Friday, January 22, 2016

Small Success Thursday -

Happy Friday.

I hope your week was great.  I could complain about the things that have gone wrong... but why bother. I mean - that we paid $7K for heating/air and our heating doesn't work. I mean - it's not 30 degrees in here (like it is outside), but it's 60... and I'm thankful for sweaters. But why complain? I mean - doesn't someone always have it worse?


I would love to give you a glamorous recount of huge and wonderful successes, but between stomach flu, hubs being gone, pantry challenge, school, etc... you will have to settle for the below. Oh and don't forget to check out the other lady's posts here - Small Success Thursday @ Catholicmom.com

Success #1. I love making cards. I've been on design teams. But over the past several years, I've really been down on myself.... wrong friends, wrong attitude, wrong.... the list is long. Anyway... I have signed up to be a Stampin Up Demo (a few months ago actually) and I am going to participate in a swap at our February meeting. Now - you may not know what I am talking about, but let's just say, these ladies have youtube channels for their projects and I am intimidated. But my friend Christi (who is like top 100 in SU) is going to help me cultivate ideas for the swap. She's the best. THANK YOU!

Success #2. I insisted my husband stay in Northern VA. He was heading back today, and his plane was cancelled earlier in the week, and the airline rebooked for 9pm tonight, but we knew that was never going to happen. AND he was flying home, just to fly out Monday for Albany, so I said, "STAY!" I logically laid out why he should not frustrate himself with how hectic all the airports will be.  Everything in me wanted to say, "Come home to us, I'm sick of you being gone all the time." (in my most bratty voice), but he is in a warm hotel... and he's safe. They have generators. You know?  I remember my trade show days, flying here and there on the East Coast. NO THANKS!

Success #3. I hesitate to say this too loudly - but I have really been working on not yelling at my child. I'm not a screamer, yeller. I'm a raise-my-voicer... but I have to remain calm. That is one of my Year Of Joy goals - peace and calm. It's not easy for me. LOL One of our biggest "hot buttons" is Math. He's great at it, you know - WHEN he pays attention. And so, today, I very calmly made him redo his test and did not even raise my voice. I simply pointed out that he needed to re-read the problem/check his work. You'd have been proud. Thank you Mother Mary.

And now, I'm off to watch a Disney movie with my child, whilst my husband enjoyed room service and a hotel bed to himself.  It's funny, we hate being apart. But I have to laugh when he says he hates to be away,  because,  because.... doesn't it sound great to have a bed to yourself, room service, a heated pool/hot tub.. and the magical ability to go to the bathroom, talk on the phone or complete a thought - uninterrupted? HA!

And I thought I'd leave you with this. HAHA
Have a great weekend ya'll.
Love and hugs,
Em

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Book Review Wednesday - Treachery and Truth

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Feast Day of Saint Sebastian! "Sebastian is a patron saint of archers, athletes, dying people, enemies of religion, police, and soldiers. He is a great example for all of us who are part of this parish. Saint Sebastian gave all he had, his very life, in witness to Christ, for the glory of God and the good of God's people. We are constantly reminded that we are called to give of our time, talent, and treasure for the glory of God and the good of the Church. May Saint Sebastian inspire us to follow his example. Saint Sebastian, pray for us!"

I have been so blessed by my relationship with Catholic Publishers. Recently, one of my favorites, Pauline Books & Media, sent me a few books to review. The first one I read is called Treachery and Truth. From the beginning of this book, I knew it was going to be spectacular. I love historical fiction. Stories that happened, but there is some creative license taken by an Author to fill in the gaps.  If I'm honest with myself, I'm happy I live in the times of better toilets/toiletries and air conditioning/heat. But it sure is kind of romantic to think about how it would be to live "back then".

Ok, I've digressed, let me give you my review. And then after, you can read my son's review. It's his very first. So exciting!


Treachery and Truth, by Katy Huth Jones, is set in tenth century Praha, Bohemia (now Prague, Capital of the Czech Republic), and narrated by faithful Poidevan, Prince Vaclav's servant, is a glimpse into how dangerous it was to be a Christian, back in the Dark Ages.

Poidevan, the narrator, made a slave of Dragomira's as a child, worked hard and aligned himself with the right people. The reader (I) could see God working in his life, from the beginning of the story.

Brutal pagan Duchess Dragomira tortures and steals from the peasants, but worse, she kills Christians and displays their heads publicly. She rules by fear and has raised her youngest son, Boleslav, to be the same. 

Her oldest son, Prince Vaclav, rightful heir of the kingdom, spends much time away from his evil mother. He has been influenced by his Grandmother, the Dowager Duchess Ludmila. Vaclav is a Christian and he is determined to bring Christianity, peace, and joy back to his war-torn and savagely-ruled kingdom. 

One of the most powerful pieces of this book is the humble and loving Christian example of Prince Vaclav and the Priests who serve him, his body guard Zito, and of course, my favorite Poidevan.

Katy Huth Jones takes us through a series of secrets, history, and cruel events. But while you are reading this book, and offering it to your pre-teens and teens to read, I want to make sure you know that --- as it always is with Our Lord - HE triumphs in the next generation of the family, when Christianity is publicly restored.

While I think boys and girls alike will love this easy-to-read and exciting novel, I think that especially boys have several strong figures to look up to and model. Strong, faithful and protective men. We need characters like these. That they are real people is a huge bonus.

Two things I want to point out that were instrumental for my son and I, while reading this book.
  1. The Cast of Characters and People, Places and Things in The Tenth Century - Pages. These pages help readers pronounce names and give a little information about each person, place or thing.
  2. The Author's Note. It was here, we realized that this story was about King Wenceslaus, a Catholic Saint. We just about jumped up and down with excitement.
Before I leave you, here is my son's review of the same book. He is 12.

Name:  C.A. Davis, Grade/Age: 6th Grade/12
 I liked the story line mainly because its about a boy servant Poidevin who lost his parents, and was forced into slavery at Castle Praha by infamous Dragomira, and later in the book was saved by her son Prince Vaclav.My four favorite characters are Prince Vaclav, Pribislava, Poidevin, and Zito. I like Prince Vaclav because he believes in God, he is a very good mentor to Poidevin, and he is a kind and just ruler. I like Pribislava because she knows Vaclav is trying to mentor Poidevin but she doesn’t tell anybody.  Boy, would I be lucky to have a sister like that! Poidevin, I like because he is courageous and very humble, and he thinks a lot like me. However, Zito is my favorite of all of the characters he is strong, faithful, he is also very protective of his master. 
I would recommend this book to all of my friends. I absolutely LOVE THIS BOOK! It only took me a couple days to read it.  But I think anyone ten and older would really enjoy this book. 
I thought the fact that Ms. Jones tells the reader how to say the names of people and places, and gives explanation of the history, in her Author’s Notes, was very helpful. 
Pauline Books & Media provided me with a free copy Treachery and Truth in exchange for an honest review.

Well done, Katy Huth Jones. Well done, my fellow Catholic and Texan. (You see how I just claimed her for Texas! That's how we roll). LOL

Have a great rest of your day. And.... go get this book.
Hugs & Blessings,
Em


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Monday's Moments - How've You Been?

Em's DayBook
2016 - Vol. 1

Happy Feast Day to Saint Fabian of Rome! 
Pope. Martyr. Saint.
Pray for us!



Happy late Tuesday All! Happy 19th day in my year of Joy. I hope your year is going well. We are enjoying a mild Winter here in North Texas. Just fantastic. Sure, we would like it to snow. But it has been spectacular. We have been to the park with friends a few times, and today we blew bubbles and watched the dog jump. It was nice.

Linking Up With

Currently looking for some link-ups. I will keep you posted if I find any Monday Link-Ups.

Thankful For...

  • My Faith
  • My husband and son
  • New Friends
  • Scripture Writing and Bible Journaling 

Thinking About...

  • Fitting it all in. I'd love to blog more. I'd love to ___. Could someone please make more hours in the day? LOL 
  • I have been thinking a lot about how to improve me. How to better follow God's plan for me. I have been reading the Bible more and doing some scripture writing... easing into Bible Journaling.
Faith Talk...

Monsignor Pemberton gave such a great Homily on Sunday. The Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 2: 1-11 - The Wedding at Cana, was the story. Here it is, in case you aren't familiar:
The Wedding at Cana. [a]On the third day there was a wedding[b] in Cana[c] in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” [d][And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” [e]Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”[f] So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs[g] in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.

