There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 30 April 2012

Outside my window....the sun is shining, there is a slight breeze blowing. The weather gurus are calling for a beautiful day and the inmates of this establishment are looking forward to being let go for a day.
I am thinking....about all that needs to be done around here. 
I am thankful for...the wonderful man that I married and for the children that we raised.
From the kitchen....Layn and I are thinking of something truly delicious to make for supper tonight.  Translation: we haven't a clue but don't worry no one ever starves in this house.
I am wearing....night clothes.  Layn on the other hand is wearing bibbed overalls and a tee shirt.
I am creating....memories to last a lifetime.
I am going....to spend the whole day here, at home!!!!! I think first we will get done inside and then spend the day enjoying the warmth and sunlight.
I am reading...The Snakebite Letters by Peter Kreeft
I am hoping...that God will help answer the computer question before the end of the month or else I will have to cancel my next semester.
I am hearing....the fan on the furnace keeping us warm, Matthew at his computer writing an email, and Layn pretending to type beside me.
Around the house....normal Monday morning things are happening.
One of my favorite things...spending last evening, alone with my husband quietly curled up watching one of my favorite movies.
A few plans for the rest of the week....keep up with family and household chores while at the same time prepare for my showing at the library that is to be in June.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...

Nothing like fresh, warm homemade bread.  You can count on Layn to be there if food is involved.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My final paper for Folklore. Not bad if I do say so.


Ann Kraeger

Rosalie Owens

LITR341

22 April 2012

The Evolving Tale of Swine and Their Canine Adversary

     The influence of culture can be seen on just about every aspect of a society, from its tastes in food to the movies that are produced, the books that are written, and the stories that are told to little children.  This influence is also a matter of evolution, changing and developing along with its attitudes and mores. A good example of this evolutionary process can be seen in the changes that have been made to folk and fairy tales, especially in the last century. The idea of this evolutionary process is best described by the blogger, Lethologica when he said,

           In the hands of the numerous authors who have shaped them, fairytales springing

           from a single core theme have told vastly different stories, fulfilling different purposes,

           having different outcomes and teaching different lessons and values… fairytales, as a

           whole are constantly evolving to reflect the needs of society.”

A close examination of the familiar favorite, “The Three Little Pigs,” and some of its variants aptly demonstrates the imprint of culture as the times have changed.  The basic story remains the same but the variations that are seen reflect influences that are religious, ideological, political, and simply fun. 

     A brief synopsis of the story is a good place to begin so that changes along the way may be easily pointed out as the tale progresses through the century.  It is a simple tale really, the mother pig, unable to sustain herself and her three young ones sends them off to make their own way in the wide world.  Each piglet, according to its own abilities constructs for itself a home.  A predator in the form of a wolf comes along and devastates the homes of the first two piglets.  Alas both of these piglets are consumed by the wolf since their houses are so poorly built and the piglets are so easily overcome.  The wolf then threatens the third piglet in the same way but to no avail since the third home is solidly built of bricks.  The two then enter into a battle of wits which the piglet ultimately wins and the wolf is boiled alive and the pig eats him instead; end of story.  This version of the story of pigs and wolf comes from one of the earliest credited to, according to Soden, “English author, Joseph Jacobs, when he adapted the story for a book titled, ‘English Fairy Tales.’” (Sodon 2)  This then will be the measuring stick against which all the other tales will be compared. 

     One of the first changes made to the tale of pig and wolf was to make the story more child-friendly.  Though Long quotes Jacobs thus (in English Folk and Fairy Tales, 1890), “it’s just right for small children—lively with action, with repetitive patterns of language and incident and a villain whose fate precisely fits his crime” (Long 171), it seems that modern society would disagree with that opinion.  In Wiesner’s retelling of the tale, though the wolf does ultimately die in the very same way, the author chooses to be less graphic with the details of the villain’s demise.  Instead David Wiesner chooses to couch the gory details in a busy array of comic book like illustrations, bubbles of dialogue, and a confusing sprinkling of letters that may or may not spell out the ultimate sentence of the wolf.  This can be taken as a far kinder and gentler way of ending the life of the wolf and preserving the sensibilities of the young to whom the story will be read than letting them know the harsh truth.  This type of change to the classic tale can be filed under ideological.  This is not the only way that the pigs and wolf have been manipulated, however.

     The next example is one more of interpretive manipulation rather than a change in the telling of the tale.  When Professor Schwartz gets hold of the tale of the poor pigs and the insatiate wolf it is told in the same fashion as the original is with the same deathly outcome but the meaning that can be gleaned from the telling of this tale seems to be what needs to have some adjustment.  Rather than interpreting the story to mean, as Sodon stated it, “that hard work and dedication pay off,” (Sodon 2) Professor Schwartz chooses another interpretation altogether.  The Professor finds religious parallels in such details of the story as “The ‘hair of my chinny-chin chin” is…the beard…a well-known symbol of the Jewish race” (Schwartz 1), “the Angel of Death, the forces of chaos…aptly symbolized by the wolf,” (Schwartz 1), and “Providence, evidenced by the uncanny feat of a couple of pigs outrunning a wolf” (Schwartz 2) all to convince the reader that the story has religious undertones.  Underneath still the tale of “The Three Little Pigs” yet the story has been interpreted in light of the Jewish faith.  Simply a new twist on the tale to fit the needs of the culture or society that is reading the story.  But the fun of playing with the pigs and the much beleaguered wolf does not end here.

     Garner in his version of this much retold tale goes beyond simply nodding to the current centuries’ need for political correctness; he bows and scrapes to it.  The pigs are portrayed as “liv[ing] together in mutual respect and in harmony with their environment” (Garner 291), or in the language of the day, “green.”  Also, rather than portraying the wolf as bad, which may be offensive, after all that is what political correctness is all about, he is said to have “expansionist ideas” (Garner 291), a kinder and gentler phrase.  This retelling is all about telling the story but not offending anyone in the process.  So much for politics and fairy tales, but it does make for an amusing reading of this beloved tale if the reader does not take the changes too seriously.  That is the trick behind all of the changes to the retelling of “The Three Little Pigs,” do not take them too seriously, since there are even changes that are just that, simply amusing ones.

     Finally, there are those authors who have looked at this beloved tale and see not a vehicle for political or religious views but something that is purely fun.  Author Jon Scieszka did just that when he wrote, The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs!.  Maybe it was sympathy for the plight of the wolf or simply a desire to tell the wolf’s side of the story but this retelling of the oft told tale is not only fun but humorous and totally without politics or offense.  The wolf claims that he was framed for the whole thing then lets the reader decide whether he is telling the truth or not.  A simple explanation for the whole chain of events in the eyes of the wolf but as he claims,

          “They figured a sick guy going to borrow a cup of sugar didn’t sound very exciting.

           So they jazzed up the story with all of that ‘Huff and puff and blow your house down.’

           And they made me the Big Bad Wolf.” (Scieszka 29)

That is the fun in this retelling of “The Three Little Pigs,” that the story has been told from a different point of view and the reader if left laughing at the wolf’s antics instead of wrestling with an agenda.

     Whether fun, politics, religion, or ideology is the reason behind the author’s retelling of the beloved old tale, “The Three Little Pigs,” all of these motives seem to fit beautifully into its framework.  As society changes and evolves so too do the stories that make up that society evolve and change.  Good examples of those changes can be seen when reading the folk and fairy tales as they are told and retold down through the centuries.  An examination of the changes to the classic tale of “The Three Little Pigs” demonstrates the influences of societal changes in politics, ideology, religion, and sometimes a need to just have fun retelling the story. 









Works Cited

Jacobs, Joseph. “The Story of the Three Little Pigs.” Folk & Fairy Tales. Ed. Martin Hallett and

     Barbara Karasek. 4th ed. Ontario: Broadview Press. 2009. 289-291. Print.

Garner, James Finn. “The Three Little Pigs. Folk & Fairy Tales. Ed. Martin Hallett and Barbara

     Karasek. 4th ec. Ontario: Broadview Press. 2009. 291-292. Print.

LONG, JOANNA RUDGE. "Some Pigs!." Horn Book Magazine 85.2 (2009): 171-178.

     Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.

Schwartz, Professor Rumplestiltskin, “The Three Little Pigs: A Quintessential Jewish Allegory

     in Deceptive Disguise?”. Jewish Action. Spring 2000. Web. p.1-2.16 April 2012.

Scieszka, Jon. The True Story Of The 3 Little Pigs. New York: Penguin Putnam Books. 1989.

     Print.

Soden, J. M. “What Is the Moral Lesson of the Three Little Pigs?” eHow.com. 2010. 16 April


Trivizas, Eugene. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. New York: Margaret K

     McElderry Books. 1993. Print.

Lethologica. “Seeking Cinderella: A Brief Glimpse of the Evolution of Fairytales.

     12 March 2011. Online posting. serendip. 20 April 2012.

The Simple Womans Daybook 23 April 2012

Outside my window....the weather has taken a decided turn for the gloomy.  Rain is falling and the world has a sad and despondant air as if it has been reading the headlines in the local paper and the sadness of it all has finally gotten to be too much.
I am thinking...about the difference between contentment and satisfaction.  There is a world of difference between the two.  One contains a world of virtue and the other does not I fear.
I am thankful for...a husband who is willing to stand up for his beliefs.
From the kitchen...leftover Mexican lasagna.
I am wearing...a pink nightgown.
I am creating....a path that is hopefully leading me to my ultimate salvation, please God.
I am going....to sit here today and finish up my school semester.
I am reading....The Snakebite Letters by Peter Kreeft
I am hoping...for answers to prayer.
I am hearing....the sounds of rain on the steel roof, the fan on the furnace making sure that we are all warm and cozy on this damp day, Layn chattering to himself while he plays with his toys, and Melissa, Alex and Matthew having a conversation in the other room.  Oh, did I mention that Isabella is snoring beside me.
Around the house...all is as it should be.
One of my favorite things....family together, the warmth of the house this morning when it is raining outside, the familiarity of the dog turning around before she lays down, the sounds the house makes all around me.  These are all some of my favorite things.
A few plans for the rest of the week....finish my work for this semester and turn it all in and then resolve not to haunt the website for my grades, finish the little dress that is on the form in my sewing room, get in some serious reading for a change, and spend some quality time with my daughter who I miss like the dickens.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you....
That is one jaw cracking yawn! Sometimes I feel the same way Isabella.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sometimes when the words just don't come

It just means that it is time to switch mediums of expression.  Around here we like to encourage artwork of all kinds.  Layn, being a real renaissance man decided to eschew paper and go for other vehicles for his paintings.

Body art was big at first.

I wonder what the market is for fingerpaint on vinyl siding?  The front of my house could be very valuable one day. (too bad the paint is washable!)

Fingerpaints on toenails may not catch on in the outside world but around here it was a big hit.

He decided to finish up with fingetpaints on an old stump.  Can't wait to show that to Uncle Matt!  Now on to the serious business of taking a nap!

I just want to be like you

He watches, intently
as only a two-year-old can.

Every move.
Digging, dumping
and driving.

I want to be just like you,
don't you know,
can't you tell.






Uncle Matt, one of my many heroes.  Someday I will be just like you. Like Uncle Ryan, Uncle Adam, Uncle Jason, Daddy too.  So much to copy. So much to admire.   Someday I will be just like you.
Digging, dumping, and driving.
I want to be just like you,
don't you know,
can't you tell.



In my sandbox,
I don't play.
This is serious stuff.
I only do what you taught me.

Digging, dumping, driving.
I want to be just like you,
don't you know,
can't you tell.



I may be the little guy now,
but I am growing and
soon you will see.

I want to be just like you,
don't you know,
can't you tell.

Digging, dumping, driving.

Sometimes our work.......backfires!

Last night the guys put the post-hole digger on the tractor so they could drill some holes.  Ian is trying to set up an arena for Melissa.  She has this horse that needs to be broken.


The first couple of holes went fine.  Doug ran the tractor with Ian and Matthew on the bar helping the auger along.  The ground around here is awfully hard since it has been such a dry spring.


Layn made things a little more difficult by trying to put the dirt back into the holes.  Boys will be boys you know.



Then the inevitable happened.  Inevitable I say because this is a farm and the equipment is older and well used.  Oh, did I mention that this farm is in Upstate New York?  The auger hit a rock, more than once. Broke on of the tips right off and took a chunk out of the other one.

Just in case you thought you were going to get your arena soon Melissa, not! Just in case you thought your plans were made for tomorrow, Ian, not! 
We did have a good time while it lasted though.

I don't think Joe taught him this stuff

A couple of summers ago Matthew worked for a friend of ours who has a business doing landscape and property maintenance.  While he was working for Joe he not only worked hard but he learned a lot of new stuff.  But I don't think Joe taught him how to prune a shrub this way....

not so up close and personal
not using a sword!


But fear not, the shrub had its revenge on his sword!

But I have learned a few things in my years as a mother.
1.  pride in how my plantings look, per se is a wasted emotion!
2. pride in the hard work of my children is more productive.
3. promoting initiative and imagination is very rewarding and amusing.
4. the shrub will grow back!

So, hack away Matthew and have your fun. Learn your lessons.
Long after all of us are gone that shrub will still be there growing wild to challenge another young man with a sword.

Oh, and by the way, I am incredibly proud of you for taking on such an intimidating job.

If Uncle Matt can do it....

So can Layn.  You are never too young to become the kettlebell.

Just be careful not to drop it on your toes while you are doing it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dinner and a show!

Layn has been nursing an early spring cold.  So last night when I came back from Holy Hour I picked up a fish dinner at the local grocery.  Layn loves to dip french fries in katsup and salad dressing.  He's not a big fan of fries themselves but they make great tools for getting the dip to his mouth. 
When I got home Ian was out mowing the lawn for the first time of the season and I couldn't help but think that I had the perfect distraction for a little boy with a poor appetite and a head cold.  I set him up in his chair with fries, katsup and blue cheese dressing for dipping.  Then I put him in front of the window in the dining room and he was happy as a clam. 
Everytime his daddy drove by he would smile and wave at Layn.  Layn laughed, dipped fries and had a grand time watching the show.  Of course today I have to wash the katsup off the curtains but that is a small price for making a little boy happy.


Cheap entertainment.  Fish dinner $4.99 (complete with packets of katsup!)
Little dollop of salad dressing  negligible
Price of gas to mow the lawn  let's not even figure that in since it needed to be done anyway.
Smiles on a little boy's face and on his daddy's= priceless
Memories made for everyone else= extra added bonus!

Elegy to a terminal computer

I took my computer to the Geek Squad this week.  They pronounced it terminal.  A friend wrote this elegy that I will have put on it's grave stone when it finally kicks the proverbial bucket.  Thank you Veronica, you are truly a kindred spirit.

Sing, O Muses, and inspire my soul.
Whisper your sweet words into my ear inclined,
That I may proclaim to all the wisdom
Of your words and the beeauty of your knowledge.
You once foretold to me a
Computer that would enter into these realms
And with bravery and courage fulfill his
Noble cause and win over the hearts of all.
With a swashbuckler's arm, he would
Fight to the death, using the power of
Literary genius, so inpired by a world
Entirely unknown to man.
Alas, I weep with one tear, like dear Helen of Troy,
For this computer, for now, he is seeing his last days.

Muses, speak! For you are silent;
You cannot explain the mysteries of the
Tragic end to a life so noble, so pure, so stunning.
Why cannot the secrets of technology be explained?
Why cannot we know why it must be
The death of his warrior-like computer and not another?
Alas, the Muses speak, and remind me of
The law of life: all must meet their end,
All, even this brave fighter, must meet their end.

Though my heart be heavy-laden,
I rejoice at the life of this noble computer.
With unbounded energy and vigor,
He fought through long nights of toil.
He fought through the blood and the pain,
Pouring all out for those he loved.
He fought until the hope of the morning light
Did appear on the horizon, and only when the
World and all in it were at peace did he sleep.
Now he must sleep the sleep that knows only
Endless darkness and quiet;
It is his turn to find rest.
Like the great warrior Achilles,
This bold computer must lay down his battle-gear.

With heart and soul laden of tears,
The Muses have told me that this eulogy
I must end.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It seemed just the right kind of day

     he woke up this morning with a stuffy nose and slightly feverish.  The weatherman has been talking about temperatures in the eighties and possible severe weather later in the day.  The little guy wasn't exactly cranky but anyone who knew him could tell that he just wasn't himself.  What to do, what to do?  That thought was uppermost in grandma's mind as she went about her morning business. 
       Mama was upstairs in bed with a bad headache and everyone else had orders not to disturb her.  Auntie and big brother were doing their best to get along and to get the house tidied up and ready for the day to commence.  Uncle was taking gramps to work and running a couple of errands.  Grandma had a few errands to run to, but still in her mind were thoughts of what would perk her little man up.

     The idea came when grandma was in the city.  She knew when she saw it that here was the perfect way to make her little guy feel better that day.  She finished up the rest of her sadly disappointing errands thinking only of the smiles she would get when she got home.  Once home she helped clean the little guy up from lunch, took his shirt and pants off him (he wasn't going to be needing those) and took him outside with his surprise.
     Fingerpaints were the perfect way to spend a  hot and humid afternoon when a little boy wasn't feeling himself. 

There is nothing like an afternoon of self-expression to take away the blues brought on by a snotty nose and a feverish head.  Grandma just put one happy, tired boy down for his nap.

The Simple Womans Daybook 16 April 2012

Outside my window...the sky is overcast and the wind is blowing.  The weather man is calling for severe weather later this afternoon.  Temperatures are supposed to get up into the 80's.  Looks like we might be in store for a taste of what the mid-west has been subject to for the past few days.  Well I guess we should just batten down the hatches, hunker down, and ride it out.
I have been thinking...about these pesky illnesses that seem to run rampant through families.  We have never had a lot of trouble with that kind of stuff when the kids were little.  Now though it seems like every stray bug that comes along makes its way to our door.  MK started in after Easter with cold and flu symptoms.  Now Melissa is sick and this morning I think Layn is falling subject to the same bug.  Time to break out the defenses.
I am thankful...for a husband who has such a deep and abiding faith.  In the coming months his faith and strength is being tested and I pray that it stays firm against the onslaught of the devil and family ties that wish to rip it apart.
From the kitchen....there is a hearty and nourishing soup on the menu for those who have fallen prey to the bug that is in this house and for those who have been exposed.
I am wearing....my night clothes.
I am creating...a brilliantly crafted research paper on the evolution of the three little pigs (after my computer gets repaired that is)
I am going....to visit my favorite geeks today to see what they can do for old reliable. 
I am reading....The Confessions of St. Augustine
I am hoping...that the repair on my computer is easy, inexpensive, and can be done while I wait.  (is that too much to ask?)
I am hearing....Layn playing with his motorized Thomas the Tank Engine.  Everytime Thomas runs into a wall or a chair he howls with laughter.
Around the house...everything is as it should be.  Melissa is resting, Alex is reading a book (yes you read that right!), MK is doing kp duty, Matthew is taking his father to work and Ian has been at work for several hours all ready.
One of my favorite things...in spite of the allergies involved, inclement weather, and mud I love to watch the maturing of the seasons.  The apple and pear trees are coming into bloom along with the dogwood across the creek.  The leaves on the maples and boxelders are just beginning to unfold and the air is pungeant with what I like to call the smell of green.
A few plans for the rest of the week....continue research and writing for my paper, keep up with my usual responsibilities around here, and try to finish a couple of sewing projects that I have started.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Yesterday was Layn's birthday.  MK gave him a set of wooden puzzles.  The amount of concentration that he displayed while putting them together was fascinating to watch.  He really liked that gift.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Holy and Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

This was sent to me by a dear friend.  She wrote it as an assignment for school.  It is not only beautifully written but the sentiment touches something deep inside.

Horizon
The sun on the shores warms the sand,
The waves rock gently when the wind blows.
Against age-old stones, again and again
The cold spring water crashes and creates music.
The birch trees blow, blow against the blue sky,
Anxiously I sit astride the rocks, awaiting my friend.
The rough moss remembers, it remembers from
Time immemorial those who tarried by this lake,
Those whose wailing hearts with words, words unpsoken,
Waited upon these waves for one to come.
The shadows of seagulls dance upon the shoreline,
Flitting and floating, like falling leaves in the sun.
The chiaroscuro catching my eyes and clearing my senses.
Is my friend to be found? no, for it is only the foul
Teasing me to think they are the thought-of one.
The sun begins to sink, and so too does my soul,
Like falling stars in far-off skies, floating to the ground.
The birch trees breathe one last bold sigh
Before the breeze dies at the bidding of the night.
And on the horizon a human sillhouette walks here to me.
                                                                 by Veronica Arntz

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy birthday

Happy birthday Layn from Grandma Peggy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The youngest child


As a parent one cannot help but wonder what each child is going to be like as they come along.  Then there is the whole birth order thing.  I know it plays a part in the development of personality but I refused to dwell too much on that when my kids were little. 

When it was announced to us that there would be no more children I did begin to think about the birth order thing.  Specifically about the youngest child.  For one thing I know myself and I was bound and determined to keep that one a child for as long as I could.  By that time we were already taking in foster children so there was little chance that he would be spoiled in that sense of the word, by being the youngest and being treated as such.  But I did get a lot of heat about not letting him grow up as soon as I let the others. 

Still he managed to grow and mature and become a pretty good individual.  Sure, he likes to zip his nephew into his sleeping bag.  (you don't see Layn protesting do you?)

But he is also a very responsible guy too.  He can dig with the backhoe like no one's business.  Okay, maybe he likes it a bit too much and would dig all day long if you let him.  But boys will be boys and there are plenty of places around here that need to be dug up so it's all good.

And he is safe so that's always a plus, right?



Of course he does get a bit testy when someone else takes over. Not really but he looks like he thinks he could do a better job.  This is one hard-working young man inside and out and I think that being the youngest hasn't done him any disservice.

Monday, April 9, 2012

http://dignitasmagazine.com/

I  would like to encourage everyone to check out this new magazine the my nieces are putting out.  It is professionally done and much in need. 

The Simple Womans Daybook 9 April 2012

Outside my window....it is overcast and gloomy.  The wind is still blowing though not as fiercely as it did last night.  Ian would say that's a good thing, that it is drying the newly plowed ground out and making it easier to disc and plant.  I look at it as a good day to stay inside and clean the house and get some laundry done.  There has to be a silver lining to every cloud, all you have to do is look for it.
I am thinking...about division of labor.  I don't like that term and think it should be stricken from the language.  Too many people are too concerned with how much work they have done compared with how much others have done.  The concern should not be how much have I done compared to others but how much have I done compared to how much I should do.
From the kitchen....many leftovers from yesterday's sumptuous Easter repast.
I am wearing...sleeping atire.
I am creating...poetry. It just seems to flow from my mind and heart lately.  All that bottled up inspiration is finally coming forth.
I am reading....Forks over Knives.  It is an interesting read and worth cogitating over.
I am hoping....to spend some of this day in a little tactile creation.  My fingers are itching feel fabric running through them.
I am hearing....Jason Mraz on Pandora, the dog going up and down the stairs trying to find a place that is both comfortable and free from Layn's interferance, and the usual appliance noises for a Monday morning.
Around the house...a great bit of normal is going on.  MK is on her laptop checking her assignments for the week, Melissa has the day off so she is playing with Layn, Savannah is here and playing with her toys, and Matthew is sitting in the rocking chair doing his usual Matthew things.  I have learned to like Monday mornings around here.
One of my favorite things...the fact that each of my children is able to attend to their responsibilities without direction.  I love to watch them get themselves going in the morning. 
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...

My heart did a few extra beats and a lot of extra swelling with love and pride over the weekend.  To see my oldest son continue to consult his father for advice about when and how to plow, plant, and generally run this farm.  That is not only love for his dad but a great deal of respect as well.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter treasures

Easter is a day for rejoicing.  More than any other day of the year it is a day to celebrate family and faith.  This past Thursday I shocked the kids in my fifth grade religion class when I told them that I considered Easter a greater feast day than Christmas. 
It is true that without the Incarnation there would never be a Passion and Resurrection but the Incarnation was a relatively easy act.  The Passion and death of Our Lord was a monumentally greater event.
Anyway, that little lesson aside what fills my heart most during the contemplation and celebration of Easter is family. 
The treasures of our family are both young and old alike.  There are those who automatically gaze upon the infant and small child and see the hope of the world in their eyes and tottering steps.  But I see the treasure of the family in the experiences and wealth of love that is represented by the old.  This is our Kay.  She is the treasure of our family.  True she repeats herself and is becoming more and more dependent on those who love her.  But it is love and listening that will help us all unlock the secrets to long life and happiness that she holds.  She has the gifts that need to be passed on so that we can carry them and pass them on to the young generation and on into the future.

This little man spent his Easter afternoon coloring eggs.  That exercise, whose meaning is long forgotten by others in the pagan rituals of Easter Bunnys and an excess of chocolate, has become in my mind an exercise in parental patience.  The real meaning of childhood and love can be found in letting the little ones color their eggs the way they want to.  Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder as strangely colored eggs emerge from the mugs of dye.

The little gem is too young to care about eggs or to be taught the reality of the Resurrection.  She merely sits in her chair and reminds all of us that the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection are all unavoidable truths.

I don't know how this one got in here but he keeps us all entertained.  I suspect another project is in the works.  More to come.


Little ones and the love of God

Holy Saturday I sat at mass in front of three of my favorite little guys.  The mass started late in the evening and was long, very long for such little folks.  They were very well behaved and tried bravely to love God and worship the way that grown-ups expect them to.  But sitting still and being perfectly quiet is just not their way.  This little poem was inspired by their brave efforts.  I "borrowed" this picture from their mom's FB page. I hope she doesn't mind.

Charlie, Isaac, and Nick
When all is still and silent
                   they cannot be.
That is not their way
                                        not how they worship or love God.
When everyone stands
                     to sing or recite;
proper and all on key.
That is not their way
                     piping baby voices
ringing true and clear.
Just high above the rest
                     singing so God can hear.
When all kneel still and soft;
                    in adoration of the Lord.
They do not.
for that is not their way.
He made their wiggles
                     for His glory.
He made their cries
                     for his praise.
That is their way.

                    

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I somehow see Layn coming up with this all on his own in a few years.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012