Sunday, 30 March 2008

Stuff about you meme

Maggie Clitherow who says she doesn't know what she's doing-but she seems pretty good at doing it anyway ;)-has tagged me for this meme.

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago?

This time 10 years ago I was studying for a degree in British Sign Language Interpreting. I worked odd shifts and nights at a psychiatric unit to afford the childcare so I could study-hoping that as an interpreter I could earn enough money not to have to work full time while I had three children.

On March 25th I learned my dear friend had died of his alcholism. It was a very sad time.

My oldest had his 9th birthday a few weeks later.

Five things on my to do list.

I don't have a list, but I do have a 'Brain Book' where I put all the things I am supposed to remember and thoughts and ideas for homeschool.

It's Sunday evening and the five last things I have to do are:

read story to the little ones

change the babe and get her ready for bed.

breastfeed baby so she sleeps

make a cuppa

sit down with the biggies

Snacks I enjoy

jaffa cakes and choc hobnobs though I try and avoid them because I could easily enjoy them a little too much.

For a real snack: blue cheese and ham on toast, or chedder and marmite on toast, or chedder and Worcester Sauce on toast...

Things I would do if I were a billionaire.

I would by a canal boat and name it Heron's Flight and I would have another which would be a floating chapel for mission work. A lot of people live on the canals these days, especially with the price of housing being the way it is-and may more live and work a good deal of time on the canals. When we spent a week there were no churches within walking distance wherever we moored up! So a mission would be useful.

I would fund a Catholic drama company to make plays, drama series and drama documentaries for children and adults that would teach the faith in a high quality TV and radio way. These plays would NOT be sugary sentimental efforts and the acting and production would be good enough for mainstream TV.

I would set up scholarships so those who wanted to train for the above could do so.

I would train and establish proper marriage prep with NFP and theology of the body for parishes...

A billionaire can do a lot of stuff.
I would have a chauffer so I wouldn't have to struggle with the DVLA over needing a crip-adjusted car!.
And I would buy a house with enough rooms so I could have a classroom-you know all homeschool mums want one really-and a library...

Three of my bad habits. (only 3?)

Forgetting I've said something so I repeat the same thing over and over. Drives the kids mad (hehehe)

Leaving half drunk cups of tea all over the place.

Whizzing the wheelchair down smooth slopes and taking my hands off the wheels. (That is naughty. I have to behave.)

Five places I have lived.
I've lived in two places in Wolverhampton.
I've lived in the nurses home of a psychiatric hospt in Birmingham.
Then in a rented house the other side of the city in Stirchley
And then a bought house in the same street.
Finally we moved to our family home.

Five jobs I have had.

I've been a psychiatric nurse (RMN)

A tutor for young people kicked out of school - worked in a college.

An integration assistant for a deaf child in a primary school

An Avon Lady (I hated that)

A Sign Language Communication Assistant and trainee interpreter in BSL

Five people I feel nosey about and therefore tag :))

Kit at her Brookside
Ttony in his muniment room
Karen that sparkling ocean gem
Swiss Miss at St Monica's Kneeler.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Divine Mercy

We are just half way through the Novena of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. The nine days cover nine offerings:

  1. All mankind, especially sinners
  2. Priests and Religious
  3. All devout and faithful souls
  4. Those who do not believe in Jesus and those who do not yet know Him.
  5. The souls of seperated brethren
  6. Meek, humble and children.
  7. Those who especially venerate the Mercy of God.
  8. Those in Purgatory.
  9. Those who are luke warm.
Jesus spoke a great deal to Sr Faustina while she was in her convent in Kracow. He asked her to have the image of Himself painted with the two coloured rays coming from His heart, red and blue and He asked that the words 'Jesus I Trust in You' be added (Jezu Ufam Tobie). Jesus explained to her, "The two rays denote Blood and Water. the pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. (Diary 299)" It is such an amazing gift of Grace to us. By turning to God and throwing ourselves on His Mercy we can avoid the fullness of His judgement and maybe help others avoid it too.

I am sure most of us deserve judgement. But Jesus said to St Faustina, "By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works." (Diary 742)

Jesus very much wanted St Faustina to speak out about His Mercy. There was an urgency to His message, as the horrors of the Second World War were approaching, but also He told her "You will prepare the world for My final coming." (Diary 429) He told her that time was running out and that we needed to call on His Mercy BEFORE He came as the just Judge.

She was told, "I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming."

Many people (including little ol'me) believe that spark was Pope John Paul the Great who worked so hard to ensure the collapse of Russia's errors and who died on the eve of Divine Mercy, just after hearing the vigil Mass.

There are many beautiful promises associated with the Chaplet and Feast of Divine Mercy which must be linked with the Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus given to us through St Margaret Mary Alacoque. We have been offered so much Love. It seems this is not the time to be ignoring it. A time is coming when no one can claim invincible ignorance. Turn to His Love and Mercy now and find comfort for the times ahead.

God bless

The Dairy of St Faustina is something well worth reading.

Monday, 24 March 2008

The Shroud of Turin

The BBC ran a programme looking at the Shroud with some updated info about why it would seem less and less likely that the C14 dating is correct.
There's an overview of the BBC programme and information about the shroud HERE and HERE.
Personally I find the whole thing fascinating- and I can't help thinking that Ocham's razor would mean this is the shroud of Christ. It looks more and more that way.

He Is Risen Alleluia

Happy Easter everyone.
It is also the time of the Divine Mercy Novena. God bless

Thursday, 20 March 2008

RU-486? Are you daft?

Here's my monthly reminder that my friend Amanda and her pro-life friends are meeting for their witness in Oxford.
29th March @ 3pm
This is the First Year Anniversary and will be lead by Fr John Saward.
It takes place as usual outside the
John Radcliffe Hospital and St Anthony of Padua Church
Please remember them in your prayers.
Also there will be the usual walk to the the abortion mill on Station Road Kings Norton Birmingham at the 3pm Veneration of the Cross from SS Joseph and Helen's Church on the same road.
Catholic news has reported that a cancer busting drug made in a factory in Shanghai China is so badly made that it has caused massive health problems in patients taking it. This has meant the drug company will no longer buy from that supply. However the baby killing drug RU-486 is made in the same factory and continues to be imported.
I would like to point out that RU-486 is not only used to procure early abortion. It can also be proscribed to mothers who have miscarried a baby and not been able to naturally expel the pregnancy. This drug needs to be stopped surely!
Meanwhile more and more scientific evidence is coming through showing that our drinking water has been poisoned by estrogens coming from the chemical contraceptives so many women are using. Fish are changing sex.
There is even some evidence that girls are reaching pubity earlier because they are ingesting these hormones.
We already KNOW that chemical contraception increases the risk of breast cancer.

Saturday, 15 March 2008


This is a lovely photo of a parent and child signing "I love you" together. It is made up of the ASL alpahbet I, L, U and is used by BSL users as well. Sign Language is a beautiful and richly expressive language that exists in the way it does because Deaf people exist. As I worked for many years within the Deaf community I got to know many families where Sign Language was the first language used and English was secondary.

In this weekend's Catholic Herald Mary Kenny writes that she knew a Deaf family in Dublin with two deaf and two hearing children. She makes the observation that I suspect is inaccurate that they were less noisy than other families in their home. Ha! Deaf people are the noisiest people I have ever met...but I digress.

She goes on to say that she knew many families where parents ..."had a disability, such as deafness, blindness or multiple schlerosis. The main outcome for the offspring, in my experience, is that they develop more patience, more insight and more understanding of the rich variety of possibilities that characterise life."

She goes on to say "But we are moving into an era when the entitlement of disabled persons to have children of their own is being increasingly questioned. Mr. Thomato Lichy, a deaf artist, wishes to have children of his own, who may in turn suffer from inherited deafness: and he is being asked, now, what right does he have to "impose" deafness of any children he may have."

She goes on to say these "normality-fascists" (I like her term) would insist he screened out at embryonic stage any deaf children his wife might carry and have them killed.

I am assuming this is somehow linked with whatever Mac was talking about happened on Radio 4.

It would seem that 'The Media' that thoughtless jumble of incredibly boring people are appalled and even alarmed that a Deaf couple might be pleased to have a Deaf child. It is however, not unusual for members of the Deaf community to feel genuine joy and even relief to find their children are also Deaf. They will grow up with Sign Language and as part of a community in which they can be proud. But it seems those in the Media are not at all interested in Mr Lichy's cultural self-understanding. No. They see a subnormal man saying he is more than happy to pass on his sub-normality to his children.
In some ways I think this is manufactured as only Deaf parents would actually go so far as to say they 'hoped' for a child with the same disability as themselves and this is to do with the unique aspect of the Deaf community in it being a linguisitic group. Other deaf people who are not Deaf with a capital 'D' might not think the same way.
Nevertheless the particular aspects of this couple's life are being misused by the Media to say that disabled people should be screened out, and that those of us who are disabled should not be allowed to have children in case we pass it on.
When I was pregnant with my 4th child a doctor told me straight out that she thought I should not be having children as I am disabled. I have been treated with downright rudeness and agressive shouting from doctors and midwives because I use a wheelchair and am having children.
I have been TOLD more than once to get sterilised.
The 'normality-fascists' want people like me got rid of. They want my little 3yr old daughter to be screened out of existence before she is born.
I have seen hospital staff trained to care for sick children thrown into confusion about what to do with a very sick child in the arms of a woman sitting in a wheelchair. WHY is my need for a wheelchair such an issue to them? Since when did the fact that my legs don't work that well make me a worse parent?
My legs don't work but I would rather be like this and have my sick 3yr old and half blind 5yr old and dyslexic 14 and 16 yr olds than be as 'normal' as those people want us all to be.
The 'normality-fascists' want everyone to be the same, to be cogs in a great meaningless state managed machine. The sheer banality of their secular (anti) humanist vision is astonishing. Perhaps there is a gene for heartless-imaginationless-grunts that can be 'screened out' eh?

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Schools complaining they are picking up the pieces of Family breakdown

Just as I was fretting that homeschooling was a bad idea...

As we can't afford to run the car these days, dh goes to work on the train and occasionally buys a paper. He came home with a copy of the Telegraph the other day and the front page carried the headline "Schools 'carry the burden of Britain's family breakdown'". It'sopening pararaph reads

"The demise of the traditional family is breeding a generation
of children who are increasingly relying on teachers to become surrogate
parents, a prominent education leader warned..."

Another article along the same lines was reported online HERE and a link from that article asks what can be done to save the traditional British family? In the comments there are plenty of people who point out the obvious-the common sense aspects of this mess, but it is something that seems to be almost out of control.

As Christians we could stand firm as a sign of contradiction, and do you know, somtimes I think we do a bit. While divorce claims something nearing half the marriages of the UK and USA and living in sin is practically endemic, I do see my Christian friends sticking with their marriages and their children at least so far, not rushing off to move in with the boyfriend.

One of the things that gets mentioned a few times in the comments is that fact that we live in a country where the cost of living is so high that both parents are expected to work in order to make ends meet. Children are left unsupervised, unfed and generally uncared for, wondering the streets or stuck at home in front of the TV or video game.

Those of us who struggle to get by on one wage are penalised by the Govt. However, I have to say, I am more than happy to be able to stay home with the children, whatever the financial strain.

A fellow homeschooler was telling me today how difficult it is for her family to make ends meet on just her husband's wage.

I have to say though neither of us would go back to our working days. We are more than happy to be able to be home for our children (and a lot of other people's too lol). And despite some of the problems we have both faced in the homeschool situation, neither of us would wish to put our children back in school.
It's interesting to note that from what American research shows and the coincidental anacdotal evidence of Dr Ray's book " Back to the Family" (scroll down) that committed Christians seem to make happier families.
Scott Hahn in his book and MP3 series FIRST COMES LOVE points out-if I am remembering him correctly- that staying together in marriage, working through it, and being faithful is humanly impossible. We need GRACE. LOADS of it.
We need more Christ in our schools and families-not less.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

California homeschool ruling-will it be UK next?

