"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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Friday, May 29, 2009

The Reality of School

(a peak into the last few days of school...)(harp music and dreamy clouds appear and fade into the scene)

Math has decided to linger a bit into the summer, always an uninvited guest. However, we'll treat him well (and hope he leaves quickly). Art, music, and PE have all packed up and headed to the beach. Lucky!

English and Grammar, they always travel together, are having a spot of trouble getting those dangling participles into their suitcase and Reading can't seem to shut hers.

Religion never leaves. He just hangs out in the background all year. We like Him..He's a quiet guest.

Unlike Ms. Science, who just keeps making a mess wherever she goes. Hang on..oh...there she goes..she's got her safety glasses on ..oh! No! Not the baking soda and vinegar!...

Whew..okay..got Science under control. Phonics skedaddled earlier in the year. Sort of a loner. He comes in, gets his work done and heads out. Sometimes I forget he's here.

Health made a short appearance, what a sweet baby she was.

History, well what can you say about History? He just takes up the whole room! Everyone loves him. He's the life of the party. Dinner table discussions would be non-existent without History. Man! Does he have some stories to tell. It's always sad to see him go. What a life of the party.

So, another school year comes to an end. We are all anxious to find out what next year will bring us. But I think we'll take a load off for a while. Let the dust settle. I better go help English. Her subjective complement is showing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What a Wonderful Blessing

This last weekend was full of wonderful blessings.

My brother and his family were able to come and spend some time with us. They live very near by but, unfortunately we are not able to get together often because of schedules. It is always so awesome when we can visit with them.

We were also blessed to have our priest friend come down to bless our new home. He brought with him a wonderful family that we made fast friends with. I can't thank them enough for coming. They have a precious family and we are honored to meet them.

Father said Mass in our home on Monday and then we headed to the build site for the house blessing. There are no words to say how much it means to me to have Father say Mass in our home and bless our new home. It is just the right start. Here are some pictures.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

Sunday Bible Reflections w/Dr. Scott Hahn 5/24/09

From The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology:
May 24, 2009 - Seventh Sunday of Easter

The Kingdom Remains

Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
1 John 4:11-16
John 17:11-19

Today’s First Reading begins by giving us a time-frame—the events take place during the days between Christ’s ascension and Pentecost. We’re at the same point in our liturgical year. On Thursday we celebrated His being taken up in glory, and next Sunday we will celebrate His sending of the Spirit upon the Church.

Jesus’ prayer in the Gospel today also captures the mood of departure and the anticipation. He is telling us today how it will be when He is no longer in the world. By His ascension, the Lord has established His throne in heaven, as we sing in today’s Psalm. His kingdom is His Church, which continues His mission on earth.

Jesus fashioned His kingdom as a new Jerusalem, and a new house of David (see Psalm 122:4-5; Revelation 21:9-14). He entrusted this kingdom to His twelve apostles, who were to preside at the Eucharistic table, and to rule with Him over the restored twelve tribes of Israel (see Luke 22:29-30).

The twelve apostles symbolize the twelve tribes and hence the fulfillment of God’s plan for Israel (see Galatians 6:16).That’s why it is crucial to replace Judas—so that the Church in its fullness receives the Spirit at Pentecost.

Peter’s leadership of the apostles is another key element of the Church as it is depicted today. Notice that Peter is unquestionably in control, interpreting the Scriptures, deciding a course of action, even defining the nature of the apostolic ministry.

No one has ever seen God, as we hear in today’s Epistle. Yet, through the Church founded on His apostles, the witnesses to the resurrection, the world will come to know and believe in God’s love, that He sent His Son to be our savior.

Through the Church, Jesus’ pledge still comes to us—that if we love, God will remain with us in our trials and protects us from the evil one. By His word of truth He will help us grow in holiness, the perfection of love.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Strongman Competition

Finally got some pics of my little brother at the Fort Jackson Stronman Competition. The email that was sent made us laugh..the fellow that forwarded it wrote "Holy $%#%! Look at that guy"!

These pics show him flipping the 500lb tire.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

American Idol Has Lost It's Family Flair

I am an American Idol fan. My family and I have watched every season together. Except this one.

