St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Your Royal Name

In honor of the big wedding on Friday, use your royal wedding guest name. Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your grandparents' names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on. Let's do this! Post yours here.

Mine: Lady Adelaide Silver-Overton

Raising G Rated Kids in an R Rated World: by John Caldwell


Raising G Rated Kids in an R Rated World: John Caldwell: 9781414107813:

Looks interesting – just sharing

Homeschool Article: Why be Different?


Link here: Homeschool Article: Why be Different?

“But why home school your children today? Why not just send them away and let someone else do the teaching? In short, why be different? The answer is actually quite simple: Because lessons are just waiting to be learned in the life that surrounds us.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

Flat Mark makes it to church on Easter (in Idaho)


Flat Mark is still traveling.  We were so glad to see he made it to church Easter Sunday :)   Wouldn’t it be grand if he made it to the Royal Wedding?  Here’s a couple recent pics:


(At my friend Katherine’s office)


St John’s Cathedral – Easter Day





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Hehee….good for a smile Smile

"Read a good poem...."

Upon visiting my friend at Cottage Blessings, I was reminded of the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson in a piece blogged there not too long ago. In following a classical education, we pay attention to the discipline of memorization and in the earliest years Stevenson's work provides many wonderful verses for the children to put to memory.

We have generally utilized Laura Berquist's The Harp & the Laurel Wreath for this purpose; it contains a wide range of classic poems and prose pieces, covering kindergarten well up through high school. However, when first starting out my little ones with Stevenson, I wanted to have a colorful and attractive presentation of his work, and this I found quite by accident in a book I sent my parents out to search for one day. They returned home with a lovely version of Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses, illustrated by Joanna Isles. All our children have loved this version (and so does their mom :) While not as easy to find as it use to be, it is well worth the search.

Windy Nights
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jesus Christ is Risen Today!

Victimae Paschali Laudes

May you praise the Paschal Victim, immolated for Christians.
The Lamb redeemed the sheep: Christ, the innocent one,
has reconciled sinners to the Father.
A wonderful duel to behold, as death and life struggle:
The Prince of life dead, now reigns alive.
Tell us, Mary Magdalen, what did you see in the way?
I saw the sepulchre of the living Christ,
and I saw the glory of the Resurrected one:
The Angelic witnesses, the winding cloth, and His garments.
The risen Christ is my hope: He will go before His own into Galilee.
We know Christ to have risen truly from the dead:
And thou, victorious King, have mercy on us.
Amen. Alleluia.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday

Thirty Pieces of Silver

"A house is not destroyed by a momentary impulse. More often it is because of an old defect in its construction. Sometimes it is the prolonged neglect by its inhabitants that permits water to get in, at first drop by drop, imperciptibly, the damp eating away at the woodwork and rotting even the structure of stone. With time on tiny crack becomes larger, causing considerable damage. In the end, the rain pours in. The result is ruin."
....perseverance is doing the small everyday things with faith; it is supported by the humility of beginning again when we go astray through weakness....

To persevere in our own vocation is to respond to the repeated calls the Lord makes in the course of our lives, even though there are obstacles and difficulties and, sometimes, the odd error, acts of cowardice and even defeats. As we contemplate these scenes from the Passion we consider our faithfulness in the tiny details of our own vocation. Is there any hint of a double life? Am I faithful to my own duties? Do I take care to ensure that my relationship with the Lord is sincere? Do I avoid becoming attached to material things -- being drawn to the thirty pieces of silver?

(In Conversation with God, Lent/Eastertide volume)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Projects for Children and Traveling Light :)

Our youngest son began reading a cute little storybook series called; Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown.  Here is the original book below:

In talking to  friend of mine that I grew up with and attended both grade school and high school, she mentioned that her daughter did a project with the Flat Stanley notion – they made flat images of themselves and they got mailed around the country – different people hosting them.  Thus was born Flat Mark:
So far Flat Mark has been in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho and Kansas and his travels have just begun.  We receive sightings of him on Facebook and are sent postcards and memorabilia of his travels that we can scrapbook.  He travels light, so he’s really no fuss!
I will blog periodically regarding his journey, but for now here are some highlights of his latest travels:
flatmarkcactus                     FlatMarkbloomcactus
Sacramento State Capitol                                  Beautiful cacti!
FlatMarkSacCapital              FlatMarkwSnail
Flat Mark and Flat Lisa visiting a lovely garden in Sacramento.

