Perhaps your little girls would like a Nun Peg Doll; choose from Carmelite, Benedictine or Dominican. As you can see, the Benedictine wears a sunhat when she does a bit of outdoor work on the monastery grounds.
These new Animals of North America cubes can be used for natural history studies, storytelling, playtime, or nature table decor. They feature all kinds of animals native to North America, all handpainted in detail on hardwood cubes.
Josiah's hand turned Wood Hair Sticks in a variety of wood types make a lovely, practical gift for all the long-haired ladies, young and old, in your life. I use one just about every day to keep my hair up.
He also makes Wood Shawl Pins to keep your hand knit shawls and scarves in place. These are very reasonably priced and tend to sell like hotcakes.
Once again we are happy to share a printable Lenten calendar illustrated by Lydia Grace. This year's calendar features a pelican, along with the traditional border of thorns. Note St. Joseph's day falls on a Sunday this year, so the celebration of the feast will be transferred to Monday the 20th.
The children can color a space a day to keep track of our progress through Lent. Purple can be used for the regular days, and the matching liturgical color for feast days if you like. Colored pencils work nicely for coloring the detailed pictures. The calendar serves as an encouraging visual for young and old as we journey through the season. Thank you once again to Lydia for illustrating another calendar.
Catching up with some book posts from the last few weeks. 'Saturday Stacks' are my attempt to capture what everyone is reading at a particular time each week, but does not represent all the books that have been read or that people are currently reading.
Book stack, week two - January 15. On the bottom there is Albert Marrin's Sitting Bull and His World. Lydia received this for Christmas, as we usually like Marrin's work and she has a liking for things of the old west. She liked it better than Russell Freedman's The Life and Death of Crazy Horse, though she reckoned this one had a great deal of chopping up of things (starting with buffalo to desensitize you and progressing to fellow humans). Freedman's book focuses on mainly Crazy Horse, while Marrin's presents a more extensive overview of the times and shows more of both sides of the story. Also of note is a photograph of Sitting Bull with his children and his mother, and unusual portrayal of him.
In October of 1933, before his consecration as bishop, to fulfill the requirements of the concordat between the Catholic Church and the German government, Clemens August von Galen swore an oath of loyalty to the state in the presence of Herman Goering: "In the dutiful care for the good and the interests of the German State, I will, in performing the office entrusted to me, seek to ward off any dangers that could threaten it." Contrary to what you might think, Bishop Von Galen would proudly cite this oath to those who would complain of his actions, saying: "When people would seek to shake the inherited Christian faith of our People, that, in my most holy most inward conviction, is the greatest danger that could threaten the German State."
As soon as Jonathan finished reading it he lent it to a friend, so the rest of us have to wait a while to get our hands on it. Must be good.
My husband is continuing in the third volume of Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. He is very disciplined and won't read anything else until he finishes the set. Mary Rose continues in Finding a Hidden Church, regarding the persecution of the Greek (Byzantine) Catholic Church by the Communists in the former Soviet Union. The Catholics were forced to convert to Orthodoxy or face persecution, oft times unto death, while their churches and monasteries and convents were confiscated and given over to the Orthodox. I hope I am next in line to read it after her.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys is the best-selling novel of a Lithuanian teenage girl captured by the Russian Communists and sent to a work camp in Siberia. I admit I had a little trouble 'getting into' the book as we are accustomed to reading non-fiction and hearing the true stories of those who have survived the horrors of the World War II era. My brain was inadvertently yet constantly comparing it to The Hiding Place, particularly the train transport of prisoners at the beginning of the book, although it's not quite fair comparing fiction to reality. It's a decent read, and I'm very glad it was written and has done so well, introducing the subject matter to a generation of young people who might not otherwise read about this time in history. Much attention is given to the Nazi Holocaust and so little to the far more widespread genocide perpetrated by the Soviets, so the book tells a very important narrative. I suppose the book fell a bit flat for me as the girl's faith, while occasionally mentioned, is so inconsequential. I tend to think that if you had a weak faith it could very well be obliterated by the sufferings of war and imprisonment, or it could be strengthened into the bedrock that enabled you to persevere in the wake of such pain and evil. But to have faith that is just mentioned as an aside, a Christmas-and-Easter sort of cultural nicety even in the midst of a Siberian work camp doesn't seem to hold water for me. I also am not used to books targeted at a young adult audience, so that aspect made it feel a bit simplistic and contrived to me as well. There are maps included in the front of the book but they are 'not meant to accurately represent all country borders or locations.' So all in all I thought it was definitely worth reading, but not sure how it got to be a NYT Bestseller. (Although maybe that's just me, as I don't understand how the Nobel prize in literature is awarded either...) I tried to find a copy of the memoirs used by the author as one of her reference books, but alas even interlibrary loan failed me there. The author interview at the end of my copy was interesting, but I wish I could just read the actual stories she compiled while interviewing survivors and doing research for the book.
Michael is now on the the fourth volume of Churchill - The Great Democracies. Mary Rose is reading Fingal's Quest by Madeline Polland about Irish monks in the sixth century, to go along with her history studies. She's the one reading The Hobbit in there as well.
Jonathan is reading 1917: Red Banners, White Mantle by Warren Carroll The point of the book is to emphasize, describe, and give the context of the year 1917, in which there happened simultaneously the Communist takeover of Russia and the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. Written in 1981, the book has an interesting perspective in that at the time, Soviet Russia was still going strong with no end in sight. Also, there is mention of a secret told to one of the children in the apparitions, but there is no hint of the controversies that are now so common regarding this.
Kateri is enjoying a lovely vintage Alice in Wonderland she received for Christmas, from about 1900 with classic illustrations by John Tenniel. Eliza is dabbling in the dearly loved The Middle Moffat. I am just now returning to George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss after taking a break from it over the holidays.
It is that time of year when we mourn the 44 year old legalized culture of death in this country. Leila has posted some thoughts on this matter, namely that
"the remedy for the great pain and evil we are suffering as a nation is this sacred covenant given by God, on which all society is based, for the very sake of the child. It’s God’s plan. There is no other plan."
And secondly, please note that a 54 Day Rosary Novena begins tomorrow that will end on the vigil of the feast of St. Joseph, patron of fathers and of the domestic church- the family. Chari and Willa have posted some information on this novena, and you can sign up to receive daily reminders to pray. The novena consists of praying a five decade rosary in petition for 27 days (three novenas), followed by 27 days of praying in thanksgiving. We will be praying and asking St. Joseph's intercession especially for husbands and fathers, marriages and the family.
Here's a peek at what everyone in the house is reading right now. Not all the books we're reading, of course, but a stack.
The stately volume on the bottom is one of Milton's Poetical Works, in which Jonathan is reading Paradise Lost. It's a lovely facsimile edition of the 1674 text, and he greatly enjoys the antiquated spellings and typography, with copious notes on the text. It's borrowed from the college library, where it was a gift from the class of ‘23 (!). That link is to an exorbitantly priced set, but it has some photos so you can see the beauty of the text. Jonathan notes that he was inclined to read Milton after reading Hilaire Belloc’s book on the same. A quote from Belloc:
A man having read Paradise Lost as it should be read, from beginning to end; a man having had the sense not to interrupt that reading by the reading of other fiction, history or verse; a man having taken it as a great meal (it is a meal that will take him a day or two), does find that he is nourished. He has continually regarded the sublime, and he has followed a slow but living sequence which leaves his mind furnished with an air of satisfaction; he has been filled with sufficient beauty and dignity. Throughout all those thousands upon thousands of lines you feel the fashioner at work, you are dealing with something made and with its maker; you are in communion with an achieved, creative effort of the human mind.
Next up is The Age of Revolution, the third volume Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples which my husband is reading. He reports that he is now slightly less confused about British history than he was previously. Also, there were lots of world wars before the World Wars.
Hot Water was a Christmas gift for Josiah. I somehow have been remiss in not giving him any Wodehouse before in his life. He promptly offered his deep and profound remarks on the book: 'Got any more?' I actually took the picture on Saturday - I think he's reading Laughing Gas now. Incidentally Leila recently linked to an article in the New Yorker, and here are her own thoughts on the Inimitable P.G. Wodehouse.
