Gathering my Thoughts



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I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

We are in the midst of one of the infamous wintry mix storms so familiar to this region. Right now, ice is coating everything. My fervent hope is that I can get some pictures before the whole things turn to cold rain.

::listening to 

Ice falling hard and fast against the house.  

::clothing myself in 

A sweatshirt and sweatpants. Schools have been closed for the day. That might just mean I have no where to go unless I choose to go to the gym later this afternoon. And that might just mean I'll wear sweats all day long. 


::talking with my children about these books

Snow books. Poor Sarah was absolutley traumatized by My Brother Loved Snowflakes . Bentley dies of pneumonia. Mary Beth has had pneumonia this winter. Just a little too much for my sensitive four-year-old to process.


::thinking and thinking

about renewal. It's been a long time since I've intentionally taken care of my body. I tend to push myself to the absolute outer limits of endurance, but not in a good way. This January, at Mike's insistence, I've really been paying attention to exercise and relaxation and sleep. Still don't have the nutrition thing nailed down, but the rest is coming together. Now, I see just how merciless I've been to myself.

::pondering prayerfully

"Remember the precept that St. John the Evangelist used to give to his disciples: “Love one another.” Since it is not a mere exhortation, but a command, it would be sinful to do otherwise. Therefore, do away with insults, quarrels, envy, revenge, mockery, or bad will. Be good to one another. This will prove that you love each other like brothers."

- Don Bosco


The feast of St. John Bosco is January 31. There is a treasure trove of great information and resources here.


::carefully cultivating rhythm

Schools are closed today, but not here. I remind my children that all those January long weekends for teacher workdays and the random snow days easily add up to a week in the woods in April when the bluebells bloom and everyone else is stuck inside. Now, if we were to get significant snow, I could persuaded to call a snow day .

::creating by hand

I really must tackle those nightgowns anew this week. And hustle along with knitting plans for Easter sweaters, because they're not moving nearly as quickly as the shrugs did two years ago. All my projects seem to be for Katie and they all seem stuck at the yoke. Hmmm...


::learning lessons in

teenagers. I am not a quick study, but I do think I'm making progress. 

::encouraging learning 

This week we'll begin our study of Matthew. I'm really looking forward to doing this study with my kids and I think they're pretty enthusiastic, too.

We've also been meandering down the Alphabet Path. Last week, H was for "heart" and we did some tweaking to the Valentine plan.

::begging prayers

for all the intentions of our prayer community. Also, Elizabeth DeHority is facing a formidable struggle this week as she battles an opportunistic infection. Her bone marrow is utterly depleted and her body has very little with which to fight.


::keeping house

Up this week: Reorganizing the linen closet (It's been a long time since it looked like this, but I have photographic evidence that it once did, so I'm motivated). Also,  the storage room in the basement is in need again. Last time I did, it was a big emotional epiphany. I don't have time for epiphanies this week. I just want to clean it up. 

::crafting in the kitchen 

Christian took over my kitchen several times last week. He made New England clam chowder that was met with deep sighs of approval,  an amazing dinner of grilled chicken, creamed spinach and mashed potatoes, and then a raspberry chocolate cheesecake. He's got some impressive skills. He's got absolutely no desire to cook according to anyone's dietary limitations;-).

For my part, a friend challenged me to eat a salad every day. Nicholas took it a bit further and asked if I could somehow turn their dinner meals into salads for myself. I played with my food a bit last week and it was fun. I'll share it here on Wednesday, I think.


::loving the moments

When I have a chance to catch up with a friend. My friend Barbara joined me to watch Stephen and Nicky play basketball on Saturday and we had a whole hour to just sit and chat. And Colleen called from Costa Rica on Sunday and we had absolutely the best phone connection we've ever had.

Patrick was there for the basketball game, too, and he brought a friend home from school with him. It was nice to have them in the stands and I know the "little brothers" loved it.

::giving thanks 

for safe travels. Patrick came home last weeked. Christian drove down to Charlottesville and back in the snow without incident. And Mike was gone last week, but traveled home from Miami safely last night and is tucked up in bed while the sky rains ice.

living the liturgy

We are preparing for Candlemas. Candles. I do love what they do for our home.

Ginny and I sat down a couple of weeks ago and sketched out some plans for celebrating the rhythm of the Church year with our families. We're really looking forward to bringing those plans to life and our kids are, too! 

::planning for the week ahead

Pretty mellow week, I think. I have a hunch that a popcorn ball nibble did some bad things to a tooth, so there is likely to be some dental visits in my future. Other than that, it's just some lovely "normal" and a visit from friends on Wednesday to do some candle crafting.

Oh, and Stephen turns fourteen on Friday. I'm not a huge fan of fourteen, but I think Stephen is just the guy to change my perception;-) He's on board to take on the challenge of re-branding fourteen.