Saturday, December 26, 2009

Feast of St. Stephan's Day

Tomorrow is the feast of St. Stephan in the Eastern Rite (It was today in the west.) and it reminds me of a tradition that I plan on having my kids keep. I heard of this tradition from The Clancy Brothers and I thought it was a wonderful idea. They told about how on the feast of St Stephan's Day the Irish children would go out and kill a little bird called a Wren. They would then go door to door and collect money. It seems like a much better idea to have kids going and collecting money from neighbors than from me. Well, here is a Wren Song sung by the Clancy Brothers. I say "A Wren Song" because from what I've read it looks like Irish boys would have their own Wren Song and so there are many versions out there. Also, only the first minute of this is the Wren Song. I'm not sure what the other half is.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Since I probably won't be on here tomorrow I thought I would blog now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eve of Christmas Eve

I'll try to blog later but for now here is day 23 of the Hubble space picture Christmas countdown.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wish I had started this earlier

Today someone at work showed me this web page that counts up to Christmas days using Hubble pictures. Here is the link and here is todays picture.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some not so holiday stuff

Well, Christmas is coming and it seems to come by faster and faster each year even though it seems like stores are preparing for it earlier and earlier. Kayleen has finished most of her Christmas shopping and I'm just trying to locate my gifts. (Louisa is WAYY behind, she hasn't bought one gift yet! I've offered to lend her the cash but she is being proud and not accepting my charity.) My last post I posted in a hurry because Kayleen and I were headed out the door and I wanted to make sure I got something posted. I was planning on posting some pictures of Louisa but they'll have to wait. Instead here is a youtube video. It's how the Terminator movie should have ended. All I know is that I would see this movie if they were to make it.

Also, this was the comic from xkcd on Friday. (Sorry for the swearing in it.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Return from my hiatus

Well people have been complaining about me not updating my blog so here you go. Gina, I know you asked for pictures, I'll try and do that later but for now here is a Christmas blog.

Kayleen and I were recently talking about the 12 days of Christmas song and I was telling her that they days of Christmas all had a meaning and she looking them up.

"According to Ace Collins in his book Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas, all these gifts are symbols of the Catholic faith that come from a time when the Catholic religion was banned in England.

Beginning in the Sixteenth Century, according to Collins, Catholics, including children, could be persecuted for practicing their religion. The Church of England was the legal religion of the land. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was a means Catholics used to teach their children the tenets of their religion in a way unrecognizable to the English authorities, according to Collins' book.

To some, the idea that the song contains symbolism associated with the Sixteenth Century Catholic Church is pure legend: it has always been simply a whimsical secular tune, they say.

Below are the meanings Collins says were hidden in the song.

The “true love” giving the gifts represented the pure love of God. Each gift represented a major doctrine of the Catholic faith.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

The partridge represents the courage and devotion of Christ dying for his people. A mother partridge will lure predators away from her chicks, even sacrificing her life for them. The pear tree symbolizes the wooden cross upon which Jesus died.

Two Turtle Doves

This represents the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Doves also symbolize truth and peace.

Three French Hens

French hens were the food of kings in sixteenth century England. Here they represent the expensive gifts brought by the wise men to the newborn Jesus.

Four Calling Birds

These symbolize the authors of the four Gospels.

Five Gold Rings

These are the five Old Testament books known as the Law of Moses.

Six Geese A-Laying

Here we have the six days in which God created the world. The eggs, from which new life springs, symbolize creation.

Seven Swans a-Swimming

These represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit outlined by the apostle Paul: prophesy, service, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership and mercy. The swan, a graceful bird, symbolized these virtues.

Eight Maids A-Milking

Being a milk maid was one of the lowest jobs in sixteenth century England. Jesus came to save the poor and the humble, thus this gift represents Jesus’ love for the common people.

Nine Ladies Dancing

This dance represents the nine fruits of the spirit: love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Ten Lords A-Leaping

Here is a reminder of the Ten Commandments.

Eleven Pipers Piping

These represent the eleven faithful apostles who followed Jesus to the end and spread his message after his death. While there were twelve apostles, one betrayed Jesus.

Twelve Drummers Drumming

This is a symbol for the twelve tenets of the Catholic faith laid out in the prayer, “The Apostles’ Creed”. The drummers may provide the cadence for reciting this prayer."