St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cozy at home…

What a great day to stay in, stay dry and warm and cozy with my children that are homeschooled.  Today, the house will be our refuge with the fragrant aromas of baking and coffee brewing.  My teen has an on-line history literature book club class later and we really don’t need to be anywhere else.  <smiling>

A plea to confused Catholics - By Alice von Hildebrand

A plea to confused Catholics - By Alice von Hildebrand

Worth Reading ....worth praying fervently about...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Thinking about internet…

Thinking of switching my internet provider…we have had high speed internet through our phone lines for quite some time now.  It is SO glitchy and we pay a lot and many times the internet is out.  Thinking of going cable, which I suspect would also upgrade our TV, and improve our speed.  Just a thought…but becoming more serious a thought….We would be paying the same price, but hoping for better service.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Peace in our hearts…


All shall be well
and all shall be well
and all manner of things shall be well.
-Julian of Norwich



It doesn’t quite look like this yet in northeastern Ohio….but I thought this was a beautiful preview of things to come.

I am glad at this moment to be tucked away in rural Ohio.  It doesn’t mean we are forgetful of the world situation – very frightening right now – but it does mean some sense of peace while we are praying for peace and resolution.

Today, as I focus on the world situation it makes me somewhat more subdued in my complaints and unsettled nature about things that now seem pretty trivial.  I am grateful that even with grumbling children, they are all safe at home in this lazy little town.

God bless you wherever you are.  May His peace that passes all understanding be yours.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today is the the 2nd week, fourth day of home school new beginnings for us.  I think we are getting in the groove of how our school year will go.  So far, so good ….and my 13 year old’s Book Club learning support class (on line) is going really well.  He loves going into a virtual classroom with others his age, and listening to the teacher and discussing the literature for his medieval history course.  He has done beautifully so far.  The internet connection is a little glitchy…however…..for the price we pay for high speed internet here, and for as many times as it goes out…I’m thinking of switching to cable internet.  For the same price, it will be less glitchy and more reliable….looking into that today.

So, today I am thankful for being able to have signed back up with Mother of Divine Grace this year, and add the addition of an LS class for my 8th grader.

I am also grateful for my spiritual director and the advice to read – meditate on – the writings (revelations) of Julian of Norwich.  I downloaded her writings to my eReader yesterday (for .99 cents!)..110 pages worth.  So far, it is very deep and concentrated.  I think I will come away with a lot.  They are DEFINITELY Revelations of Divine Love of our Lord, no doubt!!

So…we’re off for a special day of just doing school, enjoying some of the beautiful fall weather outdoors and having dad home for dinner this evening. 

Make it a good day wherever you are.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beauty Budget

Recently I took my mother and myself for our much needed eye exams.  My mother did well and got some lovely new eye glasses, and they are working good for her.  I however, need to return to the eye glass store and have mine re-evaluated.  They are first time bifocals for me, progressive lenses, and I love the upper part of them, but the lower part is way so slim and tiny to read from….like I need more of that area to do reading, and maybe less of the above part to see distance.  Well, for $350+ I think this needs to be made right.

Which brings me to budget.  My husband already works two jobs.  One regular day job, and an evening job a couple days a week to help make up the slack or lack of my not working.  Yes, there are days I wish we could be getting two hefty pay checks in this house.  I can only dream!  But, my vocation as mother, wife and home educator of my children takes precedence right now. 

There are some beauty items and just regular items that I do without…although we did splurge in the spring and buy some great deals of Arbonne products, which are just to die for!  …what an extravagance for me!  So, it’s not like I can afford $40 skin cleanser….and I don’t expect to ….I would feel totally guilty using it for sure!…that could buy a bag of groceries and fill up a gas tank.  So instead, I have some secrets that I’ve used through the years…one of which is this creamy, clean and hypoallergenic skin cleanser that can be easily bought in the drugstore, and can even be purchased as a generic.  Dermatologists have recommended it since the 70s at least.  It is great for sensitive skin, and skin using acne preparations.  Originally made by Cetaphil and just called Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.  Again, you can buy it as generic and even save more.  It feels luxurious without the cost!

Also another skin care item I have used since the 70s, is simply Witch Hazel.  I usually buy Dickinson’s brand, pure and safe, and just use it as a toner morning and night before applying moisturizers and make-up.  I think it has helped my skin be healthier through the years.

So, there you have it.  Two simple products, both available for about a total of $13.00 together. 

Okay, now I wish my eye glasses could be this easy!

Wednesday Daybook

Once again, a beautiful fall day as we commence with our home schooling.  I’m feeling more at ease as we get into our new school year; it’s always an adjustment.  It is also an adjustment not having two older children at home (off to college).  When did I get this old??  I will admit that homeschooling now, (17 yrs into it), is much different than even 5 years ago..nonetheless 10 years ago.  I am much more tired getting out of bed in the morning!  And I’ll tell you a secret, I have a small coffee pot with clock timer in our bedroom, so I can actually smell the coffee to wake up!  Seriously, it has been a Godsend to me at this point in my life.  I am not ashamed to say I am biologically an older mother.  Most of my friends my age, have children well into college, or beyond, and are grandparents.  And here I am, not only older with grade school children yet….but, two more challenging children left to be raised and educated; one with sensory/OCD/anxiety disorder, and the other with autism spectrum disorder.  I pray unceasingly.  Right now, I snatch up my Furrow devotional by St. Josemaria Escriva and read snippets of encouragement and spiritual direction.   Happily, three of us made it to confession this last weekend, and our pastor had some good spiritual advice for me.  I have clung onto his every word this following week.

