Saturday, January 29, 2011

O Come Little Children

My husband and I have been open to life since the beginning of our marriage.  We made it a vow to the point of a charism in our vocation to "accept children lovingly and raise them according to the Catholic Church".  If we were trying to "make a point" in our parenting, it would be that we were parents who were open to any and all children God would send us.

Well, my first born son, an answer to my prayers, got sick this evening.  He has a nervous stomach, and as he's an intensely emotional boy, we usually have no warning when he's going to be sick.  He'll be fine one second, and then the next, he's running for the bathroom.

Well, tonight he got sick.  And of course, he was too far away from the bathroom to make it.  So my husband and I spent dinnertime cleaning up after our eldest child.  I began to gripe about it in my heart.  "Why couldn't he make it?"  "Why couldn't he just accept that he had an upset stomach, and not try to force himself to eat?"  and on and on and on...I stopped suddenly and it came to me...I rant and rave like this in my heart all the time about my kids at various points of inconvenience throughout the day.  Wasn't caring for my children what I was most looking forward to as my vocation of mother?  Tending to them, fulfilling their wants and needs to the best of my ability?  Then why, when faced with that opportunity, was I shirking it and begrudging it in my heart?

The answer hit me between the eyes: I haven't been recognizing Christ in them.  Do I care for them as I would if it were Christ there?  If Christ were asking me to tie his shoes, to wipe his nose, to clean his laundry, to bathe, dress, and feed him?

I remember as a young girl, hearing my mother tend to my brother (who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy) in the early mornings.  She would bathe him, dress him for the day, feed him breakfast, and get him medicated, all usually before the rest of the house was awake.  And she used to sing that hymn "Whatsoever you do, to the least of my people, that you do unto me".  I never got it then, careless as I was in my youth, why she was intent upon singing that hymn to my brother.  She wasn't singing it to him, she was singing it in prayer to our Lord.

I am called to be a mother, in imitation of our Blessed Mother.  She nurtured and loved the Christ child right up through his execution.  She loved and served him faithfully, in the perfect love of a perfect mother.  And yet, through my sinfulness I've forgotten this most important component of my vocation.  I take it for granted that my family is growing in the Faith.  I do not readily realize that there is a Faith message to be found in my family.  That Christ can be found in each member of my family.  Would I change, feed, dress, rock, play, and care for the Christ child as carelessly as I do my own children sometimes?  The answer is "no".

Oh Lord, forgive me for my careless ways.  Help me not to be distracted in your call to care for these little ones, but to care for them as if you were there in them.  May my care of these your little flock, help to bring both their souls and mine, closer to you.

Blessed Mother, help me in my work.  Help me to tend to them and love and care for them as you would the Christ child whom you bore.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beautiful picture

Young Catholic/Christian soldiers at the March

What a wonderful testament to the Faith.  I was born after Roe v. Wade, and so were most of the young people at the March.  They really were marching for their lost brothers and sisters.  For those of you who are young and feeling alone in your Catholic journey,  I urge you, find a way to attend the March for Life next year.  You are not alone, and you are blessed by so many who are praying and working for life just like you!

Youth Turnout Strong at US March for Life
Participants Urged to Fight Against Culture of Death
WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 25, 2011 ( The annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., had a new energy this year due to a significant youth presence among the hundreds of thousands of protesters.
Each year since the Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States, marchers from across the country have taken to the streets in the nation's capital in protest. Although the protest is traditionally held on the anniversary date of the Roe v. Wade decision, this year, since that day fell on a weekend, the March for Life took place on Monday, in order to allow for the interchange of the people with their representative lawmakers.
This year's protest, which drew up to 400,000 people, featured a majority of young people born after the court decision.
One participant, Richard McGill, of Elmira Heights, New York, a regular participant at the annual March for Life since the beginning, told the National Catholic Register that there has been a "dramatic change the last few years."
"Try to find the old-timers," he said. "It's mostly young people now."
McGill added: "Something is going to change sometime. You can see it in the young people."
As is tradition, the march was preceded by a youth rally and Mass on Monday morning. This year, however, a second venue was added to accommodate the growing numbers of young people.
Some 34,000 gathered in the Verizon Center and the D.C. Armory for the rallies, and six additional Masses were held at churches around the capital city.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, addressed the youth and shared with them a message from Benedict XVI.
In his homily at the armory, Father Patrick Riffle, parochial vicar at St. Peter Church in Olney, Maryland, observed the energy in the crowd: "The Church is young; the Church is alive! Man, I love being Catholic!"
He acknowledged that "what we are dealing with here is something much greater than just the issue of abortion."
The priest continued: "It is a state of mind; a way of thinking that fails to recognize the beauty and dignity of the human person. It is a mentality that says that it is all about me."
"If I am only seeking my good, and you are only seeking what is good you, then all we are doing then is simply using each other," he stated. "What we are dealing with is, as the soon to be beatified Pope John Paul II rightfully named it, the culture of death."
Father Riffle explained: "This is the mentality that lies behind violence, terrorism, and discrimination. It is what is behind drug and alcohol abuse, pornography and pre-marital sex and contraception."
"If we are going to rid our nation of the tragedy of abortion," he added, "if we are going to be truly pro-life, we are going to have to rid our society and ourselves of this culture of death."
"The Gospel of life is proclaimed first and foremost in the living out of our Catholic faith in daily life," the priest affirmed.
He urged the young people: "If you as a Catholic want to be pro-life, you must be pro-Christ. That means that you must seek to live out your Catholic faith in its entirety."
"The best way that you as young person can really be a living witness to the Gospel of life is through living lives that are chaste and pure," Father Riffle said.
He continued, "Keeping sex within the context of marriage, not viewing pornographic materials, keeping your Facebook page free from inappropriate materials all reaffirm your belief in that the dignity that belongs to each and every person."
"Men, you need to take the charge in this," the priest asserted. "So often the media and advocates for abortion would like to portray life issues as a woman's issues, but it is an issue for both women and men alike."
"We are naturally the protectors of life," he affirmed. "Never do anything that seeks to objectify or lessen the dignity of anyone, yourselves included, but most especially the dignity of a woman."
Changing culture
At the Verizon Center, Father Mark Ivany, parochial vicar at the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Maryland, gave the homily.
He underlined the need to know what it means to be human as God created us, in his image and likeness.
"As Catholics we all know the One who created us, the One who knows us and who loves us," the priest affirmed.
He stated, "We must remember that our mission is not just to change one law in our country; our mission is to change the whole culture of our country."
Father Ivany underlined the need "to create a culture in our country that recognizes and protects human life from conception to natural death, a culture that sees the importance of purity and chastity before marriage and the gift of openness to life in marriage."
"You do this every time we live our lives the way Jesus intended humans to live," he encouraged the youth, "every time you say no to sex before marriage, and yes to purity, every time you say no to materialism and yes to helping the less fortunate, every time you help a friend to say no to abortion, and yes to life, and every time you help someone who has been involved in an abortion to get help."
In this way, the priest said, "you are setting an example that will lead to the end of the culture of death and the beginning to a culture of life, the culture that we were created to live in."

Another great video from Micahael Voris

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday's Biggest Loser Report

I lost 2 more pounds this week!  Make that a *drumroll please* total of 10 pounds!  Yay!

There have been ups and downs this week.  And I realized today most importantly that I can't gague my weight lost on how I'm feeling.  I thought for sure this week had been a gain, or anything but a loss.  Nope, I lost.  God is good.

I started exercising today.  I'm feeling stressed out, low down, anxious, and grouchy.  I was heading towards that gallon of ginger snap ice cream in the freezer and I decided...Try exercising first.  So I popped on the bike for 20 minutes.  My legs are numb, my butt hurts.  But my munchies are gone and my mood is improved.  Aw, the benefits of exercising!  They're coming back to me...

Thank you for your prayers.  I feel good about the future.  So excited by my newfound energy levels.  About seeing my cheekbones again:)

I'll keep you posted!  Literally!  Next Monday I'm joining a woman's group that is meeting once a month.  A support/prayer group to help members achieve their goals.  This one is mine:)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why I Homeschool

I've never been asked this question, although I know many are perplexed and curious about my decision to do so.  Quite simply, I homeschool for my benefit of my children.  It has nothing to do with anyone who has proven a positive or negative example of any other type of schooling.  I don't do it to strike or affirm anyone else's parenting.  In the first years of our marriage Mike and I made a pact not to criticize other people's children, because, quite honestly, they weren't ours.  "Not my kid", and it helped us immensely to remain friendly with most of our peers and family.  Kids have quirks, I've learned this now by my fifth.  It's often not the intention of the parents for these kids to have such quirks.  I can't judge the parents based on what I see in their children, and I wouldn't pretend to be in a position to do so.  Mike and I have been falsely accused of many things, but in my heart I know that all the children I hold in my circle of acquaintance are there solely because I love them all dearly and they are very important members of my life.

But, why do I homeschool?  Well, again, its for my children.  I love to watch them learn.  I love to watch them grow in knowledge.  I remember with my first son, as he approached the age of 4, I moaned and groaned that it seemed all he could ask was "why".  The infamous "why" phase that every child has.  Well now that I have many more children, I've taken on the hope that none of my children ever outgrow the "why" phase.  Whether they be four or forty four.  Some of the most successful entrepeneurs are those unafraid to ask "why" or rather "why  not".  I want my children to continue to love learning.  To let learning be an organic experience of their young lives so they fully embrace in their secondary and post-secondary educations.  In homeschooling, my children learn very quickly and very soon in their educational career to independently study.  To continue to pursue truths and theories even after the books are put away.  I see one sitting in the corner trying to sound out words from a book, even though we finished reading an hour ago.  I see another drawing with his sister and practicing writing letters, even though we have yet to do his letter drilling for the day.  As I'm washing the dishes from lunch I'm engaging one in Religion, in ethics, in politics, in social sciences, and he's only six.

'Yes, but Patty, my kids go to such and such a school, and they do all these same things.  What makes your kids so special, so important, that you take pride in what they've learned or how they learn it?  My kids read in their spare time, and they draw, and they talk together and to me, and they do all these things as well.'  Then, I can only surmise that you do in your household the same thing in your parental role that I do in mine, encourage learning.  And that is a great thing.

I homeschool my children for my Faith.  I admit, if we could at all afford it, Mike and I would have sent our children to Catholic school.  We love our Faith, we love the Church, and its a gift we want to pass on to our children.  We want our children to learn the Faith, to come to love the Faith, to have a relationship with Christ and his Immaculate Bride.  I love to see my little ones learning to pray.  I love to hear my older ones pretending to "say Mass".  I'm excited to hear my eldest teach the others to read from the Bible and to talk to his father about God.  I want them to grow up secure in the love that God has for them, and to thrive in that love.

'Yes, but Patty, my kids go to such and such a school, and they know and love God and his Catholic Church.  Why would you think that your kids wouldn't have Faith if they went to public school?'  I never said that.  I said only that I delight in having a role to help my children come to the Faith and to learn it.  No matter what school environment they were in, my kids would learn the Faith at home because, as poor an example I am of it, I love the Church and all of Her graces.  Praise God that your children live in a household that has a strong example of the love of God in you, the parents.  That you encourage Faith in an environment that may not always be supportive of it.  Again, that is a great thing.

I homeschool my children for the chance to go to college.  That's a stretch, I hear you saying.  But I'm sure you didn't know that 99% of homeschooled students are recipients of scholarships to higher education.  In recent years, the trend has been for colleges and universities to search out homeschoolers to join to their student body.  Mike and I are poor, and we have a lot of children.  The chances that we will be able to pay in entirety all of our children's college tuition at this point is an impossibility.  While we will help in whatever way we can, homeschooling is a way for our children to help themselves.  That is our hope anyway, and we work everyday in school to guarantee it.

'Yes, but Patty, my kids go to such and such a school, and because of their grades, their involvement in various extra curricular activities, and their application to various organizations, they will have college money when they need it.'  Again, I applaud you as a parent for being so supportive in their college pursuits.  Its a great sign of a parent, imho, who can lend so much of themselves to ensure their children are given opportunities at education.

I homeschool for my children.  My schooling days are filled with joys and challenges.  With prayers and hopes and dreams.  With laughter and frustration.  But they are days that are cherished and well lived out.  As every school day ought to be.  As every school day is for children who's parents are involved in their schooling.  If you're interested in my schooling, its only because you are intersted in your own student's schooling.  I don't have to sell homeschooling to you.  It's not an option you may care to be involved in.  That's fine.  It works for us, but I know it doesn't work for everyone.  I do it for my children.  And at the end of the day, I do what every good parent does.

To paraphrase a quote from I believe Fulton Sheen, for those who believe in homeschooling no explanation of why it is done is necessary.  For those who don't believe in homeschooling, no explanation of why it is done will suffice.

I do it for my children.  Because I love them.  Because I want what's best for them.  In the end, its because I'm trying to be the best parent I can be.  And despite my greatest efforts, they'll still turn out just fine.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

God's Timing

I love God.  That's no lie.  That's no secret.  But how great is His Divine Timing?

Don't you find it incredible to the point of prophetic that our National Right to Life March in Washington D.C., the same March that last year drew over 300,000 people to the capital to march on the Supreme Court...That this same March is happening con-currently with the visit of China's president, whose name will not be mentioned???

Everyone who reads my blog, or the excellent postings by Steven Mosher, knows that China has the largest forced population control in the world, and that China is the largest abortion giant in our bloody history.  Part of the reason why the United Nations continues to fund their efforts (same ideologies).  God is good!  And I hope that our example makes him angry.  That the communist gets mad at our Freedom of Speech for the Freedom of Life.  I also hope that our spineless president doesn't try to contain our efforts in the attempt to please our new master (considering how much of our debt is owned by China, we are endentured servants to this godless communist country.)  Well let him fume.  We're still a democracy.  At least this week.

I'm continuing to pray for all of you on the March...Maybe one or two of you might find a picture of this so called world leader and post it next to our own national messiah (a.k.a. what was once called the POTUS).  It might just bring the point home...Life is sacred, for those who believe in sacred.

Here's a video by Steven Mosher:

PRI Intro from Population Research Institute on Vimeo.

In Honor of Roe v. Wade: A Catholic Perspective

Please, please, please...If you do nothing else for me this week...

Read this article.

I was supposed to write the third edition of my trilogy on Humane Vitae, well this author, Peter Kreeft who wrote the article above says everything I wanted to say in a much more articulate manner.  I'll leave it to him. (H/T Mike from Exultet...Thanks Honey:) I know its long, but if you understand the Catholic pro life movement, this about sums it up for all of us I think...

I have been struggling with the fact that Mike and I aren't able to go to the March for Life in D.C. this year.  Even with God's abundant grace to get there, we just can't get it in the budget to get there.  Reading this article became a form of prayer for me, and it helped me to understand that we have a lot more work to do than to just head down to Washington D.C. every year.  I don't underestimate that in the least, and I'm with all of you in spirit on your Pilgrimage praying in reparation for the bloodbath of America.  I would ask that if there are any who would like to unite themselves in prayer to the movement, please, please, please read the above article.

And yes, if I had the means, I would print it out and send it to everyone of my Catholic friends!  Hahahah!  But I have Blogger, right?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday's Biggest Loser Report

Hey Everyone!
Well, I lost 1.5 lbs this week.  Pretty good for me, enough to keep the momentum going.

Here's my shameless plug of the week.  Mike and I started eating Wanchi Ferry Chinese food.  We prefer the frozen dinners, but they're more expensive and more fattening then the box dinners.  But for those Chinese food lovers out there, this hits the spot.  My favorite box dinner that they have is Kung Po Chicken!  Yummy!

So I'm figuring out what to do about exercise.  A gym membership...Haha!  Yeah right, way too expensive!  Plus I don't have the time to go by myself.  An exercise class might be more up my alley, but again, its not in the budget yet.  Well...It occurred to me as I was pondering this morning over what to do about this problem.  Gabby is just starting to take to her exersaucer and Bumbo seat.  She sits and stands in either of these contraptions for about 10 minutes apiece.  Well, I remember reading that you don't have to exercise straight through your 30 minute daily goal to acheive it.  Exercising in spurts works too.  Bingo!  I get her in there, and get on my bike.  There's my exercise.  And then, when we shovel out this spring, I hope to take the kids for some bike rides (my older ones can bike themselves, and the girls can use the cart...Man!  What a workout that is!)  There we go.

Sorry this is short, but I want to keep you posted.  I'm battling a major head cold tonight so I'm going offline for the evening.  Keeping everyone in my prayers!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cantique de Jean Racine

So everyone remembers that famous scene in Babe.  Okay, I know what you're thinking...Is there a famous scene in that movie?  Is Babe able to be 'relateable' to famous at all?  Okay, so for those of you who attached themselves to that innocent movie like I did in my youth...Go with me for a moment.  The night of the terrible storm.  The one before the big show with the Boss.  Where the cat disses the pig and he runs off somewhere.  Well the memorable part for me was the T.V. show the Boss was watching, more noticeably, the girls' rendition of Cantique de Jean Racine.  I felt it was almost a form of blasphemy that the piece was knocked about by the storm.  How could a director, with any sense of artistic sensitivity cut out such a beautiful piece???

I'm very Irish.  It's true, I'm even a hot head when I'm drunk (not that that happens too often;)  So when I heard the title of this very French piece, I assumed it was a song to a lady that Faure was enfatuated with.  Boy was I wrong!  Turns out this song is actually a hymn of praise to our Lord.  And I've decided tonight that it is a Hymn I want sung at my Funeral.

Here are the lyrics' translations and then please enjoy a beautiful piece with me.  I promise, disaster aside, that the power will not be knocked out in the middle of this piece:)...

Word, equal to the Most High, our only hope,
Eternal day of the earth and the heavens,
From the peaceful night we break the silence,
Divine Savior, cast your eyes upon us!

Spread upon us the fire of your powerful wisdom
May all hell disappear at the sound of your voice;
Dispel that slumber of a languishing soul,
Which has driven it to forget your way!

Oh Christ, be favourable to this faithful people
Now gathered to bless you.
Receive the songs it offers to your immortal glory,
And may it return filled with your gifts!

Vatican announces beatification of Servant of God John Paul II

H/T Paul Zalonski at Communio

Read the entire Vatican post here.

"John Paul II’s pontificate was an eloquent and clear sign, not only for Catholics, but also for world public opinion, for people of all colour and creed. The world’s reaction to his lifestyle, to the development of his apostolic mission, to the way he bore his suffering, to the decision to continue his Petrine mission to the end as willed by divine Providence, and finally, the reaction to his death, the popularity of the acclamation “Saint right now!” which someone made on the day of his funerals, all this has its solid foundation in the experience of having met with the person who was the Pope. The faithful have felt, have experienced that he is “God’s man”, who really sees the concrete steps and the mechanisms of contemporary world “in God”, in God’s perspective, with the eyes of a mystic who looks up to God only. He was clearly a man of prayer: so much so that it is from the dynamism of his personal union with God, from the permanent listening to what God wants to say in a concrete situation, that the whole of “Pope John Paul II’s activity” flowed. Those who were closest to him have been able to see that, prior to his meetings with his guests, with Heads of State, with Church high officials or ordinary citizens, John Paul II would recollect himself in prayer according to the intentions of the guests and of the meeting that was to come."

Band of Brothers Hero Dies...

My husband and I are huge Band of Brothers fans.  Of course we own the HBO movie, but in coming to know the men of the 101st Airborn, we know real American heroes.  The leader of the movement - Captain "Dick" Winters passed away.  Please keep him in your prayers, and what a very sad day for America.

PHILADELPHIA - Richard "Dick" Winters, the Easy Company commander whose World War II exploits were made famous by the book and television miniseries "Band of Brothers," died last week in central Pennsylvania. He was 92.
Winters died following a several-year battle with Parkinson's disease, longtime family friend William Jackson said Monday.
An intensely private and humble man, Winters had asked that news of his death be withheld until after his funeral, Jackson said. Winters lived in Hershey, Pa., but died in suburban Palmyra.
The men Winters led expressed their admiration for their company commander after learning of his death.
William Guarnere, 88, said what he remembers about Winters was "great leadership."
"When he said 'Let's go,' he was right in the front," Guarnere, who was called "Wild Bill" by his comrades, said Sunday night from his South Philadelphia home. "He was never in the back. A leader personified."
Another member of the unit living in Philadelphia, Edward Heffron, 87, said thinking about Winters brought a tear to his eye.
"He was one hell of a guy, one of the greatest soldiers I was ever under," said Heffron, who had the nickname "Babe" in the company. "He was a wonderful officer, a wonderful leader. He had what you needed, guts and brains. He took care of his men, that's very important."
Winters was born Jan. 21, 1918 and studied economics at Franklin & Marshall College before enlisting, according to a biography on the Penn State website.
Winters became the leader of Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on D-Day, after the death of the company commander during the invasion of Normandy.
During that invasion, Winters led 13 of his men in destroying an enemy battery and obtained a detailed map of German defenses along Utah Beach. In September 1944, he led 20 men in a successful attack on a German force of 200 soldiers. Occupying the Bastogne area of Belgium at the time of the Battle of the Bulge, he and his men held their place until the Third Army broke through enemy lines, and Winters shortly afterward was promoted to major.
After returning home, Winters married his wife, Ethel, in May 1948, and trained infantry and Army Ranger units at Fort Dix during the Korean War. He started a company selling livestock feed to farmers, and he and his family eventually settled in a farmhouse in Hershey, Pa., where he retired.
Historian Stephen Ambrose interviewed Winters for the 1992 book "Band of Brothers," upon which the HBO miniseries that started airing in September 2001 was based. Winters himself published a memoir in 2006 entitled "Beyond Band of Brothers."
Two years ago, an exhibit devoted to Winters was dedicated at the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society. Winters, in frail health in later years, has also been the subject of a campaign to raise money to erect a monument in his honor near the beaches of Normandy.
Winters talked about his view of leadership for an August 2004 article in American History Magazine:
"If you can," he wrote, "find that peace within yourself, that peace and quiet and confidence that you can pass on to others, so that they know that you are honest and you are fair and will help them, no matter what, when the chips are down."
When people asked whether he was a hero, he echoed the words of his World War II buddy, Mike Ranney: "No, but I served in a company of heroes."
"He was a good man, a very good man," Guarnere said. "I would follow him to hell and back. So would the men from E Company."
Arrangements for a public memorial service are pending.

For unto us a child is born....

Big shout out of Congratulations to Anonymous Catholic Housewife who just brought a beautiful son into the world!!!  For pictures of the latest most beautiful boy born yet this year look on her blog, linked above!!!  God bless the entire family for a wonderful addition!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So we ended up with a few flurries...

Mike stopped measuring at 2 feet!  LOL!

What a beautiful day for the family though.  I love snow days.  It's God's invite for us back to the Garden of Eden.  We take the day off from school, Mike stays home from work, we relax and enjoy...And well...The rest can be seen in pictures:)

Working to build the Island of Sodor

A kickboxing clown!  So fun!

So Pretty!

Mike's greatest find: a snowblower!  Under mounds of snow!

There are two layers of snow here, making it well over 3' deep.

Everyone came in to warm up with cocoa.

Everyone that is, except the diehard snow fans!

We broke into Christmas presents, here unearthing dinosaur fossils.

Snuggling for a Netflix

Trying out the new to her exersaucer:)

Some chose hibernation...

We found a T-Rex!!

We all enjoyed some snow cream (see previous post)

Yes, it was as good as she made it look!

Just what he needed after a hard day's nap:)

Helping himself to some more...

This mound covers what was once Mike's car!

Want a fun way to use up the snow?

Make snow cream!!!  Enjoy!  H/T foodwishes video recipes

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday's Biggest Loser Report

This week went well.  I lost 6 and a half pounds!  Yay!  Want to know what that looks like?
6.5 lbs of baking goods:)

It was my honeymoon week.  I didn't really have to focus on what I was eating, just focus on eating more in moderation.  I am in a hard spot to start dieting.  I have a newborn baby who is nursing, so I have to be careful in my caloric consumption not to cut back too much to the point that I jeopardize her milk.  Also, in having a newborn I don't have the chance during the day to record what I'm eating, when I'm eating, and how many total calories I've consumed, etc.  The one aspect that I really appreciated most on The Light Weigh diet program was that there was no measuring, no calorie counting.  Everytime you got hungry, you ate.  It was really that simple.  It helped you to acheive moderation by limiting that meal to one coffee cup full.  That's right, every time you got hungry you had to "mug it".  I was never good at this diet though in that it was too easy to "cheat" and I didn't have enough discipline to really stick to it for long.  I did well on Weight Watchers before I was married.  I lost over 40 lbs the first time I was on it.  But the system again right now is not realistic.  I don't have the chance to record everything that I ate, nor to carry around that little notebook that was my constant companion before I was married.

So my goal is to combine these two diets that worked so well, and have great principles.  I'm going to work to listen to my body and to eat only when I'm hungry.  I'm not going to shoot for the "points program" like WW, but I will make every conscious effort to eat a well balanced diet as per the food guide pyramid.  I did well with this aspect this past week.  I found there were two dangerous times for me to eat thoughtlessly - when I was stressed and when I was tired.  I blew it twice this past week and both times it was because I was either stressed, tired, or both.  I'd like to get a handle on my diet and then to start exercising.  I'm hopeful that regular exercise will help me regain my energy and to put a better perspective on those issues that I find stressful.

So that's been my week in a nutshell:)  I'm excited about the snow day we're looking at tomorrow, enjoying some down time with my family.  Please know that you're in my thoughts and prayers as we continue this journey!

Gabby at 2 mos 10 days old, yes I picked the onesie!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ha! And I thought I had a "large family"!

This is a truly fantastic story of Faith and the humanity that comes when women choose life!  H/T Creative Minority Report...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Do you make them?  I used to make them faithfully, but haven't done so in recent years.  I always crack up at the same New Year's Party that my husband and I attend when a mutual friend of ours announces that his "New Year's resolution is to give up making New Year's resolutions."  Yes, he's been saying the same joke for 13 years we've been attending this family party and I still crack up when I hear him say it.

Well, this year, I'm going out on a limb and have decided to make some resolutions myself.  And, if you my dear readers would bear with me, I'd like to post them here and keep updating my status here.

Not to be too typical, but my number one priority is to lose weight.  Yes, my husband and I are in the thick of it, not to play on words.  We both were on Weight Watchers before we got married, but now, 5 kids later, I'm embarrassed with my appearance.  And even more directly, Gabby's pregnancy was harder on me with the extra weight, even though I did a fantastic job in my pregnancy weight gain (I think I topped out at 15 lbs total gained when I gave birth).  I do want to have more children, but I know I need to be healthier and be carrying less of myself before I can carry anymore of my unborn children (God willing).  My goal weight is 130, and it will take me a while to get there, but like I say, I'll keep you posted.  (Not to give too much away, but I'll have to lose over 100 lbs to get there.)  Mike and I are weighing in once a week, and I'd like to keep a blog post on weight lost, the journey,  as well as any fun or interesting recipes I find along the way.

I'd like to make it to Daily Mass with the kids.  Now, I have yet to start embarking on this goal, mainly because Gabby must have found out about it and she has allowed for me to only get about 2 hrs. total sleep in the past two nights...*sigh*  But Mike and I are going through a lot of discernment right now, and there are a lot of major "life" decisions that we're going to be making right there on the horizon, I need to be closer to our Lord and the graces from His Immaculate Bride if I'm going to hear what He's guiding us to do.  Plus, Lucas will need these graces for his preparations on the reception of First Holy Communion (which I'm excited to say Mike has agreed to let me prep. him at home...Praise God!!!  More on that in another post!)

The above ties in directly to my prayer life.  I spend so much time teaching and cleaning and tending to everyone's needs throughout the day that I neglect Our Lord.  I'm so weak that I need His grace to help me to help our family throughout the day.  Most importantly, I want to model a good example of a "woman who fears the Lord" for my children in the hopes that they will come to rely on Him as strongly in their adult lives as I need to.  Mike and I are praying Morning and Night Prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours, and I highly recommend this routine as prescribed by the Church if you're looking for a well structured prayer routine as well.

Getting organized.  Now that I've got my physical space, organized (for those who have been in my home as of late, please refrain from laughing), I'd like to get on a schedule, a routine.  This is hard for me, as usually I'm overly militant (do I really need to have slots for "potty breaks" for myself???LOL!)  No I mean, I'd like to have a routine, a set amount of chores per day, that I can count on doing in order to keep my house running and in order.  I've tried the Fly Lady program, which worked great when I was first married, but that was also before children.  I can't seem to work it in now with my homeschooling routine, so I'm trying to adapt another routine in the meantime....Yeah, I'll keep you posted on that too;)

So that about covers it.  My goal this week is to secure my diet.  To get my house in shape before the weekend, and to go to Mass at the very least on Friday and Saturday morning (my Parish does not have a Daily Mass on Thursdays), and to set a cleaning schedule for my house.  *sigh* Life is good:)

And of course, our family is also planning our annual pilgrimage to the March for Life again this year, and I promise to keep you posted on that.  Plans are in the works on that too!

My prayers are with all of you my dear readers, as we keep working towards the goals of having a goal!  It's like looking for a lighthouse in the fog right now, but we'll keep turning until we see the flash!