Friday, February 27, 2009

Bits and Pieces

It's been a busy week, and there hasn't been much time for blogging. March starts on Sunday, and that month is completely packed. So, while these little catch-up-style posts don't usually suit me, it's all I have time for today.

On Growing Up Quickly... Yesterday afternoon, I took the kids to the children's museum. It was gloriously empty in there (quite a rare event), and I actually got to sit down on several benches throughout the museum and just let the kids run/play/explore. It was wonderful, and they were completely worn out by the time we came home. I'm still in a bit of awe that I have no babies anymore... but the fringe benefits of more independent children do make up for missing that newborn snuggle.

On Escaping... My friend and I are escaping this weekend. I've lost "fun Jen" somewhere in all the busy-ness and craziness of the past few months, and my friend's been working 6 days a week for 4 months now. We both need to kick back, relax, and unwind or someone is going to get hurt. On the agenda: massages, margaritas, movies. Not on the agenda: children waking us in the night, whining, formal schedules.

On Mother-Son Date Night... A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of Princess and DH on their way out to the Daddy-Daughter Dance. Apparently, one of the community centers is cashing in on the other side of the equation, too. BigBro found out about a Mother-Son Date Night, and asked if we could go. We are going tonight... for dinner and a "reptile experience." BigBro is very excited. (So am I, actually... though not about the reptiles!)

On March... Oh, March... try to be gentle with me. DH has to travel 3 full weeks in March. I am facilitating 5 Bible Study sessions in March. My CRHP retreat weekend is in March. I am teaching a homeschooling class on Modern Art to early-elementary kids all four Wednesdays in March. Sweet March, please be gentle. If there is any way you could help me out by sending good weather, so the kids can have lots of outdoor time, and if you could possibly grant me an extra 2-3 hours each night (after the kids go to bed), so I can get everything done, and still get enough sleep that I am not a zombie. Or, at the very least, just don't throw anything else on my plate for the next 31 days, please.

On Lent... I have to say that these first few days of Lent have been really good for me spiritually. My Lenten penance is going well (so far). My prayer life has been good. Morning mass has been moved from the Chapel to the Church to accommodate the increase in attendance. (I'm not thrilled about that, because there seems to be less fellowship in the church; we are more spread-out, and I never get a minute with Father, since he's in the sacristry and not the gathering area after mass). But it's great to have so many more people at mass. In fact, I love how full my parish's calendar is this Lent. We have scheduled confession times 4 days a week, Stations on Friday nights, some sort of mass/talk/penance service every Wednesday. Every day, there is some sort of spiritual activity. It's so great to see such an active, full schedule of spiritual activity available. A true sign of a healthy, vibrant spiritual community.

On Reading... In addition to the Bible readings I am (supposed to be) doing every week for the Bible study, I am also in the midst of several different books. *** My Life with the Saints by James Martin, SJ is fantastic! I've read about this book from several people, always highly recommended, and when my friend started reading it last month (and sending me passages via email), I broke down and bought it. I read it on the treadmill every day, and I am loving every bit of it. His writing style is friendly and conversational, and he weaves his personal memoir in and around the lives of several saints and other spiritual role models. It's been wonderful to get to know so many new spiritual friends. *** I also started Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen this week. I am underlining and margin-noting this book, so it is moving a little slower, but there is so much in this book that relates directly to my life. Most especially lately... my overwhelming quest to control everything, to be the one who takes-charge and tries to run it all... and then ends up with a March like I've got on tap. That whole "Let go and let God" thing... yeah, I just don't do it. (I need to do it... I just don't). *** And when I need to unwind with some fiction, I am re-reading Into the Forest by Jean Hegland. I first read this about 6 years ago, and loved it. It is the story of two homeschooled teenagers, modern times, but some sort of breakdown has happened in society, and they are basically stranded in their house in northern California (about 30 miles from the nearest town). The story follows them as they move from passively waiting for someone to come and "rescue" them to learning how to be self-sufficient, to take charge of their own futures, in a world where all of "modern" society has crumbled. I haven't read this one in a while, and there are a lot of places where the crumbling of society hints at some of what we are watching happen right now. I am not trying to be a doomsayer, but Hegland talks about how everything happened so gradually that the real trouble escaped notice for a long time, until it was too late. So, not exactly light fiction, but inspiring in the end, nonetheless.

Have a great weekend!

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