Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent: Watching and Waiting

This year, a sixth stocking was hung by the chimney with care in hopes that someone soon will be here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day After Thanksgiving

Any day that starts with pumpkin pie for breakfast is a good day in my book. Hey, it has eggs in it. I spent most of this Black Friday finding chores I could complete while sitting on the couch. Much laundry has been folded today and Nicholas and I perused catalogs while sipping tea. I actually enjoy looking through Christmas catalogs when all the shopping is done. It is so nice to be done before Advent. This Advent is a double preparation and I'm looking forward to every moment.

The boys used wood scraps from a project my husband completed to make these cool vehicles. They painted them and have even constructed garages for them from cardboard.


We saw Venus and Jupiter aligned after sunset and will look again on Dec. 1st when a crescent moon joins them to form a "temporary frowny face in the sky."

Now more cornbread is baking and a game of Monopoly is on downstairs. I hope your day was as unhurried and pleasant as mine.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 1933

I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do set aside and appoint Thursday, the thirtieth day of November 1933, to be a Day of Thanksgiving for all our people.
May we on that day in our churches and in our homes give humble thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us during the year past by Almighty God.

May we recall the courage of those who settled a wilderness, the vision of those who founded the Nation, the steadfastness of those who in every succeeding generation have fought to keep pure the ideal of equality of opportunity and hold clear the goal of mutual help in time of prosperity as in time of adversity.

May we ask guidance in more surely learning the ancient truth that greed and selfishness and striving for undue riches can never bring lasting happiness or good to the individual or to his neighbors.

May we be grateful for the passing of dark days; for the new spirit of dependence one on another; for the closer unity of all parts of our wide land; for the greater friendship between employers and those who toil; for a clearer knowledge by all nations that we seek no conquests and ask only honorable engagements by all peoples to respect the lands and rights of their neighbors; for the brighter day to which we can win through by seeking the help of God in a more unselfish striving for the common bettering of mankind.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.


Done at the City of Washington this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty-three and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fifty-eighth.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don't Forget...

...to pick up your Advent candles this week!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow, Snow


...with accumulation!


Schoolwork started late so the kids could make these snow/grass balls before the sun melted all the fun away.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

State of the Nest

Wow.

I haven't had any energy these last few weeks. I have felt so overwhelmed by housework that I almost called Molly Maid this morning to come dig us out. I like to clean. It takes a lot to reduce me to the couch dweller I had become but frequent, long, and pinchy Braxton Hicks contractions did the trick. I'd have them in the morning and they'd slow me down. I'd have them during the day and they'd cut my outings short. I'd have them all evening-- triggered by the slightest motion, noise or even change in light-- and they'd make December 20th seem so very, very far away.

Then, at exactly four O'clock this afternoon, nesting hit. There must be a rush of adrenaline that accompanies this sudden burst of energy and desire to clean because the change is so sudden and dramatic. Since four, I have cleaned two bathrooms, vacuumed, tidied and scrubbed anything that dared to cross my path. I laundered a perfectly clean shower curtain and set of towels because I thought I could get them brighter. That red wax mark on the wall by the boys' bedroom that taunted me for the last month? Got it. The one on the ceiling, too. My outlets and switches are streak free, and the toaster shines. I've washed walls, many walls, I still have more walls to wash. Bring 'em on. I don't even feel pregnant anymore, except that there's this thing in the way when I reach under toddler beds and try to squeeze--dust pan in hand-- behind a half pulled out fridge. There's more to be done and thought of it thrills me. I'll get some brushes and touch up paint. I'll get to those closets and unpack the last of the books. I'll winterize the back porch furniture as I've been meaning to, finish up the Christmas shopping, and baking for Thanksgiving. If you're a part of my life, chip in or get out of the way. Should you cross my path and I accidentally comb you, bleach you, or completely reorganize you, I'm sorry. It couldn't be helped and mother nature seems to want it this way.

Appatizing

Zachary: I know now how you will feed the baby. I've seen mice have them. They are lots of small attachments for the baby mice and cows have them, too, but cows just have one really big one. You can milk the cow there, but... hmmm...you should probably have gloves on to do that.

You Couldn't Fool Him

Simeon: Ridiculous! I mean, I could understand a story about the "The Empress' New Clothes," but the Emporer's? A man should never care so much about fashion.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving

Cay Gibson shares some beautiful thoughts on Thanksgiving. Do not miss "It is in Forgiving that We Find Thanksgiving." Thanks, Cay.

Snow!



No accumulation, but still.

Inversion Art

I know they've seen these inversion pictures in books they have, but the boys have been drawing their own (producing massive amounts of them, actually). Here are three originals...














This Egyptian turns into an old man.














Amelia Earhart becomes a general with a large mustache.














Help this king find his Granny.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Family Portrait in Brown

Sorry for the light posting, but I'm feeling a little s l o w e d down. Does anyone else enjoy weeks of false labor before the real deal? I'll spare you the whining and just share these very first recognizable works of art from our little Nicholas and his explanations...


"This is the father..."

"...and this is the mother..."


"...and this is the baby already borned and wrapped in a blanket."


"And this is me, Nicholas."


And here is the artist playing in the yard with his older brother.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On Blessings

Last Sunday, I waddled up the communion line with a preschooler in each hand. My husband was just behind me managing two other pre-communicants and our oldest was serving at the altar. As we manage so many little ones, I admit that I sometimes feel watched and I worry that some child will mess up, trip or-- worse-- trip somebody else.

After I received the Eucharist, father bent low and carefully blessed the child on my left. Then he bent again and blessed the child on my right. Just as I thought we'd held up the line long enough, I realized the blessings weren't over. Father T, who had just fed my soul on the Bread of Angels and fed my heart with yet another of his beautiful homilies bent yet again and slowly, deliberately blessed the child in my womb. The gesture took me by delightful surprise. Any embarrassment I had felt at being such a "crowd" at the front of the communion line melted into happiness. How blessed we were-- so many blessings upon our many blessings! As I waddled back to my seat to pray in thanksgiving, I could not suppress a smile.

That same smile came to my face when I read about the new blessing service for children in the womb that the bishops have approved. You can read about it at Faith and Family....and who is that headless pregnant lady??

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Science and Religion

The other afternoon when my husband was reading a biology book to the boys that had simple illustrations of babies in utero, Zachary was compelled to add to the conversation,

"Yes, and also babies are a gift from God."

Sweet as it was, I thought his comment indicated that he really wasn't interested in the scientific aspects, but then today when I asked Nicholas to pick something up for me and Nicholas asked why Zachary explained,

"Because, Nicholas, our new baby has his head in a bowl that is made out of Mama's bones and that bowl is called a pelvis and if she bends the baby could hit his head on her bones."

Not accurate exactly, but definitely biological.

Jacob, Still Out of Touch

Jacob: (Standing up suddenly in the back of the van when he spotted a lawn sign) Oh no! Did we vote?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Exactly

What she said. Go read Rebecca Teti's "An Almost Perfect Moment."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hope and Life

We're feeling a bit "blue" today. The weather is dark and cloudy to match our overall mood, but we know the sun is behind those clouds and our thoughts are focused on what won't change...

This beautiful and deeply loved little one is in our prayers today.

We welcome this one into the world with great joy!

We're thanking God for this one whose heart beats strong and...

...many, many others we know within our own family and among many friends.

We're remembering a story from last Sunday's homily. Father received a call from a young woman named "Rosealba" (white rose) whom he had met outside an abortion clinic many months ago. She had given birth to the baby whose life she came to see as a blessing and not a punishment. She was thanking Father for giving her the strength and encouragement to do what was right at a time when she felt so alone and had given up all hope.

We're thinking of the great success of the 40 Days for life campaign,

the way the Bishops of America have spoken out for life these last few months,

and we see hope in the continued thoughts, plans and efforts of the Pro life movement.

We may find new ways to change more hearts when more laws are against us.

The choice for life is the choice that gives hope...

...and I hope and believe that the most radically pro-abortion president in American history was chosen by the people despite his radical stance and not because of it.

Lastly, I find it somewhat ironic that on this day the baby ticker in my sidebar tells me that my little one has just learned to open his eyes when he is awake. May we, in America, learn to do the same.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A House Divided...

We will be praying for this nation of ours beginning this evening and throughout tomorrow.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thinking Ahead

The infant car seat has been installed in the family van. Zachary is pleased as punch that it is right next to his seat. "What are you going to do though, Zachary, when the baby is crying?" my husband asked.

Zachary: I will sing him lullabies and pat him on the head.