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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Joseph's Drawing


I took all the kids to see a new doctor a few weeks ago; I just wanted to get a primary care provider established. They evaluated Joseph for all sorts of things, including his ability to draw. He hadn't been willing to even try drawing until he started going to class and saw other kids his age drawing. So, about a week before his appointment, he actually did begin to draw a few things on his own.

At the office, the nurse asked him to draw a circle, a square, and then a stick-figure. She amended the last request, "Can you draw a picture of your mom?" He wrinkled his brow, and drew a sort-of smiley face. "Oh. It's not very good." He said quite pensively. The nurse asked him to draw arms, a body and legs. he did something of the sort and then said with a frown, "It looks like Humpty Dumpty." I just replied with a smile, "Well, Mama looks like Humpty Dumpty right now, too." The nurse and I laughed. I don't think Joseph really got it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Feast of St. Isaac Jogues


Today is not only my birthday, but two of my friends have little ones with birthdays today.  And two years ago today Zelie Martin was beatified--she is the mother of St. Therese. 

AND today is the feast day of an amazing American Saint, St. Isaac Jogues.  I didn't know anything about him until this day back in 2002, in San Marco in Florance, where Fr. Mastroeni gave a heart wrenching homily about this unbelievable saint.  I wish I could give you his sermon, but I don't have his words with which to move you.  I do have an article from New Advent which is very informative.  I am so blessed to share a birthday with two beautiful children, a Saint, and a Blessed. 

St. Isaac Jogues,  Pray for us! 

Blessed Zelie Martin,  Pray for us!

St. Isaac Jogues

French missionary, born at Orléans, France, 10 January, 1607; martyred at Ossernenon, in the present State of New York, 18 October, 1646. He was the first Catholic priest who ever came to Manhattan Island (New York). He entered the Society of Jesus in 1624 and, after having been professor of literature at Rouen, was sent as a missionary to Canada in 1636. He came out with Montmagny, the immediate successor of Champlain. From Quebec he went to the regions around the great lakes where the illustrious Father de Brébeuf and others were labouring. There he spent six years in constant danger. Though a daring missionary, his character was of the most practical nature, his purpose always being to fix his people in permanent habitations. He was with Garnier among the Petuns, and he and Raymbault penetrated as far as Sault Ste Marie, and "were the first missionaries", says Bancroft (VII, 790, London, 1853), "to preach the gospel a thousand miles in the interior, five years before John Eliot addressed the Indians six miles from Boston Harbour". There is little doubt that they were not only the first apostles but also the first white men to reach this outlet of Lake Superior. No documentary proof is adduced by the best-known historians that Nicholet, the discoverer of Lake Michigan, ever visited the Sault. Jogues proposed not only to convert the Indians of Lake Superior, but the Sioux who lived at the head waters of the Mississippi.

His plan was thwarted by his capture near Three Rivers returning from Quebec. He was taken prisoner on 3 August, 1642, and after being cruelly tortured was carried to the Indian village of Ossernenon, now Auriesville, on the Mohawk, about forty miles above the present city of Albany. There he remained for thirteen months in slavery, suffering apparently beyond the power of natural endurance. The Dutch Calvinists at Fort Orange (Albany) made constant efforts to free him, and at last, when he was about to be burnt to death, induced him to take refuge in a sailing vessel which carried him to New Amsterdam (New York). His description of the colony as it was at that time has since been incorporated in the Documentary History of the State. From New York he was sent; in mid-winter, across the ocean on a lugger of only fifty tons burden and after a voyage of two months, landed Christmas morning, 1643, on the coast of Brittany, in a state of absolute destitution. Thence he found his way to the nearest college of the Society. He was received with great honour at the court of the Queen Regent, the mother of Louis XIV, and was allowed by Pope Urban VII the very exceptional privilege of celebrating Mass, which the mutilated condition of his hands had made canonically impossible; several of his fingers having been eaten or burned off. He was called a martyr of Christ by the pontiff. No similar concession, up to that, is known to have been granted.

In early spring of 1644 he returned to Canada, and in 1646 was sent to negotiate peace with the Iroquois. He followed the same route over which he had been carried as a captive. It was on this occasion that he gave the name of Lake of the Blessed Sacrament to the body of water called by the Indians Horicon, now known as Lake George. He reached Ossernenon on 5 June, after a three weeks' journey from the St. Lawrence. He was well received by his former captors and the treaty of peace was made. He started for Quebec on 16 June and arrived there 3 July. He immediately asked to be sent back to the Iroquois as a missionary, but only after much hesitation his superiors acceded to his request. On 27 September he began his third and last journey to the Mohawk. In the interim sickness had broken out in the tribe and a blight had fallen on the crops. This double calamity was ascribed to Jogues whom the Indians always regarded as a sorcerer. They were determined to wreak vengence on him for the spell he had cast on the place, and warriors were sent out to capture him. The news of this change of sentiment spread rapidly, and though fully aware of the danger Jogues continued on his way to Ossernenon, though all the Hurons and others who were with him fled except Lalande. The Iroquois met him near Lake George, stripped him naked, slashed him with their knives, beat him and then led him to the village. On 18 October, 1646, when entering a cabin he was struck with a tomahawk and afterwards decapitated. The head was fixed on the Palisades and the body thrown into the Mohawk.

In view of his possible canonization a preliminary court was established in Quebec by the ecclesiastical authorities to receive testimony as to his sanctity and the cause of his death.

[Note: Isaac Jogues was canonized by Pope Pius XI on June 29, 1930, with seven other North American martyrs. Their collective feast day is October 19.]

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A child's representation of reality


Joseph likes to pretend that he is ordering food at a restaurant.  As much as we try to cut fast food or processed food out of our diet, he has definitely figured out how much fun it is to go "out" to eat.  Joseph to Aine while playing in the little kitchen:  "You have to stand behind the counter."  the counter is an up-side-down laundry basket.
Joseph: "What do you want?"
Aine: "Um, Milt (milk)."
Joseph: "Coffee?"
Aine: "Yeah."
Joseph: "sugar?"
Aine: "Yeah."
Joseph: "Okay, (mixing and banging sounds) here you go." a few seconds pass.  "Now it's your turn; you stand here.  Behind the counter.  BeHIND the counter!  NO!  BEHIND THE COUNTER! . . . There.  Now you say, 'what would you like."
Aine: "Um, coppee (coffee)."
Joseph:  "No, I want you to say, 'what would you like?"
Aine: "I did!"
Joseph: "No!  *UGG* Now it's my turn."  shuffling and pushing as Aine whines. "What would you like?" 
Aine: silence.  I can't see her, but I am sure she is sucking her thumb at this point.
Joseph: "Would you like coffee, with sugar, and a spoon and cream, in a cup?"
Aine: "yeah."
Joseph: "Okay!" Very cheerfully.

I think it is best to just let them work it out, as long as they aren't hurting each other. . . too badly.  ;)  How can you control a child when he is being controlling?  I think I just have to let them figure it out amongst themselves most of the time.  It is so hard not to intervene, but I think that just models the same behavior that I am trying stop in Joseph.  Hearing him repeat, more loudly and emphatically each time, "Behind the counter!" sounds just like ME when I am getting frustrated with him.  Sigh.  They are playing nicely again.  Now Joseph is serving her ice cream.  How sweet.  Henry doesn't really get it yet.  I hear Joseph saying, "Henry SIT!  Henry, you have to sit down!  Then we will have a nice treat of ice cream."  How many times a day do the kids here THAT?! 

"Henry SIT down!"
Henry!  Get down!"
No, Henry!  Sit down!"

When it comes to parenting, I think I am my own worst enemy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Waiting "Game"


I am very sorry to anyone who was hoping to say the St. Therese Novena along with me--I failed to post the rest of the Novena!  I had it, but I haven't had much time to be on the computer, so I didn't get anything posted.  I hope, at least, if you wanted to Novena, you followed the link to Jessica's blog, where I was getting the Novena, anyway. 

I also hate posting when there are no pictures to post because I know I like to see pictures when I am reading something online.  I have some, but they are very random. 

My due date is tomorrow.  I thought it was the 16th, but it actually tomorrow.  Either way, it doesn't mean much other than with the new due date of the 12th, we are more likely to have the baby this month, instead of next.  I have been over due with all three, so I don't expect this one to be any different.  But, no matter how much I prepare myself for being "late" the waiting game has begun! In fact, it began about two weeks ago, because, technically, we could have had a healthy, full-term baby at 38 weeks.  So, even though I KNOW we will be over due, I can't help but be ready to have a baby.  So, instead of waiting for the end for around two weeks, we could be waiting for 5 weeks (3 more weeks).  That is a REALLY LONG TIME to be waiting.  I am consoling myself with the realization that I have had big, healthy babies who all sleep and eat relatively well.  I haven't had a baby with colic or severe reflux.  My babies are all pretty easy, and I think part of that is due (excuse the pun, please) to the fact that my babies develop more before they make their grand entrance into the world.  I know that it is actually due to the mercy of God!!!  I have been very blessed thus far with beautiful, healthy children, so I should not be complaining that I have to wait a little bit longer to hold them in my arms. 

I don't think it would be as hard to wait, either, if strangers were not so tactless.  I don't mind people making a statement about me being pregnant.  I love it when I see people light up with they see my big tummy and little caravan of children.  But it is the comments like,"When is your due date?  Yesterday?"  Especially when I get that comment three weeks before the due date and it is followed by, "Your about to pop!"  Thank you, stranger, for stating the obvious.  How would they like it if I said something about like, "Oh, goodness!  When are you going to go shopping?  That shirt doesn't fit you at all!"  I would NEVER say something like that, no matter how annoyed or over due I am.  What is it about pregnancy that seems to give permission for anyone to say exactly what they think of you?  Comments like that about any other condition or appearance would be called harassment, I think.  The other part of it is that it's not just one or two comments.  It's like 15 everywhere I go.  I get really tired of explaining myself to strangers.  I should just not be so open, but I can't go away from from someone knowing I made them feel bad.  I know it is a weakness and sometimes disingenuous, but I can't help it.  I would rather be really annoyed than shut someone down and have them walk away from me saying to themselves, or worse, to someone else, "What a typical hormonal pregnant lady!"  Also, because I usually have the other kids with me, I really have an  obligation to present family life as the blessing it is.  If I am short with someone, they could think it is because I have too many kids.  Not that I don't get frustrated and tired because of the children, but I don't want to confirm bad stereo-types many people of mothers. 

Sorry to gripe so much!  Actually, all is very well here.  The kitchen has really come together.  We are waiting to do the trim until we put the new floor down.  And we are waiting to replace the knobs on the cabinets, so it isn't exactly how we want it yet, but it is fully functional and WONDERFUL!  We have gotten the dining room back in order after it being the storage space for all the extra kitchen stuff.  Oh!  We put two extra top cabinets in the mud room, so the cabinets all match.  It made everything flow very well and there is much more storage space, so nothing looks cluttered or makeshift anymore.  I vacuumed and cleaned the bathroom, too. The birthing supplies are all gathered and our room is (mostly) organized which hasn't been true since, well, um, maybe Henry's birth.  So, most things are falling into place. 

Okay, well I said I had a picture.  Here is a picture of Aine running around at the wedding reception we went to last weekend.  Craig doesn't have the photos from the wedding posted yet, but if you want to keep up with his work, check out http://spieringphotography.blogspot.com/.

So, we are waiting for the next Spiering to arrive.  Please pray that he or she comes safely, quietly, healthy, and soon.