{JEI} Thanksgiving…or pass the pumpkin pie! 

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!  Checking in for Just Enough Info. Head on over to http://www.sweepingupjoy.com/jei-13-happy-day-of-gluttony/ to see other holiday posts! I hope everyone had a day with plenty of food, those you love and minimal drama!

1. Do you have to cook for Thanksgiving? If yes, what’s on the menu? If no, high five! 

See above. Pumpkin bread, sweet potato casserole and pecan pie were all I had to bake! High five! And we were at my in-laws, so didn’t need to clean the house, either. Win, win. 

Watching the parade.

2. What famous person would you like to invite to your family Thanksgiving?

St. John Paul the Great. What an amazing man, and I bet he was great when there was lots of food and kids! 

3. Excluding family, health and basic needs met – what are 3 things that you are thankful for?

Serious blessings: 1) so amazed and thankful for the outcome of the presidential election. 2) a year filled with many trials that are teaching me humility and strength inch my relationship with my husband. 3) wonderful girlfriends. Last fall I begged God to send me more friends, and online and in person I have been blessed with getting to know many, many lovely ladies. 

Just for fun blessings: 1) my no-boil-over pot lid from Pampered Chef. Seriously, I use it every day and it’s awesome. 2) the view from my rocking chair. Mountains, valley, trees, ever changing light and clouds. 3) sleep. Especially the once a month night when get 6-8 straight hours. Otherwise, this is a blessing I’m still hoping for more of.  

Our Thanksgiving dinner, which I made for Grace’s birthday on Monday.

{JEI} Clothes…or do pajamas count?

This week’s JEI linkup, hosted by Alicia at Sweeping Up Joy, has three questions about clothes.  Honestly, I almost didn’t link up this week, because the past six months I’ve had a love/hate relationship with clothes.  After seven years, four babies and 50 lbs., my clothes are old, don’t fit, and don’t make me feel pretty.  But hey, trying to keep it real here and remind myself that I used to enjoy these things I cover myself up with.
1. If you had to wear the clothes from another time period, when would it be?

Regency Era.  Think Jane Austen.  I’ve always loved empire waist dresses.  They make my short, round figure look longer and more elegant.  In college, I made myself several very lovely dresses in this style.  They are still in my closet, and maybe someday my girls will wear them (at least for dress up).


I sewed this dress when I was 18.  Here I am in college, wearing it for freshman year Formal.  This dress was very elegant.

2. What are you embarrassed that you wore but used to think was cool?
 Need I say more?  My only explanation is that I was trying to emulate the tall, willowy senior girls in their long, flowing skirts and scarves.  Now, I think I look young and silly.  But at least I had a style, and I thought I was very elegant.  Now, I neither have a style nor do I know what style I like to wear.
3. What’s your favorite article of clothing in your closet right now?
This robe from L.L. Bean, that my husband gave me for Christmas last year.  I love it.  But that’s about it.  Lately, I’ve been wondering whether I should stop spending money on exercise programs that don’t work, and instead buy clothes that do.

{JEI} The Year of Mercy….or Lord, help me forgive. 

It’s been a few weeks since I published, mostly because the baby’s sleep patterns changed again and I lost my time to blog. Anyway, jumping in for the Just Enough Info linkup, hosted over at Sweeping Up Joy. 
1. What did you do (or can in these last few weeks!) to mark the year?

We prayed and went through the Holy Door at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Since it’s the month of the Holy Souls, it’s easy to finish off the Year of Mercy with prayers for the dead. 

2. What Work of Mercy is easiest or most challenging for you?

Easiest are definitely the ones I can do for my family. Feed the hungry, cloth the naked (even when they resist!), instruct the ignorant (we homeschool). And also making meals, donating clothes, praying for sinners and the dead, these are fairly easy.

But I struggle with some. Forgiveness, that’s a hard one, especially for those things that annoy me every. single. day. Extending mercy to those closest to me, especially through forgiveness and patience, is very challenging.

Also, a quick note on “sheltering the homeless.”  Most lists of the corporal works of mercy look like this:

  1. To feed the hungry.
  2. To give drink to the thirsty.
  3. To clothe the naked.
  4. To shelter the homeless.
  5. To visit the sick.
  6. To visit the imprisoned.
  7. To bury the dead.

The corporal works of mercy are basically taken from Matthew 25:34-26,  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'” 

“Shelter the homeless” is the one work not found in this passage.  A little research reveals that traditionally, the fourth work was “welcome the stranger.”  I think welcoming the stranger much better captures the spirit and intention of this work of mercy.  It can encompass providing shelter for the homeless, but its scope is much more broad.  If we start to reflect on ways to welcome the stranger, we can begin to recapture the virtue of hospitality, which was once a prominent virtue in the ancient and medieval world, but which has been largely lost in the modern day.  Welcoming the stranger includes many things, from talking to a new family at church, to bringing a meal to a young mom, to inviting over friends even when your house isn’t perfectly clean, or talking to someone new at the park or library.

Maybe *one day* I’ll write a post on this, but I just wanted to mention it, in case you’ve wondered about or struggled with this work of mercy too.
3. Do you have a story of mercy in your own life to share? Or do you have a favourite saint/quote/resource about mercy to pass along?

Going to Confession is, I believe, the most important way we come face to face with God’s mercy. I often struggle to go every month, and more often just doesn’t happen. But I am blessed with a husband who is very devoted to this sacrament, and he encourages me, even when I don’t feel like going.  His example of frequent, devotional confession really inspires me, and apparently inspires others too.  He is a Catholic high school teacher, and the chaplain says that when confession is offered for religion classes (not required, of course, but the opportunity is given during class time), his class has the highest percentage of students who go.

I will close with this quote from St. Therese, coloring page courtesy of Do Small Things with Love.