Wednesday, December 19, 2007
So, Merry Christmas everyone! May the Lord bless you and your families with great joy! We'll be back online closer to the new year. I doubt I'll have much computer access until then.
But, I will be checking in on Blair who's little Peter will be arriving tomorrow. Please pray for their entire family during this exciting time. Congratulations, Blair & Steven!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thank you, Emily!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
So there is a crack in the base. Well I can’t do anything about it, the base is broken. What was that – duct tape? No… So I cruise out to the garage and take stock of a few materials I have on hand. I head back into the house and they are actually still putting ornaments on the tree with a broken base. So as I speed through the living room I say, “Don’t worry about it. Leave it alone.” Of course, I’ll solve the problem. So I’m half way though building a new base and she comes in tells me that the tree fell on Jonathan.
“Is he hurt?”
So of course I have to go look.
“Were you messing with it?”
“No, we actually just put the last ornament on when it fell.”
Arrrh…Now you have the full story. The full, conflicting story. I don't remember him saying, "Leave it alone", at all. My excuse is that there must have been a child screaming or crying or hitting his sister or something at that moment and that is why I didn't hear it. I'm pleading the Mommy Defense.
By the way, Eric likes to act like a tough, confident Mr. Fix It, but he's really a big softie!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I interpreted, "Don't worry about it", to mean it's no big deal, it's just a surface crack, the tree is still structurally sound and we could continue to decorate it. Apparently, Eric intended it to mean, "It's no big deal, the base of the tree is destroyed beyond repair but I will heroically save the day by going to the garage and employing various power tools, fasteners and lumber to create a beautiful and functional new tree stand in less than an hour."
Well, the kids and I continued to decorate. At least we did until the tree came crashing down on top of Jonathan. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt and none of the ornaments broke. In the picture of the tree above, the garland and ornaments are kind of haphazardly arranged because we just didn't have the energy anymore to fix it perfectly after cleaning up all the mess. But, it's still beautiful to me.
And, obviously eight years of marriage is not enough to master the art of communication. Good thing Eric and I are in for the long haul. I figure at this rate it will take at least 60 more years for us to get it figured out.
The only problem with this new skill is that he doesn't know how to get back down. He usually falls down or Mommy comes and rescues him. The main problem with this is at night. He had gotten to the point where he would wake up and fuss for a minute or two and then fall back to sleep (if he wasn't hungry). Well, now he wakes up, stands up in his crib, gets stuck, and then gets mad and screams. One of these days, I'll get a full night's sleep. I don't know when, but I have hope. :)
I love you, baby boy. It's such a pleasure watching you grow!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The biscuit recipe is amazing and the apple pie was pretty good (though I totally screwed up the crust, it was my first attempt at making my own crust). But, the sugar cookies did not turn out well at all!
As they baked, the dough spread out very thin so the cookies turned out all deformed looking and you can hardly tell what shape they are supposed to be. The cookies in the above picture are supposed to be (from l to r) a Christmas tree, a bell, and a gingerbread man. I thought that I followed the recipe to a "T". But, the pictures of Martha's cookies in her book are beautiful, and mine are, well, ugly.
Does anyone know what I did wrong? Help!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Yep, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
So, you all know the story of when the Pharisees brought the woman who committed adultery to Jesus. They said to him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So, what do you say?"
Christ replied by saying, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."
Suddenly a stone comes flying out from the crowd. Jesus turns and looks and says, "Holy Mother of God! I'm trying to make a point here!"
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Why do we mothers do this to each other?
I tend to be a very black and white person. I want there to be a right and a wrong way to attack a problem and, of course, I want to always choose the right way. But, with parenting, I have learned that there is gray everywhere. Gray stretching to the horizon in every direction as far as the eye can see with very few breaks that are clearly black or white. It has taken a lot of struggle, but I have come to accept this fact and have come to a couple of realizations.
1. Mothers know what is best for their own children. Barring extreme cases of abuse or neglect, most mothers know which gray option is the best one for them and their children. As mothers, we should respect each other's decisions, especially if they happen to be different than our own. Letting your child have a piece of candy, for example, is not question of faith or morals and so it may be right at some times and wrong at others. And, it may be right for some people and wrong for others. From the outside looking in, it is impossible for us to know what is right for someone else's family at that time.
2. We should trust ourselves and our decision making. Just because another mother chose the slate gray option does not mean that we should question our decision to go with the charcoal gray. Nor should we feel indirectly attacked. Remember, we know what is best for our families. God trusts us, we should learn to trust ourselves.
I've have used the word "we" throughout this post but I should probably go back and change them all to "I". Suzanne's post really spoke to me because I am the offender just as much as I am the victim. But, with God's grace I know I can change. That is one fact that is clearly black and white.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
So far, they have really taken to this idea. Yesterday, Jonathan was begging me to give him more chores to do so that he could put more straw in the manger! He cleaned up their playroom all by himself (and it was desperately in need of being picked up) just so he could get more straw. Now I know why Mom did this little project every year! ;)
Monday, December 3, 2007
Also, in case you haven't heard about it, here's a link to Mary's Aggies where they posted a link to the latest papal encyclical, Spe Salvi (which means Saved by Hope).
Sunday, December 2, 2007
He's vacuuming up the acorns with a shop vac! That's definitely a solution that I would not have come up with. I guess it worked because he was out there for a couple of hours and had to empty the shop vac four or five times.
So, what did he do with all those acorns? He says that he is composting them. There's a huge pile of them now on our compost heap. I think, though, that the acorns will just think they are being planted and that soon we will have a few million oak trees growing in our compost. Who's right? Only time will tell.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
More, more, I want more. It's too precious!
That's a tough one to try to explain to a five year old. I don't know where the question came from since just before that he was talking about race cars. I think I said something about heaven, bodies, praying, love and souls, but I'm not sure exactly what. It seems to have satisfied him, at least for now.
But, it shows that at times he does actually listen to me. :)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
No more grunting, straining and sweating while I struggle to get the pan I need, which was inevitably on the bottom of the massive stack. Sometimes it amazes me what gives me the most joy. But, every time I go to that cabinet and easily slide out a pan, I smile and say a little prayer of thanks. Happy, happy me!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Here's my little boy being baptized. He did not cry at all, but as soon as the water hit his scalp, his eyes got really big. He quietly fell asleep before being anointed with the spicy smelling chrism. The rich scent stayed on him all day long.
Here he is cuddling his godmother, my sister.
And, here's the entire crew, my Dad, my Mom, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Gustin, my sister Kelly and my brother Dan. Well, almost the entire crew. Dan's wife Rachel is taking the picture.
And, here's the very blessed Mommy and Daddy.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Today we are off to my in law's house for the Thanksgiving holiday. We already have big plans for fishing, making smores over an open fire and maybe even going horseback riding. And, most importantly we are going to watch Texas A&M whip up on UT! Whoop!
We'll be back on Friday so we can prepare for Augustine's baptism on Saturday. My little boy will shortly be welcomed into the family of God! I'll be hosting lunch after the baptism where I will be serving these absolutely fabulous shredded pork tacos. It's a very un-Thanksgiving like meal (which we will be ready for by then!) and an absolute crowd pleaser.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Enjoy this time with friends and family and don't forget to stop the festivities for a few minutes and give thanks!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
I didn't think much about it at the time, but since then I've been thinking about it a lot. You see, that is not my normal answer. Normally I say I'm 5'11" (I'm actually like 5'11-7/8" or something like that. Just a smidgen under six foot). I guess it's because I've always tried to minimize my height.
I've been tall from the get-go. I was 22" long at birth and never looked back. Being a tall child has it's advantages and disadvantages.
