Preparing.

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It’s the day before Easter. I woke up late this morning, after a middle of the night dialogue with insomnia. Sleeplessness likes to mess with me every once in a while, and I’m not a fan. But for some reason, as I dragged myself out of bed this morning and faced a day of laundry, cat boxes, groceries, and yard work, I felt strangely peaceful and alert.

Tomorrow’s coming, after all.

The kids and I worked in the yard, raking leaves and prepping gardens that I will later plant with hope and spinach and tomatoes. In that order.

We swept off the front porch and took the snow shovels that had been sitting there since January back to the garage. Also, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, but we are a risky bunch and decided to take our chances.

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And I bought yet even more pansies. Because:IMG_7901.JPG

You can never have too many purple pansies. Never.

And I ironed, which is a twice yearly event, so that’s a big deal. Also there were the tiny boy three-piece suits to prepare:IMG_7897.JPG

Note the clip-on tie. Very important. The nine year old, Blonde, does love his ties. Red, on the other hand, not so much. Last time he wore one he clipped it to the second button on his shirt and just called it good.

Perhaps he’ll start a new fashion trend. He accessorized this with pants that were on the right way, so he’s a fashion rock star, in my book.

And then, there were these:

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Because Easter must have cupcakes. It’s in the bible.

(Ok, yes, I know it’s not but it should be.)

And then, finally:

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The redbuds are starting to show on my little tree. Things are slowly turning soft green and butter yellow crocus are all over my neighbor’s lawn and I am just so happy.

Tomorrow is almost here, and I am so grateful.

I am just so very grateful.

 

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Don’t ever settle down.

Linking up with my favorite peeps today! The theme?

 

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It’s Friday. Good Friday, which as might know, is kind of a confusing name.

Last night, we took the boys to Maundy Thursday service (another confusing name – we Christians like to keep things all a kilter), and Red was very spiritual. Seven pm services tend to do that to him. He can get all quiet and sorta pensive.

It’s also possible he was dog-tired because earlier he was running about like a puppy on pixie sticks, but you know. I prefer spiritual.

Anyhow, Red was explaining what Maundy Thursday was all about, and then he launched right into Good Friday. (If you don’t know, Maundy Thursday it’s a commemoration of the Last Supper. Or, if you are Red, Maundy Thursday is about the Last Supper and ALSO grape juice! Grape juice in those little plastic cups! We NEVER drink grape juice at home so there is GRAPE JUICE COMING. Also a very dry small cracker thing. WHICH GETS TO GET WASHED DOWN WITH GRAPE JUICE OH SWEET NECTAR.)

And yes, I have just basically confessed that my sweet boy regards communion as a spiritual snack time of sorts. It’s a process, people.

So. Anyhow, Good Friday.

Red is trying to understand why Good Friday has any sort of Goodness in it. He says, “Jesus did not go into Good Friday all… ‘Hooray!’ Ok? It’s not GOOD. It’s TERRIFYING.”

Quick backstory: We are in line to go up and take communion while this conversation is occurring so it’s all very whispered and there’s a lot of “Shh-shing” in the background.

So, then Red is quiet for minute and I can literally SEE the little tiny synapses firing away, up inside his little Red head. And then, he blurts out:

“BUT IT’S SO GOOD. IT WAS GOOD FOR US. AND HE’S ALL ABOUT US, SO THAT’S IT! THAT’S WHY IT’S GOOD! I GET IT NOW!”

You know, we all get to get them, these little God moments where God comes up besides us and smiles gently and then WHACKS us UPSIDE THE HEAD with a God moment, because we needed it. And it doesn’t hurt, really. I mean, it can make us a little dizzy, but  it’s just really cool and kinda a moment to shout about.

But, back to Maundy Thursday – where we were supposed to be sort of contemplative and quiet and pondering Gethsemane and sad, and here’s Red, completely rocking out his God moment for all the world to see. And hear.

I wanted to tell him to Settle Down. I did. But instead, I just hugged on him and smiled to the little old lady in line with us, and I realized something:

There is no settling in this faith of ours. It’s big and changing and it breaks our world apart. It HAS to. And today, our world is to break. And Sunday? It will break even MORE. And it’s happy and it’s sad and it’s terrifying and it’s good. 

It’s so good. Thank you for Sunday, my Jesus. Thank you for being so brave. Thank you for loving us so deeply.  Whatever in the world would I do without you?

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Surrender is not an option.

Well. I am going to do it. I am going to write about politics.

This clearly goes against my contract. It states, in article 42, section 7:

“Any undeclared war, civil war, insurrection, rebellion, revolution, warlike act by a military force or military personnel, destruction or seizure or use for a military purpose, and including any consequence of any of these. Discharge of a nuclear weapon shall be deemed a warlike act even if accidental.”

