Saturday, December 31, 2005

Welcome 2006

As I reflect on the past year, I realize that we have come through so much. The loss of Mom, the difficulties with A, the heart problems with the pregnancy, and the welcoming of our newest son. I am sad to see 2005 pass away. I have done so much growing within, it seems this year. Trials tend to do that to us.

Typically, New Year's Eve is a night I spend in quiet, setting goals and dreams for the next year. Reflecting on the goals and dreams of the previous year. Tonight, I will spend with family and friends and cherish every moment of it. I will spend some time in reflection tomorrow, though I do have an idea of some of my goals already.

1. Spend more time reading to the children and less time worrying about housework.

2. Spend more time with the Lord in Adoration and less time talking about doing it.

3. Spend more time listening to others and less time talking.

4. Spend more time praying for others and less time telling them what I think they should do.

5. Spend more time with my husband and less time whining to him about spending time together.

6. Spend more time counting my many blessings and less time wishing for more.

What are some of your goals? Happy New Year!

What am I doing??






The house is in shambles, the fridge is bare, the checkbook needs balancing, and I don't care! (Hey, my first poem!!)

Honestly, we are expecting folks over tonight and I need to get some food for the event. But the blog calls.

I am so inspired reading other blogs. I wish I had the brain power to put mine together, but with a 10 week old in my arms 90% of the time, it is difficult to say the least.

I wanted to share what Christmas in a home with 6 kids looks like... I forgot to take a picture of the amount of garbage that we through out, but suffice it to say that my family alone is the reason our landfills are disappearing at an alarming rate!

My dear friend MJ was witness to the probably 15 bags that existed outside of the trash can which probably held 10 of its own. She'll vouch for me. She's a great friend... she didn't turn me into CPS! She even helped fold the laundry and then took us to lunch. Thanks, MJ!! I love you!

Enjoy the pictures of my home... I must be out of my mind!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy 1st Day of Christmas!



Today is the first day of Christmas! Don't put away the decorations just yet. Enjoy them a bit longer, say until Epiphany??

Advent is now gone and the preparation that we have all just come through now ends with great celebration. For 12 days we should be enjoying the season of Christmas! Sing those carols, give gifts, send cards, whatever makes you happy. Christmas is not over, despite what the "real" world tells us... it is just beginning

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas to All


I am off the blog for the next few days. I plan to enjoy the holiday with my wonderful family focusing my attention and time towards them.

Have a safe and beautiful Christmas, and may God bless you many times over in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I survived one, five more to go!


Well, I can't believe it, but I have survived the raising of one child. My sweet Alicia turns 18 today. I realize that I will always be her mom, and that I will never truly let go of the "raising" of her, but officially, legally, my role as her guardian ceases today. Is this a relief or a time of great sadness? For me, it is both.

I will never forget holding her the moment that she was born. Still purple, screaming, and drawing in her first few breaths of life. It was a cold, snowy, Hartford CT. morning. It had been a long hard labor, and I was exhausted. Mom was there waiting to see me. She was worrying about her "baby". I suppose one day, I'll do the same for Alicia.

I recall holding this precious bundle sent from Heaven above on my chest. She was swaddled ever so tightly and as she breathed in, so did I. We were in synch. It was probably the last time, (LOL) but nevertheless, we were.

These eighteen years have flown by. Some moments seemed as though they would never end, but all in all, as the saying goes, I don't know where the time has gone. I pray for her well being each and every day. I pray that she learns from each experience that she encounters. I pray I don't meddle too much or back away too far. It is such a fine balance, an art really, this parenting an adult child thing. I really don't like it much yet. I imagine it will get easier with time.

I remember thinking about becoming a parent one day. How I would teach the child many things about the world. How I would love her/him. How I would raise them to be a great and wonderful addition to society. But a funny thing happened along the way. Becoming a parent caused me to change the most. I had never considered how the core of my existence would change. I knew things would be different. No more late nights out with friends. Changing our daily routines to accomodate for naps, illnesses, school schedules, work schedules, etc. But again, I never realized how I would change.

Almost everything I thought I knew, I found out, I didn't. God is funny that way. He must look down on us, especially me, and chuckle to Himself. "Karen, when are you going to get it?? You are NOT in control!! LOL" Well, Lord, I think I am beginning to understand that now.

I believe that God has sent these 6 beautiful children to me with a purpose. These wonderful creatures have been hand selected by Him with my sanctification in mind. Each child has caused me to look deep into myself and has challenged my very being. I have become stronger, more faith-filled, and more committed to preserving LIFE as a result of raising God's gifts to me. Thank you Lord for all that you have presented me with. I take the responsibility of raising these precious souls very seriously and pray that I can return them to You as beautiful gifts for Heaven.

To Alicia, Happy Birthday, Honey. You are my world. You are the one who made me a mom. You are the reason I continue to have faith. You will set the world on fire one day and I will be so proud. I AM so proud. I Love You!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Back to homeschooling?


Baby is 8 weeks old today. We have had every intention of getting back into to "groove" of schooling, but babies tend to create different plans for you... aren't they wonderful??

Brendan is a great baby. He is happiest when someone is holding him, and honestly, we are all happiest when we are holding him. So, not much official schooling is getting done. And that is ok.

We are in a preparation phase around the house. We are preparing for Christmas. I love the season of Advent. Almost as much as I love Lent. The time for reflection and preparation of our hearts and minds to receive Christ is a wonderful opportunity to deepen our relationship with Him as well as with the others we share our lives with.

The season goes by so quickly. I never seem to be able to get all that I want to done, especially in my prayer life. Somedays the only prayer I get out is, "God help me..." Amazingly, He does.

So I must stop and ask myself from time to time, what exactly my goals are for the children as we travel the road of homeschooling together. Of course, I want them to become well-educated, well-socialized, and upstanding citizens of our society. But more importantly, I hope and pray that my husband and I will be instill in them a deep sense of faith that helps to guide them toward good decisions throughout their entire lives.

I asked my middle two children yesterday if they understood why we attend Mass? They must have thought me crazy! Of course, mother, we go to Mass because we are supposed to and it would be a sin not to! I applauded their answers and then said, "but do you really understand why God calls us to worship Him?" Their reply was precious. They both talked about how important it is to attend Mass so that they can receive God's grace through Holy Communion. The younger of the two has not made her first Holy Communion yet, but she still understands the importance of this act in our lives.

I asked if they thought they would continue to go to Mass when they were older and not under mom and dad's rules. They both said that they would. And I pray that they do. I wish I had. I wish my eldest would.

Back to my goals for my children... Heaven. Attain Heaven. I pray we will all arrive there together someday.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A look at the hotel






Well, I didn't get a chance to get the outside of the hotel, but here are a few of the inside...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Did I mention...?

That our "hotel" is under renovation? Yep, that's right. Our floor looks like a run down roach motel! The room isn't bad, but the hallways getting to it are nasty! The carpets in the hall are moldy, coming up, wrinkled... just generally yucky. The mold in the hotel is pretty bad. My head is killing me because I am allergic to it all.

There is an area on the front of the hotel that looks like its been blown up. Maybe something out of Bagdad? I'll try to get a picture tomorrow. I know no one will believe me unless I can show them the pictures.

We're off to see if we can find our way to the Riverwalk. Our hotel is supposed to be on it, but turns out, it's not... What a surprise!

We made it!

Here we are in the lovely town of San Antonio. We arrived around midnight and checked in to our room.

We thought we were getting a queen size bed, wanted a king, but hey, we'll take what we can get...

The oh so cheerful front desk clerk hands us the key to our room which has two double beds... EXCUSE ME??? Did I mention that this was our first get away in FIVE years?????

About 1 am, we try to turn the tv on, but to no avail. We get static with no volume contol and it is stuck on LOUD!

About 1:20, maintenance shows up to tell us after fiddling with the tv that it is broken... uuummmmm ok.... glad we have the expert opinion on that one!

Lights out. In seperate beds. If this wasn't my life... I'd be laughing hysterically!

Baby and I slept great. Heck, we had tons of room in our own bed! I am sure Mark slept well too!

I plan to head to the Missions today and check them out while he is in his conference. It's a bit overcast today, but all in all, looks pleasant. Maybe by the time we get back, our tv will be working!

PS I say most of this tongue in cheek. I am elated to be away for a bit, just to have some time to relax...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Off for the weekend, I think

My wonderful husband and I haven't been away in well over 5 years together. You might ask why, until you meet my 5th child, Joe-fish. Then you'd understand...

This little guy is all personality mixed in with a healthy dose of "creative explorative" qualities as well as some health issues that make me a bit protective of him... need I say more? Ok, you twisted my arm.

