Wednesday, April 6, 2016

My Newest Friend: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Originally written last December......completed today......


"As she read, at peace with the world and happy as only a little girl could be with a fine book and a little bowl of candy, and all alone in the house, the leaf shadows shifted and the afternoon passed."




It was time to figure out what to read next........age-old bibliophilic problem.


My dilemma was quickly and easily solved!


Earlier this year, a young friend of my son's was visiting our home.  I asked the usual question when getting to know someone......."What is your favorite book?".........(who else does this???)


She responded with:  A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN


      I replied:  I always wanted to read that....but I never got around to it........


I was very pleased to receive a copy in the mail last week from her. And I immediately set aside a little reading time to get started........and it was these passages below.......that got me. 

I love this story already.  I love Francie already.

Let me share my favorite passages from the first few chapters........I want to put them here so that later, when I want to relive my "falling-in-love" with this story, it will be easy access to the memories.....







Francie is a 12-year-old girl in the early 1900's Brooklyn.........from a poor Irish family.....


"Francie loved the smell of coffee and the way it was hot. As she ate her bread and meat, she kept one hand curved about the cup enjoying its warmth. From time to time, she'd smell the bitter sweetness of it. That was better than drinking it. At the end of the meal, it went down the sink.

 Mama had two sisters, Sissy and Evy, who came to the flat often. Every time they saw the coffee thrown away, they gave mama a lecture about wasting things.

Mama explained: "Francie is entitled to one cup each meal like the rest. If it makes her feel better to throw it way rather than to drink it, all right. I think it's good that people like us can waste something once in a while and get the feeling of how it would be to have lots of money and not have to worry about scrounging."

This queer point of view satisfied mama and pleased Francie. It was one of the links between the ground-down poor and the wasteful rich. The girl felt that even if she had less than anybody in Williamsburg, somehow she had more. She was richer because she had something to waste. She ate her sugar bun slowly, reluctant to have done with its sweet taste, while the coffee got ice-cold. Regally, she poured it down the sink drain feeling casually extravagant."

Francie's mother sent her to buy stale bread.....while she wited for the bread truck to dump its load......



"Francie stared at the oldest man. She played her favorite game, figuring out about people. His thin tangled hair was the same dirty gray as the stubble standing on his sunken cheeks. Dried spittle caked the corners of his mouth. He yawned. He had no teeth. She watched, fascinated and revolted, as he closed his mouth, drew his lips inward until there was no mouth, and made his chin come up to almost meet his nose. She studied his old coat with the padding hanging out of the torn sleeve seam. His legs were sprawled wide in helpless relaxation and one of the buttons was missing from his grease-caked pants opening. She saw that his shoes were battered and broken open at the toes. One shoe was laced with a much-knotted shoe string, and the other with a bit of dirty twine. She saw two thick dirty toes with creased gray toenails. Her thoughts ran. ...

"He is old. He must be past seventy. He was born about the time Abraham Lincoln was living and getting himself ready to be president. Williamsburg must have been a little country place then and maybe Indians were still living in Flatbush. That was so long ago." She kept staring at his feet. "He was a baby once. He must have been sweet and clean and his mother kissed his little pink toes. Maybe when it thundered at night she came to his crib and fixed his blanket better and whispered that he mustn't be afraid, that mother was there. Then she picked him up and put her cheek on his head and said that he was her own sweet baby. He might have been a boy like my brother, running in and out of the house and slamming the door. And while his mother scolded him she was thinking that maybe he'll be president some day. Then he was a young man, strong and happy. When he walked down the street, the girls smiled and turned to watch him. He smiled back and maybe he winked at the prettiest one. I guess he must have married and had children and they thought he was the most wonderful papa in the world the way he worked hard and bought them toys for Christmas. Now his children are getting old too, like him, and they have children and nobody wants the old man any more and they are waiting for him to die. But he don't want to die. He wants to keep on living even though he's so old and there's nothing to be happy about anymore."


And, just because my beloved Dodgers are mentioned:


"They played furiously, cursing, sweating and punching each other. Every time a stumble bum passed and loitered for a moment, they clowned and showed off. There was a rumor that the Brooklyn's had a hundred scouts roaming the streets of a Saturday afternoon watching lot games and spotting promising players. And there wasn't a Brooklyn boy who wouldn't rather play on the Brooklyn's team than be president of the United States."


And I loved this scene in the library........so glad that the librarians who befriended my young self were not as this one.....


"After awhile, Francie got tired of watching them. She knew that they would play and fight and show off until it was time to drift home for supper. It was two o'clock. The librarian should be back from lunch by now. With pleasant anticipation, Francie walked back towards the library.  
 
"The library was a little old shabby place. Francie thought it was beautiful. The feeling she had about it was as good as the feeling she had about church. She pushed open the door and went in. She liked the combined smell of worn leather bindings, library paste and freshly-inked stamping pads better than she liked the smell of burning incense at high mass.

"Francie thought that all the books in the world were in that library and she had a plan about reading all the books in the world. She was reading a book a day in alphabetical order and not skipping the dry ones. She remembered that the first author had been Abbott. She had been reading a book a day for a long time now and she was still in the B's. Already she had read about bees and buffaloes, Bermuda vacations and Byzantine architecture. For all of her enthusiasm, she had to admit that some of the B's had been hard going. But Francie was a reader. She read everything she could find: trash, classics, time tables and the grocer's price list. Some of the reading had been wonderful; the Louisa Alcott books for example. She planned to read all the books over again when she had finished with the Z's.

Saturdays were different. She treated herself by reading a book not in the alphabetical sequence. On that day she asked the librarian to recommend a book.

After Francie had come in and closed the door quietly behind her-the way you were supposed to do in the library-she looked quickly at the little golden-brown pottery jug which stood at the end of the librarian's desk. It was a season indicator. In the fall it held a few sprigs of bittersweet and at Christmas time it held holly. She knew spring was coming, even if there was snow on the ground, when she saw pussy willow in the bowl. And today, on this summer Saturday of 1912, what was the bowl holding? She moved her eyes slowly up the jug past the thin green stems and little round leaves and saw ... nasturtiums! Red, yellow, gold and ivory-white. A head pain caught her between the eyes at the taking in of such a wonderful sight. It was something to be remembered all her life.
"When I get big," she thought, "I will have such a brown bowl and in hot August there will be nasturtiums in it."

She put her hand on the edge of the polished desk liking the way it felt. She looked at the neat row of freshly-sharpened pencils, the clean green square of blotter, the fat white jar of creamy paste, the precise stack of cards and the returned books waiting to be put back on the shelves. The remarkable pencil with the date slug above its point was by itself near the blotter's edge.

"Yes, when I get big and have my own home, no plush chairs and lace curtains for me. And no rubber plants. I'll have a desk like this in my parlor and white walls and a clean green blotter every Saturday night and a row of shining yellow pencils always sharpened for writing and a golden-brown bowl with a flower or some leaves or berries always in it and books ... books ... books. ...

She chose her book for Sunday; something by an author named Brown. Francie figured she had been reading on the Brown's for months. When she thought she was nearly finished, she noticed that the next shelf started up again with Browne. After that came Browning. She groaned, anxious to get into the C's where there was a book by Marie Corelli that she had peeped into and found thrilling. Would she ever get to that? Maybe she ought to read two books a day. Maybe. ...

She stood at the desk a long time before the librarian deigned to attend to her. "Yes?" inquired that lady pettishly.

"This book. I want it:" Francie pushed the book forward opened at the back with the little card pushed out of the envelope. The librarians had trained the children to present the books that way. It saved them the trouble of opening several hundred books a day and pulling several hundred cards from as many envelopes.

She took the card, stamped it, pushed it down a slot in the desk. She stamped Francie's card and pushed it at her. Francie picked it up but she did not go away.

"Yes?" The librarian did not bother to look up. "Could you recommend a good book for a girl?" "How old?"

"She is eleven."


Each week Francie made the same request and each week the librarian asked the same question. A name on a card meant nothing to her and since she never looked up into a child's face, she never did get to know the little girl who took a book out every day and two on Saturday. A smile would have meant a lot to Francie and a friendly comment would have made her so happy. She loved the library and was anxious to worship the lady in charge. But the librarian had other things on her mind. She hated children anyhow.

Francie trembled in anticipation as the woman reached under the desk. She saw the title as the book came up: If I Were King by McCarthy. Wonderful! Last week it had been Beverly of Graustark and the same two weeks before that. She had had the McCarthy book only twice. The librarian recommended these two books over and over again. Maybe they were the only ones she herself had read; maybe they were on a recommended list; maybe she had discovered that they were sure fire as far as eleven-year-old girls were concerned.

Francie held the books close and hurried home, resisting the temptation to sit on the first stoop she came to, to start reading.

Home at last and now it was the time she had been looking forward to all week: fire-escape-sitting time. She put a small rug on the fire-escape and got the pillow from her bed and propped it against the bars. Luckily there was ice in the icebox. She chipped off a small piece and put it in a glass of water. The pink-and-white peppermint wafers bought that morning were arrange in a little bowl, cracked, but of a pretty blue color. She arranged glass, bowl and book on the window sill and climbed out on the fire-escape. Once out there, she was living in a tree. No one upstairs, downstairs or across the way could see her. But she could look out through the leaves and see everything.
 
It was a sunny afternoon. A lazy warm wind carried a warm sea smell. The leaves of the tree made fugitive patterns on the white pillow-case. Nobody was in the yard and that was nice. Usually it was pre-empted by the boy whose father rented the store on the ground floor. The boy played an interminable game of graveyard. He dug miniature graves, put live captured caterpillars into little match boxes, buried them with informal ceremony and erected little pebble headstones over the tiny earth mounds. The whole game was accompanied by fake sobbings and heavings of his chest. But today the dismal boy was away visiting an aunt in Bensonhurst. To know that he was away was almost as good as getting a birthday present.
 
Francie breathed the warm air, watched the dancing leaf shadows, ate the candy and took sips of the cooled water in-between reading the book.
 
If I were King, Love, Ah, if I were King. ...
 
The story of François Villon was more wonderful each time she read it. Sometimes she worried for fear the book would be lost in the library and she'd never be able to read it again. She had once started copying the book in a two-cent notebook. She wanted to own a book so badly and she had thought the copying would do it. But the penciled sheets did not seem like nor smell like the library book so she had given it up, consoling herself with the vow that when she grew up, she would work hard, save money and buy every single book that she liked.
 
As she read, at peace with the world and happy as only a little girl could be with a fine book and a little bowl of candy, and all alone in the house, the leaf shadows shifted and the afternoon passed. 

******************************************
 
 
Even a few months later, the wonderful afterthoughts of this little gem of a book still linger.  I am so happy to have my own copy.......because I am sure that I will be rereading this book again within the next decade.
 
Thank you so very much for this beautiful and thoughtful gift, Julia!
 
 
Spring & Reading Blessings to all!
 
 
   God bless,
 
                 Chari
 
 
 
PS.......Interestingly enough, after reading this book above, the next book that I picked up was very similar in so many ways.......but instead of taking place in the early 1900's........it takes place in the 1950's and is an actual biography:  The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  It was an excellent follow-up book immediately after reading A Tree Grow in Brooklyn. Funny thing:  The Glass Castle "found me".........a few months before, I had been taking my daily walk for exercise from home, and strangely, laying there on a country road, was this book.  It insisted that I pick it up and take it home to read. When I finished reading the book, I slipped it to Julia so she could follow-up her reading with the book.......and it turns out it was on her MUST READ list.  I love when books talk to us........


Monday, April 4, 2016

Journaling! My New Hobby!

Good day, my friends!

I am so excited!  (Forgive me.....I am so easily pleased.) I think I am going to take up journaling as a new hobby. Not the blog-posting kind that I have done in the recent past (not too recent obviously) ......but real journaling with pen and notebooks.

Writing itself, is a longtime hobby.......but journaling, specifically, is my new concentration.

This is the inspiration for my new project:

Going through my mom's genealogy stuff, that she passed specifically to me before she passed away in December of 2014, gave me an inkling of what I am finding enjoyable to discover.....the handwritten letters from my grandparents, mother and great-aunt. All of those dates and names of people are only so interesting. The stories and handwritten accounts are much more meaningful.   It is one of my motivators for blogging......though it hasn't been enough of a motivator lately. Obviously. I think I am just not in the mood for sitting in front of a computer anymore......

I always feel like writing.....but now the desire is overwhelming. I don't mean to be full of myself, like what I have to say is important.....but I wish my relatives had left more writing behind for me. So I intend to leave some writing behind for my progeny. I am a storyteller. Not one of fiction, but of family stories and memories. With almost all of my kids grown-up (5 of 6 are 19 years and up!), I definitely should have more time to fit some writing in.....I think it will naturally improve my blogging as well......as is already evident in my two posts in one week. And as I reread this post for editing,  am reminded that my scrapbooking does the same......so I need to get all of this decluttering done at home so that I may get back to the scrapbooking. 
 
*************************************

I am all set to go!  I have purchased two books to use as a guide....and have picked up an old journal that I have used an average of once a year for about fourteen years. 

Last week, I got stuck with seven days off from work and nowhere to go. So, I took myself on an overnight solo shopping spree up to Medford, Oregon, a three-hour roundtrip. I made a list of stops and items needed;  I did so well!  I got almost everything I needed.....and most of it with good discounts. 

I spent my evening visiting Barnes & Nobles to see if they had any Five-Year Journals I could touch and possibly purchase. I liked the inside of a few, but not the outside. I had hoped to find the Book of Kells one offered on their webpage. But alas, no. 

There was one with awesome quotes inside.....but not a comforting cover. So I decided to just buy the one on Amazon that I had already picked as a back-up plan.   

And Hannah, my Maddelyn's college roommate, inspired me to put my own quotes in my Five Year Journal......

I think that is a great idea and I have already downloaded the Brainy Quote app to use. 

In the meantime, I was so awed with the amazing selection of journals in just one place!!  So many lovely choices!!  I wanted them all!  

I actually took photos to show my sister......

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So beautiful, right??!!  And so many choices and styles to choose from!!! Extensive!


In the end, I resisted the temptation of purchasing a new journal......knowing that I had a few nice choices at home still. I soooo know where I am going to get the next journal that I need to purchase!!

I did allow myself to chose this specialized journal: LIST YOURSELF:  Listmaking as the Way to Self-discovery.....A Provocative, Probing, and Personal Expedition into Yoir Mind, Heart, and Soul by Iline Segalove and Paul Bob Velick



 

I don't feel I need much self-discovery through this book.... 

I just thought it would be a fun thing to leave behind so my grandkids and great-grandkids would know what I was thinking "back in the day". It would have been fun to have done this at age twenty and again now at age 52 (later this month). I think it will be good for those days when a prompt will be useful. Here are sample pages from this book, including the "how to use this book"............
 

  


      
 
 
  
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
**************
 
Now about this Five Year Journal.......

My daughter Maddelyn and her roommate Hannah were home for Spring break a few weeks ago. They are sophomores at the University of San Francisco. I saw them writing in their journals and was intrigued by the titles. Maddelyn let me read some of her entries..... She was 18 months into writing in hers. She started with her first week at college. This will be such a gift to herself and her progeny....to see what the young college student was thinking and doing. Even looking back just one year ago was fun.  It was sweet to see where I showed up in her story......  :)

I was about to say:  I wish that I had journaled more at that age......but I did!  Inadvertently!! Apparently I wrote a lot of handwritten letters to friends.....and one of them just sent me all of my letters. It is truly a treasure of my thoughts at that age.....and as a newly married girl. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
 
Anyway......as soon as I saw those books, I knew I wanted one of those journals!!  I could commit to a few lines a day. For five years. 😊

So, you write a few lines on each date of the year, for five years......so you will come back around to each page four more times after the first round through......clever.
 
Maddelyn received hers as a gift from her BFF from birth.....a beautiful Jane Austen book. I wanted it......but I will wait for next time. Here is the one that I picked up......a thought a day via Amazon


 
and the inside:
 



I have started on April 1st.......the month of my birth.......52 years on the 25th!
 

So I challenge all of you......encourage you..... to at least get one of those Five Year Journals. They look like fun!  And your kids will love them later. And maybe their kids' kids.

