Friday, February 29, 2008

Confirmation Day

Well today's the day. Yesterday was the practice at the church and it was a bit of a disaster. Many of the kids don't attend regular church services so they don't have any idea of the responses etc. I find that frustrating. But God dealt with my attitude yesterday and reminded me that many of these kids don't go to our specific church, so a few of them might not be familiar with where the 'gifts' are to bring the up and so on. He reminded me to be Merciful. Look where I was way back when. I'm not who I was and not yet who I'm gonna be, Thank God!
So today is a busy day of cleaning and organizing and hair and nails and then forgetting all that 'stuff' and seeking the spirit.
Sara is so excited. She's spent the week with her sponsor in prayer and study and its been so lovely. Her Novena ends today and her new life in the Spirit begins. Congratulations Sara, I've never been prouder of you than I have this past few months watching you grow closer to Jesus and setting your gaze firmly on Him. It's YOUR day today! I'll post pictures when I can.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's Chocolate Day

Today is Chocolate Day at our house. Now really, any day is chocolate day but specifically today we are making chocolates for my daughters Confirmation Blessing Celebration. She will be Confirmed on Friday night and then on Saturday we will celebrate with family and the women of her life gathering around her, will bless her. It will be lovely. But, we're getting ready, cleaning and prepping. And so, today is chocolate day. My kitchen has become Charlies Chocolate Factory as we melt and mould 100 flowers and butterflies and 25 butterflies on sticks. Sara is diligently painting pink chocolate inside the butterfly wings and then layering white chocolate into the mould so they come out lovely. Very sweet. She has chosen a theme of butterflies to represent the new life of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within her. I think its a lovely theme. So pray for her as she professes her faith publicly and becomes a stronger servant of Christ.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Signs of spring

I'm looking for signs of spring...outside I don't see anything but snow,snow,snow. But inside, I'm getting antsy...I want to clean and dust and open windows really wide and wash my curtains so they blow in the breeze and bring the fresh laundered smell back into the house. I'm longing for green and the feel of dirt on my hands and the sun warming my face (with sunscreen of course)and a Robin, any robin will do and the sounds of birds waking me up. I'm longing to hear an airplane go by in the morning rousing me from an amazing sleep, tricking me into thinking I'm up North (I am in my dream) and thinking for just a moment that it's a boat not a plane. Oh, spring, where are you? I'm missing my romance with you. Come quickly.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Things are good

So, since the fall, I've had time with my Jesus and found out lots and lots about myself. I've found out these things.
1. I need prayer
2. I need to pray even more than I do
3. I need to be in the word like an IV drip (thanks Jen)
4. My angels were with me because nothing else on my body was hurt
5. Coulda been worse
6. I'm experiencing supernatural healing because I'm hardly limping anymore and my friend who is well experienced in this area during prayer told me it usually takes a few weeks to get to the limping stage and I'm almost done with it
7. I have great friends who pray for me (thanks Dom, Jen, Alicia, Lynn, Marisa and everyone in blogland who reads,comments or just reads)
8. I am way better at believing God then I thought I was when I first fell
9. Falling sucks
10. I'm really NOT afraid

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Also funny....but...

This is a really cute version of what Catholics believe and answers a bundle of questions all in one song...well done indeed!

Way toooooo funny

I just did this thing for fun and low and behold, this popped up...well, I'm an ECE teacher (on a long sabatical) a Sunday School Teacher, A Cathecism Teacher, A Youth Leader, and drum roll please........A Homeschool Teacher. Too too funny!!!!

You Should Be a Teacher

You are patient, optimistic, and good at explaining things.

You work well with all types of people, and you are a good role model.

Success and positive outcomes are extremely important to you.

You are both a good leader and instructor. People look up to and depend on you.

You do best when you:

- Can see the results of your work

- Are able to teach someone a new skill

You would also be a good nurse or non fiction writer.


"One should honor Mary as she herself wished and as she expressed it in the Magnificat. She praised God for his deeds. How then can we praise her? The true honor of Mary is the honor of God, the praise of God’s grace . . . Mary is nothing for the sake of herself, but for the sake of Christ . . . Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God. " Explanation of the Magnificat, 1521

"Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of us all.
If Christ be ours . . . all that he has must be ours,
and His Mother also must be ours." -- Martin Luther, 1529

from A Catholic Notebook

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Fall

Yep, its Lent and a great topic to focus on during that time of preparation for Easter is the fall. Only that's not my subject for today. No, today I'd like to focus on a fall of a different nature. The fall I'm talking about is the spectacular flip I took off my icyfront porch on the way to church Sunday morning. Oh yeah, spectacular is mild considering the total wipe out I took. So, I'm walking out the door, knowing its raining, not knowing it was ice rain. I'm teaching 2 classes that morning so I need to look somewhat nice so I forgo the sensible boots and put on a rockin pair of least they were flat. (Those who know me can atest to my love of high heels...) Anyway, I'm not kidding when I say this, one foot hit the porch and the rest of me sailed along behind in a sort of ballet. Only mine was not elegant. I honestly don't remember the fall, just the landing. I hit the ground in what I can only describe as a really great goalie position. Ready to make a great save, you know? One leg was behind me and one in a position something like the splits only, I can't do the splits. Now, remember, I'm going to be teaching so I'm loaded for bear, I have every Cathecism book I own, plus craft materials, candles, bibles, markers, blah blah get the picture. The stuff was everywhere, because in ice, things travel far when they've had a great push. Now, I'm not a petite woman, I'm full figured so this fall had some gusto behind it. And even in this new most vulnerable position my first thought was not did I break anything, but, was instead, 'did anyone just see that'? Oh yeah, my pride was in full swing. The neighbours across the road were pulling out of the driveway around the time I went down so I'm not really sure if they saw, but they're the type that would have stopped the car in the middle of traffic to run over and see if I was okay. No, they kept driving...I stayed down until they turned the corner. Then it hit...FEAR. Oh my gosh, overwhelming FEAR. Talk about an attack. So I reach around behind myself to see if my ankle is in anyway attached to my leg and it is so its not a compound fracture thank you Jesus. So I pull myself into a crawl position and scooch into the house. This whole event actually took about 1 minute of my life, but felt like hours. I finally get through the front door and scream to my husband...."FRANK HELP ME......." He doesn't come. My daughter who was about 5 steps behind me was right there trying to help me walk. And I'm still screaming for my husband...he finally hears me and comes up the stairs in 2 leaps. He is a robust indivdual and my knight in shining armour....I'm crying at this point, why didn't you come??? He says, I didn't hear you I was in the bathroom. Men! Anyway, he came to rescue me like he always does. Honestly, ladies, he really is my knight in shining armour and in a different post in a different time of history, I'll tell you why. Just know that this man, is my true love and I am a very blessed woman. I know with my soul that God made this man just for me and somehow, found me worthy of him. Ahhhhhh, okay, back to the, Frank twists and turns and looks for bones to be in the right spot and I'm crying and out of my mouth pops the following, I'll quote it for you because I remember it so clearly. "I'M AFRAID" Can you believe it? I'm afraid. I just finished giving a talk to the youth of my church on fear and out of my mouth pops I'm afraid. Now, I can think of a few reasons for this. I chose this year as my year of delieverance from fear so I'm dealing with a real spiritual war issue. The enemy of my soul spoke out the demon I'm trying to do away with. Hearing those words out of my mouth, felt like I was honestly not speaking them, but hearing someone eles. So now I know, this is serious. So my demon named itself outloud to me and my husband. I've never said those words outloud before. And I was afraid. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. But looking back, there was nothing to be afraid of. I was feeling anger to be really honest, because I have no time in my life for this injury. My daughter is having her Confirmation in 2 weeks and there is some serious preparation to be done. Food must be purchased (Italian family we celebrate with food), clothing must be shopped for, appointments made with the priest, the sponsor, driving to be done (its my right leg) I cannot sit with my leg up! So, remember that pride thing? Full swing. I was dealing with fear and pride. Very ugly situation I found myself in. Church is about to start in 15 mins. I won't be showing up to teach the class I need to, I have a meeting with 6 women between classes and then have to teach a second class of 17 kids with 17 of their parents staying on to observe the class. The church office is do I contact all these people? I can't just not show up, that's not my nature. So I start calling everyone I can think of and the word goes out and all is well. Sort of. By this point, I'm in pain, I feel stupid and I'm pissed off. Pardon my mouth but thats really how I felt. So, I'm missing church, I'm missing teaching, I'm in fear, I'm dealing with pride and it hurts. So I spent the day with my foot in RICE, ice, compress, elevate. My friend is a nurse and she reminded me of how to manage all that. The next day, things are not that much better but, I pulled myself together and went to the arena to watch my kids skate and I tried driving. It was okay. But the pitty party I had for myself was just ugly. Now I'm repenting. Today is day 3 and I know I'm going to be fine. The fear is over, the pride is back in check but I have some serious work to do. Its good to know who I'm dealing with. Now for the battle. Its easy to battle when we're strong, its hard to battle when your down. So, I fall back on building my house. Don't wait for a storm to build my house and defineately don't build it from sand. So I'm going in the house building business for the rest of lent. God showed me some really important battles that I have to show up to fight. He'll do the warring, I just need to agree. Praise God, he already won! Why does it take so much for me to believe Him? Just when you think your getting it eh? So I'm off to put on my whole armor of God and journal with my Jesus about how he wants me to win. Let me tell you, its a humbling experience to be a teacher who needs to be taught. I have a long way to go, but I'm ready.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

St. Valentines Feast Day

Is Valentines just for lovers? You bet...lovers of the one who made you!

A quick quiz: St. Valentine was:

a) a priest in the Roman Empire who helped persecuted Christians during the reign of Claudius II, was thrown in jail and later beheaded on Feb. 14.

b) a Catholic bishop of Terni who was beheaded, also during the reign of Claudius II.

c) someone who secretly married couples when marriage was forbidden, or suffered in Africa, or wrote letters to his jailer's daughter, and was probably beheaded.

d) all, some, or possibly none of the above.

If you guessed d), give yourself a box of chocolates. Although the mid-February holiday celebrating love and lovers remains wildly popular, the confusion over its origins led the Catholic Church, in 1969, to drop St. Valentine's Day from the Roman calendar of official, worldwide Catholic feasts. (Those highly sought-after days are reserved for saints with more clear historical record. After all, the saints are real individuals for us to imitate.) Some parishes, however, observe the feast of St. Valentine.

The roots of St. Valentine's Day lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on Feb. 15. For 800 years the Romans had dedicated this day to the god Lupercus. On Lupercalia, a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year.

Pope Gelasius I was, understandably, less than thrilled with this custom. So he changed the lottery to have both young men and women draw the names of saints whom they would then emulate for the year (a change that no doubt disappointed a few young men). Instead of Lupercus, the patron of the feast became Valentine. For Roman men, the day continued to be an occasion to seek the affections of women, and it became a tradition to give out handwritten messages of admiration that included Valentine's name.

There was also a conventional belief in Europe during the Middle Ages that birds chose their partners in the middle of February. Thus the day was dedicated to love, and people observed it by writing love letters and sending small gifts to their beloved. Legend has it that Charles, duke of Orleans, sent the first real Valentine card to his wife in 1415, when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. (He, however, was not beheaded, and died a half-century later of old age.)

What about Love Letters?

The practice of writing letters has been around for a long time. In fact, the Bible is filled with letters—to the Romans, the Corinthians, Timothy, among others.

Letters can be used to inform, scold, praise, entertain or endear. The U.S. bishops write letters to presidents, policymakers and others to help make the Church teachings and positions known. Individual bishops write letters, too, to their people to inform and encourage them. People write letters to members of Congress to weigh in on certain legislative issues. When a network announces it will be canceling a popular television program, what is often the first course of action? A letter-writing campaign.

Letters can also serve as lifelines for loved ones separated by distance, war, employment and many other circumstances. Or they can help bridge a gap between people who may be fighting or are estranged, and just aren’t ready to speak face-to-face.

Spread a Little Love

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to let the people in your life know how much you love and care about them. Here are some ways you can express your love on this special day:

• Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out your kids’ sandwiches for lunch. Draw hearts or place heart stickers on their lunch bags. And don’t forget to add a note telling them how much you love them and why. You can also do the same thing for your husband or wife.

• One year I surprised my husband on Valentine’s Day by filling his car with red balloons. I attached a note to each of the balloons highlighting something I love about him.

• Have the kids help you bake heart-shaped cookies and deliver them to grandparents, neighbors, residents of a nursing home or anyone else you think might enjoy receiving a treat.

• Focus on the true meaning of Valentine’s Day. Aside from the cards, gifts, etc., the purpose of the day is to let those we care about know we love them. This Valentine’s Day, tell family members and friends just how much they truly mean to you.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Our Lady of Lourdes 150th Anniversary

Pope recalls the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Vatican City, Feb 10, 2008 / 02:08 pm (CNA).- Before reciting the Angelus today, Pope Benedict XVI spoke with the faithful about the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is tomorrow.(today)

“This year the beginning of Lent coincides with the 150th anniversary of the apparition of Lourdes. Four years after the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Blessed Pius IX, Mary appeared for the first time on February 11, 1858 to St. Bernadette Soubirous in the grotto at Massabielle. After successive apparitions accompanied by extraordinary events, the Holy Virgin revealed to the young visionary in the local language, ‘I am the Immaculate Conception,’” the Pope recalled.

He added that, “The message of the Madonna, which continued to spread from Lourdes, recalled the words of Jesus which he announced at the beginning of his public ministry: convert and believe in the Gospel, pray and do penance.”

Pope Benedict also reminded all present that the annual World Day of the Sick, celebrated each year on February 11, is directly linked to the Blessed Virgin’s promise to care for the many sick that come to Lourdes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lenten Readings

Excellent resource for a lenten read...

Instructions: Each day, read the assigned writing. This Lenten discipline takes 10-15 minutes of your day. By day 40, you will have read 10 different Fathers...

From Mary Ellens Blog via Catholic Mom in Hawaii

Friday, February 8, 2008

Jelly Bean Sacrifices

On Ash Wednesday we set out a glass jar for each child with a small copy of the jellybean prayer taped to it. We determined a behavior to go with each jellybean color (corresponding with the prayer). Each day the kids could earn a jellybean of any color they followed through on. They could not eat the jellybeans until Easter. The kids could not earn white jellybeans, these represented the Grace of Christ, which is a gift not earned ourselves. On Easter morning, the kids woke to find their jars filled up where they were still empty (lacking) with white jellybeans (Christ's grace)

This is how we interpreted each color. You can make your own ideas based on ages and needs of your children.

Red is for the blood Christ gave (each morning we chose something to sacrifice that day to earn the red jellybean. It had to be something they would have had the opportunity to have or do on that day)

Green is for the palm's cool shade (green jellybeans were earned for good deeds. It was a good dead to provide shade for Jesus with the palm)

Yellow is for God's light so bright (yellow jellybeans were earned for sharing God's light through kindness to others)

Orange is for prayers at twilight (orange jellybeans were earned for attentive behavior during bedtime prayer time and night time bible story)

Black is for sweet rest at night (these were earned for going to bed good. we used blue though, as our kids are not fans of black jellybeans)

White is for the Grace of Christ (these we could not earn as mentioned above)

Purple is for His days of sorrow (we earned these through apologizing to anyone we hurt with our words or deeds that day)

Pink is for each new tomorrow (pink jellybeans were earned when we forgave those who apologized to us for hurtful behavior)

This particular version came from but I've seen other versions of it out there. We've been doing this since our oldest was about 6...he's 15...we still do it! Its a better option that the bunny I think...but that's just me!

A Lenten Journey

This was posted on A Catholic Mom in Hawaii's blog and just blessed the socks off me. What do you do during Lent? Do you give something up, take something up? How do you come closer to God during this time of preparation? Lent is my favourite season. Somehow it draws me closer to Jesus. I always feel his call on my life to lay down my time and come to him no matter what the season, but something happens during Lent that I can't quite put my finger on. Something stirs after the business of the Christmas season. Lent calls out my Sabbath. It seems to be a 40 Day Sabbath for me. I feel rested and renewed by Easter. (some might call that Spring) but for me, its deeper. I really do feel like a butterfly emerging for the first time. So what do you do for Lent? In our home we begin a new family devotion at the dinner table, we have a path to Jesus on the sliding glass door that our youngest gets to pull a sticker off each day and we have the Jelly Bean Jar. I'll post that separate. Its a fun activity that really brings focus to the intent of the heart. And we have our personal sacrifices that we bring to God as well. So, this post from Catholic mom in Hawaii really puts a name to my prayer for Lent and I'm printing it out and putting it on my fridge to remind myself. I hope it blesses you too.

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.


When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take in all in patient, loving silence.


When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any impunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to- face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility-and endure it as Jesus endured.


When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God.


When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown.


When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances.


When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.


To that I say, AMEN!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Words of Wisdom

From Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living by Danielle Bean:

"First and foremost I think it's important for mothers, especially those with small children, to recognize that they have been called to an active life and an active vocation, not a contemplative one. This means that while spiritual meditation, daily Mass and lengthy Scripture studies are noble and worthy pursuits, they are not necessarily the particular ways in which God is calling you to a closer relationship with him during this stage in your life."

What Blessed Mother Teresa can teach a suburban housewife

by Theresa A. Thomas
Seventy years ago today, on May 24, 1937, Blessed Mother Teresa made her final profession as a Loretto sister. Like most suburban housewives, I have never been to India. I never witnessed Mother Teresa as she ministered to the world's "poorest of the poor." Like many others, however, I devoured books and articles about this dynamic and simple nun who pulled the dying off Calcutta's streets, and gave dignity to those suffering. She literally helped change the world.

At first glance, an American mother's life seems so unlike the life Blessed Mother Teresa had. She lived amidst poverty. We live in a country full of wealth. She wore a simple sari. Most of us have a closet full of clothes. She chose a consecrated life of poverty, chastity and obedience as a sister. We have vocations as wives and mothers. Our lives seem worlds apart, yet Blessed Mother Teresa's spirituality can be instrumental in teaching us to know how to live our vocation and raise our children well. Here's how.

Mother Teresa teaches us to accept what we get from the hand of God. Biographers tell us that Mother Teresa, whose given name was Agnes, admired St. Therese the Little Flower and her "Little Way" very much, so much that she wanted to take the name 'Therese' upon professing as a sister. However, another postulant also wanted that name and spelling. Quietly, without a fuss, Agnes took the Spanish spelling of the name ('Teresa'), relinquishing the spelling she desired more. In this simple action and attitude, Mother Teresa teaches us to accept what life deals us with calm resolution that God Himself guides all happenings, large or small.

Mother Teresa teaches us there is holiness in doing small things with great love. With a smile on her face she quietly and tenderly cleaned the maggot-filled sores of a dying man, ignoring the stench and fighting the human urge to turn away. She did this again and again and again each day — small things with great love. When I tie my child's shoe patiently or wipe his nose gently, I am doing a small thing with great love. When I serve my husband who has had a difficult day his favorite meal with a smile (even though my own day has been filled with uncooperative children and minor emergencies), I am doing a small thing with great love. When I lead my sick child to the bathroom to throw up for the third time during the night and I clean him and the floor with calm resignation, I am doing a small thing with great love. Life is full of these opportunities. Mother teaches that is the path to holiness.

Mother Teresa teaches us not to fret about the tasks before us. When she was alive she did not wake up in the morning anxious and stressed about the day. She didn't say, "Oh my goodness! I have so much to do! There are so many poor and I can't handle this ...." She simply looked at the task before her, tackled it, and then moved on. We should follow this example in our daily living.

Mother Teresa teaches us it is good to rest. Biographers tell us Mother Teresa took naps. Does this surprise you? There was a point in time when I thought it was a sign of weakness if I laid down to rest during the day or went to bed early. I now see how silly that is. If our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, then taking care of those bodies is a serious responsibility. Besides, refreshed, we can accomplish more.

Mother Teresa teaches us that every person has worth and dignity. The annoying soccer coach, the impatient clerk at the store, the grumpy mailman who bypasses my house because he thinks my van is parked too close to the mailbox — these people were made in the image and likeness of God just as much as the friendly parish priest or sweet, elderly grandmother. Sometimes it would be easier to love a beggar dying in the street than the neighbor who growls at my children if a stray ball rolls in their yard. Mother's actions showed we are to respect everyone.

Mother Teresa started her day with prayer, and arranged her day in an orderly way. She had a schedule. When we do this, we prioritize our lives toward God and keep focused.

God's plans for me are different from what they were for Mother Teresa. Mostly likely I will never tend to wounds of people ravaged by disease or scarred emotionally by severe rejection. But as a mother I will daily tend little wounds many times — a scraped knee after a trip to the playground, my child's hurt feelings over rejection from a playmate, the fatigue of my spouse over the daily troubles of work and family living. By remembering Mother Teresa's example and living the spirituality she demonstrated, I can be an instrument of God, bringing peace and healing in my little part of the world.

For more information on Blessed Mother Teresa, visit her website.

Theresa Thomas, a freelance writer and columnist for Today’s Catholic resides in northern Indiana with her husband David and their nine children. She has been home schooling since 1994.

This article originally appeared in Today’s Catholic.

A Little Catholic Humor

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Bouquet to Homeschooling Moms

From a View From the Pews Blog @ www.viewfromthepew@blogs
I have the utmost admiration for all mothers who decide to educate their own children at home. What an onerous task and at times a thankless one I should think.

When one looks at the way schools are being run today you have to weep at the absurdity of the Political Correct movement which has infiltrated many schools.

By educating your own children you are arming them to face the world and their future with confidence and a great deal of kowledge that many schools dont teach anymore, such as history.

These mothers are selfless in their devotion to educate their children as it should be done. I am also sure that many of these homeschooling mothers have moments of tiredness, they may feel run down and depleted yet they continue. That is courage. That is selflessness. It is love.

So please all blogger home school Mothers accept this bouquet for a job well done. Bravo to you all. YOU deserve it.

Anyone who visits this blog, please pass this Bouquet to All homeschooling Moms. I have chosen the links below because they are wonderful blogs who will spread the word to homeschooling Moms.

A Bouquet to Homeschooling Moms

From a View From the Pews Blog @

I have the utmost admiration for all mothers who decide to educate their own children at home. What an onerous task and at times a thankless one I should think.

When one looks at the way schools are being run today you have to weep at the absurdity of the Political Correct movement which has infiltrated many schools.

By educating your own children you are arming them to face the world and their future with confidence and a great deal of kowledge that many schools dont teach anymore, such as history.

These mothers are selfless in their devotion to educate their children as it should be done. I am also sure that many of these homeschooling mothers have moments of tiredness, they may feel run down and depleted yet they continue. That is courage. That is selflessness. It is love.

So please all blogger homeschool Mothers accept this bouquet for a job well done. Bravo to you all. YOU deserve it.

Anyone who visits this blog, please pass this Bouquet to All homeschooling Moms. I have chosen the links below because they are wonderful blogs who will spread the word to homeschooling Moms.