Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I had dreams this month of taking my youngest children to the pumpkin farm where I would always take my older children.  Well, time went by, the beautiful weather passed and we were left with yesterday...and then it rained the entire day.  

"Today," I thought.  "Today is beautiful and sunny.  Today we will go on a field trip to the pumpkin farm and buy our pumpkins for Halloween!"  Until I looked at the pumpkin farm's website and found out that their season ended yesterday.

Oh well, maybe next year!  We did, however, manage to find a smaller pumpkin farm that was still open so we were able to buy and paint our pumpkins before Halloween is over!

Friday, October 28, 2011

7 Quick Takes October 28, 2011

--- 1 ---

I'm not exactly a fan of loose teeth.  I can't stand to look at them dangling from even my children's mouths!  So last week when Mr 6 yo lost his first top front tooth, I was glad he kept all of the details to himself.  He worked it and worked it for a good day before his dad relieved him of his burden.

Luckily for both of us, this second front tooth came out without any work at all.  He and his brother were jousting and all of a sudden he came to me and said, "Look, my tooth is gone."  "Where is it?" I asked.  "I don't know", came the reply.  We eventually found it on the floor.  Seems the jousting did the trick.

--- 2 ---

While we are on the topic of Mr 6 yo, we've spent this week backtracking and trying to motivate him to actually learn his letters and the sounds they make.  When trying to come up with a reward system, my first thought was an M & M for every letter/phono combo learned.  After a request from my hubby for something a bit healthier, I came up with coffee beans.  Once Mr 6 yo has enough (decaf) beans, he can have a cup of coffee.  Mr 6 yo thought this was a pretty cool idea and I'm happy to say it has been working :)

--- 3 ---

I read this great article from "Catholic Culture" called:  Catholics Give the Best Parties.  It discussed the art of hosting a successful party.  The gist of throwing a great party is to have a theme (or a unifying event), good food (the kind you have to sit down and eat, not just snack on), a limited number of great drink choices (not just water), good, upbeat but not overbearing music, and a dress code (nothing too casual - encourage people to dress up).  The author even gives Biblical reasons for throwing a good party!

--- 4 ---

Having been at Catholic events where the music could have been a bit livelier, I truly appreciated this quote from the above mentioned article:
Catholic liturgical music is great, but it should be reserved for Mass and Vespers, not parties. Always remember Pope St. Clement’s dictum from the first century: no pagan music at liturgy and no liturgical music at minstrel shows or other non-sacred occasions.

There's just certain music and certain times when good, upbeat and loud is the order of the day :)
--- 5 ---

All Saints Day is just around the corner.  If you aren't sure what to do or you want to have a party and need ideas, check out my webpage on what we've done in the past.  (Now there's a great theme for a party!)

--- 6 ---

We're trying to get back into an exercise routine again (ugh) and I just discovered that Wii has Zumba!  I've been wanting to try Zumba for awhile, but haven't ever bothered to sign up anywhere.  Now I think I'll rent it first and see how it goes; I need to see if this body can keep up with the beat before I go and buy it!  I hope it is good because I LOVE dancing as a form of exercise.

--- 7 ---

I guess I must have M & Ms on the brain this week.  This picture was on a Reliv facebook page, along with an article that states that this is what 100 calories of candy looks like.  I found this to be a very depressing picture!  On that note, have a great All Hallow's Eve!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A B See - Q is for...

 Quiet.  The peace and quiet of a nice walk down a quiet country road on a beautiful fall day!

Want to share in the fun?  Click on the image below.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall Mailboxes

Saturday was a lovely day around here so we took advantage of the wonderful autumn air and sunshine and went for a walk down the neighboring country road.

As we were walking, I noticed that some of our neighbors had taken to decorating their mailboxes for the season.  Inspired by Jamie and her love of mailboxes, I thought I would take some pictures and share the beauty of the season with everyone.

Have a great day!


Friday, October 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes October 21 2011

--- 1 ---

This past week, through my website,  we published our first video!  We did this in response to the fact that my son still does not know his letters, but yet can tell me minute details about anything "Star Wars".  I'm sure you all have kids like that...don't you?  It was a fun time and we are trying to think of other ideas for fun videos that would be helpful to people!

--- 2 ---

So what do you think?

