering prayer. So please focus your prayers with Padre Pro.

Here is a beautiful prayer composed by Fr Pro shortly before his death: 

Does our life become from day to day more painful, more oppressive, more replete with afflictions? Blessed be He a thousand times who desires it so. If life be harder, love makes it also stronger, and only this love, grounded on suffering, can carry the Cross of my Lord Jesus Christ. Love without egotism, without relying on self, but enkindling in the depth of the heart an ardent thirst to love and suffer for all those around us: a thirst that neither misfortune nor contempt can extinguish... I believe, O Lord; but strengthen my faith... Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee; but give greater vigor to my confidence. Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life.

Love and thanks, 


P.S. If anyone wants it, here's a novena to Bl. Miguel:
Blessed martyr of Christ the King, Father Miguel Agustin Pro, you are a special patron of those who labor, those in illness, depression or despair.  You are also a friend of musicians, the captives, and all who work toward social justice.  Your beloved brothers, the Jesuits, revere you and count you among the ranks of their saints.  You love your people of Mexico and all those loyal to the Church.
I thank the Sacred Heart for loving you so dearly.
I pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe whom you love so dear, to intercede for the cause of your canonization.
I pray that you remember me in your eternal and well-deserved rejoicing, and also my needs: [state needs]Through your courageous life and martyrdom you have won the crown of life everlasting.
Remember me, Blessed Miguel, for I remember you.
Viva Cristo Rey!  Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!
IMPRIMATUR:  Most Reverend John F. Donoghue
                               Archbishop of Atlanta
                               December 21, 2004

Beautiful words from a brave young woman, who wants us to ask her friend in heaven (Miguel Pro) to pray for her too.  In my friend (her sister) Wendy's words, "While Rosie's physical condition continues to seriously deteriorate, we have already felt blessings flowing from your prayers!"  

Rosie's latest Facebook status was typical Grimm wit, off-beatly silly and simply touching:  "'These are Runasable rabbits.  I'd like to see them try!'  I'm so tired. Goodnight."

While I'm not privy to whatever inside joke this was, somehow the status makes me smile and well up at the same time.

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and prayers for this special request, and also for your prayers for my much smaller issue... had my appointment today about the weird bloodwork results that they were making a fuss about (I have some rarer genetic markers... oooo, be impressed!) and apparently, long story short: there's nothing alarming.  I'm just a little differently made up.  But we knew that already. ;)

I'm going to get ready to have a three year old turn four.  Hope you all have a good night and a blessed day tomorrow.

Monday, September 16, 2013

My life as reality TV?

Today I have a question I'm not going to answer, much. :)

"Monday, September 16, 2013: Dramatization. What part of your life closely resembles a storyline in a reality TV show or soap opera?"

If I had more time to watch TV, I would probably be able to pinpoint the reality show my family would most resemble.  Maybe it's like "So You Think You Can Survive the Amazing Race to Get To Church On Time?"  And something about Goose Monarchies or whatever... I really should get caught up on pop culture, huh?

As for the soap opera stuff, that's a fun question.  And there are parts of my life that do, occasionally, resemble soap operas.  And while they would make highly entertaining writing, eh... I can't do it.  :S Soap operas tend to involve other people and... yeahhh.  Maybe I'll answer that question in 30 years when people would be... less offended?  Have moved on?  Hmm.  We'll see... so for once, for now, I'll just be mysterious and take notes.  ;D

While I can't answer this for the present, as for the past.... well, my family was one of the original homeschoolers in the state back in the 80's, and we were like all paranoid and didn't leave the house during school hours for fear of "being reported for truancy"... That would likely have made an excellent reality show.  :)  And as for soap operas, I did spend some time in college dating two different guys, nearly (but not exactly) simultaneously.  It was confusing and complicated but since I was so very well-intentioned and trying to do the right thing so very much, it would likely make for a boring soap. I'd give it one short season.  :)

I'm now being called back to the reality of a kid with a queasy tummy; a daughter who shall remain nameless consumed about of strawberries in a sitting.  Sigh... Au revoir! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My baby's birthday

The youngest of the kids I have (this side of eternity) turned two today.  It was a sweet day of bubbles, swings, cake, and great friends.

My second youngest turns 4 this Wednesday (yeah, close birthdays, I noticed).  These two birthdays have been making me think of the most maudlin father-daughter dance song ever written, used by Felicity's godmother at her wedding actually...  A song so absurdly sad it makes me smile widely every time I hear it.  Go get 17 tissues just in case.  (snicker sob)

Anyway.  So that's catching you up on the news... I've been asking by several what we actually did on our vacation: well we stayed in Maine, not too far from Santa's Village...

