Sunday, April 29, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks: Medicine for Discouraged Mothers: Can I pierce this otherwise laid-back, low-key, amible blog with a frustrated ranting and raving? If you're so kind to listen, thank you. ...
Curriculum for upcoming year 2012-13
Religion: Our Life in the Church (Faith & Life); Baltimore Catechism #2
Wordly Wise Book 5 (Vocabulary/spelling)
Basic Language Principles with Latin Background (English & Latin grammar)
Our Roman Roots (Latin program)
Old World & America w/Historical Atlas of the World
Ultimate Geography & Timeline
Art Through Faith 8
Concepts & Challenges in Physical Science *tweaking...might opt for Concepts & Challenges Environmental Science (2003 ed.)
Top 100 Masterpieces of Classical Music
Eighth Grade Mother of Divine Grace Teacher Planner (day by day, week-by-week breakdown of the curriculum used above)* I use Abeka Math instead: the planner breaks down Saxon Algebra 1/2 & Concepts & Challenges in Science Book 3 (or C); it also does not use Basic Language Principles with Latin Background (that is in the Modg 7th grade syllabus and planner).
The Child's Bible History
St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 1
Primary Language Lessons (workbook format)
Writing Road to Reading (spelling notebook)
Exploring God's World
Our American Heritage, and accompanying Map Skills
English from the Roots Up Root cards (Latin & Greek study)
Child-size art pieces: Mommy, It's a Renoir (steps 4 & 5)
Let's Learn Music #2
Third Grade Mother of Divine Grace Teacher Planner (day by day, week-by-week break down of curriculum above)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
A wonderful aromatic fragrance still lingers in the air of my living room today from a beautiful spa experience yesterday evening, that myself and several other of my friends got to participate in.
At first, I wasn’t sure if I could really pull off being ready for a get together in my home, or if I was even up to it. Let’s face it, I’ve become a stick in the mud. Not by choice, mind you. But, I will admit I have been down right …..down…..for at least the last year of my life….just trudging through the best I can with daily responsibilities and duties. I have had little enjoyment, nonetheless joy in anything. I have been pretty much homebound due to circumstances mostly surrounding my schedule and one son who saw a difficult year with anxiety disorder. But then, when a friend’s daughter asked if maybe she could come and pamper me and some guests with some lovely products, as she was attempting to get her business going, and it was a great excuse to see us after many years…..I thought, why not? Even if no one came, I could use the in-home spa experience just for the relief and I have so exhausted any good products and haven’t bought anything of any pure or truly good quality in many years. Thus came to be, our Arbonne spa evening.
I can not tell you HOW MUCH I ENJOYED IT!!! I mean really, really enjoyed it. With it at home and every one coming to me, it took the pressure off of my leaving to only be phoned constantly by my anxiety ridden son and trying to talk him down from panic, separation anxiety. That just doesn’t make ANYTHING enjoyable or relaxing to me….in fact, it doesn’t make going away a good thing at all, it makes my blood pressure go up and I feel anxious the rest of the time. It was easier to just stay home. And honestly, God in his providence even made it an evening that my husband didn’t have to go to his evening job – so he was here to see to the boys and go about his way, walking with them to the park and enjoying some male bonding :) ….while we ladies enjoyed a woman’s evening together.
I love that my friends helped make it possible, such an added perk, because I love to have my friends around, doing something with them that makes us take time for ourselves was even more than I could have asked for……and their purchases and bookings of other shows made it possible for me to get a ridiculously good deal on many products for peanuts…..I am amazed…and still can’t believe it. Wow.
Extra nice was to include young ladies in the grouping, an older mom, and very young mom, a newborn, pregnant moms….and the Arbonne consultant herself currently pregnant expecting her third. Really a lovely group of inter-generational women :)
So….all I can smell in my mind’s sensors is that awesome Spa Renewing Gelee in a jar…..which I am getting for free, because I could chose up to a $50 free product…..beautiful clean chemical-free product.
I also received this product as a gift last night because friends’ booked shows:
Today, I’m just taking a flop day….I need days like this. My house is already super clean from preparing for company, and things are ready for Sunday. My children are just chillin’, one is working and husband is working all day. It’s a good Saturday to just relax. Next Saturday that will all change with First Communion Photos and Practice, followed by First Communion the next day.
May God restore and refresh you in some special way…..
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
I was reflecting on the past few months coming out of the Christmas and New Year’s whirlwind season. My son with OCD generally does poorly after that time for several months, but by God’s blessing, and changing his medication in the fall, he did the best he has done in 3 years! Liquid SSRI is perfect for him and at the right dosing, a near miracle. Yes, he still has a few rough spots to get through, we are working on it, but for the most part he is considered in the maintenance phase of his disorder. Yesterday he spent the whole day playing and adventuring mostly outdoors with a friend and going beyond his comfort zone in the neighborhood without fretting or turning back, so that is truly an excellent sign for him and hopeful sign to us that he can and will boss back OCD and not let it run his life.
We are nearly finished with school at home. My 8 yr old should be finished as soon as next week, and my son mentioned above at least the first couple weeks in May. My college students need prayers this week and next as they start into finals. Many essays and projects and tests going on….my son this morning, that commutes, said in a forlorn voice: pray for me this week, I’m going to need it.
I am feeling a bit better having tweaked my dietary supplements over the last month and added 2 Black Cohosh, morning and night, Evening Primrose Caps, 2x a day, and Vit E caps 2x a day. It seems to have soothed over my irritability and calmed my nerves. It’s amazing what Estrogen can do for you, or not do for you when it is missing from your system….I just have a little more problem adjusting to its decline because of my hypothyroidism but it should be a natural event. All in all, most the horrible misery has passed.
The end of the week I’m looking forward to the daughter of an old friend who will come and do a home show of the Arbonne product line. I reluctantly agreed to help her with her business, knowing most of my friends wouldn’t be too interested (I already had someone tell me they “might” come, but “I’m not buying anything” ….sigh), but am more excited now as I realize how I rarely get out to enjoy myself anywhere, and this is a special perk to have someone come into my home like this for a spa evening. My husband said consider it an early Mother’s Day gift, because he knows how lacking our social and get away life has been for the last couple years. Yes, it’s been hard, I will admit, and sometimes I feel very neglected and needy. Recently the OCD book I’ve been reading, has helped me understand that we have done all the right things in putting the disorder first, and saying NO to outside activities to just focus on getting our son well and not pushing him too fast or hard (relapses that hang on forever). Sometimes I’m sure my friends and other families have given up on us and moved on because we can’t go here or there, and do this and that. I do know a few friends who have really done just that, stopped all contact with us, and it’s hurt me to think about it, but in many ways I don’t blame them, they want happy healthy consistent friends for their children. We are a promising family and have a lot to offer but because of disorders’ unpredictability, we fall short many times and others just see us as unreliable.
So, today, this beautiful Monday, I hope to have a good school day, tidy up the house more as I hope to have some guests at my party, and I guess if I don’t, it’s just me and the Arbonne lady :)…..at least I will be a gracious hostess and interested in her products and it will be a nice change from my usually stressed out existence here!
Have a great day….
Mark showing off some coffee shop magnets a sweet friend had made for me
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Thank God for little favors.....and great friends :)
Friday, April 13, 2012
I have not always been a stay-at-home, home schooling mother. I was still working part time up through my third child’s birth, then scaled back to only a few times a month and eventually into total retirement from the work force. That was thirteen years ago now. My husband took on a second part time job to help replace the gap of income and to this day, it’s still difficult to make ends meet. We haven’t gone on any official vacations, we rarely go out and eat and we watch every dime. Most of our savings goes towards education, both college and grade school, and upkeep of cars and home. More recently another chunk of our income goes toward therapy sessions for our special needs’ sons – co-pay after co-pay.
During the last decade and certainly in more recent years there were plenty of times I longed to leave the home and go out to work somewhere. Why? Not really because of fulfillment, but because of stress issues – feeling overwhelmed and over burdened with difficult choices. It made several of my old office jobs look like a piece of cake! In hindsight, the most fulfilling job I had was working for the governor of Utah back in the ‘80s in the state capitol building. I did not long for anything as I recall; I use to walk up to the marble floor offices that were the governor’s and get signatures and process grant money. I had my own apartment, paid my own bills and had many friends and the run of Salt Lake City at my call. I don’t look back in regret for how I was eventually led to a new location and met the man that would become my husband and the father of our four children. But I do know that when I made those wedding vows, my life would change forever. Children would add a whole new dimension to my “fulfillment”.
Me as a baby with my mom & dad, 1960
When a woman democrat in the news recently attacked Mitt Romney’s wife for having not “worked a day in her life” basically saying she had no understanding of working class mothers outside the home, I was glad that others defended motherhood across the board. The President’s wife, Michelle Obama responded with a Tweet: “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected,".....Indeed. Thank you for saying it out loud for the American public, and possibly the world, to hear.
Some women choose to stay home, like Mrs. Romney, some mothers have no choice due to health issues (Mrs. Romney is also stricken with MS)…no matter how you dice it a mother is a mother…like no other.
Being a stay at home mother, a home schooling one at that, has been the hardest position I have held on this planet so far. Being the sole responsible party for the primary care, upbringing and education of my children is no light job description. While other women are out pursuing and furthering their careers and getting their masters and building their pyramid businesses to achieve the level of Mercedes and pink Cadillacs, I am primarily home day in and day out, attempting to make a comfortable and rich family life, baking and cooking from scratch, rearranging furniture and decorating tables and adorning walls with beautiful artwork to create a pleasant and heartwarming atmosphere, and praying morning, noon and night……sometimes with joy, sometimes in desperation; sorting through books and lesson plans to tailor a strong and worthwhile education to each child, each passing year. When not at home you can generally find me only in three locations, the grocery store, the facility for therapy for my sons, or the church. On weekends, I give my all to my church and the children that attend there, because quite frankly, I can, and somebody has to do it, because so many don’t.
When I have a chance to help another mom become a stay-at-home mom, because she wants to, and sees the value in it, I try to help smooth the way. Some mothers like to have a home business to help with income, and recently I put one such young mother on my schedule to come to my home and show her products, not only to help her, but to help myself take a much needed break and indulge in something I would never otherwise indulge in. I am looking forward to her visit with a few friends and a relaxing evening (for a change!)
Because of motherhood being attacked recently, I am introspective as I take inventory of where I am in my life and how my life has morphed…taken on a life of it’s own in the last decade. Many times I have felt totally out of control, but I am amazed at the graces I’ve been given to pursue a tough road, with some difficult issues including autism and mental health disorders…I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for this, except a mother’s heart.
My dad on his mother’s lap, with brother, 1933
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Monday, April 09, 2012
Saturday, April 07, 2012
“The risen Christ is our companion”
The Master passes very close to us, again and again. He looks at us... And if you look at him, if you listen to him, if you don’t reject him, He will teach you how to give a supernatural meaning to everything you do... Then you too, wherever you may be, will sow consolation and peace and joy. (The Way of the Cross, Eighth Station, 4)
In the middle of his daily work, when he has to overcome his selfishness, when he enjoys the cheerful friendship of other people, a Christian should rediscover God. Through Christ and in the Holy Spirit, a Christian has access to the intimacy of God the Father, and he spends his life looking for the Kingdom which is not of this world, but which is initiated and prepared in this world.
We must seek Christ in the word and in the bread, in the Eucharist and in prayer. And we must treat him as a friend, as the real, living person he is — for he is risen. Christ, we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, “holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
Christ, the risen Christ, is our companion and friend. He is a companion whom we can see only in the shadows — but the fact that he is really there fills our whole life and makes us yearn to be with him forever. “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price... He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Christ is passing by, 116)
Message of the Day, Opus Dei
Friday, April 06, 2012
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
Mary stands by the Cross, engulfed in grief. And John is beside her. But it is getting late, and the Jews press for Our Lord to be removed from there.
Having obtained from Pilate the permission required by Roman law for the burial of condemned prisoners, there comes to Calvary a councillor named Joseph, a good and upright man, a native of Arimathea. He has not consented to their counsel and their doings, but is himself one of those waiting for the kingdom of God (Luke 23:50-51). With him too comes Nicodemus, the same who earlier visited Jesus by night; he brings with him a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight (John 19:39).
These men were not known publicly as disciples of the Master. They had not been present at the great miracles, nor did they accompany him on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But now, when things have turned bad, when the others have fled, they are not afraid to stand up for their Lord.
Between the two of them they take down the body of Jesus and place it in the arms of his most holy Mother. Mary 's grief is renewed.
Where has thy Beloved gone, o fairest of women? Where has he whom thou lovest gone, and we will seek him with thee? (Cant 5:17).
The Blessed Virgin is our Mother, and we do not wish to, we cannot, leave her alone.
Points for meditation
1. He came to save the world, and his own denied him before Pilate.
He showed us the path to goodness, and they drag him along the way to Calvary.
He gave example in everything he did, and they prefer a thief convicted of murder.
He was born to forgive, and —without cause — they condemn him to the gallows.
He came along the paths of peace, and they declare war on him.
He was the Light, and they hand him over to the powers of darkness.
He brought Love, and they repay him with hatred.
He came to be King, and they crown him with thorns.
He became a slave to free us from sin, and they nail him to the Cross.
He took flesh to give us Life, and we reward him with death.
2. I can 't understand your idea of being a Christian.
Do you think it right that Our Lord should have died crucified and that you can be content with just 'getting by '?
Is your 'getting by ' the strait, narrow path that Jesus spoke of?
3. Don 't let discouragement enter into your apostolate. You haven 't failed, just as Christ didn 't fail on the Cross. Take courage!... Keep going, against the tide, protected by Mary 's Immaculate and Motherly Heart: Sancta Maria, refugium nostrum et virtus!, you are my refuge and my strength.
Hold your peace. Be calm... God has very few friends on earth. Don 't yearn to leave this world. Don 't shy away from the burden of the days, even though at times we find them very long.
