Monday, July 6, 2015

Rosaries Aren't Just for Teething on a Retreat

Way back and a day ago, I was on retreat.  That's how long ago it seems, although in reality it has only been about three weeks.  The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are the retreat of all retreats, and when you can go to one of them preached by the priests of Miles Christi, well then, my friend, you are in Heaven.  Once a year they hold a retreat that goes from Monday afternoon until late Thursday afternoon.  The rest of the time they are weekend retreats, so this gives you about one extra day which translates into more talks and more time to pray and meditate.  There's also more free time so I like to walk around and do all of that praying and meditating stuff outdoors.  

This is the first year I had a decent camera on my phone, so I took a few minutes to take some pictures of the grounds.  

Isn't it just beautiful?  This Shrine is run by the Franciscans and has had Perpetual Adoration EVERY DAY, no matter what, since the 1930s.  Unbelievable.

So on that Monday I was preparing to go and I looked up on my information sheet to see what time the retreat started.  I saw that registration began at 4:00 and so I knew that meant that the rosary was at 4:30.  Good.  I left my house about 3:15 and knew I would be in time for the rosary.  

Except that I wasn't, because registration really began at 3:00, the rosary was at 4:00 and I arrived at 4:25 with Mass to begin at 4:30.  Ugh.  I ran up the stairs, threw my stuff in the room and ran back to the chapel so that I could be on time for Mass. 

I'm still not sure how that all happened, but later that night I realized WHY it happened.  I decided later on that evening to go to the chapel in the photo above to pray my rosary since I had missed it earlier.  I remembered that I had won a copy of "Rosaries Aren't Just for Teething" a few weeks back from Cari and had the urge to read it along with my prayers.

This, of course, meant taking my phone out to read it on my Kindle app.  That meant possibly seeing a message or an email or a notification and then having to fight the major temptation NOT to look at it.  But the urge persisted and so I went directly to the app and began reading the meditations for the Joyful mysteries.

Wow, they were just what I needed to hear.  Had I not missed the rosary, I would not have gotten these messages that I needed to get.  For example, from the meditation on the Annunciation, "Rather than shake His head at us with a condescending grin, He mercifully offers us something better".  I struggle at times with the "loving" God and so this was a great thing to read to set me on the right path.

From the Visitation, "Miracles surround me through the everydayness of life and the suffering and the joys".  How often I forget this.  Especially the suffering part.  Miracles are there...everyday.  We just need to look really hard sometimes to see them.

From the Nativity, "God's plans are always better and the stories He writes are always more interesting."  Much more interesting and much, much better than anything I could ever write.

Finally, from the Presentation, "Motherhood isn't just about our own pleasure.  It is a sharing in the self-giving love of God.  It is also a sharing in the suffering of the cross."  The cross.  Oh how I need to learn to love to embrace the cross.  Right now I run away as fast as I can.  Much more work to be done there, that's for sure.

I continued to read the other three sections of the book over the next three days I was there.  They were chock full of great quotes and insights that really helped me during my retreat.  One of the way God typically speaks to me is through the written word and once again, He came through for me. 

I hardly ever win things, so I am thrilled that this was one of those rare times.  The book is a gem and if you can, you should get yourself a copy and use it to mediate on the mysteries.  And, if you haven't done so this year already, you should make time for some kind of retreat with the Lord.  I know times are busy, but even an afternoon away at an Adoration chapel will be well worth it.

God Bless!


Monday, June 22, 2015

Homeschooling Moms Helping Homeschooling Moms!

I've been away for too long!  A lot to catch up on, but I'm short on time today so I just want to leave you with this:

I was privileged to do an interview with Kerry Olvera from Catholic Homeschool Moms.  She's interviewing homeschooling moms from a variety of homeschooling backgrounds to help other homeschooling moms out, or just give them a boost if they need it.  It was so much fun and I'm very honored to have participated.  

You can find my interview here.

More will be coming, too, so check back at her home page often.  

Oh, and pass this around.  I think it has the potential to help a lot of people.

Thanks, Kerry, for the opportunity.

Be back later to update you all on more exciting things!

God Bless!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Corpus Christi

Happy Feast of Corpus of my favorite Solemnities of the year.   The parish we used to belong to had two-mile long processions at noon and it never failed to be super hot.  This year, since the parish we belong to now isn't having a procession, my mom encouraged us to come to their procession on Saturday evening.  It was an absolutely gorgeous evening and the procession, while shorter, was just as beautiful and nowhere near as hot.  Here are some photos to enjoy in case your parish isn't having a procession.

This beautiful chalk image was on the steps leading into the church.  It's hard to see it (phone camera picture!) but there is a Latin phrase written on the face of each step.  Of course I can't remember what it says or what it means.

My baby and my mom *sigh*

The altar my mom was in charge of preparing

This lovely little country church

Recently remodeled and gorgeous!
 Have a blessed Solemnity!

God Bless!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Deep Clean Day 1

Today began my summer-break spring cleaning fest.  We're too busy in the spring time to do the deep clean so I save it up for our summer break, which officially started today (WOOHOOO!).  We're having a party in two weeks so I set it as my goal to be done by then.  I wrote out a list of all of the rooms (basement not included...ugh, that takes a week in and of itself!), and am thinking that if I do one or two rooms per day that I have free, I should get the whole house done in time.

Now, that doesn't leave me much wiggle room, so that is assuming that I feel good (no dizzy spells) and am motivated enough and that nothing else gets in the way.  How likely that is to happen, I just don't know.

I decided to begin in the rooms that are less likely to be seen by visitors so that the ones that will be seen and used will be cleaned closer to party day.  That being said, I began today in my bedroom.

Deep cleaning meant vacuuming the window screens and washing the windows, vacuuming up all the miscellaneous cobwebs that seem to grow this time of year, moving furniture, cleaning out drawers and closets (they weren't too bad since I've kept up with them) and then tackling these two headboard too-easy-to-hide-junk-in type cabinets.

This is what I had "hidden" away:

Years worth of old scapulars, medals, religious stuff you get in the mail but feel guilty throwing out so you hide it away, and loads and loads of pamphlets and catalogs.  After sorting through it all I ended up with A LOT of old scapulars that we can bury in the yard, a bunch of medals and rosaries and such that I will bring to our Adoration chapel, two bags of holy cards and prayer/novena cards that I will either leave in the back of churches, give to other people, send in the mail with correspondence or things like that, and a ton of outdated pamphlets and catalogs that I promptly tossed since all of the info can be found online.

Whew.  That felt good.  One room down, about nine more to go.  The countdown is on.  If they all go as well as this one did, the house should be looking lighter and brighter very soon.

God Bless!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

What I've Been Up To

It is absolutely amazing how much time can fly by without me ever even visiting my own blog, let alone writing on it!  Seems like lately we've been busier than even the bees.  Let's get a rundown on the past few weeks, shall we?

I really do wish that I had photos to share, but alas, I do not.  I got to be the 2nd shooter at our friend's daughter's wedding over Memorial Day weekend.  I've known her for most of her life, so it was quite an honor to be a part of it.  They are a beautiful, Catholic family so I knew how important their 2 hour Mass was to them.  I spent a lot of my photo-taking time taking photos of them during that Mass. Unfortunately, I had to turn over all my photos to the main photographer as he is doing all of the editing, so I didn't even get to see any of them.  I am eagerly awaiting the finished product - to see if I can tell which ones I took :)

My son got to be one of the nine servers for the Mass.  It is always so wonderful to see him in his serious-serving posture.

Here's the lovely couple.  (My daughter took both of these pictures, by the way)  If you look closely you can see me in the upper left with the camera in front of my face (I'm behind the other guy with the camera!).  

Right before the Mass it began to rain buckets.  After awhile we had this 10 minute respite so everyone ran outside and threw rose petals.  It was quite lovely.

That same afternoon, during the Mass, my mil had emergency surgery so my husband actually missed this part of the day.  She's doing a little better now, just slower on the recovery end of things than they were hoping for so any prayers on her behalf are greatly appreciated.  

During this same time, we also had a short, somewhat last minute visit from Ms 23 yo's boyfriend.  He came in to see her before she starts her new full-time job this coming week!  Yay!

The weather has been quite the roller coaster ride around here.  We've gone from cold to hot and humid and back to cold again, all with a lot of rain.  With the rain comes water leaking (ok, sometimes pouring) into our basement which means the mold goes into overdrive.  We're discerning what we need to do about all of this mold business.  Hopefully we can come to some clear direction on that VERY soon.

School is over (YAY!!) and I am ready for summer.  I started my summer-time to-do list; you know, all of those projects which I hope to complete at some time over the next three months, but probably won't.  I'm hoping to get to at least most of them.

This week Ms 11 yo makes her Confirmation.  She is taking the name Colette.  This I will have pictures of!  Prayers for her, please, as she takes this important step.

Essentially, June will be like the last two weeks have been.  We have so much on the calendar that it will be gone before I can say...well...June.  I will try to post updates here as much as I am able.  If I'm not here, I'll be out enjoying that crazy thing I call my life.

God Bless!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Catholic Words Memory Match

I've had the pleasure recently of meeting (via the internet) Dan Gonzalez who has a great set of cards and an app for apple and android devices that deal with Catholicism.  He's a new advertiser on my website and he also asked if I'd be willing to review his Catholic Words Memory Match card game.  He graciously sent me both volumes of his game and I can say that I am impressed with the quality of them.  

 Each deck has 26 pairs of cards with Catholic words on them.  There is also a .pdf available that has the definitions of the words so that you (if need be) and your kids can learn the proper definitions.  

The cards are designed to be used in a matching game by 1 to 5 people. 
We opted for the "1" route.  My youngest has played this and enjoyed it.  The cards are very sturdy and colorful.  They will definitely catch the attention of your children!

Even though Mr 10 yo knew the words, he still enjoyed playing the game.  I think this would be a great way to teach your budding Catholic students all of the important words of the faith.

For those of you who are into electronic ways of teaching, Dan also has a  Catholic word app that looks very cool.  I haven't tried it, but I think the Catholic Spell It looks like it might be particularly useful.

So while you're planning for summer activities, or for next school year, you might want to consider getting yourself either the card game or the app, or maybe even both.  While Dan sent these to me to review, it doesn't mean I had to like them, so when I give my endorsement to something, you can be assured that I really did enjoy it.  I hope you'll consider supporting Dan in his endeavor to bring the Catholic faith to families in new and fun ways.

God Bless!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Joining "Like Mother, Like Daughter" for {pretty, happy, funny, real} this week.


 My little Rosebud picking wild flowers for a May crowning today.  We were all actually in the car waiting for her and threatened to drive away if anyone came by, which is why she is looking at me that way :)  


Watching these fuzzy babies every morning outside my window while I say my prayers makes me happy.  Surprisingly they don't make much noise, but they are definitely getting too big for that nest.

 Is this pile of pillows my daughter brought home from work.  She works at a hotel and they just replaced all of their pillows.  Her boss was ordering people to take home cases of them so that they could get rid of them.  The local mission came and picked up a bunch but they didn't want all of them.  Even funnier, I just got rid of this pile when my friend stopped by.  Seems they're having a lot of visitors this summer!


These words are the real deal.  It all is in picking yourself back up and trying again.  That's what counts in God's eyes.  Apparently the first time I read this I was moved by it...thus the underlining and exclamation point.

Thanks for joining me and have a great day.  Check out {p,h,f,r} to see what others have to say.

God Bless!