While I'm still gathering homemaking questions and answers, I thought I'd answer a couple of quick other questions.
Cynthia asked, I just love the books and pictures about the flower fairies. I have
a question regarding Along the Alphabet Path. Did you make this up
or is there a book to follow along with? Thanks.
The Alphabet Story is an original one that I'm writing as I go. The only book there is is the one you can make yourself by downloading the PDF of each installment and printing it for your child.
Maryan asked about the name change. This blog used to be named Real Learning: Education in the Heart of my Home. That was definitely a slight spin on the title of my book, Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home. Taking my cues from John Cougar, who became John Cougar Mellencamp and then John Mellencamp, I changed it to Real Learning in the Heart of my Home.
That wasn't quite right either...So, now it's In the Heart of my Home. The blog isn't and never was an educational philosophy discussion blog. It's not that I have anything against education, it's just that for me, education begins in the heart of my home and home is the focus. Real Learning is about education in the context of home. What's most important isn't the booklist or the notebook pages. What's most important is the heart. There, you will find Christ and the Church. There you will find a mother who truly wants nothing more than to serve her family and her God well. That's not limited to homeschooling--it encompasses all of the holy life of a family. Also, this blog is really not a discussion blog at all. It's a journal of what I'm doing and what I'm thinking in the heart of my home. For me, blogging is an introspective endeavor. It's a blessing to me if you find something here which encourages you or makes you smile or makes you think, but I don't set out to spark controversy or vigorous debate. I'm not the debate type.
People who want to discuss the lifestyle of learning I tried to capture in the pages of Real Learning have gathered at the 4real message board. And the conversation is absolutely, positively not limited to Real Learning or any other learning philosophy. It's not even limited to education. There, all the little details of what Catholic family life looks like across the country and across the world are shared with wholehearted generosity. There lots of questions are asked and answered and every aspect of home education is discussed by some very good people. But it's not my board. I founded it along with some wonderful people and I lent the name to it, but I am not there on a regular basis any more. I'm here, in the heart of my home. Incidentally, the blogroll isn't mine either. The good people who put it together chose the name and they borrowed my avatar to illustrate it. When they asked me about it later, I agreed it was awfully pretty and I'm happy to have them have it. But Real Learning isn't some kind of franchise. It's the name of a book that bubbled up out of a lifestyle I love. And I'm just me, embracing life here and writing about it from my heart in this haven, this domestic church, where I live and learn and love with the people God gave me. Probably way more than you wanted to know, huh?
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I've gotten several emails asking about teenaged boys and home education. I have three teenaged boys, and each of them is pursuing a unique education dictated by his needs, talents and interests. There was a time when I thought that the preceding sentence qualified me as an unschooler, but I've long since given up that term. I've found that it means different things to different people and I'm very particular about wanting my words to have the same meaning for me as my reader, so that term doesn't work. I'm going to avoid terms altogether and just tell you what the boys are doing.
Michael is in college, playing Division I soccer at a state university. He's majoring in journalism and art and he's particularly blessed by one of the most amazing Campus Ministries in the country and the friendship of a very good priest. For high school, he charted his own course of study which was heavily influenced by things that were mutually interesting to him and me. We tend to have the same gifts and the same nemeses (though he's a much more gifted artist than I'll ever be and much funnier writer). We had a grand time together with literature and writing and philosophy and theology and art. He avoided math like the plague. I followed the advice of unschooling experts and allowed him to wait until he saw a need for it. He saw that need when he recognized that he really needed SAT scores to substantiate his high school portfolio. And he has told me more than once that he wishes I'd made him plug away earlier, however distasteful, because math for him is really all about plugging his nose and getting it done. He wishes he'd had the discipline. It was really hard, nearly impossible, to cram it all in when he wanted it. He says the same thing about formal grammar study.
Otherwise, Michael was a voracious reader. He had wide interests and read deeply across curricular areas. He owns the classics in literature, history, philosophy, and theology and he's really quite intimate with them. When he applied to college, we organized all the books he'd read and narrations he'd written and found he'd nicely covered most conventional school subjects. His SAT scores were lopsided--math was average and verbal was out of the park. All the schools he applied to required a standard number and mix of typical high school courses and he worked hard his junior and senior year to make sure he had them.He was accepted everywhere he applied except for one school. That school does not consider essays, interviews, or letters of recommendation. They were uninterested in his portfolio of course descriptions, booklists and personal work samples. They only wanted to know his SAT scores, his course selection (but not in the unconventional sense) and his class rank and GPA. Clearly, not the right fit for him. During high school, he took lab sciences at the local community college for dual credit and did very well. He also took some history and art classes and did well in those, too. He learned to plan and organize his use of time and energy and to balance school demands with a heavy soccer commitment. So, college wasn't a shock when he went fulltime. Actually, he's got enough credits to be a sophomore now and has yet to get anything less than an "A." He's happy enough, though eager to graduate and get on with his real life.
Christian is nearly sixteen. Academics have always been a challenge to him. He loves a good story--can read it it well enough and can tell it beautifully, but he'd prefer to hear it and he's most grateful for someone to take dictation when he composes. He has a litany of legitimate learning disability diagnoses and his math "thing" is excruciating. Christian has a heart of gold and he's an extraordinary teacher and coach. He' s truly got a way with children. He's enrolled with Kolbe Academy, mostly because I panicked in January and wanted to be sure that we have an official transcript for him should anyone ever question what we're doing here. One February afternoon when I was literally in tears wondering how we were going to get through high school, my counselor from Kolbe called. Divine Providence, no less. It was so nice to talk to someone who had homeschooled her own children and could refer to her seventh-grade grandchild who was a homeschooler with special needs. With Christian, I need the support of someone older, wiser, and more experienced.
Christian dislikes pencils and paper. It's hard to sit still, hard to make his hands do what his head is thinking. Hard. Hard. Hard. We make good use of discussion and Teaching Company videos. We adapt plans from Mother of Divine Grace and Kolbe; we work together constantly. He begs for structure. He doesn't want to plan his own curriculum or to have to make decisions. Instead, he wants to know what the clear expectations are and how he's going to get from here to there. He wants my reassurance that it can be done. Real Learning for Christian is all about knowing him well enough to know when to push and when to pick him up and carry him.
Patrick is thirteen and he's academically gifted. All those math problems? No problem. He's probably better at math than I am already (please don't tell him that). "School" comes easily to him. But Patrick has another gift that overshadows any academic gifts and makes his high school plan even more unique that the first two. Patrick is an extraordinary soccer player. He plays on the state and regional Olympic Development teams. He's on his way to big, big things. Patrick wants to go to Bradenton, Florida and train fulltime with the Junior National Team. It's only of passing interest to him that there is a boarding school affiliated with the training camp. He couldn't care less about school. He believes that he will kick his way to fame and fortune and be set for life before he's twenty-five. Our challenge with Patrick is to appreciate his gifts and support his quest to live his dream while still ensuring that he not close doors. Patrick doesn't understand that an injury will make him a mere mortal in the blink of an eye.
My husband and I take our responsibility to educate our children very seriously. We're not handing Patrick over to be developed morally or academically by soccer coaches far from us. We are also learning that a kid with an athletic gift that isn't being fully developed is much like the gifted child in an ordinary classroom who becomes the troublemaker. So, we struck a deal. We agreed that Patrick could begin high school work early and that once he finished a complete high school course of study, as long as he was sixteen or older and he could win a full grant, he could go train. He can accelerate himself through as quickly as he wants. While he is studying here, we will pursue every soccer opportunity we can within reason.
