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"An error in the beginning is an error indeed." - St. Thomas Aquinas
"Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine." - St. Thomas Aquinas


Project Ultrasound


***10 Week Challenge Update: Week 1 9/12-9/16 10.75

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rocks For Brains

Just finished reading A Story of A Soul, the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux. I cannot put into words that make sense, how this book effected me. I know I must read it again, and soon, to really grasp the greatness of this Little Way.

JOT will be happy to learn that only 3 months later (she lent it to me in October) I have finally started Salvation Is From The Jews. I am only a few pages in and I am enjoying it very much. It is opening up the Gospels and is just what I was looking for to jumpstart my New Year. I have read the Gospel's before, but there is just too much there to take in all at once. These books help to open them for me.

Thanks to my hubby, I have also added the Imitation of Christ to my nightly prayers. This is much more of a mediation than a book. It is slow going as I am asking the Lord to help them sink in. Sometimes I feel like a diamond. Not in the beautiful way we know diamonds, but in the fact that it is the hardest rock on the earth. I hope this year to be more absorbent. For the Gospels, the prayers, the peace of Christ to sink in and remain. Like a sponge, except no squeezing here. I want to retain, retain, retain. When I am in the midst of spiritual reading I feel like my little pea brain can't hold it all. That is very frustrating. I make little silent prayers like, you know, help me to use that other 90% to retain! ;)

Any suggestions are always welcome! Happy and Blessed New Year to you all!

It's New Year's Eve!

Tomorrow will be 2009. It's hard to believe the year has come to an end. 2008 has been a good year for us.
In January..
We prepared to transfer from Maryland to the South..no more snowy winters! As anxious as we were to embark on a new journey, we were very very sad to say goodbye to so many friends and family.
In February..
My husband was commissioned a Chief Warrant Officer in the US Navy. He went to Rhode Island for training and we went to stay with my mom in the Northeast. The first few weeks we spent in the rain. It rained for a three days straight and then the temperature dropped to 6 below. Ccccccold!
In March..
We began our drive down south. We started out on a chilly day of just barely above freezing and began to remove layers as the temperature slowly rose to 81 degrees! We were sweating and happy! Our move was a bit stressful as we had no idea if we would be able to get into post housing and the only arrangements for living was a hotel that we could only reserve for 3 days before we would have to find somewhere else to stay. Because God is so good, just one hour from our destination we got a call from the housing office that a house was waiting for us. When we saw it we praised God even more. It is a beautiful home and big enough for all of us. We were off to a good start.
In April..
We traveled back to Maryland for my oldest's Confirmation. He wanted to make his Confirmation with his friends and classmates. He took the name of St. Luke and it was awesome to watch the Bishop impart the Holy Spirit to him. It was a wonderful trip and we were able to see our friends and stay with a one of the best families I know.

We spent the next six months acclimating to the sun and fun of the southeast. My littlest learned to dive off the diving board! To watch your 7 year old, who weighs all of about 5 cents, jump off a 10 foot high dive is heart stopping to say the least.

We started school again in September and were blessed to find a great home school group and the kids have made many friends. We are finally starting to get, what I call, settled. We have met so many beautiful, warm and friendly people here. I have much to thank God for this year. Just as the kids educational life is being nurtured here, I am confident that our spiritual life will be nurtured as well.

It is always exciting to begin a new year. Our family resolution is to pray together more. We have begun working in an hour of family time after dinner. No t.v., no technology..just us..reading or praying together. My prayer for the New Year..help us keep this going Lord! During this time I have an opportunity to observe my children in a different way. I love it when they plan out the Rosary on their own. Who will say what decade and such. It is a beautiful thing. Happy New Year and God Bless all of you!

Leave your resolutions in the comments if you'd like. I'd love to hear them and include your prayers in our family prayer time.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Feast of St. Thomas Beckett


Check out EWTN for more info on this famous martyr.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are You Ready to Laugh Until It Hurts?

Please Please go check out Dave Barry's Year in Review. It is 4 pages long or I would post it here, but oh my, it is so funny that you will flood the house with tears and maybe even literally split open your sides. Please have the phone handy just in case you need 911. Thank God for funny folks like Dave.

Surgeon General Warning: Serious nasal burns could result if drinking carbonated beverages while reading the article below.

Dave Barry's Year in Review

The Feast of The Holy Family


Jesus, our most loving redeemer,
You came to enlighten the world
with your teaching and example.
You willed to spend the greater part of Your life
in humble obedience to Mary and Joseph
in the poor home of Nazareth.
In this way, You sanctified that family,
which was to be an example for all Christian families.

Graciously accept our family,
which we dedicate and consecrate to You this day.
Be pleased to protect, guard, and keep it
in holy fear, in peace,
and in the harmony of Christian charity.
By conforming ourselves to the Divine model
of Your family,
may we attain to eternal happiness.
- New St. Joseph People's Prayer Book

For more reflection on The Feast of The Holy Family check out http://www.salvationhistory.com/homily_helps

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Love...Exciting and New!

What a wonderful day! We moved to this new town almost a year ago and we have been blessed to be so welcomed with love and sweet southern charm. It is as if we have always been here.

Today we attended a wedding for a young couple from our church. They are the religious education teachers for my oldest son. The wedding was small and absolutely beautiful. The bride was stunning and the groom, so handsome. It is always wonderful to witness the sacrament of Marriage. To see this young, beautiful couple receive this holy sacrament and then receive Our Lord together is breathtaking.

At the reception, although we are new here, we were welcomed with open arms and had the opportunity to meet and make new friends. I cannot stop thanking Our Lord for his blessings upon our family. My middle daughter caught the bouquet and to see her dance her first dance with a boy (not one from our family) was so delightful. One of the more poignant moments was watching her dance with her daddy. I could almost imagine that dance happening on her wedding day. It brings tears of joy to my eyes.

Please join me in keeping Joelle and Brendan in our prayers, for a lifetime of blessed marriage. Brendan will be leaving his young bride next month, as he begins his journey in the US Army. Pray for them, that the Lord will give them the strength, patience and abounding love they will need as a military family.

Thank you to all my readers and prayer warriors out there. A continued Merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ah...the Holiday Season

So..this morning my hubby and I got up and decided to head out and do a little shopping at the post exchange..You know, after Christmas sales and 1/2 price candy. Maybe pick up something cool for Epiphany.

We were tooling around the discounted Christmas candy aisle..really just a few bricks of Christollen that's been around since November 28th, some smashed foiled Lindt reindeer and regularly priced (never on sale) Starbucks gift sets..and I see a clerk wheeling out her cart filled with goodies to stock the shelves..looks like chocolate..red..gold.."maybe she's putting out some good stuff from the stock room" I thought.

Nope.

I looked closer and it was chocolate..the red and gold boxes were festive enough, however heart shaped they were. Yep. Valentine's Day Candy on December 26th. I had to stop her. What the heck is this? Who would want to eat candy two months old? "Oh, Walmart has had Valentine's Day candy since before Christmas," she says. "Personally, if you ask me," she whispers, "I wouldn't buy it..what if you break up before then? Or get something for someone you don't like anymore in Febuary?" She laughed. I didn't know whether to be shocked more by the thought of Valentine's candy in December or her comments. Both equally shocking.

St. Stephen, Ora Pro Nobis!


First Christian martyr. Deacon. Preacher. All we know of him is related in the Acts of the Apostles. While preaching the Gospel in the streets, angry Jews who believed his message to be blasphemy dragged him outside the city, and stoned him to death. In the crowd, on the side of the mob, was a man who would later be known as Saint Paul the Apostle.

St. Stephen, Ora Pro Nobis.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Praise Be To God! Alleluia!

The little one is born! Our Savior, Our Lord! All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

O Holy Night

We just came home from Mass. My littlest one was an angel. Seeing her all in white and singing for Christ..in May she'll receive her First Eucharist..O joy! I don't think I'll be able to handle that one without tears.
Speaking of angels and tears..Good ol' Josh Groban..a voice like an angle, sweet enough to bring tears to your eyes. His mother must be so proud!

Auld Lang Syne

A Soldier's Silent Night

Thank You for all you do!

The Marvelous Toy

The Chad Mitchell Trio sings this great little number..

Mary's Boy Child

Gotta Love those 70's videos! I love this song though. Please bear with the video :)

Margie's Moments

This will be a new feature on my blog. Margie has asked to be a contributor and I am glad to have her here. So enjoy another great reflection from Margie.

A mother knows the pain of childbirth.
But she also knows the reward.
I believe that Our Blessed Mother experienced childbirth the way we do. Which is to say that it was NOT a bad experience! Those of us with children have our stories to tell but we always end with "it was worth it". This leads into my meditation on the Nativity. I imagine myself in the stable watching the birth of Jesus. I know what Mary is experiencing. The anticipation, the pain, the anxiety, the joy...
I visualize all those emotions on her face. Joseph experiences the same emotions. Then...Jesus is Born. Mary is holding him - as we mothers held
our first child. She can't stop looking at Him, kissing His little hands, smelling His hair, thinking He is so small and helpless, thanking God for Him, all the things a new mother does.
The bond is intense - we have felt that bond and we know how life changing it is. Jesus was divine - and also human - I think Mary experienced his humanity in childbirth and then the full measure of divine love upon first setting her eyes on Him. All the while - she was humble and mindful of who He was and the loving gift given to her and Joseph.

The usual image in a Nativity is Jesus in a manger surrounded by Mary and Joseph. I prefer to visualize Mary holding Jesus and Joseph holding both of them. A family - together.

Merry Christmas

Ave Maria!

This is my favorite rendition of this beautiful Hymn to Our Lady. I'll be posting my fav Christmas songs today! (To listen please scroll down to pause the Christmas Canon video)

Tonight Is The Night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thoughts And Prayers

What if...

it were your brother on the street
it were your mother or father in the hospital
it were your friends who were hungry
it were your sister who is a drug addict
if was your neighbor, who could not feed their children
it was your best friend, whose marriage was on the rocks
it was a baby out in the cold all night
it was a family member in jail
it was you, whose husband lost his job
it was you, whose home was being foreclosed
it was you, whose children were in need
it was you, who was lonely
it was your family who sleeps in the car
it was your family who eats at the soup kitchen
it was your family who was in need
it was you, who was losing hope

Would it be easier to give? Would it be easier to understand the needs of others? Would it be easier to reach out? Would it be easier to love?

My heart is full of all that I cannot do for others, and I cry out to the Lord, "I am only one, weak and imperfect. Yet, because of your mercy, Lord, I am confident to call on You. O my Jesus, I seek not to fulfill my own wants and desires, but the desires of others, to glorify Your name. You have given to me all that I need. You have left for me the Bread of Life. You have hidden Yourself in a tiny white host and You nurture me with the incomprehensible mystery of it. I empty myself out before You. In Your great Mercy You lower Yourself to my littleness. O how I long to serve You Lord. My Jesus, I love you!"

I felt called to post this intimate prayer today. The birth of Our Lord is upon us. The excitement of this moment is overwhelming me. Thinking about receiving Our Lord on Christmas is causing me so much joy that I think my heart may explode. To hold Him within me for but a moment will be excruciating bliss.

Music on My Mind

I went to bed and woke up this morning with this song in my head.

Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.
When I was hungry, you gave me to eat
When I was thirsty, you gave me to drink
When I was homeless, you opened your door
When I was naked, you gave me your coat
When I was weary, you helped me find rest
When I was anxious, you calmed all my fears
When in a prison, you came to my cell
When on a sick-bed, you cared for my needs
When I was laughed at, you stood by my side
When I was happy you shared in my joy

Now enter into the home of My Father
Whatsoever you do, to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.

"Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing." - St. Therese
Story of a Soul, Chapter VIII

St. Therese of the child Jesus and The Holy Face, ora pro nobis.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Guest Blogger - Margaret

I have known Margaret for years and years. Recently, she asked if she could share something with my blog readers and, of course, I said yes. Thanks for this beautiful piece Margie.

A bit about Margaret,

41 years old, mother of three, married 15 years, Catholic. I was a cafeteria Catholic for many years and rediscovered this gift in my thirties. I have learned patience from this journey back to Christ. I have learned to earn it. It is worth the time - something we really do have so little of. If I make it Heaven I envision that I will stand before Jesus and He will reach out His arms and hug me like a long lost child. Happy to have me home.


St Teresa of Avila

The Interior Castle is a contemplative view of the soul through the lens of sincere prayer. It can be a tough read and requires concentration and focus. I have picked it up and put and down for months now. Taking it in bit by bit has had a powerful impact on the way I view my self and my soul. Teresa envisioned the soul as "a castle made of a single diamond . . . in which there are many rooms, just as in Heaven there are many mansions."

"Let us now imagine that this castle, as I have said, contains many mansions, some above, others below, others at each side; and in the centre and midst of them all is the chiefest mansion where the most secret things pass between God and the soul. You must think over this comparison very carefully; perhaps God will be pleased to use it to show you something of the favours which He is pleased to grant to souls..."

"Many souls remain in the outer court of the castle, which is the place occupied by the guards; they are not interested in entering it, and have no idea what there is in that wonderful place, or who dwells in it, or even how many rooms it has. You will have read certain books on prayer which advise the soul to enter within itself: and that is exactly what this means.

...the door of entry into this castle is prayer and meditation: I do not say mental prayer rather than vocal, for, if it is prayer at all, it must be accompanied by meditation.


She goes on to describe the state of the soul in mortal sin and the darkness that surrounds the castle as one enters it for the first time.

This is where I come in with my personal story to share about this journey to my Interior Castle.

Meditating seems like an impossible task for some people. It was for me. I had difficulty concentrating and turning off the thoughts in my mind. Repetitive prayer is very helpful - especially when it is heard externally - a CD with music or Mother Angelica on EWTN reciting the Rosary. The repetition and even tone of the voice helps to center my thoughts and allows me to visualize the meditations. This is a very powerful form of prayer that allows you to put yourself into the meditation. I often meditate to the Rosary and visualize myself somewhere in the moment. For instance, one of my most powerful meditations is visualizing myself kneeling next to Jesus as he suffers in the garden of Gethsemane. I cry with him, I feel His suffering and I can't do anything to relieve it but to be there with Him and experience His emotional pain. I envision reaching up and touching His foot as He hangs on the cross.

This visualization is actual - I mean that I do not change who I am in the moment. I wear the same clothes as present time, etc., - In essence - I am myself.

"As I see it, we shall never succeed in knowing ourselves unless we seek to know God: let us think of His greatness and then come back to our own baseness; by looking at His purity we shall see our foulness; by meditating upon His humility, we shall see how far we are from being humble.

This brings me back to the Interior Castle. I found this visualization particularly difficult because I was using St. Teresa suggestions of the castle to meditate and it wasn't working. I continued trying and praying on it and the answer was revealed. For a few years now (prior to me reading The Interior Castle") I have had a recurring dream about living in a huge white house with uncountable rooms in it. In the dream it is always dark outside and I am wandering the house looking at the rooms - some are appointed and decorated - some are not. Sometimes my whole family is in the house - meaning my family and my parents and brothers and sisters.

I am continually drawn to an entry door that is in disrepair and I am afraid someone will break in. I am acutely aware that someone or something is outside and just waiting to break in if I don't take measures to lock or bolster the entry way. There is always one room in the house that I perceive to be evil. When I pass by the room it feels like a strong magnet is pulling my entire body towards it and I immediately begin to recite the Hail Mary. Sometimes I am forcefully dragged into the room and I experience a powerful magnetic feeling - pressing in all over me - that is only relieved by praying the Hail Mary. I am terribly scared at first but I almost always surrender myself to the will of God and then I find myself out of the room.

"With regard to these first Mansions I can give some very useful information out of my own experience. I must tell you, for example, to think of them as comprising not just a few rooms, but a very large number. There are many ways in which souls enter them, always with good intentions; but as the devil's intentions are always very bad, he has many legions of evil spirits in each room to prevent souls from passing from one to another, and as we, poor souls, fail to realize this, we are tricked by all kinds of deceptions. The devil is less successful with those who are nearer the King's dwelling-place; but at this early stage, as the soul is still absorbed in worldly affairs, engulfed in worldly pleasure and puffed up with worldly honours and ambitions, its vassals, which are the senses and the faculties given to it by God as part of its nature, have not the same power, and such a soul is easily vanquished, although it may desire not to offend God and may perform good works. Those who find themselves in this state need to take every opportunity of repairing to His Majesty, and to make His blessed Mother their intercessor, and also His saints, so that these may do battle for them, since their own servants have little strength for defending themselves. In reality it is necessary in every state of life for our help to come from God. May His Majesty grant us this through His mercy. Amen.

So...This has been an enlightening experience for me. I can now more realistically visualize my "Interior Castle" and work through prayer, meditation and good works to journey through the castle to the center where Christ lives.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas Darling!

My man likes Christmas. He likes Christmas all year long! He's got Richie Rich taste on a Good Times budget. But I love him and if Donna Summer could sing it "He works hard for the money." So...this year..he asked for something..something that gave me heart palpitations at the bank.

He asked for, and God has blessed us to be able to afford, this:


A Ford F-150 King Ranch Pick 'em up truck
Let me tell ya..he's smilin' from ear to ear!


Merry Christmas Darling! I love you.

4th Sunday of Advent Gospel Reflection


What is announced to Mary in today’s Gospel is the revelation of all that the prophets had spoken. It is, as Paul declares in today’s Epistle, the mystery kept secret since before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:9; 3:3-9).

Mary is the virgin prophesied to bear a son of the house of David (see Isaiah 7:13-14). And nearly every word the angel speaks to her today evokes and echoes the long history of salvation recorded in the Bible.

Mary is hailed as the daughter Jerusalem, called to rejoice that her king, the Lord God, has come into her midst as a mighty savior (see Zephaniah 3:14-17).

The One whom Mary is to bear will be Son of “the Most High” - an ancient divine title first used to describe the God of the priest-king Melchizedek, who brought out bread and wine to bless Abraham at the dawn of salvation history (see Genesis 14:18-19).

He will fulfill the covenant God makes with His chosen one, David, in today’s First Reading. As we sing in today’s Psalm, He will reign forever as highest of the kings of the earth, and He will call God, “my Father.” As Daniel saw the Most High grant everlasting dominion to the Son of Man (see Daniel 4:14; 7:14), His kingdom will have no end.

He is to rule over the house of Jacob - the title God used in making His covenant with Israel at Sinai (see Exodus 19:3), and again used in promising that all nations would worship the God of Jacob (see Isaiah 2:1-5).

Jesus has been made known, Paul says today, to bring all nations to the obedience of faith. We are called with Mary today, to marvel at all that the Lord has done throughout the ages for our salvation. And we too, must respond to this annunciation with humble obedience - that His will be done, that our lives be lived according to His word.

The Angel and Mary

In the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, the angel Gabriel greets Mary in an unusual way: “Hail, favored one” (see Luke 1:28).

Kecharitomene, the Greek word translated as “favored one,” is very rare, used in only one other place in the New Testament. It comes from charis, the Greek word for “grace” and basically means “made full of grace” or “transformed by grace.”

This is how the word is used in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he describes how God “granted” His grace to all of us in Jesus (see Ephesians 1:6-7). This sheds light on what the angel means - Mary has been “transformed by God’s grace.”

Notice that the angel doesn’t mention Mary’s name. That’s odd, too. There’s no other angelic greeting like this in Scripture. It’s as if Mary’s name is “favored one” or “made full of grace.”

In Scripture, when God gives a person a new name, it reveals the person’s role in His saving plan. Think of Abraham - the father of all nations (see Genesis 17:5), or Peter, the Church’s “rock” (see Matthew 16:18). Mary is God’s favored one, transformed by God’s grace to be the sinless mother of His only-begotten Son.