Flat Mark with his friend Flat Lisa visiting a beautiful art gallery of sculptured foods!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Children that Read

I’m always so pleased when my children are reading, reading, reading.  Lately, I’m keeping my eye on my 11 yr old son who has just taken off on novel reading – one after another.  Good books, such as those I’ve mentioned in a previous post.  The last Hilda van Stockum book he is tackling and enjoying greatly is: The Winged Watchman.
Next, I have the Letzenstein Chronicles lined up for this son.  Now that he’s polished off 10 novels in a row, he can certainly enjoy this series into the summer.  There is actually four books in the series, but the book provider I linked to, only shows two of them.  I was able to locate the other two in the series and being the thrifty book buyer I am – because we buy oodles of literature – I was able to find them at for ridiculously great prices. 
Next our older daughter was needing just a little something special to read into testing times when she goes for her standardized testing in early May with the local home school group.  For this I chose another great Bethlehem Book publicationPresenting Miss Jane Austen; just for fun!
Lately, I have had to make children turn out their lights and really go to sleep as I’ve caught them up reading into the early morning hours!  This is both good and bad of course.  I’d rather catch them doing something such as reading good literature (gasp!) late at night in place of texting, hanging on the laptop or watching the TV – all of which are regulated in this home anyway. 
So, got books?!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Christ's Passion - Our Passion

This week marks Holy Week beginning with the celebration of Palm Sunday commemorating Christ's entrance into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, to shouts of Hosanna!...Many of our children processed into church yesterday holding their palms and singing Glory,Laud and you Almighty King...It was a beautiful entrance and moment as we recall Christ's life on earth.  We stood longer during the reading of the Gospel - many chapters - describing Christ's passion and death - what God did for us through His only begotten Son.  Did we complain our feet were hurting a little more?...our backs were a little achey,  we were hungry, or tired?  I know my mind drifted through all those physical things that cause discomfort and yet my spirit was so focused on the words of scripture and the manner in which Christ accepted His sentence and cruel death without complaint. 

Most Christians worldwide recognize Holy Week and they participate in it in some manner as they prepare for the glorious celebration of Easter and a Risen Christ!  For Cathlolic Christians, this week is the most important week as we remember God born man and his passion and death for the sake of our salvation. His total surrender to the Father's Will, not His own; how selfish we are day in and day out, even in our Christian outlook, of being our own gods! and not really submitting ourselves to God's Will. 

I look forward to this time of year more and more as I mature both in age and faith. It is not easy being Catholic, it never has been, it is very challenging to live the faith truly, it can be very counter-cultural, (no-birth control) especially in this day and age when most, including some very good Christians are looking for a feel-good mountaintop experience and only focus on non-suffering and a Risen Christ with no cross in sight, forgetting that before that glorious day occured, much suffering occured.  I feel in awe of how God works through His church on earth, a physical presence for man to commune with and how many sources of grace He grants us through such a presence.  Christ did leave us with structure and form to follow. He taught us everything - how to pray, how to forgive, how to suffer, how to commemorate, how to invoke His presence, how to draw on the power of the Holy Spirit, how to Rise again to new life -the Gospels tell it all.

I am Catholic by choice in my life and remain faithful to what I know and believe to be true: whether the church goes astray or corrupt, still doesn't change the fact it is the original church founded by Christ and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.  It is challenging to be a true practicing Catholic -  a lot of people may bail from it, many are cafeteria types that pick and choose what they want to believe in rather than what God has given us to believe; a lot of people may not understand it, but still others remain steadfast.  I want the challenging faith!  Christ has not left His church. This makes me more convicted  and during this time of the liturgical season I could not be more grateful for my Catholic faith and the practices that go with it, that are not in vain, but rather, are edifying, faith and character building and help deepen my faith and belief in Christ and leave me in awe of our great God! God's church has given us so many "helps" for the long road of life on earth.  All the church gives us and teaches us leads to Christ.  It is not for her benefit, it is all for the glory of God for which we all benefit.

I could go on and on because I have such a great love and passion for Christ and my faith, but instead, let me leave you with three thoughtful books, the links to them, that I posted previously in a recent post.  These books are excellent for any time of year, but seem to make impact naturally at this time of the Christian year; I hope you will consider reading them.  God bless you this week! 

