For now, I plan to retire my weekly Your Turn posts. I will still regularly answer reader questions on the blog and I will still regularly invite discussion on topics of interest to Catholic families, but I won’t necessarily do so every Tuesday morning. Instead, as some of you have requested, I am going to try this little experiment:
Every Tuesday, we’ll have an open thread, just like the one we had last week. It’s Coffee Talk — think of it as stepping into a room filled with smart, friendly Catholic moms (and some dads too, but they’re quieter) and
1. make a comment
2. share an idea
3. vent a frustration
4. ask a question
5. respond to someone else’s comment or question
As always, be nice or be deleted. Other than that, there are no rules. Go ahead now. Talk.
I just wanted to add another quick comment to those who are or will someday be upgrading to a larger or different van. Please consider selling your other vehicle to a large Catholic family for trade-in value. Transportation issues are sometimes one of the most worrisome issues with a large family who is unuable to buy a large van for what they retail for, especially those families that try not to go into debt and therefore try to find something for under $5,000 or so that they can pay cash for. We are one of those families. At this point out three children fit nicely into our Pontiac Montana but once we add two more (if the van is still going!) we will need to think about something larger and that scares me! So please consider other families that may not be able to afford a lot when trading in your next vehicle!
dear Mums and (silent Dads) , gosh we still on tuesday??? its fun looking at all your stuff,but I have no idea what cars you are talking about! We use 2 cars for moving the whole family, which is now 7 adults and a tall ten year old, it works for us!
if we are talking about coffee I hope its Fair trade! but i do love capuccino ! Im hoping a Georgia capuccino is like the ones i get here in Wales.
Schools, we pretty much all use the state schools here in the UK(I know there are lots of private schools as well but not many people I know use them!) A growing number have started to Homeschool, but its quite a new idea here,We are lucky to have atradition of voluntay aided/state schools I ans my husband went to Anglican primary and secondary schools and our 4 children all attended Catholic schools. In fact we converted from anglican to catholic because the school at our Parish invited us to a mass and made us so welcome.We knew we had come home!
Baking, again dont quite understand what White or Yellow cake means, but for Birthdays its usually a sponge Sandwich Cake,
Equal amounts of Margerine and butter creamed together ,then add the same amount of sieved self raising flour and beaten eggs ( 1 medium egg = 2oz ) fold together carefully or use an electric food mixer to create a dropping consistency ( a dash of hot water can be added)to bake 6 oz of each use 2 x 7” diameter cake tins lightly greased and floured or lined with grease proof paper, bake in a medium oven, sanwich together with rasberry jam and vanilla buttercream for a traditional Victoria Sanwich Cake, ice as desired for Birthdays!
Thank you to all that responded about Homeschooling high schoolers! I really appreciated all your help. I enjoyed the other topics as well. Hope everyone enjoyed their coffee/tea!
Hurry, before Danielle shuts us up for the week….
1. Thanks for the coffee info. I’m dying to try Caribou Coffee.
2. Thanks for the weaning tips. We have a toddler around here with a wicked nursing addiction. And an extended family that comments about stuff like that. More thick skin needed.
3. How were we called to homeschool? Through prayer, God started INUNDATING us with homeschool information. That, and rotten alternatives in our area pretty much cemented it.
4. Vans. We bought a used full-size van through autotrader.com. The dealer really worked with us.
Wow, it is so nice to find blogs of Catholic families who are open to life and want to educate their children at home! This is wonderful! Your blog and pictures of your lovely family has brightend up my day. Thank you!
May I please ask for prayers? My name is Maria, I’m 41, and recently married (6/16/07). My husband and I want children very much. However we haven’t been able to concieve yet. I had an issue with ovarian cysts. On Feb. 12th 2008 I had surgery to get rid of them. On that day the doctor told me I had severe endometriosis, massive adhesians (which is why they had to do the stomach opening surgery), and the two cysts were endometriomas. I was devastated. I never knew I had endomtriosis. I am especially devastated about being told I could be infertile.
I know I am blessed to have such a wonderful Catholic husband. He would make such a great Dad. I feel bad that I might not be able to give him children.
I have a devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Rosary. I pray the Rosary every day especially when I’m feeling down about my recent diagnosis.
I’d LOVE to hear from other Catholic ladies. Maybe you could pray for me and send an encouraging word or two?
May God Bless you.
Anonymous @ 7:27 –
What do I think of women priests? I don’t. I don’t think of them because in my faith, the Roman Catholic religion, they don’t exist. It is unfortunate that Archbishop Burke had to acknowledge that those women decided to break from the Church by egregiously violating church law.
As the Archbishop told them beforehand, “if they participated in an attempted female ordination, they would be excommunicating themselves from the Catholic Church.” It is a shame that these women did this, but it isn’t the first time that this folly has occurred in recent times (Pittsburgh was the site of the last place I heard of it happening); however, this is the first time I’ve heard of a bishop willing to address the issue. The Archbishop seems to be a good and faithful shepherd unafraid to lead his flock. Although I live far from his diocese, I feel very fortunate to be able to pray for him and his ministry – there can only be positive ripples to flow outward to us all. Peace. ~~~mary
P.S. Have to add that we of the Harrisburg Diocese are blessed to have been given Bishop Rhoades. Such a fine and holy man!
We have a GMC Suburban we really like. It seats eight and has a lot of cargo room in the back.
As far as large passenger vans, we have friends who purchased a large van from a church. The price was very reasonable. Maybe check in with some of the churches in your area to see if they are thinking about selling their vans.
Teresa G. says
I went through similar feelings when I was a young wife/mother. I don’t think it was so much depression for me, as much as it was having to become that “new person” that another reader was referring to. I had our first many kids close together….our oldest was 4 when the 4th was born. That’s probably when I hit one of the big walls in my life. I was used to being in control – back when it was just my husband and me, or just one child. The house was in order, things were just so, and I liked it that way. I had some time to myself, too. Things went very quickly from that to not quite being able to keep up on everything, and have any free time left over for myself. I did still keep the house in order….it bothered me not to, but it was pretty much all work and no play. I think a few key things happened for me – I realized that my identity was changing – not as a daughter of God, that was the same. But in the way I lived out “daughter of God”. I wasn’t in college anymore, wasn’t just a wife or mother of one…..I had a lot more on my plate now and needed to accept my role now in the season and place that God had me in. A huge part of that role is losing oneself, dying to oneself, for the sake of others – our husbands and children. I know everyone says that you shouldn’t lose yourself…you have to keep your own identity. Yes and no, I say to that. What is our identity? Do we have the same identity all throughout our lives? Of course we keep our personality, interests, likes/dislikes, etc. And we keep our core identity as a daughter of God. But the living out of our vocation changes, especially when we are new to marriage and motherhood.
I didn’t like who I was becoming at one point. I thought, much like you, that I used to be a nice person, happy most of the time, fun to be around, not taking life too seriously. Part of getting back to that for me was to accept that this season of my life (and my identity) is very caught up in the fact that I am responsible for all of these people around me, and the work is unending. I had a great priest at the time who gently helped and guided me, over a period of time, back on track in terms of how I viewed things.
But I also started making time for myself again. All work and no play really does stink, and although we have to do that for short seasons sometimes (sick kids, moving, etc), we really do need a balance of work and refreshment in our lives. As my confessor always tells me “You are not a machine.”
So I took a sewing class, took horse back riding lessons, started going out (out of the house) once a week with my husband for a date. And I did (and still do) go out on occasion with a girlfriend for dinner and a movie. Now at age 44, and homeschooling 9 kids, I feel like I know much better how to keep a balance with those things. It isn’t selfish to take some time for refreshment – actually, my confessor frequently tells me it is absolutely necessary. For a young mom like you, who is home all day with the kids by yourself – of course you need some refreshment! I wonder if you can hire a babysitter one morning a week to go do some things – take a class – pottery, sewing, music, horseback riding, anything that you are interested in that can give you a bit of refreshment. Or go do something fun with a girlfriend (lunch, manicure, movie, hike, etc). And I would really try to get a nap in – that way you may have more energy and desire for your husband in the evening. A girlfriend and I were just joking about that after Mass on Sunday….that we “work” our first shift of the day, then nap for an hour (or more) when the little ones nap so that we are then ready for the second shift – dinner, baths, bedtime, time with husband, etc.
Keep up your prayer life, stay close to our Lord. It is great that you and your husband have a good relationship, and that you love your children. God is happy with that – you are giving yourself. I’ll pray that you can recapture that joy you once knew! Oh, and sorry I wrote a book! Brevity is not my gift. 🙂
Lauren F. says
Thank you for all these wonderful insights. I just recently discovered this blog, and it is great hearing from so many loving Catholic mothers (and fathers).
Regarding women priests, if you had asked me this question a few years ago, I probably would have been in the same boat wondering why women can’t be priests. It seems unfair. The whole world is striving for gender equality, and here the Church is denying women such an important position.
It all goes back to the Church being representative of the bride of Christ, and the priest a representative of Christ. This might not be a satisfying answer right now, but this is the simplest one. The Church is not striving for the same ideals of the world; it has much greater and more beautiful plans for us. We are called as men and women not to be exactly the same, but to celebrate our differences. The gift of priesthood is just one example. By saying that only men can become priests, the Church is not trying to establish some gender hierarchy. There are many wonderful aspects of church and family life that women can participate in, and even some that only women can perform such as the gift of bearing children.
I really encourage you to check out Christopher West’s ‘Theology of the Body for Beginners.’ He talks about all these things; how our bodies (both men and women) reveal God, and how it is necessary to understand and appreciate both genders’ roles. Or if you’re super ambitious, you can also read it straight from Pope John Paul II. His book, “Man and Woman He Created Them; a Theology of the Body,” is in-depth and awesome.
Sorry for such a long-winded comment. 🙂
If anyone is still reading this, I’d like to ask for your prayers. Could you all please pray that the nodule that the doctor found on my thyroid gland today not be cancerous and that it not complicate my pregnancy in anyway.
Also, thank you for all the weaning advice. There are some really good ideas here!
Maria, prayers for you, and just for a hopeful story, my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cysts when she was a teenager,,,she had them so severely she only had a couple of periods a year, her hormones were such a mess, and they told her she’d probably never conceive. She had four kids. 🙂 We were all pretty widely spaced, 5-6 years between us, but she did conceive. I know your age is a concern. If you haven’t already, check out the natural family planning books, there’s good information on there on ways to help maximize your chances to conceive that are totally ok with church teachings. I’ve used a few myself,,,for different fertility issues. 🙂
Late chiming in, I attended the Chrism Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral yesterday.
I just wanted to make one short comment concerning finances. You never know when you will be tested in this area. The past year has been a real struggle for us because of some mistakes that were made in the past. One word of advice to all women. Always know what is going on concerning finances. You do not want to be surprised the way I was. Thank goodness things will get better in about 2 years. In the meantime I have learned to cook frugally, not go out, and stifle teenagers from running up cell phone bills.
sorry to add another comment but the sponge cake recipe equal amounts of sugar (castor is best) s-r flour, marge and then eggs, my spelling always was rubbish, must edit posts !!
Midwest Mom says
I haven’t read the majority of posts, so please forgive me if I am repeating a suggestion re your financial crisis. Besides the most important and obvious one — pray pray pray and repeat “Jesus I trust in You” as much as necessary – get the book “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey and if possible, begin listening to his show or downloading his free 30 minute daily podcast from itunes. Also, check out his web site – lots of good info. He’s an Evangelical Christian and is rock solid. I can’t recommend hi & his ministry strongly enough. We were in a similar situation 4 years ago and I wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy (pregnant, husband laid off, sell a house, then a move out of state, another pregnancy, and then another move back home) We lost a fortune in money and egos and are still recovering, but thanks be to God we have learned a lot, our financially stable and our marriage is as strong as ever. God bless you and don’t give up hope.
To Jennifer, who asked about homeschooling:
While I am not currently homeschooling (mine are 3 and 1), so I’m not quite the responder you’re looking for, I have considered it — with trepidation — but it’s not something my husband is really on board with. When he told me that, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I felt so much peace when we enrolled our daughter in pre-K at a Catholic school for the fall. I kind of feel guilty for feeling so relieved that we’re not homeschooling. I’m not a teacher by trade, I hate being indoors and the though of coming up with art projects for my kids (at least at this young age) repulses me. I think no matter what decision we make I’d wonder if I’m ruining my kids for life. But I also know that my attitude could change, and we could decide to homeschool at a later time. I think God calls you to different things at different times of your life. So for now, I’m relieved, but open to the possibility that maybe we will homeschool one day.
On a completely different note: You said you used to work on Wall Street — do you still live in the NY area? I’m on Long Island. Always looking for other Catholics to talk to! I’m at email@example.com
I am seconding Mid West’s Mom’s advice about Dave Ramsey. I got the book , watch the show and am slowing paying off our debt. He is a surefire Christian man who truly cares about people. He will be the first one to tell you he was once in a money crunch.
You made the decision that was best for you. I am a Catholic School teacher who sent all 5 of her youngsters to Catholic School. Today, they are fine people. The youngest is 15 and still in CAtholic High School. The other 4 are level headed people who know what good moral values are. Of course they get that from their father and I!
Your post resonated with me. I have found HEALING to be very necessary in my life. I particularly needed healing in the area of sexuality. I dated and/or acted unchastely with a few gentlemen before marrying my husband. In the early days of our marriage I found myself haunted by these past relationships. It has taken my husband and I about five years of consciously working/praying/communicating through pain and confusion to arrive at a much healthier place in our marriage. We have had more than one exceedingly difficult though thoroughly fruitful conversation about our past involvements and the wounds we bear as a result. We all need healing in so many ways. I will pray for your continued healing. Feel free to email me if you wish: firstname.lastname@example.org
to anon re: women says
I think the Church is really missing out not having women in the leadership (specifically priest, deacon) of the Church. There are many ways that they could benefit the Church. I admire women in other denominations that are ministers and have learned from them.
I personally believe that if women were in leadership positions the magnitude of the sex abuse scandal would not have been so large. I can’t imagine women would have made the same bad decisions in terms of just passing offenders off to the next parish knowing they had already abused children.
I don’t necessary agree with the women who were ordained But I do believe having women as priests would be fruitful for the Church. However, the Catholic Church is not a democracy and is not one to change.
Very interesting question to post on this board.
Danielle says: The ordination of women is not a topic open to discussion on this blog as this space will always remain 100% faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. For anyone who would like to learn more about what the Church teaches about women and the priesthood, this article is a good place to start.
As to the naked child- I would see if she has some sensory issues. her clothes may really irritate her. Now that all the Spring/summer pjs are in the stores, it might be a good time to get some nice 2 piece pjs that could be worn out of the house
Wow, what a wonderful discussion group we have going. I want to say thank you to those who mentioned the Easter/Lenten Books. I will definitely take a look at them. I have had a hard time finding the appropriate wording from my own head, so a book will do wonders, I’m sure. Thank you thank you.
And to all of you who were requesting prayers, they are on their way from this mom. God Bless each one of you!
I just want to thank all of you who have taken the time to so thoughtfully reply to my earlier post. I am going to print this out and really take what you’ve written to heart. I appreciate all of the different suggestions and approaches you have taken toward dealing with these issues. Most of all, I value the empathetic, caring, and CATHOLIC perspectives you have shared. Thank you!!! I am so glad I got up the nerve to do this.
To Maria: Sorry about the rough time with surgery and your diagnosis. I don’t know if your surgery was with Dr. Hilgers from Pope Paul VI Institute. If not, I would check into that because he will do more than most drs. to help you avoid IVF (others may assume that that would be the easiest solution and okay with you, even though it is so unsuccessful and against Catholic teaching). I had endometriosis too, but my surgery was able to remove it and open up a partially blocked tube. We now have a lovely 15-month old girl (and are hoping for more, but that looks like it could take more intervention – I needed Clomid, HCG shots, and then progesterone shots for that first baby.) I know it doesn’t always feel helpful to hear about other people’s “Oh, it’ll be fine” stories when you are dealing with fertility problems, but I just wanted to let you know that endometriosis isn’t necessarily fertility-ending. I’ll pray for you – it’s such a stressful thing and so much grief is involved, even if eventually things turn out all right!
I live in Atlanta and here are a few recommendations:
The aquarium is nice, but requires reservations, so just remember to do some planning.
If you like history, Cyclorama is really cool. It’s right next to a Civil War museum as well. Google cyclorama for more information. There are a few of them around the world.
For some Americana and commercialism, visit the Coke museum. Actually pretty fun with lots of great artwork and all the free soft drink you can drink at the end. Flavors from around the world.
People might mention Underground Atlanta. It’s simply underground shopping. Very touristy, but is fun to walk around in and buy little souvineirs, have lunch, etc.
Also downtown an Atlanta favorite: The Varsity Restaurant. Greasy spoon at it’s best! Hot dogs, french fries and fried pies!
There are two beautiful churches downtown. One is the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. One of the few buildings left standing after the civil war. The other, which was “recently” renovated is Sacred Heart. Smaller, but very ornate and beautiful. Of course, I’m partial to our church in the northern suburb of Alpharetta, St. Brigid! About 6 years old and magnificent! Plenty of stained glass, statues, and adoration from Sunday evening through Saturday morning. The Cathedral for the Archdiocese of Atlanta is Christ the King and is north of downtown on Peachtree Street in Buckhead.
If you make it to the Cathedral, you may want to try some lunch and shopping in upscale Buckhead at Phipps Plaza (Tiffany’s, Armani, Gucci, you get the picture) or across the street at Lenox. It’s bigger, still very nice and a great place to have lunch and people watch.
There’s also Stone Mountain – “the world’s largest piece of exposed granite.” It’s big and actually pretty cool.
Sorry, wasn’t planning on writing a travel brochure! I’m sure I’m missing something…
Try googling some of these to see what peaks your interest! If you want you may e-mail me at debbielaf at gmail dot com
A few responses caught my eye: Joan, St. Patrick’s, Tina, Long Island, not homeschooling…I’m in the NY area, too, and isn’t it strange-but-true how almost no one homeschools around here? Sure, you can find some that do, but it’s still just not done by the vast majority.
I think, for some, the taxes are so sky-high that somehow you feel like you’ve got to get something for all that money!
Don’t feel guilty about being relieved that you don’t have to homeschool; once I started hanging around online with more Catholic moms, I was introduced to the concept of homeschooling and, since it was so foreign to me, I asked a lot of questions. Just like everything else, there are parts of it that are good and parts that are not, and most homeschooling moms have told me that. And, in the same breath, public/private/Catholic schools also have good and bad parts. You just have to go with what works best for you. If you are not called to homeschool (and not only wasn’t I called, I was given a giant divine raspberry warning me not to!) then to do it would be a mistake.
And now, maybe it’s just me and my environment, but the whole homeschooling/finance question is two parts of the same story. I notice a big push among homeschooling families to send their kids to those very few “super-Catholic” schools…and I do wonder about those students’ future financial security. How many large families can someone with a solid theology or philosophy degree support? I, personally, think that there needs to be much more of an effort made to educate good Catholics in law, engineering, medicine, science, politics, business (yes, especially Wall St!), etc. Not only would that be leaven in our world, but there’s financial security there that I want for all of my children. Of course I want them extremely well-formed in their faith, but it’s both/and, to me. Then again, I grew up and live in an area that is so incredibly expensive, it strongly effects how you view finances.
I’m the Jennifer who asked the initial homeschooling question. I live in the tri-state area too! I think another reason why there are very few homeschoolers here is that this area is still predominantly Catholic. In my small bedroom community, Catholics make up the largest population in town (and our neighboring, much larger town). Most of the Catholics I know send their children to public elementary school. Our schools still have a very Christian sensibility and the parents are very involved in the Parish and the larger community. For us, our big decision was parish school versus public school, and we tried both but were happier with the public school for various reasons.
About the thyroid nodule – you’ll definitely be in my prayers. I just went through the same thing this past fall – they found a nodule on my thyroid, and then a bunch of tests and still couldn’t find anything.
My specialist said that nursing and pregnancy do a huge number on thyroids. Whenever I nurse I tend to get nodules in my thryoid – it’s happened with both of my children (to me not them) while pregnant and after.
I’ll say a prayer and also the chances of cancer are really really low- that’s not that helpful but reassuring too.
to debbie, mant thanks for the sugestions.I,m printing out and googling!! have said a prayer for those who requested them. Its nearly 10pm on Maunday Thursday here in Wales first day of Spring ? lashing down with rain and freezing! Oh well Easter wishes to all , hope you have a holy and blessed Good Friday and then rejoice for He is Risen ! halleluia! He is risen indeed!!
I turned 30 today and I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old. I fight mild to moderate depression several days out of a month. Those are the days I struggle with feeling helpless, angry and impatient with my toddler, and just plain sad. I am tempted to just let the house go, not answer the phone, be short with my husband, and watch tv shows on the internet. I usually succeed in fighting most of these temptations off by
1. praying morning prayer (Magnificat), 2. getting out of the house (sometimes I just pack the kids up, drive 5 miles to the coffee shop while singing silly songs, pick up a coffee at the drive-thru, and drive home making funny faces at my toddler), 3. picking a job that needs to be done that my toddler can ‘help’ with and tackling it with vigor, 4. scheduling something ‘fun’ into my day or week that I can look forward too, 5. “Jesus, I trust in You” a bunch of times a day, 6. music and dancing with the kiddos…etc. etc. etc.
Most days it seems no matter how hard I try there are moments when I think, “I’m just not cut out for this! I don’t know what to do! Help!” Like when both kids need me and I can only tend to one, or when I am being pinched or bitten or having chunks of my hair pulled out….etc. I know part of it is being a control freak and needing to let go.
When all is said and done, I feel so blessed to have the gift of my beautiful children, and I try try try to focus on the joys, of which there are many. I know this sadness will not be forever, and that God has entrusted me this amazing cross of motherhood to bear for love of Him, and thinking about that helps.
God bless you!
Thanks to all who shared and chatted this week. I’m turning off comments now till after Easter.