Friday, July 25, 2014

So blessed

     Looking around at my little house, I am feeling nostalgic and blessed. I have heard from several thousand (OK at least several) people that we need a bigger house. Six people in 1086 sq feet and one bathroom is just plain ridiculous. That our house  is too cramped, that we are all on top of one another. I just smile and explain that I could shove at least another three kids in here.
    It's not just a catty remark. Compared to most of the world, we are incredibly blessed. My little house is well insulated, cool in the summer, warm in the winter. I have lived in a house without air conditioning and insulation before, and I thank God almost every night for my central heat and air. We have indoor plumbing, something else I have lived without (though it was when I was a baby, so I don't remember). We can easily make our mortgage payments. It is our house.
   Yes, I am nostalgic about this house. Not only is this the first house I have ever owned, this is the only home my two youngest children have ever known. We bought this house 2 kids ago! It is also the house I have lived in for the longest time IN MY LIFE. I have never spent four years in the same place since birth. It feels like home.
   In less than a week we ARE moving to a bigger house. We don't NEED a bigger house, but it will be nicer to have more space, especially if God grants us with more children. But more than the size, it is the location. I love my little house, but I realize I am the anti-city girl. The teeny tiny suburb I live in is far too large. I'm not fond of neighbors (even though I have great neighbors mostly) or of their dogs barking at night, or their trucks driving by, or solicitors!!! The house we are moving to is literally parked in the middle of cotton country, with no houses even visible! Even better, instead of being 20 miles from my church, we are 4 miles!
    That being said about size, I will reemphasize my love of 2 bathrooms! (Oh, and boys being able to pee outside if necessary. Can't do that in the city with chain link fences,) Usually when I need to use the bathroom,  so does a kid. I don't know how many time I have joked (sort of)that we should just put in an outhouse.
    The day this house sales will be a very exciting and sad day. It will be a closed door, but a step ahead (ha ha mixed metaphors). So today I pray. I pray for the person/family that will buy this house. I pray they will love it as much as I do. I pray that we will love our future home as much. I pray that, if it be God's will, we will settle down in a future home for the rest of my life. I pray that everyone can take a moment and realize how blessed they are. And mostly, I pray for those who have no creature comforts, like toilets and air conditioning.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A little of this, a little of that...

     Hey world. I have been busy busy busy as usual, with all kinds of exciting things in the works! Can't tell you everything yet, but definitely some big things coming!
    What can I tell you? For starters, my craftiness has been in overdrive. When I am stressed, I make things. The first thing is a beautiful Cathedral Rose Window afghan that I am making in hopes of being ready for our local church's festival in October. The church always auctions off many beautiful things, and the baby layette set I did last year went quite well. The only catch is that this design is SOOO pretty, and rather intricate, so I told Mr. S. he has to buy it back. He told me I have to make it first. HAHA
     I have also finished the top to my first scrap quilt. I hope to finish actually quilting it next weekend, but it is #2's birthday, so we will see. It is a very bright, happy little nine patch quilt, and there is a lot of sentimental value to it. Old curtains, scraps from the first quilt I ever did, and even the salvageable pieces to a back of a baby quilt of Mr. S's I had to fix are in there. As I was looking for this keyboard to type (on a tablet remember?) I found even MORE squares. Because 2500 little 2 inch squares weren't enough?????
    The biggest thing I am excited about right at this moment is.....we are MOVING!!!! No, we haven't bought a house, but we found a rental out in the middle of nowhere that we love. It is TWICE as big as our current house and even has two (TWO) bathrooms! I am doing the happy dance, imagining not having to do bathroom triage on a regular basis anymore. We are moving in next week, and needless to say, I expect my Internet and things of that nature to be a little glitchy...
    So I am definitely asking for prayers now. Prayers the move goes well, and prayers our house sells quickly. Also, if it isn't too much to ask, prayers that we found the house God intends for us to buy. And yes, I have full plans to buy a St. Joseph's statue (I was going to anyway). I can't wait to tell you more news, but I will say nothing until it is set in stone. Until then, God Bless!

Friday, July 11, 2014

a tale of two baby showers

     Whew! I made it through Birthday Week alive and well. I am still happily munching on homemade carrot cake and cream cheese icing (sadly I had to share this year because Mr. S. actually liked it!). There was, in fact, steak, and the great amusement of watching #4 choose steak over french fries.
    This week has been a breather for us, because next week we start off with a bang with a baby shower for a wonderful woman who could not be a better mother.  I am making her a diaper cake, which is actually coming out great since I learned to make baby sock roses to top it with. Yep, I go hardcore crafty at times. I am so excited to make this for her, because she was there when I needed her.
     See, I wasn't always a Catholic.  And I am not always a good Catholic,  though I try to be. Once upon a time, I was a non practicing Episcopalian. I was 18, wildly in love, and had just moved 8 hours to be with my boyfriend,  the amazing Mr. S. Unsurprisingly (except for back then when the possibility was the furthest from my mind) I ended up pregnant. Unwed. 18. With no family anywhere close. Heck, I even found out at planned parenthood.  At that moment, I thought I had never could have faced a worse scenario. But then the PP lady said she could "take care of it". My baby. I can't describe the revulsion at the thought of killing my baby, the protective mama grizzly that came out, but in rather unkind words I informed her that was not an option.
     My future in-laws were very supportive when we broke the news. There was no angry words, just the obvious shock and the "OK then, we are going to be grandparents."  they accepted me as part of their family, and helped us so much in those ridiculously poor, working-cruddy-jobs-to-get-Mr. S.-through-the-rest-of-college-days.
   In fact, my MIL threw us a baby shower, on Christmas eve, with very short notice. And this still amazes me. She had two very good friends step up as hostesses and buy the pack n play  that was our baby's bed for us. Tons of people showed up, and I only knew one of them. These women showered me in love, acceptance,  and honest excitement for my baby, something that is hard to come by in unplanned teen pregnancy. These women showed me truly what God calls Christians to be. I was awestruck that all these women were there. It was such a testament as well to how great my MIL is, to have so many friends so willing to help.
     And among those women were the Mommy in question and her own mother and grandmother. They have since become family to us, and I treasure them so much. It was a long road for this Mommy to get here, with so much heartache. I am so excited to be able to share this moment with her. I hope to be an example one day to someone like she has been to me. M, I love you!f

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Still alive

     Yep, I'm still here. I'm just caught in the late June/entire July whirlwind of birthdays that belong to this family. From the end of June to the end of July, my immediate family celebrates 4 of our 6 birthdays, and then add in the 3 other July birthdays that belong to my mom, sister, and niece. Also, we have the anniversary of Will's passing. So yeah, I have little time to breathe and an ever expanding waistline due to all the yummy cake!
    It's always a lot of fun planning these days. First, is there anything sweeter than a first birthday? #4 made it to mid-cake before grabbing her bottle and attempting to put herself to sleep in her high chair. #3 was a superhero ALL day in cape and mask and even went swimming (though he did ditch the cape for it because of the water drag). Next up, my mom is the big (um, lets see, what is the youngest she could have feasibly been? Oh yeah, 47) 47 this year! And despite her herculean efforts, my birthday is a mere two days after. I'm not sure what our plans are, but there will be cake and ice cream cake, and fireworks, and steak, and antiques and RPGs........
   So, I'll update more next week when most of the crazy is gone (Mom warned she will be back though.)Meanwhile, enjoy your holiday, and remember our freedom is never free, but comes at a great price.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mom Bashing.

    I have noticed a terrible trend on the bashing. If you:

  • Breastfeed
  • Formula feed
  • Co sleep
  • Let your baby sleep in a crib
  • Let your child have a pacifier
  • Let your child suck their thumb
  • Let your child have nothing
  • Eat organic
  • Carry your babies in carriers
  • Spank
  • Don't spank
  • Eat fast food
  • Have a clean house
  • Have a dirty house
  • Wear skirts
  • Wear pants
  • Are a single mom
  • Are married
  • cloth diaper
  • Disposable diaper
  • Work
  • Stay at home
  • Had a natural birth
  • Had an epidural
  • Had a c-section
  • Had a VBAC
  • Had a repeat C-section
  • Home school
  • Take your kids to private school
  • Take your kids to public school
You're doing it wrong! There is no way to win anymore! In this day and age, where we as moms are trying so desperately hard to just raise good kids, it's unfair. When did raising kids become a high-school popularity contest? "Oh, Suzie just fed her toddler a FRENCH FRY!!!!" Really? Just...really?
   Why all the hate? Is it because people feel the need to justify their decisions? Sorry, that is just STUPID. Because the rules for one kid don't work for another.  Let me tell you, I have tried to nurse all my babies, because I personally thought it was easier, but that only worked one out of four times. And you know what? They are all still healthy.
   Some have coslept with us, some haven't, and they are all okay and sleep in there own beds now. I have had 2 thumb suckers, 2 paci babies, and the oldest three have all quit the habit with no long term effects. We try to eat some food organic, but McDonald's is a treat for my kids. I have carried some babies on my back/tummy in a carrier, but some HATED it.
   I have a dirty house (BTW it's much cleaner than usual at the moment), but my SIL has a clean one and we both passionately love our kiddos and they are not suffering from our cleaning habits one way or the other.
    I have met people who assume I am one of those women who only wear skirts, but hey I am wearing shorts at the moment. I promise, it doesn't MATTER. My dear friend K. is a single mom, and just every bit as fantastic at it as me! And she works full time and is the best "homemaker" I know. She clothed diapered when hers were under a year, and I did too, starting with #3, but ain't no one want to wash toddler diapers, so they are put up again.
   I did the Bradly method very successfully with #4 up until I had another emergency c-section. Still their Mama no matter how they came out of me. I home school because it is the right choice for my family, but I know several fantastic private and public schools in the town one over from me.
   So, HOW it happens doesn't matter. But the INTENT does. Are you trying to raise Godly, respectful kids? Are you trying to teach them how to be productive members of society? I promise, that is what matters. NO ONE will care if they suck their thumb at 20 (except maybe their spouse).NO ONE will care if they were breastfed (unless they still are at 20).
   It's all in OUR heads. And it's not a contest. Relax, people. Eat a Popsicle. God still loves you. And I do too.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The end of one stage, the beginning of another

   So, I have to get my entire house spotless for this weekend. What do I do instead? Blog of course! Actually I am just taking a break from cleaning. I just finished the very sad task of cleaning my room. While that is a crazy monumental task, the hard part was taking down the co-sleeper beside our bed. While it is physically the most difficult playpen to fold up I've yet met, it was more emotional.
    My baby is no longer an infant. In a few days, she will be one. She is sleeping in her room with her big sister, and has been for a while. She sleeps through the night (and that is just recent). She has even began to take a few faltering steps. She is almost a toddler, and this mama is both very excited for her and really sad.
    People tell you that when you have kids time flies. What they don't mention is that it can literally go in warp speed like that crazy sequence in Ice Pirates. (Let me just say I can't believe Mr. S watched that movie as a kid!) I remember like it was yesterday having two toddlers (1 and 2 are just 18 months apart). Now I have 4 (4!) kiddos, and only one toddler left.
    While both Mr. S and I would love more kids, we don't know that God will give us any more. We can certainly hope, but we aren't as of the moment expecting. Yup, I totally knew what you were thinking when you read my blog post. I'm a Catholic, I already have 4 kids, it's okay, I would kinda expect it too. Hopefully we can get a bigger house before we get a bigger family (we have 1 bathroom, and an ongoing joke that we need an outhouse). But God always knows what he is doing, so I'm sure I could squeeze some more little guys in here if I had to....
   So, here I am reminiscing and missing that infant stage. But I am so happy to have had it, and I know what's in store. Yes, there will be the crazy disobedience (like the fact she LOVES to knock everything off the coffee table) but there will be talking. Sweet little words, other than stop and no, and giggles. Her little personality is just shining forth, and she is truly living up to her nickname, Possum.
   I guess I must go clean some more, but I just wanted to pause and take it all in. The end of one stage, the beginning of another. And no, I'm not talking about the living room clean up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Imprints on my heart

WARNING- this is not a light hearted post.
    This weekend, my in-laws went to visit my nieces and stopped at Raphael's Refuge in Flatonia on the way. This is a memorial for babies that have dies from miscarriage, still born, or abortion. She took some beautiful pictures, and she was showing them to me last night. One shattered my night. I re posted it from her blog ( It was a picture of Jesus holding a tiny aborted baby and weeping.
    But you know, that picture did not at first remind me of  aborted babies. It reminded me of Will. Two years ago, MR. S and I were excited to be given the all-clear from the doctor to have more children. We were excited at the thought of another soul. That same month, we conceived, but didn't know it. I guessed, as my period was nine days late, but when I tested early, it was negative. My temperature was high, then low, and then I started bleeding. I assumed it was a period, but it went on and on.....on the fifth day I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive!
   I was so excited and so scared. I called my OB and she did nothing. she told me I was probably miscarrying and  to take another pregnancy test in a week. She wouldn't see me, because at that point, I was only 5 weeks along. I went to the ER, and they told me the same thing, I was too early to do anything, and they refused to give me any blood tests to confirm miscarriage.
   SO I waited. For one whole week, I waited as my bleeding got lighter, and hoped against hope. I sat in stasis, not knowing if my baby was alive or dead. After that week, I took a pregnancy test and it came back negative. My life was officially shattered.
   Can words describe a mother's pain? I was celebrating the life of my child the same time as I was losing that child. Not a lot of people understood. I was so barley pregnant, that my baby was the size of a poppy seed. Why was I a wreck? Because that child, so small and seemingly insignificant, was my BABY. It was a soul that I deeply loved and so badly wanted, a child I had prayed for.  I was devastating, not even being able to see my child to mourn it, not knowing if it was a boy or girl.
   I know some people disagree, but we had told our kids right away about the baby. Then, we had to tell them that the baby had died and was in Heaven. No, they didn't understand. How could they?They were little, with #1 being only 6. He blamed me,since the baby was in my tummy. We mourned as a family. Finally, we decided to name our baby Will, since we know it was God's will to even have given us that child, and God's will to call him home before we even got to meet him.
   Two years next month, and I still get teary eyed at the thought of Will. I look at his sister #4, who was conceived three months later, and wonder what he would be like. I understand she might not be here if Will was here, but my Mama's heart wants ALL of my babies here with me.
   I sit here and think of all those babies lost to abortion. I mourn them, and I mourn for their mothers. Maybe they knew what they were doing, maybe they were forced, maybe they didn't realize. Maybe they regret it, maybe they don't, but my heart still aches for them. They are mothers who have lost their children, and we must never forget that. They can't change the past, anymore than I can, but they still need love.  That mom who may now realize what she did is mourning her lost child no less then me.
     If you are a mother who has lost a child for ANY reason, I want this:I want to hug you, and look you in the eyes and tell you, "I am so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry for what you went through. You are not alone, you are loved, and I am here for you."

     How very softly you tiptoed into my world,
Almost silently.
Only a minute you stayed,
But what an imprint your footsteps have made on my heart.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Laugh or Cry Day.

Since it seems to be shaping up to be a Laugh or Cry day, I figure I'd just keep a running commentary. What is a laugh or cry day? It is a day when so many things go wonky, if you don't laugh about it, you cry. The first Laugh or cry day I ever remember was a disaster resulting in my mom quiting her job and falling off a horse and breaking my pelvis in three places. I cried. Another memorable one was #4's birth, where for about 5 minutes I thought my baby was dead, and I was in the worst pain of my life. Then a miracle happened, and I laughed and cried. Today is not that extreme, but it is crazy.
    Set scene: Children still had no rooms clean by noon, and the house is so utterly destroyed I'm pretty sure FEMA will be by momentarily with aid.
    First Laugh or Cry (LOC): Whilst picking out church clothes, I discovered that #3's boot were COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY MISSING UNDER A PILE OF DRIED CHICKEN MUD. (Chicken mud:the mud chickens make, very stinky and sticks better than gorilla glue). Proceeded to scrub mud by hand off of boots, having them drying outside in hopes of no wet socks this evening.
  LOC #2 forgot my sanity and let baby feed herself spaghetti. She is not clean but not spaghetti contagious. Add another 30 minutes to the get ready timer to bathe baby. Definitely a laughing moment, silly Mama.
 LOC #3 Just discovered a cousin's little one was admitted to the hospital. Definitely a cry moment, lifting her and her parents up to God.  St. Nicholas, pray for them!
     LOC #4 Might have been too hasty to chastise #3 as my right church shoe is out on the porch drying too. I had a big blotch of mud from helping catch a loose horse on the way home from church last week. Yes, in a skirt. Yes, we caught him. No, this has never happened before, but I did chase in some cattle a few months back (I took off the shoes that time.) I am definitely laughing, because apparently mud attraction is genetic. Also amused that my cheap butt bought shoes that are glued together so I can't wash them. But hey, my whole church outfit cost $20.10 excluding the veil, so..... (15 bucks for the shoes NEW, 5 dollars for the shirt on eBay, and 10 cents for the fabulous red polka dotted skirt I got a church rummage sale which had previously been altered and fit me like a dream). Decided not too hasty to get on to #3, since I didn't knowingly clump around in mud UP TO MY KNEES (I'm still trying to work that out.)
     AND THEN>>> LOC#5...hmmm, to say this daintily, I was suddenly attacked by a severe bout of trouble only an hour  before church. While I was, ahem, sitting there complaining, my husband told me it must be the devil's work, to which I complained louder that HE wasn't so struck. But I would not go quietly into the night! I shook my bottle of Keopectate at the evil one, and prevailed.
     LOC#6...broken zipper on aforementioned skirt. By this point, I don't care either way, we have GOT to leave.
    And then....
   And then I got to listen to a wonderful homily given by the Bishop. And watch my #1 receive communion. Will it ever not affect my heart so, to see him receive Jesus? Probably not. I got to commune with my dear friends at church, to refresh my soul, and have, for a wonderful hour, all five of my children together with me. I got to smile at #4 playing with a  tiny month old baby, and how #3 waited until we all said,  "Thanks be to God" to shout it out with utter relief in the silence that followed.
    Though we did not get to taste the wonderful blueberry cobbler I made (first off because it was store-bought banana cream pie), we got to spend another fabulous few hours with my  BIL,  SIL, MIL, FIL and two of my wonderful nieces at a local restaurant. We all got to enjoy steak, and fried ice cream, and laugh at how my little niece was convinced by Pa that Nana has cooties and refused to kiss her goodnight for a while.
    Now I am sitting on my couch, happy, and content, next to Mr. S. who is staring at me type in the silence, and I know what type of day it is...It is definitely a laugh and thank God for my crazy beautiful life day. I don't even care that I will have to rewash that load of laundry in the washer.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Quick post.

I can only scribble a few lines today because today is pretty busy.
    First, I apologize for my terrible grammar and typos. Three kids ago, I would have been appalled. But that was before trying to write on the fly, with a lack of sleep, usually with a babe in my lap with the tablet I thought would be Superior (and cheaper)than a computer-Ha! So I am keeping them in, to remember my days like this.
    Also, I love last minute news, like #3 has his first tball game in an hour!We rallied the forces (this was yesterday), changed the baby, re fixed the fence where the pups were getting out, made it at the last minute, and had a blast! (Though I melted in the heat). He is a natural, even without a glove.
    Today is the feast day of St. Boniface. We are going to have the bishop come to our church today, way out in the middle of nowhere at St. Boniface Church!We will have a potluck dessert afterwards, I think I will make a blueberry cobbler, since they are so fresh and delicious this year.
   And last, remember that clean kitchen? It's gone again, but man was it nice! I think I can still remember what it looks like. Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A day in the life....

   Since I currently have no dishes to do (I know, shocking!) I have no real divine inspiration for today's post. So I thought I might enlighten you to an average day in my life.
    I starts with the cruel mocking call of the alarm clock. That mean ol' thing has super warp snooze mode, so I try not to use it. By the time I hear it bidding me to wake, 3 of the 4 kiddos are moving. #2 has always popped up like a daisy, while #3 has to be pulled from bed, much like his mother. The kids are supposed to clean their rooms while Mama gets dressed, changes the baby, dresses the baby, makes manna (also known as coffee), makes her bed, then starts a load of laundry. At this point, I once again remind the kids that they are supposed to clean their rooms, then brush hair and teeth, and get dressed (clean underwear!)
    After breakfast and the second sip of coffee, they have to finish getting their rooms clean, go feed and water the chickens and the dogs, and generally play outside without getting soaking wet and/or muddy (which is usually a lost cause).
   Third sip of coffee, then we start school. Since it's summer(ish), we have a light calender, with only the basics of English, math, reading, science, and of course music (of which I am exactly one lesson ahead of the kids on that recorder!)
    I have a timer set to go off at 3 pm, which signals time to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the end of any unfinished school, and after which EWTN has their children's programs. It is an hour and a half of cavtholic cathecism to animation and Mama's break time to do another load of laundry/dishes/ brush my teeth, etc. If you haven't discovered EWTN's Faith Factory, give it a try. Cat Chat is the best!
   We all muddle around, playing, changing the baby, actually finishing off my coffee until about 6, until Dad calls to say he is on his way home. Ideally, this means I immediately set to work making dinner so that it is ready for his arrival, where he is greeted by loving kisses and "how was work?" From a herd of littles. But sometimes it is the "witching hour" where every child in my house slightly malfunctions and goes nutty and Mr. S. is greeted by a slightly white-eyed woman throwing small children at him and saying something incoherent but along the lines of "HiHonI'mgladyourhome,I'mlockingmyselfinthebedroomfor15minuteskaylovetyou"
    Now the very least scheduled time of day:bedtime. In my mind, it goes like this: at 8, it is time to get in PJ's, showering the smelliest of kids (which is usually all of them)while the cleaner ones (the baby) wait until the fmorning. Brush teeth, clean their rooms so they don't have to in the morning, and then prayers together as a family.
    Now, sometimes it happens that way, like last night, and I got to fully clean the dining room and kitchen, do all the dishes, and switch another load of laundry before I got a nice long bath. But there are some days when (in all honesty here, don't judge) the kids are still awake at 10, to which I say prayers out loud (which is VERY loud according to my niece) while I throw kids in PJ's (yes, you can sleep in your underwear tonight), followed by a kiss on my hon's cheek, and parents likely unconscious before #3 is done singing "Let It Go"to himself.
    Now, we are very flexible and some days the schedule is completely forgotten and we have a day of crazy and then there are Funky Fridays, when we watch silly movies and eat "junk" food, like all the grapes in the fridge. I reserve the right to have a Funky Friday on any day of the week. So there you have it, for better or worse.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maria Goretti, my mom, and prayer.

     Once again, I have been inspired whilst washing dishes. Nothing compares to scrubbing tiny cooked bits of deer meat off of a pan to make one think of God.
     My thoughts wandered to my Mom, and how God has once again shown his grace to me. Seven years ago, my Mom needed to stay with us for a while. We happily welcomed her, and we all crammed into our student housing apartment, Mr. S, Mom, me, #1, and then #2 made her way into the world. Six months later, she and I had a terrible fight to which she left, and to which I promised a terrible thing, that she would never see me or her grand kids again. Obviously, I was not yet exuding Christian love was I?
    It was a year later when I was confirmed, and that day changed both my life and my Mom's, though neither of us knew it. I had to choose a patron saint, and this was a terribly difficult task. I was leaning to Saint Perpetua, who willing gave her life in the arena, leaving behind a baby, to proclaim her Christian faith. But I was not that brave, or mature enough to see how a woman could have the strength to abandon her baby. Perhaps a male saint then? I love Saint Benedict, and often recite his prayer against the devil and evil, but I still didn't feel right.
     I was always strangely drawn to Maria Goretti. I knew I couldn't choose her, a young girl who chose to be stabbed twelve times by her cousin rather than to allow him to rape her, and then forgave him as she was dying a horrible death of septicemia. I knew that many YOUNG girls choose her, as a beacon of strength and purity. But a 22 year old with 2 kids didn't exactly have much in common with her. Still, I  was pulled to her, and just days before I was confirmed, I opened my Lives of the Saints to my birthday, July 6. Guess whose feast day that is?
    Needless to say, my confirmation name is Maria Goretti. Yes, and that has to do with my mom how????
   I had kept those bitter words, and for years never even spoke to my mother. But having an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on you does strange things. During one of the large en masse confessions they aways have during Easter, I was confessing my many sins, and at the end, out popped "and help me Lord. I have so much anger toward my mother. I have tried and tried, but I just can't forgive her." I burst into tears, because the reality of the weight of anger I had been carrying was open and exposed.The Father counseled me with the best (or should I say most effective) penance I have ever had. He told me "I want you to pray for your mom, every time you think of her. But pray that God blesses her the way he sees fit, not the way you think she needs to be blessed."
    Let me tell you, that was the hardest prayer I have ever uttered. I thought I knew exactly how my Mom should live her life, but I was giving her to God. I must have said this prayer many thousands of times, because who doesn't think of their Moms at least every day? Slowly, my anger, bitterness, and resentment chipped away. My Mom called one day 18 months ago and wanted to visit me. That was tough. I was so scared. Would we fight?Would we cry? I guess I wasn't the only one with these thoughts, as she came with a vanguard of my sister and Aunt, while my husband told me to meet her at a park, so we would not have the bitter memory of me kicking her out, should things go bad.
     The Lord is truly good. The woman who stepped out of the car that day was the woman I remembered as a little kid. Not the bitter, self absorbed woman who I had fought with. She was strong, and loving, and she had her giant heart on her sleeve. God had done it. Even though I thought I knew what my Mom had needed, I realized that HE knew better. I could never have imagined my mom this beautiful and whole.
    I finally got to share the loss of my baby with her, and the joy of the next new child with her. In fact, two days after my due date, she said she was going to send good juju to me that my labor would soon start, and as soon as I hung up, I had my first contraction. No joke.
   God always knows what he is doing. That day that I choose Maria Goretti, I didn't really know why. I didn't have much in common with her. But now I get it. See, for me, Maria isn't about that. She is about forgiveness, of giving it up to God. She forgave the man who murdered her, so much to the point that she later came with the Virgin Mother in visions to him after her death  and converted him to Catholicism. I am truly blessed to have such a powerful sister in Christ praying for me.
   So if there is someone if your life that you can't forgive, offer it up. Ask God to bless them the way He wants to, not he way you think they need to be blessed. Because God is good, and he always knows what he is doing.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Confession time!

     I have a rather lurid confession to make, so brace yourself: I am a terrible housekeeper!
     Now, I am not saying this to be falsely humble or to fish for compliments. I am truly a bad housekeeper. At any given moment, you will see mess in my house. I mean I feel like Martha Stewart if I vacuum once a week (to which I know my sister is cringing). Not that my house is overly disgusting, its just messy. Six people live here, and of them all, I do the majority of the housework. Which kinda doesn't make since, does it?
     My mom and I have had the discussion over why I am so bad. See, she is a very NEAT person. Her house is very tidy, and so is my sister's. But, she always pushed us out of the way when it came to more than picking up or vacuuming. It was far easier to do this than to teach us how to and have us do it slowly and sloppily like all children do. The last time she came over she asked when I had last washed my back door. What? You wash those? As far as my sister is concerned (I love you but I'm telling on you)she used to be a terrible slob. When she moved out I had to clean up after her. But she joined the navy, where I guess she learned how to clean, so she maintains a beautiful house. Of course, there are rumors her husband helps and she only has one kid, so....
     Not that Mr. S. doesn't help. It's just that with his work and commute, he leaves by 7 and is home by 7 in the evening if we are lucky. Can't really blame him for not wanting to steam clean the carpets! We have a long standing joke that he does dishes at least once a week.
     Of course, there are always lots of factors involved. I don't know what I'm doing (though that one is wearing a little thin), I have the laundry monster which takes at least ten loads a week plus cloth diapers-must put away the load I folded- the time I have to home school, and the baby needs changed, fed, washed, etc. and then the big one. I HATE IT! Yes, there is the sense of satisfaction when I finally reach the bottom of the laundry pile, but I just don't like housework. When it comes to cleaning the living room or say, crocheting cute newborn mary janes-they are super easy too- guess which I will pick?
     So why am I saying this?Why spill my dirty little secret? One, it came upon my heart to write about it, and two, I think for a reason. As a homemaker, are we not "judged" by how clean our house is, how perfect looking our desserts are? I know that some moms can easily keep their house immaculate (my MIL and SIL are pros at it) and still find time for their kids. But I can't. To clean the way I wish I could would take all my time and effort. So I don't do it. Why?Because I have four little souls who want mom. #1 IS eight and a half, and one day he won't want to play the Firefly board game with me. #4 is almost walking and she wants Mama all the time.  Not to mention #2 wants to play superheroes  and #3 wants to color with me.
    As a Mother, I know my mission in life, the only thing I will be graded on that matters is those sweet souls I was given. If I do not teach them what is the right way in life and why, how will they know? We all must always strive to be more Mary than Martha. So, if you feel discouraged about the state of your house, don't be. Look at your littles (or bigs)and love them,play with them, and pray with them. And then give them a rag and a spray bottle of vinegar water and tell them to "mop" the floor. They will love it.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Well, hello there!

First, please let me say welcome! Just having you hear is sort of, well, awesome! If you stay here, that's just great! Let me explain a few things.
       I decided to start this blog for a few reasons. My MIL recently started blogging, and I love it. Second, I am always wanting to say something to all the articles I see on Facebook with more than a one liner- about anything that affects me: breastfeeding, pro life issues, Catholicism, mothering, homeschooling, everything! And then, I just wanted to open myself and offer a slice of my life, so that people can see what it is like to be me.
     SO what am I? When I write it, it fits in a box so neatly. I'm a stay at home Mama of four here on earth, one in heaven, I homeschool, I am a devout Catholic, and a country girl at heart. So I know what pops into your head. A skirt wearing, ultra conservative who buys her daughter saint dolls and sings the divine mercy chaplet, right?Well yes, but there is so much more. For instance, I am that rare nerd who loves Lord of the Rings, Farscape, Star Wars, AND star trek (I know right?). I play rpgs, I love anything Joss Whedon does, and no, I've never seen Dr. Who. (Yes, i know, unbelievable). But I'm also a "hippy"chick who makes her own laundry soap, cloth diapers, buys organic produce, and attachment parents. I am a crafter who crochets, embroiders, cross stiches, quilts, makes jewelry, and am trying to learn to actually sew. I love the outdoors, and horses, and chickens, and once built a small barn by myself. I took welding instead of home ec. (hindsight said that was an error) and am a tomboy.
     So why Texas Convert? Because that is what I am. I am from a lot of places, but not Texas. In fact, I HATED Texas for my whole life up to appproximatly 4 years  living here in the Lone Star State. I am also a catholic covert. I was originally nothing, an agnostic, then a wiccan, then agnostic, then episcopalian. But God finally led me home, to my husband and my faith. God is truly awesome. So join me, and I may get to explain everything I just said.