Thursday, May 31, 2007

What's kept me busy?

  1. Cursillo: Sister made hers this week as well as the friend of my friend who passed on last fall. They had a great weekend.
  2. Conference: Think I finally have the letter to a Diocesan official willing to help me.
  3. Co-op: I'm going to have to actually call each person because only 1/3 of the Moms will use their computer.
  4. Curriculum: tomorrow is 180 days but we still have work to do. The school would still close.
  5. Chocolate: when your teens have a bad week there isn't enough chocolate in the world!

    Prayers please for my neighbor who is sitting Shiva. She was unable to go to Israel last month as planned and so did not see her teacher and Rabbi before he died. Thanksgiving for the lessons she has given my girls.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Feast of Pentecost

http://www.zenit.org/english/

This week link to Zenit and find Fr. Cantelamesa's reflection on Pentecost, the work of the Holy Spirit then and now.

Have a blessed weekend. Pray for our military. Let the Spirit move through you.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Book Quiz!




You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I'm also honest. I took the quiz twice. In fact you get different questions based on each answer you give but only answer 6 questions. The first time it said I was David Copperfield , which I never finished, (High School Lit is wasted on Teens) . Anyway the descriptive paragraph was way too depressing.
Besides I think Feverfew and Bigwig and the others are some of the best characters ever imagined. How had I forgetten to put this in my Sidebar? Because I'd worn out my copy of Waetrshipdown and forgotten.

Thanks for the reminder Christine!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling

This months is long but the host was kind enough to show you a paragraph of each entry to help you decide which links are worth your time! How Very Kind!!!!Mary

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ninth Day

Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
In Thy sevenfold gifts descend:
Give them comfort when they die;
Give them life with Thee on high;
Give them joys which never end.
Amen.

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

Prayer

Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benighity, goodness, faith, mildness and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

When you pray this one you have to pray for me too. "practice them with greater docility" is still a foreign concept to me. Way back when I did not have a big family, (check your history books: about 1000 bc) I decided to practice "A time for Silence" Eclesiastices. I bit my tongue so long, 2 years, and so hard that I had a scar in my mouth for another 2 years to remind me. Yes there were fruits. Yes I spent more time turning to Jesus in my heart. But I kind of lost it in the past few years. Been in the desert actually. Starting to find more oaisis.
Anyway I'm not dealing well as any of you in the 40-50 range can understand. More Magazine had some interesting (if non-catholic) perspective on this that rings true. I just don't see myself as having time to put up with things I used to. When your pregnant, nursing, nesting, you'll do anything to build and contain the family. Even bite your tongue. Now I just want to be heard, understood. I dread the 'you never told me' when I have written proof otherwise. I've spent 8 -10 hours not having my intelligence strained by little ones. I could degrade myself by listening to The View or Orprah but I don't. I study, read, run an internet search, write, pray ask advice. I HAVE THINGS TO SAY.
But that isn't peace,
or faith,
or joy,
or Mary's Humility.
All things I also want in my life.
Last night I watched CSI. One victim's widower is asked if he knew his wife's secret. Did she know. "Have you ever been married?" he asks. Then goes on to explain all the things he plans to tell her when he gets home. but she's cooking, the baby wants a story, the phone rings. "tomorrow I tell myself, but it doesn't happen"

Lord help me to accept that only You know me, all of me, and love me as I am. Maybe laughing like I chuckle at Z's attempt to create a "look" but with genuine love. Take away this need for Human Respect. Let me want nothing but You.

Eighth Day

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom

Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written, “all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands.” It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, while the cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: “Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them forever. Amen.

Seventh Day

Heal our wounds – our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away!

The Gift of Counsel

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must be done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. “Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long. Amen.

Sixth Day

If Thou take Thy grace away.
Nothing pure in man will stay,
All his good is turn’d to ill.

The Gift of Understanding

Understanding as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to “walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Fifth Day

Light immortal! Light Divine!
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill!


