Discover a natural way to postpone or achieve a pregnancy…the Art of Natural Family Planning® is based on an awareness of a woman’s fertility. It’s medically safe, 99% effective in postponing pregnancy, very low cost, often has a positive effect on the couple’s marriage, and is morally acceptable to all major religions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Are you unhappy with the church's consistency on sexual issues?

Great post about the church's teachings on sexuality...

Not just for Catholics....

For anyone who is wondering or has always thought that NFP is just a 'Catholic Thing' read an excellent post from a protestant. Well worth the read, she has some excellent points and is very funny too!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Children = Happiness

Great story about some research that found that married couples with children were happier and reported more overall satisfaction-and the more children the more happiness!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Abstaining...

I just found this peice of wisdom on a blog post:

One time I asked my mom is she thought our reasons for postponing were serious enough, and she replied, “How’s the abstinence going?” I said that we were doing just fine and not having any disagreements about it, and she replied, “Then your reasons are good enough. When your heart and will are united to God’s, He gives you the grace to abstain fruitfully.”

Thank you, Mommy dear!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

aNFP Class

Last class today at 2pm! See you there!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Marriage and NFP

This is a really great post about the benefits of NFP in a marriage. I especially like the statistic: nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce, while less than 5% of marriages that use NFP end in divorce! Yeah NFP!

Responsible Parenthood

How we've made decisions about responsible parenthood...

Bill and I have been married for 8 years. When we were first married we were still in college. After we finished our undergraduate degrees and 6 months after we were married, we moved to Missouri for graduate school. We have practiced Natural Family Planning from the day we were married. We were in phase 3 for our honeymoon, so that avoided making decisions about children during the honeymoon! However, NFP forces couples to talk about children and the decision to postpone or achieve pregnancy.

Before we were married and right after, we had many conversations about children. We talked about when and how many children we would have. We talked about what God's plan for our family was and whether we were ready to have children. Early in our marriage we decided to postpone pregnancy. There were many reasons we made this decision. First, we were both still in school and needed to focus on finishing our degrees. Second, I wanted to stay home with our children and I couldn't do that if I was still in school. Lastly, we were graduate research assistants, so while we did have an income, it was very minimal. Although we had decided to postpone children, I still felt a strong desire and longing for a baby, so we often revisited the possibility of children.

When I was close to finishing my degree we started discussing children again in earnest, or at least I did! We talked about the fact that I would be done with my degree soon and the possibility of timing the birth with the completion of my degree. Bill was hesitant at first, because he would still be in school and he knew that I didn't want to go to work and use childcare. If we were to have a child now, we would be very poor. We talked about what is most important to us and whether children were more important than money and how much money we really needed to have a child. We also kept in mind that, God willing, when Bill finished his degree, our financial situation would change dramatically for the better. Although of course there are no guarantees and there is always a risk of not finding a job or losing a job. In the end we decided to try to achieve pregnancy and have our first child when I had finished my degree.

Of course things don't always go exactly as planned and I was able to conceive on the first cycle (we planned for about 3 months before I conceived)! Nevertheless we were delighted and very excited. In addition, my professor was away on sabbatical and I didn't defend my thesis when originally planned! I didn't officially finish my degree until our first child was one year old! Despite this, I did stay home with William after he was born and worked on my thesis from home. We were very thankful to God for how understanding and supportive my professor was.

Not everyone was as supportive and encouraging of our decision to have a child when we were still in school and were low income. It was difficult sometimes, explaining why we felt children were so important and such a blessing to our family. I also had physical problems after having a forceps delivery and William was a 'fussy' and 'high need' baby. Additionally, I found little support from friends at school who were not having children and because we were living far from family it took me awhile to find 'mommy' friends who could give me emotional support and understanding. My postpartum recovery took awhile and for about 18 months after William was born I could not imagine the possibility of having another child, I was so overwhelmed with caring for one child!

But eventually I did come to love being a stay at home mommy and again felt a longing for another child to love and a sibling for William to love. Bill was still finishing his PhD and we were still very poor, but we now knew how much love a child could bring into a family and the decision to have baby #2 was not so difficult. Andrew was born 2 years and 3 months after William and 6 months before Bill defended his dissertation. God blessed us with a much easier birth and a more laid back baby and an abundance of love! We were so thankful for our children and felt we had done as God desired for our family and had been wise to place our trust in God.

Many changes occurred shortly after Andrew was born. Bill was blessed to find a job in Canada and we moved to another country. After we moved to Canada, we did not try to postpone or achieve pregnancy and we let our charting slide. I expected to become pregnant, but when I did not and Andrew was about 18 months old, I started worrying and discovered that I was again eager to have another child. Bill shared my enthusiasm for growing our family and with a little fun effort, were again able to conceive. God has indeed blessed us.

Again many changes took pace right before Elizabeth was born. We found ourselves moving back to the states when I was 36 weeks pregnant. Bill was changing jobs and while we were glad to be moving back to the states, we were finding that we had to let go of some control and trust God. I didn't have a doctor to deliver my baby, we had to close on our house and move all of our stuff in, hopefully before I delivered, and we knew absolutely no one in this new town. It was very scary and exciting at the same time! God took care of us once again though, and everything worked out beautifully, and far better than we could have planned it.
 
Elizabeth was only a few months old, when Bill started talking about having baby #4. I was not really ready yet, although Elizabeth was sleeping through the night already and we were adjusting well to 3 children. As the months passed, Bill continued to ask for another child and I continued to ask for more time. I'm not really sure what changed my mind but I did and at 9 months postpartum, we conceived Rebekah and have found her to be a joy and a blessing.

One of the most amazing things about NFP is how it has changed our view of responsible parenthood. When we were first engaged and had discussions about children, while I wanted a big family, Bill was convinced that 2 children was plenty. Well, that has changed dramatically, and even today at 5 months postpartum we both talk eagerly about the possibility of baby #5, when we feel the time is right and God is calling us to expand our family once again! 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Next NFP Class (Class 3)

Our last NFP class will be on Saturday the 28th at 2 pm! Please don't forget to do your homework charts!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Soccer and Faith...

An excellent post about preparing our children to live faithful and faith filled lives.

Vaccination Questions

It was brought to my attention not too long ago, that some vaccines are created using fetal cells harvested from aborted babies. This was quite a surprise and I was not sure whether to believe this was actually occurring or not. When I talked with my family doctor about it, he simply said that many people would be surprised at some of the things pharmaceutical companies do in the production of drugs or vaccines. (He was not very helpful in putting my mind at ease!) It took me several months to find out any concrete data about this, but on Tuesday, I came across a discussion in the Faith and Family blog about the ethics of using these vaccines. Ah Ha! I was quick to investigate an article about where the Vatican stands on vaccines. I also found the link to a list of vaccines made using aborted fetal cell lines and possible ethical alternatives to be very helpful.

Armed with this information, I went to my 4 month old's well-baby checkup yesterday. We have a wonderful family physician and he has a brilliant nurse who is in charge of all the vaccinations and records. She really is super good and very sweet. Therefore, I talked with her about the vaccinations and my concerns. I had printed out the list of 'bad' vaccines and their 'ethical alternatives'. (She did not know that some vaccines are made using aborted fetal cells.)

Now I am a firm believer in vaccinations. I believe we have fewer childhood diseases and fewer child deaths because of our vaccination program here in the States. I know that very bad reactions can and do occur in a very small percent of babies and children, and if your baby is in that small percent it is so devastating! I can only imagine! However, compared with the devastation of these diseases prior to vaccines, I am willing to take that risk, and have done so with all of my children. I agree with the Vatican article that vaccines are important in "protecting the whole population and avoiding death and malformation." Having said that, I also believe that vaccines (and anything) should not be made using aborted fetuses.

My goal in speaking with our nurse was to see, first which vaccines, manufactured by which company, we were receiving and second, if any of the 'ethical alternatives' were available. I was going to get the vaccinations, but I was hoping to get the alternatives.

The results of my investigation... She was due for two shots, one was made ethically (not using a fetal cell line), the other was made using an aborted fetal cell line. We discussed the alternative vaccines, but because of the combination, were unable to use the alternative, however next time she will be able to have the alternative.

