Friday, March 11, 2011

First Friday of Lent

1. So my Lenten Discipline this year will be to live in thankfulness every time I'm tempted to curse my circumstance, and I had a wonderful chance to practice this morning when Miranda announced she wasn't feeling well and went back to bed after eating some breakfast. She has been in school all week and regaining her health, but the last three weeks of croup-ear infection-croup-ear infection have spooked me and I decided that it would be best for her to stay home from school. Previously, I would have given her some Tylenol and pushed her onto the bus, but something resembling wisdom (or paranoia) has taken hold of me and I'm going to let her rest today and avoid any opportunity for another relapse. Ostensibly, I know my children are different but I still keep expecting Miranda to have this iron constitution and stellar immune system that Alex seems to have. (For example, swine flu for Alex was about a day's discomfort and low-grade fever; then I got it and lost a week!) So, today I am thankful that I can stay home and easily rearrange my schedule whenever my children are sick, and take them to the doctor whenever I need. And only pay a pittance for all of the medical care Miranda has received in the last month. God is good.

2. So I finally found the camera this week. Miranda had swiped it, taken a dozen pictures of her room, and stashed it in one of her drawers. Silly woozle. 

It was a good week for stitching:

I keep going back to the picture of the finished product, though, to remind myself that all these tiny little x's come together to make something beautiful.

3. Tomorrow our family joins the Brave New World of enrolling our children in extra-curricular activities: Alex will start swimming lessons at the local YMCA. And Miranda has been signed up for soccer that will start on Saturday mornings next month. Both children will be participating in programs for kids with special needs, but, still, this is a big step for us. We've never tried anything so, well, mainstream like this before. Partially because we have high-maintenance kids, but, honestly, also because both Marshall and I are homebody-type people who would prefer to stay at home, safely in our caves, thank you very much. 

But I have made the decision to join the neighborhood pool (well, the Ramblewood one, anyway) this summer so that we can continue to work on their social skills in a place where I know many of their friends from school will also be swimming, and save Marshall the continual headache of maintaining a pool in our backyard. Alex is a good swimmer but he really needs to work on his pool etiquette (following the directions of the lifeguard, no running on the deck, etc.) and I need to be sure I can turn my back on him to watch Miranda (who will probably still need a flotation device of some sort) while we're at the pool this summer. Big steps for us. I think I'm more apprehensive than the children will ever be. I hate change. 

4. Since Miranda was able to go to school Monday-Thursday, I spent the week playing major catch-up on things like correspondence, Bible study work, grocery shopping, and house cleaning. I really need to re-sort Miranda's toys again and weed out the ones she's really too old for, but most of what's left are the things I still love and don't want to get rid of. Maybe I'll leave that chore for when my mother next comes to visit, April 9. 

I had forgotten, though, in all the craziness of previous weeks, what a privilege it is to have a bus come every week day for each child and whisk them away to school and wonderful, therapeutic programs. Thank you, Lord, for their awesome teachers and school staffs!

5. A young couple we know is going to take the smaller of the sets of three bookcases we are replacing with built-in book shelves in the living room, so I spent some time last weekend emptying the books onto other shelves and 3 plastic bins. And was reminded again how many books we have. Is it so surprising, then, that Alex collects them as well? When I finally shelve them in the living room, I am going to try to whittle down the total, again. The problem of having been an English literature major in college is that most of your textbooks are worth keeping, forever!

6. If you are an Anglophile like me, you will be interested to know there is a new version of Jane Eyre opening in theatres this weekend. Slate does a great review of all previous versions here. For the record, the only one I've seen is the Americanized (meaning, cut) version of the film with Timothy Dalton, which I did greatly enjoy. According to Amazon, the full restored film is now available on DVD. I was never a Bronte fan myself; too much misery and angst. Give me Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer happy endings any day!

Now the movie I'm really looking forward to, I am ashamed to say, is Fast Five. A new trailer was released this week that made me positively drool. Sad, but true. 

Also, in the news, Series 6 of Doctor Who will premiere April 23! Can't wait!

7. My mother's book, Bathsheba's Lament, continues to earn praises and recognition from among a growing number of readers. There is a great review of it on the International Christian Fiction Writers' blog that you must read! There is another awesome review of Bathsheba's Lament on LeAnne Hardy's blog. Read it here. Remember, if you haven't already ordered a copy, you will find it available here, or, if you are a local fan, inform me that you are claiming one of my few remaining copies.

And here's Jen

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