Let me know if you do!!

And finally, here is the regular journal, purchased and started when my 14 year old was an infant, 14 years ago......
 
 
 
 
 
 
Spring & journaling blessings to all!
 
 
 
 
God bless,
 
                Chari
 
 
 


Friday, April 1, 2016

It's My 31st Anniversary as a Catholic!



It's not an April Fool's joke.  On April 1st, 1985, just 24 days before my 21st birthday, I was conditionally baptized into the Catholic Church........and made my First Confession and received my First Holy Communion on the same day.


BEST.  DAY.  EVER.


I know I mention this on this day each passing year.......but it is without question the Greatest Gift that I have ever received.  I thank God for this gift at every single mass that I attend. Every single mass.

I wish that I had time to tell my conversion story here today.....it's rather simple.......but time restraints are in effect. (Let me see if it is in my computer files.....hmmm, must have been on the last computer.......I will check the external hard drive later.....)


I did find a copy of it in my wedding scrapbook...though it might not be readable...




Let's just say:  God picked me.  He brought me here. I made no decision.....He just opened the doors and I walked through each one......no kicking and screaming.....just walked into my home.  And here I have been for 31 years.  Deo gratias.

For Lent, I have been reading Rediscover Catholicism:  A Spiritual Guide to Living With Passion & Purpose by Matthew Kelly. We picked it up at Saint Mary's in the Mountains Catholic Church in Virginia City, Nevada, where we were married the same year. I will keep reading through the Easter season until I am finished.



Today, I came across a few passages that were good to meditate on this anniversary date.....

On page 129:

      "The best thing that you can do for yourself is to become the-best-version-of yourself.  The best thing that you can do for your spouse, your children, your friends, your Church, your nation, and God is to become the-best-version-of yourself.

      "Catholicism is not a lifeless set of rules and regulations; it is a lifestyle.  Catholicism is a dynamic way of life designed by God to help you explore your incredible potential."


When I converted to Catholicism, my paternal grandfather asked why I would convert to such a "strict religion".  I told him that for the first time in my life (all 21 years of it!), I felt the most freedom that I had ever had. For the first time in my life, I knew what the boundaries were, where I was safe, and in the state of grace, and where it was dangerous.  Incredible freedom.  And still 31 years later, I say the same. 

And on page 128:

      "As we reflect on our brief and precious lives, let us also remember that they are but a transition to a long and blissful eternity.  Teresa of Avila encourages us. 'Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one glory, which is eternal.  If you do this, there will be a great many things about which you care nothing.' "

Lastly on page 134:

       "My favorite passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church appears as the first line of the first chapter, and it reads, 'The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness her never stops searching for.' "

I have been so incredibly blessed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And that is all.

Happy Anniversary to me and God!


Easter Blessings to you,

                                 Chari


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Annual Saint Joseph Rosary Novena to Begin on January 25th

 
 
 


Every year, on the email list Happy is the Husband, a private email list for Catholic wives, we lead two Rosary Novenas for our husbands and any other prayer intentions that we have.......

The first Rosary Novena of the year purposely ends on the vigil of St. Joseph's Feast Day.  
 

The second Rosary Novena of the year always begins on August 14th.  The intentional starting date leads us to the end of the novena just in time for the feast of the Holy Rosary in October.

The intentions are always for our husbands first....and any other special intentions.


     There are automatic daily reminders on Happy is the Husband email list.  It would be too much to place those reminders on the blog. Join the list now to get those reminders.  


    Please leave your intentions.....listed or  private.....or annonymous.......through
me........even if you cannot pray the novena.......we can pray for you!


