Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in spirit, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:3-12

Oh Lord,

Teach me to seek You and reveal yourself to me when I seek You.

For I cannot seek You unless You first teach me, nor find You unless You first reveal yourself to me.

Let me seek You in longing, and long for You in seeking.

Let me find You in love, and love You in finding.

~Saint Ambrose of Milan

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>

Name: Erin Yonke

Location: Aurora, IL

Info: I'm happily married to my husband and champion pro-life activist, Matt. I stay home with my three small boys; Ambrose (11/06), Peter (3/08), and Joseph (9/10).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

on sleep, among other things

Ambrose slept for nearly EIGHT hours last night. Me? I got seven of those, straight through, no interruptions. I feel fantastic!

Also, the wee one turned three months old last week...*sigh*. I alternate between feeling amazed at how quickly it's gone by, and feeling as though I've been his mother for my entire life. Other recent developments include laughter--or at least something very close to it. Oh, and I've updated our photo blog.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


You scored as Killarney. You are Killarney, Ireland! You are probably somewhat quiet and thoughtful. You don't mind frequenting the city pubs with your friends, but you also enjoy peaceful time alone.
Which city shares your personality?
I suppose that's not surprising.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

on cuteness...

Someone please remind me to remove this post before Ambrose is old enough to read.

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Of course every mother thinks her baby is cute, and I think my baby is cute, and that's good and right and as should be. However, I'm pretty sure that if my baby wasn't mine, I wouldn't think he was very cute at all. I mean honestly, the boy was "cuter" as a newborn. Currently, he is balding, has a double chin, drools excessively (perhaps a fair bit more than the average 3-month-old), and has napped in 20 minute increments all afternoon (which is, by the way, the perfect amout of sleep to give you energy enough to stay awake for the next hour and complain about how tired you are.) If I were asked to describe my son, I just don't think I'd use the word 'cute' . Rather, pitifully and amusingly endearing. The phrase "a face only a mother could love" takes on a very new meaning. And I do love him. I love every square inch of his balding, chubby, drool-soaked self.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

homemaking meme.

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I got tagged by Renee. Here goes...

Aprons- Y/N : Nope. Pretty much never. In fact, I don't know that I've ever actually worn an apron...

Baking-- Favorite thing to bake: Bread. Any bread. I make most of the bread we eat.

Clothesline- Y/N : No. I don’t have a yard.

Donuts-- Have you ever made them?: Yes, but they’re disappointing in comparison with bakery donuts (isn’t that sad?). Also, Matt said they were gross and wouldn’t eat them and I ended up throwing them out.

Every Day--one homemaking thing you do every day: Well, always dishes. Forever dishes. Laundry, too.

Freezer-- Do you have a separate deep freeze?: No. Someday…

Garbage Disposal-- Y/N?: Yep.

Handbook-- What is your favorite homemaking resource?:

Ironing--Love it or hate it?: LOVE it. I think it’s relaxing, though it usually seems like a big waste of time unless something really needs it.

Junk drawer--Y/N? Where is it?: Yes, in the kitchen. I bought one of those junk drawer organizers, though (I know, I’m such a sucker), so it’s moderately organized crap, instead of just crap.

Kitchen: Design and decorating?: My kitchen is about halfway to where I’d like it to be. It’s kind of long and narrow…and awkward. I do love the color of the walls, though. They’re sage-ish green.

Love: What is your favorite part of homemaking? Nursing the baby. Does that count? Otherwise cooking.

Mop Y/N : Yep. Once a week.

Nylons-- Wash by hand or in the washing machine? Gosh, I hate nylons. I hand wash them, all the while muttering "I hate you, I hate you stupid things" over and over.

Oven-- Do you use the window or open the door to check? I open the door, usually.

Pizza-- What do you put on yours? Pepperoni, because it’s cheap at Aldi.

Quiet-- What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Hm, if I’m not nursing…I’d blog or write one of the many emails I’m behind on and think, “gee, I really should be doing (insert random household task).”

Recipe Card Box Y/N?: Kind of. I keep my recipes in a three ring binder with plastic page protectors. I am in love with page protectors.

Style of house—It’s a condo. You know, the ugly brown kind.

Tablecloths and napkins? I like a tablecloth, but get frustrated when it gets dirty 20 minutes after I just washed it.

Under the kitchen sink-- organized or toxic wasteland? Neither one, really. I have limited storage/cupboard space, so I keep almost all my cleaning products down there as well as trash bags, shopping bags, and a watering can.

Vacuum-- how many times per week? Once, except for my bedroom, which has white carpet and gets on my nerves after about a day and a half.

Wash-- How many loads of laundry do you do in a week? A lot more than you’d think. I’d guess about ten or twelve—I have a stackable washer/dryer duo, and they’re t-i-n-y. On top of that, I can only use the washer OR dryer at any given time, so it quite literally takes all day to do two loads.

X's-- Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off? Actually yes. And I break down my tasks into very small sub-tasks so that I have more things to cross off and therefore feel more productive. Is that crazy? I might be crazy.

Yard-- Who does what? The condo association’s maintenance men do everything (everything = nothing). And let me tell you, they are not worth the $225 we pay them every month.

Zzz's--What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Sweeping the floor, folding the laundry (one of the few tasks that I just can't do with one hand) and starting the dishwasher.

I love to read these, but hate passing them on, so I tag everyone who feels compelled to do it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

struan bread.

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So, awhile back I fell in love with this bread called Struan Bread. Curious about the name, I did a little research on it's history.

As it turns out, Struan bread was derived from a traditional "Struan-Micheil", or "Saint Michael's Cake". It was tradition in Scotland on the eve of St. Michael's feast (September 29, I believe) that the oldest daughter in each household prepare this bread or cake from the harvest grains. This began by milling the grains into flour--there could be a variety of them, including barley, wheat, rye, and oats--and soaking them in milk (sheep's milk or buttermilk). The bread was usually unleavened, sweetened with honey, and baked by the fire. As it baked, it was brushed with a mixture of eggs, cream, and butter and then occasionally sprinkled with oats or caraway seeds. The next morning, the cake was brought to mass to be blessed by the priest, who encouraged the people to praise St. Michael for a bountiful harvest.

The baker was to take great pains to make this bread perfectly, in order to preserve the health and prosperity of her family. Even the excess flour from the baking board was saved, blessed by the priest, and then scattered among the flocks to preserve them as well.

Anyway, I thought that was interesting. And this bread is tremendous, so if bread is your thing you ought to try it, even though it's not quite traditional. It's worth the work.

Struan Bread

To soak:
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3 tablespoons rolled oats
2 tablespoons wheat bran
1/2 cup of water

Combine all ingredients and soak for at least one half-hour or as long as overnight.

In a large bowl, combine:
3 cups of flour
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 package of yeast
3 tablespoons cooked rice (I've substituted rolled oats, uncooked)

1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup of milk
3/4 cup of warm water
Cornmeal/Oatmeal/Bran mixture

Knead for approximately 10 minutes, place in a lightly greased bowl and let rise till doubled in bulk; about 90 minutes.

Punch the dough down, shape into a loaf, place in a loaf pan, and let rise for another hour. When finished rising, brush with a beaten egg (or milk, water, or butter) and sprinkle with poppy seeds or oatmeal if you want.

Bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

you will marry a peanut butter jar.

Apparently there is a popular new policy in grocery stores that allows liquor to only be sold to a person over the age of 21 who is also in the company of persons over the age of 21. Which means that when Matt buys alcohol, I get carded too. We've only had two experiences with this. The first was in Jewel, and the manager was a reasonable man who clearly understood that married people with children are an exception to this particular rule, rolled his eyes at the employee who was about to send us away, and approved our purchase. The second, however, was in Target, where the manager was an awful old woman who insisted that she couldn't sell beer to us, because I am, in fact, still 8 months away from my 21st birthday. When we asked her why the baby didn't need an ID, she told us that our son was "a little bit different because he wasn't able to drink the alcohol." I think he's as able to drink alcohol as he is to drink anything else! So why do I get carded? As far as I can tell, it's because I look like I might want to drink it. And that is discrimination.

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At his doctor appointment last week, Ambrose weighed 12 pounds. That is quite nearly doubling his birth weight, and, since his last visit, an average gain of a pound per week. This has also taken him from the 15th percentile for length and weight at birth to the 50th percentile. Good work, tubby. All your nursing is paying off.

Friday, February 02, 2007

on the death of unborn children.

Thus says the LORD: "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel is weeping, weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are no more."
Jeremiah 31:15

I spoke with a woman yesterday shortly after she learned that the baby in her womb was no longer alive. After only eight weeks of life, having never seen her child's face or held his tiny hand, the grief of a mother for the life of her child is still like no other.

Life is always precious, it is always a gift.

So farewell, so-anticipated little one without a name, whose tiny heart wasn't made for our world. Our time with you was too short.