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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NW Catholic Family Education Conference Map

One of the things that I like about helping with the Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference is seeing which cities and states people are traveling from to attend the conference. Realizing that others might also like to know this information, I put this map together,

If you are a Catholic home-educating family living in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or British Columbia, I hope to meet you at the conference in May.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Thanks to a Guardian Angel

On Saturday evening, as I came upstairs from starting a load of laundry, Patrick met me at the top of the steps saying, "I am scared to death. I am scared to death of the kitchen." I responded, "There is nothing to be scared of in the kitchen. Come with me and I will show you." As we entered the kitchen, I smelled something burning and I noticed that I had failed to turn the rice down when I covered it. I proceeded to turn it down, commenting, "See there's nothing to be scared of." Patrick quickly replied, "I am scared of what's under the sink." I stated, "Oh is there a spider under there. I once saw a spider in the garbage can." He promptly responded, "No, I'm scared of the fire in the garbage can."

Without thinking, I opened the kitchen cupboard, saw flames coming up out of the garbage can, and pulled the can out from under the sink. Bernadette quickly took the baby from my arms and I proceeded to pour pots of water on the fire. My husband came upstairs and took the smoldering garbage outside. One side of our can was melted and a lot of the garbage was either melted or burned.

How did it happen? Patrick had accidentally touched a paper towel to the stove top, causing it to catch on fire. Terrified, he threw the burning paper towel in the garbage and was surprised to find that it caused everything else to start burning. I am so thankful that my little boy did not burn himself, that I was coming upstairs, that Patrick told me there was a fire, and that garbage was the only thing to burn.

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side,
to light and guard,
to rule and guide.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Requiescat in Pace

Thank you to everyone who was praying for my mother-in-law. She died on Thursday, March 26, around 2:15. Although she was in the hospital, it still came as a surprise. Thankfully, a priest heard her confession on March 23 and she received the last rites shortly before she entered into eternal life. Please pray for the repose of her soul. Mom, Nanny, friend, you will be missed. I love you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cure of Ars Books

My two eldest went to Switzerland a couple of years ago. After visiting Ars and seeing the incorrupt body of St. Jean Vianney their aunt gave each of them a copy of The Priest of Ars, by Marie-Therese Fischer. It is an Along the Paths of the Gospel book that I pray will be released in the United States this year, as it provides young children with a means of learning about this great saint.

In 2008, Pauline Books and Media published another book in their Encounter the Saints series, Saint John Vianney: A Priest for all People. This book is illustrated by Ben Hatke.

Two books for slightly older children are the Vision book The Cure of Ars: The Priest Who Out-Talked the Devil by Milton Lomask and the Mary Fabyan Windeatt book The Cure of Ars: The Story of Saint John Vianney, Patron Saint of Parish Priests.

Two books for adults or older teens are The Cure D'Ars : St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney and The Cure D'Ars Today: St John Vianney.

Happy reading!

St. Jean Marie Vianney, pray for us!

Year of the Priesthood

Pope Benedict XVI has declared 2009 - 2010 the Year of the Priesthood and is dedicating the year to the Cure of Ars, St. Jean Vianney.

In December, I replied to a friend's e-mail question about confession, telling her that my pastor reminded my of St. John Vianney. In a phone conversation, with my pastor, I mentioned this to him and he let out a humble laugh.

Then I read this, this, and this I am so thankful to have a pastor who follows the example of the Cure of Ars and spends hours in the confessional.

"Jesus, Savior of the world, sanctify Thy priests
and sacred ministers."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Importance of Routine

Some of us have colds. As a result, last night, we did not kneel down to pray the family rosary before going to bed. After we were all in bed, Finnian reminded us of this fact, saying, "Need to pray." I responded, "It's late. I am sorry that we did not pray tonight." He replied, "Can we pray?" I obviously could not say "no" to my little boy's request and so we prayed one decade of the rosary. Upon finishing he asked, "Finnian pray?" Thus, I helped him with his own prayers to Jesus. When we were finished he mentioned each of his siblings' names and said, "pray". I hope that they did so before falling asleep. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us what we are supposed to be doing.

ND: Read What Alice Shared

And then pray a rosary for our president and our country!

Each night, after the rosary, my second youngest daughter prays, "For Obama that he becomes good and starts protecting the babies, instead of letting them be killed." We should probably all be doing the same.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Jury Duty Exemption

Today, I received a summons for jury duty. I have asked for an exemption due to the fact that I have a nursing baby. I did not mention that I am a full-time, homeschooling mother of seven children. The last time, I was summoned for jury duty, I had a nursing baby who was the exact same age as my current baby. Realistically, I would never be chosen to serve on a jury because my husband has a special police commission and a brother-in-law is a prosecutor. Ironically, my husband would really like to sit on a jury, but knows that he will never be selected as a juror.

It's all about spring!

I saw this on Jessica's blog and couldn't resist.

You Are Blooming Flowers

You are an optimistic person by nature. In even the darkest times, you are hopeful about the future.

You feel truly blessed in life and can sometimes be overwhelmed with emotions.

You have an artist's eye. You are always looking for beauty in the mundane.

You have a good sense of aesthetics, especially when it comes to shapes and color.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

St. Joseph

I can't let the month of March slip by without calling attention to Pope Leo XIII's words. They can also be found in Fr. Hardon's Catholic Prayer Book.
The special motives for which St. Joseph has been proclaimed Patron of the Church, and from which the Church looks for singular benefit from his patronage and protection, are that Joseph was the spouse of Mary and that he was reputed the Father of Jesus Christ. From these sources have sprung his dignity, his holiness, his glory. In truth, the dignity of the Mother of God is so lofty that naught created can rank above it. But as Joseph has been united to the Blessed Virgin by the ties of marriage, it may not be doubted that he approached nearer than any to the eminent dignity by which the Mother of God surpasses so nobly all created natures. For marriage is the most intimate of all unions which from its essence imparts a community of gifts between those that by it are joined together. Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life's companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honor, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity. And Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents. From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was. And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties. He set himself to protect with a mighty love and a daily solicitude his spouse and the Divine Infant; regularly by his work he earned what was necessary for the one and the other for nourishment and clothing; he guarded from death the Child threatened by a monarch's jealousy, and found for Him a refuge; in the miseries of the journey and in the bitternesses of exile he was ever the companion, the assistance, and the upholder of the Virgin and of Jesus. Now the divine house which Joseph ruled with the authority of a father, contained within its limits the scarce-born Church. From the same fact that the most holy Virgin is the mother of Jesus Christ is she the mother of all Christians whom she bore on Mount Calvary amid the supreme throes of the Redemption; Jesus Christ is, in a manner, the firstborn of Christians, who by the adoption and Redemption are his brothers. And for such reasons the Blessed Patriarch looks upon the multitude of Christians who make up the Church as confided specially to his trust—this limitless family spread over the earth, over which, because he is the spouse of Mary and the Father of Jesus Christ he holds, as it were, a paternal authority. It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.
Pope Leo XIII
QUAMQUAM PLURIES (On Devotion to St. Joseph)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference Special

Dear Friends in Christ,

In honor of St. Joseph, the patron saint of the 2009 Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference: Nurturing Catholic Family Life, two-day and family online registration prices for the month of March have been reduced to $25!

You can register for the conference by visiting:

Please share this information with your friends!

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Love in Christ and Our Blessed Mother,
Christine, Lori, and Katherine
May 1 - 2, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Help Stop the ND Scandal

Please sign the petition.
President Obama to Deliver Notre Dame Commencement

Urgent Action: Sign the open letter to
Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins and urge him to cancel Obama's commencement address, honorary doctorate, and speech set for May 17, 2009.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Solemnity of St. Joseph

Below are some prayers and ideas for celebrating the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19:

Go to Mass to honor this great and humble saint.

EWTN provides the following devotion,

Mary Reed Newland's The Year and Our Children shares this prayer:

"O glorious St. Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble and charitable mind, and perfect resignation in the Divine Will. Be my guide, father and model through life that I may merit to die as thou didst, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Amen."
This recipe is taken from Evelyn Birge Vitz's A Continual Feast:

St. Joseph's Ceam Puffs (Sfinge de San Giuseppe)

1 cup water
1/3 cup sweet butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
1 cup sifted flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons finely chopped pistachios

1 Tablespoon candied orange peel or other candied fruit peel
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling on top

For the cream puffs: Place the water, butter, granulated sugar, lemon rind, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and as soon as the butter has melted, remove the pan from heat. Add the flour all at once, stirring constantly and vigorously.

Return the pan to the heat, and stir constantly until the mixture forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the pan. Continue to cook a little longer, until you hear a slight crackling or frying sound. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly.

Add the eggs, one at a time. Be sure that each egg is thoroughly blended into the mixture before you add the next. Keep stirring until the dough is smooth and thoroughly blended. Add the vanilla. Cover the dough and let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls on a buttered cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between the Sfinge. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool. So the cream puffs will be crisp, fill just before serving if possible.

For the filling: Mix the ricotta, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, pistachios, and peel, if using it. Cut each cream puff horizontally partway through the middle and fill with the mixture.
Just before serving sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Keep refrigerated, if not serving immediately.

Say and listen to the Litany to St. Joseph.

Say this prayer to Saint Joseph.

Read Good Saint Joseph.

Color the picture of St. Joseph found in Fenestrae Fidei.

May God bless all fathers on the Solemnity of St. Joseph!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Corned Beef and Cabbage

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!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Prayers for my Mother-in-Law

Please pray for my mother-in-law. She has been in the hospital for a few days, due to a severe leg injury. Today, she suffered another stroke and was moved to the critical care unit. The doctors do not know what to expect because she has unexplainably pulled through so many other times.

My mother-in-law recently started praying to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha for complete healing from her diabetes and the many health problems that stem from it. Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for her.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Patrick: "Mommy, Brendan..."

Me: "Please tell Brendan to come and see me."

Patrick (overheard in the living room): "Brendan, God really doesn't like your attitude right now."


Finnian: "I hungry or thirsty."

Me: "Would you like some water to drink."

Finnian: "No, I hungry."

Me: "Do you want a banana."

Finnian: "No, I hungry for a fruit snack."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference

You are cordially invited to register for:

The 14th Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference
on Friday and Saturday, May 1-2, 2009
at the Seattle Police Athletic Pavilion, Tukwila, WA

Speakers include:

Fr. James Kelleher, SOLT
Fr. Gerard Saguto, FSSP
Lee Binz
Dr. Joan Cotter
Meredith Henning
Colleen Kelleher
Dr. Michael Kelleher
Camille Pauley
Darcy Hemstad
Carrie Thienes
Kathy Morey
Julie Thrasher
Robin Betz

Many Catholic companies and colleges have been invited.

Register before April 18 and you will be entered to win a Door Prize.
(If you would like to donate a door prize, please contact info at

You are also invited to register for Dr. Ray Guarendi's one day conference on September 26, 2009.

Register for the Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference and Dr. Ray Guarendi's mini-conference by April 18 and save $10 per person on Dr. Ray's mini-conference!

Please visit for more information or e-mail
info at

We hope to see you in May and September!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Horse Riding

This is what I found on my camera a few days ago. I guess when Regina commented, "What a doll", she knew what she was saying.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

First Friday

I am still thinking about First Friday. It was a truly wonderful day! We arrived a couple of minutes late for Mass, due to road construction, but the children behaved fairly well. I was actually able to stay in the church with my two youngest until after the sermon. When we went up to receive Communion, Finnian knelt down (usually, he attempts to go under the altar rail). The secret to keeping my youngest son quiet was a wonderful little book (if you are a fellow parishioner and expecting a baby, please don't buy it, as your baby will be getting it as a gift).

After Mass, we went to Costco, causing me to contemplate writing a thank you to them for their meatless food samples. The children basically ate a late, light lunch, as I picked up what we needed. It was perfect because I had not thought about packing something for them to eat after Mass. I do have to admit that I declined several samples because I felt a little bit self conscious.

As I was putting the groceries in the van, a lady came up to me, introduced herself as Angela, and asked me, "Are you a homeschooler." When I responded, "Yes", she went on to tell me that she homeschooled, was the mother of seven, her youngest was eleven, she loved her teenagers, and that homeschooling was the best thing that I could do for my children. The children and I arrived home, four hours after I had left, feeling completely refreshed and thankful for a wonderful day. Thank you, God, for a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Food Blogs

I have been a fan of Catholic Cuisine, since its beginning. In fact, it was the only food-related blog that I tended to visit. However, that changed this Lent. First, a good friend e-mailed me a link to Good Things Catered (talk about food temptation - thankfully the caterer is taking a blog break for Lent). Next, another friend e-mailed me about Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Organic & Thrifty. I have been enjoying looking at these blogs before bed. Hopefully, my family will be reaping the benefits sometime soon.

As an aside, Carrie of Organic & Thrifty will be speaking at the Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference. I am looking forward to her presentation.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


As I was teaching the children the other day, my youngest son wandered in and stated, "I don't have nothing. I don't have nothing Mommy. I don't have nothing behind my back."

He had a screwdriver behind his back, but he was being honest because he used a double negative.

Murielle Yeoman

Growing up, I was blessed to know a very beautiful lady, thanks to my youngest sister. One day while at daily Mass with my mom, my youngest sister (age 2 or 3 at the time) wandered off to sit with an elderly lady. This act led to a friendship that would last a lifetime. The elderly lady's name was Murielle Yeoman and she used to fondly call my baby sister, "Pumpkin".

Murielle was born in Canada on December 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and experienced suffering early in her life. When Murielle was three years old, her parents died in a car accident, leaving Murielle an orphan and a hunchback (her back was injured in the accident). Some nuns in Quebec (I am sorry that I do not remember the name of the order or Murielle's maiden name) took Murielle in and raised her. She was forever grateful to them.

As a young lady, she met Alan and fell in love. When Alan asked her to marry him, she sought permission from the nuns and from her Bishop. Alan was an Episcopalian and Murielle wanted to be sure that it was okay to marry him. The Bishop granted Murielle permission to do so and blessed her marriage. Shortly after their marriage, Murielle and Alan conceived a child. Murielle was overjoyed to be expecting, but her joy turned to sorrow when her baby boy died soon after birth. The nuns who had raised Murielle knew of her suffering and of a baby boy who needed a home. Murielle and Alan happily adopted the baby boy. He was to be their only living child.

Unfortunately, despite all of her prayers for her son at daily Mass and at home, Murielle's son got involved with drugs. He wandered in and out of prisons, breaking his mother's heart, but like St. Monica, Murielle never stopped praying for or loving her son.

My family met the Yeomans before their son was led astray, before Murielle picked up another heavy cross. She and her husband quickly adopted my siblings and me as grandchildren. Once a week, she taught my older brother and sister French. I always enjoyed going with my mom to pick them up and see my "spiritual Godmother" (a name that Murielle had given me for herself). I remember her split pea soup, her crown of thorns plant, a little container full of sayings, their German Shepherd, running through the sprinkler on the Yeoman's front lawn, Grandparents Day at school, care packages in college, and sitting with Murielle at Mass. Whenever a Protestant hymn was sung during Mass, Murielle would sing, "Love God, love God, love God." She truly did LOVE GOD!

My fondest memories of Murielle are wrapped up in childhood Christmas celebrations. Murielle used to go with my family to Midnight Mass and after Mass we would go back to her house, have a little treat, listen to her and my dad singing French Christmas carols, and open Christmas gifts from Alan and her. The gifts were usually religious in nature (books, etc.) and some are still treasured today.

Fast forward several years to when I was going out with my future husband. At that time, Murielle and Alan were living in the Bellingham area. We drove to their house so they could meet him. We spent a lovely afternoon with the Yeomans, eating split pea soup and visiting. Murielle pulled out a Christmas gift that I had given her years earlier and asked me if I wanted it back. I told her, "No", not realizing that she wanted me to take it. I wish that I had done so. Murielle and Alan were at my wedding. They gave my husband and me some antique glasses with a matching pitcher. Little did I know that this would be the last time that I would remember seeing my dear "spiritual godmother".

Requiescat in pace.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Piano Recital

Yesterday evening, my two eldest had their first piano recital of the year. As usual, they were a little nervous. They made a couple of mistakes, but recovered fairly well. Both girls can play their pieces perfectly when not in front of an audience, but music is to be shared, so I am thankful for these opportunities for them to get up and play in front of others and overcome their fears.

Misty Moonlight by Rosco


Minuet by Johann Kreiger

Sonatina #3 in F Major by Thomas Attwood


Country Dance by Carl Czerny

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