But, like our vacation bible school this summer proclaimed: “With God, all things are possible”, right?  Hmmm, that happens to be my state’s motto as well.  There must be something to it!  Honestly, I do not know how people do it…face the challenges of life, without a central Faith connection and focus.

So today, as I take my coffee break, I am grateful.  Grateful for what health I do have, and that I am still in the mix of things as a home schooler. 

Right now, I smell the lovely aroma of corn bread and a crock pot meal simmering (see below)…while I take my coffee break.  May God bless you this day and give you the strength and wisdom you need to see it through.


One-Pot Dinner
Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook, page 109
Makes 8 servings

Ideal slow cooker size: 4-quart
½ lb. ground beef
¼ lb. bacon, cut in pieces
1 cup chopped onions
2 16-oz. cans pork and beans
16-oz. can kidney beans, drained
1 cup no-salt-added ketchup
16-oz. can butter beans, drained
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
brown sugar substitute to equal 1 Tbsp.
1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
Dash of pepper
1. Brown ground beef in skillet. Drain off drippings. Place beef in slow cooker.
2. Brown bacon and onions in skillet. Drain off drippings. Pat dry with absorbent toweling. Add bacon and onions to slow cooker.
3. Stir remaining ingredients into cooker.
4. Cover. Cook on Low 5-9 hours or High 3 hours.
Exchange List Values: Starch 2.5, Carbohydrate 1.0, Meat, lean 1.0

Courtesy of Fix-It and Forget-It

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Ten Most Important Things you need to know about Homeschooling - Homeschooling Articles - - The #1 Homeschooling Community

The Ten Most Important Things you need to know about Homeschooling - Homeschooling Articles - - The #1 Homeschooling Community


It’s a crisp fall like morning… rather chilly during the night and the furnace came on.  I guess summer has really taken leave….

…I’m sipping my Community Dark Roast coffee…doing my morning prayers, especially thinking about my friend Megan and if she’s had her baby yet…she was induced yesterday and last I had heard, it wasn’t progressing much; so I’ve been worried and wondering and anxious for her now, for over 24 hrs!  Please pray  for her also.

…We will dive into another school day here, only our second week, but looking good so far.  The boys are doing well with their subjects and I am SO grateful for this classical curriculum and the formation it brings in thinking skills, discussion, communication overall both verbal and in writing, and the faith formation.  It is the whole package deal.  Nothing lacking, and do be able to accomplish this at home is more of a bonus.

…so this morning, I am grateful for home schooling.  I am grateful for being able to stay home still…at this point in my life….and that my husband will work both a day job and an evening job a couple times a week to provide for us, so I can stay home with our children and school them. 

…God bless you this beautiful day, wherever you are geographically and wherever you are in your walk with our Lord.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

All in a day’s work….

Soooo busy is quite an understatement.  I apologize for not being timely with my blogging lately, but life happens….and happens…and happens!!!  Sometimes in big unrelenting doses!  Thus has been my life lately.  Between many, many appointments and wrapping my brain around how sick my one son had been for several months (and is still recovering - lost 10 pounds!)….I am still worried about him, so among so many other things going on, he is still my top priority.  Getting him well is my drive right now.

We did begin our home schooling.  So far, so good and I am enjoying how this year is looking.  I am once again falling in love with our classical curriculum and the intelligence is builds.  The literature is absolutely healthy and educational…….my 13 yr old is enrolled this year with an on line literature club for his medieval history course through our home study provider, so he will have a teacher led - student discussion of all his awesome literature.  He just finished Fingal’s Quest a wonderful story about a young man who wishes to follow St. Columban. The rest of his literature includes:

The Story of the ChurchAugustine Came to Kent, Son of Charlemagne, The Magna Charta, and Adam of the Road, King Arthur & His Knights of the Round Table, The Door in the Wall, Francis & Claire, Adam of the Road, .St. Dominic & the Rosary and Cathedral, The Black Arrow.  Along with Old World & America textbook as a spine to the literature. 

This is just a glimpse …we are continuing with Latin study, Religion, Pre-Algebra, Latin grammar/English, vocabulary, Physical and Environmental Science, selected Shakespeare passages for poetry study,  water color painting, Art History along with classical music study.

My third grader is doing similar courses, including Latin & Greek Root Cards, Bible History/Catechism, Poetry, American History and geography, language arts, health, science, math, music and art study, including water color painting.  It’s a full year.  We are also continuing to focus on comprehension, listening skills, retelling, not interrupting, raising our hand, looking at people in the face when they talk to you, and when you are talking.  In a word: Formation.  It needs a lot of practice for sure.  When it comes along it clearly turns one young man from an uncivilized little elf to a more respectable little boy with some charms :)

Well this is all I can manage to muster this time around……my father in law will be turning 90 in a couple weeks, so we will be celebrating that one!  I’ll try to check in then, if I don’t make it before that!   God bless!