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Showing posts from 2009

Countdown to Graduation: 18 months

18 months to go until Andy graduates... that's not so long is it? But it seems SO long. I'm trying to have a better attitude and more patience about the waiting process. And meantime, I'm getting more tired and less capable of processing information, especially at work. I'm trying to make peace with the likelihood that I will not be dropping below full time though I so long to.

Instead, I need to find ways to get through the next 18 months... and to try to not only survive it but to enjoy it - to enjoy the boys and my husband, to enjoy work, to enjoy my friends and extended family, to enjoy the beauty around me. This is time I will never get back.

I need to simplify and slow down. I have decided I will stop teaching CCD, and Andy is going to finish teaching this year then take a break from teaching next year. We are also going to look at cutting other things out of our lives, though there are not many other things we can cut out. I need to spend more time in …

Isaac's train cake

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In addition to the train table, I also had a good idea for a cake for Isaac, which a client at work had given me a couple years ago. I was thrilled to create two things for my little guy as I don't often get to use my creativity.

I baked the cake the night before in large and small springform pans and let it cool overnight. The next day, I began by putting one on top of the other and cutting a piece in the smaller, chocolate, cake to look like a tunnel. I also cut a ramp up the wider piece of cake.



I also whipped up some cream cheese frosting (yum... the boys and I ended up eating quite a bit of it out of the bowl after I was done... ok, I snuck in several helpings as I was frosting also!). I frosted the cake, creating a path up the incline and an arch over the tunnel. I used sugar wafers and brown frosting the create the tracks.



You can see I'm not very neat when doing this kind of thing... and that picture was taken after I tidied up a few things.

Isaac loved his cake. I…

Isaac's birthday train table

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We celebrated our 3 year old's birthday earlier this month. He loves trains, so the theme this year was trains. (I'm not usually together enough to create a theme, but I had a couple great ideas for his birthday that just sort of fit together).

I had wanted to make the boys a train table for some time, and a friend of mine had some wooden tracks she no longer needed for her son, so I was able to buy them from her and find a 48 inch round table at a local second-hand store:



So I set out putting together a track. It took some time, but I enjoyed every second of it. It reminded me of building tracks for my little brothers when they were young. And I was just so excited to give a track to our two boys... uh, to Isaac for his birthday. After a few adjustments, I had a great layout that fit perfectly on the table!



Andy suggested I nail it down rather than screwing it down as I was going to do, since nailing it wouldn't take as long. But I found that I still had to drill holes…

Countdown to Graduation: 19 months

One more month down, nineteen to go, until Andy's tentative graduation date and until I can be home with the boys.

I mentioned in my post a month ago that, while I have a good job, it does significantly affect me and the boys in that we are rushed in the mornings to get out the door, and transitions in general are difficult for my high-spirited 4 year-old. Even the transition from sleeping to being awake in the morning is difficult for him. I would love to have the time to sit and rock with him in the mornings. I had time for that this morning, and it really did help him. He, more than the nearly-3-year-old, also has a difficult time in that he doesn't feel at all in control of the situation and feels that he has no say in what he does on any particular day. I know he is frustrated. As am I, especially when I come home exhausted and with no energy to give them what they need and no energy to deal with their high level of energy.

So, since quitting work is not an option, an…

When Mom's not happy... nobodys' happy, But...

But when Mom is happy, everyone is happier!

In all honesty, our family has been struggling. I have had a very difficult nearly 3 years and have really struggled. And I know my struggling has been very difficult for Andy and for our two young boys who don't understand why Mom is often so tired and in such a bad mood. I had severe postpartum depression and anxiety after Isaac was born, and I don't think I had ever adequately recovered from that... but recently (the last month or so), I have finally been feeling like a "normal" person again (with the exception of 5-6 weeks of bronchitis and catching a cold a week ago on top of that, which completely drained me). But about 5 months ago I began to see a local doctor who works with hormones and fertility, as well as chronic fatigue and stress, by the way of research and treatment utilizing the Creighton method of NFP and working with our bodies' natural responses and needs. This is beginning to work wonders for me!…

Mazes

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I had a moment of inspiration this morning and remembered how I used to make mazes for my two younger brothers when they were around 5 and 7 or so. I used to really like doing that. As a pre-teen, it was a challenge for me to create these mazes, and it was fun for the boys to find their way through them. I have a 4 year old who likes mazes and too few mazes around here for him... and the ones we do have are way too easy. So I took out some old computer paper - remember those ones with the holes on the sides that help to feed the paper through the printer - and created some mazes. He really liked the first one and did pretty well with it:



He asked me to make another maze. I suppose I made this one a bit harder, and he became a little impatient:



So I tried one more time, but he doesn't know it yet... I'll wait until tomorrow to show him. Hopefully this one will work well for him. Maybe I'll put together a book of them for him and Isaac. I'll put that on my list of…

5 Years

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Yesterday, Andy and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Well, celebrated is a relative term since I caught a cold and basically spent the evening lying around and blowing my nose.



But it was still a time to realize once again how blessed I am to be married to such a wonderful man. I am blessed to be married to a faithful Catholic man who loves God and loves me and the boys dearly. A man who is working hard in school so that he can someday soon provide for our family. A man who lives according to what he believes and knows to be right. Andy and I both agree that the last five years have been by far the best years of our lives, despite the struggles and arguments we have had at times. God brought him into my life, and me into his. And, as it should be in marriage, we realize we are gifts to each other and, often successfully, live accordingly.

Thank You, Lord, for bringing Andy into my life!

My Simple Prayer to Mary

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"Blessed are you among women!"



Mary, you truly are blessed: you who have been called to be the mother of God! You who have been called to be the mother of all humanity! You who have been called to be my mother! You who have received countless graces and blessings from our Father in Heaven! Our Lord has truly looked upon you with love and generosity. He has called you to great things, and you have answered His call.

Mary, you are gentle and pure of heart. How beautiful you are! Please guide me to also be gentle and pure of heart, and please pray that our Father may also send His graces and blessings upon me that I may be more like you. Pray that I may be more loving toward my children and may gently guide them as you did with Jesus. Pray that I may give all of myself to my husband, and through him to God, and may be more pure of heart as you were in your marriage to Joseph. Pray that I may be attentive and may answer God's call for me as you answered His call.

Thank…

Pieces of Summer in Pictures

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This summer, we were able to do some fun things with the boys.

I took a week off in late July and took the boys to their first baseball game, meeting my brother and sister-in-law there. We enjoyed our time, and the boys were excited for their first game in a "big big park."







We also went to a wedding and stayed over night in a hotel. They didn't enjoy the wedding reception as we thought they would. Maybe it's because we attempted to allow them to sleep together, and so they were very tired the next night. But they did enjoy lying in the same bed for a while... a little too much, until we moved one of them to our bed. Even then, they were too wound up to sleep until an hour after our bedtime. This picture is from early in the night when they were both relatively calm.



This summer they also became more accustomed to being in water. We went to several lakes, including at my parents' cottage. Eventually, they would both allow their shoulders to go under... some…

Countdown to Graduation

I started a countdown to the time Andy will be graduating a four months ago. The beginning of October unofficially marks 20 months until graduation. Likely, he will graduate the spring of 2011.

When there were two full years left, I figured out how long it would be in years (that was very easy), months (24), weeks (104), and days (710). Two years sounded like a long time. So did 104 weeks and 710 days. But for some reason, 24 months sounds do-able. So I count down in months. Now we're at 20.

I have to admit I am impatient. I struggle every day I have to work (4 days a week) with leaving the boys or dropping them off at the sitter. I hate the rush of the mornings and not being able to sit in the rocking chair with them to calm them down when they are whining or frustrated or just too wild. The older child, especially, craves this time and suffers when he doesn't get it. He also feels strongly the need to have some control over the situation rather than succumbing to …

Prayer goals

Following the retreat/girls' weekend, I made a list of 5 goals incorporating what I learned over the weekend and what I feel called to do as a response to the graces poured out upon Katie and I, and in hopes to grow spiritually and be a better wife and mother.

1) Read the Magnificat, Mary's prayer, daily. In this way, I hope to realize better that Mary not only said "yes" to God's invitation but rejoiced in it. She rejoiced in it despite the difficulties it would pose for her in being a young, unmarried pregnant woman who would traditionally be outcast and stoned.

2) Try my best to concentrate better when praying the Rosary.

3) Treat the boys, and Andy, as if they were Jesus Himself, and as Mary would have treated Jesus, her own Son, according to the Gospel from a couple weeks ago: "Then He took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in His arms, He said to them, 'Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me…

Gone too long!

I have been gone too long from the world of posting... primarily because inspiration has not been striking, and I have been feeling that I have nothing to write about (and honestly no time to write).

