Sunday, October 31, 2010

Novena to St. Jude, Day Nine

Today is the ninth and final day of our petition to St. Jude!  I am so grateful for the chance to pray for his assistance and for  your company on this novena.  Thank you!

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, with confidence, hope, and a grateful heart, I conclude these nine days of healing prayer. Bring hope in the midst of suffering. Help me to retain the faith in our Lord that sustained you in your earthly life. On this final day of our Novena together, give me the courage to follow Christ wherever He leads.

Prayer to St. Jude
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly
- These special intentions-
and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Novena to St. Jude, Day Eight

Today we begin the eighth of nine days of Solemn Novena prayer to St. Jude.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, the cross I carry feels too heavy for me right now, and I feel discouraged by its weight. Intercede for me so that I may know God’s comfort in my life and that I may love God until someday I am singing God’s praises with you and all the saints in heaven.

Prayer to St. Jude
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly
-These special intentions-
and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Energize

This one is for my Booboo.
Just for fun and to energize for the weekend (but don't try this at school booboo!).



Whoa. 
I mean...just wow.

{h/t the always great Jen}

Novena to St. Jude, Day Seven

Today we give ourselves over to trust in God as we begin the seventh of nine days of Solemn Novena prayer to St. Jude.

Intention to St. Jude
Throughout your days, St. Jude, you remained faithful to the truths you learned at the side of Jesus. Bless me with courage, faith, and hope. Help me to tune out the distractions of the world to make this time of prayer meaningful.

Prayer to St. Jude
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly
 -These special intentions-
and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Novena to St. Jude, Day Six

As we begin the sixth of nine days of Solemn Novena prayer today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Jude as we offer our petitions together. We recognize how our Novena to St. Jude makes us stronger in all kinds of ways.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, you proved your love for Christ by spending your life working for God’s kingdom. Through your prayers, keep me in the love of Jesus. I ask this through the love of God and the Holy Spirit as well as of our mother, Mary, the Mother of God.

Prayer to St. Jude
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly
-These special intentions-
and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Bday Hannah Banana!

My first daughter, Hannah Banana is fifteen today!
Oh My Goodness!
I know, I know, I say it all the time, but really, ya just don't get used to it..this whole kid getting older thing. I mean, you DO, but  you don't.
Not me, anyhow.

Then again, she is an amazing fifteen!
My Hannah.
She is dragging me today to the driver's station to take that test, of course.
And I will let her drag me and hope she will pass the test, and I suspect she will.
Because she is smart, and what's more, she has a good feel for the road and the car (in the few parking lot sessions we've  had). 
That said, I can't even look ahead to sixteen and on the road, because it makes me a nervous wreck.  But that's next year's post! So, back to this day, this momentous day.

Hannah was our first daughter, hence, our entire universe and understanding of same was rocked that morning she came into the world! Indeed, the heavens opened up and clapped thunder and lightening  to announce her arrival.  We should'a taken it as a sign, no?  Yes.  Because this sweet fifteen year old girl is all about taking the world by storm.  She is a drama queen in all the good ways, and only a few of the not so good ways....(but it's all her age and I'm quite sure she will grow right out of that.....)..and always has been.

Our Hannah is big-hearted, beautiful, loud, wonderful, moody, smart, strong-willed and just plain good.
She loves her school and her friends to distraction, literally.

She loves to cheer and loves her squad.
She loves to sing and play music.
She loves to sun and swim and boat.
She loves the beach, maybe more than anywhere else.

She loves to text and talk and text some more.
She loves to watch bad tv and stay up late.
She loves to go to the movies, almost any movie we will allow, any time we will allow.
She hates when we don't allow her to go to movies.
She thinks we are too strict.
She is almost at the point of "knowing everything."
 But not quite.
However, she is at the point now of "texting everything."
She loves to read and can get lost in books, just like her mama.

She loves a rollercoaster, then and now.
She loves to cook, sometimes, and sometimes, loves to invent new yummy recipes.
She is a terrific and loyal friend.

She is a terrific and loyal sister.
She is a terrific and loyal daughter.

She is artistic and creative and loves art and music.
She is a terrible mess in her room and her things; organization is not her strong suit.

She loves to travel and see the world, like her dad.
She loves her faith and is courageous in defending it.
She loves to debate, anything, from current events to apologetics, or fashion or curfew.
She is opinionated and really, couldn't be anything otherwise, coming from this gene set.
She is not shy, she is extroverted, outgoing and blows my mind at that.
She could be called a wee bit headstrong.
She is a talker, like me, which can be a blessing or a curse (as I know so well).


She worries her brother - that she will become the standard modern teen diva.
But I know better, she is not that.
She is more.
My Hannah blows me away with her integrity and compassion and willingness to step outside the box.....and I can't wait to see what she grows into as she truly comes into her truest self.
She is well on her way.
And her dad and I couldn't be more proud.

 So today on her birthday, we both want her to know how proud we are of her, and how very much, we love her.
And that, yes, the drivers testing station is open til five.

Novena to St. Jude, Day Five

Today we begin the fifth of nine days of Solemn Novena prayer with St. Jude. This day we remember all those for whom we have promised to pray.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, I pray that all who are lonely, depressed, or despairing may know the saving presence of a loving God and the concern and support of family and friends.

Prayer to St. Jude
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly
-These special intentions-
and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Novena to St. Jude, Day Four

Today we begin the fourth of nine days of Solemn Novena prayer as we join together in the belief that there is power in praying in community.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, you spent your entire earthly life working to spread the Gospel and share with others the Good News of God’s kingdom. Teach me how to live with the kind of love Christ showed to his neighbor so that I, too, may be a light in the darkness for others.

Prayer to St. Jude
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly
-These special intentions-
and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Moment

Novena to St. Jude, Day three

Today we remember all those who suffer as we begin the third of nine days of Solemn Novena prayer to St. Jude.

Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, the leper believed in the power of Jesus to heal him. Give me strength in faith. Help me believe that Jesus makes me strong where I am weakest. Strengthen my faith in your healing touch and help me put my trust entirely in God during the days that lie ahead.

Prayer to St. Jude
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly
-These special intentions-
and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

PRAYER

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mar

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Novena to St. Jude, Day two


Intention to St. Jude
St. Jude, help me to live with faith in the promise that God is always with me. Help me to live with hope that God will bring me through my pain and suffering. Help me to live with love so I can bring Christ’s light to others.

Prayer to St. Jude
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly
 -These special intentions-
and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Eureka! Now that's yogurt!

I did it!
What?
What is my happy new discovery?


I made Strawberry Yogurt!!
Wahoo!

I know, kind of a let down, not what you might have been expecting.
But in this house, and my kitchen, this is a long sought after product.
No, not the kind you buy at a store...we've spent a small fortune on those little cute cups O yummy expensive goodness.


I'm talking about the extra delish extra healthy homemade kind of yogurt, but flavored.

Ah, now that's exciting!
I've been making yogurt for a few years now. I've used the yogurt machines, starting with the simple ones that came with the oh so fetching individual glass jars. It worked great.  But we zipped through a batch of those in no time.

We could spoon those jars clean in one breakfast.  So, I graduated to the yogurt maker that made a quart or some big amount at a time.


But it was unsatisfactory, I didn't like the kind of awkward design of the appliance and the container.  So I didn't really use it enough. I gave it to my sister in law. Yes, I am picky that way.  I can't help it.  Don't judge me.

Finally I read a way, online, to make it in a slow cooker.


Hmmm.  Really? A slow cooker? I thought it would be yet another complicated science experiment sort of deal where my kitchen became a grade school science lab.  But no...in multiple forums on the net, I read of this.  Why hadn't I seen this before? Is this a new fad? A foodie wave of trendoid frenzy? Well, if so, count me in! I wanna try!

Now, the whole deal was kind of intriguing and yet a little nerve wracking to boot (I have a very active imagination and have had too many go rounds with food poisoning...so I'm a tad paranoid).  But I figured all that probiotic bacteria is supposed to be good for you and that the whole point of yogurt is to get the good stuff, the natural way, and that yogurt has been made in yurts for centuries with no ill effect.


So I gave it a try.
My first mini-eureka! It worked.  It was as good or better than my machine yogurt, and as easy or  more so to boot.  I was sold; and I already had the slow cooker.  Perfect!

So I made batch after batch of my standard vanilla or plain yogurt.  The family did the usual stir-ins of jam if they wanted some jazzy flavor.  But ya know....it just bugs me that I never could make the flavored yogurt without it curdling or not setting up.  In the back of my mind, I keep thinking about it, every time I make a batch.  So, I decided to give it yet another try, but with the slow cooker.
I thought about how to get the flavor in there before it was made, a new mode.  And...it worked! And, if I do say so myself, it's really good!

So, for all you who are not blindingly bored and are still reading, here is how I did it.  It's the basic yogurt recipe, and the strawberry part is a riculously simple add in, but who knew? Maybe you did, but I didn't.  So, here goes, for any of  you 'yogurt challenged" folks out there:

Slow Cooker Yogurt: Plain, Vanilla or Strawberry

Pour 1/2 gallon whole milk (NOT ultra pasteurized!) in slow cooker
Whisk in 1 cup sugar (if you want it sweet, I like it plain too but my kids rebel)
Add in  1/4 to 1/2 c powdered milk
NOW CHOOSE:
For Plain yogurt: add no sugar or vanilla or anything else
For Vanilla yogurt: add 1 TB vanilla
For Strawberry yogurt: add 1/4 cup Smuckers Strawberrry Syrup (ok maybe not SO healthy, but surely to goodness healthier than all the stuff you pay a fortune for in the store. and that's  1/4 cup for 1/2 gallon worth of yogurt servings...divide it up/do the math....geez)

Whisk well.
Now turn to low for 2.5 hrs.
Then turn off for about 3 hrs, until temp (instant thermometer) is between 110-120 degrees.
Once temp is in range, take about 3/4 c of milk/yogurt from cooker in large measuring cup.
Add
1/2 cup plain  yogurt (homemade or purchased).  This is your "starter" and gets the yogurt to become all it's yogurty goodness.
Then whisk it like mad so it's smooth, and pour this mixture back into the cooker.
Cover and wrap the whole slow cooker in a bath towel for at least 8 hours, though I've left it overnight (don't freak out, it's ok).
Then after that, put ceramic container from cooker into fridge to chill.
After it's chilled, eat and marvel at how good yogurt can be.  And how cheap.
Hooray!

No scalding milk and pouring from container to container, splashing your golden yogurt to be on the appliances and countertop and eliciting cussing.  No extra pots to wash out the scummy scalded milk.  No cute but slippery glass jars to wash out, rotating endlessly and counting if enough have been eaten to make another batch, or biting your tongue to keep from cussing when you can't find their lids.

Now this is not only yummy, it's "green." In fact, it's about as green and crunchy as I probably get...so, I'm putting it out there as evidence that I'm not totally soulless.  But more, I'm putting it out there because it's easy, cheap and, most importantly, good.

Simple.  Easy. Low tech. Yummy.

You're welcome.

Novena begins today: St. Jude

I'm starting my novena to St. Jude today.

That's this guy, here, in this painting.Painting by Anthony Van Dyke

I am starting this novena, which is nine days of focused prayer, today so that this set of prayers and petitions ends on October 31. His feast day is October 28, but this novena is in conjunction with the National Shrine to St. Jude, and it is beginning today.  So, that's what I'm doing too!  I have some serious intentions for that have been weighing heavily on me, for friends and family.  So, daily focused prayer, and with a great intercessor, always helps.  Please join me!

Now, many folks are somewhat confounded by novenas. They are rather a Catholic thing, I'll admit. But then again, not so much. Here's the deal. (I know, I've spoken of this before, but well, who ever goes back to archives? No one.) You see, you all know, some of you more painfully than others, that I'm a beggar.  This is the same deal. It's intercessory prayer. Sometimes I ask everyone I know to pray for me, sometimes it's more private...this time I am also hitting up a saint. St. Jude Thaddeus, to be precise.

And I ask him for his prayers, because he, unlike those of us here on earth, is in heaven already. He has left his smudgy selfish self behind and all traces of that are gone. His heart is pure. Thus, he is a MUCH more effective pray-er than most anyone else I can ask, short of Christ himself (and yeah, I'm praying hard and having much discussion with him too, no worries on that point!).

