Wednesday, December 28, 2011

it's almost here...



can you believe it?

The end of 2011 is this week... I can't ever believe it when we have Christmas and the New Year holiday week- I can't believe how quickly the year flew by.

It has been a good year.  A good year with a difficult ending, for sure, but God is ever good and faithful.  He continues to work miracles in my sight and in the lives of people I love.

This year I have experienced so many ups and downs.  I struggle, still, to make the right changes and the right decisions for myself and my children. God's timing is always right, though, I must admit that the timing of many events seems peculiar to my human self.  I know that everything has purpose, though.  Including everything that is happening now.

I found out after the Thanksgiving Holiday that I had been mislead by people I trusted.  I've lost a friendship, and we left the dance studio we loved to dance at... 

And, for now, I am separated from my husband.  We remain friends, and in fact, he still lives at our house, but in the basement.

It is a difficult and confusing time on so many levels.  Again, though, God is at work here.  Every day! Change is a hard thing... I know I keep saying it...   Faith is an interesting thing, though...  I am OK.

It hasn't been all doom and gloom around here, though!  We have returned to school from home school.  Danielle was Clara in the Nutcracker.  Katie is so close to an ariel, and in fact, has done one with just her fingertips grazing the floor. Tommy is in high school! I have one in high school, one in middle, and one in elementary.  The kids have fantastic teachers.  The girls and I got to go to NYC to see Taylor Swift (WOW).  We had a family reunion in Minnesota, and the girls and I got to visit our Pacific Northwest besties, and fall in love with Bainbridge Island.  Tommy got to visit his beloved Amish community: Shipshewannna.  All-in-all: a good year!

At MSG for Taylor!

See that speck? That's her!!!

discussing methods of entry on Christmas Eve

festive girl!

trick-or-treat! Night, Ninja, and a Fairy...

Fairfax County supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Danielle sees that she is Clara!

Tom forever bonding with not-food cows

A revolutionary look for a revoloutionary boy!

Katie hi-jacked Tom's bed, so he took the floor- such a gentleman

Presenting Germany at Nina's work: Katie is in the dress I wore when I was 12, and Danielle is in Eileen's dress!

After last year's recital

exploring Bainbridge!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

thought so



I'm still hanging in there!!!

One of the most important lessons I think I've learned this year is that I can not be responsible for other people's feelings... I have to live authentically and honestly, and if that offends someone, it isn't my fault.

Yes, I've had a few years of therapy to help me with all this...well... all this guilt about things not being happy and harmonious all the time.

Yes, I need constant reminders that I'm not in charge of making everything happy and harmonious all the time.

And, Yes... I have a hard time remembering this lesson, even though it is so important.

This has to do with the whole:  "Be still and know that I am God"... and the whole: "God is God and I am not" ( thank goodness, and thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit) THING!

Which means, my friends, that I (and you) don't need to feel guilty when I (and you) can't make things happy and harmonious all the time!  Whew... that's a relief, don't you think?

I thought so.

Now, remember this, and repeat after me:  God is in charge, and He knows what He is doing!

After all... He sent us a baby, He sent us Himself, so we could be saved.  His love saves us all.


 Have a good day tomorrow! You are loved (and not in charge, so relax a little).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

with grace...



I will admit it:  I have had a really hard three weeks.  I've had some tremendous ups and I've had some pretty impressive downs.  It has been an emotional couple (OK, three) (of) weeks.  There has been a tremendous amount of loss at our house, and within the family each of us is dealing with some pretty major changes.

It's been hard.

Without smearing any one's name or reputation, I've had to learn that not everyone who acts like a friend is one, and I've had the incredible experience of learning that some of my friends are very loving and fiercely loyal.  I can only hope that I would behave with such grace and courage as these ladies have.  And, I thank God for these ladies (you know who you are) every night when I say my prayers:)

See?  With every storm comes a cloud with a silver lining, and some days there are beautiful rainbows.  Even in sad times there is purpose in everything and God is good and faithful and loyal.

I've been praying for purity in my heart, in my language, in my actions, and in my decisions.  Jesus forgives everyone their sins, if they only ask...  So,  I also forgive (every day, usually at the end of the day) people who mean harm.  It's not easy, but it's right.  And, actually, it isn't too bad... I just hand all that over to God and let Him handle it.  I only pray that I behave like He would want me to... hence, the purity...  (c'mon, we can all use it!)

So... I've been saying this all along... change isn't easy.

But, sometimes, it's time.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

creativity

I have had a hard time feeling creative, lately... or so I think...

But then I realize that I write, and dance.  I do yoga.

I think that does make me creative, even though I'm not "crafting"... I used to stamp and scrapbook.  A lot.  I look at my basement craft corner and I'm almost embarrassed by how much stuff I have (note the almost).  I don't hardly ever do those things anymore, though, because by the time I get down to my corner, there is either something else to do, or I'm simply exhausted.

But, then...

I went to Michael's today and I'm kinda feeling inspired.  I want to craft.  I visualize crafting in my future... if I can stay motivated, anyway!

So, after all the other stuff is "done" or put on the back burner (it'll always be there, right?), I will create... something... we shall see!

May God bless us all during these crazy times!!  We are all so busy.  I'm trying to learn to be more patient with myself.  Praise god that He is already patient with me and with us all.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday

Our Lady at the Basilica in Washington, DC
Well, I'm scheduled to work every other weekend.  It's fine, it's even a blessing, but I didn't realize that three days in a row in a chair tied to the computer were going to be so hard on my hips.  They hurt!!! From sitting!!!  I am officially on standby right now, so I've been up moving about the house, you know, because, after 9 hours of me working and the kids being in charge last night, the house was pretty much trashed... in complete dis-array... every dish we owned, I think, was in the sink... so I was vacuuming (of course- wouldn't you?), and bathing Katie (need I say more?), and getting the older two to start their homework (a true procrastinator family), and then I sat back down to type and my hips were like, "seriously? You're doing this to us again?"... guess I'll be talking to the chiropractor about that.  I can't really stand and type unless I get a new desk for giants, or something... phew!

So, it's Sunday and the Schroeders will be at church SOMEWHERE tonight.  I'm thinking we'll go to mass at St. Francis, but we have the Nutcracker rehearsal as well, so we might not make it; in which case we will be at Ebenezer.  Both churches are fabulous.  I know God is probably thinking: just SHOW UP!!! Attendance is important:) 

I was raised Protestant, Lutheran, in fact.  I believe in my faith, and I believe that Luther had only good intentions... however, as I get older and contemplative (did you think I would say grouchy?) in my old (yes, old, my hips hurt now, I sound like a little old lady) age, I find myself being pulled to The Catholic Faith.  Yup, pulled, as in strange -and -wonderful -very -meaningful -coincidental ways, pulled to the first faith of the Christian church.  It is truly amazing, and truly truthful... which is also amazing.  Praise God for the freedom of choice, and the many wonderful ways to connect with Him! Praise God for the beauty He offers in His word and in truth.

Still, I haven't been called back in to work, yet, today, and I only have a half an hour left of my shift.  I think I can exhale and pop into some major down-dog yoga poses, and do some hip openers so I can debrief my hips (come on.... it's only two weekends a month!)... we'll see...

Prayer time!  I have heard of some very ill little children that need prayers.  Also people are traveling and such, so they always get some prayers for safety... My heart goes out to people who are battling depression this time of year.  It's a hard time of year for lots of people.  And, of course,prayers for anyone married and struggling with THAT... c'mon... it's tough stuff, people! 

See?  I'm thankful for so many things, yet struggle with a lot of things, too. 

That is what is so cool about prayer, though:  it's a wish your heart makes wrapped up in love and hope and you get to share it with people you don't even know.

window and organ at The Basilica in Washington, DC
Pretty cool.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November news

November news is actually kind of boring... there is not too much going on.  We are totally in holding patterns, all around. 


The girls and I are dancing and/or rehearsing for the Nutcracker Twisted! It is totally fun, but this time of year we are at the dance studio EVERY day (I'm not saying it like it's a bad thing... it's just the truth!).  So, my laundry piles are filled with tights and leotards and cover ups, and there is more of it, because everyone is changing clothes a couple of times a day!

Tom-Tom is getting better with his routine.  We are living in oppositional defiance lately, and it is getting so old.  I keep praying for wisdom, here, I mean, I used to be a teenager, too.  I think, though, that throwing autism in the mix is what sends us all over the edge of sanity... testosterone, alone, is an issue when one is 14.  Add no filters and an inability to make the right choice (and two sisters, and a mother, and a father...you get the picture), and an extremely brilliant way of thinking... sigh.... it's just a challenging time.  So I keep praying.

Danielle is just crazy- busy, working super hard.  She is certainly a sweet, loving child.  She's a bit competitive, and very motherly, and a tad bossy... and that makes her just amazing. 

Katie-Cat is crazy- busy, too, and working super hard as well.  Dealing with situational overload is what makes her a challenge.  She experiences extreme anxiety with no warning.  It's overwhelming at times, because she is fine, and then in an instant she is so NOT fine, that it's scary.  She is getting better but it is a process we have to work on, like, every day.

Mark ran the PRIMAL RUN last weekend and finished in THIRD place OVERALL!!!  Crazy man... I'm so proud!

That's it for the updates, mostly. 

I'm working every other weekend, now, and that is going well.  The Saturday shift is a killer because it is 9 hours long (and that is really long, actually, when you're talking mostly).  I like it, though, and it's from home which is such a blessing!  It does cut into some of the freedom I had on the weekends, especially, but I'll take it.  Again, it's a blessing!

Praying, always, for marriages.  They are so hard (even in the best of circumstances).  I pray for patience, to wait things out when necessary.  I pray for wisdom to make good choices.  I pray for a spirit of understanding and compassion, because it's never about just one person, anymore, everything is 50/50, and perspective is a hard subject to master, if that is even possible at all.



Praying also for all those that don't have the benefit of FAITH.  I think I take it for granted that I just believe, and worship.  So many people struggle with just letting go and letting GOD.  Some of my most favorite important people are right here, struggling to just believe.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Take a deep breath...

Well, it's a little late and I'm supposed to be paying bills, and going to sleep, and settling down... but I was reminded of something very exciting:

Yes, are you ready?

That's right... Edward is back on the big screen... I know it's, like, total escapism... but I can't help but admire the beauty of happily ever after...





(images from google Breaking Dawn images site)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

latest headlines


Halloween: Yep, it was fun.  The kids dressed up and I did a little eye makeup.  We had a potluck in my neighbor's driveway prior to trick-or-treating, which was super nice (and an easy dinner- we know how I'm a fan of that!).  I let the kids do our little circle sans moi... and everyone did OK! I guess we're all growing up a tad bit!


Rehearsals:  Yep, going well.  I must remind myself that the craziness is self induced... and it''s OK, and even a bit fun.  It definitely keeps us close to home this time of year, though.

School: Yep, keepin' on.   I can't complain too much.  Everyone seems to be on their A-game, and aside from a few kicks in the rear (still... Tommy....), it's OK.

Kids:  Yep, still alive.  No felonies have occurred here.  Just kidding... well, for the most part.  Tommy is, well, fourteen.  Danielle is ten going on fourteen, and Katie likes to think she is fourteen.  Parenting is not for the faint hearted. Nope, not even close.

Work: yep, still employed, and I even enjoy the work!  Some of the shifts are a little long, but it's fine, because, I like it.

Books and other stuff:  YEP!! Reading is cool- totally an escape for me.  I just finished the Shiver series.  Very good, if you like Twilight (swoon) you'll like this series.

Prayer:  Yep... it works... keep it up, people!  We can all use a little help from our friends:)  I pray for all the families out there trying to stay a family... it's tough stuff!  It's even super hard.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

lights

Another week...

We are definitely in full force Fall, here.  It seems the structure of routine is doing us all some good.  It's nice, really, to know what to expect when things outside of our control tend to make some of us anxious.  Routine and structure can provide us with that framework we need.  It's nice... really...


Mark is running the tougher mudder race this weekend.  It's an endurance/obstacle race in the mud, on a mountain, with "challenges"- which includes and electrical barbed wire fence... Mark:  "yeah!!! It'll be AWESOME!"  um. ok. Please be careful.  Anyway- he is totally excited about it.

Tommy is doing well- he has needed a few kicks to the hiney and a few threats to demonstrate how serious we are about grades and school work.  I think he understands... but we are talking about a teenager, here, and a teenager with autism... it gets kind of dicey at times trying to figure out what is disability and what is defiance.  The tantrums are definitely not helpful, but also, a clear cut view of disability... unless someone knows of any fourteen year olds that throw themselves on the floor and kick and scream like two year olds... yeah, it's impressive...

Danielle is doing great (anyone surprised?).  She is working so hard, though, and is taking on a lot of responsibility.  She really is trying to be good at everything.  She is tired, though, and ten.  She definitely needs more downtime, as evidenced by crying over a plug issue with the laptop last night... I'm not sure I was helpful: "What's wrong?" her: "the plug was stuck!"  -she is holding the laptop with the plug, nothing is broken, no one was electrocuted- me: "umm... so you're cryiing?"  her: "blaaahhhhh- YES!! YES, I AM!!!!"

ok. hugs. calm down. breathe in and out. we'll get through this together... which we did.


So... on to Katie!  She is good, too.  The eight tornadoes that were spotted in and around Stafford last week were not helpful.  The wind that picked up following the warm front... not helpful.  The Tornado! headline on Thursday's paper... yep, not helpful.  And she is seeing ghosts again.  Yes, plural, so not just one.  Helpful? ---- you can probably guess: not helpful.  Even though I tell her to tell them to just go away, they can't hurt her, etc.... Other than all that- she is doing well in school.  She is having fun with friends.  She screams at her family (this is actually normal for her)... it's all good... therapy helps with the other stuff...

SIMON LE BON... 



ME!!! I got to (swoon, sigh, smile) SEE DURAN-DURAN last Sunday... and it was awesome!!!  I never got to see them in the eighties, but that is ok, because they have still got it!  Yes... I mean, really!!  It was a very fun night!!!


I also continue to go through all my regular stuff.  You know, the stuff, right?  It's hard to be me (not whining at all- and I know it could be so much worse- there really is just a lot of stuff going on!). 

Plus, we are just all so busy, working hard to make things good.

I'm walking a lot, and I teach 3 yoga classes this year, with actual students in my classes... yes, plural... not just one student! Several!!  That is good, but of course, it makes me feel a bit nervous because I want the classes to be great!  School is good for the kids and all, but I want to be busy making things even better.  I've had a ton of doctor appointments and stuff (again) going on with me- and everything is fine, but also kind of vague, and that's kind of wierd.  Especially, as a nurse, I know what they are looking for, and what they are not finding, and what that makes them think (I'll give you a hint: nutcase... )... ANYWAY... It really could be a lot worse...


So that leads me to being SO thankful for all that I do have, and all that I get to experience.  There is a song I heard recently that goes like this: "You light, light, light up the sky to show me You are with me..."  It's beautiful.  And it's true.  And I believe it.  And it's important.  No matter our trials, HE loves us...

Hebrews 1:1-3 "Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things.... He is the reflection of god's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being."

To me, this speaks to me in a way that makes me think of all the people who say "well, what kind of a God would allow suffering, and war, etc.."  and I say, well, What kind of a God would send us a baby... HIS SON... to show us how much he loves us?... In everything, in His time, He makes everything good... Good comes out of suffering... Sometimes we can't see it, and sometimes we won't see it in our lifetime, but suffering comes with a greater purpose, and that greater purpose is GOOD!

Friday, October 14, 2011

not crazy...


 Ahhhh... another Friday post.  Where do my weeks go and why do they seem to get away from me?  I don't even know... I can't even explain it!  I realized I always say I'm having a crazy week- well - they are all crazy, so i guess that is my norm... right?  So, I think I need to stop saying I'm having a crazy week unless I have a normal quiet week.  THAT would be craziness - normal and quiet.... because crazy is now normal.  hmmmmm...