For Patrick and me, it was important that this deal include a third party. He needs to know I'm not the one directing what constitutes a complete high school curriculum. I need to not be the bad guy, holding him back from Bradenton by requiring him to jump through hoops. Again, Kolbe is the right choice for us (with the inclusion of several of MODG courses). It's an objective list to be completed. Patrick has no desire to direct his academic choices. None. It's the weirdest thing. All he wants is to play soccer. But we don't want him to limit himself by his ignorance. We know that the real world demands self-discipline. We also know that the academics of high school will stand him in good stead when he is navigating that world. And, mostly, we know that he's not finished with the big questions of theology and philosophy we want him to ponder. By finely tuning exactly what we think the most important things are and requiring that he be disciplined enough to study those things (though he has no apparent interest in them), we are requiring a certain maturity. If he can behave with that maturity over time and complete this task, it will go a long way towards preparing him to be on his own to pursue his dream at a young age. He's not wise enough to see right now that a solid education in academics and a complete saturation in knowledge of the faith will be a good thing when things get bumpy later. And they will. They always do.
So there you go. Is it unschooling? I don't know, but I do know school wouldn't work for any of my teenagers, so whatever you call it, I'm grateful for the opportunity.
"Today bring to Me The
Souls Who Have Become Lukewarm and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These
souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful
loathing in the Garden
Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who, like
corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love; and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen
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Do make some time to visit Sarah and read the wonderfully inspiring collection of ideas on how to stay in step with our husbands. And take some time to pray and ponder over the scripture she's thoughtfully collected for us there. Isn't it lovely to be married to your best friend?
Nicholas played his first travel soccer game at 8:00 this morning. It was 35 degrees outside. He's playing on Stephen's team, which is technically two years older than his age group. He begged to do this and he mostly holds his own. But he's still such a little guy. Actually, he's a huge guy, as big as the average nine -year-old and much bigger than Michael was at ten. Nevertheless, he's my baby boy. At halftime, they were up 3-2. Nicky played goalkeeper the second half. They lost 8-4. That's six goals scored on my baby, ladies. I wanted to cry. But I didn't.
Nick got in the car after the game and I tried as hard as I could to channel a good soccer mom--any good soccer mom.
Me: I'm so proud of you, Nick.
Nicky(raising his eyebrows): Why?
Me: Because you didn't cry out there. It was hard and you got discouraged but you didn't cry.
Nicky: Well, tears did get in my eyes, but I didn't let them out.
Me: That's because you're a big man. I think if I'd been in that goal, I would have cried. But you didn't because you are a great, big, brave man.
Nicky: Mom, you might think I'm a big man, but really, in that goal, I was a little boy. It was a huge goal.
You all have a lot to say about housekeeping! I appreciate all the questions and have them percolating in my brain. I'll be away most of the weekend--soccer tournaments and ballet recitals will have me driving all over Virginia and Maryland. If you have more questions, leave them in the comments section and I'll try to talk about them in the next few days. Remember, comments are moderated and I'll be away, so you won't see them right away. And we're talking about homemaking...
The theme for this week's Simply Lovely Fair is "Staying Connected." Sarah asks how we stay connected to our husbands amidst the busyness of everyday life. I bring my husband breakfast in bed every single day. This did not begin as an altruistic gesture or even a conscious effort at connection. My husband awakens hungry every morning and he tends to be a grumpy hungry person. One big, hungry, grumpy person mixed in with several small hungry grumpy people, cups of orange juice, the morning paper, a dog who needs to go out, and eggs on the stove and well, it wasn't pretty. So, I resolved to take the big guy out of the picture. I got the kids settled with breakfast one morning and took a pretty tray up to my hubby. I sat there in our bedroom and gave him my apparently undivided attention while he ate breakfast. (I was still listening for sounds of chaos from downstairs.) And then, I did it again the next morning and the next and the next. When the baby was born, that became time to nurse and chat. And when she grew old enough to be interested in food, she sat on his lap and ate from his plate. Now, this is her routine and when he's out of town, she won't eat breakfast. The three of us have some time alone together. Sometimes, we just delight in how dear she is. Other times, we discuss important things well over her head. Whatever the case, we connect.
I keep it fairly simple and the menu is usually the same: an English muffin, poached eggs, and a fruit smoothie. Occasionally, I add bacon or sausage. Every once in awhile, they enjoy leftover spaghetti carbonara or muffins from teatime the day before. But mostly, it's the same thing every day. I have the "making" routine down pat and everyone seems happy with the predictability. We begin our day together, in an oasis before the crush of craziness. Sometimes, other children wander in for a morning snuggle after they've eaten and increasingly, Karoline drifts away to play when she has had her fill of food. I remain (often stilling the small voice inside my head ticking off the items on my to-do list). And we begin the day together.
Empty space, even a little bit of it, is good to have. It is good on a practical level, in that if the attic or the closets are not full of things that are never used, it will be easier to get to the things that do get used. But empty space is good on a psychic and symbolic level as well. A primary objective of keeping house is to make room--room for connecting and reconnecting with other people and with the rhythms of individual and common life: meals, rest, work, play. As we make decisions about what to put in our houses and what to take out of them, we have the opportunity to make room in those houses for ourselves, for our fellow household members, and for guests. --from Keeping Home: The Litany of Every Day Life
Much of Lent was dedicated to creating empty spaces in my home. To read more about the endeavor and how this empty trash bag box significantly opened channels of grace, click here for this week's column.
In my head, I have a half dozen or more posts about what I've learned in the past few weeks regarding homemaking. Probably, you know all my lessons already. I seem to be slow coming to these realizations, or at least slow in having them crystallize in my brain. I plan to share them all, if for no other reason than my primary reason in continuing to keep a blog is that my daughter has begged me to journal it all for her to have and hold someday. For now though, I am called by the beep of the dryer, the hum of the refrigerator, the silence of a vacuum cleaner whose work for the day is already planned. And so, I'm recording here instead, a snippet from my morning reading, which reminds me so well why I need plans, rhythms and routines in my home.
The rhythms of housework also provide a way to resist the relentless 24/7 pace of modern life in favor of something more suited to human embodiment and relationality. New parents are sometimes dismayed to discover that babies and young children require predictability to thrive. Children need a sense of when it is time to wake up, time to eat, playtime, naptime, bathtime, bedtime. Their parents, on the other hand, have sometimes been under the impression, encouraged by our culture, that a good life is one in which you act on impulse, not on schedule. No wonder parenthood comes as a shock to them: not only are they new parents, but there are also new to the creation of the rhythms of home. How much more conducive to the well-being of the household it would be, both before and after children, if housework and housekeeping were treated as an intrinsic and positive part of life in the body and community rather than as a set of boring and limiting chores imposed on you by parenthood. --from Keeping Home: The Litany of Every Day Life
I hope to have time later to think here about how clearing out clutter opens space for creating rhythms and encourages the keeping of those rhythms. But now, the blinds beg to be opened to greet the day and the windy chill invites me to ensure that my children will awaken to the smell of hot chocolate and bacon. Many blessings to you this day!
"Today bring to Me
the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church and immerse
them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body
and Heart, that is My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds
heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."
Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the
souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have
squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces obstinately persisting in
their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your Own Son
and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they,
too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they
also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Image available at Saints Market
Divine Mercy Website
For the person who googled "elizabeth+foss +pick+up+ your+ socks," are you the same person who googled "elizabeth+foss'+ husband" last week? He does not pick up his socks with any regularity, but he does fold the dirty ones together before leaving them wherever. Children are a different story, however, and I think you might be looking for this article on obedience. I'll paste it here. Thanks for the reminder!
"Patrick,pick up your socks and put them in the hamper." "Why?" questions my seven–year-old as he kicks the socks across the room. "Because I’m the Mommy and I asked you to," I reply firmly. "O-B-E-Y! Obey your mom and dad! O-B-E-Y it makes ‘em very glad. Listen to the words they say. Obey your parents everyday!" My five-year-old daughter is singing exuberantly, glad to help my cause.
There was a time when I would have explained that the socks need to be in the hamper in order for
them to get to the washer and dryer so that they would get clean and he could
wear them again. But I am quite certain Patrick knows and understands the laundry
system in our house. So, I get to the heart of the matter. His heart. So much
of child-rearing is character training and little children need to learn to obey.
