July 30, 2015

Saints Abdon and Sennen

I thought this little tidbit in the lives of St. Abdon and Sennen was a very good reminder to us, especially when we want to say, "Why me?"

"Decius, learning of Abdon and Sennen's dedication to the Faith, was extremely irritated.  He sent for the two brothers to appear before his tribunal, and attempted to win them over to sacrifice to the false gods, by appealing to his recent victory, as a sign of their favor.  The Saints replied, however, that this victory was not at all a proof of such power, since the unique true God, Creator of heaven and earth with His Son, Jesus Christ, gives victory to some and defeat to others, for reasons hidden in the designs of His providence."

Incidentally, to explain the picture, "Decius arraigned them before the Senate, in whose presence they again testified to the divinity of Christ, saying they could adore no other.  The next day they were flogged in the amphitheater; then two lions and four bears were released to devour them.  But the beasts lay down at their feet and became their guardians, and no one dared approach for a time.  Finally the prefect sent out gladiators to slay them with the sword, which with the permission of God was done."

These are splendid reminders that nothing comes to us that is not permitted by God Himself and that in some way, suffering, trials, as well as blessings are all for His greater honor and glory and for our salvation.

July 26, 2015

More Summer Things

Gradually getting ready for school.  Our uniform is a plaid jumper with blue blouse for grade school girls and blue skirts and light blue blouses for the high school girls.  Jumpers and skirts from http://www.jmjmodestdress.com/.  Boys wear either khaki or navy climber pants (best pants ever from Lands End) with navy or red polos.
Our sunflowers all face East all day (and night) long, just waiting for Our Lord as the rest of us...!
One of our bunnies was wildly attacked by yellow jackets.  Here is the nest, it was huge!
Temporarily the bunny, Gandalf, was moved in with some ducks and chicks (or are not really chicks any more, just not in with the other chickens yet)

Awwww! How sweet!
Dapper for Mass
And pretty pleased!
Both our tents barely survived the 2 weeks of summer camps with the Institute of Christ the King, so I bought a new one since the 3 stooges like to sleep out in the summer.

Eowyn sent me that picture of one of our tents at camp which had persistently collapsed... oops.
The solar panels that run a heater in our bathroom is used by the kids as a warming-up-after-swimming hot house.  Great place to dry when the trampoline is in need of a welding surgery. Clever.
So, last week the boys were gone to camp, this week the girls were gone. Life is very different without my 4 oldest girls. Some people have grape stomps, Marigold and Kili had a flour stomp.
What? What's the matter?
This is great fun!
I think they are doing their exercises or something.
Meanwhile Frodo and the boys are making some zucchini cake.  Please note the flour on the faces.... I was told that "when you are baking, you have to have flour on your faces." I am always learning new things.

From what I understand, there wasn't enough room in the pan for the excess amount of frosting, so they smooshed the cake down and put all the frosting on. As you can see the remaining cake is floating in a rather liquid frosting.  However, it did taste good.  Looks aren't everything.
Frodo and Aragon (Dad) arm wrestling.

Aragorn won.
So this week the girls attending the Institute of Christ the King summer youth camp and had a great time.  I thought to take pictures of some of the banners.

The boys banners were still there so I took pictures of a couple of them as well.

The chapel, complete with choir loft!  They had daily Traditional Latin Masses with singing.

After Mass was the closing ceremony. Frodo had gone up with me to pick up the girls (in hopes of seeing some of his camp friends) and was rather dismayed by the volume girls can have. I will say that the girls far out cry the boys when it comes to hooting and hollering!
Kili was very happy to see his sisters.
After the pool being up for about 7 weeks, Kili finally decided to go in. He has been very adamant about not going in the pool this year. But now he loves it so long as he is clinging to someone.
Saintly Silver dolls from Etsy are so cute! This is St. Joan of Arc. Kili thought she needed a bath and dipped her in the pool. I'm still trying to get her dry!!
When Marigold gets to heaven she says she is going to be Saint Joan-uh Vark.

Nothing is a greater than an attempt to push one's teen age brother into the pool. They have yet to succeed.

Muscle man

The Scooby Doo mobile at Kwik Trip.

Deo Gratias!

Our little friend Beatrice after surgery to remove the tumor. Deo Gratias!  She's now home and recovering. Please pray for her continued recovery!

July 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Rosie amongst other things

 Happy 14th Birthday, Rosie! 

 Reminds me of Little Lulu
 Missing a couple teeth, both fell out the same day.

 Bit of a precarious situation!
 Hill Billybo
 Fried bug... found outside... we didn't fry it.
 Boys were out in the sailboat on another lovely evening.

 How handy! a potty chair next to a drawer with band aids. I always wondered about children who had this thing for band aids as none of mine were like that... until #12. Just think what would have been missing in my education of raising children if I hadn't had 12!
 We are busy prepping our school for 2015-2016... messy project.  Here Kili is using the end of a tripod as his gun and holding his shield.  I believe his head is cocked as he is "looking through" the gun.
 I took the 3 stooges to the local Ag Fair, where they bought themselves tickets for the rides with their birthday money.
 Bilbo and I stood on the level ground laughing our heads off as these 2 went on this crazy ride.
 I guess they were happy about it.

 Picture taken on our way home from choir practice of a storm that was over Rockford. It was absolutely continuous lightning.
 Gross invention.  "NoseFrida"  I will admit I laughed right out loud.  I think I'll stick with saline.
 No joke. This is how they walk the dog back to the kennel.
 corn and sunflowers are up!  (well obviously, it's mid-July) but the sunflowers are blooming and what the cows-whose-one-purpose-is-to-get-out-of-the-pens have left us of our sweet corn we will be enjoying soon.
 I drove Frodo and Merry up to a traditional Catholic camp with the Institute of Christ the King and back again this past week.  I was blessed to attend the closing Mass and ceremony.
 They are divided up by teams.
 The campground is at a wonderful couple's house which is set up ideally for camping out and holding a splendid camp.  Living Truth in Charity.  Can't be that "theme"!
 Fire pit
 This outbuilding is where they set up their chapel, complete with choir loft!  There were lovely musical instruments played and beautiful chanting.  The homily was most excellent. The priest began by mentioning 2 men who had helped at the camp in the past years who have since "left the fighting Church on earth" (what a great phrase!).  One man I wasn't familiar with the other was Mr. Michael Rogan whose soul and family we had prayed for after their tragic accident on the way to deliver their 8th baby (Go Fund me here: http://www.gofundme.com/rogan).  The priest went on to make 2 points: 1.  departure from this earth is a reminder that when the whistle blows you better be caught doing what you are suppose to do!  "Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come, he shall find so doing" (luke 12:43). He spoke of how Mr. Rogan died bringing his wife and children to the hospical to deliver the new baby and praying the rosary on the way when he was taken from this earth. He then gave the example of St. Ignatius (or maybe it was another saint and excuse my poor words here)) who said that if it was recreation time and he was playing a board game and Our Lord came, he would not get up and hurry to some other job because he knew he was doing, at that moment what he was suppose to do. Even enjoying recreation at the right time is one's duty. However, shame will be yours if you waste your time instead of doing your duty.  The 2nd point was that we mourn those who leave in the Sign of Faith. We are in dark times and are face to face with the awful truth of the endangered species: MEN.  (strong men of Faith).  And how they will be hunted down as part of the endangered species to remove you (and into the worldly).  Don't trust in the strength of body but lift the soul to God in prayer.  Avoid the temptations of discouragement and be enticed with soft temptations.  Rally behind St. Michael. Quis ut Deus!  Of course this priest had much better words.
After Mass was the closing ceremony and the team winnings.  Following that were the thank you's. At this point they had just finished thanking the cooks and the boys men all stood up and clapped like crazy.  Cracked me up, having 6 boys of my own.

This camp was such a blessing! The boys came back very tired, achy and happy.  This week (as in tomorrow) I will bring 4 of the girls up for the girls camp.