Friday, December 9, 2011

The Ultimatum

Being Pro-Life During Advent

One of the news sites that I love to look at is called National Catholic Register.  We don't have an actual paper subscription to this great Catholic newspaper, but I try to take a look at the website about once a week.  Today, I was scanning the articles listed and saw under "Hot Topics" the title of an article called, "America, We Won't Go Away."  Well, to me, that sounds interesting and controversial, two things I like to see in an article.  So I clicked on it.  Here's just a little bit of the article.

"I’m sure you’ve seen us. We may have made you angry, or sad, or we may have made you turn quickly away and find something else to look at.
You may have seen us two days before Christmas outside the Planned Parenthood building. The old man with the rosary, the college kids in sweats, the sad-looking woman clutching brochures and an “I Regret My Abortion” sign — that was us.

Maybe you felt offended that we stuck abortion in your face as you rushed out to do last-minute shopping, cheered by Christmas songs on the radio. Well, we felt offended that the“clinic” was open that day. We wanted to enjoy ourselves, too.

We may have made you uncomfortable that day. We’re sorry for that. But we’ll be there again at the next town meeting, too. And the next. And the next.
We won’t go away, and we won’t stop talking about abortion. We won’t stop saying, again and again, that this is wrong, and it has to stop."
(Read more:

Wow.  Those are just the opening paragraphs!  I want to meet whoever wrote this, because it is amazing.  This article voices something that every pro-lifer has felt at some point in time.  I've gone to the March for Life for the past two years in a row (here's my article about it from this year: March for Life: Reviewing the Day) and it's a really interesting experience.

As the article points out, we don't exactly want to be standing outside, in the 30 degree weather, sometimes in the rain, holding signs.  We don't want to be yelled at, screamed at, or have profanities thrown at us.  We're not out there because it's our idea of a pleasant Tuesday morning!  We're out there, voicing our opinion, showing the truth, because it's the right-and only-thing to do.  And we're not planning on stopping anytime soon.

We're also learning courage and fortitude in the face of difficulty.  One of my great friends, Katherine Eames, goes once a month with a group of other adults and stands on the corner of one of downtown Seattle's busiest streets.  They're with a campaign called Show the Truth, and they stand with signs showing pictures of the effects of abortion.  The signs have huge pictures of aborted babies and sometimes have a pro-life message underneath.

People have gone up to them and screamed in ther faces.  People have thrown disgusting things at them.  People have shaken them by the shoulders while screaming at them.  They still refuse to leave and they continue to come back.  Why?  Because they enjoy the rage and fury that is shown to them? No.  Because they know that what they're doing is the right thing to do.  And they're doing because they know that if they don't speak up, then no one will.

We can't always count on others to speak up!  We can't always say, "That's awesome...but I could never hold those signs. I don't want to offend anyone."  A Protestant pastor named Martin Niemoller, who lived during the Holocaust, once said, "In Germany, first they came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.  Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. And then, they came for me.  And by that time, no one was left to speak up."

Silence doesn't make things go away.  Action does.  That's why we're fighting this battle.  We're fighting because if we don't fight, then our generation is going to fade away, one aborted child by one.  It's Advent, a time to prepare to celebrate Christ's birth. But soon after Advent we celebrate the Marytrdom of the Holy Innocents.  On that day, we should remember both those holy children who were slaughtered so long ago and those who are being killed today. May God have mercy on us and equip us with the weapons necessary to continue in this battle.

"We want to think we would have told the slave-sellers, “No way. Not here. I will use every legal means to stop you.” We like to think we wouldn’t have sat still in World War II Germany as the trains rumbled by. We wish we could have sat with Rosa Parks or prayed with Ruby Bridges on the way to school.

But we can’t do any of that. What we can do is remind you, America, in season and out of season, of the words you were founded on: “All men are endowed by their Creator with the right to life.”
So you’ll see us shivering in the cold again this January for the March for Life. And you’ll see us next January, and the January after that, and the January after that, until we wear you down at last and there’s no more reason to march.

And if we die before you change, America, we’ll be able to stand before God and say, “I defended the defenseless. I stood for the weak. My brothers and sisters couldn’t cry ‘Stop,’so I cried it for them. And I refused to go away.”

Sunday, December 4, 2011

You Are More

I just got my iPod touch fixed, so I've finally been able to listen to my iTunes music! :D I synced this song, You Are More, onto my iPod along with others. After hearing it a couple times, I remembered how much I love this song.

Tenth Avenue North has a lot of really insightful songs, but this one is a must-hear. This is my favorite of theirs because it tells a story that all of us have lived at some point. I'm not going to give much commentary because the song should stand on its own. (It's one of those songs that means something different for each individual.)

For me personally, I've gotten a lot of comfort out of these stanzas. It makes me want to run to the Sacrament of Confession and reconcile myself with God.

Go listen to it on iTunes or YouTube-you won't regret those 4 minutes.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Season of Advent

                                          Celebrating Advent 

I was at a speech tournament this Saturday and participated in a great speech event called extemporaneous. In this event, you are given three questions (international, domestic, and economic) pertaining to current events. Over the course of the year, you've pulled articles from major news sources like CNN and filed them away in a box or boxes. When you walk in the prep room, you're given your three questions, told to pick one, and then have 30 minutes to prepare a 7 minute speech on any given current event. Fun stuff. :)

One of the questions that a fellow competitor of mine got was "Black Friday becomes Black November, Christmas begins in July, have retailers gone too far?" All of the competitors in the room began grinning, thinking about how we would twist the speech. We all could relate to the question because it was so personal, especially around this time of year.

I'm sure I'm not the only one to have noticed that Christmas seems to begin earlier and earlier. As my wonderful Godmother and aunt adeptly pointed out, "Costco starts Christmas retail on July 21st, starting with the ribbon."
Starting Christmas celebrations so early is surely not natural and it takes away from the joy of the feast when it does arrive. That's why I believe it is important to celebrate the season of Advent before we celebrate Christmas.
Advent, when properly implemented, serves to make the season of Christmas all the more meaningful.
Today, I'm going to explain what Advent is, what our family does during Advent, and just how Advent makes Christmas more special.

