St. Martin of Tours Feast Day

When we were in Germany we were able to join in on the celebrations for St. Martin of Tours on November 11.  The children would make lanterns, meet at the church to hear the story of St. Martin, walk through the streets of the town following St. martin on his horse, ending at a bonfire for goodies.

We do things a little different here.  This year we had about 8 families join us for hot soup/stew.  Everyone brought something to share and there is always some very goods eats!  We had the canopy set up outside so that the majority could eat outside.  We had a few too many people (always a positive) so some stood near the fire and some in the house.  After dinner we took our lanterns to the fire and told the story of St. Martin and some of the tall tales that follow his story.

I know it is cold this time of year but I do enjoy sharing this with family and friends.  There are some photos on the side bar photo albums.

Here are a couple of links if your are interested.  Catholic online

Women for Faith and Family

Family in Feast and Feria


SONNY SCOTT:Home-schoolers threaten our cultural comfort

SONNY SCOTT:Home-schoolers threaten our cultural comfort

6/8/2008 9:39:01 AM
Daily Journal

You see them at the grocery, or in a discount store.

It's a big family by today’s standards - "just like stair steps," as the old folks say. Freshly scrubbed boys with neatly trimmed hair and girls with braids, in clean but unfashionable clothes follow mom through the store as she fills her no-frills shopping list.

There's no begging for gimcracks, no fretting, and no threats from mom. The older watch the younger, freeing mom to go peacefully about her task.

You are looking at some of the estimated 2 million children being home schooled in the U.S., and the number is growing. Their reputation for academic achievement has caused colleges to begin aggressively recruiting them. Savings to the taxpayers in instructional costs are conservatively estimated at $4 billion, and some place the figure as high as $9 billion. When you consider that these families pay taxes to support public schools, but demand nothing from them, it seems quite a deal for the public.

Home schooling parents are usually better educated than the norm, and are more likely to attend worship services. Their motives are many and varied. Some fear contagion from the anti-clericalism, coarse speech, suggestive behavior and hedonistic values that characterize secular schools. Others are concerned for their children’s safety. Some want their children to be challenged beyond the minimal competencies of the public schools. Concern for a theistic world view largely permeates the movement.

Indications are that home schooling is working well for the kids, and the parents are pleased with their choice, but the practice is coming under increasing suspicion, and even official attack, as in California.

Why do we hate (or at least distrust) these people so much?

Methinks American middle-class people are uncomfortable around the home schooled for the same reason the alcoholic is uneasy around the teetotaler.

Their very existence represents a rejection of our values, and an indictment of our lifestyles. Those families are willing to render unto Caesar the things that Caesar’s be, but they draw the line at their children. Those of us who have put our trust in the secular state (and effectively surrendered our children to it) recognize this act of defiance as a rejection of our values, and we reject them in return.

Just as the jealous Chaldeans schemed to bring the wrath of the king upon the Hebrew eunuchs, we are happy to sic the state’s bureaucrats on these “trouble makers.” Their implicit rejection of America’s most venerated idol, Materialism, (a.k.a. “Individualism”) spurs us to heat the furnace and feed the lions.

Young families must make the decision: Will junior go to day care and day school, or will mom stay home and raise him? The rationalizations begin. "A family just can't make it on one income." (Our parents did.) "It just costs so much to raise a child nowadays." (Yeah, if you buy brand-name clothing, pre-prepared food, join every club and activity, and spend half the cost of a house on the daughter’s wedding, it does.) And so, the decision is made. We give up the bulk of our waking hours with our children, as well as the formation of their minds, philosophies, and attitudes, to strangers. We compensate by getting a boat to take them to the river, a van to carry them to Little League, a 2,800-square-foot house, an ATV, a zero-turn Cub Cadet, and a fund to finance a brand-name college education. And most significantly, we claim “our right” to pursue a career for our own

Deep down, however, we know that our generation has eaten its seed corn. We lack the discipline and the vision to deny ourselves in the hope of something enduring and worthy for our posterity. We are tired from working extra jobs, and the looming depression threatens our 401k’s. Credit cards are nearly maxed, and it costs a $100 to fuel the Suburban. Now the kid is raising hell again, demanding the latest Play Station as his price for doing his school work … and there goes that modest young woman in the home-made dress with her four bright-eyed, well-behaved home-schooled children in tow. Wouldn’t you just love to wipe that serene look right off her smug face?