The auditions, after season one, have consistently gotten more and more outlandish. Language and sexuality taking precedence over comedic value. This year was no exception. The audition battle between Kara Diogaurdi and Bikini Girl was so base and unappealing, we started screening every episode after that. Now the kids only watch the episodes after we have approved them.

Halfway through the season, Flo Rida was brought out to sing their song "Right Round", with lyrics such as "You spin my head right rough, right round/ when you go down, when you go down down." As well as references to strip club dancers and pole dancing. To Lady Gaga and her song about Russian Roulette. Idol is forgetting it's family oriented roots.

Last night's finale went too far with Bikini Girl and Dioguardi at it again (great examples for the millions of young girls watching) and the censorship of Black Eyed Peas performance. If you have to censor the song, don't sing it.

What used to be a fun family event has been cancelled because American Idol has forgotten it's core audience and reached for the ratings. Thus falling into the dark and nasty pit that has become prime time television.

The Year of The Priesthood 2009-2010

On June 19th, The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, The Holy Father will institute The Year of the Priesthood.

We have been very blessed to know some very holy Priests. The examples of Christ they have brought to my family are unforgettable. Their dedication to the Eucharist and Holy Mass are evident as central to their lives and vocations as Priests. By living out their priesthood unashamed and true to the teachings of the Church, they have inspired others to conversion and the active listening to God's call in their lives.

Being military we are not always lucky to have Our Lord, in the Tabernacle, at the center of the Altar. He is often removed to a side chapel because the chapel is used not just for church but other military ceremonies as well. A priest at one chapel made this room his special project. The tabernacle was shined and covered in a beautiful veil. Thick red Velvet drapes hung behind it and exquisite artwork of Our Lord and Our Blessed mother decorated the room. There were always fresh flowers offered to Our Lord. It held only two chairs and a kneeler. One of those chairs was usually occupied by Father. If he was not in his office, you could generally find him before The Lord. He preached the Sacrament of Confession always and he was always available to offer it. He didn't mince words. He spoke the truth from the pulpit. He taught us what the Church teaches. He was liturgically correct. He said the black and did the red. He was not loved by all in his parish. He was fond of saying if he was was loved by everyone, than he was not doing his job. At his new parish he wanted to reach out to the single soldiers. He had such a turnout that he had to schedule another Mass to accommodate the crowd of over 400 soldiers. His ministries are flourishing and his parish is blessed with conversions.

In this year of the Priesthood we must make a concerted effort as Catholic Faithful, to pray, fast and give alms for all of our Priests. Whatever you can do for your priest, do it. A rosary, an hour of adoration offered for your Priest and Priests throughout the world, will bring much graces and touch their hearts. We must pray for and support our shepherds. It is our duty to do so.

This particular prayer can be found on a note card from Trademark Stationary.

Remember to pray for Priests, especially after Holy Communion. Thank Jesus for the consecrated hands which have reached up to heaven, placed Him on the altar and into your heart. As Our Lord rests within, listening intently to your every heart beat, thank Him for this miracle, and ask Him to bless His priest by offering a prayer such as this one:

O dearest Jesus, look down with love on Thy priests; fill them with burning zeal for the conversion of sinners; keep unstained their anointed hands which daily touch Thy Immaculate Body; keep unsullied their lips purpled with Thy Precious Blood; keep pure and unearthly a heart sealed with the sublime marks of Thy glorious Priesthood; bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may those to whom they have ministered on earth be one day their joy and consolation in heaven. Amen.

Check out these blogs by Catholic Priests:

Vultus Cristi

Young Fogey's

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

That's My Brother! Fer Sure Fer Sure!

My sweet baby brother (36 years young on May 14th)recently participated in Fort Jackson's Strongman Competition. Unfortunately there were technical difficulties and no cameras were brought to capture this extraordinary event! Bummah! However, I do have these lovely photographs of him growing up to share :).

But that didn't stop him from pulling a Humvee, driver and all, 100 meters in 13 seconds! Yes, folks, I know. That's my brother! ;)

The one there on the right. Buff and all. This is right before boot camp.

Crazy guy! Well, he won the Humvee pull event. On to Tractor toss. He had to flip a 500lb tractor tire 7 times. Then, the Farmers hold. 250lbs in each hand..how long can they stand?!?! Then the South Carolina Stone Carry. Carry a 200lb stone 50 meters.

Well, he didn't win. He took 2nd Place overall! Congratulations little brother! We are so proud of you.
Oh, and he didn't train for this either. (Can you tell how proud of him I am:)!!!)
His boss asked him to give it a go and he did.

This is my little brother. Defending us all here at home!
Thanks little brother for your service and a job well done! Hooah!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Little Mud for Lunch..OORAH!

Well, yesterday my family and I woke up at the crack of dawn, said farewell to my in-laws as they headed back up to Ohio, and prepared ourselves for a long day outdoors.

We were headed to the Marine Mud Challenge. This is the 2nd year that my family has participated. There are two obstacle courses. One is a mile run obstacle course for the kids under 12. The other course is 4.5 miles. Full of deep, red Georgia mud and obstacles that seem undefeatable. This year there were over 100 participants in the race. My guys and girls went as part of the Young Marines. They were tasked with handing out water to the groups as they crossed the finish line. Oh..and let me tell ya it was hot yesterday! Most of the folks just poured that water right over their dirty heads.

When all the groups had gone through the .50 cals, (that's their nickname) were allowed to run the course. My oldest and my hubby ran the 4.5 mile course and my 3 others ran the mile.

Dirty is not the word for what the two were. Socks and underwear straight in the can. They will never be the same again. Mud everywhere. I mean everywhere. The best part was standing under the giant stream of water from the fire department truck! They even held a push up competition in the "rain". Those crazy kids.
This was really a fun day. I didn't participate in the runs, but I yelled and screamed myself hoarse rooting on teams to the finish line. I love that. The kids had a great time and instead of being tired after the run, they were pumped up and excited! My hubby..well he was tired. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Help for ADHD?

After reading my Mau's entries on the Feingold diet over at A Half a dozen Productions, I decided to do some research.

It seems like this Feingold diet could be on to something in the treatment of ADD and ADHD. Having family members who suffer from ADHD this became even more interesting to me.

If you have a child with ADHD or ADD please check this out. It could mean the difference between a medicated child for life and a medication free child. It can't hurt to try.

For my readers, if you have had any success or lack of with the Feingold diet please comment.

Political Peril & Other Opinions

Well, it's been a while since I posted about anything politic. This week just has me both doubled over in laughter and shaking my head in shame.

Who's got me laughing? Why, none other than that preposterous speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi. She's getting called out in a bad way! Like a little kid with her hand in the cookie jar and melted chocolate on her cheeks, she stands before us and swears she "DIDN'T KNOW!" about the interrogation procedures. The chocolate on her face? The numerous briefings and CIA memo's now surfacing, letting us know exactly who knew what and when.

Now she's getting nervous. Going to a press conference flustered and out of whack. Like her golden boy, Obama, who flubs the darn words right in front of him on the teleprompter, Pelosi can't find her own darn statement in her own darn notes. It was hilarious, but at the same time sad. Ever watch the "falling" videos on America's Funniest Home Videos? You gasp at the beginning of each fall and then end up laughing your hiney off! That's Pelosi..she's falling. How bad will it be?

Shaking my head in shame? At Notre Dame and (this oxymoron) pro-choice Catholics. President Obama gets his honorary degree (what's that about anyway? Can anyone get one of those? I'd like one, please) this weekend from Notre Dame. Founded in honor of Our Lady by Father Sorin of the Congregation of The Holy Cross back in 1842, Notre Dame has always been a place of learning and religious activity. One of the few truly named Catholic universities left in America. Presenting President Obama with an honorary degree and inviting him to speak at commencement is, actually, quite normal. He is the President of the United States after all. What is not normal at all, is the disparity within the Catholic Faith. Between those who defend life in all forms and stages, and those who don't.

This is not even a matter of "Catholic" morality. This is an issue that should concern all peoples. Christian or not. Taking a life, whether defenseless in the womb or on the streets of NYC, should not be encouraged, tolerated, or made politically correct for any reason.

