Monday, June 30

Coming Soon...

Soccer Dad will be changing into his Travel Man Super Suit tomorrow morning, but not before finishing our deck tonight! He's outside making the last few cuts on the rail caps before he screws them on.

I'll post pictures as soon as I can.

Also, I am in the works of nagging him into convincing him to make a post about WALL-E, which we saw Saturday afternoon with the girls. While words don't fail me, he had some really excellent insights that I will bug him until he writes about it try to give him time to write about. At this point, all I'll say is that I told my parents to skip Indiana Jones and go to WALL-E instead.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Friday, June 27

Weekends with Will: Midnight Meetings

We have had two weekends of after-dinner readings of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the girls are doing very well with the play. Even Little Girl is able to read and understand most of it, though we are pausing here and there to "interpret" a little. (Let's face it, they are 6 and 9 and will need some help with vocabulary.) However, the girls are definitely "getting" the story.

Big Girl is fascinated by the idea that everyone in the story so far who seeks to be alone for one reason or another - meeting to elope, rehearsing a play in secret, etc. - is planning on meeting in the forest at midnight. Add to this the fairies (Oberon and Titania) who are having a lovers' quarrel and the fact that Oberon is going to use love potions on his wife and a mortal while actors are planning on prancing about the forest dressed up as animals, and you've got guaranteed giggles.

Big Girl has also decided that she likes Bottom, the actor who insists that he can play all the parts of the play better than anyone else, and all at the same time. Little Girl got to play a fairy (at last!), and did an admirable job tackling the lengthy dialogue between the king and queen of fairies.

Tomorrow night, we'll get some more read, and we may see the beginnings of the romp in the night-time forest. And that, my friends, is where the fun begins.

Previous posts on this subject:

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 25

"Don't Touch It!"

"That's the Titanic, and it's sinking!"

-Big Girl, while playing Monopoly

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.
Posted by Picasa

Is There Nothing Else to Write About?

I just sent this e-mail to The Onion:

I was a subscriber to your feed, and I kept a link to The Onion on my sidebar for quite a while. However, I am unsubscribing today, and I felt that, though you’ll probably never notice my presence or absence, you should know why.

I was willing to overlook the bad language, though it bothered me that the worst of it seemed to occur on weekends (and especially Sundays). But for the last week, nearly every single story you have put up has been about homosexuals, with some headlines being quite graphic. I’m not interested in it. I can understand one or two satirical stories, but ten a day?!?

If this is all that your writers can find to write about, I’ll just leave The Onion off my reading list from now on.

-Christine in Virginia

Not that I think they'll care or that I'll make much difference, but I just can't keep a link on my sidebar that routinely publishes material that is so offensive. (And, yes, this morning's headlines included one that was near-pornographic.)

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 24

The Onion

What's up with The Onion lately? EVERY story is about homosexuals. The language (especially on Sundays) is bad enough, but this is ridiculous. I'm about ready to drop my subscription and get it off my sidebar.

Scrappleface has news spoofs, too, but without the language or obsession with homosexuals.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Friday, June 20

All Your Church Are Belong To Us!

(Hey, the capitalization errors go along with the grammatical problems in that title.)

Found via Mark Shea, located at PhatMass

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Summer Reading: Weekends with Will

This Summer, our family will be having Weekends with Will, when we read a play by Shakespeare.  To introduce my girls to the great Bard, we'll start our journey with A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is the first play I read by Shakespeare.  It's funny, and a very old movie version of it sits waiting on our DVR.  (I want to say it was filmed in the 1930's, but I can't say for sure without checking.)

I searched a couple of used bookstores, but didn't have a lot of luck in finding any used copies.  So I used my homeschooler discount at Books-A-Million and B&N to pick up four copies.

I'm really looking forward to this project!  I think the girls are going to appreciate Shakespeare more when we start them off with a comedy, which I think was the idea behind my seventh grade teacher selecting this for my English class to read.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, June 18

I'm Smarter Than a Fifth Grader!

As seen at Shoved to Them:

The Boston Three Party

This might be a sin, but I took GREAT pleasure in seeing the Lakers completely humiliated last night.  I really have a strong dislike for the Lakers (in general, not because they win a lot, or I'd not like the Celtics, either), and especially for Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson.  So when Paul Pierce said at halftime, "We're just going to keep the pedal to the metal in the second half," I was ecstatic!  And to see LA lose by 39 points was just plain fun!  

I don't think there's any other team I'd feel that way about, and there have been times when I've commented that there's no need to rub it in and blow them out when I see other games.  But last night, after hearing Kobe say in a previous round of the playoffs that he can "turn it on any time he wants," I just took great pleasure in seeing him demoralized in the game.  (I did have respect for Kobe before his legal problems, too.  It's not that I thought he was guilty of rape, but I was disgusted that he was cheating on his wife on a regular basis.)

About halfway through the fourth quarter, LA seemed to just plain stop trying.  Their defense, which had been struggling all night, became non-existent.  Their offense was sloppy and rushed.  No one stepped up to help Kobe, whose defenders were like white on rice with him all night long.  And when there were 3 1/2 minutes left and the Big Three (The Boston Three Party, as ESPN put it) sat down, even the Celtic reserves just had their way with the Lakers.  It was pathetic at the end.  And I loved it.

And who can't feel good for Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett, two real class acts?  Let's face it, Garnett did his time in Minnesota without complaint, has never said an unkind word about this former team (even when baited to do so about halfway through the season), and even said that his  Championship win was not only for Boston, but for his fans in Minnesota!  And Doc, congratulating the Lakers after the game, shaking hands with Kobe, standing on the sidelines with his son in the final minutes of the game?  What a really sweet man he is!  (I loved him when he coached my beloved Magic in Orlando, too.  I was sorry to see him go.)  The Celtics showed that it's not a "superstar" who wins the championship by carrying the team, it's a team who wins that championship together by being unselfish and doing what is best for the entire team.  Great numbers are one thing, but if one guy has fantastic numbers and the team loses, what good were those numbers?

Congratulations to the Boston Celtics!

Domestic Bliss

Life is happy here at the Soccer Family house.  Little Girl is not so little any more.  She'll be SEVEN on July 7.  SEVEN!  How did that happen?  WHEN did it happen?

Anyway, we've cooked up a birthday surprise for her that will have her celebrating for the rest of the summer.

Big Girl is playing T-ball - sort of.  She had two practices, then two games cancelled, then a practice cancelled since we are making up two games PLUS playing her regularly scheduled game next week.  That's right, three games in one week.  Plus her banquet for Spring soccer, plus Little Girl's summer ballet.  Tuesday's schedule is a nightmare, and Soccer Dad will be changing into his Travel Man supersuit Monday morning.  (Please let me know if you've learned how to bilocate so I can get it down by Tuesday, when I have overlapping events and a tight schedule.  Thanks.)

Soccer Dad has been home for the last week or so, and we went to the IHM Conference in Chantilly, Virginia.  I got to meet Dr. Ray (who wrote "I love you, too," to Little Girl on his business card after I gave him her message of love), Father Fessio (who gave us some insight into the Holy Father's love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass), and Dr. Catherine Moran (who gave me great hope and comfort by sharing her homeschooling strategies for overwhelmed moms).  I got to hear Father Eutenauer speak on angels and keeping your family holy.  I was able to listen to Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, who, just prior to making a criticism of Aristotle, said, "I hate to criticize giants, because I am not one myself..."  (This caused me to seriously bruise my jaw when it hit the floor!)  I now own a copy of The Privilege of Being a Woman, which I am looking forward to reading.  

Anyway, in that weekend, we were also able to visit Big Girl's best friend's family, who are also our friends.  (It's so nice when your children's friends' parents are also your friends!)  We saw their growing children - their youngest is our god-daughter - and were able to talk and visit with them, though not for nearly long enough.  And Soccer Dad celebrated Father's Day by driving his family home.

Have I mentioned what a fantastic man he is?  Because we are being gazelles, we didn't buy any presents for Father's Day.  (Or Mother's Day, FYI.)  Instead, we counted our continuing education purchases (Theology of the Body, Peter Kreeft's book on Tolkien, etc.) as his presents.  No complaints from him.  We are both gazelles!

I'm keeping very busy with my work with Apple.  20 hours each week, plus homeschooling (year-round, taking breaks when we need it), plus home-making (not that impressive on that front), plus the girls' activities.  You can see why I'm not posting a lot!  

But you know what?  Life is very good.  God has blessed us abundantly, more than we deserve!  We're healthy, we're able to do things as a family, we're happy together.  

I'll be trying to put together some posts on the IHM conference and the talks I was able to attend, and hopefully, I'll even get something submitted to the Catholic Carnival, which I haven't even had time to link to, never mind read, lately!

Tuesday, June 17

Consecrated Virginity and Hidden Lives

Recently, the Diocese of Richmond had a beautiful ceremony in which a young woman consecrated her virginity to Christ.  I showed the article on the event to my girls, who marveled at the choice this woman has made.  Yet another option was presented to them, another vocation for them to discern.  (Yes, they are nearly-seven and nearly-ten, but we do discuss discerning God's plan for their lives and encourage them to be open to His will.  One prayer we pray is, "Jesus, help me to want what You want for me.")

Yesterday, I picked up my copy of The Catholic Virginian and found this letter among those highlighted:

Congratulations to Bernadette Snyder on making her perpetual vows in the Order of Consecrated Virgins (June 2 issue).

However, I am finding that the Catholic Church is growing more obsessed with not how women serve the needs of the people in the Diocese of Richmond but with who these women are as defined by their sexual activity and sexual labels.

Women have an intelligence and personality that is uniquely individual of their sexuality just as men do and are able to give of themselves to any prject they are made a part of such as Ms. Snyder's job as research analyst in the diocesan Office of Pastoral Planning.

The Catholic Virginian gives the false sense that the laity are lacking when ministering in various positions due to family obligations.  However, how does one truly determine dedication and faithfulness to one's position?

It should never be based upon the "viginity" of one's body over the skills, commitment, intengrity and heart of the candidate.

It is a sad day when we read stories of good, dedicated women leaving leadership roles, and other stories of women committing themselves to virginity, religious orders and deacon's spouses.  Women have much more to offer than support roles, as even Jesus Christ saw and called us to be.

-Theresa D. Conley

Wow!  Where to begin here?

First of all, Ms. Conley starts with a backhanded compliment of sorts.  "Congratulations ...  However, ..."  

She states that the Church is "growing more obsessed" with defining people by their sexuality and sexual labels and activity.  This shows a definite lack of knowledge of the history of Consecrated Virgins.  This order is nothing new; indeed, there is evidence that such people existed in the Old Testament times, as well.  Our Blessed Mother, according to Tradition, was a virgin consescrated to the Lord.  This is part of why she was amazed that she would bear a child: she had no plans to change her status as a consecrated virgin.  In addition, the Church does not define anyone according to their sexual activity and sexual labels.  Each person is a unique individual with gifts and a vocation.  Our duty is to seek out the vocation to which God has called us.  Some people are called to a consecrated life as consecrated virgins, consecrated laity (as in the Madonna House), nuns, brothers, and priests.  Others are called to the vocation of married life.  

While each of us has a different vocation, none are considered to be superior to another.  Saint Paul, himself, dealt with this attitude early in the Church's history, and wrote to the church in Corinth about the various gifts each person has.  "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.  To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. ... God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.  ... Are all apostles?  Are all prophets?  Are all teachers?  Do all work mighty deeds?  Do all have gifts of healing?  Do all speak in tongues?  Do all interpret?  Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts."  (1 Corinthians, 12: 4-7, 24b-25, 29-31)  To this day, the Holy Catholic Church values the gifts of her children, seeing how each unique gift serves the Body of Christ.  

Ms. Conley also implies that somehow women who are in a "support role" do not make any difference in the Church.  She seems to decry women who make a perpetual vow of virginity, join a religious order, or live as the wife of a deacon, as well as women who "[leave] leadership roles."  I see no reason to find calamity in these situations.  If by leaving a leadership role I am able to concentrate my focus on my vocation in life - that is, my marriage - then I am doing my marriage proper justice.  If my daughters take vows as nuns when they are adults, I will see this as a joyous occasion!  To serve the Lord as a sister is a great honor for the women who are called to such a life, and we, as laity, should not look down upon those callings or the women who follow Christ's call to them.  If at some time my husband became a deacon, what an honor for me to be married to a man who was called to such a vocation!  

Women should never - never - be ashamed of living a "hidden" life that does not include leadership roles in the Church hierarchy or in a diocese.  Our work does not always entail the same work others might have.  And our hidden lives at home are what build the foundation of the Church for the future.  Remember: supporting roles are incredibly important.  Without proper support, a building cannot stand, just as without proper support, our children's faith cannot stand.

Such "support roles" are not demeaning to women, nor are they somehow less important than roles that are more visible in the world.  A college-educated woman who gives up a career to stay home with her children - perhaps even homeschooling them in the process - and be a full-time homemaker for her family is not a woman whose life should be lamented.  Far from it!  What career, what position of leadership, can be more important to me than my own vocation that God called me to - that of marriage?

The prime example women have, of course, is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was nothing more than a homemaker, wife, and mother.  But she is the most honored of all Creation!  She is Queen of Heaven and Earth, Queen of Angels!  Her simple life on earth has been rewarded greatly in Heaven.  Her obedience to God here on earth has been rewarded in the afterlife.  We would all do well to imitate our Blessed Mother in this life.  She is the perfect example for us as Christians.

Monday, June 16

Mass in Chantilly, Virginia

Sat directly behind Justice Clarence Thomas at Mass on Sunday morning.

Was too busy kissing my children at the Sign of Peace to shake his hand (sorry, sir!), though I caught him turning around as I leaned in to kiss Little Girl.

Did not approach him after Mass because I'm not there to stargaze, nor is here there to be gazed upon.  I did pray specifically for him and the other justices when I noticed it was him.  

Oh, and I discovered that we both genuflect before receiving the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Communion.  :)

And the parish?  Beautiful.  Reverent.  Contained concentrations of Latin (and will become even moreso).  Their parish school has Latin as the foriegn language, starting in Kindergarten.  I loved the wonderful altar boys in their cassocks and surplices (is that the right spelling for that?) - it was a really wonderful ending to a really wonderful weekend spent at the IHM conference.  More on that later, though.

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Sunday, June 8

Like Bees, We Are!

I've taken some pictures that I might be able to upload, but we've been quite busy between my job, homeschooling, T-ball, and other miscellaneous stuff that goes on.  Like the rest of the East Coast, southwest Virginia was hit with a whompin' heat wave this week - highs in the mid-to-upper nineties! - and the girls have been happily splashing in the pool.  Travel Man has been mild-mannered Soccer Dad this week (and next, hooray!), and he and I have joined the girls in the pool, too.  Big Girl even made a quick video with our digital camera that I might edit and post.  

Anyway, I have not dropped off the face of the earth.  I'm just swamped.  Oh, and I'm going to the IHM Conference again this year, too!  I'm so excited that it's this weekend!  If you're a homeschooling mom who is headed there, let me know!  

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 4

Struck Down!

There's music to this, but it's still wordless. Lightning struck not too far from where I live, and I managed to capture it on my digital camera. (The fuzziness is due to it being taken via the video setting on our little camera. I snagged the frame on iMovie on the Mac and then created the video.)

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 3

The Preacher's Donkey

From Good, Clean Funnies today:

A man bought a donkey from a preacher. The preacher told the

man that this donkey had been trained in a very unique way

(being the donkey of a preacher). The only way to make the

donkey go was to say, "Hallelujah!"

The only way to make the donkey stop was to say, "Amen!"

The man was pleased with his purchase and immediately got on

the animal to try out the preacher's instructions.

"Hallelujah!" shouted the man. The donkey began to trot.

"Amen!" shouted the man. The donkey stopped immediately.

"This is great!" said the man. With a "Hallelujah" he rode

off, very proud of his new purchase.

The man traveled for a long time through the mountains. As

he headed towards a cliff, he tried to remember the word to

make the donkey stop.

"Stop," said the man. "Halt!" he cried. The donkey just kept


"Oh, no..."

"Bible...Church!...Please! Stop!!" shouted the man. The

donkey just began to trot faster. He was getting closer and

closer to the edge of the cliff.

Finally, in desperation, the man said a prayer: "Please,

dear Lord. Please make this donkey stop before I go off the

end of this mountain. In Jesus' name, AMEN."

The donkey came to an abrupt stop just one step from the

edge of the cliff.

"HALLELUJAH!" shouted the man.

[image credit]

Please browse my eBay items. Thank you.
Who are your heros?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin