Friday, February 20, 2009

As the family goes...

"As the family goes, so goes the nation..." (Pope John Paul II)

Working on our nation one little family member at a time... :)

You know the old saying "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world..."
I know I don't want to rule the world, but improving it for the better would be nice :)

As for us, we'll just be here changing the world one diaper at a time...


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Domestic Church and the Liturgical Year...

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1666 The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.

Knowing that our family is called to be a domestic church, we've always strived to really engage in the beautiful liturgical year of the Church...sometimes too much so... where Mom is working so hard to incorporate every single meaningful tradition or celebration into our home that it can get a little overwhelming! But it is always worth it when we realize how connected our life at home is to the life of the Church. the midst of soaking up our "brand-new baby time" I'm hoping to gather up my materials and get ready for Ash Wednesday next week and the beginning of Lent. I'll try to post about what kinds of prayers and activities we'll be doing during this season. Pray for me....since I've gotten so comfortable in "the now" and enjoying our new little joy I'm finding it harder to get geared up to do anything else but sit and love on my family and the "down-time" we've been having...I know its going to be a little hard to jump into this season since its usually Mom that pulls it all together (of course ;) ).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Bird Count Continues!

Well, we're in our second day of bird counting....the boys are absolutely loving it! The first day was a little disappointing because we didn't have even half the species of birds come to the feeder that we usually do so we weren't able to submit very many results to the Great Backyard Bird Count that we were hoping to. But today was awesome! All the birds we usually see...and then some...made a mad dash to our feeder and we counted frantically and ripped through our field guides trying to quickly figure out what bird was what so we could name them and count them in our tally. You probably had to be there but it had both boys and my husband and I screaming at the table getting excited about all different birds we were was a pretty cool experience. We'll be adding our data to the website later today and checking out the real time maps of what others across the country have been recording thus far.

Elijah's comment: "I wish we could count like twenty more days!"

Speaking of birds...someone at the library saw me checking out a million different bird books and field guides and told us about a blue heron sanctuary at a greenway right near our home so we thought it fitting during our bird learning to go check it out and see if we could spot some herons. Heres some shots Dan got of the Great Blue Herons we saw...

Taking it all in and Loving It...

I've been wanting to get more done on this blog, but we've been a little busy soaking in the amazing blessing that God gave us 8 weeks ago...

Our Matthias Kolbe...look at all that hair! You could practically braid it!

Has it really been 8 weeks already? This is our fourth child so I thought I knew what the whole "having a new baby" process would be like....usually, as much as I love my children, the new infant stage tends to be a little bit of an exhausted blur. Theres so much to do and get settled, your tired and usually I'm wishing that they just came out running around and being a little more self-sufficient! But not this, I am happy to say that I am truly "getting it" and finally basking in all that there is to be grateful for in each moment of this little one's life.

I knew this time around would be a little different from the moment our Lord spoke to me in Adoration shortly after I found out I was pregnant again...He was very clear with me about His plans and I have been blessed with this little one ever since. I am so grateful to be aware of what I have, to be appreciating and really ENJOYING who he is already. God never ceases to amaze me in how he can push to me to grow a little more with each child and now I am finally starting to enjoy some of the fruits of our life-giving love.

He's growing so that I'm becoming mature enough to take it all in, I wish he would slow down a bit and stay awhile with me like this...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Just a quote to think about...(thanks to Maria from the Mater Amabilis group for mentioning it)

> "God has created a world big enough for all the lives He wishes to be
> born. It is only our hearts that are not big enough to want them and
> accept them. If all the money that is being spent on finding ways to
> kill people was used instead to feed them and house them and educate
> them - how beautiful that would be. We are too often afraid of the
> sacrifices we might have to make. But where there is love, there is
> always sacrifice. And when we love until it hurts, there is joy and
> peace." Mother Theresa

Beautifully said, isn't it?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Struggling day...

