Daybook: I thought it was spring

Sunday, late afternoon...

Outside My Window

It is cold. Really cold. There was snow on the ground when I got up this morning. In Virginia, at the end of March. Crazy.


I am Listening to

VCU play Kansas in the SW Regional NCAA Basketball Final.


I am Wearing

Jeans, warm socks, boots, tshirt over McLean Premier Soccer Celtics sweatshirt. I'm just in from a pre-season tournament for Stephen and Nicky.


I am so Grateful for

~sundaes on Sunday

~Rita's Italian Ice --- Sarah's first taste:-)

~doctors who genuinely care and go above and beyond to help the healing process

~Christian's fish and chips after an exceedingly long and cold soccer day

~robins in the snow

~leather boots

~sunshine on a cold day

~soccer dad who cheerfully took my volunteer slot (and pregnant mom of seven who spared her hubby so he could help me)

~watching my little girls enjoy a surprise cup of hot chocolate (another kind soccer mom)

~knitting in the car

~Paddy's report card

~Mary Beth happily off on ski trips with the Stantons

~Fr. Shultz and his heart for the kids in the St. Tim's youth group

~my three youngest, who seem to have "found" each other for hours and hours of play together

~forsythia glowing gold on a gray morning


I'm Pondering

How long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy- before these beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet?"~Ann Voskamp  One Thousand Gifts.

I'm pondering that a lot lately, as I love with  mothers whose days are likely not to be as many as most.

I received a Christmas letter from a woman who was totally jubilant about her empty nest. She said she couldn't understand why some mothers don't dance for joy when their young mothering days are over. She was just so very glad to finally have her house to herself! Clearly, it got under my skin. I've been thinking about it since late last year.

And then I think of the moms who would give anything to know that they will be here with their children for just one more Christmas. I know it's not the same---dying and having your children leave home--but I do wonder about those mothers who are just so glad to be finished with children. Did they miss the joy in the moments when their children were at home? Is that why they were so eager to have them leave? Were they ever content to be the heart of home for a young family? Or did they always just wish it were finally over? I don't know.

For me, I know there will be a certain sadness when my mothering days fold up quietly and I move to a different stage of life. I hope there will joy--not giddy-I'm-so-glad-they're-gone joy--but quiet joy of knowing the days were filled well, lived well, prayed well,  and the joy of our futures bursting with hope.


I am Reading

Got that in great detail here.

(But I am making an exception to my "no other books" rule because I'm reading an advance review copy of the third edition of Educating the WholeHearted Child before the print deadline. It's awesome. And inspiring. Much more later; it's a review copy, after all.)


I am Thinking

that I hit my stress threshold last week. Something had to give. We found a new home for the dog. Now, I feel considerably less challenged in my own home. No one is barking incessantly when we have company (or when someone is napping.) I am no longer worried about yet another unexpected vet bill. And I am not spending an hour a day vacuuming so my children won't wheeze in the presence of the dog who wasn't supposed to shed. All good.

Except for the fact that my kids are mad at me.


I am Creating

A sweater shrug for Katie for Easter. It's nearly finished.And then I will start a striped one for Karoline. I tend to obsess with new crafts. Three times for the same sweater is a very "me" thing to do. Maybe that's why God provided three little girls in a row? By the time I get to the third, I've learned so much. I do love this pattern (not that I know much about patterns). And~ sigh ~I can't say enough about how much I'm loving knitting. I have about ten things queued up: a baby cardigan, a patchwork lap blanket. an idea for kitchen dishcloths, a sweater for Mike, a sweater for me. I ordered some Spud and Chloe sweater yarn in the hopes that I can tolerate it. If I can, then, well, there will be a lot less blogging and a lot more knitting. I really love sitting and keeping my hands moving and talking and listening and creating when I knit. Did I mention how much good this is doing to my soul?


On my iPod

Hide 'Em in Your Heart by Steve Green. My little girls love this as much as my big boys did when they were little. And since my big boys can still sing these verses, I can say that the CDs fulfill their mission. It makes me so happy to sing these songs in the car and my heart about bursts when I hear my littlest sing several of them all by herself. Nothing sweeter than songs of Scripture from in a baby's voice. 


Towards a Real Education

We're trying to tie up some loose ends and finish up some subjects before the bluebells bloom. Then we'll take some long days at the creek for intensive nature study (and bigtime fun).


Towards Rhythm and Beauty

Oh, dear me. The rhythm thing is something for which I'm fighting. Christian has been so needy until--well, yesterday. One thing after another and all of them urgent. Rocks the rhythm. But yesterday was good and the new bleeding  crisis of late last week (caused by the medications for the bleeding crisis of the week before) seems to be healing so maybe we can have one of those "normal" weeks. Whatever normal is.

(Incidentally, if you need an orthopedist in northern Virginia who specializes in upper extremities, I've got your guy. As bad as this nightmare has been, he's been awesome.)


To Live the Liturgy...

This has been a very good Lent. What's a "good Lent" any way? I think, for our family, a good Lent draws us closer to God and brings a steadier, stronger peace to our home. It's not perfect. And it's not nearly over. But this one is good.

Last one was good, too. Not peaceful at all, but good. More on that later this week, God willing.


I am Hoping and Praying

for Elizabeth deHority. She is constantly on my heart and in my prayers. She needs you now. Please, please pray with me.


 In the Garden

There are tulips coming, but today they are sitting in the snow. The vinca has bloomed, too, always my little tease that there is a profusion of blue flowers in my not too distant future.


Around the House

I admit it; I am not waiting patiently for bluebells this year. Not at all. I'm eager, very, very eager. So I'm forcing it a bit indoors. I'm Michael is painting the sunroom blue, the kitchen green, and the family room a honeyed hue of the sunlit creek banks. It was inevitable. (Did I mention my husband has been gone this week? It's going to look a bit different around here when he returns.)


From the Kitchen

Onions, salmon, garlic, cilantro, green salads...not all at once, necessarily. When Mike's gone, we eat things he doesn't like.


One of My Favorite Things

Stitch markers. Okay, silly I know, little tiny rings that are ridiculously simple, but how cool is it that you put them in just the right places and do certain things around them and get sleeves and such? Very cool, I'm telling you.


Sarah Annie this week

She's giving up diapers for Lent. Go Sarah!


A Few Plans for the Week

Ballet on Monday. And Soccer.

Ballet on Tuesday.

Soccer on Wednesday.

Soccer on Thursday. And Ballet.

Church soup supper on Friday.

Soccer season officially starts on the weekend.

Atrium Sunday.

Final Four Saturday (party for youth basketball buddies)

Regular "school". every. single. day. I hope.

Laundry every. single. day. I hope.

(oh, and the neurologist and the physical therapist.)


Picture thoughts:


{{Comments are open. I have been terrible about responding to mail. Please forgive me? I do read every single note and I do pray for you. But, I don't always answer promptly. I'm hoping that having comments open on occasion will give me a chance to answer the more common questions for several people at once and will give you dear ladies an opportunity to talk with each other. They are moderated, so if you don't see yours at first, it means I'm busy knitting, it will appear shortly.}}