Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Christmas Love Letters from God: Bible Stories written by Glenys Nellist and illustrated by Rachel Clowes traces the Christmas story beginning with Isaiah's prophecy and ending with the visit from the Three Wise Men. There are seven stories altogether in a mix of prose and poetry, followed by a love letter from God (lift the flap). What I loved about this book is how much it promotes intimacy with God. Ms. Nellist emphasizes God's promises and His unconditional love. The artwork has a warm and textural feel to it and children will enjoy reading this multiple times. Thanks to BookLook for providing a review copy.
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Kentucky written by Evelyn B. Christensen and illustrated by Kent Culotta is a wonderful adaptation of the traditional song. Martin is visiting his cousin Marybeth in Kentucky and each day she gives him a gift of an experience. Martin writes home about it. The letters are both fun and informative and the illustrations capture the spirit. Did you know Abe Lincoln was born there? Or that the world's longest cave system is Mammoth Cave in KY? Reading Martin's letters will have you homesick for the Bluegrass state.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Ev five years ago when we were moving from WA and want to go back for a visit. And it's only after reading this book that I remembered that years and years ago, when we lived in Cincinnati, OH, my father took us to Cumberland Falls and we ate Kentucky Fried Chicken. So thank you, dear friend.
Parents of elementary school children, take note. She is a puzzle-master extraordinaire and has numerous math puzzle books for children. Check them out on Amazon or her website.
And here's a third book that is pure fun. The Twelve Days of Christmas: Starring the Chickens by Janet Lee Carey and illustrated by Molly Blaisdell is a fun romp with chickens. Carey's words had me singing and the chicken doodles cracked me up. I think a book like this can inspire kids to make their own 12 days of Christmas stories. Thanks to the illustrator for providing me with a review copy.
Finally, here's a picture of some of my bounty!!! I do love this time of the year to splurge on books not just for myself but for the people I love.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Mary, Mother of God
When you are in sin, you live a life of duplicity (two-faced). Perhaps you are addicted to certain sins and don't want to change. But when you go to confession, you receive the graces necessary to change.
Bishop Guglielmone offered Sunday Vigil Mass. The readings were on Maccabees and on the Resurrection.
Life after death: Life doesn't end but merely changes. After death, there are two possibilities. (1) Total union with God, in perfect harmony, which we call Heaven or (2) total absence of God, which we understand as hell.
Since many of us are not ready to be in total union with God, we have purgatory. But it is on the road to heaven.
What is necessary? Love God above all things. How can you achieve total intimacy with God in heaven without having practice here on earth? Love your neighbor as yourself. How? At the end of Matthew's Gospel we have the answer. "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you did to me." To love is to will the good of the other. And the family is where we learn to love. People who cannot see Jesus in a baby or the elderly are in danger of killing them because they are an inconvenience, or because they are not productive. And this is exactly what is happening in our culture. We must allow God to change our hearts.
This was the weekend before the election and it was such a blessing to have our Catholic faith strengthened. If only we could be like Poland and proclaim Christ as King!
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Some local scenery ... past the library, across the marsh is a beautiful little cemetery. A peaceful place to pray.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
And the visit ended perfectly with Sunday eve Mass at our beloved Stella Maris. Come back soon!!!
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Dagny's bowl won third place at the Coastal Carolina Fair. I believe her friend, Angelica, won first place!!! So the bowl -- inspired by Genesis. The outside of the bowl has planets. Inside is the earth. Angel tree is still a work-in-progress. Those angels need halos and wings :) Love the cute Christmas tree. Perfect for the holidays!!!