Thursday, 31 January 2008

Marcella, This one's for you :)

As a child I loved the stories of Don Camillo. But I always got them

from the library. As an adult when I went back for them-they were gone. But good things come to those who wait-and to those who have a computer it seems.

HERE are the stories of this wonderful Italian priest and his not too terrible Communist Mayor opponent.

And there is THIS site too, which I haven't explored very much.

I don't think my favourite story 'The Ugly Madonna' is online as yet-but I will have a look, and if I find it I will let you know.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Relaxing By The Fire Karen the Gem of the Ocean has tagged me for this book meme. A book meme, yippee. My poor dh will sigh and roll his eyes and mutter that oxymoronic phrase "Too many books".

1) Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Life just seems too short to read Harry Potter books. Although I have seen the less-than-positive reviews too. It's the hype-as soon as anything is hyped I refuse to read it.

2) If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
I think I would like afternoon tea with Don Camillo, Fr Lewis from the Susan Howatch novels of the High Church of England and dear old Fr Brown. I would sit back and sip Earl Grey while they discussed what the Anglican, but oh so nearly Catholic Fr Lewis would call the 'unvarnished truth'.

3) (Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for a while, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Like a lot of people my first reaction to this was the Duh Vinci Code, but it has been more than taken so I'm going for Middlemarch by George Elliot. I know, I know, what kind of homeschool mum am I to dislike such a classic. But I had to study it for A'level and I loathed it. I would have happily shot Dorothea!

4) Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
I don't think I have done that, although I have helped my son answer questions about Julius Caesar, without actually reading the whole play; Lamb's Tales to the rescue... Shy Whistler

But here's one for RITA over at Tigerish Waters I have read Stephen Hawkings A Brief History of Time. It was quite interesting at the time-can't remember much about it other than my being less than convinced by String Theory. But I'm no scientist. I did read somewhere-though not in Hawkings I think- that the first thing to exist in the Universe was sound. I always like to think that sound was God saying 'Let there be..."
Creation Of Adam

5) You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalise the VIP).

In this case I am going to say what I did for my dyslexic son when I pulled him out of school three years ago aged 13/14 and found he couldn't read; or was so afraid of reading by this point he wouldn't read.
Obviously the really easy stuff is all aimed at little children and although I am sure there must be adult literacy books out there, I was not aware of them, nor where I could get them. I thought my best bet was to start him with something he actually wanted to read and he would move up from there.
I started him with Spiderman Comics because they were visual and had few words per page. From there I introduced him to 'trick reading'; that is I would trick him into reading stuff such as recipes and instructions for video games.
Then he read What Einstein Told His Cook which he enjoyed. Gradually I introduced him to other books and soon he was reading the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
He came a long way in two short years. It was hard, hard going at times though.

6) A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
Ooooh! This is a hard one, Greek, Latin, Hebrew and I love Italian...but right now I think I would actually choose German (not a language I like really) because I would love to read the works of Deitrich von Hildebrand and St Edith Stein in their original language and because there is so much of Dr von Hildebrand's writings that are not yet in English; although the Legacy Project are dealing with that little problem.

7) A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
Familiaris Consortio. I have it as a little book and I think it's the best family life book I have.

8) I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?
I have discovered whole books I can download from the Internet Archive such as Chesterton, Belloc and even a couple of Dorothy Sayers.

9) That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

My dream library would be a large room with a proper fire. There would be huge leather armchairs and a little table for the small pile of books I would be reading then. There would be a coffee machine with a permanent jug full in one corner.
The bookshelves would be floor to ceiling with one of those slide ladders- that would be fun.
Then I would sit in one of those huge chairs, with coffee and chocolate and I would throw a log on the fire and get reading.

The children would have their own corner with easy reach shelves and those big square wooden boxes full of books, a rug and some little soft play stools.
Perhaps those huge bed size leather bean bags for the teens to flop out and read on.
Ah dreams are bliss.

Not sure who to tag at the moment; so all non-bloggers out there who would like to answer this one, feel free to use the combox.

Saturday, 26 January 2008


I dare say there are more than a few people who think that
since I came have decided leave the cafeteria for the fullness
of the faith that I am off my trolley. Well I am in pretty
good company on that; St Paul was off his horse.

The process of my own conversion was a long one and there were times I wondered why God didn't just knock me off my own high horse a few times. Well, in fact He did actually, but I had a nasty habit of trying to climb straight back up there.

Paul was struck blind after the horse falling incident and had to go and find someone to heal him. That person was Ananias who understandably treated God's command to go and meet Saul with some healthy trepidation. However he did go and through him Saul was received into the Church and became one of her greatest saints.

