Daybook: it's really spring!

Outside My Window

the birds are chirping and the sun is shining, but I’ve been outside already this early morning. It smells like skunk.

I am Listening to
chirping birds. The early crew has already left for Mass, then soccer and ballet. Everyone else is still asleep.

I am wearing
a T-shirt and boxer shorts. I saw the cutest Liberty of London summer PJs at Target and I was very tempted. I don’t think they’d wash well, though...

I am Thankful For

quiet. Those little pockets wherever I can get it.

I am Pondering
St. John of the Cross:
"Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others."
This quote will define my Lent. And, of course, the St. Ephrem praye
r is  back at the forefront for this holy time. Plenty to ask God's help with here:
O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.  But give rather the spirit of  chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen

I am Reading

Delivered from Distraction. I recommend everything written by Dr. Hallowell. He’s the Crazy Busy guy. Interestingly, he’s also worked with Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting. Together, there’s a sense of cohesiveness and sanity in their messages.

From the Kitchen

For Saint Patrick’s day, we had salmon and green potatoes (using Dubliner cheese). We made the mint cake again, substituting white lifesavers for the red-striped peppermints and Creme de Menthe (thanks, Mary Chris!) for the peppermints schnapps. So the filling was green. It was so good!

I am Thinking
 About a quote from St. Teresa of Avila and how it really is a caution to those of us who find our support in church-related groups.  It’s been good food for conversation with my eldest daughter, as she learns some hard lessons from “church ladies.” Teresa of Avila writes, “From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.” I’m thinking that we need to be careful not to be influenced or hurt by people who, though well-intentioned and seemingly devout, are unkind and judgmental and joyless. Good Christian friends aren’t sour-faced saints. Good friends don’t bring you down. They aren’t shrill and hysterical and fearful. They are joyful, happy witnesses to a life of grace. Or they bear the inevitable sorrows in life with sure faith in God’s wisdom and goodness. They are kind. They don’t tear down; they build up. And if you are surrounded by friends who are sour faced saints, find some new friends. There are genuinely holy people out there who will walk in faith beside you with a spring in their step and a  shoulder to lean on when necessary. 

I am Creating
pockets of quiet. Mike will be gone pretty much from now until Easter. My plate is heaped to overflowing with the usual and the unexpected. I know that I have to eat well, exercise, get outside, and have some quiet and some space. I intend to do just that. And everything else I have to do.

On my iPod
Superparenting for ADD. I highly recommend this book.

Towards a Real Education
this time of year always has the same effect on me (and on my children). We want to do nature study and art and pretty much nothing else. I’m working on some plans that will make that almost all we do. Sorry kids, there’s a little math in there, too:-) 

Towards Rhythm and Beauty
Today is the day I pull out Jerusalem works. I’m really looking forward to it this year, since Karoline loves every aspect of our home atrium these days.

To Live the Liturgy
I’m hoping to get to daily Mass every day this week. My calendar says this will be a very difficult week, with impossibly full scheduling. My head and my heart both tell me that daily Mass is a necessary non-negotiable.

I am Hoping and Praying

for Christian, who gets thrown curve ball after curve ball (and he's not a big fan of baseball). We need some solid answers from doctors this week. Pediatricians, cardiologist, surgeon--I’m praying someone can figure this all out.

and for my Aunt Ida, who fell and broke her hip last week. She's 92; she doesn't "bounce back." She is however, the antithesis of a sour-faced saint. She's joy personified. I think that's why she's lived so long.

In the Garden
Oh my goodness! There are tulip leaves everywhere! And weeds. Many, many weeds.

Around the House
I gave up on the basement until after Easter. Or maybe summer. Whatever.
On, the positive side, there are only 6 loads of laundry left.

On Keeping Home
chore charts printed. We’re going to follow those things to the letter while Mike is gone. And it’s time to give some serious consideration to table settings and decorations for Easter.

One of My Favorite Things

the the long fifth burner in the center of the stove. A cast iron griddle fits perfectly. Pancakes for breakfast every day since that stove arrived!

Sarah Annie this week

Poor dear. She gets terribly, terribly sick in the car. The vomiting episodes are becoming regular occurrences. Since we have lots of driving to do on a daily basis, any suggestions towards motion sickness remedies would be very much appreciated.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week

Gracie is coming to spend spring break with us this week! She’ll be at Atrium today and then back here to play. We’re planning a day at Clemy park, a sleepover, a tea party, and lots and lots of time to play.

And Patrick leaves to play a week of soccer in Dallas. He's counting on a contingent of local Dallas fans to come out and cheer for him and totally confound his DC area teammates. I'm working on a schedule for distribution today. If you're a Dallas buddy and you want to take your kids to see some seriously good soccer, email me for the details.

A Picture Thought I'm sharing:


Sarah playing with our wedding bands.