Sunday, July 29, 2007

Off for sun, sand and solitude

Just kidding about the solitude part. We'll be together with 20 children and all my siblings and wives and my parents and 3 dogs. No solitude. But, lots of sand and sun, boating and reading and hiking.

Be blessed!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Prayers offered, preparations continue...

Well, consider yourselves all prayed for (even the lurkers too shy to ask. God knows). It was a sublime (as usual) Divine Liturgy, and a grace filled morning.

Yesterday, I took it upon myself to celebrate my birthday (it will fall while we are camping, and I know my sweet man will not plan ahead) with a pedicure, manicure, and haircut. WOW. I had no idea how luxurious these things were, as I hadn't ever had a day at the spa. The haircut turned out just how I had hoped, short and fringy, so I can just gel it and go. By far my most favorite part was the pedicure. WOW. Have I said WOW? I still feel relaxed, and my feet are so soft and pretty. I will have to go back someday, and not wait until next year. Maybe a good occasion is the return from vacation, or the beginning of school, or... having completed 8 loads of laundry in one day, or well, you get the point. It probably will be next year before I get another, but boy did I enjoy it!!

Now, I have finished packing for all the little ones, packed for myself, bought and packed all the food, packed all the games, did a thrift store run to get some beach books and a straw bag and straw hat and a kicky little skirt to wear over my swim suit (all for less than $10, mind you), and that leaves me free to go to an art fair in a close town tomorrow. Last year the art made me cry, it was so beautiful. This year I made an effort to be more at peace and creative, and I am anxious to see if that much beauty will make me smile instead of cry. We'll see.

So, I'm off to make dinner (talapia, fresh fruit, steamed broccoli and some tasty white whine, I mean wine) and I'll be sure to leave at least a farewell post before I go.

May your evening be blessed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

praying and preparing

I really feel as if I am letting this blog lie fallow for a while. I have so many things bouncing around in my head and heart, and yet am finding it very difficult to turn them into anything productive and clear. My "real life" is very full right now, and takes quite a bit of my energy and concentration, and I just don't feel the ability to concentrate on the blog. I have been spending much time in front of my icon wall, asking for assistance for you all and for my family. It seems there are lots of troubles and sorrows going on right now, and maybe the reason I can not pull together a post is because I am being called to simply pray, and then be quiet. I will be going to Divine Liturgy Friday morning for the feast of St. Panteleimon, as well as receiving another anointing. I will especially be asking for the healing and strength of soul and body for all of you. St. Panteleimon was a healer, and his prayers are very powerful before Our Lord. If you have a specific intention, please leave in the comments, and I will bring them all before the altar of Our Lord, and ask our heavenly friend, St. Panteleimon to pray to God for us as well.

I am also preparing for our annual camping trip, which is no small undertaking. Then I will be on said camping trip. So I shall be quiet here for a number of days, and will return refreshed and ready to harness the words and ideas that have been working their way out in me, God willing.

Remember to leave your prayer intentions before Friday morning, and until I return, May God bless and keep you close in His tender embrace!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The garden will brighten any day... that, and a good anointing

This has been kind of a depressing day. So much of the work we have done to fix up the basement will have to be redone, and just ick. I don't like it. But, to brighten my day, I took some photos of my flowers this year, and thought I would share. Hope you enjoy! (click on image to get a better view)
**We are also going to go to vespers tonight for the feast of St. Elijah. I wrote an icon of him a few years ago, and it remains one of my favorites. After vespers, we will all be anointed, and I know that will ease my ragged soul**

Raindrops keep falling on my head...

Lots of rain, very wet basement, up all night sucking up lots of water trying to minimize the damage. Very tired, lots more to do. Back later.

(Interesting note, this is eleven years to the day after we lost half we owned in a major flood here. This pales in comparison, it just means lots of work. We're alright, really, just still very, very, busy).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Okay, miss The Woman. Where did you go? Any crumbs coming my way??

Monday, July 16, 2007

God grant him many years!

Today is my fourth child's ninth birthday. This child was the baby that I enjoyed completely. Partly because of the fact I was a more experienced mother, partly because he was a delightful baby. He literally smiled all the time. His eyes were full of joy and had a spark of life in them that was contagious. He is still happy, content child, and therefore was a late walker, talker, and now reader. He is now, and always has been, very at ease with the present moment. He is a naturally mild mannered person, and while that makes him pleasant, it opens him up to lots of hurt and being taken advantage of. I see this beginning with some of his siblings and friends, and it rips at my heart.

He has always been fascinated with priests and monks, and wears his St. Benedict medal like a soldier. He prays fiercely after he received Holy Communion, and takes every bit of his faith seriously.

He is a master at sound effects, and can not tell a story without peppering it with all kinds of noises and hand gestures.

He is the "middle child", 4th out of seven, and gets caught between the big kids and the little kids all the time. I try to be aware of this, but if I miss a time to include him with the big kids, he reminds me right readily the he isn't little anymore. But he shares a room with his little brother, and remarked to me that now he understands his older brother (with whom he used to share a room) better.

His biggest trial now is that he is reading at a primer level, and he has friends and cousins younger than him who are much better readers. He asked me if that meant he was stupid. What a question! This child can take things apart and put them back together, figuring out the way the item works as he goes. He is the only one of my children who has his own garden, and who takes care of it all by himself and who will rake our entire 3 acres on a nice fall day, just to be outside.

He is a loner, a bit, and sometimes I worry that he will get hurt because of his mild nature, his natural kindness and his desire to please. My prayer is that those traits bring him to the vocation in life God has planned for him, and that God will hold my son in his hand, guiding him in love and confidence, so that my boy will grow into the man God has made him to be.

So happy birthday, my son, I am so blessed to have you in my life~

Friday, July 13, 2007

I've been really busy...

I hope to get caught up with everyone this weekend. I have had company all week, and I just finished all my laundry. Now I just need to put it all away (or give it away or throw it away), and then I'll make a pot of coffee and visit the blog friends. I am tired and sort of anxious tonight, and don't have the energy to absorb what I am reading, so I'll do it tomorrow. Until then, blessings and good night.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

a new favorite

This is my new favorite apron. As soon as my bohemian apron cash stash is sufficiant, I am going to make one of these mine. So, see, and check out all of the Kitchen Madonna's aprons

Saturday, July 07, 2007

How I am cared for

How does God provide? Let me count the ways.

I am a worrier. I hate worrying, but I do, every day. I worry that I won't be able to provide the things my children need, not materially, but emotionally, spiritually, deep in them. The things they don't ask for and often don't know how to articulate themselves. Yesterday I was contemplating the generosity of God, and realized how completely my children are being cared for.

For instance, my oldest son is followed in birth order by two girls. His closest brother is 5 years younger, and they don't really have a close relationship at this time. He used to be right in there with the girls, playing, talking and just being with them, but as they aged, he naturally was left out more and more. I worried he would be isolated and lonely, as we had nobody around with boys his age. Within a few months I met a family with all boys that had him over frequently, and got him initiated into the computer world. This past couple of years we are friends with another family as well with two boys my son's age. He has spent a lot of time with them, helping build a play fort, and today he is out at a pro-life rally with them. He is so happy to know them, and I fell blessed.

My second daughter is a classic "middle child". She is a little insecure of her place, a little passive, a little emotional. I just didn't know what to do to help her be HER. She had a great love for horses ever since she was 3 years old, but we just couldn't manage lessons for her. Still her love persevered, even though she had never even seen a real horse. This year, due to a providential friendship (in many, many ways), we were connected to a lady who is giving my daughter horse back riding lessons and letting my daughter earn some of the tuition by cleaning stalls. It is affordable for us and has really changed my daughter. Her confidence is way up, her joy is apparent, and I am so blessed.

Another of my middle children, my second son, is wedged between 2 girls, and although he is great friends with his next youngest sister, he is a bit of a loner. He is struggling with reading, but is so adept at mechanical things, as well as a hard worker around the yard. He is active, busy and loves to build things. My husband isn't so much that way, and my little guy has spent a lot of time wishing for more to do. Recently a family at church has been coming to get my son almost weekly for hikes, swims, and bike rides because they have a boy a little younger who needs someone to play with. My boy is so pleased, and I am blessed!

I could go on. I have lots of worries, and I try to put them to rest, but the surest way for me to relax is to just pay attention to the tender care we are all getting, and let God take over. He is really good at this, you know?


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Time marching onward...

So today is my eldest son's 14th birthday. And I celebrated by taking my 3 year old princess shoe shopping. Doesn't make any sense to me, either, but it was so fun. We went to Target and straight to the little girl summer shoes that were on sale. I just sat on the floor and watched her go from shoe to shoe, as she looked and caressed each one, and said, "O, mama, I love this one. It's my best shoe ever." Until she saw the next glittery pair, then THAT was the best. The cream of the crop was when she found these wedge flip flops (why they are made in this size I haven't the foggiest idea). She slipped them on, and was speechless with delight. She couldn't even walk in them, they were so high. But she wobbled the best she could, put her hands on her hip, and stated, "I WANT these ones. I love these!"

Of course, I didn't get those for her, but I did get her a lower wedge, metallic flip flop, with pink iridescent decorations on them. They were on clearance you know! And I have so gotten soft as the years go by. My eldest daughter was with me today, and just as delighted at watching her little sister as I was. But she was quick to point out that never, when she was 3, did she get to go shoe shopping, let alone get stylish little wedges when she already had a sensible pair of sandals.

I'll never forget how cute and funny she was then. Pleased, pretty and precious.

I had also found a little sun dress on clearance. I asked her what she thought of it. Completely straight faced, she says, "It's perfect."

We didn't end up buying the perfect dress, but I tell you, she is a born shopper.

Now, on to my eldest.

He is a terrific kid. I was a little worried when he was 12, but now I thouroughly enjoy him, and his company, and am amazed at the man he is turning into. This is the year his voice constantly caught me off guard, he surpassed my height, he takes initiative to complete a job around the house and handles things as they come up with out me telling him to. He can make dinner for all his sibling, clean the bathrooms, is the best kitchen cleaner in the house, does his own laundry ~ his future wife can thank me later.

He has simple tastes, simple needs and is kind and funny. How that little bundle of baby grew into this young man I can not fathom. I just marvel at the passage of time, but delight in what it is bringing me.

Happy birthday, my first born. I love you.


Monday, July 02, 2007

To Ginger, the Joyful Woman

I noticed you made your blog private. Since I don't know how else to let you know how much I benefited from reading you, and how much I grew from your wisdom, I am writing this here, hoping somehow you will see it.

I completely respect your decision to go private, and only wish to say "Thank You" for all your wisdom and kindness to me. I wish you God's Choicest Blessings, and continued joy always!

Back to Regular Programing

I am currently tackling the mountain of laundry here and getting back into the groove of life around here. I will do a wrap up post about the icon workshop later this week. It was an amazing experience, to be certain. And to the Woman, I will put together a post about the significance of icons. That is a matter of my heart, so it will probably take me a little while.

I have been loving some new music I came across. Patti Griffin. I just am so soothed and invigorated by her music. She has a terrific voice, writes beautiful music, and is so straight forward and simple in her delivery that I don't have to sift through anything to let it in.

My littlest girl has been super sweet and cute. I am just trying so hard to soak her in. I know that by the time she is 10, it is going to seem like I never had any little children. It seems already now like I had no babies. I have a friend with a baby, and while watching them is familiar to me, it seems like a dream that I ever held my own babies and gazed at them with such tenderness. I just can't wait to get to heaven. I am so certain this kind of disorientation regarding time and memory will just not be an issue. And now I just try to grasp the sweet beauty God provides to me every day, and let the past be the past. I wish that came much more naturally to me, to be sure.

That is all I have to offer today, and now it is back to the laundry. Blessings!