Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's been a while again since I've written but here I am! Life has been incredibly busy and I've reduced my online time since school began. I can't believe I only have 18 months of homeschooling left. It's been such a huge part of my life these last 17 years that it's almost difficult to imagine my life without it! The result is that I've really been pouring myself into it and try to make the best of these least few precious months with my boys.

Michael will graduate in May and is planning on going to culinary school. Even that will be a big change next year with just John to teach. I will probably be finding myself free from afternoon school most days at that point. We still don't know what the dear Lord has planned for our John after next year but I am leaving it in His hands and know that He will some how lead us there. I know that John won't be able to handle college but perhaps a job in his future. Mark and I have come to the realization that we will probably have John living with us for a long time.

Our darlin' daughter turned 24 yesterday and that is still so hard to believe. I know she's a bit frustrated with her life right now but I keep praying that the dear Lord will lead her heart where He wants her to go. I can only watch, pray, and be here if she needs me.

We are also in the middle of doing a bit of redecorating. Our house is now 20 years old and we haven't changed much in that time. So last week Mark painted the half bath and I bought all new accessories to update its look. The carpet in the living room and dining room is well worn from twenty years of raising a family and it's going to be replaced the Monday after Thanksgiving. We are having Thanksgiving dinner at our house for our family members who can make it...this year it will probably be only 16....but I'm so excited about having it! For some crazy reason, I love hosting Thanksgiving some years. I find it so much easier than Christmas for some reason.

The carpet guys wanted to come the day before Thanksgiving to install it but I vetoed that...too much craziness when I have so much to do that day already. Today Mark and Michael are painting Michael's bedroom which has been in disarray since Beth moved out a year ago. Then the second week in December, new carpet will be arriving for the boys' bedrooms and the upstairs hall. I am also planning on remodeling our kitchen next summer which should be a lot of fun too. = )

I pray that our dear Lord will bless your Thanksgiving Day with His joy and peace.....heart

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sick Days

My home school year has gotten off to a bad start unfortunately. I started feeling bad on Tuesday and by the evening, I was achy all over, running a fever, had a headache, and was coughing like crazy. I have spent the rest of the week on the couch or in bed. I went to the doctor this morning and I have bronchitis. He gave me an antibiotic so hopefully, I will be feeling better in a few days.

The other thing that has made it harder to bear is that the weather has been absolutely gorgeous the last few days; the nicest days we have had in over two months. I have had the windows open which is a good thing but I do so wish that I felt well enough to be out and about in it. I just keep telling myself that the dear Lord has a better plan; there's a reason for everything...

I pray that all of you have a blessed, peaceful weekend....heart

Monday, August 23, 2010

Year 17

Year 17 of homeschooling begins! Only two years to go....heart

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

90 years old today....

It is such a blessing to still have him with us..heart

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another week of summer has flown by...

I must admit I'm getting tired of the endless heat...this is one of the hottest summers we've had in a while. Right now, we are getting a new geothermal heating and cooling system installed and the A/C is off. It's not hot in here yet...I turned the thermostat down to 68 degrees this morning and it was about 70 degrees when they arrived so I'm hoping that it will stay cool for a good part of the day. If not, the fans are on standby...

I'm thinking about the beginning of the school year...Michael's last year at home and only two more for my Johnny. Where has the time gone? It's hard for me to believe my homeschooling years will soon be behind me. I was looking at a homeschooling website and I was getting sad thinking about the early years and how I almost wish I could go back and have all the options they have now and that I could do a few things over. Hindsight...

We are going on vacation next month... the last half of Texas. The boys, especially Michael, have always wanted to visit Texas and it's not a place to go to in the middle of the summer; though I imagine it may be pretty hot there in September too! We're looking forward to watching the Reds play the Astros in Houston, the beach at Galveston (hopefully no hurricanes!), the Alamo and Riverwalk in San Antonio, and Lake Travis near Austin where I'm hoping we will also get to visit with Will's sister and her family. Then we're moving on to Kansas City to meet the Gordon BOPs in person! I'm looking forward to that too though I'm always afraid that when I meet an online friend in person, that they won't like me...

After Kansas City, we're moving on to visit Will in Omaha. Last summer, he was out there visiting friends and he met the younger sister of someone he went to the Josephinum with. He started talking to her and visiting when he could this past year. He got laid off from his teaching job here at the end of the school year so he decided to move to Omaha. I must admit I've had mixed feelings! I'm happy for him because I know this is where his heart is leading him but I do miss getting to see him. Angela is a sweet young lady (I've had the privilege of talking to her twice) and I'm looking forward to getting to know her a little better when we visit there. It will be nice to see the town where Will is living...and him, of course!

I guess I should get off here and do something useful. winky

A blessed, peaceful day to you all....may you be ever mindful of His endless love....heart

Thursday, August 5, 2010

32 Years of Wedded Bliss

Mark and I are celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary today....what a joy!!! heart

I can't believe how quickly the years have gone....I look back at pictures from our wedding day and we look like such babies at the age of 20! I was trying to remember things about that day and it's amazing how much of a blur it all is. It was a cool, rainy day; very unlike the weather we're having this year. I remember packing up the last of my clothes that I would need and my brothers dismantling my bed and taking it to our new apartment. I remember well my brothers helping me out to the car and I had to lift up my wedding dress and walk over boards in the front yard because my parents had work being done on the foundation of the house and everything was a mess. One brother was holding my arm and the other was carrying an umbrella over my head and we were all laughing....

I remember being slightly dismayed because the bridesmaids' bouquets were not what I had ordered and I didn't like them, but it wasn't too serious.

I remember the huge smile on Mark's face as I came up the aisle; he was a very relaxed bridegroom. His best man was the one who was a nervous wreck! I do wish I had a video of our wedding; that wasn't available in those days. I would love to be able to hear Monsignor's homily again...I can't remember a word he said.

After Mass, we went to visit Mark's grandparents who were in poor health and couldn't come. We had planned on having pictures taken in their yard and Mark's sisters had spent hours making it beautiful, but unfortunately the rain kept that from happening. But they loved seeing us...

I hardly had time to eat at the reception so by 10 o'clock, I had a headache and Mark went around trying to find if anyone had some aspirin I could take! That helped though I do remember feeling very tired by the time midnight rolled around. After the reception, we realized that the car we had had brought there for us to drive off in was almost empty of gas. (Poor planning on our part...hehe!) There were no all-night gas stations around, so we went to my grandmother's farmhouse and Mark put gas in the car from the gas tank we had there for farm equipment and I sat in the farmhouse in my wedding gown with my grandmother and great-aunt to wait...they loved getting to have me all to themselves for a few minutes!

It was definitely a happy, exciting day.

And since we have been blessed with our joys and our sorrows but I know He is with us through them all....blessing our love, blessing our faithfulness to each other, showering us with His gifts of faith, hope, and love...

God is good, indeed!heart

Monday, August 2, 2010

I love helping at the Bible Institute but it does run a body ragged. As a result, I'm now running a fever and have a nasty cold. But on the bright side, it's a good excuse to take it easy for a few days! Hopefully, it won't last too long...

I'm enjoying catching up on my email, paying the bills, and doing the type of things that don't take much energy. I was actually able to do my normal morning prayer time today though I must admit I stayed in bed a bit longer today.

I'm also enjoying looking out the windows at our flower beds. Goldfinches are eating our coneflower seeds, hummingbirds are at our cannas, and all types of butterflies are enjoying our butterfly bushes...absolutely beautiful! I can't believe it's August already though I must admit I am looking forward to it becoming a bit cooler...the endless heat is getting old.

A blessed, peaceful Monday to all....heart

Friday, July 30, 2010

I am always struck by the irony of the fact that when we're working at the Bible Institute every year, my prayer life suffers horribly that week. I find myself doing my morning prayer as Mark and I drive there. We do go to Mass there everyday, but by the end of the day, I am so exhausted that I don't have the energy for more than a simple prayer of "Thank you, dear Lord, for getting me through this day".
Last night we didn't stay for the evening session....I was out of clean clothes and needed to do laundry and John had been home alone most of the day. I came home and threw a load of laundry in and sat in the quiet of my room and prayed a rosary....heavenly.
Only two days to go until it is over for another year.
A blessed Friday to all....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to our Michael!!!!

18 years old today....heart

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm back again....

Suffering through my normal summer blues...driving me crazy some days but I know it will get better in a few weeks...and not every day is bad.

Bible Institute begins tonight and I'm hoping that it won't be as stressful as I think it's going to be. The youth group had the opening night of their play "Tobit"(based on the book of Tobit) last night and both of my darlin' sons were in it. John had several nonspeaking roles (and did a great job!) and Michael had one of the lead roles.... Sarah's father, Raguel. He was the comic relief of the play and I received many compliments last night on his performance, which is always fun! They do it again on Monday night and then the weeks of practice and all the fun it entails will be over....

Michael turns 18 next week and it absolutely boggles my mind. In 14 months, all of my children will be legally did that happen???!!!!

"I don't remember growing older; when did they?"

But seriously...I am going to try to get back to blogging again. I think I need the outlet of it. Life has changed quite a bit these last few big joyful thing; others sad and stressful. Not many people read this any more, especially people I know IRL, so it will probably be a good place for me to write. If it wasn't for me darlin' husband I would be feeling terribly lonely these days. It feels as if the dear Lord is stripping me of so many of the people who I thought were my support and showing me that I need to rely on Him alone...

Off to take a shower and finish some laundry then head up to Xavier University with my Johnny to help people move into the dorms for Bible Institute. It promises to be a hot one...they're saying 97 degrees...yikes!

A blessed, peaceful Friday to all...heart

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hello Again

I have really lost my interest in updating. I'm not sure why but I have. I have kept reading everyone's updates on my subscription list though I must admit I haven't commented frequently.
Life has changed so much these last few months. I took Michael out of his high school co-op at Christmastime and so I'm much busier teaching him and John, but I am much happier homeschooling this way. I have my peace back. I was not enjoying the co-op experience at all this year so I'm so glad that I decided to do this and our dear Lord has blessed this decision.
Michael also started a job six weeks ago. He works at a local Catholic elementary school cleaning everyday for 3 hours in the late afternoon. It's really a perfect job for him.
Beth is busy working and decorating her new condo and she also broke off with her boyfriend of 7 years. She started talking to me about the possibility after Christmas and I have spent many hours talking to her these last few months. She is doing well with it all though she surely shocked a lot of people! The only problem is all the guys who are asking her out and she's not interested and she has to nicely tell them no.
It is so different than what I expected to be happening now...for a long time we thought we would be planning a wedding for 2011 and now there's definitely not a possibility of that! The only thing that makes me sad is that I was really looking forward to being a grandma in about two or three years...hehe....
The dear Lord made me wait a long time to become a mama and I guess now He's going to make me wait a long time to be a grandma. As Mark always told me back in our waiting days..."Good things come to those who wait."
I just sit and watch my friends who are my age and younger becoming grandmas just like I had to sit and watch everyone else becoming a mother first but God has a wonderful plan in everything!

So I'm busy but happy and content....these last six months have been some of the happiest I have ever felt. There are many ways which the dear Lord has healed me emotionally these last few months and I am eternally grateful. As long as we live, we grow and mature. God is good, indeed....always.

I hope and pray that all of you are well....
A blessed day to all...

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Pain of Infertility

I've talked to a few people about infertility and adoption lately and it's reminded me of the pain we have endured with our infertility.I wish I could say that all of these issues have been resolved; but every once in a while they rear their ugly heads and make me miserable again for a while. However, each time I draw closer to healing, all with His grace.

I've noticed whenever I talk to young adults or teens that aren't married yet, they almost always assume they'll be able to have children when they marry. Anytime I bring up the other possibility they tend to look at me with disbelief. One of the few who doesn't is my own darlin' daughter; perhaps because she has lived with my infertility too....her (and our dear sons') very presence in our family is a result of that.
Whenever Mark and I talk to an engaged couple from our parish, I always bring the possibility up. Most of them have never discussed it. I know that Mark and I did discuss adoption in our pre-marriage days, but I wonder if we were the exception. I know that I always had a positive outlook towards adoption. I remember reading several books about it as a child and I was always fascinated by the topic. Perhaps our dear Lord was preparing me.
Though many don't think of it, the possibility is there. Mark and I each have five siblings. We suffered through infertility, and we each have a sibling who suffered through it too. We were the only ones to adopt; my brother and his wife and Mark's sister and her husband chose not to.They have remained childless.
None of us were people who would have been considered high risk for infertility. It was just part of God's plan.
The ironical thing in my family was that my brother and his wife and Mark and I were the only ones among my siblings who didn't use artificial contraception. The rest all did, at least in the beginning of their marriages. Some have since come to accept the Church's teaching on it. However, they were the ones who were fertile and we were the ones who weren't. It didn't seem fair....sometimes, the unfairness of it all would anger me.
I know that our dear Lord planned for our family to be the way it is, but I would think "Couldn't you have just sent me one baby after we adopted our others?" Other people would tell me stories all the time about people they knew who adopted and then got pregnant. Not me....
I remember being at a party with a bunch of Mark's friends from college many years ago when we were suffering with longing for a baby and before we were blessed with our Beth. One couple got up and said they had an announcement to make. I thought to myself "Oh no, another pregnancy announcement. Prepare your heart Barb."
However, this was even worse. They announced that they were planning on getting pregnant that month. They had decided this was the right time and they were confident it would happen.
And it did...
Drove me a bit crazy at the time.
I wanted others to be able to have babies, but I wanted to have them too.
Then there were the people who implied that we weren't praying enough; that we were lacking in faith. If we prayed hard enough or in the right way, we would have a baby. In other words, we were doing something wrong. I remember listening to a tape by a Catholic woman (who had five children) that barrenness was a curse from God. She quoted an Old Testament Scripture about it and talked about how they overcame infertility with faith. I couldn't believe it. Once again, momentarily, I felt like a failure.
I threw that tape away. It made me doubt but somehow I kept telling myself that I wasn't a failure; that this woman was wrong. It had nothing to do with Mark and me having a lack of faith. God had a plan even if I didn't like every aspect of it.
Several years ago, Mark and I were out for dinner with friends. We were talking about adoption and the husband said he could never adopt a child; he could never love someone else's child. I've heard that before but it became worse. He told us how he had wanted his wife to go to the doctor before they were married to make sure she could have a baby. She refused. I asked him what he would have done if she had gone and the doctor had said she couldn't and he honestly said that he didn't know; that he might have changed his mind about marrying her. I couldn't believe he was sitting there, saying that in front of his wife. Fortunately for their marriage, the good Lord has blessed them with many children but I couldn't believe the attitude. I felt blessed that I knew that Mark had never felt that way....he loved me, not my ability to bear children.

So our infertility has been a cross to bear and a blessing. Without it, we would not have Beth, Michael, and John. It has bonded Mark and me closer together.
It has brought pain, but it has also brought growth.
I think of the fact that a child is a gift from God. Our modern society tends to think of having a child as a right. When I was going through treatment for the infertility and the treatments that were allowed by the Church weren't helping, my doctor suggested invitro fertilization. He really felt that I was an excellent candidate; that I would get pregnant that way. But I said, "No, it's against my faith." and he laughed at me and told me that many Catholics were using it, but I knew that didn't make it right. I have comfort in that.
Children are a gift, not a right.
Hold yours tight...

A blessed Saturday to all....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Significance of Dreams...

I've always wondered about the significance of dreams. I know I dream every night, but I usually only remember bits and pieces of my dreams and rarely do I remember a dream vividly. In the last few years, however, there have been a few times that I do remember a particular dream and I wonder if they mean anything or why I remember those in particular.
Sometime in the last few years, I blogged about a dream (but I can't go back and find it easily; I guess I should start tagging my entries) where I was in what seemed to be a huge glass ball. There were many other people in it with me, but I knew no one else. We were out in space and it was all dark except for the stars. I remember being afraid...I didn't know who I was with or where we were going. We could see out all around us...
Suddenly, I could see the sun ahead of us and we were moving towards it...I knew we were on a collision course and that when we hit it, my life would end. My heart was pounding, anticipating it. I looked around at all the unfamiliar faces, and then noticed a woman walking towards me, smiling. She held out her hand to me and I kept thinking that she looked strangely familiar. She looked like me, only better and I realized that she was my guardian angel. She told me that she would stay with me through it all and that I needn't be afraid...that everything would be all right. I felt His peace come over me and all fear left me...
That was when I woke up.
Several months ago, I had a dream where I was walking down the street from our house to my parents' house. It was a cloudy, cold day and no one was out and about. I heard the noise of a large vehicle behind me, and I turned around to see. At first, it looked like a large red truck but then I realized that it was a large red train car on wheels. It came slowly down the street and stopped right by me. There was glass in the front that was for the person driving it to see, but it was all dark and I couldn't see inside. My heart was pounding as it slowly moved past me and the side door slid open and I could see all these people inside, crying and sobbing. Someone motioned to me to come near but I shook my head no. It went by and up the street and over the hill. I was very afraid by now so I ran down the street to my parents' house. I rang the doorbell but they didn't answer. I could hear the sound of the train car coming back up the hill, so I ran around the house to the basement door. It was unlocked and I flew in. I tried to relock the door, but the lock wouldn't work. I saw a shadow by the basement windows and looked over to see the train car slowly backing down my parents' driveway. I knew they were after me, but the door wouldn't lock. My heart was pounding as I could see them coming nearer, and at that moment, I thankfully woke up. All I could think of then was the pictures of the victims of the Holocaust in train cars that I had seen...
Last night, I had another strange dream. I was in an unfamiliar house. There were many people there, but I didn't know anyone. I knew we were all in some kind of war situation. The enemy was near...
I don't know exactly how it happened, but suddenly there was a man standing in front of me. I knew he was the leader of the enemy...I felt evil coming forth from him and my heart started pounding. He handed some pills to me and the man standing next to me. They were odd-looking, reminding me of candy, but I knew they weren't candy...they were poison. He told the other man and me to take them. He said they would be good for us, but I knew he was lying. I stood there holding them in my hand and the evil man moved back away and out of my sight. The man next to me decided to take them and put them in his mouth and for a moment, I was tempted to take them also, but didn't. I crushed them and threw them away. A woman standing next to me asked me what I was doing, and all I could say was that they were poison. At that moment, the man who had taken the pills started becoming sick to his stomach. He collapsed and passed out. I knew then that I had been right and that they were poison. I looked up through the crowd of people around me watching and I could see the evil man coming back; he was glaring at me and very angry; he knew I hadn't taken the heart started pounding and then thankfully, I woke up.
I laid awake a long time after this took a while for the beat of my heart to return to normal.

It is strange to me that in all three dreams there was no one I knew with me. I was either alone or with a group of people unknown to me. I'm not sure of the significance of that...
Crazy, I know, but these dreams all stay with me.

A blessed, peaceful Sunday to all.....