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Catholic Family Vignettes

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

Month

October 2009

First Holy Communion…a pictorial

Our sweet Abigail’s First Holy Communion…graciously thanking all those who prayed for our dear girl.  Few words…the pictures tell all:

“Hidden God, devoutly I adore Thee, truly present beneath these veils: all my heart subdues itself before Thee, since all before Thee faints and fails.”

– Adoro Te Devote

Blessings,

Prayer request!

My sweet girl, Charlotte, has been headachey and listless for most of the day.  No other signs of illness…no fever, cough, congestion, etc…just “off” – she took a nap today and she never naps.  Please pray, would you?  Tomorrow this precious child will make her First Holy Communion on the traditional Feast of Christ the King.  We’re holding our breath, praying that she’s not coming down with something.  May God’s will be done…

Blessings,

Eight is great…

Yesterday, Charlotte celebrated her eighth birthday…seven was heaven and eight will be great…so says my girl!

Here are a few pics of the birthday girl and her favorite gift:  a handcrafted family of Forest Fairies and their very fine dwelling.  The boys did a wonderful job gathering natural materials and helping in the assembly of the furniture.  We used acorn caps for dishes, shagbark hickory for the table and shutters, dried sunflowers and other assorted wildflowers for adornment, twigs, walnut hulls and milkweed pods for the rocking chair.  The gnomes and fairies have been playing together happily for most of the day!

And now, preparations for our visitors. The Grands will be here on Friday and we are excitedly preparing. Prayers, please? My energy level is seriously diminished and there’s much to do…thanks!

Blessings,

Seasonal View – week 3

My window to the world:

Grass speckled with brightly colored leaves, maple trees about half bare, field faded to a dull beige, lilac and cherry trees nearly stripped…a windy day, not too cool, but fall is most definitely here to stay!

How’s the scenery where you live?

Blessings,

A busy mom’s daybook…celebration week!

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – October 19, 2009

Outside my Window….pink and orange band of light edging the deep blue sky…no clouds.  A soft wind and a balmy 32 degrees.  Today’s forecast?  58!!  Can you say “Indian Summer?”

Thinking…that I’ll make a Dr. appointment today.  Like I should have a few weeks ago…still dragging…

Thankful for…this week.  A week of preparations and celebrations.  Today we celebrate Charlotte’s 8th birthday.  I’m putting the finishing touches on her gift…I think she’ll like it.  Also, and much more importantly. preparing home and hearth for family who are arriving to celebrate Charlotte’s First Holy Communion this Sunday!   So exciting…it’s been many, many years since I’ve had a daughter receive our Lord for the first time.  A succession of four young knights…and now a princess!  Lovely…

From the kitchen…breakfast burrito for dad, soft-boiled eggs for the rest of us.  I think I’ll surprise the little girl’s with an impromptu tea party in honor of Charlotte’s birthday.  We had a lot of fun with the last one…dinner?  Charlotte’s choice…per tradition.  Birthday kids pick the evening meal…

Faith and learning…FALL BREAK!!  Yeehah!  Whoopee!  Yahoo!  Grands are coming…we’ll have a couple half days and then we are DONE FOR 8 (count ’em!) EIGHT DAYS!!!

Creating…still working on Charlotte’s veil…

Planning…a peaceful week with preparations for the weekend’s festivities…

Wearing…brown micro-suede skirt, pumpkin-y orange cable sweater, brown tights and clogs.  Hair up…

Reading…King of the Golden City to all the younger children.  Again…

Praying…that my girl will always remember this time…aren’t first sacraments wonderful?

Hearing…little Emily wish Charlotte a “Happy Birthday on your First Holy Communion!”  She was a bit disappointed to discover that Charlotte is not receiving First Holy Communion today, on her birthday!  It does seem the best possible gift…

Around the house…cleaning, cleaning, cleaning to accomplish.  And I have no energy.  Ah, well.  The Lord will provide for all my deficiencies.  Ah, I hear my six “provisions” right now!  Thank you, Lord, for helpful children!

One of my favorite things…a walk in the woods alone with my husband.  I actually had one yesterday.  For 15 minutes.  And then the children found us…

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing with you

Arthur’s “pet” mushroom, growing on the stump to which he attaches his grinder.  He took this shot:

Blessings,

Apple-y goodness…

Apples…they’re what’s for breakfast!

Am I the last person in the world to discover the Oven Puffed Pancake? Who knew so little effort could produce such delightful results…a treat for the eyes, nose and palate.  A big thanks to Wildflowers and Marbles…if Jen hadn’t posted her menu and piqued my curiosity, I would’ve remained woefully ingnorant of such yummy-goodness!

And yes…it tastes even better than it looks…caramelized apples and cinnamon…mmmm…come on over!  Coffee’s on, breakfast is ready, this slice is for you:

Blessings,

Small Successes…small steps, big benefits!

Ah, Fall!  Swirling leaves, the land color-washed, the air crisp and clean.  I come alive this time of year…wrapped in a cozy sweater and warm memories.  I can’t remember the last time I posted my “small successes” so I thought I’d join in this week.  Here goes:

1.  Five weeks of school and the momentum and enthusiasm remains.  This is no small success.  I can’t remember the last time we’ve been able to keep going this long…with enthusiasm! Usually, it’s just dogged determination.  That’s not to say that there haven’t been hard days…it just seems that the attitudes are different.  Once I decided to truly embrace and LOVE (not just tolerate or “get through with”) school, everyone else jumped on board.  I’m encouraged as I haven’t been for years…

2.  Despite off and on sickness, I’ve managed some pretty creative meals…everyone has been fairly pleased with the variety, with the exception of Charlotte.  She hasn’t eaten in years…picky, picky, picky!

3.  And speaking of darling Charlotte:  I’ve just finished crafting four of the most adorable Forest Fairies to join her family of Gnomes.  The Forest Fairy dwelling is under construction and I promise lots of pictures soon.  I’m posting a pic of two of her new friends.  Since she doesn’t read my blog, I’m sure the rest of you will keep it under wraps until next Monday…right?  Thanks!

Share your Small Successes at Faith and Family Live!

Fall blessings,

Seasonal View…week 2

My window to the world:

The grass is still green, zinnias limping along despite several frosty mornings, soy shorn to a lovely golden stubble, maples tinged with pink and gold…

How’s the view in your neck of the woods?

Blessings,

Columbus speaks…


Oh, the evils of revisionist history! Despite a good portion of the nation’s refusal to honor this good Catholic explorer, bowing to the spirit political “correctness”, we will celebrate today and I humbly submit last year’s post:

This amazing letter is a translation from the original Latin, and gives us a quick glimpse into the heart of Cristobal Colon/Christopher Columbus.

When I was a child, Columbus was a hero. Now, thanks to a little “revisionist history”, Columbus has become a pariah, a violator of human rights and dignity. Lest we all jump on the band wagon, here is an outstanding quote from an agnostic professor of sociology from the University of Brussels, Dr. Leo Moulin, and he says,

‘Pay attention to this incredulous old man who knows what he says. The masterpiece of anti-Christian propaganda is that it has succeeded in creating in Christians, above all in Catholics, a bad conscience, instilling in them embarrassment, if not shame, of their own history. There has not been a historical problem, error or suffering which has not been imputed to you, and you, almost always ignorant of your past, have ended up believing it to the point of supporting it. On the contrary, I, agnostic but also a historian who tries to be objective, tell you that you should react in the name of truth.’

Thank you, Dr. Moulin, for that excellent reminder!

Concerning the Islands Recently Discovered in the Indian Sea (1493)

Introduction added by Aliander de Cosco

Letter of Christopher Columbus, to whom our age owes much, concerning the islands recently discovered in the Indian sea. For the search of which, eight months before, he was sent under the auspices and at the cost of the most invincible Ferdinand, king of Spain. Addressed to the magnificent lord Raphael Sanxis, a treasurer of the same most illustrious king, and which the noble and learned man Aliander de Cosco has translated from the Spanish language into Latin, on the third of the kalends of May, 1493, the first year of the pontificate of Alexander the Sixth.

Because my undertakings have attained success, I know that it will be pleasing to you: these I have determined to relate, so that you may be made acquainted with everything done and discovered in this our voyage. On the thirty-third day after I departed from Cadiz, I came to the Indian sea, where I found many islands inhabited by men without number, of all which I took possession for our most fortunate king, with proclaiming heralds and flying standards, no one objecting. To the first of these I gave the name of the blessed Saviour, on whose aid relying I had reached this as well as the other islands. But the Indians call it Guanahany. I also called each one of the others by a new name. For I ordered one island to be called Santa Maria of the Conception, another Fernandina, another Isabella, another Juana, and so on with the rest.

As soon as we had arrived at that island which I have just now said was called Juana, I proceeded along its coast towards the west for some distance; I found it so large and without perceptible end, that I believed it to be not an island, but the continental country of Cathay; seeing, however, no towns or cities situated on the sea-coast, but only some villages and rude farms, with whose inhabitants I was unable to converse, because as soon as they saw us they took flight.

I proceeded farther, thinking that I would discover some city or large residences. At length, perceiving that we had gone far enough, that nothing new appeared, and that this way was leading us to the north, which I wished to avoid, because it was winter on the land, and it was my intention to go to the south, moreover the winds were becoming violent, I therefore determined that no other plans were practicable, and so, going back, I returned to a certain bay that I had noticed, from which I sent two of our men to the land, that they might find out whether there was a king in this country, or any cities. These men traveled for three days, and they found people and houses without number, but they were small and without any government, therefore they returned.

Now in the meantime I had learned from certain Indians, whom I had seized there, that this country was indeed an island, and therefore I proceeded towards the east, keeping all the time near the coast, for 322 miles, to the extreme ends of this island. From this place I saw another island to the east distant from this Juana 54 miles, which I called forthwith Hispana; and I sailed to it; and I steered along the northern coast, as at Juana, towards the east, 564 miles.

And the said Juana and the other islands there appear very fertile. This island is surrounded by many very safe and wide harbors, not excelled by any others that I have ever seen. Many great and salubrious rivers flow through it. There are also many very high mountains there. All these islands are very beautiful, and distinguished by various qualities; they are accessible, and full of a great variety of trees stretching up to the stars; the leaves of which I believe are never shed, for I saw them as green and flourishing as they are usually in Spain in the month of May; some of them were blossoming, some were bearing fruit, some were in other conditions; each one was thriving in its own way. The nightingale and various other birds without number were singing, in the month of November, when I was exploring them.

There are besides in the said island Juana seven or eight kinds of palm trees, which far excel ours in height and beauty, just as all the other trees, herbs, and fruits do. There are also excellent pine trees, vast plains and meadows, a variety of birds, a variety of honey, and a variety of metals, excepting iron. In the one which was called Hispana, as we said above, there are great and beautiful mountains, vast fields, groves, fertile plains, very suitable for planting and cultivating, and for the building of houses. The convenience of the harbors in this island, and the remarkable number of rivers contributing to the healthfulness of man, exceed belief, unless one has seen them. The trees, pasturage, and fruits of this island differ greatly from those of Juana. This Hispana, moreover, abounds in different kinds of spices, in gold, and in metals. On this island, indeed, and on all the others which I have seen, and of which I have knowledge, the inhabitants of both sexes go always naked, just as they came into the world, except some of the women, who use a covering of a leaf or some foliage, or a cotton cloth, which they make themselves for that purpose.

