Life Snapshot on September 20, 2013

Here’s a snapshot of my life. I got this idea from Amongst Things Lovely. It’s a peek into my every day life:

Outside my window…

Rain and 75 degrees.

I just took the children to school. It was an epic struggle. Here’s why…

Today is a “free dress day,” which means the children don’t have to wear their uniforms to school at Faustina Academy. Instead, they can wear what they want. For the Marshalls, “free dress day”  = “stressful morning.”


Marshall’s in uniform, my preference for ease

“Free dress day” always entails one of our five school-going children to breakdown over not knowing what to wear. Psyschologically, they are programmed to “wake up and put on uniform.” Free dress day causes brain freeze and panic. So many colors. So many styles.

Today it was Becket in Kindergarten who froze on the threshold of fashion. He wanted Joy to dress him (I let her sleep in). That really upset him. Second, he didn’t want to wear the awesome looking Rugby shirt that I picked out for him. He finally chilled out when I took him into school and checked out his classroom bunny.

I am thankful…

For my woman, my children, my home, , my faith in Christ, and my exciting life.

Whenever I stop being grateful, I become discouraged. Gratitude reorients your sight to God. All good things come from Him and good things are always coming from Him. If you don’t recognize that, the devil has you in his hands.

I am thinking about…

Cameras and HD video. We just finished filming this month’s New Saint Thomas Institute. For the first time in my life I’m aware of lenses, SLR, HD, and camera angles.

I also think about the Troops of Saint George a lot. This movement for men and boys has taken over a large part of my brain, for better or worse.

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 12.37.59 PM

Our altar (ad orientem) from our Saint George campout, note crucifix on tree and statue

I’ve got a men’s conference coming up, so I’m thinking about marriage (hence the blog posts and recent podcast).

Also, I’m interested in the future of Catholic radio.

On the blog…

I’m trying to be creative by incorporating Scripture, Scholasticism, and philosophy with every day life. I’m also trying to be a “real person” and not merely an academic blogger.

I am creating…

The New Saint Thomas Institute. I can’t wait for y’all to be a part of our new Institute.

For me, the New Saint Thomas Institute is more important than everything that I’ve done online for the last 9 years – more than the blogs, books, speaking, curriculum, teaching, mp3s, podcasts, etc.

This Institute takes it to a new level and makes it more personal and intimate. It’s like a think-tank for those on the same journey. Since it’s a video medium, I can have a little more fun with it. If you want to learn philosophy and theology, become a better Christian, and have a positive, upbeat, supernatural outlook – then New Saint Thomas is for you.

We’ll open up 499 spots for students at the beginning of October. If you want to be part of early registration and reserve your spot, check the box “I’m interested in Catholic videos and online courses” in your online email profile by updating your free subscription preferences.

New Saint Thomas Institute

I am reading…

The Romance of Religion by Fr Dwight Longenecker (review copy). This book comes out in Spring of 2014. It’s fantastic. A fun read. It’s very CS Lewis-ish.

The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

The Pocket Guide to the Outdoors by Jean Craighead George

Summa theologie qq. 22-89

I am praying…

For my woman and my children. The culture is trying to steal their souls.

I’m also praying for the Troops of Saint George – we’re having legal trouble with the Boy Scouts of America who sent me a “cease and desist” letter. The world needs real men of freedom, fortitude, and faith.

I am listening to…

Spotify. My friend Ben Olsson recently told me about Rhapsody. And then another friend James Hahn told me about Spotify at lunch on Wednesday. After doing some research, I went with Spotify. You pay a fee per month and get access to almost all music every recorded.

I just created a list of Baroque music (as challenged by my friends James and Doug): Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven.

As I type, I’m listening to Bach’s Cello Number 5 in C Minor.

I am also enjoying the Vitamin String Quartet. Is it okay to listen to Radiohead reworked via a string quartet?

Clicking around…

Wikipedia :: Yeah, I like to read random articles. I just read a few articles on music. The biography of Rivers Cuomo. The biography of Bach and Mozart.

Strange Notions :: Brandon Vogt’s brainchild for atheists and Catholics coming together

Seth Godin :: I can’t stop reading him.

Around the house…

I need to fix the switch plates in the kitchen. I need to clean out the garage.

We did get the backyard cleaned up for Fall – our favorite outdoor time of the year. Oct 31 = backyard fire pit.

One of my favorite things…

Green tea. I’m sipping on it now. I gave up coffee back on November 1 of 2011. I’m a new man. I was a two-pot-a-day coffee drinker. Now I’m clean. I sleep much better. I highly recommend it.

A few plans for the next week…

I’m going hog hunting with the family this weekend at a friend’s ranch. Should be lots of fun.

Question: What are you doing this weekend? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please sign up for free email updates and get a free book by clicking here.

Download My Book for Free
Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages
Over 15,000 copies downloaded! This is a quick and easy way to learn the basic philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Popes of the last 300 years have endorsed St Thomas Aquinas. Learn more through this accessible resources. Download it for free.

Comments Policy: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. If your comment contains a hyperlink to another site, your comment automatically goes into "Comments Purgatory" where it waits for release by way of moderation.

  • anonymous

    I have to admit that when I see your photo of your family dressed in uniform I get a little jealous. I am a mother of 7, six on earth and one in heaven and I have longed to see my kids attend a good, solid, Catholic school. Unfortunately, it is not possible in our area because they don’t exist. The only option I have is the public school which has left such a strong distaste in my mouth. Of course I’ve been labeled as judgmental and a little over the edge but the salvation of my children’s soul is the most important thing to me. What it has left me with is homeschooling. A gift in itself but a challenge with no support from family, no support from the community, and aside from a husband who pays the bill, no support from him either. It’s nice to hear your good to your wife, that you pray with and for your family, that you have male friends to share with, that you make a serious attempt to be a good role model for other boys, and that you march forward in the faith. Please pray for those who do try (perhaps not hard enough) but don’t have all the advantages you have yet still want to be faithful.

    • Way to go on all the children! You’re doing a great job.

      Pray for a new school. Maybe start one! If you have 10 families with 5 kids each, you’ve got a school.

      Homeschooling can be a wonderful thing! Keep up the good work. Homeschoolers are filling the place that the nuns held of a previous age.

  • BillLow

    Taylor, I really enjoyed your post today. Far too often folks in leadership positions choose to hide behind the image they create and everyone looses. We all really do put our pants on one leg at a time and pretending otherwise is silly as some of our politicians are now learning.
    The Christ I know has nothing phony about him and he never did. Best regards,

  • mmatthew

    WHAT!?! No more Canterbury Tales!?! Outrageous. I’m done. Shame on you.

    • fairlady68

      I don’t know the whole story here, but, despite what I said above about daily decisions, a person cannot keep working on the same PROJECTS all the time. If he discontinued the Canterbury Tales, it means that Dr. Marshall no doubt needed to move on to new fields of endeavor. Or, he was called elsewhere by God, more like.

  • Sarah Frasier

    Just saying…but Beethoven and Mozart aren’t Baroque. However, you should check out Corelli

  • fairlady68

    Yes, sometimes the great panoply of choices we are faced with every day can just immobilize us. That is why as I have gotten older I stick to the same types of clothes, food, etc. at least on work days. I already have to make too many other decisions in life.

  • Rumour

    What am I doing this weekend? My beautiful daughter is being married tomorrow to a very nice young man. The wedding will be held at St Joseph’s in our city, and my hopes and prayers are that St Joseph, patron saint of the family will bless this union and those there to witness it. It will be a joyful day for two families to celebrate.
    Blessings to all…

  • blessedtxmomof5

    Enjoyed the view – Can totally relate to ‘free dress’ day – what I love is the doubt that is expressed as we roll into drop off line and the peering out to see if maybe it really was not free dress day – although I have checked school calendars, etc. and reassured the children that today is that day 🙂 and the sigh of relief from the back seat and smiles in their voices as they recognize a classmate in free dress – Happy Friday – this weekend enjoying my son’s first season soccer game and celebrating life of a special 2 yr old my God son, Drake!

  • Camila

    Beautiful kiddos there! What a nice husband letting wife sleep in…. I’m sure that’s on Joy’s thankful list :o) The bread and cake are baked, the house is clean, the clothes are ironed (still need to put them away) and now it’s time to enjoy the weekend with the kids and hubby. We’ll be celebrating hubby’s birthday tomorrow.

  • toocatholic

    This weekend I plan on reading Pope Francis’ complete interview with the Jesuit magazine just released to try and discern exactly where he is coming from and where he may lead us – I’m praying the Lord will grant me wisdom to open my ears and mind to the truth – Tired of the media “interpretations” and quick 30 second sound bites about my Beloved Roman Catholic Church

  • This was fun to read! I’ll pray for the Troops of St George. Could be an uphill battle– eeek. I hate to hear that.

    Our weekend is shaping up to include a soccer game for one of my sons and a baby shower for our new twins! 🙂

  • KathleenKoala

    Hello Mr Marshall, I am fairly new to your blog and am so far loving it. I am in Australia and have not heard of the Troops of St George, there isn’t much info on Google. Would you please tell me more? Like toocatholic (can there be such a thing?) I plan this weekend to read the complete interview with Pope Francis, after my nephew’s wedding. I will also try to read Awakening the Moral Imagination – Teaching Virtues through Fairy Tales on The Catholic Education Resource Centre. I home school our two youngest (of 4). God Bless You.

    • toocatholic

      To KathleenKoala – Sorry to say there is such a thing as being “toocatholic” – I took this moniker about 2 years ago after I was called in to the “big boss office” and told I was ” too Catholic” for their organization – thee major religious charity in the USA which everyone knows at Christmas bell ringing time – for which I was a director for 22 years. After a year of very un-Christian pressure and a trip to the coronary care unit I took early retirement. I am very pround to be called Mr. “too Catholic” in some circles – Blessings!!

  • YankeeTexan

    I will be spending time with my loving family, tailoring my resume’, finishing next weeks coursework assignments, applying for a few job openings, fighting for meditative Grace from above, and praying, praying, and more praying…

    Pax Christi

  • Dee K

    Taylor, I am so very excited about the Troops of St George. My sons are grown men now but we were a scouting family. It saddens me that the BSA is not what it used to be. I noticed your comment about the BSA sending you a sease and desist letter.

    I was talking to a freind about the Girl scouts and said it is a shame they don’t create a new organization for the girls like you did for the bosy with the Troops of St. George. She told me about the American Heritage Girls (AHG) which is a wholesome alternative to GSA. They seem to be in business and up and running. I thought you might contact them and see how they managed to circumvent the GSA. Here is their info.

    American Heritage Girls

    175 Tri-County Parkway
    Suite 100
    Cincinnati, OH 45246

    Office Hours:
    9:00AM – 5:00PM
    Phone: 513.771.2025