Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hope's Cafe

Here's the newest installment of Hope's Cafe (this week featuring Ms 17 yo - the one with the long blond hair).  Enjoy.


God Bless!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gregorian Masses

As we approach the feast of All Souls Day, I just wanted to mention a wonderful thing that our homeschooling group has been doing for a few years now.

Whenever one of the parents of the members of our group dies, as many people who can and want to, pool their money and they have a set of Gregorian Masses said for the deceased.  This is good on so many levels.

First, of course, it is so beneficial for the deceased person.  My fil died on the 13th of October and by the 24th the masses were already beginning.  In case you don't know, the idea behind these came from Pope St. Gregory the Great.  Apparently a monk named Justus was released from purgatory after 30 Masses were offered on his behalf.  In 1884 and 1888, the Congregation of Indulgences declared this series of Masses to be "pious and reasonable" and approved of their use by the church.  Therefore it is believed that this series of 30 Masses, said on 30 consecutive days, is very powerful in helping the soul in purgatory.  While we cannot be certain in every case whether or not the soul is released after this time, we can be assured that it is very helpful to them.

It also is very comforting to the family of the deceased knowing that these Masses are being offered on their loved one's behalf.  We usually have our Gregorian Masses said by The Seraphic Mass Association and the suggested donation is $150.  One of our favorite group of priests, Miles Christi, also will say Gregorian Masses and their donation is $300, I believe.  Many times a family cannot afford to pay for that themselves, so the fact that many families pitch in for this work of mercy is a great consolation.  

This is such a wonderful thing to do for someone who has died.  When we first found out about this a number of years ago, we arranged to have them said for all of our grandparents. As we approach this wonderful month of November and focus on those who have gone before us, why not consider setting up a tradition like this one in your family, homeschooling or church group?

God Bless!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

Well, it's been a few weeks since I've done this so it feels good to be back joining in with the gals over at Sucipio!

Moments of Gratitude:

* There have been so many prayers for us over the past two weeks and I am eternally grateful for each and every one of them.
* Sunshine and fall weather 
* A day at home - finally
* A patio and yard that are winter ready
* The end to the pain in my neck and head that were with me most of the last two weeks
* An incredible chiropractic adjustment
* Relatives who like to upgrade their televisions and pass on their "old" one.  In fact, the kids asked if we have ever had to buy a tv and we're pretty sure the answer is no.

The Upcoming Week:

Is quite busy with stuff.  Two big holy days on top of our usual school work and  performing arts classes will make for a lot to do.  I really should do a drive by the local pumpkin farm before Thursday so we can pick up some pumpkins (I'm SOO bad at this Halloween stuff).  We will be helping out at our parish's All Hallow's Eve party on Thursday.  I get to direct a skit about St. Faustina while the other kids are helping out or acting in various ways.  It sounds like a good program again this year so I'll try to bring along my camera so I can share some ideas.

In the Kitchen:

We made us some beef stew and dumplings on Sunday.  We love this dish but I've found that it is hard to make the dumplings on the electric stove without burning the stew.  Our grill has an attached burner that runs on propane so we tried that out for the dumpling cooking and it worked.  Good dumplings and not burned stew.  A great dish on this chilly October day.


It hit me last night that I am now the only one in my husband's immediate family, as well as among many of my friends, whose father is still alive.  Everyone's mother is still here, but they've all lost their father's and that is just weird...and a bit disconcerting.  It is making me think a lot about my dad and just being grateful that he is still a part of our lives.  I think we will all cherish our time together a bit more now.


* For the peace that will come in time after losing someone so close to you. 
* For this crazy world we live in.
* That I will not be consumed with fear over the fact that someone can come down with a virus and die in two days.
* For all those suffering with sick family members.


I finally downloaded the pictures I took when my hubby and I went away a few weeks ago.  It was such a beautiful day and here are some of the shots I took.   These were all taken at a county park along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin.

This is a picture of our shadows in pond scum.  Isn't it lovely? :)

 God Bless!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hope's Cafe

I always like to plug a good Catholic product or production whenever I can, so I'm here to give you something good to watch this weekend.

We've been involved in the Little Flowers Performing Art Center since its inception and the kids have done some wonderful acting, singing and dancing.

Hope's Cafe is the young adult/adult portion of the Center and every Thursday evening they meet to improv skits.  Each person was responsible for creating his/her own character and then they work out skits that revolve around something Catholic or a moral or virtue.  

This first episode is 30 minutes but it is quite funny and I think you'll thoroughly enjoy some of the characters and their sense of humor.

The second installment is only 5 minutes and is also good for a few laughs. 

I hope you'll view them, share them and help support this new Catholic endeavor to spread a good message in a unique and heartwarming way.  

Oh, and even though Ms 17 yo shows up in a future episode and I know all these other people, I really am not biased.  I like this show for what it is and what it is trying to do :)

God Bless

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Theme Thursday - W

Today's Theme Thursday should give you a feel for where my brain is at.  When contemplating the various words that begin with "w" and then thinking over the pictures that I had taken on the day out my hubby and I had, I was disappointed that I couldn't think of any that would fit the theme.  "All I have are some pictures of Lake Michigan, which starts with "L".  Hey, maybe I could use those and just call it "W"ake Michigan for fun?" 

It was approximately 12 hours later that it dawned on me that Lake Michigan is actually water and that water starts with "w".  I know, pray for me.

Then I realized the time crunch I was under and remembered that I had never actually even downloaded all those pictures from our day out so, knowing that I have a ton of water pictures, I went with an oldie but a goodie.

Here's water-skiing on water; a double "w" whammy for you!

Join in at Clan Donaldson for more W pictures.

God Bless!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's Been a Tough Two Weeks

Almost two weeks ago, my hubby and I left town to go on a three day weekend as part of our 25th anniversary celebration (yeah, that was back in May, but we've been busy!).  We left town on Friday and took a lovely walk along Lake Michigan, checked into our hotel and went to dinner, and then dessert :).  The next morning we headed out to see the chapel that St. Joan of Arc prayed in when she was young.  It had been transferred over to the US stone by stone and then reconstructed.  Unfortunately it was closed on Saturday and so we were unable to see the inside.

It was while standing outside of this chapel that we found out that my father-in-law had been admitted to the hospital and they didn't know what was wrong but he was sick.  We went to Mass and then on a brewery tour (hey, we were in Milwaukee, what else does one do in the town of breweries???).  It was after that that we determined it was time to head back to see what was going on with him.

We got there in time to talk with him but his condition continued to deteriorate rapidly.  Let me just say that a man that was out golfing earlier in the week died by Sunday evening leaving us all devastated and in shock.

His wake was a testament to the kind of man he was; the line was never ending and wound throughout the funeral home from 2 till after 9.  He was a wonderful, fun-loving man who loved his family - most especially his grandchildren.  He was the kind of grandpa who came to every sporting event, every performance, every birthday and cheered you on.  Our lives have a big hole in them now with his passing.

What I really hope we will all take with us, however, is that life is short and it can't be wasted.  There isn't time for anger or grudges or getting revenge.  This man always had a smile and a joke for everyone he met.  Many people came through remembering how they loved to sit and talk with him and share a laugh.  I think he wants us to remember him for that and I hope and pray that we can carry on his legacy by doing the same.  

You never know when your life, or the life of someone you love, will be cut short.  Live each day in the Lord, with a smile and a laugh for everyone around you.  Don't be angry or full of hate.  I don't think that is how you want to be remembered by people when you die; it doesn't make for a good eulogy!

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.  May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.  Amen.

God Bless!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saturday Night Fun

Saturday night was cooler but still humid, so between that and the heat waves that often bombard our bedroom at night, I decided to leave the bedroom window open when I went to bed.

I had started drifting off when I was awakened by a loud bang - you know, the kind that sounds like a car hitting something.  I listened carefully and heard (because the wind was blowing just right) two voices talking.  They sounded okay, no brakes screeching, no swearing or arguing, so far so good.  After a few minutes I heard what sounded like a gun shot, which really isn't all that uncommon of a sound as we live in a somewhat rural area, but it did make my ears perk up a bit so I listened some more.

Finally I heard words that confirmed what I was suspecting, "I hit a deer with my car!".  I'm guessing that my neighbor, who is an avid hunter, must have heard/seen/been a part of the commotion and came to put the deer out of its misery.

Sunday morning on the way home from Mass we saw the outcome of the accident.  On the side of the road was the massive, headless body of about a 200 pound deer.  DH speculates that, based on the size of the body, the deer had a nice rack on its head so someone must have come along and cut its head off so as to get the head and antlers mounted.  "Why on earth would someone pay money to mount the head of a deer that was hit by someone else???" was my question.  I mean really, you can't even have bragging rights to it.  I guess you could lie about it but, really??  "No," my hubby said, "they probably did it so they could sell it." 
     "SELL IT? Who would buy someone else's deer head?  They wouldn't even have bragging rights, although I guess they could lie about it too."
     "No, dear, they would sell it to someone like Cabella's or Gander Mountain or Bass Pro Shop."

Oh, okay, now it all makes sense.  

I wish we could have seen the whole thing, but I guess a headless body is all we're getting!  And that, my friends, is a fun weekend night in the country.

God Bless!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

Joining in over at Sucipio!

Moments of Gratitude:

* Finally we have some cooler weather which will make it much easier to breathe (I hope).  Our allergies have been HORRIBLE this past week so anything to make them better I will be grateful for.
* Rain.  We had a few days of it, and even a bit of thunder!  
* A break from a lot of things last week.
* A great deal on a used car for Ms 21 yo.
* Tasty chili and an awesome dessert

The Upcoming Week:

Hopefully this week will be a bit better than last since we don't have as many additional activities on the calendar.  Hopefully we will be able to spend some extra time catching up on school activities and wouldn't it be nice to even find  a bit of extra time in there to do something productive even!  I have three full bags of apples in my hallway just waiting for me to do something with them.

In the Kitchen:

Sunday's fare takes the prize for this week's meal excitement.  I had been discussing chili recipes with some friends a week or so ago and boy did that put a taste in my mouth for some good chili with all the fixins.  We got home from Mass on Sunday, put on our aprons

and in the span of two hours some of the girls and I made a pot of chili, a pan of corn bread, apple almond bars for dessert

some apple puree to try out for fruit leather and a nice, decorative fall candle for out table.  I know, it isn't food, but Ms 19 yo was creating our candle while we were cooking and baking.

 The rest of the week is rather mundane in the kitchen department.


I haven't really had time to ponder anything other than the current state of our country and the fact that nothing seems to surprise me anymore.  I was struck by a line from the first reading on Sunday that said, "For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late."  I won't deny it, my first thought upon hearing that was the line from the Lord of the Rings when Gandolf says, "A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins, nor is he early.  He arrives precisely when he means to."  Since then, I've been thinking, "Ok, Lord, anytime now would be good for you to arrive."


* For the wisdom to discern God's will and the grace to do it, as we all know that the safest place to be is in God's will.
* For Courtney and Fulton.
* For our Pastor and all priests, that they always can do the will of the Lord.


Haven't done much of that, but I thought I'd mention that we are reading (slowly but surely) a book about St. Isaac Jogues to go along with our CCM studies.  I wish we could get through it faster, but alas, it hasn't happened yet.  


 Here's a sample of the candles that Ms 19 yo has been making.  These are so neat to look at.  We haven't burned one yet, but they sure do look pretty.  When she got the wax, she bought organic soy wax so I'm very excited about that, too.

God Bless!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Stopping By to Say Hi

Well, it wasn't planned, but my little respite from technology this past week was necessary.  In addition to all of our usual activities and driving assignments, I was having allergy issues which left me breathless and tired, there were a few extra outings on the calendar and well, life was just overwhelming.  It is amazing what you can't do when you aren't feeling up to par.  I am so looking forward to cooler weather around here!

This week was our semi-annual Free 4 All so I was able to take a van load of stuff over and say a fond farewell to it all.  The amazing thing was, I didn't come home with anything new.  I scoured the tables but only found this white sequenced jacket with black sequence spots on it (think COW) but, as good as it looked on me, I decided to let someone much younger than me take it home :)  Besides, the look on Ms 10 yo's face when she saw it on me was too much to bear!

Mr 13 yo had an awesome soccer game today.  Someone turned up the heat in these boys today and they were playing some aggressive soccer.  I kept thinking it was a bit too aggressive, but no fouls were called and my husband kept cheering so I guess it was just me being a mom.

I was finally able to finish Ms 17 yo's senior portraits this week.  Here are a few of my favorites. 

We've had some much needed days of rain here the past few days, however I am looking forward to the humidity taking a hike and cooler weather settling in.  Maybe tomorrow will lend itself to some more apple picking and fruit leather making.  We'll see.

Oh yes; one more thing.  The last post I posted was about the CD "Ineffable" coming out.  We got our copy today and listened to it during dinner and it is as lovely and peaceful as I thought it would be.  As soon as I get my act together, I'm hoping to give away a copy here to some lucky person, so stay tuned.

Here's hoping that I'll be around more next week!  Have a blessed Sunday. 

God Bless!