Tuesday, September 30, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

THE ROYAL ROAD OF THE HOLY CROSS (part three)...prepare your self for an interesting meditation on suffering...

Either you will experience bodily pain or you will undergo tribulation of spirit in your soul. At times you will be forsaken by God, at times troubled by those about you and, what is worse, you will often grow weary of yourself. You cannot escape, you cannot be relieved by any remedy or comfort but must bear with it as long as God wills. For He wishes you to learn to bear trial without consolation, to submit yourself wholly to Him that you may become more humble through suffering. No one understands the passion of Christ so thoroughly or heartily as the man whose lot it is to suffer the like himself.

The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will -- above, below, without, or within -- you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown.

(Now that I have shared this positive message, I must say that it is important to embrace the small crosses in our lives, so when the big trials come we will be better prepared. This meditation sounds like it was written for JOB. I hope it gives us solace not dispair. We are sons and daughters of the King, so rejoice and find peace within so we can merit an eternal crown!!!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Mary Dear!!!



You are our sweetie girl!!! We love you and are so thankful for your wonderful smile and personality!!! You are so patient with you little sister and brother...and me!!! May God Bless you and give you WISDOM, PURITY, AND SELF CONTROL, all the days of your life!!!Happy Feast of the Archangels!!!



Keep holding on to your faith...you are in for a wild and wonderful ride!!! I love you forever, I like you for always...as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be!!!

THY WILL BE DONE!!!+JMJ+

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

THE ROYAL ROAD OF THE HOLY CROSS (part two)

Take up your cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and you shall enter eternal life. He Himself opened the way before you in carrying His cross, and upon it He died for you, that you, too, might take up your cross and long to die upon it. If you die with Him, you shall also live with Him, and if you share His suffering, you shall also share His glory.

Behold, in the cross is everything, and upon your dying on the cross everything depends. There is no other way to life and to true inward peace than the way of the holy cross and daily mortification. Go where you will, seek what you will, you will not find a higher way, nor a less exalted but safer way, than the way of the holy cross. Arrange and order everything to suit your will and judgment, and still you will find that some suffering must always be borne, willingly or unwillingly, and thus you will always find the cross.

(It is so hard to share thoughts on suffering. We all have our different crosses and many of us will have to bear much difficulty in the future. The only advice and hope is to grasp to our relationship with Christ during the trials and confusion, so we will be on top again with Christ at our side. No one can understand or council on the sufferings of others very well. The best advice I can give is to participate in the sacraments frequently and find a holy spiritual advisor.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

This week we are finishing up with Book Two, The Interior Life. It is the longest one yet and it will probably take me at least a week to go through it. If you want further instruction in the Imitation of Christ, please get a copy of it at any bookstore, library, or read it online.

THE ROYAL ROAD OF THE HOLY CROSS (part one)

TO MANY the saying, "Deny thyself, take up thy cross and follow Me," seems hard, but it will be much harder to hear that final word: "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." Those who hear the word of the cross and follow it willingly now, need not fear that they will hear of eternal damnation on the day of judgment. This sign of the cross will be in the heavens when the Lord comes to judge. Then all the servants of the cross, who during life made themselves one with the Crucified, will draw near with great trust to Christ, the judge.

Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of spirit, in the cross is highest virtue, in the cross is perfect holiness. There is no salvation of soul nor hope of everlasting life but in the cross.
(In my small crosses, I have gone to a new level in my faith, a new understanding, a new deeper relationship with my God)

(So as I see it...we get: salvation, life, protection, heavenly sweetness, strength of mind, joy,virtue, and holiness!!! Our God is pretty awesome to give us these many graces!!!)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

PRAY FOR MARY!!!

PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS SWEET MOMMA!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

FIRST KISS...


We had a couple first kiss stories this month...My baby E gave me my first real, I know what I'm doing, your an OK mom...kiss!!! Of course we couldn't get it on camera...so we tried this shot!!!
My almost five year old daughter got her first kiss too...it was from a tree frog!!! As her older brother was holding it, she said can I hold it and it jumped right on her lips!!! It was so hysterical and we call her Frog Lips now!!!
Speaking of First Kisses...have you ever read the Princess and the Kiss? It is an amazing story about a young girl who saves her first kiss for the right man. It is one of our favorites!!!
The Squire and the scroll is just as good...but, the Princess and the Kiss is definitely my favorite!!!



IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

FEW LOVE THE CROSS OF JESUS (part two)...another hard one to grasp...

If a man give all his wealth, it is nothing; if he do great penance, it is little; if he gain all knowledge, he is still far afield; if he have great virtue and much ardent devotion, he still lacks a great deal, and especially, the one thing that is most necessary to him. What is this one thing? That leaving all, he forsake himself, completely renounce himself, and give up all private affections. Then, when he has done all that he knows ought to be done, let him consider it as nothing, let him make little of what may be considered great; let him in all honesty call himself an unprofitable servant. For truth itself has said: "When you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: 'we are unprofitable servants.'" (Well, there goes any pride issues...)

