Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ahhhh, balance

What is that exactly? It seems as though I struggle with this thing called balance more and more every year. And just when I seem to get a handle on it, I lose it all, and lose my mind in the process.

Here's what is on the plate right now...
1. Homeschooling
2. Mothering
3. Running a household
4. Starting a business
5. Involved in extracurricular activities
6. Family time
7. Trying to be a wife
8. Trying to maintain friendships
9. Trying to maintain relationships with godchildren, nieces, and nephews
10. Trying to maintain a relationship with God.
11. Exercising for health.

Obviously these are not in any particular order because to do so would be silly. Each day the priority of these items changes. In fact, that can change from moment to moment.

I am feeling as though I am doing many things, and none of them very well. I love every aspect of my life, and I want to embrace them all, but I tell you, it is this balance thing. It just doesn't come very easily. And I know that without the support of my husband, my children, and my extended friends and family, I could do none of these things. I especially remember that without God I could never manage anything. But right now, I feel like I am letting lots of people down, not intentionally, but nevertheless, I am.

The kids need me more for school time. They need mom to read aloud to them. To have fun with them. To relax with them.

My husband needs a wife that can make time for him. Not a wife who always has something else she must get done.

My extended friends and family need to know that I am there for them when they need me to be. Not like they are interrupting me.

And God knows how much I need to make time for Him. And it's not because HE needs that...

I understand that this is a period of transition for us, me and my family. I don't like these times. I like the simple life. But I live as though I don't. I wish I had the talent to balance all of these things gracefully, but I don't. So I will offer up my efforts and ask God to bless them, to hold everyone I love close to Him and to teach me what is important in everything I do.

Balance...it will come someday.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Colorado

We are here in Colorado Springs for some more training for the business, and while Mark is training today, I took Boo and went to see a long-time friend and her beautiful family. After that, Boo and I went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It was breathtaking! The views were spectacular and the lay out of the zoo was incredible. You do not feel like you are in a zoo at all, until you get the the Primate exhibits and smell the "monkey house" smell (yuck!). The zoo is built on the Mountain and I believe it is the only zoo in the country if not the world that is like this.

We saw giraffes, (check out the giraffe cams) elephants, meerkats, bears, peacocks, mountain lions and more. I was amazed that these creatures, especially the ones native to Africa, were out in the snow and fairly chilly (40's) temps.

Tomorrow is my day for training and then Sunday we hope to return to the Garden of the Gods (incredible) and try for Pike's Peak. I can see Pike's Peak when I look out of my hotel window.

The hotel is great. It was last time I was here in October. Great people, full-cook to order breakfast included with your nightly rate, great food, and clean rooms. Best of all... NO MOLD! Refer to my earlier posts about our last get away if you are interested. Here is a post that shows the mold.

I really love it here. And my breathing seems to be much better, however it could be the medication helping as well. I don't think I am really ready to go for a run just yet, but I am dying to!

Enjoy the pictures below. I'll post more as soon as I can!

The view just outside our window (Pike's Peak)




A small glimpse of the view the giraffes have, and yes, that is snow...


This one was licking the snow. I found this very cool, literally! I think it was 37 degrees today. How do these creatures survive in this cold. I mean, they are from Africa aren't they? Last I checked, snow was only in the movies there...

"MOM...He's eating a huge snow cone!





This guy was happy to pose for me!



Hello Mr. Speckled Bear!




The view looking up from about midpoint at the zoo




The view in the same spot, looking out over Colorado Springs

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Our Shine Blog


Some of you might be familiar with our family's SHINE trips. Mickey Miss has created a place for our family photos. Check out this blog to see many of the pictures that we have taken.
SHINE The Memories

Illness has its benefits

As much of a wimp as I am, and as bad as I have been feeling, this past week has provided us the opportunity to delve into some new crafts that we have been trying to learn. Knitting and Crocheting. I have learned many times and forgotten just as many. I was smarter this time and purchased two DVDs. Knitting and Crocheting!

We are all working on different small projects right now and I hope to post a few pictures soon. It is quite relaxing and the projects move quickly, which is great for an impatient person like me.

