Our small city has a hot air balloon festival each summer. We were too exhausted to go this year. But Friday evening after the balloons launched, we realized they were heading our way. So we hopped in the van to follow them. It was a fun adventure, bumping along back roads guessing which open spaces might be ideal for landing a hot air balloon. We got to see two land, one we arrived at before the official chase vehicle. We were not the only ones out hunting balloons and balloon people are fun and friendly so it was an enjoyable evening for all of us!
Movies are a great way to reach people's hearts and help them understand difficult subjects. The many ways in which our culture breaks down natural law and ignores God's design for marriage and family are complex and heart rending. Tiger's Hope , produced by the talented Dr. Stan Williams, is a movie that will help us understand the ramifications of ignoring God's design.
From the Tiger's Hope blog: Through the power of story, this short movie will give an accurate
picture of the state of both in vitro technology with its health
hazards, its low probability of success, and its health effects on
children and mothers. All that will be dramatically contrasted with
natural methods that have no side effects, almost no cost, and a
success rate that is 300-400% greater than in vitro. The cultural
ramifications of separating the conception of children from the martial
act will also be revealed in light of the Church's teachings on
marriage and the dignity of each human being. (This is from a post I found particularly interesting given my love for large families. In this post Dr. Williams contrasts the two high profile large families featured on the Discovery channel, the Duggars and the Gosslins. Quite insightful.)
Be sure to visit the website and blog, you will find much food for thought. Please spread the word and pray for the project!
Kevin J. isn't actually playing baseball this year, but the only time we could all be together to celebrate his birthday was at Blaise's game. The R.s have sons playing as well, and Uncle Bill and Aunt Roxanne, Uncle David and Aunt Kari came for the game so it was a good birthday crowd for his 16th.
At every outdoor occasion, the children are compelled to put sunglasses on the baby and take a picture.
At six foot two inches tall, strong, smart and kind, Alex celebrated his 14th birthday. (A few days ago, I'm playing catch up. As usual.)
We had a family celebration and Alex received a new outdoor adventure game for the Wii. (Isn't there something wrong with an outdoor game for the Wii?)
Since Kevin J.'s birthday is five days after Alex's, we gave them a joint gift. A digital movie camera. Production has been one of their interests lately. (How many scenes can you create in order to use the music from Braveheart?)
We have a deep affection, respect and gratitude for priests. The Holy Father has proclaimed that this is the Year for Priests and the patron of priests is St. John Vianney (naturally). Michele has a nice post explaining this special year.
For a while now, I have been trying to offer up my most dreaded household chore, folding laundry, for priests. They certainly need prayer support. Over at St. Gerard's Garden, Zeliemum will regularly feature a specific priest to pray for. Pray for priests. Be good to your parish priest.
Writers enjoy writing, reading their own and others writing, and discussing writing. At least if they are in the mold of the great Tolkien and Lewis who were members of the famous Inklings while at Oxford in England. Kevin J., Alex and a few friends are in this mold. They call their Inklings group Penmoot. So they were thrilled that Uncle Derk gave Kevin J. this book for his birthday gift.
The Inklings of Oxford. Lush photography and intelligent text tells the story of this brilliant writing group of men, and does not ignore their Christianity.
The Penmoot does not meet at a pub of course. As far as I know no one has taken up smoking a pipe. :) They do wear tweed and these boys are prolific writers. Most of their work has a Catholic mindset and tells a good story. They have a fabulous mentor who gently guides them in ther work.
Who knows what great works may someday be written by these boys, in part because of the example of writing men who left an impressive legacy behind them.
Lydia was a high needs baby for her first three months. She still is in certain situations. But she is mellowing, the little sweetie usually sleeps a good 8 to 10 hours at night. She smiles and engages people, talking baby language to them, though her 'hi' is distinct. I am not making it up. My three month old says 'hi'. A couple of friends have heard it, I have witnesses.
She is smaller than my other babies and a scrapper. She has an alternating arm/ leg pattern that scooches her across a blanket on the floor. She can't get her belly up yet but when she does she'll be crawling. She must be held facing out and upright. That way she can see where she is going and when the ability to walk comes to her, she'll be in the correct position. When we pick her up out of the crib, she lunges and points to the doorway in case we don't know which way is out to the rest of the world.
Apparently Lydia is done being a baby. I am getting gypped out of her babyhood. Gypped I tell you.