Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
Love it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tea Talk

It's time for tea talk on Ruth's blog.  Today:

I was having my usual coffee with a hint of hazelnut creamer.  I stepped outside onto the front porch while I was drinking it for a few minutes to see a foot of snow all around our suburban neighborhood.  I noticed how quite it was and how the red, white, and blue American flag on our house really stood out against the snow.  I thought of all those who have defended our country in this peaceful quite bliss as the flag blew gently in the soft breeze.  I offered up a prayer in thanksgiving and mourning.

My mug was a tall, skinny, white mug with a picture of a snowman on the front.  Above the snowman it says, "LET IT SNOW" with little blue snowflakes all around the rest of the mug.

I was feeling relaxed with a bit of nervousness mixed in with the relaxation because my husband was home from work today and was not feeling well.  This meant that I was not going to get much homeschooling done today.

On my mind was my sixth grader's Science project and my high schooler's English research and rhetoric paper.  I was preparing to tackle the research involved with these two projects to get them started on a decision for an experiment to record and an author to write about.  Upon entering the house, I was wishing that both of our computers worked instead of only one working.  At twelve o'clock I watched the Mass on EWTN and my children and I said Divine Mercy afterwards.  This helped ease my anxieties today as my four year old seemed to need attention quite often today.  Of course, it just seemed like this because the desire for attention from him came while I was busy (on phone, helping daughters, doing laundry or dishes, fixing meals, etc.).

FOR THE SAKE OF HIS SORROWFUL PASSION, HAVE MERCY ON US!  Thank you Dear Lord for your loving care!  Let me never take what I have for granted!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is Wednesday and time to post the five things I am thankful for this week to Judy's blog.  I feel like if there is anything that is good to share - it is definitely what I am grateful for during my week.

1)  I am grateful for the book I am using to introduce my four year old to the Ten Commandments.  It is called "The Ten Commandments, I Obey God" by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D.  It has beautiful pictures and simple stories that will help a small child put into practice the beginnings of their understandings of the Commandments.

2)  I am thankful for visiting the library on Monday - before the snow hit.  We have a stack of books to read while we are snowed in today.  My daughters occasionally will read to my four year old too.  It is wonderful to see this.  The library near our house has shortened their hours.  Therefore, we visited a neighboring county's library who has much better hours.  It is a 20 minute further drive but well worth it.  The staff there is much friendlier too.  These hour reductions took effect after Obama took office.

3)  I am so grateful for the experience my dear husband has with lifeguarding and swim team.  My college sons have lifeguarding jobs during the summer and all of my children have benefited from participating on our local swim team.  My college sons may be coming home one day this week for an interview for their summer jobs (weather depending).  My high schooler is on her school's swim team and has been invited to a prestigious swim meet at Villanova.

4)  I am also grateful for the fact that my husband was able to take my two daughters and their friend to the March for Life Rally and March in WDC.  I attended the rally one year with my daughters but it was much too cold to attend the march for me.  Also, my PTSD makes it difficult for me to be in large crowds for prolonged periods.  They all had a good time and met up with my daughter's high school during the march. I would highly recommend the rally to anyone.  It is a holy and uplifting event.

5)  I am also grateful for the chance to begin putting together a starter kit to SAAC (Summary Analysis and Composition) to help homeschool moms utilize NOL's approach to teaching their children.  See my website at  I hope someday I can get additional help for the things I need to add to my website.  Right now I do not know how to go about making the necessary changes and additions to make my site more attractive.  If you view my site, you will see alot of text right now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for me to list five things I'm thankful for and post them to Judy's blog.  I love this meme because a grateful heart is a happy heart!

1)  I am so thankful for my daughter's ballet instructor.  She is serious about making sure the girls learn proper techniques in a fun manner.  This instructor is tough on the girls at times but often throws in a joke or something humorous.  She really knows her trade.  My daughter pointed out how she really cares that the girls learn properly, where as, a teacher she had in the past wasn't as good.

2)  I am very thankful for the Rosary.  It is wonderful to hear my little four year old's voice try to follow along and say the Hail Mary with us.  He is really learning.  Mary has given us such a gift in this powerful prayer!

3)  I am thankful that my two college age sons are easy to shop for when we have to make a last minute run to wal-mart before I drive them back to college tomorrow.  They always get the basics:  white T's, boxers, socks, jeans, etc.  They can always find what they need at wal-mart and always look good in it.  (It's very different when I shop - I can't find anything half the time.)  I'll miss my sons!

4)  I'm thankful for the wonderful visit I had with my friend on Monday.  The children all played together well.  The older kids explored the pond for an hour while the younger kids were playing with toys.  We had a good visit and developed an idea we have to teach a co-op class together next year.

5)  I'm thankful for the little nook in the kitchen I can set up when visitors come.  It's just the countertop where the coffee pot, tea, sugar and creamer set, and spoons and cups go for easy access to necessities.  Sometimes the kids can make sticky cups and sticky counters everywhere else.  This is the spot that is ADULTS ONLY!  So it is nice and clean.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes

Jennifer's blog has a wonderful way to talk about things that have happened during your week or things that concern you.  Here are some of mine:

1)  I'm enjoying reading Souls at Rest by Charlotte Ostermann.  I've always tried to incorporate a Sabbath rest into my week but never really had the words to describe all of its history and purpose.  She has given me some insight into new practical ways to capture a beneficial and restful Sabbath. 

2)  I spent 5 years or more as a Pastoral Visitor at a local parish.  I received my training from a parish that had a much better staff than the one we attend.  After some of the residents in the nursing home passed away, our parish called me to help with their program.  We were able to pray and bring Eucharist to a wonderful lady who lived near by every weekend.  She enjoyed seeing my children too.  After her passing, I tried to see if there was any other needy person who needed a Eucharistic minister to come.

Both parishes had no one.  In fact, one of the parishes sent me to a resident that had passed away!  They have new leadership for the group now.  Our parish staff never really had a good handle on things.  There was a wonderful priest here that gave a talk and one of the staff was going to keep and maintain these wonderful containers that each Eucharistic minister had access to bring on their visits with them.  I ended up making my own container.  Both parishes know I'm available but never call me.

Question:  Does this type of thing happen in your parish?  Is it common?

3)  Therefore, I've tried different areas on how to provide a service to the community through our parish.  I do not want to just give money to some cause.  We already tithe.  I want to meet a real person who I can reach out and help.  We've delivered a meal to needy women once.  Only problem is - I didn't get to meet the women.  They just took the lasagna and put it into the fridge for later.  I really like the Works of Mercy but I would really like to meet and serve an individual one on one.  Really get to know them.  I've tried a few other things but seem to need to financially support someone else perform the service.  Therefore, this brings me to #4.

4)  I called my good friend, who I know and can speak face to face with!  She is not poor.  Nevertheless, she has three small children that keep her busy and her husband just came home from the Middle East as he is in the Navy.  I told her to pick 10 to 14 pictures out that I will make a scrapbook picture for her to hang on her wall for free.  She knows it is part of my Sabbath rest too.  A service provided for someone who I know and respect as a person.  Not just money sent for a big project to someone I will never meet.

5)  I'm glad I thought of providing a service to someone and not have to go through the Church.  Now, that doesn't sound right!  Does anyone else run into these dilemmas?

6)  Now here I am - a Pastoral Visitor with a wealth of experience.  No one has called or needs my services.  It's like I'm not here.  I disappeared!

7)  Pray for me that I find more opportunities to serve through our beautiful Church!

Sabbath Moments

Colleen's blog has a wonderful spot where one can record Sabbath moments encountered in their life.  Below is my list of some Sabbath moments I can presently think of:

1)  Today I am going to spend some 'girl time' with my sixth grade daughter.  I am taking her to a class at our local hospital to learn important information about babysitting.  She is showing a desire to earn money occasionally and asked me if she could take this class.  I am looking forward to talking with her in the car ride to and from the hospital.  Maybe we can also go out for a bite to eat somewhere.  This is individual attention that I will be giving to her without the added demands at home interfering in our conversation.  Our Faith is a definite asset to mention in our conversation with eachother.  These mother-daughter moments are cherished times for us.

2)  On Friday morning I was able to attend a parent coffee at my daughter's school.  Beforehand, I said five decades of the rosary in the little chapel in the school before the tabernacle.  Afterwards, I had wonderful conversations with some of the mothers who also have their daughters on the swim team.  My daughter was chosen to attend a prestigious swim meat at Villanova.  It will be an exciting time for her.  The other moms were very welcoming and I enjoyed getting to know them better.  Although, I was late joining them because I was so lost in my 'Sabbath Moment' in the chapel.  This is o.k. though.

3)  This Sunday we will be saying our family rosary together.  This is always a Sabbath Moment for me.  In fact, I think it is my favorite time of the week!  The rosary brings so much peace and unity to our family.  I am so grateful for it.  My weekend would not be complete without it.  Although, occasionally busy schedules cause us to re-schedule it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Small Successes

Faith and Family has a wonderful spot where people can list three small successes they've accomplished during their week.  It is wonderful to see that many people share the same desires for their families and tackle similar problems during their week.

1)  I finally got the scrapbooking picture I made for my husband at Christmas framed and hung on the wall.  I would post a picture but do not know how to put pictures from my camera onto the computer yet.  Hopefully, I can do this for you later.

2)  I submitted my proposal for a class and activity idea at my daughter's high school.  I am waiting to hear their response.  It's just a simple thing I have experience in doing and resources to do it.  The purpose is to get the moms and girls together for fellowship, formation, and fun.

3)  I was able to enter the little chapel at my daughter's school to be in front of the tabernacle and offer prayers for families and our country.  It is a beautiful chapel and I will take a picture of the statue they have in there to show you sometime.  (Still have to learn - sorry).

Tea Talk

Ruth's blog has a great spot where you can celebrate friendships with like-minded moms.  Here is my list of items for my Tea Talk today:

1)  I'm having regular coffee with a hint of hazelnut flavored creamer.  It is getting my day off on a good note! 

2)  My mug has a picture of Noah's Ark on it with the letters of the alphabet all around this image.  I don't know how to take a picture and post it here yet.  Therefore, try to use your imagination.

3)  I'm feeling like I'm ready to face the day today because I went to bed early and so did my toddler.  He is full of smiles all ready (and energy).  I think I might be able to keep up with him today.  This is a good start to my day today.

4)  On my mind are also things I want to dabble in today:  Correcting Math problems, Quotations, Adverbial and Adjectival Phrases, the Gospel story of the first desciples, the Bible verses regarding trust, Colonial life, the Liberty Bell, getting enough done by the time I pick up my daughter from school, wondering what Science homework my 6th grader will get by e-mail, Science for Kindergarten age next year, ordering a new Vocabulary book, going to the grocery store for a quick run.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time to post my thankful list for the week to Judy's blog.  It is a wonderful practice to record what we're thankful for in our lives.

1)  I am thankful for little feet to put little shoes on my four year old.  I remember when my older kids were younger, I felt like I was going to go crazy putting their shoes on every time they went out the door.  It was a task that was a challenge because - as toddlers - they were quite wiggly.  I had more feet to take care of and little help to get them ready.  Today, I see how blessed I was to perform this servant's work as they've grown into wonderful adults and teens.  As I put my toddler's shoes on the other day, I realized that the task wasn't so overbearing now because children are so precious.  I have another toddler to help prepare him for the world!

2)  I am thankful for the warm turtleneck to wear under my sweater.  I was really chilled on Monday.  You can see from my posts that I love to be warm!

