Archive for the ‘Living the Family-Centered Life’ Category

” 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. 28 Now if God clothe in this manner the grass that is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink: and be not lifted up on high. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek. But your Father knoweth that you have need of these things. 31 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom. 33 Sell what you possess and give alms. Make to yourselves bags which grow not old, a treasure in heaven which faileth not: where no thief approacheth, nor moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 35 Let your loins be girt, and lamps burning in your hands.”

I love following the threads at 4Real.  They really help me to think my own thoughts on oh so many issues regarding homeschooling, parenting, faith and my children (not in any particular order).

There was a post the other day that really got me thinking…and remembering.

About this time 2 years ago I was starting to plan for high school homeschooling for the first time.

Ordinarily, during planning time, I would pull out my notes that I had been accumulating throughout the year.  These planning notes mostly came from a  spiral bound notebook I always had with me for fast scribbling when an impulse would hit me to try something new or take a new direction.

Hasn’t it ever happened to you??  ~Distraction! …Here I would be

~armed with my coffee(in my pre-pregnancy state…or would that be post-pregnancy..hmmm..I mean, caffeine only in a non pregnancy state but something hot nonetheless)  and running the circus…all the players assembled around me working.   I would be watching the children with that day’s work and  I would begin to see these already implemented plans beginning to bear fruit.  Mind you, the process is not idillyic or smooth running…remember!  I am an optimist.  I see good even in its distressing disguise [:)]

It typically would hit right about then…wanting to change things or tweak things…which could be disruptive.  I had to compose myself…I felt like a kid in a candy store the day after lent was over! I wanted to try it all.  I found that scribbling in my “Mommy’s Brain in a Book” was the BEST thing I could do at that moment.   It was my way of ‘sitting on my hands’ when I wanted to bolt to the shelves or the computer or the library (all at the same time ….at just THAT moment) which would of course disrupt learning and cause me to lose my audience.  I had a plan and I was going to work it, but I had to scribble to leave me room for inspiration that could be implemented LATER…like the next day or week….not right then. Disordered creativity doesn’t help anyone…it only causes frustration…even just for the note “Make copies of coloring page for 5yodd” would be recorded or “buy dress shoes for 7yo before Sunday”.  I would write ANYTHING that would make me move or distract me so I could stay on track.   There is no guarantee I will remember anything if I don’t write it down.   Be patient with me if you call.  I have to write down the fact that “I can’t talk to you now and I will call you back later”  or I will forget when I place the phone in the receiver.

So, ideas  both big and small, scholastic and domestic were pressed into the “Mommy’s Brain in a Book” book.  This would be used with a variety of other homeschool sources to plan things out later, editing out the non-essential of course!  In some cases,  I had been planning almost 2 years ahead, but that was for elementary school.  I was wondering if the stakes were changing for high school and was I prepared for it?  I have to admit to feeling unsettled and unsure of how to proceed as my eldests had some processing issues and I wasn’t too sure how that would work if they were planning on being in a college setting.  They were improving by leaps and bounds, but would that trend continue?

I also considered their younger brother, Young Einstein, and that he would be college material by the time the high school experience was over, but what would HE need?  He is gifted in some ways.  I could see a young engineer budding here…that would take some careful consideration.  He would need a well-rounded education to be sure…logic, latin, writing, science, math…..and more…

I have always enjoyed using an eclectic combination of several ‘methods’ such as Montessori, Catholic Charlotte Mason (lots of living books), Classical…etc…sometimes in an unschooly kind of way in that we followed lots of rabbit trails when the interest in a particular subject was high.   I just LOVED gleaning this way!  It fired me up to do more. In those circumstances they studied far more than ever would be required of them just for the joy of learning a new thing…  could I keep that up?

I love sliding along through the stacks of books and inspiration with a touch of enthusiasm.  After all there is only so much tugging and pulling I can do with some of the children.  I would rather leave those kind of battles to the laundry monster or any of the other unpopular chores they also had to accomplish.  I wanted learning to be an adventure (wherever possible) in that even if I had to poke an prod a little, the process would soon (usually after 15-20 minutes..I TIMED it one day) pick them up and build their confidence and propel them ahead into learning.  The first 15-20 minutes took FOREVER but the last 2 hours FLEW! I was comfortable with this and then you throw the monkey wrench of SATs and whatever other monsters that might be ‘lurking under the bed’ and I get a little weak in the knees.

But I did it.  I prayed and I figured it out.  After all, that business of the children is really just ENTRUSTED to me..they really are God’s and He knows what He is about….even with beautiful talented girls with processing issues.  I had to trust in that and just move forward knowing that their crosses were no fault of my own.  I had to help them carry them…not jump on the back of them and make them heavier by “trying to keep up with the Joneses” .  They learned how to talk and to walk and to read and to write,  and so on with steady progress.  There was NO WAY I could go through our day with anything less than sacrifical peace.  Sacrificial in the sense that I would do all I could to help and I shouldn’t sweat the bumps along the way.  What good would it do to offer a curricula and have not love…something to that effect.  My daughters even told me that if they went to college, they would more than not study theology and teach outdoor survival and maybe get into domestic sustainable farming…hmm

Then with Young Einstein,, who was doing much of the same work with his older sisters would be going to college and majoring in something to do with math and science….

I really needed a planning hand to hold.  I consulted my Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum book, and CHC’s High School planning book and a few other planning books that I used as place markers to make sure all of the concepts were covered in each subject.  The most unlikely place I found a helping hand was already on my shelf.  I had purchased the books for making lapbooks, but I realized that they were full of lists that would help me ensure that if the children continued to pursue their own interests in a particuar subject, like…WWI in 20th Century History…they had basic points covered in their notes.  These books helped them take notes and include what they would need in order for the NOTES to be a good review tool.  I didn’t expect them to make them into lapbooks, I expected their notebooks to trigger their memory quickly…ok..there are 2 things to compare here…here are the important dates to remember…here are

I had to steer the ship for high school and yet still cover grammar school (K-5 ATM)  I needed some good overview lists to make sure each individual person covered the subject areas needed as well as each group…without being tightfisted about them.    I decided that the twins were either freshmen this year  if I ‘hold them back a year’ or sophomores if they decided they want to finish up quickly but I wouldn’t alter the course of their learning…they can do it on their own muster in three or slower in 4 it is up to them at this point.

  • Freshmen  the twins (16yo)  and Young Einstein (14yo)
  • 4-5th grade dd(9) and ds(10)
  • K-1st grade dd(5) and ds(7)

I divided the groups then I divided the data..

  • subects
  • skills
  • extra projects by season
  • individual goals
  • family goals
  • book lists
  • library lists

Each child had their own planning/assignment book and they have to ck in with me during the course of the week to adjust goals and to review whatever was covered.  We were looking for areas of improvement and areas that still needed tweaking.  In these books were also kept extensive reading lists.  This one was hard to stay on top of because they didn’t always want to write everything down.  But, by having the weekly meeting with mom(teacher) and the weekly report with dad (principal)  it became something they were proud of….confidence goes a long way …especially with a certain 10yo here…

Well, in hindsight, I guess we did all of those things.  God has a unique plan for all of them and I have been praying about that for a long time.  I was praying I wouldn’t ‘get in the way’ of His Grace either.

But your Father knoweth that you have need of these things. 31 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you…

I am still planning on the twins attending a good Catholic college (only God knows where that $$ is coming from..and if Young Einstein goes the same year??!!  …ONE day at a time, Mama!)  and at the same time I am relaxing my fearful heart over if what we are doing is good enough.  I can see looking back, they are still going strong and making steady improvements.  They are growing in grace and I feel the Spirit blowing strong with them some days.  It took me some time to figure out a new way to ‘plan’ for the year and still meet the objectives that they would need for any potential college.  I sometimes worry about

and well…I have learned to put prayer before all things and put religion first during the day (at least in some form) and it does make the road a bit less scary to travel from a gulp, I am in charge of all of these people and all that they …..etc…perspective

Back to the 4 Real post though…

I identified the one subject that made me uncomfortable planning for high school and that was science….  I realized that I had somethings at my disposal to help in that area.  I have a few high school and college texts that I just picked up at the thrift store or garage sales…so I could see WHAT was being covered and HOW.  The creative mommy in me wanted learning to be fun and meaningful.  I wanted them to remember.  I hadn’t found a text for the high schoolers that I was sure would be a good fit.  I was wondering if I could continue using mostly living books to cover this subject.  I loved MacBeth’s Opinion…and other such resources, but would that be enough?

I then perused my shelves and found these resources:

Science Scope by Kathryn Stout is a great resource book I picked up years ago.  It was recommended to me as an excellent resource for people who like to plan their own path and it DOES help planning things. I realized that despite my discomfort doing a CMish type of high school science, I found my children work that way best and this resource helped me keep my place. I also needed a way to keep them on track in their note-taking as their notebooks weren’t cutting it as good review tools. I wanted them to remember at a glance. It is one of those books that have earned their keep on the shelves.

There is a simple little checklist in the back of the book where I can plug in each child’s name(ok just 5 of them at a time [LOL] and the level covered (primary, intermediate, junior, sr high) It is easy for me to eyeball if someone has missed something. A lot less remembering on my part (I am starting to feel challenged in that area as I am divided amongst so many)  So it helped me focus on high school level and helped me keep track of the progress the others needed to take to get there.

I actually used Science Scope alongside the Dinah Zike science books
and used Dinah’s recommendations to facilitate teaching them note taking in each area so they have good coverage in their notes….
Big Book of Science – Elementary K-6]Big Book of Science for K-6
Big Book of Science for Middle School and High School]Big Book of Science for Middle and High School

Dinah has lists that are divided into subject area, skills to be covered and how many parts to include in their notes…a visual/kinesthetic must for several of my children. I felt that at least so far (even with an elementary through a  9-10th grade level in the upper ranks now) we have what we need covered.

We then used this book so they could alter the foldables (if they didn’t want to make a big project of their work) so they could easily be created on they fly and fit nicely into their composition books or binders wihout added bulk using ordinary notebook paper and highlighters and such:
Notebook Foldables

So I did learn that if I feel a bit’ prickly in the skin’ at teaching and being accountable for one subject or another to have some kind of spine or list to keep me on track.…the blood pressure goes at  more of an even keel that way…

I have one other of Kathryn Stout’s books Maximum Math, and it has helped us tremendously keeping a birds eye view on everyone knowing what they are doing and where they are going next…it made for easier projects and rabbit trails for K-8. As with Science Scope, I could make sure we covered everything. They were ‘my’ planning spines. It was my way of making sure that they had a syllabus to follow even though we didn’t fit well with syllabi but the kids wanted to know when they studied on their own ‘what came next’ and ‘how much do I do” I am VERY visual and I needed help and I think I have FINALLY? got it!??

At the end of the day, I realize that what really counts that I continue to discern and pray and put all things in God’s hands…not to mention work with my HEART.    I LOVE my vocation and part of that is my calling to homeschooling.  It is so much easier to love in my vocation and love my vocation when my heart is fully in it and that means my heart must be fully in God.  I treasure every fleeting moment I have been gifted with as I learn beside my children.  They are my gift.  I am blessed.

34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (more…)

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I have been off the computer for a few weeks due to a messy hard drive crash.

I did use my time wisely, though.  My laundry is looking better (I reduced the pile by HALF!) and I have been re-organizing our learning spaces.  I need more time though…  (I won’t even deny that I wonder how I was able to get so much done…it WASN’T the lack of computer….really.)

It is odd to find funny things in your life and not actually blog them.  (I get through some general ick by thinking: “and how could I blog THIS” and it takes the heat off…LOL)  But, I did write  funny things on a piece of paper…You know, the ‘old fashioned’ way?  Now to FIND them… like this:

One night while finishing up a meal of yummy BBQ chicken, sunshine boy (6) was told by his Daddy:  “Go, wash up!”

Sunshine boy was heard scrubbing and bubbling in the bathroom for quite some time…and emerged later holding his hands flat (palms upward) in front of him..”Dad?  I tried and TRIED and I just CAN’T get these LINES off! ( he was rubbing his fingertips really hard and showing them to his dad.

Dad: “Those are your FINGERPRINTS and they aren’t meant to wash off!

Sunshine Boy: (Grinning from ear-to-ear)  “Oh Yeah!” and he happily skipped off to play.

The library and I are on better terms.  I am learning to use inter-library loan better and I really wish that the books they found worthy to be on their shelves were of better quality.  I did find however, that if I get out a book I should check back there the next day because it would often be placed out for SALE…sigh!

Well…off to do… more and more of …whatever it is I do…

(I do so much these days, I have no clue what it is called.  The work goes around the labeling part of my brain…to protect me, perhaps ;o) LOL!…my hands and feet just keep on moving and my lips and heart keep on praying!)

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Darn those kids!  They show you so many things about yourself that you have to work on.  I am so old…(ok I only feel old)…that I find I want to throw a temper tantrum like a three year old when it comes to too much change.  What is wrong with me? 

Growing pains.

The house is getting too small…What’s wrong?  Weeeelll….I need to seriously re-look at my surroundings and declutter.  (and include a novena for a larger home 😉 and try not to feel claustrophobic while we are all in the same room.

My little kids are now getting to be BIG kids…the little kid noise…down there, has become the NOISE up HERE and over my head!

I feel tired…what’s odd with that?  Well,  I am doing so much at once trying to “better myself”…

…that the inner me…again

…wants that darned tantrum.  It is begging for some GOOD chocolate now...

(woah…hope that isn’t addictive behavior there)

and the inner me says..who cares?  I WANT IT NOW

….hmm inner-problem child??

rose clip artI can’t tell you how much I have grown in the past year.  God has had His hand on my back propelling me through the last year saying “Good job (or read Job as in the Old Testament), but you need to be holier…faster…THEY need you to be…how about this wonderful method of sanctification….the refiners fire

gulp…the “they” is my family.  We had so many changing needs this year…lots of unexpected medical bills, a new baby, new growth in body (13yo ds is now 5ft8 1/2″!!) mind and soul.   We have to make do with less money, although we are eating more (see last sentence), and the bills all around are so much larger??  I needed heroic virtue to do my job.  I would rather prefer just plain virtuous now and then, just for the break!  Heroic virtue takes so much out of you…eventually you grow into a new normal…but you FEEL like giving in or giving up juuust before the JOY hits (yes Job, you have learned this lesson before 😉

I have learned SOOOO much.  I can’t tell you how creative I can be …even in the kitchen.  With a few onions, some garlic, cilantro, lime and ginger…..think cilantro pesto-type sauce…and herbs are my best-friends..they can add pizazz to any bean to make it sing for joy!  (I finally made my peace with beans after many fouled attempts, although dh claims that it wasn’t THAT awful…)

Dh is praying the rosary with us now… I can tell you one thing, the evil one that deserves no name, hates it.   he lets me know here an there that I am on the track where I need to be…LOL…those unprovoked attacks are a dead give-away….and it only took me some thirty some odd years to learn that trick.

I have good days and bad days.  Three gallons of tears today have passed and later I can tell you I feel a little better.  God is asking me to change so many things at once that sometimes the lack of “MY” control bothers me and I want to do something impulsive…like delete this blog…or paint the livingroom red(oh, only 1 wall over the fireplace…)..or scour clean the basement steps (to which the kids replied:

“Wow, I never saw her do that before!” …ouch!

(btw, the only impulsive thing I did was the stairs…not the other 2…)

…and  I am praying like mad, even though the words are dry as toast in my mouth and I can’t pay attention no matter how hard I try.  I figure that I couldn’t be doing anything better at the moment so praying done however badly is better than none…

…and I am praying through my work.  My work comes close to an escapist job but it isn’t…I am finding God there.  I have to make hard choices de-cluttering our learning spaces…it is a penance and a mortification that frees me…oddly enough.    I thank God for the gift of things even though I cannot afford to purchase the curricula that I really want to get this year.  I have to rely on the library even though I hate the looks they give me when I am there…we are just plain odd ( I mean why be so picky about a book about the life of a plant?  Umm…the book that you have is rather..boring and the one I am looking for isn’t?)… another mortification…arg  So it looks like I need to be HEROICALLY creative…even with our curricula!

…and I am smiling at the baby a lot!  He is so funny and sweet and innocent and he gives unconditional love…even while he is pinching my skin reaaaal hard trying to get my attention while I blog….

so I am off to do the right thing…cuddle my little man…and pray and work..and pray and work and find peace amongst the chaos of trying to put my heart and home in order.

what did I start off saying??  oh yeah…kids.  They show you the things about yourself that you have to work on. Ds(6) came up to me as I was upset today.  He wrapped his arms around me. “It’s ok mommy.  You are my best girl.  Now, do you want me to show you how to play?  I will teach you how to play with my cars. Don’t worry, Mom.  I will go slow!” The lesson I learned is this:  I can’t get so caught up in my own inner struggles and growth that I forget what is important…passing time with a child.  I think I learned more in my son’s arms today than I have in a long time.  Through the heart of a son, this foolish woman learned much today.

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And so we begin another school year. It is chaotic…there is a mess in neat little piles everywhere…books, papers, school supplies…

even though we try to keep up with the dishes, the meal times seem to come on us faster and faster and we just can’t keep up! the kitchen could use a fire hose cleaning… got a hose I can borrow??    I guess it would help if I had a drain in the floor….

I am very visual and clutter drives me nuts…especially when my arms are too short to reach the kitchen sink with any degree of comfort, not to mention that I have to do all my cooking on the back burners of the stove to prevent accidents and a burnt pregnancy belly….short arms hinder there too.  Trying to get the kids to do their chores without evaporating into thin air is a challenge, (they can smell weakness) and I don’t know how so much stuff seems to collect on the floor…  where does it all come from?! I can’t reach it. Dh has joked about putting a nail at the end of a pole to help me…

but! somehow we are doing it. 10 ring circus style…and the more we do it the better we get at it, but we have to be willing to have all we know turned on its ear for awhile until it finds its own level of normalcy… (the mysterious element of life that has no definition really, it just is an imaginary goal of mine…)

As for school…

I so much want to form connections with the children in all subject areas. I want to help them bookmark in their brains the things we are covering. I want the precious time we have together to count.  I don’t want to waste anything.  I want it to MEAN something to them. The funniest times I have with the younger set are when we attempt to give them a grasp of things, most specifically  the passage of time.  Sometimes this works…sometimes it doesn’t…

Yesterday we were covering the beginnings of Salvation History with the 8 and 9yo…. When trying to elicit the response to the question “Who was it that was the father of many nations?” I got the answer:

“OOh! I KNOW THAT one! Abraham Lincoln!

gulp. ok…time to add pictures… lol

I am trying to get my 8th grade son and twin 9th grade daughters to be more independent. I want them to polish their writing and communication skills in oh so many ways. I find that the largest success comes from letting them choose their time to study any given subject area and I try to get them to write about the things they are engaged in and not be afraid of having to polish and re-work things a few times to accomplish a well written and well thought out piece.   I don’t mind if they do a weeks worth of American History at once and just a few other subjects in any given day as long as they are spending that time in concentration and not in idle exposure. For my one dd in particular, this has proven to be a great antidote for her retention issues. She really needs to immerse herself in only a few things every day to do them well instead of spreading herself so thin that she gets overwhelmed with the workload.

