31 Days of Prayer – Pray for Peace

At the beginning of the month, we prayed the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. However, the need to pray for peace has been weighing heavily in my heart.

31 Days of Prayer - Pray for Peace

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

We live in such a broken world. There seems to be violence and hatred everywhere. So many people are louder and ruder and generally disquieted. Peace seems impossible but nothing is impossible with God. Let us pray for peace within our hearts, peace with our neighbors and peace for the whole world.

Here is a little prayer I wrote:

Heavenly Father, we come to you humbly to ask You to bring peace into our world. Peace starts with ourselves, so please help us to turn our hearts to You, the giver of true, lasting inner peace. As St Francis asks, help us to be an instrument of peace to others. We ask for peace in the hearts of our neighbors, and yes, peace to our “enemies” Bring Your peace to the whole world. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Carol D’Annunzio

Watch this video from Reba McEntire. It is a simple,  yet powerful, message and reminder for us to pray for peace.


Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer – Pray for Peace

31 Days Writing Challenge

Our Home Education Curriculum for 2015-2016

I can’t believe that Andrew is officially in fifth grade. How did that happen?! In any case, in honor of his first day of school, I thought I would share what we will be doing this year.


Over the last few years we tried several different things: including Catholic Heritage, and a mix-up of several sources. Personally, I loved Catholic Heritage but it was too workbook heavy for Andrew. He is all boy – very physical and needs to be actively involved with learning. I also needed to supplement the program a bit too much for our needs. Therefore, I stopped using this program after first grade and started to put my own classical curriculum together for a few years.

Now that Andrew is in fifth grade, I feel like I need to settle down and get more “academic.” I want to make sure that I do all I can to help him success in high school and beyond. I also feel like what we have been doing needs some tweaking again. Of course, all plans are subject to change, but here are our initial plans:

1. Our curriculum will be centered on Mother of Divine Grace. I am behind in getting him registered, but will be doing so this week. In particular, I will be signing Andrew up for some of the video classes which I hope he will love.

2. For math, we will continue with the Right Start Math program. We have been using it for a couple of years now and Andrew does really well with it. It is loaded with manipulatives and minimal with the worksheets. (Although, Andrew still moans and complains when he has to do them!)

3. For spelling, we are using All About Spelling. Andrew is behind and struggles with spelling. I’ve tried just about everything I can think of and I am so glad we found this program. We worked through level one in May and June and by the end, Andrew had already improved quite a bit. After we get through level two, I think I will do an in-depth review of the program.

4. For grammar, we may be continuing with Kiss Grammar. It is a free, all-inclusive, and in-depth grammar program. Andrew isn’t a huge fan of grammar in general and particularly thrilled with this program, but we are either going to stick with it for another year or use the grammar course through Mother of Divine Grace.

5. To supplement, and for extra help, we will be using currclick.com. There are a ton of free and paid clubs, classes, etc. that I plan to have Andrew participate it. This website comes highly recommended my one of my homeschooling co-op friends so I can’t wait to give it a try.

As for physical education, Andrew has “gym” for an hour once a week with our homeschool co-op, he also does hockey 3x week, and basketball 2x week. There will also be activities, classes and field trips with the co-op.

That’s about it! Looking at it, it looks like a lot, but most of the classes are only 15-20 minutes, so I am expecting it to be doable. If not, I will tweak/change as necessary.

If you are looking to homeschool or looking to tweak your current program, I hope posting my curriculum gives you some ideas.


The Sacred Heart = Compassion

I saw this video on Facebook, and I knew I had to share it here. (hat tip to 3 Boys and a Dog for first posting it of FB.) It is not long, but it will probably make you cry! It is the perfect video for the Sacred Heart because Jesus pours out His heart, His love, for us, and this video is a beautiful Human example of love:

May your day be blessed, and my you be inspired by this touching video!

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (June 29, 2014)

Sunday Snippets

It’s Saturday, which means another weekend of Sunday Snippets! This week I have three posts:

Weekly Goals

A mini-meditation for the Sacred Heart

Book Review: Journal of a Soul

Although not posts, I also put together two videos, a welcome video for my home page, and Five “Fun Facts” about me for my about page. I also did two more videos for new email subscribers (you will have to sign up to see those, hint, hint 😉 ).

Now for the question of the week: Tell us about your pastor.

We are really fortunate to have a holy, personable, and wonderful pastor. Father Jay loves the Church, loves his vocation, and loves the people of the parish. His homilies are thought-provoking, and he isn’t afraid to shy away from “controversal” topics. And yet, he does so with tact and kindness. He is truly a wonderful gift to the parish, and clearly, I like him a lot!

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Not a lot done on the goals list this week, but Michael was home unexpectedly mid-week, so we had some extra family time which was wonderful. Then Michael took Andrew (and Nugget) on the road with him! It is nice having some unplanned alone time. So here’s how the week went down:

Marriage/Parenting/Home Management Goals

1. Send Michael a “love text” twice this week.

2. Finish reading Five Children and It to Andrew. (Hopefully I will finish this book for real!)

3. Clean out homeschooling area. (I will get this done eventually, but this week I am turning my attention to Andrew’s room…)

Personal Goals

4. Get up at 6:00.

5. Read a chapter of Proverbs a day and spend ten minutes in quiet time.

6. Exercise at least 15 minutes, 5 times this week.

Educational Goals

7. Finish paper for class and keep up with the reading. (Crazily, the professor returned the paper the same day I submitted it! Got an A. 🙂 )

Blogging/Writing Goals

8. Write two blog posts.

9. Finish book (It is on the Mass and will be free) and upload to website. (You can read about the eBook here, and sign up on that page, on the side bar, or below this post!)

