My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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Interesting Links of the week!

A summer edition!

Noah swimming solo

This was interesting.  One of my commenters opined that calculus and trigonometry are vital subjects.  But a brief survey of colleges doesn't seem to bear that out.

Charles Krauthammer succinctly explains the immigration problem and some solutions.

10 Things Every Catholic Should Know about Common Core.
 mainly that it's not Catholic-even though my Diocese tries to spin it that way

Passing along this wonderful essay entitled, What is noble and worthwhile.  I really needed to read this after getting told off, again, by one of my adult children.

It wasn’t always so, as my younger days can attest. I went through typical teen rebellion, thought I knew more than my parents, and felt I could do better than their generation. I was blind to all of the wisdom they had poured into me my entire life. I took for granted the loving and encouraging home they made for our family. The values they taught me seemed old and tired to my teenage ears. I wasn’t appreciative of the work ethic they had instilled in me through their own tireless examples. I grew callous to the strong faith they held and walked away from church as a teenager, not to return to any kind of faith until I joined the Catholic Church in 2005 after two long decades in the spiritual wilderness. Through all of this, my parents never stopped praying for me. They never stopped trying to teach me about life and they never ceased to love me. I was blessed to have such a mother and am fortunate to have my father still with us.
I came to my senses in my mid-twenties and the many seeds my parents planted in me began to take root. To paraphrase a famous Mark Twain quote, I was amazed at how smart my parents had become in the years since I had moved away from home! There were numerous stumbling blocks in front of me back then as I was building my career, but I especially remember my father’s words of wisdom: “Do the right thing,” “Work hard and let your results speak for themselves,” “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” “Put others before yourself.” My mother was a loving and faith-filled woman who shared much in a simple smile or a warm hug while my father was the “teacher” in our home and I find myself sharing these bits of Dad’s wisdom with my own children. I am grateful for the solid foundation my parents, especially my father, laid for me when I was growing up.
Do you ever stop and reflect on the lessons you learned in your childhood? Do you share those lessons with your children?

Myth about siblings - written by a Catholic mom with small children.

It’s not exaggerating to say that the pie-chart model remains a grossly impoverished lens through which to view the mystery of marriage and ultimately of love.  God designed babies to bond family members together, not drive us apart.  What we may “lose” in our ability to regularly eat out at nice restaurants or drive a fancy compact car we gain in the joy and delight of another little soul at our dining room table.  We experience in a unique way the reality that life is filled with ups and downs and small victories and slow progress.  Our hearts are strengthened when we witness the human capacity for love, in action, a love that can somehow keep growing to include new babies in the womb and new brothers and sisters from another continent.  We see children growing in confidence, and who are supremely comfortable with their place in the world because they are literally surrounded by love.
And we should probably be skeptical of something that everyone takes for granted now, even though it wasn’t really on anyone’s radar seventy years ago.
- See more at:


The 100th anniversary of World War I is upon us. Tea at Trianon has a very good essay about it here. 

Most of today’s Mideast’s problems flowed directly from the diplomatic lynching of Germany at Versailles led by France and Britain. Both of these imperial powers feared Germany’s growing commercial and military power (just as the US today fears China’s rise). Germany’s vibrant social democracy with its worker’s rights and concern for the poor posed a threat to the capitalists of Britain and France. Britain’s imperialists were deeply worried by the creation of a feeble little German Empire based in Africa. At the time they controlled a quarter of the globe and all of its oceans.
Clark’s book shows precisely how Serbia’s militarist-nationalist-religious cabal, known as the Black Hand, carefully planned and provoked the war by assassinating Austria-Hungary’s heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife at Sarajevo, Bosnia, on 28 June, 1914.

Read more:

I purchased Michael Medved's very good program about the causes of World War I here - highly recommended!

Danielle Walker's new book is just about ready! I loved her first book and her blog; she really helped me learn to give up all grains - almost 10 months now!

Spritteebee shows us how to add a menu plan to Google Calendar.

Lastly, the Crazy Crow has some fun late-summer crafts to try with kids!

Follow Elena LaVictoire's board Craft Ideas on Pinterest.


  1. Great links today Elena. Thank you.
    Charles is right on with his assessment of the borders. Why are they moving people from Texas to Calif.? Calif. has a fence!
    I am making a copy of the Newman piece for the school I am helping to mentor. Many of these issues I discussed when giving an in service this morning. The part about the publishers is RIGHT ON!
    Thank you for the book links on WWI & WWII.

    Siblings- we just went to a family reunion. My hubby's LDS brother has 22 grandchildren so far. My own children think that 4-7 babies are good numbers. They are pretty open to whatever God has in mind.
    A long discussion was had by several 25-35 yr olds about the importance of siblings and the health of the family as a whole. Siblings are a gift. I look at them in awe. It is good to see God has turned so many hearts against the "me only" and to the "each child is a special person entrusted into my care." The LDS are so far ahead in this area…. My gang was really encouraged to know they will not have the smallest families in their extended families :)
    Last- calculus?
    If you want to do something in the liberal arts, then the min(listed) is OK. If you want to do science, math or technology- get as much hs/jr college math as possible. James took calc in high school- but did not take the exam for credit. I misunderstood from my reading that he would be better off taking it on the college level. WRONG! He was two years behind in Math as a physics/engineering major. More math never hurts.

  2. PS- an interesting article on Common Core today


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