Monday, March 29, 2010

The Last Supper

Here is OUR version of The Last Supper! Thanks to

Holy Thursday is the day that Christ celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples, four days after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Only hours after the Last Supper, Judas would betray Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, setting the stage for Christ's Crucifixion on Good Friday.

This feast, however, is more than just the lead-in to Good Friday; it is, in fact, the oldest of the celebrations of Holy Week. And with good reason: Holy Thursday is the day that Catholics commemorate the institution of three pillars of the Catholic Faith: the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the priesthood, and the Mass. During the Last Supper, Christ blessed the bread and wine with the very words that Catholic and Orthodox priests use today to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass and the Divine Liturgy. In telling His disciples to "Do this in remembrance of Me", He instituted the Mass and made them the first priests.

Near the end of the Last Supper, after Judas had departed, Christ said to His disciples, "A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another." The Latin word for "commandment," mandatum became the source for another name for Holy Thursday: Maundy Thursday.

On Holy Thursday, the priests of each diocese gather with their bishop to consecrate holy oils, which are used throughout the year for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick. This ancient practice, which goes back to the fifth century, is known as the Chrism Mass ("chrism" is a mixture of oil and balsam used for the holy oils) and stresses the role of the bishop as a successor to the apostles.

Except in very rare circumstances, there is only one Mass other than the Chrism Mass celebrated on Holy Thursday in each church: the Mass of the Lord's Supper, which is celebrated after sundown. It commemorates the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and it ends with the removal of the Body of Christ from the tabernacle in the main body of the church. The Eucharist is carried in procession to another place where it is kept overnight, to be distributed during the commemoration of the Lord's Passion on Good Friday. After the procession, the altar is stripped bare, and all bells in the church are silent until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beach Fun

Gracious me-oh my - we had SO much fun at the beach yesterday and today. Grandma and Grandpa came with us this time and I think that they had nearly as much fun as we did!
Grandpa kind of munched his first clam!
You know how some pictures have a good pose and expression? Like these "pained" faces??? Could it possibly get any worse?

Yup! I laughed so hard when I saw this one! Chicka looks disgusted and Zabi looks terrified! Too funny!

Note Miss E and Grandpa in the background!

Of course, you HAVE to ride the go-karts when you go to the beach, right?
Sillies on me mum and pop.

Grandma J was able to join us for lunch and clam digging today - 3 generations of wild clam diggin' girls!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Exciting News to Share!!!!!

Yup - you guessed it! We are adding to our family!!!!!

We have found a sibling group of three one year old girls that we feel will fit into our family perfectly!

We were lucky enough to see a posting of them recently and decided to take the plunge.

Their names are Betsy, Ginger and Marilou.

The girls are alert and active, and have expressed a desire to contribute their talents to us.

We are all looking forward to getting to know each other better and a happy future together.

We just returned home with them this afternoon and they seem to be doing fine.

Zabi and Chicka are overjoyed and are loving on the new additions.

Although our housing situation wasn't quite ready to add 3 young ones at this time, the foster parent had an excellent solution for sleeping arrangements.

They were kind enough to send the girls' beds with us!

They are originally from Rhode Island and come from South American lineage.

I am proud to share their photos with you without further ado!

Hee hee - here I bet you were thinking children of human descent, heh???? Sorry - I couldn't resist!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Annunciation of the Lord

I was browsing a blog - Under Her Starry Mantle and came across this lovely post that I would like to share with you concerning the feast of the Annunciation, which is tomorrow, March 25th.

Father Weiser explains the origin of the Solemnity and some of the traditions related to this day.

Nine months before Christmas Day, December 25, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of our Lord.

This is another Solemnity that ordinarily falls during Lent. The Gloria and Nicene Creed are prayed during the Liturgy of the Mass. During the creed at the words "By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man" we kneel. This day celebrates the actual Incarnation of Christ, the day the Son of God became man when Mary spoke her Fiat, or "yes" to God. St. Luke records the events:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."

And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?"

And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38)

In central Europe the popular name for this feast is the "Feast of Swallows" since the swallows return on or around this day from their migration. In Austria the ancient saying refers to this:

When Gabriel does the message bring Return the swallows, comes the spring.

Perhaps because of this Europeans in the Middle Ages viewed swallows as holy birds, calling them "God's birds" in Hungary, "Mary's birds" in Austria and Germany. No one would destroy the swallows or their nests.

Father Francis Weiser explains more traditions on this feast day:

It was an ancient custom of the papal Curia (executive office) to start the year on March 25 in all their communications and documents, thus calling it the "Year of the Incarnation." This practice was also adopted by most civil governments for the legal dating of documents.

In fact, the Feast of the Annunciation, called "Lady Day," marked the beginning of the legal year in England even after the Reformation, up to 1752.... In Russia priests would bless large wafers of wheat flour and present them to the faithful after the service. Returning home, the father would hand a small piece of the wafer to each member of his family and to the servants. They received it with a deep bow and ate it in silence.

Later on in the day they took the remaining crumbs of the "Annunciation bread" out into the fields and buried them in the ground as a protection against blight, hail, frost, and drought.

In central Europe the farmers put a picture representing the Annunciation in the barrel that holds the seed grain. While doing so they pronounce some ancient prayer rhyme like this one from upper Austria:

O Mary, Mother, we pray to you; Your life today with fruit was blessed: Give us the happy promise, too, That our harvest will be of the best. If you protect and bless the field, A hundredfold each grain must yield.

Having thus implored the help of Mary, they start sowing their summer grains on the following day, assured that no inclement weather will threaten their crops, for, as the ancient saying goes,

Saint Gabriel to Mary flies: This is the end of snow and ice.

Here are our swallows! The girls colored their birds with chalk and we hung them from the fan. When the fan is on low, they actually dip and flit about - very similar to how swallows behave! Even the teens were impressed and don't want to take them down!

Activity Source: Holyday Book, The by Francis X. Weiser, S.J., Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., New York, 1956

What a goof girl! She made this amazing stack of blocks that she wanted me to take a picture of. When I got the camera out, she stood in front of her blocks like a soldier - grim, serious face like a mug shot! I kept trying to tell her to smile - indicated with my hand on my mouth to show her - so she thought I was asking her to put her hand on her mouth! What a silly willy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Amazing Flying Dog!

Well, she sure leaps high enough to qualify for flying in my book! This is Lady Sonora, or Soni for short. She was my dear hubby's attempt to remedy my empty lap syndrome a few years ago. She is a sweet rat terrier and alot of fun, but she didn't really do the job that hubby was thinking she would do - since we have since added two daughters to our family since Soni joined us!
She really does jump high, though. When we lived in CA, we had a 1/2 window door - you know, the kind that is window on top and wood on the bottom? You could be sitting at the dining table and a motion would catch your eye from the window. It was Soni, letting us know she was ready to come back in the house. Jump, jump, jump - it was so funny - it looked like she was trying to peek in the window! I can hold a treat in my hand slightly above my shoulder height and she can jump up to get it!
We were outside the other day, yes - it really was sunny - doing bubbles. The girls had alot of fun watching Soni chase and jump for the bubbles!
Of course the girlies had to hitch a ride in the wheelbarrow while I was trying to get some work done, too!
I forgot to post our St. Patrick's Day snakes that the girls made! Dyed candy melts decorated with fruit loops and mini-chocolate chips for eyes.
Zabi thought they tasted pretty delicious! Skip this part if you get grossed out - they had a 2nd showing of green in the porcelain bowl the next day, to their giggly delight!

And here is proof of what looks in our dining room window!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kitchen Curtains

OK - so we have been back in our home for, what - 1 1/2 years now? Ahem. Well, in my defense, the only eyes that are goin' to be lookin' in my kitchen window are the deer or elk, so I was in no huge rush. K?

Yesterday, I had a burnin' desire to put some curtains up on that durn window, though! I just happened to be driving past the fabric store this morning, and, well, it kinda called my name. Two hours after the girlies lay down for their nap . . . . .
I am thinking that a shelf at the top of the curtain - connecting the two cupboards might look kind of nice - what do you think?

ah - side note - I promised the family that that one window, I promise, will be the only chicken curtain. Promise. ahem.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Springing Forward

Don't forget - tomorrow is the day that we "spring forward". Somehow I prefer "falling back", but no one consulted me. harrrrumph!

Not much going on around here. IBoy is at the cast party for the private showing of the blooper film from their Under Liberty production. MissE just called - she finished her SAT test - said that it was a breeze. That is the final piece of paper she needs for her university application - prayers are appreciated for scholarships to come seeking her out now! The littles have just gone down for their afternoon nap. Papa is in town looking at and hopefully purchasing a new set of tires for the Bloody Red car. I am going to finish up this post as quickly as possible so that I can scoot up to the sewing room and whip up a valance for my kitchen window. Not that you asked for all that no-news, but now you have it. Don't you feel special? hee hee!

The girls made these shamrocksafter we read about St. Patrick using the shamrock to explain the Trinity. The red heart is God the Father, the cross is Jesus the Son and the dove of course represents the Holy Spirit.

Silly girls with theirChinese New Year hats on. Chicka is wearing a patch for an hour a day again to strengthen her left eye.

The sun was partially in the sky this morning, so we took a chance and drove down off of our hill to ride bikes at the school.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Singing Sisters On Stage

This video is pretty long - I apologize. I kept trying to get a shorter shot, but for whatever reason the twits wouldn't cooperate! They were having a blast dressing up and singing for us, so who were we to cut them short???? Somehow I think they need a few new songs to freshen up the mix! Maybe a few voice lessons wouldn't hurt, either.
I just received some new photos of our godson in China and his mom, our dear friend, Michelle. Have you ever seen a cuter little patootie?????

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pretzels and Lent

When early Christians would pray, they would cross their arms and touch each shoulder with the opposite hand. They also fasted very strictly during lent, making their bread with only water, flour, and salt. A monk shaped this in the form of praying arms for children, and the pretzel was born!

Here is a recipe for you to try, if you are interested:

Soft Pretzel Recipe:
• 1 package yeast
• 1 1/2 cups warm water
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 4 cups flour

2 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons baking soda

Mix the yeast, water, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, and knead until the dough is smooth. Let the dough rise until doubled. Divide the dough into about 12 pieces, roll into a "snake" and shape into the form of arms crossed in prayer. Combine the 2 cups warm water and baking soda in a shallow dish and dip each pretzel briefly into the mixture and place it on a greased baking sheet. Let rest about 20 minutes. You can sprinkle the top with salt (or bake them naked and just before you eat it, spritz it with water and dip it in a little salt. Or garlic salt. Or cinnamon sugar!), and bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

You might be a little more successful in shaping your pretzels. A couple of mine looked ok, but more than a few kind of looked like something that should be scooped out of the dog kennel! Fortunately, they still taste good!
How the pretzel and Lent are entwined -

Lent is a period of fasting, self-denial and prayer, in imitation of our Lord's fasting, forty days and forty nights, and in preparation for the feast of Easter. It comprises forty days, not including Sundays, from Ash Wednesday to the end of Holy Saturday. The term "penance" means a "change of heart," a victory over sin and a striving for holiness. The sacrifices of fasting and self-denial are only means and signs of this spiritual penance.

The pretzel has a deep spiritual meaning for Lent. In fact, it was the ancient Christian Lenten bread as far back as the fourth century. In the old Roman Empire, the faithful kept a very strict fast all through Lent: no milk, no butter, no cheese, no eggs, no cream and no meat. They made small breads of water, flour and salt, to remind themselves that Lent was a time of prayer. They shaped these breads in the form of crossed arms for in those days they crossed their arms over the breast while praying. Therefore they called the breads "little arms" (bracellae). From this Latin word, the Germanic people later coined the term "pretzel."

Thus the pretzel is the most appropriate food symbol in Lent. It still shows the form of arms crossed in prayer, reminding us that Lent is a time of prayer. It consists only of water and flour, thus proclaiming Lent as a time of fasting. The earliest picture and description of a pretzel (from the fifth century) may be found in the manuscript-codex No. 3867, Vatican Library.
That many people eat pretzels today all through the year, that they take them together with beer in taverns and restaurants, is only an accidental habit. In many places of Europe, pretzels are served only from Ash Wednesday to Easter, thus keeping the ancient symbolism alive.
There seems to be no reason why our Christian families should not return to this beautiful custom of our ancient Roman fellow- Christian, especially since we still have these breads everywhere. The children will be delighted and greatly impressed when they hear the true story of the pretzel!

From The Year of the Lord in the Christian Home by Rev. Francis X. Weiser, S.J. (Collegeville, Minnesota, The Liturgical Press, ©1964) p. 89, pp. 93-94.

The New "Crew-Mobile" !!!!

Not really - but it was such an unusual vehicle, we had to stop and take a picture! What on earth????

Finished up a couple of new dresses for the girls. I found a free downloadable pattern, rummaged around in my fabric boxes, put in a little sewing time and here they are! I lined the bodice with the
same fabric that the leggings are cut from. They actually have T-shirts that match the outfit too, but they were too anxious to try them on for the picture - they didn't want to change their shirts!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010


Oh, yeah! My kind of hunting! A good tide, good weather, a license, a clam gun, let's GO!!!! My absolute favorite thing to eat in the entire, whole, wide world. Uh huh - razor CLAMS!!!!

We went to Oysterville after Mass yesterday. One couldn't have put in an order for better weather. AND, once they started to "show"
we had our limits in under 10 minutes!

The girls had fun digging, running from the
waves and just playing.

Of course they had to help prepare them today - they actually did a great job!

It only took me almost three hours this morning to clean 44 clams and one neck. Of course, that was with a few little breaks to do laundry, help the girlies, or what not. Not bad!

And yes, it was clam fritters for dinner! And breakfast tomorrow. And lunch.