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Friday, August 31, 2012

don't forget to laugh...

stock photo : Baby laughing, lying on the grass


I'm bringing back an oldie but goodie for the weekend, These are Days. Not so sure about the somewhat nutty video, but the song?, fabulous.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

after the hurricane

I am thankful that we had it relatively easy and that many are still experiencing the aftermath of Isaac. Our clean-up crews have done an amazing job, we have natural light in our home again, and life is basically back to normal.

Which made me think of the daily hurricane we face as mothers. This happened in about 10 non-consecutive minutes. I think most of you are not surprised. The whole playing with something and then putting it back in its place before getting another toy didn't quite stick in our house! HAHA! And that is just fine, but as I walked in this morning from dropping my kids off at school, I realized this had to be put in order before I could get to other matters. (As an aside, I have often wondered what would have been a more helpful degree in college for my life right now. I loved Economics and it has served my thinking well, but perhaps business management would have given me more of the skills I need?:) This need for order got me thinking about physical order and how much we need it as human beings. Otherwise, I would have jumped to do the more time-sensitive things I need to do. I can't put my finger on it, so if any of you have something to add, please jump in. Yes yes, sometimes physical order to the perfect degree is impossible and aiming for it could really reveal some sort of disorder in us, that we couldn't give the proper priority to something/one that has a higher claim on us. But a general sense of order gives us something not only to us but to our entire family, and it is something very human.

I am running out of time, so have a great day!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

hurricane watch

Or rather not-watch. Almost everything has been shuttered, so we are hunkered in. There is one window we cannot shutter because my husband insists that he is not spiderman and maintenance is only here Monday-Friday. This is our first hurricane ( or tropical storm- we shall see!) since we moved here. Thankfully, I have some friends who are experienced in these matters and have assured us that we need not worry. What a difference a shuttered window makes! It sure makes you appreciate the view we normally have! Aggh!

In other news, we are in school full-swing down here. It starts super early! Which makes me realize I need to hone my managing skills! We have done montessori for the most part for early education. One day I will sing its praises and try to explain it to all the skeptics, whose company I used to keep. Now that we are doing traditional schooling, I have failed not once but twice in filling out paper work promptly and returning it! What am I doing?! I did not realize how much management goes on each day after school. I need to put my game face on and listen to the pre-game song from my volleyball days, Eye of the Tiger. HA! But seriously, we are building organizational skills, study habits, and this is real. 

Have a great day, and I will be in touch after the storm.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

building community

Boy, do I have massive hands. HAHA! I talked to my doctor about how they have gotten bigger and do you know what he said? "Too much work!" HAHA! No princess here.

So, this post is not about my hands, as you know. The cubans have a custom down here that they really do. If someone gets a cuban coffee, they also bring a stack of these tiny sip-size cups from the cafe and share it. Isn't that nice? I was included in this custom once at my hair dressers' and felt very welcomed.

As the new school year is about to begin for us down here - yes, very early! - I am not only thinking of getting all of the supplies, but of the community that it naturally expands. I sometimes think there is a lost art to building community, as if people don't really want smiling faces around. Back to Minnesota for a moment: I remember as a child seeing people driving by and waving to you from their car, whether they knew you or not. It was surprising because no one did that in Maryland. Community! The cuban coffee thing, community!

So, I don't know exactly what I will contribute to community building, but it is something I need to think about. It leads me to a deeper topic.. you knew it was coming!:)...

I was on a theology course a few years ago and something the professor said I had never heard before but made quite an impression on me so I will share it. He said that in heaven, your charity, or love for others, or heart ( however you put it that it makes sense) does not grow in heaven. The maximization occurs here. Which means there are different expansions possible. It is up to me, and God's grace, to love my neighbor. Time takes on a whole new meaning when given that tidbit of information, no? :)
It also reminds me of more common wisdom saying it doesn't matter how many degrees or awards you got in life or how intelligent you are. What matters is what you do with what you've been given, your talents. If you're smart, do you use that intelligence to serve God and neighbor? If not, it's wasted.

Which leads me to my final thought this morning, which is how we frame schooling and success to our children. I tutor kids in Algebra and some are terrified with failure. There is so much pressure to succeed and get into the right schools, job, etc. I remember that feeling, too. But what if we put education in the context of it being for a higher purpose? That way, Algebra is not just "a waste of time because I'll never use it in real life," but it becomes something to train my brain to think logically so that I can really do something great for God later in life.

Have a wonderful day, friends! And thanks for reading! This is an outlet for me as much as it may be for you. :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

looking ahead

Can you guess her age? 75-80 maybe? See her style with the ruffle on her shirt?

My grandma is nearing 91 this Fall. Can you believe it? I took this picture during my last visit to Md, although she lives in Minnesota. 

Lineage, example, and family love is so intriguing. I am sure that I not only absorbed what life was about from my parents, but also from my grandparents, especially my grandma. 

Summers were spent camping, fishing, riding bikes to the general store and visiting friends' farms. Winters were spent indoors eating the best homemade cookies known to man, hosting the stream of pop-in visitors of all ages, and preparing for celebrations like Christmas, all of which my grandma took a leading role. She still she fills her days with purpose and helping others.

God came into the world not to be served, but to serve. Looking at someone who has lived their life by this precept has taught me what my life is worth. Looking ahead can tell us much about the truth of our lives. What is it all about? If I land somewhere near my grandma, I will have run the race well.

Have a marvelous day, friends!

Monday, August 6, 2012

r & r

I'm not sure where each of you is coming from as far as your thoughts on rest and relaxation. For some, they may get too much (mere speculation because I don't personally know anyone who does), for some, too little. I will put myself in this second camp, merely to set the scene and create a true picture for you. Although, I know people who get far less than me.

But this morning, I feel like I am running on a full tank of gas, which makes me think my weekend had something to do with it! I won't walk you through the entire weekend, just point out some highlights. My husband and I went to a wonderful wedding uniting a wonderful couple on Saturday. It had been some time since we've gone to one, and I got to get dolled up, too. :) I'll add that he doesn't really like to dance, but danced more at this wedding than any other! It must be the latin music. ;) Having that adult time and date time was great.

(This is the only picture I took from the wedding- shame on me. But it is a nice story. I know this woman from MD and was celebrating my BF's next baby coming with her and we were talking about each of us going to a wedding in Miami but didn't check to see if it was the same one!Who sits in the row in front of me? The very same!)

On Sunday, we went to Mass as a family ( our usual) and met some friends at the beach. We all went out to eat at a relaxed restaurant ( for you Marylanders, think Annapolis but more casual- remember, water is everywhere here) and the kids ended the evening dancing together.

Sounds great, no? It was. I didn't cook much, we had family time and adult time, a true break from the norm. I am thinking we need to think more about r & r. Pieper has a book entitled Leisure, the Basis of Culture. I haven't read it despite a strong recommendation. I think the premise is something like you can tell a lot about a people by the way they spend their leisure time. I also think it can be applied on a more micro scale to the family and even the individual, but I'd have to read it to be able to really say. ;)

Have a wonderful day, friends, and here is a little music from my childhood I STILL like :)-
Celebrate ! Go ahead, Dad! Get your dance on!