Thoughts for Today….

“Listening to my husband when he talks has done more than anything to bring down the barriers and create love in our marriage. Often he opens up when I just sit quietly with him, saying nothing. I’m just there, available. I’m not in the other room, sewing, or vacuuming. He begins to talk and share his dreams or plans and we both get excited.” – Helen Andelin
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“The thought of the importance of your position as a Catholic mother should be a source of joy to you, but your battle will often be hard and your spiritual consolations few. It is good sometimes to know that although you have sacrificed many of the things modern ’emancipated’ women value so highly, your humble position is still the proudest in society. You are the possessor of the hand that rocks the cradle and rules the world. You are to be the comforter, the unchanging inspiration, and the educator of souls.” – Fr. Lovasik

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“Remember that education is a matter of the heart, of which God is the sole Master, and we will be unable to achieve anything unless God teaches us, and puts the key in our hands. Let us strive to make ourselves loved, and we will see the doors of many hearts open with great ease, and join with us in singing praises and blessing of Him who wished to make Himself our model, our way, our example in everything, but especially in the education of the young.” -St. John Bosco

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“A special time to prove to a man that he is number one in your life is when he comes home from work. Make it a pleasant time for him.” -Helen Andelin

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“Although good homemaking is an admirable virtue, it can be overdone. Create a home, not a showplace. A man appreciates efforts for his sake, but doesn’t want homemaking to take priority over him, or things he considers more important. The castle is not more important than the king that dwells therein.” – Helen Andelin

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“The thought is very beautiful—that youth must gather the sweet things of life—the flowers, the fragrant odors, which lie everywhere, so that old age may be clothed with gladness. We do not realize how much of the happiness of our after years, will depend upon the things we are doing today. It is our own life that gives color to our skies, and tone to the music that we hear in this world. The song or the discord which rings in our ears—we may think it is made by other voices—but it is really the echo of our own yesterdays.” – J.R. Miller

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“God has thus put into the hand of the parents at their own hearthstone, a power greater than that which kings and queens wield, and which must issue in either the weal or the woe of their children. It would surely seem to be worth while to make any sacrifice of personal comfort or pleasure—to transmit a legacy of holy memories which shall be though all the years, like a host of pure angels hovering over those we love, to guard and guide them.” J.R. Miller

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Just For Fun….

We had a Film Festival on Saturday afternoon of the Traditional Family Weekend.

(For pictures of past Family Weekends search in the category of Traditional Family Weekend….)

One of the films was by our good friend Erni Garcia (Erniversal Studios).

The video features the beautiful voices of  Erni Garcia and Hillarie George. Our married couples are also in it….Mike and Jeanette Gallant and Devin and Theresa Byrne.

I think you will enjoy it!

This post shared with the blog Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Summer Saints….and Some Are Not – Mary Reed Newland

I was poking around Mary Reed Newland’s book The Year & Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Season to explore ways of celebrating our Catholic Saints and Feasts this summer and ran across the following ideas. I couldn’t keep it to myself so I am sharing it with you.

Make the liturgy come alive in your home! Don’t forget to use your holy water, wear your scapulars and say the rosary. Maybe say a part of the Divine Office with them each day. Read to them. Don’t get bogged down, but DO SOMETHING positive each day with your children in light of our Catholic Faith. It is a daily fight to keep ourselves and our children climbing UP the ladder! It is easy to slide down…..

Teach them to love the Faith, with all its solemnities, all its beauty!

End of rant (meant for myself, too). :)

Here is a “sweet” and simple way to celebrate the feasts of the saints coming up this summer….

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Apostle Cookies

Any good gingerbread cookie dough will do, and any good gingerbread-boy cookie cutter will make a gingerbread Apostle (or you may cut them freehand with a knife). The twist is in the decoration.

We decorated each one with his own symbols, tied a ribbon through a hole pierced (before baking) in the top of each cookie, served them on a tray, covered, with only the ribbons showing; you got your dessert by choosing a ribbon, finding the cookie, and identifying it.

This is an excellent way to learn all the Apostles. The combination of head and stomach is hard to beat. The frosting is a confectioner’s sugar recipe tinted with vegetable colors.

The symbols may be made with stiff frosting squirted through a decorator tube, if you have one, or may be cut from foil, paper, or made of any materials that suggest themselves.

Here is how we decorated the cookies.

• St. Peter (June 29). Red frosting because he was a martyr.

Symbols: two keys, a cock crowing, an upside-down cross, a fish, a sword.

The keys remind us that Jesus gave him the keys of the Kingdom; the cock recalls his denial of our Lord; the cross tells that he is supposed to have been martyred head down; the fish – he was a fisher of men; the sword tells of his temper on the night he cut off Malchus’s ear.

Our Peter cut a silver-foil fish for this cookie and stuck it in the frosting. You could do the keys and sword of foil also, with the cross of melted chocolate. The cock can be drawn or cut from a picture and stuck on.
• St. James the Great (July 25)

He is called great because he was the tall James. He was the son of Zebedee and the brother of St. John the Evangelist. Our Lord called these two the Sons of Thunder: partly, we are told, for their vehement defense of Christ and His teaching, and partly because cause they wanted Him to burn up the Samaritans inside their houses with fire from Heaven, like the three little pigs, because they wouldn’t welcome them into their village.

Our Lord rebuked them for it. He said that He came to give life, not destroy it – which teaches a good lesson in resisting the temptation to “get even.” This was certainly the opposite of the meekness He said would “inherit the earth.”
This James was the first Apostle to die for Christ, beheaded in Jerusalem by Herod Agrippa. His symbols – the pilgrim’s cloak, staff, hat, purse, and scallop shell (always the symbol of pilgrims) – signify that he went on long missionary journeys. A tiny shell stuck to the frosting on this cookie was the clue we used.
• St. Bartholomew (August 24). The mystery man. His name, Bar-Tolmai, indicates that he is the son of Tolmai.

He is an old friend of St. Philip and is often mentioned with him. It is supposed that he is the Nathanael to whom Philip made his announcement under the fig tree. Nathanael was skeptical that this Man was really the Messiah, and our Lord commended his skepticism because Israel was often thick with self-appointed messiahs.

“Behold a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile,” said our Lord, as Nathanael came toward Him down the road.

Then to Nathanael: “Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee!” Then didn’t Nathaniel believe! He lost his heart that moment. “Rabbi thou art the Son of God! Thou art King of Israel!”

St. Bartholomew’s symbols are about as grisly as you’ll find: flaying knives, a cross, an axe, and such, because his was a wild and bloody death; and then there is our pet symbol for him – a branch of the fig tree. Make this with melted chocolate and green candy leaves meant for cake-decorating.

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Inspirational Quotes for Your Week

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“A kind thought never fails to bring joy to your home, It gladdens you and those around you. Happiness is not necessarily won by deeds, but it is readily held by a simple, loving thought which can dispel the clouds of depression, discontent, and sadness. Your family will not fail to notice the presence of such thoughts, even if no word is spoken. If it should happen that no one is aware of the kind thought in your heart, God is aware of it, for He who Himself is Love knows all things.” – Fr. Lovasik

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“If you are an excellent homemaker, don’t place your goals of perfection above the needs of your family. Make certain your motives are to comfort them, rather than to please yourself or impress others.” – Helen Andelin

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“Creativity is God’s gift to us. What we do with it is our gift to Him.”

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Beautiful Quotes to Inspire You Today

The truly religious wife finds God at Mass and from Him receives the strength to become the ideal helpmate to her husband. She does not leave God at church but keeps Him with her every minute of the day in every nook and cranny of her home. Each menial, repetitious task she must perform is a work of love for her husband and children, and through them, a work of love for her Creator. – Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J. 1950’s

10891548_572814819522386_4401505861979018842_n (2)“A happy heart, a smiling face, loving words and deeds, and a desire to be of service, will make any woman beautiful.” – Mable Hale

11111617_398751213660228_949203852721498162_n🌺“We must live in the present moment. This is the only moment within our hands, the only one that can make us happy. The past exists no more; let us leave it to the Divine Mercy. And, though it does not yet exist, let us entrust the future to God’s loving Providence and live happily in the present.” -Fr. Narciso Irala, S.J.

6e1829bc241986e69a64e1b830deac51The Magic of Gratitude
“Before, I always remembered to complain when my husband didn’t do something he was supposed to, but I rarely remembered to thank him for what he had done. Naturally, he felt that his efforts were invisible, as though it didn’t matter what he did or how hard he tried.
Today, I’m quick to thank him for big and small things alike, even if I consider them his responsibility, such as taking out the trash, driving us home from a late party, or paying the bills. I used to worry that if I thanked him, he would come to see those jobs as optional. Now I realize that expressing my gratitude just lets him know I notice how hard he works, and that I don’t take it for granted. He does more than ever for me, and seems happy to do them — all because I say thank you.” -Surrendered Wife

11230604_396845857184097_6451814361839912592_n“The first area that you must succeed in, since you are a woman, is in the home, in the roles of compassionate wife, diligent mother, and successful keeper of the home. Yes, the key to your happiness lies within your own four walls. To reach these goals you may have to go beyond the call of duty…go the second mile, doing more than is asked or expected. ” -FW

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Keeping the Home Fires Burning

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Doesn’t the phrase “keeping the home fires burning” give you warm fuzzies? It does for me. To me, it brings to mind the epitome of home….mother by the stove, cooking up something for the children, Dad outside cutting wood with the bigger boys, toddler playing with the baby, siblings reading on the couch. Peaceful and beautiful!

I know you have had your times like this. It’s not all roses but there ARE roses above the thorns….

More pictures of contentment:

I love to home school and those mornings where all the kids are sitting at the table poring over their books bring a great feeling of satisfaction and order. We often will start our day by doing the Office of Prime from Officium Divinum…..getting off on the right foot.

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Spring is in the air. The garden is half planted, the red bud trees are in full bloom. The guys have gone fishing a few times already. Volleyball and shooting bows are creeping in and go-carts are the big attraction! I’m not sure about the go-carts giving me warm fuzzies…especially since the little one the kids are allowed to drive has no brakes! :P

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Oh! And goats! Don’t you think that the thought of milk-producing, self-sufficient goats brings rapturous feelings of blessedness???? Nope, me neither. I love our garden so I don’t like goats. I love flowers, so I don’t like goats. (I’m trying to convince myself NOT to get another goat even though I love the milk).

There are so many factors, so many facets, of what make up a good, Catholic home. It will not be perfect but the all-inclusive and ever-present love of our Faith behind all that we do will produce well-balanced, moral children that become an asset to society and to the Church.

And so….that being said….I will be taking a long absence from the blog.

I have always found the online thing a little hard. It is a big distraction for this wandering mind.

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Lately, I have taken a long, hard look at what my true accomplishments are and my children and my grandchildren, along with loving my husband are number one. I want to concentrate on those things, without so many distractions….making sure I finish strong.

I love working on this kind of stuff and sharing the goodness and beauty of our Faith so I still plan to spend time on more Maglets, along with a couple of books that are in the works.

One of the books is called “Cheerful Chats for Catholic Children”. This one has short faith-filled stories, a few questions at the end to help the story sink in a little bit and then a prayer. The stories are only a page long so tired mothers, who still want to give that “tucking in” time a special touch, can pack a punch in a brief reading.  There is a small poem and a picture at the end of each story. I remember my kids straining their necks to see pictures in the book I was reading them on their bed. These will be great little stories…. sweet thoughts to fall asleep on.

Another book is a “Catholic Mother Goose” Poem book. I think the children (and parents) will love this one. I loved teaching my own children the poems of old. They knew them well but I was always a little disappointed with the random (and sometimes disturbing) words of the Mother Goose poetry. SO…..these are Catholic Mother Goose poems your children can remember, recite and Mom can feel good about! And the illustrator for the poems is fantastic!!!

So stay tuned. Sign up on the blog in order to get word of when these books are available!

I asked hubby if I should post that I was leaving the blog because I didn’t like the fact that it seemed so final. And he reminded me that nothing is final. We must do God’s will and I know this is God’s will for now. Who knows what the future holds…..

In the meantime, let us love our families, do our daily duties, learn our faith and pass it on, always staying on the Ark of Peter. When things get rough, remember Who we look toward and let us not trust in ourselves but in Him Who said He would be with us always and that the Gates of Hell WILL NOT prevail!

I want to close with this beautiful prayer from the Divine Office. It is in the Office of Prime, from the book Divinum Officium. I have wanted to post it for some time now because I think it is a lovely way to start each day:

O God, come to my assistance.

O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father.

As it was in the beginning. Alleluia.

Now that the sun has risen, let us as suppliants ask of God that in today’s acts He preserve us from all that may hurt us.

May He check and restrain our tongue so that it be not an instrument of discord and strife. May He screen and protect our eyes so that they do not drink in vanities.

May our inmost soul be pure and the folly of impurity find in us no place; may moderation in food and drink wear down the body’s pride.

So that when day has gone, and night, as God planned, has returned, we may be found free from sin through our self-restraint and thus sing praise to Him.

To God the Father be glory, and to His only Son, with the Spirit, the Paraclete, now and forever. Amen.

HAPPY EASTER!!!

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Gemma’s Poem and Some Nice Reviews

I thought I would share with you today a poem that our Gemma (11 yrs. old) wrote:

DON’T WORRY

We are in a world right now that could explode any moment!

We are in a world right now that could turn into a torrent!

Look at all the humans that fright and scare all day.

They think of that tragic thing that could happen any way.

For me I just don’t worry and do my daily works.

I don’t act frightened and scared and think that life is short!

God is protecting me and I know that so I say

A little prayer of protection and go upon my way!

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And here are some very kind reviews that were left on Amazon and my Etsy shop by those who purchased my Maglets. Thank you so much, Ladies!! <3

“This is a delightful publication! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and have pages marked for future reference. As a busy mother of five, I have a hard time sitting down and doing spiritual reading, but my soul longs for it, especially things that will help me to be a better wife and mother. This book breaks it down into “bite sized” bits that I can read and finish in the bits of time I get for reading. So inspirational! Thank you! My mother-in-law ordered me the next one (Advent/ Christmas issue), and now I get to practice the virtue of patience until it comes in! I can’t wait! Thank you for such a thoughtful publication that is full of wisdom and loving guidance!” -AC

“This is the first in what hopefully will be many little maglets. It’s great for Catholic moms, especially those of us who have large families and are busy. It is made up of nice little readings from various priests and other Catholic resources; very inspiring and solid, nothing wishy-washy. It’s nice to sit down with a cup of coffee and just read an article or two and mull over them. Definitely centers me more on my vocation and WHY I am cleaning up that mess the little ones made for the 3rd time today. :)
These would make an excellent gift for Christmas; or a stocking stuffer (they are perfect size!) I know there is now a Christmas one out too!” –N. Porter

“JMJ This is a charming book that is sure to delight. Many helpful bits of advice for mothers of all ages. A great gift for the engaged, newly wed, expecting and experienced mothers. Small and compact, easy to read and always brings a smile, sometimes a tear.” – SoCalGal

“A beautiful maglet chock full of gems. A must have for any family. Easy to read. A great reference source. A perfect gift to get all your friends. The author is quite a special lady and am grateful she worked so hard to create this for us.” –Linda R.

“These maglets are so encouraging especially to those looking to live out, joyfully, our vocation as wives and mothers. Lots of great quotes and articles.”

You can buy the maglet from Amazon or you can get it a little more economically at my  Meadows of Grace. Tidbits about Lent, Easter and just bunches of inspiration and encouragement!

If you like the maglet, please leave a review on either Amazon or Meadows of Grace….or both! It is much appreciated!

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You can get all three volumes of the Maglets here for a special package price!

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Quia Nunc Vale….

…..That’s Latin for “Goodbye For Now”, at least that’s what Google told me. :)

As Lent progresses I find many things to pray more about (Well, I’m not looking for them, they are finding me). I am a do-er, not so good of a pray-er, but working on it. So I will be taking a break for the rest of Lent and hope to be back soon after Easter, God willing.

A Little Story….You probably know by now (because I use his articles a lot) that I greatly like, and get much out of, the books by Father Jacques Philippe, a priest who lives in France.

How did I get to know about him? One day, a few years back, our priest put stacks of little pink books on the back table in our foyer at our Church. There were bunches of them and he invited the parishioners to take them and read them. The book was called Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart.

I picked one up, took it home and read it. It was truly a beautiful and inspiring book! It came in a close second to that wonderful book “Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence” that many of you may have read!

A couple years later I found out about Father’s other books and I have been reading them and gaining much from them. I like to share with you the especially good articles here and in my Maglets.

Back to my story…I met with a good friend this last Tuesday. We had never gone out for coffee together before but we took  this opportunity to touch base as it had been too long since we had a chat. We began to talk about books. I asked her if she had ever heard of Father Jacques Philippe??? Her eyes got wide and she said, “He’s going to be in Kansas City on Saturday giving talks!!”

I could not believe my ears!!!!  I have not talked to this friend for over a year! Divine Providence or what??!!

Needless to say, I gathered a menagerie of young adults and we filled up her 15 passenger van and went to hear him speak. It was a wonderful day and I felt very blessed!

Here is my picture with Fr. Jacques Philippe:

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This little story was a good reminder for me that if God is so good and gracious to answer, or be interested in, the little desires of our hearts, how much more will He answer those big things that mean so much more to us! We must have faith and trust….

I hope all of you have a very Blessed Lent and a Happy Easter. I will be praying for you and yours, please keep me in your prayers as well!

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Check out my Spring Maglet (magazine/booklet) at Meadows of Grace or at Amazon. Tidbits about Lent, Easter and just bunches of inspiration and encouragement!

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