And this intercession of the saints is one of the coolest things I can think of. It's just what I do for my brother with my folks, and what my kids do for each other with me. We go to the person who can help, on the others behalf. We petition. And stand in for each other and add our backing to that person's petition. And it helps. If only in the moral support, it helps. And that is exactly what a novena in our Catholic ways do too. Only we hit up a saint, for their support and prayers on our behalf. And it helps.

Prayer transforms, no matter if they are answered the way we hope or a different way that we can't understand yet. And that in itself makes the effort worthwhile.

So, I'm praying to St. Jude. He was a cousin of Jesus. He was a chosen apostle. He is a good egg. He is patron of impossible causes.  He's helped me before, he is faithful.

And I'm gonna make you all nuts maybe because I'm putting the novena prayer up every day. I'll post other posts too, don't disappear entirely! But, if any of you want to follow along, you can read and pray it here.

Thanks to each of you and any passing thoughts or prayers!

St. Jude, pray for us.

Day 1
Novena To
St. Jude 

Today we center ourselves in prayer as we begin nine days of the Solemn Novena to St. Jude. St. Jude listens to our prayers and offers us hope when we become weary. 

We PRAY:

St. Jude, I enter this Novena pleading for your intercession. May my daily prayer bring your intercession for my special intentions and may God’s Spirit guide me to know the best way to proceed in any troubling situation that confronts me.

Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly 
 For these special intentions
and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.


May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sonar: Older Child Adoption Adjustment

I've been thinking a lot about Sonar.  Radar systems.  About technology that can scan the skies or the voids and have different weather patterns or objects be visible, from eddys in water flows to wind patterns....storm systems to cold fronts, big fish to submerged danger.
How do you make what can't be seen to the naked eye, be seen?
Sonar Display
Well, that's where these systems come in, and really, they are cool.
I want one.  
But I want the interpersonal mood system format.
Because with four, count em, four girls in the house, I need an ongoing alert system to the changing mood patterns and storm systems in our changeable girly mood house.  

But, hang on, actually, I have one. 
No, not mine...though I do have a pretty good radar system for all that.  And perhaps, as it's been pointed out to me (ahem) I lean on that too much, and overstep.  Sigh.

But what I have come to realize is that we have, in our newest daughter, a very finely tuned system of mood alert. 
I was thinking it's really a radar system, akin to mine.  
But it's not, it's different. 
In fact, I've decided it's a SONAR system.
It is not for the above the surface interactions or flaunted attitude or mood; not for the  nuances of interaction and reaction. That would be radar.  
Her scanning is remarkable for the subsurface sweeps of the moods that are, or are trying to be, submerged.  It's definitely a SONAR system.  


Yup, we have a high grade finely tuned, walking sonar in our house.  
It's called "Marta."
She has a constantly alert scanning sweeping sonar beam for any little shift or frisson of mood.  
It's remarkable.
And, often it's pain in the backside.  

Because it's sweeping scans are trained tightly on her new mom and dad, the other kids will get caught in the sweep sometimes, but really only on the periphery.  The tight lock-on...that's for mom and dad.  
So, if I am in a funk.......lock on.
A snit....lock on, beep beep beep!
Heaven forbid, her dad and I have had any disagreement, big or small.....clanging alarms go off for this girl and she breaks down. 
Because her sonar is equipped with the bells and alerts and reactive torpedos.
Unfortunately, it is not equipped with a sorting device to decide which of those mood alarms are "threats" and/or which are "friendlies."  
Meaning, if I am crying happy tears over a sweet song one of my big boys wrote and played for me, or if I am cranky from a sleepless night or actually stewing over an argument...there is no differentiating.  It sends her into a mirroring funk and/or tears; hers not so simple to stem.  

On the other hand, her sonar translates to the skill of empathy.  
This sonar, this remarkable pain in the neck silent constant sweep of alert, translates into both a protective mechanism/survival skill for her but also into an inate ability that surely can be trained into a skill to grow on.  To grow with and into.  
It is challenging to translate and explain it all to her, those nuances that are usually embedded in the moods she locks onto. 
Much of the time, it is impossible.  
Thus, it challenges us, her mom and dad.  
It challenges us to be stronger steadier; to not fall into the ease of a sucking gripping mood.  It challenges us, no, ME, to get a grip and detach from what's useless and focus on what's important.  Which usually means to let go of my own selfish hurts (which is why I'm still failing at this and being challenged by it) and to keep my eyes on the bigger picture....even as I have to look at the very small 4'11" picture of a real life girl just trying to surf those subsurface tides.  


Tom has a GPS/sonar on his boat.  It shows him all the submerged hazards and the deep channels and the shallow shoals.  
He uses it to safely navigate the waters of a murky lake.  
Our Marti, she has this same GPS sonar built into her small self.  It has surely helped her navigate the murky waters of this new family and new phase in her life.   The trick for us all is and will be to learn how to use this sonar together, to help each other understand the pings that alert each other to the shoals and shallows and deep waters.  


Ping!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When your boy comes home.

It's a happy week.....and I'm a happy mom.
because my boy is home from college, for the week only, but I'll take it.

 Here is what you remember when one of your son's come home again, these things that so easily you forget in the hustle and crazy of everyday life:

That it feels so good to hug him, to feel him solid and sure and there; instead of crackling over a dropping cell phone connection or a glitchy skype feed.


That you never do expect to feel that blink of tears,
or that gasp of recognition, "There he is!"
just because he's walked into your kitchen with a big eager grin.
That that big grin and quick step to hug you means everything.
That he looks good - that he's growing up even as you can see the small changes now, in your kitchen, but that it is settling on him well.

That  you really think its a great dance to see the hubub of siblings all talking at the same time and twisting around each other to get plates and milk and it doesn't matter that it's late and the kitchen is getting messy again and the windows are dark and it's way past bedtime.
That standing around the kitchen counters and between the bags and stalling bedtime is just the best thing to do on a late Sunday night, when a boy comes home again.
That you really really enjoy watching him eat cake and soak in the hubub of his house, again.

That you love to cook for your kids who love to eat.
That is a treat to cook a Halloween supper a week in advance; upon personal request.
That brisket cooking on the stove is a smell of love and happy.
And that homemade chili and cornbread, pumpkin pie and goofy little mini wrapped hotdogs wrapped mean home.

That even bandaging him up, now all big and growing up as a man, is still a privilege and a way to be a hands on mom {and he is kind enough to ask me to do it}.
That bandaging up his elbow will make me think of all the reckless hurts he's had, that I've bandaged, on this daredevil boy and maybe make me blink hard for a minute.
That making the house a home for this week is important and it's not only for this boy, on his return.....
But it's important for the family.
It's important for his brothers and sisters to see that welcome and that soaking right back into the family.
It's for me.
It's where the joy is...in the small things...the things that matter in that quiet sink in sort of way.

So today I remember the beauty in the red pot simmering on the stove,
in the bowl of apples,
in the bandages,
and in the folding of clean shirts.
And I see it fresh, for a moment, in the heart of this home, his home, that he returns to with a grin and a sigh and a "It's really really good to be home."

Yeah.  It is.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Double Feast: St Luke


El Greco, of course!

Today is the Feast of St. Luke!
You all know him, gospel writer and all.

But what sometimes gets overlooked is that St Luke is a man of many talents.  Not only was he a  a writer of the gospel and all...so his faith of course is inspiring....but he was a physician and tradition has it also an artist.  Now, the arts part has been disputed, but who can know really?  And tradition has brought St. Luke down as an  honored patron saint of the arts and painters, in fact as an iconographer of Mary...so I'm running with it.
I mean, St. Luke is like the double whammy patron of the house, or our marriage, no? Yes!  How cool! You've got the whole doc factor for Tom, and the arts factor for me, and the faith factor for us both! Whoa.
Frankly, I'm just really dig that.

