Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holy Innocents

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents commemorating the martyrdom by Herod's cruel decree of the boy babies born in Bethlehem and the surrounding cities. Many have come to associate this day with the "Holy Innocents" lost each day to abortion. I was born on this day in the year abortion first became legal, 1973. Often, those of us born in this year are called the "first survivors" of abortion and I understand the meaning, but in the womb of my mother and under her heart, I was never in any danger.

It occurred to me the other day that the story of Moses is a foreshadowing of the massacre in Bethlehem and a parallel to abortion, as the Egyptians slaughtered the Israelite male children during the captivity in an effort at "population control." Moses is rescued from this fate by his mother who floats him in a basket of reeds down the Nile where the Pharaoh's daughter finds him. She knew he was an Israelite child, she knew her father's law required his death, but somehow when she saw this child, heard his laughter, held him in her arms, he became something precious, something to be protected, and so he was saved.

In a lesson from the Baltimore Catechism I was reading with my younger sons, the image of Herod ordering the death of the Innocents is used to exemplify the effects of mortal sin in the soul. The analogy being that Christ's life and grace flees from the soul that commands its death as the Christ child fled into Egypt to escape Herod's murderous decree. I've read the story of Herod many times over the years and I still find it shocking, but reading it to my sons that day it seemed especially fresh and especially terrible. How could anyone slaughter so many baby boys? Had we lived at that time and in that place, we likely would have had a dreadful visit from Herod's hit men. I could see the boys looking at one another as I read. Behind their serious eyes I could see them wondering, how? How? This will not happen to you, I assured them. Nobody will come to take your brothers. Still, the analogy between this and the real danger many unborn children face today is troubling.

On this feast of the Holy Innocents I pray that as the innocent unborn are carried by the swift current of our culture in the thin, but carefully woven reeds of pro-life efforts, that the world might look upon their face and see in them something precious, something to be protected.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Midnight Mass

OK, that was totally worth it. I'm exhausted, bleary-eyed in fact, but after Mass, Father T told us how much we reminded him of his family because when he was young his parents always brought him and his five brothers and one sister to midnight mass. He gave us a special blessing and prayed with and for our family privately for a few moments. It was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes.

This was my Christmas gift, we all agreed in the car afterward. A good and holy priest prayed with our family on the anniversary of our savior's birth, that these children might grow in strength, health, and holiness and serve God in all they do. I couldn't ask for more.

Jesus is born! Blessed are we! Unto us a child is born and He shall be called Wonderful!

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


More pictures to come. Santa's elves took two days to finish this project and told us to keep off the wood for another day or so to let the finish dry. By the way, elves are no where near as short as everybody says they are and they didn't show us, but they did say their ears were pointy underneath their winter hats.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Dearest Micah, Has it really been a year since we first laid eyes on you?

First touched your newborn skin?

You still feel so new to us, your laughter and antics a gift to us each new day. How did a year pass so quickly?

But then again, haven't you been here forever? I can't imagine a time without you. The way you've wrapped yourself about our lives and hearts, I'm sure we could never get along without you. You're the best thing that ever happened to the seven of us.

Happy Birthday, sweet child.


Older Boy: (watching movie) Oooooo...those women are fighting.

Younger Boy: But they are smiling at each other.

Older Boy: Yes, that's how women fight. You'll learn.

The Weather Outside is Delightful!

Let it Snow!
It won't last long.

On the ipod

I don't always find time to read Magnificat and my kids have an unwritten deal with me: They will behave beautifully at Sunday Mass, but if and only if I agree not to take them to daily Mass. For these reasons, I LOVE this podcast that brings audio recording of the day's scripture readings to my ipod. You can download a month at a time and then following the Lectionary cycles becomes as easy as pushing "play."

These Golden Nights

Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!

O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God.

Listen to these chanted in Latin at Fisheaters.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The fruit of Honesty

Boy: Mom, can I have a fruit?

Me: Didn't you already have a piece of fruit?

Boy: No, I put that one back.

Me: Hmm... really? Well, if you are being honest with me you may have fruit, but if you are not being honest you can't.

Boy: OK, can I have a cookie then?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Truth in Advertising

Shopping at a popular chain store tonight (I bet you can guess which one)...

Me: This a good deal on raw honey. The jar is larger than what we find at the farmer's market and the price is lower.

Zachary: That's because it says "Expect More, Pay Less" over the door.

Pandora's (Roku) Box

Do you like Pandora, the best in internet radio?

I've enjoyed it for years, now, listening to my favorites and finding new music to like as I paid bills or read email, but now Pandora is something more to us.

New channels are offered by Roku that allow you to stream Pandora to your home entertainment system through your Roku box. We're listening to Bing Crosby, Harry Connick Jr, Nat King Cole and all our favorite classic Christmas tunes as well as others we've never heard before. In the living room, it's music the whole family can enjoy. It's tailored to our tastes as much as we care to tailor it and it's FREE! Love it!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Happy 09 to my millennium baby!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Boy #1: I've seen some places it says X mas instead of Christmas. Why is that?

Boy #2: Some people are very careful not to take the Lord's name in vain and so they bleep it out with an "X."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Call it a Day

I sip cappuccino, still wearing my flannel pajamas and new slippers. Laundry is moved, a math sheet is completed. I correct it. A spelling quiz is followed by lunch and I cut peanutbutter and applebutter sandwiches into triangles. "May I have a fruit?" "Yes, you may."

Some children are outside now and some are inside. Someone is playing the piano. I clean a bathroom, talking on walkie talkie to boys who are deep in the woods. "We just made a fort out of pines, do you read me?" I read them and scrub another toilet.

Then there's science classes--biomes, food chains, ecosystems, followed by amphibians and birds and reptiles--and I stir cranberries into sauce on the stovetop. A husband calls, a mortgage agent calls, a friend calls with exciting news--a new baby on the way! I realize the crockpot won't cook my pork roast in time and I move it to the oven, adding onions.

A neighbor stops by with her dogs and we talk on the porch. The dogs run off with my boys. "Leave it to Beaver" is now on, UPS is here with yet another mystery Christmas package. I stow it away on the highest shelf in my closet. The baby nurses and insists on being held as I make dinner. I slice potatoes for scalloping.

"Mom can you tie my shoes, Please?" "Be in before dark." And it is dark--so early. Vegetables steam--dinner is ready. I eat standing up and call up the stairs to the oldest child, "Get ready! Come Eat!" He eats sitting down, choking down what I thought was a four star dinner.

A husband arrives home. He kisses me. A baby is extatic--his hero is here and he must be held by his hero. The hero holds him as I slip out the door with the oldest child--off to Tae Kwon Doe in the darkness. The boy is chatty and pleasant in the car and I am grateful for the quiet, the darkness, this still innocent boy. I drop him off.

I head to the pharmacy and pick up medications for this one's this and that one's that. I print Christmas cards and bump into a friend. My cards are misprinted, I leave them there and go pick up the boy. I return and reprint them.

I arrive home with stocking stuffers and Christmas cards. Alas, I have forgotten the breakfast cereal, but now I am the heroine and a baby is so glad to to see me.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

His Favorite Food?

Chili, no kidding.
I don't recommend this (Note: it isn't me feeding him chili in this picture) but it does make me laugh that such a little squirt can be such a big fan of chili. It reminds me of this picture Jenn of As Cozy As Spring fame posted a while back. Funny.

Tall and Small

At the dentist today, a tall man came through the door and little short-legged Micah walked right up to him. The man bent down and the two looked at each other.

"I know it, isn't it weird, Dude?" the man asked Micah, "Everybody is SO big. What's with that?"

This man was so funny-- line after line, he had us rolling on the waiting room floor. I could tell he was having a good time bantering with the boys and was sorry to go when his name was called,

"What? Do I have to go already? But I just found my fan club," he said.

He punched every boys' fist and they wished him luck. Micah opened and closed his little hand, waving bye-bye.

Monday, December 07, 2009


Part of the reason I was so tired of painting was that the foyer wasn't my only recent painting project. One of the others was the big boys' room.

We painted it Atmospheric and have really been enjoying these wall transfers. And also these.

At night, they have their glowing stars on the ceiling and the Moon in My Room.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Thank you! Thank you to all the kind readers who emailed me encouragement. I needed that. I really needed that. I love the color! It's SW sea salt.It wasn't easy and it didn't come out perfectly. I mean, I got good at it after a while, but it would have been nice to have two or three twenty foot foyers to practice on first, but hey, I didn't. Besides, if ever I am so obsessive compulsively inclined I can get out the ceiling paint and touch up.

I've sworn off all projects for a while now and even told the nice people at Sherwin Williams not to sell me any more paint until February, at least, even if I beg. But as I was putting the last bits of paint over a doorway at the top of the stairwell I saw the upstairs bath in a new angle, "Green," I thought, "I want to paint that bathroom green."

In Over My Head

Have you ever started a project and then really regretted it? I just did. I had a thought to put the Christmas tree in the foyer, but then it would be nicer if the foyer were painted now wouldn't it? Yes, and no. Yes, I am sure it will look nice, but the price I'm paying is steep. It's high, it's out of reach, it's over my head...

It's twenty foot walls in the stairwell and I'm going to use this reachy-pole-thingie that extends to do it. I had all sorts of energy when I started this project, but that's all gone now and the hardest part is all that's left. Those twenty foot walls are staring at me and I just want to take my sore muscles to bed. I'd like to be observing Advent more, but here I am thinking about nothing but paint. I had all my Christmas shopping done by December first, but what's the benefit of having the stress out of the way if I use the opportunity to add other stresses? I can be so stupid sometimes.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009