I know, I know, I know. What’s with the long delay between Family Fridays? It’s “Family Friday,” y’all, not “Family First-of-the-month” or “Family Fifteenth-or-whatever-day-we-happen-to-get to.” Don’t we know there’s a Friday every week? It’s not a day that comes around once a month, you know, or semi-weekly, or at the end of every quarter.Family Friday 107-109 (10)


Well, folks, things got busy. Actually, they are always busy. But they got busier. Or we just got sidetracked. We’re sorry. Aliens. Pick whichever excuse works for you.

So let’s take it back to where we left off about three weeks ago. That was at the start of Ryan’s Final Finals week. Once again, Ryan Failed to Fail out of PA school.

Which means there is now a very high probability that someday he will be out in a clinic or hospital somewhere, actually doing medicine to some poor hapless individual. Start praying now!


Family Friday 107-109 (4)
“I think penicillin is indicated prophylactically for this patient.” “I concur!”

Oh well, that’s still a year or two off, i.e. until Ryan starts practicing medicine without adult supervision. In the meantime we have lots of stuff that needs to be done.

Such as potty training. Potty training must continue, even during picnics.

Family Friday 107-109 (11)
The only time Evie gets to use the iPhone is when she is sitting on the potty. This kills too birds with one stone: incentivizes potty training, and limits screen time. She uses it to look at pictures, by which she means scrolling through Kathleen’s photo and video roll.

We joined Papa and Deedee and Grandma Betty and the whole gang to put flags on family graves for Flag Day (now known as Memorial Day).


Family Friday 107-109 (6)
Evie was more interested in picking flowers up than putting them down.


Family Friday 107-109 (7)
Evie and “G-G” (Great Grandma Betty).

Kathleen and Auntie Danica had a date to make beeswax impregnated cloths for wrapping food (instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Yes, it is a real thing, and yes, they actually work).


Family Friday 107-109 (5)
It’s a pregnant lady craft party!

We got Evie her own watering can, which she loves to use.


Family Friday 107-109 (8)
Giving the tomatoes a drink.

Speaking of watering the garden, Cousin Edmund came over to play with Evie and they got to play in the sprinkler!






Family Friday 107-109 (9)
He looks like he’s about to bust out some sick break dancing rips.

Deedee and Papa are gardening too, and their strawberries are already starting to come in strong.


Family Friday 107-109 (2)
Evie approves of strawberries.

Most of our free time is spent doing ordinary stuff, like going out for bubble tea after Saturday confessions.

Family Friday 107-109 (13)

Or making rice crispy treats with Mommy for camping.


Family Friday 107-109 (3)
Evie’s job is quality controlling the rice crispy treats. She takes it very seriously.

Or riding the train and bus with Daddy after staying over with Deedee and Papa on sunday.


Family Friday 107-109 (14)
Evie is reading the sound transit guide. She thought it was boring. Which it is.

No new ultrasound pictures but Mommy and little nugget are both doing fine. Keep us in your prayers as we move forward with pregnancy, school, work, National Guard, and all the myriad other things we have lined up for this summer. Hopefully we’ll get in at least a little relaxing too.

God Bless!





I am sure y’all think we completely forgot about Family Friday these last few weeks. I assure we didn’t forget. We just didn’t get to it. We remembered the family part. It’s just the Friday part we haven’t been keeping track of.

Family Friday 106 (1)
Evie painted Mommy a rock and some Mother’s Day cards.

Daddy had to work for the National Guard the first weekend of May, but it turned out to be a very cool training event. All he had to do was sit out in the woods and be ready in case anyone got hurt doing land navigation. No one got hurt. And Daddy brought Evie out to play in the woods too!


Family Friday 106 (4)
One of the guys brought his bird dog to practice with, and he let Evie play with her.


Family Friday 106 (5)
“but Daddy, the buddies are that way!” (Other people are “buddies” in Evie’s world.)


Family Friday 106 (6)
She was playing sleeping in the grass. She wasn’t actually sleeping. She completely skipped her whole nap.


Family Friday 106 (7)
Climbing on the fence around somebody’s monument.

Then the next weekend was Mommy and Daddy’s anniversary. Evie went to stay at Deedee and Papa’s house, and Ryan and Kathleen went camping.


Family Friday 106 (2)
We haven’t had a weekend all to ourselves since Matt’s funeral more than a year ago.


