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Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family

Month

November 2008

For all our dear family…

We missed you!!!  Happy Thanksgiving, hope to see you next year…

The Wasson Clan

Thanksgiving in Kentucky…

Kentucky is home.

Don’t get me wrong…I truly love Ohio.  The fertile farmland, expansive sky, the beauty and excitement of the skyline when approaching Columbus at night…and my parish…Holy Family Catholic Church.  It has been an exciting place to live for the past 3.5 years and it feels like home…98% of the time.  It feels like home until we cross that bridge in Cincinnati and read “Welcome to Kentucky…the Bluegrass State!”

We’re greeted by rolling hills, thoroughbred horses and family.  And we’re home…taking the back roads, sharing memories with the children and hurrying to Grandma’s house for the hugs and kisses that await us.

Our Thanksgiving dinner is comfortingly traditional and the menu seldom varies.  Yum Yum Sweet Potatoes, Corn Pudding, Giblet Gravy and Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli Casserole, Parkerhouse Rolls, homemade stuffing and, of course, a slow-roasted fresh turkey.  A few traditional menu items were missing this year…Grandma Beckie’s 24 hour Salad and Aunt Sallie’s Chocolate Chess Pie.

But that’s not all that was missing…

Much of the family were unable to join us…cousins, aunts and uncles are scattered from Kentucky to China.  We miss them.  The raucous laughter, the fun and games, the memories…we hold them close to our heart and hope that the future will bring us all back together, eventually.  Though significantly smaller than past years, our celebration was intimate and precious, nonetheless.

My mother-in-law and I have shared many delightful conversations over the past week and I’ve had time for knitting and have completed several projects that have been lurking in my project bag for months.  I can’t wait to send these lovely gifts to my “grandgirls.”  Two matching capes, a hooded scarf and a poncho, all in coordinating fibers, deliciously soft and so beautifully feminine.  They’ll look like little angels…and of course, they are!

I’ve had time to visit with my dear girl, Elizabeth and sweet baby Ben.  He’s growing so very fast and is nothing but smiles and laughter…a bouncing baby boy!

Such an adorable pair!

Auntie Em loves little Ben!

His first meeting with the Grands was positively priceless…look at these faces:

Perhaps I’ve cast a rosy glow on the place we used to call home.  Good memories make for good company, and it’s so easy to fall in love (again!) with the place that holds so many memories and is home to many of our loved ones.

Goodbyes are painful and inevitable.  Leaving this state which is home to my parents, my darling mother-in-law, my husband’s sister and her children, our two daughters and five grandchildren, and my grandmother…it seems too much…and yet, we must.

Where we are is where God has called us to be.  Who knows where He’ll call us next.  For now, we must remain content in the place where we are, which is, in many ways, a little slice of heaven, at least to us.  I’ve spent a couple of years indifferent towards the state we left behind when we moved to Ohio.  Holding on to painful memories clouded many of the good ones.  It seems those clouds are clearing now…and I’m thankful.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to Kentucky.  But not forever.   As long as gas prices remain as low as they are now, I foresee a few more trips in our future.  Hopefully soon.  I miss my “grandgirls” and would love to visit them…

Few words, much thanks-giving…

For the first time in five months, Grandma was able to share a family meal at home…

Seeing Grandma sitting in my Mom’s livingroom was a most beautiful sight.  One to cherish for a very, very long time…

Look at that smile…pure radiance!

Grandma still requires around the clock care at a nursing facility.  But this visit home has given us such hope!  Please keep my mother and Grandmother in your prayers…Mom is working so hard towards having Grandma spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at her home.  The challenges are great, but God is greater.

Such joy on this day, so many blessings…Happy Thanksgiving!

Hiatus…

Mom and kiddies will be on the road today…over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house we go!!

Grandma Beckie had surgery this past Wednesday and could use a bit of help. I’m more than happy to oblige this lovely woman. We’ll be spending Thanksgiving with her, as well, and look forward to our time together. If you would, please pray for us! Grandma needs quiet and rest…entertaining six children and maintaining some semblance of peace will be a challenge!  Hubby and Clementine will follow in a few days, until then, I’m on my own!

