Saturday, December 22, 2007

Crossing the Tiber

I'm probably the millionth one to post on the topic, but in case you didn't know, Tony Blair, ex-PM of Great Britian, converted to the Roman Catholic Church yesterday. While a man's religion is his business, I feel a thrill at knowing that there is one more Catholic in England. While some may criticize Mr. Blair for his politics, I applaud him for converting, and I bid him a joyous welcome to the Catholic faith.

H/T: Whispers, of course!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Getting ready for Christmas...

One of the things that our family does during late Advent is to decorate the grottos outside of our parish. They were built by my great-grandfather, Edward Matthews. They started as a tribute to my late grand-uncle, Martin, who died as a teenager. The grounds of the parish are dotted with outdoor shrines made from stones collected from our county. He started decorating the grottos for the Nativity, Our Lady of Lourdes, and St. Benedict in the 1950s. After he died, my grandmother kept up the tradition, pulling in my father and grandfather. Likewise, my sisters and I were pulled into decorating when we were kids.
Last Saturday, my parents, my sister Sarah, a couple of Matthews/Huntsman cousins, Alie and the twins decorated the grottos with the standard trees, lights, and poinsettias.

Sarah and I putting the lights on one of the trees.

Mom keeping an eye on Joseph.

The Nativity grotto decorated.

St. Benedict, patron of our county.

Family photo. Pics of the grottos lit at night to follow... Happy Advent, everyone. Only a few more days!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

End of Dappled Things

Alas poor Fr. Tucker, I knew him well. I didn't know Fr. Jim Tucker, of Dappled Things, well, but I really enjoyed his blog. He just announced that other endeavors are taking up his blogging time and energy. Arriverdici Don Giovanni!

More Pictures...

So I haven't gotten any pictures with Alie yet, but here are a few that I took yesterday with my cell phone camera. Yes, my cell phone camera. I was watching the kids while Alie took a much needed break and did some errands in town. Enjoy!

First, a picture of the boys playing. (Joseph is in the saucer, I am holding Leo up from behind)

Next, Leo getting some saucer time.

Finally, a little bottle time after a big workout!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Six Months of Babies!!!

Ok, so it was over about a half hour ago, but the took their time getting here. Happy half-birthday (yes, that one's for you Heidi and Angela) to Leo and Joseph. Here are a couple of recent photos to tide everyone over.

First pic: Joseph happy that he can grab things. Me not so happy it is my beard!

Second pic: Leo showing that he eats gracefully, like the little gent that he is ;)

Third pic: Daddy, Joseph, Leo, and Zoey (the fuzzy one). Next mission: get Mommy in a picture with both boys. I guess I should take some of the pictures :)

Happy Thanksgiving

Give thanks to the Lord, who is good, whose love endures forever. Let the house of Israel say: God’s love endures forever. Let the house of Aaron say, God’s love endures forever. Let those who fear the Lord say, God’s love endures forever.
Ps 118:1-4 (NAB)

I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving, and that you are all well.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Funny photo

I have been promising more baby photos, so here is another one. I am showing Joseph, back in June, the real way to use Mommy's nursing pillow. Be careful what you wish for!

Marathon Trials

I missed seeing the quasi-live start to the US Men's Olympic Marathon Trials this morning. Sadly, one of the runners, 28-year old Ryan Shay, collapsed in the sixth mile. He did not regain consciousness, and died. I heard the news while working with Dad and Sarah (sister). I am still in shock. This is a professional athlete running what should be the race of his lifetime. I can understand a dehydrated, exhausted athlete collapsing at mile 20 or mile 25, but mile 5.5??? I feel so sorry for his new bride. Pray for her, and Ryan Shay's family.

The team for the Beijing games has been set. Ryan Hall ran a brilliant race, and won! Yay, California!!! Dathan Ritzenhein came in second, and my favorite, Brian Sell, the lunchpail Hansons-Brooks man came in third. Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, came in8th.

With this team, I think that the USA stands a decent chance of getting a medal in Beijing. Beat the Kenyans, sure, why not :).

Comments fixed, hopefully

I enabled the comments boxes, I think. Sorry if you weren't able to comment on this spiffy blog before. Actually, the wife wanted to comment, and couldn't. It wasn't intentional, honest...

I'm back!

Wednesday was the end of the 2007 harvest for the Home Ranch. It was not the best, nor was it the worst of our efforts. The grapes were down quite a bit from last year. It didn’t help that we got hit right between the eyes with a frost in mid-April, and a poor rain year did not help us much either. Instead of a normal 16” or so, we got a paltry 11. Interestingly, nearly every other outfit in our little valley reported 8 to 9”. Did we get lucky? Maybe.
We are done crushing at Monster Winery. We had our end of the year BBQ/face feeding on Weds.. Now, all we have to do is finish the ferments, and get the wines that I want to behave, to behave. Likely most of the wines that really don’t need to behave, will, but the ones that must behave won’t. Seems like this happens a bit too much.
The boys are getting BIG! They are at 5 months, 1 week, and I think that we will be crawling by Thanksgiving, and maybe walking by New Year’s. God help us all! :) At any rate, they are doing well, and so is the wife.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Quote of the Week...

"What we have seen in the Semon on the Mount is a hidden Christology. Behind the Sermon on the Mount stands the figure of Christ, the man who is God, but who, precisely because he is God, descends, empties himself, all the way to death on a cross. The saints, from Paul through Francis of Assisi down to Mother Teresa have lived out this option and have thereby shown us the correct image of man and his happiness."-Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, pg. 99

Now, you see why I was overjoyed when this wonderfully articulate Christian was elected Pope!

Enter into the joy...

Saturday before last, the boys were baptized into the Church. They were baptized at our home parish. One of the neat things about coming home after going to university, and getting married, is the understanding that some things will be continued because of you. You see yourself more as a link in a chain. The big example: the boys were baptized in the same church, the same font as I, the same font and church as my father, grandmother, and great-grandmother. How often do you see that anymore? Not often.
Leo’s godparents are my Aunt Ellen and my good friend Andy Gulley. We were roommates together our first year at Cal Poly. That seems like an eternity ago, but it was only nine years ago. Joseph’s god parents are Jeff and Natalie Dyer, friends of mine and Alie’s from our days at Cal Poly and the Newman Center. Alie and I both feel fortunate and blessed to have such wonderful friends in our lives.
After the ceremony, we had a small reception of cake and drinks on the lawn at the parish. Natalie took some photos, and I’ll be posting them soon. To satisfy the appetite, I have a picture of the boys from a couple of weeks ago. They are pretty excited in this picture. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Old Baby Picture

Here are Leo and Joseph in their car seats getting ready to leave the hospital at 2 days old. They'll be 12 weeks tomorrow. More photos to follow!

5 Years On...

Five years and three days ago, I wed my blushing (and slightly taller) bride! Five years down, and who knows how many more to go!!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Let us begin

Well, let's get started, shall we? I have been thinking of adding my voice to the blogging fray for the last couple of months. I'm Donald, an enologist working on the Central Coast of California. I have a lovely wife, and a pair of 10-week old twin boys. The wannabe professor in me wants to give an outline of the things I'll probably blog on:
Faith (Roman Catholic, and proud of it!)
Winemaking and Wine-drinking (duh)
Running (I'm a marathoner)

Let's give this a shot! St. Thomas Aquinas and Servant of God John Paul II, ora pro nobis!