PrepWise Wednesday Challenge

It you all have been following my blog for a while, you know I like to keep a large pantry and storage of daily use products. Since we have a large family, I prefer to shop out of my pantry for the week and restock when items go on that once every two month sale.

Over the past 20 months or so, the pantry took a major hit. I praise God that I had the provisions in the house to help us get through the leaner and more turbulent times. Now that things have settled down, it is time to rebuild the pantry and other provisions.

The first thing I am going to do is take a physical inventory of the items I have in the house right now. Then I am going compare what I have on hand with what I need to get the stores back up to at least a three month level. Then I will make my plan for restocking.

After I complete my plan, I need to have my husband build better storage shelves for the food items. The ones I have now are plastic shelves and they are showing signs of age. One even collapsed a month or so ago. Thankfully there were no glass jars on it so nothing was lost. I want to avoid having that happen in the future.

For the next week I am going to work on my inventory, research plans for shelves and start a plan for restocking.

For this week I encourage you to start your prepping plan. Post here with your prepping plans.

Pax Christi,

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Spiritual Works of Mercy in the Home

As Catholics we believe that we are to perform works of mercy to help others and ourselves along our faith journey. Last week I discussed the Corporal Works of Mercy in the home.  Today I want to discuss how mothers and fathers fulfill the Spiritual Works of Mercy in the home.  I know first hand how hard it is to perform anything other than a basic prayer with a young child in the home. If you have more than one child, it becomes so much harder. Then if you add in something like a special needs child or homeschooling, the journey becomes even more of a struggle.

As Catholics we believe mercy is a virtue of our personal will that allows us to have compassion for, and hopefully alleviate another person’s misfortune. The corporal works of mercy help with a person’s physical  or corporal needs.  The spiritual works of mercy help with a person’s soul.

So the spiritual works of mercy are as follows:

•Instruct the ignorant;
•Counsel the doubtful;
•Admonish sinners;
•Bear wrongs patiently;
•Forgive offences willingly;
•Comfort the afflicted;
•Pray for the living and the dead.

How are we, as parents, to perform these spiritual works of mercy in our homes?  Here are my thoughts.

Instruct the Ignorant –Our primary job as parents are to take the little blobs of humanity that God has entrusted to us and form them into God loving Christians. This means we teach them how to be compassionate towards themselves, their family and others.  We teach them how to feed themselves, dress themselves, numbers, and letters.  We teach them how to pray for others, the world, and that it is okay to pray for their needs too.

Counsel the Doubtful — We teach our children how to respond to questions that make them doubt themselves and their families.  We teach them how to respond to those that question their faith.  We teach them where to go to look for answers about their faith when others make them question that faith.

Admonish Sinners —  This is an easy one.  We are all sinners.  Including that precious little child in the middle of a temper tantrum because you, as the parent, said no you cannot go play in three feet of snow in a swimsuit.  We correct them for hitting others, we correct them when we catch them telling a lie.  We help them to understand that as humans, we are sinners and we need the grace in the sacraments to help us get through this life and get to heaven.  As Catholics, we teach them about the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  This sacrament that allows us to actually hear God’s love and forgiveness expressed to us from one of his representatives here on Earth.

Bear Wrongs Patiently — As a parent this is key.  Many times your children will do wrong against you.  In the midst of anger they scream “I hate you.”  A toddler becomes so angry, she lashes out and hits you or bites you.  A teen “borrows” the food money from your purse so he can get a burger with the guys after school  As a parent, offer a prayer for them and yourself.  Then you get back to the the process of admonishing and instructing. That toddler goes into time out.  That teen gets grounded and winds up with peanut butter and jelly for the week for lunch and dinner.  The one that screams “I hate you,” gets told “I love you.”

Forgive Offenses Willingly —  Again as a parent this will be practiced often.  Take the examples above.  The one that screams “I hate you” will come up in a calmer moment and say “I am sorry, I didn’t mean it.”  You say that is okay, I know it and forgive you.  Then the offender gets a hug.  The toddler gets to say he was sorry and you say I forgive you and gets a hug too.  Even that teen will say I am sorry, and you say I forgive you, put the punish stands.

