Monday, January 30, 2012

A Laundry System that Works!

I love this little cartoon I found last year, a little humor before we start talking Laundry Systems:

Are you or your children allergic to laundry?  Do you dread when it's laundry day?  or is laundry day every day at your home?  Well I have the remedy for your agony!  Once you use my laundry system, adapted from my dear friend Stephanie, you are going to never think laundry is a will embrace it!

Here are some easy steps to help you get started:

1.  CLOTHING:  Make sure that each person/child has about 12 to 14 outfits to their name.  This does not include under clothing and socks, just outfits.  For underclothing and socks, I'd recommend a little more than the number of outfits just in case, especially when potty training.  ;)  Also, make sure that your child has their drawers organized and easy to find where everything goes.  If need-be, give them a tour of their drawers and where their hangers are so that putting clothing away is easy-peasy!

2.  BASKETS: Get one laundry basket per person, if you want, you can color code them or do like I did, I bought two rounds for the smaller children and three squares for the bigger ones.  I avoided the rectangular shapes ones because of the small space I have for each basket.  You could also label each basket with your child's name.  My husband and I share a basket and this is the only one that I actually sort anymore...we share only because we don't have the space to have two baskets in there.

ALSO, I have TWO more baskets in the bathroom closet one for towels and another for linens.  These are my old rectangular laundry baskets, by the way.  So in my case, a family with five kids, we have 5 kid baskets + 2 linen/towel baskets +1 parent basket = 8 baskets.  Notice, you are already sorted out the laundry this way!  ;)

Here are some choices of baskets that aren't so bulky but hold the same amount of clothing as a larger rectangular basket:
I have three of these for the bigger children.
I have two of these for the smaller children.
When my first kids where smaller, I had these as laundry baskets and while they are super cute and you can color coordinate with your kids room, I honestly hated them and got rid of them when I implemented this system, so I don't recommend them.  BUT if you can't purchase new baskets and these are the ones you have, don't let this stop you from reading on.:

3.  LAUNDRY ROOM:  Have a "catch-all" basket in your laundry room, especially if it's on the first floor and your kids' rooms are on a second, or vice-versa.  I really like this one (the one I have has only two compartments) but you can just have a general is where I place my kitchen towels, etc.:
Also, make sure you add all the items you use for your laundry room on your grocery shopping list.  This will remind you to check before leaving to the store and always have items in stock.  :)

1.  SORTING:   Since each child has his/her own laundry basket the clothing is already sorted.  My kids have a bad habit of turning their clothing inside out when they take it off.  If they do this, they stand next to me and flip them back out and they also get a lesson in putting the clothing in the wash.  Trust me, once you get them to do this often enough, they start remembering to turn the clothing the right side the next time the change.

2.  ROTATIONS:  You have to ways of doing this.
     A) once a basket is full, the child (if able to do so) brings his/her basket to the laundry room to get it washed OR like I do,
     B) have an assigned day to wash per person.  So here's our rotations:
Mondays:  Dad and Mom
Tuesdays: Child 1
Wednesdays: Child 2
Thursdays: Child 3
Fridays: Child 4
Saturdays: Child 5
Sundays: NO LAUNDRY, it's the Lord's day!  ;)

Using this rotation, you will do laundry every two weeks or so.  :)  So in essence when you look at a two week (14 days) time period, you have six days of laundry (if you have as many kids as I do) and eight days off without laundry!  If you have less kids then you have less time between laundry days!  If you have more kids than we do, I'd double up on kids so child 1 and 2 on Mondays, child 3 and 4 on Tuesdays...ect.  OR if you want to have less laundry days do this as well.  When I know we are going to have a busy week and it's time for laundry, I double or triple up.

We don't sort whites and darks, we wash the kids clothing all together....about every 2-3 months, I do grab underclothing and socks that might need bleaching and do sort but I don't do this every laundry cycle.

3.  FOLDING & PUTTING AWAY:  The key for this system to work is that you fold the clothing as they come out of the dryer.  Sometimes we have an errand to run and I have to tumble the clothing for about 10 minutes to de-wrinkle them.  I fold and put back in their assigned basket.  Each kid (if of age and able to) helps fold and take their own baskets back up.  Some with supervision, I get them to put their clothing away on their own.  :)  When folding stack all the pants together, all the shirts together, etc. so that when you or your child puts the clothing away everything is sorted and organized to easily put away.  Then grab the basket and put it so that they have it back in the designated location.  If they changed clothing while their basket was gone, I have them put the clothing on the floor where the basket is normally placed so that when returned, they just put it in the basket.

4. SPACE:  If you have space issues and one basket per person is a pain to your ears, this is my solution for you:

Tips on pesty lost socks: Teach your kids to put socks one inside the other when they take them off, this keeps them from getting lost.  Also, don't buy the same style for all the boys or all the girls if they are different sizes, this makes putting socks back together a pain!

Once I started using this system, I really didn't hate doing laundry!   Also remember every toilet scrubbed with love gets us an inch closer to Heaven! (includes tantrums and gentle guidance towards little people that test our motherly patience as well, lol)...Todd calls it the PASS technique = Purgatory Avoidance Suffering System!

Here are other systems that I have seen that worked too:
1.  A Laundry System for Large Families...and small ones too!  (Liz and I were trained by Stephanie, a mom to 6)
2. I love doing the laundry, really!
3.  A Laundry System that Works!
4.  Finding a Laundry System That Works for You
5.  Home Organizing Tip #3: The Laundry

Have you learned to tame the laundry monster?  Tell me how you did it and if you blogged about it, please leave a comment with a link!

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember organization + clean = peace!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Way of Life & Saint Thomas Aquinas

Yesterday was the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas.  St. Thomas is our patron saint for the school year, when it was time to select a new saint, I just didn't want to part with him.  His philosophy and theology is so much like ours that he's the perfect match for us.  If you have ever read the Summa, you know how deeply spiritual it is.  Some people have a really hard time with it (like me), others don't (like my husband).  He gave me a great book called My Way of Life: Pocket Edition of St. Thomas - The Summa Simplified for Everyone, I highly recommend it.

My favorite hymn is Tantum Ergo, and until yesterday, I didn't know that St. Thomas wrote it!  This beautiful hymn is really only a part of St. Thomas Aquinas' hymn "Pange Lingua Gloriosi". Nevertheless, "Tantum Ergo" is a praiseworthy hymn of praise; it is a great reminder of the beauty and healing power of Eucharistic Adoration.  Yet another link between this great Saint and our little family:  the love for the Holy Eucharist!  Here are the words to this beautiful hymn:

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et jubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.

Have a beautiful Sunday with your family!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thou shalt not kill: Innocent human life vs. Guilty human life.

"Thou shalt not kill" in English, in Exodus 20:13, is most accurately translated from the Hebrew as, "Thou shalt never directly kill an innocent person." Not generally "thou shalt not kill." The Hebrew word used here is thrtzch, which specifically refers to a premeditated, deliberate act by an individual to kill an innocent person.

We humans alone, of all of the inhabitants of the Earth, are sacred.

You are a person, and thus have a right to live.

You have a right to be born.

  1. Your nature.
  2. Your origin.
  3. Your destination.

If life is happenstance, a ghoulish random mixture of amino acids and lightening and comet dust, then you are no more sacred than a dog or tree or any other living thing. But God gave you your nature in a way not happenstance or random. You are not arrogant; you are aware. You have reason. You are free with self-consciousness, able to love in a real way, to think, to pray; to act.

So He gives you your nature, and that makes you sacred.

You are beget from your mother and father, but you are you because of you. God has a one to one relation with you. He Personally invested you with your rationale soul. He is what makes me ME, and you YOU. He knows you because He made you YOU, and not merely the byproduct of your mother and father's genes.

So He is your origin, and that makes you sacred.

You are immortal. Your body will die, but you will never, ever die. Earth will fall away, and all shall pass, but your soul will never die. You will be eternally with Him, or eternally without Him, but your are eternal regardless.

So He is your destination, and that makes you sacred.

I understand why a person would want the death penalty to stop, or want only just wars, but the principle involved is innocence. The death penalty must be just, and kill the guilty. If a person, or a country, is an unjust aggressor, then we have a right to shoot or kill soldiers of an aggressor, and we have a duty to fight wickedness.

So I will close with a constant thought of Dr. Deitrich von Hildebrand: Amoralism is worse than immoralism. Amoralism is indifference. It is lukewarmness. It is vomited out by God. Point out morality. Stand for morals. Stand for truth. Fight relativism and indifference. If you meet amoralism, fight it. Make the person mad if necessary, because when you are indifferent, you are immovable.