The Gift of Knowledge


The Gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth – in relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. “Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesses it.”

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Let's not forget! Our Lady was part of that first Novena

Ester tagged me for this Marian Devotion Meme. How wonderful! We all need to remember that Our Lady, given to the Apostles as mother only 40 days earlier, was with them in prayer in the upper room. She knew what it was to be Full of Grace and wanted that for each person, so they could more quickly follow her Son and be led to the Father.
What is your favourite image of Our Lady? I love my statue of the Kitchen Madonna. Can't you picture her, sweeping, cooking, all while praying for the Holy Spirit to descend on these Friends of her Son?
What is your favourite Marian feast? Our Lady of Guadalupe! First, we turned to her when my brother's novitiate was in Mexico. We did not see him the whole time and he received our mail only once a month. We counted on her to be with him. He brought us all back an image of Her.
Second, when a historic French parish in our city burned to the ground, the neighboring Irish parish that were to be linked with them, took care of them. But of course now, for 30 years, most of that area is Spanish speaking. So the united parish is called Our Lady of Guadalupe. She's brought real healing to the area. The pastor used to do our Homeschool Mass on First Friday's.
What is your favourite Marian hymn/anthem? Our choir director has a whole book devoted to Our Lady. One I love is Our Lady of Knock, "Golden Rose, Queen of Ireland, All our cares and troubles cease, as we kneel with love before you, Lady of Knock, my Queen of peace."
What is your favourite Marian place of pilgrimage? My Mother was very inspired when she went to LaSallette, in France but every time I take a turn with the statue she brought home for us girls I need to go to confession. There is something about seeing Her cry! There is a local shrine to her I'd like to visit.
What is your favourite Marian devotion? I love the Scriptural Rosary. Each day the younger ones and I do a decade. Sometimes instead of giving them beads I give them paper to draw the scene we are meditating on, which teaches them how to "ponder these things" in their hearts.

If you read this, Tag! Yep all 3 of you!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fourth Day- (for Monday unless you started Thursday)

Thou in toil art comfort sweet;
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

The Gift of Fortitude

By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will and impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hestitancy the most arduous atsks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Also pray the Our Father and Hail Mary, The Act of Consecration, The prayer for the Seven Gifts and pray a Glory Be for each gift.



Third Day

Thou, of all consolers best,
Visiting the troubled breast,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.

The Gift of Piety

The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Ftaher. It inspires us to love and respect, for His sake, persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parentsand superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake, lovingly submit to all in legitimate authority. Amen.



Also pray the Our Father and Hail Mary, The Act of Consecration, The prayer for the Seven Gifts and pray a Glory Be for each gift.

Second Day (for Saturday the 19th)

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, treasures which endure!
Come, Light of all that live!

The Gift of Fear

The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a Fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could, in any way, separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set You, my Lord and God, before my face forever; help me to shun all things that offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God, world without end. Amen.


Also pray the Our Father and Hail Mary, The Act of Consecration, The prayer for the Seven Gifts and pray a Glory Be for each gift.

First Day

Holy Spirit Lord of Light!
From Your clear celestial height,
Your pure beaming radiance give!


The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important - eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared - sin. Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness and indifference. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with Love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit heals our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asksfor us."

Prayer

Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us Your sevenfold Spirit: the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen

Also pray the Our Father and Hail Mary, The Act of Consecration, The prayer for the Seven Gifts and pray a Glory Be for each gift.

Prayers you need for the Novena

Act of Consecration to The Holy Spirit
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You.
Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness.
Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus,looking at His Five wounds, trusting in His Precious Blood, adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere "Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening."
Amen.
Prayer for the Seven Gifts
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before Ascending into heaven, did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul the work of Your Grace and Your Love. Grant me
the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal;
the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth;
the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven;
the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation;
the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints;
the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable;
the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him.
Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit.
Amen.

