Sunday, April 22, 2007

Indoor Picnic

This week Paul was off work. We wanted to try and combine fun with working on home projects. We had planned to go to the Botanical Gardens last Tuesday. Julie and I were out shopping for our picnic foods and running other errands. As we went from place to place, the unpredictable Chicago weather got colder and colder - by 15 degrees! Our warm, sunny picnic and outing suddenly seemed like a chilly undertaking.

We decided to make a back-up plan: We would have our picnic indoors, and then go to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which has many indoor exhibits. So we would be outside in small increments. Before we left, we set out our picnic on the dining room table and had our lunch. It was a lot of fun.

The zoo outing was enjoyable for all, including Tyler, who was most interested in the fish! We went to the gardens on Friday, where the weather had warmed up so much, no jackets were required!

P.S. Yes, that is a Christmas tablecloth! The others were in the wash, and I needed something to throw on the table quickly!

Julie and Tyler

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spring Cleaning - Part II

Last week I was very busy getting the house ready for Easter. Somehow, it all made sense to me for the first time in my life.

Here's what I mean:

For years, I wandered through my life with doubts about God. I became a true believer in 2002 and started going to a non-denominational church, and then in 2005 joyfully returned to the Catholic Church in which I was raised. In 2006, for the first time, I went to the entire Triduum (the Masses held from Holy Thursday through Easter). This to me was just the most wonderful way to anticipate and celebrate Christ's Resurrection.

This year, during the days before the Triduum Masses, I was getting the house ready for company on Easter Sunday. With the help of the whole family, we did a thorough house cleaning. We were all so pleased with the results. As I worked, I tried not only to think about welcoming company, but also to be welcoming Christ upon His Resurrection. It was very satisfying to think of preparing not only for company, but to prepare in all ways for Christ: the cleaning, the shopping, the prayers, practicing choir music, and the Masses.

Among other things, we:
1. Shampooed the hall carpet runner, and Robert's carpet.
2. Cleaned Robert's room (a major undertaking).
3. Washed the curtains and swags in the parlor and sitting room.
4. Dusted thoroughly, including running the Swiffer around the ceiling for any cobwebs.
5. Managed to find a place for everything, and put everything in its place (although there were a couple of bags of papers that were not really put away properly, rather shoved in the storage compartment under our Captain's bed!)
6. Vacuumed, mopped.
7. Put out decorations, such as bunny candle holders with pastel tapers, an Easter Lily plant, and some baskets.

This combination of faith preparation as well as home preparation made for an entirely beautiful Easter Day. The entire house was clean, rather than cordoning off one room with massive piles of junk thrown into it, hidden from the eyes of guests. I felt so peaceful that even in the evening, after the company had left and we had our own quiet family dinner, I was not stressed as I cooked and served. It all just felt right!

Alleluia, He is Risen!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

On A Box!


In August of last year, I became a grandmother for the first time when our eldest daughter delivered a darling baby boy. I was not expecting this to happen so soon, but I am so grateful to have our grandson alive and well and in our lives. He is a joy!

Our household needed to go through a big adjustment; we were not thinking we would have grandchildren so soon. But we just shoehorned him into our relatively small house by making a nice basement bedroom for our middle daughter, and giving her tiny bedroom to our grandson.

One of my biggest enjoyments with him is going for long strolls outside in the fresh air. I was very concerned when I first broke my ankle in February, that our walks would be put off indefinitely until I was all healed. My healing has gone along quite well, and I'm happy to say that our long walks have resumed as the weather has become nicer.

I don't know how long our daughter and grandson will be staying with us. I am happy for them to stay as long as need be. He has brought the whole family closer together. He is a gift, a precious gift.