Thursday, January 31, 2013

Paragraph Assignment

The handsome and talented Ben from Ben's Mag was charged with the task of writing a paragraph about the dividing of the Loaves and Fishes. The following is sheer brilliance.

     The day Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes was an extraordinary day.  The crowd was starving and looking around for any signs of food.  They had been wandering around listening to this man who called himself God. Among all of the people, a boy came and offered five loaves and two fishes.  Raising his eyes to heaven, he blessed the food and was able to feed thousands. This miracle showed the power of God and prayer.


And check out Ben's Mag. He is really something else, this kid.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Frozen Face

Dear Nicole Kidman,

What in the hell are you doing to your face?
 You are starting to look all screwy. Quit the "procedures" and own your age. You need to tell your friend Courteney Cox to do the same.

Otherwise you'll start looking like your friend Donatella Versace,

or your friend buff Carrot Top.
Love, Sharon

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Trip to the Hirschhorn with Grant

First we watched this..

And we laughed our A's off.

Then we went here -

The Hirschhorn

and things started to go downhill (for Grant.)

And by the end - Josh and Grant were furious and Ben and I were riveted. I call success!

More pics to follow.

Friday, January 25, 2013

And the Winner is....

from My Clones in Action

Congratulations. Let me tell you 3 wonderful things about Krystin:

1) She is a woman of incredible faith and she's proud to show it.  I admire her for her frankness and candor. Fight the good fight, sister.

2) She is hilarious. We share a similar sense of humor and I find her positively side-splitting.... go figure.

3) She loves with ALL her heart. If she is in your life, you will feel loved. Period.

Send me your address, mama.  I hope you love your present. I made them all by myself.  (Earrings.  They're earrings.)

There'll be more giveaways soon.  Mostly because I do crafts while the kids are doing school so I don't poke my eyes out from boredom - and Grant is sick and tired of all my stuff all over the house.  Lucky you!

Thank you guys. I really mean it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Head Stylist in Charge

Watch out Beebs. Michael Steele's hair is almost as epic. 
Dear Ben. you are going through an awkward phase. That's ok. We all do it. Stevie Kieffer wore only a burgundy turtleneck paired with his amazing mullet for about 6 months solid. I ratted my bangs so hard that I made carnies at the State Fair gasp in amazement. Rumor has it that Grant Steele wanted to wear airbrushed overalls with one side undone. You'll be ok, son. You'll be ok. Steer clear from Axe Body Spray, faux-hawks, and white rapping. I know I might not seem "cool" but I won't steer you wrong.

Love, Mommy Dearest

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Post #300 and a Giveaway!!

Well, Looksie Here! I am at post #300 and I am mighty proud of the progress that I have made it the past 5 years. I have gone from hidden blog, to mediocre photo blog, to mommy blog, to I-don't-give-a-hoot blog, to a place where I've formed meaningful relationships and expressed my inmost thoughts.

I have YOU to thank.

 And because I have been so blessed by the support and love you have shown me - I have something for you....

Leave a comment, I will have Lucy pick a number and if your comment corresponds with that number..... YOU WIN!!  I have been making things all week and I will pick the gift that best corresponds with who you are (you know, male or female) and send it off to you.  Easy as that! You get and extra entry if you are a new "liker" on Facebook. I won't tell you what it is - but you'll like it.

On your marks, get set.... Start commenting!
xoxo, So Much Love In Christ,
Sharon Kieffer Steele at As I See It.......

Friday, January 18, 2013

Don't Take This the Wrong Way

There is someone in my household, who shall remain nameless, who hates blogging so much. He or she thinks it is self-important and vain.  This person thinks that the whole onset of push-button publishing is too easy and lend itself to loads of misinformation clogging the arteries of the information superhighway.  And mixed-metaphors and other sorts of logical atrocities. If I am honest, I agree with him. Or her. You know what I mean.

Call me a simpleton, (you won't be the first) but voyeurism is one of my most favorite pastimes. If you leave your windows open, be sure that I am going to look in and check out your place. I like to see what people are wearing, how they style their life (hair, clothes, makeup, furniture, walls, etc.) and that is why I love blogs and social networking so much. There is a fine line, however. Being the author, editor, stylist, photographer, model and star of one's own blog puts a bit too much emphasis on the weight of one's self, doesn't it.

