Friday, February 29, 2008

Better late than never! (and scroll down to 2/18/08 entry for more pics of her Birthday!)

Here is a picture of my handsome young King (Robert) and our beautiful little Princess, Autumn, at the annual Father/Daughter Dance hosted by our local TORCH homeschool group.   Last year it was cowboys and cowgirls, but this year it was the King and his Princess and that was right up my  hubby and my girly's alley.  Autumn borrowed the dress, wrap and tiara from her best bud Morgan and Robert rented his outfit from a costume shop that had made it special for a Lord of The Rings wedding.  He looked pretty cool.  The beginning picture is  Autumn showing off her dress and then Robert walked out and surprised her with his very cool outfit.  As you can see she was thrilled.  Apparently, he was the only dad who took the 'attire' seriously.  They had a great time.  The dance, oh excuse me, the Royal Ball was Feb. 16th.  Aren't they both just beautiful!?!


It's a boy! (needs prayers)

No, not mine, really, but we were just asked to be his Godparents.  I have a Godson, I'm going to be a cool!  My little Godson's name is Terry Andrew S.... (not mentioning last names).  I have never had this honor before.  My kids have honorary Godparents, because we weren't Catholic when they were born.  Robert was recently asked to be the Godfather to his best bud's ( from college) little girl.  Though they are Methodist, and having been one once, I know they don't actually acknowledge Godparents.  It's really just a nice way of honoring a close what I did with my kids.  There was no ceremony.

Anyway, enough blabbering.  Terry is the 3rd child (and 3rd son) to friends from church.  He looks like his mom, Rebecca, which is nice, since his Dad, Steve, already has the first two, Stevie and Brad, who look like him.
I have been told that his first name is in honor of St. Therese the Little Flower. And, I don't know why his middle name is Andrew,  though because I have an Andrew,  I told Steve I couldn't say no to being Terry's Godmother, because I am partial to the name Andrew.  :-) 

 Please pray for Terry and Rebecca.  He was taken by C-sec early, his due date was 3/14,  but he was born 2/25,  because Rebecca was becoming Toxemic.  He was just 2 -1/2 weeks early, and a good size: about 7-1/2 lbs and almost 20inches long.  However, he was having a hard time breathing due to fluid in his lungs.  The NICU team expects he'll be fine, but now he has a line to his tummy to tube feed him due to a weak suck and his is getting jaundiced.  He has not roomed in with Rebecca and is still in the nursery. Rebecca has only seen him a couple of times, and the first time was TWO DAYS after he was born!!!  The hosptial staff has not been that understanding for reasons I discuss later in this post.  So, suffice it to say, Rebecca has been quite stressed out!

Rebecca wasn't able to nurse Stevie, but with my help (the Nipple Nazi) she nursed Brad for a year.  She wants to do the same with Terry and all this stuff going on is really  taking it's toll on her.  As a result,  her blood pressure has shot back up and the docs are having a hard time stabilizing it.  We need prayers that Rebecca's blood pressure stablizes, and that Terry gets his strength up and his bilirubin out and will be able to nurse and come home.  Both of them are still in the hospital and this is really tough on husband Steve, Stevie, 6, and Brad, 30 months.

Both Steve and Rebecca are faithful Catholics.  Both also suffer from disabilities...Steve has a seizure disorder and paralysis on one side.  Rebecca has a visual impairment of both irises.  As a result, the staff at the hospital is sometimes less than understanding.  One gets the feeling that many of them resent that Steve and Rebecca dared to even have one child let alone THREE!    It is a shame how much judgement and lack of love there is in the world.  Well, I applaud them and everyone at our Parish,  who are just great about helping them.

Please pray for all of them, but especially mom and baby: Rebecca and Terry.
And, hey, I have been asking God for another baby,  maybe my answer is this cool!

Thank You!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley

I was stunned and saddened to just see on the news that my first political mentor, William F. Buckley, passed away this morning.  While some of my generation (born in the 60's) may have been parked in front of TV watching After School Specials, I was watching Firing Line.  Long before the Rush Limbaughs and Laura Ingrahams of the world, there was Bill and the National Review...which I think I had a subscription to from the ages of 19 to 22.  Bill Buckley rescued me from a fate worse than death...Liberalism.  Through common moral sense and an astounding intellect, he convinced me of the 'Right' way to go.  Finding out that he was a devout Roman Catholic (after my conversion) just made me love him more.
May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bad Mommy

I have finally come to the conclusion, and there is no running from it anymore, that I am not being a good mom. I don't spend enough time with my kids. I spend plenty of time around them, but not enough with them. This is something I have felt so guilty about for so long. I think I just have to put it out there. I was reading a bunch of reviews for various parenting books on Amazon and came across one called Playful Parenting and the arrows of guilt went flying right through my chest. It's not that I am a super serious mom, I am fun and funny. I just tend to get self-absorbed and distracted by cleaning the house or running errands...B A D...M O M!!! I feel like I pawn the kids off on playing with their friends, which of course they love to do, but I feel like *I* really need to 'do stuff' with them more.

I think I am a great mom to Andrew. I relate so much better to him. Maybe because he is a teenager. I love music, he loves music. We love to listen to alot of the same stuff and talk about it and find cool new stuff to listen to. I don't want to play alot of girlie stuff with Autumn or video games with Ben because they make me really sleepy. I know this is terrible. I am NOT looking for comfort. I get really mad when Ben tries everything in his power to coerce me to play video games. Except for Guitar Hero which is fun, I don't want to shoot people in Halo 3 or kick the crap out of them in Mortal Kombat. I like reading stories to my two youngest kids, but they won't always let me.

Here I am this AP (attachment parenting) mom and I feel like I am majorly dropping the fraudville! I mean, when the weather is nice I will take the kids to play tennis or play baseball outside. But inwardly I am wanting my husband to do those the dad that throws the ball. It's not something he does much.

Also, with Ben's relentless demands and moodiness I tend to run away from him and find something else I really need to laundry etc. I know I am the mom who is forever saying, "Hold on a minute." or "I'll be right there." or "Maybe later." And I try and avoid them. Oh, I am so BAD! Why am I like this? (No one needs to answer's more a question I am posing to myself.) You know, it's that I am selfish. I get bored doing things that aren't mentally stimulating and literally start to fall asleep. How do I get my kids to do stuff that won't put me to sleep and that we will all love?

I love snuggling them, I love chatting with them, I will take them places. I nursed them all for years not months, we co-slept with all of them. I just have such a hard time playing. Am I alone in this?
For those of you moms out there that are great at playing with your do you do it?

Sleeping Kitties

From front to back: Baby Kitten, Toonces, Milo.  I love my kitties.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

4 Real Learning Forums FRUSTRATION!

I have been trying to get on the 4 Real Learning Forum for MONTHS.  It says I am registered but my membership has not been approved.  I wish someone would just email me and say, "Rachel, we don't like you or your blog and you are not good enough for us."  Then I would quit trying to get into some interesting conversations.  I can read stuff but can't post. A bunch of the moms over there are moms from my Near Circles.  My friend, Sara, is a member and she doesn't even know how she got on.  WHAT GIVES!?!  The worst thing is there is no way to contact whoever moderates the list and accepts I am forever in the purgatory of waiting to be admitted.  I know I can be a little rough around the edges, but I'm a devout Catholic homeschooling mama....I promise.  I mean, c'mon, does it take 3 months to approve of someone? 

I just wanna know?  Am I in or out?


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Autumn's Birthday cakes (and my pathetic Lenten failure)

Okay, I am WEAK!  Not that I never thought I was.  But I am admitting it to the world.  The whole giving up sugar for Lent went KABOOM! It started with Autumn's birthday party, which was grown up friends for us, and their kids (who are her best buds) for her...and Ben and Andrew too.  I had birthday cake and it all snowballed to Hell from there. I thought I had gotten back in the saddle by the weekend's end.  However, Autumn's actual birthday was Feb. 18th.  And she wanted a cake decorated to look like one of the  TY Girlz.   The 1st pic is from the party with friends, that is not the cake I made. The 2nd pic is Autumn with a Ty Girl, and the 3rd/4th pics are of the Ty Girl cake I made for Autumn.  I used a Cinderella cake pan from Wilton and then looked at a TY Girl and copied it onto the mold.  It turned out great!

however, I could not resist tasting it and the frosting I made all the way through. 

 So, I was at Mass today (Saturday vigil) and asked God what he wanted me to DO FOR HIM.  I am starting to feel that maybe the giving up part isn't a good idea for me.  Lent is about sacrifice, but sacrifice isn't always about giving something up, sometimes it's about adding something in.  During my prayer a vision of Rosary beads flashed in my head with the words, "Be still and know that I am God."  Now that scripture verse hasa specific significance in my life, but due to the fact that friends read this blog, I can't say (right now) exactly what that significance is.  Suffice it to say that me praying the Rosary daily is a sacrifice for me...because I am sooooooo busy.  I can be quite the 'Martha'.  I don't want to be the 'Mary' and sit still at Jesus' least not that long. (a Rosary is 20 minutes so yeah I am pathetic)...but, I'm ADHD, man!  I have things to do, places to go, rooms to clean, books to read to myself and my kids etc... and HE WANTS ME TO BE STILL !?! ...UGH!!! This may actually be WORSE than giving up the sugar. 

I can't believe I went so long without posting.  I have missed my blogging.  Cool things to be written are on the stay tuned!


Monday, February 18, 2008

Pictorial of Autumn's 8th Birthday

Autumn outside 'Dreamland' BBQ...the girl loves RIBS!!! She calls it "DreamLAMB Bar B Cube!"
Going crazy for ribs...her choice for her birthday dinner.  She' no vegetarian!
            With Mom (me) who really needs to put on some make-up...YIKES!
         With her fabulous homemade by mom, "Ty Girlz" cake!
                    With my brother, her Uncle Jonny!  She LOVES him!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Book Meme


My new blog pal, Ukok, tagged me.

Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people.

From The Underground History of American Education 

by (one of my heros) John Taylor Gatto.

Page 123

1st three sentences after 5th sentence:

Many schools were burned to the ground and teachers run out of town by angry mobs. When students were kept after school,  parents often broke into school to free them. At Saltfleet Township in 1859 a teacher was locked in the schoolhouse by students who "threw mud and mire into his face and over his clothes,"  according to the school records---while parents egged them on.  

Like Ukok I have to finish the author's thought or you won't get it.

At Brantford, Ontario,  in 1863 the teacher William Young was assaulted (according to his replacement) to the point that "Mr. Young's head, face, and body was,  if I understand rightly, pounded literally to jelly."  Curtis (from the book Building The Education State 1836-1871) argues that parent resistance was motivated by a radical transformation in the intentions of schools---a change from teaching basic literacy to molding social identity. 

*(Rachel's notes) The above passage has to do with initial reaction parents had to the idea of compulsory schooling. Too bad relatively few parents feel that way about compulsory government schooling now.

I tag:







-Now I MUST go an pick up my house because Autumn's party for her 8th birthday, which isn't until the 18th, is tonite.  It's grown-up friends for us and their kids (Autumn's friends) for her.-

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Vote in '08...nope

Well, unless my candidate Mike Huckabee experiences a miracle, it looks like John McCain (a Democrat in Republican clothing) will get the Republican nomination.  At that rate, it's not going to matter who becomes president.  And you know what,  I am not going to give the Republicans the satisfaction of voting for McCain, because that would be tantamount to my approval of the Republican party moving away from the conservative (social, economic, political) values it was built on.  They can count me out!

I really don't see a lesser of the 3 evils.  So, I may have to bow of the coming presidential election...the first time I will have done that since 1984, when I turned 18 and voted for the first time, for Ronald Reagan (man, how I miss the 80's).  

Go Huck Go!!! Stay in it until the end. Mike, you got my vote in Georgia (and that may be the only vote I cast this year).   Thank you for continuing to give Republicans a choice in these Primaries no matter what the pundits say.  Show the country there are conservatives out there who will not settle for McCain....EVER!

My husband says that if I don't vote for McCain , and Hilary is the nominee, then I'm essentially voting for Hilary.  You know what, I'll write in Huck's name on the ballot.  If Obama is the nominee, I will not vote.  Let history be made and finally the liberals can all shut the heck up about race, coz I am SICK OF IT!

(BTW, When Ann Coulter says she'll support Hilary, if McCain wins the nomination, you know things are bad in the Republican party!) :-)

Now it's time for me to fire up the TiVo and get lost in LOST (my fave show).


Happy Valentines Day

Apparently, according to the website below, Autumn's learning talent is Music.  I can definitely see that as true.  She is globally artistically inclined, in that she sings, learns songs easily, takes ballet, pottery and drawing, designs her own fashions in a notebook, and has recently started writing her own songs (which I transcribe for her).  She has plans on being in a band (Andrew is mostly to blame for this) and really wants to take guitar lessons. I can totally see Autumn on stage in NYC in musicals.  It would completely fit the personality I see in her now.  However, she is only 8 (on Feb 18) and things can change.  Though, I am sure, she will always love music.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

If you love music...

You can get the widget I have at the top of my blog, in the right side bar.  All you have to do is click Deezer.  Register for free and then set up a playlist.  Once you do that, at the top you can click 'blog' and the widget code pops up to copy on your site.  WAY COOL!


Wear it on your sleeve...literally!

Wear your Catholicism and witness without words.  Very cool website. Monk Rock


A great blog I discovered...and a little history

I accidentally found this blog this morning, Ukok's Place.  Of course, there are no accidents with God, right?  It is the blog of a 30 something British mom who is a convert to Catholicism.  The reason I think it is neat is because my patron saint,  St. Margaret Clitherow,  was a British mom who was a convert to Catholicism and one of the 40 English Martyrs,  (she is pictured on my right sidebar). My ancestry is primarily English, with a bit if Scottish and Irish thrown in for good measure.  My mom's family are the Herricks of Southampton, NY (a sister city to Southampton, England) and the first English settlement in New York state (as you can see by looking at the town's seal pictured below with the cute little pilgrim).  The Herricks arrived in Southampton, NY in 1653.  One of our ancestors is the English poet,  Sir Robert Herrick  (pictured below).  In 1869 they opened Herrick Hardware. It is the oldest family owned and run hardware store in America.  Pretty cool, eh?  Andrew's middle name is Herrick, in honor (and now memory) of my mom.  Anyway,  I was baptized in the First Presbyterian Church of Southampton (pictured above) which is also the first Presbyterian church built in the United States.  So, I found it quite fitting, when I converted to Catholicism, to pick as my patron a convert and mother from England.  It's interesting how things can come full circle...isn't it?


BTW, the picture of me at the top of 
my blog was taken in a wheat field in 
Southampton, NY (20 years ago!)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Prayer to the Holy Spirit...perfect for Lent

Come,  Holy Spirit.
Replace the tension within me with a holy relaxation.
Replace the turbulence within me with a sacred calm.
Replace the anxiety within me with a quiet confidence.
Replace the fear within me with a strong faith.
Replace the bitterness within me with the sweetness of grace.
Replace the darkness within me with a gentle light.
Replace the coldness within me with a loving warmth.
Replace the night within me with Your day.
Replace the Winter within me with Your Spring.

Straighten my crookedness.
Fill my emptiness.
Dull the edge of my pride.
Sharpen the edge of my humility.
Light the fires of my love.
Quench the flames of my lust.

Let me see myself as YOU see me,
That I may see You as You have promised me,
And be healed according to Your word.

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirt.  

Above is the opening prayer of a Christ Renews His Parish meeting, but instead of saying 'me' we say 'us'.
I find it is an amazing prayer to say in the morning,  as a Morning Offering, because of it's theme of complete surrender.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

What my Mac sees...

Me, late at night, blogging, emailing, net-surfing, and just plain having fun!

Prayer by Thomas Merton

Following is a great prayer by Thomas Merton taken from his book, Thoughts in Solitude.  The priest I had my first confession with, Fr. Frank Richardson, a wonderful Irish priest, gave me this prayer to use as an Act of Contrition. For whatever reason one prays it, it is wonderful.  I think it is very fitting for Lent.

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Nor do I really know myself,  and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean I am actually doing so.  But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.  And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.  I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.  And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.  Therefore, will I trust you always, though I seem to be lost in the shadow of death.  I will not fear,  for you are ever with me,  and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.  - Amen


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Silly pictures

Andrew, Autumn, & Ben being goofballs on PhotoBooth. Note Andrew's face in shot #2. That's what being the big brother gets him. :-)

In Magnificat today, I just had to post it. It's so beautiful and true.

This is from Mother Teresa, now Blessed Teresa of Calcutta:

Unashamed of Christ's Words

The Word of God becomes flesh during the day, during meditation, during Holy Communion, during contemplation, during adoration, during silence. That Word in you, you give to others. It is necessary that the Word live in you, that you understand the Word, that you love the Word, that you live the Word. You will not be able to live that Word unless you give it to others.

Total surrender to God must come in small details as it comes in big details. It's nothing but that single word, "Yes, I accept whatever you give, I give whatever you take." And this is just a simple way for us to be holy. We must not create difficulties in our own minds. To be holy doesn't mean to do extraordinary things, to understand big things, but it is a simple acceptance, because I have given myself to God, because I belong to Him - total surrender. He could put me here. He could put me there. He can use me. He cannot use me. It doesn't matter because I belong so totally to Him that He can do just what He wants to do with me.

Lent is a time when we relive the passion of Christ. Let it not be just a time when our feelings are roused, but let it be a change that comes through cooperation with God's grace in real sacrifices of self. Sacrifices to be real, must cost; it must hurt; it must empty us of self. Let us go through the passion of Christ day by day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Unschooling post I promised...RANT, RANT, RANT!

Okay, so I have been involved in many a homeschooling support group over the 13+ years I have homeschooled.  One thing that is becoming overwhelmingly obvious is that we homeschooling moms are still not getting it.  And by it, I mean the socialization of our homeschooled kids.  Now this is not the socialization issue that "schoolers" bring up against "homeschooling", but the actual socializing of our homeschooled kids with other homeschooled kids.  Only one group I am in gets it...and they have had a Homeschool Park Day, for over 10 years now, where the kids get to just play.  It seems that every other group I get involved with always has to turn the meeting of other homeschooled kids into a miniature school. UGH! It is really frustrating.

Probably more frustrating is that in order to get your child(ren) into a social situation, like the one I mentioned above, is that the moms have to be integrally involved.  And by being involved, I actually mean, said moms will have to teach a group of kids in a classroom some pre-determined subject that the adults have decided on (not the kids, God Forbid). No offense to my daughter, or anyone else's kids, but I spend alot of time with Autumn and if I get a chance for alone time, I want it.  I don't want to teach other people's kids...I don't "teach" my own (in the traditional sense).  That's why when Autumn takes classes 'she is interested in' I can just hang out and read a book, or drop her off run some errands, and pick her up.   Autumn wasn't interested in her classes at Torch, and she isn't interested in the class I teach at her new co-op SOG.  Now, she loves the Art class that SOG just added, and she wanted to try the Spanish, which they just added too, but she doesn't like it (because the teacher expects the kids to read, and Autumn is not a fluent reader yet). 

I have already pulled myself and Autumn out of our parish's new American Heritage Girls troop.  Instead of setting up a date twice a month where little Catholic girls of the parish could play and become friends, the grown ups had to make the social time "count" by starting this Christian scouting group.  What a nightmare.
When I realized this was making my home life worse, and not better (because they meet on Friday nights at 7pm!) my husband told me it was time for it to go.  I can't tell you how relieved I was when he said, "Get out of there."  Autumn wasn't as thrilled with leaving, because she liked seeing her friends.  But she didn't care a bit about the scouting part of it.  Why do parents stress themselves out with this stuff?  We do all this stuff thinking the kids are going to love it, when if we asked them, they would probably say they would just like to play with their friends for 2 hours instead of doing a bunch of tasks to fulfill a badge requirement which is just a piece of fabric one wears to tell the world, "Look at all I have achieved."  My daughter doesn't have to achieve a darn thing for me to love her.

What Autumn wants to do at these co-op/scouting classes is play with other kids, especially girls, because she's with me most of the time. I know she loves me, but I am sure I can be boring to her at times.  I don't blame her for wanting some peer time.  I have been hounding her Dad for another baby (a 2nd girl would be awesome) for years, but nothing is happening.  So, Autumn just has to deal with the fact that she has an 18 year old brother whose life is completely different than hers (though he loves her) and another brother, 11, who (when the stars are aligned and the planets in the right house) will happily play with her, otherwise he just instigates fights with her.  Autumn, being essentially an only child homeschooler, gets lonely.  She wants to play and relate to other kids.  I dare say, even kids who are homeschooled with siblings probably want to get out and see other kids in a social setting every once in a while too.

I don't construct events or structured situations in order to get together with my friends, for example: only seeing them within the context of classes etc.  I see my friends to spend time with them and develop, deepen, and strengthen our friendship. Our times together are free form. Sometimes we may choose to do something structured with each other...a movie, a cooking class, bible study etc...but mostly I just want to sit with them and chat over a cup o' joe or glass of wine. What I see going on in the homeschooling community is that there has to be a more important reason to get kids together than just for play. WHY!?!  That ends up, yet again, admitting, that kids still need something schooly.  Well, they don't.  They are kids, they want to play.  It is so good for them to play and use their imaginations, and to build lifelong friendships.  In free form play they really do learn to socialize, because it isn't a structured activity like school, team sports, dance, art classes or any other type of situation where adults are running the show.  I am not suggesting that classes aren't ever necessary.  Autumn loves to dance and wants to learn how to do various dance styles.  I can't teach her that. I am not a dancer.  So, she takes ballet, jazz, or tap classes depending on the mood she is in when it comes time for registrations.  She also wanted to work with clay and learn more about acting, so she takes a pottery class and drama class and adores them too.  

However, in the last 2 co-ops we were involved in, Autumn really just wanted to play with the kids in her co-op class, she wasn't much interested in the topic.  Oh, sure she would participate, and I would have to beg and cajole and even threaten her that I would send her out, in order to get her to participate sometimes.  And I don't need some arbitrary subject/class setting to have me angry with my daughter.  She is not in school for many reasons, but one I loathe is the constant shaming and blaming kids who are distracting, or disruptive, in a class, because they are bored and would rather do something more interesting like talking with their friends.  There is enough in a regular day that I might get upset with Autumn about, the LAST thing I need to come between us is a mock school setting. And you know how I knew she didn't care about those subjects at the co-ops?  Because she barely retained any of what we covered.  I don't retain anything I am not interested in learning either. If I am not ready or don't care it goes in one ear and out the other...and I bet it is very similar in almost everyone. It's like when I was in school and retained something long enough to take the test and promptly forgot it. 

So, when we are done in the next 6 weeks with this co-op we will probably move on.  I think it is more worth it to pay the yearly fee to these co-ops and take advantage of the cool field trips they offer, than it is to take the classes.  I actually want my daughter to have more time to play.  She is the one I am homeschooling, no one else. I could kick myself for getting angry with her because she is distracting other kids, who are not mine, from what I am supposed to be teaching them, because she would rather talk to the little girl next to her.  I'm on her side.  I am involved in this group for her. Not for anyone else.  So, if it is not working for her, then it's not working period.

I am really going to work on some kind of a set play date for Autumn's friends homeschooled or schooled.  Maybe a Catholic Friends group.  She already has Tuesday Park Day with a diverse mix of friends.  But she does have a bunch of friends at church, so a Catholic Friends group would be cool.  And I am not going to tie anything, it's just going to be friends playing with friends.

I hope you are all lathered up. With that I step off of my soap box. 


Lent...this time it's going to be tough

I told my husband a couple of days ago that desperate spiritual times call for desperate spiritual measures. I am up against the wall in my discerned role as Lay Director for Christ Renews His Parish at my church. I am responsible (with 2 other women) in helping to spiritually enrich and form a group of women over the next 10 weeks in order that they can tell their witness and bring others in our parish closer to Christ and each other!) That is a huge responsibility. So, in order to make sure I am really on my knees during this formation period I have prayed and found out that what God is calling me to do for Lent is give up SUGAR! Normally, I try and do something spiritual in lieu of the 'give something up' kid-friendly route. However, sugar is a huge soothing mechanism for me. And I need to turn to Christ, not cookies. So, I need this Lent to hurt a little. I need some serious self-denial and a 40 day fast from sugar is gonna be some serious self-denial...but the aim of physical self-denial will hopefully end up being spiritual enrichment. This is not a diet. This is very much a kind of fasting. This is really giving up something I adore (in almost any form) for the Lord I adore. My only exception will be to have homemade (by me) birthday cake on my daughter's 8th birthday coming up soon. Other than that it's going to be sugar free for me. I don't believe for a moment that I can do this AT ALL. I do believe, however, that Christ can do this through me, if I get out of the way and let Him.

(I imagine quite soon I will be desperate for Easter to arrive...Lord, preserve me!)

I'll keep you posted.


Response to Anonymous

anonymous said...

Are you Catholic? This is the second time I have visited your blog and have been scandalalized.

February 6, 2008 10:37 AM

I am sorry you have been scandalized. I guess I would say not to visit my blog anymore.

Yes, I am Catholic. And I am overjoyed to be so. I am a convert. I love Mass, I go to confession regularly, use NFP, am Lay Director of our next Christ Renews His Parish retreat, and am currently in my last year (out of 4) of the Regnum Christi apostolate: Familia. That is me down there so that you can imagine me talking with you.

I adore my husband and he adores me, but we aren't robots, and we find the opposite sex attractive. It doesn't mean I am going to run off with someone. It's like looking at have your favorite, which is hanging in your home, but you still like looking at the others because they are...well...beautiful. I am not interested in getting intimate with these people! I just think they are attractive.

Maybe you should look through other parts of my blog, to get a better idea of who I am. Not that I really need to justify it to a person who isn't even willing to identify themselves.

But just to be clear, let me tell you what I find scandalizing...and this happened to me. I was going through my Inquiry period at the Catholic parish near my home, which is what I thought one would do if they were interested in being Catholic. Wow! Was I wrong. The longer I stayed there, it became obvious to me that none of the people running the RCIA program were really interested in being Catholic themselves. They dismissed Confession, saying try to make it quarterly, if you can even do that. When asked about NFP, I got this line about how the Church was wrong on that one. (Now having read through several encyclicals by Pope JPII I understand the wisdom and beauty and TRUTH of the Church's teachings on sexuality). Everytime I tried to understand the Church's teaching on the tough issues like female ordination, gay marriage, abortion, salvation etc I was railroaded with RELATIVISM! I seriously thought that maybe God didn't want me to be Catholic, but to stay in my Conservative Evangelical spot and do the best for Him there. But, oh, how I wanted the Eucharist, because through my reading of the likes of Scott Hahn, I came to realize that was MY LORD in that transformed bread and wine.

I pulled out of the RCIA program, at that parish, before the Rite of Welcome, because the RCIAers had to attend a Lenten talk with the new Director Faith Formation (DFF) who proceeded to tell us, in said talk, that Christ really didn't go out into the desert for 40 days. It was a story, as was most of the Gospel of Mark, and then he went on to say how St. Paul was a Universalist!!!! I nearly puked!

I informed them that I couldn't stay in RCIA anymore. They were relieved, they wanted me to leave. They said I asked too many questions and was annoying them on my quest for TRUTH (they said there was no absolute truth) and so I walked out and cried my way home, wondering why God would bring me so far (because prior to all this I was seriously Anti-Catholicism) and leave me standing at the door...never to come in.

It was a couple of months later, that I was PROVIDENTIALLY put in touch with the DRE of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and he informed me that the priest of said parish, and his DFF were being investigated and that the Papal Nunzio of the US had been written regarding their behavior. In other words, I wasn't the only one to notice they didn't act Catholic. Apparently, since my leaving the RCIA there, the DFF, at said parish, had reorganized the Adult formation program and of the 6 course offerings, 1 was by a dissident priest, 1 was by the Liberal Episcopalian and Gay rights activist Bishop Spong, and the other 4 were Protestant authors. By doing so this DFF had completely freaked out a bunch of the parishioners.

Also, you might be interested in looking into a group called Communion and Liberation. It sounds kind of Liberal but it is not. If Regnum Christi thinks it's great, it has to be on the up and up. Anyway, part of their philosophy is that Catholics can't become completely immersed in a Catholic subculture, where nothing is good or valuable unless it is Catholic. Because then people who are still in the world and need to be reached for Christ to enter into their lives will never be in position to interact with you. Here is a link that will explain this better than I can myself.

So, all of the above, to me, is a scandal...passing incorrect teachings of the Church on to an inquiring mind.   My husband wearing sweats to Mass, is not as much a scandal, as it is stupid, but now he has seen the error of his ways.  My thinking the guy who plays Dr. Who is cute, or that Barack Obama is good looking, isn't scandalous, unless those pics make people want to run off and leave their husbands.  Which is pretty stupid.  I am not uploading porn on my site. 

In closing, I would just like to reiterate my first sentence.  I am sorry if you have been scandalized.  I guess I would say not to visit my blog anymore.  And might I also add, thank you for judging my spiritual state.  I thought God was supposed to that...I didn't know that he put you in charge.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I just gotta say...

even though I am not an Obama supporter. I love the way he speaks and he is awfully good looking.
For the Democrats sake, I really hope Barack kicks Hilary's butt!

Back to Fox News, Obama is speaking...I do like listening to him, even though I don't agree with him on the issues.



Well, I gotta say I am totally psyched that Huckabee is doing well, especially in the South, and that it looks like he is going to win GEORGIA! Yeah!

Huckabee is also proving that this is not just McCain's race, as the pundits have been suggesting, and thus is letting the more Socially-Moderate Conservatives know that there are very vocal and active Socially-Conservative Conservatives out there and if McCain thinks he is going to get the nomination, well then, he better move a little more to the right, especially when it comes to immigration. IMO, Romney, though interesting, seems kinda like a poser to me. He has not been, throughout his career, as completely conservative as he purports to be now. I'm just not buying it. He reminds me of a Republican version of John Kerry.

I can hear Laura Ingraham on FoxNews talking about how if McCain becomes the nominee for the Republicans he is going to have to build a bridge to Conservatives...and she is RIGHT ON THE MONEY!! Start building now, John, NOW!

I am not Liberal politically (only liberal when it comes to homeschooling philosophy), but I have to say that, if I were Liberal, I would vote for Obama. As far as Liberals go, I really like him. His website is great. He has really motivated young Liberal voters and I am really happy that he is squashing the Evil Witch of the East, Hilary, here in Georgia! Might I just add that this whole Obama thing is just proving, yet again, that America is not racist like some many Liberals always want to say that She is. Obama is getting a huge white MALE vote tonight. So, can we shut up and stop with the race-baiting...Bill Clinton et al? And just to let anyone know reading this. You know who I would have LOVED to run for President?...A black woman...Condoleeza Rice. I think she is awesome. And back in 2000 my initial pick for Republican nominee was a black man...Alan Keyes. To me, it is not your race, it is what you stand for. End of story.

Overall, it is looking like Tuesday evening, here in the States, is proving to be quite and interesting and exciting night...certainly better than the Superbowl. Then again, I don't watch the Superbowl, I tried, because the commercials are always cool, but I am just NOT into it. Politics is definitely, to me, a whole lot more fun. I can't wait to hear what Dick Morris is so going to say about all this.

In the end, no matter what side you are on, if you are participating, I am happy. We need interested and active Americans...not passive ones.

Good luck Huck!


A post on Unschooling coming soon....(I know *FINALLY* I get around to the real reason for this blog!)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

He'll Never Wear Sweats to Mass Again

Yesterday Robert wore his LL Bean sweatpants and sweatshirt to Mass. It is a very casual Saturday Vigil Mass and he figured he was fine. I asked him if he was going to wear them, just because he usually wears jeans. But he said he was going as he was and I told him that it didn't matter to me, I was just wondering.

So, we get to church and they are short on Eucharistic Ministers (lay people who have taken a class and become certified to give out the body and blood of Christ after a Priest has consecrated it) and they ask Robert and I to fill in (yes, we are Eucharistic Ministers). Well, you should have seen my Hunny's face! He was mortified that he was dressed in sweats! I was giggling terribly! But it gets better, because it's the Feast of St. Blaise and EM's are also allowed by the Church to help the Priests bless the throats of the parishioners. So, Robert had to get up TWICE during Mass and show off his wonderful attire!

I could not even look at him when we got back to the pew because I kept giggling. What a goofball. Anyway, can I say, that beyond a shadow of a doubt, my sweet Hunny has learned his lesson about slumming it to Mass? YES!

On a side note, I have to say that I am always just filled with love and peace when I get to hand out Our Lord to the faithful...what an amazing privilege. Also, it was REALLY special to bless the throats of the parishioners with the crossed candles. Thankfully, God loves me (and Robert) no matter how we are dressed. We felt very honored.

Okay, well I am now off to CRHP.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Keeping House

So, I think I am going to have to turn on the stereo and pull up iTunes on Tivo and blast the heck out of some music and get my butt in gear. There is a HUGE pile of laundry at my door. Autumn kicked it down the stairs for me (which also clears the stairs of cat fur). Now it is lying there at the bottom of the stairs. What is funny is that my front door is 2 doors with clear windows. So, there is no hiding the work before me. You know, I can wash and dry clothes all day...I just hate the folding and putting away. So, a homeschooling friend suggested having baskets with ribbons on them. So, I have to go to Target later to return something and I think I will buy some extra laundry baskets. Then each kid will get 2. One for clean and one for dirty. I am no longer going to fold their clothes. I am going to sort them and throw them in their clean baskets. Then they can fold and put 'em away. I am only folding my and Robert's laundry. The kids throw their clothes around anyway, so why do I bother?

I also have toilets to clean...yee haw! (NOT)! But I figure if I just 'get r done' I will actually have the weekend to maybe...I don't know...READ. How awesome would that be? Oh yeah, I gotta roast some coffee.

Autumn's 1st Confession went really well. She loves the priests at our parish, so it was really who was she going to choose. Afterward, she skipped out and was so cute! She told me she wants to go every Saturday. Then a couple of days ago we had a rough morning with Ben and Robert really yelled at him. Immediately, Robert felt awful and said out loud he never wanted to be a parent who yells like that. Without skipping a beat, Autumn said, "Well, Daddy, I think you should tell that in Confession!" GOD LOVE HER!! A Protestant friend asked me what on earth a 7 year old had to confess. I told her there was not much...and that IS the point. Start now and keep God close to the vest in confession and hopefully she won't end up the sinners her mom and dad ended up to be. Hey...but we're workin' on it!.

As far as unschooling goes, we are really blowing where the wind takes us right now. I have been reading this really cute series to Autumn called Ivy & Bean about two mischievous seven year old friends. 

 I have been encouraging her to read.  She has a new Dr. Seuss book , Fox In Socks and it's a good one to help with phonetics and fluency.  Really, the main focus with Autumn is reading. It really is so important to everything we do.  The increasing technology and constant need to stay in touch with phones, texting, email, IMing, blogs etc.  She has friends she could email, but always needs me there to help her write.  I don't mind, but she does.  She wants to be able to do it.   She just really is not interested in the practice and work it takes to become fluent in reading.  This is one of those times I gently push.  I tell her when she gets frustrated that practice makes perfect, just like when she learned to ride her bike, in-line skate and her continuing of ballet.  There is so much practice that went into those skills and still does. I keep telling her that she doesn't have to read all day....just a little bit each day...and soon it will be like breathing.  It is hard for me to see her (and Ben still) struggle over this vital skill, especially since it comes so easily for me. 

So, that is where we are now.  Okay, I am done with my procrastinating...time for laundry and toilets.  Ugh!


Someday I *WILL* be in that crowd.

One of their best songs...ever.

Fixed my Muse/Dr. Who dead links

For those of you Dr. Who nerds (like me) out there, I fixed my dead YouTube links. And one of my vids from awhile back that had a great slow song by Muse called Unintended got pulled off too, so I found it again, this time paired with fabulous footage of BBC's 2006 Jane Eyre (my favorite book of all time). It is great!