Daybook: Break from the Blogging Break

Outside My Window ...

It's perfect soccer weather.

I am listening to...

Nicky entertaining Sarah Annie. Mary Beth mixing pumpkin muffins with Katie and Karoline.


blueberry banana boats for "B" week

To Live the Liturgy...

I think that Our Lady of Sorrows will have particular poignancy this year. The feast of St. Robert Bellarmine is  my godson Bobby's birthday.

To be Fit and Happy...

Michael and I are providing 24/7 text message support to each other as we try to avoid pumpkin spice lattes this fall. He's got a rougher road ahead than I do.  Starbucks has just opened a store in his dorm, right next to his suite. The poor guy is literally living in Pumpkin Spice Land, while trying to be entirely sugar-free. 

I am thankful for...

the opportunity to take the whole first week of school and do as Laureen White suggests: Rename it "Orientation Week" and start "for real" on the following Monday.


my favorite curriculum resource: A Child's Geography--love, love, love it!

I am pondering ...

This, and this, and this--all great advice from a down-to-earth expert.

And then, I'm pondering this, this, and this, too. Technology has changed the way we communicate and we are a generation of parents who have to learn about what this technology can (and cannot) do as quickly as our children are learning both the technology and how to navigate in the world. Michael had to get a twitter account for one of his classes this semester (go ahead; follow him). We've been chatting back and forth about the value of twitter. And we're thinking about how technology has changed both the vocabulary and the structure of the way teenagers and young adults communicate. I have decided (with a little nudging from Marybeth Hicks) not to fight it any more. instead, I choose to learn it and to share lessons with my children in the blessings and the burdens of communication in the 21st century.

A lot of links here, I know. I think this is a topic of much importance for all parents. The technology is not going to go away. If we want to protect and guide our children, we need to be aware of the world in which they will navigate.


From the kitchen ...

A fall menu plan is in the tweaking stage.


astronomy in 3D

I am wearing ...

A white shirt with rosettes along the neckline, a green cardigan (team colors today), and jeans. Pearl earrings and a pearl St. Anne necklace make the ponytail a little less ponytail-ish.

I am creating ...

Re-running this from last week: it's still a work in progress:-)

a new home management notebook. (Links to the other versions.) The goal is for this one to be dynamic and, so, more functional. I'm using iCal. I've long known that if we are intentional, life can be lived in a fuller, more purposeful way. If we are intentional, we don't live our whole lives just managing the crisis of the moment. At least that's the premise.

Most of our lives can be planned to some degree. We can set goals and then set aside time to use to achieve those goals. Routines are a mom's good friend. Several years ago now, Katherine and I started to set all our different routines in Google calendar: school rhythms, housekeeping, meal prep, liturgical year. We shared calendars back and forth and got a little too happy over all those neat little boxes.

Then, Katherine discovered the iCal button on her Mac. And I had major issues with envy. She could make a calendar rock. She could make a whole Homemaking Notebook go digital, in perfectly beautiful shades of every color under the sun.

I acquired a third-hand, cobbled-together Mac last year before Michael left to go back to school. It's lapbook with a screen that doesn't work and a keyboard that doesn't work--so it's a desktop with a Dell screen and a wireless keyboard. Whatever. It has iCal. Last summer, I started making beautiful calendars of neat, pretty colored charts and boxes.

And then there was bedrest. Somehow, in my brain, the more organized I was, the more I was tempting the universe to knock me on my backside;-) This is, of course, theologically ridiculous and patently stupid. Order is good in a crisis. Order doesn't create a crisis. Still, I avoided iCal for a long while.

But now, we're in love again. And I'm tinkering with all those rhythms and routines. I think it will take me a good month to nail down the basic outline for each area I want in my management notebook. I'm committing to paper, printing, living it, revising, living it, revising get the idea.

Here's a peek at what we're attempting to do. I put these up on Sunday. Sunday night, before I went to sleep, I realized that I had completely forgotten tea time. I'll revise today. Picture quality is terrible, but the colors sure are pretty as long as I don't think about it too much;-) If you click on the photos and then click to magnify, you CAN read the type (for whatever that's worth to anyone but me).

The largest goal of all in this endeavor is to create very large pockets of quiet and rest in my days.  Those have long been missing and I have recently recognized that they are no longer optional, but that I need them for my very survival--physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

It's going to be a longterm project. I might just post to Faithful Over Little Things as it evolves.

No promises there, though

On my iPod...

Hide 'Em in Your Heart Volume 1

Hide 'Em in Your Heart Volume 2

My big boys loved these when they listened to them as audiotapes in the car as little boys. And my middle kids listened to them as CDs. My little girls beg for the MP3. And everyone can sing the tunes. These verses really are hidden in our hearts.


pondering the enormity of the universe

Towards a real eduction ...

We worked out schedule kinks last week. It looked a little chaotic as we lived it but in retrospect, it was really a rather productive week. I learned that I need to keep the big kids with me more, so I'm adjusting their plans to line up a little more closely with ours. Other than that, we're good.

I am thinking... 

about what God wants from me.

What He really, really wants.


In the Garden...

There is a mess of weeding to do. And I think it's nearly time to plant bulbs. We're planting hope this year.

Around the House

Mary Beth is digging in to the homemaking portion of her studies this year. And, by golly, she's organizing this household with an enthusiasm, energy, and idealism that inspires me. Thank God!


Sarah Anne this week...

She claps. She's long known how to clap but now, she's in clapping overdrive. She loves soccer--clap for our team, clap for their team, clap for the referee. Everyone claps all the time. Her kind of good time.

I am hoping and praying ...

for the Snow family, the Barrett family, and the Cushman family. May they be consoled by family and friends, saints and angels, and the good Lord himself.

Christa Bartlett and her family

and now,

For the Mitchell family, too.


On Keeping Home ...

When I am stressed, I want nothing more than to be at home. But I recognize that home is where ten other people live as well and so, it isn't always such a peaceful place of respite for me.

I set the tone and I "keep home." If it is to be a place of respite for my family--and for me--I must endeavor to make it so. And if it is very important that it be that way, then keeping home must truly take its place near the top of the priority list.

One of my favorite things ...

September mornings.

How's the burnout recovery going?

Well. Slowly, but well. I began by promising myself that I would not read message boards. I love message boards. I have great respect for their  ability to inform and encourage. I even founded a message board. But, for me, message boards are just too much information, too much drama, and too much anxiety. I've taken breaks before, only those were breaks where I didn't let myself post. About a month ago, I decided that it was best that I not even read. I miss it. But it's a good decision. Then, I continued on by eliminating 3/4 of my Google Reader. There's still plenty to read there:-). Writing is actually a joy for me and not so much a burnout-er. But lately, there is little time for leisurely journaling here. Soon.

Mostly, though, my recovery consists of what I'm doing in "real life." I'm eating ridiculously well. I'm exercising. I'm seeing a chiropractor (very necessary and long, long overdue). I'm sleeping decent hours (yes, Aubrey, you made sense and I did see the crash soon after that email). I'm taking very deep breaths. I'm taking time to carefully nurture well the relationships that matter.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

My godson Ian will be baptized today. I wish Mike and I could be there. So much. Still, I'm glad they didn't wait.

We have seven dentist appointments beginning at 8:15 tomorrow morning.

Choir begins.

Soccer, soccer, soccer...


a budding impressionist