{ Grave Marker, Friends, Politics and Grace }

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The last few weeks have really forced me to look at myself and how I stand on certain issues.  Not whether I believe them but do I believe them enough to speak out for them - to take a stand.  

What sparked all of this is, of course, was the election.  I found myself more and more frustrated by the many posts and tweets i read on the web that spoke about health issues and defending women's 'healthcare' which seems to come down to defending the right to 'choose' - which always begs the question in my mind: choose what? The sentence is never completed by those who support choice.  It's never "I support the right to choose to kill an unborn child" or "I support the choice to dismember a baby in the womb".  No.  It's always half a sentence.  A beginning with no real thought to the end.  And for me that really points to the fact that our culture has moved so far from the eternal - the truth that this is not the end and be all of existence.  We are so wrapped up in the here and now that it's easy to lose sight of this simple and obvious fact - we won't be here on this earth forever - but we do have an eternal soul that does live forever.

Now I wouldn't be honest if I didn't include myself in this group.  Yes, I attend mass every week and we say our night prayers every night and through out the day I will sometimes remember this but pulling back and asking the question of whether I live as I should day in and day out?  I have to admit I'm a sinner and a man who struggles just like all men (universal man).

But beyond all this one thing that I have to admit, when searching my own soul, is that I fail my baptismal call as 'prophet' when I don't give a voice to truths at times that those truths are questioned by others.  I'm shy by nature - always have been - and it is a true struggle to make that leap of faith.  My mind becomes full of self-doubt ('I know I can't speak eloquently' or 'I know this person is so much smarter than me' or 'I will be mocked for this') and give in so often.  At the same time I an confident in my positions because I have faith in my Church's position as prescribed through the word of God.  These are tenants that have withstood the test of time and have shaped much of the good in our world.  But because of this I also can become uncharitable when I hear others speak against the Church with an irrational argument or one that holds a double standard.  But in the end - after the self-doubt and after the uncharitable thoughts I stand there and just feel saddened by the fact that people I know and care about are wrong.  And it's not in the sense of self-righteousness but when a friend says he supports a candidate because he wants to 'save' the ability for his wife and daughter 'to choose', my heart breaks.  A father is called to protect his children - first and foremost from the evils of our temporal and spiritual world.  To ensure they ultimately reach heaven.  Anything that works against that is a disordered sense of protection.

We must see life is sacred and protecting the most vulnerable in our world is one of the most important things we can do - as society, as a Church and as individuals.

Nothing has made that more clear to me than experiencing the birth of my own children and especially the death of one.

I shared months ago that our family had lost the latest addition to our family through a miscarriage.  Our baby had for some unknown reason stopped growing.  He was just a few weeks old and telling our children was one of the most difficult things I've had to do as a 'Dadda'.  The joy that that baby created in our family among his brothers and sisters was something that was different than previous times.  I'm sure being older and understanding more had much to do with that - they understood what was happening.  At the same time I believe it also had to do with just having a large family.  They almost expect another sibling and yearn for one.  Are saddened when it seems like we are done. If I'm being honest I have to admit that it wasn't necessarily joy that first ran through my head when I found out.  The first thing was fear.  Fear of how to pay for it…we can't afford another one…what will our family say…blah blah blah.  Again, me living in just the here and now.  Not thinking that another soul was just co-created with our Creator. A soul that will live forever.  One that could be prince or pauper - it would not matter - as he would be a child of God.  So, what did it take for me to turn around?  My children. 

I learn much from my children and through them.  This is what it means to me when Christ calls us to have childlike faith.  Children don't worry about how the mortgage will get paid or whether we'll have enough food or how much room will they have to give up for another sibling.  All they care about is 'I'm going to have another brother or sister'. They download apps to track the progress of the baby.  They start talking about names.  They want to start breaking out baby clothes from storage.  Telling the younger brothers stories of what it was like to have them as the new baby in the house.  They reminded me of the here and now in the light of the eternal.  This is what helped me through the loss of our baby.  That having another one was a joyful occasion. I still had moments of doubt and struggled but it was always my family that strengthened me as I faltered.  

