Monday, June 18, 2012

A Baby Changes Everything

A new baby is expected in our family.

No, for once it's not me who's pregnant.

Our oldest daughter and her husband recently announced they were expecting their first child around Thanksgiving time. We were asked not to say anything for a few weeks because they wanted to be the ones to tell family and friends so that folks didn't end up hearing about it via Facebook. That's a problem we didn't have when I was last expecting.

So, I kept my mouth shut and contemplated all these things in my heart, which was difficult, but good.

I realized that a baby really does impact a lot of people. Besides the fact that I'm going to be a grandma and my husband will be a grandpa for the first time, there are all the excited siblings who will be aunts and uncles for the first time--twelve of them on both sides! Plus, there's another set of excited first time grandparents and several sets of excited first time great-grandparents. (That's what can happen when two first-borns get married). Then there are the excited great aunts, great uncles, second cousins and at least one step great-great-grandma. Yep, there are a whole lot of people looking forward to this kid's arrival; not to mention his or her mom and dad.

A baby changes everything.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Gift of Youth and Beauty

It's a very Catholic idea. Give God your youth and your beauty. When you see young men and women, in the prime of life, handsome, beautiful, smiling, raidiant with joy, and they give it all up to be united with God as a priest or religious, what do you think? Catholics see it as a gift of something precious and beautiful. Some folks might sigh and say, "What a waste," but Catholics see it as giving it all to God. These courageous, generous men and women have chosen to give everything they have to God. They even give the things we think belong to us alone, like youth and beauty.
Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist 2010 Aspirants (From the Sisters' Web site)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Being Pro-Life

"What does being pro-life mean to you?" the reporter asked me after the annual Respect Life Mass at the cathedral in Denver on Saturday. (Update: read the article here).

How do you answer a question like that? I knew she was looking for a few quick quotes to enliven her article, but the soundbites didn't come rolling off my tongue very quickly.

I stammered a bit then told her that for me, being pro-life meant I was living my vocation as a mother to ten children. I saw her eyes widen and she started writing furiously on her notepad. "Ten children..." (that would make good copy!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why I Love Jesus (and Religion too)

Just in case you're one of the two people on the planet who hasn't seen Jefferson Bethke's video, "Why I Love Jesus But Hate Religion," (which, at this writing, has over 12 million hits on Youtube), then you'll want to watch his stylistically appealing but content confusing video before proceeding so you'll know what I'm talking about.

 I'd like to thank Mr. Bethke for having the courage and the zeal to make his video and put his ideas out there for the world to see and discuss. I believe he's actually doing a service to lukewarm Christians to get them to start thinking about what they do and why they do it. While I strongly disagree with his characterization of religion, I agree with his words about Jesus' saving grace and that He alone is the cause of our salvation. I think what Mr. Bethke meant to say was that empty religion is of no avail. When we do religious things merely to get the approval of others, we aren't doing it for God, therefore we can claim no merit. (Matthew 6:5). Yet, even in the case of the person who goes about doing good merely for human approval, I can see that God could cause much good to come out of it. (Romans 8:28). Others will see his good works and glorify God. (Matthew 5:16 and 1 Peter 2:12). So even though my good works might not help me, they will most certainly help others.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

What do women want? We want to be beautiful. (Read: slender, with curves in the right places; some muscle definition but not too much; height without towering over men; teeth perfectly straight and pearly white; hair lush and thick with just the right amount of body, no frizz and absolutely no gray hairs!) We want to be adored (without lust, as Dante loved Beatrice) by men and envied (without hatred, just being held in awe) by other women. 

These are unrealistic goals, you say? 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Free Online Homeschooling Conference


We all need a refresher course this time of year to remind us why we're homeschooling. Homeschool Connections is offering several free webinars to help get you through these midwinter doldrums.
And if you've never tried one of their online classes to help supplement your middle or high schooler's courses, be sure to click on my link on the sidebar and take advantage of their great subscription offer. 

We're using the subscription service to help us finish off the year strong. My kids are using it for American Government, Economics and Theology: the Old and New Testaments.

Going to "Real" School

What homeschooling parent doesn't consider sending their kids to "real" school this time of year? The Christmas season has passed, the bills are due, the winter doldrums are setting in and most of all, we look at our progress for the school year and compare it to our goals at the beginning of the year and we judge ourselves failures.

Welcome to my world. I have the advantage of doing this on a regular basis for the past 20 years, so I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Just as I know the days are starting to get longer and before I know it, summer will be here; I also know that we probably won't finish every book I'd planned on reading, or achieve every educational goal I'd set for ourselves.