7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes


The usual quips from my twitter feed with random photos uploaded from my camera that have nothing to do with the accompanying text. My quick takes are so boring and predictable.


Finger painting.

There is a moment that happens almost every morning while I’m eating my breakfast when a toddler climbs into my lap and demands I sing him “The Wheels on the Bus”. What? I’m not done with my oatmeal? That’s ok, mom, I don’t mind. You can still sing to me.


Ben helps himself to an apple

According to Bella one of the sheep in the Nativity is called “Poop”. Isn’t that nice?

Also there’s a lobster in a yellow slicker swimming around with the sheep.


The other day when I went to get Sophie up from her nap, I found her sprawled on the floor next to the bed her knee on the song book.

Ben is holding little rosary booklet and is singing: “Aaaayuuuyaaa… aaaayuuuyaaaa… aaaayuuuyaaa…” (Translation: “Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!”) He’s just like his sisters.


Ben climbs on Bella as she sleeps on the couch. How irresistible a sleeping sister is!

Sophie, playing with the Nativity: “Here’s St Jophas, here’s the shepherd, and here’s Mary. They’re all looking at their friends on Facebook.”


Trying to get a portrait of all three children. This was my favorite of the lot. As usual Bella forgot she was supposed to be sitting still.

“I was pretending to be a baby in a mommy’s belly,” Bella told me the other morning. She was on the couch with no clothes on, covered with a quilt.


I never did get around to posting this picture of my autumn centerpiece, a vase filled with acorns, pine cones, and honeylocust seed pods. I was rather proud of the way this looked.

This morning Bella is insisting that the salt she is licking from the top of the salt shaker (ew!) tastes sweet.


Ben singing into the microphone.

Ben has picked up the singing habit from his sisters. He loves grabbing the microphone and belting out a song. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to catch on camera because as soon as he sees the camera he comes running.

And that’s all I’ve got for this week. Be sure to go visit lovely Jennifer F for more quick takes.

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  • Thanks for this, Melanie. Since we’ve come to TX, all my Advent preparations have ceased. Obviously, the external ones have stopped because, well, my mom’s house is already ready. But I’ve let all the busyness and excitement overrun my interior preparations as well. I felt it so much at Mass on Sunday; I was distracted, unfocused. Communion almost took me by surprise when it happened because my heart and mind just weren’t there.

    I like the idea of praying at nine, noon and three. Forgive my convert ignorance, but what are daily hours and where do I find them? I think it would be good for me to pause myself, and if possible get the Ogre and the kids to stop with me a few times a day, to keep us in the right spirit.

    Your kids are so stinkin cute, by the way. Bella particularly kills me. She’s got a great look about her, a combination of sweetness and steadiness and a little spit and fire just under the surface. I think she and Sienna would get along really well.

  • Calah,

    Traveling is the worst. It always throws me off my routines. And yeah I’m not sure I’d ever use “steady” to describe Bella; but sweet with a little spit and fire under the surface fits pretty well. I’d love to have Bella and Sienna meet up. That would be great.

    As for the daily hours, forgive me but I have a hard time being brief on the subject.

    In short, from the beginning the Church has followed the Jewish custom of stopping to pray at certain hours of the day to sanctify the day and make it holy to God, to turn our minds and our hearts to Him constantly as we work (and play). These were the hours of prayer that observant Jews kept in the Temple and are even referred to in the Acts of the Apostles.

    Usually one reads certain Psalms and other readings from scripture also there are some set prayers that are said. The times vary a little bit but usually it’s in the morning and then in the evening—those are the main hours—then the daytime hours are 9, 12, and 3. Then there’s usually a shorter prayer at bedtime and finally there’s a longer prayer that monastics say in the middle of the night as a vigil but which laypeople can say anytime (the Office of Readings).

    You might know a bit about the hours as being kept by religious orders, especially the Benedictines (or the Cistercians at the abbey across the street from UD), who usually chant the Psalms. Priests are supposed to pray them too and we the laity are also strongly urged to pray along when we can as they are the universal prayer of the Church.

    After the Mass, praying the Liturgy of the Hours is the normative prayer for all the Church and whether you pray them alone or with a group, you are still praying in union with the Church because everyone in the world prays basically the same prayers at the same time on the same day. How cool is that? It really is one of the things I love most about being Catholic. I remember seeing a Protestant family trying to approximate it when one member went on a reality show and they all decided to all read the same passages of the Bible at the same time on the same days so that they could pray together in spirit. This is the same idea but much, much bigger.

    Anyway, there are several websites that offer the prayers Universalis is a good place to start (though for copyright reasons the translation they use is not the standard English one you would find in the published books.) So is, which offers a free podcast that you can either download or listen to online. There are some good iPod/iPhone apps as well if you have one of those. There is a range of books as well; but I think it’s probably easiest to get the idea by looking them over online.

    I started by just praying when I first woke up and then when I went to bed and have added other hours less successfully as I got used to the idea. One thing you can do is just pray one of the Psalms for each hour. Especially if you are trying to learn while praying with kids.

    Anyway, I’ve written more than a few blog posts and some of them quite long on praying the Liturgy of the Hours. It seems to be a subject I can’t stay away from. This is my basic beginner introduction. And here’s the master index of (I think) all my posts on the subject.