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Thursday, May 7, 2015

My Wishes... In Perspective

The Dandelions in the backyard.... weeds?

Or...magical talismans by which to send wishes?

It's all about....... perspective.

I'm going to make some wishes...because "blowies" are out there on my lawn, and they remind me.

They remind me of my childhood wishes and more recently my children blowing wishes on dandelions.

My whole backyard is bursting with reminders...

I am wrapping up year 9 of homeschooling.  Just 7 more years left.  This sweetness mixed with struggle is past its half way point, heading for a decade.  More than just the homeschooling job, I am savoring the at-home parenting that I know is pruning back as my children mature. Loving it like I do...relishing what it has given my family...

I WISH - Moms would consider homeschooling.

The TIME with my children...the time that is fleeting. Yes, there are trade-offs, worries if you do and worries if you don't.  The only remedy for that is FAITH. No life is free from worries and doubts. But there is family time, sibling friendships, less stress and impressive statistics about the benefits of homeschooling. I treasure this time and decision.

I WISH - that my 2nd son, my 12th grader, who had his last online class today will love his college life as much as his older brother does. 

Transitions are hard.  I am already missing him. New leaves, new beginnings. Growth.

Another reminder are these "helicopters. "  That's what we call them, as they spin and whirl and fall all over our back deck.  Every year they return.  Childhood memories and reminders that with children leaving home this helicopter won't be able to hover as much.

We call these tree seeds "helicopters."
I WISH -  for returns and reunions and continued family closeness.

I WISH -  it would all slow down, my children growing older..leaving the nest.

My young buds and blooms are green and new, graced with light. The world can be jaded and there are parasites.

I WISH -  for them a strong faith, a true north. Direction. Fortitude.

Knowledge of the challenges and obstacles, but the perspective not to choke amongst the weeds but float toward heaven, above it all, with the blowies.

May they be busy and the bees so focused on their work. May their focus be on what is above, higher things. Remembering a family motto - Quae Sursum Volo Videre "I wish to see the things that are above."

My whole backyard is buzzing with reminders.

I WISH - for all my friends a respite from the busy and some reflective moments this Mother's Day.

We buzz here, we buzz there...we pollinate. Often too purposeful to see the fruits of our labor, our perspectives are not in the garden and the backyard of sweetness but in the dusty, shadowed corners of fears, doubt and weariness.

I WISH - for serenity...gratefulness...grace...stamina.

To see the fruit of our labor, be of that perspective.

We have tended to our gardens. The buds are ready to burst into bloom with sweet fragrance.

Make a wish.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Saints of the City - St. Patrick's & The Latin Mass

On Sunday, our parish participated in the Saints of the City series of our Diocese, inviting area Catholics to our Church. In the series, ten parishes are hosting a Sunday Mass at their Church to talk about their parish and the Saints attached to it, "modeled after the Holy Thursday tradition of Wilmington Catholics visiting different city parishes."

Andy Glover, at St. Patrick's,  speaking on the Saint of the City series.
"The idea for Saints of the City was born last spring when Father Norman Carroll, pastor of St. Elizabeth Church, asked Andy Glover to start an adult catechesis program at the parish. Glover’s committee surveyed parishioners about what they would like to see in such a program. Glover said three topics emerged: Bible study, prayer and the lives of the saints." [Source, link above]

Fr. Leonard Klein, speaking about the history of St. Patrick's 
My diocesan parish is blessed to have a weekly Extraordinary Form Mass that we have been attending for almost 10 years now. We've watched it grow from a parish of those who knew this Mass pre-Vatican II to now blessing many young families with children who are attracted anew to its reverence and rich, Catholic history...a reclamation of our Catholic identity. [video]

Explaining the Regina Coeli Society of St. Patrick's and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, celebrated weekly.
We hope that praying the Holy Sacrifice with the Mass with us and in the Extraordinary Form was an experience our guests appreciated as well...and will return to! It was wonderful to have so many visitors and we hope that they will join us again at the Mass of Ages and pray with us often! Deo gratias.

"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place." - Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Reminder of the Awesome Wonder of the Eucharist

Last night, at Franciscan University of Steubenville 's 4:45 daily Mass there was a storm coming in.

I think it was kinda cool and eery that as the priest elevated the that exact moment... a large electrical POP (like a sonic boom) pierced the hush and a dimming of lights happened followed by loud thunder rumble.

Everyone gasped a little.... as we should...

...even without the witness of nature.

What a reminder of the awesome wonder of the Eucharist.

Job 37:4-5 "After it, a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, And He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard. "God thunders with His voice wondrously, Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Extraordinary Sunday in Steubenville

The Missa Cantata Latin High Mass at Franciscan University was done so beautifully and well attended this Sunday at 4pm.  The polyphony choir, the organ and Fr. Gregory Plow, TOR, were all so impressive I wanted to share some images and video with you.

The Extraordinary Form is offered weekly at the University and monthly there is also a High Mass/ Missa Cantata.

