Saturday, June 28, 2008

Free Total Consecration Package!

Thanks to a frequent reader, she pointed me to this wonderful website for a free St Louis de Montfort Consecration package! Check it out! Please join us in Total Consecration starting July 13th!


Thank you Maria!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kutless - Strong Tower

One of my favorite songs! Enjoy this Friday and blessings on your weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Baby Cate, Pray for Us

Baby Cate is now with our Heavenly Father and more perfect than ever. Please pray for her family as they heal. Be prepared to cry if you read her father's post it is very beautiful and worth the read.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Total Consecration is Coming!

I have done this Consecration for the past 13 years. So this will be my 14th time making it. (I think, unless I'm adding the years wrong!) Every year I get something different out of it, something wonderful! The first year, it was really hard, and half way through, I was thinking "why am I doing this?" but then at the end, it all comes together and makes sense. Each consecration is set to start on a certain date to end on a feast day. I picked this one, and it starts on July 13th and ends on the Feast day of the Assumption. I cannot even begin to explain all the graces that follow this consecration, but they are numerous.

Get ready and please do this with me this year! It goes for 33 days. It progresses gradually, in prayers. The 3rd week being the hardest, adding a rosary to the prayers. You can order it here. Or you can read online here.

This is my 2nd favorite day of the year, right after Divine Mercy Sunday. Please do this with me this year to Jesus through Mary.

My Morning Prayer View

One of my favorite things to do now that it is warm enough, is to sit here and say my morning prayers. It's so quiet and I feel kind of hidden behind this bush, which is good, because I'm usually in my pajamas! It's quiet until the kiddos come and join me that is. I love porches! There's something old fashioned about them. There are so many memories already made here on the porch.
We also say bedtime prayers here sometimes and bedtime stories are read here many nights. Although, those Minnesota mosquitoes are starting to make that not so nice!

Midsummer Fairy Ball

Friday we visited Pinewood Castle and celebrated Midsummer with them and had a fairy tea party. Tracy had everything so elegant and beautiful.
This is a tiny tea party set up for the fairies to use.

Fancy cupcakes with sugared edible pansies.


Tracy has flowers everywhere. She is amazing!! I was also amazed at her school room and could have sat there for hours and looked at all her beautiful books! I did take pictures of her school room! Thank you Tracy for a wonderful time! The girls have been talking about fairies ever since!



Something I Learned

Basil takes a long time to grow!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Group Coloring!

This is a game/activity that I made up when I was doing daycare. The kids always love doing it. You hand each child a piece of paper and they draw one thing, then pass it to the next person and that person adds one thing to that and you keep going until all the papers are full. The only rule is you cannot ruin something someone has already made, like cross it off. (if you play with boys, this rule must be enforced) You can also make another rule if you'd like, like only one color on that one thing, or only one part, like if you pick to draw a flower, you can only draw the stem and then pass it. But usually we just play with the one rule of not ruining something already done and each person can draw one whole thing each time.


The middle picture was the one I started and I thought it would be a house, I drew the frame of a house, then Mary drew a line (pole) going down from it, she thought it was a birdhouse. So the picture changes according to the next persons' vision.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request!!

Please pray for Baby Cate.
I can't even imagine what this family is going through, and I don't want to, but my prayers are with them. Isn't she just the most adorable little angel ever?

h/t-Paula

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Patricia Polacco

Thank you Paula for suggesting this author/illustrator, we have loved her. She has very interesting stories and each with a lesson or virtue to discuss. Her illustrations were also very interesting, some featured bright reds in certain parts, some showed actual pictures among the drawings. Ballerina Rosie really liked The Butterfly, and I have to say, I loved it too, I love stories from that time in history. It was sad, but had happy parts too. I think we are ready to read Anne Frank as a read aloud! We really enjoyed getting to know Patricia Polacco and can't wait to see what author you come up with next. We are off to the library because Babushka's Doll is reserved for someone else and we have it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Organizing!

This is the "after" picture first, I just could not put the messy "before" picture on first (below)!
It may not look organized to you, but to me, it is very organized and I know all of what we have now. I threw away a whole garbage bag full of papers and just plain old junk we don't need. Now, I catch myself just walking in and looking in the cupboards just for fun! These are very kid friendly though and I know they will not stay this neat for long. But I will try! I still have one other cupboard to organize and then I will be able to think clearly and get ready for the next school year!
Yucky, messy cupboard!

I found these in my "tapes" container and the kids have been listening all week, they love them. Ballerina Rosie can read now and loves following along to these. I bought these when I did daycare long before I had children of my own. A new old treasure for a new generation of children! I stayed in all day yesterday on a beautiful day to finish this cupboard, so today we are off to the pool!!


Summer is here in Minnesota!!

This is where we will be!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Zoo and Children!

Here are a few highlights from our trip to the Minnesota Zoo. This is the Asian Tri Colored Squirrel. He was one of our many favorites. We were at the zoo from around 11am until after 5pm and still did not get to see Discovery Bay, visit the farm animals (we did take a tractor ride to the farm and back though), the Imax Theatre and the Musk Ox. My husband and I have not been here since I was pregnant with Jedi, 9 years ago and they have added a ton of new things!
We DO go to Como Zoo every Summer though, it's free and takes about 2 hours to do everything, perfect for littles!
Grizzly Coast is one of the newest additions. There were a ton of people at the zoo and this exhibit was packed. I did not get any good pictures of the Bears, they were too far away and through glass and chained fences. They were fun to see, they are very soft and playful looking, although we know better. One was under water and was very playful with all of us viewers through the glass.

We also loved the Butterfly Garden! The above one is a Zebra Butterfly, but the others I have no idea what kind they are! Butterflies were everywhere, they were so beautiful!!! They were constantly on the move. Jedi just informed me this butterfly (below) is a Viceroy Butterfly. Jedi took this trip to the zoo pretty seriously, he constantly had his map out and was mapping out where we were going next and what animals were coming next. He actually wore out the map, it was well used! (I did get many pictures of him doing this! -It was SO cute!)
This below is a Black Necked Stilt. The birds were amazing! We did take in a bird show while there, I think it was one of my favorite parts. The albino Red Tailed Hawk flew very close to the top of Ballerina Rosie's head! The trainers were funny and very fun to watch.
This is a Cougar, he was very close, but of course this was taken through glass.
This is a Victoria Crowned Pigeon. She was very close and very beautiful! The flamingos are always amazing to watch. They are such an interesting bird. We also saw Tapirs, Gibbons, Monkeys, Red Pandas, Lemurs, Raccoons, Moose, Wolverines, Wild Horses, Camels, Caribou, Takins, (Talkins) very large bugs, Wolves, Coyotes, Bats, Boa Constrictors, Warthogs, Sharks, Fish from the Coral Reef, Leopards, Tigers, Lynx, and many other animals, this is just off the top of my head.
This was the first year we did not have a baby on a family outing like this. Babycakes is 2 now and did not even use a stroller until after our picnic around 2:30. It was a lot easier. I can see how people who do not have that "pro-life" or "open to life" mentality, decide to not have any more children. Things are easier little by little and they start thinking, I guess, that it would be too hard to start over with a little one again. It's really too bad. I guess I understand, but I do not agree with it of course. It was just different. It actually made me really wish for another baby. Wish and dream of that new personality.
This is the first time in our marriage that we are using NFP to not achieve pregnancy. I need to lose at least 20 more pounds knowing once pregnant, my diabetes will help me gain at least 60 pounds. I feel this pressure to get it done, hopefully this summer. I love being open to Gods will. Open to His gifts. I could never say "no thanks, God, we are done, we do not want any more of Your gifts"! I do believe that God knows best how to plan our family. He knows how many we can handle. (these are just my thoughts and feelings for myself) I think this little break though will have blessings. The break is for health reasons, I am diabetic and need to be at a healthy weight for a healthy baby, healthy pregnancy. I am trying to just enjoy the blessings of the children we DO have and the blessing to enjoy Babycakes while she is still the baby, enjoy Mary, she is only 3. Enjoy the big kid things Jedi and Ballerina Rosie like to do.
This trip to the zoo without a baby was interesting and thought provoking. Made me think of good things and feel that desire for the gift of a baby. That desire that is a gift from God.
(Maria: that desire is your gift, thank God for it. It is what helps you to be the best provider for your children that you have helped to teach for 20 years, it is the desire that helps you to love. It is the desire that makes you special. Whether the desire will be for your own birth children, adopted children, foster care children, or any child God puts in your path, it is a desire from God.) Prayers for you always, to know what to do with that desire, if anything.




Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!


Happy Father's Day to my own father, my wonderful husband, his father and of course St Joseph and our Father in Heaven. May God Bless all fathers today as they try to imitate Christ and raise souls to follow the ways of God.
We are off to the Minnesota Zoo today! Daddy's choice for his special day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Important Pro-Life Message!

Dear Pro-life Bloggers:The following is a fantastic summary of Protest the Pill Day '08: The Pill Kills Babies written by Judie Brown. I hope you will share it with your readers, given that the Culture of Death bloggers continue to talk about the protest against the Pill.Thank you for all you do for the preborn!--Michael
REVISITING ‘THE PILL KILLS’ DAY!By Judie Brown
I am sorry that our Protest the Pill Day: The Pill Kills Babies project is officially at an end. As we focused attention on the devastating Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision of June 7, 1965, we had so many wonderful opportunities to teach people how the birth control pill works. We were encouraged by the pro-life activism all across America and are confident that we made pro-life history! In case you missed it, there is an excellent video news report describing why we pursued this project, located on our home page.
On June 6, American Life League hosted a national press conference at which we presented experts from the medical and pharmaceutical professions explaining the scientific facts in great detail. The video clips of that historic event are online, in case you want to view it..
What is most interesting about the fallout from that press conference and the pro-life activism that occurred on the following day is that pro-abortion pundits were not only outraged then, but remain incensed. As a matter of fact, some people detested our effort to such a degree that the venom is literally dripping from their writings.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorialist D. Parvaz told her readers, after a lengthy rant about her rights and duties as a citizen who places birth control at the top of her list of personal favorites, "It's odd that we live in a culture that values planning in everything from education to retirement to weddings, yet we're expected to believe that starting a family is something that's supposed to happen, without preparation or choice. If they want to take away my unfettered access to birth control, they're going to have to pry that right from my cold, dead fingers."
Imagine the desperation of a woman who explains to the reading public her version of clinical and scientific facts in order to assuage her conscience and firmly cement herself into denial. Parvaz relies on inaccurate definitions of pregnancy and when a human being's life begins. She does this in order to chide us for setting forth the actual scientific facts. Anyone with a ninth-grade education in basic biology knows that a human being begins at the beginning and that a chemical that can make it impossible for that individual to implant in his mother's womb is clearly killing that individual. However, Parvaz begs to differ.
Parvaz is not the only one with an axe to grind; there are many others who dot the internet landscape, particularly Facebook pages. All of them appear to have one thing in common: They don't like the idea that there are pro-lifers out there who are willing to speak out against the birth control pill for all the right reasons.
When I review what American Life League was able to accomplish last week under the able leadership of the program's director, Marie Hahnenberg, it astounds me. While we were able to focus attention on how the birth control pill actually works and why it is a killer, I think the most remarkable aspect of it is that we forced the hand of those who, for over 40 years, have had the playing field all to themselves. We have literally exposed the ugly underbelly of the culture of death. We have made the architects of that mentality admit that they will not, under any circumstances, accept facts that disagree with their view of the human person as an erotically crazed creature. In their world of sexual pleasure at any cost, there is no room for self-control or self-respect. Of that you can be certain.
Perhaps that is why Parvaz cannot see that preparing for the procreation of a child is a choice that requires understanding of, and agreement with, the fact that sexual relations belong exclusively to the domain of marriage. Oh! Excuse me, I forgot that most of these people do not believe for a nanosecond that procreation is one of the purposes of such relations, nor do they believe that such relations should be reserved exclusively for marriage. This is clearly illustrated by what another of their ilk, Christina Page, wrote regarding American Life League's Protest the Pill Day '08 and her perspective on sex and life:
The right to use contraception is relatively new: the Griswold decision was rendered in 1965 and Supreme Court granted single people the right to use contraception as recent as 1972. But the changes these decisions set in motion now form a list of what Americans won't live without. Today, 95 percent of people have sex before marrying. Indeed, studies show that most Americans in a relationship are having sex, on average, once a week. The typical American female is fertile for approximately 30 years of her life. For about 23 of those years she is trying not to get pregnant. Much of our lifestyle, and the architecture of our most intimate relationships, is rooted in family planning. And we should be grateful for this.
What Page and those who concur with her worldview cannot see is that the "architecture of our most intimate relationships" should commence from correct beliefs and attitudes regarding the human person's total identity. Such attitudes include appreciation of the value and dignity of each person and those we love, especially when we hope to spend the rest of our lives with that special someone within the context of marriage. The one thing that the proponents of birth control have given us is not reproductive freedom, but an enslavement to sexual acts that has blurred the distinctions between that which is sordid and that which is wonderful.
Love, which is grounded in total self-giving for the good of another, has been corrupted into a self-absorbed lust, which has given our world widespread divorce, sexually transmitted disease, loneliness and sorrow. To my mind, those who foster a devotion to the sort of family planning Page and Parvaz advocate should be given a dose of reality that is not tainted by their own nauseating worldview. But until we see that happy turn of events, American Life League and those who work with us will persist in exposing the facts that can and should lead every man and woman to genuine happiness grounded in purity and genuine commitment.
Judie Brown is president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What I Will Be Doing This Week!

Finally filling these bins and 2 more just like it with kid winter clothes!! I actually did this today, but still have to bring them all down to our storage room!
I am embarrassed to show you this, but yes, these are our school room cupboards. They are in desperate need of being cleaned out and organized. This might take more than this week!

More piles in our school room. I have a lot to do!!
I do hope to post more sometime soon about our MN Catholic Homeschoolers Conference. It was wonderful!!


Homeschool Vacation Bible School!

Our Homeschool Vacation Bible School is finished!! We survived getting up early and eating and getting dressed and out the door every day last week (Mon-Thurs) by 8am!! It was held at a local homeschooler's hobby farm.
I was in charge of preschool. I can't imagine why? haha! I was actually volunteered by a friend, but it was right up my alley and I loved it!!! (last year, I was in charge of snack) We had 12 little ones, give or take a couple who only joined us for snack. I was literally exhausted though each day, crashing on the couch after feeding the kids lunch and putting babycakes down for her nap and putting in a movie for the others. (not much sleeping done though, picure 3 kids sitting on me laying on the couch to watch their movie) :)

The program was called Parachuting with the Angels. It was about St Catherine of Laboure' and how an angel appeared to her as did our Blessed Mother. Each day there were themes with angels, like messengers, protectors, comforters and guides. Along with that there were also bible stories like The Annunciation, Daniel in the Lions den, the Agony in the garden and the Ascension. Lots of games and crafts were done. These were the necklaces I made for each child (in my group) with the Miraculous Medal. Well, you know how I love themes, I loved planning the snack, craft and games to go along with it all!


The music was wonderful!! All lead by homeschooled teens. As were 3 of my helpers. I was amazed at how wonderful these teens were!! They all helped so much, and they WANTED to help, they WANTED to be there! They were not paid, it was all voluntary. I am SO happy we homeschool. These teens give us SO much hope. They are truly inspiring. The music team was better than the CD we got to go along with VBS.

Each day we had a religious there to give a talk. The first day was a Schoenstatt nun. The next 3 days we had Fr Tony Oelrich (pictured), Fr Thomas Knoblach and Father Aaron Kuhn. The week was chilly and rain was held off only by prayer. On the last day, right after Mass, the sun shone for the first time all week and we were able to have our end of VBS picnic in the bright sunshine. On the way home from the picnic, on that last day, the dark clouds slowly came and covered our area and within an hour of being home, it downpoured the rest of the day!!! It was quite amazing. It showed the power of prayer and made our VBS so much more special.
Special thanks to the homeowners and their unending charity of their home and lives for all our children. Their rewards will be great in Heaven.






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