Well, I didn't have off the whole summer but my husband did since he is now a teacher. We were extraordinarily busy for July and August. In order to organize my thoughts, I have categorized the activities.
1. Home Improvements
We painted the outside of our house a light sage green with white trim. We've kept the door red. Now by "we" I mean I helped pick out the color and the painters and my husband did the work. We also moved the family room furniture into the dining room and the dining room furniture into the family room. Just love it! We also carpeted one side of the house, 3 bedrooms and the hallway with Berber. To save some money, my husband tore up the old carpet himself. The worse part was living with all the furniture and boxes in the rest of the house while this was done. Let's just say we have many, many books! I also redid the hall bathroom with a new shower curtain and so forth, after giving Elisa the old stuff for her apartment, since she had originally picked it out anyway. Our bathroom was also livened up a bit and the colors changed from greens to blues and a little pink for me. We also leased a new Honda Civic for me to drive. What fun!
2. Health Issues
In July, in the span of two weeks I went to the doctor five times! Thankfully, everything is fine but not before I had a few fun tests to check for some potentially serious problems. Final answer: severe anemia. Good point: doctor says I can be "tired" for up to six months. Truth be told, as long as I take my huge dose of iron each day, I'm pretty good. But every now and again, I am "tired." I went this week for a review of my latest blood work and everything looks good, so now, I go back in February for my regular yearly check up. Let's hope nothing else happens. Now, if my foot would stop acting up, I'd be just about normal.
3. Exchange Student
We are hosting an exchange student from the Netherlands. She is a very nice young lady and is a senior at the same school where my husband teaches. After two days of running around trying to get all the paperwork in order, she registered at school. School has been in session two weeks and so far, all is well.
We had our son clean out his things from his old room and we cleaned it up for her. I even made her a nice pink and white quilt for her bed, finished just a few hours before she arrived.
4. Travel and Retreats
I think the highlight of the summer was our road trip to Ohio. The first weekend of my vacation we had a deacon formation retreat to attend. Then, we came home and on Monday packed to go to the west coast of Florida for three days where we did nothing. Which was the plan! I slept late every day, we swam and got some sun and read. Thursday we headed north to Ohio, specifically, Franciscan University in Steubenville to attend the Defending the Faith Conference. WOW! We listened to Scott and Kimberly Hahn, Jeff Cavins,Marcus Grodi, Fr. Paul Schenk, Curtis Martin and many more extraordinary speakers. Fr. Benedict Groeschel gave the reflection at Adoration one evening . It was an uplifting experience and gave us much food for thought. I have a few talks I want to post about soon.
Well, summer often slows down the amount of work so that major projects can get done. This year seemed to not slow down at all! I am working on updating our parish website, moving us from one electronic giving company to another, and trying to decide what type of Facebook page we should have. This fall we are also implementing a children/youth offertory program and a parish prayer book with a different prayer for each month. This is in addition to my regular workload.
6. Spiritual Growth
Over the summer I felt like I was making some gains in trusting God to take care of things and not getting stressed about situations I have no control over. All that has almost vanished. I have been running these last two weeks aways from God and of course, I am getting no where fast. What am I doing about it? Well, I am attending Mass as often as possible, almost every day which helps me focus and not feel like I am drowning. I'm back with my book group and we are reading, The Journey Toward God by Fr. Benedict Groeschel. And lastly, I have found a priest to help guide me ( at least for a short time) a Jesuit from Poland .
7. Still Under Construction
a. recover dining room chairs
b. my daughter's bedroom
c. hang up all the pictures we took down
d. buy a new dryer
e. porch screen - no idea if we should fix it or just take it down
f. paint picture frames
g. new wreath for front door
I think this sums it up for now. For the most part, the blessings outweighed the trials. The best blessing, a miracle really, is that my dear friend who has cancer, who in May thought she would never see another first day of school did! Praise and Thank God.