So, you can see that Mary tells Jesus there is no more wine. But she doesn't' stay and tell him how to fix it. She simply tells the servers, "Do whatever he tells you!" Then Monsignor went on to say, how we should be more like Mary, who trusted Our Lord to do what was best. We take prayers and petitions to Him and all to often, we tell him how to answer our prayers, or share our ideas with Him about how we'd like Him to fix things. How much happier would He be if we trusted Him with all our hearts and minds... what if we "got out of His way" and listened when He talked to us... and followed His plan for our lives? Sigh.  This is my goal. To be more like Mary. To take my problems to Jesus and let Him work them for me.

I am enjoying teaching 3rd Grade Religious Ed, but at the same time, it is hard, because I can see the pitfalls of our society. It is not enough for RE teachers to teach the students, you have to live your Faith at home. And that is where it's not being done. I'm not sure how to combat that.  Praying for families!

At Home....

We are plugging along. Finding a balance with homeschool and activity. Sitting out Spring Sports to concentrate on other things.  Marque is traveling a lot. Seriously, we have barely seen him this month, and he was supposed to fly home Friday, but it's looking like a snowstorm will hit the North East, so he may just stay out there and come home later next week. BOO.

At School....

6th Grade is coming along. We are enjoying learning basic Latin, Ancient History and Science. And Christopher just did his first Book Review (more about that tomorrow). In Religion, we are studying the Gospel of Saint Mark and we are really enjoying it.  We are way behind and I don't even care anymore. I hope and pray we will be done by the end of June. I can't stress.

Every time I think I might put my child back into a public school (or private), bad things happen and I'm so glad he is not there. The news is wrought with things like -- children getting suspended for saving a classmates life by sharing an inhaler, or children getting molested by a teacher... and the bullying and clothing. Sigh. It's too much.  

Reading...

Treachery and Truth - review tomorrow.
A Single Bead - review next Wednesday.
Sacred Reading - The 2016 Guide to Daily Prayer
Magnificat
In line to read - Pictures of Me.

Listening To...
  • Alan Jackson's Precious Memories CDs. One of my favorites, Just As I Am. These are two CD's full of old Hymns from my youth. 
Praying For....

  • Katelyn G. and her mama Vicky.
  • My husband - may he be safe in his travels and his lungs clear up.
  • My son and I - that we may focus and get through school.
  • Our Country.
  • Our Pope and Clergy
  • All the Youth and People converging on DC for the March for Life. 

Captured...

My Downton Shoes, Mother Mary. My Little Family. A huge leaf and a blanket scarf. That about sums me up.

Have a great rest of your evening and look for my book review tomorrow.
Blessings all,
Em

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year - Happy & Joyful

Happy Sunday!
Happy New Year

Though the actual Feast of the Epiphany is not until January 6th, our Church celebrated this today in our Mass.  We are taught, as Christians, to be a light in our dark world.... to shine God's light on His people (which is everyone - whether you like that or not). And it occurred to me that during this time of year, during the time when the Magi are searching for the baby Christ Jesus to pay Him homage... it occurred to me that we should always be seeking the Light that is Jesus. How else can we brightly shine His love to others?

There is so much about LIGHT in the Bible. Go to Bible Gateway . Type in "be the light" and you will be amazed by the great verses you will read. Here is one of my favorites.
Matthew Chapter 5:
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Just one little light is all you need to make the darkness disappear.

So - let's talk about 2016. What's going on with you? For me...

I will be blogging about the Pantry Challenge that Jessica is hosting over at Good Cheap Eats. This is like my 5th or 6th year of doing it and I love it.

On FaceBook, I am writing something daily that I am thankful for. This is part of my "Year of Joy"... lets face it, the evil one tries to rob us of our Joy and I say - NO MORE! "THIS GIRL" is finding joy... I'm going to even when it hurts.  I will create a list of daily joys each week or so. I won't be posting them here (I don't think).

Just saw a fantastic movie.  Have you seen the movie - the War Room? Oh my goodness - what a great movie. It came out over Labor Day.  I just watched it today. WOW! So much to learn. I'm going to have to watch it again. Every wife/mom (ok, really every adult) needs to watch. It made me wish I had a lady like that in my life... someone who would smack me with the reality of my lack of the right kind of prayer.  The world does not need more luke warm Christians. We need to pray like we are strategizing for war... Humbly... willingly moving out of the way so that God can do the work.  I needed this movie.

I just really came on to say hello and check in. I hope to get to some regular blogging this week.
Hugs & Blessings,

Em