St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So much winning ;)

..well, in a sense, feeling the relaxation of victory of a school year under our belts…yes, for this mom it feels like winning! 

The last week has been such a welcome change!  NO appointments, THAT was hard to believe; a sleep over with one of Michael’s bestest friends ever, which was very nice…I mean these guys just play and get along and are NO trouble at all – they are so absorbed in fun.  Then the added treat of having my husband actually home on a day off for a change…so nice…and all of us together under one roof as a family.  Haven’t had that for over the last 9 mos due to college.  I even got to get in some good laughs watching old classics like Malcolm in the Middle on Netflix; while a little tacky in some episodes, there are a few that are so priceless …like when the father sells Christmas trees – and at the same time a squirrel is loose in the hardware store where the mother works….so funny in my book – hilarious.    So overall, it’s been a pleasant week and holiday weekend.

Now back to reality! hahaha….well, it’s not all bad – ONE appointment this week, which is later tomorrow; maybe if I’m lucky and the traffic in the area isn’t too horrible by that time I can sneak over to TARGET and get a Starbucks coffee on the way out of the area.  The boys would like smoothies and icees, so I’m sure it wouldn’t take too much talking into. 

Right now, I’m trying to set dates on my calendar, and that in itself is very hard.  We have the town Homecoming parade and festival and our parishes’ directory photos to navigate around, as I’m trying to plan the PSR teacher/helper dinner.  THAT has been such a job in itself, it’s been so hard to get a good date and location and plug in the chef.  *sigh*  Still working on it.

In the meantime, my lovely daughter is going to have her wisdom teeth removed in 7 short days.  And then my son will be celebrating his 13th birthday.  He doesn’t know it, but his “white” cake, will really be green when we cut into it…he’s loving the HULK these days, although he hasn’t seen the new Avengers movie due to sensitive material …he is easily subjected to phobias and nightmares and so this one I need to guard cautiously…but, he has seen the old Bill Bixby series that was on TV in the 70s and it’s just right for him.  He is more of a detective as it is…and it has more of that in it.  So, he is enjoying HULK of the past, and will have a kind of hulk-themed birthday this year – with a special SuperHero Lego set (and a special edition HULK minifigure that comes with it) as his main gift.

Shortly after his birthday, comes my birthday….we’ll just skip over that one this year! LOL….:/

But, then follow my darling daughter’s birthday and in the last 8 years she has actually been away for most of them to Catholic Familyland in Bloomingdale with another family.  It’s been her special Catholic summer camp for a week every summer for many years now.  It will be different to have her here to celebrate on her actual birthday – looking forward to that.

And…so goes summer, with many more birthdays and a planned trip to a science museum and zoo this summer and later a wedding.   Again, we are cautious with travel because of our one son’s difficulty driving overall, but we are getting there little by little making strides.  Recently, I have noticed such an improvement in him (knock on wood), straying further and further away from me and our location on the street, and that is just fine with me – he needs to do that.

Right now, I’m feeling pretty good about the simple things life holds. 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Daybook

Outside my window..

Lots of bright SUN,….very bright

I am thankful for...

quiet early morning hours

I am thinking about...

how it felt eight years ago this week when my father passed away

Learning all the time...

I am actually missing the excited feeling of learning along with others the beginnings of Catholic homeschooling; I’m reading other’s thoughts and posts on Mother of Divine Grace forums and re-kindling that wonderful spark and affirmation

From the kitchen

I have a new stand up indoor/outdoor grill! Very exciting to be grilling all kinds of foods – chicken breasts, steaks, fish filets; I think I’ll got for kabobs tonight

I am creating

nothing new ……

I am working on...

still organizing and cleaning the old; when you homeschool there is little time for real cleaning through the year and in the last two weeks I can not tell you HOW much debris of homeschooling for 13+ yrs got tossed from this home.  Papers and workbooks….years of it.  Not necessary to hang on to

I am going...

for three haircuts later, a little grocery shopping and picking up my son’s friend for a sleepover

I am hoping...

our finances won’t suffer as much because we have so many expenses lately

I am reading...

well…I started reading a book about a home schooling mom of eleven children who ends up in a terrible separation and divorce…but I couldn’t read it ~ so I began to read a children’s book I downloaded thinking my son would like it called The Kingdom of Patria series.   I am always looking for excellent literature for the children, and that sometimes means I have to do the homework of reading before passing it on to them.  (I usually do this with movies, It has to pass my inspection first for whatever child…as we have issues here)

I am praying for...

my mother as she faces this eighth anniversary week of the death of her beloved husband, my father.  Sunday mass is for his intention this weekend

I am hearing...

someone’s little alarm clock going off – dinging lightly sound

Around the house...

I haven’t seen the rest of the house yet this morning…still sipping coffee enjoying the quiet in my own bedroom

One of my favorite things...

beautiful smells…as in perfumes that aren’t heavy and clingy, but rather aromatic type fragrances, just like the beautiful shower gel AWAKEN from Arbonne – refreshing and pleasant…

A few plans for the rest of the week...

no real plans for the rest of the week-weekend really.  It’s Memorial Day weekend, that in itself is enough.  We stick around home, visit the cemetery, attend Mass, and my husband will have his day job off on Monday – he’ll work his evening job though as the store remains open for holiday sales

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

BLue MoonSwamp

I love this man.  If I hadn’t married my husband, well John Fogerty and Harrison Ford were next in line on my list of best choices :)   John’s music and voice can always make me smile!  Classic Americana…only he could write an album of blue moon swamp music….yea for sure, bayou style….

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Progressing in reading…stepping stones to authentic works…

This is the sweetest book: an introduction to the writing of G. K. Chesterton’s Fr. Brown Mysteries.  I bought this book for Michael’s Easter basket this year knowing he’d eventually have made It through all 50+ Hardy Boy Mysteries and would need another wholesome detective series to take off on.  If this introduction book appealed to him, he could likely just go right into the adult version of the Fr. Brown Mysteries.  My plan worked :) 

The Father Brown Reader
By Nancy Carpentier Brown

Now Michael has begun reading this one (below):  some of the elevated writing and vocabulary surpasses what he is use to, but he is ready for more elevated language.  The Hardy Boys were a great wholesome way to introduce serial reading that wasn’t too twaddly, but exposed him to the detective-mystery genre.  In between, he read a short version of Sherlock Holmes left to us by my husband’s mother,  which included a few stories and got him interested.  I would imagine once he finishes Fr. Brown, he might be able to read some  original Sherlock Holmes as well.  I am thrilled he is reading at all and as voraciously  - maybe he is making up for the couple years lost to OCDs grip of ruminating thoughts.  That really set him back.  Now, I feel he is progressing nicely with literature and has not only caught up but passed up where he needs to be for entering 8th grade in a classical curriculum.

The Complete Father Brown, G. K. Chesterton

Remembering Dad 1933-2004

This day, 8 years at around 8:30 am, my dear father passed away from a tough year long battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS as it’s referred to today).  It was the battle of his life although this man was a Marine, having served in the Korean Conflict, three times earning two purple hearts.  Dad had scars, big fleshy obvious wounds from shrapnel taken in the shoulder. He also scar inside he kept well hidden.  He was tough but he was gentle at the same time.  He was also orphaned early in life with another brother and put in a Milwaukee orphanage to live until a foster family took him in to help work on their farm in Ripon Wisconsin. Three brothers, whose mother died at the early age of 32 leaving them to a father who had issues, (like drinking).  One brother, my uncle Jim who was the last brother to leave us last year around Thanksgiving, was only 3 when my grandmother Adelaide died, and he was taken in by my grandfather Charles’s sister and raised.  But whether raised by a single aunt or by the Nuns in the orphanage, it was not easy as a broken family. 

There was always a terrible soft spot in my heart for my dad and his rough start in life.  Being a boy of 6 without a mother and a rather haphazard father always makes me all the more proud and grateful of the kind of father he turned out to be.  A gentleman, a hard working businessman, a good provider beyond his transition into civilian life.  He was sensible and intelligent in his decisions, and took us places on vacations showing us the Canada and the US through our childhood.  So many happy memories.

He deserves to rest in peace, now and always in our hearts and minds and in eternity until we meet again.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Theological Virtues 101

Faith - belief in God, and in the truth of His revelation as well as obedience to Him (cf. Rom1:5:16:26)

Hope - expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up.

Charity - selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness such as helping one's neighbors.

They occur in the Bible at 1 Corinthians 13:13:

“And now these three remain, faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these  is love."

The theological virtues are so named as they are infused by divine  grace not obtained by human effort.

To recognize that one needs fortification in these divine virtues is to recognize and acknowledge their opposites:

  • Lack of faith may give place to incredulity (as in atheism and agnosticism), blasphemy or apostasy.
  • Lack of hope may give place to despair or cynicism.
  • Lack of love may give place to hatred, wrath or indifference.

We could all use a refresher course in theological virtues and pray that we are gifted with them, receiving them freely from our great Lord.  This may take removing obstacles such as sin that is blocking our reception; charting a course, such as preparing for a good confession, disciplining ourselves further by morning, noon and night prayers. Praying WITH those we love, our families, especially the strong uniting prayer of the rosary, for healing and guidance and peace within ourselves and families.

We can not give what we don’t have.  We all need regenerated in our Christian beliefs and practices and fully infused with the theological virtues.  The old saying my mother repeated A LOT was “charity begins at home.”  It’s really something to meditate on.  It’s what Mother Teresa was really telling us when she said things like:

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action.”

And when Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace?"  She answered "Go home and love your family ...

Mother Teresa was a living example of the three theological virtues on earth. If you want to hear more from her, just google her name and any combination of Love, Faith, Hope, Family, Work, Prayer……

+May you be blessed with the theological virtues in abundance and recognize they are yours for the asking, through Christ Our Lord, Amen+

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Best book ever…for homeschooling

Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum

by Laura Berquist

Don’t let the title fool you – you  are not on your own designing anything, but you are given the knowledge and means to do so.  This guide to home education takes you by the hand and gives you the recommendations at every grade level to employ in your home school.  This is the one that started it all in regard to giving your children a quality classical liberal arts education in your home.  A very doable flexible one within a large family setting.  It is not rigid and rigorous to a fault….it is rigor in the right balance at  the right time of learning.  But don’t take my word for it – look into the book yourself.  Or the homeschool provider affiliated with the book: Mother of Divine Grace.  BUT, the book is a great place to start…

I’m still always surprised that others don’t include this book in their line up of homeschooling choices.  It has been my best and all time favorite home education guide for the last 16 yrs of home schooling.  I have read them all. This one makes SO MUCH sense, not only to those doing Catholic education in their homes, but to any Christian or secular homeschooler.  Giving your students the ability to be active learners, not passive learners being spoon fed their information; but rather, giving them the formation and tools to be able to continue to learn and think logically their whole lives of learning: that is real education. In the end, real education is ordered to the theology and philosophy that points one to the Almighty, God. If education does not turn one’s self toward God, it turns one’s self elsewhere, the secular world, a godless place indeed.

Tuesday ponderings…

Feeling good after my spring fling!…yeh, all the clearing and cleaning and putting it out on the curb for the village to remove.  Got a lot done in our basement; still some more to do, but made a really good dent in the clutter and accumulation for the last several years that I couldn’t get to, especially last year because of being overly occupied with the attic re-model job. 

Recently, I had a note left on my door from the daughter of the family that lived in this house.  They were the people who originally had the house built in 1923, and wow, would I like to ask her a few questions!…..I called the number they left me back, left a message that they could come back and gave them some time frames. Seems the daughter is going to be moving to Florida permanently, soon, and wanted to see the house of her childhood, the house that dad built, one more time.  I don’t blame her.  I’m sure she has many, many memories here.  There were two daughters and a son living here.  My daughter lives in the room the daughters shared.  Our bedroom is the son’s room, and the boys live in the master bedroom with walk in closet, and original linoleum flooring that is very art deco. 


SOoooooooooooo, we are only the second family to have ever lived in this house.  Kind of amazing really.  When people stay put, in the same house pretty much their whole lives, this is what happens!  We have been here for 26 years now, myself for 27.  We have seen many neighbors come and go.  I can be accused of stability :)  We were such a transient family growing up I swore when I got married I wasn’t going anywhere!  I guess I’ve kept true on my promise!  However, in the next three years, we are looking at re-locating to a more populated area with more school and job opportunities.  That will be another chapter on the blogspot.

Until then, we continue to strive to keep things organized to help our home life and general every day living run smoothly.  I am no guru at any of this, I wonder many times why God has called me to this way of life, but I accept and trust that it is where he wants me and what he wants me to do.

Make it a great Tuesday where ever you are!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Daybook

Outside my window....

It’s a beautiful almost summer day….sunny and peaceful. Bliss.

I am thankful for...

A Monday where there are no appointments, and no hurries…and religious education at our parish is now ended!

I am thinking about...

Trying to schedule the small trips we’ll make this summer to museums and zoos.

Learning all the time...

Continuing reading and preparing for new grade levels next school season. Looking at the new Modg families database for enrolled families.  Pretty awesome.

From the kitchen....

Chocolate chip waffles …..

I am creating...

A new atmosphere in the kitchen with the arrival of a new microwave cart, and a new indoor/outdoor George Foremann Grill.

I am working on...

Still clearing and cleaning and organizing a couple rooms – mostly basement space.

I am going...

nowhere today.

I am hoping...

my young adult college aged son is in a better mood this morning….

I am reading...

Mostly educational materials pertaining to the curriculum we use.

I am praying for...

Peace and the Catholic Church’s battle against the infringement against religious liberty & freedom regarding the  HHS mandate.

I am hearing...

Gullah Gullah Island play on the TV..and the faint chirp of birds outdoors…

Around the house...

laundry is drying and a chocolate mint candle is burning in the kitchen….

One of my favorite things...

Feeling no pressures

A few plans for the rest of the week...

Only Friday brings 3 haircuts in town….the rest of the week is finishing up Modg entry assessments and the continued organization of the rooms with clearing and cleaning….

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...


Sunday, May 20, 2012

How you could help the parents of a special needs child…

I really appreciate that Rob over at Lost and Tired, asks this question periodically.  Rob is the parent of 3 boys all on the Autism Spectrum.  Rob and Lizzie’s lives are extremely full (total understatement!) uber-full and exasperating!!….there’s not a lot of down time for them in terms of parenting around the clock and Lizzie suffers from health problems as it is.

A couple years back, I went through many sleepless nights and troubled days with the  onset of my third child’s OCD/anxiety .  I won’t go into detail, those that know me know how difficult it was.  Although there has been a marked improvement, there have also been some serious relapses due to growth/maturity/hormones and medication malfunctions.  One such relapse occurred through the end of summer into Fall of this last year, and it was VERY difficult indeed – I’m sure I blogged about some of it.  I was feeling very lonely, only able to go to church, the store and lucky if it worked out to attend our local homeschool co-op where at least, while the kids were still in tow, I was able to commune with other moms for a few hours once a week.  That in itself was therapy for me, but even then we only made it to half the session due to the anxiety disorder running amok at the time.

To say the least, I haven’t gotten out much  - solo – for a very long time.  Strangely, last evening I was left home alone for about an hour!  My husband was off to work, my two older children were gone and my two younger ones were across the street at the neighbors enjoying a marshmallow roast.  It was very quiet and I realized how I haven’t had an hour in my life like that for literally many years.  We don’t vacation (really), as my one son is a terrible traveler (but we are working on that), and we don’t really go out to anything fabulous at this point in our lives, again due to mostly anxiety issues.  We are rather boring, mostly by circumstances.

So, how could a parent like myself, with the stress of two boys special needs be helped?  Well, a friend of mine posed the possibility of hosting something in my home, a spa evening with Arbonne products, and gathering my friends to me, being that it’s so hard to get away and go to them.  THAT, was an excellent idea.  It not only gave me something to look forward to that was different and welcome – it was pampering and relaxing, it gathered my friends together and I was able to indulge in many beautiful products I otherwise would not have ever bought, at an enormously reduced rate.

My friends were what made it happen.  If it hadn’t been for their goodness and wanting to give me a special moment and support me, it wouldn’t have happened.  I am very grateful.  I am grateful my children could be entertained during that time – that the weather was nice enough they could enjoy playing outdoors. It was a lovely and refreshing time for me.  A rare time.  And while it might not be the thing for everyone, it was delightfully perfect for me.  My husband appreciated it as I am primarily here with the children 24/7 while he works both a full time and part time job.  He welcomed a special time for me. 

Red heart

So pondering the thought: what could you do for the parents of special needs children?  Perhaps think out of the box for them – if it’s hard for them to go elsewhere, perhaps something special could be brought to them.  Maybe it might be for the mother – a special time of pampering in the home with some special line of home-show products;  maybe a luncheon,  perhaps a baked treat, or gas card for the father; maybe a whole dinner brought to their door. Just something that focuses on the special parents of special children and relieves them just a little and let’s them know that others do care and want to do something. 

