Monday, January 30, 2012

What do you see?

Mother/ Daughter or Big Sister/Little Sister?
Does a judgement pop in your head when you see these faces, assuming this young girl got pregnant? Some people look at this beautiful pair and mutter audible scorn and judgement, treat these girls as if they are a picture of sin, and walk past them oozing with disdain and judgement. I want to challenge them: if this 15 year old was the mother of this one year old, didn't she make a pro life decision, living her youth for an other to have life? Do we have the obligation to give her support and love for choosing life, at least not add our judgement on to her cross? Or do we already make teen motherhood readily accepted in our society? Most high schools, and even junior highs, have nurseries now!

Of course, what I see is beauty that fills me with happiness; these are two of the most beautiful people I know, my oldest and youngest daughters. I am so blessed to have a great helper; my youngest gets to have another pair of helpful loving hands and my oldest gains experience to draw on when she is a mother. Since that isn't what many people see, and often make my daughters uncomfortable with these uncomfortable exchanges, it makes me wonder what could be done to change the culture from all viewpoints. We have chosen to add teen mothers and their babies to our prayer intentions, along with praying for an end to abortion..

A child has a right to be born. And just because we don't approve how that child was conceived, shouldn't we still surround him with love? How do we support without encouraging this behavior?

Fortunately, for support of my daughter who happens to look to some like she is my youngest daughter's mother, we know many sister pairs that span of 14+ years which offer my daughters support and protection to live their lives surrounded by love and support.

I teach my children to understand what love is and when it's appropriate to share that love to create a child. I pray for my sons and daughters to make holy decisions and be blessed abundantly at the appropriate time in their life. But, if one of my daughters made the choice many assume in this picture- I would welcome life, support life. As Catholics, we need to go beyond the sidewalks at PP and see how else we can make a difference in our culture. It goes beyond to how we educate youth from engaging in sexual activity, support these girls when they need it, and promote adoption.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dear homeschooling graduates,

I want to give words of encouragement and support and issue a challenge to you.
You are the generation that will take over and change the world. Being the first homeschooling generation, you were raised with Christian principles by parents who took risks to do education differently, enduring minor rebukes and major judgements, investing large sums in building your own libraries and trying many curriculum while paying taxes for schools you wouldn't attend.
Much of the world you witnessed.
Much you were protected from.
Many of you are already out in the world courageously starting your careers and families.

Hold fast,
Be courageous,
Believe all can be done!

keep in mind the homeschool brothers and sisters coming up after you. As always with the oldest, there is great opportunity and great responsiblity as eyes are on you.
The choices your make.
The life you will lead.
You are living how "homeschooler" will be defined.

If there are failures - get up try again, and again, and again. Then, find another way to get there.
Support each other. Don't judge each other
Create a world for you all with your vision of anything is possible.
Don't let the world tell you how it's always done.

Be proud of all of being free to create your own way.
There are so many young hs parents wonderig if they are doing the right thing by homeschooling and they will look to you for your example.

It will take Courage.
You have had to face many things with courage already.
Don't let the world tell you What to do,
or How to do it,
or Who to be.
Live a live you know will be accountable to God, and the world can't hold you.

Trust that dreaming homeschool child within.
Don't let the working world steal your imagination.
Push on and be patient for your time to shine and implement your dreams.
It will come.
God has a plan for this homeschool generation.
Its exciting to be alive to watch it,
And gives such hope to know you all are out there!

A mom so proud to see this generation creating their own way - changing the world for the next generation to thrive.

Counting Gifts: still counting - 650!

Ok, I’m slowing down on my goal to 1000. So I’ll either post every 50 or once a week. Still thankful for so many things – my life is pretty repetitive, so trying not to say the same every day!

