Catherine’s Column #7

By: Catherine Amaris Munoz

“May the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.” ~2 Thessalonians 3:16

Hi there, all home-schooling teens! My name is Catherine Munoz. I am a homeschooler from Monrovia, California, USA. I am in the 12th grade. This is my seventh column for the “Homeschooling Teen e-zine”, and I am looking forward to sharing more with you all in the future.

About 2 months ago, I shared that I would be attending two classes through the Disney Youth Education Series. The experience was great, and both classes were fun and informative. For the Leadership class, we did special activities that involved teamwork. We also learned how to make goals and attain them. A great way to do this is by making a timeline: This is helpful for setting long-term goals in the right order. For the Animation class, we were taught the fundamentals of animation. The very steps that Walt Disney first set in place are the same ones used today by not only the Disney Company, but also by others like DreamWorks animation!

Each class was between 3 to 4-1/2 hours long, so we were free to roam the park after the conclusion of each class! I recommend these classes to other homeschoolers who are fascinated by the Disney Company’s ethics, since this is a great way to get one’s foot in the door. And, for those of you who – like me!—are now just finishing high school, don’t fret! The Disney College Program is also available. For more information about the Disney College Program, use this link:

This year sure has gone by fast, hasn’t it? But, thank God, it’s not through just yet! Christmas is on its way, and that means a busy month is a head of us. Sometimes, it’s hard to find time for prayer. When the alarm clock goes off in the morning, it’s automatic for the train of thoughts to come rushing in: What we need to do, what needs to take place that day, etc. Personally, these thoughts and worries distract me from what is really important when I first wake up in the morning. Before ANYTHING else, I need to ask God to give me my daily bread: To give me strength for the day ahead. Sometimes, I get up without even taking a quiet moment for doing this. Even so, I still have the special opportunity to offer a peaceful and serene heart to Him throughout the day. God is everywhere: Even in those times when the world around us seems to be spinning like a top– fast out of our hands! In the busyness of the Christmas season, when there is so much to do, and so much to see, God surrounds us with joy, peace, and happiness. A prayer is a simple smile to a stranger; a hug for your mom after she made dinner; a couple of minutes taken to read your little brother or sister their favorite book.

Let us take a few moments to remember the astounding words of Saint Theresa: “May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of us. ”

MUSIC CORNER ~ This month’s featured Christian music artist is: Fireflight


Most of their songs incorporate rock drums and guitar, together. Some are less rock and more ballad-like. After listening to just a few of their songs, like, “Brand New Day”, and “You Gave Me a Promise”, it is apparent that Fireflight is sending messages of survival after the trial and adversity that life may throw your way. They also remind their listeners that we are given a fresh beginning with every new morning. So, with a leap of faith, take a ‘flight’ through the fire. I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised with Fireflight!

December’s Recipe ~ Miracle Bars

“Perhaps what is most miraculous about these bars is how the ingredients blend together perfectly for an ethereal taste experience like no other. These bars are originally called “Magic Bars”. I found it more appropriate to name them Miracle Bars!”


Yields: 24-36 bars/ Time: approx. 10 minutes for preparation; 25-30 minutes for baking.

What you’ll need:
*2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
*1/2 cup butter
*1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
*14 fluid ounces sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
*1-1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
*1 cup chopped nuts (i.e. walnuts, pecans, etc.)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees if using a glass baking dish). In a 13”x9” baking pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle crumbs over butter and blend together; press on bottom of pan to cover. Top with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork. Bake 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature. Enjoy!

December’s Movie Review ~ “The Lion King 3-D” (2011)

I recently went to see the Lion King 3-D in theaters. This is not a new movie… but it is definitely a re-run worthy classic! I decided to review The Lion King 3-D because I saw it this time through different eyes than I had probably seen through in my younger days. No longer was I just watching talking lions on a big screen:  This movie deals with the battle between good and evil, and also shows the importance of stepping up to one’s role in life, whether it’s as a dutiful son or daughter, or as a great, trustworthy friend.

The Lion King brought tears to my eyes when lion cub Simba was first held-up on the summit of Pride Rock and the animals in the kingdom bowed down to him in veneration. This reminded me of Jesus, who is The Prince of Peace, and who is also The Son of The Most High King: God.

I have been known to flee from something that is important, only to come back to it and realize what a huge mistake I’ve made. In the same way, Simba was looking forward to becoming king: In the eyes of the young lion cub, the power he was soon to obtain seemed like not much of a responsibility. But, when lion king Mufasa died, Scar scared Simba into believing that all the lions would blame him for the incident. That was enough to cause Simba to run away and attempt to forget his past. In this sense, Scar’s actions remind me of what havoc Satan tries to cause in our lives. In some cases, it can be a good idea to forget the past and start over. But, most of the time, we are only fooling ourselves if we think this is a realistic solution to our problems. In the same way that Nala gives Simba a wake-up call, God sends us reminders throughout life. He reminds us of all the blessings we have before us: He reminds us to open our eyes to what He has given us.

“Remember who you are”, the spirit of Mufasa counseled Simba. This occurred after Simba denied who he truly was: The son of the fallen lion king, Mufasa. Therefore, Simba was, indeed, the rightful king of Pride Rock. When in search of answers, Rafiki told Simba to look hard into his own reflection. Rafiki was helping him to realize that a part of Mufasa remains and lives within himself. At this point, I was reminded of Saint Augustine’s teachings. Augustine speaks of his personal searching for his Father: God. During the course of his searching, he goes to several of God’s creations and asks them where he may be able to find God. Augustine is then directed to look into himself, whom God the Father created with His own mighty hand. Here, Augustine finds that, surely, he is not God, himself. But he recognizes what a big part of God is within his own human spirit. I did not believe it was possible to find a comparison between a cartoon dialogue and the philosophy of Saint Augustine. But now, I suppose it is!

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