My opinion is this, If you cannot "afford" to take care of child, then don't have sex. If you're "too young" to take care of a child, then don't have sex. If you're just not "mentally ready" then don't have sex. It's as easy as that. Society will tell you that you are crazy! Have sex and more sex and even more sex. Go crazy with sex. It's better than any drug! (But take them too if it makes you feel good, we'll just start taxing them) Too old to have sex? Never! We've got the cure! Worried about responsibility? Never! Use condoms and gels and foams and odd shaped cups to catch that dirty little sperm. Use the patch and pill or let us implant you with this nifty little device that could possibly wreak havoc on your body, but it's all for the good! You'll be able to have unlimited sex!!! Oh, and you won't get acne or have that nasty little (normal) body function every month. All enabling you to have more and frequent sex.

Failure, you say!? Oh, there is no failure! There's a Planned Parenthood near you! For only $300-400 you can eliminate failure! Enabling you to continue to have more and more of that self indulgent sex.

Sex*! It does a body good!

*Serious side effects may occur. Patients who have unlimited sex may suffer from HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes and/or syphilis. See your doctor if you are having sex and experiencing a burning sensation at urination or lesions of any type. Symptoms may vary.

Wow, I feel like I just did an infomercial.

Just my opinion folks.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Great Rosary Giveaway!

JOT over at Ora et Labora is giving away a Divine Mercy Shrine booklet and a car rosary that she made herself. Let me tell ya, I've seen her work over the years and she makes beautiful rosaries! So go on over and enter to win! Oh, and say Dawn sent you! Blessings!

Monday, May 11, 2009

What a Beautiful Day!

Mr. Pinch received The Lord on Saturday! Thanks be to God! She was such a beauty. Part of her veil was worn by her older sister at Baptism. Thanks for Grandma's who can put all that together.

Big brother goofs with Mr. Pinch before we head to Mass.

Thanking Jesus after Mass.

We love Mr. Pinch! It was so nice to have my mom and dad in town. Talk about a surprise! Thanks be to God! We miss them already.

Then my hubby spent all day on Sunday in the kitchen making steaks, roasted vegetable with potatoes and provided us with such a good meal. He cleaned the house, did all the laundry (and I mean ALL of it) and didn't let me do anything but enjoy my day. God Bless him always!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thank You, Gov. Perdue!

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue gave military kids a great boost yesterday afternoon.

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
In a visit to Fort Benning on Thursday, Perdue also signed a separate bill that allows children of soldiers stationed in Georgia to qualify for Georgia’s HOPE scholarship. The new law waives the one-year HOPE residency requirement for children of active-duty military personnel.

Georgia's HOPE Program

HOPE — Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally — is Georgia's unique scholarship and grant program that rewards students with financial assistance in degree, diploma, and certificate programs at eligible Georgia public and private colleges and universities, and public technical colleges. HOPE is funded entirely by the Georgia Lottery for Education, which also funds Georgia's statewide prekindergarten program. Since the HOPE Program began in 1993, over $3.8 billion in HOPE funds have been awarded to more than 1.1 million students attending Georgia's colleges, universities, and technical colleges. You can benefit from HOPE in several ways. If you are interested in the HOPE Teacher Scholarship Loan for individuals pursuing a masters, specialist or doctorate degree in education in a critical shortage teaching field, or the PROMISE Teacher Scholarship Loan for undergraduate education majors, click here.

HOPE Scholarship

If you are a Georgia resident enrolling in a degree program at an eligible Georgia public or private college, university, or public technical college, you may be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship. Recipients must demonstrate academic achievement. The award at public institutions covers tuition, HOPE-approved mandatory fees, and a book allowance. If you wish to enroll in a Georgia private institution, you may be eligible for a $3,500 per academic year scholarship for full-time study or $1,750 for half-time study (6-11 hours). Click here for a history of the HOPE program and HOPE facts and figures.

HOPE Grant

If you are a Georgia resident enrolling in a technical certificate or diploma program at an eligible Georgia public college, university, or public technical college, you may be eligible for the HOPE Grant regardless of high school graduation dates or grade point averages. The HOPE Grant covers tuition, HOPE-approved mandatory fees, and a book allowance.

This is great news for military families who have high schoolers who would like to attend GA State schools!

