Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful few days. Sarah and I figured out how to get her photos up in the sidebar of

We had a cookie night, a day with Jeff's girlfriend Cameron, sang the 3-4PM concert before the 4PM Christmas Eve Mass, had our party--- all was wonderful. My friend Adria spent the evening and shared Hanuka with my family then watched them open their gifts on Christmas morning. She bought me a French Press so we could have good coffee. My son Jeffery came up with the girls gift-- a spot light and a full array of overhead stage lighting for their stage.

My Dear Husband fulfilled my wish to be able to wear my engagement ring again. Since it couldn't be repaired he had my diamond matched around a new diamond in a new setting. It is absolutely gorgeous and it passes the test-- you do know ladies that a real engagement ring looks best in church? Well this one is perfect. Thank you my Love!

Tonight my daughter's beau is taking her somewhere special.

Hope you all had a lovely holiday,


Monday, December 15, 2008

The Catholic Observer

Our diocesan newspaper has published a wonderful article on our local homeschool support group. I don't believe its available online but their online news source is
The article facing it is about Down Syndrome and features an interview with the Moser family. Mom Darlene is our preschool music teacher as well as the sign language teacher.
Her husband wrote and recorded a beautiful song about Downs and their daughter called
God Doesn't Make Mistakes which can be ordered at or by calling 1-800-447-6647

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Faith and Family Cookie Swap

Click here to go to the Swap:

Here are my 2 entries.

Gramma Mahoney's Treats: Spread bright colored buttercream frosting on Ritz crackers (must be real Ritz and unsalted is sacriledge) Serve!

Seriously-- it isn't a family event without them.

These are better but take practice. Your first batch will be gooey or fall apart. That's part of the process. These are much more like candy than cookies. Last year I tried using sunflower seeds instead of nuts so I could serve them around those with nut allergens with great success.

1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup Butter (NOT MARGERINE)
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
Combine in a saucepan bringing just to a boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 325 and grease 2 cookie sheets with Pam.

Stir in 1 Cup Flour and 1 Cup finely chopped Walnuts or shelled sunflower seeds. Mix well.

Spoon just 1 teaspoonful at a time 4 inches apart onto well greased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes. You want them to stop being goopy but not reach the hard candy stage. Remove from tray about 1 minute after it comes out of oven. Leave flat to look like lace or snowflakes. Drape over a wooden spoon handle and roll to create a cylander. This shape is nice with one end dipped in chocolate. Or, drape over a small ramekin or custard cup to create a bowl.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Calling all activists

HT Danielle

Signing Time is no longer on PBS and you can read about it from its founder here.

Essentially no corporate or foundation sponsors came forward and the rules about public television advertising mean they could not direct viewers to the web site that sold their products. This in the age of DVR's.

Easy ways everyone can help include giving their videos and DVD's as gifts for Christmas and Birthdays and requesting that your library purchases the full collection.
Don't have a child with hearing loss? Well do you know one? Or one with late speech development? Maybe as a homeschooler you need a second language?
Our Homeschool co-op is teaching sign language and my Zoe just loves it!

And please don't overwhelm them with ideas of sponsors and grants (they've tried for three years) but DO contact them if you have a great lead.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Leslie's surprise 5th Birthday

We let the kids pick a party at 5 and 10 and over the years we had a variety: children's museum, the loacal merry go round, indoor soccer, theater and fishing. Leslie pick a surprise party!

Here she is being surprised when Aunt Peggy brought her home.

But I hate pink! Was the reaction to the bedding.

(If you allow a surprise party you will not have remembered to have the "We always say Thank you" speech before the birthday girl/boy sees the guest.
(She likes the black side.)

The Kay's cake was great and the fabulous buckets of foam stickers were from Gramma and Grandpa in Florida--- a real hit!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hail Holyoke High School

Alma Mater! Friends Forever.
The Guys

Mary and Roger

Mary, Marvin, Tina and Me.

A fun time was had by all. I saw Freddy and when he and Bob were showing off dancing, DH got up to show his stuff too! Jim O was looking great. Patty was sitting with a fun table of mostly ladies who left a spouse at home. The Hobert's Lavelle's and Dinn's were all together--- townies till the end.

I heard good things and saw pictures of some who didn't make it this time: including Christine S.
We've lost too many but we will remember them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Funny Turkey Story

Disclaimer: I am forcing myself to type fast. I am supposed to write about Swift's commentary on politics in Gulliver's Travels but I can't get this out of my head till I finally type it.
Enjoy! Happy thanksgiving to all!

I have a large family (you knew that) so I look for a big turkey. Usually frozen. Thanks to dear Aunt Jo I learned to stock a big freezer to save money and to say 'Yes' to company. One year a friend's son was working at a local turkey farm. She called to say they gave her some large, dressed frozen turkey's but she needed to give some away as her freezer was full. Over she came and her son carried it to my freezer before I ever saw it. She had to go quick but hoped we'd enjoy it. When she was sure of her escape she finally told me...

it was 40 lbs.

I had never heard of such a thing. I went down to look and saw a bird as big as a cow. How would I cook it? Sure enough there was no way it would fit in a pan or even in the oven so there it stayed.

Meanwhile my dear Pepere and Memere were starting to find it hard to live alone. Kind people would bring them meals but sometimes far more than they could use. One day my aunt discovered he had taken a frozen meatloaf to the basement and used the band saw to cut off two slices for a meal. Plenty for the two of them. Ingenious!

Poor man was sent for Alzheimer's testing. (Not that I blame my aunt, uncles or dad, but Pepere was not happy) They also arranged for a home health aide to visit regularly.

The 2 stories would have nothing to do with each other if not for the idea it gave my husband. he laid plastic bags and cardboard on the ground outside, plugged in the reciprocating saw and cut the bird in two. (Can I have my home health aid now?)

We couldn't resist teasing my dear in-laws at Thanksgiving. They rightfully worry about us money-wise and DH couldn't help himself: " well we were given a free turkey but we can't afford to eat a whole free bird so we're only having half a free bird"
(Actually Jeff and his mom broiled the skin for quite a treat. And the bird wasn't tough at all.)

Nope, I'm not done.
Gramma passed away in Rhode Island so off we drove to reminisce and celebrate her funeral. Just getting there was its own escapade since Gramps was SOOO caeful about money that the church, funeral home and cemetery were on 3 different sides of town. If you know Woonsocket at all you know 'you can't get there from here' unless you remember where Joe's pub used to be and know which streets have become one way that used to be two way. No its not on the map.

Anyway we were tired and punchy when we got there and enjoying seeing old friends. It was hard to be too sad for Gramma who we knew was probably having a grand old time in heaven. I told my, still short, turkey story to some friends who asked "well which half did we eat on Thanksgiving?" It hadn't occurred to me? Right? left?
No he asked Top or Bottom? I can just see the Turkey A*** sticking up on the center of the table! That was it! We fell laughing.

So there you go. Not quite as funny as Helen Hunt throwing a turkey out a 10th floor apartment window in Mad About You, but its all the things I am grateful for:

Family and Friends
oh and power tools!

Friday, November 21, 2008

If I could pick the perfect son...

it would be my Jeff who was assaulted by 4 little girls when he came home for the weekend with magnets and school projects and 'did you see my haircut?' and look at the turkeys we made. He is already sitting at the table helping make another construction paper turkey and I am dying to take a picture but don't dare interupt such perfect sibling bonding.

Thank you Lord for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008



Wonderful, funny encouragement to teach creativity first from Sir Ken Robinson.

(I bookmarked it a month ago and don't remember who gave me the idea. Its 20 minutes long so give yourself time.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Found at Minnesota Mom's

Live your life in such a way
that when your feet hit the floor in the morning,
Satan shudders and says,
“Oh no, she's awake.”

-- Author Unknown

I wish.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Homeschool Blog Awards

Vote soon! By Sun and Candlelight is nominated. I have not yet visited any of the New Blogger Nominees.

And hey! No politics! No one loses! Great homeschool blogs get more visitors and you have an excuse to surf more,

so go!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For you Sheila


Taking a week off

Last week I dutifully recorded the kids grades in a brand new notebook and had a teacher meeting with the kids. The best thing/worst thing about being your child's teacher is knowing where you helped them and where you failed them. All in all they are not just progressing in academics but in their personal growth and what I need to remember is to praise those things more. I too easily see the next thing they should master and sometimes push too hard.

However the vacation has been great! David and Sarah had a great trip with their youth group
to a Eucharistic Youth Rally and to the American side of Niagara Falls, St. Bonaventure University's Museum, Our Lady od Victory Basilica, and learned about a Blessed. Here's the video source about him. They LOVE Fr. Marek and Sr. Sophia.

You know you are a homeschooler on vacation when:

You let your kids enjoy the Muppets' take over of the Today Show (This year you can buy make your own Muppets through FAO Swartz!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting her side

Palin: ‘Never any tension’ with McCain

Nov. 11: TODAY’s Matt Lauer talks to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin about the presidential campaign, her pricey wardrobe, and whether her advisers steered her wrong.

At home with the Palin family

Nov. 11: TODAY’s Matt Lauer talks to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her family at their Wasilla home about how the whirlwind campaign changed all their lives.

What do you think of the press printing anonymous sources?
What do you think of the 'politcal handlers'?

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I've been having a hard time expressing my thoughts about the election and this article comes close.

Its not just that I think people are harder on Bush than is really justified (see today's WSJ article by Jeffery Scott Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry's legal team during the presidential election in 2004.
: HT Ester.) but of course you can't speak that publicly without being chastised.

Its not just that is insulting to think if you VOTE for McCain you must be racist (I liked Allan Keyes way back when.)

Its not just that I believe there are LOTS of women like Palin who are good, capable and who would change this country around. Plenty of women, with great potential, understand that putting their family first as a mom means, when they do get out into PTA, School Committee, Local Government and try for more, they will have less experience and have fewer cronies to help. That doesn't have to be a bad thing. Trying new ways and getting cronyism out of government is a very good thing.

Yes, she made mistakes and wasn't his first pick
and had only 2 months to overcome all that and Stevens
and Trig
and Palin Gate.
(Don't even get me started here: If I had a Brother in Law use his state issued weapon on my nephew-- or any child- - and I was responsible for that state, I would do everything to get him fired. Period. Luckily all my BIL's are respectable, honorable men.)

My difficulty in discussing it really is this biggest issue:
How can a nation, as it finally undoes some of the harm of treating one class of people less human, less worthy of rights,
how can we at the same time ensure that another class of humans will be destroyed even faster? Do those who straddle the fence on life issues not realize the vastness of the life defeats this election?

It was at Consent of the Governed I tought I saw a quote by Thomas Jefferson: I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Busy Weekend

I promise pictures are coming--- need my husband to get them off the new camera for me. We had a great All Saint's Eve party (tradition) and a new All Saint's party after Mass Saturday. Both were fun and easy. Our little choir did well we just need to mike them better or bring them up to the choir loft. I like having them downstairs with them piano where they can be seen and are really part of the Mass but our mikes are much better upstairs.

Biggest news-- my sister had baby #10! Gregory was born on All Saint's (and his big brother's birthday) All is well.

Marie played a soccer game Sunday and gets to play for the championship Saturday (I was REally hoping we were done!)

This week school will just consist of co-op homework and Report Cards. Tuesday we are doing a HUGE to do list and Wednesday spending the day with a friend. Thursday we'll finish the list including packing David and Sarah for a trip with their Youth Ministry to Olean, NY south of Buffalo. Here is the group
Fr. Marek is an energetic young Franciscan from Poland. I really enjoy him and I'm always challenged.
Also this weekend is a baby shower for baby sister! We expect Little Jimmy about Jan 1st.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Saint's Day

Thank you my dear friends for praying this month with me for our husbands, sons, sons-in-law. Taking time this month to have my blog be all about prayer and taking time to focus on my husbands needs and talents has been very good for me and my marriage. The crazyness of fall can put many things out of perspective for our family and this helped me keep my eye on the goal.
Tonight our Children's Choir will sing at a special 4PM Mass and then have a party. I hope you have a beautiful day!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Day 31 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

31. That he may have a holy fear of God.

Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
a good understanding have all those who practice it.
His praise endures for ever!

Prov. 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day 30 Praying for Our Husbands

Let us Pray

30. That the Lord would put a song in his heart.

Psalm 40:3 Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.

Job 35:10 But none says,
‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night,


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Day 29 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

29. That he might learn to manage his time well.

Eph. 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day 28 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

28. That the Lord might protect him, guarding his course.

Prov. 2:8 guarding the paths of justice

and preserving the way of his saints.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 27 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

27. That he might keep a clear conscience.

1 Peter 3:16-18 16 and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God's will, than for doing wrong. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit;


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day 26 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

26. That he might grow daily in character.

2 Peter 1:5-8 5 For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day 25 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

25. That he might grow in humility and in being a shepherd.

1 Peter 5:2-6 2 Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, 3 not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 24 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

24. That the fruit of the Spirit might be exhibited more and more in his life.

Gal. 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.

Jn. 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day 23 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

23. That he might learn to love as God has commanded.

Rom. 12:8-10 8 he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.

