Tuesday, March 30, 2010
My other child is like her father....hard working, disciplined, accomplishes great things, perseveres in the face of adversity, tolerates discomfort and unpleasantness....but can have a temper, tends toward anxiety, worry and thinking the glass is always half empty.
Despite some of those latter tendencies both my daughters are happy, social, live joyfully, express themselves with excitement, smiling and laughing a great deal of the time. They both love deeply, desire to please God and as much as are able, want to conquer their faults. I attribute this to a gift God gives parents to recognize the distinct natural temperaments of our children, enabling us to raise them according to natural ability and inclination.
Natural temperament plays a huge role in deciding how to raise a child. A mother simply cannot raise two children with different temperaments the same way and expect the same results. I cannot, for example sit both of my daughters down for schoolwork and walk away for an hour. Though one will work diligently the entire sixty minutes and beyond with no help from me, the other needs a gentle coaxing and word of encouragement every fifteen minutes or so, and a reminder that it pleases God to see her working even when she doesn't want to. I learned years ago that when our plans for an enjoyable outing or activity must be cancelled, one child responds quite naturally with a "yes, Mother", while the other responds better when reminded in advance how much it will please me to know she will accept graciously.
I find myself constantly working with the temperaments of both girls, encouraging their natural virtues while trying to help them temper their natural faults. It is time consuming, but well worth it. And both girls benefit from recognizing and being reminded of their own particular tendencies. Awareness gives them impetus to strive for more of the good, and to "conquer" (our favorite phrase) their faults. They feel a sense of accomplishment to recognize they've furthered a natural virtue or conquered an instance of vice.
This morning, child ran to me cheering herself on, "I did it, Mom, I did it! I wanted to whine really, really bad and I stopped myself! Can you believe it?"
I learn more from my children daily than from almost anyone else. With God's grace, she did it. So can I.
Friday, March 26, 2010
For a long time I've wanted a madonna and child image to go above each of the girls' beds. I've been waiting for years (shame on me) to find just the right one. A few weeks ago I got an idea, found a small madonna and child plaque (after a lot of google searching to find one I liked - I'm very picky about Mary's features in art) and did a little research on molding and casting. Here is what I'll be using:
plastic (don't be alarmed) relief, found here for $1.15
...some silicone to make the mold, found here
...and resin for casting.
In the end I'm hoping the result will be something like these, but with Mary and Jesus as subject instead of a gibson girl or one of those cameo ladies. I have no idea how difficult this will be or whether I stand a chance at making it work, but whatever the outcome I'll post the result. As usual I'm way ahead of myself here as I don't even have my materials yet. :)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
....when the art galleries are wishing you a happy feast day
....when you're changing your recipes and your linens, planning for first communions, ballet recitals and the end of a school year, witnessing new life all around you and hoping for new life in your home....when Easter will soon replace lent.
Life is good. Happy Spring, friends.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Those who work hard to do the right thing, to make an honest living, to live within our means, to save for years to purchase a house we can truly afford, to insure the health of our loved ones through the sweat of our brow....are persecuted, while those who choose the wide, easy road are rewarded.
Let us rejoice for what we have to suffer and for the crosses on our backs. They are our Way. He knows all, and allows only what is good for us. He will take care of everything, and vengeance is His.
If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you....And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution....Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill....Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Happy Feast of Saint Joseph, everyone!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
It was a quiet, peaceful morning. Our outings are mostly simple like this one. These are the best kind. They allow for contemplation and introspection, listening, reading, writing, imagining, creativity, and for a mother, insight into little souls.
On this day Gianna journaled in her new nature notebook for the first time,
I knitted a sleeve,
and Madeleine crowned us all with jasmine wreaths fashioned by her own hands.
I don't care what anyone says about what I should be doing with my kids, how much stuff they should have and how many activities I should have planned for them. I know one day my girls will ask for electronic games, television, more things, more clothes, but for now this is the kind of life we love, the simple, undistracted one.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Your birthday was last Thursday, but the celebrating ended only yesterday. I kept meaning to come here and post all about you, but what mother would interrupt her family's time with their newly-branded seven year old?
Though you cross your legs when sitting, drink your morning milk from a coffee mug and play Scrabble with adults...though you ride a big-girl bike, wear size 8 clothing and don't need a booster seat anymore...though you've come to the age of reason, will soon receive your First Holy Communion and one day be taller than me...
...you are now and will always be my baby, and my first miracle. You've changed me forever and you make me love more than I thought humanly possible.
I love you, Sweetheart. Happy Birthday!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
These eggs created a vignette I enjoyed so much in our dining room, I never put them in storage after making them last year with the girls. This is an inexpensive, easy project enjoyable for both mom and kids, and can add beauty to a room all year round. For those of you who would like to try them and appreciate an early start on supply purchase, here's a link to last year's post. Enjoy!
I laughed out loud for five minutes straight, but really, I couldn't have said it better myself.