10. Continue project for Red Cross.

Here are my plans for this coming week:

Marriage/Parenting/Home Management Goals

1. Send Michael a “love text” twice this week.

2. Finish reading Five Children and It to Andrew.

3. Clean out and go through Andrew’s room.

Personal Goals

4. Get up at 6:00.

5. Read a chapter each day of the book study I am doing, and spend ten minutes in quiet time.

6. Exercise at least 15 minutes, 5 times this week.

Educational Goals

7. Read ahead for my class.

Blogging/Writing Goals

8. Write two blog posts.

9. Create/upload a welcome video for website. One of my long-term goals is to get over my fear of video and speaking, so this is a first step.

10. Finish Red Cross project.

What are your goals for this week? So share below or come link up at moneysavingmom.com!


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A Little Inspiration to Brighten Your Day

Colleen over at Thoughts on Grace has been posting beautiful videos that she has been linking to a blog link-up called “Light In The Darkness.” The videos reminded me of a touching video that I saw a couple of years ago called “Johnny the Bagger.” It is supposed to be an example of good customer service but it is so much more than that. It shows how one young man can make a difference in the lives of many people with such a simple act of kindness. The video has stayed with me all this time and I pray that it will touch your heart as well and bless you on this feast of St. Joseph:

And People Wonder Why There is Violence

For some unfathomable reason, my husband likes to watch horror movies. I personally think they are disgusting and totally contrary to Philippians 4:8*, but my husband thinks they are funny.

Anyway, over the past weekend my husband went to a late evening showing of a rated R horror movie with a buddy of his. The next morning he told me that he couldn’t believe how many young, young kids that were there. We are talking about kids of the ages ten and under. He even told me that he saw a young girl about eleven or twelve who came into the theater with a young boy of about five or six (assumed it was her brother) and left him alone so she could go sit with her friends.

This is sad to me. Am I the only one dismayed about this? I mean, what are the parents thinking? Granted I’ve let Andrew see PG-13 movies on occasion such as Spiderman, but I can’t see myself letting him watch any rated R movie, let alone a horror flick. Truth is, I don’t think some parents are thinking. They have been so desensitized by popular culture that I don’t think that many parent even realize that allowing kids to watch certain movies can have a permanent and lasting effect on children.

However, there have been studies done such as this one and this one which show that watching horror movies can develop damaging behavior in children.  In the article The Psychological Effects of Violent Media on Children by Aimee Tompkins it states,

Current research tends to agree with the proponents who argue that violent media is associated with aggressive behavior.  Risky behavior by children and young adults can include violence against others, lack of remorse for consequences.  The type of faulty thinking creates stressors in children which can lead to the onset of many different symptoms.  Children who view media violence are more likely to have increased feelings of hostility, decreased emotional response to the portrayal of violence and injury that lead to violent behavior through imitation.  An example here would be the television show Jack Ass.  There have been several accidents related to young men attempting stunts that are done on the show.  The act of imitating what they have seen on a television show causes injury to themselves or others around them.”

This is serious stuff. If we allow our kids to watch movies with a lot of violence (or play the many violent video games out there for that matter) and get their heads filled with violence and junk, how can we expect them to not react with violence in the world around them? As parents we need to be educated and vigilant in what we allow our kids to be exposed to.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not for over-protecting our kids and sheltering them to the point where they have no sense of interacting with others. I do believe that as parents we have a right and a responsibility to filter what and how much we expose our children to.

More and more we are hearing about school shootings, such as at Newtown, CT and other acts of violence (such as the most recent shooting in Texas) which feel like they are getting closer and closer to home. Last week a guy walked into a local Bed, Bath and Beyond not far from me (about 20 minutes) and stabbed a young several times. All this violence is coming from somewhere – the breakdown of the family and moral norms of society for sure – and a big part of it, in my opinion, comes from the movies and video games exposed to children at young ages.

Chime in here. What do you think about young kids, I’d say 12 and younger, being allowed to see horror and/or violent movies? Do you believe violent movies (and/or video games) play a part in the increased violence in young people today?

*Philippians 4:8 is “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

No Controversy? Yeah, Right…

Have you seen this yet? Melinda Gates and the big-time abortion providers are trying to force contraceptives on the poor women of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

To learn more and  share the facts, go to the Human Life International website.

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (July 10, 2011)

Here’s this week’s contributions toRAnn’s weekly Sunday Snippet meme(As always, come check out other Sunday Snippet posts, or join in with your own):

Ten Family Fun Things to do in New Jersey

Going Back in Time (Wordless Wednesday)

You are Precious (my first YouTube video for Simple Catholic Living)

Finding Joy, Week Two

Are You a Johnny?

The video of Johnny the Bagger is so inspiring, I had to share it with you. 😉 It’s how one young man inspired kindness in all those around him with one simple act.