Life is full of joyful times and there are times of sorrow.  When we learned that our baby had died it was a time to mourn.  I felt (and still struggle now) so guilty for the thoughts which initially ran through my mind.  So guilty for worrying about the extra cost of another baby.  But that guilt was tempered by the amount of joy that this little one had brought to our family in just a matter of two weeks.  Jenn and I of course knew longer than that but didn't tell the kids right away.  Within a week after we told them about the new baby we found out he had stopped growing.  Jenn and I waited and prayed for a week that a miracle would occur but during the second sonogram it was confirmed that we had lost our 7th child.

One of the most difficult things I've ever had to do is tell my children that their new little sibling 'growing in momma's belly' (as they liked to say) had stopped growing and would not be born as they had thought.  There was grief and sobbing - for days.  It was a lot for Jenn to go through.  Being with them all day and having them start crying throughout the day was draining as she went through her own grieving. Night prayers were painful and instead of praying for the continued health of our baby we prayed for his soul through tears and hugs.

Jenn and I talked about how to handle the miscarriage and she, being the loving mother she is, really wanted to miscarry naturally to ensure that we could bury our baby.  Days passed.  Weeks passed.  We were all on edge a bit wondering when and what to really expect.  The day finally came and after receiving a text from Jenn calling me home I rushed home - all the while wondering what to expect and what I was going to do.

I won't go into the details of the whole experience but I will share one profound moment of grace.  

Once home, Jenn showed me our baby.  He was so small and looked so vulnerable.  After getting her settled back in bed we had to decide what to do next. Because of all the bleeding we both decided he was to be washed.  

With a heavy heart I went back in and picked him up and carried him over to the running water and washed his tiny body as gently as I could. Fearful that I was going to damage his tiny limbs as I let the water wash away the blood.  As I did this with tears streaming down my face and talking to him telling him I was so sorry and calling him 'baby' the image of what it must have been like for Mary struck me.  To be with her son after he was taken off the cross. Holding him covered in blood, flesh torn and looking down at him with grief and unconditional love and remembering what it was like to hold the holy child that first Christmas night.  As painful as what was happening was for me I felt comforted knowing that I wasn't alone in what it is like to lose a child.  Not alone in grief but loved by an all loving God.  And at the same time reminded that this is not the end.  Through God's merciful grace which we can receive because of Christ's gift of his passion we will see each other face to face and I will hold my baby in my arms at last.

Experiences like these are ones that mark a place in my life where I find myself given a choice to harden my heart and get lost in the noise of life or turn to the Father that is waiting for his prodigal son and allow him to embrace me in moments of grace like the one above.  I pray for the grace to always choose the latter.

Why do I believe all life is sacred?  Simply because all life comes from a loving God who created us not out of need but out of love to share in His divine life. 

{ Deus Caritas Est }

{ 7 Quick Takes - Vol 9 - The weekend edition }

Didn't get this done for Friday...hence 'The weekend edition'

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What's that? You don't recognize me? hmmm....could it be because I've started to try and change a little of my eating habits?  Those who know me know that i have a very limited pallete that has been 'developed' over the period of probably 35 years.  I'm basically a meat and potatoes guy with those meat and potatoes primarily being sourced by fast food.  And if we take a quick inventory of my life we'll see that I have 6 kids and a wife that rely on me for an income.  On top of that...I'm tired....no, really...just really tired.  So, discussing this with Jenn we decided we would take the first step towards chainging our eating habits.  Big changes for me?  No soda and no fries.  To be honest, I thought it would be more of a struggle giving up the soda but I've had no headaches (as has been the result in the past when giving it up for lent).  Maybe it has to do with the fact that I live in a climate that is H-O-T and the cool refreshing taste of water is the only thing that will quench my thirst.  Who knows? But i'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth...it's all about H2O for me these days and I already feel better!

