St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Just because.....Pop Tart Mom Meme

Finally, the Pop Tart Mom Meme. Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii tagged me quite some time this one's for you, Esther:



3 People That Make Me Laugh

Al Gore :)
My seven year old son
Garrison Keillor

3 Things I Love

My Family & Faith
My friends
beautiful artwork (and classical music) (I guess that's really five things)

3 Things I Hate

(ditto Esther): Abortion
Feminist Agendas

3 Things I Don’t Understand

Hmm, three things, only? The list would be endless :)

3 Things On My Floor

Puzzle pieces (Mark's, our 2 yos)
Rice Krispie Treat
Curious George video cover

3 Things I’m Doing Right Now

Thinking about a conference I have tomorrow, early
Thinking about coffee for in the morning
listening to a video playing in the other room

3 Things I Want to Do Someday

Go to a Spa for a week
Drive a small(er) car again (instead of a family van)
Drive really fast :)

3 Things I Can Do

Play guitar
change a tire
tap dance
(but not all at the same time!)

3 Ways to Describe My Personality


3 Things I Cannot Do

make a great pie crust
change the oil in the car

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To

Vivaldi's Spring
Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake
The Weather

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To


3 Absolute Favorite Foods

Lamb with mint jelly

3 Things I’d Like to Learn

to golf better

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly

apple juice

3 Shows I Watch

I don't watch TV, but when I did:

X-files (no kidding)
Night Court
and occasionally: The Weather Channel

3 Bloggers I Tag:

Michele Q.

Lynn S.

JoAnna P.

School days........

School days,
school days.....
Dear old golden rule days...

Yes, we did begin; some of you had been asking. Our first day back at school went well. It's hard to believe that time has already arrived. It seems we battled family mini-van problems all summer! But, due to that, it was a particularly relaxing summer. I must say I appreciate more and more our particular route of home education due mainly to its being driven by great literature. Our oldest son is currently reading Homer's Illiad, for his history (+ literature) course; this after having read a well done retelling of it in Padriac Colum's:
The Children's Homer. The Founding of Christendom, by Warren H. Carroll is the text for the course. Our next oldest, daughter, is studying medieval history this year and is currently into Augustine Comes to Kent by Barbara Willard. It's one good work a literature after another in these courses. I thought I did a lot of literature reading in high school, but not for history or religion; there wasn't any additional living books reading, with the exception of the Bible perhaps. This reading especially brings history to life and the whole integrated time-line pulls in the great literature and writers of the time being studied, (even poetry/plays) the geographical area and its developments as well as what is happening in the world of Christianity during that time in history. Of course, this is not news to most of you reading this, who live learning lifestyles and involve their families in living books like the air we breathe.....I report here for those who might be interested in this kind of education for their children. A good book list and the local library can get you started......

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'd like to direct your attention to a post from Catholic Analysis for August 28th, "The True Right to Privacy" from blogger Oswald Sobrino. Well worth reading. Follow the LINK.

Our Hearts were made for You, O Lord

Feast of St. Augustine

If physical things please you, then praise God for them, but turn back your love to Him who created them, lest in the things that please you, you displease Him. If souls please you, love them in God; for in themselves they are changeable, but in Him they are firmly established. Without Him they pass away and perish. In Him, then, let them be loved, and carry along with you to Him as many souls as you can, and say to them, "Let us love Him, let us love Him; He made the world and is not far from it. He did not make all things and then leave them, but they are of Him and in Him. See, there He is wherever truth is loved. He is within the very heart, yet the heart has strayed from Him. Return to your heart, O you transgressors, and hold fast to Him who made you. Stand with Him and you will stand fast. Rest in Him and you shall be at rest." Saint Augustine, from The Confessions

"Trust the past to the Mercy of God, the present to His Love, and the future to His Providence."

"Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you."

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, Writer, Doctor

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Homeschool Meme

Michele from Family-Centered Life has tagged me, so here I go:


Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, Laura Berquist. I wore out the original copy and now I'm wearing out the revised one. Will there be a third!?


Ditto on Michele's answer: My computer with Internet connection. Surely a vast and wide resource at the touch of your fingers.


The revised Learning Language Arts through Literature. We much preferred the original editions.


Real Learning, Elizabeth Foss. Not just last year...but many years. It helps ground me in reality - real life!


