Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thankful for:

I am thankful for friends. I am blessed BLESSED with good friends and family and people that I love and who also love me. My cup runneth over. I am constantly amazed, and humbled and am grateful that I have such wonderful people in my life.

I am thankful for beautiful children. Even though they fit in the above category.. they get a category unto themselves. We sang tonight and read the book Something for Nothing in our very bad Jewish accents. Good book. Great kids. Noah sang the alleluia over and over (it has two parts) trying to get it right.

Good books. I am thankful for good books. Books that teach and books that entertain, ones that make you laugh and those that make you cry. Most especially the ones that you read over and over and visit like a great friend.

Here is a not so secret secret about me. I collect reading lists. I make my own too... but I constantly gather lists about books... good books, great books, recommended reading lists. I have a whole binder full of them. I mark them and make notes. It is quite ridiculous really. Yet, still, I add to them. Someday... I will read them all (or most).

Where Have They Gone?

I am doing a lot of preparing for next year. I am trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I will have a daughter in high school. I will also have a boy "officially" in kindergarten. Caleb has done some work this year... but not regularly. Next year is the real deal. Four kids in school. Look at the cuties in this picture. Where are they?? Caleb wasn't even born yet.

In this picture the kids were doing a play that they wrote. How much fun is that?? They still do this kind of stuff. Of course, now, they work their own camera. Still... I can't believe how fast the time has gone.

High school. I swear I just graduated. I mean REALLY. It can't be over 20 years. But it is. (only ONE year over twenty for those of you who would believe me even older than I am!)

I remember my first week of high school. I got asked on my first date. (two actually) (My parents didn't let me go on either one... thank goodness). Guy somebody.. played tenor sax (remember Ann?) and Roger Stanley. Goodness.

Well... that is enough reminiscing for now. Mom says we have to live in the moment. This moment is telling me that it is late and I need to crawl in bed. Katie has an 8:30 doctor's appointment.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

random thoughts on love

Okay... so I have read over the course of the past few years, some disturbing articles in magazines like Oprah and Cosmopolitan (okay... once in the past 10 years have I read anything in Cosmo but a few in Oprah's magazine)..
anyway, these articles are telling women that they need to be wary of the men they may marry and things to look for. Important (not) things like leaving the cereal bowl unrinsed on the counter. If he does then he is not marriage material. The article in Oprah's magazine told women to hold onto the thought that divorce was an option.

Just hear that and take it in.... hold onto the thought that divorce is an option.
amazing isn't it??? This is so foreign and disturbing to my way of thinking that I have been stewing on it for a while.

Recently, our Pastor, Fr. John Antony, was over and we were talking about a mini-retreat he is planning for married couples. One of his talks is on what heaven is like. He mentioned that marriage is preparation for heaven. I am not sure I will get this completely right, what he was trying to say... but he said that loving our spouses was preparing us for heaven. I believe that what he was trying to say was that the unconditional love we have for our spouses is just a glimpse of how much God loves us. Marriage is an opportunity to practice perfect love. (notice the word practice here!) He also made some comment that we wouldn't have romantic love for one another in heaven.. that it wouldn't matter... I am not that evolved yet I guess because I can't imagine not loving Brian as I do and having him as my partner.

I have known for a long time that Love is the answer. I may have even written about this before. Truly.. we are here to love one another. But that is too simplistic. We love ice cream. We love going to the circus. When we say LOVE we think of something warm and fuzzy. Yes... that is love. But that is not the love we are called to.

When you are young and you get butterflies in your stomach when you see someone walk by.. you think you are in love. That is attraction. It can be powerful. And fun stuff. I crushed on a bunch of boys that I never even hardly spoke to when I was a young girl. Still... I "loved" them.
You've heard is said before that love is what is left when ,we'll say, attraction wears off.

Love, the real deal, means sacrifice, service and surrendering. That is the kind of love we are called to. To practice with our spouses, our parents, our children, our siblings and friends... the mean girl that says you look pregnant when you aren't!

Almost... every time I have had a disagreement with someone in my family, what they really wanted and needed was love and attention. Plain and simple.

