Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Sunday of Advent

This First Sunday of Advent or the Fourth before Christmas, is the first day of the Liturgical Year. The Mass prepares us this day for the double coming (adventus) of mercy and justice. That is why St. Paul tells us, in the Epistle, to cast off sin in order that, being ready for the coming of Christ as our Saviour, we may also be ready for His coming as our Judge, of which we learn in the Gospel. Let us prepare ourselves, by pious aspirations and by the reformation of our life, for this twofold coming. Jesus our Lord will reward those who yearn for Him and await Him: "Those who trust in Him shall not be confounded."
(The Roman Missal, 1962)

Ye heavens, drop down dew from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One.


My heart is aching tonight because Fr. Phillip Kim, the priest on the far left in this picture, died in a car wreck today. (That's my daughter-in-law being baptised).

Father Kim was the parochial vicar of our former church. He was ordained in 2004 at the age of 72, and was one of the kindest, sweetest men I've ever met.

I saw him a few weeks ago when I went to pick up my son at work, and told him I needed a hug. He gave me a big hug and a grin. I told my son as we drove away that Father Kim is one person that I really miss since we changed churches. My heart feels like I've lost a member of my own family.

Please pray for the soul of this wonderful priest.

Lord our God, the death of Father Phillip Kim recalls our human condition and the brevity of our lives on earth. But for those who believe in your love, death is not the end, nor does it destroy the bonds that you forge in our lives. We share the faith of your Son's disciples and the hope of the children of God. Bring the light of Christ's resurrection to this time of testing and pain as we pray for Father Kim and for those who love him, through Christ our Lord.
(From the Glenstal Book of Prayer)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Grandkid Heaven

Ron and I had all six of the grands tonight. Josh and Cyrise went to a wedding, so we kept Reece and Aubrey. Jason and Kis met Kelly and Mike for dinner and a movie and left their four with us, too. They were all as good as gold and I loved watching them interact with each other all evening. There is always something going on. Being a gramma is so much fun!

I am tired, though. :o)

Sandi and Collin went home this afternoon after another quick shopping trip, this time to Costco. I'm going to have to start shopping there more often. We found lots of things that might be good Christmas gifts for my kids and grandkids.

It was a gorgeous day, and we spent some time outside. Even Aubrey enjoyed being out in the fresh air and sunshine.

No, that's not a picture of Ron and our six grands above. :o) I put my camera battery in the charger before Thanksgiving, but haven't taken any pictures the whole time! I'll try to remember to take some tomorrow.

(Illustration from the book My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet).

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Family Holiday

I would never venture out on Black Friday on my own, but my sister Sandi likes to shop. She is visiting this weekend, and showed up this morning while I was making chocolate chip pancakes, ready to find a bargain. So off we went to the nearest mall. It was busy, but not as bad as I expected.

Sandi bought an $85 purse for $20, and an adorable set of clothes for Jonah. I got Aubrey a couple of cute winter outfits for Christmas and some new pillows for our bed. We didn't stay too long because shopping makes my dizziness worse, but we got great buys.

We had left Mom at my house with her great-grandkids, and when we got back she was playing in the backyard with them. She didn't miss us at all. :o) All six of the grands spent the afternoon and evening here, and it was so much fun to watch them playing together. They all love each other so much--Reece can hardly contain his excitement, and Aubrey watches every move the "big kids" make with a smile on her face.

The guys set up a backyard shooting range so that Caelen could practice shooting his BB gun. They had targets, a table and chairs and a pair of binoculars and happily spent the afternoon together. They wanted to shoot at the nearby shooting range, but it was too busy so they will try another time.

Some of us had leftovers, and others Chinese take-out for dinner tonight. I didn't have to cook, but there's been a never-ending stream of dirty dishes and glasses. :o) Cyrise cooked a big pot of beans, and we'll have that with rice tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will spend time with Sandi and Collin before they go home. While she is here, Lyssa wants us to help her with a "family tree" project for school. The kids had us draw names from a hat tonight, and we are supposed to do 3 random acts of kindness for the person whose name we got before the weekend is over.

That's been our day. I love the crazy, hectic, fun filled days when they are all here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


We had a lovely Thanksgiving. All of our children and their families were here, and my mom, sister and nephew. There were 11 adults and our 6 grandchildren, and 3 dogs. We got to meet the latest member of our family today. Fun!