Join me for a Novena

Happy Blogger reminds me that tomorrow is the day to start a Novena to the Holy Spirit in time for Pentecost. I pulled mine out and will try. Since I'm online daily I should just have to post it to do it right? We'll see how I do. I forgot about Ascension since I'm still not feeling great and there was a Tornado warning yesterday.

I guess sick is a good excuse for missing but I don't like it anyway. I need Eucharist. Its what's kept me going all these years: lapses of Faith in other areas, pregnancy, scandal, depression. All healed by the great Healer, at least for a time.
And of course my kids won't make it without me either. My hard working, convert husband still has to think really hard about which Feasts are days of Obligation so I usually try to let him know ahead of time.

Do you know what a Novena is? The very first one started after the Ascension of Christ over 2000 years ago. After all the miracles, after seeing the Risen Christ, still the disciples were afraid, deathly afraid, of being killed for following their Lord. As He Ascended he instructed them to teach and Baptize the whole world but told them to wait till help arrived. He would send the Paraclete.
The Love of God the Father and Creator for His Son Jesus is so intense, so real that it is a Person. Separate yet connected in the Trinity. Through the Charismatic Catholics I've known I've seen how powerful God is in this 3rd Person of the Trinity. If you can find it a great book on this is 'Life in the Lordship of Christ' by Fr. Raniero Cantelamessa. Father was walking by St. Peter's one day and the Spirit urged him to pray, then to yell to the Holy Father, "Courage John Paul, Courage!" Not long after he was called to become preacher to the Pontifical Household. In other words he says Mass for those who live and work at St. Peter's including giving a retreat to the Pope every year. (To read a translation of his sermons sign up with
Zenit, news from the Vatican)
Its not an easy read but each of the 10 Chapters illuminates a mystery of the Church, of making Christ your Lord, and of using the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Here's the best part,as close as I can remember: If, then, sin is to withhold credit to God for those gifts that are from God. Then the opposite of sin is Not virtue. (We can do good things without giving God credit.) No the opposite of sin is Praise. When we praise God then, we help ourselves stay in a state of grace.

The original 11 Apostles, with Mary the Mother of Jesus, stayed in an upper room praying for the Paraclete to come for Nine Days. The next day, on the Jewish feast of Pentecost, The Holy Spirit came to earth and has been here ever since to guide the Church, the Bride of Christ. You are invited to join me as I pray with Our Lady for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day! Update

Well I got to my mother early. Found a gardening book at the Catholic Homeschool Conference with loads of craft ideas. But I did not get to my Mother in law in time for tomorrow. I had it in my mind I'd have time to get something to her daughter who is flying down but that didn't happen.
They'll be home soon, and DH can call her, but I think I'll tell you all a little about her.
She's the first woman I knew to write her own web page, back when it was writing your own HTML! It was great, loaded with her fun and enthusiam and pics of my kids. Like me she likes to always have some new interest she's studying: an actor, a singer, an author, a cooking style. Like me she is always reading. I can't count how many vacation nights we'd tuck the kids, DH's would fall asleep and we'd sit up reading and talking. She had an inpressive collection of Historical Romance which was a great escape in the years of all toddlers and little kids.
We've had a long time to learn about each other. I've been married to her son for over 20 years but met her nearly 30 years ago now. Really!
She is so incredibly strong. Generous beyond my ability to grasp. She is so patient with me! Best of all she takes such joy in our kids. Even though her experience has been a small family, she gets it that they are individuals when so many treat them like a single entity.
I can't count the things I've learned from her or how honored I feel when she trusts me and shares her deep cares about her children and holding her family together.