Um. The words “discharge of nuclear weapon” and “accidental” don’t seem to fit together, do they?

Also, there is:

“For services rendered and to be rendered, it is agreed between the Author and the Author’s agent that the Author does hereby irrevocably assign and transfer to said agent and agent shall retain for the life of the Work a sum equal to fifteen percent (15percent) as an agency coupled with an interest of the gross monies accruing to the account of the Author per the Agreement and any subsequent agreements for the life of the Work in all its editions, revisions and adaptations, prior to deductions from or charges against such monies for any reason whatsoever.” (No, this was not my author’s contract. But it was close. It made my head hurt.)

Oops. Wrong section. I found all that charming legalese  here.

Section EIGHT says:

Momsie doesn’t do politics. Politics are whack.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday, today. And wouldn’t you know it? The theme is:

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Well played, Kate Motaung.

All right. Brace yourself. I am now going to talk politics for the remainder of this blog post. It’s a rare and rather frightening event, much like spotting Big Foot, but also if Big Foot was going to knock on your door and ask to SPEND THE NEXT FOUR YEARS HANGING AT YOUR HOUSE.

Here are my thoughts on politics:

  1. I never really knew what a caucus was until this year. This admission is making my father and at least ONE of my old students who now teaches Social Studies growl at me. I always thought a caucus sounded kind of risque and salacious. Therefore I avoided them. Momsie doesn’t do salacious.
  2. I now live in a small town. The caucus does not come to me. It must be searched out, hunted down and fought for. Cue up, again, the SAME movie clip that I seem to use for every blog on here ever:f92e423d19364d85f10361f51b9c717d

Hey, if the Last of the Mohican moccasin fits, wear it.

In other words:

3. I’ll give you my caucus when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Bit over the top? Bit too dramatic? Perhaps. As we all know, Momsie feeds on sugary dramatic overstatement for breakfast.

4. Evil, and evil people, are simply those who are unwilling or unable to deal with true self awareness.

I know. Think about it. I came up with that in the shower this morning. I thought it was pretty good.

If we really were able to deal honestly and thoughtfully with you we are, we would be walking towards God. God made us that way. He crafted humans to lean to the light, to seek justice, to be clean. And, our leaders are human. No, really. They are. So, I am praying praying praying that all of those who are so intent on leading this country would really be willing to tackle their motives, their deepest heart. Their true nature. And that goodness would filter to the top.

5. Finally. It’s possible the candidate we want to win, won’t. It’s possible. Very possible. And yet, as my pastor says, “God will still be on the throne, no matter who is president.”

God is. God was. God will be.

I believe that the world seems very scary and sad and angry when we look at facebook, at twitter, at the news. It is understandable. Know why?

The world is a very scary and sad and angry place.

I also believe:

The world is lovely, loving, and new every morning. And that Good will prevail. And that glory reigns. And that, thank you, EASTER IS COMING!

I also believe: too many fearful news posts can be combated with:

  1. Prayer
  2. Kitty pictures.
  3. Or, perhaps, both,  AT THE SAME TIME.

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KITTY SCRIPTURE FOR THE WIN.

‘Purr-fect peace’. That’s cute.

Now, go vote.

Small print and lawyer-y diclosure: Momsie is not in any way trying to endorse one candidate over the other because that’s your darn responsibility. Also, the she has never been more confused and holy cow the options are totally weirdo this year so far be it from her to try and tell YOU how to vote. Good Lord almighty. Also, she is not trying to make light of something very serious and important but oh let’s face it this whole situation needs some levity else she will just have to throw in the towel. She’s going to let the other people post the serious stuff and pictures and articles and statistics and horrible clips and videos and ugh this social media thing sometimes just makes me want to go sit by a pond and feed the sweet non-partisan ducks.

Tuesday Takeout and Easter Feasting

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Happy Easter, my Peeps!

 

Yup, I’m still on Easter.

I can’t get enough of it this year.  The flowers, the budding trees, the life all around…

The empty tomb.  My emptied out life – filling up, slowly, with good things.

 

 

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This Sunday was spent with some dear friends.  Sean is the soccer coach at the college where I teach; he and his lovely wife Rae make their home an oasis for his soccer players.  So many of them are from very far away, students with nowhere to go for Easter, so he invites them.  Sometimes they don’t even live so far away, but this home has become a place of love and peacefulness and family.  It is a good center for them.

 

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Rae is the ultimate soccer momma.

 

 

Hi! I'm adorable!  Happy Easter.

Hi! I’m adorable! Happy Easter.

