Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On St John Berchmans and Why We Need Priests

Feast Day November 27. And Nicholas' Confirmation Saint ( Nick = son number 3).

Patron Saint of Altar Servers.

We talked about St John Berchmans and read about St Catherine of Laboure. Of the
Miraculous Medal.

I then found a sheet on Holy Orders, in the book
100 Activities based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

We looked up references in the Compendium to the CCC. And the kids wrote a few paragraphs on why we need priests.

Why do we need priests on the church? Because of Holy Orders the priest "possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself" (Catechism, #1548).

My kids wrote more interesting answers. Very interesting. You can imagine!

Why do we need priests?

This might be a good question to ask your kids, if you are a Catholic reading this blog. Their answers may surprise you.

And all of this was very timely for us, having recently attended an ordination..

Parish BBQ Pics

Monday, November 26, 2007

An avatar

At the fitness forum I visit, someone has the comment below, as part of their avatar.

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional

I love it! Can I steal it??

Now, I am sure that someone will shake their head at me, and think of all the advantages of maturity.

Well, yeah.

But I never want to lose a child' s having fun, enjoying play, life is a blast attitude.

I want to always love playgrounds and games and active things.

So there. ( Sticks out tongue at the naysayers. )

Very mature.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Solemnity of Christ the King...

....honours Christ as Lord and King of all.

Christus Rex. Christus Regnat.

Pope Pius XI instituted the Solemnity of Christ the King on 11 December 1925 in his encyclical Quas Primas. At that time he saw the rise of atheistic communism and secularism as a direct result of man's turning away from Christ's sovereignty, and man's denying of the authority of Christ's Church.

Our parish held its annual parish BBQ today. Last year's BBQ was also on this day - a great day, in the liturgical year, for a church community get together, don't you think?

A lot of fun. Especially the games. I suck at sack races. :-)

I'll try to post pics later.

And, you know, the BBQ and the Solemnity allowed various things to come up . About depression. And living with depression. Living with a family member who is depressed.

This article addresses some of these issues. Some tips ~

Learn About Depression
Put Yourself First Occasionally
Take Time Out
Talk About What they Find Helpful
Support Activities
Talk to Someone

Things to think about and talk about as we approach Advent and Christmas.
All of life is connected isn't it? Even a connection between Christ the King-parish BBQ-depression.
Or is that just the way my mind works? A mental scrapbook of connections. An unschooling experience!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Luna Park

I organized a homeschool group outing to the amusement park at Milson's Point ~ Luna Park.

Good group discount.

And while the kids enjoyed the rides, a few mums and I enjoyed the view of the Sydney Harbour from the restaurant. And enjoyed our margaritas.

My sort of homeschool excursion. :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Oh SH#@!

Not very good language, I am afraid.

But I had a doctor's appt yesterday, a check up . And found that I need to go for more tests.


I had those health hassles earlier this year, and surgery and follow ups.

Surely not again?! Damn!

Prayers appreciated.

A post on teens.... Susan.


And food for thought.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Clay . Auguste Rodin. The Presentation of Our Lady.

Homeschool Group Learning today.

Talked about Rodin, monk and sculptor.

Worked with clay.

At home, we wrote in notebooks, and on blogs about today's feast.



On girls...

Interesting post on Hopewell Mom School, on girls and education and on being ' keepers at home.'

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

St Edmund

Feast day - today!

St Edmund is Greg's Confirmation Saint - son number two, for those who get our kids mixed up.

From the Medieval Sourcebook ~

Edmund the Blessed, King of East Anglia, was wise and worthy, and exalted among the noble servants of the almighty God. He was humble and virtuous and remained so resolute that he would not turn to shameful vices, nor would he bend his morality in any way, but was ever-mindful of the true teaching: "If you are installed as a ruler, don't puff yourself up, but be among men just like one of them." He was charitable to poor folks and widows, just like a father, and with benevolence he guided his people always towards righteousness, and restrained the cruel, and lived happily in the true faith.

Eventually it happened that the Danes came with a ship-army, harrying and slaying widely throughout the land, as is their custom....King Edmund stood inside his hall, and mindful of the Saviour, threw out his weapons. He wanted to match the example of Christ, who forbade Peter to win the cruel Jews with weapons. Lo! the impious one then bound Edmund and insulted him ignominiously, and beat him with rods, and afterwards led the devout king to a firm living tree, and tied him there with strong bonds, and beat him with whips. In between the whip lashes, Edmund called out with true belief in the Saviour Christ. Because of his belief, because he called to Christ to aid him, the heathens became furiously angry. They then shot spears at him, as if it was a game, until he was entirely covered with their missles, like the bristles of a hedgehog (just like St. Sebastian was). When Ivar the impious pirate saw that the noble king would not forsake Christ, but with resolute faith called after Him, he ordered Edmund beheaded, and the heathens did so. While Edmund still called out to Christ, the heathen dragged the holy man to his death, and with one stroke struck off his head, and his soul journeyed happily to Christ. There was a man near at hand, kept hidden by God, who heard all this, and told of it afterward, just as we have told it here.

Then the pirates returned to their ships and hid the head of the holy Edmund in the thick brambles so that it could not be buried with the rest of his body. After a time, after the pirates had departed, the local people, those who were left, came there where the remains of their lord's body without a head was. They were very sad in heart because of his killing, and especially because they didn't have the head for his body. Then the witness who saw the earlier events said that the pirates had the head with them, and that it seemed to him, as it was in truth, that they hid the head in the woods somewhere.

They all went together then to the woods, looking everywhere through the bushes and brambles to see if they could find that head anywhere. It was also a great miracle that a wolf was sent, through the guidance of God, to protect that head both day and night from the other animals. The people went searching and also calling out, just as the custom is among those who often go into the wood: "Where are you now, friend?" And the head answered them: "Here, here, here," and called out the answer to them as often as any of them called out, until they came to it as a result of the calling. There lay the grey wolf who watched over that head, and had the head clasped between his two paws. The wolf was greedy and hungry, but because of God he dared not eat the head, but protected it against animals. The people were astonished at the wolf's guardianship and carried home with them the holy head, thanking almighty God for all His miracles. The wolf followed along with the head as if he was tame, until they came to the settlement, and then the wolf turned back to the woods.

Advent List

With the Feast of Christ the King this Sunday, it seems that Advent is almost upon us.

I have made a list, in random order, of Advent-y, Christmas-y things to do.

I'll have to assign days and dates to the activities. Grab my diary!

*Finish book making
*Read from the book - Daily Advent readings from Pope John Paul 2
* Choose individual spiritual readings for the time of Advent
* Ditto for Advent penance
*Make Advent wreath
*Get out Xmas stuff - books, movies, etc
* Activity for St Nicholas
*Activity for St Barbara ( check weather)
* Activity for the Immaulate Conception and for Our Lady of Guadalupe
* Put together Advent calendars - sayings, lollies...
*Decorate for Xmas
*Shopping - presents, Xmas table trimmings, etc
* Order Xmas food
* Do cards and presents
* Start Xmas Novena
* Do Gingerbread activities - house/train/men...
*Sing carols and play Xmas music.
*Plan menu and holiday activites with older kids around.
*Parish BBQ and Xmas carols and parish newsletter
*Think about Xmas Masses, Feast of St John, Mass for the Holy Innocents...
*Homeschool and Kumon end-of-year stuff..

Busy and fun!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dinner Tonight

A lady at church, yesterday, gave me this idea. While chatting outside - and after the seven a.m. Mass.

Hollow out a bread roll, add a little grated cheese, gently break an egg into the hollow and on top of the cheese. Bake until set -

eat and enjoy! Yum! A quick dinner, with fruit. And a cool twist on poached eggs and toast....

Kumon Awards


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm in Love! And I'm a Believer!

Yes, those are the words of a Monkees song.

But today they describe my love affair.

Yep, I'm having a love fest.

With my workouts ~ Taebo and Turbo Jam.

I managed to buy a few older Taebo Advanced Live workouts, secondhand. They are OOP now.

I did Taebo AL 10 yesterday - love, love, love! The 60 minutes are a hard workout, tough kickboxing and cardio, some butt work ( ouch!!), abs ( standing and floorwork) , pushups and upper body work.

The music is phenomenal - try doing killer butt work while singing along to Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistable". I'm gonna look irresistable after these workouts ~ not! But I can dream along and sing along while having fun and working out hard. :-)

I am reminded of the words of the Divinyl's song ~ "There's a fine line between pleasure and pain." No, the Divinyls are not singing about workouts! But the song describes how I feel about killer workouts - they hurt, it hurts to walk upstairs and sit today but, boy, the workouts are fun to do, I get a great sense of achievement and I love that soreness. I love finishing a workout, dripping with sweat. Pleasure and pain...

And I love cool music in workouts. Very motivating - just when you think you can't continue, a fun song is played - and who can stop during that song ?

Which is why I am in love with the Taebo Live workouts.

And with today's workout - Turbo Jam Cardio Party 3. A party for sure, and cardio and standing ab and back work. 50 minutes of dance and kickbox, with a fast paced anaerobic drill ( the Turbo) in the middle. I like to skip back and do double Turbos. I sing along to this and "throw my hands up in the air" - "party, party people - whose house? My house?" So go the lyrics. lol!

Sorry to bore you all ~ but, if you can't share your love affairs with friends, who can you share with? At least this love affair is both moral and legal......

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Glimpse of Our Week

Science experiment ~ with Glowsticks. Reaction to temperature ( hot and cold water).

Sharpening pencils ( and handing out surveys this weekend) ~ for the parish survey.

A meeting of Catholic homeschoolers, at our house. Some kids dressed up as Saints. We prayed the Litany of Saints, the Angelus in Latin and English, the Rosary.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

St Leo the Great

Today is the Feast Day of St Leo the Great.

He reigned as Pope between 440 and 461. He persuaded Emperor Valentinian to recognize the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in an edict in 445.

We read of his efforts during the upheaval of the fifth century barbarian invasion. St Leo encountered Attila the Hun, at the very gates of Rome, persuading him to turn back. When the Vandals occupied the city of Rome, St Leo persuaded the invaders to desist from pillaging the city and harming its inhabitants.

Given that my name is Leonie, can I (sort of) adopt this day as my name day?

In honour of this feast, Anthony made me some low fat chocolate muffins.

Thank you, Anthony!
I shared them all, don't worry..

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wednesday Religion

Anthony read of the Beatitudes, with a discussion on a translation that uses happy in place of blessed. What difference the word might make.

Thomas continued his reading on Saints of the Church - the time after the Crusades, the Crusades and how these are depicted in literature and in film, the Renaissance, Modernism...

And Alexander shared some history, background history, to the New Testament. He is reading "Understanding the Scriptures" by Scott Hahn. And mentally arguing with Mr Hahn's writing style, throughout the book.

Very Alexander.

I had a workshop to attend for work, the kids came with me and read and narrated their religion reading in the car. Then, off to Homeschool Group Learning ( Winslow Homer and Charles Russell) and delivery of junk mail (Thomas and Anthony's mid week "job", but we all help).

We ended up at the local Pioneer Cemetery.

Said prayers for the souls in purgatory and looked at the tombstones. At the history of the area. The cemetery was begun in 1888, when the area was a small township in a rural area. Suburbs now.

Interesting to see familar names on the tombstones - we recognized the names of several suburbs and streets.

And gained the " indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the first to the eighth of November; on other days of the year it is partial". Fr. Pat's Place

Pyjamas and blogging.

Last night, after Mass, we stood outside the church and talked to friends. Talked of pyjamas.

As you do after Mass, after Tuesday night Mass and Novena to St Anthony.

I guess.

Don't ask me how the topic began, you truly don't want to know.

One friend mentioned that she has pjs with dogs on them. Cute! I said I have a pair with "Bad Girl" emblazoned on the front. And another with pics of Felix the cat on the top and the word FELIX sprawled across, well, across the bottom.

Others wore old t shirts and shorts to bed...

What do you wear to bed?

On second thought, don't answer that. Probably more than we want to know. It will turn into one of those blogging polls.

These polls are everywhere - a myriad of topics, ranging from what kind of mother are you to are you addicted to blogging?

Apparently, I am 80% addicted to blogging.

As if.

With inane posts like this , the addiction must be at least 98%!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Living in the moment.. example from Sunday..

I took the family, dh and younger four kids, out for lunch, after we helped out with the monthly Morning Tea, after the 10.30 a.m. Mass.

This was a thank you for all their help and support and volunteer stuff.

We went to Chillis.

And I enjoyed the moment - of being with family, and of savouring my Top Shelf Margarita. A Margarita with Grand Marnier. Yum!

Truly living in the moment! lol!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Living Mindfully

A quote from a diet related book - but a quote that pertains to many other areas of my life. What do you think?

There is a really big difference between living IN the moment and living FOR the moment. Living IN the moment means being here now. Living FOR the moment means you are living just for that moment, as if that moment is the only one you will ever have. Doing that won't make your life better, but it might make your life worse, especially if you're not making choices based on the bigger picture of your life and everything and everyone who is most important to you. From " Winning After Losing" by Stacey Halprin.

Living in the moment means I enjoy the here and now - Mass this morning with the family, my Turbo Jam workout today, a moment with a son or with my dh or with a friend, a minute of silence and prayer...

It also means that I still keep the whole story in mind - the moment is important, my life is made of many moments, but it is not just about this moment. I want to remember to not be so caught up in the pleasure of a moment, so caught up that I disregard my thoughts and actions and consequences.

A balance between spontaneity and planning. This is what I am trying to aim for - yes, in diet and eating habits, as the book mentioned above describes. But also in all areas of my life.

With prayer.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pontifical Mass in Honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary...

...celebrated today, at St. Mary's Cathedral, by His Eminence, George Cardinal Pell, according to the 1962 Missal.

Mass was beautiful!

Friday, November 02, 2007

All Souls Day and Other November Things

Today we pray for the dead.

We went to Mass this evening, followed by Holy Hour. Fr. wore black vestments - a colour reserved for funerals, for the Feast of Holy Souls, for Masses for the Dead....

Why black?

The use of black represents Christian realities. Christians are people of hope ; we are also aware of the reality of sin and of judgement. We do not presume to know the state of another's soul. We know that we have a tendency towards sin and that we do not always resist, nor always repent of our sins. So, we hope and pray.

Black has overtones of mourning , and acknowledges our emotional response to loss , and reminds us of our need to pray for the repose of the deceased's soul. It also is a reminder and symbol of our belief in purgatory, where the suffering souls require our prayers and Masses.

Black represents our mourning and reminds us that there is work to be done -- the work of prayer. The gold or silver which adorns the black vestment gives us that silver-lining of Christian hope .

We had intended to make "Dead Bone Cookies" tonight - almond biscuits in the shape of bones, as an All Souls activity. But ran out of time.We did, however, make Coffee Braid last night, for All Saints Day. According to our cookbook, this braid was often made on the Feast of All Saints in Germany-Hungary-Austria.

Our Braid didn't braid but Gerry and the boys said it was yummy!

We have a centrepiece on the dining table for this month ~ each month I try to have a centrepiece to reflect the liturgical year. We have the above plaque - since we have the Presentation of Our Lady and also the Feast of Christ the King, this month.

And we started on our bulletin board focus for November - pics of Thomas, the birthday boy, and postcards ( as they come in) from our Internet friends and postcard exchange.