Before his 1st birthday:

Our wonderful pediatrician discovered a hole in his heart which was miraculously healed. A miracle it was indeed! Thank you Rosa Mystica!

He then developed a seizure disorder which it appears he may have finally outgrown.

By his second birthday he had the experience of TWO ambulance rides! The first was for his first seizure, the second was for the 2nd and 3rd degree burns he received on his chest when he reached up and pulled down a cup of hot tea onto himself. After driving him to the ER on my own, the doctors decided he needed to go by ambulance to Texas Children's Hospital for a possible round of plastic surgery for the extensive burns he received on his chest. Again, another miracle. When the doctors removed his bandages the next morning, his burns were merely 1st and 2nd degree. Everyone was shocked. We again were shown the power of prayer and Our Lady's special blessing on this child. His new skin grew in quickly and for the longest time, it looked as though he had an angel on his chest.

This is the year he ate glass as well... don't ask... he was fine.

He gets into anything and everything. If you say no, it's an automatic yes in his mind. If you say he's too little, he'll prove you wrong.

Don't misunderstand me here, he is the sweetest little guy you'll ever meet. He's very smart, very caring, and very loving. But he is opinionated, strong-willed, and goal directed!

Back to my weekend away. Mark and I have been battling sickness all week ourselves. He a cold, mastitis for me. As if that does not bring enough joy to our world, we wake this morning to our sweet little fish man having a 101 degree fever... UUUGGGHHH.... This is one of those, "I'm gonna ask God about this someday" moments.

So the whole day I try to discern whether or not I should go. Mark has to go, he is attending a professional conference. Fees are paid and will not be refunded. My dilema is whether or not I should stay home and take care of him, which really just entails dolling out fever reducing medication every 4 hours and wiping his nose from time to time along with cuddling up with him when he looks so pitiful. Or should I take the chance that his uncle can handle the task, take the baby, and hit the road?

By 5 pm, we decide that Fish is ok enough for me to go... Now the real challenge... telling a woman that she has to pack for the weekend away not just for herself, but for a 6 week old baby in a record 45 mins!! An impossible task you might say, but I did it!

Pray for us to make it to SA without forgetting something very important... like the Baby!

I'll check in later!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thank you, McDonalds!

Just have to say thank you to the great folks at McDonalds! They have changed the way they fry their fries and they are totally disgusting! Why do I thank them? Because I can't inhale my weekly dose of fries anymore. I have to pass them up! I never went there for the burgers, the breakfasts make me sick, but those wonderful fries... almost heaven.

My thighs thank you, Ronald...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving!






So the Turducken was a hit. Very tasty and I think it will be a new tradition around here. My turkey was enjoyed as well, but it was nice to try something new! Of course we over indulged on the many side dishes and desserts that were laid upon the buffet table, but isn't that what this day is meant for?

Besides, I won't be heavily training again until January. I am hoping I'll be up to it by then. Matthew wants to train with me so that we can Run through the Woods next year together.

My body seems like it is ready for training now, but timing is terrible. With the holidays and trying to finish up school for this year, I'll be happy to work on my walking trying to get my heart back in shape. I don't know what it's response will be after the trouble I had while I was pregnant.

Back to Thanksgiving. It was a great day. A bit emotional when I thought about Mom not being with us this year. In fact I broke down while saying our traditional grace. I think I saw a few tears in a few other eyes around the table as well. I felt her with me today, but I really would have loved it if she could have been here eating Turducken with us.

I am thankful for my family. Every single one of them. For my extended family and my wonderful friends. God has blessed me so very much. I should never have a complaint, yet I always manage to muster one up.

I look forward to this season of Advent. A time of preparation. A time of reflection. A time of reconcilliation. I pray that I can truly prepare myself in body, mind and spirit for the season of Christmas. I pray that peace will reign in the hearts and souls of those I love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005



A few pictures from the wonderful day. He still smells of the chrism, even after his bath. I hope to get a few more shots up soon.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Baptism Day!






Today is the day my son will be perfect! Not that he wasn't already, but truly, in God's eyes, he will be absolutely perfect. I long for the scent of the chrism on his sweet little head. It is such a holy smell. Similar to the incense that one would smell during Mass. It drives home the fact that Christ is truly present along with the Holy Spirit.

We will be taking lots of pictures today, so I will post them as soon as I can. For now, you can enjoy some of the bathing beauty pictures!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Something to ponder

I received this article today. It is well worth the read. I will comment later. Terri's Grave

Friday, November 18, 2005

what's for dinner?

