Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Have I Told You Lately -

... that I'm really missing my husband

Thank you for all the sacrifices you make day in and days out. You are my rock and I love you.

PS. There had better not be a certain movie ending to this trip of yours.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sneak Peek

I still have to drill holes to add the eye hooks and ribbon for hanging, but I'm pretty much done and ready for the swap tonight. It's so hard to get the eyes right. Funny how some look disappointed, pleased, and some down-right angry. Do they look familiar to you?

Ornament Swap

Well, tonight is our homeschool group's Jesse Tree ornament swap. We had 25 or so families sign up for an ornament to come up with 28 ornaments - some families made 2 so we could get to 28. [the most days in Advent are 28 - some years have less days]

THE STORY OF THE JESSE TREE Jesse was the father of the great King David of the Old Testament. He is often looked upon as the first person in the genealogy of Jesus.

In Church art a design developed showing the relationship of Jesus with Jesse and other biblical personages. This design showed a branched tree growing from a reclining figure of Jesse. The various branches had pictures of other Old and New Testament figures who were ancestors of Jesus. At the top of the tree were figures of Mary and Jesus. This design was used mostly in stained glass windows in some of the great medieval cathedrals of Europe. The Cathedral of Chartres (which was dedicated in 1260) has a particularly beautiful Jesse Tree window.

Another development in religious art during the Middle Ages was that of Mystery Plays--drama that depicted various Bible stories or lives of Saints and Martyrs. These plays were performed in churches as part of the liturgical celebrations. One such play was based on the Bible account of the fall of Adam and Eve. The "Tree of Life" used during the play was decorated with apples. (Quite possibly this is also the forerunner of our own Christmas tree.)

Combining the two ideas of the stained glass Jesse Tree window and the Tree of Life from the Mystery Play we come up with our Jesse Tree Advent project. This custom has been used for years to help Christians to prepare for Christmas.

I can't wait to see all the different ornaments tonight. To see each family's own creation. As an aside, I'll be finishing mine up today!

So be on the lookout for all the pictures of all the ornaments. It may give you ideas to use with your own groups.

Some other ideas for making Advent more meaningful are here and go check out Sara's post on her own family's Advent traditions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It Can Be Done!

Really. And this is the proof! [*<-----this is a link folks; click it] This is an amazing story of conversion. And I know how much impact conversion stories have on us. So let us be vigilant in prayer for the conversion of all sinners - especially world leaders, our country's future leader, our Church leaders, and abortionists. *again, link explanation for the blogging impaired... you know who you are ;)

h/t: PM

Top this r! ;)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Japanese Water Fountain

This is really cool.

h/t: Therese

Friday, November 14, 2008

Did You Know?

My sister informed me by email today that this is


and you know what follows All Saints Day...

so what do you think follows All Carmelite Saints Day?

You've got it... All Carmelite Souls Day.

I found this by googling - guess I'm not the one enlightening everyone!

For a Laugh!

And at Sara's expense, go read what happened to her - it's her FRIDAY FAIL [!] ... seems it's not the first time ;)

...and Sara, you're welcome - just tryin' to drum up business for ya!


BALTIMORE The nation's Catholic bishops on Tuesday served notice to the future Obama administration that they will oppose "a culture of coercion" on abortion, even if they have to suffer doing so.

The five-paragraph statement, which was debated at length during an afternoon session of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual meeting, said the 223 bishops present were "completely united and resolute in our teaching and defense of the unborn child from the moment of conception."

Several bishops said church leaders must be prepared to suffer for their beliefs.

"We have lost 50 times as many children in the last 35 years as we have lost soldiers in all the wars since the Revolution," said Bishop Robert J. Hermann of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

"I think any bishop here would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow to bring about an end to abortion," he added. "If we are willing to die tomorrow, then we should be willing to, until the end of our lives, to take all kinds of criticism for opposing this horrible infanticide." [I heard him say this as I watched on Tuesday and was doing the happy dance! How awesome is this statement!!]

The statement singled out the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) for criticism, saying it would "reduce religious freedom, and the Church must work against its passage."

If passed by Congress, FOCA would nullify all state laws limiting abortion. President-elect Barack Obama has promised to sign FOCA into law.

Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki said FOCA would have a "significant and adverse effect" and that bishops "need to be prepared in the face of increasingly militant threats to unborn life."

"The next step would be for federal law to require abortions by all hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, which we cannot do," he said. "We'd need to consider taking the drastic step of closing our Catholic hospitals completely."

Several bishops warned that Mr. Obama may issue executive orders as early as January, removing all limits on stem-cell research and approving the use of taxpayer money for abortions. Others mentioned reaching out to pro-life Protestants and other groups.

"It is not only us who will be attacked," said Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth, Texas. "But as we have seen in the fight for the marriage amendment, the Mormons are being attacked in Salt Lake City."

