Rose's 14th Birthday

Heavenly Father,
We praise You for all Your gifts to us.
In a special way,

We thank You for Rose.
Bless her always in Your love.
Bless us too, Holy Father.
Help us all to praise You and give You glory
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rose turned 14 today!!! She has brought us so much JOY and thanksgiving. She is truly a gift. Thank you GOD for Rose and the graces to say YES!!!! May you bless her with many FAITHfilled years and keep her in Your Light.

Her birthday was rather low key since we went to our 2nd Annual Mother-Daughter Birthday Weekend in January. We started this tradition when she turned 13. I hope to continue this tradition with all my girls. We attended a Marian conference and Rose was able to hear solid Catholic teaching from Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ., Fr. Andrew Apostoli CFR, Fr. Christopher Crotty CPM, Fr. Wade L. J. Menezes CPM, and Mother Regina Marie Gorman, OCD. My DH said it was the best birthday gift we could have given her. I would have to agree. She was sent home on fire for our Faith. PBTG!

We went to my sister's (Rose's Godmother) for dinner. Papa & Nana bought the cupcake. They also surprised her with another gem. Rose is pretty simple but she loves her rings. Papa & Nana bought her a diamond ring for her 13th birthday. She has dedicated it has her chastity ring. This year's ring is her birthstone. Her sisters admired it all evening.

Sparkles gave Rose a toddler's mite from her piggy bank. Sweetie offered to take her place for her birthday spankings. (That's why we call her Sweetie.....that and she sneaks candy!) Rose also received the Come What May DVD. It's a Fireproof type film for young teens-adults. She watched it last year during election time and fell in love with it. The movie is a PRO-LIFE film and provides a great courtship witness. She can't wait to watch it over an over again.

Confirmation 2007 Communion 2003

Our 1st Lapbook

We've been at for 8+ years now and haven't attempted a lapbook until now. I allowed Sparkles to do majority of the cutting and decorating. She enjoys crafting. She finished her first lapbook and is thrilled to share with everyone. Rose and Sweetie joined in for the lessons and fun. Rose enjoyed mastering all the folds. Papi supervised, as usual. It was wonderful to have all of our GFG at the table working together. It helped us to remember why we are at it and will continue to persevere. PBTG!

Consecrated to Jesus, Through Mary, so that we might live for the Glory of God alone.

Mary's Days are always a JOYous time for us. The Solemnity of the Annunciation is most special to our family. It is our renewal day of our Total Consecration. We attended Mass in the morning and renewed our consecration. Later, Sparkles and Sweetie acted out the Annunciation for their Nana & Papa. Rose made Angel food cupcakes topped with heaven's clouds (whip cream) and strawberries. (YUMMY!) We also had goodies given to us from Father D. He is so generous with his gifts. May God Bless him and all our priests.
Later, we started our new Mary's garden. For Sparkle's 4th birthday we had a Mary party and all guests helped us plant a flower in our Mary garden. It was a sad farewell when we moved. Now at our new home, we've decided to add one flower for each Marian feast day. For the Annunciation we planted Marigolds (Mary's bud) in a container. Yes, sadly the Mary's garden will be in planters due to our lovely miniature yard that is not landscaped. We couldn't wait another year! WE LOVE MARY!!!
Sparkle's 4th Birthday - Mary Garden Party

The Our Lady of Guadalupe was found at Wal-Mart for $40.00!!!

A Mary Garden Prayer
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,As our hearts are raised to you in love and thanksgiving through the light, grace, fragrance and symbolism of these pure, blest, transfigured flowers of Our Lady - your direct creations, showing forth and sharing with us your divine goodness, beauty and truth - we commune with you in awe and rapture and pray that we and all our brothers and sisters may be opened to the fullness of the divine love of God and Neighbor, through which we are to transform the fallen world into the culminating earthly Peaceable Kingdom and Paradise, that all may be lifted up resplendent in the eternal New Heaven and New Earth of our Crucified and Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

The Annunciation

Fra Angelico - The Annunciation. Fresco. San Marco, Florence (detail)

Series Name: Faith Matters Program Name: The Annunciation
Host: Mother Theresa
Produced: 1/1/1998
Listen Now

An Evening of Blessings

Rose and I went to the Ballet to see Romeo & Juliet. Rose's Confirmation Sponsor was in the production. The evening was full of blessings.

We initially planned to attend at a discounted rate (that would fit into our budget) but we were running late and thought we would miss the rush ticket sales. We arrived and hurried through the rain to the ticket sales office. We waited and waited and......waited in line. I became a little anxious (patience is one of my many crosses). As I continued to wait, I was tapped on the shoulder and before I could turn around I heard, "Have you already purchased your tickets?" As I turned and began to inform this lady that I had not purchased my tickets, she handed me an envelope with two tickets. I couldn't thank her enough. God is good!

We headed for our seats. I opened the envelope to see where we needed to enter. The tickets read, level 1 row 3 and had a $30 ticket price. God is very good!

Once we were seated Rose and I took a moment of silence to give praise and thanksgiving to Our Lord.

The ballet was splendid and enchanted Rose. After the ballet we visited with Rose's sponsor/friend and family. We were glowing with JOY! Praise be to God for giving us this opportunity to be together for a JOYfilled evening.
On our 45min drive home Rose shared her most memorable event of the evening and began to analyze the story of Romeo and Juliet. After about 10 min on the highway we were interrupted by a beeping and flashing red light coming from the dashboard. It indicated that the car was overheating. We pulled over to the shoulder and gave a call home. Rose was a tad nervous since we were out so late with car troubles and no dad. This was my first time handling car troubles on my own without my DH or father available. Not to worry, God was with us. After all, he had given us a clear indication earlier in the evening that proved to offer us enough graces to sustain us through this minimal but real trial. After 1.5 hours, several failed attempts to open the car hood, and 3 different stops, we purchased the correct anti-freeze. The car became stable and we made it safely home. God is most graciously gooooooood!


Joseph's faith was beyond natural ability. He became a foster-father to a Son conceived in the womb of a Virgin! Joseph indeed submitted his intellect and will to God. St. Joseph is a great example for us in fundamental obedience, as he followed the angel's instruction to take Mary as his wife (see Mt 1:20-24). Tradition says Joseph died in the arms of Jesus and Mary, and is therefore the patron saint of a happy death. In the litany to St. Joseph, he is called the "terror of demons." At the hour of our death, be assured that the demons are working overtime to steal each of our souls. Therefore, we can confidently entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, for he is trustworthy. - One Bread, One Body

This is an ex-script from One Bread, One Body (OBOB). OBOB contains daily teachings based on the Catholic Church's readings for daily Mass. In keeping with the purpose of the publisher, Presentation Ministries, each issue of OBOB is sent to the Chancery for review. There it receives the Rescript (a new form of the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur) which is your assurance that the teachings are not contrary to official Church teaching. Father Wade Menezes shared this resource with me some years ago and it has been life changing!

St. Patrick's Feast Day Celebration

We made it!!! Our GFG woke up rearing to be out doors for this splendid feast day. We manged to get out at a decent time but.......we should have taken better care in preparing the directions. The drive took us 2.5 hours. It should have only been 1.5 hrs. Sparkles and Sweetie both became car sick. We're talking full-blown car sick. Sparkles was ready to turn back for home. We were too. In fact, just as we were getting ready to stop at a State Park for or own impromptu feast day celebration, we saw a law enforcement office. My DH went in for directions (what an act of humility). They informed him that our desired destination was only 10 min from us, going towards home. With the girls feeling better we decided to make one last effort. Finally, we found the site. PBTG.

All the families had started on the hike. My DH took Rose, Sweetie and Sparkles on their own hike. I stood back with sleeping Papi. To no avail, he woke up within 10 minutes. I should have went on the hike. My husband and GFG hiked for 1.5 hours. They saw the other hikers/families but continued on their own to complete the entire hike. They must have been running on graces because they didn't take water. He didn't expect to be on the trial for so long. Sweetie, our 3 year old was a trooper. They all returned HOT and parched but they were so thrilled that they finished the hike. Sparkles brought back flowers for me.

The scenery was breathtaking. Here are some views.

We went on to the lake for a boat ride. I was so surprised when everyone cheered to go to the lake. I thought for sure, they would want to head back home for the scrumptious St. Patrick's cupcakes that Sweetie and Sparkles made. They even ate their lunch in the car on the drive to the lake. This just confirmed to me that they need to be out doors more. They love God's wondrous creations and fresh air. We were blessed to "walk like the saints" and spend the feast day with other families. God is good!

Happy Feast Day!

Irish Blessing

Irish Blessing
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.
Have you heard? The Priests will be on mainstream TV for St. Patrick's day. This is the first I've heard of this classical musical group of REAL priests. Here's their schedule. We may have to turn in (on EWTN) if our GFG aren't up to hiking for St. Patrick's Day. Papi and Sweetie have been hit with a cold that they can't get rid of. Either way, we pray for a blessed day.

The Priests on Live With Regis & Kelly Tomorrow, 3/17
The Priests perform "Irish Blessing" on Live With Regis & Kelly tomorrow morning! Airs at 9am on ABC.

