Friday, February 26, 2021

Summer 2020 :: Gettysburg

Gettysburg was our last outing before the ECSP (Experience Christendom Summer Program) and it was definitely an outing to remember. It's so different going to the East where there have been so many significant historical events practically at every turn, whereas in the West, there are not very many.

Here is an example of the more than 1,328 monuments or markers across the Battlefield, this one commemorating the 8th New York Cavalry Brigade and placed there in 1889.

The 12th and 44th New York Infantry Monument. This monument is located on Little Round Top and you can see my cousin and brother on top of it. 

More detail explains this historical marker.

The monument was able to give us a heightened view of the Devil's Den and the Valley of Death.  Here my cousins are ready to relive the action.

The view from Little Round Top was amazing!!

By the Monument, written on rocks, were names and dates of soldiers who died at that spot. 

There were so many cannons everywhere! ... 630 of them to be exact!

No turning back now boys!

The reenactments that my brother did with our cousins were priceless. 


Here are more monuments. Our uncle, Fr. Terrence Gordon wasn't able to join us, like he did when my older brothers visited, but he did give us a tour over the phone! 

We were able to reenact "Picket's Charge" at the location in which the actual charge had taken place over 150 years ago. 

There were many "casualties," but we eventually made it!!!

Not going to lie, the running definitely wore us out for a bit!

We found this rock on the wall by where Picket's Charge took place. It had the name "Philip Lockett 14 VA Inf." written on it. Curious that this name might have been written during Picket's Charge, we asked a Ranger about it. She did some researching and found that Captain Philip Lockett did, in fact, participate in Picket's Charge. However, she pointed out that the rock looked like a new rock (meaning it placed there after it had become a historical site) so we concluded that someone must've written the name of one of their ancestors on the rock. It was still a fun adventure to learn more about him and be able to do some research on it! 


It was an amazing day which I will never forget! It was such a blessing to be able to visit historical sites and be able to get to know my cousins more! 

You can find the previous posts shared by Twinkle Toes here: 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Lent Calendars

On Ash Wednesday we pulled out our annual Lenten Calendar for our little ones... 
We've been using variations of this calendar for the past 18 years! 

You can find the free printable documents for our current version in the archives: 

Another annual favorite is the lovely printable calendar from Kimberly's daughter Lydia. These two requested it before I had a chance to even look for the download this year! It can be found here.

Ever since their gorgeous Easter Calendar last year we have also really loved incorporating the illustrated calendars from Liturgy of the Home! 

I printed out the first part of the Illustrated Lent Calendar and hung it on the bottom half of one of my pantry doors for our little ones to discover and study. 


It didn’t take our three year old long to spot St. Peter’s Chair, when I asked if she could find it after she woke up Monday morning, on the feast of the Chair of St Peter! Even my brother-in-law (our local pastor) was amazed at all the details included for each day when the children were showing it to him yesterday afternoon when he joined us for lunch.
You can read more about how our family has observed Lent in the past here:

Grant us Lord, the grace to begin the Christian's war of defense with holy fasts: that, as we do battle with the spirts of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Summer 2020 :: The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

During our visit to the East Coast last summer, my brother and I were able to visit the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native-born United States citizen to be canonized a saint. 

The Stone House is one of the very first houses that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton lived in after arriving in Emmitsburg, Maryland.


Unfortunately, we arrived to the Stone House and White House after hours so they were locked but we were able to look in the windows to see the rooms in which St. Elizabeth Ann Seton taught, cooked, went to Mass, and (maybe) died.


Some of the pictures didn't turn out as well as I had hoped but here is the chapel. 

We tried to figure out if this is the bed where St. Elizabeth Ann Seton died but there are also rooms upstairs in the White House so we weren't sure. If any of you know which room she passed away in, let me know!


In the picture to the right, you may notice a small building in the cemetery. That's the Mortuary Chapel where St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's body was eventually placed. Her son, William Seton, was away at sea at the time of her death but when he returned six months later, he had this chapel built in honor of his mother. Her body was then transferred to the chapel's vault until the time of her beatification. 

St. Elizabeth's body is now inside the Shrine's Basilica (we were also not able to enter due to after hours). It was such a blessing to be able to visit this shrine. Having written a paper on St. Elizabeth Ann Seton a few months before this trip, I was so excited to be able to see her home and learn more about her life in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

If you'd like to learn more you can Explore the Shrine and find many Resources on their website. 

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pray for us!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Summer 2020 :: Our First Flight & Washington DC

I've asked our eldest daughter to share some of her recent adventures here on the blog. She'll be sharing one or two posts a week, as time allows. It'll be a great opportunity for her to learn how to blog and share some of what we've been up to at the same time! Thank you, "Twinkle Toes!" 

Last summer I traveled back east for a college visit (I'll share more about that soon) which provided the opportunity to visit cousins, go sightseeing, experience my first flight across the country with my younger brother, and more. 

It was so amazing to see the breathtaking views looking down from 30,000 feet up in the sky!

On the third day of our trip, my cousins, younger brother, and I explored Washington D.C. Most of the museums were closed due to covid but we were able to still see the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, Second Division Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the White House, Washington Monument, and the United States Capital.  

While we were at the Vietnam Memorial, we had the privilege to meet the Archbishop of Washington D.C. You can spot him (in plain clothes) in the middle of the picture above. 



Snuggles, who is studying about World War I this year, was so excited to see the familiar names on the monument and explained what the flaming sword symbolizes to his cousins and me. 



Having grown up on the other side of the country from our cousins, it was wonderful to spend time with their family and get to know them a little better!

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci