Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What a Hero Looks Like....


Archbishop Timothy Dolan praying the Rosary outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem...
I am praying for this man and all his brother bishops. This is a very difficult time for the Church in the United States. Our bishops need all our prayers.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Little Larnin'

It's going to be a very educational evening!
Tonight John and I are going to be in the virtual front row at a webinar with Regina Doman, a Catholic author, and homeschooling mom.
She has written several novels that have been very popular with the kids in our homeschool group.
The webinar is titled "Which Comes First, the Character or the Plot?"
It's so cool to have a chance to get together in the intimacy of a virtual classroom...

John is currently writing a novel himself, and Giordan Pergola is illustrating it. This is a great opportunity for John to learn from a respected author.
It is so neat to see my boys, John and Paul especially, enjoying the world of writing.
John's story is great! I love the way he is building the characters and the combination of humor and action that is going into it. Giordan is so talented, and he can capture the ideas that John is trying to portray so well!
I don't know when it will be finished, but John works at it pretty steadily.
We are going to have to replace the poor, tired old laptop that he is using. It was mine and I passed it on to him a few years ago when I got this one.
Anyway, we will be online tonight to enjoy the blessings of virtual education.
I love technology!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Man For Our Times...



We were so privileged to hear this homily at the Youth Rally and Mass.
What a blessing....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

God-Given

A person's a Person, no Matter How Small!
 God has given us so much!
Even if all we had were life, and the Eucharist, we would have more than enough.
God's loving care is so evident in our lives, and it is the least we can do to honor Him by sharing His love.
Every year we are called to give witness to the gift of life, at the annual March For Life in Washington DC.
We live too close and we are convicted, in our hearts, that there is no place we can be that will better show forth the dignity of all human life.
I am so proud of my boys!! They got up yesterday morning at 3:15am, and we traveled by train to Washington. We attended the Youth Rally and Mass for Life, and they prayed and offered their presence wholeheartedly. They were exhausted and cold, and they made the march from the Verizon center, all the way to the Supreme Court, with no complaints. Paul even said that it was long, muddy, cold and tiring, but that it was so good to be there!
I can't express how amazing they, and all their friends are.

If there is any hope for a bright future, it is in these young people.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Almost time...

Today begins our March For Life 2012 journey with the Good Shepherd Youth!
We will be going to Mass at 11:00, and Adoration for Life begins right after Mass.
Adoration will go until 4:00, with the youth adoring in the hour between 3 and 4. There will be music and prayer led by our own youth, and Mathias.
Then, after benediction, we go over to the school for pizza and snacks. The parish is invited to the join us for the movie "Changing Sides", the story of Abby Johnson, the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas.
After the movie Tim, Brendan, Paul and I will be coming home, and John will stay over at the school with youth, for the lock-in.
Everyone meets at the train at 4:20 in the morning and we all ride down to Union Station in DC.
The whole group will walk from Union Station to the MCI Center for a huge youth rally, with a Mass and music. Last year there were 20,000 kids, and a line waiting to get in.
After the rally we will walk over to the National Gallery, to wait for the March for Life to begin. This is a great time to meet people. Our kids will have their Cat in the Hat, hats on, so I will get lots of pictures!
Pray for a safe trip and many changing hearts.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Is That Funny?

I am assisting the teacher for the ninth grade Religious Ed class at our parish.
It has been an interesting year, and this really is a great group of kids.
Most of them have been going to public school all their lives, and they haven't had a lot of exposure to authentic Catholic teaching, so they find some of the discussion topics, like abortion, contraception, and social issues, a bit surprising to say the least.
Last night we watched "Changing Sides" which is a video of the story of Abby Johnson, the Planned Parenthood director that left her job to become a pro-life activist.
After the video, I asked the kids what they thought, and if they had any responses to what they had seen.
The conversation came around to the topic of Abby's own abortion, and one young man thought that she was hypocritical because she had had an abortion and now is speaking out against it.
I told him that many, many women have had abortions and now regret it, and are speaking out against it to warn other women.
His frustration became apparent, and he made the point that if girls don't want to get pregnant, they shouldn't be putting themselves in situations where they are at risk, or words to that effect. I was really saddened by the reaction of the rest of the class to his words. They laughed.
They all responded as if the very idea of young people refraining from sex is so ridiculous that it doesn't bear discussion. The teacher said "Easier said than done." And that is true, especially in the environment that these kids are coming from.
But I felt like asking "Why?"
The idol of "choice" is a fickle god.
Why is it that girls must be assured that they should always have the choice to kill a child that has been conceived, but that the choice to be faithful to themselves is an impossible idea?
What is so funny, or farfetched about the idea of chastity?
I guess I have to become capable of understanding, and yet willing to challenge, these ideas that permeate society, at the level of our Catholic youth.
I find it so sad that they find it so funny.


The Creative Process....

Today is a good day to build something!
It starts with a vision...

And the proper materials...

And here is the result...

Brendan's

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No, We're Not Crazy....

Right now, Paul is singing at the computer while he writes his story, and John is trying to sing over him.
Brendan is doing his English and trying to ignore them.
Maggie is pulling all the little strings out of her rope bone, and watching the door for company.
I got everyone up an hour early in hopes that we would get things done before I have to take John to Co-op, and I guess we are, but everyone seems a bit loopy.
I guess that's OK.
At least they are getting things done...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tonight we went over to Good Shepherd School and had a "hat party".
The youth will be traveling to DC for the March For Life next week, and every year we say that we need something that will distinguish us in the crowd.


Well, I think we are onto something this year!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What a Weekend!

It is turning into a four star weekend for our unsocialized homeschooling family.


Yesterday we went down to Baltimore, to the St Jude Shrine, for our monthly First Friday
field trip/pilgrimage. It was wonderful! The priest that said mass had a beautiful accent, and his voice was just captivating. That, combined with a fantastic message on the need for Grace in doing God's will, was  like hearing it straight from the Lord himself! We were Blessed to have about six other families there with us, and we all enjoyed visiting in the lower part of the building afterward. We went to the Mall and had lunch with our friends, the Bowers, and then came home.

I fixed dinner for the Hauf family, and was so happy to deliver it and get to hold baby Ricky for the first time. He is a beautiful boy!

After I got home, our boys had their Friday pizza, and I headed over to Bel Air, to work on the casting of "King Lear" with Paula, Larry and Mary. It was really a great time. A lot of work, but I think we came up with a really good combination of talents. I hope the kids will be happy with their roles.
I am really looking forward to working on it this year.

This morning Brendan and Paul were up bright and early so that Tim could drive them over to Timonium for a Laser Tag birthday party. Their friend Daniel has turned 13, and he invited them.
They apparently had a great time! They have been telling me all about it. There were a lot of kids there and it was a nice place.

John is off to the party of another of his friends, Nathan. They went bowling for the afternoon, and then they will go up to Nathan's house for dinner and cake.
Tomorrow we have another great day planned with lots of friends and fun.
I'll take pictures and update tomorrow night.

This afternoon I am taking down the last of the Christmas decorations. I have most everything put away.
I need to get outside and do some cleanup in the yard. I can't believe how warm it is! I am really loving this weather! Maggie and I had a great walk this morning, and I just wore a sweat shirt!

I am looking forward to a nice evening with my loves....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Here We Go Again!

Well, it's the first day of school in 2012!
We are trying to get back into the swing of things after a fabulous Christmas break.
It's hard to get back to the discipline of the daily school routine, but at the same time it is nice to be getting back to a routine, and making progress on school.
It's always a little scary getting to this point in the year and realizing how much we have left to do.
January means we have six months left.
All the boys are working hard.
Some are further ahead than others.
It drives John and Brendan crazy that Paul can fly through his work and be done in a couple of hours.
This is partly because Paul is younger and has less on his plate, but it's also because Paul is an incredibly fast reader. He can read and retain information faster than anyone I know, and he doesn't forget it!
Tomorrow is the audition for our upcoming production of "King Lear".
John is hoping for the role of the King of France.
We are going to be casting everyone on Friday night.
I will be working on costumes again this year, and I am really looking forward to it! I have had such a good time in the past productions.

We have a few things in the offing  besides getting back to school.
John is very much involved with the youth in our homeschool community, and he has something going on almost every weekend. We are getting ready to go on the March for Life at the end of this month.
That will be a very big event.
We start with Adoration for life all day on Sunday, then there is a pizza dinner over at the school. This year there will be a movie and discussion program after dinner, which is open to the parish. The kids that are going to the March the next day get "locked in" for the night, under the close supervision of the Holy Deacon, and our very observant Ms. Kathy Flood. At 4:00am we will head over to the train station to ride down to DC and participate in the youth Rally for Life, and the March.
In February we will be attending Mount 2000, which is a regional Eucharistic Conference up in Emmitsburg.
I am so excited about these events!

I am getting a bit of work in around the edges of school, mostly for friends.
I am hoping to get a few clients through Sappari Solutions, as we go into the new year, but I have to make sure that they are clients that I can work with over the phone and on the computer. I am not doing on-site organizing right now, because I just can't keep up the momentum with both school and work. I admire those that can work and homeschool, and I am sure that I will be able to manage it as the boys get older, but right now just isn't the time.

So...we start 2012 with a lot of hard work, and we get traction for the long pull from now until June.