30 November 2015

Best-laid plans of Adventing

Second day of Advent, and I'm feeling so disorganized. That's not a good way to start out!

My mind functions best when I'm looking at written-out lists, so I'm going to chart out the 2015 Advent plan here: all of the things, all in one place. Possibly wildly overambitious; we shall see.

Nov 29: First Sunday of Advent. Nativity scene out, figurines scattered around the living room as they begin their journeys to Bethlehem. Advent wreath on the kitchen table. Beeswax Advent candles rolled (because I'm crazy and thought it was a good idea to wait to make them on the same day that we were setting up everything else. Don't do that next year.) Begin nightly reflections from Magnificat Advent booklet.

This week: hopefully finish making and mail out presents. At least some of them? One trip to the post office before Friday would be great...

Dec 5: kids put out shoes before bed; I put gold chocolate coins in shoes before bed. Find St Nicholas toy in the linen closet (I think) and set him by the shoes.

Dec 6: Second Sunday of Advent; St Nicholas. Find shoes in morning. Move nativity scene people closer to stable. Make fruitcakes some time in the coming week. Also, Christmas cards.

Dec 8: Immaculate Conception. Noon Mass. Make something with blueberries for dessert.

Dec 9: St Juan Diego. Read about OL Guadalupe with kids, print off a coloring page for Little Bear. Mexican for supper.

Dec 11: absolute deadline for mailing cards & presents out of state, if they're going to have any real chance of getting there by Christmas.

Dec 12: OL Guadalupe. Read same books as Wednesday. Something for dessert... maybe chocolate? With cinnamon? Also, bake St Lucy buns.

Dec 13: Third/Gaudete Sunday of Advent; St Lucy. St Lucy buns for breakfast. Wear pink/rosé/roses? Move people closer to the stable. If I'm really on top of things, make Kit's stocking this week.

Dec 16, 18-19: Ember days. Meatless.

Dec 17: begin O Antiphons (sing pertinent verse of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" before supper). Also, may begin Christmas cookie baking.

Dec 20: Fourth Sunday of Advent. Cut & put lights on Christmas tree. Continue decorating with kids over week when I have time/hands. Move people closer to the stable.

Dec 23: bake Stöllen. Mary & Joseph can arrive at the stable.

Dec 24: feast of seven fishes. See how many types of fish we actually come up with. Hopefully presents are wrapped by now...? Everyone (including Baby Jesus) (not including the Wise Men) to stable after kids are asleep. Note to self: Baby Jesus is on the icon shelf, behind St Luke.

Sometimes I look at this list and feel like I'm taking the easy route and hardly doing anything, and sometimes I look at it and have to suppress the urge to laugh hysterically because how in the world am I going to do all those things? And really, make all the presents this week? Indeed. And somehow my mother always manages to have a thoroughly deep-cleaned house before Christmas, and that sounds so wonderful... impossible, but wonderful. 

Everything important will get done. The less important things may not, and that will be okay. What's "important" changes, too; we didn't light the Advent wreath or read a reflection tonight, because Little Bear got sick and then fell asleep before supper. Did I fail at Advent already by not lighting the candle while Matt and I ate quickly, listening for Little Bear instead of discussing some profound meditation on the coming of Christ? Of course not. Advent is Advent regardless, and we just have to celebrate it as best we're able given our family circumstances, taking it a day (or less) at a time. Because I do love celebrating these feasts scattered throughout Advent, I make a point of trying to make them special. But life happens, and sometimes that just winds up being finding Little Bear a coloring page online; sometimes it's closer to just barely remembering to tack on a "Pray for us" to the saint of the day at the tail end of bedtime prayers. And that's still okay. We'll try again tomorrow.

29 November 2015

Luke 8

Take heed therefore how you hear. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given: and whosoever hath not, that also which he thinketh he hath, shall be taken away from him. (Luke 8:18)

Other translations present that convoluted "that also which he thinketh he hath" as "even what he thinks he has," in case that tripped you up, too; sometimes the Douay-Rhiems is harder to untangle than just reading the passage straight from the Vulgate!

Christ makes this admonishment at the conclusion of the parable of the sower, with the seeds falling on different types of ground and coming to varied but mostly bad ends. So faith is the thing that He's speaking of us "having" here. If we hear the Word of God but just let it sit there comfortably on the surface—heard something about God today, check! now what's next on my list?—instead of internalizing it, bringing it into our hearts and making it a part of ourselves and our lives, seeking to grow and to grow in our faith, then what we have is more of a hobby than a faith, isn't it? 

The seed that fell of the path: it just sat there on top of the path, and so it was taken away by the birds. The seed that fell on the rock: it sprang right up, but not being nourished, died right out again. The seed that fell among thorns: it grew, but not being made a priority, was slowly choked out. All thought they had the seed, the faith, but because they didn't actively take possession of it, seek to develop it, give it priority in allocation of resources, they didn't truly have it.

The concept of "to whosoever hath [faith], to him shall be given" is illustrated all over the Gospels, but we get two that I particularly remember in this chapter: the woman who touches Christ's cloak, and the daughter of Jairus. This woman has been hemorrhaging for 12 years, has spent all her money on doctors who haven't been able to cure her, and believing Christ can cure her, she touches the hem of his cloak and is immediately healed. "Thy faith has made thee whole," Christ tells her. She had faith, and to her was given healing.

Jairus is the "ruler of the synagogue" according to the Douay-Rheims, a pretty direct translation of the "princeps synagogæ" from the Vulgate, not that that actually tells me a whole lot about his role in the Hebrew culture because I'm not familiar with the relationship between the synagogues and the Temple. But, a title like that, and the fact that a few verses later he's referred to as Master ("Præceptor"), makes him sound fairly important. Already by this point in Luke's Gospel, many of the important people connected to the Temple want Jesus dead. But Jairus comes before Jesus, prostrating himself, begging Him to save his daughter from death. And when Jairus is informed that his daughter has died, Christ tells him to "fear not; believe only, and she shall be safe." Jairus believes, he has faith, and his daughter is returned to him.

One thing we can't try to take from this is that having faith means that all good material things will come to us, or that bad things happening despite our prayers means we don't really have faith or our faith wasn't good enough. Nope. Very frequently throughout the Gospels, Christ's initial response to someone who is seeking physical healing is "Your sins are forgiven." He heals our spiritual ailments first, and then, if it would be the best thing for our souls, He heals physical or otherwise material ailments. Sometimes, avoiding or removing a form of suffering would be bad for us spiritually. Sometimes it's better for us to be given the strength to bear something for His sake than to have it instantly made better. And He wants what's actually best for us, not just what we think is best or easiest.

27 November 2015

Seven Nearly-Advent Takes

Advent begins on Sunday! Ready yet? Me neither. Having two kiddos with head colds flopping around and fussing meant that I got pretty much nothing done today... but I may still be ready in time, thanks to others who already have their Advent-ing figured out. Here are seven resources I've found helpful:
Simcha Fisher, on practical ways of observing Advebt as a family while keeping it simple.

Advent: How We Try to Celebrate Things in Their Proper Season Without Feeling Like Total Jerks
Kendra of Catholic All Year, discussing how Advent is supposed to be distinct from Christmas and how her family keeps it so – without, as she says, being jerks.

Advent Customs: The Advent Wreath
Lisa of Are We There Yet? shares an excerpt from a pamphlet from the 1950s on Advent traditions, with a simple formula for praying as a family while lighting the Advent wreath.

A Catholic Mom's Trying-To-Remember-It-All Advent Calendar
Another post from Lisa of Are We There Yet?, going through her family's observances for the coming Advent.

3 Ways to Watch and Wait this Advent
Danielle Bean, drawing a beautiful parallel between our Advent's preparation for Christ's birth and the way an expectant mother prepares for her baby's birth.

EWTN's Advent hub
A collection of prayers and reflections, Advent traditions and the network's Advent programming.

The Magnificat Advent Companion
Daily prayers and reflections, longer essays, an Advent penance service with a tied-in examination of conscience, the Advebt Stations, the O Antiphons... We've used Magnificat's Advent booklet every Advent since we've been married, and have been very happy with it. It looks like Magnificat does still have print copies available, otherwise they offer it as an e-book or an iOS app.

Maybe—hopefully—I'll get a bit of time tomorrow to sit down and line out our family's plans for Advent. Any other resources or reading you've found helpful? If you already have plans made, how are you observing Advent this year?

Linking up with Kelly over at This Ain't The Lyceum.

26 November 2015


Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we're so thankful for our family and friends, a fun afternoon of good food and conversation, a bright, crackling fire warming our home, and so many other blessings, like squash.

My name is Rosalie, and I might have a squash problem.

Sweet dumpling. Carnival. Butterkin. Butternut. Gold nugget. So many wonderful shapes, colors and flavors!

Roasted, mashed, or broiled, in sweet or savory baked goods, I love winter squash. Each time that winter squash have gone down to $0.99/lb this fall/winter, I've brought more home. We have quite a bit of puréed cooked squash in the freezer now! So when it was time to figure out the Thanksgiving menu, I was an obvious person to volunteer to bring my mother's traditional butternut squash bake. My parents always host a good-sized gathering, so I tripled the recipe; I got started a little later than I'd planned, and since it was so much deeper than usual, it had just barely finished baking by the time we were ready to leave. But it did get done!

I had some help prepping the squash yesterday: Little Bear was very happy to turn the handle while I scooped cooked squash into the food mill. Did I forget to show this off? We found this beautiful like-new stainless steel food mill at the thrift store a couple of weeks ago, waffled a little over the exorbitant-for-a-thrift-store price of $10, brought it home anyway, and looked it up online to discover it retails for $120 new. Well! Certainly another thing to be thankful for; it works perfectly, and never have I mashed 7 cups of anything so quickly and smoothly.

Kit helped with getting it ready to go in the oven this morning by sitting up in my arms and grabbing at everything. Some day very soon, the little lady is going to succeed in getting some sort of real food into her mouth. She managed to stick her hand and the tip of her nose into Matt's mashed potatoes at dinner today, but nothing has made it into her mouth yet.

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk, plus a splash more
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups mashed butternut squash

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, milk, vanilla and squash. Pour into an 11x7 pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until brown around the edges and set in the middle. If you want to, sprinkle on the following topping and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

1/2 cup crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons butter, melted (optional)

I never make the topping when I make this for us at home, but I know better than to mess with a Thanksgiving tradition; I did put the topping on today, and then got to feel smug about my 3 year old carefully eating all the squash and leaving behind the sugary topping! If you have reluctant squash-eaters, though, the sweet and crunchy topping might help encourage them to give it a try.

23 November 2015

Luke 7

I love the first story we hear in this week's chapter, of the faith of the centurion whose servant Christ heals.

And Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent his friends to him, saying: Lord, trouble not thyself; for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof.

For which cause neither did I think myself worthy to come to thee; but say the word, and my servant shall be healed.

For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers: and I say to one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doth it.

Which Jesus hearing, marvelled: and turning about to the multitude that followed him, he said: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith, not even in Israel.

This Roman centurion, an occupying soldier of rank, was given the faith to recognize Jesus for who He is. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers... He recognizes the divine authority of Christ, relating it to his own experience of being an authority figure: If he told someone to do something, they did it. Period. Immediately. No arguments. And he believes that Christ has that same manner of authority on a much larger scale, and is able to command obedience even over intangibles like illness.

I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof ... but say the word, and my servant shall be healed. Others throughout the Gospels profess their belief that Christ can heal them if He wishes, as the centurion does here. But more than that, he also clearly understands that, despite outward appearances, Christ so utterly "outranks" him that he is not even worthy to stand in His presence. 

We echo these words of the centurion at each Mass: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed." Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea. And like Christ healed the centurion's servant despite his acknowledged unworthiness, so too does He come to us in Communion despite our unworthiness. 

The concept of "unworthiness" resonates strongly with me, the being made aware of my sinfulness, of how my choices, actions, and words separate me from God. It's so easy to not think about it, to allow cooking and housework and messy diapers and whatever I last read or watched and the Thanksgiving and Advent to-do lists and the kid-created catastrophe of the moment and everything else all day long to quietly just kind of push the concept of "sin" to the back of my mind. And let me tell you, I'm definitely nowhere near holy enough that I always make the right choice that draws me closer to God, especially when I'm not even thinking about the possibility of any and every thing I do bringing me closer to or farther away from Him.

If I'm conscious of my unworthiness to receive Christ, it gives me the push to ask His mercy, to get to confession more frequently, to try to pray more throughout the days and ask for the help to do better. If I'm not made aware of it, none of those things happen. I need those reminders, and I so appreciate them!

17 November 2015

Luke 6

The Sermon on the Mount is really not a very comfortable thing to hear, if you keep reading past the beatitudes, is it? Woe to you who are filled, for you shall hunger... Woe to you who now laugh, for you shall mourn... This reading sounds a lot like Pope Francis' message of not just being comfortable where we are, rather reaching out to the poor and those that need our help.

Each November, our chiropractor encourages her patients to help those in need by offering a free adjustment to those who bring in a bag of nonperishable food to donate to the food bank. When I was there yesterday, they already had several tall stacks of boxes full of donated food!

Being comfortable. It seems to me that many, most, people aren't opposed to helping others, whether by donating money or food or other material goods or time/talent volunteering or whatnot: it's just that it's so easy to have it not even occur to us that there is anything we could or should be doing to help, if we're too comfortably ensconced in our own life, our own daily tasks and troubles. I was so grateful for the call from the receptionist, reminding me that I could donate food instead of paying for this month's visit. Oh, of course! Yes, definitely I want to donate food! That we're coming up on Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas... has been on my mind all the time lately, but it took that phone call to broaden my focus from what I'm doing for my family to include what our family can do for others.

And a part of me keeps trying to feel guilty over that fact, that I didn't think of giving to the food bank this month on my own, as it's colder and more people are looking to them for basics as well as holiday fare. But it doesn't matter, does it? "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." (Luke 6:36) God showed me that mercy first, giving me a reminder when I needed it to look beyond my own immediate concerns to see the needs of others. It's how I respond to that merciful reminder that matters.

13 November 2015

Seven Quick Takes

It's winter for real now: we woke up to a negative temperature for the first time this morning. Nothing too terrible—I think it got up to 3 or 4 above in the middle of the day—but tomorrow evening, we're going to start tumbling into the 20s below. Brr! It's certainly not early for this kind of cold to be moving in, but the first real thermal drop of the winter is painful no matter when it comes.

Had a couple of "we live in Alaska" moments today: As we were heading to Mass this noon, a moose was trotting down the driveway fifty yards in front of us. Since it was moving away in the direction I needed to go, I slowly followed, but halfway down the driveway I noticed the much larger moose bedded down in the snow off in the trees to the side. We were now between the cow moose and her calf, and she was definitely bigger than the jeep. Lots of Hail Marys were said the rest of the way out to the road, please let us get out on the road without the cow coming after us! She didn't get up, thankfully.

The other bit of stereotypical Alaskan life was much less adrenalin-boosting. On the way to pick Matt up from work this evening, we passed a dog team on the bike/foot/etc trail along the side of the road. I know that a lot of people throughout the valley we live in have sled dogs, but this was one of the first times I'd seen any. It was a small team, only five or six dogs, but they could have been just a part of a larger kennel out for a training run. Little Bear was pretty excited to see them.

We have an amusing/frustrating history growing of Matt and my dad going out hunting but not catching sight of whatever they're after, and we at home seeing the same animal in the yard while they're gone. It happened during several moose and grouse hunting trips last year, and today would have been another instance: they were supposed to be out moose hunting today, but one of the snow machines was making a strange noise and they didn't quite trust it to take them all the way out and back. Hopefully the hunt won't close until they've had a chance to get out! The limit on this hunt is 30 moose and at least 8 have been taken so far; this cold will strengthen the ice on the rivers they have to cross to get to the hunt zone, but we hope it will also keep other potential hunters at home...

Our diving temperatures have reminded us of why we're having such a hard time finding a house—the place we're renting is kind of like Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way, aside from the shared walls. An attached garage, high enough in the hills to get the inversion, a fireplace: I'm almost certain that so far this winter, our heat has not kicked on at all. Will that change once we hit -20 F on Sunday? Unfortunately, the bedroom baseboards probably will overnight... The bedrooms are both on the same zone, which we keep at 65 because of Kit (and Little Bear's continued refusal to sleep under blankets. Seriously, child, you live in Alaska. Let me put quilts on your bed.) A good fire in the evenings will definitely keep the thermostat for the rest of the house from turning on the heat overnight, though.

No photos yet in this week's Takes... I was just flipping through my camera roll looking for photos of recent interesting things, and it appears that I haven't been taking many photos lately, but someone has. I give you, the last couple of weeks from Little Bear's angle:

Knuckles, her favorite food.

Special Car and Little Guy.

Daddy's ring.

A lot of the time, he's just holding the button down to see the flash go off because he got ahold of my phone for 30 seconds—I deleted several hundred blurry photos just now—but some of the time, it sure looks like he's learning to actually take pictures more intentionally. All of the filters and cropping are his; I just watermarked and shrank them.

Here's the photographer himself, helping me prep a sweet dumpling squash for the oven this morning:

Have a good weekend! As always, lots more quick takes to check out over at This Ain't The Lyceum

12 November 2015

Luke 5

I've been putting this off all week; I can't think of anything to say, because I don't have time to sit down and re-read the chapter several times and really think about it. Without realizing it, I guess I've been internalizing the idea that if I can't do it "right," going in depth, drawing something meaningful from the text the way my childless siblings can, it's not worth doing it at all. 

That's not true, and I know it; God didn't put me here in this present role and state of life and then say, "And you're just going to have to choose between neglecting the children, and waiting until they are older to ever read Scripture." That's wildly irrational. God is perfectly rational, so that attitude can't be from Him. And if it's not from God, then I need to stop believing it and letting it affect my (lack of) approach to reading the Gospel. But it's hard.

In Luke 5 this week, which I finally read this afternoon while feeding the baby and building blocks with Little Bear, Christ calls Simon, John, James, and Levi. And they drop everything, their whole lives and jobs and everything, and follow Him. That's pretty discouraging! There's one part of me, and I'm not entirely sure if it's cynical or not, that is looking at their response to Christ's call and saying, "There's a reason Christ only chose men to be Apostles!" I couldn't physically leave behind my 'job,' my children rely on me for their survival. It rather stings to hear this radical physical sacrifice praised when it would be wrong, sinful, for me to emulate; it loops right back to that thought process that's kept me from even reading this week, that there's this important thing [following Christ/reflecting on Scripture] that I should do, and here's an outstanding example of how to do it [the apostles/my siblings], and I can't do it in a way even close to what they can, so what are my efforts worth compared to theirs?

God asks different things of different people. I think that's something I'm supposed to be learning here: When the Pharisees contrast the fasting habits of St John the Baptist's disciples with those of Christ's disciples, He doesn't say that either group is right or wrong, or even that one is fine but the other is better. He says that their circumstances are different, and so of course their actions look different. Once the Bridegroom was taken away from them, then Christ's disciples would fast. One day, I will no longer have any young children in the house, and then my life and prayer will look very different. And no matter how long it is until then, it's not going to feel like it was long enough, looking back, even if it seems to stretch on forever right now.

No more of this contrasting my own efforts with those of others. I'm not in their circumstances. My only question should be, What is God asking of me right now?

03 November 2015

Passing it on

The kids and I made it to Mass yesterday for All Souls Day. Getting out of the house was a circus, as usual, and I probably said "Stop doing X we're going to be late!!!" five million times. And it was snowing, not as heavily as it had been earlier that morning, but enough for me to keep the radio off and sternly warn Little Bear that the roads are slippery so do not fuss and distract Mama. We live a good 20 minutes from the church on clear roads, and by the time we were halfway there yesterday, I was definitely wondering whether it was actually important to be doing this... But we made it, a little bit early even.