3)  I am thankful for our family prayer time on Sundays.  My son's girlfriend even joined us.  Our prayer time is becoming a living tradition that can be passed on to future generations!

4)  I am thankful for my new glasses.  They do not have those little rubber items that rest glasses on one's nose.  These 'rubber pads' have to be cleaned.  For a long time I was wearing my old seventies glasses.  My husband would make fun of me jokingly.  I finally found a pair that are more modern and easier to keep clean.  I usually wear my contact lenses when I am out and about.

5)  I am thankful for the days I can wear my pretty pink barrettes and lipstick.  So often, I don't have time to blow dry my hair or put all my make up on.  I just scrunch my hair into curls and pull the sides back with my barrettes and add a little lipstick.  This frees up my time to attend to the children's homeschooling.  When I was younger, I was more conscientious of always looking my best.  Today, I realize that I can look fine without getting 'dolled up' every day.  My daughters tell me that I don't even need make up.  What a compliment at my age!

Monday, January 10, 2011

So much to do!

I am presently homeschooling two kids at home.  My older three are in college or Catholic high school.  I am so busy with just two at home!  I flip flop between one and the other while we do our work in the morning.  Sometimes, I'm helping my sixth grader with her Math while my toddler is climbing on me and trying to get my attention.  He is suppose to be coloring his journal entry.  I don't know how he found his way over to us.  I tell my daughter, "hold that thought" while I redirect him to his own work.  Now she is doing her English and my toddler interupts her to go get a toy in the back yard for him.  They are talking, laughing, and bonding while all this is taking place.  I have to remind my daughter, ONCE AGAIN, that she needs to focus on her English.  Therefore, she quickly performs the task and returns to her work. 

We needed a little pep talk and motivation to get started today.  I had to make some promises to my toddler so that he would do his work.  We set up a little change bank so when he does good work he can add a coin to take a trip to Disney World some day.  There is always something to do and get done.

It is fortunate that we said our prayers, ate breakfast, and brushed our teeth.  We're going to have to attend to some chores later.  How do homeschoolers with many children manage?  They must have exceptionally well kids who help out constantly.  It is only 9:00 am and I'm worn out!  I've heard of many homeschoolers who attend Mass every day.  How do they get out the door with all there responsiblities?!?  Anyway, just some thoughts to ponder about.  I really admire big families who can do all these things!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time to post the five things I am thankful for this past week onto Judy's blog.  It is so good to express our gratitude for all the things God has blessed us with during the week.  It is also good to hear what other virtuous friends have experienced during their week.  It helps moms feel connected to others and joyful to have such virtuous friends to share their blessings with eachother.

1)  I am so grateful for the new sweet girlfriend my oldest son brought home.  We are so blessed that the two of them are showing signs that they honor family life and respect parents!  I don't believe my baby is growing up!  Thank you Dear God for leading him on the path of virtue!

2)  I am also thankful for the physical therapy I'm receiving for my mild arthritis in my legs.  I teach a dance and movement class in our homeschool co-op.  It is a good reminder for me to do these simple exercixes so that I can keep up with all the little ones I have to teach in this class.  Thank you God for the help I am receiving in keeping up with the little ones!

3)  I am thankful for the idea to arrange to go ice skating with some of my daughter's friends on New Year's Day.  While the girls ice skated, I was able to talk to their wonderful mothers for 2 hours.  These moms are so sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them better.  Thank you God for sweet friends for my daughters and their sweet mothers too!

4)  I am thankful for the Thesaurus my daughter uses when she writes her papers.  She is utilizing it more and more.  I have to continue to help her in improving her vocabulary.  The Thesaurus is a big help.  Thank you God for a good source to expand our vocabulary!

5)  Thank you for the Gospel stories I can present to my children.  These are stories of life and redemption we can so easily relate too.  I never grow tired of presenting them to my children.  Thank you God for becoming one of us and showing us the path to your LOVE is so easily accessible!