Catholic Family Vignettes

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


January 2011


Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY –  January 28th, 2011

Outside my window: a dusting of white lightly draped over gray and brown…lead gray sky full of winter’s promises…

I am listening to: the coughing of children…poor dears…they’ve brought home more than memories from the annual March For Life in Washington, D.C.

I am wearing : blue jeans, pale yellow turtleneck, pale blue GAP cardigan with a fur-trimmed hood, wool socks and a smile…

Gratitude list:

*marching of pilgrim feet in our nation’s capitol…

*youthful exuberance in defense of the defenseless…

*the weight of lace upon hair in the hush of a night-lit sanctuary…

*red glass illuminated by flicker of candlelight…

*cold beads made warm by prayer…

*soothing fevered brow of grateful child…

*chocolate shared with teenage boys…

*coffee just right…

I am reading: just  finished One Thousand Gifts by Ann Morton Voskamp.  Run…don’t walk…run to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of this heartrending, inspiring, grace-filled opus.  I am…changed.   All…is grace.

From the kitchen: ah…what to fix the sick.  We’ve already had homemade chicken noodle soup.  Comfort food seems the best choice.  Potato soup and homemade bread?  That just might do the trick…

I am thinking: about eucharisteo…gratitude is the web I wish to weave…the incense I want to rise to Heaven…the gift I want to give…

I am creating: well…apparently not much in the way of regular posts.  My apologies and my thanks for the many of you who continue to show up everyday, who’ve sent so many encouraging emails…this place does matter…and I promise to return.  The past few weeks have been spent putting body and soul together.  A few difficult days, but important.  I have such a clear picture in my head right now…my compass seems to be finally pointing north…I’m ready.  More on that later…

On my iPod: Chants de Lourdes, Vol. 2 – Chants Eucharistiques, Chants a Virge Marie...exquisite!

Towards a real education: oh…I need inspiration!  We’re approaching February and we all know what that means.  Is there any month harder than February when it comes to home education?  I think I need to start guarding against burnout now, while there’s still time.  It seems with all the starts and stops, that we wouldn’t experience such sluggishness…unfortunately, the gray, the cold and the desire for easy, lazy days seems to always outweigh what we know we should do.  Gratitude for the gift of homeschooling, perseverance in the midst of difficulty…

I am hoping and praying: for two of the dearest friends.  May God have mercy upon them…such a year they’ve had!  Also, praying for the repose of the soul of a young man named Matthew, taken much too soon from his beloved family.  Please remember him if you could…thank you!

In the garden: green dreams.  Promises of new life to come after a long sleep.  My heart is in that garden right now…

Around the House: a joyful, messy tangle.  Too many dishes?  Thank God we’ve had food!  Too much laundry?  Thank God we have an abundance of warm clothing!  Too much dust?  Thank God for the roof that shelters it!  Too much noise?  Thank God for the voices, the clashes and clatter of many children…they are His choices blessings…

On keeping home: reminding myself of this quote:

On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and effort to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.”

~Evelyn Underhill~

One of my favorite things: brothers standing shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, hand washing dishes for a mom whose hands are quite red and raw…

A few plans for the rest of the week: take care of my sick children, look for a vehicle that will accommodate the whole family (finally!!!) and begin to think about Lent…yes…I know it seems far away, but I want to think and plan now…menus, etc.  I’m thinking that 40 days of soups and breads will be a nice way to enter into the fasting season.  Economical…healthy…lighter…reserving our “feasts” for the Sabbath.  A sweet mommy blogger did this for Advent…I’m encouraged by her example!

A few picture thoughts I’m sharing: rather, a lot of picture thoughts!

Our first Washington March For Life…amazing!!

From the bus:

To Mass at St. John’s in Front Royal, Virginia:

To the Metro:

To the sidewalks of Washington, D.C.:

To the Mall…amongst hundreds of thousands:

And, finally, to the streets, to speak for those who aren’t able to speak for themselves:

We marched…armed with our “weapon of choice”:

And have memories and the hope that one day, soon, our voices will be heard and there will truly be…

Justice…for all.


P.S…about the Embracing Tradition Catholic Planner

I haven’t forgotten about the update for the Embracing Tradition Catholic Planner…please forgive me for not having accomplished it sooner.  As soon as I’m well enough, I’ll provide the link for the free 2011 update.  It is a privilege to be able to continue to offer this as a free resource…thank you for your patience!


A year of favor…

Dear friends…so sorry to leave you hanging for so long!  I do hope you’ve been enjoying the Christmas Season.  We’ve experienced so very many blessings, but alas, I’ve been quite under the weather and just can’t seem to get it together to post anything meaningful.  Pneumonia and the flu.  Daily fevers and paroxysmal coughing.  It just doesn’t want to let go.

Bear with me.  I haven’t thrown in the towel and you can bet I’ve been petitioning our Good God for mercy…but His will seems to involve a lot of immobility…quiet…inward reflection…and my will, to my shame, not a small amount of “wailing and gnashing of teeth…”

Ah…to be St. Bernadette.  Or St. Therese.  But I’m not…I know He sees the gold beneath the dross and the diamond in the rough, but, to quote a good friend, I really just feel like a great big ol’ lump of coal under pressure!  It takes a lot of pressure to make a diamond, doesn’t it?  And a lot of heat to burn away the dross to refine gold…

Now…if I can just remind myself that these refining actions are a favor, not a curse.  That I am blessed to be allowed this time to improve…yes…if I can quit lamenting and keep embracing the latest cross…that’s the key, right?

So.  Back to rest.  To reflection.  To acceptance of all things as blessing.

It’s a new year and all things are possible as the days, weeks and months stretch out before us.

Let us “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor:”

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:18-19


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