Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Evening Grace

I borrowed the title for this post from Adam Baldwin.  You may know him, especially if you're a "Firefly" fan.  I love following him on Twitter.  He's one of the few conservative voices in Hollywood.  Every night he tweets a photo of something lovely and titles it "Evening Grace."  Often it's a sunset or ocean waves or something peaceful like that.  Here's his tweet for Memorial Day.

The photos above are ones I snapped after we returned home from dinner out, when Moe went for a ride in the kayak and I took a short walk around the lake.  Now that it's almost summer I hope to have many more slow and quiet evenings like this in the coming months.  Perhaps this "evening grace" theme will be a regular feature here...we'll see.

This is our last week at preschool, and the boys have a couple of weeks left before they're finished for the summer.  I hope you all have a grace-filled week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I finally have my camera back!  At about 5:00 today I noticed a new message on my answering machine.  It was the camera store calling to tell me that my camera is finally ready, and they're open until 6.  I usually leave the house around that time to head to my religious education class at church.  I threw my things in the car, wolfed down some yogurt and granola for dinner, and left quickly so I'd have time to grab my camera before the last day of CCD for the year.

We crowned the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that stands outside the parish hall.

At the beginning of the school year, I gave the kids a liturgical calendar for them to fill in with the colors of the liturgical year.  From time to time we got out their calendars and colored in the spaces according to the season we were in.  I modeled it partly after this one, which I found in the elementary Catechesis of the Good Shepherd classroom at the Episcopal church where I work;

At the Episcopal church, the color for Advent is blue.  Someone--I forget who--recently told me that blue is an optional color in the Catholic church as well.  I'd never heard this.

 and partly from the one in their textbook.  We left the middle of the circle blank, and today I let the kids cut out illustrations from their books and glue them to the calendars.  Below are some of the results.  They turned out great, don't you think?

I'm also asking for prayers:  first, for a little boy named Truman who almost drowned and is in critical condition.  For updates on his condition, visit this Facebook page.  Also please pray for my friend's father who had a stroke yesterday.

Oh, and thanks be to God, yesterday my cousin Tyler returned home to his family after a tour of duty in Afghanistan!

Perhaps I'll be back here on Friday for 7 Quick Takes, but if not I hope you have a blessed Memorial Day weekend!  (On Sunday, you'll find me--after Mass, of course--parked in front of my couch with my husband and a big glass of red wine, watching the Indianapolis 500.  One day, we'll see that one in person...)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Get Thee To the Church: St. Mary's, Blacksburg, Virginia

So now that it's Ascension Sunday and almost Pentecost, I think it's high time I showed you where we went for Easter Sunday Mass.

 As many of you know, I grew up in a Baptist church.  (They're getting ready to sell it--the building and the land and all the buildings surrounding it that the church owns--and move into a bigger place.  My parents fear that whoever buys it will tear it down.  I'm hoping to get down there this summer and take some photos of the church that holds many childhood memories to share with you before it's gone.)  When I was a kid, St. Mary's was located right behind my church, but I never set foot inside.

There was a statue like this one on St. Mary's original building.  It might be the same one, but I don't really know for sure.
 Sometime in the 1970's, the parish relocated to a larger, more modern building on a good-sized piece of land.  After I became Catholic we attended several Masses there, when we would visit my parents on a weekend.  I liked the priests, and the Masses were always beautiful, but the building itself was, well, not the most attractive.  It frankly didn't look much like a church, either inside or out.  (For a while the tabernacle was shoved into a "chapel" that was more like a closet with a few chairs inside.  When they got a new priest, he had the Blessed Sacrament moved inside the church, front and center.  Much better.)

Just a few years ago, St. Mary's built a brand-new facility.  It's beautiful.  THIS is what a Catholic Church should look like.

While I was walking around taking photos after Mass, a lady came up to me and gave me her email and asked if I would take some pictures of the baptismal font, because she was in charge of the Easter decorations and wanted to have some photos she could use when planning for next year.  I guess it's time I sent them to her...

Happy Ascension Sunday!  Now get thee to church!

Friday, May 11, 2012

7 Quick Takes, Volume 45

Sometimes the life of a "hobby blogger" get so busy that suddenly you realize it's been a month since you've posted anything. 


 I have a friend whose name is Kathryn, who sadly I don't see very often anymore since our kids no longer attend school together. Her youngest daughter, Beth, suffered from a rare disorder called Pearson's Syndrome, and last Friday Beth went to Heaven. She was four years old. Please, please, keep Kathryn and her family in your prayers.


My camera has been in the shop for three weeks.  I had taken some photos at work of a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd lesson, as well as some artsy shots in the alley behind the school that is a popular location for photo shoots since it's quite urban-looking.  (One employee at the church called it "ghetto," and I suppose that could describe it, although I don't like using that term because of its negative connotations.) 


You may think they look just fine, except here's the real story:

I don't know where that ugly black line comes from; and sure, I can edit it out, but the worst part is that even when the flash goes off the indoor shots are way too dark.  I took it to the camera store and the guy behind the counter was baffled.  He told me he'd have co-worker who according to him knew more about this type of camera take a look at it, and if she couldn't pinpoint the problem they'd send it off to be repaired.  Needless to say they sent it to the great unknown, and I still don't have it back.  


Around this time of year I often have a bit of an identity crisis, pondering and questioning what God wants me to do with the rest of my life.  Do I continue working, eventually going back full time?  Do I go back to be a stay-at-home Mom and plunge myself into housework and school volunteering, and maybe some serious pro-life work?  Do I take another route entirely, maybe looking into selling some of my photography, or becoming a consultant for Pampered Chef or Southern Living at Home or some such business?

Well, yesterday I officially decided to keep working as an assistant at the Montessori preschool for at least another year.  I will be working more hours, which means less free time; and it also means I'll really need to come up with a good time-management system so I'll be able to keep doing all those "extra" things I need and want to do, like blogging and cleaning the house and grocery shopping and cooking and volunteering and being involved in the kids' school activities.  And I need to exercise regularly and eat better so I'll have the energy to do all those things.  Will this lead me to eventually getting my Montessori and/or Catechesis of the Good Shepherd certification?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  Pray for me!


Last weekend was dubbed "Weekend of Drama," because the boys were all involved in plays at their schools.  Curly and Moe performed in Sleeping Beauty, acting as the Evil Queen's Goons.  They and two of their friends served as the comic relief of the show, and they got to wear crazy makeup and run around and wave inflatable clubs and act goofy.  Moe developed a fever last Thursday and ended up missing one of the shows, but by Friday night he was good to go.  With my camera still out of commission I only took a few photos with my phone.  Here are Curly and Moe with their Goon faces.


Larry's big Shakespeare debut was this past weekend as well.  He was brilliant as Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  It had a '50s theme; the kids wore 1950's style clothing and they played '50s music.  Larry got to be the greaser type, a la Danny Zuko and The Fonz.  My parents came to see the show on Saturday:

Maybe he'll get to do Grease someday.


My blogging goal for this weekend is to put up another post for my "Get Thee to the Church" series, and update my other blog, Cooking Nick's Books.  Fortunately I already have the photos for them, taken before my camera went belly-up.  And I might just contact the camera store again to see if they can call the place they sent it off to, maybe get them to hurry up already and fix the darn thing.  (And my other goal?  Some serious housecleaning; especially a certain two bathrooms that are badly in need of attention.  And to give my dog a long-overdue bath.)

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and visit Hallie Lord's blog for more Quick Takes!  (And keep this young man and his family in your prayers as well.  Jenn Fulwiler is taking a blogging break after witnessing his fatal motorcycle accident.  Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.)


OH, and I almost forgot!  Our diocesan newspaper published a great article this week about Catholic Montessori schools and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  Check it out!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Bookmark and Share