Sir John and the Knights of the Long Table

Eleven of us live here at beautiful Schamelot, and we have a small 20 acre farm of chickens, emus, two dogs, 13 or so cats and a cockateil named Sassafrass.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Night

Be of good cheer!

The Night

On the night that Christ was born
The rivers, one hears, ran fine
And sweetly between their banks,
Filled not with water but wine.

And any man who drank
Of that beneficent tide
(Though he had stooped in anger
To drink), grew pacified,
Loving even his foeman
As dearly as his bride;
Wholly at peace with himself,
The world and everything.

While the trees in the forest blossomed
As if the winter were spring.

Crochet a Bunch of Grapes for your own Wreath of Christmas Legends!

The Canticle of the Bees

I thought it appropriate to read this poem on the Feast of the Holy Family (I should have posted it yesterday), since it is also appropriate to eat milk and honey on this feast. This is a beautiful poem! May we hear the bees and all see God one day.

The Canticle of the Bees

Bees in winter
Weather keep,
Rapt, a garden-haunted

Dream of summer,
Still as stone,
Save on Christmas Eve,

When that honey-havened
Roused by bells
From every steeple,

Wake and sing
With one accord
To the Lord.

“Praise Him,”
Sing the choiring bees,
“Lord of limes
And locust trees,

“Him Who has
Dominion over
Fields of amaranthine

“By Whose providence
We fare
Daily through
The throbbing air

“And return
In drowsy flight
From the pastures
Of delight,

“From the many-petaled
When the shadows close.”
So, at least,
The legend goes.

Visit them
When bells arrive.
Cup your ear
Against the hive.

You may hear them
Singing thus,
But multitudinous:

Lord of all
Things that flutter,
Fly or crawl,

“Now Your Star
Has shone again,
Bless Your swarming Bees.

Wondering, walk there.
Do not fear them.
But remember
As you near them,
Only the pure in heart
Shall hear them.

Crochet a Bumble Bee for your own Wreath of Christmas Legends!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ballad of the Rosemary

Rosemary has always been one of my favorite herbs and now I know why! And tiny baby clean smell is one of the most intoxicating fragrances on earth. I LOVE this poem! Hope you do too,

Ballad of the Rosemary

Rosemary, lily, lilac tree,
Kind in the dooryards thrive all three,
But the kindest of them is rosemary.

When Mary rode to Egypt
Who bore the Christmas King,
Flowers along the wayside
Began their blossoming.

To fill His path with fragrances
The lilac lifted up
Her proud and plumy branches,
The lily spread her cup,

And only the green rosemary,
Born petal-less and mild,
Grieved that it owned no benison
Of sweetness for the Child.

The evening fell in perfume,
In perfume rose the day.
Said Mary, “Out of weariness
We’ll make a moment’s stay.

“Beside this running river,
Here where the willows lean,
I’ll set the Baby sleeping
And wash His garments clean.”

But when the clothes were wholesome,
Where could she hand them all?
“The lily breaks beneath them,
The lilac stands too tall.”

So on the trembling rosemary
She laid them one by one,
And strong the rosemary held them
All morning to the sun.

“I thank you, gentle Rosemary.
Henceforward you shall bear
Blue clusters for remembrance
Of this blue cloak I wear;

“And not your blossoms only,
I give you as reward,
But where His raiment clung to you
Which clad the little Lord,

“All shall be aromatic,”
Said Mary, “for I bless
Leaf, stem, and flower
That from this hour
Shall smell of holiness.”

Rosemary, lily lilac tree.
Sweet in the doorways thrive all three,
But sweetest of them is Rosemary.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Pine Tree

We tried in vain to find a cross-section of a pine cone that bore "the imprint." I wonder if it has to be a certain genus of pine. No matter, the poem is still a beautiful reminder of that creative power of the Infant God.

The Pine Tree

The pine was mortal, once, like other trees
That lift their boughs in air;
Wearing in summer its green fripperies,
In winter going bare
And desolate of birds.
But that was in an old, forgotten age
Before the words
Of Wise Men stung King Herod to such rage
That his loud armies went
About the land to slay the Innocent.

Then there was consternation and no joy
In Israel. Joseph and Mary, flying
Into another country with the Boy
Came when the day was dying,
Houseless to the edge of a green wood
Where valorously stood
A needled pine that every summer gave
Small birds a nest.
And half its trunk was hollow as a cave.
Said Joseph, “This is shelter. Let us rest.”

