I had fun looking back at my stats for 2020. There were a few surprises, which I’ll get to in a minute. In all, though, what a year of revelation, for the Church anyway. Catholics quickly figured out how much the sacraments meant to both themselves, their pastors, and the State. Unfortunately we were devastatingly and deploringly deemed nonessential by most.
I wonder, how will this eventually pan out?
In any case, it was a year of clarity. Look, does the spiritual life matter to me or not? Yes? Then families will be seeking out churches that didn’t close during this hyped-up mania and will be finding pastors willing to teach the hard truths. There is nothing more important than our eternal salvation. Nothing.
Which reminds me, have you gone to confession yet in the New Year?
Most Popular Post of 2020
This leads me to my Most Popular Post of 2020: The Communion in the Hand Debacle. I can’t say I’m surprised by its popularity. The Holy Eucharist is our lifeline, so to speak. We cannot live without it, and furthermore, we have a right to receive on the tongue, no matter the circumstances.
Second Most Popular Post of 2020
My Second Most Popular Post of 2020 was Should One “Stockpile?” I thought this was interesting, as I didn’t expect that great of a response to it. For the record, I’m still inclined to say yes, it might be prudent to “stockpile” or have an extra supply of those things one normally consumes. I don’t think, however, one should obsess or go overboard.
Third Most Popular Post of 2020
My Third Most Popular Post of 2020 was actually from more than a year ago, which was a complete surprise, as I only include the clicks from this year. That means that I have multiple people every day still clicking on it. It’s Kim, Why Do You Always Wear Skirts? Women must be absolutely fascinated with this topic. Perhaps I’ll expound more on it later, for I do love my skirts.
Happy New Year!
As always, if there’s ever a topic you’d like to hear my thoughts on, be sure to drop me a line.
I’ve had an interesting week. My 4-year-old daughter was holding a folding chair by its hinges and running. She tripped and fell on top of the chair, which immediately sliced her two fingers–one on each hand. The lefthand fingertip was dangling; the right was only cut through the bone.
Yuck. It gives me the willies just thinking about it, for I had to put the one fingertip back in place. Ew.
I debated on whether or not I should post a few pictures of her cut-up fingers. I decided to go for it, but with a warning that the following pictures are just plain gross. If you’re queasy about such things, you had better skim past ’em! For the rest of you curious folk…
After my last post on Summer School, I had a few of you ask some great questions:
How does your “Art & Tea Time” work exactly?
Around 3pm, I yell, “Art & Tea Time!” Everyone makes a mad dash for their cursive books, extra paper, drawing books, and colored pencils. The Eldest puts on the audio book, and I either fold laundry or do some dinner prep. During this hour, 4 of the children are required to do 2 pages of cursive, which I never check. I also give them a snack. In the colder months, we had tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Now I tend to give them anything that will keep the 2-year-old and the 4-year-old quiet–so, like animal crackers or gold fish. When Art & Tea Time is finished, the children put everything away and also set the table for supper. Then they quickly disappear, usually outside, so that they can’t receive any more chores from Mom.
What audio books are good for a variety of ages?
My age range is 2-13. Generally the youngest two never listen, but just eat a snack and roam around a bit. I’ve found that if the volume is loud enough, they won’t cause any problems. In any case, our favorite books that have satisfied everyone are the following:
a.) The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
b.) The Little Britches series–books 1-4–by Ralph Moody
c.) The Mitchells series by Hilda van Stockum
d.) The Cottage at Bantry series by Hilda van Stockum
There are others, but that should get you started. If you have any questions about these books or need more recommendations, drop me a line!
What if your children complain about the audio selection?
Then they can go sit on their bed in Black Out until Art & Tea Time is over.
It’s no secret that I love wearing skirts. (There’s a whole post on it HERE.) This summer I added two more. And yes, that means I got rid of two. You do remember The Rule, right? One in, one out.
So anyway, I was in dire need of two new skirts. Where to find them? I checked out a few secondhand stores, and while I did find something for my daughter, alas, there was nothing for me.
And oh! What to do on a budget?
I had to shop online at the Power-Hungry-Giant, otherwise known as Amazon. Sigh. But truly, these were about the cheapest skirts I could find that met my length requirement. (I prefer to cover my knees.)
And so, if you’re curious, I’ll link below the two I bought. They’re great, if you don’t mind a skirt sitting at your natural waistline.
The other day, when the twins and I were stranded in St. Paul, we decided to tour the old James J. Hill Mansion. I was of course wearing my usual attire: black shirt, gray skirt, and black boots.
And naturally I was minding my own business during this tour, politely listening to our Tour Guide in his ponytail, pink button-up shirt, and skinny jeans.
As we were entering the bed chamber and bathroom of the Mr. James J. Hill’s wife, our Tour Guide commented on the lack of a shower.
He glibly remarked, “You’ll notice, if you look into Mrs. Hill’s bathroom, that you will not see a shower, but rather only a bathtub. In fact, none of her daughters’ bathrooms have showers either, but all the boys do, as well as James Hill. This was because it was thought that if a woman were to take a shower, she may suddenly want to wear…”
He dramatically paused and then smirked, “pants.”
At this point, the Tour Guide grinned and looked directly at me, the only woman wearing a skirt in our group, and then remarked, “You probably don’t have a shower in your home?”
He winked at me and went on, “Watch out for those showers, ladies!”
Honestly, it took all my self-control to hold back an eye roll. Instead, I just interiorly rolled my eyes, for he meant his comment as a slight to any woman who would be backwards enough to prefer the chains of feminine attire.
Well, I do prefer dressing in a feminine way. I like skirts, and I like dresses. And I can really think of two main reasons why this is so:
I am a woman after all, and I like how skirts and dresses make me feel. I like feeling feminine. Why is that such a bad thing in our culture anyway? Why must we all be the same?
I’ve noticed that when I do “dress up,” I feel better about everything. My morale goes up. I’m happier. I’m a better wife and a better mother.
For the record, I do own one pair of jeans and one pair of black pants, which I do wear from time-to-time…even though I don’t like them.
Today, however, in honor of my Condescending Tour Guide I want to offer a challenge to any ladies out there who may have never given skirts or dresses a chance. I challenge you to a 30-Day Skirt-Wearing Fiesta. (Or Dress-Wearing Fiesta.)
30-Day Skirt-Wearing Fiesta Guidelines
Wear a skirt (or dress) for 30 days in a row.
Notice how it makes you feel. Uncomfortable? Pretty? Frumpy? Feminine? Whatever.
Does anyone treat you differently because you’re “dressed up” in a seriously “dressed down” culture?
Write these things down daily. Keep a journal.
At the end of 30 days, review your thoughts, and let me know what you think. I’m genuinely curious, for I realize that skirts and dresses are not everyone’s cup of tea.
I Did Not Grow Up Wearing Them Either
By the way, I never used to wear skirts every day. It just sort-of grew on me over the years, but I suppose it began about 15 years ago in grad school. I had a friend who consistently wore skirts, and she always looked so well put-together. Later she married and everlastingly wore the same thing: a black pencil skirt and a collared, button-up shirt. I can tell you, her presence commanded more respect and awe than if she had chosen to wear sweatpants and t-shirts.
In any case, I’ll close this post with photos and comments of my 4 skirts that I wear every single day. (I’ve also got a few nicer skirts and dresses for Mass…but I don’t feel like trying those on right now.)
This is my newest skirt, which I bought at Christopher and Banks for about $45 earlier this year. (It’s still available HERE on their website.) I like the jean material because it’s stiff. I don’t like flimsy material of any kind. The buttons that you see running down the front are deceiving, as they don’t actually unbutton. I also like this skirt because of its length. It’s great for any season. You’ll notice that all my skirts are this length, which is intentional.
I purchased this skirt for a few dollars at Clothes Mentor, a second-hand store. I’ve had it for a few years, and I still like it, even though I’m not a huge fan of brown.
I bought this skirt probably 7 or 8 years ago at Christopher and Banks. I don’t remember how much I paid for it. It’s also jean material, like the first skirt. (I clearly like jean material, even if some may think it nerdy.) I realize that when I wear this skirt, I’ve likely got “Homeschool Mom” tattooed on my forehead, but I don’t care.
Lastly, you’ve already seen this skirt. It was also purchased at Christopher and Banks 7 or 8 years ago, and I still like it, in spite of Condescending Tour Guides.
If you’ve got any other clothing-related questions, be sure to ask! Or, if you’d like a tour of my closet, click HERE.
For those of you who may be new here, I’ve also got some other thoughts on clothing and modesty HERE.