Wednesday, October 28, 2009



to Marie

The time has come to say good-bye to our dear friend, Marie.

She's leaving soon to move to her daughter's home across the state. Living alone just got to be too difficult for Marie.

We have been blessed to bring Marie the Blessed Sacrament (Jesus) weekly as part of our Church's Homebound Ministry which reaches out to those who cannot get to Mass on Sunday.

We will treasure the time spent in her presence, praying together, sharing life's ups and downs...

Yes, it's hard to say good-bye. But Marie's decision to leave her condo and live with family seems like the most natural and right thing to do.

We will keep you and your family in our prayers, dear Marie.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our pumpkin patch at home is burned out, not enough crop rotation, we think. So this year it's being let to rest, and we visited a local apple orchard for pumpkin gathering.
The highlight of pumpkin gathering, though, was not the finding of the perfect gourd. No, it was the racing of the pumpkin cart... downhill... without brakes.
The thrill!
Who knew a visit to a pumpkin patch could be so exhilarating?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Last Race

Zachary's final cross country race of the season was yesterday. He cut about 30 seconds off his time, and was pleased with his finish.

So were we!

There's about a month now before a new varsity sport season begins. Zac will use this time for some R&R and probably a bit more time devoted to serious school work.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Saint Ephrem
the Syrian

Saint Ephrem the Syrian (+373), a deacon and a hermit, wrote hundreds of hymns in honor of the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is a patron of spiritual directors.
I found an excerpt of his writing in my Maginificat (yesterday's meditation) and wanted to share it.

Grant me, O Son of the Good One, that for which my mind yearns, and join to it that which is pleasing to your will. Grant that I may choose to do good and in no way deviate from you will.

Do not permit me to be a wicked and hypocritical disciple who violates your commandments.

Protect me from thinking that I can walk along your path merely for the sake of appearance and thus by my hypocrisy deceive those who see me, inciting them to proclaim me blessed.

Grant that my heart might please your greatness in secret, and that my just life might glorify you publicly.

May truth be a mistress to guide your worshiper; may it preserve me in chastity both near and far.

Deliver me from the misfortune of knowing your law, yet lacking the desire to please you.

Vouchsafe me the company of people who are simple, but experienced and wise in the performance of virtues.

My flesh is weak. Fortify it with your strength. Help me, break the arrows of the cunning enemy, and number me among the hosts of your heirs.

Grant me, O Lord, ever to be among your dominion and to do what is pleasing to you. And whenever I begin something good, do you, O Lord, give me strength to complete it.

The Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian:

O Lord and Master of my life, keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement, lust of power and idle chatter.

Instead, grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humble-mindedness, patience, and love.

O Lord and King, grant me the grace to be aware of my sins and not to judge my brother; for You are blessed now and ever and forever.


Icon of Saint Ephrem the Syrian, from Meryemana Kilesesi, Diyarbakr, Turkey.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

(zū-kĕt'ō, tsūk-kĕt'tō)

The small, round skullcap of the ecclesiastic. The official (Latin) name is pileolus; other designations are: berettino, calotte, subbiretum, submitrale, soli-deo.

We were having a casual discussion with Bishop Tyson about road biking (one of his favorite activities), when the topic of helmets came up.

Zac asked the bishop if he wore his zucchetto under his helmet, and in reply, the bishop mentioned that he's (sadly) not been able to find a magenta helmet.

Zachary offered to help find said helmet, but that he would need the zucchetto to match the color exactly. At this point, the bishop took his zucchetto off and placed it upon Zachary's head! As he did, the color of Zac's face suddenly matched the color of the zucchetto perfectly!

Of course, each of the boys wanted a turn wearing the zucchetto, and thankfully I had slipped my simple point & shoot camera into my pocket before leaving for daily Mass.

After all, "You never know when a little camera might come in handy!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Super Scout

Joseph has just about finished his term as the first patrol leader for his Burning Bullfrog Patrol.

His primary goal as a patrol leader was to help his patrol earn the National Honor Patrol Award.

Mission accomplished!

At the Court of Honor last week, Joseph had the privilege of receiving the National Honor Patrol Award on behalf of his patrol, and of distributing the awards to each of his patrol members.

Joseph reached his First Class rank a few months ago, and it was formally awarded at the Court of Honor. He's off to a great start in Boy Scouts. We are proud of him and his hard work.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pastor Installed!
It's a great day to be Catholic!

Our Pastor, Father Qui Thac, was officially installed today by Bishop Tyson.

The boys each had a special ministry, as a server (Peter), a vimp (Joseph) & as MC (Zachary).

Mass was beautiful, as always.

Look how proud Father Qui Thac's mother (in red) looks!

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Friday, October 16, 2009


Sister Mary Lucy

God Bless you.

Thank you for your lifetime of service and your living witness to the Gospel.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Peter is thrilled to announce that his layers have begun laying!
He's collected 2 eggs so far, and hopes are high that the egg production will rise steadily.
Uncle Craig's layers (same batch as Peter's) laid their first egg on EXACTLY the same day!
Wild nature at its best.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Backpacking to
Baker Lake
Tim and Joseph led a group of Scouts on a backpacking trip this weekend to a favorite campsite along the banks of Baker Lake.
The weather cooperated for excellent stargazing and fire building.
Playing flashlight games on the beach was Joseph's favorite part of the trip.
The group blasted out on Sunday, making the 4 mile hike with packs in less than 1hr 45min with a stop to play along the creek banks.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Zaccurate (my dear son's nickname) could not be more... accurate!

Having him enrolled in driver's ed is like having my very own personal driver's guide along for every ride.

Here are a few actual quotes from my "DG":

"I guess that's about 12 inches." (As he leaned out his door to do a curb-to-tire distance inspection after I'd parallel parked.)

"You should really stop before the crosswalk when the lights start flashing." (I did not see any flashing lights, and expect that it would have been a brake-slamming incident had the pedestrian not waited the cautious pause for the drivers to clue in.)

"It's generally a good idea to stop before the stop line." (As I apologized to a pedestrian for pulling too far forward, blocking his easy crossing of the driveway while I awaited an opening to pull into traffic.)

"What's the speed limit here?"

"No crossing the white line!"

"Technically you should stay in the right lane unless you're passing."

"Turn signal, turn signal!!"

You get the point...

When I picked Zac up from driver's ed Monday night, I asked him how he did on his first test.

"By my standards I failed. I got an 85%! But by the course standards, I was the top score in my class."

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I sat down to start a blog post today, and found that one of my favorite bloggers had something so very meaningful to share.

Go here if you would like to read her beautiful post today.

Zac (6) holding Peter (1); summer '01 at a track meet.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's that time of year, with cross country meets dotting our calendar. The weather was great for Saturday's invite up in the Mt. Baker foothills.
Perfect running weather! Not so bad for spectators, either...
Zachary had a great race, and improved his times (again). He thought he had a bit too much energy saved up at the finish line, so perhaps he could have run harder during the race (his thoughts, not mine).
He's competing again tomorrow here in town, and again Saturday at another invite about an hour's drive from here.
Cross country running is a perfect fit for Zachary, as he can compete with a group, but primarily against his own records, trying to cut seconds off each time he goes out.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Prayer Tools
One of our favorite prayer aids is the rosary.
On it we pray with and meditate upon scripture, and remember Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

Peter has long wanted to make his own rosary. We gave him a rosary making kit (which I put together) for Christmas, and he brought it out yesterday during what would have been Webelos meeting time.
Peter and I had the house to ourselves, since the boys were at Boy Scouts. It was a wonderful time to work together on this special project. He needed quite a bit of help at first, but as he got the hang of it, he needed less help.

After completing his rosary from the kit, he decided to make more rosaries using simple supplies found in the art closet. I wasn't sure how he would make the crucifix, but smiled to see his duct tape solution. (photos forthcoming)
He has now given away 2 of his homemade rosaries, and is making another.