Thursday, July 31, 2008

O Boy

There is a post sitting in my drafts folder in which I discuss how I deal with the unbelievably tiresome question strangers present when they learn we are expecting, "Were you trying for a girl?" and all my feelings surrounding this issue. That post is mostly outdated now as we learned at the last ultrasound that baby number six is also boy number six. Perhaps the only sentences worth posting from that draft are these...

"When my husband and I pursued this pregnancy it was another CHILD we desired, not a particular gender."


"If having all these boys has taught me anything, it's that you don't need to switch gender to get variety."

We are all very happy with the news. My husband gets to keep his home office (for now), the boys are busy helping us think up names for the new little team member--here are their top picks in descending order...

6. Sixtus
5. Elmo
4. Captain
3. Wall E
2. Hammurabi
1. Samurai Jack

And as for me? I gratefully remain, Blessed Among Men.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Shopping For Boys

Standing in line at the nearest Big Box Mart whose symbol is a red bullseye, I looked over my purchases...

  • Five super-soaker water guns
  • Fruit of the Loom tighty whities, size 8
  • Band-aids and other first aid material
  • Bug spray
  • 9Volt batteries
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter
...that should get us through the next three days or so.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Humanae Vitae

Friday was the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae or Human Life. There is an excellent summary of what this encyclical teaches us about human sexuality and its social ramifications here at Darwin Catholic.

Darwin writes...

...Paul VI, on the other hand, courageously and contrary to the advice of many who had their fingers upon the pulse of the world, reaffirmed in Humanae Vitae that human life is, as God's creation, meant to work a certain way. That sex results in new life is not some accident or medical deficiency to be "cured" by new medical technology, but rather the way in which humans were meant to cooperate in God's creative work. The reproductive potential of intercourse is inherent and essential to it, and to actively remove that potential changes the act in a fundamental way...
...The question that faced and continues to face humanity is what to do about this in the face of modern technology which allows us to strip that reproductive function (with degrees of success depending upon the method) out of the sexual act...

...Lots of people with a supposedly rational and naturalistic view of the universe apparently imagined that changing a fundamental element of human physiology (which from a strictly naturalistic point of view must clearly be one of the biggest shapers of human society and culture) would leave existing social structures intact while allowing people to be just a bit more free and joyful in their sexuality. It did not prove to be so...
...[Those of us who] choose to continue living a human life, rather than a sex life, we know roughly what our social institutions and familial relations will continue to look like. We will continue to live as humans have always lived...

...How exactly those who have chosen to live a sex life instead of a human life shall eventually sort out their society remains to be seen.

The sorting out of modern society and the altering of family and social structures based on the now widely accepted split between sex and human reproduction is well underway. Divorce, abortion, artificial fertilization, same sex marriage, infanticide, genetic will it all end?

Read the whole of Darwin's post, Human Life, here.

Joseph Bottom at First Things here.
Mary Eberstadt, also at First Things here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Catch of the Day

Roy G. Biv, the Rainbow Skink

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Wait

This little box turtle is one smart reptile. He's been hiding in that shell all day. Now the bigger one, he's just figured out that he isn't all that fast a runner or maybe it was the sight of the bleached shell that made him tuck in or more likely, it was the way Nicholas was toting him about and turning him over.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hunters and Gatherers

The boys in this house like to go exploring. Their father often takes them to trails and far away places to hike and see what they can see and they often do it on Sundays. I go with them sometimes, but just as often I opt to go shopping by myself instead.

Today, they were going to explore the woods behind our house. And since the last time I went with them I was given my options only after I had committed to the plan and couldn't back out, "Do you want to go to Water Moccasin Lake or Dead Catfish Pond?" this Sunday, I opted for shopping.

When I returned home there was big news--they had found an abandoned house in the woods, about half a mile past our property lines. They tell me it was entirely overgrown and seemed to have vines and tree branches for a roof. It was surrounded by four great old Oaks, there was an outhouse, glass Clorox bottles in the yard and an old television in the livingroom. It wasn't boarded up at all, but had doors swinging open by the hinges. Simeon told me it was "very interesting" and he'd like me to go see it. Alex said it was "cool" and he wondered about who might have lived there and Jacob said it was just plain "crweepy."

And as for me? I had quite the find myself--a maternity swim suit that isn't completely unflattering.

Friday, July 18, 2008


If your four year old tells you his brothers are all watching "Slash of the Curtains" he probably means this.

How Things Work

That's what boys want to know and the best way to find out is to take things apart. For those of you who noticed that we're on our second replacement digital camera in less than a year, I'd just like to say that the one pictured above was a refurbished thing and that you do, in fact, get what you pay for.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Lizards are Back

...and all is well.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Life's Abundant Blessings

Through an unlikely turn of events we were very lucky the night before last to receive a visit from a friend from our college days. The boys took to her--literally surrounding her car-- before she even had a chance to pull all the way up our driveway. The kindness and attention she paid them clinched the deal and now--whether she likes it or not-- they've officially added her to their ever growing list of friends. We really enjoyed seeing her and remembering our college days which are a while ago now, but shouldn't be. Aren't we still twenty three and twenty four? That's about when I stopped counting anyway.

Then yesterday we spent the day with new friends who had us over for lunch and kept us for dinner. Theirs is the kind of home where everyone feels welcome and the phone rings all day with people calling who know where to find a listening ear. The children played happily with hardly an incident and were reluctant to leave even when bedtime approached. The four youngest boys fell asleep on the drive back but my oldest son kept me company up front, helping to navigate and chatting with me about this and that.

Once we arrived, Simeon laughed at the irony of having to wake everyone up in order to put them to bed. My husband met us outside and we all chipped in making light work of it-- stripping shorts off children now curled up on the carpet, wiggling slumbering limbs through pjs, and tucking each dozy, contended child into his blankets.

While we were away, an older neighbor couple the boys befriended when they passed our house each night on their evening walk had stopped by to leave a tin of blueberry muffins and a tin of brownies on our porch. There was also a half slice of Tiramisu--my most favorite dessert in all the world--that my husband had saved for me from a lunch he had gone to earlier in the day.

Before falling asleep, I thought over all these blessings...old friends, new friends, kind neighbors, happy children, a thoughtful husband...and just when I thought nothing could add to the moment, an unmistakable first message came from the womb...

Turn...turn...wiggle...wiggle... flip...whoosh...

...and the promise of good things to come.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I'm hoping these pictures will encourage my husband to come home a little earlier tonight.
Wink. Smile.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Nine Months isn't THAT long

Zachary: Why can't you swim with us today?

Me: Because my swim suit is getting harder to wear. I need a maternity suit.

Zachary: Oh. Will you swim with us in your eternity suit?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Where Garbage Belongs

Little tiny toys, scraps, pieces and bits of all sorts of I-really-don't-know-whats are the bane of my existence. Nearly a full month into second trimester now, it hasn't been getting easier to bend over and pick the ubiquitous things up and my belly isn't big enough yet to hide them from view.

Whenever the children ask me for anything I tell them they can have it--anything-- if only they will pick up this room or that one and clear absolutely every bit off the carpet. They don't seem to see the things the way I do, as they invariably pick up only a third of what is there and leave the rest. I could call them back or I could finish it myself. I often call them back.

The other day as I was sighing over a livingroom full of bits plus one large toy garbage truck, an older boy asked me for a favor. Glad to have an older child's help, I asked that he just please clear the livingroom floor of everything and put every piece where it really belonged.

Ten minutes later the boy was already gone and enjoying his reward. I glanced at the livingroom and was glad to see the job done. There was only the toy garbage truck left behind. Since the job had been done more completely than usual, I didn't even think to call the child back. I just picked up the garbage truck to put it away myself. That's when the back opened up and dumped out every bit and scrap and thing that had been spread all over the livingroom carpet moments before. Though I probably should have, I didn't call the boy back.

Me and my new Camera

I probably should have cleaned the mirror first, eh?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

American Independence


"There were once two enemies who
were both named George.
George Washington was the man who
freed the American colonies
from the British, and George III
was the British king who lost them.

Was King George a "Royal Brute?"
American patriots said so.
But others hailed him as "The Father of the People."
Was George Washington a traitor?
The king's supporters thought so.
But many celebrated Washington as
"the father of his country."
Who was right?

There are two sides to every story."

Both sides of that story are wonderfully (and comically) told in this beautifully illustrated family favorite, George vs George. The unique objectivity of this American children's book teaches a lesson of perspective in history and underscores the dangers and obstacles the founders (American rebels) faced when forming this nation.

Please Pass the Oxygen

Hello Everyone!

It seems I just don't make it to the computer very often these days. Though real life has kept me on my toes, I haven't forgotten about this little spot in cyberspace. In fact, I've had many ideas for blog posts and even drafted parts of some that never made it to press.

Let's see, there was the post on the unknown gender of baby number six. Pink or blue? And all the crazy-mixed-up feelings I have surrounding this issue, feelings I don't care to share with the strangers who ask and so I was going to dump them all on you, dear reader--but that thought was interrupted by a trip to the emergency room. (Everyone is OK now, thank goodness.)

Then there was a post on how we deal with the theory of evolution in our homeschool--a theory that presents itself in more or less innocuous ways through the many books we read, the documentaries we watch, and the museums we visit. Faith has nothing to fear from real science, but what exactly does faith require we believe in this regard? And what is the scientific evidence behind the theories? But this thought, too, was interrupted by a second emergency medical trip. (Everyone is OK now, thank goodness.)

Ah yes, and then there was the post on my most recent nutritional reading. Nourishing Traditions has caused me to become frightened of even the last few foods offered at my local grocers that I considered "healthy." If it isn't Mercury, trans fats, pesticides, preservatives, yellow #5, red #40, or MSG, it might be rancid oils, antinutrients, or salmonella. Don't forget to consider, also, which foods your food ate and if they were treated with antibiotics. Never buy foods processed under high temperatures or intense pressure (no homogenized milk, no boxed cereal, no canned beans). Balance your Omega 3s and 6s. Ferment your own foods. Beware of irradiated spices and free radicals! Soak all grains and never use the microwave! Much of this kind of input combined with rising food costs has made the grocery store one the most frightening places on Earth! Adam and Eve had it good with that Tree of Life growing in their own backyard. Imagine...

The last post I had for you, but never wrote was on pregnancy oddities like the fact that suddenly and out of the blue I love the flavor of cherries. I've never liked cherry anything. Never. Now it's my absolute favoritest flavor. Weird. But pregnancy isn't all a bowl of cherries. I also can't ever get enough oxygen. I take a shower-- I'm out of breath for the morning. I climb the stairs-- I'm out of breath for the afternoon. I can't raise my arms without gasping and I dream of having a huge oxygen tank beside my bed at night. An now, after typing this post, I am completely out of breath.

Have a Happy Fourth of July, all!