Friday, December 30, 2011

Ruby

The boys found this ruby at the mountain gem mines last time we were there and we were told it had value so Jeremy had it cut and polished. For our Anniversary, he had it set in a gold necklace and served to me as "fifth course" by the staff at the restaurant he took me to. I love it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Birthiversary, Fifteen Years!

I wrote this post on our tenth anniversary and I would write it all again, today, on our fifteenth. If anything were different, however, it would be that the last five years have been kinder to us than the first ten. There have been many, many blessings and many joys. God has been very good to us. I feel as though what He cut roughly in the first decade of our marriage, He has been carving out the detail work on and polishing in the last five. We've suffered some, too, of course but even our hardships have had joys, or maybe I've just learned better how to look for them. Either way, I consider myself a very lucky woman to be standing by this man's side surrounded by our soon-to-be seven sons.

(Is this the ear you can't hear on?) I love you, Jeremy Temple, and I'm going to love you 'til the day I die.*


Ten years ago, today, I turned twenty-three and married the love of my life.


A less scanned-looking version of this photograph is on display in our home and there have been many times in the last ten years, when things were hard, that I have paused in front of this photograph, gazed at the unsuspecting smile of the young woman pictured there and thought to myself, "Naive, naive, naive."

And certainly I was naive. My whole married life was ahead of me. Hearth, home, children--it was all to come. My hopes and dreams were as vibrant as my youthful imagination and stood, as yet, unchecked by any reality. There were no hardships, no disappointments, no sacrifices on that day when I made those vows to love for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.

It was later that the hardships came and they were certainly not of the worst variety-- just the usual struggles of a young couple trying to live a life of faith...trying to live in the world but not be of it... and perhaps a few hardships particular to us that God has asked us to endure.

If this is the worst of it, if this is my path to heaven--suffering with those I love, surrounded by them, and most often for the sake of them-- then I'll be the first to say that His yoke is easy and His burden, light.

Still, there have been times when I have envied the young woman in this photograph. As life has chipped away at my plans here, there at my hopes, and again at my self-vision...I have found it hard to let go of my ideals. There have been many times when I have wished I could stand as radiant and as hopeful as the young woman in this photograph stands.

But I have also learned that, for all her radiance, she is naive in more ways than one. There are indeed many things that she does not know...

She does not know the humiliations of gestating, the pains of labor, or the constraints of nursing, it is true...
...but nor does she know the joy of carrying a secret life inside her, the triumph of childbirth, or the pride of providing sole nourishment for another human person.

She does not know how much one can die to self without actually dying, I know...
...but nor does she know the life of love that is born of that sacrifice.

She does not know that humility is draining and bottomless...
...but nor does she know the peace of letting go and the dignity of being filled up by God.

She does not know how overwhelmed she will be or how inadequate she will feel...
...but nor does she know the courage she will have or the occasions to which she will rise.

She does not know that she probably won't accomplish everything she hopes to...
...but nor does she know the value of what she will accomplish.

She does not know how much the man beside her will change...
..She has no idea what a loving, kind, and appreciative husband he will prove to be. She does not know that she could not have chosen a more devoted father for her children or more perfect partner for life. Though she loves him with all the depths of her heart, she does not know that the trials of life will make her heart grow deeper and thus, ten years later, she will love him even more profoundly.

So it is that the older I get, the less envious I am of the young woman in this photograph and the more she becomes a sweet symbol of youthful idealism and unblemished hope. God bless her, dear thing. For her, I wish a life as rich as mine.

*Reference to It's A Wonderful Life
Photograph: taken by my sister, Helene.

Friday, December 16, 2011

28 Weeks


Heading out to a Christmas concert.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Double Birthday




Alex turns 11 and Micah turns 3

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ha!

Jacob: Whenever it says "Holiday" it means "Christmas" so why don't they just write "Christmas?"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Overheard

Zachary: Mom, did you know Bach learned to play piano from his older brother?

Me: Really? So then, will you teach Micah?

Zachary: Umm...it's just that his parents passed away first.

Me:Oh...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Highlights of a Happy Thanksgiving

We're playing a Thanksgiving game that we found in an activity book that uses candy corn as currency. So simple and so fun.

Helping in the kitchen and putting on his best "southern", Jacob: I'll get out the pee-cons, Y'all!

Mixing pumpkin pie ingredients, Alex: Mom, this looks like art!
Nicholas, licking his lips: It smells like art.

When many of the leaves I was making for the pumpkin pie crust weren't turning out, Zachary: Don't worry, Mom, nature works this way too. So many baby turtles hatch...so few make it to the ocean.

A breeze blew in, dropping temperatures by just the right amount to make baking pleasant and the kids chased leaves in the backyard all afternoon.

Stinker By Day

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Night Owl

Cooktop!


We finally got our new cooktop installed, just today! It's been a long and crazy journey involving waiting a long time for a certain stove that never became available due to manufacturer problems, but in the end we had our counter cut larger and got this 36" cooktop with five burners to replace our four. I love it! Also, our new microwave is pictured here. The store compensated for our frustrations by giving us a great deal and we are thrilled the cooktop is here in time for Thanksgiving. There was a while there, we didn't think it would happen. Thank you, everyone, who sent meal ideas. We managed these last two months with some difficulty. I'm so happy to be done with skillet and crockpot cooking!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gluck Ducks

Link
Ducks from this afternoon's art lesson. We're using the Gluck DVDs. It's been fun.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The War of the Vendee



My nieces and nephews are in this fantastic looking film by Navis Pictures (you can see two of them at the 25 sec. mark). Also, several friends. We can't wait to watch the whole thing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kids in Collards

A neighbor gave us some collard greens. Good to eat...or hide in.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Want to be in That Number

Miscellaneous saints by miscellaneous kids.
Artists include: Alexander, Jacob, Zachary and Nicholas.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Friend Feed

Google Reader stopped hosting its "shared items" option. So, the badge in the right margin where I have been linking to interesting articles around the web has changed to Friend Feed. It isn't as good as Google Reader and the lack of sharing means that I am reading around the web less as well, but it is better than nothing. So, if you had been following my Google reader, please join up with Friend Feed. Follow me here and share what you've been reading with me. I appreciate it!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Let the Saints Begin

So I picked up some paper and paints yesterday. While Jeremy and I installed our new built in microwave, the kids got drawing. We have over 30 saints drawn in pencil. Tonight, we'll get out the pens and watercolor and I'm hoping we'll get to join in to make a few of our own. Here is JPII by Alexander.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

All Saints/All Souls

My kids are begging to do this again. They had a great time painting with us, loved getting other kids' saint cards in the mail and made a few lasting international pen pals with the kids who wrote contact information on their cards. I think we will participate. You should, too.

But All Saints was yesterday and today is All Souls. My husband packed the kids up after dinner and headed out in the dark to a cemetery to pray for all souls. I just love being Catholic. Blessings to you and your families these holy days!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Me: I need someone to swat flies.

Jacob: Oh no, I'm no longer a bounty hunter. Fly guts are not for me.

Boy

I announced it on facebook, but I know I have a few readers here who are not on facebook, so I thought I'd mention here that baby Temple is another boy. We're very happy as this will be more than convenient and also, we rather like boys.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011


Cop and Jail Bird


Napoleon


Hamburger




Panda gets into the candy.

Happy Halloween!

Pictures will be coming, but for now go read my sister's excellent, "Don't Trade Halloween for Reformation Sunday." My sentiments exactly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

GE Recall

Thank you, CMW, for letting me know that GE issued a recall just today on their exploding cooktops. Do you have one of these? Turn it off and call GE.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seeing his brother's hot chocolate...

Micah: I want that! I want sugar coffee!

Recent Listening

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

The Whipping Boy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BLEG!

Help! It looks like it may be a month or more before we have a new cooktop in place. The problem is that a replacement will need a downdraft like the one we are replacing. There are limited options with this feature and the one we want would be a special order. Additionally, our microwave is on the fritz, only working every once in a while. A repairman is coming for that today, but the part may take some time to come.

In the meantime, nobody in this house is willing to go without eating so I need meal ideas...grill, crockpot, electric griddle recipes to feed a large family. Can you help? Send me your family favorites. Thank you!
Micah: Can I have some (something unintelligible)?

Me: What?

Zachary: He said, "Can I have some ceremonies?"

Me: What does that mean?

Zachary: You know, like royal ceremonies with fancy things.

Me: Why would he want that?

Zachary: Why wouldn't he?

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Gold

Jacob: (Walking around with his hands full of Pyrite from the mountain mines) I'd be rich, if only I were a fool!

Kaboom

The last morning the Laurences were here our cooktop exploded at breakfast. Thankfully, nobody was hurt but ceramic glass shards flew everywhere. Very exciting. When we started to look for a new stovetop, we found reviews of this one (GE Profile) and discovered that it has been exploding on others as well, many others (14 out of15 reviews). So, if have one of these, be warned. We're very thankful nobody was hurt. Jacob told Father T about it after mass this morning and he said a prayer of thanksgiving with our family and asked angels to continue to protect us. That's the best insurance there is. We'll be replacing this with a different brand. Any suggestions?

Duke Gardens