Our daughter and son-in-law have adopted another dog to be a companion to the dog they got a few months ago, Darcy. The new dog was a stray in their neighborhood. Kelly took him to the vet to see if he is micro-chipped, but he is not.

She searched lost dog ads, half hoping that she would not find that someone was looking for him. She called the humane society, and they told her that if she kept him for three days without finding the owner, he was officially hers. He had some doggy problems, like fleas and parasites, and she got medicine from the vet for him. She bought him a kennel, leash, collar and tags. What a lucky dog!
Her husband named him Banzai. He's a sweet boy, a little bit bigger and slightly older than Darcy. She loves him, and they play so hard together. I think Banzai is just what the slightly hyper Darcy needed.

Chuy was a little overwhelmed by two young whippersnappers that can literally step over (or on) him, but they all got along well.

Welcome to the family, Banzai! :o)

Happy Thanksgiving!

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Getting Ready

Today I'm getting ready for the arrival of family for Thanksgiving. I'll be putting fresh clean sheets on the beds, baking cornbread for the dressing, and doing as much of the meal preparation as possible. My to-do list is a mile long. :o)

Yesterday the grocery store was crowded with people shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. Downtown, people are preparing the annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner, which will feed thousands of the poor and homeless. Today families are traveling to spend the holiday with loved ones. And tomorrow we will all sit down together to a feast, and thank God for all that He has given us. We are so blessed!

I'd better get going on that to-do list, starting with washing towels and cleaning a stinky litter box!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Buds On Mount Tabor

Memories of the trip Jason and I took to Israel flooded my mind today at Adoration. Sometimes my heart aches to go back there, to be where Jesus lived and walked again.

One day we went to Mt. Tabor, to the Church of the Transfiguration. The roads to the top are switchbacks which the tour buses can't navigate, so we were taken up in small groups by taxi.

Jason and I were among the first group to arrive at the top, and waited in the parking lot for the others. There was a group of children on a field trip waiting for their rides, too, and as I stood there I was swarmed by young boys who saw my camera and wanted me to take their picture. I was happy to oblige, and after every shot they would surround me wanting to see the picture on my digital camera. After a little while, a few girls joined us. I was having a great time, and the kids were, too.

Jason told me that one of the boys had come up to him, pointed to me with his friends and said, "Is okay? Is okay?" and Jason nodded yes. I thought it was cute that the boy realized that Jason was with me, and wanted to make sure it was okay to interact with me.

Later Jason asked me if I had seen the guards holding automatic rifles who were with the children. I was shocked and said that I hadn't noticed them. Our guide explained that guards are sent with school children everywhere to protect them from being kidnapped, both Israeli and Muslim children. I might have felt nervous if I had seen the armed guards watching me with the children, but at the time it didn't seem much different than interacting with children anywhere.

The Church of the Transfiguration is beautiful, with steep, wide steps going down to the sanctuary. There are amazing mosaics around the altar in the grotto. I nearly fell down the steps as I was gawking around, not paying attention to what I was doing, but Jason caught me just in time. I would have felt foolish rolling down the steps to the foot of the altar. :o)

The priests who accompanied us on the tour celebrated Mass there. It was so beautiful. As we were receiving communion, a group of German tourists arrived, and waited on the upper level for us to finish Mass, chiming in with some of the responses.

Jason and I were in no hurry to leave, and even though we had been in the first group to go up the mountain, we were with the last group going down, along with two of our priests and two Israeli guides. I had been wondering how our guide could know so much about Jesus and his life and not be Catholic. Both of the guides laughingly said that it was because of their Jewish mothers. That to become Christian would break their mothers' hearts. Perhaps someday they will convert, though. †

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Birthday

It's my birthday. Today I am officially older than dirt. Or maybe that happened a couple of years ago. I forget.

I know I'm older than dirt because I took a geezer test, and only missed a couple of the questions. You can take it here.

We are going out to eat after Mass to celebrate my geezerhood with family.

Hope you all have a beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Night Cow Jumping Over The Moon

So yeah. On Thursday I had the ultrasound of my thyroid, and even I could see on the little computer screen that it was covered with bumps (tumors). The radiologist said they would send it to the endocrinologist, who will explain what it means. So I came right home and got on the computer to see what I could find out. To my relief, 90% of thyroid tumors are benign. It's that pesky 10% that worries me just a bit.