1 Cor. 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Eph.5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 22 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

22. That he might not be deceived into unbelief, sin or bitterness.

Matt. 13:8-10 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear."


Day 21 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:

That he might be a man responsible for family spiritual growth.

1 Hear, O sons, a father's instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight;
2 for I give you good precepts:
do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
4 he taught me, and said to me,
"Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live;
5 "Get Wisdom, get understanding!"
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you,
love her, and she will guard you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head a fair garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown."
Good and Evil
10 Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
11 I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered;
and if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Keep hold of instruction, do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of evil men.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Day 20 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:

20. That his self-image might be a reflection of the Lord's thoughts toward him.

Eph. 1:17-19 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might

Rom.12:3 For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.

Psalm 139
1 O LORD, thou hast searched me and known me!
2 Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up;
thou discernest my thoughts from afar.
3 Thou searchest out my path and my lying down,
and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue, lo, O LORD,
thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou dost beset me behind and before,
and layest thy hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?
Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, thou art there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there thy hand shall lead me,
and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, "Let only darkness cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
12 even the darkness is not dark to thee,
the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with thee.
13 For thou didst form my inward parts,
thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful.
Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well;
15 my frame was not hidden from thee,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
16 Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;
in thy book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are thy thoughts,
O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
When I awake, I am still with thee.
19 O that thou wouldst slay the wicked,
O God, and that men of blood would depart from me,
20 men who maliciously defy thee,
who lift themselves up against thee for evil!
21 Do I not hate them that hate thee, O LORD?
And do I not loathe them that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!


Day 19 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:

19. That he would be kept from strange women and evil men, and that his friends would be men and women who walk with God.

Prov.13:20 He who walks with wise men becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 18 Praying for Our Husbands

Let us Pray

18. That he might have a burden to see lost people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Matt. 28:12-20 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, "Tell people, 'His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14 And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Prayer Request

One of my oldest homeschool friends lost her 27 year old son very suddenly yesterday due to complications from diabetes. Please pray for his whole family but especially his twin sister.

Thank you

Day 17 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

17. That he might have new strength in the midst of his busy schedule and that the Lord might infuse him with His strength.

Is. 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Eph. 3:14-19 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day 16 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

16. That he would be a man who enters into spiritual warfare.

Eph. 6:11-12 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day 15 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:
15. That he would learn not to depend on his circumstances for happiness, but on God alone.

Heb. 3:17-19 17 And with whom was he provoked forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 14 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:

14. That he might make me holy, cleansing me by the washing with water through the word by sharing God's word in our home.

Eph.5:26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,


Monday, October 13, 2008

Dat 13 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray

13. That he might grow in Spiritual maturity by putting away childish things, cultivating understanding, striving after the Christ ideal, partaking of the deeper truths of the Gospel, and overcoming temptation.

1 Cor.13:11; 14:20 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 21 In the law it is written, "By men of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord."

Eph. 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;

Heb. 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

1 John 2:14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Day 12 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:

12. That he might stand firm against the schemes of the devil and resist Satan in all circumstances.

Eph. 6:10-18 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; 16 besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 11 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:

11. That he might be a man of prayer, guarding his heart and mind, putting into practice what he has heard, seen and learned.

Phil. 4: 4-9 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. 6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 10 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:

That he might become a called man, not driven, with well-thought-through and prayed-through goals in life.

1 Cor. 9: 24-27 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day 9 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:

May he always look at the plank in his own eye before seeing other's sawdust.

Matt. 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 8 Praying for our Husbands

8. That the Lord might give him wisdom to lead his family physically, emotionally, mentally, and Spiritually.

Eph.1:17-19 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 7 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:
7. That he would be a man of courage.

Deut.31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you."

2 Chron.19:11 And behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the governor of the house of Judah, in all the king's matters; and the Levites will serve you as officers. Deal courageously, and may the LORD be with the upright!"


Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 6 Praying for our Husbands

Let us pray:
6. That he would ever be captivated by my love.

Proverbs 5

18 and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely hind, a graceful doe.
Let her affection fill you at all times with delight,
be infatuated always with her love.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Day 5 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray
5. That he might daily seek God with all his heart, walking in the Spirit moment by moment, growing in his dependence upon HIM.

Psalm 119:1-2
1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,

Prov.3:5,6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Day 4 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:
4. That he might learn to take every thought captive, to not be conformed to the world's thinking and to think Scripturally.

Rom. 12:2 Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
2 Cor.10: 5 We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,


Friday, October 3, 2008

Day 3 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:

3. That he might be a man of contentment:

Proverbs 15:16 Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.
Phil. 4: 11Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content.
1Tim. 6:6-8 6 There is great gain in godliness with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world; 8 but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
Heb.13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never fail you nor forsake you."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 2 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:
2. That he might grow in all 11 descriptions of a man who will not be shaken.

Psalm 151
O LORD, who shall sojourn in thy tent?
Who shall dwell on thy holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right,
and speaks truth from his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue,
and does no evil to his friend,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
4 in whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
but who honors those who fear the LORD;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who does not put out his money at interest,
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

Updated to add:

HT: EsterVery appropriate and fun list of who to marry-- who not to marry.


Here Danielle has another prayer for husbands.

Because the links in Comments don't work.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Day 1 Praying for our Husbands

Let us Pray:
1. That he might become a holy man, a man of prayer, mature in the Lord, growing in his knowledge of the Lord.

1 Thess.5:23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Col. 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always remembering you earnestly in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.
Eph.1:18-19 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might
Eph. 3:16-19 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.
Eph. 6:18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Retreat starts tomorrow

Now you all remember right? You'll link to your sight and do this right?

You forgot? OK Here goes....

Starting October 1 we are going to pray for our husbands in a special way. Using Scripture we will focus on specific things God has said about Godly men and the tasks he requires of them and the relationship he wants to have with them. I know it is hard to know what to pray for concerning our precious men, but I know I want my sons to have a deep relationship with our Lord. I want my daughters who marry to chose a man with a 'heart for the Lord' because that is a man who will deeply love, not just the woman she is now but the woman God calls her to be.

And it is retreat. While I will still be out and about and responding to comments I will not interrupt with other posts.

Note to Husbands:

You are our Dear gifts from God and, as your help-meet, we want to do what is best for you. We are learning to first change ourselves and grow in holiness. We are learning to depend on the Lord so as not to overburden you. We are learning to love you better, here, where you are now and yet to pray for you and your future.
Pray for us while we work through this retreat. As always when the Lord calls us to pray for someone else--- He is really calling us to be closer to Him, often in a way we have avoided before. Pray that we will be open to his Spirit and grow to love and serve Him more.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Oh my, " said she.

