The days are such that I can't seem to finish a post in one day. So this 'daybook' is really a days book, or a weekbook, or something like that.
Outside my window - It's a beautiful sunny day with mostly clear skies. The remains of a dusting of snow are on the ground that makes everything look so pretty and wintery. I hope it lasts.
I am hearing - Mary Rose is practicing piano. Kateri and Eliza are laughing and giggling as they pretend to play 'pling plong' at the table in the sun room. They are using two play spoon for paddles and a pretend ice cream for a ball. It's so funny to hear them announce 'the score' before every 'serve' - Kateri says 4-8-8 every time while Eliza says northern puffler zero. (don't ask me what a northern puffler is) They are playing this because we did of course get a ping pong table. It's funny how one simple thing leads to so much else in life - Jonathan found those ping pong balls and paddles at the thrift shop for 50 cents and that lead to tableless foyer pong and then we looked for and found a table on craigslist and now we play ping pong all the time. Michael loves to come home and play a few rounds with the boys every night, and I enjoy playing too, and it's always a hoot. If you have teenagers I highly recommend playing ping pong with them. :-)
I am wearing - A gray wool skirt that charmed me with its accent pleats. (I thought I was buying this for one of my big girls but they said they already have gray skirts, so I get to keep it - it's fun pretending it fits and that I have a waist this size.) I have on my blue wool Saturday sweater that has a bit of gray in it, and my new black Mary Janes. I have recently discovered my troublesome feet love Dansko shoes, and it is so nice to have shoes that don't hurt. (okay I wrote this the other day when I started this post - today it's a plaid wool skirt and a camel color sweater - same happy shoes)
I am thankful for - We are keeping a simple and quiet Advent and it has been so lovely to really embrace the season of expectation. Maybe it's the fasting from treats, or maybe it's the staying out of the stores and not having to hear 'holiday music', but something feels different this year and it's very nice to really focus on the preparation and not indulge yet in any festivities. Jonathan has successfully taught Alma Redemptoris Mater to those of us who will sing, and we are moving on to Creator Alme Siderum. It seems utterly impossible but I keep reminding myself the other song did too just a week and a half ago. We wait in joyful hope.
I am thinking about - Sweet 'Galadriel' and her family's beautiful faith. When Julie first posted about the discovery of the brain tumor she asked for prayers 'for a holy and happy death'. That immediate spirit of surrender couldn't help but make us think of Abraham being called to sacrifice his beloved Isaac, especially as we read the story for our Jesse tree that same day. And we marveled at how fifteen minutes after she posted asking for prayers the 'ram in the thicket' showed up and his name was Dr. Albright. And now they have their daughter back and day by day they are called to walk in faith as they continue to trust in Him for her recovery. And what a witness that dear girl must be to her caregivers! And O, Lord, increase our faith. And now I'm thinking about another The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, and also The Lord hath taken and the Lord giveth. Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Jesus, I trust in You!
From the kitchen - We just enjoyed a pan of plain biscuits for tea time, and it was delightful how surprisingly tasty such good simple food is. Soon I'll put on a pot of applesauce with some of this week's seventy four pounds of apples - the box of deer apples was a lot bigger this time so we have a lot of apples. I like eating seasonally - we enjoyed our first crate of clementines on St. Nicholas Day and we'll enjoy many more after Christmas, but for now it's apples. This picture's for my mother who wanted to know what seventy-four pounds of apples looks like (the box started out full).
In the learning house - Academics have slowed down somewhat and everyone is spending lots of time on crafts. We have been doing 'Handmade Christmas' since my children were little and it is Tradition to make presents for everyone in the family. Next week we'll switch over to full time arts and crafts all day every day.
Living the Liturgical Year - Celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception today. Music was lovely at Mass this morning - the highlight (for me) of the simple a cappella music from the very small schola was an Ave Maria Jonathan sang with another young man. I still am amazed to hear him singing, as he never sang in his life, but his newfound love of Gregorian chant has lead him to find his voice and use it to sing for Mass. That was obviously Tuesday -now we are looking forward to celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe on Saturday and Gaudete Sunday with a bit of festivity.
We are creating - Presents!
One of my favorite things - the Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes