Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Its official

As of December 27 I will be attending college full time until May and seriously looking to teach in the fall. This will change our lives. My youngest may end up in school-- or maybe not. Things are up in the air. Most of my classes are online so I will be home. But I can't be blogging.
I'm going to save my blog but not publish because I will have far to much to write.

I'll keep seeing many of you on Facebook-- that's my place of sanity. 

Peace and love to all of you,

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mark's Confirmation

I was able to go to NJ and stay with my sister this past weekend! This was at St. Joseph's in N Plainfield? Fabulous weekend! Yay! Mark 'Martin de Tours' David

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rest in Peace

Laura's husband has been suffering from cancer for the past 2 months.

This message arrived about half an hour ago:

from Margaret Hayden, oldest daughter of Mark and Laura Berquist.
(Laura is author of Harp and Laurel Wreath, Designing You Own Classical Curriculum and the creator of Mother Of Divine Grace school)


All Souls' Day

...Dear Friends,

My father passed away this morning at 2:00 AM. His death was peaceful and holy. We were praying a rosary as he passed . He bore his sufferings so well; never once in these past two months did he complain about his pain or his cross. He offered up his sufferings for all those who prayed for him, as is befitting a faithful member of the body of Christ. I know he must be so happy now. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in the peace of God and see for all eternity the face of God.

God bless,



Friday, October 29, 2010

InsideCatholic.com | A Tribute to Our Priests | MyBlog | MyBlog

InsideCatholic.com A Tribute to Our Priests MyBlog MyBlog

Thank you Danielle Bean through Margaret through The Deacon's Bench.
No I could not watch without crying! Wish I had video of my brother's ordination and the moment of Peace after when he hugged dear Msgr. Harrington.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Great new blog!

At Sandimichon's Blog: Sharing Light from My Life you will undoubtedly get inspiration and challenging thoughts.  I met Sandi the first time I was invited to a homeschool parent meeting over 15 years ago. It was at her home and many of the women I met that night changed my life. Her children are grown and graduated but over many years she and her sister ran the devotional at the parents meeting. It was always thought provoking and always drew us into God' s Word.

Unlike other areas  of the country, their Christian support group was incredibly welcoming and respectful to its Catholic members and they were such a help when we began our Catholic homeschool conference. I have learned so much from Sandi's joy and humor and deep love of the Lord.

I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Mother Mary

Didn't forget-- its just migraine week, and first full week of school, and farm day oh and did I say migraine? Yeah.

Anyway Dear Hubby made pies with the munchkin last night with fresh picked apples from our friend's house. So there is a treat today. And I made tacos-- the munchkins favorite. And I didn't kill any children arguing over the shower as I tripped over soccer gear on my way to remind them they promised to be good after certain children promised to listen, and stop yelling, and slow down, and give Momma ice for her head.

Oh I guess its not that bad-- I did get to the farm. I did get some of my homework done. My kids are all home. (Except my Lissa-Belle-- miss you baby!)

For a good Back to Homeschool post try Minesota Mom.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Prayer Request

A dear friend is expecting and it is a real struggle right now. She would love your prayers.
She is at A New Springtime

Monday, August 30, 2010

Spiritual Woman: The Importance of Parents as Teachers

File under: things I love to read:

Spiritual Woman: The Importance of Parents as Teachers: "I was recently reading the September 2010 issue of “Living” magazine. Not surprisingly, inside of it was an ad featuring Martha Stewart. Wha..."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

An Irish Wake

I grew up with 3 Memeres but despite the best efforts of the French side of the family I'm all Irish. Our favorite tradition, and one that holds our family tightly together, is the Irish Wake. Early Friday morning my last garndparent passed away. I find I'm not sad-- you was very anxious to get to see her George again. I'm sure she's in her best pencil skirt, heels and pearls. I'm sure he greeted her with a gift of a new white blouse-- she had one every spring. Now they are dancing all over heaven. When they need a break they'll sit and sing as he plays organ.
So last night many of us gathered and made posters of pictures: all 7 of her kids, all her siblings, all 27 grandchildren and all 40 great grandchildren-- we hope-- but one is expected this weekend. We talked, laughed, share a drink (or two). We learned who is struggling and who is expecting, who is looking for work and who wants to retire. We reinforced the ties that bind us all together. Below is her obituary. 2 paragraphs do not tell the story of her 88 years and her 62 year marraige. Its told in the laughter of her grandchildren and the tears of her children.

Madeleine D. (Paquin) Murphy

Madeleine D. Murphy 1922 2010 CHICOPEE Madeleine D. (Paquin) Murphy, 88, of The Arbors in Chicopee was Called Safely Home on Friday, August 27, 2010. She was born in Chicopee on May 2, 1922, a beloved daughter of the late Wilfrid and Florence (Denette) Paquin. She was raised in Holyoke where she graduated from the former Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School and moved to Manning Street in the Fairview section of Chicopee in 1961. In 2003, she moved to Westfield and after the death of her husband George, she became a resident of The Arbors in Chicopee. During her early working career, she worked at the former Sinclair Wire Company in Holyoke and later was the snack bar manager at the former Zayre's Department Store on Memorial Drive in Chicopee. She was a communicant of Saint Anne Church in Fairview where she was a member of the Ladies of Saint Anne Sodality and a longtime member of the Senior Choir. She was also very active in the Fairview Parent Teacher Association in Chicopee. She adored her family and showered them with her love and affection which was returned to her a thousand fold. She was predeceased by her beloved husband and best friend, George F. Murphy who was Called Home on February 21, 2004. They were married at the former Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Holyoke on April 26, 1941 and were blessed with over 62 years of happiness together. She was also predeceased by her baby son, Joseph Murphy and her dear brother and sister, Clarence "Nick" Paquin and Lorraine Paquin. She leaves her seven loving children, George W. Murphy and his wife, MiJa of Franklin, MA, James F. Murphy and his wife, Dianne of Holyoke, Edward T. Murphy and his wife, Karen of Douglasville, GA, Robert D. Murphy and his wife, Clare of South Hadley, Stephen P. Murphy and his wife, Beth of Westfield, Timothy J. Murphy and his wife, Eileen of Westfield and Ann Marie Novak and her husband, Michael of Granby; her 27 cherished grandchildren; her 40 cherished great grandchildren; her dear brothers, George Paquin of Holyoke and Armand Paquin of South Hadley; her dear sisters, Irene Cote of South Hadley, Mary LaCoste and her husband, Roger of Poughkeepsie, NY and Jeanne Toth and her husband, John of Manchester, NH and her many dear nephews and nieces. Her funeral will be held on Tuesday morning, August 31, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. from the St. Pierre Phaneuf Fairview Chapels, (413-533-3307), 506 Britton Street, Chicopee, MA 01020 followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in Saint Anne Church, 30 College Street in Chicopee. Her burial will follow the Mass at Saint Jerome Cemetery on Northampton Street in Holyoke. Her family will receive friends at the funeral home on Monday, August 30, 2010 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The parking lot is located in the rear of the funeral home. Her family has requested that memorial donations be made in her memory to the Saint Anne Church Memorial Fund, 30 College Street, Chicopee, MA 01020.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Faith & Family : Features : Mission: Mom

