Tuesday, November 25, 2014

You Should Put This on the Blog

John Paul is all stick bombs lately.
I didn't know what they were either and I don't even remember how he stumbled upon the Youtube videos that enchanted him with all their kinetic energy goodness.  But even I can admit they're kind of fun.  (Search stick bombs on Youtube and you'll see.)

Last week he used some of his leaf money (and a 40% off coupon because he's my son) to buy a box of craft sticks at the store.  He spent several days building tracks for hours at a time and asked me to record a few for him.
And ever the showman he is, he then declared,
"You should put this on the blog."
Alrighty then.

(This one was taken by Michael hence the poor camera positioning.  Sorry!)

I love that he named the one "The Cobra."

(I love Michael's laugh in this one!)

I can't answer them but maybe the resident bomb expert can :)

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Um. Hi.


I've been a bit absent around these parts, I know.  I don't like it but that's what it is.  Pregnancy and four home schooled kiddos can do that to a girl.  So, mind if I chat and brain dump a bit?  No?  Good.

Can you believe the year is almost over?  In a few days Advent begins!  Now is the time to get out those Adventy things, make some plans, and make sure you have what you need so you're not frustrated and scrambling on Sunday afternoon.  Right?  Right.
(No, really.  Go do it.  You'll be happy you did.)

We're going out of town for Thanksgiving so it's especially helpful to have everything ready now.  We rolled our candles this afternoon and the Jesse Tree is already up so that we can begin when we get back.  Any fun plans for Thanksgiving?  It's always a bit different not being at home for a holiday but it'll be good to reconnect with the far away family again.  I'm pretty sure the worst part of not being home is that you don't have days of delicious leftovers stocked in the fridge.  Not looking forward to the ten hour trip in a car with four children except that there's a Chik-fil-A on the way so there's that.

I feel at peace going into this Advent.  I'm good with simple and that's how I've been trying to live our Advent preparing for Christmas.  (For more on specific ways we observe Advent, please click on over here, here, and here.  Or here, too.  I, um, really like Advent.)  I have almost all Christmas gifts purchased or at least planned.  That feels really good. I'm excited to enter into the quiet and joy of Advent again.

Because I like to be all Catholic subversive I think now is the best time to do that whole 'word of the year' thing that people do.  Because Sunday marks our real new year, right?  A few years ago my word was 'surrender' and that word crept on into this past year where 'humility' piggy backed right onto it.  This year I feel God putting a new word on my heart, and a very welcome one it is.  It isn't fancy or creative but I crave it more than the olives I was shoveling into my mouth in the Aldi's parking lot the other morning.
Yes, that sounds like a very welcome word indeed right about now.

Things here at home have been okay.  I'm fourteen weeks (!) and on the upswing but haven't yet gotten that great second trimester awakening yet.  I'm still having some bad days and my motivation to do anything is low but I'm praying that a reprieve comes soon.  If not, that I have the grace to accept it as what God wills for me right now.  I've had a bunch of people unexpectedly make us meals over the last few weeks and I feel so blessed and so grateful.  Brian's been a rockstar taking over things I normally do.  The maternity clothes were brought out the other day and I'm realizing that I may need to borrow or buy a few sweaters.  The majority of this pregnancy will be in cold weather and the few I have are pretty worn.  I so appreciate the prayers that have been offered for us and have been praying for those of you who gave your intentions as well.

The huge storm that hit our area is over but with warmer temperatures yesterday and today there are serious threats of flooding.  We have zero snow at our home (the boys have been outside without coats all day playing and I have windows open!) but just a few miles away they are still under six feet, shoveling off roofs and prepping basements for water.  Thank you for all the prayers.  Fourteen people have died in the storm that we know of.  I am amazed and proud, though, at how beautifully our area comes together in a crisis.  Did you notice that there was not one report of looting or rioting or anything like that?  Not one.  I don't think that would happen in a lot of other areas.  There are shovel brigades going out to help strangers dig out.  There are people plowing driveways and homes for free.  So many many people rescued strangers trapped in the snow, digging out cars, literally saving lives and delivering meals and medicine to the vulnerable.  People are really really good.  Thank you so much for praying for us!