After those two connections, you then add the whole Mary connection and well, this is a lock on the patron of the house deal for us.  We love Mary.  I love Mary!  And I love painting Mary!  So...St. Luke, he's the man...surely to goodness he's an intercessor to turn to.  His gospel has some of the most profound parables as well:
"Luke is the one who uses "Blessed are the poor" instead of "Blessed are the poor in spirit" in the beatitudes. Only in Luke's gospel do we hear Mary 's Magnificat where she proclaims that God "has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty" (Luke 1:52-53).

Luke also has a special connection with the women in Jesus' life, especially Mary. It is only in Luke's gospel that we hear the story of the Annunciation, Mary's visit to Elizabeth including the Magnificat, the Presentation, and the story of Jesus' disappearance in Jerusalem. It is Luke that we have to thank for the Scriptural parts of the Hail Mary: "Hail Mary full of grace" spoken at the Annunciation and "Blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus" spoken by her cousin Elizabeth.
Forgiveness and God's mercy to sinners is also of first importance to Luke. Only in Luke do we hear the story of the Prodigal Son welcomed back by the overjoyed father." 
Anyhow...just so you know.  Today is the Feast of St. Luke.  He was  born in a pagan family and was a convert to the faith.  He worked with Paul and preached the "mystery of Christ's love for the poor." He is inspiring. St. Luke lived the gospel through his spoken and written words, his art,  his hands.   Just like I should do, in some small measure, every day. 


From the divine office, morning prayer:
" Saint Luke gave us the gospel message and proclaimed Christ as the dawn from on high."
Painting by Maarten de Vos, 1602

So, my Tom/Coffeedoc, 
Happy Feast Day!
St. Luke, pray for us! 

Monday Moment:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Not the fun one.

By which I mean: me.
I am not the fun one.
That would be Coffeedoc, Dad, Tom.
He is the fun one.

He is the one who travels the world and gets twitchy when he's been home for more than a few weeks.
He is the one who drives fast, be it boat or car.
He is the one who takes the kids tubing and tries to dunk them with donut circles in the chop of the wake.

He is the one who makes silly voices and tells silly stories during dinner.
He is the one who makes gross out jokes during dinner.
He is the one who will buckle and snap endless coats and ski boots to get the kids on the mountain.
He is the one who will take them to Monkey Joe's so they can run and slide and shriek to their heart's content.
He is the one who will jump out of a plane, or hike up the hilltop to see what is there.


I am the one who could stay home forever.
I am the one who savors the different light of the seasons.
I am the one who stays off the lake while they flip off the tube, to make dinner after they come home wet and cold and laughing.
I am the one who stays with the baby while they see the Imax movie, ostensibly because it's too much for the baby...but really because the swooping bigger than life high definition 3D makes me queasy.  It's too much for me.
I am the one who plays bananagrams and counts it as big fun.
I am the one who makes yogurt in a slow cooker, for pete's sake!


He is the fun one.
He is the fast one.
I am the slow one.
I am the one that holds to bedtimes and routines.

{football at ND, last year}

This weekend, all the girls are with dad at Notre Dame.
They have gone up to see their brothers and a game.
My boys, yesterday on campus.

They will get to bed late, and eat way too much junk food.
They will yell at the pep rally and shout over the band.
They will see the drumline way way after bedtime, staying up until far into the night.
They will roll their eyes at his silliness and bad jokes.
They will alternately giggle and fume over his benign neglect of their girly natures.

{football game last year, ND}

I will fret that the change in routine will throw a few of them off kilter.
I will fret that the lack of sleep will be a catalyst for meltdown by multiple girls.
I will worry about them coming back rather undone, frazzled and unable to recalibrate into the instant return to daily life and requirements.
I will wonder if medicine was taken and how the moods are swinging.
I will brace myself for the impending meltdowns upon re-entry.
I will see the texts to me, complaining and fussing, and deflect them with "be nice, have fun."

But, because after twenty-one years of being a mom, I am learning.....
that they will survive this weekend away without my 'stick in the mud' tending,
that they might even build new memories that will make them laugh til they cry....someday,
that they can live off of some junk food and be happy for my cooking when they get home,
that they can learn to be cranky and out of sorts and still survive,
that getting to bed crazy late is not the end of the world,
that Dad is not Mom.
And that he is the fun one.
And that there is time for that too.
And that their world is better for it.

I am not the fun one.
I am glad that he is.