They need to be trained to answer affirmatively to authority.
We require obedience. We insist on obedience and we work day after day, every single day, to ensure obedience. When we ask a child to do something, we are polite. But we are firm. We embrace the fact that we are in authority over our children. God put us there and our children need us there. We teach them truth. We teach them that God’s laws are absolute and we require them to obey those absolute laws. For a child, the first law is "Children, obey your parents in the Lord." The only reason we need to give our children is: For this is right. God says so. We don’t shrink from our authoritative role. Rather we see it as a gift.
One of my favorite educators, Charlotte Mason, writes "Authority is not only a gift but a grace … Authority is that aspect of love which parents present to their children; parents know it is love, because to them it means continual self-denial, self-repression, self-sacrifice: children recognize it as love, because to them it means quiet rest and gaiety of heart. Perhaps the best aid to the maintenance of authority in the home is for those in authority to ask themselves daily that question which was presumptuously put to our Lord — ‘Who gave thee this authority?’"
Of course, God did. And by golly, we better be grateful good stewards of that gift. Let’s unpack the quote a little. To train our children, we must deny ourselves. We can’t administer occasional bursts of punishment and expect a good result. We must instead be incessantly watchful, patiently forming and preserving good habits. This means we are attentive and active. Those are habits to cultivate in ourselves.
To rid ourselves of bad habits, Mason suggests we replace them with virtuous ones. I know that in my house, my children misbehave a good deal when I have been on the phone or in front of the computer too much. They misbehave when routines slack off and meals are not given enough thought. They misbehave when bedtime isn’t observed or they are overprogrammed and too busy. They misbehave when I am inattentive or lazy or tired or inconsistent. Those are bad habits. I must consciously replace them with attention and diligence and action and consistent sleep.
Children recognize the Biblical living of our authority as love because it is love. Children who consistently misbehave are begging for moral guidance and a strong anchor. They are crying (or whining as the case may be) for someone to be in authority. As they grow, the real tangible relationship with the authority that is the parent flowers into full-blown relationship with God and an eager willingness to obey Him as an adult.
The life of an adult Christian is not easy. You can expect that as you train your children for that life, there will be some unhappiness. But that unhappiness is nothing compared to the quiet rest and joyful peace that comes with being right with God.
Since the first publication of these thoughts of mine on obedience, several parents have asked how to make a child obey. First, we don’t want blind obedience; we want the child to be inspired to obey because he believes it is right. We want virtuous obedience. We want to train the habit of control, doing what is right because it is right.
Children need to learn to focus on God’s
will, not their own and on a Spirit-inspired control, not a self-control. It is
easy to be controlled by oneself. It is hard to die to oneself and live for God.
The Holy Spirit will inspire, lead and give strength and wisdom to the child who is taught to listen to the whispers of his God. This Spirit-inspired control enables children to do work — to finish their chores, to be diligent in their learning, to be reliable volunteers, to stick to a marriage even when it is hard. They can do their duty. They can answer their call. They can control their tempers, their anger. They can work a little harder. "I ought" is enabled by "I will."
I do not agree with authors who think we need to spank the will into submission. I do not agree with those who suggest that every desirable behavior be correlated to star charts and complicated reward systems. I’m not a big fan of "time-out." Usually, a child who is misbehaving needs more of his parent’s attention. He doesn’t need to be sent away unless it’s for very short moment where both child and parent cool off before meeting to discuss and remedy the situation. And I do not agree with the experts who suggest we pinch our child so hard that the "strong-willed child" becomes weak. We want strong-willed children. That’s right: children who give in to their own whims and desires are actually weak-willed. They need strength training.
Training children in right habits strengthens their wills. Maturity is making right choices. We want our children to have strong wills for doing what is right — strong wills for doing God’s will. Crushing the will is not training the will. Training requires a relationship between parent and child. It requires patience and persistence on the part of both parent and child. When you train a child, you both grow in virtue.
I am not asserting that corporal punishment is wrong. I am asserting that it should not be necessary. Charlotte Mason writes of this eloquently:
Discipline does not mean a birch-rod, nor a corner, nor a slipper, nor a bed, nor any such last resort of the feeble. The sooner we cease to believe in merely penal suffering as part of the divine plan, the sooner will a spasmodic resort to the birch-rod die out in families. We do not say the rod is never useful; we do say it should never be necessary. …Discipline is not punishment — What is discipline? Look at the word; there is no hint of punishment in it. A disciple is a follower, and discipline is the state of the follower, the learner, imitator. Mothers and fathers do not well to forget that their children are by the very order of Nature, their disciples. … He who would draw disciples does not trust to force; but to these three things — to the attraction of his doctrine, to the persuasion of his presentation, to the enthusiasm of his disciples; so the parent has teachings of the perfect life which he knows how to present continually with winning force until the children are quickened with such zeal for virtue and holiness as carries them forward with leaps and bounds (Parents and Children, pg. 66).
We don’t want self-controlled children. We want children who are controlled by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit — children who hear and answer the Lord. We need to give children choices within limits but we need to teach them how and why to choose right. We need to train their hearts and educate their minds. When they are fully informed of the consequences of their actions, we need to allow free will, just as our heavenly Father does.
In order to train the child’s will in this manner, parents must lay down their lives for them. They must be willing to spend large amounts of time engaged with them. They must believe that children are educated by their intimacies and they must ensure that the child is intimate with what is good and noble and true. And when the child needs correction, the parent must educate in the truest sense of the word. She must teach. Our children are created in the image and likeness of God. If she looks at the child, sees Christ in his eyes and disciplines accordingly, she will train her children well.
"Today bring to Me All
Devout and Faithful Souls and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These
souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of
consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness."
Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in the great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.
Eternal Father, turn Your Merciful gaze upon
faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His
Sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your
constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of
the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they
glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Image available at Saints Market
Divine Mercy Website
– John 19:40-42
Watch and wait with Christ today. See the dark, feel the cold, and smell the spices. Wait for His wounds to heal and His body to rise again with new life. Wait for victory. Wait for triumph. Wait for joy.
"Today bring to Me All
Mankind, especially all sinners and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In
this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls
Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins, but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all
mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most
Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion show us
Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever.
Image available at Saints Market
Divine Mercy Website
...so good! We didn't have our Seder supper with friends this year, but we did have a Holy Thursday meal. I fixed the Seder foods Barbara described in her post (and now I don't even have to link recipes because she has). Half my family was missing. All the big boys and dad were gone. Happily, I have lots of lamb left with which to make gyros on Saturday. And, since we had so few of us yesterday, there were just enough leftover St. Joseph Bisque Tortonis to go around.
Feeling rather overwhelmed by the thought of taking the five little ones to Mass by myself particularly after having taken them Easter shoe shopping and major grocery shopping earlier in the day, I remembered that EWTN was televising Mass from the National Shrine. Oh, yeah, that's why I had the five little ones by myself, wasn't it? Mike was directing that Mass. So, we watched Mass on television and I discovered that we could see things on TV that we don't see when we are there in person. Because of all the different angles and the exceedingly good judgment of the director, the experience at home was an unexpected blessing. I found myself moved to tears at the end.
I'm still working out the details of today and tomorrow (the Vigil will be televised as well) but I am so encouraged by yesterday that I'm hopeful that we can make it all work! If you are at home tomorrow evening, do take a peek at EWTN. I was struck yesterday by what a blessing television can be. And I'm griping much less about Mike's absence when I consider what it is he's out there doing.
Don't forget! The Divine Mercy novena begins today. And if you are going to make Resurrection Cookies tomorrow to have waiting Easter morning, you need to be sure to have the ingredients on hand. I think I'm going to make Resurrection Rolls this year for Easter Morning. Rolls and a smoothie and a hard boiled egg, and I think we can dash out the door and back to the Shrine for Easter morning Mass.