Thursday, December 27, 2007

December in Pictures



(unfortunately I have no pics of Midnight Mass at Holy Hill which was absolutely incredible)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas




"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone."




"The hands that made the sun and stars were too small to reach the huge heads of cattle."




“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”




"Rejoice! For unto us a Child is born! Unto us a Son is given! And the government shall be upon His shoulders and His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace!"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

From Art Class







Friday, December 07, 2007

Free Rice

Ameliorate your vocabulary, and donate rice to the poor, without leaving your seat or spending a nickel, click here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Thanksgiving

Well in case you didn't guess from the title, or from my recent neglect of the blogsphere, I have been rather busy lately. Thanksgiving week in particular was rather hectic, and absolutely wonderful. Beginning on tuesday with Library Tree set-up and our second performance of Alice in Wonderland, the week was off to a great start. This performance far surpassed our earlier production, especially in clarity of speach. Yet, the marvelous events of the day did rather retard our ability for quick packing.




Thus by late Wednesday morning, our estimated time of departure was rapidly progressing later and later in the day. This, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise, for we were better equipped for picking up my cousin and her boyfriend at the mn. airport from a late flight. Naturally our arrival at our destination was slightly later then was planned, 2:30 AM to be precise. However, we survived, and I, for one, greatly enjoyed the experience, having at my disposal a small flashlight and the books Waking Rose and Jane Eyre (the latter I mostly read while there was still natural light, for that book had smaller print, the former I devoured once sundown made necessary artificial light), and the lateness of the hour made for a quiet car. Needless to say, our sleeping schedules were slightly thrown off.



For the rest of the weekend we enjoyed:

my uncle's incredible cooking (gourmet on paper plates, with a few china plates mixed in),











three games of Monopoly, three of Ticket to Ride, two of Settlers of Cataan,








Jane Eyre and Waking Rose







and the company of cousins and friends, from whom we are normally seperated by large distances.









To my great joy, the company included my cousin, mystical_rose84, whose residence being many hundreds of miles away, lessens frequent communication.




What a wonderful week!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Alice In Wonderland

During this past fall, a number of my friends and I have been getting together weekly, organizing, practicing and perfecting our presentation of Alice In Wonderland. On this past thursday evening, the fifteen of us put on our first performance at a local nursing home. So far so good! This is one of my favorite pics from the evening, but there are a few more here for any who are interested.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

If you say so

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Non-Reader
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Manalive

Chesterton's ability to weave astonishing paradoxes, marvelous truths and perfect humor into a engaging, educating and incredible story is astounding, and in Manalive he certainly puts his gifts to work.

Innocent Smith is a mystery. Literally blown in to the story by a great wind, he begins climbing trees, spouting nonsensical English, retrieving hats and creating a general feeling cheerfulness as soon as his feet touch ground. In the course of the next few pages, this atmosphere becomes more pronounced and by the middle of chapter four all of the principle characters are engaged to one and other. Thus a happily-ever-after ending seems just around the corner. However before that can become a reality we meet several crime-specialists who introduce a startling series of accusations which question the Innocence of Inoccent. In a makeshift courtroom, the charges of murder, burglary, desertion and polygamy are brought to the doorstep of Mr. Smith. His freedom seems, to put it midly, lost. But, as one of my friends once said, "surprises are the hallmark of the Sage of Beaconsfield*", and as someone who I would greatly like to call my friend once said "things are not always as they seem." Although none of the evidence against Smith is false, he is indeed as blameless as his name suggests. As we learn near the end of the book "he has broken the conventions but he has kept the commandments."

However, the basic storyline can only give you the faintest of ideas of how hilarious and how true and thoughtful this marvelous book is. If you don't own a copy, you can read it here. Just read a few paragraphs whenever you have a spare minute, it is well worth your time.
*Chesterton

Saturday, October 20, 2007

For Writing Class this Week

St. Therese of the Child Jesus

In 1873 in Liseux France, Louis and Zelie Martin gave birth to a ninth child and named her Mary Therese. When Therese was only four, her mother died. Choosing Pauline as her "little mother" after her own mother's death, Therese became very close to her older sister. When Pauline joined the cloistered Carmelite order, Therese was understandably devastated, and soon fell ill. Terrified by hallucinations and burning with fever, Therese lay in danger of death. Her anxious family, in an almost constant state of prayer, moved the statue of the Lady of the Smile into the sickroom. Suddenly instead of the monsters that had been tormenting her for weeks Therese saw a beautiful woman, smiling gently. Therese was miraculously cured. Despite her sadness at Pauline's departure, Therese was drawn to the Carmelite order, and when another sister Marie also entered the order, Therese was drawn even closer. As a young teen Therese began her quest to enter Carmel, but over and over, she was refused. Finally at the age of fifteen Therese’s peaceful battle was won and she entered the convent. A number of years later, after her sister Celine had also joined the Carmelites, Therese contracted tuberculosis. She tried valiantly to conceal her sickness and played her part well enough that to some it seemed that she was faking her illness, but in 1897 tuberculosis took her life. Thanks to the numerous miracles attributed to the Little Flower, her beatification took place much earlier then was usual, in 1923, and canonized only two years later.

The Little Flower’s spiritual beauty did not mature in one simple spurt, but slowly bloomed over the course of her life, as the Great Gardener watched over her and gently guided her to Sainthood. Therese learned to pray at the age of two and to perform sacrifices at three. By the age of eleven frequent prayer at ordinary tasks had become a habit. Yet Therese was still very much a child. Then at fourteen she experienced what she called her Christmas Conversion, and the childish teen became a woman. Although Therese wanted to be a missionary and a martyr, after entering Carmel she realized this calling was not readily available for cloistered nuns. So she prayed instead. She prayed for the missionaries whom she could not join, she did her chores without complaining, and with these and other small sacrifices she earned her way to heaven. Outwardly she was plain, she did nothing that seemed exceptional to anyone, but her soul was growing more and more beautiful with each tiny chore. It is this little way of hers that shows us holiness is within our reach, and tells us, with more then just words, that anyone can be a saint.

In 1929, the young woman who considered herself so weak, and whose dream of becoming a missionary and martyr was never fulfilled, was proclaimed Patroness of Foreign Missions. She shared this high honor with St. Francis Xavier. Eighteen years later in 1947, this same young woman was made Patroness of her country of France, along with the saint she had always looked up to so much, St. Joan of Arc.

Great deeds are forbidden me. I cannot preach the gospel nor shed my blood- but what does it matter? My brothers toil instead of me and I, a little child, keep close by the throne of God and I love for those who fight. Love proves itself by deeds. I will scatter flowers, perfuming the Divine Throne, and I'll sweetly sing my hymn of love. These flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least of actions for love.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

99 balloons

I'm still wiping my eyes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Little Literary Math

Frequent rereading of The Ballad of the White Horse, especially of the third book, in an attempt at memorization + reading through the script of Alice in Wonderland (combined with Through the Looking Glass, our drama groups' first performance) numerous times= the rather odd combination, which you see below, running through the head:

How swiftly and with peril
They gather all good things,*
Shoes and ships and sealing wax
Of cabbages and kings*

*The high horns of the forest beasts,
Or the secret stones of kings.
-From book three of The Ballad of the White Horse By G.K. Chesterton

*And why the sea is boiling hot
and whether pigs have wings
-From Through the Looking Glass By Lewis Carrol

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Battle of Lepanto

Since today is the 436th anniversary of the battle of Lepanto and since I am a Chesterton lover, obviously I must post part of Chesterton's poem on that rightly famous battle. So voila, the actual battle scene from the poem you see below your current eyelevel, assuming you are reading this. The earlier part of this poem is well worth your time (my mom and I just read it outloud together, and it sounded amazing) and you can read it here. Oh and the Wikipedia Lepanto page is quite interesting as well. Anyways, time for the poem.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign--
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.

Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Jefferson Smith is an idealistic, small-town young man who suddenly finds himself a United States senator. Placed in his position by a rich, power-hungry man, Mr. James A. Taylor, Smith is not supposed to do anything but vote on a bill, allegedly constructed as a relief bill, but actually concocted to fill the pockets of Taylor. When Smith uncovers the plan and tries to tell the senate the truth, he finds himself engaged in an overpowering battle against the unbelieveably powerful Taylor. But against overwhelming odds, Smith keeps fighting, and the quote below is from the climax of this fight, and actually the whole movie. Ahem I quote from memory, so it's not quite word for word.

I guess this is just another lost cause Mr. Payne. All you people don’t know about lost causes, Mr. Payne does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for, and he fought for them once, for the only reason that any man does. Because of just one simple rule; Love thy Neighbor. And in this world today full of hate a man who knows that rule has a great trust, you know that rule Mr. Payne, and I loved you for it just like my father did. And you know that you fought for the lost causes harder then any others, you even died for them, like a man we both knew.
You think I’m licked, you all think I’m licked. Well I’m not licked. I’m gonna stay right here and fight for this lost cause, even if this room gets filled with lies like these. And all the Taylors and Paynes come marching in. Somebody will listen to me.


Starring James Stewart (in what I personally think is his finest performance) this is an incredible movie, and I VERY highly reccomend it.

Friday, October 05, 2007

JBY 07



I attended John Bosco Youth Day for the third time this year, and I have to say, it keeps getting better. Archbishop Dolan, Steve Angriasino, Martin Doman, Andy Meier... and so much more, it was incredible. The Archbishop began the day with an opening prayer and short address, and led a decade of the rosary. One of the coolest things about JBY is the atmosphere (the best word I can think of for it) created by so many people united with one purpose, the atmosphere that can turn such mediocre songs as Open My Eyes Lord, into beautiful hymns. And since the rosary is already such a great prayer well: rosary+ archibishop Dolan + JBY atmosphere + the communion of saints, whose presence it was not difficult to feel= One amazing 15 minutes.

Directly following the archibishop's departure, Steve Angriasino gave his talk. His stories of courage in the Columbine high school shooting in his town, a girl who refused to deny her faith and survived eight bullets and a boy who gave up his life for his friend made for a very moving talk.

After him there was a drama called "ropes" performed by several members of the Holy Hill Youth Group, but I can't tell you much about how it looked from the audience since I was on the stage.

Then came lunch including a very crowded trip up the Holy Hill tower and time to chat with a few of the dozens of friends who were also there. Following that was a brief talk by a few Dominican nuns from Nashville.
Next (as you see to your right) Andy Meier came and played percussion with Martin Doman and his band. I think the song was God of Wonders, but I can't remember for sure. If it was, it certainly would have made sense. For about a week earlier this year, doctors were doubtful that Andy would live, and now he's back playing percussion. It was awesome.
Unfortunately I had to leave after this ): so I can't tell you much more, however I hear that Andy stayed and played percussion for adoration and mass as well. Well I have a number of friends who did stay, perhaps I can get one of them to write about the rest of the day.

Oh, the pictures I have aren't very good, but I'm hoping there will be some published somewhere from a better photographer that I can at least link to in the near (or far) future.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Wide Horizon

In this second installment of the Texas Panhandle saga, Loula Grace Erdman tells the story of the middle girl, timid, artistic Katie.

