the little crown

St. John the Evangelist saw a woman crowned with twelve stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet.  According to the commentators, this woman is the Blessed Virgin Mary, with her virtues and her privileges, especially that of her divine maternity.

Thus originated the Little Crown of the Twelve Stars of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which many saints made it a practice to recite frequently.

St. Louis De Montfort even gave this prayer to his religious families (The Montfort Fathers and the Daughters of Wisdom) as their morning prayer.  He also recommended it to all those  who embrace the devotion of the holy and loving Jesus through Mary. Continue reading “the little crown”

sing second!

fullsizeoutput_5aa4
Our son celebrating a sing-second moment.

“Singing second”

is perhaps the most prized moment in the football career of a player

at one of the service academies.

 

The tradition after games between the Military Academies is for the “Alma Mater” of both teams to be performed by the respective school bands with the teams standing together at attention. The anthem of the losing team is performed first, then the anthem of the winning team is performed second.

 

In only 2 days and a butt we look forward to when

ARMY

sings second!

GO ARMY! BEAT NAVY!

 

 

Image
Our son’s final walk in his favorite Service Academy uniform. Circa Army/Navy c/o 2012.

And extra-special hugs n’ blessings to all the firsties who will play their final game.

Alma Mater

Hail, Alma Mater dear,
To us be ever near.
Help us thy motto bear
Through all the years.
Let Duty be well performed.
Honor be e’er untarned
Country be ever armed.
West Point, by thee.

Guide us, thine own, aright
Teach us by day, by night,
To keep thine honor bright,
For thee to fight.

When we depart from thee,
Serving on land or sea,
May we stand loyal be,
West Point, to thee

And when our work is done,
Our course on earth is run,
May it be said, “Well done”
Be thou at peace.”
E’er may that line of gray
Increase from day to day
Live, serve, and die, we pray,
West Point, for thee.

P.S. Reinecke, 1911

 

Image 5-29-16 at 4.22 PM
Stephen Chase Prasnicki KIA 2012  None More American

*Video credit: Austin Lachance

*Photo credits: Danny Wild and myself.

Season of Giving.

“Crash!”  My eyes immediately squinched together, tightly shut.  I knew as soon as I openned them I would need to pause my Christmas Tree decorating to mourn and pay homage to what laid shattered below.

IMG_6743

Sniff-sniffle it was the Sheep & Shephard Porcelain Ornament I had purchased the year I discovered our last name meant ‘Sheep’ in German.

IMG_6744

German: metonymic occupational name for a shepherd, from Middle High German schaaf ‘sheep’. In some cases it may have been a nickname for someone thought to resemble a sheep, or a habitational name for someone living at a house distinguished by the sign of a sheep.

Most of the ornaments on our tree have a story. It’s a miss-match-mosh-bash of ornament stories and we have a barrel of monkey laughs, along with a few tender sniffles, every year we begin the task of hanging them.

If trees could talk I would love to hear what ours would say…I’m certain it would involve  a giggle or two. 

The Christmas Tree is probably the most suggestive holiday symbol, next to Santa and his reindeers. Its history is sprinkled with great moments, did you know?

  • The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia in 1510.
  • Small candles used in lighting the tree date back to the middle of the 17th century.
  • Edward Johnson, Thomas Edison’s assistant, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882. Since 1890 the tree lights are mass produced.
  • The Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933. Since 2004 the tree got a new top – a 550-pound Swarovski Crystal star. Since 2007 the tree is lit with 30000 energy-efficient LEDs, powered by solar panels.
  • President Franklin Pierce placed the first Christmas tree in the White House.
  • Teddy Roosevelt banned the tree from the White House for environmental reasons.
  • President Truman spent Christmas at his home in Missouri from 1948-1951, and lit the National Community Christmas Tree by remote control. In 1952 he lit the tree personally.
  • 98% of all Christmas trees are grown on farms, preserving as much as possible the wild life.
  • In 2012, 46 million Christmas tree seedlings were planted by U.S. growers – to ensure enough trees for harvest growers plant one to three seedlings for every tree harvested.
  • Trees require shearing to attain the Christmas tree shape. At six to seven feet, trees are ready for harvest. A tree has to go through six to ten years before reaching maturity.
  • To get to the retail outlet and then finally your home, the trees are cut weeks before, this means they need thorough watering – in the first week the tree in your home will consume a quart of water per day.
  • The first artificial tree was made of green dyed goose feathers, in 19th century Germany.

The Catholic tradition of using an evergreen tree to celebrate the birth of Jesus spread throughout Germany, and German immigrants in the eighteenth century brought the custom to the New World. Although there are many stories, legends, and myths surrounding the founding of the Christmas tree, including the claim that the custom originated with Martin Luther, there is only one story rooted in a real person and a real event: Boniface, converter of the Germans.

This little tree, a young child of the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the wood of peace… It is the sign of an endless life, for its leaves are ever green. See how it points upward to heaven. Let this be called the tree of the Christ-child; gather about it, not in the wild wood, but in your own homes; there it will shelter no deeds of blood, but loving gifts and rites of kindness.” St. Boniface

Where-ever you hang your twinkling lights this year, on a fancy plastic one or on a live Christmas tree, may you create a fir-fabulous story for your tree to share!
IMG_6752

these hugs and ever-green blessings are sent twink-twinkle to you!