Tommy had cluster migraines all week last week.  That is always a bit disconcerting.  I hate it that he gets migraines on top of everything else going on with him.  It had been so long since he has had any that at first I was like, Oh, well, stomach ache... hmmm.. then I picked him up and saw that he was squinting, leaning forward, closing his eyes... Bam! Definitely a migraine.  No change in said condition for four days... Poor guy...  Oh, yeah, and his vision has changed.  so, we now have glasses.  At least they are Harley-Davidson glasses... oh. yeah!

So... the girls are fine... Danielle is a bit disappointed that she didn't make county choir, but I'm proud of her for trying!  She has awesome news, though... she earned the part of Clara in our studio's production of The Nutcracker, Twisted!  She is so excited, has wanted this part for years, and is working super hard to memorize her blocking and lines.  Very, very happy, happy for her!  Katie is a bell, which is an awesome dancing/tumbling routine.  It's high energy, just like her.  Both girls are excited.  Tommy and I got our same parts- party boy (for him, of course) and party couple for me... well, one half of a party couple. And Arabian... for me... yep, I get to belly dance!

Lots of prayers needed lately for situations that surround me... seriously, we have landslide victims here in Virginia, they are losing their homes, marriages, always, health of children and parents, jobs,and job security, some knee surgeries (friends), some people are experiencing personal crisis'... I mean, my goodness... so much seems to be going on!



As always, too, I pray for my friends and family that struggle with their faith.  I'm someone who doesn't struggle with faith, or with things (the bad things) that happen to me or my family, I mean, sure I have a moment of frustration (why now!?), or perplexity (um... What are you THINKING?), but it doesn't make me angry with God, or at Him...  I believe there is purpose in everything that happens to us, because, maybe, in the event of a tragedy, I know that I will NOT have any answers as to why this happened to me... But I have faith that through my experience it may draw someone closer to HIM who loves us all, unconditionally...   Life is hard, and sometimes even harder... I can't fathom moving away from Him... especially when that is when I would need to experience His comfort the most.  I can see, though, how someone else could find that infuriating, and identify tragedy with punishment, or anger.  I guess I'm lucky I don't see it that way... I hope I never do see it that way.  So, that is why I pray for my close ones to have peace and to develop a relationship with Jesus.  It helps... for real... I promise...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Faith Filled Friday


So... Friday is a day that I get to go to a faith share discipleship class with one of my besties, truly the big sis God bestowed on me as I became a new mother.  It is super cool, and interesting, and I think it's going to help me grow spiritually, and as a mother, and as a friend, and as a wife... and as, well, me.  It is going to be a little bit about me on Friday mornings. And that is just good.

So, I always talk about this running dialogue with God, and how it is back round noise, like a fan, comfortable and distracting.  Some brave lady suggested that I need to be quiet maybe, to just listen.  To be mindful of just listening, in fact, instead of praying, or talking, rather, because in listening, I'm still praying.  And, just how awesome is that? I like it!

School week number four is coming to a close.  Everyone is pretty busy, and on task, and studying and items like that.  I think it is safe to say that it's been a smooth transition (knock on wood).  I think it is going to be a very liberating year for everyone.  It's good.  The change is still hard... but it's good.  Optimism is nice, isn't it?

There is a lot of estrogen in my house right now, as both girls are enjoying a sleep over.  They are watching a spy movie, and playing with Pollys, Lalaloopsies, and beanie babies.  Tommy is trying very hard not to go out of his mind, and I'm typing, while Mark has retreated to the bedroom.  Popcorn is scattered everywhere like an explosive popcorn device went off- nothing dainty about girls eating Mark's famous popcorn.  I guess that is what vacuums are for.

So, that's it for now.  It's bed time.















I'm sleepy- which is nice.
Bonne Nuit!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

to sleep... or not...



I think the idea of a sleep study is good.  However, attaching a bunch of wires to your face, neck, head and chest and leg, almost forgot that one, makes it hard to sleep.  Every time you move attached to said wires, you're afraid you are about to come unattached, and it takes longer to fall back asleep.  So... idea= good... practicality= not so good.  Plus, now I have tape burns across my cheeks and throat, and glue globs stuck in my hair.  hmmm.....  and THEN they make sure you're awake at a quarter till five to get you out the door so they can leave as well.


I'm tired.  And I look like a cross between a zombie and a terminator... minus the guns and huge muscles, of course (I'm a ballerina/yoga person, not a weight lifter).

So- hopefully I really will sleep well tonight, and, in the words of my son, "I hope you passed your sleep test, Mom."

Me, too.

In other news, my beautiful yoga ladies were all so patient with me yesterday and today.  The kids are still doing well (except my I-don't-have-any-homework dude will now be reading every night so he doesn't fail any more biology tests).  Dance is full speed ahead-  which is great, because it keeps us all out of trouble.  I'd love to go to the Washington Ballet, because they are doing the Great Gatsby (fabulous book).  And... well... if I go on I think I'll sound kind of ADHD which, thankfully, is NOT one of my diagnosis'.  So I'll just stop with the random thoughts, there, OK?

See? I told you I was tired:)

Monday, September 26, 2011

keep calm and carry on



It seems like the past few weeks I've been just swamped.  I guess I have, even quite literally (it is raining here so much, I feel like we should just re-name the town Forks, Virginia).  We are now the proud people of Forks, Virginia... we have hurricanes and floods, and now we can even boast that we have landslides and earthquakes.  It is actually slightly humorous. Who knew?  We have all the natural disasters here... except tsunamis... I guess we don't have to worry about those... I'm OK with that.


But, anyway... I have been busy getting back into a routine and taking care of all those annual doctors appointments and exams.  Everything seems to be stable here, on that front.

 I've been quite anxious, though.  New things are hard.  I think that's, like, the theme of my blog, really.  Change.  Change is inevitable.  Change is hard.  Change is even good.  Sometimes I like change, and embrace it.  Sometimes I hate change... and embrace it anyway, because that is just what I have to do.  I can't always fight it, and it's no good, really, to always stay the same.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

That is our reminder for the day... as easy as it may be to forget that God is ALWAYS with us, we may be comforted that he will NEVER leave us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

well, it's just an update


I've finished up my training for my new job... yes, the one where I was sure they weren't going to call me back because I couldn't articulate my goals... so, I'm official to work, now, which is great! Very, very great!

It's always nice to have something going your way, you know.


School is still spot on- terrific.  I'm so pleasantly surprised that everything seems to be gel-ing and going well.  Aside from some organizational issues, and a week of asthma exacerbations, and one tornado-looking-sky freak out, I have to say, maybe we should have done this earlier.  It was hard to have an open mind about returning two of them to the public school arena... But, really, I don't think I had to be as nervous as I was.


Katie is my little fashionista, and is starting her new style blog, aptly named Katie's style blog.  It's to encourage typing, writing and reading.  Tommy has no homework. Ever. So far, anyway.  I''m not sure this is normal.  I had him reading and writing all the time!  And Danielle, of course, is doing fantastic.  She loves being a middle-schooler.  She does have homework, every night.  And, on top of her crazy dance schedule, she is really tired, but happy.

All-in-all, I guess it's time to spend some energy on me and get myself put back together (not that I'm apart in pieces or anything like that).  It's time to focus my prayers and talents.  It's time to return to crafting.  It is even time to paint the ceiling.  I'll let you know how that one turns out...

So many prayers coming and going... for friends, and friends of friends affected by natural disasters (land slides, earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes- and this is just VA..), marriages that are just so stressed, travels, new homes, illness, typhoons, schooling, good friends, families, the faithful, our military, our survivors, our heroes.  I know, my list overwhelms me, too...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

NEVER FORGET


Period.
History is perishable.
Don't forget to remember.

(image from google image site infosecblog.org)

177 down...

OK... I know I can be a bit dramatic at times.  I know that I have an annoying habit of thinking the worst just so I can prepare myself for the worst.  I even know that I can be anxious for no good reason...


But... I had EVERY reason to be nervous, anxious, thinking the worst... etc...

So... imagine my pleasant (read:still nervous but happy) surprise when the worst didn't happen, and my fears were overactive, and the anxiety just wasn't helpful (it never is, by the way, helpful).



The kids loved school!  Public school!  It went very well, and wasn't even bad.  Ok, ok... the (short) bus didn't come Tuesday or Wednesday morning (rain, flooding, contemplating ark building), but it was OK.  The IEP got signed Tuesday afternoon.  Katie loved her teacher (and being in class with Morgan and Abbey).  Danielle-  well, no doubt, Danielle was just ecstatic to be back in school (one dramatic storm out due to wardrobe/breakfast issues).

Praying for peace, clarity, peace, wisdom, peace, grace, did I mention peace?  Did I mention clarity?

And Praise!!! Praise to God whose timing is perfect and who has a plan for all of us!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I had written something I thought was just beautiful, but it got lost somewhere between phone and blog cyberspace. So it just won't sound so elegant the second time coming out of my heart and mind again! How weird that even a post can get lost in transition. Or translation. Or whatever the case may be...
Basically, though, I was expounding on how the ocean/ beach makes me feel: better, and closer to God. The worries and troubles don't go away- but I just feel better.

Anyway- I'm praying for transitions... So many changes taking place around me. Friends, family, loved ones... All experiencing change.

I'm singing the Casting Crowns song, "Praise you in this storm" - to myself, obviously, I won't torture you with my tone deaf singing, unless you sit in front of me at church, of course, then I will torture you because I feel safe enough there to belt. It. Out. And saaaang! ...But anyway, It has such deep meaning and gives me great comfort. So, if you get a chance, pray, and google Casting Crowns, and try to listen to that song. It helps. For real:)

Ocean tidings

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Katie is 8!


purple, pink, and black
sparkle, glitter, spunk
funny, worried, loved
sweet, spunky, wild!

We had a Justin Bieber party, and she was crushed when she realized we couldn't actually invite him (I think he is in Japan, or China or some place like that, on tour).

She loved the attention and festivities.

And I love her!

what's going on...


It's not even back-to-school time yet, but already we are getting into "fall" mode.  Dance started again this week for the girly-goos and me, so we are dancing Monday through Thursday.  I'm actually very OK with this because everyone is getting tired of "having nothing to do" - which is a joke, because there is always something to do, and if you can't find it, I will- although, my threats don't always work, even when I follow through, which tells me learning has not occurred... which is a whole other story... anyway...

I've discovered something about myself:  I have flight of ideas, especially in Michael's.  Does this happen to anyone else?  The store is having an amazing clearance right now, and I'm so tempted to buy stuff!  I have four bins and three shelves FULL of craft stuff.  I do NOT need to buy ANYthing.  but.... all the stuff is so pretty, and fresh, and my creative juices (which become dormant the moment I walk through my front door) begin to flow... if only...

Tommy did a fencing (sword skills- not fence building) camp last week!  I am so excited for him, because he was really excited about going and participating.  This is huge because Tommy loves to talk about doing lots of things but is very apprehensive (read: NOT HAPPENING) about actually following through and executing his grand plans.  He did it, though, and wants to continue to learn and do!  So, fencing my be added to the repertoire of our activities... hoping the instructor begins classes closer to home (my home, that is)!

Mark is doing endurance events.  I'm glad he has found something, too.  While running through mud and under live electric wires is not my thing, I've got to say, it's pretty cool for him!  There's this song by the Goo-Goo Dolls (sigh...Johnny) that has a line that goes, "you bleed just to know you're alive..."  yup- that's Mark.

So, that is the update on all of us this week... At least, activity-wise.  I'm really wanting to do that writing thing, so I'm trying to be good about posting.  It's good work; good for me; good for my soul.  That, and praying.  A lot.  Not just for me, but I have so many friends who are burdened... jobs, sickness, hearts, lost, broken.  It's tough stuff.  It's nice to know that I am not in control, here.  I love control... a bit of a control freak, I am, but it's all an illusion, my friends.

Romans 8:28:   And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose...