Did you also miss National Punctuation Day? It was yesterday but so many found out a day late that their web site ran out of bandwidth and I can tell you no more about it except: my family forum had WAY too much fun with it!!!

So here is some punctuation for you:
""" ;;;;;:::.??,,.!@@@&^%%

You're Welcome.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Tonight we dissected Milton's poem Lycidas and his argument against censorship Aeoropagetica. As the oldest in the class I feel very Humble.

No I did not do better than all the 20 year olds.

Even at discerning the Christian references, never mind the myths.

Anyway, Milton argues that untried virtue is less valuable, less respectable, than virtue that is tested, that has constantly had to chose in temptation, the right path.

As a mom I ask, "at what point?"

Full Disclosure: Spell Check used on this post.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Just updates

I've been quite busy, (yes dear I know its my own fault!)
so here are some updates:

David's team tied, Marie's Won, in Zoe's league its always a tie but they were able to get a treat from Nick's Nest!

Melissa's room is officially clean.

Summer clothes are away!

Big Pork Roast in the oven, with 3 cheese cakes.

Teen Encounter picnic and Mass tomorrow in Southwick after soccer.

Jeffery has a new girlfriend. I'm not amused--- I like Haley.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Praying for our Husbands and Sons Retreat in October (PS This is good for single gals too!)

I made up my mind a LONGGGG time ago to love my daughter in laws as much as my Mother-in-law has loved me. What better way than to pray for my sons to be capable of being a great husband? I hope in that way my sons will search out a truly wonderful woman who reflects strong values and is up to the task of raising good children in the modern world.

I finally found my set of Scriptural Prayers for Husbands. There is one per day for a month. I am going to set them up as a retreat for all of us for October. Feel free to comment on ways your DH exemplifies each virtue and on ways to connect each prayer to the Sacraments of our church or a saint you love.

In the meantime, yes, college and co-op and soccer and ccd and choir and pulling out fall clothes are keeping me very busy. Oh and the conference! (You didn't forget did you?!)


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sidebar updated

I've removed the feed subscriptions because I'm pretty sure they weren't done correctly. I've also added a new Catholic Homeschool Blog Carnival. Actually it is restarting--- and Nissa says:

Now that my family's homeschooling year has begun, I'm ready to begin hosting Catholic homeschooling blog fairs again on Renaissance Academy
Here is a list of upcoming themes through the end of November.
(You can submit your contribution very simply at the Renaissance Academy Blog Carnival page
Sumbissions are due NLT the Wednesday for Friday publication.)

Here's the list of topics and dates:
26 September - Michaelmas
3 October - Zoology/Animals (in honour of St. Francis of Assisi)
10 October - Christopher Columbus
17 October - Health and Medicine (in honour of St. Luke)
24 October - Pumpkins
31 October - All Saints/Souls

7 November - Martinmas
14 November - Music (in honour of St. Cecilia)
21 November - Thanksgiving/ Christ the King
28 November - Hope! - Catholic New Year (1st week of Advent)

I hope we'll get good participation. Please help spread the word. You can grab the graphic here
Please link it back to the following URL:

Let me know if you need help with the code at all.

Blessed wife of Brian, Mother to six miracles and 2 saints.
Simple Gifts Weblog:
Simple Gifts Email List:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Soccer--- oh and school, too.

We had a great Sunday of soccer except I didn't get to watch David. He scored 2 goals which is great enough but he's been unable (due to position and other good players ) since he was 9! Marie and Zoe also had great games so when we were finally home I made blueberry pancakes.

First co-op class was fun -- crazy but good.
Happy Baptism Isabel and Hannah.
Happy Sheila.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


The first week of school is also the week of our first soccer games. We had 2 today and they were great. Cheering! goals! Saves!

But a little hidden thing is far more special to me today.

Thursday I found that my new soccer mom friend (there's a new special one each year) Theresa, who has been a foster mom to 77 kids (its true!) was praying. Praying for a girl she had fostered once who was scheduled for an Abortion Friday.

Today at the game I heard the news--- she didn't go through with it!

Praise God!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of School

Always crazy but always great. We began with a decade of the Rosary and a mini lesson on the Rosary. This year I want to teach them to respond rather than recite together.
For our work, besides Math I am concentrating on the homework for first co-op class on Monday. David will do Chapter 1 of Christ and the America's. Sarah will read Chapter 1 of her Science and do the Content questions. Sarah and Marie are also taking French.

I've already talked to Lissa who has already made friends, loves her drawing teacher and apparently went to school with ALL the notebooks I bought so I needed to run out for some this morning. (It couldn't be that a nervous mom gave her too many!)

More posts coming: pictures of the old fort coming down and Daddy's new project. More anniversary stories, the start of my classes, Adria's new puppy etc.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Its Palin!

Real life Mom.
Exposes corruption to the dismay of established GOP's.

I finally feel like I can VOTE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This and That

I had a funny today. Ester tagged me in a Meme: "what picture I would use for my holy card, should I make it to saint, and of what cause(s) I wanted to be patroness."
Just as I thought: Well I can't scan an old picture, I take one of my messy desk and coffee cup and be patroness of over scheduled, highly caffeinated, techno-moms, in came Zoe. She had just dropped the small digital camera. I think my Guardian Angel is saving me from utter embarrasment!

In other news, we did visit my inlaws and the children they stole borrowed over the weekend. Leslie was brave enough to stay, I burned the top of my chest where I missed with the sunscreen, we saw fireworks: almost ion the beach but the threat of lightnight sent us to her back window. It was both my inlaws birthdays this week. We gave my FIL new BBQ tools with foldable handles like a swiss army knife. For MIL we had the local garden shop make her an herb garden in a terra cotta bowl-shaped pot.

Since then I've spent hours trying to promote our New England Catholic Homeschool Conference. We have a lot of work to do but have reached a wonderful arrangement with Seton. That makes me far more confident. Did you know there are over 20 yahoo groups for homeschooling Catholics in New England and New York! We have GOT to condense people.

What else? September's schedule needs to be prioritized. Its more than a little crazy. And last nigyht Jeff and I shared the wine my parents gave us for our anniversary: a 2006 Bella Sera Pino Grigio! It was lovely!

Blog Plans for fall involve --- consentrating on the group site. To keep you busy here are some things I've read from The Carnival of Homeschooling:

100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers

Who's Running the Show-- on overcoming obstacles in learning something new/hard.

Now that School is a Choice

100 Essential Web Tools for Homeschoolers

Possible idea for GodParent Grandparent Xmas Gift

With Love,

PS I have started trying to added RSS feed but I'm not sure its up correctly. I started trying it at the same time BlogSpot was updating and adding tons of new things. If you try and it worksd let me know.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Marraige and First Anniversary's

Faith and Family's new site is running a series on marraige and its been a running theme here so I thought I'd continue it. For us Anniversary's have been very rael markers of how we're doing. Maybe because so many doubted we would last, or at least that we would be happy. The prevailing opinion was we were too romantic and poor and different. We met at 13 and DH told his best friend that day that he would marry me.
When we were dating other people and his friend that I dated was not being kind, DH reminded him that he liked me more and would ask me out again in a heartbeat. At 18, during the biggest fight of our lives, we decided to marry. We knew in our frustration that our problems stemmed from meeting the right person while too young to do anything about it. We knew either we would never see each other again, or be married forever. Period. It was not romantic. It was factual. It was Faith. It was Real.
Our first anniversary was silly. We bought ourselves camping gear. My parents gift was in a huge cardboard box and they made us guess what it was.

You know don't you?

The Gin Game . Remembering The Dick Van Dyke Show . Mary Tyler Moore PBS

Ok have you laughed at the video of her favorite episode?
Yep, we got an inflatable Rubber Raft. (not self inflating but still very funny)

I, of course, am the impulsive one and wanted to go camping ASAP. Jeff claims he told me the weather didn't look promising but I must not have listen well. We should have slept in the boat. Water poured under the tent while we tried to sleep through thunder. I was so sure if we didn't camp right away we never would. It didn't put us off but still we should go more often.

So what was your first anniversary like?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anniversary Update (and college)

Our anniversary Saturday started with plumbing. It was not quite as messy as our Mortar anniversary (#16, good story, Tell you all about it someday) but still an adventure. My husband of 22 years no longer swears when he has a surprise plumbing job and that sink hasn't drained so well since we moved in 8 years ago.
Mum and Dad stopped by with a bottle of wine in a thermal wine carrier. They hugged me even though I was wiping and oiling the drain snake. Those are special parents. Our card was Daffy Duck. ( Knock Knock! Who's there? WOO! WOO who? WOOO HOO its your anniversary!)
They also awarded Jeff with the BOO of the month award.
Later we (finally) went blueberry picking. Not enough for the year but its been hard to get out between thunderstorms.

We watched a little Olympics (not boycotting the athletes-- a swimmer could change all of China?) while I froze berries.
Grilled some burgers. Then Jeff and I got out.

By then I was filthy but we decided not to make it fancy (I'll wear the blue dress again eventually- at least its stretchy.) We picked up Ben & Jerry's pints to eat on top of Mount Tom and watch the sunset. Of course the park closes at 8PM and sunset was at 7:58 PM so we were asked to 'call it close enough' at 10 of.
We did not want to go home before they were tucked so we went to sit over a beer at Elizer's (named for Elizer Holyoke, founder of much of the area) because there is no dress code. We are SOOO not bar people. Its a great pub but we were barely awake.
It was nice to get home.

(I got into college but have not heard back from the academic advisor and still have to figure out finances. Last night I spent over $200 on Lissa's dorm stuff plus bought toiletries and snack for Jeffery. Do you think they'll use the Clorox wipes?)
(No? me either.)

Monday, August 11, 2008


I have a child who is fearless. Late last night the neighbor rang the bell asking what to do when a snake gets in your house. (In the kitchen! When you're moving! When you are 7 months pregnant! When your football playing, giant teen is afraid of snakes!)

What do you do? You invite a 12 year old peanut of a girl who LOVES snakes.

Perfect love casts out Fear. John 4:18

Tried to find a picture but it may have been an escaped pet. Horizontal Black and white pattern. It was only 1/2 inch around with a tiny head but fairly long.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


May I suggest a visit to Hawaii? My friend Ester is up and running again after being one of the blogspot sites accidentaly labeled spam.

Discuss through her recommended links: the Poverty of Inconvenience, being a great Dad, Manners, How to Kill a Homeschool Support group, and visit her side bar with lots of wonderful daily prayers. She also has a reminder list of those in need of prayer.

Ester, you are an inspiration!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Poor Leslie-Lou

Tried to do a new trick on the swings and now has 3 stitches.

Just for fun


> A recent study found the average American walks about 900 miles per year.>

> Another study found Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of beer a year.>

> That means, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon.>

> > Kind of makes you proud to be an American.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Registration and Vendor forms are now available at

for the First Annual
New England Catholic Homeschool Conference
June 6, 2009
9AM -5PM
Chicopee, MA

Hope to see you there!

With Devotion to His Sacred Heart,

Mary Brazeau and Christine Hebert

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prayers for Justin S please.

And for all the Urban Ed and Summer Scholars Students and staff at WSC, including my son.
Justin was found dead in his dorm the day before the program ends.
Article here

Monday, July 28, 2008

We met 30 years ago and still love to date!

So first of all, thank you for the ideas for dates and the well wishes. There is still time to add your vote to the poll.
On to our actual date plan...

We were still discussing what we might do late Friday but did decide that 'something' outdoors on such a nice day was a must. If we were up to it afterwards we might try a dinner and movie. My only 'mum' request was that we spend some quality time with the kids cleaning- 2 weeks of VBS left us with a mess.
After an hour I was at my wits end and he was back from an oil change so I gladly passed the baton. He had them help clean the car while I went for groceries. I managed to pick fun treats for them, everything on my list And a picnic lunch for us. He realized I was absolutely right about them being wired but a head count proved they were all still alive. (And my van has never been cleaner.)
Groceries half away and cooler packed we took off to buy ice and leave--- when I realized I had forgotten plates, forks, napkins etc. (Hey its been a long time!) Home we went.

Getting lost.....

Now you must understand that we have lived in Massachusetts our whole lives and have rarely been outside the state, but we have not been on an 'outdoors' date in a long time. We toyed with the idea of driving to Vermont like we did as teens but the memory of finding a Walmart at one of our old haunts, under 'our' mountain was too much. Garmin to the rescue!
If you plug in park you get lots of parking lots but then we saw Nonotuck Park in Easthampton which sounded perfect. Of course we were already on I91 nearly in Northampton so it required going backwards. I almost let it get to me when I recognized the road we were on (and a fellow bloggers home) and he didn't.


The place was perfect. The man at the booth saw us wanting a date and let us drive around a pick a spot and we picked the one farthest from the playground and crowds. I set up while he went back to pay and poured us some happy hour. The grill lit fast and we enjoyed giant burgers grilled zuccini, marinated tortelini , feta cheese and olives.

The woods....

