Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hello Little Blog!



I'm not the best at being regular around here. 
Why?
Well, I suppose it's partly because I'm in a bit of an upheaval as we suddenly have a house full of (mostly) big kids!  Where did all of the littles go?
It all happened overnight, really,  it did. 
Plus, I'm slowing down. 
It's hard to keep up.
 
Going into this school year we will soon have a 21 year old who will be a Jr. in college (cough, cough) ...Not to mention a high school Sophomore and a 7th grade tween!  With only 2 left in the elementary grades, I'm feeling the difference.  For me, it's a big difference.
I feel ill-equipped after having little kids for so long!
Transition is hard...
OK, it's not what you think with the Red Solo Cup...
;-)
This is more my style!
I'm wondering what's in store for me, for us, this space...
Big question mark?
I've always felt inspired to write and share but not so much, lately. 
Though I feel like I have nothing to offer, I'm not worried. I trust God has a hand in this transition...
The same transition that's been ongoing since our oldest left for college.  I have yet to put into words the paradox of being happy to see children leave while the heart grieves their absence.  Someday, maybe I will.
 
Then again, some things are just meant to be lived, words unspoken. 
Maybe a time will come when I'm on the other side of the experience.
I will (attempt) to wait patiently, even though I am constantly at odds with this virtue.
I'm not good with change... but I know from past experience, that change is good for me.
 
One of my favorite Psalms (25) brings peace.
Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
for you are God my Savior.
In you, I hope all day long
because of your goodness, O Lord.
Remember your mercy, Lord,
and the love you have shown from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth.
In your love remember me.
 
In the midst of it all, there are so many moments that make me feel like I could just die of a grateful heart attack!


 
Since losing a precious spouse, I've never taken life for granted but I've recently come to better appreciate the simple things, the little things.
 

Another day is done but a new day is dawning.
See you soon, little blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sacred and Immaculate Heart (Healthy) Snack Platters

Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
 
I'm popping in to share these very easy and healthy snack platters for today's feast day and tomorrow's feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
 
  As a contributor to Catholic Cuisine, I have posted the details over there but here are a few more photos:
 
Immaculate Heart Fruit Platter
 I found a helpful post on Pinterest about how to cut a watermelon. I couldn't wait to give it a try for this fruit platter...Wow, amazingly easy!
 
Frugal tip!   Are you wondering what kind of platter might hold something like this?  I bought two 18" clear Sturdiware platters from our local party store a few years ago.  They were only a few dollars a piece and I've used the heck out of them, ever since.  They have come in SO handy for graduations, sacramental celebrations, and many parties!  I just wash them by hand after using them and store them for the next occasion:)
 
  Sacred Heart of Jesus Veggie Platter and Immaculate Heart Fruit Platter
 
Hope you are enjoying a blessed summer!
 


Saturday, May 24, 2014

10 Surprises to Celebrate 10 Years of Homeschooling!

 
~10 years is reason to celebrate!~
 It's been a decade since we started our homeschooling journey and my goodness,
how we've changed over these past 10 years! (In more ways than one:)
It was really fun to dig up a few old photos...Especially one that was taken the 1st year of our homeschooling journey, and compare it to a fairly recent one.

 Though none of our children have been strictly homeschooled K-12 thus far, we are still a family who has devoted the past 10 years to this secondary vocation in one way, shape, form or another.  It's a full-time dedication to something we feel called to do but we certainly don't fit into any particular mold or label. I can finally be ok with that. No, we are far from fitting into any kind of perfect box. In fact, being perfectly imperfect always gives us something to work on as we forge ahead. 
 
It seems cliché to say that I can hardly believe 1o years has gone by!  But it's simply true in so many ways.  Like anything else, there have been terrific days and tough days but we have come this far...Woo hoo!
(And I wouldn't change a thing, by the way!)

2006
 
 
2007
(Aquarium Field Trip 2007~ I'm 42 and 6 months prego here...Best pregnancy of all:)


How fast has it flown?  Well, it really is true...Time does fly by so incredibly fast...Homeschooling or not!  This is not to say that there haven't been some very slow moments.  There certainly have been many days when I thought I'd never make it through another minute of homeshooling, let alone 10 years.  This is all just to say that each day is precious and the tough ones make it all worth it.  My husband and I have always said "One year at a time, God willing..."
From this day forward, we march on with the same sentiments.
Now, let's get to the celebrating! 
(After a short walk down memory lane;)
2008

2009
(Our oldest went to public high school this year)
 
  
2010
 
 2011
 
2012

It's so important for home educating families to celebrate success...Seriously.  No one else is going to do it for us, that's for sure!  Especially when many of us don't even have family and friends to encourage us. 

That being said, if I could single out one thing I've learned in the past 10 years, it's that joy is contagious...and in the home, it begins with me.  I have to constantly remind myself of this when I get discouraged or get caught up in the daily tasks at hand and the work to be done. I set the tone.

I have found that it's absolutely necessary to bring joy into the picture and there are so many ways to do this...Prayer, Sacraments, thankfulness, and stopping to share the simple things...Even simple celebrations!
It's truly up to us to be surprised by joy...And it's waiting to be discovered every day, right along with our children, even amidst the math books and spelling words!
 
Wracking my brain for ways to celebrate a whole decade without being too expensive, I came up with a celebration with these 10 things!
 
10 surprises for each of our last
10 days of school to celebrate our
10 years of homeschooling!
(I made a list and didn't tell the kids what the surprise was until the morning of each day;)

We counted down our last 10 days of school with 10 surprises...

1.  Breakfast and Board Games!
What better way to hone math and reading skills!
We love this game (Catholic version of Monopoly...There are interesting tidbits on each card that we read aloud.  Our 6th grade "banker" practiced the lost art of counting change!  It was a fun way to start the day:)
 
 "The parents exist to teach the child, but they must also learn what the child has to teach them; and the child has a very great deal to teach them."~Arnold Bennett~

2. Library and Slurpees!
 
3. Morning Break at The Yogurt Station!
 
4.  Recess At An (air conditioned) Indoor Play Place!
(It was a HOT 100 degrees outside that day)
 
5.  Breakfast Picnic In The Park!
 
6. Bookstore Visit!
 
7. Strawberry & Blueberry Picking!
 
 
8.  Everyone got to go to the airport to pick up college brother! (Surprise at 6 AM:)
With spontaneous trip to the ocean for an hour!
  
9.  Lunchtime movie!
 
10. Breakfast with the Principal!
*10 surprises for 10 years was a fun success*
Happy Summer from our house to yours!

~May Crowning 2014~
Perfect "last day of school!"

More: 10 Least Expected Lessons to Celebrate 10 Years

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Homeschool is Momschool~ 10 Least Expected Lessons to Celebrate 10 Years!


This year we are celebrating 10 years of homeschooling...And we have literally been celebrating! (More on that coming soon).  Needless to say, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on the last decade spent doing something I never dreamed I'd be doing...

These are the 10 least expected lessons from the place I found myself least likely to be...And celebrating 10 years doing it! 
(P.S.) I think these might be applicable to being a Mom in general;)

1.  Homeschool is Momschool.  Without a doubt, I'm the one who has learned the most around here...About myself, my faith and spiritual life, even in history and science! I'm still a math-fail.

2.  Homeschooling is misunderstood by many people, including myself.  It's not what I thought it would be and a beautiful discovery continues to unfold.

3.  Educating at home does not make me a saint but it sure makes me talk to them a lot. Ok, I'll admit, begging them for help a lot...I've gotten to know a whole lot of dead guys and gals!

4.  Each year of homeschooling changes just like the students and the teacher.  It looks different from year to year and my flexibility muscles are stronger for it, both in mind and soul. 

5.  My homeschool will never look like anyone else's because it never was mine, it's His. 
"Comparison is the thief of Joy".~Theodore Roosevelt

6.  God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

7.  Things hardly ever go my way and I think that's the point.

8.  Obstacles always lead to opportunity.

9.  There are no guarantees from the things I do...Surrender can mean success. 

10. We are most likely to learn in the most unlikely places.

More coming soon on our 10 year celebration!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Miracle Morning Feast for Our Lady of Fatima

+Happy Feast of Our Lady of Fatima+
May 13th
 
How  about a Miracle (of the Sun) Morning Breakfast and Rosary prayers to celebrate a beautiful feast day?
  This colorful fruit and egg plate is supposed to look like the vibrant, miraculous, solar phenomena...Or at least that was the idea in mind:)

 Even though the Miracle of the Sun didn't occur until October 13th, 6 apparitions later, we can still commemorate this amazing gift...OR you can always save it for October, of course;-)
I posted more about this over at Catholic Cuisine...Be sure to pop over there for a visit:)  I continue to feel honored to be a contributor there!
 Read more about Our Lady of Fatima on EWTN and American Catholic.

Another post from a previous year:
Miracle of the Sun Edible Feast 2010 

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