I set aside some other books during the holidays and picked up in the middle of Gladys Taber's Stillmeadow Daybook where I had left off some months ago. I enjoy reading her simple, straightforward prose on all the ins and outs, peace and perplexities of everyday country life. You never know if the next paragraph will bring you more antics of the cocker spaniels and the joys of strawberry shortcakes for supper or musings on the necessity of poetry or how it is that man brings himself to go to war. A taste:
Having been raised with poetry, I am astounded at the lack of it in young people nowadays. Although we began in school reciting “The snow had begun in the gloaming-and bus-ily all the night-“ and went on to “Lars Porsena of Clusium by the nine Gods he swore,” still we did learn that words went in form and pattern sometimes. But recently a young man asked me, “just what is a sonnet anyway?”
“A sonnet is a moment’s monument,” said I, quoting Rossetti rapidly, “Memorial to the soul’s eternity” –and then I wondered -is that Rossetti and then I saw the blank stare on my listener’s face and I sat down and folded my hands and said meekly, “a sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines, and it has to be fourteen lines, and it has a definite rhyme scheme, either English or Italian- Now the Elizabethan-” But he wasn’t listening anymore. Quatrains and sestets meant nothing to him, he was pulling a bur out of the Irish ear nearest him, and I thought, well, that is practical and constructive anyway and Dante is still Dante and Shakespeare is still Shakespeare and always someone-as long as we are on this odd little planet-someone will read “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, I all alone bewail my outcast state.” Or “Life has no friend; her converts late or soon, Slide back to feed the dragon with the moon.”
The sky is wonderful in July….
Lydia is reading The Alley, an Eleanor Estes that we had never read. I gave it to her for Christmas, as she is so fond of Janey Moffat and the like. Melancholic child heroines and all. She is finding it delightfully amusing, although the 'modern' setting is slightly alarming at times. Being so accustomed to the Pyes and Moffats, that is. Illustrations by the illustrious Edward Ardizzone of the small feet.
Mary Rose is dabbling in The Pink Fairy Book. She's also just started Finding a Hidden Church, 'The wondrous tale of the underground life and revival of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church in the former Soviet Union.' The brutal persecution of the Catholics at the hands of the Communists is relatively little known and little discussed. I am very much looking forward to reading this too.
We didn't seem to fit in my usual seasonal read aloud of A Christmas Carol so Kateri is reading it herself. Can't let a Christmas go by without the Dickens. As noted in the title, I snapped the stack picture on Saturday. Today she's on to Hilda van Stockum's delightful A Day on Skates, the perfect book to read with cocoa and a candy cane at hand.
Up at the top of the stack are Christmas with Anne, a collection of seasonal stories which Eliza is currently reading, and Chronicles of Avonlea, an L.M. Montgomery I gave Anna for Christmas as we didn't previously have it.
Bonus book: One of our current read alouds is The Thirteen Days of Christmas by Jenny Overton. I read this myself for the first time last year and knew it would be great fun to do aloud one year. Set in an English town in some quaint and distant past, it's the tale of a young man's gallant attempts to woo his desired fair maiden. Francis is sincere but not romantic enough for the starry eyed Annaple until he gets some tips from her siblings and really puts his mind (and plentiful wealth) to it. The story starts on St. Nicholas Day and follows the twelve days of Christmas along with charming traditions, customs and carols, some real and some fictional, sprinkled throughout. The wonderful pictures are by Shirley Hughes, one of our most favorite children's book illustrators of all time. It's a perfectly cheery little book for the season.
Remember, O Christian soul, that thou hast this day, and every day of thy life: God to glorify - Jesus to imitate - The Angels and Saints to invoke - A soul to save - A body to mortify - Sins to expiate - Virtues to acquire - Hell to avoid - Heaven to gain - Eternity to prepare for - Time to profit by - Neighbors to edify - The world to despise - Devils to combat - Passions to subdue - Death perhaps to suffer - Judgment to undergo.
Thanks for stopping by! My name is Kimberlee. I am a Catholic homeschooling mother of seven children ages 10 - adult. This is my place to share all these things I treasure, and ponder in my heart.
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