Friday, October 31, 2014

Why I love my kids...

when nearing the end of our two streets of trick-or-treat, bags bursting with candy, #2 child (usually the most selfish of the group) said, "we're going to dump all these bags in to a giant bowl and have dessert for weeks!" Well taught, my little friend.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

A few on Friday

since I have no idea how much time I have before some little person wanders in asking to eat more candy, let's get started...

1. Better Than Candy
Have you had them yet? Wow, they are awesome! Make sure you get the salted ones, though...I seem to keep making that mistake and then they're kind of pfft. The Sweets and Beets are also yum.
2. Our pre-Halloween
I figure the school kids are having their parties so we always make the rounds to the elder stateswomen in the afternoon. My aunt, mom and mom's neighbor always make a fuss and dump unreasonable amounts of candy on these little people. My mom is so cute...she even made them a "pin the nose on the jack-o-lantern". She is such a good Grammy :0)
Mr. "G"iraffe :0) Cutie

It was a tie between #s 2&4

Afterward, there were the rides on Grammy's chair...indoor Kennywood!
3. Art Class
The older two have been taking an art class through a homeschool group for the last two weeks. This session, they're studying Monet's The Japanese Footbridge.
I don't know a lot about the teacher but she must be fantastic. I sent her two semi-excited, non-artistic kids and she got them to do this (and talk about it...which means they were extremely excited). Can't wait for Seurat!
4. Teaching the Kids
Tomorrow is the last soccer game and the dress rehearsal for Sunday's show. The more important things is that it's All Saints Day. We usually dress for Mass but, since it's not a Holy Day of Obligation this year (really? come on people! - a quote from #1. She may or may not have heard it from me) we may go in our non-Saintly attire. We'll see how the morning goes.
Regardless, we will do our best to spend the day continuing our discussions from Wednesday. A HUGE help will come in the form of CCD Celebration Saturday (once-a-month meeting for homeschooled kids at our parish). They are covering All Saints Day and the service project after is Burying the Dead (for All Souls on Sunday) during which they will visit the cemetery, leave flowers, and look for Saints names among the dead. Yes, our DRE is AMAZING. The kids are so blessed with the opportunities she provides. Pray it doesn't snow :0(
I'll leave it at 4 since I'm out of time.
Wishing you a holy All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day and All Souls Day. We are blessed! 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

We cannot be afraid

Typical Thursday around here...until we went to school Mass, that is.

Yes, we are homeschoolers and yes, we attend Mass with the local Catholic school kids. I find the homily, more often than not,  an excellent springboard for discussion on the way home. 

As always, there are priests who are more and less gifted when it comes to bringing the hard stuff to elementary level. Our deacon, however, seems particularly able to make things clear. Oh, maybe that's because he speaks truth and he does so directly. I find that so refreshing, don't you? (He claims it is all the Holy Spirit.  Ahem.   Amen, Deac!)

Today the homily was all about living as a Catholic in today's society. Deacon spoke about how difficult this was and how we, like Christ in the Gospel,

“Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose."
Jesus, the Deacon said, was not afraid because he knew His Father was with Him. By the same token, we should not be afraid to live our faith because God is with us.
So when we are eating out as a family and the meal comes, we should not begin to eat until we all give our blessing over the meal. We should say our grace before we eat. When someone sneezes, we should say God bless you. No apologies, no shortcuts. This reminds me so much of our former parochial vicar who spoke about something similar and when I said someone will be offended, he said, "I'm offended that the person is offended."
This is the insanity that passes for today's society. A place where a late-vocation, deeply devout priest can quietly suffer as he is ravaged by ALS and go unnoticed while this tragedy is the lead story. Why is that, do you suppose? Because, for some reason, the media loves fear. Loves it. Wades neck-deep in it. Can't wait to bring you the next story that causes you fear. and doubt. and distress.
Fr. Barry may have known moments of fear but he also knew that God was walking with him. That was what allowed him to continue walking. All the way to his eternal reward. This tragic woman who is a witness to how far we have fallen as a society, has nothing but fear. 

What she's doing doesn't take courage. You fall asleep and that's the end. Courage is waking up every day knowing that it might be the hardest day you've ever faced and continuing because you know that you are not alone. I am truly sorry for her suffering.  I am equally sorry that suffering no longer has a place in society. 

 What a gift I was given yesterday when "St. Francis" and I had a discussion about the stigmata and how it is a huge grace for the special people God chooses to share that closely in His passion. Pray God that little boy internalized such an important lesson.
When I'm in this state, I have to pray. I have to take it to Satan and say, "yes, I see that you've taken hold of a lot of society and it does worry me more than it should, considering I have the Redeemer on my side. You know what, though (bad words omitted.'s Satan) go back to hell. You have no power here." Today, being somewhat overwhelmed by the news of that woman, I decided to go where I knew I would find the dark one. I went to pray in front of Planned Parenthood. Here, I learned two things.
1. There was, yet again, a movie being filmed on that block so I guess I am right that Hollywood is drawn to the dark and

2. There are still people that are good and striving to be holy.  I know because I stood with about five of them.  Even when a minion stopped to stir up discord, they were not moved from their mission.  Giving a voice to the voiceless and witness of what God can do.

Just look at me. 20 min to find a parking place, a long cold walk, only enough time for a rosary then rush home. Still my day was lifted from my selfish dispair. Isn't it always like that when you help someone else? 

Our God is so very good. We are blessed! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All you Holy Men and Women

Pray for Us!

Yesterday we had the First Annual Saints Party at our house. I think it's safe to say we will be continuing this yearly tradition. How fun to have friends join us to dress up to talk/learn about the Saints! I am so thankful to have this group. I love getting together with them knowing that it is all about time spent expectations. We even did a little (really a little but we did it!) math, art, writing and geography and religion of course:0) Most importantly, we had fun with our friends...heavenly and in the flesh. We are so blessed!

Estimation jars

 The kids did a great job presenting their Saints!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


For those who think we live in a bubble, I agree. I was just thinking about how we surround ourselves with families and activities that are similar in beliefs and attitudes to us. It makes our world, day-to-day, run more smoothly. As much as I enjoy our existence though, I also look forward to the times when we venture out into society.

Today, for instance, was our Christmas picture shoot at Picture People. Yes, Christmas. First, I had a Groupon that expires next week. Second, even though I enjoy society, I'm not prepared to immerse our family in the mall during the holiday season.

So, we had time together as a family. DH had time with the kids while I waited for the photos. He said they really enjoyed walking around which is good to know for the winter season! Ultimately the pictures worked as well as I had hoped and that yearly chore is finished. Whew.

Some outtakes:

Happy Sunday, everyone. We are blessed!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fasting, Friends and Fall Fridays

I've noticed, and it's usually on a crisp day in the Fall, Our Heavenly Father will give me a glimpse of heaven. It's a little hard to explain but I will look at a picture from my camera that day or, even better, will actually see it when it's happening. I look at my kids, the background, the sky and it just looks too perfect to be real. It looks like we're all standing on a movie set. In a time when society can so easily bring me, simplicity, perfection.  It's a blessing because, at those moments, I realize how perfect heaven will be. Absolutely too much to even conceive of while we are still here. Even better than the most perfect day now. What a great thing to turn our hearts and minds toward!

Today I had a few of those moments. I dropped the older two off and headed to the park with the three little people. I invited friends but wasn't sure that anyone was going to make it so we just did our thing. Allowing myself to be in the moment with these three is also a gift. When we were speeding through births and newborns and pregnancies there wasn't always time for days like today. How blessed we are to have the opportunity now.

As noted in the title, I'm fasting today for 40 Days for Life. It is something that I can do and it helps me as much as I hope it helps turn some hearts and minds back towards life. That being said, it's not something I enjoy. I was having a discussion with the kids at breakfast and I remarked, "you'd be amazed how much you miss being able to chew on something!" Of course we also discussed the why and when of fasting. I like that they're getting older. The discussions can be amazing at times.

Anyway, back to the park. We were just about the head out and grab some pretzels for their lunch (it's Friday...don't call the nutrition police) before pickup when our friends arrived. I had begun to wonder how many more hours there were until I could "chew something" and the Holy Spirit dropped my friend in front of me with lots of excellent things to discuss. I can say, without hesitation, I did not think about hunger for those 70+ minutes. Friends that you can talk to about fun and difficult things are such a blessing to me. Life is hard and I'm so grateful that we, as a family, don't have to go through this alone. God is so good.

I wish you blessings on this beautiful Friday. Here are the little ones having some Fall fun :0)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 and in heaven

Happy FIRST feast day of Saint John Paul II! How exciting is that? I was talking to the kids in the car after Mass this morning and we were discussing the "first feast day as a Saint" idea. We figured it's a really big deal, like when we celebrated each child's first birthday. A HUGE celebration. Because my brain is altered these days, I then wondered aloud if JP II had a smash cake for the occasion. Who knows? Maybe in Heaven the mess disappears immediately when you're done with it? Or no one cares that there is cake/icing all over the floor?

I digress.

I am in my pre-Halloween funk. I hate Halloween. I'm sorry. I never did as a kid. I have nothing but fond memories. Still, growing up where I did and where my kids are (today we passed, in someone's front yard, a dummy impaled on a large steel beam...lots of blood and gore. Yay). What is it with people? We threw some corn, ate some candy, had a parade and that was it.

Our kids still do the trick-or-treat (mainly because we have some nice older people from church within walking distance). I'm happy to report, however, that this year when the costume trunks came out, there was a discussion of "what will we be for All Saints" right along with "what will we be for Halloween". Clever #1 is actually going as a Saint for each but the Halloween one "is a queen so everyone will just think that's what I am." Ah, teaching them to evangelize quietly at such a young age ;0).

Being the feast of such a great Saint, I'm not wasting it being bummed about Halloween...I'm wasting it searching the Internet for all sorts of fun games/foods/activities to celebrate at our All Saints party next week. It has the makings of a really awesome time. I can't wait. I love bringing all these kids together and talking about/dressing up like Saints. I love that it is as natural to them as baseball scores.

To get you in the mood (and because I have been so lax in reporting this earlier) I wanted to share with  you my dear friend's Etsy shop. She is one of the most amazing artists I know (ok, probably the most amazing) and she makes these wonderful little Saint peg dolls (and other types of peg dolls). Check her out here:

Then, when your Saints arrive (she may take a baby and all but trust me - MOST worth the wait!) give them to your kids. That's it. You will be amazed at the things they come up with. We have been laughing for many months now as our "Saints on the Shelf" (better than an elf and year-round!) have such exciting lives. Here are some shots I have taken during the months since we got them...they just end up in these poses. I'm not even sure who is moving them or when. (ahem ;0))

 Early on, they seemed to be having a lot of meetings.

St. Christopher came from Europe and when DH saw the tin man he yelled..."You can't have a tin man with an axe hanging out with Saints" LOL

Yes, St. Christopher did drop baby Jesus...which has since been repaired.

It's been fun watching the pairings every few days. If only I could get into my kids' heads... At least the heavenly friends are thought about and interacted with...some of the best toys we have!
Saint Pope John Paul II, Pray for Us!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oh my, yes.

It's not wordless Wednesday and, besides, this has words. I'm posting it because I've not seen anything that has summed up the last 2+ weeks in my world better than this and I just found chance (ahem). Can you imagine if we started with this during all the "preparation" programs instead? Wow.

disclaimer...I just looked up Christine Caine and she's the founder of a mega church in Australia. I don't want you to convert to her religion, I just want you to look at what this says. This is the heart of everything. This is "take up your cross and follow Me" because, as Alan Keyes reminds us," you know where He's going, right? "

Points to ponder. You're welcome.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I remember one thing from my Mass Media and Politics class in college...we read a news article that was titled "Russia places second in race; USA next to last". The lesson was on perspective and how things can look differently depending on your point of view. You see, the race (sadly I don't even know what it was a race in/for) only had two participants.

Today has been a little bit like that. There have been some great opportunities to see our blessings today. I do hope that we have looked at them with the right perspective.

First up - RACE DAY!

Today was #1's first 5k and my first 5k with a 9-year-old in tow (literally...I held her hand a lot of the way) and without music. I have a feeling that the speed may have been greater without my companion and with my tunes but I wouldn't have traded it. The blessings were huge and I know the perspective, at least for us, was the right one.

We ran our Little Flowers 5k and, I promise, the shirt was under all the other layers of clothing. There is a picture but I'm not putting it up because the size I ordered, while normally my size, would have been only slightly large for the 9yo. Not pretty. Not pretty at all. Shift perspective...I took this opportunity, during Respect Life Month, to "advertise" during my run. Not Little Flowers specifically, but Life in general. Besides, it's easier to read ;0)

Extremely cold this morning...
We got down to the race and I noticed that there were even fewer people than I had anticipated (60+) and they all looked like serious runners. I was grateful for the "prep" I had done with my girl in the days leading up to today.
We don't stress competition in our house. We're not those "don't keep score/everyone wins" people either. When someone ends up the winner of something, we congratulate them. When they boast about it, we correct them. If someone is a sore loser, they are also reminded of the purpose of the have fun and maybe learn something.
So in the days of training preceding our race today, #1 and I have been talking a lot. I told her there was every possibility that we could end up last and we both agreed that would be OK if 1. we didn't quit (assuming we were able to continue and didn't just want to give up) and 2. we did our best.
It turns out we were nearly last (I think there were 5 or 6 people behind us) but we ran when we said we would and walked at the formerly-agreed upon times and did our best all along the way. A little over the 2-mile mark, she tripped and fell on the uneven sidewalk. It was great to see her pull herself together (in a few minutes of walking) and finish the race. She has grown a lot in the last year.

I was also glad she kept going because when we crossed the bottom of our street, our cheering section was waiting for us! It was so nice to see them and hear them cheer us to start our last mile! I wish I would have had a picture of them but here is the one they took of us (DH and his dinosaur phone..."1 megapixel was cutting edge when I bought it" He is so cute).
I'm sure there were a lot of people in and outside the race shaking their heads at us. Our perspective, however, ended up just as I hoped. Doing our best for those who need us. Showing a good example to those around us. Spending time doing something that helps us grow. We are blessed.
Some funnies from the route:
Me: "We're running our Little Flowers race the same time as the D Dash today!"
#1: "Oh, no! So we're running 6.2 miles?" (at least she can add decimals on the fly)

#1: Grumbling...whining
Me: "Did I ever tell you I was in labor for 26 hours before you were born?"
#1: Quiet grumbling

Me: "I smell you smell bacon?" (this was in the final stretch...I promised her bacon when we got home for breakfast)
#1: "No but that car has a bumper sticker that says "I love BACON!"
 Me: "See? That's the Holy Spirit telling you to hurry up!"

Me, trying to get her out of her hysteria after she fell, "Imagine you're in front of a bunch of Sisters right now...offer it up and move on." I know the woman running past thought I was nuts but I know my audience. It worked ;0)
There was more on the perspective front during our long but blessed day. However, lesson plans for this week are unwritten so I need to shift perspective. More later.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

I need

a shirt that says this on the front...

and this on the back...
hee, hee...
Happy windy Saturday y'all ;0)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five on Friday - Kids' Activities

Our kids have reached the age that several of them are interested in participating in one activity or another. I know it's important to have individual interests but not being in school, it's hard to make that a reality. For now, the rule in our house is, "unless you have a clear talent for something, at least two kids have to be involved in each activity to make it a go". I've found that it helps with motivation, creates less stress of not knowing someone (we deal with that way more than I would like) and savings in transportation/calendar time. On the downside, more kids in each activity means more $. Am I dreaming or did you just have to buy the shoes when we played sports?

1. Catechesis - Religion, Socialization and Public Speaking!
Four of our kids are involved in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. The middle two take it at a nearby parish and the older two, at a parish a 40-minute drive away. I did struggle with that second one but it's such an awesome program, especially the older kids, it's definitely worth it. I may jump all the little ones to the second class next year so we can all be in the same place. For now, it's been great watching all the fantastic things they do. The older class has been reading the Sunday Gospel each Thursday night. Excellent training for future lectors ;0)
2. Slovak
#1 and I have been taking a Slovak language class on Monday nights. We've gotten a good amount of material so I'm hoping, when it ends in a few weeks, we will be able to keep it going at home.

The whole family (except me!) just left for dance class. Mr. G is still too small but he loves to watch them practice. On November 2nd for the show at Pitt, there will be a new little blonde joining this crew.
I can't wait to see her, actually. She is so excited about the whole thing. If you're nearby, come see the show. Lots of excellent Slovak crafts/activities.
3. Music lessons
Ug. I don't know what to do with this subject. #1 has been playing for 4 years now and I'm happy we started when we did because she does seem to have an aptitude for music. These middle guys...who knows? #2 wants to play the drum (sorry...I can't have a drum in my house. I just can't) and #3 wants to play double bass. Yes, they do start that early but I'm not sure he's ready. Have I mentioned it costs a crazy amount for lessons and rentals? So, we're in a holding pattern. Stay tuned.
4. Little people lessons
When #1 was tiny she had the opportunity to do all sorts of things (yes, I was one of those crazy mothers). In fact, each of my children was purchased fairly costly music lessons (Kindermusik) then proceeded to weld themselves to my leg or refuse to participate in some other way or form each class. So, when this little guy came along, I way. Fool me once, fool me four times but not a fifth. I do feel guilty sometimes. Then I put on one of the 10 Kindermusik cds we have collected from classes and all five dance around like fools. I figure that's better than a roomful of strangers any day.
5. Actual sports
Other than my previous mention of soccer for the boys, you may notice that we're heavy on music/dance and pretty sparse when it comes to athletics. Yes, it pains my 9-time-letterman heart ;0) Truly, though, they all seem to have inherited their father's prowess (not) in that area so I know my battle is lost. For now, we just enjoy running around together. #1 and I have actually been running around together and Sunday will be our first mother/daughter 5k. We ran a trial on Thursday morning and she did great! I'm happy, actually, since I have a raging fever and doubling-over cramps so, while we will start and finish on Sunday, there may be a lot more walking than running. Regardless, check off the athletic box! Hooray.
Wishing you all a blessed weekend. Remember to give thanks for each moment of your life - it is a gift, after all.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

When society and home collide

Santa is working in the back room and is "way behind because I only have one baby fairy (born yesterday) to help."

"Why are you so behind?" I inquired.

"Someone just ordered a giant rosary on rush!"

Ah, of course.

Where do they get this stuff?

Our Church

I'm feeling a little bit badly about venting quite so much about pre-Cana the other day. It was a "poor me" moment and I was wrong to make it public. I think venting cancels out all the grace of the mortification anyway (I'm always doing that...).

It got me thinking though. When we chose this specific parish, it was because our kids would attend school here and DH, being the completely reasonable person he is, determined that this was the most "solid" (financially I would guess) Catholic school in the area. Kind of like finding the reception hall after booking the wedding date (everyone does this, yes?) we chose our home after finding the school.

Fast-forward and you know where we are...still here
but without a specific reason to hold us in this parish. That's how I feel, anyway, on days like the pre-Cana one when I feel so out of place with our choice of church home. It is, after all, our home. I'm fairly sure I (and some weeks, my whole family) spend the most time here at this home, second only to our family dwelling.

Last night God, being as good as He is and always making HUGE mountains of grace from my puny molehill attempts, gave me a good reminder of why, warts and all, this is the right home for us.

We went to a special Benediction and holy hour because our former Parochial Vicar was the homilist. He is so crazy-educated and brilliant...I just like to hear him speak about any religious topic he wishes. As you can guess, yesterday his topic was St. Teresa of Avila (my new favorite Saint!) which was excellent because it was a great continuation of our pastor's remarks from 10 AM Mass (I told you we're here a lot).

"We went" means all of us - the 7- in our raggedy glory. It started out well and when we reached our "holy 40-minute" mark, I figured we were done. I thought in my head, "we are done." When G toddled to the back for the third time and I let it go a long while (like 40 seconds) before checking on him and then shooting DH a death, "I've-done-it-the-last-two-times-and-I'd-like-to-listen-now" stare...I figured we were done.

But, we stayed. I'm not sure why. I think it was the Holy Spirit sitting on me so that I would resist taking the easy way out. You see, I have this entourage that helps me "look" the part but I don't always have the strength to "act" the part. Sometimes I just pray that my silent (or at least not screaming) witness is enough to evangelize. I know that's weak so, today, we stayed.

As I said, the grace was unbelievable. It was like a family reunion. As preoccupied as I was with trying to keep everyone in line (or at least in the pew) I had no idea how many friends were there until after...God took me through a nice retrospective of so many beautiful people that have touched our lives at this parish. He was personally inviting me to stay...not just tonight but for the long-term.

So, if I complain about this or that at our parish, please take it with a huge grain of salt from the sleep-disturbed human that is me. We have grown so much as a couple and as a family in this place. I know that it is an amazing act of love on the part of the Holy us a home to raise our children and pass our days. It is a difficult society, to be sure, and it is populated by mere humans (I have some questions if/when I get there ;0)) so we all have to be a bit more gentle and loving about one another. Starting with me.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Who are we that He would grace us in a way that allows us to glimpse heaven while we gather to praise Him? We are so unbelievably blessed!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let nothing disturb you...

I do enjoy the freedom of homeschooling but I also struggle a lot with falling into the sweeping view of many (not all) Catholic homeschoolers ... that society is doomed for hell and as a result we should fly into hysterics at any inkling of our religion falling away. Add to that the constant barrage of media input which becomes less truth and more conjecture with each passing day and sometimes it is easy to lose one's way. I do think we're making a lot of mistakes as a society, mostly moving away from God, but I also believe in His Divine Mercy and I believe it's not too late.

So, the fact that the dustup over the Midterm Report from the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family happens on the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila isn't a big surprise to me. The whole prayer goes like this:
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

-- St. Teresa of Avila

Perhaps everyone should take a step back and a deep breath. Of course the media would LOVE the Church to reverse its teachings on all sorts of issues. Catholics would do well to watch closely but reserve judgment for the final report and, in the meantime, continue to pray that the Holy Spirit would guide the Synod to the proper decisions and plans for the future of the Church.

Like most things in the Catholic church (because the Holy Spirit works on God time) it will take a while. There is little sense in hanging on every word of a preliminary statement since, when the final proclamations arrive, they may not have a great resemblance to what is currently being discussed (beyond the issues at hand). Pope Francis, rightly, asked for open dialogue. How are the clergy of the US and Europe supposed to find help to deal with and educate against current societal trends if they keep quiet about the depth of the issue? Cutting to the bone of the abuse scandal was painful and bloody but it went the farthest in eradicating the evil. It does no one any good to pretend the pressures and expectations don't exist for cohabitation and homosexual marriage in the Church.

I am so grateful for my friends. They are so wise and always seem to hear the Holy Spirit and follow when it's time to pass something along that will ease my bewilderment (my pastor used that TWICE in his homily today...such a great word). So I, in turn, pass this article along to you. If you're concerned over the Synod and what may or may not happen, sit with this for a while.

If you are still worried and don't have time for the full report, here are some of the quotes the media won't share with you...
Christian marriage cannot only be considered as a cultural tradition or social obligation, but has to be a vocational decision taken with the proper preparation in an itinerary of faith, with mature discernment.

The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology. 

Many blessings to you on the feast of a great Doctor of the Church. She was a reformer and she was devout to the teachings of the faith. It is possible to do both.
Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. - Saint Teresa of Avila

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Have you seen it yet?

I could make the next version when I talk to one of the many drivers who is texting while I am walking up and down the street with my babies. Please pass to as many people as you can...there is no safe texting while driving.

Never Text and Drive.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Just thinking aloud here...

I have no time to read "novels" at all anymore but I do see what other people seem to gravitate toward. Can you explain to me the fascination with "utopian/dystopian" future times? Why is this of interest? Did you not read 1984 in high school? I was in high school in 1984, reading 1984, and mildly amused the entire time. Amused but not fascinated...why does it matter what's going to happen then. Are you not busy with what is happening now? Truthfully, is this something good to think about anyway? If the environment and government collapse do you want to spend time on it one minute before you have to? Will it change the outcome? Or is it a good shot in the arm to remember your reusable shopping bags? (I know, snarky, but I really am wondering about this and disturbed by the trend...what if everyone spends time reading dystopian novels and decides that is what society must be turning into and, so, begins to forgo all of the traditional social mores and ignores public decency and...oh, wait.)

I think it's not too late. Put down your dystopian novels and pick up the Bible, the Lives of the Saints or anything that has God in the storyline. If you are reading these novels because your kids want to or, heaven forbid, the school they attend is requiring it...just say no. Surely there is something else on which to spend their learning hours? There may come a day when you don't have that power but, for now, you still do. Exercise your rights! You can do it!

Wishing you all a blessed anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun.

If you're looking for good material, give their stories a try. Fascinating and non-fiction!
Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for Us!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Na zdravie!

There were a lot of  "to your health" toasts going around at Sonoma Grille yesterday for the 4th annual Slovaktoberfest. My brother came in and we had good food, good Slovak beer and good fun for a few hours. If you're local, join us for the wine tasting in the Spring :0)

  It's also educational! We had Zlaty Bazant (golden pheasant) and Corgon from the Southwest
Corgon is the sponsor of the national basketball and soccer translates to "Champion"
Halushki with sheep's milk cheese. Mmmm.

Great music too 

Cutie ;0)

So many blessings this weekend. Wishing you a happy, safe Columbus Day! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five on Friday

I am working on organizing this house because DH picked it recently as a "topic of dispute" during a communications exercise...I am Anyway, that doesn't leave much time but I am surprised at how much is actually getting done, even with "all these kids" under my feet. So, here we go.

1. Leaving my bubble
DH and I have decided to try to become more involved in our parish. Part of that is trying out new ministries to see where we fit. We already help with the baptism preparation class but that is only a few times a year so we wanted to try something different. This time it was pre-Cana, the marriage preparation course.

Aside from the fact that it's 2 nights a week for two consecutive weeks and runs until 9:30 (missing bedtime each night or at least dealing with exhausted kids), I'm not sure it's a good fit. It seems to be a good marriage prep course but I'm missing the entire religious part. That and the fact that some major Church teachings are just swept to the side because, well, what can you do? I now know why there are so many people that think the Catholic church is changing. It sure seems that way to me sometimes.
I'm still deciding what to do. It has been two nights of almost-constant mortification for me. Sitting among four or five couples of 20-somethings who have it all figured out and who can't imagine anything worse than the life I've chosen to live (well, the fact that I've said "yes" to God's plan anyway). Don't get me wrong...I was that 20-something and I am here now so I will be praying that they also have the strength, if their eyes are opened, to go against society's path.

I think the most disappointing part is our host couple. I'm not sure what this woman sees in me but it's not good. Remarks like "you have all those children" (not in a nice way, she has three over a 10-year span) and "I told my daughter-in-law when she was struggling to leave their 2-month-old in daycare, it's the responsible thing to do. How could you step out of your job to stay at home? You would completely lose your identity. Not to mention the fact that you would be so far behind career-wise."

Sorry to go on. I really am struggling with this. I usually don't care when people say such things but, in this particular setting, I'm extremely bothered by it.  I guess I'll just sit with it and pray about it. Looking like the freak in a group is not new to me. It may do me some good...and if one of the brides-to-be could see that there is another way to do things that would be a blessing as well.
2. Homeschool
It came out at pre-Cana that I have a Master's degree and that we have 5 kids but it hasn't yet surfaced that we homeschool. I'm kind of afraid because the woman I spoke about above is an elementary school teacher. I think her head might completely implode ;0) (sorry, that's mean).
I've been weighing the pros and cons as the year has been progressing and I'm still at ease with our choice...even more so because I know it will end before I realize. #1 has decided to go back in 6th grade and, whether or not that happens, I know we only have a few years left together. So, I'm enjoying the experience now and praying that everyone is learning something. It's a little inconsistent so I could see that it would drive some people nuts. Today was highly productive with the little ones and some days I can't force them to do anything. You never know what the day holds ;0)

3. Mother-Daughter time

My eldest child is 9...what's up with that??? It kind of came out of nowhere and yesterday when we were celebrating her baptism day I realized how quickly this all went down. She is turning into a lovely young lady (yes, puberty is calling) and I'm proud of her. I have been so thankful to have her near these past few years and especially recent days as we pray and wait for the passing of beautiful young woman. Colleen is the mom of one of #1s best friends in pre-k and k and she has been battling breast cancer for these many years. Please keep her in your prayers if you don't mind. I can't imagine what the family is going through right now.

Yesterday we went on a run/walk to start training for a local 5K in a few weeks. We are going to run/walk it as our leg of the 3rd annual Run for the Little Flowers for which you still have a few days to register and it's on discount now so go for it! It's virtual so you can run anytime/place you want! The funds go to a really great cause and Katie is an amazing person.

Me from last happy to have a companion this year :0)

4. Fall!

We are in closet-changing mode here because Fall has officially begun. Ug. It is pretty but I was so happy with people in shorts and t' we have to think about layers. Oh, and slippers! Our hardwood makes it cold on little feet in the freezing months (not that they seem to care) and it is also merciless on slippers. We replace about every 2 to 3 months. This has made me an expert Zulily shopper! They have some cute things and when they have their blowout sale, it's really worth it to stock up. Here are G's newest design...a shout-out to cousin Chris. He even learned to say "Hook 'em Horns!" So cute.

5. Slovak Party!

One of my big brothers is coming in tomorrow to go with DH and me to the Slovaktoberfest downtown. We went last year and it's AWESOME! Slovak beer paired with Slovak yummies. I will definitely fill you in next week.

For now, enjoy your weekend. Tomorrow is the first Celebration Saturday for the CCD kids, followed by sandwich making for Red Door (a homeless ministry) to learn about the first corporal work of mercy (yes, our DRE is AWESOME!).

Enjoy your life, your loved ones, and realize how very much We Are Blessed!