Also in New Hampshire, we shouted while swimming at Lake Echo (enjoyably true to its name!),

gasped at the edge of Cathedral Ledge (you drive up, walk a few feet, and bam the world is in in miniature below you),

then we froze at Jericho Park.  The water was warmer than the air, ya know?

We took a day trip to Montreal where we (poorly) used all the tiny bits of French I'd gleaned from my four years of it in high school,

and... I checked something off my bucket list that was so fun I want to repeat it: I had my maiden zipline trip.  SO fun, once you get past the jumping off a great height bit.  I thought my little ones would be scared to see mom fly over them, but they were enthusiastically yelling "BYE!!" when I flew down the cable and over the river.

Like how they call you a "Loon" as you jump, eh? :)
In other news, I am still (yes, unbelievably, still) getting more blood work results on the events of March.  I had to wait a certain amount of time after my loss to get tests done, so that this past week I was troubled by phone messages like, "Please make an appointment as soon as possible; the results we received need to be discussed in person."  Not willing to add high blood pressure to my list of ills, I called and demanded a "hint" at what was going on.  So I was given the most useful info that (and I quote) I "have certain markers which indicate that I could be susceptible to blood clots, but that doensn't mean I would get blood clots, and even if it did mean, it would not affect my medical care."

Whatever.  I dunno.  The tell-all appointment (such as it is) will be on Tuesday... we will see if any of the results are at all useful.  Thanks for your prayers.

"Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid."  John 14:27

Should the laity be lectoring?

I have unwittingly neglected the Catholic Carnival I was writing for on Sundays, so to catch up: 

September 15: Name and link to two Catholic blogs you really enjoy. 

Here's the link to that post; been recommending a lot of other blogs a lot lately. :)

 September 8: What is your favorite formal (memorized) prayer?

The Our Father, right?  I mean, that's the Lord's prayer.  Otherwise... I do love the Memorare. It is one of the Marian prayers that make me really feel that Mary is, indeed, my heavenly mom.  And I like that.  I need one.  Badly. 

 September 1: With which ministries/activities within your parish are you involved?

None at the moment, but I have pretty much done everything I could legitimately do... and then some, depending on who you ask.  Let's see.... I've taught CCD, sung in choirs, served in the oratory of an Opus Dei house where I did vestment care, handled chalices with white gloves, polished candlesticks for hours, decorated altars with flowers, changed the tabernacle veils, vacuumed between pews, and cut out altar bread... that last one was a beautiful honor.  I can still remember getting the cooled rectangular sheets of communion wafers and carefully sliding the sheet into the circular punch, making sure each one was perfect, praying in silence as instructed all the while.  

I have served as a maid and waitress in a couple rectories (this is beginning to sound like a resume, lol).   I once was the housekeeper of a true "old school" priest who liked my work aside from his great annoyance at the fact that I routinely forgot to leave his shaving dish alone; he used an brush, bar, and plain razor method.   It looked like soap scum to me so I'd automatically scrub it clean but somehow that messed with his shaving lather.   I also remember he was prone to leaving baked potatoes in the oven which would detonate, leaving a unique chore there...

How did I get on potatoes?  Ministries, ministries... I turned down the position of altar girl (I was about 15 when that was first allowed and my parish offered it to me--the resident "future nun" ha--but I declined).  However, I did several years of lectoring and also served as a Eucharistic minister for a local hospital.   

Since lectoring was routinely done by women in my parish (with a strong New England accent of course), I didn't hesitate to volunteer for it at the time.  However, I'd since run into several who insist being a "lector" should be reserved as a minor order.  And I do agree: in Catholic churches, the priests are the people who are set aside to proclaim the word of God from the pulpit.  

Still, while the laity are allowed and encouraged to lector, should they?  Is it better for devout people who love the Scriptures to serve as lectors, or for them to decline the position because it should be a minor order?  And secondarily, there's the argument about gender: I've debated with a good friend whether, say, a holy nun lectoring is better than a unbelieving man reading from the pulpit?  I was on the side of the nun but that was hotly contested....  Any traditional Catholics out there have an opinion on that for the comments?  Anyway....

As for being a Eucharistic Minister... that was short-lived for me.  I thought about it long and hard and, having a great devotion to the Real Presence, I came to the conclusion that it was better for someone with devotion to take the task of bringing communion to the sick then someone who was being disrespectful or, say, no one at all.  What got to me in the end was that I was instructed by the hospital chaplain to give communion to anyone at all who requested it... and I was not at all sure whether these people were believers or atheists.  So, I declined to continue the position.  But I'd be curious to have feedback on these issues, if anyone cares to comment...  (Your comments are, always, appreciated.  As is your patience with my occasional rambling days.  Like today.)  Have a great week everyone! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What I listen to

I am about to be soundly made fun of...

Per the question of the day, I'm listing 5 of my all-time favorite CD's.

(I was asked.) :D

1.  Josh Groban.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry... but yeah.  What a voice!  Relaxing and beautiful. I think of Pepper with this one:

2.  I love polyphony (many voices, no instruments.)  So reflective and prayerful.  One of my favorites is Voices of Ascension and the works of Palestrina.  Love singing it too...

3.  Pink (I'm going to make EVERYONE annoyed today, absolutely everyone, not a friend, fan, or follower left I tell you.)  Not sure what my favorite CD of her's is, and I choose to reinterpret some of her lyrics because I don't like disgusting stuff but... yeah.  If I want loud, angry music, it's Pink. Here's a karaoke version so you don't see anything untoward... it's kinda pro-marriage, this one, right?

4.  Simon and Garfunkel.  Cuz it's fun

5.  Loreena McKennitt: Love her version of "The Lady of Shallot."  English major, Anne of Green Gable stuff and all that....

Favorite English professor got me hooked on this group in college: The Anonymous Four.  Middle English.  Neat.

Glee clubs in general, like this from WPI which my husband sang with back in the 90's. Accapella is so much fun...

Okay this was more than five but... I'm also blessed to know people with some amazing voices personally.  I'm proud to say I was in choir with countertenor Christopher Lowrey when he was a kid... his voice is amazing.  Really like butter.  Ridic. (Short for ridiculous... can I have that word?  I want that word...)

And Imelda Franklin Bogue, fellow mom and blogger... I've plugged her before, but for real, she's onto something good... looking forward to that!

Got a birthday party tomorrow; see you then! :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Football Widowhood

1.  A glazed-over stare.  Unreactivity to kid chaos around.  Where "1 minute" can mean about 15.
Yeah, I'm trying to DRAW, which is scary.  To see this done WELL, go to Mama Knows, Honeychild
2.  The life of the football widow.  While he senses only the game, I perceive...

Our TV is smaller than a big box.  But I can't draw that.  Need art lessons...:D

3.  I've tried.  I want to like it football!!  It would be so convenient!  My husband would be so happy!! Instead, I look exactly like this when the Pats are on.  

Like, exactly.  Note attempt of patience in eyes contrasted with pursed lips.  grrrr...

4.  But I can't.  Football feels intrusive, downright annoying, and lasts forEVer.

5. The only time I can care is when I see them do something remotely good.  But those stories are fewer and farther between than the yucky stuff.  Sigh...  I want athletes I can look up to, even a little bit!  I want to know they hug their moms.  Donate millions to charity.  Or hey, that they're Christian. Not just overpaid, immature dudes playing a game and thus heralded as national heros. 

It bugs me...  It makes me draw bad sketches in the inimitable style of Mama Knows, Honeychild.  But hey, it's amusing me, and it's does not involve a ball or watching the Pets beat the Jats or whatever...

6.  So football season is an exercise in patience for me, a tiny piece of purgatory, a step towards sanctification. Some menfolk have informed me that it's a peaceful substitute for war; football is better than war, for sure...

7.  In sum, while I find myself (very much) wishing I had a show that took three hours at a time that I "had" to watch at least once a week to make it "fair"... I will focus on being grateful that my man does not care much for the beer and chick commercials, and that he owns but one car and one minivan. Even if the pursuit of a ball looks all cool like this to him:

"Heap getum ball.  Runnum ball to line.  Makem touchdown.  Capisce?" 
but reminds me of nothing more than this:

As a substitute for complaining or giving the evil eye, I will try to chat with a friend or go out for coffee, praying the kids don't destroy the house or each other.  

And really... I now have my own hobby.  A hobby that will help me avoid near occasions of sin regarding my football frustration: I can blog.  Even if I can't draw...

"You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses: they are unclean for you." Leviticus 11:8

P.S. This was referring to pigs.  Like "pigskin."  Aka, football... forbidden by Scripture?? 
P.P.S. Yes, I'm kidding.  Made me grin though.  :D)