Obviously I think her son is her best work. She not only raised him to think and enjoy a good conversation or an good old movie, he's also funny and capable. He can play silly with little ones then stop and solve a problem with his teens with out a pause.
Her youngest child postponed college to go into the workforce and was truly supported and encouraged but never coddled. She married a strong man who helped her in her decision to go back to school. She's found a true calling to work with those in need and graduates in a year. She teaches people whose education was interupted by mental illness to advocate for themselves and get their edcation back on track. She is strong and pashionate.
Her middle daughter was given multiple problems to deal with over her life. My dear MIL has always been there for her. Always looking for ways to give her life interest and value no matter how many frustrations have come their way. Her daughter is 'the fun aunt' a voracious reader and has learned things she was told she'd never master. Over the internet she's befriended many who had few friends. Loyal and compansionate and as generous as her mother.
When I was engaged I was given the advice to look hard at his family. To understand I was marrying them too. Boy did I choose well.
Happy Mother's Day to my other mother.
I love you.

Received a note:
Hi Mary,

I wrote another response today on your blog, but it seems that it won't go thru. It went something like this.

I wanted to say how much I appreciate your beautiful words. You know that I come from somewhat of a dysfunctional family that wasn't much on affection, and it makes it difficult for me to be demonstrative, even to the people I love most. You don't realize how much I brag about you to old friends, and new ones too. Telling them what a wonderful mother you are, and yes, a wonderful person. How well you have brought up your children to be great human beings, but have also educated them and make it look easy. Jeff was very fortunate, and so are we.

Love,

Mom


I hope all of you are taking the time to make sure the ones you love know how much you love them, words or actions. Its always an encouragement.

Girls Night!!

What a blast! For me Girl's Night is anytime my sisters and I leave the DH's at home. My Dad is often included. Girl's Night must have something to celebrate. We may make something up but we celebrate. This time we went to baby sister's First Apartment. I'm so happy for her. Its a funny shape because its a triangle shaped building and she has the pointy end. But she has room to get room mates-- hope she does so she can keep it. And a spare room for art-- she's an amazing painter and teaches art at a Montessori school.
Only one hubby tried breaking the rules. Not only texting his wife during the night but breaking several FCC regulations for phone usage. We have evidence should my sister ever need it.
There were lots of stories about the kids, (my parents have 27 grandchildren.) And yes guys we always talk about you behind your backs. They all LOVE my husband because he is so vocal and demonstartive about loving me. He listens, changes, tries. The others may not want someone as demonstative but they all looked to be loved that strongly. (SM I hope you have someone like that for your life!)
I love the way Dr. Laura says it, "a man who would swim through shark infested waters to bring you a glass of lemonaid."
And we had new reason to celebrate. My moms best friend L is more like a sister. Her daughter C is like one of our sisters. Her beau asked permission from L to propose to C. Since she's not a kid this was a really sweet thing. He does Not look the part of such a sweet guy but we know the secret. I've seen him with his daughters. He is wonderful and deserves to join this great family.
Then the sisters who'd had a couple drinks started planning a private bridal shower. They were SO funny I almost fell off the couch laughing. I can't wait!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tagged for The Thinking Blog!

Photo
Begun in February 07 at the above link to The Thinking Blog (after discussing the problems with Meme's)ilker yoldas has created a great way to find Blogs with real content. Ilker's thought: Most meme's just reveal personal information and don't bring you to blogs of great thought or at least not ones you share an interest in. Of course for me blogging is a way to connect with adults in the longer hours of SAHM Homeschooling. Don't get me wrong I Love my kids, love having them home, but since my teens are at a public school and work---most of my day is with kids 12 and under. You can only teach phonics and addition so many times before you NEED to expand your mind. I love exploring the many ideas out there and the safe place this creates to look at things from a new perspective. So while my children run between the rain drops I'll find/tag my 5 blogs that make me think.

Here are the rules:

If you get tagged with a Thinking Blogger Award, you are then supposed to do the following:

1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

#1 I have to start with Daniellebean
Not only is this the first one I look at each day it is one of the first I found when I learned blogs existed for 'normal' people. Part of the charm for me is how much she sounds like my sister, she is funny and yet always challenges me to think about what I do as wife and mother that works, and to share it; what doesn't work, and drop it.

#2 My girlfriend Christine.Her new page is As My House Turns. She takes EVERY situation and turns it over to the Lord in prayer. I need reminders to do that. Daily.

#3 A Catholic Mom in Hawaii. First time I've really communicated with someone from around the world. Maybe there's a little of Gramps and his HAM radio work that rubbed of after all.

#4 One I don't get to as often as I'd like is The Anchoress. I love the idea of every church having someone who 'anchors' it, Always available with help, a listening ear, new ideas, just a constant presense.

#5 Last of all is at Three Plus Two for her Carnival Of Joy! who has already been tagged but My need to Think about joy rather than just hope for it makes this one of my priorities.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Catholic Carnival

The 118th Catholic Carnival is at Postscripts From The Catholic Spitfire and includes links on growing a Mary Garden and the Living Lives of Loveliness collection on Lovliness of Gardens but please scroll down to a link called

I Think I Hurt Something Laughing Over This One....

And don't hurt yourself laughing

Please!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Things I've been think on while testing

#1 Never again even experiment with a test for first grade. They just don't read well enough and the tests assume you taught loads of sight words rather than emphasizing phonics first. Also the version I bought was a disappointment. I ordered from a Seattle Homeschool Group listed at Mother of Divine Grace. I assume its a fundraiser for them. the aswer forms they created for first grade and kindergarten assigned a number to each bubble the children would fill in, placing a rubber stamp number on the choices in the original book. A Kindergartner is supposed to answer 3-1 is 2 Find a group of 2 objects. Find the number assigned to that bubble, maybe 3, then remember to fill in bubble 3 for question 4 on the answer sheet to show they know the answer was 2. They couldn't label the bubbles with letters?

#2 I wish I'd had my seven kids in Maine in the 1790-1800 decade with Martha Ballard as midwife! In 814 births she only lost 1 woman. Only a decade earlier one London hospital had a 39.3% Maternal death rate in one year. She was successful with all types of delivery and in fact most mothers sick or dying after birth had what we now know was Streptococcus infection. According to author and midwife Ina May Gaskin most Obstetricians are losing their skill at delivery of breech and twin babies without surgery, effectively removing that option from all mothers in their practice, because they refuse to make them attempt even when the option is viable.
(A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on her diary 1785-1812 by Pulitzer Prize winner Laurel Thatcher Ulrich)

#3 Still not thrilled with the High School. No notice to parents,I do not get. I did hear back from the newspaper which has a policy not to give thrill seekers the thrill of being in print(I get that part) I have no confidence that the High School show will come off. The director is a difficult man, grouchy, but its partly from being so disrespected by the school. He is not being allowed to set up the show and leave any part of it up. Which means we can't finish making or painting the set, blocking is taking a very long time so the students are dejected or feel like they should be as disrespectful as the adults at the school are.

#4 I really have to go to Science co-op. I'm enjoying being stuck at home too much. Everyone seems to feel OK today. No more excuses.

#5 Need a solid program for David next year.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Seven and Holding

This link is to a news story about an Australian recommending people consider the carbon output generated in adding another child to the family. Well we are at 'seven and holding' as my husband says but certainly not for that reason. A little on line quiz revealed that on a scale of one to ten, as a mom I am Slightly Crispy, maybe not a true earthy crunchy but there's a lot I do not on their test. And no home births for me thank you, I've got to get out out of the house sometime after all.
Let's see we have a giant gas guzzler van, but usually only to carry a full load. We almost never make a unnecessary trip. Often combine trips. Even moved to a busier, urban area where more is available close by and my husband's commute is shorter.

One weekly trip June to October is to the Food Bank Farm. This will be our eleventh year supporting this organic CSA, Consumer supported agriculture, farm which also provides fresh, organic food to local services for the poor as well as providing training in the running of Organic farms to workers and the local community. I combine this trip with other errands, eat more raw food (not using gas stove) and use far less food that has been shipped from the other side of the world.

