Thursday, June 23, 2011

MixBook Photo Book for 3 Boys & a Dog

My father died when I was about to turn six, that was in 1979. My mom was 25, in a new country, with three small girls ages five, three, and one. My dad was a military hero in my country, my mom was our hero in our lives . My dad died for our freedom and choose wisely (he told her this three years before he died) when he selected her to be our mother, his wife. To honor her on her birthday and for her to have a wonderful memory of our kids, her 12 granchildren, I've made a photo book for her.

I posted a review and Giveaway for 3 Boys and a Dog. Since I couldn't post it on her blog, I'm posting it here. Enjoy! If you want to try to win a 20-page photo book, please visit me over at Kelli's blog, 3 Boys and a Dog. Here's my mom's birthday book of the grand kids:




Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | View Sample Photo Books | Create your own Photo Book


Love you Mommy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day to The Principal of the School

In honor of all Fathers {the Principals of our Schools} on Father's Day, we introduce Mama Jen in her first Guest Blog on Raising {& Teaching} Little Saints, discussing the crucial role that fathers play in the success of the home schools.  
Welcome Mama Jen to RLS!  ~ Mama Erika

Interested in being a guest blogger on RLS?  
e-mail me, raisinglittlesaints {at} gmail.com
______________________________________________________________________

The Principal of the School
When I first brought up the topic of home education to my husband, his initial reaction was "no way, our kids will be weird and they will miss all kinds of normal stuff!". Thankfully, we've come a long way baby! Now my husband is our biggest cheerleader and supporter of our home education journey.



Husbands can be such an integral part of the day, whether or not they are actively involved in teaching a class. Some dads are responsible for science, others for math, maybe some are in charge of the history lessons for the day. In our house, Dad isn't responsible for a particular subject. He takes on a much broader role. He's more like the superintendent, because he is also responsible for funding, maintenance, coach, and cheerleader.

Maybe some home educating moms desire a husband who will take charge of math, or science, or whatever. But my husband has a job that keeps him more than busy, I would prefer his time with us to be spent on more relaxed family activities like reading aloud, nature walks, bike rides, etc


What he does do is vitally important to the success of our day/month/year. He is a tremendous source of encouragement for all of us. Just the mere fact that I know he prays for us during the day is extremely uplifting.

He has gone from thinking home education was odd and our kids would be "weird", to seeing it as been a great opportunity for our family. Sometimes the kids will say something throughout the course of dinner or anywhere really and he will catch my eye and say "see they do remember stuff!".

My husband is a great sounding board for curriculum choices. He and I know our children best and he sometimes has a different insight into a particular child. He often can see the whole picture and not be consumed by the nitty gritty of daily tasks. Many times he can see progress in a particular area that I have missed.

Plain and simple, I couldn't do this home education journey without his support, encouragement, and laughter!

How has your husband enriched your home education journey?

~ Mama Jen


ABOUT MAMA JEN
Jen is a wife to one amazing husband and mom to six energetic kids.  Visit Forever, For Always, No Matter What where she blogs about their Catholic faith, homeschooling and adoption.

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A Catholic Prayer for Earthly Fathers

Most gracious Heavenly Father,
We thank you for our earthly fathers,
those to whom you have entrusted the responsibility
to provide loving protection of their families
and guidance of their children.
We thank you, also,
for our priests and bishops,
whose spiritual fatherhood is so vital to the faith of your people.

May our earthly fathers imitate the manly courage of Abraham,
Jesse and Joseph,
and all the holy fathers of the past
in providing wise counsel to the children
you have given to their care.
And may our spiritual fathers be guided
by the examples of Saints Peter and Paul,
all the Apostles and their saintly successors.
Give them valiant faith in the face of confusion and conflict,
hope in time of trouble and sorrow,
and steadfast love for you,
for their families,
and for all your people throughout the world.

Assist all fathers of families,
all spiritual fathers,
and all Christian men,
that through your Grace they may steadily grow in holiness
and in knowledge and understanding of your Truth.
May they generously impart this knowledge to those who rely on them.

As you, our Heavenly Father, so loved the world,
sending your only Son to be our Savior and Redeemer,
we ask you to help all men to imitate His fatherly gentleness
and mercy toward those who are weak;
His humility, perfect obedience to your Will,
and fearless witness to your Truth.
May their lives be examples to all of heroic faithfulness to you.

We ask your blessing on all those to whom
you have entrusted fatherhood.
May your Holy Spirit constantly inspire them with justice and mercy,
wisdom and strength,
fidelity and self-giving love.
May they receive your Grace abundantly in this earthly life,
and may they look forward to eternal joy
in your presence in the life to come.

We ask this through Jesus Christ,
your Son and Our Lord.

Amen.

Thank you, my beloved, for being the BEST Father to our beautiful little blessings!  Your love for me is evident in your love for them!  Thank you!

Happy Father's Day to all Dads who are Raising {& Teaching} Little Saints!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father John Corapi, The Black SheepDog and the Sacrament of Holy Orders

Third Update (July 12th, 2011):  Again from Bishop Gracida's blog, here is a Well Reasoned and balanced appraisal of the Father John Corapi Case.  Each point that Mr. Stevens expresses here will help you fully understand this whole situation a little better (I wish the Catholic reporting agencies would have taken a more similar approach, possibly gone to prayer about this before posting their rash judgement about this man).  Father Corapi, we love you for all the hard work you did for 20 years of service to our Holy Mother Church!  Thank you for all the souls you brought home and for speaking the truth always!  God bless you and keep you and may the Blessed Mother protect you during this time of trial.  Mr. Stevens ends his post on the good Bishop's blog the best way: "Let’s just pray for the eternal salvation of everyone involved. Ultimately, that is the only thing that counts."



Second Update (July 5th, 2011):  After reading everything SOLT had to say on this matter I will have to still go with what Bishop Gracida says, NO ONE, ESPECIALLY A RELIGIOUS SUPERIOR, IS ALLOWED TO PRACTICE DETRACTION AND CALUMNY!

UPDATE (June 19th, 2011):  Please read Bishop Emeritus Garcida's reflection on this which has caused so much confusion and sadness (and division).  Please continue to pray for all priests.  I'm praying that Father Corapi has a change of heart since his SOLT superior is allowing him an opportunity to change his mind.  Pray with me.

In addition, since the news has spread like wildfire, I went about reading some really well written posts on this issue, most very charitable asking for prayers (which, I believe is the most important thing we can do), and other just being very sinful in their words.  I think this blog post over at The Rosary Trail, states it best as to what we ALL need to do about this situation:
"The worst thing that could possibly happen with this Father Corapi news that everyone is buzzing about is that an occasion of evil could occur in which the Devil will take full advantage of the adverse situation at hand and use it to pull people out of a state of peacefulness and into a state of chaos. After all, he is the master of deceit, lies and trickery and will stop at nothing when it comes to ruining a soul.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing opinions on the Father Corapi news and discussing the reasons he chose to do what he did and say what he said. There isn’t even anything wrong with completely disagreeing with his choice of words, manner or conduct! It’s okay to be disappointed, confused, bewildered, sad, disheartened, abandoned – all of these are normal human emotions and it would be strange not to be feeling something here. But keeping these emotions in check and not allowing oneself to lose control is the secret of how Mary lived her life. She felt pain all of her life from the prophecy of Simeon to the burial of Jesus. She, too, experienced sadness and disappointment, abandonment and fear and everything adverse all of us have ever felt and more adversity than we will ever feel. But she didn’t fly off the handle in attack mode when adversity struck; what she did do was pray.
Please place your trust in the Lord and don’t allow the Devil to infuse his poisons into the cracks of openings you are giving him by letting this Father Corapi news break you down. Seal the cracks and say the prayers and the Devil won’t have a fleeting chance because you didn’t give it to him."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Here's my original post from last Saturday:
Let me start with this.....a CATHOLIC FACT: Once a man's hands are consecrated he is always a priest...because it is a SACRAMENT....priestly faculties can be taken from them or they can choose to leave but the fact of the matter is that he is a priest! In addition, the Sacrament of Holy Orders (like Baptism and Confirmation) leaves an imprint in your SOUL. He can be dispensed of his obligations as a priest (or even forbidden to act as a priest); but he remains a priest forever.

If you haven't read or heard Father John Corapi's statement {see the youtube video below}, please do and then come back so we can chat about this.




"Fr. John Corapi's much anticipated announcement, proclaiming the introduction of "The Black SheepDog." Within this announcement is an update regarding the most-recent accusations, his response, his mission, as well as his gratitude for all who have supported his priesthood. For more information please visit his blog-site: www.TheBlackSheepDog.us ! As always, God Love You, and God Bless You!"
Friends, I've read people compare this to what happened to Padre Pio but also use it to accuse Father Corapi of not being humble and of being disobedient. I humbly must disagree. I think that he is acting in obedience. Obedience takes many forms, and in an age of disobedient bishops, failing their Apostolic mandate, it is unjust to brand obedience to the Truth, to the Church, to the Faith, as disobedience.

As his new motto says: Truth. Hope. Unleashed.

Father Corapi is left in an untenable situation. My beloved calls it being "black-holed." He will be left on indefinite suspension with little or no hope to be exonerated. Todd has known two priests who were black-holed where he used to live in Syracuse, and we knew (all too briefly) Father Andrew Dowgeirt in Miami, and went to confession with him. He made the mistake of detailing improprieties of his pastor, and then the pastor after that, and instead of him being treated with respect for detailing misdeeds, he was black-holed by the Archbishop at the time. Now we see Father Corapi made to forsake his active priesthood so that he can continue to preach.

He has said he will speak more broadly than just the Church. Good!

As my Beloved worded it best:
"I think that the age of the laity is now taking hold in earnest. We will not be silenced. We will not be silent. Shepherds can ignore us, can try to silence us, can neglect us, but we can no longer be silent. God gave Himself for our salvation. He gave us one Church. He gave us one faith, one fold, one shepherd. And the Modernists and Liberals and crypto-Protestants that would seek to take our Faith, our Sacraments, our holy priests, and our parishes from us will no longer be allowed to do it. Error will be fought, it will be cut down, and it will be cast out. You can remove the collar from the priest, but you cannot remove the Sacrament from his soul. Ad multos annos, Father Corapi. Ad multos annos."

I also invite you to read Father Z's blog post on this situation, he invites us to be charitable and to pray: 

About Fr. John Corapi with observations about our times

and last, but not least, I invite you to join me in prayer for our Bishops!



Rosary for the Bishop


Here are way to keep in touch with him:



(Father) John Corapi's blog, and his new moniker, is The Black Sheepdog.












No matter how you feel about {Father} Corapi's decision, you must agree with me that this is one sad day in our beautiful Church!  My heart aches...but at the same time it makes me want to run out and receive the Sacraments more often and to drop on my knees and pray even harder!

Blessings,
- Erika (and Todd)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Timberdoodle Review: Primary Science Set {Learning Resources Kit}

We just simply LOVE science experiments in our Homeschool!  Science is really an area that we truly enjoy but we were lacking a lot of the necessary tools and equipment to adequetely create some fun and educational experiments for our kids.  This is why I was so excited to have the great opportunity to work with Timberdoodle, Co. and review their product Primary Science Set by Learning Resources, winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2010 Gold Seal Award!  :)

My first reaction when I opened the kit was "WOW!" because it contained everything you need for some fun experiments, including the safety goggles!  I love how the 12 lab items are bigger than normal and "chunky" for little preschool and toddler hands.  The items included in the kit are an eye dropper, protective goggles, tweezers, plastic beakers, and test tubes.
Here's an overview of the kit from Timberdoodle's YouTube Channel:




Our Science Lab ready to go!
Another great feature this product has is the 10 Experiment Cards that come with it. The cards are big and they have pictures to help with the beginning reader be a great scientist! :) You still need to read the instructions on the back but at least my little ones felt so grown up looking at the card and checking to make sure that they had all of the equipment they would need for their experiments.  I worked with the three middle children ages six, four, and two.  The box does state that this set is for ages 4+, but I wanted to test and see if you could use it with a toddler, especially since he is almost three.  I actually had him do most of the mixing colors experiment since we've done this in the past with the other two kids.  Above is a picture of all Lab set up {yes I used the word Lab with them}.



The kit comes with these 10 experiment cards.
 
You do need to provide the different items for the actual experiments as this is a kit to be reused with other ones besides the 10 cards contained. Most of the items (besides the bugs) are everyday household/kitchen items, so I didn't think it was a big deal to round them up. We went ahead and tried all 10 experiments. But for the purpose of this review I will focus on two:  1.  The Volcano Exploding and 2. Mixing Colors.
I had the children double check that we had all the items we needed (all they had to do is look at the cards) and I called out the items as I lifted them {this exposes them to Lab vocabulary}.  Another thing I did was talk about the importance of protecting your eyes in a Lab and how to have fun but be safe.

Jojo pouring the baking powder.


Everyone got a turn doing something.
  
Even the little guy got to shake and mix colors!
He felt like such a big boy!
"Shake, shake, shake" he sang as he mixed the colors.



















I definitely would recommend this product as a great asset to your Science Curriculum...it makes it fun and hands on.  It is great for anyone with young children, it will help them get interested in science at an early age and expose them to lab vocabulary.  I am already looking for more experiments we can do using this fabulous little kit!


But do you want to know what I love best about this product?  That it came from Timberdoodle a company that began in 1985 by homeschoolers and now serves second-generation Timberdoodle customers!   "What began as a back porch venture has now grown to include two warehouses and an office, and the children have grown to become customer service reps, web technicians, warehouse workers, order processors, and more. Timberdoodle is still run by the original owners, the Deffinbaughs; they and their five children form the bulk of the work crew."
While visiting their site, I found that Timberdoodle has a program for loyal and return customers, they call it Doodle Dollars.  Basically, you get points every time you shop with them and can use those points to buy new homeshool items!  :)  It's a win, win situation, go check it out:

Want to know more about Timberdoodle, Co.?


Hope you enjoyed this review. 
Blessings,


Learning Resources is a leading manufacturer of learning toys and innovative hands-on educational materials  for classrooms worldwide. For 25 years, Learning Resources has been a trusted source for teachers and parents for quality, award-winning educational products in math, science, social studies, language, language arts, literacy, reading, early childhood, and more.



DISCLOSURE:  I was provided this product from Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review of it.  This is my opinion about the product and its use with my own children.  In no way shape or form is my receiving this product for free a factor in my HONEST review of this item.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NEWS: Father John Corapi Due to Make an Announcement THIS weekend!

Just got an email from Santa Cruz Media (his publishing company):

"We understand many of you would like an update--any update--on the status of Fr. John Corapi. Please be assured that as soon as Fr. Corapi updates us with the status of these events, we will utilize all avenues of communications to update you, his fans, and followers.

Recently, Fr. Corapi held an internal office meeting and informed us that he is "not extinguished!" He expressed his continued desire to help deliver a message of hope to those who seek it and he informed us that by this weekend he will have a "very important announcement" that he plans on delivering on YouTube, Facebook, and through email.

We ask that you continue to lift him up in prayer and are encouraged for what lies ahead."
I don't know about you but I can't wait and pray that it is happy news...I miss him on EWTN!

On a happy note, this year Father Corapi is celebrating his 20th anniversary since his ordination STOP THE PRESS!! This man has only, ONLY, been a priest for 20 years???? Have you ever heard him? Okay, if you don't believe in God using us and his priests to speak through them, you have to hear this man! He explains so much in such a short time and it is so clear...crystal clear, only the Lord can send messages like that! Here's a glimpse of it:










From their website: "Now, commemorating his baptism and 20th anniversary of ordination, we are reducing prices on the entire inventory for the remainder of the month of June. 50% OFF ENTIRE INVENTORY, to take advantage of this offer, you must use the coupon "June2011" in the checkout process!"  Also, visit him on Facebook!



Can't wait to see him again, how about you?
Blessings,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Catholic Book Blog Tour: Framing Faith by Sarah Piccini {Book Review}

The closing of our Parish back in Miami, brought great sadness to our family.  It was a our home there, we had great family and friends there, history was made there...we exchanged out vows in our Sacrament of Matrimony, saw our second and third children be Baptized, many fond memories of this small and beautiful little church Near the Miami River in Florida.  My only wish was that I had taken more pictures and spent more time with our Pastor asking questions about its rich history. 

As I stop to think about Saint Robert Bellarmine's in Miami, I realize that our family is not alone.  Across the US, there are many other families like ours, reminicing the closing of their home parishes due to restructuring of the different Diocese and of course, our horrible economy.  Yes, sadly, we are not alone! 

