Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wow! What a game!

The Patriots did it again in the fourth quarter. You can't count this team out until the last minute of the game. Now on to the playoffs....Can they keep the magic going?

All the way without a loss would be so awesome!

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the joy of watching football.

Amen.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fr. Barron on Christmas

You should head on over to this post at Creative Minority Report and watch the video. It was very thought provoking!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oh boy...




YDD's MP3 player
A gift from my brother










A DS Lite similar to YDS'





Christmas is not even here yet and my children are swimming in gifts. My dear neighbor is in her 60's and has no children. She has adopted mine for the purpose of Christmas spoiling. She went away to her sister's home for Christmas this year so we had to have pizza and gifts with her before she left. A new MP3 player and oodles of new duds for YDD, Halo 3 and new "hoodies" for the teen boys, and a...can you stand it?.....Nintendo DS Lite Limited Edition with...can you count them....10 games....for YDS. Oh, and oodles of new clothes for YDS, too. Then there was the package that my brother who resides in Dublin, Ireland sent. He got it through this One Laptop Per Child program. Apparently, you can buy one and donate it and get another one for a child or children in your life. My children's is lime green. We need to get either a) a wireless router, b) an USB ethernet adapter, or c) some other gadget that will connect a wireless laptop to the internet in a home that is currently wired.

Sheesh...and Christmas isn't even here yet!

I hope everyone I know is truly blessed this year!

Dear Lord,
Please help us to remember that this holiday is a HOLY day. The day when we remember Your greatest gift to us...Your precious son...the Word incarnate. Thank you, Lord!

Amen

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Trying to FLY


I am taking baby steps to FLY and get my house out of CHAOS. The Flylady says I should start by shining my sink. I did not take any before photos, but I did take an after photo. I feel like at least something was accomplished in my crazy life today when I look at my nice clean shiny sink! Now if it would only still be that way in the morning....late working DH will probably put a dish in it overnight. I won't complain about that, though because DH works very hard so that I can be a SAHM and homeschool our children. He deserves to see a nice clean sink when he comes in.
Dear Lord,
Help me to learn to not be overwhelmed by the CHAOS in my home so that I can cope with it and begin to tackle it 15 minutes at a time.
Amen

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The First Christmas Gift

This video is precious and reminds us of the reason for the season!

The First Christmas Gift

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The wait is over

Pepere passed away last night at around 9:20 p.m. His daughter was with him, and all of his children had been with him throughout the day.

Lord,
Thank you for taking Pepere quickly. We are grateful that he did not linger and suffer. We will miss him, but his memory will forever remain in our hearts.

Amen

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

We remain in the fire

For some reason, we never seem to get out of the fire. I figure God has a plan, and he is using all these trials to shape us to his image. Our latest trials: Guardianship papers that my ex-husband filed for my 19 year old son. You can read about ODS here. On top of that, my Memere is in the hospital with a massive bladder infection and a bowel obstruction, and my father-in-law suffered a brain aneurysm late Sunday/early Monday. The aneurysm is inoperable and so we are simply waiting for him to die. We are praying for death to come quickly.

This situation with my father-in-law has given me pause to think about what I believe to be proper care. DH and I had been discussing feeding tubes prior to this incident, and we both agree (along with the late Pope John Paul II) that food and water are ORDINARY care. My DH's family, while professing to be be Catholic, think it is alright to deprive father-in-law of food and water if he does not pass away according to their imagined schedule. I am reminded of Terry Schiavo, and I do not really want to be in the middle of this sort of battle. After my father-in-law is buried, I may speak my piece on this. I am praying that he goes quickly. He has been ready to go since his wife died in December of 2005.

My YDS is having a really hard time with this. He has been pretty agitated and loud. I am trying hard to remember that he is 7 and that he probably does not really have the communication skills to express how he feels. The bright side of Pepere lingering for a couple of days is the opportunity to say goodbye. I took YDS to the hospital this morning because he asked to go. YDD said it would be too hard for her so she stayed at home. Surprisingly, 2 of my 3 stepsons expressed a desire to see Pep before he passes away. DH brought them to see him.

Dear Lord,
I know you have a plan. I believe you are allowing us to be in the refining fire for your glory. I am sorry that I sometimes get angry with our situation. Please forgive me for this. I feel sometimes like we are going through life with blinders on so that we can see only what is right in front of us. I know that you see the whole picture and that you know all the answers. Please help me to remember this.

Amen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rush hour miracle

Since last I blogged, my middle step son who had been in a juvenile lock up has been placed in my home, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and yesterday I had an adventure.

Yesterday was Tuesday. Every Tuesday, my younger daughter, the only girl in the house right now, has Challenge Club. We pick up another Challenge Club member, and I drop off parts of my brood at various destinations. Often, my oldest and youngest step sons go to the library and then to their mom's house.

Yesterday, I heard a noise in the front end of my van as I drove to the bread thrift store after dropping the children off at their various locations. I thought I may have picked something up in my passenger side front tire. When I arrived back at the Challenge meeting, I checked the tire. Everything looked ok.

When Challenge was over, we all climbed into the van to go home. The boys had been dropped off at the Challenge meeting, so I only had to drop off my daughter's friend, pick up the youngest, and go home.

As we drove, the noise in the front became louder, and I noticed a vibration in the steering. I was praying, "Lord, please get me home."

There is not a single good location on this route where I could have pulled over. I called DH and asked him to meet me at our friends' home as I was having car problems. I didn't tell him what the problem was, though.

We got to within 3 blocks of our first destination when it happened.....my front passenger side tire flew off of my van. This was between 5:30 and 5:45. It was rush hour. We were on a VERY busy road. Fortunately, I was in the right hand lane so I was able to pull over quickly. My tire did hit the rear wheel well of someone else's truck causing a dent. God was with us, though! There were no other vehicles involved, and no one was injured.

I called my DH and told him I was not going to make it to our friends' home and I told him what had happened. I called my friend to meet me and pick up her daughter. She actually took my daughter, too. I exchanged insurance information with the woman whose truck was hit. Her first question was, "Is everyone alright?"

Then I looked for my tire. It had landed in a strip mall parking lot. It was undamaged. In inspecting my van, we discovered that there were no bolts or lug nuts left to hold the tire on.

DH arrived and called AAA. He waited with the van and the remaining children and I travelled on to our friends' home to pick up the other 2 children. the tow truck arrived pretty quickly, and by the time I got the children home, DH was ready to be picked up at our mechanic's shop.

I had images of huge repair bills dancing before me as I waited for the mechanic to call today. He finally got a chance to look at the van and looked up the prices for the parts. He called and said, "It will be $96.66 to do the repairs. Do still want me to fix it?"

I almost laughed out loud, or maybe I did laugh out loud....I asked if there was any damage to any other parts, and I was told that everything looked ok, but he would call me back if there was any damage he couldn't see yet. The only other call I got about the damage was to say the van was ready for pickup and the whopping total I had already been quoted.

Lord,
Thank you for my Rush hour miracle. When I think about how much worse this situation could have been, I am awed by Your goodness. Thank you for keeping my van together when I was on the highway yesterday. I shudder to think what would have happened at 60 m.p.h. Praised be the name of the Lord!

Amen.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The slippery slope.

I love the blog entitled Creative Minority Report. Every time I visit over there, I find something that makes me think. Today there was an article regarding the "slippery slope" of abortion. You can read it here. Mr. Archbold frequently, eloquently puts into words things that are much less eloquent in my own thought process. He can succinctly bring about his point. He can be acerbic. He can be humorous. He is always thoughtful. Go on over and read something thought provoking.

Lord,
Thank you for the gift you share with us when we read articles that are so thought provoking. They bring us back to your truths.

