Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Catholic Vaccination dilemma

The debate rears its ugly head even in the safest of places.

A mom posts in my local homeschool group that her family is going through pertussis - all of them - including her vaccinated husband and vaccinated public school child. First there are posts back showing support and advice on how to soldier through with a household of sick children. Then the accusation, "Weren't your children vaccinated?"

My finger hovers over my mouse, strategically positioned between the delete and the moderation button.  This is the type of discussion that can get heated quickly, and the relationships and camaraderie of this group of woman could be broken with one harsh word or a misinterpretation of intentions.

What breaks the camels back and causes me to hit delete and then quickly put us into moderation mode was a comment like this. "The Pope says that everyone should vaccinate their kids for the common good and it's a sin not to vaccinate."

Nothing is going to kill off a Catholic support group faster than a decree from the pope!

The thing is - it wasn't the pope.

But let me start back at the beginning.

In 2001, Arkansas mother, Shannon Law, was faced with making a decision - have her kids vaccinated with vaccines from aborted fetal cell lines, or get kicked out of school.  She opted to call the Vatican!

As the deadline for getting the vaccinations approached, Shannon knew she could wait no longer.  She picked up the phone and called the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican and spoke to Msgr. Charles Brown who assured her he would look into the matter at once. As she awaited a response that would surely take more time than the school would allow, she then contacted American Life League and Children of God for Life.  Within hours, Children of God for Life contacted Msgr. Brown, who upon learning the problem was not confined to only Mrs. Law, requested a package of information to be sent to His Eminence Josef Cardinal Ratzinger.  Meanwhile Msgr. Brown's instruction was clear: all Catholics should be instructed to use the Church teaching on Moral Conscience while the Vatican reviewed the issue.  Further, he warned that, "To turn away from one's conscience would be a grave error."

In 2005 Mrs. Debra Vinnedge wrote a letter to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI).  She asked for the church to make a strong statement against vaccinations made from the cell lines of aborted fetuses so that Catholic parents could exempt their children from mandatory vaccinations when attending school.

Her letter was passed on to The Pontifical Academy for Life and she received a reply from Bishop Elio Sgreccia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

OK so just to be clear, there was no such statement from Benedict XVI or Francis I.  The pope isn't saying your kids need to be vaccinated or that they shouldn't be vaccinated!  You can read the entire response here.

Later that year, Msr. Jacques Suaudeau of the Pontifical Academy for the Family clarified the Vatican statement.
“1) The document as such supports the position of Children of God [for Life]. It denounces the use of “tainted” vaccines, it asks for alternative vaccines; it invites (the document speak about a “duty”, which is a pretty strong word) parents (and others) to put pressure on government and companies to offer alternative vaccines. The document speaks clearly about “conscientious objection”(p.7). This was the main point of the document.  As such I do think that Children of God [for Life] have there a useful instrument to put pressure on local authorities in order to get exemption of vaccination for their children, in schools. But more important is the lobbying to get the alternative vaccines free entrance in the U.S.”
“2) The restriction formula about the possible use of tainted vaccines in conditions “of considerable dangers”(p.7) was needed: in fact we had problems with local (Italian) journals using titles like that: “Vatican forbid vaccinations”.

It seems to me that the vatican encourages drug makers to manufacture licit vaccines and I think you could even take it to mean that they think that drug makers are headed in that direction.

But are they?
Apparently not.  The chicken pox vaccine came out in 2006 and some flu shots comes from aborted fetal cell lines. Clearly big pharma isn't that anxious to get out of the profitable fetal cell line business.

But what does this mean to the average Catholic parent?  How can we protect our children and keep the faith?

Well no one said it would be easy.  The Vatican documents were clear that parents were to follow their consciences but also that their consciences should be well formed.  When it comes to vaccines it's important to know

  • Why is this vaccine being given to my child?
  • Is there a morally licit alternative? 
  • What are the benefits?
  • What are the potential side effects?
  • What are the long-range consequences? 
  • How effective is the vaccine? 
  • How long will the immunity last?
  • If my child got the disease instead can it be treated effectively? 
After getting that information and prayerfully considering the information, it may be morally licit to get the vaccinations.  But a parent who forms his conscience otherwise would also be making a morally licit decision. 

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

St.Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene
Originally uploaded by clarkvr

your Son first entrusted to Mary Magdalene
the joyful news of his resurrection.
By her prayers and example
may we proclaim Christ as our living Lord
and one day see him in glory,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.

Mary Magdalene

Please see my library of links for St. Mary Madalene, full of informative articles here.

Follow Elena LaVictoire's board St. Mary Magdalen on Pinterest.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Simple Woman

Outside my window...

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Two tow path turtles that I was lucky to catch last week on my walk while Noah was running.

I am thinking...
about how much I really like my walks during cross country season. I can listen to talks on my phone or MP3 player and accomplish two tasks at once!  I'm getting faster too!  I can easily do three miles in an hour - probably closer to 3 1/2 miles now.

I am also grateful that I can get up at least two hours before my household does.  I find that I really enjoy that time to pray and think before the busy day begins.

I am thankful...

that I have as many credits as I do - because seriously, if I had to start from scratch on this degree program I wouldn't do it at all!

In the kitchen...
easy does it!   Mr. Pete is getting lots of stuff together for grilling this week.  On Tuesday we celebrate Gabe's birthday!  Cheese cake and buffalo chicken dip are on the menu!

For Calvin's Birthday on Friday, Izzy made this delicious and beautiful upside down cake.

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I got adventurous in the kitchen too - this is butternut squash with sausage, apples and pecans with a little bit of butter and brown sugar - very good and even Mr. Pete ate two servings!

I am wearing...
Black skirt I wore to church and a green shirt from the Jaclyn Smith collection at K-mart that I know I must have purchased at least 20 years ago - but it still fits and I like it!

I am wondering...
if it's even worth trying to sell on ebay any more.  I bought five really pretty girls' dresses at a yard sale for $1 each.  So I had $5 into them altogether.  It was free listing on e-bay and I started the bidding at $10 thinking that would entice bidders. The buy-it-now price was $30 which I still thought was a great deal for five very detailed dresses.  I also offered free shipping.

Well there was no bidding and the dress sold for only $12. With shipping and the fees I actually lost money.  sigh... it will be a while before I try children's clothing again.

I am going...
  • to walk Monday - Thursday and try get some arm workouts in too.  
  • Let Noah have some big driving time!
  • Take Rosie and Noah to their cross country practices.
  • Pray for my math tutor and his family who will welcome twins this fall.
  • Really double down on my prayer time this summer - making morning prayer with divine office. com a habit!
  • Make it to confession this week hopefully!

I have the app on my Kindle and my cell phone.
I am pondering...

I am thinking of making my prayer corner a place in my room - but I need to clean a space for it first!

I am reading...
Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

 From the Learning Rooms...
  • Noah working on Instacert to get ready for the American History II CLEP test. 
  • Noah Finishing Geometry
  • Noah doing  Expository Writing with Bravewriter.
  • Izzy starts working for the arts project with the city.
  • She is reading Lord of the Flies.
  • Rosie is going to work on her spelling and reading and math. 
  • Rosie also has cross country.  She moved into level 3 for swimming. 
  • Izzy and Noah starting the Dave Ramsey course to meet their finance requirement for high school.  

One of my favorite things...

Michael Medved history talks!  I highly recommend his talk on World War I, World War II and Kennedy.

I am hoping to ...
  • Get some flute practice done.
  • That Noah will be ready for the CLEP in American History 2 within the next few weeks. 
  • Finish getting the classroom cleaned up and then work on the entire second floor - starting with my office! 

I am looking forward to...

Reunions with family members this summer.

 A video to share...

Mr. Pete cantoring, and my flute in the background. - you can hear Izzy singing too!  She was holding the camera.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

7- Quick Takes

  Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1.  I have had no transcription work for two weeks because my client has been on vacation.   It has been weird. Really weird not to have that work hanging over my head all the time.  I have really missed it!  Instead I've been driving kids all over the place to their activities and jobs, and trying to get the parts of my house that the general company sees, pretty clean.  Next week it all starts again.  I wonder if I can adjust!

2. One of the things I've been doing instead of working is taking Rosie and Miss C to the local library show.  I've been taking my kids to those shows for over 10 years and it's nice to have an excuse to still go!  Last week they had a magic show which was lots of fun and Rosie even had a chance to be a participant.

Miss C. did pretty well for a 9 month old baby.  She doesn't mind loud noises and in fact, she likes to be around a lot of people with a lot of action because it interests her.

But last week they had a cartoonist in and I thought that might be too much for the baby.  So while Miss C and I sat in the library playing with toys and games, Rosie watched the cartoonist draw cartoons and even had a chance to draw some herself!!

3.  Today is Calvin's 25th birthday.  Izzy made a beautiful pineapple upside down cake and we all sat around the fire in the fire pit outside for a couple of hours talking.  It was really a nice birthday.