We are planning our annual Thanksgiving day dinner around here and we have a new item on the menu.

Turducken. Have you heard of it?? Do you want to???

Apparently, it is a chicken stuffed into a duck which is then in turn stuffed into a turkey! Sounds interesting, eh? I'll post my review after we eat it next week.

I just want to know who thinks this stuff up?? I mean someone had to be really, really bored to have an idea to stuff three birds together, cook it and eat it and now sell it!!

If you are interested in checking this out, or if you think I am making this up, check out this site on Turducken

Did I mention that this originated in Louisiana??

Thursday, November 17, 2005

me and the boys

Hospitals


Ok, pet peeve. I despise the medical BILLING industry. I have worked in the field myself for 15 years, but I can not stand the way these places do business!

My son is one month today. Guess what I get a bill for? His hospital stay. The hospital is billing me for 682.67 for his room and board. This would be fine with me, except the insurance doesn't pay for the infant's stay as it is included in the mother's charges. Oh, and did I mention that the hospital doesn't even provide a nursery for the baby? That's right! The baby rooms with the mom! So, what exactly am I supposed to be paying for? The breast milk that I feed my child from my breast? The space that he took while sleeping next to me in my twin size plastic bed? Maybe there is a fee for the air which he breathed in while in the hospital??

Another example of stupidity. Another few hours on the phone with various people who can't help me and don't care...

I swear... If I ran the world.... LOL

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Back to Reality



Well, the time has come to get crackalackin'!! Baby B is 4 weeks old tomorrow, so I need to get the other children back to their full schedule of school work. They have actually become quite bored with things around here, so I think that they will embrace the change of pace.

I have changed a few things on their schedules, nothing major, but more of a shift in focus. Back to the Shakespeare, writing, and read alouds, as well as our faith formation. I seemed to have let the boring "table work" invade the house. I miss cuddling up with the kids and reading to them. Hopefully Baby B and J will cooperate enough to let me get some reading in.

I have had some time to organize a few things around the house. It seems I am always trying to organize something... I guess that is the control freak side of me. Hopefully the cabinets and binders will stay somewhat organzied for a little while.

The kids always LOVE me when I revamp the chore chart... LOL!!! But I've done that too. I decided to make a "chore wheel." Now they can alternate chores once a week. We'll see how that works. I have added the aspect of Room Patrol to the chore wheel. For instance, whomever is in charge of emptying the dishwasher is also in charge of doing the room patrol for the kitchen. They need to make sure the surfaces are all clean, the floor is swept, and the garbage in emptied, BEFORE they have their free time in the afternoon. We'll see how this goes...

Now if we could just get the weather to feel more fall like. Thanksgiving is next week and I just can't get into the cranberry, pumpkin pie making mood when it is over 85 degrees!!!

Baby B is going to be baptized next weekend. I need to spend some time this week preparing certain items. It looks like we'll have about 80 people showing up for this "little" get together!

Thankfully, my wonderful extended family is helping out with food! I love those guys!!


J drew a picture of the Alchemist from "Leggo my Ego" (the Veggie Tales Larry Boy cartoon). I thought he did a great job!!

The other picture is of Baby B's feet. They are so precious.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A few new pictures






It seems that the days are just flying past me now. We waited so long for precious little man to arrive, and now, as much as I want to stop time and enjoy him just as he is for a very, very long time, the clock seems to be on overdrive! He is already 3 weeks old.

He gained a pound his first two weeks, and according to my scale at home, he has gained another 1.5 to 2 lbs. this week! He is quickly growing out of his newborn diapers and layette. NO FAIR! I want him to stay so little for much longer. Of course, 9 lbs of baby is not little to start with!

The kids are so great with him. Each has their own job. B helps with diapers and walking him around, M likes to put him to sleep, E helps with the baths and dressing, and J is the diaper fetching boy! His job is to bring the diaper basket to me when we change baby. He loves his job and will have an outright fit if someone else tries to do the job for him.

All of the above is an excellent exercise for me. Letting go of the "Contol" that I so desperately want to hang onto. I have to make myself relinquish control to the kids so that they can bond with him to. Poor DH, I don't give him enough time with the baby either. Of course, I'd love all that extra help on the 2 am- 4 am shift! Where are they then??? Oh well, I must admit, having the dark, quiet, still house all to ourselves is pretty neat. We just admire one another and fall deeper in love...