Nature Drawing, A Tool For Learning by Clare Walker Leslie


Catholic Mosaic; It's on my wishlist :)


One detailing a better way to communicate and eliminate misunderstandings; for real and for good. I know, I'm dreaming....


Catholic Heritage Curricula


Cay's Cajun Cottage







Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Writing Off Reading

By Michael Skube
Sunday, August 20, 2006; B03

We were talking informally in class not long ago, 17 college sophomores and I, and on a whim I asked who some of their favorite writers are. The question hung in uneasy silence. At length, a voice in the rear hesitantly volunteered the name of . . . Dan Brown.

No other names were offered.

The author of "The DaVinci Code" was not just the best writer they could think of; he was the only writer they could think of.

In our better private universities and flagship state schools today, it's hard to find a student who graduated from high school with much lower than a 3.5 GPA, and not uncommon to find students whose GPAs were 4.0 or higher. They somehow got these suspect grades without having read much. Or if they did read, they've given it up. And it shows -- in their writing and even in their conversation.

A few years ago, I began keeping a list of everyday words that may as well have been potholes in exchanges with college students. It began with a fellow who was two months away from graduating from a well-respected Midwestern university.

"And what was the impetus for that?" I asked as he finished a presentation.

At the word "impetus" his head snapped sideways, as if by reflex. "The what?" he asked.

"The impetus. What gave rise to it? What prompted it?"

I wouldn't have guessed that impetus was a 25-cent word. But I also wouldn't have guessed that "ramshackle" and "lucid" were exactly recondite, either. I've had to explain both. You can be dead certain that today's college students carry a weekly planner. But they may or may not own a dictionary, and if they do own one, it doesn't get much use. ("Why do you need a dictionary when you can just go online?" more than one student has asked me.)

Follow the LINK to the rest of this article.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fostering Compassion

Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise...Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to undersand what is the will of the Lord.
Ephesians 5:15, 17

Sometimes, on a really down day for us, maybe there is little we can do for others. But even in those instances, if we keep the value of compassion in mind, we may at least know enough to keep quiet instead of saying something unkind. Maybe we won't be much a help, but at least we won't be a pest to others. Keeping compassion always before our eyes completes the circle of grace. The spiritual life finally becomes so real that it has a chance to "positively contaminate" all of life, all of the time. Then, life as a whole becomes spiritual - which is our ultimate goal, isn't it? In this light, fostering simple compassion is not only reaching out to others, it is also an act of prayer which welcomes God into our soul in new, mysterious ways.

Robert J. Wicks
Everyday Simplicities

Saint Pope Pius X

Prayer to Saint Pius X

Glorious Pope of the Eucharist, Saint Pius X, you sought "to restore all things in Christ." Obtain for me a true love of Jesus so that I may live only for Him. Help me to acquire a lively fervor and a sincere will to strive for sanctity of life, and that I may avail myself of the riches of the Holy Eucharist in sacrifice and sacrament. By your love for Mary, mother and queen of all, inflame my heart with tender devotion to her.

Blessed model of the priesthood, obtain for us holy, dedicated priests, and increase vocations to the religious life. Dispel confusion and hatred and anxiety, and incline our hearts to peace and concord. so that all nations will place themselves under the sweet reign of Christ. Amen.

Saint Pius X, pray for me.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Poetry Friday

I Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics--each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat--the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench--the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter's song--the ploughboy's, on his way in the morning,
or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother--or of the young wife at work--or of the girl sewing or washing--Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day--At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New Catholic Book!

It's always a great day to announce a great Catholic book and author. Oswald Sobrino of Catholic Analysis provides us just that. (Those that know me know I am a great fan of his.) I just purchased his previous book: Unpopular Catholic Truths for my husband's upcoming birthday, and also this newly announced book - of course, how could I resist! :) Follow the LINK to his newest Catholic Analysis 2006 book publication for more details.

Book Meme Re-visited

I posted my Book Meme back on...August 4th, with *#6 up in the air...You can find the original by clicking this LINK.

Last evening while praying the Litany of the Guardian Angel, provided me by Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, I realized, of course I know what book I wish had been written...and I'm still waiting on it...a book with all the information pertaining to the wonderful apostolate I named aboved, translated: Work of the Holy Angels. In my past post on this apostolate I think I may have mentioned that I asked the contact there if they had a book that contained all this great wisdom and direction from their website and I was told they are working on it! Godspeed to Opus Sanctorum Angelorum; blessings to them in their endeavor, I will love to have their book when available and will certainly announce it to the world.


...Hmm, can I get back to you on this one...???

"Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, The Book of the Work of the Holy Angels"

Friday, August 11, 2006

Feast of St. Clare of Assisi

One of my favorite saint's feasts today: St. Clare of Assisi. Perhaps I admire Saint Clare so because of her tremendous love of the Lord's Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Being a First Communion teacher and a Perpetual Adoration adorer, St. Clare's example of strong faith in Christ's Real Presence and great devotion to the Eucharist nourish my faith and belief as well. May she do the same for you.

St. Clare of Assisi, Pray for Us!

Poetry Friday!

Yes! I finally remembered Poetry Fridays! Are you all proud of me, or what? :)

Okay. I love poetry immensely; I love the long and involved poems such as Tennyson's work ( i.e. The Lady of Shalott). But today, I'm starting out short and simple.


Heaven Is What I Cannot Reach!
by Emily Dickinson

Heaven is what I cannot reach!
The apple on the tree,
Provided it do hopeless hang,
That "heaven" is, to me.

The color on the cruising cloud,
The interdicted ground
Behind the hill, the house behind, --
There Paradise is found!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

One of the perks of being a home school mom includes being in control of curriculum choices. While it is certainly necessary to teach the foundational basics, those basics can be taught with any number of methods, philosophies and resources behind them. Our family has greatly preferred the recommendations contained in Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, A Guide to Catholic Home Education (Laura Berquist) so much so, that we eventually enrolled our family in Mother of Divine Grace Home Study founded and directed by the author of the book.

My friend Rebecca over at A Gypsy Caravan, in posting her Book Meme (way to go Rebecca!), reminded me by one of her book picks, how much I enjoy our curriculum and it's natural fit with our family lifestyle and the environment we envelope our children in. She mentioned a book by Clare Walker Leslie, and it reminded me of a book we have by this author that is to be used with our oldest son's Modg Natural History (science) course this year: Nature Drawing - A Tool for Learning. The course also includes the literature of Jean Henri Fabre: "Fabre's Book of Insects", and Konrad Lorenz's: King Solomon's Ring : New Light on Animals' Ways. Our son, an art enthusist is looking forward to this course; so is his mother :)

Over the next several weeks, as I have starting school on my mind and upcoming agenda, I will attempt to post more about our home education endeavors.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein

"....Woman's soul is....fashioned to be a shelter in which other souls may unfold. Both spiritual companionship and spiritual motherliness are not limited to the physical spouse and mother relationships, but they extend to all people with whom woman comes into contact."

"Woman naturally seeks to embrace that which is living, personal and whole. To cherish, guard, protect, nourish and advance growth is her natural, maternal yearning."

Saint Edith Stein

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

On the Feast of St. Dominic founder of the Order of Preachers

A God of Surprises

Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea. Matthew 14:25

"Jesus was full of surprises. Over and over again in the gospels, we read how the disciples were stunned by his words and actions. He healed the afflicted, associated with the ostracized and preached what seemed impossible. Yet for all their astonishing experiences of him, not one of the disciples was prepared to see Jesus walking across the water. It was something they couldn't fathom, and they reacted with fear and disbelief.

I don't think we are any more prepared for God's surprises than the disciples were. God's activity in the world can be difficult for us to believe in, much less comprehend. Yet, it is all around us. I wonder much more often we would see the amazing work of God if we just expected it. How often each day would we marvel and the sheer improbability of life or love --or our very existence!"

Lord, you work miracles all around me. Open my eyes today to all you do in my life, no matter how unlikely it seems.

Karla Manternach, taken from
Living Faith, Daily Catholic Devotions

Friday, August 04, 2006

Book Meme

Mahalo to my friend Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii; she's tagged me with the Book Meme.

So here goes:


The Art of Natural Family Planning (no kidding!) John & Sheila Kippley


The Privilege of Being a Woman, by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand


In Conversation with God, (any one of the seven volumes); Fr. Francis Fernandez .


Please Don't Drink the Holy Water! by Susie Lloyd


A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (try it, you'll agree)


...Hmm, can I get back to you on this one...???


