Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Holy Week Thoughts

Palm Sunday, we get the reading of the Lord's last hours.  We get to see in painful detail all the ways we need Good Friday.

Because Jesus would not do things the way we wanted them, by being a King in the world as opposed to King of the world, we betray Him. 
We fall asleep even when things are dire.
We fall asleep even when He asks us not to.
We fall asleep in His presence.

Because we're too weak to speak out, we ask, "What is truth?"  
Because we're envious or chafe at His words, we plot to undermine Him, blaspheme Him, testify against Him, or watch as these things are done.
Because we're creative when we feel righteous, we weave crowns of thorns, and invent games, "Play the prophet." and demand Jesus answer, which of us struck you.

To fit in with the crowd, we say "Crucify him."
To not be declared like Him when someone says, "Surely you were with Him." we deny three times.
We give a heavy cross to Him.
We watch Him fall.  We watch Him fall again. We watch a third time.
We don't want Him to die just yet, so we get just enough help to prolong the pain.
We want to watch Him nailed.
We place a sign over His head. 
We pierce His side.
We dare Him, "Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe."
This week, hearing this read aloud, it occurred to me, that last request by the chief priests and scribes, He answered with a yes, giving them the opportunity to recognize the Messiah (and one hopes some of them did).   The idea gave me great comfort, the people asked for the unreasonable, and God answered with the lavish "Yes" that is Easter.

Have a blessed Holy Week, prepare for the day of the most lavish Yes.  




Friday, March 27, 2015

Lent is Hard

My daughter came home from a half day and looked at lunch with disgust.  She normally loves tuna salad. I gave her a look and asked,  "What's up?"

"Lent is hard." she declared.  She'd done the water project where you pay a quarter if you drink something other than water every time.  I'm guessing now that we're a week from Easter, the project's appeal had grown old, and I'm guessing, she'd run out of quarters.  

No one likes going into the desert, finding their flaws dotting the landscape of the soul like painful cacti.  We' much rather float in an ocean and skim along the surface, but the goal as C.S. Lewis said, is to go "deeper and deeper in."

Maybe it was the fasting that led me to think of how we like syrup on pancakes, icing on frosting, the crispy skin of chicken, but these things alone, tasty as they may be, lack substance without the food they coat.  We need to get to the meat of things, to the marrow, and for that, we must cease staying where everything is sweet and easy.  

She began making brownies.  No one in the family gave up sweets so I let her go about the business of making them.  It's a fun project and it allowed me to just be with her as she became less irritated about drinking water, and more focused on creating something good.  That's what Lent is for, the sacrifice of meat or milk, money or caffeine isn't so we'll spend all our energies noting we gave that up, we miss it, we can't have it, but so we stop going through our spiritual life mindlessly, and get on with the work of creating something better with our time and our selves.  

By the time we cleaned up, her mood changed.  She plinked a quarter in the box and poured a glass of milk to have with her brownies.  The other children came in and pounced on the treat, and when it was finished, she felt the satisfaction of their praise and her own cooking.   The discomfort of not having what she wanted, turned into something better when she stopped focusing on it, and instead, turned outward.  

After helping her clean up, I looked at the pan of brownies, still half of them remained. Today is Friday, a fasting and abstinence day.  They were tasty walnut brownies with a touch of cherry to the batter.  Delicious.  I want more.  Walking away to the computer, I've come full circle as my brain begs for another brownie with the phrase echoing in my head, "Lent is hard."





Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lemonade Rocks!

There is a certain satisfaction in knowing how much you ate, how much you walked, how much you spent, and how far you went today.  You can check off the boxes, that tell the world, if not you, today we didn't just seize the day, we throttled it to the ground and showed those 24 hours who was boss.  

Except real life isn't measured in how far you walked, how little you spent, or what you ate or even how much time you allocate.  Real life requires recognizing, we're called to be more like Mary, to chose the better portion and not be anxious about many things.

This past weekend,  I found myself eating breakfast with my seven year old.  I'd been working on being more present to all of my children, but it's still an act of the will.  Sitting down across from her with my cereal, I saw why it shouldn't be hard. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree and she chirped on about school, summer, breakfast, the book she read, the book she would read, and what we should do today.  I honestly think I said three words, but sitting in the sunshine of her smile, I felt full, this was being Mary, not Martha.  For a moment, I knew it.