Scranton, Pa., Bishop Joseph F. Martino said the bishops must concentrate on reaching out to Catholic politicians who disagree with them, even if they have to threaten excommunication in the same way that bishops in St. Louis and New Orleans threatened segregationist Catholic officials in 1947 and 1962.

"We must speak to Catholic politicians who are stridently anti-life," he said.

Referring to Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Scranton native, Bishop Martino said, "I cannot have the vice president-elect coming to Scranton, saying he learned his values there, when those values are utterly opposed to the teachings of the Catholic church."

The statement, which is in draft form, will be finalized later this week as an open letter signed by USCCB President Cardinal Francis George.

In other business, the USCCB announced it would stop controversial grants to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) made by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), a sub-agency.

The CCHD, which gave more than $1 million to ACORN in 2007, is stopping the grants because of "serious concerns about financial accountability, organizational performance and political partisanship," said New Orleans Auxiliary Bishop Roger P. Morin.

h/t: Danette
And on a related note: A Greenville priest says that his parishioners should do penance if they voted for Barack Obama. I received this in an email yesterday - strangely enough, one of my hs friends had just been to his parish for a visit and said she was,"...quite impressed with the priest and mass there at St. Mary's...very reverent" - then she read this story yesterday. Pretty neat.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

Likin' the bold message in this video! Think about it... Christ only received 3 gifts...

In Your Face!!!

I just don't think so - but, I did beat DH last game! Cha-ching!

You Are Chess

You are brilliant and shrewd. You can often predict what people will do in the future.

You thrive in complex situations. You deal with contradictions well.

You can have many streams of though going on at your mind at once. You keep track of things well.

You are very patient. You have lots of endurance, even when your energy dwindles

Problem Solver

Charlie's birthday is exactly 3 weeks from Sophia's [previous post] and boy... I'm not looking forward to what the TWOS have in store!

He is definitely at it again - but nothing was "boken" this time.

Here's the setup...

Dani was making Sophia's cake and the remains of the frosting were on the wisk of the mixer. Charlie told me that he wanted some - in his own language - so with the swipe of my finger he had a little taste. Of course we know where this is going. That one little taste wasn't enough. A couple minutes later he went over to the little stool and pushed it toward the island. It was so cute to see him work at manuvering that thing. I initially thought he wanted to watch Dani - then it was clear:

He is a doll though ;) Yes, I'm wrapped!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to You!!!

7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7

7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7

To our sweet Sophia!!

Your smiles light up my days!

Lunch dessert, that's such a big number. It's a defining point in my mind. Once you pass 6... it's just different, ya know? Just a few days ago you were doing this [once you click the link, you'll need to scroll down ].

[blogger seems to be a bit fussy presently - this is not how I wanted my pictures laid out, but I can't move them around or the internet stops working - for some strange reason!]

It may sound like a silly 70's song - but you really do light up our lives Sophia!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not the Same Need!!??!!

[envision me doing the Jerry McGuire flip-out office scene as you read this - and for the prior post as well]

This is just utterly ridiculous! [link*] " there's not the same need..." - more and more babies die - and maybe with the swipe of the pen MORE AND MORE BABIES WILL DIE. But hey it's not her's not the bishops' lives. There's just not the same need...

Some are glad the election is over - so as to NOT TALK POLITICS. Man, I think we're just getting started.

* I have to add the word 'link' next to a link for the blogging impaired.

An Update: Btw - they did discuss something at the conference. It was some statement they were going to draw up - maybe mostly for Obama [???]. But I *happened* to turn on the TV yesterday to actually put Little House on - when low and behold, there were the bishops [obviously to my surprise, it had been on EWTN when the TV was turned off] discussing how to word different parts of this letter speaking to life/abortion. Bishop Martino stood up twice [i only saw once] to put in his 2 cents. There was another bishop - gosh I don't rmbr where he was from - who said something to the tune of: I think all of us bishops would die tomorrow if it would end abortion - so if we're willing to die, to give our life for this cause - we need to go back to our dioceses and be willing to suffer by standing up for the unborn. Yes, it'll be difficult, but if we're willing to die....
Now that's not word for word - but it was the gist. Does anyone know who said that?
Another thing - Raymond was/is covering the USCCB - The World Over studio is now in D.C. - he was able to interview Bishop Martino [who also cleared up a misquote from this story] during one of their breaks. I thought that was so awesome to be able bring the bishops' take on things to the world - almost as a play by play. This totally drove home for me how important it is that The World Over is in D.C.

I Need a New Baby!

And it's not that maternal feeling tugging at my heart. Not right now. [usually, but not tonight!]

I need someone I can call innocent! With Charlie on the cusp of The Terrible Twos [although not as terrible as the threes, IMO], and doing things like this: just confirms for me the need for at least one innocent child among the masses!
I opened up my laptop and to my shock I was missing 4 keys - including my enter key! I don't even know where it is! I got the 5 key and the right arrow back in place. You can see in the first picture how my comma key is missing next to the M... that was from last week!

This is nothing new, mind you - it's just gotten worse in the last couple wks. It's not as simple as just clicking them back into place. Sometimes - when I'm lucky - it is a simple snap-repair. But like I said, he's getting more destructive! And, yes, I understand that I need to form the new habit of closing my laptop! ::sigh::

At least I know the missing pieces won't get vacuumed up!
Update - found the 2 missing keys...and they snapped back in... Yay!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Vacuum War

Who out there has a Golden Retriever? Or a dog that sheds like the dickens? Now...can you imagine being without a vacuum? It's not pretty and it's driving me nuts!

We sent in our 12yo Kirby vacuum to be rebuilt about 1.5wks ago. [and I must plead with Paul not to comment on this issue, though I know he will :)] When they rebuild it, they replace pretty much everything! Let me tell you... this is muchly needed!

This vacuum has been quite a point of contention 'round here.

Some of Paul's points: It cost a lot of money [Those of you who may own one, know what I'm talkin' about] - so why should we shell out more cash to have this thing look and act brand spankin' new!? This thing also had a faulty cord, which last year started flaming and almost electrocuted Dani. Paul went 'round and 'round with the company concerning that.

There are also other vacuum issues which Paul will probably expound on.

My point: I really LOVE my Kirby! It really is the best I've ever used. And I can't wait until we get it back! It'll be pretty and shiny!

In the meantime this is one way we've been handling the dog fur among other things:

I can't find the first video clip I shot, but it was so cute. I did find it and it's the first of the 2 above -- I caught Charlie sitting down with the hand vac picking up pieces of fur off the rug and putting it to the nozzle, but the first video didn't capture that. He is picking some off his jammies though! It was the cutest thing! Of course, when he spotted me with the cam it didn't have the same effect..."do it again...". Oh, well, it's still cute.

I can't wait for Paul's input!!

O, Sacred Heart of Jesus...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Please Sign...

...this petition concerning the Freedom of Choice Act [FOCA]. The link explains what it is, what it will do if passed, and the petition itself. [for those who need help... ahem...(Paul) on the words "this petition" which will link you to the site ;). I help where I can! LOL]

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pray, Hope and Don't Worry

I received this from someone in our homeschool group this morning:

This is just a little side note for all those who are despairing over this election. I had an opportunity to hear Eduardo Verastegui ( Star in the movie Bella) speak last week. A very neat thing that he shared with us, was that he met McCain and while talking to him, Eduardo handed McCain a miraculous medal to carry. McCain looked at it and was very grateful and then McCain pulled out another medal out of his pocket and he said he would keep it with that one and carry it with him. It was a medal of Mother Theresa.

Let us storm heaven today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spread the Wealth...


EWTN will air a special 30-minute “Eleventh Hour Election Alert” with Host Father John Corapi at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3, and 11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4. In this program, Father reminds Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience, and he explains what it means to truly form your conscience, particularly in the area of life issues.

In the words of Dani, "Dang it!". I missed it! I had a Post-it note right where I'd rmbr to turn it on.... then I started planning my menu for the rest of the week. Time got away from me and then... bam!... "Oh I forgot about...", I looked at the clock and it was 6:05. Dang it! ["Newman!"] I'm going to record the one which is on tomorrow morning. I am.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Cast

Paul made the bow over her shoulder and the quiver as well. It's a cardboard tube container which he cut down and wrapped in brown paper. Dani and Therese gathered the sticks and Dani hot-glued the feathers onto the ends. Paul stuck some wadded paper in with the "arrows" so they wouldn't fall out. The White Witch
The Cat in the HatSpidey

Puppy DogI got the hat off Ebay - the shirt and pants at Goodwill - we got white exfoliating gloves at the Dollar Tree, along with the red bow. She used [half] a pair of stockings for the tail. Oh, and she had "A" under her hat which she printed onto card stock and stuck it in her hair-bun.
She really looked terrific!
Peter was purchased at Target. We got the arm protectors and the helmet at the Dollar Tree and the sword we had from Medieval Times.

Sophia saw this dress/costume at Target, and after seeing the "Peter" costume, instantly thought of the White Witch. Her sceptor/wand is a curtain rod, Her crown was put together by Dollar Tree items. I bought 2 boxes of plastic icicle ornaments and a snow foam wreath. $3.00, a little hot glue, and voila, ice crown!For her hair, I braided lots of little braids and added 5-6 shimmery white pipe cleaners. I did it early in the morning - she played outside during the day and it looked messy by the time she was ready to dress up - so it looked fantastic by that time! I was surprised it worked as well as it did. Not bad... Narnia cast:[Cinderella is a neighbor ;)]