Sunday, June 29, 2014

Buses, Cousins, and Cats {Answer Me This}

This week I am joining Kendra at Catholic All Year for Answer Me This again. It may or may not be true, but it has been called the internet's favorite virtual cocktail party. It certainly is a fun way to get to know other bloggers and a few blog readers better. 


1. How often do you ride public transportation? 

I have lived in the same city my entire life, and it did not have public transportation when I was growing up. I wish it had because that I would have used it the summer I spent walking home from my summer gym class (ah, summer gym was the only way to avoid the locker room. I dislike locker rooms very much!). There is an active bus system now, but I never use it. My mother started working as a bus driver a couple years ago. I have been thinking about showing up with the boys one day and surprising her by riding with her around town. The boys get excited when we pass her bus on the road. And she looks pretty in her bus uniform, but she hates it. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Saints, Beauty, and Food {Five Favorites}

I have five fun favorites this week, so I am linking up with Heather at Mama Knows, Honey Child for Five Favorites. 




1. Tiny Saints - I went the IHM National Conference, which could easily be another favorite, this weekend. I had a wonderful time! Monica from Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families was in the vendor area. I introduced myself, and we had a lovely chat, and then I bought these adorable Tiny Saints from her. The boys and I plan to make a craft with them this week. And a small tidbit that has nothing to do with Tiny Saints, I was also able to meet Rosie from A Blog For My Mom.


Monday, June 23, 2014

God's View Of Love {Teaching Our Children About Their Bodies and Sexuality}

Growing up in a "Catholish" home meant that I went to mass once a week, confession twice a year, and CCD during the school year until I made my Confirmation. It meant I was taught the basic prayers, such as Grace Before Meals, Hail Mary, Our Father, and The Act of Contrition, but I was told that praying the rosary was silly and unnecessary. I was told that the Pope was the head of the church, but he was only a man, and he got things wrong sometimes, like the whole birth control thing and the divorce thing. Life was meant to be lived happily, and that meant controlling the amount of children you had and leaving an unhappy relationship if you wanted to.


So it is not surprising that when I was told by a practicing Catholic woman that taking birth control for a year or two after my c-section so that I could heal that I believed her. I got the shot in my arm when my son was three months old, and received it several more times, finally ending it when he was about 18 months old.

I shutter every time I think about it.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Books To Read About Teaching Your Children At Home

I am spending two days at a homeschool conference this weekend, and I am looking forward to listening to the talks and checking out the vendor tables.

The internet is very useful for researching ideas, philosophies, and how too instructions, but there is something wonderful about having a real book in your hand. A book you can dog-ear, highlight, and carry everywhere you go.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yarn Along {eleven}


Knitting: Easy Lace Scarf 

I wanted an easy project to knit for myself. Something to make me excited to knit again. I started knitting the Easy Lace Scarf Monday night. I only got a few rows of garter stitch done before abandoning it for a book. I knit most of the finished portion of the scarf while watching The Secret of Moonacre on Netflix with Ralph yesterday evening after a long day of swimming. The pattern is very easy to remember as it is only two rows repeated. I love the colors in the yarn. 


Monday, June 16, 2014

Daybook 2014

I am thankful for: 
~ my husband
~ my boys
~ the time I spent with my family this weekend
~ the warm weather
~ sleep



I am listening to:
~ the coffee maker gurgle
~ birds outside my window




Friday, June 13, 2014

How I Homeschool

   Micaela of California to Korea has a How I Homeschool  series and link-up at her blog. 

This summer it is my intention to write more about how we school at home and curriculum choices, so I thought her link-up was an excellent way to start. 



How long have you been homeschooling? 

The boys and I recently finished our ninth year. Our oldest son went to a small, private Christian school kindergarten through second grade, public school for third grade (because we came back to the Catholic Church after spending several years as nondenominational Christians), and I started homeschooling him in fourth grade. He graduated from our homeschool in May and started college a couple weeks ago. 
 


How many kids are in your family? How many are 

homeschooled? Are any schooled in a more traditional way?   

I homeschool all of my boys; there are three of them. Homeschooling is part of who we are and fits our lifestyle well. Since my husband works long hours the boys can stay up later to spend time with him, and school can start a little later in the morning. I don't think my boys will go to a traditional school anytime school, but I do leave that up to God. I want to continue to homeschool, but He may have other plans for our family in the future. 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Eighteen!


Happy Birthday Holden! 
We are proud of all your accomplishments and look forward to watching you grow into manhood.
We love you! 

Fall in Love With Knitting {Five Favorites}

In February of 2011, I taught myself how to knit after years of wishing I knew how to knit. In the beginning, I knit lots of scarves and dishcloths. Then I knit a small baby sweater, before moving on to mittens and hats, and adult sized cardigans. Scarves and baby sweaters are still my favorite items to knit.

It was challenging, teaching myself how to knit without someone sitting next to me showing me the way. There were a few times that I totally wanted to give up, for good. But it wasn't impossible, and I am glad that I kept at it. 




Do you want to know how to knit? Here is a list of my favorite resources for beginner knitters. I have listed a few more than five, but once I started I just had to add them. Forgive me? I hope you find the list helpful! All of the links to Amazon are Amazon Associates links,  and if you click on them and make a purchase I receive a few pennies. Thanks for your support!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Look Up {For A Friend}

Hey you! Yes, you! You know who you are! 


I know you are having a rough time. 


You are ready to give up. 


Your husband is working all the time to support your family, but you need him to help you a little. To give you some of his time and listen, really listen to your concerns. To give you a gentle touch and a smile, but he doesn't have much free time and when he is home he is too tired to listen. 



Your kids aren't listening or when they do hear you, they answer you with a harsh word. You need them to listen and behave, but you just can't seem to make them. 



And the diet, oh boy, forget about it! You want to be healthy, but you have no idea what to eat anymore. Everything that you stick in your mouth is on the forbidden foods list of some diet somewhere. Exercise, who has time for that? Not you, with many children and a busy husband you can barely find time to clean the kitchen, forget about logging miles on the treadmill. With no activity and poisonous food, you are certainly taking years from your life. Cancer and clogged arteries are in your future. 


Speaking of dying, you don't know what to think about that anymore. You used to have hope in heaven. You knew there was an awesome God that had your back, but now you aren't so sure. 


The last let down you experienced shook you to your core. I mean it totally rocked your world. Now you wonder how you can be under the protection of the Most High when your spirit is way down, down in the filth of the earth. 


It is hard to trust and believe. 


I understand. I have been right where you are, down so far that you can't see the sun. 


I want you to know that you aren't alone. Our God, in spite of your doubts, is with you. Right now. His love is surrounding you. 


Look up, my friend. 


You will see it. A small spark of light. 


Bend your ear. You will hear it. The still, small voice. 


Reach out your hand and it will be taken. 




He is waiting for you. Call to Him. 



He will answer. 



Look up, my friend! 



He is there. You are not alone.








Friday, June 6, 2014

7 Books to Read Aloud In June {7 Quick Takes}

We love to spend time reading aloud in our home. As the weather warms up, I like to pick books with beautiful illustrations of gardens and the beach. Of course, it is nice when there is a science or geography lesson weaved into an enjoyable story. Here are seven books that we are reading aloud currently. 


Since I am linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes, I am going to keep the review of the books short and sweet. I tried to keep them to seven words, but I am not that talented! All links are Amazon Associate links, and if you click on them and make a purchase I receive a few pennies that I will use to buy, well, more books! Thank you!  


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Don't Worry Mom... You Taught Him Well

My oldest son, Holden, graduated from high school almost a month ago. He started taking his first college class last week. I find myself looking at him across the kitchen table, wondering how I came to have this massive man child. I still feel as young as I did when he made me a mom at the age of twenty. Just as young, but not as immature, thankfully. 




Holden has an easy going personality. Friendly and unassuming, he helps his father and me around the house and is a big brother that the little boys can look up to. He has a job that he enjoys at the moment, but he is looking forward to finishing his degree so that he can start working full-time in his career field. 
He looks forward to his future, a testament to his upbeat attitude. 



While his early educational years were in a traditional school setting, he spent the last eight years being educated at home. When I think about the kind of people and situations that he is going to encounter at college, I must admit that a small part of me feels a little anxious for him. After all, many people do not value the same things we do. They can be so cold and overbearing, pushing their attitudes towards life and Christianity on him. It is easy to see how he could become detached from our family and make decisions that pull him away from us and God. 





But I quickly let the worry leave me. I taught him the faith, and I have seen how much he loves and appreciates Christ and His Church. I know that doesn't mean he won't make mistakes or fall into a lukewarm practice of the faith for a time. He is becoming a man, and he will have to seek God's will for his life. But there is a real possibility that sometimes he won't. He may make a few decisions that are not what God would want for him. 


I remember when I did that. Chris remembers when he did that. And yet here we are today, living our faith in the fullest way. We made the decision to homeschool him and his brothers, and raise them in the Catholic Church because that is what we felt God called us to do. 


Fulton Sheen wrote in Way to Happiness, 


... one must inquire if education is of the mind alone, or also of the will. Knowledge is in the mind; character is in the will. To pour knowledge into the mind of a child, without disciplining his will to goodness, is like putting a rifle into the hands of a child. Without education of the mind a child could be a stupid devil. With education of the mind, but without love of goodness, a child could grow up to be a clever devil. 


I remember how it struck me the first time I read it. I found it so powerful that I read it four times in a row. 


It has always been important to Chris and me that we focus our sons' education on our Catholic faith. For us, that meant homeschooling. We understand that we are guiding them to grow in knowledge not just of the mind but also of the soul. They learn love, honor, and forgiveness. We want them to know how to support themselves and their future families, but also, they need to understand the importance of life, standing up for goodness, working to make this world a better place, and keeping their eyes focused on heaven. 






So as my son takes his first steps into adulthood, I do not fear for him. I know that his education was firm, goodness and truth are the foundations of his character. 


My prayers go with him as he leaves his childhood behind and enters manhood. The path that he chooses to follow may not always be the best one, but he has the tools he needs to keep from getting lost. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

A New Look Deserves A New Name




Saint is a last name that begs for a place in the title, don't you think? I have wanted to change the name for awhile, but something always held me back. I bet you can guess what. Well, fear, of course! But this is the year of stepping out of my comfort zone, making changes, and moving forward. I hope you like the changes I have made and find it easier to view and read. I hope your feed reader or inbox wasn't full of old posts that I updated to make them truncated. If it was, I am truly sorry. The updates are complete (for now). Thank you for stopping by and for sticking with me through this period of change. I appreciate you! Please leave me a comment to let me know what you think. 


Eleven!


We love you! 
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Smart Phone, Baths, Love, Friends {AMT}

1. Do you have a smart phone? 

I do. It is small older model, but it works for me. I can surf the web, check Facebook on it, and I signed up for an Instagram account yesterday, but I may not use it. Only time will tell! 

 It has a keyboard, which I prefer. It is small, so it doesn't take up too much space in my  purse. And because of its size, I do not spend a lot of time using my apps. The small screen is uncomfortable to read on, but I like having the ability to be able to use my apps in case I get stuck somewhere for a while with nothing to do. 

My purple protector makes me happy. 

I have had it since January 2013, and I hope it lasts me a while longer.


2. Which is your favorite meal of the day?

In my home meals involve good food and great company, so I am not picky. I like them all! 


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