November 30, 2013

Necessity of Daily Dying to Ourselves

Behold in the cross all doth consist, and all lieth in our dying:  and there is no other way to life and to true interior peace, but the way of the holy cross, and of daily mortification.
Thomas á Kempis

November 29, 2013

Purpose to Our Sufferings

By our resignation in suffering, we shall so expiate our sins here, that the fire of Purgatory will find little material to feed upon hereafter.
St. Augustine

Advent is Near

Advent begins this Sunday!  We have a couple days left to prepare ourselves for this Penitential Season.  It's the time in which we prepare the way of the Lord in our hearts.  "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare ye the way of the Lord."  It's a good time to re-boot our spiritual lives where they have begun to lag.  I was reminded during November, as I read parts of the book Purgatory, of how grave even mere faults are and how long we will have to suffer in Purgatory to make satisfaction for them if we do not do enough penance here on earth.... and hour on earth is akin to years in Purgatory.  Let's get it overwith!

Here is what we are doing:

  • St. Andrew Novena
  • Beginning a 54 Day Rosary Novena for a special intention
  • Spiritual Reading: I've chosen to read The Backbiting Tongue (and have many copies to spare if anyone else is interested, I will mail it to you for free if you like, it's a must-read if you want to curb even the slightest fault of the tongue.) and Advent and Christmas Wisdom with Padre Pio.  The children will be reading various saint books. 
  • Prayer: Getting back to our Quiet Prayer Time in the chapel with more diligence
  • Various Advent Calendars
  • Setting up our Nativity Village and adding pieces each day (the children tell stories of each character and it's relationship to Jesus as they put up their pieces)
  • Self-discipline:  spending an extra 15-30 (each) in cleaning and organizing various areas of the house.... and getting rid of the excess
Simplicity. Nothing fancy or impossible.  Just simple things to make improvements in our spiritual and natural welfare (maybe I should say warfare).  In a household the size of ours, there are always ample opportunities to do penance on a daily basis.... do the math and think of just the amount of dishes at a single meal.... and no dish washing machine.

During Advent there also happen to quite a number of special feast days to celebrate as well, like St. Nicholas' Day, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Immaculate Conception, St. Lucy, Las Posadas (the Expectation), St. Thomas.  Advent is a beautiful and exciting time of year.  A "little lent", a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ.  We need to be awake and ready for when He will come again.

Christmas Novena

The St. Andrew Christmas Novena starts tomorrow on the Feast of St. Andrew.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.  In that hour vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, And of His Blessed Mother. Amen

Recited fifteen times a day from the Feast of St. Andrew-Nov. 30- until Christmas.


Thou must be willing, for the love of God, to suffer all things, namely: labors and sorrows, temptations, vexations, anxieties, necessities, infirmities, injuries, detractions, reprehensions, humiliations, confusions, corrections, and contempts.  I will reward thee most abundantly; I will be with thee in all thy tribulations.
The Following of Christ - Thomas á Kempis

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Meals

 Our morning started with an interesting catastrophe, the ham, egg and broccoli bake slid off the stove onto the floor. Ooops. We had a "take two" on assembling that one.
 Not exactly a pretty picture but a very tasty one.  Also had a potato hot dish and sausages, we forgot about the pumpkin bread and grapefruit.
 This is our turkey... yes, breast down... and that's the neck alongside.  My kids seem to like all the ugly bits.
 The 2 young hunters went out to chase all the deer away.  They are like tramping dwarfs.

 The turkey turned out beautifully and as this recipe calls for the breast down, it was so very juicy. I had stuffed the cavity full of celery, carrots, onions, garlic, parsley and chives.
 The nice bits on one side and the ugly bits on the other. The neck wasn't quite as impressive though did end up in a one-sided discussion on how the turkey gets anything down its throat, it's so narrow.  They really like the tail (yeah, I get grossed out, too)
 In coming the bigger hunters.
 We had 2 kinds of stuffing (one given to us... thank you!), buns, salad, corn, stuffed mushrooms...
 cranberry orange salad, potatoes, fresh shaken butter, pumpkin bread (forgotten from breakfast), cranberry sauce, spinach casserole and of course.... gravy.

 The Neanderthal man of the family.... can he do it?  Yes he did it... he ate the whole doggone leg!
 Kili enjoyed a bit of a bone.... but liked the desserts better.
Lemon cheesecake (those aren't floaties just some loose graham cracker crust), fresh pumpkin pie and chocolate pie.  YUM.  Yeah.... we're stuffed.  Tonight we'll have a light dinner of leftovers and my grandma's recipe molasses cookies.... assuming we aren't still stuffed.

Anyone else sick of hearing the words "Black Friday"?  I think I've gotten about 6,000 emails with those words in the last week.  Do you go out shopping? I absolutely do not!  *shudder*

Second Deer

Sam got his 2nd deer during the first hunting shift on Thanksgiving.  This time he got a buck with a little 8 point set of antlers.  Frodo is still patiently waiting for his 1st deer.


 Sam's first deer just hanging around.

Our milking cow is milked by Frodo by hand.  
He's a milking pro.... so is she.

 Got milk?

 Got Butter?

 Meet some of the calves.

 Someone needs a haircut.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, St. Augustine, Florida 1565
A Blessed Thanksgiving to you all!
A beautiful day to be grateful for all our blessings from the mundane necessities of life to Holy Mother Church and our Faith to family and friends and to those who persecute us... for they are the ones who will get us to heaven... if we use the graces God will give us to endure.

November 24, 2013

Deer Season

 Yesterday marked the opening day for deer season.  Sam and Frodo got licenses... Galadriel and Eowyn, although completed the hunter safety course as well... opted not to get a license.
 Sam got his first deer!
 Meat's back on the menu, boys!
Great beginning to the season.

November Days

 Kili turned 6 months, weighing in at 21ish pounds and holding.  He's getting rather busy.  At this age Sam had pulled himself up to standing in his crib. Kili ... not so much.
 Frodo discovered a racoon caught in an unknown person's trap, helpless.  The DNR took care of the situation.

 True Grit
 Aragorn decided to close in our front porch.
 I had gotten 18 bulbs of garlic to plant.  My dad helped plant them when I realized I forgot that we are suppose to take the garlic apart into cloves before planting.  Ooops.  we ended up needing about 4 times as much space...!  Come July hopefully we'll have a wonderful crop of Garlic.
 Thankfully the weather was great this week... unlike THIS week which was so bitterly cold and windy.
 My mom sewing a night gown with Galadriel.
 Marigold in her "winning" jacket. (winter)
 Baling the last of the stalks... or something.
 Stories with grandpa.
 We were also working on putting a waterline into the barn, in case you wondered what a water line looks like.

 Or what the trench looks like when the waterline is buried.  Let's just way we are under constant construction.... and re-construction.
 Kili during Rosary
 I guess he likes to sleep alot... and be cute about it.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Who... Frodo made a wooden sonic screwdriver for funsies.
Anyone notice "google" had a Dr. Who video game on their home page on Nov 23rd?
Anyone see the 50th Anniversary special? We did, it was pretty good, we certainly laughed quite heartily a number of times.

As a friendly reminder 1 WEEK UNTIL ADVENT!