That’s why the angel’s greeting is one of the biblical foundations for Mary’s Immaculate Conception, which we celebrate December 8. Listen closely to the Mass readings that day - you’ll hear the angel’s greeting, and Paul’s beautiful words about God’s transforming grace.

Check out the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology for more great reflections.

Best Movies of the Year

Scientific Nature of the Whammyis doing a movie Giveaway. Go check it out!

My favorite movie this year is Fireproof! If you haven't seen it get out and see it. You won't regret it. Take your hubby or wife and spend some quality time together enjoying this fine movie.

I also loved The Dark Knight. Christian Bale is my all time favorite Batman and Heath Ledger is just too wicked for words as the Joker.

My least favorite movie is Tropic Thunder. Ugh..we couldn't even finish it..foul beyond foul and very little to laugh about.

So what's your fav/least fav movie this year?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

The snowflakes the kids made..my oldest did the gecko one..my middle son made most of these..he even did an R2D2 one..down front!


The Gecko Flake


The Snowflakes hanging in the front hall


One of our Nativities..we collect them and I am in the process of setting up the other ones..I think at last count we had 5..I love Nativities!


Our Christmas Tree..I took these pics after two cups a'joe..so they may be a bit blurry..:)


My Sista is Famous!

One of her productions made it on YouTube! You can check it out here. She is the Technical Consultant for Arroyo Vista Charter school in San Diego, California. She is also the producer, director and choreographer of this little number for the school's Fall Variety Show. She gets the teachers together and they put on a show for the kids. So Cool! You can see my sis in the front lower right hand corner. I just have to say.."That's My Sista!..That's My Sista!" Maybe I can get her to sing me some more songs to post here..she has been blessed with a fabulous voice. Enjoy!


Operation Christmas Card

I found this over at SITSA, Please participate if you can..I have read Amy's blog and her story is very compelling. She is an extraordinary woman dealing with extraordinary suffering. Here's a bit about her story:
Amy

According to Jane at Jumpin' in the Jungle, "[Amy] is an amazing woman with a sick son who is now sick herself. She had surgery last week on 2 masses on her neck and the report is they are cancer. Her surgery was very extensive and will take months of recovery. My heart breaks for her yet at the same time I am in total awe of her and her strength. If you don't know her, please take some time to read about her...and her son, Philip....and her family."

Philip has had 15 brain operations, a stroke and over 20 Orthopedic operations. To find out more about Philip, go to his Caring Bridges site. To read more about Amy and keep updated on her status, go to her blog, Our Daily Blessing.

If you would like to participate in the "Amy's Card Drive", you can contact Amy's friends:

Sandy: Prudentiablog@aol.com
or
Grace: grace.slick91@yahoo.com for Amy's address.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Weekly Wrap-Up - The Prep Edition

Christmas preparations are underway! Cookies are being made..I need to make another 6 dozen before next week. The tree is up and decorated. And the house..well..It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! Yay!!!!!

Total destruction of the Laundry monster is within sight! Success will be mine!!!!

I have a cake to bake for my party at work tomorrow..more cookies to get ready for my hubby's work mates and practice for church choir.

Tonight is pizza and a movie night. Relaxation.

I can't wait until Christmas! It truly is "The most wonderful time of the year!"

Happy Birthday Mom!

 

Just a little bio on My Mom:

Born in 1942 in Puerto Rico to a family of 12. 5 girls 5 boys. Grew up with a strict father and a praying mother, joined the Army..rescued my dad and gave life to 4 children, one an angel in heaven. God sent her another angel in need and we adopted my youngest brother while over in Germany. She's traveled all over the U.S and Europe. Now she spends her days in service to the Church and her community.

My mom was not my best friend when I was a teenager. In fact, my friends called her "dragon lady". ;) But She is definitely one of my best friends now! I thank God for her everyday and I am proud to be her daughter. You have been a true inspiration to me! I consider it an honor when other's say "You're just like your mother!" :) I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks Mom! May you be blessed in abundance today!

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Friday Fast For The Unborn

It's a beautiful morning! I thank our Lord for all that He has done for me and for all that He will do. I especially thank Him for the gift of life.

Heavenly Father, You create men in Your own image, and You desire that not even the least among us should perish.In Your love for us, You entrusted Your only Son to the holy Virgin Mary. Now, in Your Love,protect against he wickedness of the devil,those little ones to whom You have given the gift of life.


Friday Fast 8-Noon, complete fast. If you read this pray for those fasting and if you join the fast please post a comment so we can pray for you as well.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Reminders for Life

Tomorrow is Friday Fast for The Unborn 8-Noon. Thanks or joining us!

A Catholic Mom in Hawaii: Send a Christmas Letter to a Pro-Life Heroine in Jail for Silently Witnessing to Life



By John-Henry Westen

TORONTO, November 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life heroine Linda Gibbons will spend another Christmas in jail this year for her refusal to abide by an injunction which forbids even silent prayerful pro-life witness on the public sidewalk in front of the Scott abortion mill in Toronto.

Rosemary Connell of Show the Truth Canada informed LifeSiteNews.com today that Gibbons appreciates very much the letters and cards she receives from pro-lifers all over the world. She assures them of her prayers as well.

"I know she appreciates letters and cards and the effort to send them," Connell told LifeSiteNews.com. "She enjoys letters and art work from children also. She is very humble about the number of letters she gets each day. Please consider sending a Christmas card and short letters regularly. It is great for her spirits and important that the employees of the prison know of her supporters. It reminds people of the plight of little babies being threatened by abortion."

The rules for such letters are:
- handwrite or type address and return address on envelope
- no stickers or stamped images etc. on envelope or in letter
- put return address on letter as well as envelope
- no plastic prayer cards or bookmarks - paper prayer cards and bookmarks are fine
- she is allowed a couple of pamphlets but not many
- no questions about day to day workings of the prison - baby saves, prayer groups, difficulties she faces. She cannot comment on the day to day workings of the prison but will call Show the Truth with any news.
- please number your letters so she can be sure she is getting all that you send
- please include a pro-life comment in each letter - facts of numbers of children being executed, loss of God's children, our prayer for everyone involved in abortion industry

Gibbons' upcoming trial is Jan 12, 2009 in Toronto.

Letters should be addressed to
Linda Gibbons - Vanier Women's Detention Centre
655 Martin St. - Box 1040 - Milton, ON
Canada
L9T 5E6
The gingerbread men...



The oatmeal raisin cookies



My Tree on Monday...updates to come



I'll be posting more pics of the cookies soon as I can..today I made:

JOT's wedding cookies
Choc-Ful Chocolate Cookies
Coconut Macaroons

The Laundry Monster/Art Class

In the darkness of the deepest bin, in the silent rumble of the dryer...
It lies in wait. Threatening daily to overrun it's confines and take over the entire home! What is this creature from the hellish depths of stinky socks and underwear?
The Laundry Monster

Bum!!! Bum!!! Bum!!! (sound fx courtesy of my oldest boy)

My Youngests rendition




My Middle girls imagination takes over

The text:
"The monster has kidnapped a mom and has stolen loose change from the washer machine. His head is pants and his feet and hands are socks. The police are armed and ready with the tazer!"
Monster - "I have Bleach and I'm not afraid to use it!"


The Middle boy's attempt



My Oldest's Interpretation

BoldFace Meme

H/T Maureen Wittman


1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii (I didn't want to leave)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (it definitely makes it more interesting)
7. Been to Disneyland (yeah..way overrated)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (not that you would want to hear it)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (one of these days)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (We have put this in God's hands..he hasn't answered yet)
16. Had food poisoning (never, thank goodness)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (one of these days0
18. Grown your own vegetables (I've grown peppers and lettuce)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (only on t.v.)
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight (this can be dangerous!)
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Bbuilt a snow fort (mine was always better than my brothers;) )
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping (tooo cccccold)
27. Run a Marathon (one of these days)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (again..one of these days)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (it's been a long time)
32. Been on a cruise (no thanks)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person(it is very beautiful)
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (my mom's family is from Puerto Rico..that trip was my graduation present from my uncle..it was great!)
35. Seen an Amish community (I'm from PA)
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person (My sister did! I wasn't born yet)
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke (I love to sing all the time)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (this is cool and a bit scary)
46. Been transported in an ambulance (no, thanks be to God)
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelingg (when we were stationed in Guam we went snorkeling..lots of fun..kinda creepy)
52. Kissed in the rain (oh yeah..)
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (let's see does Pampered chef, House of Lloyd, Tupperware and Avon count?)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen (we are on the list next month)
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason (my hubby used to do this all the time..he said the economy has impacted his flower giving this year :D)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (you get free cookies and juice)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (a lot..we know the layout by heart)
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (that was the last time too..not my bag baby)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem (
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (I used to write the high school happenings for our local paper in my town. That was about as close as I got to journalism..it was a great experience)
85. Read the entire Bible (working on it)
86. Visited the White House (Very cool...highly recommend it)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (do relatives of famous folks count?)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one (not yet Thanks be to God)
94. Had a baby (I want some more!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person (almost..maybe next year)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (ouch!!!)
100. Read an entire book in one day (this can be so exhausting and exhilarating!)

Leave a comment if you post this on your blog! I'd love to learn more about you!

Thursday Thoughts

It is a beautiful morning. The sun is not yet up and it's not very cold outside. The neighborhood is quiet, the house is quiet, and the coffee is hot. After such a busy day yesterday, this quiet it blessed peace.

I was part of an online seminar last night. It was set up by Walter Crawford at Homeschool Connections and the guest speaker was Maureen Wittman. The topic was Organizing your Homeschool Classroom. Maureen did a great job of presenting the topic and offered some wonderful insight into homeschooling. The seminar was recorded and will be available on Walter's website soon. Check out Maureen's website www.catholictreasury.com for more great resources on homeschooling. Head over to Walter's site and register for the next seminar in January. Danielle Bean will be the guest speaker!

I am gearing up for my battle against the Laundry monster! I must win! There is no option! Today is the day! I will be Victorious!

My daily Affirmation: Today I will make the Christmas mice, the merengue snowmen, the chocolate chip and the pecan sandies!

I am moving really fast through The Divine Office for Dodo's. I love the bookmarks and ribbons. I am getting it! Yeah! Although it's difficult to follow directions and go as slow as the author recommends. I understand it's essential if I want to be successful.

Wow..this is a long post..wow! Okay..I can hear the laundry monster growling at me..I will have my son draw a picture of it for you. I just can't...bear...to ...look!

Hey! He's almost here! Our Lord is on the way! Oh...Wow!!!! I can't hardly wait!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Long Wait is Over!

No, I don't mean Advent. I mean the long wait for the Direct T.v. technician to finally get out here and hook us up with High Definition access. Whew! I ordered this service back on November 28th! Long story short, they messed up my order, brought out the wrong box, never came to pick it up and almost had to cancel today! I called the tech manager and said I was havin' none of that!

While we waited, my middle son helped make some oatmeal cookies, 72 to be exact. My youngest made up the gingerbread man dough and put it in the fridge. By the time we received High Def we had made enough cookies to put in a bag for the young tech who was very polite and helpful.

I ran off the grocery to pick up some coconut for macaroons that I had to add to my baking list at the last minute. Tonight we are off to a Knights of Columbus dinner and we'll be bringing baked Macaroni and Cheese.

Tomorrow..home school group, more baking, library and more Christmas decorations to put up.

It's time to do the Jesse Tree! The kids are waiting on me for once!

The Simple Woman's Daybook


For Today, December 16, 2008

Outside my window..it is quiet and gray.

I am thinking...about all the baking and making I must do for Christmas, and whether or not the Direct TV guy will finally come.

I am thankful for...my son, who's already started the baking :)

From the learning rooms...book reports and reading tests.

From the kitchen...my son makes the oatmeal cookies

I am wearing...my favorite jeans and a sweater.

I am creating...ornaments for friends and family

I am going...to the post office and the grocery store this afternoon

I am reading...St. Therese of Lisieux and Divine Office for Dodo's

I am hoping...that I can get the laundry done today

I am hearing...the kids chatting and the dryer going

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Where I'd like to spend Christmas with my family:




Participate here.

Advent Wreath Thanks

After a few hours of research and frustration, I think I have most of my original content back up here. I lost my Advent wreath and found the current one At Curt Jester! Thanks for that great looking wreath.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Please Excuse the Mess - Update

Please excuse the mess while I do some work on this blog..hopefully we'll have it all cleaned up in a jiffy!

Okay, I think I recovered most of what I lost trying to upgrade this darn thing. I may be going to an entirely different format in the new year.if I can figure it out :D.

The Divine Office - Time to Learn

I am so very excited! I finally received my copy of Divine Office for Dodo's! Earlier this year my very good friend, Journey of Truth, gave to me a beautiful breviary. However, I had no idea what to do with it. I tried to learn on my own but it can get very confusing and I soon lost track of it. I had heard about this book for dodo's like me, did some research and ordered it. I am on my way to praying The Divine Office and my heart is simply full of joy at the thought of joining my prayers with so many others in this great prayer of The Church.
Divine Office For Dodo's

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ooops!

I forgot to tag you all on my last meme from Therese! So..ummm..if you read this you are tagged! If you could interview 10 of your favorite living Catholics, with soft "Bahbwa Walters" lighting and fabulous backgrounds, who would you choose?
Tag! You're It!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

10 Favorite Living Catholics

I've been tagged by Aussie Coffeeshop!

