Monday, July 09, 2007

Index

  • Catholicism in the Home
Keeping the Lord's Day holy, Feasting throughout the year, Corporal Works of Mercy, Altars and Mary Gardens, A liturgical sort of year, Children praying, St. Pio on permissiveness, Friday, Taking care of priests, First Saturday, Support your local parish? Celebrate diversity.


  • All Things Domestic

The family meal, Making a home, Quest for femininity, Relating to our men, Dishwashing, Giving birth in imperfect circumstances, The family walk, Tea time, What a man wants, Positive homeschooling, The redemptive work of laundry, Being a football widow, The blessings of mealtimes, Husbands need affection too, Without a home, Cultivating health, Stand by your man, Working inside the home, Reflections on labor and delivery,

  • Relating to the Little Ones

Healthy bodies, healthy minds, Siblings and socialization, From another mom's minivan, The best things in life, Causing scandal, Make 'em work, Frugal role playing, On vanity, Improvised play, Life with little children, On reading Commercial-free childhood, Weapons in childplay, Sing into reading, Chesterton on babies, Help children to help themselves, Consistency, Learning, My story and the Rule of 6 The purity of a child's prayer, Childhood friendships, Choose your words, Growing the good, Stay the course, The difference.

  • To be IN but not OF this world

Give me my blessings now! Organic sex, Speaking out, What my 3 year old taught me, Separation of Church and life, Avoid the noise, Where to put the college degree, How primitive, On being pro-life, A taste of real wealth, My case against cell-phones, TV in the home.


  • The Spiritual

A reflection on Mass, Angels, In the middle of the night, The Angelus, Bring on winter, The Divine Prisoner, Different spiritualities, Adoration insights, Christ in the crowd, The rhythm of prayer, Becoming a saint, Do not be afraid, May: the month of Mary.

  • To Inspire

Diaper by diaper, The witching hour, Day by day, When you can't muster a one-liner, Little moments of joy, There is hope, Overwhelmed by children, A mother's dark night of the soul (1), A mother's dark night of the soul (2), JP2 on motherhood, The blessings of pregnancy, Encouragement from Scripture, Suffering in childbirth Catching his smile, More on gardening, Prayer and housekeeping, The glory of a terrible day, My garden of three, Ego-boosters, Sadness and sorrow, When all seems too much, Being apostolic, Sweet consolations, Battles with the ugly one, The hidden life, Flower gardening, To those who've long desired this vocation.


  • To Challenge

Witnessing with joy, A gift to God, A Mother's most important job, Sheen on motherhood, Called to more, The rules for arguing, The gratitude of St. Bernadette, Anxiety. Haste. Stress., Don't take it for granted, Remember new mothers, Acknowledge the Divine, Live in the NOW, Identity and discernment, Help Mary! An example for suburban moms, Could it be any more clear, Giving without reserve, Three little thoughts, Salt of the earth.

  • Books, Music, Culture

Song in my head, Taking the little road, Child-Size Masterpieces, Good music for children, Tintin, Brother Juniper, Poetry, Family games, The glorious Mother Goose, Fireside reading, Carmina Gadelica, Patricia Polacco, Books on family and marriage, Tomie dePaola, Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent's Guide , In my mailbox , Singing books for the home, Jim Ayelsworth, A Mother's Rule, Rio Grande Games, Successful Fathers, Donna Marie Cooper-O'Boyle, Noise, Blood Diamond, Fanciful Tales, What is good conversation?, Successful fathers, Counting and ABCs.


  • Arts & Craftiness

Autumn leaves, Beeswax candle making, Wall cards, Art project mediums, Straight from the farm, A scrapbooking alternative, Artsy alternatives, Improvised art, The hope chest, Saying thank you, Letterboxing.

  • Tips and Suggestions

Coffee Filters, For the phone slaves, For the computer slaves, Support our troops, Organizing with style, Stretching the food supply, Gifting on a dime, In the waiting room, Roadtrip in Peace, Practical and beautiful, Homemade skincare, Alternative gifts for kids, Teething tips, Maximizing vitamins in food, Dealing with raw meat, Get better photos, Natural cleaning products, Pass on the gourmet latté, Cop-Out dinners, Mass cooperation, Feeding toddlers, Maternity's awkward stage, Cheap deodorant, Baby food and maternity clothes.

  • Seasonal

A few Christmas Stories , A Special place for Santa, Music for the holidays, The twelve days of Christmas, Stuff, My errand to the post office, Don't do too much (Advent), The Jesse Tree, The Advent Wreath, Advent and Christmas in our homes, Words from Catherine Doherty, Motherhood and the story of Bethlehem, The origins of the Christmas tree, Christmas blends and sweets, Christmas projects, Are you ready? A book for Spring, Hot Cross Buns, Preparing the way, Lenten resources, Spring cleaning for the soul, Lenten scones, Forgo the cream and sugar, Sacrifices, All Hallow's Eve, Thanksgiving ideas , Thanksgiving Day.


  • The Art of Eating and Drinking

Thoughts on Tea, Gourmet desserts, Coffee Facts, On peanut butter, Coffee banana bread, Benefits of honey and cinnamon, Blends, brewing and cream, Breakfast muffins and banana bread, on iced coffee, Autumn recipes, A more delicate Superbowl, Meatless meals, Stopping to enjoy the drink, Real coffee cream, Buying organic, Fair trade coffee.

  • Miscellaneous

Catholic Relief Services, Breastfeeding support, G-Diapers, Infant Massage (1), Infant Massage (2), Cloth diaper review, worthy websites, homemade baby wipes, An artist's blog, Funnies from the English language, W2s, $1 pregnancy tests, and child custody, Waldorf nursing dolls, Letter from a friend, Holiday eating tips, Ergo baby carrier.

  • Questions and a Couple Debates

The Rosary, Giving to the poor, Spritual books, Fiction books, Personal prayer time, Personal reading time, Best gifts, Exercise, Time for hygiene, Answering the contraceptors, Squirmy diaper changes, Mealtime prayer, NFP, Boycotting, Creative discipline, Novus Ordo vs. TLM, Beginning sleepovers, Non-Catholic friends, Focusing during Christmastime, The truth about Santa, Staying healthy during flu season, Night terrors, Free billboard, Beginning discipline, Discussing other churches with children, Potty training, Age to watch "The Passion", Social programs and responsible parenthood, How not to insult cohabitors, Earn money from home, Dealing with missionaries, New Year's resolutions.


  • Feastdays
Mary, Mother of God, Epiphany, Baptism of the Lord, St. Francis de Sales, Don Bosco, Candlemas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day , St. Joseph, St. George, St. Mark, St. Joseph the Worker, St. Isidore, The Ascension of Our Lord, The Visitation, St. Anthony, The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Nativity of John the Baptist, Blessed Junipero Serra, St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Maria Goretti, St. Benedict, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Bonaventure, St. Laurence of Brindisi, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. James the Apostle, Sts. Joachim and Anne, St. Martha, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. John Vianney, The Transfiguration, St. Dominic, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Lawrence, St. Clare, St. Maximilian Kolbe, The Assumption, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Pius X, The Queenship of Mary, St. Rose of Lima, St. Monica, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, The Nativity of Mary, St. Peter Claver, St. John Chrysostom, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Matthew, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Vincent dePaul, The Archangels, St. Jerome, Guardian Angels, St. Francis of Assisi, Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Luke, Brebeuf and Martyrs, Sts. Simon and Jude, All Saints Day, St. Martin de Porres, St. Leo the Great, Martinmas, St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, The Presentation of Mary, St. Cecilia, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Andrew, St. Francis Xavier, St. John Damascene, St. Nicholas, St. Ambrose, The Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Lucy, St. John of the Cross, St. Stephen the Martyr.



one of us :: 8:45 AM :: 1 Comments

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Rem actam agis.

After more than a year of investing in our labor of love here, the time has come to really dive into motherhood. We want to be centered completely around the hearth, giving fully to our families. It has been a real joy to share with you all our insights, views and thoughts over this past year. We feel that our message has been put out there: find holiness in the ordinary, love your path to sanctification, embrace your vocation . Now we don't want to simply rehash what we feel are thoughtful and valuable posts, so we are surrending this little apostolate in realization that "all good things must come to an end." We hope it's clear to our readers that LIVING our message is more important than blogging it, so we are encouraging our readers to also really dig into their own vocations. It's important to find encouragement in your own lives and not necessarily on the computer screen. Holiness is found in the shadows of the cross and Sia, Ellie and Hope are all striving to get into those shadows. Holiness is also found through learning to pray as you work, through offering to God the daily work of your mind, heart and hands. We thank you for the outlet to express our views and we are keeping an index up of our posts that have helped shape how we mother our own children. Hopefully they can serve as encouragement to you if you are having a bad day or need an idea on something specific. It's been a tremendous joy for us to receive all the e-mails expressing gratitude and encouragement. So it's a bittersweet farewell that we bid here. However, we feel that our own lives will be made richer by this choice to not be online as much.

For thousands of years women have had to choose the quiet road: the same road chosen by Our Lady of Nazareth. You are not alone. It's not a road that's publicized or aggrandized by our world. It's simple, demanding and filled with sorrows that ultimately serve to complete our joy. But you have been handpicked by Christ. He finds you worthy for this vocation and He trusts you even when you don't trust yourself. The sanctification is real. We wish you all the best.

Happy Mothering!!!

one of us :: 7:50 AM :: 6 Comments

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

the difference

About a year ago I had a great conversation with Hope; I told her she should post her thoughts but Hope is a wonderfully occupied mother and due with her little Number Four any day now. So I'll throw it out here because these warm summer days offer so much promise!

I send my kids outside often. When I'm trying to get something done or to burn some of their boundless energy, they are scooted out the back door where they race around on trikes or play in Papa's wood pile or tease/torture the dog. Outside is a good place.

But there's been times when I, in need of fresh air or a diversion, go out back with them and sit on the swing and watch them play, or even start bouncing a ball around. I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes when I've gone out there Xavier looks at me perplexed and ask, "Mom, what do you need?" or "What are you doing?" Was it really that odd of a sight to see Mama out in the backyard with the children?! Sad, I know. But it was the truth.

Hope pointed out to me that there is a big difference in sending your kids outside and taking them outside. My boys get so excited if I actually play with them! Or sometimes they'll even ask me to simply watch them play.


But beyond the backyard is where the treasures are. We are blessed to live near the beach, and mountains, and two State Parks that are within ten minutes of us north and south. What fun we have walking the trails, throwing sticks in the water, or picking up rocks to watch the tiny crabs scuttle away! We get messy sometimes; but the payoff is worth it. I want to fill their minds with many memories of being outside in God's creation and imagining Explorer games and finding a new kind of snake or bird to wonder about. I want them to be familiar with various plants and trees and learn to love and respect nature. I want them to fall asleep at night happily exhausted and fulfilled with the sights and sounds and feel of rocks, dirt, driftwood and shells. And I want them to have fond memories of Mom being excited to do this stuff with them.

You may be thinking that this is nice but you are in the city and the nearest sign of nature is the neon palm tree in the nail parlor window down the road. But even urbanites have a world to explore! If it's not practical to travel frequently to open or natural space, simple walks around the block can be significant in a child's life. Don't walk like you're on a mission to lose 20 pounds (though this can be a nice added benefit!) but simply enjoy being outside with the children. Run up and down stairways. Point out "helicopters" that fall from maple trees. Whistle with a piece of grass in between your fingers. Say hello to neighbors. Give to the panhandlers. Feed the ducks at the city park. Let your kids learn the public transit system and TALK with strangers on the bus! There is much to learn and explore in ANY environment. And God has placed us each in our own particular place for a reason. And as Catholics, our community is sanctified by our very presence if we are in the state of grace... so we should really dive into it as much as our stations in life allow.

So live that difference sometimes. Let the laundry sit there for just a half hour longer and take your children outside.

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Ellie Peck :: 6:54 AM :: 2 Comments

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Baby Benjamin

Emily B. gave birth to a healthy little boy Benjamin Gary on June 11th! We offer her and all the new mothers congratulations and prayers. Rest up and enjoy the little ones!

one of us :: 8:00 AM :: 0 Comments

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How relevant!

I suggest all you mamas with boys check out the trailer for this book that came out last month:

The Dangerous Book for Boys

I believe you can also pick it up at Costco...

one of us :: 7:37 AM :: 0 Comments

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Amnesty and Abortion

I encourage everyone to write to Amnesty international: admin-us@aiusa.org The organization that has done so much good for human rights has stooped to supporting abortion... something entirely inconsistent with its premise of defending human rights. This is the e-mail I sent:

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I used to really admire Amnesty. What great work your organization has done! How sad and pitiful that now you are simply nothing more than another abortion lobby group. And shame on you for calling a spade a heart! As if it's about women's rights?! What about pre-born women?! Where is their justice? Talk about the ultimate discrimination: "A child is only a child if conceived under desirable circumstances." Is a person conceived in an unjust act any less of a person? What lies you must tell yourselves in order to justify the grave wrongs you are promoting!

It's not about "theology." It's about the ultimate human right. And if Amnesty International can not support the single most fundamental right of any human being... than they have no business pretending they are out to protect human dignity.

I'm hereby withdrawing all support of this organization and will not be able to count me or my friends/family among your benefactors. Abortion is the epitome of injustice. Until you get that straight, you're not doing society any good at all.

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Ellie Peck :: 6:56 PM :: 2 Comments

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Friday, June 22, 2007

speaking of salt of the earth

Sia's last post reminded me of a point I just want to touch on. I keep going back to a book I've been reading off and on for about a year now: "Happy are you Poor: The simple life and spiritual freedom." My how convicting it is! But I'm still working on the log in my own eye, so I'm not going to digress on all the lessons it's teaching me.

One thing really struck me though: We are the salt of the earth, the spark in the pile of ash. We are Christ's ambassador's on earth. But do we look like it? Do we look or dress or decorate or talk any differently from the rest of the world? Can people tell that there is something about us? We are pilgrims in this world but do we act like it... keeping the eye on the Fatherland? Or do we "pitch our tents" here, try to get a mortgage paid up, make sure our insurance coverage is stellar, and invest like crazy "just in case?" Walking in your home, can someone really see the Gospel message being lived... aside from the Crucifix on the wall and maybe a holy picture or two? Or is there clutter? Electronics galore? An unneccesary vehicle in the driveway? Boutique brand names in the wardrobes?