And pray.  Pray for these special people that God has seen fit to give special children to. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

80s vinyl music for sale!!!

Selling off some of the MANY vinyl records I have!!!  Many are from the 80s.  Both 33 rpm albums and 45s.  I only listed a few.  But I have MANY 45s I'll list soon. If there's something you're looking for - ASK!!! I might have it!!!

Mrs. Apple Pie's Variety Shop - 80s VINYL MUSIC for Sale

…it’s only Tuesday…

It’s been an interesting week, and it’s only…Tuesday!  It began with ordering and scheduling VBS for the parish on Monday and organizing the graduation mass for our parish students.  I also received a call from a parent  in my church inquiring about homeschooling, who needed more information as she and her husband are making a decision about it.  God bless them, (and keep them in your prayers).  I could sense in the mother that she feels very drawn to a new lifestyle and the goodness of home education for her children.  I greatly admire parents who withdraw their children from a school system; it is a bold move, one that I don’t know I would have been strong enough for.  It speaks of their conviction to do something different with and for their family …for the better.  I think it’s an incredible grace God gives parents to make that decision and act upon it.

Later, I received the good news that I had gotten a “yes” for an 8th grade teacher for our parish program next year.  So I’m rather relieved there.  This means I will go ahead and work with my usual 2nd grade class, while helping in the background, as usual with Confirmation preparation. 

And in between clearing, cleaning, reorganizing part of the basement, I received notice that our Mother of Divine Grace enrollment was received and is being processed.  I feel a sense of peace about this also, although the money was very much a stretch for us this year – especially since our daughter is due to have her wisdom teeth out in a just a couple weeks, and wow, that is a big chunk of change.  Enough to pay for 2 years tuition for Modg!  eek!   A “choice” in education can be an investment, there’s no doubt.   Although one can home school without being enrolled with any kind of a provider/transcript keeper, it’s done all the time, we did it for the first seven years of schooling and last year also.  I am just feeling the need for connection to the kind of homeschooling I do – the classical Catholic – I want to hear from someone else that knows it and appreciates it and have someone to talk to about it.  Some of it is for my own affirmation and security.  Insecure!?  Me?! You betcha!  I haven’t always been…up to about two years I began to unravel…just too many hurdles and challenges and not enough solid support for the brand of educational philosophy I follow, and a special needs child thrown in the mix and a child with anxiety disorder.  I just had to be enrolled to listen to my educational consultant’s encouragement and wisdom and know what I was doing was not in vain.  Even with having homeschooled two children into college??  Yes, even so. And all the reading…reading…reading…to fortify my mind and soul: primarily,  Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum and The Well Trained Mind.  Not light reading mind you :)…but very enlightening and strengthening when it comes to what I desire my children to receive in their formation-education.


It has been this week that my mind always travels back to my husband’s education – or lack thereof.  This is no offense against him at all….but he recognizes what a gappy, shoddy education he had in the public school system – very lacking in any depth and breadth and certainly deficient in rich, classical literature and history.  He is AMAZED at the quality and brilliance of education our children are receiving.  I am in awe that even I received a fairly good quality liberal arts education in private schools, and yet, what I didn’t receive I’ve been able to give to my children furthering them…..they have done better math and more math than I ever did (or my husband), and the same with sciences; and while I was very well read, as literature was the backbone of much of my classical formation in school, they are even better read following Mother of Divine Grace’s schedule of courses…and nothing beats the integration of history and religion together.  They have far better religious formation and education than I ever had in Catholic schools (with religious still teaching).  When my children end their senior year by writing the famous crown jewel paper – the intelligent argument against artificial Contraception* – after having read numerous encyclicals in both religion and health courses……it takes my breath away that they have come this far and that we have this option, this choice to educate in this manner.  I thank God for it.  I thank God I was strong enough to not listen to the naysayers that said…don’t use that program, or why bother to home school?   (* also check out: Modg Health Syllabus)

So, it’s only Tuesday….and it’s been very productive and reassuring and motivating.  Tuesday is a good day.  It’s been the day we’ve done therapy runs for Mark…in fact, today was his last therapy for a while.  We are taking a break – we need one.  So, thank you Tuesday for being there for us!…I hope to see many more of you in the weeks ahead….:)


The Mother of Divine Grace, Health, Catholic Doctrine, and Advanced American Government & Economics syllabi make use of several papal Encyclicals.  Such wonderful Catholic formation and information for our young people before sending them out in the world.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On Praying…

My best days start when they start in prayer.  In years past I have prayed the Divine Office; when I lacked time as a busy home school mom, I resorted to a subscription of the Magnificat prayer companion book – a lovely beautiful daily prayer book that takes you through the daily readings.  A little pricey for a subscription, but a wealth of spiritual support.  Today however, I have a small prayer companion on my NOOK Color eReader.  The one I chose to download for daily use is called: Healing Prayers for Every Day, by Rev. Robert De Grandis.  They are short but packed with a scripture passage, reflection and a prayer.  This is so helpful for me.  When I’m out and about and feeling stressed or need to pray and need more directed prayer, I turn on my NOOK and find my prayer book.

Today, the scripture passage spoke clearly and not with accusation, although it could.  Instead, it sounded like the loving and guiding voice of St Paul in its assurance and gentle love:

Love is not envious; it does not have an inflated opinion of itself; it is not filled with its own importance.  --1 Cor. 13:4

Reflection: Envy is the root of evil.  Have you endured envy and viciousness for no reason as did Joseph from his own brothers? Has envy caused you to be competitive, restless, and without peace?  We need healing in these areas where we have been the victims and where we have been the victimized.

Prayer: Lord, teach me not to be envious, but to be grateful for all you have given me and others.  Help me build good relationships of mutual love and trust.

--Healing Prayers for Every Day, by Rev. Robert De Grandis

Why healing prayers?  I believe there is so much hurt in us caused by both our own foolish choices, and inflicted on us by others’ thoughtlessness.  I pray for others that I have hurt so thoughtlessly, as well as ask God forgiveness.  Healing is what Jesus was all about.  Healing infirmities, healing souls.  We in our frail and weak natures need healing. 


For the regular book version of this prayer book, visit:

Healing Prayers for Every Day, Rev. De Grandis

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sanctus Simpliticus Catholic Blog, Calendar planner and more

I met a lovely lady recently over the internet, as you do seem to meet people in cyber space these days! We had several things in common, Catholicism, home schooling, blogging.... It just happened that I had posted some home school items for sale and she responded to one of my items.  Turns out she has a lovely blog, and has designed a beautiful Catholic calendar planner and the best way to describe it is to simply refer  you to her site so you can see for yourself:

Sanctus Simpliticus (Blog)  you can "tab" to many other resources on the site, including the calendar planner, but here is also a link directly to it:

      Holy Simplicity as seen below* (calendar planner:  home - school - liturgical)

The Sanctus Simpliticus site has many wonderful, useful free check it out.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Endings….

I spent a lovely Mother’s Day in my little town.  I baked, I enjoyed coffees and sweets (part of my children’s gifts to me); received a Barnes & Noble gift card for my NOOK Color from my daughter (that works :)…and a Grinder’s Cappuccino right after morning church.  I got a couple other gift certificates (Bed, Bath & Beyond, and a local hair salon), and two yellow and purple beautiful huge potted flowers which I planted in my cement planters in the front of the house later today.  Then to top off this whole wonderful day….I watched the season finale of “Once Upon a Time” ….sigh….my favorite show right now, so sad to see it end for now…loved seeing it every Sunday night.  I haven’t been this excited or hooked on a show since X-Files!…..and that’s saying a lot because I’m just not a TV watcher.  But I am a terrible romantic …so I’m definitely hooked!

Tomorrow I begin the “real” spring cleaning in this house and am anxious and glad to do so as I need to make more of a real dent in the clutter and junk accumulation in the basement.  I’d like to make way for moving our freezer also, and am looking forward to getting a George Foreman standing grill.  LOVE the grill…just want a bigger one.  My gift certificate to Bed, Bath and Beyond should help with this purchase – cheers!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blessings on Mothers

Moving on to something even more dear to my Mother!....Here is a vintage 1960 photo with my father happily drinking his coffee nearby....and myself content to cuddle on mom's lap.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Incorporating Your Faith into the Homschooling Day 05/11 by Judy Dudich | Blog Talk Radio

Incorporating Your Faith into the Homschooling Day 05/11 by Judy Dudich | Blog Talk Radio

A radio interview with Michele Quigley - homeschooling mom of 10 children

Just what I needed to hear today - inspiring, edifying and affirming.  Thank you :)

“The War on Kids…


…..compares U.S. Public school to prison system….” Fox News

Wow, I guess it’s a strong message and honestly I’m glad to have my kids at home for school and commune with others who are serious about letting their children “be children” and not too anxious to force them to grow up just so they can be less bullied and stronger in a broken system of education.

