Now that we’re settling in, I can finally start up my Book Nook series again! This week I took the children to the library to get library cards. Both have been talking about the Gruffalo a lot (he’s evidently hiding in the house), so I thought I’d see if they actually had any books by Julia Donaldson. To my surprise and joy, they did! So we picked up Tyrannosaurus Drip, by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by David Roberts (I admit it’s a little weird for me not seeing Axel Scheffler’s name there).
The book is cute, and follows a duckbill dinosaur who is raised by Tyrannosaurs. Of course, the little duckbill dinosaur, named Tyrannosaurus Drip, doesn’t fit in and isn’t accepted by his “family”, but he eventually finds other duckbill dinosaurs and is overjoyed at fitting in. Not only that, but he becomes a hero through some clever thinking. It’s a nice story, as I’d expect with Julia Donaldson, and I love the rhymes and rhythm she uses. Since Charlotte was demanding that we all read it to her, I’m thinking she’s a fan, too.
The Fifth Luminous Mystery: the Institution of the Eucharist
|26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples. ‘Take it and eat,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’
|27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he handed it to them saying, ‘Drink from this, all of you,
|28 for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
And John 6:53-6 (I recommend reading the whole passage, though)
|53 Jesus replied to them: In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
|54 Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day.
|55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
I think this might be my favourite of the Rosary mysteries, to be honest. It absolutely amazes me that Jesus not only died and rose for us, but allows us to participate in that one, eternal sacrifice by giving us His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.
I remember before I was Catholic, how I’d talk to a Catholic friend down the hall of my dorm. I tried to convince myself that I was right and that she was wrong when it came to the Eucharist. After all, didn’t the OT forbid the consumption of blood? So how could Jesus command it? But it nagged at me, the “what if?” until I finally looked at it more. I found that the consumption of blood was forbidden because the life was in the blood; Jesus brings home this point by declaring that we don’t have life unless we eat His Body and drink His Blood. Wow! And if you read the rest of John 6, you see that the people gathered there understood Him to be speaking literally and were very offended. But instead of correcting their misunderstanding (as He had about baptism/being born again just a few chapters earlier), He reiterates the point until many leave. He doesn’t tell His Apostles that those who left misunderstood or explain it as a parable, as was His wont in other cases, but just asks if they’re leaving, too. Seems fairly clear when I finally looked at it without my preconceived notions of what it should say.
Looking at Eucharistic miracles also helped convince me, especially the miracle at Lanciano.
Sometimes I find that I take this amazing gift for granted, but with God’s grace I hope to keep the freshness and wonder of it. For truly, if I’m thinking about it, how could I not be amazed at this total gift of self, for someone such as me?! This humbling of Himself just so we can approach?! It’s truly amazing, and I thank Him for it.
That’s right – I’m back to knitting! The kids and I have gone to my mother’s knitting group the past two weeks, though I find I’m not really able to knit there since I have to chase the kiddos around. But that’s OK. I have gotten to knit a fair amount, though, working on Kieran’s and my sweaters.
I finally finished Charlotte’s tunic, too. While it had been listed as a tunic dress, I think it’s a bit short for a dress; it works great as a longer, tunic-style sweater, though. It’s supposed to be a Christmas present for Charlotte, but it might end up being a bit tight by then. I made the 2-3 year size, but she’s wearing 24 month/2T clothes already (at 19 months), so I don’t know. I did find another sweater I want to make for her, and I have the yarn, so if I get a move on, I could do that. We shall see!
I love watching and listening to my children play with each other. While they sometimes get upset with each other, they often play well together.
They’re also enjoying the new (to them) toys at their grandparents’ house. Charlotte’s new favourite toy is a small doll that I think was my sister’s; Charlotte refers to this as “baby”. Kieran’s new fave might be the rather large alligator puppet that he insists is a crocodile.
There can be friction, though, between Kieran and Charlotte when playing with these toys. Take this interaction the other day. Charlotte was sitting in my lap and had been holding “baby”. Suddenly she sat up and said “baby back to me!”. I asked where “baby” was, only to have Kieran answer “I think the crocodile ate it”. Yeah.
My children had their first experience carving pumpkins this year. It’s not really a big thing in England, so we just didn’t do it. They’d seen me cook with pumpkins, but nothing else. So on Friday we went to a pumpkin patch and let them pick out some pumpkins. Charlotte immediately gravitated towards a white pumpkin. Kieran at first went for a large orange pumpkin, but it had spots on it, and since I wanted to be able to cook with the pumpkins, too, I asked him to look for another one. He then went for the beautiful carnival squash. He also picked out a couple of orange pumpkins for my parents.
So we brought the pumpkins home and took them out to the deck.
Charlotte tried to help with the actual carving of her pumpkin, though that didn’t last long. Both kids enjoyed helping with the “goop”, though.
While carving the white pumpkin, I scooped out as much flesh as I could so I could make a pumpkin pie. I also used the small orange pumpkin Charlotte’s holding in the above photo. Between the two we had enough for 1 pie and a batch of muffins (I saw the recipe in a Penzey’s magazine and just had to try it). The carnival squash and other pumpkin will be used for soup. I’m personally quite pleased at being able to use most of the pumpkins. I didn’t save the seeds from these, but I think I’ll roast the seeds from the other orange one and serve them with the soup. Should be delicious!
Something we’ve been enjoying here is the zoo. We purchased zoo memberships so we wouldn’t have to rush through and so we can go back whenever we want.
We’ve been quite pleased with it. The children are very fond of brushing (and hugging) the pygmy goats. In fact, the second time we went to the zoo, that was what they begged to do.
The zoo itself is lovely, as far as I can tell. They have benches and picnic tables in various locations, so it isn’t necessary to go far to find a place to sit and eat. I was a little confused with this sign, though, because it was placed in the midst of some trees, with no seating in the vicinity. That seemed slightly odd. I had the mei tai, so I could easily feed Charlotte on the move, and I don’t really care about finding designated nursing spots anyway. We’d just happened to see this sign off a path in the play park part, which I found odd. But our overall experience with them has been great. I know we’ll go back soon.
The Fourth Luminous Mystery: the Transfiguration
The Scripture, from Mark 9:2-9 (New Jerusalem Bible):
2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain on their own by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: 3 his clothes became brilliantly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. 4 Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus.
5 Then Peter spoke to Jesus, ‘Rabbi,’ he said, ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ 6 He did not know what to say; they were so frightened.
7 And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’
8 Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus. 9 As they were coming down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of man had risen from the dead.
I have to admit that I sometimes wonder how Peter, who not only saw Jesus face to face but beheld Him in His glory, could still have denied Him, but then I think of all the wonders I’m shown and yet I still don’t pray as I should. There are times when I wish for a Eucharistic miracle so I could see the glory behind the veil, but then I’m reminded of St Louis’ words when a Eucharistic miracle was occurring in his city. When someone came to get him to come and see it, he simply stated that he didn’t need to see it because it wouldn’t change his faith or beliefs any – he already knew Jesus was in the Eucharist and didn’t need to see a miracle to prove it. I do not doubt it, either, though I still think a Eucharistic miracle would be awesome to behold. Of course, the Mass itself is a miracle and is awesome to behold, so should I not feel the same way about that as I would about seeing, say, Lanciano?
This passage also reminds me to ask God to help me see others as they truly are, for appearances can be deceiving. I have to often ask to see others as He does, so I may learn to love as He does. I’m definitely a long way off from being there yet.