The print? Don't ask me; I just like it. Too much Goodnight Moon, maybe. It's by Lowell Herrera. You can buy a copy here for $7.99. It would be cute in a child's bedroom. Or is it scary?

Reece and Aubrey were here today while their mommy was at work, so we had our second preschool lesson, which went okay. Reece somewhat enjoyed looking at old family pictures, especially those of his daddy at his age. And he liked lying on a sheet of butcher paper so that I could draw around him to make a Reece shape. :o) First we did it with his Bunny, so that he would understand what I was doing. Then we drew his shape. Then, just for fun, we drew Aubrey's shape. We played with his new flannel board, but he lost interest in that pretty quickly. He loved singing and making the motions to "If You're Happy And You Know It." He loves music.

After they left I spent most of the evening dozing on the couch or watching TV, snuggled under a flannel blanket. It's cold here in South Texas tonight.

Have a great weekend, dear readers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random Thoughts

I was up at 6:30 this morning, waiting for Reece and Aubrey. Their mommy had jury duty today, so their daddy dropped them off on his way to work.

Oh my, they were so sweet. Nothing but smiles and happiness, even though they had been awakened so early. I took them with me to my mom's, and she held Aubrey the whole time we were there. :o)

Cyrise didn't have to stay for jury duty, so Josh took them home at lunch time. I have another appointment this afternoon, this time for an ultrasound of my thyroid. We didn't get a chance to homeschool today, but maybe Reece will spend the night tomorrow night.

I have errands to run this afternoon before my ultrasound appointment. These past few days have been a flurry of activity; I've hardly been home during the day. I want the holidays to be serene, but I'm going to have to get organized if that's going to happen.

We will be having 17 for Thanksgiving dinner, so far. Eleven adults and six children. I love having a houseful of people I love!

It's a beautiful day, warm and sunny, and butterflies are everywhere. I guess they are migrating. I love that we have butterflies in our yard during the winter. (I didn't take the picture of the monarch above. It's from a pest control site).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Day of Pre-School

And I forgot to take pictures. :o(

But it was fun. It didn't take long, which is good because Reece is like a butterfly, touching here and there for brief moments and then flying away to the next thing.

He liked the poem I read to him several times at the beginning of the lesson. I didn't expect that. I didn't think he would really listen, but he did. :o)

He also liked the stories. I didn't find all of the books recommended, but I gathered several that had the same theme (how God made you and loves you). We used three of them today, and I'll read all of them to him throughout the week.

He loved making his handprints with watercolors, but wasn't much interested in looking at himself in the mirror and answering questions about his name, the color of his hair and eyes, etc. And we didn't have a tape recorder to record his voice so that he could hear what he sounds like. I'll do that with him later in the week.

He watched me do the finger play, but didn't want to do it himself. It was a poem and motions about eyes, ears, nose, hands, feet, etc. So I touched his eyes, ears, etc. while repeating the poem, and that was okay with him. :o)

All in all, I think he enjoyed it. I told him that we were going to "play school," to get him interested.

Aubrey enjoyed it, too. She sat in her seat and watched every move we made, especially what Reece was doing. He kept looking down at her and smiling at her. It was so sweet. I was afraid that she would be unhappy and disturb the lesson, but she was perfectly content to be with us.

I've discovered that I have to have everything at my fingertips. If I have to leave the room to go fetch something, Reece loses interest and wanders away. I may spread things out a bit in the next lesson, so that he can do one activity, play a bit, then come back to the next. I'm not sure how that will work, but I suppose the first few weeks will be a learning experience for both of us. :o)

The picture above is from a few days ago. I was folding laundry and Reece was "helping." :o) He loves to stack things, and that's what he was doing with the washcloths. His daddy told me that he was stacking pieces of hot dog during lunch one day.

I'm excited to do the next lesson with him!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Beauties and The Beast

My dad always called these flowers "Beauties," because he said that's what his mother called them. They are wild evening primrose, which grow along our highways in Texas in the spring, along with the bluebells, indian paintbrush and other pretty wildflowers. Thank you Ladybird Johnson.

I put them here because I didn't want to post a picture of a thyroid (the beast). These are much prettier. :o)

It turns out I have hyperthyroidism, which means overactive thyroid. I have almost every symptom the young endocrinologist asked about, and she was surprised that no one had ordered a thyroid panel years ago, based on my heart rate alone (it's way high).

