Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Creating a Vision

Click on the post title to read about the creation of a Vision for our Catholic Homeschool organization and co-op. It was a blessed evening.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Birthday David!

David, our joy, turns 13 today. What a fun, talented young man you are!
Love, Mum

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A productive Saturday after all.

All month I had way to much to do that I coudn't touch because of our flu. Today after taking David to test for his Orange stripe in Kung Fu I made stew, drove a teen home from work, found most of the info for FAFSA, stared 3 FAFSA forms online, and cleaned out and shredded a bag of old paperwork and clean out 2 file drawers!

Friday, February 15, 2008

To my Valentine

Thank you for my early gift when you saw how sick I felt Wed. I'll put all my Christian and other uplifting music in the kitchen so you come home to a wife who has prayed, sang, and danced her way through making dinner.

Thank you for my other 7 Valentines.

Thank you for handling things instead of getting a date while I was crumpled up in bed with out you all day Valentine's Day.

Thank you Father, that the real St Valentine reminds us that love is a sacrificial decision. and for a husband who lives it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Praise God!

The first ever Catholic Women's Conference of the Diocese of Springfield has 855 registered before the early bird deadline!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Zenit is a non profit Catholic News organization out of Rome. It provides translations of all letters and documents, sermons from those who preach to the Papl household, (like Fr. Cantelamessa), and a wealth of information.
Today I read a translation of a letter to Rome on the crisis in Education, and it is very inspiring, challenging and yet reasuring. The gentleness of our Shepherd is an often unrecognized gift from our God.

It also bore sad news. Eduardo Bonnin, founder of Cursillo, died at age 90 last Wednesday February 6. From the article:

"Laypeople's role
The Cursillos of Christianity began in Spain, on the island of Mallorca, between the years of 1940 and 1949. "Numerous laymen and some priests, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, discovered very clearly the fact that laymen too, in virtue of the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, perform an active role in evangelization," the national secretariat site explained.
The movement spread throughout all of Spain and from there to the Americas and beyond.
A wake is under way today and will continue through Feb. 9. The funeral will be celebrated Feb. 12 by Bishop Jesús Murgui of Mallorca."

I am a child of Cursillo and also a Cursillista. I was old enough when my parents went to sense the great change that happened in our family. It began simply. While my mother was on her retreat my father sat us at the table to color. For what may have been the first time we actively prayed for her and her special time with Jesus.
When I made my Cursillo my husband taught my 2 little ones to pray for me, actively! Life has never been the same.
Remember: Christ is counting on you!

and I on Him.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Church Fathers

HT: Ester, who found this at Mary Ellen's


Link will take you to a plan to read from 10 churchs Father's over the course of Lent with just 10 minutes a day. I may not get to it now but I want to do this in the future.

Sunday, February 10, 2008



Please pray for the Basilians, one of whom is my brother, as they try to dialogue through persecution in Canada. They are a very interesting group of priests: living in community, teaching at colleges and highschools, interactive with people of all faiths, in service to the poor in many places.

Friday, February 8, 2008

This Weekend and this week:

  1. MROL: Part 2: Person-- I will take my vitamins, medicine, eat healthy, sleep, enjoy some sewing, have my prayer time, and do those tasks that leave me feeling caught up and less stressed. (listed below)
  2. Co-op: I will write an exam and get a plan in place for parents to give the exam.
  3. Boston: I will arrange for people to watch or check on my kids so I don't come home to any surprises when DH and I go on this business trip.
  4. Taxes/FAFSA: I will do my filing, mail the last forms to the tax guy and start the FAFSA's.
  5. College: I will arrange to meet with the English/History Advisors at both schools, fill out my applications and arrange recommendation letters.
  6. Less blogging, movies, distractions from what is really important to me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday letter to my First Communion families.

Lent is here!
This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Ashes available at Mass 8:30 am and 5:15 Pm or at a service at 3:30 pm. It is a day of Fast for everyone 18 to 59 years old. Children could learn by having a simpler meal. If snacks are necessary they could also be simple.It is also a day of Abstainence as are ALL the Fridays of Lent. This means having no meat for anyone 14 to 65 years old. Children can help pick meatless meals. (Did you know when the Friday rule –no meat on any Fridays- was lifted it was with the requirement that we instead make a different sacrifice of our own chosing to unite ourselves to the Passion of Christ?)
You may want to find a way know to make Mardis Gras, Fat Tuesday, a special one in your home.So what should little children do for Lent? Actually, helping them learn about sacrifice is a true service to them and their future. As adults we know it is work to give up things we love and yet we must do just that on a daily basis. By helping them learn to do without we prepare them to do so gracefully when they must.
Children may do better with a child size sacrifice. Let them pick a different thing each day or each week. Performing an act of Mercy, Corporal or Spiritual is often easier. If you give up chocolate can you donate a dollar to the poor to reflect what you would have spent buying the candy?
Try giving a visual of the good they do adding up. Place a grape vine wreath stuck with toothpicks on the table. For each good deed, extra prayer, saint book read they remove a ‘thorn’ from Christ’s Crown. On Easter morning let them find it full of silk flowers.
As these children are about to make their First Communion an appropriate Lenten gift to Jesus would be to spend time with Him at Adoration: every Friday 8:30 Mass till 6pm or at the Dominicans on Rt 5 all day every day. Or perhaps attending Mass during the week. (Shorter, weekday Masses are a great way to work on behavior or participation issues with little ones.)

Most important is to model having a good attitude about sacrifice. Let your child see its not easy for you either and there is value in doing what is difficult. Not to give you an excuse but its actually good for them to see we don’t always get this ‘Lent thing’ right all the time!Plan ahead having your family go to Reconcilliation before Lent is over. Making their second Reconcilliation while everything is familiar helps reduce the stress some people associate with a lovely Sacrament.
May the season bring your family great Blessings!
Mary Brazeau

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Strange Juxtaposition

Mardis Gras and Voting Day

Close your eyes and pull a lever then celebrate like there's no tomorrow.

When you hear the results fast and pray for 6 weeks.

Also on my mind: If MCCain wins and it does completely overhaul or destroy the Republican Party can we actually manage to create a truly Pro Life party as an alternative?

Monday, February 4, 2008

MROL/Father Daughter Dance/ and other craziness this weekend.

Well, yes, we watched the Pat's lose. We just stayed home as we are still exhausted from the flu. My husband is finally coughing less and did NOT crack a rib Friday. He just pulled a muscle and can move again. My Mother's Rule of Life that I am starting includes a morning Rosary but but I'm posting first.
Saturday was the big Father Daughter Valentine Dance and inspite of the pain DH did take the girls--- all 5! I think he has had the most dates in the past few years.
After a brief shopping/sanity trip I spent the day doing hair and pedicures and manicures and chosing outfits. They all looked lovely.

David and I spent way too much at Barns and Noble in the 1 hour we had then he bought me a sundae at Friendly's!!! We ate them after I picked everyone up from the dance and watched Batman Begins.

Well its off to co-op. Book talk later!

Friday, February 1, 2008

History Day Fair

National History Day is an organization devoted to improving the study of History and encouraging students to look indepth. All across the nation colleges and historical societies are sponsor local events for students to compete in a forum similar to science fairs. Most students create an exhibit examining a Historical event or person in light of the theme, this year's being Conflict and Compromise in history.
Other students are getting really creative with Performances, Documenatries, and Web Sites or are going really in depth writing 10 pages Essays. All are learning the importance of going to look at Primary resources rather than only reading other peoples opinions on an event. So they read the Declaration of Independance and the letters of Thomas Jefferson rather than a text book and an encyclopedia only.
Last night our homeschool group ran its local event and it went off well. 2 of us took over managing it a few years ago and while I love it I don't get to see all the displays while I'm in the back room. I definitly need to get a better plan in place.
That said the kids worked hard and the event went well. We had 26 students with 18 displays. Five parents helped with judging and we had a visit from the woman who runs the Regional competition at STCC in Springfield, Virginia Ahart. Her insight into which projects should move on to compete was so helpful and its always wonderful to meet a true educator out to find new ways to get students to grow.
One unique part of our night is Kids Vote! All the kids get a ballot and help choose the 'Most Fun' ' Most Informative' 'Most Colorful' 'Neatest' etc. It gives them a voice and gets them looking more carefully at each project so each child is exposed to new parts of history. Did you know that organge rabbits in England during World War II were part of a plan to win the war?
With homeschool families we get some very interesting ones and our little ones want to be included. we had an almost 5 year old who did Famous American Landmarks. The best was his 4 foot model of the Empire State Building complete with King Kong and Fay Ray! (but his favorite monster is Godzilla he told me.)

Lots more information is available at www.nhd.org

Events are simple to run: Judging forms are available online as are the rules for those who wish to move on and compete. However at the local level you certainly do not need to use the rules as more than a guideline especially if you want to inclue little people. Participation Certificates are an easy take home to make for the kids. We ask $3 per exhibit(or per student) with a $10 max per family. If we have money left we give some toward the registration of students moving on to Regionals. We also set up a coloring contest for the little people. we have even had a quiz for the grown ups matching famous people to a list of quotes. Get creative! Start one for your community!