Melinda is recently married and living in Amarillo 30 miles away with Dennis Kennedy, a name familiar to those who have read the first in this series, The Wind Blows Free. Before Katie can quite accustom herself to life without Melinda, word comes that grandmother has been seriously injured in a fall, and mama must go back to East Texas to care for her. This leaves Katie in charge, Katie, who had always relied on these two for initiative and now must take the lead. Keeping house for papa, her two older brothers and her younger sister, is not an easy task. And besides this arrangment has delayed Katie's entrance into the highschool back in East Texas, the school that will perfectly fit her interests. But despite these difficulties, the year progresses, and so does Katie's ability. Overcoming her baking troubles with the help of her younger sister, taking care of two small children in addition to her own family and fighting her way through a fierce blizzard are but a few of the difficulties Katie must try her hand at. But, like her older sister Melinda, Katie doesn't give up and finally conquers her fears and inablilities in this story of pioneer life in the Texas Panhandle.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Frank's recorder


Thanks to the tenor recorder I'm borrowing, and the recorder lessons that Terri and Bernie have started recently, the dulcet (and sometimes very squeaky) tones of recorders have been echoing through the house. Just now upstairs, I was playing Danny Boy with music spread around me, and Frank, who had just got out of the bath, plopped down beside me and began to "play" on a water recorder, with his eyes firmly fixed on his "music", a.k.a. a Cherokee clothes tag.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fabre's Book of Insects

After an approximately year long endeavor, I finally finished reading Fabre's Book of Insects. Jean Henri Fabre chronicles the lives and adventures of a number of different types of insects. His reader will become acquainted with the scarab beetle who rolls his one and only kind of fare in a perfectly shaped ball before him as he traverses difficult terrain then stores it in his lair. The reader will follow out most learned and interesting guide into the nests of bees of numerous descriptions and into the wonderfully crafted, and actually used home of the locust. He will explorethe secrets of the lives of murderous parasites and the mysterious burrowings of Capricorn grub. These and many more adventures await he who reads Fabre's Book of Insects.
Written by a French Catholic Naturalist, I found this book rather slow, but still very interesting.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sunset Light




Frank











Monday, September 03, 2007

A Simplified Timeline

Of my summer, and also my excuse for exactly twelve posts over the course of three months.

JUNE:
Finishing up school
ChesterCon
Love2Learn reunion is SD

JULY:
Short notice trip to Springfield IL
A retreat at Schoenstatt
Left for Oklahoma

AUGUST:
Spent a few days with 19 cousins, 3 aunts, 3 uncles, grandparents and hundreds of animals on hundreds of acres in Oklahoma
A very brief visit with a friend from SD
Saying farewell to a very dear friend who is now at WCC
Had a whole family of South Dakotians visit for a week, which included a visit to Six Flags Great America

SEPTEMBER:
A Labor Day party yesterday
Back to School tomorrow

And this doesn't even include all of the parties, discussions etc. with people who, luckily, don't live so far away.
Perhaps I'll have a few (or maybe a lot) of pics to share later, we shall see... What an incredible summer!!!!!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

One more...


... then I really, really, really want to go read this so no elaborate, or even relatively lengthy descriptions of this one, I will only say that I did this at the same time and from the same book, listening to the same CD as the other one.

Abraham Lincoln


From "Draw Real People", the office floor, The Shadow of the Bear audiobook and some spare time comes... Abraham Lincoln! (and another face to follow very shortly).
BTW I haven't stopped doing artwork, I just joined this blog, and have had a ridiculously full, yet incredibly fun summer. And maybe, if my schoolyear doesn't turn out to be as crazy as my summer was, I will have a chance to post on some of the goings-on which have so sadly deprived this blog of posts.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thank You


To my parents who, in their fifteen years of marriage, have given to me and my siblings; life, love, faith, home and everything else; and who have taught us to love all good things, Thank you. Thank you a thousand times and more.
Happy Fifteenth Anniversary!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ask Sister Mary Martha

On this delightful blog I just discovered, Ask Sister Mary Martha, the Harry Potter question just came up, thanks to my friend and fellow ChesterTeen, Lucia. It's a great response, not to mention a hilarious one, do read it, you won't be sorry.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Old Friends



Allow me to introduce mysticalrose84, myself (the baby) and our mutual friend and cousin, fourteen years ago. These two now live in Oklahoma along with 13 other cousins, and I had a superb time visiting them and their families a few weeks ago (that's part of why my blogging has been so scanty lately).

Saturday, August 11, 2007

How to waste time on a Saturday morning

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
Kunst, wie Sittlichkeitsgefühl, besteht, wenn sie irgendwo die Linie zeichnet. (German)
L'art, comme la moralité, consiste en traçant la ligne quelque part. (French)
Искусствоо, как morality, состоит в рисовать линию где-то.(Russian)
藝術, 像道德, 包括在劃清界線某處。(Chinese)
Η τέχνη, όπως την ηθική, συνίσταται να σύρει τη γραμμή κάπου. (Greek)
L'arte, come la moralità, è costituita nel disegno della linea in qualche luogo. (Italian)
芸術は、道徳のようなラインをどこかに引出すことで、成っている。(Japanese)
예술은, 도덕 선을 어딘가에 인출하기안에, 이루어져 있는다. (Korean)
A arte, como o morality, consiste em extrair a linha em algum lugar. (Portuguese)
El arte, como moralidad, consiste en el dibujo de la línea en alguna parte. (Spanish)
De kunst, zoals ethiek, bestaat uit ergens het trekken van de lijn. (Dutch)

I'm sure it's evident that I don't like translators, or languages for that matter, and never spend to much time translating Chesterton quotes on them. (: How do you waste time on a Saturday morning (or any morning really)? Just click on the word translators above.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

To Kill a Mockingbird- Study Questions

It is not the main point of this post to tell you why this blog has been so sadly neglected. But a brief explanation should be given. The past week and a half or so has been crazy. Springfield, Schoenstatt, Youth Group, Harry Potter 5 (the movie) and Harry Potter 7 (the book) have made blogging rather lighter then usual. Speaking of Harry Potter 7, there is a very interesting discussion going on here, and at Flying Stars another can be found, but be warned all ye who have not yet read the book, spoilers are brought up numerous times.

That said 'tis time for study questions. To Kill a Mockingbird was one of our teen discussion books about three months ago, and just today I finally finished answering the study questions for this book. Nota Bene, a number of my answers come from our discussion group, not all of them are my own.

1. From whose point of view is this story told?
The story is told from the point of view of Jean Louise Finch, better known as Scout.

Who do you think the author chose this character instead of Jem?
In Scout's narrative there is a childlike simplicity that gives the book a character which would be much less evident in Jem's less childish story.

2. How does Jem look on his father early in the book? (give at least one example)
Although Jem loves his father, he thinks that he is not very good at anything, as in the incident of Jem's annoyance with Atticus for not playing football.

