- I had a really nice Mother's Day. We went to Mass, the girls went to CCD while Travel Man and I went to get coffee together, and then we spent some time tidying up a disaster area near where I work. After that, we ran a couple errands, came home for dinner (Travel Man made Pastitsio for me!), and read some Romeo and Juliet. It was wonderful. Oh, yes. Then we settled down for some basketball. There were no huge presents (except for the cleaning up and the dinner), and the girls made cards for me that morning. But it was just splendid. Couldn't have asked for much more, to tell the truth.
- I discovered, much to my chagrin, that the reason Virginia had not issued us the refund due to us was because I had been paying my business taxes incorrectly. Seems I'm a Pass Through Entity and don't need to pay taxes as a corporation (only as an individual). So that money I paid last year for those purposes was claimed incorrectly on our taxes. Yes, I can have it back, but only after filing some immense paperwork and requesting that it be moved to our personal taxes instead. No, the state did not inform me of this. I called and bugged them to see what was going on and why we hadn't gotten the refund on the tax returns I mailed on March 2. I did this phone call business on May 13. If I hadn't called, they probably would have never sent the money, which ticks me off. But I at least know what I have to do, I printed off the fifteen or so pages of forms and instructions to take care of it, and I know that once they receive it, it will take either about a month to get my money back, or I will be calling them incessantly until I get it, which I predict will be more like six months. Seriously, I have no faith at all in the government, and especially the thieving tax divisions of said government.
- Little Girl is signed up for ballet for the Summer. She'll have six weeks of it, and then this Fall, she'll be in ballet only. She really has great potential (according to her instructors) for ballet, and we've gone that route because (a) the dance moves are more modest - there is precious little chest-shaking that goes on in Swan Lake - and (b) the costumes are more modest. (Do you detect a theme here?)
Dance is a wonderful thing for Little Girl. It has really helped her self-esteem and her poise. On the other hand, I've found that there are less desirable things attached to this activity, too. I discussed earlier in the week about our struggle with mean girls, and you can read about that in full there, but what I'm learning as a mom - and especially as a homeschooling mom - is that I can protect her from only so much and for only so long. It's my job to shelter her from things she isn't ready for in life, but it's also my job to prepare her to deal with struggles and different kinds of people. We're walking a very delicate line, and it can be precarious, but walk it we must. One thing I must also guard is her sweet nature; she is almost always more interested in pleasing others than herself. This kind of selflessness is admirable, and it's especially admirable in children. It's like a natural state for her. I sometimes have to flat-out tell the child to tell me what she wants, and I even went so far as to say to her that when someone asks what she would like, she needs to be honest about it rather than guess what that person wants. Only time will tell if I'm handling it correctly, but with God's help, I am confident I'll help her keep her selflessness without allowing her to be taken advantage of.
- Big Girl's soccer team is 2-2 now. She is doing very well in the new environment, staying in position (rather than the scrum that the 6-8 soccer teams tend to work with) and passing to other team-mates. She's enjoying herself, too, though she's a bit wary of getting socked in the head by a soccer ball again. Apparently, it doesn't feel particularly good when someone kicks a ball into your head. Go figure. ;)
- Our parish just found out that we'll be getting a new pastor in July. I don't know him (not that it makes much difference), but I know a couple of things about him. He's from the Tidewater area of Virginia (which is clean across the state!), and he's been ordained for about 2 years. Travel Man and I hope he's one of those "John Paul Priests" who loves orthodoxy and such. Not that we expect him to come change everything - or want him to. We'll see what happens. One thing we do know is that our parish is going to be clustered. Five parishes nearby will share four pastors. We knew this was coming, as the Richmond Diocese has been struggling with having enough priests for all its parishes. For our parish, it might mean one less Mass per weekend (one Saturday and one Sunday). It's fine. Christ will come. We are blessed that we have a pastor! We're not exactly a bustling city here, and I know that there have been far worse shortages than this. Remember how our pioneer ancestors had no priests and sometimes went more than a month without Mass and the Holy Eucharist!? We are blessed, indeed, that we can attend Mass daily if we wish. God has blessed us, indeed!
- This weekend is the graduation for Notre Dame, where the Catholic university will honor our president with a degree and the opportunity to give a commencement speech. Needless to say, I'm deeply disappointed that they've decided to honor him in this way. President Obama is the most stridently pro-abortion president ever, and for a Catholic college to give him an honorary degree does damage to our Church. It implies that we don't mind so much that he's so in favor of abortion and embryonic stem cell research, or that he cut off funding for adult stem cell research and abstinence education, or that he allows our tax money to be spent overseas on abortions, or that he began funding of UNFPA (who assists China with their one-child policy), or that every Catholic he chooses for a position in his administration works to further abortion rights. This situation at Notre Dame is quite sad, and more than anything - more than protests or "circuses" or petitions - both Notre Dame (meaning Father Jenkins and the board of trustees) and President Obama need our prayers. Pray for our Catholic colleges to retain (or regain!) their Catholic identity. Pray for the conversion of the President. Pray that the Culture of Life will triumph in this life! And while you're praying, don't forget to pray for all those harmed by abortion - mothers, fathers, grandparents.
- Again, I'll leave you with something fun from YouTube. We all need some levity, right?
Friday, May 15
Thanks to Jen for hosting, as usual. :)