Unfortunately, there is not always an ethical alternative available for prolife parents who want to have their children vaccinated. I will continue to have my children vaccinated, preferably with a vaccine manufactured without the use of aborted fetal cells. Perhaps by spreading the word and even contacting vaccine manufacturing companies, better alternatives will become available.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fighting Fair

Some ideas on how to have a fair and loving argument/discussion with your spouse.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Contraceptives...

A really good article on the 'fine print' of contraceptives...

http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/2777

Parenting without screaming...

I found this excellent parenting advice on the Faith and Family online magazine/blog. I have found their blog to be helpful in connecting with other catholic parents and learning better parenting skills. The following post is about when we scream/yell too much and some strategies to control our anger, such as prayer. The article also contains some suggestions for creative discipline, instead of yelling.

http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/magazine/yell_no_more/

I know there are days when I yell far too much and seem unable to think of another way to handle the situation. One reason I am posting this link is so that I can go back and read it if I need to! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Online Registration!

The Dalhart chapter of CCL is now online! Our classes for 2010 have been loaded up onto CCL's online registration. If you want to attend any of our classes in 2010, just follow this link:

http://register.ccli.org/

and search for us by location! You register and pay online and CCL will ship your class materials straight to you.

NFP Promotional Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIrQwjCUbf0&feature=player_embedded

This is a fabulous video about what NFP is and how it can affect your marriage! It's only 5 minutes and well worth the time!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Planned Parenthood Conducts Clinical Trials on Minors

http://lhla.org/breaking_news/?p=3076

This is a scary news story about the clinical trials that Planned Parenthood (PP) has been conducting on minors over the last 30 years and continues to conduct today. A list of the PP's involved in these research trials is provided in the article.

These trials should cause outrage in our society especially from parents! Girls used in these studies were as young as 13! Sex with minor girls is sex abuse and is illegal in most states and yet PP is allowed-even funded by the government in some cases-to exploit these young girls in research trials. Instead research and time and energy should be spent in preventing sex abuse and sexual activity in children!

NFP/Fertility Conversation

http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/blog/fertil#When:11:00:37Z

I found this conversation on the Faith and Family blog. This is what they say:

"This weekly thread is a place where you can share your struggles, triumphs, links, resources, concerns, and questions about all things related to Natural Family Planning.
Please join the conversation!"

So, if you have questions or comments and want to hear from others, this might be a good place to go!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baby 1 versus Baby 2

This is a very funny post about the first baby versus the third baby and mothering. It brightened my day, and I can relate since we have 4 children! A good read...

http://kathleenbasi.com/2009/10/02/baby-1-versus-baby-3/

Side Effects of Oral Contraceptives

Here is an article about the oral contraceptives, Yaz and Yasmin.

http://nfpworks.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/health-concerns-over-popular-contraceptives/#comment-775

Monday, September 28, 2009

First Class and Homework

We had a terrific first class and a really great turnout!

Students, thank you for taking the time to learn about your fertility so that you will not have to rely on often harmful and unhealthy hormonal birth control! Remember NFP is not just another form of birth control, it's knowledge of you fertility that reveals how sexuality reflects God's love!

Be patient with yourselves as you learn this new method and if you need any help at all please contact us!

Don't forget to do homework charts 1-4 in Appendix A of the Student Guide!

Happy Charting!

Our Story about NFP


We have been married for 8 years and have 4 beautiful children. We hope that by sharing our story about how natural family planning has touched our marriage, hearts will be opened to the many blessings that natural family planning can bring into a marriage. As we look back on our 8 years of marriage, we can see the great good that natural family planning has brought into our lives.

Eight years ago when we started discussing marriage, we discussed family planning, in which Sarah brought up natural family planning. Bill had been raised Lutheran and had never heard of natural family planning before. However, after discussing it, we made the decision to use natural family planning after we were married.

So, why did Sarah feel it was important to use natural family planning? Well, when she was young her mother used to talk to her about Catholic moral teaching, abortion, and contraception. Sarah soon developed a strong passion for natural family planning, even though some family and friends, even many Catholics, told her that natural family planning does not work, or that natural family planning is impractical and too hard to practice, or that there is simply no reason not to use contraception. However, Sarah believed otherwise. When we met, Sarah was so thankful to God for leading her to Bill, but he was Lutheran, and Sarah was a little scared to mention natural family planning!

Initially, Bill was uncertain about the effectiveness of natural family planning and about the periods of abstinence if we were postponing a pregnancy. During our engagement, Sarah ordered the Couple to Couple League’s home study course and Bill had a chance to read about natural family planning methods and scientific studies supporting the use of natural family planning. He really found the concrete data about the effectiveness of natural family planning to be reassuring and it satisfied the scientist in him. Bill also found their suggestions for periods of abstinence to be encouraging.

Being newlyweds, the abstinence was difficult at times, but we believe it really strengthened our marriage during a time in which we were still getting to know each other. It gave us time to sit back and learn about each other, to talk to each other, and to ‘date’ each other, as we had before we were married. This allowed our marriage to grow and our love and respect for each other to deepen. It also gave us a reason to learn about our fertility. Bill would help Sarah chart by reminding her to take her temperature each morning by handing her the thermometer and recording the temperature on the chart. Later, we would discuss how to interpret the chart to determine whether she was fertile or infertile. There were a few months that we had questions about our charts, but we were able to call the Couple to Couple League central office or a teaching couple to help us with chart interpretations. They were instrumental in helping us to learn and become confident in using natural family planning early in our marriage.

Having Bill help with charting and interpretation meant a lot to Sarah. It was one way for him to demonstrate his love, respect, and dedication towards her and our marriage. It also made us a closer couple. It also started many conversations about children (the number and the spacing), sexuality, theology and church teachings, and perhaps most importantly about God’s plan for our lives. After we were married we moved to Missouri for graduate school, Sarah was working on a 2 year masters degree and Bill was working on a PhD. After prayer and a lot of discussion, we decided we should postpone children at least until Sarah was through with her schooling. Natural family planning allowed us to postpone having our first child until 2 years into our marriage. After Sarah graduated, we used natural family planning to help us conceive on the very first cycle that we tried! After William was born, and again after Andrew was born; we used natural family planning to postpone pregnancy for 2 years. Each time we were able to conceive easily using natural family planning. Rebekah, our youngest, was born 18 months after Elizabeth. We chose to space our last two children closer because after much prayer and discussion, we decided that we had no reason to postpone pregnancy and in fact, would more than welcome another one of God’s gifts to our family.

We are so thrilled that God has blessed us so abundantly. One of the greatest things about natural family planning is its affect on our marriage and our way of thinking about children. Before our wedding and for several years after, Bill had the traditional American mindset of having only two kids. Natural family planning allows for a lot of communication monthly or even daily about the possibility of children. We also talked a lot about the value of life and being open to what God had planned for us rather than our own selfish plans. We have found that each child is unique and blesses our family in a wonderful way. We do not know how many children God is going to call us to have, but we have learned to trust God’s wisdom for our family.

Together with natural family planning, prayer, the Couple to Couple League's support, and other resources, we have learned so much about God’s wonderful and grand plan for human sexuality and our personal lives. That is why we became a Couple to Couple League teaching couple, because we wanted to share this wonderful knowledge about fertility that has helped our marriage so much.

We invite you to spend time prayerfully considering Natural Family Planning. We hope our story has shown some of the blessing that Natural Family Planning can bring into a marriage.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Theology of The Body

Our first week of class for Theology of The Body has been fabulous! This class is definitely worth the time! The discussion groups are very interesting too, a big thanks to all who came! Can't wait for next week!

Starting this Saturday!

Just a reminder that our NFP class series begins this Saturday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quote by Mother Teresa

"How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers!" ~Mother Teresa

Friday, September 18, 2009

Theology of The Body


This week St. Anthony's is starting 'An Introduction to the Theology of The Body' with Christopher West. There will be 4 small groups meeting Sunday 10:30 - 11:45 am, Monday 7 - 8 pm, Tuesday 7 - 8 pm, or Wednesday 7 - 8 pm for 8 weeks. Come and join us! "Discover the master plan for your life!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welcome!!!

There is still time to register for the course series starting September 26th!