Posted in Authentic Catholicism

Lent is Lurking

I started the open-ended conversation last week with my children, “So what are you going to give up for Lent this year?”

And I got the usual & normal replies…

One says TV.

Another says XBox.

Someone calls out, “Sweets.”

You get my drift. 😉

While these are all good and sacrificial for small children, it couldn’t help but make me wonder, “What is God calling me… Kelly… Kelly daughter-of-Christ… Kelly-wife… Kelly mother… to give up this year?

How can I be the best me during Lent and give my God my all — the best of me? My whole mind, heart, body, soul, and strength?

As I was reminding my children, it’s not really about us. It’s about Him… about dying to ourselves in order to rise with Him on Easter morning.

Is it the lazy part of ourselves that needs some fine-tuning?

Is it the greedy hand that needs slapped out of the cookie jar?

Is it the restless heart that finally needs to find rest in Christ?

As Matthew Kelly always so eloquently says… how can Lent help us “become the best versions of ourselves” this year?

I came across this article which I really liked. It was new, refreshing, creative, penitential, and introspective — all at the same time. Special thanks to Life Teen for their ideas.

So… with Ash Wednesday lurking only 4 days around the corner, I ask you (as well as myself), “What will you lay down for Him this year?”

Make it count.

Make this your best. Lent. EVER!!


Posted in Authentic Catholicism, Large Family Life

Homeschooling “Featured Family” Article

This last year, I was graced to be asked to write an article, as a Catholic homeschooling mom, about our homeschooling experience… why we homeschool, how we homeschool, and why we use Seton–across the board.

It was published this September in Seton Home Study School’s “Featured Family” monthly newsletter.

Here is a link:



Posted in Large Family Life

The Next Chapter

So here I sit tonight… in O-H-I-O… nearly a year after my last post… at what I’d like to think is the end (but maybe really is only just the beginning) of a loooooong journey.

You see… from my last post in Duluth in 2013… we encountered a relocation to Ohio, another pregnancy, and 9 months of a weekly-traveling husband.

In March of 2013… all within 4 days… we lost our home which we were in contract to purchase in Duluth. Contingency was called on the home we were selling… hubby’s new job got relocated… pregnancy test turned positive… and we were on our way to Ohio.

Another six weeks with six kids in the in-laws’ home…

Hubby gone nearly 5 days a week for 9 months…

Closed on our current home in the middle of May…

Hubby’s replacement came on-board early September… so traveling became more “normalized?” Is there such a thing when you have six kids?!!

*** insert ^^breathe ***

So here we are one year later.

And it’s a funny thing how God works beauty from ashes.

I’d like to introduce you to our newest member of the family. Teresa Grace Madrid was born nearly 5 weeks early on 11-4-2013 at 12:39 AM. She weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces and was 18 inches in length. She came out with dark brown hair, much to her Mommy’s delight 🙂 She was baptized into the Catholic Faith on 11-24-13, the last day of the Year of Faith. Had she not been so early, this would not have been possible. But God is good, all the time ❤

So… from the ashes beauty arose. We called another soul down from Heaven in what I considered to be "the worst of times." Yet God called us to trust. In Him. And to lean not on our own understanding.

Teresa Grace was named for Mother Teresa, who inspired me to persevere through my everyday trials with JOY. Grace… well that’s obvious. I wouldn’t have made it without it.

Here is the princess — my joy and my strength.

Because with God, all things are possible ❤