Saturday, November 29, 2008

Prayers for the Faithful Departed

Owen has started a site called A Month for the Souls in Purgatory 2008. He and his family will be praying for all the souls in purgatory who are listed in the comment section of his post. Here are Owen's instructions.

"WELCOME! Add your loved one...

Beginning November 25th my family and I are praying through the Month for the Souls in Purgatory from November 25th to December 25th 2008.  This is my third year practicing this devotion while three of my family members joined me during 2007 and again this year.

We would be most pleased and grateful to add any of your deceased Christian loved ones to our list of souls being prayed for.  Our family is offering Masses during these thirty days leading up to Christmas Day, known as the day when our Holy Mother, through her faithful prayers, sees many souls released from Purgatory to enter the gates of heaven.."

I've added my loved ones for whom I would like prayer. Perhaps you will want to do the same. Lord have mercy on all our faithful departed....

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!! (A day late)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

OK.  So I'm a day late.  But yesterday was WAY too busy to get a post written.  And any day is appropriate for giving thanks, right?

This what our table looked like before it was buried in food. :-)  I used my mother's china, which I love.  And a combination of my mother's and grandmother's crystal.  We had water glasses and wine glasses with sparkling fruit juices, which my kids love.  No alcohol.  I was so pleased that Mary (13 yo) wanted to use the crystal.  I thought the fact that it has to be hand washed would be a disincentive, but she likes nice things and appreciates family history, as do I.

     The table is too long for a table cloth, although I should make one sometime.  I know it would be easy.  But the length keeps changing depending on the number of guests.  It's an Amish table.  It has 11 leaves, each about a foot in length.  We don't have room to extend it all the way, but we have had about 18 people at it at one time.  Love this table.  They're available at, a business owned by a good Catholic family who are friends of ours.

So.... Here are some of the things I am thankful for:

The Eucharist! And all the graces and blessings I have received from my faith!

My family, my husband and every one of my six children!

My friends, both in the flesh and my e-friends!

My country and all the blessings of being an American-- freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and all the countless ways the Lord has blessed this land.

The rosary and all the ways my family has been blessed through saying it together.

Blogging!  And all the ways my life has been enriched through it.

That my family has never been without food, shelter, and all of our basic needs.

For Catholic education and the fact that my children have been able to attend Catholic schools.

For this laptop I'm typing on and all the fun I have had with it.

For the good health of my family.

That my adult children are all still living their faith!

For my pastor Father Ed Fride and all the ways our family has been blessed by his shepherding!

For the incredible beauty of creation which is mine to enjoy every day!

For my life!!!  That the Lord created me and all those I love and that right now I have another day to live as His servant.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers

This Week:  Down 1 pound

Overall:  Down 10 pounds

I was absolutely astonished at the numbers this week.  I have NOT been good.  I had all but written the post in my head about how I was not going to report numbers this week because it was too painful.  I had expected to have gained a couple pounds.  But I lost one!!!  (Maybe it will catch up to me tomorrow-- especially given that it will be Thanksgiving!!)

The cookies pictured below were part of the problem.  I love those things!!! And my son came home with this plate of them from someone.  I knew it was trouble as soon as he put it on the counter.  I think I ate five of them!

Then I realized I had to put a little more distance between me and them.  So here they are under Ziplock and key.  Teehee.  It does actually help me to have to take even a nanosecond more time to get to them.  Just sitting there peeking out from under the foil was just not good enough.  Now when I also put them out of sight in the cupboard you'll know I'm actually serious about not eating any more :-)

Anyway, I'm grateful that the scale actually showed one pound loss today.   (Maybe the scale isn't working?!?!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the Christmas Countdown....

She really wanted it.  She saw it in an advertising flier.  My youngest thought this was just the neatest Christmas decoration you could possibly have.  

I could imagine the delight on the face of my nephews as they saw this "countdown."  I knew my godson would be quite obsessed with it and would run back and forth to update us on "the countdown."

I also knew it was a completely frivolous expense, devoid of the real meaning of Christmas.

But my youngest liked it so much.  And she has had some challenges this year.....

I told her it was an unnecessary expense.  It wasn't cheap.  I told her it was my decision and that she should not continue to ask me for it.  She said, "OK," with a sad look.  Then I said.....

"Now put it in the cart!"  The look on her face was priceless.

So now I have this thing and it is indeed counting down.  Turns out only my youngest likes it. The other kids think it's tacky and can't believe I would put this in our front yard.

I guess it is tacky.  But then aren't most Christmas decorations tacky?  I mean even the outdoor Nativity Scenes (of which we have one) are not exactly works of art, are they?  Isn't decorating for Christmas supposed to be a little tinsely?  Isn't putting multi-colored lights all over your house a little tacky?

Will it drive my neighbors nuts?  (It might drive me nuts with the constant reminder that the clock is ticking!!)

What do you think?  Too tacky?  (You can be honest.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Family Moment Monday-- good intentions

I am participating in Family Moment Monday hosted by Motherhood for Dummies.

Do you remember holding that baby for the very first time and thinking how you never wanted so badly to do this job perfectly and also realizing that you were completely inadequate?   Parenting is co complex and even getting advice from experienced parents has to be seen through the lens of your own family and your own unique children.  It's really tough. 

Only God the Father himself can do the job perfectly and his first two children messed up!

That free will thing is scary.  Scary for my own life and scary for the people I love.

I'm not hinting that my kids have messed up.  Actually, my kids are doing great and I couldn't be more pleased and actually shocked that even with a mother like me, they're (so far) all turning out just fine.

It must be the prayer.  

Oh Lord, please bless my children and all the children of people who read this blog and all the children who are loved by people who read this blog.  In spite of all the weaknesses, sins, and just plain stupid decisions that I and all parents make, please raise these children to be your good and faithful servants.

My pastor gave me some very comforting advice (in Confession) yesterday.  He said that the old saying that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions is actually not true.  He said the opposite is actually true.  The road to HEAVEN is paved with good intentions.  God looks at our intentions.

Isn't that comforting?  We don't need to be perfect parents.  We just need to try.  God is merciful.

God bless.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Man, today was a busy day.

Took the girls to school.  Then rushed to get ready to go to Mass at Jim's high school where the juniors' rings would be blessed.

Then left to go directly to the inauguration of the new president of Eastern Michigan University during which my son played a Chopin etude as a "Celebration of Student Excellence."  He did an awesome job and we were so proud of him.  Hope to link to some videos of it soon.  I tried to take my own video but halfway through his introduction by the new president my memory card filled up!  Oh well.  There were a lot of other video cameras going.

Then we went to a luncheon reception.

Then home to prepare dinner for John's piano professor who came over tonight.

It was one busy, full day.  I plan to sleep well and write more tomorrow.

Night all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers

This Week:  No Change

Overall:  9 pounds

There was a Sanders Bumpy Tea Cake in the house this week.  What can I say?

I went back to Weight Watchers yesterday.  I think I need more support to really get down another 5-10 pounds.  Plus with the holidays coming....definitely need more support.

And WW is so good.  I will eat better if I'm attentive to the WW guidelines on fats, fiber, etc. It really is a healthier way to eat.  So healthy, in fact, that I have rarely ever followed all the rules. 

But, I'm going to give it another try.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cool Blog Award!

Jean from Catholic Fire has kindly given me this Butterfly Award.  I am so honored.  Thank you, Jean!!

I must say first off that if Jean had not been the one to award this to me, her blog would definitely be on my list of cool blogs.  It is a very informative blog, full of great Catholic and prolife info as well as political commentary from a Catholic perspective.  I highly recommend you check it out.

The rules for this award are:

1.  Pick ten people and pass this award to them.
2. Then contact them and let them know that you have chosen them and their blog for the award.
3.  Also link back to the person who gave you the award.

I must tell you that many of the other blogs Jean chose would also have been choices of mine.So I must first list the following three blogs which have already received this award from Jean, but would definitely be on my list of ten.

Deb from UKOK's Place

Barb from SFO Mom

And then I also give the following blogs the Butterfly Award:
   (My apologies if you have already received it.  I haven't been able to blog much lately:-)

Alexis at Love Life

Mary Poppins Not at Crazy Acres

 Kitchen Madonna (inactive at the moment but back soon, we hope)

Sarah at Ora et Labora

Even under the snow!!!

I realize some of you are probably getting tired of hearing about resilient flowers.  These are right along my front walk so I see them all the time.  I can't help but be amazed that they are not only still alive but still blooming.

And these are even blooming UNDER THE SNOW!!!  It's 32 degrees out and they are still blooming!!!  Glory to God!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Survivors

We are expected to get three inches of snow this weekend.  Right now it's just a grey, chilly rain.

We've already had a few frosts.

And look what's still blooming in my garden!!!!!  These flowers all reseeded themselves from last year so I guess they've already demonstrated their hardiness.  Still, I'm impressed.  They're blooming, for heaven's sakes!  And it's mid November in Michigan!!

This flower I posted about once before because, incredibly, it sprouted from between a rock and the foundation of our porch.  And now, in this cold weather, it's STILL blooming and even has a number of buds.  This is my super-flower.

It is literally between concrete and a rock.  There can't be more than a half inch or so of soil in there.  Still, it blooms. 

Perhaps the life lesson is:  Those determined to survive, will.

Blessed be God!!

Scenes from yesterday's birthday...

Do you remember when you were younger how the older people would talk of how fast time flies and you would think,"Yeah.  Well, that's because a lot of years HAVE gone by.  Look how old you are!"

Well, I guess I've arrived.

How could she possibly be twenty-three??!!?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Anne!!!

Happy Birthday to my oldest daughter Anne!!!

I am tempted to use a pet name for her but I will not.

Anne is a wonderful daughter.  We are so proud of her.  She's an accomplished RN.  She loves the Lord and lives her Catholic faith.  She is a great role model for her younger sisters and she is so sweet to them.  She also has great taste and we all ask her opinion on clothes.

Anne is very compassionate and she has a tender heart-- great qualities for a nurse!!  She is sensitive and gentle.

What a blessing she is to our family.  I am so honored to be her mother.  God is good.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers

This Week:  Down 1 pound

Overall:   Down 9 pounds

All the good Halloween candy is gone.  Thank heavens.  While I know it is good that I am back to losing I am still not where I was a month ago, which was down ten pounds.  I really need to find the time  get back to Weight Watchers.  Posting my numbers every week is a big help but I think I may need a little more, especially with the holidays coming up.

Still, I'm smiling to be down a pound.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Halloween Pictures... a little late

I know, I know.  Halloween was two weeks ago.  But I couldn't resist sharing these pictures.

With all the tension of the election, I just couldn't write about anything else for a few days there.

We always have fun on Halloween.  We live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids and the whole evening is filled with strong community feelings as we meet people we know, and the elderly are so happy to see kids come to their doors.

Anne and Zach came over to help.  We had one original jack-0-lantern design and one painstakingly done black cat from a pattern.
Liz was Minnie Mouse and Mary was a Cheezit box.  Mary and her dad always come up with an original costume like this--- but always with the same box.  First she was a Maytag dryer, then a Tic Tac box, then a juice box, and finally this Cheezit box.
Complete with nutrition facts on the side and advertising slogan on the back.  It was too cute.  (And as you know, I LOVE Cheezits!!)

An adult passed us while we were trick-or-treating and exclaimed, "Wow!  Cheezits!"  I hollered back, "Get your own box!" and we all laughed.

Hope you all had fun too!!

Friday, November 07, 2008


I'm so weary.  Last night I was up until 1:30.

I think I am still feeling the emotional weariness of the blow from Tuesday's election.

Obama's appointments thus far are only increasing my concerns for our country, even above and beyond the fate of the unborn for which this election was an unmitigated disaster.

The arguments that there are other "life issues" to consider, that the economy is more important than the sanctity of human life (like anyone could actually think that Obama will improve the economy-- look what the market has done since the election), that abortions will continue anyway, are just emotionally exhausting to read and hear.  But...

The battle belongs to the Lord.  Though he slay me, yet will I praise him!!!!

I am praying for the conversion and protection of President-elect Obama and his family.  May the Holy spirit speak to him and may he respond.  And may St. Michael protect him.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Catholic Scripture Study

I'm still numb over the election.

But I had an encouraging experience today. I went to my weekly women's Bible Study . It is part of an international organization called Catholic Scripture Study. Women from all around come to this study. There are a number of Catholic parishes represented and many of them I know nothing about. Since, shamefully, the majority of Catholics voted for Obama I expected there would be a variety of opinions about the election.

There were not. It appeared the EVERYONE was devastated by the election. They all talked openly about it as though it went without saying that we would all have voted pro-life. It was so refreshing. No rationalizations about there being lots of issues to consider. (THERE IS NO ISSUE THAT TRUMPS THE TAKING OF HUMAN LIFE. IT IS UNEQUIVOCALLY AND GRAVELY IMMORAL. THE PRO-LIFE ISSUE IS THE FOUNDATIONAL ISSUE.) In this group of women this fundamental issue was understood to be a given.

I felt the unity of faithful Catholics. It was quite consoling. I think we helped to fill each other with hope. Ironically, (providentially) the speaker for today had previously been scheduled to speak about hope. It was so appropriate and so clearly God's plan for us to hear that talk today.

Our God reigns!!!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers:

This Week:  Up 1/2 pound

Overall:  Down 8 and a half pounds

Why did I gain a half pound this week?  Cheezits and Halloween candy.  That's it.

But to tell you the truth, I can scarcely think of anything but the abandonment of the unborn in yesterday's election by everyone who voted for Obama.  That so many voted for him who still claim to be pro-life is astonishing to me.

We have no idea who Obama is besides a far left liberal with no respect for human life.  May God speak to his heart and may he experience conversion.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008





This is the only poll that counts!!!!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Obama-Do you REALLY want this man to be president?

Change you can believe in...

Have you Obama supporters thought about what on Earth that means?

Change, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad.  Obviously, it depends on what the change is.

Do you know what Obama really stands for?

Does it bother you that his campaign slogan is meaningless?

It bothers me.  Nearly everything he says on the campaign trail is vague and just feel-good empty rhetoric.

Have you wondered why early in his political life he held a campaign event in the living room of unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers?  Would you do anything with a man who had bombed the Pentagon and does not regret it?  Do you want a President who was willing to do that?

Do you want a President that thinks it's all right to leave in the trash a baby who has survived an abortion?  Do you?

You Catholics, if you believe that an unborn baby is a human being, have you considered that if vote for Obama you might bear some responsibility for the unborn lives who will be lost?  My pastor believes you may.

Obama is a far left radical candidate with a profound disrespect for human life.  

Who do you really want for President?  If you don't want to vote for McCain, at least stay home!!!