January 27, 2009

Mother's Helpers

Galadriel and Eowyn are finally old enough to be real mother's helpers and I came up with this brilliant idea to loan them out for the day to a mother who I thought would enjoy getting something done while her littles were occupied by a bit of real help (no, don't bother asking, you can't have them, I'm counting down the minutes til they get home). Surprisingly our day went fairly well, however as time for dinner preparation arrived I just sort of stood there. I had to make dinner all by myself, well, let's give the boys some credit, they did grind some cheese and chop some lettuce. Sigh.... it's so lonely with only 9 people in our house.

That said, the bicker level dropped significantly today................

January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to a wonderful Mother!

Happy Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

January 24, 2009


Great blog-post by my dear friend Heather at Doodle Acres.


Congratulations to the Bonny Blue House with the arrival of their 8th baby Brendan Michael at 9#2 oz and 21-1/2 " long... wow!


It's Official! The Holy Father has indeed lifted the excommunications! Here I refer you to Fr. Z since he has the official word and always a tasty comment or ten!

Let us offer a deep prayer of thanksgiving for our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for this wonderful blessing!


Press Release from the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X

The excommunication of the bishops consecrated by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on June 30, 1988, which had been declared by the Congregation for Bishops in a decree dated July 1, 1988, and which we had always contested, has been withdrawn by another decree mandated by Benedict XVI and issued by the same Congregation on January 21, 2009.
We express our filial gratitude to the Holy Father for this gesture which, beyond the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, will benefit the whole Church. Our Society wishes to be always more able to help the pope to remedy the unprecedented crisis which presently shakes the Catholic world, and which Pope John Paul II had designated as a state of “silent apostasy.”
Besides our gratitude towards the Holy Father and towards all those who helped him to make this courageous act, we are pleased that the decree of January 21 considers as necessary “talks” with the Holy See, talks which will enable the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to explain the fundamental doctrinal reasons which it believes to be at the origin of the present difficulties of the Church.
In this new atmosphere, we have the firm hope to obtain soon the recognition of the rights of Catholic Tradition

Menzingen, January 24, 2009

January 23, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday Frodo

First order of business is who gets the light all the candles. I seem to have 2 pyromaniacs, well 3, they get this from *someone*.

Frodo chose an all white cake afterall he said "It's all white outside."

For breakfast Frodo chose Eggs Benedict. For Lunch he chose Peanut Butter and Honey sandwiches on Mommy's bread (awww.... I think he should get some points for this) . For Dinner he chose sweet and sour shrimp and crab rangoons. Alright, only my 9 year old would choose such a thing.

January 22, 2009

CPSIA & Wholesomewear

With the new CPSIA laws going into effect, many small businesses will suffer. One such company is the wonderful company Wholesomewear that I recently posted about. They sell beautiful modest swimwear for children. Because they are having trouble finding the CPSIA General Conformity information for the zippers, all the swimsuits for children 12 and under have to go by February 10th. Support this wonderful business by taking these off their hands! They are having a 50% clearance sale on Girls and Child Sizes and still discounted women's sizes. Their price changes are to appear soon. I am only one of their customers I'm not their advertising agent but I'm glad to advertise for them.

(just how many children do you know who got lead poisoning from chewing on their zipper?)

Also, while we are at it. I have heaps and piles of Ara's Pants (Harmony Threads) that have to go as well. I haven't found out yet if I can get the CPSIA information on the *cotton* fabric.
(refraining from all sarcastic comments)

Deo Gratias!


I couldn't be more overjoyed, so why am I crying?


Obama 3rd American president to retake oath

"Joking that it was so much fun he had to do it again, Barack Obama became the third U.S. president to take the oath of office a second time because of concerns over the initial swearing-in."
Funny, I had concerns over the initial swearing-in too.

"Obama didn't use a Bible for the second oath, but it is still binding."
Just what did he swear on then? And what binds it?

"During Tuesday's inauguration ceremony, Roberts said: "that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully."

The correct wording is "that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States."
Funny, it was the word "faithfully".

Pray for President Obama that he may be Faithful so as to run our country faithfully under God where all authority on earth comes from.

Day of Penance for the Sin of Abortion

Today is a Day of Penance for the Sin of Abortion
Take time for extra prayer today.
At noon CST locals are saying a Rosary and the St. Michael Prayer for Obama and that he has a change of heart regarding life issues.

Dumb Ox Publications

For anyone looking for the Dumb Ox Publications contact information here it is:
Dumb Ox Publications
10201 Grove School Road
Beloit, WI 53511
(608) 879-9400

They only do mail order via snail mail so you may want to contact them now if you are interested in their Lenten Calendar. Lent begins on February 25, and don't let a full month think you'll be prepared on time.... if you are like me who values the old calendar when they reminded you for 2 weeks that "lent is coming, what are you going to do?!"

January 18, 2009

Chess for Dummies

Aragorn's brother and wife came over to take the children out cross country skiing. Being the sensible person I am I stayed inside where it was warm. Merry and Pippin decided to play chess. As I lay reclined on the couch I was amazed that they knew how to set up the chess board, they are only 2 and 4.
I was further amazed that they knew how to move the little horseys. I haven't yet ventured to play chess with my children... I'm still a sore loser. But when I grow up I'm certainly not going to play with my 2 or 4 year old.

The game begins to get a bit animated.

If you are a Narnia Fan you may remember when Reepicheep was playing chess aboard the Dawn Treader (I believe) when suddenly the chess game became his real battle. This is what happened here.
Victory! However in this game one can capture the king and the battle is still on.

Bilbo's Afro

Bilbo's curls just crack me up. This day he sported a blond afro. And yes, he stole my water jug... again!

Boiling Water on a Cold Day

A friend of mine told me about this nifty experiment. If the day is very, very cold (you southerners don't know what cold is) you take a cup of boiling water and throw it up in the air and it instantly vaporizes. On this particular day it was 24 degrees *below* zero excluding any windchill factor. I cannot believe I got to be the ol' lady I am without ever hearing of this and I'm a northerner.

Swimming Day

What do you do on one of the coldest days of the year? Our homeschooling group takes the children swimming. I kid you not it must have been 100 degrees in the pool room and it was -35 below zero windchill outside. I couldn't resist a picture with Bilbo in his swimsuit and winter boots.

Rosie ready to jump in the pool.
I had left my camera in the car and so I couldn't get a clear picture for a while til cold met humidity and made friends.

Merry preferred the railing but eventually ventured out.

My favorite bread lover. :)

Galadriel taking Bilbo for a dip.

Bilbo was forever trying to get to the pool edge. M.... don't get your socks wet *snicker*

Ooooooh, gotta love them baby blues. Yeah, they are irresistable.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to our God Daughter!

Bilbo the Climber

Bilbo is a climber. It's enough to drive you crazy, nothing is safe. He just slides up on a chair and keeps sliding on up-up-up as high has he can. Thankfully he's still too short to go far.

January 17, 2009

January 18th National Sanctity of Human Life Day

I just read about this beautiful day *which is tomorrow* on Fr. Z's blog This truly brought tears to my eyes *Sanctity of Human Life Day*, how beautiful:

Yesterday, President George W. Bush proclaimed January 18 to be “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.” He said that “All life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection.” The president emphasized that “we aspire to build a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law.” The president received the praise of Catholic League president Bill Donohue: “George W. Bush will be remembered as doing more to build a culture of life than any president. Not that his father and Ronald Reagan weren’t champions of life, too. The difference is that this president was faced with more challenges, and he made good on every one of them. From embryonic stem cell research and cloning to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act and partial-birth abortion, George W. Bush has been the pro-life community’s best friend. “Barack Obama will soon be president. He is an avowed champion of abortion rights. When asked during the campaign when life begins, he balked, giving a lame answer. Bright as he is, Obama is not well informed about the most fundamental question of them all: What is the origin of human life? But even those who posit that no one can be sure must be inclined to offer protection to that which might be life. To assume otherwise is a game of chance no morally responsible society should tolerate. “On January 22, the Right to Life March will take place in Washington, D.C. We know of President Bush’s honorable record. We now await to see what President Obama will say on the 36th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.”
The Catholic League

Off to plan what we will eat in celebration of the Gift of Life tomorrow! Pray for President Bush, I have my hopes he will become a Catholic before he dies. And pray for a complete change of heart for President-elect Obama.

