Thoughts for Thursday (Texas Mommy)

What am I cooking?

Mini acorn cakes and mulled cider for the beginning of fall!

What am I reading?

Interior Freedom by Jacques Phillipe

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Explosive Child by Ross Greene

Simplicity Parenting

Mater et Magistra magazine

The Chosen, by Chaim Potok

And my To Be Read pile on my nightstand is threatening to crush me in my sleep.

What are my weekend plans?

Was hoping to speed across Texas to visit Kat, but that will have to wait for another weekend.

Most likely a visit to the pool. The calendar may say it is fall, but not yet in Texas.

What are my prayer intentions for the day?

Employment for a friend’s husband, safe travels for my parents and JM’s parents this week

What can my children do instead of watching TV?

Build beaver dams in the backyard, though I think they got the idea from watching The Cat in the Hat on PBS…does that count?

What is one product that is making my life a little easier?

Jim Weiss’ audio stories. Between school two times a week and nature class once a week, we are in the car more than we’re used to. We all love these sweet, silly, historical, cultural and interesting stories! Check your local library for copies.

What am I grateful for?

Praying the rosary with a sick two year old nestled in my arms for hours at a time.  He’s at that age when he’s everywhere (unless he’s strapped to my back) so it is such a treat to rock and rock a snuggly little guy and help soothe him.

What have I done for my marriage this week?

Added sausage to the green beans 🙂

What’s challenging me lately?

Having to wake the 2 year old up from his nap twice a week to pick up my son. Neither of us is happy about this, but he won’t go down earlier and it’s too late to put him down when we get back. He is an unhappy camper when I put him in the car.

Something that made me think?

The long-term consequences of inner attitudes are more important than they might seem. When faced with daily suffering, the “burden of the day and the heat,” and tiredness, we should not spend time cursing interiorly or telling ourselves we can’t wait till it’s over or dreaming of a different life. We should just accept things as they are. Life is good and beautiful just as it is, including its burden of suffering….This attitude sets us firmly within reality and conserves energy otherwise wasted on complaining, wishing things were different, dreaming of an impossible world.

from Interior Freedom by Jacques Phillippe…HIGHLY recommended reading!

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  • Mary Alice

    Those acorn cakes look adorable, I am also reading Jacques Phillippe, lots to think about there, and we also love Jim Weiss! Oh, and some of our greatest play times are inspired by TV, this is what I love about PBS. It’s all good!

  • Anonymous

    Did I inspire you on the Jacques Phillippe front, or are we all secretly working to promote his books?

  • Granddad

    Sometimes even us oldtimers can learn from you young ones…….thanks for the thoughts Granddad

  • Mary Alice

    I am assuming that we all have the same secret, or not so secret source, encouraging us to read Jacques Phillipe, Opus Dei spiritual directors? I have read his stuff before, but was advised to drop everything I was reading and go back to that, which makes me wonder about how unpeaceful I must be seeming.

  • Anonymous

    I was going to second the Jacques Philippe recommendation, particularly Interior Freedom. I had space for two spiritual reading books in my tiny one-years-worth-of-belongings suitcase when we left the US in March, and I chose Interior Freedom and To Know Christ Jesus (Frank Sheed). I think we can thank the Opus Dei spiritual directors for that.nnTex, that is HILARIOUS that adding sausage to the green beans is your gift to your marriage. I totally hear you there, same in our household. I have added one night of “brats, grilled peppers and onions, and french fries” and one night of beef almost every week to my otherwise heavily vegetable-whitemeat-lowcarb menu. (I try to save chicken leftovers for myself for brat night : )) I finally stopped to recognize that my husband was SO happy and grateful at dinner on the rare nights I served baseball stadium type food, more cheerful than his otherwise extra-cheerful self. I think he’d also be perfectly happy if I reincorporated the “Frito Pie” (fritos, canned meat chili, and melted cheese bake) that was my signature dish from our first year of marriage (thank you, Anna, if you’re reading this : )). But I’m not ready to go back there yet!

  • Anonymous

    MaryAlice, that is so funny! I think the Opus Dei spiritual directors and confessors are so great with that. From what I hear, we’re not the only ones who have been told more than once “put down the parenting philosophy, educational philosophy, home management philosophy, etc books, drink a large glass of red wine, put your feet up, and read Jacques Philippe. Or Jane Austen. Have peace, woman!” : )

  • Kate

    Ross Greene was on NPR’s Voices in the Family this week (with Dr. Dan Gottlieb who coincidentally was mentioned in the homily at Alice’s daughter’s first communion)…I bet you can still find it online on their website, it was a great program and might supplement your reading. I think he may have been on the show before as well.

  • Kate

    And because I obsess…here’s an actual link to the mp3n

  • Mary Alice

    Do you recommend parenting the explosive child? I have one who is easily frustrated these day — not the usual one…so I could use some tips.

  • AWOL Mommy

    OK, I need to know if those acorn cakes seriously come out of that pan looking anything like that? I mean, I have probably 1/5 the storage of your Texas kitchen, but if you tell me that they really come out looking like that, I might consider storing it in my clothes closet or something.

  • Texas Mommy

    Yes, they look that good!! We dipped the tops in maple syrup and dunked them in raw sugar for a little extra sparkle (as suggested on the instructions.) I’ll email you a pic.

  • Texas Mommy

    Hmmm, probably not. I think it is really geared more for the special needs type, kids with challenges with the executive function of the brain, rather than a phase. For those kids who routinely throw violent meltdowns that derail the whole family on a multiple-times a day basis. He recommends dividing behaviors into 3 categories, where the only non-negotiable category is safety issues. The second are “negotiable” as he believes getting these kids to reason/compromise is a better strategy than behavioral management techniques (rewards, punishment, consistent discipline, etc.) But these are kids that just can’t cope with anything…Our middle son buckled his seat belt before out older son this week which prompted a violent, shoe throwing, hysterical screaming meltdown for an extended period of time. He hits the floor limbs flailing many times a day. The tension in our home skyrockets when he’s awake. I think it is more geared towards that. I’m not sure which child you are talking about and how old they are and if they are having other challenges, but focusing on the positive is always a good start. I may have some other book recs in that case. Do punshiments/rewards seem to have any affect when the same situations come up again?

  • Kate

    Tex, let me know how the book is though, we have a friend with a special needs child who has explosive issues (identical to what you and the interview described) and we had a long chat about the book the other day. She was off to buy it having heard the radio taping but if you’ve read it I’d love a quick review (thumbs up or down). Always nice to get another opinion!

  • Explosive Child is a sanity-saver if you have a child who has rigid thinking, is inflexible when it comes to transitions, or has extreme difficulty dealing with disappointment.nnFor less extreme cases try What to Do When Your Temper Flares, by Dawn Huebner. It’s part of a superb series of books for kids that includes What to Do When You Worry Too Much and What to Do When You Grumble Too Much. Each is under $20 (much less on Amazon), and is worth thousands. Great techniques, kid-friendly language, etc.nnThe one thing with any of the techniques is that they take practice. When your child finds one that works for him/her, set aside five minutes a day to practice it.

  • Texas Mommy

    Yes, I think it can be useful. It is a technique book rather than an overview or a medical books, but if your friend already knows what is going on, then, yes it would be worth the read. I don’t think it is one that you need to read over and over, so she might check the library first.