Nov 1, 2012

Our Halloween 2012

Halloween fun!

First of all I hope you all had fun and safe Halloween with your families! We didn't do to much this year. The kids dressed up again in there Mario and Luigi costumes, watched a movie or two, then we went to my parents house to take the kids to visit my niece.

We were supposed to be there earlier but decided to continue as planned. At the last minute I decided to bring our Pomeranian, ironically named Angel, with us, she always makes such a fuss when we go someplace. Naturally she loves going places so who am I to keep her at home all the time. I never imagined what was going to come of it, this Halloween!

When we got to my parents house my niece was busy so we went to my aunts house across the street for a little visit and trick or treating. After that we went back over to my parents house. The kids immediately started playing and having fun!

What a cute chick!

Before I continue with our Halloween story let me back up a few days. A few days ago my niece dropped by after school. At her school they were learning about chicken development and now had some new baby chicks in her class. Well, one of the chicks got to come home with my niece and she was very exited about it!

The kids had fun for a little while playing with the chick and it was so cute! I remember being a kid and every year around Ester time we would get some baby chicks, kids love chicks.

Back to my Halloween story.

So it is Halloween 2012, the kids are all having fun and eating candy. I was sitting down visiting my parents and talking with my mom. We had to be there about 30 min when I noticed my niece with her head covered but she didn't say anything. Then my oldest son says "Angel has the baby chick!"

We all had forgotten in the excitement of Halloween that little chick! I totally forgot that earlier this week my niece had obtained this chick. I also did not expect that it would be sitting in a box in the back of the dinning room.

As soon as we noticed Angel she dropped it and ran away from it. What the kids thought was confirmed. she had gotten to the chick and killed it! Now my niece is crying! Her baby chick that she was loving and caring for was killed by our dog!

I felt so bad! This is the 3rd animal that our dog Angel has killed in the 5 years that we have had her. A few years ago she had killed a huge rat outside and then a baby bird in the yard the following year. I posted about the bird fiasco titled, A Lesson for the Kids!

A dog is a dog.

I don't blame her after all she is a dog. It was nothing to her and she didn't know that this chick was something to my niece.

As far as she new someone left a perfectly good meal just sitting in a box! Obviously after the fact she new she had done something wrong because we were all upset at her.

Now, ,niece is crying and my children are also upset. My 6 year old says "this is the worst Halloween ever!" Obviously it could always be worst but this was not expected at all. We probably should have stayed home or not have brought the dog, but who new?

Another lesson for the kids.

We all learned that we need to be more mindful of the people and animals in our life. We should have asked more questions and just paid more attention to what was going on. We also learned a valuable lesson about nature and nurture. My niece had been being a mom to this little chick and our carnivorous canine felt the call of nature and took a bite!

I think we city folk sometimes forget the role that animals play in our world, especially our cute and loving pets. We often forget that our cute and cuddly pets are animals first and our family members second.

Final thoughts.

Thanks for taking the time to read our Halloween story. I am still sad that this happened but that's life. Today my dad was going to get a replacement chick for my niece. The irony of the whole thing is that a few days ago when we first met the chick we casually said "don't let Angel near it or she may eat it!" Today we are pretty much over it. All we can do from this experience and all experiences is just learn from it and move on.

If you haven't already please read my post titled Halloween, where I talk about Halloween and what it really means.

Oct 29, 2012

Halloween

Halloween

   With Halloween closely approaching I wanted to post something about it here. This time of year especially, Halloween is cause for many questions from my children, and rightly so! They really don't like the scary stuff and we really don't either, although I understand it has it's place as Jimmy Akin is saying in the video below. Early on in my children's life we passed out candy on Halloween and the kids enjoyed dressing up as they do everyday of the year. Costumes and pretending is a huge part of growing up and playing, there is nothing wrong with that. Halloween is no exception!

I remember one Halloween, my oldest was three years old, and we were passing out candy together when we opened the door for my son to see his first "Scream Movie" mask. He screamed and ran away, the boy took it off and said "don't be scared I am just a kid" this made me think. How could a child who knew nothing of these scary images become so scared at his first reaction to it? I thought about how it was so natural to us as humans to get scared, especially when it is something that symbolizes evil.

How did my three year old son ignorant to evil and what evil is, become so scarred at his very first encounter? This told me that being frightened of evil and running away from it was a very natural human response. This is a good thing! After that we decided not to celebrate Halloween with negative images and I began to see Halloween for what it was actually designed to be about. We had already decided that our children would not go trick or treating, and that was a good choice for us.

I never thought it logical to tell my kids all year long not to take candy from strangers then once a year take them to all the strangers houses we could to ask for some candy. Trick or treating may fit into your logic, and that is OK, just please be safe. As a child I enjoyed trick or treating with no danger, and I survived! Like dressing up in costumes trick or treating isn't something that's inherently evil. Last year, we did take the kids around to close friend, and families houses. and will likely do some of that this year as well. My children today still don't like many of the scary images, and symbols that most people enjoy during this time of year.

Origins of The Word Halloween...

   Upon my research of Halloween I learned that the word Halloween itself does not refer to evil as much as it is about the Saints, and Souls in general. Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of its original title "All Hallows' Evening"), also known as All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Simply it means the eve of All Saints Day.

The three day Halloween celebration is referred to as the All Hallow Mass in reference to the eve of All Saints Day, All Saints Day on November 1st, and All Souls Day on Nov 2nd. In Websters Dictionary it is referred to as All Hallows Even and it is simply called the day before All Saints Day. The word Halloween was first used in the 16th century, and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows'-Even 'evening', that is, the night before All Hallows' Day. Although the phrase All Hallows' is found in Old English (ealra halgena mæssedæg; mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not seen until 1556.

So, what is it all about?

   Halloween reminds us of our own mortality and should be a time when we also remember those who have passed before us. On All Saints Day we remember those faithful Christian martyrs who in their earthly life suffered many things for the Christian faith, many of them dieing for the Faith. And remembering and honoring all of those who have passed on to be with Jesus in Heaven. All Souls Day is a day that the Church has set aside each year to commemorate and pray for all souls. Another popular name in English is Feast of All Souls. In some other languages the celebration, not necessarily on the same date, is known as Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos or de los Difuntos in Spanish-speaking countries; halottak napja in Hungary; Yom el Maouta in Lebanon, Israel and Syria).


We can ask the Saints to pray for us, which I make it a point to do. In return they Glorify God with their prayers on our behalf, right there in Heaven! Prayer especially the Catholic Mass being the most fundamental and powerful way that we worship and Glorify God. What a gift God has given us in the Saints! I encourage everyone to study the lives of the Saints, as an addition to your faith based reading.


Here are a few Scripture verses relevant to what I just said and that indicate our relationship to the Saints.

"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." (2 Mac 12:46 DR)

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us." (Heb 12:1)

"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples." (John 15:7-8)

"Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." (Rev 5:8) 

"And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand." (Rev 8:4)

On All Souls Day we are reminded of all the souls, even our own, many of whom really need us to pray for them!

What About Scary Images?

   One common image we see used for Halloween is ghosts as expected. Ghosts can serve as a reminder to us that Halloween (the eve of All Saints followed by All Souls Day) is about the dead. 

Things like Monsters and Witches are really just a part of folklore in pretty much any cultural tradition on the planet. Just as ghost stories are apart of sitting by a campfire. Also during Halloween the images of Zombies and bodily resurrection can remind us (although imperfectly) of the hope of Christian Resurrection. Although our Zombie stories, and images don't do it much justice!

It is up to the discretion of each individual what decorations they will use on Halloween and of course how they will be used. In our home we don't put up much decorations, but I do love ghosts and skeletons. Other popular Halloween items include pumpkins, Apple's, and anything fallish since Halloween is a fall celebration.


The Halloween Samhain link

   Halloween also falls on the same day as many popular harvest festivals of the past, like Samhain. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year. During winter they believed that the invisible world, and the physical world came together, causing many mischievous things, and some horrible things to happen to the people. They also believed that the sun god died in winter, and came back to life in spring.

In my research on Halloween, and other festivals of the same day, Halloween is a separate day to any other celebration, even if celebrated on the same day. Clearly a holiday being held on the same day as another does not constitute saying that they are the same celebration, unlike what many people may claim about Halloween, and Samhain. Just because a method of celebration, or an individual practice used in a celebration is similar, or the same even, to another holiday does not go to prove that one comes from the other, or a direct link. This still logically does not constitute the claim that one holiday originated in the other. There is just no proof that Halloween and Samhain are one and the same holiday.

Costumes, for example are used in many celebrations around the world such as the Jewish holiday of Purim.  We would not say that the Jews are celebrating Halloween when they celebrate Purim due to the fact that they participate in costume wearing. Likewise all costume parties aren't Halloween parties. We also would not associate one holiday with another just because it falls on the same day as another holiday. I really feel strongly that intention and purpose has everything to do with it. We still must be careful about the messages that we put out into the world that is why logic, and common sense must always come into play.

All through out history humans have thought alike, lived alike, believed many of the same things as people do today. This alone can account for the many similarities in many of our holiday celebrations, customs, and cultures. The fact that there are similarities is not enough to say that one originated in the other. I will say that Halloween has been hijacked by some groups who make up all sorts of reasons why they are celebrating it. Those who identify as witches and Satan worshippers may use Halloween as a day to do what ever it is they do, believing some how it's the devils birthday (as if he had one) or the Pagan festival of Samhain, or any other horrible spin someone wants to put on it. I will add without a shred of proof! In fact just believing that Haloween is satanic or the devils birthday is doing the Devil a favor.

So should we celebrate Halloween? If you want to. But now that you know what Halloween is really supposed to be about maybe you should try celebrating it at Mass this year for All Saints, and All Soul's Day. Spend the three day Halloween celebration thinking about those you love who have passed on who may need our prayers, and those who are in heaven praying for you!