But perhaps I am again being inspired... only time will tell whether the inspiration bug continues to bite or not. Perhaps the reason for inspiration is a wonderful "retreat" my good friend Katie and I gave ourselves (with the support of our wonderful husbands, who watched our kids).

We had a wonderful time meeting with another friend of ours Friday night and having a great discussion with her over dinner. Sat was filled with wonderful conversation, support, and prayer, followed by a much-deserved nap, dinner, and dying of hair! Sun was Mass and another wonderful conversation as we drove to Katie's car and parted.

The amazing thing was that we went into it with only a preliminary plan, but Mary provided a better plan. Throughout the weekend, she made it clear that she w…

Goggles and glasses, hats and helmets

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The boys love goggles, glasses, hats and helmets... I guess it's their version of dress up. So I thought I'd share a few photos of them, "dressing up."












If I would sleep this way....

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If I would sleep like this, I would wake up in so much pain!

Mistakes and New Directions

About a week and a half ago, I read an article in Reader's Digest. While a bit simplistic, it had an interesting message. The author claims there are two types of people: those who see life situations and personalities as static or unchanging and therefore see mistakes that they make as having a negative reflection on their own lives or persons and those who see situations and character as changing and evolving and therefore see mistakes as opportunities for learning and for growth. I have to admit, I typically fit more into the first group than the second.

This last weekend, I was at a four day course in which the instructor detailed a specific way of evaluating and treating low back problems and radiating pain into the legs. The entire system of evaluations and treatments involves looking at things through a new set of eyes and in a different way than I typically do. I was skeptical at first, but as the course went on, I could see the logic in it and was able to see that i…

In Gratitude

Inspired by Katie's blog, I thought I would make a list of 10 or so things I am grateful for. Here it goes:

1) Kids songs. The boys have been singing and singing together. "Take me out to the ball game", "Down by the station", "Twinkle, twinkle", etc. Isaac is funny in that he will sing it just like his older brother (just as he does when he talks), misplaced sounds and skipped words and all! I am grateful that the boys are singing and playing together more and more.

2) Andy's 17-credit semester is finally over!!! What a long spring! And because of that, he has more time to do things around here, so the cars are clean inside and out and the garage is clean and organized, not to mention dishes and laundry getting done! Granted, he's starting summer classes on Tuesday. They'll run for 7 weeks. But it's not 17 credits!

3) I am grateful for a husband who sees things that need to be done and just does them! For a husband who is ca…

Blaise's puzzle

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First of all, happy Mother's Day to all you moms!

Blaise (3 1/2) has been excited about the "Scary Monster Movie," AKA Monsters, Inc since my mom brought it for Isaac and him to watch a month or so ago when she came over to take care of them for a day. And he had was able to put a 24 piece puzzle together with only a little help soon after he turned 2 1/2. So when I saw a Monster's Inc 60-piece puzzle at a garage sale, I bought it.

I took it home and tried to put it together while he was having quiet time. I struggled with a couple pieces almost right away, since the puzzle is so dark and so many pieces look the same, so I boxed it back up and put in on the basement stairs to bring it down to the basement. I planned to bring in out again in several months. Before I could hide it in the dark recesses of the basement, Blaise found it on the stairs and asked to bring in up and put it together. Though I thought putting the puzzle together would lead to quite a bit of…

Refreshed!

My goal every night is to get to bed by 10:00. Since it is now 10:23, this will not be a long post. My one day off during the week, Wednesday, always fills up quickly, and I don't want to take any more time away from the boys by posting on my blog.

This last weekend was wonderful for us. Not only were we able to witness our wonderful friends' marriage, but Andy and I were able to get away for 4 days alone to enjoy our own beautiful marriage. This last semester has been a long one, and so time away was much needed for both of us.

We came home refreshed and with some great memories. But not only do I feel more appreciation for Andy, but I also feel more appreciation for the boys. A good friend and I were talking yesterday and both agreed that, as mothers, we at times need time away from the kids so that we can truly enjoy them and appreciate them more. If they are always vying for our attention, we don't have time or space to miss them and thus lose appreciation for the…

What's going on around here

Just a quick note... I haven't been avoiding blogging, just too busy.

1) Andy is almost done with his spring semester... just 2 more weeks!!! He'll be taking summer school classes until the middle of July, but it won't be the 17 credit load he is currently taking.

2) We are packing to leave early tomorrow to catch a plane to Louisiana to witness a beautiful, sacramental wedding of one of my dear friends and her wonderful fiance. May God bless their marriage!

3) The boys are staying with Andy's parents... which means time away for Andy and I. We will miss the boys and are sad to leave them even for a long weekend, but this is sooo needed. Thank you Sarita and Eric for giving us this opportunity! And please, Lord, bring us safely back together Monday night!

4) Two more wonderful young Catholic moms, and wonderful friends, joined the blogging community! Please check out their sites: http://krissyfruitfulvine.blogspot.com
http://fallingupwardholly.blogspot.com

God bless you…

Falling on His Grace (what's in a name)

Though it has taken many forms or fallen under many names, I have dealt with some form of depression and/or anxiety for as long as I can remember. It has become a kind of cross for me, one for which I am always looking for ways of setting aside and moving beyond but one that I just cannot seem to shake. While still looking for ways of moving beyond depression and anxiety, I am making peace with the fact that it is a part of my life and am even beginning to see it as a sort of gift. That is, until I fall deep into its lairs once again and find myself struggling to make my way back from the darkness of despair to the light of hope and peace. Praise be to Him who, when I reach my hand out in prayer, reaches back and pulls me out of the darkness with a whisper of encouragement.

I have reflected quite often on this cross I carry as this scenario has repeated itself many times over. When I am standing in the light of hope and in prayer, I can clearly see that this cross of depression an…

A small gift

I went out to meet a few mothers for breakfast this morning. As I said bye to Blaise this morning, he handed me a Hot Wheels race car. "Here Mom, bring this with you." It was a favored race car of his, one he rarely gives up or allows his younger brother to play with. Yet he insisted that I bring it with me to breakfast. I thanked him and told him he was very thoughtful and left.

On my way home, I stopped at church to spend a little time with our Lord. As I reached into my pocket, I felt the race car and pulled it out. "Thank you, Lord, for Blaise's thoughtfulness and ability to share such a special toy. Thank you for such a wonderful, caring boy."

Thanks in Advance

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The retreat I had gone on two weeks ago was at a Franciscan Capuchin retreat house. One of the Capuchins opened up the retreat with a prayer similar to one a fellow deceased Capuchin, Solanus Casey, would often pray: "Lord, thank You in advance for all the blessings You will grant us during this retreat" (paraphrased). I found it instantly opened me further to the plans God had for me during that retreat, rather than my own, more narrow plans.

I've been praying that prayer daily since: "Lord, thank You in advance for all the blessings You will grant me today" or "...for all the blessings You will grant me this evening with my family" if I'm on my way home from work, or another phrase as appropriate. I find it opens me up to the blessings He does have in store for me that day and helps me to be more joyful as it does remind me God is constantly sending His graces upon us all. It helps me to let go of the narrowness of my plans, of the anxiety t…

Thank you, Lord, for the awesome gift of redemption

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After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone.... The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.'" (Matthew 28:1-2, 5-7)

May God bless you all this Easter!

To my Holy Mother

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Mary, as I am waiting for Easter, I wonder how you must have felt waiting, after your Son had been put to death on the cross. And I wonder how you must have felt during the events leading up to His crucifixion. Were you startled when He was arrested and being sentenced? Were you praying that Pilate would excuse Him? Were you surprised at all that was being said against your innocent Son? Did you understand all that was happening and why it must happen this way? As He was being scourged, did you feel every whip blow? How you must have wanted to run in and hold back the hand of the man so brutally beating Him! As you saw His bloodied body carrying that wood to Calgary, how much sorrow you must have felt! How did you feel as He gazed so lovingly into your eyes with the love only God can give? When He fell, did you try to rush in against the push of the crowd to pick up your Son as you had when He was a child? Did you picture Him as He had been when He was just learning to walk…
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Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)

The Cup

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I have always been intrigued by the Agony in the Garden. Jesus, sweating blood, asks His Father, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done." How He must have suffered, knowing the trials and pain He would undergo. What strength and love He showed in willingly allowing Himself to be brutally beaten and hung on the cross so that we may all be reconciled to God. Jesus says, in Matthew's account, "Do you think that I cannot call upon My Father and He will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?" (26:53-54). I am thankful He did not do just that. He knew He must drink of this cup, and His Father was not going to take it away from Him, but "to strengthen Him, an angel from Heaven appeared to Him" (Luke 22:43). He who had the strength of God was sent an angel to strengthen Him in Hi…

The Opportunity of the Cross

"Paul does not regard the cross from the perspective of its horror, its hardship, or its hurt. He sees it as a chance. The cross is the way to break out of our crippling self-reliance so as to depend fully on God. Without the cross in our life, how comfortable we would become - how complacent and self-content.... The cross is the way that God persistently calls us back to Him, moment by moment, detaching us from all our secret supports by which we would connive to become autonomous and self-serving."
Peter John Cameron, OP; Magnificat, September 2008; Vol 10, No 7.

Thank God for our crosses, or trials, then. If not for difficulties, we would never know our need for Him. We would simply go through our lives, content and comfortable, though unfulfilled. It is in our crosses that Christ calls us back to Himself.

Our trial are opportunities to turn to God and to grow closer to Him. They are opportunities to look to Him for all that we need and for guidance, so that we becom…

Ok, ok, I get the hint.

You know how sometimes you hear something in church or you read something that you know was meant just for you? Well, that didn't happen this time. I was too busy. But God wanted to make sure I paid attention and got the message. I have heard this Bible verse several times and a couple reflections on it over the course of the last couple weeks, and then it was part of the theme at the retreat I was at this weekend, when I actually had time to listen. Ok, God, I get it. I'll pay attention.

As they continued their journey He entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at His feet listening to Him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to Him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one t…

New blog... please read!

One of my very best friends just started a new blog today. She is an absolutely beautiful woman, devout Catholic, wonderful mother and wife, and fantastic friend! Please visit her.

HuMAMAe Vitae

Update

I have not posted anything in a week or so, and so I thought I'd write a bit of an update.

I am still struggling with what I wrote about a week ago, but I suppose that day last week was my low. I know that will be a struggle for a while longer and that life is not easy anyway. But I also know I can learn to appreciate what I have been given. What I find difficult is that I take one step forward with learning to find joy despite the difficulties and busyness of life, then I take two steps back. Once I feel I am doing well, life hits me like a ton of bricks. But spring will be coming to Wisconsin soon, and the weather is one piece of the puzzle, so that will help.

I will be going on a retreat this weekend, which I believe will also help. The theme is "The Freedom of Letting Go" and is about meeting the challenges of our day. I think it is not only the perfect timing but also a wonderful topic for me. This is one place I certainly can see God's hand in my life. …

In Need of a few Prayers

I have to admit, I have been struggling quite a bit lately, off and on, mostly on, this winter and spring. I feel like I give and give... I give the my patients at work then I come home and give to two toddler boys. And I feel bad because after work I am either too exhausted to give to the boys or just simply don't feel like it. Everyone tells me I'm a good mother, but inside, I know I short change them. At work, people come to see me looking for answers. Why do they hurt? Why can't they do this or that? What is wrong with their shoulder, knee, back, etc? What can they do to get better? When is it going to get better? Overall, I like to answer these questions. It's like putting together a puzzle... like a mystery that needs to be solved. I enjoy being analytical. But sometimes I can't come up with the solutions. And I know that's ok. And sometimes I get tired of being so analytical. Sometimes I get tired of hearing about other people's pain.…

It is Jesus

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It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your hearts you most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.

-Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day, Rome 2000 (quoted in Theology of the Body for Teens, Ascension Press, p 14)

Laetare, Rejoice

Please forgive me that this post is not timely. I should have posted it this morning.

I bless the Lord who gives me
counsel;
in the night also my heart
instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because He is at my right hand, I
shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my
soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see
the Pit.

You show me the path of life.
In Your presence there is fullness
of joy;
in Your right hand are pleasures
forevermore.
(Psalm 16:7-11)

This Sunday, Laetare Sunday, marks approximately the halfway point as we journey through our desert experience of Lent. During Lent, we do well to keep in mind that we are a people in need of redemption. We are people in need of the grace of God since, left only to our own devices, we would likely fall deep into sin. And no matter who we are, without God's grace, …

Will the Real Isaac Please Stand Up?

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The boys had finished their bath, and it was time for them to get out. The problem, of course, is that they did not think it was time to get out. I had already given the two-minute warning ("Two minutes until you get out") about 5 minutes earlier.

Me: Time to get out. Who wants to get out first?

Blaise (3 1/2): Isaac does! (points to his younger brother)

Isaac (2, and unable to say Blaise's name, so he regularly calls him Isaac): Isaac! (points to Blaise)

Blaise: No, Isaac! (points to Isaac)

Isaac: Isaac! (points to Blaise)

etc, etc.

Me: Alright, Isaac, you first. (I scoop up the real Isaac since Blaise is being more insistent than he is and since Isaac is usually the more happy-go-lucky one. He more often than Blaise gets the short end of the deal for that reason, I'm sure.)

