Thursday, December 25, 2008

A few of the hits this Christmas

As the kids get older it gets increasingly difficult to find something to get them for Christmas. Not because they have everything or because they have difficult tastes but because they have simple tastes and they really don't like getting gifts, they'd rather give. It is always gratifying when you think of something that is not only popular but that they REALLY seem to like. I think we hit the nail on the head more than once this year.
Mary-Kate made Matthew this Jedi knight costume this year. Now in this house it is difficult if not impossible to sew in secret. He assumed all the time that she was making it that she was making it for herself. It was obvious to see that he wanted it too. We knew that it would be a success before he even opened the package.
Mary-Kate made Doug this fleece and Matthew gave him the hat and mittens. He is always needing warm things for work and they both did a good job finding just the right things for their Dad who was not only surprised but pleased with their choices.

When I saw these thigh high socks at Target I knew that they were for Mary-Kate. Her nickname is Colors at school and I don't think these socks will let that die too soon. You can also see the flowered fleece and the cow print hat and scarf that I made for her in the background.

Ian has a Carhart coat that we bought him last year. He wears that thing everyday. I have put patches on it and put a new zipper in it. When he brings his laundry over he practically sits by the dryer until it is done, he likes it so much. His dad and I decided that he should have another so that he has two to rotate. The camo fleece that he is wearing Matthew made for him also. Ian is definitely a one coat and one sweatshirt man but the way he works and get dirty we thought that he was definitely deserving of a second one of each.

All my children together in one place?

After all the presents were opened and all the food was consumed I thought that I would take a picture of all of my children together. It is getting to be a rare thing to have them all home at the same time. Wait..... who is the hairy one in the middle? actually, Adam is in Iraq at present so we just put his dog Lupus in the picture to represent him. If Adam were here his comment would probably be, "it works! Lupus is a member of the family after all!"

How to make your mother cry on Christmas...........

........... without spilling the veggie dip on the carpet or set the house on fire


My three sons in the Army went out and had their portraits taken professionally. That is enough to make this mother cry, and the rumor going around is that it was initiated by the very one who coined the phrase, "at ease the camera, will you!"

Thank you boys, this is better than all the silver and gold in all the universe.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


On Monday, 15 December, 2008 I went into the hospital for surgery on my back. Thanks be to God it went just as the Dr. described to Doug and I in the pre-operative visit the week before. He trimmed away the bulge on the disc between L4 and L5 and reamed out the holes that the nerves pass through to get to my legs. Then he put screws into L4 and L5 and put pins in to stabilize the bones so that there will be no more forward and back motion which was pinching on nerves also. Then he drilled into the back of those two vertebra and put in a titanium "cage" which stibilizes the bone so that it will no longer compress. Finally he took bone and marrow from my right hip and made a paste of that and surgical adhesive and spread that all around so that all would stay in place during the healing process.

I am pleased to say that after a couple of days of pain and having to find a combination of pain meds that would work for me I am now at home and very comfortable. The next obstacle is getting past the constipation that is resulting from all of the and the anesthesia. Then I must just continue healing.

I get around here pretty well with my walker and I have my potty chair that helps me go by myself. Tomorrow Doug is going to get me a shower chair so I can finally take a shower. I haven't had a proper shower since before the surgery.

Please continue your prayers as there is still a few obstacles to overcome and the inactivity is difficult.
I will offer Christmas Mass for all of you.


I feel today, after reading many posts about the series and books entitles Twilight. On both blogger and Xanga there is much discussion pro and con. It all brings back the controversy over the Golden Compass and Harry Potter. Along with these books and movies one can also bring up the controversy over such fads as Pokemon and to for the older kids Dungeons and Dragons (this dates back to my growing up years).

I have not read any of these books nor have I seen any of the movies beyond the first Harry Potter movie, which I thought was poorly acted and had a dismal plot line). My feeling is that it isn't necessary for parents to read a controversial series of books or a questionable movie to pronounce it something that they will not be taking their children to see.