January 9, 2009

The Real Saints

I have often suffered over the fact that we here at Trinity Acres we are not the picturesque pretty saintly family you see in the stories of the saints. Oh we can take an occasional pretty picture but I'm talking the picturesque in reality.

This is not our family praying but it is the typical picturesque saintly family portrayed as praying. And I have that very deep desire to be said picturesque saintly family. *snicker* So yesterday as I had some spare moments I stumbled across the article "How Fat Was He? As Fat As....." at Ask Sister Mary Martha blog Here Sister describes the reality of Saints and she is incredibly funny, just cracks me up. The reality of sanctity isn't about being picturesque but in fighting one's bouts with the devil.

Here is an excerpt from her blog about the saintly Tubby Thomas :
"It's okay with me. I like him that way. A person can't have heroic virtue if they have no problems to try to overcome. You're not brave if you're not afraid. Bravery means you are afraid, but you still do the deed. If you're not afraid, maybe you're just fool hardy. Or stupid.There can be no strength of character without temptation, no virtue without the existence of vice. Being a fatso doesn't make Thomas Aquinas a hypocrite. It makes him human, which allows him to become a saint. I want the fattest holy card I can find of him."

So don't be afraid to be a saint because you aren't picturesque, few people are and if they are picturesque their is likely something wrong somewhere else. I love reading about the humanity of the saints, it's humorous and something to which I can relate. I cannot relate to floating saints who lived in sheer ecstasy in their love of God. I'd certainly love to be there with such a deep love for God but I have never seen a picture of a mother floating during prayer with 3 tots on her lap. Hair standing on end, yes but body floating, no.

Confession is the key. Use it and use it often. Take your sins and concerns to the confessional and leave them there and move on. I wonder how many times St. Thomas Aquinas said "Bless me Father for I have sinned, I ate way too much ... *again*." That is the saint, one who takes his sins to a priest, having to actually say those sins and admit we offended God. It is not always easy to do but the saint does it. And then those sins are *gone* just like that. Beautiful. Downright embarrassing at times but beautiful. Confession is truly beautiful... one of the very greatest gifts God left for us after Our Lord ascended into Heaven.

After having a rather lengthy Christmas vacation we were back to school right after Epiphany. And here is the reality of school.
Merry playing with teddy bear counters.... on top of the desk. No neat and tidy, prim and proper students in our school.
Oh, wow, what a shot, Pippin is actually on the chair! Gotta love those 1" colored cubes. I don't know what the delight in but the 2 little boys will sit for a long time just making rows and rows of little blocks on trays.

Frodo, not much to complain about here other than that he is wearing his barn shirt rather than his neat polo.
Oh, here we go, both Merry and Pippin on the desk (I like the plumber look of Pippin's pants), this time with colored and natural blocks. Their favorite manipulates are obviously these blocks and the teddy bears and also the frog counters. These 2 will keep themselves busy for a couple of hours but it isn't always so but the last 3 days of school it has been so. So I'm not going to complain about them sitting on top of the desk if they are somewhat quiet.
Galadriel working on her Math (Teaching Textbooks 6). Note that is not her desk... this is mine. Remind you a bit of fat Aquinas in the disorganization department? Note how I cropped the picture down to the bare necessities. The original picture would have shown too much of my humanity *snicker*. I am working on it but no sooner I create a hole in my piles some new project comes to take its place.
Here I am working with Eleanor on her phonics. We have had 1 very early reader, an average reader and some later readers, I'm not going to fret over it when I see families with these very early readers. Each family has their own charisma and early reading simply isn't ours. And note, because I was in a highly non-photogenic moment having not long been out of the shower and looking a bit like a wet rat, I could neatly crop off all but my lower arm. Needless to say Eleanor really loves the Seton phonics book.
Sam working on his Lord of the Rings study. Sam has struggled with reading (St. Joseph Cupertino also suffered in this department, I love having saints to relate to). But on this day he did all remaining 19 fill-ins on his own, without help and read out loud quietly the entire works. And this unit study is not easy. This is HUGE. *sniff-sniff* He wanted to quit many times but he didn't. Now that is the saint part. Wanting to quit yet persevering through. Our main goal this year for Sam is to get him to read without the stumbling blocks in his mind that occur in dyslexics. And yes, to those of you who have asked me about what we've learned with dyslexia I will blog about it one of these days. (We won't talk about his hair and how I need to persevere through yet another hair cut.)

The Case of the Missing Chicken Eggs SOLVED

I was getting a little weary of Sam feeding the chickens three times a day for us to be getting only 2 eggs a week out of some 30 or so chickens. I had heard it all "There isn't enough light" "It's too cold" "They are molting" "There must be weasels or snakes about" None of which I believed could leave us with only 2 eggs a week from so many chickens. Well, sure enough today as Sam went to feed the chickens a little earlier than usual, he catches our dog sneaking out of the chicken house with 2 eggs in his mouth. *snicker* He was sneaking in through the outside fence and into the chicken house and stealing the eggs. The chickens must have decided not to complain since the dog ate the eggs and left them alone. I sometimes wonder if we should forget this idea of animals at our place. We have been outsmarted by a pig, by our ponies and now by the dog. I think I will forget the idea of getting chinchillas again as I would be very upset to be outsmarted by a rodent.

Midnight Mass Take 2

High Definition Semi-professional recording of our Midnight Mass is now on-line HERE!

January 6, 2009

Just for Fun Meme

I saw this Meme on my friend Kristina's blog and since school starts back up tomorrow I'll play one last game.

They don't come simpler than this (Yes or No):

1. Started your own blog. Yes and obviously so since you are reading at it now:)
2. Slept under the stars Yes, but in a tent
3. Played in a band Yes, well, not exactly, I played in an orchestra... violin
4. Visited Hawaii No
5. Watched a meteor shower Yes
6. Given more than you can afford to charity No, we were always still able to eat.
7. Been to Disneyland NO!
8. Climbed a mountain Yes in Montana on our wedding trip
9. Held a praying mantis Yes
10. Sang a solo Yes
11. Bungee jumped NO WAY
12. Visited Paris Oui
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea Umm.... No
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch No
15. Adopted a child No, but I was adopted
16. Had food poisoning Yes.... groan
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty No, I got sick after the Macy's Day parade and lay 1/2 dead at the first landing waiting for my family who walked to the top
18. Grown your own vegetables Yes
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France Yes
20. Slept on an overnight train I don't think so
21. Had a pillow fight Yes
22. Hitch hiked No *shudder*
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill No
24. Built a snow fort Yes
25. Held a lamb No *sniff-sniff*
27. Run a Marathon No
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice No but I watched them eagerly
29. Seen a total eclipse (a lunar eclipse) Yes
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset Yes, both (but not at the same time)
31. Hit a home run Yes in softball
32. Been on a cruise No
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person Yes, growing up in Central NY and all
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors Yes
35. Seen an Amish community Yes
36. Taught yourself a new language No
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (in general) Yes, I guess... we've never gone hungry
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person No
39. Gone rock climbing Yes but not with ropes
40. Seen Michelangelo's David Yes (isn't this in Paris too?! Would someone go to Paris and not see Mona Lisa and David? )
41. Sung karaoke No
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt Yes on same said wedding trip we went mountain climbing on
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant I don't think so
44. Visited Africa No
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight Yes
46. Been transported in an ambulance Yes
47. Had your portrait painted No *chuckle* what a funny idea
48. Gone deep sea fishing No
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person Yes
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris Not the top but I did climb some ridiculous number of stairs to find I was only at the very bottom.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling No way, I've got a fear of drowning after getting dunked way too many times as a kid, not to mentiont here is something unappealing about meeting a fish face to face. *shudder*
52. Kissed in the rain No
53. Played in the mud Yes
54. Gone to a drive-in theater Yes
55. Been in a movie Yes, if home videos count
56. Visited the Great Wall of China No
57. Started a business Yes
58. Taken a martial arts class No, but I always thought it would have been pretty neat to be the Karate Kid
59. Visited Russia No
60. Served at a soup kitchen No
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies No, but now that you mention it their peanut butter sandwich cookies are the best....
62. Gone whale watching I don't think so.
63. Got flowers for no reason No
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma Yes
65. Gone sky diving No, but I did go parasailing once
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp No
67. Bounced a check No
68. Flown in a helicopter No
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy No but I wish I did as they are vintage now and worth alot on ebay haha
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial yes
71. Eaten Caviar No *shudder*
72. Pieced a quilt Yes and not a fond memory
73. Stood in Times Square Yes but never saw or heard a cricket there
74. Toured the Everglades No
75. Been fired from a job No
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London No, only in Arlington
77. Broken a bone Yes, left wrist
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle Are you crazy?!
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person No
80. Published a book No
81. Visited the Vatican yes
82. Bought a brand new car yes
83. Walked in Jerusalem No
84. Had your picture in the newspaper Yes
85. Read the entire Bible No
86. Visited the White House Yes
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating Yes, well, not exactly, I was only a spectator
88. Had chickenpox Yes
89. Saved someone’s life No, I don't think so
90. Sat on a jury No and I'm sure I'd be too biased to the truth to be allowed on, thankfully
91. Met someone famous yes, Ronald Reagan haha
92. Joined a book club No
93. Lost a loved one yes
94. Had a baby *A* baby? No, I've had *ALOT* of babies, going on 10
95. Seen the Alamo in person No
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake No
97. Been involved in a law suit Yes, sort of, car accident count?
98. Owned a cell phone Yes, of course, doesn't everyone except my friend M?
99. Been stung by a bee Yes
100. Read an entire book in one day Yes

Attack on the Pope

Attack on the Pope at Midnight Mass. People never cease to amaze me. But I love how the Holy Father didn't even flinch!

FOCA Novena

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †
A little advanced notice to allow time from Jan 11 - Jan 20 for a novena for (or rather against) FOCA. A 9 day Rosary novena would be ideal!
† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †

To this I might add to pray for our local UW Hospital system. There are sick and twisted people who have plans to open up a full range of second trimester abortions and insist that doctors go against their conscience. I'm just wild with fury!

Happy Epiphany

We have seen His star in the East and are come with gifts to adore Him.

They brought forth gifts of Gold to signify the Kingship of Christ, Frankincense to signify the Priesthood of Christ and Myrrh to signify the death to which Christ was to endure, the very reason for His birth.


"And as they brought forth from among their treasures mystical gifts, let us from our hearts bring forth something fit to offer Him... He whom the Virgin bore is acknowledged today by the whole world.... Today is the glorious Feast of His Manifestation.... [The Magi] saw the star and immediately set out. They had no doubts: their unbounded faith was strong and sure. they did not hesitate at the prospect of the trials of a long journey: they had generous hearts. They did not postpone the journey: their souls were ready....The Magi did not give up their quest, although the star - at one point - disappeared from their sight. We should follow their example and their perseverance, even when we are in interior darkness. This is a trial of Faith which is overcome only by the exercise of pure, naked Faith.... I know whom I have believed. No matter what happens, I shall Trust Him."
Divine Intimacy

January 3, 2009

Facts about Gifts

The children received many beautiful and enjoyable gifts for Christmas but the fact remains that if there is bubble wrap in the package everyone drops everything and starts stomping on the bubble wrap or bubble pouches (the pouches make for very grand *bangs*). Bilbo here just proves my point. Here he is hugging his favorite gift.......
Next year's requests for gifts are refrigerator boxes and bubble wrap!

Welcome Baby Girl!

Is this a beautiful family or what?! I couldn't resist putting this picture up for the world to see (or more accurately probably about 5 people to see). Boy #4 in the line-up is our God Son.
Welcome to their new baby girl! I bet big sister is very happy after being followed up by 4 boys! :)

January 1, 2009

Midnight Mass 2008

(picture snitched from our parish website)

Be sure to enlarge this and check out the absolutely beautiful vestments!

Please visit YouTube here to view our Midnight Mass!