Some of you may be aware already that in California there has been a ruling against one family that essentially makes homeschooling illegal for all. It would seen from what the papers are reporting that in fact homeschooling has been considered illegal to some extent in California since the 1950s but presumably no one has had much trouble with this as HSLDA have 13,500 members in that state alone.
It is interestin to note that the case began as a child welfare case when one of the children in this particular family put in a complaint about they way her father was treating her. Instead of dealing with the case of whether the father was or was not abusing his children, it all became about whether the children were homeschooled. Why? Finally it seems that problems that may or may not exist in this one family are supposed to effect everyone. For once I agree with Govenor Schwarzenegger who sees that parents do have a right to home educate if they so choose.
I do not doubt for one minute that this case will have ramifications here in the UK. Ed Balls and the ever wise Barry Sheerman are already casting their Great Eye towards those of us who homeschool. While ignoring the appalling standards of education in state schools; the bullying, violence, disruptive classroom situations and the sheer boredom and ignorance among so many children-they are looking at us and saying our children are at risk!
It will not be long, I fear, before legislation that tries to make homeschooling as difficult as possible is brought in.
Partly, I blame homeschoolers for this.
We have to get off our high horse sometimes really we do. If there are things we are not coping with in teaching our children there is no shame in asking for professional help. I have a Maths tutor come in. I have also had a friend who is an English teacher come in. Her methods, knowledge and skills have been a great help with my children.
If we don't teach our children properly, if we allow poor behaviour and poor social skills we not only hurt our own children- we will lead to other people's children being hurt.
The Govt are looking for excuses to curb home ed in the UK. Education Otherwise is already in a dance of swords trying to protect our rights.
As a homeschooling mum I am not homeschooling because I like it (frequently I don't) I do it because as things stand it is the best for my children. There are no good schools around here.
I am acutely aware that what I do as a mum and how I educate my children can effect them for the rest of their lives and for eternity. I am not only preparing my children with the hope I can help make them fit for heaven-but fit for the journey towards heaven.
They need to be able to be around other people of all ages, to be reliable, honest and committed to the tasks ahead. It's up to me to ensure they have a broad, well rounded education that also ensures they are socially adept and have some thought for other people.
I am horrified when I see homeschool kids who are rude, unkempt, dishonest, aggressive and uncaring of others. Okay, so I see this with kids who go to school too-but somehow I always expected that homeschooler parents would take more care in child rearing. And whether we like it or not the powers that be don't mind seeing this behaviour in school kids-but homeschool kids will be noticed.
School children who haven't learned to read, write or learn are common and everyone groans and shrugs. But if homeschooled children can't read, write or sit and learn something then it will be said it is because they are homeschooled.
This might come across as just a rant-and I guess it is. I just have a lot on my mind about the homeschooling at the moment.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Kindess and flowers

Adrienne has kindly offered me this award. It is great to have a big bunch of flowers like this.

I would like to pass it on to




Sr Mary Martha especially for that wonderful O.J.Simpson Logic post!

Philip at Carpe Canem

I've only recently discovered Mother's Pride, but I love it.

There are many of you out there well worth a great big bunch o' flowers; so God bless y'all!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Catholic Bloggin'-what's it all for eh?

Computing I love honest to goodness Catholic blogs. I love learning about my faith and seeing how other people are trying to lead their lives and live their Faith. It can be a great place for support for those of us who live either in a largely non-Catholic environment where we are not really allowed to be Catholic up front, or even where we face snideness and anti-Catholic comments.
My blog is just a place where I can talk freely about my Faith and where I hope I can bare witness to it a bit.
I am sure, in this very quiet corner of blogdom that no one sees what I have to say very much, but even so it's fun to do and I love having the chance to mooch around other people's blogs.
Sometimes on my travels I come across other blogs and websites where there is a marked lack of kindness; where British MPs say things that are arrogant, silly and often untrue; where fellow Christians say anti-Catholic things that simply break the commandment against baring false witness. Fear, pride, dishonesty and spite rule in many of these places, so I leave them quickly and return to my friends in the Catholic end of things.
I visit Fr Ray and learn about the new tests on the Shroud, or have a chuckle with the forthright, but charitable GEM. I love to see the humour of the rocky horror liturgies over at Paulinus site and the erudite and heartfelt thoughts of the man who is On the Side of the Angels.
I read a whole lot of other blogs; too many to mention. I don't always get time to do so in depth -or even all that often, but I love it.
For me blogs are a wonderful way of grabbing information when I'm distracted by children, babies, homeschooling, life.
But we all speak publicly here, even the little people like me and I think we need to remember that. It saddens me and quite frankly angers me when I see bloggers claim to speak for Catholics and then behave in arrogant uncharitable and even less than factual ways. I hate to see spiteful anti-protestant remarks, lacking charity and hardly a good witness, or replies to those who are less intelligent that are rude and pompous.
Fortunately I think this is rare-and anyway I avoid those blogs. Many of you are wonderful witnesses to the Faith, humble and genuine in your approach and a great source of comfort and even motivation for a dilapidated old struggler like me.
Thank You.
Keep Bloggin' on.