St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows

Friday, May 22, 2015

Breath of Fresh Air - Making Progress

    So many amazing milestones have occurred in the last month alone, I just haven't known how to express them all, so I haven't been blogging them......I've been living them and savoring them.

   Today, I take inventory of the blessings in my life.  Although there are many unknowns at this time, which could leave so much stress, I am nonetheless ever so grateful for the progress my family has made over the years.  This year marks such successes, rather triumphantly I might add.  I am not one to just "do a thing", no, I want to do the best thing; it's in my nature to not be mediocre.  Maybe it's because I was raised by two US Marines?  I don't know, but I do know, if I'm going to do it (like educate my own children), I don't settle for anything less than high quality.  I see that paying off in how well my older children did at the college level, both having graduated now.  I could not be more proud of them.  

   The winter was difficult for my current teen son, yes.  But the spring pulled us out of the dark tunnel and onward into the light with refreshment of mind, body and soul. We took a couple new turns, made some changes, with some fantastic results.  I take comfort in the leaps I have seen happen in my family with my children; really amazing leaps.  Leaps that have given me such hope for them, hope for their futures.

    I am so proud that my children are growing into such fine adults.  So proud that we've been able to educate them with a quality home schooling program that really forms them and sticks with them through the tough times.  I'm thrilled that our home study program has added an uber special services section of on line courses for high school that will provide a high quality classical education at a pace they can manage; still helping them to feel a part of it all - with other students.  It will be my blessing for my youngest son with autism as he enters middle school and in three short years will be high school age.  I can not do it alone - nor do I think it's wise.  I draw upon my Lord first, and those with experience and intellectual property to share (and great home school program).  I believe because I have been submissive and humbled by letting others assist me, I have been greatly blessed.  

   And so as we enter Memorial Day weekend, I reminisce about my family and their roots; my children and how I have been so blessed to be able to educate them at home; my children that have graduated college, my pride and joy as I prepared them for it through an excellent high school path; and what is yet to come for them.  My teen son finishing a rigorous amazing 10th grade year even though he hit rock bottom in January & February; getting his driver's permit, getting more social than ever, and really participating in life more, now that he's over that horrible hump that stood in his way literally for so many years.  He is making such progress in all areas -- I am in awe and so so grateful.  He will have an exciting high standard of studies in 11th, and I'm thrilled I can be a part of it.

Have a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,

    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blessed Weekend

There comes a time where all your hard work comes together in the culmination of one glorious memorable moment.  It's fleeting, yes, but it's depth and meaningfulness leave a lasting impression that lingers and is savored for many years to come.  Such a moment happened this weekend as my daughter graduated from college on Mother's Day weekend. 

As we have homeschooled all our children completely, K - 12th grade, without any extra educational tap-ins (i.e. post secondary, partial enrollment), it is a glorious and rewarding event that they went straight from home school into a strong four year college situation.  In other words:  yes, this mother who was not able to complete her own college degree was able to totally school her children 12 years right into college where they received excellent scholarships due to good college test scores.  I am not tooting my own horn here, because really I had little to do with it other than being an instrument in God's hands-- when I made the decision to subject myself to the will of God, and surrender in this area, He took over.  He guided me from day one, and eventually into a home study program integrated with our faith that is of quality and integrity, respecting each child where they are at and supporting the parent as primary educator.  It was and has been such a saving grace to me, giving me unique Catholic support and making up for any deficits I may have had. 

It is a huge accomplishment to have a child graduate from college in general; it is enormously more meaningful for a home school family to have a child that they entirely homeschooled prior to college, graduate with their degree from college.  

Having graduated a son and daughter into college and out of college now, where they make their way with their education and degrees, I can say, you can do it too.  Yes, you can.  It seems an overwhelming or impossible task, but truly it isn't. Let God lead you, take you by the hand.  Be humble, be open.   It's "you" that has to commit to it.  Commit to making a good quality education available to your children. It may be the only 12 years of education they have; maybe they will not be attending college -- then even all the more reason to make it the highest quality you can provide.  It means sacrifice, and not giving in to your own wishy-washy tendencies or whims.  It means staying home and really taking time with each child, each day. It means dying to yourself, so they can rise.  If you see it through with seriousness and uphold that child with respect, it will not come back to you empty, or with criticism. They will thank you later because they will see the value in what you did.  It will not always be easy, that goes with the territory, but it will be rewarding beyond what you can imagine.