God is Truth. Stand for God, and fight amoralism and indifference.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Rebellion - March for Life 2012

In my quest for *SOME* kind of news coverage on the 2012 March for Life, I found this fantastic video put together by the Marc Barnes, who blogs at "Bad Catholic". Take a look how awesome this is? Why this didn't get covered by the News stations, I don't understand...

What OUR TV Stations Failed to Report

This year, on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, this is what the White House had to say:
The White HouseOffice of the Press SecretaryFor Immediate Release January 22, 2012Statement by the President on Roe v. Wade AnniversaryAs we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams. 

Well, oddly, Roe, in Roe vs. Wade had something completely different to say.  This was a picture circling Facebook on the anniversary:

Here's a picture you WON'T see on the main stream media outlets this week. How is it that over 200,000 (Fox reports) pro-life advocates can march down Constitution Ave in Washington D.C. and there's a total blackout from every media outlet accept EWTN? 

If this really was about choice, why isn't our choice to keep a child being protected and given as much air time as the Occupy movement?   WAKE UP AMERICA!!! 

Is Obamacare the American Catholic's Wake Up Call?

By now, I'm sure you have heard of Obama Administration’s war on religious liberty: and we have one year to comply!  If you haven't been watching this play out, in essence the Obama Administration has decided to REQUIRE religious institutions to cover FREE contraception and sterilization for all of their employees. As Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB, said this plans states, "that sterilization and contraception — including controversial abortifacients — be included among 'preventive services' coverage in almost every healthcare plan available to Americans."

The news came in just one day after Pope Benedict XVI's address to US Catholic Bishops... knowing the Pope, this was no coincidence. But folks this attack on moral conscienceless and religious liberty should not be a shock to us.

If you ask me, the snow ball has been rolling down the hill for some time now...I mean when I posted a news article on my Facebook wall regarding Cardinal-designate Dolan's response to the White House, I was antagonistically met by Catholic friends who were real quick to reminded me of some of the Catholic institutions that already do this (well there is only a dozen).  {On a side note, remember all of the institutions that were being stripped of the Catholic name/seal because of this very reason, these twelve must be next on that list}. A lot of these people don't understand the problem that this poses.  One friend stated that it wasn't forcing Catholics to use contraceptives but that the institutions had a moral right to offer this to all their employees.  So my question is this, if you are going to work for a Catholic institution, why would you EXPECT this?

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the USCCB, promptly denounced the decision. "In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," the cardinal-designate said. "To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty."  So much for freedom of conscience, separation of Church and State AND Religious Liberty! WOW, a three for one special, thanks Mr. President!  But wait, there's more, not only did this come as an announcement to the USCCB but Mr. President took it upon himself to CALL ARCHBISHOP DOLAN, yep you heard it right.  While all of this may seem depressing and sad, which it is.  Here is the response of the Archbishop of New York/USCCB President to "Final Rule" of the Department of Health and Human Services; 20 January 2012:

With the November 2012 elections soon approaching, this worries me even further.  The dissenting and indifferent Catholics in the voting booth have significantly contributed to putting the most anti-life president ever to occupy the Oval Office into power.  Oddly enough, he has surrounded himself with quasi-catholics like Pelosi and worse yet because of this most recent attack on the Catholic Church, Sebellius. My husband reminds me that Lenin used to refer to the Liberals in Western Europe and the United States, "useful fools!"  {Side note: The pejorative term "useful fools" or the harsher term "useful idiots" was attributed to Vladimir Lenin by American anti-communists to describe liberals during the Cold War whose policies...}- Oh, nothing has changed has it?

In all the darkness, can we see the light at the end of the tunnel? I can!  Yesterday I read Father Z's blog post, Fr. Z applauds Card. Mahony (yes, you read that right), where he is congratulating Cardinal Mahony for speaking out regarding the most recent attack on the Catholic Church and our rights for religious liberty.  This got me thinking, could it be God's hand in all of this?  Hear me out: I think that these current attack on religious liberty is God's way to get the Bishops' attention and shake them up a bit. This is the time for them to UNITE and stop all those with liberal agendas, those that allow the falling away from Church teaching, and the laissez-faire attitude about so much within the Church! In addition, I think it's time to start excommunicating, or at the very minimum withholding Communion, from all those quasi-Catholics in politics who have helped Obama get to this point...God have mercy on their souls!

This week in my inbox I saw the newest from Michael Voris, WOW, I WAS right on the money did you see RealCatholicTV today?

Some good news now, {and I can't believe I'm about to type these words}here is the FIRST National Catholic Reporter (whom Father Z tenderly refers to the "FishWrap") that I like: J'ACCUSE! Why Obama is wrong on the HHS conscience regulations written by long-time Obama supporter, Michael Sean Winters.  In this article, Mr. Winters states, 
"President Barack Obama lost my vote yesterday when he declined to expand the exceedingly narrow conscience exemptions proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services. The issue of conscience protections is so foundational, I do not see how I ever could, in good conscience, vote for this man again."
NOW you realize that?  {facepalm}  But as the forever optimist that I am, I see this and smile...thank you JESUS!  For waking these Catholics up to smell the coffee.

I'm so not a lover of politics, but since this if the first election I am voting in since becoming a US Citizen, and there is SO MUCH to wage here, I felt compelled to write this to remind you {and me} that our focus should be more on our interior life rather than the exterior on-goings of the world. Not that we should fall into complacency and not make our opinions known {heck, that's what I'm doing right now}, but to truly conform our wills to a sanctuary of holiness, in prayer, in the interior life.  Even the harshest reprimand I've given to my children comes padded with love and charity towards him/her.

As Catholics we need to remember that the will of God prevails over mankind's.  This does not mean we don't have free will, but that His holy will is what moves the world.  Sometimes good comes from evil things that happen in the world, the focus must stay on the Cross at all times.  I have to keep reminding myself that our task here on Earth is to truly conform our wills to a sanctuary of holiness, in prayer, in the interior life.  After all, isn't this what really matters?

Have you prayed for our country today?  Have you prayed for the elections?  Our next president? Friends in this battle for life and morality, our Rosaries and prayers are our BEST weapons!  I leave you with this, one of my most favorite prayers, even more so now, than ever!  Pray with me:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

'"May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians: 'Draw strength from the Lord and from His mighty power' (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St. Michael throughout the Church...I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world."' ~ Blessed Pope John Paul II

Can. 227 The lay Christian faithful have the right to have recognized that freedom which all citizens have in the affairs of the earthly city. When using that same freedom, however, they are to take care that their actions are imbued with the spirit of the gospel and are to heed the doctrine set forth by the magisterium of the Church. In matters of opinion, moreover, they are to avoid setting forth their own opinion as the doctrine of the Church.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I am Pro-Choice!

I remember the day as if it were yesterday.  As I stood there in the bathroom waiting in anticipation for the little lines to show up (or not).  Never had a small instrument meant so much excitement, fear, and anticipation all in just what? five minutes than this day.  I've used many of these little objects before, six times that I can remember, but this time for some reason, it meant more.  The joy of seeing those lines filled my heart quickly....and there they were...two lines = you are pregnant.  Since my previous experiences with this I knew that a positive meant positive, no way in it being an error (yes I actually asked my OB in the past, lol, silly me).  So there I was in our hallway bathroom which was adorned with little duckies, happy as can be.  This happiness lasted about another five I planned the craftiest way to announce to my beloved that we would be holding a baby in just a couple of months.  Then it dawned on beloved was an only to face the rest of the family *sigh*. 

Although our family knows we wear our Catholicism on our sleeves, when it comes to announcing yet "another pregnancy" we look at it with fear.  Mainly because of the reactions we have received from family and close friends.  You see when those two little pink lines showed up, it had been nearly two years that my beloved had been layed off a third time AND this would be our fifth child!  Trusting in the Lord's Divine Providence, we saw this new life as a sign of sorts, that things would be looking better for us financially in the near future.  After all we did openly trust that His will be done in our lives, especially in the reproduction department.  AND we had "survived" the worse times thus far, why would a baby be a cause of worry or sadness?

