Lent  

Posted by: Unknown in , , ,

Oh, Lent. A good one can make for a joyful and meaningful Easter, and a poor one can make for a PITA Easter, whose main issue is at whose parents' house to convene. I must confess that I absolutely dread Lent this year, primarily because I have determined that this Lent I must be joyful. I must be happy. Anyone who knows me, and knows me well, realizes how almost laughable this goal is, and how it will be more difficult for me than giving up chocolate any day of the week. I don't do joyful. I do dark, brooding, sarcastic, put-upon, and melancholic. It is who I am (no, really, it is! I took a personality test!). Unfortunately, it's not getting me anywhere. My children snap at each other, my husband doesn't think I'm sweet (he called me that once when I was 18; 15 years later, I still remember it with fond amazement), and I have a friend who is so genuinely happy that it radiates from her like sunbeams. I wonder what it would be like to...well, to be like that. Part of me likes my "shtick". It's genuine, but it's also kind of farcical. I haven't quite concluded why people think I'm so funny. Am I the perpetual fat girl making people laugh (regardless of what my weight may be any given year), or is that dark sarcasm that just boils over into every day life? Regardless, on the inside I am grateful, and I am going to use Lent to scrape away some outer layers to let that gratitude shine through. It may very well kill me.

On another note, the ever-odd T has decided to read Shakespeare. Yes, she's 7. There are many, many heavy and dark books lining my bookshelves. She asked if any of them contained the great Bard. I pointed to that one (the Tragedies), and that one (the Comedies), and that other one (misc. works). She pulled out the Tragedies (she is *so* my child) and pulled up some couch. I'm sure she'll get back to me when she's ready. The very next day, I rebuked her for something at lunch. She turned away from me and rolled her eyes Heavenward. I came somewhat unglued, and rebuked her even more sharply for her show of disrespect. She turned to me incredulously. "But, Mommy," she implored, "I was praying to Jesus to help me not to talk back to you!". What will I ever do with this child?? I studied her face for signs of dissembling, but just couldn't tell. I hmmphed, and suggested that in the future, her prayers should probably not included eye rolling when I was already peeved with her, as it might serve only to inflame the situation.

I apply for freelance jobs almost every day, but get no responses. I wonder if it is more indicative of a) the glut in the freelance market b) the economy c) the fact that God wants me to focus on caring for my family. I once told my friend that God would not drop Vin Diesel through the Church roof as a sign to her that she should begin dating (long story), but it would be nice if such overt signs were part of his oeuvre. I think I'll speak to Him about that.

My 25 Random Things from Facebook...I'm an Exhibitionist for Posterity  

Posted by: Unknown in

1. I am a very traditional Roman Catholic, and my Faith is more important to me than anything. I will take my Eucharist on the tongue, my Mass in Latin, and my Priest facing the altar (if only).

2. I am an Anne without a Diana. While I have had best friends, I have never been anyone's best friend, and this loss perturbs me far more than it should. I have just about given up hope.

3. I am extremely shy in large groups, but can be almost gregarious one on one. This verbosity is largely faked to cover up my discomfort until I know you well.

4. I prefer being home to being anywhere else. Similarly, I prefer the company of my family (read: husband and children) to anyone else's company, save my very own. If I never had to leave my house, I would be quite pleased. I am four children and one husband away from being a crazy cat lady (oh, I would need some cats, too).

5. I gave birth to four children in 40 months, but I cheated and had twins. All births were medicated, and I don't feel like Superwoman. You labor for 23 hours unmedicated, and then we'll talk.

6. I love the English language. I love grammar. I love words. I love writing. I freelance. I make essentially no money, although I fantasize about writing a bestselling novel. Unfortunately, I lack creativity, ideas, time, and inclination.

7. Someone I loved died when he was 23. I dream about him at least once a month.

8. I am the very definition of the Melancholic personality type. Further, I also personify the Introvert.

9. I am gobsmacked by how gratified I am by the friendships that I have encountered on FB. I have created/ renewed friendships with people I never really knew very well, and am able to keep up with people I otherwise wouldn't. I, who scorn social networking...go figure.

10. I am passionate about Classical Homeschooling. My children are all grammar stage learners, and I read to them from the "Good Books" daily. We are currently reading "Alice in Wonderland". My seven-year old probably knows more about Old Testament History than you do.

11. I am working on humility. It's a lifelong struggle.

12. Latin est in villa.

13. I have an 80 gb iPod, which is 100% full. It has no songs on it. It is full of old-time radio shows and audiobooks, both of which I am addicted to (never end a sentence with a preposition, unless *not* doing so makes the sentence unreadably awkward). I have over 75,000 old-time radio shows, and have been collecting them since I was 11. Thank God for MP3s.

14. I am an auto-didact. I have most recently taught my daughter and myself to knit and crochet via YouTube. I am now knitting an afghan, my first knitting project, since everything in my world is "the bigger the better".

15. Related to #14, I crave longer books. I read very quickly and voraciously; hence, a longer book is a huge bonus.

16. A semi-colon, properly used, is a thing of beauty.

17. Unlike my sister, I re-read books frequently. A wonderful book is like a true friend, and deserves to be revisited often.

18. Almost nothing is more important to me than fostering the relationship between my children. The sibling relationship is the one that will endure the longest for most people; thus, it is one of the most crucial. I want my children to understand that friends are never more important than siblings, and that family sticks together, no matter what.

19. I detest the discipline in which I hold my Ph.D. From the very first day of graduate school, the 7 1/2 years that I spent earning my Doctorate were sheer hell. I loathe statistics, I resent quantitative methods, and I don't like Political Science. However, I love American Government, I am prouder than anything that I am Dr. Laura D, and I have a degree that less than 1% of the population has.

20. As seen from #19, I am tenacious. My husband likens me to a bulldog with a steak. That tenacity definitely cuts both ways.

21. I would like to be a far better mother.

22. My favorite group is Gene Loves Jezebel, followed closely by Marillion.

23. My hair was just about red before I had children. Now it is largely brown.

24. I have an undiagnosed facial flushing condition. If I flush when I am talking to you, I am not embarrassed, but the redder my face gets, the more embarrassed I will become. What a vicious circle.

25. I have had migraine headaches since I was 6 or 7. I have been offering up the pain for the poor souls in Purgatory since that time. I sometimes wonder if anyone has made it out because of my headaches.

25.1 I met my husband when I was 18. He was 24. He was helping a friend to deejay my freshman orientation dance at UST. He was my college sweetheart, but I was not his (he graduated UST before I started). We got married the day after I turned 21; I was a junior in college. Because of his support, it was a no-brainer that I finished college and grad school, and am now a SAHM. Marriage is the hardest thing I have ever done, but definitely the most worthwhile. After all, we're going to get each other to Heaven!

Too Long Have We Been Separated...  

Posted by: Unknown in , , , ,

Why is it so hard to find time to write? I write in my head all day long! Or maybe that's just my talking to myself...

School wise, T has finished First Language Lessons 3 and had moved on to Level 4. They literally published it just in time! Unfortunately, she is CHARGING through it, and I don't know how quickly they are working on Level 5. We may have to move to Rod and Staff after this level, and I'm not sure if I will be able to place her correctly. She will be at least Junior High level. She's 7. Sigh. When a kid loves to diagram and loves to read, what are you going to do? On a similar note, Writing with Ease has turned out to be the perfect complement to our Language program. N's narrations have improved, and all of my kids have become intensely interested in The Good Books. We are reading Alice in Wonderland now, and they can't wait to finish so that we can move on to Doctor Dolittle, Pinocchio, and others. God Bless Wise and Buffington for making it so easy.

N is 28 lessons away from Math 2. Again, I see no reason to artificially slow him down simply because he is 5. He is doing well, and demonstrating mastery of the material. He makes high As on all of his tests. Hence, we move forward. When he needs to slow down, we will. This summer, I fully anticipate spending more time on Tapestry of Grace, and somewhat less on the core subjects. That way, we can really immerse ourselves in History and Geography, giving those subjects the consecutive hours that they deserve. As always, we'll play it by ear.

A Holy Family Mom is starting a Little Flowers Girls' Club in the Fall, about which I am so excited! I have always opposed Girl Scouts, and I refuse to support them by putting my daughters in Brownies, much less in a higher level. However, I would love for them to have a girls' group to which to belong. Now they will. A Catholic Girl Scout troop is still a Girl Scout troop. I don't understand why other Catholic moms don't understand that point! Little Flowers is Catholic through and through - and, of course, it is named in honor of my beloved St. Therese!

My twinners are just being twinners. M loves school much more than M-C. That's okay. More and more, I truly think that she will make her way on the stage. She loves dance, she loves to sing, and she is an actress through and through. I am going to look into drama for the girls, at least, this summer. I know there's a program near here...now to find it.

As for me, I seem to suffer from a terminal lack of ambition. Apart from teaching myself how to knit and crochet (can you say hard-core addict), I can't seem to motivate myself to do anything. I know that I must have a gift of some kind that God wants me to share, but I can't find it. I try not to let that get me down. The ol' "but you have a PhD" with which I console myself is wearing kinda thin these days. I have lost the desire to post at the Melting Pot, and only do so when I fear getting fired. Something about the thought of getting fired AGAIN is rather spirit-breaking (disclaimer: Principal says that none of the other times that I have been fired have been my fault; in fact, edHelper says that I am very good at what I do, and it would welcome submissions from me. Unfortunately, there's that lack of motivation issue).

In any case, we're chugging along in school. We are supplementing All About Spelling, which I still absolutely love, and believe is crucial as a first step in spelling, with Spelling Power, mainly because I like the alphabetizing and proofreading skills. It also gives T one more independent thing to work on while I work with N. Wow - I've totally fallen into "homeschooling busywork" trap. It's not busywork, though. Not really.

I'm feeling so incredibly unmotivated that I think I'll go knit my afghan. At least I have something to show for myself when I do that. Seriously, could I be any more negative? Only the knowledge that no one reads this allows me to be so real!