my daybook

FOR TODAY monday, august 31
this is my first daybook. i just received a picture from an old soccer teammate. the picture was taken when i as 17. we traveled to washington d.c. and virgina for a soccer tournament. it was my last tourney before college. the picture made me smile and reminisce on my simple times as a youth. i've been mediating on this thought since, "simple times." i believe we can embrace all things to glorify God and we must create simple times. this is my first effort for the week. pax - lena

Outside my window...the sun is shining and the heat is on high.
I am thinking...of all the things i need to get done before the official start of our school year...all those whom have requested my prayers.
I am thankful for...the air. Our Lord's gentle prompting this morning. the safety of my family (my DH and kids had a tire blow-out on the freeway this morning while on their way to the first day of Latin class).
From the learning rooms...they are completely bare!!!...they're in need of some redecorating...i think the new look always helps me more than them. i don't plan on bringing much back in. we are trying to simplify in all areas. i only pray that my cold doesn't take me off schedule.
From the kitchen...there is a mess everywhere you turn but i'm giving thanks for it and not going to let it frustrate me. you can definitely tell that little people live here.
I am skirt and black (comfy shirt). i'm hoping i'll be able to get a nap in soon to let my cold medicine kick in.
I am creating...little flowers lesson plans, binders, crafts, hair bows.....i recently (1 week ago) took the little flowers over when their long time leader stepped down. i'm also getting ready to take all the furniture outside to paint. hopefully my love will be back soon from sparkles' dentist appt. although, he is sick too.
I am stay home the remainder of the day to tackle 5 tasks on my to do list.
I am reading...The Education of Catholic Girls by Janet Erskine Stuart.
I am hoping...that my saline treatments will rid me of this cold soon so i can keep on task.
I am hearing...papi singing while he plays. he is talking more and has such a sweet disposition, when he's not banging on things.
Around the house...the kids are turning each room into the forts. we are all prepping for the start of school and my last ditch effort for spring/summer cleaning.
One of my favorite things...adoration!!!
A few plans for the rest of the week:paint furniture, organize school books, purge, finalize plans for little flowers (our first meeting is on sat.), sit with my DH to work out our family schedule. first friday mass and benediction followed by our priest's talk for kids.
Here is a picture...
inspired by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Novena to Blessed Teresa - Day 4

Oh Lord Jesus, let me know...

Petitions of St. Augustine
Oh Lord Jesus, let me know...
Oh Lord Jesus, let me know myself, let me know Thee,
And desire nothing else but Thee.
Let me hate myself and love Thee,
And do all things for the sake of Thee.
Let me humble myself, and exalt Thee,
And think of nothing else but Thee.
Let me die to myself, and live in Thee,
And except whatever happens has coming from Thee.
Let me forsake myself and walk after Thee,
And ever desire to follow Thee.
Let me flee from myself, and turn to Thee,
That so I may deserve to be defended by Thee.
Let me fear from myself, let me fear Thee,
And be amongst those who are chosen by Thee.
Let me distrust myself, and trust in Thee,
And will to obey for the love of Thee.
Let me cleave to nothing but only to Thee,
And be poor for the sake of Thee.
Look upon me, that I may love Thee.
Call me, that I may see Thee
And for ever posses Thee.

Novena to Blessed Teresa

On Friday, August 28 we will start a Novena and meditations to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, found here. Priests for Life is also starting a special novena to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. The novena will end on September 5, the anniversary of her death, in 1997.

"Keep the JOY of loving God in your heart and share this JOY with all you meet especially your family. Be holy – let us pray." ~ Mother Teresa

Prayer to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
(prayed each day of the novena)
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus (here make your request). Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Cause of Our Joy, pray for me.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta,
pray for me.
Mother Teresa Novena
Father of Life,
You always defend the poor and oppressed.

In Blessed Teresa of Calcutta,
You raised up a voice for the voiceless
And a friend to the poorest of the poor, the unborn child.

She brought women away from the despair of abortion clinics
To the hope of a loving community That cared for her and her child.
She spoke the truth to men and women of power,
Asking them how we could tell people not to kill one another
While allowing a mother to kill her own child.

Father, as we honor this humble and faithful woman,
We ask you to give us the grace
To follow her example.