I missed the documentary but am hoping to view it sometime soon.  I think I might like to buy it and offer a viewing together with some friends this summer.

The War on Kids

School Book Shelves…

…oh, the shelves, the shelves, the shelves…..sigh

With seventeen years of homeschool in our home, you know we have a lot of books.  When you school from kindergarten through twelfth grade, you definitely have books per grade levels lining your bookcases.  My goal this summer is to re-organize those shelves.  I have recently sold off up to $400 worth the used books and other educational materials.  Mother of Divine Grace resources have a great re-sell value and go quickly.  There are a couple great swap groups that have many Modg items.

Modg Materials Swap


Sometimes, I look at these shelves and I think to myself: how did this happen? Do all homeschooling families have these many books?  In part, the answer is yes.,,,,and maybe sometimes no. But more so it’s yes. The program we use is “booky”…it is strongly based on accomplishing good reading foundational skills in K through 3rd, and building on a “love of reading” by certain dynamics that are hit upon in those grades.  Always making reading a joy, reading to the children in cozy and comfortable ways; reading good literature, not “twaddle” as Charlotte Mason is known to have emphasized. When reading is worked on with joy and patience, and children are raised on good literature it fosters their love of reading.  We invested in many of the good childhood literature books because it wasn’t always convenient to head to the library nor did our small library always have what we were looking for.  Now, we go to the library more often and use inter-library loans, but there are still some books needed to be kept around for lengthy use with certain subjects like history.  Those are the books still on my shelves for use with the next child moving up the grade level. 

And so I anticipate my summer project, adjusting the shelves to make better use of space, and easily locate grades 3 through 12th.  This year I’ll be teaching 3rd and 8th.  I love Modg third grade and 8th grade is a big turning point in history and religion.  It will be an interesting year ahead.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Homeschool Tip

“Many home-schooling organizations suggest that students take the GED. We’re not sure this is a good idea, especially for classically educated students.  The GED really only requires a mastery of tenth-grade material, and taking it tends to lump highly accomplished, academically oriented students together with those who couldn’t or wouldn’t finish eleventh grade.”

~ The Well Trained Mind, A Guide to Classical Education at Home, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, c. 2004 (Diploma, pg 657)

“A GED is a substitute for a diploma; it is not a diploma. A person can obtain a GED without ever having spent a day of his life in school. Many colleges and employers will treat a GED about the same as they would a diploma. However, if a student has a GED, some colleges and employers may assume the student did not have what it takes to finish high school. If your student successfully completed a program of secondary education, he deserves a diploma to prove it.”  ~ Home School Legal Defense Association

For even more information on issuing home-school diplomas and keeping transcripts, visit

Vatican on Parental Rights & Homeschooling

Vatican Tells UN to Respect Parental Rights and Homeschooling

An article that finally drives the traditional homeschooling right home...thank you Vatican!  Yes, I'm sure Seton Home Study is thrilled (they are in the article), as well as the several other Catholic homeschooling providers upholding traditional homeschooling.  This right needs to be supported and fought for, will be lost.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Lessons Learned

Some things you definitely learn the hard way; some are anticipated, some totally take you off guard. Some come by way of surprise attack.  In the end, I guess you learn what you are really made of. 

Recently, I was very humbled to be very humiliated by someone who really is a total stranger to me, who doesn’t know me whatsoever, but very personally attacked me for my educational beliefs and convictions of upholding traditional homeschooling as defined by law in this country.  This came about after they publicly reprimanded me in a rather cutting and rude way on a Facebook forum, and I later removed my posting, and wrote them privately – apologizing – for apparently not reading their regulations better.  I was cordial, I did not make commentary, and I left it at that.  I received a private email back asking several questions, and I felt this group administrator seemed sincere, so I answered them.  That was my second mistake.  To make a long story short, they basically creamed me not only in their private mail as well as on their Facebook page (a mutual friend told me). No, last I had heard they hadn’t mentioned by name; that may have changed.  If they did, shame on them. Much of it was exaggerated even to the point of adding words I never used in reference to particulars.  I’m getting over it, although rather shocked by the whole thing.  One thing I learned, is that it isn’t okay to really have convictions and uphold them, or at least be honest about them.  Nobody really wants to hear the truth.  They ask for it, but when you speak it, they become completely defensive, because it isn’t really a truth they want to believe in.  Why?  Because really hearing the truth might cause them to have to re-evaluate what they are doing and change and people also don’t really like to change for many reasons. That part is certainly their own business.

