My Lent 2019 Book List Plans

Is this the year you really want to dive into Lent? Do you want to come out of this Lenten Season and truly feel that you've had a small share of living in the desert with Christ for 40 days? I know that I do. Maybe it's an upcoming birthday that's making me have more of a now-or-never type of attitude towards Lent. Or maybe I just acutely feel the necessity of truly modeling this for my children, and living it with my husband. Whatever it is, these are the books and resources I'm going to use this Lent to really LIVE the season from Ash Wednesday all the way through to Easter Vigil. Look them over. If something looks helpful to you, use it. If it inspires you, go with it. I hope all of these bless and encourage you.

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This week, Catholic influencer Wendy Cukierski removed my replies to one of her posts and then blocked me from her page. My crime? I objected to a meme she posted that stated your immortal soul would be in jeopardy for ever voting for a Democratic candidate. That didn't sit right with me. Not all offices have any influence on abortion laws. Not every candidate is 100% for abortion. I used the example of a candidate running for an animal control office. That popped into my head because my Democratic Grandpa actually did unsuccessfully run for that office back in the 60s! But there was to be no discussion, no examination of nuances. My post was removed and I am now blocked. 

I should mention that I've been reading Wendy for years. Before Y2K she and I were both on a Catholic Mom's e-mail list. She was frantically extolling everyone to have years worth of food and goods stored up for the end of the world at the turn of the century. She constantly talked about how well she and her family were prepared and how the rest of us would probably be living a life similar to what is now dramatized in the Walking Dead - just without the zombies. When that never came to pass she kind of acted like "never mind." It was weird. 


Today I found this in my newsfeed.

It's about seniors who have good GPAs and attendance records but will be unable to graduate because they can't pass the all of the state-mandated graduation tests - (as if passing a standardized test is the #1 skill set you need to have upon graduating high school! - I digress.) Anyway, the state rep in this video would be another example of a candidate who is active in another area of law (education) who seems reasonable. If she were running in my area at some point, I would consider her candidacy. 

Also, I always voted for Mayor Don Plusquellic because I thought he ran our city well. Certainly, he did a better job than his successor. Linda Omobien will also always have my vote because 14 years ago, she was the sole person on the school board to vote to give my son a chance to swim on the swim team when he was part of the school systems new digital school. 

Don't get me wrong. I am conservative, pro-life and I vote that way. But I don't think WC has the magisterial powers to make a statement like that. At the very least, it deserved a little discussion.

My little granddaughter turned 5! I homeschool her a couple of days a week. She is catching on fast. I recently found out that she loves letter games, like searching for all of the As on a page of letters. She also enjoys counting games.

This week she talked back to me a little bit. I told her that she was putting her boot on the wrong foot and she told me, "Don't tell me what to do." We had a little discussion about saying mean things and I pretended to be the voice of her Guardian Angel trying to stop her from being mean to grandma! She absolutely loved it and a couple of times yesterday said, "Grandma, talk like my Guardian Angel!" We were both cracking up. I hope there is no penalty for impersonating an angel!
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This guy turned 16. 

Raphael fall grave

It's just really strange to remember that sad day all of those years ago. It's even weirder to think about what life would be like now with a 16-year-old high school boy in the house. Which one of his brothers would he be like now? Or would he have given us something entirely new? 

As sad and painful as that was, many good things came from it. I've written this before but it really gave me a new perspective on life. When you know the answer to, "What's the worst thing that could happen" all of the other variables don't seem so bad.

And yet as a Catholic, was it really the worst thing? My baby is a little saint and I have hopes of seeing and holding him in heaven someday. This strengthens my faith. So despite the sadness and grief, maybe it wasn't the worst thing. 

Speaking of sons - my second son Sam is opening his first eatery!  The grand opening is November 17!

All of his life he wanted to open a restaurant. This is a dream come true for him. If you're in the NE Ohio area, you might want to check it out!

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My brother-in-law has a glioblastoma. Mr. Pete and I are taking a long road trip to meet up with the rest of the brothers and have an early birthday party. It might be the last time all of them have a chance to get together and I'm grateful that we have the chance. It's also going to be good to spend so many hours with my husband just the two of us!

The Lavictoires circa 1960
Please keep Paul in your prayers. He is the baby in this photo. Mr. Pete is the little boy standing between his grandfather's knees. 

I'll have to write instructions to my older kids on the care and feeding of their little sister and how to get her to all of the places she needs to be while we're gone.  I'm counting on them to get it done - and be ME for a few days. 

This content uses referral links. That means if you make a purchase or click a link, I may make a small commission - just enough to support my diet coke habit. And there is no extra charge to you. It's a win/win! Read our disclosure policy for more info.

5.  The Brave Learner, by Julie Bogart is available for pre-order! Order now and get two free gifts via e-mail when the book comes out this February!  
  • Gift #1: “Hard Cases: Q&A with Julie” PDF — answers to your toughest parenting and educating challenges.
  • Gift #2: “Brave Learner Book Club” Webinar — Join Julie (live or by replay) to learn how to apply the 12 Superpowers of Brave Learning.

To receive your gifts, enter your receipt number from Amazon, Barnes and Nobles or Indiebound on THE BRAVE LEARNER website.


A joyful and accessible approach to homeschooling that harnesses children’s natural curiosity and makes learning a part of everyday life, whether they’re in elementary or high school
Parents who are deeply invested in their children's education can be hard on themselves and their kids. When exhausted parents are living the day-to-day grind, it can seem impossible to muster enough energy to make learning fun or interesting. How do parents nurture a love of learning amid childhood chaos, parental self-doubt, the flu, and state academic standards? 

I was invited to write in a 52-week devotional called, Choose Hope!  Here's what others are saying about this little book. 

If you are interested, shoot me an e-mail. If I get enough interested I can get a contributors discount. 

7. The Friday Freebie
Free Class

Course Description Harvest party

I was just reading on the Homeschool NCAA Facebook page that a number of my facebook friends were struggling to write course descriptions. The NCAA requires them on their paperwork, as do many colleges and universities that accept homeschoolers. 

Lee Binz is offering a free webinar to walk you through all of that. 

Come to this free one-hour webinar and discover the secret recipe to make a comprehensive homeschool record to capture your homeschool education in a way that stands out from the crowd and gets your student noticed!
Tuesday, November 6 - 5:00pm (Pacific Time)
Thursday, November 8 - 1:00pm (Pacific Time)
Using information I gleaned from Lee's courses I was able to get my son accepted to play NCAA cross country and track in a Division 2 school. So I think it's worth checking this out if you are getting ready to write your own course descriptions. It's FREE!