Monday, April 30, 2007


The robins are back. Can you see the bird in the picture (her beak has a ray of sunshine on it.) This time they were considerate enough to build their nest where we can easily see it from the living room window. There are four little blue eggs.

I love the thought of the little baby birds being right out our window when they hatch. And with the window view we don't have to worry about scaring the bird awy when trying to see in her nest from the front steps. It really was very considerate of her.
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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Good Shepherd Sunday

Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.” (John 10:27-30)

I don't know much about sheep. My only encounters with them have been in parks that used to be farms, where a few animals are kept so children (and adults) can see them. My understanding though is that sheep are not particularly bright animals (if someone knows differently, feel free to correct me on this) and therefore truly do need a shepherd to guide them.

Today's Gospel reminds us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

What does that mean to us?

Are we like sheep that blindly follow whoever might be around to lead us?

Well, we are, kind of - as hard as that is to accept.

Think of the 'shepherds' who are out there willing to lead the flock.

There's the entertainment industry, the 'Madison Avenue' types who write the ads, there are people who preach that the only good is secular, and people who preach hate for those who aren't made in the same mold as they are.

We need to watch who we follow.

Jesus is there, waiting for us to follow him. If we listen, we do know his voice. And he knows us. He wants us to follow him, he wants to lead us to His Father. But hHe can't make us follow him. It has to be our choice.

Sometimes it looks like the other shepherds would be easier to follow. It is easier to conform to a secular culture than to live a religious life. But the easy way is not the way to God. Jesus is the way to God. He told us that. He will lead us there, if we chose to follow.

He is the Good Shepherd - the one we should follow. It shouldn't be hard to remember that, but sometimes it is.

images from

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Math is...


No. Make that Fun.

It all depends on your point of view.

Years ago there was a Barbie doll that said "Math is Hard" when the string in her back was pulled. People got upset, thinking this was going to give the wrong idea to young girls. (Okay, like Barbie is such a perfect role model otherwise, but that's another topic.)

My daughter didn't need a doll to tell her that though - she decided it all on her own. It's not that she can't do math (she can) - she just doesn't tend to think mathematically. She doesn't automatically see the patterns or naturally see the way problems can be solved.

I went on a quest to find something to help her. With a little (okay a lot) of help from Lissa, I discovered The I Hate Mathematics! Book and Math for Smartypants by Marilyn Burns. These books are great because they are not "workbooks." I knew that a workbook wouldn't work for Pippi. After all, she was convinced she hated math. I wasn't going to be able to get her to do more work. But I wanted her to get the idea that solving mathematical puzzles can be fun. And that's exactly what these books have. They have games to play - puzzles to solve (we still haven't figured out the King Arthur one) and fun activities. And none of it seems "mathy." But yet it is.

To see Pippi reading these books, and playing the games was very satisfying. At the very least it gave her a chance to see that math can be fun. Really fun. And even if that's all she gets out of it - that's enough.

Now, Harry is mathematically minded. He sees patterns quickly. He can do a lot of problems in his head. And he absolutely loves these books. He read the section on Factorials - and promptly figured out (using a calculator) how many different ways the nine players on his baseball team could be lined up (362,880).

As an aside - we were watching "Are you Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" with the kids one day - and one of the questions had to do with supplementary angles. I was reminding Pippi what supplementary and complementary angles are (she studied that this year) and Harry was very interested.

"Write that down for me," he said.

"I'm pretty sure you're not going to need to know this in first grade," I assured.

But that wasn't good enough and the next day I had to draw him angles and show him how it all works. He was enthralled.

So Harry thinks Math is Fun and Pippi thinks Math is Hard and they both love those new books we got.

Thanks, Lissa.

Friday, April 27, 2007

An Old-Fashioned Girl

Let me just make a few things clear right from the start. We are not the Wilderness Family. We do not live on a farm. We don't even live in a farming area. We live in a very large town in New Jersey. We're surrounded by malls, highways and lots of traffic.

