Fonticulus Fides

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Update from Sri Lanka

My friends sent in an eyewitness accounts and photos to the local paper -- Tom is a professional photographer, so he always has a camera with him. You can read his story and see his photos here. Their family is all okay -- the son & daughter-in-law who live in Indonesia were visiting in Sri Lanka for the holidays, so they are all together and all okay. Tom also provides information on how you can help with a monetary donation, if possible.

Another Update

I got a personal note from my friend who tells me that it's just heartbreaking to speak to the survivors. They are doing what they can, though. The shelters for their feeding program were underwater on Sunday and Monday but are not housing some 40 people, albeit without beds, extra clothing, etc. Their orphanage is okay -- must have been a different one that somebody told me about. She said that of the 5,000 families they help, every single one of them lost thier homes and all their belongings. And she said it was a horrible, horrible thing to speak to grieving parents who were only able to save one or two of their children while the rest were swept into the sea. Pray for them all!

The Red Cross locally says to send money not goods, as it is too hard to ship to the area. I've asked my friend about it. Certainly money is needed now, but we have done clothing and school-supply drives for her projects before, and I imagine there will be a need for such things in the next few months. I'll keep you posted.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I promise, this is the last time I'll talk about breastfeeding for the rest of the year!

Take a look at this TV commercial from Australia. Don't worry, there is no breastfeeding shown -- no mom or baby, either. But it illustrates what I've said all along.


Monday, December 27, 2004

Please pray for the folks in Southeast Asia

The devastating news has hit close to home for me. My friend Sriyani runs an orphanage and other programs for the poor who live on the beaches of Sri Lanka (her homeland -- she came to the U.S. as a foreign exchange students and married a local fellow). They contacted one of their sons who lives in the U.S. to let them know that they're okay, but their orphanage, Lotus Buds, was completely destroyed. I don't know what has happened to the children or to Roger and Therese, the houseparents. I don't know how many of the people whom Sriyani's other organizations minister to have been killed, but certainly all of them were affected, because her focus was the poor folks who lived on the beach. Sriyani's oldest son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter live in Indonesia, and nobody has heard from them yet, but we pray they are okay. Also, my former roommate Mellie lives in Sri Lanka -- she and her husband pastor a small church near the beach, and I don't even know if they lived through the devastation.


Thursday, December 23, 2004


Alicia made me laugh with this list of funny Christmas carols.

Speaking of Christmas carols, Zooey was singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" the other day, and one line came out, "...Peace on earth and Mercer Mayer..." Mercer Mayer is one of his favorite children's authors (the Little Critter series).

Our little Edyn is completely enthralled with the Christmas tree and gives regular "ornament tours" to anybody who will sit with her long enough to point out her angel, her snowman, her Pooh, her brother's Pooh, etc., etc., etc.

Lola, meanwhile, has turned out to be one of those kids who shakes packages relentlessly. If we ever lose track of the baby, all we have to do is look under the tree. There she is, picking up each bright package and shaking her little heart out. I don't think she even realizes there is something underneath the pretty ribbons and paper yet.

...and Glories

Zooey sang with his schoolmates in the annual Christmas program. My in-laws came and were terribly impressed that not only did the Kindergarteners have to learn 8 songs (many adult-level hymns!), they sang in harmony with the other grades AND stood holding their battery-operated candles for an hour and 20 minutes without squirming. (I love the fact that this school believes all students should learn self-discipline as early as possible!). Zooey sang with all his might and did a great job. And yes, I had tears of motherly pride in my eyes.

Zooey also dove headfirst into the Christmas spirit and wrote out a list of eleven teachers/staff memeber whom he wanted to bless with a Christmas gift this year. We made our angel ornaments out of copper-finished tin (embossed and rolled into 3-D shapes), and he packed them up in small gift bags for his two classroom teachers, the librarian, the computer instructor, the P.E. teacher, the office ladies, the principal, and even the janitor! He painstakingly wrote out thank-you notes to each person (I provided a "translation" in adult penmanship) to include with the gift.

I'm taking Edyn shopping tonight so she can pick out things for her brother and sister. I don't like waiting until the last minute by any means, but Edyn can't keep a secret yet. She's in a generous spirit these days, though, offering hugs and sharing toys like crazy. I must have dozed off while I was cuddling up with her the other night, because I woke to the feeling of a small hand cradling my cheek. When I opened my eyes, she was smiling at me in the dark. She deposited a kiss on my forehead and said, "Go back to sleep, Mommy. I'm right here..." She's going to be a great mom someday!

Lola has also started kissing -- that wonderful open-mouthed smack that babies do. And I was thrilled at Mass on Sunday when she started humming along as we sang, matching our pitch quite well. Another musical child!


I've spent more than I intended, but my dear husband got a good freelance check a week ago, so I was comfortable splurging a bit. Zooey is getting a small guitar, Edyn's getting a little accordian and Lola's getting a piano-style xylophone. Zooey also gets a bat house, Edyn a clock that teaches children to tell time (FAO Swartz, brand new in the box, but I got it at a thrift store for cheap!), and Lola will get some bath toys. Each child will get a book, and in their stockings a new toothbrush, a chocolate Santa and a harmonica. Zooey also gets a stapler and Edyn will get new crayons.

My husband gets an air purifier for our bedroom and some guitar strings. I was also going to give him a new hose for his shop-vac (the old one is cracked, destroying any suction power), but he was going to buy one today, so I had to give him that present this morning.

Hmmmm...I think I have some wrapping to do!


Friday, December 17, 2004

A lesson no parent can afford to ignore

It happened again, this time only a few miles from our house. A teenager showed off his new hunting rifle to his friends. One of the buddies who had no experience with guns apparently handled the rifle and accidentally shot one of the boys in the group. The victim died later at the hospital -- this story says he was 17, but on the radio this morning, they said the boy who was killed was 18 and the owner of the new gun.

Even though my father-in-law is an avid hunter and my husband grew up shooting pop cans off the barnyard fence first with BB guns (when he was five) and then with a real .22 (when he was six), we have a no-gun policy in my household. But we know that's not enough to keep our kids safe.

ALL children -- A-L-L CHILDREN -- need to learn gun safety, even if you have a no-gun policy in your household, because you never know when they will be exposed to a gun. Kids bring them to school. Kids show them off on the playground. Kids invite your kids over and reveal a weapon of some kind. Please take the time to teach your kids -- no matter how old they are -- gun safety rules. If the three teens in my city would ALL have known these rules, they would probably ALL be alive today. We insisted that Zooey learn these rules before he even got a toy (non-firing) gun to play with, and we enforce them even with the toy gun. And by the way, a BB gun or pellet gun is NOT a toy - that's a weapon, too. These rules go for BB/pellet guns as well as regular firearms.

Gun Safety Rules for Little Kids

When you see a gun:

1. STOP!
2. Don't touch!
3. Get away from the area.
4. Let a grown-up know.

Gun Safety Rules for Older Kids

1. Always treat every gun as though it was loaded, even if you know for a fact that it isn't.
2. Never, ever point a gun at another human being.
3. Never, ever put your finger on the trigger of a gun unless you are ready to shoot: outdoors with a grown-up and are pointing the gun at an acceptable target.

More important tips for parents here. And my thanks to the NRA for this information -- love 'em or hate 'em, they provide some very good tips for parents on teaching kids gun safety. And in this day and age, we ALL need to know how to keep our kids safe from guns.

Please pray for the boy who was killed and his family, and the boy who inadvertently shot and killed him and his family. What an impossibly difficult loss!


Thursday, December 16, 2004


I was scheduled to get a dental crown in January for a molar that was over-drilled when I was a kid & had a couple hairline cracks...well, I broke off a chunk of it while brushing my teeth, so it's off to the dentist this afternoon to get a temporary crown. Fortunately, it's my husband's day off from work. But I'm upset because I've been looking for a different dentist. I do NOT like the one I saw in October & November, and now I'm stuck going back to him because it's an "emergency." It doesn't actually hurt, but who knows how long before the filling pops out or another chunk breaks off.