May you die with Christ and Rise to new life in the Risen Lord!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Along with the Bible, Keep Three Books Going...

Since publishing this blog I have been asked quite a variety of questions by readers, some of which include, would I post more about our family and homeschooling and also what am I currently reading?... While the intent of this blog was to primarily focus on aspects of  my Catholic faith and home education, I admit I originally ventured into blogging as my eutrapelia (the virtue of fun, leisure holy or "good play").  I really appreciate that anyone bothers to read me at all!! 

So, I shall take this blog moment to share at least my current reading with you, and perhaps begin to post more of my own poetry-prose writing that I did much of back in the 80s.

While I have always enjoyed having my nose in several books at once, it was in the Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola that I read the following: "A wise woman - an admired mother and wife - when asked how, with her weak physical health and many demands upon her time, she managed to read so much said, 'Besides my Bible, I always keep three books going that are just for me - a stiff book, a moderately easy book, and a novel, and I always take up the one I feel fit for.'"

(It is no secret I love Charlotte Mason and the excellence she brought to educating children and elevating them to a different level of respect and acceptability within society, as well as her God-centered vision of education.)

Karen Andreola goes on to add: "That is the secret: always have something "going" to grow by. A stiff book is a challenging one. It may be one of Christian doctrine or a collection of meaty sermons."

For me, this would be the three Fulton Sheen books I've been working through: Seven Words of Jesus and Mary, The Cross and the Beatitudes, both of which I've already completed, and now I'm just finishing: Characters of the Passion. I recommend them all.(originally posted this book reading on 3/22/06).

More recently I have been involved in reading Thrive by Dan Buettner, Asperger's Syndrome by Tony Attwood, and the Out of Sync Child has Fun Carol Stock-Kranowitz; all this along with my bible readings of the gospels of Matthew and Luke, which my 11 yr old son and I are using for his studies this year.

Karen says further ".......An easy book may be biographical. It lets us into the life of another struggling person, a person with integrity, determination, and the ability to surrender to God......" I find this in continued reading and studying of the blesseds and saints, both in separate volumes, and even small selections such as those found in the Magnificat prayer companion.

And then, a novel; I have just begun Gene Stratton-Porter's, The Keeper of the Bees along with a few literary friends for discussion. (again, this was read in March of 2006).  It was a good - old - novel.  More recently I haven't read any great novels, but would love some suggestions -- I love science fiction such as 2001 Space Odyssey type books.

I'd love to hear what you are reading too ~ please contact me anytime and visit again soon. God bless!

"....whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things...." Phil 4:8

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The business of "Busy"

Busy, is probably an understatement. Frantically busy is probably more descriptive of what I've been these days. I can't even begin to explain the schedule we've kept the last couple months. But just to give you a glimpse: a visitor from Maine - my daughter's friend, Presidential Scholarship competition for our daughter, student art shows, college visits, trying to finish up this school season and plan the next; preparing my parish school of religion class for First Communion (the Sunday after Easter; this means practice and photos the Saturday morning before that Sunday, not to mention Confirmation practice this Sunday, then it happens the Saturday after Easter, before the Sunday of First Communion...hahaha - big weekend there for many families). Then a May Crowning. Oh, and my daughter's last piano recital as she is a graduating senior this year...Yes, so that means: senior pictures, graduation Mass, graduation party.....You get the picture :)

Busy is good, right!?   Well, at least spring is here. Although it's been pretty rainy here lately (sigh), I can't complain too much, today has been clear (but cool). There are plenty of flowers and trees budding. And we've been able to open the windows for lovely fresh air. It's a good sign.

Back again to blogging, but sporatically at best.

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Proud of my college Son!

My oldest son attends University of Mount Union and our next oldest, our daughter will be attending there next year.  We have been so pleased with home schooling through high school in a classical mode and then continuing with a challenging liberal arts college - this is one college that accepts home schooled students with no glitches.  We were so pleased our son was recently one of the featured students on the website.  Click on the link and take a visit.
LINK to featured student

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Frivilous Friday - More of my Favorite Things

Being a home school family brings with it both joy and serious responsbility, exhaustion and frustration, usually rolled all into one, and alot of  "in home" time.  How do I manage to stay sane you ask?  How do I organize, take care of the education, the needs of the household in general and still find time for myself?  One thing that tends to turn interested moms off from home school is the idea of having their children with them for such an enormous time throughout the days and weeks, with no "mom" time of their own.  Everyone needs a break - true.  It does help to relieve the stress and refresh one's self.  In my corner of the world, it is hard to get away.  There are reasons I am not able to stray too far from home at this point in my life, so I make "happy moments" in the abode I call home.  This amounts to small things that delight me daily and that I use in my daily round.

