Saturday, January 30, 2010

Prayer Request

Please pray for Mitch, my brother's father-in-law. He has pneumonia, has been hospitalized, and is now on a ventilator because he is unable to breathe on his own.

Mitch is a kind and gentle man, a very hard worker. I don't know what my brother would have done when he lost his sweet wife Linda if it had not been for the support of Mitch, Linda's father and Bea, her mother.

Please pray for Mitch's recovery, according to the Lord's will, and for peace and comfort for all those who love him, especially my niece and nephew who love their Grandpa so much.

Thank you!!

Tim Tebow Superbowl Ad

I find the controversy over the airing of Focus on the Family's pro-life ad featuring Tim Tebow and his mother very interesting.

I find myself asking what exactly is the objection? Here is a woman explaining how she chose life for her baby in spite of having been advised to abort. Isn't choice what the pro-abortion folks say it's all about?

I think what bothers them is that Tim Tebow will be standing there with his mother. Tim is the former fetus!! Now he is the Heisman Trophy winning Christian quarterback for the Florida Gators. There he will stand-- a real live human being, while his mother talks of the recommendation made to her that he be aborted.

I think the complainers are outraged that the connection will be made that an abortion ends a life-- a human life, and that every abortion that is not done results in a human being who will make a contribution to the world. In the case of Tim Tebow, the contribution is that of an outstanding athlete contributing to the world of football-- no small contribution in the eyes of the millions of football loving viewers of the Superbowl.

The ad, I imagine, will also bring to mind the idea that in the question of whether to abort or keep a baby there might actually be one choice that is better than the other. If one choice is better, obviously the one that gives the baby life, the suggestion remains on the table that maybe the question of abortion is actually a moral question. Maybe there is a right and a wrong choice. Maybe abortion is the wrong choice. Maybe it isn't just a matter of what the woman decides. Maybe one decision is better than the other. Maybe there IS a right and a wrong here. Maybe a woman who aborts her baby has done something wrong. Maybe a country such as ours that allows the killing of unborn children is guilty of denying a fundamental right to utterly innocent human beings.

I think the feminist pro-aborts are afraid that women who have had abortions will see this ad and it will cause them pain. Some of the pain will be feelings of guilt, shame, and regret. Such feelings could change the public discussion of abortion. It could encourage people to decide that abortion is indeed wrong and that we should rethink the issue.

I applaud Tim Tebow, his mother, and Focus on the Family for having the courage to do this and I look forward to seeing the ad. It will only be speaking the truth about one woman, her baby, (now the football star) and the choice she made for life. I say let the opponents shriek. I'm sure it will be a beautiful celebration of life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

President Obama's State of the Union address

Any thoughts on Obama's speech last night? (Did anybody see his speech last night? Anybody care about it?)

I was not impressed with the President's speech. I found it uninspiring and sometimes even irritating.

His chiding of the republicans for only saying no, implying that they were not being bi-partisan had to have some members of congress grinding their teeth. Only saying no? Not offering bi-partisan cooperation? This from the party that has systematically excluded all republicans from the negotiating process for the health care reform bill. They were not even allowed in the room!!! What unbelievable gall for the president to imply that it was the fault of the republican party that an agreement could not be reached. It also implies the lie that the democrats keep repeating-- that the republicans have no ideas for health care reform. They have plenty of ideas. It's just that the democrats will not listen to what they have to say nor even allow them to join the discussion table. Fortunately, this arrogance has now backfired on them.

I also thought it quite inappropriate for the President to publicly criticize a ruling of the Supreme Court, especially in a State of the Union address. Juan Williams on Fox News noted this saying that he was concerned about the separation of powers and the possibility of the executive branch exercising pressure on the court. I don't think I've ever heard a President publicly criticize a recent court decision in the presence of the judges. It kind of smacked of more power grabbing to me.

How about the tone of the speech? Obama seemed smug to me. (as in Merriam Webster's third definition for the word-- "highly self-satisfied." ) I acknowledge that appearances can be deceiving and that may not be what is in his heart.

Any thoughts?

More March and Washington pictures

Mary, Anne, Liz, and Jim in front of the White House...

And on the steps of the Supreme Court. May the Lord guide those justices!

The Capital...On the back of my sign I added the words, "Obama, Reid, Pelosi, can you hear us now?"

Hundreds of thousands of people crying out for the unborn. And yet the powers that be still don't seem to get it. I do, however, think that the tide may be starting to turn.
May the Lord have mercy on our country.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pictures of the March

We awoke on the morning of the March to pouring rain. A steady downpour. Hourly weather predictions showed rain all day long, possibly changing to freezing rain or snow. chance of precipitation? 90%. We were prepared. We had hand and foot warmers, umbrellas, and our warmest coats, scarves, and gloves.

As we left my friend Nan's home to drive to the metro the rain was changing to sleet and ice.

When we emerged from the Metro there was nothing coming down. It had stopped completely. AND it did not start again for the entire March. In fact, it felt rather warm, I thought. I never used the hand and foot warmers. I didn't even wear my mittens at all for the first few hours.

I felt very strongly that God was blessing the March. It almost seemed miraculous.

Below is pictured a group of people carrying a giant rosary, maybe 20 feet long or more? Definitely the longest rosary I've ever seen in my life. Maybe people marching were saying the rosary.

Below are the signs my daughter Anne and I made.
More on the March and our trip tomorrow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Well, we made it. Headache taken care of and after three hours or so of driving in the freezing rain we have arrived at my dear friend Nan's home. And she had a hot pan of zucchini lasagna waiting for us! Delicious.

Now I'm just trying to wind down before I sleep.

The trip, in spite of the treacherous driving conditions, was surprisingly peaceful.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This morning I have woken up with a splitting headache. The pain was so great that going over speedbumps while driving my daughter to school brought tears to my eyes. I hope I will still be able to leave for the March. Definitely will not be able to finish the running around I was hoping to be able to do this morning.

Strong coffee and three motrin seem to be helping.....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Preparing for the March

March for Life-- Anybody going?

(last year's march)

We are in full swing now getting ready to leave tomorrow for the March in Washington. This year all my girls will come as well as my youngest son (Jim, Suzanne).

I'd love to meet anybody from the blogosphere who's going to attend. If I've "known" you for a while we can exchange cell numbers if you email me.

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Denise from Catholic Matriarch in my Domestic Church. she is just as interesting in person as she is on her blog.

Tonight Anne (oldest daughter) is coming over to make signs. I'll pick the kids up from school about noon (right after Jim and Mary's finals) and we'll leave for the nine hour trip from there. This year we made an appointment to meet with a staff member at our legislator's office. Liz's classic question--- "You're not going to yell at him, are you, Mom??!" I assured her I would not and that I would be very respectful. (We have a very pro-abortion congressman.) Let's hope I keep my promise. Ha!

May God bless the March for Life. Safe travels for everybody. And may he also bless the thousands of other local events all over the country. We can pray wherever we are. I ask a special blessing on the 24 hour prayer vigil at our local Planned Parenthood. We have always participated in that rosary vigil until last year when we first went to the March. God bless Ann C. for organizing it every year.

May the Lord have mercy on our country.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Father's Birthday

Today would have been my father's birthday. The above photo is one of my favorites. It's taken in Northern Michigan where my father vacationed with us for many years. He was always so happy up there.

What do I most appreciate about my father?

My father was calm and steady, very reliable except in the area of punctuality, although he could be on time if the situation required it. He was very devoted to his family, always there for us. Both he and my mother never missed an event that was important to us kids. We knew he loved us. And we knew he loved our mother. She was in a nursing home with Alzheimer's for over ten years and my father visited her every day. When she could no longer feed herself which was pretty early on, he would feed her one meal, every day. For ten years. Yeah. That's commitment.

He loved his grandkids and he showed it. I think there was nothing he enjoyed more than listening to John play the piano. He could listen for hours. When we were up north and a local church gave John permission to play their grand piano during the day, my dad would go with John just to listen. The year he died it was very difficult for him to get up the 7 or 8 steps into the church. And, because of construction, there was no bathroom available. He went anyway and sat for several hours in the wooden pew just to hear John play. The Steinway sitting in our living room now is there in my dad's honor.

He went to nearly every one of John's competitions. John's usual fan club sitting there would be me, his teacher, and my dad. Afterwards, he had nothing but compliments for John. And then he would take us to McDonald's so John could have a milkshake. How these little acts of kindness and love form the fabric of our fondest memories.

He was conservative and staunchly pro-life. He had been involved in and very committed to the successful initiative in Michigan in the early seventies to have abortion declared illegal in Michigan. The initiative was successful and for a short time there were no legal abortions in Michigan. Then it was all overturned by Roe v. Wade. My father was livid that a group of unelected judges could overturn the will of the people.

My father suffered from heart disease for many years. After his heart attack at 59 he decided to eat a diet that included almost no fat. Now that I'm trying to eat a similar diet, I can appreciate what great self-discipline that required. He stuck to it. He was the model patient, walking every day and following his doctor's instructions to the letter. He lived another 2 decades after that heart attack, and didn't even die of heart disease. He was mentally and emotionally strong.

May my father rest in peace. May he be before the throne of Jesus even now. And may he know that we all really love him and miss him a lot.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Strength from adversity...

Here is my diehard snapdragon. It's still hanging on as it does every winter. As you can see the remaining blossoms are tissue paper thin and translucent. This plant continues to amaze me. Here it is in mid-January, having survived single digit temperatures. Leaves are still green. You can even still see the faint pink of its last blooms.

From the time it started blooming on its own between a rock and the wall, it has continued to be a metaphor for me of the strength that comes from adversity.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I am tired.

But I''m going to curves with my 15 year old daughter anyway. It will probably perk me up. Especially if she talks me into stopping at Starbucks on the way home. teehee

Tomorrow I'm subbing at my younger daughter's school. (anticipating more exhaustion:-) But this teacher does usually leaves very simple and good lesson plans. Maybe I'll even get a little reading in. That would be nice. I'm reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, a Christmas gift, recommended by my oldest son. It's interesting. I'm enjoying it.

And, once again, we're planning to attend the March for Life in Washington this year. Just talking about it at dinner tonight. Everyone is starting to get excited.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Witnesses to Hope Talks

I just realized you can listen to the Witness for Hope talks by downloading them to an Mp3 player or to your computer!!!!! Click on the link above in bold to take you there. As of this morning Sister Ann's talk is not yet up there, but the prior two are. I imagine Sister Ann Shield's will be there soon.....

Just thought you might like to know.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Witnesses to Hope

I went to a wonderful woman's event at my parish last night. It was called Witnesses to Hope and it's sponsored by the Servants of God's Love, an order of sisters who belong to our parish Christ the King, here in Ann Arbor.

What a lovely evening it was. The talk by Sister Ann Shields was just what I personally needed to hear. I went with a very dear friend Patti and we had a wonderful time driving there together and catching up on things.

This event is held bi-monthly and consists of a talk followed by dessert and fellowship. The Servants of God's Love do it all, and this is just one example of how appropriate is the name of their order.

I had so much fun. The talk was fabulous and the fellowship was something I guess I really needed. I haven't had so much fun with girlfriends in a very long time. (OK, with sisters in the Lord. You get the idea.:-) There was a lot of laughter, a lot of warmth and friendship. Pat, who often comments on this blog was there too. Pat, add your thoughts if you care to.

What a blessing this event is to our parish. The next will be held on March 15 at 7:30. If you live in SE Michigan you should come. Sister Dorcee Clarey, the order's superior, will be speaking. Sister Dorcee was my oldest son's first teacher after I stopped homeschooling him in 6th grade. She has a heart of gold. I'm looking forward to her message.

Sister Dorcee also has a blog called Witnesses to Hope. You can find it here. I only found this out last night. It will definitely be one of my regular reads. Check it out!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sisters in Faith Award!!

Jean at Catholic Fire has given me the following award. I am honored, Jean, to receive this award from you. As many of you know, Jean's blog Catholic Fire has won the Best Overall Pro-Life Blog in the American Life League Awards. What a privilege to be considered Jean's Sister in the Lord.

If you want to know how you can support Jean in her efforts to get to Washington to receive her award please go here.

This award originated at Blessings For the Day.

The rules are as follows... blog awards go, you are supposed to pass them on to others whom you feel represent the spirit of the award...

In this case, the instructions are:

1. To pass this award on to sisters who have been blogging with me from almost the beginning,

2. Include at least one new Sister In Faith.

I give this award to the following sisters....

To those I have blogged with since the beginning:

Mary Poppins Not at Crazy Acres

Salomeellen (whom I have actually met in person)

Suzanne at Suzanne's Shorelines (whom my son has actually met in person)

Denise at Catholic Matriarch in my Domestic Church (whom I have actually met in person)

Catholic Wife and Mother at Deo Gratias!

And a new sister in the faith....

