Friday, January 30, 2009

A prayer request

Please, if you could, will you join me in prayer for the departed soul of Darren's grandpa? He passed away rather quickly and unexpectedly last night. We received word late yesterday afternoon that the end was likely near, and by bedtime, he was gone. I thought it strange, for a while, that for the entire evening I had this vaguely familiar sensation of expectant anticipation, but then I realized that the feeling I had was uncannily similar to that which I've experienced in the past, while waiting for the news of birth when family and friends have been in labor. It was when Darren's dad called to tell us of the passing that I finally understood: I had, in a sense, been waiting for news of a birth. One from this life into the next, for in dying we are born to eternal life. But while the thought of that peace is a source of great comfort, I know that he will be terribly missed by those on this earth who still love him very much. "What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us." (Helen Keller)

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
And may perpetual light shine upon him.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Tote Meme

Okay, I've been tagged twice now for this meme, so, although it goes against my better judgement to post such an embarrassment, I'm sharing with you all My Tote. If you're thinking that it looks remarkably like a diaper bag, that would be because it is. No cute purses here, I'm afraid. Although I am happy to report that this little number is actually an improvement over what I was using last week, which was a big ol' black falling apart thing I got from the hospital after one of my children's births. (Which one, I can't remember.) Anyway, the zipper finally gave out last week and I was tired of struggling to keep its contents in, but, loathe as I am to spend money needlessly (scrap supplies excepted at this point, no wise comments here, Darren) I refused to go out and buy a replacement. I remembered this smaller, somewhat cuter bag I bought when Meghan was younger. When Kristen was a newborn it just wasn't big enough to pull double duty, what with all the paraphernalia I carried then, but now that she's older and not in need of so much stuff when we're out, this one will work again quite nicely. I chose it specifically because I felt it was neutral enough that Darren wouldn't mind carrying it when he's out by himself with the kids (although then I guess he wouldn't really be by himself, would he? But what I meant is when he's out with the children without me.)

Okay, then. There you go. My tote. I tell myself that one that one of these days I'll be able to choose from as many cute purses as I want. By then, though, I'm sure I'll miss carrying a diaper bag. :(

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's all how you look at it.

Meghan, with an impish grin before bed last night: "Is it morning yet?"

Me: "No, silly! You haven't even gone to sleep yet!"

Dylan, smugly: "It's night, Meghan. Everyone in the whole world knows that...except for people on the other half of the world. Where it's day. They're saying good morning and we're saying good night."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Scrap that.

Walgreens is currently promoting a special offer for online photo print orders from now until January 31st: 50 prints for $5. And, since two of my friends and I have recently decided to get together once a month to work on scrapbooks, I am more than happy to take advantage of this low rate! (Prints are typically $0.19 each). I thought it would be easy to submit an order of Kristen photos and begin with an album documenting her first year, so I eagerly began browsing through my archives. Well, I've assembled a collection of 50 photos, alright...but they've only gotten me through her birth and subsequent hospital stay. The much more difficult task, I fear, will be the process of elimination when it comes time to actually assemble the book!

Catholic Science

I remember once, back at the very beginning of our homeschooling journey, one of my friends asked me how I planned to teach science from a wholly Catholic perspective. I wasn't yet entirely sure, but I'm able to say now that I've been quite pleased with the science text Dylan and I have been using this year. This analogy from yesterday's lesson regarding the sun and moon, for example, is (in my opinion) quite lovely:

"God is the Maker of all that we discover in science. He delights in showing Himself to us through His creation. In this case, it is the sun and the moon which help us better to understand Our Lord and Lady. Our Lord is the source of all grace, goodness, and light; we cannot have life apart from Him. His creation, the sun, is the source of all light. It is absolutely necessary for life on earth.

As the moon orbits close by and reflects the light of the sun to earth, so Our Lady stays close to us, perfectly reflecting God's will. She showers us with light and grace which come from Our Lord. When we are struggling with the darkness of sin, the glorious 'Son-light' of Jesus shows us the true way

(photo credit)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rosemary Bread

From the garden: the kitchen: the table:

Jennifer, I have to just say that my family is exceedingly grateful to you for sharing the link to this amazing rosemary bread. Friends, really. Try it! You'll thank her, too.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The critic has spoken.

Word is that I've not been posting enough pictures of Kristen. So Mr. Critic, these are for you. You know who you are. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

A picture for Jamie

Regarding my holding chair post below:

It's not the most flattering photo of me, and I'm not actually holding Dylan in this photo, but it's one of my favorites because it was taken just a few mere hours before our beautiful Caitlyn was born. I remember handing the camera to Darren shortly before we left for the hospital, asking him to please take a few more pictures of me and my sweet boy because I knew that very soon, our lives would be forever changed and he would no longer be my only baby! (And at just-turned-two, I still very much considered him my baby!) Don't you just love those gorgeous blonde curls? He was (and is) such a darling. (Though minus, now, the curls.) :)

Thanks, Jamie! I should go see what other holding chair photos I can hunt up. There are many. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The holding chair

Many years ago, before we were married, before Darren was even living yet in the apartment we shared after we were married, he inherited a rocking chair. A big, gray, La-Z-Boy recliner, which his mother, who delivered it along with some of his grandfather's other belongings, cautioned us wasn't very comfortable. It was old to begin with, so it must be ancient by now. It wears a few stains and its formerly cushioned arm rests are nothing now but skeletal remains beneath a saggy coat of worn fabric, their plush stuffing having long ago migrated down into the dark depths of its interior. It's been abused: rode like a stallion by imaginative children to the point that it no longer reclines quite right; stored in a dusty garage when it didn't quite fit in with whichever furniture arrangement we were currently trying; spilled upon, and worse.

But I've loved that chair. It's where I've rocked all my babies. It's where I dreamed of rocking my babies even before I had my babies. It's where, when I was still working full time, I would nap with my babies in the warm snuggly way I miss so dearly now. When Caitlyn was still but a bump in my tum, Dylan would cozy himself around her just so, nestled in to me as I cuddled him close, and we'd sleep. Later, after she was born, we'd fit her in with us, too, cradled protectively in the crook of one of my arms while Dylan rested comfortably in the other. Those are days I will never forget.

That chair is where, on Christmas day in 2005, I settled in with a newborn Meghan for an afternoon of snuggling and nursing while Darren took our older two children out to visit relatives. It's where I've read many, many stories, sang countless songs, stroked silky fine hair of finally sleeping children, lingering for just a bit before moving them to bed; it's where I've loved them best and where, when I think of their childhood once they're grown, I will remember them with longing, I'm sure. It's where we (sometimes) do school. It's where we (often) say prayers. It's where we (always) make up, when we've been cross. It's where we live the best of this life.

Before leaving for work a few nights ago, I asked the children for goodbye kisses. Without a moment of hesitation, Dylan climbed right up into my lap on that chair, elbows and knees at sharp angles, arms and legs longer now than I realized. But still, he snuggled. I was grateful for the honor. And just this afternoon, while waiting for Darren to return home from work, I dozed for a short bit with Kristen in that big beloved chair, mindful in that dreamy state of the happy sound of my other children playing nearby.

I love that chair. It's covered now in a cheery throw my mom left us on her most recent visit. "Home Sweet Home" it says. So true.

So true.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

If I could go back and vote again, I still wouldn't cast my ballot for Barack Obama. I like him no more now than I did on that fateful day in November. And I, for one, did not get all weepy or emotional during any portion of today's inaugural events, except for the part where President Bush arrived as the US Marine Corps band played for him a final rendition of "Hail to the Chief". Now that gave me goosebumps. Sniff!

However. Recognizing the historic significance of this inauguration, I couldn't, in good conscience, simply let it pass unobserved by my children. Having focused with them on civil rights in the week preceding Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we further discussed the great strides our society has made towards equality in the past fifty years. And while they are fully aware of our reasons for voting against Barack Obama, I believe they understand that, whether we like it or not, he is now our new President and we have an obligation to pray for his success.

God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
through you authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.
Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
the President and other government leaders of these United States.
May they always seek the ways of righteousness, justice and mercy.
Grant that they may be enabled by your powerful protection
to lead our country with honesty and integrity.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

With my morning coffee...

Darren's new book!!!

Please note: Because I try, as much as possible, to protect our family's privacy on this blog, I won't link directly to the publisher's website. But I would be more than happy to send you a link if you'd like to e-mail me! (My address can be found on my right hand side bar.)

Darren, I am so proud of you! You did it!!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The undoing

It's the undoing that I hate most about the holidays. The taking down, the putting it all away, the saying the season, and to my mom. I really hate that she's gone. It's always the worst part of her being here: the leaving. And I had so much more to say about that, but it's just pathetically embarrassing to be carrying on that way so I deleted it all. Instead, I'll share with you just a few of those items with which I simply can't yet bear to part...and a sunset, just because.