Gathering my Thoughts


I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

 The light in the morning comes earlier every day. I don't think I've ever appreciated it so much as this year. Sunshine is a beautiful thing.

::listening to 

Fox News. I need a visual on the Pope's announcement.  

::clothing myself in 

A UVa sweatshirt. Just reminding myself to redouble the prayer effort for my student. 


::talking with my children about these books

Well...I guess it's time to pull out some of our favorite books by and about the Pope.

Lolek, The Boy Who Became Pope. (my favorite)

Joseph and Chico 

Max and Benedict

Be Saints

Friendship with Jesus

::thinking and thinking

 About the Pope.

::pondering prayerfully

 On the days of Lent, from morning until the end of the third hour let them apply themselves to their reading, and from then until the end of the tenth hour let them do the work assigned them.  And in these days of Lent they shall each receive a book from the library, which they shall read straight through from the beginning. These books are to be given out at the beginning of Lent. ~from The Rule of St. Benedict

I plan to use Consoling the Heart of Jesus again this year. I cannot say enough good things about this book. It's life-changing. I read it last year, on an unexpected and unusual "retreat," and I shared these thoughts:

I spent Holy Week reading Consoling the Heart of Jesus. There are a small handful of books in my life where I remember exactly where and when I read them because those times and places are turning points. This book is one of those. It is easily at the top of that list. This incredibly readable volume makes some of the most beautiful truths and devotions of the Catholic faith understandable (at last)  and accessible (even to busy mothers of large families).  Fr. Gaitley brings together fine threads of several spiritual traditions and weaves them into a beautiful and exceedingly useful tapestry of a do-it-yourself retreat. It is Ignatian spirituality made accessible. It is the Little Way of St. Therese for all of us. It is consecration to Mary and devotion to Divine Mercy explained in plain language and made clear to little souls. Mostly, it is a rich volume of Merciful Words that brings Merciful Love to its readers. You don't have to have a weekend to make the retreat. You can just read a little each day until you are finished. If it's your heart's desire to get to know and understand Jesus better, tell Him.

I'm so looking forward to re-reading this book this year.

::carefully cultivating rhythm

I'm moving my gym time to the early morning, setting a rhythm that will sustain me through soccer season. Not sure where I'm moving my blogging time. I do hope, though, tht since I won't be out of the house during the school day, I'll be able to find the sewing time again.

::creating by hand

More prayer journal covers.


::learning lessons in

The papacy. It's time to study anew the conclaves prior to the one coming in March, to look at the lives of the popes past and the lives of current cardinals, to share how the pope becomes the pope. The last time a new pope was announced, my current eighth grader wasn't even reading yet. Let's begin to gather resources together. Please leave your ideas in today's comments. I'll start to pull things together for a post later this week. 

::encouraging learning 

I'm feeling a bit of midyear pressure. I really, really want to finish the year's math for everyone. We might need to double-time math for the next few months.

::a little link for you to click ASAP

Ginny's blog has been nomiated for Apartment Therapy's Homies Award for The Best Family and Home blog. It's a big deal and it is so nice to a blog with faith nominated for something like this award. So, people of faith, go vote! you have to register. it only takes a moment. Voting ends Wednesday, so hurry on over.

::begging prayers

for all the intentions of our prayer community.  

::keeping house

I have discovered that Stephen is not only the most diligent of all my students but the most reliable of all my chore-doers. Maybe I should promote him and have him train the little ones?

::crafting in the kitchen 

I'm so excited to begin Heather's workshop today. The virtual classroom space is beautiful. Of course it is; everything Heather touches is beautiful. We had a chance to meet other workshop attendees over the weekend and I'm just so tickled to get going. It's time to learn some new things and to sweep away some bad habits. I love that it will coincide with Lent. I intend to fully immerse Mary Beth in the workshop and to fill in here with some very intentional, hands-on grocery shopping lessons. I hope she'll have her driver's license by the end of those two months, as well. And she'll be all set to become the family's primary grocery shopper. And I have a hunch Kristin will join some of our cooking endeavors, too. She and some friends have been blogging food lately...


::loving the moments

When a Monday morning begins in a clean house, with all-caught-up laundry. Stephen, Katie, and I managed to make it so. Go us!

::giving thanks 

for the Church.

living the liturgy

This week is all about preparing for Lent. More thoughts here. I'm in a little bit of liturgical chaos this week. Valentine's Day falls on the day after Ash Wednesday. Mary Beth and I have decided that it's not going to work. Our plan is to celebrate Valentine's Day on Tuesday and somehow integrate it with Fat Tuesday. We always have waffles and sausage for dinner on Fat Tuesday. I think they'll look a little more valentine-y this year. And I've promised Katie she can make a cake like the one Jennifer shared during last week's needle & thREAD.

::planning for the week ahead

Lent begins. There will be a palpable shift in the demeanor of the household.

::about the photo

Lori found this picture last night and shared it with me on Facebook. It was in the background of a shot from the reception. It captures so perfectly for me the spirit of that day. I feel like I was just peaceful, happy and very much grateful to be celebrating with my family...