Saturday, November 8, 2008

the Holy Souls

This month I will be doing a bit of posting about death
and those who have gone before us.
For me, death and how I cope with it,
is very much a part of my life,
which is why I feel compelled to address it here.

This excerpt is from a pamphlet I have entitled:
A Soul Speaks from Purgatory

"When God wishes a soul to be entirely His,
He begins by crushing it, very much as apples are crushed in the press~
to extract its' passions, its' self seeking,
in a word, all its' defects.
When that soul is sufficiently broken,
He reshapes it according to His will.
If it is faithful, it is soon transformed.
Only then does Jesus load it with His choicest graces
and inundate it with His love."
Here is something I wanted to share:

A Prayer for Today

Dear Lord, heal the wounds of my soul

~only You~ O Divine Physician~

can do this. The effects of my sinfulness is

so great a burden that I often feel weary,

worn and frustrated.

My heart longs for Your grace....

Please hear my prayer and let my cry come unto You.

Impart to my heart just one drop of Your grace,

that the flame of your love may begin to burn in my heart;

and like a fire, may it consume evil thoughts like thorns and thistles.

+ + +

It is so important not to put off for tomorrow,
things that can be done today,
because sometimes tomorrow never comes.
Sunday is a good day to
think about
all of the ways that
Our Lord
needs to do a little reshaping in your life.
That's what I'll be doing.....
why i really couldn't justify too much blogging on friday

because our schoolroom looks like this and we've lived here since september
because someone is going to fire me
from homeschooling my children.
why?? you ask??
well, because making a pre-baked halloween gingerbread house
is not really doing "school".
that's why.

i mean, can somebody tell these poor kids
that halloween is OVER!

but they are working so hard

look at the teamwork and camraderie,
the self-control it takes to not eat any of that candy,
why this could even be making them virtuous....

i don't know if I am having a sugar rush,
but if you look at this scene long enough
you might even begin to see what i am seeing:
social science, networking, exterior design,
architectural design, landscaping

in the end: staging and presentation....
never mind, this counts for school.
i can rest so much better now,

Friday, November 7, 2008

favorite things

a crocheted shawl made by my great-grandmother

some new knitting needles and a basket

vintage lace doiles given to me by a dear old friend

two thrift store finds in perfect condition: a lace tablecloth and crocheted pillowcase

piles of lovliness............
i know those two words don't usually go together because around here the word "pile" is usually paired with words like "laundry, dishes or leaves" and that means WORK!
but piles of fabric

turn into this:
a log cabin square for pillows that will go on top of my daughters' bed

and then there is this quilt

i started it for her when she was still a baby.

i plan to do some hand stiching on it
and hope to have it finished by summer of '09

and this is what my china cabinet is holding these days:
well, instead of spending so much time
folding all of this,
i really must go and fold some laundry
tackle a pile of dishes that have invaded my kitchen
while i've been sitting here happily blogging.
~have a blessed saturday~
i hope your life is filled with a few piles of lovliness!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Simple Fall Sewing Projects
A patchwork tablecloth made from thrifted
and new fabric with an embroidered "Fall '08" tag
A mini pumpkin pincushion that sits on top
of my sewing machine

Crocheted pot holders for all of the cooking
I seem to be doing these days

And finally, quilted pumpkin coasters
for all our morning cups of cocoa and coffee.
These little coasters are so easy to make, not to mention they'd be
perfect holiday gifts for family and friends!

I hope this encourages someone to do a little sewing, because these things, little though they may be, add just the right touch to any home. I certainly don't want to stress the importance of "things", but I'd like to think that as my children grow, they will treasure the time it took to try and make our home special and they will carry it with them when they leave. These few projects are not too hard to enlist the help of small hands either. My children enjoy helping to choose fabric, adding a few of their own stiches, etc. What a precious way to spend the upcoming long winter evenings. So turn off the internet or t.v. and sew, sew, sew......

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Boys Do

This is what my boys do anyway when they know I am not looking.......My oldest and youngest are home alone with me on Mondays and Wednesdays, while my "middle" children go to classes outside of our home and any chance they get, off they go, zipping around our property on this little old golf cart which their father just "had" to get for them. These two boys were born ten years apart and yet I amazed at how close they still are and how much fun they can have together. This has to be one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling-the strengthening of family ties that bind them in ways that could not possibly happen if they were separated all day long, five days a week. I have found that taking a few enrichment classes has been beneficial in keeping all of my children apart just long enough to miss each other and it gives me time to have one on one time with whoever is home with me each day. I find myself missing whomever is not here and long for the days when they were younger and they were ALL home, all of the time. However, those days are gone and so I seek to find comfort in days like today, when I get to witness a moment like this:

P.S. Now they know I am watching.......

P.S.S. A few hours later, I heard cries of "All Aboard!" as all 4 of them took turns going for rides. Their laughter resonated through the yard and into my bedroom window while they pretended they were on a train and I thought to myself: life really doesn't get much better than this does it?

Roots and Shoots

My middle kids are taking a gardening workshop at their Learning Center and you would be surprised to see the things that are sprouting around here! From left to right we have a Venus fly-trap, a terreruim, two lima bean sprouts, a potted plant and a sweet potato that looks like an ivy.

Our front porch is home to a variety of little succulents and an ivy plant.

And finally, this is our feeble attempt at a
"water-wise-fall-flower garden." We tilled the soil, added fertilizer, carefully picked and planted our seeds, but I guess the combination of hot days and cold nights does not yield a very plentiful garden. We have had our share of unfriendly visitors: namely our dog and three cats, who can frequently been seen napping in this area, but there wasn't much we could do about their access to our little patch of earth short of installing spikes or an electric-shocking device on the picket fence......I am only kidding! There is no animal cruelty going on here, what would St. Francis think of me?

Anyhow, these little bits of green give the kids just enough responsibility to take care of something "living", they add beauty to our otherwise dead-leaf strewn yard, dusty porch, cluttered kitchen AND they provide opportunities for learning. The sprouts in the first picture and the sweet potato have great root systems developing and since the glass is clear, the kids get to keep an eye on how the roots grow. Daughter Dearest was overheard mentioning to Middle Son that her "root system" was "stronger" than his. It makes my head swell with pride to hear them speak of such things! Now, go plant something............

FALL INTO CRAFTING..............

This is a great way to add some fall decor to your home AND
have artwork that is keepsake worthy as well!
~(and you should too!)~
for art project ideas that you can add your own twist to.
She actually works at a Catholic school, which is why her projects always seem perfect for Catholic homeschoolers!
Anyway, first we took a nature walk around our yard to look for leaves and other objects that could possibly be used and then we headed back inside to get started.
All that is needed for this project is: a medium weight canvas type fabric, acrylic paints and glitter.
And as you can see~ voila!
They each made a truly beautiful work of art.
I will eventually sew a backing on each individual print and hang them on the wall,
but for now they are hanging on our "art line" which looks like a laundry line,
but displays revolving drawings, paintings, etc.
I also had each of the kids write their name and the date on the bottom
so that we can remember the year.
I don't know why this is so important to me,
but I guess it is just another way for me to mark the passing of years,
which when you have growing children, seem to pass all too quickly!
Be still and KNOW that I AM GOD..........

Judica me, Domine
David's Prayer to God in his distress
Psalm 25
I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house: and the place where thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts......
Dominus Illuminatio
David's faith and hope in God
Psalm 26
Set me, O Lord, a law in thy way, and guide me in the right path, because of my enemies. Deliver me not over to the will of them that trouble me: for unjust witnesses have risen against me, and iniquity hath lied to itself.
Regardless of the way that the political winds are blowing, we must remember not to lose hope in THE ONE Who is our hope. Things are never in our control any way and we are only kidding ourselves if we think that Our Lord will not have the last word when all is said and done.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rainy Day Blessings

Some of the best days of my life were rainy days. The day my oldest son was born, one of the biggest storms of the year hit the area where we live. I remember being cozily tucked away in a small hospital, holding the most precious thing in the world to me. It mattered not that the there was a storm raging outside, what mattered was the new little life that lay in my arms, a perfect masterpiece, sent to me from my Father in heaven with love. Then there was the day my husband and I were married. It also happened to be a very wet and rainy day. At first glance all I could think about was that my hair wasn't going to turn out right, the reception was going to be cramped and uncomfortable in my parents' home and ultimately the whole day would be ruined. But then a family friend told my husband that there was an old Indian saying that when it rained, the earth was glad and we would be blessed in our rainy day endeavor, whatever it may be and in our case it was starting a new life together.

Needless to say, the day was beautiful: my hair turned out fine, the reception was perfect! Candles and white Christmas lights sparkled in the cloudy darkness of my parents living room, friends and loved ones seemed to enjoy the closeness brought about by not being able to go outside, my youngest sister-in-law and I happily danced much later that night, laughing as her dress trailed in the mud and then there was the toast that my father gave, giving us his blessing, finally....we had all been through so much in years past, my husband and I had done a lot of growing up and how wonderful it was to have him wish us well.

So today, as the storm rages outside, may you be blessed in your rainy day endeavors and may all the choices we make be ones that sit well with our Heavenly Father, so that as we begin this new chapter in our story as a country we can continue to receive HIS countless blessings in our lives.