Aussie Therese at Aussie Coffeeshop

Thank you to all my sisters in the faith, those listed here and so many more!!!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

One Word Challenge

Sarah from So... This is the Road I'm Traveling On has started the following fun challenge. My word for Sarah was "genuine."

One Word Comment

Let's see how forthcoming my blog buddies are. Leave a ONE word comment that you think best describes me. It can only be one word. No more than one word. Then copy & paste this post on your blog so I can leave a word about you. This should be interesting...

If you care to join in, leave a word that describes me?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Schools are open...

No snow day. I'm disappointed. So are the kids.

Roads are described as slushy and/or snow-covered. I really wish schools would err more on the side of safety. I know it's a difficult decision to make. And they only have so many snow days allocated. Still....

There is a major accident on US23 southbound. Nine vehicles were involved. My kids drive up US23 northbound. If the accident were on the northbound I'd probably be trying to drive out there. Thankfully, Jim just texted me to say they arrived safely.

Above is my unofficial measure of how much snow we've received. Pretty much all of it has fallen in the last 24 hours.

Anyway, the kids and hubby are safe. I'm happy. God bless your day. Stay safe and warm. (Except those of you for whom that doesn't apply :-)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Christmas undecorating

I have not taken down a single Christmas decoration. I don't feel like it yet. The tree still looks lovely. It seems like I just put everything up. I'm in no rush. After all, yesterday was just the traditional day for the celebration of the Epiphany.

And I'm still tired. I don't want to take on another monumental task (like the putting up of the decorations). I'm still recovering from the whole celebration. Laundry still needs to be done. More tidying.

So. They're going to stay for a while. My John does teach piano lessons in my living room, though. By next Tuesday (the next lesson day) I suppose I'll look like a slouch if they're still up. Hmmmm. Maybe by then I'll take them down. And maybe not.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Weight Loss Wednesday

I haven't posted a weight loss Wednesday in a long time. I stopped because I wasn't making any progress and there wasn't anything to talk about.

I'm STILL not making any progress, but I have had a notable setback.

I gained FOUR pounds over Christmas. Now that may not sound like much to those of you who are 5 ft. 5 or 5 ft. 8, but for those of us around 5 feet tall four pounds is a lot.

My sister and I were terrible. We were egging each other on, enjoying the food together, and laughing and joking about our lack of self-control. We were a mess.

BUT!.....We did have a lot of fun. We laughed ourselves silly, and we ate a lot of good food.

Now it's back to reality.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

26 years ago...

26 years ago, right around this date, I would have given birth to my first born child had he/she not died in utero. I miscarried this first baby. I was utterly grief stricken.

My consolation, though, was that my actual first-born, Michael, could not have been born had I not lost this first baby. Michael was born only seven months after the due date of this first baby whom we named Daniel.

I also lost another baby between my fourth child and my fifth. Eventually I purchased a mother's ring with the the two birthstones in it to remember the two children I never got to hold on Earth but will surely meet in Heaven. Daniel and Peter. They are remembered.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all!!

I'm trying to get back to blogging. Since we made the reservations for Florida I feel like I've been on overdrive, frantically trying to keep up with Christmas, traveling, and guests.

Above is my family with Grandma whom we flew to Florida to visit. She had a tripod!! So we were able to take a picture of everyone together. This was 12/23. We took the picture in the morning, had an 8x10 print made at the drugstore in the afternoon. put it in a frame and gave it to her for Christmas that night when we had our Christmas dinner. I think she really liked it. Even the frame! She asked where we had gotten it. (the same drugstore:-)

I had very little done when we made these reservations. I did finish the Christmas shopping and with a lot of help got the decorations and the tree up. Then we went to Florida for 4 days. Came back on Christmas Eve on the same airlines and to the same airport (Detroit) that the "crotch bomber" came in on a day later. That felt a little close.

On Christmas my brother and his family came over for dinner, And my friend Sandy (daughter of my mother's old roommate in the nursing home whom I met by a coincidence too unlikely to not be providential) came over too. Anne, who had to work came over later with her fiance Zach.

The next day was my sweet daughter Mary's birthday! Also, my sister and her two sons arrived and were able to stay until the second. It was great so spend time with them.

And my oldest son Mike stayed through New Year's too. It was wonderful.

So, I've been busy enjoying family and never even got near my computer since my last post. Now, I'm feeling pretty tired but trying to get back on track.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and my you all have a Blessed New Year!!