April 17, 2014

Holy Week

Palm Sunday
Hosanna to the Son of David! Blesssed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.  O King of Israel: Hosanna in the highest! Matthew 21:9

Spy Wednesday
The evil one had entered into the heart of Judas.  Judas made his deal with the Pharisees and was waiting for an opportunity to betray the Son of God.

Holy Thursday
A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, saith the Lord. Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. John 13:34, Psalm 118:1

For I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: this is My Body, which shall be delivered for you.  This do for the commemoration of Me. In like manner also the chalice, after He had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in My Blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of Me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until He come. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself; and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. Corinthians 11:20-30

After the Last Passover Meal of the Old Law and the First Mass of the New Law, Jesus went to the Garden to Pray for us.  He suffered deeply over our lack of love, our sinfulness.
And  He was withdrawn away from them a stone's cast: and kneeling down, He prayed, saying: Father, if Thou wilt, remove this chalice from Me; but yet not My will, but Thine be done.  And there appeared to Him and Angel from Heaven, strengthiening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground. Luke 22
And when He rose up from prayer,  and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow.  And He said to them: Why sleep you? arise, pray, lest you enter into temptation. Luke 22

Like the Apostles, we are often asleep.  Spiritual sleepiness is hard to overcome.

As He was yet speaking, behold a multitude; and he that was called Judas, one of the thewlve, went before them, and drew near to Jesus for to kiss Him.  And Jesus said to him: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss? Luke 22

Woman, I know Him not....
O man, I am not [one of them]...
Man, I know not what thou sayest.
And immediately the cock crew.

Peter went out and did not despair but wept for his sins, for his betrayal of the Son of God.

Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and ancients, Saying: I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. But they said: What is that to us? look thou to it. And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed: and went and hanged himself with an halter. Matthew 27

Will we be the Peter of repentance or the Judas of despair?

I having examined Him before you, find no cause in this man in those things wherein you accuse Him. No, nor Herod neither; for I sent you to him, an behold, nothing worthy of death is done to Him. I will chastise Him therefore and release Him.

How often to we mock our Lord in how we treat others as the soldiers mocked Jesus with a crown to mock His Kingship?
Now of necessity he was to release unto them one upon the feast day. But the whole multitude together cried out, saying" Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas.  Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for a murder, was cast into prison.  And Pilate again spoke to them, desiring to release Jesus. But they cried again, saying: Crucify Him, crucify Him.

Behold the man.

And by the hand of a whimpy man, He was condemned to death, even though he found no case against him. And Pilate washed his hands of the whole affair... but it is not the hands that are the source of the evil... it is in the heart.

 Imagine the pain between hearts as Jesus meets the gaze of his suffering Mother.  Their union of hearts, minds and souls would have been intimately united in the passion.

 For fear that Jesus would die on the way and not be tortured to the most hideous death, they forced Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus carry the cross.

 The Seven Last Words of Christ from the Cross:
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
Luke 23:34
Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.
Luke 23:43
Woman behold thy Son...Behold thy Mother.
John 19:26-27
Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? ... My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mark 15:34
I thirst.
John 19:28
It is consummated.
John 19:30
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
Luke 24:46

And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened; and the veil of the temptle was rent in the midst. ... and He gave ups the ghost.

 Let us bind ourselves tightly to the Sorrowful Heart of our Heavenly Mother and reflect on it’s boundless grief and how precious is our soul.
Padre Pio
 And behold there was a man named Joseph, who was a counselor, a good and just man of Arimathea, who also himself looked for the Kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. And taking Him down, he wrapped Him in fine linen and laid Him in a sepulcher that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid.

Jesus descended into limbo to receive the souls of the just who had died before the resurrection.
Hymn to Our Lady of Sorrows 
By stony streets my Jesus bears the Cross to Calvary. See
with what love His Mother shares the Cross He chose for me.

Mary now your all is given; through your soul the sword is
driven: Mary maid of Nazareth, pardon me my Jesus’ death.

Unto the earth my Jesus falls beneath men’s mocking gaze.
See Mary watches and recalls the steps of baby days.

Upon the Cross my Jesus hangs in grief and agony.
O Mary, in His dying pangs, the Lord is still with thee.

In Mary’s arms my Jesus lies and all His pain is done. See
Mary kiss those tired eyes. ‘Tis still her little Son.

March 30, 2014

Just Stuff

Kili was not sure about the prickly grass on his toes but a ball can cure all that ails us.  

 Pippin wasn't thrilled with our breakfast one morning and said, "I'm going to war, I don't have time to eat breakfast."

 Half of this calf belongs to us.  I think I'd prefer the back half, since it's likely to be tastier.

 Very bad pictures of what at first we thought was a wolf in our field but upon a bit of a zoom we think it is probably just a coyote.

 I won this awesome juicer at one of my favorite blogs.  I had always wanted to try a juicer but just not something we'd spend the money on just trying out.

 I've made several rounds of juice so far and like it. Excuse the bottle of lime juice... I didn't have a lime... but you can juice juice and get juice.... I know! I'm ingenious!

 So far my favorite has been strawberry, lime and apple mix.  It's sort of like a strawberry margarita.

 We had a flop batch of cheese which ended up a fabulous cheese dip.  We've been making lots of cheese curds to perfect it to sell at the farmers' market but this one didn't quite work out.. the way it was suppose to but sometimes I guess that is alright! Everyone thought this tasted like velveeta (minus the extra salty taste).

 I also tried out the ice cream recipes at Randazzo Inc This one is the strawberry ice cream.  It was very good.

 We also tried out the St. Patrick's Day ice cream, I forgot to take a picture and it was eaten within about 30 seconds.  It actually uses juiced spinach but with the mint and maple syrup added to the frozen cream.. it's good!
Playing weeping angels version of "statues".

March 22, 2014

Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition

 Sam hosted the 2014 Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition for our homeschooling group. These are just some of the participants.
 Sam built this scale to do the bridge breaking.
 There were 2 categories, Junior (beginners) and Open which have their set of rules in how many stick can be used with Elmer's glue.  The bridge is weighed and then put into the scale.
 Clamping the blocks that held the bridge in place
 The bridge is then strapped in place and weights added to the balance.
 *Crack* The bridge supports only up to a certain weight. The point system is the weight of the bridge/weight held.  That gives the point value.
Sam's captivated audience. He did a great job building the contraption for weights and bridge breaking. Sam's bridge held the most weight per bridge pound but of course didn't count in the competition.  And, stupidly I forgot to take a picture of the winners with their medals.  Everyone received a certificate with their weights and points. All did a great job!

Birthdays and Feast Days

 Aragorn and Pippin celebrated their "twin" birthday nearly setting the house on fire. Pippin is now 8.  And continues to keep us on our toes and chuckling.
If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me.
St. Patrick

The Feast of St. Patrick always reminds me of my grandma who passed way on his feast day back in 1981. She was well-devoted to St. Patrick as every Irishman is... or should be!  

 To celelbrate we had some green shamrock pancakes.
 And a bit o' the green in the fresh bread.  We even had Frodo make some green butter, but it is not pictured here.
 Marigold... I'm not sure what she's doing but she was happy to do it.
 Kili helping churn the butter. He really enjoyed it... no kidding... but he kept sticking the other hand into the gears with unhappy results. But it wasn't as bad as getting bitten by one of his little friends this week. :D
 St. Joseph was so reserved and careful in his speech that not one word ever issued from his mouth that was not good and holy, nor did he ever indulge in unnecessary or less than charitable conversation. He was most patient and diligent in bearing fatigue; he practiced extreme poverty; he was most meek in bearing injuries; he was strong and constant against my enemies; he was the faithful witness of the wonders of Heaven, being dead to the flesh and the world, living only for God and for Heavenly goods, which were the only things he desired. He was perfectly conformed to the Divine Will and so resigned to the dispositions of Heaven that he ever repeated" May the Will of God ever be done in me!" He rarely spoke with men, but continually with God, whose Will he desired to perform. Wherefore, he now enjoys great glory in Heaven.
St. Bridget of Sweden

Of course I couldn't find an actual quote from St. Joseph as he didn't say a word. He just acted upon the Will of God. Something to learn from there...

 We made a St. Joseph Altar Cake.  My wonderful sugar-free-maple-syrup-and-honey-only friend might be interested to know that I very carefully chose what sugar-ful sweets we would partake of. For example we made a marvelous homemade white cake which did have sugar but the frosting was just butter, honey and vanilla.  The little flowers I just couldn't resist as they seemed like a nice addition to the "altar" but  the cream jel jubes or something like that did have coconut oil in them so I think that gave them some redeeming value.

  And the apple cinnamon newtons were simply for making some fancy "breads" and have absolutely no redeeming value outside of carving out religious symbols. They not only are full of all sorts of fructoses and syrups but they didn't even taste good.  Due to our careful consideration of our sugar intake... I'm happy to report that no one was hyper or sick as a result.  And if you look, you will see that we still have no skill at frosting but this was a wonderful tasting frosting!
I have always loved St. Benedict.  So I cannot resist a few lovely quotes from his Rule:

† Idleness is the enemy of the soul; and therefore the brethren ought to be employed in manual labor at certain times, at others, in devout reading.

† And let them first pray together, that so they may associate in peace.

† He should first show them in deeds rather than words all that is good and holy.

† The sleepy like to make excuses.

† For at all times we must so serve Him with the good things He has given us, that he may not, as an angry Father, disinherit his children, nor as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil deeds, deliver us to everlasting punishment as wicked servants who refuse to follow Him to glory.

I mean what is not to love about this man of great wisdom?

 We had a couple of adolescent (juvenile) bald eagles in our field.
  And in case you are wondering why they aren't bald, they don't earn their baldness until they are 3 years old.
Here one is unfolding his feathers to try and gain the territory.
2-1/2 more gallons of syrup out of 75 gallons of sap. :D