Monday, October 27, 2008

Advent - Jesse Tree

We like doing a Jesse Tree. We like the kids understanding that throughout history, our world has been gearing up for the great event of Christ's comming. That Kings (David) and murderers (Moses) have participated in the story of salvation and pre-figured Christ. That they, too, participate in this universe-shattering event.

This year, a WONDERFUL (and slightly fool-hearty, *Hi, Nancy!*) friend organized a Jesse Tree ornament swap for our homeschool group. We've got 10 families participating, so we'll each make 10 copies of 3 different ornaments.

Below are some website I found to spark our creativity for our ornaments and Nancy's organization for the swap
Organizing the swap Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3 plus GREAT PICS!
This lady has a post of her own for organizing a swap, so you'll have to go there.
Beautiful felt pillow-type
Recipe for Baker's Clay for ornaments that look like these.
I don't know if these are made from metal or paper, but they're striking from Catholic Company.com
Regular ornaments turned into Jesse Tree Ornaments
These could be printed, colored & laminated or copied onto shrinky dink or someother kewl idea you might have -- great representations fancy, simple (these are the ones we did one year), a little larger ornaments
Printable ornaments that are in color (these are so sweet) and circular ones in color that could be pasted directly onto a juice lid for stability.
Ornaments you can buy (these 3-D ones look very kewl!)
Patterns to purchase for embroidry or cross-stitch -- I think we'll do something similar for one of the ornaments this year.

Letter dated Oct 7th
Ladies, I know this seems early but I've been thinking about the Jesse Tree Idea that was in a Magazine last year. The basic idea is for each family to take one of the ornaments and make the same ornament for each family participating. Then we will have a different ornament made by a different family for each Scripture passage in the Jesse tree....
For example if my family were to be assigned Adam and Eve as our passage and we had 20 families participating we might make 20 apple ornaments. The ornaments can be as simple or as complicated as your family wanted them to be. You might even find what you are looking for already as the perfect ornament at the dollar store/hobby lobby etc. and that would be fine. The
fun is in the surprise and sharing with other families.
The Jesse tree that I usually do with my kids has 28 ornaments with scripture verses to go with each one for each day of advent. (the last 8 being the "O" Antiphons) If we have fewer families who are able to participate then we could either shorten the list or double up the ornaments.
If you think you are interested please let me know so that I can coordinate the number of verses we will have and find a meeting spot/time to swap the ornaments. I will need a definite number by October 20, to figure out the logistics of the swap and so that each family will have time to
complete their ornaments before Advent begins.

Letter Dated Oct 27th
We have 10 families who have agreed to participate in the Jesse Tree ornament Swap. The next step is for each family to choose how many different ornaments they are willing to make. I had a couple of people say they are willing to make 3 different ornaments meaning a total of 30 ornaments that their family will make for the group. If you can only get one set done that's fine.
I've decided to leave the O antiphons out this time around. Maybe next year we can try just those? They are a little bit more difficult to come up with a symbol that makes sense to the little kids. (I may just hang mine with the words as a type of garland on the tree.) If you find my list lacking in anyway feel free to complain. I checked so many different lists that this seemed the best one I could find, it was based on people and I thought the smallest kids could understand the symbols better than some of the lists with abstract concepts and symbols of those (like peace).
Okay so what do you need to do now?
Let me know which ornaments you'd like to do. Remember you'll make a duplicate of the ornament for each family participating. DO NOT START ON YOUR ORNAMENTS until I get back with a definite yes. I will sign everyone up first come first served. I know a couple of you are out of town right now but if I can have people get back to me by Monday Nov 3. I can get the list back some time later that week....

Basic guidelines as you start thinking about what you might want to do
1. Keep them between 1-3 inches so they can fit on a small tree or branch
2. have a way to hang it
3. be as creative as you have time for (you can cheat and buy them already done)
there are no real guidelines for materials . You can use clay, wood, etc... but
we all have small kids....glass might not be too durable.
4. you don't have to have your verse printed on the ornament...it's just for reference
I have read or sometimes just retold the verses to my kids....

I think that's it. If you have any other questions let me know.

Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-4

Genesis 3:1-7

Genesis 6:11-22; 9:8-13

Genesis 12:1-7 and Hebrews 11:8

Genesis 22:1-7

Genesis 28:10-22

Genesis 37:1-4

Exodus 20:1-17

Exodus 5:22, 11:5

Joshua 6:20

Judges 16:21-30

12. RUTH
Ruth 1:15-18

Isaiah 11:1-2

Samuel 5:1-5

1 kings 3:3-14

2 Kings 2:11-18

Isaiah 2:4;7:14:9:6-7

Daniel 6:10-23

Jonah 1-4

Luke 1:5-23

Matthew 3 :1-11


23. MARY
Luke 1: 26 - 38

Matthew 1:18 - 25

Matthew 2:1-12

Luke 2:8-20

Luke 2:8-14

Luke 2:1-20

Click here to see our finished results.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Q: What's wrong that I can't accomplish things I want to?

Q: I feel like I'm walking outside of God's Will that I can't accomplish things I know are of great importance, like helping out at church or praying at the abortion clinic, but I can't seem to get it done. Do you have any idea what I might be doing wrong?

This question was posed to me by a lovely friend who is pregnant with her 2nd child in 2 years. Someday she'll look back on this question and chuckle.

My response :

A: You're not lazy, you don't have a lack of priorities...as a matter of fact it's your right priorities that makes you do what's most important (caring for your family and doing the HARD WORK of growing new life) instead of what you'd like to get done. Plus making the sacrifice of praying at home while you care for your family adds to your prayers, not decreases them. This is just a season of seeming lack of accomplishment, when it's really one of the most difficult seasons in a woman's life. You may not be accomplishing anything for yourself personally, but you're doing a great work for your family. It can be hard to see, but that's looking through the eyes of the world, not the eyes of Christ who knows what it is to suffer for those He loves. He sees your sacrifices and the great work you're accomplishing. Have faith and perservere in putting your family first.
I found being a "stay at home mom" very difficult, and isolating, and boring. It wasn't until I started homeschooling that we found a rythm and purpose to our days. This difficult time will pass and it can get better. Remember, this is just a season in your life. Keep praying through it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

So what's with the Infanticide claim?

I also found www.factcheck.org which is supposed to be a bipartisan effort at objectivity on the candidates to be helpful in understanding in what context Obama promoted infanticide. http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obama_and_infanticide.html (People have complained that Factcheck.org is not objective and favors Obama in their reporting of issues, but coming from that angle, this lends even more validity to their perspective in finding the truth.) In the legislation, the doctor performing the abortion determines viability of the infant according to Illinois law. That's unacceptable considering how early (22 wks?) babies have been saved and the purpose of abortion is NOT to save babies.

Lunchtime snooze

Once the kids were settled into lunch, I ran to get Palin tickets. The girls had wanted to document lunch while I was gone, so I came to this picture on my computer. An exciting morning of homeschool is too much for a baby to be able to stay awake for lunchtime.

Sarah Palin in Fort Wayne, IN

Road to Victory Rally in Ft. Wayne, IN
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2008 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Address: Memorial Coliseum
4000 Parnell Ave.
Ft. Wayne, IN 46805

Please join Governor Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally in Ft. Wayne, IN
Featuring Country Music Star, Hank Williams Jr.
Doors Open at 4:00 p.m.

Ticket Locations
Indiana Republican Party
47 South Meridian Street Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-635-756112 noon to 9pm Thursday and Friday

Allen County Republican Party
135 West Main Street Fort Wayne, IN 46802
260-422-1554 10am to 9pm Thursday and Friday 9am to 12Noon Saturday

Souder for Congress Campaign Headquarters
7301 W Jefferson BlvdFort Wayne, IN 46804
10am to 9pm Thursday and Friday

Elkhart County Republican Party
115 East LincolnGoshen, IN 46528
12noon to 7pm Thursday and Friday

Grant County Republican Party
333 West 4th StreetMarion, IN 46952
12noon to 7pm Thursday and Friday

Howard County Republican Party
204 North Main StreetKokomo, IN 46901
12noon to 7pm Thursday and Friday

Kosciusko County Republican Party
109 East Market StreetWarsaw, IN 46580
12noon to 7pm Thursday and Friday

Porter County Republican Party
212 East Lincoln WayValparaiso, IN 46384
219-464-2213 12noon to 7pm Thursday and Friday

St. Joseph County Republican Party
4133 S. Main StSouth Bend, IN 46614
574-299-1388 12noon to 9pm Thursday 9am to 9pm Friday

Tippecanoe County Republican Party
313 Columbia StreetLafayette, IN 47901
765-742-2910 12noon to 7pm Thursday and Friday

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SNL Sarah Palin

I had heard about this over and over, but SNL is not something I enjoy watching, so I hadn't seen it. Someone posted it on www.teamsarah.org (GREAT Palin site, btw) and I HAD to share it with other hs moms who may usually stay away from SNL.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sarah Palin Rally Highlights

You can watch highlights HERE

We left Fort Wayne about 12:30pm and were in our seats on or before 3pm. The speakers started at 4:30, but then they played about 1/2 hour of music. Dd#1 was struck by the fact that so many people knew Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline as well as she did. Her friends were struck by the fact that she knew the words to that old song! Sarah spoke from about 5:40-6:30ish. We pulled out of the venue at 7:45pm and stopped for dinner. We had to stop several times for potty & nursing breaks (the other mom I rode with had a baby, too). We got home at 11:45pm and I was sooo glad to see my husband (to hand off the baby) and get in my bed. So were the girls. I probably wouldn't do it with the baby again. We're glad that we made the effort. It was definately an experience! (and I'm counting it as a field trip)

We got to sit with our friends and chat for 2-3 hours before the speakers started. It was warmer than I had feared, but definately nippy. I had a hard time keeping the baby wrapped up, but he was mostly content to be in my arms under my shawl. I loved cuddling my baby, chatting with friends, waiting to see the next Vice President.
Going through security was one of the highlights of rally. There was a guy telling people in line that any weapons or anything that could be used as a weapon should be taken back to their car.

  • He said they'd taken away a surprising amount of weapons, especially guns. I found this really funny -- I don't think I know anyone who would try to bring a gun through a Secret Service Checkpoint and I can't imagine who would try it -- but I guess they're out there...
  • We were also told to make sure all our electronic equipment was turned on and working (cell phones, cameras) and if it didn't work it would be taken away. Are unworking cameras a place to put a bomb?? I wasn't sure...
  • When it was our turn to go through the checkpoint and the metal detector, they had to go through my diaper bag. They told me the tennis ball I packed to keep the baby busy wasn't allowed, as it was considered a "projectile". I told the guy to keep the tennis ball. He was really reluctant and asked me if I didn't want to take it back to my car. I guess this guy has never carried a fat 27 pound baby through what seemed like a mile long line. "No, keep the tennis ball." He hesitated before he tossed it in his box of goodies that he'd taken from people.
  • At the bottom of my diaper bag I always keep baby food. I hardly ever use baby food, but I keep it with me "just in case". He informed me, "Ma'am, no glass is allowed in the rally. Glass jars can't go through." I found this amusing, too, and told him to keep the baby food, so he put those in his box. I didn't want to embarass him and tell him that we didn't really need the baby food because I'd just nurse the baby when he got hungry. Just then, the Secret Service guy (they really looked like the guys in the movie MIB) who was waiting with his wand on the other side of the metal detector for me to go through, walked over to the table at this checkpoint. He leaned down to the guy going through the diaper bag and whispered something in his ear. I didn't know what juicy piece of information he had to discretely tell the other guy, but I was curious. It must have been too secretly relayed because the guy couldn't hear him. So the Secret Service guy leaned down and whispered to him again, then he walked back to his place on the other side of the metal detector. "Ma'am," the guy at the table needed my attention, "You can have your baby food back." I was almost in stitches. They were so serious and it was all so funny to me.

We were all told to wear red and I wasn't sure why until Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman told us that Indiana looked like a red state to her and that she was sure we'd keep Indiana a red state. Ohhhhh...then I got it. The funny thing was that I went to Walmart the evening before to buy them red t-shirts to wear a the indoor rally. When I realized during the 11pm news that it wasn't indoors, I knew both girls had their red fleece shawls. But my girls sure do look cute in red!

By the time the rally was over my arms were BURNING! The girls wanted to get an autograph from Sarah Palin, so we went down front and waited in the crush of people. The baby started to get fussy (he was ready to nurse) and I was ready to sit down. Even though 3 of us moms were keeping an eye on all 9 kids, I didn't feel like I could take my eyes off my girls to sit down and nurse. I told the girls we needed to go. My arms couldn't take much more of the huge baby. The girls were fine with it and said good-bye to their friends. We went to the restroom and sat down at a bench and fed the baby. Then the girls held him for me.

I felt really bad about that decision because we ended up leaving at the same time as our friends AND THEY GOT SARAH'S AUTOGRAPH!! I felt like I'd denied my girls...but they were great about it and understood the baby's and my limitations (and my need to keep them with me in a crowd that large).

Sarah didn't say too much different than I've heard her at other places. The crowd was so excited for her that as soon as she'd start to say something, they'd jump up and scream...so I only heard the first half of her sentences. I was really struck with how many Down Syndrom children were in the crowd. What a BEAUTIFUL testament to Sarah Palin that so many families with special needs children would be drawn to her and want to support her. I thought that spoke volumes!

Monday, October 20, 2008


This woman has an online store selling bumper stickers, pins, etc!! Some really creative stuff!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Did YOU know that Sarah Palin is speaking in an OPEN AIR venue?

I...uh...didn't know that. It's supposed to be a high of 57 degrees (and probably won't be the high at 4:30 while she's speaking). I didn't realize how adventuresome I was! I'm not an "outside" girl at all and I rarely ever take my babies out in the cold if I can help it. This will definately be outside of my comfort zone (in more ways than one).

We're supposed to wear red to the rally & I bought red t-shirts for everyone thinking it would be hot in the building with 21,000 people. I guess we'll huddle under a red blanket instead. BOY, am I GLAD that God had me watch the news last night to see them constructing the OUTDOOR stage.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The girls and I are going to see SARAH PALIN

when she comes to Indy tomorrow! I'm so excited about the election and this Catholic video shows a little of why!! We are living in exciting, adventuresome times and WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!! There is no need to dispair or give in to Satan's lies. Christ is our power and if we live for Him here on earth, NO MATTER HOW IT LOOKS TO ANYONE, we will live with Him for eternity. Nothing can dissuade us from our purpose. We are His and nothing can harm us. We should go forward with purpose and conviction that he will not leave us abandoned!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Last Vestigages of Summer

Since it's OCTOBER and we had a weekend with 82 degree temperatures, we decided to take advantage of it. On Saturday we skipped the traditional house cleaning day (even though it desperately needed it) and Dave ahd everyone pulling out plants to prepare the garden and all the flower beds for winter. By the time football came on in the afternoon we were all exhausted!

Then on Sunday, we had the day to fill because Dd#1 sang at an evening Mass, so we packed a lunch and headed to a state park. The place was almost deserted -- it was like owning your own resort (for $5 per carload).
It was so surreal to climb over the hats and gloves we'd gotten out last week when we did the "summer/winter switch" to grab swim suits and floaties!! It was like a mini-vacation.

This was an eye-opening post

Reason #99,999,988 to homeschool by Michelle Malkin

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In the bathroom at the Right To Life Banquet last night...

I was talking to Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman (why do so many good girl conversations happen in the bathroom?) and she said Sarah Palin was coming to Indy on Friday! Then after the banquet I was talking to the speaker, Marjorie Danenfelser (who was WONDERFUL!), and she suggested a website called TeamSarah.org

I joined the website and on the 'Hoosiers for Palin' section, they're talking about how to get tickets for Friday. I'd love to take my girls and have her meet the next vice president and hear her speak!

Since attending the banquet, I'm really fired up and excited about the election! Our prayers and efforts to serve Christ and our country MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! The positive message from Mike Pence last night was "Life is WINNING! We need to continue our efforts!"

Friday, October 03, 2008

My friend Amy's hosting a series on her blog about saving money -- check it out! http://www.happygomommy.typepad.com/

My favorite site about this is http://www.stretcher.com/index.cfm

It's a common topic among my friends (ok, so I bring it up alot!), either Amy or I would be happy to chat about it...just leave comments here on her blog!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Just having "one of THOSE days"

All things being relative, today wasn't terrible. No one ended up in the hospital...nothing earth shattering happened. Just normal bad day stuff.

  • The baby was up 4 times between 1am - 7am. (which meant I was, too)
  • Dd#1 fell behind in school and continued to waste time. (not awful, just discouraging for me)
  • I'm fasting from sweets during the 40days for life (and it's REALLY TOUGH!!) [and i'm feeling guilty that it's this hard]
  • The baby was fussy and only wanted me (he was probably as tired as I was).
  • It was my turn to teach science in the co-op (I do NOT like science).
  • The baby cried when I tried to leave him with another mom at co-op so I could teach, so I had to try and teach while holding him (just a hassle).

and the icing on the cake was...

When the baby cried so much for the other mom as I took him in my arms he threw up all over he and I just as I was supposed to teach the co-op. I washed him up in the bathroom and took off his outfit. When I looked in my purse for another outfit for him, I realized I brought clothes to put in the diaper bag that morning in preparation for co-op...but they were still on the stairs, so he didn't have a change of clothes. I was soaked, too, so I had to take off my t-shirt and wear nothing but my button-up sweater to teach in.

It's only 4pm and I can hardly wait until I can go to bed so that tomorrow can be better. Just one of those days....