I was persecuted for my Christian beliefs firstly, and next in regard to home education.  I know people don’t like to believe that a freedom that was already fought for and laws written for will go away.  They like to think things will remain the same forever.  Well, we can hide our heads in the sand.  The truth is: homeschooling is a freedom that many heroic families before us fought long and hard for, passing laws in this country to allow families to fully choose the kind of education – the very curriculum – they wish to educate their children with.  It is no light matter when a) school is mandatory, and b) it must persist from ages 6 through 18 in most states.  That is a lot of formative years.

People didn’t think abortion would ever be made “legal”, and it was.  I was a witness to the year it happened. Now people fight with great conviction to get Roe vs. Wade overturned.  FREEDOMS can be won and can be lost.  It is no different with homeschooling.  The political scene is hot with wanting to strip away anything autonomous and bring all and everyone into and under public formation only. Home schooling is more widely accepted, yes, to a point.  If you are a traditional homeschooler, that for which special laws were written, you are still looked at sideways.  If you say you are doing school on line, you are by far more acceptable.  And there are divisions among the two as well.  Yes, we wish everyone could just be buddies…but asking some of these factions of home educators to join forces happily is like asking protestants and Catholics to get more together on some things…and well, you know there are definite distinctions as well as some common ground.


I’m not here to make anyone feel bad about doing on line school, it is another school choice and it’s likely a very wise one.  After Columbine, many families around the country were looking for other ways to school that eliminated the school building, and they were looking for better academic standards overall.  William Bennett did a fine job developing K-12 and many states use this program in their cyber school options.  It would likely be the first choice in cyber school I would opt for if going a public on line route.

Someday, I may have to. Our public tracking system indeed knows how many school on line in districts and how many outside the box still participate in traditional home schooling.  Make no mistakes, they are counting heads.  I see in the future, where on line will be the only option as laws governing homeschooling with be overrode by only public “home” options.  The majority rules in most cases.  And with a precarious government mix of wishy washy Republicans and Liberals axing programs left and right, and even dictating health care reforms and imposing or rather stripping away religious freedoms in conjunction with heath care coverage….believe me, anything is bound to happen…little ole’ homeschooling rights will be a thing of the past in no time.

I know, I don’t sound optimistic.  But when the family is key first, the family fighting the rights to “parent and educate” without public intervention or mandates is paramount.   Parents need more than just on line options –they are wonderful options, don’t get me wrong, but….. what happens when on line options include body biology (sex education) or reformation history that isn’t showing your church in a truthful light, or a little heavy on the Darwinism or pro-environmentalism…..maybe your curriculum isn’t integrated with all the Christian beliefs you would prefer to build upon year after year to form your children in both God and academic standards.  Then, you need the freedom and law that upholds traditional home education.  And what if it’s not there? When families don’t stand up and fight, and make use of those rights, exercising them, then there will be no need for them.

There are a few solid voices still out there …voices crying out in the wilderness….for the family, for traditional homeschooling laws to remain upheld….I pray those voices are strong enough to awaken people that this one remaining educational freedom will continue to be available for future generations.


To learn more about traditional home schooling, visit here:

Homeschooling: Getting Started

To formulate a grade level plan that spells it out:

Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum

The Well-Trained Mind

Funny Roseanne Sketch - Metrocard.mpg

When I had my first son in 1991, I saw this SNL skit at about 1 in the morning in the hospital, in my room with my newborn snoozing nearby .....I never laughed so hard and to this day, it still makes me laugh! Disclaimer: one bad word, one rude description...but lots of laughs, and SNARKY SNARKY SNARKY, before we knew what snarky was :)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Please VOTE for my First Communion Story

Please read my First Communion Story at the link below, register and VOTE!

I wrote about my son Mark making his first communion.

Thank you!!!

A Very Special First Communion