Thursday, September 24, 2009

heartbreak and hope

I truly hope that these stories and those like them become more widely known - how many lives may be changed and saved!

Video is not for young children.


Friday, September 18, 2009

and now for something completely different

We've been watching "Monk" through Netflix lately, and we recently saw an episode in which Monk's assistant, Natalie, got a job that made her more famous and popular than her boss. He didn't like that very much, and one of his colleagues teased him, saying, "You're Garfunkel!" I chuckled, and didn't think any more about it. But then, as I've been listening to my Simon and Garfunkel CD, I wondered, what if Garfunkel watches "Monk"? Does he have the sort of sense of humor that he thinks that was funny, or did he find that hurtful and offensive? I can't imagine being someone famous and encountering people making fun of you when you least expect it, perhaps while relaxing to a favorite television show after a long day. It is probably silly of me to worry about it, but I just wanted to say, wherever you are Art, I hope you're feelin' groovy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ramadan!

Okay, so maybe Ramadan is not something that you were expecting me to blog about. However, the students at the Newman Center where dh works were recently invited to the Intercultural Friendship Foundation's Ramadan Iftar dinner, and our family decided to attend. It was really wonderful! We all had a great time meeting new people and making new friends.

First, we listened to the Islamic call to prayer, which was beautiful. Then we had a delicious home-cooked Turkish meal together. After we had eaten our fill, one of the Muslim men gave a presentation on Islam, and specifically how and why Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan. Then my husband gave a talk on fasting in the Catholic tradition. There were many, many similarities. Islam stresses not only fasting, but prayer and almsgiving during Ramadan, just as we do during Lent. Their fast is much more strict than what the Church requires - no food or drink from sunup to sundown, even water! - but they have the same exemptions for children, the eldery, the sick, and pregnant and nursing mothers. Ramadan is a week or two earlier each year than the year before, so it shifts around the calendar over time. I was thinking how much more difficult it must be during the summer, when days are long, than when it falls during the winter. Another thing they do differently is that if you are exempt from the fast, you are expected to feed another person for each day that you did not fast. So, a nursing mom could invite a neighbor to join them for the evening meal (Iftar) to fulfil this requirement.

One saying they have is that during Ramadan, Satan is chained. I think that is a great image for the effect of pious penance. Like us, they use their hunger to remind them of those in need. Samuel was struck by what their presenter said about this - that he is hungry when he fasts, but he knows that he will eat at the end of the day, but many are hungry, and don't know when they will eat again. Samuel enjoyed the food, company, and cultural sharing very much, and immediately asked when the next one will be! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

a must-read

I've been trying not to do too much linkage on here lately, now that I've got my handy-dandy shared items widget in the sidebar from Google Reader. But, I couldn't let this one slide.

Will We March with the Death Cult?

yesterday's history/science/math lesson!

For history this year, dh and I decided that we would like to do one big, overall review of all of human history, just touching on the "main stuff", but not going into a huge amount of depth in any one area. We want to give Samuel an overall framework so that when we do study things in greater depth later on, he'll know how they fit into the big picture. We've already been doing some reading about early human migration, ancient civilizations, the rise of agriculture, etc.

I wanted to give him some visuals about the scope of time, and a Montessori- style ribbon seemed to be just the thing. There was one in the Atrium that we used to attend, and it was great for putting things into perspective for the kids. I didn't know what the scale and dimensions were for that one, so I did some math and figured out one that would work for us. So, here it is! (Apologies for poor picture quality throughout - as I mentioned here, I broke the camera, so it's like having a film camera again! I can't see what I took until I upload everything. It was too hot outside for a redo!)

Each ridge on the grosgrain ribbon represents one million years. Yep, you read that right. 1,000,000. To help give your child a sense of how many one million is, I really recommend the book A Million Dots. You're probably thinking, this is going to be a short ribbon, with a million years per ridge! Well, there are about 25 ridges to an inch, so 4 inches is 100 million years. So, it takes 40 inches to reach one billion years. So, if we start at the beginning of the universe, approximately 14.5 billion years ago...

Time keeps going...

...and going...

Hey! What's that color change? We decided to change the ribbon to brown at around the time the earth formed, around 4.5 billion years ago.

