Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family


August 2009

Here’s the rest…

Wow!! My Scribd account has logged nearly 1400 reads in the past week…I sure hope this means the planner is a much-needed resource…

BTW…I’ve uploaded the last few pages.  While I’ve tried very hard to proofread all documents before submitting, I’m quite sure there will be more than a few errors, here and there.  Bear with me…as I catch them, I try to correct them.  Should you notice a problem, don’t be shy!  You won’t hurt my feelings…it just may take me a little while to fix it ;-D

I’ll probably continue to add pages from time to time, as I find a need or as suggestions are made. In the meantime…you’ll find the Scribd badge on my sidebar…just click to access Embracing Tradition…a traditional Catholic planner!

Enjoy and happy planning!


A busy mom’s daybook…

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – August 31 , 2009

Outside my Window…cold and dark…just a hint of light, black trees silhouetted against the indigo sky.  6:20 a.m. and 46 degrees…

Thinking…about the upcoming school year.  I’m such a giddy optimist when planning!  The coming school year stretches before me, like a parchment scroll, just waiting to be written…If only I could retain such optimism during the “dry times…”

We all suffer this, don’t we?  If only I could package my enthusiasm into little gift boxes…too be opened when needed!  I’m going to work on that…strategies for avoiding or at least diminishing the “end of the year blues…”

Suggestions are most welcome!

Thankful for…my school books…which are arriving slowly, but surely.  For a lovely weekend…most especially Sunday’s Mass.  For my friends and family…

From the kitchen…hot coffee with Chocolate Caramel Creamer.  Eggs, sausage and toast for hubby and I…pancakes for the kiddies.  For dinner:  leftover ribs, baked potatoes, corn and salad.

Faith and learning…I’m filling out my new planner with this year’s lesson plans.  Painting a few more saints, adding a few finishing touches to the classroom, and will be finishing up the chapel this week.

Creating…the last few pages for the planner.  And hubby is making us one of these.  Aren’t the vestments exquisite?  The internet can be such a wonderful place…so many generous families, sharing their ideas…I don’t think I could homeschool quite as well without it!

Planning…the school year, menus, etc.  Also a Michaelmas celebration.  The Feast of St. Michael is a real big deal around here…I’m thinking that a barbecue, bonfire, hayride to the woods with our many dear friends would be a lot of fun…I have nearly a month to plan!

Wearing…flannel pajama pants, tshirt, polar fleece sweater and socks.  It’s ccccoooollld!!!

Reading…school books!  How else can I write my lesson plans??!!

Praying…constantly.  Trying to remember to greet my Lord before my feet ever hit the floor…to let His name be the last on my lips before sleep closes my eyes…I’m not always so faithful, but I’m trying!

Hearing…my husband’s alarm.  I wonder how long he’ll let it ring.


Better stop typing, and go shake him!

I’m back now…he’s awake!

Around the house…fairly orderly downstairs…the upstairs needs serious attention!

One of my favorite things…these quiet moments before everyone rises, kitten curling around my ankles as I type, the now nearly completely lightened sky…the sun is about to rise!

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing with you

Country living…


Putting it all together…

Here are few suggestions for assembling the Embracing Tradition Catholic Planner.

You will need:

A printer
Three-hole punch
Clear pocket front binder
Clear tabbed dividers
Notebook paper (optional!)

Print the cover page and place inside clear pocket on front:

(Not so very fancy, but I’m eyeing a really pretty toille print that I’ll probably utilize as the insert, cutting the bordered image of the Holy Family and gluing it down…ala scrapbooking!)

Print all the forms you need. Here’s a suggestion: if you decide to print front and back, you’ll need to work your pages around so that each month will “open up” properly…for example the May 2 pages would have the June 1 page printed on the front…the June 2 pages would have the July 1 page printed on the back. You would also want to use a heavier grade paper, to prevent bleed-through of ink…the advantage: no left-right punching of pages required…just simply punch on the right side of every page.

I didn’t do any of that…I simply printed pages as they are, and three hole punched them as follows:

Calendar and lesson plan pages should look like this:

All remaining pages may be punched on the right:

Now…tabbed dividers…

I’ve created the following tabbed dividers:

Monthly Planner/Liturgical Year
(Calendar pages are filed behind this tab)

A divider page with the name of each one of my six scholars
(Weekly lesson plans and information pertinent to that particular student)

A “Mom” divider
(Self-explanatory…I keep my devotion log “Time To Pray” here, as well as grocery lists, to do lists, birthday lists, etc…)

(Advent Customs, Foods, Progression, etc. pages…and anything else pertinent to the season!)

(Pre-Lenten and Lenten Customs and Observations, etc.)

(Paschaltide Customs, Foods, etc.)

(Post-Pentecosts Customs, Foods, etc.)

Ideas and Suggestions
(Self-explanatory…I keep notebook paper and print-outs…anything to jog my memory for future liturgical celebrations!)

Master Forms
(Extra blank forms of my Master Grocery list, Time To Pray, etc.)

I also have a three-hole punch pocket folder that I keep in the very back of the planner. I keep my state required homeschool notification letter, CAT test scores and Excuse From Compulsory Attendance letter…just in case…

Feel free to experiment. I hope you find the pages and suggestions useful.

And now…I must get back to my own planner! School starts in just a few short days…I’ve much to plan!


About the planner…

Dear Friends:

It’s my sincere desire to make the planner available for no charge, to you…the homeschooling, traditional Catholic mom.  Affordability is such a key factor in the life of the large, and even not-so-large, homeschooling family.  Consider it a gift, given in thanksgiving for the many good gifts God continues to give this family.

It will take me a little while, but I hope to post each and every page on Scribd…then it will be as simple as printing it up.  Bear with me…I’ll be posting a few pages, everyday and will provide suggestions for assembly.


**UPDATE**Here is the link for my Scribd folder

Nearly all documents are uploaded, with the exception of calendar pages. I currently have pages (dated, with the appropriate feast) for September through December…should be enough to get you started, until I can finish the remainder. I do have all the “blank” calendar pages completed, just not uploaded.

Welcome to Sacred Heart Academy!

Welcome to our new classroom…

For those of you who are regular visitors, you’ll notice a few changes.  We are no longer upstairs, as much as I enjoyed my “loft-styled” classroom, it was a bit impractical for several reasons.  In the summer:  very, very hot.  In the winter:  extremely cold.

Add to that the occasional “escapee” – you know what I’m talking about:  the child that says, “excuse me, Mom, but may I (go to the bathroom, get a drink, retrieve a book, etc.)?  Mom says “yes” and returns to the rest of the scholars.  Twenty minutes later she realizes child X has not returned.  Hmm.  Yes.  Now that our classroom is downstairs, right in the center of the action so to speak, I expect a great improvement in class attendance!

The younger children are quite pleased with the decision to utilize a table for school work…we’ve done away with the desks for the younger scholars.  The jr. high and high school student will be working independently.  One likes his desk, the other prefers a more casual approach…on the floor, on his bed…rather like a college student in his dorm.

And we’ve converted the old classroom into a lovely chapel.  Photos of the chapel to follow soon…still purging the bookcases!…

So…here is our new “downstairs” classroom:

Emily is already busy with arts and crafts projects…

Mom’s desk and computer…not much will get past me here!

Our “good reads” bookcase and a “communion of saints” – even the gnomes have come to call! :

Science corner and craft work table for the little girls…there’s even a mirror to practice making the sign of the Cross:

Our Science shelf. This is the International Year of Astronomy and that’s our focus…we just received our Galileoscope…a nice edition:

A close-up of the mirror…a really cute idea from Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Many days, my little girls look like umpires signaling the pitcher to throw a curve ball. This helps:

Our liturgical display…ready for September!

A really nice place to store our school supplies and resource materials:

I’m still working on it…a few more things to put up, here and there and our “nature table” to set up, but otherwise, we’re ready for business. Thanks for visiting with us!


Prayer request…

My dear friend’s oldest daughter, Charis, is having outpatient surgery on Thursday to remove an accessory navicular. Would you please pray for her? She has quite a few weeks of recovery ahead of her and the family is scheduled to move in a couple months. Sandra would greatly appreciate any and all prayers for her daughter’s speedy recovery and a peaceful transition to their new community…

Thanks, friends!!

Embracing Tradition…a traditional Catholic planner

Okay…I think it’s nearly finished.  I held a preview for a few of my friends after Mass yesterday, and it seems this is what many traditional Catholic moms are looking for…

A traditional Catholic planner based on the liturgical calendar observed in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

I finally managed to locate a Word-to-PDF converter that made a faithful transition between the file modes. The resulting preview is far better than the one prior.

Here’s a brief peek at a few pages:

*fill in the date pages, with suggested feasts, and an optional page for 2010 which includes papal intentions.  (these pages are meant to be three hole punched as followed:  page one, punched on the right, page two punched on the left…this allows the user the have both pages opened to view the entire month at one time). At first, I thought I’d stick with the fill-in version, however, I quickly realized that unless I included daily “feast and feria” days, I would be constantly referring to my FSSP wall calendar. So I’ve included a dated version, for those of us who suffer the same irritation (you’re in good company!)



*weekly lesson plans:  I’m using a binder with page dividers for each of my children.

*a list of traditional feast days, many which are particular favorites of our family, with the suggestion that you research your own Name days and special days, should you find the list not quite comprehensive.

*Suggestions for celebrating many traditional feast days, including appropriate activities and foods. This is just one section on Advent…

*Ten Minute Tidy list, master grocery list, daily chore list, Time To Pray list for prayer intentions, menu planner…and a whole lot more.

I’m still “tweaking” it, so if you have any suggestions, fire away! What do you need most? I’ve only included a few pages here, but am open to any and all suggestions that might improve the usability of the planner. Let me know what you think…


COMING SOON: A better explanation as to how I’ve assemble my binder, as well as pictures…

A busy mom’s daybook…late summer edition

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – August 24 , 2009

Outside my Window…gathering light and the chirp of crickets.  A hazy mist is rising over the endless sea of soy surrounding the house…it’s 6:30 a.m. and a deliciously chilly 52 degrees…

Thinking…of my family, both near and far.  Is it too soon for Thanksgiving?  How I want to gather everyone together…catch up and share.  These past few weeks of “down-time” have given me ample opportunity to reflect on how much my family means to me.  Home…is…good.  There’s no place I’d rather be, no people I’d rather see, no sight as lovely as the faces of those nearest and dearest to me gathered at the table at the day’s close…

Thankful for…the warm, sunny days that ripened my tomatoes and the cool days that quickly replaced them!  For a profusion of those same tomatoes.  For sunflowers dancing merrily outside my windows.  For the bright pink light of sunrise that is flooding my kitchen.  Summer is fleeting and Fall is just around the corner…I’m ready.  Ready for pumpkins and apples, sweaters and bonfires, falling leaves and early dusk…

From the kitchen…a non-traditional breakfast for hubby and me.  Thick, crispy bacon and juicy slices of yellow and red striped tomatoes…these slices are the size of salad plates!  BLTs…yum!  For the children:  cold cereal and hot zucchini muffins. For dinner: cheese stuffed pasta with sweet italian sausage and pesto. Grilled eggplant and homemade breadsticks. Need to go the grocery store and pick up fruit. None in the house!

Faith and learning…the classroom is nearly complete.  Art supplies are neatly organized, resource materials handily available.  Our first day of school:  September 7th.

Creating…the planner is finished.  A collection of 85 printable forms for a customized planner for the traditional Catholic family attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  I really like the “print as you need” format.  This allows me to have all lesson plans in one binder, rather than having a separate planner for each of my six students.  I previewed it for a few friends after Mass yesterday…seems this is what a lot of moms are looking for.  I’ll be posting the preview today or tomorrow.  Scribd doesn’t translate it very well…but will at least give you and idea of what it consists.