Still me, to Isaac: You can pick which towel. Do you want to be a puppy or a froggy?

He quickly picks the favored puppy with the big floppy ears.

Blaise, jumping out of the tub: No, I want to be …

Wanting advice on layout

How do I further customize the layout/colors/wallpaper on my blog beyond using the sample layouts Blogger gives us? Is there a good way or a good place to look for pictures to accompany my posts? Are there any other fun things I can do with the look of my blog, or any other advice on attracting readers to my blog?
Thanks in advance!

Grateful for Lessons Being Learned

I started Lent giving up complaining. Lately, I have had a greater tendency than usual to complain, whether with my words, with my actions, or with my simply moaping around and general impatience. I can't say giving up complaining is always easy, especially when the boys acted up during Mass on Sunday and completely zapped my energy... is that complaining? I hope not! Let's see... they were teaching me patience and love. And they also afforded me an excuse to go back to church to pray that afternoon, since I needed to let go of my frustration. Thank you, God, for difficult children!

As you can see, this is not easy for me, but I am TRYING! But I gave Christ an inch in this, and when you give Him an inch... He'll make use of it! He is teaching me not only to not complain about my circumstances but to instead find JOY within them. He is teaching me not to look for the hassles and difficulties of my life but to instead look for the ways in which He is present in my li…

Are we too busy?

Tonight, I asked Blaise, 3 1/2, if he wanted to read a book before bed. So he picked up his Thomas computer and a book and sat on my lap, handing me the book. He turned on the computer and started playing. He insisted that I read the book as he was playing his games. He would look over at the pictures as I finished each page then turned back to his computer. Is this what he sees Andy and me doing? What am I teaching the boys with all the multi-tasking? To be as busy and constantly working as what I am?

I was talking with one of my patients today. He grew up "before the war," as he says. Things were simpler then, he tells me. People went visiting after church on Sundays. They had 10 cows rather than 200 or rather than jobs with long hours, and they spent their time after dinner sitting around and talking or playing cards around the lamp until they decided to turn it off. People were not so busy. They kept in touch. They knew their neighbors. There was not so muc…

Prayerful Ponderings

As a mom, I wish to give all I can to my kids. But sometimes they take it all from me before I can give it to them, draining every last ounce of energy from me. I wonder if this is how Christ felt as he hung on the cross. But, unlike me, He gives of Himself so willingly and unreservedly, no matter how much we continue to take. Yet, I need to remember that I am not God. I do not have an unlimited supply of patience or energy; I need to continually allow Him to refill me so that I can continue to give, and to give so lovingly as Christ gives to us.

Depression often occurs when we look to the things of this world for our happiness rather than looking to God for our joy; when we look through eyes expecting to meet hassles and difficulties rather than through eyes expecting to see the works and grace of God; when we look to ourselves to provide the answers rather than looking with trust and confidence to God for all we need.

My hope is in the joy I find in giving all to Christ and in le…

Follow up to "Prozac Nation?"

I've had several wonderful replies to my last post, and so I'd like to follow up with them.

My wonderful friend, Katie, said in her reply: "I have one thought regarding your points 3-7: all these are factors which can (but not always) affect brain chemistry. I think that what keeps these factors into play is that our society acts as though or believes that there is no sense in suffering; that nothing can be learned or gained from it. As a result, the first response is to medicate to change the chemical imbalances and naturally working to adjust the chemical imbalances or deficiencies is completely overlooked because it takes effort, time, and discipline. (examples of naturally changing brain chemistry: changing behaviors, eating habits, thinking patterns, etc.)"

I completely agree. I do believe, primarily through experience (so correct me if you know otherwise), that stress from such things as being too busy, expecting too much, trying to do too much, having too man…

Prozac Nation?

A friend of mine had several ladies over to her house last Wednesday evening. It was a very enjoyable time. While there, I caught the tail-end of a conversation about Prozac and other antidepressants, as a group, being the most-prescribed type of medication in the U.S. Having chronic depression myself, I have often wondered why depression and anxiety are so common in our society and have been thinking about that again since Wednesday. While there may be a link between a chemical deficiency in the brain and depression or anxiety, I have a difficult time believing that is the primary reason for such a large number of cases of depression and anxiety, and I wonder if a chemical deficiency may be often caused by the stressors our society daily subjects us to.

Just in brainstorming on this topic, here are some of my thoughts as to what contributes to the large numbers of people with depression:

1) Lack of faith in God. This is a theme that will come up in many of my arguments. As a soci…