So.. instead of having articles in magazines telling us that if he leaves out a bowl or dumps whiskers in the sink... that we should leave him. We need to be hearing that yes, sometimes you will drive each other crazy, but that is when you have to love each other more. You can CHOOSE to love each other more. We made commitments to each other. We agreed to live in union with one another. To be married means you will compromise. That is what I want my children to know. That the wedding is just the beginning of a lifetime of marriage. Prepare for the marriage. I am so blessed. I have heard everyday for almost 17 years that I am loved. That is powerful and affirming. Doesn't mean we don't both do things that drive the other batty... but at the end of the day we are together.

The same goes for all of the people you love. When you truly love someone you will sacrifice for their benefit... out of choice, you will serve them because you love them and surrender your will... (at least sometimes) for the same reason. That is how we are to love God. We get to practice on each other. Preparing ourselves for Heaven and in the process finding a little heaven on earth.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What's going on?

Okay.. you people want to know what is going on in my big crazy household?? Here goes.

James and Dylan are sick. Presumably with the same cold that the rest of us have had... but they are feeling pretty punky with it. So... they are being pretty quiet.

Lexi and R.J. are at school and doing pretty well there. I am really proud of them.

Here in Karptown... we are trying to finish up school. We are working fast and furiously on the kids books. They are "due" today... so I don't think we will make the official presentation... but they will be done by next week so we can have our own little "reading" of the books. Yea! I told Bekah that they will NEVER get their own books until I die. That is sort of my paycheck. I love them. The girls each have written four and the boys each two. Very cool. It is really neat to see the progression of storyline and illustrations over the years. For Caleb's we use pictures which are just too cute. I really love these books.

Katie is about to get braces. Today I have to call our sweet Dentist and tell him that we are not going to use him... that we sought a second opinion and that we are going to use him....
The second opinion is A LOT MORE EXPENSIVE... but he is going to try and save her teeth, while the first guy wanted to pull 4. Katie is much relieved and is actually ready now. She will be in braces for about two years. Then she will wear a permanent retainer for another year, and then you are supposed to wear a retainer at least at night... for life. So... I am excited and can't wait to see her new smile.

Noah, who started wearing glasses in January, now needs contacts because of his sports playing. He is the goalie for his soccer team and has been hit too many times already. It is very interesting trying to put them in. His eyelashes are as long as Katie's and he is squirrely about me putting them in. Once in,however.. he is great. We have a fabulous eye doctor too... so that is really nice.

I guess the biggest news of the day is that we need new lateral lines in our yard. Does anyone know what lateral lines are??? NO?? I didn't either, until I needed them.

Well... lateral lines are pipes that stretch out from your septic tank. Only the umm... solid waste stays in your tank. The water waste is leeched out through these lateral lines to drain into your yard. (feel free to say ew gross here, I did). Evidently, that is the way it is done. Here is where it gets interesting though. You can't just order these puppies up. My sweet plumber guy... came to diagnose the situation. He did all he could... but evidently there was no cleaning out the existing ones... we need new. I said I would wear a shirt that says "I Heart my plumber" if he would try to move us up the line to get this done quicker. Evidently that isn't possible.
FIRST, we had to have independent contractors come and scope out our yard and dig a BIG hole and test the soil and decide where the lines can go. They can't go in our front yard over the existing lines. They can't go in our back yard because we have a separate septic tank back there for the back end of the house. NO.... our lines must start in the front and then run 85 feet to the back down the hill into the treeline where they will then have three 85 ft lateral runs. (Did I mention you pay for this pipe by the foot??) How about the fact that I will lose an entire section of trees in my back yard including the one the treehouse was begun on. Thank goodness it isn't completely finished. I guess we will move it further down the hill.

So... I know all of this because I payed the contractor man $475 and we haven't even begun yet. Now the county has to come out and approve the system. Then they will approve a permit and send me the plan at which time I call back sweet plumber man and begin the real work.

Did I mention we have 10 people living in the house??? The good news is that sweet plumber guy cleaned things out enough that we can still use our system. I can honestly say that we here in America take indoor plumbing for granted.

I feel this post is long enough so I will close.
Next time... How Brian fixed the Washer.
or maybe...How I found the Wordly Wise Vocabulary lists for free.... over 4000 words for my kids to learn!! Wahoo.

Can you stand the excitement??