You see, just seven years prior to sitting in our hallway bathroom, I had had my second known miscarriage and felt sad and confused.  My first pregnancy was perfect, I even delivered on my due date, St. Valentine's Day.  BUT for some reason these two pregnancies did not last and I was at a loss as to why I had been given the chance to be procreative then to only know those littles ones I now call Pablo and Eric for a couple of short weeks (12 and 14, respectively).  After many tests and investigations, I was told my my doctor that my body was, for some reason, rejecting the babies.  Strange...I thought, how could I have one and then this?  Confused, I decided to follow doctors orders and begin treatment for a symptom called Polysistic Ovarian Disease (PCOS), an endocrine disorder.  "You will probably have a difficult time conceiving, and if you do chances are you will miscarry as your hormones are all off balance," this lovely man said to me.  I loved my doctor but not his news.  Todd and I wanted a big family, we longed to have one as we had grown up around large families at the Latin Masses we attended.  After some months of treatment, we ended up pregnant - oh my!  I was watched under a microscope during this time and with the help of St. Gerard, our Blessed Mother and countless of prayers and trips to the ER or Triage, we made it to our 40th week!  It was during this time that we promised the Lord to ALWAYS be open to life. 

"Lord if you heal me, I will always want any and all the children you send me," I prayed repeatedly while pregnant with our sweet son.  "Please let our baby live!", I begged.  St. Joseph was my constant intercessor as well.  "Dear St. Joseph protector of the Holy Family, protect our little baby ask your son for His everlasting protection!"  These holy warriors in Heaven heard my begging and in February of 2005, our little one was born, baby number two.  That all seems so long ago!  But the question remained, was I healed?  Blind trust kicked in and we decided I would no longer take the medications I had been on (especially since I was nursing), because we believed that through the intercession of so many, I indeed had been healed.

Six months later, SURPRISE, I was pregnant again {yes I was nursing and continued for another six months against my OB's wishes}.  I wanted to be excited but I was more nervous than anything else.  

How was the pregnancy?  Perfect!  Without a problem!  A couple of months later we were holding a little ball of pink, yep we had our girl!  Two boys and a girl, three kids.  

"Your family is now complete!"  "You have one of each!"  "You must be done now?"  Where the comments I got.  

Hmmmm...what to answer?  I've never been in this dilema...because we wanted more!  But not to be selfish or ungrateful, we said nothing.  

"Maybe," became my standard response to these very unsolicited comments.  Somehow, we managed to spend a year without a pregnancy {she nursed until 18 months}.  Secretly, my beloved and I remained faithful to our promise to our Lord.  Afterall, clearly I had been healed.  I had symptoms of PCOS anymore and stopped taking all medication for over two years now.

One more time, we went through the whole anticipation of what would happen next.  The "Doubting Thomas" in me kicked in and I thought maybe that our little princess was it.  One morning, as I was getting ready for work {I was teaching at a Catholic School at the time}, I went to brush my teeth and gagged. Hmmmm....interesting I thought.  Could it really be?  And sure enough it was, we were expecting our fourth child!  The news broke and the replies were filled with a little less excitement this time.  The negative comments began such as, "wow, you were serious about a large family because four kids is A LOT!" (if they only knew that in our close friend circles we were always the smallest family).  As my baby bump grew significantly, these comments increased.  It was like we were a magnet for strangers approaching us as they saw us turn the corner with three children and another on the way.  I went from feeling hurt, to angry, to smart-alack, to hurt again, at these constant questioning and comments, all very negative.  Was it the city we lived in? the culture in that city?  the state? Or was it bigger than this?  I mean, aren't we in a society that hard presses on the woman's right to choose?  

Interesting enough, if you choose life (and lots of it) there is a problem, society at large has a problem with this...why, I ask?  If the tendency of many is to promote and value the choice of a woman, why is it when a husband and a wife chooses to keep a child and have many you are then chastised or belittled and in public by many strangers?  This tells me one thing, this IS NOT about choice.  This is about limiting you, imposing their beliefs on you.  Why would I want that?  Why is it that in a society that promotes the empowerment of women BUT when women chose life, to have a large family - you are no longer looked up to as strong and courageous?  You know the one thing that God has selected for ONLY women to do, and when you choose to have children, it is frowned upon?  Why is that?  What's with the double standards?  

So what does choice REALLY mean? 

This blog post is linked to:

Catholic Bloggers Network

Friday, January 20, 2012

Homeschooling is Priceless

I taught in Catholic Schools, charter schools, and public schools for a total of 15 years. I "retired" to stay home with my kids and eventually, we ended up home educating them. What I learned the past three years of my life is that Homeschooling isn't just a schooling decision, it's a life changer! There are bumps in the rode because it's not the traditional way I grew up with nor what society thinks is the norm. It also is swimming against the flow....but little by little I've learned to make friends who are like minded for support and also embraced it whole-heatedly. I pray that the Lord wants us to continue homeschooling because the quality of life we have today is priceless!

Thinking about homeschooling?  Here are some great statistical data to help you decide:

2012 Catholic Homeschooling Conference Round Up: IHM North Texas {Arlington, TX }

Arlington Convention Center
1200 Ballpark Way
Arlington, TX 76011

Friday July 27th, 2012 @ 2:00pm to 8:00pm

Saturday July 28th, 2012 @ 9:00am to 4:00pm

One of THE Most Controversial Teachings of Catholicism

I read a very controversial article this morning on Catholic Sistas...something that people don't normally want to talk about.  But I I want to thank the woman that wrote it for her courage to say this in public. 

This article hit home for me because it reminded me of a when I was in high school.  See I was a I peer counselor for TONS of girls who had similar situations as you described in your article. When I dug deep enough, I found similarities in their childhood, the lack of proper training or understanding of what sexuality or their place in the world was/is. This always stuck with me, so every time I've bumped into someone who has confided in me of the similar temptations you describe in your article today, they too had similar backgrounds! 

Honestly, I had forgotten about them and their situations until this morning! It was really great to read your article, a breath of fresh air that someone is brave enough to go public with this and to set the record straight (no pun intended) about this topic! THANK YOU, "anonymous writer" for being so courageous!  This is such a beautiful testament to God’s unwaivering love and His desire to bring us all into His arms no matter the sin, after all it is why He died for us:

Confessions of a Recovering Lesbian
One of the most controversial teachings of Catholicism is its teaching on homosexuality. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (2357)
For most of us, this teaching is challenging, especially if someone we love is gay or lesbian. But what if you are the Catholic struggling with these desires? Is it possible to be faithful to the Church’s teachings and still be happy?
Yes, it is.
I am a 37-year-old Catholic woman who has been happily married for nearly 15 years. We have five children that I homeschool. I also struggle daily with same-sex attraction.
Read more, trust me, you will be glad you did! 

UPDATE:  LifeSiteNews has picked up this piece AND also offered an interview with the writer, Dawn Wilde!  This interview gives you further insight to the post I was referring to above!  An interview with Dawn Wilde, the author of ‘Confessions of a recovering lesbian’ BY PETER BAKLINSKI

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Catholic Homeschooling Conference Round Up: IHM National {Fredericksburg, VA}

 Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center
2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Friday June 22nd, 2012 @ 9:00am to 9:00pm
Saturday June 23rd, 2012 @ 9:00am to 4:00pm
           We want to thank everyone who came to our 10th Annual Conference this past June at the Hilton Hotel. We had about 1,425 attendees over the course of two days, and even though that number was down about 200 from the year before, there was a great atmosphere and much excitement. Based on the surveys submitted at the conference and a telephone survey conducted shortly thereafter, we realized that the layout of the Hilton was somewhat confusing and inconvenient. Clearly having our vendors in many different rooms was not the ideal situation.
          After conducting a thorough search of facilities in the Washington D.C./Northern Virginia area, we decided that the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center in Fredericksburg, VA (about an hour South of our previous location and right off of I-95) would make an excellent new home for our conference. This facility has one huge open space for all of our vendors to be together (as they had been at the Dulles Expo Center), and it also has separate speaking rooms which are both beautiful and spacious enough to accommodate all of our attendees comfortably. HERE are some photos of the new facility. There is ample parking at this venue, which was apparently a problem for some attendees at our previous location.
          In addition to relocating the conference to a different venue, we have also changed our weekend. Instead of scheduling our event on the second weekend in June, we will be moving to the fourth weekend in June, which next year is June 22 and 23, 2012. Shifting weekends has two main benefits; first, we will no longer be on the same weekend as the priestly ordinations for the Diocese of Arlington, which in the past has prevented us from getting some great local speakers, and second, we will no longer be on the same weekend as the HEAV homeschooling conference in Richmond, VA.We hope that you will all be able to join us in Fredericksburg next June for our 11th Annual Conference! God bless you and your family!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Voluntary Poverty, Lord Please Make Us Poor!

"Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!"
~ Matthew 5:3

As Christmas came and went, what I wanted most this year was to really focus on Mary and the birth of Christ.  This has to have been the BEST Christmas I have every had, ever!  Was it because we had tons of gifts under the tree?  NO!  It was because I learned something, I learned about the deep peace that filled the soul of Mary in the stable at Bethlehem even if the conditions were, as we would think, less favorable.  If you followed me on this journey, you saw that I was reading the Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich.  In this book, we learn by divine revelation, that the Holy Family was not welcomed in several places during their journey, and not just once.  What stuck with me most, while reading these events, was that even though they were travelling for days, with Child, Mary's joy and peace was never lost!

In the stable, I'm certain, that she was happy to be surrounded by the poor shepherds instead of a royal court!  The Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Mother of our Savior, was content with the harsh conditions she found herself in while doing the most important job any human could ever have done: bringing the Life of the World!  This is something I want to imitate - something that really stuck with me!  You see, she was happy in the poor conditions she found herself in, actually she was thrilled!  Something else that I learned in this book  is that Saint Anne was pretty well to do and that Saint Joseph and Mary lived with her.  Saint Anne had prepared the finest linens that you could have at the time for the birth of her grandson, Jesus Christ.  But much to Anne's sadness, he would not be received in these fine linens.  Why? She accepted the Will of God, for one.  Also, she was not attached to worldly things, to earthly possessions, and she loved the deprivation of these.  So how can we, the poor, really think of ourselves as unfortunate when Jesus, himself, choose this similar life for His own mother?  The Son of God was born in a stable!  Have you ever really grasped this?  God could have been born ANYWHERE, anywhere, ANYWHERE, but he choose the poorest and meekest of all places!

This led me to think also think further about the Biblical passage: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!" So what does this really mean?  To me, after reading the journey of the Holy Family and reflecting on my family's earthly experience,  what these words mean is that, as poor people we must embrace our poverty.  To those who are rich (monetarily), you should  not be attached to your wealth, nor should you fill your home or mind of earthly possessions.

So therefore, this led me to yearn poverty: I do really want to be poor!  I do, I'm not kidding either!  The past four years of our lives have been a constant roller coaster filled with lay offs, and moving and financial instability.  Reflecting this time, I have to say that we have been happy, healthy, and holy the whole ride!  Thinking back of these past years, I am actually thankful for this ride that the Lord has sent us on.  Because of it: our marriage is stronger (we keep saying if we survived these past years, we can handle anything!), our children are happier, our home is simpler!  We are filled with joy and peace, Lord, please, make us poor!  :)

Looking ahead, the future looks brighter and financially stable than it has been the past almost four years.  There is something which I'd like to not change in us:  I want to keep living and continue being focused on the important things in life - just like we have been when we have been the poorest in our lives.  Poor in wealth and material things of course.  Going forward and thinking of us getting back on our feet financially, I worry about becoming attached of things again.  I don't want this for my family, but rather I yearn for simplicity and an orderly life.  

All around me I see when people become prosperous how they become attached to the things of this earth and then tend to forget Heaven.  Why?  I believe, that temptations become stronger, you fall more frequently, and you keep wanting more.  All of these things, dear friends, are harmful for the soul.  Notice that these are the things the world teaches to want, lust for, desire, and envy others for......ah, but remember and keep this in mind:  we are not of this world!  As Catholics, we belong to God, after all He is the one that gave us life!

Through all this the words of my beautiful grandmother, Mita, keep ringing in my ears.  As a small child, I remember her telling me (in Spanish): "There is no point in acquiring earthly possessions, because on the day you die, you can't take these with you!  The only thing you take with is your virtues!  Poverty, being poor, offers many occasions for exercising these virtues - the things that matters most, the things that help you get to Heaven!" (I'm paraphrasing here)  Oh, she was so right!  I pray for her soul, daily, in hopes that she is in Heaven praying for me and my vocation.

So I pray, "Blessed Mother, by your example, you have taught me to love poverty, how much it is better for my soul and my vocation as a mother and wife than wealth.  Please continue to teach me going forward to love and set my mind and heart to Heavenly possessions.  Thank you, Blessed Mother, for your acceptance of the Divine Will of our Lord.

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us your Mother as the perfect example for our broken human nature.  Someone we can look to in becoming better people and loving and worshiping you always in thanksgiving, no matter the circumstance."

Lord Please Make Us Poor!

Catholic Bloggers Network

Wordless Wednesdays

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Catholic Bloggers 4 Life

Upcoming Link-Up for Pro-Life Blog Posts on January 22, 2012...
Stay tuned for details or check out the Catholic Bloggers Network on Facebook.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Homeschool Kids Who Don't Do Anything - A Musical

A friend posted this on Facebook and I HAD to share it here, it's adorable! And from the lovely Family Altar in the background, they are not just homeschoolers but Catholic ones! Enjoy:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots - Day 9 - For the Priesthood

The petition:  For the protection of the Holy Priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church and especially all falsely accused priests. Will you join us? {Leave us a comment so we know who is joining us :) }

Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots - Day 9
1. Make the sign of the cross.

2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.

"Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended Thee, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen"

3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.

4. Make the meditation of the day:

"Most Holy Mary, our Advocate, Undoer of Knots, we come today to thank you for undoing this knot in the lives of our holy priests...You know very well the suffering it has caused our priests. Thank you for coming, Mother, with your long fingers of mercy to dry the tears in their eyes; you receive them in your arms and make it possible for them to receive once again the divine grace.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, dearest Mother, we thank you for undoing the knots in the lives of our priests. Wrap them in your mantle of love, keep them under your protection, enlighten them with your peace! Amen.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for our Holy Priests."

5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary

6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots:
"Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon your holy priests and see the snarl of knots that exist in their lives. You know very well how desperate they are, their pain and how they are bound by these knots. 

Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, we entrust into your hands the ribbon of their lives. 
No one, not even the Evil One himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. 

Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and Our Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot...we beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are their hope. 

O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives them, the fortification of their feeble strength, the enrichment of their destitution and with Christ the freedom from their chains. 

Hear our plea for our Holy Priests whom we love so much because they are Christ on earth. 
Keep them, guide them, protect them, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for them!


The Novena has the Cardinal ecclesiastical approval, receiving the "NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR
Imprimatur Paris Archdiocese

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rafflecopter Launch Party Giveaway: Win an iPad & a Kindle Fire

This is a REAL giveaway, I'm sharing it to help spread the word (and if you win the iPad, I get a Kindle, so when you sign up, make sure you say that Raising Little Saints referred you), here are the details:
Happy New Year from Rafflecopter HQ! To start 2012, you’ll have a chance at winning an iPad2 or one of two Kindle Fires in what we’re calling the ‘Rafflecopter Launch Party Giveaway’!

Say ‘Hi’ To Rafflecopter: 

Rafflecopter makes the whole process of running giveaways on your blog really, really easy. Over 80,000 giveaways have been created with Rafflecopter, and if you didn’t know yet, there’s a new version in town! Oh yeah, it’s free. If you haven’t used Rafflecopter, sign up and launch a giveaway in the matter of minutes.

Now… Let’s Give Away Something Awesome!

To celebrate the new year, we’re going to give away a 16GB Apple iPad2 and several Kindle Fires. The giveaway starts Monday 1/9 at 12:01 a.m. and lasts for a month. To enter, simply tell us who referred you to this giveaway! You can receive additional entries by tweeting about this giveaway, following us on twitter, and giving us feedback. In addition, we’re doing something a little special to make things more fun:
Rafflecopter Giveaway Win an iPad or Amazon Kindle Fire Contest

Suggest a Mascot Name – You’ve seen the Rafflecopter smiley-face dude hanging around the web. The poor guy needs a name, and we want to leave it up to you to decide what his (or her?) name should be. For an additional entry, suggest a name! After the giveaway is over, we’ll go through the list of names and pick out our favorite suggestions (be creative!) and bring it to a vote on Facebook. If your name is chosen, you’ll win a Kindle Fire and be immortalized in Rafflecopter history :)

This giveaway is open for the US and Canadian residents and will close February 9th at 12:01 a.m. EST.

Thanks for sharing the love!!

* Be sure to say that Raising Little Saints referred you! *

a Rafflecopter giveaway