Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Two six year old boys. They played Allegro as a duet and almost ran up to the stage to play the final group pieces!"how'd the concert go L.?" said Dad on his return home from work."GREAT! but next year I should be able to play a book two piece and possibly I may decide to play on my own."!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


"In making a myth, in practicing 'mythopoeia,' and peopling the world with elves and dragons and goblins, a story-teller .. is actually fulfilling God's purpose, and reflecting a splintered fragment of the true light." J.R.R. Tolkien
We have finished listening to Prince Caspian on audio tape. I love this description of celebration after a battle.
Then Bacchus and Silenus and the Maenads began a dance, far wilder than the dance of the trees; not merely a dance for fun and beauty(though it was that too) but a magic dance of plenty, and when their hands touched and where their feet fell, the feast came into existence--- sides of roasted meat that filled the grove with delicious smell, and wheaten cakes and oaten cakes, honey and many coloured sugars and cream as thick as porridge and as smooth as still water, peaches, nectarines, pomengranates, pears, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, pyramids and cataracts of fruit. Then in great wooden cups and bowls and mazers, wreathed with ivy, came the wines…..Then Aslan feasted the Narnians till long after the sunset had died away, and the stars had come out; ….The best thing of all about this feast was that there was no breaking up or going away, but as the talk grew quieter and slower, one after another would begin to nod and finally drop off to sleep with feet towards the fire and good friends on either side, till at last there was silence around the circle…But all night Aslan and the moon gazed upon each other with joyful and unblinking eyes.
It is quite timely as I have been thinking a lot on fairy tales and fables and their importance in the development of a culture. Dh told us this story at the dinner table.
Once a dying man was told by a western doctor, after many invasive tests that he'd had a heart attack and was going to die. But the family were not reconciled to the news and so they called in a Chinese physician. When he came all he did was hold the patients hand for a long time. Then finally he told a beautiful story about the man's life both in the past, where he was now and what he could expect in the future. The same facts as the western doctor were "included" in the sense that everyone knew the man would die but the story helped the family to accept and prepare so much better.
Man is not ultimately a liar. He may pervert his thoughts into lies, but he comes from God, and it is from God that he draws his ultimate ideals ... Not merely the abstract thoughts of man but also his imaginative inventions must originate with God, and in consequence reflect something of eternal truth.
So many Christians are frightened of the word magic. How sad when the word itself came into being through the Word. And if you think of the Supernatural what could be more “magical” than the good God thinking then speaking the world and all its parts into being. Then too as a Catholic surely to a child(and we are all called to have faith such as these)isn’t it magical that a small wafer turns into Christ himself. I can only marvel and kneel in wonder at this Supernatural Power. Of course there is “bad” magic just as evil really does exist but here’s the thing surely its how , what and why something is used for that is important not the thing itself. It puts me in mind a bit of those who decry garden gnomes because they say they are of the occult. Oh for the innocence of a child.
Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it Really happened: and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God's myth where the others are men's myths; i.e. the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of the poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call 'real things' ... namely, the actual incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection."(Tolkein)


We have been doing a lot of making lately. Dd made this dress for one of our “ancient” dolls. She designed it without a pattern and it was her first use of the sewing machine. I think she did a really good job.

Two other projects she made were quilts for dolls house beds. The squares are very tiny. It must have been a real test of patience!

And finally I decided to make a minature babushka pincushion for a friends birthday.

I also made her some chocolate fudge.

Here is our seasonal table in autumn/winter. Dd sewed the gnomes and ds6 + ds 10 found things to put on the table. The table is constantly changing as more treasures are found.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Assumption of Mary

For the feast of the assumption. We put our art work on our sky bulletin board beneath a rainbow with this beautiful poem.

The Angels Prepare the Assumption
By Thomas H. Cosgrove

We'll hew a highway through the skies
And pave it white with sheen
For pure must be the pathway
Where walks a stainless Queen.
We'll fuse the fairest rainbows
In one symphonic hue
And gaily tint the fabric
Of our Lady's avenue.
If Heaven's brightest beauties
Should dare her pathway bar
We'll cleave the sun in splinters
And shatter every star.
We'll drain the fresh new dawning
Of all its dewdrop spray
And with it soothe the roughness
That mars the maiden's way.
Then all the angel choirs
With anthems swelling sweet
Shall lead the lovely Lady
Along her spangled street.
A destiny of glory
This roadway shall complete
When at its end the Mother
And the Son of God shall meet.

We had this delicious salad with our main course:

Assumpta Salad:
8 medium-size ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 cup pitted black olives, drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup cubed feta cheese (I omit)

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together until thickened. Let stand for about 1 hour before using to steep the garlic.

For the salad, arrange tomato slices on 6 to 8 salad plates. Sprinkle the onion and olives among them. Sprinkle the herbs evenly, then add the cheese cubes in the middle of each dish.

Whisk vinaigrette just before serving and drizzle evenly over each plate. Serve immediately.

and we ate mixed berries with vanilla ice-cram for dessert.

Finally ds made these angels and Mary from beeswax. What he got out of this was so much more than the shaping and forming into recognizable models which he could have done more easily from sculpey if that was the only purpose of the activity. He found he really had to persevere with the beeswax even just to get it malleable but of course all the time he was doing this there was the beautiful soft smell of the wax to inhale.

Friday, August 03, 2007

She's been gone 1 week

Hard to believe its only been one week since Mel left for N.Z. Master 6 now says "I wish she didn't have to go." Two older siblings in two different countries.we all miss her but we are also pleased she was able to take this opportunity before study begins next semester.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

First week in Kansas

Here are some photos from Duncan as he starts his pre-novitiate in the US.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Apr. 17, 2007 - EASTER 2007

Apr. 17, 2007 - EASTER 2007

Easter 2007.

Wonderful memories! The seventh anniversary of us “coming Home” as a family!

Master 9 served at all the Holy Week services; even to carrying a torch at the Easter Vigil. I am so proud of the way ds(17) has trained him in serving; albeit the training began only 2 weeks before Holy Week!

Master 9 put up ALL of our vine Lenten devotions” add-ons”.(On Holy Saturday the vine is decorated with flowers, caterpillars, butterflies and the like).

Master 5 rang in Easter Sunday by ringing the Alleluia bell.(master 9 not so happy about this as ds + dd in teens had stipulated after a late night with the Easter Vigil they did not one of the littles ringing the bell before 8am!...but said Master 5”I can’t tell the time yet”).

Grandma was with us for all of Holy Week and has just gone home today. What a treasure for the children to see their grandmother whenever she had a free moment “fingering her beads”.

Ds(17)presented me with a beautiful monogrammed egg he had decorated on my birthday.(even down to the crack he had sp painstakingly mended just hours before when it crashed from his desk to the floor it was perfect!

Dd(15) prepared and cooked beautiful treats for our family including magnificent “hot cross buns”. She decorated beautiful eggs including an egg tree.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


During lent we put up a bare grapevine.

Each day as the children see someone doing some good deed they put up a leaf. The idea is to look outside themselves and focus on the good in others; the small things that people do that really do make a difference. The last two weeks of lent are for adding grapes (big sacrifices we make). Then on Holy Thursday we add all kinds of insects, butterflies and caterpillars are great favorites. Finally after the Easter Vigil the children come home to find the centre of the mural torn to reveal a picture of the Risen Christ with usually a family gift to us all to share(eg big block of chocolate) This is last years mural

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Our Station Cross

During Lent we are trying to add to what we do. We want the children to focus on what they are doing rather than thinking about what is not happening. I like what my friend Anna’s mother says in her beautiful Italian accent” It’s not what goes into the mouth that we should worry about but what comes out of it!”

One thing that we can bring out of our mouth while we are laying them up in our hearts is prayer. Every evening since Ash Wednesday we have lit our purple tea-light cross. Each night we light one candle less.

There are forty candles in all. By Good Friday we are hoping this will be a very visual memory for us all of a world without the Christ light in it. When we have lit all the candles for that night we pray one station and one sorrowful mystery of the rosary. Then we snuff out all the candles and leave our prayer space quietly.