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.