Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Praying Pooper

It was one of those rare teachable moments when a teacher soaks up every minute of her pupil's attention.  The young mind was primed and ready to learn after seeing me pray the rosary many times before.  His four year old attention was steadily focused on the rosary for a good 15 minutes.  It was actually the first time he followed along on each every bead from the Apostle's creed to the middle of the third decade.  He helped offer up his intentions for the rosary and seemed to really listen and pay attention to every explanation I had to offer for the different parts of the rosary.  He even chimed in on his interpretation of the Joyful mysteries. 

This is a dream come true, I thought.  For so long- since before he was born, actually, I had dreamt of passing along the Faith to my future children.  I played it out in my head about how I would teach my children my love for our Catholic Faith and how they would sit there, wide eyed, soaking up every word.  Then came the kids... and their energy... and their short, short, short attention spans.  Until recently, Liam seemed to not care about anything other than trains.  Now that his interests are growing, I'm trying to throw in little bits of theology here and there. But never I have I been able to make him sit through any part of the rosary. 

But today was different.  Today I when I told him I was going to pray the rosary, he stayed.  When I brought out the rosary, he reached for it and I went with the flow.  I told him where to hold, how we start and then we began.  He held on to each bead, and I prayed aloud.   We got all the way to the third decade when he finally started to get antsy.  I took the rosary and started praying it on my own while he squirmed around next to me.

Then I smelled it. Liam had been having trouble about going poop and pee in the potty, but it had been several days since he last pooped in his pants.  I checked his pants and sure enough, the little twerp had left a significant brown spot in his underwear.  I sent him off the bathroom to clean up himself as much as he could, but when I went in to help him a few minutes later, the grossness factor went up ten notches.  There was poop everywhere and now I had to clean it all up. 

The irony of it all!  There I was, in a near dream like state, thinking I had finally nailed the teachable moment, when all along my four year old was just pooping in his pants!! God has a sense of humor, and tomorrow, I may think this is funny.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bed Rest Week 3

All this bed rest is really paying off! The baby's amniotic fluid levels are staying up and he is growing beautifully.   Now they're talking about possibly inducing me next week.  I am really getting anxious to meet this baby and hold him in my arms.  While looking at him in the ultrasound screen yesterday I caught a glimpse of his beautiful face and had an overwhelming longing to see him for real.  It's hard to believe it's been nine months already!

I sent my sister off this morning to Minnesota.  It was so nice to have her here. It's funny how much more you learn about someone when you actually live with them for a week.  I've learned so much about her that I had never known.  Sure, we're sisters, but we've led very different lives when we graduated from high school.  She stayed close to home, got her associates degree and married a dairy farmer.  I moved far away from home to go to college, and have never had a desire to live in Minnesota's farm country again.   I love living in or near the city where something is always happening.  Julie loves living in the country where the pace is slower and everyone knows you.   I have a culture shock when I go to visit her family on the farm and see them run barefoot through the barn. My kids go crazy for the farm, but there I am, running around after them with hand sanitizer, and making sure they don't step in a pile of manure!  Julie had culture shock here when she went to the grocery store and when she saw all the people that drive past my house everyday. She said where do all these people come from??  And she did not believe me when I said my floor was dirty!

She fit right in as a "second mother".  She had pillow fights with Liam, played all his silly games and came up with many of her own.  She played dress up and tea with Analee and made her giggle every time she changed her diaper.  She also wasn't afraid to lay down the law, which is something I really appreciated from my sister's visit.  She was so good about it, that now Liam is drinking white milk instead of always having to have chocolate milk--and he is drinking it at every meal!  It might seem silly, but it's a big milestone for him.

One thing I've always known about my sister is that her heart is so big.  I am so thankful for the sacrifices she made to come out and thankful for the love she showed my family.  Thank God for sisters!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Creative Person

I always love to see what other like minded people do with their creativity, especially when they use their artsy creativity for the honor and glory of God. Here is one such person I stumbled across...

Patsy who lives in the Philippines makes unique works of art of scraps of paper, stamps and scripture verses. I love her finished products! Her blog is called HeARTworks. This is a link to the picture below which was a tutorial and a giveaway awhile back.

Here is her current work of art:
It's so beautiful and wonderfully unique, I wish she sold them.  It also looks like a neat hobby for someone who needs a creative outlet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bed Rest Week 2

This week has been a wonderfully relaxing week of bed rest.  I can almost say I could get used to this sort of pampering!  Aside from not being able to get out of the house to even go for a walk on these gorgeous fall days, I have very much enjoyed having my Mother in Law take care of the kids, the cooking and the laundry.  She has also pampered the kids so much, I don't think they missed hanging out with mom all day at all!  They've been outside a lot and going to parks and McDonald's for lunch and the play place.  They are loving it.  Analee gladly waves goodbye to me when she's leaving with "Mom Mom"! 

Of course, we've set aside all homeschooling for the time being.  The alphabet can wait.  Liam is still doing little workbook pages here and there as much as he wants- mostly cutting activities and mazes which he can't get enough of!  But we're not doing anything serious until the baby comes- or sometime there after. 

Today my sister comes in town for a week to help out.  We'll see Mom Mom again next week when Julie leaves to go back home.   I can't wait to see Julie...and put her to work ;)

Monday, October 18, 2010

To Facebook or to NOT Facebook...that is the question

Last night I had a dream that I was missing out big time by not being on Facebook.   All my friends were on the social network (not an exaggeration real life) and I was feeling majorly left out in my dream.  In real life, I gave up FB back January, or sometime around then.  ALL my friends were on, but the fact is that the majority of them were not really friends anyway. They were friends that I had in Highschool, but that I had never talked to since graduation. There were plenty of those from college too.  It was even to the point that if there were in my high school or college, but I barely knew their last name, they were my facebook friend.  I had no problem being social and telling the events of my life to people that knew me well enough to sincerely care, but it was the hundreds of other people who were getting to know me and didn't care about me- that was bothering me.  If I didn't say anything on FB, and just checked out what everyone else was doing, I felt like a stalker.  If I was social and shared my status often on FB, I felt conscientious of everyone else stalking me.  Plus, let's be honest, when parents and relatives are on FB, it gets kind of weird.  I don't know many people who share the same kinds of things to friends as you do to your great aunt Hilda who you see only on Thanksgiving.

It was true that I was in better contact with my real friends- and even those people who I would call acquaintances, but after awhile I started to wonder if these were real connections.  After moving to a new location, I was lonely and desperate for some real friends in my new neighborhood.  I knew this wouldn't happen overnight, and I knew is very normal and I was expecting these feelings.  But I was growing impatient.   I found myself spending more time on FB, but not feeling like this was ever enough.  What I really wanted was a phone call from the friends who knew my updated FB status to the minute, but had no time to call.  I wanted to see friends and family, not just pictures on FB. 

After I quit Facebook, I suddenly needed a new outlet and started blogging more.  Blogging, however, is very different from FB.  If I write a blog, I know I am writing to a general audience and I don't include personal details and feelings that I wouldn't want a stranger knowing. Another bonus is that I have found other bloggy friends who are not anymore present to me in real life than the people on FB, but because they share their thoughts in the forms of long paragraphs and not one line sentence, I feel more connected.   It was an unexpected surprise.  Not only that, blogging has been great for business!

I can't say if facebook is real socializing or not, and I certainly don't think that blogging is real socializing, but I would say that personal emails are real socializing.   Because I get more email correspondence from people who follow my blog and people whose blog I follow than I ever did from FB friends makes me wonder how "connected" I really was in the social network, FB.  I still get the same amount of phone calls from friends and family, but now instead of saying, "oh, I saw this and that on FB." We say, "how are you doing?"  It feels more genuine to me and that's what's important. 

Now that I have friends in the area, I don't "need" facebook as much as I used to, but I there are times when I wonder how this or that person is doing and what I am missing on FB.  Those are the times, I pick up my phone and have a real conversation, or write an email and wait for a real response- in the form of paragraphs, not one-liners. 

I'm not drawing any conclusions about whether FB is good or bad, and someday, I might go back on (at least for Clay Rosaries business).  But if I do go back on for social reasons, I am going to limit my FB friends to people who I really see, talk to, or know well.

What are you thoughts on Facebook? Are you on the network? Does you think it's real socialization? If you are on FB, are you a stalker or a talker? Please share!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Week One of Bed Rest

It's been one week now since I was put on bed rest for baby Jude. I wasn't put on the strictest of bed rest- so I'm still able get up when I need to- thank goodness! This week my husband took off of work to tend to the household needs. It has been a learning and growing experience for everyone. I've had to surrender having this done my way and I can say for a fact that my husband has had to sacrifice a fair share too!  I am now convinced that stay at home moms work just as hard, if not harder than people do at most work places!! I love my work as a stay at home mom, and I would've given anything to help my husband out more this past week, but God had other plans.

I know I got out of bed more than I should have this week because I wanted to get things ready for my mother in law is coming tonight.  I'm sure by next week with her here, I'll be writing about how good I was at staying in bed... Thank goodness for extra help!

BTW, I am still able to make rosaries on bed rest :D

Thank you for all your prayers for me and baby Jude!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Prayers Answered- Thank You!

Thank the Lord that I am at home tonight-- thanks to your prayers and of course, Our Lady's prayers since I KNOW all our rosary petitions were answered on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary yesterday.  My AFI rose 2.5 centimeters in 24 hours.  It's hard for me to understand how bed rest and plenty of water can do that much good in only 24 hours, but it does- and of course prayers helped too! Baby Jude is growing fine except for his abdomen which is on the smaller side.  Other than that, he is moving a lot and has a healthy heart beat.  In additon to prescribed bed rest and plenty of fluids, I am going to be in for appointments 2-3 times a week until the baby is born. Thank goodness I live only a mile and half away from the doctor's office and the hospital!  Bed rest is soooo much easier said than done, but I have to do it as much as possible in order not to end up in the hospital again and cause possible harm to the baby.  I guess I just have to remind myself that this is more important that a clean house, a homemade meal, all my errands done etc.

I am just so thankful to be home and with my family.   Thank you again for all your prayers and words of support and encouragement!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Prayers Needed

I am shutting down my shop because I have to be admitted the hospital for monitoring. The baby's amniotic fluid is low and they will be monitoring it tonight.  If it doesn't improve tomorrow, my doctor said I have to stay until the baby is born- my due date is November 7.  This means I may not have my shop open for a few weeks, maybe more...? or it may be open again tomorrow if everyone prays really hard! PLEASE keep me and the baby in your prayers as I do want to stay with my family for the next month and not have to sit in a hospital bed.  Thank you!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Contemporary Artist Who Paints for God

After hearing about so many contemporary artist who profane Mary and Jesus (the latest being in Loveland, CO is enough to make your stomach turn) it is so refreshing to see an artist of our times who has a positive message with his art.  His name is Jon McNaughton and he paints in a unique style called French Barbizon Impressionism.  He is Mormon, but his work definitely reflects someone with a deep love and devotion to God and Jesus.  Praise God! Here is a link to his website where you can see more of his beautiful art. One other thing that is special about his art (that is a lot like mine) is it is full of symbolism.  If you go to his website, he explains the symbolism of his art.  You can move your mouse over the painting and it will tell you want the symbol stands for.  It's very neat.

This You Tube video I saw on Kathleen's blog was so moving, I had to share it here too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

How to Pray the Rosary Gadget

If you scroll down the very bottom of this blog, you will find the coolest little widget for learning to pray the rosary.  Try it out! You will want this on your blog when you see how nifty it is!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Some Musical Inspiration

A perfect song for Sunday, but I've been finding the last part of the song so inspiring when I am working on those mundane tasks around the house...

"such a tiny offering...compared to Calvery...nevertheless, we lay it at your feet.
These words especially remind me to make do my work with joy and love because it is such a small offerering compared to what I get in exchange- eternal life! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Our Real Home

The other night I watched a thrilling, edge of your seat movie.  I'm refraining from saying the title because I don't want to spoil part of the movie for those who haven't seen it yet.  If you've seen it, you'll know which one I'm talking about.  In the movie, the husband and wife are get lost in their own subconsciousness's and live in the dream world they have built together. They live there for so long that that when it is time to live in the real world, the wife has trouble adjusting and becomes obsessed with the idea that the dream world was the real world.  She is desperate to live there forever and ends up taking her life to "achieve" this goal. While this is a very extreme example of wanting to go to her "real" home, it reminded me of how this world we live in is only a temporary home and how our real home is in heaven.  Her fixation on going to what she thought was the real world, made me want a fraction of that- to keep me grounded in what's really important. 

It made me think of saints and visionaries who have had glimpses of heaven and conversations with Jesus and Mary that have showed them just how ordinary our world is compared to the extraordinary dwelling place of the Father.  After seeing glimpses of another world with the angels and saints, these saints have begged to stay.  Some were granted their request and have been taken to their eternal home at young ages, while others learned to use every moment here on earth preparing for the "ultimate reality" waiting for them in heaven.  It really makes me think of how I would live my life differently if I knew the true joy and love waiting for me in heaven.  I think I would spend less time making myself comfortable here on earth, and more time preparing to be in my eternal home.  I'm sure I would turn every ordinary moment into a grace-filled one so I could store up my treasures in heaven. 

1How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
2I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.

Mathew 19-21
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.