The pine tree, full of pity, dropped its vast
Protective branches down
To cover them until the troops rode past,
Their weapons jingling, toward a different town.

All night it hid them
When the morning broke,
The Child awoke
And blessed the pine, his steadfast lodging place.
“Let you (and your brave race)
Who make yourself My rampart and My screen
Keep summer always and be ever green.
For you the punctual seasons shall not vary,
But let there throng
A thousand birds to you for sanctuary
All winter long.”

The story tells us, too,
That if you cut a pine cone part way through,
You find it bears within it like a brand
The imprint of His hand.

Crochet a Pine Cone for your own Wreath of Christmas Legends!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Stars' Story

This explains why we go to so much trouble over decorating these Christmas trees. It took John 6 hours to get our pre-lit fully operational!

The Star’s Story

When the great Star shone
From its mighty station
So shepherds, tranced,
Knelt down in the dew,
It was not alone
In its jubilation.
The little stars danced
By the thousands, too.

They danced on high
In that peerless hour,
Till giddy with praising
The Christchild’s birth
They reeled from the sky
And fell in a shower,
Burning and blazing,
Down to earth—

Slid in astonished
(But leaning to listen
Along the way)
To lodge in a burnished
Pine tree’s branches
Where still they glisten
To this very day.

For if you believe
What pale and shaken
Travelers tell,
On Christmas Eve
Those little stars waken
As bright and burning
As when they fell.

Look out of the West
When the year’s unwinding.
Perhaps they will dance
And you may see
A pine that is dressed
In light so blinding
It dazzles the glance.
And that will be
The world’s first, merriest
Christmas tree.

Crochet a Star for your own Wreath of Christmas Legends! You can add a picture of the baby Jesus, or crochet two backs and omit the picture.

The Stork

I should have posted this yesterday, but we got busy rearranging furniture!

The Stork

When Christ was born on Christmas Day
The birds and the beasts knelt down to pray.

In wonder all,
Adoring, kneeled—
The ox in his stall,
The fox in the field,

While badger and bear and each wild thing
Flocked round the manger where slept a King
Housed in a stable at Bethlehem.
And the long-legged stork was there with them,

Her feathers white,
Her crest held high,
And awe in her bright
Compassionate eye.

“Alas,” she mourned, “how poor His bed
Who rules the universe overhead!
“Though cozily curled
Sleep all my breed,
The Lord of the World
Lies hard, indeed.

“Unpillowed is He who should wear a crown.”
Then out of her bosom she plucked the down.

The plumes from her breast
She tugged and tore
That the Child should rest
Like a beggar no more

But fine on a pallet fit for a prince.
And blest has the stork been, ever since—

For the gift she gave of her body’s wear,
Blest on chimneys, blest in the air,
And patron of babies

Crochet a Stork for your own Wreath of Christmas Legends! Just change the colors.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

An Irish Legend and The Birthday

Both these legends "happened" to us. John's grandmother died one Christmas morning when Rachel was only three. Rachel was very close to Gramma, and we didn't want to spoil her Christmas by telling her right away that Gramma had died. We actually decided to put it off for at least a week (we were living in Okinawa and it really wasn't pressing). Before the octave was up, Rachel told us that she'd dreamed that Gramma was in jail and the "jaws" were going to eat her, but Rachel took the key and set her free. Think what you wish, but we believe Rachel saved Gramma with the prayers she had so piously been saying everyday for her.

The second legend involves Cæli. When she was very young, before I had even read this poem, she insisted that she had been to heaven one evening with the angels--for a party! No one familiar with the legend could look into her blue eyes and doubt that it's absolutely true!

Merry Christmas,

An Irish Legend

Whoever’s born on Christmas
Is favored from the start;
Has laughter and good fortune
And a contented heart;
Is loved by noble company,
Has all that should suffice.

But he that dies on Christmas
Goes strait to paradise.

Crochet a Shamrock for your own Wreath of Christmas Legends! Crochet two together for a stuffed Shamrock.

The Birthday

One Christmas Eve, some say,
Tall angels chosen for their sweet address
And reassuring aspect, take their way
To earth. There in all gentleness
They lift on either arm
A few most fortunate children sleeping warm
In their December nurseries, kiss them twice,
And bear them off to visit Paradise.

It is the Christ Child’s Birthday and the East
Is lit by a bright star. These children come
As playmates for Him, keepers of His feast.
They bring with them such pandemonium,
Such singing and such laughter
That Heaven shakes to its remotest rafter.

Along the tasseled floors
They drive their rainbow hoops like charioteers.
They toss gold balls; make kites of meteors;
Listen with Him to the melodious spheres
Chanting in chorus; climb the unfading trees
Of that celestial weather;
Reach forth to touch the spinning galaxies;
Then all together,
Bidding their Host affectionate goodnight,
Blow out the stars like candles where they burn,
And drowsily return
(Nodding upon soft pinions in the flight)
To their accustomed beds.

Yet when they seek
To tell that journey and the Birthday games,
They falter in the tale. They cannot speak
Such wonders by their names,
So presently fall silent. Parents, shaking
Incredulous heads can only shrug and smile,
Saying, “They dreamed a dream who now are waking.
They will remember nothing after while.”
But they are wrong. That child whom Christmas captures
Grows beautiful and wise,
Possessor all his days of arts and raptures
And heaven-dazzled eyes.

Crochet an Angel for your own Wreath of Christmas Legends!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Story for an Educated Child

This is a medieval legend from a book of poems that I LOVE! I usually send them out by e-mail every year. This year I decided to just post them on the blog. There are 15 of them, so I'm starting today, Christmas Eve, and we'll end on Epiphany (I'll post two tomorrow!). I've been wanting to make a little "ornament" for each legend and affix it to a wreath to make our own "Wreath of Christmas Legends." Maybe one of these years. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
This one got Caeli so excited she told the check out boy at the grocery store that she was going to Midnight Mass and at midnight she and McGregor were going to sneak out into the barn and listen to the animals talk in Latin. Poor guy stood in flabbergasted astonishment as she rattled on. He had no earthly idea what to make of it all and only said, "Well, enjoy your service," as they parted. John was laughing so hard he had tears streaming down his face. Children do make Christmas!

Story for an Educated Child

It used to be, when the world was young,
Animals spoke a Christian tongue,
Articulating clearly.
And still do those of peaceable bent
Practice the kind of accomplishment
On Christmas evening, yearly.

With human wit, in a human voice,
The beasts of the barnyard all rejoice
From Vespertime to Matin,
Recounting tales of the little God
Over and over. But isn’t is odd?
The speech they speak is Latin.

The strident Cock lifts up his crest,
Stuttering, “Christus natus est!”
Till midnight splits asunder.
Laborious from his stable box,
“Ubi? Ubi?” lows the Ox,
Bemused with sleep and wonder.

The somnolent Sheep, adrift from dreams,
Bleats “Bethlehem!” and her quaver seems
Half question and half promise.
Then Ass that wears by an old decree
A cross on his back for prophecy,
Brays forth his laud “Eãmus!”

And there they gossip while night grows gray
And curious stars have slipped away
From shimmering thrones they sat in.
So many a child might brave the cold
To hear them talking. But I am told
He mustn’t be more than six years old.
And who at six knows Latin?

Christus natus est! Christ is born!
Ubi? Where?
Bethlehem! Bethlehem!
Eãmus! Let us go!

Croche a Rooster for your own Wreath of Christmas Legends!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Grampa's Punkins and Our Little Punkin

Bonnie's been at it again! I guess one of these will be October in next year's ALL calendar. She'll look so different then. Grampa will have to grow bigger punkins next year to make up for the difference!
Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We love bugs!

Today I took McGregor and Caeli to The Bug Box, a local live insect zoo, to see, among other things, "squirpions" and "triantulas." We brought home some crunchy, salt and vinegar crickets for Daddy to show us all how to eat this evening with a his newest homebrew, a delectible Belgian Triple.
This winter's menu should prove to be very interesting! Bugs and Beer. Who could ask for more?

I Got Tagged!

Shannon tagged me for this. I tag Jill and Michelle. Go to your sixth folder and upload your sixth picture. My sixth folder was a video and nothing else, so I uploaded that instead of a picture. This is a tiny cannon JMB made with a piece of metal tube, beebees and a fire cracker. It actually did some damage to the cardboard he shot it at. He's so clever. Unschooling is such a blast!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Baby of 1000 faces!

She makes this one on purpose. She's really happy right now! No, really...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Devlishly Adorable!

