Outside my window- First snow today! It was a nice, well-behaved snow- cold enough to be all pretty and white but not cold enough to make the roads hazardous so we could still get to Mass. Kateri bounced up and down with excitement much of the day and made snowmen with her sisters. A perfect snow day.
I'm wearing- Wool sweater and skirt, boots, scarf. The standard cold weather garb.
So thankful for- The holiday of Thanksgiving! It's so nice to have this little break before entering into Advent. We sat around last night playing Bananagrams into the late night hours, relaxing and laughing together like lunatics as we are wont to do whilst playing games together in the late night hours. It is good to be on break. Eliza is so excited about the holiday and all of the Thanksgiving Food. This evening at Mass she leaned over to show me what she found in her missal, her face beaming her special so-pleased-with-herself smile. She was pointing to the Te Deum, clearly labeled 'Hymn of Thanksgiving.' I'll have to remember that tomorrow.
Note: I've been trying to keep the book lists in the sidebars up to date, so if you're interested in what we're 'Reading Right Now' you can look over there. I'm also attempting to keep a list of some of the music we listen to every day.
From the kitchen- I have three loaves of Leila's Stuffed Braided Bread of Specialness (and a pan of Swirly Rolls of Specialness) rising at this very moment. I found her methods so intriguing and her bread so delicious looking that I had to try it right out. Using what she calls the 'autolyse' you basically mix your dough very little, keeping it very slack and handling it very gently. Since our mixer has been out of commission for months (Josiah fixed it so many times we lost track, and then finally gave up on the thing) I was delighted to see how you can make good bread with very little mixing/kneading. One more reason to love Auntie Leila! Hooray!
We've also been munching on Jam Tarts. Kateri and I made them last evening and we've been enjoying them with ever so many pots of tea today.
We will do all of our cooking and baking for our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. We don't have any family nearby for visiting, so it's always just us. We will spend the day cooking together and then enjoy our meal together.
Thinking about -Speaking of Leila, I naturally thought of her and her book when I came across this in the St. Alphonsus: Let us not think it too much to visit our Queen every day in some church or chapel, or even in our own house, where for this purpose it would be well to have in a retired part a little oratory, with her image, which should be kept decorated with drapery, flowers, tapers, or lamps; and before it we should also recite her litany, the rosary, etc. Such a happy thought, that a Little Oratory is recommended by St. Alphonsus.
Living the Liturgical Year - The Church's year is drawing to a close; a new liturgical year begins in just a few days with the season of Advent. People always speak of making New Year's resolutions, but it seems more fitting to take on spiritual resolutions at the time of our new Church year. I liked what Leila had to say about devoting ourselves more intentionally to goodness and virtue.
We are creating - Lydia has just completed a Major Project. Details and announcement coming soon! So excited! In her newfound leisure she has been working on stocking The Fig and Thimble.
I am planning - To go eat one more swirly raisin roll (they're done now!)...
A picture thought- (see above)
A Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and yours! Hope your day is wonderful! Good night!
~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Every Thursday, at Like Mother, Like Daughter!
We took a little trip east this week! Michael had a talk to give at a conference in Rhode Island and it was the perfect opportunity to go and visit my mother and family in Connecticut as well. We were surprised at the beauty of the fall colors as we traveled northeast, as most of the trees in our area have already gone grey and bare. The morning sunlight on the trees in my mother's back yard was just gorgeous. And so many memories in this dear old place. You can see the little house on the left that my father built as a first home for my sister when she got married, and his garages on the right. The back-to-back two garages never actually held cars in my day, but were my father's workshops and storage areas for his many tools, building supplies and the most unique mishmash of salvaged anything and everything. He also built the charming fireplace in the middle, the site of countless picnics and family gatherings over the decades. (Sigh.)
We were happy to picnic in the historic Roger Williams Park in Providence. The weather was sunny and mild, the trees were beautifully colorful, and there were many sights and scenes to explore. The park was named for the Separatist minister, banished from his Massachusetts colony for his support of religious freedom, and in exile he went on to found the colony at Providence. His belief in the importance of allowing people to worship as they chose made Rhode Island one of the few colonies where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was not outlawed.
Also noteworthy was a large and exciting monument of Casimir Pulaski, Father of the American Cavalry, with whom my (slightly Polish) daughters were particularly enamored. It did look thrilling to stand beneath the courageous charging Pulaski mounted upon his thunderous terrifying horse.
We also saw a statue of Abraham Lincoln, charmingly erected by a devoted husband in memory of his obviously loyal and patriotic wife. We attest that Mr. Harvey's memorial is indeed effective, and we contemplated much loyalty and patriotism as we partook of rest and recreation. Such is the beauty of a love of history.
The Providence Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul was magnificent to behold both outside and in. Sadly, so much destruction of the 'renovations' of (when else?) 1968 were clearly seen on the interior, such as the Tabernacle removed to a side altar and what looked like a gigantic One Ring suspended over a green marble freestanding altar emblazoned with golden fish (?). The Cathedral's website shows many pictures of what it looked like in its proper glory in bygone days. The glorious main architecture remains the same of course, and one can only hope and pray the Tabernacle will one day be restored to its rightful central location, as done by our good bishop in our diocese some years ago.
We proceeded to cheer ourselves up with a lengthy visit to a most fabulous used bookstore.
And we might have celebrated someone's Happy Birthday while visiting family as well.
Unfortunately the boys were unable to join us on our travels. Josiah did send us off in style by parading with our Papal standard as we left. They later posed for a funny but forlorn picture of the two lonely bachelors eating soup.
A very real highlight of the trip was my cousin's sharing of a box of memorabilia from her father's military service during World War II. So many, many treasures contained in that plain brown box.
His tiny pocket crucifix carried throughout the war.
His well-worn pocket missal.
This program from Christmas Eve services 1944 in New Guinea. The back page lists the clergy serving for the Midnight Mass.
So many photographs.
And this old Army Song book, containing so very many of our favorite songs we listen to and sing and play just about every day in our house.
There were also letters, documents, passes, ribbons, personal artifacts, prayer books, holy cards and much more. There was a novena holy card of 'Mary's Kneeling Army', signed by a lady who prayed specifically for my uncle, and I marveled at how the prayers of a Mrs. C. Wirth were among the many that doubtless led to my uncle's returning home safe and sound. Needless to say, we could have spent a week poring over the contents of that dear box. We were thankful for the hours that we did have, and especially honored with the packet of letters and pictures (and wonder-of-wonders, my uncle's Brown Scapular!) that we were allotted to keep(!). The rest will go to his direct descendants.
I found this little gem particularly moving:
I like how all of the excellent advice to Catholics is still perfectly true and relevant, and sorely needed, still today. We would all do well to always remember: A man whose eyes are fixed on God as his Last End has no temptation to seek his heaven on earth.
We are pleased to once again announce that we will be hosting an Artist Trading Card swap: For All the Saints!
Artist Trading Cards are tiny pieces of original artwork that are created for the purpose of trading with others.
Artists young and old are invited to make and trade ATC's of their favorite saints as we celebrate the Church Triumphant during the month of November.
We have been hosting Artist Trading Card swaps here at Pondered in My Heart since 2010: a swap of Marian artwork in May and All Saints in November (though we did skip the saint swap in November 2013). We have some artists who have participated since the beginning, and we always have new folks joining us every time. Many swappers have formed long lasting friendships (hello dearest Georgians!) and pen pal relationships through these card swaps. We always enjoy seeing the familiar names and artwork of favorite long time swappers as well the excitement of anticipating new ones, and seeing everyone's improvement over the years.
We look forward to having YOU join this time!
An ATC is precisely 2.5" x 3.5" (6.35 x 8.89 cm) in size - you can cut your own from larger pieces of paper or buy ready-made cards at a craft or art supply store if you prefer. Card stock, heavy watercolor paper or any sturdy paper is good. We usually cut ours from watercolor paper or bristol - a 9x12" sheet will give you ten cards. Their small size makes them fun and non-intimidating to work with, and of course a perfect size for trading.
Embellishing the back side of the cards is almost as much fun as designing the front. Additional symbols, prayers, biographical facts or quotes from the saints can be added as desired along with info about the artist.
Artwork can be of any media or combination thereof -watercolors, acrylics, ink, colored pencil, calligraphy - whatever you like.
Artists of all ages, from young children to grown-ups, are invited to participate. Artists of all abilities are welcome, but everyone is encouraged to do their best work. Even if you don't think you are good at drawing, there are still lots of creative ways to put together a beautiful ATC to delight someone else and honor the saints. You can look at posts from our previous swaps or visit around the internet for lots of ATC inspiration.
The swap will work the same way as our other swaps have. Here are the details:
Each participant will create five ATC's to mail out and will receive five different cards from five different artists in return.
Everyone will send their cards to me. I will sort them out roughly by age group/ability of the creator, and then mail the cards back out to their new recipients. When you mail your cards to me, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope that I can use to send your new cards to you. (Note: as I collect all the cards and do the exchanging, no one else will see your full name and address unless you choose to put your personal info on the backs of your cards.)
International swappers are most welcome! It's always extra fun to receive cards from a faraway place.
The swap is open to all ages. This is the perfect opportunity for parents to sit down and create some lovely artwork alongside your children.
Each card should be labeled on the back with the creator's name and however much info you'd like to share - age (for the kids), date, title of the piece, media used, and location if you like. Some participants look to connect with others for possible pen pals and the like, so you are welcome to include more personal info if you wish, but it is not required.
If you are interested in participating please send me an email at kimberlee (at) beadsofmercy (dot) com, and put ATC swap in the subject, and I will send you further information. Anyone can join in and definitely the more the merrier!
Please mail your cards to me postmarked by Saturday, November 29th, 2014.
A big thank you to Anna Ruth for providing this year's ATC image! She has twenty-one saints portrayed on her fabulous card. (How many can you identify?)
If you have a blog, please feel free to spread the word! You can also grab this image if you like:
Here is the code:
<p><a href="https://ponderedinmyheart.typepad.com/pondered_in_my_heart/2014/11/for-all-the-saints-artist-trading-card-swap-2014.html"><img title="Pondered in My Heart" src="https://ponderedinmyheart.typepad.com/IMG_28947-001.JPG" alt="" /></a></p>
Remember, O Christian soul, that thou hast this day, and every day of thy life: God to glorify - Jesus to imitate - The Angels and Saints to invoke - A soul to save - A body to mortify - Sins to expiate - Virtues to acquire - Hell to avoid - Heaven to gain - Eternity to prepare for - Time to profit by - Neighbors to edify - The world to despise - Devils to combat - Passions to subdue - Death perhaps to suffer - Judgment to undergo.
Thanks for stopping by! My name is Kimberlee. I am a Catholic homeschooling mother of seven children ages 11 - adult. This is my place to share all these things I treasure, and ponder in my heart.
Lydia's New Book
Quis Ut Deus Press
Quis Ut Deus Press You can have your books signed by the illustrator when you buy them here!
The Fig and Thimble
Our Etsy shop features peg dolls and storytelling cubes, calligraphy pens, medieval hats, hoods, and cloaks, original artwork, crocheted rosary roses, missal covers, paper goods, miscarriage sympathy cards and lots more.
Thank you so much for your support!
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