Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Not much done other than school work this week but I am mostly caught up…

1. Pray the rosary each day. (Only got it in a couple of times this week.)

2. Get up by 6:30 am each morning. (Missed a couple of days, but did okay.)

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes. (Still waiting on one of the books I need for a class, so I will have to do some major catch-up when it comes in!)

4. Blog at least three times this week.

5. Find a permanent babysitter for Andrew. (Still looking…)

6. Keep Andrew on track with his home school.

7. Read and review the Catholic Update guide to Mary (affiliate link). It’s a small booklet so I’m hoping I can fit it in between reading for class. (Didn’t even get a chance to open it. 🙁 )

Here are the few goals I have for this week:

1. Pray the rosary each day.

2. Get up by 6:30 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes.

4. Blog at least three times this week.

5. Find a permanent babysitter for Andrew.

6. Take Andrew to doctor’s appointment for well visit.

7. Read and review the Catholic Update guide to Mary (affiliate link). It’s a small booklet so I’m hoping I can fit it in between reading for class.

What are your plans for this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

 

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Didn’t get everything crossed off the list this week but still very happy with what I accomplished:

1. Read at least one chapter of  the gospel of John per day.

2. Pray the rosary each day.

3. Finish reading “Secrets to a happy Life” and write review. (Check out my review here.)

4. Finish unpacking and  organizing our bedroom. (All done!!! Well, except for going through crafts, but that’s another project. 🙂 )

5. Continue making and adding items to my Etsy shop. (No one items up but I am working on a few.)

6. Spend five minutes per day on fiction writing.

7. Spend about half-hour of playtime with Andrew each day.

8. Revamp and prepare our homeschooling curriculum for the fall. (Didn’t get this done but planning to do it today. I was busy getting my unpacking done.)

Here’s what’s going on for this week:

1. Read at least one chapter of  the gospel of John per day.

2. Pray the rosary each day.

3. Read Letters to Katie and write review.

4. Continue making and adding items to my Etsy shop.

5. Spend five minutes per day on fiction writing.

6. Spend about half-hour of playtime with Andrew each day.

7. Revamp and prepare our homeschooling curriculum for the fall.

8. Start school with Andrew.

What are your plans for this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Here’s how I did last week. I think it pays to kept my goals short and sweet. Not only did I do almost everything on this list I was able to get some unexpected things done as well. 🙂

1. Read read through the gospel of Matthew for 5 minutes a day. (Didn’t get it done every day, most of them.)

2. Pray the rosary each day. (Only missed one day, yay!)

3. Write for at least five minutes each day (fiction, like I mentioned in my goals for 2013). (Getting back into writing has been an interesting experience, something I think I will blog about.)

4. Organize my bedroom closet. (Ah, nothing like an organized closet. Here is a before and after picture for your viewing pleasure. 🙂 )

Before:

before picture 1

before picture 2

After:

after picture 1

after picture 2

5. Take Andrew to YESTERcades. (YESTERCADES is a fun arcade place with all the “old-time” arcade games like “Frogger”, “Space Invaders”, etc. I went there with him a while back for a birthday party and have wanted to return since!) (Well, this didn’t happen due to circumstances beyond our control but we will try again soon.)

Here are my plans for this coming week:

1. Read read through the gospel of Matthew for 5 minutes a day.

2. Pray the rosary each day.

3. Write for at least five minutes each day (fiction, like I mentioned in my goals for 2013).

4. Organize my dresser drawers.

5. Go to Brookdale to get the books I need for next semester. It starts up a week from Tuesday all ready. Yikes!

What are your goals this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

 

What Does it Mean to Trust God? (A Little Random Thought)

That’s a hard question and I don’t have an easy answer to it. It is something that I struggle with which is why I think the Lord lead me to make “trust” as my focus word for 2013.  I clearly need the practice!

The scripture that stands out most to  me in regards to trust is Proverbs 3: 5-6:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; in all your ways be mindful of Him, and He will make straight your paths.”

(Saint Joseph Personal Size Edition of The New American Bible)

This quote convicts me and encourages me in my faith and trust in the Lord. I don’t know about you but I prefer to rely on myself a lot of time rather than on God, thank you very much! I want things to happen on my timetable and my way. I don’t want “wait” for an answer, either, I want what I want when I want it! This makes me sound like a two-year-old or something doesn’t it?

Right now we have a lot going on. We are looking for a place to live (after staying with my in-laws for a while), we need to get an extra car for me so I can get to school. I have to figure out who will watch Andrew every Tuesday for my early morning class that is starting in two weeks. Finances are tight. I’m homeschooling and have projects piling up. I’m feeling a little stressed to say the least.

For me, this is where trust comes in. I need to have the faith to trust that God will bring us to the right apartment that we can afford, that he will provide a car or transportation for me to get to my class and he will arrange for a sitter for Andrew. Yes, I have to do my part, and calmly look for that new apartment and car, but I have to quit stressing over it and trust in the Lord. That’s not easy.

Trust means that we rely on God and believe that He is invested in our lives. It means giving up our illusion of control and allow God to work in our lives – even in the details of our lives like finding a place to live. To me, trust means letting go of anxiety and knowing God is God.

Do you remember the 1980s sitcom, Charles in Charge starring Scott Baio? (You can see free episodes on Hulu.) Sometimes when my IRL friend Anne and I talk about stuff and remind each other to trust God we say, “God’s in charge, NOT Charles!”

That’s what I am going to try to remember for 2013 – to let God be in charge and not try not to interfere with God’s plan for me.

What about you? What does trusting God mean to you? I’d love to get a conversation about this going, so leave your thoughts and reflections on trust and what it means for you in the combox.

 

 

Goals for this Week

Set Goals

Little late getting my goals up but better late than never. I’m out of practice with posting my goals I guess. 🙂 In any case, I’m going to keep my goals short and sweet and achievable:

1. Read read through the gospel of Matthew for 5 minutes a day.

2. Pray the rosary each day.

3. Write for at least five minutes each day (fiction, like I mentioned in my goals for 2013).

4. Organize my bedroom closet.

5. Take Andrew to YESTERcades. (YESTERCADES is a fun arcade place with all the “old-time” arcade games like “Frogger”, “Space Invaders”, etc. I went there with him a while back for a birthday party and have wanted to return since!)

What are your goals this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

 

 

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Here are my goals from last week:

Spiritual Goals

1. Daily mass and meditation, and rosary.

2. Memorize Ephesians 6:10-11 (“Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.”) My goal is to memorize Eph 6:10-17, but I’m doing it one or two verses at a time. (Finishing this and adding the next verse for next week.)

Family/Mothering Goals

3. Write love note for Michael and hide it in his work bag.

4. Read Flat Stanley, The Boxcar Children #6 and two chapters from the Bible to Andrew.

5. Work on a painting project with Andrew. (Worked on a birthday project for his uncle instead)

Personal Development

6. Exercise on treadmill for 30 minutes, stretch for 10 minutes.

7. Drink at least 5 glasses of water a day.

8. Dinner date with Mom and Sister (Wednesday). Had a great time!

Blogging goals

9. Write and post book review for “Past Suspicion.

10. Continue writing and posting 31 Days With Mary Novena.

Here are my goal for this coming week:

1. Daily mass and meditation, and rosary.

2. Finish memorizing Ephesians 6:10-11 (“Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.”)

3. Start Memorizing 6:12 (“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, and with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”)

Family/Mothering Goals

4. Write love note for Michael and hide it in his work bag.

5. Read at least 3 books and two chapters a day from the Bible to Andrew. (Haven’t decided which books yet again.)

6. Work on a painting project with Andrew. Hopefull we will actually get to this this week!

Personal Development

7. Exercise on treadmill for 30 minutes, stretch for 10 minutes.

8. Drink 6 glasses of water each day.

Blogging goals

9. Start reading Sons of Cain by Val Bianco and post review.

10. Continuing posting the 31 Days With Mary Devotions each morning. Stay two days ahead of blogging schedule.

(I also have some projects in the works. I’m not sure if I’ll get to them this week, so I’m not including them. 🙂

What are your goals for this week? Feel free to share them here or head over to Money Saving Mom for more goal setting ideas.

[Contains affiliate link(s). If you click on a link and buy the product, I get a tiny kickback from the sale. And my husband will love you for it! See my disclosure policy for more information.]

Our Family’s Top 10 Children’s Books

Fav books

Books, books, books! We LOVE to read in our house! If Andrew had it his way, we’d sit and do nothing but read all day! So, inspired by Crystal’s recent read-aloud series, I thought I’d share 10 of the books Andrew loves the most. Enjoy!

1.The Children’s Book of Virtues. I’ve mentioned this before, but this is hands-down one of our favorite books. It is a conglomerate of short stories, tales and fables that teach many valuable lessons.  Andrew’s favorite story, of course, is “St. George and the Dragon!”

2. A Small Child’s book of Verse. Like the above book, this is a conglomerate of known and not-so-known rhymes and poems. Some teach a lesson and some are just plain fun! They are a great way to begin instilling a love of verse in your children.

3. A Child’s Treasury of Bible Stories. This is a large, picture-filled beginner’s bible. The bible stories are short and easy for little ones to understand and there are big, colorful pictures to reinforce the stories. As expected, David (and Goliath) and Jonah are Andrew’s favorites and I love how they easily portray the stories of Jesus.

4. Picture Book of Saints. This is the perfect book for learning about some of our great Saints. The biographies are short and include the opening prayer for the saint’s feast day mass. We often read this at breakfast time on each saint’s feast day; but, also, Andrew likes to pick up the book anytime and look through the pictures and “read” about them himself.

5. Thunder Cake. This is a sweet, true story of a young girl who was afraid of thunderstorms and how her grandmother helped her overcome her fear by making a “thunder cake.” There is even the grandmother’s recipe for the cake in the back of the book. (I’ve never made the cake yet – maybe someday!)

6. Guess How Much I Love You. This tender story is our ultimate-favorite bedtime book. Little Nutbrown Hare tries to show bid Nutbrown Hare how much he loves him. We often expand on the story ourselves trying to top each other in expressing how much we love each other. We usually get pretty silly doing this and ending up laughing up a storm!

7. McDuff and the Baby. This tells the story of a family who brings home a baby from the dog’s perspective. It is a short, very cute book. Very well illustrated.

8. Goodnight Moon. This is, I believe, a well-known classic. Need I say more. 😛

9. My Special Dinosaur Adventure. This is a personalized book that was given to Andrew a couple of Christmases ago my an Aunt. His name, address and three of his cousins are written into the book. There are several “My Adventure Books” but in this particular story, Andrew is taken back in time to the age of the dinosaurs. This is a fun book that Andrew loves me to read over and over again!

10. My Big Rescue Book. This is a large picture book with colorful images of emergency vehicles, trucks, boats and people in uniform. The perfect book for a little boy! Andrew will spend up the 45 minutes looking at each picture and talking about being a fire fighter, police officer, etc.!

11. BONUS 1! Spot Goes to the Park. Andrew is learning to read and can recognize many of the words in this simple story. The print is very large and the images are bright and big.

12. BONUS 2! Green Eggs and Ham. Andrew specifically asked me to add this in! Who doesn’t love this classic story? “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am!”

I had a real hard time picking and choosing the favorites of our favorites. I may have to do a part two post! What books do you love to read to your children? Do share in the comments! I am always on the lookout for new books to read!

(This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)

August: The Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Did you know that the month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? I didn’t know it was until just recently. It is also the month of two very special Marian feast days: Queenship of Mary (which when don’t celebrate this year because it’s a Sunday) and the Assumption.

Immaculate Heart

The best way to honor Our Lady is to honor Jesus. Whenever Our Lady appeared around the world, her main message has always been: peace, prayer, fasting, and conversion of heart. Here are 12 ideas for honoring Our Lady this month:

1. Go to Mass. The best way to honor Our Lady is to honor Jesus; and, what better way to honor Jesus than to participate in the Sacrifice of the Mass? Sunday mass is a given. If you aren’t in the habit of going to daily mass, could you find at least one or two extra days during the week for mass?

2. Make time for adoration. Most churches are open at least several hours a day and many have perpetual adoration or specific adoration times. When you are out and about running your errands, why not stop by a nearby church to spend time with Our Lord? If you can’t get out to a church, you can visit Our Lord through online adoration, such as the one from savior.org.

3. Go to confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation). Our Lady often called us to be reconciled to God. Even if you aren’t aware of mortal sin, going to confession strengthens your relationship with the Lord, helps strengthen your resolve and growth in virtue and confirms you in grace.

4. Pray the rosary. Better yet, pray the rosary as a family. The rosary is a powerful prayer! It is, in reality, a meditation on the birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Our Lord. Need another incentive, read these 15 promises.

5. Read the Bible. To know the heart of Mary, get to know the heart of Jesus; and, of course, the best way to do this is to spend time praying the scriptures. Start with reading the mass readings of the day and then go from there.

6. Fast. Our Lady often asks for fasting. She recommends fasting Wednesdays and Fridays, but if you aren’t used to fasting, start small. Try fasting from one meal a week or whatever you feel called to do. Fasting doesn’t have to be about food either. You can fast from television, the computer or news. Again, let the Lord guide you (preferably with the guidance of a spiritual director).

7. Mortification. Mortifying oneself or offering sacrifices is not a popular subject nowadays. Still, mortifying ourselves helps us grow in virtue and strengthens our spirit. When we mortify ourselves, we also share in a tiny way in the redemptive act of Jesus. Very powerful, that! Some examples would be to smile when we don’t feel like it, being patient when it is difficult, eating something we don’t like or not eating something we do like. The opportunities are endless if we look with the eyes of our hearts.

8. Make a pilgrimage. You don’t have to go to Lourdes or Fatima to make a pilgrimage. You can make a trip a local grotto or statue of Our Lady and pray the rosary or other prayers.

9. Participate in a procession. Processions are a traditional custom for the Assumption. If your church or a neighboring church doesn’t have processions, you can have a little procession with your family.

10. Consecrate yourself and family. What better way to honor Our Lady and Our Lord than to consecrate yourself to the hearts of Jesus and Mary? You use a formal consecration prayer, or make up your own prayer.

11. Wear the scapular. The scapular is a sacramental that reminds us of our Lord and Our Lady. The scapular isn’t magic, but there are promises attached to the scapular as well.

12. Bring Mary some flowers. Another tradition is to place flowers at the feet of Mary, particularly on Saturdays. If you have a garden, some families grow a Mary’s garden and/or grow flowers just for Mary.

I hope these suggestions are helpful! Let the Lord guide your family in your devotions. What ideas do you have for honoring Mary? Share in the comments. 🙂