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!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lessons from a Semi-Incapacitating Virus

This past week has taught me a few things.   You see, I've had this bothersome virus since last Wednesday that has made me dizzy and nauseous - a really annoying combination.  It has prevented me from doing a lot of things; important things like moving around, driving and eating.  So here's what I've learned

1.  To be grateful for my good health.  It's only when you can't do something that you realize how much you take doing that thing for granted.  As much as I hate to drive a lot, I realize how much my family and I depend on my being able to drive.  I had to have one of my kids drive me to the grocery story last week.  Thankfully one of them was available.  If this turned into a common occurrence (which I know it is for some people), it would make the already dreaded grocery shopping trip into something even more dreaded.  Not that shopping with my kids is something I dread, mind you, but depending on them to be around to take me would be dreaded.

2.  To pray more for other moms who suffer from some kind of chronic illness that impacts their ability to function as a mother.  I know from some of the mom-facebook groups I'm in that there are a lot of moms out there who suffer like this.  Trust me, after this minor stint at being somewhat incapacitated, I will pray even more for you when you ask me to!

I'm still having bouts of this on and off throughout the day, so hopefully whatever it is will take the fast train out of town soon!  In the meantime, I will pray for those of you who suffer on a daily basis!

God Bless!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Take A Few Moments of Peace

Consider me weird, but the other day I found myself with some free time in the afternoon and I didn't know what to do.  On the rare occasions that that happens, my first reaction is to kind of get all, what am I forgetting?  Surely I must be forgetting something.  After I talk myself down from there, I think about things I might feel like doing.  Most of the time, however, this free time isn't long enough to really complete anything big.  How about sitting outside, in the sunshine, with your cup of coffee and PRAYING?  Wow, what a novel idea, huh?  So that's what I did.  I forced myself to sit still, in the middle of the day, and just be quiet.  No phone, no computer, no people.  Just me and God.  I don't know why that is so hard sometimes.

But then I finished my cup of coffee and realized it was time to start dinner so that's what I did.  It was a nice few minutes and it made me remember how important those few minutes of peace can be in the midst of our hectic lives.  I hope you get a few minutes like that for yourself today (even if they aren't in the sun but are in the bathroom behind a locked door ;) ).  

God Bless!

P.S.  I originally shared this image on Instagram under my public profile:  aplanforjoy.  If you're on Instagram, look me up!  

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Best Read Aloud Book This Year

Last summer, as I was planning for the school year, I knew that I wanted to revive our Read Aloud time.  Like most homeschooling mothers of many children, I used to read aloud a lot when my oldest kids were little.  As they grew and things got busy, reading aloud usually went out the window.  Oh, every once in awhile we'd grab a book and read it together, but never with any great frequency.

This year I was determined to bring it back for my youngest two.  Mr 10 yo has been a struggling reader so I new that reading aloud would be another way that we could help him along the reading path.

I didn't want to be overly ambitious knowing how our schedule can be, so I set out to read the following books this year.  We began with  "Kateri Tekawitha, Mohawk Maiden" by Evelyn M Brown.  This is one of the Vision books on the saints and it was a great way to get our year started by learning about the early years of our country and the lives of the Indians.

Next up I chose "Archimedes and the Door of Science" by Jeanne Bendick.  This was a great book.  We learned a lot and it was very entertaining at the same time.  This corresponded to us learning about the ancient Greeks during our history time so it really helped to bring that time period to life.  I would highly recommend this book to add to your Greek studies.

To continue to tie in to our history, I decided to go to another Vision book and read "St. Paul the Apostle:  The Story of the Apostle to the Gentiles".  What a fascinating book.  I loved being able to tie together the events of all the Epistles from the Bible and trace out the life of this fascinating Saint.  It was a very interesting story and it did a wonderful job tying together our history and religion.

Our final book of the year was "Crusader King" by Susan Peek.  This book was FANTASTIC.  By far it was the best book we've read in a long time.  Talk about a page turner.  We would forgo other school work just so we could read one more chapter.  The story was about King Baldwin IV, King of Jerusalem, and the Crusades.  I was so intrigued by the story that I did some additional research on him and that time period.  I knew a bit about the Crusades from the perspective of Rome and the Pope but not from the perspective of those in Jerusalem.  If you are studying this time period, I would highly recommend adding this book to your study.  It was so good that, as I was reading aloud to my youngest two, others in the house would stop by and sit down to listen, too.

So that's all I had planned for read alouds for this year.  I'm thinking that it might be nice to do one over the summer but I have yet to pick one out.  If anyone has any great recommendations that they'd like to share that would be a fun and engaging summertime read, I would love to hear it.

God Bless!
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