Thursday, February 4, 2016

Catholic School Week 2016

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week 2016

This year we took the slow approach with less focusing on celebrating with others but focusing on our regular activities.  We spent time with friends, donating items, and visiting family.  Some may say this is not celebrating "Catholic School Week"  I would disagree.  You see when your whole day is spent enriching and engaging in the Catholic faith.  You do not need a "special week" to celebrate that with crazy hat day, pj day, out of uniform day, volleyball games any other forms of "celebration" that also do not reflect the Catholic Faith.  

On Monday, we had our weekly Coop.  We spent time eating lunch with our friends and spending some time outside enjoying the sun. This is something we don't always do.  We tend to spend the lunch off campus or by ourselves.  It was nice to be able to visit with others.

On Tuesday, we had horseback riding lesson. Being able to reflect on goodness of God through his creation of creature big and small.  This day it was the BIG creatures of  horses. be able to feed, groom and ride.  Then we donated a Peg Doll Mass set for the silent Auction at church.  The girls liked this so much that we had to make them one.  

On Wednesday, We went to visit Grandma Mom in Louisville.  We went to lunch, help your clean your house, did some crafts and just spent time in conversation.  It was very nice visit.  

On Thursday, the girls got invited to take a ballet class at a "big" studio.  They currently take at their coop in a small classroom.  So the girls are super excited to go.  

On Friday, We are closing our Catholic School Week by going to Mass then a night at Great Wolf Lodge.  The girls are ready to back their bags!

Having Faith...WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2008

Flashback Reflection to start the Lent journey...

I always felt I had great faith. I grew up in the church. Spent many nights, days, weekends, even weeks on retreat. I prayed continuously for everything. From food, clothing to a great boyfriend (which became my wonderful husband). Most of my life was centered around church and church activities. How could I have come so far from trusting, believing, and having faith in Jesus? I think as I grew into adulthood, I got a job, money, cars, houses, even a boat, etc.. There comes this moment that I realize that I do not have to pray for the needs anymore. I am able to go and get them myself. There comes less a dependency on "needing" God to supply those for us. My prayers than turn to Thanksgiving and Praise for the blessings that he has given us. I realize without the education and job opportunities that he provided for us we would not be where we are today. However, I get out of the pray routine of "asking" God for our needs. I turn My conversations with him into thanking him and not really listening to him anymore, because I have other ways for our needs to be met. The Holy Spirit has come to me and I so grateful for the time that I have gotten to spend reflecting on the healing I received in October. Many people still ask how am I? How do you know it was Jesus that healed you? How do you know you even had Parkinson? (that is my favorite comment! :) ) 

Here are my thoughts on that:
To answer the question: How do you know it was Jesus?
I have to say that I have been blessed with gift to be able to hear Jesus speak to me. I have heard his voice ever since I little. I know that voice like I know my friends voice on the phone from a simple "Hello." I honestly thought everyone could here is voice. I just learned recently that is not so. I just come to realize what a gift that is. Just like my kids do not always hear or listen to me. I struggle with that same problem when talking with the Lord. When I am able to get that quiet moment and go in to the silence I can still talk with him and here and see him. It is truly a great place to be.
Anyway here are my reflective thoughts on my healing from Oct.2007
Years have passed since I went to the healing. I have come to realize that Loriane provides the opportunity for your mind, body and soul to be open for Jesus to heal.
It is truly Jesus that does the healing. You have to have faith and believe in the impossible before the impossible can take place. For Jesus spent many years of his life healing the sick, what makes us think that he would stop there. He is still with us today healing and guiding us. He comes to us now in the silence. Waiting for us to ask him for help. It is then that you can hear him, it is then that you can feel him and it then when the healing takes place. Whether it is physical, mental or spiritual. He is there just waiting for us to ask.

It took me a year and half (and 4 doctors) to find the faith, trust, courage, strength and wisdom to know that I needed him to heal this. I could not do it alone and the doctors could not heal it. The healing would have to come from him. If it is his will for me to serve others than I knew that he would heal this disease that had taken away some of my ability to serve others in his name. I continue to serve others the best I can and I am always looking for ways to serve him better. For it is his will to be done!

May Christ Peace be with you all

God is Love! October 7, 2007

As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson Disease in May of 2005. My tremor in my right hand/arm began January 2005. After the past few years the tremors have moved to my lower jaw. My low back and right side have become increasingly stiffer making it more difficult to walk with an even step, especially at night. I was given medication to take that was suppose to slow the progress of the disease. However, I was told that it was highly recommended that I go on birth control and not to get pregnant. Well, that was not a choice or an option. God comes first, I told the doctor. He gave me the medication anyway, which I took for several months before coming pregnant. Which we miscarriage in May 2007. Again the doctors highly recommended not getting pregnant. I told them again I choose God and will not be taking the medication. I decided to take my mustard seed of faith and continue to live the best I could each day with the disease God had given me until I heard of a healing service. I tell you the rest of story not to be boastful or prideful, but to offer it up as a witness to our faith and how much God does love and care for each one of us. We need to take our mustard seeds and plant them on top of the sunflower seeds of doubt. After reading my story I would ask that you offer a pray of Thanksgiving to God.

I have heard of the miracles that were being performed at the Lifesong Healing Services.

I spent hours in prayer Sunday before I went to the service. I spent time mediating on the rosary and the miracles that Jesus performed through his ministry here on earth. 

Before the service began, I sat watching Loraine of Jesus, that is the name she calls herself, pray over children and their parents. It was amazing to watch. As I sat with my friend in the heat of the church sweating, I continued to pray that Jesus would heal my tremors and stiffness caused by Parkinson Disease. 

As Loraine began the mediation and prayer, I could feel the room become cooler and a calm came over the church. I have never heard the church filled to capacity with men, women, and children be in complete silence! (Exposition took place at this time)

As the service began my hand/arm was in full tremor like I have not felt in weeks, and to be honest I was quite afraid that it may become worse not better. My lower jaw seem to appear that I was shivering in the cold it was chattering away. 

Loraine asked us to sing the Our Father with her. I closed my eyes and began to sing (off key as usual) I just kept asking for God’s healing. I could feel Jesus touch my shoulder than run his hand down my arm. His touch was warm tingly and soothing. I could feel him embrace both my arms with same warm, tingly sensation, like he was embracing me. I could hear him whisper to me open your eyes and see. I looked at my hand/arm and the tremor had stopped. I was afraid to move. My hand laid in my lap as light, calm and at rest. I left my hand rested in my lap, as if expecting the tremor to return. I touched my friend and pointed to my hand/arm. She smiled "It stopped!" We quickly grasp hands and cried. I went back into prayer of Thanksgiving and Praise. As the prayers and songs continued, I continued to keep my eyes closed in prayer. I could feel Jesus touch my jaw and move it from side to side than up and down as if it was floating on air. His hands felt warm, gentle and such a comfort to a lowly servant of God. As the evening went on, I could feel my arm want to tremor, but it was quickly soothed by Jesus touch. My friend and I continued to pray and mediate, as Loraine sang, read, and talked. As Loraine concluded the prayer portion of the service, I spent sometime in prayer. (Benediction took place at this time)

She calls people forward (by number) to be prayed over. My friend and I watch in amazement, and awe with each person and miracle we pray and offer praise to Jesus. 

As my turn came closure to get touched by Jesus, I became more afraid. (Partly if he takes this cross from me tonight, what cross will he send tomorrow) I remember thinking and saying out aloud that Jesus tells us many times "Be not Afraid, I am with you!"

At last my time came, to go forward. By this point Loraine had announced to speak to Jesus directly and she would just be laying hands. As my turn came I felt a sense of calm., (Like when you go to receive the Eucharist) As Jesus hand was laid on me, It felt just like his earlier touches, a warm gentle touch of healing. After my healing touch, I spent sometime showing friends that the tremor was gone. I went back to my pew and knelt, I could not stop the tears of gratitude, joy and appreciation to Christ for lifting this cross from me so that I may do the work of the Father.

I have no idea how long I knelt in prayer (The lady next to me tapped me on the shoulder and said that she could not wait any longer and apologized for getting me out of prayer.), although I know for certain that it was not long enough for the blessing, grace, and gifts I had just received.
My friend and I hugged, cried and knelt in prayer. As my friend left, I was still unsure of the gift I had just received. I got up enough courage to go to my former doctor who was there assisting Loraine and ask him about it. He was quick to reassure me that it was gone and I had been healed. It was so overwhelming , I went again and knelt in prayer. I than felt the urge to get up and walk the church as if I was looking for someone. The more I walked around church I could feel my right leg to become smoother with each step. After several minutes, I could tell the drag of my right leg had gone. I could for the first time in years walk with an even smooth step. My right hand motions seem as quick as my left.

Still feeling overwhelmed by what has happen to me I went looking for Father Andrew. After spending a few minutes with him, he reassures me that Jesus gave me this gift for all the missionary ministries our family has done in God’s name. 

I came home and opened my spiritual journal to write about this evening. And read this scripture verse that was printed on the page:

Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.

-Isiah 3:10

I am truly going to enjoy the fruits that I was given tonight and only pray that I will use them to the service of our Father.

Christ Peace be with you all 


The Easter Bunny Stole Jesus

Each day for Holy Week the girls read the Gospel for the day and did a craft to go with it.  We had such a wonderful Holy Week,  The girls enjoyed making something each day and learned about Jesus while doing them. It was nice for them to see the journey that Christ took from Palm Sunday to Easter.  Their always seem to be lots about Palm Sunday then the Triduum and Easter.  However, what did Jesus do on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  It was nice to teach the girls that Jesus visited with friends and spent time teaching them of what was to come although they did not understand.  Throughout the week the girls watched a kid version of the Passion.  I think this helps them understand the scripture as we read it. or they here it in church.

  On Monday, we did hand prints that I adapted from Catholic Icing's   Holy Week Craft.  We put ours on 5x7 canvas, instead of the girls making it a book.  It tooks sometime and patience and the girls part but they did great!  We used acrylic paints to cover their hands then pushed them onto the canvas.  After they dried, I add words and details.  Elisha had fun doing them by herself after I showed her how to paint her hand.  We did one foot print for Washing of the feet.

On Tuesday, we also made the peg doll sets from Catholic Icing  These were super easy.  I just printed out, cut and the girls did all the gluing.  The pegs are male 3 9/16 from I had already ordered some to have for a peg change.  For the printables from Catholic Icing you need the male parts.  The female ones will not work without a lot of extra effort.  Next step, I mixed glue and water together. The girls each had their own plate and brush.  They were given one at a time.  The girls brushed glue onto the peg and put the print out on the peg.  They did handed it to me to straighten and put down the neck pieces.   We let them dry overnight. I then painted faces, hair, and veils on the dolls.  We let them dry.  the last step I sealed the whole doll with mod podge.  The girls have really enjoyed playing with them.  

On Wednesday, the girls painted a boat for the disciples.  We found the perfect boat at Hobby Lobby.  It was open and large enough to hold several peg dolls.  You may ask what does the boat have to do with Holy Week.  Well I am not really sure except, Jesus spent so much time on a boat with the disciples.  He found them fishing and made them Fisher of Men (which what we named our boat).  
On Wednesday he was visiting with friends and his disciples, maybe not on a boat but was something they seem to do.

For Holy Thursday, we did not have time for a craft.  Since the boys were off school, they had dentist and doctor appointments.  Grandma surprised us by coming for a visit. It was great having her come.  We did go to 7 pm Mass of Last Supper as a family.  The girls were amazed to see Father washing the feet of people.  

On Good Friday, we go to Church at 3pm.  For those that have not been to confession they go then. We spend the rest of the dying Easter Eggs and hanging out as a family.  We made a tomb for Jesus and laid a "wrapped up" Jesus inside.

On Saturday, we get the house ready for Easter.  We the Easter baskets out. Set up some other spring like decorations and of course did some crafting.  We made Easter Candle. Out of Light up Candle form the dollar store and a paper print off from the internet.  

On Sunday morning, the girls came down stairs to see that Jesus was missing from the tomb and that the Risen Jesus was on top of the tomb.  All Sophia could say was " the Easter bunny stole Jesus"  She was not happy that the Easter bunny had stolen her Jesus.  After several attempts to console her, we finally had to show her that "wrapped up" Jesus was not stolen but just put with other peg dolls and that the Risen Jesus was there now.  The day was spent with family celebrating the Risen Lord.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Reading through our Faith

The girls got books in their Easter Baskets.  They enjoying reading books at night.  The books they got were all about the Catholic Faith but presented through children books. I have included a review of 2 of the 4 books the got.  The other two books not included are Hail Mary by Sabrina Bus and My First Catechism from Ignatius and written by Christine Pedotti.

One of my favorites that we will use next year during lent and leading up to Easter is called God's Easter Gift by Brenda Castro.  I found it on Amazon for about $10.  The story starts with brother and sister going to Easter Mass then to an Easter Egg Hunt in the park.  They believe that the hunt will be a traditional egg hunt with candy and goodies.  This is no ordinary Easter Egg Hunt but an egg hunt that takes them through our faith. The children notice how light and beautiful the church is Easter morning.  I have to say I notice the same thing when we went early (7:30am) Easter Mass.  The sun was just shining through the windows onto the sanctuary that was filled with lilies.  The statues and cross were all uncovered and church just lit up with joy.  Anyway back to the story.  The children are told that Easter is more than candy and toys, but something very special.   The children go through the park looking for the most beautiful eggs.  As they find the eggs they open to see beautiful art work and discover one of God's gifts.  The stories in the eggs include  Lent, Palm Sunday, washing feet, Last Supper,Garden of Gethsemane, Good Friday, Resurrection.  The girls attention was a little hard to keep through the whole book, but I think I will make some eggs to go with it for next year and we will read just one egg at a time.  The artwork is amazing and the illustrations are fantastic.  What a great gift to give our children reading material that helps them grow in their faith.

Here are some pictures:

Another book the girls received was Horray! I'm Catholic by Hana Cole  I got from Amazon for about $12  This is a short book that the girls really enjoyed.  It is never to early to teach our children some apologics about their Catholic faith.  Throughout the book the same question is asked "What makes being Catholic great?" However the answers to this question are different and take our children through different aspects of the Catholic faith.  The book starts out in church and the little things like candles, bells, stain glass windows to vestment colors, receive communion.  The book talks about Jesus love and forgiveness for us.  The book touches on specials days like Christmas, Lent, and Easter. The book touches on serving other through charity.  The girls really enjoyed listening to this book and it held their attention.  It has rhythm to the reading that I think helps at this age.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Teens walk through Lent

Pray,Fast, Almsgiving

The other day I posted about the girls (ages 2 and 5) journey through Lent.  Well today I thought I would seek out some resources for the teens in our house.  They know to "give" something up for Lent, but do they truly realize what Lent really stands for and how to grow in Christ through Lent.

Well they are about to get some resources to help them to read, watch and reflect on.  (Hopefully, our Adult child will take a look as well)

The first blog post I read was called Lent: 40-mini-crucifixions by Faith Noah.  I like this blog because it is written by a young adult for teens.  It is easy to follow and understand, no big theological words to throw their attention span off track.  She lays out a very simple explanation of Lent and reasons behind some of the Catholic traditions.  Honestly, I think even upper elementary and middle schoolers would benefit from this.

The next blog post I looked at was also on LifeTeen called What to Give Up for Lent: 25 Creative Ideas by Life Teen.  They put a survey question out on facebook and it lists 25 of the responses they received.  Some of them are very creative, like going without shoes, giving up their bed and sleeping on the floor, spoons and forks.  Teens can be very creative and imaginative if we do not limit them and try to challenge some of their ideas.

I came across a website called Catholic Youth Works.  This website is full of links to other Lent and Easter resources.  Their are videos, challenges, missions, talks, reading and so much more.  I encourage you to take a look.  I liked the video

The last blog I looked at was from St. Michael's Parish in Maine.  It  appears upon further reading that their ideas came from Lifeteen.  However they have listed them  by Fasting, Prayer, Almsgiving.
I like the idea for fasting "Give a hug to everyone in your family", "Compliment each person in your family sometime today"- Wow not sure the teen boys are up for that!!  Some of these ideas could be a real challenge and put the teens in our house out of their comfort zone.  Which is exactly what Lent is suppose to do?!  Are we not suppose to step out from ourselves and challenge ourselves to so something different, something hard, something that calls upon the strength of God to help us through?!

I came across this video done by Father Jack Collins You Don't Know Jack..About Lent.  He stands out side of St. Patrick Church in New York City and ask people about Lent and Catholic Traditions around Lent. It is sometimes good to have multimedia approach when trying to teach our kids about Lent and Catholic Traditions.

So as we try to engage our teens in the family Lenten journey.  It can be difficult among the school and sports schedule.  We can still strive to educate, encourage and support them on their journey to follow Christ.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Our Lenten Journey 2015

As we spent the first two weeks of Lenten sick, we have had a slow start to our journey.  As we focus on Pray, Fast, Alms giving, the girls have set up a "Lenten Table" in our family room.

For Fast the girls put together Sacrifice Tubs.  They were each given a small shoe box size tub to fill with the toys, and books that they were willing to sacrifice for the Lent.  We put a sign on the top of each box that reads "Sacrifice Tub for Christ. No playing, Just Praying"  (Just realized that Sacrifice is not spelled correctly on their tubs.  Good thing they are too young to read.)  

I found the Cross Calendar on  I forgot to pin it and have searched but can not find it again. Their is no website listed on the copy I have.  (if someone knows where I found it, let me know in the comments and I will give credit where credit is do)

Anyways, the girls color a cross each day until Easter.  Since we were sick we are a little behind on the coloring.

For Prayer, we are doing Prayer Chain for Lent that I found on Catholic Inspired.
 We went with their premade pray strips, since we were sick and not up to doing to much thinking.
The girls help to glue and tape the strips together.  They have enjoyed taking one off each day and saying an extra prayer.

We have several different hands on Station of the Cross Activities that the kids use to play and pray.
We also have resurrection egg set.
The following Stations of The Cross, I made from a poster from Oriental Trading, and the symbols for each station came from ideas found on Catholic Icing  It all stores in a bag that I sewed to store all the pieces.

One morning before the girls got up, I start to make a Easter Egg Rosary.  I found on Pinterest which lead me to  
We really have not done anything with it but add it to our table.  It was easy to make but does get rather large so I decide to just make a decade this time.  

For Alms giving the girls have gone through their clothes and have gotten rid of 4 bags of clothes to take Rose Garden Mission in Covington.   We also are planning to go buy some diapers for the mission we just have not to do it.  

As for mommy, she is participating in a small group Lenten study with other homeschool mothers. That our church is doing.  It was nice to be able to make one this week.

It is never to late to get started on your Lenten Journey.  

 Some of my favorite resources are

 "Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full."  Matthew 6:16 (NAS)