And another color change! We decided to make it green when the first life was created, around 3 billion years ago. What? The ribbon is yellow? Ah, yes, that would be because the craft store was out of green! I'll redo it when they restock. :)


And here we are at present day. Humans have been here for about one-fifth of one ridge, or 200,000 years. So, obviously, we won't be using this ribbon for marking events in human history. We'll have another one for that! But it was fun to guess when the dinosaurs were alive, when the sun and moon formed, and things like that.

If you'd like to make your own ribbon, here are the dimensions. Obviously, the dates are all approximations, so if you're off by a few million here or there, no big deal. :)

Blue (representing time from the Big Bang until the formation of the earth): 33 feet, or 10 billion years.

Brown (representing time from the formation of the earth to the creation of the first life forms): 5 feet, or 1.5 billion years.

Green (representing time from the creation of life until the present): 10 feet, or 3 billion years.

This will give you a total of 48 feet, or 14.5 billion years. Happy learning!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Waldorf liturgy?

When my son was much younger, he went through a phase of pretending that things were his babies, so I looked into getting him a doll. (He grew out of the phase before I ever got around to it, but that's beside the point.) I was particularly struck by the Waldorf-style dolls. In addition to being beautiful and handmade from natural materials, they typically have very minimal facial details. This allows the child to impart various emotions to the doll, as the face could easily seem to be happy, sad, etc. It made a lot of sense to me that to a sad child, a grinning doll would not be a comfort, but a Waldorf doll would seem to share a child's joy and sorrows.

Today, it struck me that one can draw a parallel with the liturgy. I went to Mass with my heart heavy with sadness for the recent losses in the Real Learning community. I simply could not participate in contemporary, wave-your-hands-in-the-air, tambourine-filled music. But that is what I got. It was like having a grinning doll mock my sadness.

I believe that traditional hymns are the Waldorf doll of liturgy. Certainly, there is joy in them, but it is a deeper, reflective joy that can be engaged in even in the depths of sorrow. Of course, there are some contemporary songs that would fit the bill to some, and certainly we should not ban all songs that are more overtly joyful.

I am neither a theologian nor a liturgist, so maybe I am way off-base here. But it just seems to me that this is something to consider when deciding what music is appropriate for Mass, and another reason to follow the Church's instruction to give traditional music primacy in the liturgy... one more reason to put down the tambourine and pick up a hymnal.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ObamaFood

You know, I was thinking, food should be considered a right. I mean, we all need it to live. Now think of how many Americans don't get nutritious food. Many cannot afford it. Those people need help. Others choose not to buy and eat healthy food, but let's face it, that costs us all more in the long run, what with all the growing health problems like obesity and diabetes. What if the government were to step in with a federal food program? What would that look like?

  • First, a tax would be levied against every citizen, whether they chose to participate in the program or not. Gotta pay for it somehow, and with deficits skyrocketing, your pocket is the only option.
  • Those without proof of a government-approved diet will be forced to use the program. Others have the option... at first. To get government approval that your diet is sufficient, you will need to submit some or all of the following: a medical report verifying that you are not overweight or underweight, and that you are not diabetic, pre-diabetic, insulin-resistant, etc., a log of your food intake over the last month, and grocery and restaurant receipts from that time period.
  • Those in the program do not go to the grocery store. They go to a local government food distribution center, where, according to their age, gender, and other socio-economic data, they are given food for the week which has been determined to be statistically sufficient. This food is most likely not organic or "natural", but it will have what the government has decided is the proper amount and ratio of fat, protein, and carbohydrates, and be fortified to contain the Recommended Daily Allowance of the most important vitamins and minerals. It will require very little preparation, and there will be a government rebate for those who need to purchase the microwave necessary for most meals. It may or may not actually taste good. There may or may not be special meal packs available for diabetics, vegetarians, those with food allergies, etc. At the very least, a detailed prescription for special food will be required from your doctor.
  • You have to apply to receive special foods like a birthday cake, pumpkin pie, or Christmas candy at least two months in advance. These applications will be reviewed by a panel of government employees. You may be denied if you are overweight or have other health concerns.
  • Restaurants will have to show that their meals meet government standards. People in the program will be allotted a set number of restaurant meals per week. You may apply for more, for special occasions, or if your work schedule makes eating out the most convenient, and the panel will decide if you get them or not. Most restaurants will close, except for big chains that can handle the additional costs of government compliance.
  • The President will appoint a Food Czar, who does not need Congressional approval and answers to no one. This Food Czar will most likely be the former top-level employee of a large food company. That large food company will swiftly get the government contract to provide food for those in the program.
  • Those people without proof of healthy diet will immediately be ushered into the program. Many others will sign up voluntarily - free food, right? And, millions will retain their right to purchase food of their choosing... at first. As grocery stores and food companies start to go out of business, however, choices become more and more slim. More and more people are forced to turn to the government for their food. Eventually, a tipping point is reached, and either by market forces or law, there are no other options.
  • It all costs far more than was anticipated, and while a few people receive better nutrition than before the program's inception, most are now eating at a less healthy level than before. As costs continue to outpace income from taxes (think of how many more people are out of work NOW), the quality of government food steadily decreases.
  • There is no way in hell that the President, members of Congress, and other high-level government employees eat the same food you do. They fly their dinner in from France.
  • Those who are terminally ill or deemed irreversibly unproductive, such as the severely handicapped and those in a coma or "vegetative state" will receive food only if approved by the panel.
  • Two words: Soylent Green.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

my new favorite craft blog

I have been terrible the past few years about doing any crafts, except occasionally knitting a few inches of the same scarf I've been working on for probably 3 years now. However, that doesn't stop me from falling completely in love with Wee Folk Art. I love their crafts. LOVE. Maybe enough to motivate me, even!



First, I have to finish organizing my house, which is something I usually work at about as often as I knit that scarf. However, we recently got a ton of new shelves, and I think I might actually be able to find a home for everything now... and everything else, I will give away or throw away!

I also need to work on homeschool planning... I know, I know, I am an unschooler... but we are going to be a little more structured this year, which I think Samuel will like. He has been asking to do more "projects". I think he wants more organized activity, so we're going to give it a try. We are going to do Math U See, because he enjoyed the demo video so much, as well as some history and science. More later!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Samuel the food critic

On discovering that I put bacon and onions in the green beans:

SAMUEL: Ooh, that's perfect! Except for the green beans.

must be a boy thing

Samuel got a new scrape on his knee today, and was explaining the whole saga to dh and me at the grocery store. I told him that he could just clean it up when he got his bath tonight, and here's what he said:

SAMUEL: But I already cleaned it up.

ME: With what?

SAMUEL: Leaves and spit.

ME: Leaves and spit. Great.

SAMUEL: Oh, and the white liquid from a dandelion stem.

I know of no antiseptic properties of dandelion juice, but you never know, I guess. Someone should look into that.

beware of doctor

I don't want to get into too much detail in this post because it involves some medical issues that I have been having, and I doubt that anyone really wants to know the specifics. However, I do want to share what my recent experience has been, as a cautionary tale to anyone dealing with the medical industry.

In the last few months, I've been experiencing severe anemia due to irregular bleeding. The bleeding absolutely had to be stopped for at least a few months so that my hemoglobin levels could recover. My options were a shot of Depo-Provera or 3 months of continuous birth control pills (without the weeks off for a period). I knew, from my experience as a student of and teacher for the Couple to Couple League, that birth control pills increase your risk of blood clots, something that I may be prone to. I talked to my doctor about it, and we agreed that Depo-Provera was the best option, as it does not have the same clotting risks as the Pill. I will give my doctor the benefit of the doubt that she would have asked about my health history with regard to blood clots before prescribing them for me if I had decided to go that route rather than getting the shot, but she had not said anything about it before I brought it up.

Three weeks later, I started bleeding again, despite the Depo-Provera. My doctor prescribed some progesterone pills in addition to what was already in my system. The pills did not work. When I called to tell her this, her nurse told me that the next thing to try would be birth control pills, and was ready to send my prescription in to the pharmacy right then. I reminded her that I had a possible issue with blood clots and did not think that I ought to take birth control pills. She put me on hold to check with the doctor, and came back with, "You're right, we DEFINITELY don't want to do that," and then we discussed other options.

What if I had not known the dangers of the medication that I was being prescribed? Again, I want to give my doctor the benefit of the doubt for the first incident, but for the second, there is no excuse. It is the doctor's job to know what medication is appropriate for a patient given their condition and history, not the patient's! That's why we pay them the big bucks, right? It makes me wonder how often doctors forget to ask questions or check chart information, and what the repercussions are.

Of course, even a doctor who actually tries to do these things will make a mistake sometimes. And, sometimes we have to make a decision to trust our doctor because a quick decision is needed and we simply don't have the time to Google everything. But whenever possible, we need to be responsible for our own health by learning about our health conditions, medications, side effects, and asking questions. There is a great ad being played in the radio right now encouraging patients to ask lots of questions, and I truly hope that people will listen!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our Big Summer '09 Vacation

Day 1

We started the drive out east. Samuel passed the time by listening to a Shel Silverstein CD.

Our big summer '09 trip begins: Samuel listens to Shel Silverstein on the way to Ohio

We stopped at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to visit the air museum. An hour was not nearly enough time to see everything, but we had a great time.

Samuel in a cockpit at Wright-Patt

Samuel in an F-4 cockpit

Then we drove to Salt Fork State Park in eastern Ohio, where we camped for the night. Other than Shawn nearly being attacked by a raccoon, we had a great time. It's been a couple of years since we camped, and Samuel was so excited to finally do it again. We need to go more often!

camping in Ohio

only when camping do 3 hot dogs and 2 s'mores make an acceptable dinner

Day 2

We drove to my grandparents' house in Virginia. It was great to see them and other family members again, and meet some others for the first time! Samuel got to meet his 2nd cousin finally, and they had a blast playing in a cardboard box. :) Wish I had gotten a picture of that, but I was so entertained watching them that it didn't even occur to me.

Day 3

Samuel and were sitting on the back porch looking out at the lake before breakfast, when he suddenly poked me and said, "Mama! That's a turkey." Sure enough, there was a turkey walking up the hill from the lake. He crossed the driveway and the yard, and I managed to snap a shot before he headed off down the road. We have seen lots of animals there, but this was our first turkey!



Later, we went for a swim in the lake, which was great. It is SO much nicer to go for a swim when there are only a few people in a nice big lake, rather than at the pool when you are always bumping into rowdy teenagers!

Day 4

Driving again - off to DC for the rehearsal dinner for my cousin's wedding. We managed to get in a swim at the hotel before heading off to dinner. Dinner was at a restaurant called Wildfire at Tyson's Corner. If you're ever in the neighborhood, their key lime pie is to die for. And I don't usually even LIKE key lime pie.

Day 5

It was an evening wedding, so we had plenty of time to take the Metro to the Mall. We took Samuel to the Museum of Natural History, which we all really enjoyed.

at the Natural History museum in DC

Samuel took this shot of the elephant that greets you at the door


giant sloth!

This is a giant sloth that once stood 12 feet tall. Seriously. You do NOT want to meet that sloth in a dark alley.


saber tooth

Samuel was excited to see the saber-tooth...


mammoth

... and the mammoth! Okay, he was probably only excited because of that silly Ice Age movie.


Samuel and a leatherback

Samuel and a leatherback sea turtle! We'd just been reading about how big they are!


Samuel and a big fat caterpillar

Samuel and a big fat caterpillar. I think it may have been a tomato hornworm.


After we got back to the hotel, we did NOT go for a swim, because they didn't open the pool when they said they would. Yes, the Crown Plaza made at least 2 small children cry that day. Keep that in mind when choosing a hotel at Tyson's Corner. ;) Ah, well, the kids recovered in time for the wedding. Here they are, getting some refreshment before the ceremony.

Samuel and 2nd cousin Tristan at the wedding

The wedding and reception were beautiful, and I wish my cousin and his new wife all the best! It was great to see all my aunts and uncles, and most of my cousins, too. It had been 6 years since I'd seen some of them!

Day... what day am I on? 6?

Driving... again! Back to my grandparents' house. Most of the family came, too, and we got to visit some more. The cardboard box was also revisited. Shawn and Samuel went kayaking on the lake, too.

kayaking at the lake

kayaking at the lake

kayaking on the lake


Day 7

Relaxed. Went swimming. Went to Mass at the most awesome church ever. (You people in Front Royal are SO LUCKY!!!) Relaxed some more. Then re-packed like crazy because the next day, we were...

Day 8

Driving. Again. Back to Ohio, but the Hocking Hills region this time. The route that randmcnally.com had us take was through the mountains of West Virginia, and it was very very beautiful, but also very very twisty. We are talking constant hairpin turns as you go up and down and up and down and up and down and then Samuel said he wasn't feeling well and then he said that he was feeling worse and they he said, "Pull over! Pull over! PULL OVER NOW!" So we did.

This is the scenic overlook where we pulled over so Samuel could throw up.

This is the scenic overlook where we pulled over so Samuel could throw up.


