Outside my window: The sun’s just finishing it’s pink explosion in the sky, and the wind is whipping the leaves off the big oak in the backyard. The corn’s waving at me from the walls it makes around our yard.

Around the house: The kids are up, though the baby’s still cooing in his crib and the girls are coloring and watching Saturday morning cartoons. I’m planted at the bar with my laptop and my coffee. I went “off the grid” yesterday and we had a delightful day full of horses and laughter. Saturday mornings, I often catch myself sneaking off to do some work, but today I’m doing it in the middle of all the action.

What I’ve been writing:

In my kitchen: It is a mess. In the last week, my mother-in-law and I processed just less than two-and-a-half bushels of apples. It was fabulous, and I think it marks the end of my canning for this season, which began with tomatoes and included grapes and more tomatoes. There might be some tomatoes still out in the garden, and I might find myself canning a bit more, but it’s time to scrub down the kitchen.

In my thoughts: Tomorrow, our three-year-old daughter turns four. I have her on my mind. (And I’m trying to keep the “slacker mom who never has birthday parties of note, with anyone, ever” thoughts at bay.)

In my plans: Though I am a low-key birthday celebrations kind of mom, I will make a cake. I WILL. Today.

In thanksgiving: For forgiveness, especially through the sacrament of Confession and from children whose example I should follow. For a delightful class of 5th graders.

In my prayers: A few special friends who have requested my prayers. The Confirmation class at our parish.

Nose inserted: I’m reading a review copy of Seven from Heaven: How the Sacraments Can Heal, Nurture, and Protect Your Family Today, by Elizabeth Ficocelli and Soul Reader, by Gerard Webster.

A favorite thing: My girls being horses, or riding horses, or both at the same time, all over the house and yard.

Food for thought: Attracted by the heavenly brightness of the Mother of the Redeemer, let us turn with trust to the one who looks upon us and protects us from on high.We all need her help and comfort to face the trials and challenges of daily life; we need to feel that she is our mother and sister in the concrete situations of our lives. – Pope Benedict XVI, in the Angelus address on August 15, 2007, via BenedictEveryday.com, emphasis mine

Parting trifle: Look what came in the mail this week, quite unexpectedly!

It’s latest pamphlet from Liguori, Do I Really Have to Give Something up For Lent? (available from your Catholic bookstore, Liguori, or pre-order from Amazon) Rhe shock, awe, and wonder at my words being published will wear off, right?