She loves making faces! Those mirror neurons are working just fine. Can't wait to see what she'll imitate next!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another American Life League Photo Shoot

You can purchase these onesies soon from American Life League!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Our First Broken Bone

Today Rachel broke her wrist falling off a horse. I received her phone call just as I was hanging Marian's diapers on the line. It was a sunny day after a few of rain and I was eager to have the sun work it's magic on the lingering "mustard" stains. When I saw it was Rachel calling my first thought was that she wanted to ask me if I thought if would be o.k. for her to accept lunch from Ashley's family. She had forgotten, yet again, to pack her lunch and had resolved to wait until she got home to eat, but she was so excited to get to ride today that she didn't eat breakfast, either. It would be just like her to consult me before imposing on someone's hospitality. She's extrememly conscientious, but has more confidence in me than in herself. I know, now, that somehow this accident today is designed to help her find that confidence in herself. Actually, she's been feeling rather taken advantage of lately, by her siblings who don't seem to appreciate all of her many skills (especially her baking talent which provides all of us with the most delectable sweets almost every weekend!) I was struggling internally with how to help her and her siblings grow in their love of one another. I know that today's accident is also designed to provide an answer to that prayer, as well.

Anyway, her first words were, "Um, Mommy, I don't want you to worry, but I fell off Sassy, but I'm o.k." I could hear the quiver in her voice and knew that at least emotionally she wasn't o.k. I was reminded of so many times during my children's toddler years when they were having SO MUCH, fun, comletely unaware of themselves, and then suddenly the were hur--reality jarring them, reminding them of their mortality.

I told her that I thought I should come get her. She protested, saying that she was o.k. and they had made plans to go the the waterfall. I pushed a little harder, asking her if she was sure she was alright, and insisting that I really didn't mind coming to get her, that I really thought I should. She said, "Oh well, o.k., I'm really fine, but they think it's broke."

I said I'd be right over.

You know, there's so much that could have gone terribly wrong. She could have had a head, or spinal cord injury. I have no personal experience with riding horses, really, let alone getting thrown, which is probably why I was able to remain so calm. My midwife's daughter had a terrible fall several years ago, ended up in a coma, and seems to have suffered a personality change due to head trauma. I knew this when Rachel called me. I guess because she said right off the bat not to worry I didn't feel the need to panic.

We walked into the emergency room right behind an elderly gentlemen who, I overheard, had cut his thumb with a saw. He held his fist clenched tight, I presumed, to stave the flow of blood, of which I saw none.

The woman I sat next to was 4 months pregnant and had been on a wild goose chase throughout the hospital to "get more fluids," while her mare at home had just foaled, we learned from her cell phone conversation. She offered that information in an attempt to make Rachel feel better, so she said.

Rachel was cold in the waiting room and I went to ask for a blanket for her. I thought it might also be a good idea to find out just how long the wait might be, since I had Marian and Caroline with me and the other kids home with John Michael. There's just no telling how long a baby can last in an emergency room before completely coming unglued. I was informed that the wait could be as long as 3-4 hours.

I took the blanket and called the ER at the hospital just north of us. While they're not at liberty to say just how long their wait is, the kindly nurse intimated to me that, "it's not THAT long!" So we packed our bags, I made the long trek to the car alone, and, loading everyone back up and removing our names from the waiting list, we headed north. I felt like we were restaurant shopping, which reminded me that it was after 1 and we were all hungry. Thank God for the 692 billion McDonald's locations in this world.

I called John, who was at the base working out some stress at the gym and informed him that he was going to Potomac with Rachel and I'd meet him at the PX to make the drop. I was clearly needed at home, as McGregor had just started crying during my last check-in with John Michael and there's never any telling where that might lead.
On the way to meet John, Rachel, still in considerable pain and lamenting the fact that she wouldn't be able to perform in this year's piano recital, noted, in her quintessentially optimistic way, "At least I won't have to milk the goats for a while!" The other kids are so sad Rachel broke her wrist.

On the way home Caroline and I stopped into WalMart, where we had been planning to go before Rachel's call. There I ran into my dear friend, Gracie. I haven't seen her in 3 years or more and she had her newest little guy with her, whom I had never met before. It was a delightful suprise to run into her! Unlike so many people who will hear of Rachel's accident and say things like, "Well, that's what you get for riding a green-broke horse," and "So, does she still want a horse?" Gracie, who has horses herself, told me how her own daughter had taken a spill a few weeks ago, and another horse lover friend's daughter, who's been riding all her life, took a nasty fall recently and broke her collar bone. She said, "It's something you never want to have happen, and you do everything to prevent it. But sometimes it just does."

That's just the way life is. No matter how careful you are, sometimes things just don't go as planned. But we're not going to let that stop us from planning. But then again, sometimes it's the things we don't plan that make the best memories. Tonight we're having hotdogs and s'mores, not so much because Rachel broke her arm, although by the time I got home this afternoon the last thing I felt like doing was cooking, but just because today is the only one of it's kind--ever. So why not celebrate it? And tomorrow (which according to an old Italian proverb never comes) will be the only one of it's kids, too. What are you going to do to celebrate?
I'll let you know what happens after I find out...

Have a great moment!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hold On To Your Kids (and your '62 Missals!)

In the first chapter of Hold On To Your Kids, Dr. Neufeld describes what sounds to me like the impending implosion of an entire culture. Peer orientation has reached pandemic levels and unless parents realize soon, and begin to take their children back from the world, our country is headed for disaster.

In the section, Normal But Not Natural Or Healthy, I had the certain realization that what he is describing is exactly the problem we're facing in the Church today--a problem of orientation, not just of the priest facing the people, although that's certainly part of it, but a problem of the orientation of mankind in general towards God. Man has turned in on himself, away from God for God's sake (literally), and we see it even in the liturgy, in liturgical music, in church architecture, etc. The sign of peace between all and sundry immediately following the consecration; the priest facing the people, engaging them, making eye-contact with them, instead of leading the people facing towards God, eyes uplifted to the tabernacle and the crucifix; lyrics such as those of "Gather Us In;" churches in the round, where the laity gaze at one another and the tabernacle is nowhere to be found, are all symptoms of a trend toward man-centeredness, a distinctly horizontal orientation, as opposed to the vertical orientation of God-centeredness. On page 10 he writes, "Essential to any culture are its customs, its music, its dress, its celebrations, its stories. The music children listen to bears very little resemblance to the music of their grandparents. The way they look is dictated by the way other children look rather than by the parents' cultural heritage. Their birthday parties [liturgies] and rites of passage [sacramental rites] are influenced by the practices of other children [religions] around them, not by the customs of their parents before them. If all that seems normal to us, it's only due to our own peer orientation. The existence of a youth culture [new Catholic culture], separate and distinct from that of adults [traditional Catholic culture], dates back only fifty years or so. Although half a century is a relatively short time in the history of humankind [the Church], in the life of an individual person it constitutes a whole era. Most readers of this book will already have been raised in a society [Church] where the transmission of culture is horizontal rather than vertical. In each new generation this process, potentially corrosive to civilized society, gains new power and velocity." (empasis mine). I know this may sound like sacrelige to some readers, but it really isn't hard to see given an honest look.

Dr. Neufeld decries the current trend as unprecedented. Similarly, the crisis in the Church is like none other she's ever weathered. Her traditions, as with those of the culture of our grandparents, are being rejected outright, and replaced with novelties and aberrations even our own parents probably could never have imagined--gay priests and gay marriage; the acceptance of contraception by over 80% of Catholic couples, and the rapidly rising teen suicide rate; the acceptance of wiccan practices as a legitimate form of religion on our military bases and the desecration of the Holy Eucharist through the common practice of Communion in the hand are but a few of the fruits of mankind's new horizontal orientation.

In chapter 9, Stuck In Immaturity, he discusses the need for human beings to cultivate attachments in which they can rest secure in order to mature emotionally and psychologically, much the way a plant needs to grow a strong, healthy root system before it can get down to the business of growing bigger and flowering. I believe that Catholics, like children, need to be able to rest secure in the truth, in customs and disciplines that demonstrate the truth, and in a hierarchy that can be trusted to lead us in the paths of righteousness, in order to mature spiritually. But that is another post entirely!

It wasn't my intention here to dive into a subject Catholics have been debating for the last 40 years--I have neither the time nor the desire to attempt that feat. (If you wish to arrive at a better understanding of why the orientation of the priest matters I recommend reading Turning Towards The Lord, published by Ignatius Press.) I only hoped to convey my sincere belief that whether it be sexual orientation, liturgical orientation or peer orientation, we're dealing with a crisis of orientation that has permeated practically every facet of our culture.

It may be bold of me to say, but I think it could be argued that Hold On To Your Kids is to families what Summorum Pontificum is to the Church--a long overdue wake-up call to adjust our orientation and to restore the order God bestowed on His creation--God over Man, Man over Woman¹, Parents over Children, all stumbling back toward Him in imitation of His beloved Son under the weight of the Cross. I can never forget the scene from the Passion in which our Blessed Mother tried desperately to reach her son through the throng of people in the streets. And when she did, just after He fell again, she asked to die with Him, to suffer what He suffered. At the same time the scene flashes back to when He fell as a child, skinning His knee, and she flew to Him to comfort Him. He said to her, "Mother, I make all things new."

In order to hold on to our kids we have to try something "new." We have to try to feel what they're feeling--to suffer with them, rather than tell them their suffering's not all that much to fret about². We have to learn to empathize with them. Then, by our example--as by our Blessed Mother's example, they will learn to empathize with others, and in so doing, share, if ever so slightly, in the sufferings of Our Lord on His road to Calvary.

___________________________________________________________________ ¹ Dr. Neufeld does not address the issue of God and Man or Man and Woman in his book. This is my own conclusion based on my understanding of the problem of orientation.
² At 5:10 minutes into the video Brian Regan explains it like only he can.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Miracle Dough

This is the recipe for a WONDERFUL salt dough that is so lovely to work with and much more affordable than the store bought sculpt and bake products. Justin is totally loving it!
I prefer to weigh the flour and salt so I've included the weights in ounces.

5 cups or 21.25 oz. cake flour (I used Softasilk.)
3 cups or 12.75 oz. all purpose flour
3 cups or 31.5 oz. fine salt (I ran table salt through the food processor to powder it.)
3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons cooking oil (Next time I'd like to try adding a drop or two of lavender oil--to reduce the likelihood of a clay fight in the kitchen!)

Mix the flours and salt together in the Kitchenaid, then mix in the water and oil together. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Roll out a log of dough and hold it over the counter between your two fingers. If it stretches, it's too soft and you should add another tablespoon or two of all purpose flour. It if keeps its shape it's just right!

Be sure to use two grades of flour so you get a dough that's dense enough to keep its shape, but not so heavy that it's hard to work with and likely to crack when you bake it. Also, don't skip the oil!

Let the dough rest for 1-2 hours before working with it. Put it in sealable plastic bags in a cool place (the fridge is TOO cold). Keep the portion you're not modeling with wrapped so it doesn't dry out.

Large figures should be baked for 3-4 hours at 300*F and small figures for about 2 hours at 225*F.

(Pictures to come!)

Happy Modeling!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Choices, Choices

I tag Ruth, Cathy, Bonnie, Liv, Karen H., and John.

If you HAD to choose one or the other would you choose...

  1. Thai or Mexican
  2. bubble bath or back massage
  3. boots or sandals
  4. the 90% "pro-life" good chance or the 100% pro-life long shot
  5. a cruise ship or a mountain cabin
  6. Rome or Paris
  7. Ordinary or Extraordinary
  8. Rosary or Stations
  9. surf or hang glide
  10. Regal Cinemas or Netflix
  11. sweet or salty
  12. pen or pencil
  13. how-to book or fantasy novel
  14. crossword or sudoku
  15. lose a leg or lose your sight
  16. North or South
  17. a power outage at home or a dead car battery at Cosco
  18. classic rock or country
  19. wool or linen
  20. lots of good friends or a few great friends
  21. soup or salad
  22. Merlot or Chardonnay
  23. Picasso or Da Vinci
  24. charades or trivial pursuit
  25. Evangelical Protestantism or Orthodox Judaism
  26. stone age or dark age
  27. Steven Spielberg or Ken Burns
  28. Thermopylae or Alamo
  29. Big Foot or Loch Ness Monster
  30. babies or teenagers

    Have fun!

Book Meme

Ruth tagged me for this meme:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people.

On my desk is Particular Examen: How ot Root Out Hidden Faults. Page 123 falls within the chapter entitled "Sloth as a Predominant Fault." Sentences 6, 7 & 8 are as follows:

"They were holy all the days of their life, growing more perfect and close to God, the longer they lived and, consequently, the longer they served. Their perseverance in the zealous labor never wavered; in fact it constantly increased. What tabernacles such souls must have been!"

That's from page 123. I won't tell you which page I had bookmarked!

Friday Photo Fun!

I love photoshop!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for:

  1. bananas--we made 3 loaves and one bundt pan of banana, oat, flax bread this morning
  2. piano lessons--my children have been serenading me all day with lovely music
  3. highly energetic five-year-olds--I've burned at least a thousand extra calories today chasing one out of my living room over and over again
  4. Ruth--for our shared love of food and the delicious sounding Puerto Rican recipe for Arroz con Gandules she gave me and which we're trying this evening
  5. Scythian--whose happy energetic Irish music helps me keep up with the five-year-old
  6. free-range chickens--whose fresh eggs helped out the bananas this morning
  7. teen-age daughters--whose proficiency in the kitchen frees me up to fill the emotional tank of the highly energetic five-year-old
  8. wonderful children's authors--whose delightful stories make for much fun and enjoyment when it comes to filling the emotional tank of the highly energetic five-year-old
  9. the much needed survival mechanism God gave me of being able to tune out the cries of a highly energetic five-year-old who desperately wants a piece of chocolate
  10. my sense of humor, which Fr. Canice warned us during our Nuptial Mass would be absolutely necessary to surviving the next 70 years

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tickle Me Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Out of the billions of parents in the world, God gave you to us...

Last night Caeli was lavishing kisses on Marian and she said that she was so beautiful she loved her more than any other baby in the world. I explained to Caeli that we would love her that much even if she were the ugliest baby in the world. I told her that we loved all our children, because God gave them to us--"out of all the billions of parents in the world, God gave you to us!"
Caeli, who seeks understanding in all things, said, "God gave us to you guys because He knew we would be best for you!"
There are two ways to read that, but either way, she's got a point!

Happy Parenting!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Week in Review

Schamelot had it's first snow day yesterday! Gwennie and Blue loved it! I spent the day continuing my organizing frenzy inside. The rec room is done, my bedroom, closet and bathroom are done; the kitchen is amazing, and today's my office day. Hope I can keep it up!

The snow definitely brought out the puppies' more rambunctious side!

Marian Ireland got a Bumbo today! She has just enough head control to be able to sit up in it. It gives her a whole new perspective on life!

Talk about perspective! Here she is on the top shelf of the pantry. Unfortunately the picture doesn't show the 14 arms waiting below to catch her should she decide to make a jump for it!

It's been a good week!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tagged by Ruth

Inquiring minds want to know...

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not really, but everyone thought I was named after my Grandfather, Robert Winston Linsley


3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Only in the first few lines, then my hand gets tired, and my handwriting turns into kindergarten scribbles--yucky.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Boar's Head Smoked Turkey.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? All of them!

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Depends on what other person I was.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? On occasion--seriously!



10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Homemade granola.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No. I wear flip flops most of the time, or my "new" Merrell Mocs (GW $7.50). No laces.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? In the seventh grade I could beat all the boys arm wrestling. Woopsie, did you mean interiorly?



15. RED OR PINK? Scarlett (O'Hara).

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF? Bad temper/emotional outbursts of any kind.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Me, when I was on top of my game!

18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I usually don't wear pants--I'm wearing a kakhi Eddie Bauer skirt with my quintessential Rocket Dog chunky flip flops, in kakhi.

19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A cup of hot coffee, cream, no sugar.

20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? My dear friend, Ruth, talk about corn bread and split pea soup.


22. FAVORITE SMELLS? Clean babies, clean husbands, bacon and onions frying in the kitchen, fresh baked Pane Rustica, liturgical incense--in Church or in my living room.


24. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Baseball and folk style wrestling.

25. HAIR COLOR? Brown.

26. EYE COLOR? Brown.

27. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No, nor glasses.

28. FAVORITE FOOD? Everything Thai.

29. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Murder mysteries in which the startlingly handsome detective tricks the killer into giving himself away.

30. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? 3:10 to Yuma was the last movie I wanted to watch, but it was unavailable--the original is great!

31. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? A beautiful, soft, lilac, merino wool, fine-knit, v-neck sweater (GW $4.75).

32. SUMMER OR WINTER? Autumn & Spring.

33. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs & Kisses.

34. FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate Nocino Mortal Sin Cake.

35. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? She's Gonna Blow (anger management for moms)

36. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Ron Paul 2008.

37. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Nothing, Criminal Minds wasn't on.

38. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Dogs barking, keys jangling, kids running (some to greet, some to finish cleaning their rooms) as John comes through the door at 5:30 every night.



41. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? jack of all trades, master of none.

42. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Norfolk, VA (pronounced "Nawfik")

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sunny and Seventy on the Seventh of January!

Thank God for good friends!