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We are a Catholic homeschooling family of 13.  We are devoted to our Lord and our faith, open to the blessings of children, and enjoy learning and growing together in our joyfully chaotic home.

36 responses »

  1. Lisa,
    Thank you for your kind comment. I also enjoy your blog and your posts on the 4REAL forum. There is such wisdom in openness to life. What a blessing you and your husband are to the truth and beauty of God’s kingdom. You have a beautiful family. Thank you for your faithful witness.
    Blessings,
    Margaret

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  2. Lisa………..You have a really sweet blog going here. Keep it up! I just LOVED seeing those gorgeous faces of your blessings greeting me as the page opened. They are SO sweet!

    Blessings to all of you!

    Chari

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  3. Thank you Margaret and Chari. I’m enjoying this more than I first thought I would!

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  4. Thank you so much for keeping this blog. You have a beautiful family! It is encouraging to read about your life. What a wonderful, inspiring example you have set. I am a Catholic Mom of three so far. My husband and I have two sons that are 2 and 3 and a 3 month old daughter. In a world where I hear comments about how my family must be finished since I have my girl now on a regular basis it helps so much to see a happy thriving family like yours. I grew up with one sibling so I also appreciate the posts about raising a large family since I’m kind of winging it. Anyway, thank you. Finding your site has brightened my day. 🙂

    Oh and one more thing! What kind of wrap/sling do you have? I have a Peanut Shell but my little one isn’t big enough to ride on my back yet in it. When I bend over to pick something up she gets a wild ride! 😉 I would love to find something like you have to keep her safely swaddled on my back. Thanks!

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  5. Hallie,

    Thank you for the kind words. My family is my biggest joy this side of Heaven. It’s great to hear from young families that are open to the blessings of children. I only have one sibling also, so I’ve been winging it for 12 years too! I like to think I’ve figured a few things out along the way, and the biggest by far it to keep a joyful attitude about it all! I’m glad you enjoyed our blog! Please come back!

    P.S. I use a wrap to carry my littles on my back, http://www.mobywrap.com is a good one.

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  6. Lisa,
    As you are the only other mother I know with as many as me close together….

    What do you do about extracurricululiar or even simply going out and about?!

    We are starting to feel like a private commune, which my bishop has been lecturing families are not intended to be…

    But can’t afford sitters, I do not have “built in sitters” (& I’m not thrilled with that mentality), don’t have family to help out, have friends – but they can’t help most of the time or can’t handle 7 more children!

    and yet everywhere we go it’s the “Let’s divide the family as much as possible and drive the mother to the brink of insanity” expectation.

    Do you expereince this too? What do you do about it? Or are you just sufferring along like me? lol

    Thanks!
    Martha

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  7. Martha,
    It’s been such a blessing for me to ‘meet’ you online. While I know many big families in my area, we are the only family with so many so close in age. Tony and I are still pretty young too, with many (hopefully!) years of fertility ahead of us! (Like Tony says, we hope to have a big family some day! :))

    Truth be told, I don’t go out too much. We have one vehicle that dh drives to work each day. My boys are involved with Conquest Club, and that takes them and dh away once a week plus a few other activities here and there. I firmly feel that the boys need that outlet right now. And it has helped me tremendously when it comes to relating to them. (I will NEVER claim to ‘get’ boys though! LOL!)

    Tony and I facilitate a Splendor of Love group which takes us away once a month. This program has been a huge blessing in our marriage. We are good friends with a family of 11, and their older girls (ages 14, 16, and 18) babysit our children when we do go out. We pay them very little, and they are used to a big family and do a great job with our children. The littlest one is always with me.

    I am a constant in our home, I am here 95% of the time, or more. Husband comes and goes, the kids may go out and about, but mom is always home. (and usually in the kitchen!LOL!) I wouldn’t have it any other way, I want my family to know where they can find me, it’s a security I feel privledged to offer them.

    We don’t like to be apart from one another much, and I am very okay with that. We limit how often we are away from one another. That is just a pull from ‘the world’ that we have to overcome. While I wouldn’t consider our family a ‘private commune’, we don’t do much outside of our home. The way I see it, these children we are raising are going to go out and be salt and light soon enough. Tony and I need to prepare them for that to the best of our ability, and to do that requires us to spend LOTS of time with them. 🙂

    I know you know all that though!

    Blessings,
    Lisa

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  8. Oh good. It sounds as though you chose to live very much like we are! Which removes much of my peer inflicted guilt about it.

    We also don’t care to be divided up and seperated very much. once or twice a month is more than enough for us!

    I wouldn’t mind Conquest, but my dh is not Catholic (not to mention working 2 jobs!) so that means the boys don’t get to do it. 😦 There was a couple wanting to start it in our diocese, but I could never get any real information on it. We did scouts several years ago and stopped because it was A.) expensive and B.) starting to rule our entire lives! I don’t want to repeat that Catholic style.

    Thank you for replying. I just needed some reassurance that I wasn’t a horrible mother for not giving into the social insanity. 😉

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  9. Lisa, I just bopped over here from the 4Real Learning forum. I see that your tagline has a new baby for September already. Do you pre-order these precious packages??!!

    Congratulations!! I look forward to getting to know you better. (I’ll even tell you my real name, which is not Sandy!)

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  10. Hi Lisa!

    Lately I have been inspired to look into Catholic homeschooling but I’m not sure where to begin. I have a 5 month old, a 2 year old and a 3 year old so I have a bit of time but I want to research it well before we make a decision. What program do you recommend? Do you know of any websites that I might find helpful? Thanks so much!

    Hallie Lord

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  11. Hallie, Researching homeschooling options can be quite overwhelming. Why don’t you join us at RealLearning? It’s a great, warm, community where I have learned SO much!
    http://4real.thenetsmith.com/default.asp

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  12. What a beautiful family no wonder you all want to stay close by each other! By the way what are seat scooters?

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  13. Lisa, I would love to be added to your St Gerard’s column. I am due January 2008.

    Blessings, Elizabeth

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  14. Lisa,
    I just loved your comment about the priests praying a prayer of thanksgiving for their celebacy after leaving dinner at your house… made me laugh so hard. Good to know others can relate !! Hope things are well with you and the new baby 🙂

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  15. Love your blog! Congrats on the new baby!

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  16. What a sweet family you have! Thanks for blogging and God Bless all of you! I LOVED the story of mass with Fr. Marek after Mark was born. So touching!

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  17. What a wonderful blog! You are so encourgaging. I was homeschooled through HS and want to homeschool my children. Our first but one (we miscarried early on in our very first) is due February 2008. Would you please add me to your St. Gerard Column?

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  18. Hi Lisa,

    I am 32 years old. I have a 4 year old and 3 years old and a 13 month old. My husband and I are “open to life”. Right now, thru prayer I’m trying to figure out what that means. I’m am experiencing alot of sadness over this. for the past couple of months I have been using NFP to avoid pregnancy since my fertiliy returned why my son was 11 months old. The other day my husband came to me and said that thru much prayer, he felt that we do not have what the Church calls “grave or serious” reasons to avoid pregnancy. I immediately got very angry at him because I think (or maybe thought) that I do or did. I think that I am too stressed both mentally and physically to get pregnant for another few months. But, now after he put these thoughts in my head I’m afraid that I’m doing something wrong. I know this is long and that I don’t know you – I guess I’m just desprite to get the opionion or advice of someone who seems like a really good Catholic who is young with many beautiful children. I’ve since given this “discernment” over to St. Pio to let me know if what I’m doing is wrong or right. I don’t ever want to prevent a soul from coming into this world that God wanted here. What I guess I’m asking is that as long as I’m not dying, should I just throw NFP out the window and let God send me babies when he sees fit even if I don’t. Is that what the Church teaches?

    Thank you. and I’m sorry for such a personal story, but i don’t have anyone to talk to about this right now and I don’t have a good spiritual advisor. My husband wants us to say a novena together about this which I think is a good place to start.

    Thanks,
    Amy

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  19. Dear Amy,

    I don’t have time at the moment to give this question you have what it deserves, and truely all I can respond with is my own personal testimony, as it seems you already know what the Church teaches on this . (NFP is okay in serious circumstances, what those circumstances are is left up to each couple and Our Lord!) I can say here quickly, that if you listen to your husband, trust him as the spiritual head of your household, you will find peace. He sounds like a very smart man, suggesting the pair of you start with prayer!
    God Bless you and your family, I will offer prayers up for you!! ~Lisa

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  20. Dear Lisa,
    thank you for responding. I know prayer is the best place to start as I am really struggling with this. Although, I must say, I’d love to hear your personal testimony sometime when you have time.

    Thank you for your prayers, Amy

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  21. Lisa,
    My hubby and I are “open to life” but so far we’ve only been blessed with two boys in our 11 years of marriage. Our oldest (Isaac) will be 10 in 6 days, and our youngest (Levi) is 6 1/2. After a few years of infertility we tried to adopt – we were the very happy parents of four children for a year – but then the state returned our 2 little ones to their birth mom. It has been a year since we said good-bye to them, and I’m still struggling with the loss – though it is getting easier. It’s hard to have this unfulfilled longing for more children, but I am very thankful that I have the two boys I have (despite their special needs). Do you know a prayer or novena for the blessing of children? I am able to get pregnant – I just haven’t been able to carry a baby past the first few weeks. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or “whiney” in anyway, I’m just looking for some advice and encouragement.

    Thank you for sharing your blog with the rest of us,
    Blessings,
    Jenny

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  22. Hi Lisbet.
    I always enjoy your blog and while it is a deadly sin, I envy you your big family! You are so very blessed. Stop by my blog some time. I’d love for you to see my family and hear my story. I noticed that you are also in Ohio. What part? We are in Northeast Ohio, near Lake Erie.
    Merry Christmas.
    Sharon

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  23. Hi Lisa,

    Please put me in your St. Gerard colum.

    10/08

    Thank you,
    Amy

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  24. Hi Lisa

    Thanks for including me in the St Gerard’s Column. Time to come out now! My baby was born yesterday. Deo gratias!

    Elizabeth

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  25. I wanted to challenge Lisa above to realize that because she is open to life and sounds like she has been blessed with at least one conception that did not carry to term, she is offering souls to heaven with each conception. They simply do not make the pit stop here on earth before reaching our dear Lord’s banquet. Miscarriage is such a unique suffering we can offer up to HIM. I will pray for your loss of the children through adoptions as well.
    In Christ
    Kathleen

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  26. Lisa, sadly, despite all the medical interventions/medications, our little one had no heartbeat at my last sono Friday Sept 5th . Please remove me from the St Gerard list, and I ask for your continued prayers that I can avoid a D&C and deliver easily.
    oh we are heartbroken. I know you understand.
    Lisa R

    Reply
  27. Love the new background, it’s very soothing for some reason. I’m glad that you’re able to find a few minutes to come back to your blog. I’ve missed it very much. Love to all and hope that the new year is even better and more blessed than the last.

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