my weekly mission and the annual mission

This is a busy mission week!  Of course, there is my weekly (daily, hourly) mission to my family, the children and their homeschool in particular, but also this week is our parish’s annual mission.

This is a busy week in our Catholic homeschool! Besides readin’, ‘ritin’, and ‘rithmatic, we have several liturgical celebrations. Today we commemorate St John Bosco.

Here is a coloring page: SAINT JOHN BOSCO

I have also “discovered” (yeah, I’m often behind the times. Ask my teens!) that at CatholicOnline, there is a series of “comics” with a frame for many saints. I’ll be using those (when they exist for the day/celebration) with my kids. Kind of a fun thing to add.

1 February: St Brigid of Ireland

Our book is: Brigid’s Cloak

Our coloring page is from Waltzing Matilda (Charlotte) Find all of her coloring pages HERE


2 February: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord,

Coloring Page 1

Coloring Page 2

Coloring Page 3

Charlotte has a page also

It’s also Groundhog Day!

There are loads of Groundhog Day coloring sheets out on the net.  Here is the one we will be using: Groundhog

3 February: St Blaise,

Charlotte has a page

I am going to do a trial run on a weekly “lapbook” covering the saints and celebrations for the week.  I’ll still figure out a way to make individual lapbooks for the celebrations that we want to put more emphasis on, but a weekly lapbook may be good for those times when I can’t really come up with a whole load of stuff on an individual.  We’ll see how it goes….


Last night, Chief and I went to our parish mission.  I enjoyed the talk very much.  The “main thrust” of the ministry of the Deacons seems to be “guided meditation” type prayer, particularly for healing.  I didn’t particularly enjoy the last 10 minutes or so because I simply don’t have a good imagination!  I don’t imagine visually.  I can’t “see” Jesus walking up to me and sitting beside me.  I can’t “see” myself sitting in a field of lilies.  I can’t “see” in my mind’s eye.  There was nothing wrong with what they did ~ there was nothing disturbing, it just doesn’t “work” for me.

The talk was pretty powerful and quite hilarious.  Deacon Eddie is a great speaker.  Tonight we’ll hear from Deacon Robert, too.  I am looking forward to going back.  I think I will get a lot from their talks.  Toughing out their “meditative prayer” stuff will be worth hearing the rest.  (Yes, my local friends.  I’m pointing this out for you as well as for me.  COME!)

Deacon Robert is going to be speaking about contemplative prayer.  I’m slightly apprehensive because I know that there are a few “working definitions” for that term. Some are kinda crazy, but I don’t expect that.  Others are just not what I’ve come to understand to mean contemplative prayer.    The one that I know best and fully embrace (intellectually, even if I haven’t been brought to it!) is along the lines of St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila.  I have been learning about this from Fr. Thomas Dubay’s (R+I+P) writings.  Deacon Robert’s understanding and teaching may be different, but my prayer today is that God will use this time to show me something to increase and improve my prayer.

God bless you, God love you, God grant you peace!

Posted in Catholic, Coloring Pages, Home Education, Lapbooks, Liturgical Year, Our Catholic Family Life | 3 Comments

some pictures to share

I have some pictures to share of SgtSS, Mrs.SgtSS, and Gariníon!  My son sent them over the net while we were having a lovely video chat.  Gariníon was much more interested in that person on the screen than she has been in the past.  She was talking up a storm (well, you know, as an 8 month old!) and so, so smiley and happy. Oh, I just love her! Her bottom 2 teeth have just come in, so hopefully in a few weeks we can have a toothy grin photo!


This present stuff is cool, but I like grandma's hat best!

Real American Hero!

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!!!

whoa! look at all of this stuff!!! (grandma's hat is still the best.)


Look at the really neat hair bow hangers that my daughter in law makes!

Aren’t those neat?  She is selling them.  When I get a link to her online shop, I will share it with you.  Even though they are designed for hairbows, I think they can easily be adapted for use in the kitchen.  I imagine it to be a good place to hang appointment cards, coupons, recipes, pictures, whatever!  She does custom orders and I’ll be placing one!


I know I said I’d be writing “more meaningful” posts in the future, but I’ve got nothing.  When I get something, I’ll be here, but for now… pictures of (part of) the family!


Posted in Family, Gariníon, Grandbaby, Mrs.SGTSoldierSon, My Kids!, Photos, SGTSoldierSon | 13 Comments

7 Quick Takes (Vol 113)


The “Wow, I haven’t done this in a long time!” Edition

1)  I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.  I think I’m nearly finished,  I’ll write a whole blog entry about it after I’m finished.  I will say that it is a very powerful book and one that I will have to read again.  I mean it will be necessary!

2) As I’m sure you know, I’m super stoked about the Packers winning the NFC Championship!  Superbowl XLV, here we come!  Though it is being played in Dallas, I am happily staying home to watch.  I’ve been to one Packers game (in Dallas!) and I am glad to be able to say I’ve gone, but watching at home is much better!  Better food, better seats, better weather.  I can rewind, pause and get replays.  And it’s FREE.  Yup.  I’m staying home.

3) You may also guess that I’m feeling rather sad that the season is over.  It’s always a letdown to me when the Superbowl comes because I realize that after this I have to wait for months to see some NFL football!

4) I downloaded a free copy of Funnix reading program.  It is written by the same author of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons ~ the first book I use when teaching reading (I move to Sound Beginnings, a program based on the Spalding Method, after we do about ⅔ – ¾ of 100 Lessons.)  So far, I can see that there are some differences between Funnix and 100 Easy Lessons in the order that the letters and sounds are taught, but the approach and method are the same.  TheBoy loves it.  I love it.  AND IT’S FREE ($250 value) through 31 January 2011.  You can check it out HERE

(Be sure to download the teacher’s manual and workbook if you decide to try this!) ETA:  It just occurred to me that it might be important to mention that I get nothing for this endorsement ~no compensation, no commission.  As a matter of fact, except for the fact that I registered, they wouldn’t know I existed.  I get nothing but the satisfaction of sharing something that we really like.  I really like this and FREE is really great!

5)  I have been enjoying A Story of a Soul (audiobook.)  I think I’m getting even more out of it than in my previous reads.  St Therese was a (spiritual) Beast!  Next will be I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux This is one of my favorite books ever.

6) I had to face it. It is time.  I really scr*wed myself over.  When I went to Tahoe in December ’09, I jumped off of my low carb wagon.  That may have even been reasonable… it was a little “vacation”.  What was not reasonable was that I didn’t get back on it.  Up to that point, I’d lost about 35 lbs (in less than 3 months).  I gained it back ~ and then some.  *sigh*  If I’d have kept with it, I’d probably be at or near “goal” and so much healthier (and thinner.)  I wasted a year.  I got back on the wagon in January.  Next year I hope that I can report that I stuck with it and I’m near goal.

7) I’m tired of this winter weather.  I know, we haven’t 25 feet of snow and it’s not -22°F… but it’s Texas.  Come on, spring!!!!

Head over to Jen’s to check out other Quick Takes

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Memes and Carnivals | 9 Comments

And we have another…

Going on 3 weeks ago now, our cat, Spidey, brought home a girl. He brought her in through a window. TheQueenofHearts was in on it and kept her hidden in her room for nearly 2 weeks! Silly girl! Of course, by that time (she had involved siblings ~clever move on her part) this kitten was well loved and just had to become part of the family.

She is 18-20 weeks, according to the vet.  She is calm, but quite a normal, playful kitten.  Her name is Zelda (as in, “The Legend of”).

Isn’t she cute?


And in other fun stuff…

I would like to remind you of THIS POST.

Go, Pack, Go!!!!

2010 NFC champions,
Soon to be Superbowl XLV Champions!

I can’t wait for the Superbowl.

Posted in Brain Spill, Critters, Family, Football!, Packers!!, PACKERS!!!! | 7 Comments


I am adding another resolution.  I resolve to get back to my blog.  I miss it.  I miss having a record of our family life, of my own struggles and successes, and I miss hearing from you!  I also want to get back to my reading list!  I have about 200 blog entries on my feed.  I haven’t even tried to look.  I’m overwhelmed now.  It’s not that I don’t love you all.  I do.  I’m just so overwhelmed and I have been so distracted lately.  I am distracted by good (my vocation) and not-so-good (many cares about many things, much of which is a waste of my time.)


It seems that when I finally decide to do something, I get a tad obsessed or hyper-focused.  I know it is good to pay attention and in whatever we do, to do it from the heart as for the Lord, but I tend to miss that last part a bit.  It seems that what I do, I do for me.  For my own gain, my pride, my desires.  Nothing wrong with wanting what is good, even for self, but the focus needs to come off of self and onto the Lord.  I’m not balancing that very well.  And it leaves me distracted from the Lord, from my vocation.


I go through the motions of doing all for the Lord, but that’s all it is.  I see it and I try to fix it, to let go of things and do all, be all, seek all for God’s glory, and then I’m back to focusing on self.


I know this probably isn’t making any sense.  It would require a lot for me to explain in detail.  I don’t want to do that now.  I just want to move forward and fix things!


I hope to be back more regularly to share our family and my vision, my struggles and my successes with you.  I plan to share more of my internal things ~ the things that confuse me, the hopes that I have, the “enlightenment” that comes to me in prayer (occasionally!) the fruits of meditations on the Word and the words of holy men and women.  These things have so much more value if they are shared and opened up for your consideration and input.  I need you.  And maybe, once in a while, you’ll find something here that you need, too.  God can use any ol’ rusty tool, you know. 🙂


I hope that you’ll come back and see me!



Love and Discipline

Well! I’ve not really been here much!

This year, my patron for the year is St Therese of Lisieux! My Little Flower! I kicked off the new year by using some iTunes gift cards to purchase the audiobook, “A Story of a Soul.” It has been years since I read it. I am listening to it while I use the treadmill in the morning.

There has been quite a difference (for me, anyway) in being chosen by a Saint that you already have a devotion to and decent knowledge of than it is to be chosen by one you don’t know as well. Neither experience is bad or negative, but it is different. I kind of feel like I’m ready to get down to business with St Therese and I’m ready to get moving. The other years, I felt I wanted to get to know them more first ~not that this would be required. It was desirable to me, though.

As is the custom of many, I try to have a word of the year. This year, I have two:


Discipline came to me first. I had just been thinking through my resolutions and came up with several to make. I realized that resolve is never enough. Good intentions won’t cut it. I need discipline to carry these things out. It is discipline that will carry me through the daily grind over and over and over.

• If I want to be a better steward of my time, I must discipline myself to step away from the things I want to do (read, knit, sleep, surf the web) in order to spend my time doing those things which my vocation demands.

• If I want to save money, I must discipline my desires and refrain from purchasing things I don’t really need.

• If I want to lose weight, I must discipline myself to eat properly and get some exercise and I must have the discipline to stick with it!

• If I want to keep house better, I must discipline myself to come up with a routine, schedule, good habits and then discipline my self to follow through on them and not put things off until later.

• If I want to acquire a virtue or be free of a vice, I must have the discipline to do my examen, make a plan of attack and actively follow through.

• If I want to live a more sacramental life, a richer liturgical life in our home, I must have a plan, make it priority and then just do it!

• If I want a richer family life, I must be disciplined enough to make it a priority and not just wait for it to happen on its own.

Discipline is key. I have great ideas and plans, but if I don’t follow through it’s just a mist that disappears in the morning sun (not that we’ve had much morning sun lately. errrm)

This idea of discipline applies to everything, really. I find that discipline is dry, however, without something to back it up. That something, I realized, is Love. To just accomplish those things for the sake of accomplishment is not enough. Why I do them matters. Love is what gives these things their savor. Love of God, love of family, and [proper] love of self. What better patron for me, then, could there be than the Little Flower whose “Little Way is all Love”?

I am planning to fill my reading time with St Therese this year. I will be re-reading these books already on my shelf:

I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux

This spiritual classic has long been beloved by Catholics for its wondrous distillation of the teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux into a reader-friendly set of meditations. It’s perfect as a personal retreat when you have only a few moments to spare each day – and for spiritual reading anytime and anywhere.

Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée, a French priest deeply imbued with St. Thérèse’s spirit, brings you St. Thérèse’s teachings on God’s love and the confidence in Him that it should inspire in your soul; humility, peace, and fraternal charity; the apostolate; the Cross; and what it means truly to abandon yourself to Divine Providence.

I Believe in Love has helped countless souls embark on the way to the Father. It will help you focus on Him throughout each day, rest in Him amid your troubles, and live joyfully with Him at every moment!

Sermon in a Sentence: A Treasury of Quotes on the Spiritual Life from St. Therese of Lisieux : Doctor of the Church (v. 1)

This deluxe book contains a collection of hundreds of direct quotes and short sayings of Thérèse, carefully arranged by the major virtues of the Christian life. The quotes are arranged and classified by the virtues represented in the classic 15 decade Rosary. The Rosary mysteries provide us a mosaic of virtues for the spiritual life, a ladder for advancing in holiness and in the love of God.

Spiritual Childhood: The Spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux

St Therese of Lisieux, now a Doctor of the Church summarizes her spirituallity in these simple but profound words, “My Little Way is all love.”  Her complete and unshakable trust iin the love of God oru Father was the foundation of her spiritual life, a childlike relationship with our Creator that raised her to the heights of sanctity in only 24 years of life…

Msgr Vernon Johnson, a famous convert and apostle of St Therese, presents in this book the most clear, practical and yet profound explanation of the “little way”, a way to perfection that changed his life and the lives of countless others.  Johnson summarizes the spiritual approach of St Therese in these three words:  Love, Humility, Confidence.

The Story of a Family: The Home of St. Therese of Lisieux(The Little Flower)

Pope St. Pius X called St. Therese the Little Flower “the greatest Saint of modern times”; Pope Pius XI declared her co-patroness of the Missions throughout the entire world with St. Francis Xavier; and Pope Pius XII declared at just 24, having been a Carmelite nun only 9 years. What was the secret of her greatness? Giants in any sphere of human endeavor stand on the shoulders of giants. Nobody gets to Heaven alone. We are all what our birth, our families, our education, our country, etc. have helped to make us.

In The Story of a Family, Fr. Stephane-Joseph Piat has masterfully reconstructed for us the lives of Louis and Zelie Martin, St. Therese’s parents, as well as those of her four sisters and near relatives, plus her own early life. In the process, he has produced one fo the most moving books a Catholic will likely ever encounter.

The Story of a Family is a tender and touching panorama of Catholic family life at its very best, a story that will thrill, motivate and inspire Catholic families so long as faith is alive. Whoever takes up this story is in for one of the great reading experiences of his life. For this story tears at the heart-strings as it reveals the making of a great, Saint in the family context of what certainly has to have been the flower of French Catholic life.

Thoughts of St. Therese: The Little Flower of Jesus Carmelite of the Monastery of Lisieux, 1873-1897

This book gives 328 brief quotations from The Story of a Soul, Counsels and Reminiscences, and her letters, arranged under 20 different topics. It shows her greatness of soul and that she was no Saint by accident.


The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul

St. Therese wrote this account of her life at the behest of her prioress sister two and a half years before she died. Writing in her cold cell for a short spell each evening, this obscure manuscript was completed just a few short weeks before she expired.

A spiritual guide for millions the world over, this is the autobiography of a holy woman who “attained to the knowledge of supernatural things in such abundant measure that she was able to point out the sure way of salvation to others.” –Pope Pius XI


Who is your patron this year?  Do you have plans? Resolutions?  A word?  If you do, please feel free to share.  If not, why not? 😉

Posted in Books, Catholic, Catholic Spirituality, Saints | 5 Comments

Happy 5th Birthday to TheBoy!

TheMadHatter made this video in honor of TheBoy’s 5th birthday:



Oh, I can’t believe he’s five already.  <sniff>  What a joy and a blessing he is!!!

Happy Birthday, baby boy!  I love you!


Patron Saint for 2011

Don’t forget to find out who your patron for 2011 is!