Advent is a season of preparation that focuses on getting ready for the birth of Christ. It comes from the Latin word "adventus, i" which means "coming, arrival." The exact date for when Advent starts moves from year to year, but this year it started on November 27. Advent lasts for four weeks, from the First Sunday of Advent all the way until Christmas Day.
The importance of preparation is illustrated over and over again in the four Gospels, but one example is the parable of the ten virgins.
Matthew 25:1-13 "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchantsand buy some for yourselves.' While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!' But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.' Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day or the hour."
How does this relate to Christmas? We can't just let the great feast of Christmas jump upon us spiritually. Many people get ready for Christmas materially-buying presents, making cookies, and all the things that go into holiday preparation. But Advent focuses on not only getting ourselves ready for Christmas materially but also spiritually. Advent should be a time of prayer, fasting, and joy, so that when Christmas comes, we can celebrate with our hearts, homes, and souls ready for Christ.
So what exactly do we do during Advent? There are a couple of lovely customs that really make Advent special. One of these is the Advent wreath.

Our Advent wreath. We'll light the second purple candle tomorrow.
The Advent wreath is made up of five candles, three purple, one pink, and one white. Each of the candles symbolize something different and one is lit per week. On the first week of Advent, the first purple candle is lit, symbolizing the Patriarchs. On the second week of Advent, the second purple candle is lit, symbolizing the Prophets. On the third week of Advent, we light the pink candle. This candle is pink because the Third Sunday of Advent is called "Gaudete Sunday," because we have reached the middle of the Advent season. We are halfway to Jesus' birth. And the last purple candle is lit on the fourth week of Advent, symbolizing the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On Christmas Eve, we light the white candle, often called the Christ candle. The Advent wreath is a beautiful visual reminder of our wait for Christ's birth!

Another Advent custom is the "Christkindl." Our family has also implemented this tradition, and it has served not only to make Advent a fun season, but has also brought our family closer. Maria von Trapp explains it beautifully: "Once more the mother appears with the bowl, which she passes around. This time the pieces of paper contain the names of the members of the family and are neatly rolled up,
because the drawing has to be done in great secrecy. The person whose name one has drawn is now in one's special care. From this day until Christmas, one has to do as many little favors for him or her as one can. One has to provide at least one surprise every single day-but without ever being found out.
This creates a wonderful atmosphere of joyful suspense, kindness, and thoughtfulness. This new relationship is called "Christkindl" (Christ Child) in the old country, where children believe that the Christmas tree and the gifts under it are brought down by the Christ Child himself.

The beautiful thing about this particular custom is that the relationship is a reciprocal one. The person whose name I have drawn and who is under my care becomes for me the helpless little Christ Child in the manger; and as I am performing these many little acts of love and consideration for someone in the family I am really doing them for the Infant of Bethlehem, according to the word, "And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, recieveth me."

That is why this particular person turns into "my Christkindl." At the same time I am the "Christkindl" also for the one I am caring for because I want to imitate the Holy Child and render all those little services in the same spirit as He did in that samll house of Nazareth, when as a child He served His Mother and His foster father with a similar love and devotion. It is a lovely custom, which creates much of the true Christmas spirit and ought to be spread far and wide."

Some of the things that one might do for their Christkindl are making their bed, doing a household chore for them, or even writing (in disguised handwriting so you aren't found out ;) that you've prayed for them that day. On Christmas Eve, we find out who our Christkindl's were. This is probably one of my favorite parts of Advent, and it's a really easy tradition to implement!

And finally, there's the Jesse tree. This is an age-old tradition that's become more and more popular as the years pass. Here's how it works. Each day of Advent, we put a new ornament on our tree. (The tree itself can be a little sapling or a felt tree. Felt is what we use.) The ornaments, which are usually made out of felt as well, each represent a different Bible story. By the end, you'll have worked your way up through salvation history to the birth of Christ. It's a long, extended genealogy of Jesus, one day at a time.
Our Jesse tree is made of felt, so all the ornaments stick on pretty well.
We keep all the ornaments in the little box you see above the Jesse tree.
 We also just bought a new Advent book called The Jesse Tree. It's by Geraldine McCaughrean, and it dramatizes each Bible story to go with each Jesse tree ornament. The illustrations are great, and the story is really cute. I'd definitely recommend it, especially if you have a Jesse tree. Here's the link to where you can purchase it on Amazon: The Jesse Tree

There are a few things also that we hold off until Christmas Eve, to make that day and the day after more meaningful. This is the controversial part of Advent, but bear with me.
We hold off on putting up our Christmas tree until Christmas Eve. Yes, you read that right. Last year, we bought an artificial Christmas tree, and it works really well. On the morning of Christmas Eve, we bring out the tree and the ornaments and spend most of the morning decorating the tree.

We also wait to bring out our Christmas music until Christmas Eve. Think about this for a minute-why are we singing Joy to the World on December 1, when Jesus hasn't yet come? The lyrics go, "Joy to the world! the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king." It's still Advent-Jesus hasn't come yet.
Plus, holding off on Christmas music adds such a joyful dimension to Christmas Eve and Day. :D
So the next time you see Christmas trees in mid-August, remember that we have a season for that! The season of Advent, although you don't hear about it much, is still very important and brings so much joy to the Christmas season when it comes.
Next week, there are a lot of great feast days. St. Nicholas Day, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the week after, there's St. Lucy Day. I'll put some more posts up about how we celebrate those days too.
Have a blessed Advent! =)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Terinda's Room

When I last posted (in July!), Terinda's therapy room was in the middle of a major revamping.  We were trying to turn our garage into a carpeted therapy room, complete with swings, balls, and chairs. We conducted a free-will donation garage sale with the benefits all going toward this therapy room. God blessed us richly with over $2,000 being collected!  With that money, we've been able to stock the garage with a whole bunch of great stuff-let me take you on a virtual tour. =)
To the left, you'll see the carpeted ramp that we have instead of stairs.  We put that in when Terinda was crawling.  The white stick with blue footrest is called the AirPogo.  You can jump on it just like a pogo stick.  The black tube on top of the flat swing is called the 'boat swing.'
The garage can get REALLY cold, so this is one of our three heat lamps to keep everyone warm.

This is the ball tent.  We just got this tent last Sunday and it's a big hit!  We had a family over with their three little ones and all six toddlers, our three and their three, climbed right in and started throwing balls around. =)

Two trampolines, the 'frog swing' (a favorite with all three little girls...good lessons in sharing have come from that contraption ;), and red wrestling mats finish off the therapy room.
 Terinda's theraprist, Marylee Chamberlain, comes over every Wednesday for about an hour and works with Terinda.  Terinda is excelling in everything, and we are all amazed by the work that God is doing through her.
Mrs. Chamberlain just brought over some great headphones and an MP3 player that the school lets families borrow with a set of therapy music on it.  Terinda's really enjoying listening to that, and she had a great time doing puzzles and listening to her music on Friday afternoon.
Concentrating hard....

Thank you all so much for your continued support-our family is so blessed by your prayers and love!
It's great to be back blogging again...sorry for having taken such a long (but much-needed) break.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

This Is the Stuff

This is one of my all-time favorite songs. Francesca Batistelli has a fantastic voice and her songs are just so much fun! This song aptly describes how we all feel when we lose something or get a ticket (I haven't experienced that frustrating thing yet. =). But it also is a great reminder to just give it up and sacrifice our wants, needs, or frustrations to God.
 Look it up on the web, listen to the radio because it's on there all the time, get the MP3 download or buy it from iTunes, etc, etc.
So! Here it is.

I lost my keys,
In the great unknown,
And call me please,
'Cuz I can't find my phone.

This is the stuff that drives me crazy.
This is the stuff that's gettin' to me lately.
In the middle of my littleness,
I forget how big I'm blessed.
This is the stuff that gets under my skin.
But I've got to trust
You know exactly what you're doing!
Might not be the stuff I'd choose,
But this is the stuff you use.

Forty-five in a thirty-five.
Sirens and fines,
While I'm runnin' behind!

This is the stuff that drives me crazy.
This is the stuff, wiould someone save me?!
In the middle of my littleness,
I forget how big I'm blessed.
This is the stuff that gets under my skin.
But I've got to trust
You know exactly what you're doing!
Might not be the stuff I'd choose,
But this is the stuff you use.

So break me of impatience,
Conquer my frustrations,
I've got a new appreciation:
It's not the end of the world!
This is the stuff you use.

Isn't it great?
I will do a more extensive post on what last week was like for me soon.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Modesty in Dress: A Maiden's Perspective

Modesty.  It shouldn't be a hot topic but it certainly is in our modern society right now.  In this post, I'll be overviewing our famiy's views on modest clothing. I'll detail the journey that we went through to get to where we are now. Then I'll tell you what decisions our family has made about modest clothing and the reasoning behind  those decisions. And finally, I'll go into how we make it all work!

When I was a little girl, I knew what clothing items were appropriate and which clothes were not. Although I do not remember hearing the word 'modest' up until I was 9, almost 10, years old, appropriate/inappropriate were commonly used words in the Crosby house.
I remember clear as day the first time I really encountered an 'inappropriate' clothing item and thus had a valuable object lesson on the definitions of those two words. I was probably about seven years old at the time, and my mom and I were shopping at the mall. We were in JCPenney when I saw a really cute shirt that I wanted to try on. It was one of those shirts that has a striped tank and then over the tank there's a little jacket that sort of resembles a bolero. Except it's not as teeny as a bolero-it's like a little jacket that ties...right at the bust line.

Now remember, at the time that this story takes place, I was seven. So in one sense, a clothing item that drew attention to that part of my body was really not a big deal at that age. But in the other sense, it was still a big deal because regardless of age, no clothing should be purposefully drawing attention to that part of the body. This shirt was obviously doing so, and so my mom told me, "Cady, that shirt isn't appropriate, so we're not going to be buying it." She gently explained to me why it wasn't appropriate, but I remember that I wanted that shirt so badly. I reasoned and pleaded, but to no avail. My mom was adamant in her position. She said, "We can look for other pretty shirts, but that one's just not going to work." I realized that this point was not to be debated so I stopped arguing (which was basically what I was doing).

Fast forward three years.
A friend of ours who wore only skirts and dresses told my mom, "I have this really great book on modesty I want you to read! Can I give it to you to borrow? It was the book that convinced me to wear only skirts."
My mother made various excuses to get out of borrowing the book because she didn't particularly want to be convinced to wear only skirts. But eventually, she gave in and read the book.

We were on our way to church one morning when my mom broached the subject with me, 10 years old at the time. She told me that she had been reading a book called Dressing with Dignity, and she really wanted me to read the book. Of course, I said okay. But then my mom said, "I really think we should stop wearing pants."  I was not expecting that at all, and frankly, I didn't like it. I liked my jeans and I didn't see a reason to only wear skirts. So I asked, "Why do you say that?"  She told me, "In the book, there's a study that was conducted about women wearing pants, and what the study says, along with all of the other facts that are in the book, makes me really feel like we should stop wearing pants."

I said I would read the book, so I did. Written by Colleen Hammond, this book is eye-opening and shocking. It made me think about things I had never thought about before. By the way, this woman has had an inside look at the culture. Mrs. Hammond had been a cable network anchor, image consultant, actress, model, and beauty queen. But this research and her convictions made Mrs. Hammond turn away from her careers and become a wife, mother, writer, and speaker on modesty.

I had thought before that I was dressing modestly and that my clothes, pants included, were just fine. But this paragraph alone turned that whole idea upside down.
"Using newly developed technology, they [advertising agencies] tracked the path that a man's eyes take when looking at a woman in pants. They found that when a man looked at a woman in pants from the back, he looked directly at her bottom. When he looked at a woman wearing pants from the front, advertisers found that his eyes dropped directly to a woman's most private and intimate area. Not her face! Not her chest!" (Colleen Hammond, Dressing with Dignity, page 49)

That information is from a real, conducted study. Sorry, but this is not a conspiracy theory. Men's eyes do this, not neccessarily on purpose, when a woman is wearing pants. And I do not mean just skinnny jeans or skin-tight pants. Any pants attracts this reaction.

Just wearing skirts doesn't necessarily fix the problem. Short skirts, skirts with slits up the front and tight skirts can do the same thing.  If you want to get away from being a near occasion of sin to men, then wearing long skirts is what will do it. Short skirts (meaning skirts above the knees) do the exact same thing that pants do. Actually, I think that in many cases, it does worse damage. I've seen dresses and skirts that offend my sense of decorum, not just my sense of modesty. I can only imagine what this must do to guys.
Needless to say, that really made me look at things differently. Since guys are our brothers in Christ, we young ladies have a responsibility to dress in a way that will not be a near occasion of sin for them. I think that the above is definitely a near occasion of sin for them.

After lots of discussions, heart-to-hearts, and some thinking about how we would make this work practically, the ladies of our family did decide to wear only skirts/dresses. There are 3 basic myths when it comes to a woman wearing only skirts, and I will now cover those.
1) You can't clean a bathroom in a skirt. Yes, you can. I speak from experience. I actually don't even find it more difficult than cleaning a bathroom in pants. Sure, maybe you can't get into those frustrating areas quite as easily-but for the most part, a bathroom can be cleaned just fine in a skirt. Don't get me wrong now; I do NOT propose cleaning a bathroom or anything else for that matter in a flowery skirt and blouse. Actually, I wear a very casual T-shirt and sweat skirt. (Yes, I do have a sweat skirt! Sweat pants material but in a skirt! Value Village treasure...:)
2) Modest and frumpy are synonyms. I try to dress as modestly as I can so that I am not a near occasion of sin to my brothers in Christ. However, I don't need to dress in a sack to be modest! Honestly, I really think that this is one of the biggest fears that we young ladies have if we're preparing to make a change to only skirts. "What will people think of me?" Yes, I struggle with that too, especially if I'm in an area where EVERYONE is in pants or shorts, which is basically everywhere. But you can curtail that by dressing prettily while still wearing a skirt. Find denim skirts and basically any shirt will work with those.You'll look pretty, feel pretty, and be beautifully feminine.  One of the neat, unexpected benefits has been that I have NEVER felt underdressed for any event I have attended because of wearing skirts.
3) No one can find long skirts anymore, except maybe in costume stores. How about Value Village and Goodwill? I have had so much luck finding nice long skirts at Value Village especially. Yes, you have to separate the good from the bad (read: the long from the short), but the skirts are nice and they're cheap! Most of my skirts are from consignment stores. I can only think of three that are not.
So, how do I dress on a day-to-day basis? I have two denim skirts and two corduoroy skirts right now, along with about four or five summer skirts. Each day, I'll pick out one of these skirts and then just pick a nice blouse to go with it. For blouses, I wear a lot of polos, long sleeve or short sleeve. Sometimes I'll wear a shirt that's not collared but is long-sleeved, and those are nice too. I have quite a few cardigans and nice sweaters that I wear often too.

Ankle-high socks don't tend to look great with what I wear, so I've purchased multiple knee-high, white cotton socks to last me through the winter (and spring, and maybe summer! It just depends on how the weather is that year! ). These have worked really well and I'm so glad I found them. On Sundays, I wear something nicer, like a charcoal-colored skirt or black skirt, along with a dressy top. I have a couple tops in particular that I think of as just "Sunday clothes."

This is a great example of what we wear on a day-to-day basis.

By this time, you might be wondering if I am for some reason against wearing dresses, since I have not mentioned any being in my wardrobe. I am by no means against wearing long dresses! I would love to be able to wear them...however, it's very difficult for me to find long, pretty dresses that I would wear. All of my younger sisters do have dresses, but as of right now, I have zero dresses in my closet. My mom has very few as well. I know that some others have been able to find lovely dresses that work well for them, but the dresses I've looked at have either been too expensive or I just don't like them. That's my take on that.

So, what about nighttime wear? We don't wear pants to bed either. Instead, we've looked for long, pretty, feminine (but not revealing) nightgowns to wear. We've had some luck for the younger girls in our family, but Mommy and I haven't had found many nightgowns for various reasons. For instance, most of them are either too low-cut or too short. I've tried a couple of nightgowns and none of them have really worked. After having found that sweat-skirt I mentioned above, and another skirt that's almost the same, I just use these skirts and a casual T-shirt for night. That is just what works for us-do whatever works best for you and your family, your convictions.

Now, I also have speech and debate tournaments.The classic tournament attire for most are slacks and blazers, maybe an occasional skirt that is supposed to extend below the knee. Obviously, I do not wear slacks, so I needed to find a 'tournament skirt'-so basically a suit with a long skirt. That's quite hard to find nowadays. But my mom had unwavering faith in Value Village, so we went to take a look. I found just the skirt I needed for $7.00! And two blazers for $5.00 each! Actually, I just went to Value Village today too, and I found yet ANOTHER blazer that's perfectly gorgeous for $4.99. I am so delighted...=)
If you're wondering where to purchase long skirts, here are a few suggestions. I don't think I need to say it again, but I will. Thrift stores! They are absolutely wonderful, because you can often find long skirts for very cheap. But also, Fred Meyer's has had a lot of great options for summer skirts. Last summer, I got two skirts for my birthday and they were both from Freddy's. So it's worth going and taking a look.

I would absolutely recommend Colleen Hammond's book, Dressing with Dignity. This book is chock-full of information about the history of fashion and the how's/why's of modesty today. It's a fabulous book that is convicting and eye-opening.

After reading this post, you might be thinking that I do not have any temptations against modesty, I don't have any sins of vanity, that I am perfect, etc. Let me assure you...I do. We all have the same sinful nature, and to be honest, that is the most persuasive part of the arguement for wearing only skirts. All of us have a sinful nature, and we are all being called to bring each other to a higher level of holiness. And if wearing skirts  helps us achieve that goal, then I believe we ladies should at least be willing to consider making such a huge switch, even if it means sacrificing comfort and fashionablility.

Thank you so much for reading this post! Please feel free to comment and do know that I absolutely love it when anyone comments.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Titanic and Romans 8:35-37

Our family has been doing some research on the tragedy of the R.M.S. Titanic, the giant liner that sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in 1912. The battle cry when this great ship was sinking in the night of April 14 and eventually sank in the early morning of April 15 was "Women and children first!".  The bravery of the men on the Titanic was unbelievable, and nothing like Hollywood's 1997 version, directed by James Cameron. As we were reading, we stumbled across information about a Catholic priest on the Titanic by the name of Father Thomas Byles. It turns out that Fr. Byles, a convert from Anglicanism who lived in England, was asked by his brother William Byles (also a convert) to come officiate at his wedding. Fr. Byles left for New York by way of the Titanic. He was traveling in second class, and said his final Mass for those in second class and third class. The subject of his homily? The need for spiritual lifebelts (lifejackets) in case of spiritual shipwreck. No one knew then how ironic this homily would prove to be.
When Father learned that the ship was sinking, he immediately when down into steerage to wake people and to hear confessions. After this, he led them in a Rosary. Coming back onto deck, he helped many women and children into lifeboats, telling them that it would be all right, and that God had a plan through all of this. He was offered a seat on the lifeboat twice. He declined both times.
When the end was near, Father Byles offered general absolution. He led those on deck in prayer, to which Protestants, Jews, and Catholics responded alike. He went down with the ship, and his remains have never been found.
The story of this brave priest and the Titantic itself really has reminded me of my favorite verse in the Bible.
Romans 8:35,37-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persectuion, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This verse relates so poignantly for those on the R.M.S. Titanic. In those last hours, when those men and a few women knew that they were going to die, many clung to the hope that they would "Enter into the joys of the Lord." Nothing could separate them from the love of Christ. Not death, nor life, nor things to come, nor anything in creation! And nothing should separate us from His love either.
I will post soon about our toothbrushing routine, and how we keep order in the house while getting everything done! As always, please keep us in your prayers.
In XC,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Review: A Daughter of the Land

 Gene Stratton-Porter was a remarkable author. Her books are classic pieces of literature, and all of them have a very clear moral. I so enjoy reading books like this, where the main character actually has some sense of integrity and character and sticks with it. The main character is also human, however, and does make mistakes. All in all, Stratton-Porter's books are wonderful, and I have enjoyed each and every one I have read. The one I am going to review today, A Daughter of the Land, is no exception. While not my favorite Sratton-Porter (A Girl of the Limberlost gets that honor...will be reviewed in the future), it comes in a close second.
When Kate Bates is disowned by her father, she leaves home to go become a teacher and live the life she wants.  She boards at the Holt's boarding house and meets George Holt and his mother.  While it seems that Kate (the daughter) would be very happy living on her own, she is capable and does make quite a few bad choices, including the man she marries.  After a course of events, Kate agrees to marry George, a lazy good-for-nothing who wants Kate only for her money, and quickly realizes her mistake. When George finds that Kate is actually disowned and thus has inherited no money whatsoever, his interest in her is quickly extinguished.
George repeatedly neglects Kate, sometimes abusing her, and is a terrible role model for the twins, Adam and Polly. Kate has no way out of the situation and keeps on keeping on, even when everything is going terribly wrong. George tries to become a doctor, but when a man comes into his office and needs help, George does not take the proper steps to aid him. Instead, he gives him the wrong medication and ends up killing him. He is told to take down his sign of "Doctor" and proceeds to work in a mill instead.
 One late night, George becomes intoxicated and goes into the mill he owns, to try and do some work.  Unfortunately, he heats the fire much too hot, kills himself and burns the entire mill. Kate, Adam, and Polly move back to Kate's parents' home, where her father has died. Kate's mother takes her in again, and things go smoothly for Kate...for a while. The story has an interesting ending, one that you could see coming, but you still didn't expect it.
The author's main theme in this book is to show that even after one makes a huge mistake, you can either go back and fix it, or live out your mistake with confidence and endurance.  Kate does the latter, and it ends up fixing itself in the end. The book is written well, and keeps you always involved in the story.  The story by itself is great, but the way Stratton-Porter wrote it, using details and fluent words, really makes the book come alive.
Growing in Virtue: The big thing to be learned from this book, obviously, is the importance of choosing well the one you marry.
The pain that Kate goes through when she makes the decision to marry the wrong man is crystal clear in the book.  Stratton-Porter outlines very clearly how important it is to choose a good mate for yourself, and also to take a lot of time finding what his (or her) true character is.
Although this book is a work of fiction, I believe that the consequences of Kate's behavior is true for many people.  Thus, I would say that the book is true in part.  The part that is true is not the story, but the moral of the story instead. I really enjoyed this book, as I have enjoyed all of Stratton-Porter's works. I think that the lesson from this book for me and for lots of young ladies, is to carefully choose the man we marry.  It's a choice that cannot be backed out of, and thus merits lots of thought and preparation. Parents play a big part in this too. They should help young ladies and men of marriageable age discern:
1) What their calling really is. It might not even be married life! It could be single life or a religious vocation.
2) If their calling is marriage, then what qualities/criteria must a suitor have to even begin a courtship relationship? That was one of the things that led Kate into all of the trouble she got herself into. She took the first high-falutin' man that came her way instead of looking deeper into his life. The really interesting part was that she did NOT like George at first, and he didn't like her. But when he learned that she came from a wealthy family, he instantly changed his behavior and 'got the girl'.
Sadly, that same sort of thing, just not that exact scenario, is occurring today as well. Ladies and men are taking the first person that comes their way instead of discerning together if they could have a successful marriage with each other.
The Catechism has some great things to say about marriage. Here is just one of the many, many things it has to offer, "The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord rasied marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament." [emphasis mine] Christ instituted marriage so that both persons could lead each other to a deeper, more unique relationship with their Creator! That can't happen if you aren't married to the right one, and some serious discerment must be in place for that to happen.
Well, there is my take on A Daughter of the Land by Gene Stratton-Porter. It's a fabulous book that teaches a great lesson. And by the way, it was written in the early 1900's...there is nothing scandalous contained. Definitely a great read!
This Saturday is PACKED so I'm not seeing a blog post...but you never know. Maybe, maybe not, that's all I'm going to say.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another Blog???

Okay, I realize that all of you are thinking, "But she NEVER posts on this one! How can she expect to stay up on two blogs?" That's a very good question, and it deserves an answer. So here it is: there are two reasons. Number one, I'm creating a system for my blogs. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on my other blog, Saturdays and maybe Thursdays on this one. Number two, Benjamin's going to be working on my new blog with me. Yay! I will now have a partner in crime....just kidding.
Here's the new blog address:
The website that goes with this blog will be coming out soon, Lord willing!
I'll post on Saturday with another book review. I'm sure you're sick of all the books...but please bear with me. I shall have some new, much more interestings posts (both on here and on my new blog) very soon!
Do visit my new blog, become a follower or follow by email, and please, please, PLEASE comment, either on this blog or the new one. Also, please forward the web address to your friends, especially those with small children.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Reviews: Ivanhoe

I hope you liked the book review of Great Expectations I posted a while back. Today, I'm posting about another of my classic favorites: Ivanhoe.
When I was about seven years old, I read our abridged version of Ivanhoe for the first time. I disliked it, mostly because of the gore and blood that was involved. Thus, when I saw it on my eighth grade reading list…let’s just say that I could have been more excited. When I picked up the book, and began to read it, I didn’t expect too much.  But as I read, I became more and more intrigued with the story! In fact, I loved the story so much that I read the book for about forty-five minutes straight, and then had to put it down to do some other work.  By the end of three days, I had read the entire book cover-to-cover, and absolutely loved it! 
So, why did I like Ivanhoe so much? First of all, it had a fabulous storyline. It is during the ‘reign’ of John Lackland that Sir Walter Scott begins his novel.  Cedric, a Saxon lord, has disinherited his son, Wilfred of Ivanhoe and has taken guardianship of the beautiful and clever Rowena, a fair Saxon damsel.  Unbeknownst to Cedric, Rowena loves Ivanhoe, but tells no one this fact. When a merchant Jew named Isaac comes to John’s court, along with his dark-haired, attractive daughter Rebecca, Cedric learns that Ivanhoe has escaped from the battle in which the rightful king of England, Richard the Lion-hearted, was captured. Cedric dislikes this fact, but the lovely Rowena is joyful that her lover is safe, wherever he may be.
Cedric’s mind is taken off of Ivanhoe when, a few days later, a tournament is held at the fairgrounds. There, the usurping John sees for the first time the lovely Rebecca, daughter of the Jewish Isaac.  He is charmed by her beauty and wit, and vows to make her Queen-of-love-and-beauty during the tournament. However, his advisors quickly inform him that only the knight who wins the tournament may name the Queen-of-love-and-beauty.  John resigns himself to this fact, and waits for three days, until the last day of the tournament. When a knight in black armor, calling himself the Disinherited Knight, is proclaimed the winner, he promptly crowns Rowena-not Rebecca-the queen of the tournament.  As Rowena is placing the winning crown upon the knight’s head, the crowd shouts that he must take his helmet off. The Disinherited Knight begins to refuse, and finally must give in to the crowd's pleas. When the helmet is taken off, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe looks into Rowena's eyes, and promptly faints from a dangerous, open, bleeding wound in his side.

One thing leads to another and soon, Rowena, Rebecca, Ivanhoe, Isaac, and Cedric are locked in Maurice de Bracy’s tower, a leading knight in King John’s army.  De Bracy wants to marry the gorgeous Rowena, while Brian de Bois-Guilbert falls in love with the stunning Rebecca. Neither Rebecca nor Rowena want a marriage proposal from either of these men, and tell them so promptly. Nevertheless, Rebecca falls into the hands of Bois-Guilbert, and is in the process of refusing his proposal when news comes to the castle that Rebecca must be tried for witchcraft, as she is a Jew who learned medicine from a supposed Jewish witch. In the end, Rebecca must claim a knight to save her or else she dies by fire. Bois-Guilbert’s courage (or lack thereof) fails him, but Ivanhoe comes to save the young Jewish maiden, and succeeds in saving Rebecca, marrying Rowena, and gathering back his inheritance from Cedric.
Growing in Virtue (what is this? Go here to find out. It is in the lower part of the post.)
There are some really negative character traits in this book. There's a lot of anti-Semitism in here, but that's because of the time in which it was written. However, one of the big virtues that the reader is constantly brought back to is the virtue of fortitude. You see this the most in Isaac and Rebecca, the two Jewish characters in the book. Isaac, even in the face of fiery persecution, keeps standing up for his faith. He refuses to submit to the angry de Bracy and Bois-de-Guilbert, who, in his mind, are asking him to sin. Rebecca too shows great fortitude in refusing Bois-de-Guilbert's marriage proposal, and his constant pleas for her to convert.The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one; on the contrary, he wants to set us free from evil. We ask him not to allow us to take the way that leadsto sin. We are engaged in the battle "between flesh and spirit"; this petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength." This quote pertains perfectly to Ivanhoe! Isaac and Rebecca were fighting between flesh and spirit...and in the end, spirit won.
I hope you enjoy Ivanhoe as much as I did, and let me know what you think in the comments!
In XC,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How Will They Learn About Teamwork???

One of the questions my mom is often asked goes something like this.
"If your kids aren't involved in organized sports, how are they ever going to learn about teamwork?"
Our family is actually not anti-organized sports. My mom loved sports as a child, baseball, soccer, you name it, she did it. When Benjamin and I were little, we both were in kiddie baseball and soccer. Then when Benjamin got a little older, he was in tae-kwon-do for about two years and really enjoyed it. However, as God gave more and more kids to our family, life became more complex. Suddenly, it was harder to cart everyone into a practice, and stay there for 60 minutes or so, and try to organize around naps, feeding, and things like that.  Eventually, we decided to pull out of the sports, and do other things with our lives. But when people ask my mom, "What sports are your kids part of?" they're expecting her to say basketball, soccer, baseball, or a combination of all three. Instead, she says, "Oh, they actually aren't part of any sports." *Insert audible gasp and jaw-drop.*
"They're not part of ANY sports? Not any AT ALL? How on earth are they going to learn about teamwork?" Well, there's an interesting answer to that question. When you have 7 or more people in a family, you have a ready-made team right there! Our family has 8 people, which means that we have the perfect team in our own house 24/7. We learn about teamwork on an hourly basis! It makes our family draw closer together as a unit (aka team) when we work well together, and when we don't work together...we fail as a team, too.

Case in point. My job after dinner is to do the dishes. Doing the dishes, in the Crosby household, means rinse all the plates, load 'em all, start the dishwasher, and clean the counters with soapy water. Plus, we have these teflon frying pans and kettles that can't go in the dishwasher, so if we've used those for dinner preparation, those need to be cleaned in the soapy water too. All in all, the job takes about a half an hour, give or take a few minutes. The next morning, Sarah unloads the dishwasher which is her morning job.  We need an empty dishwasher so that after breakfast, the whole team can put their breakfast plate in and we can do a quick wipe up and get on to school.  After lunch dishes, we load and run the dishwasher again and then it must be unloaded before dinner dishes.  When everyone does their part, things go smoothly. 

The other evening, I did my dishes job, but got a bit sidetracked and failed to actually start the dishwasher. Oh, I loaded the soap and everything, but I just forgot to actually turn the dial to ON.  No big deal really right?  Well, just a little missed play you might say, it only impacts me..not really, not when you are a team.  One person's action impacts others on a team. 

The next morning Sarah came out to unload the dishwasher and said, "Cady, you didn't start the dishwasher last night." Case closed, right? Uh, no. When breakfast time came around, we had fried eggs, resulting in 7 plates that needed to be loaded into the dishwasher. Alas, the dishwasher that was so badly needed was temporarily out of commission, as it was running at the time.
Here's what would usually happen after breakfast. The night before, dishes are loaded and the dishwasher is run. The next morning, Sarah comes out and unloads the dishwasher, resulting in it being empty for breakfast. After breakfast is completed, everyone clears their plates, I rinse and load them, and wipe the counters off. Benjamin and Sarah do the floor and table, and we all are on school work quickly. Nobody is in trouble or stressed out, and at lunchtime, nobody is  irritated with one another, because nobody is getting in another person's way.
Here's what happened after breakfast, the other day, when I fell down on my job. Because the dishwasher was running at an odd time and the schedule was off, the little ones were mixed up. They just finished eating and left the table. That is definitely NOT what they are supposed to do, because even when the littlest people don't work together with the rest of the team, things pile up on others. Since they didn't clear, they got in trouble and I needed to clear and rinse their plates. The big kids did their jobs, but the whole breakfast cleanup took a lot longer because instead of just being able to load the plates in the dishwasher, I had to try to nicely stack the plates up in the sink.
Because of that, all the dishes needed to be loaded in a somewhat orderly fashion in the sink. Unfortunately, our sink is made in a truly stupid fashion, having one side be relatively large, and the other side quite tiny. So it really just doesn't work to try to 'stack plates in an orderly fashion.' That just isn't going to work. Of course, it didn't, which resulted in the sink being full to the brim with dirty dishes. Ick.
                   Before everyone cleared for breakfast. As you can see, there was already a full sink.
                            After everyone has cleared. It's all on the counter, and needed rinsed at that point.
                 That was after it was all 'organized.' Obviously, the sink is in need of a major cleanup still.

So after everything was in the sink, we proceeded on with our school day. However, I got back to school much later than I usually do because I had extra dishes duty. All this happened because I fell down on my responsibilty a team member. Yes, it may have been a small mistake in the course of life, but when you add everything up, it's pretty irritating.When we got back from church, it was time to make lunch. But at that point, we needed to unload a dishwasher! So I began unloading, which was irritating for Mama because then I was getting into her way as she tried to make lunch.
When the whole team works together everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, that's not what happened the other day, because just one person fell down on her duty as a team member. However, if everyone does work together (as happens relatively often...) no one is stressed out or mad at each other.
In the end, after we all worked together to get the dishes unloaded and then the other dishes loaded...everything worked out nicely! We had a nice, clean kitchen and a load off everyone's shoulders.
Ah, much better!
All that just goes to show that everybody needs to work as a team when you're in a big family. Otherwise, even if one person makes a silly, seemingly little mistake, it turns into a big problem for the rest of the day. 
Jesus said
A lesson on teamwork and we didn't have to take anyone to the ball field to get it! 
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor, for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he hath not another to help him up. And if one shall prevail against him, two shall withstand him, and a threefold cord is not easily broken." Ecclesiates 4:9-10,12 This verse from Ecclesiates pertains to teamwork. Two are better than one! It's much easier to work together, with someone else, then to work apart.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Tomorrow, a book review of Ivanhoe for you!
In XC,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Violin Musings

The other day when I was practicing my violin, I stopped looking at my music and watched my fingers. Since it was a minuet I've played often, I have it pretty much memorized. So as I was watching my fingers dance across the four strings of my violin, I thought of something. A violin is very much like a person's soul. How do I mean? Well, as I'm playing the violin, I can make something beautiful come out of it. When I move my elbow, my bow moves to a different string; when I move my fingers and bow together, a completely new sound is made. I have complete control over how the sound comes out.
Now relate that theory to your immortal soul. All of us can make something can make something beautiful come out of our soul. The way we talk, the way we act, the way we interact with others is all in our control. We can make the 'sound' that comes out of our soul be gorgeous.
But...when I play the violin, I can make ugly sounds come out of it too. Some people say that a violin can only sound pretty. Take my word for it-a violin can sound terrible! And I have complete control over whether or not it sounds beautiful or ugly. Again, let's take that metaphor over to the soul. We can make our soul 'sound' ugly, too. It all depends on what we choose to do.
Holy Week just started today, today being Palm Sunday. This is the perfect time to decide what you want to make your soul sound like. Do you want it to sound lovely...or not so lovely?
It's your choice....but I'd encourage the former. Just a suggestion.
In XC,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Stay-at-Home Daughters: Secret Weapon of Christianity

The lovely Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
This issue has been on my heart for about a month now, and I think He wants me to write a post about this. And that is the stay-at-home daughters movement.  I first heard about this a couple years ago, but heard very little, and thus didn't really pursue it. But in early February, some dear friends of ours let us borrow the documentary The Return of the Daughters and the book Joyfully at Home. The DVD is produced by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, and the book is written by Jasmine Baucham, 23 year-old daughter of the Baptist preacher Voddie Baucham.  (Great guy! Love his books/cds!) These works turned my e-n-t-i-r-e thoughts on college upside down. I'll be going three ways with this. Number one, what is the stay-at-home daughters movement/The Return of the Daughters about? Number two, what would be the alternative to college? And number three, what I think about all of this.
Number One: What is the stay-at-home daughters movement, and by extension, The Return of the Daughters, about? The term 'stay-at-home daughterhood' was first coined by the Botkin sisters, and has been used ever since to describe young ladies who have chosen not to go to a college building, and instead, use the years after highschool to learn homemaking skills and how to run a household effeciently. Some of them have also chosen to still get a college degree through an online course.
The first statement one usually hears when they have just told someone that they are a stay-at-home daughter is, "Oh! So you're against college?" Actually, no. Stay-at-home daughters are not against college by any stretch of the imagination. They're not against education after highschool. They just don't particularly care for the way that this education is taking place for three main reasons: one, it costs a ton. Why spend a lot of money just to get the degree from a college building when you could get it from an online 'college'? Secondly, it takes 4 of the most crucial years of your life. 18 to 21 are some big years. Those years could be spent learning how to take care of a home, courting a young man, writing a published book (I put in that one because a stay-at-home daughter called Jasmine Baucham actually did that!)...the list goes on and on.
And thirdly, there's a lot more to a brick-and-mortar college than just education. There's some immorality at a college campus, certainly. I'm not saying you can't avoid that immorality.  But when you're around it 24/7, it's a huge temptation. Why put that temptation in the forefront of your life when it could be eliminated?
So yes, stay-at-home daughters are actually proponents of education after highschool. They're just not promoting it in the usual sense.
Now about the documentary The Return of the Daughters. This show, produced by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, gives a very interesting look into the homes of six stay-at-home daughters. These beautiful, intelligent, amazing young women said on camera, "You know what, we don't have to go with the status quo. We do not have to go to a brick-and-mortar college for life to go on!  We can stay at home and learn from our parents how to be a good help-meet for my husband when he comes along.  We can learn how to be better sisters to our siblings.  And we can learn a ton from Dad about his work-yes, real-life work.  And we don't have to learn any of that at college." It gave a great look into their acual lives. One of the young ladies, Katie Valenti, has a dad who is an interior designer. From him, she has learned how to design the interiors of homes. She also tracked all his income and managed all of his business finances. She married Phillip Bradrick in 2009, and now has a little boy by the name of John Mark.  In her father's home, she learned interior design-without a college degree.  She'll use that in her own home.  Under her father's tutelage, she learned about economics, because she took care of his on a day-to-day basis!  She'll use that in her own home, too. 

Jasmine Baucham's book
Very good read!

Another young lady, Jasmine Baucham, graduated from homeschooled high-school at 17. She worked with her dad, Voddie Baucham, to form an online bookstore, and is his research assistant. But Jasmine not only formed a bookstore for her dad. She wrote her own book, and published it! And the subject matter? She wrote about her journey as a stay-at-home daughter. She's 23, majoring in English from CollegePlus (an online college degree program), and is still in her father's house, helping him, her mom,and her 6 siblings. 
Number Two: What would be the alternative to college?
One alternative to college would be an online college program. The one I'm mainly talking about is called CollegePlus and comes highly recommended. These are created for young men and ladies who want a college degree but who do not want to go to a college campus to get it. It takes about two years to get a major in a subject, and you can do it all from your laptop. You get the exact same thing as you would if you were going to a college building: a degree. And you can work your day in a way that you can do the college-work in the morning, and have the rest of the day to learn homemaking skills, take care of your siblings, etc.
I think now would be a good point to address another advantage to the stay-at-home daughterhood movement. One could ask, "Well, why learn homemaking skills if you're not 100% sure that you're getting married?" Homemaking skills take you far in life, whether or not you have a family. Even if you are living by yourself, household skills are still important. Plus, this life is about service. Service to your family, community, spouse...So when you spend four of your most formative years serving yourself through education and the "college experience", and then try to throw yourself back into serving your family or spouse, it's really difficult! I think I'd rather stay in the family unit, a place where service is needed, and learn to manage my continuing education without becoming self focused.
 This question brings up another assumption many people have about this movement.Many people say that stay-at-home daughters are sitting at home, knitting, and sitting around waiting for Prince Charming to ride along on a shining white horse to save them. Nope.  Some others say that stay-at-home daughters hate education. Wrong again!  These women are waiting for whatever God has in store for them. If that means Prince Charming comes along when they're 23, glory be and hallelujah!  But if the right man comes along when they're 32, and they've had all those years to learn how to be a great wife and mother from their mother, and have learned from their dad about real-life much more exciting to get married! Plus, when and if Prince Charming comes along, my parents are there to thoroughly examine him.  They'll find out if this man is going to take care of their little girl for the rest of his life.  And they're there to make sure that their daughter's purity is protected and cared for,something that a college may take away from her. Yes, this is old-fashioned.  This isn't modern.  But this saves from so much heartbreak-and that's modern.
Number Three:  What do I think about all of this?

The documentary "The Return of the Daughters"
Wonderful and insightful watch!

I've decided....that I don't need to go with the status quo. I don't need to leave my family at 18!  I can serve God, and serve him well, right here at home.  I can learn how to be a better helpmeet for my future husband, if that's what God has in store for me, right here at home. I can get a college degree from home too, in whatever major I want to get. Again, I am not anti-college. I am anti-college experience. (Look for a future post on this...) I love education, and can learn so much about so many things by staying at home.
And that's what stay-at-home daughterhood is all about: listening to what God's plan for you is, and doing that as best you can. So when you ask me (as I'm sure I'll be asked very soon by many people, as I prepare to start homeschool highschool), you'll get a long and well-thought-out answer. Believe me, I have thought about this so much.  I think that this is what He wants from me. 
Ecclesiastes 16:1,3,4 says, "Rejoice not in ungodly children, if they be multiplied: neither be delighted in them if the fear of God be not with them...For better is one that feareth God, than a thousand ungodly children. And it is better to die without children than to leave ungodly children." I'm not saying college is ungodly. But I think that in my case, I can serve God better, and become a godlier daughter of God by serving Him at home. And with His help, I will learn to do so.
If you want to learn more about this, please watch The Return of the Daughters and read Joyfully at Home. Great book and a great DVD!  I couldn't recommend them more, and look for a review of Joyfully at Home shortly. For more information on the stay-at-home daughterhood movement, here is Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin's website:
Please comment, if you would like....this is to be a dialogue, not a monologue. 

Watch for future posts on what I'm learning as a stay at home daughter!
Aut viam in veniam aut faciam. (Latin for "I shall either find a way or make one!")
In XC,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Favorite Recipes: Barbecued Asparagus

 None of us kids (including myself, I must confess) have really loved plain really just isn't a 'kid food.'  But after my grandma learned this recipe, every person who has ever tried it LOVES it!!! It almost tastes like steak, and is incredibly easy to make.
Yummy stuff!

Step 1) Cut and clean asparagus.

Step 2) Cover with olive oil, and rub on w/your hands.

Step 3) Cover completely with McCormick's Sea Salts Grinder and McCormick's Garlic-and-Pepper Grinder.

Step 4) Place on barbecue and cook "al dente."
(In cooking, the Italian expression al dente (pronounced /ælˈdɛnteɪ/ in English, [al ˈdɛnte] in Italian) describes pasta and (less commonly) rice or beans that have been cooked so as to be firm but not hard. "Al dente" also describes vegetables that are cooked to the "tender crisp" phase - still offering resistance to the bite, but cooked through. Keeping the pasta firm is especially important in baked or "al forno" pasta dishes. The term "al dente" comes from Italian and means "to the tooth" or "to the bite", referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its firmness. The term is also very commonly used as a name for Italian restaurants around the world.

Step 5) Serve and enjoy!!!

Apparently, the word 'asparagus' came from Latin, but was once known in English by sperage which comes from sparagus. That term comes from the Greek, which means 'sprout' or 'shoot.'
All I know is, this kind of asparagus sure beats the expensive, pickled asparagus that we used to buy at Costco! Cheap and good...hope you enjoy this recipe. :D
In XC,