Monday, February 1, 2016

Making changes

What do you do when you are unhappy with your life? You cry, you complain, and then? You snap out of it and realize that if you are unhappy, you need to change. No one else is going to do it for you!

After much soul searching, I realized what I didn't like and what I can try to do to better the situation.

Let's start with my faith. I know that there are periods of spiritual ups and downs, just like the rest of life. A spiritual dry spell is where I was. I decided to try to pray a rosary every day. We had recently been to Fatima. I stood in the very spot where Our Lady appeared to those three children and told them to pray the rosary every day. It must be a good thing if Our Heavenly Mother appears and tells us so! 31 is the number of rosaries so far this year!

Next is my desire to exercise more, which is not a lofty goal considering that anything above nothing is more than I was previously doing! This one actually solved two separate problems. One, I am out of shape, and two, I needed to find something to do on post while Anna participates in the band program at the middle school. It is only an hour, but it is every day and it was killing our morning homeschool schedule. Tony can take her on Tuesday and Thursday, but that left three days where we had an hour to kill on post or go home and turn right around again. The gym has a family room. Tony kindly showed me how to use the treadmill and the elliptical machines. The kids can join in or play in the toy area. I downloaded some books onto my Ipad and I can walk or jog for about 40 minutes before we have to pick up Anna! The genius part of this is that unlike going on a walk with the kids, I don't have to stop or walk at their pace. I can really get my heart pumping! Also, it seems to be helping with keeping those winter blues at bay, which is a very good thing, my friends.

Lastly, Lent is coming. The thing I really want to work on is being a better example for my children. My attitude in particular. I won't go into the particulars, but I have a plan for "giving up" some bad habits and replacing them with better ones. Pray for me? If you have any intentions you would like me to include in my daily rosary, please let me know. Either in the comments or if you prefer, email me at jenny reosti at yahoo dot com. I think you know how to turn that into a real email address!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

yarn along

This week has found me knitting with some very vibrantly colored yarn to brighten up these dreary, cold days. Simple knitting too. The kind I can do at my desk while I wait for little people to hand in their schoolwork to be checked.






I finished the book I was reading and I am not quite ready to start something new, so I will share what I am reading out loud to the kids. We got this book at the used bookstore on base, which gives a 50% discount to homeschool families on all children's books! My last trip, I paid around $17 for at least a dozen books.



The sweater for Therese is progressing slower than molasses in January. It takes concentration, people, and I just don't have the brain power for that most days.



I threw some crochet thread into my Knitpicks cart to get the free shipping on my last order. I have been tossing around the idea to make a table runner out of these squares. Of course, I only have one completed. I tried to join the second one to the first as you crochet the last round, but it proved to be too challenging for me to grasp.



Joining Ginny.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Vision Revealed

One of my deepest sufferings when we lost Ben was the fact that he died alone. I was not there beside him as he made the journey from this life to His Eternal Home. The guilt was great in this mama's heart. I prayed to God to help me through this consuming sorrow.

Not many months after Ben died, my prayer was answered in a most amazing way. I was blessed with a vision of Jesus and Mary coming into his room, each of them taking one of his perfect little hands and walking him to Heaven. It was a very clear, specific vision that I believe God sent to me as a comfort in the midst of my overwhelming grief. His Heavenly mother and her Son were there when I was not. I briefly wrote about it over on his blog.

This morning, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, when an image took my breath away. There was my vision, almost exactly as I saw it eight years ago! This vision has brought me much solace through the years, and there it was, an image I could see with my eyes and not just my heart.

Isn't it lovely?







   


















Wednesday, January 6, 2016

yarn along

I am typing with a sick, pathetic three year old in my arms. Yesterday he was feverish, today he is croupy. I am getting very little done.

Jack turns 9 today. Festivities may have to be put on hold till the weekend. Sorry, Jack.

I read "Lay Siege to Heaven" by Louis de Wohl over the Christmas break from school. It is the story of St. Catherine of Siena. I wonder what things would be like now if we had someone like her fighting for the faith. Would I be a skeptic or would I believe?

Now I am reading "Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers" by Ralph Moody. Anna had to read it for a literature course she is taking. I cannot recommend this book enough!

Knitting. Well, now. I finally finished my shawl I have been working on for over four months. I love how it turned out. Then I was secretly knitting a Star Wars hat for Anna. It was the first time I have tried Fair Isle knitting. I practiced knitting with the yarn held in the left hand on a dishcloth until I felt I could reasonably keep a decent tension, though when I added switching between the two methods on the actual hat, there were still some issues. The hat is loved by Anna regardless of its flaws. I have also started a sweater for Therese. This will be a slow knit, I can tell. It is one of those patterns that needs full concentration.

pre-blocking



pre-blocking

blocked

blocked and ready to wear!



the hat, in progress. Since it was a secret, I had to work early in the mornings.

All done, just in time for her to go see "The Force Awakens".