Book cover
Which leaves you with this question, "How do you capture the richness of these parishes?"  Author Sarah Piccini had an inovative idea, she documented the history of the people of 10 parishes in the Diocese of Scranton in Pennsylvania, then got together with photographer Ivana Pavelka & ARTS Engage and together they captured these ten beautiful parishes in a book entitled, Framing Faith: A Pictorial History of Communities of Faith.

Looking through this beautiful book, I can't help but feel like I've been taken back through time to parishes with not just the Catholic history that they embody, but also the history of many immigrants and their families.  To see the pictures of the cornerstones and see the dates some as old as 1895, just facisnates me.  Some written in Polish for those communities rich with these families starting to make roots in a new country.  This book conveys to its reader, the positive impact that Catholic immigrants from Poland, Slovakia, Italy, Germany, and Lithuania made to the Scranton Diocese.  What an incredibly thoughtful and beautiful idea it was for these two very talented ladies to have created this lovely book! 

Here's a synopsis of the book:





An additional neat feature about this book is that it was part of a program called ARTS Engage!  "ARTS Engage! is a program whose mission is to build social skills through the arts by allowing students to create work and work with professional artists. This project allowed students to develop photography skills by working with a high caliber artist such as Ivana Pavelka and the documentation of ethnic churches offered a unique place-based learning experience about our cultural history." Maureen McGuigan, Deputy Director of Arts and Culture, Lackawanna County


Description (from their website):
Framing Faith tells the story of the faith of immigrants and their descendants, spotlighting 10 Catholic churches in the Diocese of Scranton that were closed due to restructuring.   The churches are:
 The churches have rich ethnic heritages. They are Polish, Slovak, Italian, German, and Lithuanian parishes with long traditions and deep roots. Each church was founded by immigrant groups who came to the coal fields of the Lackawanna Valley with little more than their faith in God. Their churches served as the center of the community and touchstones of the Old Country. Framing Faith traces their histories from small beginnings through baptisms, weddings and funerals to their final celebrations. Throughout the text are images from each church, visual reminders of what was for many an important part of their lives.
It was truly a pleasure reviewing this book.   I could not tell you which parish I liked the most because each one had such amazing stories or the place was just heavenly, that I could not pick just one.  I might favor Sacred Heart in Mayfield, but I'm partial to anything and anyone with that title ;)
Stained Glass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Sacred Heart Church

Stations of the Cross,
Sacred Heart Church

Immaculate Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Sacred Heart Church

This book honors all of those parishioners and priests that served and loved and worshipped our Lord in beautiful parishes.  I wish more authors and photographers would capture these unforgetable churches throughout the US, as these two lovely ladies have done so well in this great book.  If you have ties to the Northern Pennsylvania area or just the fact that you love older traditional churches and their rich history, I recommend that you add Framing Faith to your Catholic library.

Learn more about this awesome book, Framing Faith, by visiting its website and also on Facebook.


Ready to buy?  There are several choices:
  1. Paperback, $24.95 96 pgs., 8.5" x 11", ISBN 9780982256589
  2. PDF eBook, $4.95
  3. Kindle, $2.99
  4. iPad, $4.99
  5. Nook, $4.95
  6. Google, $3.79
DISCLOSURE:  I was provided a PDF e-book version of this book by Tribute Books in exchange for my honest review of it.

Hope you enjoyed this review! 
Many Blessings,
Mama Erika
    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
    SARAH PICCINI graduated from the University of Scranton with a degree in History and Communications. In 2010, she received a Master’s degree in History focusing on the ethnic and labor history of the Lackawanna Valley. She collaborates with the Lackawanna Historical Society on many projects and programs, and serves the Vice President of the board for the Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces Associates.
    Sarah Piccini, author on Facebook ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
    IVANA PAVELKA is a co-founder and co-manager of the photographic gallery Camerawork in Scranton and is a professional photographer who has had many solo and group shows. Her professional career includes teaching in the art department at Keystone College (La Plume, PA), giving workshops and residencies as a rostered artist in schools, and working as a commercial photographer. She is also a professional bookbinder who was trained in European methods in Prague, where she grew up. When she came to the United States in 1980, she free-lanced as a bookbinder for such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has lived in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, since 1991.   Ivana Pavelka, photographer on Facebook

    Tribute Books website Tribute Books on Facebook Tribute Books on Twitter

The Sad News of a Catholic Church Closing: St. Robert Bellarmine {Miami, Florida}

About two years ago, when my cell phone rang and one of my kids brought it running to me (screen face up so I could see the caller ID), I was excited to see it was a close friend from Florida. I dried my hands as quickly as I could (don't you just hate how quickly the calls go to voicemail) and grabbed the phone pressing the green button. "Hi, my friend how are you?," I asked him but on the other end what I heard was sadness, "I have bad news, the Archbishop is closing a bunch of churches and St. Robert Bellarmine is on the list!," he said as my heart sank. St. Robert's???

How could it be? It was the church where my beloved and I married, where I learned the beauty of the Latin Mass (when to stand, how to pray it, etc.) and it was where two of my five children were Baptised. How could it be???

But really, I was not surprised because St. Robert Bellarmine is a small church in a poor section of town. Most of its parishioners were from other parts of Miami (us being one of them) but the rest of our Church friends lived in the neighborhood. It was a poor parish...but in my heart I thought...it's one of the parishes that needed to stay open, for the very same reason...it was in a poor section of town!  Most of the people walked to Mass, now where were they going to go?  My heart broke.  So I went to the Archdiocese of Miami's website and sure enough, in black and white, was the name of the church!

I quickly wanted to see pictures, to remember how beautiful it is (these are the ones I used for my anniversary (July 23rd) photobook):



Pages 5, 10, 11, 14, and 15, give you a feel for what it looked like inside and also it's beautiful little courtyard and Parish hall....it's a small church, but beautiful nonetheless!

Isn't it so sad that so many churches are closing down?  It's a sad thing to see...I just wish that I could win the lottery to give them all the money they need to pay off loans and keep their doors open, it's so important!!!  So people, lets not complain anymore when we see that basket come around during collection, let's give and tithe like the best of them.  Did you know that the Bible asks us to tithe 10%?  It's possible, I've seen people do it....I think this is something my family and many others really need to pray about and reconsider to keep more church doors open!
Blessings,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Looking for guest writers

Are you a writer?

Are you a writer who’d be interested in doing a guest post or interview for our blog? If so, please contact us by e-mail at raisingLittleSaints {at} gmail {dot} com for details. We'd love to feature you on our blog! Can't wait to hear from you!

Blessings,
Mama Erika

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reviews & Giveaway Over at 3 Boys & a Dog

3Boys&aDog

As you may already know, I am a contributor/reviewer over at Mama Kelli's blog, 3 Boys & a Dog. Currently, there are a bunch of reviews and giveaways that she and the seven contributors have put together. I have two that I posted myself that I wanted to tell you about.:




1. Playtex Lil' Gripper Training Cup, 1 winner, US/CAN {ends 6/20}
"Do you have a hard time finding the right cup for your little one? You know they tops don’t fit right or the cup can’t easily wash, or the tops (worse)! Sometimes finding the right cup for your toddler seems like a daunting task….it does lilgripper Review & Giveaway: Playtex First Lil Gripperme. After five kids I think I’ve tried every brand and style (no kidding). Here’s one I must confess, I really love! Why???

What I Love: First off, it is a great cup if your child is transitioning from either bottle or breast to cup, or like my little one, using it and still nursing. The next reason why"......[to read more and a chance to win one of these great training cups, go to 3 Boy & a Dog]

2. Rock N Learn Educational DVD Collections, 4 winners, US/CAN {ends 6/17}
I want my kids outside active but sometimes they need good things to watch on TV…okay I’m guilty I do use the tube as a sitter sometimes but with five kids I call it survival some days.  It does make me feel guilty sometimes and is probably why when it comes to what my kids watch on TV or DVD, I’m one picky Mama!  I’m always on the hunt for good DVDs to take in the van for a long ride or to use as a supplement in our homeschool.  So as I mom and teacher to these lovely kiddos, I have to tell you that I am mighty impressed with Rock N Learn!  ......[to read more and a chance to win one of 4 DVD Collections, go to 3 Boy & a Dog]







Many Blessings,
Mama Erika

Friday, June 10, 2011

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR FOR CHILDREN'S BOOK Coming soon!

On July 15th, we will have an author, Eric D. Goodman, stop by to answer questions from his most recent book, Flightless Goose. I am working on a review for this book and questions for Eric. But on July 15th he will be visiting us here at RLS and anwering any questions you may have. In the meantime, you may want to check out the book's Facebook Page to get a sneek-peek at what this great children's book is all about. Of course, we will also be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky blessed RLS reader!  So please stay tuned. 
Blessings,
Mama Erika

Monday, June 6, 2011

Promoting Vocations: Newly Ordained in North Carolina

 

Father Voitus
Two great reasons to celebrate in the state of North Carolina this past weekend.  In the Diocese of Charlotte, Bishop Jugis ordained Deacon Voitus and in the Diocese of Raleigh, Bishop Burbidge ordained Deacon Buckler into the priesthood!  Here's a video of Father Voitus's ordination:











Rev. Mr. Brendan Buckler.
(Photo from Diocesan website.)
 On Sunday, my family had the great pleasure of attending the First Mass of a newly ordained priest.  We drove a little way (about two and a half hours) to see it but it was truly worth the drive there and back.  The Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form was heavenly to say the least.  There must have been about 20+ priests altogether, some Diocesan, some from orders like the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP)Father Brendan Buckler was ordained just this past Saturday by Bishop Burbrige of the Diocese of Raleigh.  From their website:
"The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge will celebrate a Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood for Rev. Mr. Brendan Buckler, Saturday, June 4, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral In Raleigh. Deacon Buckler, the son of Michael and Carol, graduated from Towson State University in Maryland in 2001. He entered the Diocesan formation program in 2003, completing a pastoral internship year at St. Thomas More Parish in Chapel Hill. In 2004, he attended seminary at Theological College in Washington, completing Philosophy studies. He reentered the formation program in 2007, completing his studies for the Priesthood at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia.
Last June, he was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate before returning for his final year at St. Charles. Bishop Burbidge has announced that upon ordination to the Priesthood, Deacon Buckler will be assigned as Parochial Vicar at St. Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest."
Here is a video clip of then Deacon, now Father Buckler regarding his call to the priesthood and upcoming ordination:






My boys loved watching all the priests and seminarians before, during, and after Mass.  My six year old got especially excited when they all took a group photo just outside the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  He came running to me and smiled from ear to ear, "Mom, I can't believe that one day I will be having my first Mass and taking a picture with all the guys at the steps of a Cathedral too!"  {mission accomplished, was what I thought, my eyes swelled up with tears to hear my little one utter those words}.  As soon as I find that picture I will post it on here!  :)


Father Buckler's First Mass Celebrated at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh
was done in the Extraordinary Form.  It was a Solemn High Mass.


Congratulations to Both Dioceses and to Fathers Buckler and Voitus!

Please join me in praying for these two Holy Men of God!:
A PRAYER FOR PRIESTS
By the late John J Cardinal Carberry

Keep them; I pray Thee, dearest Lord.
Keep them, for they are Thine
The priests whose lives burn out before
Thy consecrated shrine.

Keep them, for they are in the world,
Though from the world apart.
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure --
Shelter them in Thy heart.

Keep them and comfort them in hours
Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice
For souls seems but in vain.

Keep them and remember, Lord,
they have no one but Thee.
Yet, they have only human hearts,
With human frailty.

Keep them as spotless as the Host,
That daily they caress;
Their every thought and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.

Want to learn more about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass?  Visit Father Z!  :)



Blessings,
Mama Erika

Circle of Moms: Vote For Us!

Circle of Moms has a category section.  One of the categories is Faith Blogs and with votes they make it to the Top 25 Faith Blogs.  I've been on there before voting for other blogs and never did it occur to me to add RLS their this list until the other day.  I saw Elizabeth Foss, another Catholic Mama Blogger, post something on Facebook that was a little borthersome disturbing to me. 

Under Faith Blogs, you have pagan and witch moms that have made it to the top 25!  SO...I voted for Elizabeth, then I saw that Lacy at Catholic Icing also added her blog.  I voted for her.  Then I added RLS.  So now we need your help!  You can visit Circle of Moms daily and vote for as many blogs available.  Vote for Raising {& Teaching} Little Saints:

Voting ends on Jun 8, 2011 at 5pm PST, so please help us spread the word!  Thank you!

Blessings,
Mama Erika

Prepare for Pentecost: Holy Ghost Novena Day 6 "Understanding"

Today's Novena is to be prayed on June 8th, I'm posting these two days ahead of time. :)