Monday, December 22, 2014

Bah- Stomach Bug... how God lifts up the lowly!

On this 22nd day of December, I write from a house that has been struck with a mild stomach bug. I can say with all honesty that it's really not been that bad... with 2 children checked off the "who's got it" list and one husband currently home early from work sleeping it off, I have some wonderful news to share: from the throws of one of the most difficult parts of being human, God doesn't stop trying to reach us!

In today's Gospel, Mary proclaims her Magnificat: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord!! A little further into this beautiful proclamation she says to Elizabeth, "He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly!" Today I admit that I fall into both categories: the mighty made low and the lowly lifted up. How is this possible? Well who had Christmas all planned out (well, relatively planned out) and even left all the purchased gifts in Lake Charles in order to save on packing space for when we would return later? Who lined up play dates and outings with sweet friends while we're in town (again when we visit Lake Charles)? And even deeper than that, who planned at all? "Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." James 4:15. I am quite humbled in this way...

So what is my response? 1 Samuel:7 "The Lord makes more and makes rich. He humbles, He also exalts." (Today's responsorial) and again in Job "We accept good things from the Lord, should we not also accept adversity?"

So how do I also fall into the latter category? I want to share what it looks like when the rubber meets the road, or when the vomit hits the floor, or however you wish to see it. David and I have noticed just how close he and I feel to one another and just how grateful we are for our precious family. We've hunkered down since Wednesday and done nothing but taken care of one another. Now truth be told, this is the first time since beginning parenting that we've been up at night with vomiting children (no joke... gotta love home schooling). So this being our rookie stomach bug experience it could account for the rose-colored glasses of such an experience, but I choose to believe the God is reaching out in a particular way to show us that He is present in EVERY situation. In our lowliness. Our poorness. Our sickness... He still comes to us!

Maybe Christmas won't look like it normally does, and maybe the rest of the house may come down with it over the next 24 hours, or maybe we are fine by tomorrow and will head to be with family for Christmas Adam (one family's celebration the day before Christmas Eve... get it?). Maybe our Christmas feast may entail the B.R.A.T. diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast).  Maybe I will have to run out and grab a little something for each child to be able to open Christmas morning (because remember all their gifts are in Lake Charles). Maybe David and I will have to come up with some special activities to do during these days of Christmas because we don't want to spread this particular kind of Christmas "Cheer" to anyone else.

God will make it clear soon enough as to what our Christmas 2014 will look like. For now we watch and wait... KIND OF LIKE ADVENT!  Genius, God. Genius. Clearly we needed a lesson that would be unlike others in these last few precious days of Advent. Don't you just love how God prepares us for the most important celebration in the history of man-kind? I can say "YES" with confidence, that while I would have not chosen this kind of prep, David and I trust Him and say, "He has looked with favor on his lowly servant. The Almighty has done great things for me and holy is His name."
God's will be done!


Oh, and just to clear the air about my possibly being some sort of super-sufferer, you should know that just a mere 8 hours after typing this post, I proceeded to throw a nice pitty party in Adoration and shed my pout-y little tears because I would MUCH RATHER have Christmas the way I KNOW CHRISTMAS. So while I'm sticking to what I have said, it doesn't mean I'm doing it well... 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

As Christmas approaches...

Know that the Dawson family is peaceful, joyful, and so very grateful for all of God's gifts- most especially the gift of His Son.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Post About Moving...

In case any of you were losing sleep at night just wondering when I was going to post again in order to dish out all the fantastic details of moving from New Orleans to Mandeville... your sleepless nights are over!!

On the 22 of November we packed up 4800 square feet of house and put it into two 26' U hauls... of course when I say "we" I mean David, his mom and brother Pete, and about 10 seminarians/friends who hopped across the street from Notre Dame, and three others who drove FROM COVINGTON to help us, while I changed the Pandora station numerous times (in order to provide adequate moving music) and sipped on my peppermint mocha because I'm not suppose to lift anything. And when I say "packed up 4800 square feet of house", I really mean the big sun room (among a few sun rooms) that held 3/4 of our boxed up lives and all the other furniture that we actually used (as well as the contents of the kitchen, which when packing, releases THOUSANDS of souls from purgatory). And when I say "two 26' U hauls"... I really mean that. The lives of 6 Dawson's went into 2 giant moving trucks... except for the LEGO's that I promised one six year old little man that I would take good care of... oh and the vacuum cleaner. I hadn't vacuumed the new house yet.

The contents were emptied into our little 1900 square foot house at 204 Governors Court in Mandeville... (I know 1900 sq ft isn't little, but it is actually the smallest house we've had before).

And in the last week and a half, we've had family and sweet friends come and help get our life unpacked here. By "help" I mean Michael and Erin Franco and their three beautiful children joined us for the day and Mike and David did a house note's worth of hardware store purchases for house projects and Erin watched ALL 7 kids while I unpacked boxes and hung up pictures. My parents joined us for the weekend and my mom opened Pandora's boxes in order to organize the classroom (remember how in previous posts I mentioned that I could find ANY home school stuff? Well she found them all).

And I have officially opened the last box (that I could find) today! It was filled with children's books... phew! Good thing I found it because we were only up to our knees in children's books rather than our elbows. Now we can wade through them like we used to... ah home!

We've picked back up with homeschooling and I've joined the home school group here on the northshore... "Rachel" - R.C.H.A.L so we're going to join them for First Friday Mass and I picnic this week. We're excited ("we" meaning me).

And so far, the neighborhood's hospitality has brought me to tears: the next door neighbors gave us the entire crop from their satsuma tree, we were brought a chocolate cake and a card by another couple, I got some baby gear from another family, another neighbor brought by the neighborhood directory complete with a year's supply of pencils (which we need bc I found my electric pencil sharpener, so we're running that baby ALL DAY), and we met another family with 5 kids who joined us in a bike ride... is this for real?!?!?

So here's your reward for reading...

The classroom
 The students
 The Micah Man

 The Cul de Sac... basically the best thing that could have happened to this housewife.
 I let my kids play in the street... say somethin'
 That would be Micah playing in our neighbor's leaves who have purposefully left them un-raked for my children...
 I will lovingly refer to Mama Mary as "Our Lady of Sidewalk Chalk" from now on. Micah has adorned her with all the colors of the rainbow. She likes it!
 Obligatory front door pic
 The living room/kitchen which reveals that for the first 30 seconds of every video, all four children sit lovingly together on the couch... I'll take whatever peace I can get.
 And when you move to a town with no known babysitters, you're a team! So the kids helped me take care of my new license at the DMV
 And here is a captured moment of sheer grace. All my children at the grocery store (they're all always with me at the grocery store) all on the same cart, nobody turning grocery aisles into the running of the bulls, and nobody screaming. They're are actually saying "Ah." We were a hit. I actually got a positive response when I answered the daily question of "Are they all yours?" The man said, "Well, God bless you, they are just beautiful." Thank you Lord... I needed this one.
 Potty-training Mcghee having a satsuma (we found four potties when we moved... I'll take the hint).
 The easel is finally getting used! Isn't she the cutest?
 And some more cuteness for you...