Friday, June 21, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 30)

Stella finally started crawling a couple weeks ago.  Crawling babies are the most adorable!  But I forgot how much trouble they get into.  She's already begun making messes and getting into things she shouldn't (cabinets, bookshelves, trash cans).  We had to put up the baby gates again to block off stairs and the (often open) front door. I hate having to constantly step over them.  It's doubly frustrating, though, because they trap Sly in various rooms as well, and I'm always having to go lift him over.  [update: Tom installed one with a swinging gate at the top of the main stairs, and it's made things much nicer!]

I also forgot how babies have the impressive ability to find the tiniest (and often grossest) little things imaginable on the floor.  I'm constantly pulling wads of shed cat fur out of Stella's mouth.  And the other day, I found her chewing on a piece of Christmas tinsel in the living room.  I haven't seen any trace of tinsel since January!  How does she manage to find these things?


Recently I was reading through some entries from an online journal I used to keep.  Complaining about my anthropology class during my freshman year of college, I said: "I honestly feel like the smartest person in the class.  And the sad part is that this isn't just me being's true.  I have no respect for anyone who majors in this ridiculously easy subject." [I know, I was kinda a jerk]  The funny thing is, at the same time I wrote this, I was becoming friends with this guy Tom, an anthropology major, and my future husband.  Haha!  We had a pretty good laugh over that.


I've mentioned several times that I'd like our family to start observing the Liturgical year better - celebrating many of the feasts and fasts of the Church.  I have been completely falling down on the job.  But at an antique store recently, I picked up a little gem that I'm hoping will inspire me to at least start planning a few more meals around the Church calendar:

I looked it up on Amazon, and it's actually been reprinted.  That's great, because it means more people will be able to find a copy.  I've only read bits and pieces so far, but I would recommend it!


I do almost all my stovetop cooking in cast-iron now.  It truly cooks the best.  One problem I've run into is that our cast iron frying pans do not have lids. In the past, when I needed one, I would borrow a lid from a pot.  But this never provided a tight enough seal for foods such as rice, which depend on steam to cook.  The other day, I came up with what I like to think is a pretty clever solution.  I used our sil-pats (silicone baking mats) to cover the pan.  They are designed for use in the oven, so the heat was definitely not a problem.  And they're so flexible that they bend to cover the pan perfectly!

An item which would probably work even better - and which I have had my eye on for a while [hint, hint, Tom!!] - is one of these silicone bowl covers.


I *finally finished* the cross-stitch I have been working on for my best friend's wedding....which happened a year ago now.   I was working on that thing for two and a half years.  If I was ever skeptical about the effectiveness of having young girls of the past create needlework samplers as a way to learn patience, dedication, industry....I no longer have any doubt that it worked!  Now I just need to frame it, which I am definitely going to do under glass, because if stain, dust, or moth ever go near this thing, I will cry.

Obviously, edited for privacy.  The pattern for the border comes from this book, and the center part I charted out myself.

Thanks to everyone who suggested some books for my Catholic Moms reading group last time!  At the suggestion of several people, we will soon be reading My Sisters the Saints.


I read an article the other day that discusses the problem of contraception, and how the Church should work to combat it.  It does such an excellent job of explaining why NFP - while sometimes acceptable - is not the answer.  Instead, it is the promotion of "heroic parenthood."  I've touched on some of these issues here and here, but this author lays it out so much better than I could.  Read it here: Heroic Parenthood
[note: this article is a pdf, so you might be prompted to download it in order to read it].

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary


  1. I like to think that using NFP is how Brian and I experience heroic parenthood. It is necessary for my mental health that we space our children right now. Maybe to some this would not be grave, but in our situation, we believe it is important for our children to have a healthy mother and not a crazy one. I don't use crazy to be funny. After the births of our babies, I have a very, very hard time adjusting emotionally. It is a roller coaster for all involved and was pretty stressful on Matthew the last time around. That being said, it is incredibly hard to practice abstinence when your body most desires to make babies. I think the fact that we recognize that we need to wait a while is in itself heroic for not giving into our desires. And I think our marriage and family are stronger because of it.

    However, I agree and don't like the fact that NFP is promoted as Catholic contraception....we just fought a battle with Engaged Encounter over that a few weeks ago. It makes me very angry when Catholic people promote it as such. Honestly, I'm not sure why people would want to use it as such. There are easier forms of birth control. Abstaining when you don't want to is not easy unless you have a grave reason.

    I also respect couples who choose to just leave everything up to God. Good for them. That's awesome and totally legit as well as using NFP for the right reasons and not with a contraceptive mentality. It does not, however, somehow make their vocation of parenthood more heroic.

    I truly believe that not everyone is called to have a big family....just like God doesn't call everyone to a higher vocation of priesthood or religious life. Those couples with grave reasons, like myself and Brian, will find themselves with less children at the end of it all. And that's okay. We can still live out a vocation of heroic parenthood without a houseful of children.

    It will never cease to amaze me how many divisions exist in the Church. Goodness if we could all just get along the Church might be stronger because of it! :)

    1. Danielle, thanks for your thoughts. I agree that not everyone is called to have a large family. But I think about how Catholics of my grandparents generation typically had more kids than today (my grandmother had 8, Tom's had 13). At that same time, there were more people entering religious life. I wonder if perhaps God is calling the same number of people to have large families/enter religious life as He was then, but less people are actually accepting it as their Vocation? I don't know. Something to ponder.

  2. The cross-stitch is truly one of the most beautiful things I've received, in no small part because you made it for us and took such time to make it perfect. We've had a portion of our bedroom wall reserved for this since you first showed me the work-in-progress a few days before our wedding last year. Never fear, we will do all in our power to ensure that neither stain, nor dust, nor moth touches the cloth! :)

  3. That is a gorgeous job on the cross stitch! Yes, they require patience-which is why my craft bag has been sitting ignored for a very long time. I used to do wedding samplers for friends as a nice keepsake.

    My best friend went to W&J, so seeing the location of their wedding made me smile.

    And my word, Stella's curls are just the cutest!

  4. Oh, Stella is just so cute in that picture! And I am super impressed with your embroidery skills!

  5. Thank you for posting a link to my article re: NFP. I am glad that you enjoyed it.