Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Confession



Going to confession is never an easy thing.  Just looking at the statistics alone can be staggering: 1 in 8 Catholics (12%) go to confession every year and only 2% report that they participate in Reconciliation at least once a month.  Why is this?
First off, I think people don't see Confession as an importance.  Either they disagree with confessing sins to a priest or they don't even think about it at all; it's not on their radar whatsoever. 
Another reason could be because it's embarrassing.  Telling a stranger your innermost wrongdoings isn't exactly on the list of "things to do" on a average Saturday afternoon.  I get it.
Humbling ourselves to bear witness to our sinful nature is hard...let alone blurt it out to priest.  What will he think of us?  Even if he doesn't see your face...he heard your voice. Yikes!
As Catholics, it is our obligation to confess our sins (at least once a year at the very least).  But instead of looking at it as a obligatory gesture, perhaps we should think of it more as a gift.  A gift our Lord has bestowed on each one of us.  We are able to wash our soul of sins we have committed.  Isn't that a good thing?

Why is Reconciliation so important?
Well, because it makes us really take a hard look at our soul; an examination of conscience.  Are we being good followers of Christ?  Also, it helps fulfill the commandment of John 5:16 which tells us to confess our sins to God and to each other: "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."
One last thought is that after Confession, a great weight is lifted from the spirit.  The idea of penance and making restitution gives us God's absolution and ultimate grace.  This is a powerful thing. 
So as most parishes are offering penitential service this week...I would encourage you to partake in them and cleanse you soul before Holy Week and Easter celebrations.
On a side note, my little girl had her First Reconciliation on Monday.  It was so special watching her kneel down and pray her penance.  Nothing more sweeter. 











Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dictation


We started dictation in January after I attended a workshop entitled: Education Without Workbooks.  It was all about cutting out the "fluff" aka workbooks, and really focusing on the real "meat and potatoes" of learning. 
So many times while my son was writing in his workbook, I would second guess whether this was truly beneficial or just "busy work". 
Now I know there is a time and place for workbooks and there are many that are really good; I just feel like real learning doesn't take place in "fill in the blank" worksheets.  I know others would disagree.
For us, it has made all the difference to transition into meaningful writing, dictation and narration.
A really fabulous program we use is called Linguistic Development by Andrew Pudewa.  It is composed of many poems that are used for dictation and most importantly memorization. 
We also use Bonnie Landry's Homeschooling, simplified: Dictation: how to teach grammar, spelling, reading and almost all language arts in an easy alternative to the homeschool curriculum, which is a true gem.
If you feel your child is getting bored of workbooks...try dictation.  It may make the world of difference.
Here is the link to watch my son recite a poem:
http://youtu.be/bT-NpJb2kFs












Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Break

Today marks the end of spring break for us; it was jam-packed with a whole lot of goodness. 
Our first week was great cause Daddy was on holidays. We went out for lunch, cleaned the house and just spent time together. 
Last week was nice because we got to visit with friends. Monday, we went to a play gym with a few friends and Wednesday we went to the movies. Thursday we had lunch at another friend's place and then we went walking around a local lake. Friday we visited some other dear friends and made pretzels. 
This weekend we had a soccer tournament. We're pooped out; I'm so thankful for all these great experiences. 
We're lucky to have such great friends and so much opportunity. 
How was your spring break?



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring??

In this here part of the world, we felt a glimpse of spring these past two days. The sun was shining and the temperature was a tad warmer. We even got to play at the park with thin jackets. The kiddos were building shelter for little critters that frequent the park...squirrels, raccoons, cats etc...
My kids are fascinated with the show "Man, Woman, Wild." It's a show about a husband and wife who get left in a scenario where they have to survive in certain environments with just the minimal belongings they have. It's a really neat show. 
My kids have learned tons about building shelter, making fire and hunting. We watch it as a family every Wednesday. 



With spring around the corner, more park days, nature walks and exploring will be had. 
Can't wait!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I am a sinner

As I grow each day in my faith, I become more aware of my flaws and sinful nature.   In my quest towards righteousness, I am humbled by my own imperfections. 
I can be judgmental and harsh; I use my words as weapons to make my point validated. I persuade and persist when I feel something or someone is not going my way.  I lie when I have no where else to turn. I cheat when I feel lazy. 
All these transgressions lead me to emptiness; yet I continually fall back on them. 
My reliance on Him is the only way I can climb out of this abyss of failure. In striving for holiness, I must ask for much grace. I cannot do it alone. 
Walking by myself, only leads me astray. 
As I pondered the meaning of Ash Wednesday, I realized that the first step towards Him is admitting my sins. 
As Fr. Barron states:
"There's no way up but down; no real holiness without awareness. At least part of being a saint is knowing you're a sinner."
May this Lenten Season turn you away from sin and lead you towards Him...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Birthday My Sweet Boy

Six. Six sounds so much older than five. I can't believe my youngest baby is six and needs two hands to show me how old he is. 
Here are some random things my boy is into:
-basically anything his big brother is into
-playing Italian cards
-dancing to Wii Just Dance
-listening to MJ's Thriller
-Lego
-root beer
-bugging his sister
-watching Max & Ruby
-the color black
-dollar bills
-kissing and hugging
-soccer

He is so clever and smart. He's reading now and is a whiz at adding. He is my most affectionate child...he loves laying kisses on your cheek or squeezing your neck super tight. He has so much zest and spunk. His energy is endless and his passion and spirit is full. 
I just love him so much and can't imagine our family without him in it. 
Happy birthday my sweet boy. Mommy loves you. 



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's Time

The day has finally arrived. The day I crack open the boxed set of "Little House" books. 

I purchased them years ago...even before I was married; hoping to read them to my daughter one day. Well that day came!

You see, "Little House on the Prairie" is my all time favourite show! When I say favourite, I mean favourite; ask anyone who knows me. 

I used to watch it EVERYDAY after school at 4pm. It was cozy and heartwarming. I somehow felt that I should have been born in the pioneer days. I would have loved the church and community and sense of family. All things I cherish today in my own life. For some reason the simplicity of life back then appeals to me.

I have always loved hearing stories of my grandparents and what life was like when they were growing up. 

Even this weekend, I had the opportunity to visit my Baba (grandma in Ukrainian) and have her tell me about her grandparents and where they came from.  I even discovered that my great, great, grandfather, Joseph Kahut, built the very first Catholic Church in Canada. Amazing. 

It's so interesting to me. It's neat to learn about your own lineage. For if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here. 

I hope our days reading the "Little House" books are imprinted into my daughter's memory forever...

     Great, great grandparents: Joseph
     and Maria Kohut. Circa 1904