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So, here in austin we have plenty of great restaurants.  Everything from fine dining to food trailers.  One of my favorites:

Via 313 Pizza

If you're ever in Austin you need to try this trailer out!

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I did listen to the song our host, Jennifer, suggested and it is a catchy little ditty!  It has been downloaded and listened to many times over the weekend.  Good stuff!

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Saturday morning was spent out on the road with my daughter.  The mission?  A search for rhinestones.  These are the kind that go on nails.  So, off we went in search of said stones.  Original plan was to go to Sally's.  Well, thinking that she's been there a couple of times I figured we'd maybe try and find some alternative to increase our options.  Unfortunately, the two places that we looked up were closed on Saturday.  Not sure why but they were so after a bit of driving around we ended up back on our original plan and landed at Sally's.  Was I in for a lesson in nail products!  I had no idea there were so many things that had to do with nails!  Well, after going through all the rhinestone options we were waiting in line and of course they have a table that's 50% off of already reduced items and what do we find?  Nail Polish.  Apparently this stuff is not cheap ($8-12 a bottle !?!).  And so this is where I just smile.  My daughter is just so considerate and mindful.  She knows we are not rich by any stretch of the imagination and understands the value of a dollar because she has earned her own money to buy her iPod touch and a couple American Girl dolls.  Well, being her dad I can see her eyes just widen at the amount of options that are sitting in front of her but she is too shy to ask for any of them.  So, I ask if she'd like any and she struggles to choose just one.  I tell her just to get which ones she likes and so we walk to the counter with 6 bottles along with the rhinestones she chose.   It made me so happy to see her eyes just twinkle with her new purchases.  As we were walking out I said, "you know, those are really good prices.  Maybe we should get a couple more".  She just smiled and then said, "you may be right".  So in again and out with a total of 11 bottles of nail polish.  It's fun to be a dad.

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Now that we had all those bottles of polish and rhinestones it was time to finish her shelf:

 

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On the calendar for next week:

 

 

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For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

{ 7 Quick Takes - Vol 8 }

These are going to be short and sweet...

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It has been a long couple of weeks.  I celebrated my birthday Tuesday before last (July 3rd) and, unfortunately, received the sad news that my grandmother passed away.  She was 98 years old.  She was a strong woman who was an extremely talented seamstress.  She was the kind of seamstress who could look at a dress and go home and make it.  We did get a chance to see her last summer when in Brownsville.  Here she is with my kids and my nephews.

 

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.  May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

Requiescat in pace, Grandma

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It was a nice birthday that ended with a Round Rock Express game.  It was a fun game but they lost.  It was nice though that they celebrated my birthday after the game with some fireworks!

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July 4th was a nice day.  We went out to our friends the Schroeder's house as we do annually and visited with friends, prayed for our country and shot off fireworks at night.  A good time was had by all.

 

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I've gotten sucked into an old TV series that my friend Harry recommended a while back.  

 

I am seriously sucked in and I haven't been able to stop watching it.  It is a bit lame knowing that the show was canceled in Season 2 and only have 8 episodes to go.  Oh well.  In searching for the picture above I came across an article that they may bring the series back because of the cult following it has.  Netflix leading the talks with CBS.  We shall see...

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A Pox on our house!  We returned from Brownsville and the following day Thomas started to show some little irritations on his hands.  Give it a day and now all 4 of the younger boys have chicken pox.  It has been a rough week for them but they are soldiering through it all and hopefully will be done by next week.  

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I've finally decided to give Lightroom 4 a try.  I've used every version so far but ever since I started using Nik Products I have not used Lightroom for too many edits other than adjust exposure.  I'm thinking I'll force myself to utilize Lightroom more often to get a real feel for the new features and see about shortening up my editing time.

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Music selections for the week....

I have not been able to get this song out of my head! (I did find the clean version...)

And then there's this one...

