Showing posts with the label Catholic family life

Big Families Are a Blessing

Photo by  Priscilla Du Preez  on  Unsplash Did you grow up in a large family? I did. I was the youngest of five. When my nephew, who is an only child, visited us this summer for a week, I started to notice how many life lessons we learned as kids just by being part of a big family. Consideration, kindness, sharing, wasn't just my family, either, but all the big families on our block when I was growing up. When you have to share a bedroom with several siblings and you wear hand-me-downs until first grade, you learn not to value possessions too much. My memories of growing up in a large family and why big families are a blessing! Lessons from our older brothers and sister - Big Families Are a Blessing

It Takes a Village - But We Abandoned the Village

Why are we blaming society when we ourselves dismantled the village? In the essay  In the absence of ‘the village,’ mothers struggle most  by Beth Berry, the author decries the loss of “the village” (by her definition, “referring to the way of life inherent to relatively small, relatively contained multigenerational communities”) and calls it an “injustice.” The author writes that the loss of the extended family hurts mothers the most. Motherhood is, by all accounts, a lonely occupation, and an exhausting one. I wouldn’t know – I do not have children and have had, throughout my life, little inclination to motherhood. Yet I agree with her premise that the loss of an extended, multigenerational community does hurt mothers and by extension, children. Read more:   Writer Jeanne Grunert - Blog

5 Practical Ways to Organize Your ADHD Life (and Feel Good about Yourself)

When I first began to realize that I had ADHD, I came across an invaluable list of  50 tips for managing Attention Deficit  from Drs. Ed Hallowell and John Ratey.  I still have my original copy of the list printed off from AOL! In today's blog, I am sharing not only their life-changing advice on managing your tasks but also  my personal experience with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity disorder  and how I used these suggestions to transform my life.   Set up your Environment to Reward Rather than Deflate. " To understand what a deflating environment is, all most adult ADD'ers need do is think back to school. Now that you have the freedom of adulthood, try to set things up so that you will not constantly be reminded of your limitations." During the last 3 decades since graduating from High School, I have dabbled in many different professions with the best fits being the careers with task versatility and work from home capabilities. Not coincidentally

Money Matters: Honesty & Counsel (or lack there of)

Week 4 (Part B) - Honesty and Counsel This week forced me to take a very long hard look at my mindset towards what I admit and will share about my personal finances and what is really happening.  Although my name Allison means "truthful one" and I do feel sometimes I am honest to fault; this week's teachings and ponderings on the topic of honesty made clear, there was some areas I saw okay to paint  gray .  There really is no legal or honest gray areas with regards to money, especially if those finances are shared.   This week also challenged my filing system (or lack there of) and how pride had (and probably still does) hinder my seeking and accepting counsel.  Let's evaluate these struggles & triumphs more closely ...     FILING, HONESTY AND COUNSEL  All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

I Live in a Factory

The first few weeks of September are always challenging. Trading the lazy days of summer for the regular routine of school work and after-school activities generally does not bring out the best in myself or the rest of my family. This past week was no exception.  Filled with sibling squabbles, Mommy melt-downs and an empty gas tank (both literally and figuratively), let's just say that no one would mistake us for the Holy Family. I suppose I should not be surprised considering that I live in a factory and life in a factory can be messy, imperfect and downright hard work.  Read more here....

Works of Mercy Bouquet: Part 1

To kick off my series on the works of Mercy, I am compiling my five favorite ideas for families to live the virtue of Feeding the Hungry.  There are so many who are hungry out there, it truly is the easiest to start with.  In raising our children, we want them to not just know the faith, but live it.  St Paul said that faith without works is dead. Please join me for this twelve part series on living the works of mercy and see the faith of your family blossom and bear fruit! Source 1 Make Bag Lunches for the Homeless Our parish participates in "Midnight Run" where our priests, youth group, and parent volunteers travel to "the City" and distribute goods to the homeless. Out of the back of minivans, they spend the night handing out clothing, blankets, and toiletries.  They also distribute bag lunches that includes a sandwich, soft fruit, drink, and dessert.  For the past few years, my children and I have packed lunches for this venture. Continued

Christmas Musing: Preti's "The Visitiation" and Our Search for the Infinite

When we turned rounded the corner to the left and into the Baroque room at the   Virginia Fine Arts Museum   this morning, my eyes welled with tears. There it was; the painting I had visited the museum for, a painting called "The Visitation" by 17th century Baroque master   Mattia Preti , a Calabrian and a protege of  Caravaggian  naturalism. How fitting the painting first went on display here on Christmas Eve. Keep reading:

7 Ways to Celebrate Advent With Your Family

Our family's traditional Advent prayer chain.  Patient waiting. These two little words most accurately describe the tone and theme of the season of Advent. Patient waiting. No two words in the English language are more incompatible with young children. How do those of us with young children help them to celebrate the beautiful season of Advent without being overrun by the mad rush to Christmas morning? Here are 7 ways that my family and I celebrate the season of Advent - what about you? Share your ideas for making the celebration of Advent a family affair! Click here to read more...

Our Marriage Book to Be Released by Ave Maria Press in 2016!!

As we announced last week , Ave Maria Press will be releasing our Catholic marriage help book in 2016. The working title (although publishers always change the title!) is Secrets of Turning Water into Wine. Why are we writing the book? What can you learn from the book? Read on to find out! SECRETS OF TURNING WATER INTO WINE Divorce rates for Catholic marriages have almost tripled since the early 1970s, proving that Catholic marriages are not immune from the terrible epidemic of divorce. Catholic couples today desperately need a transfusion of spiritual truths combined with solid practical advice.  Secrets of Turning Water into Wine  offers a warm catechesis that illustrates how God’s plan for marriage can free us to experience deep, lasting, and soul-satisfying love in our everyday lives. Weekend or one-day marriage preparation programs might not give couples all the information they need or want.  Secrets of Turning Water into Wine  shows how Biblical principles c

How Parents Approach Mass With Little Ones Can Begin to Plant the Seeds of Faith

All pictures in this post are from the book Little Acts of Grace by Rosemarie Gortler and Donna Piscitelli. Illustrations are drawn by Mimi Sternhagen. I highly recommend this book for Catholic parents who want to teach their children about many aspects of the faith and their meaning. Let's face it, it's not always easy to attend Mass with children.  Sometimes you leave feeling more like you were engaged in battle than having spent an hour in the highest form of prayer in which we Catholics can participate.  In a way, you are engaged in the battle for your child's soul.  When we go to Mass, we are asked to leave the world behind for awhile and focus on the spiritual.  Even children can begin to sense these eternal truths long before they can fully understand them. As parents and the first educators of our children, we are called to teach them the Catholic faith.  How do we go about this with unreasonable toddlers, unruly preschoolers, and bored elemen

Let God Teach You Through Your Children

Our children come from the heart of God; He knew them in the womb and they knew God. Then at baptism, these little people become one with Christ. As I mothered nine children, I discovered that this sacrament is not simply a meaningless ritual but a real life, powerful encounter which actually transformed my children into spiritual people, albeit little people who could teach me about the nature of God and life in the Spirit. When I first started to mother, I was determined to raise committed Catholic Christians and so I tried too hard. I had the mistaken notion that my kids were blank slates and I personally had to teach them everything. I assumed the role of teacher; I was the resident expert. However God had to shake me out of this arrogant stance by humbling me in the face of my children’s unique, innate spirituality and their pure, open relationship with their heavenly Father and their Mother Mary   read more>