Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa will be adding gifts this year!

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Small Success Thursday- It's finally Christmas Vacation!

I was thrilled today to have my students (well most of them) read their final memoir piece from our Author's Chair. They listened to each other, read clearly and we had a great time. We even cleaned out our bins and took down signs to get ready for our new unit in January.

I came home and crashed completely!

I've only made one batch of cookies-- DH has kept me well cared for so I haven't had to think about meals at all. DH's done laundry and given me shopping time so all I have to think about is ironing. He even surprised me by visiting my favorite store and picking out a gorgeous, comfy oufit for me!

I did make it to Reconcilliation this week and to choir practice so I feel ready for Christmas the Holy Day.
That's it. That's plenty.
Merry Christmas
and visit Chocolate for your Brain.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blessed Advent!

Made it to Reconciliation last night and I've made it to two choir rehearsals all because my CLASSES are OVER! I'm so excited. There is no quiet moment yet as I play catch up on everything else but what a relief!
Planning to blog more regularly next year. I thought about having it focus on learning to be a public school teacher however it will stay the same:
"Learning to be a Beloved Daughter of the King"

Have a wonderful Christmas season!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Three Weeks later

1) I see I never edited my blog post before I published it.
2) 3 of the kids had the cold develop into pneumonia-- all are fine now.
3) Still exhausted and have an enormous amount left to do for my college class and my classroom.

but tonight I'm making no progress so I'm stopping to enjoy the family I'm grateful for-- It's probably the best solution.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Coming up for (*cough*) air

Switching what I teach three weeks into the school year proved extremely difficult. I had really put all of my brain into the technology class and was really enjoying it. Holyoke uses a different approach from a company called America's Choice. Its a unique and successful way of teaching Higher Order Thinking within the Reading and Writing components but it really took a long time for my coach to help me get past the basics. This was made worse by the fact that the previous teacher had not followed the First 20 Days plan.
The only day I cried was the day after Open House at my kids new school. Compared to their ELA room mine was an embarassment. Thankfully I was able to get some early mornings and late afternoons to be presentable by our Open House.
But Friday was a special day. Jeff is official done working full time. He's the stay at home dad. It will be such a relief because working opposite shifts has been hard on all of us and the kids really missed him. We had both worked 6 days a week most of the way through fall. We're exhausted physically (hence the colds) and emotionally.
The storm here in the northeast is still shut down from the storm. We've had power and only lost landline and internet a couple days. Its given us much needed reast and family time. Jeff's practiced his cooking and baking skills and cleaned out the finance files. I had brought home tons of papers to correct and posted grades.
There is so much else I wish I'd had time to blog about: the dangers of my son's job, my classes and the great books we're reading, missing my friends and sisters, choir, my daughter's art.
But for now I'm just very grateful for rest.
And Candy corn!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Small Success Thursday ELA

Monday during computer class with some Middle school students our principal came to visit. I ignored him assuming he was checking that our Lesson Plan and Objectives were clearly visible. He'd informed us this would happen. Instead he called me outside and informed me the ELA teacher had resigned and I started in the morning.
Lots of small successes.
Mostly just glad we have the room clean and half organized. Eventually I'll really blog.

In the meantime visit Sherry to share your Small Successes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What I'll be doing this weekend:

1) Reading the play Death and the King's Horseman by Wole Soyinka as my foray into Cross- Cultural Comtemporary Literature. We had an excellent if brief discussion on what we each believe is the difference between "Cross" and "Multi" cultural, how much/little historical background we want ahead of time, and how to read literature from our viewpoint and still see the author's view.

2) Verifying all the information I gathered from my 350! students is in my gradebook as well as everything the admin/teachers gave me. (I know I need to review the IEP's I have so far.

3) Schedule time to observe my mentor for my Ed Planning/Evaluating Classes. I need about 45 hours observation and interviewing, then write my fieldwork journal.

4) Other homework for those classes.

5) Work Saturday

6) More research on becoming certified in Instructional Technologies.

7) MASS!

8) Ignore everything for a couple hours on Sunday and enjoy having DH and children home and awake at the same time.

9) Try not to blog again till I'm done.

10) Decide if I can also write a history of the New England Catholic Homeschool Conference.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Small Success Thursday- The Paycheck edition!

I just deposited my first teacher paycheck!
(Except the one day I was a sub.)
(You need a magnifying glass to see it because I'm still technically a sub.)

But here are three successes from this week:

Knew what I would teach each day before the kids arrived.
Had a successful 2nd class with the 7th graders.
My kids successfully enter the car on time each morning and arrived home safely!

Go to Sherry's page Chocolate for your Brain to share your Small Successes and read from other mom's. Its so encouraging!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sewing Find


I did tag sale some but I have way too much and sev eral unfinished projects. But we'll see--- my classes start in a week.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

No Small Joys!

and there were no Small Successes this week. I worked full time for the first time in years and loved it. I loved my job despite the first day of actual school(not meetings) having 7th graders who would not listen long enough for me to get them on the computer. Took forever to get all my permissions and all (as in I'm having to use someone else's user and password for certain processes.) But the week was fabulous!

Joy 1-- First and second graders marching through on their tour. Adorable!

Joy 2-- 4th graders with Aspergers "I already know everything about the computer."

Joy 3 -- 7 year old with Austism holding my hand on the mouse and rejoicing at each right answer.

Joy 4 -- not having any students at the time of fire drills (yep- we had two!)

Joy 5-- Leslie's reaction to the first day of school. and Zoe's and Marie's and Sarah's and David's.

Joy 6-- Friday after school all of my family descending to see my NJ sister's kids.
Joy 7-- Saturday am Breakfast with Mum, Dad and All My Sisters!!!!! (Huston we have a problem.)
             Bubbles, silly photos, too much coffeee and names drawn for the Christmas swap.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Come Tour my Classroom!

I have lots of homework over the weekend: MAPS, Aleks, Mass Standards and the big binder of information on McMahon School. Yay! Homework!

Small Success Thursday- The insomnia post

Sherry at Chocolate for your Brain has (wisely) not posted yet (its 3:50am) but I'm up with Murphy's insomnia so here goes:
UPDATE: HERE's the Link
1) HIRED!!!!! Not a very small thing in my world. Instead of an English spot I'll be the Computer Room teacher. Mostly involves team teaching-- the students improve Math Skills on a program called ALEKS or work on a paper for English, History etc. Hoping to show I learned plenty about this last semster.

2) Cleaned my house the other day -as in actually swept from the boys room in the attic all the way to the first floor. Prettied up the dining room and living room and it has (mostly) stayed that way)

3) Made a second batch of sauce!

4) Cleaned out the last of the conference supplies! We had a Used Curriculum sale Monday and I sold/gave away lots and made sure everyone had a share in the left overs. Cheryl and I recycled the last on the Welcome bag flyers. Today I tossed the really dead books and VCR tapes noone wanted.

5) BTS shopping with the teen boy done. 2 stores Dick's Sporting Goods and Target. Still cannot believe I have a successful athelete for a child.

6) Bought classroom supplies and books for kids about computers for my classroom. I also designed and printed stickers to label them:

from the Classroom of
     Mrs. Brazeau
So it was a good week despite the many days I was very frustrate with the job search. Hope you have some Small Success to share. I'll post the link when Sherry wakes up and has her coffee,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Parenting Question

from my friend Patrice at Spiritual Woman
I have some thoughts but need a day to pull them together.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Joyful Cooking!

Joyful weekend after a long week. (no answer from the job interview still)
I spent Saturday in PJ's cooking and cleaning. (Now I really can't wait for DH to stay home and be the wife. He's a better cook, cleaner etc. But when I snap out of it I can get a lot done in one day.) Friday I made our trip to Mountain View Farm. This is the CSA we joined after The Food Bark Farm closed. Its gorgeous and friendly and Ben and Liz are an amazing couple.

This is my favorite; cravings dictate having some weekly.
Gorgeous curly kale quick cooked
with olive oil and sweet onion.

More seconds should make another great batch.
We have one watermelon left from last week
and these tomatoes were the regular share.

Mushrooms, onion, peppers, eggplant to add.

We pick up the share amount on the board every week and then have the opportunity to buy other local grown organic food, low spray fruits and sometimes can buy flats of seconds or extras to process.
This is a small, beautiful example of the quality of the produce.

My plan of attack normally involves:
1) Clean out the fridge the day before
2) Start something, anything! to get started
3) Get cleaning (the kids clear table, run dishwasher etc and don't clean to a mom's standard)
4) Use food grinder or food processor to slice tomatoes. (Love my cone sieve but its messy and adds a step. Besides the fiber of the seeds and skins is good for us.)
5) Prep and cook down a variety of veggies to make each frozen container of sauce a unique meal.
(I had to buy the mushrooms and onions at Stop and Shop this time.)

My Corner!
This batch made 12 containers of frozen sauce plus dinner.

Never know what strange veggies will come home from the farm!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Small Success Thursday - To the future!

I'm determined to look to the future with more joy. Its been disheartening not to hear back on interviews and other job applications but looking at my small (and big) successes this week is really helping. Be sure to visit Sherry with your successes!

1) Managed to squeak out a few more prayers than I had lately. Espcially I've tried to manage a morning prayer before getting out of bed.

2) Cancelled one of my events to be present to the kids and Dear Husband in the rare times both are home. Would have been nice to sing there but no one was up to attending.

3) Helped my employer hire a new office manager through a temp agency: contacting agencies, setting up email, sorting resumes, scheduling interviews and discussing after interviews. Bonus: He's getting a great Catholic woman! (Not on his list of requirements but I'm betting we're answering prayer.)

4) Met the couple who will chair the New England Catholic Homeschool Conference being hosted by St Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. They have great ideas and are finalizing the location. Big news soon!

(is that it? OOooo! How could I forget!?!)

5) A van full of donations went to the tag sale for our new merged parish, a vanful went to a used clothing store, a vanful is ready for a friend's fundraiser tagsale. I got rid of so much I let myself go to TJMax for some clearance tops and a pair of pants for work.

6) sewed! actually held a needle and thread. Just hemming for myself and my daughter but it was awesome!

Thanks must go to my teens for stepping up on cleaning out rooms, my Lissa-Belle for for taking her siblings for a day and night of painting, tag, games, ice cream, hiking etc, and DH.

Now don't forget to share your Small Successes (and for a day ignore what did not get done,)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Have you read this?

The Giant Internet Hand of Spanking!
or why sometimee blogger will go for days without posting anything.....

I may need to follow her - very funny!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Small Success Thursday - mostly

1) Only blew up at the kids a few times a day since vacation. The lack of cleaning or helping without rolled eyes hit its limit last Saturday. We are finally finding the floor and clean laundry.

2) Survived another car incident- only $400 in for this one.

3) Booked an interview for tomorrow morning and built a portfolio of EVERYTHING I want to use to plan teaching that grade.

4) Spent our anniversary gift money (and our Christmas budget) on a TV, Blueray and a nice console for the livingroom. It was a great day and Dear Hubby is very happy.

5) Spent the week helping my boss start the search for a new office manager. I was always interested in the hiring process so its been fun.

Congratulations to Sherry at Chocolate for Your Brain on her 21st! wedding anniversary.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Small Success Thursday- Cape Cod version

Having a wonderful time here at my Mother-in-law's home. I feel like I need to be on top of the job search so I'm not fully vacationing but I did make sure to be mom.

1) actually watched them play at the beach: not just because I had 3 internet friends nearly lose a child in a swimming accident this summer. (scary!) I just remembered they won't always play this way. I think the teens are really having a hard time without Grandpa this visit though.

2) took one daughter and my SIL shopping: Found cute shoes for all three of us and future work clothes for me! 2 professional dresses-- and let my teen choose 'teacher jewelry' for me.

3) took the three little girls for an adventure: Playground trip and ice cream included a visit to the beaches their older siblings used to swim. Vistited Glendale and Bank St despite a huge traffic jam in Harwich I wasn't expecting. Had our cones at the Weatherdeck. yum

Don't forget Moms to visit Sherry at Chocolate for your Brain and share your Small Successes. It's so easy to focus on what's gone wrong instead.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Almost 25 years- only 24 hours to celebrate

Get a hotel room where they have a pool.
Go to Chandler's Tavern
at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield.
Let your DH order the wine-- Mondavi
and enjoy with Blue Crab Cake, Prime Rib, Grilled Salmon and amazing fresh veggie dishes.
Follow with free celebration Key Lime Cheesecake.

Share with the same person who has been your best friend for 33 years (even when you didn't know it) and has been married to you for 25 years.

Equals content.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Small Success Thursday July is over? edition

Yesterday was Thursday but it was long! so no posting till this morning. We have finished the girls' Summer Strings program with the public schools and it was fun. One of the inner city schools was the location and they made friends. Two of the girls were able to play for the afternoon between the last class and the last concert since I was their ride. (At the gorgeous Wisteriahurst)

"Oh, you should see my Wisteria-It is beautiful today and the place is rightly named…Father has just come up from the mill and is sitting out on the piazza taking in the perfume of the flowers which he seems to appreciate."
-Sarah Skinner in a letter to Belle Skinner, May 1901.

Photograph by John Waitling

I am very grateful today for my van and my big home and my quiet, safe neighborhood. I am inpressed by the families raising such wonderful children in the midst of the poverty, noise and chaos below the canals in our city.

So, successes:
1. Vacation planned including a night away to celebrate our anniversary.
2. Cleaned my desk this week.
3.Bought everything we need to reseat the dining room chairs.

Good week.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Small Success Thursday?

I've been thinking about this post all day with an attempt not to let it become complaining. See I don't mind work--physical, lifting, mowing, scrubbing etc. What I CAN'T stand is convincing every one else that getting certain tasks done within the week its requested is not nagging. Buy new sheets? They sit in  the package. Beds made? well Ok but not with a pillow case. Shower? Sure but no way to carrying more than one towel to the bathroom.

And the muttering!

Well the 'change' and the 99 degree temps were too much today to handle being the mom of seven -best or not.

1. All children are alive.
2. There is no vodka in my iced coffee.
3. My kitchen is cleaner than last week.

I can't wait to go to work tommorrow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


With her new earings and her new friend Crystal.
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Snippets

Have you visited This, That and the Other Thing? She's a great blogger and hosting a blog carnival called Sunday Snippets. Visit on Sundays to what faith based articles bloggers hope you'll see.

I want to call your attention to a homily on our diocesan blog. A priest I knew well delivered it this week at the funeral of his friend and fellow priest who suffered depression and finally succumbed to suicide. A message all Catholics should hear.

My deepest condolences Fr. Lessard. We will pray for Fr. Paul.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Small Success Thursday (late= again)

First apologies to FB users. Settings have changed since I first set up both FB and this blog and linked them. Occasionally FB pulls the last 10 of my posts, changes their order and puts all of them on my page at once. It will be a big success when I solve that problem.

Anyway today we have a big party planned for my Zoe's 10th birthday. All I have left to do is decoratem buy ice and drinks and sides, finish the rice and beans, pick up the cake and a flute lesson. You can see why I haven't posted.

Three successes?
1 Took Zoe for a haircut and it came out cute.
2 Vacuumed. The rug won't give up the dog hair but I did vacuum.
3 Took David for his permit test and then for a first drive in a parking lot.

One big success was finally offering most of my homeschool books for sale. I'll have to sell the rest online though so we'll see.

Hope all are well and already visited Sherry!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Reading

I have not worked on my existing list because I found a good deal at Costco's so here's a rambling post before I get to far into my next book.

Brave New World By Aldous Huxley  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Lord of the Flies (Casebook)Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Both issues contain many great critics and interviews with the authors at the end of the book. I was reminded of the idea that High School literature is wasted on teens. It can be so true.
I do not remember reading Lord of the Flies. I must have. I was certainly more interested in Romeo and Juliet. My oldest son remembers enojying the book very much. My current freshman absolutly hated the book.
I found the characters fascinating and loved the Christ figure Simon. Piggy was so lovably and reasonable and brought me to tears. Ralph was so real: trying to be a leader but still so much a boy.

Now Brave New World was on some other list of recommended reading (can't remember which) so I took a chance. Its certainly not a book I would expect someone under 21 to comprehend at all. Huxley takes a contrasting view to Orwell's distopia in 1984. Orwell predicted government so controlling the people through Big Brother and torture that a society would develop that would become self sustaining. The people would accept and love Big Brother.
Huxley however believed that science would be used to make future generations docile in accepting and loving the job they were designed to do. The contrast between the drones of society  who love their conditioned acceptance and a savage brought into their midst highlights how easily we could be drawn in, our struggle with our sexuality and how little we sometimes value the art, science and freedom of thought and participatory government that we have.
It was an illuminating book. That said the overt sexuality of those conditioned to accept this society, a major part of that conditioning, may be too much for some readers. It is integral to an understanding of the process where science could be used to control a populous however. Since young adults and teens do not have a mature or complete picture of this part of adult life the book could be very confusing to them. It should be noted especially that modern public school students may believe they have a full concept and should be encouraged to reread the book as an adult if they do not save it for college.
This volume contains a letter from Huxley to Orwell which places the books and the authors in  contexr.

Monday, Monday

My day yesterday was definitely a mixed bag:

Good: Zoe's Birthday !!!
Bad: I only have 1 child left under 10.

Good: I did huge piles of laundry including most of the sheets.
Bad: Found out the dehumidifyier has been leaking, apparently for a long time.

Good: Cleaned out the clutter near the dehumidyfier.
Bad: Didn't finish the project of fixing the girls Roman shades.

Good: The sun has them up early.
Bad: I have to be up early.

Great: Remembered to pray!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Small Success Thursday -Is it really July?

So, we spent a lovely weekend with my Mother-in-law at the Cape. It was perfect and I was going to post the pics from my camera-- but that's not working yet.
Anyway we celebrated Zoe and my sister-in-law's birthdays, Mass at the Pope Pius X parish, walked, beached, ate and ate. It was great. Only one sunburn too.

So my three Small Successes since then would be:
1 Laundry done. (always tough after vacation of any sort)
2 Zoe's big #10 kid party planned
3 Packed up 7 boxes of books, curriculum and CD Roms to sell.

Share yours! A mom's life can be repetitive and lacking in camaraderie. This is the perfect boost to keep us going the next week.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Let's Play... "What Happens Next!!!"

(cue cheesy game show music)

Here is your questions:

You are a mom to many kids and choose NOT to buy laundry detergent you need after work since you think you've caught up.

Studio Audience: "What     Happens    Next?"
Yes, you will have a child need clean bedding at midnight!

Bob, tell the lady what she's won.

Well Allan she's won an exercise hour at midnight washing sheets but we have a surprise gift!
In the pile of recycling she will find..... a full container of detergent!!!!!!

(cue applause and confetti)
(OK skip the confetti-- who wants to sweep at 1AM)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Small Success Thursday June 30

Many of you know of the big success I was able to be part of but even my Small Successes feel big:

1. Registered my three youngest for public school without tears or confusion. I remembered all the papers, ID's and blood samples needed. (OK not really but it was almost as much work as the homeschooling paperwork.)

2. Pulled piles of Math and Science supplies to donate to the cause of a great new teacher-- My son's girlfriend.

3. Straightened out summer music program for the girls, wrestling club for David, driving school for same son, babysitting hours for Sarah, my work schedule, and travel back and forth to my MIL's on the calendar and in my brain (I think?)

At the same time DH and our brother in law were able to arrange for us to buy a great used car so David can end up with our second car. DH's even getting the mower fixed so the boy can mow. (Not sure David realizes that....)

Anyway enjoy your 4th celebration.

And join Sherry at Chocolate For Your Brain.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why Novenas?

We humans are so dense - it takes practice and the formation of good habits to undo our bad habits. Daily prayer has been difficult with my schedule out of wack. Time alone is scarce. But computer time is easy in my too modern world.
So don't forget to join in our novenas, God's gift to us.
Today is Day 8 of the Novena for Priests with the Faith and Family community and Day 7 of the dedication of Sophia Press to the Sacred Heart with the Thomas More College community.

Christ and the New Media-- something to consider.....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Our confence is over! It was amazing but boy did I crash when I finally came home from clean up and picking up my kids!

Pictures and talks will be posted this week. Numbers will be crunched. The change of date and the continuing bad economy hurt us but we came through OK.

We were able to make our big announcement! Thomas More College will host and RUN the 4th New England Catholic Homeschool Conference in Merrimack, NH! Now the stress is off homeschool families to make this effort and next year we can just go enjoy.

On a sad note it was my last official day as a homeschool parent. Its very bittersweet to know that opening this new chapter in my life will give me less contact with the amazing families I've met and made friends with over the years.

But we just never know what joy the Lord has prepared for us next.

Don't forget the Novenas below-- the weekend made me lose track of the days but I did pray them each morning.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 2 Novena to the Sacred Heart (Don't forget the other novena for our priests)

The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
offered on behalf of Sophia Institute Pres
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord,
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.
Let us pray
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.

Sophia Institute Press is the publishing division of
The publishing division of Thoma More College of Liberal Arts and of Holy Spirit College.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dedication of Sophia Press to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Another Novena I'll be doing:

From the desk of
William Fahey, Ph.D.
President, Thomas More College
Publisher, Sophia Institute Press

Like many in New England, we heat our house with wood.
On winter mornings at dawn — and sometimes before dawn — I carefully place kindling and wood into our heavy iron woodstove.
On its front, I see the image of St. Hubert the hunter, kneeling in praise before a mighty stag whose horns are topped with the Cross.

As I, too, kneel, that image reminds me each morning to recite the old Scottish prayer:
I will kindle my fire
this morning
in the presence
of the holy angels
of Heaven.

God, kindle Thou
in my heart within
a flame of love.

In a few minutes I hear the pleasant popping and crackling of the new fire and smell the delightful scent of burning oak and maple: logs we labored all summer to stack and split.
That wood, transformed into pure flame and heat, then transforms our chilled morning rooms into a warm and cozy home.

Isn't this what we each desire? To have our lives transformed? Filled with pleasant things, protected from bitterness.

It can happen,
and it can happen now:
The Sacred Heart of Jesus
is the furnace of God's love.
If we allow it, that Heart will transform each of us and all our works. It will fill our days with joy and keep bitterness and sin at bay.
We need only embrace His mercy:
Heart of Jesus,
burning furnace of love,
have mercy on us!

Into its flames
we throw our troubles.
They are burned up.

We throw
our weaknesses.
They are burned up.

We throw
our human frailties.
They are burned up.

When we give over even trivial cares to the Sacred Heart, His mercy burns them up and leaves us with a sustaining warmth and consolation. His mercy restores our hope.
Just nine days from today is the Solemn Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: July 1st. On that day, priests at the chapels of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts here in New Hampshire and at Holy Spirit College in Atlanta will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Sophia Institute Press, for her staff, for her friends and benefactors, and for all who have purchased solid Catholic books from her.
You and your intentions will be remembered at both altars, as we ask that our work here at the Press as well as all those associated in any way with the Press may be blessed and transformed by the Sacred Heart.
After those Masses, we shall formally consecrate Sophia Institute Press to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and enthrone His image at the Press offices.

Blessed John Paul II once noted that when it’s recited and meditated upon, the Litany of the Sacred Heart is a "true school of the interior life."
Each of us needs a strong interior life. Without one, the best intentions, the best mission statement, the best staff, the best resources will never have the impact they should. With a strong spiritual life, Christ can move in us and guide all our actions according to the Father's will.

You know, when I assumed the Presidency of Thomas More College, problems were manifold, the work exhausting. Poverty and strife threatened soon to destroy us.
We consecrated the College to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and enthroned in the College chapel an Icon of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
And that has made all the difference!

Visitors acquainted with our troubled school remarked on the peace that had settled on the campus, the quiet transformation that could be felt.
A new heart was beating.
Whose heart was it?
Who was the real agent
of the transformation
at the College?
None other than the burning furnace of love, the abyss of all virtues, the King and center of all hearts: the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

God be praised, dissension, strife and turmoil are not among the troubles here at Sophia Institute Press. But years of money troubles have wearied her small staff, leaving them dispirited at times
. . . spiritually chilled like a house struggling through a cold New Hampshire night.
It's time to warm their hearts and those of all who benefit from her and support her with the fire of God’s love that burns in His Sacred Heart.
As I said, July 1st is the Feast of the Sacred Heart. In the nine days between now and then, will you join us in throwing all our troubles and concerns into that blessed furnace of Divine Love?

Will you, on each of the next nine days, make time in your day to pray with us this Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus? (At this link you can print out a copy for your pocket or purse.)

When we pause to consider our limitations and confront our sins and weakness (especially our forgetfulness or even neglect of God's power and glory and mercy), we restore our souls. That repair work -- reparation -- is central to devotion to the Sacred Heart.

So please join me as I work to repair my own soul; please join me in assisting others through prayer to repair their souls; and let us all together seeks God's help in repairing Sophia Institute Press, through the power of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Please join me in praying this Litany for nine days, and by going to Mass on July 1st, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In corde Jesu,

William Edmund Fahey, Ph.D.
President, Thomas More College
New President and Publisher
Sophia Institute Press

Sophia Institute Press | Box 5284 | Manchester | NH | 03108

Small Success Thursday Two days till the onference

so I have to make this quick:
1- interview Monday went well, won't hear for a while
2- Had coffee with a friend today
3- turned in paperwork on my last year homeschooling and picked up paperwork to enroll my girls

Next week I must:
1- Enroll the girls
2- Plan my Program of Study contract for my Master's in English
3- pull our homeschool books to sell.

go visit Sherry!

Day 2 Prayer for Priests

O Almighty Eternal God, Look upon the face of Thy Christ, and for the love of Him, Who is the Eternal High Priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop’s hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.
O Jesus, I pray to Thee, for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests, for Thy lonely and desolate priests; for Thy young priests; for Thy aged priests; for Thy sick priests; for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in purgatory.
But above all, I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me or helped and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly [name a particular priest of your choosing here]. O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Recommended Reading

These are required or recommended for Holyoke students. I think I'll use this to start my summer reading. This includes Honors and standard class lists but not the AP classes. Blue indicates I've already read it (and remember!)

Johnny Tremain Esther Forbes
The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison
The Human Comedy William Saroyan
Never Cry Wolf Farley Mowat
The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

 Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder
Death Be Not Proud John Gunther
Light in the Forest Conrad Richter
The Sea Wolf Jack London
The Yearling Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Call of the Wild Jack LondonLet the Circle Be Unbroken Mildred D. Taylor
Watership Down Richard Adams
Summer Edith Wharton
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Jack Canfield
Hometown Tracy Kidder
All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque
The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury
All Creatures Great and Small James Herriot
My Left Foot Christy Brown
Irish Folk Tales Agatha Christie
And Then There Were None Agatha Christie
Dracula Bram Stoker
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
The Time Machine H.G. Wells
Little Big Man Thomas Berger
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Ernest J. Gaines
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith
Ragtime E.L. Doctorow
Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
The Joy Luck Club AmyTan
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Sad State

our church is in.....

Catholic Homeschooling and Traditional Catholic Blog Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints: Father John Corapi, The Black SheepDog and the Sac...: "Let me start with this.....a CATHOLIC FACT: Once a man's hands are consecrated he is always a priest...because it is a SACRAMENT....priestly..."

Shared this from a new friend I follow,

Also go to Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Small Success Thursday June 16

I missed last week for a very good reason-- I spent three days with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It was wonderful. I bought a book but barely touched it then-- just sat and talked and cuddled my girls. It was a BIG success to just stop. I didn't bring the computer at all.

So here are my Small Successes for the last two weeks:

1- shopped on my lunch hour and bought a nice outfit for my interview Monday.
2- Read The Shack! Awesome! (Its a good thing Jesus is a carpenter because he has plenty of two by fours to hit me with to remind me what I already know.)
3- Made the switch back to half caf coffee. (only one migraine)
4- Welcome Bags made for the conference
5- Door Prize list posted
6- Pulled out my guitar-started teaching the kids and practicing again-- Its like riding a bike, all came back to me.

So to Chocolate For Your Brain for Small Successes and don't miss her post about big families.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Door Prizes for the New Eng Catholic Homeschool Conference

Registrants are eligible:
4 Gift Certificates from Emmanuel Books (catalogs available in Welcome Bag) each
valued at $10.00
2 books- Cathedrals in the Wilderness by J. Herman Schauinger
from Our Lady of the Rosary School valued at $6.95
1 CD- Media Vita - A Liturgical Devotional Journey Through Lent to Easter
from The Christendom College Choir and Schola Gregoriana
1 Faith Folders For Catholics CDRom: The Sacrament of Confirmation
from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts, LLC valued at $14.00
1 Magazine from St. Mary's Messenger- a new magazine for kids!
2 Books-- We Have a Pope! by Karen Congeni from New Springtime Press valued at $16.95
1 Top and Rosary- Moisture wicking Black size Medium from Mamas Movin' with Mary
valued at $25.00
1 set- Little Flowers Wreath 1 and 4 Badges -anon donor- from Ecce Homo and Quiet Waters valued at $10.00 each

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cried for the whole day...

and God wants me to tell you: He's especially fond of you.

Now go read The Shack. Really.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Reading Books 2, 3 and 4

      I was surprised to like the Dean Koontz book The Darkest Evening of the Year. I had never read his because I thought it was all horror. This certainly had bad guys who were truely evil but the couple who are protagonists were wonderful characters. Central to the story are several Golden Labs and some decidedly not Catholic spiritual happenings. However it was inventive and hopeful and worth the short read.
     Hold Tight was a very interesting read for those with teens but for some it may hit too close to home. A neighborhood recovering from the suicide of a teen is the setting for the question of secrecy, privacy and modern technology for spying and tracking teens (and parents!) Harlan Cobin is another author I had not read before now. The book was very well researched and the main characters well developed.
      I finished both by last Monday and on Tuesday had the chance to go spend three days with my mother-in-law. There was a time she was the one who kept me supplied with books. Since then she's weeded down her collection at the Cape and found other interests.
      That's OK - I always forget to pack something (this time it was underwear) so I hit Stop and Shop early. I bought The Shack. Its been out forever but I hadn't read it yet. So far I've hardly started. Mom and I had so much fun watching the girls explore the beach, we had so many conversations to catch up on, that I held the book but didn't open it often.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cape Cod!

I'm sitting here on my father in laws computer waiting for my little girls to come home from a friend's house to good news: We have a date to go to the Cape! I haven't seen my MIL (and she hasn't seen the girls) since September 2009. We get to meet the new dog, the new windbreaks at the beach, a favorite aunty and most of all Grandma.
(Oh and she's buying cheese! We all know what that means.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Small Success Thursday (a day or two late)

Forgive me but Thursday was spent making sure everyone I knew survived the tornados that hit Massachusetts on Wednesday.
3 schools are condemned including one of the Catholic High Schools.
2 new homeschoolers I helped this year: one started a clothing drive and one had her car demolished.
1 friend of a sister lost her entire home just weeks before her Jack and Jill and months before her wedding.

Some great reflections from friends:


In Confessions- I missed Ascension. Totally. Lack of sleep is partly to blame. DH is working 4Pm to 2AM plus a Saturday shift.
We. Aere. Not. Sleeping.


But lets see if I can find 3 Small Successes:
1. I remembered to make a beer run for DH-- a day late but I found his favorite: Berkshire Brewery Steel Rail Pale Ale. Nummy!
2. I bought actual groceries and plan to cook and actual meal tomorrow. (At least on Sunday an early supper seems normal.)
3. I paid for my Preliminary License to teach 5-12 English!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We're fine!

Tornadoes cause heavy damage in WMass:

But its been a long afternoon. Only one death reported. Praise God.

Book one down

Last night I finished Pride and Prejudice and thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Bennett sisters. The girls aren't entirely in the summer mode to let mom read uninterrupted for hours so there was a certain amount of rereading paragraphs to understand everything.
On to Dean Koontz- I have never read anything of his. Think I'm up to scary. We'll see.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Small Success Thursday May 26

Its time to count up our Small Successes! To read them all go to Chocolate for Your Brain


1. This will be my 4th post since finishing school! Yay! I was not convinced I would get back in the habit at all.

2. Girls and I visited the grammar school they will attend and it was a very nice visit.

3. Grouped with my Cursillo friends on Monday night-- missed them so much! Knowing they were praying me through the last year was everything sisterhood in Christ is supposed to be.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Reading

I will have a rare opportunity to do summer reading just for fun. I grabbed Pride and Prejudice the other night only because it was out. Then I couldn't find it to read during the kids testing. Thought of reading items we didn't cover in class from the Bedford's Anthology of World Literature but I just couldn't do it. Tried Pilgrim's Progress but that also seems like work.
Then last night I stopped by my mother's and she loaned me two newer ones by authors I haven't read before. So I have Hold Tight by Harlen Coben and a Dean Koontz called The Darkest Evening of the Year. She said the second is very hard to read at first and then it gets easier.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Small Success Thursday

1. I Blogged today! Its been a long time.
2. I vacuumed today!   Ditto!
3. Started Iowa testing for the girls-- its going OK.

Visit Chocolate for your Brain on Thursday's for Small Success Thursday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coming up for air

I graduate May 21st with my son and his girlfriend. The last of my tests and such will be done second week of May. My Grad school app is nearly complete. Several job applications have gone out. Giving up blogging was hard. Luckily one of my projects was a Teacher Website mock up
I'm so grateful to my DH for making this work. He's had his own crosses to deal with: bad job, lay-off, learning a new job, ...
but he's been cooking for me, cleaning and running errands on the weekend.
I love you sweetheart!
Have a Blessed Triduum, a Happy Easter, a peaceful spring,