The following are answers to a few questions that I have received lately…
Question: Please, if you could give me some advice about the Internet in the home. We are careful what we allow the children to have access to but now that one of my children has reached 18, he wants his own laptop for studying, etc.
How much freedom do you allow as your children get older?
I am going to tell you what we do….
Our kids don’t have smart phones until they are married, as a general rule. Rosie has one. She is older than any of our other children have been as a single. She is devout and responsible…so she has one. She was not too hyped about it…which is a good indication she could handle it. She was stuck in her room, very sick and listened to audio books. Thus, the smart phone (for the audio books).
I am very much on top of who is looking at computers. The password is only known by me, my husband and Rosie. The computer is in a high traffic area. I don’t leave it open when I go out. The kids know they have to wait until I get home. They are not clamoring for it because their life hasn’t included it in everything.
We have been strict. And we call the shots when the kids are older but still living in the home. We aren’t apologetic about that. It’s the way it is. The internet is such a dangerous tool so we feel it is important enough to monitor things closely.
Our boys are wary of the computer. They know how quickly people can fall….especially boys…but girls, too. We just have one boy (Angelo) at home and he has written a journal for boys. He was on the laptop a lot while he was doing that. But I could see it at all times and I kept a close eye on things. Don’t ever just “trust” your son. As good as he may be, he is human, has curiosity…and it is just one click away. Covenant Eyes and other such monitoring software are valuable. We haven’t done this. I have chosen to watch things closely. But I do believe it would be a very good thing to have.
So, my advice is…be strict. If they have to use the computer then do be diligent…and make sure they are, too. It takes work but there is nothing more important than the souls of our children.
(I have seen many guys around these parts have flip phones. They don’t trust themselves with a smart phone. These guys run businesses, do Ebay or Craigslist and could really use a smart phone. The convenience is not worth it to them.
My married boys all have smart phones now. It is up to them and their wives to monitor things. And they do. They are not perfect but at least they were old enough to make these decisions before they had the world…good and bad….in the palm of their hands!)
Question: Do you have pdf’s or downloads available for your Boy’s and Girl’s Journals?
Not at the moment. I will work on this. I need to make them black and white first. I will put it up on the blog here when I have that accomplished. I will also get the Gratitude Journal so that you can buy the download. I know many of you are from out-of-country and shipping is expensive for the physical book.
Question: Do you have your taste and smell back after Covid?
Very slightly. And some days not at all. It has been over 3 months so I had a chat with our local Catholic doctor. He said that Covid can cause nerve damage in that area. When you have nerve damage, it can take a year to heal. One of the best things to do with when it comes to nerves, is to work the area. So that is what I am doing. It is called “Sniff Therapy”. I tell you this so you can pass it along to anyone who wants to try it. Here are the four “smells” that are recommended in this article. They sit by my computer and I try to do it twice a day. (Lemon, Rose, Eucalyptus, Clove, in that order.) We’ll see….
Question: Our country seems to becoming more and more Communist. As lay people taking care of our families, what can do we do?
Our family recently went to the Convent in Gower and spent some Days of Recollection there. The good priest gave a sermon on Sunday about being under the “Thumb of Communism” and what we can do. Here was the four things he said:
- Holy Mass
- Divine Office
- Holy Rosary
- Devotion to the Holy Face
I found that last one interesting. Father said it is a devotion especially for Communism. We got the book about the Holy Face Devotion, called The Golden Arrow and we will be reading it.
Here is a lovely prayer to the Holy Face from my Little Flower Prayerbook:
Prayer of St Therese to the Holy Face of Jesus
“O Jesus, who, in Thy cruel Passion didst become the ‘reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows,’ I worship Thy divine Face. Once it shone with the beauty and sweetness of the Divinity; but now, for my sake, it is become as ‘the face of a leper.’
Yet, in that disfigured Countenance, I recognize Thy infinite love, and I am consumed with the desire of making Thee loved by all mankind.
The tears that flowed so abundantly from Thy Eyes are to me as precious pearls that I delight to gather, that with their worth I may ransom the souls of poor sinners.
O Jesus, whose Face is the sole beauty that ravishes my heart, I may not see here below the sweetness of Thy glance, nor feel the ineffable tenderness of Thy kiss, I bow to Thy Will—but I pray Thee to imprint in me Thy divine likeness, and I implore Thee so to inflame me with Thy love, that it may quickly consume me, and that I may soon reach the vision of Thy glorious Face in heaven.”
Question: I feel so inadequate. I feel like I am not doing enough. It really stresses me out because I see my kids growing up and I know what big things they will face. I have got to do more spiritually in order to equip them….but I am tired. I have several children and life is busy and hectic. Do you have any advice?
Yes, I do. First things first. Let’s make a TO-DO List. No, not one of those lists that are telling you to clean the refrigerator, mop the floor and go to the grocery store. No, this is a “First Things First” List. Here’s how it could look (or something like this):
Mercy Chaplet (Or some other prayer for mid-afternoon to bring the family together…not too long…maybe a special litany or a different chaplet)
There, that’s not too long, is it? Get these done daily and they will give you the grace to handle the rest of life. Here’s a post to help with your Morning and Night Prayers. And then make sure your kids are saying their own Morning and Night Prayers. Get a little booklet to help your kids along when they are real small.
Then do the best you can for the rest of the day. We must be diligent with our daily duties but the spiritual is the most important and if you get that done, you are doing good. Rely on God for the rest.
I know that sounds simplistic but simple is best…and will help us to maintain that peace that is so crucial in the business of raising children. Well, and crucial for our own well-being and peace of mind! At the end of a hectic day, when we think we have not accomplished much, if we can look at that spiritual list and they are all checked off, you have done much!