And then, there was the homily. Father really didn't pull punches! We have a responsibility to pray for the dead, he stressed. To offer Masses for them. To pray for the repose of our ancestors. To visit cemeteries and pray for those buried there, especially those who have been forgotten. He talked about how Catholics in other countries gather in the cemeteries on All Souls' Day to tend grave sites and pray for all those buried there. The souls in purgatory need our prayers, and we have an obligation to pray for them.

Parents have a responsibility to pass on these traditions and the whole of Catholic culture to their children, he reiterated. If we don't teach them to pray for the souls in purgatory, if they don't see us praying for those who have died, then when we die they aren't going to pray for us. If we don't make the Faith the center of our lives, the rhythm we live by, why would they do so? 

Visit a cemetery today, he instructed us. Bring your children. Say a rosary, or a decade of a rosary, or whatever prayers you can. Pray for the repose of those souls, even if you don't know any of them. Pray for all of the souls in purgatory.

Oh. Okay, going to Mass yesterday really was that important.

We'd already talked a couple of times over the course of the morning about All Saints and All Souls, how the saints are in heaven with God, and the souls in purgatory are people whom God is helping to become perfect so they can be saints in heaven too, so we pray for them that they will quickly become saints. I think that made sense to Little Bear; he explained it back to Matt after work yesterday evening. We stopped by a cemetery on our way home for supper, and Kit slept just long enough for us to get in a decade before she was very sure she needed to be done in her car seat, so we had to go home.

We've lost such a huge amount of tradition and Catholic day-to-day culture from just a few generations back, and it makes me so sad and frustrated. No one had ever told me before yesterday that we're supposed to visit cemeteries on All Souls Day! Why didn't they? Why didn't anyone I asked from my parents' generation know about it either? There's this huge body of cultural knowledge that I want to have, to form my kids in and build our family life around, and it seems like it should be all around us, but if I don't know what I'm looking for or even that I should be looking for something, it can be so hard to find.  Sometimes it seems impossible, passing on a Catholic culture to our children, when we're still learning it ourselves. Thank heaven for the priests and laypeople who do have a solid knowledge of our traditions, and share them with the rest of us!

01 November 2015

Luke 4

Wow, I'm early with this this week for a change! The fourth chapter of Luke picks up right after Christ's baptism in the Jordan River, beginning with the temptation in the desert and following the early part of His public ministry. This passage jumped out at me as I was reading today:

And the devil led him into a high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time;

And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them.

If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine.

And Jesus answering said to him: It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

What caught my attention was that Christ didn't contradict the devil's claims that all of the kingdoms of the world belong to him, and that he can give them to whomever he wishes. Nero, Diocletian, civilizations that practiced human sacrifice like Carthage or the Aztecs, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Hussein... It certainly has seemed, all through history, that some regimes have been diabolically inspired. But one name for the devil is the "father of lies," so is he here telling the truth, exaggerating, or out and out lying?

Psalm 23:1 The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and all they that dwell therein.

If all the earth and all the people in it belong to God, then "all the kingdoms of the world" can't literally belong to the devil. He is offering to give Christ what already belongs to Christ, and if it belongs to Christ, the devil doesn't have the ability to hand it out to anyone else. He does have some sway, though, given the fallen state of Man and our inclinations to sin: more obviously so in some "kingdoms" than others, but to a degree everywhere—the only people with perfectly pure, sinless hearts are in heaven.

Matt also pointed out that in context, no rebuttal of that point was strictly necessary. It didn't matter *what* He was offered, or whether the offer was valid or not: Christ was not going to agree to worship the devil. He didn't have to say "No, and that's not yours to offer anyway."

Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. That's going to be my verse to reflect on this week; goodness knows, I need to be reminded of it often enough. Not in a golden calf sort of way, but in every little instance when doing what I want to sounds easier or more enjoyable than doing what He's asking of me: choosing not to be "too tired" when Little Bear wants help building with blocks, bundling everyone in snow gear and going out to play even though it takes longer to get dressed/undressed than the kids will end up wanting to stay outside, putting celery in the soup because everyone else likes it better that way. Cultivating the domestic church is hardly glamorous! But it certainly does offer a lot of little opportunities to serve God by putting others first.