This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.~~Lin Yutang

Happy Mother's Day to all of my favorite Mommies out there, whether your babies are still hiding out or have been out for years and years. Hope your day is filled with love and beauty.







Monday, April 25, 2011

Daybook...April 25, 2011


FOR TODAY ...April 25, 2011...

Outside my window...the splash of tires through the rain, determined birdsong.

I am thinking...about Easter Vigil, the Great Service of Light, the Mother of all Holy Vigils, my most-favorite Mass of the year.

It was so hard to get there this year. I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but do you ever feel like "something/someone" is at work to keep you out of church? It was dicey up to the moment I sat down in the pew whether or not I would get to worship with our church family. Things just kept...happening that would have made it so much easier just to give up and go home and pull the covers over my head...but

I am thankful for...the fact that we made it!

It was even more beautiful than in years past. For those who've not ever been, the first part of the Mass is done in darkness with a few moments of candlelight. And then for the Gospel, the lights blaze with the "Alleluia" that has been buried for the whole of Lent.

The joy of Easter was just tangible. Over twenty new members were welcomed fully into our congregation during this service. A family of four stood in the Baptismal font and were baptized together. It was exciting to watch my boys watch and remember their Baptism, Confirmation, and first Holy Eucharist only three short years ago. It seems like we have always been there. God is so good.

From the learning rooms...the boys are each working on a project for a different country. They will be presenting their projects in May. Just to us, but we will video it. Much work to be done!

From the kitchen...Left-over corn beef will turn into Reubens.

I am wearing...still in jammies...sigh...

I am creating...I need to start working on next year's lesson plan.

I am going...nowhere fast, sitting in front of the computer.

I am reading...Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher. I've read it before, but I tend to reread books when I need to relieve stress.

I am hoping...my husband will have a good day at work today.

I am hearing...my husband making his second cup of coffee.

Around the house...my landlord will be putting in new windows in a week or so. I must clear a path.

One of my favorite things...Reubens! I am looking forward to lunch.

A few plans for the rest of the week:I must take the van in to have it serviced.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...some earrings I made for Roo's friend, who we all are very fond of.



Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook to find more daybookers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tocata for Tuesday

Amazing! That just doesn't seem like it could be possible. Enjoy!



H/T to Barbara at Mommy Life!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daybook...March 21, 2011


FOR TODAY ...March 21, 2011...

Outside my window...My windows are open!! I love this weather! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, there is a light breeze! Sounds like the beginning of a cliche, but I will take it.

I am thinking...of making a large change in the way we do things around here. There is the potential for upheaval and drama, but the end goal is a little more peace and family time.

I am thankful for...a husband who lets me work out my thoughts out loud. Children who are ready to take a leap of faith and trust our judgment.

From the learning rooms...Roo is working on Italy; Boo is learning about Ireland. Reports at the end of the year.

From the kitchen...TBLTs for lunch...Turkey bacon. My sandwich will be with rye and some feta cheese, because I'm just crazy like that.

I am wearing...clothes from doing yoga.

I am creating...a bag, two shawls, some scarves and socks! Has anyone else done this type of knitting?

I am going...to finish what we started, but start gearing up for a new plan.

I am reading...the same books I was last week.

I am hoping...that I speak with gentleness, but remain firm in my convictions.

I am hearing...BIRDS!!

Around the house...hopefully we can get into the garage soon to sort and organize.

One of my favorite things...music. My husband hooked up a CD player in my room so I can have my music when I want.

A few plans for the rest of the week:much driving, rehearsal for Roo, a show at the end of the week.


Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook to find more daybookers.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Surprisingly Correct!

Spent a lovely day at home with my dear, darling cave troll husband. I'd marry him all over again! And I wouldn't trade my engagement ring either. Ran across this quiz, and low and behold...their answer matched up with ours.








Your Dream Engagement Ring Has an Oval Diamond



An oval diamond is classic enough to reflect your femininity...
While being unique enough to show off that individual style you've cultivated
Your creative side will be delighted with the amount of twinkle your diamond showcases
And your ring's unique design will go well with all that artistic jewelry you've collected!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Five

There's a lot that I think I want to say. But there is a lot to do today. What I will say is that I have no doubt that I am where God wants me to be today.

But truly...I wish I was on a beach. But God does know best.

One thing there is no doubt I am glad I a was wrong about at 12, 18 and 28 is that I am very, very glad I am a mom. And just in case anyone wondered, my boys were very planned for. No surprises. At least as far as the due dates. Raising children is fraught with surprises!!

So for today you get five pictures!

Every fall I take pictures of the boys. I used to use them as my blog headers early on. Here are the parting shots from the last five years:

2006

2007


2008

2009

2010


Hope your Friday is fabulous!

Count it all joy,

Julie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where God Wants You to Be

"When you are where you least want to be, you are exactly where God wants you to be."

More than two years ago a wise woman told me this. I have had this quote in my drafts since then. I knew it was important. I kept coming back to it. Recently, I realized that it fits a topic that has been rolling around in my brain for the last few weeks: This is totally not the life I had planned.

Not making excuses for my drop off the blogging grid for part of last year, there were a few posts but not many. This blog, it seems is somewhat a mirror to my heart. Things got out of hand. I didn't do a lot of things I usually do. When things get out of hand I tend to be a clam. With the shell closed. For those who really know me, this says it all: I did not decorate last year for Christmas as I have in years past. How I deal with Christmas is usually a good thermometer of the state of internal affairs.

Now just so you know, I am not unhappy with my life. I have even accepted that I will likely grow old in this duplex. But this is not where I thought I would be. These are not the plans I had made.

Man makes plans and God laughs. Yiddish proverb

From the time I was twelve I would tell people I did not want to get married. I did NOT WANT CHILDREN.

When I was eighteen I had a steady boyfriend and a pastel rainbow wedding planned. My house would be neutral and the accessories would change colors with the seasons. By accessories I did not mean books. I liked books--but I wanted fancy things.

When I was twenty-two I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated with an advertising and public relations degree.

When I was twenty-five I thought I would spend my life with an electrician and have horses.

When I was twenty-eight I married a man who was unemployed (after he had been MY employee) and we said we would never have kids. We thought the homeschoolers down the road were very weird.

When I was thirty-three I had a baby. Quit my job with questionable finances. Decided I would homeschool this child (before he was born). Wanted to raise livestock and live "off the grid." We would hunt for or raise our food. My husband worked in IT.

When I was thirty-six I had baby number two. I wanted to show dogs. I still wanted to homeschool my sons. I would be the perfect mother who cooked nutritious meals, read to her children and discussed poetry over tea. Proper tea.

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it. Flannery O'Connor

The truth is...

I would love to have time to make homemadefromscratch cookies for my boys.

I buy cookbooks and recipe magazines like some people by fashion periodicals. But I will only make a handful of the delicious meals I see. My husband cooks as often, if not more than I do.

I would love to craft more. I would love for my house to be lovely.

I would like to have fewer electronics and less time in the car.

But I don't.

I will say I did become a teacher...just not a traditional one. I live in suburbia (Duplexopolis, to be exact), spend near thirty hours a week in the downtown area of a major city, homeschool my children, have no time for plants let alone livestock. My books are out of control and "decorate" my whole house. Space not taken up by books is consumed by yarn. My husband works out of our home via the internet on systems sometimes over a thousand miles away. In the middle of the night quite often.

My children have never hiked, planted a garden, milked a cow, trained a dog, raised chickens. They just learned to properly swim this summer. They have never hunted (although they have been trained to properly handle fire@rms). They don't ride bikes or skateboards (much to my youngest's disappointment). They DO play video games and watch television. I am going to be lucky if I can get the poetry section to be a hit in a month or so.

They don't drink tea.

But...

My boys play piano beautifully. They read classics and not so classics. They are comfortable with people of all ages. The oldest is somewhat conversant in classical music and likes to visit the art museum. They know about opera. And..my sons, my sons dance. Pretty well, I might add. They dance a lot. They dragged me halfway across this gorgeous nation this summer so they could dance. The oldest dances as many hours a week as some grown-ups do professionally.

Dance drives our lives more often than I would like to admit. As I speak things are in upheaval because of their dancing.

We had somethings we knew needed to change. My prayer was that God would make the decision a no-brainer for us and point us in the direction He wanted us to go. In at least one area He has been quite clear. And all day yesterday I wrestled with His answer. I am praying for a little more guidance. I have a feeling more answers are forthcoming, and, as in the past, I will be questioning my plea for clarity.

This morning I am "not where I want to be." But I am where God placed me. I am where God wants me to be. He is in control. I need to remember to live in this moment and be where I am; to live in the present and not try to mess with a future that only HE knows.

Are you where you want to be?

God, Father Almighty, please help me to focus on you and to teach my children to allow you to be in control of our destination. Please help us remember the ultimate destination and not to become worried about things we cannot control. Thank you for all of the blessings we have received abundantly. Teach us to be good stewards of our time, talent and treasures.

Counting it all joy, albeit, tentatively,

Julie

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daybook...March 14, 2011


FOR TODAY ...March 14, 2011...

Outside my window...IT IS SNOWING!!!! Really? I need to get on the road!

