Saturday, March 29, 2014

Laetare Sunday Daybook

Lautare Sunday...Rejoice, O Jerusalem...
Whoo-hoo...We are halfway through Lent!
Did your priest wear rose vestments today? I love the liturgical colors to lift our spirits and mark the excitement of the season.
Next Sunday is Passion Sunday, then Palm Sunday, then Easter!!

Outside my of the pine pests causing so many allergies. It just looks maniacal, doesn't it?

I am leaves are so pretty.

I am praying for..repose of faithfully departed souls, health for my dear aunt, college students, young people and their decision making.

I am thankful...that my sweetie knows his way around cars. He replaced the brakes on Molly's car after they blew out (didn't know that was possible), saving us loads of cost from the repair shop. Also thankful she was on hand this weekend to keep him company  help bleed the brakes. I spent much of our pre-marriage time together helping hang out with him work on his project cars, including bleeding air out of the brake lines. I know the fun she is having. :)

I am creating...Sunday school plans.
Actually I am borrowing the creativity of Lacy at Catholic Icing. Nicholas, in my CCD class, colored this one. We spent most of the class on it, a good 45 minutes and most kids did not finish it, but were happy to take home to complete. I glued the two pages together before class to make it easier. 

Lacy, thank you!! Often times I don't have a lot of time to come up with crafts for Sunday School. I enjoy fairly easy things for them to keep their hands busy and minds open to listen to me read and discuss First Communion topics. It is also a treat to find so many Eucharist ideas. I read stories of the Last Supper and discussed Pentecost and Covenants. This age is fun to teach, they have open hearts and so much to learn. 

And for next Sunday's class, we will prepare a calendar countdown to their first communion. I think we will use this novena from Margaret's priest to pray.

I am reading...The Face of the Nazarene (Noel Trimming) and Josephus, and Remembering the Prophets of Sacred Scripture (Marianna Mayer) and adding to an Olt Testament timeline. Nicholas built Solomon's temple last week, (very patient builder, I must say) and this week we are going to concentrate on the geography of the Holy Land, and learning more about the apostles.

I am watching...Once Upon on Time on Netflx. I started a few with Euly, but unfortunately it turned out a bit intense and mature for what I thought it would be. I'm disappointed. I love the see fairy tales/modern world allegories.

I am listening to...Shoofly. I downloaded a few more via iTunes to listen on our trips into Houston.

I am looking forward Easter here this year. I am hoping for a big turn out from the college nieces and nephews since we are at a midpoint for a few of them.

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today...
“When you are before the altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men; but believe that there are troops of angels and archangels standing by you, and trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration.” - Saint John Chrysostom

One of my favorite things...receiving flowers from someone I love.

A few plans for the rest of the week...April begins this week. I will work on the garden, preparing it for whatever we decide for this year, school, classes, Stations of the Cross, then go cheer on Marilyn in the Ironman competition!

Something that made me laugh, chuckle..Lilly wanted to make St. Therese style sacrifice beads for herself and her friend at church, Michael. She did not want to stop at ten, it wasn't enough sacrifice, so she has 22 on her string, and Michael has 26.

A peek into my day...beautiful day for playing outside in new swimsuits.

The girls cleaned up the old plastic pool. In Texas, Spring usually skips straight to summer.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Counting gifts

4800 Geraniums and rocking chairs, feels like home.
99 Shhh reading ahead in a book that is too interesting to wait until tomorrow's read group aloud.

98 Getting back on the calories counting bandwagon
And seeing results !!
97 Relaxing after a long day on my comfy couch. 
96 Nick's best effort at math. Great attempt!
95 A story that makes the kids pay attention and learn about Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
94 Getting attic steps.
93 "The angel of The Lord declared unto Mary..." Special feast day.
92 Ten bags toward forty bags in forty days.
91 Lil: "My dad is awesome."
90 Easter planning.
89 Ceci helping Lilly do her school.

88 Lilly keeping herself anther tainted and busy while we do school.

87 Getting up in wee hours to put barking nuisance dogs up so my neighbors can sleep.
86 Late night text keeping late night babysitting daughter company, can't sleep til she is safe at home anyway.
85 Giving many good books and stories to share with the kids.
84 Loving learning.
83 A full school day at home.
82 Wanting to be an athlete.
81 Value in spending time Coloring ( Ceci working on the life of Christ).

80 Art and how it is to spend time each day on it.
79 Kids talking about being happy they are homeschooled ( for the right reasons).
78 Planning fun things to do in school.
77 Embracing limitations as gifts.
76 Accepting limitations realities.
75 Molly figuring out what she wants and how to get it.
74 Having the "what if you die, mom? Conversations with Lilly. 
73 Practicing patience and calm for the good things to come, whenever that may be.
72 Friends in and out of the years.
71 Being reminded how fragile life is and how we are in God's Hands all along.
70 Wish I knew my husband was right 26 years ago, live and learn.
69 Boy Scouts playing a very large, very loud and very lively game of Duck Duck Goose.
68 Building The a Temple with Nick, and being amazed at his patience persistence and talent.

67 Watching romantic movies with my girls.
66 Holy Rosary meditations
65 For Molly teaching my Sunday school class when I had to stay home sick.
64 For Lilly to stay with me and keep me company
63 For a day on the property
62 Hopes and dreams
61 Spring
60 Bird sound. "I think that was a hawk. We can't go up there. We don't have an airplane. I forgot to buy one." Lil
59 An afternoon with just Lilly and me. Can't just take a nap, need to find more energy to keep up with her. She won't always be here with me. Blessings!
58 "Lilly, do you need to brush your teeth?" "No, mom did it for me." "When?" "Forty miles ago."
57 Mary's grotto and prayers offered up

56 Brand new leaves
55 Being a little old lady at heart looking forward to Craig coming home from his business trip  and rocking next to me.

54 My hydrangeas made it through the winter, wearing confiscated shoes and my cool toenail paint job by Molly 

53 The duh moment I learn something I should have known my whole life. Better late...
52 My sweetie making a date plans with me
51 Virtual tour of the Via Dolorosa
50 Molly giving Nick and Euly a scolding lesson on making good use of their time. And they listened and made changes. Wow
49 Sounds of the teens playing outside on a beautiful day. Win for open windows!
48 Thankful for another scheduling and another.
47 "Here is my phone (old broken one) it texts good. I don't have an iPad yet." Lil. Yeah, you're only three.
46 "I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I spilt it and the good news is that I cleaned it up " Lil
45 Lilly and me selfies, her idea.

"Jesus, knowing that His hour was come, that He should pass out of this world to the Father, having loved His own that were in the world, He loved them into the end."
John 13:1
43 "Pretend I am Princess Lilly. " should be hard.
42 I thought about getting up, but the sick one needed to snuggle.
41 Humility lessons dealing with Ana.
40 De Profunctus
Psalm 129
129:1 A gradual canticle. Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord:
129:2 Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
129:3 If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it.
129:4 For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord. My soul hath relied on his word:
129:5 my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
129:6 From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
129:7 Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption.
129:8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

39 Glimpse of the choppy bay dropping Max off at school.

38 Going to sketchy dives in Galveston with Max

37 Ceci

36 "Mommy come build with me." 

35 For the Divine gift of Perseverance 
34 "When we clean a room,  we gather up all the dust and dirt and then sweep it out. We should clean out spiritual room in the same way. Examination of conscience gathers up all the faults; repentance sweeps then out. We must know our faults so as to gather then up in a heap, as it were, in the memory. Finally, this knowledge should enable us to confess them, combat them, and cleanse the soul from them." Alvarez de Paz
33 "He who wills the ends, wills the means."
32 CoPfCM Encourages to recite
"I will make progress despite all obstacles and every barrier."
"Force yourself never to begin a day without making one more good resolution."
31 "You make progress only in so far you sincerely and firmly wish for progress."
Councils of Perfection for Christian  Mothers
30 Jesus expects more out of us.
29 Having sons who open doors for me.
28 For Nick leaving his friends during a game to run to help me carry things to the car .
27 Family car trips and conversations on the way home from Stations.
26 Stations of the cross and fish fries. Thank you KOC
25 "My God, what will happen to me today, I do not know; but I do know that nothing will happen to me which Thou hast not foreseen and ordained for my greater good. I accept then thy thrice holy will; I submit myself to it, and desire to delight in it despite all the revolts if reason, and the repugnance's of my nature."
Elizabeth sister of Louis XVI
24 Trainer attention got my kicks higher
23 My little pal
22 "That person then is perfect who does at every instant what He wishes."
21"Perfection is accomplishing the will of God in a constant and generous fashion."
20 For the nice patient guy at Walgreens who fixed my passport photos for free.
19 Craig asking me to see what a great decision it was, emphasizing the kids, that we decided I stay home. I love his confident reassurance after my identity crisis.
18 "Something goods gonna happen to day, something goods gonna come my way..."
17 Mom and dad. For coming and helping out. For mom being stronger and adventurous for the trip.

16 "Let's play you are locked in the you're free!"

15 Dinners at home together as a family.
14 Molly's Kung pao shrimp.
13 Bird songs.
12 Lilly's soft skin. Making me overlook my old wrinkled skin.
11 Talking through the tough realities.
10 Honest conversations.
9 Motivated kids give me hope for the nonmotivated kids, as they weren't always motivated themselves.
8 Cc and a friend she doesn't fight with.
7 Love. A house full of it.
6 Sound of roaring wind while I'm safe tucked in bed.
5 My comfy life and warm flannel sheets.
4 My daughters strength she didn't know she had.
3 "Hold on tight and never let go." Lil
2 Have mercy on me, a sinner.
4701 Sewing on badges.

Our Family Prayer

Dear loving Heavenly Father,
In your infinite Love and Mercy
we place our lives in your hands:

For our marriage to be infused with the supernatural graces we need for our union, our parenting task, and to stay close to you. And to raise our children to be Your light in the world. To be a loving and faithful mother, a good supportive companion for my spouse and return your blessings. To be a strong, faith filled husband, a spiritual leader who so many will follow.

For Max: Continued success in school carried to a career that is pleasing to You. To find a faithful and loving spouse, to faithfully walk the journey You have planned for him.

For Molly: To find a college solution that is good for her soul, safe for her body, satisfying to her spirit, and beneficial for her life's work. May she blossom in creativity and love you inspire.

For Nicholas: Help guide his education toward work that glorifies your nature in his talents. Inspired him to nurture his talents. Help keep him pure, steadfast and able to keep friendships that are dear to him.

For Eulalia: Help her stay pure of heart and full of the joy of doing Your work.

For Cecilia and Lillianna: Help them develop a love for what is good and holy work, keep them pure and innocent.

Thanksgiving for the gifts of life our children have been to our lives and safety for their souls, bodies, hearts, mind and spirit. Thanksgiving for our family, good health, steady employment and inspiring faith community.

Forgive us our sins.

We trust Your Guidance. 
Please show us the way to navigate this journey, shielding us from evil and unprepared death.

In Christ's name,
St Joseph, St Charbel, St Anthony, St Michael,
Pray for us.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Sunday Daybook

The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today.

Saint Francis

A sneak peek of our-hopefully-someday-forever-house...
Outside its window...a panoramic from my phone with a Ceci at both ends.
I am thinking and will be worth the wait.

I am praying for..repose of souls for a few who passed this month, for healing of my Aunt La Trieve, travelers, and in thanksgiving.

I am thankful...for God's blessings, answered prayers and for a wonderful  husband.

In the kitchen...Molly made some yummy hot and sour soup for her sick mommy.

I am reading...we finished Amon's Adventure and a few things struck my kids uncomfortable. When Amon met a woman at the well and had  a discussion of competing woes. My kids said our Blessed Mother would not have had that discussion and they were uncomfortable with that situation. Also when the disciples hid in Amon's "upper room," oh man, my kids didn't like that depiction. I kept telling them it would be hard to write fictional characters into a true story we know well. Otherwise it is a good story and good tour around Jerusalem and the temple continuing our studies of the Holy Land. 

We are also still making our way through Josephus and they are going to work on learning about and building a model of Solomon's temple this week.

I am watching...this video about a Father's sacrifice. Do you remember hearing about this story in the news? It came to my attention this week in honor of WDSD.

and I am pondering the time it took him to sing her a song...

and I am thinking... this looks like a creative way to distract pulling a tooth.

I am looking forward to...getting our "testing" in TKD over with. Hopefully we will break our boards and remember our kicks.

Around the house...Lilly reached a big landmark today, the day she realized her siblings were off playing with friends and she only had me, wishing she had Ceci to play with.
I'm a good companion for a while, we played pretend, where she was "Summer" and I was "Charlotte" for hours and hours. She never got out of character. After running low on play ideas and energy, I offered to bake something with her. She liked the idea of making a small batch of peanut butter cookies. She enjoyed making and eating them. 

I am our new daily timer schedule will stick. I implemeneted it last week from the site to get the kids to see how efficient or how inefficient their school days are. Euly loved it, Nick did not. She filled it out as a diary, he did not. I filled it in for him best I could. It is a system that takes practice, but can really help see where the day goes.

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today...
"He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."
Saint Francis

A few plans for the rest of the week: get well, take kids to classes, lay low. 

Fourth week of Lent, here we come! Have a blessed week! Some words from Saint Francis:

"Keep a clear eye toward life's end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God's creature. What you are in His sight is what you are and nothing more. Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take nothing that you have received...but only what you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage."

Friday, March 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: Stations of the Cross

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee,
because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Fridays during Lent we get together with friends to pray the Stations of the Cross, to meditate and pray on Christ's Passion. The first year, our parish hall was under construction so we decided to visit different parishes for their Stations and dinners. We have kept the tradition through the years and look forward to Friday nights during Lent. We're like a flash mob for prayers. Some gatherings are very small and we are a noticeable addition to the crowd.

1 Jesus is Condemned to Die 
2 Jesus is Made to Bear His Cross 
3 Jesus Falls the First Time 
4 Jesus Meets His Mother
5 Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross 
6 Veronica Wipes Jesus' Face 
7 Jesus Falls the Second Time 
8 Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem 
9 Jesus Falls the Third Time 
10 Jesus is Stripped 
11 Jesus is Nailed to the Cross 
12 Jesus Dies on the Cross 
13 Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross 
14 Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

I've worried my kids would enjoy their visits afterwards with their friends too much, and didn't want to turn a penitential occasion into a a festive event. Instead I've overheard discussions on the different versions of stations, reasons for their preferences, different styles of praying the stations and heard humming of the Stabat Mater, with others spontaneously joining in. I do believe the understand Christ's Passion the more we study, pray and meditate on it.

I am not a fan of fried fish: fried shrimp, yes; catfish, no. I know it is a very, very small "sacrifice" to offer. Some parishes we visit don't have a dinner connected to Stations. The church closest to me has a KoC fundraiser drive through for fish fry, which hijacks the parking lot, and does not encourage families to stay and pray the Stations, just to pick up food and go. In our short time living in the northern US, we found Catholic churches would offer a family deal for fish fry, like $8 a person and $40 max for a family. Around here, no deals to be found, and a child's plate price is a rare find. It is a fundraiser after all, but it would probably encourage more people to stay and pray the stations if dinner wasn't and extravagance.

In past years, we hosted one Friday here with our homeschooling teen group. We set up Stations to be prayed by candlelight in the back yard, and had designated leaders lead the procession.  I soaked in the beauty and graces of having so many pray together, walking the way of the cross, meditating on Christ's Passions and having the Stabat Mater sung, floating notes up beyond our yard. 

There is a Plenary Indulgence associated with praying the Stations. Don't forget to add prayers for the Holy Father, with Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be with intention of earning indulgence. Read this from Father Z about guidelines for indulgence. 

I've always included my little ones too,  as we have always been an All or Nothing family, meaning we are all involved or none of can be. Kids learn to quiet themselves and follow along.

I hope to some day walk the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. Watch this interesting guided tour to see the places Jesus suffered His Passion for us and how it looks today.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee
from the Stabat Mater

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Some pretty, happy, funny, real in our everyday life

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Welcome spring! 
Pretty morning sunshine on this potted plant, 
the only one to survive the last unexpected freeze.

Celebrating a happy Feast of St. Joseph at our parish 
(hosted by another parish's Family life Center)
a room used for mass and a quick transition to use for the reception.

From this:

 To this
 in a matter of minutes:
kneelers, altar rail, altar all fit behind that wall.

 My kids are always happy to have more time with their friends outside of mass and Ccd.

Lilly and Michael - such a complicated friendship!
Lots of "I just want to be alooone" heard.

So Lilly thought she'd bug his brother instead. He was swee

Aren't First Class Feasts such a gift during Lent?!

Height differences between some of my kids

For my two girls who say I never have pictures of them.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend Daybook

"Therefore whilst we have time, let us do good."
Gal 6:10

Outside my window...overcast and rain showers on and off during the weekend. Cold in morning, pleasant during the day, windy as another cold front rolls in.

I am praying for..Max to find a summer internship, long time question to be answered, comfort to distressed souls, Father's father in his final days, for a miracle for Ben, and healing for (a father of young children)Danny's second battle with cancer. 

I am thankful...for my husband's job and his dedication to his family and to God. Thankful also for the relaxed time spent this week with Max and Molly. Thankful she listened to her instincts about car's brakes. 

In the kitchen...easy fare: beef nachos for lunch. Molly is making French onion soup for dinner. 

I am creating...Sunday school plans for a candle craft for St. Joseph's feast day. Our family and our parish have a special devotion to St. Joseph. We are praying a novena leading up to his feast day, especially asking for the support of our parish.

I am looking forward to ...Mass and dinner for St Joseph's feast day on Wednesday. We have this Holyland olive wood statue on my mantle. I love the expression on Jesus' face.

I am watching...this video about what a strong bond of friendship and support.

Anything for love ... from Albert Bredenhann on Vimeo.

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth. A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds;  for he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself. (Sirach 6,14-17)

I am reading...Councils of Perfection for Christian Mothers for me and still reading Amon and Josephus 
to the kids. We are working through Jewish culture and Holy Land studies. I'm looking for a kit for the temple in Jerusalem, any suggestions?

Around the many of the kids have colds, there is a lot of lounging around while trying to feel better. Euly has had it most of the week, now the older ones caught it just in time to return to classes; hope it runs through them faster than Euly.

I am pondering...getting my garden started. It can be an exercise in futility without many fruits or vegetables overall, but still feel efforts are time well spent regardless. There is something very satisfying in growing our own food, even if we do have the years of the "$50 tomato" or rather, bell pepper, as it usually is for me.

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today...
"My God, what will happen to me today, I do not know; but I do know that nothing will happen to me which Thou hast not foreseen and ordained for my greater good. I accept then Thy thrice holy will; I submit myself to it, and desire to delight in it despite all the revolts of reason, and the repugnances of my nature."
Elizabeth sister of Louis XVI
(She was executed at the guillotine wearing her miraculous medal)

A few plans for the rest of the week...planning to concentrate on school this week now that spring breakers go back to school, especially math and English. Goal to get Nick ready for math placement test for a class I want him in the fall! and we are moving in to Catholic Heritage English program for Nick and Euly.

Something that made me laugh...merry-go-round fun.

A peek into my day...the girls like to keep me company while I do yardwork and help with the sword like trimmings:

 They both were able to dramatically act our their defeats:

 Have a great week!