Monday, February 28, 2011


Probably up too late tonight, and will regret this in the morning!


I seek a home
not made of wood or brick,
but a place
fashioned for my very soul.
Somewhere I belong,
my name is known
and I am eagerly awaited,
not merely accepted or
assimilated into or expected.

The universe is wide and deep
and so many seem to know their place
or be able to feel their way
Is this my call, my Cross,
to wander through life
longing, aching, yearning,
seeking for what will never
be mine?

Or is this pain a product
of my own making,
born of selfishness and desire,
a child to my neurosis?
I cannot tell and cannot
The internal debate is only
quieted through the call
of my heart to the heavens -

"Have mercy on me, a sinner."

Monday Evening Musings

Today is only Monday? Wow!

I can hear Cookie Boy hacking away in his bedroom. 'Tis the season for allergies, and it looks like a big season for North Central Texas this year. Ick. ArtGuy needs to make an appointment for his allergy shot. I finally got him to get one last year (big baby!). He was amazed how much better he felt.

Tonight is a lonely night. ArtGuy fell asleep with the Mad Toddler, who has not been going to sleep easily at all lately! Bad things start to happen to me when I only spend time with children (and myself!), and get no real adult interaction. Oh well. I read a book. Should have been writing, but I expected ArtGuy to show up. If I had known, I could have done something...maybe....

I have had a bit of the blues today. Not sure how to snap out of it. All I can do is pray, "Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy."

Good night. Sleep tight!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Crucifying Self

Today has been one of those days. Well, actually, this week has been one of those weeks. And if you want the whole truth, this millennium has been one of those millenniums.

Sometimes I am just going along, and everything seems pretty good. Then - BAM! - life derails in an instant. It can be a huge, shattering thing, like when my sister became terminally ill, or it can be a small thing (but we all know a pebble can begin an avalanche!).

Today was a small thing. Well, small in the scheme of life, that is. We put the van in the shop. Like we did last weekend. And a few months ago. Every time we put the decrepit, scarred, 13 year old Caravan into the shop we pray and hold our breath and cross our fingers and toes, and then we get a phone call to say that is considerably less than we feared. I should have known when we dropped off the van last night, and we weren't worried, that it would be major. A leak turned out to be a cracked radiator, which means $600 we don't have. (Time to do the taxes, honey!).

I have been praying for a year, telling God that I trust Him to take care of our vehicle, because the van is actually paid off. We cannot afford a car payment. But, the van is also on its last legs. I know it, ArtGuy knows it, and the van knows it, too. So, God is going to provide for us. I hope.

Three years ago, I was as big as a....well, fill in the blank. I was three months away from giving birth to a 10 1/2 pound baby. Again, we had no money, and we prayed fervently for health and safety. I remember thinking with confidence that God knew our finances and would not ruin us.
I also remember crying about it as everything went wrong on May 9, 2008, and I headed to the hospital for an emergency c-section. The bank owns 99% of the Mad Toddler. I wish they would take his diaper bills off our loan amount. We ought to finish paying for him sometime before we retire.

Trust. Faith. Sometimes it is so hard to have.

My younger brother has what I call "The Midas Touch" - everything he sets his hand at doing seems to prosper (at least to my eyes). He is successful and charming and witty and has heaps of brains. I am what I call the Queen of Mediocrity. I blame it on the 8th grade gifted and talented program back in the 80's (of which I spent one year in, the last year possible, while Lil Bro qualified back in the 2nd grade). Anyway, I remember learning all about the notion of a Renaissance Man - learning for learning's sake, trying a bit of this and that, exploring options and living life by not being defined by one calling. I loved it, and I wanted it.

Yup. To this day I do many things, and do many of those things better than average, but none brilliantly. Nothing that will get me noticed. Not that I am a fame seeker, but I would just love to be sought after. For something!

I want to write, but I want to be successful at it. I want to parent, and excel. I want to sing, and be praised (but humble). I want to be thin and pretty and yet so natural. I want all our horrendous debt gone (none of which went to wild living but things like appendixes and surgeries and plane tickets to funerals and water heaters).

I...I....I....At the heart of it all - I. One letter. So much trouble.

I have a lovely little prayer book, Every Day Is a Gift, given to me when I helped write lesson plans for a 2nd grade RE program. There is a short quote from the writings of a saint, and a short prayer for each day. February 16 is as follows:
"The definition of vice is as follows: It is the wrong use -in violation of the Lord's command - of what has been given us by God for a good purpose." St Basil
Prayer: All-holy God, help me to curb my passions and desires. Let me always use Your gifts in the way You intended for them to be used."

It is either for Him or it isn't. I am not talking about things, but about people. Self.

That is the choice. Do I take my gifts and run? I can pursue what I want. Many people do. Or do I place them in a loving heap before Him, to do with as He pleases? Even if it doesn't please me. No one ever said His will would be my will. It should be the other way around. 

Dying to self hurts.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Finally Friday

Thursdays are just heinous. Really.

I always know when it is Thursday. My enthusiasm for the week in entirely gone. My steam runs out. The kids drag through the day. I drag through the day.

But after Thursday comes.....Friday!!!!!

I love Fridays. Now that ArtGuy has taken over homeschool coop duties, that is. This is our 3rd coop Friday this semester. I spent the first two writing. Today, I think I may just sleep. And vacuum the stairs.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Not A Park Mom

Today I had to take the Mad Toddler to the park. It was that, or I was afraid he would spontaneously combust in the house. Sooooo much energy. It was cloudy and windy and warm enough. He ran and ran and ran and ran. As I watched him go from one of the playground to the other, all I could hear was the steady thump thump thump thump metronome of his feet.
I let him run until he was winded and beginning to contemplate doing stupid things on the climbing wall. Then, we headed back home for some well-earned juicy.

I am not a "park" kind of mom. I am not a mother's group kind, either. I am easily bored at the park (plus I am very sure my child is about to pitch headlong down  the metal rungs of a climbing ladder - nervous moms are never fun) and I am just terrible at meeting new people (hence the not liking moms groups). I can lecture a room of 100 people on the sacrament of baptism or theology of the body, or I can sing in front of a 1,000+ congregation (okay, my hands are shaking the whole time, but I can do it), but put me in a small group, and I am the same awkward teenager I was so many years ago. While it is stupid,  there is is.

In the meantime, the Mad Toddler is watching the straight-to-DVD of Curious George II, or as he likes to call it, Curious George Plus One, for the second time today and the10th time just this week!


Friday, February 4, 2011


Here is my catch-up post. It has been a little while, but it has been busy!

1. The End of Season One for First Lego League
Can I have a "hallelujah"???? We are finally done! The last week, I had various team members at my house every single day but Wednesday, as they made one final effort to get ready for the North Texas Championships! It was wild and draining. On Thursday, I was in tears most of the day, including a total melt-down at night. In the end, it all went well. We didn't win a trophy, but we did do well. I am so proud of each and every one of those boys, and all the work they put into things!
Now it is time for a break, time to clear my living room of Legos, and time to relax a little!

Our team project display in the pit area, where other teams can look and see

Two of my guys prepare for the robot game

It was loud and crazy and special

2. Ice
This week has been a week of ice. ArtGuy went into work on Monday - and that is IT! He has been home the rest of the week (along with almost everyone else in the DFW area). Texas does get snow and ice, but it usually clears up in about 24 hours. Not this week.

3. Snow
And then today, we get snow, on top of ice. Not the 1/2 inch the forecasters called for, but SIX INCHES!!!! My whole family is outside, playing. Well, except me. I have not been a good mom and kept up with my growing children. Romeo outgrew his coat (it was 70 degrees last week, so it isn't like we use them a lot). So, Romeo is in Cookie Boy's coat, and Cookie Boy is in my coat!

just checking it out !

a swift expedition!

4. Rejected!
Yet again, another rejection! My goal this year is to get a book contract, for any book! I sent out a book for religious ed classrooms months ago. A rep from the publisher contacted me a month later, saying he loved it, and would present it to the board. Months passed, and I assumed it was a no. But I heard back from him this week. It was a no, but he fought hard for me, at several board meetings, In the end, because of budget cuts and economy, they have to pass for now. But, he really liked it, and gave me names at other publishers to try.
So, the good news is there is always hope. The bad news is "I loved it" is not the same as publishing it, and until I get something published, I will always wonder if I am good enough.

One hates to think one's passion is simply a "nice hobby" and not a vocation, calling, or something meaningful.

5. Growth

My kids are growing. Fast. ArtGuy and I have to figure out new  ways to relate to the Young Adult, now 13. Parenthood is a constantly evolving thing. Once you feel like you have it figured out, boom! It changes are you are left clueless again.
Cookie Boy and Romeo are growing a lot, too, but being the middle kids, it often gets less notice than the oldest and youngest. They are really wonderful kids.
The Mad Toddler is 2 1/2, not a baby any longer. He loves playing Star Fall, a website about reading. He loves to "play letters", and is very good at it. It is a great age, but I miss my "baby". And I am left wondering if there ever will be another baby. Stupid insurance and debt and c-sections!

And that about wraps up my aimless thought patterns of the last few weeks!

Happy Super Bowl weekend!