Amen

Friday, October 26, 2007

A rite of passage


My dear YDS is no longer too little to make his own PBJ sandwich. Deep sighs from me....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yahoo groups

Yahoo groups are e-mail newsletter forums that allow you to give and receive information and opinions with people who are interested in the same subjects as you are. I belong to a couple of Yahoo groups. One is called HP for grownups. It is a Harry Potter discussion group.
My favorite Yahoo group, though, is called the Thrifty Homeschooler. There is a blog of the same name here. If you are interested in joining this helpful Yahoo group, you can join by clicking here.

Lord,
Thank you for helping me to find like minded people who are willing to share their ideas and money saving tips. It makes our life a little easier when we can stretch the budget a little farther.

Amen.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Check out this site

I just checked this out. It looks pretty like a pretty good site.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

On Christian Themes in Harry Potter

This article is about J.K. Rowling's discussion at the beginning of her book tour. I am not surprised as I have felt since the beginning that HP was a series that reflected the fight between principalities.

I will add my 2 cents on the quote from then Cardinal (now Pope) Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. The quote in the MTV news article is taken out of context. There is an entire letter which in its totality is very different from the often quoted half sentence found in this article.

H/T to Patrick Archbold at Creative Minority Report for this.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Blog Candy"

Kerry Beck of Curriculum Connection is offering "blog candy." Stop over at her blog to learn more.

Final update

This will be the final update I can send on my son. I spoke to him this afternoon and he asked me to "Please leave me alone."
He is doing much better than we dared to hope for initially and I have had the opportunity over the last 6 weeks to tell him that I love him, and for that I am grateful.
Please continue to pray for him and for his father's family. I had truly hoped for a reconciliation with my son, but it is not to be at this time.
Praise God for all the wonderful things that have happened in the last 6 weeks and for the healing that continues to happen in my son.
Thank you all for your prayers and concerns. I cannot tell any of you how much they have meant to me.
The Lord is my strength. He has a plan, and this too shall pass.

Lord,
Please help me to continue to praise You in this time of personal darkness.

Amen.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I was blog walking this evening (for the first time in a while) when I came across this post. A young wife and mother needs our prayers. Please add her and her family to your prayers. This family is asking for the intercession of JPII in this situation. Perhaps she will be his second miracle.

Lord,
Bless Stacey and her family with Your love. Great physician, lay Your healing hand upon Stacey and her unborn child. Wrap Your love around her husband and their children.

Amen.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I don't want to be fearful.....

but ODS will be released from rehab and moved into his paternal grandparents home on Wednesday. My mother called my ex to see if she and my dad would still be able to see ODS. She was told, "My mother doesn't want a revolving door." And, "I am in charge here. Don't call me again." Apparently my ex feels the need to CONTROL in this situation. Unfortunately, that may not be what ODS needs most......

Lord,
I know you have a plan. I am really frustrated right now, though. It is hard to sit back and watch this situation and not know if I will be allowed to see my son in two days time. I am afraid that my ex in-laws will be told by their son that only his family is to be around ODS once he is out of the rehab. I pray for him, Lord. He needs to understand that YOU are in control. He so desperately needs to really allow You back into his heart and to let go of all the anger and animosity. Please help me, too, Lord. My heart is aching with sadness right now. It is so very difficult to watch ODS re-learn things, and struggle with his body physically. He has always been such a physical kid. I cannot begin to imagine how frustrating all the sitting around must be for him. I am really missing ODD right now, too, Lord. She has been distant at best. I don't know what is really going with her, but I ask you to let her know that she is loved.

Amen.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Something fun for a change

H/T to Nicole at As Many as We're Given for this little bit of fun.


1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) Ian Voyager
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) Vanilla Oatmeal
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME:(first letter of first name, first three letters of last name)C-Heb
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) Pink Cat
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) Marie Northampton
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)Heb-Ch
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) The Blue Margarita
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) Herman Patrick
9.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) Josephine Leon
10. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) Dion Denver
11. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower) Autumn Carnation
12. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)Banana Shortsie
13. HIPPIE NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) Coffee Magnolia
14. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) The Reading Lightning Tour

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Update

Wow. I guess I haven't updated in a while.
ODS continues to make progress in his healing. He does still have a few physical issues which are being addressed. He has "right sided neglect" which is a fancy way of saying that his right side is not really keeping up with his left. His balance is still off, but he is making huge strides, no pun intended. One of the biggest issues he is currently facing is his vision. He is suffering from double vision. He currently is wearing dark glasses with one lens covered to help him to be able to see. The hope is that this will resolve as his brain continues to heal. He has been referred to a specialist who does vision re-training. She is very busy and very expensive, so please pray that God's will be done in this area.
According to the Speech Pathologist, ODS is probably a full 7 on the revised 10 step Rancho scale. She said that the staff are all really happy about this as usually they are seeing patients leave at only a level 5. He is watching some TV, playing some video games, and carrying on conversations. There are some things which are difficult to assess due to his broken (casted) right wrist. He will probably need physical therapy for this once the cast is finally off. His continued physical issues are the reason he continues to be in rehab. Insurance covers only for physical...they don't care as much about the cognitive issues.

There is still the matter of my ex husband and I not getting along. I am making every effort that I can to be pleasant and put our son's needs first when we happen to meet up at the rehab. He is not making the same effort, however, and last night refused to allow me into a discussion with the Speech Pathologist. She spoke to me separately afterward and apologized. Anyway, please continue to offer prayers for all the family that we may all love ODS more than we dislike each other and that we may put his needs first.
Thank you all for your continued prayers!
Love in Christ Jesus to all!

Dear Lord,
Your will be done.
Amen.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Update


ODS got his cervical collar off on Monday afternoon. He had no "sitter" in his room yesterday for the first time. He is now allowed to drink from a regular cup and to use a straw. He is still having some difficulty with his vision and his gait. Please continue to pray.

Dear Lord,
Thank you so much for the healing that has occurred in ODS. Please continue your healing work both in his body and in the family. Your name be praised forever.

Amen.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Video games

I went to visit my son this afternoon and he had friends visiting and he was palying video games with them. Each day brings new surprises. While video games are not my favorite thing, it was nice to see him doing something he has enjoyed for years. His sense of humor is really starting to show through, too. I brought him a TV guide so he can decide what he wants to watch this week. He is allowed 2 programs a day. His favorite TV character was on the cover of the TV guide for this coming week: House. He enjoys that program so much that he owns at least one season on DVD. I noticed on the notice board at the Rehab that they have a Catholic Mass televised followed by a coffee hour. I mentioned it to my son. I hope he returns to the sacraments soon.

Lord,
Thank you for continuing to bring healing to my dear son. I am encouraged by all the improvements. Lord, if it be Your will, allow the removal of the cervical collar on Monday. I know You have a plan, Lord. Please draw ODS closer to you in this time of his need.

Amen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Update

ODS is improving every day. I brought him a chalupa from Taco Bell today. We had to request no lettuce, but otherwise he could have all the rest of it. We did have to cut it up and feed it to him with a fork, but he enjoyed it! He was quite chatty today and even initiated conversation by asking each of his siblings how they were doing today. I am praising God. Please continue to pray.

Monday, September 17, 2007

More good news.

I got to visit with ODS this afternoon. He had had a busy day. He went to the hospital for a swallowing eval, and he has been given a diced food diet. He gets to eat! I was able to be at the Rehab at dinner time, and I was so happy to see him pick up the fork and feed himself. He also said my name when asked.

Keep praying.

Lord,
Thank you.

Amen.

Speech at last

I just spoke to the Speech pathologist at the Rehab. ODS said a few words this morning. He does not have much volume, and he cannot sustain it, but I am praising God for the few words! ODS was having a modified barium swallow this afternoon. If that goes well, he will be on a modified diet. This is wonderful as he apparently pulled out his feeding tube around 4 this morning.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for this wonderful step! Praise your holy name!

Amen.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Today was difficult.

Today I crashed. Not literally, but figuratively. I had a very difficult day. I cried alot. I have very broad shoulders, but today they were not quite broad enough. The weight I had on them made me collapse with sorrow. It is very difficult to watch your 19 year old son struggle to walk and use the bathroom. It is so very difficult to watch him be unable to communicate his needs.

Lord,
I know you are with us, and I know you have a plan. Please help me to be patient and to wait on Your time.

Amen.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Getting Better

ODS is doing better every day. He is walking eith assistance, using the bathroom, giving thumbs up of thumbs down to questions. He also was able to pick out words with Speech therapy today. I went to see him for a little while this evening and he stood up and hugged me and gave me a kiss. My heart was bursting with joy. Thank you for all the prayers. Please continue to pray.

Lord,
Thank you for the healing that is taking place in my ODS. Please continue to bring healing upon him and restore him to us.

Amen.

Monday, September 10, 2007

ODS was moved over to rehab this afternoon. He has been following simple commands, and he has been up to use the commode and walking small amounts the last 2 days. This is WITH HELP..not alone. He has been able at times to answer questions in one word answers. I will not be seeing him today at rehab because it is most important that he settles in. I will be speaking with his case manager in the morning at the recommendation of the nurse liaison with whom I spoke today.
Our God is an awesome God!
Please continue to pray, and I will update as time permits.

Dear Lord,
Thank You for the gift of healing that you have laid upon my son. Please continue to wrap him in Your love and care and bring him to the plan you have for him.

Amen.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Day 7

My dear oldest son continues to be unconscious. His injuries are beginning to heal. He is restless and does move around. He seems to be very uncomfortable. It breaks my heart to see him this way. Please continue to pray.

Lord,
I ask for your will to be done int his situation. I know you have a plan even if we can't seem to see it. Please let my son know how much I love him. Bring wisdom to all the doctors and nurses. Please know hear the intentions of my heart.

Amen.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Please Pray

My Oldest son hit his head on a rock formation while swimming with friends. He is in a coma with a brain injury. Please pray as you feel led.

Friday, August 31, 2007

This and that

I received a digital camera for Mother's Day. It is in a box to be shipped for repairs as it stopped working. :(

The school year is nearly upon us, and my school room is not quite ready!

I am tired and my throat is sore, and my ears feel plugged. This is either from allergies, paint fumes, or pesticide fumes for the ongoing battle we have had this year with the fleas my dog brought in from her favorite sand patch outside.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Book Contest and free e-books

I was cruising through cyberspace when I was directed to the cyber home of S. William Shaw. I was delighted to find an offer for free e-books and a CONTEST for real books snail mailed. I have read several reviews of these books, and I am looking forward to reading them! For your own e-book copies, you can go here. To read a review of The Santa Mysteries, go to Book Reviews and More here.

H/T to Ebeth for this!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just call me Grace.....

Well, graceful I am not. I have always had a tendency to walk into things, or bump into things, or swing my hand while walking and bruise it against a piece of furniture. I have broken both little toes numerous times by walking into furniture in the dark. Well, today takes the cake. I was carrying a laundry basket down the stairs to the laundry room in the basement. I stepped on...(are you ready for this one?) a gallon paint can. I was about half way down the stairs. I had the sense to let go of the laundry basket, but I still could not save myself from falling the rest of the way down the stairs. My children called their father to tell him I fell, and I laid on the floor until he got home to help me up. This was around 2 p.m.. Right now I hurt all over. I have bruises on my left arm, and my back is throbbing. Ah, well....palanca......

Dear Lord,
I ask you to join the pain in my body to your suffering for those people I have mentioned to you in my recent prayers. You know their needs, Lord. I pray for them both to become closer to you and able to let go of past hurts in their lives.

Amen.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I wonder

In the sixties, The Byrds had a song called Turn, turn, turn. It was based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. I wonder if a song like that could become a pop music hit in today's world. People seem so jaded that they might think the simplicity of to be trite. It is my experience, however, that the words of Ecclesiastes hold true, even today.
"1
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.
2
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
3
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.
4
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
6
A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
7
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
8
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. "

"To everything (turn, turn, turn)There is a season (turn, turn, turn)And a time for every purpose, under heaven"

I am at a point in my life where my oldest children are no longer living at home. This is bittersweet. I remember when they started kindergarten. I cried when they went off into the school building. My ODD moved out this past week in order to take advantage of an educational opportunity. I cried. I imagine I will cry periodically, and as time passes, I will cry less often, but my children will always be those little ones in my heart.

Lord,
Thank you for the opportunity I have had to learn from these young people. As they have grown and changed, so have I. Please continue to refine me, Lord, to be the servant you deserve, and continue to work in them to perfect them and bring them closer to you.

Amen.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Still alive

I figured I'd better post that I am still alive. I have been busy, and I have been missing my YDD who is away at summer camp until tomorrow. I am also deep in though about HP7, indeed the entire HP series and the deeper meaning it seems to have. I will probably post more on that later.

Peace.

Lord,
Thank you for being with me to carry mee through the rough spots. It is knowing that you are with me that keeps me going...keeps me putting one foot in front of the other and getting out of bed each day.

Amen.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mailing lists and politics

I somehow wound up on the e-mail mailing list for GOPUSA. I am not a Republican, nor am I a Democrat. I declare no party affiliation. Today, the e-mail newsletter from GOPUSA included political cartoons. Here is the link. There is a cartoon about that Clintons that made me laugh, so I thought I would share it.


Does anyone else get newsletters that they didn't sign up for, and have no idea why they receive them?

Lord,
Help our leaders to seek your guidance. Help us, a people to vote according to our beliefs, and to avoid simply voting a "party ticket." I don't see that our choices will be very good this year at election time, Lord. Please open my eyes to see the candidate You would have me choose.

Amen.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Mass and other thoughts

I read a comment in this post on Ukok's blog that stated that "I was raised Catholic but lost interest in the church as a teen because it wasn’t relevant to my life. (That and the fact the Bishop was known to make the best martinis around.) In my 30s I came to know several Godly people who lived in a relationship with the risen Christ. That was something I’d never seen or even heard of in catholic school. I became a Christian and began to learn about that relationship. Worship services were just that - worship - and not cold, dead liturgy."(emphasis mine)

I have been thinking about this statement a great deal. This person has gone on to become a protestant who believes in sola scriptura and sola fide.

He continued on: "The nail in the coffin in my relationship with catholicism came when I went home for my father’s funeral. There was a memorial mass and the family sat together. At communion time, the priest became every emphatic that communion was only for ‘true believers’ and was therefore closed to non-catholics.
It would have been a wonderful tribute to my Dad and his faith for the family to share the Last Supper as Christ shared it with His disciples.
Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians has nothing to do with catholisism (which didn’t even come about until a few hundred years later.) Rather, he is getting to the heart issue. Those without a holy relationship with Christ, who still carry unrepentant attitudes, have no business sharing the Lord’s Supper. But for the rest, it is indeed open to all who believe on His name."

He tells us in another comment that most Catholics (Roman Catholics, that is) do not know how to pray anything but rote prayers and that at a conference his wife attended, the Catholics who were present had to be taught what to include in a "spontaneous" prayer.

I am saddened by this man's comments for myriad reasons. The comments about rote prayer saddens me because it shows very clearly how poorly catechized many Catholics are. As part of the Charismatic renewal in the early 80's, I was part of a wonderful Catholic youth movement called Teen Encounter. We learned that Christ was our friend if only we would let Him be. We learned to speak to Him as though He was sitting next to us. In Leadership Training, we learned Church History. We read the Bible, although mostly the New Testament. It was a wonderful experience, but it stopped as soon as you were no longer a teen, or in my case, when you married. There simply was nothing available for young adults to keep them involved with the church or their faith. I find this remains true even now. I know that Cursillo is available, but it is my understanding that you have to be able to get away for an entire weekend at the onset of involvement in Cursillo. I know this is difficult for many.

I am next saddened by this man's obvious interpretation of scripture without any body of authority. He argues that Paul's words in 1 Corinthians do not refer to the Catholic Church. He means this passage: 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 to which Ukok referred in her original post.

The commenter stated that he believes Christ's words in regard to the Eucharist are meant figuratively. Frequently Christ's words in scripture are figurative, but He speaks in parables and uses similes e.g "The kingdom of God is like..." When Christ says to disciples "Take and eat, this is my body." Matthew 26:26b He does not say that the bread is like his body, but that it is
His body.

This man says he "lost interest" in the Catholic church because it "wasn't relevant" to his life. This is a struggle we all must face in keeping our children active in our faith. We must instill in them a love for the Lord, and a respect for the church. I know that as a child growing up post Vatican II, I was not taught that we were created to "know, love and serve God." Reading the old Baltimore Catechism with my own children has helped me to understand the fundamentals of my own faith. I do not know how old this man is. I do understand his frustration with his own formation and I am saddened that he has apparently never met any Catholics who demonstrated godliness.

What saddens me most about this man's posts, though, was this comment: "I became a Christian and began to learn about that relationship. Worship services were just that - worship - and not cold, dead liturgy."(again, emphasis mine)

This was my response to the "cold, dead liturgy" portion of his comments: "I find it rather disturbing that you refer to the Mass as “cold, dead, liturgy.” The Mass is made up, from beginning to end, of God’s sacred word. We pray, and we read scripture. even the “rote” prayers (eg. The Lord’s Prayer…see Mt. 6:9-15) come from scripture.
I would like to finish with this: God’s word is alive, not dead. If you are truly a “Bible believing Christian,” liturgy should not be something you perceive as dead. "

I feel so very deeply about this, yet I do not seem able to communicate to my own children just how alive the Mass is. I know my husband does not really like all the "standing, sitting, kneeling, standing" as he puts it. I cannot articulate the whys of the liturgy at this point. I just know how my heart overflows during the Mass.

Ukok's post was titled "Why Protestants can’t receive Communion in the Catholic Church." Catholics are not supposed to partake of "communion" in other churches, either. This was not really discussed in Ukok's post, although I believe it was mentioned in passing. The same arguments that are stated against Protestants receiving in the Catholic church can be used when referring to Catholics not participating in the protestant "communion." The greatest of these arguments is "Why would you want to participate in something that you do not believe in?" As Catholics, we believe in transubstantiation. That is a fancy word that means we believe that Christ is present body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist. Protestants do not believe this. They believe that the bread and wine remain bread and wine and that they are only symbols of the last supper. As a Catholic, why would I want to participate in that? It is so totally incomplete. If I want to just break bread with friends, I will participate in an Agape (Ah-gah-pay) meal, or I will participate in a Lord's Day celebration with friends ushering in the Sabbath. Both of these things very much resemble what many protestants consider communion. If I want what many protestants call "worship," I will go to a Charismatic prayer meeting. I don't need my music to be loud rock and roll type music in order to consider it to be worship. To be honest, I do find that type of music wonderful for praising God but, to me, worship is quiet and respectful.

That is all I have to say on this tonight, but I imagine these topics will continue to haunt my heart and mind for a while.

Dear Lord,
Thank You for the beauty of Your word. Thank You for giving me Your living word, and for giving me the church as authority in interpretation. It is comforting to be able to go to the church fathers for guidance when I have a question regarding Your word. Thank You for the Eucharist. Please help me as I prepare YDS for the reception of Your holy sacraments. Help me to guide him toward reconciliation through Confession and toward the reception of his First Holy Communion. Please prepare his heart. I ask you, too, Lord to bless all those who participated in the discussion regarding reception of the Eucharist over at Ukok's blog. It has been thought provoking, and has stirred my heart to be closer to You. Please continue to clear all the garbage out of my heart so that there is more room for You, Lord. I desire closeness to You.

Amen.

Alas, poor Freddy, we knew you well....

We discovered this morning that one of our two gerbils was dead. I don't remember him moving around much yesterday, so he could have been dead for a whole day. Poor Cuddles, our remaining gerbil now has to live all alone in the cage.

Having gerbils has been an adventure. We got them in February of 2005. They chewed through 3 cages during their tenure here. It was interesting trying to catch them when they got out of their cage by chewing their way out. We also had to chase them a couple of times when the cats knocked their cage over. They are really kind of cute little things.

Of course, DH bought them for our 2 youngest boys without talking to me about it first, so I was not happy about having them. I was assured that they would take care of Fred and Cuddles. That lasted about a month. I have had the displeasure of caring for them and cleaning their cage ever since. A mom's work is never done.

I know that are gerbils were both the same gender as they never had babies. We have heard that two males together could be quite aggressive toward one another, so we figure we probably had two females.

According to this article on gerbil care, gerbils do best in pairs or families. I wonder if Cuddles will be okay alone now, or if he will pine away.

The children were not as upset as they might have been. We have several pets, so I think this loss was not as a big a deal as if the gerbils were our only pets. YDD is more concerned that Cuddles will miss Fred than anything else. Now if one of our cats had died......I shudder to think of the grief that the children would probably express.

Lord,
Thank you for giving us beautiful little animals to keep us company. I have come to realize that our stewardship of our pets can be a reflection of how we treat others. Help the children to cope with any sadness they may feel, especially YDD as she seems to have taken this loss the hardest.

Amen.

P.S. Baby Charlie is home from the hospital. You can read the update here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Naming

Well, I finally decided on a name for our home school. Drum roll please........By His Grace Domestic Academy. It has taken me over a year to name our school. I felt like most of the Marian names were taken, and my DH, while raised Catholic is not currently a practicing Catholic (although he has recently begun coming to Mass), so he gets a bit touchy about things relating to Mary at this point in his life.

By His Grace, though, really suits our home school, for it is by His grace that we home school.

I believe that educating at home is a vocation. We have been called to educate our children at home, just as some people are called to send their children to public school and others are called to send their children to private schools, either Catholic or secular. It has been difficult explaining to some in our family why we do this. My parents are still wondering when I am going to put the kids in school and go back to work. It amazes me that so many people don't think of what we stay at home moms/teachers do as not working. Often, I am up first and to bed last. While I do get some help from the children for our household chores, the fact remains that I do a majority of the work. My children are being trained to do the work, so one of my jobs is to train them in these responsibilities. I must train them first to know, love and serve God, then to love and serve their family. I must train them to love their neighbors. The building of their character is one of my most important "jobs."

Before I became a SAHM and home educator, I worked outside my home and was tired and frustrated at the end of the day. My children bore the brunt of this. When DH told me to quit my job, I was ecstatic. While we have less "stuff" as a result of our choices, we are all happier. At least I think we are all happier. I know I am happier, although some days I can still be grumpy.

Today we stopped at the local grain store. It is so much more than that, though. They have a little bit of everything. We stopped there because we heard crowing while we were driving by. The children were excited to find out that the crowing was coming from Roosters they had for sale. They also had a couple of hens. I was able to explain to the children the differences between the roosters and hens. Every day presents an opportunity to learn something. I love to sneak the learning into the children's lives. They don't even know we are "schooling" some of the time. :-)

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the Grace which allows me to be home with my children. Please help me to remain thankful for all the gifts you have placed in our lives. Please help me to appreciate my children's differences, and to recognize their strengths.

Amen.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

What to do?

My YDS is 7, but sometimes at church he behaves like he is 2. I have tried spanking, grounding and taking away his computer privileges and video game privileges(which he only gets on weekends anyway). Some weeks he is wonderful, but others, like this week, he climbs under the pews and behaves disrespectfully. I have tried reminding him that church is God's house, and he claims to love the Lord, but still the behavior does not get better. YDS wants to receive Communion. I have tried to explain to him that in order to receive the Lord in Communion, he must behave respectfully.

Maybe some Catholic moms and dads out in blogland could give me some ideas that have worked for them.

Lord,
YDS can be the sweetest, most loving and caring little boy, yet when we enter Your house on Sunday, I never know how he will behave. Please help me to discern where this problem lies, and help me to show my son how to change his heart.

Amen.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Camping trip

We just came back from our annual Fourth of July camping trip on Thursday afternoon. I think that after this trip, we are officially members of the "anyone can camp in good weather" club. We arrived at the campground on Tuesday. It was relatively nice out. These two photos show the view from our campsite on Wednesday morning.



This is YDD in the middle of eating breakfast on Wednesday morning.


YDS was climbing and clowning around on Wednesday morning.


And he was quite messy the night before with a sticky marshmallow face.


This little fellow was quite bold as he scurried around the campsite. We actually had several little red squirrels visiting with us. You would not believe how loud they are!



For all the hype about "global warming," the weather here in Massachusetts has not been any too warm. We had a couple of days of temperatures in the 90's a couple of weeks ago, but since then, it has been on the cool side. Well, anyway, back to the camp out. We arrived at the campground on Tuesday. We have a pop-up trailer, a tent, and a canopy for over our picnic table. We had 4 of our children with us on this trip. We decided to sleep in the tent with our air mattress and let the older children have the trailer this time. YDS slept on cushions in the tent.
Everything was fine on Tuesday night. Wednesday night, however, the heavens opened up and we were deluged with water. Our tent was under a pine tree with some low branches. These low branches brushed the top of the tent. This was not a problem until it rained. The tent leaked where the branches were rubbing on it. We were lucky, though. We only got a little bit of rain in our tent. At one of the other sites, they had about 2-3 inches of rain in the tent. The only reason they didn't get wet was their really thick air mattresses. Another tent was quite literally floating on the water. It had been quite dry for the last couple of weeks, so it did not take long on Thursday morning for everything to dry out.
Wednesday night. listening to the rain, I was praying "Dear God, Please help me go to sleep and PLEASE don't let me get wet." Man I am a wimp! DH got a little wet on his side of the mattress, but I stayed dry. Thank you, Lord, for answered prayer!
Lord,
Thank you for the opportunity we had to o away for a couple of days as a family. Thank you for the beautiful little creatures who reminded us of how awesome you are, and for keeping me dry during the downpours overnight the other night.
Amen.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Update on Baby Charlie

Things are going much better for my blog friend Katy's little one, but keep on praying. To read the latest, visit her here.

Lord,
Thank you for the awesome miracles that have occurred in little Charlie. Help his parents to cope with their current strange living situation. Restore the swallow reflex to Charlie so that he can nurse and grow. To You is the glory of all the wonderful things that You have already done for him.

Amen.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Help we should all be asking for

This prayer over at Esther's blog is so very relevent to all that is going on today. May we seek the assistance of Joseph as we strive to be holy.

Some of the family situation

OSS has wanted to live with us for a while now. Life in his mother's home is simply too chaotic for his liking. Even though MSS and YSS have both been taken away from their mother (MSS is in a juvenile detention program and YSS is currently in specialized foster care), life remains unstable over there. OSS wanted to finish high school where he has been, but said that stability was more important. Fortunately, we applied for school choice for him and it was granted. We filed the legal paperwork to have OSS move in and managed to warn him that his mother would be served in the next couple of days. He told his mother he was going to go camping with us and packed as much as he could carry without raising alarms and came over here yesterday. He stretched the truth a bit as we are not camping until next week, but he wanted to get out before she got served with the legal paperwork. Given that her reactions can be quite unpredictable, I am not surprised by his desire to get out of his mother's before she got the legal service.

YSS is another story. He was removed from his mother's home by social services and placed in a specialized foster care situation because he was skipping school an awful lot. The school filed a C.H.I.N.S. (child in need of services). His mother had already signed onto to some social services program that was voluntary because he was out of control. The agency that he was placed with has said that the plan is to transition him into our home. He has not seen his mother and does not want to see her. The agency is suddenly trying to force him to repair his relationship with his mother, however. He feels like he has been abused by her for years and is not ready or willing to participate in any type of counseling. The situation is frustrating. Undoubtedly, he has been more neglected than his brothers in many ways. As the youngest, he has also heard for most of his young life (13 on the 21st of July) how his father is no good, etc., etc... He is old enough now to understand that much of what his mother has said to him in her bitterness is not true, or is only partially true, and he is angry. He has a HUGE problem with females in any sort of authority role. He gives me a really hard time if I ask him to do anything. DH is beginning to see some of the disrespect that he was either unwilling or unable to see before.

We are trying to raise our children to honor and respect us and to be obedient to God. It is very difficult to enforce things with the younger ones when they see the disobedience and disrespect of the older siblings.

I admit that DH and I have battled about this. I try to submit to him, but I have very strong emotions about this situation. I do not want a repeat of what happened with MSS. I do not want ODD, YDD, and YDS to have to go through any of the same things that happened before. I went to confession about this, and I admit that since then, I feel much more peace. I am trying to put the whole situation in God's hands. I am one who often lays my burden down at the foot of the cross only to pick it back up again.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the gift of Confession and absolution. Your forgiveness is so comforting to one who is so imperfect and unworthy. Please help me to be the mother I am called to be for all these children, both those whom I bore and those whose mother I am only because of my marriage to their father. Help me to love them all, Lord. Help me to leave my burdens at your feet. I must remember that Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light.

Amen.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Too muggy

It has been around 90 degrees and really muggy (humid) for the last two days. It is even too hot to surf the web. Did I mention I have no air conditioning?

Friday, June 22, 2007

This is difficult for me.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”



The above quote is Mt 5:43-48. Every time I read this, I cringe a little because I know that this is my biggest area of struggle. There are definitely people in my life who could be considered enemies. They have done things that were very hurtful to me and to my family. I find it very difficult to pray for these people. The Lord knows that hardness of my heart, and I have constant reminders of these folks in my life.

More often than not, when I am thinking of these people, I am like a petulant child stomping my feet and shouting things like, "I don't understand!" or "Why can they get away with that?" I know that I am fortunate that God is a very patient Father, and that He will continue to provide opportunities for me to act charitably until I finally get it that He wants me to love and pray for those who persecute me and make life difficult. He wants me to forgive seventy times seven times. That does not make it any easier for me, but I will try and try again. Practice makes perfection and all that.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for being so kind and merciful to this sinner. I know that you want me to strive for perfection. I know that I am supposed to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me. You are the Potter and I am the clay. Please continue to mold me as You see fit. Please help me to recall that Your words in Jeremiah 29:11 about having a future full of hope for me also applies to those who would persecute me. Please help me to be mindful of Your voice that I may live out Your will for me, and not my own.

Amen.
Please continue to pray for my blog friend Katy and her husband and baby Charlie. You can visit her here to read the latest update. Praise God, and keep up the prayers. They are working!

Lord,
Your loving kindness is overwhelming. Every child is a wondrous work for each of us to admire, and you show us again and again as we pray that You are listening. Thank you for caring for us and loving us despite our unworthiness.

Amen.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The library and other adventures

We went to the library on Monday. This is the sign we see from the street just before we turn into the library parking lot. This is the branch we usually go to every week. It is really not more than one big room with lots of books.
This is Mr. Sullivan with YDD and YDS. He is our favorite librarian. He always has a smile and a friendly word, and he is always willing to help us find what we need, even if it means searching the online database of other libraries to find it. He knows us all by name.
This is one of YDS' favorite reasons to hang out at our little local branch library. He also enjoys the wooden puzzle of the United States they have. We have even borrowed it, he likes it that much!
This is the sign that is WAY up high on the main library. We went to both our little branch and the main library this week. The main library is not really convenient, but we had to be near it one day this week on other errands so we stopped in.
After entering the children's room, the fish tank meets you as you approach the area with younger children's books. My children love the fish tank. YDS always wants to feed the fish, but that is not allowed, so we sometimes put change in the bank that is set up for upkeep of the tank. I didn't get a picture of it, or of the elephant shaped book drop that YDS always wants to "feed" as well.
There are several large plastic canvas crafts throughout the library which were donated by one family. This castle is one of them. There is also a dollhouse.
These bright, cushy fellows sit atop the bookcase that YDS still gets many of his books from, although, he is reading so well, that sometimes he finds these books "babyish" now.
This is the view looking across the children's room from the fish tank. I lied when I said I didn't have a photo of the bank for the fish tank upkeep...it is that squiggly, green thing on the table. It is funny, but I have never seen anyone actually SIT on this furniture.
Over here we have more furniture and a play area. There are a couple of activity tables. I know my son has used them. I have never seen all that many people in this children's room. My little branch always has several people in it, though.
This is the haul of books that YDS brought home. Of course, he is in summer vacation mode, so getting him to read is becoming a bit of a challenge. Maybe I need to institute a mandatory reading time each day......The books that YDD brought home are under the pile of YDS' books. I don't have to fight with her to get her to read. She has turned into a real bookworm this year.

And that concludes our tour. I hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Eucharist...

real presence of Christ.....of just a symbol?

There is an extremely lively discussion going on regarding this topic and the beliefs of Catholics over here at Ukok's place.

I am not very eloquent, but I did add my 2 cents worth.

Dear Lord,
I ask you to open the eyes of our hearts that we may truly see You, open our ears to truly hear You. Live within us, Lord, that we may truly be instruments for Your use as we travel through our lives here on earth and as we await Your glory.

Amen.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics


Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics by Paul E. Nowak

This book begins by addressing the doctrines of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. It relies heavily on scripture to refute these protestant beliefs. Mr. Nowak cites numerous readings throughout the New Testament when discussing these doctrines.

Mr. Nowak asks as his question 3 "Who founded your church?" This chapter includes an extremely helpful list of the founders of the major protestant sects and the dates of their founding.

The issues of Biblical interpretation and church authority in interpretation, church leadership, the Communion of Saints and theology of Mary, confession, purgatory, divorce, and the interpretation of the Last supper/bread of life discourse are all addressed.

The book is small enough o carry in a backpack or purse, and includes a list of Papal succession from Peter to the current Pope, Benedict XVI. Each chapter is titled with a question, and there are 10 questions. At the end of the book, there is a list of resources which includes the Catechism of the Catholic Church and books by such various authors as Karl Keating, Scott Hahn and G.K. Chesterton.

It is a must have for any Catholic library! It can be purchased by visiting the R.A.G.E. Media online store . (R.A.G.E. Media is now Eternal Revolution.)

Visit http://eternal-revolution.com/store/ for this and other apologetics resources.

Addendum: There is a blog on the Eternal Revolution site as well as the store. You can find it through their home page.

Making me think again

This post at Creative Minority Report had me thinking again about our liberites and the precarious state they are in our culture of death and moral relativism.

We must pray for our leaders and hope that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit to voice outrage over these continued persecutions. I hope, too, that they will come to see how precious our freedoms in the United States are.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Prayers please

My blog friend Katy is a new mom. Her son Charlie was born last week, and he is fighting for his life. Please go on over to The Barnyard, Katy's blog, and let her know you are praying for her and her husband and little one. Charlie seems to be a little fighter. Let's help him with the fight by lifting our voices to God.

Dear Lord,
I ask your healing to be bestowed on little Charlie. He is a loved little boy, and his parents are so excited that he is here with them. You know the plans you have for this family, Lord. Plans for a future and not for woe. We ask through our Lord Jesus Christ that you would bring comfort and healing to this family.

Amen.

What's Your Theological Worldview?

You scored as Roman Catholic,You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

The battle for my porch swing


I have a beautiful cedar wood porch swing. We have had it for around a year and a half. I like to sit on it in the morning and have my coffee and watch the birds at our feeders. Unfortunately, the birds like my swing, too. They have decided to build nests in my swing. I have cleared out the nests more than half a dozen times, and still, they persist. I think the culprit it this type of bird. They are cute, but they are making a mess.
We also have some of these. They could also be the culprits. There are also some of these beautiful little birds flying around.


There are photos of the swing, the nests and some of the visitors to my yard here.


Lord,
The little birds flying around my yard are a beautiful part of your creation. I do not want to hurt them, but I am afraid of what may happen if they lay eggs in the porch swing nests. I enjoy my swing, and I do not mind sharing it. Help me to be a good steward in this situation, Lord. It seems that the little birds who are nesting in the swing have great perseverance. May I learn from them what ever lesson it is You feel I need. Open the eyes of my heart to see Your message and give me ears to hear, Lord.

Amen.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Cleaning out Memere's

Yesterday my 2 youngest children and I met my father at Memere's apartment. We boxed dishes and food and cleaning products. We packed up clothing . Whatever the family does not want will go to Goodwill Industries.

While we were cleaning and packing and throwing away, my uncle arrived to eat his lunch. He kept Memere company every day at lunch and dinner time while she lived in this little apartment. I think he is having a difficult time with this transition. He has a history of mental illness, but has really gotten much better in the last ten years. He owns his own cleaning business now, and really seems to enjoy the work. He is quite intelligent, and in many ways, I think the the movie A Beautiful Mind describes a lot about his life journey. While my uncle never married, he did do battle with schizophrenia, and now functions without the aid of medication. He, like John Forbes Nash, also stopped taking his medication and suffered the hallucinations that come with schizophrenia. He couldn't stand to be doped up.

It was a kind of bittersweet thing to do. I figured the children would have a life lesson. Unfortunately no one in my family could have Memere come live with them. My parents have an extra room, but my mother still works full time. Dad is semi retired, but they both have health problems so taking care of Memere would be extremely taxing. One of my uncles is described above. He has a tiny little efficiency apartment and as the youngest, works over 50 hours a weeks. My father's older brother's wife has Parkinson's disease, and he cares for her in their little handicapped accessible apartment. He also helps to watch out for his mother-in-law who is quite elderly.

I have no extra room in my tiny house. So Memere is in a nursing home. I have pleased so far in my dealings with them. They are nice and seem quite loving. The facility is clean. There is no urine or disinfectant smell when you walk in.

Lord,
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help out in this situation. Bless Memere as she closes out her time in this life. Help my uncle to deal with this transition. Help my dad and my other uncle to deal as well.

Amen.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues


"You can defend life or you can take the offensive"
These words are found on the back cover of Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues by Paul E. Nowak.
This helpful book is chock full of quotes and statistics set in a format designed to draw others into open dialogue on the issues of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and the death penalty.
The book is based in solid fact without the hindrance of the often emotional religious arguments that seem to arise when discussing these issues. This makes the book a wonderful tool for anyone who is pro-life. The quotes from Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Mary Wollstonecraft and other early pioneers of Women's rights are most insightful.
The book is sprinkled with pro-life cartoons throughout. While it was a quick and easy read, I for one, will be studying the information contained within these pages more thoroughly.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues, click on the picture or the title in this post. Visit http://eternal-revolution.com// for this and other apologetics resources.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The pediatrician

YDS had his annual physical today. I don't really believe an annual physical is necessary, but last year he had not been there in 3 years and the docs freaked out a bit, so I brought him in this year just to allay their fears that he might not be growing properly or something. Of course, if there was a problem, as his mother, I think I just might notice! DUH! Of course, once the fact that we home school came up, the questions about socialization begin....
Doc: "Does he get a chance to socialize with other children?"
Me: "He plays with other children in our neighborhood and we participate in co-ops."
Doc: "Oh..good."

I wonder if he expected something like "No...we keep him locked in the house away from all other people"


All the while, I was thinking about a great home school comic strip I had seen this morning here.

The doc also said "You have four children? You're crazy." He didn't say it in a derogatory manner, more in an incredulous manner. He then proceeded to tell me he has three but 2 children are enough. I told him about my friend who has 7 children, 5 of whom were born by c-section, and her sister who has nine and is contemplating ten. My parting shot, though, was "Saying there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers. Mother Theresa said that."

Of course, the doc's son just turned 7 and YDS will be 7 in a couple of weeks. YDS told the doc he is in second grade. I wonder if the doc will figure out that YDS would only be in first grade in "regular school." LOL

By the end of the physical, the doc looked at me and said, "You're right to not have him in school. He wouldn't do well there. They'd dumb him down."

I replied, "I have no doubt that he would not be reading if he were in school." YDS is a very active little boy. A "regular" school would want to drug him into zombie hood so he would behave like a little girl....(my 2 cents on public school)

Lord,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide my children with an education that is centered first on you. Please continue to guide us on the journey. Please open the eyes and hearts of those like the doc who believe that children who are schooled at home "lack socialization" or receive a less than adequate education. YDS is a very busy boy, but he is also very bright. Thank you for the allowing him to grow and develop as You would have him. He is 100% boy, made in Your image and likeness. May he shine with the light of Your love.

Amen.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The car

Well, ODD now has her own car. Memere's car to be exact. It is a 1985 VW Golf with 85,000 miles on it and my lovely daughter is the second owner. My parents bought it from Memere for her. Since Memere could no longer use it, being in the nursing home, it was just another thing of hers that needed to be sold or donated. ODD is quite happy with the car. I have mixed feelings. I no longer need to worry about hurrying home so ODD can use my vehicle to go to work, but on the other hand, she has more autonomy now....It can be so difficult to "cut the apron strings," so to speak.

Lord,
Does every mother worry about their children the way that I now worry about ODD? Did MY mother worry that way about me when I got my first car? Please protect ODD as she spreads her wings a bit, Lord. Keep her safe, and keep her driving safely. Help me to give her enough room to test her wings without giving her too much room that she may become intimidated.

Amen.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"The Pill"

I have read two posts in the last 24 hours regarding the new birth control pill that suppresses women's periods. Margaret in Minnesota had this to say. While over at Vox Nova, the true essence of womanhood was addressed.

As a nurse, I believe that putting these types of chemicals into our bodies is foolish at best, and downright dangerous at worst.

As an avid reader, I believe it is all very Brave New World.

I am not as eloquent as either Margaret or Katerina Marie at Vox Nova, so I will end here.

Dear Lord,
I do not understand why women would want to make their bodies behave like men's bodies. You are the Way, the Truth and the Light. Help those of us who see the evil to shine forth with Your light that those whom we meet may turn away from the dark ways of the world.

Amen

Why I will no longer refer to a quiz as a meme.

I received this comment on my post below. I don't think many of us think about the power a word caqn have, especially if a word may have more than one meaning or context.

xenspirit3 said...
"Whew!
Well, meme came into the lexicon by one Richard Dawkins in his book the Selfish Gene to explain away the existence of God, while simultaneously explaining the persistence of the idea of God. ( A meme is analogous to a gene.) So that was when I was beginning to lose my ardour for evolutionary theory. Not so much because of his statment, examples and so forth, but because the way he was saying that everything was just a meme which could no way approach the realities of the natural word. Well, I'm sort of an absolutist, and although I know that God is not approachable as one can approach the natural world, I know he is for real a person (albeit a type of person and unique in that personhood i.e., purely divine) I know that there is a structure and order to all of His creation, and we just can't go around nilly willy making anything up about it as the whim of our unguided and unprincipled thoughts shall carry us. I remember the moment exactly when I decided Richard Dawkins was a farce, because it was a moment of the obvious-ness of the frivolous underpinnings of the approach and gravity of his arguments. I remember thinking you can't sit here and make me slog through 3/4 of your book about gene replication and the body being just a vehicle and tell me this whole theory of yours is a metaphor, and not only that you will introduce the word meme to describe God as simply a metaphor. And if you are so into biological natural understandings of God, why do people like you in every natural book I read have to take a swipe at Him?
So that was where I was coming from. Well, I don't use those words in connection with the Mother of God or with God or the Faith; I was wondering what the Catholic Church was doing over there. Anyway, thanks for humouring this very long response. I've been a Christian in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Faith for 5 1/2 years, and I'm still a bit of a zealot. A grateful zealot.
May God answer the prayers of this poor sinner and Grant you peace."

Dear Lord,
Thank you for this insight into the word "meme" I am uncertain as to how it isnitially came into use in the context of "quizzes", but I will be careful not to use it in relation to You or to Your mother. I meant no offense, but I have learned that words can be taken in a context different than intended. Listen to my hear, Lord, for there are all the words that I am not capable of speaking.

Amen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What book are you?




You're The Dictionary!

by Merriam-Webster

You're one of those know-it-all types, with an amazing amount of
knowledge at your command. People really enjoy spending time with you in very short
spurts, but hanging out with you for a long time tends to bore them. When folks
really need an authority to refer to, however, you're the one they seek. You're an
exceptional speller and very well organized.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.



I found this at Paula's blog.
I am laughing at my result. Paula got To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Mother of God Quiz

What is your favourite image of Our Lady? My favorite image of our lady is from The Passion of the Christ when she recalls Jesus falling as a child when He falls during the long walk up Calvary. This image brings to mind all those times that I, as a mother, have done the same. This brings me closer to my spiritual mother.
What is your favourite Marian feast? The Feast of the Annunciation is my favorite. Mary's sacrifice in saying "yes" to God is huge. She risked everything and trusted God! What a wonderful example.
What is your favourite Marian hymn/anthem? I love the Ave Maria and the Hail Mary sung
What is your favourite Marian place of pilgrimage? I don't really have one. I am working on developing my relationship with Mary...I could use suggestions.
What is your favourite Marian devotion? I like to say the rosary with Mother Angelica on EWTN. The narrative at the announcing of each mystery helps me to really focus.

If you read this, Tag!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Blessings

My YDD sent me a link to this page.

Enjoy!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Confirmed

Well, the confirmation Mass was nice (even if at 5 P.M. it was early). The Bishop had the kids smiling. He knows how to break the ice. My daughter took her given name as her confirmation name.

There was a reception in the church hall after the Confirmation. My ex-husband and estranged son attended the Mass and came down to the reception afterwards. Every time I got anywhere near where my ex was standing, he would move away. My son made a point of saying hello to ODD's BF who was standing next to me, and just ignored me. This was supposed to be a celebration of my daughter's confirmation. I tried to not let it get to me, and brought YDS home and prepared the food for when ODD and her friends arrived. They ate and chatted and laughed and then went out for the evening.

Dear Lord,
I love my daughter. Thank you for giving me strength tonight to not become weepy. It was difficult. I miss my son terribly. It still breaks my heart, too, that I am divorced. I expected my marriage to be "Until death do us part." Lord, you know all of hearts. You know the circumstances. Bring healing.

Amen.

Confirmation

My lovely ODD is being confirmed tonight. I am such a great mom that I don't even know which saint name she has chosen.

Dear Lord,
Bless my lovely daughter with grace this evening. Pour out the Spirit on her and fill her with the fire of your love. Only you can reach her heart in that way, Lord. I surrender her to you.

Amen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Memere

My Memere is 90 years old. She has been living in her own apartment until very recently. About a month or so ago (right before Easter) she hurt herself when she moved some furniture to mop her floor. She went to the ER and was sent home with a diagnosis of muscle strain and a UTI.This was on a Friday night. They also sent her home with medications for both the UTI and the "muscle strain." The wonderful doctors in the ER apparently had never heard of drug interactions...or they didn't bother to check the list of medications she was already on for various conditions of old age. My father caught the duplication of some things and pulled them out.
On Saturday and Sunday my parents and uncles and I took turns sitting with her as she could not even stand. On Sunday evening, my uncle and I stood her up so I could change her and clean her up a bit before I left to come home and care for my family. She was in such excruciating pain that my uncle had to hold her up and her whole body shook as he did. By Monday morning, she had called an ambulance and returned to the hospital.

Lo and behold, her "muscle strain" was actually a fracture of the sacrum. No wonder she screamed in pain and couldn't stand up. She stayed at the hospital for a couple of days and then went to rehab in a nursing home. She did very well in rehab and was sent home. She promptly fell and landed back in the nursing home for rehab again.

I am saddened by this next part of the story even more than I was by the rest. My uncles and my father have decided that she can no longer live on her own. They feel that there is not enough money to have help for her in her apartment. They have decided to keep her in the nursing home. My Memere is not a very social person. She likes her privacy and her space. She will have to share one of these very small nursing home rooms with someone else. I cannot see this as a good thing. Granted, she will not be alone, but I think she will be miserable. She has always (in my memory) been a bit cantankerous. She wants what she wants. I am so upset because I feel like she is being pushed aside because of the inconvenience of caring for her. My parents participated in the care of my maternal Grandmother in her own apartment with PCAs until her death. She could do even less for herself than my Memere can. My Grandma had sever rheumatoid arthritis and was crippled by it all my life. She was a tenacious person, and worked as a PCA herself until she could no longer work at all. She also was a gentler spirit than my Memere. Maybe that is why Memere is being cared for in a nursing home. I feel like I am letting her down. I have a very small house and there is barely room for my family. I wish I had an extra room so I could take in my Memere. We are not close. We never have been. It would be difficult. It would mean even more sacrifices. It would be such a wonderful learning experience for my children.

Dear Lord,
I am attending the meeting at nursing home in the morning. Help me to advocate for my Memere. Give me the questions to ask that will guide the caregivers to give here the care she needs. Help me to let her know that she is loved. It is so difficult to get up to see her as she is almost an hour away now. Help me to make visiting her a priority. She has so much to offer if we can only coax her to talk about it....

Amen.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Case of the Weepies

After my son moved out in 2005, I spent the next several months crying uncontrollably....but not in front of my other children. My friends saw me cry and lent me their shoulders. I have become more accustomed to his absence since then, so I do not cry as much. The past 24 hours, however have been very difficult. I have seen my neighbor's children coming and going today and wondering if they are missing their mother today. She was killed in an accident several months ago. I have seen my YSS struggling as he spent the weekend with us knowing that he is not going back to his mother's house after he leaves us, but rather back to foster care as social services has removed him from the physical custody of his mother. I have seen my own beautiful children minus my oldest son trying to be loving today, and I have been grumpy and weepy. I cried through most of Mass this morning. I cried off and on all day yesterday and today. I try not to cry in front of my children. They have been through enough without having to wonder why mom is crying. I am not sure why I am crying. I just am.

My children are the greatest and most challenging gift God has ever given me, and I feel like such a huge failure. My oldest son does not speak to me and my youngest is frequently bratty. My 2 girls are moody. How could God entrust these treasures to me?

I know that without God I am nothing. I know that through Him, all things are possible. How can I possibly convey any of this to my children?

Dear Lord,
I know that my older children have thought of me as a hypocrite at times. They don't understand that people can change and that I am trying to be the woman that You have called me to be. Help me to forgive myself for all my past indiscretions and shortcomings. Please, Lord, give me strength to continue to grow in faith and love and to serve you better. Please help me to mother the children you have entrusted to my care, whether by biology or by marriage.

Amen.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Which Jane Austen Heroine are you?


Which Jane Austen heroine are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Thinking about this:

This post over at Creative Minority Report really got me thinking.

Creative Minority says: “Look at our movie stars of old. Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, and Garbo. People love to say they were ahead of their time. I don’t think so. They were in a time when we were comfortable with big strong women. Compare them now to who? Demi Moore on a stripper's pole? Lindsey Lohan in...does she even act anymore or just bar hop?”

Today’s “starlets” don’t compare in talent to those mentioned above, however, Joan Crawford had her share of scandal (Can you say Mommy Dearest?). The humanitarian actress Audrey Hepburn is missing from the list. Not only was she beautiful and talented, but she spent time and money to care for others. In my opinion, Susan Sarandon is the only current actress with any true talent. She has played many diverse roles. Susan Sarandon, however, is not someone I want my children to view as a role model.
Personally, I would rather my children view Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta as a role model. She exemplified the Christian life. She did not pursue anything but service to others. She “died to herself” every day.

Our political figures are even worse than the actors and “sports heroes”. They can talk a good talk, but they do not walk the walk. There are very few people in politics who have earned trust. More over, they don’t seem to care. They promise us the sun and moon and don’t even try to deliver a moon pie. Voting frequently consists of holding the nose and choosing the least offensive person for the job.

Creative Minority Report asks, “Could you imagine Lincoln waffling on slavery like Rudy Giuliani contorts himself over abortion.”

I am imagining Lincoln scratching his head in perplexity at the current “politically correct” society. Lincoln had a backbone. Politicians do not have backbones now. They have polls. They flip flop on the issues according to the whims of those whom they have polled. I wonder if the polls were taken at any of the more conservative churches on a Sunday morning if the results would be a little different. Of course, I over heard a parishioner in my own church state that the Catholic Church makes too much of abortion. My reply was, “If we do not have respect for the sanctity of unborn life, we do not have respect for life at all.”

When I look around at what our world has become, and at all the moral relativism (I’m ok, you’re ok), I am astounded that God has not slain us all. There must be some of us who still love and revere Him, and He must be hearing from us, because He has not done to current society what He did to Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt for looking back at what she was leaving behind. We must try to move forward and teach our children to move forward in the world without being of the world, and without looking back.
The things of this world are temporary. We must truly focus on the eternal. Of course, that is easier said than done.

Dear Lord,
Please help me to live as You would have me live. Help me to stay within Your will. You have made promises to us in Your word. I believe that You keep Your word to those who believe. Help me, please to teach my children to be more selfless and less selfish. Help me to also be less selfish.

Amen.