Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back to School Pictures!

This week was Cor Iesu Academy's first week back to school.  Normally, I wait to start until September but a friend mentioned the idea of having an early summer and I hopped on it!  This year we have a 9th grader, a 2nd grader, a first grader, a preschooler and a tot-schooler.  My Freshman allowed me to take his photograph but made me promise I would not share it except with dad and grandma.  The tot-schooler, aka "preschool tag-a-long" was napping during pictures so here are our three middle children on the First day of school:

I love how the pictures came out with the map in the background.  

We also did  Schultute's for the first time. {My dear friend Liz, blogged about them on the First Day of School Success post}.   They were filled with their school supplies and decorated with each child's name and some cute stickers.  I also stuffed them with the remaining stickers and some fun items as well.  This year, I also color coded each child's school supplies, that way if a green pencil is on the floor, we know whom it belongs to.  ;)

Did you start school yet?  Did you take pictures?  Have a blog?  I'd love to see yours too!  Have a blessed school year friends!


Congratulations to the Winner of the Music Box

Thanks to everyone that entered our little giveaway of the beautiful music box from Catholic Family Gifts.

We have a winner:

Congratulations Laverne!  
Thank you for participating and for being a loyal friend of Raising {& Teaching} Little Saints!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Communion Music Box (Review and Giveaway)

This past May, we had a very busy month, between Mother's Day, First Confession, First Communion and a Confirmation as well as a visit from my mom, we were as busy as bees.  Finding the right gift for my boys was really important for me because I wanted something that when they looked at it it would capture that moment, that very special day when they received this Sacrament.  For my eldest that was simpler than for my First Communicant so I was very happy to review this First Communion Music Box for Catholic Family Gifts dot com.  As you can see it is very beautiful but what you can't tell is the great quality this music box is. I was very impressed with it and my son was delighted to have a little "hiding place" for important items he wants to keep safe.  The fact that it plays the "Ave Maria" was also another reason I loved this gift for him.

Here is the item description from their website:
Keep memories for a lifetime in this music box from the renowned Cottage Garden collection. A timeless, versatile, quality gift featuring:
  • Quality Sankyo musical movement playing the melody "Ave Maria"; visible through a glass enclosure
  • A inspirational Communion blessing that can be replaced with a 4"x6" photo
  • Hinged lid trimmed in detailed rope trim
  • A velvet lined interior for rosaries, keepsakes and other treasures.
  • A polished wood-grain finish
Constructed with precision and quality, this music box measures 8"L x 6"W x 2.75"H

Isn't it beautiful?  We loved it!  If you would like to buy one click here: 

I am also giving one away to a lucky reader of RLS, please fill out the rafflecopter below: 
(you will be given a chance to select one of these music boxes, either the one above or this one below)

UPDATE:  PLEASE remember to leave a comment, that is the first entry and you MUST leave a comment for your entries to be valid.  Thank you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pius XII Defined the Dogma of the Assumption Ex Cathedra

In 1950, Venerable Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption Ex Cathedra. Since that day, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated every 15th of August! This feast is also known as Marymass or Saint Mary's Day and it is a Holy Day of Obligation (yes, you have to go to Mass). It is the day that we recall Our Lady's being assumed into Heaven and crowned Queen!

"Nous proclamons, déclarons et définissons que c'est un dogme divinement révélé que Marie, l'Immaculée Mère de Dieu toujours Vierge, à la fin du cours de sa vie terrestre, a été élevée en âme et en corps à la gloire céleste."  Proclamation dogmatique - 1er novembre de l'Année sainte 1950.

Here is the actual video of Venerable Pius XII:

Happy Feast Day!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Progress ... is in the Eye of the Beholder

So much of today's world is about progress.  As it relates to homeschooling, progress is easy to identify.  Your children are making progress towards the learning goals you have for the right now.  Or learning their prayers and how proficient they are at recitation, or intonation, or fervor.  Progress is an indicator of how far away or close you are to a goal, or set of goals.

In the world, though, and in the Catholic Church, the word is used almost daily but with an entirely different meaning.  What, for the world and for many Catholics does progress mean?

Whatever they want it to mean.

When someone says progress, I ask "to what?" and "what is your goal or goals?" Some act as if "progress" is this real and inevitable, yet almost mythic and invisible, creature.

Progress is movement towards your goals.
That's it.

But for the worldly, it is an excuse to believe your ideas of the way things "ought" to be have an air of invincibility.  Conversely, for the worldly progressive, anything that opposes your ideas are "retrograde" "backsliding" "antiquated" or "outmoded."

Take these different groups:
  • The radical Islamist
  • The post-modern, irreligious socialist
  • The traditional Catholic
  • The worldly humanitarian
  • The deep green population and climate advocate
  • The monied masonic type globalist
  • The 'liberal' Catholic
  • The libertine
  • The Marxist
All of these people have a definition of progress. They all see progress. They all want progress. None want the same thing, though, because progress is word with no meaning. Its a subjective adjective, not a noun. Choices are based on nouns. What you believe. What you decry. But if you have to speak in terms of choices instead of "progress" you then have to stop putting on the air of invincibility and start defending your beliefs and the choices you make based on your beliefs. That, for the ideologue, is a scary and unacceptable proposition.

The folly of progress is that almost anyone can show why one person's progress, is another person's regress.  And this is because...

Progress is an excuse to believe your ideas of the way things "ought to be" have an air of invincibility.

Evolution has been synonymous with progress. Men like Hegel, and Marx, and Hitler all identified progress with their understand of evolution and the choices and preferences they had. In that way, the modern world is still trapped by this thinking of the 19th century. Here again we have to ask, evolution is supposed to be progress, but to what?

If evolution does exist, it affects on an impossibly long timescale totally irrelevant to human existence. How trite that human beings who live at the outside a little over 100 years, would think evolution means ANYTHING to them in their lives in a universe "billions of years" old. Seeing changes in e-coli in a dish over weeks or months isn't e-coli turning into a mammalian type bi-pod in a couple of years. Its still going to be some kind of e-coli.

Likewise, if evolution exists, it is an unguided process of change. You can try all sorts of Frankenstein experiments to further your concept of "evolution" with genetic modification and social engineering, but as soon as you touch the process, it isn't evolution anymore. It's manipulation and determinism.

Progress is an excuse to believe your ideas of the way things "ought to be" have an air of invincibility.

Humanity has accumulated knowledge and experience individually and as societies. Many then confuse that with progress. The difference between us and Abraham or David or Constantine or Napoleon or men like Richard Dawkins (a noted atheist) is that we've accumulated more knowledge, and have more history to draw from with more ideas to think about. Outside of that, we're no different now than Joe Sheepherder 6000 or 7000 years ago.

We have communications. We have transportation systems. We have computers. We have many more tools and machinery. We have economy -- the idea that someone can work on one thing or set of things instead of having to do everything themselves by subsistence. We have scientific process. We have many more philosophies to draw from. But we're no different than the cave man 10000 years ago.

Progress is an excuse to believe your ideas of the way things "ought to be" have an air of invincibility.

The Roman Empire was thought to be the epitome and epoch culmination of power and culture. Many say the ancient Chinese were, or the Mayans, or great Ancient Egyptians. They all died. The western world, including the monied interests, socialists, atheistic rationalists, and power hungry in general think we have the concentration and culmination of power in today's world, and it will only increase.

It's folly. Even the monied interests with their trillions of dollars squirreled away in bank accounts and illiquid assets all over the world fail to grasp that they live and breath, and then die, with not so much as a wimper as the world is concerned.

Progress is an excuse to believe your ideas of the way things "ought to be" have an air of invincibility.

So progress really isn't progress. If you have succumb to this mindset; stop acting like it is. Do not let other people tell you it is. If you push for your idea of progress, realize it is based on your choices. That doesn't mean everyone's ideas are merely relative, and all ideas are equal. It means you have to take a hard look at your choices, their consequences, your defense of them, and whether you believe they are the right thing to do.

If you are being pushed around by progress, realize it isn't inevitable, isn't real, and isn't changeable. If someone champions change or rights or progress, and you don't believe in it, start by making your mind think they are right, and tell them to shove their progress.

Progress is an excuse to believe your ideas of the way things "ought to be" have an air of invincibility.

I personally look around and think the demographics and financial trap we are in are going to make the western world grind down on itself over the course of the next 100 or 200 years. I think the world will be much more religious in 200 years, with less people of a completely different mindset, that look back at the 1800s-2000s with an air of contempt at the pride and stupidity of people that believed in "progress."


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Home, There is No Place Like It

Happy Stay-Home-Mom Anniversary to me! Today marks four years since I made the commitment to stay home and be the primary caretaker of my five little blessings.

As a person who had the degrees and dream job which fullfilled my ego to the max and helped me feel fulfilled, I can honestly tell you that all of that glory would crash when I came home to find out that my baby had walked for the first time or said his first word - minus the person who brought him into this world, me. Then I felt like a failure and all of the fame and glory of my multiple degrees and fabulous job meant nothing. 

It wasn't until I realized that my fertility and the childhood of my children was only for a specific and short period of my life that I truly understood why our grandmothers kept to the home and devoted their lives to creating great human beings. I have been home for four years now and at the end of the day, when all the floors are clean, my children are sleeping safely in bed tired from a fun day with mom and I'm sipping a glass of wine do I truly know that I am fulfilled. This baby making machine is happy that I am female and that I can have children...I have way too many friends who will never know the joy of hearing a little voice call them "mommy" For those women that are physically able to and that would listen to their inner gift of nurturing and loving and bearing and raising children, they will truly feel fulfilled. 

Furthermore, women would not need to fill their lives with shallow items: clothing, make up and the attention of the opposite sex for the wrong reasons..feeling fulfilled has to do with doing that which you are called to do/be. 

Blessed Mother Teresa was one of the most fulfilled women I have ever known. She gave her entire life for others. This kind of sacrifice is what this world is up something for others is the most satisfying act a human can do.