Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's Christmas Week!

As we speed towards Christmas, it is actually starting to feel like it!  Today was our day to decorate and get into the Christmas spirit.  We've been buzzing around for the first three weeks of Advent so today was a nice day for all of us (yes, we were all actually home!) to unwind.

Our kids are sticklers about tradition, so today, the 4th Sunday of Advent, is the day to put up the tree and decorate it and the house.  This year we even got a little bit of decorations outside, too.  We also watched a family favorite, the movie "Arthur Christmas".  Believe it or not, our family is not a big fan of "Elf"!  Shh, I didn't want to say that too loud for fear of getting ridiculed.  Instead we enjoy watching Arthur save Christmas from his techno-happy relatives.

Here are some scenes from the day.

Made by my crafty 11 year old.

I told her she looked like something out of "Dr. Who"

27 Years of Precious Moments ornaments

 The next few days finds us picking up the pace again trying to finish up all of the last-minute stuff that needs to be done. 

May peace reign in your hearts as you prepare for the coming of the Christ Child.

God Bless!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Plea for Prayers and Help

I know that you have many GoFund me and other similar accounts to choose from, but remember way back in 2009 when we prayed for a friend of ours named Emily?  She beat the odds and survived a rare form of tongue cancer, went on to graduate college and earlier this year got married.

Unfortunately, she was just told that her cancer has returned.  They are currently waiting to find out if it has spread to her jaw.

Please, first and foremost, keep Emily in your prayers and if you can help out financially, go check out her GoFund me page and make a donation.

Thank you and God bless you!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Advent = Scrooge

Advent for us can be summed up in one word:  Scrooge.

We are in the throes of performances and it is consuming our days and nights.  

Evangelizing through the arts at this time of year:  difficult, frustrating, disorganized, sleep-deprived, beautiful, rewarding, uplifting.  It runs the gamut of emotions.

Spending a lot of time with a group of 60+ adults and children at this time of year:  sickness.  Respiratory viruses, coughing, fevers, stomach flu.  One poor girl ran to the bathroom right after her last scene and threw up - the flu had hit her.  By the time another family got home, two of their littles were throwing up also, and they have a family of 12 so you know what they'll be doing this week.

Not to mention keeping up with all of the other things that make life go on.  You know:  food, clean clothing, school work, phone calls, emails, errands, running for more vitamin C and D!

Every year I say I'm not going to do this again.  Every year I do it anyhow.  Why?  Because in the end, when all is said and done and I see the fruits of what everyone has worked so hard for, I give thanks to God that we've had this small chance to bring Him glory and do His work.  One more weekend to go; two performances left.  Right now I just have one sick little girl, so hopefully by the weekend we will all be healthy and ready to go.

And then, when it is all over with, there will still be 10 days in which to physically and mentally prepare for Christmas!

God Bless!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Small Business Saturday

If you're reading this then that means you've survived Thanksgiving (hopefully it was a happy one) and Black Friday (if you did more than stay at home like I did).  Tomorrow, Saturday, is what is called Small Business Saturday.  It is the day you are supposed to visit your local or internet small businesses and purchase things to support them.  Small businesses really are the backbone of this country and we need to give them all the help we can!

To that end, I'd just like to remind you of a few small, family owned businesses that I am affiliated with or who advertise on my website, Catholic Homeschooling Resources.  We'd all be honored if you visited any of these great places and did some Christmas shopping.

As a first stop, you'll notice off to the side on my blog, the advertisement for Mystic Monk Coffee as well as my book "A Plan For Joy in the Home".

If you go to my website, you'll find a great listing of small businesses offering some wonderful things on my Catholic Companies page.  These wonderful people advertise their companies on my page so that people like you can find out about their high quality products and services.  Be sure to check out:

Catechism Class
Holy Heroes
Civil War Truce
Little Latin Readers
Stephanie Hoffpauir
The Liturgical Calendar Coloring Book
Faith Christian Jewelers
The Goat Milk Soap Shop

Thank you so much for your support!  Happy shopping!

God Bless!

affiliate links included

Monday, November 24, 2014

Catholic Woman's Almanac

Thankful For:

* Snow...ha ha just kidding.  I am not excited about the snow.  I believe that last year traumatized me and I cannot see the joy in even this first snowfall.  I suppose though, that I should be thankful for ALL of the things God gives me, right?

* Our driving and carpooling plans working out even amidst changing plans and crazy schedules.  Somehow, God's always got them covered for us.
* A great semester of Earth Science and writing classes for my two high schoolers.  Both classes were taught by others and what a joy it has been for all of us!
* Family 

Praying For:

*A friend of ours that just died last night after a short bout with cancer.  Please pray for the soul of Jim and for his wife and two daughters as they grieve.
* For our country as they announce the Ferguson verdict.

In The Kitchen:

Yesterday was a motivated day for me in the kitchen; which doesn't happen often enough!  I made up a big batch of hot chocolate mix, made some brownies for the feast day, cooked some whole chickens, eggplant pizzas and some almond flour biscuits.  It was a good dinner!

Our contribution for Thanksgiving will be some breakfast foods and coffee for a possible visit with my mil and a pumpkin pie to add to the other two my uncle will be bringing for dinner.  Not bad at all!

This Week:

Monday (today) was a crazy day, as will tomorrow be.  Lot's of things, people everywhere, driving, appointments.  Final oral presentations will be given tomorrow by the students of the writing class.  Parents are encouraged to stay and listen mwahhhahahhah.  I love making them squirm.  The weekend outlook is...busy.  Oh well, what else is new?

In the Schoolroom:

Trying to at least get the basics done this week.  I find it interesting that Ms 18 yo's college has a full week off this week (something about fall break, even though the semester ends in two weeks), while the other two girls only have Wed thru Friday off (something about fall break there, too).  I guess if they all have Wednesday off, we might as well, too, because I doubt anything productive will be accomplished.


Slowly but surely I have been reading "Rediscovering Catholicism" by Matthew Kelly.  I got it for free from a Free 4 All a few years ago and am finally getting around to reading it.  I'll say that it is better than I thought it would be and am finding parts of it quite timely.

For Advent, I picked up the Kindle version of "Meditations for Advent" from Sophia Institute Press.  I'm really looking forward to reading one each morning of Advent and throughout the Christmas Octave as there are a total of 40 meditations.

Listening To:

Ms 16 yo cooking dinner (yay!!) and quiet.  One is reading, the other is playing Legos (so shortly I should hear the sound of things exploding) and one is wandering around trying to procrastinate.  He should be practicing his presentation for tomorrow!  The rest of the gang is at work.


I meant to take a picture of the snow that was pelting us, but I just couldn't do it.  You'll just have to imagine it.

God Bless!
Affiliate links included.  Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trusting In Divine Providence

As I sit here on this cold and blustery day by the fire next to Ms 22 yo who just had her wisdom teeth out yesterday, I am reminded that Divine Providence is something I need to rely on a lot more!

Wow, that makes it sound like something major happened!  Don't worry, it didn't; everything went well and she's recovering nicely.  However, the story I'm about to relate, as small and insignificant as it may seem, is a good reminder to me that God does look after our every need - even if it is nothing big.

When Ms 22 yo made the appointment to have her wisdom teeth taken out, I wondered to myself what on earth made her schedule it during the week and during the middle of the school semester?  By doing that, she would be missing two day of work and one day of classes.  Didn't make a whole lot of sense to me at the time, but in the long run it worked out perfectly for Ms 18 yo.

Let's backtrack for a moment.  Remember Ms 18 yo and her car that isn't worth fixing?  Well this week, because her sister is laid up, she is able to use her car to get to school and work.  This works out great for me, too, because then I don't have to go and drop her off and pick her up.

With Ms 18 yo's Fall break from school next week and her sister being at home this week, we've God's been able to minimize the negative impact of her not having a car for the next two weeks.  In other words, God knew (much better than I did) that now was a good time for her car to go kaput.  He knew that now was a good time to schedule the wisdom teeth extraction.  He knew that this is all do-able.  So if He can take care of the little details that tend to get me off track, then I'm sure He can take care of the big things that get me off track.  I just have to learn to be patient and wait for Him to reveal His plan in His time.  That, my friends, is the hard part!  I'm just glad He sends me these little reminders along the way.

God Bless! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

"My Sister's Keeper"

I read a book last week that really left me thinking about a lot of things.  I suppose that's part of what makes a book good, isn't it?

The book was "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult.  


 It was a very well written, fictional story about a girl who was born to save her sister from Leukemia.  She was a designer baby, "conceived" in a petri dish with just the right combination of DNA to save her sister's life.  The story tells about how she is suing her parents for medical emancipation because she is tired of spending her life being poked, prodded and having things taken from her body so that her sister can overcome the current life-threatening crisis.

Of course there are twists and turns and an ending that you wouldn't expect, but I couldn't help but think that, had the parents been Catholic's who follow church teachings, much of this story would have been irrelevant.  It would have been up to Divine Providence whether or not any new babies the parent's had were perfect matches for their sick daughter.  Would they have kept trying to have that perfect match?  Maybe, maybe not.  Let's say they did have one on the first try.  Then what?  Would they have continued to go to their well daughter time and time again to save their sick daughter?  I don't know, I just think the mindset might have been different than the one the parents in this story had.

There are many stories out there about siblings who willingly donate bone marrow or organs or blood to save their sibling's life.  They do it unselfishly and heroically.  But what if you were that girl who found out that you were born for the sole purpose of saving your sibling?  How would that make you feel?  My mind can't conceive of doing that to a child, but I'm sure there are many people who would have no problem with that.  It just really makes me glad that God is the driving force in my life and in all of my decisions; especially the major ones. This way, I don't have to worry about playing Him.

It was a very interesting read.  If you're looking for something to get you thinking, check this one out.  Ms 22 yo tells me that this author writes her books about controversial topics such as this.  If I get a chance, I might just check out some of her other ones.  Happy reading!

God Bless!
affiliate link included :)