Please pray

Please pray for my family. I cannot give any details, just that the matter is very serious…more serious than we have had to deal with before. Thank you!

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Merry Christmas time is here…

I survived finals.

I would have posted sooner, except that I wrote so much during the past few weeks that my brain needed a rest. The break has been both busy and restful; tiring and happy. Last week I spent cooking (having a blast!), cleaning, enjoying the rain, and spending time with Daniel. On Friday night I left for Wisconsin, and had a layover in Georgia. The flight from Georgia to Milwaukee left on time, but we had to turn back because there was an indication that an engine overheated. Upon arriving at the airport again, the engine was checked and we were moved to another plane. Then one of the stewardesses realized she had a scheduling conflict and so they called in someone else. Instead of getting to Milwaukee at 11am, I got in a little after 1pm. Not too bad, except that I was exhausted and just wanted to get home. We had to wait for quite awhile to get our luggage, so we didn’t get home until about 3:15pm. After that I played with my little brother (dancing, giggling and the like), ate supper, and layed around most of the night like a zombie.

Wisconsin is cold. Normally in December it is in the 20’s, and that is what it was when I came home on Saturday. Saturday night it promptly dropped, and yesterday it didn’t get above -5, with the windchills around -20 all day. I was a wimp and decided to stay in the house after Mass, even when Dad and the little kids went to get the Christmas tree. I spent the afternoon talking, cooking, helping with dishes, drinking hot cocoa, and eating chocolates. I also finished my Christmas letter. Today was a little warmer–I believe it hit 2 degrees above zero, and the wind wasn’t as bad. I cleaned most of the day, going through boxes and boxes of my stuff and clothes and fabric and dust and dust. Did I mention the dust? There were a lot of memories that I was reminded of as I tried yet again to pare down my belongings. It is terribly hard to do, though; my things are either useful or I am too sentimental to get rid of them. Sigh…

Now my Christmas letters are printed off and I can begin writing out the few cards that I will send. Tomorrow and Wednesday morning I work, then all the Christmas celebrations begin. Here at home everything is not all roses, and sometimes I wish for the way that Christmastime used to be. But I suppose it is just a greater reminder to me of what Christmas is really about and giving me a greater focus for the future. What next week will bring, I am not sure of yet. All in all, I am enjoying my stay: there is a lot of snow, I enjoyed the many conversations I have had, and the attention from my little siblings. I am trying to get all things organized and in order and have started reading my books for school next quarter–which starts in two weeks. The break has been good. Now if I can remain this calm when I get back to school, I’ll be all set.

This is a time of year that I really enjoy bringing out the Scriptures and rereading the Nativity story; the awesomeness of God becoming man within history is something that I struggle to grasp the full meaning of, and yet it tells of the immense love that He has for us. I pray that you all are able to use this time to grow in Faith and Love, so as to attain peace in union with Him; it will take sacrifice (He became man and was born in a stable, eventually to be crucified…) but if we are faithful, we will be rewarded.

May God bless and Mary keep you all–have a Merry Christmas!

Crazy summer days

Summer “break” has been very exhausting. Of the 14 days I was home, I: worked 7, went to daily Mass, went to two 4-H softball games, helped prepare for and then enjoyed my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary party, and went to a shower for my sister who is getting married in August. The times at home seemed to be short, but were very nice. I got a chance to talk to Mom and Dad for awhile, Andrew came over and visited a couple of times, David and Mary stuck to me whenever I was home, and the other kids were mainly pleasant and happy that I was home. Unfortunately I did not have time to visit many of my friends–but I was able to go to Schoenstatt twice.

I was so happy to be in Wisconsin, even for the short time that it was. Tuesday night I flew in, and Dad took the long way home so that I could see more of the flooding and green trees and fields. The car ride home was very noisy. David was trying to claim my constant attention while Anna, Christopher, & Mary were giggling in the back seat and Mom, Dad, & I were trying to hold a conversation. The rest of the night was filled with the busyness of putting things away, enjoying the green of our hill, and visiting more.

Wednesday morning I started work again. There were not many customers for each show, so if there was not much merchandise to check in it was time to pull out the dusting materials. I have a strong dislike of dusting, so it made for a few long days.

The following Wednesday night, I picked up Daniel from the airport. He got to see my domain. 🙂 It went better than originally expected with my siblings, which was nice. The coming days were a whirlwind of introductions and preparing for the party. My older sister and her fiance came down, so the entire family was together again for awhile. Saturday night was Mom and Dad’s party. More visiting and a LOT of fun. Music started and the barn dance began! After a few hours of talking, laughing, swatting mosquitoes, and dancing, everyone went home and we cleaned up and went to bed.

Monday was wonderful–I got to visit Schoenstatt again. It was a beautiful day, and the mosquitoes were not as overwhelming they were the previous week. I was able to be in the shrine with the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother…with Daniel. I wanted to stay…

Then we went to my grandparents house to visit for a bit and pick up some fresh asparagus to bring back to school. 😀 Later in the evening, my older sister and her fiance visited before going back to ND. In addition, we were packing up to leave at the bright and early hour of 5:30am on Tuesday to fly back to San Diego. I arrived without incident, and was waiting in the airport for a few others to arrive and get picked up from the airport. Daniel’s flight was delayed, so I ended up going back to get him after I got back to the apartments. We made it back in time for Mass! The next few days were filled with visiting, errands, and the like.

Thursday afternoon we went up to Daniel’s house and spent the weekend with his family. We had fun visiting, watching home videos, seeing fireworks, walks/talks, playing cards, and playing Frisbee. I also ate Chinese food for the first time. Daniel hurt his shoulder playing Frisbee, so I drove back–we went to the airport first to pick up two returning students, and then there was finally time to rest.

Sunday was relaxed and enjoyable. In the evening there was an ice cream social to welcome everyone back and provide a chance to meet the new transfer students. Yesterday started classes again…I think it is going to be very reading intensive this quarter. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

Have a lovely summer! God bless and Mary keep you all.

Home

Here I am…home. It seems like I have been here in Wisconsin for weeks, but the majority of my time has been spent at work or sleeping. I am kind of thankful that my break is so short–it is too exhausting to have it much longer. 😀 I hope this entry doesn’t sound too boring and/or incoherent…

Tuesday night I flew in, and have been immensely enjoying the green. Unfortunately, the floods have made it too difficult to get to daily Mass at our parish, so I have been struggling to find daily Mass elsewhere. I think I brought the weather from San Diego with me; it has been sunny and in the 80’s everyday. I suppose I am terribly strange, but I kind of wish I was here during all the rain storms. My little siblings (especially David)have stuck to me for the majority of the time that I am actually at home, and I have gotten a much warmer welcome than at Christmas…I guess that is what happens when you don’t see them for nearly six months.

The mosquitos have also given me quite the warm welcome; they are most willing to eat my blood. As a result, I have not spent much time outside–it is hot during the day, mosquitos come out at night. Ah, such is the joy of Wisconsin summers! Yet with all its peculiarities, I love the beauty of the green, hills, and open fields. Fields of corn, wheat, soybeans, hay…it is wonderful. Much different than the city that I am stuck in for most of the year…

I am happy that I don’t work again until Wednesday. I hope to catch up on sleep (a result of trying to adapt to the time change) as well as doing some reading, visiting and cleaning. I get to go to Schoenstatt again!!!!!! I am unspeakably excited about that. 😀 The rest of the week will be a whirlwind with work, parties, and more visiting. I am sure I will survive, but it might take me a few days to recuperate. There is a possibility that I will not get a chance to post again until July–so have a good week or two, and I will offer many prayers for you all! God bless and Mary keep you. 🙂

RIP

Please pray for the soul of my great-grandmother, who died early this morning. She has had Alzheimer’s for a long time. She refused to eat for several days, and refused to drink for the past few days.  She received the Anointing of the Sick yesterday. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

County Fair and Visiting

The days are so long and short at the same time. I feel like I am not getting much of anything done, but the days are so full of doing things that I lose track of what happened when…

This weekend was busy. Saturday I did a lot of reading – I finished Love and Responsibility (finally!), another little booklet, and read Left to Tell. I was not intending to read as much as I did, but got so engrossed in the book that I had a hard time putting it down. :-p I also helped my Dad a little with canning tomatos – I am not sure how many I did, but overall about 63 quarts were completed. At about 11:00pm on Saturday night, my older sister (Katherine) and her boyfriend (Ryan) arrived from North Dakota. My parents and I stayed up and talked with them until almost 1am.

Sunday I went to Holy Mass, came home and ate lunch, then went to a meeting at Schoenstatt. The girls surprised me with a few games and cake after the meeting to say “goodbye”. It was fun, but it seems so strange that I will not be seeing them much in the next couple of years. 😦 Then I went to the County Fair. It took me awhile to find any of my family on the grounds! I eventually did, and spent some time looking around the exhibits, taking some pictures, talking to my family and grandparents, and went to part of the Phil Vassar concert with my grandparents, Katherine & Ryan. We talked a lot after the concert, and by the time we got home it was almost midnight! Here are some pictures from the fair – the pictures from Sunday start at picture 53.

On Monday I didn’t have to be up at any certain time, so I didn’t set my alarm. I was shocked that I slept until 9:05am – it is rare for me to sleep much past 8am, even when I am tired. I did a few odds and ends things, but the most that I really accomplished was visiting. A funny incident during the afternoon was when we were talking about the way that we think some people might die (because of health problems, etc.). David asked what we were talking about, and I said, “we are talking about dying. How do you want to die?” To which he promptly responded: “I want to dye you PINK!”

Yesterday I worked, read, and visited. My brother came over for a few hours, and it was great to have our whole family together again. We all laughed and talked for 2+ hours without any arguments at all…it was so nice. 😀

Today Katherine & Ryan left, so I said goodbye before work. I went shoe shopping after work – and I found a pair of shoes for much cheaper than I was expecting. God is blessing me with many unexpected ways to save money! Also, today David dropped a bowl full of fruit on his toe, turning it black under the nail. Tonight it hurt so bad he was crying, so I let some of the blood out by using a needle (so that the pressure would go down). He informed me that I would be a good doctor, so apparently it doesn’t hurt as much anymore. I am sure it will continue to hurt a little, but I am happy that I can make it “feel better”. LOL … I guess it is a motherly sort of satisfaction. 🙂

Please pray for my Mom – tomorrow she was going to start school for the year (5 of my siblings are homeschooled), and she isn’t feeling well. Please say that the school year gets off to a good start. Please also pray for a few special intentions. Thank you!

There is so much to think about, so much to be thankful for, so much to learn; and I wish I could write about everything. I feel like Pa Kettle when I say “I’ll get around to doing that, one of these days…” I am so busy enjoying living life, that I don’t have as much time as I’d like to write about it – but I guess I am fine with that. God has blessed me with many moments, and somedays I record some. The greatest gift, though, is having the chance to live them; and I intend to do that to the best of my ability.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Phillipians 4:8

Life, people, time

The summer is almost over, and our county fair will be next week. Last week there was the usual scurrying to finish 4-H projects, and this coming week they will start getting the animals ready. Anna took a shawl that she knitted, Christopher took a napkin holder that he made for woodworking, and will also be taking some plants. Peter & Simon are taking calves, and Anna & Christopher are taking chickens. I haven’t decided yet if I will go to the fair or not, but perhaps I will go with my older sister. We’ll see.

We have found much entertainment on youtube.com lately! We find old songs, classic songs, country songs, and even a few different videos such as yodeling and this cartoon . A few evenings have been spent sitting around the computer with me searching for everyone’s requests…it is quite fun. The only problem is watching out for inappropriate content. :p [Edit: Don’t follow any links to videos that you don’t know what they are about – especially around children. My siblings are not internet saavy, they do not know how to get onto the site…and either my Dad or I am in control of the computer whenever we are on there. Most of the videos we watch I have seen reviews of on blogs, etc. or are well known songs. Sometimes I just let a song play and hide the actual video, if I don’t know the video content. There is lots of junk on there, don’t let it ruin innocent fun. :)]

Recently, David (4) has greeted me each day when I come home with either “Hi Lisa! I haven’t seeeeen you yet today.” or “How many people did you meet today?” – usually, the latter. We have no idea why he came up with the second question, and it took me by surprise the first few times. It is interesting to think about, though. How many people do I meet each day? Often times, more than I can keep track of off hand. He doesn’t really care about the number, but still persists in asking the question – and I find amusement in his attempts at conversation. 😀

It has been quite awhile since I posted any anecdotes about home and family. Part of the reason, I suppose, is because I have been gone and working so much…and my siblings busy or outside because of summer. 🙂 Yet, I must savor and record moments from these days before I leave, because there is no turning back in the pages of life. Each moment passes, each day, each week, each year; never to come again. It still seems strange that my childhood is gone, my family is getting older, and soon I will have a new chapter to write in my own life.

If I was to write a song about my life, the refrain would be “Time keeps marching on…it never stops to wait…yet love and joy grow strong…through paths both curved and straight. My heart sighs for the past…the future calls me too…time still goes so by fast…God, let me live today for You.”