Thursday, November 29, 2007

oh, to be a child...

Today I noticed my five year old son has a few bald patches, one on top of his head, one in the back. Seems he had a little fun with the scissors.

Me to son: Bald spots, hmmm. What are we going to do about that?

Son to me: Grow some hair.

The simplicity of a child.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

wow, check this out!

This looks fabulous! And pay attention to the quote from MLK at the beginning of the trailer. You would not believe how many people argue that we should not be protesting and praying outside the PP here "because it's legal." I would love to have this quote printed on T-shirts and on signs and spread the word.

Anyway, I will definitely keep my eyes out for this movie.

h/t to cosmos ~liturgy ~sex

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I just wanted to pop in and relate a few items.

The leaves are all down now here at crazyacres. What I notice most is the ability to now see the positively gorgeous sunsets, formerly hidden by the trees. It seems as if God designed nature in such a way as to offer a consolation of new beauty when a different beauty is lost to the change of seasons.

I also notice how I can see things that were hidden to me all summer. Lost toys, lawn ornaments (I have a beautiful cement owl that gets swallowed up by the hosta all summer. I can see his little self once again), neighbors, and even the beauty of the shapes of the actual tree brances. I think of my life, as it progresses, now into my 40's, that charactor traits in myself and others are much more visible to me now than they were when I was in the full bloom of my 20's. I realize I have alot of life to go yet (God willing), but I can see one of the advatages of aging is clarity. Something to look forward to!

Also, just an aside, we had a great day in school today. The beginning of the second quarter, and we had our first day the really "CLICKED", smoothly, and didn't feel as if I was pushing a large boulder up hill. Thank you God.

And, in my thrift store perusing today, I found two large sets of silverware (actually, stainless steel) for $11.00. We have a lot of company, and I am always running out of silverware or resorting to plastic utinsils. This is more attractive, more useful, and cheaper in the long run. I also got 2 very pretty and high quality artificial pine swags with pine cones and red berries and twigs for $1.61 each. I plan on putting them over my icon wall in the living room, and the prayer space in my icon studio, for the Nativity fast and Christmas season. Yea! I love thrift stores.

Then, to top off the successful day, I made a quick trip to our local, brand new, beautiful Aldi, and got food for the week, including two roasted chickens for dinner tonight. They sell these yummy thin frozen green beans, which I roasted, and have fruit coctail in a jar that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it. Add that to left over stuffing and gravy, and we had a great, quick, and inexpensive dinner. Again, thank you God. Plus, like I said, food for the week, and I only spent $80 on it all. Keep in mind I have a pretty well stocked freezer and pantry, so that will be supplimented, but still. Thank God for Aldi. It would be so difficult to feed our large family with out those stores.

For those wondering why we had chicken during the Nativity Fast, I will confess we do a modified fast rather than the fast like the one of Great Lent. We do the fasting Monday, Wednesday and Friday, best as we can. But, as always, I am looking for good recipes that are fast friendly, so if you have any, share, please! So far our fasting dinners seem to all be soups or stews, and I am specifically looking for dinners not of that type. I can't even think of one at this time.

Anyway, I'm still here, plugging away at my life.

God's choices blessings to you all~

Friday, November 23, 2007

A cute funny

This is a video my brother took of my 5 year old son. They had been watching previously filmed video on the little screen on my brother's camera. The screen was turned in the same direction as the lens so others could watch. When the video ended, my brother began filming my son. My little guy was very confused at first, and the funniest part of this video is the complete "a-ha" moment he gets when he realized what he is watching.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Blessed Thanksgiving to all of you!

Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the angels I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your
mercy and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted above everything
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me,
my strength of soul you increased.
All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth;
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me,
your mercy, O Lord, endures for ever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A help

Lately, I've been "lookin' for answers" regarding the lessons I am supposed to be learning during some rough waters. I am waiiiting, and waiiting to understand so as not waste this time, spiritually speaking.

Today, in my daily meditation from Henri Nouwen, I received this encouragment. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness and loving care of me, your little, worried child.

Active Waiting

Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting. It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts that makes already present what we are waiting for. We wait during Advent for the birth of Jesus. We wait after Easter for the coming of the Spirit, and after the ascension of Jesus we wait for his coming again in glory. We are always waiting, but it is a waiting in the conviction that we have already seen God's footsteps.

Waiting for God is an active, alert - yes, joyful - waiting. As we wait we remember him for whom we are waiting, and as we remember him we create a community ready to welcome him when he comes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Metanoia, again

When I wrote this post on metanoia, I assumed I wasn't alone in my heart ache regarding really loving others. Then today, I was made certain of that when I read this heart achingly beautiful post at Et tu? It about doing our best, with our fallen selves and narrow focus, to see people as they really are, as God sees them, with all their hurts and sorrows. To turn the other cheek, and why we are exhorted to do so, believing that through Christ we all are capable of love and mercy towards each other. As I delve more deeply into the spiritual waters, I see the shadow of the shadow of the ability to see as God sees. Please, go read the rest of this post it is perfect. Here is a snippet, but really the entire post is worthy.

"everyone has suffered. We all live in this fallen world together, and because of that we have all experienced hurt, loss, cruelty, abuse and pain, to some extent or another. Everyone I'll ever interact with has had something bad happen to them. And when inevitable misunderstandings and altercations arise, if I respond to unkindness with unkindness, to scorn with scorn, the only result is that I am adding to the suffering they experience in this life, and to the total amount of suffering in the world."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Remedy for high anxiety

When I am anxious and restless, I paint. Even better, I help my kids paint. Here is an owl my 9 year old painted under my tutelage. He copied this from a photo. We are both very pleased with it.(You can click on the picture for a better look).

Monday, November 12, 2007


From a beautiful stained glass window in a church I visited during a weekend away.

Breaks my heart wide open.

Fall at crazyacres

The Picture Tree

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Update on the Chili

The chili was fabulously delicious. I had made it once before, but I
took more time with it this time and it was so good. I served these
muffins with it, and I highly recommend them. I used all white flour, though, because my whole wheat flour was old and smelled funny, so I dumped it.

Upper Crust Bakery's Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/3 cups old fashioned oats (I used quick oats and it seemed to be fine)
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup all purpose flour, sifted
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease standard size muffing cups. Place oats and buttermilk
in a bowl and stir to combine (I used milk + vinegar, and it worked
fine). Add beaten eggs to that mixture and mix well with a spoon. Add
brown sugar and oil to the mixture. Stir well, making sure that clumps
of sugar are dissolved. In a separate bowl sift the dry ingredients
Turn the oatmeal mixture into the dry ingredients and stir only to
dampen them. Do not over mix. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a light
to medium golden brown. Turn baked muffins onto a wire rack and cool.
Makes 12.

These muffins will dome better if final mixture sits for about 15
minutes or so before filling muffin cups. (I did for about 5 minutes
and they were domed nicely).

Friday, November 09, 2007

What's Cooking Tonight

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

4 Large onions, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, seeded, chopped **I used a bag of frozen chopped
peppers and onions**

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon ground mustard

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

16 oz canned tomatoes, chopped **I use 2 14 oz cans**

5 cups kidney beans -- cooked with liquid **I use 3 cans of a variety of beans + a little water**

11 oz can of Mexican style corn with liquid

6 oz can of tomato paste

3 carrots, diced

10 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced

In a large kettle, cook onions and green peppers in oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, and peppers are soft. Add mustard, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, and cinnamon and cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and their liquid, beans and their liquid, corn and its liquid, carrots, mushrooms, and tomato paste.

Reduce heat and simmer rapidly, uncovered for about 40 minutes, or until most of the liquid is cooked away and chili has thickened; stir frequently to prevent scorching.

This serves my family for one meal. We have corn bread and sometimes a salad with it, although I don't have salad makings here tonight. This is a good fasting meal, as it is nutritious, filling, and simple.

If you would have told me this 6 years ago, I would have said you were mad...

Today is one of those days that it is just breaking my heart that I don't have a baby in the house anymore. A 3 1/2 year old is not a baby, no matter how many times she is called "baby".

Back when I had a constant and steady supply of babies, I longed for the day when more of my day and my body would be "mine". Now, I would love to be holding a little chub, with a unique but recognizable face, that adds a sweetness and joy like no other.

This is one of the difficult parts about leaving your family planning to God. He must want something else from me just now.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A little praying

I think I have posted this before, because this prayer said during Vespers is one of my favorites. Last evening, my family and I went to Vespers for the Feast of the Archangels. It is a remarkable way to end a day, let me tell you. The candles, incense, chanting of the Psalms, worshiping God with singing, bowing and many requests for mercy.

The hymn that I love the most is this one:

Deign, O Lord, to keep us this evening free from sin.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, God of our Fathers! Praise and glorified is Thy name forever and ever, Amen.

O Lord, let Thy mercy rest upon us, for we have place our hope in Thee.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord: teach me Thy commands.

Blessed art Thou, O Master: grant that I may understand Thy commands.

Blessed art Thou, O Holy One: enlighten me in Thy statutes.

Everlasting is Thy love, O Lord; do not turn away from the work of Thy hands!

Indeed, praise, adoration and glory are You due, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever, Amen.

And in honor of St. Michael, I'll turn to one of my Roman Rite prayers that I love and say often:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls,

(photo is taken my by sister in law of my nephew and Godson dressed up for All Saints Day).

Monday, November 05, 2007


I had to add the word verification thingy to my comment section due to a HUGE increase in vile spam. After spending too much time deleting all these comments, even though I hate the word verification, I have to put it on.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Voice of the Angels

I just re-discovered one of my all time favorite singers, and I feel a cold place in my soul being warmed.

Aaron Neville was someone I listened to quite a bit when I was single. The album "Warm Your Heart" (because they were albums then) was one I could sing along with, and I mean every word.

Just yesterday, I came across "Bring it on Home...Soul Classics". Wow. Just wow. Every song a treasure. All the best, but with Aaron's very unique and warm sound. It comes highly recommended!

While perusing his other music, I came across some articles about his life, his Catholicism, his wife, and his loves.

This article from Crisis Magazine was written back in 2001. It tells the very interesting story of Aaron's life and career, and the faith that anchored him during his rough spots.

Here is a sample:

Then at 1:30 a.m., Aaron Neville, the centerpiece of the outfit—a mountain of a man, his arms and chest busting the bounds of a distressed jeans vest—puts down his tambourine and reaches for the microphone. The party atmosphere suddenly dissipates. He is a daunting figure, but those close enough to see his eyes find a gentleness, even a shyness, in them. He adjusts his earpiece, absently stroking the cross-like tattoo on his left cheek, and nods toward the band. Like a schoolboy singing for the first time before the class, Neville tentatively begins Amazing Grace. His fragile falsetto is barely audible after the pounding party music of the past hour. But the throng falls still. From the stage comes the voice of a battered angel: an ethereal sound with edges roughed by hell. As he reaches for the high notes, the muscle below his right eye twitches. Otherwise, there is no movement in the performance. None is necessary. The revelers are listening, perhaps for the first time this evening—listening and turning deep within. Past the booze, the weird hats, and the plastic beads, Aaron Neville has brought redemption into the room. Never mind that it wasn’t invited.

This article from Cultural Catholic was written much more recently, after the death of Aaron's wife earlier this year. When you read it, have a tissue handy because this is a love story that will make you cry.

Cyril Neville stepped up with a statement Aaron wrote as a raw expression of loss. To read it, Cyril said, "is one of the greatest honors I've had in my life."

With that, he channeled his brother's words:

"I remember the first kiss back in 1957, and I'll never forget our last kiss. I held her head in my hands and was as gentle as I could be. I kissed her eyes, her face, and her hands. I knew I was losing my best friend."

Cyril choked up, then continued through tears.

"She was everything a person could be to another. I still feel her lips on mine. I'll never get over losing her. But I know she's in a better place. She's gone home, and I'll see her again some day."

Aaron sat, head bowed. His sunglasses, removed earlier in the service, were back on.

The more I read of this couple, and the artist that is Aaron Neville, the more I am reminded of the story of Johnny Cash. I wrote a post on Johnny a while ago. The similarities are amazing. The poverty of youth, the dabbling with crime, the immersion into drugs, the saving love of a woman the the redemption through Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. These men know beauty and love, and pain and despair, and joy and sorrow. To me, this typifies "artist".

All I know is that listening to both men's music is for me an encounter with God. Listening to them is, for me, a healing experience, and I am grateful.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My view of my kids most of the evening

The Gang (my kids, and some of their friends)


The Practical Princess getting her candy (notice her boots).

One of the best costumes ever!

Seven children, seven gi-normous bags of candy

Candy, the breakfast of champions!!

This should say it all ~