Friday, August 30, 2013

My recent life, in seven semi-quick takes

Hopefully, for once, I can take to heart the "quick"in my seven quick takes. Laundromat awaits, as it has been either too rainy or too muggy to put stuff out on the clothesline. I have only had one other laundromat run all summer -- not too shabby!

1. So I think I mentioned we have been working on redoing two of the bedrooms. We switched Ben and Malaika's rooms, Ben got a new bed, and Malaika is awaiting one.

Here is the before pic when this room was still Ben's. It actually is a mid-move pic, as he was sorting and shuffling things around.Behind that blanket mounded up in the corner of the bed is a sizable hole in the wall. Old home=plaster walls=if you bump into them they crumble.

This room is now Malaika's -- here are the afters. It is basically a hang out, do homework (soon!) and dressing room until we get that bed for her. Ikea has a very cool chair/bed I have my eye on to work with the room's smallness.

Melissa painted the main design on the dresser and Malaika added a few finishing touches. Some of the artwork is courtesy of Rachael, but Malaika is a burgeoning artist as well. The sideways headboard from Malaika's old bed serves as something to hang necklaces, headphones, or whatever she fancies.
 Desk, from my friends Marie and Bill, who generously let us go shopping for free through their possessions before they moved to South Carolina. The front drops open and has all sorts of cubbies inside. (*note--Bill just had major surgery, I would ask your prayers for him and their whole family -- miss them so much!)

The blue dressers are from our neighbors across the street who were THROWING THEM AWAY. They are in perfect condition, and I love the idea of trash picking saving good things from the landfill. (how we also acquired our kitchen chairs). Ahem.

Curtain material--Rachael purchased and didn't use. I craftily ruched it up with twine because sewing and I are not on speaking terms. The sheer is to cover some of the crumbling plaster wall. Also the placement of the dressers, (though if I must say so myself, I did a mighty miraculous job with the spackle to close up and paint over the holes). I just wanted to prevent the worst one from opening back up if she bumped it, or say, a fly landed on it.

Here is the bed I hope to get for her.

2. Here is how Ben's room looks now. I don't have a before picture, but the walls alone are a sight for sore eyes.  Melissa did a lot of the painting in this room, and put the bed together. I painted too but spackled cracks mostly. So. many. cracks. You can see a huge one running down the wall next to the bookshelf. And that's the repaired version.

Ben is enjoying having a good bed and a room he wants to spend time in, My next hope is to get him a bigger desk. He is starting college next week, and Melissa is starting her final two semesters. Rachael was promoted at her job, and Corrie is doing well at hers. Praise God! Malaika starts her eighth grade year, with all it's perks. Formal dance, trip, and probably more.

3.  My daughter Meghann and a friend,  ran the Color Run in Grand Rapids. They had a blast! She pulled Kaden in a wagon most of the way.

4. One day while I was taking a walk and praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, I got to thinking. Usually when I get to the fourth mystery, the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, I also present my own children to Jesus. And at the fifth mystery, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, I pray they all ultimately will be found in His temple.

As I was pondering how Mary and Joseph might have felt during the three days Jesus was missing (no prophetic numbers are ever wasted!),  certainly they must have been worried. As I also worry about my own, even as I present them to Him all the time. In my mind, I see Jesus in His temple, doing what?...His Father's business, and I imagine them there also. What is His Father's business, I wondered? I could think of many things, but what came to mind is that He is going looking for those lost sheep.  Seeking to save those who are lost. Finding those lost coins that don't even know they are lost. Binding up the brokenhearted.

So, even as Mary and Joseph found Jesus safe and sound, I rest in the knowledge that His mission is to find all my children safe and sound, which I will never stop asking of Him, and trusting in His goodness that it will be so.

And of course we know that to pray the Rosary is to pray the Gospels, and that it was the weapon of choice for so many saints, including Padre Pio, against the wickedness and snares of the devil.

5.  Looking forward to the routine that the kids going back to school brings. Even though it can be hectic, at least there is that feeling of progress, which I love. A good saying I heard recently --- Progress, not Perfection. And that doing some small thing, even sloppily, for a little bit, on a regular basis, can bring about change; whereas, waiting for the perfect time or circumstance only halts progress. Another good way to put it:

Ordinary things, consistently done, lead to extraordinary results.

Not a new concept, but worthy of reiterating.

6.  The cat.

and Malaika.
Good thing her allergies don't extend to animal dander.

7. Thankful and grateful for this day. For the ability to go and do what I need to, and even occasionally, what I want. I am thankful for my life: the blessings, the tough stuff, lessons learned, ongoing struggles, the wonderful husband and children, good friends, the grace to always be able to try again, the beauty that is a part of life as well as the pain. Even for the laundromat.

~God Bless and Keep you~



  1. What's the color run? That looks That's a nice way to pray that fifth mystery. I like that. I worry about my son and faith.

    1. The Color Run is sweeping the country and even the world, you have to sign up way in advance, as it fill up immediately.

      here is the main page:

      As far as I know, it is not a charity run for any certain cause. You get doused with colored chalk all through the run, and at the end there is a big hoopla with colored chalk flying everywhere. I think it is a 5K, and you can walk or run or whatever. Meghann and her friend pulled the kids in a wagon and then ran towards the end.

      Megan is also signed up for a boot camp-style run in October. These themed runs are getting popular!

      As for Matthew--he is blessed to have both you and your wife's heritage. All I can say, Manny is the old adage, actions speak louder than words. We all have to live it out as faithfully as we possibly can. There's nothing brings the importance of faith in to focus like raising a family. And I think you are doing that.

      Funny about the one quote I mentioned, about ordinary things-is that the example the speaker used was reading to your kids, how five tired minutes a day is so much better for them than waiting till we don;t feel tired, or have the perfect book,etc. that old quality time vs. quantity. Believe me, kids need quantity. that , to them, IS quality. I know you already do that too :)
      God Bless!

    2. Oh I was wrong they do connect to charities. I just read the link. lol