"The music will reflect what one might have heard during the Easter season in Paris in the 1930s," said Nicholas Will, assistant professor of sacred music at Franciscan University and director of the Schola Cantorum Franciscana.
Some of the music to be performed will feature the power and majesty of the organ, such as Louis Vierne's Solemn Mass in C-sharp minor. Other pieces will reflect the musical character of 20th-century French sacred music, including Olivier Messiaen's O Sacrum Convivium! and a suite of organ music by Charles Tournemire based on Gregorian chant.
The Schola Cantorum Franciscana is composed of 27 Franciscan University students and members of the wider community. The organists will be sacred music majors Andrew Barnick and Christine Canavan.
- See more at:

In his homily, Father Gregory spoke about Vatican II and "active participation." Active participation in an EF Mass may not feel or look the same as what we're used to as participation in a Novus Ordo Mass.  Active participation isn't limited to outward participation...PRAYING the Mass, letting it wash over us is participation in an INTERIOR way.

Active participation in the Mass, regardless of the form of the Mass, IS INTERIOR participation. Aligning ourselves to the sacrifice that Christ is making for us, the veil is parted and we are at the foot of Calvary.

Likening active participation to Good Shepherd Sunday, Father Gregory reminded us that we are the sheep and all we really need to do is let Jesus carry us.

And we did feel carried away at this beautiful Mass, grateful that it is present on this campus and with priests who inform about it.  Our hearts and minds were lifted upward.

Earlier in the day we were at another EF/Latin Mass, this time off campus in the town of Steubenville, Ohio at St. Peter's.

As we prayed right behind a group of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, we knew the Good Shepherd is providing for His flock in Ohio.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Prayer For National Siblings Day

For the love of sisters....

For the love of brothers...

It's National Siblings Day and I am grateful for sibling love....mine...

... and that of my children.

These are the relationships we'll have the longest...cradle to grave. Grateful to God that we've been blessed with STRONG BONDS.

O Lord Jesus Christ, our sweet Savior, Who hast commanded us, saying, 
Love ye one another, even as I have loved you, kindle in my whole being 
the holy flame of love of Thee and my neighbor, 
that in all things I may do Thy will.

O holy Lord, keep also my brother(s) and sister(s) ever in this holy love. Grant them wisdom, health, a good life, and Thy Divine grace, so that they may walk in Thy ways and do those things that are well-pleasing to Thee. O sweetest Lord Jesus, help us by Thy grace, so that from this time until the end of our life we may love one another, for What is more good and more beautiful than for brothers to live together in unity? Thus, O Lord, hear our prayer and be Thou merciful unto us.

For Thou art good, merciful, and the Lover of men, and to Thee do we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, 
both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Palm Sunday - Everyone As An Actor In It

All the comedies and tragedies of playwrights, consciously or subconsciously, are commentaries on the roles played in Our Lord's Passion.

It is the one drama that is real, and there is no audience because everyone is an actor in it. The divine comedy is also a divine tragedy, depending on which role we choose. The children who waved palm branches had a foretaste of heaven's opposite.

There were others who preferred to take no part, but when they fled the scene they were like all those who prefer to live as though there is no theme to existence. God has endowed the human soul with the gift of imagination, enabling us to think of the past and present and future, like three acts in human history.

Each of them is part of the whole, and Christ's Passion explains all of them. We can be sorrowful if we think everything is over, or anxious if we think everything is uncertain or infinitely happy as we stay with him to the end.

As Christ carries his cross past us, he gives each of us a choice of what role we play. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, " Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. FAITH LOOKS UP." (Reflection based on Mark 14:1-15:47 - Fr. George William Rutler)

Heavenly Father, help me to learn from the past and not be haunted by it, to rejoice in the present and not be burdened by it, and to hope for the future and not be afraid of it.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Homeschool Resources - 23 Pinterest Boards by Grade and Subject

Many, many homeschool resources can be found on my Pinterest boards.  I cultivate these boards and keep them as a filing cabinet for each grade, as well as by curriculum topic.

Hope you'll find them helpful, too. Here's a list of 23 Catholic Homeschool boards to check out. By following me or a board you'll keep up with any new resources I catalog and bookmark.

First, there's my general Homeschool Board - 

               Follow 's board Homeschool at Totus Tuus Academy on Pinterest.  

Then, for 7th grade -

         Follow 's board MODG 7th on Pinterest.  

Then, for Crafts -

         Follow 's board I can do dis! on Pinterest.  

Then, for 5th grade -

         Follow 's board MODG 5 grade on Pinterest.  

My 9th grade board is Earth Science heavy -

           Follow 's board MODG 9th grade on Pinterest.  

My 6th grade board is heavy with Egypt -

         Follow 's board MODG 6th grade on Pinterest.  

I have a board for Science resources, in general -

         Follow 's board Science on Pinterest.  

The 8th grade board has a lot of Shakespeare resources -

       Follow 's board MODG 8th grade on Pinterest.  

4th grade board features many bird-study resources -

         Follow 's board MODG 4th grade on Pinterest.  

There's a board just with TESTing resources , standardized, learning styles and more -

       Follow 's board TESTING on Pinterest.  