But somehow, despite all this, we've managed to raise a daughter who shuns modern technology. (Or at least thinks she does.) It's true that we don't have cable TV - but we do have VCRs and DVD players set up to two different televisions. The children very much enjoy watching Gilligan's Island on the computer. They enjoy the electronic keyboard, and CD players and iDogs and Mood Beams.

So, what is it about modern technology she doesn't like. She doesn't think much of what is on TV (can't say I blame her.) She doesn't like Video Games. (We don't have one - but she did like playing one at her Aunt and Uncle's house when she had the chance.)

She'll happily tell you she wishes she were born 100 or more years ago (though she does appreciate modern plumbing.) Her entertainment of choice is reading - or writing. She thinks more kids ought to read - as opposed to watching TV or playing video games. She saw a picture in a Weekly Reader of children using TV screens and remote controls to take a test. She thought that was ridiculous.

I'm glad she likes the old ways. I'm thrilled that she'd rather be reading or playing with her brother than watching TV. I'm glad my children are not glued to video games for hours at a time. I like that they use their imagination and find ways to entertain themselves without the use of electronics. I like to think that we planted the seeds for this when they were young, by trying not to buy too many electronic toys - but by sticking more to toys that they had to do something with (as opposed to watching the toy do something.)

I hope as we navigate our way through the tween years and into the teens, she doesn't do a turn-around on me. I like the fact that she's comfortable being a little out of the mainstream.

However, if she really had to live as people did over a hundred years ago I think she'd be in for a few surprises - modern technology definitely has made life easier over the years, and I, for one, don't feel like giving it up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ground Ivy and The Little Flower

I was weeding yet another flower garden today (the gardens all seem quite small until I start to weed them.) The weed I was pulling up out of this garden was almost exclusively Ground Ivy, an insidious weed. This weed (which has pretty purple flowers) was once mentioned in a gardening column and the columnist suggested that perhaps the homeowner should just "get to like it."

So, as I was pulling up countless ivy runners, I was thinking about this and how maybe I should just get to like it, when St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) came to mind. Saint Therese believed in "the little way."

This paragraph from Catholic Online shows what she meant by "the little way"

She knew as a Carmelite nun she would never be able to perform great deeds. " Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love." She took every chance to sacrifice, no matter how small it would seem. She smiled at the sisters she didn't like. She ate everything she was given without complaining -- so that she was often given the worst leftovers. One time she was accused of breaking a vase when she was not at fault. Instead of arguing she sank to her knees and begged forgiveness. These little sacrifices cost her more than bigger ones, for these went unrecognized by others. No one told her how wonderful she was for these little secret humiliations and good deeds.

Not all of us are called to great deeds or great sacrifices. Some of us are called to do small things on a regular basis. She "got to like" the things she didn't like. Or if not liking them, accepting and loving them anyway.

While I don't know if I'll "get to like" Ground Ivy. I do know that I will try to follow St. Therese's example and do good things - even in the smallest way.

For a Joyful Treat

Head over to Three Plus Two for the second Carnival of Joy. It's a great way to brighten up your day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

Let not kindness and fidelity leave you; bind them around your neck; Then will you win favor and good esteem before God and man. (Proverbs 3:3-4)

If It's Not One Thing It's Another

And Sometimes It's Everything All at Once.

A little background:
1. The plumbing in our house seems a little odd. Last year we had a problem where the water that was coming from the garbage disposal or the dishwasher was backing up into the sink in the basement bathroom. We got that cleared and then the water wouldn't drain out of the kitchen sink. After we exhausted all do-it-yourself possibilities we called a plumber and everything worked again.

2. A couple of months ago we started having water pressure problems in the kitchen sink. Just the kitchen sink. Taking the faucet apart revealed - not much. It seemed to be a build-up of sediment. So two weeks ago we bought a new faucet and put it in.

3. During the rainstorm last week we got water in our basement and had to toss the rug we had down there. We bought a new one yesterday at Walmart.

Okay - that's the background. Now to yesterday and today.

The new faucet in the kitchen - no water pressure. Can't be a build-up of sediment in a week? Can it?

So after we laid the new rug down in the basement, my husband took the sink apart to see if he can discover the problem. The problem is what looks like pieces of a water filter coming through the pipes (as far as we know we have no water filter on the pipe.) He cleaned it out and put it back together again.

He moved stuff back onto the new carpet downstairs - so he could get to the downstairs bathroom. Discovered that the sink was filled with dirty water. Looked like the dishwasher drained into it.

He emptied it and poured drain cleaner down it.

Now Today:
While I was out, he ran the dishwasher and then went to cut the grass. When he finished the grass he went downstairs and discovered that the dishwasher had overflowed the bathroom sink and flooded the basement.

Of course the new rug is wet.

So we went out and got some drain opener. While taking it out of the car, it leaked, and got all over his hands. He washed his hands, went downstairs, and discovered that the water he'd just put down the kitchen sink was now in the sink downstairs. So - no using the kitchen sink for awhile.

He got the bathroom sink flowing again - so I could use the kitchen sink (not sure I trust the dishwasher yet.) And then he went out.

He came back to tell me that there is something very strange wrong with his car (the fan won't turn off, even when the car is off) and when he went to use the sink - guess what - there was no water pressure.

He's working on the car problem - and the water pressure returned (at least temporarily.)

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Or maybe I can.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Good Night, Sweet Prince

Harry hates to go to sleep. He does whatever he can to avoid it. That usually means that he doesn't stop physically moving until he is actually asleep. And often it means he doesn't stop talking (or singing) until then either.

He claims he's nocturnal. Maybe he has something there.

Once, a few years ago, he actually sang himself to sleep. He was lying on the floor (he maintained it was more comfortable than his bed - and whatever - I just wanted him to fall asleep - at that point, I didn't care where) and he was singing when I walked past his room. I walked by again about a minute later and he was fast asleep.

But what he really likes is for me to sing to him at night. (This doesn't happen too often). When he was a baby and I'd try to sing to him, he'd put his hand over my mouth. Okay - fine, I got the message. But, now he likes it. And there is one song in particular he likes. "Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra" - also known as "An Irish Lullaby." I only sing him the refrain, because it's the only part I know. And if I'm not available to sing it to him, he's been known to sing it to himself.

So, I sing him a verse or two when I can, because he's seven years old now - and it won't be long before he won't want me singing to him (just like when he was a baby.)

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, hush now, don't you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, that's an Irish lullaby.

The full song can be found here.

A Beautiful Sunday

Yesterday we finally had the kind of day we should have had when the kids were on Spring break. Oh well. Better late than never.

It was such a pleasure to get out and work in the garden, after church. And the kids rode their bikes and then went fishing. After lunch they helped in the yard by cleaning off the little white picket fences that go around our "secret garden." And then they read.

They put the cushions on the lawn chairs and curled up and read their books. Pippi was getting ahead on a school assignment and Harry was reading "Wizard's Hall" by Jane Yolen (which he loves by the way and would recommend to any Harry Potter reader.)

After dinner Pippi and Harry ran around the back yard while my husband and I enjoyed a cup of tea on the deck.

What did we do yesterday? Not much when it comes right down to it - and that's what made the day so wonderful.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Feed My Lambs

My children went fishing today. Just like Peter and the others in the Gospel today.

Okay - it wasn't just like the Gospel. After all, my children weren't in a boat - they were on the banks of the creek. They didn't have nets - but poles equipped with hot dogs for bait. (Hey, it's worked in the past.)

Just like Peter and the others - they didn't catch anything.

Unlike Peter and the others, Jesus did not appear to them and help them out in this matter.

I like this Gospel because it is the one where Jesus gives Peter a chance to redeem himself for his denials on Good Thursday/Holy Friday.

Peter didn't need to earn forgiveness. He was already forgiven. He was forgiven before Christ even died. And he didn't need to learn to feel proper remorse. He was completely sorry for what he had done - from the moment he realized what he had indeed done. What he needed was a chance to prove to Jesus (for his own sake, not Jesus' sake) that he could be trusted; that he didn't mean those horrible denials.

Jesus gives him that chance. Three times he asks Peter "Do you love me?"

