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FOR TODAY – April 12th, 2010

Outside My Window: a world of yellow and gold.  Spring is loudly, boldly proclaiming its presence with a veritable orchestra of sights and sounds.  Open windows, cool breezes and birdsong.  Trees cloaked in delicate green, some festooned with frothy white blooms.  Lilacs and hyacinth scent the air.  When I consider that all this beauty is a mere shadow of the glory of Heaven it takes my breath away…

I am Listening to: the cheerful chatter of a monkey.  Curious George, that is!  The morning’s indulgence before school starts…and it’s buying mom a little computer time…

I am wearing : Blue jeans and a paisley peasant blouse.  Still have the ankle brace.

I am Thankful For: my reconstructed picnic table!  My men worked all weekend on fix it projects…this one was at the top of my list.  Today we’re having lunch al fresco…

I’m also thankful for the amazing 3 shelf grow light rack that my guys made…my trays of seedlings, cuttings and sprouts are wonderfully accommodated.  All it needs is a coat of paint.  All in all, it was a very productive weekend…

I am Reading: Virgil’s Aeneid.  Also awaiting my copy of Fatherless…I can’t wait to read this one!  Check out this review…

From the Kitchen: hot coffee and toast with pumpkin butter.  A picnic lunch…sandwiches and fruit.  Dinner:  Grilled butterflied chicken, garlic and cheese mashed potatoes, broccoli and salad.

I am Thinking: about mercy.  We returned to Church yesterday afternoon to participate in our parish’s Divine Mercy celebration.  Seeing the long lines at the four confessional stations was thrilling.  Even more thrilling?  Seeing my whole family in those lines…and this:  Abigail.  She was not pleased when she saw that Father Lutz was not hearing confessions at the time we arrived (he was attending to other pastoral needs and would be hearing confessions a little later).  Abigail boldly approached Father, waiting for his conversation with another parishioner to come to an end.  “She only wants you Father…she considers you her “confessor” and will settle for no one else!”  His smile was beautiful…he took Abigail by the hand and lead her to a pew and heard her confession.  She was one happy girl…

I am Creating: This week I’m working on necessary updates to my Control Journal and Embracing Tradition notebooks.  I’ve been engaged in conversation with a few moms on the helpfulness of these tools.  Lately, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants and have missed these “touch stones.”  I don’t believe that every mom needs to live by lists and charts…but I have a feeling that I do!  I need a list…little boxes that I can “check off”.  With the challenges of homemaking, and that feeling that it’s just never done, those little boxes show progress and help me to focus…

On my iPod: a lot of Coldplay.  And Gregorian Chant.  No…I don’t see any compatibility issues!

Towards a Real Education: Crunch time.  This is as real as it gets…we’re working on finishing up the core subjects…there’s an enormous sturdy walled above-ground swimming pool in a box on my front porch (a gift from a precious friend…thanks Renee!)   I foresee a lot of swimming and soon.  We must finish up…

Towards Rhythm and Beauty: A couple years ago I wrote Graveyard or Haven?

I’ve really been working hard to create that haven.  Our master bedroom is a pleasant space.  Three large windows fill the room with light…it’s a large room, with a decorative non-working fireplace and a lovely view from every window.  I’ve stripped the bed of its dark linens, replacing everything with springy-fresh colors and cool, crisp Egyptian cotton.  His n’ her night tables with his n’ her reading materials…I’ve tried really hard to allow hubby complete autonomy over his night table…in his case usefulness outweighs aesthetics!  For myself, I prefer a few neatly stacked books, a small lamp and a vase of flowers…yes!  I’ll take beauty, thank you very much!  Our bed is a queen-size pencil post bed…I have my eye on this beautiful filmy-white canopy that I think will enhance the overall effect.  Add to that the sweet little couch that Clementine left behind, situated beneath the window with the very best view and the results are quite charming.  My next goal?  Remove the computer desk!  Hubby has a laptop, I have my iPod touch and there are two computers in the classroom.  The bedroom shouldn’t be an office…and if it must at times, at least it shouldn’t look like one!  Now as for my sewing table…that’s another story!  It converts nicely into a credenza of sorts…a nice place for a lamp and a few photos, and then quickly and easily can be utilized for sewing projects.  Is there a double standard here?

Possibly!  Nonetheless…it’s nice to have a refuge.  It sets the tone for the rest of the home.  How can I expect the children to care about their private spaces if I give little care to the “heart of the home?”  I can’t!

To Live the Liturgy: oh, we’re living Easter.  It is joy here…

I am Hoping and Praying: Please join our family praying for the repose of the soul of Margaret Heim.  She passed away Saturday evening, unexpectedly.  She was the mother of my son-in-law and paternal grandmother to my grandchildren.  May her soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed rest in peace…

In the Garden: Maximilian cleared the Mary Garden yesterday.  The rose bushes are greening nicely.  The lilies that Abigail planted in remembrance of her First Confession are re-emerging.  Yesterday, Daddy allowed each of the children to choose a plant or two.  Today, we’ll plant pink and white hyacinths, pansies, snapdragons, rosemary and stevia. A nice start to a long standing family tradition…

Around the House: seedlings growing larger day by day.  Children busily working on core subjects…

On Keeping Home: Mom is surveying the laundry room and wishing for more clothes pins (where, oh where do those things disappear?)

One of My Favorite Things: Kind Conversation. I’m enjoying this so much…it is truly the kinder, gentler version of Facebook and it’s for Moms!

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week: Going to try to walk to the woods.  With this bum ankle, it just might be a challenge, but I’m itching to go!  It’s such a lovely place…

A Picture Thought I’m Sharing:

A few scenes from Divine Mercy Sunday:

On the way to confession…

Bits of beauty along an inner city sidewalk…

Yummy-delicious Strawberry Trifle in honor of the Divine Mercy of Jesus:

Blessings,