Saturday, December 31, 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

On the Sixth Day of Christmas....

...the Zoomlians bring to you: Radio Garden!
This is a website which streams live radio broadcasts from around the world!

Doesn't sound too exciting?  Try it!  Spin the globe and click on whatever little green dot catches your eye. It's addictive! 

You should be able to get to their website by clicking on the picture, but if I haven't gotten the tech right, you can use this link: Radio Garden.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

...the Zoomlians bring to you: Leena's Christmas Special!

With the added bonus of the BCC Christmas Special, with all the art done by Klenda!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

On the Second Day of Christmas...

...the Zoomlians bring to you: a Christmas poem!

The Burning Babe
As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surpris’d I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
“Alas!” quoth he, “but newly born, in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
      So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.”
      With this he vanish’d out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
      And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

HT: Poetry Foundation

Two things about this poem: firstly, the writer was a priest in England during Elizabethan times who was later martyred for his faith, and secondly, it was set to music and sung by Sting. I'm not sure what's with that since I also heard his version of The Angel Gabriel to Mary Came for the first time ever this Advent.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

On the First Day of Christmas...

...the Zoomlians give to you:  Best wishes for a Merry Christmas!
We got to decorate our parish this Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve!

We've been busy decorating our house.

And decorating our parish.

And hopefully decorating our hearts for the One who is coming!

Check back tomorrow for the beginning of our 12 days of Christmas gifts to you!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Poem of the Week: Advent Hands

 Advent Hands

By Catherine Alder
I see the hands of Joseph.
Back and forth along bare wood they move.
There is worry in those working hands,
sorting out confusing thoughts with every stroke.
“How can this be, my beautiful Mary now with child?” 
Rough with deep splinters, these hands,
small, painful splinters like tiny crosses
embedded deeply in this choice to stay with her.
He could have closed his hands to her,
said, “No” and let her go to stoning.
But, dear Joseph opened both his heart and hands
to this mother and her child.
Preparing in these days before
with working hands
and wood pressed tight between them.
It is these rough hands that will open
and be the first to hold the Child.

I see the hands of John,
worn from desert raging storms
and plucking locusts from sand ripped rocks
beneath the remnant of a Bethlehem star.
A howling wind like some lost wolf
cries out beneath the moon,
or was that John?
This loneliness,
enough to make a grown man mad.
He’s waiting for this, God’s whisper.
“Go now. He is coming.
You have prepared your hands enough.
Go. He needs your servant hands,
your cupping hands to lift the water,
and place his feet upon the path to service and to death.
Go now, John, and open your hands to him.
It is time.”

I see a fist held tight and fingers blanched to white.
Prying is no easy task.
These fingers find a way of pulling back to old positions,
protecting all that was and is.
Blanched to white. No openness. All fright.
But then the Spirit comes.
A holy Christmas dance begins
and blows between the twisted paths.
This fist opens
the twisted fingers letting go.

Their rock-solid place in line has eased.
And one by one the fingers lift
True color is returned
And through the deepest of mysteries,
The holiest of holies,
O longing of longings
Beyond all human imagining
this fist,
as if awakened from Lazarus’ cold stone dream
reaches out to hold the tiny newborn hand of God.

 HT: Journey With Jesus

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Poem of the Week: Gaudete!

The Incarnate Word is with us,
is still speaking, is present
always, yet leaves no sign
but everything that is.

By Wendell Berry
HT: Minnesota Mom 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

We had a big party with lots of friends, games and a gingerbread contest!

The first game was coloring a picture of St. Nicholas. 

St. Nicholas was a bishop, so we cut two little slits and slid in a candy cane for his crosier. 

Then we had Stocking Toss, where the kids tossed little bags of gold on the stockings. That commemorates St. Nicholas tossing bags of gold secretly into a house to help a family who would have had to sell their children.

And, back by popular demand, we had Punch Arius!.

The idea is to punch Arius while shouting parts of the Nicene Creed that proclaim Jesus' divinity.

This is based on the story that St. Nicholas struck Arius during the Council of Nicaea when Arius was trying to convince the world's bishops that Jesus was not really God.

I told the kids that they weren't allowed to punch heretics unless they became bishops and were at an Ecumenical Council.  You never know what can plant the seed of a vocation!

The prizes for all the games were gold (chocolate) coins.

Gingerbread results tomorrow!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Advent Poem of the Week: Into the Darkest Hour

Into The Darkest Hour

by Madeleine L’Engle

It was a time like this,
War & tumult of war,
a horror in the air.
Hungry yawned the abyss-
and yet there came the star
and the child most wonderfully there.

It was time like this
of fear & lust for power,
license & greed and blight-
and yet the Prince of bliss
came into the darkest hour
in quiet & silent light.

And in a time like this
how celebrate his birth
when all things fall apart?
Ah! Wonderful it is
with no room on the earth
the stable is our heart.

HT: Coffeehouse Junkie 
Image HT: Embedded Faith

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fun With My Sister

 We put up the Nativity!

 And the penguins!

 We painted the Judgy Camel!

We made candy cane cookies!

She painted my windows!!

We played games and watched movies!

But mostly we've been talking and laughing and having a great time!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving Recap

 Actually, we had three Thanksgivings because we have a lot to be thankful for!

The first one was with our cousins, and we just had pizza since we thought people would get tired of turkey if we had it three times in a week.

The second was a traditional dinner with Pop and Bill, the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

The third was up in NJ with my folks and my look alike sister.  No kidding, Choclo told her that it was hard to tell us apart, to which she replied that that was why she wore gray.

A great time was had by all, and much pie was had by all.

And we found three colors of cauliflower, and that was yummy and fun!

And, we brought my sister back with us and are we are having fun with her until she returns to New Mexico in a few days!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Poem of the Week: Advent

(On A Theme by Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
Pamela Cranston

Look how long
the weary world waited,
locked in its lonely cell,
guilty as a prisoner.

As you can imagine,
it sang and whistled in the dark.
It hoped. It paced and puttered about,
tidying its little piles of inconsequence.

It wept from the weight of ennui,
draped like shackles on its wrists.
It raged and wailed against the walls
of its own plight.

But there was nothing
the world could do
to find its own freedom.
The door was shut tight.

It could only be opened
from the outside.

Who could believe the latch
would be turned by a pink flower —
the tiny hand
of a newborn baby?
© by Pamela Cranston, 2011

HT: Journey With Jesus

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Poem of the Week: Autumn


All day I have watched the purple vine leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.

 HT: Poetry Foundation
 Extra Bonus Poem!
The Consent

Late in November, on a single night
Not even near to freezing, the ginkgo trees
That stand along the walk drop all their leaves
In one consent, and neither to rain nor to wind
But as though to time alone: the golden and green
Leaves litter the lawn today, that yesterday
Had spread aloft their fluttering fans of light.
What signal from the stars? What senses took it in?
What in those wooden motives so decided
To strike their leaves, to down their leaves,
Rebellion or surrender? and if this
Can happen thus, what race shall be exempt?
What use to learn the lessons taught by time.
If a star at any time may tell us: Now.

 Also from Poetry Foundation
Image from the wonderful Rachel Cohen

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Moon Walk

I don't mean this kind of moon walk.

Or this kind:

I mean the kind when the moon comes up and Oob urgently requests a walk to admire it.

We really enjoyed the "super moon" this week- it made for an epic moon walk as we went through the neighborhood, trying to find a tree free space so that we could watch it come over the horizon.

Here it is caught between the lower branches of a tree near our house.

I hope you got to see it, too!