In Need of a Pint The past couple weeks have been pretty tiring for a variety of reason: not enough sleep, little ones teething, emergency vehicles outside our bedroom window at all hours, several projects and assignments to work on and prepare for, along with the usual stuff, and Kevin not feeling well at all. Last Friday and today, I’ve arrived with not as much energy as I would like or reasonably need to keep up with three little ones for several hours. I’ve been reminded, yet again, that God sends us angels when we need some extra help or encouragement.
When the usual suspects cooked up the usual chaos last week, Cathy, their grandma, who is my “other mother” (Kevin and I have been “adopted” by their family) stopped by after going to daily Mass. She brought me a strawberry banana smoothie and she stayed for a bit to visit with the girls and me. I had no idea she was coming, so I was tremendously grateful when I answered the door and saw who it was.
Later that afternoon, another angel showed up, my youngest sister. Though she’d spent hours helping to take care of our nephew that day, she lovingly agreed to bring me what I wanted for a quick fix to make it through a long day: a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.
God loves me through the wonderful people He’s put in my life. Thanks for the pick-me-ups and the cold, sweet treats!
-2-Cutting Down, Scaling Back I still don’t think it has completely sunk in that I won’t get to see, talk with, or e-mail my friend Michele Morris who is entering a cloistered monastery in a few weeks. She’s been sending me some text messages and photos this week since she left Virginia with no plans to return. I miss her already, and I’d really rather not think about her absence. I know that God will keep us connected through prayer and the letters we can write and she can receive at Christmas and Easter. I also am grateful that He’ll bring other people into our lives to help us grow closer to Him and vice versa. Here's Michele's FB message from Wednesday: “So, finished packing for my train ride home. This is everything I own. or rather everything I own is contained in these three bags (minus wintry stuff and shoes I mailed to the Monastery). Kinda freeing, actually. But also, very bizarre. I mean really weird. This. is. really. happening.”
You Had Me at Hi The Lord saw fit to remind me that He’s still working and that the Holy Spirit is moving in and through people here. A friend I met through Michele and Cursillo called today, and it put such a big smile on my face and warm feeling in my heart that she picked up the phone to check in and see how things have been with us. Betty told me how excited she’s been that her husband is going through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program at church. When she spoke with unbridled enthusiasm that her husband had decided to join the Catholic Church after many years of not believing God even existed. Of course, it made me think of Kevin returning to the Church, after many years away. The Holy Spirit rocks, and when we cooperate, the results are truly miraculous!
Yo Ho, Let’s Go! Sunshine and her sometimes willing sidekicks enjoy Jake and the Never Land Pirates, among a myriad of other Disney creations. This week when playing with half spheres that fit together, she told me that she was making breakfast for everyone. She’d put a little something in each of what she was calling bowls. It was a charming game of make believe when she caught me completely off-guard by asking: “Can we all celebrate our balls?” I laughed, knowing she meant that as a completely innocent question, but I just had to text her mom about her exclamation, figuring she could use a laugh, too. I was even more amused when it occurred to me that we’ll eventually have to teach Sunshine that a hardy “Yo ho, let’s go!” isn’t really a socially acceptable greeting if you’re not actually a swashbuckling pirate (animated or otherwise).
Of course, this also made me think of the time Hank, who used to help his dad in the garden, called out very loudly at the church playground: “Where my hoe?!” I knew what he meant but cringed thinking other people thought I’d taught him to talk like that, so I shouted back: “You mean, where is my gardening tool?” once I finished laughing.
Here Comes the Boom Kevin and I enjoyed this movie as well as the bonus features. Actually, it’s the last movie that Michele came over and watched at our place. She’s not terribly into boxing or fighting (neither am I), but she appreciates a good story, a good laugh, and actors that are willing to put it all on the line, so she liked it as well. It was weird that evening, because I knew she only had a few days left to watch whatever movies she felt like, so we let her choose whatever she wanted. A heartfelt comedy was definitely the best choice for the evening. Boom, here comes the trailer:
-6-Beware of Floss I know kids are ingenious when it comes to getting into things. They never cease to amaze me at the lengths they’ll go to when they see something they want or feel like experimenting with something they have. The latest and greatest alternative use for dental hygiene products was demonstrated to me this past week. Sunshine, while sitting on the toilet, grabbed a little box of floss from the bathroom counter. I’m in the other room with her sisters, so I don’t know she’s done this until I walk in to see what’s taking her so long, especially once her usual chattering and singing has ceased. I come in to find that she has somehow (still haven’t tried it myself) disassembled the thing of floss and was holding the blade in her hand. I’m not sure what she intended to do with it after that, but I wasn’t waiting to find out.
Facilitator’s Guide I’m working on a Facilitator’s Guide for the John Paul 2 High series of books, and I’m interested to know what study guide or facilitator’s guide have you as a parent, teacher, religious education instructor, librarian…found most helpful. I have lots of ideas of what to include, but it would be nice to have a few ones that people really like to glean from.
As part of working on this project and because I’ve been feeling the nudge to get back to writing the Young Adult novel I started a number of years back, I’ve been reading lots of YA fiction. It has been interesting to see what’s covered in terms of topics, issues, conflicts, and abuse in recently published novels. I usually will find the books that have won awards, then I’ll check out other things by the same author. Each time I come across something that is a major plot-line, character trait, and/or conflict in the YA novel I’ve written, I wonder if it’s time to polish the manuscript and start sending it out to see what happens. Lord, please be abundantly clear what writing projects outside of those I'm already committed to I should focus on at this time.