St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Time, precious Time

The last couple decades of my life have been spent in the child bearing - nursing cycle. Car seats, lactating, nursing schedules, juggling infants with book lessons. Along with home schooling, time for mom has been at a minimum.  And I don't mean leisure time;  I mean just self-care time.  I use to say, "all I need is 10 minutes in the bathroom, morning, noon and night," and it was very much true, it was truly all I could get!  With the busyness of a family, caring for them 24 hours a day in all ways -- educationally, spiritually, physically....there has been little time for primping or simply soaking in a tub!   I told my hair dresser, if my hair takes longer than 5 minutes to do, can't have it!  

Fast forward to the last year and half:  I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune liver disorder. I was plunged into a hectic sleep schedule and bursts of energy at inopportune times (and sleepless nights) due to medications.  What do you do at the wee hours of the morning after you've read every book, listened to every audio book while researched your family tree to the umpteenth power, done every digital crossword puzzle....and TV is not your thing?  Well, take a nice long hot shower with delicious shower gels!! Sure! This is what happened....I found myself completely awake with energy and also discontented at hours I would normally have been dozing through.  Time for myself suddenly appeared!  I had time to actually eat my breakfast slowly and quietly and not have to be interrupted to get something for someone slowly as I wanted.....Time to bathe and shower and use a hair mask (I have not deep conditioned my hair in decades!) without someone trying to get into the bathroom, or needing something.   To say the least I am not a hair or make-up person - I just want to get it on and done with.  But to actually have time to not rush through my shower, or while putting on my clothes, was really amazing and a wonderful thing in the life of a mom of mostly guys, who seriously hog the bathroom.  My men take more time in the bathroom then I ever have, even as a teen girl!  

I am more gentle, less rushed on myself.  This has calmed me down.  It has been therapy.  I know it was not available to me....this luxury of years past and I did not have any time to myself that's for sure.  When I thought I might have time to myself, my son with OCD permeated my every move, ....his needs and difficulties trumped everything else, including any time I had to spare or could possibly spend on my own.  Those were tough days. 

Now on occasion, I find myself home alone!  

Now I have time.  I appreciate it and I try to use it wisely.  Learning to re-take care of myself physically has helped me to care for myself mentally as well.   

I am happy to say that while I still have challenges facing me (don't we all?) that this last decade, raising a very challenging child has passed by with so many lessons learned and so much gained.  What I thought was lost...was found in a more beautiful and beneficial way. 

Some of my favorite things now that I have time to myself: 
Jamberry Nail Wraps (my nails never looked so good and have stayed so healthy) 
Perfectly Posh Products (love their hand creams and body soaps which last forever, non-drying!) 
Clarins  (love their lipsticks - expensive, so I don't buy a lot, but so very good) 
Clinique (I've used this line since I was a teen, and it never disappoints - the Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick is just right for a little touch up without looking made up - and the Dramatically Different Moisturizer for very dry skin in a jar is just what I need for really dry sensitive skin due to medications). 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Choosing Happiness

I am really enjoying this book!

"If happiness occurs in the interior of a human and if that is where we must work to obtain it, it follows that our happiness depends on ourselves. Some who are not happy blame their unhappiness on another person -- a husband, a mother-in-law, an associate at work -- or on external circumstances, such as the economic situation, sickness, old age, the problems with the country, and so on. This makes it appear that to obtain happiness, we first must solve all of those difficulties, which may lead us to conclude that happiness is utopia and it is better to give up on it." ~ Choosing Happiness: Working Within

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Between the Seasons

Oh, it's that time of year where summer is slipping away very quickly now.  The local school district begins school this upcoming Monday.  *sigh    My senior son begins with Mother of Divine Grace on line learning support classes the end of the month.  Yes, summer is surely slipping fast.....

But what a lovely summer it has been.  There have been some wonderful highlights this summer in the life of our family amidst maybe some disappointments and frustrations.  Young adults and relationships...sometimes there is pain involved.  We did have a share of that -- but I hope and pray for mending of hearts in this area. On a happy note, my daughter became engaged.  The wedding will be this time next summer.  So it's exciting to be looking forward to that.  

My daughter is using my wedding dress -- we are having it refashioned and fitted for her.  It is now sleeveless and will be permantly bustled; it has a very long train.  

For the Fourth of July, we enjoyed the most amazing fire works show my husband and I have ever seen our entire lives!  Nearly in our own backyard -- just a half hour away in our rural setting at a county fairgrounds. Our two younger sons loved it!  I don't think we will ever be able to top it!

We saw a lot of movies this summer.  "Finding Dory" was definitely a winner.   I indulged in some much needed self care and down time.  I realize the negatives of now living on life saving medication daily.  Still, I am not ungrateful for it -- but there are many side-effects.  One of which is strange puffiness in odd areas of the body and some discomforts, and hair loss -- big time.  Still, the medication is helping to prevent further liver damage, and avoiding a liver transplant in the future.   I have a more gentle approach to my life, my schedule, my pickiness on what I'm doing, when I'm doing it and whom I'm doing with it.  No time for stress.  And my diet has changed immensely, which I think it's probably all for the better. 

I did have a lot of consultations for my education job up to July, but then I scantily scheduled July and August (only as needed basis), and took that time off to just relax and unwind before we begin a new school year at home, my families begin, and the Parish School of Religion at our church begins.  In July I spent time preparing for and pulling off our parishes' VBS, Barnyard Round-up!....what a fun time for the children of our parishes.  So that was another bright spot in the summer -- in hot, hot July, although thankfully we missed the REALLY hot week that came later in July with temps soaring well into the high 90s! 

