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Let the Sun shine!

It has been raining off and on for a while now here in Christchurch, but today, with a break in the weather a few brothers made the most of the opportunity to take a walk in the beautiful countryside. The walk is called "Kennedy's Bush" and is just south of the city centre.
 Br Paul in the distance and Br Xavier

 The view to the East

 Br Xavier hardly visible in the long bush

 View to the West

 Amongst the tall flax

 Br Paul enjoying the shade of forest path

 Explanatory notice about the Sign of the Bellbird

 Just over the other side of our destination,
Lyttleton seen on the left

 A Bellbird feeding on the flax on the path side

Young calves along the way


Word Have the Power to Change Us





It's been a long time, like a really, really long time since I've sat down and gotten lost in a book. I read all the time -- picture books, board books, magazines, the newspaper, self-help garbely gook, books about autism, scientific journals. But I can't remember the last time I sat down with a book and just read. I'm toying with the notion of investing in a Kindle. I bought myself one for my birthday back in September and promptly returned it. I have a problem spending on myself. And I like the way a book feels in my hands. But I want to read more. And the stack on my nightstand is intimidating.



Here are a just a few books that have held space in my heart. They are the ones I've read over and over, and the ones I'll read again someday.



To Kill a Mockingbird



Waiting for Godot



Flowers for Algernon



Harry Potter (the series)



Freak the Mighty



The Bonfire of the Vanities



You can find my ongoing reading list on my somewhat defunct Goodreads account. I know there are people who have crazy reading ambitions each year. My ambition is small as I am going to *try* (but forgive myself if I fail) to read a book a month this year.



If you have a few that have stopped you dead in your tracks, leave those titles here. I've been out of the book loop for so long that I have no idea what's good anymore and I'm always looking for something to add to my nightstand stack.

2014 Book Shelf














(6)



(7)



(8)



(9)



(10)



(11)



(12)

O Holy Night!

Our candle-light Christmas Midnight Mass on Stronsay.

Dominus dixit ad me: filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te.
The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. (Ps. 2:7)


Sursum corda!

...and falling down they adored Him. (Matt. 2:11)

Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you. (Jn. 6:54) 

"BETHLEHEM" IN THE SOUTH ISLAND

This Christmas in New Zealand the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer celebrated the Word Made Flesh in a small beautiful wooden church outside of the city of Christchurch. A bus was hired to take a group of about thirty people to the church of St Brigid at Loburn. Others came from Rangiora and some from Loburn itself. We sang carols on the way to our 'Bethlehem' and again had carols before a Solemn High Mass, which was followed by refreshments and a fire works display. There were in all 73 faithful and 7 religious. It was a joyous and wonderful occasion and we share with you some of the photos.

 Carols by candlelight before the Solemn High Mass

The beautifully decorated altar. 

The Celebrant Father Anthony Mary incensing the Divine Infant

Gloria in Excelsis Deo! 

 Blessing of  the deacon before he sings the Gospel

 'Deacon' Father Yousef sings the Gospel of Midnight Mass

 "Et Verbum Caro Factum Est" during the Credo of the Mass

The Offertory 

Br Jean Marie holding the Paten with the Humeral Veil at the preface

 Elevation of the Sacred Host

 Elevation of the Precious Blood

"Ecce Agnus Dei"  Behold the Lamb of God

Blessing with Infant Jesus after Holy Mass

The Altar Servers with Sacred Ministers

Favour received from the Bonnie Prince.

Kelly reports this favour from The Bonnie Prince:

Victoria is a little three year old girl who was born blind.
She lives in the united States. 
The endearing child who suffers much 
has  never been able to eat food normally. 
She awaits brain surgery at the Dukes Hospital. 

Of late Victoria lay for three days 
suffering from a high fever. 
Kelly, a friend of Victoria's mother 
and who is devoted to the Bonnie Prince, 
upon hearing of the fever invoked the Prince's assistance
 for little Victoria. 

Kelly took her image of the Bonnie Prince 
and with it touched it to the photo of Victoria
 that she had on her computer screen.

Her prayer was heard. 
Less than five minutes later,
the fever left her 
Victoria's temperature had dropped to normal.


 Public Thanksgiving is offered to the Bonnie Prince:
I praise Him most, I love Him best,
All praise and love is His;
While Him I love, in Him I live
And cannot love amiss. ...

Alas, He weeps, He sighs, He pants!
Yet do His angels sing;
Out of His tears, His sighs and throbs
Doth bud a joyful spring.
O Bonnie Prince whose tender arms
Can force all foes to fly,
Correct my faults, protect my life,
Direct me when I die. 
[Hymn in honour of The Bonnie Prince]

Some other fevers Our Lord did cure:

And Simon' s wife' s mother lay in a fit of a fever: and forthwith they tell him of her.  And coming to her, he lifted her up, taking her by the hand; and immediately the fever left her... (Mark 1:30-31)

He asked therefore of them the hour wherein he grew better. And they said to him: Yesterday, at the seventh hour, the fever left him. The father therefore knew, that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him, Thy son liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee. (John 4:52)

O Bread of Heaven!

It is our custom to follow Thursday Mass with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.  Below is a photo from today's adoration.


driving flying home for Christmas…

well i can hardly believe we are finally here. just a couple more days and we cross the pond to spend our first christmas in old blighty since we set sail for the states in the year 2000. tis nothing short of a small miracle in my mind...


i am beyond giddy to be going home for the holidays and have been plotting and planning for months now. mossy shed and the critters will be well taken care of by a most delightful family moving in, so no lonely shed nor critter hearts come next week. Mister Muchly however is packing his suitcase and will spend his holidays with my adopted auntie because he is rather fond of their little green bungalow having been several times before.



my plotting and planning consists of:



several days in london catching up with clan and of course seeing my girls (yippee!), visiting with my lovely friend Emily (hurrah!), a pilgrimage to Loop (hooray!), brick lane market and columbia road (spiffy!), a first time visit to the creative world of Jessie Chorley (magical!) and for my lads of three, a total first, a premier soccer game, Arsenal vs Chelsea (miraculous!)



christmas eve, taking the train down to Bath to meet up with my folks whom i have not seen for a whole live long year (magical!), spend christmas with one of my brothers and his clan (crazy good!), dragging my mother out to the boxing day sales (hahahehe!), seeing my eldest turn 22 on boxing day (priceless!), waking up on the 27th to our lad turning 18 and seeing him head to London with his sisters to celebrate in style (memory in the making!).


staying with my soul sister Debbie for 2 nights and a day, just enough to catch up on 2 yrs of separation (jubilation!), meet up again in london with the missing clan members, say good bye to Our #1 and fly to Edinburgh, Scotland to ring in the new year (celebrations!) and then head to where we once called home, Cambridge, to see my man's mum for a few days (peachy perfect!) before winging our way back to mossy shed and our small gaggle of critters.



tis a whistle stop tour, and tis throwing caution to the wind traveling public transport in mid winter around the british isles, but we do not care, we are not fretting on what might or might not be. we are just winging it and as long as we have our thermal undies, our tooth brushes, a stock pile of yarn and a place to lay our weary heads we know it will be the bees knees of a trip.


you can follow along if you like over on instagram where i hope to post a pic or two. or else i will see you back here in the new shiny year, all ready for fresh crafty adventures. so it just leaves me to say, i am wishing each and everyone of you, critters and plants included, the most happiest of happy holidays and may you all have a little miracle or two of your own this festive gleeful season

footynote:
"Tif, what is all that yarny goodness going on?"
"ahhh, yes, that would be the beginnings of my mish mash wrappity wrap"
"so bascially a scarf then?"
"ummm, well since you put it that way, yes"


footyfootynote:
disaster has struck, i have lost not one but two stitches and a terrible yarny mess has ensured. i have not wept quite yet, although i am close... all i can think of is, thank goodness i work in a yarn store and thank goodness the folks that work there know what they are doing and can rescue me tomorrow... "ummm Tif!?"

Preschool Presents and Free Download

The twins have a lot of the same friends in their class this year, so I didn't want to give out candy cane play dough again (thought it was a huge hit). Instead this year, I made gingerbread play dough.









Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium size sauce pan and cook over medium to low heat until it starts to congeal and get doughy. It cooks pretty quickly. I doubled the batch and ended up with enough play dough for 20 quarter cup containers. I also added clear glitter to the pot for some extra holiday sparkle. Clearly, that's optional.













The little plastic containers were from Dollar Tree and came ten to a pack (for $1, super steal). The ribbons were just scrap ribbons that I had from previous years. The labels I made and personalized for the R's, but if anyone is interested (and still has time!) in doing this project for their preschool friends I created a universal label, the labels fit on Avery 22807 sheets and the 2" size fits perfectly on the dollar store containers. If you can't find the Avery labels -- I couldn't either -- full sticker sheets and a 2" circle punch (which I found at Staples and Michael's, respectively) work just fine.








I hope everyone is staying warm and almost done shopping. Nothing is worse than the holiday rush. Oh, and if you live somewhere warm don't rub it in in the comments!

Rejoice!

Gaudate Sunday falls on the third Sunday of Advent.  It takes its name from the first word of the Introit.

"Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum." Phil. 4:4-6

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice.  Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh.  Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God."

Gaudete Sunday is the counterpart to Lætare Sunday in Lent.  Falling as it does at the half-way-point of Advent, the penitential season of expectation leading up to Christmas, Gaudate Sunday provides a moment of relief from the austerities of the fast, thus the liturgical colour of rose replaces the penitential violet.
 

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