Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Faith in God
Hope in eternal life
Love for my fellow man
food to eat
a warm house
being an American
Everyone knows the story of the Pilgrims inviting the Indians for a feast to celebrate the harvest after that first terrible winter in Massachusetts, but did you know that the first Thanksgiving was held in Virginia?
Thirty-eight men from Berkeley Parrish in England prayed thanks for their safe arrival to the New World and proclaimed Dec. 4, 1619 as a day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated every year thereafter.
The first Thanksgiving occurred when Captain John Woodlief led the newly arrived English colonists to a grassy slope along the James River and instructed them to drop to their knees and pray in thanks for a safe arrival to the New World.
On this day, Dec. 4, 1619, these 38 men from Berkeley Parish in England were given the instructions:
"Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God."
This saying is now carved on a brick gazebo, where it is believed that Woodlief knelt down beside the James River.
One of my aunties used to rent an apartment in the barnyard at Berkeley Plantation, back before it became a popular tourist site. I always delighted in trips there and have wonderful memories of that historic farm. When our family drove up for a weekend we would spend an hour or so hunting in the corner of one of the fields for long brown beads the settlers used to trade with the Indians. They were scattered around where only sharp eyes could find them, because they were the same color as the dirt they had lain in for 300 years. On the weekend before Thanksgiving we would always be invited to the annual oyster roast near the river, where long grills were covered in gray, bulbous shells ready to be pried open with curving knives. My younger brother and I each would slurp down at least a dozen of the hot oysters during the evening. It was quite a party with music blaring from a boombox, but no matter what the weatherman predicted, it was always neccessary to bundle up against the cold wind coming off the river and stand as close to the roaring bonfire as possible. Early mornings I would go for a run alongside the fields, sucking up every bit of beauty with my eyes and molecule of country air before we had to return to the suburbs. Thanksgiving Day always reminds me of those trips and makes me grateful I had the experience. Hopefully, our summer trips up to Maine give my children similar happy recollections and perhaps one day soon we will go and live on our own farm.
Today is officially baking day so I will be in my element with all the children helping make sweet potato muffins, green bean casserole, pumpkin pies, and lace cookies. I expect lots of messes, including dropped eggs, flour dust covering everything, and messy faces from licking batter, but if I anticipate these things it doesn't seem like such a disaster when it does occur.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
This past Sunday's adventures even garnered comments from one of the other moms after Mass. "You certainly had your fill of it today." My fill was right: 3 nappie changes, 1 entire outfit change, 1 squirmy toddler who wouldn't sit still to save his life and had to be taken out, 1 infant who demanded a nursing session, and 1 preschooler who needed to be hunted down after a solo trip to the potty. All was made worse in that an old friend from our days in Italy was sitting with us and the children climbed all over him as well as Tim and I. (sorry again, Tom) It was like a parade in and out of our pew and I cringe when I think of the interruption we must have caused in other people's prayers.
Some Sundays they are so good I barely recognize my own children. "We must have sprinkled them with magic dust this morning," I whisper to Tim over their heads. But there are the Sundays like the one where Charlie threw his empty milk bottle and almost nailed Father Damian in the middle of his homily. Amazingly enough, he only paused a moment and resumed his lovely explanation of the Trinity. Yesterday was one of those Masses I will always remember in vivid color and hopefully one day it will evolve into a family story worthy of many giggles.
That is, after the embarrassment subsides.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The teaching of maths in American schools is turning away from child-centred "reform maths" and back towards basic drills and memorisation. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics signalled the change of course in a report issued in September. The Bush administration, has a panel studying the research on teaching maths. Several states, including Washington, Florida and Utah are re-examining their curriculums.
The ferment has been caused by growing awareness that, at a time of increasing globalisation, the math skills of US children simply do not measure up: American eighth-graders lag far behind on an international test.
In part, the maths wars have grown out of a struggle between professional mathematicians, who say too many American students never master basic skills, and maths educators, who say children who construct their own problem-solving strategies retain their math skills better than those who just memorise the algorithm that produces the correct answer. ~ New York Times, November 14
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Oh, its only 6:45am.
You are officially notified that these things are expected today. Even old ladies want recognition on their birthdays.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Contraceptive pills are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in younger women, especially those who have taken the pill before a first full-term pregnancy, new research confirms. Chris Kahlenborn and others at the Mayo Clinic carried out a review of 34 case-control studies of breast cancer. They found that, among women under 50, oral contraceptives were linked with an increased risk of 1.19 over-all. Among women who had given birth, the risk was 1.29, but rose to 1.52 among those who used the pill for four or more years before a first full-term pregnancy. Among those who had not given birth the risk was 1.24.
The authors note that women are more likely today to use the pill before having any children and for longer periods. The higher risk of breast cancer may be "because the glandular tissue of the breast has not yet undergone the further differentiation associated with pregnancy". This differentiation inhibits the cancer-causing potential of artificial female hormones "and may explain the natural protection that pregnancy has been shown to confer." ~ "Oral Contraceptive Use as a Risk Factor for Premenopausal Breast Cancer: A Meta-analysis," Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Oct 2006
The whole book made me so glad we homeschool.
The difference is the motive.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The FDA has issued new guidelines for the pharmaceutical industry regarding the use of various types of cell lines that are being used and will be used in the future for the manufacture of vaccines. These cell lines include several ethical sources as well as ABORTED FETAL CELL LINES.
Since the FDA has invited the general public to respond through December 28, 2006, we are urging all concerned citizens, medical professionals, pharmacists and pro-life groups to let your voices be heard! It is imperative that the FDA receives a massive amount of public protest on the use of aborted fetal cell lines as your response may very well dictate the direction pharmaceutical companies will move in the future.
- Your Submission Will Become Part of the Official Public Record - The Pharmaceutical Industry Will See Your CommentsNOW IS THE TIME TO LET THEM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!
We will promote companies and products that do not use aborted fetal cell lines. We will boycott those that do.
It is in the best interests of our country to provide ethical vaccines that all Americans may use in good conscience!
There are ethical alternatives to aborted fetal material: Use them or we’ll refuse them!
Puzzles are good for developing mental capacity. We have wooden puzzles for the toddler set with pictures under the pieces, and 24 piece ones for the preschooler (Maggie is my biggest fellow puzzle enthusiast). Our most challenging ones are the 100 piece ones that even Will and Mary need a little help starting. They always come to the point where they politely ask me to leave so they can finish it "by themselves". By the third time through all I have to do is put the box on the table and miraculously in a few hours it is completed ("did the puzzle fairy do it?").