May we be bold in word and generous in action
To love and serve the unborn
And to awaken our world to know, as Mother Teresa said,
That the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

Fill us with love, bring us peace, and let us share your life forever.
We pray through Christ our Lord.

Two Birthdays and an Anniversary

Papi turned 2 and Sweetie turned 4. My DH and I celebrated our anniversary. It has been a busy week thus far.

There was no need for our birthday tradition, date night with mom and dad. The little ones didn't want to go it alone. They (we) choose their own simple celebration. We chose to have Papi's celebration at the pool (where his party was last year). They have kiddie water slides and a wadding pool which he loves. Sweetie had her heart set on the Zoo. I love that they are so simple and take JOY in the smallest things.

My DH and I managed to get an evening away for our anniversary dinner. Thanks to Papa and Nana.

Heavenly Father, We praise You for all Your gifts to us.
In a special way, We thank You for Papi & Sweetie.
Bless them always in Your love.
Bless us too, Holy Father.
Help us all to praise You and give You glory Through
Our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Amen

Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Old Calendar: Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today was extra special. Not only was it the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it was my nephew's baptism. My DH was the Godfather, Nino. Father D baptised Baby M, consecrated him to Our Lady and also gave him a special blessing in honor of the Year for Priests. Praise be to God for our Faithful Priests.

~ Encyclical AD CAELI REGINAM, Pope Pius XII

Ring the Alarm!!

Papi loves it. He hasn't slept in it yet, I'm not ready.

When we picked it up from our friend's house he was home sleeping. My DH couldn't wait for him to see the surprise. Papi took a double look as he walked down the stairs. He smiled from ear to ear when he realized it was his.

I guess we could have saved it until his birthday (next Mon). Oh well, Happy (early) Birthday!

Discovery Kingdom

We visited Discover Kingdom last weekend (Aug. 8). It was our last big outing before school starts. We went with family friends, Rose's Confirmation Sponsor. Her sponsor will be attending TAC this school year. She is actually the 4th sibling (out of 5) to attend TAC. The 5th is 12 and still HS. We had a blessed time with each other but definitely felt out of place at the park. That's a whole other topic, for another post.

Hair Detachment

This post is past due (as many of my additions). My girls and I have been blessed with thick hair that grows at rapid pace. As I was younger, I despised my long, thick and heavy hair. My father would not let me cut my hair until I was older or at least, when my sister was old enough. I was about 10 years old when I had my first real haircut. Even then, it was still long. 

I became attached to my hair. I would style my hair every morning before school, which meant I would have to wake up by 5am to catch the bus at 7am. My hair takes about an hour to dry. My hair routine normally included drying and curling. This regime continued through high school and somewhat into college. I soon discovered the world of hair coloring. It started with the do it yourself kits and grew to the expensive salon treatments. I would justify my time in the salon and expenses by saying I deserved it and rationalizing it since I only did it 2-3 a year. I knew that the pleasure I was getting from my hair was fleeting and more was desired of me. I also knew that my financial resources would be better spent on other causes.  I heard God calling me to detach,  My hair was the first real step that I took in the way of detachment. (I was in my mid twenties.)

This call was confirmed about 5 years ago when I heard Mother Mary Elizabeth speak at a Women of Grace Conference. Mother Mary Elizabeth was a late vocation whom was widowed with grown children. She spoke of how women are becoming so consumed with their appearance. She cited all the lengths that women go to; hair coloring, teeth whitening, excessive exercise and etc... Mother Mary Elizabeth pondered if God would even recognize us when/if we reached Heaven. She also concerned herself with the fact that many women spend numerous hours in the hair/nail salons and gyms focusing on their appearance but fail to spend adequate time on their soul (i.e; in prayer or at church). Her words were not profound but convicted me nonetheless.

I sought my DH's counsel and together we decided that I would no longer spend time and money on superfluous hair treatments. I would continue to grow my hair only for donation. All haircuts would be simple for function only and I would not seek out the trendy hairstyles. Our girls would also follow suit. It's not the answer I was looking for. I could deal with long hair and simple haircuts but no hair dying?!? I knew I would have difficulty with this once I started to get gray hair. I started praying for the graces to endure all and even embrace every gray hair as Mother Mary Elizabeth recommended--a crown of glory, one step closer to Our Heavenly Father & Home.

