7QT: Before we begin...

Our final week before we begin school. My first year home educating a high school student. yikes. I actually think it will be quite rewarding... especially now that I've gotten one full panic attack out of my system and all our books have arrived.

Instead of waiting until evening to pray a family rosary (where it so often ends up falling off the end of the day), the kids and I have been successfully working it into the early part of the day. Determined to make it a meaningful moment, I managed to drag out one rosary for an hour and a half. Yes, I realize a normal family could crank out several rosaries in that time. I'm not sure what happened...

It might have been the fact that we kept breaking down in hysterics every time Jellybean insisted on singing her Hail Mary's like an opera diva... combined with a rather large number of toddler interruptions. We added Scripture and reflections a bit randomly and wanderingly, too. But no one got up and left and the littles seemed no worse for wear.  Perhaps a 90-minute rosary with happy distractions is easier on a small person than a 20-minute "squeeze it in" devotion?


The only reason I can stomach posting this picture is because Ryan is now on the ticket. I hate politics but this is no time to develop a weak stomach. To paraphrase Fr. Z, I would vote for a can of frozen orange juice before I vote for Obama. We hope to be at the March for Life in Washington for the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in January. It will follow directly on the heels of the presidential inauguration and I pray that we will have something to celebrate.


We are still without a shower which is not as difficult as it seemed initially. We are adjusting to a different standard of clean. We are still clean people, just not squeaky clean. And a tremendous amount of washing can be done with a sink and running water ... or the garden hose.

At some point in the relatively near future, we will have a brand new shower. The trade-off is the thousands of dollars it will cost to purchase and install it, as well as replace damaged drywall, flooring, and everything else the water destroyed. The really good news though is that I have a great excuse to scour Pinterest looking for the perfect bathroom color. :) Or... we could just go with something like this. If we didn't live in Cleveland...


My birthday is coming. It think I'm officially feeling old-ish. Last year was great because I forgot how old I was and thought I was a year older. When the Chief reminded me of my actual age, I felt like I'd gained a whole year. Now that I'm all caught up in my mind, it's not as exciting. I don't actually mind getting older... it's just that I seem to be increasingly less able to keep up with the kids and that is a significant parental disadvantage. But this year. . . this year is the year I increase my level of fitness!


Whole family photos are a rare thing with us. There's usually at least one person missing or the quality is terrible. Happily, I present a weekend family photo (thanks, Father!). The quality is terrible (taken from Chief's phone) but we do seem to be fully present. Please ignore the juice-guzzling of Jellybean. We told her to put it down but she thinks being contrary is hilarious.


Just finished reading the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. Loved it. Definitely a strong challenge to radical discipleship. I was moved and inspired and put it in my "books that made an impact on my heart and head" list. However... I wouldn't let my kids read it (yet) because the subject matter and language of the author can be a little rough around the edges. She is Christian but our world views do vary somewhat. Her Protestant background definitely affects her moral and theological perspective (including her perspective on contraception). She's also smitten with grimy secular TV programming which is just strange to me. It's one thing to watch privately, but for a popular Christian author, ministry leader, and speaker to dramatically pine away for a bunch of trash in a public, Christian  work strikes me as remarkably incongruous.

At any rate, it's worth the read if you're trying in earnest to clear the clutter from your home and heart to make more room for the Lord.


I have a serious love/hate relationship with youth ministry as it currently exists in popular Catholic culture. If the relationship of silly to substantive was more like 30/70 instead of the more common 80/20, I would be much more at peace with it. The good news for our family is that our primary youth ministry involvement is through the pro-life community and the silly to substantive ratio is definitely more on the 20/80 side. Still, we can't seem to shake the silliness entirely. Exhibit A:

This is a skit from last week's pro-life youth leadership retreat. My son is the one in the white sheet. I believe he's pretending to be God in the garden of Eden. (And haven't I warned him against playing God??) The tree of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil is in the middle. See what I'm saying? There's something profoundly disturbing and simultaneously hilarious about this image. I'm cringing, I'm laughing, I'm sighing. Perhaps I'm just getting old. For the record, a number of these same kids got up pretty early on Saturday morning to pray at an abortion mill together. And that's something.

UPDATE: I forgot to plug a most excellent pro-life youth organization that I highly recommend to all you life-lovin' mamas and papas. The Pro-Life Youth Congress is a national organization that offers young people the tools to work for the cause of life... at any age. Anyone can start a chapter and the process is relatively painless. Want more info? Website HERE. Blog HERE.  Feel free to contact me with questions.

*Joining Jen at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday*

Posted on August 24, 2012 .