Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Earlier this summer my daughter Kelly's 18 year old cat died. It's been very hard for Kelly. She got Usti for her 16th birthday when we were living in Japan. Usti has had more travel adventures than most people. :o) Kelly has always been passionate about animals, and decided that she would get another pet for her birthday this year.

Yesterday my mom and I went with Kelly to the Humane Society to look at cats, puppies and adult dogs. Kelly wants two pets, but was having a hard time deciding between cats and dogs. We looked at all of the animals at the shelter, and there were many that pulled at our heartstrings. No firm decision was made.

A few minutes ago, Kelly called me. She said that she was sitting in a room at the shelter with a puppy that she was going to adopt. She described the dog, and I thought I remembered her from our visit yesterday. Sure enough, when I went to the website and looked for Darcy's picture, I remembered her. Isn't she cute? She is 5 months old, and Kelly says she is very friendly.

She still wants a companion for Darcy, but has decided to wait awhile. I'm so excited for her and her new puppy! Kelly has always been a cat person; Darcy will be her first dog.

I'm also very happy that Kelly rescued a dog, rather than going out and buying a puppy from a breeder. I'm sure the two of them will be "forever friends," as they say at the shelter.

Give Darcy a hug for me, Sweetie. I love you!

*edited to change the picture for a more up-to-date one that Kelly took.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Therese from Aussie Coffee Shop has tagged me for the Unspectacular Quirk Meme. The rules are to tell six quirky things about yourself, then tag six unsuspecting blog buddies to do the same on their blogs.

Six Quirky Things About Me

1. I can pick small objects up off the floor with my toes.

2. I sometimes stay up all night to finish a book.

3. I like Cheetos in split pea or bean with bacon soup.

4. I never wear shoes when I'm home--always barefoot, even in winter.

5. I sleep with my feet sticking out from under the covers.

6. I can still remember my locker number from junior high school--and that was a loooong time ago. 13-19-25

I don't know enough bloggers to tag, so if you're reading this, you're tagged. :o)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Roy Orbison

My favorite singer of all time.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost

The Gospel reading for the Traditional Latin Mass today, July 27, is St. Mark 7:31-37, the healing of the deaf man.

At that time, Jesus, going out of the coasts of Tyre, came by Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring to Him one deaf and dumb, and they besought Him that He would lay His hand upon him.

And taking him from the multitude apart, He put His fingers into his ears, and spitting, He touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, He groaned and said to him: Ephpheta, that is, Be thou opened: and immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right.

And He charged them that they should tell no man: but the more He charged them so much the more a great deal did they publish it; and so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath made all things well; He hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Today's introduction to the Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost in my Missal says, "The Church puts her hope in God from whom she receives her help. Our Lord has healed the wounds of mankind and has given us strength. Infinite charity and mercy of God."


Friday, July 25, 2008

It's Been Forty Years

If you've never read Humanae Vitae, please read it now. Read it if you are Catholic, and read if you're not.

I wish that I had read it when we first got married. I wish that we had been Catholic then, submitting to God's will through His Church rather than making life decisions on our own.

Today, July 25, is the fortieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI's beautiful letter to all of us regarding the "regulation of birth." It caused quite a stir, with many Catholics complaining that the Church should stay out of their bedrooms. What they are really saying is that God should stay out of their bedrooms.

No believer will wish to deny that the teaching authority of the Church is competent to interpret even the natural moral law. It is, in fact, indisputable, as our predecessors have many times declared,[1] that Jesus Christ, when communicating to Peter and to the Apostles His divine authority and sending them to teach all nations His commandments,[2] constituted them as guardians and authentic interpreters of all the moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel, but also of the natural law, which is also an expression of the will of God, the faithful fulfillment of which is equally necessary for salvation.[3]

Conformably to this mission of hers, the Church has always provided—and even more amply in recent times—a coherent teaching concerning both the nature of marriage and the correct use of conjugal rights and the duties of husband and wife.[4]

Pope Paul knew that people would not find it to be easy.

18. It can be foreseen that this teaching will perhaps not be easily received by all: Too numerous are those voices—amplified by the modern means of propaganda—which are contrary to the voice of the Church. To tell the truth, the Church is not surprised to be made, like her divine Founder, a "sign of contradiction",[22] yet she does not because of this cease to proclaim with humble firmness the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Of such laws the Church was not the author, nor consequently can she be their arbiter; she is only their depositary and their interpreter, without ever being able to declare to be licit that which is not so by reason of its intimate and unchangeable opposition to the true good of man.

But the Church must teach God's Truth.

19. Our words would not be an adequate expression of the thought and solicitude of the Church, Mother and Teacher of all peoples, if, after having recalled men to the observance and respect of the divine law regarding matrimony, we did not strengthen them in the path of honest regulation of birth, even amid the difficult conditions which today afflict families and peoples. The Church, in fact, cannot have a different conduct towards men than that of the Redeemer: She knows their weaknesses, has compassion on the crowd, receives sinners; but she cannot renounce the teaching of the law which is, in reality, that law proper to a human life restored to its original truth and conducted by the spirit of God.[24]

20. The teaching of the Church on the regulation of birth, which promulgates the divine law, will easily appear to many to be difficult or even impossible of actuation. And indeed, like all great beneficent realities, it demands serious engagement and much effort, individual, family and social effort. More than that, it would not be practicable without the help of God, who upholds and strengthens the good will of men. Yet, to anyone who reflects well, it cannot but be clear that such efforts ennoble man and are beneficial to the human community.

You can read the complete encyclical here .

*edited to add this link to an excellent article, The Vindication Of Humanae Vitae by Mary Eberstadt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Ahlyssa!

I hope you had a wonderful birthday, my sweet Lys. I can hardly believe that you are nine years old now! I hope you like the art supplies we sent with Lily and Daddy. Lily had fun helping me pick out your gifts.

I'm looking forward to seeing the drawings that you make. Be sure to bring your portfolio the next time you come to visit. Kelly will want to see it, too. :o)

I love you, Lyssa, and I thank God for blessing us with such a wonderful granddaughter.

Hugs and Kisses,

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Painted Churches

Mom and I took Lily to meet her daddy in Schulenburg today, a drive of about an hour and a half. We met at noon and had lunch together, then said good-bye to Jason and Lily. Lily was so happy to see her daddy, and was eager to get home to see the rest of her family. I'm going to miss her.

After parting from them, Mom and I visited four of the beautiful painted churches in the area. The picture on the left is a small sample of the painting at one of the churches, The Nativity of Mary, Blessed Virgin at High Hill. All of the churches are lovely, but this one is my favorite. Not only is the painting spectacular, but the statues, the altar, and the stained glass windows are stunning.

We also visited St. Cyril and Methodius in Dubina, St. John The Baptist in Ammansville, and St. Mary's Church Of The Assumption in Praha. I wish I could post pictures of all of them, but please click on the links; you'll be amazed at their beauty.

I've visited these churches several times, and each time I want to stay longer. They are incredibly peaceful, holy places, filled with history, reverence and love for God. The presence of Christ in the Tabernacle is palpable. I felt that presence whenever I entered a Catholic church, long before I converted, but I didn't understand what it was. Even in the modern, stripped-down Catholic churches that are everywhere now, I feel that Presence. He is there.

But why have our churches changed so much? Why can't they still be the beautiful offerings to God that the old Catholic churches were? Why shouldn't the place where we worship Him be so beautiful that it takes our breath away? That seems right to me.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lily's Visit Is Winding Down

Lily, Mom and I went to lunch at Olive Garden Saturday. We planned to see a movie in the afternoon, and Lily insisted on seeing Wall-E, since she wasn't here when we took Caelen and Lyssa to see it. Mom and Lily really enjoyed it, and I discovered that there were a few things I had missed seeing the first time around. If you go see it, be sure to stick around for the end credits. We didn't the first time, but this time we got to see a short version of what happens after the return to earth. Very cute. :o)

Lily liked Olive Garden so much that she wanted to eat there again today after Mass. :o) We went to Earl Abel's instead, and she liked that, too.

Right now we are waiting for the pool to be shaded so that she can swim without having to mess with sunscreen. She has been swimming every day since she's been here.

Tomorrow we will meet her daddy in Schulenburg, and he will take her home. Mom is going with me and we hope to visit some of the painted churches around there after having lunch with Jason.

It's been fun having the grands here this summer. I hope they will always have happy memories of their visits. I know I will!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Treasure!

A few months ago I stopped to browse in a local antique mall and saw this huge metal plate with a crucifix. The owner of the booth also had a couple of large old crucifixes that I would love to have, too. Maybe next month. :o) I always want to buy Catholic items when I see them in thrift stores, flea markets or antique stores.

At the time, I didn't want to pay the asking price, but I kept thinking that I should have bought the plate. Today Lily and I were out and about, and we stopped at the antique mall. I was surprised to see that the plate was still there, and on sale for 20% off! I felt like it was waiting for me. :o)

I've never seen anything like it, and wonder if it is a handmade piece. It's 24" in diameter, and the pictures and words are raised. The Corpus is a separate piece, added to the raised cross. The metal may be copper, but I'm not sure.