650 companionship of the Holy Ghost
649 natural highlights
648 the wonderful fact that yummy baby hands actually work
647 Loving God’s Creation in the perfection of baby skin: heavenly soft
646 Being asked to be part of the preparation of adding another Soldier to Christ’s army
645 Catechism at my fingertips – my favorite app: Ipieta
644 A quick visit with M’s old violin teacher
643 Snoring babies
642 For Craig -  the “doghouse” is a comfy rv (not that he was in trouble)
641 Crazy color hair: It’s only hair, it’s only hair, it’s only hair…
640 Getting musically inspired
639 Our Friday morning activities: group dance, making marbles, stuffing dolls, virtue training, praying together, socializing – so so thankful!!
her sisters dressed her today
638 My girls making their own dolls
637 “The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which one to burn.” – David Russell
636 Sweet CC – most patient sick patient ever
635 Someone to look up to
634 Steadfast husband –example to the world it can be done
633 Discussing our Blessed Virgin Mary’s biblical origins with M and N
632 Unexpected sushi date night
631 Having E for company waiting for M
630 Little house gingerbread  - and how they enjoy baking!
( I think N had a hand in helping ) see it?...

629 Roses blooming in January where and when you’d least expect
628 Rush
627 Train whistle in the distance
626 Feasts at our round table
625 Big brothers!
624 N says Missy L is never “out”  - (she knows she’s special)
623 N and E exercise chase game rule: “if you vomit  - you are out.”
622 Ten minute power clean with everybody helping
621 Meditations on all the Holy Marys in the Bible
620 Indoor exercise for P.E.
619 L says “ding dong” and starts dancing in circles the “Let’s do the fork in the garbage disposal” dance.
618 driving home in crazy thunderstorm – safely
617 scale to finally move to give n a little encouragement when I need it
616 comfortable bed
615 cooling air taking over in a very humid room
614 Benefits of enabling my husband to be a work a holic – doing crazy adventures with my kids with a bonus of seeing Mx and meeting his friend.
613 Just gotta love: Lubys + Missy L + old people. Everyone waves and leaves smiling!
612 Newly renovated rooms
611 Helping N find his rhythm & being able to sit in on his piano lesson
610 Big fleece warm blankets
609 At least a small refund is better than having to pay any more taxes
608 Little girls painting each other’s nails
607 News of remission for a sweet young man and his family and friends who love him
606 Getting enough school done for one day
605 Finding a lost bag with borrowed items in it and – bonus – not panicking
604 Finding a left out coffee cup giving me memories of a nice visit with Father
603 My little one sleeping in her dads spot after he left for work smells like him when I hug her.
602 …and he never hesitates to share them.
601 that my husband has many talents…

Friday, January 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

Not having a good moment:
Bump on head - hurts
Bow in hair - annoying
Smelling marker - left a blue dot on nose and didn't even have a scent!
The look says it all!
I didn't think a twenty month old was capable of such an expressive expression!

When I think we are doing enough, before even enjoying the satisfaction of a job done; it suddenly becomes very clear how many areas we aren't even touching! Sigh.
I know there are going to holes in homeschooling, but sometimes I want to see the bucket getting filled!

Nothing like an "Epiphany" house blessing to realize the house needs DEEP cleaning. At least Father didn't look in the closets and under the beds. Still enjoying a clean house days later.

My ten year old loves to cook and to be creative. It is interesting what she comes up when she combines both talents - besides a huge mess, I mean.
In her defense, she is also good at cleaning the kitchen.

The more I try to force someone to do something, the more resistance I get. Its almost worth backing off, settling down and letting her see what she is missing. That way, if she missed the fun, it was her choice and I can walk away from feeling responsible for making sure everyone does everything I think would be neat or fun or educational at that particular moment.
It's exhausting just thinking it through!

Home made dolls made my six year old hands and ten year old hands are pretty sweet!

I saw some yellow bell flowers on the ground at a friend's house that seemed out of place this morning; after all, we are in the middle of winter. Then, I remembered seeing roses blooming at the church we take piano on Tuesday. My six year old wanted to pick one and I said no. And then, thinking a bit more, I was noticing how green the grass is through my neighborhood today, greener than spring, summer and fall last year due to the drought.
I love vibrant signs of life and growth in nature. It seems God is tapping me on the shoulder telling me to notice the subtle beauty around me, and all I've done is rush pasted it this week. (It's been a extra busy week).
It feels too easy to enjoy it. I am afraid a winter storm will come in and kill all these sweet plants in bloom and we won't see any more beauty out of them this year. I am ready for a nice long spring. Last year was hard on my senses. It was a long, hard, hot, dry summer. It didn't feel like it usually does around here. So, even more, I should soak in the beauty when I can, especially if its fleeting.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

{Pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter
E wanted to make lamb and cross shaped gingerbread - so we tried Laura Ingall's recipe. Perfect timing after finishing reading 
Little House in the Big Woods today. No egg recipe - should be called spice bread. Yummy.
She also went on to make some cookies of her own recipe (with cocoa powder). Tasty!

L picked this out for Christmas. Its her favorite toy. She can (usually) work all the openers. A couple still give her a little trouble.

This is kitty's favorite spot to hang out - the window above the computer in my old stationary box.


when dad is out of town, three little girls fit in his spot
round button chicken

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If I could give myself some advice...

If I could just go back in time...
....I could save myself some motherhood anxiety.

Not sure why I thought life would get easier as my kids got older, but I sure thought my life as a mother-of-one was hard. If I could go back 19 years, living in a small rented house overlooking the Gulf, with nothing to do all day but hold, nurse, change and love my new baby boy and make dinner at the end of the day for my husband, I'd tell myself to soak it all in. That me -  cried and felt sorry for myself, lonely all day after being so busy building my career. I would reassure myself that leaving the career I had sacrificed so many hours up to this point was worth it. Don't look back! Those skills would come into play again in the future. I would tell myself that most of those tears were probably postpartum hormones that would settle down soon. I would encourage me not to miss any La Leche meetings as many friends will come from this pool of people. Keep my heart open. Sit still and enjoy the precious life God has entrusted to my hands. Greet my husband with a big smile and a kiss every night he came in from work.

I did have many moments where I realized that life was good and I was blessed. I soaked in moments of fulfilling happiness and it built my confidence as a mother. I was in the mothering groove. I was a mother of one perfect little boy - I had it figured out.

Then, I had another baby - and oh, poor me, life was so "hard" again. We lived in Alabama, far away from family to help me take care of this new baby and her three year old brother. I did have an idea of what I was doing. I was blessed with an easy pregnancy, wonderful birth, recovery was quick, nursing was easy. Pre pregnancy, we moved into an interesting 'cottage' overlooking a picturesque lake. My artistic spirit had been awaken and everywhere I looked was inspiration. But - ask me then -  and I am sure I would tell you life was hard and I knew it would get easier as this kids got more independent. Looking back, I now remember my dad teasing me that I was living "on vacation". I admit, it makes me smile. I would tell myself to soak in the beauty; cherish those visits with my precious friends made in Alabama.

Fast forward - third baby - two weeks late, huge, huge baby, easy labor, easy recovery, sweetest creature to ever live. We lived pretty easily too - our easy home- a two bedroom apartment closer to family with one as full floor bed and the other a playroom. Oh my, what did I have to keep myself busy? My husband did travel every week - (but let's be honest, I'm sure I knew that made some things easier). I was so blessed: a sweet, creative, imaginative home schooled boy in first grade; a bright, artistic, energetic, adventurous two year old girl, and the snuggliest, happiest, chubbiest little guy! She did have teeth problems, and we were facing another move, this time to uncharted northern territories. So, I know I thought life was hard and getting harder. I know there must have been some money concerns, but we always had more than we needed.

New house, new baby - #4 back in Texas again. I was so tired of picking out my dream home to spend the rest of my life just to move again - I just let Craig buy this one without seeing it until we moved in. He made a great pick, lots of room to grow. He built a home school room with bathroom and shelves for my books. This little girl came into the world easy as birth could possible be! Beautiful, healthy, sweet!