There are items I use such as my Acer Aspire Netbook  that keep me mobile and happy and in touch with what's out there.  It sits comfortably on my lap and sits nicely by the phone for safe keeping.  Mine is Teal colored - and I love that color. 

Coffee.  Need I say more?!  ha ha :)  I need a cup in the morning for sure - and a cup in the afternoon when I take a much needed break.  My favorite coffee is Main Street Blend from Giant Eagle's line Market District.  It's a lovely perfect blend.   Try it!  You'll like it too -- if you are a coffee drinker like me!

Coffee cup

Coffee Maker with a Timer: my lastest one is a small Mr. Coffee with a timer; I find the timer to be so helpful.  I can wake up and drag myself downstairs and find my already made pot waiting for me.  Ahhh....well, I could you a new one - I'm eyeing the KitchenAid one.…a little pricey……Mother’s Day?

A Debit Card.  Yes, it is a perk I enjoy because it is fast and helpful when I am generally in a hurry and/or with children.  I spend so much time in "writing" mode, it's nice to "swipe" instead.  The debit card also helps keep our budget in check.

Flirt female

Beauty staples; I don't have time to fuss or experiment, and with really sensitive skin and eyes, I stick to what works and doesn't cause allergic problems - especially for my eyes that have grown more sensitive with my thryroid difficulties:

Covergirl Advanced Radiance foundation in Buff Beige - now you know my anti-aging secret - this foundation is absolutely perfect and indespensible for my skin - the color is exact.  And I can afford it.  Sorry Estee :)

Clinique Brush-On Cream liner in Smokey Gray (it's waterproof, and although it takes a little more effort to apply it, it NEVER runs, smears or irritates my eyes - will last all day without irritation)

Clinique Mascara in High Impact or High Definition - gentle on my eyes, last all day and while it costs more than drugstore brands it's worth it because I avoid the flare-ups I get using something irritating. 

Lipstick:  when I use a tube to pop in my purse, I use my favorite Clinique Bamboo Pink -- it's the perfect shade - pretty much universal for everyone - for everyday use.

Philosophy Supernatural Coloring Book Palette - a few great colors for eyes, cheeks, and lips in one little compact -- helps add some color to my otherwise very fair skin, and doesn't irritate my skin or eyes.
Red heart

Philosophy Amazing Grace and Pure Grace for both bathing and just smelling good (I like the soaps) and wow, do they ever refresh and revive my senses whether an early morning shower or a late at night bath -- I love good smells - they are very therapeutic for me -- but I have some allergy problems with perfumes, and these scents do not bother me.  If anything, they improve me!  And that's saying a lot - some days I need a lot of improvement!

Mood: Note
I usually listen to the classical music station all day - but every now and then I have to listen to John Fogerty, whether it's vintage CCR or his own solo work.  Have you Ever Seen the Rain?, or Change in the Weather, do my heart good.  Have you ever noticed how many weather or in particular "rain" songs John wrote?  Hmm....??
So, there you have it ~ I hope some of my favorites can become some of your favorites too! Princess

Walking on Sunshine



Remember that old song from the 80s: Walking on Sunshine..?  Yeh, that’s what I hope to be doing soon!  I don’t think I’ve encountered a longer winter, darker days or such difficulty in the transition from winter to “real” spring.  Even so, I still am sticking to my goals for education, family and remodeling here….I’m still dreaming of brighter days and planning, planning, planning. 

