The Faithful Scribbler

A Catholic Mother In A Secular World

The Year of Continuos Disaster

It’s been a looooong while since I’ve been back at the old computer just a’blogging away, but I feel the time is ripe for coming back here!

Much has happened in the last year or so that has kept us quite busy– The Auditor ruptured a bunch of disks in his neck and had them surgically corrected last spring.  About a month after he healed enough to go back to work, I was attacked by two pit bulls (ugh.  Ongoing issues.  Details in a later post perhaps!)  Little Scribbler started first grade, (and with a bang, I might add!) and then we got furloughed from work during the Great Political Stalemate of October 2013, which left us with too much free time and not enough paychecks.  Immediately following the furlough, the breaks went out on our car and it was totaled, leaving me with three broken ribs.  I just started to get past that and BAM! the holidays rolled around :)

Somewhere in the midst of all of this drama, we managed to finish our homestudy, and I am THRILLED to report that the Scribbler Family is now officially adoption ready!  Should a little someone turn up who might be needing a family, we would be overjoyed to fill the void as best we can!  We’re not really focusing on it too awful much, because we don’t want the Little Scribbler to get her hopes up, but it’s there, in the background, floating around as a possibility!  I’ll be journaling a bit of the journey here from time to time.

As Advent has just begun, starting off the liturgical calendar for the year, I figured now might be a good time to come back into the fold, with regards to theological study.  I’ve got a few projects in the cooker, including trying to jumpstart our parish’s Nativity Pageant, which has been long dormant.  I’m also embarking on another year of kindergarten catechesis, with some minor changes to the program.  Lots to do, lots to do!  Hoping to tell you all about it!  Thanks for tuning in!

~Faithful Scribbler

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Adopting

We’re getting closer to a new little Scribbler joining our family.  After 10 years of infertility and three miscarriages, we are so ready for another little one.  We’re in the middle of our homestudy process, which will hopefully be finished in another month or so.  After that, we’ll be able to take a placement!!!

If, of course, we’ve found a way to finance it.  We’re doing better than we were, because Congress has passed the tax credit in the amount of $10,000.  So if we can come up with the funds on the front end, we’ll get $10K of it back on the back end.  The Auditor and I are looking into loan programs, but they are few and far between and the options aren’t great.

We’re trying to keep a positive outlook and rest assured that God will provide!

You can follow our adoption journey here: http://www.burrowsadopt.blogspot.com/  If you or anyone you know is interested in helping us cover the fees, please feel free to share the link!

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Thankful November

It’s Thankful November, ladies and gentlemen!  Today, on the one year House-iversary of the Auditor and I offically dropping anchor on a permanent address, I would like to list the top most 30 things I am thankful for, in no particular order!

1. white chocolate peppermint M and M’s  (seriously, they’re delish!)

2. Little Scribbler, and her straightforward, black and white view of the world

3. The Auditor, who works hard every day to make sure we have everything we need, plus a little.

4. The Casa de Scribbler– a humble, 3 bedroom abode, in which we hold 14% equity!

5. Our neighborhood full of good kids for LIttle Scribbler to play with.

6. Croftie, one of two felinous members of the Scribbler family, who is currently warming my feet while I type this.

7. Social media to entertain me all day :)

8. Central heat and indoor plumbing.

9. That we can afford to buy Little Scribbler a new bike for Christmas, and that she is the kind of kid with a really short wishlist.

10. That I have this opportunity to be a mama, when by all biological rights, I should not.

11. ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas and Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas programming.  I like cheesy holiday movies starring B and C list actors.

12. A freezer full of food to cook for the holidays.

13. The fact that LIttle Scribbler is dying to be my “Assistant Turkey Chef” this Thursday.

14. Christmas lights and the way they make me happy– the bigger the better!  I likes ’em tacky!

15. A more peaceful holiday schedule this year.  Last year’s was a bit insane.

16. Our parish and faith community.

17.  Friends, new and old.

18. My thriftiness– we very rarely buy anything brand-new, which has really helped us squeak through the lean years. 

19. As of this afternoon, Little Scribbler can read whole sentences.

20. I can cut and color my own hair and the result is actually passable.  Referencing number 18, you can understand that I HATE to spend money on haircuts.

21. LIttle Scribbler loves me, and says so, frequently.

22. Most of my holiday shopping is already completed, resulting in my ability to actually slow down and enjoy this holiday season!

23. Little Scribbler is doing much better at school.

24. We may actually be able to adopt a second child, if we can pull together some loose ends.

25. Stove Top Stuffing.  Need I say more?!

26. Little Scribbler is interested in learning about God.

27. I have an awesome group of friends I’ve met through church.

28. Aside from chronic pudginess, I am healthy.

29. I married someone with a decent sense of humor.

30.  God loves me!

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Little Scribbler, on Communion

In mass, this past Sunday.

*bells ring*

Little Scribbler:  “Now it’s Jesus-bread, right?”

FaithfulScribbler: “Yes.  Now it’s the body of Jesus.”

Little Scribbler:  “He lives in the tabernacle, right?”

FaithfulScribbler:  “Yup.  And He also lives in your heart.”

Little Scribbler:  “Then you eat the bread and He lives in your tummy, too!”

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Live Tweeting Election Night!

The Faithful Scribbler will be tweeting throughout tonight as the polls close and votes roll in.  Follow me on twitter at faithfulscribbl and let’s chat while we watch and wait!

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Catholic Voting

Below you will find a letter from my pastor, to the congregation, as it appears in our local church bulletin.  (With a little digging, you can find out which prish the Scribblers attend, if you’re interested, which I’m sure you’re not!).

Election season is upon us, here in the US, and as Catholics, there are certain issues that are simply non-negotiable.  Please take a moment to pause and consider carefully your options.

**The Faithful Scribbler does not endorse any particular candidate, however, she does personally abhor any party or candidate in favor of the practice of abortion.  This reprehensible practice must be erradicated from our society.  The best way to do so is to love and educate those in favor of it, and to use your votes very very carefully, during this and all election seasons.

 

Dear Parishioners,

As we approach the election, please consider these words

of Archbishop Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and a former

Priest and Auxiliary Bishop of Washington. Here is the

first part of a homily he gave on October 14

 

th at the

Basilica in Baltimore:

On this beautiful autumn Sunday in which the Scripture

readings speak to us about the wisdom of God, we have

gathered from near and far on pilgrimage to this august

basilica, dedicated to Mary, the Immaculate Mother of

God, the Seat of Wisdom. With Mary’s loving

encouragement, we have come together to pray to the

Holy Spirit for an outpouring of divine wisdom and for

prudence, that we may have the understanding, the

creativity and the courage to defend the God-given gifts of

life and liberty in the context of our times. For some time

now, both life and liberty have been under assault by an

overarching, Godless secularism, replete with power and

money, but sadly lacking in wisdom, both human and

divine: a secularism that relentlessly seeks to marginalize

the place of faith in our society. In rejecting the wisdom of

religious faith, in seeking to contain and diminish it,

secularism has, at the same time, foolishly devalued

human life. When man and woman are no longer

perceived to be created in the image of God, then, sooner

or later, their lives and their liberties become dispensable.

Asserting its power over what reason, science and faith

tell us about the humanity of the unborn child, secular

culture for the past 40 years has assailed innocent human

life through abortion, made legal by the infamous 1973

Supreme Court decision

 

Roe v. Wade, a decision which

Justice Byron White called “an exercise of raw judicial

power.” Since then, over 50 million unborn children have

lost their lives through abortion, and now the secularist

assault on human life threatens the chronically and

terminally ill and the frail elderly by the promotion of

laws in various states to legalize physician-assisted

suicide. Human life is further undermined by the

dismantling of the most fundamental unit of society, the

family, by seeking to upend marriage as a God-given

institution that is

 

unique for a reason, namely, as a

relationship of love between one man and one woman

whereby children are welcomed into the world and

nurtured. All these things have been done in the name of

freedom of choice, the “right to choose.” It was said that

those who want an abortion should have the right to do so

and that such a choice would not affect those who

conscientiously object to abortion. But now that is

changing, and the HHS preventive-services rule is a

harbinger for that change. Increasingly, anti-life and antifamily

rules are being imposed on people of faith. Our

“right to choose”—our right to choose to practice the faith

we profess—a right guaranteed by the First Amendment—

seems to mean little or nothing to many who wield power.