I am thinking..."REALLY???? I need to get on the road!"

I am thankful for...My husband who has been very understanding on this long journey to menopause--that is still not over.

From the learning rooms...One boy does school on the road, one boy does school at home with Dad.

From the kitchen... I will not be in mine.

I am wearing... Pajamas. I need to get dressed and on the road. But it's SNOWING!

I am creating...I have about seven knitting projects going. My goal is to finish ONE, 1, one, uno, next week.

I am going...to take care of a relatives needs for a short while.

I am reading...Salem Falls, by Jodi Picoult and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (yes, again).

I am hoping...for safe travel. Actually, I am praying for that.

I am hearing...the clock ticking.

Around the house...Everyone else is asleep.

One of my favorite things...a quiet cup of coffee in the morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week:Driving...

No picture today. Hopefully, I can start sharing some soon.

Off the computer now. Must load the van. Hopefully the snow will lighten up soon. Will be visiting my bloggy neighbors this evening when Boo and I touch down.

Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook to find more daybookers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

FiveThings to Be Thankful For this Friday: A Bump in the Road

I really pondered giving up driving for Lent.

I do not like automobiles.

But I don't think my Lenten journey should involve giving up one of my many jobs: Chauffeur.

My children need driving. I must head north to visit my father. The grocery store is too far away to walk....Nah...cannot give up driving.

But that said...

I spent all yesterday morning getting vehicles serviced, waiting in waiting rooms, getting vehicles tagged & paying taxes, standing in lines, driving, driving, driving.

I got home and my husband planned on taking his lunch break to run to the hardware store.

Two minutes later he called me. "Did you know that you were driving on a flat tire?"

Today, my husband is waiting for a new set of tires. We had hoped to put this off until closer to summer...Nahhh...Why put off tomorrow and all that...jazz.

Here's my Five Thankfuls:

At least it was at a slow speed.
At least the rim was not bent.
At least the weather was not bad.
At least it was close to home.
At least I wasn't driving. (I would have just sat down on the curb and cried.)

Dear Lord: Thank you for transportation and safe travel. Help us to be responsible with our resources. Teach us to see the good in the midst of the challenges. Thank you for my husband who keeps me trucking along.

Counting it all joy,

Julie

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments...




A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Acclimating

ac·cli·mate Verb /ˈakləˌmāt/ /əˈklīmit/

1. To accustom or become accustomed to a new climate or environment or new conditions; to adapt.
2. Respond physiologically or behaviorally to a change in a single environmental factor
3. Harden off (a plant)


I love it when I've finally acclimated to winter. I can wear one pair of normal socks in the house. I can wear one layer of clothing inside. I can open the door and not cringe. I can run out and warm up the car with a sweater thrown over my shoulders instead of completely bundling completely up. Hopefully it's not because I've added too many layers to my personal insulation. (I'm not stepping on the scale today to find out!)

Basically I've adapted to this winter and the snow and the wind and the cold.

Just in time for the weather to take a turn and show signs of spring.

But I'm not complaining. I am willing to return to warmer temperatures. I am willing to see the green grass and robins. I'd like to try to start (and acclimate a few garden plants this year).

Chameleons adapt to their surroundings to avoid sticking out and become an easy target for predators.

Acclimating to me seems like it should be a good thing. But I don't know that it always is.

I find myself acclimating to my surroundings pretty easily. I don't know about you, but I find myself out in "the world" on a daily basis. And it seems easier to acclimate myself to "the world" than to brace myself and hold on to the things I know to be better choices.

When the boys were little it seemed easier to stay insulated and, dare I say, safe. Now we are gone from home six and sometimes seven nights a week. We are surrounded by choices. Not all of them bad, but not all of them what I would wish for our family.

So often it seems easier to shed a few layers of personal convictions to avoid conflict and difficult discussions. It seems easier to at least avoid talking about beliefs and convictions anyway.

I am grateful that the LORD has blessed me and surrounded me by women who share my faith, but more and more I see, that while we can talk amongst ourselves, topics turn other directions when we are joined by others with different political or religious leanings.

Perhaps we are all acclimating.

How do you keep from acclimating to the world?

I have, in the past, "fasted" my blog for Lent. Considering that I haven't blogged for ages, and that there has been a pressure on my heart telling me it is time to return, I am fasting some other things and returning to my blog. Not all of my bloggy postings will be deep and spiritual, I am sure. But I feel the need to be obedient in returning. So...I am going to try. We shall see.

Heavenly Father, I thank you that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have created us to adapt and survive in many climates and situations. Please protect our hearts from becoming acclimated to worldly things. Help us to change our corner of the world to your glory. Amen.

Finding joy in all things,

Julie