My dear husband has been working on his mom’s computer, so we’ll be offline for a couple days…unless I take mine with me…hmmm…tempting…

Blessings to all and my best wishes for a delightful Thanksgiving!

UPDATE: Well…its a good thing we’re spending Thanksgiving with Grandma…my oven just caught fire!  Nothing major…just a flaming element.  The very same thing happened to the dishwasher.  I think we may have an electrical problem in the kitchen.   Prayers?   Thanks!

Learning something new…

I was an adult when I learned to knit.

Several years ago, as part of a home ec experiment, my three older daughters and I decided to learn something new. We decided we’d learn to knit and Jane was given the task of finding the online resources to help us get started. Jane quickly learned and taught the rest of us.But while the girls were happily knitting away, I struggled, and sought the internet for help. I found a video tutorial by an Englishman named Tom and quickly discovered that Continental knitting was not only faster (for me) but was also more comfortable. I progressed quickly and have continued knitting in that manner for the past twelve years. I’ve taught other adults to knit, and interestingly enough, most of them have chosen to knit American/English, even though I have never taught them to do so…it seemed to come naturally to them.

A couple days ago, my dear friend Sandra began to teach her five year old to knit. I was amazed. I’d tried several months earlier to teach six year old Charlotte, but she quickly became frustrated and gave up on the entire process. We decided to wait. Charlotte is left-handed, and I wasn’t sure if I was approaching this skill in a way that worked best for her. Conferring with Sandra, I began to think perhaps American/English knitting would be the best way for a child to learn. There was only one problem.

I didn’t know how. So…I decided to act like a five year old, holding the needle as awkwardly as possible and trying desperately to remember how Sandra “threw” the yarn with her right hand, while holding the needles in her left.

I did it! It seemed like it would work, but the proof remained with Charlotte. And Emily.

I’m pleased to announce that it took approximately five minutes of instruction with each girl. It was amazing…the whole process clicked and the two have been happily knitting ever since! I sat beside each of them through the first row, checking in on subsequent rows and helping them pick up the inevitable dropped stitch.

What joy! Tomorrow, Sandra and her girls are coming over, knitting bags in tow. It appears a homeschool knitting circle has been born.

Perhaps St. Nicholas will leave a few knitting notions in their shoes in a couple of weeks…yes…that would be perfect!

The Simple Woman’s Daybook

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – November 17, 2008

Outside my Window…snow, softly falling in the gathering light of day.  The trees are lightly dusted and the grass is slowly disappearing beneath a white blanket.  I can’t wait to hear the delighted squeals of the children!

I am thinking…about my friends.  How much I’ve missed everyone during this time of sickness and quarantine.  Attending Mass yesterday was the equivalent of taking a long drink of fresh, cool water after weeks in the desert.  Refreshment for body and soul…

I am thankful for…see above.  Actually, I’m thankful for everything.  Yes…even the time of illness.  You never really appreciate being well until you watch your family suffer for weeks…

From the kitchen…biscotti and hot coffee for mom, sausage-egg-cheese bagele for dad, oatmeal and eggs for the kiddies.  For dinner:  tonight is definitely a soup night!  Ribollita made from the remnants of last night’s ham, homemade breadsticks and caramelized apples.

In our school room…back to business as usual.  I feel really off schedule, but, hey…it’s alright.  Perseverance is the name of the game, so today…we do what we can, for as long as we can.

I am creating…I’m knitting constantly!  I’ve finished a pair of legwarmers, a nifty pair of fingerless mittens which Charlotte adores, nearly finished a lovely knit doll (pattern here) and am working on an alpaca hat to match Emily’s legwarmers.  I’ve been knitting roses and crocheting flowers for embellishing hats and gloves…the creative juices are flowing…

I am going…to try to pray more, worry less.  Everyday, God continues to show me how well He has ordered all things…if only I could trust more, have greater faith.  I have faith, I just want a bigger, bolder faith.  That’s a scary request…

I am wearing…my favorite pink and red coffee cup flannel pjs.  And socks.

