Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Monday, December 30, 2019

Sunday, December 29, 2019

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

The Zoomlians bring to you: The Christmas story!  Happy Feast of the Holy Family!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Friday, December 27, 2019

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Seven Quick Takes: Presents for Us and for You!

 1. The best early present came on Friday when my sister successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in Rome!!

It's been a long and arduous road, but she made it, thanks be to God! 

I'm so proud of her!  Her doctorate is in psychology, focusing on how to help people recover from abuse.

2. Another early gift was the surprise early bloom of these gorgeous double white amaryllis.

 I had started them thinking they would bloom around Christmas, so I was startled when the first bud opened on the Immaculate Conception!

I've never grown doubles before and now I think I'll never grow anything else!

3. Another unlooked for gift was a chilly walk yesterday in the waning sun of the shortest day of the year. 

The light on the trees was rich and golden, and I suddenly realized it was within minutes of the actual solstice!

 4. The Freer Gallery has an exhibit on Hokusai, our favorite Japanese painter!

Open through next November if you'll be in the DC area!

5.  While we were there, we had to stop by in Whistler's fabulous Peacock Room.

Choclo, as soon as he realized that the entire room had been taken apart in a house and reconstructed in the museum, told me that he wanted it for Christmas as his room.

Sorry, buddy, your presents are already wrapped!

6.  With my parents coming to live with us, we realized that a real tree would probably be hard on Mumpy's allergies, so we decided to get a (gulp) fake tree.

I grew up with a fake tree, but the Emperor did not.  Thanks be to God, we found a tree he fell in love with!

Interestingly, the kids not only loved it, they wanted to decorate it just with blue, white, and silver ornaments. 

I think it's the prettiest tree we've ever had!

7.  I didn't forget presents for you!  We will be doing our annual 12 Days of Christmas gifts on the blog starting Christmas day. 

If you haven't done this with us before, they are videos, songs, pictures and fun little things to enjoy each day.

So, enjoy!  And more fun with Kelly!

Poem of the WeeK: Advent Summons

Advent Summons
-  Mary Francis, P.C.C. 

Come forth from the holy place,
Sweet Child,
Come from the quiet dark
Where virginal heartbeats
Tick your moments.
Come away from the red music
Of Mary's veins.
Come out from the Tower of David
Sweet Child,
From the House of Gold.
Leave your lily-cloister,
Leave your holy mansion,
Quit your covenant ark.
O Child, be born!
Be born, sweet Child,
In our unholy hearts.
Come to our trembling,
Helpless Child.
Come to our littleness,
Little Child,
Be born unto us
Who have kept the faltering vigil.
Be given, be born,
Be ours again.
Came forth from your holy haven,
Come away from your perfect shrine,
Come to our wind-racked souls
From the flawless tent,
Sweet Child.
Be born, little Child,
In our unholy hearts.

HT: University of Dayton 
Image HT: Vianney Vocations

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Poem of the Week: Gabriel's Annunciation

Gabriel’s Annunciation

By Jan Richardson

For a moment I hesitated
on the threshold.
For the space
of a breath
I paused,
unwilling to disturb
her last ordinary moment,
knowing that the next step
would cleave her life:
that this day
would slice her story
in two,
dividing all the days before
from all the ones
to come.

The artists would later
depict the scene:
Mary dazzled
by the archangel,
her head bowed
in humble assent,
awed by the messenger
who condescended
to leave paradise
to bestow such an honor
upon a woman, and mortal.
Yet I tell you
it was I who was dazzled,
I who found myself agape
when I came upon her—
reading, at the loom, in the kitchen,
I cannot now recall;
only that the woman before me—
blessed and full of grace
long before I called her so—
shimmered with how completely
she inhabited herself,
inhabited the space around her,
inhabited the moment
that hung between us.
I wanted to save her
from what I had been sent
to say.
Yet when the time came,
when I had stammered
the invitation
(history would not record
the sweat on my brow,
the pounding of my heart;
would not note
that I said
Do not be afraid
to myself as much as
to her)
it was she
who saved me—
her first deliverance—
her Let it be
not just declaration
to the Divine
but a word of solace,
of soothing,
of benediction
for the angel
in the doorway
who would hesitate
one last time—
just for the space
of a breath
torn from his chest—
before wrenching himself away
from her radiant consent,
her beautiful and
awful yes.

HT: Journey with Jesus 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Awesome Geography: Jamaica

 After watching Geography Now: Jamaica, we decided to make our "active" activity, coming up with nicknames for each other!  Our favorite for Oob was Birby Boy, Our favorite for Choclo was Altitude (he's gotten taller than me), and Leena's was Musica.

Our art activity was making doctor birds.  These are largish hummingbirds with long tail feathers, and they are the national bird of Jamaica.

We just cut out bodies and beaks from construction paper and added tails, belly,  and wings from tissue paper.

Our "snack" was supposed to be jerk chicken, but I'm not sure I got around to it, honestly, because...

We're done!!  We made it around the world!!!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Awesome Geography: Brazil

 For Brazil, the kids had just watched Rio, so they made these cool 3D parrot gliders.

Our active activity was "Cinco Marias," which is a lot like jacks, but played with stones.

My kids really liked this, probably because they never had actual jacks (possibly because I consider them caltrops).

 I guess flying the parrots was an extra active activity!
And for a snack, we made Brazilian brigadeiros, a traditional sweet for kids and parties!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Poem of the Week: Annunciation


By Denise Levertov  

‘Hail, space for the uncontained God’
From the Agathistos 
HymnGreece, VIc
We know the scene: the room, variously furnished,
almost always a lectern, a book; always
the tall lily.
Arrived on solemn grandeur of great wings,
the angelic ambassador, standing or hovering,
whom she acknowledges, a guest.

But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentions
The engendering Spirit
did not enter her without consent.
God waited.

She was free
to accept or to refuse, choice
integral to humanness.
Aren’t there annunciations
of one sort or another
in most lives?
Some unwillingly
undertake great destinies,
enact them in sullen pride,
More often
those moments
when roads of light and storm
open from darkness in a man or woman,
are turned away from
in dread, in a wave of weakness, in despair
and with relief.
Ordinary lives continue.
God does not smite them.
But the gates close, the pathway vanishes.
She had been a child who played, ate, slept
like any other child – but unlike others,
wept only for pity, laughed
in joy not triumph.
Compassion and intelligence
fused in her, indivisible.

Called to a destiny more momentous
than any in all of Time,
she did not quail,
only asked
a simple, ‘How can this be?’
and gravely, courteously,
took to heart the angel’s reply,
perceiving instantly
the astounding ministry she was offered:

to bear in her womb
Infinite weight and lightness; to carry
in hidden, finite inwardness,
nine months of Eternity; to contain
in slender vase of being,
the sum of power –
in narrow flesh,
the sum of light.
Then bring to birth,
push out into air, a Man-child
needing, like any other,
milk and love –

but who was God.

HT: Coffeehouse Junkie

Friday, December 6, 2019

The Laptop is Fixed!

For which I can thank the redoubtable Bill! So now I can blog All the Things!

The washing machine is fixed, thanks to Mumpy, Zorg, and Mxyl.

Choclo has a pair of sharp new glasses!

 My Aunt and Uncle visited and we all went to the Botanical gardens (another post)!

We've been watching the Mandalorian, and Klenda continues to amaze.

We actually finished our Awesome Geography around the world trip (more posts coming)!!

We are into Advent, all of which I missed blogging about as my laptop was slowing to a standstill.  I'll just post a link to our Advent stuff.

And today is the feast of St.Nicholas!