17 May 2011

St. Isidore the Farmer

The bulk of this entry was originally posted on May 15, 2008, but I feel it bears repeating.   Life is busy, so this post is a bit late, but better late that never!

St. Isidore, the Farmer
Sunday was the Feast of St Isidore the Farmer -- what a great Saint to emulate. He didn't do anything grand, fantastic, or even all that notable. He was just an  honest, hard working man who loved God above all else. The legend surrounding him tell how he would go to Mass each morning before he began his work in the fields. One morning he was running late and the other farm hands were angry. When they went to fields to confront him, he was working away, surrounded by angelic helpers.

St Isidore is a special Saint to our family because my grandfather was not only named Isidore, but he was also a farmer. I always imagine St. Izzy plowing the fields with mules as my grandpa once did, although I am sure farming in twelfth century Spain was much different than early twentieth century America!

Another great legend surrounding St. Isidore is that one day he was returning from the fields with sacks of corn. He looked up into a tree to find hungry birds unable to find food. Having pity on the poor birds, he poured out a bag of corn for them. When he returned to the other farm hands, they were astonished to find that the corn bags were entirely filled and when ground, the corn produced twice as much meal as the rest.

And here is a photo of my other favorite Izzy, pitching horseshoes on his farm. My sources tell me that it was taken in the late 1950's.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

God, through the intercession of St. Isidore, the holy Farmer, grant that we may overcome all feelings of pride. May we always serve You with that humility which pleases You, through his merits and example.

And lastly, our other favorite Izzy.  Isn't she cute?

16 May 2011

And Now We Are FIVE

(Brand-new baby boy!)
Oh Sweet, Mischievous Middle Child.

 (Age 1)
You Have Brought Laughs From The Very Start

 (On his Second Birthday)
 Always a Little Man,

Always a Little Monkey!

 (Summer, Age 3, At Oompa's Riverfest)
With a Grin That Lights Up a Room

And an Always-Goofy Attitude

(On His 4th Birthday)
Bringing Laughs to the Everyday

 (Welcoming a New Baby Sister!)
And Gaining Joy From Every Moment 

Happy, Happy Birthday, Fifth Birthday PeterXavier!
We Love You!

12 May 2011

Beauty of Nature

Last night, I noticed a Mourning Dove nesting on the pillar of our porch.  It was amazing how she sat perfectly still on her nest.  I wondered at the time if there were any eggs, but I didn't get close enough to check.

This morning, when we went to check, we noticed her baby with her!  So sweet!  After some research, we have decided that the baby must be a few days old.  Her feathers are to thick for her to be brand new.

We spend a fair amount of time on this porch, so I am shocked that this sweet bird was up there with her egg for so long unnoticed!  It will be fun to watch the baby grow!

08 May 2011

Mother's Day

Happy, Happy Mother's Day, particularly to my own mother!

We had a lovely picnic at a park this evening and, typical, I got zero pictures of my mother!  She's probably pleased with that (she shouldn't be).

But I got a few shots of her favorite people, so that's the consolation.

Greta stayed for the party because of the great food.  She and her Uncle Andrew get along pretty well.

Since my mom dodged the camera, I'll leave you with this pic of my dad.

The most important person on earth is a mother. She can't claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral: a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body. God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation. What...is more glorious than this: to be a mother?~Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty

07 May 2011

Flowers of the Fairest

May is the month of Our Lady and our parish started the month out with a lovely May Crowning and Eucharistic Procession.

Taking Jesus into the streets is always a highlight.

Flowers for Our Mother.

Little boys are excited to give Mary flowers, but remain completely incapable of smiling (sanely) for the camera.

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04 May 2011

Hot Wax, Vats of Dye, and Many Small Children

I hope that someday my children fondly recall "Remember that crazy time Mama decided to  . . . " as opposed to just thinking I was boring or just plain nuts.

Anyway.  Last week, my brother and his family were visiting and my newest niece wore this cute onsie that said "My Midwives Love Me" and had a cute little design on the bum.  It was super cute and my sis-in-law commented that her midwife had "batiked" it.  Of course, this intriged me and I decided that I had to try my hand at it.

So I ordered supplies from Dharma Trading Company, got a stack of tshirts from Goodwill, and convinced my sister to join me!

It was a little messy and took some time to get the hang of it (ok, maybe I never actually got the hang of it), but it was really fun and pretty easy!  My lack of artistic ability showed, but somehow the free form mess I made looked ok in the end.

The basic concept of batik is to draw on the fabric in wax and then dye the fabric.  The wax acts as a resist so that where there is wax, there is no dye.  Once the wax is removed, the design shows through.

For some reason, some of my colors turned out a little funky after I washed them.  It was interesting that despite the fact that we only used two dye colors, all of the shirts came out completely different.

Most of them turned out cute, some (mine!) were a bit ugly, but overall it was a fun project.  And the kids were great!  No one got scalded with hot wax and no one spilled dye all over the house -- success!
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Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a single photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

I *think* I have taught myself to knit "in the round" with circular needles.  The true test will come when (if??) I ever finish this project I currently have on the needles.  It is an attempt at a dress for Isabella.  She has a knit sweater type dress which is adorable and I am trying to replicate it (sans pattern).  The yarn is a pretty cotton and mohair (? I think?) blend that I picked up at Goodwill a while back.  It is not the most fun to work with, but I am getting used to it.

As for reading, I picked up "Natural Dying" at the library and it is a fun little read.  I got it, mainly, for the information on Batik (that's another whole post!!), but the info about natural dyes are fascinating!  Someday!  Oh the many projects for someday :)

For more Yarn Alongs (or to add your own!) visit Ginny at Small Things.

03 May 2011

Winner Announcement!!

And the winner is . . . . 
Thanks to everyone who played along!  It was great fun.  And if you want to order a copy of the book, they are available through Amazon or at your local book retailer.
And just so no one leaves feeling the loser, here is a video of the author and the real life insanely cute (and my God-daughter!) Zita, singing "Whiskey in the Jar"