Wednesday, August 3, 2011

goals...




I was asked about my short and long term goals yesterday in a phone interview.


It was a very in-depth interview, with very in-depth questions (apparently).


My Family... My Faith


This is what I answered. After a long (it probably wasn't so long) pause, the interviewer continued, "yes? anything else?" ummm.....


"Actually... for life, you mean? "


"yes..." I'm thinking that she was thinking, 'yes, Dear, for life ... and three for each, please: long term and short term' ... Thank you, Lord, that this was a kind, polite, and southern lady (yes, people from the south tend to have better manners and be more patient... the people from the mid-west are a close second... I know... I've been all over the United States... not judging, no harm intended...I'm just sayin')


"...um... OK... well, yes. I'd like to successfully launch my children, for them to be good and responsible... to be true to my faith... I like to write, I'd like to write more, maybe a book... I want to re-enter nursing... I'm just not sure how that looks... I'd like to get my masters degree."


"In what?"


"Excuse me?"


"Your masters... in what field?"


"I'm not sure... nursing, education, counseling..."


Could I sound more flighty? (don't answer that...)


Tough stuff, to actually try to map out my goals (on the fly, no less). I'm kind of stuck in the present. It's almost embarrassing. I mean, Mark has asked me, too, and my response is always the same: to support the kids, to support you.


But, what do you want to do?


My answer is: what I am doing...


Is that bad?


The present is all about my family, my children, my faith. I'm trying to be present with them, trying to instill the important stuff, and struggling with wondering if I'm doing a good job, or not. I guess I want to get more involved in nursing again, to generate income, but, really, my focus is on the family. I don't mean to sound altruistic... but I have a job to do... I'm doing it...


This is an example of what I want: I want us to pray more together, every day. I want us to have daily devotions.


What actually happens is this: we clean up (I'm a tidy-up person... it's just how it is) and then we go... and we have a kind of running dialogue between us (us being me, Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit and my kids... and the Saints- I talk to them, too-) ... but it isn't devotional, and it isn't separate and it's hardly ever quiet like I know it should be (except at meals and bed times - sometimes- )... I guess it is every day, though...


So. I freaked out just a little bit about this yesterday and today, on a big mental level, anyway. I mean, who doesn't have well articulated goals? Who asks those kind of questions in interviews these days anymore? I just wasn't prepared.


Or was I?


Family and Faith. I'm sure I should have said Faith and Family.


But, I did get a second call...


2 Corinthians 9: So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

re organizing

It's been a week of re-organizing, switching things around, setting up bedrooms. I'm nesting... not in a pregnant type of way, mind you (I'm pretty sure that chapter has been closed), but in a big-changes type of way. Public school. Possibly a new job. New schedules. Ceiling paint... you know, it's big stuff!



Change out in the world always inspires change in the home, for me, anyway. It makes me want to be more organized, so at a moment's meltdown, I'll be prepared. Theoretically. Plus, now I know what kinds of clothes the kids need on tax-free shopping weekend, which is next weekend!

(ahh...if only it WERE real simple...)

The clincher in all this change, though, is to remember that while the world is changing, God remains the same. I know my need for re-organizing is from my need to be in control... and I'm so not... it's a hard concept, and always a tough lesson for me. God is God, and I am not should really be my mantra, my prayer, my meditation. Who cares if I can find the staples next week (besides me and whomever is having a meltdown about staples...) -I'll tell you: surprise, it's no one! The way I handle it though, will be based on a perspective that defines, "who is really in control, here?"


It's almost funny, really, because it should let us (women, mothers, control freaks) off the hook. Almost funny, because, really... do I feel let off the hook? No? Maybe? Not really?


Anyway....


My children are hopelessly bored today because they have endured a week mostly at home. I think we will have to go to the pool,or something. I'm trying to foster some independence in them, really, but I guess they all still need some distraction, and direction, and, thankfully, mommy-time:)



Prayers for all my friends who are travelling this week... some for not even fun reasons. Prayers for all the birthdays and families that are celebrating life and vacations. Prayers for my brother and his family (moving!!!).