Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Baptism! (With the blessing of Saint Joseph in particular!)

 My youngest grandson was recently baptized Michael Joseph, in St. Joseph Church, on the Saint Joseph River, in St. Joseph County, on the FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH!!!! Yes! He will go by the name "Joey."

 Mom Esther dressing Joey in his family baptismal clothes. Both his mother and father were baptized in these.

 Joey, ready for the sacrament...

 Receiving the waters of Baptism as his godfather, Uncle Jim, stands by.

 It was a beautiful Baptismal font. Heated water!

 Parents and godparents, Uncle Jim and Auntie Ruth.

 There were many families present. And a lot of little ones. I love the little hand on the right in this picture.

 Joey with his parents and grandparents....

                                    Auntie Elle, Uncle Jim, Auntie Mary, and Uncle Paul.

Fun brunch with family and friends afterwards...

 Uncle Zach giving Joey his first chiropractic adjustment.

Ok. A rare photo of me with my brother and sister who both came in for the event. One from Lansing, one from St. Louis.

Great Uncle Rich becoming quite taken with his new grandnephew.

 Great Aunt Maryanne with Joey and the little angel doll she made for him.

 Joey with Auntie Anne as Mom looks on.

 Triptych of the Nativity, a baptismal gift from Uncle Jim, the godfather...

 Joey with his mom and maternal grandfather...

 Cousin Blaise. If you look closely you can see he's trying to fill his father's shoes. Big shoes to fill!

 Joey with his Uncle Paul who is in the Air force and flew in from the west coast.

Auntie Liz with boyfriend Jonathan. 

 The three generations!

 Michael Joseph, Sr.,  Michael Joseph, Jr., and Michael Joseph, III
 Saint Michael and Saint Joseph, pray for them!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Haven't written in this blog for a while. I've been busy. Busy with life, exercise, homemaking, prayer and reading, enjoying my two young grandsons, and trying to stay fit. It's amazing how the days fill up.

I'm trying to exercise every day. I wear a Fitbit and pretty regularly hit the 10,000 steps a day target. I'm also enjoying two, sometimes three, Pilates classes a week. Pilates is strengthening my core muscles (and all my muscles) while increasing range of motion in my joints. It feels really good.

Why spend time on fitness if what I really want to be doing is writing? Well, as I said, I have two young grandsons. I want to be able to keep up with them and stay healthy and strong enough to enjoy them for a long time. For me, that's a really important reason. I also want to stay fit to enjoy all the other wonderful aspects of life. I want to keep going!

Since the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit it's important to keep the temple in good repair, right?

I'm not an exercise person. It's not one of my favorite things to do, by any means. But I do thoroughly enjoy how I feel afterward. Maybe that's always the reason people like to exercise-- for the feeling afterward? I don't know.

So how to get to my writing....perhaps organizing my time better would help. I could make simpler, easier meals. Maybe get some help around the house....I'm working on it.

After finishing the above thoughts, I took the dog for a walk and it occurred to me that finding a time to write is not a matter of finding. It's a matter of making the time. And if I make the time only to discover that other essential priorities in my life are not being met, then maybe it's time to discern whether God wants me to write right now. Maybe it's just not the right time or priority.

Monday, February 06, 2017

La La Land-- A Review

La La Land is a great movie, a visual delight, an artistic masterpiece.

The opening scene immediately tells you that this film is something new, something original, something beautiful. There is a traffic jam on a Los Angeles freeway ramp. Traffic is at a standstill. Everyone is frustrated. Then someone gets out of her car and starts dancing. Tens of other people follow flash mob style until there is a full scale musical number happening between, on top of, and all around the cars. The colors are captivating, the dancing delightful and lively. Director Damien Chazelle has taken a situation that everyone finds extremely frustrating and turned it into a beautiful work of art. I turned to my husband and said, "That was adorable." And that was just the beginning.

Finally, at the end of the number, the two main characters, Sebastian and Mia, played by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, exchange looks as Sebastian honks his horn at the distracted Emma.

In many movie experiences there is a favorite scene or some particular event that's portrayed especially well, and one will look back and think how they loved that part. In La La Land every scene is like that. Every scene.

Damien Chazelle, the young director and writer of the original screen play, has artfully used innovative techniques to present a colorful, gorgeous film that tugs at the heartstrings. Every scene is an experience of color, light against dark, captivating music, and beautiful cinematography. Seeing it a second time just made me appreciate it all the more. This is a film that, in my humble opinion, has been made by a master.

Parents should know that there is virtually no sexual content, although there is implied cohabitation. Very mildly implied. Children might well miss it. There is one obscene gesture and perhaps one F-word. For a rating of PG-13, this is a pretty innocent movie.

The music is wonderful. The cinematography is amazing, almost mesmerizing. The acting superb. What a delight to see a movie that is so skillfully and beautifully crafted and also quite wholesome, uplifting, and entertaining.

I recommend you see it. More than once.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Random Thoughts on This Inauguration Day

I always feel proud on inauguration days. Proud of my country's commitment to freedom and democracy. Proud of the peaceful transfer of power.

Other random thoughts...

How on Earth did a man with no experience in elected office get elected president? (I am not suggesting any nefarious influence.) God has a plan. Let's pray for Donald Trump.

One great lesson of this election is that sometimes ALL the pundits will be wrong.

Melania Trump is one elegant woman. Very classy to have brought a gift to Michelle Obama at the White House.

Democrats who refused to attend the inauguration are exhibiting petty partisan politics and an astonishing lack of personal dignity.

Nice to see George W. Bush's winning smile again. The man always looks content. 

Hold on to your hats. I have a feeling this administration is going to be one of a kind, hopefully in a good way.

God bless American today and always.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Today would have been my father's 92nd birthday. He left this world just over 10 years ago. Doesn't seem nearly that long.

This photo, taken just months before my father's death, was at Lorien, a group of cabins in Alpena, Michigan, where my father vacationed for many years with our whole family. He loved it there, soaking up the time with his children and grandchildren. Although he had great trouble going up stairs, he went every day that week to St. Anne's Church where my son John had received permission to play the piano. He sat for several hours in the wooden pew, listening to John practice. Needless to say, hearing John play was one of my father's favorite things to do. I remain grateful to St. Anne's for affording him this great pleasure in the last months of his life.

How my father would love to be at John's concert tomorrow night at Eastern Michigan University, Pease Auditorium where he will play the following:

Sonata in Eb Major, Op. 81a, Ludwig van Beethoven
English Suite in A minor, JS Bach
Toccata Op 40, Robert Casadesus

Das Geistershiff, Op 1c, Carl Tausig
Sonata No 2 in Bb minor, Sergei Rachmaninoff, edited by Vladmir Horowitz

I pray that Dad will be there just beyond the veil between Heaven and Earth. (Concert is free and starts at 7:30 if anyone else is interested.)

Eternal rest grant unto my dad, Oh Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him May he rest in peace.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

A New Grandson! (Warning: Gushing Grandma Words and Photos)

The breathtaking beauty of new life. And when it's your grandson...add euphoria.

 This was part of the group waiting and supporting Esther in prayer as she worked to bring Joey into the world. I think Elle took the picture.

Here's Elle with two sis-in-laws. So exciting to be awaiting the arrival of new life! A new member of our family!

Uncle Jim entertaining nephew Blaise. Soon Blaise would have his first boy cousin...and first cousin at all on our side of the family.

And here he is....Joy! No other word....

                                                         Joey with Aunt Anne...

Blaise meets Joey!!!

Look at this face! Cuteness!!!!
The little Christmas baby!!!!

                                             Mother love. Her heart is forever changed.

                                                                   A family!!!!!
He holds her finger. And she holds him in her heart for all eternity!!! God is so good. Another miracle.

Monday, January 02, 2017

A year and a few days ago I became a grandma! Words cannot describe the joy that has been added to my life.  Now the Little Man is turning one.

Is he not the cutest little guy you've ever seen. OK, I may be a little biased.

When your birthday corresponds with New Year's Eve, there will always be a party to go to. Nice.

Blaise with his godparents....Auntie Mary (my daughter) and Uncle Ian (his father's brother).

I hear the the only thing better than being a grandparent is being a great grandparent. Here is Blaise with his great Grandma! (Blaise is blessed with two other great grandparents too!)

The theme of the New Year's Eve/Birthday bash was "Time flies!" Perfect!
And isn't that the truth!