Let's see...
what else can I yammer on about?

Last month a few friends and I held a praise and worship night at our church.  I have been longing for something like this for years.  There are few times I feel more alive than when I'm singing in praise.  I don't pretend to be all that good.  I'm no soloist.  But I can carry a tune and I got to sing with Heather again which was really great.  I used to sing a lot and I miss it so much.  We're planning on doing these monthly and alternating adult nights with family-friendly nights so if you're in the area and want to stay up to date on upcoming nights, please let me know.

Oh!  I'm super excited to be going to an Advent conference in Canada in a few weeks, too!  (That sounds far and exotic, doesn't it?  It's really only half an hour away.)  I got an email in my box the other day advertising Marian Grace's upcoming concert schedule and my heart jumped when I saw that they'd be so close!  I clicked through and realized it wasn't just a concert but a whole day long conference with Mother Olga and Dr. Sri speaking and Marian Grace not only doing praise and worship but then having an evening concert.  I registered as soon as I could and Brian and I are going (overnight!  Eek!) and I'm kinda really excited.

Also, don't forget when you're making your Amazon purchases to do so either through a Smile charity or through a blogger affiliate!  At no cost or trouble to you, you can have a percentage of your purchase go towards that charity or blogger.  We really really appreciate it!
(psst...You can find my link right over there in the sidebar ------>   )

So.  Enough randomness from me.  How are you doing?

Some serious concentration

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Prayers for Buffalo, Please.

So it's pretty bad out here in Buffalo.
Except where it's not.
The atypical lake effect snow band hit an extremely narrow portion of the area and did so quickly so that just five or ten miles away from our home people are under three to SIX feet of snow while we here at our house have just a couple inches.  

For many it's been a couple fun and cozy snow days.  It's been fun seeing all the crazy pictures on Facebook.  (Click over here to see some...they are all real, it's insane.  Seriously, click.)  It didn't hit me until today, though, when it was reported that a man froze to death in his car in a nearby town just how bad this is.  

People were trapped on the thruway for thirty hours.  There are people literally trapped in their homes and driving bans in all the affected parts of town.  The police have asked for help from anyone with a snowmobile to rescue people.  Several have died from heart attacks while shoveling and the emergency response crews are tapped to the max.  To greatly compound the problem, we are expected to get warmer temperatures this weekend which will inevitably cause a whole lot of homes and roads to flood.

I keep thinking about all the elderly and disabled who may very well be dying in their homes right now due to lack of food, heat, medicine, or because their furnace vents are buried in snow and carbon monoxide is leaking in their home.  In some towns you literally cannot get out your door without tunneling your way through the snow.  They're trapped.  

Would you please stop right now and say a Memorare (or whatever prayer you'd like) and maybe offer a sacrifice for those people?  

Thank you, friends.  

from WGRZ

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Thoughts on Angry Jesus

We don’t often think about wild Jesus. It isn’t all that comfortable to hear in the Sunday Gospel reading of a few weeks ago that Jesus got angry.  And not just kind of upset but flipping tables and making a whip upset. That story of Jesus cleansing the temple of what defiled it is sometimes an overlooked passage of Scripture almost seeming out of character for the Lord. We tend to often hear about suffering Jesus and merciful Jesus and kind, gentle Jesus. We don’t often hear about wild, passionate Jesus. We can sometimes forget that it’s all the same Jesus. That same Jesus making the whip is the same Jesus who is complete mercy, complete love. It is only in His love that He wishes, no longs, to return to God what was supposed to be kept sacred. The zeal for God’s house consumes Him.

It wasn’t until last Sunday and the juxtaposition of the readings that I had ever seen how clear it all is...

I'm over posting at Elizabeth Ministry again and would love for you to come over and maybe leave a comment or share.  Thank you, friends!

The Cleansing of the Temple by El Greco

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