Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I can't find my desk....

... and I need a To Do list so you are stuck seeing it.

(The following is rated R for Really? You think you can do all that?)
(UPdated: at 5:30 while waiting for my guy's to return.)

Half done-Read about Dental Insurance and gather paperwork for HR (on the way)
Done Bank Deposit
Done Get Sarah to Co-op
Done Buy Milk
Plan Dinner (Leftovers)
Hang Christmas Cards (Did the ones at the top of the pile)
Done Grammar, Math, Penmanship, Spelling,
Failed Phonics
(However the level of guessing, doing only half, forgetting to get work corrected etc ends soon!)
Boy Scouts (David’s decided to stop going till Wrestling is over. Probably smart even though he is one scout leader conference from Star)
Wrestling- one the way home with dad now. First meet tomorrow.
Done Laundry (not put away
Iron—I’ll need to vacuum first and apparently its time to trade my kid size plastic hangers for real ones. Tonight.

One blessing was that an extra ride (and stealing the daughter with the address early enough so she wouldn’t get home while I was out and could help me ((see how crazy I am lately)) find my sister’s new house) meant I actually saw my sister’s new house while its new!

Anyone know a trick to add strikethough font?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Very Grateful today for my husband and my kids.
Happy that I saw my sister Amy yesterday.
Glad I went to bed early after an hour on the phone with a friend.

The last month of both of us job searching has been exhausting and fun and frustrating and rewarding all at the same time. Now its time to pray about our priorities and, again, what is best for our family. Please say a little prayer of thanksgiving that we actually have a choice when so many are looking at a bleak holiday season.

Still praying and thinking over here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where to see my Mom's other art!

Dorene invites you to visit
VALLEY HANDS Where Artists & Gifts Collide
We have an appealing selection of one-of-a-kind items handcrafted by local artists –
many of which are Cursillistas!

Diane Daigle – handpainted ornaments and watercolors
Terri Mariani, Barb Griffin, Kathy Tobin – Forget-Me-Not gift baskets
Dianne Murphy – watercolor and oil paintings
Dorene Pennell – floorcloths, Wish Art, note cards and prints
Jan Peters – pottery
Susan Rohm – wall and table vases using recycled materials
Roma Wilk – handpainted clothing and portraits
And many more . . .

OPEN Thursdays and Saturdays 12noon – 6pm
and 2nd Friday of Each Month 4-8pm for Meet the Artist Event
Chat with the artists, pull up a chair and Watch Art Develop

Mark your calendars! Artist demonstrations:
Friday, Nov. 13 – Mimi Lempart from Florence, Jasmine Thomas from Springfield and Ramiro Davero-Comas
Friday, Dec. 11 – Lisa Benson from Northampton, Susan Rohm from West Springfield and Shelly Dziubek from Amherst
.
Thank you for your support, Dorene
VALLEY HANDS
Where Artists & Gifts Collide
342 Pleasant Street ~ Northampton ~ Park right out front
Exit 18 off I-91, head toward Northampton Center, we’re on the right just past Memory Lane Antiques
and before Keller Williams Realty. Look for orange awning.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Anglicans, Welcome Home!

From a friend:

Anglicans, Welcome Home!
Pope Benedict has just invited the Anglicans into true communion, that is, communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! This is probably the best news I have heard all year!In a stunning move on Tuesday, the Holy Father issued a decree which created a provision allowing whole Anglican communities to become one with the Roman Catholic Church while retaining their own leadership and traditions. This move is unprecedented! In reality, it has been so long in coming, and I often wondered why acceptance of these willing communities was not done decades ago. Clearly, the progressive penchant for increasing "dialogue" and endlessly maintaining "diversity" made it impossible for them to switch sides, but now that barrier has been wiped away. It would seem that such willingness on the part of so many to rejoin the One True Church would be an opportunity of epic proportions for evangelization. Yet, it took a clear-thinking German Pope to reverse, in part, the damage that his countryman Martin Luther and King Henry VIII did to the unity of the Church almost 500 years ago.
It is said that as many as 50 Anglican bishops and their communities around the world have asked for union with the Roman Catholic Church. There is one group of traditionalist Anglicans who number between 400,000 and 500,000 members and are expected to be the first to take the leap. I pray that many more will walk through the doors that lead to full Catholic unity!
The real question is why anyone at all should stay in the Anglican Church. What is there to stay for? Anglicanism is basically committing doctrinal suicide, much the same way that England's population is about to implode due to their excessively high abortion and contraception rates and their hedonistic culture. All of that culture rot, of course, is symbiotic with the Anglican rebellion against traditional morality which slid precipitously from Henry's heresy to a homosexual hierarchy in a few short centuries. I am glad to see that some Anglicans are not taking it any more. Many have now realized that the only place they can find the unadulterated (no pun intended, Henry...) Truth is in the Church that Christ founded to be the "pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tim 3:15) for all ages. Those who stand on the Rock of Peter have solid footing for answering all the most important issues of any day. The holy English martyrs must be rejoicing in heaven knowing that they did not shed their blood in vain!
In order to "manage expectations," however, we have to let the Anglicans know that they will not enter a perfect Church by any means, just a True Church, but that is the reality of this human institution with a divine soul. They may meet some who are still mired in the relativistic morals they thought they had left back in London. They may meet others who work precisely against the teaching of Christ while remaining within our chanceries. They will find a Church that badly needs a leadership overhaul and a good scouring of the Temple, but more important than any other consideration is that they will be in Christ's Church and they will now strengthen us in our fight for the Truth! We can only be overjoyed at their entrance. Their orthodoxy will amplify the voice of traditional Catholics hopefully enough to drown out the voices of dissent with our ranks. May the entrance of the faithful Anglicans serve as example of authentic faith to all who belong to our Lord!
Now I have a request for all faithful Catholics who love unity. Whenever we hear of those from the Anglican Communion returning to the Church that Christ founded, please seek them out and give them a hero's welcome! I have already written to the community of Anglican nuns in Maryland that recently embraced the Ancient Faith, and it was such a joy to do so! Let us thank them and tell them how inspiring their journey is to us who were born into this Church. Their entrance into full communion reminds us of the precious gift we have been given in the authentic Catholic Faith. Let us also assure them that they are welcome in the Church to which Christ promised the very keys of the Kingdom of Heaven!
Sincerely,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International
http://www.hli.org/index.php/component/acajoom/?act=mailing&task=view&listid=2&mailingid=678

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Bears have new homes!

My mother's bear raised $900 for local art programs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All Saint's Eve

St Stanislaus invites you to join the San Damiano Youth and MorningStar Adoration group for an All Saint's party.
Where: School Gym
When October 31st
Time: 6PM Youth Mass followed by party 7-8:30
Wear: Saint/Bible Character or story or animal from the Ark
Cost: $1 per family plus one or more bags of candy depending on how many children you bring. ( May bring a snack for the sharing table. Money goes towards drinks.)
Want to help set up? 4:30 PM!
To volunteer or ask questions call Joe Strain 788-4342

Monday, October 12, 2009

How life has changed:

My Dear Husband is THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unemployment is tough. The first two weeks you spend doing so much paperwork its hard to look for work: applying to unemployment, re-applying when they tell you to apply in CT not Mass, updating your resume, checking on health insurance etc. Jeff received his layoff the day before we left for our vacation with his parents. That meant spending 3 days on the telephone helping customers who preferred him to handle their account, telling good friends who might be in a position to help, talking with coworkers who were upset. He surprisingly--(no I'm not surprised, they were) it was Jeff doing the calming.

After about 6 weeks of contacting every business he knew and several interviews the reality set in. He's required to apply to a certain number of jobs each week but there just are not that many out there. After a while a job search just doesn't take your whole day. In all I saw about an hour of self pity and then he was back to being his innovative self. He joined Facebook. He's joined LinkedIn, a social networking site for business people. He created a website that showcases his ideas about business in general-- not just print-- as well as his photography, oh, and his resume.

First week of school he spent the afternoon keeping the kids busy with outdoor activities so I could deep clean, pull out fall clothes etc. Second week he watched us school and by the third week he was really keeping us moving. When I had the opportunity for two weeks of temp work he was ready to roll. Everyday school was done and the house was clean and I came home to DELICIOUS food.
He joked that someday he'll be a good wife for some woman-- I said he already was!

Anyway he really is the best! The kids have a newly energized person teaching them. I am confident when I leave for class, work, or pre-practicum-classroom-observation that everything is OK. Best of all I can see how happy he is! He has always been someone who respected my work as a Stay at home mom and homeschooler so he can stay positive seeing himself in that role. He's even going to help my sister keep her little boy out of daycare! Baby Jimmy will hang with Uncle Jeff starting Thursday. (He's a sucker for babies!)

Life is Good!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Catholic Mom in Hawaii: Book Review - No Spirit..No Church

A Catholic Mom in Hawaii: Book Review - No Spirit..No Church: "skip to main skip to sidebar
A Catholic Mom in Hawaii Omnes cum Petro ad Jesum per MariamThursday, October 08, 2009
Book Review - No Spirit..No Church

Fr. John Randall, S.T.D"

Thank you Ester-- I will get this book.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Save the Date! Spread the Word!

The second New England Catholic Homeschool Conference is booked for Saturday June 5th in 2010! Our new facility is the Saint Stanislaus School and The Basilica of St Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr on Front St in Chicopee, MA. Details will follow very shortly!
Please watch our website at wmch.stblogs.com


With devotion to His Sacred Heart,
Mary Brazeau and
The Team at WMCH
wmch.stblogs.com
http://crossfire.org/covenant

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Auction Open

The Easthampton BearFest Online Auction has begun and goes until the live Auction October 15th. Go here to follow the bidding.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I owe you!

I know its been two weeks but all of my writing has been for class. Here is the video on the 4th mystery of the Luminous Mysteries including my son David at camp this summer at Quiet Waters in New York.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xedYI_jZg20

Friday, September 4, 2009

Kansas City Bishops Issue Joint Health Care Reform Pastoral Statement

Found this at Faith and Family Live
Thoughtful, reflective, cuts through conservative and liberal jargon for a pssoitive assessment.

Kansas City Bishops Issue Joint Health Care Reform Pastoral Statement

Shared via AddThis

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Petite pilgrimage

We went to The St Anne Shrine in Fiskdale, MA

It was too damp to walk the grounds or do Stations but we went to the icon museum, met friends of our host and went to 4PM Mass together. Later we had time to shop pick up Uno's pizza and eat at our host's home. We watched the Diocesan news at 7PM and I learned my parish will be linked with the local Franciscan run parish. (Another post for another day--- ideas for a new blog-- seeing opportunities!)

Then we grouped. These ladies are my companions on the Cursillo journey. I've been invited, again, to share and pray with them and recently accepted the invitation. The Cursillo method of small group sharing was prasied by Pope John Paul II among others as a Spirit led
inspiration which led to many movements in the church using the small group model.

Ladies: I love you! I thank God for you! I have not laughed so hard in a long time and I truly feel honored that you trust me with your journey. I already feel very supported in my journey.

DeColores!

Mary B (mum's original-- not the other Mary)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Parish Closings

In all the 2 counties locally that have not yet had parish closings will lose 14 parishes by the end of the year. Another 8 will close over the course of the next few years through mergers. The announcement will be made through a TV address Saturday at 7PM in place of the Diocesan show Real to Reel and through personal letters to each parish to be read by the pastors at Mass this weekend.
More here: http://www.iobserve.org/

Please pray for our Diocese.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Julie and Julia

My parents and I and 2 sisters went Saturday night and laughed all night! Ignore the critics with their 2 stars. One said, Julie should get a life-- well, yes! That's what she was trying to do. She set herself a goal of trying all of Julia Child's recipees in one year while blogging about the experience to break out of the dolroms of a depressing post 9/11 job in New York city while living over a pizza place in Queens. For all of us that have watch cooking shows, (or quilting, or home repair or painting teachers) hoping to learn something it really explored how crazy it is to look up to who we think that expert is.
For all of us who blog, sometimes revealing to much, more often revealing only the good side its a unique exploration of this modern phenomena. How many of us have stared at a line of type with tears in our eyes only to delete it? How brave are the few who type the reality of their difficulties to share with the world hoping to let some soul know they are not alone! (Yes, I mean you Margaret, and Danielle and Christine!)

But the humor, the laughter, the beauty of Paris were also accompanied by the sweet, real, passionate marriages of the 2 couples and I loved seeing marriage looked at in such a light.

Go.
Ignore the few bad words-- they are well placed and meaningful, no superfluous efforts to modernize or attract a certain audience.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

St Anthony,

St Anthony
Come around!
Somethings lost that can't be found!

(I hate cleaning my desk. I always file something too well while someone is talking and then can't remember where!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What a crazy Friday!

Great computer find distracted my start to cleaning.

My college advisor thinks I did well enough on the CLEP to skip Intro and go right into Adolescent Psych.

Great Adoration: distracted by the girls but they were so sweet.

Got my MTEL results-- I passed! Finish my BA and I'm a teacher!

Found out I can avoid bifocals for now-- by pulling off glasses to read.

Made great chilli.

Sad news about Mary Ellen-- lost her son Ryan to drowning.
(Edited on Monday 8/17/09: Ryan, like many with autism, suffered seizures. Please pray for his family.)

DH and kids came home FLYING from their retreat!

Please support their retreat/recording/ministry http://www.quietwatersproductions.com/

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CLEP

Well I did so-so on the test. Technically I got enough points to skip Intro to Psych and take Adolescent. But it wasn't a pretty number.

Tomorrow at 5 I get my MTEL results.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Faith

Faith & Family Live! : From Puerile to Pure

Posted using ShareThis

5 Year old figures out her world

Watching a Bounty commercial: "How come the moms always do that work? "
"I'm not sure, " says the mom, "I guess they just see it."
"Yeah, " says a 5 year old, "The moms must have the bigger eyes."

(This was followed by why are you laughing!)

Then I tucked her in. Now the night before Grandpa had spent the night. We made crazy arrangements with the airbed and the 5 year old's mattress creating a guest bed in the toy room. I had not undone the arrangement and offered 2 choices: sleep again with the 8 year old or sleep in the toy room. She picked the toy room.
As she sank in the pillows she sighed: "Whenever I have to sleep in Grandpa's bed I will cause it reminds me of grandpa."
She slept all night.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Farm season sadness

Our farm is completely organic and due to blight has lost its tomatoe crop. A little more sun might have helped. Fewer big box store plants being sold in the area would have limited the spread to area farms. (Support local grown food!!!)

Anyway thanks to Minnesota Mom I have the link to a New York Times article by The Minimalist listing 101 Simple Salads: half of them only have 3 ingredients! So easy.
Go Here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Last post of NECHC 2009

The Talks are posted!
Go to http://wmch.stblogs.com/2009/07/30/the-talks-are-up/ for all the links!


With devotion to His Sacred Heart,
Mary Brazeau and
The Team at WMCH
wmch.stblogs.com
http://crossfire.org/covenant

(ready for 2010?)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Love the farm!

Dinner: crouton like slices of baguet seasoned and baked. Bought and topped with cheese and warmed just till melty. Served with fresh salad from the farm.

Done.

Culinary Treat

Oatmeal bread with peanut butter and coconut flakes. Yum

and DH brought me coffee!

Off to study Psych.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sarah and Emma 13!






















Planning next year :P

Will I be taking classes or teaching? or both?
Will I be working or Jeff? or both?
What about CCD? Music lessons? Co-op?

Can I get enough people for the 2nd annual conference?

I was just waiting to see but... I've been considering one more adventure. Say a prayer! Lots of discerning needs to happen over here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What a week!

First its official-- Jeff is laid off. We knew this was coming and he already has an interview lined up. We have a special prayer intention though: a friend has been trying to grow business till he had an opening for Jeff for a long time. They would work very well together.
Second we still went to the Cape, saw my inlaws, had our 4th Bike parade, 3 beach days, it was great!
Third we came home to find the fridge had died. (Hopefully we can have the compressor replaced.) I lost my frozen stawberries, and quite a bit of food. We have the basement freezer and I should have moved more down there. Anyway we are living out of an oversized dorm fridge for a few days.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Independence Weekend!

We'll be all over. My son will be enjoying his new car, Melissa will be visiting friends and painting and beading, most of us will visit my in laws and enjoy a local 4th of July parade.

God Bless this wonderful nation!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Its been a whole week!

So sorry, but I've:
Set up New England Catholic Homeschooler-- a yahoo group for those interested.
Started inviting people to the group-- can only do 50 at a time or you become SPAM
Picked berries and filled the freezer.
Held a party for Mom and dad's 45th wedding anniversary.
Posted pics of the Conference.
Hosted my niece Mary and shipped off Sarah.
Been to a Spaghetti Supper and posted pics.
Finally turned in David's High School paperwork- well most of it.
Helped my son after his car was hit- totaled but we are fine.
Almost balanced the checkbook!
Gone to see a show with my Mum- Carousel in the Berkshires!
Gotten up to book 3 in Narnia with the girls-- using the original publication dates. (Please never let anyone convince you to read them in chronological order for your first time through! )
Even the 5 year old can recite:
"There once was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb and he almost deserved it."


Best of all last night I had an hour long soak in the tub! I am however ready for summer weather/shower season to begin. I miss the sun!

As Adria would say-- I've been a real slacker!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Easthampton Bear Fest Opening!



Peace Bear.


Madam Bearterfly




Circus Bear




Bearly There



Master's Essentials











Astronaut Bear

and finally...........

The Gingerbear Man with artist Dianne E Murphy of Art for the Journey






with Dad on their 45th Wedding Anniversary






















































Portrait-- yes all the 3 D candies she made-- out of Sculpy/Fimo clay, and the pocket watch works.

















Recipee in back pocket


























Mum gave away delicious ginger bear cookies-- 144 of them!



























































This was another favorite-- the Mountain Park Bear with an original turnstyle from the park next to it.

There are a couple we didn't see and a couple beauties we didn't get pictures of yet. we did try Opa opa's special bear brew-- yum! And Mt Tom Ice Cream's hand made Bear tracks flavor-- double YUM!



Easthampton Bear Fest









Happy 45th Anniversary Mum and Dad and Mom and Dad!

We celebrate my parents this weekend at the opening of the Easthampton Bear Fest and Mass tomorrow(Jimmy's up to say Mass!) . Hoping for a picnic next weekend when Amy's up and praying Rosie feels up to it.

We celebrate my in-laws as soon as we can get to the Cape! Hope its very soon!

Love, Mary

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

2 days to go!

First -- way too many last minute registrations but that has to be. We knew the communication level between NE Catholic homeschoolers was weak at best.

Second -- if anyone asks you the Conference is for the PARENTS. So sorry but we do not have accommodations to ensure kids safety and interest level. Yes our teens will be there -- working supervised. Yes nursing babies are welcome.
Remember--in front of your children we often edit what we say. Hard to talk about the right curriculum in front of a child. And this counts as a school day--- in service day just like paid teachers have.

Third-- Thank you Dear Hubby for taking some vacation time to help!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Let's hear it for Holyoke!

And sewers guaranteed to back up at least once a year, on a weekend.

Blech!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Special intentions

Three:

For Margaret-- not my sister, she'd kille me if I called her Margaret-- Nope-for Minnesota Mom! Praying for a safe delivery.

For the Conference-- its hard to think of anything else!

For Dear Hubby-- he has a special intention too!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Meet my Mom's creation at:


Easthampton Bear Fest

The GingerBear Man will be on display with many, many others all over the beautiful little town of Easthampton

By artist Dianne E. Murphy of Art for the Journey

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Prayers Please

This little girl and her cousin were in my CCD class last year and I went to high school with her dad and uncle.

Emma Hobert Fundraiser:
A Night Out For Emma....
The family and friends of the Hobert family are holding a fundraiser for
Emma Hobert, a third grader at McMahon School (Holyoke). This beautiful
little girl needs our support. Just a month ago, eight year old Emma was living life
to the fullest and was very active in sports. However, in the last few weeks everything
has changed and Emma is now battling Lyme Disease and Guillain -Barre Syndrome (GBS)
(http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/gbs/gbs.htm).
GBS has many serious complications, and now Emma must re-learn all the things we take forgranted ... She has just been moved to Spaulding Rehab Hospital in Boston to learn to sit and
walk and eat all over again. The road ahead will be long and hard on her and her family.
So we are asking for your help to support her family.

A fundraiser is planned at the Holyoke Knights of Columbus on Friday, May 29th at 6:00 P.M. This fundraiser is to help the family with medical costs along with any
other equipment or modifications that may be needed to help Emma get back on the
field again...There will be music, raffles and food. Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased in
advance or at the door. Donations can be made directly to:
The Emma Hobert Fundraiserc/o Holyoke Credit Union 490 Westfield Rd
Holyoke, MA 01040
Emma is the daughter of Paul and Cindy Hobert. Many of you know the Hobert
family from Hobert's Funeral Home, a local business that has been inHolyoke for over 100 years. Many of you also know Cindy from caring for yourchildren at Holyoke Pediatrics for many years. Now is our chance to help the Hobert family through this tough time.

Thank you for your support for Emma and her family.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day All!

My dear husband was able to have the kids let me sleep till almost 7:30. They made me eggs, decorated, made cards and of course bought me the best DVD any mother could hope for:
HellBoy II! I really did like the first -- a Catholic superhero fighting the spiritual battles.

He did buy me what I hoped for: I want to collect a Pandora Bead for each of my children. Today I received the J for my oldest. My sister gave me the bracelet for CHristmas and my godson the bible with a cross on it. For Valentine's Day Jeff let me show him how to buy them and bought me a bead covered in hearts.

Then I was blessed to have the choir director change the last song so I could sign Magnificat from Stearn's Vespers. I love it and mostly hit the high notes. Then I was nice to me and sat and quilted, watched Fever Pitch etc. I made an easy supper which will be soon. Yes Adria we opened the Australian Reisling and I love it!

Here's to all those moms whose children or husband do not understand the specialness of the day-- we pray for you!
Here's gratitude to all the husbands and kids who get it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why Homeschool: The power of technology

Why Homeschool: The power of technology

Show your students!

Blogging gone crazy

At The Crescat The Catholic Cannonball Awards Vote is happening.
From her site:

"... VOTING HAS BEGUN! Polls close May 23rd. Follow the links below to view the nominations and vote. Thank you all for your participation.
Best Blog By A Religious
Best Catholic Political Blog
More Catholic Than the Pope
Best Blog By A Heretic

Best Armchair Theologian
Best Underappreciated Blog
Best Visual Treat
Best Spiritual Treat
Best Bat Shit Crazy Blog
Best Church Militant Blog
Best Potpourri of Popery
Snarkiest Catholic Blog
Best Hifreakinlarious Blog
Best New Kid on the Block
Susan Boyle Award
Best Catholic... Updated More Often


"She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick"

Carolina Cannonball

"The time of persecution is coming. If brought up on charges of being a Catholic I hope there's enough evidence to convict me." "

Funny lady!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Nancy Larson Publishers

Did you know the author of Saxon Math K to 3 was local?
Did you know she now writes Science curriculum?
Did you know she's sending a Rep to our Conference?

Really! here

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Adoration and Mass for the Conference

The Daughters of St Paul will be over from Boston and hold an hour of Adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament for us!

The parish has a 4PM Mass that Saturday.

We will keep you posted on other additions to the Spiritual side of our Conference.

(And Praise the Lord who always sends some encouragement when we need it!)

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Speaker Announced!


Our conference will be blessed with a wonderful Catholic homeschool dad:


Dr. William Edmund Fahey
Professor of Humanities and Provost

Dr. William Edmund Fahey earned an Honors A.B. from Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) in Classics and History. Afterwards, Fahey pursued postgraduate studies in Ancient History at University of St. Andrews (Scotland), where he completed the M.Phil. (mode A) in Ancient History. He earned both the M.A. and Ph.D. (with highest distinction) in Early Christian Studies from the Catholic University of America. He has held a number of distinguished fellowships, including the Thomas Savage, SJ Fellowship for excellence in Humanities; the Russell Trust Award of the University of St. Andrews; The McGuire-Peebles Fellowship at the Catholic University of America; the Richard M. Weaver Fellowship; the Marguerite Eyer Wilbur Fellowship; two Earhart Fellowships; and was a Salvatori Fellow at the Heritage Foundation (Washington, DC). His archeological work has led him to Wales, the south-east coast of England, eastern Turkey and the Alpine valleys in Italy.

William Fahey came to Thomas More College after nearly a decade of teaching at Christendom College (Front Royal, Virginia), where he established the Department of Classical and Early Christian Studies, of which he was Chairman. Dr. Fahey also taught at The Catholic University of America, as well as at Brookfield Academy (Wisconsin) and the American Academy (St. Davids, Pennsylvania).

Dr. Fahey's scholarly interests extend from the Classical World through the Fathers of the Church to the importance of Agrarian thought on past and contemporary culture. In addition to Cicero, Virgil, St. Augustine, St. Benedict, and St. Gregory the Great, he has an especial interest in the writings of G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, and Fr. Vincent McNabb. He has published in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, The St. Austin Review, Faith & Reason, The University Bookman, Classical World, and The Classical Bulletin. Dr. Fahey has recently finished co-editing (with Joseph Pearce) a volume of Hilaire Belloc's political thought, as well as an anthology on the principle of subsidiarity. He is currently translating St. Robert Bellarmine's political writings.
Dr. Fahey is a Benedictine Oblate (novice) with the Monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation (Clear Creek, Oklahoma).
He and his wife Amy - a doctor in English literature from Washington University, St. Louis, and an M.Phil. from St. Andrews, Scotland - have four children: Helena (10), Mary (6), Catriona (4), and William (1). Dr. Fahey's family has lived in Massachusetts and Maine since the Eighteenth Century and he has a keen interest in the history of the region.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I was tagged on Facebook but thought I'd share here. I need something funto post about!

The ABC's of Mary

You've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with the ABC's of YOU. At the end, choose 26 people to be tagged. You have to tag me so really you just need 25 more people. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you - but not in a creepy stalker kind of way.
(To do this on Facebook, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your ABC's of Me, tag 26 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)
For my Blogspot Followers and Lurkers--Tag!

A - Age: 44
B - Bed size: Full or in the twin next to an awake 5 year old or on the couch worrying about a teen
C - Chore you hate: undoing other's laundry mistakes
D - Dog's name: Guy passed away after 15 years, I am not interested in another!
E - Essential start your day item: Coffee, Coffee and more coffee, need to get my am prayer routine back.
F - Favorite color: I like bright colors too much sometimes, lately its green
G - Gold or Silver: silver
H - Height: 5'2" and I expect I'll shrink
I - I am: Learning to live as a Beloved Daughter of the King, Passing Grade, no A's
J - Job: mother, wife, homeschool teacher, Director of Western Mass Catholic Homeschoolers, student,
K - Kids: Jeffery, Lissa, David, Sarah, Marie, Zoe (with an umlaut) and Leslie (2 souls in Heaven)
L - Living arrangements: House in Highlands of Holyoke 2 semi adults still here part time.
M - Mom's name: Mum, Dee or Dianne(2 n's please!)
N - Nicknames: Marty--- That's what I type when I go to fast on the computer.
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Once, result of migraine.
P - Pet Peeve: Not being heard
Q - Quote from a movie: - As you wish, Princess Bride (or maybe Don't call me Shirley, Airplane)
R - Right or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: 6 younger sisters and 1 younger brother
T - Time you wake up: too soon
U- Underwear: Yes?
V - Vegetable you dislike: squash
W - Ways you run late: See: Kids, also Pet Peeve.
X - X-rays you've had: foot, chest and dental.
Y - Yummy food you make: Sour dough bread
Z - Zoo favorite: McCrays

Monday, April 20, 2009

The power of words

This week our co-op took time out to discuss some difficult issues. We did this within age-separated classes so we could be age appropriate in our discussions. The topics stemmed from mean comments on our private site for them and then a recent child suicide. The child was known to one of our families and only almost 12.
In our Little Flowers class I let them make construction paper flowers while directing a discussion about how we show virtues to others we see in a way that helps them gain the virtue. I found it helpful to write down for the girls specific places like home, church, class and neighborhood. I worked with them till we were very specific: Saying a Rosary can be out of Faith but may not show Faith to another. Saying, "Let's try again," and writing JMJ on the top of the science lab paper might show Faith to your partner.
I was far more direct to my teens in writing class. I have watched this group grow up. They were between 3 and 6 when the Columbine shootings happened 10 years ago today. They were innocent and oblivious. Now they are becoming young men and women and suffering all the ails of adolescence.
I began with a list of literature that allows great character study, the name of yesterday's feast: Divine Mercy, and the name of our class: writing. I told them I would have failed if I did not, over the year, help them to grow in their ability to communicate their Faith and hope well. I told them why we were doing this talk, talked about the young man and his despair. "We won't let this pass without talking to you about it because you are too precious to us." (I didn't lose it.)
We discussed the vocabulary of despair: depression, compassion, mercy. Had I told my son before that despair is losing faith that God could solve your problems or heal you? I can't remember. But today it happened.

And I meant what I said my beloved young friends:

All of us in this co-op are here for you if you need to talk: your parents, teachers, friends, Fr. Marek, Fr. Henry. and that if God can fix me--- He can fix anything!

I am so proud of all of you for handling the discussion with maturity and open hearts. You are a real blessing to me and your parents.

Mrs. B

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Not much posting

Its been a very difficult and confusing time for us. The lack of posts has a lot to do with how little I am allowed to share creating writing blocks. Nothing seems as important to me as those things I can't share.
This morning was Egg Day--- All the cousins gathering to color eggs together and it was good chaos. I'm very grateful for the 'extra' cousins and sisters-of-the-heart that join us.
Tonight is Easter vigil-- always recharges me.

I hope your Easter is peaceful and hopeful.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Triduum

Last night our own Fred Marion sang Gethsemene from Jesus Christ Superstar before the Holy Thursday Mass. That's when Holy Week finally hits me--- he voice is powerful and he truly captures the agony in the Garden.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rest in Peace

Our dear friend Ester has lost her father to a massive heart attack. Please pray for the repose of his soul, his wife and their whole family. Ester is the creator of Catholic Mother's Online and write's at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii and 11 other blogs covering topics as far ranging as knitting, ProLife and Pets.

Peace Ester! Love to your wonderful son and husband!
Mary

Friday, April 3, 2009

Idea for end of Lent

"This year, I will not buy new clothes, as I want to break from the tradition of "appearing" to have changed, but rather, I will, with His grace, wear something I already own, but don it as a new person in Christ. A new person from within. "

I love this idea!
From an old school mate K at Cirque de moi

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mother of Sorrows

Pray for us now and at the hour of our death, Amen

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another postponement

Our trial is pushed out again: Pretrial hearing tomorrow, Prosecution witnesses Thursday and Friday. Please keep us in prayer.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Praise God!

My younger cousin just ended a very long pregnancy with a healthy baby boy! So happy for everyone!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Homeschooling 101- Foreign Languages

I cannot comment on methods or curriculums. I've bounced unsuccessfully and not been able to focus on paying a tutor.
There is a benefit. Each child only knows a little and each of a different language! We can have a private talk in a vanful of curious ears.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Parade Day!

15 lbs of corned beef, 2 loaves of sour dough, 2 loaves of Irish soda bread 2 trays of shamrock cookies (thanks Cameron) piles of red potatoes, carrots, onion and cabbage all after a breakfast of coffee and baked French Toast made with green bagel slices.

I really should start running the road race if I'm going to eat so much!

Anyway--- Parade committee stuff is here.

WGBY Public Television for Western Mass showed the whole parade (second largest in the US! and more floats than New York typically!) It will be repreated at 11PM tonight and will then be available as streaming video on their website. Here.

I stayed here and watch on TV (when I didn't cook, clean or nap) and loved that my 2 oldest brough friends! Wish I'd been able to get to my sister's: Sheila Maureen, our little colleen, now lives near the parade route with her wonderful hubby and new baby Jimmy. Did you wear the tiara all day? Marie decided when she is big she wants to be colleen and will then wear her tiara every year.

And here's to all the friends and relatives we saw in the parade: Ceade Mile Failte!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Success! Homeschooling 101-- Math

Sarah officially finished 7th grade math! This is a big accomplishment for a girl who doesn't think as mathematically as her closest sibling. And she won't be 13 till the end of May!

She is the daughter who has most challenged me in this area, forcing me to look at many ways of teaching and many curriculum. One thing I know for sure I must use a spiral method. There are many great texts that are not spiral and work well for a child that needs few reminders of past lessons. They cover one topic: perhaps adding 2 digits to 2 digits with carrying in one column, for a full week using every possible number combination the child will run into. The problem with these programs is the child forgetting what they have not worked on in a month. The parent must take care to provide their own review with many of these programs.
A favorite is Singapore Math. More affordable ones are the MCP Plaid series and Rod and Staff. MCP is simple to use and secular. Rod and Staff is also simple and is produced by the Mennonites. I use their Pre K program almost religiously! I found it when my David was 4. It is only $25 for a full Pre K curriculum, gentle, focused, family friendly. (There is only one page in the Bible Stories that needs editing for Catholic teaching.)
Back to Math. My very favorite for Kindergarten to 3rd grade in Abeka Arithmetic. I know I know--- Pensacola State the producer can be anti Catholic. However, nothing in the 4 levels is anti Catholic despite great efforts to include Scripture Quotes in Grade 3 and to show real world Math. Missionaries discussed travel all over the world in Grade 2 with a fun exploration of Geography. They cover interesting facts about animal sizes, tallest mountains, longest rivers, maps and graphs early in second grade. The workbooks are colorful without being cluttered.
Best for me is the use of the spiral method. Here new ideas are taught in small chunks, practiced over several weeks. Past ideas are not forgotten but are reviewed regularly. The available Speed Drill and Test book is very useful.
By Fourth grade we always have switched to Saxon Math. Often dreaded by moms without a math background it is always worth the time and money. It covers Mental Math. It has supplemental exercises for areas that are more difficult. It is very strong on word problems under the premise that in the real world ALL math is word problems. Consumer math, including tax and budgeting is done very well. In the upper levels Algebra and Geometry are not separated -- a unique aspect to their program. As soon as one learns an Algebraic formula its uses are taught. The new DIVE CD's available are getting good reviews. They show how every single problem is solved.
For my difficult Sarah I started Saxon at grade 3. She needed the intense one on one learning and I love the script like text--- I always knew what to do next. Grades K through 3 use lots of manipulates: hands on math. These include a clock, coins, flash cards, number blocks and a calendar the children. It can be tedious for mom and appears very time consuming when you have little one who need you! However now I only sit with her an hour a week! The intensity of that year paid off.
We tried something new the past 2 years: Teaching Textbooks. Its a text with a teacher on CDRom. David only uses the text except when stuck on a problem. He really wasn't challenged by math until doing Algebra II this year. Sarah does very well with the CDRoms: seeing the numbers on the virtual blackboard and hearing the teacher, being able to go back has been wonderful. The program also tracks her grade for me.
I have some issues with how the math is taught. I believe once they have been exposed to estimation they should use it to make the most educated choice in say long division. The teacher seems to be letting them guess. I also liked how Saxon teaches as though the child will study Algebra in the future: Ideas like adding the same number to both sides of an equation to solve for a missing number are not beyond most children. Teaching Textbook, in an effort to be gentle, babies them too long.

I have not attempted the high math despite the fact that my husband and I have both succeeded in Calculus, Physics and Chemistry. We have both also spent a lot of time with business math. My older 2 went to the public high school. Suddenly you have the same problem that keeps many from trying homeschooling: homework. Not knowing what technique the teacher is using, what was taught so far, not having access to the solution make parents less effective the once a week we are asked to help.

So congratulations Sarah! (Yeah me!) Thanks for putting up with me Jeff and Lissa!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Homeschooling 101

There will be days like this: one is sick, one forgot half her math, one is home from college and is trying to sleep in, one has PMS, one is disobedient................

Then the kids are having problems too.

Number one part of homeschool planning is planning for 'those days' so they become an opportunity instead of a drain. I had to learn this the first year we homeschooled. Not only did I have a babe in arms I became pregnant and had horrible morning sickness. Also my sister-in-law was getting married and we really wanted to help her have a special event.

Looking at your end goal helps with this. Our children need to grow up to be competent adults in areas beyond academics so focusing on housework, yard work, and cooking are all necessary over the course of their school year. We want them to be able to converse on many topics so focusing on Art Appreciation, Music Appreciation, family history, current events and even sports help them become well rounded. These are also the types of activities that can both control the chaos in our homes and alleviate stressful times.

So lets make a list of things to do on one of 'those days' and give each other permission to set aside the Math and diagramming for a day. A longer list is available here in a post about handling summer boredom.

1) Go through your old music and teach the kids a dance move. Better yet just let them explore movement while listening. Play at least 3 different genres-- you don't have to stick with Classical or Christian.

2) Paint! Mom too! try just using blue and green water color. Sprinkle with salt while wet to have a beautiful ocean. (also works with dessert colors)

3) Bake and let them help. OK so its Lent: try tortillas, wheat bread, breakfast muffins or fill the freezer with treats for Easter.

4) Start seeds. I have a brown thumb, maybe even a moldy thumb but so what! If the seeds don't grow buy plants when its warmer.

5)Spring Clean Actually empty a room to sweep and clean. Let their voices echo! (I've always wanted to clean like this: My sister's Italian family did. It sounds so refreshing.)

6) Yard work DH tried this over the weekend. Raked just for the exercise in the spring weather and felt the stress easing.

7) Speaking of exercise: I don't. Well I have but rarely. Its time. A long walk would do me good.

Now I know what you are thinking. If you are stressed and loosing it you will end up yelling because of the mess or directions or something. Here is one trick I've used successfully:
I set them up doing something messy, fun, etc in the dining room with music playing. Big kids in charge of little kids. While they are busy I make several 5 minute visits to other rooms in the house for a quick pick up. First visit I pull out what doesn't belong like dirty laundry and dishes. Second visit general pick up. Third visit wiping or sweeping. I work my way from the top of the house down checking on them often.
As soon as I have the upper floors ready I have them start cleaning their mess (with my help )and tackle more of the first floor. Then a quick lunch or snack followed by outside play. Keep them out of the clean rooms for half an hour!. By then our souls are ready for a story, movie or rest during which the house stays clean, sometimes till dad gets home!
It doesn't always work-- today I didn't realize how much I needed our backup plan until it was too late. We used a simpler one. The young teens worked on the second floor away from little ones. The sicky sat on the couch and I took time to get myself clean and wash her laundry after her stomach settled. Our afternoon will be our library finds from yesterday. Simple yet school.

Remember when you have one of those days that you are teaching your children how to handle life. They are watching and learning. We have a special homeschooling gift when Life happens: summer. We have 365 days to finish our work and are not restricted to the school year. See this as gift rather than punishment and everything gets done.

Most of all spend time in prayer. Only God has the grace to help you through this calling: not the friend who homeschools or your husband, mom or sister. Only God.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.

May you have green lights, signs of spring, a strong sense of Christ's presense in your life, a song in your heart and a pint of Guinness to wash it down!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Blogiversay to me.

(and my godson turns 16!)

Its been 2 years. I do still love having a blog although I find myself very conflicted. The things I want most to write about stay in my drafts or in my head. And so I'll just post today a request to keep praying for my girls. Its going to be a long week over here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We did it!

The last page of our conference site is up--- our Speakers page!

Come and meet these amazing people!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kitchen Remodel The Last Post!




The kids kept saying "shiny!"

I LOVE IT! But I have to be patient and let the glass adjust to room temp from below zero weather be fore I can turn it on.

Soon!

Niece's visit-- promised pics











We were able to babysit last Thursday! So fun!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Prayer Request

I have a very special intention that needs prayer-- especially for my daughters and their friends. Please ask the intercession of our Dear friend in heaven Father Aime.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bien Mardis Gras!

So first of all, no-- I'm not giving up Facebook, blogging, internet etc for Lent. Can't do it! Really-- the Conference-- I have to stay online.

Speaking of the Conference-- Praise God! Everytime I get discouraged I get a little bit of encouragement in the mail, email etc. We have 15 vendors booked, participants from several states, workshops and speakers should be announced soon, (no I didn't get a Big name but I'm thrilled with who we have.) We've had good publicity and advertising.

What's next? We'll be sending out a letter to every priest and religious inviting them to attend for free. Attached will be a flyer for their parish, a copy of the article in the diocesan newspaper and a bulletin announcement. Then I have to get that announcement to all the other Diocesan offices!

What else?
Don't do business with Capital One --- horrible company.
Can't wait for my stove coming next week! Electrician was here today!
Chore chart isn't killing me, we are getting things clean some days, its a pain when life happens and we can't use the plan.
School--- that's Lent! I will be doing nothing but school for several hours a day. No phone, no email till after we get through lunch.
Temperance--- That's my other sacrifice. (No I'm not giving up the virtue! I giving up something each day that I just don't need. Aiming for moderation as a daily virtue and sacrifice more often.)

If you give up computers? Please! Download your Conference Registration form first!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Catholic Carnival

The Catholic Carnival is a regular collection of articles from around the blogshere. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Splurge!

Its our first new stove:

at Sears

Thank you Love!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Survival for the Homeschool Mom - part of series Homeschool 101

Its february again. I'm doing better than usual (well last week I wasn't) but I'm OK. As my DH and I went out Monday night to have dinner with a friend, it was almost 6 but the sun had not finished setting as we looked over the beautiful hills of Western Mass. "I could almost forgive february," I said. (not a mistake-- I no longer capitalize that month.)

But every where I go around town, co-op, Facebooking, even Faith and Family
I talk to moms struggling to get through winter and homeschooling and life-- and blaming themselves for having to struggle. Been there, done that, and I'm telling you today Ladies,
"Don't blame yourself."

Sure you may not be handling things perfectly but we tend to decide that, since we chose to be a mom then, being a mom will be easy. That is patently false! We chose to be a mom ( or had motherhood thrust upon us! ) because it was our call, our vocation, and God needs us to do this. Instead of seeing the grace He gives we see every little thing that isn't done (even May's lesson plan!) and panic and get BUSY. You know what BUSY is don't you?

Being
Under
Satan's
Yoke

I have one major rule for february. Make No Major Decisions.

The problem really for homeschool moms is that we are never off duty. We know every coffee break, nap, meal, bathroom trip, phone call and that all important nights sleep will be interrupted and usually not when Dad can cover for us. (Big hugs, guys for all those times you make it easier: pouring coffee or a tub, answering the phone, taking the kids outs or letting us go shoe shopping alone!)

One thing I have learned is to be proactive. I would prefer not to take winter vacation so we have more time in summer. But of course by february they really miss their neighborhood/public school friends who are going to call. So I now choose what activities will be allowed that week. This year: they can have people over after doing their service around the house. They can go to a friend if I don't have to drive. I will work on writing, my classes, FAFSA, budget, taxes etc.