The cause of overactive thyroid could be Graves disease, multinodular goiter, adenoma, or thyroiditis. Treatment will depend on the cause. I'll be going in for a thyroid uptake scan soon, and she wants another thyroid panel done. She told me to go ahead with the ultrasound on Thursday, too. She believes the dizziness is a result of the hyperthyroidism, but I'm going to keep the ENT appointment in December, just in case it's an inner ear thing.

I'm learning a lot about the thyroid. I had no idea how it works and how important it is to every area of the body. We are truly miraculously made.

I'm relieved to know there is a reason for how I've been feeling, and that something can be done to make things better. God bless doctors and scientists!

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
blue, blue sky, long shadows; it's peaceful, but cold at 40°F.

I am thinking...
about the drive across town this morning, to see the endocrinologist. Wondering what he will tell me.

I am thankful...
for eyes that can see, and ears that can hear.

From the kitchen...
a cup of Earl Grey with honey.

I am wearing...
black slacks, a black v-neck top, cinnamon jacket, black flats.

I am creating...
still gathering the home school things I need for Reece.

I am going...
to stop by Mom's on the way to the doctor to take her pills, then to the doctor. We will have to miss Adoration today. :o(

I am hoping...
for answers about my health.

I am hearing...

Around the house...
I turned the furnace on for the first time yesterday. I don't like cold weather.

One of my favorite things...
wrens. They have such big voices for such tiny birds. :o)

A few plans for the rest of the week...
more doctor appointments on Wednesday and Thursday, making my Thanksgiving menu, starting the home school program with Reece.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Maggie, with sunny stripes.

Please visit Peggy at A Simple Woman to read more blogger daybooks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm Taking The Plunge.

I received the Little Saints, A Catholic Preschool Program With Classical Disciplines by Cynthia Blum in the mail today. I'm excited to start using it with Reece, but I'm a little overwhelmed. I have seen reviews from several people saying how much work is involved in preparing the lessons, but I have time and motivation. I want to give my sweet grandbaby as much of a head start as possible before he starts school. (And I've always been a teacher at heart). :o)

I'll spend the weekend doing the prep work for next week--gathering the materials needed, preparing the games and crafts and trying to find some of the books and music recommended. I don't know how Reece is going to react, but he loves to play with Gramma, so I think he will love it. He is so used to being the one to decide what we're going to do, though, that I'm wondering if he will go along with my plans. :o)

I know I'm behind as far as the normal school year goes, but there's no hurry. He still has almost two years before Kindergarten. We're going to take this slow and easy.

The first week's theme is "I Belong To God." I love it already. :o)

St. Jean Marie-Baptiste Vianney

My patron saint for next year, 2009, is St. John Vianney, the Cure d'Ars.

Angela, at Where Angels Go, has taken on the task of assigning saints to her readers again this year. She chose St. Anthony Mary Claret for me last year, and I've loved having him close this year. I'm looking forward to getting to know St. John Vianney in the same way.

St. John Vianney is the patron saint of priests. God used him in a marvelous way to bring thousands of people to Himself. Despite his lack of a good formal education, St. John struggled through Seminary and was finally ordained a priest.

He was sent to Ars, a remote French village with only 40 homes and 4 taverns. The people there were living lives removed from God, but after some time, because of St. John, they became devout. He visited every family, helping them whenever he could, talking with them, using everyday examples in the lessons he taught them. His three hour sermons spoke to their hearts. People would come from miles around to hear him, and to go to confession.

St. John lived a penitential life, eating very little food and sleeping only a few hours each night. A villager peeking in his window said that he prayed all night. He sold the nice furniture in the rectory and used the money for the poor.

By the end of his life, St. John would stay in the confessional for hours, sometimes up to 18 hours a day, to accommodate the lines of people waiting for him to hear their confessions. He had the gift of knowing which sins people were omitting from their confession. He was sometimes able to convert sinners with only a few words to them. During his last years, thousands came from all over the world to hear him speak and hear their confessions.

St. John Vianney was ordained May 31, 1925. His miracles fell into three categories--obtaining money for charity and food for orphans, supernatural knowledge of the past and future, and healing the sick, especially children.

I spite of many difficulties, the envy of other priests, the scorn and ridicule of parishioners who didn't want changes in the parish, the vandalism of his home and rumors spread about him, his nightly battles with the devil, St. John continued in his calm, patient, faithful way to serve his people and live the life God had called him to.

He died at Ars on August 4, 1859. St. John Vianney's incorrupt body is entombed above the main altar in the Basilica at Ars, France.

Here is Pope John Paul II's Encyclical, Message on the Cure d'Ars. He believed St. John Vianney to be the perfect example for priests.

Almighty and merciful God, in Saint John Vianney You have given us a Priest who was outstanding in pastoral zeal. Through his intercession help us to win men for Christ and together with them attain eternal glory.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gramma's Angels (Most Of The Time)

She's sugar and spice and everything nice.

Most of the time.

And he is my darling angel boy.

Most of the time. :o)

No, he didn't really step on her. :o)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

When I looked outside this morning, there was a surprise waiting for me on the patio. This beautiful flower had bloomed on a plant I got at a plant trade last year. I have forgotten the name of the plant now, but isn't the bloom pretty?

Reece spent the night last night and we had lots of fun. We played with his cars and trucks, a new puzzle, his blocks, play dough, and then watched Little People videos on the pre-school kids channel on cable. He also likes Pingu, but has seen them so many times that he was telling me what was going to happen next. :o)

We made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. It seemed as if we barely had time to eat, brush teeth, comb hair and get dressed before it was time to go to Gran's. He had fun there, but got kind of sleepy and cranky just before we left. He will probably take a nap this afternoon, though he is trying to give them up.

I'm going to Josh's later to watch Reece and Aubrey while Cyrise keeps a doctor appointment. She had an ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and is pregnant. Please pray for her and the baby, as she has lost three babies in the past. Our new little love will be born in June, God willing. †

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gran's Garden

Mom and I worked a bit in her little garden plot this morning. We staked her tomato plants which were leaning from the weight of the two tomatoes on each plant. We did some weeding, watered, and picked some of her spinach. That light green stuff barely coming up is lettuce. We're going to plant some carrots too, if it's not too late. It's not a big garden, but it's just the right size for her to take care of, and she enjoys the veggies from it.

We used some of the spinach we picked to make a big salad for her lunch, along with red leaf lettuce, a green onion and tuna. She really enjoyed it, and it was nice knowing that it was all totally natural--no pesticides or growth hormones.

This is Mom and Chuy at the gazebo next to the garden. She is holding old knee highs that we used to tie the tomato plants to the stakes.

Yes, we watered those pitiful impatiens in flower box. I think it's time to trim them back. Mom has some on her patio in flower boxes that got leggy and we gave them a burr haircut. They came back prettier than ever. Her patio is way in the background where the ferns are hanging. I meant to take a picture of it today, but forgot to do it. She and her neighbor both have ferns and window boxes, and they look so pretty.

Thank You, Veterans!

What is a Veteran?

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each others backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies
unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the
freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag."

Father Denis Edward O'Brien/USMC

Unabashedly stolen from Teacher's post at the Catholic Convert Board.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

It's been a busy day. I didn't have time to do my daybook this morning, so it will be an evening daybook instead. :o)

Outside my window...
cloudy skies, the sun is setting and a few clouds are touched with pink and gray, going home traffic on the street beside our house.

I am thinking...
I wish it didn't get dark so early.

I am thankful...
that I live in a Republic.

From the kitchen...
Ron is marinating a pork roast to grill tomorrow evening when the kids are here. He's off today and tomorrow for Veteran's Day.

I am wearing...
Blue jean capris, a brown ribbed tee, bare feet. It's still warm in Texas.

I am creating...
I'm frustratingly uncreative at the moment.

I am going...
I've already been--to Adoration with Mom, lunch at Crumpets and then we stopped at a Goodwill store where she bought a little teapot and a massage brush for Chuy, and I bought some custard cups that match my stoneware and three pretty vintage dessert plates.

I am hoping...
for rain from these clouds!

I am hearing...
the music from my Playlist. Norah Jones at the moment--very dreamy.

Around the house...
a mess. :o(

One of my favorite things...
Millions of stars in an inky black sky.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
housecleaning, laundry, grocery shopping.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

My mom and my youngest grandbaby. They love each other. :o)

Please visit Peggy at A Simple Woman's Daybook to read the daybooks of other bloggers. She has a new blog especially for daybooks.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lazy Sunday

It's been a quiet, lovely Sunday. We went to Mass, then to lunch at Olive Garden. I was hungry for pasta. :o) I had their new chicken carbonara dish and raspberry peach tea. Very yummy.

We got home around 3 PM, after taking Mom home and visiting with her for awhile.

I was on the computer and then watched television. Of course I napped a bit--I always fall asleep watching TV. Ron got on the computer, then went out to the garage to work on the cabinet he is making for one of his co-workers. He loves woodworking.

I ate the rest of my Olive Garden meal for dinner, then tonight Ron and I went to Sonic for a chocolate malt for me and a blended root beer float for him. On the way there I reminded him of when we first got married and would drive to the local Dairy Queen in Copperas Cove (he was stationed at Ft. Hood at the time) for a Buster Bar now and then. Here we are nearly 40 years later, still going out at night for ice cream. :o)

Ron gave me the Our Lady of Perpetual Help picture for my birthday a few years ago, and I found the perfect frame for it at Garden Ridge. It hangs in the hallway on the way to the family room. The weird angle is because I couldn't get a picture without a lot of glare on the glass unless I stood to the side. I love the picture and the story behind it. You can read about it here.

The Church Of The Whole World

Today we celebrate the Dedication Of The Archbasilica Of Our Saviour in the Holy Catholic Church.

"Today is the birthday of the mother and mistress of all churches, called “of Our Savior, Aula Dei (God’s Palace), the golden basilica” (Ancient inscription once found on the greater apse. It is also called ‘St. John Lateran’‘Lateran’ after its location in Rome and ‘St. John after St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, who are both specially honored therein). It is a new Sinai, whence the apostolic oracles and so many Councils have made known to the world the law of salvation. No wonder that this Feast is celebrated in the Universal Church calendar."
(Adapted from The Liturgical Year by A. Gueranger)

St. Peter Damian said that “as Our Savior is the Head of the elect, so the church which bears His Name is the head of all churches; those of St. Peter and St. Paul, on its right and left, are the two arms with which this sovereign and universal church embraces the whole earth, saving all those who desire salvation, cherishing and protecting them in its maternal bosom” (Epist. Lib. 2:1)

The Mother and Mistress of all Churches throughout the world, the Church of Saint john Lateran, or the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour, was the first publicly consecrated. It was built by Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, and consecrated by Pope St. Sylvester on November 9, A.D. 324. (From The Roman Missal, 1962)

Find more information about the Archbasilica of Our Saviour here.

Father gave a lovely brief description of the Archbasilica and the history surrounding the time it was built at Mass today. He went on to speak about how churches today should reflect our love for God in the way they are built and in their beauty. He said that in former days it sometimes took decades to finish a church, and they were beautifully built and embellished, even when people didn't have a lot of money.

Father said that because it was built near the walls of the city, the Archbasilica Of Our Savior was sacked and burned several times through the years, and that is why the Pope resides at St. Peters rather than here, so that he is safer.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Smiles

I'm smiling today because I don't feel very dizzy, Reece spent the night, we're going to a wedding later today, and Maggie Cat is sitting next to my monitor, trying to catch the arrow on the screen made by my mouse.

Not sure why the dizziness is (almost) gone, but Reece and I went to bed early and slept nearly 12 hours. Maybe that has something to do with it.

We were at my Mom's and Reece took her into her bedroom to explore. She has some ceramic birds in there that he loves to play with. While they were in there I heard her laughing so hard. When she came out she said that Reece wanted to see the silver metal cross on her wall, so she got it down and handed it to him. She said he examined it for a minute, then handed it back to her saying, "What the hell?" I think he thought something was wrong with that cross because Jesus was missing. :o)

It's also funny because his speech is not usually very clear, but when he says things he shouldn't, it is always as clear as a bell.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fr. Corapi On The Election

The American people have now made it abundantly clear who they want to lead them, and the policies and practices that this president-elect has represented for some time, they can now claim as their own. Actions have consequences, and I am sure God has duly noted what our priorities are in the US of A. Economic matters would seem to take precedence over moral matters; money more important than life itself to most people (I guess they don’t consider almost 50,000,000 innocent children murdered by abortion part of life).

Now we shall see what the fruit of such a tree will be. I predict that we won’t have to wait long. In recent months we have seen “corrections” in the stock market, housing market, and banking industries. Now we’ll see if God orchestrates a “correction” in a country and a world that has demonstrated quite clearly that it prefers convenience and wealth to life itself.

Regardless of whatever happens next, remember there is still a God in Heaven and He loves you. He is infinitely merciful—and He is infinitely just as well.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Grumpy Post

Well, it's not been a good week.

I'm depressed about the election, but I know who is really control of our world, so I'm trying not to let it get me down too much.

This presidency is going to set the pro-life movement back by decades, I'm afraid, not to mention Mr. Obama's "spreading the wealth" plans. What are people thinking? I don't think people really tried to find out where this man came from, or understood where he wants to take our country. Or maybe we really do have a country full of slackers who want the government to take care us and don't want to assume responsibility for anything, including our unborn babies.

In addition to being upset about the election, the darn peripheral vertigo is back with a vengeance the past couple of days. I have appointments to see several specialists over the next month, and I'm praying they find a cause for it and can do something to stop it. This is no way to live. I feel like I've been on an amusement park ride that spins, and when I get off the whole world is tipsy. It was so bad yesterday I vomited. TMI. Sorry.

I had to cancel my lunch with a friend today, and Ron had to come home at lunch time to take Mom her pills for me, since I didn't feel safe to drive.

And I haven't seen Reece and Aubrey all week. :o(

Okay, enough with the whining. I'll stop now. :o) On the bright side, Ron went to the store for me last night to get soup and 7-up and came home with the beautiful roses in the picture. What a sweetie! And I've lost about 5 lbs. because I don't feel like eating. That's good, right?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Morning Prayer

I found this prayer online some time ago and have been praying it each morning. I thought I'd share it with all of you today. Trust in Him.

Morning Prayer

O Lord, grant me strength to meet with serenity everything forthcoming today.

Grant me to submit completely to Thy holy will.

At every hour of this day, guide and support me in all things.

Whatsoever news may reach me in the course of this day,
teach me to accept it with calmness and the conviction that all is subject to Thy holy will.

In all my words and actions, direct my thoughts and feelings.

In all unexpected occurrences, do not let me forget that all is sent down by Thee.

Teach me to deal straightforwardly and wisely with every member of my family,
neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone.

O Lord, grant me strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day
and all the events that take place during it.

Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope,
to be patient, to forgive and to love.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Four Year Old Gets Out The Vote

This little cutie is Truett. He's urging America to Go Vote! :o)

We're Not In Alaska Anymore

My sister (in Kansas) sent me this in an email this morning, and I thought it was so cute. :o)

Don't forget to vote today.

*edited to change the title from Kansas to Alaska. Duh.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Commemoration of All Souls

We had company today, so we decided to go to the Novus Ordo Latin Mass at Our Lady of Atonement this evening. I absolutely love that church, and the Mass there.

The priest and deacons wore black vestments with orange-y gold crosses and trim for the All Souls Mass--very nice. There was the usual incense, chant, bells and organ music that I love.

My dad was very much in my prayers throughout Mass, in addition to my in-laws, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins who have died.

The practice of recommending to God the souls of the departed in that we may mitigate the great pains which they suffer, and that He may soon bring them to His glory, is most pleasing to God and most profitable to us. For those blessed souls are His eternal spouses, and they are most grateful to those who obtain their deliverance from prison, or even a mitigation of their torments. Hence, when they shall enter into heaven, they will certainly not forget those who prayed for them. It is a pious belief that God manifests to them our prayers for them, that they also may pray for us. Let us recommend to Jesus Christ, and to His holy Mother, all the souls in Purgatory, but especially those of our relatives, benefactors, friends, and enemies, and, still more particularly, the souls of those for whom we are bound to pray; and let us consider the great pains which these holy spouses of Jesus Christ endure, and offer to God for their relief the Masses of this day. (The Roman Missal, 1962)

Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. (Ps. 111)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Feast Of All Saints

We can pay no greater honour to the Saints than by offering up to God in their name the Blood of Jesus. The efficacy of their past merits and present prayers is greatly increased when offered to God in close association with the merits and prayers of our Lord. Therefore the Church commemorates on this day all the Saints in heaven without exception, and thus honours also those who are unknown and who have no public recognition in the Liturgy. (Roman Missal, 1962)

Today I want to especially pray for my father, John, my mother-in-law, Twylah, my father-in-law Cecil, and my grandparents, George, Myrtle, Roy and Jewell. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and may Your perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of malice shall not touch them: in the sight of the unwise them seem to die, but they are in peace. Alleuia. (Sap. 3, 1-2, 3) (Book of Wisdom)