Friday, December 15, 2006

What's In Your Purse?

The other day, while sitting in doctor's office, DH asked for something. As I rummaged through my purse, I had to take out a few things making it easier to see to the bottom. Here's what I pulled out from my small just going to town purse:

  • mini maglight

  • multiple packs of gum

  • cell phone

  • hand sanitizer

  • Christmas organizer

  • tape measure

  • pocket pack of Kleenex

DH made the sweetest remark about a mother's purse. He said, "A mother's purse....you can make a pipe bomb or dinner from the contents." What in your purse would surprise the world?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Community Reconciliation

Tonight was community reconciliation at church. Four priests preside at one mass and then hear confessions. It's really a beautiful thing, to see all these parishoners coming together to confess ones sins in a very real and deliberate way. I don't confess nearly as often as I want to or should ,so I really had to make a grand examination of conscience. While driving I mentioned to Grace that she might want to think of her sins so she's ready for tonight. Without hesitation she said, "You mean examine my conscience......I already did." Why is it so easy for kids? Are their sins not as sinful or deliberate as our adult sins? Aren't they embarrassed by their sins, especially when it's the same sin over and over again? Do they believe in absolution as easily as they believe that I will always love them? Watching kids prepare for reconciliation can really help one prepare for their own. Walk into that confessional ready to lay it all on the line, make an act of contrition, hear your penance, walk out smiling and tell your younger brother that it's so awesome and you can't wait for him to have his turn. That's what Grace did and she looks refreshed, renewed, pure in heart.

The Christmas Story

For the first time in years we will be attending Christmas Day Mass instead of Christmas Eve Mass. At our parish the kids tell/read/act/sing the story of Jesus' birth, on Christmas morning. Sister called with the assignments: Grace will play "Silent Night, Holy Night" on the violin, Lee will be a shepherd and Lou, an angel. Ray will sit in the pew pointing and yelling at his siblings. Talk of this Christmas pageant is buzzing all around the house. Discussing their rolls and what they'll wear, Lee made a comment that I'm not too sure how to take.

Lee: Well, I'm just glad I'm a shepherd and not Joseph.

Grace: Why?

Lee: Because I'd rather have my feathers pulled out one by one, than walk a donkey and pregnant girl to Bethlehem.

I wanted to probe him on this comment so badly. What's wrong with a pregnant girl? Don't you like walking? I've never seen feathers on you. Why wouldn't you want to be Jesus' "earthly father"? I just continued driving and listened to the conversation change to haircuts and how Lee shouldn't get one before Christmas because, "chances are, shepherds had long hair, mom".

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Something to Ponder

DH and I have been spending a lot of time together, alone at the clinic. He's found out that his C6/C7 disc is herniated. It's severe enough that he's losing quite a bit of strength and surgery is looking immanent. Anyway, all this time together has opened my eyes to his wittiness. We were driving by homes decked out in Christmas lights and he remarked:

The size of your Christmas tree is not directly proportional to the quality of your Christmas.

That comment meant to be slightly light- hearted really hit me. This year. due to all the craziness of DH's arm pain, broken water line and my mom's immanent move to an assisted living home, we put up our fake alpine tree, strung it with lights and added very minimal ornaments. It's a beautiful tree with just our very favorite ornaments and although I thought it small and insignificant, it has turned out to be one of the best trees ever. We've been too busy to remember to water a tree and with a 2 1/2 year old touching every ornament and every branch, a real tree would of been a disaster. How did you choose the size of your tree?

Santa Baby

while making cookies and listening to our local Christmas radio station we heard Santa Baby (the song sung by a woman with a whiny voice)

Lou: What kind of Christmas song IS THIS?

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Santa Tales

Conversations are meant to be heard from the beginning. For example, today I got in the middle of this ongoing conversation.

Lee: Santa is not dead.

Lou: Uh-huhuh!

I would've loved to have heard the beginning of this conversation.

Happy Anniversary

Today we celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We happened to have dinner, just the two of us, but the circumstances weren't pleasant. DH has been having severe pain in his left shoulder, arm and numbness of the fingers. Last week's trip to the doctor was a waste of time. Yesterday's trip to the Physical Therapist was a waste of time. She called the doctor and said his diagnosis was obviously wrong and she couldn't perform the therapy due to the severe pain he was in. Today we made another trip to the doctor, who manipulated his arm, requested an MRI and referred him to a neurosurgeon. He thinks DH needs surgery next week. We go on Monday for a 2nd opinion and in the meantime try to manage the pain with heavy doses of narcotics. After 4 hours at the clinic we were ready to pick up some take-out and head home to the kids at grandpa's. We called and they were eating pizza with grandpa; he suggested we grab a bite to eat. So that's how we managed to have a dinner date on our anniversary. I'd say we are pretty ingenious.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

A Much Needed Vacation

We took a little vacation, despite DH's painful shoulder. With the lack of running water, we didn't need to think too hard about taking a short trip to LaCrosse, to a hotel with running water and a poolside room. We stayed here. Of course, swimming was the highlight of the trip for the kids. If they had their way we would've stayed at the hotel without ever leaving. I, however, love to see things when we visit new communities. We attended mass at St. Joseph of the Workman, which is the cathedral. What a blessing it was to buy my Advent candles right at the church. We headed out to the Shrine to our Lady of Guadalupe. We ate a nice breakfast at the restaurant where Lou commented that she felt like she was eating in a palace. I purchased a book on Patron Saints and a St. Nicholas holy card and we attempted to take a walk to the Votive chapel which was locked. It was about 10 degress and windy and we were not dressed for a hike, but we did make a mental note to come back in the summer when we can enjoy the grounds and walking trails. Another excursion scored high with the kids. A horse drawn carriage ride through Riverside Park to view the Rotary Lights. Approximately 1.5 million lights can be seen and a live nativity viewed. We were even counted by the Roman soldiers as we came into Bethlehem. Monday was a good day to take a drive through farm country. It was cold and the kids were tired from all the swimming. We jumped in the truck and drove through the Cashton area which is home to many Amish families. Grace and I stopped for some homemade cashew crunch and to look at some Amish made furniture. The Amish woman was so friendly and commented to Grace about school. She said she was homeschooled and the woman's face lit up as she remarked, "Not many of your people do that." I simply replied that the number is growing and it is a perfect fit for our family. With a big smile and a twinkle in her eye, she looked at Grace and said, "You'll learn a lot more at home than you ever would in school. You're a fortunate girl." Her accent was fascinating and her voice gentle. To be validated in the work that I do, this was the best part of the trip for me.

Note: Blogger won't let me post any pictures. Sorry, I had some good ones.

With God All Things Are Possible

THE BAD - DH has something wrong with his shoulder causing severe pain, no strength and numbness of his fingers. The doctor isn't offering any solutions except physical therapy for tendonitis. This has been going on for 10 days. Our underground waterline from our well to our house broke last week Wednesday causing us to live like grumpy, unprepared pioneers. The ground was so frozen that the excavator couldn't break through the frost under the road so DH (with the bum shoulder) had to build a 30 foot long campfire across the road with hopes that it would warm the ground enough to break through the frost.

THE GOOD - The fire worked. All the plumbing parts are in and the plumbers are here. There are no guarantees, but we should have water by tomorrow. Thank you Lord for fire and plumbers and outhouses.

Last weeks Family Formation lesson was about Hope. The catechism says that one cannot have despair if they have real Hope. Hope allows us to look to God to create all that we need. I've had moments of despair throughout these troubles, but God is good and I always seem to find Hope in the situation. I praise the Lord for his grace.