Friday, January 28, 2011

Show Off Your Homeschool Link Up Party and LEGO Rosary Giveaway

I just wanted to get the word out that  Melissa at The Joys of Home Educating is hosting a "Show Off Your Homeschool" Link Up Party this weekend!  I linked up this August 2010 blog post (too bad our room doesn't stay this clean!)  from the beginning of the school year and joined in on the party! 
If you want to see how others set up their homeschool spaces/rooms/classrooms be sure to visit Melissa's post HERE and if you are a blogger and would like to share with others your homeschool area be sure to link up!  But hurry! Linky is open until this Monday and one lucky blogger who linked up will receive a LEGO Prize Pack that Melissa is giving away!  That's awesome! 

Speaking of LEGO and giveaways....Tricia at Crunchy Catholic Momma makes LEGO rosaries and sells them on her Etsy shop, Prudence and Virtue.  She is giving away one LEGO rosary to one bloggy friend and she will announce the winner on St. Valentine's Day, February 14th!  So be sure to visit Tricia's blog post HERE for more details on this fun giveaway!  Here is one of Tricia's cool LEGO rosaries:

Have a blessed weekend!

I'm linking this post up to Lynda's "A Day in Our Life" Blog Hop

Click button below to join Lynda, Anna-Marie and I for the No Ordinary Blog Hop for the entire month of January:) The blogger who posts the most will be spotlighted next month and be given a Star Blogger Award. Come join the FUN!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

March, Prayers, and Cheerio Bracelets

This post highlights different topics:  West Coast March for Life, Prayers for Patty, and Cheerio Bracelets

West Coast March for Life
If you have been following my blog, you know that my family and I just went for the first time to the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. recently and I blogged about it HERE.  Tiffany at Family at the Foot of the Cross commented on my blog post to let me know that she took part in the West Coast March for Life in San Francisco.  I was not aware that the West Coast had a March for Life until Tiffany told me and I enjoyed reading her beautiful post about her experience.  I encourage you to visit Tiffany's March for Life post HERE.
In Tiffany's post she mentioned that Abby Johnson, author and pro-life advocate, was one of the West Coast speakers.  Abby has a new book, titled unPlanned, where she shares her incredible story.   I am very interested in reading how this former Planned Parenthood worker is now speaking in support of life. Find out more about Abby's book HERE

Prayers for Patty
Tiffany just posted another beautiful and touching post about Patty at Reasons for Chocolate who recently found out that she lost the child she was carrying in her womb, when the doctor's could no longer detect the child's heartbeat. You can read Tiffany's post HERE about Patty.  Please keep Patty and her family in your prayers during this time of loss and sorrow.

Cheerio Bracelets
"Mommy" at My Adventures in Mommyland linked up this post HERE at the January No Ordinary Blog Hop that I am co-hosting with Lynda and Anna-Marie.  After reading "Mommy's" post, I thought stringing Cheerio "beads" was an easy and fun idea to keep my 3 year old cupcake occupied. So I tried it out recently and I was amazed that this fun activity kept my daughter's attention for longer than 5 minutes!  She actually worked on her two cheerio bracelets for at least 20 minutes which gave me some time to work with my other children during our homeschool lessons.  Here are some photos I took of our cupcake stringing her cheerio bracelets and then she proudly showed me her finished "jewelry" :)

I got out the pink pipe cleaners and some 
(stale) cheerios :)  and let her go to town!

She's almost done with one of her bracelets!

When she was done stringing the Cheerios, we tied the two ends together

She loves her new, fragile "jewelry" and she couldn't wait to show Daddy when he got home from work! 

Thanks to My Adventures in Mommyland for this fun and easy idea for my busy one!

I'm linking this post up to Lynda's "A Day in Our Life" Blog Hop

Click button below to join Lynda, Anna-Marie and I for the No Ordinary Blog Hop for the entire month of January:) The blogger who posts the most will be spotlighted next month and be given a Star Blogger Award. Come join the FUN!!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our First March for Life: In My Own Words and Photos

Our family got back late last night from our first March for Life that is held each year in Washington, D.C. on or around the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade January 22, 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.  The experience was incredible! I cannot capture all the sights, sounds, hope, and energy into this blog post, but I hope to share our experience to encourage those who march for life each day who can't travel to our nation's capital to continue to stand for the unborn and their mothers and maybe something in my post here will get people thinking and talking about what abortion is really all about.

Here's our family's March for Life experience in my own words and photos:

We traveled on the Metro with friends who we were staying with to get to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to hear the mass that was being said for all the marchers from our state.  My children loved riding the train!

This is the Basilica in the distance from inside the Metro.  It was at this point here that a lady came over the intercom to announce that a rail had a crack in it and we had to have an emergency stop and share one rail line with all the other trains.  We sat in the train at a stand still for almost 30 minutes making us about 10 minutes late to the beautiful mass :(  We were proud of the kids for their patience during this time, but we were frustrated we missed the beautiful beginning of mass, but also thankful for a safe arrival to the Basilica.

This is one picture I snapped from inside the Basilica.  It is a beautiful church and we visited it as a family a few years ago and got lots of beautiful pictures then. 

Here is our family and friends just outside the Basilica before we continued our pilgrimage to the march itself.  We had to catch a bus then catch another metro to arrive at the march. 

Here's our family in one of the metro stations all bundled up.  It was amazing that walking to and from the march was the coldest part of our journey.   Once we were in the huge crowd of marchers, we didn't feel the cold so much because people were blocking any wind and body heat kept the chill down (and our winter wear :) )

The Capitol building in the distance as we were crossing the street and heading toward the march which took place around the U.S. Capitol.

When we first got to the march, we were standing on a sidewalk wall watching all the people go by us. There were so many young people, church youth groups, families, and men and women of all ages.  We couldn't see the beginning of the march and we never saw the end of the mass of people.  Incredible! It was peaceful, prayerful, hopeful, and full of energy as chants were being sung and we heard a group of nuns singing "Ave Maria" so beautifully.  We also saw lots of different pro-life signs and I took pictures of some of my favorites:

This one touched me the most:  "My Mom had cancer while pregnant.  Doctor said, "Terminate."  Mom is fine and I'm 12 years old."

"Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want."  Mother Teresa

Did you know the "Roe" (Norma McCorvey) in the famous Roe v. Wade court case never had an abortion, but she gave LIFE to her child and put her child up for adoption?  Did you know Ms. McCorvey is now pro-life and speaks to defend unborn/preborn life and to overturn Roe v. Wade?  You can read more HERE

"A Person is a Person No Matter How small."  Click on the phrase to watch an incredible video done by a 12 year old pro-lifer who ends her speech with these words from Horton in "Horton Hears a Who!"
I took this photo as we were getting closer to the Capitol building.

There was a part of the march route where a man with a microphone was standing in front of huge billboards that showed actual photos of aborted babies at all stages of development.  Graphic? Yes.  Horrific? Yes. Necessary? Yes. Heartbreaking? Most definitely!   Like he was saying as we walked by, the word "terminate" and "abortion" doesn't sound so bad to some people,  but until people actually see images of aborted babies, they may continue to think these actions don't hurt anyone, but they do.    Here is a great link that has many resources, including 15 women who share their abortion stories and abortion photos (I've seen these abortion photos once a long time ago and they made me sick to my stomach, hence view with caution, but it shows the truth behind abortion).  Click HERE to view link to website.
Like I said, we never saw the front of the march or the end of it.  I've never seen so many people all in one place marching peacefully and prayerfully standing up for all the victims of abortion: 
the women, the unborn and the men who have lost their children

The walk itself wasn't that far and long as we looped around to the front of the Capitol building to end the march.

Our March for Life pilgrimage was amazing and I'm so glad our family was part of such a beautiful witness for life.  I would like to end this post with this video by Nick Cannon called "Can I Live?" Nick Cannon's mother nearly aborted him.  This is a powerful music video based on Nick Cannon's true life story.

I'm linking this post up to Lynda's "A Day in Our Life" Blog Hop

Click button below to join Lynda, Anna-Marie and I for the No Ordinary Blog Hop for the entire month of January:) The blogger who posts the most will be spotlighted next month and be given a Star Blogger Award. Come join the FUN!!
Saturday, January 22, 2011

This is "Who" we will be marching for at March for Life

In the bottom left hand corner the text reads "2008 "March for Life", Washington, D.C., Estimated 400, 000 - 500, 000 in attendance

Today is the 38th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision  , which paved the way for legalized abortion in the U.S.   To voice opposition to abortion, thousands of people will come together from all walks of life, all ages, all religions, all races to march prayerfully and peacefully in front of our nation's capitol to defend life and uphold the dignity of life in all its stages. 

My family will be participating for the first time in this March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 24, 2011.  If it's anything like in years past, there will be an endless sea of people marching for life, but our media will not talk much about this annual event. I remember last year I looked to see if our local and national news stations had a story on the march and I didn't see one.  What a shame! I look forward to sharing our experience sometime next week on my blog here.  Here is a beautiful video about "Who" we are marching for...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Dad, our Hall of Famer!

My husband figured out a temporary solution to my computer troubles I blogged about here and now I can blog this post dedicated to my Dad, our Hall of Famer!

I just got home this past Sunday night from a trip to New Rochelle, NY to see my Dad get inducted into his high school's hall of fame for basketball.  I took a flight on Friday with my Mom and met my Dad, Aunts, Uncles and my brother and his girlfriend in NY.  We had a wonderful weekend and I am so grateful that my husband was willing and able to stay home with our 4 children over the weekend while I was away.

My Dad played basketball his senior year at Salesian High School in 1962.   We were invited to see my Dad get inducted during halftime of the varsity boy's basketball game in the new gym at Salesian High School. Prior to the afternoon game, my parents and the athletic director gave me a tour of the beautiful high school campus.  Here are some photos of the campus with captions:

This is a statue of Saint Dominic Savio who was one of Saint (Don) John Bosco's (Don = a traditional Italian honorific for a priest) students in the mid 1800s.  The Salesians of Don Bosco are a worldwide organization founded by Saint Don John Bosco, the second largest Catholic religious order in the world!  On the statue, Saint Dominic is holding a paper that reads "Death but not sin"

This is the old gym where my Dad played when he was a student.  The bottom door led into what used to be a bowling alley (the old kind of alley where you set up your own pins! ), locker room, and offices. This lower level of the gym is currently being renovated into new classrooms and office spaces.  We then went up the staircase to see where my Dad impressed his fans on the court  :)

Here is my Dad standing proudly at center court

In the upper corner of the gym (where the double doors are) was this room where my Dad lived for a short time the summer after his senior year.  The All-Star got to live in the gym...Awesome! :)

This is my favorite picture....the 50+ year old gym bleachers!  WOW!

Salesian High School dedicated a new gymnasium in October to Brother Jim Wiegand, my Dad's basketball coach.  Here is my Dad standing in front of the new gym.

Here I am with my parents in front of Br. Jim Wiegand, SDB, Athletic Center

Just outside of the entrance to the gym is this beautiful plaque in honor of Brother Jim.

On the foyer wall of the gym is this beautiful Book of Donors.

When you open the Book of Donors there are metal pages that list all the people and organizations that have contributed their time, talent, and treasures toward making the new, beautiful Athletic Center.  My mom's parents names will be included in this book soon since my parents made a donation in memory of them.  My maternal grandmother used to work at Salesian High School when my Dad was a student and that is how my parents met.

This is inside the Br. Jim Athletic Center with the Salesian Varsity boy's basketball game in progress.  I was just so glad to not have to sit on those wooden bleachers in the old gym...Ha! Ha! :) Unfortunately, Salesian did not win their game :( When my Dad first entered the gym, he was surprised by a childhood friend and his wife who came to see his induction!  This really touched my Dad a lot and he had the biggest grin on his face!  Thank you C. and B. for making the trip to surprise my Dad!  It meant a lot to him!

My Dad (second from the left) stood at halftime with his last name "Bua" and number displayed on a framed jersey.  The announcer then told the audience about my Dad's basketball career and I plan to get a copy of the speech since it was quite impressive and something I would like to keep forever! Dad, we are so proud of you and love you!

My Dad, the Hall of Famer! 

From left to right is my Dad's older sister, my Dad's twin brother, my Dad's older brother with his wife, Br. Jim, my Dad, my Mom, me, my brother and my brother's girlfriend

Here is my Dad with his coach, Brother Jim, who the gym is named after.  My Dad is not from NY, but from Boston. So how did my Dad get to NY to attend high school?   Brother Jim met my Dad when my Dad attended a Don Bosco boys summer camp as a teenager.  Br. Jim recognized my Dad's hard work ethic and dedication to using his talents when my Dad was a teenager and when Brother Jim transferred to Salesian High School to coach, my Dad was asked to join him on the court.  
Brother Jim, thank you for all you have done for my father and family.  You are a blessing to so many and I'm glad you were a wonderful role model for my father and thanks for keeping him out of trouble when he was in high school!   :) 

I had a wonderful weekend with my family and I loved hearing all the stories from many, many, many, many (you get the point :) ) years ago.  I went away from the weekend with a great new sense of pride and admiration for my father and I am grateful for Brother Jim who took my father under his wing to become one of the many people who helped guide him and mold him into the wonderful person and father he is today!
We love you Dad and Brother Jim! 

I'm linking this post up to Lynda's "A Day in Our Life" Blog Hop

Click button below to join Lynda, Anna-Marie and I for the No Ordinary Blog Hop for the entire month of January:) The blogger who posts the most will be spotlighted next month and be given a Star Blogger Award. Come join the FUN!!


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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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