Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yarn Along

Today is a drizzly, gray, cozy up in front of the fireplace, extra splash of cream in the coffee, snuggle with the kids kind of day. Tomie dePaola's nursery tales are the perfect snuggling with the kids book. I've always enjoyed his illustrations. His telling of familiar and not so familiar stories are just lovely to read.
I bought Anna and Therese matching Easter dresses this year. This is not like me, but I was browsing the Zulily website and they had the cutest dresses by Laura Ashley for less than half price. I got both dresses for what I was prepared to spend on one dress. Anna already has a sweater to wear over her dress in case the weather on Easter Sunday is like it is today. Therese does not. This little shrug is knitting up quickly. The fire is warm, and so is my coffee. Have a wonderful day and don't forget to stop by Ginny's, the gracious host of the Wednesday Yarn Along.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

11/52 and 12/52

52 weeks of daily life in pictures: trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane --
whatever is unique to the week.
Join me (Barbara) if you like.
Look who is sitting on her own! Mostly.

Our monthly delivery of specialized medical food. Yum-yum.
I am thankful that there IS food my child can eat.

Runny noses and still smiling.

Ok. You might have to click to enlarge this one.
Jack drew a moving van filled with furniture.

Sophie picked the wrong week to have Spring Break.
We were all so sick.
Therese was happy to see her anyway! (Me too.)
My project that made me happy.
I painted the light fixture.
It was brass. It went with nothing.
I think it looks much better.
Our first hint of Spring arrived.
Can't you just feel that sunshine?
Another sign of spring!

More father and son time.
I'm not sure why the bike helmet was necessary.
Helmets and hats. We like putting things on our heads!

My baby washcloths that never got posted this week.

She's part of the gang, conspiring some great idea for having fun together.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Out of the mouth of Jack

Jack has been a source of much amusement (mine) this week. Maybe he seems funnier since I haven't been getting much sleep with all the sickly children around here.

-at the breakfast table, Jack looked up from his breakfast to inform me that "when I get fur like dad, I'm razoring it off."

-After Anna told Jack that she did not want to play chess with him, Jack yelled down the stairs "Mom, Anna hurt my feelings." I asked him to come down so we could talk about it. His reply? "I can't. My heart is broken."

-I was inspecting kid's teeth to see if they had indeed been brushed. When I asked to see Jack's, he told me "I gave up brushing teeth."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

At the Feet of Jesus

You know that feeling that you've done this before? I've never liked that feeling. Sometimes it makes me think that I must be on the road I am supposed to be travelling, else I wouldn't have this feeling. Other times, it seems like an omen. This is the superstitious part of my brain, for I KNOW that only God knows the path He has laid before me, should I choose to follow Him. Knowing that doesn't make it especially appealing to set out on that journey. Just look at the lives of those who have. Yes, they are in Heaven, but the road was not easy or pretty in most cases. I admit to being a bit of a wimp. Really, who wants to take the hard way to do something?

This past week has been spiritually, mentally, and physically challenging. I guess honestly I should add that it has been religiously challenging too. It all started with a cold. We all got one, even my husband who swears he never gets sick. On Thursday night, things took a more serious turn and my anxious side reared its ugly head.

Tony and I had a rare moment alone after all the kids were in bed, straightening up the downstairs together before heading to bed for the night. In a tender gesture, he held me close and promised that everything will be OK. How ironic, for as we ascended the steps, I went to the kids room to check on them one last time and to bless them as I like to do each night. I found Anna huddled in her bed, shivering so badly I at first thought she was having a seizure. Burning with fever, I carried her to my room while Tony got a cold washcloth and some medicine. Her breathing was short and rapid. Every time I touched the cloth to her forehead, her body shook terribly. Tony is the not-panicker in our house. So when he told me quietly, but firmly to go the nearest ER, I obeyed. I grabbed my Magnificat and shoved it in my purse, knowing I could be in for a long night.

They got us right back into an exam room, which I found pleasantly surprising. We then did have to wait some time to be seen. I opened the Magnificat. (My lenten promise to myself was to read all the readings for each day, as most days I only do the evening ones.)

"Be a rock of refuge for me,
a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
For your name's sake, lead me and guide me."

Isn't it just lovely and comforting when God speaks so clearly to us?

"Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, O LORD."

I could just imagine His embrace, as I sat there beside Anna.

"Let my words reach your ears, Lord; listen to my groaning, and hear the cry of my prayer, O my King, my God."

"Not again, Lord," were my words. "I don't want to lose another child," was my groaning. "Please don't let this be my cup of suffering," was my prayer.

"HAVE NO ANXIETY at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

I am trying to have no anxiety, but it is hard. You see, Ben had pnuemonia just a month before he died. That was Anna's diagnosis Thursday night. Jack was 7 months old the day we lost Ben. Therese will be 7 months old soon. I have had dreams this week of my friend who helped me so lovingly in those first days after the tragedy. An ambulance was parked beside my car as I came out of the pharmacy to get Anna's medicine. I place all this at the feet of Jesus, and ask that He help me have no anxiety, but only the trust in our Father's perfect design for each of us.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yarn Along

I am participating in Ginny's yarn along again this week...