As all of us know, the U.S. Department of Health and

Human Services issued a rule that will require most

private and religious employers to fund and facilitate

abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations and contraception

against their convictions if they engage in hiring or offer

services deemed by the government to be “secular.”

Indeed, many of the secularist threats to religious liberty

seem to hinge on the Church’s teaching with regard to the

sanctity of human life—whether it’s the Church’s teaching

on the immorality of abortion or the obligation of couples

to be open to the gift of new human life or marriage as

between one man and one woman as

 

the unique

relationship that begets new human life and is meant to

be the matrix in which it is nurtured.

Please keep these issues in mind as you cast your ballots

on November 6

 

th. As Catholics, we are to be a leaven to

our culture. In defending Life, Religious Liberty, and

Marriage, we can be that leaven.

God bless,

 

Fr. LaHood

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Franken-Storm

Ok ok, the nickname is lame-o.

But for the mid-Atlantic, an area generally unprepared to deal with severe weather, the threat of Franken-Storm is real!

And people here are FREAKING OUT.  Safeway is out of water.  The clerk told me neighbor to stop back by and 5am tomorrow morning and she MIGHT be able to get a few gallons.  Batteries?  Yeah, you’re not getting batteries anywhere around here.  Home Depot gave away free sand-bags on Friday and were completely out within two hours.  The Target in my neighborhood is even sold out of camping stoves and flashlights.  The Auditor and I have plenty of candles, but are trying to pick up spare lighter from somewhere, just in case.  Thankfully, we already have a camping stove, a few cylindars of propane and a lot of canned food.  Our main concern is that it’s going to be 40 degrees and our heat won’t work if the power goes out.  But that being said, we can heat water on the camping stove and we have enough blankets that we’ll ride it out and be just fine.

This past summer storms are proof positive that many people in this are will NOT ride it out just fine.  Last summer brought this are two severe storm systems, complete with tornadoes that left many homeless, and a few dead.  Please remember the people who will suffer in your prayers!

Stay dry, fellow Mid-Atlanticers!

Signing off for possibly a few days, if the power goes out.

~Faithful Scribbler

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An Open Letter To Parents, From the Faithful Scribbler

Dear Parents,

Please stop talking about how smart your child is.  Please stop bragging to anyone who will listen (and many who’d rather not!) about how Justin knew his colors at 3 months and was reading the Wall Street Journal at 12!  Please don’t bore me with the details of how to teach your toddler long division before they are potty trained.  I’m really not that interested.

I’ve worked with thousands of children in the last 15 years– as a teacher, as a summer camp director, and as a healthcare professional.  I hate to break it to you, Mom, but although Justin may be reading Chaucer before bed, he hits when he’s angry and eats his boogers when he’s bored….or when he’s boogery…or hungry…or it’s a day of the week ending in ‘y’.

Justin is average, at best.  I’m so sorry to dash your illusions!  I know you were thinking that having a “smart” child means you’re a great parent.  I know you were measuring your success rate by his test scores, and the speed at which he is hitting classic developmental milestones.  I know you feel validated that he’s being tested for the ‘gifted’ program at school.

HOWEVER.

IF little Justin IS in fact “smart”….let’s say, for the sake of argument he’s a GENIUS (which, frankly, is unlikely), does that make him GOOD?

Does it make him kind?

Generous?

Honest?

Obedient?

Faithful?

Does he have self-discipline?  A heart for serving others?  Is he a good sport?  Is he fair?  Does he love or know the Lord?

Wouldn’t you rather answer “yes” to these questions, regardless of those test scores?!  Let’s not forget– ‘smart’ is not a measure of character!

Please take some time to re-evaluate why you care so much about ‘smart’.  Is it the culture of Baby Einstein videos?  Something about your personal values?  Something society tells you is most important?  Stop and ponder for a moment… what if little Justin WASN’T so “smart”?

What if little Justin didn’t walk until he was two years old?  What if he never walked at all!?

What if Justin couldn’t speak until he was three?

What if he was still strugging with learning his colors in kindergarten, or couldn’t learn to read until third grade?