My 10 favorite, living, Catholics are(in no particular order):

1. Mother Angelica
2. Father Benedict Groeschel
3. Father John Corapi
4. Pope Benedict XVI
5. Father Trigilio
6. Dean Koontz
7.
Immaculee Ilibagiza
8. Sally Edwards
9. Raymond Arroyo
10. Martha Stewart

Weekly Wrap-Up - The Blessed Edition

From The Immaculate Conception to Our Lady of Guadalupe! I love this week. We start the week off at Mass and end it with confession and Mass. All week long our Lady is pointing us to her son. Reminding us to serve Him with humility and love.

Monday morning was spent at Wal-Mart getting a new car battery, it died on Sunday night and my poor hubby had to ride his scooter to work and it was ccccold! I'm glad I bought him the face buff (sorta like a survivor buff) to wear under his helmet. We prayed that it was just the battery and nothing worse and the young, clean cut mechanic who inquired of my husband about joining the Navy, confirmed that we just needed a new battery. Woohoo! Less than a 100 bucks!

Tuesday we worked on book reports and I headed out shopping for the goodies to do Christmas baking.

Wednesday we headed off with the rest of the home school group physics class to the local science center. That was a blast! Literally! We got to freeze balloons with liquid nitrogen and watch them crack apart like glass, we got to make our hair stand up with static electricity. We learned about circuits, virtual reality, flat screen technology and different types of electricity. The kids most loved riding the human gyro. You get strapped in and, using your body movement you can turn yourself in circles and upside down. Makes me queasy looking at it, but the kids absolutely love it!

Thursday, we were blessed to receive a live Christmas tree through the Trees for Troops initiative. There were more than 100 families out at the lot picking out Christmas trees and there are still some left over. In fact, last night my hubby and I learned of a young family who just moved here that didn't have a tree nor a way of getting one. So we picked it up and delivered it for them. This is truly a weekend to rejoice! The goodness of the Lord is overflowing.

Friday, after Mass, we went out car shopping. My hubby just got voted in as Scoutmaster for our boys troop. He's gonna need a vehicle for those camping trips and such. We would like to get a crew cab truck. We looked at a few and nothing seemed to be the right fit. It's in God's hands as we know that He will send us the right opportunity if it is His will. I would truly love to be able to buy my hubby his first Mustang, his dream car, but that will have to wait until a little later. Family first. He's just such a darned good husband and father ya know?!?! I just love that guy!

Whew..it's been a busy one! It doesn't end there. Today we are off to a PLC meeting this morning at 9, Young Marine meeing at 10, play practice at 2 and the Christmas party for the drama club at 4, plus I have to work at 4:30. My hubby will be driving us around like crazy. I guess we do need another car! He just came down in his scout uniform..he looks so cute and official ;)I'll try to post some pictures of this week after they get uploaded..I have to find the darned camera..now where...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fast For the Unborn

Reminder! For those who wish to fast for the unborn on Fridays. From 8-Noon. Please say a prayer before and after and during for all those who are taking part. Blessings in abundance on this, the Feast of the patroness of the unborn, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Our Lady of Guadalupe


To read more about Our Lady of Guadalupe click Here.


To request the visit of the missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe click Here.
I've been blessed to spend 24 hours in adoration with Our Lord and the missionary image. If your parish can support this apostolate and bring Our Lady to your community, I encourage you to do so. This is the only image that Our Lady has given herself. Do you have an experience with Our Lady's image you would like to share?

Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Mystical Rose,
make intercession for holy Church,
protect the sovereign Pontiff,
help all those who invoke you in their necessities,
and since you are the ever Virgin Mary
and Mother of the true God,
obtain for us from your most holy Son
the grace of keeping our faith,
of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life
of burning charity, and the precious gift
of final perseverance. Amen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trees For Troops - Thank You!

God is so good! We were blessed to be a recipient of this remarkable program. Please take a moment to view the video and if you'd like click on the link below the video to learn more about the foundation and how you can help them make Christmas special for a military family.

Trees For Troops

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pie Jesu



Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Dona eis requiem
Sempiternam
Dona eis requiem
Sempiternam Requiem Sempiternam

English

Lord, have mercy,
Lord, have mercy,
You who take away the sins of the world;
Grant them peace,
Grant them peace.

Lamb of God, Lamb of God,
Lamb of God, Lamb of God,
You who take away the sins of the world;
Grant them peace,
Grant them peace.
Peace everlasting, everlasting.

Because...

I heard an answer to a question the other day that has stuck with me. The question was "Why do people buy online but not give online?" The answer, that won't leave me, was this, "What do I get out of it?". It was a very honest answer, one most people won't admit to thinking. In fact, I've even thought it before. I found this on You tube..it's why I blog. It's why I give. What do I get out of it? Nothing..tangible, that is. I don't even know if what I do helps.

I want to share this video with you, because I have been close to this. I have been a paycheck away from the street. I have had to walk into the government office to ask for food stamps. As a kid I remember my mom, so stressed out because she had to use food stamps in our little town where everyone knew everyone and everyone would know. Millions of children and families are homeless right now, right here in America.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hand Me A Bell

They are out in front of every Wal-Mart, Target and Kroger. Dedicated men and women, ceaselessly ringing their bells, standing watch over the little red kettle. The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign started back in 1891 and has since helped millions of people in need throughout the country. The funds raised in this campaign help the over 37 million people who turn to the Salvation Army for food and toys at Christmas, utility and homeless assistance, senior and child care, drug abuse treatment and many other social service needs.

The economic situation today has left us all a little lighter in the wallet. But there is good news, gas prices have dropped to a five year low! Who would have thought that we'd ever see $1.50 a gallon again? As we consider how to do Christmas on a much tighter budget please consider giving to those who need assistance all year long. I know you are beseeched in every direction at this time of the year. Even your pennies make a difference in a hot meal, heating bills paid and a warm sweater or toy for a child. I have set up an online red kettle through the Salvation Army's website. Please prayerfully consider giving what you can. Remember, every penny counts! Thank you in advance for your donation and May God Bless all of you in abundance! Click on the red kettle in my sidebar to help reach our goal of $125.00.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma Concepcion!


May God Grant you eternal rest and the everlasting joy of The Beatific Vision. May you enjoy this feast in Heaven with all the saints and Our Most Blessed Mother.

Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception


In 1854 Pius IX gave the infallible statement: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.” Read more Here
And
Here..

St. Bernadette Soubirous and The Immaculate Conception


Learn more about this Saint here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Now I Know Why!

So Obama wants National (tax payer funded) healthcare..hmmmmm..maybe because he might need after his term is up? Now I know why he appeared so calm and relaxed during the debates. Just came in from a quick puff. Cause it's hard ya know?!? Check out this nifty little bit I found today:
Obama pledges not to smoke in White House
WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama says you won't catch him lighting up a cigarette in the smoke-free White House.

"There are times where I've fallen off the wagon," the president-elect said when asked in a broadcast interview whether he has kicked the habit.

"I've done a terrific job, under the circumstances, of making myself much healthier," he said. "And I think that you will not see any violations of these rules in the White House," he said on Sunday's "Meet the Press" on NBC.

Obama told the magazine Men's Health in an interview for its November issue that he wished he had more time for staying fit and that he still occasionally smoked a cigarette.

Obama said in that interview that he had bummed a cigarette a couple of times during the campaign. "But I figure, seeing as I'm running for president, I need to cut myself a little slack," he said.

I guess he'll join the rest of the staff out back on the gazebo..at least 50 feet from the doorway! :)

H/T DrudgeReport

Second Sunday of Advent

Our God is coming. The time of exile - the long separation of humankind from God due to sin - is about to end. This is the good news proclaimed in today’s liturgy.

Isaiah in today’s First Reading promises Israel’s future release and return from captivity and exile. But as today’s Gospel shows, Israel’s historic deliverance was meant to herald an even greater saving act by God - the coming of Jesus to set Israel and all nations free from bondage to sin, to gather them up and carry them back to God.

God sent an angel before Israel to lead them in their exodus towards the promised land (see Exodus 23:20). And He promised to send a messenger of the covenant, Elijah, to purify the people and turn their hearts to the Father before the day of the Lord (see Malachi 3:1, 23-24).

John the Baptist quotes these, as well as Isaiah’s prophecy, to show that all of Israel’s history looks forward to the revelation of Jesus. In Jesus, God has filled in the valley that divided sinful humanity from himself. He has reached down from heaven and made His glory to dwell on earth, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

He has done all this, not for humanity in the abstract, but for each of us. The long history of salvation has led us to this Eucharist, in which our God again comes and our salvation is near. And each of us must hear in today’s readings a personal call. Here is your God, Isaiah says. He has been patient with you, Peter says in today’s Epistle.

Like Jerusalem’s inhabitants in the Gospel, we have to go out to Him, repenting our sins, all the laziness and self-indulgence that make our lives a spiritual wasteland. We have to straighten out our lives, so that everything we do leads us to Him.

Today, let us hear the beginning of the gospel and again commit ourselves to lives of holiness and devotion.

Dr. Scott Hahn at Salvation History

Saturday, December 6, 2008

O Come O Come Emmanuel


O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-star, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads to Thee,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come to lead us Adonai,
Who to the tribes on height of Sinai
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Latin Lyrics


Veni, veni Emmanuel;
Captivum solve Israel,
Qui gemit in exilio,
Privatus Dei Filio.

Refrain
Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
Nascetur pro te, Israel!

Veni, veni, O Oriens;
Solare nos adveniens,
Noctis depelle nebulas,
Dirasque noctis tenebras.
Refrain

Veni, Clavis Davidica!
Regna reclude caelica;
Fac iter tutum superum,
Et claude vias inferum.
Refrain

Veni, veni Adonai!
Qui populo in Sinai,
Legem dedisti vertice,
In maiestate gloriae.

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

Check out the following sites for interesting facts/stories about St. Nicholas.


The Greek histories of his life agree that he suffered imprisonment of the faith and made a glorious confession in the latter part of the persecution raised by Dioletian, and that he was present at the Council of Nicaea and there condemned Arianism. Read more here.






Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. Read more here.






More images of this great saint.

The one above is my favorite.




The Weekly Wrap-Up

Another week come and gone. This week was our volunteer week. We spent all of Monday at Church, helping put up the decorations for Advent and prepare the decorations for Christmas. Monday night was our Homeschool groups Christmas party. They had a wonderful children's choir perform. Then the boys got to show off their Rube Goldberg Machine with the rest of the Physics class. It was a lot of good fun and Dad got to see some of the art and science projects they have worked on. On Tuesday the kids worked on their quarter two book reports ( I just can't give them a whole month off! Bad mother) and we were back to church to help spruce up the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. It need a good cleaning. We went to Mass everyday this week except Tuesday. But we did spend time with Christ that day in the Blessed Sacrament.

After church I hit the thrift store and garnered a very nice sport coat for my oldest for just $7!! I also picked up some ornaments and decorations for my work space..all for under $2. It was a good stop. Wednesday, back to church..more decorations..the ladies here have created a multi-cultural village and that needed to be set up. It's really beautiful. All the handmade houses from different countries. Then the Nativity set up high above them, as if on a hill. Thursday more book reports, we pulled out all our home decorations and put them aside for Gaudete Sunday.

Friday we headed to the big church downtown..it is absolutely beautiful. Then we stopped for a small lunch at Red Lobster. Our server was so nice, she offered to give us a takeout bin full of fresh biscuits for my hubby at no extra charge! On the way out to the car (God is so good) we were approached by a homeless woman who asked if she could have the rest of my daughters shirley temple (she had gotten one to go). My oldest gave it up immediately..she began to walk away and my oldest young lady grabbed some biscuits and ran after her.

It sparked a wonderful conversation on the way home. We talked about how the server had been so nice to give us those biscuits, perhaps because God wanted us to give them away. We talked about being poor and living in the streets. My oldest girl says you can tell poor people because their faces are wrinkled and old looking from the stress in their life...then my youngest girl pipes up and says "Grandma and grandpa have wrinkles and their not poor! They have a lot of stuff!" We laughed at that for awhile.

All in all, it was a wonderful week of volunteering and praying (the Jesse tree scriptures each day, the Blessed Sacrament and receiving the Eucharist). We are so blessed and I continue to Thank God for his gracious gifts. May the Holy Family continue to be our guide and role model.

Friday, December 5, 2008

One More Reason

This video is just one more reason why we are Fasting today.
So very very sad.


Indiana Planned Parenthood Covers Up Sexual Abuse of 13-year Old - video powered by Metacafe


H/T A Blessed Life

Free Music

For those of you who like Matt Maher, a Catholic musician, he's got a free download on his site, Silent Night (Emmanuel). It's really a nice rendition. You can download here: Silent Night (Emmanuel) Watch the You Tube :

Friday Fast For The Unborn

Just a reminder to those who are participating in the fast today. From 8-Noon, complete fast from food and drink. Please offer a prayer before and after for the unborn. Please also offer a prayer for all those participating in this devotion.