The bridge book is lots of fun! We are in the middle of constructing and testing a truss bridge made of craft sticks. The Rooster Grows is a book of nursery rhymes. Jack and I were playing with some quiz cards when I made the discovery that he had no idea who Old Mother Hubbard might be. The other two books I am currently reading to the kids are about earthquakes and volcanoes.We actually checked them out of the library before the tragedy in Japan happened.

We had some neighbor kids over earlier this week. Anna asked me to read to them all and she wanted to hear about volcanoes. About halfway through, the neighbor's 3 year old looked up at me and said, "This is pretty scary stuff!" I hope they will still want to come play again.

I am about to start my book tonight, after seeing a positive recommendation from another blog I read. I just finished this book, and, as hard as some of it was to read, being so much like our own tragedy, it was what I needed to read right now. I was inspired by the entire family.

I am knitting some baby washcloths this week. Two of Tony's co-workers are going to be parents soon, so I thought this would be a cute little gift. In queue is a baby shrug for Therese to go over her Easter dress. I ordered the yarn this week and am waiting not so patiently for it to arrive.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Down, but not out

What do we do when noses are snuffly, temperatures are above normal, and we all feel rather sklonklish*? We give ourselves temporary tattoes, of course!

We also play duck, duck, goose. And Yahtzee. And baseball with special dice.
So what if they are Valentine's tattoes. They made us laugh.
Even though we feel lousy, we still had a beautiful today.

*If you don't know what sklonklish is, watch "The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer" with Cary Grant and Shirley Temple. You won't regret it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

9/52 and 10/52

52 weeks of daily life in pictures: trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane --
whatever is unique to the week.
I am joining Barbara this week.

Preparing for a day out of the house.

A nutritious breakfast: peanut butter oatmeal and banana muffins.

It appears the new couch is comfortable and cozy.

Father and son time. I think there were only 5 pieces of track not used.

My budding repairman. He changed the battery in Therese's seat from start to finish without any help whatsoever.

He amazes me.

Learning how to get the flax ready to weave into cloth.

Feeling the soft flax.

Yorktown was just as fun and interesting as Jamestown!

I'm not sure what Therese thinks of her new spring hat.
And that is our last 2 weeks in pictures.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


months, that is! Therese is so excited to be 6 months old. She babbles and gives raspberries and rolls. She arches her back and pushes with her feet to get herself closer to objects out of reach. She is all smiles, as long as you don't try to give her solid food.

Can you see her first "hair-do"?

That hair is in her eyes now, so we pull it back!

It is also down her back!

Our sweet little Therese!

Monday, March 7, 2011

If you ever wondered...

how a grieving mother feels, please read this post by my dear friend Karen, who has also lost a child to SUDEP. She expresses so beautifully and accurately what is in my heart. I am in awe of her ability to write these feelings down.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yarn Along

I'm joining Ginny once again this week to share what I am knitting and reading.

On the needles, I am starting a hat for Therese. I bought her a new spring outfit that is not pink. I was actually able to find a cute yellow and white little cotton dress with navy trim. I am making this hat to go with the dress. The largest size the pattern makes is 3/6 months. She will be 6 months old next week. I don't even want to think about that. Add to that the fact that we grow our babies with big brains. I'm talking 95th percentile for the head. All this to say, I am trying to knit this with larger needles to get a larger hat.

My reading material reflects my hope that spring is near. I am trying to grow a better garden, start a compost pile or bin, and maybe even a rain barrel to make watering the garden cheaper. We will see how much of this can be accomplished this growing season.

My apologies on the bad photography this week. It is dark outside, but this is the first chance I have had to pull out the camera today.

Hurry up, warmer weather! I can't wait to start digging in the dirt.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our trip to Jamestown

It has been a great few days. First of all, my parents came for a visit. Second, Jamestown and Yorktown are having their homeschool week right now. We originally planned to go on Saturday, but the weather forecast looked much better for Sunday, so off we went to the Vigil Mass Saturday evening after a fun time at the bowling alley. (Because everyone goes bowling before Mass, right? Also, bowling is free on post every Saturday afternoon!) Sunday morning dawned with warm temperatures and high hopes, and we were not disappointed. It was such a perfect day.

Here you can see the masts of the ships in the distance. They are full scale replicas of the original ships and are fully functioning to boot. In fact, they actually sailed one of them from England to Jamestown following the route of the actual voyage.
Reproduction of a Powhatan dwelling.
Inside, listening to the guide explain the uses of the building.

Oh, how Jack loved the ships! He had to try everything, and that was OK because they let him.

See what I mean?

I think my dad had a great time!

I wanted to take the chickens home!

Anna trying on the English armor.

Olivia took this picture. I like it. A lot.

This is where Olivia would have stayed all day had I let her.
Talking swords with the "locals".

Souvenir ship in hand, Jack didn't even make it out of the parking lot!
Oh, we had such a wonderful time!