And three times Peter answers "Yes, you know I do."

Three times. One for each of the times Peter denied his Lord.

And the Lord gives him a commission. "Feed My Lambs." "Tend My Sheep." "Feed My Sheep."

And Peter does this. He doesn't go back to being a fisherman (as he apparently had given thought to - hence the fishing expedition) instead he continues the work that Jesus called him to three years before. He will be a fisher of men, and tend the sheep.

The flock he's asked to tend are us - everyone. And the great thing is - that we can all share in Peter's job. We can all feed the lambs, tend the sheep. We can do it in big and small ways. We can do it everyday. Every time we act with love toward someone else, we are doing what Jesus asked of Peter.

It was an important assignment. Peter didn't take it lightly. Neither should we.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Poetry Friday

The sun is shining. The birds are singing. It's not raining (which I suppose is related to the fact that the sun is shining). It's going to actually feel like Spring again today, and I wanted to find a poem that expressed that somehow.

And I found this:

Song from Pippa Passes
by Robert Browning

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his Heaven -
All's right with the world!

I'm going to make sure I enjoy Spring - today - and even into the weekend!

A Laugh for the Day

There's a little Friday Fun over at Mama says.... Go check it out.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Favorite Rosary

Over at The Bird's Nest, a blog I found via my new blog roll, Sharon asked people to post pictures of their favorite rosaries. And I thought, do I take a picture of the rose petal one I use more often, the large wooden one hanging from my bedroom mirror, the beautiful new one my daughter got as a gift from her grandparents trip to the Vatican?

And then I looked up and saw the one I wanted to share. It's a cross-stitch I designed and stitched for my grandmother. Each bead is a ribbon-embroidered flower. After she passed away, I asked if I could have it.

It has a place of honor in the living room, and the palms are placed behind it each year. My son, if he needs help remembering the Hail Mary, will read from it.

So, this is the rosary that I will share.

Blog Roll Please

I've added a blog roll to my side bar. Catholic Mother's Online. I'm happy to be a member and to be a part of something like this. It's nice to know that there is a place to go to read and meet other people who have similar interests (ie: being a mother and being Catholic).

If you want to join, go here.

And please, visit all these wonderful blogs and get to know the ladies who write them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

My son, forget not my teaching, keep in mind my commands; For many days, and years of life, and peace, will they bring you. (Proverb 3:1-2)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Saint Bernadette

A few years ago I read The Song of Bernadette by Franz Werfel, and it gave me a new appreciation for this saint. Up until then, I knew that Bernadette was a girl who had Our Lady appear to her at Lourdes. And that was about all I really knew. But this novel made Bernadette very real to me.

Bernadette is honored now as a saint, but when she was living she was not considered very bright - and maybe even a little bit crazy. She was mocked and ridiculed. But she persevered in following Our Lady's instructions and ultimately was honored for it.

Sometimes I find Saints very hard to relate to: stories from the middle ages always have a feel of "Once upon a time" to them and the super good, who founded religious orders, seem far removed from my life experiences.

But Bernadette is a Saint that lived within a more modern time frame. Her visions occurred just a few years before the start of the American Civil War. That makes it a little easier to envision what her life was like. Plus, she was just a normal school girl, trying to make it through her day, when this extraordinary thing happened to her.

Today is the feast day of St. Bernadette Soubirous. May it remind us that we don't have to be extraordinary people to lead extraordinary lives.

On a Positive Note

Due to all this rain, the grass is really turning a lovely shade of green.

And hopefully we won't have to worry about drought warnings this summer.


Rain, rain, go away.
Come again another day.

Okay - so it's not original. But, I think most people in a good part of the country would agree with me. Enough already.

We had to borrow a sump pump in order to drain our basement.

The kids - after a 10-day Spring Break, now have a "Flood Day."

At least we got Harry's baseball game in on Saturday before the rain started. Wednesday's game is looking doubtful though - unless everyone wears hip boots.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Finding Joy in Life

Over at Sweetness and Light, there's a wonderful post about Finding Joy Everyday. Since that is part of the theme of this blog: finding the happiness in the Simple and Ordinary aspects of life, that I felt I had to share the link.

Divine Mercy Sunday

In 2000, after declaring Faustina a Saint, Pope John Paul II declared that the Second Sunday of Easter will also be Divine Mercy Sunday.

Throughout the world this is becoming a huge event as people flock to churches for Divine Mercy Sunday services.

Our parish ignores it.

But, fine, we found a local parish that had a service today.

Normally, we try not to make the kids sit through extra church services - but this time we made an exception. See, we've been doing the novena. Every day at 3:00 (or as close to it as we can), since Good Friday, we've said the Divine Mercy Novena. It utilizes rosary beads and the prayers are short, so it's not too hard to get the kids to agree to. In fact, they sometimes were the ones reminding us that it was 3:00.

And since we'd done the novena, and gone to confession on the Saturday before Easter, it seemed logical to see things through with the service today.

The service included Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and the chaplet of Divine Mercy, and a few others prayers and such. It took about an hour, and the kids were good throughout.

I'm glad we did it - for them as well as for us.

It's important to be reminded of God's Mercy, because we all need it. And it's nice to know that God has promised to be merciful with us.

We should remember to be merciful with each other as well.

A Word to the Wise

You know how when you pick up yarn for a project, the packaging warns to buy enough to finish the project.

That's really pretty good advice.

Especially if you're going to put the project off so long, that the brand of green yarn you bought no longer exists. And you desperately need more.

I found a pretty good match though. Only a person with perfect color vision - someone who can differentiate between any hue would be able to tell the difference.

Oh - and did I mention, my husband can do that - differentiate between any hue. He's been tested.

And the blanket is for him.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Discovering the Joys of Mindless TV

I was discussing with my husband the other day the fact that our kids really don't watch TV. In fact, as of Wednesday, they had spent the majority of their Spring Break (which has been a little too chilly for too much outdoor fun) reading and playing the piano.

When I was a kid, I watched a lot more TV than they do. I would come home from school and watch The Flintstones, The Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island. And other shows like that. Maybe these weren't ground-breaking thought-provoking television shows - but they were harmless - and they were fun.

But then, I realized, that Pippi and Harry don't have access to that much good clean TV. think a lot of these shows are still available on TV Land or similar channels. But we don't have cable - or satellite - or whatever. IWe just have a regular TV with an antenna on the roof. We get the broadcast stations and that's it. The kids have plenty of DVDs if they want to see something particular (like Harry Potter).

Enter AOL and it's In2TV site. Through the marvels of modern technology, we have now introduced the kids to the joys of mindless television. Yesterday, for the first time, they encountered Gilligan, the Skipper and the rest of the castaways from Gilligan's Island. They loved it, and watched three episodes. I think they'll be watching more today.

I certainly don't mind them watching some TV. I don't think they'll become TV junkies - partly because I won't let them have access to my laptop for too long. They like reading too much to want to watch TV all the time. But it is nice to have access to something for them to watch that I have no objection to them seeing.

Maybe today, I'll introduce them to the Flintstones.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

Thus you may walk in the way of good men, and keep to the paths of the just. For the upright will dwell in the land, the honest will remain in it; But the wicked will be cut off from the land, the faithless will be rooted out of it. (Proverbs 2:20-22)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Tomb is Empty

Several years ago, when my parents went to Jerusalem, my father kept a journal of his experiences. He gave me permission to use parts of it here if I wanted to. I thought his experience at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher would make a good Easter post.

Here it is also that we stand in line for maybe one-half hour or more to get into the Holy Sepulcher, the holiest shrine in Christendom. Our guide, a wonderful Jewish man, tells us, as we wait, that we are about to make a discovery that is the foundation of our faith. We are about to make the same discovery that Peter made 2,000 years ago, and that the two Marys made, and the disciples, and an untold number of pilgrims throughout the ages. We would enter the Tomb and we would find there – nothing. The Tomb is empty – He is not there.

I really didn’t have to travel 7,000 odd miles to find that out. I believed that before I left home. But, actually being there made me KNOW that He is not there. So, why do I, like the apostles, look for the Living among the dead?

He is not there, so He must be someplace else. I can no longer install my God in a tomb, in a shrine, or in a tabernacle and close the door and shut Him safely away until I want to take Him out and worship Him again. No, if there is a message to me from Jerusalem, it is that Jesus Christ is alive; that I don’t have need of signs and wonders, because, if I will only open my eyes. He is visible to me. And, when I see Him, He asks me to love Him wherever I find him as unconditionally as He loves me. That is the message to me from Jerusalem. My challenge is to open my eyes and seeing my God, to love Him where I find Him.
( WVK - March 1990)
And on the lighter side, for another view of Easter, peek back at last year's post when I shared Pippi's story of Easter, told when she was four.

Happy Easter. He is Risen. The tomb is empty.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Holy Saturday

And what did the disciples do on Holy Saturday? I asked my CCD class.

"Nothing," they answered, "it was the Sabbath, they couldn't do anything."

Right. They couldn't do anything but pray and mourn and wonder at what had happened. What was that day like? They were afraid. Afraid for their own lives. They were hiding. They were probably still shocked at the turn things had taken in just a few days. Did they weep? I believe they did. Did argue with each other over whose fault it was? Over what could have been done differently? Did they speak angrily of Judas and how he had betrayed him? Did Peter keep replaying in his mind the time when he denied Jesus, and wished he had done things differently? The probably did all these things.

What they couldn't do was work. They couldn't go out and chop wood or build something or anything that might have left them physically tired and able to sleep with out thinking about the horrible things that had happened.

And they didn't know Easter was coming.

Sure, Jesus had said that he would rise again. Sure, he had said, destroy this temple and rebuild it in three days. But he must have been speaking metaphorically. They had seen his bloody battered body. They knew where it was lying in a cold tomb, behind a rock, guarded by the Romans. Jesus was gone. They were just going to have to get used to that and figure out how to go on from here.

How lucky we are that when we meditate on the Lord's Passion, that we know that Easter is coming. Just a few more days. Only one day left, now that we are up to Saturday. One more day and the Alleluia can ring in our churches again. We can wait one more day, because we know what is coming.

The apostles didn't know that the next day would be Easter.

All they could do was sit and mourn and pray.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"(Mark 15:39)

Why do we call Good Friday 'good'?

That was the question one of the students in my CCD class asked me last week. And it was a very good question.

I agree that it does not seem like a very good day. Look at what we commemorate on Good Friday: Jesus going before Pilate and Herod; being mocked and ridiculed; deserted by his followers; beaten; condemned to die; crucified; and finally dying a horrific and ignoble death.

It is a sad day; a day we commemorate sad events.

So, why is it good?

It certainly wasn't good to Jesus' followers who were living through it on that day. They probably thought it was the worst day of their lives. I'd hazard a guess that Jesus himself didn't care too much for that particular day.

But what Jesus did for us that day is what makes the day good. He took all our sins upon himself. He became our sacrificial lamb. He did these things, so we don't have to. And, for us, ultimately, that is good.

It wasn't good that day. It was good later. Because without Good Friday, we wouldn't have Easter. And Easter gives us the promise of everlasting life in God. And that is Good.

When looking for something that summed it all up, all I could think of was the centurion's remarks.

For out of it all; that is what is important.

Truly this man was the Son of God.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Thursday

I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)
A lot happens on Holy Thursday. Jesus celebrates the beginning of Passover with his friends. He washes their feet and reminds them that it is noble to serve others. During the Passover meal he tells his friends that he will not be with them much longer, and institutes the Eucharist by proclaiming that the bread is His body and the wine His blood. He declares that Peter will deny him, and that one of his followers will betray him.

After the dinner he prays, in agony, in the garden, because he knows what is to come.

He is betrayed, arrested and put on trial.

A lot happens that day. And of course instituting the Eucharist is the most significant. We remember that every time we go to Mass.

But, the words above. Ones, quoted in John as having been said during that meal are also of very great significance.

Observant Jews lived by many laws. Laws handed down from God to Moses. Jesus gave them a new one. One, that seems simple, but maybe is harder than all the rest. "Love one another."

It sounds so easy. Much easier than making sure that the food is kosher and that nothing unclean has defiled us before the Sabbath. But is it easier?

Love one another.

Not just those who loved you. That was something Jesus made plain at another time. Anyone can love someone who loves them back. But love everyone. Everyone. All the time.

So, as I go about my day - will people know I am a disciple of Jesus? Some days the answer is yes. Some days, not so much.

On this Holy Thursday, besides remembering all the other significant things that happened on that day, I'll try to remember to obey the rule that Jesus gave us.

How hard can it be?

Things You Didn't Know You Had to Worry About

Because there aren't enough real threats in the world, apparently some people feel that they have to invent threats. I just didn't know we had to worry about wacky home-schoolers! I think maybe it's the school officials who came up with that that we really have to worry about.

Yarn and Hooks

Recently Pippi decided that she wanted to learn how to crochet. So, I gave her a few lessons and she practiced her chain stitches and moved on to single crochet and then decided to tackle a granny square. She's got those double crochet stitches down just fine now - I think we need to work on evening up the sides now. But, looking good so far.

And of course, Harry couldn't be left out of the equation. He wanted to learn too. He practiced his chain stitches, and then demanded to be taught single crochet. He's making a doll blanket for one of Pippi's dolls (one of the small dolls, I think.) He thinks the doll will be very happy with the blanket. I'm sure it will.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wanted - A Stereotypical Girl

Pippi has decided that she wants to try a bit of non-fiction. She says that the characters in the last two books she read were too much alike. They were both girls who made a big deal out of their hatred of having to sew (or spin, or do embroidery.)

That got me to thinking. In order to show that the character in a book (of the two she read, one was fantasy and the other historical fiction) is not your 'typical' girl the girl is often depicted as hating to sew, chafing against 'girl' clothes, wanting to be like a boy. And maybe a lot of girls did want that. But, if it's supposed to be against type, shouldn't there be some girls in these books who DO like to sew, or do 'girl' things.

Just a thought. I'm sure the characters are out there - Pippi is just not coming across them (even Laura Ingalls preferred running around to sewing - it was Mary who worked diligently on her nine-patch.)

For the record - the non-fiction book Pippi picked is "The Diary of A Young Girl, by Anne Frank." I don't remember Anne Frank's opinion on sewing.


Harry was excited that the craft cart was going to be coming around school today. He was anticipating what he was going to buy with his dollar. "I hope they have books," he said.

"I don't think they sell books on the craft cart," I answered.

"Yes," he responded. "It says they have 'novelties.' That's just a big word for novel. Right?"

Sadly, no.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

Then you will understand rectitude and justice, honesty, every good path; For wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will please your soul, Discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you; Saving you from the way of evil men, from men of perverse speech, Who leave the straight paths to walk in the way of darkness, Who delight in doing evil, rejoice in perversity; Whose ways are crooked, and devious their paths; Saving you from the wife of another, from the adulteress with her smooth words, Who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the pact with her God; For her path sinks down to death, and her footsteps lead to the shades; None who enter thereon come back again, or gain the paths of life. (Proverbs 2:9-19)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Help Me, I'm Lost

A number of years ago my parents took a trip to Jerusalem. One day they wanted to explore a little without the tour group. They asked the tour guide how to get to a particular spot and he pointed them in the proper direction.
"But," my father asked. "What about coming back, how will we find our way back?"
"Not to worry," the tour guide told them. "If you have trouble, just stop someone and say 'Hoshianna'."
"Hosannah?" My father asked. "Just say, Hosannah?"
"Yes, but you are pronouncing it wrong," the guide said. "It's Hoshianna. It means 'Help me, I am lost.'"

So on this Palm Sunday, as we say Hosannah and remember Jesus' triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, let us remember what we are really saying to him. "Help me, Jesus. I am lost." And it's a perfect thing to say to Jesus, because after all, who better to help us find our way.