Battling the blues has been my biggest challenge the last week or so. I've never really experienced this before. I feel like I am coming out of the funk a bit today and yesterday, but I am still not back to my usual self.

I am coming to realize a few things about myself that I suppose I knew before, but finally recognize that I need to either change or accept, whichever is applicable. I am a control freak. I said it. I hate it. But it is true. Knowing this, I have to make a decision sometimes hourly to allow others to do things THEIR way sometimes. Boy, that is an eye opener for me.

Next, I am very, very, very hard on myself. In turn, this is how I judge others. I expect that I should live up to a certain standard, and I hold the bar just as high for my family members. Totally unfair, but true. I know that there must be a positive aspect to this trait, and I am determined to find it! But in the meantime, I do need to assimilate a more gentle list of expectations on myself and those closest to me.

Now, has anyone seen that ridiculous infomercial that comes on late at night regarding "elmination habits"? Don't even get me started....

Thursday, November 03, 2005

All Hallow's Eve







Here are a few snapshots from Halloween. We dodged the terrible rain storm and got in an hour of Trick or Treating. Just enough to guarantee we rot our teeth out of our head!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fall has arrived!





Today is a most perfect example of why we live here in Texas! What a glorious autumn day. Perfect temps with a light breeze and sunny.

We headed to our local park for a bit of the fall festival. The kids really loved it! It brings back so many sweet memories of when the older two were of the age to enjoy these things, of course I had time to sew beautiful costumes back then. I hope to do that again someday. Perhaps for my grandchildren???

Here are a couple of shots of the day.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Baby B is Here!


Oct 17 our littlest troop member entered the world. At 10:43 am, we welcomed 9 lb 21.25" Brendan into the family!

He is gorgeous, as you can see. I will try to post some more soon, but right now, just wanting to get this up and running.

K

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Long Overdue

Mom has left this world to go on to bigger and better things. Knowing that she has been totally healed and is no longer suffering makes things easier, but there is still a pain that can not be described in words. It is an aching of sorts. Sneaks up on me at the strangest times. Like walking through the grocery store and walking by a display of her favorite type of chewing gum. How I wish I could buy the whole display and drop it off to her. Or seeing her favorite author publish a new book, and she isn't here to read it. Should I read it for her? Should I be angry at the author for being so insensitive to my pain??

Mom spent the last few days of her life in hospice care at the hospital. She was removed from all medications except those that would make her comfortable. Her bruising (caused by the blood thinners) had all disappeared by the time she passed. She hadn't looked more beautiful than the night before she died.

She started to have extreme difficulty breathing on Weds night, but they were able to get it under control and make her comfortable. In her sense of humor, (she could see the panic in my eyes, I'm sure) she said, "I just want you to relax so you don't lose that baby". I assured her that I was much to sick to be in jeapordy of losing this baby.
On Thursday, I tried to call her hospital room several times, but she would not answer. Finally I called the nurse's station and they told me that she was having great difficult breathing. I asked if I should come and be with her and they said that they felt she might become more anxious, so they would call me if they thought I should be there.
Shortly after that, the call came that I should get there asap. They were moving her to ICU.
By the time I got to ICU, my brother was also there, we went to the waiting room and waited. They finally came in to tell us we could come back for a few minutes. Honestly it was a terrible scene. The nurse was poking her and prodding her trying to get blood for testing. She was not having much luck, and we requested that she stop. We knew that we were at the end and we would be calling hospice in the morning. She would not stop. Finally another nurse told her to stop. Thank you.

We spent a few minutes with mom. She was resting comfortably, but not able to really speak with us. We told her we loved her and that we would be back in the morning.

The next day, Good Friday, we called hospice in and they took over her care wonderfully. She was seen by a priest for her last sacraments which was a beautiful site to be witness to, especially considering the day that is was.

She was then moved to a very nice, large room. It was peaceful and quiet. Nursing staff involvement was kept to a minimum. She was not able to speak, save for a few very labored words. She was not able to eat.

The next day, I brought my two youngest children in. I went into the room first to assess the situation. When I walked in, Mom was sitting up in bed looking around. She didn't speak, but when the kids walked in, she smiled and gave them each a big hug and kiss. She was so happy! Then she laid back down and did not move much after that. I had brought a Wendy's Frosty along for the ride, since that seemed to be the only thing that settled my pregnant tummy. I thought she might like a bit of it. SHE DID!! I spoon fed her a few tastes. She licked her lips and waited for more. I could tell she knew what it was and she loved having it. It had been on her forbidden list of foods for some time.

We visited that day for some time and then again on Sunday. Easter Sunday. I stood by as the nurses bathed her and saw her body free of bruising. She looked so pretty. So comfortable. So peaceful.

I told my husband that I felt I should stay the night. He offered to stay, but I said no. We should both go home. I gave her a kiss, told her I loved her and left for the night. I promised I'd be back in the morning.

I checked with the nurses before I left for the night to make sure that they would call me if anything changed. They promised, as they did every time I asked, that they would. I had given each nurse I had met my numbers, but this night I did not. I was sure that after two weeks of doing this, they certainly had the numbers in the right place.

At 5:45 Monday morning, I received a call from the night time hospice nurse who informed me that my mom had died around an hour before. I was devasted. How come no one called? They told me they would call! The nurse told me that the hospital did not have my phone numbers. I can't explain that. Only that it must have been in God's Plan to not have me there. I wonder often if she woke up and wondered where I was. I wonder if she was feeling alone, scared, or abandoned. I have to tell myself that she was resting comfortably, just as I left her. I have to believe that when Christ came to get her, she was so happy to go, that she never looked to see if I was around. I have to believe that as she sits in Heaven with Our Lord, she looks upon me now telling me that she is proud of me and wants the best for me. But I still wonder... did I do everything I should have? Did I make the right choices? Did I follow her wishes? I suppose I'll always wonder.

I miss her everyday. I miss her calls. I miss her smell. I miss her laugh. I miss her spunk. She was so strong. The strongest person I know. She fought and fought, and fought to stay here. We had time that we never would have had unless she did fight.

I thank God for the doctors that she had who believed in her will to live as long as she could. I am thankful to the hospice staff and pallative care nurses at St. Luke's who helped mom and I to see where we were in our journey and what our roles should be.

I thank God for each friend and family member who has been there for us. For every single prayer and thought that was offered on our behalf. And for the support of my children and husband who allowed me to be with my mother through the most difficult time of her life.

Hold each one you love as tightly as you can. For today is all we have, yesterday is a memory and tomorrow may never come.

K

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A bit overdue!

So much pressure to post now that I have an official blog. Kind of like my journals. One day, once I'm gone, someone will find my journals and think that something must be missing because of the huge gaps in entries. Alas, I just lose track of time and don't get to write or now, post.

Things with mom have been so busy. She needs much more help than before, and I am burning out quick. I am trying so hard to carry out what God has called me to, and I can do the physical work, but it's the inside stuff that really goes bad. All of the anger, resentment, hurtful thoughts I experience when I am trying to help her. I suppose as my dear friend Cindy has said to me before, it is much easier to care for a stranger than for your own family. I think that goes double when it's your mom. Don't get me wrong, I love her. I love her more than I could ever say, but I am so sensitive to every little criticism she gives me. If this was a patient of mine, it would be laughable, but it's my mom and I stew about it. I try so hard each day to not let it get to me. I am asking St. Jude for peace each night, and it is getting better, but I want to be better than better. I want to be the example that Christ calls us to be even in the face of unpleasantness.

The other issue is how torn I feel as a mother myself. I am caught between trying to take care of mine and being one to my own. I have to leave them for hours at a time some days and it just isn't right. My first priority is to my children. I know this. But when I look at the fact that mom can't cook for herself, do her laundry, walk her dog, clean her house, even get in the shower sometimes without the possibilty of falling and injuring herself (which she has done several times already) how can I make than a 2nd priority. Everyone tells me that my kids will understand. That this won't be forever. I know that. But it has been steady for the last 4 years. And then those thoughts that really make someone feel wonderful..."when she isn't here anymore... I'll be able to do more with the kids"... hmmmm, somehow that isn't very consoling.

I am so grateful to have had each day with my mom. We have mended many facets of our relationship. Each day I have now is truly a miracle as there is no explanation as to why she is still here. Other than a Divine one.

Her faith has grown and continues to grow. Mine has as well. He continues to sanctify me through all of this. That sanctification is most often not very comfortable, but worth the pain.

E turned 7 today. She is so bright and beautiful. Can I keep her just as she is forever...???

Wishing you each a blessed Lenten season.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

What to do

So what does one do when they receive information regarding their loved one that the end is nearer than expected. How would you spend those last precious moments with them? Would you forget the laundry and the housework? Would you not feel guilty about leaving your other loved ones in the background again? Would you talk about it openly with the one who is dying?

I thank God for the blessings of the time we have had. I thank God for the opportunity to develop a relationship that I never thought I would have with her. But I find myself selfishly wanting more. I want to take her to San Antonio. I want take her shopping. I want to cook a meal with her and stay up to late eating things that are bad for us. But those things are not to be. His will runs much deeper than mine. And His is perfect.

I pray for the strength to walk this final journey with grace and compassion. Please pray for me as well.
K

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

What to say

Now that I know I have this blog, I feel a sense of "obligation" of sorts to come up with something witty and interesting to say from time to time. That might prove to be a challenge most days, but I'll give it a shot!

My heart breaks each time I see the total devastation that has wreaked havoc on South Asia and East Africa. It seems so overwhelming to even comprehend the losses that these people are suffering. It is an opportunity for us as a people of God to reach out to them as much as we can. Money, time, items, and prayer. Lots of prayer. These folks are facing a very long and hard road to recovery.

Now onto California. No where near as large a tragedy, yet, but still people are suffering great loss and hardship. My prayers are with them as well.

"Life with Me is not freedom from difficulties, but peace in difficulties. (God Calling, AJ Russell, Jan 8th)

Take some quiet time today to thank God for all of your blessings and your trials. He is making us more holy so that we can come to live with Him when our time comes.

K

Friday, January 07, 2005

Excercise, the necessary evil!

Well, I've been good this week at getting up and getting out the door to ride that darn bike. I was not very consistent for the past couple of months, so it feels good to actually get back to business.
Obviously, I am not a morning person, so waking up at 4:30 or 5:00 am is not in my blood. In fact, I downright despise it. At least for the ten minutes after I exit those warm bedcovers. But once I'm dressed and resolved to go, I must admit, I love that time of day! It is dark and quiet, something I don't get much of around here. The one problem I am encountering when I try to sneak out the door it my sweet dog Hannah! She starts crying from the minute I descend the stairs until I leave the house. She thinks that this time should be her walking time! She gets very excited and starts crying and howling and refuses to understand that this is MY time. Once I am out the door, it is back to the dark and quiet and this morning, COLD! I drive to the Y with no music, no talking, no screaming kids, etc... Once I get to the Y, everyone there is in the same mindset. No talking, just working out. You might get the occasional nod from a familiar face, but there is not much speaking going on. Probably an unwritten rule that is in effect. I really enjoy the solitude, which I never would have believed as I seem to thrive on the great social experience!
Upon returning home, I relish a few quite moments to reflect on a spiritual reading, pray, drink my decaf (gotta love that cinnamon/vanilla coffemate cream!) and just listen to the quiet. This morning I actually went back to bed after awhile since the kids were still snoozing. It felt so good to snuggle back into those covers.
Soon enough my reality awakes ready for some breakfast and his Thomas the Tank DVD.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

About Me

Ok, so a bit about me. I am a mom to 5 precious blessings, though this morning I was ready to be minus a few after I found purple crayon drawings on my built in cabinets...
I homeschool the kids, with the exception of my oldest who attends a small private "extension school." (basically I pay money for someone to hand her work that she does at home...)
My mom is pretty ill. She is in the hospital right now in fact. She has CHF and COPD. It is really something to watch someone suffer from COPD. If you are a smoker, PLEASE STOP! This is a totally preventable condition, but once the damage is done, there is no reversing it.
So I help take care of her, the kids, the dogs. The kids also participate in Tae Kwon Do. I help with the front desk there a few times per week.
I love my faith. I am a Catholic who doesn't know very much, but loves the Church. I love learning about the history of the Church, the Saints, and how it has impacted our world. I try each day to grow a little bit in my relationship with Him. Not always successful, but always trying!
I also love history. Anything about history. I am fascinated by it all. One day I hope to be able to spend a good amount of time to explore it all.

I stay pretty busy with all of the above. I try to find little avenues to express myself so this blog might be the perfect venue. If you're reading along with me, you'll eventually get the "Cirque de moi" point. Suffice it to say, some days I hear circus themes playing in my mind as the kids are fighting, the phone is ringing, there's someone at the door, and I'm 10 minutes late for a doctor's appointment...

Stay tuned if you dare!
K

Finally figured out how to make a blog

Now I just have to think of something to say! Thanks Mira for the inspiration! Or should I thank your friend, Wendy??!!