Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Points of Summer

We are hitting mid-June here, which means we've been out of school for about 3 weeks. Unfortunately, someone has been sick in our home each day since! Today it is my husband's turn. This is our transitional summer. Each of my children will be starting a new school come August. I'm quite thrilled with some and quite filled with cautious optimism with the others. If you were to walk into my home right now, you'd see a piece of furniture, "the bar" pulled away from the wall and half-way into the entry-way. It has many things on top of it that I have posted to an online yard sale site. You would see a dining room with a sewing machine and a disarray of tools for such tasks as cutting and pinning and measuring. On the floor are two plastic bins filled with Granny's fabric. These are waiting to be sewn into pajama pants and skirts- because that is all I know how to make right now. There is an ironing board as well in the dining room and folded stacks of fabric on chairs. There is a china cabinet that is placed at an angle in front of a corner of the dining room and a bare wall to the right of it. I am hoping to move the china cabinet to the center of the wall- but it is ginormous and it will take ginormous strength to move it one iota. I've tried. We are doing lots of reading and movie watching right now. As one sibling after another goes through the upset stomach and headache virus. It is quite unpleasant for the sickling of the day. The remainder of the children, depending on who has been ill most recently, lethargically bid their time in front of the T.V. with a book and glassy eyes and sweaty faces. Dishes wait on the counter for the dishwasher to finish running so that it can be emptied and filled and run again. The dishwasher is certainly on it's very last leg- but this is not on my list of appliances to be replaced right now... no, the air conditioner has stolen to the front of the line with it's 23 year old leaky coils. My husband makes a daily jaunt into the attic to empty buckets so that our ceiling will not bear the brunt of the drippy mess. There are two baskets of laundry that are only visible to the Mama's Eye that await folding. You probably have similar baskets- I didn't even mean to purchase this type. But apparently NO ONE else can see it, but you. Others will sit next to it, on top of it, or avoid it all together. Maybe I should stash some individually wrapped rice crispy treats at the bottom and just start folding in front of my crowd and reveal the tasty treasure and eat it all by myself. It's a one-woman show right now with the occasional help of emptying the dishwasher. What's your secret to get family to pitch in with chores?? Please share! It's like my great hunt for anti-aging these days... We baked a cake to celebrate the first day of summer and made wishes.

Friday, February 28, 2014

5 Minute Friday- 2, CHOOSE

Five Minute Friday
Choose...what a gift.
Choices in every moment of every will I focus? Where will I focus?  WHO will I choose?
I choose Christ.  Not always though, when I'm cuddled in bed, it's dark, the covers are soft and warm and the air is cold and hard.  The alarm is so rude.  Those times I
choose snooze.  
"I'll have time later in the day", I think to myself as I try and pick up where I left off in my secure cocoon.  The rest of my day is jarring.  Wake up kids- I'm just as rude as the alarm tone that interrupted me earlier.  Quickly I escort the 3 year old to the bathroom when I notice that she's still dry.  Unfolding her body like a little kitten that you're trying to sit squarely on the small pink potty.  Five breakfasts...five lunches...five water bottles and five snacks.  Ten shoes and and five back packs.  Many kisses and some scoldings to GET.MOVING!!!
Last year snapshots of my lovies.
Now I choose my coffee and my bible.  Because long ago, before I was even a wisp of a thought.  Christ chose me.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

5 minute Friday-1- small

Five Minute Friday


I'm a housewife.  A mom.  I wipe noses and counters and bottoms.  All day.
Money's tight.  five babies.
one for private school next year and the others?  homeschool?  keep trucking through public school with all the complaints that we have logged?  get a job?

money's tight...for anyone.  time for a new car.  these wheels are the best thing about our car right now.  I'm so so unfocused because I feel so very small.

Time to place all these little grinding sandy worries and anxieties at the feet of the cross.  Time to get out the oil of prayer and silence and let it clean those worries out of my gears.  Small bits of hope must be cultivated and not choked out by my unclear focus.  These worries of mine- they envelope me and it's time to let them be washed away.  Or my spirit gets smaller and smaller until my focus becomes a blurry dirty glass that won't let light through and certainly can't be filled up with freshness that is found in THE WORD.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Here we go-