I really love the woods and the sense of being all alone there was, it turned out, what we needed. We walked, hidden, and enjoyed the beauty of where the stream and marsh meet the pond. For hours. We dosed on towels but never went swimming. We talked for hours- something always very necessary for our relationship. Gone was the sense I'd had of being the old fuddy-duddy, party-pooper sister/mom/houskeeper. Back was the sense of being half of a very intense, romantic and destined relationship.


When we did leave we bought 2nd hand movies, including Enchanted, and went home to give the kids ice cream cones and snuggle them through a movie. We were actually ready for them. And that I think is the most important part of a date, to be ready to enjoy the everyday again knowing the romance will be there when you take a moment. Ready to look at each with knowing, loving eyes other across the room over pj'd kids with chocolate smiles.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Great Date ideas needed

I need date night ideas because my husband and I really need a fun night together. Yes the wedding was fun but suffice it to say, we need a different night out.
The problem is I'm torn about what that should involve and I'm fairly sure some of what I need in a night is not what he needs. The evening to rejuvenate both of us and this week that's a pretty tall order.
We started dating at 13. Before our parents had considered how they wanted to handle the situation, we ran ahead full steam. We were always broke and without transportation and yet they didn't want us to replace 2 hours out together with a hour on the phone sighing. (Can't imagine why?!!!?)
So we tried to be very prepared for our children. Group events are fine but actual 1 couple alone dating was not going to happen before they turned 16. We also had rules about behaviour on a date and read with the first 2 Steve Woods' How to Find a Good Husband/Wife. It led to some interesting moments. 1 teen misheard and thought we said, done being 16 and hid his dates--- not our intent. The other fought tooth and nail for a few months. ( Bet you can't guess which kid did which...)
The crux of the discussions was that to truly honor your spouse requires respecting the heart and body you will someday give to that person. If you let your heart become battered and cynical, if your body is used, bored, compromised by disease at any qualitative level you are not giving your best to a person you have decided deserves your best. Or, worse, you may settle for someone who you do not believes deserves more.
For them we hoped dating would be closer to courtship: not hiding in a dark movie theater but talking over a class or at a service project; not dancing too close and necking in a parked car but meeting family and joining their weekly softball game. That said we did not ask them to just have courtship which typically is limited to the time after getting your education once you can support a family. The reality is many of those families have teens hide their dating and many go overboard while away at college. (and picking a good school is not enough protection.) I wanted to be present and meet the people they liked even when (especially when) that choice seemed inconsistent with the teen I knew.
Well after 8 years of talking about this with my kids, few times alone with my husband, unaware of what happens on weekends after 6PM, and growing older I have no good ideas for my DH. He not only has few ideas but at this point is nervous about suggesting the wrong thing and that is my fault, or at least estrogen's' fault.

Just us or with another couple? I'm sure just us sounds romantic but it increases the likelihood we'll only discuss the kids or old hurts.

Movie? Same as with the teens - we need to have some time talking about something not just sit in the dark together. (that said, I haven't seen Will Smith, Prince Caspian, Bucket List, or a single Oscar winner in years)

Dinner and Dancing? I wouldn't know where. Don't think I want the disappointment of not recognizing a single song or friend or sister in the crowd. I guess its become only a wedding activity that I can't picture without them.

I do hear the weather will be good. Doing something active would be good for us but when was 'good for us' a date?

Oh and it can't be in Holyoke because we have never had a great date that didn't involve being lost. Weird I know but its has become tradition. So respond, and quickly! Got to get my Dear Husband a Fun Wife and soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Goodbuy from the Murphy8

How do you truly embarass a baby sister? #7 of 7 girls? ( The only boy even had an ordination we helped with, instead of marrying a girl who would have wanted to plan her own wedding!)
First you take a song from a musical and change the words.....


Then your mother explains
B.O.O. the Benevolent Order of Outlaws
(who stole her daughter's hearts)

Introduces the membership: my DH being the founding OutLaw

and inducts the newest Son in-law, being sure he gets a bandana and a membership card with the motto:
I love my Mother -in -law."


The Final Wedding

He loves my sister!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cramming-- not Procrastinating though

Tonight I will be on equal footing with my teen/adult son. Tonight I take my first college exam in USHistory 132 at West. State as he sits next to me. When I announced to the kids that dad and I had decided the time had come and I was going back to school they were very excited. Once the college was chosen, my son told me which class to take this summer that would allow us to go together.
So tonight an impartial Professor will decide which of us understands the material better- the one who has been studying for others for 13 years or the one who has been making others study. I'm nervous but determined.
My one regret is that it does not make financial sense for me to go to the Elms or to major in Parish Ministry. By the time I'm done I need to make enough money to make up for our years raising a large family. I don't mind poor but I don't want to have nothing to retire on either.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


still glad i helped adria

but whew

and yes i am having a beer

to update the rest of you:

we are 3 days into vacation bible school goes to narnia
our parish hall was a mess
our maintenance man who did little was finally fired (5 years too late)
i have my Marie and Zoe back!
2 friends had babies
tomorrow is my first college exam in 20 + years
Friday is TFW ( the last Murphy girl gets married so The Final Wedding, we pray)

BTW way I studied in my son's dorm Tuesday night then he walked my to my car-- I still feel like I won Mommy of the Year when I'm around that boy!

Note to Self: When you perchance enter the family chilli cook off by having your husband make His famous Pulled Pork chilli and he puts you in chanrge of it for a while, you are not off the hook when he transfers it himself to the crockpot. The stock pot will need to be washed even though you slelpt all of Sunday after the picnic, even though monday you cleaned the rotten milk at the parish hall and organized the stuff left there. You kitchen still exists and will be Jealous of the time you spent clewaning somewhere else. You may even find your potatoes have gone bad.
You may need to cook something and play the kitchen CD player while singing Christian Rock to soothe it back to normal.

I know -- after The Final Wedding

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Warning: Rant

I put this rant on my Facebook and debated moving it here. After cooling off: Yes, you should read this. Please note I have read Alice Walker's The Color Purple and could appreciate the characters need to grow beyond the abused child/woman she was expected to be all of her life. I had hoped it was use of fiction to change the future and not an excuse to continue distructive, distrust of all relationships.

HT: Danielle

Go here and read. And let me publicly say I LOVE being a mom. I love every detour its put me on. I love every time I was 'forced' (reminded ) to be home with my family and that this work is great work. I love every tear, wrinkle and gray hair. I love my giant scar and my little ones, vericose veins and extra pounds. Because my children have let me be present at all their good and bad times, they have let me Mother them. ( Mother: a VERB not a noun) Know that I will be there for you my children and nephews and nieces and friends we've adopted. And know that most parents really want to be very different from this feminist who turned in her parent card. Give your parent a chance to show you how strong they are, how loving and creative they can be in searching out solutions. And if you just can't trust them know there really is a Father in Heaven who has given you a Brother in Christ who has given you a Mother you can trust! Please

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Here was our Fourth

Every 2

minutes:"We need a dog."

