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7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 163)

1.  The editors of First Things like to quote their late founder, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, on the nature of public life.  “The first thing to be said about public life is that it is not the first thing.”  Hence, the blog languishes while real life at home is crazy.  I told myself when I started that, even if I didn’t write regularly or influence anyone, the blog would not take over my real life because the blogosphere demanded attention.  At least that’s one first intention about blogging that I’ve kept.  So, when I vanish for a bit, please say a prayer for me; something chaotic is probably happening at home.

Which is my excuse for not posting the cute frog-and-lily-pad cookie photo on Leap Day.  So, belated Happy Leap Day! 🙂

2.  … and in the real world, these children are obviously in danger of starving to death before the first batch of homemade pizza (yes, I make my own dough, with yeast, it isn’t rocket science!) comes out, but aren’t they cute?

3.  Also, unfortunately, occuring in the real world, is the Obamacare contraception mandate debacle, exacerbated today by the thirteen Catholic senators who voted against the Blunt amendment, which would have provided a permanent conscience clause.  Earlier in the mess, I found this by Michael Ramirez, who is, hands down, my favorite political cartoonist ever.  He just “gets it”.

4.  In the chaos of normal life, I entirely missed posting about the Great Backyard Bird Count.  A small local chain of birding stores promotes it strongly, and, apparently, so do other birding stores in other areas.  We took our “usual birds for your area” checklist and counted birds on two days.  They do this every year on the weekend after Valentine’s Day, you only have to count for fifteen minutes, and you can enter your counts online or by dropping off your checklist where you got it.  This year, they added a really cool searchable map, so you could see where all the checklists were submitted from and what birds were reported and in what numbers.  (We saw an odd duck, so we could see our actual dot when we searched for that species!  The whole thing made for some really fun homeschool science lessons.)

My kids thought this was incredibly fun stuff… my DH asked, “Isn’t birdwatching supposed to be a quiet activity?” as children dashed from window to window shrieking about house finches and mallards and coots.

In a house with four kids?   Um, no, “quiet” and “activity” rarely go together.

5.  It isn’t often that I can say something nice about the Chinese government, but they did get something notable right lately.  For some time, many orphanages have named orphans either “State” or “Party” as their family name, then something to do with their finding place as their given name.  So, not only were orphans starting out without a family in a very family-oriented society, they were labelled for life as orphans, because their names were things like “Federal Street Corner.”  Everyone would immediately know that the person was an orphan because of their odd name.  Although my Chinese-born daughter did not have this (her family name was from the name of the county she was born in), my Chinese-born son’s family name was Guo, “country”.  Continuting a positive trend lately, beginning with reports of re-naming ceremonies in India for girls named “unwanted” and such, the Chinese government has told the orphanages to give the children normal names.  Thank God for little victories.

6.  Our local botanical gardens had a special for February: discounted admission and all-day biking.  Woo hoo!  Coupled with some incredibly warm weather for February, it was a big hit with us.  The two little ones are in the bike trailer (which I’m fairly sure is not rated for their combined weight, since the new guy is denser than lead)… which means I got a great workout, in spite of the gardens being rather flat, because I was hauling an extra seventy or so pounds behind me!

I will have to do a post on the photos from that day; I kept snapping neat shots, thinking, “Hey, I could put this on the blog… if I ever get back to posting regularly…”

 

7.  And finally, a cheery sign of spring.  The photo doesn’t do them justice; they were a gorgeous, deep purple that my little digital camera didn’t quite catch.

As always, many thaks to Jen for hosting 7 Quick Takes Friday, and don’t forget to go check out everyone else’s Friday musings at Conversion Diary!

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7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 140)

It has been a tremendously weird week…

1.  We had an earthquake.  Yes, for those of you native to California, it wasn’t a “real” earthquake, just a 5.8.  It was interesting enough to those of us who’ve never felt one before.  I yelled at the kids for shaking the car, before I realized that, for once, they really were telling the truth and it wasn’t them.  Then I thought the brakes were going or something!

2.  I didn’t figure out it was an earthquake until my husband called.  The kids totally geeked out on the fact that they’d experienced an earthquake… and then wanted to know how we could have one when we don’t live on a plate edge.  (The North American tectonic plate edge is a ways out to sea.)  A few too many episodes of “How the Earth was Made”, and you, too, could have nine-year-old science geeks like this!

3.  And then I started actually looking at the news about the earthquake and noticed in other headlines that, hey, there’s a 400-mile-across hurricane headed for me.  Oh, joy.  We are at what passes for a “high” point in SE Virginia, so I’m not too worried about flooding (at least not in the house, because our house was built with the tallest crawl space in the neighborhood) (and, yes, my elevation above sea level, in spite of living miles and miles inland, is so small that a four-foot-high crawl space is a major advantage).  The winds, on the other hand…

4.  In the middle of all this, I got into yet another argument with yet another family member about Christmas gifts.  A particularly difficult to deal with family member, too.  Anyone have any tips for gently explaining to people, “The toys appropriate for a generic girl three years younger than my oldest or a generic boy three years older than my son just doesn’t say, ‘I care,’ it says, ‘I couldn’t care less,’ and following that with a lecture about how I should teach my kids to be more thankful (they’ve shown remarkable maturity, actually) for your poorly-chosen gifts doesn’t improve our relationship, could you please just follow the list”?  I think Christmas gift-giving headaches should count as a natural disaster.  Especially when they start in August.

5.  But back to Hurricane Irene.  Have you ever hurricane-proofed a yard?  It isn’t fun.  Every time you think you’re done, you realize something else can’t stay out, either.  Tall statues have to be tipped over so they aren’t blown over, anything that could get airborne (including lawn chairs, kayaks, and deck furniture) has to be secured or moved inside, and anything that could be smashed by flying debris (a dozen different garden decorations) has to find a home in the garage.  Ugh… the garage.  The garage is a two car garage, but only barely; there is no extra room for a workbench, bikes, the lawnmower, the trash cans, etc.  Since we have all those things, our garage does not fit two cars.  But now it has to (reference the “flying debris” comment.  Lots of things will fly when the wind is going 80 mph, and it will not be pretty when said items smash into DH’s Mustang).  Let me tell you, those bike pulley systems are wonderful at times like this.

6.  Have you seen the website Stormpulse?  It’s addictive.  It’s downright mesmerizing if you have a hurricane coming at you.  Being a homeschooler, I’ve shown it to the kids multiple times, since it has satelite imagery of the land and clouds, under-sea geography and depths, and integrated radar and hurricane predictions.  You can clearly see the green of the Nile valley, the Tibetan plateau, and, most pertinently, the verdant swath of Africa just south of the Sahara that generates giant thunderstorms that roll off across the Atlantic to pick up energy and moisture to develop into hurricanes.  For something so horribly destructive, hurricanes are really fascinating.

7.  Preparing for the hurricane is exciting; I get to be organized, I get to show off how much I can take care of so DH doesn’t have to worry about it, we got hurricane books from the library, the yard is mostly picked up for the fall because everything had to go in, I have water and sandwich fixings and new batteries for the 5 million watt portable work lamp, etc.  Living with the hurricane is a lot less fun, particularly since this one doesn’t look like it’ll peter out into nearly nothing like so many have over the last seven years or so. (I’m trying not to wonder if my new roof will still be attached to my house in 48 hours or so.)  Diva has been warned that hurricanes are noisy, frustrating, and mind-numbing… and so she can’t be, or else she’ll be given a book and banished to her room for the duration.  Please pray that the damage is minimal, both to our home and our sanity!

And go visit Jen at Conversion Diary… she’s likely to still have power in two days.

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7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 136)

Last Sunday, several people at church commented to the kids about summer being “half over”… which it isn’t for us, since we homeschool.  In fact, it’s all over.

You know how they tell you that the population of the South didn’t really start to increase significantly until the invention of the air conditioner?  They aren’t kidding.  There are reasons for this, and August is the main one.  So, instead of listening to a month of, “But I don’t want to go outside!  *whine*  It’s too hot!” we start school at the beginning of August.  This has the lovely secondary effect of us being done with school by the beginning of May, when the weather is frequently lovely and the garden needs a ton of work.

All that being said, I offer (in homage to teachers past who seemed to love the old standby): What I did on my summer vacation, by the Political Housewyf

1.  I made an awning.  Three 2x2x8 treated pine poles, pipe strapping (DH insisted I shouldn’t screw the poles directly into the dock walls), six large screw eyes, six D-rings, a package of huge grommets, some PVC pipe and the stand from the failed patio umbrella (to hold up the fourth corner, where I couldn’t install a pole), and yards and yards of fabric (on sale!).  The D-rings stay in the grommets and hook quickly into the screw eyes.  It takes about two minutes to walk down to the dock and put it up.

And this view is part of why I haven’t gotten a whole lot of blogging done lately…

2.  I read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.  The cover has a panda with a smoking gun running away.  (If you don’t get it, you need this book!)  I loved it and discovered that some of my odd punctuation practices would be considered proper in British punctuation but not American.  Thanks to my high school English teachers (who were better at imparting grammar than enthusiasm for Shakespeare), none of the grammar rules was new to me, but the book is very funny.

Sticklers of the world unite!  You have nothing to lose but you’re your misplaced apostrophe’s apostrophes’ apostrophes!  (Contrary to what some of you may think after reading my blog, I do know grammar rules… I just choose to break them upon occasion.  And I shall continue to do so. 😉 )

3.  I killed a whole lot of trees doing adoption paperwork.  Our dossier finally went to China in June, got assigned the all-important log-in date (LID) quickly, and… now we wait again.  We hope to see our LOA from China before the end of August, which then triggers- get this- even more paperwork.  But at least we got some updated photos.  (No, no photo here.  Yes, everyone else does, but “everyone else” usually has a adoption-specific website that doesn’t get into criticizing certain governmental policies.)

The good news is that I have rediscovered the joys of the Rumor Queen’s website, populated by number crunching waiting parents who, like me, want more info than the adoption agencies are usually willing to commit to.  (The agency says, “Well, it could be four to six months…” and the number crunching waiting dad says, “The average for the year, over two hundred familes, has been 74 days.”)

4.  I made sushi.  No, no raw fish (which is technically sashimi, a subset of sushi).  A trendy little sushi place in Richmond (I don’t think we’re cool enough or left-leaning enough for it, honestly) had a special one time we were in there on our way back from running adoption paperwork in DC.  They called it Kong’s Lunchbox, and it had tempura-fried banana, peanut butter, and grape jelly in a sushi roll.  The kids adored it, which is why what was supposed to be a photo of happy kids eating sushi has no sushi slices in it.

Ah, there it is, along with some tempura-fried figs and pickled ginger.  Good stuff.  (My DH informed me that the tempura-fried okra was not acceptable.  I suspect it’s because the tempura doesn’t coat heavily enough to disguise the vegetable.)  (Tempura-fried green beans are really good, too.  Start with fresh, raw ones.)

5.  I grew rice, although, really, it’s very low-maintenance, so I can’t claim much credit.  It started out tiny and pathetic.  Recently, though, I told Empress to stand behind it to show off how tall it is… except that you can’t really see her in the photo, the rice is so tall!  So, I took another shot with her in front of it.  The rice seems to take up a ton of water; I’m not keeping it full of water constantly, because of mosquitoes (I let the top of the soil dry just a bit in between floodings), but it does get watered every few days in this heat, especially since it is in a windy location (it makes the nicest swishing sound in the breeze), which could be causing it to lose water faster.  Just this morning, I found a fat, bulging part that is about to erupt into the seed head!  Woo hoo!

6.  I spent way too much at my friend Jen’s favorite local yarn store in DC, Yarn Cloud.  Yarn stores are usually nice, but this one is gorgeous!  Well-lit, easy to navigate, and the yarn is well-arranged.  What do I mean by well-arranged yarn?  Some was stacked neatly on shelves, but lots of it was hung on peg board display hooks, which encourages you to touch the yarn… which is how my bill got so big.  Once you start petting the yarn, all kinds of wonderful projects come to mind, and oh, that linen blend feels interesting and…  (If you’re on a strict budget, DON’T PET THE YARN!)  The priority right now, however, is to get the baby’s blanket on the loom: a single-ply silk blend weft on a plied silk blend warp, both in a gorgeous, deep shade of red.  Yes, photos will be forthcoming whenever I get going.

7.  I pulled my SIL’s Christmas present out again.  It’s an embroidered map of Middle Earth.  I spent more than an hour tying knots to make Mirkwood last night, and it’s nowhere near done.  (As I told her, “The forests are taking hours each, and that’s just the small ones on the fringe of the map that don’t figure in the stories.  I’m not sure I like you this much…”)  I had been avoiding it, because I couldn’t figure out how to do mountains.  I think I figured out a decent solution, but you’ll have to wait for a photo; it’s just too unfinished right now!

As always, I’ve been a bit wordy for “quick takes”, but there it is!  Go check out Jen at Conversion Diary for a weekly dose of 7 Quick Takes from her and dozens of other bloggers.

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7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 120)

I’m wimping out this week.  I have some scattered thoughts, but they’re all in photos, so I don’t really have to write.  🙂

1.  I took Diva shopping at the thrift store.  (Maybe I won’t be so jinxed because it was cheap; otherwise, she seems to outgrow everything I buy her within two weeks!)  Yes, I bought her slide-on bright orange high heels.  Yes, she isn’t even nine, yet.  DH says I’m getting soft in my old age.  (Notice the shocked boys behind her.)  At least they keep her from running in her church clothes.  (Which was part of her selling points to me on why I should buy them for her.)

2.  Oooh!  Seedlings!  (Better late than never; I started weeks late this year.)  That cute thing is a hedgehog; it’s a medieval watering device.  There’s a hole at the top of the stem and a lot of little holes on the bottom.  Submerge it in a bucket of water until the air is all out, hold the stem ridge in your fingers, and plug the hole with your thumb.  Ta da!  The water stays in until you remove your thumb because the air can’t get in to let the water out, and it’s nice and gentle for seedlings.  Plus, it’s cute and it was on sale. 🙂

3.  Empress just turned four.  She wanted pink, purple, and princess everything.  And she wanted her castle cake to have a garden.  (BTW, the chocolate cake recipe on the Swan’s Down cake flour boxes is really, really crumbly; it’s nearly impossible to ice!)

4.  Couldn’t get the plastic tiara to stay, but we’ve got jewelry and gloves!  She’s fun to do stuff for- she spent the entire day squealing in delight.

5.  Why you should own an art projector, reason #96.  My mom sent an e-mail with this Chinese lady for Empress’s birthday.  I was going to just do the woman, but wound up doing a background.  (Yes, the fish didn’t come out very well.  An excellent example of why I use an art projector instead of freehand most of the time!)

6.  Oh, yeah, I had a birthday, too.  It isn’t quite so exciting at my age, is it?  I couldn’t get the brownie to come out of the pan, so I iced it in place with a nice little garden.  Rice growing in a paddy, beans on trellises, tomatoes growing up stakes, some random herbs, two bales of mulching straw with gardening tools, and some huge pumpkins.

My DH is annoyed, but yes, I made my own cake.  It’s more fun, and it tastes better!

7.  I just realized Crash didn’t make it in, so here’s a great shot of him from Williamsburg over Christmas.  Everyone in the historic district decorates; this one was in the historic district but not one of the buildings that is open to the public.  So, the residents were freer to decorate how they liked: big framed Constitution in one window, eagle cookies hung in the greenery, and a neat interpretation of the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag with the snake made out of a piece of rope and the words spelled in cinnamon sticks.  Very nicely done.

And a row of nicely graphic pouches of tea from the Williamsburg shops over the door.  Just in case you didn’t get the reference.

Go visit Jen at Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes!

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7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 112)

I’ll put it at the top this week: Jen hosts 7 Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary.  There are dozens of people participating every week; go check them out!

I was going to post this last week, but couldn’t, because my Vista-infected laptop wasn’t working.  It finally turned out to be a malfunctioning virus protection; apparently, it got stuck partly updated during the intermittent internet incident or something, causing the computer to refuse to work for five days.  Now that my computer has recovered from its autoimmune disease…

1.  Oooh… internet rabbit trails!  And what I found was a list of converts to Catholicism.  Really, it’s more interesting than it sounds, especially since there are a number of surprises on there.  Did you know that Cardinal Arinze converted as a child?  The priest (Fr. Thomas Byles) who stayed on the Titanic to hear the last confessions of those who were sure to die was also a convert.  Cool stuff.

2.  First vocabulary word for the year: groppel, also spelled graupel.  I looked out the window and said, “Um… it’s raining tiny snowballs!”  It isn’t hail; it’s soft.  The kids said it looked like styrofoam pellets.  You can hear and feel it hitting, but the balls fall apart easily.  Really weird stuff.  (We had to listen to the local weather report to find out what it was; we sure didn’t know!)

3.  I have it!  Photographic proof that Diva can concentrate… when she wants to.  And has enough art paper and a new set of markers.  (Our lake looks funny because it’s frozen just enough to have jumbled ice and areas of flat ice.)

4.  So, Crash shows up, all upset, and announces that Empress told him, “Wo bu xihuan gege!” (I don’t like big brother.) because she was mad at him.  Of course, I had to chastise Empress for telling her big brother she didn’t like him… but I was secretly proud that she put together an unpracticed sentence in Mandarin.  Just not that particular sentence.

5.  In other random, “oops, I took a photo but forgot to put it up on the blog” news, I decided that we needed some Chinese food for the kids’ play kitchen.  We had been learning all kinds of vocabulary, but didn’t have noodles, fish, dumplings, or several other things.  Since they’re rather hard on plastic sets (and the Chinese food sets I found were both pricey and sort of short on variety), I decided on felt.

The noodles are just lengths of yarn, knotted firmly in the middle.  The fish are “fresh” on one side and “grilled” on the other.  There’s also clumps of bok choy, scallions, pan-fried dumplings, fat steamed buns (upper left), and siu mai (open pork dumplings, usually brown with some pink shrimp showing).  I made the sushi by rolling scraps from the other pieces up in the middle of scrunched-up white felt inside of a sheet of black, then cutting, the way sushi is actually made.

I keep debating opening an Etsy shop…

6.  It took seven months, but the tooth finally came out (with some persuading by Daddy)!  The kids’ dentist says Crash has “stubborn teeth.”  No kidding.  I mean, it started wiggling in the middle of the summer.  Diva, on the other hand, shows me a wiggly tooth at breakfast, and it’s usually out by dinner.

7.  We had a rough week, starting with freezing all day at the March for Life in DC.  Tuesday was supposed to be a school recovery day, but nothing went on schedule.  Wednesday was doctor’s appointment after doctor’s appointment (interrupted by a pleasant lunch with Mary; thanks Mary!).  Just when I’ve about had enough, I get out of the shower tonight to hear… talking, coming from the girls’ room.  At 10:30 at night.

When I went to check on them, they were snuggled together in Diva’s bed, reading Aesop’s Fables.  It isn’t even an illustrated version.  I remember when I thought Diva would never read all that well.  Empress protested that she wasn’t sleepy and really, really wanted to keep listening to the stories.

Ok, maybe they’re doing all right, after all.

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7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 108)

1.  Still looking for a place to stay… 

…like my 7 Quick Takes which I was all ready to post to Jen’s link list, except she isn’t doing them this week.  Darn it.

2.  Crash had a birthday.  He loves football.  Therefore, we had the Lambeau Field cake (Green Bay Packers).  Fondant is not fun, but it was a hit.  Yes, that’s him up on the jumbotron on the scoreboard.  And the Packers are playing the Vikings.  It isn’t Cake Boss, but Crash just about squealed, and that’s all a mom can ask for.

3.  First rule of holiday cooking: if you haven’t gone through more than one box of butter, you aren’t trying hard enough. 🙂  I think I went through two boxes (four sticks each) making Thanksgiving dinner.  Thank goodness for butter sales around the holidays.

4.  In a random thought moment, it occured to me that there is another possible clue to Shakespeare’s Catholicity.  William and his wife had three children: Susanna, Judith, and Hamnet.  Hamnet, Judith’s twin, died young.  “Yeah, so what?” you’re saying.    Susanna’s story is in Daniel, chapter 13, and Judith has her own book.  But there’s one thing here: both Susanna and Judith are Old Testament  heroines… but only if you’re using a Catholic Bible.  Parts of Daniel and the book of Judith were among the sections of the Old Testament removed by Protestant reformers.  Did Shakespeare choose his daughters’ names as a bit of a poke in the eye to the anti-Catholic powers in charge of England at the time?

5.  The last few years of the blog, I’ve done Christmas carols or the O Antiphons (leading up to Christmas, the basis for “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.  I haven’t been that organized this year, but if you want some more Christmas content, please check under the categories tab in the right-hand column.

But don’t look for Santa: at the risk of being called a communist by Calah, I have to say we don’t do the fat guy in the red suit.  First off, isn’t Jesus good enough?  Secondly, I want my children to know that I do not lie to themEver.  When I have to explain transsubstantiation, miracles, and God becoming a baby to ultimately die on the cross for our sins, I don’t want the thought to even cross their little brains, “Gee, is Mommy lying again?  Is this just another ‘fun’ story that’s really a joke on gullible kids?”  Contrary to grandparents and random strangers, I don’t think our society is Christian enough anymore to assume that they’ll figure the whole thing out and turn out okay, either.  Our society shouts from every side that parents are clueless and not to be trusted.  I don’t intend to help that message along any.

6.  I just discovered that a friend doesn’t celebrate Christmas.  Of all the things you could argue against on a Biblical basis, Christmas doesn’t really seem to be one of them.  Angels (and more than enough of them), shepherds, magi with some very expensive gifts, the star… if that isn’t a celebration, I don’t know what is. 

I don’t think that the fact that most of our culture botches the whole thing by turning Christmas into a gift-getting feeding frenzy of materialism argues for Christians just giving up on the whole thing.  If we don’t redeem Christmas, it becomes a pointless orgy of materialism with some old guy bringing presents.  Sadly enough, St. Nicholas, the generous bishop of Myra famous for giving away his inheritance to the needy and slugging the heretic Arius, has been forgotten (via some ex-Catholic, now Protestant Dutch, who only remembered the “nice guy with presents” part because they no longer believed in bishops and wanted to forget the anti-heretic part) and turned into a shadow of his proper self.

If some ex-Christians started celebrating the multiplication of the loaves and fishes by “mysteriously” leaving people bread and fish, without any other acknowledgement of Jesus’ life and teachings, wouldn’t you think it was bizarre and totally missing the point of Jesus?

7.  I hope that you are sitting contentedly with your warm beverage of choice, enjoying the fact that your preparations are done, and marveling anew at the miracle of God-with-us, come at the Annunciation, and revealed at Christmas.

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7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 100)

1.  It’s Jen at Conversion Diary’s 100th 7 Quick Takes Friday!  Woo hoo!  So, I’ll put it first this week: go visit her for more 7 Quick Takes Friday; there are lots of interesting blogs out there.

2.  Some day, I hope to get my sleep schedule under control.  Today is not that day.  Which is why I am cheating (sort of): it is no longer Friday in Virginia as I type… but it is Friday in Texas, where Jen is.  The advantage of staying up ridiculously late?  I got to see the constellation Orion (my favorite, mostly because it’s easy to find and it’s up during the winter) rising last night.

3.  Have I mentioned that art projectors are addictive?  I’m sure I have, but I’ll offer more proof:

It’s for a viewing party tomorrow for the “Princess Kai-Lan” special.  Nick Jr. posts a ton of printables, including counting flash cards in Mandarin (as seen in a previous 7 Quick Takes) and cards for a matching game.

4.  It just took fifteen minutes to get that photo uploaded, cropped, and pasted in.  I don’t know what my computer is doing, and it, as is frequently the case, isn’t telling me.  Have I mentioned that I hate Windows Vista almost as much as I love my art projector?

5.  Watching The World Over (EWTN’s news program) tonight, the host mentioned an address by Bishop Vasa of Baker, Oregon.  Apparently, the bishop discussed the problem of the national conferences (that would be the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops here) acting like they’re in charge, when the real responsibility and charism of leadership is with the individual bishop.  The national conferences are to coordinate efforts including multiple dioceses, not order the bishops about.  Lifesitenews has a great article, as well as a link to the text of the entire speech.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a big deal, except for the deplorable fact that the USCCB bureaucracy has said and done things dismissing or condoning homosexual behavior, abortion, etc.  Although the USCCB has corrected many of these missteps, the cat is usually out of the bag; the initial misguidance is out, and the retraction doesn’t always reach everyone, or it is ignored.

6.  The 40 Days for Life campaign is doing very well this season!  Our local campaign has seen several babies saved, and the national campaign is reporting 138 saves (as of the press release several days ago), several abortion clinic closings, and a few staff quitting.  This is an ecumenical effort, and everyone is needed!  Please go to the website to find a location near you.  Remember: it isn’t just the babies that need rescue, but their parents and the clinic staff, as well.

7.  Also on World Over tonight was Austin Ruse, of C-Fam discussing the current goings-on at the UN (never good).  Which reminded me: if you haven’t already, please check out the website of my friends (we met during the last 40 Days for Life) who are making a movie about parental rights, which are threatened by the UN treaty on the rights of the child, which curiously neglects to mention families much at all.  “The Child” team is trying to get people to organize screenings across the country.  There is more information and a second trailer (new!) on the website.

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