 

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

{ Deus Caritas Est }

{ 7 Quick Takes - Vol 7 }

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Happy Friday! It's been a bit of a rough week but a grace filled one as well.  Did not get much done as far as things that I wanted to get done but looking back it was not a wasteful week.  When I came home Friday I was asked to look out the window.  What I saw was a rope fastened between two of our trees and then a sheet draped over it to make a makeshift tent.  To hold the 'tent' shape they had pulled out one of my tarps to use as a base and then proceeded to 'nail' the sheet through the grommets with makeshift nails (small tree branches).  It was very cute and was proud of their ingenuity in making this and told them how cool it was that they had done that.  Have I mentioned how fun it is to have boys?

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So, knowing how much fun they had doing that and knowing how much fun they like projects I decided early Saturday morning to take their project to '11' and go with a morning project of creating an actual structure for their tent.  We started off with heading to the Lowes for our supply run.

 

Once the supply run was complete we went into construction mode.  Now, I should note that there was already a committment to Dominic that I would take him to the pool in the afternoon so I knew we had to work quickly - especially as they day was turning into a towering inferno.  So, with this in mind I decided to pull out the power tools of coolness (coolness because boys love tools and they like them better when they have to be plugged in) to make this construction process go quickly.  With the miter saw, brad nailer, power drill and compressor, we went to work.  Things moved quickly and within a few minutes we had our base constructed.

 

We continued on after a much needed water break we decided on the number of supports to add and then whether they wanted a base or not.  We finished shortly after the executive decisions were made by the executive board and we moved it to the original spot.  In the pic below you can see we kept the tarp and repurposed the rope.  All salute!

Once construction was completed it was decided by the executive board (pictured above) that they would sleep in the tent.

 

The outdoor party lasted about 15 min as each one decided to come in one after another once the reality of our Texas heat sunk in.  It was fun though.  And, we did make it to the pool that afternoon.

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While all that was going on Mary took a quick day trip to Houton to go see her cousin in a production of Beauty and the Beast.  Once she made it back and saw what we had made she reminded me that I agreed to make a nail polish rack for her.  The following day Mary and I worked on this 'Nail Polish Rack'.  We stopped for supplies on the way home after mass and then started after lunch.  I decided to go with just stock boards to make things easy.  The only problem with that is that they are never cut perfectly - at least lengthwise - so it took some doing to find ones that were close.  This project turned out to be a bit more difficult than the previous day's as there were just more parts so we took our time in planning out how we wanted it and how much space these nail polish bottles would take.  With that figured out we started putting it together.

 

The first part was putting on the shelves.  Because we were using a thin backboard we needed to place some weight on it to flatten it out.  

Once the shelves were glued and tacked on it was time for the sides.  This proved to be a bit more of an issue than i anticipated.  Because of the lightness of the boards it was difficult to have it set properly.  So, I did what any dad would do...break out the bigger tools - in this case my big clamps.

 

This decision proved to be the right way to go as we were able to secure the sides and keep it from racking out of alignment.  It is now ready and simply needs to be painted and then mounted.  Thinking about going with a french cleat for mobility options.

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By now everyone has heard about the ruling.  Please continue to pray.

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Next week we celebrate our great nation's independence.  Please pray for all those here and gone who have fought for our freedom and continue to keep us safe.

 

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Happy 4th of July!

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

{ 7 Quick Takes - Vol 6 }

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Happy Friday! Last night marked day one of Fortnight for Freedom.  We joined families around the country in praying a family rosary last night.  I have to say that for me it was a different feeling than other times as I usually struggle with the rosary.  My mind wanders.  I get distracted.  The small ones are running around and I can't focus.  But last night was different and I can only attribute it to grace.  As cheesy as this sounds I will share because it really set the tone for what occurred later in the evening: as I dropped to my knees I had this sense that we were entering into a struggle or even a battle that is being waged on us, not only as Catholics, but as citizens of this great country.  Please join the fight.

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Need some inspiration?

 

Don't mess with my Church.

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Early this week I felt moved to turn the vessel that we will bury our little baby in.  I chose sycamore at least for the bottom of it.  If you recall, it was a sycamore tree that Zacchaeus climbed to see Jesus passing through Jericho.  When Jesus saw him he called out to him and told him to come down quickly "for today I must stay at your house" (Luke 19:5).  I believe little David Anthony is now staying in Jesus' house.  I pray I meet him face to face one day.

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 On a warmer note...

It would seem summer is here.  Not just because of the solstice but because apparently i will need to shield myself from the sun this coming Tuesday.  What strikes me the most about this graphic is the 'Mostly Sunny'.  I wonder what it would be if it was full on sun?!?  Would we have to give some credit to the Mayans?  Would we find out that our goverment has built arks to prepare for the coming polar meltdown? I wonder...anyway...it's H-O-T.  Texas HOT!  Thankfully it will not have to be a dry one...

 

 

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Referring back to Quick Take #1 - last night after Joshua's softball practice it was another moment of grace.  I had made the decison to let him stop doing the religion program he was working on and take a little break while I decided what he could do instead.  I remembered a book that was instrumental in my walk back to the Church and decided we would use that.  He had already picked up a couple of my books off the shelf to read for fun (A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist   and Making Choices: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Moral Decisions  - both by Peter Kreeft) and so I figured this would be a good time to start taking a crack at the book.  We started with the chapter on spirit.  I have to say it was so much fun opening a dialogue with him where I could see the wheels cranking and him making the connections.  One thing we talked about in just studying the text was how important it is just not to take the words simply as words but to look at the premise being presented and what that means - and at the same time what it doesn't mean.  It's so easy to look at studying as a 'checklist' and to just check off ideas as you read them and just understand the words.  But when you dive deep into the idea being conveyed it opens a door to so much more.  It was awesome to see that smile when he 'got it'.  One thing I walked away with is also how important it is to give him time to think and let him make the connections.  It reminded me of how our Father takes the time with us...even when this student (me) can be bordering on 'invincible ignorance'.  We have a patient and merciful God indeed.

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New Audiobook I just started:  Witness by Whittaker Chambers.  I'm told this book was instrumental in Ronald Reagan converting from a new deal democrat to conservative Republican and take up the fight against communism.  I'm just getting through the opening chapter which a letter to his children about why he wrote the book.  I'll post more about it as I get through it.

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Music Video Selections for this week:

 

{ Deus Caritas Est }

 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

{ 7 Quick Takes - Vol 5 }

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It's been a rough week.  Monday it was confirmed that our family lost our unborn 7th child.  The kids have been devastated by the news and there have been many tears shed for our little lost baby.  I don't get many visitors if any at all but if you happen to come across this today from Conversion Diary I humbly ask for your prayers for my family as we work through this loss and please pray for a safe natural miscarriage.  Thank you so much.

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Dominic has reminded me this week of what it is to have to rely on prayer as I felt useless in having any ability to take away his pain.  It's a difficult lesson to go through and I'm sure it won't be the last time.  I will admit to - on occasion - rarely - once in a blue moon - having a streak of stubborness...we are blessed that God is a patient God...

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This week is our week to get our Farmhouse Delivery.  We've been doing this since January and it is a fun experiment in trying to find things to do with our bi-weekly delivery.  This week I'm told has some delicious peaches and cucumbers - a particular favorite of John's.

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Yesterday I finished my latest audiobook: The Amateur.  I have to say that it was somewhat of an eye opener as I'm not one to follow politics.  I will admit that for me many things come down to one issue for me.  Will my president support abortion or defend the most innocent of our society?  All else comes second for me. Are there other evils such as oppression and greed and racism?  Yes, of course.  And they are terrible things but a country that allows the destruction of millions of unborn babies will never fix those ills as long as it has a disregard for life.  The family is the cradle of civilization.  Anyhoo...like I said.  This book showed me what a weak and narcissitic man this president of our is and it is crazy how people will overlook many things just to hold a party line.  I think it's time for those like myself to get informed.

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My oldest son, Joshua, will begin his sophomore year in the fall.  With that comes confirmation and with confirmation has come the decision to change youth programs.  This year he will be registering at St. Williams Catholic Parish in Round Rock.  From everything we've heard the RE program is a solid one and well run.  We went this past Sunday to their SWYM summer meeting and Josh enjoyed it.  Tonight (Thursday) he returned to sign up and play on the summer softball team.  He had a fun time there.  it seems to be a better fit for him as his homeschool teen group already meets at this parish and he has seen a few of those teens already at the two functions he's attended.  I believe I'll be volunteering as well to help however I can.  The pastor, Rev. Dean Wilhelm, knew Joshua's godfather, Rev. Todd Reitmeyer, and so it also feels right to make this change.    

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Speaking of my dear friend, Fr. Todd (5/13/69 - 5/24/06), every year we get together to remember him and celebrate his life.  His siblings, Harry and Jenn and my family meet at Assumption cemetery and then go to his favorite restaurant, Chili's, to have "bottomless chips and soda, dude!".  Good ol' Fr Todd.  It always makes me smile when I think of that.  This Saturday we will celebrate Fr. Todd's life.

He chronicled his priestly life in South Dakota on his blog, A Son Becomes a Father.  The week he died he was here to visit and celebrate Mary Rachel's first communion.  This is from his last blog post:

"Anyway it went fairly well and and after a marathon of pictures… I got back to my friends house for the celebration. That was a lot of fun. Although, once again, I somehow got pegged as Darth Vader. This time was a lot more dangerous because there were about 4 homeschooling families present. That means a lot of kids. And with only 3 real lightsabers around… there were a lot of creative substitutions… some hurt worse than others. I finally was able to convince them to play hide and seek and I would come find them…. boy was it difficult to find them.. I must have sat many minutes thinking about where they might be. During that time the 2 year old who was afraid of me until today, thought it might be neat to touch the ceiling. I obliged him….. evidently once wasn’t enough… How do you say no to a two year old as cute as this. Well the whole kitten kaboodle (sp?) came around the corner to see why I hadn’t found them… and all decided that they needed to touch the ceiling as well…. At about 10:30 the kids were finally going down and I congratulated Mary Rachel again. She said I can’t believe I received Jesus… it still seems like a dream. Beautiful… and fully explains Matt 18:3. Next we went to do our Catholic duty and participate in the othercott."

With the loss of our little baby this week I can't help but think that Fr. Todd is in heaven with him and praying for us down here.

Requiescat in pace

Article about Fr. Todd by a dear priest friend of his.

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Don't think I can choose just one so there are two music videos for this week.  They are both favorites of the kids.  From MercyMe's collection of Grab Bag Covers:

 

 

 

Deus Caritas Est

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

{ 7 Quick Takes - Vol 4 ... Better late than never }

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Friday, my little Dominic Joseph turned 8.  He's a feisty little boy that has a tender heart with a little bit of stubbornness in the mix to make things interesting.  All he's been asking for for the past year (at least) is an iPod touch.  Well, Friday he received what he's been asking for all this time.  Granted there will be restrictions but he is going to be so excited and feel so 'grown up' as his 3 older siblings have their own already. 

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So, an 8 year old with an iPod touch.  I know some people will frown upon this and I totally understand as it's sometimes a point of contention in our household.  Mary, my baby girl of 12 yrs, uses it for reading for the most part.  Thomas uses his for reading and keeping up on the latest baseball scores (Go Red Sox!).  Joshua uses his for reading and sometimes listening to podcasts.  Dominic has finally gotten over his shyness and is now reading out loud to his younger brothers and so I really am looking forward to having him take the plunge on becoming a voracious reader like his older siblings.

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My baby girl had her end of year ballet recital yesterday and she was awesome!  I can't believe how much of a young woman she's starting to become.  I also can't believe how graceful she's become in the last 6 months.  Just this past December, at her class open house I could see what she was struggling with (I couldn't tell you what the position is called) but today she did it flawlessly.  Today she begins two weeks of ballet classes (camp?) where she goes from 10-4:30 Monday through Friday.  That's a lot of ballet!

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Also today, Monday, my oldest goes of to NYLT Camp with the Boy Scouts.  He'll be gone for the week and we'll be picking him up on Saturday.  This is a special leadership training camp and I'm excited to see what kind of skills he'll be coming back with to share with his troop.  

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Today also marks the beginning of Thomas' all star tournament.  They practiced all week last week (M-Sat) - That's a lot of baseball…but he loves it and can't wait 'til the game starts this evening.  

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Finally, this past Saturday I attended the first ever Texas TJEd Family Forum.  It was inspiring day of lectures on leadership education based on the Thomas Jefferson Education book(s) by Oliver Demille.  It really gave me a better idea of some of the principles described in the book and just inspired me to dive deeper into the education of my children and help define what it is I want them to learn in the next school year.

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Video of the week.  When transferring some music onto Dominic's iPod he reminded me of this one by Mark Schultz.  Couldn't find an actual music video so figured we'd go with one that just shows the lyrics.  Have a great week!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

{ 7 Quick Takes }

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Regular baseball season is over.  My little John (up above) did not play but was so excited about his brother's games that over the course of the season we added to the Red Sox t-shirt he received for Christmas.  He is a cutie and plays whole 9 inning games pretending to be a star player on his team.  He allows himself to be struck out by the imaginary pitcher.  He allows himself to be picked off by imaginary infielders.  And he allows himself the occasional homerun (both in the park out of the park homeruns).  He's a cutie!

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And here's Thomas (aka Ice Man).  He had a fun season and was dubbed the ice man as they would bring him in and it would take a lot to throw his concentration.  He's just a kid that loves baseball.

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This week just felt like a really long long week.  I'm not sure exactly what it was that made it seem so ... but it did.  Unfortunately, due to baseball season I was unable to attend the final lecture by Prof. Koons with our host, Jennifer Fulwiler, as a special guest.  I'm sure it was wonderful and am looking forward to hearing about it from those who were in attendance.  

--- 4 ---

It's close to summer and my daughter, Mary Rachel, my baby girl, will start her little summer business.  For the last 3 years or so she has advertised herself, through my wife Jennifer's email groups, as a "Mother's Helper".  She basically offers a service where she will come to your house and entertain your children so you can get things done a bit more 'efficiently'.  It's not quite baby sitting as Mom is still there doing what she needs to get done but it's been very helpful for the ladies who have taken advantage of the help/service.  Well, she still loves dolls and had her eye on a new American Girl doll last year so she worked as much as she could to earn the money for the doll and many of the accessories available.  This stuff is not cheap!  So, what is the target for this year?  An iPad.  She's not a greedy little girl though and says she doesn't need the latest one.  She'd be happy with the iPad 2. 
So, if you're in the Austin area and need a little help in occupying your children with some playtime that you don't have to monitor drop me a line  and I can connect you to a young, resourceful and cute 12 year old entreprenuer.

--- 5 ---

I'm not the most impatient person but if I have to wait in line somewhere I like to have something to read.  At the same time, I sometimes don't have time to go through and read all the articles I come across at the time I come across them.  The solution? Pocket

 

This little tool allows me to capture articles, videos, pictures, etc as I'm going through the web doing other things so I can then come back and view them.  And when i say capture I don't mean actually copy them.  It just allows me to pull them up later on my iPhone or iPad when I have the time.  I've got 6 kids...I'm at the grocery store almost everyday for something.  This lets me catch up on articles that I want to read rather than the ones on the newstands.  Though I still may snag a snickers while in line.  There's no app for that...yet.

--- 6 ---

 

This is Dominic.  He's my 7 year old and a real cutie too.  The book of the week is The Hobbit and he is just eating it up.  It's such a joy to see him so immersed in the story.  It's always disappointing for him when we get to the end of the chapter as that signals bedtime!

--- 7 ---

Music video for the week....It's hot and so it's summer here in Texas.  Time for a good ol' summer song.

Gimmie That Girl!  

 

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