Joefishims

I was just thinking that Fish hadn't given my any wonderful quotes lately and I was sad that perhaps at 5 he might be growning out of them.

Then he surprised me today after lunch...

Fish: I know why God made me (says Fish with a face covered in salad dressing)

Me: Really? Why?

Fish: So I could eat salad!

Oh, Fish, yes He did. That and so much more!

When Mommy and Daddy are sick...


who takes care of us? Thankfully our wonderful family is stepping in and taking them to Mass today and will feed them dinner tonight.

Mark and I have to get better... we fly to Colorado on Weds for Mark's PACE training. I am hoping that we make a major turn-around in the next two days.

At least the kids and dogs are able to enjoy the sunshine!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Run for cover!


There's ice in HOUSTON!! Oh, wait, it's melted. We can settled down again. Rats. I love snow days. I miss snow days. We don't get many of them here though. In fact the last one was in 1997. I suppose we were overdue for one.

I find it somewhat funny that everything gets cancelled around here for a bit of the slick stuff. I do understand why though. All of us northeners who think we still know how to drive in the wintery weather, well, we have forgotten. And the local news makes sure we know that! They have been reporting on how to apply your brakes should you run into some ice.

Granted, there may be a few folks from here that are originally from here, but an overwhelming majority of folks I know have moved here from somewhere else. Most often a place that gets snow and ice.

I have learned to stay off the roads when the weather gets bad here. I don't really need to get anywhere THAT bad. Except for the doctor this week. Four down, one to go...

A comparison story for me regarding this wintery weather... In October, I went to Colorado for a few days of training. The night we arrived it began to snow. It was beautiful. It was 9 inches of snow! Now that is some weather to be concerned about. We were sure that our training would be cancelled. And admittedly, the town did close down for the day, but our training was still on. The hotel owner drove us himself in his Cadillac, not the SUV type, to the location we needed to get to. It was incredible. It was fun! It was a true snow day!

Perhaps I'll get lucky again next week when we head to Colorado again. I might get to see actual snow again and this time, I'll take pictures!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Flu has made a stop here

If you are within visiting range, you might want to think twice about dropping in. Some of the kids have the flu. DH and I as well as Foo had the flu shot, so I am praying we are safe from infection.

Stay warm... it's chilly out there tonight!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back to Life

Christmas season has come and gone and we at the F-Troop University are back to the business of learning! Of course, everyday is a learning day around here, but the "official" learning calendar has begun once again and we are doing much better than I expected we would.

At the same time that I am juggling the homeschooling, the baby, the very active, creative, attention-demanding, er, I mean seeking, 5 year old, as well as keep up with washing the clothes, making meals, answering the phone, and the list could go on forever, I am also fitting in three students at The Woodlands Learning Center. It is definately a fine art to be developed, and without my dh helping me every step of the way, I doubt any of this could be achieved. He is awesome!

The kids are doing so much to help as well. And they are not complaining. They are rising to the occasion and keeping up with their chores around the house as well as their school work.

My students are great! They are all such hard workers and it is such a joy to work with each one of them. I know that they will benefit so much from their hard work.

I have my moments where I feel as though I won't be able to do it all. I like to be able to do my very best in each thing I take on. I am not satisfied with "doing the best I can." I want to be the best! Not for the sake of vanity or pride, but for the sake of the family, the students. They deserve it.

I keep asking God to bless each moment of the day, especially when I feel overwhelmed and am unsure as to my next move. I ask for His hand in all of it. Making sure that all credit for anything good is given to Him, because He is the reason that anything is good.

School work is going well. I started reading Danny Meadow Mouse to Fish today. I was patient with him as he wriggled and waggled all through the reading. And then I was shocked! I asked him to tell me the story in his own words. I did not expect much of a narration first, because of his age, second, because I doubted he paid much attention at all. I mean all that fidgeting around, how could he have?!?!? Well, blow me down, that boy gave me the dandiest of narrations a five year old could ever give. He knew that Danny was anxious because his tail was short. He knew that Danny was curious as to why his cousin, Whitefoot who lived in the Green Forest, had a long tail. And he knew that White Tail the hawk almost cured Danny of his anxiety by eating him! Was this little Fish's mama proud? You Bet! And I learned a bit more about his learning style to boot! (see, I told you we are ALL always learning around here!)