If someone can translate the Dutch* inscription for me, I'd appreciate it. I suspect that it says something like, "Give us this day our daily bread," but I'm just guessing.

Now I have to figure out where to hang it. It looks much bigger than it did in the store!

Prayer Before A Crucifix
Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus,
I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight,
and with the most fervent desire of my soul
I pray and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart
lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity,
with true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment,
while with deep affection and grief of soul
I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five Wounds,
having before my eyes that which David, the prophet, spoke of Thee, my Jesus:
"They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."


*edited to say Dutch inscription rather than German inscription. Thanks, Jason!

"No Fish In This Lake"

Lily had been looking forward to going fishing, so yesterday evening we took her to the lake at the park. Her Papa got her fishing pole all ready, got her situated on the bank and cast the line in for her. She held the pole for about five minutes, and then declared that there were no fish in that lake. :o)

It was very hot, so I was glad that she didn't want to fish for long. We took her home and she went swimming. Even though she didn't much enjoy fishing, she had fun with her cousin Reece (in the Pure Joy photo below).

Pure Joy

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Zoo, Train and Japanese Garden

Today Lily, Kelly and I visited the zoo. We arrived when it opened at 9 AM, and stayed until mid-afternoon. Lily really enjoyed seeing all of the animals. We especially liked the butterfly house, where butterflies were everywhere and even landed on us. :o) They are still working on the Africa exhibit, but have opened the first phase. It was very nice.

The top picture is Lily at the zoo in her San Antonio Zoo hat.

After we left the zoo, we took a ride on the train in Brackenridge Park. It made a stop at the Japanese Tea Garden, so we got off and toured the Garden, too. The city has begun a restoration project there, and the Garden looks so much better than it did. It was lovely.

The bottom picture is Lily at the Tea Garden. She is so beautiful. :o)

We had lunch at Cheesy Janes with Kelly, then went to see Gran and Chuy. We were exhausted by the time we finally got home, but we sure had a great day!

Lily's Wild Grape Jelly

Lily and I made wild grape jelly earlier this week, using the Black Spanish grapes from our backyard grapevine. It was fun, but rather labor intensive. The jelly is delicious, though, and it was worth the trouble.

Here's Lily, showing the fruits of our efforts. :o) We had enough jelly to fill another half dozen jars, but I didn't have any more jars, so we poured the rest into a couple of milk shake glasses to use right away. Tonight we had peanut butter and wild grape jelly sandwiches for dinner. Yum!

We used a combination of several different recipes. Here's the finalized version.

Lily's Homemade Wild Grape Jelly
3 1/2 lbs. grapes
1 1/2 C water
1 pkg. pectin (We used Ball Fruit Jell Pectin)
Juice of 1 lemon
7 C sugar (If we make this again, I think we will use a bit less sugar).

1. Put the grapes into a large saucepan, pour in the water, mash the grapes and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. When the grapes are soft, pour the mixture carefully into a colander lined with a double thickness of gauze and set over a bowl or other container. Strain the juice from the grapes through the gauze, pressing the grapes to get out as much juice as possible. You should end up with about 5 cups of grape juice. (I only got 4 cups from the 3 1/2 lbs. of grapes, so I cooked up another smaller batch. It may have been because the grapes we used were so small--about the size of big blueberries and full of seeds).

3. Measure 5 cups of juice into a saucepan, add the lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil, stir in the pectin and the sugar. Boil hard for one minute. (Be careful, I let mine boil over).

4. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Ladle jelly into prepared jars to within 1/8" of the top, wipe rims with a clean cloth, place the lids on and screw on the rings. Turn the jars over for 5 minutes, then turn them upright.

5. Label the jars after they have thoroughly cooled.

To prepare the jars, boil jars, lids and rings in water for at least 10 minutes. Let them stand in the water while you prepare the jelly. Remove them when you are ready to fill the jars. We had a dozen 4 oz. jelly jars, but you can use larger jars, too.

When the lids are pressed down in the middle, they should not pop back up if they are properly sealed. Ours didn't all seal immediately, but after awhile none of the lids popped up when pressed.

Seeing the cute little jars of sparkling purple/red jelly made us feel so happy and proud of our accomplishment. Lily is looking forward to sharing her jelly with her family when she goes home.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wild Things

I've always been a book lover, and I enjoyed the books my kids and I read together as much as they did. And now I get to do it all over again with my grandkids. :o)

Today Lily and I went book shopping. She just turned six and will be in first grade in the fall, so we bought a couple of beginner readers so that she can practice. I told her that by the time she goes home, she will be able to read one of the books to her daddy when she sees him again. She likes that idea.

While we were shopping we found a copy of Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are and bought it for Reece. He is spending the night tonight, so I read it to him at bedtime and he loved it. It was fun to read it to a child once again.