All these people lack, as I said above, every kind of iron; they are also without weapons, which indeed are unknown; nor are they competent to use them, not on account of deformity of body, for they are well formed, but because they are timid and full of fear. They carry for weapons, however, reeds baked in the sun, on the lower ends of which they fasten some shafts of dried wood rubbed down to a point; and indeed they do not venture to use these always; for it frequently happened when I sent two or three of my men to some of the villages, that they might speak with the natives, a compact troop of the Indians would march out, and as soon as they saw our men approaching, they would quickly take flight, children being pushed aside by their fathers, and fathers by their children. And this was not because any hurt or injury had been inflicted on any one of them, for to every one whom I visited and with whom I was able to converse, I distributed whatever I had, cloth and many other things, no return being made to me; but they are by nature fearful and timid.

Yet when they perceive that they are safe, putting aside all fear, they are of simple manners and trustworthy, and very liberal with everything they have, refusing no one who asks for anything they may possess, and even themselves inviting us to ask for things. They show greater love for all others than for themselves; they give valuable things for trifles, being satisfied even with a very small return, or with nothing; however, I forbade that things so small and of no value should be given to them, such as pieces of plates, dishes, and glass, likewise keys and shoelace tips although if they were to obtain these, it seemed to them like getting the most beautiful jewels in the world. It happened, indeed, that a certain sailor obtained in exchange for a shoelace tips as much worth of gold as would equal three golden coins; and likewise other things for articles of very little value, especially for new silver coins, and for some gold coins, to obtain which they gave whatever the seller desired, as for instance an ounce and a half and two ounces of gold, or thirty and forty pounds of cotton, with which they were already acquainted. They also traded cotton and gold for pieces of bows, bottles, jugs and jars, like persons without reason, which I forbade because it was very wrong; and I gave to them many beautiful and pleasing things that I had brought with me, no value being taken in exchange, in order that I might the more easily make them friendly to me, that they might be made worshipers of Christ, and that they might be full of love towards our king, queen, and prince, and the whole Spanish nation; also that they might be zealous to search out and collect, and deliver to us those things of which they had plenty, and which we greatly needed.

These people practice no kind of idolatry; on the contrary they firmly believe that all strength and power, and in fact all good things are in heaven, and that I had come down from thence with these ships and sailors; and in this belief I was received there after they had put aside fear. Nor are they slow or unskilled, but of excellent and acute understanding; and the men who have navigated that sea give an account of everything in an admirable manner; but they never saw people clothed, nor these kind of ships. As soon as I reached that sea, I seized by force several Indians on the first island, in order that they might learn from us, and in like manner tell us about those things in these lands of which they themselves had knowledge; and the plan succeeded, for in a short time we understood them and they us, sometimes by gestures and signs, sometimes by words; and it was a great advantage to us. They are coming with me now, yet always believing that I descended from heaven, although they have been living with us for a long time, and are living with us to-day. And these men were the first who announced it wherever we landed, continually proclaiming to the others in a loud voice, “Come, come, and you will see the celestial people.” Whereupon both women and men, both young men and old men, laying aside the fear caused a little before, visited us eagerly, filling the road with a great crowd, some bringing food, and some drink, with great love and extraordinary goodwill.

On every island there are many canoes of a single piece of wood; and though narrow, yet in length and shape similar to our row-boats, but swifter in movement. They steer only by oars. Some of these boats are large, some small, some of medium size. Yet they row many of the larger row-boats with eighteen cross-benches, with which they cross to all those islands, which are innumerable, and with these boats they perform their trading, and carry on commerce among them. I saw some of these row- boats or canoes which were carrying seventy and eighty rowers.

In all these island there is no difference in the appearance of the people, nor in the manners and language, but all understand each other mutually; a fact that is very important for the end which I suppose to be earnestly desired by our most illustrious king, that is, their conversion to the holy religion of Christ, to which in truth, as far as I can perceive, they are very ready and favorably inclined.

I said before how I proceeded along the island Juana in a straight line from west to east 322 miles, according to which course and the length of the way, I am able to say that this Juana is larger than England and Scotland together; for besides the said 322 thousand paces, there are two more provinces in that part which lies toward the west, which I did not visit; one of these the Indians call Anan, whose inhabitants are born with tails. They extend to 180 miles in length, as I have learned from those Indians I have with me, who are all acquainted with these islands.

But the circumference of Hispana is greater than all Spain from Colonia [Catalonia] to Fontarabia [Fuenterrabia]. And this is easily proved, because its fourth side, which I myself passed along in a straight line from west to east, extends 540 miles. This island is to be desired and is very desirable, and not to be despised; in which, although as I have said, I solemnly took possession of all the others for our most invincible king, and their government is entirely committed to the said king, yet I especially took possession of a certain large town, in a very convenient location, and adapted to all kinds of gain and commerce, to which we give the name of our Lord of the Nativity. And I commanded a fort to be built where forthwith, which must be completed by this time; in which I left as many men as seemed necessary, with all kinds of arms, and plenty of food for more than a year. Likewise one caravel, and for the construction of others men skilled in this trade and in other professions; and also the extraordinary good will and friendship of the king of this island toward us. For those people are very amiable and kind, to such a degree that the said king gloried in calling me his brother. And if they should change their minds, and should wish to hurt those who remained in the fort, they would not be able, because they lack weapons, they go naked, and are too cowardly. For that reason those who hold the said fort are at least able to resist easily this whole island, without any imminent danger to themselves, so long as they do not transgress the regulations and command which we gave.

In all these islands, as I have understood, each man is content with only one wife, except the princes or kings, who are permitted to have twenty. The women appear to work more than the men. I was not able to find out surely whether they have individual property, for I saw that one man had the duty of distributing to the others, especially refreshments, food, and things of that kind. I found no monstrosities among them, as very many supposed, but men of great reverence, and friendly. Nor are they black like the Ethiopians. They have straight hair, hanging down. They do not remain where the solar rays send out the heat, for the strength of the sun is very great here, because it is distant from the equinoctial line, as it seems, only twenty-six degrees. On the tops of the mountains too the cold is severe, but the Indians, however, moderate it, partly by being accustomed to the place, and partly by the help of very hot victuals, of which they eat frequently and immoderately.

And so I did not see any monstrosity, nor did I have knowledge of them any where, excepting a certain island named Charis, which is the second in passing from Hispana to India. This island is inhabited by a certain people who are considered very warlike by their neighbors. These eat human flesh. The said people have many kinds of row-boats, in which they cross over to all the other Indian islands, and seize and carry away everything that they can. They differ in no way from the others, only that they wear long hair like the women. They use bows and darts made of reeds, with sharpened shafts fastened to the larger end, as we have described. On this account they are considered warlike, wherefore the other Indians are afflicted with continual fear, but I regard them as of no more account than the others. These are the people who visit certain women, who alone inhabit the island of Mateunin, which is the first in passing from Hispana to India. These women, moreover, perform no kind of work of their sex, for they use bows and darts, like those I have described of their husbands; they protect themselves with sheets of copper, of which there is a great abundance among them. They tell of another island greater than the aforesaid Hispana, whose inhabitants are without hair, and which abounds in gold above all the others. I am bringing with me men of this island and of the others that I have seen, who give proof of the things that I have described.

Finally, that I may compress in a few words the brief account of our departure and quick return, and the gain, I promise this, that If I am supported by our most invincible sovereigns with a little of their help, as much gold can be supplied as they will need, indeed as much of spices, of cotton, of mastic gum (which is only found in Chios), also as much of aloes wood, and as many slaves for the navy, as their Majesties will wish to demand. Likewise rhubarb and other kinds of spices, which I suppose these men whom I left in the said fort have already found, and will continue to find; since I remained in no place longer than the winds forced me, except in the town of the Nativity, while I provided for the building of the fort, and for the safety of all. Which things, although they are very great and remarkable, yet they would have been much greater, if I had been aided by as many ships as the occasion required.

Truly great and wonderful is this, and not corresponding to our merits, but to the holy Christian religion, and to the piety and religion of our sovereigns, because what the human understanding could not attain, that the divine will has granted to human efforts. For God is wont to listen to his servants who love his precepts, even in impossibilities, as has happened to us on the present occasion, who have attained that which hitherto mortal men have never reached. For if anyone has written or said anything about these islands, it was all with obscurities and conjectures; no one claims that he had seen them; from which they seemed like fables. Therefore let the king and queen, the princes and their most fortunate kingdoms, and all other countries of Christendom give thanks to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has bestowed upon us so great a victory and gift. Let religious processions be solemnized; let sacred festivals be given; let the churches be covered with festive garlands. Let Christ rejoice on earth, as he rejoices in heaven, when he foresees coming to salvation so many souls of people hitherto lost. Let us be glad also, as well on account of the exaltation of our faith, as on account of the increase of our temporal affairs, of which not only Spain, but universal Christendom will be partaker. These things that have been done are thus briefly related. Farewell.

Lisbon, the day before the Ides of March.

Christopher Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Fleet.

A busy mom’s daybook…

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – October 12, 2009

Outside my Window….gray skies obscuring the sun, splashes of pink and gold amongst the green leaves of the maples, the soy is being harvested leaving a neat expanse of golden stubble…39 degrees.

Thinking…about this school year.  Week 5 and the momentum remains, despite illness and the occasional grumpy scholar.  God has so graciously answered my prayer…and educating my children has become my joy.  Not knitting, not crocheting, not writing or nature walks.  Those things are pleasurable and still have a place…but one of lesser importance.  School is no longer that “obstacle” to be overcome, but is, instead, an adventure that I am privileged to embark upon daily with those whom are dearest to me.  After months of tossing about in a storm of doubt and angst, a “still, small voice” reminded me to “seek first the kingdom of God”, encouraging me to remember that “where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”

Does it surprise you that a veteran homeschooler still struggles with doubt and has fears of inadequacy?

I am inadequate. Without our Good God’s grace, I can do nothing.  Self-reliance is a lie, and yet I continually find myself in that place.  Undertaking everything as though all depended on me.  Ha.  Ha.  Ha.  I’m such a silly child, and our Lord loves me so well.  He never tires of teaching me in the midst of my foolishness!

Thankful for…see above.

From the kitchen…yummy-delicious hot coffee.  Eggs and sausage.  Cold morning, hot breakfast.  Soup and sandwiches for lunch.  Dinner:  spicy chicken wings, baked applesauce, fries and a salad.

Faith and learning…I’m excited to begin reviewing Latin Roots of the Catholic Religion for In the Hands of a Child.  Lapbooks are such a great hands-on tool.  On Tuesday, we’ll attend the Miracles of the Eucharist at our parish church, Holy Family, presented by Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

Creating…a veil for Charlotte…

Planning…little Miss Charlotte’s First Holy Communion takes place on October 25th, the Traditional Feast of Christ the King.  Readying home and hearth for family and friends.  Readying Charlotte’s heart to receive her King…

Wearing…cream corduroy trousers, cream turtleneck, orange baby-cable sweater…and my pearls.

Reading…no time, really…

Praying…that this mysterious malady finishes its work and leaves me alone!  My face remains terribly swollen…you never know how vain you are until the way you think you look differs greatly from that image in the mirror…I thought I was done with vanity…sigh…

Hearing…the crowing of two roosters, each competing for supremacy.  There can be only one…

Around the house…the upstairs is…dare I say it…CLEAN!  Nearly four and half weeks of off and on sickness took its toll.  I’m still recovering from Saturday’s efforts.  My energy level is way, way down…

One of my favorite things…family.  Yeah…most definitely.  They’re the best teachers I’ve every had…

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing with you


Aren’t big brothers the best?

Blessings,

You know you live in the country when…

…your local Walmart carries chicken feed and grit.

They’ve downsized most of my favorite brands, but they still carry farm supplies!

Blessings,

The Power of the Rosary…our family’s story

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary…oh, happy day!

At this morning’s Mass, Father shared stories about the Rosary.  Stories of conversion, miracles and marvels.  As he so eloquently stated:  “Everyone has a story about the Rosary!” I’d like to share ours and hope that you will feel free to do the same, either on your blog or in the combox…here’s mine:

We are a family that prays the Rosary.  Not nearly as often as we should, nor as often as we’d like, but we do pray it as often as we can.  It is the cord that binds us together, strengthening our family as few other devotions have.  Rosaries can be found throughout our home, in our cars, in purses and pockets, draped over statues and hanging upon the wall.  We’ve made Rosaries for missions and prisons, given them as gifts to friends and family, and nearly everyone of us have worn a Rosary ring at one time or another.

It wasn’t always this way…as converts from protestantism, we had very little experience with what many detractors refer to as “vain and repetitious prayer.”  Learning the historicity of the beautiful beads and the prayers attached to each, we came to understand the depth of biblical teaching, dogma and tradition contained in such a seemingly simple series of prayers.  I found it intriguingly beautiful…

So I obtained a booklet of the prayers and began to pray the Rosary alone.  I was very shy about it…I don’t know why.  I would pray in the car.  I would pray early in the morning when the children were asleep.  Not with my family.  Praying the Rosary had become a private devotion, one that I kept a secret

Until the accident.

In 1995, I was involved in a terrible car accident. While traveling the north bound lane of a major interstate (and praying the 5th Joyful Mystery of the rosary), my vehicle was struck by a semi. The vehicle was propelled across the median, flipped over 1 1/2 times and was skidding on its hood when it was struck by another vehicle in the south bound lane. My vehicle was upside down at the time, and the front of that other vehicle entered the rear of my mini-van and sheared off the driver’s seat (which I was in). At the time of the accident, I was quite sure I would die, and remember asking our Lord (quite calmly, considering the situation) to not “let me kill anyone else”. That prayer was answered in the most perfect way! Six vehicles were involved in this accident, twelve people suffered minor injuries.  Hanging upside down, still strapped in my seatbelt, I crawled out of my absolutely destroyed vehicle, through a broken window, was sprayed with battery acid and only managed to obtain a cut on my elbow which would later require three stitches.  Still clasped tightly in my right hand was my Rosary…I had never once let go of it!  Witnesses rushing to assist me as I stumbled from my vehicle stared incredulously.  It didn’t seem that anyone could have survived that crash, let alone walked out of it.  It was clear that our Lord had preserved my life and I believe firmly that it was through our Lady’s intercession.  The Rosary became a constant companion, and I told everyone, everyone about the miracle of our Lady’s intercession…

It certainly seemed obvious that the Rosary was the prayer our family needed to pray most!

The first time our family prayed the Rosary together was on my 31st birthday.  Still a bit shy about my “secret” prayer, I requested the recitation of a family Rosary as my birthday gift.  I remember, so clearly, one of my older daughters placing a rosary into the hand of my infant son, Gawain, who was sitting in his swing.  It was such a lovely sight, I took a photo…long before I’d ever heard of digital photography!  I still have that picture…

And so we began…and thus we’ve continued.  That first night was awkward.  We stumbled through the words, struggling to find a rhythm, haltingly praying with many stops and starts.  The little ones would drift off to sleep, an infant would need to be nursed…and we prayed, weaving a lovely “wreath of roses” for our Lord, using this beautiful, powerful devotion.

Grabbing the rosary has become second nature…a nearly involuntary response in times of joy and crisis.  It remains the most efficacious way for this family to call Home to Mother…

Happy Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary!  Be sure to share your own “Rosary story” with the rest of us!

Blessings,

A Seasonal View…

…from the classroom window!

Renee at Go East, They Said has a delightful idea.  She’s posting a weekly picture of the view from her exquisite picture window to show the changing seasons.  Barb is joining in, and so shall I!  I don’t have a “picture window,” but I do have a lovely view from a couple rooms…and the classroom window will be the most convenient, as it is just to the left of my desk.   I had to clean the window of the smudgy kid prints…my young ones are frequently lifting the screen to pass things in and out to one another and can’t resist touching the glass.  I lifted the screen, as well, to get a clearer shot.  So here’s the view:

Green grass abounds, zinnias still blooming, soy fields are changing from gold to amber, and leaves are just beginning to tinge pink and red.

Will you join us?  I’d love to see your window to the world as the seasons change…

Blessings,

A busy mom’s daybook…

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – October 5, 2009

Outside my Window….a blush of pink tingeing a cloudless blue sky.  Sunrise and 36 degrees.  Fall is here…

Thinking…about how quickly our plans can go astray as illness hits the household.  Two of us down (yep…me…again!)  Fears that the rest may soon follow…prayers that it be short-lived…

Thankful for…a warm sweater on a chilly morning.  And my Eden Pure heater.  I can’t believe we’ve needed it so soon…

From the kitchen…gingerale and crackers.  At least for me.  Lunch:??  Dinner:??

Faith and learning…I want to continue to plug away, but we may just take a lighter approach today.  I want to grab blankets and pillows, history books and storybooks and read.  Maybe…

Creating…We had a lot of fun with feast days last week.  So many wonderful crafts and foods.  My standing projects are on hold…

Planning…not much today.  It’s the Feast of St. Faustina...coloring pages and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to remember our Saint.  Not…food…

Wearing…tan micro-suede lounging pants, long-sleeved black tee, camel polar fleece sweater.  Warm socks…

Reading…this n’ that…

Praying…that round three of sickness will be short lived.  For my friend, Sandra, who has injured her back as she’s preparing for a move, for my dear husband at work, for my three oldest daughters whom I miss terribly!

Hearing…voices of the children…

Around the house…messy.  Not terrifying, but definitely messy.  Except for the classroom.  And the dishes are washed…that’s something.  The laundry isn’t tooooo bad, but bad enough.  I just wish I felt like getting it all done…

One of my favorite things…good health.  You never appreciate it, until it’s missing!

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing with you

A photo from my favorite nature photographer, Gareth.  BTW:  all those rapidly changer blog header pictures?  Those are all Gareth’s pics.  He’s constantly asking me to display this one or that one.  How can I refuse those big blue eyes?  I can’t, I tell ya!

Blessings,

Demographic Bomb

From the producers of Demographic Winter-The Decline of the Human Family; a new documentary:

Demographic Bomb…coming July 1st 2010

Angels, angels, angels…

A few of our heavenly encounters…

Blessings,

Happy Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels!

“Behold I will send my angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him, and hear his voice” Exodus 23:20

“See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” St. Matthew 18:10

Today is the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels! Our family has a few plans for celebrating one of our favorite feast days…you can check them out here.

We’ve been so very busy lately, immersed in the pleasures of a new season…enjoying the crispness of the air, the tumbling leaves, nature walks and treasure hunts.  Our new Nature Center is brimming with our “finds.”  Gareth’s leaf collection, the last of our zinnias, a few fossils and interesting rocks, gourds, books…even Charlotte’s family of gnomes…all there for display, exploration and play.  The table itself is nothing fancy…my largest file cabinet topped with a piece of plywood and a tablecloth…but the effect is quite charming!

Our October Liturgical display is ready, as well.  We begin the month with images of the Holy Guardian Angels and St. Therese.  Visitors from our Alphabet of Catholic Saints are there, too.  A basket of books and lovely bouquet of fall flowers make a pretty display.  And note the wooden cross in the background…a Dollar Tree “find” that we quickly transformed:

Meet Fr. Alder!  Our very own “Super Simple Forest Father” easily assembled within a few minutes, to the great delight of the four younger children…inexpensive, no-sew and a great hands-on way for the little ones to note the “colors of the season.”

And now I’m off to make a few angel shaped pancakes…or, dare I say, a couple dozen?!  Hungry boys to feed and a school day to begin…

Blessings to you on this joyous Feast Day!

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