I pray that things keep moving along as wonderfully as they have been. I pray that I can keep the focus on what is truly important in our home.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Mom! Stop this crazy thing!!



Boo was enjoying one of his favorite toys which blows air straight up. He loves sticking his face in it for a good laugh!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Please Pray



Please keep Bean in your prayers this weekend. She is on her confirmation retreat this weekend. I am praying that even though she is already quite devoted to Our Lord that she feel His presence and hear His call to whatever it is that He has created her for.

Also pray for the 200 other teens that will be making their retreat this weekend as well. I know some are going because they "must" in order to be confirmed. May the Holy Spirit touch them in a very special way.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Resolutions

I've decided on a few resolutions for 2007. Simple yet for me, necessary. I always overthink/overplan things.

1. Refer to my running blog for my fitness goals

2. Finally learn how to knit and crochet because the kids really want to learn! I ordered the DVDs!!

3. Get our debt PAID OFF!!

4. Pray a decade a day. I am amazed at how I can't seem to accomplish this task.

5. Keep the family-centered atmosphere around here in spite of starting the
business.

It's still Christmas!



Happy New Year to all! It's hard to believe that we are already into 2007. I just got used to writing 2006 on my checks...

I am amazed at how quickly Christmas is tossed aside once the 25th arrives. Walking through Wally World tonight, Bean remarked at all of the Valentines Candy and presents that were glaring us in the face. Candy? I can't even think of eating any right now! Valentine candy? Be serious. Let's get through the Twelve days of Christmas first!

We are the weird ones on the street. Well, actually, I'm impressed this year. There are four of us that still have their lights on. As I took a walk around the neighborhood yesterday with Boo, I saw many trees kicked to the curb. It makes me so sad. Christmas isn't a day. It is a season. God gives us these seasons for good reason. He wants us to slow down long enough to enjoy His goodness.

I know the last two weeks before Christmas are usually so crazy around here, that once Christmas Eve arrives, I love to sit back and enjoy the moments that unfold.

Christmas Eve we attend Mass and then return to Mickey Miss's home to feast on TONS of great food, share in the love and laughter that are exemplified on this glorious night, and exchange gifts. First, however, we stop for a moment to wish Mickey Miss the happiest of birthdays. She has the good fortune of being born on Christmas Eve. Can you imagine anything more wonderful than that?

I am sure as a child, it wasn't always much fun. How many children can come to a birthday on Christmas Eve? With all the scurring around to buy Christmas gifts, birthday gifts are far from the mind. My eldest daughter's birthday is on the 20th and I've seen from her perspective how hard it is to have a "normal" birthday.

But I also know that Mickey Miss would not have it any other way now. The whole world is decorated and waiting for the arrival of Our Savior. What better time to have a party?!

So in our humble attempts to show her how very much we love and adore her, we take a whole 15 minutes out of the well-planned schedule to wish her a wonderful birthday!

On Christmas Day, our home is open to anyone who would like to stop in. Bring leftovers, because we don't cook. In fact, you may even find us hanging out in our jammies all day long. It's the one time of the year that we do so. The kids think its heavenly. We make them eat breakfast and then they are on their own for the rest of the day. If they want to eat junk all day, go for it. Usually, they make pretty good choices, it's us adults who end up regretting our decisions.

Sometime after dark, we whip out the mah jong sets and get busy! This year we were up until after 1:00 am playing! Tons of fun, tons of laughter, tons of family. I have dreamed of this scene my whole life, and God has placed me exactly there.

This year, my wonderful dh was able to take off the whole week between Christmas and New Year's. I had a long list of "stuff" to do, beginning with fence repair, but I think he still enjoyed being home with the kids and I. I pray we can do this each year, but if not, I will forever treasure this one.

We will not start school until next Monday. Once our tree returns to it's home in the garage and the lights make their way back to storage. It's hard to concentrate on anything else right now. Our Saviour has been born!

Have a Blessed Christmas season and Happy 2007!