He was surprised to see Lily here today when his daddy brought him over. He looked for Caelen and Ahlyssa. But in a short time, he was playing with her and following her around. She is so sweet with him. They went with me to visit their Great-Gran and kept her entertained while we were there. I'm sure we'll have lots of fun while Lily is visiting. In the words of Max, "Let the wild rumpus start!" :o)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Feast Of The Seven Holy Brothers

During the persecution decreed by Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-168), seven brothers, sons of the saintly Felicitas, were tempted to renounce their Christian faith; the prefect Publius first used flattery, then resorted to atrocious torments. But they remained steadfast, and their mother encouraged them in confessing Christ. Different types of death were allotted them. Januarius died under the scourge; Felix and Philip were beaten with clubs; Silanus was cast from a rock; Alexander, Vitalis and Martial were beheaded. Four months later their mother, too, suffered martyrdom. Burial took place in different cemeteries. During the eighth century Silanus and his mother were taken to the Church of St. Susanna at Rome, where they still rest. Alexander came into the possession of the abbey church of Farfa.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Today is also the feast day of the Virgin Martyrs, Rufina and Secunda, daughters of a wealthy Roman. They refused to marry two suitors who had apostatized from the Christian religion. They were scourged and beheaded a century after the Seven Holy Brothers and St. Felicitas.

Catholics and other Christians are still persecuted in today's world. Most of us don't have to give up our lives for our faith, although some do. Please pray for those who are persecuted for their Christian faith all over the world.

Pope Benedict's prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan for the Christians in China could apply to all Christians who are persecuted.

He says in the prayer:
Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China,
who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love.
May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world,
and of the world to Jesus.
In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high,
offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love.
Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love,
ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.
Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Lys Can Cook

Lyssa likes to help in the kitchen. Here she is with the flag cake she decorated for our Fourth of July dessert. Fourth of July flag cakes are a tradition here, ever since I first saw the idea in a magazine years ago. Yummy and super easy to make!

Lys helped me make the oatmeal cookies in the picture, and her brother Caelen took the picture of them in the cake stand. The cookies disappeared in two days. :o)

Here's the cookie recipe.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 C brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
3 C old fashioned oatmeal
1 C chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350°F. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add the combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool cookies for a minute on cookie sheet, then remove to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

(To make bar cookies, bake the dough in a 9X13" pan for 30 to 35 minutes).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Frio River

I wish I had pictures of our tubing trip, but I was afraid to take my camera for fear of getting it soaked. This picture is the big swimming hole. Kids were jumping off two big rocks into a 20' deep hole. Most of them were teens, but that didn't keep our two grandkids from climbing up the rock and joining the fun. The river and the surrounding views are so beautiful.

Caelen and Lyssa were not sure at first--the water was cold and the experience was new. But they watched what the other kids did and joined right in.

Caelen climbed a bigger rock opposite the one in the picture, using a rope to get up to the top. He jumped from there, but it scared me, and I wouldn't let him do it again. They had to be content with the "smaller" rock.

And of course little sister was not about to be left behind. She was as brave as anyone, and jumped off over and over again.

We had such a good time with them and our daughter, Kelly. We stayed in a cabin, and they both enjoyed that experience. We played Simpsons Clue and Blackjack, and star-gazed in front of the cabin. That was a wonderful, unique experience for our little city dwellers. The sky was ink black, and there were millions of bright stars. They even saw a couple of shooting stars.

We are definitely planning to go back and stay longer. Garner State Park is near where we stayed, and looks like a lovely place to camp.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Last Night

Last night Reece spent the night. He loves Caelen and Lyssa so much, and they are wonderful with him. How sweet it is to wake up and see his precious face. His face when he is sleeping is peaceful and beautiful--rosy cheeks, a rosebud mouth and astonishingly long, dark eyelashes.

Last night we finished Where The Red Fern Grows. A few tears were shed at the sad ending, but we all really enjoyed the book.

Last night we played blackjack with the Grands. Caelen had played it somewhere and wanted to play. We used pennies as chips, and even Lyssa had fun, although at first she didn't want to play. They didn't seem to mind that Papa is a very strict blackjack dealer. Today Papa and Caelen went to Target and bought a little case filled with poker chips, cards, dice and the rules for Texas Hold'em. I hope we're not turning our grandchildren into gamblers. :o)

Last night we made a list of the things we would need for our trip to the river. We went shopping for them today, and I think we're about ready. We will pick Kelly up on our way out of town in the morning. I'm glad she's going with us. The Grands always have fun with their Aunt Kelly.

If you have a minute, please send up a quick prayer for our safety on the road and on the river. Thanks!