She loves it!


This is the back panel. This is pieced together at the end. I am a tad nervous how that whole process will go.



Joining Ginny.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December days

The patter of feet on the stairs roused me from my happy sleeping state. Opening one eye ever so slightly, I ascertained that it was too early for the festivities to begin. It was precisely 5:52 in the a.m. Without opening the other eye, I asked how many little people happened to be in my bedroom at such an hour. With excitement in her voice, Anna answered, "Three". Only Peter was still asleep. Informing them we would not begin opening gifts until they were all awake, I pulled the covers over my head, snuggled down into the bed and was just about to return to dreamland when they burst back in with one cranky boy and announced they were ready to open presents. That was at 5:58. By 7:15, the living room had gone from picturesque to destroyed, the kids were trying out all the new toys and I was in the kitchen making coffee and breakfast.

Before the onslaught of present opening began. Notice the blackness still outside the window. Makes for very grainy pictures and very groggy parents.

His was an antique Christmas. Almost all of his gifts were found at the flohmarkt. The typewriter actually still works that he received. Every page begins with the heading "Jack A Reosti 2015". The pecking on the keys, the ding at the end of a line, and the overuse of the space bar is all I hear now.

What a fun game! She also has been scootering around everywhere, thanks to her aunt.

This kid was extremely grateful for all her gifts, considering her main present is still lost is transit somewhere.

Ahoy, mateys! With this here spy glass and the treasure map that accompanied his new pirate outfit, he is ready to seek some treasures on the high seas.




Christmas day was rainy and gray. Yesterday and today were unseasonably warm and sunny. We took advantage of the rare weather and went exploring a little in our new village. We found the playground yesterday. It is a gem of a playground and seeing the train roll into the station every 30 minutes made it even better for my boys. Today, we crossed the tracks and headed uphill to find the little hut we can see on the mountain from our backyard. It was a lovely hike and the view of our village from atop the mountain was amazing. And now, if you will excuse me, I must go and play Ticket to Ride with my family.

We cross over a footbridge on the way to the park. It reminds me the little creek in Ft. Ashby, WV, where I spent time every summer throughout my childhood.

Flowers blooming in December! Happy me!

This is far and away the best version of a see-saw I have ever had the pleasure of riding. We want one in our backyard.

Jack and Therese almost make a good counterweight for me. Anna and Therese were a slightly better match.

"Higher! Higher!"

I am thinking not many people use this bench on the hiking trail.

"How much farther, Mama?"

a lovely, sunny, Sunday afternoon



Our village. You can see our old village in the distance directly behind it.



Monday, December 14, 2015

Dawning

As I stood in my bedroom this morning, deciding what to wear, I saw what looked like a hole in the mountain outside my window. Granted, I didn't have my contacts in, so I grabbed my glasses from the nightstand, almost knocking over the half-drunk glass of water of some little person who was still sleeping soundly sprawled out on my bed. Putting on my glasses revealed not a hole, but a golden orb just about to burst from behind the mountain and bring that elusive sunlight to the German sky. The fog and the wispy clouds made the scene so awe inspiring that I called to the kids to bring my camera quickly, for I could see that I didn't have but a minute or so before this beautiful vision would be gone. With camera in hand, I opened the door onto the balcony, breathed in the cold morning air, and snapped off a few pictures.




I have been thinking about this blog. Pretty neglected most days, and there is so much about each day that I do not want to forget, yet those little moments seem to slip from my mind like water through fingers . I need to set aside a time just for capturing those snippets in each day that make life wonderful. I may just have to set my alarm thirty minutes earlier, for that is when I have the greatest chance of quiet time.

Yesterday morning, it was just Peter and me in the kitchen, making coffee together. Perched on the counter, he picked up the box of coffee filters. He was chattering non-stop about this and that, but I stopped short when I heard him read the numbers on the side of the box. "One, two, four, six," he read proudly. I did not know he recognized his numbers. In that moment, he aged considerably in my mind. Not a toddler, but a preschooler.

In the afternoon, we joined another family at one of the Christmas markets nearby. This one boasted live camels and wise men, along with a medieval section. It was cold, but not bitterly so. I was comfortable in my jacket and hat. The crowds were unbelievable. I want to return next year on a weekday to enjoy it with less of a crowd. Even crowded, we had a good time. The kids rode on a toboggan, shot arrows from a bow, saw the camels, ate chimney cakes, listened to music played on medieval instruments, and even saw people juggling flaming torches. Not bad for an afternoon outing.

"Can I ride again?"






"Mom didn't let me shoot the bow and arrow so I made my own out of this straw on the ground."

Ready.

Aim.

Fire.

Expecting a fun ride on the carousel.

Not exactly the thrill he was seeking.

St. Nicolas and some angels not looking so joyful.



Why does he do this whenever I point the camera at him these days?

Medieval musicians

check out the shoes

Chimney cakes cooking over coals