I am tired.  Yes, I'll admit it right here.  I'm not only an older mom to begin with, but I'm a mom with a bad thyroid and I'm exhausted most of the time, compared to even five years ago.   So I look at the younger moms with awe and zeal for their mission -- they can do this no problemo!  They have still have youth on their side, and energy.  If I can do it, they can do it!....and likely even better.   Go for it!

And while I may be physically tired, my soul and the spirit inside of me is well invigorated and lighted with the power of God and His amazing blessings. 

So today, the day after the glorious rewarding weekend events, my heart and soul sing in gratefulness that only a mother can feel upon the accomplishment of her own child... 

..."my soul does glory in your love O Lord....for you gazed on your servant with compassion, and you reached out and took me by the hand....Luke 1:46-48

Mary's Song (Millie Rieth)

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Ten Commandments - TV movie

This movie is not for the faint of heart....and it is rated PG-13, (violence); but I will say it is the most realistic epic of Moses that I have ever seen in my lifetime thus far.  Dougray Scott does an excellent job portraying the man that "I am who am" talks to and directs to free the Israelites.  Really quite incredible, and the parting of the Red sea and journey through it is worth watching the movie for sure! It originally aired as a Hallmark presentation nearly a decade ago now, and it has haunted me ever since.  I re-watched it the other night (it is very long, 3 I watched half and half).  I am ever so awe stricken by this tale of Moses and his people.   I am again so impressed, I order five copies of the DVD!...yes, you heard it, 5, to give away to a few of our bible study couples and for Easter.   

You can find it here:  The Ten Commandments; with Dougray Scott as Moses

You can also view this movie, in two parts, by visiting: IMBd    Be sure to watch for part 1, and part 2 (over to the right hand side of the site).  It does have several commercial interruptions, but it is free for the viewing.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Did I mention how busy I've been lately?  Well, let me mention that now!  It has been a long hard winter and I am just now beginning to feel the energy to climb out of the bear cave and mingle in the senses of Spring which is slowly making it's arrival here.

In the meantime, I did a wee bit of cleaning and organizing.  I'm focusing mostly on our home school and my appointments with others as education consultant.

I did a couple delightful things for myself and family.  I placed a nice Arbonne order to replenish my much needed favorite products.  Then I joined Young Living Essential Oils, through my friend and bloggers at Farm Girl Follies.  If you would like to join or place an order for this high quality essential oils, please do so through her and reap the health benefits.  Right now I'm relaxing to the essence of Frankincense and Orange, and let me tell you, it is heaven after a long busy day.  It's helping to clear my mind for bible study later this evening.  I'm using this beautifully designed atomizer, Home Diffuser.   The Everyday Oils collection is a great way to start.  But, there are likely more specials, like how I began, with the Everyday Oils & Home Diffuser. I love aromatherapy and this brings it to me and my entire family in a very big beautiful quality way.

So, I'm off to prepare for bible study. I hope your Lenten season is going nicely and you are staying strong in your sacrifices and commitments.  You are in my prayers ......

Monday, February 16, 2015

Woman Named Sarah Scantlin Wakes After 20 Year Coma

Woman Named Sarah Scantlin Wakes After 20 Year Coma

Daybook Monday

It's around -1 in my neck of the woods, and there are not enough adjectives to describe this event!  Still, we are safe and warm in our heated home, where others may be out on the streets....hungry and cold, and suffering hurt from the cold....while still others worldwide are in serious anguish and turmoil as they see their own kind being killed unmercifully and senselessly in the name of religion and culture.  It is horrifying to think and I seriously try to put it out of my mind.  But it's hard not to imagine what kind of world my children and grandchildren will grow up in?  Will they be safe?  Will the USA be safe?  We can only hope and pray and trust in God.

So, I focus on the immediate -- what's for supper tonight, celebrating our oldest son's birthday; looking forward to the week as we enter the Lenten season.  

This Lent I wish to die to my own desires and any bitterness that I harbor within.  I look to take up my cross, be in ever so trivial and seemingly unimportant compared to the cross others must bear in this world.  

I offer my heart and prayers to them from a distance --- although I know not who they are, I do know we share Christianity in common -- and as brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray for them.  I pray for their protection, their safe haven, their healing and their hope.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Motivation and the teen spirit

I have a teenage son who has not always had it easy growing up.  He suffers from anxiety (OCD) and has been in treatment for many years.  I could not have gotten this far with him without assistance -- professional assistance.  Our entire family was suffering from it and well...that's another story...

But for this moment, there is much success in regard to this bright young man.  He doesn't lack intelligence, that's for sure.  In fact, I don't quite know how to put the reigns on it at times....he wants to speed ahead and do this and do that....He is doing 2 sciences and 2 maths this year, because well...he wants to...and he's motivated to do so, so I'm allowing it.  He is half way through a very intense on line course of Jacob's Geometry and he added in Abeka Algebra 2 to do on the side.  He is three-quarters way through his Natural Science course (just has a project left to do when the weather gets better), and he added in his full course of Biology.  And he loves it.  All this on top of his other courses, his Latin, his Ancient History-Geography and Literature course, and his religion.   He did yet a third science for the first semester through our co-op which was very rigorous (instead of 120 hours, typical high school, it was 180-200); this proved to be far too much of a load, and because he didn't really need the credit, we dropped it for the second semester so he could move on to the courses he really needs for high school graduation.  Still, it was a good experience and he did learn quite a bit that semester.

He has a yearning to be a programmer and does an on line introductory programming course called Mod Design 1.  He wants to get into Java programming more -- but doesn't know where to begin, and I say, well, that is likely going to be a college course. We are looking at senior year of dual credits....but first things first, getting up and driving.

So, he has been practicing driving with his father which has been a wonderful thing for him -- helping him to feel more independent and in control.  Anxiety ridden people often feel they are at the mercy of everyone and everything else around them.  It helps to "enable" them (if they will move forward with it), and of course that has been our goal for him from day one of therapy -- enabling.  Disabling the disorder, and enabling the normalcy and developmental milestones and healthy way of thinking along the way. 

Really, I'm writing this for myself today as we have had a very difficult winter with this son.  Last year his medication was adjusted three times, and it takes weeks and weeks for the changes to occur.  He is finally into a med adjustment that is working and we are grateful.  I'm taking inventory with this piece,  journaling, really....and clearing my mind.  

On paper (or blog) it looks more hopeful to me, and I can see the distance we have traveled and the progress we have made.  Yes, we've taken many steps backwards at times....but all in all, we have moved forward in a positive manner.  I thank God for that.

For any of my readers who are raising special needs children, or those with mental health issues, disorders and every day disruptions....I pray for you;  I understand.  I know the heartache and the stress and the lack of understanding out there....I know how you wonder daily and lay awake at night....about how your son or daughter is going to make it in life...out there.  And know, I think and feel the same way.  Together, let us pray for one another...and pray that God in his almighty love and wisdom will come through for all of us.


God bless+

Autism and Hygiene

Where do I begin?  ...with a bar of soap and a nice warm shower?  What may seem common place to we neuro-typicals, may seem odd and annoying to those on the autism spectrum.

I hear things like:  the vent will blow air and make noise and it disturbs me in the bathroom!  or....the soap feels slimy and yukky....or WHY do I have to get washed up it make me cold!?

And so it goes with my 11 yr old spectrum son.  We scrub him (still) from head to toe and are awaiting the day where he doesn't have to be overseen quite as much.  But my, he is behind with these things.  He has no concern for hygiene even when his science book details its importance.

He is a bright boy...nevertheless....intellectually in the facts and information area, math and reading. Hyperlexic in fact, having decoded language very early and taught himself to read by the age of 4, when his speech finally emerged.  But it is so obvious to me how he is at least a couple years behind in maturity compared to his peers, and how unfortunately, they find that annoying....or view him as not cool.  Let's face it, kids getting ready to enter middle school, are all about acting more mature, and sports and cool tennis shoes, fashion and music.   Oh my little man isn't anywhere near any of that, and it may not ever happen for him.

I debate taking him away and out of activities because it breaks my heart (probably more than his, as we don't think he really notices) that other peers just ignore him, traipsing by him to run off and find a friend.

But today, after his nice long shower and shampoo that he mostly did on his own,  I just celebrate the fact of who he really is....who God has made him to be.  And today, that is enough.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Downton Abbey English Rose Tea – 36 Tea Bags -

Downton Abbey English Rose Tea – 36 Tea Bags -

We LOVE Downton Abbey in this house (along with Doctor Who) -- wow, are those two different worlds or what?

Last year, I bought a friend some special Downton Abbey tea, and this year my darling daughter bought some for me.  The one she picked is the English Rose Tea, and it is marvelous indeed.  It smells a bouquet of lovely flowers.

At the link you will discover many other Downton Abbey teas....very tempting ....I may need to purchase a few to get me through to Springtime!  (disclaimer* no, I don't work for PBS)  :)  but maybe I should!