Thursday, November 29, 2007

Can you describe Christmas?



Can you describe Christmas?
Warm houses, the smell of baking, children laughing, people giving, the sense of waiting for someone coming in the air, St. Nicholas and his jolly spirit of kindness but that is not Christmas...Christ is Christmas, how do describe that!?!?

I can not. You see I love words; a well written book is a joy out of this world(Tolstoy, Turgenev, Gogol and so many more I believe are such great word wizards), but to describe such a holy time of the year I think the use of words does not do it justice. Now that I think, maybe that is why The Passion was such great movie: very little words. I can not help but think that we are robbing Christmas of its magic by trying to describe it. We can not do much by using mortal means (language) to describe immortal truths. That is why I love Christmas traditions like The Creche and the fact that it started with St. Francis ("Preach the gospel always. When necessary use words"). It makes it more magical, more beautiful (you see, all these description words can not do the job well enough). Because I can not describe all the feelings that Christmas brings into my hearth I can only describe traditions and how we as humans live and do Christmas.

I love the Christmas Creche...I love seeing all these little pieces silently put in front of the most beautiful story ever told. Real people searching for the One, shepherds (I was a shepherdess for many years back home so I feel very close to them)looking with hope-filled eyes and tears rolling down their cheeks roughened from the wind and harsh life. An anxious father with the weight of the world on his shoulders and the heart to carry the world in it, hands gentle enough to guide his tired wife. A mother with hands over her baby, heart trembling with fear for this new life, knowing that being open to life she also is open to death. Rejoicing in His birth and lamenting his life. A tiny baby wrapped up in clothes, so helpless yet he is the help of all people, so dependent yet we all depend on his mercy, mortal yet he is the life everlasting...

"For I will make a memorial of that Child who was born in Bethlehem, and in some sort behold with bodily eyes His infant hardship; how He lay in a manger on hay, with the ox and ass standing by." The word of St. Francis quoted in The First Life of Saint Francis of Assisi by Brother Thomas of Celano (A.D 1229).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thank you, friend



I have a friend whose blog I enjoy and she has nominated my blog for the Spirit of Christmas award. I am so thankful and so very excited, because it is my first award in Cyberspace. And it's a Christmas award, my favorite holiday. Anything Christmas is bound to make me happy. If you want to learn more about this Spirit of Christmas award, click here.

So now I will post a few of my favorite blogs, that I believe carry the Christmas spirit. (Don't forget to also check out +JMJ+'s blog, who nominated me. She is a dear friend who inspires me every day.)

1) Real Learning, by Elizabeth Foss.
She is truly an inspiration for so many of us. Her life giving love for her children fills me with such holiness and bravery, to be open to life, and to enjoy my kids and learning in such a way that homeschooling becomes a lifestyle not just school. God Bless her and her family!!!

2) By Sun and Candlelight, by Dawn.
Her posts are always full of inspiration and gentleness. Just like Christmas!

3) The Family-Centered Life, by Michelle.
I enjoy reading her posts and her family is just so lovely. Her blog is very authentic, faith-filled, and a true blessing.

4) Wildflowers and Marbles, by Jennifer Mackintosh.
She is full of ideas, very much in love with the Catholic faith, and from knowing her (Hi, Jen!) truly a delight!

5) Minnesota Mom, by Margaret.
This is a lady that I would love to meet and have a cup of coffee with. Her blog is an inspiration to me and she has a great sense of humor, so stop by and check it out.

There are so many more blogs out there that carry the Christmas spirit, and for all of them I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Elf Metamorphosis

The children in our homeschooling group caught something and they seem to be turning into elves. A dear friend of mine posted a picture of her children as elves, so I followed in her footsteps and my kids got it too!

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=9570049602

For These Thy Gifts...

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Saint Francis!!!


I love Saint Francis, well who does not?? This past feast day of his I really wanted to go out and buy a cute little statue of my dear friend. My daughter and I got in the van and off we went in search of my Saint. In the car I was praying to St. Anthony to find St. Francis, but he had to find him at Goodwill because it was before pay day kind of day, so a dollar kind of buy. When we got to the store I ran straight to the back with all the knick knacks and what do you know?...Thank you Saint Anthony!!!!! He found him for 70 cents...that was a miracle, a lesson in faith and math for my daughter. Now I have my Francis above my sink so I can see him often and smile more through the day. My kitchen window is my favorite corner of my house...

How does a homeschooling dad vaccum...

video

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Rainy Day in France

What do we do on a rainy day? We got up late, we had a brunch of homemade dill egg salad over baby lettuce, and chocolate bundt cake (with sprinkles, of course).





While we were enjoying cake and some chocolate milk, we visited France. With Joan of Arc as our guide, we read a book about her life and then we talked about answering God's call in our lives. And my little saints proceeded to fulfill God's call in their lives, which this afternoon turned out to be washing dishes.







We started our tour of France with Notre Dame cathedral. They got a chance to see the beautiful architectural style and get familiar with the church and also a chance to talk about Our Lady. It was a good picture study.



We then pulled out a world map and found France. Then we did some crafts: a shield on which Eowyn and Legolas wrote "France" on the top, and Mommy wrote on Frodo's shield. Then they all drew different symbols on their shields, each one signifying part of the story. There were swords, crosses, and fire.



Eowyn went on to copy her narration of the Joan of Arc story which she wrote on the back of her shield. And then we did some French math.







After our French chef math, the natural end of a perfect day in France was to snuggle down and watch a few cute movie about a French rat who is also a chef. (Ratatouille). Au revoir mes amis.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

It's official!

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Book Snob
Literate Good Citizen
Non-Reader
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This is how you do it...


This is me trying to teach my daughter how to ride her bike without training wheels. It did not go well, it is very hard to do it without them. Well, all my neighbors got a chance to meet me that day!!! But it got me thinking about a little spiritual lesson. The two training wheels are like The Bible and The Church tradition; we need them both to properly operate. We read the Bible to find God's will for our life but without the Church's tradition we can not truly understand it. I have figured out that I cannot do without the training wheels and without the Bible and the Church's Traditions. Gotta go bake some cookies to take to the neighbors!! I don't want to scare them away.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Consecration...


Consecration to Mary...that is my spiritual journey, starting yesterday and ending in December. I really need the close loving hand of Mary right now. In this life so full of uncertainties, evil, and fear I need peace and beauty and joy, so who else to ask but Mary? She knows fear in a very deep level, she had to flee with her newborn babe running away to somewhere and nowhere at the same time, hoping it is towards safety. Mary also knows pain and I hope she can relate to my humanity in my fear of pain. I fear pain, I fear loss and she was in the bosom of them both right at the foot of the Cross...so I guess that is where I am heading with Mary, right at the feet of my dying Savior where there is abundance of fear and pain but where His blood can reach me in the midst of it all and wash over me, wash over the fear, the pain... and make me whole again!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

My boys



Four and a half years ago I held my first son in my arms. Wow! A baby boy in my arms, such a feeling since I come from a family full of girls!!! One year and six days later I had my arms filled with another boy. Amazing! Then two and half years later...another boy!!! My last pregnancy I was shocked when I found out I was having another boy. God must know that I wanted a girl, I needed a girl...he must know I am not good with boys. I had great doubts in God's wisdom. They are full of energy and I am not, they never stop decorating my house with crayons, mud, and stuff of unknown origin. My decorating style is more like Pottery Barn, and they keep bringing creatures into my house that look at me creepily from jars. I, on the other hand, like visitors of human nature. They think it is good play when they are knights, soldiers, ninjas and Darth Vaders. I on the other hand like to play Sleeping Beauty, the Princess and the Pea, or anything that can allow me to slumber. Now one year later and I have graduated from "mommy of 3 boys class" and i love them. I used to doubt God's wisdom in giving me three boys but now almost 5 years later I love being the mom of three boys. I love the way they laugh at me when I get my tongue twisted. It happens often when i call the Litany (saying all my kids names until I get to the one I want). I love it when they giggle in the bathroom while they are getting another toilet paper roll soaked in the sink. I like to wrestle with them on the floor and I am proud to say I can be one mean Darth Vader or a great Gollum (I think I am a better Gandalf). I love it when they come to me to snuggle or rub my head...I love being a mom of three boys.