++++++++++

     I always like to include more information about the Rosary Novena:

The "54-day Rosary Novena" is an uninterrupted series of Rosaries in honor of
Our Lady, revealed to the incurably sick Fortuna Agrelli by Our Lady of Pompeii
at Naples in 1884. For thirteen months Fortuna Agrelli had endured dreadful
sufferings and torturous cramps; she had been given up by the most celebrated
physicians. On February 16, 1884, the afflicted girl and her relatives commenced
a novena of Rosaries. The Queen of the Holy Rosary favoured her with an
apparition on March 3rd. Mary, sitting upon a high throne, surrounded by
luminous figures, held the divine Child on her lap, and in her hand a Rosary.
The Virgin Mother and the holy Infant were clad in gold-embroidered garments.
They were accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. The throne was
profusely decorated with flowers; the beauty of Our Lady was marvellous. Blessed
Virgin said: "Child, thou has invoked me by various titles and hast always
obtained favours from me. Now, since thou hast called me by that title so
pleasing to me, 'Queen of the Holy Rosary,' I can no longer refuse the favour
thou dost petition; for this name is most precious and dear to me. Make three
novenas, and thou shalt obtain all." 
Once more the Queen of the Holy Rosary appeared to her and said, " Whoever
desires to obtain favours from me should make three novenas of the prayers of
the Rosary, and three novenas in thanksgiving." 
The Novena consists of five decades of the Rosary each day for twenty-seven days
in petition; then immediately five decades each day for twenty-seven days in
thanksgiving, whether or not the request has been granted. The meditations vary
from day to day. On the first day meditate on the Joyful Mysteries; on the
second day the Sorrowful Mysteries; on the third day the Glorious Mysteries; on
the fourth day meditate again on the Joyful Mysteries; and so on throughout the
fifty-four days.

This is an old website, add the Luminous if you wish.


If you put "54 day rosary novena" into Google.........you will find some great
info

For those of you in unhappy marriages, or feeling desperate.......perhaps
for a conversion of a spouse....or for a wayward child........this is a VERY efficacious prayer................the graces just abound! Many times in ways you might least expect it. Keep in mind that many people I know sometimes feel like things get worse when they start the Rosary novena....before they get better......we think it must be the Devil wanting to interfere with our prayers!

PLEASE consider joining us if you are feeling low.

We will offer it up for all of those on the happyisthehusband list, those reading this blog and others we know, for our vocations, our husbands and our marriages...............and our offspring!!

I know that many often feel bad if they forget to pray their rosary once starting the novena................here are my thoughts:

Just ask for the graces to remember to pray it every day.........the grace to pick yourself up and just join in when you DO remember. I ask my guardian angel to pray it with me, to remind
me........and, to pray it for me, if I should forget. And, if you do forget, those of us who do remember, have you covered......just jump back in! If I only forget one day, I sometimes try to make it up over the next day or so.

There are graces available to you from every rosary you DO say.....it is so worth it.

     You can use an audio version of the rosary to help keep you focused. I have downloaded these from The Rosary Army to listen to on my iPhone. You can listen on your computer, your iPod or save to a CD. I use it when I work or drive if it looks like I will have trouble finding a time to stop and pray at home.

     Looking forward to praying with you and for you!  Please, please, please do leave your intentions with us.  Please share this link on your blogs, by email or facebook......or whatever.  Let's make this a big praying time.

It is also a good way to begin the new school semester.........


 Blessings,

          Chari & Willa

PS  If you read this blog post.....and you have a blog, would you mind directing others over to this post from your blog.......thanks!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Our Annual Summer Rosary Novena, 2015

Our Annual Summer Rosary Novena



Every year, on the email list Happy is the Husband, a private email list for Catholic wives, we lead two Rosary Novenas for our husbands and any other prayer intentions that we have.......

The first Rosary Novena of the year begins in late January, purposely ending on the vigil of St. Joseph's feast Day. 

The second Rosary Novena of the year, begins this coming week, on August 14th.  The intentional starting date leads us to the end of the novena just in time for the feast of the Holy Rosary in October.

The intentions are always for our husbands first....and any other special intentions.



     There are automatic daily reminders on Happy is the Husband email list.  It would be too much to place those reminders on the blog. Join the list now to get those reminders.  


    Please leave your intentions.....listed or private.....or annonymous.......through
me........even if you cannot pray the novena.......we can pray for you!


++++++++++

     I always like to include more information about the Rosary Novena:

The "54-day Rosary Novena" is an uninterrupted series of Rosaries in honor of
Our Lady, revealed to the incurably sick Fortuna Agrelli by Our Lady of Pompeii
at Naples in 1884. For thirteen months Fortuna Agrelli had endured dreadful
sufferings and torturous cramps; she had been given up by the most celebrated
physicians. On February 16, 1884, the afflicted girl and her relatives commenced
a novena of Rosaries. The Queen of the Holy Rosary favoured her with an
apparition on March 3rd. Mary, sitting upon a high throne, surrounded by
luminous figures, held the divine Child on her lap, and in her hand a Rosary.
The Virgin Mother and the holy Infant were clad in gold-embroidered garments.
They were accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. The throne was
profusely decorated with flowers; the beauty of Our Lady was marvellous. Blessed
Virgin said: "Child, thou has invoked me by various titles and hast always
obtained favours from me. Now, since thou hast called me by that title so
pleasing to me, 'Queen of the Holy Rosary,' I can no longer refuse the favour
thou dost petition; for this name is most precious and dear to me. Make three
novenas, and thou shalt obtain all."
Once more the Queen of the Holy Rosary appeared to her and said, " Whoever
desires to obtain favours from me should make three novenas of the prayers of
the Rosary, and three novenas in thanksgiving."
The Novena consists of five decades of the Rosary each day for twenty-seven days
in petition; then immediately five decades each day for twenty-seven days in
thanksgiving, whether or not the request has been granted. The meditations vary
from day to day. On the first day meditate on the Joyful Mysteries; on the
second day the Sorrowful Mysteries; on the third day the Glorious Mysteries; on
the fourth day meditate again on the Joyful Mysteries; and so on throughout the
fifty-four days.

This is an old website, add the Luminous if you wish.


If you put "54 day rosary novena" into Google.........you will find some great
info

For those of you in unhappy marriages, or feeling desperate.......perhaps
for a conversion of a dh....or for a wayward child........this is a VERY efficacious prayer................the graces just abound! Many times in ways you might least expect it. Keep in mind that many people I know sometimes feel like things get worse when they start the Rosary novena....before they get better......we think it must be the Devil wanting to interfere with our prayers!

PLEASE consider joining us if you are feeling low.

We will offer it up for all of those on the happyisthehusband list, those reading this blog and others we know, for our vocations, our husbands and our marriages...............and our offspring!!

I know that many often feel bad if they forget to pray their rosary once starting the novena................here are my thoughts:

Just ask for the graces to remember to pray it every day...................the grace to pick yourself up and just join in when you DO remember. I ask my guardian angel to pray it with me, to remind
me........and, to pray it for me, if I should forget. And, if you do forget, those of us who do remember, have you covered......just jump back in! If I only forget one day, I sometimes try to make it up over the next day or so.

There are graces available to you from every rosary you DO say.....is so worth it.

     You can use an audio version of the rosary to help keep you focused. I have downloaded these from The Rosary Army to listen to on my iPhone. You can listen on your computer, your iPod or save to a CD. I use it when I work or drive if it looks like I will have trouble finding a time to stop and pray at home.

     Looking forward to praying with you and for you!  Please, please, please do leave your intentions with us.  Please share this link on your blogs, by email or facebook......or whatever.  Let's make this a big praying time.

It is also a good way to begin the new school season.....here in the US.  Or the Spring, there in Australia.  ;)

Blessings,

Chari & Willa

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Four Medals. Twice.

 

 
 

         Three years ago, we did something that we never thought that we would do.........we sent our fifth child to the local high school......just so he could keep playing sports.

     Sports were that important to him.  He definitely had obvious talent.  From birth he has always needed to move, compete, touch.  Without the outlet of sports, he certainly would have struggled. In our small community, sports for kids aged 14 years and up were really only available at the local high school.  And even though our high school district is allowed by our state to allow homeschool kids to play sports, our school has continued to refuse.

     So, we placed Garrett in the Independent Study offered by the school.  The quality of the academics was much lower than our usual preferences, but in this case, it was something that we could work with.  He had a great independent study teacher. He was able to continue with his private piano lessons which counted towards his high school credits.

      Flash forward to this week: 

       He has now been attending the actual school building for the last year because the Independent Study program is limited here for higher maths and science labs.  He doesn't really like it.......but it is what needed to happen.

      He has played three years of Soccer, Basketball and Track......with two attempts at fitting Cross-Country in there.......even as a freshman, he excelled and got playing time in all sports.

      He moved to Varsity track during his freshman season and earned a spot at sectionals his first two years (the last step to go to state competition). He was moved up to the Varsity Basketball team as a sophomore. As a freshman, he started games on the Varsity soccer team. 

     One of the things I love about Garrett is how he takes his sports so seriously......like they are a job.  He gives 100% every game or event........and most practices.  He pays attention to eating well and right, getting appropriate rest and exercise and avoiding caffeine during times of serious focus.  He has really grown to own all of this.  And, he is wise enough to know that none of this is something he can be attached to for his adulthood........but he realizes the important lessons in always doing the best that you can and constantly trying to improve. 

     He started at the school so he could keep playing basketball, but found his true sports love is Pole Vault.  he has worked hard and close with his coach. He has practiced extra.  He has self-educated as well as attended a camp put on by a former Olympic Pole Vaulter.  He has recruited other athletes to jump....including one girl who has made it to state once.  He has become an "assistant" pole vault coach, especially for the Junior Varsity athletes.  Last week, I saw other student athletes perform their event and then respectfully turn to Garrett for advice and critique.  He has really risen to become a quiet leader in track.  And he is quite the encourager of his teammates.


     In his final year of school and competition, as a High School Junior, he has received All-League for Defense in soccer, All-League in basketball and probably the same this year in Track.  And he stays humble about these accolades.

     Speaking of track.........

             His junior year of Track Season is winding down.....though it kind of feels like it winds up till it suddenly just ends.

         Two weeks ago he won first places for four events: Pole-Vault, Long Jump, Triple Jump and the 4X400 Relay.  Four medals.  And the chance to move on to the next level of competition.

          Last Friday, May 22nd, he did it again.  Four medals.  See picture above.  That was the Division meet. It earns him a chance to compete in all four events at the Northern California Sectionals meet........which is this Friday, May 29th.  This will be his third qualification to this meet........the last meet to attempt to qualify for State.  This year, there is a small chance that he might make it to State.  Small chance......but it is a chance. 

         We are very excited for his opportunities. And for his successes.  He has worked hard for them. He has got past several injuries over the years........to get to this point.

     This point......this meet........could well be the last sports event of his high school career.  He will be spending his final year of high school as a Rotary Exchange student in the country of Austria.

     Please pray that he does well at Friday's meet.  Please pray that the predicted high of 99* is predicted too high......and that there is at least a pleasant breeze.  :)

 
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Oh!  I almost for got to add the following.........
 
 
 
      Garrett may have won all of those medals.......and three first places in the meet before the four.......but the best reward may well have been two comments from a coach and a parent......
 
      The coach from another school who was running the Triple Jump event asked if I was Garrett's mom. When I answered yes, he let me know how much he liked and appreciated Garrett.  He told me that Garrett as respectful, helpful and enjoyable to converse with.  He said that Garrett was a very good boy.
 
 
     While sitting at the top of the stands, waiting for Garrett's 4X400 Relay Race, a mother who was sitting nearby, whose son was also on the 4X400 relay team, came over to share some positive comments with me about Garrett.  He had taken her Senior daughter to the prom a few weeks before.........and has been mentoring her younger son, a sophomore on the soccer and track teams.  She waxes on about what a wonderful young man Garrett is.......fun to talk to, so respectful......showed her nervous daughter a good time at prom, putting her at ease. And, "so thoughtful, a real gentleman"........." he brought flowers for me!"
 
 
    Yeah.  In spite of the fact that he challenges our parenting techniques at times........I am so grateful to know that out there in the world, he is a good guy, a "real gentleman".........respectful and "fun to talk to"...........proud of my young man.




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  Enjoy the photos...........


   The first four photos are of his long jump last week........the fourth photo shows him about to make a personal record.....one more foot longer than his previous personal record!






 
 
Running with the baton in the 4X400 relay........
 
 
 

 
Various Pole Vault photos
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
Jumping over The Mountain!
 
 
 
Below, a photo montage of several steps in a pole vault attempt of
on my 51st birthday, April 25th, in Klamath Falls at an Invitational meet.....
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
May Blessings,
 
                Chari