- Can always reach the top shelf in the kitchen
- Can help little old ladies get things off the top shelf at the grocery store
- Never need assistance getting things off the high racks in department stores
- Playing basketball
- Taller than all my friends (by a least a head)
- Started being taller than my teachers in 4th grade
- Looked older so I was expected to act older
- Clothes shopping was difficult to say the least and at times would end with me in tears
- Taller than all the boys when that started to matter
- Gangly and awkward
- Stuck out in a crowd
I'm also finally recognizing some additional advantages to being tall:
- Lots of room to carry babies. I'm always complimented on my cute, round, pregnant belly.
- Putting on five (or ten) pounds isn't as obvious cause there's lots of room to spread it around.
- I'm able to utilize my upper cabinets to the max (okay, that one is kind of a repeat).
- Many clothes styles are most flattering on a tall figure.
- I can always see over people and never miss out on any of the action at mass.
- I'm the only one who can see how dirty the top of my refrigerator is.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I always have a hard time choosing boy names. I don't know why. I've got a long list of girls names that I love, but a proper boy name is just difficult. I don't want it to be too trendy or too common or too weird or too ordinary or you get the idea. It's also very important to me that my kids' names evoke some kind of feeling or remind me of a virtue or just generally are pleasant for me to reflect on.
For instance, for Jonathan we named him after the Biblical Jonathan who always makes me think of friendship and loyalty. Jonathan's middle name is Paul after St. Paul who makes me think of heroic courage and zeal for the Lord. Elizabeth is named after the Biblical Elizabeth and makes me think of motherhood, faith and patience. Her middle name is Bernadette and St. Bernadette was the ultimate model of humility.
Now, after the little aside, I need to get back to my main point. Gustin's name.
When we were discussing boy names, Eric and I started talking about historical men that we admire and of course St. Augustine's name came up. As soon as it was mentioned, Eric knew right away that it was the name. I was a little less certain. I liked that the name made me think of intelligence, rich theology and all of the other great qualities of this doctor of our church. But, Augustine just seemed like such a big name for a little person. And, I was afraid that it would be constantly mispronounced and misspelled. But, Eric talked me into it and I'm glad he did. It's a great name for my little boy.
But, it is constantly mispronounced and misspelled!
There are two correct ways to pronounce Augustine (I know, I did a bunch of research on it!). I've always heard it pronounced uh-gus-tin. But, many people pronounce it ah-gus-teen. Personally, I like uh-gus-tin but I don't particularly like ah-gus-teen. And, I never know if I should correct people when they say it wrong. I mean, they're not saying it wrong, they're just saying it the other way and I feel funny correcting people when they are actually correct. Know what I mean?
Anyway, when we told the kids the name of their new baby brother they immediately started calling him Gustin (like Justin but with a hard G). That name stuck and I thought it would solve the pronunciation and spelling issues. But, most people look at you funny when you tell them your child's name is Gustin because they have never heard it before and they think you are saying Justin or Austin instead.
Oh, well. Maybe one day we'll just give up and call him Gus. Surely there can be no confusion over that name!
P.S. Just in case you were wondering (or even if you weren't), Gustin's middle name is Luke, after the Gospel writer. St. Luke makes me think of fastidiousness, attention to detail and precision (he was a physician and historian).
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The first time I did the quiz the results were this:
|Your Inner European is Spanish!|
Energetic and lively.
You bring the party with you!
Um, no. That is definitely not me. I'm a wallflower.
So, I tried again. You know usually you can narrow down each question to two answers that both kind of fit. So, this time I picked all my second choices and I got:
|Your Inner European is Italian!|
Passionate and colorful.
You show the world what culture really is.
Again, no. Passionate and colorful? Didn't I just say I'm a wallflower? I know what culture really is? Ha!
One last try mixing answers from the first and second attempts:
|Your Inner European is Irish!|
Sprited and boisterous!
You drink everyone under the table.
Weeelllll, at least I do have some Irish blood in me. But, drinking everyone under the table. Boisterous. You have got to be kidding.
So, I've decided that I have no European in me whatsoever. Nope, I'm 100% Texan from the US of A (just don't tell anyone that I was actually born in Nebraska). ;)