Friday, February 15, 2019

Latin Class update

To finish each unit at school, we read a new chapter of Famous Men of Rome and discuss a bit. At this point Rome is getting rid of her kings--and yesterday we read about Horatio at the bridge. The chapter was rather short, so I showed the kids this audio of the famous poem written by Lord Thomas Babington.

I don't think they have ever had such a long poem recited to them! Afterwards I showed them a video of a student from an East Coast school who memorized the whole poem, and challenged them to memorize and recite a stanza--and earn extra points to be applied to their next test.

I enjoyed the video and the music helped the kids--I actually was moved to tears the first time I played it at home.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Poem, and thoughts on Motherhood

Found this at a friend's page--these days as we enjoy our last child at home I cannot help but look back at the years of children-raising... so many wonderful years. I remember well one day, in Lincoln, a house full, when I was keenly aware that those "fingerprints on the walls" would keep going up... and one day disappear. With Numbers Six and Seven I was very much aware of the "last things"... and when Husband was gone, Number Seven still enjoyed laying in bed with me, and resting her head on my arm... I never cared that my arm hurt, or fell asleep under the weight of her head. She did that for a long, long time... and did I treasure it, each and every time! Every time I thought--this may be the very last time. 

A very sweet thing in life is to look back and to be thankful. Thankful for so much God sends to families and daily family life: all gifts, undeserved, sweet, and treasured. Now we see two of our daughters preparing to be mothers, while we say goodbye to the days of caring for children under our roof. I don't know how grandparenthood will be. I hear it is wonderful, but we are aware that likely we will never live near any of them and be part of their daily lives. 

Motherhood has been a vocation I have immensely loved. The Blessed Mother Mary has been with me everyday, through the Rosary and my relying on her to give me counsel and motherly love, as I was with my own dear Mother so little during my motherhood years. I was talking to a new mother this week, and she told me of their struggle during labor, having to drive an hour in a blizzard to transfer to a hospital. This was in South Dakota last week, roads and schools closed due the extreme weather. They prayed to Our Lady, asking for safe passage, and the next day, rejoicing in the birth of their little son, added her beautiful name to his, in gratitude. Number Three will be the godfather of this child and I so wish I could be at the baptism.

What comes to mind was Number Seven's Baptism. The young priest held the baby, and taking her to the feet of the beautiful Our Lady statue, consecrated our little delight to her loving, heavenly hands. 

These are the memories that last a lifetime and bring joy and hope, always.

The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.

One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.

So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.

-Author Unknown-

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Great news!

Celebrating the upcoming canonization of a saintly man whose writings are wonderful! His intelligence, sincerity and leadership was so influential! A favorite quote of his: 

"To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant."

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

More birthday messages

What is it about words? To me they are the real pearls, as opposed to the jewels I do not wish to receive. Because money was never in surplus for us, Husband and I have an understood agreement  of giving simple things to each other, which makes me very happy. I have received the most beautiful birthday and Christmas messages from him. I've given him hand-made things, coupons for favorites dishes, surprise pies, and messages written and there. And prayers--real gifts. Now our children join us in giving this most precious of gifts--words that come from loving hearts. I've also gotten sweet cards from my sister, and from old friend Sistre Stephen OSB, now retired in Oklahoma, whose Portuguese is still impeccable.

Card and chocolates from sis Tereza

from Sister Stephen OSB

A bit jumbled transcript from Number Five.

Monday, February 11, 2019

A snowy Birthday

It was a beautiful snowy afternoon, and I chose to enjoy it by working towards accomplishing some Julia Child recipes. I made French Onion Soup, and succeeded at French baguettes! Number Seven decorated a chocolate cake with raspberries and a couple of pretty candles sis Tereza sends in the mail, and a dinner guest brought fresh flowers. Number One had send a gift ahead-- a new coffee grinder. Most of the kids called, and Number Three sent a loving message: 

A huuuuuuuuuuuuuge happiest birthday to our dearest, sweetest, most-Julia-Child-esque mother who deserves all the praise and joy and love possible! Although Jessie and I aren’t pregnant (yet), we’ve talked at length many times about how much we’re looking forward to having such a grandma as you’ll be, Mamae! You’ve been such a wonderful example to us all of maintaining one’s hope, joy, faith, and love throughout life’s slings and arrows, and I’m so excited to pass on what I’ve learned from you (and Dad) to our own kiddos!

But the best of all was Husband's arrival, and his reading aloud of a poem-prayer he wrote while on retreat. I was working on my crochet on the couch, next to him, and the tears rolled. I don't know how a heart can feel so full to the point of breaking... and only in the currency of heavenly grace I can understand the gratitude to God for bringing us both together. 

Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who has joined me en route.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who offers to help me stay the course.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who bore, nursed, fed, reared, and taught our seven children.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who suffered with me in trials and challenges, and persevered to support me.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who prays for guidance, hearing, discernment for us, our family and our friends. (How good God has been to us by answering prayers!)
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who has clung tenaciously to our faith.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who has offered example and advice to those seeking help, though her writing and conversation.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who has consented to share my life without knowing well what she had agreed to. (The gift of trust and faith.)
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who did not turn and flee when things were rough but persisted in love, patience, kindness and forgiveness.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who has followed and guided my peripatetic trail across the  country making the “best out of it”.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who prepares lovingly to be a grandmother.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who prepares lovingly for a new phase of life with me as empty-nesters.
Thanks be to God for my dear wife, who has shared my life for more than three decades, more than half her life to date.
May she be blessed on her birthday and every day, resting, working, striving, loving, in His light.
February 10, 2019

Sunday, February 10, 2019

My patron saint

Today is my birthday and the day of my dear patron Saint Scholastica. I mentioned her many times in this blog on this date. Today I find this beautiful prayer:

The twin sister of St. Benedict is a powerful intercessor for those desiring purity.
While little is known about the life of St. Scholastica, it is said that she dedicated herself to God at an early age. She maintained a childlike innocence throughout her life and is considered the founder of the women’s branch of the Benedictine order.
Her holiness and simple trust in God is related in an incident when her prayers succeeded in delaying the travel plans of her brother. Scholastica prayed to God and a violent storm erupted that prevented Benedict from leaving their discussion.
With this in mind, many pray to her for purity, asking God to grant a similar innocence of heart and mind.

O God, to show us where innocence leads, you made the soul of your virgin Saint Scholastica soar to heaven like a dove in flight. Grant through her merits and her prayers that we may so live in innocence as to attain to joys everlasting. This we ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen

Friday, February 08, 2019

NFP and statistics 

Amazing! I tuned in to Great Courses on Amazon Prime and decided to preview a Harvey Mudd Professor course on Statistics—she started by telling about confronting her OB with tons of NFP data! I was blown away and of course found a TED talk she gave about it! The TED talk is funny, short and very interesting!