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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Domestic Links of the Week

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Netflix  giveth and this month this is some of what it hopes to add!

Babes In Toyland
Beyond the Edge (Nov. 25)
Bill Cosby 77 (Nov. 27)
Bomb Girls Season 3 (Nov. 26)
Helix Season 1 (Nov. 10)
Hell is for Heroes
Ida (Nov. 22)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 9
Louder Than Words (Nov. 8)
Nebraska (Nov. 8)
Not Yet Begin the Flight (Nov. 11)
Quartet (Nov. 11)
Running from Crazy (Nov. 25)
Sabotage (Nov. 19)
Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage (Nov. 15)
Small Town Santa (Nov. 13)
Snowpiercer (Nov. 22)
The Grand Seduction (Nov. 30)
The One I Love (Nov. 29)
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (Nov. 3)
The Rocketeer
Total Recall
Trading Mom
TV Shows
VeggieTales in the House (Nov. 26)
Virunga (Nov. 7)
War Story (Nov. 25)

Interesting take on compulsory education from

School is Damaging our Children
School is a place where children are compelled to be, and where their freedom is greatly restricted — far more restricted than most adults would tolerate in their workplaces. In recent decades, we have been compelling our children to spend ever more time in this kind of setting, and there is strong evidence (summarized in my recent book) that this is causing serious psychological damage to many of them. Moreover, the more scientists have learned about how children naturally learn, the more we have come to realize that children learn most deeply and fully, and with greatest enthusiasm, in conditions that are almost opposite to those of school.
Compulsory schooling has been a fixture of our culture now for several generations. It’s hard today for most people to even imagine how children would learn what they must for success in our culture without it. President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are so enamored with schooling that they want even longer school days and school years. Most people assume that the basic design of schools, as we know them today, emerged from scientific evidence about how children learn best. But, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Schools as we know them today are a product of history, not of research into how children learn. The blueprint still used for today’s schools was developed during the Protestant Reformation, when schools were created to teach children to read the Bible, to believe scripture without questioning it, and to obey authority figures without questioning them. The early founders of schools were quite clear about this in their writings. The idea that schools might be places for nurturing critical thought, creativity, self-initiative or ability to learn on one’s own — the kinds of skills most needed for success in today’s economy — was the furthest thing from their minds. To them, willfulness was sinfulness, to be drilled or beaten out of children, not encouraged.
When schools were taken over by the state and made compulsory, and directed toward secular ends, the basic structure and methods of schooling remained unchanged. Subsequent attempts at reform have failed because, though they have tinkered some with the structure, they haven’t altered the basic blueprint. The top-down, teach-and-test method, in which learning is motivated by a system of rewards and punishments rather than by curiosity or by any real, felt desire to know, is well designed for indoctrination and obedience training but not much else. It’s no wonder that many of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and innovators either left school early (like Thomas Edison), or said they hated school and learned despite it, not because of it (like Albert Einstein).
It’s no wonder that, today, even the “best students” (maybe especially them) often report that they are “burned out” by the schooling process. One recent top graduate, explaining to a newspaper reporter why he was postponing college, put it this way:  “I was consumed with doing well and didn’t sleep a lot the last two years. I would have five or six hours of homework each night. The last thing I wanted was more school.”

This next article sort of goes with the one on education - women spend years going to school and are trained to not question authority - which shows up later even in childbirth when the "authorities" tell her what she is and is not allowed with her own body during childbirth!

Allowed to not allow
This stands in stark contrast to women being told they are “not allowed” to decline potentially harmful interventions like continuous electronic monitoring in a low-risk pregnancy, or to make an informed decision for a vaginal birth rather than a surgical one–or even to eat, drink, or go to the bathroom in labor. At its heart, this language is about a lack of respect. It’s how we speak to children, not competent adults. It’s a sloppy way of skipping meaningful and necessary conversations about what should be a common goal for both mother and provider: a healthy, happy birth. It’s also a reinforcement of deep cultural beliefs about women as passive objects, not full owners of their bodies nor representatives of their babies, and having lesser decision-making capacity than those they’ve hired to support them. These ideas will take time to change. But birth is a great place to start. Words have power, and we can take back that power  in some simple ways: -       Don’t stay silent when you hear this kind of language in casual conversation. Say something—even if it’s just a little something. Don’t let it go unnoticed. -       Be gentle while you are being firm. Remember that most people are just repeating something common and accepted, and they probably haven’t thought much about it. Make it your goal to inform, not convince. -       Choose to give your business to providers who use respectful language. If you’re hearing this language during pregnancy, you can be pretty sure you’re going to hear it during childbirth—and that can be a problem. You can’t act like a mother when you’re being treated like a child. -       Partners, stand up for your loved ones. When she is vulnerable, be her voice. There is no one better positioned to be a vocal advocate for her and her baby. Today, American women are gambling with their bodies when they give birth, with a one in three average Cesarean rate in facilities where practices vary widely, even among individual providers. And we are tying women’s hands when we continue to reinforce this dysfunction by using words like “allow” to describe an outdated dynamic that doesn’t recognize us as competent, rights-bearing adults. - See more at:

And tying both of those together is this story about a homeschooling mom who is going back to college herself!
Back to School Mom
After becoming pregnant her sophomore year of college, she dropped out and dedicated her life to homeschooling her three children.
Sherrilyn was quick to shrug off any notion of forfeiting career for family.
“I didn’t sacrifice,” Sherrilyn said. “Being a mother was the most important thing in my life.”
The birth of her son allowed Sherrilyn to foster her love for education and further her interests in various teaching methods.
“When it came to my kids, I thought, ‘I’m not going to play Russian roulette,’” Sherrilyn said. “I want to make a difference. I want to be that one who shapes their lives.”
She researched curriculums and pored over American educator John Holt’s book, “How Children Learn.”
She fondly recalled a field trip to a rural veterinary hospital with her children so they could experience an animal dissection.
“My kids were just holding this canine heart and it had worms coming out of it,” Sherrilyn said, laughing. “The smell was just so gross for me.”
Sherrilyn’s children were not the only ones learning. Any time one expressed interest in a new field, she would dive headfirst into the foreign material.
“In 10th grade, my son said, ‘I really want to learn about economics.’ Well, I don’t really care about economics, but guess what — I had to find out,” Sherrilyn said. “You have to love what they do, and you have to help them learn to do what they want to do.”
Sherrilyn founded a local home-schooling group in 1996 and is now a part-time hairdresser.
Though all three of her children have left her nest, she aspires to continue educating children.
“I’d like to do the same thing with other kids because I just love it,” Sherrilyn said. “But I don’t have a degree.”
Despite her experience, Sherrilyn is not certified to teach in a classroom or administer standardized tests.
Sherrilyn said there was never a doubt in her mind where she would go to finally earn her degree. After leaving the University 30 years ago, Sherrilyn is back on campus, getting assistance from her children when she needs it.

One of the main reasons I hear from my kids and their contemporaries on why they can't get married is the money issue.  Matt Walsh kills that argument here:
Hey Young Marrieds
1) You don’t need money to get married.
What is with this ‘I can’t afford to get married’ stuff? There isn’t an hourly fee attached to marriage, as far as I’m aware. If there is, I don’t know how I managed to pay it three years ago when my salary was a whopping 400 bucks a week.
Besides, every day I see a link on Facebook to ridiculous clickbait websites like Elite Daily orThought Catalog, explaining the ’30 Things You Should Try in Your Twenties,’ or some such nonsense, and the list always includes traveling, partying, and hanging out at bars.
What do all of these things have in common?
They cost money. A lot of it, actually. We don’t get married or have kids because we ‘can’t afford it,’ but we certainly don’t let our limited finances get in the way of our recreational activities. And we definitely won’t allow our minimal income to prevent us from collecting all of the latest Apple products.
We can’t afford to be spouses and parents, but we can sure afford to be extremely active consumers.
Something seems a little off balance here.
Really, in a culture overrun with consumerism, very few people can claim they ‘don’t have the money’ to do important things. It’s not a matter of a lack of resources at all — it’s a matter of jumbled priorities.
In any case, money or no money, the good news is that marriage is free. Sure, the ceremony might cost you a penny or two or million, but married life doesn’t come with a specific price tag.
Neither do kids, incidentally. I know economists like to assign completely arbitrary cost figures to raising kids — I think it’s over a quarter million dollars now — but I can tell you unequivocally that it’s all nonsense. My parents raised six kids. By these calculations, they would have plunked down around 1.5 million dollars throughout my childhood.
They didn’t. Not even close. In fact, there are many large families out there who manage to survive and thrive on solidly lower-middle class incomes. It’s not magic. It’s just a matter of controlling your impulses and exercising a little discipline.

Lastly, a documentary about country music great Glen Campbell will open this weekend in select theaters.  Mr. Campbell is suffering from Alzheimer's disease and this film documents how music has helped him to hang on for a bit longer.

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