3rd grade board -

         Follow 's board MODG 3rd grade on Pinterest.  

Maps -

         Follow 's board Maps on Pinterest.  

Recitation - video helps of great poetry being recited and poetry resources -

               Follow 's board Recitation on Pinterest.

12th grade includes home Chemistry links -

       Follow 's board MODG 12th grade on Pinterest.  

11th grade - Beowulf, Crusades, Inquisition -

         Follow 's board MODG 11th Grade on Pinterest.  

10th grade -

         Follow 's board MODG 10th grade on Pinterest.  

Backyard Nature houses many of the funnest resources we enjoyed -

         Follow 's board Backyard Nature on Pinterest.  

Art Books for Homeschool and art resources -

         Follow 's board Art Books for Homeschool on Pinterest.  

2nd grade -

         Follow 's board MODG 2nd grade on Pinterest.  

K-1 -

         Follow 's board MODG K-1 on Pinterest.  

Catholic College - info resources on most of the Newman Guide approved Universities -

         Follow 's board Catholic College on Pinterest.  

Shakespeare - resources for teaching the Bard -

         Follow 's board Shakespeare on Pinterest.  

Catholic Homeschooling - a group board by Homeschool Connections -

       Follow 's board Catholic Homeschooling on Pinterest.  

HOLIDAYS and SACRAMENTS will also appeal to the Catholic homeschooler.

In comments, please share any LINKS/PINS you recommend that could be added to these boards.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I Wish I Could Keep You From Pain...Fear...Doubt

Saw this today on a post at Bad Catholic. I thought the song was beautiful and the lyrics just piercingly poetic!

I relate to their words as a parent - wanting to protect, guide and love my children.

In Everything You Do - Jenny & Tyler – Copyright 2013 One Eyed Cat Music (BMI)
Music and Lyrics by Jennifer Somers (BMI), Tyler Somers (BMI), and Jillian Edwards (ASCAP)

I wish that I could keep you from pain
But like a storm, pain will form
But I’ll teach you how to face it
To be weak, yet strong in grace

I wish that I could keep you from fear
But like the night, fear will rise
So I’ll hold till love suffices
To drive far the dark devices and behold

A world that’s full of wonder
Full of laughter, full of life
A world that pulls you under
With the turning of the tide
In everything you do a choice of life or death to choose
And we will try to show you love

I wish that I could keep you from doubt
But like the waves, doubt will rage
So I’ll sail with you through troubled seas
Until we find a gentler breeze and behold

A world so full of wonder
Full of laughter, full of life
A world that pulls you under
With the turning of the tide
In everything you do a choice of life or death to choose
And we will try to show you love

And behold

A world so full of wonder
Full of laughter, full of life
A world torn asunder
Aching for new light
In everything you do a choice of life or death to choose
And we will try to show you love

We will try to show you love

Friday, March 13, 2015

Enjoying Bird Identification - A Book, An App

Using our Peterson Field Guide - Eastern Birds, we think we've identified these as...

CHICKADEE                    WARBLER                              FINCH
                              (wrong ... white-throated sparrow)

We're delighted by our deck visitors.  A hospitable tube of sunflower seeds and science comes to the homeschool.  Ornithology is the scientific study of birds. 

And, of course, there's an APP for you can identify wherever you are!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What Do Other Churches Believe?

She asked....what do protestants believe? 

So I shared this comparison chart with her.

The sheer overwhelming-ness of all the one-offs and differences is education enough and reminds me of Sunday's Gospel...."whoever does not gather with me scatters."

    (Official Octave Prayer)
    ANTIPHON: "That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou has sent Me." (John 17: 21)

    V. I say unto thee that thou art Peter
    R. And upon this Rock I will build My Church.
    Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, Who saidst unto Thine Apostles: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; regard not our sins, but the faith of Thy Church, and vouchsafe to grant unto Her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will. Who livest and reignest God forever and ever. Amen.

    Prayer to St. Peter

        O glorious St. Peter, who, in return for thy lively and generous faith, thy profound and sincere humility, and thy burning love, wast honored by Jesus Christ with singular privileges, and, in particular, with the leadership of the other Apostles and the primacy over the whole Church, of which thou wast made the foundation stone, do thou obtain for us the grace of a lively faith, that shall not fear to profess itself openly, in its entirety, and in all its manifestations, even to the shedding of blood, if occasion should demand it, and to the sacrifice of life itself in preference to surrender. Obtain for us likewise, a sincere loyalty to our Holy Mother, the Church; grant that we may ever remain most closely and sincerely united to the Heir of thy Faith and thy Authority, the one, true, visible Head of the Catholic Church, that mystic Ark outside of which there is no salvation. Grant, moreover, that we may follow, in all humility and meekness, Her teaching and Her counsels, and may be obedient to all Her precepts, in order to be able here on earth to enjoy a peace that is sure and undisturbed, and to attain one day in Heaven to everlasting happiness. Amen.

    V. Pray for us, St. Peter the Apostle.
    R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

    "My God, make us to be of one mind in truth and of one heart in charity."  - St. Pius X.