I think there is something more basic and fundamental that can and should help us, as parents, decide whether something should be seen or read by our children or whether they should be a part of a particular "fad". My husband and I use the question, "Is this going to help our child/children get to heaven?" Sound over simplistic? Lets look deeper into what this all means and maybe you won't think that we are being overly childlike in our trust in God when it comes to choosing good reading and viewing material for our kids. Let me add a disclaimer that we have and do make mistakes, we are only human, but even then I think God helps us to "mop up" the mess afterward because our intentions are pure.

Our first premise is that every book and movie that comes out does not have to invade the "womb" of spiritual safety that we try daily to maintain in this household. Even if it is "good" full of virtue and lots of fun and maybe even has a moral that is worth presenting to our children doesn't make it, the book or movie, worthy of being allowed into our sanctuary. A home is a sanctuary that is meant to keep the world out not a "vacuum" that is meant to "suck" the world in.

Our second premise it that each child must be trained. Their conscience and free will need to be trained every day. This means often saying no to the things that one desires which may be okay to experience, for instance a certain book or movie. In that training we also stress that if something is "questionable" when it comes to faith and morals, whether it is fiction or not, it is a good thing to deny yourself. The phrase "everyone else is seeing it" or everyone else is reading it" or "so-and-so's parents let them read it or see it" don't get said around here. My pat answer, while my husband is smirking in the background, is "their parents aren't responsible for your salvation, I am. If they are willing to adopt you and take on the responsibility of raising you then you may indeed read that book or see that movie." They know better now not to say those things to me. The bottom line is, is it a want or a need?

Our third and final premise is that one doesn't need to see, read, experience everything out there that there is for the human to experience. Not only is it impossible but it is also sinful to make the attempt. We have a good better best scale when it comes to books and movies. Obviously we fail often in this area but not in the way that you think. Best is, of course, reading classics. Reading is invaluable to developing the person. In making the mind, heart and soul both well rounded and in conformity with the will of God. The greatest minds of the Catholic church never made a movie. Better is to see classic movies and movies that come from the classics that you have read. Never before but after. The older the version the better. I could go into pages and pages about the loss of truly good acting and that art form but this is neither the time or the place. Good is to see movies and read books that have been perused by the parents or someone who is trusted by them first and reviewed for the parents. Books and movies that have controversy attached to them before they even come out are suspect and needn't be seen for that reason. That is a fad that only feeds itself and thus should be put under the category of self denial if only for that reason.

We don't need to see and experience everything that comes along but we are made for heaven and every and all decisions should be made for that reason so that nothing that is sullied can be presented to God for entrance into heaven.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Mother's Pride

For the past three months we have been attending the Tridentine Mass in another parish about 20 minutes away from here every other Sunday. After Mass Father Castronovo has been taking the time to train Matthew and a few of his friends so that they can serve the Mass alongside of Father.
This morning two of Matthew's friends served with Father and Matthew sat on the side of the altar. Next Sunday morning Matthew will have the opportunity to serve the Mass.
How proud I was to sit there and see my son on the altar with Father making the responses along with the man who usually serves for Father.
We also had the opportunity to say the rosary in latin before Mass started. What an opportunity also for Matthew to participate in two such devotions of the church in her native language.

Thank you dear Lord for giving us this wonderful chance to have Matthew trained to serve you in this traditional devotion and to serve you on the altar beside such a holy and giving priest.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Prayers Please

I am asking for prayers please, for myself. Monday morning I am going into the hospital to have my back repaired from a fall that happened over a year ago.

Nothing medically has worked so they are going in to try and fix the problem surgically. I would appreciate prayers that God guides the hands of the surgeon and gives him wisdom.

Thank you all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

There will be no Nativity Scene in Washington, D. C.
The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in the nation's capital this Christmas season.
This isn't for any religious reason, they simply have not been able to find Three wise Men in the Nation's capitol.P.S. There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.

Friday, December 5, 2008

There Are 0 Gaps in Your Knowledge

Where you have gaps in your knowledge:

No Gaps!

Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:








Shopping in my daughter's closet

Ten more pounds down and ten more to go. I am now able to "shop" in my daughter's closet for clothing.

The blouse and the jeans I am wearing in this picture are both courtesy of Mary-Kate.

What is this woman thinking of?

An article I just read from Bill O'Reilly's web page. This governor certainly likes to make her constituancy feel that she is on top of the latest controversies.