Family Friday 106 (9)
Kathleen cooked “gob ’ems” on the fire. The lady can cook some serious campfire food.


Family Friday 106 (12)
Ryan helped with the burgers to go with the beans.


Family Friday 106 (10)
We sat around talking for hours like a couple of old people.

But we did get our party on. The beverages flowed freely and a good time was had by all.


Family Friday 106 (11)
Yes, she is downing the last of a bottle of Sparkling Grape juice. Like a boss.

Is the choice of beverage not adult enough for you? Well, that’s because we weren’t technically alone.

There was one non-adult present.


Family Friday 106 (8) Ultrasound
“Nugget” prefers non-alcoholic beverages, thank-you very much.

Meanwhile, Evie is getting ready to be a big sister this November.


Family Friday 106 (13)
Evie is helping in the garden. She is snuggling with the potatoes.

That’s all for this week. Next week is finals and such, so we will likely be busy. Ryan’s last chance to fail out of PA school.


Have a good Memorial Day weekend. God Bless!














Family Friday 103 (1)We didn’t do a whole lot this week. We went to the zoo last Friday after Evie’s doctor appointment (just a follow up with the pediatric neurologist, everything is fine). Evie wanted to go see the fishes. As far as she is concerned that is the most important part of the zoo.


Family Friday 103 (2)
This is not the fish she was looking for.

They had an imaginative and rather sad event going on called “Washed Ashore,” featuring sculptures of various marine animals made entirely out of garbage found washed up on the beach.

Cool artwork with a sad reality behind it.


Family Friday 103 (3)
Evie is not necessarily a fan of the beaten path.

The zoo is under construction right now, so we didn’t get to see all of the animals.


Family Friday 103 (4)
Evie did like this very handsome barn owl. The owl was not impressed.


Family Friday 103 (5)
It’s our favorite lounge spot at the zoo.


Family Friday 103 (6)
Evie making friends with gentle giants.

The gorilla reminds her of daddy. Only his head isn’t bald.

And speaking of monkeys…


Family Friday 103 (7)
Evie do it a-self!

The weather over the weekend was so nice that we were able to get outside and work in the yard and garden a bit.


Family Friday 103 (8)
Evie and Daddy working out on the rings. Evie can hold on for a long time!



Family Friday 103 (9)
Evie and Mommy visiting Evie’s patron saint at confessions.

Then on Sunday we joined Mommy’s work buddies to help hand out water and electrolyte replacement beverages at the Tacoma marathon.

Family Friday 103 (10)
Somebody gave Evie a pair of hipster glasses. She did the rest of her look herself.


And the rest of the week has been just the usual grind of school, night shifts for Mommy, and working hard for Evie. Which may not be super exciting, but with all the exciting things going on in the world these days, we can use a little normal.

And God is found in the midst of the normal just as much as the wild and exciting. Perhaps even more.


God Bless!













Sorry for the late posting. It’s still Friday, so it isn’t really late, but it has been a busy week. Midterms and all.

Family Friday 102 (1)
Evie got some crocheted bunnies from Auntie Danica.

Mid-terms were rough. Fortunately they are over. In only five more weeks Ryan will be done with didactic year, and ready to begin clinical years.

Family Friday 102 (4)
Evie and Daddy reading “Otter in Space” in a blanket tent.

We managed to get some yard work done too. Evie helped dig out a pit to put Mommy’s clothesline back in.

Family Friday 102 (5)

And she helped fill the hole in when we were done.



Family Friday 102 (6)
Evie is working hard!

And it turned out beautifully! Evie can climb while Mommy hangs up her laundry.

Family Friday 102 (7)


We also had a delicious meal at Uncle Adam and Aunt Maryanne’s house of stuffed lamb chops, kale, green beans, macaroni and herbed dinner rolls, with the blueberry and feta salad that Kathleen made.

Family Friday 102 (10)
Aunt Maryanne’s parents were there too. And, of course, Baby Edmund.


Family Friday 102 (8)
A one man band at the farmer’s market.

Evie and Daddy went to Barnes and Noble together to get a book for Auntie Danica’s baby shower.

Family Friday 102 (9)
“Daddy! It’s a Dory book!”

Of course she found some other books that she just had to have. We ended up buying a couple more books than we had planned.

That’s just what happens when you go into Barnes and Noble. She is her daddy’s child!

That’s all for tonight. Have a good weekend, folks. God Bless!






