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Woohoo!!!
GEAUX TIGERS!!!

Happily, we proved Monday night that a two-loss SEC team is better than a one-loss (or even an undefeated) team from any other conference. 
It’s ins’t arrogance… it’s statistical fact.
Besides… LSU is MILES ahead of everyone else, anyway!  Les Miles is a gutsy coach!  He’s fun and exciting and he owns the hearts of Tigers everywhere.
We’re going to bawl when he DOES leave (we’re hoping, though, that he never will!) 

STAY, Les!!!  PLEASE!?!  I’m not too proud to beg!  We love you! 

Money might try to persuade you to move… but money can’t make you happy…  and you can’t take it with you!

Aren’t you having FUN here?

Aren’t you ADORED here?

So STAY!  Stay forever!

Our food is better, anyway!

And we SMILE and HUG and KISS in the South.

We’re ALL one big HAPPY family!

Most of those yanks can be so rude!

You KNOW you love us!

Learn from the mistakes of others! ♥

Okay… so… LSU won the BCS Championship… Huzzah!

What else has been going on?

Charles made it home safely Sunday night.  I was SO happy!  I HATE when he’s away.  I don’t sleep AT ALL!!!  I watch the most boring things on television, I read BORING articles/books… NOTHING will get me to sleep.  Everyone suggests I take a pill… but you know how weird I am about that… it just seems AWFUL!  AND I couldn’t possibly, being the only adult here!  What if I took something and my babies needed me in the night, but I was so sound asleep that I didn’t respond!?!  My prohibitive conscience would NEVER let me rest again!  So… I had an entire weekend of no sleep.  I got to study, though, and that was fun!  We discussed “WHERE GOD IS” in Sunday school and it was GREAT!  I forgot the treats, though and James M. LOVES treats!  It was fun, though, because Hayden said, “Awww…  no treats?  But this was one of the best times ever!”  Pretty fun!  So when you see some of our Sunday school kiddos, ask them “WHERE IS GOD?” and if they give you the patent, “He’s EVERYWHERE!” then be sure to report back to me!  I told them NEVER to answer that way again!  God is specific… so WE’LL be specific, too!

 

What else?!?  Oh!  While Charles was gone, I had great fun texting him!  Gotta love some of this technology!  I can only imagine the smiles on his face when he received my texts!  What fun!  Wives… LOVE your husbands and LET THEM KNOW IT!  Send him notes or texts about the the way he makes you feel!  Send him notes or texts about… *blushing* well… ALL SORTS OF STUFF!  You are MARRIED!  ENJOY IT!  It’s GREAT fun!  Just be prepared to make good on your texts! 

 

God has given our sweet friends, Michael and Christy a baby!!!
After years of prayer, in His perfect timing, God has given them a son!
I LOVE adoption!
What a picture of God’s redeeming love!

They go get him in Dallas, Monday!
Isn’t he a doll?!?
Carsten!  Don’t you want to just EAT him!?!?
There I go… babies turning me into a cannibal!
Thank God for providing a family for this little man…
And thank Him for blessing Michael and Christy with a child!

 

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Our new LOVE!
Fisher Price had a BRILLIANT marketing scheme… send a 27 minute episode to families across America just in time to get them hooked before Christmas.
Charles and I watched the dvd, but decided not to show Noah, as bits were pretty intense (and some of the characters were just mean and ugly) and his studious, analytical mind doesn’t do intense.
We LOVED the toys, though, and Lydia gave him Ace and Tiny for his birthday.  They’re very well-made for rambunctious boys… though of course they’re made in China.  DANG IT!

Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Paul gave him Gustus (Jupiter) and his dog, Zip (Mercury), Digger (Mars), Rings (Saturn) and then went out to the car and brought in Professor Darkness (Black Hole) because she COULDN’T save it a moment longer!  Sweet Aunt Carolyn!

Noah LOVES the Planet Heroes!  He and Lydia (okay… I confess, Charles and I, too) play with them for HOURS… making up adventures and vanquishing evil foes, trying to destroy our solar system!

Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Paul gave Dazzle (Venus), Yuri (Uranus), Tune (Neptune), and Shiver (Pluto) to Noah for Christmas.  We gave Noah the Turbo Shuttle with Ace in the orange space suit.

He has them all!  So we thought!
Happily, though (I can’t believe I’m not groaning), Fisher Price has realized their brilliance and has made MORE!
Now there is an Ace in a GREEN suit with a Rocket Go-Kart, Shooting Star, Lunar, Sun Commander, Digger has a rubble rover, and I’m sure they’ll make Red Giant (as he’s in the new comic).

It’s really fun, though!
Noah is drawing his own comic books, now.  That’s fun!
Lydia wants there to be more girl planet heroes.  She thinks they should have long curly hair and wear pink and purple.  She likes Dazzle, but wishes she were more “girlie”.

I left a comment on someone’s blog about it yesterday:

WE WANT MORE!!!We LOVE the Planet Heroes, though my daughter wishes there were more GIRLS and that some of them would have long curly hair and wear pink and purple!Perhaps Ace’s little sister can get involved and fly through space in a Mega-Tutu that Yuri can design for her!

Perhaps you can talk to the powers that be!

Just when I thought we had every planet hero and bad guy under the sun… we discover there are more.

Instead of groaning, my husband and I are in hog heaven!

It is not an unusual sight to see us on the floor with our two, vanquishing one another as we save the solar system.

At the park, we are various planet heroes, soaring through space, even venturing into other galaxies as we chase Red Giant and Professor Darkness…

WE LOVE THEM and want MORE MORE MORE!!! PUHLEEZ?!?
By the way… we want Planet Heroes T-Shirts!Who do we talk to about that?Fisher Price needs to get on this! We mommas want it!

With the space shuttle retiring and the new Constellation program coming up, NASA and Fisher Price should put their heads together… the UNIVERSE is the limit!
We need more kiddos excited about space and pumped about science! Come on Fisher Price (you know you’re reading this)… force parents to explain black holes, comets, asteroids, stars…! It’s GREAT fun (AND makes you more money! GO CAPITALISM!)

Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minific;
Feign do I fathom your nature’s specific
Exaltedly set on the aether capacious
A reasonable facsimile of a gem carbonaceous.

Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minific;
Feign do I fathom your nature’s specific

So… we’ll see!

Charles’ mom (Ginny) had to bring her truck in for a new alternator, so she used Charles’ truck and Charles took my car yesterday.  Instead of taking him to school, so I’d have the car, I thought I’d trap myself at home, so I would be FORCED to fold and put away laundry and tidy!  The house was a WRECK after the LSU game!

Yay, though!  A friend called and whisked us away to the park, where we ALL played Planet Heroes!  Her little man loves them and so does she.  I got to be Professor Darkness!  What a blast!  My throat is still a bit sore, though.  You KNOW I’ve got to get into character and that raspy, wicked voice can do some damage!  When it began to rain… we raced through a meteor shower to the safety of the van… um… I mean Turbo Shuttle! 

I know!  I’ve got the life!  It’s days like this that I remember it really is worth the sacrifice!  A family of four on a Louisiana teachers income shocks many… but wow!  Don’t raise your eyebrows or shake your head in pity!  I get to play Planet Heroes!!!  I get to read books to my kids all day and build satellites and space stations and princess castles and robots!  Of course… there is all of the “un-fun” stuff, too… but let’s not talk about that!  It’s a drag to pick up after everyone every day.  It’s a drag to finish the laundry and the dishes… to have MORE by bedtime.  It’s never-ending and can feel very defeating… and even vacation isn’t a vacation… but honestly, it’s only EVER a drag when I am being SELFISH!  Ugh!  And I HATE being selfish, though I am probably characterized by that very trait!  blah blah blah.

Hmmmm… Oh!

Another fun thing happened yesterday.  I got out of the shower and the phone rang.  I nearly answered in a sultry tone, “Hello, you sexy beast!”  because it was at the precise time that Charles usually calls.  I didn’t, though.  (THANK YOU, Father!)  There are so many times I’ve answered that way or NEARLY answered that way and it was NOT my beloved!!!  I just need to say, “Hello.” or get caller id.  Save some blushing.

ANYWAY… it was Smitty Pignatelli

 (who is related to astronaut Stephanie Wilson– how cool is THAT?!?)!

He called to let me know he put the print in the mail!  Wow!  That was fast and KIND!  He said that he wrote some words to the kiddos, too.  Those of you reading this who know me well, know that I LOVE notes!  Notes are my very favorite things in the whole world!  One word notes… 50 page notes… I LOVE NOTES!!!  So!  I am very excited!  What treasures for the munchkins!  I think I shall probably like the notes better than the prints!  Too bad we’re not closer to Nola.  It would be fun to feed him and his crew and let Noah meet him.  Someday, perhaps.  Noah had just gotten up from a nap and was having a blast, drawing a comic book… aliens and space heroes, of course… and I asked Mr. Pignatelli if he’d like to talk to Noah (most of you know how Noah LOVES to talk on the phone and will talk forever, if given the chance).  Not so yesterday!  Ugh!  He was bouncing on my bed (yes… I still let them jump on my bed… it’s just FUN!) waiting to show me his newest illustration and got on the phone and said, “Hi, thanks.” or something like that and then became an absolute giggle box!  What is a mother to do?  Another time, perhaps.  Noah said that, “Mr. Pignatelli must be cool.  I think I’ll send him a Planet Heroes poster and I’ll write a comic book for him.  I wonder if he plays with the Planet Heroes, too.”  What a hoot.

I’ll let you know when we get our fun goodies!  It’s SO exciting.  We thought we’d put them in the munchkins’ room… but I think we’ll put them in the living room above the chair Noah “launches” from!  Fun! Fun! Fun!

Oh!  Another funny thing… Noah saw Paige and her dad get into a sassy white Mercedes after church Sunday and suddenly, the top began to fly up and then hide away in the back of the car!  Noah FREAKED OUT and though it was the coolest thing EVER!  He’s seen convertibles “already convertibled,” as he says, but has never seen the PROCESS… he LOVED IT:

“Mom… how did she do that magic on her car?”
“It’s called a convertible.”
“Cooool!”
“Isn’t it?!”
“I want our car to be a convertible.  Who is she in that white?”
“That’s Paige.”
(blissfully) “I love Paige.”

“*giggle*”

“She must be a cool girl because Mr. Horn is with her.”

(chuckling) “Yep!  She’s Mr. Horn’s daughter.”

“No way!  I didn’t know he has a woman daughter.  I want to know Paige.  I know I love her.”

(laughing) “She knows you, Noah.  She’s known you since you were a baby, but she went off to school, that’s why you don’t remember her.”
“I wonder if her house is a convertible!  That would be so cool!  The space shuttle is like a convertible because the cargo bay doors open.”
“Yep.”
“Where was Mrs. Horn?”

“She went in another car.”

“I’m going to have to invent a bigger convertible so the whole family can ride together next time.  That one only had two places for people to ride.  Can you turn on ‘Hark the Herald’, it’s my favorite.”

And THEN… last night… Paige came over and let Noah sit in Mr. Horn’s car and put the top down… He LOVED it!!!  He LOVED watching it go back up, too!
He is absolutely smitten with Paige now and declares that he is going to marry her!  He’s going to invent a convertible house for them to live in and he’s going to make one for Miss Naomi, too! 

Charles said, well… if Paige waits for him… Noah can be HER mid-life crisis.  How funny! 

What a fun life we have!  Laundry, dirty dishes, unfinished projects and all!

I’m a happy, thankful girl! 

Oh! Michelle just brought me Starbucks!  What a love!  I have the best, sweetest friends in the world!

Back to play with my babies!  Can you guess what we will play?

OF COURSE!  We’re the PLANET HEROES… here to save the day and keep our solar system safe!

xoxox

©PortCityPrincess 2008
All Rights Reserved

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§         Isaac Newton’s work in elementary school was “rather poor”.

§         Albert Einstein couldn’t speak until age 4 and couldn’t read until age 9.

§         Louis Pasteur was given a rating of “mediocre” in chemistry in college.

§         Winston Churchill failed 8th grade and was last in his class at Harrow.

§         Henry Ford was evaluated as “having no promise.”

§         Nelson Rockefeller, General George Patton, President Woodrow Wilson, and Leonardo De Vinci all had dyslexia.

§         Thomas Edison was repeatedly kicked out of schools for not following instructions, probably due to auditory processing problems.

§         Bruce Jenner, Olympic decathlon champion who is also dyslexic, says sports gave him self-esteem.  Jenner says reading aloud in the classroom was more frightening for him than competing for the decathlon.

§         Hans Christian Andersen didn’t learn to read and write, even with the help of 10 royal tutors of the Danish Court.  He dictated his wonderful fairy tales to a scribe. 

I would also like to add that I bet NONE of the above had a stinkin’ babybook or scrapbook!!! 

We’ve been SO busy.
It’s fun, though!

On the 15th, Lydia fell out of a buggy at Target (I’m a HORRIBLE PARENT!) and ended up in the ER.  I think it was one of the scariest moments of my life… carrying her limp little body!  She wouldn’t talk or cry.  She was WHITE and then started vomiting!  It was TERRIBLE!  What made it worse is that Daddy wanted me to go to the ER… NOTHING is EVER a big deal to Daddy… so if he’s sending you to the ER, you know it’s a big deal!  THEN he said to go to the CLOSEST hospital, which isn’t HIS hospital!  He didn’t even want me to take the extra 5/10 minutes to go to his… so then I was REALLY worried!  Lydia mustered a brave smile, though, when she heard me say, “Pop”.  She’s fine… she’s back to her old shenanigans.  I’m glad that’s over and I never want to go there EVER again!  That night, after all was said and done and Lou rested a bit, we went to Granny’s and Pop’s.  Lydia did well until we were getting ready to leave.  She was sitting near the grand piano, playing on the floor with something and she got up and conked her head AGAIN!!!  She became very clingy and then on the way home started throwing up all over the car.  It was terrible AGAIN!It’s over and done now. 

No more, God, PLEASE?!?  EVER!?!

On the 18th, Noah turned 5 and I couldn’t turn off the tears!  He’s so big!  He’s so GREAT!  I don’t care what anyone else thinks or says… he is truly the greatest boy on the planet.  His conversation is WONDERFUL!  I love to just lay across the bed, TALKING with him about all sorts of things.  God, rockets, the world, friends, toys, ideas, stories… EVERYTHING!  When he saw me tear up, he said, “It’s okay, Mom.  I’m always going to be YOUR little boy!”  He is SO intuitive!

Other than that, we’ve been getting ready for Christmas.  Parties, presents, food… lots of food.  Why is it excusable to be a glutton at holiday time?  I know to God it isn’t… but it seems the world winks at it.  Help me, God, not wink at it.  Give me self-control!

I have been reading more… by myself.  Usually, my reading is to the children… or in preparation for Sunday school… or reading my bible and books about the bible and books about theology and ethics and books about dead people and all kinds of stuff that is good and healthy… but it’s been so long since I’ve read a NOVEL!  Not a great piece of literature… not Charles Dickens or William Faulkner… not Virgil or Tolstoy or Kafka or Boccaccio… but just a paperback! 

After finishing Infidel, I started Hitler’s Willing Executioners (determined to make reading a part of my lifestyle again)  I put it down, though, when my friend Robin told me to read “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers.  It’s a paperback novel that puts a spin on the Hosea and Gomer story… it’s set during the California gold-rush… and, since it was seeing Christ and the mercy of God in that very biblical account that God used to redeem ME… I said SURE!  I also LOVE Robin and wanted to read it because SHE loves it! 

So… I read it.  I didn’t get anything done for days… I sent my children to play with blocks and read books (which they do happily) and I didn’t get a thing done!  My laundry is a mountain, now!  At any rate, it was WONDERFUL!  Not great literature… but OH!  Oh!  My heart, even now, swells at the thought of it! 

Read it, if you can!  Husbands… READ IT!  Wives, READ IT!  Single girls and guys, READ IT!  Widows and widowers, READ IT!  It’s a quick read (unless you cry the way I did… makes for some difficulty when the words blur on the page). 

Charles reaped some fun benefits from my reading it.  Of course… I DID mess up once.  He walked in the door, pulled me to him and kissed me and I looked up at him and sighed, “You’re not Michael Hosea.”  I am such a CRAP wife!  Everyone knows that Charles is so much BETTER than Michael Hosea… and besides… it wasn’t Michael Hosea who was so great… READ it and you’ll see! 

When you read it… you can’t help thinking that Michael’s love for “Angel” is just a drop in the bucket compared to Christ’s love for ME!!!  And when you think about how gross “Angel” is… you realize how much worse you are… even if you aren’t a prostitute… you see the blackness of your heart… which while no one around you may see… the God who made you sees it… 

I could go on forever… but I must shower and get ready!  Je dois aller à l’église.

More rambling later!  Read the book and finish more in love with Christ than ever! 

Be romanced by the King of Glory!!!  Woohoo!!!  YES!!!

Okay… I’m really done, now. 

©PortCityPrincess 2007
All Rights Reserved

Currently reading :
Redeeming Love
By Francine Rivers
Release date: 09 May, 2005

by Elisabeth Elliot

Those who call Thanksgiving “Turkey Day,” I suppose, take some such view as this: Unless we have Someone to thank and something to thank Him for, what’s the point of using a name that calls up pictures of religious people in funny hats and Indians bringing corn and squash?

Christians, I hope, focus on something other than a roasted bird. We do have Someone to thank and a long list of things to thank Him for, but sometimes we limit our thanksgiving merely to things that look good to us. As our faith in the character of God grows deeper we see that heavenly light is shed on everything–even on suffering–so that we are enabled to thank Him for things we would never have thought of before. The apostle Paul, for example, saw even suffering itself as a happiness (Colossians 1:24, NEB).

I have been thinking of something that stifles thanksgiving. It is the spirit of greed–the greed of doing, being, and having.

When Satan came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, his bait was intended to inspire the lust to do more than the Father meant for Him to do–to go farther, demonstrate more power, act more dramatically. So the enemy comes to us in these days of frantic doing. We are ceaselessly summoned to activities: social, political, educational, athletic, and–yes–spiritual. Our “self-image” (deplorable word!) is dependent not on the quiet and hidden “Do this for My sake,” but on the list the world hands us of what is “important.” It is a long list, and it is both foolish and impossible. If we fall for it, we neglect the short list.

Only a few things are really important, and for those we have the promise of divine help: sitting in silence with the Master in order to hear His word and obey it in the ordinary line of duty–for example, in being a good husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, or spiritual father or mother to those nearby who need protection and care–humble work which is never on the world’s list because it leads to nothing impressive on one’s resume. As Washington Gladden wrote in 1879, “O Master, let me walk with Thee/In lowly paths of service free….”

Temptation comes also in the form of being. The snake in the garden struck at Eve with the promise of being something which had not been given. If she would eat the fruit forbidden to her, she could “upgrade her lifestyle” and become like God. She inferred that this was her right, and that God meant to cheat her of this. The way to get her rights was to disobey Him.

No new temptation ever comes to any of us. Satan needs no new tricks. The old ones have worked well ever since the Garden of Eden, although sometimes under different guises. When there is a deep restlessness for which we find no explanation, it may be due to the greed of being–what our loving Father never meant us to be. Peace lies in the trusting acceptance of His design, His gifts, His appointment of place, position, capacity. It was thus that the Son of Man came to earth–embracing all that the Father willed Him to be, usurping nothing–no work, not even a word–that the Father had not given Him.

Then there is the greed of having. When “a mixed company of strangers” joined the Israelites, the people began to be greedy for better things (Numbers 11:4, NEB). God had given them exactly what they needed in the wilderness: manna. It was always enough, always fresh, always good (sounds good to me, anyway, “like butter-cakes”). But the people lusted for variety. These strangers put ideas into their heads. “There’s more to life than this stuff. Is this all you’ve got? You can have more. You gotta live a little!”

So the insistence to have it all took hold on God’s people and they began to wail, “all of them in their families at the opening of their tents.” There is no end to the spending, getting, having. We are insatiable consumers, dead set on competing, upgrading, showing off (“If you’ve got it, flaunt it”). We simply cannot bear to miss something others deem necessary. So the world ruins the peace and simplicity God would give us. Contentment with what He has chosen for us dissolves, along with godliness, while, instead of giving thanks, we lust and wail, teaching our children to lust and wail too. (Children of the jungle tribe I knew years ago did not complain because they had not been taught to.)

Lord, we give You thanks for all that You in Your mercy have given us to be and to do and to have. Deliver us, Lord, from all greed to be and to do and to have anything not in accord with Your holy purposes. Teach us to rest quietly in Your promise to supply, recognizing that if we don’t have it we don’t need it. Teach us to desire Your will–nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

ahhhhh…the joys of having Girls…


My mother taught me to read when I was four years old
(her first mistake).
One day, I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the
cabinet doors was ajar.

I read the box in the cabinet. I then asked my
mother why she was
keeping ‘napkins’ in the bathroom. Didn’t they
belong in the kitchen?

Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts, she
told me that
those were for “special occasions” (her second
mistake).

Now fast forward a few months….It’s Thanksgiving
Day, and my folks are leaving to pick up my uncle and his wife for
dinner. Mom had assignments for all of us while they were gone.

Mine was to set the table.

When they returned, my uncle came in first and immediately burst
into laughter. Next came his wife who gasped, then began
giggling. Next came my father, who roared with laughter.

Then came Mom, who almost died of embarrassment when
she saw each place setting on the table with a “special occasion”
Kotex napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top. I had
even tucked the little tail in so they didn’t hang off the edge!!

My mother asked me why I used these and, of course, my
response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter.

“But, Mom, you said they were for special
occasions!!!”


Pass this on to your girlfriends who need a good
laugh or anyone who has a daughter!

Well!!!

It was a COLD morning! 

I had to run to Target to buy jackets for my kiddos!!!  (We needed them, anyway… so now some of my winter clothes shopping is done!)

The afternoon at the park was absolutely GLORIOUS, though!  We were in full sun and thawed out very nicely!

We’ve agreed that we MUST arrange lunch/playdates at THIS park in the future!

The kids had a blast!  We can even gather pecans, if we want to!

Thanks so much for coming out, everyone!!! 
To those that couldn’t make it, we really missed you!

I’ve posted LOTS of thumbnails.  Click them for the larger image.

Save what you’d like. 
If I have one posted that you would like in it’s BEST quality… email me and I’ll email it to you at full resolution.

I love you dearly and am so thankful that God has blessed us with such good friends!

And those kiddos!!!  Look how God has blessed us there!  Wow!!!

He is so good!!!

(Be sure to send your photos my way!)

In no order whatsoever:

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 



 


 

 



 



 



 


 













 

 



 



 

 



 



 

 

 

 

 

















 

 

 







 















©PortCityPrincess 2007
All Rights Reserved

…and Pachelbel Daddy

A friend of mine sent this to me today and I HAD to giggle and pass it on:

I know what Victoria ‘s Secret is.The secret is that nobody older than 30 can fit into their stuff.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then,your body and your fat are really good friends.

Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.

Sometimes I think I understand everything, then I regain consciousness.

I gave up jogging for my health when my thighs kept rubbing together and setting my Spanx on fire.

Amazing! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks two sizes!

Skinny people irritate me! Especially when they say things like, “You know, sometimes I just forget to eat.” Now I’ve forgotten my address, my mother’s maiden name, and my keys. But I’ve never forgotten to eat. You have to be a special kind of stupid to forget to eat.

A friend of mine confused her valium with her birth control pills. She had 14 kids, but she doesn’t really care.

I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are: eating too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Are they kidding? That is my idea of a perfect day.

Celebrate Womanhood! Share this with all of those amazingly brilliant and tremendously talented women who are intelligent enough to call YOU their friend 🙂 !!!

And mine is the best!

That’s all.

©PortCityPrincess 2007
All Rights Reserved

From sweet Beth:

To all of the mommas working diligently at mothering:

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, The way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone And ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”

Obviously not. No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, Or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I’m invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this?
Can you open this?

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?”
I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?”
I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She’s going ? she’s going ? she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten Back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking Around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.”

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

* No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names.

* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man,  Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.”

And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.