On March break I took the older kids to Well-Read Books – a cozy second hand book store with a beautifully contained section that feels like a living room for kids. There are perfectly sized chairs for the wee ones and children’s books organized in manageable themes. And just the right amount of books – not too many. Sometimes at the library it feels like there is too much to choose from, especially when the baby has got lost somewhere in the “M-P Kids Fiction” isle and the toddler is fighting another kid for the barbie in the toy area (barbies in the library, really?).
We quite happily spent 45 minutes in this store looking at books and left with a stack priced at an average of $2 a piece. Score.
And then we retreated home and to the cozy the book nook that is a favorite get-away for everyone, when there seems like there is no place to just be alone.
I also walked away with an old set of kids encyclopedias after inquiring if they had some. They gave me a partial set for $5 as no one is really looking for these anymore. In fact, its the same set I had as a kid!
I wanted them because every time Ethan has a question about something (Ethan: “When is the Earth going to explode?”. Me: “Do you mean the sun?”. Ethan: “No, I mean the Earth”) and I direct him to try and find out on his own, he asks to go on the internet.
Again, I am no Luddite but I am not a fan of this option. You should see the sites that come up when he enters “exploding earth” into google – and I guarantee he won’t pick the Wikipedia site but searches according to images leading him to some rather some apocalyptic site promoting a new escape pod.
So instead he gets some 90’s graphics but also some relatively accurate information about our aging sun (sans exploding earth).
We are trying to give Ysabeau at least one chore every day that she can do, so the 10 year old doesn’t feel like he is entirely singled out. She seems to enjoy cleaning the table, with an eye for spotlessness that only her mother can appreciate.
This new book release by Bishop Robert Barron makes me happy- Vibrant Paradoxes: The both/And of Catholicism.
This book is a supposed to be a philosophical narrative rather than one of Barron’s easily digestible popular books. Nonetheless, I expect it will be delightfully manageable book compared to those of many great Catholic theologians.
For my secular friends who ask: Why would you be excited about this book? Because it will be a defense of why Catholicism is not simply a black and white solution for those who can’t handle the gray of life. Catholics hold to beliefs that are seeming opposites, held not in tension, but in a beautiful dance where harmony and balance is the outcome of a mesmerizing pas-de-deux.
Justice/mercy. God/man. Authority/liberty. Faith/reason. Corporateness/individualism. These are pairings that might seem contradictory, but ultimately can only make sense in relation to one another. In Catholicism, the answer is not a blending of the two but the unique suspension of ‘Both/And’, where the integrity of each aspect is honoured.
Personally, I find some many of the frustrations we have in society are created when we decide not to live in the (at times uncomfortable) dance of these disparate pairings, but rather choose one over the other.
For example, in fear of blending into an undefined corporateness in our families, schools or societies, we perhaps have overemphasized the role of the individual. Instead, I like this ‘Both/And’ approach. It is very sensible. Though it is most certainly a mystery, meaning we can grasp it but but it is certainly a less comfortable answer at first.
My kids are serious about food.
My neighbour captured these great pics of Ysabeau trying to wink. I love the things we adults take for granted – I feel like patting myself on the back that I learned to do this when I see how hard it actually is to make it second nature.
I am so glad winter is almost over. Mostly because I am done with the icy puddle that is perpetually my entrance. I so happy with the layout our home except for this entrance area. I feel it was designed for a kid-less home. Here I am demonstrating what Ian likes to call “staging”. The things on the stairs might move – in the next century. I can’t figure out how to make this space work better.
But my friend shared with me a quote attributed to St. Teresa of Avila -“God walks even among the pots and pans.” The home is a sacred space.
I am increasingly happy with our office space which sits to at the top of this entrance area and is connected to the kitchen and dining area. Again, space is a premium here so I carefully calculate how each corner and nook can be used.
Here is our latest family pic. I credit Ian entirely. I had to share with you one of the trial shots as the camera was precariously balanced on the stroller and time-set so that Ian had to run back over to us each time. The final edition was only the 15th shot. The kids stayed remarkably
This post is a link up with Like Mother, Like Daughter.
Your pots are beautiful 🙂 thanks for sharing
My mom had a poem over our kitchen sink titled, “Thank God for Dirty Dishes.” It was kind of cheesy as poems go, and it didn’t make me any happier to actually have to do them, but the sentiment of the poem is true–dirty dishes are signs of God’s blessings in our lives. Thanks for the reminder!
I love the family shot with the running Dad! Hee hee! So fun.
Also love your reading nook. That’s a great idea. It was great reading your blog!
What a good family photo. And the funny children pictures are just so cute!
That is a really good quote from St. Teresa. I know I too often neglect the “pots and pans” of daily life in the home instead of finding God in the fulfillment of those duties…