 Well, we moved again, why should you be surprised to hear: another new baby? #5 I am not sure that I actually thought life was harder. I think I thought it was about the same. Heck I was over 40 - hadn't I earned a little perspective by now? I had moments of bliss, easy life and I knew it. I started to get a glimpse that time was flying by, we should enjoy all, learn as much as we could, share lives, make friends, have experiences worth remembering.
Another move...and the little baby belonging to this move took her time coming, She made us wait until we had everyone potty trained and speaking in complete sentences.We thought we had independence to go on weekend getaways. By this baby, I KNEW not to complain. I thanked God for her, and it makes me so thankful for all the other blessings that have made my life wonderful, purposeful and worth living. I know I am here to be their mom not just doing this for a while and then rethinking what I am to do when I finally grow up.

Heck, by the time I am done home schooling #6  God willing- hubby will be retired. But - what a joy! How blessed we are to have this little Missy with us through the years to come. With my oldest leaving for college, she has been a gift to us all to keep busy, keep growing.

Some young mothers complain they are told to slow down and feel pressured to enjoy it. But - take it from this mom, who has been in the trenches a long time - it gets easier, and then it gets harder, then it gets easier, then it gets harder,.... you get the idea. Don't try to rate or evaluate it. Be gentle on yourself, on your kids and give your husband extra love!! Do take lots of pictures, journal & record special moments, keep adorable artwork, and enjoy the ride! Try not to show them your worst while saving your best for company, don't put off dreams for some future time. And instead of getting annoyed at those little old ladies who tell you it goes by too fast - instead - ask them about their children. It is so good for your heart to see an older mom brighten up as she tells you about her children. That will be us sooner than we think.

My oldest is in college and my youngest is still in diapers. I still have many opportunities to listen to my own advice.

Monday, January 23, 2012

We made an impression

Sent to me - as a reminder of a visit with my family...

from our priest!
So, we made an impression alright.

(I didn't even tell him we make water slides in the backyard!) :0

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Counting Gifts: 3/5's of the way to 1000!

600 A House Blessing with Epiphany Holy Water. (ie. "Super Holy Water") & nice visit with Father.

599 N serving Traditional High  Mass
598 Coffee and donuts after Mass
597 Electronic devices to distract a bored girl for the long drive to church
596 Beautiful cobbler specially made for a special visitor.
595 Tummy rumblings in the middle of the night- reminds me at least I didn’t overeat.
594 Sleeping so peaceful – tightly snuggled.
593 Nighttime parenting
592Beauty to look at every day
591Thankful for today – an ordinary Saturday, one spent happy with each of my beautiful children and wonderful husband! A perfect day! Deo gratias!
590 Fun run to Target get M
589 Burn ban lifted
588 Living in the country so we have the property and the freedom to cut down trees and burn them in our yard.
587 Being married to a (wanna be) lumberjack has its benefits.
586 passing the torch to N (as far as outside work machinery goes)
585 College is close enough for weekends quick visits.
584 Being reminded of the horrors in the world, and so thankful to provide a bubble of safety – at least for now.
583 Being able to answer a tax question for a friend.
582 Fading scars
581 Little girls discovering their sisters’ ‘hand-me-downs’ are for them.
580 College boys coming to the rescue.
579 Hubby taking teens to teen night
578 For protection of purity – praying for all girls out in the world!
577 finding out we didn’t spread that horrible illness to a pregnant lady
576 Kids have time to sharpen their ingenuity – (and sharpen the weapons out of sticks).
575 Nature journaling – so happy to have class start up again.
574 Seeing L playing with the big girls – ad seeing how happy it makes her.
573 Being awake before the alarm yells at me – somewhere to go that I need an alarm.
572 “Dear mother, don’t worry about enjoying your life. Your life is hard; your life will be hard. That doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong – it mean you’re doing it right.”
571”Now I can see that children are as light as air. They float past you, nudging against you like balloons as they ascend.” Beautiful.
570”Only so that you can become strong enough to be a woman who will be left.” Motherhood…sigh
569 Kisses from L
568Two pounds – I’ll take it! Craig’s five – even better.
567 Shopping with a one year girl for shoes – the love for shoes is innate.
566 College giving Mx hopes and dreams for the future
565Cody giving Basic the chance it needs, hoping it’s enough!
564 Daughters in the kitchen making egg salad and tuna salad
563 To have more than we’d ever need!
562 thankful a bath can reset a bad mood.
561 for hubby rearranging his work scheduled for that sweet teenage daughter!
560 thankful for mental distractions
559 Missy L loving being part of our family- having lots of siblings to entertain her!
558 Heard from Missy L, “Wisha wisha wisha.” Not sure what it means but it comes out happy and conversationally
557 Little House read aloud – heard from the kids “keep reading”!
556 Thankful for finding blogs out there written by like minded mothers
555 Advice to strive for “Order and Wonder” as two main goals of the structure of homeschooling
554 Best reminder of getting chores done (from a blog) “ …if you would just grasp, once and for all, that’s it’s better to have it done by a five year old than not done at all.”
553 “Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels.” – magnet from my mil’s fridge.
552 Committed and passionate piano teacher
551 Listening to C tell me who she is going to pray for.
550 Sharing home school encouragement with my sister today.
549 Thankful my girls have sisters – I love mine!
548 Gathering gifts for 15 new babies expected!
547 Giving them an ice cream treat!
546 Beginning Apologetics with M & N
545 Nice walk with M even though cut short {cold} had a good talk about keeping boys at bay.
544 Heard from the backseat, ”Our family is so crazily awesome!” Loving family pride!!
543 a few hours of sleep
542 sleeping with the windows open – fresh January air,sound of rain
541 that the kids don’t have signs of lice
540 at least I get to snuggle with L when I’m up all night with insomnia
539 slowly decluttering and deep spring cleaning – baby steps - no hurry
538 knowing I am so blessed with my husband
537 so thankful the midnight phone call wasn’t any more serious than a bad behaving roommate
536 Spinach salad with shrimp
535 Missy L holding my hand on a walk
534 Teaching Company history
533 Sermon on marriage, celebrating my favorite mystery at the marriage of Cana
532 As hard as it is, seeing people in the “correct” light
531 Not going over the calorie count
530 Being on the same page as M and being able to vent
529 Home safe in bed after a big long day
528 N confident to read Shakespeare aloud with the best of them
527 That I have the best kids ever!
526 Crab cakes
525 Seeing Mx off to embark on another semester
524 Day spent visiting with old friends, kids delighted to be reunited.
523 Being on this path together
522 Purple sunrise
521 Onesy footed PJ’s
520 Sunday morning madness getting ready for church
519 Goal 22 accomplished: take family to confession. Thank God for the priest at St. Matthias
518 Oh, for the grace and opportunity to trust Him more.
517 Clean pantry, office & laundry room
516 Four babysitters for Missy L
515 Celebratory dinner with Mx and Craig – goal accomplished
514 Hubby started diet with me – goal getting accomplished.
513 Girls; group inspiring E to make a doll for L
512 Craig making dinner
511 Room in C’s bed for me and Missy L to cheer a sad girl.
510 Hard working heater when its 27 degrees outside
509 My six year old surprising me with an ice cold glass of water.
508 Overcoming my fear of the power of B’s creditors.
507 Seeing our baby so happy to see her daddy home from his trip
506 Craig back safe in town
505 Setting my 101 for the next 1001 – committing to a“timer”.
504 Venison spaghetti – not gamey at all.
503 Friends reconnecting
502Waking up to a sunny morning for a beautiful day, even though it is cold
501 Long eyelashes resting peacefully on pink cheeks.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nature Journaling

We started the nature journal class today. I think its been four years since the original class.

I am disappointed I haven't kept up my journal, especially since I love to look over my, Mx's and M's journals. I am happy to see what N, E & C come up with. Fred is such a great instructor, really talks to the kids as people and they always respond well to that.
Fred has had a such a tough past few years. I didn't even think about how hard it might be to teach this class after he lost so many of his own journals and special books in the fire. I do hope it could be therapeutic. The room was filled, so many more than I had hoped. I hope its not too many. People usually drop out after the first one. I'll be happy to spend it with Kathy, Catalina & Maureen - and the kids get to be together and hopefully make a few new friends.
I hope to sit in the class occasionally and learn about how to improve my journals; but for now, I am happy to keep company with other moms of little ones and discover the woods with L.

photo credits to M :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lent & Easter paper craft

I have really been into paper crafts this school year.
First -  the paper -saint - dolls we did for November for the paper doll templates. I also used for Sunday school. They loved having a saint for their name. Found the fall colored lights at Walgreens.

