Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Daybook for March 6th

March 6, 2013

(The pictures are from our papacy lapbook, which is going very well.  I'm so glad we're doing it! )

Outside My Window
We had two and a quarter inches of rain last night and another quarter inch during the day.  We also had hail, sleet and a little bit of snow.  Sometimes we’d look at the window and say, “wow, look at that...  precipitation!” because it was hard to tell what was falling from the sky.

I am Listening to
The crackling of the wood burning stove as the metal cools.  I like having fires in the evening.

I am so Grateful for
Oh, many things!  The chance to visit with a friend and pray the Stations of the Cross with them on Friday, the kids’ opportunity to spend some time with their grandmother up in the snow over the weekend, being able to watch Pope Emeritus Benedict’s last day as Pope over the internet, getting together with family for dinner on Saturday, celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday tonight...  really, there is so much I am grateful for in my life!

I am Pondering
“I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth. But I would still—with my heart, with my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, and with all my inner strength—like to work for the common good and the Good of the Church and of humanity. “  Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, from the balcony of Castel Gandolfo on February 28th.  

I am Reading
Still reading lots of books, but I thought I would mention one in particular.  Yesterday evening I read Habemus Papam!  A graphic novel written in the Manga style about the life of Joseph Ratzinger.  I’ve never read a graphic novel before, and I’m not particularly attracted to that format, but this one was wonderful. The book is engaging, gently humorous, and makes good use of the format to tell the story.  I was so impressed.  

I am Thinking
There has got to be at least on other family in this county who doesn’t think it is crazy/unnecessary/downright strange to read Shakespeare with their children.  Right?  Maybe?  And if there is, how do I go about finding them?  How would someone find me? 

I am Creating
Hmm...  not much progress on anything.  I have worked on my knitted headband, but the pace is rather glacial.  I think I managed to knot one decade on my Rosary...   

Towards a Real Education
The kids are really enjoying Much Ado About Nothing.  The boys have (affectionately, I assure you) nicknamed it, “Nothin’ to do about Mutton”.  We have been listening to the two scenes where Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into thinking each is in love with the other, then we watched that scene in Kenneth Branagh’s version of the play.  The whole thing isn’t appropriate for children, but some scenes are perfectly acceptable.  I love the joyous exultation the actors show as they decide to love one another.  The two older kids understood the language, laughed at the jokes,  and greatly enjoyed the experience.  Emma acted out the scene with Beatrice, Ursula and Hero in Lego this evening - quite amusing.  Children can love the language of Shakespeare and they can “get it”!  And why would I want to save this for high school, when they can enjoy and savor it now?  And in high school they can take their familiarity with the stories and run with it, diving deeper into the language and all the allusions and poetry Shakespeare has to offer.

Towards Rhythm and Beauty
Ah, starting at 8 am is a challenge.  Some days are better than others.  But all in all, we’re doing well and making good adjustments when we need to start a little later.  I’m skipping singing too often though.  That’s always the first thing that goes in my schedule.

To Live the Liturgical Year
Ah, Lent.  We’re still moving right along in our various observances.  

I am Hoping and Praying
For the Cardinals, as they gather in Rome.

From the Kitchen
I was thinking about Sarah’s comment about oatmeal on my last post, and it made me thing about  why we eat oatmeal so often during Lent.  We don’t pick oatmeal for breakfast as a sort of “ok, lets make ourselves suffer by having to eat something we don’t like much more frequently”.  Instead we eat oatmeal because it is cheap, filling, and easy.  It gives me more time in the morning for prayer, and gives us some money that we save to donate at Easter to the charity of our choice.  Every oatmeal day sees another dollar in the box, and every simple supper puts in two more dollars.  We had seventy some-odd dollars last year, and I think we’ll have more this year.  There is a discipline in eating something more frequently though, even if it is something I like.  I think it is excellent training for my will, to help me to as I ought and not just as I feel in all manner of things.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week
Yesterday was our marathon out of the house day - science lab class, dentist appointments, and religious education.  I taught a class too, and the sum total of that day made me want to hide in a cave for the rest of the evening.  Instead I made it through dinner and prayer and read-alouds and bedtime then immersed myself in Habemus Papam.  Today was a little birthday celebration for my father-in-law, and on Friday we’ll be heading to my parents’ so they can take care of the kids while Matt and I celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary.  This will be the first night I’ve spent away from Justin, and only the second time I’ve been away overnight from the other kids (excluding births!)  We’re looking forward to it, but I’m also wondering how Justin will do overnight.  At least I  won’t be too far away if it really isn’t working!


  1. I'm glad to hear a positive word for Habemus Papam... I am planning to get it for my daughter for her 8th b-day in a few weeks as it ties in with our study of the papacy.

  2. Hi Erin - There is some mention of the abuse scandal in the book, including a newspaper headline that says, "sex abuse scandal". The book also shows Pope Benedict meeting with some of the victims, and has one victim saying, "I'd never thought I'd trust a priest again". While I think it is handled very well and certainly doesn't dive into details, it still is there. I spoke briefly with my eleven year old daughter about it before I let her read it so she would have some idea what that part was about. I wanted to make sure you knew about that aspect of the book as well.

  3. I can certainly understand and resonate with the simplicity of oatmeal. We've been doing quite a few bean meals here during Lent. Well, I always eat beans (as a vegetarian), but Nathan's even been eating them, too! And I continue in my 'non-discipline' of the simplicity of oats because I just could never grow tired of oatmeal. I guess my previous comment was sort of the tip of the iceberg of my wonderings about the nature of Lenten disciplines. Would eating something I liked less and giving up oats be an appropriate discipline, or if one happens to love something that is cheap, filling, healthy, and simple, does that count as a discipline somehow well-acquired, and one that should be continued in?

    I'm not sure I'm making any sense. ;) It's late here on the east coast...I'll use that as an excuse!

    Have fun on your overnight trip. Does Justin still nurse? Nathan mentioned recently that perhaps we should try an overnight trip sometime, but the thought of it sounded way more stressful than relaxing to me right now... I have a nursing baby that I don't feel ready to leave yet!

    1. Yes, Justin still nurses and let's just say I was very glad we were staying only 10 minutes away from my parents house come Saturday morning! I ended up driving over there at about 6:30 am to nurse him then heading back to the B&B. A little goofy, yes, but far more comfortable than the alternative!! If I had a pump that would have helped a lot, but it didn't occur to me. (And I can't stand the largely ineffective 11 year old one I own - which I haven't even tried for the last two babies! - so I'm not sure how much it would have helped. But a good pump would be a must if I was going to spend the night further away from Justin!)

      Regarding the Lenten discipline - I think the key question is this: Is the purpose of a Lenten discipline to do something to yourself that you don't like? I think the only reason that I'd answer yes to this is if I'm looking to practice detachment from material things. But I think there are other reasons to take on Lenten disciplines, and they can end up being something I like - some examples for me are: increasing my amount of spiritual reading, eating oatmeal and rice & beans to have more money to give away, and praying more with my family. Now these things have not always been things I've enjoyed, but I think that as I become more rightly ordered, rightly ordered things become more enjoyable. Would it make sense to give up spiritual reading or increased prayer time - things that bring me closer to God - simply because I enjoy them? For that same reason, I think continuing to enjoy foods that are nourishing but also simple to prepare and cheap (especially if that time and money are used to good purpose) is completely appropriate as a Lenten discipline.