Monday, July 31, 2006

What a difference Mass makes

A day that includes Mass is a day that just goes better. It's more peaceful, the work is more focused, the priorities more clear. I went to Mass at noon today and what a difference it made. Or, I should say, what a difference He made.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Underwear as outfits

All the talk about the Babytalk cover has made me think more about a subject that has always puzzled me. How exactly are women's fashions determined? I'm guessing that there is an influential group of designers who sit down and talk about it and then take the lead. Maybe someone can tell me what really happens. Can't you just see a group of men at a conference table saying, "Let's see if we can get women to wear underwear as outfits. I wonder if they'll fall for it. You know, dresses that look like slips, shirts that look like lingerie, pants with a rise so low that they must be careful when they sit for fear they'll reveal something to the person behind them. Let's make shirts that look like a breast could fall out at any minute. And let's make them so short that there is always lower abdominal skin revealed, almost like the pants are about to fall off. Let's make mainstream what used to be worn only by prostitutes. Let's see if women will fall for it." And women fell for it.

I know that conversation didn't take place. But I do wonder if the demons didn't have some conversations like that.

But, hey, a baby suckling at its mother's breast.... let's keep that private. The normal and natural has become taboo and the taboo has become normal. What an upside down world.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Breasts are for nursing, aren't they?

Apparently Babytalk magazine has published a controversial cover of a baby at it's mother's breast. It has generated over 700 letters to the editor. A lot of people thought it was inappropriate and some even found it offensive. It's just a baby nursing. OK the breast is not covered accept by the baby's mouth. But it's not at all erotic. At least the photo of the cover that has printed looks pretty innocent to me.

It reminds me of the time I was having trouble finding nursing bras that fit me right. I went into Victoria's Secret thinking a store with this many bras just has to have something. (This was before V.S. became quite as bizarre, even obscene, as it is now.) I was completely naive. I just thought this is a store that specializes in bras and I need a specialty bra. So I went in and told them what I needed. The saleswoman said, "We don't carry nursing bras." I looked at her in disbelief. "A store this big, selling this many bras and you don't have any nursing bras?? Isn't the purpose of breasts for nursing???" She said, "That's not the image we're trying to convey." Well... I guess not. And the image they are trying to convey has become more and more clear over the years. It is certainly not one that includes a healthy respect for the integrity of the human body and its purposes.

Maybe the image on the cover of Babytalk magazine was crossing the line of modesty a little. But why all the fuss? Breasts are, after all, for nursing and the the magazine is about babies. Maybe it's not the nursing breast that's the problem but the twisted culture that sexualizes everything.

I'm still thinking about this one. You can see the photo at Any opinions? By the way, I first heard about this on Al Kresta's radio show on Ave Maria Radio. Great show.(

Jennifer Granholm's online petition

I heard on Teresa Tomeo's radio show, Catholic Connection, that Jennifer Granholm, the governor of Michigan, has placed on the official state of Michigan website an online petition urging state legislators to open the doors to embryonic stem cell research in Michigan. This is on the official publicly funded web site of the state! Can she do this? Can she promote her own political agenda on the official state website? It certainly does not seem right to me.

Does she actually think that pro-lifers in Michigan are some insignificant, minute minority? Michigan has demonstrated over and over again on public referendums that it is a pro-life state.

As a pro-life Michigan Catholic I am doubly offended that our governor, a practicing Catholic, would publicly take this stance and then put it in writing on our state's website. Is the bishop of Lansing watching?

Check it out. There is a page on the site for sending a message to the governor. I sent one. If you live in Michigan I suggest you send one too.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My Sister's Birthday

Today is my only sister's birthday. Her name is Maryanne. (Remember, she has the black belt in tae kwon do)Please pray for her. She was born on the Feast of St. Anne and all her life she has had to have me for a sister. May all her prayers be answered. May God's grace be upon her and her family today and always.

The Family Rosary

About a decade ago our family started saying the rosary together. I had read in a book about Medjugorje (sp?) that Our Lady had said that when a family says the rosary, Satan is helpless. I thought that sounds good to me. Raising children in today's world is such a daunting task. I didn't want to pass up any potential weapon.

So we started. Within a few months tensions that had been present in our family mysteriously disappeared. There was a peace about our home. Children who had complained in the beginning started reminding us to say it. We don't say it every night. Most weeks we'll say it at least a couple of times.

I don't know if this is the best way to do it, but we tried to make it very do-able. Toddlers had to stay with us but could play with toys and basically do anything they wanted that wasn't too distracting. Preschoolers could draw pictures of the decades. Anyone could look at rosary picture books or color in rosary coloring books. They started on the mystery we were saying, but they could move to any mystery their interest took them to. Anyone could volunteer to lead. They could bring their pillows and lie on the floor. They could lie on the couch. If they were too tired they could close their eyes and pray to themselves instead of out loud. If someone was very sleepy we would say it in their room as they fell asleep.

It worked. We had everyone participating without complaint. Now, older teenagers are asked to join us, but not always required to. Usually they will join in after a decade or two.

I cannot recommend this practice enough. It has had a profound impact on the spiritual life of our family. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Tyranny of Moods

I have a plaque above my stove that says, "When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I keep it there not only because it's amusing, but also because it's a reminder to me that my feelings have a big impact on the rest of the family. If I want my family to be happy I must be attentive to my feelings and how they may be affecting my behavior. The Henri Nouwen Society has a wonderful daily email meditation that addressed this issue of moods on July 24. I have tried to make this link thing work. If it doesn't, the site is .They usually have very inspirational messages and short enough for a busy mom to read in a hurry.

Overcoming Our Mood Swings
Are we condemned to be passive victims of our moods? Must we simply say: "I feel great today" or "I feel awful today," and require others to live with our moods?Although it is very hard to control our moods, we can gradually overcome them by living a well-disciplined spiritual life. This can prevent us from acting out of our moods. We might not "feel" like getting up in the morning because we "feel" that life is not worth living, that nobody loves us, and that our work is boring. But if we get up anyhow, to spend some time reading the Gospels, praying the Psalms, and thanking God for a new day, our moods may lose their power over us.

God bless your day (and your moods!)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Why do people like Dr. Laura?

Why is it that people like Dr. Laura so much. I believe it is because people really want to know "the right thing to do" as she puts it. Our culture is starved for moral structure. All people have natural law written in their hearts and yet it has become almost taboo to acknowledge that there is indeed a right and wrong. Most psychologists do not approach the topic at all. It refreshing that Dr. Laura actually focuses on the morality of a situation, and people really appreciate that perspective. After all, it's what really matters.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

John, the pianist

Today we take my son John to an international piano competition at a well known Conservatory of Music. He has been working for this competition for months now. Yesterday as we were finishing dinner he started playing. Although I have heard these pieces thousands of times now, his playing brought tears to my eyes. He is just such a jawdroppingly (new word?) good pianist and he has worked so hard for this. I just sat there in awe and appreciation. God's glory could be heard through our whole house.

Of course, I hope he does well in the competition. But no matter how well he does, I will remain as proud of him as I am right now. He has put his heart and soul into his music. He has taken his gift from God and really started running with it. I know that God is pleased.

John started piano at the age of four. He started at four because he was begging me to let him take piano lessons. We started with a wonderful Suzuki piano teacher named Cindy. He's had two other teachers since then. Every week for twelve years now I have taken him to his piano lessons. It is with great satisfaction and maternal pride that I now listen to the extraordinary results.

John, go knock their socks off. You're the greatest pianist I've ever heard!!

imaginate-- a new word for the lexicon

Several years ago my son Jim coined a new word which I find very useful. The word is "imaginate" It is an intransitive verb. It means to use your imagination for the purpose of pretend play. A child using blocks and playmobile guys to enact a story is imaginating. Dressing up as princesses and acting out a story is imaginating. Two boys swordfighting with plastic swords and conquering the world is imaginating. I think this is a useful word. It sounds more active than "pretend playing" or "acting out a fantasy" and it's definitely more concise.