Now it's up to the kids to keep their grades up!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We've Gone and Done IT!

We have decided to buy a house! Crazy! Scary and absolutely frustrating. I have a ton of things to do today and my hubby is off the mid. I won't be able to get any paperwork signed until he's up from his sleep.

We decided to go with the new house in our budget. We loved the idea of land but we just can't afford it right now. I did speak with some ladies at Church who gave me some great ideas for the garden I want to start. I can do all of that in my back yard with pots and bins. I've done the container gardening before and loved it. I am very much looking forward to my own planting again.

JMJ, funny you mentioned no chickens allowed in the neighborhood. We actually thought about that because it was a project we were wanting to do with the kids. Sadly, it may have to wait. The kids are not sad, they won't have to clean up after the chickens. :)

We have a closing date of June 8th. It's time to get packing. Lots and lots to do. I can't believe it! We are buying a house! Please keep us in your prayers as we go through this process. Pray for our builders that their eyes and hands are true and their product solid.
Thanks prayer warriors! Blessings!

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Decision Time

As I mentioned in my previous post we visited the house on 2.2 acres today. The entire front yard is a horse pasture. Apparently the family loves and owned at least 3-4 horses. The home itself, was nice. Well kept, needs some minor exterior work that we could see. Beautiful large front rocking chair porch. Swimming pool, although the pool had been neglected for some time. Not sure what kind of condition it is in once the algae and dirt are removed. Overall a very nice home on a nice plot of land. The only negative, the price. Close to 300,000. It is at the very high end of our budget. The owner just reduced the price and is not willing to go any lower at this point. So after we walked around for about an hour, we decided to go home and think about the numbers.

On our way home we get a call from the realtor. She has just spoken with another realtor who has just begun selling a new neighborhood right outside of Fort Gordon.
Homes in the 150-250,000 range. This is more like it, we think. Still yearning for land and not keen on house upon house living, we decided to give it a look. Turns out the homes are absolutely beautiful. It is a very brand new neighborhood with a builder from Atlanta. The builder is offering closing costs and very generous upgrades. We looked at a plan called the Catherine, 3343 square feet, 5 bedrooms and 3 baths. The best thing about the house...the laundry room is upstairs! I love it. The lot we are looking at backs to green space and has a buffer zone on one side.
The other good thing, the price..only 215,000! It is well within our budget. Stone, brick, hardwood, granite counter tops. 10 year home warranty. Energy efficient appliances.

So we are considering both homes at this point. I am leaning toward the new home in our budget. He is back and forth. He really wants land, but the price on the newer home is more our speed.

Here is a pic of the new house, this picture is of one being built now. Our home will have stone accents and a front porch.

Here's the floor planClick on the Catherine.

and a link to the horse farm.

Here's our dilemma, new vs. older. Land vs landscaped. Top ramen for dinner or hamburgers on the grill.
Ach!!!!!!! I like hamburgers.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This business called Life...

In case you didn't know we are currently in the process of looking for a house to purchase. We have also discovered that we will be expecting a new arrival in December. That changed things on the house front. We went from looking at 4 bedrooms to 5 bedrooms. Big difference in stock and price.

In this new world of nuclear families with 1.2 kids, homes with over 4 bedrooms are very hard to come by and very expensive when you do find one. We are headed out tomorrow to look at a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home. It's 2800 square feet and we are hoping that the rooms are big enough to fit the kids if they double up. This house has a pool in the back yard and sits on 2.2 acres. It's in the country but not so far from work that gas would kill us. We are headed out there today to take a preview look at the area.

I really don't want to buy a four bedroom. We live in one now. Why move? Well, we don't own this one. We are renters at this point and we do want to own our own home. But, like I said, it's so difficult to find a 5 bedroom home in our price range. Perhaps with a four bedroom on it's own land, no "neighborhood fees" etc, we could add on in the future.

I am tired of looking at this point. I have placed it in God's hands and I know He will lead us to the right place if that is His will for us. The looking is tiring though. It is consuming and now I find myself dreaming about all the homes we have looked at.

Prayer warriors, please pray for us that we are able to let this truly be in God's hands and that He will guide us always along the path of His will.

Thanks so much friend!


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