This year, I’ve hoped to end our school in late April.  It does seem early…but exactly what I’ve hoped for and planned, and it is starting to look like it will happen.  My 1st grader is pretty much done.  He’s had a long rigorous year with good milestones reached and skills achieved.  His diagnosis with high functioning autism and the options suggested for him have greatly helped me put into place his own personal student education plan (SEP) and I’m still fine-tuning it for the next education season…although some of it will continue through the summer (his speech therapy).  And my sixth grader is beginning to finish up some subjects as well and seeing “last chapters” in many of his textbooks.  Our high school senior daughter has polished off two courses with excellent grades and is steadying growing closer to the end – and her courses are deep, tough and college preparatory, which is what we want out of high school home schooling.  Whether they are going to college or not, it’s just my heartfelt opinion they should receive a college preparatory course of studies in their home school; it will either give them the best at the end of their educational years, or give them the best start and advantage as they enter college level work. 

So, we finish off school, enjoy the Easter season ahead while beginning to remodel our attic and get ready to celebrate the graduation of our daughter, and the marriage of a nephew and many other graduations and confirmations and first communions in this season ahead!  Amen to that!  Rainbow


The 17-Day Diet: pros and cons of the latest weight-loss craze - Healthy Living on Shine


The 17-Day Diet: pros and cons of the latest weight-loss craze - Healthy Living on Shine


It’s time for me to get serious about losing this extra thyroid-gone-bad weight – I like the sound of this diet.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Poetry Friday

Let's Go Fly A Kite!

Written by Robert B. Sherman

With tuppence for paper and strings,
you can have your own set of wings.
With your feet on the ground,
you're a bird in flight!
With your fist holding tight,
to the string of your kite!

Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let's go fly a kite
And send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let's go fly a kite!

When you send it flying up there,
all at once your lighter than air!
You can dance on the breeze,
over 'ouses and trees!
With your fist 'olding tight,
to the string your kite!

Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let's go fly a kite
And send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let's go fly a kite!

In Memory of my father, Edward, May 27, 1933 - May 24, 2004. One of the fondest childhood memories I have of him are those of our family flying kites. I hope his is flying high.....May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, by the mercy of God rest in peace.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

All in a Book…

I have been so happy with the reading that has been going on in our home school this year among young and old alike.  My sixth grader took off on many of the Bethlehem Books series by Hilda van Stockum; I'm so pleased he loves her writing ~ this will make it easier when it comes to the historical fiction she wrote that he will be reading down the road.  This son's reading list stacked up like this: The Pharoahs of Ancient Egypt, The Golden Goblet, Pyramid,  Andries, The Mitchell's Five for Victory, Canadian Summer, The Cottage at Bantry Bay, Francie on the Run, Pegeen, The Cricket in Times name a few I can recall. 

My youngest son is reading many child bible stories as well as the series Nate the Great and Flat Stanley.  In fact, we have made a project of Flat Stanley, at the suggestion of a friend, and we've made a Flat image of this son that has been sent away by mail on journey around the USA.  We are excited to see what adventures he has!  

Our oldest daughter, preparing to graduate from our home school and been accepted at college has had quite a bit of heavy reading in her curriculum, rightly so in her Advanced Government & Economics course, religion - which includes thorough doctrine and encyclical readings, (government included that too!), and even in her health course, more encyclical readings....I couldn't think of a better way to prepare one for college level work than reading and analyzing papal encyclicals!  Quite seriously, the intelligence behind these writings is truly amazing in depth and breadth and wisdom.  Along with these kinds of courses, I have my older children read two books authored by Gavin de Becker:  The Gift of Fear, and Protecting the Gift.  Both are written as guides to the world out there....keeping safe, using intuition and "gut feelings" to keep one safe and how to protect those feelings that God has blessed mankind with in order to help safe-guard him on his way.  I gleaned so much for these books myself, I will also continue to have my older children read them before graduating from school and moving out more into the "world" at large.
Once again I am testing out my Blog This application ~ we'll just see if it works once again.
God bless and have a wonderful day wherever you are!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

James Taylor | Carolina In My Mind Lyrics


In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine
Can't you just feel the moonshine
Ain't it just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I'm gone to Carolina in my mind
Karen she's a silver sun
You best walk her way and watch it shinin'
Watch her watch the mornin' come
A silver tear appearing now
I'm cryin' ain't I
Gone to Carolina in my mind

James Taylor | Carolina In My Mind Lyrics

Wow!  It blogged it – awesome Secret telling smile

All in a day’s work


This is a test message to see what it is like to type my blog from my live writer program.  It’s very interesting!  I’m not sure I like the format yet, but I’ll work on it.

Coffee cup