Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Catherine: "Except when he's making stuff up."
One day Catherine stepped on Dominic's hand and he hollered.
Catherine: "Sorry, Dom."
Dominic: "You're welcome!"
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The kids love having such a big backyard to play in.
This structure has been named "The Barn-Shed." We have a nice woodpile there left by the previous owners, all ready for our woodburning fireplace this winter. Dan has been adding to it since this picture, from all of his tree trimming.
Looking out east. The small field out there is in the middle of being mowed in this picture, in order to be partially turned into a big garden next year. Also notice the propane tank in the yard, yet another learning opportunity for us.
Then after a while, Catherine said, "Mommy, I like the letters, but this doesn't taste very good." I hadn't eaten any yet, so I did, and she was right! They were very bland, not at all like what I remember the one time I had them when I was babysitting long, long ago. Our kids are used to eating whatever we eat, so they have been exposed to a lot of different herbs and spices and flavors.
I think I will have to doctor up that other can (cilantro, anyone? basil? oregano? thyme? anything?).
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Of course, the big green gates are an endless source of fascination:
Even Joseph gets in on that act:
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
by Charles J. Chaput
Oct 18, 2008
In an address delivered on October 17, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput stated that ''Prof. Douglas Kmiec has a strong record of service to the Church and the nation in his past. But I think his activism for Senator Barack Obama, and the work of Democratic-friendly groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.''
The following is condensed and adapted from an address Charles J. Chaput delivered at an ENDOW (''Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women'') dinner, October 17.
Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama
I began work on Render Unto Caesar in July 2006. I made the final changes to the text in November 2007. That's a long time before anyone was nominated for president, and it was Doubleday, not I, that set the book's release date for August 2008. So - unlike Prof. Douglas Kmiec's recent book, Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama, which argues a Catholic case for Senator Obama - I wrote Render Unto Caesar with no interest in supporting or attacking any candidate or any political party.
The goal of Render Unto Caesar was simply to describe what an authentic Catholic approach to political life looks like, and then to encourage Americans Catholics to live it.
Prof. Kmiec has a strong record of service to the Church and the nation in his past. He served in the Reagan administration, and he supported Mitt Romney's campaign for president before switching in a very public way to Barack Obama earlier this year. In his own book he quotes from Render Unto Caesar at some length. In fact, he suggests that his reasoning and mine are ''not far distant on the moral inquiry necessary in the election of 2008.'' Unfortunately, he either misunderstands or misuses my words, and he couldn't be more mistaken.
I believe that Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most committed ''abortion-rights'' presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973. Despite what Prof. Kmiec suggests, the party platform Senator Obama runs on this year is not only aggressively ''pro-choice;'' it has also removed any suggestion that killing an unborn child might be a regrettable thing. On the question of homicide against the unborn child - and let's remember that the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer explicitly called abortion ''murder'' - the Democratic platform that emerged from Denver in August 2008 is clearly anti-life.
Prof. Kmiec argues that there are defensible motives to support Senator Obama. Speaking for myself, I do not know any proportionate reason that could outweigh more than 40 million unborn children killed by abortion and the many millions of women deeply wounded by the loss and regret abortion creates.
To suggest - as some Catholics do - that Senator Obama is this year's ''real'' prolife candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse. To portray the 2008 Democratic Party presidential ticket as the preferred ''prolife'' option is to subvert what the word ''prolife'' means. Anyone interested in Senator Obama's record on abortion and related issues should simply read Prof. Robert P. George's Public Discourse essay from earlier this week, ''Obama's Abortion Extremism,'' and his follow-up article, ''Obama and Infanticide.'' They say everything that needs to be said.
Of course, these are simply my personal views as an author and private citizen. But I'm grateful to Prof. Kmiec for quoting me in his book and giving me the reason to speak so clearly about our differences. I think his activism for Senator Obama, and the work of Democratic-friendly groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress prolifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.
And here's the irony. None of the Catholic arguments advanced in favor of Senator Obama are new. They've been around, in one form or another, for more than 25 years. All of them seek to ''get beyond'' abortion, or economically reduce the number of abortions, or create a better society where abortion won't be necessary. All of them involve a misuse of the seamless garment imagery in Catholic social teaching. And all of them, in practice, seek to contextualize, demote and then counterbalance the evil of abortion with other important but less foundational social issues.
This is a great sadness. As Chicago's Cardinal Francis George said recently, too many Americans have ''no recognition of the fact that children continue to be killed [by abortion], and we live therefore, in a country drenched in blood. This can't be something you start playing off pragmatically against other issues.''
Meanwhile, the basic human rights violation at the heart of abortion - the intentional destruction of an innocent, developing human life - is wordsmithed away as a terrible crime that just can't be fixed by the law. I don't believe that. I think that argument is a fraud. And I don't think any serious believer can accept that argument without damaging his or her credibility. We still have more than a million abortions a year, and we can't blame them all on Republican social policies. After all, it was a Democratic president, not a Republican, who vetoed the partial birth abortion ban - twice.
The truth is that for some Catholics, the abortion issue has never been a comfortable cause. It's embarrassing. It's not the kind of social justice they like to talk about. It interferes with their natural political alliances. And because the homicides involved in abortion are ''little murders'' - the kind of private, legally protected murders that kill conveniently unseen lives - it's easy to look the other way.
The one genuinely new quality to Catholic arguments for Senator Obama is their packaging. Just as the abortion lobby fostered ''Catholics for a Free Choice'' to challenge Catholic teaching on abortion more than two decades ago, so supporters of Senator Obama have done something similar in seeking to neutralize the witness of bishops and the pro-life movement by offering a ''Catholic'' alternative to the Church's priority on sanctity of life issues. I think it's an intelligent strategy. I also think it's wrong and often dishonest.
It's curious that nobody seems to worry about the ''separation of Church and state,'' or religious interference in the public square, when the religious voices that speak up support a certain kind of candidate. In his book, Prof. Kmiec complains about the agenda and influence of what he terms RFPs - Republican Faith Partisans. But he also seems to pay them the highest kind of compliment: imitation. If RFPs are bad, is it unreasonable to assume that DFPs - Democratic Faith Partisans - are equally dangerous?
As I suggest throughout Render Unto Caesar, it's important for Catholics to be people of faith who pursue politics to achieve justice; not people of politics who use and misuse faith to achieve power. I have no doubt that Prof. Kmiec belongs to the former group. But I believe his arguments finally serve the latter.
For 35 years I've watched thousands of good Catholic laypeople, clergy and religious struggle to recover some form of legal protection for the unborn child. The abortion lobby has fought every compromise and every legal restriction on abortion, every step of the way. Apparently they believe in their convictions more than some of us Catholics believe in ours. And I think that's an indictment of an entire generation of American Catholic leadership.
The abortion conflict has never simply been about repealing Roe v. Wade. And the many pro-lifers I know live a much deeper kind of discipleship than ''single issue'' politics. But they do understand that the cornerstone of Catholic social teaching is protecting human life from conception to natural death. They do understand that every other human right depends on the right to life. They did not and do not and will not give up - and they won't be lied to.
So I think that people who claim that the abortion struggle is ''lost'' as a matter of law, or that supporting an outspoken defender of legal abortion is somehow ''prolife,'' are not just wrong; they're betraying the witness of every person who continues the work of defending the unborn child. And I hope they know how to explain that, because someday they'll be required to.
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., is the author of Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life (Doubleday, 2008). The views expressed here are his own, and do not represent those of the Archdiocese of Denver. Copyright 2008 The Witherspoon Institute. All rights reserved.
I really enjoy doing this. For me, it is partly like an online diary of all the little funny family anecdotes and pictures and memories. A good way to remember things we would probably otherwise forget. And a good way to share with our family and friends.
We hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!
Then the puddles all over the yard beckoned to the kids and who could refuse?
We have gotten to see many lovely sunsets
Thursday, October 16, 2008
We get to see lots of nature now:
A glimpse of the pond we share with one of our neighbors. On our side there are a lot of trees, so it is a little hard to get to, which is good because of the kids!
Then Dan spent hours and hours mowing and mowing and getting the place in shape. He even mowed all the way down to the pond and now the kids and I have a very nice to place to walk. It's like having our own park!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Let nothing disturb you
Let nothing frighten you
God never changes
Patience obtains all
Whoever has God wants for nothing
God alone is enough.
~~ St. Teresa of Avila
Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Avila. I read these words and any anxieties about the election, the economy, etc., seem kind of small.
You would think they had never tasted anything so good. They each ate a whole cucumber!
tortillas (this makes up about 10 soft taco size)
1/2 lb ground sausage, browned
6-8 eggs, scrambled
whatever else you want to put in
This is so easy, it's great!
Just put some sausage and eggs in the tortilla, sprinkle on some cheese and roll up tightly. Once you have rolled all of them up, put them on a plate and microwave them for a couple minutes until the cheese melts, which helps hold all the stuff inside.
Easy, yummy and makes a cheap dinner!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Archbishop Charles Chaput - Denver, CO
Bishop Kevin J. Farrell- Dallas, TX
Bishop Kevin W. Vann - Fort Worth, TX
About once or twice a week it is one of those humongous spiders (2-3 inches in diameter) with the very large bodies that ooze bluish/greenish goo when squished. Those are truly creepy and no, they don't make it out of the house alive.
So if you come to our house and see this sitting on the bookshelf:
Don't open it!
Frog Story #1: One night a few weeks after we moved in, Dan went out to the garage and carried some heavy boxes of books down to the basement for me, so I could unpack them the next day. An hour or so later, I hear Dan from our bedroom, "I need a box!" He came out and repeated that, adding, "You are going to freak out." I immediately thought that there must be a snake in the house, but no, it was a frog. We found a box and I let Dan go take care of it, except that I shortly heard, "You have to come help me." So then I went to the bedroom and there in the corner by the nightstand was this little frog. You should have seen what went on in the next 10 minutes or so. Two adults with a box and a towel (to put on top so the frog couldn't jump out), trying to catch this little frog that kept jumping around, getting under the nightstand, etc. I'm sure it was a funny sight. We didn't want to actually touch the thing. Eww! Finally we caught it and took it outside. Whew. At least it wasn't a snake. And at least the kids were all sleeping. Although, they probably would have had fun chasing it.
Frog Story #2 : Last week, I was in our bedroom and I heard this commotion out in the living room, and wouldn't you know, Dominic had found a teeny dead frog under the ottoman. Ick! So, of course, after that Dan had to pretend he was seeing frogs everywhere and the kids would scream and carry on. Until I told Catherine to tell Daddy he had a frog on his head and she did and thought that was the funniest thing in the world. But, what I want to know, how did that frog get in our house and under the ottoman and die? Creepy!
(After reading these stories, we will suddenly have no house guests for the rest of the year.)
Saturday, October 11, 2008
It is so much fun to run around like crazy in empty rooms:
Got to have a little wrestling:
The pot rack that Dan built (I miss that - there is no spot for one in this kitchen):
Outside at the hedge, I don't remember what it is called. Look at all those houses right next to each other. It seems crowded now!
I clipped the last of the yellow roses that were blooming and gave them to the kids. The rosebush was a gift and it looked half dead when Dan planted it. We were amazed when it went on to become a huge, blooming bush. (I guess I should have taken a picture of the rosebush!)
Then it was time for some fun with the cicadas (the shells only!). Catherine is actually holding one:
I think everyone got a turn to have a cicada shell attached to their shirt. They thought it was pretty neat, after the initial fear was overcome.
So goodbye, Old House!