Happy Easter Week, y’all!


Family Friday 101 (7)
Evie hunting eggs at St. John of the Woods parish.


Easter weekend was quite lovely, in every way. The weather was nice.


Family Friday 101 (6)
The weather was go-outside-in-your-jammies nice.

Neither Mommy nor Daddy had to work, and we were able to attend all the Triduum services, except the Easter Vigil. It didn’t even start until after Evie’s bedtime.


Family Friday 101 (8)
Showing Auntie Grace her haul.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After that we came home and planted our garden. Eveie is very big and helpful now.


Family Friday 101 (9)
Evie helping!


We got to go to Easter Morning Mass with Uncle Adam and Aunt Maryanne and Edmund. Then, as if one Easter egg hunt wasn’t enough, we went up to Enumclaw and had dinner with Kathleen’s family who set up Evie’s very own personal Easter egg hunt.

Family Friday 101 (10)
Evie find-a eggs!

There were a couple of dozen eggs. Needless to say, Evie did not get to eat all that Easter candy. We are not that crazy.

Family Friday 101 (11)
Evie and Edmund sharing some Panera macaroni & cheese.


Daddy and Evie tried to go to MC on Monday, but none of the other MC people were there because Diana was out of town. But Uncle Adam and Edmund showed up too.


Family Friday 101 (12)
Best of friends.

Now it’s back to work.

Family Friday 101 (13)
Daddy practicing his suturing at school.

We hope you all have a good Divine Mercy weekend. God Bless!





quote-i-do-not-believe-that-we-have-a-right-to-tell-other-people-women-that-they-can-t-control-joe-biden-113-90-00One of the most common allegations made against pro-lifers, specifically anti-abortion advocates, is that it is an example of a bunch of old white men trying to tell women what they can or can’t do with their bodies. This allegation calls up all the righteous indignation of feminism, autonomy, and moral outrage against those old white men that seem to be responsible for all of the evils in the world.

Of course this allegation is more of a stereotype than an argument. For one thing, it ignores all members of the prolife movement who are:

  1. Young
  2. Non-white
  3. Female

Which is a good portion of the prolife movement, actually.


If it were, it would be a lot easier not to take this guy seriously.

Secondly, no reasonable person would dream of discounting someone else’s position simply because of age, race or gender. Imagine the outrage if, during a debate, a respondent dismissed his opponent’s remarks by saying, “You are young, black and female. You have nothing worth saying.” The world would explode, and rightly so. By the same token, “You are old, white and male” is not an adequate response to an argument.


Thirdly, and most importantly, the statement hinges upon a misrepresentation of the anti-abortion argument. The anti-abortion argument, as I understand it, rests upon the nature of the fetus. It maintains that because the fetus is a separate organism, its own body.

The distinction is critical. If it were an issue of telling women what they can or can’t do with their bodies there are tons of other candidates. We could be seeking to outlaw contraception, body piercing, tattoos or plastic surgery. We could extend this to both genders and outlaw alcoholism, obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyles, unsafe sexual practices etc. All of the above are either arguably or demonstrably unhealthy to varying degrees. They are not illegal, however. They are not illegal because of the principle of autonomy. We in our culture do not believe in legislating what people can do with their own bodies. (Of course we developed from a culture that did believe in doing that, hence the laws against suicide, etc.)

However, let’s take a look at the case of smoking. We do not outlaw smoking because we believe in the individual’s right to autonomy, to do what he likes with his body, even when it is patently and unequivocally bad for him. However, we do outlaw second hand smoke in many areas, under (rather specious) argument that second hand smoke exposure harms other people.

The distinction, again, is important. You have a right to do whatever tomfool things you want to your own body, but you do not have the right to do things that will harm other bodies.

Human Fetus at 10 weeks gestation.

The abortion question is in the same boat as smoking. You may do as you like with your body under most circumstances. However, in the case of pregnancy, the context changes and there are now two bodies under consideration. The anti-abortion argument is that no one, not even the doctor or the mother, has the right to destroy another body, i.e. the body of the fetus.


This is why the abortion debate, as with all pressing debates in the public arena, is not amenable to reduction to catchphrases and memes. This discussion cannot be furthered in 140 characters or less without drastically oversimplifying and misunderstanding the other’s position.



This morning, at the unholy hour of 2 AM, I heard a little voice calling me over the baby monitor.

