Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our Lady of La Leche, pray for us!

I was back on the Around the World with Mary, and found a virtual tour of the shrine to Our Lady of La Leche, in St. Augustine, Florida, which is great because I'd really like to take the family to St. Augustine sometime this summer. (click here for the virtual tour).

J and I are getting ready to walk down to the pool with JB as she is our only swimmer on our neighborhood swim team this year. It has been all about the pool since it opened on Saturday.

We are also gearing up for a trip to a South Carolina beach with another family who have been our dear friends for over 15 years. Preparing to leave for the beach has motivated me to get everyone doing extra house and yard work lately. I have, at times, felt the assistance of the Blessed Mother this month in a special way. I thank her for hearing a petition I made on Wednesday the 21st, as I helped organize a small dinner at our local Greenwood's restaurant that was such a good time. Hail Mary, full of grace!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Praise His Holy Name!

I love to put the Holy Name of Jesus in front of my own, or anyone else to whom I wish to offer to God, in prayer. It has been so hectic around here, with lots going on. I am happy to report that all are happy and well, just lots of activities and parties and meetings. This morning, when JB, J and I read the story of St. Bernardine (I got this picture from the Catholic Culture website.), my heart was filled with gratitude for the smallest things that please our Lord. He is so glad for us to utter His Holy Name in petition of our needs and wants.

The desires of our soul are so often His Holy Desires, too. Spring is in full bloom. May we all stay blessed!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Raising saints, not, necessarily, scholars

Pentecost 2008: Thy kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven!

My family and I were working hard yesterday cleaning house, de-cluttering and organizing. (My, how I wish I had more energy and strength!) I found a little book with big ideas, The Saints Speak to You Today: 365 Daily Reminders. I turned right to this one, which, since sensuality is a root sin for me, you can see why it resonated:
If you would rise, shun luxury, for luxury lowers and degrades. St John Chrysostom (5th C.)

And, this was so applicable to my life as well, from my Confirmation saint, St. Teresa of Avila (16th C.):

Cursed be that loyalty which reaches so far as to go against the law of God.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lovely Lavender

from World Book: Lavender is a small bush that bears fragrant flowers and leaves. It belongs to the mint family....Lavender comes from the Latin word lavo, meaning to wash. This name was used because the Romans put the leaves and flowers in the water when they bathed. In tradition, lavender represents purity.
We are taking a quick break to boil eggs and make a tuna fish salad, and then back to our gardening, where, among other plants, we are cultivating lovely lavender. Click here for a link to cooking with this fragrant herb.
We celebrated M's birthday yesterday. Since she was my first baby, I was thinking how super fast the time goes by and how very blessed I am to be a mother.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Our Lady of China, pray for us!

Through one of my internet support groups, I found this rich "Around the World with Mary" study. Click here for the link for the whole study and here for more information about Our Lady of China. Bon Voyage!

And, yes, a few more highlights from a grace-filled weekend: We were able to celebrate First Holy Communion with 3 other families this weekend. We have been praying for all first communicants during our evening family prayer. I found this wonderful quote by Tolkien.

A Photo of our Alice in Wonderland

JB is the one holding the pink bag. This play took place Thursday evening, April 17th.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Amicalola Falls family field trip Friday and some thoughts on unschooling

That was alot of alliteration! Click here for a link to this most amazing Georgia park.

Highlights for this past week: 1966 was a good year! Got to actually spend Rachel's b-day with her here cooking, talking and playing -- so good! So happy that drama is behind us and feel so blessed from all the hard work both kids and adults put into both ALICE and TOM S. Loved Adoration this week in a way that is hard to put into words. JB and I have been having a surprisingly good time preparing for her and M's upcoming ITBS. We have been gardening some, drawing some, walking and talking alot, with less reading, writing and music than is usual around here. Come to think of it, we have read more magazines and newspapers and been discussing current events more than usual. And, spring drama has led to lots of good work and talk. Oh yeah, and we wrote several "thank-you" notes.

M is fully engaged with family and friends. Challenge was fun and inspiring, and we have added a daily Mass here and there. J lost both his front two teeth during the past 2 weeks, so he is past adorable. He asks me every night to make up a story, and I am inventing Aesop's Fablesque stories. Latin is on hold, but I am hoping we will have one more short run with it before taking summer off....Which makes me want to reflect a bit on what happens the minute I say we are "off" -- everyone goes into huge learning spurts. As unschoolers, and any attentive parents, will attest -- kids love to move and they love to learn. Whether they are intraverted or extraverted, kids are always investigating, exploring, expressing/communicating, dancing, listening...They like a little directed work, but just bust at the seams to get on with their lives.

I think every parent and educator should read some of John Holt's work, as he really took the time to observe what is good and true and real about childhood. It makes me think about what Jesus taught in the Gospel about being like unto children. Their learning is so passionate. They have their dishonest moments, but they recover from such dishonesty much faster than adults (in general, I mean, of course...).

Life is not boring when you are young (young at heart, too <: )and given the time and space to use your imagination. I mention this because I am really loosening up and becoming such the unschooler. And, I love it. (And, I do get anxious, but prayer calms my fears.). I think I have a feel for when they are wasting time; and, as I have often heard, unschooling is not unparenting. Our day is punctuated by prayer and devotions. His grace is sufficient for staying faithful both to our families and our vocations. JB and I wrote a "LOVE" acrostic: "learning our vocation everyday". All the happy, enthusiastic individuals and families that I know are true to themselves and the good God that created all.

I am truly amazed at how creative children are and how much they need "down time," which is not to say that they are inactive, but that they are not over-scheduled/being shuffled off to something organized at every turn. My kids are loving the weather and exploring our neighborhood creek as I write this. M got a Wii for her b-day (this Wed.), and, while I'd rather be outside than playing a video game, I do see the appeal. I am happy to report that, though the Wii was part of her gift, she wanted to share it with everyone.

That's all. "Pray, hope and don't worry." Padre Pio