4. If you want to be faithful, be very Marian.
Our Mother, from the time of the Angel 's message, until her agony at the foot of the Cross, had no other heart, no other life, but that of Jesus.
Go to Mary with the tender devotion of a son, and She will obtain for you the loyalty and self-denial that you desire.
5. 'I am worth nothing, I can do nothing, I have nothing, I am nothing... '
But You have ascended the Cross so that I may make your infinite merits my own. There I also take on —they are mine, because I am their child — the merits of the Mother of God, and those of St Joseph. And I make my own the virtues of the saints and of so many dedicated souls...
Then, I steal a glance at my own life, and I say: Alas, my God, it is all night and full of darkness! Only now and then can one see a few points of light sparkling, due to your great mercy and to my inadequate response... All this I offer to you, Lord; I have nothing else.
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
Very near Calvary, in an orchard, Joseph of Arimathea had had a new tomb made, cut out of the rock. Since it is the eve of the solemn Pasch of the Jews, Jesus is laid there. Then Joseph, rolling a great stone, closes the grave door and goes away (Matt 27:60).
Jesus came into the world with nothing; so too, with nothing —not even the place where he rests — he has left us.
The Mother of Our Lord —my Mother — and the women who have followed the Master from Galilee, after taking careful note of every thing, also take their leave. Night falls.
Now it is all over. The work of our Redemption has been accomplished. We are now children of God, because Jesus has died for us and his death has ransomed us.
Empti enim estis pretio magno! (1 Cor 6:20), you and I have been bought at a great price.
We must bring into our life, to make them our own, the life and death of Christ. We must die through mortification and penance, so that Christ may live in us through Love. And then follow in the footsteps of Christ, with a zeal to co-redeem all mankind.
We must give our life for others. That is the only way to live the life of Jesus Christ and to become one and the same thing with Him.
Points for meditation
1. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who are hidden disciples of Christ, intercede for Him making use of the high positions they hold. In the hour of loneliness, of total abandonment and of scorn..., it is then that they stand up for him audacter, boldly (Mark 15:43)...: heroic courage!
With them I too will go up to the foot of the Cross; I will press my arms tightly round the cold Body, the corpse of Christ, with the fire of my love...; I will unnail it, with my reparation and mortifications. . . I will wrap it in the new winding-sheet of my clean life, and I will bury it in the living rock of my breast, where no one can tear it away from me, and there, Lord, take your rest!
Were the whole world to abandon you and to scorn you... serviam!, I will serve you, Lord.
2. You know that you were ransomed from your vain observances..., not with silver or gold, which are perishable things, but with the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:18-19).
We do not belong to ourselves. Jesus Christ has bought us with his Passion and with his Death. We are his life. From now on there is only one way of living on earth: to die with Christ so as to rise again with Him, to the point that we can say with the Apostle: It is not I that live, it is Christ that lives in me (Gal 2:20).
3. An inexhaustible source of life is the Passion of Jesus.
Sometimes we renew the joyous impulse that took Our Lord to Jerusalem. Other times, the pain of the agony which ended on Calvary... Or the glory of his triumph over death and sin. But always!, the love —joyful, sorrowful, glorious — of the Heart of Jesus Christ.
4. Think first about others. That way you will pass your life on this earth, making mistakes certainly, for they are inevitable, but leaving behind you a trail of good.
And when the hour of death comes, as it must inexorably, you will welcome it gladly, like Christ, because like Him we too will rise again to receive the reward of his Love.
5. When I feel capable of all the horrors and all the errors committed by the most wretched people, I understand well that I myself can be unfaithful... But this uncertainty is one of the bounties of God 's Love, which leads me to hold tightly, like a child, to the arms of my Father, fighting every day a little so as not to separate myself from Him.
Then I am sure that God will not let me out of his hand. Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, not have compassion on the child of her womb? Yet even if she were to forget, I will not forget thee (Isai 49:15).
Taken from The Way of the Cross, St. Josemaria Escriva
Where charity and love prevail,
there God is ever found;
Brought here together by Christ’s love,
by love are we thus bound.
With grateful joy and holy fear
God’s charity we learn;
Let us with heart and mind and soul
now love God in return.
Forgive we now each other’s faults
as we our faults confess;
And let us love each other well
in Christian holiness.
Let strife among us be unknown,
let all contention cease;
Be God’s the glory that we seek,
be ours God’s holy peace.
Let us recall that in our midst
dwells God’s begotten Son;
As members of his body joined,
we are in Christ made one.
No race or creed can love exclude,
if honored be God’s name;
Our family embraces all
whose Father is the same.
Text: Ubi Caritas, tr. Omer Westendorf (1961)
Tune: CHRISTIAN LOVE, CM, by Paul Benoit (1961)
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Sunday, April 01, 2012
There's always tomorrow.....