Question: I am very worried about my children growing up in the world and in our country with the way things are going. How do you deal with these kind of thoughts?
I am going to quote a dad to answer this question:
Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be.
God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident.
Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God.
Train them up in the authority of His Word.
Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control.
Empower them to know they can change the world.
Don’t teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world but hopeful that they can do something about it.
Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan.
He knew Daniel could handle the lions den.
He knew David could handle Goliath.
He knew Esther could handle Haman.
He knew Peter could handle persecution.
He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it!
Don’t be scared for your children, but be honored that God chose YOU to parent them! Teach them God’s love and to share it with everyone!
Rise up to the challenge.
Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers and Peters! 💪🏼
God isn’t scratching His head wondering what He’s going to do with this mess of a world.
He has an army He’s raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth!!!
Don’t let YOUR fear steal the greatness God placed in them.
I know it’s hard to imagine them as anything besides our sweet little babies, and we just want to protect them from anything that could ever be hard on them, but they were born for such a time as this.
Just some thoughts from a dad who is rocking his sleeping baby and thinking about what a crazy day it has been in our country.
And now…A GALLERY!
Janette McCune said:
Great pictures 🙂 It seems that our parish is really getting the devotion to the Holy Face going here for Lent!
That is a beautiful and touching devotion…It really helps us to be closer to Jesus.
So much time has pasted… Do you ever notice that in pictures, it tells a story of time gone by, and then suddenly years and decades are all in pictures…
Anyway, very neat pictures, and thank you for the info on tech stuff. It is good to know one isn’t the only one strictly monitoring phones and computers, etc. 🙂
I love looking at all the pictures! Thanks for posting them!
Wonderful pictures and it gives me ideas!
Diane Stanislowski said:
Thank you so much for sharing this post! I loved the content and the pictures.
I have a question–what advice do you have for mothers with morning sickness? Our routine completely falls apart and my husband works hard to care for all the children and me all by himself. It is discouraging and very difficult for everyone. My moods during pregnancy also lower my quality as a mother. What spiritual advice would you give me? Thank you and I love your work!
Mrs T said:
Hi, Diane. I am (obviously) not Leanne, but I’d like to give a bit of advice, particularly since I am going through the same thing and have a few times before (#8).
Smile! Yes, smile! Words of encouragement and tenderness to your husband. Put on a happy face! Fake it if you have to! Even laugh about the situation. It’s not forever (thank goodness). Mother’s mood sets the tone. I know for me, biting my tongue is the best remedy. This is where our Lord wants you. Give it to Him. Lent is the perfect time. And since there must be suffering, don’t let it go to waste! Be cheerful, be strong. God bless you!!
Hi Diane, I asked my girls this question as they are quite experienced with severe morning sickness. Their answers are on this post… https://finerfem.wordpress.com/2021/02/22/the-single-vocation-in-the-world-more-tea-time-with-ff/
I want to chime in with a bit of encouragement. St. Paul says, “by childbearing she shall be saved.” Pregnancy is a great bootcamp in suffering. Nothing will train you to love like trying to love while you’re burdened so heavily. Remember to thank your husband for the little things he does, to praise his service to you and the little ones. Remember the time you spend raising your children is so short, to infinite value. During my last morning sickness I learned to knit and knit two blankets (inspired by Rosie’s doilies). Doing something, anything will help to boost your mood. Say your morning offering, and none of that suffering will go to waste. Courage sister, we are helping God in His greatest work.
I second your counsel to keep a close watch on the internet. We have always kept a close watch on the internet but sneaky children, a friend and a phone… sad story.
It’s so refreshing to see so many people acting normal during this time. Everything is beautiful, even your ‘real’ picture.
I also just experimented with soap! Using tallow! And we also have rabbits for the first time this year.
Thank you Anna! ♥️
Lovely photos as usual! Congrats to Margie on the baby! Bummer that she has gestational diabetes though! I was just diagnosed with that myself so I feel her frustration. It’s especially hard when you see other people around you eating sweets that you can’t; the temptation is something else.
Your family photos are always a favorite! By the way, trying to narrow my book collection down to 30 books would be my undoing! I could get rid of 30 books (maybe) but that is it!
I love seeing photos of your family! Thank you for sharing!
Mrs T said:
Your posts always inspire me.
My family is spread out and far away, and since certain family members were worried about THAT THING, our Christmas was just our family this year. Seeing others celebrating in true Catholic fashion is uplifting and heartwarming. Thanks for sharing.
Lydia S. said:
Thank you for your answer to the questions you’ve received lately – some have been questions in my own mind and I am grateful for the good advice! Could you find time to do a post on prayers with young children? I struggle staying cheerful when trying to teach my little ones to pray, even though it be a few minutes, they whine and run away immediately. How can I inspire a spirit of joy in prayer? I don’t know if I’m going about it the wrong way, or if this is just a normal hurdle with young ones. Any advice is welcome!
I’m wondering if you know of a Catholic book for a young man heading out on his own. We got this book for my sons 18th birthday but didn’t give it to him for all the not Catholic stuff in it, that could be a danger to purity; https://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B00H8YFRSQ/ref=ya_aw_dod_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1
(Personally I thought it was fine, but needed some notes, but my husband, who has more insight into the mind of boys thought he’d have to rewrite too much of it.) I’m wondering if you, or one of your readers, knows of a Catholic version?
Dear Mrs. Vanderputten,
Do you know of a Catholic (preferably traditional) textbook, home economics program for high school girls? I need something to help my reluctant daughter to learn how to run a household.