NCRegister Blog: Art, Body Image, and Gratitude

Madonna in the Meadow by Raphael

When we decided to study the history of art with our children as part of their homeschooling I did not realize that the course of this study would show me just how deeply I had been influenced by the secular media to disvalue my physical appearance. There is a stark contrast between what modern media presents as a beautiful, attractive woman and what neoclassical, baroque, romantic, realist, etc. art portrays as beautiful. Through looking at these paintings I have learned to value the beauty of women and to truly be thankful for the way that God made me.

Read the rest at the National Catholic Register…

Seven Quick Takes: Friday, February 27–Around the House

The quiet beauty of the morning before the kids were up. I love tulips.

 1) This week I have resolved myself to February and a lingering winter. We have been mostly at home because we have not really had any place we had to go. I have been tackling projects that I meant to do last February, like put curtain ties on the bedroom windows (instead of clothes pins) and getting some extra wall decor up. I have also been taking on some chores that I usually neglect because of the effort and time they take. And my nesting has led me to do things like order baby diaper covers and make a registry of things this baby is going to need. So, these quick takes are mostly about the house.

2) I had a little date with my double oven and Norwex cleaning products. I could not get every spot, but it is much better and shiny:

I then took on the rest of the kitchen deep cleaning. I think I need to work this into my weekly schedule, like doing one kitchen chore a week so that I don’t put it off for six months and then wear myself out in a week trying to get it all done.

3) My father’s father was a photographer, and last winter I spent an evening with two of my aunts going through photographs and taking my favorites home. I have been meaning to hang them for awhile. We don’t have a lot of common area wall space (that is not in the play room), so we only put two things up for now.

 The first is a picture of an old man reading in a really nice room. If you want to see the photograph well, you are going to have to come over and see it yourself.

The second is a series of photographs of a house that seemed inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is probably near Los Angelos somewhere since that is where my grandfather got his art degree. We are really enjoying having some original and good art on our walls, and I like that it is done by my grandfather.

4) L asked for a painting of her name patron saint for Christmas to hang in her room with her name cross stitch (made by her aunt). G was given a Romanian style painted glass icon of her name patron saint at birth, and it has been hanging with her cross stitch for years. For L, we found a poster print of a painting, and finally hung in her room the other week. With the plan for the bunk bed, we decided to put all four framed items on one wall. I think it turned out really well, but you will have to come see it for yourself.

5) To add to Lent for the children (in addition to our Lent wreath and stational churches) we decided to do a bean jar for charitable deeds and a crown of thorns for sacrificial deeds. Since they are all below the age of reason, we have to remind them of it and tell them when they have done something worthy of it. They also look nice.

A certain girl likes to have her saint statue “talking” to Jesus or Our Lady.

6) The girls and I planted some basil seeds this week. It is supposed to be ready to harvest in 60-90 days which will put us in April. My thought is that we could transplant the basil to the garden after the last frost, and then start another set indoors to have for next fall and winter. Gardeners, does it matter how old basil is when you plant it outside?

The basil pots are covered in plastic until the seeds sprout.

Our mini rose bush and parsley are thriving. We have been using the parsley on various dishes, and it is acting the same as our parsley did last summer. The more you use it, the thicker it grows.

7) I will leave you with a few gems from the girls:

G (almost 6) at the end of quiet time the other day: “I was just finishing up my prayer time. It took me longer than normal today. I said a Hail Mary, an Our Father, a St. Michael, and then made up some prayers to Jesus.”

L (4), when I brought her toys into her quiet time (after her “sleeping time”): “I was singing about when I should get my toys. I was also singing Jesus songs. I sang a song to the monsters about how Jesus died on the cross so that we could go to Heaven.”
Me: “What did the monsters think of that?”
L: “I don’t know. They did not say.”

F (2) all the time: “I have to go potty. No, I don’t have to go.”

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.