They have discussed ‘pegs’ on the 4Real board and on sweet Melissa’s blog many times.  Great idea! It is working.  I find myself musing about them in a different way though…. I think the best peg to pin my sons to lately is the one that attaches to the seat of their pants and hooks them to a dining room chair so they will not flee in fear from the gray substance that comes out of the center of those sharpened wooden sticks they call pencils and forces them to actually START to scribble  on pages of paper that are much too white and daunting.

This has got to be the hardest year yet.  Maybe it is the thought that I have older children that will only be with me for a few more years.  I have a baby coming in 5 weeks.  My house and my budget are too small for all of my wonderful ideas.  Who knows why, really.

and yes, I am praying, a LOT!

…For God’s balance.  …His kind of connections and ….His Wisdom in everything.

My puny wisdom doesn’t stand a chance around these children, their being made in God’s image and likeness and all… otherwise I just feel like a sitting (very pregnant) duck.

His is the only force that will reckon with them.  Good thing HE is perfect.  at least I am willing to keep on trying to steer this ship anyhow despite my limitations and hormonal weaknesses…lol!

I believe they call this the beginning of spiritual growth….

I haven’t had any good chocolate in months.  I am feeling its loss…

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I have been thinking a lot about who we are as a family. I really do think that each family has a unique charism. It seems to be a theme that has been coming up so much that I am starting to take notice…like the Holy Spirit is tapping me on the head…

I really do think our unique charism is a homeschooling one.. one where we live a Eucharistic-centered family-centered existence in which we participate in life’s events in a wholistic way. We involve everyone from the 3yo to the 14yo twins….mom and dad too. the more we do this the more we learn and grow and glean from each other. We learn so much more from this environment than when we are segregated into age-appropriate peer-centered groups. Life seems more balanced and more interesting to say the least…lol.

I mean, think about it.

We eat together, play together, pray together, learn together…. and all that we do when we are together is the best that we can do…we eat holistically using living food…we read living books,…we make the best use of our time that we can..even when relaxing. we have found that our experience as a family to be a richer deeper version of the lives we lived before we started this magnum opus of a homeschool family. The kids ‘get’ things that dh and I were clueless to at the same age. They are well grounded. They have a deeper sense of who they are and what they are about. They, in general, go deeper with many things…live more on-purpose than we ever did at that age. they know and love and learn more about their Catholic faith than we EVER knew at their ages. They are pretty good barometers when it comes to “fluff” …I have heard more than once…”Mom, we could do this BETTER”…

I see much much good fruit here and much food for deeper thought….peeling back the layers (ok bad pun) we found that there is something in front of us that we are still trying to understand. There is a force at work when we work as a UNIT that dh and I just don’t seem to get yet. I like what I see. I am ever seeking the definition of it. We compliment each other well. We balance each other out. We each have a unique contribution to make….not that all we do is perfect, but our time together is always a good opportunity to work out whatever kinks we have ;o)

So then we reach out to our local parish. We attend Holy Mass. We are the altar servers, we volunteer for seting up and cleaning up after various events. We are the faithful ones that show up. We kneel down when everyone is making the mass-exodus from the church to say a few prayers of thanksgiving together… just to spend a few moments more with the God we love and love to serve. We are instrumental in planning, and running our parish picnic. No half-stepping here. We love being family-centered and volunteering in a family-centered way.

We don’t participate in CCD…

We felt so out of place with their “confirmation prep

and now there is something else that the 3 eldests and I have been mulling around in our heads and it involves our newly established youth group…

For the first time in a long while we have a youth group at our church for jr-sr high. I have 3 children that fit into this age group so I decided to attend a meeting with them…I told them that the kids were coming and btw..so was I…

The general format was ok…kinda..
they were given a pocket bible that was a poor translation that had my kids rolling their eyes in my general direction and they used this bible during a discussion of who they were. The theme of the night was “who am I”. It was ok but felt too …dunno…dumbed down? On the plus side, after this evening the girls spent the weekend with this bible open and compared and contrasted its content with our bible at home…made for some very interesting discussions…

it had its good moments…the kids played together. some of it was a bit hokey…
the plus was that over 1/2 of the kids there were our homeschooling friends so we kinda converted the place into an interesting social event.

They were told that each time they met they would learn a new song that was like pop Catholic music. After listening to one song the leader said “Isn’t this a cool song? I mean this would be GREAT to hear in Mass!” I interjected …nooo…I really don’t think that would be a good idea…
She asked why not…
I said, because Holy Mass is something so very special and sacred and God deserves music that goes deeper than this does. and I did mention that this kind of music is great for a campfire or a dance or something..it had its place but Holy Mass was not one of them.
So we agreed that we disagreed…

I don’t know how comfy my kids feel about going. There are good points…but why do I feel so weird about this? I know they want to do good service type projects. I don’t think they will end up doing anything that we wouldn’t be doing with our local homeschool community though. We live such a meaningful existence when we homeschool…when we play…when we pray. I know we are not “better” than anyone…but we do choose to live deeper. I think we found this get-together to be strangely wanting of what it could have been. The kids feel a strange nagging feeling and we still wonder…is this something that should be worth our time? It is so hard to find good groups to belong to. Maybe we should start something on our own??

and then my parish priest asked me what I thought.
after my encounter with the parish over the weird confirmation retreat I was wondering if he really wanted to know or not…I have a tendency to be the orthodox meter as of late….lol what a distinction…sigh.

What is the push lately for each INDIVIDUAL to be more involved with “parish life” …kinda like that children’s liturgy thread at 4 real….golly i loved what Macbeth had to say on page 2…my feelings exactly!! Mentoring through mass…expose the children to things bigger than themselves…the Holy Mass is bigger than all of us!

what about Christ-centered things that are not dumbed down that suit the family as a whole instead..could that be a do-able thing?

I like to live on-purpose. I like meaning…I love going deeper. so do the kids. When things tend to be wishy-washy I feel like I have no time for them. Life is so short. I would much rather do one thing really well than stretch myself and my family thin doing some things that are moderately ok.

The family that prays together stays together. Just because the child receives the Eucharist at 8 doesn’t mean that NOW he should be attending mass….we always attend the ENTIRE  Mass together because it is the essence of who we are and what we are about.   Just because a child recieves Confirmation doesn’t make him an adult either….we are always learning and growing and celebrate each sacrament as a sacred moment in that journey… they are steps on the journey and we celebrate them with the child as a family …these sacred moments are moments that we cherish in the heart of our home. What about the men being the spiritual head of their homes? doesn’t this translate well as he leads them into worship in church and volunteer life within the parish? St Francis said preach and only when necessary use words…random thoughts but the same theme keeps popping into my head…we allll have a contribution to make. I really like the fruit of being family-centered…we all have something to offer.

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Today I saw a very beautiful and precious sight…

a very healthy baby squirming and stretching…

a very beautiful SON

The children are OVERJOYED

We just tied the ranks…4 boys, 4 girls!

Please keep me in your prayers.  They are helping.  At least I am having some good nights instead of all bad ones.

Please keep praying!!

May God bless you all abundantly!

(I will try to write all of you who were so gracious and left comments.  I just need a bit of time as my family needs every good moment I can give them.)

I pray for all of you!


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