--- 3 ---

My upcoming organizational workbook, "A Plan for Joy in the Home" is still in production.  I've seen the sketches for the chapters and they are awesome.  I'm hoping to have this done in time for the new year, when everyone vows to have an organized life and needs a great tool to ensure their success!

--- 4 ---

I was asked to promote this upcoming movie.  I have read some good reviews and a few questionable ones.  I haven't seen it yet, so I can't put my two cents in.

On Friday, October 21, THE MIGHTY MACS is an inspiring true story coming to theaters nationwide. As the story unfolds, the characters display positive traits such as faith, honesty, teamwork, perseverance and trust – things that all parents, teachers and coaches all try to instill in children. Best of all, it’s a movie that the entire family will enjoy!

--- 5 ---

We've been tossing around words like "apocryphal" and "deuterocanonical" this week.  Let me tell you, understanding them has been enough to make my head spin.  To think my high schoolers are trying to figure this stuff out!  When I was that age, I can guarantee you I'd never even heard words like that, let alone tried to understand them.

--- 6 ---

This week in the land of other businesses...we're starting to plan for our goat milk soap Christmas specials.  We've got some great fall scents right now and we're working on getting them up on the website.  Hopefully soon we will have our ordering capabilities available :)  I also had a chance to edit a family photo taken by someone else.  That was load's of fun!  In the world of Reliv, we've been talking about setting up business networking luncheon's.  Right up my alley of organizing events, so I can't wait to get into it!  Do any of you have businesses that you try to run while homeschooling?

--- 7 ---

Have a great weekend.  We've got college football and a High Mass planned...some good fall weather stuff and some "good for the soul" stuff.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Up and Coming Revisions

November 27th is fast approaching and with it a very exciting time in our Church's history.  How monumental will this actually be?  I don't think we will fully know the answer to that until we meet the Lord, but from this side I think it will be pretty big.  Not since the changes of Vatican II has there been such a change in the Church.

Being a wee little one when the changes from Vatican II were taking place, I was obviously not aware of anything.  I've grown up with the Novus Ordo Mass, though in recent years I have been introduced to the Tridentine Mass and have grown to appreciate its beauty and depth.

Therefore, I am very excited about the changes that will be taking place next month.   One of my favorite changes is in regards to the Confiteor, or Penitential Act.  I always have liked the way it sounds in Latin - mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa - so to be saying that in English at least will add, imo, a lot more depth of feeling to the prayer.  

I am also excited to see that the Church is going to such lengths to inform the people.  We have read articles, received mailings and pamphlets and are aware of many instruction groups going on that are there to help everyone become familiar with the new words before they happen.  I really hope that people will take advantage of these opportunities to learn so that they won't resist or complain when the changes take place.

What an awesome time to be alive!  Let's pray that these new changes will usher in a more reverent attitude and a new appreciation for the Mass and all that it means.  God is trying to help us in these tough times, all we need to do is cooperate!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thoughts on Prudence

Our formation group talk this week was on the virtue of prudence.  Prudence used to hold a great place in society.  We used to follow the old saying, "let your conscience by your guide".  Looking around, I'd say that old saying has pretty much gone by the wayside.

Today we are a society that says, "Just do it" and "Do whatever feels good".  We shouldn't have to let ourselves be "tormented by the dictates of reason", should we?

Well, yes, we should.  And in that vein, John Paul II left us with some great questions to ask ourselves regarding this virtue.  He suggested an examination of conscience that would allow us to really look at how we are living our life.  Is our life dictated by feelings and sentiments, or, after weighing the consequences, are we making rational, informed decisions?

After all, prudence is nothing more than the "habit of acting according to the principles of right reason illumined by faith".  The natural virtue of prudence comes in the "right reason" part while the supernatural virtue of prudence is the part that is "illumined by faith".

John Paul II posed the following questions:

Am I prudent?  Do I live consistently and responsibly?  Is my daily schedule wisely organized?  Does it work toward the salvation that Christ and the Church want for us?  Am I moving ahead to obtain the supernatural end, holiness, for which the Lord has called me?  Do I set aside what obstructs my path?  Am I in the habit of asking for advice as regards my soul?  Do I correct myself when I am wrong?

I have to admit that when I first read that list of questions, I was pleasantly surprised to see the question "Is my daily schedule wisely organized?".  Even the late Pope thought that it was a good idea to have a daily schedule and went so far as to say that it should be "wisely organized"!  I might just have to use this as an endorsement for my workbook on organizing your day :)

Let us turn to Mary and ask her to help us to go against the grain and regain the virtue of prudence in this modern day do-whatever-you-want-to society.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Two Thumbs up for "Courageous"

My husband and I went to see the movie "Courageous" Sunday evening.  WOW!  What a great movie.  As one friend of ours described it, it was "an emotional rollercoaster!"  There was one moment when I was still wiping away the tears and laughing hard at the same moment.  It is so impressive to see what this one church has done with these movies.  Is it your top-quality Hollywood  But what it lacks in some areas, it makes up for in the message that it portrays.

The whole story centers around fatherhood; how this country needs to have strong fathers who will stand up and take responsibility for their actions and their families.  Fathers who will form their children, especially their sons, to be the God-centered, loving, and morally responsible human beings they were created to be.

My husband wondered how many wives out there would let there husbands be the kind of husbands portrayed in the movies.  The whole man-as-the-head-of-the-household thing has gotten so skewed in our society, that how many women are willing to take those "pants" off and give them back to their husband?  The movie did a great job at portraying the wives as supportive, loving women who did not dominate their husbands.  It was very refreshing to see a wife portrayed that way. It was a very subtle sub-plot and I wonder how many people will pick up on it.

I'm not sure how long this movie will be in the theaters, but if you get a chance to go see it, we would highly recommend it!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A B See - P is for...

Pine cones!  A sure sign that fall is here.

To join in the fun, click on the image below.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is That Free?

"I am a photographer and since people are always looking for free shoots I assume that they must also do their job or provide their services for free.

I am looking to hire all types of people to do all sorts of jobs for me, as long as I do not have to pay anything. Just think you will gain more experience and I will put the word out for you and let everyone know what wonderful work you do. This will bring you a ton of unpaid work, but everyone will love you. So if you have a job or service you provide and will do it for free, please let me know, because I am sure I have work for you and will hire you in a second.

Feel free to email me with the service you can provide, when you can start and please include references.

I look forward to your free service."

When I first read this post (which came via facebook, via twitter, via craig's list - how's that for siting your source :), I laughed.  The more I thought about it, however, the more I could relate to it.

Being a Catholic (*read* "one who has guilt any time she has to charge someone for something") mom who is trying to help put food on the table in this very frustrating economy, I can relate to this person's struggle.  As a photographer, a unit study writer, a soap seller and a soon-to-be published author, I find it very difficult to charge the people I know for the things I do.

What makes it even harder is that I've gotten some subtle flack for doing it.  You know, the old "trust in God and He will provide" line of thinking.  Well, I do trust in God, but that doesn't mean that I can use that logic with the people to whom I owe money.

I have tried to put my talents to work so that I can make some extra money for our basic needs so that I don't have to leave the house to take a part-time job.  In a perfect world, I would give away everything I write and do all the photo shoots I want for free!  That would be Heaven!  Unfortunately we aren't in Heaven yet; we're here, where we have to struggle to provide for our families in the best way we know how.  In my case, that means charging for the things that I do.

So I can relate to the above ad taken out on Craig's list.  I know that many people are in the same boat as we are in and are just looking to get things for as little as they can.  I understand that and that is what makes me feel bad for having to charge for my services and products.  If someone can come up with a better way, then I'm all ears!  But the next time you're tempted to ask someone to give away their product or service or to give you a bigger discount, please think twice...that person might be struggling along just like you are!

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Great Aunt

I have a 91 year old great-aunt who has seen a lot in her days.She's a tough, old, Polish lady who told us the story recently of when she met her husband.  They met at a wedding right before he was to go off to another state for training for the army.  While he was at training, she wrote him a letter and asked him if he wanted to get married.  She said she would come down to the base and they could get married.  He agreed, so she went down there, they got married, she stayed for the week and then went home.

Her husband died about 25 years ago.  Since then, she has seen all of her siblings die, as well as most of, if not all of, her close friends.  Today, her only son died of a heart attack while he was waiting for the bus.

She has always been very active in the church and her community.  She has suffered and survived so much, but I fear this latest blow will be the last she will have to suffer.  Her son had never married and had lived with her all these years.  Now that he is gone, I fear she feels she has nothing left to worry about.  Please, if you will, pray for the repose of her son's soul, as well as for her, that she may live out her remaining time here on earth (whether it be one day or a few more years) in peace, health and safety.