Thursday, May 29, 2008
I was allowed to be there for her birth. I'm so blessed to have witnessed the births of several of my grandchildren, and it is always such an awesome experience. It truly is a miracle.
Aubrey has a head full of dark hair. Her tiny hands and feet are perfect. She has long fingers and beautiful fingernails, a little nubbin of a nose and a sweet rosy mouth. I got to hold her a few minutes after her birth, and I've been to see her in the NICU a couple of times. I can hardly wait for her to come home so that I can hold her in the rocking chair. She has already stolen our hearts.
Dear God, I thank you for the gift of Aubrey's life, and for the lives of all our grandchildren. Please hold them close to your heart for all eternity. Guide them so that they will grow up to be good, strong, loving men and women, filled with faith.
As I rejoice in the birth of this new baby, I also mourn the loss of those innocents killed through abortion, and I pray for them and their mothers. Please end abortion in America and all over the world, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Monday, May 26, 2008
by CW Johnson
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle
As Taps began to play.
The Chaplin led a prayer
We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.
They came from every city
Across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom.
They lie here 'neath the sand.
I felt a little guilty
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
But these men lost their all.
Now the services are over
For this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,
Thanks for what you've given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Our son and daughter-in-law were at the hospital until around 5 this morning. She was given an IV to make sure she was hydrated, and felt better after that.
Thank you for your prayers, and please continue to pray for the other baby in our family, little Jonah Christian and for his parents and grandparents who are having a difficult time right now. Thank you!
Angel of God, My Guardian Dear
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side
to light and guard, to rule and guide.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
So here I am again, asking for prayers that all goes well for mother and baby. Thank you!
I guess I'm a little worried because we've had so much bad news concerning family members lately. My cousin's son was badly burned in a fire a few weeks ago, and is recovering in a hospital in Louisiana. On Tuesday my niece's baby boy was born two months early and is in NICU. This week my daughter-in-law's mother found out that her cancer has spread, and my sister called today to tell me that her father-in-law has only two months to live.
It's all a bit overwhelming, and I am leaning very hard on the Lord right now. May His will be done in all of our lives. Amen
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Jonah is in NICU, and will be there for awhile. His mother will stay in the hospital for a few more days. I'm sure the baby is going to be okay, but my heart aches for his parents, and for my little sister, his grandma. I know they are terribly stressed.
Please pray that Jonah's lungs will develop, that he will be strong and healthy, and for peace of mind for everyone who loves him. Thank you.
2 C flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
3 t cinnamon
1 C vegetable oil
1 1/2 C sugar
2 C grated zucchini
2 t vanilla
1 C chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease one 9X13" baking pan.
Combine eggs, oil, sugar, grated zucchini, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together in a bowl, then add to the other ingredients, mixing until combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 T butter, softened (one stick)
2 t vanilla
2 C powdered sugar (or more)
Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together. Gradually add the powdered sugar. If the frosting is too soft, add a little more powdered sugar.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
We've been married for 39 years, so we've celebrated a lot of birthdays together.
Ron, may God give you
For every storm, a rainbow.
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise
And a blessing in each trial.
I'll love you forever.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sometimes I think having the pool is more trouble than it is worth, but when our grandkids are here it is such a wonderful thing to have.
That's two of them in the pool a couple of years ago. When they come to visit, they are in the pool most of the day, every day. It's so much better than having them inside, glued to the TV or a video game. They come inside at the end of the day tired and sometimes sunburned, even though we try to keep sunscreen on them. And they are ready for a good night's sleep so that they can get up the next day and do it all over again. :o)
We often eat lunch at the table at the back of the pool because they don't want to come inside. On summer evenings, they love to play soft music on the radio and have candles on the patio and all around the yard and pool. I can hardly wait for school to be out so that they can come and spend time with us. Hey kids, Papa is in the pool today, wishing he had some playmates. :o)
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Going to confession was one of the hardest things for me to do when I became Catholic. It isn't easy now, either. But oh what a blessing it has been. The knowledge that I have been absolved of my sins fills me with joy. It's impossible to describe the feeling to anyone who hasn't experienced the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The minister of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or the Sacrament of Penance, or the Sacrament of Forgiveness or Confession), is of course, the priest.
When the Apostles were all hiding out in the upper room after Jesus' resurrection, He appeared to them, breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
Catholic Bishops are the Apostle's successors, and priests are the Bishop's collaborators. They continue to exercise the ministry of reconciliation by virtue of their Holy Orders. It is not the Bishop or priest who forgives us, but it is Jesus Himself who hears our confession and absolves us of our sins, through his servant, the priest.
In 2nd Corinthians 5:18-20, St. Paul says, "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
Pope John Paul II said, "The Lord Jesus instituted in his Church the sacrament of Penance, so that those who have committed sins after Baptism might be reconciled with God, whom they have offended, and with the Church itself whom they have injured." (John Paul II, Aperite portas, 5)
I went to confession today. My sins are forgiven; I am reconciled with God and my Church.
Kelly has been making beaded earrings, and wanted to see how much they were selling for in the shops there. She is thinking of turning her fun hobby into a business. She has an eye for color combinations, and I love wearing her earrings. She also makes her own little display cards for each set of earrings, and they are so pretty.
Reece liked eating at the Grist Mill. A lot of the tables are out on the multi-level deck, overlooking the Guadalupe River (you can see people tubing down the river), with trees all around. That's where we sat. Reece and I shared bronzed catfish, "gruene" beans and mashed potatoes and gravy. He loves veggies, and green beans and broccoli are his favorites. The "gruene" beans are really yummy, cooked with garlic, butter, bacon, tomato and parmesan cheese.
The restaurant is in an old grist mill that burned down years ago. The stone walls left standing are still there, and the rest of the restaurant is built around them. The town's founder built a gorgeous house there, that is now a bed and breakfast (Gruene Mansion Inn, in the picture above), with adorable little cabins added in the back. At the oldest dance hall in Texas, Gruene Hall, you can often see talented singers and bands during the afternoon for no cover charge.
We like to buy ice cream cones (Blue Bell, of course) in the general store. It's packed with all kinds of Texas-type items. Across the street is an old mercantile store that is now an antique store. Next door is a winery where you can taste the wine before you buy, then sit outside at a picnic table to have a glass of the vintage you like best. The shops are in little houses or old buildings, and you can find all kinds of interesting items.
Here's a link to the Gruene website. Take a look, and if you come to Texas, be sure to visit Gruene; you'll love it!
Friday, May 16, 2008
1. What time did you get up this morning?
2. Diamonds or pearls?
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Ratatouille, with my daughter and granddaughter. No wait, I saw a movie with some friends, but can't remember the name of it. It was about a woman whose Irish husband dies, she goes to Ireland and meets another Irish guy, who it turns out was her husband's best friend...anyone know the name of the movie? *edit: The movie was PS:I Love You.
4. What is your favorite TV show?
Law and Order
5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Granola bar or oatmeal, sometimes yogurt, fresh fruit if I have it. I've been known to eat potato chips, leftover pizza or cookies, but I'm trying to do better. :o)
6. What is your middle name?
7. What food do you dislike?
Liver, coconut, mincemeat
8. What is your favorite CD at moment?
Allison Krauss And Union Station
9. What kind of car do you drive?
10. Favorite sandwich?
Smoked turkey on jalapeno cheese bread w/ real mayo, lettuce, tomato.
11. What characteristic do you despise?
12. Favorite item of clothing?
I don't have a favorite.
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Europe; I want to go to Rome, especially.
14. Favorite brand of clothing?
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday?
My birthday sometimes falls on Thanksgiving, and one year all of my extended family was here for the holiday, and celebrated my birthday, too.
15. Where would you retire to?
I think I'll stay in Texas.
17. Favorite sport to watch?
Spurs basketball, if I have to watch sports.
18. Furthest place you are sending this?
19. Person you expect to send it back first?
21. When is your birthday?
22. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely a night owl.
23. What is your shoe size?
Eight. I have big feet for my height. I used to wear a seven, but my feet have grown as I've gotten older. They say your feet, nose and ears continue to grow all of your life. One of these days I'm going to look like a troll.
A tortoiseshell cat named Maggie. She really belongs to our son, but they can't have pets in the house they rent, so she stayed with us when they moved.
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
Our house is finally painted, and the new front door installed. Yay!
26. What did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to be a mommy or a nun (and I wasn't Catholic then). :o)
27. How are you today?
Healthy and content.
29. What is your favorite flower?
Roses, lilies, moonflowers, hibiscus, sweet peas, daisies...too many to name.
30. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?
The day next month when our new granddaughter will be born (around June 23).
32. What is your full name?
I'd rather not say.
33. What are you listening to right now?
The sound of a siren in the distance, otherwise it is quiet.
34. What was the last thing you ate?
An oreo with double stuff.
35. Do you wish on stars?
Yes, shooting stars and the "first star I see tonight."
36. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
37. How is the weather right now?
Warm and humid. We may get some rain tonight.
38. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
39. Favorite soft drink?
Cherry Coke Zero.
40. Favorite restaurant?
A small, family-run Thai place called Bangkok Cuisine. Pad thai, yum!
41. Hair color?
It was deep auburn when I was younger, now salt and pepper.
42. What was your favorite toy as a child?
My teddy bear (I've mentioned him before). I also liked a pull toy that was a mama duck and her babies following behind her. It made a quacking sound when you pulled it.
43. Summer or winter?
Summer, I do not like cold weather.
44. Hugs or kisses?
Both, especially from grandbabies.
45. Chocolate or Vanilla?
46. Coffee or tea?
Tea, cold and sweet, but sometimes hot with honey.
47. Do you want your friends to email you back?
48. When was the last time you cried?
This morning. I found out my niece, who is pregnant, had to be hospitalized because of extremely high blood pressure. Her baby is due in July.
49. What is under your bed?
Storage boxes and dust.
50. What did you do last night?
Went to my mom's to give her her meds, came home and watched a little TV while Ron rubbed my feet, surfed the net for awhile.
51. What are you afraid of?
Fish. It's stupid, I know.
52. Salty or sweet?
53. How many keys on your key ring?
Four--car, mailbox, my house and Mom's apartment.
54. How many years at your current job?
55. Favorite day of the week?
56. How many towns have you lived in?
Oh my, lots. Let me count. Ten, I think.
57. Do you make friends easily?
The last few questions were not applicable because they concerned emailing friends.
Thanks, Therese. That was fun. :o)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
On 25 March 1984 in Saint Peter's Square, while recalling the fiat uttered by Mary at the Annunciation, the Holy Father, in spiritual union with the Bishops of the world, who had been “convoked” beforehand, entrusted all men and women and all peoples to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in terms which recalled the heartfelt words spoken in 1981:
“O Mother of all men and women, and of all peoples, you who know all their sufferings and their hopes, you who have a mother's awareness of all the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, which afflict the modern world, accept the cry which we, moved by the Holy Spirit, address directly to your Heart. Embrace with the love of the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord, this human world of ours, which we entrust and consecrate to you, for we are full of concern for the earthly and eternal destiny of individuals and peoples.
In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated.
‘We have recourse to your protection, holy Mother of God!' Despise not our petitions in our necessities”.
The Pope then continued more forcefully and with more specific references, as though commenting on the Message of Fatima in its sorrowful fulfilment:
“Behold, as we stand before you, Mother of Christ, before your Immaculate Heart, we desire, together with the whole Church, to unite ourselves with the consecration which, for love of us, your Son made of himself to the Father: ‘For their sake', he said, ‘I consecrate myself that they also may be consecrated in the truth' (Jn 17:19). We wish to unite ourselves with our Redeemer in this his consecration for the world and for the human race, which, in his divine Heart, has the power to obtain pardon and to secure reparation.
The power of this consecration lasts for all time and embraces all individuals, peoples and nations. It overcomes every evil that the spirit of darkness is able to awaken, and has in fact awakened in our times, in the heart of man and in his history.
How deeply we feel the need for the consecration of humanity and the world—our modern world—in union with Christ himself! For the redeeming work of Christ must be shared in by the world through the Church.
The present Year of the Redemption shows this: the special Jubilee of the whole Church.
Above all creatures, may you be blessed, you, the Handmaid of the Lord, who in the fullest way obeyed the divine call!
Hail to you, who are wholly united to the redeeming consecration of your Son!
Mother of the Church! Enlighten the People of God along the paths of faith, hope, and love! Enlighten especially the peoples whose consecration and entrustment by us you are awaiting. Help us to live in the truth of the consecration of Christ for the entire human family of the modern world.
In entrusting to you, O Mother, the world, all individuals and peoples, we also entrust to you this very consecration of the world, placing it in your motherly Heart.
Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!
From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.
From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.
From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.
Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.
Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to conquer all sin: individual sin and the ‘sin of the world', sin in all its manifestations.
Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the Redemption: the power of merciful Love! May it put a stop to evil! May it transform consciences! May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope!”.
I pray that this year of your life will be the most wonderful one ever. So far, it's been pretty good. You have a good job, you and your family have a new home of your own, and next month you will have a new little daughter!
I'm so proud of you for many, many reasons, but especially for the way you are with Reece. You are a wonderful daddy, and he is crazy about you. I think your new baby girl is going to have you wrapped around her little finger, though. :o)
May God bless you and hold you close to His Heart always, always.
Monday, May 12, 2008
This is our irrepressible Lily, our third grandchild. She is so full of life, always on the go, and quite the drama queen.
One of her favorite activities is changing clothes. She loves swimsuits, and in the first picture, she had put on several different sets of clothes, but kept coming back to her swimsuit. By the way, it was the middle of winter. :o)
The second picture was taken on the Fourth of July a couple of years ago. Eating is another of her favorite activities, especially cheese and chocolate. She's such a girl.
The third picture is so Lily. She plays hard, and doesn't know when she is tired. One minute she was sitting at the kitchen counter chattering away, and the next minute she had put her head down and fallen asleep. She was on the very edge of the chair, and her Uncle Josh came and carried her off for a nap before she fell onto the floor, but not before he gave me a look for taking pictures of her instead of rescuing her. :o)
Lily is delightful. She is smart and charming, sweet and funny. I love her so much and of course, I thank God for her.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Our Lord Jesus Christ, being seated on the right hand of God, sent, as He had promised, the holy Ghost upon the Apostles, who, after His Ascension, continued in prayer at Jerusalem, in company with the Blessed Virgin, awaiting the performance of His promise.
Let us pray in like manner with the Church: "Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love."
(From my Latin missal, The Daily Missal And Liturgical Manual for Pentecost or Whitsunday).
The painting is by Duccio di Buoninsegna, b. ca. 1255, Siena, d. 1319, Siena
Latin Mass at St. Pius with Ron and Mom.
The afternoon at our house with Mom, her little dog Chuy, our daughter Kelly and her husband, our son Joshua and his wife and Reece, and of course, Ron, home from Seattle after 2 weeks away.
Grilled chicken (made by Ron), cheesy mashed potato casserole (made by Kelly), mixed veggies, rolls, chocolate Mother's Day cake (brought by Josh and Cyrise) and ice cream for dinner.
A braided hibiscus and beautiful handmade earrings from Kelly and Mike.
Calls from both of my sisters to wish me and Mom a happy mother's day.
A call from our oldest son, who couldn't make it this weekend.
A trip to Bath And Body Works after dinner.
Lots of laughter, good conversation, and love all around.
What a great Mother's Day!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Ron's been gone the past 2 weeks, and I have done very little cooking since I'm the only one here. But I had a basket of strawberries in my fridge that needed to be used, so I decided to make strawberry shortcake this morning. Oh my goodness. It tasted so good. I had some for breakfast. Then I had some for lunch. Then I took some to my mom. Then I came home and had some more. (Where is the blushing emoticon)? Hmm, wonder what I will have for dinner. ;o)
I've loved strawberries since I was a kid. Mom used to make shortcake that resembled pie crust. She would cut the dough into big circles before baking it, then layer the rounds with berries and top with whipped cream. It was good, but didn't soak up the berry juice very well.
Sometimes we would buy the sponge shortcakes that come in a package. They soaked up the juice, but I never cared for the taste of them. But they are cute, and I like the little indentation in the top to hold more berries and the whipped cream (or ice cream). :o)
My Great-Aunt Margaret used to give me homemade biscuits and sliced, sweetened strawberries for breakfast when we visited her in Oklahoma. She would let me have as much as I wanted, probably because I was such a skinny little thing.
I've made my shortcakes from scratch, but I like the Bisquick kind best. They are good with any kind of berries, peaches or even canned pineapple chunks.
Here's the recipe:
4 C sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 C sugar
2 1/3 C Bisquick
1/2 C milk
3 T sugar
3 T butter, melted
Whipped cream, Cool Whip or other dairy topping, or ice cream.
Mix strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar; set aside. Heat oven to 425°F.
(I always mash my berries and sugar with a potato masher to make more juice).
Stir Bisquick mix, milk, 3 T sugar and the melted butter until soft dough forms.
Drop by 6 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Split warm shortcakes; fill and top with strawberries and whipped topping.
Enjoy! (And if your husband is out of town, you can have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and no one will care). :oD
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Someone has said if Christians really understood the full extent of the
, its people and peace?
There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America.
If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 pm Eastern Time
If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.
I don't know who started this, but I think it's a good idea.
Monday, May 5, 2008
He was working there, away from home, staying in a mobile home which caught fire. He was burned on 40% of his body, and the burns are deep. He also suffered from severe smoke inhalation. He was in surgery today for a tracheotomy and to have some of the burns cleaned and temporary skin grafts put on. This was the first of many surgeries. They are also worried about a blood clot which is causing reduced blood flow to his feet, and a rise in his white cell count which could indicate infection. Please, please pray for this young man.
His family from Oklahoma is with him. Please pray for them, too, during this difficult time. Thank you so much!
Lord, look upon George with eyes of mercy, may your healing hand rest upon him, may your lifegiving power flow into every cell of his body and into the depths of his soul, cleansing, purifying, restoring him to wholeness and strength. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Reece spent the night with me Saturday, but I miss having him here day to day.
The new front door is installed and the inside is finished and looks beautiful. The house painter said that he will paint the outside, since he is doing all of the trim, but so far he has not finished painting the body of the house, much less started on the trim. I'm praying for patience and charity.
Mom and I went to the Ascension Thursday Mass at St. Pius, and to the regular TLM on Sunday. I bought a 1962 Missal, but forgot to take it with me. :o\ The church has the red Latin-English Booklet Missal though, which is very nice. I love reading the margin notes, which explain why the priest does what he does, and give basic instructions on the rubrics. I rarely lose my place, now. :oD Mass is one place where I feel perfectly at peace.
The prayer before the Introit in my new Missal, for the Sunday after the Ascension says: Let us, like the Apostles gathered together, prepare in prayer for the holy Day of Pentecost; let us pray, as the Church prescribes, for the return of heretics to unity.
Great prayer. :o)
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
The Feast of the Ascension has been moved from the traditional Thursday (40th day after Easter) to the following Sunday in most dioceses in the US. That is true in our Archdiocese, too, but we are fortunate to be able to attend the Latin Mass Thursday evening at St. Pius X.