I contact Marianne at Your Patron Saint to learn my (and my family’s) saint(s).  Marianne will email you your saint’s name.  At this time of year, of course, she is quite swamped with requests, so be patient ~your saint is watching out for you and praying for you even before you discover their identity.  The Your Patron Saint blog also has stories and testimonies on it that are quite interesting if you have some time to kill!

Jen Fulwiler has made a “Saint Generator”, too.  You just click the choose button and your saint will appear.  Okay, not “appear” as in “apparition”!  You know what I mean! 😛

Whichever place you choose, just be sure you go and find out who has selected to be your patron, friend and guide for this year.

God bless you and Happy New Year!

Posted in Catholic, Feasts | 8 Comments

God bless Nick Collins!

And the rest of the Packers!


We’re going to the Playoffs!

Posted in Football!, Packers!! | 5 Comments


Wise men still seek Him

just wanted to show you the Magi statues I bought a few months ago.

Happy Epiphany!


Merry Christmas!

For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.



Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.




Blessings all around us

In our sorrow, we have not forgotten our blessings.  They are very many and we are very grateful.  God is so very generous with His love and His grace and His mercy.  Even as tears silently stream down my face, I praise Him and I thank Him for the privilege of being a mother so many times.  I thank Him for choosing Chief and me to cooperate with Him as he creates eternal souls.

My womb is empty, but my heart is full.  It is full to the brim, nearly bursting.  It holds aching and sorrow, but so much more joy and love.  The sorrow is real, but not  overpowering.

St Teresa of Avila’s bookmark prayer comes to mind again and again.  It is my strength during this time.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Yes, my heart is full, joy abounds, even in the midst of sorrow.  One happy thing for my mother’s heart is that today SuperSoldier is coming home for Christmas leave.  We will enjoy a bit over 2 weeks with him.  I am so glad.

I leave you with some pictures that capture some of my joy:

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It’s not a good day

I just wanted to pop on to let you know that we’re losing our little one. The ultrasound didn’t show anything, so the ER doc is a bit concerned about the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.  I’ll be having a follow up this weekend.

Update:  Thanks to a generous friend, I was able to get my lab results back even though the doc I saw had gone for the day.  My bhcg was down to 197.  The ER doc didn’t see anything on the ultrasound because there was no longer anything to see.  I’m not worried about an ectopic pregnancy.  I just need to get through this.

While I appreciate your celebrating with me and praying for me, I am not up to comments just yet, so I’ll turn them off for this post.

God bless you, God love you, God grant you peace.

Jesus, I trust in You!

God is good all of the time!

My song for this dark hour:

Apparently, I can’t actually embed that video.  Lame.  Here are the lyrics:

Blessed Be Your Name

Tree 63
written by Matt and Beth Redman
My thanks to them for putting my
soul into song and helping me through my grief.  Again.


Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say…
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Blessed be your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say…
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be your name

Posted in pregnancy loss/miscarriage, Pregnancy/Fertility

Tree Farm

More to follow!


Sent from my i P h o n e 3G S
Cuz I’m cool like that
But not cool enough for the i P h o n e 4


The Numbers

I thought I’d post “the numbers” just for fun…

This is my 16th pregnancy, 17th child

If we make it to term…

Baby will be born by 30/8/2011 (30 August)

We will have 7 children in our family here below (assuming there is only one… there is only 1 factor for increased odds for naturally conceived twins that I can’t count:  I’m not black.  Blacks have the greatest incidence of fraternal twins, but I’m thinking singleton even though I fit in all the others.)

We currently have 3 sons and 3 daughters.  This one is the “tie-breaker”.

I will be 46 at delivery

Chief will be nearly 49

There will be a 5+ year difference between TheBoy and TheBaby

The age span of our kids will be nearly 26 years

Gariníon will be 15 months older than her aunt/uncle.

Assuming that things go normally, (my normal!) I expect birth to happen between 10 and 18 days past my actual due date…  30/8/2010 takes that into consideration.  Of course, I’m thinking VBAC… hmmm.

NOT your typical American family! 😀

Posted in Celebrations, Family, Marriage, Motherhood, Our Catholic Family Life, Pregnancy/Fertility, Pro-Life, TheBaby | 15 Comments