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Pascal Candle for 2014

This is the most requested item on my blog. Each Lent, as we inch toward Holy Week, I get oodles of emails asking when the latest Pascal Candle art will be available. Juan José, of Hermanoleon Clip Art, just emailed me that his 2014 Pascal Candle art is now online!


This is a very simple Paschal Candle for your home. You will need a tall glass votive with a white candle. It will look better if the glass is clear, but the choice is yours. Print the paschal art and simple wrap it around the glass votive, securing with a bit of tape or glue. Voila! A very pretty, instant Paschal Candle for your home or school room, suitable for even the youngest crafters.

The real thanks go to artist Juan José!

Last year, instead of printing  on plain white paper, I used an inkjet window decal. Looked pretty cool and lasted all year!


We will never forget

September 11 is Patriot Day. A presidential proclamation issued in 2007 proclaims:

. . . the people of the United States [are] to observe Patriot Day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and remembrance services, to display the flag at half-staff from their homes on that day, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 A.M. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent Americans and people from around the world who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

project 2,996
Project 2,996
Remembering and Paying tribute to the victims of 9-11
Our tributes:
Hasmukhrai Chuckulal Parmar
Steven Paul Chucknick

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions – May

papal coat of arms

General: That those who administer justice will always act with integrity and upright conscience.

Missionary: That seminarians, especially from mission Churches, may always be pastors according to the heart of Christ, fully devoted to the proclamation of the Gospel.

Common Core panel presentation in St. Louis

Come to the Chesterfield City Hall next Thursday, April 25 to hear i‪national experts on the takeover of our schools.‬

Missouri Coalition Against Common Core


The Fundamental Transformation Of Public and Private Education
(You probably haven’t heard of it, but you are paying for it!!)

Panel Presentation
Chesterfield City Hall
Thursday, April 25, 7pm – 9pm

Panelists Include:

  • Dr. Sandra Stotsky: Professor Emerita of Education Reform University of Arkansas; Served on Common Core Validation Committee; Testifies Nationally Against Common Core
  • Senators John Lamping and Brian Nieves: Sponsors of SB210
  • Gretchen Logue: Editor Missouri Education Watchdog; Co-founder Missouri Coalition Against Common Core
  • Anne Gassel: Co-founder Missouri Coalition Against Common Core; Co-editor Missouri Education Watchdog

Don’t Let the Federal Government Control our Schools

More info on Common Core

For more info on Common Core, check out Cathy Duffy’s 2001 article: The Education Standards Movement Spells Trouble for Private and Home SchoolsThis has been in the works for some time.

Federal takeover of Missouri education could affect homeschoolers

Taken from today’s HSLDA e-lert:

Call Now to Stop Federal Takeover of Missouri Education

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Powerful forces in Washington, D.C., areseeking to centralize control over education and dictate what children in America must learn—perhaps even homeschoolers. And they are doing it through an ingenious program called “Common Core State Standards.”

Federal control over education would mean that dominant groups could force-feed children exactly the doctrine and world view they want them to believe.

If they had been transparent and simply filed a bill in Congress to empower the federal government to control the content of education, a firestorm of criticism would have doomed it. But they were clever: they offered money to state bureaucrats to do “voluntarily” what they themselves could not do without generating a nationwide outcry.

The result is that 45 states-including Missouri—took the bait, gave up the right to choose what their children would learn, and promised to create a system that would require all public children to learn exactly the same things.

This could affect homeschoolers profoundly if it is not stopped. College admissions tests are already changing to submit to Common Core. The ability to enter college or get a scholarship could one day depend on having learned the Common Core. Getting a job or getting into the military could one day depend on learning the Common Core. Even some homeschool curriculum providers have announced that their books comply with Common Core!

Once all public school children are learning exactly the same things nationwide, the path is laid to force private schools and homeschools to comply. After all, why should some non-conformists be allowed to teach their kids anything they want when “everyone” is learning Common Core? It is not unthinkable that your freedom to teach your children what you know they should learn could vanish—or it could be penalized beyond anything we might now imagine.

The federalization of education content would be a huge step toward turning the clock back and ending homeschool freedom.

And if federalization is successful, the seemingly unquenchable lust for centralization will certainly set its eyes on the next target: internationalization. And in the international arena, it’s perfectly acceptable to completely forbid homeschooling: just ask the Konrad and Romeike families from Germany or the Johansson family from Sweden.

