Thursday, December 31

Culture of Death Watch

And people wonder about the death spiral of population in some countries. This is beyond strange.

Robot Romance: Inventor Le Trung takes his 'fembot' girlfriend to Christmas dinner

This is really sad, too. His parents have seemingly given up on their son being normal, I guess:

Le has built up huge debts working on his fembot and is still trying to find a technology company to sponsor his research.
But in the meantime he has had to move back in with his parents and they will all be spending the festive period and New Year together.
'My family found it a bit odd at first, but now they all love Aiko,' said Le.
'My mum and dad chat away to her. It helps by talking to her, as it improves her vocabulary.'

The caption on the picture reads, "Love machine: Trung is so serious about Aiko he bought her Christmas presents."

Friday, December 25

Merry Christmas!

Happy birthday to our dear Lord!

Jesse Tree: December 25 (Christmas Day)

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Merry Christmas! Above is our last Jesse Tree Ornament, which we'll hang this morning.

1 And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. 2 This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, 5 To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.

6 And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. 9 And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. 10 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:

11 For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. 15 And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed to us.

16 And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. 18 And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Gospel according to Saint Luke, Chapter 2, Verses 1-19

Thursday, December 24

Favorite Songs

Fox News has a little video up about their least favorite Christmas songs. But I'd rather go with something The Anchoress asked:

What is your favorite song(s) at Christmas, and why?

Here are my answers. And, yes, it's plural because how can you pick a favorite? It's like picking a favorite child!
  • "Silent Night" This is a beautiful piece, and it never fails to make me cry when I sing it at Midnight Mass. The third verse just melts my heart!

    Silent Night, Holy Night
    Son of God, Love's pure Light
    Radiant beams from Thy Holy Face
    With the dawn of redeeming Grace
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy Birth!
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy Birth!

  • "O, Holy Night" How can you not get chills when you hear them proclaim:

    Fall on your knees and hear the angels' voices!

  • "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" I love this song for one of the last verses because it reminds me of what we're celebrating. It sums up the beginning of the Gospel the way the Alleluia Chorus sums up the end:

    Christ by highest Heaven adored
    Christ, the Everlasting Lord
    Late in time, behold Him come!
    Offspring of the Virgin's womb
    Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see!
    Hail, the Incarnate Diety!
    Pleased, as Man, with men to dwell
    Jesus, our Emanuel!
    Hark! The herald angels sing!
    Glory to the newborn King!

  • "O Come, All Ye Faithful" I am tearing up right now as I think of when I'll sing the following tonight:

    Yea, Lord, we greet Thee
    Born this happy morning!
    Jesus, to Thee be all glory gi'en
    Word of the Father
    Now in flesh appearing
    O come, let us adore Him
    O come, let us adore Him
    O come, let us adore Him: Christ the Lord!

  • "The Little Drummer Boy" No, it's not a hymn as the rest of this list has been. But it's always made me cry, even as a child. When I was a little girl learning to play the piano, I learned this song. I played it with VIGOR! (Probably a bit more loudly than necessary or what is meant to be.) But I played it for Him, you see. I played my best for Him, and I'll bet He smiled at me, just like the boy in the song. This one is to remind us that no gift, when given to Christ with love, is too small for Him. He can take the simplest of gifts and magnify them.

  • We aren't called to great things, but to do small things with great love. This song, as cheesy as some people might think it is, reminds us of that. And, in these times of economic difficulties for many, it's a good thing to remember at Christmas. We aren't called to give great, big gifts. We're called to give good gifts. And the greatest Gift is Love, which is freely given to all. The love we give our children (as well as the gift of faith) is the greatest gift they receive. When the toys they get this year are long gone and in a trash heap, it's going to be the love you gave them that lives on. They can do without another DS game. They can do without the iPod or the computer. But they can't do without our love.

Tell me in the comments:

What are your favorite Christmas songs, and why?

Also, don't forget to vote in the poll on cookies. I'll put the recipe up after Christmas. Because it's never too late to make cookies. ;)

Merry Christmas, everyone.

My Letter to Sen.'s Warner and Webb

"I am writing to express my extreme displeasure at your vote in favor of the health care reform bill. In addition to the enormous costs of the bill and the special back-room deals, it also will fund abortions on the federal level. Health care reform must protect human life, not pay to snuff it out.

I am very disappointed that you would vote in favor of this bill, especially when the majority of people are against it. "

Not that they'll listen to me. What do I, a member of the great unwashed masses, know about what's good for me? I need the smart people
In Washington to tell me what to do.

Pray. Pray that when they're done combining the two bills. We'll at least not force everyone to pay for abortions.

Jesse Tree: December 24 (Christmas Eve)

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Jesus is the Light of the World

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Read the rest:

Wednesday, December 23

Christmas Presents

We like to tease the girls about their presents. We tell them things like, "You're going to love playing with your new Teletubbies game on Christmas!"

Tonight Little Girl said, "And we'll play with Big Girl's new cigarette lighter!"

I dang near peed my pants, I laughed so hard!!

Then Big Girl made it worse and said, "Yeah... She also told me she got me a pack of cigarettes."

O antiphons: December 23

O Emmanuel

Jesse Tree: December 23

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Jesus is Emmanuel

22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king: he will save us.

Read the rest:

Monday, December 21

O Antiphons: December 21

O Oriens

Jesse Tree: December 21

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Jesus is the Radiant Dawn

6 He hath set his tabernacle in the sun: and he, as a bridegroom coming out of his bride chamber, Hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way: 7 His going out is from the end of heaven, And his circuit even to the end thereof: and there is no one that can hide himself from his heat.

Read the rest:

Sunday, December 20

Snow Pictures!

Did you hear about the blizzard? (Of course you did!)

Well, here's what things looked like yesterday in our neck of the woods.

Little Girl didn't know I was taking her picture here. She was just making a snow angel, which later was covered up by the snow we shoveled off the driveway and sidewalk.

Our neighbor came out with his tractor and scraped both his and our driveways clear of most of the snow. We love living here!

The beginnings of our igloo. :)

You know, we never DID get our mail yesterday. Hmph!

We walked up the street, where I took this picture of the mountains just south of us.

Paul VI was Right, Part I

I am going to make this an ongoing series about the prescience of Humanae Vitae, the 1968 encyclical from His Holiness, Pope Paul VI. Paul VI predicted all kinds of things would change when contraception became accepted as normal.

This series will be an ongoing showcase of examples of how he was right.

Here is example #1, from (of all places!)

(17)...Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection. ...

-Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae

[emphasis added]

O Antiphons: December 20

O Clavis

Jesse Tree: December 20

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Jesus is the Key of David

22 And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open.

Read the rest:

Saturday, December 19

O Antiphons: December 19

O Radix

Jesse Tree: December 19

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Jesus is the Flower of Jesse

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. 2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness.

Read the rest:

Friday, December 18

Christmas Light Hero

A friend of mine shared this with me.

Think I can get Travel Man to do this with our lights next year??

Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want!

I'm willing to type in some of the recipes I used for cookies (that aren't on Nestle's bags or oatmeal boxes, anyway).

But not all.

So tell me what you want for Christmas. Here are the nominees:

Weight Watchers' Chocolate Wafer Cookies (Do not be fooled by the WW label - these are so good, you'll never know they're only one point each!!)

Mocha Crinkle Cookies, with a strange-but-wonderful recipe.

Cappuccino Cookies, which can be rolled in chocolate sprinkles before you cut the log of dough, or baked plain, then dipped in melted semi-sweet or white chocolate chips.

Oh, how'd that get there? These are Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies, and if you want it, you can get the recipe on the back of a Nestles' bag of Semi-sweet and Mint Chips. If you can still get the chips, that is. ;) Seriously, I threw the bag away, but don't they look lovely with a little powdered sugar on them? That sugar actually fell off the Mocha Crinkles while they were all cooling on the racks.

Lollipop Sugar Cookies. You saw the spread here, but this one was especially nice. Look how pretty the green sugar looks! These are FABULOUS, and just looking at them probably adds two inches to my thighs.

So...VOTE! What cookies do you want to see a recipe for?

What kind of cookies do you want a recipe for?
Chocolate Wafers from WW
Mocha Crinkles (Why do you keep calling the recipe weird, anyway?)
Cappuccino Cookies
Lollipop Sugar Cookies free polls

Seven Quick Takes: Advent-is-Almost-Over Edition

Jennifer is our gracious hostess for the Seven Quick Takes each week, so be sure to stop by and check out the other Quick-Takers!


This week will be very quick for a few reasons. First, I take way too long to do this sometimes. Second, I've got things to do, including wrap a couple Christmas presents, put together one for my father from my girls, and get those cards out. Third, I've got cookies to bake - still.


Cookies. I really do love baking them, and this year, my husband gave me my Christmas present early. I didn't even think we were exchanging gifts, and he goes and offers to buy me a STAND MIXER to make my cookie-baking easier this year. I was SO blown away! It has made it very quick and easy to make my cookies this year, which is good on several levels. My poor old hand mixer had been in its dying throes for the last two years, and I'd burned out a couple of gears on the thing, which made mixing on low impossible. But the big reason I was so excited to start using it right away was ...


...Travel Man asked me to bake cookies for his co-workers as a Christmas gift. Which I agreed to. And then, when I went to get containers at Wally World I asked, "How many little boxes of cookies am I putting together, anyway?" The answer was 15. Well, actually, the answer was 17, but we miscounted the first time, and I went to Wally World at 9:15 last night to get the other boxes. Then I started stressing out, especially when the cookies were getting eaten as I baked. I put the kibosh on eating anything but the Tollhouse cookies (and not even all of them) until after I had packed cookies up. Oh, and I had Little Girl's dance class/party last night, which I also baked cookies for. And we're having an open house on Sunday, which I also need cookies for. And I also baked another batch of Tollhouse for Travel Man's training class on Tuesday. (Someone said my cookies were "bangin'," and I think that's good. At any rate, the cookies were gone by the end of class.) Oh, did I mention that I put together a hefty box for our pastor? Yes, I know that there are better gifts than cookies, but they really were made with love.

I baked hundreds of cookies by Thursday evening, in eight varieties, including one single batch of Tollhouse and two double-batches of said same. I have some left for Sunday, but I've still got three other kinds to make. And I forgot to take a picture of the cute boxes. Maybe Travel Man will bring home the last, extra box I sent with him. But here are some pictures of my cookies. :)

*My list of cookies I'm making this year. Yes, I am deranged enough to organize. I need to know what has to be put in the freezer or fridge so I can plan it out. Plus, if I bake two kinds of cookies in one day that bake at different temperatures, I can bake the lower-temperature ones first.*

*Tollhouse - notice the extreme amount of chips - doubled the recipe, tripled the chips. Dough is a carrier for the chocolate. Try these out of the fridge with a tall glass of cold milk.*

*We made Lollipop Sugar Cookies. Ball the dough - we used the cookie scoop I got from Wally World - then roll said dough in sprinkles or colored sugar, then pop a popsicle stick into it...*

* down on the ball of dough with a greased and floured glass (use the bottom, silly) so they are flat-ish. Bake 'em up ... *

*...and they come out like this. More than 50 of these, most of which are saved for the open house. These are by no means low-fat. I will post the recipes sometime soon, but trust me, these are delicious! We even made them one year for Big Girls' birthday sleepover.*

I'll have to take some pictures of the other cookies, too. I'll even arrange them nicely so you can see them in all their Christmas-y glory!


Next year, I will not think that I can include cookies-as-gifts in my grocery budget. They get their own budget.


In a wild demonstration of God taking care of little details in life - merely because it seems to please Him to do so - at the Knights of Columbus Christmas party, we won a turkey that seems to be around the 20 pound mark. Father K. (a brand-new Knight!) pulled Travel Man's number for the win! I am certain he's got plans and a bazillion invitations, but we invited him to dinner. We'll probably invite him to our Thanksgiving dinner in February, too, since I'm pretty sure he's been snatched up for Christmas Day.


Yes, I said Thanksgiving in February. Aren't you thankful all year long? And don't you love Thanksgiving dinner food? Why don't you have Thanksgiving dinner more often?


Next week, I fully expect there to be no Quick Takes, so let me take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Christmas. It does begin on December 25, you know, and it goes to either the Epiphany (January 6) or Candlemas (February 2 - also known as the Feast of the Presentation), depending on how Old School you are. No, Travel Man doesn't let me keep the Christmas decorations up until February, though I do lobby for it every year.

So, Merry Christmas. Oh, and Happy Chanukah to any readers who celebrate as such!

O Antiphons: December 18

O Adonai

Jesse Tree: December 18

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Jesus is Lord

2 And the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he saw that the bush was on fire and was not burnt.

Read the rest:

Thursday, December 17

O Antiphons: December 17

You'll have to forgive the "2006" date on these. The music is beautiful, so I'm going to post them despite it being 2009.

For more on the O Antiphons, you can go in my way-back machine to these posts. (In the future, I will use the label that I added specifically for these Antiphons.) You can also read some more on them at Julie's blog, Happy Catholic. (I recommend her blog, anyway!)

O Sapientia

Jesse Tree: December 17

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Jesus is Wisdom

6 I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth: 7 I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud. 8 I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea...

Read the rest:

Wednesday, December 16

Jesse Tree: December 16

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: John the Baptist

6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying: There cometh after me one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. 9 And it came to pass, in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And forthwith coming up out of he water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit as a dove descending, and remaining on him.

11 And there came a voice from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Read the rest:

Tuesday, December 15

Jesse Tree: December 15

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Mary

28And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. 33And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Read the rest:

Monday, December 14

Jesse Tree: December 14

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Joseph

18 Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. 19 Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.

Read the rest:

Sunday, December 13

Jesse Tree: December 13

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: Solomon

5 And the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, saying: Ask what thou wilt that I should give thee.

6 And Solomon said: Thou hast shown great mercy to thy servant David my father, even at, he walked before thee in truth, and justice, and an upright heart with thee: and thou hast kept thy great mercy for him, and hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O Lord God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a child, and know not how to go out and come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of the people which thou hast chosen, an immense people, which cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore to thy servant an understanding heart, to judge thy people, and discern between good and evil. For who shall be able to judge this people, thy people which is so numerous? 10 And the word was pleasing to the Lord that Solomon had asked such a thing.

Read the rest:

Saturday, December 12

Jesse Tree: December 12

(Note: This is a series of posts from 2008.)

Theme: David

26 And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying: What shall be given to the man that shall kill this Philistine, and shall take away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 27 And the people answered him the same words saying: These things shall be given to the man that shall slay him. 28 Now when Eliab his eldest brother heard this, when he was speaking with others, he was angry with David, and said: Why earnest thou hither? and why didst thou leave those few sheep in the desert? I know thy pride, and the wickedness of thy heart: that thou art come down to see the battle. 29 And David said: What have I done? is there not cause to speak?30 And he turned a little aside from him to another: and said the same word. And the people answered him as before.

Read the rest:
Who are your heros?


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