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!