Today is turning out to be one of those that I wish had started better but didn't and just seems to keep going downhill. Everyone is still getting over a cold, behavior and attitudes have been lacking to say the least- and I'm struggling- struggling with wanting a home of peace and kindness and I can't seem to turn it around today. So I nap everyone (or desperately try to enforce some quiet time in the room of the non-nappers) so I can regain some composure (and give them some rest so they'll finally get better!) I look through my bible for some direction and I come upon this...

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on things of the flesh, but those that live according to the Spirit set their minds on things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Romans 8:5-8

On days like this, where it just seems like I'm laboring so heavily to drag my children into submission and I'm letting it get to me I realize that I am setting my mind on the flesh and not the Spirit. The Spirit is "life and peace" and I'm focused on the world, my timeframe, my expectations for the day, my own sinfulness in that I become impatient and set the mood (good or bad) for my family. I realize I need to rise above the physical difficulty in front of me and dwell in the Spirit, find my peace there...because what I really want is to "please God" as the scripture says and I can't do that dwelling in these moments of the flesh.

So, pray for me, a mother of many little ones, as I strive from this moment on to try to focus on the Spirit and call on Him in my difficult moments of the flesh today.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Our first Snow Day of the Year...

Well, at least we had one snow day in January!
This was a week or two ago but I still wanted to share the picture :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Let the Bird Count Begin!

Nature Study is an important aspect of a Charlotte Mason education...Here are a few quotes from Charlotte Mason on the subject:

Charlotte Mason Quotes---

Nature Study "We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things."

“There is no part of a child's education more important than that he should lay - by his own observation - a wide basis of facts towards scientific knowledge in the future."

"Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life."

(Quotes provided by Homeschool Curriculum For Life)

So...we are diving into the Great Backyard Bird Count happening Feb. 13th-16th. We are checking out lots of wonderfully engaging books about our feathered friends so that we can learn more for our upcoming bird count. We will be reading, drawing, painting and learning about birds and then helping to count the different species in our area to help with conservation and the study of birds.

The GBBC is an easy and fun way to get some nature study in with the family. We hope to do a bird count at our birdfeeder and also go to the greenway nearby to do another count there (we will be able to see water fowl and other species there that we wouldn't see in our backyard).

Check out this site and gather your kids up to help count the birds!

Great Backyard Bird Count


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Starting a blog...

I've finally gotten around to starting a blog...I've titled it "A Recollected Life


  1. calm; composed.
  2. remembered; recalled.
  3. characterized by or given to contemplation.

A recollected life...that's what I hope for. I life that hasn't flown me by without stopping to see the reflection of God in it. I hope to use this little space called a blog to keep my family's sweetest moments- moments that might leave my memory if I didn't take the time to remember them and give thanks for them and place them in this journal to be recalled over time.

At the speed that life moves at, it can be hard to keep up with all the true, lovely and gracious things that come our way so I also hope to keep my lists and thoughts of these inspirational things here- my living books lists, thoughtful quotes, other blogs that help lead us in the beautiful ways of a Charlotte Mason philosophy of education etc.

My theme for this blog is Philippians 4: 8

"Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

I hope this blog to be a happy, lovely, gracious little space where I can lay those things that interest me and will be of interest to others as well.

We are a homeschooling family so a large majority of the true, honorable, lovely, excellent things that we will be focusing on will have to do with our learning together at home.

I also realize that not everything about my vocation as a wife and mother is going to seem lovely, pure and excellent so sometimes this blog will just be a chance for me to search for some good in it or to just try to find ways to be grateful in the difficulties.

I hope over time this blog may be a blessing to you as I know it will be for me- an opportunity for me to slow down and reflect on the moments of our family life that reflect the face of God. There are so many lovely and praiseworthy things in our vocations as wives and mothers and hearts of our homes...if only we would gather the
little things up and recollect these things!

Please be patient with me as I will also be patient with myself...having never written a blog before and having recently had our 4th little blessing, it may take me time to get my thoughts together and I may find it incredibly hard to find time to write at all! We'll see how it goes...