St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Monday, December 31, 2012

So worth sharing….

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A year of revelations…

I can’t say 2012 has been my best or favorite year.  More than anything it has been a year of “revelations”.  Many revelations…from the most minor to the most extreme or amazing ones.  These revelations didn’t exactly bring me joy or happiness…they did bring knowledge and closure in a few cases. 

Biggest revelation: …. my contacting the orphanage my father and his younger brother spent a few years in before being fostered out….I wrote for my father’s orphan records. They were so revealing.  It confirmed so many things I wondered about growing up. The evidence was so concrete: my father was 10 years old, needed to have his tonsils out, but was otherwise in good health.

Through my family research I was able to connect with cousins I’d never met, and talk through family histories.  It’s been so rewarding. 

Greatest find:  Where my father’s Burg side of the family came from, and more filling out of his mother’s side of the family tree with many additional relatives deep into Germany.  This pleased his cousin Mary who could never get that far.  So 2012 was an excellent year for her!

My husband and I celebrated 24 years of marriage;

We became God parents to a wonderful little baby boy, Evan;

My son on the autism spectrum made his sacraments;

I was asked to be a Confirmation sponsor, which warms my heart;

My son with anxiety drove with us all the way to Pennsylvania for a big church wedding and incredibly big reception…….and survived (and 2012 has found him doing the best he’s done in the last three years of suffering OCD/anxiety).  There is hope.

My father in law celebrated his 91st birthday.

We saw many aged aunts pass on….

We had to take out an equity line loan to help meet tuition and other costs that our 1 income just can’t bridge.  Financially it has been the biggest thing we have done since our home was paid for many years ago. 

I’ve seen many of my stay at home mom friends go to work for the first time in many years of raising children.

We continue to home school and live sacrificially.  Sometimes that feels right and good.  Sometimes that feels very uncomfortable.  I will have another 9th grader to school this new year ahead.

In 2012, I’ve had to make some very hard decisions and say some very difficult things to people that needed to be said.  More so this year than other years.  I don’t take these things lightly.  And it’s not pleasant to be shunned or ignored as if I don’t exist or my children no longer do, after having to call someone out on something.  Still, some things can not be let go in a responsible world.

2012 has also seen my most weight gain.  Not sure why, only I can suppose it’s thyroid related.  Ever since I was put on thyroid meds, my weight has slowly crept upward.  I’ve tried to lose and it seems not to budge. 

I discovered and shared Arbonne products with my friends – it was so refreshing to have something in my home, when I don’t get out much.

I also discovered Doctor Who!

And so it goes with 2012.

What am I hoping for 2013?  Superficially…to lose weight and gain some more confidence back.  Deeply, that my children will get it together a little better than the year before and find their way in life a little more clear.  My oldest ones will be walking away from college with some serious knowledge and many many talents and potentialities to pursue and several new friends.  I think it will take a few years for their educations to pan out into their fields.  That’s okay.  They are hard workers and will work hard at smaller job opportunities while finding their way to their nitches.  To just see how great they have done academically, in no easy majors or minors (i.e. daughter had straight A’s this semester!)…is truly satisfying. 

However bittersweet…Adieu 2012…we shall never meet again and maybe in some ways that’s a good thing!

God bless +

Autism and Christmas at Grandma's house | Autism Support Network

Such a good and encouraging article - living the real thing here - nice to hear someone express it.

Autism and Christmas at Grandma's house | Autism Support Network

Friday, December 28, 2012

My 2012–isms

This will likely go down as my most famous quote of the 2012 year:

"There are many times I know I think to myself, what was God thinking...making me a mother...??  It can be so rewarding and so dreadfully difficult.”

I posted it to our Catholic Homeschooling for Aspergers loop, from the heart.  I truly mean it.  I’m finding it being referred to often now.

We were discussing how friends and family just don’t often times understand us as families, as moms, or our children with special needs. How we attempt to protect and guide our special children all at the same time, place restrictions and gently encourage maturity, earning it every step of the way. How we ban /censor TV shows, movies, books, music…..encourage wholesome play and activities. How we attempt to not let our snarky teens tell us how to parent and what to do.  Not a popular notion at all.

Children with special needs and sensory issues do make the holiday season take on a whole new meaning and morph into something we sometimes don’t want. We are with some people in a different setting that doesn’t happen any other time of year.  Like that one certain restaurant….or that one certain home. Or driving farther than normal to get to a family location for festivities.  That said, I will admit this year was one of our better ones.  I was more worried this year about my oldest children than my younger ones.  Coming off of the college high back into the home and trying to adjust to a home schedule with siblings about and general home life is a challenge.  I’m seeing and hearing some disrespect which is unfortunate, but overall, they are good kids.  They attend mass, aren’t covert like they tell me many of their friends are (hiding things from their parents), lying, sneaking…at least they are honest, I’ll give them that.  I am finding that many young people are definitely not what we are thinking they are….putting up a front, while a long, taking birth control pills, drugs, alcohol, living with boyfriends/girlfriends.  I try to tell my children, you will never regret being more pure and chaste, be accused of being a prude, old fashioned…but you will regret doing the opposite…it will haunt you in years to come.  While you have confession (and please do use it), you will have what you did in your mind forever.  So, don’t do that to yourself.   Dare to be different in the right way.

In the end, there is a part of parenting in which you have to let go, and let God.  Yes, I know this.

Yes, being a mother is quite a challenge.  IF you are really diving in and mothering.  If you are allowing your children to grow up haphazardly at best and not really confronting issues because of conflict aversion…then, you will get what you put into it.  Sometimes it will not be pretty. Right now, I am feeling I am missing some important areas, or at least they are falling  by the way side due to crazy schedules, like a our family evening prayer ritual.  This new year, we will be more resolved to do it. 

We have been literally partying and having a different schedule in this home since Dec 2nd.  And it won’t switch back until around the week of Jan 6th, and even then my oldest ones won’t head back to college until the middle of January.  Then, I predict Jan Feb March will literally fly by!

Here’s to 2013….just around the corner.  


….and counting the days of Christmas as they blossom into Epiphany.  It is during this time that Valentine Candy appears on the shelves and Christmas is swept to the clearance tables.  But those of us with faith filled eyes never reduce Christmas to clearance racks in our hearts.  We enjoy every day of Christmas the church has given us to meditate on, cherishing all that Christ gave and did for us.  I am so appreciative of this wonderful liturgical time.

We might be thinking of our new year’s resolutions, and among them I hope that faith renewal tops the list.  I know for myself this is very true and I find I’m grabbing my Magnificat prayer book more than I am my Nook or laptop these days. While I didn’t think the world would end…(and I have a cute story to tell about that later), I did think that the eras of deeper spirituality were coming to an end.  How secular our world has become; how lacking in faith and hope.   My heart felt prayers this end of the year are certainly for a more trusting faith, and that my hope for my own family and friends, and the world itself, is refreshed in a deeper way.

I leave you with this adorable story.  A few weeks back while doing lessons with my 9 yr old son (who has autism), we were talking about his bible story and his mind was pondering the Mayan prophecy and the Dec 21st end of the world possibility.  He said, “Mom, you know the end of the world thing…?those people aren’t right because remember what this prayer says: ‘ world without end’, Amen.?”   Well, indeed!  I just laughed and thought you know, he’s onto something there….

May we all heed these prayerful words:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,

world without end. Amen.


The Real Twelve Days of Christmas | Christian History

The Real Twelve Days of Christmas | Christian History

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Is the Church Suppressing God’s Will? | First Things

Is the Church Suppressing God’s Will? | First Things

This article is in response to the recent NCR editorial regarding ordination of women, the link of which is below.  Placing them both here for reference.

Editorial: Ordination of women would correct an injustice/National Catholic Register

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Senate Rejects Ratification of UN Disabilities Treaty

THANK GOODNESS – that’s all I can say!!!