The Priests Special on EWTN Tuesday and Wednesday
Don't miss The Priests' Performance Special on EWTN. You'll have two chances to watch their performance from St. Malachy's Church in NYC.
Tuesday, March 17 - 9pm EST / 6pm PST Wednesday, March 18 - 10:30am EST / 7:30am EST

St. Patrick's Day

My family is JOYfully anticipating St. Patrick's day. We have decided to join other homeschool families for an outdoor hike, boat ride, picnic, and play. We will be "walking like the saints" in prayer. The adults have been challenged (by a teen) to hike barefoot as St. Patrick. He suggested that it would be a good Lenten sacrifice for us adults. Funny thing is, my husband and I are considering the challenge.

We will attempt our first lapbook. Jessica has motivated me to give it a shot. We'll be using the free downloadable lapbook for St. Patrick as our starting point. I'll tweak it as necessary. I'll be sure to post lots of pictures.

Here are some additional activities & resources.
- From Slave to Saint: St. Patrick - Listen to or download an audio clip on St. Patrick provided by American Catholic Radio.
- St. Brigid's Cross

Podcasting with a Vatican Official

Exercise Program

Part of our Lenten program is exercise. You would think this would be easy for us since both my DH and I were competitive and collegiate athletes. Quite the contray. In fact, it has been more difficult for us to maintain an adequate level of fitness. We are both used to demanding training that is not conducive to our current state in life. In the past, we have burnt out on too rigid of fitness programs. It either took too much time or was too hard on our body, too soon. We have been all or nothing.

This is a new season for us! We will be using the
couch to 5k program as our primary fitness plan. My DH will also continue to play basketball at a local parish with the priest and parishioners. I will supplement with Winsor pilates. We will do our primary fitness together as a couple with the goal of glorifying God with the gift he has given us, our body. It is also our goal to grow in relations with others (primarily each other and our children). I will also plan workouts for Rose and I.

We do not use a gym. Sometime ago we had a conviction that our time needed to be spent with family or together as a couple and not outside the home (for one more activity). Furthermore, we did not want to be put in the occasion of sin (with the music, TV, and inappropriately dressed people) at a typical Gym. Lastly, we couldn't justify the expense on our already modest budget. We were confirmed in our conviction through prayer and a talk given by
Steve Wood. PBTG!

Stations of the Cross

It's official, our GFG are sick! My DH stood home with the kids while I went to Mass. We have been reviewing the stations of the cross with our GFG using the Way of the Cross for Children, Holy Hero's Lenten Adventure, and a Station's coloring booklet.

I Can Only Imagine

Our Lenten program continues....we are committed to Christ and place everything in his hands.

God Bless!

Shrove Tuesday

I know, it's a little late. I thought I would post anyways. Our family, along with other homeschool families went to Mass, had donuts, visited the elderly at a convalescent home, and feasted in the park.

We brought the elderly Mardi Gras necklaces, wore crazy hats, performed our talents and listened to great Cajun music by

Necklace bearer.

Yeeee Ha!

We all had a JOYous time and were ready to prayfully enter into the Lenten season.

My DH was able to see Sister O who taught him in grade school. Here's a picture of my DH with Sister O and Papi wit
h Sister O.

Boys Day Out

Papi just had his second hair cut on Tuesday. He was a champ. He sat in the seat all by himself. The lollipop didn't hurt. It was a guys day out, no sisters. Dad and Papa accompanied him. He looks like a different boy. No more baby curls. My DH keeps reminding me that it's only hair and it will grow back. He looked so handsome this morning with his new dew and he didn't have any knots.....and he could see!

Crown of Thorns

My GFG attended Mass and our parish's monthly homeschool day. They always look forward to this date. It's a great motivation tool for school work!

Sparkles and Sweetie made a
salt dough crown of thorns. They embellished the crown with blood (red food coloring). Each thorn (toothpick) was inserted in anticipation of their sacrifices that they will make for our Lord throughout the Lenten season. Their goal is to remove all the thorns by Easter Sunday. They will then decorate the crown so it is fit for our King, Lord Jesus Christ.

Rose started a new art project. She is creating an Icon. She completed the 1st step (sketching) and is working on step 2 (painting). Her art skills have flourished with the wonderful direction of her instructor.

Papi was the supervisor and he dabbled in all projects.

Finally, Father M gave Lenten talks to all the children. Praise the Lord for our priests!

Lenten Calendar

This is the first year that we've completed a Lenten calendar. Due to lack of time, I relied on Jessica's example. I hope to personalize the calendar in the years to come.
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