Monday, May 20, 2013
For a number of years I've been drawn to St. Monica. Her example of persistent prayer for the conversion of her husband and her son is one that I find inspiring. Let's face it, it's frustrating to pray for something continually and come to grips with the reality that God's timeline does not always match up with yours. St. Monica gets that and because of that I look to her as an example of patience in persistent prayer.
As I read through Mike Aquilina and Mark W. Sullivan's St. Monica and the Power of Persistent Prayer I found myself coming to a better understanding of St. Monica and how to apply her example to my own circumstances. Drawing on accounts of St. Monica from the writings of her son, St. Augustine we learn that her persistence in prayer wasn't just a matter of patience and a determined spirit. Readers will find that her example goes much deeper than that. It's acceptance of God's will, trust in God, and a whole host of other virtues that transformed St. Monica as she relentlessly prayed for her wayward son's conversion.
If you are unfamiliar with St. Augustine, you will find that you come to know him better through this book. If you are familiar with this great saint, then you will likely recognize many of the excerpts from his writings about his sainted mother.
Interwoven with the story of St. Monica are plenty of anecdotal stories about the mother and grandmother of the authors of this book. I really enjoyed the stories about Nan and how they related to St. Monica. It showed a modern day look at the application of the same strengths and virtues exhibited by St. Monica by the matriarch of the authors' family.
If you find yourself in the situation of praying for the conversion of a spouse or a wayward child, you'll likely find encouragement in the pages of this book and a powerful intercessor who knows well what it's like to be on the praying end of such an intention.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on St. Monica and the Persistent Power of Prayer. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
I had to laugh at myself after waking up at 7:35 and freaking out that it was so late. For about a minute I thought that it was Friday and the following thoughts ran through my head: 1. Madeline must have missed her bus. 2. Ellie's bus was just five minutes away and she likely wasn't ready for school. 3. There was no way I was making it to Mass this morning. I was in a panic and was a bit annoyed. Then I looked over at Bryan soundly sleeping and wondered if I had my days mixed up. I thought back over the previous day and realized that today must be Saturday. Phew! This is the first time in many weeks that I have slept past 7:30. Funny how a time that used to seem ungodly early to me now seems late.
I don't think Ellie made the travel soccer team she tried out for a few weeks ago. I was hoping she'd make the team but we didn't get a call from the coach yet and it appears that most if not all of the travel teams have already notified the kids if they made the team. Madeline's teammates knew their statuses on Tuesday.
Just as we were getting a bit of a reprieve from soccer practices and settling into a less hectic schedule Ellie's basketball game schedule was released. She has two weeknight games a week! We weren't expecting that. We assumed she'd have a practice and a game like soccer. So it looks like it will another month before things clam down. Of course, at that point school will be done for the summer months.
Earlier this week I talked to the mom of Ellie's best friend from pre-school and kindergarten. She was telling me that their house had sold and they were moving to a development a few minutes from our house. This meant that Ellie and her friend would be going to the same school in September. I let Ellie know and she was super excited. Then the next morning when I left Mass I looked at my phone and saw a text from the mom telling me the offer on their house fell through. Ugh! Buying and selling a home is such an emotional roller coaster. If you can, say a prayer that this family will get another offer on their home so they can move to the new neighborhood.
I aggravated the problem I had with my foot/leg/hip last year when I stupidly tucked my leg under me and plopped down on the couch. I'm trying to figure out if I need to see a doctor about it or not. I made an appointment with a doctor but I'm wondering if I really need the appointment.
A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted new casual every day dishes for my birthday. My Corelle disheshave been taking a beating lately. Either my dishwasher is chipping them or the child who hastily loads and unloads the dishwasher is to blame. Of course, it's possible that it's just the result of the dishes being used for nearly fifteen years. I brought them when I was dating Bryan and he got his own apartment. After going back and forth about the dishes and Bryan telling me that the dishes I was looking atlooked like dishes, I decided that I didn't want to just get rid of the dishes that I still liked and had used for so many year, but I did need to expand what we had. After checking out the possibilities, I decided to expand our casual stonewarewhich Bryan really likes. I suppose I should mention that we have three sets of dishes (fine china, casual stoneware, and every day dishes). I got the new dishes yesterday and discovered this morning that one of the plates was incredibly warped and a mug had another problem so now I'm working on getting that issue resolved. It's always something! Now that I have enough stoneware for twelve, I'm excited that we have enough of it to use for Christmas dinners on the years where I don't feel like having to hand wash the china which I refuse to put in the dishwasher after a few of my dishes came out looking awful many years ago.
I had been seriously procrastinating on the paperwork aspect of VBS. Namely adding all of the names of the campers into the spreadsheet that I use to keep track of all the necessary information. On Friday I spent a good part of the day transferring information from last year's VBS for repeat campers over to this year's spreadsheet. I was about to add the rest of the kids that were new tonight when Bryan offered to type for me as I read off the information. It was a HUGE help. So now I have all of the registration info in the spreadsheet. It's such a relief having all of that done. Now I just have to focus on a few more VBS related things and I'll feel like everything is right on track. Did I mention that Bryan is awesome?
Thursday, May 16, 2013
About a month or so ago a teen novel showed up a my house that was quickly snapped up by my middle school daughter. After looking over the back cover of the book she wanted to know if she could take the book to school and read it. The book was K. Kelley Heyne's The Locket's Secret.
After having the book in her possession for a couple of days, my daughter was telling me how much she was enjoying the story. She especially liked how the main character retreated from reality into her made up fairy tale story. I noticed that she was glued to the book over the course of several days, so I always take that as an indication that the book is pretty good.
Once I was able to borrow the book back from my daughter to take a peek inside I found out why she liked the book so much. After reading the first couple of chapters I had a hard time putting this book down. It's not very often that I read novels, let alone teen novels, so I was surprised that I got hooked on the book. The story is about Carrie, a Catholic homeschooled eight grader who is going through a difficult time in her life. Her family has moved out of state and away from all of her friends. She's going through a difficult loss in the family and is trying to reconcile all of the emotions she's dealing with. It's a story that will resonate with teen and tween girls.
Moms, like myself, who like to read through what their children are reading should grab a box of tissues when they reach for this book. I'd cry, recover and read a few more chapters and find myself crying again. I wasn't prepared for that when I sat down with this book.
Overall, I think this book is great. It's perfect for tweens and teens. I appreciate that the book is age appropriate for young ladies and isn't like a lot of the shamefully inappropriate novels that are geared to teen girls. I hope we will be seeing more wonderful teen novels from Mrs. Heyne in the future.
I was provided with a review copy of The Locket's Secret by the publisher, Pauline Books, in exchange for my honest review. You can take a peek inside this book here. Visit Pauline Media for more information on this title.
Well look at that, Mr. Furkins is getting a post all about him since this week's theme for Theme Thursday is animals.
Oscar isn't always original. Sometimes he steals costume ideas from the people and then gets yelled at for copying.
He's notorious for photobombing. I'm convinced he knows what he's doing.
He thinks he's sophisticated, but when you can't fancy yourself as such when you chase your own tail and gnaw on your hind quarters.
He'll happily wear anything that he perceives to be people clothes.
Oh, and he likes to play on the slide. He races up the ladder and then slides and prances down the slide.
Oh and in case you're wondering why Oscar has two names, there's a perfectly logical reason. He thinks he's dignified, but if you look at him you can tell he's anything but. Of course, I humored him and decided that this goofy dog needed a nick name that reflected his distorted self perception. Since he has furry skin I decided to call him Mr. Furkins. I think the name suits him.
Visit Clan Donaldson for more Theme Thursday pictures.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Our week started off with a bang, or maybe a bump. I had asked Bryan to put a car seat that was part of a travel systemI recently reviewed up in the attic. So while I was taking care of laundry down in the basement he decided to go upstairs with the ladder and put the car seat in the attic. We're not sure what happened, but somehow the cars eat slipped and hit him right on the top of his head. I wanted to take him to an ER or urgent care clinic to get checked out but he refused. I did get him to agree to me waking him every two hours during the night like I had to do with Ellie several weeks ago. He ended up with a lump on his head. On Wednesday night he finally admitted that he probably should have gone to a doctor. He went and saw a doctor yesterday and was diagnosed as having a moderate concussion.
VBS registration is done. I'm so excited that we were able to market it well enough to have the program at full enrollment more than six weeks before the registration deadline. The registrations I received in the mail yesterday put us over 100. This gives me plenty of time to make name tags and class rosters.
Tomorrow is Madeline's last regular season soccer game. Next weekend is Ellie's last game. After that we just have two tournaments in June. I'm looking forward to having unscheduled weekends for a few months. I've been wanting to take the kids to the zoo and get some boardwalk pizza for over a month now. It's possible that we'll be able to do that either this Sunday or next Saturday.
Bryan came home from the doctor's office with a living will to fill out. Of course, he has no interest/intent of doing so. He told me he wasn't dying and not to worry about it. After reading through it I felt sick to my stomach. I'm not sure what I would select for myself after looking at the advance medical directive.
I'm going to be 35 tomorrow. I feel like I'm on the threshold of old. Am I really that old now? My parents and my brother are coming up for lunch tomorrow. It's my Dad's birthday tomorrow, too. It's going to be a busy day. After lunch we have Madeline's soccer game and then we have to rush to get her to the 5:30 Mass since she has to altar serve. I'm looking forward to a relaxing Mother's Day where we can do anything we want.
I talked to Ellie's speech therapy teacher yesterday about my concerns that the public school will fail to provide her with speech therapy like they did last year. She's assured me that they won't be able to ignore her services plan. Apparently the public school will have 30 days to turn the services plan into an IEP. I feel better about the switch back to the public school for next year. My biggest worry was that the school would ignore my requests to have her evaluated by their speech therapy department.
We opened the pool this past Sunday. It's way too cold to swim in it, but it's open and almost clean. I feel so much better about letting Katie run around in the yard now that the mesh fence is around the pool area. She kept running over to the pool when the cover was on it. Now we can spend more time in the yard and I don't have to worry that she's going to try and run on the cover.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life...
Katie napped through most of Ellie's soccer game on Sunday, but once she woke up she and I got out of the car and she played in the grass while I snapped pictures.
I love the cheese ball smile on this girl. It's not often that she will purposely smile for the camera but when she does I think it's super cute.
She's my mini-me. Katie loves to run into the dining room and
play work on my laptop. She does stuff to my laptop that I can't always figure out how to undo.
See that ball in the net? That is Ellie's goal. What you don't see is Ellie on the right hand side of this picture. This is what happens when I'm not paying attention and I just follow the ball with my camera.
About a second before I took this picture, my camera was fixed on Ellie who was about to send the ball flying into the net.
Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more pictures of contentment.
The theme for this weeks Theme Thursday is Mom. I don't have any pictures from this past week of me or my mom, so I went digging through some pictures from the past year.
One day I'll be able to get a picture where all of us look at the camera at the same time. I don't know when that will be, but I'm sure it will happen some day.
Sitting and reading a book to a little one is one of the best parts of being a mom.
My girls are so blessed to have such a devoted MomMom. You can tell that she just loves every minute that she gets to spend with her granddaughters.
Look, two moms in one picture! My parents (and my brother--not pictured) went to Disney World with us last November. Someday I hope Bryan and I will be able to go to Disney World with our grandkids. I never went on any vacations with my grandparents so I think it's a great that my girls have had the opportunity to build vacation memories with their grandparents.
Visit Clan Donaldson for more Theme Thursday pictures.