When than Aprill with his shoures soote

“Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in switch licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(So Priketh hem Nature in hir corages),
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages”

So did Geoffrey Chaucer begin his “Canterbury Tales.” And so did a few of us learn to memorize this passage some two decades ago in my Anglo-Saxon Lit class. Was it for extra credit or just credit? Blast. But hey, Dr. Rice, I still remembered part of it before googling it!

Anyway, one of April’s shoures, I mean, showers are falling outside tonight as I type and while we aren’t exactly going on pilgrimage this year, we have been full of wonderful events at church. Likely before I post again, the class I’ve had the honor to help teach this past academic year at our parish Faith Formation will celebrate their First Holy Communion, and our Li’l Bit will be among them. Meanwhile, in the same weekend, Docena received her Baptism (wearing the family heirloom gown). And the Rascal had his Confirmation, taking as his patron the rather unknown St. Dunstan, patron of blacksmiths. I should say St Dunstan isn’t as well known on this side of the Atlantic, for the gift we gave him of a replica medieval badge of the saint came from the UK.

Docena’s Baptism day. Her godparents are her aunt and her older brother. ❤️
Rascal being confirmed (picture compliments of a dear friend, the wife of his sponsor).

Around the Haus…

Pipkka is 1! And no sooner did she turn one than she decided that she’d take it to the max. Climbing stairs? Check. Speech? Her vocabulary increases weekly. Walking? Coming soon. I should have been more nervous about that bottom right picture in this birthday montage (newborn + two of her first birthday) because this girl is plowing onward and not looking back!

Happy 1st birthday, Pipkka! ❤️

After all the sacramental festivities, my mom went back home again in Indiana (those who know can’t say that without hearing Jim Nabors), and we thought we were going to settle in to a “new normal,” as it were, but lo and behold a new seasonal cold descended upon us. Haus Meister had it the worst with a diagnosis of bronchitis and a trip to get x-rays and make sure it wasn’t worse (it wasn’t). Fortunately, we were still able to celebrate Posey Pie’s 9th Birthday and our own familial 4th house-aversary on the same annual day last month.

The Birthday Princess

It is hard to imagine that four years before, we were gathering in the same kitchen with the food that our lovely realtor had bought for us and left as a homecoming gift. Never had a tray of cookies from Sam’s Club tasted so sweet! Everything was so different and foreign four years ago. Now it’s delightfully familiar, and we still rejoice.

And yes, still marvel at this view from the hill above and to the left of our home.

Around the Farm….

The sheep have been sheared! While I was posting my previous blogpost, we had been researching the best way to do this, and as we debated this set of shears over that, Haus Meister found a man who travels around shearing small flocks like ours. He literally goes up and down the region and had already sheared 400+ sheep before he came to our house, set up his rig where we requested and within the briefest time, divested our ewes of a year’s wool growth! Haus Meister and the kids learned how to wash and “skirt” the wool (removing any dirt and hay left behind) and soon we shall take our four bags full to a fiber mill north of here where it will be spun into yarn!

Hattie (black sheep) wonders what hit Mattie (the shorn sheep, and her own half-sister). Lottie is obscured by Hattie so I took this pic while Lou was being sheared.
The Squire helps remove Hattie’s wool as she is being sheared.
Four shorn sheep attempt to preserve their dignity.
4.5 bags full

And in other farm news, the population of ducks increased by four with the addition of four Khaki Campbell ducklings to the three Rouen ones mentioned in the previous post.

The Khaki Campbells are the solid ducklings while the Rouen are striped.

Closing Thoughts

By now we are all either intent on keeping track of, immune, or dismissive of the news coming from Ukraine. I’d argue we better darn well pay attention, because in this small world nothing can really happen anymore without affecting all of us (pandemic, anyone?).

Or perhaps I’m biased in a sense because on the ‘net page of this blog for several years has been the widget featuring a toddler picture of a little boy with red hair. We have been the prayer warriors for him for quite a while. His name on the Reece’s Rainbow website is “Clark” and he lives in Ukraine, if he’s there at all right now. And who can guess? Who can guess if a ten year old boy with cerebral palsy made it out to a refugee site? I pray he did. He’s the same age as our Miss M after all. Same sort of red hair, same sort of brown eyes (I saw him on another website with recent pictures, that’s how I know he has brown eyes). And CP, well, we know a bit about that, also. Small wonder I signed on to pray for him. May God in His mercy grant that boy a good place tonight.

We at Misselthwaite stand and pray for Ukraine. 🇺🇦

{P, H, F, R} Baptism Edition

5609751923_b38935def8_m

 

IMG_0507

Good morning! I thought I’d try to check in again. Our mornings are more relaxed now that we’re very nearly finished with school (only a few more assignments and tests). I’m already revelling in the less hurried pace, although I know I’ll be welcoming it back at the end of next month when swim team is over and the humidity is too high for anyone to want to be outside longer than an hour. At that point the options seem to be interminable Netflix reruns of previously watched cartoons or Go Back to School. The latter is definitely the preferred option for me. Not sure about them. 😉 Of course, if my summer reading program idea takes off, we may start school in August instead of July . In any event, we’re happy to welcome summer around here.

Pretty

Littlest was baptized on Saturday.  Both sets of grandparents were able to attend, as well as two aunts and a third aunt–my sister-in-law, Littlest’s official godmother–was able to watch via FaceTime!

IMG_0515 IMG_0518

Littlest is the 13th to wear the heirloom christening gown, if I have my numbers right.

IMAG0279

We’re still combining the pictures taken by different people on different cameras. So far this is the best one I’m in. 😉 My karate chop action is me waving Miss M away from the large statue of the Sacred Heart, off screen, because she was fascinated with the fact that Jesus looked realistic and had toes.

IMAG0306

Father and some of the kids after the baptism.

Happy

IMG_0552

Our swim team crew

IMG_0534

The water table crew.

Water will feature largely in our summer memories this year.

 

Funny

IMG_0498

One of my favorite Posey pictures, this month anyway.

IMG_0514

The corgyn’s reaction to the “healthy weight management” food I had just poured into their shared bowl.

Merry, who needs it most, did eventually go eat some, and then Pippin followed.

Real

I should have left my phone nearer some capable adult hands during the baptism. These are a sample of the pictures on my phone after our family event, courtesy of the Mischief Squad.

IMG_0526 IMG_0533

Yarn Along , the Easter edition

 &

5609751923_b38935def8_m

The “Dogwood Winter” passed and the weather has been beautiful ever since. This has its drawbacks as we make the valiant push to finish as much of the school year before Littlest makes her appearance. The “we” is questionable. I would love to be done right nowThey would just like to be outside. 😉

Pretty

No chance of getting the family together for a group picture, but I did get my girlies before they changed into their play clothes.

photo 1

As usual my mother-in-law was a wizard with her sewing machine. Here’s Princess in her new Easter dress (as mentioned in an earlier post, the Oliver & S Garden Party dress, made with Sarah Jane Wee Wander fabric). Using an Oliver & S sewing book, Grandma also made a doll dress, and then a purse for Princess. The purse is adorably constructed from a panel of the Wee Wander line, which I will have to get a picture of later because it is just that cute.  Grandma actually made four of these dresses, two for my girls and two for my nieces on that side of the family, and then three matching doll dresses for my three “bigger” girlies.

Miss M wore the dress Grandma made for Princess last year, and there was enough of that fabric left in stash for a matching dress for Dolly, that Dolly did wear until the way home from church, obviously. 😉

photo 3

Sunshine’s dress was a favorite.

photo 4

Posey Pie wore the smocked pinafore and green dress that Grandma made for Princess when she was 1, and lent it much distinction. The boys, as you see, were already less formal by the time we got home. I tried to get Dino to wear a tie but it was enough for him to wear the white dress shirt with black slacks. “If I wear a tie,” he informs me, “I’ll be a prince! But I’m not! I’m a hobbit!” Working on this, working on this. Rascal served Mass so he didn’t wear the tie either. Trooper might have but I need to get one in a better size for my tall boy. Ah well, like I said, working on this.

Happy

photo 2

The dry sink in the foyer, Holy Saturday night (hence poor lighting).

On a side note, I have absolutely fallen in love with these icons. I never would have thought it of me, but it’s true.

Funny

photo 1

The kitchen table, Holy Saturday night. Rascal and Dino set this up before going to bed. Earlier in the day the three “middles”– Rascal, Dino, and Princess, spent some time coloring this craft from Lacy’s page at CatholicIcing.com. What amused me was their enthusiasm for filling the tableau with frightened Roman soldiers. It’s in keeping with our family rosary, when we announce the first Glorious Mystery, and Dino pipes up: “It’s the Resurrection, when Jesus rises from the dead and scares the Romans.”

Happy/Funny/Real

photo 5

Lamb Cake Success!!! I used the recipes mentioned in this post–the last time I had a success–and tweaked the icing a bit. I used powdered sugar instead of granulated, warmed it slightly in a double boiler, then transferred it all to my trusty kitchenaid and let it do the whisking. Result shown above. Everyone enjoyed it, and also enjoyed Sunshine’s comment when she saw it: “Oh, I see the puppy!”

My Easter sheep-dog cake?

Real

And here’s where I finally get to the YarnAlong…

photo 3

The longest row–row 13 of Clue 4B of the Follow-Your-Arrow shawl. Now that row is not hard, or longer than any other. It has just taken me two weeks to finish it! Now I’m on the purl row (14) before the next lace row (15). I am determined to finish this project before taking up another because I am afraid I won’t finish it otherwise. My next project is in potential right there on the right. I chose these three from my Easter yarn to be the blanket for Littlest. Cushy bulky cotton yarn–I can hardly wait to use it. You may think they’re funny colors for a baby girl, but I have an idea from a book on how they’ll fit in to the girliness around here. Stay tuned.

As for reading, P.G. Wodehouse’s Tales from St. Austin’s and then this excellent book pictured above that I was so glad to receive at the end of Holy Week! Huzzah!

Palm Sunday

photo 2 (14)

I should have posted this yesterday but then I wouldn’t have the adorable picture to put on the post. Lacy over at Catholic Icing made a great post about “10 things to do with your palms from Palm Sunday.”  I did the paper-spring project during Mass out of sheer necessity to keep the kiddos from using their palms as swords. I wove two wreaths and one long spring. Of course, if I hadn’t been a softie and allowed the zealous lady passing out the palms to give one to each and every one of my children, I wouldn’t have had the palm “fencing” in the pews.

(Lady passing out palms does not, by the way, think I will make it to my due date and also that I’m carrying low, hence a boy. Really, this is getting amusing. I should start taking bets).

(p,h,f,r) in the second week of March

5609751923_b38935def8_m

Every week I tell myself that I will blog more in the next seven days so that there’s something in between the (p.h.f.r) days. However, it’s one of the busy seasons at Haus Meister’s work so when he’s working overtime there, our schedule runs a little differently here at home. Flexibility is key, and some nights I’m just too tired to sit in front of the computer. Or I’m doing my Lenten reading. Or I’m knitting. I thought for sure I’d make the Yarn Along link up because I’ve been knitting away at a special something for a very special birthday boy, but lo and behold I haven’t stopped to take a picture of my project yet! It’s so close to being done that I am not going to bother until it is finished, so you can wait in suspense for next Wednesday. Meanwhile, some things from the past week….

Pretty

photo 2

I cut this off the cover of last year’s Susan Branch calendar when 2013 ended. I fully agree with the sentiment, and it looks good on my very reflective refrigerator. I also love our growing collection of icon magnets. However, I only just remembered yesterday that this one had the Alleluia printed on it, so I put it to the dark side of the fridge (over there, to the right) until Easter. 😉

Happy

photo 1

A bit of Real here. I didn’t make my batter thin enough for perfectly round waffles. Be assured this glorious labor-saving device does indeed produce perfectly round waffles. It even makes two at one time. My parents gave this to me for my birthday and I have used it nearly every week since. Best thing to happen to the kitchen since the refrigerator and dishwasher were replaced!

And just one year ago today…..

IMG_0512

Our niece “Pookahbear”

It’s 3/13/14. Do you remember where you heard the news that white smoke was coming from the Sistine Chapel chimney? We had the Vatican news service going on our computer screen, my sister’s iPod and my phone, and based on connective issues my sister had the news about ten seconds before my phone registered it.  Then I called my in-laws so they could come over for the first glimpse of our new Pope.

IMG_0523

We all gathered around our computer (doubles as a TV) for the occasion. The manila envelope was an instant Pope costume.

IMG_0514

 Funny

photo 3

My shopping “helpers.” I do really enjoy taking them grocery shopping with me.

photo 4

Backyard fort building.

Real

The girls’ room did get painted this weekend! It’s a lighter blue now (Lowes’ Valspar Oatlands Dainty Blue from their historical collection). To be honest, I think I was tired of all the pink. I suggested a lovely light blue to Princess and she agreed. Blues, warm tan, and reds seem to be my favorite decorating colors, I find. The idea for their new room color may have been inspired by the eeboo growth chart.

girlsroom

Plus the  blue just sets off all the pink in there to perfection, instead of being just one more pink amongst many. The above is a morning photo; below is the nighttime photo. It is so bright and airy in there now–feels so much less like a dark cave!

photo 5

Best of all, it feels genuinely like a girls’ room. Considering that four of them will be in there by May, that’s a good thing (I’m standing where Posey’s toddler bed will go–when she grows into it).

Next week the Restore Workshop begins. I debated with myself about signing up for it. I have had my days of burning the candle at both ends, but compared to lots of the women talking about it, I don’t think I’ve experienced burnout quite like they have yet. However, I don’t want to, and I know those days happen to the best of us. The longer I debated, the more I asked myself, “Is this something you are going to wish you had done and wish it was there for you 5, 10, 15 years from now? Or would you, 5, 10, 15 years from now want to look back at the notes and things you’ve printed and be better able to work through it?” Then I saw it was open also to people who just plain want to avoid burnout, so I signed up and I’m really looking forward to it!

If you haven’t heard about it yet, the workshop website is here, and another great description is here.

Day of Prayer for Peace

CV-Pope-Francis-Pray-for-Peace-Email2-280x480

Most holy and immaculate Virgin, Mother of Jesus and our loving Mother, being his Mother, you shared in his universal kingship. The prophets and angels proclaimed him King of peace. With loving fervor in our hearts we salute and honor you as Queen of peace.

We pray that your intercession may protect us and all people from hated and discord, and direct our hearts into the ways of peace and justice which your Son taught and exemplified. We ask your maternal care for our Holy Father who works to reconcile the nations in peace. We seek your guidance for our President and other leaders as they strive for world peace.

Glorious Queen of peace, grant us peace in our hearts, harmony in our families and concord throughout the world. Immaculate Mother, as patroness of our beloved country, watch over us and protect us with your motherly love. Amen. 

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Pretty

Posey Pie–1 month old!

IMG_0949

Waiting to leave for Posey’s baptism.

IMG_0964

She did wear shoes at some part of the proceedings.

Sisters and their babies (godmothers and goddaughters as well)

Sisters and nie

Happy

Our first First Communicant!

IMG_1042

Funny

A new book arrived at the Haus. This is how Dino refers to it:

IMG_0973

(Ominous:) “Mother, this is a DANGEROUS book…”
(Suddenly gleeful:) “…for BOYS!!”

Real
Our M&D princess castle recently broke into two pieces. This is not a judgment call on the quality; it is still a nice piece and favored toy. I defy any toy like that to survive being knocked off a table height repeatedly (Miss M and Sunshine both accidentally did this a few times trying to readjust the castle on the play table). The kids asked us NOT to glue it back because now the castle fit better on the table and they now could have two separate castles, in their opinion.

Yesterday Rascal took a clay St. Dominic that had been made for him by a friend at the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word, and made a “monastery” out of the smaller piece of the castle.

IMG_1017

There St. Dominic was able to park his Mini Cooper (!) and offer Mass for LEGOs.

IMG_1018

Pink roof notwithstanding, I was impressed with the mini monastery!

Snapshot of a huge weekend

We just had an amazingly super weekend here at the Haus. Unfortunately, I’m a little tired tonight, otherwise I’d try and string some coherent thought together to describe it. Seriously, there’s much that I am pondering over these events. Suffice tonight to say that Event #1 happened on Saturday, Event #2 on Sunday, and a lot of fun family visiting and all of us making merry in between. To sum up some of my thoughts, I’ll use one of my favorite lines from the baptismal rite, one that I have loved to hear ever since Trooper’s reception into the Church….

This is our faith.

family 5

This is the faith of the Church.

family 3

We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

family 2

Amen.

Triduum

902

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.

On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

 

 

A very good day

photo (92)

Posey Pie “watches” the Pope offer Mass at St. Anna’s in the Vatican.

What a week this has been. Ever since the white smoke was seen on our media screens last Wednesday afternoon, we seem to have been in a state of jubilation.

(Well, almost. There’s been some hiccups relating to homeownership I’ll save for another post.)

We love our new Holy Father.

199

I’ve been getting to know more about him through the Vatican Radio website, a site I’ve been following ever so closely since the first news of the resignation of Pope Benedict (for whom we still pray and still love) and then the conclave. And what neat things we’ve witnessed! First Pope from the Americas, first Pope named Francis… not among the papabile picked by the mainstream American media. Then the pictures of him paying his own bill, riding public transportation, washing the feet of mothers in a maternity center, standing outside  a parish church in the Vatican to greet those who attended Mass–and the crowd gathered just beyond–as if he was an ordinary pastor. As if he wasn’t giving the Swiss guards and Vatican security a bout of cardiac arrest.

Then reading as I did last night:

An historic first will grace the Mass, March 19, that will inaugurate the pontificate of Pope Francis . After a separation of nearly 1,000 years, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople will attend the inauguration of the Pope of Rome.

That’s huge. What an amazing period of Church history we’re in.

One thing that makes me particularly happy is that the kids seem really to connect with him. We’ve always talked about the Pope, always mentioned that we pray for his intention at the first “Our Father” of every nightly Rosary, but I don’t know if they really made a connection with Pope Benedict and his role in our church. After all, Princess still thinks our parish priest is the Pope. But now that they’ve been watching the coverage of the resignation, the move to Castel Gandolfo, and everything since, suddenly it clicked. Pope Francis is our Pope. We belong to this family.

CV_ThisIsMyChurch_Email_300x350

And when today I printed out a coloring page of Pope Francis along with another of St. Joseph to have the kids commemorate the big events of today, the kids went wild.

It is a good day to be Catholic. A very good day.