Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Still Here

Eep!  So, it's been over two months since I've published a post.  I've been busy.  Stop judging me!!! 

Just kidding.  You can judge me if you like. 

My life is regaining some semblance of order now that (can I get a "hallelujah?") the kids are back in school.  It's SO much easier to keep the house clean (and all the other odds and ends accomplished) when I have several hours each day with only my two tiniest mess-makers at home.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my kids.  I just don't love having all 10 of them up my butt all day every day, picking fights with each other and not picking up after themselves unless Jon uses the "Dad Voice."

That said, unfortunately, catching up on the past two months is going to be just this side of impossible.  So many things have happened that I thought "Oh, that would make a good blog post!"  And then I never found the time to sit down and write said post.  :/  Oh, well.  C'est la vie, I suppose.

The first weekend of August, my oldest stepson, Tomas, left to begin his basic training in the U.S. Army.  His departure was supposed to be a bit later, but when they moved up the date, the family swung into action and planned a farewell barbecue at his grandparents' house, complete with a "death by chocolate" cake, by request of the new soldier, and created by yours truly from a design chosen by his mother.  I must say, it turned out pretty well!  Don't mind the coffee mug, lol.  Someday, I'll learn to take better pictures.  It took about 3 weeks, but we finally have a mailing address for him, so add mailing letters to big brother to my list of things to accomplish on a regular basis.  :)  We're all proud of him, and, of course, praying for his safety and well-being.

 Now, since I showed you that cake, I feel honor-bound to show you the one I made for my 11-year-old son's birthday just a couple weeks later. . .

Yeah. . . That one didn't turn out so well, lol.  We'll consider this a learning experience and move on.  If I had it to do over, I'd know several things to improve.  For one, using gold sugar crystals to cover the cake and make it sparkley is a terrible idea.  For two, shop towels, for reasons I don't understand, cannot replace Viva for smoothing icing.  Just don't.  Poor Tristan.  Mom was a bit too ambitious with that design, and everything just went horrifically wrong.  Thankfully, being my easygoing child, he forgave me.  But now I feel like I owe him a cake that doesn't suck.  And his stepbrother, who turns 12 in October, already has his request in for a MW3 cake, so I'm on the hunt for designs that look doable.

I have so many ambitious ideas for what I'd like to accomplish this school year.  I want to make a bench for our kitchen table, so we'll have enough seating for everyone to eat or play games together.  I want to clean up the burn pile that the previous tenants had in the back yard and turn it into a firepit area, and hang out around a bonfire and roast s'mores and hot dogs with friends, or just family, on cool autumn evenings.  I want to fix the broken table leg and set up my craft space, which has been just a neglected pile of my craft stuff sitting in a corner since we moved into this place.  And then I want to sew all the things.

And I want to design a sacred space for our home.  A space dedicated to prayer, designed to direct the heart and mind toward God.  Which is really just part of a larger goal.  I want to bring faith home for my children.  When I was a child, we went to church every Sunday.  For a time, we went to church Sunday and Wednesday nights as well.  I attended Sunday School.  But largely, looking back on my childhood, though we went to church regularly, our faith didn't permeate every area of our lives.  It was there, but not discussed readily.  I was expected to be a Christian, but I was expected to be a good person (and perhaps a good Baptist) more than I was expected to truly care about loving and following Christ.

That's why, recently, I've begun to pray for more genuine love for Him, not just the intellectual assurance and overwhelming evidence that says the Catholic Church is Christ's church and the place where the fullness of the Christian faith is to be found.  But real love, the love I know I should have for One who loves me so completely.  I want to fill our home with sacred art, that points the mind and soul toward him, and reminds us of what we tend to forget, the God who is invisible, but ever-present in our lives.  I want to make time for a prayer life that is too often neglected in this busy, noisy, chaotic life I live.  I want to remember the saints, the great heroes of our faith, on their feast days, and teach my children their stories, in the hope that those stories will inspire the next generation of saints.

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is coming up soon.  I think maybe I'll bake a cake. :)