Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Catching up from Memorial Day Weekend

All the cooking and partying kind of put me behind on everything else - so for right now, I offer a slide show of our Memorial Day - including all of my children, our goddaughter, our godson and our future daughter-in-law and her parents. Oh and of course little Miss C!

Friday, May 22, 2015

When a celebrity role model disappoints us.

I certainly wasn't expecting to write about this today, but since it's all over my Facebook newsfeed, I feel that it needs to be addressed.

Josh Duggar, the oldest of the famous Duggar Clan just resigned from his position at the Family Research Council.  Records have come to light that Duggar molested some of his sisters by touching their breasts and genitals while they were sleeping and at least one girl reported him to their parents.

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends," Josh Duggar, 27, said in the statement posted on the family's Facebook page.
"We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling," the statement said. "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."

It's shocking for a number of reasons and I'm not entirely sure that the family is going to be able to overcome this scandal and keep the television program.

  • The Duggars and particularly Josh are outspoken advocates of traditional marriage. In the comments section of the Washington Post and Facebook, he's already being slapped with the label of hypocricy for disparaging one sort of sexual activity outside of traditional marriage, while participating in an other.
  • The wisdom of having so many children that can't be properly supervised has popped up several times. 
  • The Duggar family did not report this immediately to the authorities, nor did the elders of the church.  They did report him to a state trooper known to the family and he received a sternlecture.  Unfortunately that state trooper is now in jail for child pornography. 
I'm not going to try and defend Josh Duggar. He was 14 at the time and he's turned his life around since then. It's unfortunate that there was ever anything that could be used against him. 

However, this has happened before, and is something Catholics are very familiar with. The entire priest scandal of 2002 still comes up in discussions and debates with liberals.  We've also had other Catholic leaders fall and disappoint us. 

When scandal like this becomes public, many people seem to think, if that can happen to a great family like the Duggars, what hope is there for my family?

It's important to remember that the easiest and surest way for Satan to bring someone down is through sexual temptation, and everyone of us, is susceptible to it. 

But there are some things that we can remember:

  • Pray, and pray always, as if our lives depend on it, because indeed they do. And mothers especially need to keep our husbands and our children under a blanket of prayer, because they will be under assault. 
  • As parents looking for role models for our children, in the wisdom of the church we cannot do better than the actual cannonized saints. These are men and women who have run THE ENTIRE RACE, and had their lives examined and scrutinized. They have been found to be authentically holy. 
  • Josh Duggar and the Duggar family have done many wonderful things, but their message is going to be marred with this fall from grace. Men and women who are in effective leadership are under constant attack from Satan - so it shouldn't surprise us when they mess up. It's probably more miraculous when they don't, and the Duggars have had a good run. 
  • I'd still watch their program and reruns for their wholesome example of a Christian Family - but it's probably a time to reiterate the talk about good touches, and bad ones, and what is and is not appropriate even amongst siblings. 
  • Lastly, Josh Duggar was 14 years old when this occurred. The sins of a young teenager should not take away from the message the family has been putting out there for years - a love of family, an openness to new life, and support for traditional marriage. But they will be punished in the public forum for being so outspoken in their beliefs. That's happening a lot - not just to the Duggars, but to many conservatives who try to speak on these issues in blogs and social media. If this scandal stops the discussion, we've already lost, and I think that really would be a tragedy. I intend to continue to write and discuss in those forums that let me, but I'm prepared to take some lumps for this one. 
Josh Duggar

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Works for Me Wednesday- tip for over 50 urinary health

Looks like I have not done a Works For Me Wednesday Post for a year now!  It's even moved over to a new host since then! So please see the link up over at Giving up on Perfect for some great tips and ideas!

works for me wednesday photo WFMW-Logo_zpsjcobimrp.jpg

A few years ago I started noticing some unusual discomfort in the pelvic area.  I have had seven pregnancies. The six that went to term were all over 8 pounds, with five of those over 9 pounds and two closer to 11 pounds!  I carried some big babies.  So I knew that some of my internal organs had shifted and dropped a little and some of my care providers confirmed that.

A few summers ago I noticed as I was walking around doing my normal daily routine that my pelvis felt heavier and that it seemed as though something might actually "drop out." So with great reluctance I went to my doctor, who did a pelvic exam and said that while I indeed have a few issues, nothing was bad enough to necessitate surgery.  She then ran a urinalysis and we were surprised to find that I had a bladder infection and she thought that I was having atypical symptoms from that. She was rather surprised that I wasn't experiencing more symptoms including fever and painful urintion.

She put me on a course of antibiotics, and to my delight, the symptoms disappeared and I felt great. Unfortunately, I ended up needing antibiotics later that summer for an axillary abscess, and all of these antibiotics did a great job of killing off the normal flora in my intestinal tract and triggering ulcerative colitis.

I have since gotten all of that under control, changed my diet and even lost 30 pounds. But earlier this year I started experiencing that old feeling of heaviness and started wondering if I was having a recurrence of the bladder infection. I knew my doctor's first course of action would be an antibiotic, so I wondered if there were things I could do at home to save me from going down that path again. (Repopulating my colon with good bacteria and recovering from ulcerative colitis had been very intensive and I was reluctant to do anything to cause any more harm in that area!)

To flush out my system I started drinking more water but I knew I had to do something to ward off a full UTI.  I was going to try drinking cranberry juice.

Lots of people swear by cranberry juice for urinary tract issues, but it hasn't really been studied thoroughly, although there does seem to be some evidence that it can be helpful in preventing an infection. 

But I didn't really want the extra calories from the juice nor did I want to consume any sugar- which is also not that great for ulcerative colitis. So I decided to try the cranberry tablets.  If it worked - great!  and if not, I was only out a few dollars and could still see my doctor for a prescription.

I'm happy to report the pills I bought worked great. My symptoms disappeared and I haven't had any problems since then. I use the Sundown Naturals Super Cranberry 8400 mg with Vitamin D 3 1000 IU.  You can get them off Amazon but I got mine right down at my neighborhood Walgreen's store. It says to take 2 capsules three times a day with meals, but I know sometimes I forget and am probably only doing it twice a day. A couple of times I have forgotten altogether and started to feel symptomatic again, so I'm mostly trying to stick with it!

The Web MD article said that pills are costly. These were around $13 for 150 soft gels. My calculations put that at about $189 - $200 a year - a small price to pay I think for urinary health and avoiding trips to the doctor.

Works for Me!

An Older Mom Reflects - my latest at Catholicmom.com

My latest article over on Catholicmom.com

An Older Mom Reflects

Me at 48, with my toddler

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Encouraging moms who want to homeschool - but are a little afraid to try.

I've gotten a lot of inquiries about homeschooling- how to start it, where to get curriculum, and how to make it all work. But mostly moms wondering, "Can I do this?"

For example:
We'e going to keep the kids at home next year.  It seems the right move for our family not to send them to school yet! But I cannot imagine a world where I home schooled these kids all the way through high school!
That made me smile. I think most homeschooling moms feel very tentative at first because they lack perspective. Unless mom was homeschooled herself, or knew some homeschoolers, she really doesn't quite know what she's getting into!

Yet two generations of women have successfully homeschooled their children to adulthood and so WE KNOW it can be done.

Here is a little experience and perspective that I would share with any new homeschooling mommy that asked me.

  • This is HOME school.  Emphasis on the home!  So make that the center of this experience. Teach the kids to help you with the cooking and the cleaning and that will go a long way towards everyone feeling comfortable being in the house a lot of the time. Even a kindergartner can make sandwiches and sweep up a little mess. Consider housework part of their training time. And honestly, education goes a lot easier if the family feels peaceful in their space - and nothing brings peace like order.  When they're little, I would try to work on that the most.
  • Noah, mixing up meat loaf! P1020458
  • Which doesn't mean that the home has to look like your trying to sell it with an open house scheduled for the weekend! A family lives there all the time. So it's okay to have spelling words taped to the wall, or a volcano sitting on the dining room table. 
  • homeschooling during advent P1020791
  • The beauty of doing school at home is that you can concentrate on what your kids really need. So it's okay if you don't do science one year if your children are really fascinated with one period of history - or inversely if the children are fascinated with astronomy, make that the main focus and try to interweave some history into it. 
  • Concentrate on the two pillars - reading and math. The goal is to make your students independent learners. If they have the basics of reading and math down, then they can do lots of their school work independently - which gives mom a chance to work with other kids that need help, or on her own projects.
  • Group classes- The most fun we ever had as a family in our homeschool time was doing literature, history and science classes together. Most of the fond memories my children gleaned was from sharing the good books we read, the history stories we learned and the science projects we worked on together. 
  • P1020319 P1030041
  • As the mom and main educator, your job isn't to be an expert in algebra, English literature and composition!  Your job is to find the resources to teach those things for your student. That may be online, it may be curriculum, or it may be a co-op class. I've always found that when I needed a resource, I eventually found it. 
  • P1040752
  • This year won't look like next year. And next year will be different from what schooling five years down the line will be. Things change, children mature, and their skills increase. 
  • P1020792 Lent 2015 016
  • Sending kids back to school is just exchanging one set of problems and difficulties for another.  
Skimlinks Test

Monday, May 18, 2015

Simple Woman

Outside my window...

may 2015 118
Sunny, warm, beautiful - perfect barefoot weather!

I am thinking...
about or busy, busy weekend.
Started out with some homeschool get together where we actually went to the park and saw some of the fattest catfish ever!
Feeding the hungry catfish- ARCHE in the Park


Saturday Soccer
may 2015 094

and doing an overnight with this cutie!

may 2015 091

I am thankful...
for our diocese and my parish!

From the wonderful May Crowning for our PSR kids!
may crowning and jeremy's procession may 2015 004

to the first mass of one of our newly ordained priests!

may crowning and jeremy's procession may 2015 017

I have...

Updated my links page for pregnancy loss at the top of this blog. Please feel free to share these resources with moms who might need them.

In the kitchen...
I bought a big ham at only 99 cents a pound!  So I'm thinking cob salad for tonight!

I am wearing...
A gray skort from Woman Within, and a gray striped T shirt

I am reading...

I am going...
  • to walk or work out every day but Thursday with Pfilates.  
From the Learning Rooms...
  Noah working on: 
  •  British Lit and British History -with the Great Courses currently reading 
  • Mere Christianity- by C.S. Lewis 
  •   Biology Done with co-op now using Instacert to study for CLEP test in Biology
  •  Private piano lessons -
  • Did pretty good on the ACT - need to work on the English and Math portion to raise those scores a bit but hit Science and Reading Comp out of the water!!

Izzy working on:
·       American History - Reading autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. 
·       American Literature-

  • Moby Dick

·       Also continuing Diane Craft reading program, spelling and writing.
·       American Sign Language.   
·       Art class.

Izzy and Noah working on A Noble Experiment for civics 

Rosie working on:
·       Reading - Matilda Bones!

·       Spelling
·       Astronomy with the co-op - DONE but learning the constellations now.
·       Also bible and vocal music with the co-op.
·       Private piano and art
Working on a unit study of Degas and Prokofiev via Harmony Arts Mom!

One of my favorite things...

"My grandma took me to McDonald s for a smoothie!
I got to hang out with little Miss C on Saturday morning!  We went to mass (she is excellent in church!) the grocery store, the bank, and even to a tag sale!  What a wonderful companion and a real charmer!

But I mostly loved to see how much she loves her daddy!
My creation
I am hoping to ...
  • Get lots of flute practice done.
  • Organizing my office and the classroom - since track season is now over, I might actually accomplish these first two goals this week!
  • Get a budget and time table together on our new real estate venture.  We should close this week.  I don't know what else to say, the realtor swears that this will be the week.  I never thought it would take 5 weeks to close on an in expensive house without financing!

I am looking forward to...

the blog conference on Saturday. Hoping that I make a lot of nice acquaintances and that I feel encouraged about being a Catholic Woman Blogger!

A quote to share...
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” 
― Haruki MurakamiWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running

 A picture to share...
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I'm sharing this because I don't see it too often. Rosie beat her friend O in the 800.  Rosie is a good runner. I think she has it in her to be a phenomenal runner, but O is an outstanding runner, and Rosie rarely outruns her. But she did today, and to do that AND get a PR in her 1600 was a good end to a great day!

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1600 in 7 minutes and 5 seconds

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Feast of the Ascension

Today in the Diocese of Cleveland, this is the Feast of the Ascension! (I'm convinced we do that so that after we help the kids count the days from Easter to Ascension Thursday, we can then get into a discussion about the authority of the local bishop!)

Links for the Feast of the Ascension!
Catholic Culture

Lilacs are the Ascension Flower!

Ascension pancakes 

Ascension Thursday Centerpiece
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