Friday, May 29, 2009

New England Conference

Come visit Ecce Homo Press at the New England Catholic Homeschool Conference in Chicopee, MA on June 6th and save! Conference goers save 15% on all materials and get free shipping on supplies they wish shipped to their homes.

This conference is a perfect opportunity to check out new items, stock up for next year and get catalogs and materials to help build your club for the coming year.

If you plan on stocking up for the next year's clubs, just shoot me an email ( and I'll make sure I have the supplies you need. See you in New England!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hello Western New York!!

Gonna shuffle my way to Buffalo this weekend for the Buffalo Catholic Home Schooling Conference at Christ the King Seminary.

If you are attending please stop and say hello!!  I'll have more to write upon return - lots of stories to tell about recent Watkins' travels and more.

Be assured of our prayers!!  God Bless!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beautiful Sacred Heart tye-dye shirts

This is from Lara in MO--Thanks for sharing, Lara!

Our Little Flowers tye dyed t-shirts with hearts this past Friday then I embelished them with fabric markers to make the hearts into Sacred Hearts. The backs will be Immaculate Hearts but I returned home from Michael’s with fabric markers to find out they were dried out and unusable L

We used directions and supplies from this kit: includes the book with instructions for doing a heart. VERY easy!!! We had kids from age 4- 13 and so far I have not heard of one that did not turn out. I used yellow, orange, and black fabric markers to embellish the Sacred Heart. I had a purple one to add a wound to the heart but that was one that was dried out. I will use purple to put dark roses on the Immaculate Hearts (you could use pink dye instead… do NOT let yourself be limited by our photos, I just used what was in the kit I received but the dyes are quite inexpensive once you have all the supplies. I found 2.5 gallon blue buckets for the soda ash bath at Walmart in the automotive dept. for $1.25 each).

I also have metallic silver fabric marker to put a sword piercing the Immaculate Hearts. I will try to post photos of that when they are complete.
Lara in MO

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mother's Day is Coming, I am heading North

 I am heading off this weekend to see my three older children, all pursuing/discerning religious life up in the New England area.  Now, before I hear any 'aah, you must be so proud', which I am, there also comes a mistaken belief that this is somehow due to my parenting.  

I want to make it perfectly clear here that Matt and I have always felt that the path our children are undertaking have been in spite of our parenting and not because of it.  Honestly, just ask any of my kids. 

But, I also know that Matt and I have done a few things that are worth sharing that might help you and your family:

-Give God permission - daily - to have full access to your children.  This sounds so basic, but many parents are resistant to a religious vocation in their family.  There may be many reasons for this but they need to be examined and set aside.  God gave you your children and His plan for them - including religious life - is what will make them happy.  Don't you want happy kids?

-Show a great love and respect for religious life in your home.  Don't speak harshly or negatively about religious.  This isn't to say that you and your spouse might have discussions about real situations and concerns about the leadership in your parish or other issues but not in front of the kids.

-See religious life as a viable vocation.  You shouldn't/can't push your child into religious life as they will end up resenting you and the Church but you should certainly open the door as you are the only one who can.  Middle school or high school guidance counselors aren't likely to bring it up on career day are they?

-Ask Mary and Joseph to help you raise your kids.  They did a good job w/ their boy Jesus didn't they?  You can trust them with your own.

There is an obvious need for vocations.  God is still calling; He is just hoping someone will be listening and will answer "yes" when He calls.

So, I'm off.  Look for a new post next week and I'll let you all know what a great time I had.  God Bless, Rachel

Friday, May 1, 2009

Curbing our complaints

Let's face it - we have little to complain about.  I was pondering this reality as I was wiping up another mess, taking a child back to the doctor for a recheck on a broken elbow and wondering where was the best price for gas as it seems to be inching back up.

I found myself whining a bit - okay, a lot - when I heard God sigh.  Not really, but figuratively.  It was as if I could sense Him presence near me as I wiped and He was more than a little disappointed.  In my ear, I could hear Him say - "So what?!"  I sat back on my heels.  Did I just hear what I thought I did?  No words of comfort for my struggles, no sweet words of understanding just a shrug of the shoulders and a quite firm (yet, fatherly), "So what???"

I got it!  So what, if I have all that and more.  So what if I am being put out by these small tasks.  Sure, they were drudgery and sure they were annoying but SO WHAT!

Now, I may have blogged about this already (and have forgotten) but if so, it only goes to show that I have yet to climb out of this current rut of sin I have found myself in.  So, I will offer once again, the challenge to myself (and anyone else who wants to join me) that when life seems to be a struggle just step back, take another look and say - out loud - so what?!  

If what you are going through truly matters, and it may very well, then take a minute to ask for the grace and understanding to tackle it.  If it isn't a big deal, and often isn't, give yourself a shake by the collar and get to the job of life.  But without the complaints, please.  As I am sure now from my own experience that God would prefer not to hear them.