The often mundane and infrequently exciting adventures of a Mom who came Joyfully sauntering back home to The Church. Her unique and wonderful, Baptist Husband who sped past her on his way to Catholicism, their 8 Hooligans and 1 perfect Grandson.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reality Mom

It seems in our culture today, and especially amongst Christian women there is this idea we must be perfect. If not actually "be" perfect, at least appear like we are. I do not have enough smoke and mirrors in my possession to make me look even adequate, let alone perfect on most days.

In my little world or reality, my house is often a mess, my twin teen boys snarky and hard to motivate. I still need to lose at minimum another 25-30 lbs to look normal and seem to be dragging my feet or my behind on that one. My husband works long hours at work and then again at home. He gets lost in his "projects," leaving me feeling frustrated and alone. My garden grows weeds better than anything else, we have too many animals on this farm that looks like Ma and Pa Kettle live here and I just get so frustrated and overwhelmed by it all. I need, no really I must just fall at God's feet everyday. If not for prayer I would be in a very quiet place with nice soft walls! I have become increasingly dependent on my Heavenly Father to simply get through a day. That is reality!

I really get annoyed when a young Mom trying to do her best is left feeling like she is failing. I tell her. We all fail, everyday. Do not compare yourself to Mrs. Whoosy in the pew to the left. She has her own struggles and issues. WE ALL DO! I do not care how lovely her home is or how seemingly well behaved her children are. Nobody is free from the scars of the hurts we all face as we stumble through life.

Just get up in the morning, love God, your husband and babies and put one foot in front of the other until bedtime. We are NOT Martha Stewart, we do not need to be gourmet cooks or financial geniuses. We just need to love.
I am still learning the importance of loving and showing Grace and Mercy to others. Even others I do not want to show any of those to. I pray for a Servants Heart, so I can love my husband, children and others the way God wants me to, not MY way!

Of course I have those days when I've doled out the love and encouragement and care and I am left feeling empty and alone. Mom's rarely get back what they give out.I know it is in the job description somewhere in very very fine print. THAT is precisely when we turn to Jesus or Mary and lean on them. I tend to lean hard. They hold me up.

Reality is this...Life is messy, I hurt others, they hurt me, I struggle with endless issues, I fight sin and lose every day. BUT! Because of HIS grace and mercy, I get to start new everyday. I get to keep growing and learning. God is good! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Oh Lord make me humble, help me love, give me a Servants Heart. Let others see you in me. Less of me Lord More of You!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why THE PILL is EVIL!!!!!

I have managed to live all my adult life without contraception. I avoided the Pill like the plague. I knew it was an abortifacient and that it was, for lack of better word, inherently evil. Unfortunately due to some rather miserable Menopausal symptoms I caved and took the pill for 5 whole days. It was supposed to be 3 weeks. It was a miserable 5 days. I have long eschewed Birth Control. Jim and I believe God is in control of families and their size. Yes, He does give you the Grace and ability to handle however many you end up with. I know this because despite some interesting issues I am still relatively intact after parenting 8. RELATIVELY! It is our sick society that tells you any more that 2 and you are going to be miserable. Even Christian/Catholic friends see more than 2 or 3 children as a burden.

Scripture tells us that Debt is a curse and Children are a blessing. In our culture we apply for a curse and refuse blessings. What is wrong with THAT picture!

I even read an article recently that talked about how women on the pill are making bad choices in men. The pill tricks your body into thinking it is pregnant. Therefore, your natural ability to choose a suitable mate for yourself is inhibited by hormones. Now that is not science, just an opinion. Still it does make one wonder with the decline of American Morals in the last 50 years. This year the pill is 50! It has not freed women, it has enslaved us into believing the most treasured and cherished and difficult job on earth is a hassle. That our precious sexuality is up for grabs because we will not be burdened with a child until we choose. We choose!?!
God is THE AUTHOR OF LIFE. Amazing things happen when He is in control.

Women must take their bodies and souls back. Femininity, fertility etc are gifts from God. Instead of squashing it and competing with men and talking about reproductive freedom (aka the pill) we must find true freedom as whole women. Not, medicated, sterilized, gender neutral drones. Our power is in our femininity, not in our ability to be like men.

I pray daily for the eradication of the pill and the end to abortion. What have we come to?

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Happy Place!

I love this picture for so many reasons! 1. Because it shows my 2 eldest children as they were 20 years ago. 2. It has my friend Krista's 2 girls in it, now grown and beautiful young women. 3. Because it was Grandma and Grandpa's cabin at Priest Lake. So many times I would pack up the kids, some PB & J and Hot Dogs and we would live life at the lake. That cabin was my sanity and safe haven during the demise of my 1st marriage in 1989/90. It was the one "home" that was consistent during my late childhood and adoloescence. It broke my heart when my parents sold it.
I still cannot get enough of Priest Lake. I live as close as possible making sure Jim has a reasonable commute. In the Summer and Fall I often take off and make the hour drive to have some solitude. The lake is still my happy place. Jim proposed to me there. We camp there as often as possible. Our kids learned to fish and swim there. It truly is my "Happy Place". If I disappear this summer, you will know where to find me!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Men in My Life

I was up late the other night. We had company. Well this friend really isn't company. He is more like family and we love his visits and great talks. I saw him off and as I was heading for bed I stopped to check on the children, long asleep. I was reminded of how I used to do that every night when they were smaller. You know how when you have a newborn and you are constantly checking to see if they are still breathing. Not so much with teens. Still, there I was Wed. night checking on my no longer little angels.

The Lord blessed me with a precious moment. I looked at the sleeping faces of my teen boys and realized in such a short time they will be men. Their faces still soft and voices changing I see little boys, yet that is not true. They are growing and changing and seeking independence from me. That is bittersweet. I will not emasculate my boys or hold them emotional hostages. I want them to grow in to strong independent men. BUT! My Mother's heart wants to cling and remember and shower then with hugs and kisses. OH HOW THEY HATE THAT. So I refrain. Remembering the funny little boys with dirty hands and snotty faced grins.

My prayer is this...Lord in the midst of the disrespect and rudeness and eye rolling, help me to see the little boys they were and the men they will be. Draw them ever closer to you. Thank you Lord for the men in my life.

My husband who is unlike any other, his overwhelming and unconditional love for me.

My 5 handsome healthy sons, may their lives be a glory to you.

For my brother who is a dear friend. May he seek you fervently!

For a friend who is like a brother. Protect him Lord. Daily reveal his worth to him. Give him the strength to do your work.

How blessed I am!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Girl Can Dream Can't She!

Someday I will have a bathroom with a door. A real door with a bolt lock. A door close enough to the floor that little children and small animals can not stick their paws underneath and plaintively whine or meow. A real door that 13 yo Burglars in training can not open with a wooden Bar B Q skewer, so they are certain you heard them ask you for something to eat. Evidently 7 meals a day is not enough for them.
I have a bedroom door that locks, but the Master Bath has no door. Yet, one more thing on my Big Postal Boy's "Honey Do" list. I love my Bathroom with its big jetted tub with just enough of an edge for really cool candles, my glasses and some good books. You see I think of it as a retreat. A mini spa for Mom. My children see it as a place they know they can find Mom on a hard day.
I realize that by the time I get a real door with a real lock, no one will come knocking!

Peter the Great!

Had to throw a pic of my grandson in.
He really is the worlds most beautiful baby. Just sayin'

Easter Vigil Pics

Jim being confirmed. AMAZING!

Little angels (cough cough)await their Baptism.

Thomas being Baptised with the required Holy Goggles!


Another Catholic Family!

Here we are! The newest Catholic family on the block. Love this pic, except for the woman in the back row that looks like her Dad in Drag. YIKES! Adobe Photo Shop here I come!
Handsome hubby and cute kids though!

God's Precious Angels

My "Blessings". Yes they really are that ornery!
Gotta love em'.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Secret Weapons

My day to day life is made up of very ordinary, mundane moments. Cooking, cleaning, another load of laundry. Home school Packets distributed on Monday, due on Friday, the push all week to see them completed. A moment to pray. A phone call from Jim to remind me he loves me. (My favorite kind of phone call). Kids quarreling, goats escaping, Power walks and long talks with my Father and Blessed Mother, overdrawn checking accounts, messy bedrooms, toys and bikes all over the struggling to survive front lawn. Autistic meltdowns, ornery disrespectful teens, a hormonal, weepy 12yo girl and a sometimes needy, still at home, 30 yo . Friends who call because they have adopted and know I was an adolescent counselor to "Kids at Risk" in another life. Their kids are driving them as nuts as my little angels drive me. They think I have answers and solutions! BAHAHAHAHAHA!

I search for organization to the daily mess, quiet and respect from my kids and long for more time with Jesus and Mary. I have no answers. The older I get, the fewer answers I have!

I am beginning understand that is where God wants me. CLUELESS and ON MY KNEES!

All that my education has taught me has been used up on some pretty high need kiddos. My bag of Mom tricks is empty. However, as a recent Revert to my faith I have rediscovered 2 very powerful weapons, that I plan on implementing this week. 1. Praying the Rosary as a family, at least 1 decade every night 2. Taking my little darlings to Mass on Friday's to be followed by 30 minutes of adoration.

I firmly believe that the power of prayer can supersede any snarky teen attitude or hormonal hissy fit. Maybe I will even receive the grace of patience. THAT would really be a miracle!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Other Mothers!

Women (Ok. ME) have a bad habit of comparing themselves to one another. WHY? I do not know. Last week was one of those times when I felt like an utter failure as a mom, teacher, human! Do I go to the Lord? Heck no! I compare myself to other Moms who have less children and none with any of the alphabet soup diagnosis of my crazy crew. ADHD, OCD, ODD, FAE, Noonan's, Cerebral Palsy, Aspergers etc. Sometimes I need to write that all out to remind myself, because in day to day happenings they seem like regular kids. Sort of!

Comparing myself to the "Saintly Mothers" with only 3-4 healthy kids is an act of futility. My prayer life is "On the Fly", though I am working on that. My home looks like 25 kids live in it and no matter how often and how far I walk everyday and how few calories I consume I will forever be (in my Grandmother's words) "A nice big, healthy Lithuanian Girl". There are days I wish my Mother had married an Irish Dwarf instead of a relative of Dick Butkus! It is not a pretty picture to look like your Dad in drag!

I need to quit comparing myself. All women do. It is a by product of this bizarre culture we live in. Thin and youth obsessed and over Feminized we knock ourselves out to be better than our neighborhood "Martha Stewart" or "Sister Bertha Better Than You" in the front pew. Personally I think it is a the "Evil One" whispering and taunting. I know this because just yesterday a sweet friend of mine told me when we met she thought I was the perfect mom because all my children (ages 6yo and under) were all dressed so nicely and well behaved. I think I laughed until I cried. Of course she knows better 7 years later. We really do not know that the other Mom has it all together. We are all just schlubs trying to put one foot in front of the other and get through life.

Will someone please remind me of that the next time I take a walk down the hormonal highway!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

One of those days, weeks, months.............

Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me. Please Lord.

Certainly Lord you could have chosen someone far more capable than me for this journey.

What Am I Missing?

I have always felt like I had a slightly anemic faith. It has always been there. just not the deep contemplative faith I see in others. It is not even the hyper energetic faith of the Charismatics.
Yes, my prayer life could be better, more often, etc. I absolutely do love my Lord Jesus and I cannot even imagine how I functioned 17 years without the Blessed Mother, still...
What bothers me is that I do not think it is obvious. Jim is obvious in his faith like Tigger from Winne the Pooh. Our Pastor, at his quietest radiates it! I have a friend who has 5 children, now nearly grown and is SUPER contemplative and deeply spiritual. Then there is me. Sunday Mass I spend keeping the twins from wrestling in the pew, and try to focus on the Homily and get out of the Mass as much as I can since it will be 5 days until I can go again. I am certainly not the Saintly Mother in the pew with her little angels. The only thing I radiate is frustration. YUCK! I need to change that!
Most days I hit the floor running and don't stop until bedtime. I pray with the children, say a rosary at some point and read about my faith each day. Yet, I wonder why I feel so weak?

It is not that I don't feel. It is the opposite.I REALLY feel. Easter Vigil was so amazing it overwhelmed me into literal numbness. Seeing my husband go to communion floors me every Sunday. I have no words. I am so thankful and grateful and amazed and humbled all at once.
Yet, I am a complete dweeb. After this incredible Easter Vigil Mass, everyone went into an adjoining common room for a celebration. Me, being the spiritual retard sat in the pew just trying to breath, and comprehend all that had taken place. Of course I had to make some flippant remark. YIKES! I wish I could lower my sarcasm and up the volume on what my heart feels. Why can't I be one of those quiet saintly types?
Well it is a new day. I know what my heart wants, now let us see if the rest of me follows through!

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Ordinary/Extrordinary Day.

Someone, who finds my life fascinating. (poor schlub) asked me to write out what a typical day is here at Johnson's Nut and Berry Farm aka The House of Chaos. Not real exciting stuff but for my friend and and for my kids to look back on here goes.

4:00am Jims alarm goes off. He ignores it until I wake up and and then wake him up.

4:30. Jim leaves for work, I know this because he never leaves without giving me a kiss. It is a policy in this house, neither one leaves without kissing the other goodbye, even on quick errands.

I fall back asleep

7am (if I am lucky) A curly headed 7year old comes in my room and gets about a 1/4 of an inch from my ear and in a typical little boy voices (not quiet) asks "What's fer breakfast Mama?"


After a cup of coffee, I get breakfast and the other 4 come wandering out.

8:30. All are fed and dressed and getting busy with Farm and daily chores. I head out on my 3 mile walk. 1 1/2 miles are straight up hill. I take my rosary, I do not say it every day at walk time, sometimes I just enjoy the quiet and talk with my Lord. I am so blessed to be able to live in this rural setting and walk along these country roads. Some days one of my children walk with me. It gives us good one on one time. Molly milks the goats and is usually just finishing when I get back from my walk.

9ish I am back and checking chores and making sure all got accomplished and all animals fed etc.

Laundry is started and everyone gets ready for some lessons. Depending on the amount of milk either Molly or I process it. This summer I want to experiment with different cheeses and yogurt.

930-10ish We start with prayer and short Catechism lesson and then Math.On a good day we do about 45min to an hour of math. On a bad day you will find me in a fetal position in the corner after having done 4 straight hours with kids who all have Swiss Cheese brains due to exposure in the womb to street drugs. (All my babies are adopted fromm Foster Coare). Let's pretend it has been a good day. I like pretending. It is how I cope. After Math we work on Cursive writing and then we do some basic grammar drills. Depending on the day we either have Science or History. I often (under my supervision) let them get on Google Earth for Geography. We keep school to a minimum and I incorporate lots of un-schooling activies. Like planting and caring for the garden and animal care =Science as does cooking. They are to read for 30 minutes everyday and present an oral book report at the end of every month.

12:30-We rarely go past this time. On friday we attend Noon Mass. I wish we could go daily, however our rural setting just makes that impossible. At least twice a month I like to do something fun/field tripish after Friday Mass. I am thinking of a local Wolf Sanctuary for April's last outing.

1:30-No outing, I hit the laundry hard. The kids have this time to be outside playing or inside reading. No TV until 6pm then only if they have had a good day and have functioned through life at a basic level. I often use this time for computer stuff and my own reading.

Mid Afternoon- I start dinner. I may use this time to bake bread or any desserts and snack stuff. Kids usually want something to eat around 3. I keep the laundry going.

5:30-Dinner is almost ready.

I head out alone on my 5 mile power walk. I always take my MP3 Player, the music keeps me motivated.

6pm As I walk a guy in a white truck pulls along side me and makes lurid and suggestive remarks to me. Good thing I am married to him. I think I have mentioned how "unique" my hubby is.

6:30- I am back from my walk and we eat dinner. The the obvious follows. Cleanup, maybe a pre-recorded TV show for the kids or outside play a little longer. Baths, PJ's and prayer (we shoot for 8pm) All in bed by 8:30, lights out at 9pm.

8:30-Jim works on a project or watches TV, I fold laundry, often I use this time to pray for my own stuff, friends, family etc. or read or watch a show. I am reading the Catechism of The Catholic Church. slooooowly. I missed so much, forgot the rest and am amazed at what I did not know. I am firmly convinvced that if ALL Catholics really knew and understood their faith very few would leave.

10ish I head to shower and bed. We catch up on each others day. Some days we just "are". Just enjoy the end of the day together, no important agendas just 'hang out' for lack of a better word.

That is it. Nothing exciting. We are pretty low key in the grand scheme of things.

This is my vocation. Being a wife and mom. I love it. Some days are insanely hard and frustrating. Others are incredible and miraculous, most are very ordinary and THAT is extrordinary.

What a privelege to live this life! The feminists don't have a clue! They are so off track. Being a wife, a mother, a woman is glorious. To God be the Glory!!!!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Home Again Where I Belong

Easter Vigil was amazing. I have been wanting to blog about it, but I just do not have the words to adequately describe what it is like to watch your entire family come in to the Church. I am so happy and content and just full. I am home. I love my Church, My Lord and Savior,my Blessed Mother. We are blessed with a fantastic Pastor and a wonderful Parish Community. Jim and I are entering in to a whole new dimension in our marriage and we are awed by what the Lord is doing. I will process some more. Write again and post pictures. I have a unique family and the pictures ought to be great!