"So there I was in my tangerine cowl neck sweater wondering, Does Gun Control really work?"
It is probably a good idea when approaching blogging to remember to keep the "self" in check. I can lend my voice or opinion to an idea or a story, but the idea has to stand for itself. Having a good in-house critic can help to keep you in check, too. Let it never be said that I am not super lucky.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Time to Intervene

Let's talk about Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart for a minute, shall we? I can't go a minute longer without letting you and Rob know how much I disapprove of this relationship. I shall elaborate.

A long time ago, I read the Twilight series. It was good, rah rah rah, but the "heroine" of the book may possibly be the most unlikeable central female character in American fiction. Bella Swan was a needy, obsessive, do-nothing without an opinion on anything or any personal successes to her credit. To young girls everywhere I say, Ignore This Bella Swan. Find yourself an Eponine with whom to identify!

Then came the movie and they cast the Kristen Stewart in question. Perfection. So then the fake Edward falls in love with the fake Bella and poof! You have the singly most mismatched couple in Hollywood, except for Nick and Mariah, but those dreamlovers are making it work... Carry on Nick and Mariah. Sorry to drag you into this.

So whatever. Stewart cheats on Patterson with some dirtbag director. She's young and impressionable. I can overlook that singular transgression but this? I won't get over it. I refuse.
Is Robert Pattinson Practicing for the Bachelor?
It is a fluff piece about how smashing RPattz was at the Golden Globes afterparty. He was "holding court" and giving red roses to Tina Fey. All was fine and lovely until Stewart shows up wearing
Jeans, a sweatshirt,and a backwards trucker cap...?!
Buddy, come on! One minute you're lavishing roses on Tina Fey and the next you're with your cheater girlfriend and her backward trucker cap? This has to stop. Your mother can't be happy about this. Listen to your mother for heaven's sake! This girl has too many issues. When you're as rich as she is, you can afford to clothe your body in something respectable. why!

Edward could have done better than Bella and Robert, you can do better than Kristen.

And you dear reader? You may carry on with your life now.


Why does it bother me so much when my kids draw pictures that look like this??

Friday, January 11, 2013

Part 5 - You are my Fave

You guys? You've read this far? You are the best.

Tonight I have shipped my children off to their Aunt and Uncle's house for a spend the night.

I was debating whether or not I was going to have my glass of wine in a water bottle next to me so that the very instant that I pulled in the driveway I could sip away. (I didn't do that, just so you know.)

I am very sure that when I pick them up in the morning I will love them again - but as of right now? They are safely tucked about 60 miles away and I am here... alone... with a glass of wine and Winnie. Grant will be home shortly. What children?

I can't decide whether I want to take off my slippers and put on shoes or whether or not the slippers are here to stay.

We are thinking about going to Les Miserables. I have always wanted to read the book. Perhaps I will.

Tomorrow, Grant and I are getting up early and going running together. Alone. This is only the second time since I starting running that that will have happened. I am looking forward to it very much.

Thanks for reading about then and now. I only lend my voice to interpret the things I see and hear. These experiences are not mine alone. This blog is not about me - only the way that I see this life that has been given to me. I hope that you will come back and watch along with me.

Grant is walking through the door.  Goodnight.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Part 4 - Writing is my Hobby

This is not the post I intended to write.  Let me back up.

When Grant and I met in 1999, I was about to graduate college with no plan at all. I graduated high school with stars in my eyes and newspaper ink in my blood.  Basically, all I had to do was hand in a paper with my name on it and the heavens would open up and choirs of angels would sound their trumpets and it would automatically be canonized by the Church. Or something like that. Every teacher told me I was good. The local newspaper asked me to write a column for them. I went to work for the newspaper in the nearest big city. I was big time. In a small town.

After hesitating for a year, I enrolled in a university and declared my major "English" like I was the boss of the language. My grades were lackluster. Not terrible but not what I expected. Once I got through the base level classes and began the intensive course work - bad turned worse. I got my first paper back with an F on it. An F and nothing else: no "see me," no "do over." An F - like Who-in-the-F-do-you-think-you-are?

In truth, I was a failure.

And while I didn't actually flunk out of college, I pared back my expectations of a career in writing. And since we already know the end of this story, we know that in the long run this failure actually helped me find my true self and my true calling. I don't know about you but I always like knowing the end of a story before it's actual ending.

So lately, I have seemed to find my voice again. Perhaps it is because I am not writing for anyone else and my happiness is not contingent on how anyone perceives me in writing. I am not writing for money or grades or notoriety. My writing is simply to document this amazing, beautiful life that I lead and to leave behind an account of who I was when I was 37 and a Catholic convert, homeschooling, raising 5 beautiful children, not contracepting, cooking, cleaning, fixing hair, and living out the most romantic of all love-stories with the man of my dreams.

When I say that this is not the post that I intended to write, that is because this week I was given a chance opportunity to write an article for a local newspaper.  I had it all planned for this blog.  I'd write a 5-Day Series on my life aspirations: Day 1) The Aftermath 2)Hairstylist 3)Prom Planner 4)Writer - and I would reveal to you that in the midst of all of this hubbub my article went to print. But guess what?

It didn't.

Pt 3 - Compression and Release

or "When I grow up I want to plan the prom."

I'll sell it to you for $100.
Grant and I met and all the stars in the galaxy aligned. Or something like that. We loved eachother with that kind of crazy, wackadoo, makes-no-sense-but-who-really-cares kind of love from some of our very first dates. We used to go out and talk about stuff because it was like, "Ok, look, I know we are going to get married and all, but we really ought to get to know eachother first."

I was in my last semester of college and taking a break from my life in California. Grant was a new college graduate making a name for himself in his firm. I don't want to be all trite and cliche and say that there were fireworks when we were together - but one of our first dates was on 4th of July in DC. So yes. There were fireworks.

One particular date in our series of "getting-to-know-you" encounters was on a canoe at Fountainhead. We talked about who we were and where we'd been. He asked me why I was an English major. 

"Well, I suppose I like to write," I said, "and I've always been told I was good at it." No brainer.

"So what do you intend to do with it?" Grant asked, true to his practical self.

"I don't know. Teach high school. Plan the prom."


Last week I spent the entire week preparing for the play. I rehearsed lines with the kids, studied hair styles and stitched together last minute costumes. When all was said and done, the show was fabulous and my home life was in ruin. As we were driving home from the show, I felt a shockwave of realization, "THE EPIPHANY PARTY!"

I told my friend and fellow homeschool mom that I would make table decorations for the annual homeschool Epiphany party - and I had made absolutely no movement forward on that front. 

My kids aren't having a traditional school experience like I had. There will be no Homecoming Queen or Prom King for them. The resources are limited - we operate without much of a budget - and the expectations are high. We want our kids to be Holy and Scholarly - not cool. And when you get right down to it - we are so uncool that sometimes it even makes my public school sensibilities cringe.

Sunday morning after Church, Annie and I sat down in our dining room and set before us all of the leftover crafting items from the play. We made a plan for  two different types of table decor; we spent no money and we did no research. We giggled at our mistakes and iced our glue-gun burned fingertips. It was female bonding at it's finest and our output looked homemade. We felt nothing but pride.

The party was what we expected: lots of little tots joyfully running around, junior high boys on one side - girls on the other, while parents mingled and teens attempted to swing dance. The only thing that could be described as "cool" at this party would have been the sub-arctic temperature of the room we occupied. Annie and my humble decorations sat in the middle of the tables - a tribute to the places we thought we'd be - and the places we have ended up.

Nothing says "Epiphany" like Lily of the Valley?
The clothespins following the star? Brillz.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Part 2 - I Get My Wish, Big Time!

Monet had the canvas.

Ansel Adams had the camera.

Donatello had bronze.

Sharon Steele has hair.

I want to be a hairstylist so hard! Honest to goodness, I had to restrain myself from touching a woman's hair who was sitting in front of me in Mass this past Sunday. The texture of her hair was so different from anything I'd seen before and I had an almost uncontrollable urge to ask her if I could finger her tresses.

