1.Wow - it's been a busy week around here (!), beginning with Ria's 18th birthday last weekend! I was recovering from Strep, so I couldn't do much of anything. Ria and friends and siblings did most of the planning and I did some quickly grocery shopping (we had hot dogs, ice cream, watermelon and misc. potluck items). We also had a lovely may procession and crowning around the yard and under the beautifully blossoming trees before having the crowning in the house.
2.Monday morning we learned that good friends of ours in Joplin lost their home in the Tornado. Fortunately they are all well, though they had some worries at first as their older son was at the movies with friends when the Tornado hit. We are praying for all those who have died and for all those who are suffering in this terrible tragedy. Seems to hit a little closer to home as we just drove through Joplin at the end of our big road trip earlier this month.
3.Last night was our homeschool group's high school graduation. We had a whopping SIXTEEN graduates! I was in shock that they were old enough to graduate. SO many of them are ones we've known for years and shared classes and performances with over the years. Had a nephew in the crowd who is following his older brother to Christendom in the fall. Very exciting!
4.Yesterday morning we had big news in Milwaukee! The beloved rector of our local seminary, Fr. Don Hying, was named auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee. It seems like everyone is bouncing off the walls with joy. We have many friends who are close to him and our pastor was one of his teachers in the seminary. Happy day!
5.In bummer news, one of our family's favorite athletes, Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, had a season-ending injury in a dramatic home-plate collision on Wednesday night. Buster is the reigning Rookie of the Year and a significant part of the heart and soul of his team, playing a big role in their World Series win last fall. A little extra bummer because we have tickets for a Brewers-Giants game this weekend here in Milwaukee and were hoping to see him play.
6.Now that Ria has been accepted to the college of her choice (although there is a short waiting list) it seemed a reasonable time to start getting rid of school paperwork that she didn't need to save for sentimental reasons. So often, on a day to day basis, I don't feel like we've accomplished that much in the way of education. So I was a little surprised to see how much evidence there was of education going on around here. She picked out a smallish pile of things she'd like to keep (including many delightfully funny drawings and a page with two or three paragraphs on it labeled "A Novel".
7.I'm really behind on writing notes about movies I've watched and books I've read. Here are a few quick lists I hope to spend more time with in the near future:
Movies I've seen lately:
127 Hours (I think my expectations were too high - didn't like it very much).
Finding Fatima: An interesting documentary which uses some footage from the movie The 13th Day (which I haven't seen).
The Shroud of Turin: 3 Movie Collector's Edition - Three interesting documentaries on one DVD. Silent Witness, produced in 1978, is one that made a big impression on me as a child. It's a little spooky for the younger set, but quite interesting (though sadly faded - doesn't look like they digitally remastered this one). The second film was produced by the BBC in 2008 and focuses on beginning to address the carbon dating process that seemed to prove the Shroud a Medieval fake. The third movie is the official movie for the exposition of the Shroud in Turin in 2010 and is quite lovely.
Books I've read lately:
How to Eat a Small Country - (Slightly rough around the edges, but loved it on the whole. The story of a Food Network chef who quits her job and moves with her family to France in order to try to save her marriage)
The World is Bigger Now - (a journal/memoir about two female American journalists who were captured by the North Koreans and held hostage for 5 months back in 2009). The book is a very personal account of the ordeal written by Euna Lee, one of the two journalists. It was a quite a good read, and very moving at times - especially in recounting her relationship with her husband and young daughter. An unexpected spiritual theme runs through the book, including the journalist's decision to admit her belief in Christianity, even though she knew it was a dangerous thing to say.
The King's Speech - A rather thorough double-biography of Lionel Logue and King George VI. Fascinating and a great follow-up to the movie. We listened to this on audio during our road trip.
Schooled - I've been curious about this title for quite a while and finally picked up a copy at a rummage sale. A light young-adult novel. A homeschooled and socially isolated teenage boy (homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, with lots of hippie values, minus the drugs and free love) is sent to a public school he definitely doesn't fit in, but has some interesting and humorous adventures anyway. An interesting theme to play with, and the author uses it largely to shed some light on social problems common in today's schools.
As I Am - by Patricia Neal - A harrowing but very spiritual autobiography of the famous movie actress who converted to Catholicism on her deathbed a few years ago.
Books I've Started Reading Recently:
Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
The Penderwicks at Point Mouet by Jeanne Birdsall
It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh
The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin