Vision. Oh, and Pollyanna!

I have spent the morning and part of the afternoon at a Kumon meeting.

This is extra volunteer work that I do , extra to my day to day work as a Kumon Education Supervisor.

I take part in these meetings because I see the importance of the Kumon Vision – Supervisors helping each other and building a community and thus making a positive change in the general community; Kumon centres helping children not just with academic skills but also with confidence and goal setting and other life skills.

Our Kumon motto for this year is “One by One.”

IOW, we will look at each parent and child, each Supervisor, each staff member as an individual and remember to do what is best for each person. Making a change one by one.

As I was driving home, I thought about this vision in relation to my family.

(Where are the kids, you ask? At a parish related picnic and outing. So, I have had time for the meeting and to ponder..).

What would be the effect in my family of remembering to see each member as individual, one by one?.

Over Christmas my motto was to see only the positives in my husband and in my children.

Can I continue to look for positives in 2007?

P.S. Reminds me of one of my favourite books as a child – Pollyanna. I loved Pollyanna’s character and her way of looking at adversity . I have tried to live a more positive life myself.

The influence of books on children!

An Addendum or two..

First, a delightful addendum to the Loveliness of New Years resolutions – read
Paula’s post on A Year of Abundance.

And, an addendum to the post on blogs – lest you think I agree with the writer mentioned in the blogpost “Are Catholic blogs an occasion of sin?”. I strongly disagree and simply posted the link for information and food for thought. It occurred to me tonight that I should clarify.

In fact, in my comments I wrote ~ I think the writer and the blogger take themselves way too seriously! The whole blog does. 😦

Basically, I don’t think we bloggers should be “guardians of the language” – there is a difference between formal and informal language, isn’t there?

And, to be honest, I don’t see the purpose of my blog to be the bastion of orthodoxy ( con, neo-con, trad or whatever label the original writer may like to attach – I hate labels). It is just a means of sharing our life with family and friends. I also meet new friends along the way.

This can hardly be ” an occasion of sin” – unless I neglect other things. Hah! As if I could! I have too many other things to do! 🙂


The Loveliness of New Years Resolutions…

Let us be firm in our purposes and unswerving in our resolutions. Perseverance will prove whether we have sincerely sacrificed ourselves to God and dedicated ourselves to a devout life

St. Frances de Sales from Introduction to the Divine Life

My hope is that this Fair will encourage us all , as homeschooling mothers, to be firm in our resolutions.

I begin the fair with a photo of our family’s public New Years Resolutions. This poster currently sits on our refrigerator, as a visual reminder of our individual decisions. A poster , in eye catching colours and open for all to view, certainly helps with encouragement and accountability.

You can read about our resolutions and ideas for families and resolutions here and here.

Sarah from Canada writes ~ I don’t usually believe in getting too caught up in New Year’s Resolutions as it concerns me that it can be a way of setting ourselves up for failure to comply with our own resolutions if we change the way we feel or think before the next year’s beginning. On the flip side of that a year does allow a nice length of time for gradual changes to be made towards new goals. Therefore the goals might then be more long lasting.

In light of that I also think that New Year is a nice time to review and reflect on how we do things in our lives and a great time for renewing, whether it be physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially.

That said my commitment to myself is to once again look at the essential elements for healthful living. Being in a new environment for me has brought it’s challenges. I have had a plethora of new experiences all year and a smorgasbord of new foods to indulge in. Looking at the scales perhaps a little less indulgence is warranted. So I am actively working on being conscious of the healthful foods that tickle my taste buds.

Fitness and health form part of the resolutions of many.

Margaret reminds us that our resolutions are often shared by many – and includes the New York Times best seller list as proof. I admit to having read some of those books!

Cindy writes about her aim to exercise more – for 30 minutes at least three times a week. And she has made many other worthwhile resolutions – way to go, Cindy!

The three times a week fitness goal is also shared by KC from the Cabbage Patch ~ and I like her resolution of being more diligent with read alouds, too!

Elizabeth has resolved to give up dieting forever. This resolve is close to my own heart and, I suspect, close to the hearts of many women. What a healthy resolution – to focus on health and good nutrition without the need for unsettling body images. A good resolution to pass onto daughters ( and sons).

In addition to fitness goals ( two ab workouts a day!) My Thoughtful Spot (Cheryl) tells us the importance of writing down goals. She gives an example from her life, of achieving written goals…Very helpful.

Mary, from St Athanasius Academy shares her experiences, too – and how goals or resolutions must be flexible, as life circumstances change. Spontaneity in our resolutions?

This reflection on last year’s resolutions is not restricted to Mary. Read My Domestic Church , where Elena reflects on resolutions for 2006 and on her progress, while considering resolutions for 2007. I especially like the photo of the FIRM workouts! Kira, too, is reflective and she resolves to return to making New Years Resolutions. And Maria gives us her wise Thoughts and Plans for 2007.

Don’t feel disheartened by all this talk of goals – Suzanne shares her blog post on not being defeated and on the importance of consistency. We also read at Lettres de mon Moulin about remembering that we are all “works in progress.”

A very thoughtful post from Heather reminds us once again of the important things in life – what can we resolve to do this year, to help our spiritual life and our family? More ideas are here.

For more on a similar vein, read about Jenny’s Core Values Exercise.

Willa categorizes her resolutions – what a good idea! Her categories are ~

Very practical. As are Dawn’s resolutions, neatly listed under the banner of “The Year of De-cluttering.”

More practical resolutions come from causa-nostrae-laetitiae ( Cause of My Joy) – linked to a quote from St Basil. And Ruth shares her resolutions list,too.

Helen is generous in sharing her resolutions ~ Resolutions with Our Lady. While Katherine shares her resolution of praying the psalms.

Genevieve reminds us that resolutions can be monthly ideas…..

Sarah provides an uplifting post with her resolutions based on A New Year of Faith, Hope and Charity. How much better would my home life flow if I concentrated on these three virtues? Thank you, Sarah, for your post.

Soul of the Home gives us her motto for 2007 – I love mottoes! Read how a motto can form your resolutions for the good of all.

And I love Taffy’s resolution – Be happy. Be the best me. Take a peek at Taffy’s blog and I guarantee you will come away with a smile .

Laugh with Mary as your read her very do-able resolution – I, too, may resolve not to dust!

So, there it is. A Fair of New Year’s Resolutions.

Lest you feel overwhelmed – read this article at Catholic Online and remember to just take five. Five minutes to work on resolutions. That’s all.

Remember, in the words of the article ~ Rather that feeling a sense of failure to resolve or complete everything on the list, make this year’s list an “evolution” list. By making an evolution rather than resolution list, perspective shifts from completing items on the list to taking small steps to create change, to evolve.


Check out these blogs…

Thomas and Anthony are writing novels and putting chapters on their blogs. Have a read – leave a comment! (BTW, I am not proof reading their chapters so any errors are theirs alone! lol!).

Cindy and I are still working out – check out our fitness blog if you feel so inspired.

And this blog consists of chapters of Maria Von Trapp’s Book “Around the Year with the Trapp Family.”

Finally, read Are Catholic Blogs an Occasion of Sin? Hmm.


St Anthony of the Desert and Memory

Having learned that we should always be praying, even when we are by ourselves, St. Anthony prayed without ceasing. Indeed, he was so attentive when Scripture was read that nothing escaped him and because he retained all he heard, his memory served him in place of books.
-St. Athanasius

I read this quote at Katherine’s blog.

We are reading about St Anthony of the Desert this month (see my bulletin board post. ).

This quote reminds me of the deliciously irreverent play “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde.

Miss Prism, a tutor, tells her charge Cecily that “Memory , my dear Cecily, is the diary we all carry about with us.”

Love this play.

Sadly, if memory is my diary, then we are all lost!


What feeds your soul?

At the 4 Real Learning forum, a question was asked ~ What feeds your soul?

The answer to this varies, doesn’t it? Well, for me, the answer varies..

What feeds my soul right now?

Lately, it has been saying the Rosary as a family.

We have gone back to using our rosary beads ( long story – but basically beads were banned for awhile – kids played with them, swung them around, shot each other with them… Sometimes, I despair at my children’s lack of religion!). This month, we have re-instated Rosary beads into family prayers.

Last night, sitting in the sitting room, with the air conditioning on, everyone gathered round, using the beads and praying – well, I felt a real peace in my soul.

I will also admit that working out feeds my soul ( okay, it helps me in the physical sense, too.)

I set an intention for my workout and I feel so good after, so happy and glad to be me and where I am.

It is infectious – after a hard but fun workout I want to spread this feeling of goodwill to all.

What feeds your soul, January 2007?


January Bulletin Board

Dawn shares a super idea – a bulletin board display of “what we are up to.”

A form of strewing for your children, your dh, your visitors ~ of current themes of interest in your homeschool.

Or of possible themes of interest?

On Wednesday, Thomas, Anthony, Alexander and I put together a smaller version of Dawn’s bulletin board. This board gives us a glimpse of January – a visual reminder. A visual ideas prompt. A talking point.

These are some of the things we are looking at in January. I’ll expound –

We have pics of Jonathon as a little boy – it is Jonathon’s birthday this month. He was too cute! Still is! lol!

Also information and portraits of St Genevieve, St William and St Anthony of the Desert.

And, according to the book “A Continual Feast”, pork is often associated with this St Anthony – we will be dining on homemade Sweet and Sour Pork on January 17, the feast day – so here is a pic of Sweet and Sour Pork!

St Anthony of the Desert was a Christian hermit. He lived a life of great austerity. Legend has it that the Devil tried to tempt him, taking many different forms – among them a pig or hog, representing sensuality. Anthony resisted temptations and that is why he is often represented in works of art with a pig next to him. On his feast day it is traditional to eat pork…

We are reading novels in the My Story series, concerned with time periods in Australian history, and so Thomas copied a few covers of the novels for our bulletin board.

Alexander is looking for a more structured history programme this year – he is perusing two programmes that I purchased, secondhand, years ago – KONOS History of the Ancient World or Sonlight Church History. Nicholas and I worked through segments of the Church History booklist and guide in 2001 – a good literature list and the guide also examines some of the beliefs of the Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Very interesting.

Alexander still can’t decide which guide to use!

So, there it is – a mini tour of some of our January themes ….

Of course, we still have our New Years Resolutions poster, strewn on our refrigerator!