St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Friday, January 15, 2016

A War of Choice

Excellent article from Joseph Bottum for Weekly Standard; click Title for full article

A War of Choice: The Little Sisters of the Poor are headed to the Supreme Court this year, seeking escape from the contraception mandates of Obamacare — under which they fall, the government claims, as insurance providers for the employees in their nursing homes. The Justice Department is fighting the Little Sisters tooth and nail, determined not to allow them to evade the law's requirements, because .  .  . because .  .  .
Um, in truth, the Obama administration has never made entirely clear why it's so desperate to rope nuns into bureaucratic schemes for providing contraception. After all, the administration has let other organizations slip through the cracks. Unions have their exemptions, Congress has its exemptions, and the politically connected seem able to get Obamacare waivers for the price of a postage stamp. Nearly every other party who asked for protection from the mandate has been given it, says Mark Rienzi, a senior counsel for the Becket Fund. It made no sense for the Little Sisters to be singled out for fines and punishment. .  .  . The government has lots of ways to deliver contraceptives to people — it doesn't need to force nuns to participate.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Overnight Crockpot Oatmeal

Overnight Crockpot Oatmeal: Anytime I mention that we breakfast on oatmeal cooked overnight in the crockpot I get asked for my recipe. I don’t know if this qualifies as a “recipe” but here’s how I do i…

Friday, January 08, 2016

Easy 123 Art ---- So easy to do a Masterpiece

This is such a fun winter project -- choose from a large variety of already printed canvases, numbered with what paint color you need -- all provided in your kit.  What a sense of accomplishment.  

Very Classic, Cat.

The Starry Night

Sun Power (the one we have)

Friday, January 01, 2016

Keep a Journal - a New Year, a New Start

I have always keep a journal, or back in my younger days, a "diary," as we called them.  Some of my diaries even had a small key to lock and unlock them.  I remember at least in or around 5th grade, keeping such diaries.  By the time my family had moved from my birth state of California to Utah, I definitely was keeping a daily diary -- in fact, when we moved from one location in Utah, I had taken all my diaries, stored them in a bag, opened up my closet, pulled out a huge built in drawer at the bottom of it, and hid my diaries in the emptiness of the drawer's under earth, and then slid the drawer back in.  I wondered in time, if anyone had ever found them?  Read them?...the musings of an eleven to thirteen year old child?

To this day, I keep a journal.  It is more spiritual and maybe sometimes just casual and filled with the daily-goings-on of a mother of four.  But it has always been my way, for better or worse, to put my thoughts to paper, particularly after monumental events.  

One year I recall keeping a journal that was the most painful journal I have ever written in my life so far.  I still have it; it dates back nearly 8 years ago now.  It was the first year of OCD/anxiety treatment for one of my sons who plunged deeply into the grips of mental illness due to the dramatic onset of OCD and was hospitalized for a week. It was there he was diagnosed.  It was very difficult and painful and I logged on going weeks of therapies, all the doctor visits, the medications, the changes in doses, any positive or negative outcomes, his outbursts, depressions, ugly behaviors and any bright or good spots.  By the end of that year, the last couple months shown stabilization, and positive hopeful signs.......but oh how very challenging that year was.  Five years into the therapies I could say he had become a healthy young man, and only this last year, (so seven years passing), he has made remarkable and miraculous strides and come so so far since those difficult dark days.   I am truly grateful.  

I keep that journal as a reminder, I don't even have to crack a page it, I only need to see it's cover in my drawer and the word Grateful comes across my heart and soul, and I thank God deeply for where he has led us now.  

On the lighter side, my recent re-watching of the River Song episodes of Doctor Who, and her personal diary, the Tardis diary, also definitely inspired me to continue on to author my own thoughts and personal events.   Well, it won't be anywhere near as exciting as River's jottings I'm sure.....but still, it's my best, right?  

And so I have bought a delightful little pink with tiny stars on the cover Bella J.** notebook to pen some new thoughts for 2016.  I took inspiration from this recent article:  

Among the three reads I keep going (per my Charlotte Mason philosophy of reading- see footnote below*), I am currently reading Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly, and using his "prayer process" as a guide to my journaling.  If you don't own this book, I encourage you to download it to your eReader or make a purchase of the hard copy.  It is worth your time. 

And so, I hope you will consider keeping a journal (finally) and I wish you all happiness and health and good inspirations as you embark on this new beginning, this new year!  

Happy New Year &

God bless!

P.S. if you would like to keep a digital journal, there are many to try; I have the Journey- Journal-Diary from the Google store; it's a nice format and easy to use on your android device.   You can customize it nicely, add personal photos.  
End Notes:
*Charlotte Mason: from Karen Andreola's A Charlotte Mason Companionpg 346, Chapter "Mother Culture" suggests: 
  1. A Stiff Book (something challenging)
  2. A Moderately easy book (i.e. biography)
  3. A Novel (preferably good ones – not "twaddle" perhaps a classic author i.e George Eliot, Charles Dickens)
This way you can choose a book that you "feel fit for" at the time.
“Never be without a good book on hand.” ~ Charlotte Mason

** more Bella J. products found here:  Paper Luxe  and here: Bella J.

Happy New Year 2016