There are so many reasons why it might not be a good idea to choose this line of work right now. (Dear 18-year Old Self, Skip college, go to beauty school, read classical literature and you'll be all good. Sincerely, Your nearly 40-year old Self.) (Sorry Mom, I know that pisses you off.) The first reason, well, as we discussed yesterday, I already have a job. The second, what funky little upstart is going to want to come get their hair done by a Basketball mom freshly out of beauty school? I am thinking not a lot.

So why, WhYYY??! do I want to do it so badly?

Well, the good Lord must have heard me sneak in a couple of prayers (Heavenly Father, I pray for peace in Syria, an end to abortion, graces for my mom as she begins RCIA andpleasefindawayformetogotobeautyschool. Amen.) because He provided BIG.

This Saturday I was the sole hairstylist for the Lumen Christi production of Beauty and the Beast Junior with a cast of about 50. That's right - I got to do about 25 heads of hair (only the girls) this weekend and it was FANTASTIC!!I had so much fun creating and designing - studying characters and developing styles that would stand out on the stage. I had two favorites

Madame LaGrande Bouche
The Wardrobe
On stage she is often represented like this:
Harris Costumes
But since we had a minimal budget and since this girl was like 9, I went with this:
I pulled out the offending pins!!
But isn't it "Grande?" There were feathers and pearls and it was big and gorgeous.

My other favorite was the braid and fishtail buns that I put on the girls who were in the chorus: the silverware, napkins and plates for "Be Our Guest." They turned out like this:

You like them??  I KNOW!! I do too!! They were so sweet and you could see all of their pretty faces - which is really the point of good hair isn't it? To accessorize that amazing face you have.

Oh, one more thing. I also made some Lana Del Rey looking hairpieces which got nixed from the final show. Don't tell anyone, but I have been wearing them around my house ever since the show. 

Add caption
The show was great. The kids were impossibly good. I got to live my hairy dream in a big way.

Supplementary Materials

(This is me)

Lucy is going to guest blog right now:
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Wow. Thanks for that Lucy. I really like how she threw some Greek characters in there. This homeschool thing? It is totally working out for us.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back to my Real Life - Part I

(A Five Part Series on where I've been for the past 2 weeks)

Occasionally I say things that irritate even myself. My frequent use of the word "Like" drives me nuts but I can't seem to root it out of my vernacular. My ironic use of urban slang (Holla!, Booyah!, WhatWhat!) is super annoying, even to me, and yet I keep on using it because occasionally someone laughs. Right now, the most annoying thing that I keep on saying is, "When I grow up I want to be a __________." Here is the deal (dealio?): I am already grown up and I already have a vocation that requires 100% of my time, attention, focus and interest. When I turn my time over to the other desires of my heart - my real life suffers - therefore the end-result is a mixed bag of fulfillment and chaos. I have been swimming in this pool for the past two weeks (and I have to admit it was fun.)

The Meals
If I asked my kids to tell you about the meals I have prepared for them lately, they might appropriately ask you, "What meals?" I wouldn't even get mad at them for their exaggeration. String cheese, yogurt, apples and clementines have been the orders of the day and it wasn't until this morning when Michael asked me, "Mommy!? Is that sausage I smell cooking? It smells sooo good!" that I realized how much I have neglected their tummies.

The House
Lucy flat out refused to use our downstairs bathroom on Thursday because, "It was too messy." Need I say more about this?

My Husband
I have a really good husband. When talking numbers and figures, I would put him in the top 95th percentile of all husbands who have ever existed. However, nothing he did this week was good enough. He didn't cook enough, he didn't praise me enough, he was too late, he got up too early...... I didn't realize until I was ready to claw at his jugular with my crafting knife amid a haze of fiery tears that it wasn't him. I was stressed. Stressed to the Nth and he was the fall guy to my craziness.  I wasn't nurturing him, our relationship, our kids, our house, my relationship with the Lord......
I was doing it all for the egotistical desires of creative outlets.

So today my life returned to normal. I got up and prepared a hearty breakfast for the kids. We've said our prayers,  we've studied and grown in knowledge and interest. Never once (I mean that sincerely) have we raised our voices at one another and as I write this the children are playing nicely with their toys. I am thankful for the talents with which God has blessed me (and that I get to occasionally use) but I am humbly and forever grateful for this quiet, Grace-filled life that I lead in this house.

Tomorrow: When I grow up I want to be a Hairstylist.


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