Comfort the Afflicted — Afflicted means to comfort someone who has physical or mental pain.  As a parent we will often comfort our children.  There will many illness of the body while a child is growing up.  There will even be mental pain too.  Especially in those hard middle school years: they are best friends one day and enemies the next.  Or there is the first break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. 

Pray for the Living and the Dead —  As Catholics we believe in the communion of the saints.  That means all people, living and dead, are connected as one in the Body of Christ.  We can pray here on Earth for those that are in heaven and we can ask for them to intercede for us with our Lord.  We also believe in Purgatory, so we pray for those souls in Purgatory so that their time spent away from the face of God will be shorter.  We teach our children about these beliefs so that they can pray for all the saints of the church.

We must first take the time in our home to instruct our children in these things.  Then we can expand to the rest of the world.

Pax Christi,

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Menu Monday

Monday — Cereal
Tuesday — Scrambled Eggs
Wednesday — Waffles
Thursday — Cereal
Friday — Waffles
Saturday — Dutch Baby
Sunday — Cereal



Garlic Bread

Baked Chicken
Seasoned Rice

Sweet potatoes

Thursday — Boy Scouts
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Baked chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

Garlic Bread

Taco Bar

Have a wonderful and flavorful week!

Pax Christi,

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

First Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. It marks the start of the new liturgical year. This year we will again be following the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure.

This is a fun way to help learn about our Catholic Faith and the true meaning of Christmas. I have also made an Advent Calendar, well actually Advent Chain, which has activities the family will do throughout Advent. Things like writing the Christmas cards, baking cookies, and serving at the Sharing Table as a family.

We will be making a bed for the Baby Jesus. This is an empty manger into which we put pieces of “straw” (yellow and brown yarn) based on the number of good deeds or sacrifices the children make through out the day. The idea is to have a soft, fluffy bed for the Infant Jesus on Christmas Eve because the children have been showing compassion and a servant’s heart for everyone in the family and others outside the family.

We light the Advent Wreath and have a little devotional before dinner and have at least one family night a week. This includes things like a favorite family dinners, watching family favorite holiday movie or even a game night. In this hurried time of year, I think it is a good thing to try to slow down, connect as a family and enjoy each other.

What are some of your family’s Advent traditions?

Pax Christi,

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Silly Saturday

Today we are going to be decorating the house for Christmas. We like to enjoy the lights and the decorations for as long as possible, so we put up our decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving. Richard actually put the outside lights up last weekend since we had perfect weather for it.  Which is unusual for mid-November around here.

So we will be putting up the Christmas tree, the indoor lights and some of the lighted Christmas houses. When we replaced our 20 year old TV, we had to get a new TV stand, the old entertainment unit which used to hold our houses, was relieved of duty. We now have two little tables on which to display the houses. So this year all of us will pick and chose our favorite ones to display.

After the decorating is all done, we will sit down and watch some more of the classic Christmas shows. I might even make some hot chocolate to go with some freshly baked sugar cookies. Those are always special treats around here.

What are some your family’s favorite Christmas decorations?

Pax Christi,

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Black Friday Drop Out

Today is the official Black Friday. Although the stores have been running huge sales already. So much for an economic recovery.

I have to admit, I have only done Black Friday shopping once. I refuse to do it again. I know there are great deals that can be found, but I just don’t like crowds, chaos and rude people. And I found all of those on my first and last time shopping on Black Friday three years ago.

So while all of you are out shopping, I will be cruising and doing my shopping. I found I did just as well, if not better doing most of my shopping on-line last year. Amazon was my favorite place.

Enjoy your shopping and stay safe. It is a jungle out there.

Pax Christi,
A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Thanksgiving Eve

Today is a prep day around the house for tomorrow. We are making pumpkin and apple pies. Probably three of each type. That way they can be refrigerated. We like to eat our pies cold. I know. We are weird. I have heard that quite often in the past few years about many things. So you saying we are weird because we like cold pie won’t phase me.

We will make the rolls that we will be eating. My family LOVES rolls. To make sure I have enough I will make them today, then I can just pop them in the oven to warm them up tomorrow.

I will also mix up the stuffing and get that ready to go for the morning. It doesn’t take us long since I use the Pepperidge Farms Seasoned Bread, but why worry about getting up crack of dawn early to make sure everything is done.

I will mix up a traditional green bean casserole or two, or three. My family loves this and I do not make it often. They will also head to the fridge to await cooking tomorrow.

The sweet potato casserole will be put together too. One less thing to have to do on the actual day. I only make one of these since only a few people like to eat the entire thing, most of them just like the browned marshmallows on top.

I will make sure the turkey is defrosted and ready to go into the oven in the morning. I will even make sure to take out the bag ‘o guts. My sister-in-law forgot about them the first time she made a turkey and was horribly embarrassed at the time. We joke about it now.

I will use that bag o’ guts to flavor the broth to make the gravy, which I may or may not start today. It will depend on how much I can get done and how much stove and refrigerator space I have available.

My mom used to make all the Thanksgiving food items and put them in the garage on the top of the huge chest freezer. That garage was like a walk in refrigerator in the winter, so it made life easier around the holidays. I wish I had a garage like she has.

All that will remain to do tomorrow is cook the bird, make the mashed potatoes, bake the green bean and sweet potato casseroles, and reheat the rolls.  I think all the day before prep, makes for a much easier Thanksgiving Day for my family. We can all sit together and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and them move onto some Christmas videos. Yes Christmas videos.  Things like Rudolph and Frosty. We all know the Christmas season starts after Santa arrives at the end of the parade. So that is when start to watch our favorite Christmas shows.

What are some of your Thanksgiving family traditions?

Pax Christi,

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Corporal Works of Mercy in the Home

There was a discussion started on board that I often visit. The talk was about corporal works of mercy and how hard it is to perform them with all the demands on a mother’s and father’s time.

For those that do not know, the corporal works of mercy are as follows:

• Feed the hungry
• Give drink to the thirsty
• Clothe the naked
• Harbor the harborless
• Visit the sick
• Ransom the captive
• Bury the dead

One of the moms on the board talked about how as a parent we fulfill many of these in our day to day lives. Here are some examples I came up with from this discussion:

Feed the Hungry — fixing those three square meals day in and day out. Let’s not forget the time that goes into meal planning, shopping and keeping it all organized.

Give Drink to the Thirsty — giving out that cup of milk, juice, or water for the 20th time in a day. And those with newborns that means getting up every 2 to 3 hours round the clock for quite a few months.

Clothe the naked — chasing down the slippery, wet toddler running down the hall after a bath and wrestling them into pajamas. Not to mention making sure all the laundry is done so the clothing they have is clean. Plus we cannot forget the numerous diapers that are changed. And if you had multiples, you know that number multiples exponentially!

Harbor the harborless — providing a safe place to land after a hard day out in the world for both your spouse and your children. We provide a place where they can let their hair down and be themselves, warts and all.

Visit the sick — how many of us have not had to get up at 2 AM and care for a sick child? And then have to do it again and again in the same week because that nasty stomach has a 24 hour incubation period. Oh and you better be keeping up with the laundry to make sure you clothe the naked during this time!

Ransom the captive — picking up that baby or toddler from their crib and letting them start to explore the wide world or take care one of the other corporal works of mercy like change that diaper or feed them.

Bury the dead — this one can get tricky. I know I often tell my children that I brought them into this world and I can take them out (a la Bill Cosby), but murder is forbidden by the Ten Commandments. If I had to take them out, then I would bury them before I went to prison. If you think about it, you help to bury those childhood fears as your children grow up. In my case, I actually had to bury a little one and I know many others have had to do the same, so that is a literal performance for this corporal work of mercy. I pray many do not have to actually do this.

I often say if you cannot practice these things at home, you cannot perform them outside of the home with a true heart.  As a parent you are practicing these corporal works of mercy, and most important of all teaching you are teaching your children to do the same.  You will expand from your home to the world as your children grow and you have more “time” outside of the house.

Pax Christi,
A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome