Thursday, July 19, 2018

Long time no see!

Hola dears!!

I'm soo super duper sorry I haven't been on here to finish my drafts.  Life has been just a tad bit busy.    Let's see just how crazy.  But first....

I'm so happy to see that my blog had 1,023 page views in May!  Wow!  This is the first time I've hit over 1,000.  Thank you all so much for being great followers.  I'm so glad I can share just a little bit of the life of a homeschooler with you.  Hopefully, you're enjoying what you find here.

I thought I would do a little life update today.  I promise you, those draft posts are coming soon!

I am praying... That God guides me in the discernment of my vocation.  But I am not impatient so much right now.  Just praying and waiting.  I am praying and asking Mary to keep and guide me under her mantle especially.  I am also praying and reading to renew my Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary on August 15th, the feast of The Assumption.

I am reading... Believing the Dream (Return to Red River #2) by Lauraine Snelling
and The Song At The Scaffold by Gertrud von le Fort which I started on the feast of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiégne.  I am also reading Jesus, King of Love by Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey in my meditation and adoration.

I am listening to... Non Nobis Domine Canon which my sister, friends, and I recorded at the 2018 Sacred Music Symposium.  Isn't it beautiful?  

I am enjoying... Summer.  I wouldn't say my summer is slow right now, but my mom and I just got back from a whirlwind weekend and my sister got back from a 10-day trip, so now the family is all back together and we are relaxing.  Well, sort of.  Life still keeps us busy.

I am writing... A blog post on Vocation Mythbusters for my other blog.  I am also working on a few different stories for fun.

United We Stand - "When you start looking at people's hearts instead of their faces, life becomes clearer."  This is a truth learned and lived by a group of acquaintances who become intimate friends united by their "differences".  Join Brooke, Caroline, Blaise, Cole, Aileen, May, and Pearce as they discover as a whole, they are more than the sum of their parts.
I am contemplating... One of the chapters in Jesus, King of Love on Humility.  I just read the first page in meditation on Monday, but I can't stop thinking about it.  I will have a blog post on that topic shortly as well.

I am doing... I tutored two students in Latin this morning at the library.  Then, this afternoon, my family and I met up with great friends from MT for yummy Mediterranean food finished off by scrumptious Baklava ice cream!  😮😋

All in all, this summer is going very well.  And although life can get busy, or hard, or sad, we must always keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in Heaven.  Our goal is to get there.  I hope all that I do will help me and the souls around me get to Heaven.

What have you been up to this summer?  God bless you and keep you!!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Party Like TLoaH is Ending

Wait... what does that title say?! Party??  Like The Life of a Homeschooler is... ending?!?!  Yes, you read that correctly.  I'm not exactly sure how else to say it.  "Partying is such sweet sorrow"??

This is my 150th post here at TLoaH!!!  So we are going to celebrate!!

I love celebrating with Newsies.  😍  

Alright!!  Listen up!  I'm going to make a really sappy speech, but I'll try to keep it short.

I'm so thankful and blessed that God has let me share my homeschooling, life adventures, and thoughts with you all here.  Each and every one of you have played a great part in this blog and my life.  4 years. 33 followers.  150 posts.  It has been amazing and I'm so glad I started this blog and stuck with it.  I've loved writing and designing this special little corner.  I've loved getting to know you wonderful friends.  Thank you for being here and for your support.

Now it's been just about a year since I graduated high school,  but this blog is named The Life of a Homeschooler.  That title isn't quite correct anymore, now is it?  So, after careful prayer, deliberation, and thought, I have decided that TLoaH has served it's purpose very well.  But now, it is time to move on to new and exciting things.  I will continue blogging at my recently created blog, His Voice is Sweet.  I also just became a contributor over at Maidens for Mary.  Please go check it out!

But I'm not quite done yet!  I have 24 posts in my drafts so I plan on finishing and releasing them all.

Crutchie is me posting my posts. Throw them way up there! Ya!
Finally, to celebrate the legacy mission of The Life of a Homeschooler, I want to celebrate this anniversary with an "Ask me Anything (about homeschooling)" post!  So, ask me any questions you have about homeschooling (or this blog) in the comments below!!  I can't wait!

Thank you all for being such wonderful friends and faithful followers.  Stay tuned in the weeks to come for the rest of my posts and finally the answers to my questions!!

Love you!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Monthly Challenges

Greetings friends!

As some of you may know, I have a journaling board over on Pinterest. I just found many fun and creative pins of inspiration for blogging, Facebook posts, and journaling.  This gave me an idea to choose one challenge a month, share it here at the beginning of the month, challenge you to join me, and then post some or all of the challenge answers here or on my FB!! What do you think??

The first challenge I would like to try is this journaling challenge for the month of March!

Here is the journal I will be using.  It's an old notebook I had started using for a grammar and spelling program when we first started homeschooling, but most of the notebook is unused.

For more inspiration, just head over to my journaling Pinterest board and get creative!  I can't wait to see what you come up with! To share your creations, post them on your own blog and then comment the link below or pin it on Pinterest using the hashtags, #lifeofahomeschoolerblog #journaling #challenge !!!

God bless you!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Greatness in God's Glory

"AND after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him. And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not. And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus.

And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead."
  ~Matthew 17:1-9 DRB

Hello friends!  I am sharing this post with you today that was inspired by my priest's homily on Sunday.  I want you to contemplate this statement.

Our greatness is only in God's glory.

My mind had started to wander at the beginning of the homily, but it was soon brought to attention by this statement from the priest.  Our greatness is in God's glory.  Christ proved His divinity in the Transfiguration.  He showed us that we can follow Him in His suffering and cross because we will then share in His glory and resurrection!

If God didn't exist, life would not have a purpose.  We would have nothing to live for.  No God means no Heaven and no eternal life.  So maybe we would enjoy things of this world, like musicals or ice cream, but ultimately, there would be no greater good.  We would live one day to the next in fear of impending and unknown death.  With no purpose to life, our lives have no importance and therefore no dignity.  

This is why there is such a disrespect for the dignity of human life in our culture and world today.  With no eternal purpose, every human being would just be a "clump of cells" walking about the earth one breath from extinction.  Without God and eternity, all life would be meaningless.  But because God does exist and we have been redeemed by His death and resurrection, each and every life has a purpose and therefore, human dignity.  Each person is a child of God, created for a unique purpose that only they can fulfill.  That's why, even the unborn baby, the handicapped, and the elderly are worthy of our respect and protection.

With the glory of Christ's resurrection, our death no longer means fear and emptiness, but is a door through which we must pass to enter into eternal happiness and life.  This life is just the journey to that door.  We must prepare then, to enter that door worthily. Live this life in anticipation and preparation for the real life to come.

Christ proved His divinity many times, but especially in the Transfiguration.  Because He triumphed over death, we have a purpose, to be happy forever with Him in Heaven.  And because we have this purpose, we can have glory.  We can do great things.

Our greatness is only in God's glory.

God love you!!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

We March for LIFE

For years I've watched the March for Life on TV.  For years I've chatted with other MODG students online about their trips to the March and the Annual MODG Winter Ball.  For years I've seen pictures of MODGers in formal attire dancing the night away and marching the next morning among hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans.  I've planned and wished, talked and dreamed about attending the March for Life with my school, Mother of Divine Grace School.

Then, this Christmas, my family received the news that we would be going to the 45th Annual March for Life in Washington D.C. as our Christmas present.  I was thrilled!!!  My sister and I couldn't wait to tell our friends and classmates that we'd be meeting them for the first time in just about a month!

Our plane took off at 7:20AM on Wednesday morning and we landed in Washington D.C. around 6:00PM.  It was a long day of flying, but we made it.  After putting on our new heavy winter coats, we gathered our luggage and headed out to the curb.  Oh boy, at 18 degrees, was it cold for this warm, desert girl!!  When we arrived at the hotel, the lobby was abuzz with MODGers and their families.  We got to meet many people that night.  Some we already knew from online classes and the discussion boards, others were new friends I was very glad to meet.  We had to make a quick run for some groceries that night, so we bundled up even more with hats, gloves, coats, and boots to walk a block to the store.  In the darkness, I could tell we were in a business area of town surrounded by tall buildings all around.  But of course, I wasn't able to take too much in because I was focused on keeping up with my family as we trudged uphill in the cold.

On Thursday morning, we slept in.  Staying up late after a 3 hour time loss is exhausting! 😜  Once everyone was up and ready, we ventured out into the now sunlit streets to get some lunch and head over to the March for Life Expo!  That was a fun excursion.  The air was cold but I stayed warm all bundled up and walking briskly.  I liked the area, all the people walking about, the tall buildings, and the excitement of the day.  Then, we arrived at the Metro station.

By Ben Schumin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
(I didn't get a full picture of the escalators myself, so here's one from Wikipedia.)
These are the longest escalators I have EVER seen!!  And I had to ride downwards first!  (And people... I DO NOT like down escalators.)  So, if you've never ridden on a metro or subway, these are trains underground.  But of course to get down there, you have to go down escalators or elevators.  Some escalators aren't this long, but I guess the Rosslyn station is pretty far below the streets.  (This is actually the 5th longest escalator in the Washington D.C. Metro system.¹)  Now the really scary thing about these escalators is that when you watch people on the other side going the opposite direction as you, they seem like they are leaning extremely forward or backward (depending on the direction they're going.)  This illusion is caused by the lines on the tunnel wall.  The wall looks straight up and down, making the people look tilted.  It's weird.

Anyway!!  Whenever we traveled a far distance in the city by foot, we used the metro to help get us to our destination.  You buy a card loaded with fare, scan it to open a Disneyland like gate, make sure everyone made it through, and then, down the escalators you go!  Once you get into the actual metro tunnel, you are overwhelmed by the trains, people, and sometimes, crowds.  Our first metro trip wasn't very crowded, thank goodness.  On first walking into the tunnel, we all felt like we were in the train station from the Prince Caspian movie and we might be whisked away to Narnia with the arrival of the next train.

We received great instructions and directions on how the metro works from Mrs. Sebastian, so thankfully we made it to our first destination without any trouble.  We went up a much shorter escalator, walked a little farther, and then made it to the March for Life Expo!

It was much bigger than this picture indicates, but this is what I saw upon walking in.  I visited the American Life League, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (more commonly known as the TFP), Students for Life of America, Rock for Life, 
The St. Benedict Center, and many more great organizations and groups.

The Expo is a very fun event with free products, resources, signs for the march, wonderful people, and good memories.  If you ever get the chance to go to the March, make sure you get to the Expo even just for a little bit.  It's a great opportunity to meet fellow pro-lifers, learn more about the movement, and get that perfect sign for the march! 😉

All too soon, we had to make our way back to the hotel to get ready for the Mother of Divine Grace Annual Winter Ball.   We got all gussied up in fancy dresses, shoes, earrings, and make-up and then headed downstairs to take class pictures in the lobby.  Now, there were no stairs, so all the dancers, their parents, their siblings, and even people who weren't part of our group but just guests at the hotel were ALL trying to use two slow elevators at the same time.  It was CRAZY!! 🤣

So, Jacquie left our room to go to the lobby shortly before I did.  When I went out to the elevator, a man was waiting for it as well.  He was very pleasant.  When the elevator door finally opened, it was full of students and parents.  He motioned for me to go ahead as he could tell I was part of the fancy group of young people obviously congregating in the lobby for something.  So I jumped in at the very edge, crowded with many others.  Suddenly, I heard my name excitedly called from the back of the elevator.  I turned but couldn't see who it was.  After some heads moved out of the way, I saw my wonderful friend, Kiersten, at the back and we hugged despite the tight quarters.  This was our first time meeting and what a special meeting it was.

When the elevator reached the ground floor, we had no choice but to move with the herd into the very crowded lobby.  There were students everywhere talking, shouting, and laughing.  You couldn't move very far without having to squeeze through groups of people, but I eventually made it over to the other side of the breakfast room to meet another wonderful friend, Nate.  Hugs were exchanged many times over.  Now, after the seniors had taken their class picture, it was announced that there would be an alumni photo.  There were a whopping 4 of us present for the picture, but about 7 or more actually went to the dance, so that was nice.

🎶 A Lovely night, a lovely night
A finer night you know you'll never see
You meet your prince, a charming prince
As charming as a prince will ever be. 🎶

What a lovely night it was...
It began with a delicious dinner with friends and then, Mary Claire, a junior in MODG, gave a very good and inspiring speech on why we were actually at the march.  We must not only go to church just because we have to, or march because all our friends are there, but because we love God and our fellow man (born and unborn).  We must let God's love and light shine through every word, deed, and act we do.  We receive God in the Eucharist at Mass and then we go out in the world to "march" and share the grace, love, and light we receive with every single person we come in contact with.

"If every single person in this room made the conscious decision to live life so that others would see Christ's true love, purity, and mercy in every word and action that they made, this world would not be the same place."

Then, the dancing commenced!!

I got to dance with many fine young men.  The dance pictured above was called "The Cinderella Dance" as each young lady put one of her shoes in the middle of the floor.  Each young man had to pick up a shoe and find the girl that it belonged to.  That was sweet fun.  We danced swing dances, line dances, the Cha-Cha Slide, the Cotton Eye Joe, The Cupid Shuffle, and even some waltzing.  The music selection wasn't my favorite, but it was definitely fun to dance with friends, get to know people, and spend good time together.

Now we come to the actual day of the march, Friday.  We walked with the MODGers down to the subway station, got on the train crowded with happy, pro-life people, and headed down to the National Mall.

I'm not sure exactly how many people marched, but there are estimates of about 600,000 people!!  There were about 300 Mother of Divine Grace students and family members who marched together as well.

After an incredible rally and inspiring speakers, the 45th Annual March for Life commenced!!  The street was filled with hundreds of thousands of people praying, chanting, singing, smiling, and marching for LIFE!!  It was such an amazing experience.  I was surrounded by fellow Americans who, like myself, are sick and tired of the lie of abortion.  It is not your only hope.  It is your baby's death.  It is not healthcare.  It is the destruction of someone else's life.  The baby inside the mother's womb is not just a clump of cells.  Science and technology have proven that.  The baby is a living human being complete with it's own DNA from the moment of conception.  The baby is not a parasite, or even a potential human.  It is a person with a soul endowed by his or her Creator with unalienable rights.  Among these rights are the right to LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  All of us present at the march, and so many others throughout the country, want to end the horrors of abortion.  We want to end the killing of innocent human lives.  We want to love mothers, fathers, and their children.  We want each person to be able to experience LIFE and live it to the fullest.  We want to protect all life, as our MODG t-shirts put it, "From Womb to Tomb."

How will we achieve the end of abortion?  We will do this with love.  We will do this through the One who is Love.  We will do this by the love He gave us in His birth at Bethlehem. We will do this by the Love He gave us in His death and resurrection.  We will love mothers, fathers, and their children with the love God gave to us.  Why?  Because love saves lives.  We were made to love and so we will not be truly happy unless we love one another the way Christ loves us.  This will not be easy.  This will not be popular.  But when we love LIFE, we will be able to live it to the fullest and live in God's love eternally in Heaven.

This is why we march.  Because every single human being deserves the chance to live, love, and be loved.

🎶"The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return"

After the march, we walked up to St. Mary's church for the Nellie Gray Mass in honor of the woman who founded the March for Life.

Finally, we headed back towards the hotel and had Chipotle for dinner with amazing friends!! ❤

We had so much fun and even more awesome adventures together as a family and with friends, but alas, this post is already so long and I really just wanted to share with you about the March for Life, so I will save the rest for another post.

Were you able to attend the March for Life?  Have you ever been before?  If not, do you have one locally in your hometown?  I'd love to know why you march!!  Please let me know in the comments below.  And, if you read this all the way, thank you and congrats!!!  God bless you!