Now lots of people will say pray first. They are right. However moms learn a new prayer in the february's of their lives. It is an unpronounceable cry of the heart usually accompanied by tears. God will respond with Grace. As you dry the tears take a second to recognize the Grace.
Lean on it and ask God to remind you of the Grace of your Baptism.
Lean on that and ask God to remind you of the Grace of your Marriage Sacrament.
Lean on that and ask God to remind you of the Grace of Eucharist, Of Reconciliation.

After the time in the desert, after the tears, after Grace breaks open the seed that is your heart, Spring will come. It always does.
Peace

Monday, February 16, 2009

Promised Pictures

New baby Jimmy,
Pius X Award and Father Daughter Dance























































Wednesday, February 11, 2009

HT: Ester at Catholic Mom in Hawaii

Many Catholics, anxious to help the first African American to be elected President yet wanting to justify supporting the strongest Pro Abortion candidate in history were helped by a particular study. It was published by Catholic Alliance for the Common Good and its 2 listed authors suggested that increased spending on welfare programs had decreased rates of abortions.

Unfortunately it was released in August 2008 and helped swing Catholic Prolife votes but the study was wrong. In November 2008 the study was removed from the website with no announcement. Later it was put back on the website-- again with no announcement--- and this time with significant changes.

First of one author, Professor Michael Bailey of Georgetown University removed his name so their is only one study author. Secondly the report acknowledges that incorrect data was used for certain years in counting abortions. Also Kansas had inconsistent reporting of abortion data and all statisticians must discount those numbers -they had not.

Here's the article from Ester

The fact is we are back to where we started. Yes it is just to have a safety net for the poor but it does not prevent abortions. Personally I believe for many poor having children is an attempt at happiness and increased abortions come from the middle class fearing children. By the time I had my 3rd child I was already hearing fear about our future. Our 4th was just lunacy!

Never mind that I had all the equipment necessary, never mind that I made 4 trips a year to drop off unneeded items to Big Brothers/Big Sisters or Goodwill or which ever church tried hosting a thrift shop.

Perfect Love casts out Fear!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Conversion, and the Internet

I have told the story jokingly, though its very real, that I learned about the computer while hiding from my kids so as not to kill them. Over the years I learned many tricks but we had very little internet at first. When I found blogging and found other Catholic Moms out there it filled a very real need in my life.

Have you ever taken the Temperments Test? I finally did. Its been offered more than once but apparently God wasn't ready for me to take it. Here's what I got:
Your Temperament
melancholic 85% phlegmatic 15%
It points out that I think too much, stay melancholy too long, don't reach out to my friends and usually they do not know how fiercly loyal I am to them.

It is certainly true of my online friends. For one they do not all even know how much I consider them friends and value their insight. One is Margaret. I follow her blog from out in Minnesota and laugh and cry along with her each week. She understand the stresses of mommying, homeschooling and has had a rough couple years in part because she has been really challenging herself to grow by sharing the story of her Conversion.

I've heard lots of conversion stories over the years but usually as a quick one-two punch while already emotionally drawn. Margaret has written 6 posts now over the course of a year, each focusing on one stage of her life, its impact and how she deals with it now as a mom.

I can't recommend her story more highly.

Margaret---- many blessings to you with love, Mary

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Homeschool 101

I intend to set up a series of posts on Homeschooling. I am what people call a Relaxed Homeschooler. Its a bit of a misnomer. Oh I am very willing to sit back and relax but I end up working one something.
The plan will be to cover one topic at a time and tell you all my many trials and errors and my couple of successes. I'll include links for great support and curriculum.
As to the question of why? Well maybe it will become more obvious as I put each topic together but the fact is I can't give one answer. For each of my children, for each grade, each phase of academic and spiritual development there has been a different answer. In the end we have been called. Its that simple.

Have specific question you would like answered? Feel free to ask!

Winter Blues and february

In protest I have decided to stop capitalizing such a cold, gray, cabin-fever-ridden month. I know others who reserve this for January which is difficult and adds the insult of being longer and darker. I'm sure my real issue is that I just can't deal with february after surviving January but alas, february, being smaller, is easier to pick on.
Anyway Faith and Family has a post of ideas worth checking out. My contribution was an idea from my sister. Plan a celebration of St. Joseph's Day. In honor of their middle of the night Flight to Egypt, pack up your kids during the night and head out somewhere special. Maybe watch the sunrise.
Be prepared ahead of time!
The night before tuck them in sweats not PJ's and load the car with juice and donuts. On the way home buy coffee and when you get home plan on snuggling/napping through a movie to catch up on rest.
When my sister did this they drove to a beach an hour away. The kids had not seen the beach in winter and loved the differences.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Father Daughter Dance

Father Daughter Dance 2009
February 7th Saturday night from 7 – 10PM
$5/ photograph available separatly.

Mater Dolorosa/ John Paul II Parish Center
Kolbe Drive Holyoke, MA

The new Chair couple is
Jason and Louise George of Holyoke.
They need to form a core committee. Volunteers needed for set up, balloons, snack area, photography and clean up.

Contact them at Jason.a.george@comcast.net
or call 413-534-0724 or 413-262-8517
Tickets will be available at Highland Hardware on Hampden St. or Cooper Cottage on Northampton St.

As always the goal is to give our daughters a night to bond with Dad or a father-figure in their life and see how we value them! By showing how they ought to be treated we hope they will hold high standards for the young men in their futures.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

God Doesn't Make Mistakes





This little girl is in my daughters' co-op class.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Big News from our Diocesan Catholic Communications Office

Fyi -- the Real to Reel portion of the homeschooling story will air this Saturday, January 31st at 7 p.m. on Channel 22...as well as various cable outlets in the coming week. For more show times you can go to our website at www.iobserve.org.
Teri Breguet


This included a visit to our First Friday in Southwick last spring and information on our upcoming New England Catholic Homeschool Conference!
With devotion to His Sacred Heart,Mary Brazeau and The Team at WMCHwmch.stblogs.comhttp://crossfire.org/covenant

Prayer Request

One of the girls I've known forever and had as a writing student for 2 years, is writing a letter to the Vocation Director of the Sisters of Life!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!


This is the aisle. We used to tease that we'd all get married on the same day and let him wear sneakers to just go up and down 7 times in one day! But we did each get our own special day. So Happy Birthday Daddy! I'm so glad to be yours!

Friday, January 23, 2009

20 years of parenting!










Aren't you glad I didn't scan the pics from your first year?