It's early in the morning and I'm about to wake up my crew.  I've had 3 cups of coffee, my coffee date with Jesus and some yoga stretching.  Yet- I'm apprehensive... my sweet seven year old has already been fretting throughout the night about going back to school and how much she doesn't want to go.  She says her teacher yells and has a mean face.  Y'all.  This breaks my heart.  For REAL...makes me want to keep her with me and throw the public school a couple of obscene gestures and homeschool her sweet heart.  Please pray for our family as we discern what is best.  My son is facing a difficult year as well.  He's 9 and crazy smart, but his handwriting is atrocious.  The school just wants him to type everything now.  I don't think this is the right path for him.  He has to learn to write- and they have given up.  I have purchased handwriting books and I'm working with him.
Homeschool... what am I afraid of?  Losing more of my sanity?  My children missing out on school opportunities that I would not be able to provide?  an out of control home?  an out of control mom?  Yep.  that kinda sums it up.  Any words you can give me to keep fighting the good fight at school to continue to push and be my children's biggest advocate?  or ... bring them home.    Thank you in advance for prayers...  rita

Friday, December 27, 2013

Slacker Mom - hey look! a post!!!

Well, yes, I am posting!  This is for future posterity- in case my kiddos ever take to scouring the internet looking for something, some inkling of what on earth their Mama was thinking.  Linking up with Jen...

TODAY i make POSOLE!!!! 

I am armed with my Mother's Mother's recipe in a beautiful cook book that is my most favoritist gift

received ever.  And my Mom's phone number.  And my sister's.  They've made it before.  I have never made it.
Homeschool.  Wild.  Bizarre.  Shoot me.  Help me.  I'm thinking of homeschooling.  We're doing a trial right now.  What on earth am I thinking?!  I'm not happy with their school right now.  It's overly focused on digital exploration and not at all focused enough on the crystallizing of actual knowledge.  Like math facts... or sentence structure... Oh well.  So- this Christmas break we are doing a "trial".  The children were super excited.  Me?  I'm overwhelmed.  I feel like in order to effectively trial this I need a really clear agenda which I have none.  I'm basically going on what I think they are learning right now.  And this is what it looks like so far...

My Car.  Oh THAT car.  The family vehicle of 8 years.  It's a 2004 Honda Odyssey.  It has over 127,000 miles on it.  It has had 3 transmissions, one new radiator and too many batteries to remember.  The driver window does not work- it is duct taped up right now.  Classy, eh?  Nothing but the best for my chariot of fire.  And now, now it is in the shop again... getting new spark plugs.  Why not get a new car??  Because my dear ones, this clunker is PAID FOR.
White Christmas Party.  I'm surrounded by thespians.  Seriously, I married into them because I'm not dramatic at all.  Anyhow, they know each word, each pause, each song to White Christmas and so we have a party at our home to watch it together.  All 40 plus of us.  It's quite the party.  You should come.  You know you want to.  Classic.  We're keeping it classy here.
Catholic Icing.  Her advent book is the bestest ever.  I ordered it after the 2nd Sunday of Advent.  (I told you I was slacker mom) and found it to be such a wonderful security blanket to get me through my hyper charged expectations of what this season should be for my children and for me and for my husband.  She walks you through the planning stages of everything without turning you into a type A wannabe.  She also keeps your realities in check.  I love that she makes a case for slice and bake cookies and instant mashed potatoes.  Anyhow, I just really recommend this booklet for next year.
Keeping it real.  Or fake it until it's real?  That is the question.  Just a quick thought flash but I've been thinking about how Mother Theresa faced such a dark anguished filled time in her spirituality with God and yet she kept on smiling and loving her people.  In the same way, how priests may feel very lonely at times, or quite disgruntled at times when called to a 2 a.m. death bed to deliver last rites, but they go with grace and a mission.  Or how I may look at the pantry and fridge one more time... because the family must be fed and yes I just fed them 2 hours ago, but now they are looking for more substance and more sugar and they must be fed A.G.A.I.N.  Heh, heh, this is where it should say, "but she pulls it together and cooks a lovely meal for her family".  No... typically I get all frantic and moody and freaked out!  What's for dinner??  Spaghetti?  Again?  Maybe fideo?  (that is essentially Mexican spaghetti- add cumin and chili powder and beef bouillions and bam! new taste)  I am working on my response time and hoping to have this figured out earlier in the day?  week?
"La mujer cocina sopa."   - My daughter's words.  Her gentle reminder to get my rear in the kitchen and make some posole!  Off I go!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, September 13, 2013