Then the paper angels - loved having friends join us on that one.

And now, planning for Lent and Easter.

We colored with regular washable markers and covered - gently - with ModPodge.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Catholic Gems

Catholic Gems OR Treasures of the Catholic Church:
A Repository of Catholic Instruction
I just absolutely love old books, especially 100 year old family Catholic Bible story books! I took a picture of this page from my husband's family's Catholic "Bible". It is arranged more like storybook than like the Holy Bible, with family birth and death records in the middle seconds. I was given this for safe keeping from my husband's aunt after it had been left in a barn for quite some time. The pages are very fragile, flaking off when touched. I am not sure if anything can be done, maybe at a high price. Someday I'll check into it. I would love to pick it up and read from it to the kids, but it is really that delicate. 
I would love to dismantle it to preserve the art. (but I won't - don't worry)
This page is so cool with the "watermark" chalice and host - lest us not forget the focus of our faith - Jesus, in the Holy Eucharist -Who died for our sins. I love this book most because it is a PROUD Catholic book full of such wisdom and faith!
Anyway, the quotes are as following - in case you can't see due to the glare:

I am the Light of the World
He that followeth Me
Walketh not in Darkness, but
shall Have the Light of Life.
St. John VII -12

I am the Good Shepherd; the Good
Shepherd giveth his life for His sheep.
St. John X-2
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life;
No Man may come to the Father but by Me.
St. John XIV -6
Unless You be Converted and Become as
Little Children,
You shall not Enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
St. Matt XVIII - 3
If we are to be like little children: look how these little people are desperately trying to get to Jesus. Longing, Love, unashamed Desire to be next to Him.

7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes:
I love, love, love our new parish! Regina Caeli, a FSSP parish in Houston hosted at SEAS. I hadn't realized how much I missed the Latin Mass; it fills me with peace. At what ever point during the mass I have my special prayer time (ie. someone else is watching the wiggly 1 1/2 year old girl who won't sit still in the "pew"), I love and appreciate the quiet liturgy, the low prayers uttered on our behalf by Father, the smell of incense and the calm chant of the schola. Refreshing! Perfect timing to be here after years of praying for it - God is good.
An indoor cat is not a quiet addition to our home. I think of indoor cats lazily sitting on window sills and imagined our new kitty would be calm and easy going.  That cat is strange. . She darts quickly making a low guttural sound - that interpreted in 6 year language as: "watch me run".  As I write the cat just fell down three steps playing chase its tail on the stairs. 
Teenagers are great! I have two already and in less than a month, my third child will be in a teenager. He has been sporting a 'stache above the lip better than my husband or oldest son could have grown anywhere near his age! His voice does crack on occasion. He checks to see if he has surpassed my height almost daily. But, oh, he is still such a dear and does not let a day pass that he doesn't give me a strong hug!! I pray that keeps on through the teenage years!
I love my home - but the atmosphere has a split personality. It is a different place when my husband is in town and when he is traveling. I mean: almost unrecognizable. Meals are different, clutter tolerability level, activities of the kids in the house. I feel a little guilty admitting this, but, there it is. 
Texas has the best winters. Cold weather never stays long. Some days we start at 32 and by afternoon its 75!  
Discussing apologetics with my kids. We could never learn enough about our Faith - hopefully the Holy Spirit will guide us to learn what we need when we need to share some of the beauty of our Faith. Started with Beginning Apologetics this week - love the discussions it begins...
We are loving aprons  - getting quite a collection, even added their own hooks.