Father, we are your creation. You have formed us in Your image and likeness and only You can see the inner most depths of our hearts. We pray for the tiniest souls, the newest members of the living body of Christ. We offer this fast as a small and meager sacrifice, with hope that You will send Your Holy Spirit across the earth and change the hearts of those who do not respect life. We offer this fast in the name of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

Christmas Cookie Swap



These are my most favorite chocolate chip cookies. My middle son has taken on the responsibility of making these at least once or twice a month. He's gotten very good at it! My future top chef. The secret to a great chocolate chip cookie is in the chip..we always use Nestle. We are considering a "luxury" chocolate chip bake off in the near future. We will test different high end chocolate chips against Nestle. I'll let you know how that turns out!.

Butter Flavored Crisco Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients
3/4 c Butter flavored Crisco
1 3/4 c All-purpose flour
1 1/4 c Firmly packed brown sugar
1 ts Salt
2 tb Milk
3/4 ts Baking soda
1 tb Vanilla
1 c Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Egg
1 c Pecan pieces

Instructions for Butter Flavored Crisco Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
Heat oven to 375. Cream butter flavor crisco, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Blend until creamy. Blend in egg. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture, gradually. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls (about 2 measuring tablespoons) of dough 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies (they will look light and moist) DO NOT OVERBAKE or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes. Remove to coo rack. 3 dozecn 3-inch cookies. Note: if nuts are omitted, use 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Thursday, December 4, 2008

GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!


WE ARE CHEERIN' FOR THE BLUE AND GOLD BABY!! The Festivities have started here..all around post you can find the Go Army Beat Navy (and vice versa) signs. It's a big deal. There are games planned all weekend and a big one on Saturday. Even the kids get into the fun with a match up of Army and Navy ROTC teams. It's a fun time all around. I'll try to get some pics to post this weekend. You can find more info on the decades old rivalry here. Go Navy!

UPDATE: The local Navy did beat the the local Army yesterday in the first game of the weekend. They'll be playing games all weekend. Hopefully Annapolis will keep up their winning streak on Saturday.

Our Trip To Bethlehem


Here's a picture of our Jesse Tree. The kids put it together with a branch they found in the yard. We printed out the symbols and made our own ornaments. We want real ornaments next year so we will be on the lookout for ornaments all year long. This is a beautiful devotion during Advent. We read each Scripture selection as we place the ornament on the tree. It's wonderful.

You can find the patterns and Scripture verses here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gratituesday!

Post six things you are thankful for and pass it on to others.

1. My Lord and My God for the joys and trials
2. My Guardian angel for keeping me out of too much trouble and keeping me alive.
3. My husband for loving me and telling me about it
4. My children for their innocence and goodness
5. My mom and dad for their guidance and wisdom
6. My brothers and sisters for continuing to make me laugh and cry and miss them like crazy every day. Who ever thought that I would miss my childhood torturers? ;)

so if you have read this and haven't done it yet, you're tagged!

Refresh, Reinvigorate, Renew

If you haven't seen the movie Fireproof and you are married, I highly recommend it. As married couples we all have those desert moments. Your marriage is dry, there doesn't seem to be an oasis in sight and you just don't have the energy to keep looking for one. Maybe your spouse is not as responsive as you'd like. If you've ever used a cordless phone you might understand ..if you don't recharge it, it will shut down. Just like that phone, a marriage can and will shut down if both spouses don't take the time to recharge it.
You are moving along with your daily duties and responsibilities..your spouse is moving as well. Then a harsh word is spoken or a disagreement arises and the flood gates are opened. How long has it been since we had a chat about something other than the bills and the schedule? When did we last spend time together alone? Or go on a date? When was the last time we re-energized our marriage? You find that your battery has been slowing down for a long time and it has finally stopped. That harsh word, the aggravation or frustration you feel because your spouse has not come home on time for dinner or has put work before family. These are the alarms that go off just before the marriage shuts down. Just as the cordless phone beeps at you before it shuts off.
Well, in the movie, Kirk Cameron plays a man whose marriage is in peril, he is challenged to take The Love Dare. And now you can take it as well. Husband or Wife. Even if your marriage is at it's best I challenge you to take The Love Dare and refresh, reinvigorate and renew your marriage this Advent season.



The Love Dare

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fast for Life

This morning while taking my morning stroll on the treadmill, I turned on EWTN. Dr. Dolores Grier was giving a talk about abortion and how we can find in Mary's actions at The Annunciation and The Visitation a model for assisting our friends who find themselves contemplating abortion.
I won't recount the entire talk here, if you can catch it on a re-run I recommend it.

However, Dr. Grier mentioned something in the last 5 minutes of her talk. She asked what we are doing as Christians, as Catholics to end abortion. Of course, she talked about writing and visiting your congressman, getting involved in the March for Life and so on. But she also mentioned Fasting. I don't know about you, but this has always been a particularly difficult act of piety for me. When I make the decision to fast for any reason, it's like I hit the ol' Screwtapes fire alarm. I can see him and his minions (like a fire department) the bell goes off.."DAWN WANTS TO FAST! DAWN WANTS TO FAST! QUICK MAN THE HUNGER PANGS! READY..READY..NOW!" That's usually when I find myself eating something. Dangit.

Okay, so back to Dr. Grier, she asked us to Fast for only 4 hours on Fridays. From 8-12. I almost started running on the treadmill, I got so excited. (Almost...whew)This might be something I can do. I am going to try it this Friday. Now, I know ol' Screwtape is ready and waiting but I hope with your prayers, your help and your participation we can beat him down and keep him down.

If you'd like to join in on the fast please leave a comment so we can pray for you and with you. Say a prayer before and after for the unborn, whatever prayer you wish and also one for those that are fasting with you. Together we can make a difference.

****UPDATE: I will post a reminder on Friday for all those who wish to fast with me on Friday. It is a complete fast, from food and drink. 4 hours. Thanks SC Mom for bringing up St. Therese...I have been working towards learning her little way and this is just another opportunity to exercise it. The Holy Spirit will be with us as our hearts are turned towards heaven in prayer for the unborn.

Love Those Eyebrows Bette!

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Bette!

mm.bette_.jpg


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"
Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

* * Stand up for yourself... and me.
* * Be confident, strong, and direct.
* * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
* * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender,
vulnerable side.
* * Give me space to be alone.
* * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
* * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal
attack.
* * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I
am.

What I Like About Being a Bette

* * being independent and self-reliant
* * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on
* * being courageous, straightforward, and honest
* * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life
* * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me
* * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette

* * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend
to
* * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence
* * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it
* * never forgetting injuries or injustices
* * putting too much pressure on myself
* * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things
don't go right

Bettes as Children Often

* * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit
* * are sometimes loners
* * seize control so they won't be controlled
* * figure out others' weaknesses
* * attack verbally or physically when provoked
* * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest,
or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

Bettes as Parents

* * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted
* * are sometimes overprotective
* * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Funny thing is, I didn't feel like a Jackie or a Marilyn. The descriptions are pretty good..who makes up these tests? Psych majors?

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