Faith & Family : Features : Mission: Mom

Beautiful insight on sending your children off to college-- and life. A mother's work is never done. Thank God!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Answer

To a challenge I posted on Faith and Family Live the other day.

Don't scroll down till you try:

Take  a block of wood and start nailing in a longish nail-- 2"-3"-- then wiggle it loose.

Balance the nail in the hole.

Now take 14 matching nails
and balance them on the head of the first nail.

Think of all your friends called to homeschool

or co-op together,

maybe to teach CCD together

or run a retreat.

You want to center your life on Christ and so do they.

All at the same time.

Don't scroll till you try.

No you can't flip it over and lay the nails on the wood.

No you can't just lean them up.

They must be a team.



Get it yet?

OK Look...............................

To do it lay one nail on the table. Take the next 12 nails and alternate them laying across the first nail, points out so you can see the heads will lock. Before lifting lay the last nail over the alternated nails just between the nail heads. Keep the top and bottom nails pinched tight around the others as you lift and they drop down in a chevron shape. Balance the bottom nail on the head of the first nail.

from my friends at WMH http://www.wmhomeschoolers.org/

Thanks Lisa Marie! The devotional was beautiful!


Monday, August 9, 2010

From Mum and Dad

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Today is a special day in a special summer. Jeff and I have been married 24 years. In June it was 25 years since we did not elope: our Un-Anniversary. Its also the year we've known each other for 32 years so we have now been together for 30 years. Its surreal. My friends at Bible Study were just talking about still feeling like they'll wake up and it'll be a dream: they'll still be teens and these will be someone else's kids they've been taking care of. They'll go home and get paid for the job. But this is our real life.

So to make it feel more real and intentional we celebrate milestones and anniversaries. Sometimes, like this year, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect romantic partner and have loads of time alone and happy we sabotage ourselves. This year we are back to having 3 little ones for our special day. The teens are off on retreat. Time alone is a difficult thing to find. Its easy to rush through our meal, talk discipline or chores or become frustrated by every child's interruption in our day.

But the truth is there is beauty in frustration as well. "Two become one" is our precursor to the joy of Heaven where we will have perfect communion with all of God's people and enjoy the fullness of His Presence. Our souls ache for that union and in our spouse we almost reach it, yet it remains ever elusive. Even with such an open, sharing and ever listening spouse as I've been blessed with there are always things we don't know. He will never comprehend what it is to be clumsy just as I will never comprehend what it is to be coordinated. I can't fathom that there are 100's of different weights of paper and 100's of values of white. He can't understand why I don't know if I've used the 'good' paper or not when I print. No matter how close we grow toward each other there will always be a distance to cross, at least until we reach our heavenly goal.

I promised before I would blog about our 16th anniversary. We call it our Mortar Anniversary and everyone we've known had a hard time that year. Our first was silly. The seven year itch was easy. Ten worked out well despite my being exhausted from little kids. Twenty was a really special one because we knew we needed time away and made it happen. But 16 is tough.

It was just a couple years after we'd been able to move to my hometown and we were starting to make new friends. We committed to staying put so we decided to spend the summer doing the big fix the house need: rebuilding the foundation. The house was built - best guess -in 1890. (Paperwork starts in 1900 but dated work in the attic and basement say 1890.) For a Victorian it has a deep basement. The friend we'd bought it from had started the foundation and another friend taught us what to do. The number one rule is knowing how much back foundation you can dig out before you must refill. If the hole was bigger than 6 feet in any direction we risked having the weight of the house come down.
It was a long month of work. First were the two weekends outside the house doing the areas under the porches. Hot, cramped work for my husband especially as there were so many things I wasn't strong enough to do. Then we took his vacation week to start the basement. we'd spend an our digging out the bad mortar, saving the good stones and bricks, trying not to damage what was still holding well. Then came cleaning the dusty mess and mixing an 80 pound bag of mortar. Next came putting the wall back together, trying to use enough mortar but not too much, using each stone strategically, going slow enough to build straight but be mindful of not letting the mortar set before we were done. Then clean up, lunch and another round before dinner and a beer.

But at the same time two of our new friends who were also married 16 years that summer began a divorce. They had appeared to be a perfect couple: handsome, always together, always at their kids events, serving Eucharist side by side.  But the foundation of respect, faithfulness and love was one sided and crumbling.

It really shook Jeff and I. In the hours of work and sweat, side by side in the quiet basement, we talked, and talked, and talked. Carefully we picked at the mortar of our relationship. Each touchstone event was pulled out, cleaned off, examined and then put back in its place with respect and gratefulness. The mortar holding them together is the love we both have for the shared history it gives us. The foundation holds up more than just ourselves. It gives our children a safe, secure place to build a future.

One week was not enough to finish the task. The next week I would do section myself during the day and he would help me do a section after supper. I was strong. I could lift and mix an 80 pound bag of mortar and keep at it all day. My husband was strong. He could work all day, trusting me to make progress, and then help me all evening. I will always love having a summer project to do with him. 16 is tough but in so many ways it is the most valuable anniversary we have had. We strengthen our knowledge of each other, our commitment, our faithfulness, our joy in being in love in a far deeper way than renewing our vows on our 10th or having a second honeymoon for our 20th.

I am so grateful for this Sacrament. Grateful for this Blessed ring I wear each day. Grateful despite no longer being strong enough to lift a bag of mortar-- when I needed to I did the work and did not shirk all the responsibility away. I valued my marriage and pray I always will.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Spiritual Woman: Some quotes from St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Spiritual Woman: Some quotes from St. Gianna Beretta Molla: "These are excerpts from some of St. Gianna's writings: 'Prayer is the search for God who is in heaven and everywhere, since He is infinite ..."