Calvin's birth was my rocky road to motherhood. I shared that on this week. Can't believe that was 25 years ago. After all this time, it still makes me a little angry.

Glad to have Calvin though - really proud of that kid.
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4.  I was specifically asked to play for mass tomorrow.   The pianist will not be there so they wanted me to help fill in the sound.  Turns out, I have all of the responsibilities for the musical introductions and it's making me just a tad on the nervous side.

On the positive side, Mr. Pete is cantoring and I hope to catch some of that on video.  He has such a nice voice.

5.  I was also asked to be the wedding facilitator for a Latin mass next week.  I haven't been to a Latin mass for decades, so I am a little apprehensive about it.  Turns out though that it is easier than a regular mass!!  The priest does just about everything and once the couple gets up to the front, they pretty much stay there!

I'm watching a lot of these videos to get ready though!

6.  So as if I didn't have enough to do, on a whim I contacted my old college because I saw that they now had several online degree programs.  I graduated from that school a few months before I got married to Mr. Pete. So... about 35 years ago.  The admissions person I talked to was very friendly and helpful and before I knew it, I was getting all of the credits from all of the different programs and colleges I have gone to off and on over the decades  all gathered up and sent into the school.  And to my delight, I am 66% of the way through to a Bachelor's degree.

So I started on their orientation class, which is 3 weeks long, is a pass/fail and doesn't give any credit - and I now remember how tedious college work can be.  For example, for 30 points, I had to produce a time management plan so that they can be sure that I know how to manage my time.

After 34 years of marriage, raising six kids while working from home, I think I might know a thing or two about it!  In fact, it was a waste of time to do the assignment.  I'll have to think long and hard about whether this is the right time to pursue this or not.

7. A look back at Calvin and mom - when he was probably around 2.
Photo: Happy Birthday!
Note the death grip I have on his arm.  I love Calvin to bits, but he was one of those little boys that was impulsive and fast!  Despite the smile on my face, I'm sure that I'm trying to get him to stand still for something!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

From the Seton Newsletter.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16th, the date of Our Lady's appearance to St. Simon Stock. The celebration of this feast seems particularly appropriate in light of the current conflict between Muslims and Christians. This feast gives us and our children an opportunity to learn about how the Church has suffered from those who oppose us. Our children can be prayer "crusaders" in their own home.

Mount Carmel was the location in Palestine where, in the Old Testament times, the Prophet Elijah called down fire from heaven, once to destroy an enemy pagan captain and his fifty soldiers, and once to prove to the pagan priests that the true God of the Israelites was in control.

The prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel; the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice

 The Prophet Elijah lived on Mount Carmel most of his life as a monk; it was because he lived there with other monks living a life of prayer and sacrifice, that Mount Carmel was considered a sacred mountain.

Mt. Carmel

Later during the Old Testament time of Judith, King Nabuchodonosor sent his general to "bring all the earth under his empire." One of the places that resisted this invasion was Carmel. Although Judith did not live in Carmel, she was an Israelite widow who prayed for God to give her the strength to defeat the king and his general, General Holofernes. Judith was given a strategy by God, and she killed the general in his own camp.

In New Testament times, chapels, including one to the Blessed Mother, were built on Mount Carmel, and an order of monks called Carmelites lived there. Throughout the centuries when the followers of Islam, the Mohammedans or the Saracens, were destroying Christian cities and churches, Carmel was destroyed but rebuilt again by the Christians. The Crusaders fought valiantly during the holy wars trying to save Carmel and the other holy lands.

However, because of the devastation, the Carmelite Order moved to Europe. Later, St. Simon Stock, born in England in the mid 1100's, joined the Carmelite Order in England, where there was great devotion to the Blessed Mother. He became the general of the Carmelite Order, and spent several years in the monastery on Mount Carmel. The Order spread through Europe, and in 1252 the pope gave official recognition to the Carmelite Order.

The Blessed Mother appeared to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251, in Kent, England, and gave him a scapular for the monks to wear day and night. She told the saint, "Those wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire."
Aylesford, England (1251) - Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Since then, the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has become a favorite with Catholics all over the world, many popes and saints wearing it daily. Scapulars, official sacramentals of the Church, with their prayers and devotions, have become second in popularity only to the Rosary. The Church has granted many spiritual benefits to the wearing of the Brown Scapular.

St. Terese of Lisieux, the Little Flower and Doctor of the Church who joined the Carmelite Order, wrote about Mary as our Mother and a model for us to imitate. Mary cares for us as a mother, and we should love her as our heavenly mother. We need to look to her as the perfect disciple of Jesus, and try to imitate her way of life, especially her instant and complete obedience to His holy will.

Those who wear the scapular show their devotion to the Mother of God by frequent prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments. The scapular is a sign, a symbol of our willingness to commit ourselves to a higher spiritual life of prayer and devotion, as well as the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

For us homeschooling parents, Our Lady of Mount Carmel should remind us of the attacks against the church, whether they are from across the seas or right in our own country. We and our children need to re-dedicate ourselves to praying for the Church, and to ask the Blessed Mother in prayer to help our Church at this time in our country when it is under attack from the pagan society, from the media, and even from those supposedly within the Church who want the laws of God abandoned.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we know you are our heavenly mother and are dedicated to protecting us. Please intercede for us with your Son to protect our Church from the enemies of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to learn through teaching our children that our holy Catholic Faith is the most precious treasure we have, and that we must be willing to make great sacrifices for the Church which your Son founded for our eternal salvation. Amen.

Another prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the Flos Carmeli (Flower of Carmel) composed by Saint Simon Stock.

O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine,splendor of heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a pure virgin, assist us in our necessity! O Star of the Sea, help and protect us! Show us that you are our Mother! Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us!

The Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel from Aquinas and
Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Also called simply the Brown Scapular, this small scapular is the most well known and likely the earliest form of the devotional scapular. It may even be referred to merely as “the scapular,” where all other scapulae are referred to in the full name or by some distinguishing characteristic. Along the same line, the phrase “The Feast of the Scapular” refers to the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Pious tradition holds that the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251 in England, with a scapular in her hand and said to him, "Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant." According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, these precise words of Our Lady only appeared in written form in 1642, in a document that said these words had been dictated by Simon to his secretary and confessor. Historical documents cannot support the exact details or words, but the content is held to be reliable. That is to say, it is credible that Our Lady assured St. Simon Stock in a supernatural manner of her special protection over his whole order and all who would wear the Carmelite habit, indirectly extending to all Christian faithful who should wear the scapular as a badge of devotion, even if we cannot place the exact words.

Conditions for Receiving the Graces of the Scapular

The promise and the following conditions are typically associated with a vision and Bull of Pope John XXII. The Bull that has been handed down since the 1400's was never mentioned for over 100 years after its supposed promulgation in 1322 and no record of such a document exists in the writings of Pope John XXII. It has been generally assumed that the extant text of the Bull is not an authentic document but the promises and conditions are valid and several popes have given the Carmelites permission to preach them.

Here are the conditions:

1) Wear the Brown Scapular continuously -
(Catechesis of the Brown Scapular)

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Brown Scapular

2) Observe chastity according to one's state in life.

3) Recite daily the "Little Office of the Blessed Virgin."
Little Office Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

available also on Kindle


3a) Observe the required fast of the Church as well as abstaining for meat on Wednesday and Saturday


3b) Recite the Rosary daily


3c) With permission, substitute some other good work.

Obviously, the Scapular is not a get out of Hell or Purgatory Free Card.

Other Links for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on Delicious

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel desert

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Feast of Kateri Tekakwitha

The young woman now honored with such beautiful titles as "the Lily of the Mohawks" and "the Wonderworker of the New World" was born in 1656 at Ossernenon, a village of longhouses which stood on a high hill overlooking the Mohawk River. The daughter of a Turtle Clan chief and a Christian Algonquin captive, she was orphaned at the age of four when a smallpox epidemic decimated Ossernenon. With a pockmarked face and damaged eyesight from her own struggle with the dreaded disease, Tekakwitha was raised in the longhouse of her father's brother and successor.

When Tekakwitha was in her late teens, French Jesuits established a mission in her uncle's village. The Mohawk chief distrusted and disliked the Christian Blackrobes, but grudgingly allowed their presence as a party of a treaty with the French.

Despite her uncle's stern objection to the Blackrobes and their faith, Tekakwitha was deeply impressed by their words — perhaps they brought back childhood memories of her mother's whispered prayers — and gladly risked her family's disapproval to be baptized. With a joyful heart, she became a follower of Christ and took the name Catherine, in her language, Kateri. Subjected to persecution in her village, she fled over 300 miles to the safety of Caughnawaga, a mission village near the French settlement of Montreal. In this place, often called the Praying Castle, her already deep faith flourished. She died there several years later at the age of 24. Devotion to the holy girl began almost immediately. She was beatified on June 20, 1980 and is now one miracle away from sainthood.