Does his view seem to change by the end?
Yes

If so, how?
In the course of the story, Jem sees his father doing things, e.g. the mad dog incident and the court scene, which show him that his father is good, very good, at many things, things that are actually more important then football and such. Many times throughout the book Jem sees more of his father's character, and learns that it is strong and very good, thus Jem comes to respect and admire his father.

3. Who is Mrs. Dubose?
Mrs. Dubose is the cranky neighbor lady who is always hurling insults at passersby.

Why do the children hate her so?
The children hate her because of the insulting things she says about them and especially the nasty comments concerning Atticus and his court case.

When Atticus realizes how angry Jem is over Mrs. Dubose's comments, he says: "You just hold your head high and be a gentlemen. Whatever she says to you, it's your job not to let her make you mad." What does this comment tell you about Atticus's children?
I think it illustrates, as is seen in other places as well, that Atticus is rather passive ordinarily yet can make up his mind and stick to it remarkably well. I think that is largely because he doesn't get angry and stubborn about every little thing. The question of how Atticus tries to raise his children comes up in another question so I won't go into it again.

How did the children end up helping Mrs. Dubose?
The children helped Mrs. Dubose by reading to her and thus distracting her from the pain that ensued when she stopped taking drugs.

4. In chapter 11, Atticus and Scout briefly discuss why he feels he must defend Tom Robinson. Atticus says, "The one thing that doesn't abide by a majority rule is a person's conscience." Explain what he mans by this and how this belief causes conflict for him within the community.
Atticus means that although everyone else may be against what's right, a person's conscience (if it is well formed) will still tell you the what it right, although it may conflict with what the others say. Since Atticus followed his conscience, thus following God, rather then the popular prejudice, some of the people of his town were very angry, in a few cases, violent.

5. How was the Finch's family life different than others they knew?
Atticus let his children have a pretty free rein to do a good deal of what they wanted to, not whatever they wanted to. Also the lack of a mother in the household made their family life different then the typical one.

How did other people view the way their father was raising them?
Most other people viewed Atticus's methods with a critical eye, they thought he was far to lenient with his children.

What do you think of Atticus Finch as a father?
I think Atticus Finch is a wonderful father. He taught by example as well as by telling his children what is right and so he provided them with a better sense of right and wrong.

6. Why was Tom Robinson's case so hopeless?
Tom Robinson's case was so hopeless because of the great prejudice against Negroes in the south at that time.

What did it say about the judge that he asked Atticus Finch to represent Tom Robinson? The fact that the judge chose Atticus Finch to represent the man who was sure to be condemned shows that the judge cared about justice, and Tom Robinson and wanted to be sure that he had a fair trial.

7. What is the meaning of the title of the book?
To put it simply the meaning of the title of the book is that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird as we see in the story so named.
Why is it a sin to kill a mockingbird?
It is a sin to kill a mockingbird because a mockingbird does no harm to anyone, but merely sings its beautiful song.

Who is the mockingbird in the book? (Feel free to mention more than one if you think it appropriate).
Tom Robinson is the most obvious example but Arthur (Boo) Radley also illustrates the characteristics of the mockingbird.

Given this title, what do you think the author would consider to be the most important point of the book?
I don't know that I can pinpoint one particular most important point among the many themes present in the book including: love, hope, justice (shown partly through an excess of injustice) and courage.

8. What do you think this book might teach parents about raising children in difficult times and under difficult circumstances?
To Parents raising children under difficult circumstances To Kill a Mockingbird would show them, and hopefully inspire them to teach their children by their actions and not just their words. It might also show them that while they can't shield their children from everything, they can help them to overcome the difficulties thrust at them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

From Orthodoxy By GKC

The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of something he cannot understand.

(Chap. 2 The Maniac)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th

I would like to write a long(er) post with at least some poetry, but I just returned from a 24 hour 4th of July party, and would really like to curl up on the couch, so I'll just say go here for some photos and.....

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

St. Paul


Since today is the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul, and since Paul one of my favorite saints, I think a post is in order. So, St. Paul's conversion story, in his own words (Acts 22:3-21):


I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the feet of Gameliel, taught according to the truth of the law of the fathers, zealous for the law, as also all you are this day: Who persecuted this way unto death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, As the high priest doth bear me witness and all the ancients. From whom also receiving letters to the brethren, I went to Damascus, that I might bring them bound from thence to Jerusalem to be punished. And it came to pass, as I was going and drawing nigh to Damascus, at mid-day, that suddenly from heaven there shone round about me a great light: And falling on the ground, I heard a voice saying to me: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered: Who art thou, Lord? And he said to me: I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light: but they heard not the voice of him that spoke with me. And I said: What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me: Arise and go to Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things that thou must do. And whereas I did not see for the brightness of that light, being led by the hand by my companions, I came to Damascus, And one Ananias, a man according to the law, having testimony of all the Jews who dwelt there, Coming to me and standing by me, said to me: Brother Saul, look up. And I, the same hour, looked upon him. But he said: The God of our fathers hath preordained thee that thou shouldst know his will and see the Just One and shouldst hear the voice from his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness to all men of those things which thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Rise up and be baptized and wash away thy sins, invoking his name. And it came to pass, when I was come again to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance, For thou shalt be his witness to all men of those things which thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Rise up and be baptized and wash away thy sins, invoking his name. And it came to pass, when I was come again to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance, And saw him saying unto me: Make haste and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: because they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said: Lord, they know that I cast into prison and beat in every synagouge them that believed in thee. And when the blood of Stephen thy witness was shed, I stood by and consented: and kept the garments of them that killed him. And he said to me: Go, for unto the Gentiles afar off will I send thee.

Photo by: mharrsch

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What a Trip!

On Monday we returned from our ten day excursion through Minnesota and South Dakota. From Caddie Woodlawn's house to ChesterCon, from Mt. Rushmore to the Badlands, from friend's house to another friend's house and all the way back home this trip has been incredible.

ChesterCon: I met: Dr. Thursday, Dale, Laura and Julian Ahlquist, Aidan Mackey, Geir Hasnes, Robert Moore-Jumonville, Kurt Griffen.... and dozens of other wonderful people whose names I unfortunately do not know. I also had the opportunity to spend time with old friends such as Mrs. Brown and the Daly family. And the talks were wonderful too! As was getting a standing ovation after I recited my piece from the Ballad of the White Horse, I still can't believe it. Wow what an amazing conference, I really, really, really, really, really hope to go next year.

South Dakota: We saw Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, De Smet, the Geology Museum, EROS, The Air and Space Museum.... and had a simply marvelous time with friends whom we VERY seldom see.

I will probably post with more details later, but that's all for now folks.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Meet John Doe

A spur-of-the-moment publicity stunt turns into a nationwide movement for simple things like loving your neighbor. And people who were just in it for the money learn the necessity of these things and become better in the process. It culminates in a dramatic and moving (I was crying) climax which leaves us with the challenge that faces everyone trying to not only lead a good life but also to make the world a better place to live in. Starring Gary Cooper, I highly recommend this movie.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Franciscan E-Cards

They have lists of saints on most days of each months and e-cards to go with each of them, check it out.
Hat-Tip- Lucia

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Very Little Miracles

After I have said a quick prayer-

~I was finally able to pull a particularly difficult bed sheet out from where it was stuck
~someone stopped on a quite busy street to let me cross
~we made it to Mass with a few minutes to spare before hand, when that did not seem at all possible
~and all the others that I have forgotten

They happen everyday, they aren't always life changing (although many definitely are), they are usually not accompanied by a bolt of lightning, they're just little reminders that Someone's up there and He loves you.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Rose Round By Meriol Trevor

I finished this wonderful book a while ago, but I have neglected to post on it (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa:). So now the time has come to post.

Thirteen year-old Matt and his grown-up sister Caroline (Caro) are orphans. Therefore Caroline must work, that is she must work until her rich fiance plucks up enough courage to ask his father's permission to marry her. Matt, still in school, spends most of his time with his cranky Aunt, since she lives in a convenient location. But when Caro begins to work at Woodhall, a very old mansion, he spends his holidays with her. During his stay, Matt becomes acquainted with high-spirited Alix Ayre, grandaughter of cold, proud Madame Ayre, and Theo, Madame's crippled son. Through the eyes of Matt, we see Madame's bitter personality and cold disapproval of Theo, the seclusion which she forces upon Alix, and many other tense relationships at Woodhall. When Theo decides to bring his St. Raphael school for crippled children to Woodhall the tension rises. Alix is forced by Madame to stay away from the children, and in a foolish attempt to visit Matt, she endangers Theo's life.

Theo's character, patient, loving yet firm when he sets his will, and the conversations regarding the four Evangelists among other things, give this book many interesting quotes, and make this book a wonderful read. Beautiful and thought-provoking, like all of Meriol Trevor's works that I have yet read, I highly recommend this book.

If you are interested in more books similar to this one I would also recommend Sun Slower, Sun Faster, another great book by the same author. Both The Rose Round and Sun Slower, Sun Faster are available from Bethlehem Books.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Red Falcons of Tremoine By Hendry Peart

At fifteen Leo, living at the Abbey of St. Michael in England in the 13th century, knows nothing about his past or parentage. The Abbot of the said Abbey alone knows the boy's history but tells him nothing until the heir of the house of Wardlock is killed in the crusades. Then after receiving permission from Sir Maurice (the current lord of Wardlock) the Abbot tells Leo that he is the heir not only to the house of Wardlock but also the heir to their traditional enemy the house of Tremoine. He is the child of a Romeo and Juliet sort of marriage, his father killed by his brother in law, Rolf and his mother dead soon after entrusting her son to the care of the Abbott. Much excited by this news, Leo leaves the Abbey and goes to live with his kind grandparents, Sir Maurice of Wardlock and his wife. Several happy months pass in the company of his grandparents. Then Leo visits the Abbey. Finding the Abbot absent he travels on to the place where his parents were married. There he is forcefully captured by his Uncle Rolf and forced to become heir to the lands of Tremoine. The Tremoine Temper is strong in both Leo and Rolf and clashes of will are frequent. Yet Leo's gentle side, prominent when not provoked, soon makes him friends among the castle residents and perhaps it is softening Rolf as well. In Rolf's castle unfolds an engaging tale of courage and forgiveness.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Unsharpened Colored Pencils can accomplish a good deal


I really enjoy "impromptu" or "lazy" colored pencil drawings. I have sat down at a table or at the top of the stairs and found within a very short distance (since I was to lazy to go search for better materials) hardly sharpened pencils and paper already drawn on on one side but the results are often better then some others I have drawn with much more preparation. The other day I did such a "lazy" drawing, and it turned out pretty well considering.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More Acrylics




I did an acrylic painting in art class of the chapel we visited last June when we went to the Minnesota Homeschool conference. I am posting both the picture I copied from and my acrylic so that you can compare the two. There are many flaws and differences from the original in my acrylic, but it was fun to do and I learned a lot in the process.

Back to Liber, Parma or whatever you want to call a book

Well I finally got myself into Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott and finished it rapidly, enjoying every minute of the time spent on it. This delightful story chronicles the entrance (and the time of about a year following it) of a shy orphan, Rose, into her large extended family, whom she had had virtually no contact with in her past life. The family she soon becomes acquainted with includes six lovable and attentive aunts, three kind uncles and seven delightful and rather rowdy boy cousins. After several weeks of unsuccessful attempts by the aunts to cheer up the downcast Rose, her uncle, Dr. Alec arrives. His prescription is many fold but includes no pills, but rather plenty of exercise and other unladylike activities. However odd it seemed to the aunts his method bore increasingly marked and marvelous results, including a wonderful story which I highly recommend.

Thus her health increases rapidly as does her good character. From sacrificing a day of fun for the pleasure of a maid or her precious earrings in order to keep her cousins from bad habits to being peacemaker and encourager to the seven boys Rose's adventures are sure to be interesting, amusing, touching, teaching or any mix of the above. A number of thought-provoking ideas and theories are held within the 200 and more pages in the form of very quotable utterances of the characters or commentary on the scene. To illustrate my point I quote "... in helping seven lads you are unconsciously doing much to improve one lass... "

Okay, enough blabbering for now... I don't want to bore you too badly.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Playing with Acrylics


Since we have been doing acrylics in art class I have also been expirementing with acrylics at home. I am having so much fun with them, I love mixing colors on and off the page. This is of a castle in Germany... at least I didn't trace it (:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Pope Benedict XVI
Happy Birthday to you!!!!!!

We have been discussing and loving two of his writings lately, Deus Caritas Est and Sacrumentum Caritatis, and so I can quote him for his birthday. This is is from Deus Caritas Est:

Charity, furthermore, cannot be used as a means of engaging in what is nowadays considered proselytism. Love is free; it is not practised as a way of achieving other ends.[30] But this does not mean that charitable activity must somehow leave God and Christ aside. For it is always concerned with the whole man. Often the deepest cause of suffering is the very absence of God. Those who practise charity in the Church's name will never seek to impose the Church's faith upon others. They realize that a pure and generous love is the best witness to the God in whom we believe and by whom we are driven to love. A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak. He knows that God is love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8) and that God's presence is felt at the very time when the only thing we do is to love. He knows—to return to the questions raised earlier—that disdain for love is disdain for God and man alike; it is an attempt to do without God. Consequently, the best defence of God and man consists precisely in love. It is the responsibility of the Church's charitable organizations to reinforce this awareness in their members, so that by their activity—as well as their words, their silence, their example—they may be credible witnesses to Christ.

Isn't that cool?????? So again,
Happy 80th Birthday Pope Bendedict XVI!!!!!!!!!!!! We love you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

We adore Thee oh Christ and we praise Thee
Because By Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Pope John Paul the Great


Seeing as tomorrow is the second anniversary of the death of our beloved Holy Father John Paul II and I absolutely love him, I'm going to try to pull together some kind of post. Be warned, if you actually plan to read this thing, prepare yourself for a discombobulated and crazy conglomeration of interesting facts, stories etc. That said, let us begin.

To begin with, for anyone interested in learning more about JPII, anyone who knows nothing about him but wants to learn something, or anyone who wants to see an incredible movie, find some way of seeing this, it is more then worth your time. It made me laugh, cry... and love Pope John Paul II. In fact it was mostly this movie that put him on my list of confirmation names. And I now am completely stuck trying to decide between him and St. Paul.
Anyways I also enjoy attempting to draw him as you may have noticed in these two previous posts. This evening I drew another picture of him, as you can see on the left.
Lastly I can't go without mentioning two years ago when he died. Not that I have incredible stories to share, but I watched hours of news coverage that did share incredible stories.

His life story is amazing, but I'm not the one to tell it, there is the movie that I mentioned above and there are dozens of books to explore.

Okay I warned you it was going to be a discombobulated mess, but there you have it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Playing with Watercolors


This my attempt to draw a picture of me from the Roman Holiday party. It didn't work. I traced it before I did the watercolors so everything is in the right place, but it still doesn't look at all like me (:

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Underground Church


Last Friday after co-op I accompanied two of our homeschool friends to their parish to participate in an event known as the underground church. It was a lot of fun. We got there early to set up. That included taping plastic on windows and doors, stringing rope lights through the stairwells, having a " duct tape war", watching a number of my friends play basketball (and they are really good) and enjoying some pizza before the main event began. The game is meant to emulate to some extent the experiences of the early Christians and it works like this.


Once the rules are explained and everyone has been taken over the school (the scene of the event) all the lights are turned out, and it is really dark. Then the kids wander over the school in search of first the "priest", who will give you a very short bible quote on a piece of cardboard to memorize, then the "church", who will give you a ticket, both of which are represented by adults. Once you have both your memorized bible quote and a ticket you bring them to a certain room, turn them in, recite your quote and get two points for your team. But when you have your bible you can get arrested by the adults who represent cops. If you are arrested then you are taken to the kindergarten room where you must stay for five minutes. At the end of two hours the team with the most points wins.


It was fun, even if it was very hot, and I'm definitely hoping to go next year.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mirror Lake


On our way back from Duluth way back in June we stopped in a little town called Mondovi and admired the view on a small lake there called Mirror lake. While there we took numerous pictures and I drew what you see on the left from one of those shots. It is supposed to portray one of my cousins sitting with Frank, but it didn't quite succeed. (:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Bat and the Nightingale

This was our assignment from this past week; to use the same techniques I mentioned earlier to rewrite the Chinese fable: The Bat and the Nightingale. My version titled "An Uncooperative Concert" is shown below.

On the majestic banks of the River Li, which flows through China, there was once a great forest in which resided many creatures. Although any of these creatures might make very interesting subjects, this tale tells of only two of them, of a bat and a nightingale.

The bat was a nocturnal animal, that is he slept the daylight hours away and patrolled the banks by night, in search of mosquitoes. The other was a nightingale. Although she also was nocturnal, it was just about the only thing she had in common with the bat. Singing was her main occupation, and she sang beautifully, so beautifully that the emperor himself came every night with his royal entourage to hear this tiny bird sing. Unfortunately all this attention made the nightingale quite vain and her neighbor the bat, who was a sensible if unattractive creature, began to feel the effects of it.

After her nightly concert for the emperor she always delighted in insulting and nagging the bat. "You lazy bat!" she would say "I sing nightly for the emperor and his court, and all you do is laze around and eat mosquitoes. You are of no real importance, you should learn to make yourself useful." The bat said nothing. Unhindered, the nightingale' s monologue flowed on, the bat however remained silent, because he was unwilling to engage in argument with such an overly loquacious creature. On the quiet dark banks, later that night, he concocted a clever plan, which would show the nightingale the necessity of talents other then that of singing.

As usual, the emperor came with his typical company to hear the nightingale sing. Seemingly the concert would be the same as it always was, but in reality there was a difference. The bat had stayed at home, comfortably waiting to view the upcoming spectacle. In the branches above the audience mosquitoes swarmed. Unabated by the bat, hungry, called together by the presence of a group of humans, or in their minds food, they pounced. Havoc quickly ensued. Singing on, the nightingale did not notice the courtiers backing away and then running for cover. As the first mosquito pounced on him the emperor jumped, because he was a very small and very thin man his jump was quite astoundingly high, squealed and took off as fast as he could. He was a nervous excitable being and his movement consisted in a cross between a series of nervous jumps and frantic running, he reminded one of a very short grasshopper.

The nightingale then realized she no longer had an audience and seeing the bat hanging lazily on the branch of tree guessed the reason. Humbly she said to the bat "I'm sorry, I should have realized your importance in the forest instead of bragging about my talent. Will you forgive me?" Since the nightingale was really sincere and
because the bat was a kind creature, he did forgive her and from then on they acted in cooperation with each other and thus lived happily ever after.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Fox and the Crow

For our co-op writing class we have lately been rewriting stories, which includes note-taking from the original, so called "dress-ups" (good adjectives, strong verbs, who/which clauses etc. etc.) and "sentance openers" (using various techniques to begin sentances). Over the past few weeks we have been working on "The Fox and the Crow". This is my rather overloaded retelling of this old fable.

The Seizing of the Cheese
As many of us know, nearly all foxes are sly and tricky creatures. A fact as plain and simple as this, however, can be easily forgotten by one who has been blinded by flattery. Assuming you will continue reading, you shall soon see the truth of that statement.

In a small clump of forest once stood a great, old, twisted oak. A contented crow rested there one day. The tree which held the crow, also had presented the opportunity of shade, because it was a very hot day, to a wily fox. Craftily he now gazed at the crow, and more specifically her cheese.

"Beautiful raven," he began, thinking that raven sounded more endearing then crow " You are so lovely, gorgeous... ahem fabulous! I am almost overcome with your beauty, yet you sit there and have not even glanced at me." While the crow stared back at him lovingly, completely taken in by his trickery, the fox carefully crafted his next speech. Pleased with his sucsess so far, which was indeed worthy of some pride, he continued quite cleverly. "If, since your beauty splendid as it is has been so underestimated, then your voice which I have heard so highly praised must be incredible indeed." "Raven dear, won't you sing?" Her voice, it should be noted, had never been praised by anyone, because it was not by any amount of imagination worthy of praise, it was all part of the fox's clever scheme. Since all he wanted was the cheese and cared not about the crow, he was willing to go this far at least to achieve his goal.

The crow, who wasn't the brightest of creatures, was most willing to sing; because of the fox's flattery she was too pleased to remember that foxes are crafty and that she had cheese in her mouth. Singing terribly, she dropped the cheese. While the crow stared forlornly at the rapidly disappearing cheese, the fox dropped his flattery. " Your sense must be nearly as small as your singing ability, and your feathers are really very plain, but you provided me with a delicious if belated lunch, and I thank you. I wouldn't believe everything you're told next time if I were you." With that the fox strolled away with an infuriating swagger, consuming the last bit of the cleverly seized cheese.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lab Report-- DNA Extraction


Supplies:
Blender,
plastic bowl,
toothpick,
strainer,
measuring utensils,
coffee filter,
small glass,
meat tenderizer (must be fresh),
clear dishsoap,
water,
salt,
medium sized onion
rubbing alchohol
flashlight


Object: To extract DNA from onions.

Procedure:

1. Coarsely chop the onion including the skin.
2. Mix 1/2 teaspoon salt into 1/4 cup water, and put both onions and salt water in the blender. Blend for 15-25 seconds.
3. Pour the concoction into the bowl and add 1/4 cup of clear dishwashing soap. Mix everything together for at least 5 minutes. Try not to make a lot of bubbles.
4. Drain about 1/4 inch of the mixture through the coffee filter and the strainer into a small glass.
5. Then mix in (to the small glass) 1/4 tsp. meat tenderizer and about as much alchohol as you have liquid.
6. You should see white strands floating in the water, these are the DNA. You can use a flashlight to aid you in seeing these. If the strands are long enough you may be able to twist them onto a toothpick.

Result:
The experiment worked quite well for me, I saw the DNA clearly and was able to catch one on a toothpick.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Trees


Trees
By Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts it leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Random Anne Facts

Over the past week or so I have spent all my available time (almost) with the Anne of Green Gables series. Previously I had not got past the first book!! Now I am on the fifth and am loving it (how could it be otherwise?)!!!! Perhaps one of these days, maybe when I'm done with the seventh, I'll write a real post on them but now I just wanted to mention a few random things in and about the books that tickled my fancy.

First, on the covers of Anne of the Island and Anne's House of Dreams, she is wearing a pink dress!!!!!! Unfortunatly I couldn't find the exact location, but I know there is a place in the first book where Anne laments that although pink is a lovely color she can never wear it due to her red hair! Hmmm, I wonder if the illustrator actually read the books.

Secondly, Mark Twain apparently was a fan of this series. He described it as "the sweetest creation of child life yet written."

Finally, from the actual book. The background doesn't matter much, Sally is a friend of Anne preparing for her wedding and her meddlesome Aunt is having a conversation with the two of them. My mom, brother and I had a good laugh over this:


"The quality of mercy is not strained." giggled Sally, wriggling into her dinner dress.
"Don't quote the Bible flippantly" rebuked Aunt Mouser "You must excuse her Miss Shirley, she just ain't used to being married yet."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Narnian Quiz

You are 90% a Loyal Narnian!

Congratulations Loyal Narnian! You are an exceptional student of Narnian history. Dr. Cornelius would be proud of you!

Are You a Loyal Narnian?
See All Our Quizzes

I think this is greatly thanks to the dramatized Narnia audio books that are heard quite frequently at bed-time here, thanks to my younger sisters.

hat-tip: Studeo

Friday, February 02, 2007

Latin Convention results!

Well, here is the complete list of our team's results from our Latin weekend (in case it seemed like we spent all our time jumping around screaming):

1st Place Team Spirit for Small Schools
1st. Place Team Spirit for Friday morning
1st Place Team War machine contest (with help from Coyote's dad.)
1st Place N.G. (The only guy on our team) Costume Contest
1st. Place GilbertGirl Mythology test (Hurray, GilbertGirl!!!!!!! Although I can't say it's too much of a shock knowing her:)
2nd Place Coyote Costume Contest (it included two additional "heads" since Hecate, the required costume for girls, is often pictures as looking three ways and a very cool looking sign post, used as a staff, since Hecate is the godess of the crossroads.)
2nd Place Team Spirit for Friday afternoon
3rd Place GilbertGirl Poster (That which was pictured in my post on the Roman party.)
3rd Place N.G. Greek History
3rd Place N.G. Latin Lit
3rd Place N.G. Latin Vocab
4th Place Me Latin Derivatives
4th Place N.G. Latin Derivatives
5th Place GilbertGirl Pentathelon
5th Place N.G. Greek Derivatives
Hon Ment. Girls Door Contest

Well it was a ton of fun, I think we did pretty well and I definitely plan to go next year.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bible Quiz

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

Me a biblical scholar???? Yeah right. They're all multiple choice!

Oh well, I liked the quiz anyway.

Hat tip- Studeo

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Salvete Omnes!!!!!!!

I just got back from WJCL (Wisconsin Junior Classical League) Latin Convention!!!!!!! It was A LOT of fun. It was not by any means restricted to written tests, oral tests etc., etc., etc, there was a costume contest, a war machines contest (tin foil only in the actual ship), an impromptu art, memorized oratory, impromptu oratory, art contests of almost all types, certamen (a bit like latin jeopardy), a t-shirt contest and spirit competition. Spirit includes a door decoration contest, a humorous roll call skit and the actual spirit competition. The spirit competition involves standing (or jumping, dancing... if you're sitting you're probably not going to do very well) in a large room and screaming at the top of your lungs (believe me you have to, to be heard) cheers, chants... whatever you want to do to represent your school. Smiles and similar outfits are also key. The point of this competition is to prove that latin is not a dead language, and if you ever go to a latin convention and watch (or participate in) spirit any thoughts of latin being dead will soon leave your mind. The volume is unbelievable, 450 some students all yelling at the top of their lungs makes for quite a bit of noise.

So this was my first year but our homeschool group has sent groups for several years now. We were the smallest delegation, 4 students compared to the next smallest with 9. But we did pretty well, our war machine held 17 dollars worth of pennies meriting 1st place for us in that contest!!!!!! We took first place in the spirit contest for the small school category!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our spirit included cheese heads, crazy hair and wigs (including a really long braid worn by the one guy on our team) impromptu togas, dancing around the table screaming "My cheese it has three corners, three corners has my cheese, and had it not three corners, it would not be my cheese!!!!!!!!!" and yelling chants like carpe caseum (seize the cheese), Julius Cheeser and carpe diem (sieze the day). Oh BTW, all the cheese elements are due to the theme of that day "Seize the Cheese" (the overall theme was carpe diem).
This is starting to get to be a really long post, I will continue later (maybe:). Oh and the picture is of our team in front of the capitol in Madison.
P.S. This blog has been really inactive lately, sorry.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Winged Watchman, Discussion

This month's discussion book was The Winged Watchman By Hilda Van Stockum. Although it was one of the smaller discussions as far as the number of people go, it was one of the best. The talking was pretty well balanced between everyone and we covered some interesting topics.

We Talked about:

Mother: We discussed how her character undergoes more changes then most of the other main characters, Why? Perhaps her maternal instinct conflicts with the dangerous situations and makes it very difficult for her to allow her family take risks.

Uncle Cor and Hildebrand: We considered the differences, the good points and the bad points of these two very different characters. Uncle Cor works in the underground and cannot understand Hildebrand's lack of interest in the resistance. We decided that both their roles, different as they are, are essential. Uncle Cor's was necessary during the war, to try to help the victims of the cruel times. But after the war Hildebrand would be needed too, he would be needed to help restore the war torn country, and build a new Holland.

We discussed the difficulties in making the choice between two options both of which seem right (as illustrated in Joris' exploration of the Old Mill.)

We pondered the reason for writing this story from the viewpoint of a family whose circumstances were comparatively light. We considered the possiblity that in this way it would be easier for us to understand, this story from the viewpoint of a family who was homeless and starving might be too big a step for us, today in these circumstances, to comprehend. But this family also gives us a starting place to view the surroundings from.

In connection with the above, we noticed how many WWII stories do not show you the hope, the good things that happened in these drastic times. The Winged Watchman however is not one of those, on the contrary it shows intimately how everyone was pulled together by this war and how they had hope and faith to get them through.

Well I'm probably missing a bunch but this is just an overview.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on this book.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Reverse Meme

I got this meme from Studeo and was assigned the letter "n". So I have to come up with 10 of my favorite things that start with the letter N. If anyone reading this wants to do it, comment and I will give you a letter.

1. The Nativity
2. The Nazarene
3. Novels
4. The Narnian Tales
5. Notebooks
6. Norse tales (e.g. The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow.)
7. North By Northwest (the movie).
8. Nuns
9. Noblesse oblige. French (can you tell???:) It means 'Noble rank requires honorable conduct.'
10. Numenoreans (:

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

On the Nativity

By St. John of the Cross

The time now having finally come
When his birth was due,
Like a husband newly wed
From his chamber he withdrew

Embracing his beloved spouse
With outstretched arms so deep.
Him the gracious mother then
In a manger lay to sleep,

Amid the stable's animals
Who their resided at their ease.
Men entoned their canticles
Angels sang their melodies,

Rejoicing in the wedding feast
Of two such spouses side by side.
But God as a tiny infant now
In the manger wept and cried.

Tears were the only bridal gems
To adorn this espousal strange.
The mother watched in wonderment
To see such marvelous exchange:

For God was bound to human grief;
In humans boundless joy had grown,
Which to one and to the other
Before this time was never known.

Another gem found in O Holy Night, from Sophia Insititute Press.

Happy New Year!!!!!