Pretty is Eliza in the early morning sunlight! Here she is posing with her crayons and a bunch of WWII themed coloring pages her sisters made for children to color at that recent event. Dad had done the scanning the night before and left the pages spread out on the table, and Eliza came down in the morning and thought they were all set up ready for her. So I had to take a picture. :)
Happy is finding a whole box full of Cornerstone of Freedom books at the thrift shop! These vintage picture books are always popular with young folks, and there are books about all of Eliza's favorite topics. Stories of the Boston Tea Party, the Gettysburg Address, The Star Spangled Banner, Old Glory, and so many more, oh my!
Happy is finding the ancient packet of presidents cards that I knew we had somewhere in the house. I think Nana gave these to my boys a couple of decades ago; Josiah used them to learn the presidents and I can still picture him going round and round a tree reciting them all when he was four years old. Eliza is very happy to have them now.
She has been writing lists of the presidents on loose leaf paper, but she wanted to 'type them into the computer' like her sisters do with important things. She had been moping and pining for a day and a half because we wouldn't let her use a computer by herself. Then it finally occurred to me to let her use the typewriter!
As you can see, she is beyond happy and downright thrilled to be typing away on Grammy's old Smith Corona! She sits with her President and First Lady books and types away with great joy.
She had a little trouble with the spacing at first, but she's improving. ;-)
This girl's sense of humor always keeps us laughing, and her quick wit often amazes me. The other day the cake rack was sitting on the table, and quick as a wink she grabbed it and held it up in front of her face, folded her hands and declared, "I'm a nun!"
The cloistered nuns at the local Carmelite Monastery usually remain unseen behind the enclosure, but on special occasions we are able to see a sister and exchange greetings at the grill. We have visited on several occasions when there has been a profession of vows or receiving of the habit and Eliza is always enthralled by the joyful sisters, parking herself right in front of the grill to visit as long as she can. Apparently she remembers those times well!
N.B.When I tucked her in, the star headband was safely stowed down on the bedpost and the flags were nowhere in sight. Off-camera but also in the bed is her trusty copy of D'Aulaire's The Star Spangled Banner. Also note, 'patriotic' is commonly pronounced 'patch-er-watic' in this house. My dear patcherwatic girl.
We recently went on a little outing to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary: a visit to a chocolate shoppe followed by picnicking in a park, complete with ducks to play with and a bridge for Pooh Sticks, and finishing up with ice cream of course. Some readers have asked for a sample of The Musketoon so I thought I'd share Eliza's recap regarding our day. This is a straight unedited narration, but we find it charming and delightful just the same.
And when we read the issue out loud and her article and pen name are announced, you'd think Eliza's cheeks would burst, she grins so hard with pride. :-)
The Lancaster By Cowslip in the Meadow
So. We went to the Lancaster on August 2nd on Saturday. We went to Wilbur chocolate and we saw a chocolate bunny. We saw a chocolate banana and we ate Wilbur chocolate out of a bucket (it says Wilbur on it. Wilbur the pig. Wilbur has a buttermilk bath- whatever). Ma bought bags of Wilbur chocolate. We heard a noise. The noise is making a sound of a rattling noise. It sounds like a GI mumbling on a barrel. At Wilbur chocolate we walked on lots of steps. We saw airplanes at the sky. We went to the airport and saw airplanes and Mother and Jonathan went to the grocery store to buy bread for the ducks to eat. We went to the picnic table and eat some food. And after they ate food, they went to see the lion’s head. We saw a lion- it was sleeping with its mouth open. I think it was snoring maybe? I don’t know. We went to the ducks’ pond. And we throw bread at the ducks to eat with, and throw bark at the ducks, or leaves. And we heard the ducks quacking. They would say, “Quaaaaack!” So, we went to the ice cream sundae store. And we ate ice cream. And the lady said to me, “What kind is your favorite ice cream?” I choose Blueberry Cheesecake. And we went home, and we drove and drove all the way home. We take showers and go to bed.
Outside my window- Rising temperatures have melted most of Friday's lovely few inches of snow. But 27 is still chilly enough for January. It's interesting to visit blogs of southern ladies and try to imagine what it would be like to have sunshine and flowers this time of year.
I also remain thankful we are all healthy and have been all winter. Deo Gratias!
From the kitchen- Just pulled a pan of Pleasant View Anna's Schoolhouse Gingerbread out of the oven and a freshly filled teapot sits on the table. A giant pot of applesauce is simmering on the stove and sweet potatoes are baking in the oven. It smells good in here.
Living the Liturgical Year- Today is Septuagesima Sunday, the first day
of this season of Pre-Lent, a time to prepare and make ready for the
arrival of Lent on Ash Wednesday. A good article on the history of this
season and some of the customs and practices associated with it can be
found here: Septuagesima: The Time that Land Forgot.
While the revised church calendar does not observe Septuagesima, those
using the Extraordinary Form of the Mass still follow the old calendar
and observe this preparatory season. The vestments used for Mass are already the penitential purple and the Gloria and Alleluia are omitted. Jonathan explained to me how last night's vespers had a bit of a special farewell to the Alleluia
as it is fondly set aside until the glorious celebration of Easter. We listened to this excellent sermon on Septuagesima and Lent by one of our favorite Audio Sancto priests. There is also another Septuagesima sermon available on Planning for Lent.
Around the house- We still have our Christmas decorations
around and about and it seems they will remain until Candlemas on
February second. It is so cheery to have the pretty lights to brighten
up these grey winter days - we will miss them when they go. (Although we have been known to put up some interesting lights for Valentine's Day.)
We are creating- All sorts of things! Jonathan is working on more backgammonboards for the shop. Josiah is busy with an intensive January term engineering graphics course. He's working very hard but is obviously having lots of fun at the same time. Lydia has a couple of rosary rose orders so she's working on those for her current car crocheting. Indoors she's painting birds, working on a special saint picture, or drawing in her sketch book (sit still for ten minutes and you're likely to end up in there). Anna Ruth has been working on some custom saint bookmarks - an appropriate way to spend a Sunday afternoon's drawing. Mary Rose has just started a large work on a full size sheet (22 x 30) of Bristol: a collage of various scenes from The Lord of the Rings. She finished a colored pencil of Helm's Deep and gave it to us for Christmas, and she seems to like doing large works every now and then. Kateri is crocheting lengths of chain stitch in her favorite colors and hanging them around the house bunting style for Valentine's decor. :-) I have various little projects going but they are all gifts so no details! You know, the things you didn't finish for Christmas or even Epiphany will henceforth be known as Valentine's Day presents.
A few plans for the rest of the week- It would be nice to make some beeswax candles this week so they can be blessed on Candlemas. We have some beeswax that we got from a local beekeeper a few years ago. We rendered it ourselves and use it for wood polish and skin care items and the like, but we've never actually made candles with it. This might just be the year.
One of my favorite things- Pomegranates! One of our grocery stores here has them for a mere dollar a piece and so we have been feasting on ever so many of them. Never mind their incredible messiness, breaking open one of the dull red fruits to reveal all the little beautiful jewels of juicy sweetness that taste sooo good always makes me happy.
Some picture thoughts- Yesterday at church, after the Saturday morning Mass, we helped to take the Nativity scene down and store it away until next year. I remembered the immense joy we all felt at Midnight Mass when Lydia Grace Thérèse had the great honor of carrying in the Infant to be placed in the Creche by Father at the very beginning of Christmas.
And then yesterday I watched as the Infant was carried away by a newly widowed elderly member of the church, not in a ceremonial procession but in a simple act of service. It was such a poignant sight to see her struggling just a bit to climb the steps to the storage area, carrying Baby Jesus, knowing that when we celebrated His birth she still had a husband and now he is gone. But she carries such hope and faith with her and shows such strength in her sorrow, just as she devotedly carried Him in her arms up to His resting place. I think I will always remember that sight.
We'll also surely remember Eliza's great love of the Nativity this year. Every day since Christmas she would go up to the front of church after
Mass and kneel down before the Crèche and say a prayer. And then when
she stood back up she wouldn't leave until she had stretched up on tippy
toes and touched the Infant, transferring a kiss from her fingertips to
whatever she could reach of Baby Jesus or His crib. Even if she was
sleepy when she arrived at early morning daily Mass she would always
perk up and eagerly make her little visit afterwards. On Sundays she
would make a beeline for the Nativity as soon as she arrived in the
church - she didn't care who was watching or what was going on around
her she just got in there and headed straight for Jesus and wouldn't
leave and go sit down until she gave Him a kiss. And then she'd have to
visit Him again after Mass as well. I would do well to remember and
follow her example: pay no never mind to the hubbub of life around me,
just tuck my head down and run straight for Jesus, every day.
We were afraid Eliza would be really sad about putting away the Nativity but she took it all in stride and very cheerfully helped to carry things away.
And of course putting away the Nativity reminds me of the day we helped to set it up on the Saturday before Christmas. Eliza was glad to help then too and was fascinated to watch everything being brought out and arranged.
The figurines were carried out from the storage area and set on the floor while the men assembled the platform and stable and set up the trees and all. Eliza went right over to the Blessed Mother and knelt down in front of her, folded her hands and presumably offered an Ave. And then she got up and just sat herself right down next her to watch the proceedings. She put her arm right around Our Lady and didn't move from her side until she was taken away to be placed in the stable. She must have hung out like that for a good half an hour or so, just sitting around with Our Lady like she was her best pal. Occasionally she gave her a fond little pat or caressed her halo, but mostly she just sat. She acted like it was the most natural thing in the world, to just sit on the floor with your arm around the Blessed Mother.
That's another thing picture thought I always want to remember - to go through life calmly and peacefully with my arm around my Blessed Mother, right by my side.
Our special little girl is a great big nine years old! As you can see, Eliza was oh so very excited to celebrate her special day. She was smiling so hard we thought she'd burst her cheeks and her twinkling eyes would be lost forever scrunched up in her grinning face. Our happy happy girl enjoyed two cakes decorated with some of her favorite kitties on them - we had a bit of a Cat Club theme going for her celebration so she had Jenny Linsky herself on one cake and Checkers and Edward on the other. You might recall how much Eliza loved Pickles the Fire Cat when she was younger, and now Jenny and the Cat Club is one of her favorite books. Look at these sweet little Cat Club birthday notes Lydia made for her-
Meow and purr, we want her - Eliza Eliza Eliza! Pickles, Macaroni, Romulus and Remus, Butterfly, Concertina, Sinbad and the Duke, Arabella and Antonio and the rest are all there wishing Eliza happy birthday!
Eliza likes to pretend her favorite little black cat is Jenny Linsky so I made a little red scarf for her as a gift. Not hand knit by the Captain but just a simple bit of red fleece (I sewed it into a permanent loop so she can put it on the kitty without harm).
Eliza was delighted with her new blue night cap made by Anna and a beautitul new picture book of The Nativity.
Lazzie Jenny Linsky made a brief appearance at the festivities and Eliza was very pleased with the red scarf effect-
Then the party was over and it was time for final hugs and bed-
She went and fetched a candle so she could do her best Lucy Pevensie - Then we had to send this sweetie sweetie girl to sleep- Oh Eliza, we sure do love you so very, very, much! Every day we thank God for the extra extra special gift that is you!
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.
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