Here's another story; it isn't finished yet and could go either way, so your prayers would be much appreciated.

Once upon a time there lived a young lady who became friends with her brother's Catholic girlfriend. The young lady, we'll call her Cally, was a deeply hurt person who made life worse for herself by making some pretty awful choices.

Meanwhile her brother and the Catholic girl married. Some time later Cally too married, but she married a really awful man; a marriage that would only increase Cally's self destructive behaviour.

Nothing improved for a very long time-but throughout it all she remained friends (not necessarily close because she wasn't capable of that) with her Catholic sister-in-law. The SIL had not been a particularly good Catholic but she discovered her faith and was renewed in her commitment. During this time she would make suggestions to Cally that were never acted on.

On returning to the Church the Catholic SIL found herself with some 'good' Catholics who advised her to drop all friends and family who were either lapsed or not Catholic or leading immoral lives. She was also told plainly just how inferior protestant husband's were. Fortunately she realised this was not truly 'good' Catholic behaviour and rather than ditching her less than Catholic friends and family-she ditched this group.

Some long time later Cally reached the point that forced her to reassess her life. She began to turn things around. In order to do this though Cally began, very reluctantly it seems, to acknowledge that if she was ever going to get free of the ditch she had dug for herself, she would need God.

Her SIL has been inviting her to Mass-which she occasionally attends and feels welcome there. She is also learning to pray. Her SIL is quietly supporting her in this. Nothing too in-yer-face as that would frighten her off. Cally is doing things at her own pace.

This conversion is still ongoing and it is very, very fragile. Slowly Cally is turning into a new person who hopefully will find a real relationship with God and go wherever He leads.

She didn't fall off a horse as such, but she did fall-hard; and only then did she start the long process of conversion and healing. God has put people into her life now who are helping her.

Pray for her.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Sex-ed for Homeschoolers; not NICE!

Under the tyranny of Mediocrity Brown more and more attacks are being made on the santity and rights of the family.
Take a look at THIS!
Frankly this Govt is beginning to really scare me. They are so utterly underhand.
We have a fight on our hands I think. NICE can keep their grotty hands off my children.

One thing I must say; as families, particularly those of us who homeschool-we must be very careful NOT to give fuel to these people.
I'll talk about this more when I have time.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Sex ed for parents and chastity for grown ups

I was visiting a Catholic forum today and saw a man (presumably Catholic) asking whether he and his wife could now contracept as they had decided to have no more children. It was explained to him that using contraception is a mortal sin-and when he got annoyed that anyone would suggest such a thing, the appropriate Church docs and history were supplied. The man got even more annoyed and stomped off (virtually).

I see this a lot when it comes to the Church's teaching on the sanctity of marriage, it's holiness as a Sacrament and the fact that marriage should be open to life. While the Govt is trying to force their brand of sex ed onto our children-here is a father, who is quite willing to ditch Church teaching when it doesn't suit his 'sexual freedom'. What will his children do?

It's the parents that are the problem here. The parents do not want to be chaste, they want to do whatever they like and they can hardly then say, 'one rule for me, another one for you'.

This is a photo of my youngest being held by her 16yr old brother who is wearing his chastity ring. My 14 yr old daughter wears one too. I haven't forced this on the children; they requested it. Both these children have been exposed to some stuff I really would have preferred them not to have been exposed to-and I am more than grateful I was there, particularly for my daughter, to mitigate the damage.

Parents do a whole lot of teaching sex ed by how WE behave. If we don't care what our children discuss with their friends; do with their friends or look at with their friends, then they are hardly going to be worried are they?

If we allow them to use computers in a separate room or their bedroom; go on MSM without supervision, have mobile phones with numbers on we have no knowledge of-then that shows we aren't paying attention.

If parents allow their daughter's to either dress like they are available or on the other extreme dress like they are ashamed of their femininity (and I've seen that too) then we are not helping them be chaste. Only by teaching them they have no inherent dignity and can be proud of their emerging womanhood can we help them to ensure they demand that respect and dignity from others.

Too many parents make their children grow up too quickly when it comes to sex ed when they are not emotionally ready for it-and another group of parents are so controlling they try to stop their children growing up at all.

I think a lot of what our children will learn about what is good and holy chaste behaviour, they will learn from how we are in our marriages. Mum and Dad need to show kindness, respect and affection to one another. Dad needs to be involved in his children's life and discipline. An old fashioned dad with a bit of 'shot and shovel' to him will make a girl feel safe. A great deal has been written about the role of dad's in the well being of girls and I am sure it goes for boys too as dad needs to be a role model.

My 14yr old daughter is fortunate to have two older brothers who are also of the 'shot gun and shovel' variety. (HEHEHE)

I could write a lot about what I have seen as a psychi nurse working in CAMHS and my dh still works in CAMHS. I could even write some horror stories just from what we've had to protect our own children from, but I'll end with this; Marilyn Manson once said that if parents don't bring their children up, he would.

If we don't teach our children about love, sex and marriage then Ed Balls (oh the temptation to comment on that name) and Gordan Mediocrity Brown will.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Week of prayer for Christian Unity

It is the week of prayer for Christian unity. As we pray we try and ignore that there are over 30,ooo protestant denimination and groups now, and they are still splitting. We squirm a bit as we look at the schisms that have happened over the last 2000yrs.

LOOK at the icon. That is Christ the Bridegroom; a bridegroom of ONE bride and look what He has done for her. He is whipped and bound and crowned with thorns. His royal robe has been dumped on Him as a mockery and is soaked in His Precious Blood.

Only a few hours earlier He had prayed "And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me.
That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them: that, they may be one, as we also are one. "

But a huge number of the world look at us and do not see that oneness and they don't believe. Why should they? Everyone seems to have Christ in his own image; picking and choosing from Scripture and Tradition what fits himself; making up new ideas that have no basis in either Scripture or Tradition.

*Sigh* I've been there-done that.

So here's a prayer for Christian unity.
Dear Lord,
Break our hearts to help us not break Yours
Change our minds, because we can't change Yours.
Let us Love YOU with all our minds, with all our heart and with all our strength
Because only then can we love our neighbour or ourselves.
Help us see the Cross with it's vertical beam so much longer and larger than the
horizontal beam;
Let us then look up to see what Your will is
instread of at ourselves and what we want.
Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name
Thy Will be done (not mine)
on earth as it is in heaven...
If people prayed the Our Father and actually meant it-imagine what kind of world we could have.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Spreadin' love Award

Philip has kindly awarded me the "Spread the Love Award" and I am to spread the love around eight others. Now around here the best way I know of to spread love is with marmite spread. Marmite with a touch of champagne no less. So I hand on not only the award but some virtual marmite too. Spread it on virtual toast and enjoy.
I would like to spread this to
1. Marcella-who doesn't blog but can still spread that love
5. Fr Ray Blake - because priests spread so much REAL LOVE with the Eucharist.
6. La Mamma because her pots and pans are BACK!

Monday, 14 January 2008

Why homeschool?

Leigh of Mommy Memoir asked in the comments box below why I homeschool.
People write whole books about this sort of thing-maybe I will one day Happy but in the meantime there is a short answer HERE

Friday, 11 January 2008

Pro-Life; get out those beads

ADDITION! Amanda has emailed me with a petition against care professionals being coerced to perform and take part in abortions. "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to PROTECT HEALTHCARE WORKER RIGHT OF CONSCIENCE BY LAW. " Please sign it fellow pro-life UKers.
Sat 26th January 08
at 3pm
The John Radcliffe Hospital,
St Anthony of Padua Church Oxford

Please come and meet at Headley Way Headington for a peaceful witness for the unborn children. There is refreshment in the hall afterwards.
For those who cannot attend please add your prayers for those who are there, and for the babies killed and their parents.

Amanda Lewin, a friend and fellow homeschooling mum does a great deal to coordinate this. Thank God for her and all who join her.

All you Brummies and anyone else who can make it are most cordially invited to a weekly Eucharistic Adoration
at SS Joseph and Helen Station Rd Kings Norton Birmingham
at 6pm
please note time change (not 7pm any more)
to pray for the pro-life cause and all those who are so hurt by the abortion industry.
SS Joseph and Helen have an abortion mill right at the end of the road. Every Good Friday the PP takes a prayer walk down to the mill and stands there will everyone -altar boys and himself in vestments. Then the walk continues around the block and back to church. The place is busy killing babies even on Good Friday.
For those who cannot be there in person - get out those beads, the greatest weapon of sin destruction- and get praying.
God bless

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

We need a miracle for this one I think...

Prayer Sometimes it is very difficult to know what God wants. Up until recently my oldest son who is 18 wanted to be a priest. In fact he has wanted to be a priest for as long as I can remember-then off he went to Oscott for the day and came back cured of the desire. Part of the problem I think is that for a whole day being offered to all young men with a desire for the priesthood only ONE young man turned up; my son.
While everyone was very nice to him-the day was too intense and he has simply said no way.

Meanwhile he is looking at going to America. Now, I cannot begin to tell you the HUGE difficulties we have faced over this. His trip to EWTN fell through and now he is concentrating on his hope to go and visit Franciscan University Steubenville in the late Spring and he wants to apply to go there.

