Outside my window: It's Thursday evening. My kids are shoveling the sidewalk in the dark. It's only an inch or less, but they are squirmy, in need of vigorous exercise, and like seeing the stars.
I am listening to: The scrape of shovels, a kitten playing with the window shade cord, and the tick of the clock.
On my heart and mind: We have a new Holy Father! Almost everyone seems happy with the Holy Spirit's choice, and this event certainly helps ease our hearts after Pope Benedict's abdication. I think many are comforted in knowing that our Pope Emeritus will have time to read, write, pray, and play Mozart. Our new leader will remind us how wide are the wings of our Holy Mother Church. I mean, there are several liturgical rites around the world other than the Roman Rite (like 9? 11?), and the unique charisms of our various religious orders show us many paths to God. Contemplative or missionary, simple or intellectual, practical or innovative, austere or well-funded - all are prayerful and sincere in their desire to serve God. But what style do we want in the leader of the Church? People seem to want the papacy to match their own image of what they want in a pope. Some prefer formality fitting of a king, others will welcome this man's simple humility.
My hope is this: that Pope Francis will set such a loving and humble example in upholding moral truth, that barriers and anger and mistrust will melt away. Messages of love and truth will stop being misconstrued as hate. People all over the world, of many religions, still look on the leader of the Catholic Church as a moral compass. Even if they don't agree with the Church's teachings, or are willing or able to live up to them, they still want a holy man to set an example they can respect. Based on what I have heard and read, I have a feeling this Pope will show the world how to love the sinner, but hate the sin.
Praying for: So many homeschooling mamas with huge crosses to bear. One who had a brain tumor removed, one whose baby had surgery, one whose son was in a very serious snowmobile accident, another who is carrying a baby with an encephalocele on the back of it's neck. One of my first cousins passed away from brain cancer, and a neighbor's mother has been in the hospital. Praying for all of you!
Taking care of mama: Neither lab tests, ultrasound, nor a CT scan indicate there is anything amiss with the upper right quadrant of my abdomen, but it still feels like something is swollen in there. I've been experimenting with more water with lemon juice, grapefruit, dandelion tea, and similar cleansing foods. My plan is to get back to a low-fat, low-carb diet and get outside for more walks. By July I think I will have the time to invest in a gym membership to help chip away at the belly fat.
In the schoolroom: We are still reading Anne Frank. The kids are amazingly interested in this book, and I am glad for it, but I am ready to get back to some entertaining fiction. We have Ancient Greece going on in 7th grade, Trail of Tears in 5th, and Pocahontas in 4th. My 5th grader is on Africa and 4th grader on Missouri. In Logic of English we are learning when to keep the /e/ when adding a suffix and when to drop it. We finished Ave Verum Corpus in Lingua Angelica and are moving on to Stabat Mater. The kids are getting better at Words with Friends and traveling the world with Google Earth. Once a week we unschool and spend the morning looking posts I've starred on 22 Words. The Clarkson's 24 Family Ways is sparking some interesting and insightful discussion. I have decided we have way too many balls in the air and need to simplify for next year. Expect a post about that next week!
From the kitchen: I spent too much time watching the news on Wednesday, which delayed my trip to the grocery store and library, so I broke our weekday abstinence and picked up some beef fillets and dulce le leche gelato for a celebratory dinner.
Around the house: Little People, La La Loopsy, and Legos are all over. It's "L" week in kindergarten.
I am creating: Compiling info and images for composer flashcards to use next year.
I am lamenting: Google Reader is going away in July. Why?
I am reading: I have yet to finish a book in 2013. Too many in the pile!
Favorite things: New sparkly pink princess shoes for a five year old girl. What could be more exciting?
This weekend: Suzuki piano graduations, group string classes and orchestra, Musical Stars class for the little bears, and St. Patrick's Day on Sunday! We'll make beef stew, soda bread, and cupcakes (with pistachio pudding in the mix) topped with candy shamrocks.
A picture for you: