Tuesday, July 31, 2007

the food wars

Sunday afternoon I had reached my limits of maternal patience when it came to my picky eaters. Will won't even eat grape jelly on his pb&js anymore and Charlie has suddenly turned his nose up at them entirely. Mary is the only one who eats meat in any form, but only chicken and hotdogs. In any normal household she would be considered an incredibly picky eater. It requires a united front and an iron will to overcome the battle of wills that can change this stubborness, so it has always failed. Tim is easily swayed with emotion when it comes to the children and gives in before anything has been resolved. The last time I tried this method, so simply described in parenting books, Will started throwing up after eating nothing for 3 days. I gave up in defeat. But, I can't stand it any longer. The children need to learn to eat normal food and I need to give up life as a short-order cook.

So... after no dinner was served Sunday evening we began the next morning. A meal was served and if they refused there was nothing until the next meal except water. Only 1/4 cup of milk was served with food, unless they finished what was on their plate.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs
Will: ate nothing
Maggie: ate nothing
Charlie: ate nothing
Mary: ate 3 helpings

Lunch: ham sandwiches
Will: ate 1/4 of a sandwich
Maggie: ate nothing
Charlie: picked at the bread
Mary: ate her 1/2 sandwich and then ate an entire pb&j

Dinner: stewed chicken and rice
Will: ate nothing
Maggie: ate 5 grains of rice
Charlie: ate 2 spoonfuls of rice
Mary: ate nothing

Last night I was up every hour with a child throwing up (except for Mary) and a crying baby, who was woken up twice. In between I had nightmarish visions of starving Irish children during the Potato Famine, feeling a kinship with the mothers who had nothing to feed their children and watching them die of hunger one after another.

I blame myself that I didn't know what I was doing in teaching my children to eat a variety of foods when they were babies. With late coming teeth and no guidance from anyone except those blasted books, I have led them to this moment. Hopefully they will eat the oatmeal I put before them for breakfast and whatever we decide for lunch and dinner. I want this torture to be over as much as they do, so please eat children, please.

Monday, July 30, 2007

frame of reference

After examining a $5 bill, Charlie pointed to the building on the back, "What this?"

"It's the Lincoln Memorial."

"Made out of Lincoln Logs?" a look of hopeful expectation on his face.

"Uhhh... (long pause, as my brain scrambles, "aha, a teaching moment and I could use our chart of Presidents, look up some photos of the site on the internet... oh, forget it, he is 3, he will learn this, but not today.")

"Yes, made of Lincoln Logs sweetie."

I have a feeling that next year when we move to DC and go see the monuments, there is going to be one little boy disappointed when he sees ol' Abe surrounded by granite.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

summer fun

Today we drove into town for Maine's National Boatbuilding Challenge. There were 9 teams of 2 professional woodworkers and a time limit of 5 hours to build a wooden dingy to match the boat plans. Afterwards there were relay races to prove (or disprove) the soundness of their craft. One team finished over an hour before everyone else, but the guys couldn't row for squat. One poor team forgot to bring oars and had to make some from their leftover lumber- they came in dead last. And the boat that had the whole crowd roaring with laughter and moaning with expectation barely made it back to the dock to save it from a sure and sudden sinking.

Will and Mary were in the children's rowing contest and he won 3rd place overall and received a wooden oar titled: Triple Load Award (for having 3 people in his boat) 1st place. Mary was upset that she wasn't allowed to row her own boat (she sat in Will's), and sulked until she blurted out, "I want to make my OWN boat!"
Talk to your Daddy about it babe, I can't nail two boards together.

I overhead some boys talking to their father on the beach, "Dad we only have 5 weeks left of summer vacation and we haven't done anything fun."
"Uhhh, you got to go skiing one time on the lake, uhhhh."

One of the reasons Tim and I sacrifice our time together in the summer is so the kids have enjoyable childhood memories in Maine. Their summers are filled with day trips and ice cream cones, shooting rockets, tractor rides, and days at the fair. We only have a short time to pack as much in as possible. I certainly hope that when we move up to Maine for good we don't become complacent and let summer pass us by with no time for fun and family togetherness.

Friday, July 27, 2007

ice cream, anyone?

I was watching Will yesterday at the beach on our 4th swimming expedition this week and was startled to notice how skinny he is, I can actually count all his ribs and his knees look more than a little knobby. Worried, I called up a nurse friend and asked her to consult her growth chart and see what he should be weighing. She reassured me that he was on the thin side, 25th% for weight and 15th% for height, but nothing a few extra trips to the ice cream store won't cure. Luckily, going out for ice cream seems to be one of Maine's summer pastimes, there must be 5 ice cream stands within 15 minutes of home. Our favorite flavors from the downtown shop are oreo, peppermint, chocolate custard, and cinnamon gelato. Last evening I hit the jackpot, getting Charlie's 1/2 eaten cone as well as my own, but then I had to share with the baby. Yes, Will got 2 scoops, rather than the kiddy cone like everyone else.

He and Mary have been rather active this summer with bike trips to the pool, sailing lessons, camp hikes, and chopping down saplings in the woods. Mary eats more foods so I don't worry so much about her calorie intake. With my fears about malnutrition put to rest, he and I can be grateful that I don't work so he can be ferried about to all these activities and certainly not be concerned about potential childhood obesity.

...childhood obesity is soaring in middle-class families where mothers go out to work and spend less time at home. The risk is even higher for children cared for by a nanny or placed in other forms of childcare while their parents work, the study found. Children with childcare were 24 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese than children cared for by their mother or her partner.
...The new research shows, instead, that obesity increases in direct correlation with family income. And in higher-income homes, the longer the mother works each week, the greater the chances of her child being overweight. The report, published in the International Journal of Obesity, concludes that, "Long hours of maternal employment, rather than lack of money, may impede young children's access to healthy foods and physical activity."
London Telegraph, July 23

summer reading

Sitting in a cool air conditioned library curled up with a good book is one of summer's great pleasures. Especially when it is 90 degrees outside and the kids are all sweaty and cranky. I took advantage of having two babysitters at my disposal today to get a morning run out of the way and then attempted to give blood this afternoon. After I was rejected for low iron counts, I escaped the heat by swinging over to the library to pick up a new stack of mysteries.

Last night I finished one by a new promising author Maggie Barbieri, entitled Murder 101. The main character is a 30-something professor who finds herself a murder suspect and strongly attracted to one of the NYPD detectives investigating. I admit that I actually cried at the end, not a typical response to a book for me. Her next book comes out in November, which I will certainly look for at the local library.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

homeschool carnival

Tami's Blog is hosting the 82nd edition of the carnival.

a little too much wildlife

In one 24 hour period:

In the process of painting the outside trim I disturbed a nest of wasps living in the eaves of the house. After being stung once while on the ladder, I found out the hard way that leftover foam spray from last year is not effective. "This stuff doesn't seem to work," then dropping the can and sprinting for the door while hearing a chorus of "Run Mommy!" from the windows. After a trip to the hardware store for fresh spray and expanding foam I killed all the nasty creatures and plugged up their hole.

That night I awoke that night to a horrid odor wafting through the house and realized that our summer skunk visitor has returned. Last year I was puzzled at all the little divots in the yard were until I woke early to see a large skunk waddling through the backyard digging up grubs for his breakfast. Well, the interruption in my sleep gave me an opportunity to catch up on my blog reading, so I took advantage and returned to bed an hour or so later.

The raccoon was spotted by Will in the morning wading across the stream, likely with a snack gleaned from our compost pile. The kids have the chore of emptying the slop pail into the pile and rarely remember to throw a handful of wood chips over it to discourage the bugs. Last year we think a raccoon took off with the results of a banana bread experiment gone bad. We only discovered it because I accidentally left the bread machine paddle in the loaf and when I rummaged, okay dismantled, the entire 3 foot high compost pile in a panic to find it, it was completely gone. Since nothing can decompose in 3 days, we theorized that the essential metal piece was somewhere in the woods and had to be replaced. I learned from my costly error and now always take the paddle out right after removing the bread from the machine!

If we encounter this many wild creatures around our house in town (once we even spotted two deer grazing in the backyard), I can't imagine what we will see next summer when living on the farm. Our neighbors up there told us about a moose wandering out in our fields this spring, and a month ago I almost ran over a huge snapping turtle sunning itself it on our road. For a second I debated getting out and moving the "poor thing". Later I found out that these creatures are vicious on land and would have likely bitten my finger off.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Sneakers, Intro

Tim's blog, Catholic Medical Weekly, is posting his short story, The Sneakers. We tried to get it published, looked into self-publishing ($10K), and then let it sit in the drawer for 6 months.
It is a really well written story involving love, Catholicism, and babies- all important topics, and here rolled into one. Check it out!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Will!

Has it really been 9 years since Tim and I began the parenting journey? I remember (not so originally) wondering why they were letting us walk out the hospital door with this tiny creature. I had never held a baby or changed a diaper, much less been totally responsible for another human life before.

Today at the pond I heard an older gentleman praise you, saying how well spoken you are, how polite and kind you are to your siblings. Perhaps I haven't done too badly in the last 9 years and I did manage to keep you clean and fed.

Will, you are a great kid. It sometimes seems you have a lot of responsibility heaped on your shoulders, but you make me proud. You have an infectious sense of fun, a generous heart, a helpful attitude, and a gift for all things mechanical. If you follow a path of attempting to do God's will, then the future is bright with possibilities.

May God look down on you and smile, my precious first-born little boy.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I did it, I went and bought a pair of those ugly Croc shoes (I got red) everyone in Maine seems to be wearing. I feared they would make my size 9 feet look even bigger and the bright colors do make them resemble clown shoes, but...

I love them.

They can go to the beach, out to the compost pile in the rain, even to a friend's house so I can easily slip them off while still holding the baby so I don't track mud in her clean home.

But don't ever think you will see me wearing them at Mass- it would just be the height of tackiness.

edited to add: I did buy an off brand at the overstock store for only $7, but they look the same.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

small town fun

There was a festival in town today complete with a parade, games, food, and music. The parade wasn't anything close to Macy's, in fact all it was were some old cars, lots of fire engines, but lots of candy thrown from trucks, and that is what makes a parade successful in our eyes. The children's area was filled with free games and the girls each got a pony ride. Will and Mary scored many prizes, including several which they picked out for their younger siblings. There were patriotic songs, a dunk-a-cop tank, which Will nailed on the first try, and $1 kiddy ice cream cones. The children had a fantastic time racing from one activity to another while baby Timmy fell asleep in my arms.

Cost: $6.
Memories: priceless.

81st homeschooling carnival

Is up at Principled Discovery.

Friday, July 20, 2007

made a new friend today

After a run and lunch I made the kids all put on their boots to drive up to the farm to check out progress on our building project. After seeing that indeed, we do now have a leach field and lots of piles of fill we drove up to the farm at the other end of the road.

The mom is my age and it is just amazing how much we have in common. Kiki homeschools her 4 kids, runs, loves to farm even though she grew up in suburbs, in fact, the similarities are so strong that I'm wondering if we might be twins separated at birth. We had a great time chatting over a cup of tea and while I know she will be a great farming resource, she is also a great person with whom I look forward to enjoying many years of friendship.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

twisted logic

At the lunch table the other day:

Mary- "Does eating crusts really make your hair curly? (looking at her makes you immediately think Ramona Quimby stick straight brown hair)

Will- "Of course. I've seen lots of people with curly hair and they eat their crusts."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

up 3 pounds

If you run 4 miles every day it doesn't matter what you eat or drink, your weight tends to stay stable. But... if your babysitter goes to Canada for a week's vacation, then a Cocacola at lunch and a beer with dinner adds about 1 pound per day.

Luckily our babysitter extraordinaire returns Monday afternoon, 'cause I'm certainly not giving up my liquid sustenance.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Catholic meme

Ages ago someone tagged me for a 5 favorite Catholic hymns meme and I did go through our parish's homemade hymnal, in which I found all the old favorites that even I tone-deaf girl extraordinaire, can sing. But as we were in the midst of moving the scrap of paper was packed away and just came to light. Let me know if perhaps some are your favorites too.

O God, Our Help in Ages Past
Holy, Holy, Holy
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Almighty Father Strong to Save

The last is otherwise known as the Navy hymn, which sends me into great gushes of tears every time I hear it. They played it at my grandfather's funeral 3 years ago and very appropriately, since he retired from the US Navy after 35 years of service to our country.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My, your hands are full!

There are some mothers, like a friend here in Maine who just had her 4th baby, who make all this mothering business look like a piece of cake. Her children are polite, eat what is put in front of them, are good at Mass, and are several grade levels ahead of their peers. She is always calm and unflappable, she nurses in public with the greatest discretion, even with a newborn. She can potty train a toddler while holding a baby, with lunch in the oven for company and not even look ruffled.

And then there are the rest of us. 'Cause, I don't think I am the only overwhelmed mommy of many.

One look at our household and you see mothering a large group of small children as the hard work it really is. I do the same things my friend does, but I break into a sweat at just the prospect of having to perform two tasks simultaneously and end up spit stained and wrinkled everyday.

Take this morning (please), awaking at 6:30 I had to start right in with cleaning up the cat's litter box and bulimia mess, getting Charlie's milk, nursing the baby and changing his nappie, all without even the benefit of a cup of hot cocoa first. Then at breakfast I managed to overcook the girl's Ovaltine in the microwave and spilled it all down the front of the cabinets, on the floor, and filling a drawer full of utensils. Mass starts at 8:30 so there is little time for anything but breakfast, dressing, and bolting for the car, but I managed to get everything wiped up and in the dishwasher. Everything at Mass went along swimmingly except Timmy couldn't stop squirming in my arms reaching for milk, Cheerios and baby books to chew on. In exhaustion, I handed him to Mary, who was begging to hold him, only to have him fling his little chin on the pew and start spurting blood out of his mouth. Timmy started screaming, I hissed to Mary to hand my wipes, while Charlie wouldn't budge from his precious position on my lap. Amazing to me, a tourist couple that had been sitting behind us complimented me on the children's behavior. Standing in the parish hall watching them eat their much deserved doughnuts they looked like little angels but I was a disheveled mess.
Even though I feel constantly overwhelmed, it seems everywhere I went this week I heard wonderful comments like, "God bless you my dear," and "You have a beautiful family." God knew I needed it just to make it through the day.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I can post pictures!

Though the computer's loading capability is slower than molasses in winter.

Here are some of the famous lupines in Maine. The road crews do not mow the edges where there are clumps so the seedpods have time to dry and scatter their seeds for next year. We like to read the lupine lady storybook, Miss Rumphius, about this time every year.

Here is a post about my newest quilting project, a king-size split 9 patch in blue and white, now with a photo.

Here is a post about our new 12 passenger van.

Here is a post showing our yellow and white kitchen painting project.

Here is a post showing the lovely blue paint on the kitchen table and benches. This was taken before the rain came and made the paint peel off the top. They are now all fixed and in the kitchen. Due to a little seridipidy we might have a tenant for the house this fall. So, I hit the hardware store again this morning and bought 2 more gallons of blue and green, time to start the bedrooms!

Friday, July 13, 2007

slo-mo horror

Is when you erroneously decide that the baby opening his mouth extra wide means he is eager for more mush, not that he is preparing for an enormous sneeze.
Another shower Mommy?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"babies are our business"

What does it tell you about the people in the profession of teaching that kept their eyes shut so tight as to the NEA's fight to murder unborn children? It has been a major part of their political platform for decades as well as the promotion of liberal social engineering. Any delegate who is not aware of such has obviously been shut up in that closet that they accuse homeschoolers of being in.
Ten years ago I was not happy about joining the NEA, but was told that I must, "in case some whacko parent decides to sue you." While I do think most teachers only join for the legal protection, it is evident in their publications and in their promotion of political candidates that they are in the pocket of the NOW and Planned Parenthood death squads.

Pro-Lifers Make Impact at NEA Teacher Convention

Philadelphia, Jul 3, 2007 / 10:15 am (
CNA).- Seventy-five people, including teachers and students as young as eight years old, picketed the NEA convention in Philadelphia July 1.

Many NEA delegates openly expressed disbelief, skepticism and shock at the revelation that their union was involved in pro-abortion advocacy.

They seemed unaware of NEA's longstanding Family Planning Resolution, which supports "reproductive freedom" and "all methods of family planning", including abortion. They also seemed unaware that NEA is one of Planned Parenthood's primary advocates and had co-sponsored large pro-abortion rallies in Washington in 2004, 1992, and 1989.

Some delegates berated the pro-lifers and accused them of lying. Others thanked the demonstrators for underlining the issue. Others still, said they would raise the issue on the Convention floor and attempt to persuade NEA to abandon its pro-abortion agenda and activism.

"We joined NEA for collective bargaining representation; not to be misrepresented on socio-political or moral issues like abortion, homosexuality, or who to vote for,” said Bob Pawson, national coordinator of PLEAS and an NEA member. He requested that NEA totally disengage from the abortion issue in respect for the diversity of its 3.2 million members.

"Babies are our business,” he continued. “For NEA to condone, much less promote, killing babies in their wombs is not only a moral outrage; it's economic suicide. Abortion costs us our jobs."

our former parish in the paper

This article from our local paper, highlights the sneering attitude of the liberals in the hierarchy of the diocese toward traditional Catholicism. The author was misled or didn't do enough research to know that the documents of Vatican II promoted the use of Latin and Gregorian Chant and that none of the liturgical abuses of the past 30 years were encouraged in their writing. He also has likely never attended a TLM, where the priest faces the Blessed Sacrament, not turning his back on God.

It is important to remember the overriding nature of the TLM Mass as a sacrificial one: God the Son died for our sake, the priest offers the Mass for himself as well as us, and in return we offer up ourselves to God. The emphasis is on Our Lord; not each other, not the priest, and Mass is certainly not to entertain us. We are to follow along, pray with the priest, and be reverent, that is true participation in the Mass. The beauty of the language, the vestments, the altar, the orchestration of the altar server's movements, every detail allows us to see a tiny bit of what Heaven must be like.
I am very grateful that I have participated in the 1962 Mass at St. Benedict's, and heard Father Willis' incredible homilies. I pray and hope that one day I will be so blessed as to help create a similar parish here in Maine.

Official details of the new policy on wider use of the traditional Mass - also known as the Tridentine rite - were released by the Vatican on Saturday.
The change means priests would be free to hold Latin Masses. Priests would not need their bishops' permission.
Pope Benedict XVI is promoting the changes as a way to reach out to disaffected Catholic traditionalists, according to the Catholic News Service.
The Tridentine rite, performed mostly in Latin, was bumped by the Second Vatican Council in favor of the current Mass, which holds worship in common and local languages.
The modern Mass also differs from the old because the priest faces the congregation during worship services.
In the tightly scripted Latin Mass, the priest mostly faces the altar, often speaking inaudibly.
The two styles of worship strike Catholics in different ways, said the Rev. Brian Rafferty, the priest of Christ the King for 10 years.
For some, the solemnity of the old Mass imparts deep reverence and underscores the spiritual mystery of Communion, Rafferty said.
But to others, the new Mass conveys both religious awe and a deeper sense of active participation in worship, he said.
In the Richmond Diocese, which has about 220,000 members, Bishop Walter F. Sullivan authorized the Latin Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Richmond in 1991 and at St. Benedict's Chapel in Chesapeake in 1992.
At St. Benedict's, the Rev. Kevin Willis said the parish's large number of young families demonstrated the Latin Mass' popularity.
He said the 300-member congregation expects to break ground next month for larger worship space.
Last week Willis cheered the impending papal document, saying it would remind Catholics that the Vatican had not repudiated the Tridentine Rite.
He predicted that the policy would generate more Latin Masses in the diocese that would draw people who don't already attend St. Benedict or St. Joseph.
Stephen S. Neill, editor of The Catholic Virginian, the diocese newspaper, said he saw no groundswell of demand for the Tridentine rite.
Sullivan said most active priests are too unfamiliar with the Latin Mass to perform the rite.
"I don't think the diocese will add additional Latin Masses," he said.
Yet Rafferty said his parish had already discussed adding a Latin Mass, perhaps starting with the first Friday of each month.

Monday, July 09, 2007

our neighbors thing we're crazy...

but the kids begged and pleaded so I relented and gave permission. Will started a fire in our wood stove this afternoon and the little pyromaniac has kept it stoked for several hours now.
I'm sure the sight of smoke emerging from our chimney, even on this cool and rainy 60 degree day is the talk of the neighborhood. Can you imagine the conversation around the dinner table? "Did ya see, those people from away got a fire (pronounced: fir) going in the middle of July. Bet they wouldn't last through one winter." I have had to wear my flannel jammies and socks to bed the last few nights, but I simply refuse to close the windows in the summer, so, yes it is true that we have a fire blazing heating all of the great outdoors.
Will and Mary had their first day of camp today, but when they complained about the weather on the way home, I used a quote I have heard all my life and got to say to my own children for the very first time, "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger," otherwise known as, "suck it up kid, that's the way it goes."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

pretty houses

When looking for a rental house in North Carolina I walked through a house that was 2600 square feet, only 5 minutes away from Tim's new job, and was beautiful inside and out. However, it was eliminated because it was not large family friendly- the yard resembled something in House Beautiful magazine, not something I would want to try to maintain with 5 dirt scooping, bike riding, messy children like mine. Instead, I chose a house that was slightly run-down with a yard in such a condition that if the kids created a smooth bike track around the house or dug holes all over looking for worms it wouldn't be noticed.
While I have often chided my husband for choosing the ugliest house on the ugliest street in a pretty historic town in Maine with certainly no shortage of lovely houses, he did get one thing right, the lot itself is very kid-friendly. Pretty good thinking for a man with no children and no thoughts of acquiring any in the future. Our home sits on an acre with a bit of woods and a stream that follows an L shape through the backyard and allows me to relax while the children play outside for hours. They shoot gravel down the slides, tromp paths through the woods, and yesterday decided to dig a swimming hole. Since the stream is only 6 inches deep most of the time, it is perfectly safe. The only danger is mosquito attack and an occasional yellow jacket. In fact, Tim set up the tent in the backyard before he left so Will and Mary could camp out, which they have every night since except for the night it was pouring buckets at bedtime.
One of the reasons we chose to buy a farm and retire to Maine was its affordability and beauty. Even the poorest person living in a beat-up old trailer can afford a priceless view of the Penobscot Bay or the surrounding hills. We couldn't afford this same house, or certainly our farm in North Carolina, where townhomes overlooking the highway go for over a million dollars. While perhaps I still long for the charm and architectural details of one of the more historic houses in town, I surely am grateful for our little piece of Heaven on Earth.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Its here!

I explained to the older children that today was a historic day in the Church and in our family. This universal indult gives a new hope for the future to those of us who love the tradition, the sacrificial aspect, the piety of the old rite. It also gives me hope that our family's faith will be buoyed by the constant emphasis in the old rite on striving for personal holiness. I certainly need all the help I can get to break free from my sinful ways and try to follow God.
It has been the constant concern of the Supreme Pontiffs, and up to the present time, to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy worship to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church.'Since time immemorial it has been necessary - as it is also for the future - to maintain the principle according to which 'each particular Church must concur with the universal Church, not only as regards the doctrine of the faith and the sacramental signs, but also as regards the usages universally accepted by uninterrupted apostolic tradition, which must be observed not only to avoid errors but also to transmit the integrity of the faith, because the Church's law of prayer corresponds to her law of faith.'
Among the pontiffs who showed that requisite concern, particularly outstanding is the name of St. Gregory the Great, who made every effort to ensure that the new peoples of Europe received both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture that had been accumulated by the Romans in preceding centuries. He commanded that the form of the sacred liturgy as celebrated in Rome (concerning both the Sacrifice of Mass and the Divine Office) be conserved. He took great concern to ensure the dissemination of monks and nuns who, following the Rule of St. Benedict, together with the announcement of the Gospel illustrated with their lives the wise provision of their Rule that 'nothing should be placed before the work of God.' In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman use, enriched not only the faith and piety but also the culture of many peoples. It is known, in fact, that the Latin liturgy of the Church in its various forms, in each century of the Christian era, has been a spur to the spiritual life of many saints, has reinforced many peoples in the virtue of religion and fecundated their piety.
Many other Roman pontiffs, in the course of the centuries, showed particular solicitude in ensuring that the sacred liturgy accomplished this task more effectively. Outstanding among them is St. Pius V who, sustained by great pastoral zeal and following the exhortations of the Council of Trent, renewed the entire liturgy of the Church, oversaw the publication of liturgical books amended and 'renewed in accordance with the norms of the Fathers,' and provided them for the use of the Latin Church.One of the liturgical books of the Roman rite is the Roman Missal, which developed in the city of Rome and, with the passing of the centuries, little by little took forms very similar to that it has had in recent times.'It was towards this same goal that succeeding Roman Pontiffs directed their energies during the subsequent centuries in order to ensure that the rites and liturgical books were brought up to date and when necessary clarified. From the beginning of this century they undertook a more general reform.' Thus our predecessors Clement VIII, Urban VIII, St. Pius X , Benedict XV, Pius XII and Blessed John XXIII all played a part.
In more recent times, Vatican Council II expressed a desire that the respectful reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time. Moved by this desire our predecessor, the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI, approved, in 1970, reformed and partly renewed liturgical books for the Latin Church. These, translated into the various languages of the world, were willingly accepted by bishops, priests and faithful. John Paul II amended the third typical edition of the Roman Missal. Thus Roman pontiffs have operated to ensure that 'this kind of liturgical edifice ... should again appear resplendent for its dignity and harmony.'
But in some regions, no small numbers of faithful adhered and continue to adhere with great love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms. These had so deeply marked their culture and their spirit that in 1984 the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, moved by a concern for the pastoral care of these faithful, with the special indult 'Quattuor abhinc anno," issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted permission to use the Roman Missal published by Blessed John XXIII in the year 1962. Later, in the year 1988, John Paul II with the Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio, 'Ecclesia Dei,' exhorted bishops to make generous use of this power in favor of all the faithful who so desired. Our predecessor John Paul II having already considered the insistent petitions of these faithful, having listened to the views of the Cardinal Fathers of the Consistory of 22 March 2006, having reflected deeply upon all aspects of the question, invoked the Holy Spirit and trusting in the help of God, with this Apostolic Letter We establish the following:

Art. 1 The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the Lex orandi (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same Lex orandi, and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s Lex credendi (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church. The conditions for the use of this Missal as laid down by earlier documents Quattuor abhinc annis and Ecclesia Dei, are substituted as follows:
Art. 2 In Masses celebrated without the people, each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary.
Art. 3 Communities of Institutes of consecrated life and of Societies of apostolic life, of either pontifical or diocesan right, wishing to celebrate Mass in accordance with the edition of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1962, for conventual or “community” celebration in their oratories, may do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to undertake such celebrations often, habitually or permanently, the decision must be taken by the Superiors Major, in accordance with the law and following their own specific decrees and statutes.
Art. 4 Celebrations of Mass as mentioned above in art. 2 may – observing all the norms of law – also be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted.
Art. 5 § 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church.§ 2 Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held.§ 3 For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages.§ 4 Priests who use the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified to do so [in good standing] and not juridically impeded.§ 5 In churches that are not parish or conventual churches, it is the duty of the Rector of the church to grant the above permission.
Art. 6 In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See.
Art. 7 If a group of lay faithful, as mentioned in art. 5 § 1, has not obtained satisfaction to their requests from the pastor, they should inform the diocesan bishop. The bishop is strongly requested to satisfy their wishes. If he cannot arrange for such celebration to take place, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.
Art. 8 A bishop who, desirous of satisfying such requests, but who for various reasons is unable to do so, may refer the problem to the Commission “Ecclesia Dei” to obtain counsel and assistance.
Art. 9 § 1 The pastor, having attentively examined all aspects, may also grant permission to use the earlier ritual for the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick, if the good of souls would seem to require it.§ 2 Ordinaries are given the right to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation using the earlier Roman Pontifical, if the good of souls would seem to require it.§ 3 Clerics ordained “in sacris constitutis” may use the Roman Breviary promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962.
Art. 10 The ordinary of a particular place, if he feels it appropriate, may erect a personal parish in accordance with can. 518 for celebrations following the ancient form of the Roman rite, or appoint a chaplain, while observing all the norms of law.
Art. 11 The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” (5) , erected by John Paul II in 1988, continues to exercise its function. Said Commission will have the form, duties and norms that the Roman Pontiff wishes to assign it.
Art. 12 This Commission, apart from the powers it enjoys, will exercise the authority of the Holy See, supervising the observance and application of these dispositions.We order that everything We have decreed with this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio be considered as having full and lasting force, and to be observed from September 14 of this year, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary.
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on July 7, in the year of Our Lord 2007, the third of Our Pontificate.

79th Carnival of Homeschooling

The Independence Day Edition is up here.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

my worst fear

I replay this sort of scenerio everytime I go over a bridge, "How would I get 5 kids out of the car and to safety if the car went over the edge?" I guess the answer is, "You can't." Please pray for the families of these poor children.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A woman chased her minivan as it rolled down a steep hill and jumped in before it sank into a pond Wednesday, killing her and two children inside, authorities said. A third child was in critical condition.
The woman, who was the mother of at least one of the children, had gotten out of the van, then noticed it was rolling away and jumped back in before it went into the water, Police Chief Bryan Norwood said.
The van rolled about 60 or 70 yards into Bunnell's Pond at Beardsley Park, where many people had gathered to celebrate the holiday.
The victims were trapped inside in 15 to 20 feet of water for 20 to 25 minutes before members of the Bridgeport police scuba team were able to pull them out. Rescuers tried to revive them before they were taken to local hospitals.
As Will and Mary prepare for another summer of sailing lessons, this is the kind of news that I like to read:
Children swept from boats in squall
DUBLIN, Ireland, July 5 (UPI) --
The Irish Coast Guard said everyone was rescued after a sudden storm capsized 91 small sailing boats during a junior regatta Thursday.
The Irish Times reported 110 children, ages 10 to 15, were participating in the regatta in Dun Laoghaire harbor in County Dublin, operated by four yacht clubs.
A sudden change in the weather caused the small sailing yachts to topple. Helicopters, ambulances and fire department water rescue teams managed to save everyone and a number of the youths were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, the Times reported.

hoping and praying...

Vatican - Agency I.MEDIA - July 4 2007
The Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" for the liberalization of the Mass according to the Missal of 1962 will be published on July 7. The Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio which Benedict readies to publish in order to liberalize the use of the Mass and liturgical books according to the pre-Conciliar rite of 1962 will receive the name of "Summorum Pontificum", I.MEDIA has learned from Vatican sources. This document, greatly expected by the Traditionalist faithful and feared by a certain number of Bishops, will be published on July 7.
Summorum Pontificum (in [English], "...of the Supreme Pontiffs") is the incipit (beginning of the text) of the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI liberalizing the use of the Mass said of "Saint Pius V", I.MEDIA has learned from Vatican sources. This Apostolic Letter which will be made public next July 7. The document will be accompanied by a long letter by the Pope explaining his motivations for this publication of which certain Bishops, particularly in France, disapprove [lit. "take a dim view"].

color crisis

No, not my hair (but the roots will have to dealt with soon), but the mudroom. It used to be white with cream trim and of course being a mudroom in Maine the wall were pretty grimy, even though we aren't even here during real mud season.

So.... I decided to go with green.

Paul Revere Green. Sounds pretty, doesn't it?

Try Oscar the Grouch green. Dark Celery green. Institutional lunchroom green.

So, now I have 4 walls of the stuff and I need to fix the problem, but I am mentally stuck on how. Any suggestions?

Then there are the beautiful blue kitchen table and chairs I painted the second coat on yesterday and left outside to dry.

It rained last night.

The top of the table is covered with bumps and the paint just slides off with a touch. Any suggestions?

This home improvement gig is not for the faint of heart. But not to worry. I will go down to my friends at the hardware store, who now say "cha-ching" under their breath when they see me coming and ask the helpful folks.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

In Laura Ingalls' Little House books she mentions going to picnics on the 4th and hearing someone read aloud the Declaration of Independence. We are going to follow that same spirit by attending a bicycle race and holding our red, white, and blue pinwheeels this morning and posting part of Thomas Jefferson's writing here.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States...

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

spitting image

Sitting at the breakfast table this morning I glanced over at Maggie and startled. I recall seeing a carbon copy of that face when looking through an old photo album with my mother a few months back. She said, "I remember that! You cut your bangs 1/2" long with the kitchen scissors. It took about 6 months to grow back."

Yep, she's my girl.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

sheep farm day

We just returned home from a walk around an 80 dairy sheep operation looking at different types of fencing. Luckily the farmer has little girls so all 6 children played together and turned it into a great afternoon. Most of the talk went over my head as but I did learn some basics of wire and electric fencing options. I Googled the names of some of the big fence companies and am now on several mailing lists. By reading these I will likely learn more than I ever want to know about deer deterrent tape, spacers, live wires, braces, and corner posts.

Going to the local organic coop store and the Common Ground Fair with the children I have been under the impression that the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) types are hostile to those like me, whom they term "breeders." And after reading publications like Mother Earth News it is apparent that greenie-type liberals don't care for children, whom they look on as little ecological disasters. However, the other folks from the group on the walk today seemed like nice ordinary farmers. Now, they could all be sitting down to dinner and exclaiming, "Did you see how many children that woman had! She is single-handly ruining the planet and causing global warming!" but I will assume that instead they said, "What a lovely family, those children are a real blessing to us all."

are you lying to me baby?

Timmy has a soft fuzzy giraffe named Geraldine given to him by an auntie. It is funny to watch as Timmy's eyes search around the crib and light up as he reaches for her before snuggling up in a little ball. Sometimes though, Timmy cries for me to come rescue him and nurse him a second or third time before he drifts off. It is a hard stage right now because I can't tell if he really needs more food, or he is just trying to stay up later than he should. I don't quite buy the theory that he is technically lying, but it is interesting.

We certainly don't have any fake laughing, there is plenty of the real thing from baby Timmy as the big ones have figured out the secret to getting him out of a fussing jag, the horsey game. I'm sure you know it: Place baby on your hips while lying on the floor. "This is the way the lady rides, pace, pace, pace, pace (gentle bumps), this is the way the gentleman rides, trot, trot, trot, trot (brisk bounces), and this is the way that TIMMY rides, gallopy, gallopy, gallopy, whee! (large bounces, followed by lifting in the air)" Timmy laughs uproariously and jiggles up and down to indicate that he would like to do it again, and again, and again.
My grandmother recalled a news program which reported that researchers put a group of football players in a room with a bunch of toddlers. When instructed to repeat every action of the babies, the big strapping athletes soon fell down in exhaustion. That research study I can certainly believe completely.

Yet it now appears that babies learn to deceive from a far younger age than anyone previously suspected.
Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Until now, psychologists had thought the developing brains were not capable of the difficult art of lying until four years old.
Following studies of more than 50 children and interviews with parents, Dr Vasudevi Reddy, of the University of Portsmouth's psychology department, says she has identified seven categories of deception used between six months and three-years-old.
Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. Dr Reddy said: "Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.
"It demonstrates they're clearly able to distinguish that what they are doing will have an effect."