When you have your first you buy or are given EVERY plastic, advertised product available for baby. For baby number two there are still needs plus the varying interests of the two growing up. After baby number three you get VERY practical. You don't need a third diaper bag made of washable plastic--that tears every time you put in one too many diapers. No you stick an extra blanket in your cloth tote to lay the baby on, or tie into a sling instead of dragging a plastic car seat around. You nurse longer instead of buying formula and bottles and are sad when they wean. You skip ten different baby lotions and just use Ivory. No rash cream. You let them air out naked as God intended.

We don't have a TV for each room-- just 2 for 9 people.
We don't have Play Station or Nintendo-- not even an old version.
Not a weekly trip to the theater, a weekly family night at home with a movie and friends.
No roller coasters on tarred fields, but soccer on cool, green grass.
No bands and bars. Just a beer on the porch with a neighbor watching the kids bike.

And when we're old and gray, no dependence of the government for social security. We can't retire with one entering college when we turn 60. No we'll still be trying to be productive, care giving citizens. When we finally wear out our children will be able to share the burden.

I think everyone who has a child should consider the environmental impact of not sharing their world and family with more children.

How can anyone say there are too many children? That's like saying there are too many flowers. Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta

Testing this week.

This week I'm testing my students and catching up on the house work not done while everyone was sick. I'm also waiting to hear from HSLDA on my proposed changes to our city's Home Ed. Approval paperwork. I spent all of Saturday trying to put it together. In the mean time check out the other Catholic Moms Online and this site.

http://www.mycatholic.com/

Great alternative to MyYahoo.

Peace, Mary

Friday, May 4, 2007

Not Happy

I am not a happy Momma. For a month I held onto a paper sent by the school deciding how to respond 'politely' Today I thought I finally figured out how. They asked parents to sign a'contract' to provide guidance and support etc while they would support our involvement and 'positive communication' well every time I saw it several cases of poor communication came to mind and I knew I couldn't sign it in good conscience but I also couldn't write a rebutal well.
Today I noticed the email address at the top for the principal. I sent a cute, 'mommy' type note about how sorry I was I hadn't sent it yet but couldn't we get some information on the web site about......
It worked! (so I thought) I got a same day response about upcoming info on seniors.

An hour later my senior called and asked me to turn on the news and find out what was happening. Yes that call. What parent hasn't dreaded that call since Columbine? Even in the Virginia Tech shootings one victim was a homeschool graduate. There are no safe places if there are guns in Amish schools. I looked on line, Turned on the radio, put on the Tv with the mute and watched for crawlers while I texted my other daughter. Good girl. She sent a note immediately and drove home with her brother.
Just a bomb threat.
Juust!?!
Mother Mary Pray for us! Not one news station said a word! They advertised the 'Don't lie on your resume" piece before every commercial but couldn't spare a line for those of us who didn't know whether to send our kids on Monday or retie them to our apron strings. God knows I don't want that. I Love having teens. they are so vital, energetic, challenging, fun. How can anyone think of hurting them or threatening to?
So then the school also didn't tell us what was going on. They have an automated phone system: could have prerecorded a message and set it to play on every answering machine every parent gave. Nothing!
OK I'm going to try to calm down now. Even though my boy is off at work and my daughter is out with friends. They've recovered-- or at least are ready to blow some steam. I have not recovered. I'm a mess everytime someone's baby dies, every threat, every shooting. I try to trust but this is a challenging time.

Lord of the Divine Mercy, Be my stronghold, my fortress. Adonai let me see only Your beauty and Grace and nothing else. Amen

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Living In Grace» Blog Archive » Prayers For Heather

Update: Heather came through surgery but they do not yet know the effect on her speech. Arms and legs moving though. Her husband has posted some scripture that comforted him during the surgery. Please continue your prayers for their family.

PS I love you, DH!