Is it any wonder we hate her so?

Sonny Scott a community columnist, lives on Sparta Road in Chickasaw County and his e-mail address is

Joe's Graduation Speech

As we look back at the last four years of our lives, we can usually come up with a few assumptions. We can think back at the friends we made, the friends we have, and the friends that passed through our lives. We can look at the knowledge we gained that will help us advance in life. We can look at the respect we earned from making it to this point in our lives. We can look at the experiences we gained from our accomplishments, and our mistakes. The assumptions that we usually have are that it was a great time where we learned a lot, made friends and lost some, screwed up a few times, but in general had a good time.


We can then look at what the future holds for us. We can think of our careers, and the great successes that we will have to work hard for. We can think of the friends we hope to make, so that we will have someone to go to in times of trouble, or lend a hand to in their time of need. We can think of that special friend who we will want to love and spend our life with. We can think of taking care of our families and loving them-no matter the circumstance or troubles that pop up. We can think of the places we want to go, and the things we want to do.


Our future ahead holds lots of new doors to open and windows to look out of. The doors that we open will lead us to something new; the windows we will look through to see if there is any good on the other side. We will find that some of the doors will be hard to open, from being heavy, locked, or that we are too afraid to find out what is on the other side. We may find that some of the windows are so dirty that it is nearly impossible to see through them.


We’ll also think of our past from time to time and the doors and windows that we faced. Some of the doors were hard to open, some of them we had to pry open with all our strength, and some of them were locked, so we had to find different doors to walk through. We’ll think of the doors we did not want to open, for fear of going into the next room, but did anyways to be able to learn more. We’ll also think of the old windows that we looked through, how sometimes they were so dirty and smudged that it was hard to see the good through them, but there was always a little good through each one.


The memories from our past will always help us to move through life. Some of these memories are painful, and hard to think of. We’ll see the hardest doors of the past, and not want to go through them again, but our experiences will help us. And as we walk through the doors of challenges and look through the windows of the people that we will meet in life, we will remember each one, and learn from each one. Our memories from high school and the first chapter of our lives will stick to us for many years to come.


Smile. Life's good.

parental rights

Thank you very much for signing the petition at and becoming a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the Parental Rights Amendment! We are committed to protecting the vital role of parents in the lives of their kids and are thankful you are too. Children are just too important to be regulated out of the lives of their parents. This is why we are standing up and why we are thankful you are too! With your help we can convince your Congressman and Senators to become sponsors of the Parental Rights Amendment.
Please check the blog ( ) regularly for updates and be sure to take advantage of our easy tools available for spreading the word through our Get Involved section ( ). You can easily tell all your friends about the Parental Rights Amendment by going to
Thank you again!
The Team

a new chapter

Some things are difficult to do.  New chapters in your life can come to you in so many different ways and for many different reasons.  Bringing many different emotions.  Another roller coaster ride.

Ted has not been the easiest to deal with for a while.  I know, teenage boys can be that way.  After a lot of struggling we enrolled him into the public school today.  It was not something I wanted to do.  I almost feel like a failure at being a mom.  That I failed in homeschooling my son.

I have looked at different curriculum to use.  I even had enrolled him into the community college.  It is not me.  It is not the curriculum.  It is a series of choices that Ted has made.  It is not the end of the world.

He will have an opportunity to soar if he so chooses.  There are lots of options at this school and they are going to try to find classes that keep challenging him.  It did help that the administrator for the district had home schooled his own children for a time.  He could understand where we were coming from and that not everything is black and white.  He will take a placement test tomorrow to get an idea of where he will fit at their school.  He did not complete all of his courses for Seton and will start where he left off last year.  He will now be back with kids his own age rather than way ahead but the school says there is lots of honor and AP courses to keep him challenged.

I hope that he does well in the high school and that he goes far.  I pray that he does not get caught up in the wrong crowd.  I will have to hope that he has enough of his Faith to keep him going and thriving.  Please keep him in your prayers as he begins this new chapter. 

It's 2 AM

and I am wide awake.  Not the first time, and I know not the last.  I do better on days I get a 15 - 20 minute nap.  Just a few minutes to stretch and close my eyes, to regenerate.  My temper is better and I can stay up past 8 PM.  I don't think I made it to 8 last night.  Stress has a lot to do with it.

Friday was a really bad day.  I got into it with one of my kids, again.  I have gone more rounds with this particular kid than I care to admit too.  I am to the point that I do not know if I can do anything for him any more.  It is a wrong attitude that I have right now.   I am supposed to be the adult here and I want to act like a little child and throw a tantrum.

Sometimes you ask another homeschooling Mom what they do with kids like this and it is though no one else has a child like mine.  Or gone through this.  Or no one that will admit to it.  I know I am not the only mom that has had troubles with her son.  I did talk with one Mom on Friday who is going through this right now with her daughter.  She was able to remind me that they are children of God and I should turn to Him for help.  Unfortunately I am so angry with my son that I do not want to talk with him much less be able to forgive.  I want him to say that he is sorry first.  Now isn't that adult like!

As I am awake and reading other's blogs I came to one on "turning the other cheek".  Et tu? has a good reminder of how we should treat others. 

Please forgive my unkindness and sarcasm.  There is no place for things like that in a home.  I do not have all the answers and I definitely have some wrong ones.  I am stumbling through the raising of a family the best way that I can.  Some days are good and some I would rather forget.  With God's Grace and a lot of forgiveness we will all survive and be the better for our struggles.  Forgiveness and love must be a part of our everyday life.

Love and forgiveness.

St. Martin

One of my favorite holy days or feast days is November 11, St. Martin of Tours.  We lived in Germany and Holland for lots of years and enjoyed celebrating St. Martin's day with our German friends and neighbors.

The boys would make lanterns in school in preparation of the feast day.  On Nov. 11 we would meet in the church and the story of Saint Martin would be told or reenacted for the children.  St. Martin would arrive on a white horse and in Holland Black Pete would be with him.  (Black Pete was the reminder to the children to behave because St. Nicholas would soon be coming).  St. Martin would lead the children and parents, in song, with their lanterns to a bonfire where they would receive a bread-man with his pipe.  There would usually be gluwein, cakes, hot food and other goodies going on.  It was a small fest.

Last night we had our own small fest here at the Dog and Duck Yard.  We used light sticks for lanterns and read snippets of St. Martin out loud around a fire.  The adults had some gluwein and the children had hot apple cider.  We had a dinner of goulash and chili before we started the St. Martin activity.  It is one of my favorites and I want to be able to continue the tradition in our own American way. 

Afterward the bigger kids played manhunt and the adults had a chance to visit.  Then the marshmallow guns came out and the little ones had a blast shooting the big 'kids'. I am not sure how we managed to stand around in the washroom but it is not the first time that has happened.  The kitchen or the washroom tends to be where all the action is in this house. 

I am so thankful that we are able to do things like this.  I am thankful for the friends and my own children, that like do do these kinds of things.  I am sorry that Tim was not here to join us.  I hope we are able to continue our tradition.

And a special thank you to all our Veteran's that make these freedoms possible.  May God bless you and keep you safe.

signs of the first day

1. no one wants to get out of bed

2. books have disappeared like magic

3. the pink pen for correcting that has been in the kitchen all summer is gone, like magic

4. kids are willing to do chores - to get out of doing school

5. it is not even 10 AM and I need Tylenol

6.  has any one seen the ruler?(pencils, eraser, calculator)

7.  Dad is away on a trip - left yesterday - do you think he planned it that way?