And it's not like I don't have a zillion things to do without this....sigh....

But before I go, I just wanted to say what a lousy idea I think this show is. My husband was adopted and I stood at his side as he accepted his birth mother's invitation to meet and the reunion that followed. Even though I thought both my husband and his birth mother were as prepared emotionally and intellectually as they could be for the reunion, it was still a roller-coaster ride and in the end, we all came away saying there just isn't any easy or painless way to do this. So a reality show that gives the adoptee a prize for choosing the correct player as her biological father -- or gives it to the man she chooses if she's wrong -- is just ludicrous to me. Obviously, the show's producers have no idea what's at stake emotionally...and neither do the players. Foolishness, foolishnes...and what good can come of it? If she's convinced Mr. A is her biological dad and finds out it's really Mr. G, whom she despised, and gets to find this out on national television ?!?!?

I suppose the only thing that matters to the network is the ratings. When did humans become chattle?


Friday, December 10, 2004

Still here...

I haven't blogged for this long while because...well, it's a long story. Mostly because I've wanted to rage and judge and admonish people in our extended family, and it's been difficult for me to adopt an attitude of mercy and forgiveness. I'd like to say it's all water under the bridge now, but my struggle persists. Prayers would be appreciated.

Still, though, the holidays are upon us and I have been trying to focus on that part of our lives. To that end, I'll answer the survey posted over at Two Sleepy Mommies.

1. Egg nog - yum or yuck? Does it come in chocolate?

2. Stay up until midnight on New Years? I'm usually still doing a bit of housework at that time, so I wouldn't be surprised.

3. Prefer white or colored lights? Colored on the tree, white on the house. But alas, I don't have any white lights to put on the house...or an outlet to plug them into if I did. So there are colored lights on the inside of the kids' bedroom windows (which face the street).

4. Favorite holiday song. "O Come O Come Emmanuel" for Advent, "What Child is This" and "Silent Night" for Christmas Eve, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" for lyric appreciation and historic relevance (there's more here on this hymn if you scroll down a bit), "Babe in the Straw" when my husband is singing, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" for Christmas parties or carolling, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for lullaby purposes, and "Everybody's Waitin' for the Man with the Bag" just 'cuz it's fun to sing.

5. What is your tackiest holiday decoration? My husband has this ugly ornament -- one of those "satin" balls, but this one has Elvis silk-screened onto it. It's about 5" in diameter (huge) and getting threadbare. But he won't part with it.

6. Do your kids have too much and you wonder just WHY you are getting more?? They're not getting all that much from us, but I know I'll feel like they have too much (from grandparents, etc.) when it's all said and done.

7. If you celebrate Christmas, when does your tree go up and come down? We usually put up the tree sometime Thanksgiving weekend (whenever we run out of turkey) and then decorate it slowly over the next few weeks. We keep it up until Epiphany, so it's up for more than a month. (My husband is a bit nuts about Christmas...)

8. Christmas again - open presents on Christmas eve, morning, or other? The children get to open gifts from cousins and grandparents at the family gathering on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning, they get their stockings (with just a few things in them), then after Mass, they get to open presents from us and my side of the family (which arrived by mail earlier in the month and have been taunting them under the tree all that long while). We usually let them open one gift and play with it until they are tired of it, then open another, so it takes most of the afternoon, but I like it better that way.

9. Favorite holiday tradition? I made angel ornaments for all our family and special friends (including teachers now), plus one each for our kids so they'll have ornament collections when they are grown and on their own. Also, my husband hosts a Christmas party for local musicians and they sit in our house playing instruments and singing Christmas carols till the wee hours of the morning. It's wonderful because they are all so talented.

10. What do YOU want for Christmas? Peace on earth, good will to men. REALLY. I know it sounds cheesey, but I'm really weighed down by inter-family and international disputes right now. I just want everybody to be nice to each other and stop killing, discouraging, rejecting, and insulting one another.