Depressing isn't it? To think how far we still have to go. I know I do. But praise God for being patient! Praise Him for being merciful. Praise Him for helping me to SEE these barnacles that are weighing me down, as I journey to the Beatific Vision.

To be the salt of the earth... is to live the radical Gospel message every single day in every single detail of our lives. On this feast day of someone who was wealthy but humble and penitential and ALWAYS mindful of his FINAL HOME... we ask St. Thomas More to pray for us.
-Ellie

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one of us :: 11:33 AM :: 0 Comments

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

3 little thoughts

I haven't been feeling too inspired lately to post much. I feel that I don't have much to offer in ways of inspration. In ways of sharing and simple hellos, I simply haven't had the time. I wonder: how do you mothers out there with more than 2 children have any time to even read our site?? I don't do anything online anymore aside from stopping here and at my email a couple times a week... hmm. Anyhow, here are a few random things to throw out at you, totally unrelated to eachother but all recent thoughts I have been wanting to share.

We need to always remember that our homes are little flames of Christ's life on earth. We are the salt of the earth... but are we?? Let us not grow slack in what we are called to do! Think of the monasteries in the dark ages... This is similar to our homes in the world. These little homes of ours can become little sanctuaries of Love. My prayer is that our home, our family, will become an icon of God's Love, reflecting the love He shares with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, reflecting the love of the Holy Family.

We all have those bad days: when we are up to our necks in housework and out of patience for our little ones who can be so trying at times. On our bad days, it is good to recall the work that so many others do with children... some have to deal with 3rd world poverty and diseases and such... Our work is easy compared to some. Suck it up... just do the work....deal with the messy diaper... deal with the stubborn child... It's not that bad!

Something that is the most encouraging to me in times of frustration with my children (mainly my older one of almost 2 years) is the fact that he loves me so much. This reality, that he loves me, watches me, looks up to me and depends on me for every single thing, is what saves me from too much impatience or lazy mothering on my selfish days. He loves me-- adores me! Why? Because I am his mother! Simple, but profound and so incredibly inspiring. When I remember this, I usually give him a big hug and look into his eyes-- this gives me the strength to press on with renewed mental, spiritual and heartfelt strength through my day. Stop and smell the flowers! Mothering is delightful... it is sweet...

Cheers!

~Sia

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one of us :: 12:35 AM :: 0 Comments

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Holy Father's intentions for the month of June 2007

Though we are indeed in the second half of the month already, let us keep in our prayers the Holy Father's intentions for this month of June 2007:

General: That the Lord may protect sailors and all those involved in maritime activities.
Missionary: That the Church in North Africa may bear witness, with its presence and its action, to God's love for every individual and all people.

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one of us :: 12:30 AM :: 0 Comments

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fanciful tales

I doubt I'd be sharing anything novel by digressing on how important imaginative play and stories are for children. So I'd just like to recommend a book that has been a tried and true treasure from my own childhood and that is still a proven gem with my own children: Told Under the Magic Umbrella. While it's out of print now, it's worth your time trying to locate it through a used online bookstore. The book is full of modern fairy tales (or "fanciful tales") which serve a distinct niche in the brain of a child. Probably most of kids books you find in the library are of this sort. But there is a HUGE difference between kiddy stories and children's literature. One is like cotton candy for the brain... not always BAD for kids, but certainly devoid of any nutrition... any real or significant meaning. And this is probably the majority of books currently on the market now. The other is the whole Easter feast; these types of stories "...show life from a new angle, like objects seen through a prism. It can open fresh ranges of vision and understanding, rouse the perceptions of beauty in hitherto disregarded things." Let me just share an excerpt from the Foreword of "Magic Umbrella" that explains this a bit more:

Make-believe is a great resource of childhood. It is a child's first essay in imagination, his attempts to interpret a strange and confusing world in terms of his own liking. Explanations of the older mind are not always satisfactory; they take too much for granted, and the child mind, insatiably curious, often prefers to invent his own explanations. Young children are apt to have rather tidy minds; they dislike loose ends instinctively; they want to find a reason for everything, and where reason is not forthcoming they will promptly make one up for themselves, and more often than not their reasoning takes the form of a story. In a word, the are born creators of folklore, a folklore entirely their own and concerned with the things around them.

The modern fairy tale-- or fanciful tale, to make a useful distinction-- takes full account of this creative instinct. It differs from its long line of predecessors in concerning itself not so much with fantastic elembents outside the child's experience as with the more everyday things of his own world. It realizes that magic, like charity, begins best at home.

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Ellie Peck :: 1:33 PM :: 2 Comments

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