 

And, of course, there was a lot of good food.  Did I mention we had prime rib sandwiches?  Mm. Hmmmmm. .  And two of the girls made  spinach dip from scratch that was all gooey and cheesy and just the best thing ever.  And our friend Elisheva came and brought her world’s best guacamole (along with her cute kids and husband) and I put some of it on my sandwich and the angels sang, I tell you.

And the soccer kids (one from Mexico, one from Peru) who spoke quietly and smiled a lot,  played soccer with my boys in the most adorable way.

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It was a good day – surrounded by children and sunshine and some rain, but the really cool, soft kind.  And lunch at a long table in the garage, smooshed together, laughing and being goofy.IMG_2335

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There was a time when this kind of function would make me itchy, nervous.  Social things were… outside of my element I guess. I felt ajar, like a door was left open in me somewhere, and I had to shut it.

Now, I just let the door swing wide open, and ask friends to come in, and talk, and run around with kids, and then, if tired, I can go home and take a nap.  It’s a lot simpler than I ever thought it could be.

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Now, let me leave you with the wonderfulness that is my Great Aunt Dorothy’s chocolate fudge icing recipe.

This stuff is so good it’s hard to get it on the cupcakes – eat it on graham crackers, or ‘nilla wafers, or with a spoon.  It’s divine.

And you know what? It was divine to share it with these goofballs.  What a lovely day.

 

 

 

 

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Serious talent. For reals. Kristina is pointing at my son, who is in awe of Sean.  It’s all connected, you see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aunt Dorothy’s Amazing Fudge Frosting:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3-4 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup whole milk (sometimes I use coffee and milk)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch salt, teensy pinch cinnamon (that was my addition; I hope Dorothy doesn’t mind.)
Instructions
  1. Mix sugar, cocoa powder, and milk together in a large saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until large bubbles form. Boil one minute. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Return to medium-high heat and boil for a minute or so, until it thickens. Remove from heat and beat with a wooden spoon until thick and smooth.
  4. Try not to eat it all before you frost the cupcakes.
This stuff is heaven spread liberally on a yellow cake and then sprinkled with toasted pecans (pronounced PEE cahns, please).  Or, just put some in a bowl and have at it.  Who needs cake?
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Monday Manuscript

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Monday Morning, Easter After.

Still celebrating.  Shouldn’t we all?  All the time?

I spent what could have been the best Easter I have had in quite  a while – more explanation of that (with too many pictures, some pool noodles, and lots of chocolate fudge icing) tomorrow!

For today – I offer this song for you.  I listen to it every morning as I run.  Every morning, ya’ll.  It fits the slap slap of my feet hitting pavement perfectly, AND –

It has the greatest chorus ever:

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he’s alive! he’s alive!

I do have to admit – at 5:30 a.m., I have been known to run with this blasting from my earphones, arms upraised, singing along.  Especially that last line.  I do hope I didn’t scare anyone, because I am pretty sure what was coming out of my mouth was NOT a pretty sound at all.  Probably kinda sounded like a whale trying to find the key of C.  A very spiritual whale.

My version:

Oh deaaaf where is stingHUH? (gasp)

oh HELL where victUH? (gasp)

Oh Churchwoeooooflesss lightUH! (gaspgasp)

OurGODESSSSNOTDUD…HEAWIV…..HEUHWIIIIIVVVE! (ergggggasp)

All the whales in the neighborhood, can I hear an “Amen”?

Anyhow, I don’t care.  It’s 5:30 am.  If you’re up, you can deal.  I am kinda of the mind set that if anyone IS up and mucking around at that hour they won’t mind a bit of whale/Jesus music,  or he or she might need it.  I did run into (almost literally) a poor college kid coming home from the bars who was, shall we say, rather green about the gills.  (GET IT?  GETTTTT IT?  YOU SAW WHAT I DID THERE, RIGHT?)*  I sang my whale/Jesus song at him and lo, he was healed.  Or at least he walked a bit faster.  Yes!  Praise the Lord!

But I digress.

Enjoy the song – and remember:

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to him who showed great love.

You might see why I love this song so, in terms being caught and being free, and my recent post about glitter (the funny part) and alcohol (the not so funny part – although there have been many funny parts.  Many.  But that’s a post for another day.)

  Happy Easter.  Every Day.

Amen.

And Amen.

And Amen.

 

 

*Lawyer has reported in.  He says whales don’t have gills so my pun is off. He’s litigious, that one.  I still think the pun holds.  Oh well, water under the bridge.

DID YOU SEE THAT? WHAT I DID RIGHT THERE?  I DID IT AGAIN!  I KNOW,  RIGHT?