So, here I am now cleaning the house and getting it ready for the new school year.  What a joy and privilege to be able to educate your own children.  With 20 years experience now, and approximately 5 more years to go, I can say that you CAN do it.  Of course you can!  Now that I have older children who have been homeschooled right into college and have since graduated and I have their take on it - their adult input now, I am so pleased to say that they felt very well prepared and confident in college to take on the courses and they did exceptionally well. They knew Latin!  :)  several professors commented on how impressed they were at their ability to translate/know something in Latin because it does come up very often in academic course study.   They came away feeling very successful and one is already talking about homeschooling her own children, that's how good their experience was.  I am so glad for the freedom during this chronological timeline to be able to homeschool and do not just "do subjects" but rather, do the content needed but with a classical methodology and philosophy - where it forms higher thinking and analytical skills that are so lost today on our younger generations.  We need better educated and formed individuals for the future of our world! ...our United States alone! 

The rolling book cart in it's sparse beginnings -- now it is very filled up!

Finally, I have enjoyed teaching American Government and teaching guitar all summer --  For the guitar part, it involves a few of my past students and a current on going student that has taken from me now all year round.  What a joy to play the fun current music -- American Authors, Rachel Platten, Adele, the Lumineers, Phillip Phillips, Colbie Caillat, Sara Bareilles, Andy Grammar, Green Day, to name a few.  We do many current Christian artists and traditonal/patriotic hymns as well.  It brings my heart to life - to sing and play weekly all year long and be able to pass on to these young gals what I know - to share that with them.  They can play and sing now.  And they have binders filled with at least 40 songs to draw from.  I am so glad all my band experience in my late teens and early to mid-twenties wasn't wasted.  That the crazy band life with long practices culminated into an experience I could share with others for a good.   So that has been a special highlight!  

American Government & Economics has also been a fun pursuit this summer and so, so timely!  I am teaching this to my son and one of his home schooled friends.  It has been such a great class with these two!  All high students across the United States have to have this course(s), so homeschooled students are no different. Knowing my son has quite a rigorous course load this year as a senior, I thought getting Health out of the way, (also a requirement on high school transcripts) and Government & Econ started sooner, during the summer, would be helpful for him.   He finished Health much earlier in the summer with the Mother of Divine Grade Summer Health course on line.  He got all As, I am proud to say :)   What a wonderful Catholic morality course!   He learned so much.  Just incredible and taught by such great Catholic instructors.   So, we are finishing up the American Gov part of the dual course and in September will be starting the Economics part.   

We celebrate MANY summer birthdays in this house ....mine was just one of them! 

We have not let any moss grow on us this summer, that's for sure, but yet, it was still relaxing and comfortable.  I really needed that! 

God bless!  Enjoy the rest of your summer and may you have a beautiful Fall!  

Friday, August 05, 2016

USCCB Blog: Faithful Witness to Marriage

USCCB Blog: Faithful Witness to Marriage: By Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop Richard J. Malone and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski Questions revolving around marriage and human ...

Monday, July 04, 2016

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY from my family to yours! 

Summer Bliss & This

What more could I want than settling into a peaceful relaxing summer?!  Really, it's all I want :) And I realize now, it's nearly half-over!

After a very busy productive homeschool year and religious education year as director and teacher at our parish,  I need a lengthy, lazy break. I did get a little of that, but now interrupted.  I'm deep in the trenches of Vacation bible school preparations -- the event begins next week.  This will mark our 10th anniversary year of doing VBS on our own as a parish, where previously we had a group come in from the diocese to do VBS for us (Franciscan Sisters, TOR).  I think we have grown immensely from the experience.  It's always challenging, but God seems to find a way to help us along.  

In the meantime, I've been busy selling off books and buying some new resources for our new school year ahead.  Really I don't want to think about school but after 20 years of home education, I know I must -- the more prepared I am ahead of time, the smoother the year goes.  And this year will be very challenging.  I am preparing my senior son for college -- his college won't be the same model his older siblings accomplished, but it will be just as challenging. 

Old family photo at Easter, 2012?? 

I have enrolled my son in as many Mother of Divine Grace LS (learning support on line) classes as possible for the new school year. We have used LS in the past but not as many.  This year, I feel it's important he answers more to others that are teaching, but also that he gets good science and math guidance as his degree will demand it.  He is looking into applying 7 mos after graduation to a radiologic technology program through a branch of Kent State University, that he can commute to. It is very limited, so he may not make it the first time.   It's a rigorous program, and it begins in the summer (thus, his holding off for the next year instead of immediately going into it right after graduation), and it runs year round for two years straight.  He will need to have done job shadowing prior to applying.  I think this year of his accountability going elsewhere will be important especially since he is my one that has anxiety.  He has come SUCH an incredible long ways, and he's even been invited to National Honor Society that last couple years, but this year, he is accepting it and taking the next step.  Still, when under pressure, and when the months of Jan & Feb come around, he can sink his lowest.  This last winter he did amazing -- praise God.   So,  we are preparing well in advance to get him ready this new school year.  He did his college board testing and scored way above the national average -- so scholarship offers have been pouring in.  He knows he doesn't really want to do a 4 year college experience -- and I do think it might be too prolonged and stressful for him.  Still, these plans could change.  I'd love to see him go to a college like Franciscan University of Steubenville, where I feel he'd be with like minded people of faith, but I know God has a special plan for him as he does for all my children and all of us. 

All in God's plan and timing....

Then this happened:  my daughter became engaged the last week in June.  We are very happy and excited for her.  They are looking at a late spring, summer wedding for 2017.   

I will be sure to post our upcoming curriculum for the new year, soon. 

God bless!