"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

Angelus Domini

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit. 
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongt women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary...
V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary...
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

I am re-posting this recipe from 2009. Enjoy! 

I know that the Irish don't actually eat corned beef for St. Patrick's Day, but we do. I actually have a great Irish stew recipe that we like to eat on or around the feast of St. Agnes each year because it uses lamb meat. I'll have to share it one of these days.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

1 Corned Beef
2 onions, each studded with three whole cloves
4 carrots, peeled and halved
2 ribs celery, halved
4 sprigs Italian parsley
1 green cabbage, cored and cut into 6 wedges
3 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
6 small leeks (white part and 2 inches green)
6 carrots peeled and cut into 2 ½ inch lengths
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. Place the corned beef (do not rinse) in an extra-large pot or soup kettle. Add the onions, halved carrots, celery and parsley sprigs. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 3 hours, turning beef over in the broth every 30 minutes. When the meat is very tender, remove from the kettle and keep warm.
2. Strain the broth and return it to the kettle. Add the cabbage, potatoes, leeks, cut-up carrots, salt and pepper and 2 tbsp. of the chopped parley. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Arrange the beef on a warmed serving platter and surround with the cooked vegetables. Ladle broth over the beef and vegetables, and sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley.

Serves 6, with leftovers. We usually have guests on St. Patrick’s Day. I simply buy the largest corned beef available and increase all vegetables, based on the number of people who will be sharing our meal. Family and friends have always enjoyed this meal.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Novena to St. Joseph

O glorious descendant of the kings of Judah, Inheritor of the virtues of all the patriarchs. Just and happy St. Joseph, listen to my prayer. Thou art my glorious protector, and shall ever be, after Jesus and Mary the object of my most profound veneration and confidence. Thou art the most hidden, though the greatest Saint, and art particularly the patron of those who serve God with the greatest purity and fervor. In union with all those who have ever been most devoted to thee I now dedicate myself to thy service; beseeching thee, for the sake of Jesus Christ, who vouchsafed to love and obey thee as a son, to become a father to me; and to obtain for me the filial respect, confidence and love of a child towards thee.

O powerful advocate of all Christians, whose intercession, as St. Theresa assures us, has never been found to fail, deign to intercede for me now, and to implore for me the particular intention of this Novena.

(Mention your intentions here)

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.

Present me O great Saint to the adorable Trinity, with Whom thou hadst so glorious and so intimate a correspondence. Obtain that I may never efface by sin the Sacred Image according to the likeness of which, I was created. Beg for me that my divine Redeemer would enkindle in my heart and in all hearts, the fire of His Love, and infuse therein the virtues of His adorable infancy, His purity, simplicity, obedience, and humility.

Obtain for me likewise a lively devotion to thy virgin spouse, and protect me so powerfully in life and death, that I may have the happiness of dying as thou didst, in the friendship of my Creator, and under the immediate protection of the Mother of God. Amen.

Catholic Conference 4 Moms Coupon Code

Over the weekend, I listened to some of the inspirational presentations at the online Catholic Conference 4 Moms. Those presentations are now available to download at the conference website, The conference package includes some sweet bonuses. If you would like to order a conference package, please go to the website. At checkout enter my coupon code: "Memories" to receive $10 off.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Goodbye February Daybook

Outside my window
My bulbs are starting to bloom. Our miniature irises have come and gone. The crocuses (the penitent's rose) and hyacinths (lily-among-thorns) are blossoming. The daffodils (Mary's star) have buds, and our tulips (Mary's prayer) and Easter lily are sprouting. Our Lenten Roses are also in full bloom. I need to set aside more time for gardening. Spring must be just around the corner.

Photo by Bernadette
I am wearing
a khaki skirt, a red shirt, and a fleur-de-lis flexi clip.

In the kitchen
My girls are making Kimberlee's delicious spinach lasagna. This lasagna tastes so good that I sometimes feel guilty about eating it during Lent. Don't just take my word for it, try it.

I am hearing
one of my daughter's playing the piano. I am also hearing one of my sons singing.

I am praying for
my dad. I spoke with him yesterday, and he told me that the doctor told him that the left ventricle of his heart is only operating at 20%. The doctor wants to fly him to another island to run some tests. It is so hard to be so far away from my dad, when I know that he is suffering so much. It is hard for him to speak, etc.

I am thankful for
Facetime. My brother gave our oldest daughter an iPad shortly before the birth of our eighth child's birth, saying that it would allow us to share the joy of our baby's birth with my dad. At the time, I had no idea what an incredible gift he was giving. Facetime has allowed my dad to see our last two little boys right after they were born. It has also allowed my children to see and speak with their grandfather.

We are learning
We have had an amazing February. The children are focused and learning. I have been spending a lot of my time working on math with my older children. One day, as I lay on the living room floor with Patrick, explaining his math to him, my two youngest were playing quietly behind me. Wondering how Kieran was keeping his baby brother occupied, I turned around and gasped, "Oh no, what are you doing?" Kieran responded, "I am cutting his hair. It looks good. Huh?" My little boy's hair is now shorter than it was when he was born.

Our Happy Little Boy
The top picture shows our happy little boy on February 9. The bottom picture shows him on February 11 (you can't really see the damage). The large picture show him after I cut his hair. I would have needed to cut it even shorter, practically bald, to erase all evidence of his brother's hair cut. Thankfully, our little guy is so easy going. He sat still in his little chair while I buzzed his hair.

How did Kieran get the scissors? Well we did the Our Lady of Lourdes art project again from Seton's Art 1 for Young Catholics. When the children were finished, we cleaned up, but one pair of scissors must have remained out.

Our Lady of Lourdes Grottoes

I am reading
Uniformity with God's Will by St. Alphonsus Liguori. I have read this little booklet numerous times, and I love it. I think that every Catholic should read it and reread it. St. Alphonsus Liguori's advice in this inexpensive little gem has helped me when I am crying in the car as I drive home, thinking how can I possibly do this? I don't have enough hours in my day to do all that I need to do. Then I remember St. Alphonsus' words, and I pray and remind myself that I cannot do this alone. I can only do it by the grace of God. If you haven't read this little booklet, I highly recommend that you get a copy and read and reread it.

Each morning, I am reading First Communion Days to the children. Since Elizabeth will be receiving her First Holy Communion this year, I thought that we should pull this little book off our bookshelf again. She is enjoying hearing the stories about the children and their First Communions.

I am listening to
Last weekend, as I worked on laundry and ironing, I decided to listen to this 2008 Lenten Mission again. I want to listen to bits and pieces of it again this weekend.

I love my husband
On St. Valentine's Day, he surprised me with this beautiful little rose bush and a card.

A few anecdotes
About a week ago, Kieran was saying that his diaper was wet and that it was disgusting. I told him that he could go on the big boy toilet next time (he does occasionally). He responded, "That would be hilarious. People would laugh at me." Say what?

Earlier this week, I was speaking with another mother after our children's choir class, Kieran came up to me and asked, "Can I have the keys?"

Kilian really likes music. Yesterday, he heard a couple of notes from "Rock-a-Bye Baby" and he started to sing, "Rock a bye, Rock a bye." He doesn't say, "Rock", but he does sing whatever he says to the correct tune.

Last night, the little children were listening to Gi'Me Elbow Room. Some of my older children think that the singing could use improvement, but Catherine, my younger children, and I enjoy the music. Anyway, I came into the living room and found Kilian waving a plastic stick in the air and banging it on the ground to the rhythm of the music. Bernadette and I were both impressed.

I hope that everyone is having a blessed and fruitful Lent.

God bless you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes!

Immaculate Mary
(The Hymn that is sung each night in Lourdes)

Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing.
You reign now in Heaven with Jesus our King.

Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

In Heaven the blessed your glory proclaim;
On earth we your children invoke your sweet name.

Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

We pray for our Mother, the Church upon earth,
And bless, Holy Mary, the land of our birth.

Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Daily Homeschool Schedule

As our family grew and I started homeschooling more and more of our children, I realized that we needed a schedule to keep both my children and me on track. Recently, a friend asked me what our daily homeschool schedule looked like. I told her, but I thought that a visual might be better. With this in mind, I am sharing a slightly modified version of our homeschool schedule below (no need to share when we are out and about). We use the schedule as a guide and allow for the fact that family life can be messy. In other words, the schedule is flexible.

This same friend also asked how I homeschool seven children with a toddler and baby in tow. I have already shared that I homeschool by the grace of God. What she wanted to know was what I do with my baby and toddler when I am working with my older children. So, I told her. Several years ago, at a local Catholic homeschooling conference, the same question was asked of another mother of nine children. She responded that when the little ones weren't with her, taking a nap, or occupied with an activity close by, she had her older children take turns watching the little ones. I knew when I heard Julie's response that I needed to follow her lead. Each day, when needed, my children are told to play with their youngest brothers for half an hour. I set the timer for half an hour and one of the children plays with the little ones. When that half hour is up, I set the timer again, and the next child plays with the little ones. This is done throughout the day as necessary. It's a win-win situation for everyone. My little boys are entertained, my older children get a relaxing break, and I can homeschool knowing that my little ones are being supervised. In a way, it's what we have always done.
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