Jesus vs. the Atheists
By Bill O'Reilly for BillOReilly.comThursday, December 4, 2008
Just in time for the Christmas season, the Governor of Washington State, Christine Gregoire, has insulted Christians all over the world. Inside the state capitol building in Olympia, there is a traditional holiday display featuring a tree and the Nativity scene-perfectly appropriate since the Christmas federal and state holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.But this year, Governor Gregoire decided to add another item to the display. Standing alongside the baby Jesus is a giant placard designed by atheists that reads, "There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."You read that correctly. The governor of Washington State has permitted an attack on religion to be displayed in her office building as part of a Christmas presentation.Now, even the producers of 'The Twilight Zone' would have rejected this script as being too far-fetched. Governor Gregoire's behavior is offensive, insulting to all people of faith, and totally incomprehensible.Unless you know what's going on in Washington State.Seattle now rivals San Francisco for secular-progressive nuttiness. The city fathers are allowing public ness in city parks, bike riding, and in Fremont, a Seattle suburb, they actually put up a statue honoring Lenin, the father of communism.Some on the Seattle school board actually supported denigrating Thanksgiving by teaching children about the atrocities against Native Americans by the Pilgrims.In addition, Washington State voters have passed assisted , and the state gives out free birth control pills, including the "morning after" pill.On the quality-of-life front, the streets of Seattle are full of homeless people, but they don't have to be out in the rain. The city will pay to house alcoholics and addicts if they want it. They can actually get free furnished apartments. Taxpayers, of course, pick up the tab. Outside of the Seattle area, Washington State is fairly conservative. But the big city population base rules, and far-left zealots are running wild. However, they may have overstepped on this Christmas deal.I believe that most Americans, even those living in far-left enclaves, respect uplifting traditions like Christmas where peace and love are the theme of the great day. Calling religion "enslaving" doesn't exactly fit into the peace and love scenario, does it? Can't we all just get along for a few weeks in December?The answer to that question is "no." Not in Washington State, where the governor believes a few nuts have a legal right to run down the Christmas tradition in the lobby of the capitol building. At this point, there is little left to say except this: Where are the wise men when you need them?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Part and parcel of the mother gig

That's a line I say to people who ask me why do I do this or why do I do that. It beats having to go into long explanations about love and sacrifice to someone that I know isn't going to get it or at a time when I know that I will go into sarcastic mode if I go into long explanations. " So, there I was in my kitchen minding my own business, cooking a bunch of fantastic tasting food to give away to anyone who needed it when the phone rang." That's how I would start out the story of my Tuesday if I was inclined to write a story about it.
I was indeed in my kitchen minding my own business when the phone did ring. It was my 20 year old son Jason calling from college. If it wasn't for caller ID and the fact that he called me "mom" I would never have known that it was my son on the line. This is significant because this is the son who tells me that "he has been taking care of himself for ______ months" (fill in the blank). Basically he can do it himself. It's what I call the "grown man manifesto". The more they protest the harder they fall, this is a case in point.
Anyway, I digress. With a barely there voice he lists his symptoms and then comes the coup de gras, the magic line, the words that lets every mother know that her son is still in need of her at least some of the time, "what do I do".
Long story short, after a bunch of phone calls, Doug and I drove two hours to school to get him and took him to the hospital emergency room. Five hours later we find out that he is severly dehydrated, has a sinus infection, and strep along with a migraine headache probably caused by the sinus infection.
So home comes my "grown up" son to be taken care of by mom.
So, when asked why I drove four hours to pick up my son and brought him home in the middle of a very busy day for me, why did I spend five hours in the ER with him, and why am I taking care of him now? My answer: It's all part and parcel of the mother gig. I love the dude and of course I would do that for him. Wouldn't you?

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!


You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be direct and clear

  • * Listen to me carefully

  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety

  • * Work things through with me

  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us

  • * Laugh and make jokes with me

  • * Gently push me toward new experiences

  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn

  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends

  • * being responsible and hardworking

  • * being compassionate toward others

  • * having intellect and wit

  • * being a nonconformist

  • * confronting danger bravely

  • * being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn

  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself

  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often

  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn

  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents

  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt

  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy