Thursday, February 28, 2013

Theme Thursday and {pretty, happy, funny, real}: Fight Club

Capturing the contentment with the ever inspiring Like Mother, Like Daughter for {p,h,f,r} and jumping on the Clan-Donaldson photography bandwagon for Theme Thursday: Happiness (my submission found under {happy}, duh. So much goodness.


There is a certain someone who has been driving me and just about everyone in the Central Flo (yes, it extends that far) absolutely  cracked lately. Not sure why I use the word lately, when I really mean since he was 2.

Oh, Jude has that special tendency of making everyone around him not only squirm with disquiet but erupt in frazzled fury. I would have loved to see Mother Theresa explain to him that his skateboard doesn't usually belong on top of his brother Joseph. For the thirteenth time. In an afternoon. Undoubtedly, she would handle it with grace and aplomb, so why couldn't she raise him? If only Jude were born on the streets of Calcutta.

Instead of covering myself with sackcloth and ashes at his every, every, every misdeed, I focus on the pretty, even the beauty, he exudes from those devilish yet sweetly gentle blue eyes. Because he does. 

But oh my, it takes concentration to see his goodness when you read desperate teacher penned emails with so very specific details of his classroom behavior like no mother has read since Billy the Kid was a freshman. So tempted to disclose the content here, my web log, but like the good mother I pretend to be, I will deny that urge.


I don't think there is another way to paint happiness, however, than when he is his happiest. Nothing like getting home from an after school trip to the beach for surf and sun, followed by a boxing match with your big brother, to, you know, unwind after all that relaxation.

These pics were really hard to capture, but I was totally bereft of happiness inspired moments in this week previous, courtesy Jude. So when he is happy, there ain't nothing like happy.


boxer snarl?

Because God is good, there is one somebody who not only can handle Jude all the time, but actually loves him all the time. 

Peter earns his greatest family brownie points by simply over lording and appreciating Jude when the rest of us have run dry. 

And in my nightly prayers, I remind the Heavenly Father he needs to keep Peter always a little stronger than Jude.


Real? I won't be done raising teenage boys for quite a long time. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...right....RIGHT??? 

KO'ing the big brother's buddy Mike.

Ok, thanks for letting me play along! I had great fun trying out the black and white filter on the camera. I have a lot to learn.  Suggestions?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Morning Glory

My niece Felicity decided to be "Aunt Rebekah in the Morning," for Halloween and sent me this picture:

Almost perfect, Felic, but not quite:

My glasses are always crooked, always.

Why does she want to emulate her glamorous aunt so? Probably because her mom looks like this in her morning glory:


Poor thing needs someone to look up to.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Momo: Indignant Consumer

These new underwears are 2T.

They are NEW underwears and they are 2T!

T stands for toddler!

Amazing. A toddler that's five.

When I grow up I'm going to be as fat

as a candy maker.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real} : BFFs

Once again, capturing the contentment with Like Mother Like Daughter.


Pretty is the friendship that is blossoming between these two.

Youngest of six, they are three years apart, 5 and 2. Since I gradually stopped homeschooling, they have found themselves alone together in this great big house, which has afforded them time to develop a particularly happy and mutually rewarding alliance.

Isaac is still in the caveman evolutionary stage in terms of speech, but somehow they commune on a level that no one else fathoms. Hours they spend together, alternately rough-housing and quietly building an imaginary world all their own.


Happy is how I feel to see itty bitty Momo being a real big sister. Isaac fawns on her like she is the strongest fireball of a super hero that ever was. Happily, he follows wherever she leads and looks to her for inspiration for what is The Thing to be doing. Which takes a lot of pressure off of his previous maid-of-all tasks, Mama.


Funny is the fact that Isaac has decided that life cannot proceed as usual without his beloved sister. He won't eat breakfast without her, he pulls that impish security blanket of a sister out of slumbering sweetness before having so much as a Cheerio. 

His idolatry goes even further than that, in that he won't accept a treat unless he can bring one to Momo (wonder how long that will last!)


Real is my worry for the future. So hard to concentrate on the happiness that this relationship brings when I am letting myself worry that it won't always be so. What freshman girl has a sixth grade boy for her bff?

But that worry can wait for another day. Right now, their friendship is a gift to me, and to them, a place of peaceful enchantment amidst the wilder landscape of our big, rowdy family.

Theme Thursday: Architecture - can I have a do over?

I was so looking forward to this week's photo challenge from Clan Donaldson. Obi is an architect, for crying out loud.

So I thought I would get some valuable insight from him concerning subject, angle, etc. But like that old saying with the plumber and his own home having traumatic pipe syndrome (isn't there a saying?) Obi was really not interested in playing along. 

His only half-hearted suggestion was to concentrate on minutia. So many unappealing, uninteresting architectural photography focuses on the piece as a whole, while the real interest is in looking at a specific element from an unusual angle. 

So he had me taking photos of things like the iron fish scale grating over the basement windows at our magnificent cathedral church. Only problem? You have to have an artistic eye and real talent to make that work. Two important factors I am woefully missing. 

I was able to put that advice to work when the subject had obvious beauty of its own, however. 

Last weekend we met some friends at Orlando's Catholic Shrine, Mary, Queen of the Universe, for Saturday vigil mass. 

So at 7:30 at night, with Obi and the kids waiting with unsuppered stomachs in the car, I snapped a few photos of the striking bronze entry doors with their haunting mosaics and bronze reliefs. 

In appropriate triptych display, the doors feature scenes from the the Old Testament, the Gospel, and the continuing Church.  This mosaic above is over the third door, Our Lady with hand outstretched in blessing over a succession of Popes. 

As I mentioned, this was at night, I used no flash, only the light that illuminates from above, and I used my camera's built in editing feature "pastel" to add some interest to a really poor quality photo.

WhaddoIthink?  It looks interesting, you see the feature from a new perspective. But I probably won't ever look at it again and I certainly won't be hanging it on any wall. But it was fun trying.

Here are some more shots for you to see the doors in context. (They are really poor quality, and I didn't want to steal someone's photos off the internet to show you what it looks like. Even the shrine's website does not have any pictures.)

The doors are by far the most impressive element of this beautiful shrine. Seeing them in person is alone enough reason to visit and pray here. If you are ever in Orlando...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Momo: Entrepreneur

I know how we can get rich!
First, we hide all our money in our house.

Then, we walk around with a huge bag,

a huge garbage bag, and shout,

"Money for the poor!

Money for the poor!"

And then people will fill our money bag,

all the way up to the top!

And guess what?


Friday, February 15, 2013

Seven Quick Takes Volume V: Lenten Edition


Made vegetable stock to (hopefully) last for all the Fridays in Lent. 

Got off to such a beautiful start...


But somehow I was distracted...

And ended up with a little bit of this...

Honestly, I don't think my kids would recognize my cooking without a little bit o' the black stuff, so it's all good.


Ten long years ago, when my darling Jude was four, he gave up chocolate covered gummy bears for Lent. Ever seen one? Neither have we. A decade of maturity has rested heavily on his shoulders, and this year, he announced he is giving up (drum roll)...

chocolate covered gummy bears. Rebel.

He looks more like James Dean every day.

I'm not kidding.


We visited a different parish than the one we belong to for Ash Wednesday, and lucky us, they were giving out these bracelets.

My first thought, because I am cynical and sinful, was "cheesy and gimicky!" But after wearing it for the last two days, I am really appreciating the visual reminder of the season. Shows me!


We received this book in the mail just last week.

"The Way of the Cross" with Pope Benedict. I kid you not, on Sunday night, just before the announcement, I picked it up and asked Obi if he would like to pray and reflect on one of these every night during Lent, kind of living the way of the cross, reorienting ourselves at the close of the day. Of course he agreed, he's Obi. Papa Benny wrote these beautiful reflections just weeks before becoming Pope. So much goodness therein.


Trying to have the kids memorize this prayer by St. Ignatius for Lent:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me. 
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds, hide me.

Never let me be separated from you.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
At the hour of death, call me;
and bid me to you.
That with the saints I may praise you
forever and ever.

Oh my that is beautiful.  Would it be wrong to make copies with a five dollar bill attached to those who abide by my wishes? Just askin'!


(because seven is the magic number
to join the quick takers, but I have
nothing else to say about Lent, enjoy
some Momo)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Theme Thursday: Growing Things, and {pretty, happy, funny, real}


I'm sure that to someone with actual taste and talent, this photo is cliche in its subject matter, passe in its composition, and poor in its ability to evince feelings of wander and awe. Yeah, but to me, it's just lovely. This is my submission for Clan Donaldson's wonderful Theme Thursday link up: this week, leaves or trees. Thanks to Cari's oh so helpful, this is how you use your camera tutorial, I learned all about the beauty of the macro setting on my dang camera. 

So much thanks to my incredibly patient and photogenic lavender bush, where would I be without you?


In other plant news, the kumquats are ripening!

When Jude tasted a kumquat for the first time he declared that they were the most delicious balls of poetic goodness God ever composed in his miraculous creation. Actually, I'm not sure those were his exact exact words, but it's an accurate paraphrase. 

Stupidly, we don't have a kumquat tree to call our very own (they really are only in their complete glory seconds after being plucked) so we rely on the beautiful tree at the dentist's office, and the ones that surround our neighborhood pool. No, we don't mind taking all of them in reach and leaving none for everyone else. Lucky us.



Wheeeeere's Isaac?

Man, AnneMarie is really bad at seeking, his feet are sticking right out there. Come on.


My God, my God, (no, I am not breaking the second commandment, this is an actual prayer) when will this sight ever cease to awaken fear and trembling down to the very core of my earthly being?

i'm a very good driver
It is conceivably just months before Peter actually gets his license.  So, so scared I am. Ten and two, boy, ten and two! And mirrors, for the love of the Good Lord God, mirrors!

Great, great thanks to Like Mother Like Daughter for letting me play the {pretty, happy, funny, real} game! I love it!