But in Missouri, there is hope for change! Two bills are pending in the Missouri Legislature that would extract the state from Common Core: SB 210 and HB 616. They need your help!

Action Requested

Please call your Missouri state senator and your representative right away. Keep in mind that state bureaucrats joined Common Core without any approval from the Missouri Legislature. Your lawmakers are not the bad guys! But they DO have the power to solve the problem.

The message to your state senator could be as simple as “Please vote YES on SB 210. Give Missouri back the right to choose its own educational destiny.”

The message to your state representative could be as simple as “Please vote YES on HB 616. Give Missouri back the right to choose its own educational destiny.” You should feel free to develop a message that is more personal using information from this e-lert or other sources. Since this affects all parents, it is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

Also please call your two U.S. senators (Blunt and McCaskill). Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley is circulating a letter for U.S. senators to sign opposing the funding of a nationalized curriculum. Your message to Senators Blunt and McCaskill can be as simple as: “Please sign onto Senator Grassley’s letter urging Congress to defund the Common Core Curriculum Standards Initiative. The federal government should not be using taxpayer dollars to pressure the states into adopting educational goals and curriculum which should be decided by local parents, teachers, and schools.”

Contact Information

Use this link to find your Missouri state senator and representative and their contact information.

Use the link below to get contact information for U.S. senators Blunt and McCaskill: Call 202 224-3121 or visit this page to get contact information for your U.S. senators.


For an explanation of how Common Core got started, read this article by HSLDA’s Director of Federal Relations, Will Estrada.

“What if I told you that Obama’s education-policy reforms, arguably pushed through without the good graces of the law, were crippling children’s imagination, stifling their creativity and on the whole setting them up to become less moral, kind empathetic people?” Read the rest of this National Review article.

The Heritage Foundation believes Common Core decreases a student’s ability to develop analytical thinking.

This article by a former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education under Clinton and Bush explains how federal money controlled the entire operation and how little input was received.

Implementation of Common Core in California means that bright 8th graders can no longer take Algebra I, because one set of Common Core standards is required for every grade. (California Education Code 60605.11(b)(3)). Massachusetts had to water down its math standardsto comply with Common Core.

The College Board, owner of the SAT college admission test, is already changing the test to comply with Common Core.

This Cato article discusses the pressure to turn national education standards into federal education standards.

“The Common Core State Standards have no more legitimacy than the plans of your local village idiot to reform education.”

This Christian Post editorial asserts that “There is no evidence that the curriculum works, and it will destroy innovation amongst states.”

The left-leaning Brookings Institute says Common Core won’t improve the education kids get. Brookings says that neither the quality nor rigor of state standards is related to student achievement.

Although the Common Core is paraded as the work of states working together, the U.S. Department of Education is already jumping in.

In addition to an organization that controls the Common Core standards themselves, there is a group creating a national curriculum that implements the Common Core standards, and at least two groups are creating a national test that will test students on their knowledge of the Common Core standards.

A bill is pending in Iowa that will create a state panel to encourage businesses to give hiring preferences to students who earn a“certificate of competency” from their public school. While it’s difficult to tell if this is directly related to Common Core, it is a very troubling example of how state legislatures can link hiring preferences with certain preferred types of education. See p.33 starting at line 23.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely Yours,
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Senior Counsel, HSLDA

Isabel needs your vote!

jump-voteOkay, blogger friends, my daughter has made it into the top ten in the Radio City Rockettes’ Jump the Line contest. If you are on Facebook, we would very much appreciate your vote. You can vote once each day through April 21. The winner gets to “jump” to the front of the Rockette audition line this spring and gets free airfare to NYC, lodging, and more!

It’s a great honor to have made it to the top 10. Congrats, Izzy!

Thanks to all for your vote for Isabel!

Meet me in St. Louis — at the Catholic Homeschool Conference!

2013 Catholic Homeschool Conference

Friday, April 5 & Saturday, April 6

Cardinal Rigali Pastoral Center, 20 Archbishop May Dr., St. Louis MO

 John LaBriola is the featured speaker at the St. Louis Catholic Homeschool Association’s 2013 Catholic Homeschool Conference to be held Friday, April 5 & Saturday, April 6 at the Cardinal Rigali Pastoral Center in Shrewsbury. The motives for deciding to homeschool are many. This annual conference is designed to introduce Catholic families to the endless possibilities of homeschooling.


John LaBriola is the founder of the Catholic Family Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to healing, strengthening and advancing Catholic families. He is the author of three books: Catholic Truth for Catholic Teens, Christ Centered Selling and Onward Catholic Soldier: Spiritual Warfare According to Scripture, the Church & the Saints. He is the former host of St Joseph Radio Presents and a frequent guest on EWTN television and radio. He is a frequent speaker at parish missions, Marian conferences, Homeschool Conferences, Men’s Conferences and Retreats. John is married with three beautiful homeschooled daughters. LaBriola’s presentations will include “Sanctifying Your Work Week,” “Satan’s Attack on the Family,” “Healing Strengthening and Promoting the Family,” and “Prayer, Promise and Perseverance”

Friday evening events are geared toward high school students and their parents, with “What Is the Meaning of Life?” and “Sanctifying Your Work Week.” Saturday’s conference topics will include: “Teaching Reading with Phonics,” “Introduction to Catholic Homeschooling,” “Evangelizing Culture,” and “Family Defense – Protecting What Matters Most.” An expanded curriculum fair and vendors area offer a wide variety of Catholic homeschooling materials for your immediate inspection and purchase.

The St. Louis Catholic Homeschool Association’s Annual Conference is designed for homeschoolers at all levels. Prospective homeschoolers will leave with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision. New homeschoolers will find support and inspiration for their current homeschooling efforts. Even veteran homeschoolers will come away with valuable insights and new ideas.

Registration for Friday only is $15 per person, and $3 per high school student. Full Conference registration is $30 per person, or $45 per married couple. Register online at www.stlouiscatholichomeschool.com. For more info, visit us online, or contact Kathy Harkins at 314-918-0639.


Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions – April 2013

papal coat of arms

General: That the prayerful and public celebration of the faith may be a source of life for the faithful.

Missionary: That the particular Churches in mission territories may be a sign and instrument of hope and resurrection.

Egg Hunt Epiphany

An oldie, but a goodie! Happy Easter!

It has taken us years to figure out the perfect Easter egg hunt. We started years ago by hiding the brightly colored boiled eggs that the kids had decorated. This was new to me, but it was a tradition in my husband’s family. After about the third hide these boiled eggs are looking pretty sad, and that’s if the dog didn’t run off with them. We tried hiding candy eggs, but there’s still that dog. As our number of children increased we began to hide plastic eggs. These didn’t interest the dog at all, but big kids tended to gather up all the easy to spot eggs and little kids got mad. Finally, the color coded Easter Egg hunt. This might not be a new idea to some of you, but we felt like we had finally come up with something. Each kid gets the same number of plastic eggs, in varying sizes, in their very own color. The younger kids eggs are hidden in easier-to-find locations, and you can’t pick up an egg unless it is your color. Now the egg hunt is fun for everyone, except maybe the dog.


My Mom gets Order of St. Louis IX Medallion

On May 5, Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond will award the Order of St. Louis IX Medallion to my Mom at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

The Order of St. Louis IX award was established in the New Orleans Archdiocese more than 40 years ago to honor those members of the laity who have contributed their time and talents to the Church.

Congrats & Happy Easter, Mom!

Our 2013 St. Joseph Altar

This post is part of the 4th Annual St. Joseph Altar Blog Fest. If you made an Altar for St. Joseph’s Feast Day, and would like to be included, make a blog post about your St. Joseph Altar, including details and pics, then link it here. Linking is open and will continue till April 3. Head over to the Virtual St. Joseph Altar blog for all the details!


Each year,we use our upright piano for the highest level of our Altar. The second level is made with a height-adjustable small school table. One of our large school tables is used for the front of the Altar.

Here’s the base of our Altar:


Cover everything with a couple of nice table cloths and runners and we’ve got a nice-sized three-level altar:


Lots more work to do. Added table cloths underneath to hide table legs and switched out family photo for a lovely mirror my son gave me one year for Christmas. Photos of deceased loved ones, religious statues, candles, bread crumbs, fava beans, cakes, cookies, citrus, flowers, and bread in symbolic shapes complete our Altar.


Here are some details:

Viva San Giuseppe! 

Be sure to visit the Virtual St. Joseph Altar today!

Altar blog fest opens tomorrow!

Just a reminder that the 4th Annual Altar blog fest will open tomorrow afternoon! Join in the fest and share a blog post about your Altar. We love details and photos.

Linking will open on the afternoon of St. Joseph’s Feast Day and continue through April 3.

Viva San Giuseppe!

Novena to St. Joseph Day 9

Prayers for Day 9


St. Joseph Novena Day 8

Prayers for Day 8