The leaves are ablaze in all their splendor. I enjoy seeing the various shades of reds, oranges, yellows, browns, and greens as I walk around my neighborhood and/or drive the children to their extra-curricular activities.
I am listening to...
Kieran play with his Gund caterpillar. My parents-in-law gave this to Bernadette years ago and it still continues to be a favorite toy with my babies. Kieran enjoys hearing the sounds that it makes and sucking on the caterpillar's nose and tail (I do know that caterpillars don't have tails, but this one looks kind of like it does). Fortunately, this big rattle can be washed and dried. This is definitely Kieran's favorite toy.
I am continuing to pray for...
My sister. She is hoping to be able to miscarry naturally. I am hoping that God blesses her with another baby in the near future.
I am wearing...a red shirt, a red sweater, and a jeans skirt. Can you tell that I like the color red?
I am thankful...
My oldest daughter is becoming a wonderful young lady. She is always thinking of others. Recently, she told me that she wanted to buy Christmas presents for her brothers and sisters this year. I recommended that like me, she should try to get all of her gift buying accomplished before Advent. So far, she has purchased six thoughtful gifts for her siblings: a little red sequined apple-shaped bag, Math War: Addition and Subtraction Card Game, LEGO The Lord of the Rings Hobbit Gandalf Arrives, White Horse (Holding Pink Rose) Art Poster, Treegate's Raiders, and Missee Lee: The Swallows and Amazons in the China Seas. She is still thinking about what to get for her baby brother. Suggestions are welcome.
I love my daughter and her happy, thoughtful, helpful nature.
I love my daughter and her happy, thoughtful, helpful nature.
In the learning rooms...
This week has been slow going. Kieran has a cold and cough (actually, he still had his whooping cough cough) and hasn't been sleeping very well. This makes for a tired mother with little energy. Thankfully, most of my children seem to be self motivated. I think that the self motivation might have something to do with the fact that at the beginning of the year, I told them, "If you finish your first nine weeks on schedule, Daddy will take you to Baskin Robbins." I am fairly certain that Theresa, Patrick, and Finnian will be going to Baskin Robbins this weekend.
Patrick has been reading and enjoying the Billy and Blaze books. I think that Brendan's enthusiastic endorsement of and reminiscing about when he read the books was all that Patrick needed to open up the first book in the series. I like these books because they help build confidence in reading. Plus, boys (and girls) tend to find the stories about Billy and his pony interesting.
From the kitchen...
It is almost dinner time and the children's minds are turning to food. I am hearing the refrigerator opening and closing, and utensils clinking. I will need to remind them not to eat anything now, as they need to save room for the dinner which we will be eating in about an hour. We are having leftover lasagna and salad for dinner. Last night, a good friend and her children shared dinner with us. As usual, I thought that we needed more food than we really did.
I am pondering...
"While bestowing such constant care on her girls, the Christian mother must be mindful of the special difficulties which attend the education of boys, of the terrible struggles which await men in the battle of life, and of the imperious necessity of so arming their soul in advance as to put all the chances of victory on their side. Your boy is doomed to battle with the general corruption, the low thoughts, the low aims, the low tastes, and the lower manners of the generation among whom his lot is cast ; he will have to battle with inveterate and powerful prejudices against his faith, with a current of scientific opinion gathering daily fresh depth and width, and tending to sap the very foundations of revealed religion; against the influence of a literature and a press bitterly hostile to all that he has been taught to look up to with reverence and worship; against a " human respect" more seductive and degrading than the witchery of the fabled enchantress of old, who only held out to thirsting lips a cup full of all delights, and then changed all who tasted it into beasts and kept them beasts forever : and, what is worse than all, he will have to battle with his own heart and its inclinations amid a world solely occupied in ministering to sensuality and passion. God alone, with His fear and His love firmly seated in the heart, while it is as yet free from sin and evil habits, will be all-powerful to give courage and strength and perseverance and final triumph even to the best and bravest against such a combination of adversaries.
See how many of the boys you behold yearly kneeling in our churches for first communion or confirmation fail to hold their virtue or even their faith firmly till manhood. If your eye could follow each generation as it grows up, the few who remain steadfast in the piety or faith of their youth are like the rare ears of corn on the harvest-field when the sickles of the reapers have disappeared and the sheaves have been housed. It is of all duties the most important as well as the most difficult to ground your boys in true piety and in that true Christian manliness of which piety is the beautiful crown. Think of the heroic temper which the great Christian soldier mentioned in the following passage must have received from his mother's teaching, and consider well how you are to imitate her in your training of every boy of yours." (The Mirror of True Womanhood, pp. 264-265)
I am reading...As the quote above indicates, I am still reading The Mirror of True Womanhood. This week, I have been reading about raising boys. I think that my boys might find this passage interesting:
We are in 1257, at Cologne, and assisting at a solemn ceremony, the knighting by a papal legate of a young prince, elected king of the Romans, and soon to be crowned as emperor of Germany. Mass has been celebrated, and William, Count of Holland, who has only reached the preparatory degree of squire, is presented to the legate in these words : "We place before you this squire, humbly beseeching that in your fatherly kindness you would accept his desires that he may become worthy of associating among knights." To which the cardinal-legafce replies, addressing himself to the young prince:"What is a knight according to the meaning of the word ? Whoso desireth to obtain knighthood must be high-minded, open-hearted, generous, superior, and firm ; high-minded in adversity, open-hearted in his connections, generous in honor, superior in courtesy, and firm in manly honesty. But before you make your vow, take this yoke of the order which you desire into mature consideration. "These are the rules of chivalry:
1st. Before all, with pious remembrance, every day to hear the mass of God's passion.
2d. To risk body and life boldly for the Catholic faith.
3d. To protect holy Church, with her servants, from everyone who will attack her.
4th. To search out widows and helpless orphans in their necessity.
5th. To avoid engaging in unjust wars.
6th. To refuse unreasonable (excessive) rewards.
7th. To fight for the vindication of innocence.8th. To pursue warlike exercises only for the sake of perfecting warlike skill.
9th. To obey the Roman emperor, or his deputy, with reverence in all temporal matters.10th. To hold inviolable the public good.
llth. In no way to alienate the feudal tenures of the empire.
12th. And without reproach before God or man, to live in the world.
“When you shall have faithfully attended to these laws of chivalry, know that you shall obtain temporal honor on earth, and, this life ended, eternal happiness in heaven."
When the solemn oath on the Gospels had been taken, the rank of knighthood was conferred on the kneeling suppliant in these words: "For the honor of God Almighty I make you a knight, and do you take the obligation. But remember how He was smitten in the presence of the high-priest Annas, how He was mocked by Pilate the governor, how He was beaten with scourges, crowned with thorns, and, arrayed in royal robe, was derided before King Herod, and how He, naked before all the people, was hanged upon the cross. I counsel you to think upon His reproach, and I exhort you to take upon you His cross." (The Mirror of True Womanhood, pp. 269-270)
Plans for the rest of the week...
I have to take one of my children to an ENT appointment. This child will most likely be getting hearing aids soon. I am shocked by how expensive they are. I am also appalled by the fact that the batteries for hearing aids need to be replaced weekly. I thought that the batteries would last longer. Dominus providebit.
A prayer that I like...
I like feeling the rosary beads passing through my fingers. I like focusing on Christ's life and praying the words that Christ taught us, "Our Father". I like the repetition of Elizabeth's words to Mary (found in the Bible). I like the Apostles Creed, the Glory Be, the Sign of the Cross, and all of the other prayers that we say during our nightly family Rosary.
May our Lady of the Rosary lead us to God!