Planning…school year, household chores, long term/short term goals, menus…you name it.  Just like last month!

Wearing…tshirt, sweat pants and an apron.  It’s chilly!

ReadingMater et Magistra.  A friend allowed me to borrow her copy.  What a delight.  Every year, when I order school books, I order a “mommy treat”…something to uplift and encourage me as I approach the new school year.  This year:  Mater et Magistra.  Check it out!

Praying…for my husband and my children.  For an increase in faith.  For courage in the face of adversity.  For a generous heart.  That I may love better…

Hearing…mostly silence.

Around the house…an abundant harvest.  Hundreds of tomatoes rapidly ripening.  I’m giving them away as fast as I can!  10 gallons of green beans, 5 gallons of yellow squash put up.  Enough zucchini shredded for 60 loaves of bread.  A gallon of pesto, frozen, and another quart of chopped basil with olive oil, frozen.  A vegetable bin full of fresh eggplant and zucchini…and many, many more veggies given and to be given away!

One of my favorite things…filling in a new planner.  There’s much hope in plans written down…accountability is a good thing!

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing with you

A couple of our Monarchs…we have five more preparing to exit their cocoons:



Feeling oh, so much better!

So much so, that on Thursday we had friends over for the first time in three weeks…

The house has been suffering from the lack of motherly care, though the children have kept things reasonably tidy, considering the circumstances.

But then there’s my pride…seeing the dust, seeing the dirt…directing the “troops” to tidy this and that…it came together quite quickly.

Until I walked into the girls’ room…

Disaster! And there was simply no way that I could “get down and dirty” and help undo the damage.

I approached 7 year old Charlotte.


“Charlotte…your room is a disaster. You know…if you picked up the laundry, put away the books and dolls, pulled up the covers and picked up the paper it would look much better in no time…”


“Don’t worry, Mom. I’ve gotten it taken care of. I’ll be right back!”

Pen in hand, she makes a sign and posts it, with considerable pride, for all her friends to see:

You have been warned. Enter at your own risk…



I love St. Francis de Sales:

Raise your eyes to Heaven and you will see that no one arrives there without hard work and continual afflictions. When things go wrong, say to yourself, “This is the road to Heaven. I see the harbor and I am sure that the tempests will not stop me from reaching it.” (Letters 1281; O. XVII, p. 347)



Suffering well…

But how? Faced with my limitations, I lament all that others must do that I would. Struggling against the tide, I try to do what I can, only to lament the pain that follows for having done too much.

I shared this with my dad.


“It’s so hard, Dad. I see how much the kids are taking on. Things are falling apart, but they are struggling valiantly to keep up. Arthur is amazing, but I worry that it’s too much for him. Cooking, cleaning, dealing with so many different things, including worrying over me. It’s too much for a teenage boy…”


“How can you say that? With all you’ve taught those children. Think back. A hundred years ago your boy would’ve been carrying a gun, loading a cannon, hoisting a sail on a ship. I don’t think a few dishes are going to take him down…”

I love my Dad.

He’s so right. These are the times that bond families, that “grow” men. How comforting for my husband to know that such a wonderful young man is at the helm of the ship, when he’s not here.

I’m humbled in my infirmity.

Watching this man-child as he watches me struggle to put on a pair of shoes…without a word, he easily bends over, slips my shoes on, and smiles.

No words are necessary.

An act of pure love, pure compassion…unsolicited and yet most welcome.


Just a quick note…

So sorry to be away so long…and I can only type for a second.

Might I beg your prayers?  I’ve spent the past week in excrutiating pain.  I had an MRI this afternoon (a decidedly unpleasant experience for the claustrophobic!) and will probably need surgery to remove a ruptured disc in my spine.  There simply aren’t words to describe this level of pain…if you’ve ever been through it, then I’m sure you understand.

Please keep my dear Clementine in your prayers as well.  She’s had her own ups and downs this week and could really use your prayers.


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