Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Last August I was asked to design a quilted banner for our parish for Advent. Here is the finished project. It involved lots of hours of loving labor from myself, and four other women from our parish. The quilting was done by machine. The finished size is a little less than 24" wide by almost 20' long! My intention in designing it was to bring a sense of the joyful anticipation of Advent. Symbolically, there are the purples and pink with the "light" of the candles. The star is paper pieced with 12 points in order to symbolize the crown of 12 stars associated with Our Lady. The star was also designed to "fall" toward the crucifix, pointing the way to Christ, the same as Mary does for us. Quilted on the banner are the seven "O-Antiphons."
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
We celebrated our US Thanksgiving, with plenty to be truly thankful for. Here are some shots of our meal, and how our house looked! We closed on our house the Tuesday before, and spent Wednesday and Thursday morning painting. A few more pictures of the house will follow in my next post.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
- Our weather has rained just enough to avoid having to drag long hoses around to water the lawn. It has also been just cool enough to make my daily walks pleasant.
- We get to breath relatively clean air here. Our neighborhood is quiet!
- Our house isn't huge, making it a snap to keep picked up. Our teens are great helpers, taking over tasks when asked, and sometimes surprising me with jobs done without having to be asked.
- I thoroughly enjoy chatting with all of our kids! They are interesting and interested people with good hearts.
- Tom has his dream job, keeping him on his toes, and letting him do what he is gifted to do. He is also racking up airmiles that enable us to fly our girls for visits, and me back to help make wedding plans.
- Our oldest daughter is getting married in 2 weeks! We'll get to visit with a lot of family and friends as we celebrate. Plus, our family will grow, and I need not be pregnant at 53! We are also looking forward to a nice, rather leisurely drive north on our way back to Canada from Texas.
- Our other two daughters are relocating to a different apartment, costing us less money for rent, and giving us some peace of mind with a bit of a less "interesting" neighborhood.
- My close, dear friends make the effort to stay in contact with me.
- We are able to live our faith without fear. We have a choice of Masses to attend, as well as parishes.
- We are meeting and becoming friends with many families who have similar values.
- It is nice to be able to just drive where I want without having to ask my chauffeur! We can walk and not feel threatened. Did I mention we breath clean air?
- Other than some poison ivy, we have little to fear in the outdoors here. No rats, sewer back-ups, iffy water supply, copperheads, fire ant mounds, killer bees, very few cockroaches, and so few mosquitoes that I am surprised when one does show up!
- We have a choice when and where we shop for food. I can trust that labels are accurate. We can recognize the products and still try food that is new to us. Milk, eggs and meat does not taste like fish!
- The local library system lets me browse shelves discovering treasures, or search online, reserve and have them delivered to our local branch, all for free!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Recent family events and dynamics have caused me to ponder quite deeply, and pray as fervently, for answers to the question of “At what point do you let them go?” We’ve been parents for close to 24 years now, and our oldest daughter is within six weeks of her wedding. The tension, to say the least, has been intense.
A new acquaintance, unrelated to our current circumstances, posed this question to her parents. “Did you ever feel the need to counsel us before we married?” Her question was valid. Her parents felt it was not their position to counsel, and it was good for their children to make their own mistakes. Huh? Until a recent conversation with my own father, I thought they were out in left field. Apparently, at least for that generation of parents, this is a common belief. Because he was hurt by the decisions of some of my sisters, he now feels quite strongly that we do not provide counsel, and must let them make their own mistakes. I can’t say that I quite agree. So far my life has been spent helping our children learn about what the dangers are and how to avoid them.
Our choice to use family centered home education stemmed not just from a desire to provide a healthy alternative to the current system of releasing our children into a system bent on molding them into a factory model, but also from a deep desire to share in their development. We both wanted to allow them to mature at their own pace, with their own interests, to broaden their worlds beyond the politics at the local PTA meeting, or the sidelines of the t-ball game.
My own efforts to provide counsel to our children have sometimes proven to be sad occasions for confrontation. In part, I do believe this is society at its schizophrenic best, telling parents to be parents, all the while urging children to ignore them. We are told to stay within arm’s reach for toddlers in the water, but then to be the bank financing a wild evening out for prom night. My mind often flips back to a Star Trek episode of a society that was required to push their young adults into the streets at night for an evening of “Festival” because this is what society insists on. We resist.
There is such a cacophony of voices competing for our adult children. They want to experience the world and life, we want to help them be wise. My father counseled me to allow them to make their own mistakes. Well, I certainly made many of my own, but knowing how much potential harm I managed to avoid by sheer dumb luck, my heart tells me to still provide counsel.
Though my counsel has been taken in with ears that didn’t hear what I said, I still need to be that mentor. The heart does strange things to conversations between mothers and daughters. We speak, as mothers, our daughters ignore as young wild things wanting to be free. As mothers we see the dangers, while our daughters see only freedom. They see the honey, we see the bees.
So, once again I am asking, as what point do we let go? Or can we ever really let go? What we desire is success in attaining heaven for all our children. At least, this is what I want. The world, instead, wants our children to leave the nest, say good riddance, and then slam into the wall. When they do, rest assured the world will be there pointing fingers back at the mothers and fathers who it will claim didn’t care enough for their young ones to guard and protect them.
We have seldom listened to the world in areas conventional and taken its wisdom as wise. So, here, too, I must insist that our job as mothers (and fathers) does not magically end when our children become adults. However, I do understand there is a time when stepping aside will come. My only question is, when? I suspect it will continue to be a balancing act of respecting our emerging adult children, and spending plenty of time on my knees in prayer.
So, my dear children, if I foresee danger, rest assured I will speak. But, also know that while you live your life as God intends, I will refrain from trying to right my own wrongs by being heavy handed in my approach. May God remain in your thoughts, and may your guardian angels remain vigilant!