Hi, Quick-Takers! Welcome! (And thanks to Jen for hosting!)
- If you missed my big announcement, you can read more here. I do have a little follow-up to it. Go and read that first, if you haven't, then come back. It's okay, I'll wait.
Since that decision was made, I've been under less stress and pressure, though my responsibilities haven't changed yet. The difference is that the girls and I have a date that is much closer than we anticipated. As a result of this, I've gone back to a much funnier version of me. I make jokes, I act silly, and even when work gets to me a bit, I think, "Eh...X days left!" and it rolls off me, like water off a duck. (Hey, that's two duck analogies!) I also feel less inclined to hide by the computer when I'm not working. It's been a win-win thing.
- College football started yesterday, and I discovered something interesting. I missed football a lot (no, that wasn't what I discovered), and even though the NFL preseason has been going on, I just can't get into that. Preseason for the NFL involves a lot of "try this guy with that play, then try three other guys with the same play" and "let's play the entire bench to see how they do" and such. Ick. I don't want to watch them work through kinks. I want to see them play for something! I want a game where something is at stake - more than the fourth string QB's contract.
Even though I missed Kirk Cutie yesterday, and the game was being played on that horrible Smurf Turf, I found myself REALLY enjoying the Oregon-Boise State game. As in, I started with the, "Wow! Did you see that play!!??" and "Get him! Get him!! Gethimgethimgethim!!!!" I didn't know I liked NCAA football that much.
- Switch gears here... Tomorrow is the feast day of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta - known to most people as Mother Teresa. She passed from this life on September 5, which is why we celebrate her on that day: she went to her eternal reward - one which we all should strive to attain. One of the things I find inspiring about Mother Teresa - something I didn't know until relatively recently - is that she suffered through a dark night of the soul for the last 40 years of her life. It's a scary thing when you pray and feel little to nothing in return, but if your faith is strong, you realize that God is there, but asking you to trust Him. I've gone through times of spiritual dryness, though they've been blessedly short by comparison. If you have EWTN, you can learn more about the Saint of the Gutters through their special programing this weekend.
- People are a bit freaked out by President Obama making a special speech to schoolkids. The companion materials are a bit un-nerving ("What do you think the president wants us to do? " and "Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?" are two of the questions), but he's actually not the first president to address students in school. George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan both did, too, though I'm not certain what kinds of materials the Department of Education prepared for teachers to go over before and after the speech. My kids actually have to sit through his speeches sometimes, anyway, as part of our school day - we even watched the Inauguration live, too. I am still glad we homeschool, though, so that I can follow up on his speech with the kids. I wonder if it'll be broadcast live on the news or CSPAN or something. We might watch it anyway. And if the message is, indeed, "stay in school" and "work hard and study" then I don't see much problem with it. If he starts in on healthcare and such, then I'll have a problem. But, not everything the man does is evil. Really.
- School is moving along, albeit slowly. It's going to get easier, especially starting October 2, but at least we are somewhat on track right now. Big Girl has been working on some interesting projects of her choosing, which is one of the reasons I loved CHC. For some subjects, the assignment for the week is to "do one of the following projects," which allows for flexibility. The first week she had one of those, she chose to do a short report on Hawaii. Then she chose to memorize a quote of St. Francis'. She also wants to bake a cake, but I'm afraid it will have to wait a wee bit, though I think we can fit it in this weekend. (I'll have to take pictures and post them!) It's giving her some control over what she does while still ensuring she's learning something. I like it so much that I've about decided to change Little Girl over to CHC next year.
- Did I mention Little Girl wanting a mantilla? I started wearing one at the end of June. (I was nervous about it, since no one else at my parish wears one.) But she had shown some interest in mine when I started wearing it. (It looks kind of pretty, actually.) She started asking for one of her own after we were coming home from vacation in July. She'd just spent a whole week with my parents, and was sad about leaving, especially since we were doing so just after Mass on Sunday morning. My mom and dad couldn't come with us since they were serving as EMHC's at a later Mass, and we didn't have time to go back to the house after Mass if we were to get on the road at a decent hour.
During Mass, Little Girl was moping quite a bit, and I know she's a sensitive little soul, so I leaned in as we sat down for the readings and whispered, "Are you okay, honey?"
She started sniffling as tears welled up in her eyes and she mumbled, "I'm so sad to be going back already..." and then the dam kind of broke. She was exhausted from a busy week with little sleep, and this was more than she could handle. In an effort to make her feel a little better, I lifted up the side of my mantilla and placed it over her head, too, snuggling her into my side in the process. She told me later that it was that action that helped her to calm down and feel better. And that sealed it for her. She wanted her own mantilla. And I ordered one for her, which we are anxiously awaiting!
- Video time! (I love these!)