Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Independence Day Treats & Crafts

This is my patriotic version of a beloved family recipe on my husband's side called Strawberry Pretzel salad. It's a cool and delicious treat to eat on our nation's birthday.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
2 Cups coarsely chopped pretzels
3/4 Cup melted butter
3 teaspoons sugar
Combine the above and pat on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (I use glass)
BAKE 400 deg. for 10 minutes
Layer 2(while crust cools):
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1 Cup sugar
8 oz. cool whip(thawed)
Combine above and spread on COOLED CRUST
Refrigerate while making next layer
Layer 3:
Dissolve 1 large package strawberry jello in 2 Cups hot water
Add 2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen strawberries in juice
When partially congealed pour over cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate until set- a few hours- great to make and set overnight.
Layer 4:
Spread whipped topping on top.
Make rows of strawberries and blueberries to look like the American flag.
Here are some other treats and craft ideas I thought were cute for July 4th.
Patriotic Windsock
Festive Marshmallow Lollipops

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Husband's Perspective on Education

A sweet friend of mine recently shared with our local Catholic home school group this letter that her husband wrote for an interview that our local newspaper did of their family about why and how they home school. I thought it was so well written and sincere that when I asked her if I could share it on my blog, she was gracious enough to let me. I still don't know which path God will choose for our family in regards to schooling our children. I pray about it almost daily, but I thought that maybe this could help someone decide or maybe help someone else understand a little better why some people choose to home school. please share this with others. Thank you again Judy & Jim. Here is the letter written by my friend Judy's husband, Jim: "Thank you for taking time to meet with Judy yesterday. Sorry that I wasn’t able to attend. Judy did mention that you were also interested in my thoughts about our decision to school our children at home, otherwise known as St Bernadette Academy. So, here ya go…. J First, as you probably have surmised, Judy and I were a bit apprehensive about opening our lives to you because of the often negative perceptions about homeschooling. Our decision to home school our children was not made lightly and we also recognize that it is not a path that many parents are willing to traverse. For us, the decision to home school was not without sacrifice either, but the rewards, we believe, far outweigh the ‘things’ that we have had to give up in return. As Judy probably mentioned, if we were to describe what the ideal school setting for a child would be, then what would that look like? In our opinion, the ideal school would be where the teacher truly had the best interests of each child at heart, and would have the same value system that we as parents have. It also would be where the child could receive daily one-on-one instruction. Further, the ideal school would be where the teacher could tailor the curriculum and teaching techniques to the individual needs and learning styles of each child, and cover the material at pace along with the child’s comprehension and understanding. This ideal school would also provide the flexibility to explore specific interests that a child might have. So, we ask, what model best fits this teaching-learning environment? The answer for us was homeschooling. There are also other logistical advantages with homeschooling, as well. It seems that we are able to cover more material in a shorter period of time. Our children don’t have to wait for a school bus. They don’t have to be shuffled from class to class. They can take more frequent breaks. We can go on vacations when it suits OUR schedule, and they can even attend class in their pajamas! J We also learned that there are other benefits, as well, such as the concern for the whole socialization issue, for example. We have discovered that all socialization isn’t necessarily good. While our children are not ‘sheltered’ from the world, they are not ‘over-exposed’ to it either. Within a typical school day, in our opinion, children today are introduced to, and immersed in, too many unhealthy behaviors at too young of an age. Kids are just not able to be kids anymore. Home schooling also provides a great environment for parents and siblings to get to know and love each other at a much deeper level. AND, lastly, but just as importantly, there are the ideological benefits to homeschooling our children. As parents and teachers, our Christian values can be integrated into the school curriculum and school activities. As Catholics, for example, we are able to attend Mass on a daily basis! One of the things that I personally have come to realize is that our primary vocation, or job, as parents is not necessarily to raise scholars, although a good education is very important and we always stress this, but our primary responsibility as parents is to raise Saints! That is, we are trying to teach our kids the main purpose for being on this earth. It is not necessarily to accumulate a lot of wealth or things, but, as Christians, we believe this purpose is to know, love, and serve God. How does this manifest itself in our daily lives? It is honoring God and thanking God for His many blessings. It is trying to be Christ-like to everyone and in everything that we do. (Though we often fall short, God is a forgiving God, and He is always there to help us get back up on our feet.) It is also discovering and fulfilling that unique and special purpose that God has for each and every one of us. For God does not create junk, but makes everyone in His image to do His work. True happiness, we believe, is ultimately in doing and fulfilling God’s will for us, that in which He is calling us to do. Eileen, I realize that you can’t possibly write all of this in your article, but wanted to put into context, and provide our perspective, as to why we choose to home school our children. With Highest Regards! Jim

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sun & Sand

We are lucky enough to have a beach home in our family on Bald Head Island. I have spent summer vacations, holidays and we were married there. It is small and private and very natural. There are no cars, just golf carts and bikes.
We just spent a couple weeks there on family vacation and we had a wonderful time. Most of our time was spent on the beach, playing in the water. I love when the tide is low and the beach is wide and filled with giant wading pools. We had a lot of those days.
This galvanized tin bucket I got for a $1 at a yard sale recently was the central accessory of our beach days. We carried the toys in it, we caught little fish in it, made "seashell soup" in it, floated it like a boat, took "baths" in it and of course it served as the perfect spot for a baby to play in. I am so happy to share theses pictures from a special two weeks for us.

There are so many pictures because it was so much fun. Thanks for indulging me.

Precious sunny sandy days I will treasure forever.

In this last picture, just between me and Sweet Pea, you can see the steeple of the small little chapel we were married in.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In the News

Check out what is "In the News" today...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Father's Love Letter

Happy Father's Day
A Father's Love Letter My Child, You may not know me, but I know everything about you ~ Psalm 139:1 I know when you sit down and when you rise up ~ Psalm 139:2 I am familiar with all your ways ~ Psalm 139:3 Even the very hairs on your head are numbered ~ Matthew 10:29-31 For you were made in my image ~ Genesis 1:27 In me you live and move and have your being ~ Acts 17:28 For you are my offspring ~ Acts 17:28 I knew you even before you were conceived ~ Jeremiah 1:4-5 I chose you when I planned creation ~ Ephesians 1:11-12 You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book ~ Psalm 139:15-16 I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live ~ Acts 17:26 You are fearfully and wonderfully made ~ Psalm 139:14 I knit you together in your mother's womb ~ Psalm 139:13 And brought you forth on the day you were born ~ Psalm 71:6 I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me ~ John 8:41-44 I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love ~ 1 John 4:16 And it is my desire to lavish my love on you ~ 1 John 3:1 Simply because you are my child and I am your father ~ 1 John 3:1 I offer you more than your earthly father ever could ~ Matthew 7:11 For I am the perfect father ~ Matthew 5:48 Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand ~ James 1:17 For I am your provider and I meet all your needs ~ Matthew 6:31-33 My plan for your future has always been filled with hope ~ Jeremiah 29:11 Because I love you with an everlasting love ~ Jeremiah 31:3 My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore ~ Psalm 139:17-18 And I rejoice over you with singing ~ Zephaniah 3:17 I will never stop doing good to you ~ Jeremiah 32:40 For you are my treasured possession ~ Exodus 19:5 I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul ~ Jeremiah 32:41 And I want to show you great and marvelous things ~ Jeremiah 33:3 If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me ~ Deuteronomy 4:29 Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart ~ Psalm 37:4 For it is I who gave you those desires ~ Philippians 2:13 I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine ~ Ephesians 3:20 For I am your greatest encourager ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you ~ Psalm 34:18 As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart ~ Isaiah 40:11 One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes ~ Revelation 21:3-4 And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth ~ Revelation 21:3-4 I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus ~ John 17:23 For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed ~ John 17:26 He is the exact representation of my being ~ Hebrews 1:3 He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you ~ Romans 8:31 And to tell you that I am not counting your sins ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you ~ 1 John 4:10 I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love ~ Romans 8:31-32 If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me ~ 1 John 2:23 And nothing will ever separate you from my love again ~ Romans 8:38-39 Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen ~ Luke 15:7 I have always been Father, and will always be Father ~ Ephesians 3:14-15 My question is ~ Will you be my child? ~ John 1:12-13 I am waiting for you ~ Luke 15:11-32 Love,
Your Dad, Almighty God A Father's Love Letter is owned and copyrighted by Barry Adams.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Baby Yoga

I haven't posted in a while because we got back this week from a two week vacation at the beach, pictures to come.

Sweet Pea is 5 months now and is perfecting her own form of baby yoga...
toe touching stretch
deep breathing techniques
neck and arm stretch
leg stretch
an upper body balance position at the end you feel smiley and good

Friday, June 11, 2010

You Know Me So Well

Happy Anniversary...
to the man who knows me so well that when there were only two brownies left, he cut out the edge and corner to leave me the gooier middle brownie.
I am privileged and honored to be your wife.
May God continue to bless us with great faith, love and happiness.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

"And since there is in the Sacred Heart a symbol and a sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love one another, therefore is it fit and proper that we should consecrate ourselves to His most Sacred Heart - an act which is nothing else than an offering and a binding of oneself to Jesus Christ, seeing that whatever honor, veneration and love is given to this divine Heart is really and truly given to Christ Himself. " - Pope Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated on the Friday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost, which is on June 11th this year. Here are some ideas for celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Prayer Litany to the Sacred Heart Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. God, the Father of Heaven, Response: have mercy on us. God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, .. God the Holy Spirit,... Holy Trinity, one God, ... Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father, ... Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mother's womb, ... Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God, ... Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, ... Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, ... Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, ... Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, ... Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, ... Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, ... Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, ... Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, ... Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, ... Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts, ... Heart of Jesus, wherein are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, ... Heart of Jesus, wherein dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, ... Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased, ... Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, ... Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, ... Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, ... Heart of Jesus, rich unto all who call upon You, ... Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, ... Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our offenses, ... Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with reproaches, ... Heart of Jesus, bruised for our iniquities, ... Heart of Jesus, obedient even unto death, ... Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, ... Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, ... Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, ... Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, ... Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, ... Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee, ... Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, ... Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints, ... Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, R. Make our hearts like unto Thy Heart. Let us pray, Almighty everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy dearly beloved Son, and upon the praise and satisfaction He offers Thee in the name of sinners and for those who seek Thy mercy. Be appeased, and grant us pardon in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who lives and reigns with Thee forever and ever. Amen. Jesus promised that, in response to those who consecrate themselves and make reparations to His Sacred Heart: He will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life. He will establish peace in their homes. He will comfort them in all their afflictions. He will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death. He will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings. Sinners will find in His Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy. Lukewarm souls shall become fervent. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection. He will bless every place in which an image of His Heart is exposed and honored. He will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in His Heart. In the excessive mercy of His Heart that His all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in His disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. His divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment. The devotions attached to these promises are: Receiving Communion frequently First Fridays: going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist on the first Friday of each month for nine consecutive months. Many parishes will offer public First Friday devotions; if they do, you must perform First Fridays publicly. If it isn't so offered in your parish, you can do this privately, going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist, and offering your prayers for the intention of the Holy Father. Holy Hour: Eucharistic Adoration for one hour on Thursdays ("Could you not watch one hour with me?"). Holy Hour can be made alone or as part of a group with formal prayers. Celebrating of the Feast of the Sacred Heart (from Fish Eaters) On the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, we can gain a plenary indulgence by making an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart. Reading & Learning The devotion continued to grow during the Middle Ages and in 1353 Pope Innocent VI instituted a Mass honoring the mystery of the Sacred Heart. During the age of the Protestant movement, devotion to the Sacred Heart was practiced in hope of restoring peace to a world shattered by political and religious persecution. Shortly thereafter, the devotion escalated due to the fervor surrounding the apparitions of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90). For example, on Dec. 27, 1673, our Lord revealed, "My Divine Heart is so passionately inflamed with love... that, not being able any longer to contain within Itself the flames of Its ardent charity, It must let them spread abroad through your means, and manifest Itself to man, that they may be enriched with Its precious treasures which I unfold to you, and which contain the sanctifying and salutary graces that are necessary to hold them back from the abyss of ruin." The four apparitions provided the catalyst for the promotion of the devotion to the Sacred Heart: a feast day in honor of the Sacred Heart and the offering of our Lord's saving grace and friendship if the individual attended Mass and received Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays of the month. (From Food & Treats Make heart cakes or cookies and decorate with red icing and a single candle, representing the Light of Christ. Jessica has a great iced cookie here. Here are other ideas (including a Sacred Heart Cheesecake and Heart Aflame Ice Cream Sundaes) celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Catholic Cuisine Crafts & Activities Color this or this Sacred Heart of Jesus coloring pages I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored. - Jesus to St. Margaret Mary of Alacoque This may be the time to invest in an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for your home. In front of that image, perform an Enthronement to the Scared Heart of Jesus in your home which is a solemn act of a family giving formal recognition of the kingship of Christ over their family and home Make Sacred Heart of Jesus tie-dyed shirts or flags like Charlotte here and here, Jessica and Lara. Some of the mentioned moms used this kit and this tutorial. These are Charlotte's shirts pictured below. Make Jen's Sacred Heart craft. Charlotte has a beautiful version too. Make Helen's Sacred Heart prayer cards as done here by Kimberlee "I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment" - Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Stained Glass Window Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church, Wyandotte, Michigan

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mathematically Challenged

So I have a counting issue which I will blame on being in beach mode or since yesterday was my birthday and I am one more year older (but with less functioning brain cells). I posted yetserday that the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus started on June 2nd and ends on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 11th. Well obviously that is 10 days of praying instead of 9. I don't think Jesus will mind my extra day of prayer, but I wanted to point out and apologize for my goof. So really the novena starts today June 3rd. Thank goodness for Ruth's post, or I would probably never have noticed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus starts today June 2nd and ends on June 11th, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request) Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of.......(here name your request) Our Father...Hail Mary....Glory Be To the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. III. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away." Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of.....(here name your request) Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father...Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours. Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us. -- St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

As the beginning of this novena this year falls on my birthday and the end on my wedding anniversary, I will say this novena with special joy and gratitude for my happy life and my marriage. Thank you Jesus.

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