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Showing posts from May, 2011

It's Berry Season! {focusing on what is lovely}

Leaving the grocery store yesterday I spotted a stand selling all kinds of berry bushes.  I had just been inside the store purchasing fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries to make my triple-berry trifle later this week.  Inspired, I pulled my tiny digital camera from my purse and began snapping away.  My son, a bit exasperated to be seen with his mother photographing outside the grocery store said in a droll tone, "Let me guess, for the blog?" His comment made me laugh ~ both at his sarcasm and at myself.  I guess I have slipped into a habit of seeing the world around me through blogging-colored glasses .   It's just that having created my very own tiny space on the web has reignited a fire in me for the beauty and majesty of the everyday world we all see but may have stopped noticing in our daily lives.  It has begun to feel like a privilege to bring my humble observations to my dedicated readers and those who accidentally stumble into Misty's Morning

Meal Plan for Memorial Day Weekend

You may not know that I also host a simple cooking blog called Bake Me Away .  I don't post as often as I'd like because all too often the food is eaten before I can even think about getting out my camera to take a photo.   At any rate, this first weekend of summer vacation made me think about a few recipes I have on the blog that might make for a tasty Memorial Day menu.   For starters: Italian Salsa For the main dish: Paulie's Salmon And for the all-American finish: Easiest Apple Pie In the next few days I will be posting a new recipe for sloppy joes, another great backyard party dinner option.   Enjoy your weekend and make something delicious!

A Benediction

Peace be with you.

End of School Daybook 5-26-2011

A photo thought … Outside my window…  Leaves and branches everywhere.  Two nights ago we experienced the closest thing I have seen to a tornado in our own backyard .  I do know tornadoes - I've seen one across the river in the distance as a child.  I have hidden in the cooler of the Mexican restaurant where I worked along with all the patrons as a funnel cloud hovered overhead.  But the other night I truly felt we might be in the actual path of a tornado at home .  Trees were bending at the most awkward angles and leaves were literally swirling overhead rather than simply falling to the ground.  The local news reported a doppler indicated tornado just blocks from our neighborhood.  The children began to cry.  Pasta boiled on the stove, the electricity flickered and my husband simply waved me away and continued his conference call!  Luckily his instincts were correct.  Now we just have lots of debris to collect from the yard.  In light of Joplin and all those suffering from t

Family (dis)Function

My second grade son received his first Eucharist last weekend.   Guests filtered in over the course of the week until there were a total of twelve people staying in our house.  With all the boys camped out in our master bedroom we happily made room for our family - some of whom had never been to our home before. We spent time at the beach, burying boogie boards and boys, tossing a football in the waves and holding shivering little ones still afraid of getting wet. Living so far from family does have its advantages.  There are no obligations to fill one's weekends with relatives' games, parties and needs.  No confrontations to be had over conversations mis-interpreted, no grandparents giving unsolicited advice on our parenting style, no one to have to help with their moving, painting, cleaning or even emergencies. And yet I cannot help but wonder if such advantages have really improved our family functioning.  It appears that the more removed we have become, the more

In Memory

A flower from my garden in loving memory of my Uncle who passed away last night. May he rest in peace and all his loved ones find comfort in God's abiding love.

Give Me Some Grace

One of the definitions of grace according to Merriam-Webster online  is "a temporary exemption: reprieve".   If I am around someone who is criticizing others I have often said just   give them some grace .   Who knows what that person has experienced in the past five minutes or even five years that may have led them to be less than courteous or even self-aware?   I think what I really mean when I say just give them some grace  is so that I may also be given such grace. It is much easier to judge, to criticize, to gossip.  The hard part is giving someone else a reprieve.  But when I stop and remember that:  Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones , and his care is with the elect. Wisdom 3:9 grace dwells within me ~ by grace itself.  Therefore I do have the grace to extend to others in the hope of creating a world in which grace will also be extended to me.  

Shake and Pray

I have this snow globe on the windowsill above my kitchen sink.  My mother brought it back for me from her recent tour of several  Christkindlmarkts  in Germany.  Inside the the tiny glass bubble huddles the Holy Family.  One shake of the globe creates a miniature  iridescent  snowstorm.   Christmas came and went and still this German memory resides on my sunny springtime sill because it has become a prayer habit of mine.  Every time I wash dishes in the sink I pause to shake and pray: for my boys at school, my husband at work and my family scattered coast to coast.   Only after five months of shaking and praying have I really stopped to ponder the symbolism inside the globe ~ that together the family is safe amid the swirling storm .  There they stand, holding onto one another peacefully, not being tossed apart or looking off in different directions, but they stand as one firm unit, on a strong foundation, attention focused on a singular goal ahead.   Now as I continue to sh

7 Quick Takes on Friday ~ 2

~1~ These flowers amaze me!  I have never lived near magnolias before and I am stunned by how huge not only the flowers are but how  gigantic a magnolia  tree can grow if left alone. I know these pictures are blurry.  I had to snap them quickly outside of Target while my three children were heading into the store without me!  One of these blossoms could be an entire bridesmaid's bouquet! ~2~ My new favorite thing to do is to go bike riding with my three year old son.  He has a tiny bike with training wheels and we pedal around the large loop of our neighborhood - his  feet spinning five times faster than my own.  He forgets to look up, he swerves into the middle of the road when he glances behind at me, he gets hung up, back tire spinning off the ground, when he goes too far up the curb.   Even hardened construction workers break into a grin when they see him coming.   ~3~ My husband and I actually had fun washing the windows last Saturday.  They were two-years-grimy

Declaring Peace in Our Homes

I have shared a bit about our family's desire to slow down our family life   and I have to tell you how wonderful the results have been.  There is no re-doing of these early and elementary years and we feel like we are able to enjoy them much more peacefully since we cut out so many after-school commitments and general running around. Much of what we have done around our home was affirmed if not inspired by the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim Payne .  Below you can hear him summarize his counter-cultural approach to rearing children today in an over-stimulated world.   If you are feeling frazzled by family life and don't know where to begin to make things change, this snippet may leave you sighing with relief and recognition. Simplicity Parenting from Kim Payne on Vimeo .

When Things Break

Lately, lots of things have been breaking around me. First,  a rogue basketball flew up onto the deck and landed precisely on the top of   my special hand-painted wine glass from my Aunt, sending ice-crystal shards everywhere. Then, my new all-time favorite coffee mug, (a recent find at TJMaxx that I loved so dearly I had planned to blog about it), was elbowed into the kitchen sink by a lanky boy hanging by the waist washing his after-school hands, splitting the ceramic- flower and bird decorated-no handle needed-insulated so it stays warm indefinitely- most.  perfect.  coffee.  mug.  ever. These two fairly insignificant breaks seemed to be testing me to relinquish all love of material goods, no matter how precious.  No temper tantrums were thrown(ahem), no tears wept, though I may have been spotted a time or three wandering the aisles of a certain discount store hoping to find another coffee mug (to no avail). But last weekend, my dear friend's four year old son bro

Spiritual Mothers

Must you give birth or adopt a  child to be considered a mother? According to Johnnette Benkovic, author of Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life , all women are called to bring life to the world, whether through childbearing or through their life-giving spirit.   She writes: "Just as new life issues forth from our bodies in an awesome moment of mystery and wonder, so our every word and deed should be a conduit of grace and new life for others.  And just as we love our child from the very depths of our being, so God's love should flow through us to the world as a soothing and healing balm.  In this way our hearts and souls become conveyors of spiritual life ."  So, today, bless your own mother as well as those women who have been spiritual mothers in your life, whose nurturing presence has helped to raise you and your children in the spirit of love, beauty and goodness. Happy Mother's Day to all women!

Saturday Surfing

These are a few of my favorite posts from this week.  Have fun surfing around! 1.   "Happy Mother's Day" by Katrina Kenison @ The Gift of an Ordinary Day Get a Kleenex and consider writing you own mom a letter like this one someday.   Also, read Katrina's books asap!  They are soul food. 2.   "Small Steps ~ The courage to do something different..."  by Mary Jo @ Seeds of Peace This relatively new blogger has become a favorite of mine.   She writes so honestly and in this post she struggles with the choice to begin homeschooling. 3.   "If Only" by The Happy Mother @ The Happy Mother This photo made me laugh out loud . 4.   "Best of the Nest"   by Nester @ Nesting Place Because sometimes I wish my whole house was painted sea salt blue. 5.   "Family Friendly Fridays "   by Mommie Cooks @ Mommie Cooks One word ~ yummy!

In Celebration of Usefulness

All three of our sons have had birthdays in the past three months.  Another year older, another year gone.   While road-tripping over spring vacation, my husband and I were sharing laughs over those years now gone with our littler  - now - bigger ones.   I reached for this beautiful book and opened to the entries by my all-time favorite poet, Sharon Olds.  She spoke to my earnest collegiate heart in Contemporary Lit class and still resonates with me today.   As I began to read this poem aloud to my  husband, tears welled and my voice cracked over the simple words that somehow evoked the sense of joy-loss each birthday brings.  I hope you find it as moving as I did. Socks Sharon Olds I'll play Ninja Death with you tonight, if you buy new socks, I say to our son.  After supper he holds out his foot, the sock with a hole for its heel, I whisk it into the wastebasket.  He is tired, allergic, his hands full of Ninja Death leaflets, I take a sock from the bag, heft h