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Prepare yourself . . .

for a lot of baleful head shaking over this story from Franciscophobes:  Pope’s Sharp Words Make a Wealthy Donor Hesitate.

Because when people say, “Francis has made me interested in the Church again, and I’m thinking of going to Mass for the first time in twenty years!” then that’s proof that his kind of evangelization is shallow and meaningless.  How do we know they’re the real deal?  (After all, when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, and over 3,000 people were baptized that day, we know for sure that every last one those converts understood and were fully prepared to accept every tiny iota of the Gospel with no reservations and with complete and thorough fervor and sincerity.)

People returning to the sacraments? Pff. That’s the last thing we want.  But we’re talking about losing money here, folks.  MONEY. You see?  You see how the corrosive influence of this hateful man is beginning to play out? Francis the Destroyer strikes again!!!!1!!

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Grief, hope, exhaustion, prayer request

I wasn’t sure whether to make this public or not, but what the heck. I know you guys are wonderful pray-ers, so if you could spare a quick Hail Mary or a “Jesus, help us” prayer, I would be grateful!

Yesterday, I was halfway through a post announcing that I am pregnant with a very much desired baby #10.  Then I started bleeding steadily all day yesterday.  Today, I have just about stopped bleeding.  I went to the lab yesterday, so they could test HCG levels.  They will do another test Wednesday afternoon, and I will get the results in the evening.  So, unless things take a terrible turn in the mean time, I will not know whether it’s reasonable to have hope for this baby or not. It may not be reasonable to hope.

Up and down, up and down. I have never had a miscarriage before. I know that’s practically a miracle.  We’ve had complications, but God has given us nine mostly healthy children with no losses.  I know that He has given us this baby, too.  Baby is the size of a blueberry, and is starting to sprout fingers and toes.  Or he should be.  Anyway, he is real, and I haven’t said goodbye yet.

I am keeping up hope because I would rather grieve a baby than not know how to feel, if I find out he is dead.  I am not trying to figure out how to feel, and I am not beating myself up over feeling the wrong things, or for forgetting for a moment what’s happening.  It’s just up and down, up and down.  My husband is working from home, and he will be home tomorrow. I am just keeping busy and staying warm, and am happy to be with my family.

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Advent chains – a very easy Advent activity!

My sister Abby Tardiff is once again providing a template for advent chains.

1.  Go to this link on Dropbox and print out all six pages.  Cut along the lines so you have strips.

2.  If you want to be fancy, you can paste the strips to colored paper — purple for the first, second, and fourth weeks, and pink for the third.  If you don’t want to get fancy, just use them as is, or let the kids color the pictures in.  Make a paper chain and hang it in a prominent place.

3.  Each day of Advent, starting tomorrow, December 1, you cut snip chain and read the appropriate verse inside.  This is a nice visual activity for kids, because they can see the chain getting shorter and shorter as you approach Christmas day.  Some people draw out the lesson that the chains of sin grow weaker and weaker as the Savior draws near.  One year, I gussied up a few of the links with a hint to where the kids could find some kind of treat (chocolate in the mailbox, that kind of thing).

That’s it! Thanks, Abby.

 

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Seven Qui–WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF AM I SERIOUSLY THE ONLY ONE WHO REALIZES THERE IS A TRUCK GOING BY WOOF WOOF

Well, dog #2 is home with the Fishers.  As I write, Boomer is happy and contented, hasn’t ripped anyone’s throat out, dashed in front of an oncoming truck, or swallowed the dining room whole.  He is just placidly trundling around the house, mildly observing the kids as they hurl their bodies at him.  He is a one-year-old brindle English Mastiff, and was raised with three little kids and another English Mastiff.  His dog pal was older and died, and that’s why he needed a new home: he was just lonely while his people were away all day.

1.  He came with an electric fence system, which is wonderful and amazing.  These always sounded barbaric to me.  I was imagining a paranoid, cringing animal getting zapped constantly; but actually, it’s no big deal.  We plugged in the central unit in the hallway near the back door and set the perimeter size.  When he wants to go out, we put the special collar on, and off he goes.  It buzzes and beeps to warn him that he’s getting too close to the perimeter, so he just goes, “Nope” and turns around.  So far, so good!  I still get nervous when I see him bounding toward the road, but he stops when he gets to the boundary.

2.  His head is e-nor-mous.

It’s just begging for a derby, or possibly — what do you call it, one of those squashy hats that urchins selling newspapers would wear.

3.  Probably we wouldn’t have chosen the name “Boomer,” although it does suit his ponderous ways.  I just can’t shake the memory of a Florence King essay which featured a lesbian and her large and hearty partner named, you guessed it, Boomer.  Oh well, it’ll pass.

4.  The kids keep saying in a wondering voice, “He’s not biting me at all!”  Although they loved Shane, we just could not break him of mouthing on the kids.  He just couldn’t get it through his head that we didn’t want to be chewed on.  He thought it was hilarious, even when he drew blood, and it was a constant, serious aggravation for all of us; and honestly, some days, I felt like there was an enemy living in our house.  It’s very hard to be good to an animal who is hurting your kids, even if it’s minor and unintentional.  So Boomer’s  non-bitey ways are a big, big, BIG big big relief.  Boomer is older, he’s fixed, and he’s just not a spaz.  He doesn’t even try to steal the baby’s food.  We got to eat dinner without (a) having our food stolen or (b) hearing whining and screaming and frantic pawing at the door the entire time we were eating.  It’s kind of like paradise.

Watching Curious George with his best friends in the whole world (a.k.a. some kids he met less than 24 hours ago)

5.  I couldn’t figure out what he reminds me of, but it suddenly hit me:  a heraldic lion.  Or, a Samurai mask.  Or something on a totem pole from the Pacific Northwest.  Or, I don’t know what!  I guess he just looks like a dog.  Benny (age 2) saw him and said, “A bear!”  There is something almost stylized about him — maybe because he is so ridiculously muscular, but he doesn’t actually do anything.  He will charge around for a while outside and make some noise, but then he wants to come in and sit on his blankie.  Yeah, kind of like this:

PIC Ferdinand smelling flowers

 

He also has these completely gratuitous stripes, where are clearly only there to make him fancy.  (Actually, they make him almost invisible in the woods.  Very tricky!)

6.  The only thing is, he’s spent most of his life on a rural country road,where it was kind of a big deal if a car goes by, and it was totally appropriate to bark your fool head off to warn everybody.  We, on the other hand, live on a highway.  A rather busy highway.  So, you see where this leaves us all.  But it’s okay, because we’re not constantly getting bitten. It’s amazing how much grace that buys you.

 7.  Sorry there aren’t more pictures.  Here  is another picture of Ferdinand:

PIC

 

So there you have it!  Dog dog dog.  Don’t forget to check out everyone else’s 7 Quick Takes – and say a quick prayer for Jennifer, who is sick and not up to writing her own quick takes.