Friday, April 12, 2019

{SQT} Passiontide Begins

1. Requiescat in Pace

Visiting New York City ten years ago

Please pray for the repose of the soul of my step-grandmother, the only grandmother I knew during my childhood, who passed away this week, as well as praying for the comfort especially of her shocked and grieving husband and daughters. She suffered a rare and devastating illness for almost a month with bravery, grace, and no complaints before passing away on Tuesday.

Visiting New York City ten years ago
My step-grandmother died three days before the anniversary of my mother. On Friday, we visited her grave to clean it, place flowers, and pray. (Then the children skittered about and cleaned about a dozen other graves.)

Even as we arrived there, I got word that the mother of my longtime friend of 20 years died that morning, so now we share a death anniversary of our mothers. And yesterday, I learned of a tragic death of a young man, the eldest son from a large Catholic family, a very holy man from all accounts, and engaged to be married in just a few months. We know not the day nor the hour, and it is frightening but important for all of us to meditate on our future deaths.

2. "Unplanned" Movie

I went alone to see "Unplanned" in theaters last Saturday night, while Chris graciously held down the homefront after being gone for a week. I was greatly moved by this movie about Abby Johnson, the director of a Planned Parenthod clinic who left after eight years and become a pro-life activisit. It is a story of mercy, hope, and love, and it does not villify those working in the abortion industry. (It is also graphic in several scenes and I don't think I would take my children before 13 or 14 years old.)

Later, I enjoyed reading this interview about the wife of the founder of 40 Days for Life. She co-founded it with him and spend so much time out there praying and being an activitist, but now is a stay-at-home mother to seven children and points out (rightly) that this is her pro-life work and that it is not her season to be "on the lines" right now.

3. Sunday Family Game Night

Last Sunday, we enjoyed a Family Game Night, with Dad manning the older kids' games in the dining room and Mom playing the younger kids' game in the kitchen. Lots of fun, as well as many opportunities (not always fun) to learn how to play games (compete) with grace and good sportsmanship!

4. Art, Music, and Books

Margaret (8) is currently our most prolific artist (on paper) and I find her creations around the house so often, I love it.

She made this sign, reading "God's little ones" to hang in the little boys' room:

And I found an entire series of her latest sketches tossed about when I was cleaning up the Bonus Room.

Our children began folk music lessons this week in order to have fun and join in the folk music jams that a number of families in our social circle host. John is starting off learning guitar, the girls fiddle, and Joseph a one-stringed banjo-type instrument (with the goal of moving to ukelele or banjo). Another family is joining us for lessons, so after our first one, we enjoyed playing in the muddy backyard, sharing a potluck dinner, and a trip to the also-muddy playground.

A couple of weeks ago, Joseph (6) began listening to "Farmer Boy" during Quiet Time each day. When he finished the book, he asked me what were the next CDs in the case, and I told him that they were the other Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

"You mean there are more?!"

I realized quite to my embarrassment with a twinge of sorrow that my very own boy has grown up in this Bookish House with no idea of the "Little House on the Prairie" series! I read these books to shreds to my oldest children, but then we must have finally been done with them before Joseph was old enough to have any memory. I can hardly believe it! And now I hardly have any read-aloud time, so I set him on the task of listening to the whole series, which is currently the highlight of each of his afternoons.

5. Useful Helpers

Children covering our religious artwork for Passiontide

The girls 8 and 10 did a lot of shrubbery pruning for me this week.

One night, two giggling sisters asked permission to go downstairs after rosary for a surprise, and I later discovered that they cleaned the kitchen sparkling for me and left me a sweet note on the whiteboard, to which I responded that I don't deserve them!

6. Finch Grandmother?

Am I to become a finch grandmother? We woke up Wednesday morning to discover that one of the finches had laid three eggs! As they are both supposedly female birds, this was Quite Surprising. However, Google tells me that a finch sometimes does lay eggs in the absence of a male, so we will know in 12-14 days whether these are unfertilized eggs or if one of these birds is a male.

7. Bonus Reading

"One College Prof's Experience with a Homeschooled Student" by Deep Roots at Home

"Has Our Culture Hit a Dead End?" by Paul Joseph Watson (March 28, 2019): This video describes mathematical statistics about how dumbed down and repetitive modern and pop music is and reveals that entire albums are being written by computer now. Computer algorithms can tell in advance how popular a song will be. Revealed long ago is that most images in magazines, television and movie are Photoshopped (making the actors and musicians unrealistically and unachievably beautiful) and that most songs on CD and performed at "live" concerts are pre-recorded and run through a machine that makes voices that are out of tune and bad sound in tune and wonderful. Is this all the kind of music we want to listen to and emulate?

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.


  1. I think what he said about writers and literature is even more scary...."morality clauses"??? I'm always amazed how similar our culture is to the end times of ancient Rome.

  2. So sorry to hear of your loss. May she rest in peace!