What if?!  Would Justin be less of a person?  Would you love him, and celebrate the miracle of his life, LESS?  Would you be embarassed at the playground, with nothing to brag about?  Would you be disappointed?

I am a special needs parent.  My child didn’t walk until she was two years old.  My child didn’t speak until three and half years of age, and even now, at age 5, her language is sometimes unintelligible.  Although her IQ is average to high, she is struggling to learn to read.  She can not sit still in class.  She can not control her emotions and has a hard time in gym class becuase she does not understand games with multiple rules.  When the gym teacher says “knock down the other team’s bowling pin”, she does not understand why the other team keeps getting in her way, preventing her from doing as he’s asked.

Is she smart?  Who can say?  The truth is I don’t really care.  I want her to work to her potential, whatever that may be, because I want her to be determined, tenacious, and committed, not because the test score validates her…or me for that matter!  I want to raise a child who is honest, fair, faithful, generous, truthful, humble and kind.  I can honestly tell you we’re not there yet.  She is some of those things, and some of those things need work.  She’s in kindergarten, after all!

Today in gym class, Little Scribbler and her two buddies from the special ed kindergarten were having a hard time understanding the rules of Steal the Bacon.  They participate with a general ed kindergarten during art, music, and PE.  Little Scribbler also joins the general ed kindergarten for Math and Reading.  She and her buddies don’t understand Steal the Bacon.  They break the rules.  Other “smart” children yell at them and belittle them for not understanding.  They get indignant that LS and her buddies stepped across the center line of the gym.  They are angry that their team didn’t win, because LS and her buddies don’t understand.  These kids.  These ‘smart’ kids.

And then, in the middle of 45 screaming five year olds, a little girl in a white hair bow steps across the line, from her side of the gym to LS’s side of the gym.  She picks up four balls, and hands one each to LS and her buddies.  She shows them how to play.  They cross the line again.  She retrieves the balls, guides them back to where they belong, and repeats her explaination.  It goes on for 20 minutes.

THAT is a child who’s mother should be bragging.  That child is kind, self-donative, patient, compassionate and loving.  That is a child who can’t stand to see other children suffering, even in this small way, and takes matters into her own hands.  That child has character worth bragging about.  I wonder who that child will grow up to be.  I bet she’ll be someone I’d want to know.

Food for thought.

Sincerely,

The Faithful Scribbler

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Adventures of the Little Scribbler

LS:  “Mama.  What day it is?”

FS: “Thursday.”

LS:  “What number?”

FS: “25”

LS: “its Thursday, 25 of Octember, 2012.  Next year it will be Thursday 25 of Octember 2013.”

FS:  “Well actually, next year the 25th will be on a Friday.  And it’s Oct-O-ber.”

LS:  “Oct EMMMMM ber”.

FS:  “Oct- O-ber…like Octo-pus.  OOOOO, OOOOO, OctOOOOOber.”

LS:  “Oct EMMMMMMM ber”.

I hope she never learns to say it right.  It’s cuter this way :)  While we’re on the subject, I know that a lot of speech therapists are getting or have gotten a LOT of money to help teach the Little Scribbler to speak in the conventional way…..but don’t tell them I prefer her sentence patterns as they are.

For the record, I blame Dr. Seuss for both issues….

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Teaching Kindergarteners The Catholic Origins of Halloween.

For my next trick, and in honor of the Year of Faith, I will attempt to teach the kindergarten CCD class about the Catholic origins of Halloween.  I would just like to throw out there that it is REALLY hard to teach anything of substance to children who can not yet read.

So I would like to follow my typical lesson format, and include a story, a project to take home, and a hands on lesson.  We also break for snack in the middle, so that kills five to ten minutes of my hour.

So far, my plans look like this (but not necessarily in this order):

Kids Arrive

Opening prayer in the church (practice genuflecting and the sign of the cross)

Father R comes to class as a special guest to talk about being a priest and what that entails.

Q and A with Father R.

Lesson:  Catholic Halloween

Snack break

Story

Project– Catholic Symbols pumpkin carving.  (crosses, fish and/or the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for which I found an awesome template online).

 

So I still need to develop a hands on lesson, and find a related story to read.  Tomorrow is my research day– ideas welcome!

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