Then I promptly forgot it in the hassle of trying to fold laundry, clean up, run errands, nag the teen to take a practice S.A.T and the other teen to study for a science test, stop the tween from sassing the younger ones for playing on the Wii and potty training the six year old who decided today to begin showing progress.   

I need constant reminders to only do one thing.  I didn't know how bad I'd become until I went to get cleaned up. I want to read while I bathe, I want to listen to a podcast while I clean. I'm never doing one thing.  I'm always doing more than three or trying to, which means at least two if not three of the tasks I merge, aren't being done well.  Listening involves not trying to formulate your response while someone else is talking.  I'd had a teen tell me I don't hear her.  "Listen." she begged.  Even my reaction indicated, here was a stumbling block.  I wasn't interested in her opinion, only in giving my own.  "Read us a story."  All of their requests were for time, for presence, for stopping trying to do other things, and only do one thing.   Be present.  

The ultimate comeuppance came when my husband asked for a foot rub after a long day. I found myself beginning the Divine Mercy Chaplet to mark the time, to make sure I did a long enough rub. I've done this before but this time, the Holy Spirit pushed back.  "Are you ever just present?" It wasn't that prayer was bad or that I was even doing wrong, it was a push to be more fully in the moment, to not try to be so efficient in all things.  

Waste time. Enjoy giving the gift rather than trying to multi-task.  The mark of those who loved Jesus was presence.   I stopped the prayer and concentrated on crunching his ankles.  He immediately signed in contentment. He didn't know what had gone on internally until I told him, but he felt the mindful difference in my fingers.   See.  This yoke is easy, this burden light.  All you have to do, is be present.  

So today, I sat at the table with my youngest five.  We ate breakfast together.  The oldest two fantasized about building a lemonade stand this summer, Lemonade Rocks! They planned to put out flyers with painted yellow rocks to hold down them at the doorsteps of neighbors. I'd have missed all of it if I'd gone about the business of what?  Anything else!  What could be more important? The laundry?  I had to wonder, what other else would I want to be doing?  Why would I want to ever not be present?  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Somebody Stop Me Before I Sign Again

You would think at forty-eight, I'd know something.

But just as crocuses pop out of the ground in the spring, I sign up my kids for activities and so the mad scramble to get from point A to point B begins anew.  It always seems so innocent before we begin.   The 7th grader wants to run track. I'm thinking, that's great.  Her older brother runs track.  

The 3rd grader wants to do soccer.  I'm thinking, awesome, she didn't get to do basketball because they didn't have enough people to field a team so she'll love it.  

I've only signed up two people.  Given my past track record, where I signed up three for basketball,one for singing lessons, and three others for ballet, I thought "I've matured. I've come to know how much I can manage. I no longer overstuff the crust of our lives with cheesy after school and weekend activities."  It's just two kids. How bad could it be?   Well... track practice for the 7th grader is on Wednesday, the same day as CCD which used to be on Tuesday but I had to switch it to Wednesday because soccer practice is at the same time CCD would be on Tuesday.  What was a one trip out one trip back day, is now a game of car mom ping-pong.  

Saturday...son gets bus ride to track meets most times, but not always.  Daughter gets no rides to track meets.  They are everywhere.   I also forgot about band, which has a concert on Sunday in Downtown DC.  

This sort of mad schedule doesn't include the new wrinkle of not having a machine that can take all of us, or the two months to go reality of our oldest needing to get from his work (at a school) back to the campus (for a class) and then back to work in the middle of the day, twice a week.  It's a class he can't miss, but which requires either the invention of a teleportation device, mutant flying powers or me driving over after the kids are put on the bus, to take him to the campus from school and wait around for an hour and then back again before home.  I'm thinking of lacing his birthday cake with radioactive waste and rooting for the mutant powers.  

