Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dare not to compare

I have to confess, I steal a lot of ideas from other homeschooling momma blogs.  I know, this is a real shock, isn't it?  Ha! :)  I bet you do too...right?!?! :)  I surely do not have time to try to invent something and why would I reinvent the wheel when I do not have to? 
Well, that peeking into others' homes and their lives is a two fold, for me.  Interesting, amazing and beautiful things is what I find but I also find myself getting frustrated at my lack of ability, patience, creativity and even 'order' that I see in their homes.  I have a dear friend who does not even attempt blogs b/c of this very reason.  Albeit, a very good reason.  It gets depressing!

I try to remind myself that I do not see their whole life, and many do not blog about the negative aspects and hardships of a homeschooling family life.  So, all that others see is this super good part of their lives and we think it's like that all the time.  Which, when really thought about, is SO not true!  No one or no family can ever be perfect! I remind myself that many of these large families come from large families themselves...they are accustomed to the craziness and loudness and messiness that a large family brings.  They know how to adapt much more quickly than others (ahem...) and we can start to compare ourselves and our families to others, esp. if we do not even really know them!  How foolish. 

God knows our hearts.  God knows what He is doing.  God sees my efforts to do the smallest task and He sees my love that I do it with, for Him, and He blesses me with such graces.  I can only imagine that this would equal all those others immaculate homes, those super creative art projects, those darling matching outfits their kidos wear, and those other things.   To God be the glory!

But what a trap this is, isn't it?

Now, it's time for me to get another cup of coffee and think about that some more all the while I teach my kidos!  Rainy days ALWAYS summon another cup! ;)
May God bless your day,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crown of Thorns Lenten centerpiece

2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Salt
Mix and add milk to make a clay
Knead to get all bubbles out.
Roll out 3 'snakes' and braid them close together.

Put tooth picks in to give the look of thorns.
There ya go!

Last year we did this and took out the tooth picks as we did a sacrifice for Jesus.  This year, however, I did not want to do that since last year they suddenly disappeared very quickly and it sat there just as a crown!  Oh dear, so this year, we are keeping it as a centerpiece to remind us of Jesus' passion and the pain He endured for us.  It looks great!

We also set up our Sacrifice Bean Jar yesterday.   The kids were so eager to get those pinto beans into the jar that our house was spotless!  All those nice and kind gestures of helping out was wonderful.  But today, uh...let's just say I think they forgot all about that sacrifice bean jar!  I think it is time to remind them!

If you have not heard of Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure....go check it out HERE and it is FREE!!! Who would pass up something that is fun and free and for kids?  They have great downloads and video clips and Lenten ideas for parents too.  It's really well done and we saw it advertised at our parish too.  Good endorsement :)

Best go now.
God bless,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thought on Lent

There is PEACE in PENANCE.
(Can you find it?)

God bless,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lenten Quote of the Day

"Every man is on a cross.  Some ask to be taken down like the thief on the left; others ask to be taken up like the thief on the right."---Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday fun times and Lent Ideas

Since our Valentine's day last week was rudely interrupted by a nasty stomach bug (uh, it was that bad....6 kidos plus hubby sick through the night-yeah, no fun for me :(  I could really use that pity party b/c it was that bad.) we are finally getting to making our Valentine's day cookies that Kido #3's godmother sent to us!  It was a super cute combo of heart cookie cutters and 6 different sprinkles.  Thanks K~!

Today....we are having SUCH fun!!!

Lots of sprinkles all over us and the kitchen....made with fresh sugar cookie dough...lots of sprinkles and flour all over the kitchen too!!!

We had chocolate ice cream and hot chocolate for snack and we'll be enjoying these heart cookies for dessert tonight.   Just trying to get rid of all this sweet stuff in our house before Lent begins tomorrow.

How can it be Lent already?  WOW!  That came fast!

At snack time today, we went over Lent and the different types of ways we can experience Lent to a deeper degree....offerings of sacrifice, almsgiving and prayer.  I am so proud of my children and all their desires to offer up certain items. 

Let me list them now...
Kid #1, boy, age 11--pray every morning
kid #2, girl, age 9--no lying
kid #3, boy, age 8--no bothering/teasing
kid #4, girl, age 6--no M&M's
kid #5, boy, age 5--no hot chocolate
kid #6, boy, age 3--who knows?  I wish I could make a long list for him! haaa haaa

And me?  Yeah, I knew you'd ask....well, I refraining from my cream!  and no wine unless we have visitors.  You like that second one?  Well, since we live away from family I thought that it would not be very courteous if our company were the only ones who had a glass of wine.  Makes sense to me! :)

I am going to print up or make up our annual Lenten Path---the kids love it and they look forward to coloring each day that we finished up the color purple as we get closer to Easter.

Then there's the Bean Jar.  Each sacrifice we offer up to God, we put a kidney bean in the jar then on Easter- the Easter Bunny comes and turns it into Easter Jelly Beans!  Kids LOVE this too!

And lots of Lenten and yummy and they make great snacks and my kids enjoy making them so much.
God bless your Lent adventure,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

Happy Feast of Our Lovely Lady in blue....Our Lady of Lourdes!!!

St. Bernadette, pray for us!!!

HERE is a coloring page that we are coloring today.

Just like every night, our family will say our family rosary.  But, tonight I will try to lovingly be patient with my children during our 20 min rosary.  Now, that is something!

God bless,

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I am so happy and proud to announce that we have 2 very sparkling clean souls in our household!

2 of my bigger kids, kid #2 and kid #3, went to their First Confession last night.  200 children and 2 hours later-they are shining bright with holiness!  Yes, that many children and that long, I am not kidding.  This year I have both of these kidos in the same grade-2nd grade.  The best decision I made-it is working SO well for all of us.  A little bit of competition and peer pressure to get their work done goes a long way with these two!  We realized that why push one child just to be a grade higher when clearly they are not ready for it.  This is God's doing and how He made each child.  I am just glad I figured it out and listened to Him early on and not when they were older.  I have heard it is much harder when they get older to hold a child back a year. 

Anyway, it is a 2 yr process of prep for their 1st Confession and 1st Holy Communion in our parish.  We decided to not enroll them in the actual classes that the religious ed offers.  They were totally okay with it-in fact, the RE director home schooled her own kids! What a blessing that homeschooling is so welcomed and encouraged around here.  I am very thankful to God for this.  We are using the Faith & Life series by Ignatius Press.  We, as parents, find it awesome!  The kids do too!!! IT is a great mix of learning and fun, coloring and writing.  My children do not mind doing religion almost every day.  Since we incorporate our Catholic Faith in ALL aspects of our life and our family, doing the religion 'book' is not that grueling for them :) I highly recommend this for all kids, even if they go to a CCD program.  It is so easy and fun for parents to do with them, along with what they are learning in the classroom setting. 

We have such an awesome diverse parish, with 31 countries represented (seriously!), that we were obviously the minority.  We love our priests and parish and all the colors and beauty that is displayed.  What a wonderful gift that my children get to see how 'universal' our Catholic Faith is!!! Growing up in a mainly white/Caucasian neighborhood, town and parish, I love that my own children get to see, early on, how widespread our Catholic Faith truly is. 

We went as a whole family last night and I am glad we did.  Even for 2 hours, I am glad we did.  In fact, I sort of persisted with this decision with my husband-he thought the opposite.  But, in the end, we are all SO glad we went.  What a great learning experience and how awesome that my little children got to see what their big siblings got to do and what they have to look forward to. My kid #4 (age 6) and kid #6 (age 3) even asked us (ahem...begged us over and over)  how they wanted to go to their own first confession THAT night!  Now, that is a testimony to what a great decision it was to bring them all!

Now, onto a celebration party for my kids!  We're all a little bit holier now!!!

God bless,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Goal for today

to speak words of encouragement.

It goes a long way.  Helping my children to see their potential....and how awesome they are right now.  Last  night I had a little talk w/my older boys.  I told them how much I love them no matter what.  Even if they do not do their chores on their own or when they are asked for the 100th time....even if they do not do well on a test....even if they are not being obedient with school work. 

It does not matter.  My love for them is not dependent on those outcomes.  My love is strong for them and will not waiver.  

I love them for them.  Simply that.

Then, if I always have, did they not know this?  What have I done or not done to make them not aware of this? 

So, my goal is to make my words count.  Make my actions count.  Make it equal to my love for them. 

Today will be different.

By the way, this goes for ALL my kids.

God bless,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mortification in the Morning Quote

A mortification in the morning
St. Josemaría Escrivá, the Father and Founder of Opus Dei, tells us:

“The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and ... up! The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body. If, with God’s help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish.” (cf. The Way 206)
This was passed onto me by my lovely husband.  What a gift he is to me--so challenging and helping both of us on our journey of holiness!!!  Thank you God for my hubby.
God bless,

Monday, February 6, 2012

We are the Champions friends!!!

Go NY Giants!

Great game...great win!

God bless,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Go Giants~!

It's Superbowl Sunday!


We're BIG Giants fans in this Giants!!!

Chili is made and keeping warm in the crock pot....buffalo wings are already eaten (yum!).... artichoke and spinach dip w/tortilla chips is ready.

And so are we!

Bring it on, Pats...Go Giants!

God bless,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

#5 turns 5!!!

I love all the early stages and ages of life-they all are beautiful, all sweet, all amazing to watch as a mother but there is this one that I am drawn to the most...age 5.

B/c at age 5, life is in its fullness. 

The trees are more beautiful, and so is the dirt.

The leaves are more intriguing, the curves of them, the texture, the smell, the colors.

The wind is not so cold but the feel of it blowing on their faces is really coooooool.

Ice is fun-fun to touch, to break, to crunch beneath little green boots.

Every book is amazing to look at, to be read to, to hold in their hands curled up somewhere...totally content.

When something is funny, it is REALLY funny!  Giggles and all.

Life is clearer, more in focus.

When you are 5 and Momma tells you not to do something or touch something if it is hot, you obey.  Simply obey b/c you know Momma loves you and does not want to see you hurt.

Trusting someone comes natural, easy.

Believing what someone says is simple.  Accepting.

Being held is still a want and especially a need.  Snuggling is a must.

My Kid #5 turns 5 today!!!


You are a JOY to be around. 
Your smile is contagious.
Your laughter fills my heart with joy.
Your snuggles I cannot do without.
Your trust and obedience is beautiful.

I love you, my teddy bear.
May you always stay close to Jesus and Mary...always seeking and doing God's Will.
God bless you, little buddy.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Cake time!

Right now, we are making a homemade cake for a sweet little boy who is turning a BIG 5 TOMORROW!!!

I can't believe it!  woweee!

There seems to always be something to celebrate in big families.  We are always having a reason to celebrate-whether it be birthdays, name days, saint days, etc...!  Always something!

And today we are getting ready to celebrate someone turning 5!

Since it is our tradition of letting them choose what kind of cake they want, this little boy, my kid #5, is picking a chocolate dinosaur pan cake topped with frosting and a bunch of firemen on top.  Interesting, huh? :)

5 year olds are SO FUN!!!

Gotta go....baking to do!

God bless,