Senate Rejects Ratification of UN Disabilities Treaty

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,
Due to your calls, emails, and office visits, the Senate minority
stood strong and ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was rejected by the U.S. Senate a
short time ago.

The CRPD, which would take away American sovereignty and threaten
parental rights, needed two-thirds of the Senate in order to pass.
Although it gained a majority of votes, it failed on a vote of 61-38. 
This is a great victory for parental rights, homeschool freedom, and
children with special needs. The U.S. Senate rejected a treaty which
would have allowed UN bureaucrats to decide what is in the "best
interests" of children with disabilities, instead leaving those
decisions with parents and caregivers, which is what existing U.S. law
already requires. Visit to
find out why HSLDA opposed this treaty.
We encourage you to visit to
find out how your senators voted, and please send them an email of
thanks (this information will be posted in a few hours, but we wanted
to let you know this good news right now).
Yet despite this victory, the battle is not over.  This treaty and
other dangerous UN treaties can come up at any time. We must stay
informed and be ready at any moment to take action again.  Without a
Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would
supersede these treaties, we are susceptible to these constant attacks
against our rights as Americans and the right the raise our children
how we see fit. You can find out more about the Parental Rights
Amendment at
Thank you again to all of you who took action against this treaty and
special thanks to those of you in the Congressional Action Program
(CAP) who came out to Washington, D.C. to lobby senators against the
J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

NASA says world won't end in 2012 despite Mayan calendar

NASA says world won't end in 2012 despite Mayan calendar

Monday, December 03, 2012

My inner most thoughts…

There are so many things on my mind these days…..the holidays, the government…..home schooling…..the freedom to do so…religious freedom…, the economy in general….*sigh.  It’s almost too much to think about.  Taking each day as it comes sounds like relief to me, and not looking too far into the future.  The end of the world on Dec 21st?  Hmm…again, taking one day at a time might be the best advice for keeping one’s sanity.  Who really knows what the future holds? 

When the world continues on past Dec 21st…..the things that will be most pressing on my mind will likely be the same things…..Most of my home schooling friends (mothers), are going to work.  They are trading the SAHM position for part time and full time positions in the workforce, and continue to homeschool.  I can’t imagine how hard that might be…well, I can….I can’t imagine myself doing it, and yet I’m quite sure in the future I will be working.  I’m hoping it will be after I am finishing with home schooling. 

Until then, I’m giving my children the best religious and academic education I know how that is legally possible in this country, while it is still possible in this country…through traditional home schooling.  I truly believe that when my children are grown and having children, traditional home schooling as we know it, will have gone by the wayside….the law’s will no longer exist to support it.  With public school on line taking over, the public sector will get exactly what they want, all of “those” outside the lines, inside the lines, under one umbrella where they can indoctrinate the students to their liking. Any and all religious freedom that we enjoy now (but are straining at the bit to keep), will have vanished.  This is why I savor every lasting moment although challenging, within our home school.   With this threatening UN“disabilities act”, education for special children will be future impacted….Parents will have little choice left but to let the school systems take the lead in their children’s education/formation.  Talk about Big Brother?  He’s been there all along..slowly rearing his head….looking our way to control…

I know at this point, my own children are receiving a true Catholic education that integrates their religion with Christian-Catholic history and literature and whole geographical kingdoms; every bit of history they study includes their Catholic faith, every geographical area, and the accompanying literature…Unless you read “authentic” sources, and original translations, who knew King Arthur and the Knights kingdom and goings-on were so church oriented?  Most children to day, do not know.  Their books have been policed already.….there is nothing more pathetic than the public sector pawning off their version of Christian history, or literature or even art …. mixed with so many falsehoods or left blank…

The Language Police by Diane Ravitch is an excellent book to get a glimpse into the mainstream textbook publishing companies and what malnourishment they provide the every day student.  Please take time to read it yourself….it is a real eye opener. 


As I close, I will continue to “aire” my thoughts over the next few weeks as we move through Advent and into the Christmas season…..