7 Quick Takes (shocker!) a post! 2 days in a row!!!

Oh Croup.
Poor Baby Girl has got it bad.  Of course she does, school just started, right??  After cough/barking all night, she is resting in a stroller in my bedroom.  Keeping a two year old on an incline is more difficult than one might expect- so I've strapped her in and propped her feet.  Hopefully she'll get some much needed sleep.  As for me?  I should be doing the dishes and folding clothes and picking up the family room and getting rid of the crunch in our carpet.  Right!  I'll get right on it.
Adventurous reading!  Right here!  Come and GET IT!  Seriously?  This is a terrific read aloud book, or listen in the car with your kiddos book or, let them take off with it.  Ages 9+
I love the character development of the main characters, four children who find acceptance from one another when no one else understands them.  Recruited for a mysterious mission, they have there work cut out for them.
My older two children (ages 10 and 9) are AVID readers.  They devour anything and everything.  But it must be funny, must be seriously dangerous and must involve smart witty kids (like them, of course!)  They got on a Rick Riordan kick and quite frankly, I am trying to get them to kick that- I really don't need to be enveloped in Greek Mythology and young kids fighting gods at this point.  Just give me a really good old fashioned mystery that has twists and turns and clever adventurers and I'm happy.  Our family gives this one 6 thumbs up (out of 6, donchaknow)

My sister and I share this anniversary with each other.  We were driving to the airport that morning, from Cheyenne, WY to Denver, CO.  I had an 8:45 a.m. flight to catch.  We each had a cup of coffee in our hands and we were happily chattering the miles away as we wound up my visit for 6 days with her and her family.  It was time to return to Dallas.  We had just approached the airport when Gina's phone rang. 

I could hear my brother-in-law speaking very loudly and directly.  Not yelling, just ordering. 


"but we just got here, I'll turn around as soon as I drop Rita off" 


I looked at her, and said, "just drop me off, I'll get out quickly."

We drove up to get the curb-side service so that I could be on my way.  But something was off.  No one was outside.  This was Denver International and there was NO ONE to be seen, except for a handful of confused looking travelers, myself included.  We looked around, I started to go into the building, my brother-in-law is calling back, and this time he's yelling.  Finally a baggage checker comes out and says, "LEAVE AT ONCE!  THE AIRPORT IS CLOSED!  NO FLIGHTS TODAY!"

Very puzzled, slightly perturbed I get back in the car with my luggage and we drive away.  Now we turn on the radio. 

It felt like a 200 pound weight had settled on my chest.  We were listening as the second plane hit.  Openly crying, rushing back to the Air Force Base, trying to figure out if it was a safe place to be or a dangerous place to be.  Ft. Warren AFB.  Missiles and all. 

I know we all have our stories and can recall with precise memory where you were when the Towers were struck.  I especially appreciate my friend, Lauren's story.  I love her message at the end.  Go and read!
Coffee with Friends!  Everyday.
Now don't be jealous, but one of my pleasures each morning is my cup of coffee with the ones I love.  Happy.

I don't think they are getting the message.
Or maybe, they KNOW I'm here, and so, that means they are off the hook.
Or maybe I'm not getting the message.

It's so bad it's good.  I appreciate Jen's explanation on why the inclination to watch such a morally lacking show is inexplicable and undeniable and yet somehow calls me to a greater appreciation for the need to have God in my life.

And hey, yo!  It's Friday the 13th.  Lucky Day.  Have a great week y'all!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

5 Favorites

Linking up with Moxie Wife via Grace over at Camp Patton today!  It's a blessed miracle to even be writing.  But I just rushed my husband and three of my children out the door for school with no shortage of frustration and craziness.  So, my theme for my five favorites are taken from my morning routine.

Bodum French Press
My eyes wake up and I instantly crave that first fresh pressed smooth liquid gold.  It cranks me up and puts a spring in my steps!

I love the daily readings.  I also really enjoy the daily reflections on the readings.  They are little homilies and they give me a focus in my journaling.  

Leather journals with lined paper are my favorite.  Sometimes they are my prayers and sometimes just random things that I do not want to forget.  

Finish making lunches
I try and have most of their lunches made and waiting in the fridge- it makes packing five lunches go smoother in the morning- but I'm often adding chips and filling their water bottles.

Breakfast Smoothie!!!

Gino got me this Ninja for my birthday two years ago and I use it practically every morning.  Some frozen berries, a little greens, protein, almond milk and BAM.  Mama's ready to tackle the chore list!!
The kids like the smoothies for breakfast too- but often they go for the cereal or eggs.  My 9 year old son can make a great scrambled egg!!

Hope your mornings get off to a running start!