Friday, October 25, 2013


I've lived in Michigan for some 45 years now.  I've gotten used to the cold in the winter.  Well, it's still cold.  It's still drastic, but you come to expect it and accept it.  And the winters here are very, very beautiful.  As is the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  We love our seasons.

Today, the temperature was 33 when I came down to the kitchen at 6:00.  Winter has begun.  The other day my youngest child was about to head out the door for school without any jacket at all.  "Liz," I said, it's only 34 degrees."  She answered, "Mom, I'm from Michigan.  I don't get cold."

(But we do get cold.  We're just used to the feeling.  LOL)

Someone posted this video on Facebook recently and the onset of cold Michigan weather made me think of it.  I don't know who made the slideshow but the music is "Michigan Girl" by Ruth and Max Bloomquist.  

You gotta love the mitten!  (This is for you, Anne and Zach Simkins :-)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I heard someone say today that a two year old's behavior is something the parent has no control over.  It wasn't a joke.  It was about a specific behavior problem that was bothersome to the mother.

Over  my years of being a parent I have heard this attitude expressed in different ways many times.  I don't understand it.  Isn't one person the parent for a reason?

Of course, a parent does not have absolute control over how a child responds to a situation or how a child chooses to act.  But, over time, a parent has a great deal of control and enormous influence over a child's behavior.

If my two year old were doing something I did not like, there would be consequences for the behavior.  (This isn't rocket science.)  The consequences would be unpleasant.  The child chooses to avoid the unpleasant consequences and the behavior disappears.  Of course, sometimes even this much intervention is not necessary.  With a compliant child, sometimes all you have to do is explain why the behavior is not right and how you do not want to see it again.  Sometimes even with a somewhat willful child, if you've been consistent about consequences, just explaining why the behavior is wrong and adding that if she/he does it again such and such is going to happen will suffice.  But most children will test you to see if you really are going to respond and to see how much they can get away with.  If you are not willing to enforce consequences then, yes, you will have no control over your child's behavior.

There must be an awful lot of nonsense being written out there about parenting.  Perhaps that explains why we see so many poorly behaved children and teens these days.

Monday, October 14, 2013

During Spirit Week leading up to Homecoming at my daughter's high school, one day was designated a "Disney Day" and all the students were allowed to dress like a Disney character.  My daughter dressed as Cinderella.  On that day she found in her locker, left there by her good friend, the following invitation to the Homecoming Dance.

How cute is that?  I understand that, knowing she would be dressed as Cinderella, he spent quite some time looking for a "glass slipper."  After she opened the locker he appeared with a rose and asked her to go to the dance with him.  So sweet.

Subsequently, this deserving young man was elected Homecoming King!  I said to Liz, "Hey, you really are going to the dance with royalty!  Haha!

Monday, October 07, 2013

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

""The Christians were in an ominous silence, weapons in one hand, rosaries in the other.   Think about that!!!- See more here//

I love the rosary.  I know it has brought about many a miracle over the course of history, but for me the miracles have been mainly in my own life.  Some of them I have talked about here.

Today though I want to write just a few suggestions on how one might meditate on the mysteries of the rosary.  These are just ideas, mini meditations, that one might consider while saying each mystery.

The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation

Scripture tells us that Mary was afraid when the angel Gabriel appeared to her.  We can just imagine.  What did Gabriel look like?  Did his presence light up the room?  How long did he speak to her?  Did Mary wonder what the consequences of her pregnancy might be?  What would it be like to have that kind of trust in God.

The Visitation

Surely Mary and Elizabeth had an established friendship before the Visitation.  Elizabeth was so happy to see her.  Had Elizabeth been lonely with Zechariah unable to speak?  What did Elizabeth mean when she asked "Who am I that the mother of my Lord should visit me?"  Did she understand what she was saying?  Did the Lord reveal to her who Mary was carrying?  How they must have enjoyed each other's company

The Nativity

This was a delivery under difficult circumstances.  We don't know just how close to the birth Mary was before they finally were taken to the stable.  Perhaps the birth was very imminent!  Do you think riding on that donkey stimulated the onset of labor? (all according to God's plan, of course)  Was it peaceful on the straw?  What was it like for the shepherds when the sky was filled with angels?  FILLED with angels.  It must have been magnificent.  How awestruck they must have been to then find the newborn king lying in a manger.

The Presentation

What joy must have been in Simeon's heart when he saw the Holy Family enter the temple.  He had waited his entire life.  What did Mary and Joseph think as they heard Simeon's words?  I imagine they had a peaceful sense of confirmation.  And what did they think when Simeon said that Mary's heart would be pierced by a sword?  When Joseph heard this ominous word surely he felt very protective of Mary and the Baby Jesus.  Again, a confirmation of what had been revealed to them.

The Finding in the Temple

Imagine Mary and Joseph casually thinking that Jesus was with the other parent.  What concern they must have had when they realized both had thought the same thing.  And then the horror of realizing he had been left behind.  How awful those days must have been.  What agony to wonder what horrible fate might have befallen him.  And then the reunion in the temple.  Surely Jesus had the sweetest of loving smiles on his face when he asked why they had looked for him.  And didn't they know he would be in his father's house?  Again, surely he was smiling and hugging them as he said these words.  And what amazement must have been in the hearts of those who had heard such insights from a twelve-year-old.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

A very happy birthday to my youngest son who turns 22 today!!!!!  He has been a joy and a blessing to our family since the day he was born (and before!)

May the Lord bless him and keep him all the days of his life!!!!!

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
    Let thy glory be over all the earth!

Most mornings I take our labrador retriever "Nala" for a walk.  Unlike most retrievers, Nala is not the smartest dog who ever lived.  OK, let me be a little more blunt.  She's an idiot.  But what she lacks in smarts she more than makes up for in affection and adoration of her people.  She's so enamored of my husband she often sits under the table and quietly licks his shoes, as though even licking his shoes puts her in awe of her master.  LOL

I enjoy walking Nala.  But I especially enjoy it when the glory of God is all over everything.  I know, his glory is all over everything every day.  But there is something about the Fall in Michigan.  I saw this leaf on the sidewalk today.  And the color is just beginning.  It will continue to increase in magnificence for several more weeks.

Walked right by these flowers of my neighbor's growing right next to the sidewalk.

MUMS!!!  Aren't they sweet?

I planted these darling little white flowers myself.  I have no idea what they are.  They look like tiny snapdragons.

And alyssum!  I bought the white ones because someone at the farmers' market told me that it is the white ones who have the heavenly fragrance.  And they do!

My morning glories...mostly green vines, but the little blossoms are popping up more and more.  Hope they'll all have time to bloom before the first hard frost.  (Notice Nala's head in the lower right corner :-)

His glory is over all the Earth!!!!