So I'm adopting a new policy.  I have ten kids.  Each of you get a month long activity.  Two months we get off.  If you don't like the sport allocated to your 30 month period....have some cake.   If you grow wings and can get yourself from point A to point B, I'll sign you up.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

PIR --a Public Service Announcement

Like Easter and Leap Year, PIR is a floating holiday, though it occurs far more often than anyone would care to admit. Pain in the Rear day embraces the always suspected but seldom voiced truth, the universe is out to get you personally.
We've all been there, when the one piece of paper we can't lose, is the only one we can't find. There are homework assignments dating back to 1998 in this house, but the stub from my daughter's student loan for college? The one I need for our tax returns? MIA. Gone. Sucked down into a black hole or the vacuum cleaner because I didn't pick up everything first and was feeling lazy just for a moment when I cleaned the floor. I know, I will never find it until after April 15th.
Pain in the Rear day is also known in some other less polite circles as PIA, but I have a friend with that name so I don't want the association, Most people know PIR, now that it has been identified, but for those ignorant few, some examples: The parking spot doesn't quite fit your car, but you squeeze in anyway like a pair of skinny jeans, and now can't quite open the doors or can but you can't get out yourself? That's PIR right there. FInding the box of Triscuits with three crackers left in the box? PIR. Or teenagers. One could safely claim, having teenagers ensures the holiday shows up more frequently.
This morning is the first day of Spring, and there is snow on the ground, pain in the rear freshly fallen slushy get your shoes good and wet walking your kids to the bus stop snow. One could argue, that's not PIR, that's just weather. Except having your six year old fall in the snow and get soaked such that you have to run him and his younger sister back up to the house, get a complete change of clothing just as the bus is coming into view puts it in the "Pain" category. 
"In" comes from being able to find only one of his other pair of sneakers and having to negotiate getting him to wear snow boots. The "the" is ignored because everyone knows, the "Rear" part is the kicker. You can't just have inconvenience. Bad luck and Murphy's law happen to everyone. We get back outside, we're running down the hill to get him there. We make it. We're thinking, okay...not so bad. Not so bad. Until my daughter says she needs to go potty...so I scoop her up to run back up the hill, she says, "I can't hold it" and...but I keep going and as we near the door, I slip in the snow, and now all of us need a change of outfits.
The proper way to celebrate PIR is to give back, to not keep this holiday to yourself. Shared suffering of the knowledge, the universe does't like you, so don't like it back, is good for the soul. This afternoon, I'm making chocolate chip cookies for the snack. I know what you're thinking, that's pleasant, that's not PIR for anyone. Ah, but it is. There will be hot chocolate chip cookies...but we are out of milk.
Happy PIR everyone.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Small Success Thursday

It's a Thursday, time for my weekly gut check on all the things I take for granted, and all the graces given when I'm not paying attention.  Come join us over at Small Success Thursday at Catholicmom.com!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Forever Feasting

People who follow this blog might know my piece from a while back, She is forever singing.  I still go to the same dry cleaner's and my friend Nemi is still there working while her mother is in a home receiving ongoing care.  My friend's mom still cannot speak, but she's lived well past the day the doctors said she'd die.

Today, I dropped off shirts and Nemi waved me over to tell me about her mother's birthday. Three days ago, her mom turned seventy-eight, and they held a feast at the home.  There were over one hundred people on the floor with gifts, with food.  The line of visitors filled the hallway.  Because the place had a piano, people took turns playing it, and the whole home echoed with the chorus of a hundred people plus staff, singing.  Singing, eating, feasting, celebrating a woman who could only tell them all "I love you." with her face.  "I know my mom knows now, she will never be forgotten, and that she is loved." Nemi said.  

The vision of one hundred people coming to celebrate a birthday in a nursing home filled my eyes with tears; this was how life should be spent, this was unbridled joy at someone being alive even if they could not "do" anything useful.   I wished I'd thought of the idea for my own dad and my heart pined for the idea of a thousand birthday parties of the same nature, where every person in the home, whether they knew it was their birthday or not, had a feast brought to them, complete with a crowd of willing singers wanting to wish with full hearts, "and many more."

Once again, I felt awe at the testimony of faith lives lived out fully, as manifested by something as ordinary as a birthday party.  "Look at how they love one another." floated into my mind.   Who wouldn't want to have a world peopled with people like this? Who wouldn't want that deep knowledge as a birthday gift; that one was loved for who one is, not for what one can or cannot do.

My friend and her family, they are salt, light and song.  Next week my son turns 22.  I hadn't planned to go nuts, he's 22.  But now, I'm thinking....he's going to have a great birthday.

Tithe Me Your Time

Okay, I admit it. The death of lappie (my laptop) has curbed my capacity to write greatly.  It's not that I don't have paper, pencil or even access to the computer, but my best work came when I could sit at the machine in the kitchen and still monitor all of life. The computer room is offset, all of life cannot be monitored from that spot, so it's my spot a lot less.  You'd think with only one home, I'd have more time, but somehow, I have less.  It explains to me why people wonder how I can manage with ten. When I had only one, I didn't have any time to myself either. So I'm sitting today, looking at a blank page that somehow has become a means of walking into the dessert of my prayer life.

It's my point in dessert of Lent when I discover what I always discover, what I keep being led out into the wasteland to find, all the ways in which I put me first.  I never liked "Dim your lights," because that would put others first.  I never wanted to be defined as "Just a mom." when that is obviously the most important job I've been given by God with respect to these people. I've wanted something apart, something for me.

But I know, you can't serve two masters and you really can't serve God if you serve yourself first.

All my writing reflects me.
All the time spent writing, is mine.

It isn't that writing is good or bad, it is how it is used, is it a witness of a faith life, or is it Pharasitical response to life? "Look at me I have ten kids, I pray, I write about praying.  Holy me."

I can't say it's either or neither, I'd say it's both and.  

Blogging is about getting people to read, so there is a component of attention getting by the nature of the format.  I like to talk.  Listening...not so good.   Writing allows me to talk without the pesky problem of listening except to the internal voice, "Does this ring true?"  

Sometimes writing takes me deeper into the vocation of wife and mother.  Sometimes, it strokes my ego.  What I don't know, is how to separate the wheat from the chaff in my writing.  So I've let them grow up together, and what is good will be harvested, and what is bad, hopefully will not burn up the internet as it is burned.  

I didn't plan for this to be the case. This is a humor blog. I liked writing humor. It's fun, it's fast, it gets a hit, people share it and it makes them smile.  It's the equivalent of a chocolate chip cookie without the calories. It is what I always intended this blog to be, but it's become something different.  (As writing often does), it's become a log both of memories, and of funny stories, and of those moments when I'm willing to bleed on the page.  Despite being the most shared and successful of pieces, I don't like bleeding on the page because it's not as easy as humor.  Bleeding requires I reveal small moments, fears, worries, pain.  Who wants to read that?  Turn on the news. You will get fears, worries, pain.  I want to be light, so I make light of those fears, worries and pain as a way of fighting. 

I also do it because if I don't, it's easier to be less happy, easier to get overwhelmed.

The biggest issue for me, is the breaking point, the moment when I don't want to serve.  It happens on Saturday when there is a mess everywhere and everyone else is playing while I'm cleaning.  It happens when I get to the five o'clock witching hour and dinner's not even an idea, it happens when we've done the bed time routine, we've done everything right and still, I'm playing which kid will get out of bed this time? after ten in the evening.   When I'm tired, when I feel I've given, when I get to the point that I'm out of wine and they're whining, and I forget the next step.  

Pray. Ask for help.   

How can I be this stupid?  Easy.  I keep thinking it's me that's running this show.  I'm responsible. I'm Mom.  Except what I have to remember is, I'm the hands in this Domestic Church, but Jesus is to be at the heart of it. Motherhood is my vocation, but I've spent twenty-two years always asking God, "Are you sure you want me doing this?" in some way, and then proposing, "Because I could do this...I'm good at this.." and picking some distraction like ohh look, a gym. I'll work out all the time, healthy and oh, I'll read while I work out or pray so it will be a double good.  No?   Oh look, a computer. I'll write for You...how about that?"   

God in His mercy keeps firmly placing me here and saying, "Here are the people I want you to shape.  Here are the people I want you to love.  Tithe me your time Sherry."   







Saturday, March 14, 2015

The World is So Disappointed in Us

Any day on the internet can be depressing.  Throw religion into the mix and you're almost guaranteed to come away from the screen wanting to despair.  On a writing board, a person posted this question.  If I portray Christians as the villains, will I get sued?   It's a silly question.  No.  But the responses included cheers for revealing how hateful, oppressive, vindictive, hypocritical, prejudiced, judgmental and worldly Christians are.

One pointed out that rape's okay in the bible.  It's not, it's conveyed, it's told, but it's definitely on the "You Shall Not" list.   Yes. I went into it.  I should know better but I'd just read Public Catholic's post on being willing to speak out, on being willing to wear one's faith publicly, so, I launched in, knowing it would probably fall on deaf ears.  

Me:  As a Christian, I will however sigh that we give ourselves enough black eyes in reality by how we fail to live authentic lives for Christ, that we don't need to pile on with fictional ones.

It was an honest response.  People demurred that portraying Christians badly was in these days profitable, no one would get upset if you did this because they could site example after example of Christians behaving badly.  The person who didn't care for the idea of anyone being upset at Christians being the villains brought up the obligatory Christians rape, Crusades card.
The conversation didn't progress so I left.  But I mulled over the responses and what they revealed.

These days, whole swaths of people have abandoned the faith of their families in part because of poor foundation, and the plethora of poor examples of Christianity that come from history and poor practice and an even poorer understanding of history.

The world is angry at the Church and at Christians in particular.  You can almost hear the accusation in their litany of all the sins committed by the Church, by Christians, by countries in the name of Christianity, and all the sins of omission, all the failures to fully live out faith,

"You were supposed to be different!"  "You were supposed to be salt and light." But because in one way or another, throughout all of history, the witness of the martyrs and the saints sometimes gets dwarfed by all those then and now have refused to live out their faith, shaving a little here or a little there, all of it is tainted, with all of the wrongs, both real and imagined.  The world does not want to forgive us for failing to bring about a better world because it is not yet peopled with saints.


So I've resolved, if I see something that is deliberately ugly for ugliness sake, I will try to point up, rather than at, but I won't just "I'm going to pretend I didn't see that post" anymore because of Public Catholic's reminder and the reality of those souls who are posting angry thoughts.  They need our prayers and our witness more than anyone else.

The internet is something of a desert peopled with souls parched for love, for forgiveness, for gentleness, for kindness, mercy, belonging, joy, peace and laughter. They thirst, they are starving, the need something to eat.  Perhaps all we will do, by responding to such conversations, is shorten them, not allow the angry thoughts to go on being stroked and fueled and entertained.  Perhaps someone else will feel heartened because they are not alone, and perhaps until we spoke, they thought they were the only one who disagreed.

We won't know, and that's probably good for the ego, to not know until after death, if we touched a heart, moved a soul closer to God. But what a joyous discovery to anticipate, if only we stop being silent and unseen witnesses now.  




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Today I'm at Eat Sleep Write

As some of you know, I wear many writing hats, one of them is the humor writing administrator for a forum on writing comedy.  Sometimes I give lessons.  

Today, I've written a piece discussing how one transforms real life into humor.  Hint? You don't stay with just the facts.  If you'd like to read more, come over and visit me at Eat Sleep Write! Feel free to leave a comment or share as you see fit. Thanks!


Monday, March 9, 2015

Please, See Him as More


When you have a child with special needs, it happens every so often, you forget people think of your son as one of "those people." I don't know if they think the disability of my son is contagious, or just so alien as to frighten them from interacting. We'd gone out to get some needed supplies at a big box store, and had to take the elevator. I know we're supposed to use language opportunities in the community, but the lack of privacy makes my own interactions with my own son in the elevator seem like a made for TV skit, as I ask him to push the up button and he does and then high fives me. The woman who gets in the elevator after us gives an uneasy smile and scoots back a bit.
My son's still reveling in having pushed the right button but I see it and I can tell, she sees him and she's afraid. I want to yell, "He's six. He's about the size of a four year old. He wears 4T shirts and diapers for crying out loud! He won't bite!" I know he won't bite. He grinds his teeth, they're dull stubs of what a non disabled kid's would be but they're clean. I know because he loves brushing them and I have to stop him sometimes from just walking around with the toothbrush in his mouth for the fun of it. We got him a musical one and he knows when the music stops, brushing is over. But he also knows how to re-push the button.
We get into the store and I wonder what a Special needs mom always wonders after one of these encounters however brief, how does the rest of the world see him? If I weren't here, what would they see? Would they know this little man who brings me my coat from the closet when he sees I have my purse and keys? Would they know we laugh because he slips bread slices under the door when he wakes and gets up on Saturday and we haven't, to let us know, he'd like some toast please. Would they know he dances and can say all of his siblings names but not his own? There are a thousand little things I know because I see them. He says "Hello." to everyone, and waits until the bus drives back by our walk to wave and thank the bus driver at the end of the day?
I can count the words of his vocabulary, but not measure the size of his heart, for he loves all of us without reserve, and constantly touches mine with his depth. He waits for grace and nods when we begin. "Now we can start." he seems to say. He waits to eat when others won't. He turns on the lights in the morning if I haven't, and wants the lights out if we light candles. He understands the tone and the sense of things, if not his letters and numbers or how to use the bathroom.
It doesn't mean he's a saint. He throws tantrums and blocks and wrestles with the best of them, but you always know why he's mad.  It's usually because someone in his family thinks he won't notice if they snitch a fry he'd gladly give if they asked, or takes a toy he wanted. He has an innate sense of worth and stands strong when he feels he's been wronged, pointing at whoever did something and shouting "UDIDTHAT." which usually results in a confession and conviction of whoever did what.
He can't tell the world what he knows, only what he feels. And you can't know it unless you're willing to allow yourself to really see him, to know him beyond the diagnosis and the slanted eyes and flat face. You won't know him by his reading scores for there are none, or his IQ, but if you just stayed here for a moment, and really watched him delight in a puddle or crunching the last of the snow or yipping at a dog, you'd see, he's not so scary. He's a boy, he's my boy, and he'll always be young in spirit and heart, even if not in body. Stay with him a while and you'll remember to take joy in music, in the beauty around you, and the simplest of things. Perhaps that's what scares the rest of the world so much, being reminded of how much we now demand in our lives in order to be happy, and how very little is actually required,

Friday, March 6, 2015

Today I'm over at Patheos...

Ask and ye shall receive...

I wrote up the CatholicConference4Moms and you can read about it over at Patheos as a guest poster for the Anchoress.  Cue Happy Dance....








Catholic Conference 4 Moms!

Today, I'm part of a great group of women and men in an online conference.  Go to Catholic Conference 4 Moms,  to see the line up of talks!  You can register for free here.  What do you get?  You get to watch short Mom Ted talks about the challenges of motherhood, with special needs, with technology, with time management, with stress, with fatigue, with isolation.  You get to meet some fabulous moms from all over the country, and with all different size families, who are speaking from the heart, and hopefully, touch yours.  


Gathering around the Lenten Table by Celeste Behe.


The Culprits That Steal a Mom's Joy
and How to Thwart Them
by Stephanie Wood Weinhart


How Hard is it to be a Mother Today?
by January Donovan


Blessed Among Women: How Moms Can
Encourage Priestly Vocations
by Rev. Jeffery Kirby


Praying With Children
by Mazza Urbanski


Cafe Confidante: Why Women
Need Girlfriends
by Suzie Lloyd


Liturgy of the Hours: Sanctifying
Your Day in His Name and In
His Word
by Daria Sockey


Communication Technology
and Our Kids: What are We Losing?
by Mary Standford


A Quiver Full
by Ellen Morgan


How to Know God's Will in Your Life
by Christina M Weber


How You and Your Family Can
Eat Your Way to Salvation, A Foodie's Guide
by Jeff Young


Look Mom, That Baby Looks Funny:
Responding to Families with Special Needs
by Jeannie Ewing


My Conversion and the Little Oratory
by Leila Marie Lawler


Sharing Your Faith Story
by Nancy Ward


How to Be a Truly Rich Mom
by Tina Santiago-Rodriguez


Trusting God with Saint Therese
by Connie Rossini



Our Sacrifice of Love in Motherhood
by Kimberly Cook


You Too Can Be a Saint
by Rachel Balducci


5 Daily Habits That Will Get You Out
and Stay Out of Survival Mode
by Tami Kiser aka Smart Martha

Sherry's note: She's also the person who put together the conference so kuddos!

\
Responsible Parenthood or How I Came to Have Five Kids
by Gable Hrkach


Sex Ed in the Internet Age
by Michael Rittenhouse


Parent Power: Resources to Help You Raise Virtuous Kids
by Brenda Cerkez


Managing Stress with the Help of Your Catholic Faith
by Mary Lou Rosien


Helpful Hints on Becoming a Healthy, Happy
Holy Family
by Kim Capelle


Love and Marriage Through the Bible
For the Sixth Grade Student to the Curious Adult
by Christian LeBlanc


Creativity and Faith: How to Create a
Spiritual Vision Board
by Theresa Ceniccola

and oh yeah,   Me.


How Can I Be Holy When All I Do All Day is Change Diapers?
by Sherry Antonetti

I'd tell you which ones are my favorites, but honestly, in typing out these people's names and looking at their summaries of their talks and experience, I want to see them all.   So go, refresh yourself with CatholicConference4Moms, put on for you by Tami Kiser and a bunch of hard working behind the scenes people including her son who filmed and edited my talk and made me sound much smarter than I remember.

Memo to me...get a cover shot.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

EAT SLEEP WRITE PUBLISH

I am over at Eat, Sleep,Write today with a humor piece on appliances, labor disputes and being gracious even in defeat.  Go take a look and enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2015

For Larry D

Larry D runs a blog, Acts of the Apostasy.  He wrote about how he despised Patheos at one point, and now he's writing for them.

Now me, I've loved Patheos ever since I discovered it and now...I'm still here.

But I'm not envious or anything like that, no.  I'm grateful and filled with Catholic joy for my fellow Catholic blogger and his success at becoming part of the big league of Catholic bloggers over there hanging out with The Anchoress, Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher. 

While I'd love to be part of the cool kids who all seem to fit in, I'm here in blogville double A farm team. So in honor of all those who warm the bench of the Catholic blogosphere, I offer this tribute to Larry D.  
  
Want to be a Patheos Catholic blogger,
want to send links to my sister and my brothers...
want to have my smiling face...
in the listings at Catholic Patheos......
as a blogger for Catholic Patheos.......

but again, not jealous. I promise.  


Breakfast...Lunch....Dinner

Today is a snow day.  I don't mind snow days, they break up an otherwise bleak season of the year when there are few holidays.  What I do mind, is the 24-7 diner that opens up in my kitchen every time the good folks of Montgomery County declare there is no school on account of weather.  I'd like to declare a snow day from the snow day consequences.  

This morning for example, my 9 year old arrived promptly at 7:30, her normal get up time.  Graciously, she ensured that all those younger than her were also up.  They wanted cereal.  No problem. Four bowls, four spoons, debates over flakes with sugar or squares with sugar or little o's and x's with sugar, milk, milk, milk, milk and we're good for twenty minutes.  

My almost 11 year old gets up, and he's a planner so he doesn't just want to know what's for breakfast, but also what's for lunch and dinner and snack for the day.  A brief survey of the kitchen and he's satisfied and commences to fix a bagel for himself while I make my husband's lunch as he didn't get a snow day, just a delay.  

The teen goes to the coffee machine. It's a dangerous point in the morning as her activity can trigger an avalanche of people meowling for hot chocolate. (Once they learned the Keurig makes them in a minute, they don't see why I should ever object).  I object because once they've made the hot cocoa, they want it to cool so they can drink it, which usually means they either sit staring at it and scalding their tongues or they leave the table and an hour later, room temperature chocolate remains waiting their return.  

Fortunately, the younger set is distracted by the toys in the basement so the Swiss Miss stock is safe for now.   I've made it through seven of the ten in the household by ten, but I haven't eaten yet.   The twelve year old does go for the hot cocoa but she knows how to be stealthy about it.  She also makes herself peanut butter and toast.  The younger ones come through, convinced second breakfast should be served.  They'd like toast too.  The six year old breaks out the toaster strudel from the freezer, but I declared the kitchen closed to seconds before everyone gets firsts.  

The fifteen year old son also rises.  He is a conundrum on food, but he's also a surly morning person.  Seeing him enter the kitchen, the younger ones decide Mom's right, it isn't second breakfast time, it's go back downstairs to play to stay out of his way time.  Normally, he feasts on a protein shake and oatmeal with bananas.  But that's on a school day.  Today is a snow day.   He breaks out the mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, spinach, cheese and peppers.  He wants an omelette.  I love that he loves these things.  I rue that he's watched enough food network in his lifetime, he thinks sous chefs are part of ordinary living. Guess who is the sous chef?   I've taught him to dice up the veggies, but he likes when I do it.  I think I'm being played but I also admit, I don't mind if it gets me a pleasant conversation with my 15 year old son.  

Everyone's eaten.  It's 11 o'clock.  Huzzah!  There is a pile of dishes in the sink and my 16 year old returns to fix herself lunch.   Knowing the rest will come within the hour making the same demand, I feel tired at the reality of the rest of the day and how it will play out, and cut myself a slice of pie. Maybe I should adopt the Montgomery County school policy and declare the kitchen to have a two hour delay.      

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!