You really need to check out this fabulous blog by Patrice. These are great quotes-- I'd never heard them before.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Danielle Bean » Catholic Devotions Blog Tag

Danielle Bean » Catholic Devotions Blog Tag

Ooo a blog tag! Haven't seen one in forever. Thanks Danielle for tagging everyone.
Its easy-- list your five favorite devotions, here or on your blog and tag your friends.

1) Prayer from the pieta booklet for the moment of consecration, "May the hearts of all the world burn with love for You."
2) Offering it up: usually involves matching socks in the basement or migraine pain.
3) Extempoareous prayer to The Kitchen Madona.
4) Music-- I've even thought of dusting off my guitar
5) Come Holy Spirit-- Its prayed evertime Cursillistas gather.

So - tag your it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Faith & Family : Features : Comments, Conflict and Criticism

Faith & Family : Features : Comments, Conflict and Criticism

Please join our community in a Novena to St Isadore, Patron Saint of the Internet. The link leads to the post, written by Danielle Bean, about why we are praying. But here is the prayer:
Saint Isidore of Seville
Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in Thy image
and bade us to seek after
all that is good, true and beautiful,
especially in the Divine Person
of Thy only-begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant we beseech Thee that,
through the intercession of Saint Isidore,
bishop and doctor,
during our journeys through the internet
we will direct our hands and eyes
only to that which is pleasing to Thee
and treat with charity and patience
all those souls whom we encounter.
Through Christ our Lord,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Don't Forget

Like I usually do:

Go to This, That and the Other Thing for Sunday Snippets I posted one of my Summer reading posts.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Reading 3: Yes a saint book finally!

As in little 's' but his cause has begun:

My mom gave me Martyr of Brotherly Love: Father Engelmar Unzeitig and the Priests' Barracks at Dachau. Its a tiny book for such a long title! The book centers on Fr. Engelmar who died young when he offered to work the typhus ward at Dachau. In fact he died not long before the Camp was liberated by the American forces. It's a painful story told with genuine care for those lost and the future of humanity. It has a very different feel as you read-- not an American story. It was translated from a longer book by Adalbert Ledwig Balling and Reinhard Abeln by Vergil Heier, CMM. Hs story is one of always putting God's people first and self second.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Reading 2- LOVE BEES!

The Secret Life of Bees is amazing! I stayed up past midnight Friday to get past the climax and finished the book on my break at work. ( I did not wear mascara in case I cried just as a patient showed up.) What and amazing story!
The author, Sue Monk Kidd, was a young teen in the south during the Civil Rights era and set the story in the year the Civil Rights Act was signed. The young heroine is with her nanny as she goes to register to vote but instead ends up in jail. Our heroine has vague memories of her mother's accidental death and definite knowledge that her father does not love her. She helps her nanny escape and they search out scraps of knowledge about her mother.
The woman who takes her in is August. She is a beekeeper and head of a home church combining the best of AME southern black churches (including the hats!) and Catholic devotion to Mary. As you read listen for the voice of Queen Latifa who played August in the movie; love that sound. But-- I can't believe Dakota Fanning played the girl--I haven't seen the movie yet. But the girl is on the cusp of womanhood and it is the strong but gentle voice of August that draws her to finding peace.
Its intended as a coming of age novel but it connects all the age old confusion about fathers, mothers, love, race, and God. And you will love Mother Mary more than ever:
"I feel her in unexpected moments, her Assumption into heaven happening in places inside me. She will suddenly rise, and when she does, she does not go up, up into the sky, but further and further inside me. August says she goes into the holes life has gouged out of us."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Reading Part 1

I was very good this summer and worked on buying school books and even ordering my college books first. I even started reading the books I was able to save from closing kid libraries. I want to include them in the curriculum this year.
(Did you know about the book purge-- end of the 80's early 90's -- books that still presented minorities and women in a childish or 'second class' light began to be purged. Unfortunately this left a huge void especially in Non-Fiction. This included vast quantity of Catholic books that were once a staple of the history and biography sections. Many homeschoolers however had befriended librarians in those days before the Mass marketing to homeschoolers and were rewarded. I purchased probably 100 books at a quarter each.)

But now I'm reading in earnest!
First-- scanned and made notes from Eating Right for Your Blood Type and The ER4YT Encyclopedia. Its a very interesting concept based on very basic science. People with different blood types have different tissue types as well and react to certain chemical agents. These chemical can improve or block our bloods ability to bring nutrients from food to our tissues or our tissues ability to turn food into energy rather than fat.
Unfortunately my husband and I have opposite blood types so a change in diet may be difficult. However for his blood type especially the changes could mean weight loss, lower blood pressure, better sinuses and less reactivity to allergens and stress.  My goal is to increase the foods that are good for him, drop the foods that are bad for him and get us to exercise. We'll see..... committed we are not!

Second-- Started reading the books my teens need to read over the summer for high school. Somehow we did not get the message that there was required reading for Sarah and the local library does not have the books. I'll have to get them somewhere...

I was able to get the ones for David. The first is Into the Wild  by Jon Krakauer. I appreciated the idea that as a reporter for Outside magazine he had told of the death of Chris McCandless in the Alaskan wilderness with a strict word limit and time deadline. After reactions began streaming in after publication, as well as more information Krakauer felt he owed Chris and his family the effort to do a fuller account of Why? Why did Chris feel the need to disappear into first the West and then the North? As Chris was highly intelligent and well educated and left behind his books filled with notes, underlines and highlights the tiny book takes us on a literary journey as well. Muir, Tolstoy, London: imperfect but inspired men who have drawn many men out into the wilderness and up countless mountains.
Its a fascinating tale.

Now I'm working on The Secret Life of Bees. Already I love it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th

4th at my sister's: here are the cooks!

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Today is our 25th Un-Anniversary!

When we first got engaged (at 18) we hoped for just 2 years of engagement. We set a date and bought our rings. Then my first car died, and his. Then his parents washer and dryer died. Then my parents washer and dryer died. I think their car died too.
We postponed the wedding.

My Mum was pleased we made such a smart decision and sent us on an Engaged encounter as a gift. But on the day we had originally planned to marry we took off for the day. It poured buckets but off we went to Newport.

No we didn't elope-- but it became our special day.

32 years ago Dear you said you'd marry me and 25 years ago I knew we'd get through anything.

I love you, Jeff!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thank God for old friends!

The ones that know you-- good and bad.
The ones that notice when the littles actually wander away to play and the real conversation begins.
The ones that really want to love God best even though we are surround by these sweet, busy littles and all the work and interuptions they bring.
The ones that NEVER have a man bashing conversation and love that you are in love with your husband.
The ones you can go forever not seeing because of that wonderful family but then can pick right up with when you see each other finally.

Its going to be a blessed summer!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More on Conferences

At every Conference this happens. A budget conscious mom visits a publishers booth, looks through the books she's considering, asks the person working the booth (often the family that runs the publishing house for a living or one of the authors they publish) and then announces she will buy the book on Amazon or Ebay instead.

They are trying to save money. I get that. We live on the edge of our budget. In fact this year when trying to teach my 8 year old comparatives and superlatives she wrote: Poor, poorer, broke.

But please lets not be so cruel to these hardworking families! Everytime we buy from Amazon they get only the wholesale price at the publisher which not enough to fund publishing the next book or to properly advertise the ones they have printed.

How many small Catholic businesses are in your diocese? How many closed recently? We had some wonderful small catholic book stores close because everyone started to buy on line who knows they need Catholic books-- but how about the person in need of ministering? Amazon isn't going to stop and pray for the person who bought the book. They won't say "oh that's not right for your struggle you should read Fr. ____"

So how do we help and yet stay on budget? First we pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us to the right resources and that God, Our Father in His Providence will help us acquire them at the right time and the right price. Second be of service to those less fortunate. Before buying next year's books determine which ones we don't need and pray about who needs them. Can you loan it out rather than selling it? Can you donate it to the used book sale at your Conference or a support group gathering? Can you donate it to a library so that Catholic materials will be available?

God cannot give us a gift if our hands are tightly clasping what we already have. We must open our hands and let go.

At the Conference do ask for help, look through the books, get advice. Only purchase what your family needs and can afford. No one expects you to try and save Catholic publishing and small business on your own. But stop and offer a word of encouragement. Put yourself on their email list and maybe a future sale will allow you to purchase directly from them. If the author of a book is there signing and offering a discount and it will save you shipping costs then seriously consider buying right then and there. If you already own the book stop and encourage the author by sharing what you loved about the book and how it helped you.

Let's keep in mind these families paid for the table space, gave up their weekend to travel ($) after packing all these books, then stopped to set up, stood around all day waiting to help you, everything they don't sell needs to be packed back up and then they need to drive home($). When they get home tired, they will find all the normal work of a homeschool family waiting for them.

Having run a conference 2 years in a row now and speaking to hundreds of people about the process, why they come, why they don't, when its successful and when it leaves them broke I have a new found respect for these brave families that put their livlihood entirely in God's hands, in OUR hands trusting God will honor their gift of self. They trust He will help others through their efforts.

So lets pray for them as we pray for our homeschools next year. If we can help them grow by buying direct they will have more resources for evangelization. We will be supporting the missions at home and doing the work of Christ.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Math Update-- and other stuff

We found the math book.
In the school bag.
In the closet.
The one I told them to check. The one they told me they had checked.

Yep, an hour before Mass I discovered they had not given me all the winter clothes to pack and had not felt it necessary to actually dig under them to the actual school bag in question and actually open said bag.

The gave Daddy a decent Father's Day. His oldest bought him Scotch (bourbon? one of those yucky brown liquids.) He also had the girls help him make a nice dinner last night. His daughter drove out to be here. With a cake she baked! Today he watched most of the US Open.

After I packed another 5 bags of winter clothers and brought extra Conference stuff to the attic I watched Twister while people were out running errands. Most of them willingly joined me in the end.

So now I'm just getting psyched up to pick strawberries in the am. Not too many but some.
Have a great week!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thinking out 2010-2011- updated Sunday

Read aloud, IEW Excellence in Writing, Make our own Grammar book
Nancy Larson Publishing Science2
Seton. One for each girl, plus Little Flowers as a family, morning decade of the rosary.
Abeka for Zoe and Leslie (sorry Seton but your math is NOT for me)
Teaching Textbook 5 for Marie
Hopefully I can get this really going with just 3 at home. Hoping to start with Music appreciation and recorder lessons for reading music. Then want to expand to flute, guitar or keyboard lessons. (that's based on money)
Still have a Seton drawing we never finished (because Dad started painting with them). Found my copy of I Can Do All Things. I also have Linnea in Monet's Garden and a video on abstract.
Phs. Ed.
Less TV. Soccer Season. Getting Mommy off the couch.

Still thinking....

Found my God Bless America set! We'll be studying the 50 States under Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Did you know for the bicentenial a litany was created with a title of Our Lady assigned to each state. The set from www.catholicartworks.com includes: the book with the litany, Mary and the 50 States, one on St John Neumann and Faith Keepers God Bless America Holy Card Maker.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Missing Math

So about 2 weeks before the conference a math book went missing. Its a first grade book that the kindergarten kid is using so I wasn't too worried. Well more than a week of Conference cleanup has not turned up the book. Oh well-- guess we were done anyway.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival"

I've been hoping for Months to join this little group. Once a week a group of Catholic Bloggers will post links to some of their best posts. I have two for you. One is my little discovery from a friend: Prayer of Jabez

The other is less about me. The talks for our New England Catholic Homeschool Conference are posted as MP3's and are really worth listening to-- even if you don't homeschool or even if you don't have kids.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Look

Blogger now has new templates! I admit I didn't dig deep but although I liked the green I needed something more soothing. Besides the font on this one is easier with my new progressive lenses.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prayer of Jabez

During our Cursillo small group sharing I received a gift of a copy of this tiny little book on the shortest biography in the Bible. I've been reading a little bit of the book-- repeating sections for 3 weeks now. It is so wonderful. I'm also searching out saints who embody each of the 4 main ideas of the prayer.

Essentially, Jabez means 'pain' and that's what a mother named her baby. Imagine doing that to a child! When he grew and looked at his circumstances and inheritance he prayed for more, to be "Blessed indeed." But its what he added to that prayer that makes it special. He prayed to be blessed First so he could show God' Glory, he prayed that God's hand would be on him and that he would be kept form temptation.

My commitment, suggested in the little book, is to spend a whole month delving into it and asking God to show me more. He certainly has. This is the prayer I made for our Conference based on Jabez:

Dear Lord Bless this Conference indeed!
Expand our reach into the hills and cities and hearts of all Catholic homeschoolers and those You are calling to know You more through us. Keep our eyes and hearts open to the appointments you set for us with Your people! In our weakness may Your strength be shown and in Your Mercy keep us from evil. Let us not be tempted in pride or any other way to sin against You.
And when we see Your Glory shine, especially on Saturday May we always give You the Glory and Praise, rejoicing to be able to witness Your miraculous movement and Your tremendous love for your people. Dearest Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Pray for us and keep your mantle of protection over every person coming to Chicopee that day.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back to Blogging!

The Conference is over. It was amazing. Its been a long interesting year in my family and spiritual life. I have not felt free to write about what is most compelling to me. I'm hoping this will be my year.

Here's to hope!

Have a Blessed Feast of Corpus Christi!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Important Contact Change

For New England Catholic Homeschool Conference

Last year we had a few days when our regular site was down so we set up one ready to go just in case. Well just in case happened. Our host chose this time to make some major changes. So Please– bookmark this site and spread the word!New England Catholic Homeschoolers at

With devotion to His Sacred Heart,
Mary Brazeau and
The Team at WMCH


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Come Holy Spirit!

If it wasn't for Pentecost we wouldn't ever be able to do God's Will. Thank you Lord Jesus for sending us the Paraclete to help us and animate us.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Novena to the Holy Spirit

Starts today May 14, 2010 and ends with Pentecost. I have all the prayers on the page Tab at the top of my site. or link here. Please consider offering these prayers for our conference.

Happy St. Matthias day (with love to my Matthias for all your prayers at Christ's feet for Mommy).

Happy Birthday to Joanie! Love you much!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Crescat...: unleash hell...

The Crescat...: unleash hell...

Its time again! 2010 Catholic Cannonball Awards! The only place to Vote for the Snarkiest or most Hifreakinlarious Catholic Blog. ( My 'never-met-her-internet-friend' Ester's blog A Catholic Mom in Hawaii has been nominated as Best Spiritual treat. The real treat is the effort she has put in over the last several years in connecting Catholics with great Internet gathering spots.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Love Homeschooling!!!!!!!!

Yesterday was one of those fabulous day that makes it all worth while. We woke up knowing the Conference was going well (Kolbe Academy agreed to come!) and I was one day from done my college semester. Despite allergies, spring colds and such everyone was in a good mood.
In the morning we invited a new homeschooler over: helped them start their paperwork and made friends. Then we went off to local Mt. Tom and Bray Lake. The girls loved showing little cousin Jimmy the stream, frogs, turtles, geese, red winged black birds etc. We ate an eclectic lunch in the grass and had a lovely time.
We arrived home to find again how truly lovely our neighbors are. One of our smoke detectors is faulty-- it turns out-- and went off after we left. One called the fire dept and one made sure they saw there was no smoke and the went through a screen window rather than breaking down the door.
The grammar school girls spent the afternoon creating made-up dinosaurs and habitats out of paper and recycled materials for a co-op class. They even helped clean it up!
Love it!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thank you for your prayers

My father in law David passed away last night.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Finally - new pictures and measurements.

David Joking:

and Laughing
because he was measured-- officially as tall as Mom.

But tonight he'll be serious as he makes Star in Scouts.

Sarah Laughing

Sarah 2010
Almost 4' 10"

Marie laughing

and glad to make 4'2"

Zoe's new haircut.
She's 1/2 an inch from 4" but weighs exactly the same as Marie.

Leslie-- don't tell her you're taking a picture.
"Hey Mom, that's me holdin' back laughter!"

Trying again.
She's just past 3'6"

And our Jimmy boy!
He would not be measured today.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I get the most amazing things done when I'm avoiding my real To-do list. This week I updated my Blogger profile. It used to say I had 2 kids in high school with the first about to graduate. Now he's a year from done college! In fact my blog-iversary was this month. 3 years!

But all I can think is:

I can't wait for April,
I need trifocals to see my screen
and keyboard
and read the tiny type in my lit book
and where is spring!

Another thing I did yesterday was get the girls to really clean with me for an hour so we could disinfect. Small stomache bug had showed up and I wanted it gone! I even cleaned under the couch cushions. Sigh! No loose change. That was the only good part about my dad smoking for 30 years. the kid who cleaned under the couch cushions got all the loose change that fell there as he chain smaoked, on his back, reading and listening to the news till he fell asleep. (It was also our job to safely move the ashtray from his chest to the table. thank you! Little Flower for interceding-- 20 years cigarette free!)


I am supposed to be writing about Ezra Pound's poetry. Do I play it safe and use the first prompt:
argue for inclusion on a sylabus for a survey of American Lit.
or the second:
How doe sthe author's work show "democracy of feeling" and "rebellion" of form common to the imagists.

Oh and Lent-- that was on hold as well. It just was not my year to get much out of it because I just had nothing to put in: no energy or direction. Of course I am aware that means less joy from Easter.
So I guess the goal will be to use the Ordinary Time of summer to grow, re-create, meditate.
I do love ordinary time. Actually I thinks that's what I've missed in my rollercoaster year. Without the ordinary it is so hard to put myself in the seasons.

This is not however complaint. Rollercoaster's have their highs and we've had some wonderful things happen this past year. Spiritually in the past I've been closer to Christ, more aware of the Spirit, more grateful to the Father and smarter about turning to Our Lady. The cycle will come around again and I'm blessed to know that, deeply ingrained in my heart.

So- I should edit this post but I won't. It is a snapshot of who I am right now: blind to typo's, full of mixed emotions, distracted by children who need me and by my need for them. I'm Ok with who I have become at middle age and I'm even OK with being middle age. I've been Blessed to spend my entire adulthood (and adoloescence) with the same man/partner/best friend. I have seen 2 children grow up and know my others are doing well and still have a mission in life with the youngest three. I have and like my blog but don't feel the necessity to write daily.

Today is good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Help Sopia Press! Read his poignant letter please.

Not long ago, one of my adult children spent hours pummeling me and the Church. The waves of her anger struck repeatedly, tossing me like a small boat in a storm.

With the bitterness of a woman betrayed, she recited the sins of bad priests we knew, and catalogued the failings of Catholic laymen and bishops we trusted.

"I believed," she cried.

"I believed, while those bastards lied and sneaked about, doing the very things they preached against!"

* * *

What could I say?

I won't defend the indefensible.

So, like Peter in that boat tossed by an earlier storm, I kept myself focused on Jesus.

"They betrayed us," I agreed."But they betrayed Jesus more.

"He condemned these sins centuries ago. If you thought He was wrong to do so, you wouldn't be upset today. Your anger shows that even when priests violate them, you think Christ's teachings --- the Church's teachings --- are right."

That just made her angrier, and since then I've had simply to avoid the topic.

* * *

You know, when I entered the Church as an adult, I had a profound admiration for priests, and naively believed that Catholics --- and particularly priests --- would always be found more virtuous than others.

My faith was so great that I founded Sophia Institute Press to bring back into print the fine Catholic books that had won me to the Faith, and that --- I was sure --- would convert others, too.

Now, at last count, six of the priests I've admired for their orthodoxy have been implicated in the sex scandals, and one is deep in a midwest jail.

That fact didn't make it easy for me to answer my daughter's charges.

Like Peter, I was left only with Jesus.

Jesus gave sinful Peter the power to walk on water. Jesus keeps us from drowning when the world attacks us and assails our wounded Church.

And Jesus guarantees that, despite the sins of Her members, the Church Herself is perfect.

Yes, perfect!

But not at all in the way that I imagined when I converted to Catholicism.

Fr. Ronald Knox explains it well in a remarkable little book, The Church on Earth, which I published a couple of years ago.

There he notes that, unlike the Protestant churches, the Catholic Church is not a system that men, after prayer and deliberation, devised as the best scheme they could think of for perpetuating the work of their Master, Jesus.

On the contrary, the Catholic Church is directly God's handiwork: in the New Testament Jesus Himself instituted the Sacraments and established the Church, placing Peter at its head.

Since God Himself established our Church, we must believe that it is perfectly designed to lead souls to perfection; and that it does so when they abide by Her teachings and partake of the graces She affords them.

Had I remembered just this one point from Msgr. Knox's slim book, the conversation with my daughter --- and with others who assail the Church for the sins of her members --- would have gone much better.

* * *

You know, this past quarter-century I've published hundreds of books like The Church on Earth, which, in just a paragraph, can make the difference between faith lost and faith regained.

Indeed, I've brought forth into the world almost three million copies of books by the very best Catholic authors, living and dead -- authors whose holiness and wisdom continually draw souls to the Church (the perfect Church) that Christ founded 2,000 years ago.

Now, however, all this is threatened. Although we cut our staff down to just six persons last year, and tripled the number of books we published, contributions to our work declined by over $100,000 --- a deficit that we have since then been unable to to make up with sales alone.

Now our checkbook is empty.

We don't have enough to keep
in print the books we've published.

Catholics will soon no longer have access to the scores of books we've published by St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bishop Fulton Sheen, St. Robert Bellarmine, Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, and many other good Catholics.
(See sidebars on this page
and our website.)

* * *

Can you help?

For your Lenten reading, could you buy a copy of The Church on Earth or perhaps one of our other books? And could you buy a few more books as gifts for others?

If you can't afford that,
could you buy one of our
or even just
contribute one dollar?

Or more than a dollar,
if possible.

If you buy a book or two, or give a dollar or two, and everyone else who receives this email does the same, our doors will stay open; these books will stay in print; and we'll have enough to publish many more Catholic books -- books that will draw souls everywhere to the perfect Church that God so lovingly established for us men and for our salvation.

Thank you, and as the new year rushes upon us, please pray for us . . . and for my daughter.

Sincerely yours,

John L. Barger, Publisher
Sophia Institute Press

Box 5284, Manchester, NH
03108 USA 1-603-641-9344

Monday, March 22, 2010

NECHC Speakers

Western Mass Catholic Homeschoolers is proud to announce that our featured speaker will be

Susie LlyodSusie Lloyd
author of Please, Don't Drink the Holy Water!
and now Bless Me Father For I Have Kids.Susie Lloyd's Bless Me Father For I Have Kids

Nissa and Brian Gadbois. Nissa and Brian GadboisBrian is in Worcester's Deaconate program. They own a farm and several businesses. Nissa specializes in using Waldorf methods of teaching in a truly Catholic enviroment.

Cooperators in God's Plan by Allison Gingras
Alison Gingras

God has a plan for all our children, and as parents and teachers the most powerful teaching tool we have is prayer and our Catholic faith. This is especially important when the child(ren) we are teaching faces special learning needs, such as Ad/hd, sensory integration, hearing loss, or comprehension difficulties. Allison Gingras knows this first hand, having guided her children through these issues, as well as the normal hurdles encountered in home schooling. She will address the struggle many parents feel of being responsible to provide our child(ren) the best education and the doubts of wondering whether we are always the best choice for providing that education. In addition, she will offer practical strategies, as well as how she leans on her faith to meet the challenges of cooperating with God's plan.

Allison Gingras holds a Master's in Education and has been an early childhood educator for over 14 years. Though it isn't her education, as much as her life, that provides the information she shares with other homeschool families. She is a mother of 3, each with their own special need including ad/hd, various comprehension and writing issues, sensory integration and hearing impairment. Her greatest achievement is her faith, which she feels provides all the grace she needs to help each of her children in exactly the way God planned specifically for them.

Laura Eckroat, local author of
The Life of Bud The Life of Budand A Simpler LifeA Simpler Time

ABOUT ME --Laura Eckroat

I am a Kindergarten Teacher at St. Joan of Arc in Chicopee. I have one class left to earn my Masters in Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities from Elms College. I am certified in Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities & in Elementary Education from the State of Massachusetts. In my former life I was a Human Resources Manager for Amoco Oil Company and I was also the General Manager / Training Store Manager for the educational toy store -- Zany Brainy ... which is how I found my passion --teaching! I have a 16 year old daughter who attends Cathedral and I am married to Steven who is a Chemist.


My book -- The Life of Bud is a life cycle / seasons book. The book was released in February, 2009. My second book – A Simpler Time is due out in early 2010. Both books have a theme of nature. I would use these books to demonstrate how to use children's literature to teach Inquiry Based Science to children. I would also have other examples of books available for the Home School Teachers to see. I will show work completed by students. I would be referencing how these examples tie into the Mass Curriculum Frameworks.

I will be doing this workshop at the Massachusetts Reading Association Conference on Thursday, April 8.

Kate Duneluk
Last year one of our last presentations had a smaller audience as people hurried to get lunch that hour. The audience however was so enthusiastic this little company was asked to come back:family-picturemmpt
Making Music Praying Twice will give one of their workshops and have a table available. Keep in mind this is their actual workshop -- not an informercial on their product-- but ways to use music to help your child's development.

Kris Correira, an instructor for Homeschool Connections who blogs from MA at

http://AtHomeScience.blogspot.com At Home Science
Kris says: I am a Catholic homeschooling mom to 3 boys with a Charlotte Mason educational philosophy. I also am an emergency department physician assistant and community college instructor, both once primary roles relegated for my children, their education, and our home.


JUNE 5, 2010 9:30AM TO 7 PM
Vendor Applications also available at this site.
7 4 P E A R L S T . • H O L Y O K E , MA • 0 1 0 4 0
P H O N E : 4 1 3 - 5 3 3 - 0 0 4 5 • O R 4 1 3 - 3 1 5 - 9 9 9 9
Please register now!
Costs before May 5th:
1st Person $35, Couple $40,
Add a grandparent for $10 (Non- homeschooling)
Add a High School Student for $10 (Parent MUST be in Attendance and responsible)
Nursing babies welcome and Free!
(Religious and Priests Registered by April 15 are Free! Form available at our website.)
We have posted our Confirmed Vendors and Speakers but expect to add more Vendors soon!

Costs after May 5th:
1st Person $40, Couple $50,
Add a grandparent for $12 (Non- homeschooling)
Add a High School Student for $12 (Parent MUST be in Attendance and responsible)
Phone: ___________________________________
Web Site: _____________________________________
Nursing baby (Y/N):__________
Attending with Spouse:______________________________
or Grandparent: __________________________
Check can be made payable to WMCH.
Mail to: 74 Pearl St Holyoke, MA 01040
Questions? Call Mary Brazeau 413-533-0045 or Christine Hebert at 413-315-9999
Donations welcome also but are not currently tax deductible.
You can also support this event by subscribing to Faith and Family Magazine or National Catholic
through our website.

The html code below allows you to promote our Yahoo group on a webpage or blog and get more updates directly from Western Mass Catholic Homeschoolers about this event.

style="border: 0px;"
alt="Click to join NewEnglandCatholicHomeschool"/>

Click to join NewEnglandCatholicHomeschool

With devotion to His Sacred Heart,
Mary Brazeau and
The Team at WMCH


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Daze

I don't normally let the kids miss a day of school due to snow. I may shorten the day, count shoveling as service and snowman making as art class, but I want to be done in June. Like DONE!
(Sorry the college kids are rubbing off on me....)
Anyway yesterday I had a massive migraine and pile of college homework so I gave them the snow day. At least it was supposed to snow. It did get hard to see and slick but Massa chusetts was spared--
Bonus! I got my work done and today I'm not shovelling and cleaning up icy footprints and dripping snowsuits.
I did still give them cocoa.
I almost feel caught up!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A better day!

Taxes are done!!!!!!!!

Only 1 sniffly kid!!!!!!!!!!!

So what if the hot water looks rusty......

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fun Fundraiser

Join Sean Forrest and his band with special guests for an unforgettable night of music and faith to support our efforts in Haiti.

When: Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 7pm
Where: Rockville High School Auditorium
70 Loveland Hill Road, Vernon, CT 06066

Tickets are just $18 and all proceeds go to support the MWTS Mission Haiti Program.
Tickets are available online, or you can Kristin at 203-815-2539.
More info here: http://mwts.org/missionhaiti/Helpin_Haiti_Concert.html

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sick kids, taxes and day care

So one of my teens is sick so I need to go to Holyoke Peds again and won't make it to co-op classes tomorrow. Tried starting taxes last night-- whoo hoo! Trying Turbo Tax since the nice guy who was doing them for me is really too nice to be a 'tax guy' and is going back to his day job.
In the mean time I had to make my sister get other care for her baby and get a babysitter for my kids so I can cover a vacation at work. Love the neighbor who is coming but the girls are already butting heads. I remember why I hate putting kids in Day care quickly.
Anyway I have NOT read the next chapter of Mother's Rule of Life and I'm not sure I'm supposed to quite yet. I haven't been to confession and know I need to. I'll miss Mass today due to the sickies. Homework and taxes call to me.
Anyway I will work on this part of the Rule and pray for all of you working on the book.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

From my mother-- a way to support Haiti

I have a friend in Haiti. Nicole and I have been in friends for over 50 years. I decided to forward this to you so you could get more info inthe needs down there. Iknow you've all donated to the relief effort, but I you might like to read these letters from Nicole's friends. Keep the prayers going too. Thanks

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "nkarlins@cox.net"

Subject: Haiti

Hi everybody!

I received this email from my brother Leslie whose wife works for the hospital mentioned below. Donations to this hospital will help continue free services and maintenance of supplies and equipment. For those of you who dont' know, Richie and I were in Haiti at my brother's house during the earthquake. My sister-in-law(Leslie's wife) works at this hospital. Although she is in administration. she did not get home that night until 2AM. She had to keep track of medication and equipment and help in any way she could. She worked long hours the whole time we were there. Please feel free to forward this information to all your email contacts.

Thanks for your help,


> Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 22:20:40 -0500
> Subject: Fwd: Haiti
> From: leslie stephenson
> ------------------------------
> Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 05:42:18 -0800
> From: cathrynosmak@yahoo.com
> Subject: Haiti
> To: cathrynosmak@yahoo.com
> Hello to all of you who I know are touched by the disaster in Haiti.
> Below is an email that I received from a family member in Haiti. Josiane is
> the daughter of Dr. Edith Hudicourt who is one of the founders of the
> Hopital de la Communaute.Dr. Hudicourt is Fred's aunt.
> If you know of anyone who would like to send a donation you can assure them
> that the money will used 100% for the needs of the hospital
> Thank you for reading this and if you have any questions I would be happy to
> answer them
> Kind regards,
> Cathryn Osmak Pierre-Louis
> Hi Everyone
> This is an appeal letter. I know that many people read my account of my 12
> hours from the time of the earthquake to the next morning when I felt the
> need to share with friends and family in the US. What I have been doing
> since is not easy to talk about because I have never imagined myself in such
> a situation. As many people know, my mother is the founding member of a
> foundation which runs a hospital near where my family lives. The hospital
> is not free because it doesn’t get enough external funding to sustain it.
> Everyday gasoline powered generators run to keep electricity going and
> there are full-time employees who have to be paid. The night of the
> earthquake, my sister, Brigitte, who is an ophtalmologist spent the whole
> night with the regular hospital employees, receiving patients. When she
> came home to shower and eat the next day at noon, and I decided to go back
> with her to help. Many of the lower level staff had gone home and not come
> back for the day and I found that the most useful thing I could do was pick
> up trash, all kinds of stuff was on the ground inside and out. The doctors
> and volunteers where just attending to the emergencies with very little
> help, and patients where not even being registered. Some hopital staff
> have died in the earthquake and some have lost family members. A young
> female assistant manager was killed with her preschool child..
> Yesterday morning, Brigitte and I had a meeting with our extended family and
> we made a plan to improve services, with or without the hospital’s regular
> staff. We created a trillage system and decided which relative would be at
> the first trillage stop, which would be in charge of supplies for the
> doctors, which would sort donated clothing, which would photograph dead
> bodies, etc.... Even the elderly and children in our extended families who
> were not going to the hospital had jobs of creating tags to be given out at
> the trillage station and making small packets of pain killers to be given
> away. The hospital staff was more present and we all did an enormous amount
> of work with many more volunteers. It no longer feels like hell, it feels
> like there is order and that people are being helped. I spent my morning
> filling out admission forms with patients, new and old. Patients have no
> resources. Banks are not open, people have lost everything, these are not
> ordinary times. We decided tonight that we would do an appeal to friends in
> the US so that we can assure to insure continued operations of this facility
> My aunt Dr. Ginette Diederich has openend a special bank account today in
> Miami:
> Hopital de la Communauté Relief-G. Diederich
> Account number 1000103902598
> Suntrust Bank
> 11333 South Dixie Highway
> Pinecrest FL 33156
> Haitian Health and Education foundation is a non-profit registered in the US
> for tax deduction purposes.
> Josiane
> L’Hopital de la Communauté Haitienne is a 50-bed hospital in the Fréres
> Neighborhood of Petion-Ville. It is a non-profit hospital created by the
> Haitian Health and Education Foundation (Fondation Haitienne pour la Santé
> et l’Education, FHASE) in 1985. It has always had emergency services as an
> important part of its mission, and opened Haiti’s first intensive care unit
> last year. The hospital attempts to be self-sustaining by charging patients
> minimal fees for services. For the last 3 days the hospital has been one of
> the few in the Port-au-Prince and Petion-Ville with no structural damage
> with working teams of physicians and nurses, and volunteers night and day.
> Thousands of wounded people have overtaxed the hospital’s capacity to
> respond to the emergency. People have come with multiple traumas but mainly
> with broken limbs and head injuries from fallen cement. There are not
> enough beds, and people are on makeshift mats on the floor.. One young man
> who is said to be the sole survivor of his family was on a bed without a
> mattress, on a plank of wood.
> The disaster that has fallen on Haiti is of enormous proportions. We are
> raising funds to be able to offer free services We have received gifts of
> supplies and medicines but these gifts cannot possibly cover all the needs.
> Orthopedic supplies are in great demand.
> The people who arrive at the hospital are in desperate situations. Many
> have lost their homes and family members. Some people are camping in the
> hospital yard because they do not know where to go after receiving care.
> People of all ages are being dropped at the hospital by those who are
> pullling them for the rubble. We hope you can contribute funds to help us
> continue helping people who are in desperate need of care.
> ------------------------------
> Your E-mail and More On-the-Go. Get Windows Live Hotmail Free. Sign up
> now.
> =
> --
> leslie stephenson

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hi All!

After a weekend of being sick with a cold and down with migraines I'm finally feeling myself. We had a great Conference meeting thsi AM and I promise to fix my links, tell you everything etc. In the meantime I'll be very busy and trying not to waste time at all my othetr favorite websites!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Everything I could manage to say yesterday about Haiti is on mine Facebook. Our support group will try to find something constructive to do but many in our group have put the mission in Haiti first for years-- our founders were married in a church there on a mission trip. A church that is now leveled.
Many of the churches have fallen killing untold numbers of priests, semenarians, sisters, missionaries and those who pray daily. Among them is the arch bishop. Today its finding ways to discuus the tragedy with my children.
Ways that are understanding of their lack of understanding-- who could understand this?
That respect their sadness-- I cried while I ironed last night
ways that give them something concrete to do and a greater understanding that prayer is as much for the pray-or as the pray-ee. After all God does not need us to tell Him that there was an earthquake and the world has tollerated a poorly built city on a fault line and that we have tollerated their poverty and thrown spare singles at the collection plate so we could forget. We pray to God because we need to be forgiven for each way we let this exist. Each expensive toy we felt we 'deserved' and each holiday we were dissatisfied with because it wasn't 'perfect.' We pray because once again we realise we are completely out of control, we never had controll at all anyway. Just an illusion.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Mother's Rule of Life

At www.thesteeds.net Happy Little Homemaker is a young mom looking to spend January and February studying A Mother's Rule of Life and actually making it work. She's already read the book 5 times. Maybe this is what I need? I've been think ever since our life went crazy how unprepared I was for so much change and how much I needed a retreat. Perhaps a working retreat is the best idea.
Each Saturday she will post an assignment and ask for comments and she's even planned an extra/catchup week knowing what a mom's life can be. This week she asked why we want to join this project. Here was my response:

"I've had and read the book and even started some of the work. However many big parts of our lives have changed and I need some real thought to go into 'what are my priorities?'
I have 7 kids, babysit a nephew, homeschool and am a leader in our support group. Before taking on babysitting I had started going back to school and started substitute teaching (and a small part time job ) while my husband was out of work. The problem is I REALLY loved being out of the house. Now he is back at work and I need to decide what I really want, what is best for the family and if I can stay home with a thankful heart."


No I haven't disappeared -- I simply am unsure about the direction this blog should take and if I have the time. But I do hope each of my internet friends has a blessed New Year.