In the familiar prayer for her canonization, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is referred to as "this young lover of Jesus and of His Cross." Her great devotion to Our Lord is one of the most profound aspects of her story and one that is occasionally overlooked these days when her life is simplified and sentimentalized. Yet it was Kateri herself who said, "I have given my soul to Jesus in the Eucharist and my body to Jesus on the Cross."
From the Lily and the Cross.

Little Kateri Costume I made for Rosie when she was a baby.

Bob and Pennie Lord Movie about the Saint on Amazon Streaming here.

Follow Elena LaVictoire's board St. Kateri on Pinterest.

My links for this saint.

7-Quick Takes

  Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1. What a weekend!   Thursday night, I took Izzy and Noah to lovely Stan Hywet Hall to see a production of Twelfth Night! The evening started with the "Green Show" which is a prelude to the main event and a way to prepare the audience and create the right atmosphere.  The Green Show was baudy good fun of a PG nature and quite surprisingly went right into the main play.

 What fun to have Orsinio enter with "If music be the food of love" after a song about loving the mermaid's sister because only her top half was a fish!  A great review of that play (still going on this week) is here and here. 

I really think preparing ahead of time for the play helped Izzy and Noah enjoy it more.  They certainly seem game to try another Shakespearean play if they get the opportunity.

2. Then Friday night, we were supposed to go to hear Sam's new band perform at Musica.  We showed up promptly at 9 p.m. as requested - only to find out that Sam wasn't playing until 10:30!!  We went home, intending to go back, but Mr. Pete fell asleep so we never made it.  We did buy two tickets though so hopefully that helped.  Sam's band is May Day Riots And they have a tune on Spotify, and they're on Facebook. 

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4. Driving to and from the reunion, we listened to the audio book of the Hunger Games - that was Noah's idea and a very good one too! Unfortunately we only had an 8 hour trip and 11 hours of book!  But maybe we can finish that up this week.

5. Sunday morning, we were supposed to play for the Italian Mass as part of the Italian Festival at historic St. Bernard's church.  Mr. Pete and I were catching breakfast at McDonald's (eggs and sausage only for me!) when I got a call from my granddaughter's other grandma - Gabe had fallen and hit his nose - hard!

Apparently, he had just picked up the baby and was starting to walk when his foot got caught under the throw rug and he lunged forward, still holding the baby, and ran face first into the door molding.

I called Calvin and he met us at Gabe's house and did his professional paramedic assessment - which was that Gabe broke his nose.  I then ran Gabe over the emergency room where they did a neurological assessment to rule out concussion, and came up with the conclusion - that he broke his nose.

If he hadn't been holding the baby, he could have broken his fall, but instead he held on to her and smashes his face - I'd say his daddy instincts are just what they should be. Hoping that the ibuprofen they prescribed and the pizza we brought over, (as well as watching the baby for four hours) will help him mend quickly.

6. So I didn't get to play for the mass this morning, but Mr. Pete sang (they really needed the male voices).  Here's a concert we did in March though.  Hope I get to play with them again soon.


7. Busy week this week- Izzy is working for the Arts Program, Noah runs every morning and Mr. Pete is preparing for band camp!

I'm going to be adding things to eBay this week.  I have this very cute dress that doesn't seem to be getting many hits - if it doesn't sell this week, I guess Miss C. can have it - if it still fits her!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Hunting the White Cow by Tres Seymour- a review

Once in a while, as I'm rushing through the library trying to get everything I need and things that Rosie or the teens want, I see something displayed on one of the book cases and think, "That might be interesting.  Let's try it."

So I'll pick it up and throw it into the book basket and off we go.  Hunting the White Cow by Tres Seymour was such a book.

It's the story of one family's epic struggle to find their rennigade white cow and bring her back to the family farm.  But this cow isn't so easily caught, as all of the men folk, including the very experienced cow-caller grandpa, are soon to discover. The farmer's little girl has her own chance encounter with this awesome cow in a delightful war of wills.  Mama's cryptic remarks throughout the tale, trying to keep the menfolk real, are priceless.

The repeating phrases and use of sight words, make this a good one for developing readers, and the story is interesting enough that they'll want to keep practicing.

The book is captivating and enjoyable, the illustrations are precious and give a great feel to the overall story.  This is one picture book that parents won't mind reading over and over again and children will treasure.

Rosie read it for her assessment this year, and our assessor asked me to record it and send it to her.  So here it is.  Rosie reading Hunting the White Cow.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Simple Woman

Outside my window...