Ready to go!

Kelley's Pond in background:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


We'll be at my in laws lovely beach house.

Happy Independence Day

Monday, June 30, 2008

Help Please! (or famous last words)

I made the mistake of telling a friend the other day that I 'hate' clotheslines. "Hate' is a dangerous word. In reality what I hated was the rusty clothesline at our first house situated under way to many Oak and Pine trees. Between birds, sap and pollen the clothes weren't clean when the laundry was dry and I made Jeff tear it out of the ground.
So any way my famous last words sat in the house looking at me. I have few trees here. A spot right outside my enclosed back porch window. I could do this! Maybe I can save enough money to justify the second week of VBS during a year of increased costs.

Any tips? My line is pretty saggy even with a tensioner and 2 line separators.

Have you gone this far to save a little money?

If not what have you tried.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Un- Anniversary

23 years ago today we didn't get married. Even though the date was engraved on our one wedding purchase: our rings! After having to postpone we spent the very rainy day in Newport. I didn't realize it but my mother was absolutely sure I'd find my Aunt Millie and elope. We didn't. Our real wedding a year and a month later was wonderful.

I love you Jeff!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Strawberry season!

We have picked at Dickinson Farm, The Food Bank Farm, and Nourse Farm in Whately near Hatfield. Food Bank had the best taste. Dickinson was average for taste, good size berries and decent picking. By the time we got to trying Nourse they had been hit with lots of rain which can leave lots of problems: watery, bland berries, rot or disease. But we just had to try and it was really worth it. The berries were big and juicy but still had good flavor. They did lose some to rot (When they were ready to be picked no one was there due to rain) but the bushes were so bountiful it was easy picking.
Leslie was facinated with the unusally shaped ones and our friend Adria was able to come and pick. We saved the best ones to just eat (2 quarts) made a batch of regular jam and one low sugar. Then I put about 4 or 5 quarts in the freezer.
This is part of my strategy for dealing with prices this year. I'm going to take advantage of my canning jars and my huge freezer to save as much as I can. We started keeping a stocked pantry and freezer back in the Y2K days. (I felt with a large family we had a responsibilty to be ready although we did not go as far as stocking up water and hermetically sealed food. One sister did and I still have a 1/2 barrel of dry milk I use for baking. The grain mill they bought and gave us turned out to be a dud. The wheat was stronger than the metal! We were able to donate her wheat to someone with a good grain mill.)
Any way I think there is no better decoration to a kitchen than visible, beautiful evidence it is used.

Have fun this summer!

Oh and I couldn't help it -
Jeff and I shared some Berkshire Brewing Company Ale (better known as BBC around here.) Incredible micro brew!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time to work, more

This morning I helped my daughter sign a $12,000 student loan. A very scary proposition but I am very sure she has picked the right college.
Today was also a laundry day though I have not gotten very far there.
Also done at the desk was ordering Algebra II, Rod and Staff PreSchool and balancing the checkbook.
David and Sarah were busy showing Marie how to use a 2 wheeler unsuccessfully and little Zoe successfully. Next came discussions of character- not picking on the one who was scared and being happy for someone elses successes. Then they made a HUGE batch of tortilla bread.

Then I decided I'd better get some strawberries preserved so I drove out to Granby. I did actually U-pick -which means I didn't get as many as I should but it was only $20.

And now I must get them frozen and make jam. (Why does that seems so hard today?)

Monday, June 23, 2008


This is the one for my in-laws. Its called Mystic Blues by Quilt Blocks for JoAnn. It was a Block of the Month kit. I saw it at JoAnn's for a year but could not justify the cost. Each square was precut, with all the instructions with the setting and label available separately. It was marked half price but I walked by again. Next visit they were half off the clearance items and I snatched up enough to make 2 full quilts.
Here is the other half. this one is bound in the Navy Blue. My parents' one is bound in one of the light greens. I labeled her's "Experiment" since I did most of my learning on hers. These pics were taken the night I labeled the quilting marks on the squares. I marked the borders the next day and I spent the weekend quilting the borders. Yes I know you are supposed to quilt before you bind but I was discouraged one day and I'm fast at binding. It got me moving again and I was less worried about ruining the edges.
This Block is Puss in the Corner. On my mother's the center square has a letter N for their current cat Nell.
This version of Bear's Paw is called Cross and Crown.
Block 2 wasn't available. (Apparently someone wanted to make a full quilt of the Hour Glass block. So I put in extra of this block: Grandmother's Puzzle. Appropriate I thought. As I quilt I am not trying for 12 stitches to the inch. It would never be finished and they know I'm an amiture. I love to quilt so that it looks homemade. When I washed the marks out of my mother's it came out with the soft, gentle wrinkles that give the quilting character.
I was pleased with the result. The instructions were clear enough. The precut pieces were cut on the straight of grain for the most part: only the Log Cabin square tried to stretch.
I did try using my machine to quilt parts just to speed up the process although it also made the layers more stable for the hand quilting I did.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Great Top Ten ideas

Start with Tech Tips for Catholic Teens' post Ways to Avoid being a Dud at Mass. then follow the links to be more productive (not a dud) at home and at work.

Peace today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Don't forget!

Catholic Carnival is up and running!

Enjoy! and link to it-- it has our post about the New England Catholic Homeschool Conference.

Updated to include:

Homeschool Carnival is also up:

Monday, June 16, 2008


I finished my parents quilt! Just attaching the label now. I'll get a picture of the duplicate I'm working on for my in laws but for now----

Woo Hoo!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New England Catholic Homeschool Conference

Spread the word:

There will be a
New England Catholic Homeschool Conference!
June 6, 2009
St. George Parish
Chicopee, MA

The facility is perfect and right off the Mass Pike. There has not been a large conference in over a decade! We promise a full, energizing, helpful conference with Speakers you'll want to hear and lots of vendors.

But pray for us! None of us have done this before.

(yes I'll set up a web page but for now look here or at

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Plan

So I've been busy fighting migraines. Think I'm back now for a few weeks. My daughter is pushing for me to learn biofeedback but I can't picture being able to meditate in silence in a house that has 4 girls 12 and under.
Sunday's graduation party was nice. We all had fun. Lissa even came for an hour. With friends.
Monday was our last co-op class for Science so we cleaned upstairs while they finished. We went to fun party at night, a fundraiser for hunger programs. It turned out to be a nice night. We met pioneers in homeschooling and a couple that's wanted to ask us about it for a year.
Tuesday was completely lost to the same migraine I had all day Monday. We did some school and I swept but that was it.
Today is farm day, Sarah's first guitar lesson, and, I hope, our first meeting to plan a New England Catholic Homeschool Conference. Please pray for this!
I also want to work on my strategy for getting control of myself again after what I relearned through Bible study this year.

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • daily vitamin
  • 8:30 Mass by myself
  • exercise at Y
  • cut caffeine down more
  • drink more water
  • cut alcohol
  • actually play with the kids (not just watch) 1 hour a day minimum
  • 1 hard week cleaning then keep the kids outside
  • 1 hard week setting up school for next year then put aside
  • take advantage of the air conditioning to finish the quilt for Mum and Dad (I'm so close)
  • restart Cursillo group
  • once a week on a cool day- bake like crazy

Yes I think about it first and stay flexible and tweak the plan as needed, but I really have to get myself back so I feel like I have something to give again.


Friday, June 6, 2008

I've been tagged!

Just write down what you did first today…

'Just' she says! I'm on very late for me 6:05PM EST when I'm usually on at 8AM

Well I'll try.

* The first thing I thought today: Who's crying? (It was Leslie Lou needing water at 5 AM)
* The first thing I ate today: Did I eat breakfast? No, must have been lunch celebrating Lissa's Class Day Awards at Uno's. Apetizer was Pizza Potato skins.
* The first thing I drank today: Old coffe warmed up.
* The first thing I said today: "Get dressed before you eat"( I may have said good morning but not consciously)
The first action I did today: Made a fresh pot in case my father inlaw needed a cup when he got in from the Cape. (OK It was for me too)
* The first thing I read today: Program for Class Day. I wish it said which school the kids were going to and who earned which awards. I also wish they had announced the award Lissa received from Assumption. Without it we couldn't have considered it.
The first item of clothing: ColdWater Creek green tweed pants, Green embellished 3/4 sleeve light sweater and low blue pumps.
* The first person I spoke to today: Leslie 5AM, DH at some point, Did I remember morning prayer? I am so NOT a morning person.
The first chore I did today: Dishwasher*
The first blog I visited today: Ester's right after out family Yahoo site.

Add some more if you want to!

OK First Pleasant surprize: Female Class Vocalist sang a lovely Spanish modern Christian song and announced that it encouraged you to prayer and turn to God when things are hard! Yes its a public school.

Tag? Everyone but especially baby sis at Blessed Mom to One.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

End of Bible Study

Normally we go through the summer and we'd like to continue that but, 2 are expecting this summer and one is moving away. It was a lovely study by Kimberly Hahn (and we watched the companion video) called Chosen and Cherished.
One of the last questions we got to was about taming the hormonal beast that runs rampant through our homes. I said I'd tell them about the year I had it under control It was about 10 years ago.
This is a Fairytale!
Once upon a time, after a frightful 10th year of marriage, The queen decided that good health and a sane, happy couple ruling the kingdom would be best. It took her a year to have the full plan of attack on the Beast ready and implemented.
First there were the vitamins-- not only she but both little princes and both little princesses.
Second were the meals-- she bought very little sugar, fully used every vegetable from her CSA farm share, fully used her Freezer.
Third was sleep. The youngest princess could finally sleep through the night so she took great advantage of that and warned the King: The enemy sneaks in by night. You must help guard my sleep.
Most of all she turned to the great High King! Praying at a couples group that used music as a weapon, she found she could face the daily attacks. Teaching faith daily to the royal children, who were really children of the great High King, renewed her own faith. Every month she went to his ambassador to discuss her failings and receive grace to continue.
At the end of each week the happy couple would celebrate with a quiet dinner alone watching their children play as if there was never a problem in the world.
It was a very joyous kingdom.

Now I have to let Bible study work, let myself be loved by the great High King, get up off my but and try it all again. Because the Beast is worse now and needs to be tamed.

Friday, May 30, 2008


beer and politics

I had only heard about the Miller Beer issues, but for DH I thought I'd link. We need to be thoughtful --as in maybe its time to brew our own again?
How soon is the Ct Valley Brew Fest?

Remember: "Beer is proof that God exist and He loves us." Ben Franklin

Ever wonder why there are so many Csects?

I never thought I laugh about this

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back again

Well I’m a little less melancholy now even though, yes, my friend Margie passed away today. Margie lost an unimaginable 6 children before carrying to term (while her twin struggled with infertility.) It was her house/preschool I ran to when I found out I was losing my first. My mom worked there and I knew I’d have 2 strong, prayerful shoulders to cry on.Then I only knew the shell of her story. When I made my Cursillo she was on team and shared the whole thing. I saw Jesus right behind her the whole time she talked and that is how she lived her life. Like her friend Jesus had his arm around her enjoying every joke and holding her up. She, by then had a lovely family who willingly shared her when she was on team–which was often. Today she’s holding those babies herself!And what did she teach me in Cursillo? There is plenty of community in the Catholic church. It happens when we let Christ in us reach out to others.Last weekend there were 26 Cursillos going on with tens of thousands sacrificing and praying for all those on Cursillo— and all those being called to one.They are internationally known. For community, it is the best.

Little things.

A new baby. Congratulations Nori and Joe.
The girls' winning video is on Gloria TV.
Mass for my brother yesterday was nice. The closing for the Cursillo was also wonderful. I knew 4 candidates and they had a very powerful weekend. A woman from my weekend (back in 92) is engaged and I'm very happy for her.
I still was in a funk though. Another dear woman is passing away. Prayers for Margie and her family would be appreciated. It left me sad because I don't have my Cursillo group anymore because of crazy lives and then one dear friend passing. We also gave up our couples prayer group because of the kids needs. I love my Bible Study but miss my sister who helped start it and 1 member moves away soon.
I need to concentrated on the Blessings not the losses.

"Seek out Joy, Its better than happy and defeats sad." Dianne Murphy (my mom)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Corpus Christi

We celebrate on the Sunday after in our Diocese. As I listened to the reading from the Old Testament about God bringing the people through the desert for 40 years it all seemed to appropriate to my stage of life: The Lord telling me I had to go through the things I did in order for Him to bring me to the Promised Land. I'm looking forward not back, seeing the possibilities. At least on this sunny day.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This weekend

Prayers for Cursillo--- my sister is on team!
Prayers for my SIL --- who graduates from Mount Holyoke!
Prayers for my brother--- 7th anniversary of Ordination!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yep We've been busy.

I've been quilting like crazy in part because Mum has decorated her bedroom around the quilt I haven't finished. But also to procrastinate cleaning the desk. Its a disaster. So tomorrow I need to be at the desk except for Bible Study, and Lissa's show, and scouts.