I would love him to go there. It has strong links with my beloved Maryvale, which is about the only truly orthodox Catholic HE we seem to have in this country.
But the cost for him to go there is astronomical. It's just impossible as things stand for us to see how on earth we could fund him through uni over there. It would be difficult enough to assist him to do a degree here.

I really want what's best for him and his interest in Catholic media would hardly find an outlet here in the UK-but I can't see, right now, how we are going to do this.
So my friends get out those beads and slide a few through your fingers in our direction; that we find God's will in this and that if He does want my oldest to spread his wings in Ohio, that He drops a bucket load of dosh this way.
Smiley University

Sunday, 6 January 2008

It's the Twelfth Day of Christmas-the Epiphany of our Lord. I love these photos posted by Rita on Tigerish Waters.

In the West the tradition is there were three wise men bringing the gold, francincense and myrhh. In the East there has been a tradition of 12 wise men- or maybe it was 12 men but only three of them were wise enough to bring a gift Teethy .

It's a bit sad as all the decorations come down-but hey our Ukrainian Catholic brothers and sisters are about to have their Christmas tomorrow so it aint over yet! (Whistling 'always look on the bright side of life, te-dum...)

God bless you one and all.

Teaching our kids about real love, life and sex

As part of my New Years resolution -or revolution-I am going to post about teaching sex to children and teens every so often throughout the year. I was listening to Teresa Tommeo on my MP3 player as I cooked the dinner today and she was interviewing Dr. Meg Meeker. They were actually talking about depression, but the doctor has written a couple of books which coincidentally you can read a bit about at Friends With Christ.

During their conversation Teresa Tommeo pointed out that this year was the 40th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae. (25th July 1968). Sadly all that Pope Paul VI said would happen has happened-and maybe even worse than he envisioned.

Although, when I was a teen I was given a lot of conflicting information-but mainly told that HV could be safely ignored, we now have the stunning Theology of the Body from Pope John Paul the Great. I have found a whole load of podcasts about this-but I'll check them out before posting links.

Meanwhile on Thinking Love, No Twaddle there is some basic notes on answering the questions of a 4yr old-nearly 5yr old; not in quite the way I think our sinister ministers have in mind.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

New Year's Revolution

It was G.K.Chesterton who said something to the effect of "When people stop believing in the supernatural, they don't turn to the natural, but to the un-natural."

The natural order of things is that parents have a "right and duty" (FC1) to take care of our children. I have an old Penny Catechism and Question 201 asks “What is the duty of parents towards their children?” “The duty of parents towards their children is to provide for them, to instruct and correct them, and to give them a good Catholic education.”

It could easily be argued that parents have had a hard time with this thanks to the shoddy standard of RE in most Catholic schools- but it is the Government that is posing the greatest threat to the rights of parents and the rights and well being of our children in the UK. Tony Blair and now Gordon Brown seem to have a vendetta against the family; supporting family breakdown, gay partnerships and ownership of children, abortion up to birth for disabled children and having disabled adults killed if they are deemed too sick to be bothered with.
Families who try to stick together and care for the sick in their midst are financially penalised.

My husband works with more than one family where dad has a separate address for benefit reasons- where mum and dad would lose out if they actually got married!

Meanwhile as Cherie Blair is up to her elbows in International Planned Parenthood her husband and his Govt have been pushing sex education at teens and younger children despite the consistent lack of results. The more children put condoms on bananas, the higher the teen pregnancy rates go and the higher the STD rates get. Chlamydia is now one of the major contributers to the massive rise in infertility in the UK.

Not content with this Brown and his ilk have been relentlessly pushing for mums to go to work -particularly single mums. This ensures that children have no role model in their lives, no parent at home for them. The the level of alcohol abuse rockets and the sinister ministers in the Govt scratch their empty heads and wonder.

To answer the self made problems they try and force more of the same on us. More sex ed for even younger children; free contraception to ensure more cervical and breast cancer; more abortion- massive doses of hormone to be given to children behind their parent's backs.

Then when a bishop (and God knows this is rare here) begins to stand up for the faith as Bishop O'Donoghue seems to be doing-the totalitarian sinister ministers decide he needs to answer questions.

It's time to fight back. It is time to demand real education in our schools and freedom to educate our children as we see fit. It is time to protect our children and demand the Government back off.

I would like to think the bishops would lead the way-but that's a laugh; it is up to us to each do a little bit ourselves and stand together.
So my New Year's resolution is to start a revolution, with my own kids and offer it to anyone else who would like.