Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Finally a Daybook - With a Whole Lot of Catching Up

Outside my window...the weather has been unseasonably warm for the start of January. The kids played in the creek, which was swollen from an over night flash flood. blue skies, beautiful days to be outside. We are soaking it in with cooler weather on the way.

I am thinking ... about how much I missed blogging and reading blogs. I do love instagram (I'm mom_in_texas). I like to sit and sort through photos and process life and experiences. The days go by so quickly, the years fly by. I want to stop and think and appreciate and note all the things of life. It is a good life. I am thankful for it, and for the people with me. There are struggles and surprises, which I never imagined, and try to hard not to bemoan. I am human. I do complain. I worry, too much. All I will consciously work on for my 2017 resolution: "Trust. Don't Worry."

I am thankful...for my husband safely home from Saudi. Did that happen? Life is a blur. his photos were so interesting. he has great stories to tell of that part of the world. What a different life on this same planet. He spent time in Germany on his return and brought me some German sweet bread and a couple of beautiful scarves. The best thing, is that he came home safe and sound.

I am reading.. my Bible and my missal. For the new church year, I decided to do a Bible study to see how much of the Bible a Catholic actually reads by attending mass in a year. I am double dipping by using the tradition Latin Mass readings and the Novus Ordo readings. I try to mark them separately in the Bible, but am not consistent. I also mark other readings from other spiritual work like the Jesse tree and Marian meditations. Anything I find motivational. I have never enjoyed a Bible study more and I've stuck with it. I am looking forward to the rest of the liturgical year. 

Also, my friend Margaret has always wanted to do a book club. As always, she has a funny story to go along with her desire. I love her! I have done a couple book studies, but never last more than one book. Out New Year's Eve resolution was to start reading Brideshead Revisited based on the recommendation of her 20 year old daughter. I have stayed away due to subject matter, but she assures us it is worth it, very Catholic. My copy is on order. We are planning on reading and having a new reason to get together to visit!

I am learning...
I also bought a Continuing Professional Education class to start working on renewing and re instituting my CPA license. Yuck. I forgot how boring reading tax code is. Haha. I haven't gotten very far, and need to try harder with tax season upon us.

Pictures of my kids others have shared with me. 
At the Marine ball:

At birthday parties:

Playing paintball with friends from church:

I am new cowboy boots today. A Christmas gift from my husband. I need to break them in.

I am an icky appointment on a stressful matter I'd rather not disclose but would appreciate any prayers.

This was day 2 of putting in the water line. All hands on deck, even though some aren't as enthusiastic as others:

Water to the garden! Yay!

Around the farm...the number of chickens has surprisingly diminished. A raccoon must be sneaking while we aren't looking. We are one half the number of a few months ago. We hatched some and have four babies. We need more, so we'll keep trying.

I am hoping ... this little lady keep gaining weight. This is from a couple of weeks back and she looks better today. We treated her for worms. Now she has some warts. I guess some are just weaker and not as strong a constitution as others. Cows do have personalities. This one is a little out of it, "Oh, we;re eating now? I guess I should go on up and eat...oops its all gone."

Around the house... still cleaning up and putting away serving items from our New Years Party. I still have Christmas decor out. No hurry.

In the kitchen... made shredded chicken, a favorite for tacos.
Tonight I'm making humsa, a ground beef/lamb cooked with onions and pine nuts and spiced with cinnamon and allspice. 

I am watching...a variety of movies and shows over Christmas break. We saw Moana and Rogue One in theaters. Fun! I love movie popcorn and we tried out Alamo Drafthouse to have dinner while watching a movie. We watched the series Homeland, yes, the whole series. I cant get into the second series of Man in the High Castle. We watch Criminal with Kevin Costner, very exciting and very violent. Craig found Grand Tour, so now I get a break from the need to watch. 

I am listening to.. people sleep. It's now 5 am, but I woke up at 3 and could not go back to sleep. Sometimes weather changes, hormones, worries keep me up and there is no going to sleep even after a full rosary and chaplet of Divine Mercy. Lilly slept with us and has a little six year old sleeping child whizzing that is comforting to listen to.

A few plans for this week...trying to get doctors appointments out of the way early. First visit to eye doctor and dentist done. Should finish most of those up in next two weeks. Some had no problems,  some had big problems. Usually the same culprits every time. 

I am praying for ... Betsy, our past piano teacher. Sweet lady who thought she had diabetes, but now diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and is on hospice. Also praying fore Father Victor Brown. I read his saint summaries and personal stories via email loop for many years. He is in hospice after a stroke. The notification had this comment: 

"Let us realize how fortunate we are to have the consolations of our holy faith as we find death approaching. We might remember the wonderful words of Cardinal Manning, an elderly English Bishop who was asked on his deathbed, "How do you feel?" He smiled and said, " I feel like a schoolboy going home for the holidays."

I am looking forward games resuming tomorrow after co-op. We are so busy,trying to balance all the kids commitments is a challenge to me, and to others involved with us. January and February are busy basketball games and tournaments and 4-H competitions. Sadly, we are skipping the archery district tournament this year.

A peek into my day...from our nature walk and goofing around outside.

Crazy sand patterns left by a flash flood.

Something that made me quickly the weather changes. This afternoon walk needed jackets while two days ago the girls were basically swimming in the creek.

Spotted some animal tracks by the creek.

I've missed this space. It feels nice to get back to making an active reflection on our lives.

2017 Saint, Resolutions and Goals

I have
Saint Jane de Chantal

Image result for saint jane de chantal
My word for the year is Trust.

I also had a phrase pop in my head: to abandon my will to God's Providence, but really, it's the same thing.

To partner that, I resolve to worry less. This will be an active resolution as worrying is an inherited trait.

I also give up judgement. I won't judge anyone, I don't care if anyone judges me. Freedom.

I'm also keeping my goals simple: be present, love unconditionally, live healthier and grow closer to God.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas and New Years

Christmas and New Years
This season was very blessed. We had school off from our co-op early in the month. We leisurely shopped and decorated and joined in many Advent and Christmas activities.
It was smooth and very pleasant.
Even our (mandatory) Christmas Card setting went fairly well. No yelling, no crying. haha

The week before Christmas my parents dropped  by to exchange gifts.

We attended midnight mass.

Every year I say it's our last because it is hard to stay up so late. Nick is usually scheduled since he knows the mass well and he's a good example for other servers to follow.
Molly and Sebastian were able to join us for mass. We slept in and opened gifts in the morning. A lovely chaos that I refuse to photograph. Pictures could never do the joy justice.
Everyone was pleased. Everyone was generous with each other. I received many surprises, and was delighted with the creativity and generosity of my kids.
We had our Christmas dinner a little early because Molly and Sebastian had to go to his family. Steak, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole, Hawaiian rolls, sautéed mushrooms, wine with chocolate pie  for dessert. 
The day was restful, relaxed,  and happy while we all played with or discovered our gifts. 

The week between included packing up and seeing Molly off to California. We all followed their journey driving a while day across Texas, and amazingly finishing the drive the next day through New Mexico, Arizona and California to the coast . Ah, to be young. Lilly and I decided we would take four days if we drove out there.

Max was home. He had many days off to recuperate from so many days off shore and knowing he was facing more days to come.  He's already left for a long stint now. 

Craig had days off and started trenching and laying water line and power lines to bring water and power to the garden, chicken coop and his shed. He was thrown off track by a kidney stone attack. I do believe he was blessed by a quick passage. Max suffered this summer and it was many days of suffering. After a trip to the ER for pain management and confirmation, Craig felt better the following day. Dehydration always seems to bring these on.

We finished the week with a New Year's party with a wide age range of family and friends. Everyone was happy. There was good food, Craig cooks sausage from a local place, everyone brings sides, sweets and drinks to share.
Fireworks and bonfire were fun and a little tamerite. We had many teenage boys in attendance who were quite delighted with all the celebration explosions.
My parents were able to come again, and brought two dogs they were babysitting for my niece.
I enjoyed every bit of it and took no photos at the party. I soaked it in. I hope these memories don't fade.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

When Children do Adulting, Marriage and Use Free Will Differently From What Was Planned

First, let me wish you a happy New Year, with blessings abundant for 2017.
I'm excited and apprehensive about this new year. Many changes right off the bat, many uncertainties looming, some stressful, some so unknown I can only work on my New Year's resolution and new word: Trust. Resolve to give up worry.

My oldest daughter and my new son in law have moved to California. This last year I fought this, whether I realized I was fighting it or not. Mostly all of 2016. I prayed more against this from happening than I've prayed for anything. Ever. And yet, it happened. They are alive and happy and working toward getting their marriage blessed in the church.   I pray she finishes her degree. But I have to let her live her life.

So I have come, slowly, to accept my will is not what's happening here. I pray for their protection and happiness. I will and already miss them terribly. But life has changed. Some things have stayed the same. I am needed to be present in the lives of my children here. They need me as a nurturer and teacher and all else I do. They need me to do it with love and specific attention to them. I have accepted this, I embrace it and look forward to what 2017 brings me and them.

When I first knew what my heart had told me about Molly's plans, I cried, I cried for two months. My priest told me about what a priest told Saint Monica: a mother's tears and prayers are never wasted. So now I pray, a few tears will still fall. But I am beginning to let go, be happy for her and wish her well. It took a lot of courage to go against the norm. I wish it had been different, but I accept it now. Unconditional love doesn't come easy.

I have gone through all stages of grief! And now, I'm tired of grieving. I want joy back in my heart. I'm looking forward to a church wedding in their future and wish them all the joys life can bring.

Their smiles show their joy. I am so thankful for that!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Space Center Houston

Field trip while Max was home and everyone was offf school.
There are never enough hours to visit! So much to see and do. Can't wait to go back.