Friday, September 28, 2007

A mom's job

My daughter is home sick today. What a blessing to be able to be here with her to see to her needs and to comfort her. How sad for a child to know that Mom is inconvenienced by her illness, that her work suffers, that plans must be rearranged etc. In my opinion, it is a mother's job to care for her children, especially when they need extra attention. It is the nature of a child to desire this care. Thanks be to God that I can be home with my daughter.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dyslexia as a Gift

Dyslexic people are visual, intuitive, highly creative, multi-dimensional thinkers.
Guess what the following list of people all have in common.

Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Agatha Christie, Hans Christian Anderson, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Louis Pasteur, Leonardo DaVinci, Michaelangelo, Julius Caesar, Walt Disney, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Orlando Bloom, Winston Churchhill, Benjamin Franklin, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Beethoven, Mozart, General George Patton

According to Bright Solutions ( all of the above people had ADHD, dyslexia, or both. And to think there are still people who think that dyslexics are stupid or just need to work harder. I'd say the above list is evidence to the contrary.

Monday, September 24, 2007


"The greatest weakness of all is the great fear of appearing weak, LD / Dyslexics face their fears everyday in school, thus are some of the fearless people I know. "
Girard Sagmiller

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Man's Best Friend

I think one of the sweetest things about dogs is their devotion to the people they love. A week or so ago, my daughter was sick to her stomach and sitting on a stool in front of the toilet trying to throw up. This little canine she adores came up behind her, and with front paws on the stool reached up and rested her head gently on my daughter's shoulder. It was so cute. One of those moments where you know the dog is just trying to convey the sentiment 'I know there's something wrong and I'm right here.' Don't those moments just endear you to your dog?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Rich!

Happy Birthday (yesterday) to my brother Rich. Does he get the uncle of the year award? On his birthday he drove two hours to come see his nephew Jim play in their toughest football game of the year. He got to see Jim score a touchdown!!
My brother is so funny. He sat down and proceeded to tell all the parents around him that he was a scout for Notre Dame, that he had come hoping to recruit Jim Bogdan. Lots of laughs. Did he sit quietly through the whole game? No. He screamed right along with me for every kid whose name he could remember. He even yelled at the refs and told them why their call against our team was wrong. (oh dear.)
And he knows everything about football. Every flag on a play was immediately identified by him and he told me exactly what the call was going to be. Dads sitting around us would turn around, smile, and nod. He would also strategize and discuss the psychological aspects of the game and the ramifications of each play. It was fun. I learned a lot!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICH! It's fun having you for my brother!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Go Irish!!!!!!

Go Irish!!!!!!!!!

As a graduate of Michigan and a member of the Notre Dame family (since my son is a domer), I can't lose today. One of these teams is finally GOING to win. But my allegiance is to Notre Dame because of maternal pride and my sincere belief that Notre Dame is Our Lady's school. (Although I realize that there are those with limited information who think otherwise.)

As I sit here yawning....

I started to write this as a comment after my last post but decided I should just post it.

I should add that I always say the rosary when I can't sleep. Always. I don't even get in bed if there isn't one under my pillow. I go to sleep saying the rosary (unless I'm really tired and go out as soon as I hit the pillow.) And if I wake up I go on with the rosary, unless I can't remember where I was and then I just start again. I try to look at the inability to sleep as an opportunity that God may be very intentionally giving me to pray. Sometimes random people came to mind and I pray for them. Once I found out later that the person who had come to mind was someone who was having a very difficult time and needed prayer. I took that as a confirmation that sometimes I'm awake because God wants me to pray. That really improved my attitude. I reminded myself that others are tortured for their faith. I'm asked to give up a little sleep. Who wouldn't be willing to give up a little sleep for the Lord.

(I should confess that I'm sitting here yawning having been awake for a lot of the last few hours and I'm not in bed saying my rosary. I came down to check an online football practice schedule so I'd know what time I HAD to be up) Course, I had to check my blog while I'm here :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Sleepy Mom

I must confess that for many years when I had trouble sleeping I would watch the clock. I would calculate how many hours of sleep I would get if I fell asleep right then. Then I would bemoan how tired I was going to be and set myself up for the self-pity of the next day.

It was only with age that I realized how unhelpful this pattern was. It didn't matter how much sleep I had gotten. I would still need to perform the duties of the day. I can do it totally exhausted. We all have. Doing it totally exhausted while also feeling sorry for myself is a lot worse than just getting the job done. Now I try not to see the clock if I know I will not be getting enough sleep. I avoid looking at it. It's better that I not know. The day ahead is the day ahead and I will live it the best I can regardless of how I feel. No need to fuel the pity-party.

Ironically, since I stopped looking at the clock, I fall asleep and get back to sleep much more easily. I think it is because I have accepted that it's all right if I face the day really tired. Nothing will happen. And so lack of sleep no longer causes the anxiety that can actually keep me awake. Acceptance and surrender....those recurring themes in my life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Catholic" politicians

Michael Kinsley in the September 17 issue of Time magazine wrote a commentary called "God as Their Running Mate." It was primarily about Mitt Romney and secular fears about his faith. It does not appear that Kinsley himself is a believer. What I found interesting was this first paragraph where he addresses the issue of so-called Catholic politicians who are pro abortion. He writes:

"Mitt Romney wants the J.F.K. deal with voters: If you don't hold my religion against me, I won't impose my religion on you. But that deal made little sense in 1960 and makes no sense today. Kennedy said, "I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair." But the Roman Catholic Church holds that abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being. Catholic liberal politicians since Mario Cuomo have said they personally accept the doctrine of their church but nevertheless believe in a woman's right to choose. This is silly. There is no right to choose murder. Either these politicians are lying to their church, or they are lying to us."

This from the secular press!!! For once they got it right. The inconsistency is glaring and I credit Michael Kinsley with being intellectually honest enough to see and tell it like it is.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Will Jim play? Prayer Request

Will Jim play football today? On Friday he strained his knee. By the time he got home it was just a slight limp. The doctor has looked at it. Nothing is torn, nothing broken. He was told to rest, elevate it, ice it, compression bandage, motrin, etc. The doc said if he feels up to playing on Monday he can play. He said only he can tell if he's ready to play because only he can really know how it feels. He took good care of it this weekend. He was really good because he so badly wants to play. He even stayed off it most of the time.

OK. Here's my prayer. May the Lord protect his knee. If he can play safely, may he be able to play. If he does play may he be protected from further injury to this vulnerable spot. May the Lord give him wisdom about what is the right thing to do. (I told him to not be a hero. If he plays and gets hurt worse he's not doing his team any favor. I also warned about long term consequences of an injury. He agreed) Oh Lord, may he play only if he can do so safely....

Friday, September 07, 2007

The New Mommy Track

Last week U. S. News and World Report ran an article on "The New Mommy Track." It was about companies allowing their employees to work flextime, allowing moms to to be home more with their children. I think allowing mothers to be home more with their children is a great idea.

They told of a lawyer who can now eat breakfast with her family (because she got up at 5:00 and worked for two hours before the kids got up) and she can be home in time to make dinner. This is wonderful? How much was she seeing her children before?!? Showing up for breakfast and dinner? This is the mommy track? Who's taking care of the kids between breakfast and dinner? Does anybody care? Is it insignificant who takes care of the kids for the majority of the day? Mothering is important!! How can people have so little regard for children?

I just don't understand this mentality. This woman's children were 2 years old and an infant. Where did our society get the idea that caring for one's own children was somehow menial and/or meaningless work. It is a mother's greatest work.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Bishop's Mass

Our bishop came to my son's high school today to celebrate Mass. He does so once a year. Concelebrating were several area priests. I thought what a blessing it is to have a good bishop who loves the Lord and is faithful to the teachings of the church. It is good of him to come to our children every year like this. Because the high school is a diocesan high school he usually uses his authority to pronounce they should have a day off-- which the principal schedules to the delight of the students.

And then there was my own pastor, Father Ed Fride, whose example as a courageous and holy priest has led numerous men from our parish into the priesthood. When Father Ed preaches he speaks the truth whether it be on the love of God or on Catholic moral teaching, in even the most controversial areas.

And Father Fortunato was there. I have worked with Father Fortunato for several years now. He is a priest full of love-- love for God, love for the Church, and love for children. He is the chaplain of my youngest children's school. What an immense blessing it is to have him for a chaplain.

With all the criticism of priests these days I so enjoyed seeing so many members of the clergy who really love God and love the church-- priests who are faithful and true shepherds. Thanks be to God. There are many such priests.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

When the pool is empty summer is over.

Here was the pool yesterday, everyone having fun in the "whirlpool." Today the water was gone. It was still hot out. We still wanted to swim. But school starts tomorrow. the summer is done. It's a little sad but Fall here in Michigan is also very beautiful and most certainly has its own charm. I actually very much enjoy the change of season. Believe it or not, there is one tree down the street that has several leaves that are starting to turn already. It won't be long now. To everything there is a season....

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day

How on earth did it get to be Labor Day so soon. Oh no. The summer is officially over.
Our neighborhood pool had the closing day barbecue and potluck, and the traditional "whirlpool." They pull the plug on the pool and the kids all swim in a circle around the perimeter trying to get a current going. And they really DO get a current going. Then when it seems almost impossible to swim the other way. the lifeguard blows the whistle and they have to reverse. The kids love this ritual that happens every year here. But it is always bittersweet because it marks the end of summer. Perhaps tomorrow I can post pictures. I hope you all had a relaxing Labor Day. (It's a national holiday, UKOK :-)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Enjoying the public parks

Tonight we went on a family outing with my three youngest. We went to a nearby county park that offers these little exercise stations along a hiking path.

It got dark rather quickly, although not as dark as it appears in this picture. This was a wooded section.

There were benches along the way. This is my youngest with her dog.

....And home again.....

We have tried to get out more to our local parks and nature areas, even for short visits. They are so lovely. Our tax dollars pay for them. We might as well enjoy them. And it makes for some really fun family time. We took a frisbee with us, ran ahead with the dog, talked, laughed, took pictures, you know... a quiet relaxing time. And it cost us nothing except for a few bucks at the Dairy Queen on the way home. Fun.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Was I proud of this guy?

Here is my son Jim, number 23, coming off the football field after his first game this year. Last year he had very little playing time. Maybe some of you remember my post when I was so excited about his having scored a touchdown with a seventy yard run, one of the few times he was actually put in and given the ball.

Well.... he played almost the entire game today!! And boy did he play! He had numerous tackles, blocked a pass, intercepted the ball, had a number of great runs, and even received a pass and ran for a touchdown!!! Seeing my son who has worked so hard on his football skills and had so little playing time last year have a game like this just made my heart proud. I think it was the most exciting football game of my life. (I'm not a big football fan in general, but watching Jim succeed like this was just awesome.) I made a total fool of myself screaming.

OK, I'm sure he'll say I should add that he also fumbled twice when he himself recovered the ball and once when a teammate recovered it. I say, so what? No harm done.

He just had an unbelievable first game. You can see from the smile on his face that he had a lot of fun out there. I can't wait till the next game. And Lord, please keep him safe. Please protect him and his teammates from injury, and may they play for Your glory.

(Thanks for letting me brag....:-)