Thursday, March 31, 2005

Pray for the Holy Father

I just heard Pope John Paul II received Last Rites, as his condition is worsening. I feel like the barometer is dropping, and a BIG strorm is on the way. Lord Have Mercy on Us, and On the Whole World!!

May Her Memory be Eternal!!

I have been feeling horrendous about the fact that Terri's poor family was denied access to her at the end of her life. I can only hope that the wounds caused to Terri's family will be healed by Christ's love, and the hardend hearts of the pro-death crowd will be softened. May her death not be in vain, and may her soul, and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace, amen.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Favorite Easter Indulgence

The Eastern fast is different in that there is no prescription for the quantity of food, but all meat and dairy is eliminated. I didn't miss meat that much, as I am not much of a meat eater anyway. I did miss cheese, but got used to turning away from it without too much discomfort. Eggs, I missed now and again, but not too badly. BUT, butter, butter, butter, this was the one that taunted me EVERY DAY! So, now my favorite Easter treat is .... drumroll please ... toasted English muffin, positively dripping with butter, and orange marmalade, with a steaming mug of coffee. wow. SO GOOD!!! What are you enjoying this Easter season??

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Lovely Day

Yesterday was a marvelous day in our home. We celebrated 2 birthdays, as two of my daughters share a birthday. They were born 4 years apart to the day. This was the first day since they were alive that their birthday didn't fall in Lent. It was a day of reflection for me, and how blessed I am, and what bounty I have been given.

We were able to give the two girls their dream gift - American Girl dolls. My older daughter has one, and was just as excited as the birthday girls, so they can play together.

I saw my oldest daughter struggle with jealousy, as the birthday girls were taken out to dinner, and she wasn't included. I gave her a little pep talk about the birthday parties she has had, and each child is different, and to be happy for her sisters. She went to her room, and when we left she said good bye with a forced smile, then into the bathroom.

Before bedtime, I told her I had noticed her struggle, and was pround how long and hard she fought her jealousy. She said it had been difficult, and I told her what strength she had achieved by her struggle. A smile arrived, a real smile, and we were able to end the day with all the kids happy for the birthday girls and no rough feelings. A victory!!!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Dark Night of the Soul

I have been compulsively reading blogs about the Terri Schiavo murder all day. I am stunned beyond words that our nation has come to this. I am positively heart sick that so many of my fellow citizens see nothing wrong with this. I suppose I should always have been this outraged since abortion has been legal as long as I can remember. But this situation has truly opened my eyes to something horrid, frightening, and so true it hurts. We are not the good guys (I know I read that phrase today somewhere, but I don't remember where. Just know this was not my original thought, but it verbalizes it perfectly). Our country is beginning the slide into genocide. The very same genocide that when read about in history, one would ask, "How did this happen? Why did the citizens allow such things? How did they turn a blind eye to the horror of it all?" Now I know my country is doing the same thing. Am I doing anything about it? NO. I can't. I don't know what to do. It haunts me. I will never sing the National Anthem again. I will never say the Pledge of Allegience again. I will not be proud of my homeland. I will love it. I will do my best to make it a better place. But I will make sure my children are very, very clear about what this country is all about. I will remove the veil of honor, and show them the dirty underbelly of democracy gone bad. I am going to spit on the ground at the name of our leaders, and I will hang my head when the lines "The land of the free and the home of the brave" are sung. Rot and hogwash. I see the writing on the wall and it says "YOU ARE NEXT. PREPARE TO DIE." Oh, I know this sounds ridiculous, but since my beliefs run so opposite the "values" of this country, once the defectives are killed off, next will be the dissenters, and the true intellectuals, the real artists, and poets. Are we ready for this??? I literally have heard hundreds of times about the police guarding the hospice to keep Terri from getting water, "The are just doing their job." Anyone ever hear of Nuerenburg???This is a blood thirsty generation, and I have just been awakened to the fact that my family is not safe from their bloodlust. None of us are safe anymore. Not if a judge says so. I am bereft. I am inconsolable. I am disgusted. Spit, stomp. Goodbye good men.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Holy Week, part II

Well, this virus is working us over, one person at a time. Two apparently have mostly recovered, two are on a see-saw of relapse, and two are having persistant coughs and bloody noses. The baby seems to be poised on the edge of the symptoms, and has stayed that way all week. Her fever is gone, so I can only hope the antibodies she gets from nursing will stave it off. Dh is able to be up about half the day, but then the fever returns, and he is back in bed. So far I have had no illness, just sleep deprivation, as there is a never ending stream of children in need of me all night. The baby and the two year old are up and down, the others are dealing will bloody noses and stuffed noses. I just had to send everyone to bed about 7:00 tonight, because I couldn't bear the sound of the constant coughing going on. I wanted to scream, and since that would have been utterly evil of me, off to bed they went. Supposedly this is going around, and we should be well by Sunday. We canceled the family party and rescheduled in two weeks, and this has relieved my mind quite a bit.

Enough about us. I saw the Passion Recut this afternoon with a friend of mine. I had seen it last year, and seeing it again was a different experience. Last year I was pregnant, and tended to see my fear and dread of birth, and my upcoming sufferings all over the movie. I was consoled, inspired, and uplifted, and although the movie was horrific, it was beautiful.

This year, I saw Terri Schiavo all over the film. The outrage of a few, overshouted by the crowd. The absolute blood lust. Veronica trying to bring Jesus water, and it being knocked out of her hand by the authorities. I didn't leave as uplifted or consoled, but did get a view of the "big picture". He came to make all things new, and despite the apparent triumph of evil in our country, He conquered death, and our Warrior-King-Savior is the Victor. Ultimately this will all be made right, and the contradiction of the cross, suffering, and apparent victimization will be transformed into VICTORY. Meanwhile, I am so sad, helpless feeling, and can not fathom what will be ushered into our country from this travesty. This truly is a valley of tears. I am looking forward to the Resurrection!

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Long Holy Week

Ohh, this is gonna be quite a week. One of our kiddos (2 yods) has been sick for a few days, and every time he improves, he backslides. 101 degree fever, cough, general low feeling. Now the other 6 kids all have what I am guessing is the flu. Dh has it too. This is a first for us - all 7 kids sick at the same time. I am trying mostly to make sure they all stay hydrated, and with the two year old, it is the hardest. He just is miserable and doesn't want to drink more than a few swallows. So, I have been giving him LOTS of sips, even spoonfeeding him water. Now the baby is feverish, and she isn't even nursing very well. Fortunatly, she loves her bottle with water in it, and since she is also teething (front top teeth) she likes chewing on the nipple (better than chewing on mine =) ). I am afraid our Easter may be in jeopardy, since we usually have a big family party. I don't see that happening if this bug lasts very long.

The kids old enough are offering their sufferings for Terri Schiavo, and I am offering my concern for their well being for Mr. and Mrs. Schiavo.

Right now our favorite things in the world are ibuprofin and cough syrup. May have to take the 2 year old to the dr. soon, especially if his cough doesn't improve. Prayers would be most appreciated! I have just gotten over this bug, and it lasted over 2 weeks. I see many sleepless nights ahead, and standing in the kids rooms, watching them sleep. I don't sleep well when I am concerned. I also don't feel as if I am making much sense, so will sign off.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Buried Treasure

I was going through the many piles on my school table, and came across some discarded pages of my 10 yodd's diary. She is always starting notebooks, then using the rest of the pages for something else, and throwing away her false starts. when I find them, I keep them for her, because she will love to read them someday.

This last one just touched my heart, and I want to share it:

It is a week until Christmas, and I feel so good that school break is in. We will decorate the tree with lights and ornaments. I love this time of year, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. And look out the window and see the crystle white snow. I love the smell of Christmas and the feel of jolly old Sants Claus around. When the first gift arives from California, all the children will jump for joy, and there will be Christmas lists all over the floor. And finally the day will be here, when people get to gether and bring joy to my grandma's house.

I have always tried to make Christmas a happy time, not too commercial, but still magical. This little entry was like a pat on the back. It shows she is experiencing Christmas the way I hoped she would. Yay!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Battle with the Evil Tongue, from Fear to Hope

Just an update on my battle with the evil tongue. So far it has gone miraculously well. But the real miracle isn't how my efforts have paid off, it is what the Lord has brought into my husband's life.

My main source of frustration, the one that oozes onto everyone and everything, is my husband. Now, he is a wonderful person, but in many ways we dont work that well together. He is rather ubrupt, and hyprefocused on his many projects, and highly sensitive to criticism. I am ever on the lookout, like a radar machine, for any signs of emotional disingaging, implied or actual derision, and in general feeling like I don't have enough priority with him. And I am critical. Now, this is a pretty volatile combination. I can not picture our marriage like this for the next twenty years, and don't want my life to be so full of pain. SO , this lent, I am determined to fight the evil tongue ( I can't control him, only my response, etc, etc...).

At first, I was frustrated and hurt beyond tears - what am I supposed to do when I am angry and feel as if I am being treated poorly? I realized I had no idea how to respond without anger. Still determined to curb the evil tongue, I prayed (some) and fasted (a little) and begged God for help. And I got terrific advice and help from my blog friends, especially m2. Dh and I also went to church alone together every Monday evening. Praying together really does wonders.

Two weeks ago, there was a men's retreat at church, based on the Theology of the Body. This is pertaining to what it means to be a man, and how to navigate manhood in our confused culture. I will say to you that this was the answer to my prayers. My husband is a new man. He has confidence and clarity I have never seen. He now understands something about my role in his life that I was never able to accuratly relate to him. All of a sudden, he is looking at me in an entirely different way, and I have literally felt myself soften up inside and relax. I was WHISTLING in the shower the other day. Haven't done that in years. I know the blush is still on the information he recieved, and we will slip back into our old habits from time to time. But my dh insists that he will never see some things the same again. His eyes have been opened, what was blurry was brought into focus, and what was uneasy for him finally makes perfect sense.

God bless everyone, from the Holy Father, down to the priest who presented this retreat. I think it saved me from a life of crankyness, and instead delivered a life of hope. Hope that I will have the love I need; that the relationship between us, in marriage, reflects God in the Holy Trinity, and is THE SAME LOVE. This is big, big, big.

When your husband refers to you as "God's masterpiece of creation", it does something terrific for your self image. When he refers to your body as a "sacred space", it becomes so clear that God is intimately involved in your marriage. I feel we have entered a new phase, a "springtime" if you will, and am so looking forward to our future together. Again, this is big!!

I feel the effects of this all over my life. I have been dealing with the children more confidently, and with more clarity. I have been so much less hungry, and feeling much more energetic. I see some of the reasons for my over eating - frustration. I can't believe how happiness takes the munchies away! Anyway, I keep cautioning myself not to get overly optimistic, as we are all human and may slide back to our poor habits. But just having the tools we need to come to real union gives me hope beyond measure. Praise God!!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Sticky from m2

Thanks for this, as I have had a heckuva time putting my thoughts into words this weekend. You ever have one of those phases where there are some deep profound ideas right under the surface, and you can FEEL them, but can't HANG ON to them long enought to attach words?? That's me.

Now back to our regular programing -

1. You're stuck inside Farenheit 451. Which book do you want to be? - I would want to be The Lord of the Rings trilogy. If your gonna get burned, might as well be for being courageous, noble, brave and sacraficial.

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? Hhmmm - - The latest one is Jason Bourne. Beore that, Jack Ryan. I guess I like my men to be one step in front of the adversary, and to keep fighting when the chips are down.

3. The latest book you bought was? I bought Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables for my kids yesterday. For myself, the last book I bought was Happy are You Poor by Fr. Dubay.

4.The latest book you read was? All the way to completion? Wow, I guess I guess I hardly ever finish a book. Ummm - I guess it would be The Count of Monte Cristo, a year ago. Seem like since the latest baby was born, I've only started books, and read lots of magazines and articles. Oo, oo, I know, I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth completely, right before the baby was born. So there ya go.

5. What are you currently reading? A Cry of Stone by Michael O'Brien, Happy are You Poor, by Fr. Dubay, Beyond the Birds and the Bees, by Gregory Popcek, and Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter E. Miller. I am also reading A Journey Through Great Lent, edited by The Very Rev. Stephen Belonick, Ascending the Heights, A Layman's Guide tot he Ladder of Divine Ascent by Father John Mack and the Bible, by God, for Lent.

6. Five books you would take to a desert island. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (does that count as three?) Something by St. Teresa of Avila, and Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

7. 3 people you are passing this sticky on to and why. Veronica on the Verge, Philothea at Home and Essy at This Moment, because they are all busy moms, and might like an easy post. But if not, of course, feel free to ignore. (Sorry, these aren't linked, I haven't taken the time yet to learn how. But they are all on my sidebar.)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Big News

Kate over at Heart Speaks to Heart (on my sidebar) has big news on her blog. Go check it out!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

My poor baby!

I was goofing around with a flashlight and my two year old, and happened to look in his mouth. OH my Goodness, his tonsils are all swollen, red, with little white dots all over them. Did he complain, or in any way identify he was uncomfortable? No. Thank God for being silly, or I would never even have looked in there. I'll be taking him for a strep culture in the morning. Question for one and all - why do I feel guilty when I take my kids to the doctor, as if I have obviously failed as a mother since I allowed a germ to infect my child. I get so nervous when I take kids in to the doctor. I hate that. When does the self assured part of aging kick in?

Saturday, March 05, 2005

10 things I've done that I bet you haven't

Saw this around town as well (most recently at Scattershot Direct - on my sidebar).

1. Gone to the World Series, in Box Seats (KC vs. St. Louis, late 80's)
2. Been part of a truly first rate marching band, like the kind you see on T.V.
3. Come home (while still living at my parents) and find the big oak in the back yard on fire. Calmly checking with my brothers about why is the tree on fire, again.
4. Been in a serious car accident, and unexplainably escaping injury-free. (My seat was smashed against the steering wheel. I was between the two, and had not a bruise).
5. Dissected a human cadavar.
6. Helped someone take their first steps again after a spinal cord injury
7. Helped someone learn to sit up by herself after she had a head injury. Being there every day, twice a day, to help her learn to sit, transfer, stand, walk, and drive. Cry with her, be exhausted with her, baske in the joy when she lives on her own.
8. Go on a blind date, get engaged 6 weeks later. Get married 7 months later.
9. Give birth standing, 3 times
10. Get surrounded by the police in a bank, while the bank manager says, "I want her arrested." (Long story, but it was all a mistake.)

Movie Quotes

Saw this all over the place, and decided, what the hey,

1. " It's possible, pig. It's conceivable, you miserable,vomitous mass." (From The Princess Bride. This is used frequently in our house, should anyone say "It's possible." Anyone in the room responds ,"pig. etc. )

2. "I don't think that word means what you think it means." (Also from The Princess Bride.)

3." Isn't this a geographical oddity, two weeks from everywhere!" (From O Brother, Where Art Thou". This occurs in the car, when it seems to be taking forever to get there.

4. " I slaughtered that horse last Tuesday. Think she's startin' to turn." (Also from O Brother. This is said often at dinner, when people are looking quizically at their plates, usually some form of soup or stew)

5. "It's the cops, the fuzz, the police, the p-i-g..." From the Muppet Movie

I actually have a bunch more from O Brother, Where Art Thou that we use often, but thought that might get a little old. That movie is a gold mine of quotable moments. Here's a few more, and I could keep going, but I won't.

6. "You guys are dummer that a bag of hammers"
7. "You from the bank? Pa told me to shoot people from the bank. You servin' papers? I nicked the census many on Tuesday." "Now there's a good boy".
8. "Damn, we're in a tight spot!"
9. " I'm with you fellers."
10. "Best thing you ever did for those girls is get hit by that train!" "Damn it, Penny, I didn't get hit by no train."


Thursday, March 03, 2005

"I praise your suffering and bow to your compassion"

During Lent, in the Eastern churches, during the week there is Presanctified Liturgy. This means there are no consecrations during the week, the Blessed Sacrament consumed during the week is all consecrated the previous Sunday. This is like the service in the Western Church on Good Friday. Each week, during this Liturgy of the Presactified Gifts, there is a special prayer. Below is an exerpt of this week's prayer, one that spoke to my heart.

" +Glory the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; Now and always and forever and ever, Amen.

He, though unapproachable in His being, today becomes approachable to me. He endures suffering to free me from suffering. He who grants light to the blind is spat upon by lawless lips and gives His back to be scourged like a lowly slave. When His pure virgin Mother saw him on the cross, she cried out: My Child, what have You done? You whose beauty exceeds that of all the children of men appear disfigured and lifeless! Alas my Light, I cannot look at You asleep in death. I am so deeply wounded; the fearful sword pierces my heart; but I praise your suffering and bow to your compassion. O long-suffering Lord, glory to You!"

This brought back vivid images from the Passion of the Christ. Mary, broken hearted, but praising. This is the mystery of the cross - suffering praise. Painful joy. Being wounded, but whole in Christ. This is why I love the wisdom of our Faith - it is the only answer to the unanswerable "Why???" that bursts forth from our broken hearts in our times of anguish.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Who is that fat woman in the mirror??

I was just waking up the other morning, and an idea popped into my head. My body has undergone more changes this last year than it did during pubery. No wonder I feel so out of whack, and slightly unfamiliar with myself. After my first baby was born was real similar to how I feel now. I look at myself, and do not recognize what I see . I gradually made peace with that new body, and tried really hard to marvel in the wonderful way it worked. 5 kids later I wasn't able to work in exercise to my schedule for the first time. Even still, ever so slowly, the baby weight disappeared, but so did the muscle. Then baby number 7, and now I feel so weak, saggy, and almost in despair - I get the sense that at 38 years old, it's too late to pull myself together. Things are so different this time. My feet hurt so badly, ever since this last baby was born. My schedule is in upheaval, and I just don't seem to have the gumption to re-order, re-configure, or "think outside the box". I have to laugh at myself (a sarcastic, evil little laugh), because by trade I am a Physical Therapist, and should know what to do. I would never accept such excuses from a patient. I was not the paragon of compassion, but then that wouldn't help the people get better, if all their excuses had an effect on their treatment. SO, what do I need? Someone to tell me what to do. Someone to be accountable to. Someone to help make this important enough to me. Wouldn't you think that by now, at my age, I could motivate myself a little better that this? Oh, I have purchased many things to help motivate me. Just makes me feel guilty. I have set my alarm clock early, and managed to wake the baby up. Dh can help with the baby, but it just isn't consistant. So, do I join Curves, and try to work it around everyone's schedule? Do I load up on ibuprofin so my feet don't hurt so bad, and get walking when I can? Do I buy an exercise bike, in hopes the proximity to my physical presence would help me stick to it?

In the past I have gone to the Y, joined a friend for walking, and joined a park distict class. What is so different now? We moved away from the Y, I don't have friends around who I can workout with, except one who goes at the same time of day I start school with the kids. I just don't feel like I fit in anywhere now, as none of my friends are still having babies, and most of their kids are in school (i.e. their time is their own). One thing different this year for certain is we are on track in school. Past years we were behind because I would carve out more time for myself. This year I don't as much, except for computer time. One nice thing about computer time is I can hop on the computer when ever I have time Exercise requires more planning then that.

So, if I were a patient of mine, what would I do? I think I'll play a little game with myself, and do a PT evaluation, write out my observations, short term goals, long term goals and a plan, and see it that will work. See, sometimes just taking the time to write these things out helps me to think them through. I'll update with my evaluation later.