Living In Grace» Blog Archive » Prayers For Heather
Please join me praying for Heather this day and over the next week. She is a Catholic wife, mom, blogger, and helps with the Catholic Homeschool Blog awards. Thursday she will be have surgery on her brain. Pray for the surgeon, nurses, her husband, her children, especially that her family have her back whole and that she not lose Faith but learn to lean even harder on Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dearest Mother Mary Pray with us for this intention at the Throne of your Son, especially when she feels most alone. Amen

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

National Day of Prayer will be Thursday May 3rd

Here is where you can find a local event and see a Challenge by Coach Tony Dungy

It doesn't matter what your politics are, whether you voted, how feel about the war now or how you felt when it started. The Spirit can pray through us, with us, for us.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."
-- Romans 8:26

Prayer for Our Nation
Written by Dr. Charles R. Swindoll


Almighty God, we pause to reflect on Your character as we seek wisdom for such a time as this.

In these unsafe days,
You remain all-powerful and able to protect;

In these uncertain times,
You remain all-knowing, leading us aright;

In the unprecedented events we're facing,
You remain absolutely sovereign.
Our times are in Your hands.

Therefore, our dependence on You, is total, not partial
. . . our need for Your forgiveness is constant

. . . our gratitude for Your grace is profound

. . . our love for You is deep.


We ask that You guard and guide our President
and all who serve the people of these United States.
May uncompromising integrity mark their lives.

We also ask that You unite us as truly "one nation,
under God." May genuine humility return to our ranks.

And may that blend of integrity and humility
heal our land.

In our Lord's name we pray,

Amen.

LOL Sewing!!!

Clone Yourself is DVD video directions for making a Duct Tape Dummy of yourself! I stumbled on the idea a year ago when I dreamed of buying a Mannequin and learning to design clothes. Its supposed to be cheap and a truly exact copy of yourself but I nearly fell on the floor laughing as I pictured my sisters and I wrapping our selves in duct tape. I can't find the original web page--- maybe she's the one on the new DVD's for sale but I'll share some of the tidbits of information shared:

1. Do potty first. Once your hips are wrapped forget it.
2. Wear a good bra for shape but one you are willing to lose. At the end a friend cuts you out of the wrapping and just might cut right through.
3. Your husband may enjoy being the one to tape you too much.
4. Dress your dummy when your done. Dear Hubby might be shocked to find a silver, headless replica of you in the middle of the night.

And I thought Nancy's Notions was the elite sewing supply catalog.

Sick Days

One thing I didn't mention about my weekend was fighting a cold. I hadn't felt good all week but over the day Saturday my Tonsils started working and my glands swelled till I thought I had mumps again. Sunday I could still sing Christ Is Risen and sound good. I could still discuss things at our Parish Brunch/Town Meeting (very successful!). But when I got home I crashed.
I slept. Fever. Chills. Aches. Cough. The works.
I keep losing my voice, yes the kids loved that! We got through school for the 2 old enough to go through their routine. My 'Re' is 7 and used her Geo Safari.
This is where I have to tell you I love Draw, Write Now. I have all 8 volumes. It is art, penmanship, writing mixed with nature study, history and science. No work for Mom!!! They try to draw the picture then copy the sentences. At the end of the year they have made a book of their own. When 'The Baby' was born 1/2 way through the school year (3 years ago) I gave these to 'Scrappy' and S.Dee with instructions to start with the one on American History. Then I had them make up their own. Every day they made a page about a President or a State creating their own Civics Book. We also had a game about the presidents and the states that reinforced what they were learning. (Its premis is you are running for president- can't think of the name)
Its sick days like this that show me I'm on the right track. They don't need me to learn. I'm just the facilitator. Sure I actually teach some of the tome but they are not dependant on me on a daily basis to hand them a worksheet. Circle the noun, underline the verb, repeat.
I'm so glad I heard this advice when I was begining, doing lots of book work, but expecting during our first year. It still looked like I had plopped a public school into our living room. Soon pregnancy forced me to look at options. My oldest found it helpful in applying to colleeg to say he been in all types of schools, public, catholic and homeschool and done well at all, been adaptable. Lots of that is because he's learned to learn. The end of June he starts his college career. One down. Six to go. I miss him already.