I am reading…too busy knitting!  Though I have been picking up the Bible quite often this week.  I’m ashamed to say my scripture reading has suffered of late and like St. Augustine, I’m hearing that persistent Voice…“Take and read, take and read…”

I am hoping…to finish school and chores early.  My dear friend, Krislynne and her sweet daughter, are coming for a visit.  We haven’t visited with them in weeks…

I am hearing…silence.  The low hum of the computer and the tapping of the keyboard.  The children will be down soon…

Around the house…laundry, as always.  Dishes, as always.  Love, laughter and memories in the making…as always.

One of my favorite things…snow.  I love, love, love snow.  I dream about snow all the time.  And it’s snowing.  I grew up in Florida and the whitest stuff I saw throughout my childhood was sand.  Thirty years of living north of the panhandle, and I still can’t get enough of it.  It makes me very, very, very, happy!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…head to Kentucky for a few days to celebrate Thanksgiving with family, finalize our Advent preparations, and enjoy the blessing of good health!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

A walk to the woods on a cold, November day.  A lovely way to spend the Sabbath, as a family:

You can learn anything on the internet…

…including how to cut your little girls’ hair!

I’ve been cutting the boys’ hair for years.  There’s not much to it…a pair of really good clippers and a #5 guide and you’re set.  Girls on the other hand…not so easy.  In 27 years of raising children, I’ve never attempted anything beyond trimming bangs.

Until last night.

Charlotte really needed a haircut.  The ends of her hair were so thin and damaged, it seemed that a “bob” ala Kit Kittredge would be the best way to go.  She asked if I could do it.  I immediately declined, and decided that perhaps we could budget in a haircut next payday.

And then I decided to check my ultimate resource, the internet.  Sure enough, I found a great page that gave me enough information and I decided I CAN DO THIS!

So I did…

Charlotte was thrilled, Emily was jealous and both girls are pleased to have cute and fashionable “do’s.”

It’s too bad I can’t reach behind my head and cut my own hair…it’s down to my waist and desperately needs to be cut.  I spent a good bit of Saturday morning lamenting the length, threatening to cut it all off.  Later that morning I was standing in a checkout line when an elderly gentleman by the name of Vern (according to his employee name tag) limped over and stared me in the face for a few seconds…

“Yes?” I somewhat nervously queried.

“I Corinthians…I think that’s it, isn’t it?  I Corinthians,” he said with a smile.

“Oh…yes.  I Corinthians.” I had absolutely no idea what on earth he was talking about!

“Long hair is given to woman as a covering.  Her hair is her glory.  It sure takes a lot of discipline doesn’t it?  To keep it long?”  He smiled and limped away behind the counter.

I sighed.  What does that mean?  I’m not Amish or pentecostal…well…I used to be pentecostal, but I’m not now!  I went home and looked up the verse…he paraphrased it pretty well.

When I told my husband (who loves my hair really, really long) he just laughed.  “I guess maybe God’s trying to tell you something…”

OK.  So maybe not really short.   How about a shoulder length bob?

Preparing For A Holy Advent-ure

Oh my goodness…the Holy Season of Advent is just around the corner – the first Sunday of Advent is November 30th!  Rather that re-writing a post, I thought I’d share a few of our family’s traditions from last year’s reflections.  We’re excited that season is nearly upon us, and most anxious to begin our preparations.

Don’t forget to start the season off with a Novena!  Starting November 30th, with the Feast of St. Andrew, the following prayer is to be recited 15 times per day, ending on Christmas Eve:

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires. (Mention your intentions here) Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother.

An additional Christmas Novena can be found here.

Join me in my reflections…

Preparing For A Holy Advent-ure

A crisp 39 degree morning, a plate full of apple spice muffins, a cup of coffee and Christmas In Italy. Ah, the sweet anticipation of Advent and the many feasts we will celebrate!

Our family’s approach to the season has undergone many changes, over the last two decades. The first few years were spent caught up in the manic-frenzied-howmanyshoppingdaysareleftuntilChristmas-insanity that starts sometime after All Hallow’s Eve and ends with the big “Day After Christmas Sale, Don’t Miss It!”

The Christmas tree was up no later than November 10th, the Christmas cards sent the day after Thanksgiving, the presents wrapped-under-the-tree-collecting-dust for no less than three weeks prior to Christmas Day. The Advent wreath was frequently neglected.

Shop, shop, shop. Bake, bake, bake. Wrap, wrap, wrap.

Pray, pray, pray?   Only that everything would be finished on time!

Oh, how much has changed! For more than a decade, we have been observing a “season” that is a bit different than the one we had celebrated in the past.

December 1st: We continue a lovely tradition which we incorporated and altered a bit from A Year With God. Each child and adult will draw a slip of paper from a jar. On each slip of paper is a name: St. Joseph, the Blessed Virgin, the Angel, the Shepherd, the Ox, the Donkey, etc. During the entire month of December, each person tries to emulate the virtues of the particular “Nativity figure” whose slip was drawn from the jar. A nightly accounting is made, with particular focus on sacrifices offered. The sacrifices are written on a 6 inch long slip of paper, which will be glued (end to end) and incorporated into a chain. Every year, we try to make the chain longer than the prior year. We have also used these slips and sometimes pieces of straw, to create a “soft bed for the Baby Jesus” by placing them in a doll’s cradle at the base of the Christmas tree…

You can read more about last year’s Nativity Advent-ure here.

December 2nd: The First Sunday of Advent, our family collects beautiful greenery to adorn our Advent wreath and the mantle. The Nativity set that belongs to our oldest son, Arthur, is always placed on the mantle. There are several Nativity sets, as each child has received their own as a gift from Grandma Martha. The various figures are placed in different locations around the room, as they will “journey” closer and closer to Bethlehem. The Advent Wreath is always placed in the front window of our home. Every evening, the entire family gathers around the wreath. Dad reads an appropriate Scripture or Psalm. The room is darkened. The candle(s) are lit according to the week and then everyone sings “O Come, O come, Emmanuel.” The wreath is then carried back to the window, lit, and the family sits in darkness for a couple of minutes before extinguishing the lit wreath.

December 5th & 6th: Set out your shoes this evening! St. Nicholas is coming! We read the traditional stories about St. Nicholas and Black Peter. After the Advent Wreath ceremony, we all set our shoes on the hearth. What will St. Nicholas leave this year?

December 13th: Ah, the Feast Of St. Lucy! Before sunrise, mommy awakens Charlotte and Emily. In their white gowns with red belts, they will don their evergreen crowns (we will be using these this year) and serve the entire family these.

New!! Adorable St. Lucia paper dolls…what fun!

December 8th
: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Candies shaped like roses and a lovely tea in the afternoon. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the evening. Sweet!

The Christmas Tree
: We will start looking for a fresh one, sometime in the middle of December, but will not set it up until 3 or 4 days before Christmas. We never turn on the lights of the tree at night, until we have lit the Advent Wreath, first. The tree will be left up, along with the Nativity sets until the day after Epiphany. After all…that’s when the “season” ends!

The Christ-Mass
: The Traditional Latin Mass at Midnight! Alleluia! Christ our Savior is born! Alleluia!

Christmas Day
: Where did all those presents come from?! And the stockings are full?! It must have been the Christ Child and the Angels! We just can’t wait to open them after Mass! A joyful feast in the afternoon…and the “season” continues!

December 26th: The Feast Of Stephen.   Our Proto-Martyr.

December 28th
: The Feast Of the Holy Innocents. Arthur’s birthday. We remember all the “holy innocents” on this day, particularly the littlest victims of abortion.

And that’s just the month of December! January 1st marks the great Solemnity of Mary, Mother Of God. We continue with Epiphany, on January 6th. The Wise Men take their place before the Holy Infant. We sing “We Three Kings” and thank God for the greatest gift of the Christmas Season.  We end our Christmas celebration the following Sunday as we commemorate the Baptism of Our Lord.

As for shopping…

We really don’t shop much, until the week before Christmas. We don’t wrap presents until a couple of days before. Usually the same day that we set up the tree. These changes have changed us…we approach the entire season with the peace and joy that I believe our Lord intended us to have. Things don’t always go perfectly. There are the inevitable evenings that someone is sick, or dad is late. But the “mania” is gone.

Christ-Mass
is back.  Deo Gratias!

Legwarmers…

Pretty cute, huh?

Emily likes them, preferring to bunch them at her ankles or pull them over her knees, leaving the ankles bare.

Perhaps I should have made them longer…

Knitting with alpaca is lovely.  I can’t believe how much I have left.  One large hank from last years Alpaca Show has allowed me to knit a pair of fingerless gloves, a pair of legwarmers, and a hat with plenty leftover for another pair of legwarmers.

It’s been nice to take a bit of time for my knitting again. I’ve missed it and there’s nothing like cold, dreary weather to make the fingers itch for a bit of wool…

Making the best of it…

So…we’ve been sick for the past two weeks.

We missed trick or treating on All Hallow’s Eve.  We missed the parish All Saint’s Day party.  We missed All Soul’s Day at the cemetery.  We missed piano lessons last week and this week.  We’ve been unable to attend a single Mass for fear of spreading scarlet fever and the stomach bug.

We’ve missed a lot of school and those well enough have only been doing core subjects this week.

We’re trying to make the best of it, and quite frankly, a self-imposed quarantine is not always a bad thing!

We’ve managed to clean and organize the boys’ room, purged their drawers and closet and have loaded six trash bags full of clothing to donate.  Four boys share one closet and by utilizing different colored hangers for each, they can now easily tell what belongs to whom…

We’ve cleaned and organized the classroom.  All the empty floor space encouraged the boys to help the girls set up a pretend campground.  They were so creative!  A construction paper “camp fire” and paper lanterns were quickly constructed, the tent set up and voila!  Instant campground.  The boys took the easel, draped a blanket over it, cut out a few creepy paper bats and the girls had a very interesting cave to explore…Gawain decided to take a few pictures of the “campsite” this morning:

Hey…I thought we just vacuumed…oh, well.  At least they’re having fun!

Emily and Galahad built a really cool tower supported on a single block:

And I’ve been knitting.  The last legwarmer is nearly complete, I’m knitting up a couple cotton dishcloths for the kitchen and thinking about creating a Christmas Gnome Home

We’ve watched a lot of great family movies and are really looking forward to seeing this one this evening.

Today?  More core subjects, cleaning and organizing the girls’ room and baking.  Homemade double chocolate biscotti and orange-cranberry biscotti.  Yum!

We’re still anxiously watching the two middle boys.  Both are well, at present, but we’re not out the woods yet and therefore, still potentially contagious.  I’m hoping this Sunday will mark our return to civilization…just in time to prepare for our Thanksgiving trip to Kentucky.  This will be the first Thanksgiving we’ve celebrated away from home, in several years.   I’m truly thankful that our illnesses are being fought now, rather than later.

And I’m praying we can avoid later, too!

Another one down…

The eldest son now has the bug…

Please pray for us!  It seems none will be spared, so I’m hoping that everyone comes down with this within the next 24 hours.

Is that wicked?  I just want to get it over with, there’s so much watching and waiting, not to mention fear among the uninfected.  So far, out of nine of us, six have had it.

Three to go…

The Simple Woman’s Daybook

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – November 10, 2008

Outside my Window…nearly noon.  Overcast and gray, 35 degrees and it feels like 28.  Most of the trees are barren, the last few leaves have been whisked away by the brisk November wind…

I am thinking…that I feel considerably better than I did last night and this morning.  On the heels of scarlet fever, we’re now fighting a stomach bug.  Charlotte and Mommy are the latest victims, though I seemed to have suffered far less than she.  Charlotte is still feeling quite ill and I’m beginning to despair that we’ll ever leave this house…

I am thankful for…my husband who was awakened at 4:00 a.m. to take Clementine to work, woke up at 7:00 a.m. and connecting with his work computer, began working at home.  At 8:30 he left to pick up Clementine, came home, fixed pancakes, taught math lessons for four children and accomplished a bit more work.  By 10:30 a.m., he went outside into the freezing cold, replaced a brake cylinder on Clem’s car and changed a tire…can you say Super Dad?  Super Husband?  I can and will…

From the kitchen…whatever dad’s fixing.  I was going to make my positively scrumptious meatloaf today, but it’s not sounding so very scrumptious anymore…

In our school room…We gave up on school last week.  Sickness is once again rearing its ugly head, but those who can are persevering.  Thanks to dad…

I am creating…nothing.  I don’t even feel like knitting…

I am going…to take it easy today, or at least easier.  No mom ever really gets to take it easy…

I am wearing…tan microsuede pants, cream turtleneck and a dark green cable-knit sweater.

I am reading…nothing.

I am hoping…that today passes quickly.  That I continue to feel better and that the remaining children are spared…

I am hearing…the hum of the computer, cabinet doors opening in the pantry and Charlotte asking if I’ll draw her bath…

Around the house…not too horrifying.  Laundry is manageable.  Upstairs needs to be cleaned.  Lots of little things need to be done…

One of my favorite things…good health.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…no plans.  We’ll see how we fair through this illness…

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

My favorite picture this week…the smile that was hidden inside of the tree in our front yard:

Shattered Innocence…

Covering a sensitive and timely subject, Shattered Innocence is my latest article at Catholic Exchange. Thanks for reading!

Grateful…

Clementine was quite depressed.

On Wednesday, she took her car in for a routine oil change and a good friend suggested that she allow him to have her car checked over, as he feared that the vehicle was not as sound as it seemed.

He was right.  A nearly bald tire from poor alignment and a leaking brake cylinder were just a couple of the issues that needed to be addressed, not to mention some minor front-end damage which resulted in a buckled hood, seemingly cosmetic, but added to the tally of needed repairs.

She was fearful and distraught.  She drove home far more cautiously and definitely a lot slower than she would normally, afraid that the tire would go before she could get it changed.

Planning to address the tire issue first, she headed out to work at UPS the following morning  with due caution, traveling far below the minimum speed, but not particularly concerned about it, as it was 4:00 a.m.

Thank heavens she was driving much more slowly…

In the pitch dark, traveling at 60 mph, her hood flew up, smashing the windshield and totally impairing her vision.  In total terror, but with a presence of mind that is astounding, she managed to pull the vehicle over quickly and accurately, coming to a complete stop in the emergency lane, so carefully that the sheered off antenna was still resting gingerly upon the hood of the car…

When her father surveyed the damage and the location of the vehicle, he said it was truly miraculous that she’d guided it so surely, stopping in exactly the right place, all without being able to see.

Guardian angel, thank you!!  We know you did it, and we are grateful…

Just one more example of how seemingly bad news can bring about a blessing!  Clementine’s car is receiving much needed maintenance, and we’re all so very thankful that the bad news on Wednesday was really good news for Thursday…

One last smile…

Perfectly hollowed on one side, our leafy “friend” provided the best possible hiding place for children and birthday gifts…

The shady base provided the perfect building spot for fairy houses…

But it was dying…and with its slow demise, it put our family in great danger, as the storm in September so clearly demonstrated.

Yesterday, we said goodbye:

Branch…

by…

branch…

It was painful to watch, but the entire family gathered on the porch for the final cut and saw something quite extraordinary…

The tree was smiling at us!!!  Isn’t that great?!!  We all laughed at the silly smile and I snapped this photo just before the big guy fell…

All that remains…a nice place to set up a tea party, perhaps?  Less shade now, but definitely a safer yard.  As the supervisor told me when I said I felt like crying:  “Ma’am…you’d be crying even more if it fell on the house…”

Without a doubt.

On a happier note:  Emily has finally turned the corner with Scarlet Fever.  Yesterday evening I had begun to worry that perhaps a visit to the hospital was in order.  She hadn’t eaten in three days and was sleeping continually.  This morning she woke up and asked for pizza for breakfast.  Did I give it to her?

You bet I did!  She quickly donned a totally Emily-esque outfit and I knew she was most certainly on the mend…she sure is cute!!

Praising God for small joys…

Lest we forget…

So…

I’ve so much I want to say, so much on my heart at this moment…

I considered writing about my shame as an Ohioan…watching my fellow citizens do the unconscionable…

I considered writing about the children’s reaction as they watched the polls close and the initial tallies…watching their excitement fade as the evening wore on, sending them to bed with promises that “all will be well, sleep and don’t worry…”

I considered writing about the impotence of anger, how the “enemy” uses it to control us…

But I went to sleep instead.  I slept well and having slept well my thoughts are a bit clearer, hope rushing in, crushing the feelings of despair and defeat.

The cause of my hope, my joy?  I have a God and Saviour and He has heard the prayers of His people.  I didn’t have to elect Him.  He will not be suppressed or manipulated.  He is not impotent, but Omnipotent.

Friends, let us not be guilty of the same mistake that the others have made.  They wanted to elect a savior.  They are looking for someone to fix the things that are broken, not counting the cost that we will all incur by the choice they’ve made.

What did we pray for?  This family prayed for the protection of life, from conception until its natural end.  We prayed for the preservation of the family and the traditional definition of marriage as affirmed by centuries of tradition.  We prayed that our country would continue to be “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all…”

God doesn’t need John McCain to work His plan.  We want a bandaid, an aspirin, in other words, a quick fix for a problem that needs the skill of a Divine Surgeon.  It’s going to be painful and it’s going to leave a scar, but it’s the only way we can be healed.  We must believe that our prayers have been heard.  That the cries of the slaughtered innocent have been and will continue to be heard.  We must be willing to continue bravely on…not in mourning, not wearing sackcloth and ash, but moving forward with determination and good cheer as the martyrs of old did.

Onward, christian soldiers!  Wipe your tears, dust of your clothes and head back into the battle.  Continue the fight, never ceasing to pray for the conversion of our country’s leaders.  Your prayers have been heard and the scalpel of the Divine Surgeon is poised…

Are you ready?

In small town America…

…we stubbornly cling to our guns and our religion.

And we vote.

This morning, my husband and I went to a local high school to cast our vote.  There were seven lines and none of those fancy, computerized voting booths.  Instead, we had tables with partitions.  Ink pens and ballots that needed to be “bubbled in.”

The lines were long, the line we stood in the longest by far.  The mood was somber, very little conversation, no laughter or joking amongst the simple folk who’ve known one another for most of their lives.  Farmers in John Deere caps and Carhaart jackets,  A few Stetsons here and there.  Representatives of small town America with stern countenances, determinedly shuffling toward the polling tables.

This is not the Obama crowd, people.  There were no sports cars emblazoned with “Change,” lining the parking lots.  The farmers, small business owners, gun owners and home educators in this small town are doing everything they can to avoid the very “Change” the rest of the world seems only to willing to embrace…

We’re doing it one vote at a time…

I’m not obligated to tell anyone how we voted…but here are a few clues to help you guess:

We DID NOT vote for the candidate that refused to sign the BAIPA and argued most vociferously against it…

We DID NOT vote for the candidate whose ciitizenship qualifications as yet remain unsatisfactorily addressed…

We DID NOT vote for the most inexperienced candidate on the ballot…

We DID NOT vote for the candidate with questionable allegiances and dangerous friends…

We DID NOT vote for the candidate who refused to salute the flag and refuses to wear and later donned a flag-shaped lapel pin…

We DID NOT vote for the candidate who made a pre-election promise and very quickly broke it…

and so on…

Can you guess?  We voted for him…

We DID NOT vote for…

THE ONE.

The Presidential Election…for kids!

We were going to have a normal school day.  That’s off.  Tomorrow, one of the most important elections in history will take place.  The children have been following this one closely, under the tutelage of mom and dad, of course.  Today, I think we’ll focus on the the way the election process works.  Here are a few websites that we’ll utilize:

Election Scavenger Hunt

Election Results Map

Inside The Voting Booth

President For The Day

Electoral College Calculator

Be sure to check out this one, first thing tomorrow.  Find out how kids will vote, I know mine are anxious to cast their ballot, a ballot that will reflect the unswerving desire that this family has to vote for life!

Kids Voting Booth…cast your ballot here!

And don’t forget this…here are two prayers from the USCCB, one for before and the other for after the election:

Prayer For Before The Election:

Lord God,
as the election approaches,
we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city, state, and country,
and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.
We ask for eyes that are free from blindness
so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters,
one and equal in dignity,
especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.
We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned,
men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.
We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to
your Kingdom.
We pray for discernment
so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word,
live your love,
and keep in the ways of your truth
as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles
and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Prayer For After The Election:

God of all nations,
Father of the human family,
we give you thanks for the freedom we exercise
and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy
in these United States of America.
We ask for your protection and guidance
for all who devote themselves to the common good,
working for justice and peace at home and around the world.
We lift up all our duly elected leaders and public servants,
those who will serve us as president, as legislators and judges,
those in the military and law enforcement.
Heal us from our differences and unite us, O Lord,
with a common purpose,
dedication, and commitment to achieve liberty and justice
in the years ahead for all people,
and especially those who are most vulnerable in our midst.
Amen.


The Simple Woman’s Daybook

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – November 2, 2008

Outside my Window…a bit of early morning fog, slowly rising.  Ribbons of pink, blue and white streaking the sky.  Sunrise.

I am thinking…that last night was simply awful.  Poor Emily is not tolerating her antibiotics well…at least, not on an empty stomach!! Dealing with Scarlet Fever seems to be less of an issue than the cure…

I am thankful for…antibiotics.  Even though Emily isn’t tolerating hers, they are a modern miracle and the first life of defense for this illness.

From the kitchen…hot coffee and a seasonal favorite:  Peppermint Mocha creamer.  Yummy.  Dad’s having a sausage, egg and cheese bagel.  The children:  cold cereal, hot cereal and whatever Galahad is cooking…

In our school room…neglect.  We missed two days last week due to parties and illness.  Gaiety has its price…

I am creating…still researching Christmas craft projects for the children.  We have a few ideas already…

I am going…to finish up the laundry.  That’s right.  Finish.  I’m almost there…

I am wearing…My crazy coffee cup jammies.  My favorites…

I am reading…Absolutely nothing.

I am hoping…that the children remain well after this bout of illness.  Emily is five years old and this is the first time she has ever had antibiotics.  Charlotte is seven and this is the second time in her life that she’s ever had antibiotics.  Another advantage of home education…no swimming in the viral pool!

I am hearing…The dryer.  The children are rather quiet…we’ll probably start school a bit later today.  Mom was up all night with Emily, so I’m dragging a bit…

Around the house…a diminishing laundry pile.  Lots of tidying to do.  Oh yes…the corn has been harvested.  We are no longer surrounded by a wall of rustling brown stalks…we’re exposed!

One of my favorite things…little boys who happily refill and reheat mommy’s coffee cup…thanks, Galahad!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…catch up on school work, prepare for new window installation.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

The death of St. Lucy. St. Lucy was “eliminated” during a rousing game of Execute the Martyrs:

Have a blessed week!

Scarlet fever…

Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s what two of the children have.   Scarlet Fever is simply another name for a strep infection with a rash, and only a few people are sensitive to the toxin present in the strep bacteria.  Charlotte  has a terrible rash and Emily only the very beginning of one, but in all other ways both appear relatively well.  Scarlet Fever conjures such frightening imagery…remember Mary Ingalls from The Little House On The Prairie?  Scarlet Fever robbed her of her vision.  And Beth from Little Women?  Beth was so weakened from her bout of this horrible disease that she later succumbed from the effects of it.  It remains a disease that most people still associate with the days of quarantine.  Now we have Tylenol and Motrin to fight the fever, Amoxicillin to kill the bacteria and Aveeno to help combat the itchiness of the rash.

Roughly $15.00 to cure what used to kill…

Thank God for modern medicine!

Ten days of antibiotics and all will be well.  At present, all are in high spirits and to the casual observer everyone seems to be completely well…except for Charlotte.  The rash looks positively awful and makes her quite uncomfortable.

Please continue to pray for us…we’ve been so well the past several months.  I had such hope that we could continue to be well, but with the mania of the past week’s schedule and contact with lots of other children, illness is inevitable.

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