Saturday, March 26, 2016

Good Friday

I awoke to a cold, rainy Friday morning. Fitting, I thought, for such a day as this. All Heaven and earth are in mourning. In keeping with the solemnness of the day, I had in my mind that we would have a silence in our home and hearts from noon until 3:00. We would do the Stations of the Cross, pray the sorrowful mysteries, and at 3:00 we would start our Divine Mercy novena. As so often happens, my plans are not the Lord's. I was angry, that my way, which seemed so wonderful, was not to be. And I did not handle it with any sort of grace, I tell you.

However, when we finally did begin the Stations of the Cross, the children made it the most meaningful of this Lenten season. When we went to the ones at our chapel, I had to keep little ones from becoming distractions for others and was not able to focus. But the tears came as I watched my kids take the peg dolls and move them through the city they had built. It came alive to me, at the hands of my children's play.

How long will it take for me to truly, truly let go and let God work in me exactly as He knows best?

Simon helps carry the cross

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Jesus falls the second time

Jesus meets the women

So he might have been making up his own thing, but that is OK.

Jesus is nailed to the cross

Jesus dies on the cross

She was helping some and then doing her own thing too.

Jesus is placed in the tomb

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Yarn Along

Way back in the middle of winter, Therese asked me to make her a sweater. We looked through patterns together and she picked a beautiful pattern, though very challenging. I could only work on it when I had complete quiet, in other words, I had precious little time to make any progress. Three months later and I had knit maybe 5 inches of the back panel. Seeing her disappointment every time she asked if I had finished her sweater was about to do me in, so I offered her a compromise. We went looking at patterns again and found one that she liked, but that required much less concentration on my part. Off the needles came the old pattern and I cast on for a new sweater. In the last 10 days, I have knit all the previous yarn I had unraveled, plus much more from the skein. It is taking shape, though I am little worried about the size. It calls for DK and I am using fingering. I am knitting two sizes bigger than what she would wear, so I hope it comes out right in the end.

Three months and that is all I got done!

The color is truest in this picture. It was cloudy out this morning (shocking, I know, for Germany!) and so I turned on a lamp in the other two pictures below.

I had her try it on because it looks so tiny, but it seems to be just about right. I will knit a few more inches and have her try it again to be sure.

As I was knitting this morning, before everyone was up, I was thinking about how this is kind of like life. I would love to live this exquisitely beautiful life, living our faith to the fullest and instilling in my children that love of Christ and the Catholic faith as well. But the reality is, I am not capable. When I try to fit it all in (what I perceive to be the things that will make us a better, holier family), all I end up with is no progress and much frustration. I can still make a beautiful life, but it must be a more simple one, one that fits our little family and helps us on our path to Heaven.  It just is not what I pictured in the beginning, but it is still good. I just pray that it is good enough, because it is all I can do at this time.

I am reading "Till We Have Faces" by C S Lewis.

Joining Ginny again.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Then and Now

One of the first places we visited after arriving in Germany was Berg Nanstein. We revisited it this week on one of the first warm, sunny days. After realizing it has been almost precisely two years since that original visit, I decided to go back and look at the old pictures to see how much the kids had grown. After all, Peter is now the age that Therese was back then.

So, here are some comparisons of then and now...









The rest of the pictures are from the other day at the castle. I am having fun trying to learn how to use the camera!

Friday, March 18, 2016

A few new things

As spring slowly (and I do mean slowly!) starts to make its appearance here in Germany, there are a few other new things around here. The best is our newest member of the household. I now have five of my six living children here! Olivia is here! She arrived Monday after many long hours on a plane. We could see her through a glass partition while she waited for her luggage. We put our hands to the glass, eager for a true hug. She will be staying with us at the very least through the Spring, and maybe longer if she decides to take some classes.

Our first outing was a hike yesterday. We did not reach our intended destination, but we did have a nice little adventure on the first sunny, warmish day of the year. I put my new camera around my neck, Jack slung his backpack over his shoulders, which was filled with water bottles, and Therese packed her own backpack with drawing supplies so she could sketch some nature scenes (her own idea!). Peter was the reluctant participant right from the start, and was carried by either Olivia or me most of the time. We walked down through the village, towards the playground and train station. There is a little bridge that crosses a little bubbling creek. The kids always want to stop there and play. As I was snapping pictures, I heard Therese cry out and turned to see her backpack floating downstream! Jack grabbed a large branch and caught it, and then Olivia was able reach out and retrieve it. Her notebook was only slightly dampened, still very usable for sketching nature. We then moved on toward the little hut at the top of the mountain. We only made it about halfway before realizing we would need to start heading home in order to arrive at play practice on time.

Here are the pictures from yesterday. I am still shooting all pictures in auto mode. I will get brave and try to branch out soon into the manual setting.

On our way!

The calm side of the stream

The bubbling brook

Jack, age 9.

Oh, no!

A team effort

The hero of the backpack excitement

Do you see the moon in between the trees?

In the shadow, but I still like this one

wet toes and backpack

Mr. Grumpy Pants

I coaxed at least one smile

thoughtful moment

I don't know what these are, but they are bursting forth everywhere I look and I find them so sweet and dainty.

Budding artist

I spy a covered wagon

I think there must have been another building there at one time.