Then he will be truly poor and stripped in spirit, and with the prophet may say: "I am alone and poor." No one, however, is more wealthy than such a man; no one is more powerful, no one freer than he who knows how to leave all things and think of himself as the least of all.
(I guess in the end we just have to be totally humble, thanking God for his many gifts)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TYPICAL MOM QUOTE...

People ask me all the time, "how are you so patience, you never yell at your children?" Ha!!! I yell alot and I am a good one for the oh too famous typical comments to my children...recently this one came again...

"YOU KNOW, I WOULD BE A MUCH NICER MOM, IF I HAD OBEDIENT CHILDREN!!!"

I kinda like that one...Sometimes I just crush my little sweeties hearts with cutting comments. Let us pray for one another, so when we are about to say a harming statement to God's precious creations, the HOLY SPIRIT will hold our tongue!!!

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

FEW LOVE THE CROSS OF JESUS (part one)

JESUS has always many who love His heavenly kingdom, but few who bear His cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who care for trial. He finds many to share His table, but few to take part in His fasting. All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for Him. Many follow Him to the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the chalice of His passion. Many revere His miracles; few approach the shame of the Cross. Many love Him as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless Him as long as they receive some comfort from Him. But if Jesus hides Himself and leaves them for a while, they fall either into complaints or into deep dejection. Those, on the contrary, who love Him for His own sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him in all trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if He should never give them consolation, yet they would continue to praise Him and wish always to give Him thanks. What power there is in pure love for Jesus -- love that is flee from all self-interest and self-love! (Dear Lord, give me perseverance during trials and suffering so I will grasp Your holy will!!!)

Do not those who always seek consolation deserve to be called mercenaries? Do not those who always think of their own profit and gain prove that they love themselves rather than Christ? Where can a man be found who desires to serve God for nothing? Rarely indeed is a man so spiritual as to strip himself of all things. And who shall find a man so truly poor in spirit as to be free from every creature? His value is like that of things brought from the most distant lands.
(Let our love for Christ be constant)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

APPRECIATING GOD'S GRACE (part two)

The man who has been taught by the gift of grace, and who learns by the lash of its withdrawal, will never dare to attribute any good to himself, but will rather admit his poverty and emptiness. Give to God what is God's and ascribe to yourself what is yours. Give Him thanks, then, for His grace, but place upon yourself alone the blame and the punishment your fault deserves. ( Everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. Luke 12:48)

Always take the lowest place and the highest will be given you, for the highest cannot exist apart from the lowest. The saints who are greatest before God are those who consider themselves the least, and the more humble they are within themselves, so much the more glorious they are. Since they do not desire vainglory, they are full of truth and heavenly glory. Being established and strengthened in God, they can by no means be proud. They attribute to God whatever good they have received; they seek no glory from one another but only that which comes from God alone. They desire above all things that He be praised in themselves and in all His saints -- this is their constant purpose. (Parents should find it easy to give of themselves...It is our job description!!!)

Be grateful, therefore, for the least gift and you will be worthy to receive a greater. Consider the least gift as the greatest, the most contemptible as something special. And, if you but look to the dignity of the Giver, no gift will appear too small or worthless. Even though He give punishments and scourges, accept them, because He acts for our welfare in whatever He allows to befall us.

He who desires to keep the grace of God ought to be grateful when it is given and patient when it is withdrawn. Let him pray that it return; let him be cautious and humble lest he lose it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

APPRECIATING GOD'S GRACE (part one)

WHY do you look for rest when you were born to work? Resign yourself to patience rather than to comfort, to carrying your cross rather than to enjoyment. (I should just stop here and meditate on this for the next year...it is OK to rest, be comfortable, and have enjoyment. We just need to find balance in our state in life for work, patience, and suffering.)

What man in the world, if he could always have them, would not readily accept consolation and spiritual joy, benefits which excel all earthly delights and pleasures of the body? The latter, indeed, are either vain or base, while spiritual joys, born of virtue and infused by God into pure minds, are alone truly pleasant and noble. (what perfect advice on the feast of Padre Pio)

Now, since the moment of temptation is always nigh, since false freedom of mind and overconfidence in self are serious obstacles to these visitations from heaven, a man can never enjoy them just as he wishes.

God does well in giving the grace of consolation, but man does evil in not returning everything gratefully to God. Thus, the gifts of grace cannot flow in us when we are ungrateful to the Giver, when we do not return them to the Fountainhead. Grace is always given to him who is duly grateful, and what is wont to be given the humble will be taken away from the proud.

I do not desire consolation that robs me of contrition, nor do I care for contemplation that leads to pride, for not all that is high is holy, nor is all that is sweet good, nor every desire pure, nor all that is dear to us pleasing to God. I accept willingly the grace whereby I become more humble and contrite, more willing to renounce self. (Dear Lord, grant me this grace and the strength to be grateful for it!!!)

THY WILL BE DONE!!! +JMJ+

Monday, September 22, 2008

PRAY FOR MARY GOING INTO LABOR...

PLEASE PRAY FOR MARY!!!

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

WANTING NO SHARE IN COMFORT (PART THREE)

If this is the case with great saints, we who are weak and poor ought not to despair because we are fervent at times and at other times cold, for the spirit comes and goes according to His will. Of this the blessed Job declared: "Thou visitest him early in the morning, and Thou provest him suddenly."

In what can I hope, then, or in whom ought I trust, save only in the great mercy of God and the hope of heavenly grace? For though I have with me good men, devout brethren, faithful friends, holy books, beautiful treatises, sweet songs and hymns, all these help and please but little when I am abandoned by grace and left to my poverty. At such times there is no better remedy than patience and resignation of self to the will of God.

I have never met a man so religious and devout that he has not experienced at some time a withdrawal of grace and felt a lessening of fervor. No saint was so sublimely rapt and enlightened as not to be tempted before and after. He, indeed, is not worthy of the sublime contemplation of God who has not been tried by some tribulation for the sake of God. For temptation is usually the sign preceding the consolation that is to follow, and heavenly consolation is promised to all those proved by temptation. "To him that overcometh," says Christ, "I will give to eat of the Tree of Life." Divine consolation, then, is given in order to make a man braver in enduring adversity, and temptation follows in order that he may not pride himself on the good he has done.

The devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead; therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies who never rest.

We must be fervent and patient in our life. When we hope and trust in God's mercy, especially during our trials and suffering, it brings us closer to God. As parents we must remember that all we do must glorify Christ and when we fall (and we will fall; in my case hourly...) we need to get back up (real quick) and get back on track!!!

THY WILL BE DONE!!!+JMJ+

Friday, September 19, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

WANTING NO SHARE IN COMFORT (part two)

A man must fight long and bravely against himself before he learns to master himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. When he trusts in himself, he easily takes to human consolation. The true lover of Christ, however, who sincerely pursues virtue, does not fall back upon consolations nor seek such pleasures of sense, but prefers severe trials and hard labors (been there...done that...) for the sake of Christ.


When, therefore, spiritual consolation is given by God, receive it gratefully, but understand that it is His gift and not your meriting. Do not exult, do not be overjoyed, do not be presumptuous, but be the humbler for the gift, more careful and wary in all your actions, for this hour will pass and temptation will come in its wake.


When consolation is taken away, do not at once despair but wait humbly and patiently for the heavenly visit, since God can restore to you more abundant solace.


This is neither new nor strange to one who knows God's ways, for such change of fortune often visited the great saints and prophets of old. Thus there was one who, when grace was with him, declared: "In my prosperity I said: 'I shall never be moved.'" But when grace was taken away, he adds what he experienced in himself: "Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled." Meanwhile he does not despair; rather he prays more earnestly to the Lord, saying: "To Thee, O Lord, will I cry; and I will make supplication to my God." At length, he receives the fruit of his prayer, and testifying that he was heard, says "The Lord hath heard, and hath had mercy on me: the Lord became my helper." And how was he helped? "Thou hast turned," he says, "my mourning into joy, and hast surrounded me with gladness."

(Pursue virtue fighting against our tendencies to the many vices we battle!!! Be humble, patient, grateful, and pray more earnestly!!!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

POTTY TALK...

One of my children, (can't say who...but she is under five)...had to use the bathroom at our latest soccer game. My older daughter went first and proclaimed that it wasn't that bad in there. So, I stood by the potty holding the door talking with my daughter as she did her business. She too proclaimed that it wasn't so bad...and they even had soap in there!!! So as she finished I open the door in disgust to see her washing her hands with the soap...It wasn't soap, and that wasn't a sink!!! YOU GOT IT!!! It was a urinal cake!!! I didn't explain what it was...but, I quickly screamed, "stop!!! That is not soap!!!" I told her that we needed to go to the car and find wipes to clean her hands off, I was laughing so hard I almost wet my pants!!! She didn't know what it was but from my reaction, she knew it was pretty bad...she looked at me and said, "MOM, don't tell anyone I did that!!!" So, am not telling you who...but, I had the laugh of my year!!!

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

WANTING NO SHARE IN COMFORT (part one)

IT IS not hard to spurn human consolation when we have the divine. It is, however, a very great thing indeed to be able to live without either divine or human comforting and for the honor of God willingly to endure this exile of heart, not to seek oneself in anything, and to think nothing of one's own merit. (Our Lady is the perfect example of this, especially in my vocation as a mother)

Does it matter much, if at the coming of grace, you are cheerful and devout? This is an hour desired by all, for he whom the grace of God sustains travels easily enough. What wonder if he feel no burden when borne up by the Almighty and led on by the Supreme Guide! For we are always glad to have something to comfort us, and only with difficulty does a man divest himself of self. (It is important that we remain strong and balanced even in the midst of suffering)

The holy martyr, Lawrence, with his priest, conquered the world because he despised everything in it that seemed pleasing to him, and for love of Christ patiently suffered the great high priest of God, Sixtus, whom he loved dearly, to be taken from him. Thus, by his love for the Creator he overcame the love of man, and chose instead of human consolation the good pleasure of God. So you, too, must learn to part with an intimate and much-needed friend for the love of God. (Detachment from my growing children) Do not take it to heart when you are deserted by a friend, knowing that in the end we must all be parted from one another.

I will work today on small acts of denial.
THY WILL BE DONE!!!+JMJ+

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

THE INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP OF JESUS (part two)

Jesus Christ must be loved alone with a special love for He alone, of all friends, is good and faithful. For Him and in Him you must love friends and foes alike, and pray to Him that all may know and love Him.

Never desire special praise or love, for that belongs to God alone Who has no equal. Never wish that anyone's affection be centered in you, nor let yourself be taken up with the love of anyone, but let Jesus be in you and in every good man. Be pure and free within, unentangled with any creature.

You must bring to God a clean and open heart if you wish to attend and see how sweet the Lord is. Truly you will never attain this happiness unless His grace prepares you and draws you on so that you may forsake all things to be united with Him alone.

When the grace of God comes to a man he can do all things, but when it leaves him he becomes poor and weak, abandoned, as it were, to affliction. Yet, in this condition he should not become dejected or despair. On the contrary, he should calmly await the will of God and bear whatever befalls him in praise of Jesus Christ, for after winter comes summer, after night, the day, and after the storm, a great calm.


Love everyone, be humble; have a clean, pure, and open heart to His grace. We must calmly await his will even in the midst of great trial!!!

Jedi Knight!!!

My baby finally got his childhood wish to be a Jedi Knight!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

THE INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP OF JESUS (PART TWO)

He who finds Jesus finds a rare treasure, indeed, a good above every good, whereas he who loses Him loses more than the whole world. The man who lives without Jesus is the poorest of the poor, whereas no one is so rich as the man who lives in His grace. (We need to find ways to live in His grace each day in our daily lives...small acts of sacrifice)

It is a great art to know how to converse with Jesus, and great wisdom to know how to keep Him. Be humble and peaceful, and Jesus will be with you. Be devout and calm, and He will remain with you. You may quickly drive Him away and lose His grace, if you turn back to the outside world. And, if you drive Him away and lose Him, to whom will you go and whom will you then seek as a friend? You cannot live well without a friend, and if Jesus be not your friend above all else, you will be very sad and desolate. Thus, you are acting foolishly if you trust or rejoice in any other. Choose the opposition of the whole world rather than offend Jesus. Of all those who are dear to you, let Him be your special love. Let all things be loved for the sake of Jesus, but Jesus for His own sake. (HUMBLE, PEACEFUL, DEVOUT, AND CALM...sounds like a tall order for any person, especially this mom!!! Off now as I work on the art to know how to converse with Jesus.)

THY WILL BE DONE!!!+JMJ+

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day in the LIFE...at least for now...

SCHEDULES, SCHEDULES, SCHEDULES...I have been asked over and over again what my daily schedule looks like. I also have been asked by many if they could just sit and watch me homeschool...well, it would probably scare most women into sending their kids to school and deciding not to have any more children...

So, Here is a "schedule" that I try to follow...most days are lived on a wing and a prayer!!! (My guardian angle Malachi has big wings!!!)

WEEKDAY SCHEDULE:
(usually when I am not pregnant or nursing a newborn-ha!!! 1/4 of my year)

5am- wake up quick morning prayer
5am-5:50am-most mornings exercise (walking in neighborhood/treadmill)
6am-meditation time
6:30 am-mass if everyone is still sleeping or meditation time if the kids are awake
7am-breakfast/finish meditation time if I went to mass/computer time
8am-finish up breakfast/get ready for school
8:30-school with little guys
10am-break/snack/or if on a roll-keep going. (as soon as they finish what is on their chart they are done)
11:30am-lunch
12:00 angelus/nap time for 2 and 1year old
12:30-finish up school
1-2:30-play, read, finish up school...
2:30pm-snack-hopefully outside weather permitting
3-4:30-jobs/play outside or rooms
4:30-DAD HOME!!!
5pm-dinner/sometimes prayers at the dinner table before all disperse
5-7-sports in the fall and spring
7-winding down/reading/family prayers/radio shows/books on tape
Little guys can stay awake in their rooms if they are quiet and not fighting...if not lights off!!!
Big guys...hang with mom and dad/games/movies/computer/finishing up school and jobs...finishing up activities...check email and schedules for next day.
9pm lights off...mom and dad are going to sleep!!!
***added 9/14: When I am pregnant, I am totally asleep at 9...when Rob is in training he too is out by then. Otherwise we really are pretty much asleep between 9-10 on the weeknights. People make fun of us. We just add that to one of the ways we survive. Sleep is vital in our lives. Small nursing babies adjust things...they usually sleep with us until they aren't getting up real often at night. Trust me. I do not have babies who sleep through the night real soon.

***from morning till night the kids and I are doing laundry, dishes, cleaning, and taking care of the babies...don't really have a "plan on what day we do certain jobs"...we do them all every day!!! Each kid does have a specific day to do laundry. See Job chart...

OK...I am exhausted just thinking about it
Thy will be done!!!+JMJ+

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

THE INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP OF JESUS (PART ONE)

WHEN Jesus is near, all is well and nothing seems difficult. When He is absent, all is hard. When Jesus does not speak within, all other comfort is empty, but if He says only a word, it brings great consolation. (we need to remember he is always with us...consolations,or not)

Did not Mary Magdalen rise at once from her weeping when Martha said to her: "The Master is come, and calleth for thee"? John 11:28 Happy is the hour when Jesus calls one from tears to joy of spirit. (let us listen closely, He is calling us. Sometimes through others)

How dry and hard you are without Jesus! How foolish and vain if you desire anything but Him! Is it not a greater loss than losing the whole world? For what, without Jesus, can the world give you? Life without Him is a relentless hell, (Think of your worse day...and imagine what it would of been like without a relationship with Christ...scary!!!) but living with Him is a sweet paradise. (Think of your best day...and embrace that during the tough ones!!!) If Jesus be with you, no enemy can harm you. (That is consoling!!!) ...that is enough to meditate on today...more tomorrow...

THY WILL BE DONE!!! +JMJ+

Thursday, September 11, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

You can find the entire book on line here.

Loving Jesus Above All Things (PART TWO)

Your Beloved is such that He will not accept what belongs to another -- He wants your heart for Himself alone, to be enthroned therein as King in His own right. If you but knew how to free yourself entirely from all creatures, Jesus would gladly dwell within you. (I heard an amazing women speak the other day about how Christ really has given us everything, our family, our processions, so when we give those things to him, he is happy. It is our FREEDOM that is ours and the one real gift we can give over to him. Sometimes free will comes back to bite me, and I am ashamed at my true self coming through...Oh, Lord help me give you everything, even my freedom!!!)

You will find, apart from Him, that nearly all the trust you place in men is a total loss. Therefore, neither confide in nor depend upon a wind-shaken reed, for "all flesh is grass" and all its glory, like the flower of grass, will fade away. 1 PETER 1:24

You will quickly be deceived if you look only to the outward appearance of men, and you will often be disappointed if you seek comfort and gain in them. If, however, you seek Jesus in all things, you will surely find Him. Likewise, if you seek yourself, you will find yourself -- to your own ruin. For the man who does not seek Jesus does himself much greater harm than the whole world and all his enemies could ever do.

THY WILL BE DONE!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

Loving Jesus Above All Things (part one)

BLESSED is he who appreciates what it is to love Jesus and who despises himself for the sake of Jesus. Give up all other love for His, since He wishes to be loved alone above all things.

Affection for creatures is deceitful and inconstant, but the love of Jesus is true and enduring. He who clings to a creature will fall with its frailty, but he who gives himself to Jesus will ever be strengthened.
(It is a strange concept to understand how we need to give Christ our families as well. When I became a mom, I felt I had finally accomplished my goal in life. Every second of my day was obsessed with this little girl Christ had given me. I started neglecting my faith, my husband, my housekeeping...everything revolved around this little being. It took me awhile to find balance again, to make time for short meditation time (even just 5 min) and realize that MARRIAGE IS A SACRAMENT not parenting!!! I saw the closer I was to Christ and my husband the better mother I was. I am finding...and still trying to find...that the better home maker I am...the better mom I am!!! I am trying...and still trying to get organized...I find the more organized I am the better Catholic, wife, and mother I am!!! So in the end I love my kids more than ever!!!)

Love Him, then; keep Him as a friend. He will not leave you as others do, or let you suffer lasting death. Sometime, whether you will or not, you will have to part with everything. Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death; trust yourself to the glory of Him who alone can help you when all others fail.

THY WILL BE DONE!!!+JMJ+

Back to School Basics for Everyone!!!

For those who know me you will probably ask why is she writing about back to school? She is a homeschool mom.

Being a mom of 11, homeschooler or not, means getting organized this time of year for my brood to get back on schedule with academic activities, as well as sports, clubs and family time.

I have a few simple suggestions to help any family get prepared for the next month of winding down to gearing up for a year of typical activities that keep any family on their toes.

Let us start with the kids' schedules/classes/teachers:

Look at your child's schedule for his/her day. What time does the school day start? How long does it take to get to school? Is there a bus, carpool or walking plan? Start thinking now about how and when or who is getting your kids to school. Walk through the "plan" with your little guys and explain to the older ones what you expect during their comings and goings - being on time, being polite, not talking to strangers and a back-up plan in case you are late. As a homeschooler, talk about your goals for the year and the type of schedule you are planning for the year.

Once you have a schedule (be flexible), look into a planner/calendar/chart or something for your personal use and for the family to see when they want to make plans. There are tons to buy … think about size, durability and visibility. There are many free ones to download online as well as many at office supply stores. Don't spend lots of money on this at first; it is likely you will try many before you find one that meets your family's needs. This is my family's way of survival.

If your child is in a program that you get a class schedule, then look it over and make sure you and your child know the expectations for that class. Make sure if you don't know about the class, you find out as soon as possible. As a homeschooler you have the flexibility to try some new classes, look at your child's interests and see what you can find during the quietness of the day while most of the kids are in school.

The make-or-break of many school years is the teacher. I really recommend talking to your child about respecting their teacher(s). One of life's biggest lessons is learning that some years you get nice teachers, some years mean, some years hard and some years easy. No matter what kind they get … respect is very important. Meet your child's teachers. Keep in touch with them, check in on your child's progress. Don't bother the teacher, just let them know you are interested about your child's progress and want to keep in touch. Volunteering is huge. It can make a C student an A student. That is a huge difference. Take advantage of PTA meetings and open houses.

If your child wears a uniform, then thank your lucky stars. If not it is time to set some standards. Check your budget and see what can be spent. This is a great lesson for kids to use their money wisely. You are doing no one a favor by giving a child a credit card and saying go have fun. Set limits and you will be surprised how well your child can stick to a budget. Let's say you offer $200 for everything. The child needs to decide if they want $120 shoes and a shirt or two, or if they want to buy three pairs of pants and a cute hoodie and some shoes from Payless. The real creative kids will hit the local thrift shop and come home with an entire new wardrobe. I used to hit the local thrift shops and get tons of compliments on my creative wardrobe. The same goes for school supplies, make a budget or you will spend unnecessary money on supplies you can find on sale.

OK, sit down for this one - activities. This is what can make or break a year, a kid, a family, as well as your wallet. Now is the time to really sit and discuss the year ahead. What's in store? A new baby, job, move, family reunion, graduation? What months or seasons don't work for your family? Is your family dedicated to sports, music, gymnastics, drama, dance, Scouts or church programs? Some families I know let a child pick one activity per season. Depending on your family and income size this could be a huge decision. Talk with your children and see if they would like to try something new or want to concentrate on a new skill. Again, you may be surprised how mature your child can be when making these big decisions. I know in our family our kids have had to sacrifice playing for a special team because of fees or time constraints. Some years we are more flexible if more than one kid can do the same activity. Like having multiple kids on the same soccer team or a piano teacher who will come to the house to teach three at a time.

Most importantly on my list is family time. Again, each family needs to decide what is best for their family, but you would be surprised how fast your year will go if you don't schedule in family time. It doesn't have to be a trip to Disney to make family time. It is really important for each family to have down time. This can be just free time to have fun, read and read some more. Most importantly make time for family dinners, not only is it healthier for children, but it is a great time to share about their day - homeschoolers as well as children away from home during the day. Game nights have become popular in our generation, and neighborhood pickup games can't be beat. Make sure to schedule lots of little day trips; take advantage of all the free stuff in your area. I can't stress the importance of visiting relatives that don't live locally. It is important for kids to know their cousins, aunts and uncles, as well as grandparents. This is a good time to start some fun family traditions or share with them what you did when you were young.

Any time spent preparing for your school year will be time well spent.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

THE JOY OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE (part two)

The man who longs for the true, eternal glory does not care for that of time; and he who seeks passing fame or does not in his heart despise it, undoubtedly cares little for the glory of heaven.

He who minds neither praise nor blame possesses great peace of heart and, if his conscience is good, he will easily be contented and at peace.



Praise adds nothing to your holiness, nor does blame take anything from it. You are what you are, and you cannot be said to be better than you are in God's sight. If you consider well what you are within, you will not care what men say about you. They look to appearances but God looks to the heart. They consider the deed but God weighs the motive. (Dear God, grant me purity of intention!!!)


It is characteristic of a humble soul always to do good and to think little of itself. It is a mark of great purity and deep faith to look for no consolation in created things. The man who desires no justification from without has clearly entrusted himself to God: "For not he who commendeth himself is approved," says St. Paul, "but he whom God commendeth."


To walk with God interiorly, to be free from any external affection -- this is the state of the inward man. (Help me be that kind of person!!!)

All in a day's catch...

Part of the fun of "my" homeschooling philosophy is too be flexible!!! So even though our science unit this month was the body...we had a quick switch to plants and animals...

Our Friday morning started out with finding a very sickly tree frog near our kitchen sliding door...it had trudged through our playroom all the way to the kitchen looking for water and freedom!!! It was covered with dust and one of its legs were hurt. We rinsed it off and sent it on its way to freedom.
Within the hour we found two more frogs both totally different and about an hour after that a tiny turtle!!!
As I sent my 8 year old with his nature journal for "Friday Journaling Time" (when they just draw or write for 15 minutes about what they see made by God in our yard) he decided to write and delve into a weed he found called a POKEBERRY. He used it as ink...and had a great time reading up about this weed. (it can be very toxic to people and animals!!!)


BTW...we do not live in some great area with land, fields, and woods....we just live in a simple neighborhood with a nice small plot of woods behind our house. Don't ever hinder your schooling ideas due to your living situation!!! Be flexible and creative in your state in life and home situation!!!

So we finished up for the day with lots of great memories and said goodbye to the day's catch and sent the creatures on their way back to the woods!!!

THY WILL BE DONE!!! +JMJ+

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Blog...

PRAYERS FOR THOSE IN LABOR
This is a new site set up as a world wide apostolate to pray for women and their families during labor. Or if you are pregnant and want prayer for your pregnancy send your name, approx. due date and any special situations you would like prayer for.People who visit this site will be asked to pray for those in labor and their families.Women who are in labor will have their first names published only.Please send special prayers for labor and delivery as well as prayers that would apply to new mothers.Any advice on how to make this blog a better apostolate than let me know. This is just an inspiration my friend Mary from Conn. and I had to help others, especially stay at home moms who are limited in their apostolic acts, to be able to pray within their state in life.Feel free to add this site to your feed or reader as it is updated so you can pray for these women and their families!!!

+GOD BLESS THESE WOMEN+

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR LADY!!!

My family has always tried to find Christ and His Church in our every day life. One way we have done this is with the love of Lady bugs!!!

Happy Birthday to The Queen of Heaven and Earth!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

THE DIFFERENCE IN RAISING KIDS...

Sunday mornings are the one day I try to sleep in...so when the one year old started crying at 5:32am...I just rolled over and hoped for the best.

When my oldest (now 18) would cry...I would beat my husband to the door. We were so excited to see her, we had to fight over who would hold her first!!! It was like Christmas each morning!!! Just seeing her cute little face...

So, what do I advise??? Take each baby in your state in life and love them to the moon...AND BACK!!!

BTW...the one year old woke up at 7:02 am this morning...and when I got him I was so excited to see him you would of thought it was Christmas!!!

State in life...wow!!! Extra sleep...awesome!!!

Thy Will Be Done!!!+JMJ+

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

THE JOY OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE (part one)

THE glory of a good man is the testimony of a good conscience. Therefore, keep your conscience good and you will always enjoy happiness, for a good conscience can bear a great deal and can bring joy even in the midst of adversity. But an evil conscience is ever restive and fearful. (This is what I feel is going on in our world, you can tell by all the restless people who are trying to find "joy" and the meaning of life)

Sweet shall be your rest if your heart does not reproach you.

Do not rejoice unless you have done well. Sinners never experience true interior joy or peace, for "there is no peace to the wicked," says the Lord. Even if they say: "We are at peace, no evil shall befall us and no one dares to hurt us," do not believe them; for the wrath of God will arise quickly, and their deeds will be brought to naught and their thoughts will perish.

To glory in adversity is not hard for the man who loves, for this is to glory in the cross of the Lord. But the glory given or received of men is short lived, and the glory of the world is ever companioned by sorrow. The glory of the good, however, is in their conscience and not in the lips of men, for the joy of the just is from God and in God, and their gladness is founded on truth.
(We need to be a beacon to the world, so when others {especially our children} see us they too will want a relationship with Christ)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

The Fifth Chapter
OURSELVES


WE MUST not rely too much upon ourselves, for grace and understanding are often lacking in us. We have but little inborn light, and this we quickly lose through negligence. (laziness) Often we are not aware that we are so blind in heart. Meanwhile we do wrong, and then do worse in excusing it. (ouch!!!) At times we are moved by passion, and we think it zeal. We take others to task for small mistakes, and overlook greater ones in ourselves. We are quick enough to feel and brood over the things we suffer from others, but we think nothing of how much others suffer from us. If a man would weigh his own deeds fully and rightly, he would find little cause to pass severe judgment on others.

The interior man puts the care of himself before all other concerns, and he who attends to himself carefully does not find it hard to hold his tongue about others. You will never be devout of heart unless you are thus silent about the affairs of others and pay particular attention to yourself. If you attend wholly to God and yourself, you will be little disturbed by what you see about you.

Where are your thoughts when they are not upon yourself? And after attending to various things, what have you gained if you have neglected self? If you wish to have true peace of mind and unity of purpose, you must cast all else aside and keep only yourself before your eyes.

You will make great progress if you keep yourself free from all temporal cares, for to value anything that is temporal is a great mistake. Consider nothing great, nothing high, nothing pleasing, nothing acceptable, except God Himself or that which is of God. Consider the consolations of creatures as vanity, for the soul that loves God scorns all things that are inferior to Him. God alone, the eternal and infinite, satisfies all, bringing comfort to the soul and true joy to the body.
(I am off to copy this and use it during the day as a reminder...and apologize to my husband for my many defects!!!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

PURITY OF MIND AND UNITY OF PURPOSE

A MAN is raised up from the earth by two wings -- simplicity and purity. There must be simplicity in his intention and purity in his desires. Simplicity leads to God, purity embraces and enjoys Him. (May Our Lady guide us to be more like her!!!)

If your heart is free from ill-ordered affection, no good deed will be difficult for you. If you aim at and seek after nothing but the pleasure of God and the welfare of your neighbor, you will enjoy freedom within. (Look for opportunities to please God and neighbor)

If your heart were right, then every created thing would be a mirror of life for you and a book of holy teaching, for there is no creature so small and worthless that it does not show forth the goodness of God. If inwardly you were good and pure, you would see all things clearly and understand them rightly, for a pure heart penetrates to heaven and hell, and as a man is within, so he judges what is without. If there be joy in the world, the pure of heart certainly possess it; and if there be anguish and affliction anywhere, an evil conscience knows it too well.
(We must seek to be pure at heart...)

As iron cast into fire loses its rust and becomes glowing white, so he who turns completely to God is stripped of his sluggishness and changed into a new man. When a man begins to grow lax, he fears a little toil and welcomes external comfort, but when he begins perfectly to conquer himself and to walk bravely in the ways of God, then he thinks those things less difficult which he thought so hard before. (How to conquer self??? I guess we start with frequenting the sacraments and small acts of detachment)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

INTERNET SAFETY

I had some say it is too late for the young ones who are already online...That is fine when the parents are with them checking it out.

Check here for suggestions...I liked some of the ideas...just check out what works best for your family.

I got some good advice here.

For more intense stuff check this organization out!!!

This site is full of info for adults.

This group looks helpful too.

If anyone has any other suggestions...please send them along!!!

I am looking for educational sites to use for school and fun!!!

I am looking for Internet safety information for a town wide program we are having in November.

The more advice the better!!!

Thy Will Be Done!!! +JMJ+

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

Goodness and peace of man (part 2)

It is no great thing to associate with the good and gentle, for such association is naturally pleasing. Everyone enjoys a peaceful life and prefers persons of congenial habits. But to be able to live at peace with harsh and perverse men, or with the undisciplined and those who irritate us, is a great grace, a praiseworthy and manly thing. (I won't pick on my teenagers today...I did have a great mentor who used to suggest I befriend those who aren't pleasing to my taste...that annoying telemarketer, grocery clerk, person from church, the mentally challenged person who wants to talk to me as I zoom through the grocery store...Making our souls stretch to be more like Christ.)

Some people live at peace with themselves and with their fellow men, but others are never at peace with themselves nor do they bring it to anyone else. These latter are a burden to everyone, but they are more of a burden to themselves. A few, finally, live at peace with themselves and try to restore it to others. (I hate hearing stories of people who have bitter grudges on others...it is such a waste of time. I just heard of a story of a woman and her family who were hurriedly being prepared to be deported. Her little brother quickly put on his clothes and when she looked down at him at the train station she disdainfully said, "You put on two different shoes. Can't you do anything right?" Those were the last words she ever said to him. They were separated and she never saw him again. She resolved that the words she speaks to others are kind because she never knows if they are the last words she'll to say to that person. And she shares her story with everyone.)

Now, all our peace in this miserable life is found in humbly enduring suffering rather than in being free from it. He who knows best how to suffer will enjoy the greater peace, because he is the conqueror of himself, the master of the world, a friend of Christ, and an heir of heaven.

(we all have different struggles in our state in life, the goal is to embrace them with purity of intention...over and over again...not getting discouraged!!!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: Meditation of the day...

GOODNESS AND PEACE IN MAN (part one)

FIRST keep peace with yourself; then you will be able to bring peace to others. A peaceful man does more good than a learned man. Whereas a passionate man turns even good to evil and is quick to believe evil, the peaceful man, being good himself, turns all things to good. (as we approach another school year I am reminded of the importance of getting to bed early so to wake before the kids...hopefully- this is how I find peace to start my day and to try to bring peace to others-teenagers exempt...)
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The man who is at perfect ease is never suspicious, but the disturbed and discontented spirit is upset by many a suspicion. He neither rests himself nor permits others to do so. He often says what ought not to be said and leaves undone what ought to be done. He is concerned with the duties of others but neglects his own. (when I find myself discontented...it is time for confession)

Direct your zeal, therefore, first upon yourself; then you may with justice exercise it upon those about you. You are well versed in coloring your own actions with excuses which you will not accept from others, though it would be more just to accuse yourself and excuse your brother. If you wish men to bear with you, you must bear with them. Behold, how far you are from true charity and humility which does not know how to be angry with anyone, or to be indignant save only against self! (I guess my goal today is to bear with my teenagers and find ways to better love and parent them...)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

SO HE DOES HAVE A HEART...

Check out my husband's post and see he isn't as Sardonic as he says he is!!!

Meditation of the day...IMITATION OF CHRIST...

HUMILITY

BE NOT troubled about those who are with you or against you, but take care that God be with you in everything you do. (as I start the new school year) Keep your conscience clear and God will protect you, for the malice of man cannot harm one whom God wishes to help. If you know how to suffer in silence,(silence?!@) you will undoubtedly experience God's help. He knows when and how to deliver you; therefore, place yourself in His hands, for it is a divine prerogative to help men and free them from all distress.

It is often good for us to have others know our faults (blogging...) and rebuke them, for it gives us greater humility. When a man humbles himself because of his faults, he easily placates those about him and readily appeases those who are angry with him.

It is the humble man whom God protects and liberates; it is the humble whom He loves and consoles. To the humble He turns and upon them bestows great grace, that after their humiliation He may raise them up to glory. He reveals His secrets to the humble, and with kind invitation bids them come to Him. Thus, the humble man enjoys peace in the midst of many vexations (raising and educating children), because his trust is in God, not in the world. Hence, you must not think that you have made any progress until you look upon yourself as inferior to all others. (mom's job description)