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I am thinking...
about my father - which is odd because I don't usually think about him much at all - not as much as my mom or my grandparents or uncle. But this law suit has forced me to look into the past and remember my visits with him.

The thing is, although I didn't know my Dad as a father, (and in fact had been kinda brainwashed as a young child by my grandmother to hate and distrust him), what I did see of him I liked.  I could totally see why my mom fell for him - he had a simple country charm and inviting expression. He was gentle and easy going (too easy going as it turns out).

My oldest daughter Izzy, does this thing with her face that so reminds me of him.  She does this very, very quick little smile like he used to do.  That always puzzled me - does it mean I'm kind of happy? or I'm just messing with you?  I asked Izzy about it and she said it was just to let me know that she was OK.  I wonder what it meant when my father did it?  and isn't it odd how mannerisms get passed down through generations?

I am thankful...
that we got to have the baby for the Fourth of July. Her parents were very generous with us.  She's so beautiful.

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In the kitchen...

I am wearing...
black pants, white knit shell top.

I am wondering...
about young women today.  All three of my older sons have offered rings (promise and engagement) rings to various girlfriends and have been turned down!!  Not that the ladies wanted to end the relationships, but they didn't want to wear rings either.  I totally don't get it.

When I was 17, Mr. Pete gave me a very sweet promise ring and I LOVED it.  Unfortunately, it fell of my finger one night when I was working the drive through at Mc Donald's.  Someone got a very special happy meal that day!.  So, Mr. Pete replaced the ring, and one of the stones fell out!  I still have that setting, just minus a stone.

But when I got my engagement ring, I was thrilled to pieces and I was so proud of it.  Girls today just don't seem that into it - at least the girls my sons have been in relationships with aren't.  It's strange to me.

I am going...
  • to walk Monday - Thursday and try get some arm workouts in too.  
  • Let Noah have some big driving time!
  • Take Rosie and Noah to their cross country practices.
  • Take Izzy to her new job with the city.
  • Pray for my math tutor and his family who will welcome twins this fall.
  • Really double down on my prayer time this summer - making morning prayer with divine office. com a habit!
  • Make it to confession this week hopefully!

I have the app on my Kindle and my cell phone.
I am pondering...

I am thinking of making my prayer corner a place in my room - but I need to clean a space for it first!

I am reading...
Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

Elizabeth Foss had been raving about this book on her Facebook Page, so I read a sample and then downloaded a copy to my Kindle

I can see why Elizabeth loves it so much. I had a really rough weekend with some of my older boys, again - stress over the way their lives are going and the way I had always hoped they would be - that kind of stuff. And I read this from the book:

I have a tendency to think  and teach like I have been charged with the task of successfully raising lifelong learners.  I judge my success or failure in my teaching either by the tools my child has in his academic toolbox at the end of a school year, or by whether she still enjoys school, pursues knowledge, and chooses to red stacks of high-quality books in her free time. 
What I forget is that whether or not she does any of these things is not an effective measuring stick for whether I've been doing my job.  God is not calling me to be successful.  he's calling me to be faithful.  My part is to show up every day and to do the work He has called me to.  Whether or not things turn out in the end as I'm hoping they will (for my children to have a strong faith, a humble and compassionate heart, a love for learning, and an academic skill set that helps them seek out knowledge and Truth everyday and everywhere) is not actually within my span of control.  It's not my assigned task.  He isn't asking me to succeed.  He's asking me to faithfully do the work. 

I really needed a book like this for this summer.

I'm also an affiliate- book link on the side.

 From the Learning Rooms...
  • Noah working on Instacert to get ready for the American History II CLEP test. 
  • Noah Finishing Geometry
  • Noah Starting Expository Writing with Bravewriter.
  • Izzy starts working for the arts project with the city.
  • She is also reading To Kill a Mocking Bird.
  • Rosie is going to work on her spelling and reading and math on days Izzy is at work. 
  • Rosie also has cross country.  She moved into level 3 for swimming. 
  • I'm also planning an outing for Noah Izzy to see 12th Night by a local theater group. 

One of my favorite things...

The family and I are watching all of the Dr. Who episodes this summer.  This was one of my favorites from David Tennant's time as the Doctor.  

I am hoping...
  • Get some flute practice done.
  • That Noah will be ready for the CLEP in American History 2 within the next few weeks. 
  • Get the classroom cleaned up and then work on the entire second floor - starting with my office! 

I am looking forward to...

Reunions with family members this summer.

 A video to share...

The piano recital from June 1, 2014
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