Since then I have donated my hair twice and my eldest, Rose, has donated her hair once. Early in April, Sparkles informed us that she was ready to donate her hair. She turned six in May. Both Rose (14) and I were ready for another donation. We each had 13+ inches to donate. My DH agreed that Sparkles could have her first donation/haircut.

Sweetie will wait until she is six to donate/cut her hair. Hopefully, she'll stop giving herself haircuts so she'll have hair left to donate.Papi will never have enough hair to donate but he had his "1st...." buzz cut.
(My gray hairs are coming and I'm still praying for the graces to endure and offer it up.)

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta....Pray for Us!

My family's ever growing devotion to Mother Teresa has taken us on a challenging and fruitful journey. Through Blessed Teresa, Christ has offered us many consolations. The most recent is the winning of a contest for Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle's new book, Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship.

It was a much needed consolation. We look forward to reading the book as a family.

Be sure to check out Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle's blog, View From The Domestic Church.

Finding of the Relics of St. Stephen the First Martyr

This post is a tad late but I had to share. On Sunday, Aug 2 our parish celebrated the Finding of the Relics of St. Stephen the First Martyr - for the Parish's patron. We celebrated with an annual pig roast and square dance. Yee haa!

St. Stephen the First Martyr - Pray for Us!

Litany of St. Stephen, Protomartyr
St. Stephen, the first Deacon and the Church's first martyr for Christ, whom St. Luke calls "a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost," was stoned to death by order of the Jewish Sanhedrin at Jerusalem, and among those taking part was Saul of Tarsus, the future St. Paul. As first of the witnesses of Christ, it is only right that St. Stephen should appear first in the procession of Saints who surround the cradle of the Saviour: his Feast is December 26. The finding of his relics at Kafr Gamala c. 415 is commemorated August 3 throughout the Western Church. His name is in the Canon of the Roman Mass. The above litany is in Sadlier's Golden Manual of 1851; the Antiphon (from Acts 7: 54-60) and Versicle and Response (from same, sung after the Gradual in the Mass of Dec. 26) have been added and also the Collect for his Feast has been substituted in place of a prayer formerly attached to the litany.

Antiphon: And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And falling on his knees he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord.

V. I see the heavens opened,
R. And Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Saint Stephen, First Martyr, Pray for us. St. Stephen, who suffered for preaching the Name of Jesus Christ, Pray for us. St. Stephen, who so closely imitated Jesus in that great virtue of charity for thine enemies, Pray for us. St. Stephen, who when stoned by thine enemies, didst cast forth sparks, Pray for us. not of anger, but of love, to set on fire their hearts, harder than the stones which they threw, Pray for us. St. Stephen, having recommended thy soul to God, cried for mercy on the souls of thine enemies, Pray for us. St. Stephen, most zealous for the glory of God, b St. Stephen, most patient and constant, Pray for us. St. Stephen, pattern of chastity and purity, Pray for us. St. Stephen, whose heavenly fortitude caused admiration in all, St. Stephen, by whom so many miracles were wrought, Pray for us. St. Stephen, who, in the love of God, was not inferior to the Apostles themselves, Pray for us. St. Stephen, who didst convert many to the faith of Christ, Pray for us. St. Stephen, by whom the Church has received and continues to receive such singular benefits, Pray for us. St. Stephen, of whom it is said, that the Holy Ghost, Who inhabited thy soul, shone and darted forth His rays into thy body, Pray for us. St. Stephen, whose face shone like that of an angel, Pray for us. St. Stephen, filled with the faith and the Holy Ghost, Pray for us. St. Stephen, dear to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.

V. Obtain for us, O blessed Stephen, the virtue of holy charity:
R. For which thou wast so eminent and we are so needy

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Let us pray. Grant to us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so to imitate what we revere that we may learn to love even our enemies: for we celebrate him who could even plead on behalf of his persecutors with Thy Son Our Lord Jesus Christ. Who with Thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest God, world without end.

R. Amen.
Prayer Source: Kyrie Eleison — Two Hundred Litanies by Benjamin Francis Musser O.F.M., The Magnificat Press, 1944

Getting to Know Eachother

National Night Out is a night designated for neighbors to come together to form a community in hopes to making their area a safer place. My family organized our 4th NNO (2nd in this neighborhood). We pray that our neighborhood will remain safe and that we form a community that is pleasing to Our Lord.
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