Friday, October 28, 2005

I've been tagged

I have seen this making the rounds, and now I have joined in.

1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.

drum roll please....
"Because of this I was treated as if I was in a dangerous situation."

This post was the birth story of my youngest. I am feeling inspired to repost it, this time with photos. It is one of my favorites.

17 months later, and still amazing

My first look at my daughter *sigh*

Here is the link to the story of this birth. Below is just an exerpt.

"Dh was just sitting next to the tub, stroking the back of my hand, making sure I didn't clench into a fist, and reminding me to keep my jaw slack. Mrs. Midwife was sitting on the other edge of the tub, keeping eye contact with me so I didn't retreat into my fear. Very calm, very private (remember, we're in a bathroom, not the main room), very medatative, very peaceful. This went on for 30 minutes or so, and I started feeling more pressure low, and a little pushy. Remaining transfixed by the warm water, I just let it all happen. Total bouyancy, trust in my body, power positively surging through me."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The View from Here

This is the view from the back of our house.

This is a view from the front windows of my house.

I love fall, and this year, despite the drought this summer, the colors are spectacular. It was these views that helped us decide to add on to our house rather than move to a larger house. I am trying to remind myself today why, exactly, we decided to put ourselves through this.

Actually, drywall is going in today, painting next week, floor after that, then stairs and carpet. Then trim, and putting seed down in the lawn. Progress is being made, and for that I am grateful. I get to choose paint colors this week, and that is a blast.

Well, gotta run. This has been a very unproductive day here, except on my blog ;)

The Picture Tree

Yet another fall photo of the kiddos. This tree is a beautiful addition to our yard and a favorite climbing place. I have taken group shots of them in this tree for 4 years - another tradition.

Hope you all are having a peaceful day!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Party is Over

This is my dd during the height of her party. She was oh so happy!

The group - some very interesting cosutmes. There was (L-R)Lady Luck, Cruella DeVille, Wood Fairy, Paper Boy, Nobody likes me girl (holding a pail of worms), Old Man River, and Wicked Witch of the West.

During the singing of "Happy Birthday" and "God Grant You Many Years"
(See all the stuff in the background? Boxes of flooring STILL waiting to be put in. This is a small taste of what the rest of the house looks like.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Happy Birthday to Her!

Although this isn't the greatest picture of her, (she had JUST woken up and brought the baby out to me) this is the most recent of my sweet oldest daughter. Today is her 11th birthday. She is such a joy, and is turning into a spectacular young lady. Tomorrow is her party, so I should be able to put up some better photos of her then. Until then, happy birthday to my wonderful daughter. I love you very much!

Where it all happens

This is one of my prayer places. Whenever I say I will light a candle for you, this is where I do it. I also often light incense. These are two icons I wrote, The Theotokos and Christ Child, an an icon called "Tender Kissing", and "Christ the Teacher". On His Gospel book is written, "Where your treasure is, there your heart is also."

Just wanted to give you a visual of the place I pray for you.


Prayers, please

If you could please remember my dh today in your prayers. He is having a tremendously important day at work in relation to the viability of his company. Any prayers would be ever so much appreciated. Below is one of my personal favorites. God bless you!

"O, Heavenly King, Consoler, Spirit of Truth. Who art in all places, and fillest all things. Treasury of Goodness, and Giver of Life, come and take up Thine abode among us. And cleanse us of every stain, and save our souls, oh Good One."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A True Story

This is my sweet three year old son. He is a joy, and, I believe, a miracle.

It all began 4 years ago, when my dh quit his job, for ethical reasons. He had a healthy bonus coming, so to avoid conflict of interest, he quit prior to finding a different job. He also was getting fatigued in his chosen profession, and thought he might try something else. Didn't happen. Dh's ex-boss was furious to loose the brains of his organization, and accused dh of embezellment. Long story short, this all ended up with our bonus tied up in court, with dh having no job, and us having to deal with all the ugliness of a law suit.

Then, on September 10, 2001, dh opened a business account with most of the money we had left, and started his own business, as the luxury of doing something else had vanished. Of course, we all know what happened on September 11th, and all the fear and grief that accompanied that grim day.

On September 12th, I found out I was expecting my 6th child. This wasn't in the plan. This shouldn't have happened according to my charts. This just plain, old shouldn't have happened. Was I being cursed? Punished? How could God do this to me?? I mean, I live trying to trust God, remain open to life, yet could there be any worse timet to have a baby?: WHAT WAS HE THINKING??? This is what went through my head as I lay awake, night after night, and fought sleep day after day.

The pregnancy dragged on. I had high blood pressure, high blood sugar, had to switch insurance providers to save money, and therefore had to pay for the birth ourself. Meanwhile, dh's business is tanking in the post-9/11 stock market mess.

This is a really long story.

So I will skip most of it, except to say that God took the most exquisite care of us. We never had a need that wasn't filled. Somehow, we managed to go nearly two years with no income, and suffer no permanent repercussions. We found how many dear friends we had in our life. We found that our church was a refuge and a strength for us. We were able to turn to family for help without shame. And, we got our dear, sweet son, who couldn't have come at a better time. He soothed my soul, gave me joy, gave me the sweet simplicity of a new, lovely baby, at a time when the world seemed so complicated and dark.

People often assume that our seven children were a choice for us, you know, good for you, if that's what makes you happy, and all that. No, this really wasn't what I set out to do. I didn't have any desire for baby number 6, thought I was being punished, and was beside myself. When he was born, I realized that God did know better, and knew exactly what I would need at exactly the right time.

Now, things are better, dh's business is still surviving, we have another baby, and all the legal and financial mess is ancient history. And we still have this little precious boy, a gift, and a constant reminder to me of God's tender care.

Friday, October 14, 2005

What a Gorgeous Day!

(Click on the photo for a better look)

We had a great day at the "pumkin" farm today. The weather was perfect; 70's, crystal blue sky, slight breeze, aromatic air and colorful trees. We have been going to this particular farm for 12 years. This year my 12 yo ds acted like he was too old, but despite himself, he had a good time. This is a photo I took today, showing the kiddos in all their uniqueness. This was taken on the "train that doesn't move", which is a wooden train for kids to climb on, but, as the kids have called it for years, it doesn't move. Each year, a new child explores this place with wonder, and even the older kids who are getting less "fun" out of the visit do get delighted to see their little siblings enjoying themselves so much.
I spent $70 on 7 huge pumpkins, and it was worth it. It is a "tradition", and I am so blessed to have been able to keep it yet another year. Praised be God!

One of my vacation blessings

While I was on vacation, I had time to read and reflect on a series of spiritual imperatives from a book "The Inner Voice of Love" by Henri J. M. Nouwen. Through him, I have been receiving the tender mercies I have been searching for from those around me. But I don't really have the guts to tell people the real me or listen to their real answers. So in this book, I am finding my voice, as well as the Tender Voice of God in response. I realized I am looking for communion and unconditional love, and I am actually begining to believe My Dear Savior, Jesus Christ, is The One I will lean on, turn to and receive comfort from. He will fill my holes, feed my soul (I mean really, actually, and truly feed my soul, in The Blessed Sacrament), and nurture my heart. He is the Divine Healer, and I can feel His anointing in my soul. Later today, I will post an excerpt from this book, an imperative that opened my eyes and heart. Til then - blessings!

(Please excuse mistakes, no time to proof!)


Here is the spiritual imperative I was referring to. I bolded the places that I had underlined as I read.

Stop Being a Pleaser

You have to let your father and father figures go. You must stop seeing yourself through their eyes and trying to make them proud of you.
For a long as you can remember, you have been a pleaser, depending on others to give you an identity. You wanted to give your heart to others, and you did so quickly and easily. But now you are being asked to let go of all these self-made props and trust that God is enough for you. You must stop being a pleaser and reclaim your identity as a free self.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Could it get any better than this? or My Favorite Vacation Ever

Okay, now that I have had a chance to catch my breath, I can fill more in about our vacation.

We drove about 3 hours, to a camp on a little lake in the woods. This camp includes many cabins, a kitchen, a lodge, a shower house (with laundry), and a beach, canoes, and hiking trails. We had the entire place to ourselves, and although we could have used more than one cabin, we decided to stay together in one with 4 bedrooms. Now this is a rustic place. The rooms are small, the beds are metal frames with foam on boards for matresses, etc. BUT, they are cozy, and comfortable and as clean as you can get in the woods.

We made some spider pets right away. For some reason our family always connects to spiders. There were two in the shower house that had tubular webs. They were so shy, they would retreat into their tubes whenever we came in there. By the end of the week, though, they were used to us, and would only hide if we made too much noise. We named them Charlie and Stripes.

The second day there, we caught a baby chipmonk in our cabin. SO CUTE~ but I didn't want it to be in my cabin. We put him in an upside down mesh wire trash can for a while, and fed him apple pieces and acorns. He settled down, and relaxed once he felt safe. A yellow jacket flew into his makeshift cage, so my dd let him go - she didn't want him to get stung. She said, "Even though I miss Oreos (as the little guy was named), I am happy for him to be free. I am sure he is much happier now."

Over the rest of the week we caught, named, kept shortly and released a toad (Fatso), two frogs (Jelly Bean and George), a small garter snake (Stinky), and another spider (Giant, and he was HUGE). The boys and dh caught a catfish, and a blue gill. My 3 yo son caught the blue gill all by himself, and he tells anyone that will listen, "I caught a boo giw."

The weather was absolutely, perfectly, gloriously lovely. The first day was slightly chilly, crisp and aromatic. The next 4 1/2 days were warm and balmy. I sat on the beach, under a pretty pastel umbrella, and read while watching the children play at the beach. The little ones had life vests on, and this is a really shallow beach, so I didn't have to be right on top of them every second. The last three days were chilly but not uncomfortable. We had a little rain one night, just enough to be cozy, and it was chilly enough the last evening to have a fire in the lodge fireplace. *Sigh* just thinking about it makes me relaxed.

During the week, I read "A Town Like Alice" and "To Kill a Mockingbird". Ahhh. Sweet, sweet glorious free reading. I enjoyed both books immensly, and will go into more detail in a different post. This one will be long enough!

The view from my bedroom window was across a soft hill down to the beach. I sat there and watched the kids and dh for hours. I realized I had never had the pleasure of watching him with the kiddos alone. If he has all the kids with him at home, that means I am gone. On other vacations, I usually stay with the littlies, and he takes the older kids. This time, he had them all at the beach, even the baby (who only ate a little sand). He is a terrific dad, and compliments my parenting so well. I can see what God was thinking when He put us together in this parenting thing.

Well, there is more, but I will have to take it up later. Duty calls, and I want to do a good job relaying this gift of a vacation. Blessings to you all!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Travelers Have Returned

We're baaack! It was a delightful, refreshing, and oh so soothing break. I will post later on the details and lessons learned, but what I can say now is that I needed the break, and I feel like I finally had time to do some long over due reflection.

Our house is still in disarray, and it is going to take longer than projected to get things finished, so I will be coming and going, sometimes gutting it out here, sometimes staying at my mom's house. It's all good, though, progress is good.

Mostly, I just wanted to say Happy Anniversary to my dh. It's been a thirteen year roller coaster ride, and although that kind of thrill ride makes me nervous, I have to admit it is exciting. May God grant us many more years in peace, health and happiness!