We managed to make it through the mountains without further incident and arrived at last at the awesome cabin we rented for an early 10th anniversary trip.

Our cabin in Ohio.

We went out to dinner at Millstone BBQ, which was fabulous, and then just enjoyed our cabin.

Day... I lost track again.

For our first hike in Hocking Hills, we decided on Ash Cave. It was a fairly easy hike, and the rock formations were breathtaking, as they are everywhere in the Hocking Hills area.

Ash Cave

That is Shawn and Samuel down there in the cave. And this is the last picture I took before I broke the camera.

Yep, I broke the camera. While leaning down to put our canteens on a rock, I let the camera around my neck swing forward and hit the rock, which dented the screen. It still takes pictures, but you can't use the screen AT ALL, which really limits things. Yes, I am still kicking myself. ARRRGGG! Oh, well

Ash Cave

Samuel and I in Ash Cave


Then we went to Cedar Falls. This trail was a bit more challenging. It would help if they had better maps posted to help you plan your route. Hint, hint, Hocking Hills State Park people!


alligator snapping turtle on the Cedar Falls trail

an alligator snapping turtle swimming by the Cedar Falls trail


Samuel at Cedar Falls

Samuel in front of Cedar Falls

After all that hiking, we were ready to enjoy the cabin's hot tub that night. And after that, we put the fire pit to good use and made s'mores and banana boats.

The next day

More hiking! We went to the Rock House, which is the only true cave in the park (the others are recess caves). Here are some shots of Samuel inside the Rock House:

Samuel in the Rock House

Samuel in the Rock House

After that we were too tired for more hiking, so we played mini golf and went back to the cabin for more hot tub and s'mores. Just so you know, putting a Reeces cup in the s'more instead of a piece of chocolate is not as good at it sounds, because it doesn't get melty enough. Using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate doesn't get quite as melty, either, but is still the best option. :)

Last Day (you thought it would never come)

We checked out of our lovely cabin and headed off for one more trail. We really wanted to do Old Man's Cave, since that seems to be the biggest attraction, but it's also a longer trail, so we opted for Conkle Hollows instead. It was such a beautiful trail! Absolutely gorgeous.


on the Conkle Hollows trail

on the trail to Conkle Hollows

on the trail to Conkle Hollows

on the trail to Conkle Hollows

Conkle Hollows

on the Conkle Hollow trail

After that, we still managed to play mini golf again and browse an antique store before hitting the road for home. We discovered another great BBQ place in Springfield, Ohio - Rudy's Smokehouse. And then, at long last, we made it back home. It was a great trip, but it sure was busy, and it is nice to be back!

BTW, this is not all of our pictures from the trip. I KNOW. I totally maxed out my Flickr account this month, which I have never done before. If you want to see the rest, they are there.

Ted and Mo

Samuel has decided that's what he likes to call his parents.

A couple of years ago, he started calling Shawn "Teddy", because he said that his daddy was like a big teddy bear. He has called him that off and on, and recently has shortened it to "Ted".

A few months ago, he started calling me "Mo-Mo" instead of "Mama", I think just because he thought it sounded funny. That stuck, too, and he's shortened it to "Mo".

People must think that we're really weird when he calls us that in public, but I'm so used to it now that I really don't even think twice about it. I guess I can't really complain, since I call him "Shmoo" half the time!

finally got a nice family photo

Mo, Shmoo, and Ted in a rare family picture


and then Samuel got goofy

And here's what happens when Samuel has too much fun with the camera.


I hope he does this for his driver's license photo in 8 more years

I hope he does this when he gets his driver's license picture taken in 8 years.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Feast of St. John the Baptist!


Our wonderful pastor was recently reassigned to another parish, and we miss him terribly. One of the things I love about him is that he was always sharing little tidbits of Church tradition that I had never heard of before. I know just what he is telling his new parishioners today! He shared with us the very interesting fact that the feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist occurs just after the summer solstice, and the feast of the birth of Christ - Christmas - occurs just after the winter solstice. So, St. John, who was 6 months younger than Jesus was born as the light is beginning to diminish, until the birth of Jesus when it begins to increase again. Which brings to mind the words of St. John the Baptist, "He must increase, but I must decrease."

I love all the ways our faith interweaves with life!

climbing onto my soapbox...

We have a few upcoming weddings, which have gotten me thinking about how our marriage started off. Everyone thought that we should wait to get married, we were too young, we didn't have any money, etc. Well, we got married anyway! People also seemed to think we should wait to have children, since we were so young (I was 20, dh was 22 when we married) and dh's job paid next to nothing. We didn't listen to that advice, either. It took us 11 months to conceive our son. He is now 8, and an only child, although we have only ever used NFP to increase our chances of conception. My fertility has gone rapidly downhill and so far, no one knows why. I shudder to think what our life would be if we had listened to all the well-meant advice. What if we had not been married and started trying for a baby until 1 or 2 years later? I am quite convinced we would be childless. Our beautiful son would not exist.

What advice does our culture give young couples these days? I think it is much the same advice we were given: Wait, you don't need kids
yet! You have all the time in the world. Go finish that degree first, get your dream job, buy that house... and on and on. Anytime I see young couples, recently married or preparing for marriage, I want to scream the opposite: Don't wait! Don't listen to the culture! Don't hesitate to pursue the real goods of marriage: children!

Now, I know that there may be some couples who legitimately should postpone having children, and only they can discern this through prayer. However, I think the number of couples who do wait is probably far greater than the number of couples who should wait, thanks to the influence of our culture, which puts things before children. I also know that not everyone has fertility problems like mine, and thank God for that! Nevertheless, fertility problems are becoming more and more prevalent, and postponing starting a family is a big part of the reason. I hate to think that there are couples out there who will never have children because they thought they could just wait and have them later, or even couples who will not have as many children as they would like because they started too late.

My prayer for all couples embarking on married life is that they will be able to silence the voice of the culture in their ears and focus only on the voice of God when making these life-changing decisions.

Samuel, a few days old.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ah, innocence

We watched an episode of Stargate: Atlantis a while back in which the good guys failed in their first several attempts to beat the bad guys. Good Guy R was rescuing Good Guy J and explaining the new plan in the process. "We've moved to Plan B. Or is it C?" he says, before explaining the plan, which is basically a suicide mission. Good Guy J replies, "Isn't that Plan F? As in we are-" and then is conveniently cut off.

Samuel brought that incident up later, saying, "Wasn't that funny, when J said 'Isn't that Plan F?' "

I was all set to talk to him about appropriate language, when he continued, "As in, we are FRIED!!!"

Right. Why didn't I think of that?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday


At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child
All with bloody scourges rent:

For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

always liturgically correct

On Tuesday, the stock market apparently recovered a little bit. (I have no idea of its current state, my head is buried firmly in the sand at the moment.) Samuel and I caught a snippet of the news on the radio just before we got out of the car for Mass:

RADIO ANNOUNCER: ... and they are singing "Hallelujah" on Wall Street today...

SAMUEL: Is it not Lent there?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

What Samuel says about me...

This is a meme I saw on Facebook, reposting here...

Kids are honest. What do your kids have to say about you? Ask your child the following questions, and post their answers in your own note.

1. What is something your mom always says to you?

Shmoo. (This is our latest nickname for him, and it has evolved into quite the game for him. He is a shmoo from the planet Shmoodle. Shmoos are blue.)

2. What makes your mom happy?

Dark chocolate. (Darn right.)

3. What makes your mom sad?

No dark chocolate. (He knows me so well.)

4. How does your mom make you laugh?

Most likely, tickling me. (Guilty as charged. But can I add that he is the most ticklish child on the planet???)

5. What was your mom like as a child?

I don't know. (Said in a slightly annoyed tone, like how could I have the nerve to ask such an unreasonable question. I mean, he wasn't there. Might as well ask what Moses was like as a child.)

6. How old is your mom?

30. 29? No, 30. (Yes, he was correct after the waffling.)

7. How tall is your mom?

No clue. (He then asked how big a foot was, and I showed him with my hands. He then estimated 4 feet.)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

Doing stuff on the computer, snuggling, eating dark chocolate, reading books, making new recipes.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?

(Confusion!)I'm never not around.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

I don't know.

11. What is your mom really good at?

Making new recipes. (I really don't make new stuff all too often, we've just had a couple recently.)

12. What is your mom not very good at?

Remembering things. (True.)

13. What does your mom do for a job?

She doesn't have one. (Heh.)

14. What is your mom's favorite food?

Tiramisu. (Don't know about favorite, but it's up there!)

15. What makes you proud of your mom?

She makes yummy recipes from scratch and she notices things. (Now if only I could remember them...)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

No clue.

17. What do you and your mom do together?

We play a lot of games.

18. How are you and your mom the same?

I have her eyes

19. How are you and your mom different?

I don't have her hair.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

She just does! What kind of mom doesn't??? (Duh...)

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?

He's a good daddy.

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?

The beach. (Indeed.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

when you don't know what to write...

... just do a meme!



1. My poor, neglected blog. Here's where I've been. (HT: Marie - on Facebook, of course!)

2. I really really really want winter to GO AWAY, but at the same time, it's hard to be Lent-y when flowers are blooming everywhere.

3. Samuel and I have been doing the Journey North project, although we're already behind. Oh, well. He's having fun calculating photoperiods and graphing them. It is nice to see our sunlight increasing!

4. I am probably spending way too much time reading about politics. I feel physically ill every time I learn something new about the "stimulus" bill, CPSIA, what they're doing to health care, etc.

5. Well, that one was depressing, so let's pretend everything is fine and move on, shall we? Let's see, we went to Mass on Ash Wednesday and were not subjected to the song "Ashes"! You have no idea how huge this is for our parish!

6. Samuel is having lots of fun learning Gregorian chant from Heath. He would like Gregorian chant at every Mass, please.

7. I have started veiling at Mass. I have been feeling called to for a long time, but just never really got up the nerve to start doing it, so I decided that it would be part of my Lenten penance to start. I am sure that after a while it won't be a big deal, I'll just be that weird lady who veils and that'll be that, but right now I can feel everyone staring, whether they actually are or not. Now that I've announced it, I can't chicken out, right?

More at Jen's!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ouch! A bee!

I finally uploaded a picture of myself for my Blogger profile. Took me long enough! We have almost no pictures of me, so I finally just took one myself. Before this one, the best one I had was probably one from a couple Christmases ago, where I am in my pajamas and am displaying a book I'd just received. I didn't realize until trying to get a flattering shot of myself how much rounder my face is than it was not so very long ago.

That reminds me of a priest I knew who was going to see his sister for the first time in many years, and had gained weight in the interim. He asked me, "Do you think she'd buy it if I tell her I got stung by a bee and I'm real allergic?" Well, it's too cold for bees here, so I guess that excuse won't work for me!

Friday, January 23, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday



1. So, this is the new meme going around, and I think I'm the last one in the blogosphere to join.

2. Hey, it's been a while since I posted, eh? Holidays and all. My house still looks like the Christmas tornado hit it. I mean, all most of the decorations are put away piled in the guest room, but there are still gifts here and there that we haven't found a home for. Plus I took a little Christmas vacation from laundry that I am still regretting, and my kitchen sink has frozen no less that three times, causing an involuntary vacation from doing dishes as well. Yes, I could haul them up to the bathroom and wash them in the bathtub. But I don't.

3. It is above freezing here today and the snow is melting! Woo! Of course, I think it's supposed to be really cold again in a few days, but let's enjoy this brief respite, shall we? At least it won't be getting really really cold this time, like it was a couple weeks ago. Which means maybe, just maybe, my sink will not freeze!

4. I need a teapot. I would like to be able to brew more than one cup at a time so I don't have to keep trekking to my very cold kitchen every time I need a refill. Then I will need a cozy for my teapot to keep it warm. Anyone have a good pattern to knit one? (Note to my mother in the event that she reads this: we need to go teapot shopping at your nifty tea store next time I'm there.)

5. We have rediscovered some of our games here lately. Our new favorites are Yahtzee!, Battleship, and Mille Bornes. Samuel wants to try Monopoly tonight. I hate Monopoly. I secretly hope that he will hate Monopoly so that he won't want to play it ever again. I promise not to sabotage the game in order to make him hate it. I will just silently hope.

6. Doesn't Father Cantalamessa have the Best Name Ever? It means "sings the Mass". I want Samuel to grow up to be a priest who will of course have excellent liturgical taste and, thanks to Heath, will be able to chant beautifully. Then he can change his name to Cantalamessa, too.

7. I think I have pictures to share. I'm not sure. I can't remember the last time I saw the camera. I know that I didn't get as many at Christmas as I wanted to. I never do. I tend to forget about taking pictures until all that's left is a wasteland of wrapping paper scraps. I also wanted some nice pictures of Samuel in the snow, but it was cold out and I am a wimp so that didn't happen either.

More at Jen's!