Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why I dropped out for a week and a prayer request

I had a significant allergic reaction and have been sleeping off the powerful antihistamines for the last several days. When I was awake I was still a bit loopy, so I thought it best to keep my foggy brained thoughts to myself. I have another couple of days on the meds, but I'm starting to acclimate to them, if that's the word to choose to describe sleeping only 12 hours a day as opposed to 16 hours. I'll be back regularly when I can keep my eyes open regularly.

Meanwhile, will you pray for a dear friend of mine and her family? She is flying out tomorrow to be with her brother who is in his last days. She and many of her other siblings will be there together, but sadly her mother is unable to make the trip. Keep them all in your prayers, please.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Prayer Like Newsfeeds

When I am going through my day something will happen and I'll think, "That would make a good Facebook status." Sometimes I will even take the moment to log on and post it. It's a way to check in. Like a lot of you, I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends. I check in a lot.

Today, as the girls were rolling a mason jar full of cream back and forth to make butter, I thought up a butter churning status update. Since I was also catching up on some baking and pickle making while cooking up dinner, I knew I'd never get around to it before I forgot.

"Too bad," I thought. "My sister would get a kick out of that."

Then I got back to work, but the idea of posting nagged me a little. Cooking is one of those things that busies the hands, and when my hands are busy my mind chases thoughts down their various rabbit holes.

Being a mom of six, let me just tell you how marvelous and luxurious it is to get a chance once in awhile to complete an entire thought. Ahhh....I love cooking thinking.

So, while thinking I thought this today: What if I stayed caught up with God as much as I keep up with Facebook? What would my day be like if I was constantly checking in?

"Look, God. How cute. The girls are dressed up and having their 4th tea party today. Don't they ever get tired of it?"

"I got too much salt in these beans. I know just the fix. Chop in some raw potato to absorb the excess."

I don't mean that I'd replace my regular prayers, but merely supplement it with something more like a friendly check in.

So I tried it and I didn't feel silly or awkward. It was just like composing those Facebook statuses. Instead of sharing them online, I just shared them with God.

I might be on to something here. What do you think? Prayer as social media. Maybe it'll help my prayer life if I pray like God's reading my status updates.

Facebook has trained me to frequently check in. What if I took that habit and made it better? I wonder...

I wonder if maybe I just need more sleep.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Ugh and Yay!

--1-- Ugh!

The bug that started with a barfy kid the Monday before last has been diagnosed as the flu. It looks like we're in it for the long haul, but there are days when the yucks lighten and we get some stuff done. It could always be worse.

--2-- Yay!

My nephew and his wife had their baby girl last night in the wee hours of the morning. I've seen a picture, but so far, no name has been announced. You'll have to take my word for it that she is as cute as a button. Though I'll share photos of my own kiddos, I let my family keep their kids to themselves. It's not as if they asked for a blogging auntie!

--3-- Ugh!

I've struggled to stay on the budget for several months now. My mom got sick in March, put her house up for sale, and moved out by us, changing the family financial dynamics enough that I've needed to revamp the budget. Instead of doing the work I've been mentally estimating which is the same as not using a budget, I've discovered. The program I used on my PC can't transfer to my Mac, so I've been using the excuse that I'm stuck in a back room to do family finances as a way to avoid the duty long enough to justify buying a new program and manually transferring data. What better way can you think of to spend the flu-induced downtime?

If you need help getting started budgeting, I highly recommend heading over here to check out Dave Ramsey.


Given that we are going to be out of action for at least another week, I'd say we wrapped our home school year just in time! We won't be falling behind in our studies having the flu this early in the year. How's that for a half-full kind of thought?

Takes 5, 6, and 7 are interesting articles that I came across this week. They were thought provoking enough that I may be blogging on each one in the next few weeks.

--5-- Modern Parenting My Hinder Brain Development Notre Dame Study Finds

Though I have two major disagreements with the article, I thought this was a great read and provocative enough to share.

Nitpick #1: This title should read "Modern American Parenting" as many modern Western countries do not follow the practices cited in the article. We Americans are becoming too busy, too stressed, and too distracted to pay attention to anything for very long, much less our children. As a culture we indulge, we don't discipline. Not all of us parent this way, of course, but it's far too common. This study proves that bad parenting is bad.

Nitpick #2: They are placing a bit too much emphasis on breastfeeding as a mark of good parenting. I've seen a few moms who managed to breast feed and parent badly. Since I've both bottle fed and breastfed, my kids are a mix of both, and I can say with some authority that I don't love the bottle fed any less than those I fed on homemade milk. Don't get me wrong, breastfeeding is wonderful if you can manage it, but using it as a marker of nurturing behavior is a bit of a stretch. Sometimes bottle feeding is the only option. Let's not pile on the guilt by implying it's bad parenting.

"Social practices and cultural beliefs of modern life are preventing healthy brain and emotional development in children, according to an interdisciplinary body ofresearch presented recently at a symposium at the University of Notre Dame.

'Life outcomes for American youth are worsening, especially in comparison to 50 years ago,” says Darcia Narvaez, Notre Dame professor of psychology who specializes in moral development in children and how early life experiences can influence brain development.'"
Link to article...

--6-- Here! Here! I Agree!

This article on that overwhelmed feeling of being a new parent pretty much sums it up. I think parenting one was hard, two was hard, three was the worst. Six is a breeze in comparison. Parenting is hard, but it just gets easier as the family gets bigger.

Or maybe I'm just lowering my standards. At any rate, here's the article link so that she can reassure you that it's okay to be maxed out by the number of children that you currently have. Even veteran moms of many remember those days...

To Moms of One or Two Children

--7-- And Just in Case You Disagree with 1 to 6, Here's a Handy Article

When in doubt, take it personally. 


Friday, August 2, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--1-- Monday lasted almost all week

Nothing says Monday quite so well as a barfing kid. Not only did the bug stick around long enough to infect everyone except Mr. Baby, that frantic, overtired, overwhelmed, and under motivated feeling that defines Monday stuck around, too. By Wednesday, I'd figured out that the lingering Monday malaise was simply the fever I'd developed. Once I had it through my thick skull that I was actually sick, I felt better.

--2-- Reason #453 we love our parish Priest

It was tough getting everyone rolling and out the door to our 9th and final First Friday devotion. We go to the latest Mass possible in our diocese. It's 8:30 a.m. over at another church near ours, and we just barely manage to make it. Today was no exception. We managed to arrive, despite our usual mad dasher, with 3 minutes to spare.

But there was no one in the parking lot and a note on the door informing us that there was no Daily Masses today. Of course, this would have been announced in the bulletin, but we don't receive this church's bulletin. This church is our "Friday Church" as the kids put it. My husband and I locked eyes. Were we going to have to start over with the 9 months of First Friday Masses? Again?! This was our second attempt at the devotion, so we'd been at this for almost two years!

We got everyone back to the van and called all the Amarillo churches, including ours, asking about Daily Mass schedules. None of them had one that my husband could go to without taking time off of work (which is impossible on a Friday anyway). Our parish priest, Monsignor Rex Nicholl, asked us what we were up to and we filled him in. "Too bad I have a meeting this morning or I'd help you!"

Well, we struck out. It was so disappointing, but we were resigned to another 9 months of First Friday Masses. It wouldn't hurt us any, we mused, but we felt a little defeated over it. Ah well, off to the library to claim our prizes for the Summer Reading Program, then!

At the library, Father called us back. "I thought I couldn't do an extra Mass this morning, but I can. Come over to the Church!"

He set up and said a special Mass just for our family, just so we could complete our devotion. It was beautiful, as all Masses are, and extra powerful personally because it was said for us, personally.

We Martins will never, ever forget this. Wow, huh?

--3-- Done with school

Other than a little catch up and keep up with math and reading, we are officially on a break! Yay! No more school until after Labor Day. I'm so happy I could spit, but considering what's been going on at my house this week, I'll just keep all bodily fluids contained.

--4-- This calls for a celebration!

Well, we're sick, so let's sit around and celebrate by watching Finding Nemo after checking it out from the library! Yay.

--5-- Andy made cheese

My husband took pity upon his feverish wife Wednesday and decided to take care of all the milk that was piling up in our fridge. He took one look at me and said, "Nah! I don't want you contaminating it," pulled out the recipe book and made it himself. It's good, too.

He's such a great guy!

--6-- I'm having a relapse. Ugh.

Just when I thought I'd seen the worst of the bug, it decided to bite back. I was starting to feel the best I'd felt in a few days until around 4 o'clock this afternoon. Then it struck again. Pardon me if I don't pretty this post up with pictures and other things of interest. I'd rather be a big wimp about it.

--7-- Speaking of wimps

I'm going to wimp out on #7 here. I've just been granted the opportunity to nap and I don't want to miss it. I sure hope there aren't any typos today. If there are, I'll catch them later. Later!