Unplanned candids. My favorite kind of photograph.
Brain food. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but it can be a challenge to keep my brain from turning to mush during all the hours of laundry and cleaning and potty training. The discovery of podcasts a year or so ago completely changed my life (a great place to start is with any of the fantastic podcasts at sqpn.com). My current favorite, though, is The Tolkien Professor. You can find his feed in iTunes and he has a variety of series including recordings of classes he teaches at Washington College. Right now I'm listening to a series on the Lord of the Rings books (episodes labeled WC Tolkien Course, Sessions 22-40 in iTunes). They are totally nerdy, but also completely accessible to people like me who do not have a background in literature or literary analysis. Fascinating stuff.
Also, if you're interested in the upcoming Hobbit movies, check out Professor Olsen's series, The Riddles in the Dark. In these podcasts they discuss particular aspects of the book, The Hobbit, how they might be adapted to the big screen, and make predictions as to how these themes/characters/back stories may be portrayed in the movies. Lots of fun.
A local gem. I am frequently surprised by some of the simple, cheap family activities that surround us but are so often unknown. We recently visited a local orchard (persimmons are in season though we didn't pick any) where my kids had a blast playing on the playground and haystack, going on a long hayride, and just getting lots of sunshine and fresh air.
The highlight of the day, though, was the huge tire swing. You could hear my kids' screams and laughs echoing through the entire orchard. Fun times and good memories.
All that fun and we also supported a local, family owned business. It can't get any better than that!
Second time around. I picked up Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset again. I began the trilogy a number of years ago but somehow got distracted and stopped reading somewhere in the middle of the second book. I was enjoying it the first time around, but this time has been even better. I love stories that are both interesting and make me think and Sigrid Undset's medieval Norwegian novels definitely fit the bill. I was struck by this wonderful discussion between Kristin and Brother Edvin:
"... the Devil only [seems] big as long as we harbor fear within ourselves. But if a person seeks God with such earnestness and desire that he enters into His power, then the power of the Devil at once suffers such a great defeat that his instruments become small and impotent. "Brother Edvin continues:
"There is no one, Kristin, who does not love and fear God. But it's because our hearts are divided between love for God and fear of the Devil, and love for this world and this flesh, that we are miserable in life and death. For if a man knew no yearning for God and God's being, then he would thrive in Hell..."So much good food for thought.
Kids' Portraits 2012. Here are some of my favorites from this year's portrait session. I made some mistakes photographically speaking that I am forcing myself not to enumerate ad nauseum (even after 4 years of pursuing this hobby, I still have so much to learn!), but overall I'm pleased with the results.
Clara, age 2
Augustine, age 5
Elizabeth, age 8
Jonathan, age 10
Just ask. At our Mom's group at church we were recently discussing how difficult it can be to get to confession when you have young children. The times that confession is available can be inconvenient to young families and it's difficult to keep children quiet and entertained while their parents are receiving the sacrament. One of my fellow mom's then casually approached are associate pastor and asked if he would be willing to hear confession's during the meeting time of the Mom's group since we are already there on the church campus and our children are being cared for in the childcare ministry. Well, our priest enthusiastically supported the idea and was there to hear our confessions during our October meeting where at least two dozen moms received the sacrament of confession, some for the first time in more than a decade! He also committed himself to being available for confession during every one of our scheduled meetings for the rest of the year. It's amazing what can happen if we only ask!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!