The Brady Bunch Files, by Lauren Johnson


Saint Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal (Vision Books) Yes, one of my children's books!


Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way by Pope John Paul II


Parente Adventures
The Flying Buttress
A Gypsy Caravan
Life is Beauty
Sweetness and Light
Cay's Cajun Cottage!

St. Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, Cure of Ars

Catechism on the Real Presence

When we are before the Blessed Sacrament, instead of looking about, let us shut our eyes and our mouth; let us open our heart: our good God will open His; we shall go to Him, He will come to us, the one to ask, the other to receive; it will be like a breath from one to the other. What sweetness do we not find in forgetting ourselves in order to seek God! The saints lost sight of themselves that they might see nothing but God, and labor for Him alone; they forgot all created objects in order to find Him alone. This is the way to reach Heaven. (taken from Catechism on the Real Presence; for more click this LINK).

Prayer to Saint John Vianney

Saintly Pastor of Ars and splendid model of all servants of souls, you were considered not very bright, but you possessed the wisdom of the Saints. You were a true pontifex, a bridge-builder, between God and his people as countless penitents streamed to your confessional. Inspire all priests to be dedicated mediators between God and his people in our day. Amen.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Quack, quack...

I just couldn't resist. My friend at The Flying Buttress sent this to me and I just had to share it with you.



On July 31, a dozen well-educated, experienced human women will pass into uncharted metaphysical waters on a boat cruising Pittsburgh's rivers.

On that afternoon, three women dressed in feathers and beaks will lay their hands on the heads of the 12 women and anoint their hands with oil during a "Water Fowl Creation Ceremony" that will be the first of its kind in the United States.

Among the participants is Joan Clark Houk, 65, of McCandless, who with seven other women are answering a call to become ducks and unite themselves more closely with nature; the other four are candidates to be ducklings.

It will be the fourth such ceremony in the world since 2002, all unrecognized by the conservation group, Ducks Unlimited. The women are part of a growing international movement to push for women's ability to become another species.

The Women's Water Fowl Conference, based in Fairfax, Va., will announce today its support of the Pittsburgh ceremony, which will be held aboard the Gateway Clipper boat Majestic. Pittsburgh was selected because of its central location.

In a three-page letter dated May 9, Mrs. Houk, a member of St. Alexis in McCandless, advised the President of Ducks Unlimited of her plans. She has received no response. Mrs. Houk also sent a copy of the letter to all 360 members of the organization in the region.

"It is a sin for Ducks Unlimited to discriminate against women and to blame nature for it. Today, women can be anything they want to be--even ducks out of water" Mrs. Houk wrote.

Jack Messer, spokesman for Ducks Unlimited, said the organization "has determined that women can't turn themselves into ducks, you idiot. That humans are humans is a part of the ways of nature. No one is free to change that. Why are you bothering us with this nonsense? You should be talking to a shrink about these women, not pestering me. The creation of other ducks is reserved to ducks, you dimwit.."

The participants in the July 31 ceremony, Jack Messer noted, are ignoring basic science. "I would say they have freely chosen to separate themselves from reality," he said.

Mrs. Houk is a cradle human and mother of six human children. She has served as a conservation worker in two Kentucky forests, worked in environmental preservation programs, taught conservation and became an honorary member of the International Order of Foresters and worked with her husband, John, in the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.

"Responsible conservationists have to take a stand for women ... if we truly love nature, we must be willing to be one with nature. This is really why I have to do what I am doing. There are many women who feel as I do" she said in a recent interview.

Presiding at the ceremony will be Patricia Fresen, Gisela Forster and Ida Raming, who live in Germany and are Mallards in WomenWaterFowl International, an international group of women who support women's right to make damn fools of themselves.

The women claim they are not violating natural order because they at least share some similar DNA as natural ducks. The women claim that many scientists agree with them, but refuse to name them for fear that Ducks Unlimited will send their highly trained albino assasins to kill these scientists. When asked about this, Ducks Unlimited's Messer said "I mean no disrespect, but these women are out of their frickin' trees."

Ms. Forster and Ms. Raming joined the "Danube Seven," a group of women who turned themselves into turkey vultures on the Danube River near Austria in August 2002.

In January 2003, all seven were committed to mental institutions. The women appealed but the decision was affirmed.

Ms. Fresen belonged to an order of conservationists for 45 years. But she left her group in 2004 after she was created a tufted grouse in Barcelona, Spain, in a secret ceremony. Since 2004, she has lived in a small nest outside of Munich, Germany.

In human tradition, ducks and other birds are hatched from eggs, but WomenWaterFowl International's previous ceremonies were held aboard boats, on the Danube in 2002 and on the St. Lawrence Seaway near the Canada coast in August 2005.

"To be honest, the main reason is that no scientist is willing to admit that we're actually ducks and birds," Ms. Fresen said about the ceremonies on water.

A boat is one of the earliest natural symbols of water-fowl-ness. "Ducks float. Boats float. Ducks float around boats. Some of the earliest ducks floated," she added.

One of the outspoken disciples in the women's water fowl movement is Ruth Steinert Foote, a board member of the Women's Waterfowl Conference--which she runs from her elderly mother's basement.

In March, Ms. Foote brought Ms. Fresen from Germany to the United States for six speaking engagements in the Midwest.

"Everywhere that we went, she was received with many quaks, tweets, and gobbles. She is a wonderful, brave and fowl-filled woman. Patricia Fresen is the person that will change hearts," Ms. Foote said.

In a recent telephone interview from her home, Ms. Fresen said her many friend's struggle against apartheid when she lived in South Africa taught her "a great deal about how to fight against gender discrimination. For me, the right to self-determine that I am a bird is parallel."

Ms. Foote, an active member of a Duck pond, is a medical technologist and married to an Episcopal priest.

"This movement is not just about women becomng birds. It is about making the scientific community a just institution. If women are made in the image and likeness of God, they have the potential to become ducks if they want to," she said.

Christine Schenk, a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and executive director of Chicks for Chicks, a birdwoman organization which attempts to effect change within the scientific community, will not openly support the ceremony in Pittsburgh, she said.

Find the real story here: By Marylynne Pitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Pope says adults must renew and transmit their faith to their families

Vatican City, 2006 (CNA) - Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI devoted the focus of his Angelus message to The Fifth World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Valencia, Spain, next Saturday and Sunday. In discussing the theme of the World Meeting, the Holy Father recalled the duty of families to, “live and transmit the faith.”

"The theme of the forthcoming Valencia meeting,“ the Pope began, “is the transmission of faith within the family. This is what has inspired the motto of my apostolic visit to that city: 'Families, live and transmit the faith’!”

“In so many of today's secularized communities, the primary need for believers in Christ is precisely that of renewing the faith of adults, that they may become capable of communicating that faith to the new generations,” the Holy Father continued, “At the same time, the path of Christian initiation of babies and children can become a useful occasion for parents to draw near the Church once more, and deepen their knowledge of the beauty and truth of the Gospel.”

Pope Benedict recalled that the first such gathering of families took place in Rome in 1994 on the occasion of the International Year of the Family promoted by the United Nations. It was then that John Paul II wrote his famous “Letter to Families.” Subsequent World Meetings of Families have been held in Rio de Janeiro (1997), Rome (2000) - for the occasion of the Jubilee of Families, and Manila (2003).

"It is important," Pope Benedict said, "that today's families also hear the memorable appeal launched 25 years ago in the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Familiaris consortio' by John Paul II: 'Family, become what you are!’”

"The family," Benedict said, "is a living organism in which a reciprocal exchange of gifts takes place, what is important is that the Word of God, which keeps the flame of faith alive, should never be lacking. During the rite of Baptism, in an extremely significant gesture, the father or godfather lights a candle at the great Easter candle, symbol of the risen Christ; then, addressing the members of the family, the celebrants says: 'ensure that your baby, illuminated by Christ, always lives as a child of the light.'"

The Pope concluded: "In order to be authentic, that gesture - which contains all the significance of the transmission of faith within the family - must be preceded and accompanied by the commitment of parents to deepen their knowledge of their own faith, reviving its flame through prayer and the assiduous practice of the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist."

Article courtesy of: Catholic News Agency

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Getting there......

This is a test post.

Little by little my customized sections of blog are being restored. If you see your blog missing from my left margin and it had once been there, please do not be shy in letting me know.

The challenge will be to restore my book resources and images. So...if there is a book link you remember, please feel free to contact me with that as well.

God bless!