When Jim first used it he didn't realize there was no such word. He thought it was the base word for imagination.

Words are fun.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Strollers at the Art Fair

Today I went to the Ann Arbor Art Fair. I spent several hours there.

Every year, during the art fair, there are those who complain about the presence of strollers at the art fair. I have always found this puzzling. Well, let me be honest. I have always found these complaints annoying. I think the art fair is a fine place to take your baby or toddler in a stroller. They enjoy the fresh air and all the things to look at.

These complaints are usually about bumping into strollers when the fair gets crowded and also about feet, ankles being bumped by the wheels, etc. There are also complaints about the babies' crying.

At the art fair today I saw many babies in strollers. Most of them were asleep. Those who weren't seemed to be enjoying themselves. I even got part of my sandal run over by a wheel. I survived and guess what? It was no big deal.

It made me wonder about the motives of these complainers. Are they really so selfabsorbed that having to move a little to let a stroller through is an intolerable inconvenience? Later in the day I'm sure I would have occasionally seen a cranky baby. But hot and tired adults are cranky then too. Is a baby crying an intolerably offensive sound? As my mother would say about those who are bothered by babies, "They forget they were young once too."

I hope it is not another example of the insidious attititude so prevalent today-- that no one should have to sacrifice any of their own needs or desires for the young. (Not even the parents.)

Lighten up, Ann Arbor.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

President Bush's Veto of the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

Thanks be to God that we have a President who knows the difference between right and wrong. That's why I voted for him. He understands that human life is sacred and that the very youngest, the most vulnerable, even those who don't yet resemble the person they would be had they been given the right to grow normally-- are all human beings. They are alive. All living things belong to a species. The species they belong to is the human species. How difficult a concept is this?

I know that there have been a great many scientific advances in the use of adult stem cells and none in the area of embryonic stem cells. There is only the hope that they might someday work miracle cures. But it seems to me that the argument must be made that it doesn't matter if research done on human embryos might bring about extraordinary cures for horrible diseases. It would still be wrong! And the fact that these embryos would be destroyed otherwise does not in any way change their status as human beings. We should never have allowed the formation of embryos outside of the normal God-given process to begin with. The whole situation just wreaks of evil.

What kind of monster would allow for the exploitation of some human beings for the betterment of others? Apparently the kind who are supposedly serving us in our Congress. May God have mercy on America.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My 26th Wedding Anniversary

Well, today's my 26th anniversary. Yes, it's the day after my oldest son's birthday. Actually he was born just a few minutes before our anniversary.

Well it's been 26 years. I hate to say something that sounds so trite but it does seem like yesterday, in some ways.

My husband is a good guy and I love him a lot. He's an engineer and I'm about as unlike an engineer as you can get. He knows how things work and he can fix things. I don't care how they work just as long as they do work. I find this aspect of his mind very fascinating. If we pass a truck carrying something the purpose of which he can't identify he ponders it for a long time. He speculates, thinks out loud about it, considers the possibilities. I once said to him, "You mean to tell me that most of the time when you see a piece of equipment or unsual looking materials you do know what it's for? He said, "Yes, usually." I thought boy, we really are different. I told him, "I never think about things like that. I hardly ever know what things on trucks are for or how equipment is used and I don't give it a second thought." Course, I could give it any number of thoughts and it wouldn't matter. I still wouldn't know what it is. I don't have that kind of aptitude. I find his knowledge fascinating.

But what I most appreciate about my husband is his openness to bringing life into the world. I know a number of women who very much wanted more children but did not have husbands who would give them that most precious of all gifts. My husband did eight times. Two died before birth and we have six beautiful children. It takes a strong man to trust God in this matter and to turn a deaf ear to the world.

It is a blessed woman to be married to such a man.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Musings about Michael

OK, somehow the time that's being listed on my entries is off from the time I'm actually writing them. This is significant for those of you who may know my son Michael and see that on my last entry I said it was his birthday. I was writing about 1:00 am on the eighteenth and the entry said it was still the 17th! Just so you know, I do know that his birthday is July 18th and now I'm writing on the eve of his birthday at about 11:06pm.

I am so blessed to be Mike's mom. I remember so clearly the day he was born and the awesome realization that I had become a mother. Wow. What a day.

Michael smiled when he was one day old. In the hospital he actually picked his head up in the nursery and looked forward. Now I know some of you will not believe this. I know it is extremely unusual. The nurses were flabbergasted. He did not pick his chest up. Just his head. Believe me, it actually happened. I should have known then that this was going to be a very social person. I think he was looking to see who was there. He is an exceptionally friendly person and this incident was the first indicator of his delightfully outgoing personality.
At three weeks he picked up his whole chest leaning against his arms and looked out of his cradle. I took a Polaroid picture of this and labeled it with his age because I knew people would think I was remembering it wrong.

Really, after carrying him for nine months I should not have been surprised. He moved constantly. He flipped over every day, many times. At one point late in the pregnancy my doctor said to be sure I felt him move at least 4 times an hour. I thought maybe I had heard wrong. An hour?? I could feel this baby move at least 4 times a minute. I remember thinking if I only felt him move 4 times in a whole hour I would be really worried.

Should there be any surprise that for some time now one of his favorite things to do is swing dance? LOL He's a very active person with a delightful openness and concern for others.

May he continue to grow as the man God created him to be. May the Lord's path be made clear to him and may he walk it in love, strength and courage. May God bless him with all that is good.

My oldest son

Today is my oldest son's birthday. He's 22. It seems impossible that that many years have passed since his birth, but I can do the math. He's a great guy and I'm very proud to be his mother.

So I went on a mother-mission today. I'm defining a mother mission as an event, performance, party, road trip, celebration or any kind of occurrence that stirs within me maternal pride and joy. On such days I usually wear my mother's pendant. It is a silver heart with the birthstones of each of my children attached to it. I wore it today.

Today, together with my three daughters, I went to Indiana to see my oldest and celebrate his birthday. It was a 4 hour trip each way. It was a lot of driving and a lot of fun. We had dinner in a cozy restaurant that had delicious food. My husband and two other sons could not come so our group was incomplete, but still I was filled with sweet contentment to be with my first born on the anniversary of his birth, the day I first became a mother. It was the day my life was forever changed for the better

Sunday, July 16, 2006

How's that for a little exercise.

My sister has just received her black belt in tae kwon do!! How cool is that? May I answer? That is very, very cool. I am so proud of her. She is almost 44 years old, a wife, a mother of two rambunctious boys aged 9 and 11, an artist (pencil and oil portraits), and a stay-at-home mom (You know, she does nothing.)

Mind you, she is not the athlete-type. She does not run 5 miles a day. She does not have a daily workout at the gym. In fact she started taking tae kwon do because her sons were taking it and she thought she could use the exercise. Since she was driving them there anyway.... About halfway through she thought do I really want to keep doing this. But she stuck it out and here she is! What was the hardest part? Memorizing everything--- the forms, the sparring, the self-defense!! Remember I said she was 44. She did this with declining estrogen!!! What an inspiration for us 40 and 5o somethings and beyond. She did it in about two years time. How's that for getting a little exercise!

What about her sons? The nine year old reached black belt a few months ago. The 11 year old is almost there. As my 14 year-old said, "I wouldn't want to try breaking into their house." LOL

Friday, July 14, 2006

Pray against the culture of death

I heard an excellent talk tonight on the culture of life by Dr. Janet Smith. If you ever have an opportunity to hear her, don't pass it up. She is very inspiring and really brings the truth of what's going on in our world into clear focus. Her talks can be purchased through .

How did we get to this point in our society where so many people do not believe in an absolute right and wrong. If there is no truth, then what are we here for? Is there anything important to talk about if there is no truth? Are people who hold this position just shallow non-thinkers? Is it that they can't be honest with themselves? Dr. Smith pointed out that if there is a truth then there are requirements made of us, and those who don't want to acknowledge such requirements will deny that there is a truth. (She said it much better than that.) Hmmm, it would seem that a lot of people are being deceived, then. The Father of lies is clearly active. I'm sure he's laughing his head off at some of the lies he has gotten Americans to believe.

We all need to be out there telling the truth. Some people have never actually heard it. That would be our fault, then, wouldn't it. And we need to pray against the culture of death. The most important thing we can do is pray.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

There's no place like home for a sick child

Elizabeth is finally keeping down some fluids. She threw up all last night. Wow. I don't wake up in the middle of the night quite as easily as I used to. Our neighborhood pool is having a swim-a-thon and she's missing the whole thing. She really wanted to participate. One of life's little disappointments.

It's when my children are sick that I particularly appreciate the great blessing it is to be able to be at home and care for them. This past school year I worked one day a week at my younger children's school. I remember the very frequent occasions when a child would be lying on a cot in the office, usually teary-eyed, while waiting for a parent to be able to come get them. If mom was an at-home mom she would arrive in 10 or 15 minutes. If she worked outside the home it could be hours.

I remember the occasional phone calls made by the receptionist. She would present the case that the child really did need to go home. "Yes, he didn't even want to go to gym...." And one very young child crying and talking to mom "Yes, it really does hurt, Mom!"

Teachers would complain that children were being sent back to school too quickly after an illness. They would send them back down to the office and then the phone calls would begin again. "Yes, he has a fever. Someone needs to come get him."

It was so sad. When Mom can be at home the whole family really does benefit. And when a child is sick there really is no place like home.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Lizzie is sick (sad face-- where are those IM smileys?)

Elizabeth has thrown up twice tonight. This is kind of odd. In July, when the kids are out of school and viruses are not being passed around like candy, my kids do not usually get sick. I hope it's a quick thing. She doesn't seem to have a fever yet, although she is complaining of feeling cold. Lizzie does not like being sick and is pretty expressive about it. Hope she feels better tomorrow.....

She just threw up again. (And yesterday I read in the paper here that the bird flu has been discovered in our area.....OK I'm not going to go there.) She's miserable....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Adults believe 5 year old boy's assertion that he's a girl!

Yesterday, the Miami Herald reported that a little boy in Broward County, Florida will start kindergarten as a girl. The boy had been saying for some time that he was a girl and had been behaving like a girl. So the parents and psychologists involved concluded that he must actually be a girl in a boy's body. This is not a joke. It was actually reported in the Miami Herald.

Now, perhaps there is more to this story than has been reported. Perhaps this really is a psychological or physiological condition. But the story described no more evidence for the adults to arrive at this conclusion than the little boy's assertion and behavior. They're calling it gender dysphoria. OK. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. But may I tell you what I think?

The child is FIVE years old. Yes. The child is FIVE years old!!! I've had quite a bit of experience with five-year olds. They know very, very little. They're adorable. They're wonderful. But their perceptions should not be relied upon for anything. They're not all there yet. That's what makes them so cute and so funny. And they certainly cannot be relied upon to tell you things that defy the realities of the physical world. (Based on the story alone, I am concluding that there is no physical abnormality here.) It would almost be comical if it weren't so sad for the little boy involved. There are the parents looking at their son. "Gee, he looks like a boy. We've always thought he was a boy. But he says he's a girl. Maybe he is a girl and the body he's in is a mistake." Are these parents adults? Do they think he may be right when he says there's a monster under the bed?

Think of the tomboys in previous generations. They just thought they liked to play games with the boys. Today would they be labeled gender dysphoric and told to wear boys clothes? Would school officials be told to treat them as boys?

Sometimes I feel like I'm living on Neptune.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Children need mothers!! Is this a difficult concept??

Years ago when my two oldest children were 2 and 3 years old we went every week to a roller skating rink near our house. Yes, roller skating, not roller blading. They had a program called "kinderskate" for preschoolers and it was a lot of fun. They would tighten the wheels on the little beginners so the skates wouldn't fly out from under them and, week after week, gradually give them a little more roll as the child gained the feel of it. There was a lesson, a snack, a free skate and lots of smiling stay-at- home moms holding hands with their children. We loved it.

Sometimes a mother would come in with a group of her daycare kids. One day, the mother of one of these children dropped by the rink. I presume she must have worked nearby. She stayed for a little while and then started to leave. The child started to cry and call for her. She continued walking in her heels and business suit, not looking back. Now I assume that not looking back must be a technique these mothers use to help the child calm down quicker-- I guess. Anyway, she walked the entire length of the rink with her child sobbing and screaming "Mama!" She never looked back, not even a glance.

I contemplated this situation in disbelief. How could she do that?? Not a wave, not a smile, not a "don't worry--I'll be back to get you." What was this mother thinking? I just couldn't imagine. Perhaps she had detached herself from her child so completely that tears meant nothing. I'm sorry. All I could think was how could a job be that important and how could a mother be so heartless.

Children need their mothers. How have we as a culture come so far from this truth. It seems so obvious to me. We must get back to a realistic understanding of the importance of mothering.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mothering-- There is no greater job!

I remember when my first child was born. I had been a feminist. I thought staying home and caring for one's own children would be demeaning and that there were plenty of quality child care situations out there. Why should mom stay home? If she's an intelligent, capable woman she should be out there using her talents.....and so on.

I took one look at Michael's face and realized it was completely out of the question. There was no way I would leave him in the hands of someone else. Not only that, I realized that the task that lay before me, raising this beautiful human being, loving him, teaching him, mothering him, was the greatest and most monumental responsibility on Earth. I had advanced degrees. I had graduated with high honors from college. I had been an exchange student in France in high school and had studied Japanese in Japan for a year. I was teaching Japanese to Americans and giving talks to business people who would travel to Japan.

I looked at my son and realized that everything else I had ever done in my life was, in comparison, trivial. I was a mother! And my most important work, the greatest work that I could ever do lay before me-- the job of being his mom.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Children want to please...

Went to Lizzie's dive meet tonight. Those little 8 & unders were adorable-- leaning over the board, hesitating, hesitating, you could almost see the trembling. What courageous little people. Every time Liz looked up at the stands she waved and waved and flashed that beautiful big smile at her dad and me. The little ones are so open, so transparent in expressing their desires to please their parents.

As they grow older and gradually gain more independence the expression becomes, appropriately, more reserved. But the desire to please is still there. The shifting relationship as time passes is tricky. With prayer and grace I try to still convey love and respect to all my children even when, and especially when, they are at an age where they are disinclined to display their desire for it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What is Really Important

Tonight I took my three youngest children and our little dog Lucky to a local nature area for a walk. It was a beautiful day-- cool, clear sky, and we stopped and bought some ice cream on the way home.

Back home, however, the slowcooker was still soaking in the sink from dinner, as was the rice cooker and a few other odds and ends. At first I was going to leave them until tomorrow but I thought of what an ugly sight they would be in the morning.... and then I remembered Linda.

Linda was my sister-in-law, my brother's wife and one of my best friends. She passed away five years ago from breast cancer leaving my brother and two small children. She had fought back the cancer since the birth of her youngest child with varying degrees of success. For a while she was completely bedridden, the cancer was so agressively attacking the bones in her leg. Then she had some surgery and radiation and she was enabled to walk again!!! It was so wonderful to see her on her feet again. I called her in those first few weeks of regaining her mobility and asked what she was doing. She said, "I'm wiping my kitchen counter so it will be clean for my family and it's filling me with such joy that I have tears in my eyes."

Yeah... I washed the slowcooker and the ricemaker, put them away, and shined the sink. I made it look nice for my family...... And may I never forget what a privelege it is to be able to do so.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Mother's Most Important Work

Babies do not want to be away from their mothers and they make that abundantly clear. They cry for what they need and they cry for Mama when she leaves. It is a mother's responsibility to meet her baby's needs. If Mom must leave to work to supply the baby's need for food and shelter that is one thing. It is quite another for mom to leave an infant all day long every day, simply because there's something else she'd rather be doing than caring for her baby. Babies need mothers. Yes, caring for her baby is a mother's most important work. It may not be her only work. But it is her most important.

Monday, July 03, 2006

People are (dare I say it?) different from dogs!!

I just read in the newspaper that 14 people in Pennsylvania are wearing dog collars and chaining themselves to doghouses in order to draw attention to the plight of dogs that spend much of their time chained up or in pens...... uh, am I missing something here? Don't get me wrong. I love dogs. I have a dog and we take her for walks and let her run in our fenced backyard. In fact, she's sitting at my feet right now.

Of all the injustices in the world does this one really merit chaining up human beings to doghouses for 2 weeks?? What exactly will this demonstration prove??? Perhaps someone will say, "Gee, I never realized there were dogs that spent some time on chains." I don't think so.

OK. It will be extremely difficult for these human beings to stay chained up for 2 weeks. Will their experience show us what it's like for the dogs? Come on!! Dare I say it? Humans are a lot different from dogs! In fact, (gasp!) let me go further. Humans are a lot smarter than dogs. They are a lot more insightful. They actually have an intellect and needs so complex that a dog, in comparison, could actually be called an animal. (smile)

Why should 14 human beings suffer this indognity (whoops. that was an actual mistake, LOL) this indignity. It certainly seems pointless to me.

Being an American

The fireworks were wonderful last night. What fun waiting just until twilight and anticipating that first slight whistling sound as the first rocket goes up. The colors were beautiful and there was a style I hadn't seen before-- very waterfall like. Loved it.

But we must remember what this celebration is all about. What a blessing to live in a country where everyone acnowledges the importance of freedom. It is no small thing to be able to speak one's mind without a thought of retribution. We can worship where, when, and as we please. We live as we choose, move as we choose, and express ourselves as we choose because we, as a people, honor the autonomy of the individual. We understand what it means to be a human being and the respect to which all are entitled. And on the fourth of July we celebrate that we are citizens of a country where we all recognize that these are rights to be fiercely defended. What a blessing to be an American

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mother of Six??? (Yes, and loving it!!!)

I am the 25 year wife of Michael and mother of six, yes, six children and, yes, I am a joyful mom at home. I have spent the last 21 and a half years as the primary caregiver of my children and they have been the best years of my life. I am the proud mother of
Michael-- philosophy major at Notre Dame, fabulous actor, swing dancer, singer, and all around nice guy...
Anne-- nursing student at Madonna University whose beauty and excellent taste are only exceeded by her kind heart....
John-- a senior in high school with extraordinary musical talent, an astonishing ability in mathematics, winning smile, and a gentle spirit....
Jim-- freshman in high school who would do anything for anybody, talented all around athlete and guitarist, one of those rare teenagers who truly can focus on others besides himself...
Mary-- sweet Mary, sixth grader (can it be true?),fun- loving exuberant, with a quiet compassion for others... She once donated her lovely long blonde hair to "Locks of Love"....
Elizabeth--- with the million dollar smile, a fifth grader (no way!), aspiring cellist, and one delightful, strong-minded little girl who, in her own words, "is not afraid of anything!"

I look back on the last two decades with sweet contentment that I didn't miss a moment in the awesome adventure of watching and guiding the development of six uniquely gifted and beautiful human beings.