“Daddy! A-portant, Daddy! A-portant!” She was very insistent about both the Daddy part and the important part.

I groggily got up and shuffled into Evie’s room and asked, “What is important, Evie?”

For answer she looked up at me and put her hands up to be picked up. I sighed. “Evie, you know what is important right now? Daddy getting some sleep is important.”

She just reached out and wrapped her arms around my stomach. I picked her up and started carrying her to our room. She wrapped her arms around my neck and whispered in my ear, “Yes, Dada.”

I laid her down in our bed. She said, “Good job, Dada!” Snuggled right in between Mommy’s spot and my spot, and went right to sleep.

All I have to say, little girl, is you’re lucky you’re so dang cute!Family Friday 99 (7)

Wow. We have been doing Family Friday for 100 weeks! That’s almost two years!

Hard to believe Evie is more than 2 years old already.

Family Friday 99 (4)
Evie do it a-self!

She is indeed two year old. And then some. She has become super grow-up and independent lately. Her favorite phrases are “I know, right?” and “I do it a-self!” Family Friday 99 (8)

She also likes asking, “Why not?”

She likes standing in her crib when it’s time to nap or go to bed and insisting, “No no! I can’t. I can’t take a nap.” One time this week she did that for an hour at a time until Mommy went in to rock her some more.

Five minutes later…Family Friday 99 (7)


Family Friday 99 (6)
Daddy and Evie let Mommy sleep in on Saturday while we made blueberry pancakes.


Family Friday 99 (9)
Collecting sticks…



Family Friday 99 (10)
To give to the ducks. Because the mommy duck needs sticks and the daddy duck needs sticks.


We hope you all are having a Holy Triduum, and that you have a wonderful Easter.

God Bless!






Life is simpler with a sword in hand
Because the sword is simple
And when I drive it home
Legion molecules of steel
Forged and forced into ordered
Patterns of interwoven strength
By the heat and the hammer and the heart
Of the blacksmith (with burly arms
And a poet’s eye
A technician’s eye
A boy’s eye
Still young enough to believe in heroes)
Drive fiercely behind the
Which is my intention.

Hate has no place in a warrior
Only love can forge a worthy blade.
At such moments my body
Takes on the nature of the sword.
And I imagine my mind too is focused
At peace.

I always come home from the mission,
The deployment,
Or the war,
The office,
The gym,
Or the dojo.
I eat an apple and shower
And sit next to the crib
To watch my baby breathe
And all of me reaches out to touch her
On the forehead
With one fingertip
Lighter than a butterfly
Moistened with a kiss.

I slide into bed next to my wife
And I reach out to take her hand
And all my body and soul
And loves with the same totality.
All of me.

Letters to a Diminished Church: Passionate Arguments for the Relevance of Christian DoctrineLetters to a Diminished Church: Passionate Arguments for the Relevance of Christian Doctrine by Dorothy L. Sayers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This collection of sharp witted and sharp tongued essays from the brilliant 20th century poet, playwright and social commentator Is Dorothy Sayers at her best. Each essay is a concise, perceptive and incisive examination of the topic at hand. The collection begins with a number of essays addressing the inherent power, beauty, and interest that is the Christian story. She traces this power and beauty not merely to the story itself, as might be the case with any world mythology, but rather to the person of Jesus Christ himself. She contrasts that power and beauty with the dilution of dogma which was even in the mid 20th century wreaking havoc on the church of England. “If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; where is the sense of there being offended at something that is not Christ and there’s nothing like him? We do him singularly little Hunter by watering down his personality tell it could not of found the fly. Surely it is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to man, but to adopt meant to Christ.”

Later in the book several essays are included on the value of work, particularly seen through the lens of the enforced privations of the second World War. Her insights into the economic roots of the war, and the social and spiritual forces that conspired to bring back economic situation to pass, are very germane to our own time. Also included is an essay on the nature of God as a creator and implications for human artists in the addressing of human problems. This essay is incisive and worth reading in its own right, but is better read along with her further thinking on the relation between human creation and the inner life of the Trinity, in her other collection, “The Mind of the Maker.” Various other essays cover topics such as literary criticism of allegory, and the treatment of the devil has a character in literature.

This book represents a tour de force of Dorothy Sayers social thought, as well as her wit and knack for creative explanation. Covering, as it does, so many areas of potent interest, this book is a must read for any thinker.

View all my reviews