Sunday, April 27, 2014

2 Weeks

It is amazing that 2 weeks has FLOWN by since I last posted here.  Pete and the older girls got to go on a trip to see family which left me here...far away with 4 little kids....







I missed the bigs...don't get me wrong.   But I also enjoyed the change of pace with having a house full of "not big" people.  Life is much more simple when we take 2 pre-teen girls out of the mix.  I always heard that the older they get the harder it is.  And when you are up all night nursing, changing diapers 400 times a day, and pacing the floor with a 10 month old who does not want you to sit down EVER, you can't imagine anything harder than that!









But hard changes.  And for any home school mom that is reading this don't think that I have not already thought that I have made it harder because they are no longer home with me all day.  I have thought it!  Would the struggles be less?  I know from experience they would just be different.  But I am pretty sure struggle is part of the plan for me right now.

I have about 4 days left until they come home.  I have a few bathrooms to scrub and a floor or two to mop.  But mostly I have to prepare my heart for the transition.  I have been in charge now for 2 weeks with people who comply without negotiation .





I think this past 2 weeks has given me a new perspective on some dynamics in this house.  I've had some adjusting to do and when the girls come home from this incredible vacation I know they will have some adjusting to do as well.  I can only hope that I remain the adult in the situation and remain patient...not my most natural virtue (still not sure which virtue comes natural to me...they all seem pretty tuff).




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On Making House

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We are almost at the one year mark of leaving VA.  I look back at that house and time and have to pinch myself to remember it all really happened.  Living in VA was our shortest "tour".  We meant to stay for 6 years and left after 18 months.

That house in VA was way to big.  I'm sure that sounds out of character for a mom of several kids so say..but the fact that I have those several children is what makes me say that.  They each had their own room..which meant they each had their own room full of STUFF.  We all know that more room means more stuff.  As I have come to discover, stuff does not add to the well being of a family.  I would argue it does the exact opposite.

I had almost 5000 sq. feet to fill.  And fill I did.  With each house I have a vision that I chase and I enjoy the process and progress each time.  I have no problem getting rid of stuff and starting over.  I make mistakes with purchases and they usually have a large price tag attached ...and that can be a bummer.  One of the biggest $$ was the Pottery Barn couch I HAD to have when we left Mobile.  I allowed myself to think that buying the couch of my dreams would some how change my life...

I was more than happy to let our buyer purchase that life changing couch when we sold the house in VA...and it went for a major loss.  But I count the lesson I learned as part of the initial investment.

A couch does not make a home.  A farm table does not make a home.  A perfect kitchen does not make a home.  The outside look is not the home.  I am this home.  Being the mom, making our home...that makes this home.  When I feel good about my state as a mom, I feel good about my home.  It's all part of the bigger picture.

Don't get me wrong, I love a white couch with golden soft blankets draped over the arm and cozy pillows tucked in each corner.  I love the apple green paneling in my kitchen.  I love my big table that seats my family every night.  It makes me feel good to be surrounded by things I like to look at.  But all these things will one day be part of the scene ...not the meaning of the scene.  It's what I put into the people in this house that makes this place home.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lent Checkup 2014










I always want to come up with clever titles for posts, but then I can never remember what I named a specific post when I want to go back later and check on my former self. So, today I bring you a super catchy title to draw you in, and help me find it next year.

According to my journal I had big plans this lent.  And since lent is only 5 weeks old I can recall, without much difficulty, the sacrifices I had intended as  I began this holy season....

Before I proceed I want to take a brief moment to explain the catholic notion of sacrifice.  Like I have said before, I wish the whole world was Catholic but I know that is not true. So, here it goes.

In A Nutshell:

Catholics believe that Christ came to bring us everlasting life. But before we get to the everlasting part, we have the living part to get through.  When Jesus was with us he taught us through His example.  When God created us He knew we needed to see, taste, touch and feel in order to learn and live .  He gave us His son so we could do all of those things within His teaching.  The church helps us live Christ's example by guiding us to live our day to day life in union with Christ. 

We know that Jesus went to the desert for 40 days for fasting and prayer.  Our holy church guides us to do the same union with Christ, to prepare for his death and resurrection. So Catholics "fast" from certain things, which leads us to prayer, which leads us to live our days in union with Jesus.

There are much more in depth things out there...try this and this

Anyway...back to me....

I went into Lent with a way better vision and hope then I entered Advent.  I blew Advent and I did not want to go 2 for 2 as my Alaskan Catholic record .  I know Lent is not over yet...but I can see where it is going and where it has been for me and I see the need for review. 


1. Drink Nothing But Water:

No wine, coffee, milk, juice....nothing but water.



1. I lasted until the Feast of The Annunciation for all of the above.  On the FOA I was a feast day and we kinda had a family party that day and I drank 2 cups of coffee....I allowed myself to think it was a part of the celebrating the feast...but I really just wanted coffee.


2.  Pete and I had a long overdue date this last weekend and I did have a glass of was Sat. night, after sundown so technically it can be counted as Sunday.  But I'm not really into the whole partial sacrifice model.  I struggle with an ALL or NOTHING mentality.  And I either give it up...or  I don't.  Using that very strict guide, all or nothing, I have not succeeded in the only drink water intention. 

Everything Else:

3.  I have not drank any milk or juice...except one slug of OJ this morning because I had that silly notion of..."what the heck...I've already blown it".

And then I realized I do that a lot.  I allow myself to think all or nothing type things in lots of areas....

: it's rainy...It will not be a good day.

: my hair is to short and my bangs are horrid:  I will never look pretty again.

: Pete got annoyed at me:  Our marriage is going in a bad direction.

:  I drank wine once, added coffee back, and drank some juice: Lent is RUINED!!!

But that the point?

Have I felt closer to Christ and our church through these small sufferings??  Yes!!

Have I gained a new understanding of how much wine and coffee effect me?  Do I like those effects? 

All the things I choose to do have an effect on my heart and mind.  When I pray more, go to mass more I truly FEEL different.  I think different and I act different. 

Can I count Lent as a success so far even though some of the lists I made in my journal will go unchecked?  I am tempted to feel the all or nothing ruler be my judge.  But there is so much that happens between All and Nothing....and that is good stuff.

And I realize there is still the last stretch and I don't need to give up...if anything, take a deep breathe and re-commit .  That seems more..hopeful!!

Here's to hope...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yarn Along -Easter Sunday Sweater Goal




I'm on a mission...2 little girls, 2 little boys, and me, their mom, here in Alaska alone for our first big girls, no Pete.  I needed something to look forward to Easter week...not that Jesus sacrificing His life for us is not something to look forward to...but you know what I mean...

I want to knit both girls Ginny's Sunday sweater pattern.  I knit Priscilla one the first week Ginny released her pattern.  I loved knitting it and Priscilla still LOVES wearing it.  I got the itch last week to stuff the Easter baskets with hand made goodies.  I thought I would create reasonable goals..2 Sunday Sweaters, 2 bird nests filled with knit eggs for the boys...  We will see.

I have been reading anything I can get my hands on recently...I LOVED My Sisters The Saints.  I'm reading Shirt of Flame, and Consoling the Heart of Jesus (slowly).  I also went to the coffee shop yesterday with Emily's kindle and read Jennifer Fulwiler's e-book Family First Creative .  It was SO good.  I can't wait to read her book Something Other Than God.

I actually hate to admit that I enjoyed reading on Emily's kindle.  What does that mean??  Having 24 hr. access to books may not be the best thing for my budget....


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tinker of Many: Master of None

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When Pete and I first started dating I was REALLY into making puffy photo albums.   I would cover the front of cheap photo albums with really lacy material, glue dried flowers and then stuff some fiber fill between the book and the lace to give the book a padded, super puffy feel.  I loved making them.

I moved on from puffy photo book making to stamping.  I would buy stamps, ink and fancy paper and make cards.  I don't think I did much else except create the cards...never actually sending them.  From there I got into scrap booking.  My mom and Aunts all scrapbook-ed and I remember feeling like I was an official married person when I had my very own memories worthy of a scrap book.  I actually stayed with the hobby for awhile.

There have been periods when I had no hobby, or intense interest, but those times were filled with pursuits of other kinds.  I graduated UWF with an elementary education degree that I used for no longer than 18 months before I began the hobby which has stuck the making. Which eventually led to people making.  And this is where I find myself today, deeply interested in helping make my babies into good people.  This is a full time EVERYTHING...but that does not mean that my pursuit of other things has gone dormant.  

Actually, the opposite has occurred.  I now find myself inspired to learn and do more than ever before.  Maybe being in the job of people making gives clarity to all the things possible for people to achieve.

When I started blogging it was to practice with my new camera..I wanted to be a photographer.  I was then led to knitting through finding Ginny's blog.  I wanted to own a knitting store, become a knitting designer, or raise didn't really matter because knitting took over my thoughts for a long time.  I see a good movie about a famous chef, I want to go to Paris to study cooking.  Or at least take classes online.  Either way I suddenly wanted to own a adorable restaurant where all my painted furniture decorates the place. And speaking of decorating with painted furniture....every time I get a Southern Living magazine I decide I need to open up an antique store and paint furniture forever...while knitting, photographing my 6 kids, and cooking great fresh dinners for my classically educated home schooled kids....

That was the vision.  That is still a pretty good peak into my dream life.  But please picture me living in a super cute farm house in the middle of a beautiful green piece of property with trees everywhere and a trickling brook  behind the house.

I get inspired...pretty easily.  I get so excited to try new things.  And when I do try new things I dream big. The word inspired means "God Breathes" .  With this knowledge I don't so much mind tinkering with so many different things.  But should I mind?

Until recently I never considered my constant varying inspiration bouts to have a down side.  Since I can jump from one obsession to the next it can be a challenge to gain any mastery over one specific area.
Consistent practice of tasks typically leads to better results.  Have I ever found something worth struggling through?  Has God Breathed into my heart yet the one thing that I would be willing to be bad at long enough to get better doing??

"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly"...Chesterton.  I have done plenty of good things pretty badly...and I know they were worth doing.....and by doing them I have become who I am.

But now I feel the need to do something...more.  To work towards something.  Take another step...And I think I know what I want that step to be.  I just hope it is what God Breath's....