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

15 pretty presents for 15 new babies 

silly sisters



Link to Our Mother's Daughters

Make your own: Liturgical Year Calendar

Nice resource for making a craft out of the liturgical year:
I have printed the feast of the day saint image on card stock, laminated and cut out and they fit on my officemax calendar perfectly. I taped a pocket on the backside for the remaining days of the month to add as we go along. I also added the Rosary Mystery of the day. The first website doesn't have a daily image of the Luminous Mysteries - but I found them here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to school

We couldn't really feel like we were back in the semester while Mx was here.
He left to go back Sunday -
So he is already back to the reality that he is in the "real" world - with all its garbage. He was peacefully sleeping, already stressed about the semester ahead, hearing he had been dropped from a class that he had previous approval to be in, when a loud, authoritative knock at the door at midnight revealed campus police wanting to search the room for alcohol. Obviously, there wasn't a party going on in his dorm, he opened the door in his skivvies thinking it was his roommate, heavy with sleep. The roommate's girlfriend had posted a picture on facebook showing said roommate at a party consuming lots of alcohol and someone tipped off campus police. They came to the dorm to stop it. I guess I should be thankful A&M seems to be vigilant about the no alcohol on campus rule. So, the search revealed alcohol in the dorm - but thankfully the roommate had his own refrigerator for his contraband and Mx was in the clear. They also found the dorm with the party and seized that alcohol as well. He just called me to vent in the middle of the night. I was up anyway - talked to Kathy for over two hours catching up, hanging up just before midnight, when M came down feeling ill, then Mx's call. I finally was able to sleep at 3. Tough day for our big day out, but Mx has it much worse.

Keeping lists

So it looks like I have turned into a "list" person, even the title of my jounal/blog warns of it. I even dedicated a journal for '12 goals - it's in ink, heck, its on the internet. Of course I know I could not help but be one; my mother always had her little list written in her neat and delicate curive in .5 lead, and I've always admired her ability to get things done. I know I desire to be more organized and I hope that this a way to get there. My days are so crazy with the kids; I crave organization to feel more control over my life.
These past three years, I have really been out of control, feeling I am holding the tail end of a ribbon whipping around without a plan. I want to control my destiny. Of course, its more than a list that will do that for me, its self control I am desiring: control of my self - my enviornment and my life, then also turning that control over to God which I can't and should not have. Phew! Sounds like a lot of work, but I will get there - baby steps. I know I have been this far down the road beginning a few times before. The most recent was the year we were preparing to go to Europe and I needed to be in control. Then just before we returned, pregnancy, holy house enrollment, basic rolling along - I let loose.
I have Craig next to me this time, so I do believe it will be different. How many second chances do we get? do we need?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Goal Accomplished

We took Mx to dinner celebrating his graduation - long overdue, his scholarship - still rejoicing, and his 4.0 first semester at college - amazed and proud!
He picked Vic & Anthony's- Craig's all time favorite Houston steak house. Craig took me there a couple years ago on our anniversary get away weekend. It was lovely then and still delicious now. We have a nice quiet corner table, enjoyed everything we could imagine having in one meal and loved the time with Mx, realizing on the drive home he really needed to be moving back into the dorm the next day.

Its hard not to go to move him in - the ceremony of saying bye, but - thank God!- he's only in Galveston and can come back often. He doesn't need us there this time.  He will have a harder semester, but easier in the transitions are already made. He will have more hours, including Chemistry and two Calculus classes. I know he will do well. We already joked about returned to Vic & Anthony's after the spring semester to celebrate again. These 19 years have gone by quickly. To see Mx as a young man, responsible, confident and a delight to spend time with, I am just so encouraged and excited for the live he will lead. So thankful to be his mom!

My other children? Happy at home - L had four babysitters! Mostly M, but I heard the N got her to take a nap, E played with he outside, C took a bath with her and M was snuggling her when we came in. I know she must have missed me a bit and Craig and I played with her for a while when we were home again. She is full of love and has much to share with all of us. We are truly blessed with all our children!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Playing with the camera

I did get Mx's permission to use his shots he took this week with his new camera. I love having other photographers in the house. Mx, M & N all take good pics.
This is from our first nature walk in the woods in the neighborhood:
These are from our walk in town:

There isn't much variety in nature in the January woods in a span of 50 miles in our area, but I love the shots of my sweeties!
Light painting!! We need to work on it -but a fun first attempt.

His siblings love him and will participate in his photo experiments doing what they love!