My final thoughts

   When it comes to Halloween it is a matter of doing what feels comfortable to your family, and your beliefs. This may mean adapting Halloween to your families needs as I have done, or simple not celebrating at all, but that is up to each individual family. Many families enjoy dressing up like Saints or other non-scary characters. While others prefer scary or non religious themes.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I know it was a long time coming. I hope to continue to write interesting articles relevant to your life in the near future. I especially enjoy writing about the Christian Faith so you may see some of that in the future as well. Please check out the Bible Study tab on the top of this blog for more interesting topic.

For more awesome information about Halloween see Keep "Hallow" In Halloween and Halloween or Samhain.

Please enjoy the video below and please visit JimmyAkin.com. I have been a reader of this blog for a while now and am learning a lot, especially about the Catholic Faith. One thing I like about Jimmy's faith articles, and videos is that he has a great way of using logic and reason to faithfully explain and defend the Catholic Christian Faith.

 Are Scary Halloween Costumes Okay? This was posted by my Friend Jimmy Akin on his blog JimmyAkin.com






Aug 31, 2012

How The Human Body Works - Kids Animation Learn Series

   Great video on the systems of the human body. I watch it with my kids and they loved it too especially my 6 year old son he loved to learn about the body. I thought this video was very informative, creative and fun to watch! Great for the whole family.


Jul 27, 2012

Eclectic Education: Back to Homeschool- More Planning!

  Some great info from another homeschool blogger about getting back to homeschool and homeschool planning.

Eclectic Education: Back to Homeschool- More Planning!: I am trying to get organized!  (I'm always trying to get organized... lol!!!) I am really, really bad at planning for a school year.  I a...

Jul 26, 2012

Back to Homeschool 2012

     It is true summer is headed to a close and while some parents may be relieved to send the kids back to school we get the privilege of keeping them home. For us the only thing that really changes is that we do more work books during the school year, everything else stays pretty much the same. I must confess however that I am looking forward to a new start of our homeschool year, especially since this has been a tough summer for our family.

It gives us a opportunity to get on a better routine, not that we ever really have much of one lol! Yet there are some things we need to change in order to provide ourselves with a productive homschool year. For one the kids have to start going to bed earlier and wake up earlier to. This way we can get all the things done that we need to including house hold chores and outside activity. We also like to get workbooks done early in the day so we have the rest of the time for everything else.

Another way that we like to start fresh is buy getting the house in order and all of the homeschool stuff including homeschool area organized and ready for back to homeschool. We also like to get last years samples and the kids best art work out of the way and into our portfolio and make room for the new years curriculum that we will be picking up at the beginning of August.

There is a lot to do before we go back to homeschool but it is a new start and that is always good, not to meantion another great homeschool year with my boys ages 6 and 9. It is not always good and comfortable but we are learning and learning together. We don't miss any moments good or bad and that is a good thing : )
Many blessings to you and your family!

From Joanne

What Is the God Particle?



Interesting physics stuff by Jimmy Akin.. If you get a chance take a look at his Secret Info Club where you will get tons of great info about the Catholic Church.

Jan 1, 2012

The Value Of History

   I hope this paragraph can have some value in your history as it does mine. I thought it was really great so I am posting it..


"What value is history if it is just a display of facts to fill our heads? All history must be defined in the light of God and His actions in man's history. Man then, in his study of history will be elevated, incited to say as those who witnessed the early Christians defy the lions, who left the Colosseum affected by the miracles they witnessed, would shout, "Great is the God of the Christians." Our seeing God's hand in history, causes the same reaction of God's greatness. Your reading the previous sentence is history the moment you finish the sentence. Your actions of reading it is no longer in the present. Therefore, everything for you is in the future. All that comes to you in the next moment is future. So what is its value? Nothing, if explained only from the world's view, for in the end, what does it matter? But if history is viewed in the context of God and His Word applied, history becomes very important, for everything will pass into eternity. History only has importance or value if it elevated man and that importance is not surpassed by anything one will ever do, for our personal history will come into review in the future. As a way of explanation, consider one man who paints for a living but with no thought or desire to elevate himself or those who see his art towards good or  higher things. Regardless of his talent, if it is not being used for a higher purpose, it will not lead him to a future of peace. Another man, who also paints, has the desire that through his gift, he lead himself and others towards God, and his paintings reflect this aim in honoring God. Both have history they are creating, but only one man's history is creating a future of peace for himself and others. Every man who ever walked the earth will receive a history test. It is his bridge from this life to the next. In the middle of that bridge stands Christ, the teacher, judging your life and all the history tests you have gone through. Behind him, at the end of the bridge, are three paths leading you to the place you chose by your own history (Heaven, Hell and Purgatory). History, therefore, in this light will be your foremost thought, your whole attention. Most, on their death beds, reflect on their past lives in concern of what will be determined in the next. History is future. Decisions made in the future will effect your history. Therefore, decisions made in your history will affect your future. History will come back to you in the future even in the next life, in the judging of your life."

From the -20 Years Of Apparitions- an awesome manual that anyone should read : )

Sincerely Joanne