Thursday, May 31

Orlando Magic Gets Ready to Sign...

...Eddie Munster as their new head coach!

Oh, no ... wait ... That's Billy Donovan, soon-to-be-former UF Basketball coach.

Garden Surprises

When we left for vacation, I noticed that the lilies and the roses were budding out like crazy. When we got home, the roses had started to bloom, but the lilies were kind enough to wait for me. This is the first year that we've had all the lilies growing to full hieght and blooming. I only missed those two bulbs, which were promptly chomped down by the deer.

I'll have to snap pictures as they bloom. The tall ones (seen above) are about three feet high!
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Back from Vacation

I got back last night, but there is a lot of laundry to do. And great stories to tell. Just you wait!

Tuesday, May 22

If Only Morning Started at Noon

I think God is trying to tell me something.

How many bloggers will post this before the end of the day?

Probably just enough for me to feel the 2x4 that God typically uses to smack me upside the head.

If I did this one thing, I'd make it to Mass more often, we'd get school finished earlier, and we could go to the park more often.

I am SOOO sure these posts are for me.

Mother-Daughter Tea and May Crowning

Our tea was a great success! I made some opening comments about Mary, which I'll add to this post when I'm on the desktop instead of my laptop, and then people had conversations about Mary as our Mother and the Queen of Heaven at their tables. We held a drawing for door prizes and a big drawing for the honor of crowning the Blessed Mother.

I'm so pleased with how the crowning went, too. There were two things that I asked for in relation to the tea. I asked God to please let us sell some tickets. And I asked Him to please hold off the predicted rain until after we crowned His Mother.

Praise God, He answered both prayers for me. (He said yes, by the way. He actually ALWAYS answers prayers, but sometimes the answer can be "no" or "not now.")

Here is the Blessed Mother with the crown I made. One of my best friend's daughter got to do the crowning. :)

Monday, May 21


The girls got a Pinky and the Brain DVD from Netflix this week, and we've blown right throught it. I think they might pool their Christmas money this year to buy a set of them. (Hooray!)

One of my favorite parts of Pinky and the Brain was the "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" part of nearly every show. This site has a list of every AYPWIP that aired on Pinky and the Brain (including when they were just a part of the Animaniacs).

Here, for fun, is a sampling of a few of my favorites:

4 Nov 93 - Bubba Bo Bob Brain
"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
Wuh, I think so, Brain, but burlap chafes me so.

10 Nov 93 - Spell-Bound
"Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Pinky?"
Sure, Brain, but how are we going to find chaps our size?

15 Feb 94 - Brain Meets Brawn
"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but if they called them "Sad Meals", kids wouldn't buy them!

23 Nov 96 - A Little Off the Top
"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
Well, I think so, Brain, but if Jimmy cracks corn, and no one cares, why does he keep doing it?

12 Sep 97 - Brain Noir
"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
I think so, Brain, but if we get Sam Spade, we'll never have any puppies.

Really, there are so many! If only I could find the sound files online! I used to have dozens of these things on my computer (before the old one died on me).

(***Update: I found the .wav files here, and I tried linking that last one to its file at the site. Let me know if you can get it to work.***)

Blogroll Highlight: Make Someone Happy!

My sister has a blog, and she is feeling lonely. :) She calls herself the Rambling Nurse because she is a baby-catching Labor & Delivery nurse down in Orlando. She has also started homeschooling in the last six months! Hooray!

If any of my five readers would like to check out her blog, be sure to sign the guestbook and tell her hello! Tell her I sent you, too. :)

One More Office Clip

It was this clip that made Hubby and I say, "We have got to buy these on DVD."

Humor for Monday

From Good, Clean Funnies.

Mrs. Golden was shopping at a produce stand in her neighborhood. She approached the vendor and asked, "How much are these oranges?"

"Two for a quarter," answered the vendor.

"How much is just one?" she asked.

"Fifteen cents," answered the vendor.

"Then I'll take the other one," said Mrs. Golden.


And, because I'll be on vacation for next Monday, here's one from You Tube. The Office has become my favorite new sitcom to watch. Hubby and I are going to be buying all the old seasons of this one. In case you haven't watched it before, it is done like a documentary on the sales office for a paper company. No laugh track. It's based on a British show (same name) and is absolutely hysterical. (Warning: The song in the background of this video is Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback.")

Sunday, May 20

Big Ben, Meet Little Girl

Little Girl was explaining to Hubby about how we fasten her new watch. (She learned to tell time and received the watch as a reward.) Suddenly, in the middle of her stream of words she held the watch strap out flat, placed it across her forehead and declared happily, "Oh, and by the way, Daddy, look! I'm a clock tower."

Friday, May 18

Can't Help It

I'm stealing this from Sunny, who saw it at PhatMass. It's just too precious!

Big Weekend

This morning: Co Op - last classes, and I'm playing Jeopardy with my apologetics class. (Pictures of the board are forthcoming.)

Tonight: Big Girl's soccer game, God willing. Pray for no rain, please. Just until she has a chance to play. She missed two games last week because they had to make up one while she was away on vacation.

Tomorrow: Little Girl's dance recital. Two numbers, costume change, no Mommy backstage at all. Oh, and no place to hide the scapular, so I'm wondering if she wants me to pin the pieces of an old one in each of her costumes. Maybe I'll do that for her.

Tomorrow night: Co Op end of year celebration and dinner. In between picking up the girls' friends for the recital (they are our guests) and other normal housekeeping stuff, I need to make something to bring to this party. And organize stuff to bring to show off.

Sunday: After Mass, tons of laundry in preparation for the packing I'll do Monday and Tuesday for...

Wednesday: Vacation. Off to South Dakota and Kansas for visiting family and Hubby's 20-year high school reunion. Our flight leaves at 8:00 a.m.. Thank God our airport is small and close by. If we leave the house at 7, we should be fine, though I'm sure we'll leave earlier than that. Oh, and ask me how happy I am that I can't bring something to drink to the gate. Go ahead. Ask.

(Oh, and on Tuesday, Big Girl has soccer practice, which she will go to in spite of not being able to make it to the game next Friday.)

So, if I am not blogging, then I apologize in advance. And, yes, I was working on the post about the tea and May Crowning. But now it's late, and I have things to do today. I was having trouble with wording it well. Maybe later. We'll see.

Thursday, May 17

Book Meme

Esther tagged me for this one. Answer the questions and tag five people at the end.

How many books do you own?
Good Lord, am I actually supposed to count??? Let me estimate that one. The three shelves I have behind me have more than 300, and then there are the kids' shelves upstairs, the boxes under the stairs, and the ones strewn about the house in various places and in various stages of being read. I did not count manuals for stuff or atlases. It's easily in the neighborhood of 1,000 or so.

Book(s) I am reading now:
1. Witness to Hope
2. Island of the Blue Dolphins
3. The Bible (thanks to Understanding the Scriptures)
4. The Divine Comedy (just started it)
Books I've read recently:
1. The Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Little Lord Fauntleroy by Francis Hodges Burnett (I actually read The Little Princess to the girls, and that is how I got started on that bender.)
2. Comrade Don Camillo
3. All of the Harry Potter books

Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me:
1. The Holy Bible (The primary author is the Holy Ghost, or, as it is commonly expressed, the human authors wrote under the influence of Divine inspiration.)
2. Hail, Holy Queen (by Scott Hahn; it really made me understand and appreciate Our devotions to the Blessed Mother)
3. A Mid-Summer's Night Dream (yes, Shakespear; I read it in 7th grade and it made me understand how accessible the Bard really is - and how FUNNY!)
4. The Lord of the Rings (by Tolkien, of course!)
5. The Legend of the Three Trees (a children's book that never fails to make me cry)

1. Jennifer
2. Red Neck Woman
3. Ma Beck
4. Kathy Jo (because she doesn't have enough to do after moving)
5. Rebecca

I might have completed this yesterday but for the awful headache and nausea that came over me (oddly enough, just as I should have been getting dinner for the kids so we could attend Mass).

Ascention Thursday

Today is a Holy Day of Obligation. Unless your bishop moved it. But it wouldn't hurt to go to Mass anyway, you know. Can't get too much of Jesus!


I just searched for a picture of the Ascention to post here (and at GOP Soccer Mom), and the number two image result is the picture I have on the sidebar at GOP Soccer Mom!

As the great Phil Rizzuto would say:

"Holy Cow!"

Wednesday, May 16

Bag End

Dom pointed out this story about a man who had a Hobbit House built on his property, and I have to say that I'm enchanted by it!

Here is one of the pictures, but the story has pictures of the inside, too. It's beautiful!


This comic just cracks me up! I swear they are spying on our family because Ruthie (the girl below with the black hair) is so very like Big Girl! Today's episode reminds me of the pretending games the girls play together. You can read One Big Happy every day here, or you can subscribe to it on an RSS feed (Bloglines) by searching for the feed by name.

They Would Like It if They Tried It

Conversation from yesterday:

Little Girl: "Mommy, I think that people should give up war."

Me: "War? Yes, I think that's a good idea."

Little Girl: "Yes, I think that people should try peace instead. I bet they'd like it if they tried peace instead."

Tuesday, May 15

Blogroll Highlight: Modest is Hottest

Modestly Yours is a blog whose mission is as such:

A forum for people of all ages and backgrounds whose voices are not normally heard in the mainstream (or even non-mainstream) media. Here you will find fresh, intelligent, and sometimes surprising discussions from women who value modesty in its various forms.

I've really enjoyed a lot of the writing there, especially their views on how to be modest in ways aside from how you dress. It's really an overall attitude. Catholics call it chastity. ;)

Anyhow, here's a sampling of a more recent post from the Mod Squad:

It's So You!

I've been reading a book that I highly recommend. It's So You! Fitting Fashion to Your Life by Mary Sheehan Warren is a must-read for anyone who is interested in being both fashionable and modest. Trust me when I tell you that I have read many books on fashion (more than I care to admit!) but never have I read one that intelligently and seamlessly weaves a very cogent argument for modesty and an extremely helpful how-to that caters exactly to your body and your style. The whole book is excellent but I adored her sections on modesty.

Because your body is so much about life and love, it is closely tied to the love you give from your heart. True love is the gift of your self to another....Each relationship (professional, casual, friendly, familial, and intimate) provides its own level of give and take. So, in the most superficial of these you are barely affected because you give very little away. (You don't love what you don't know.) For the most part, you are unmarked and unchanged.

A sexual relationship affects you in a far more pervasive way because you give your most intimate self. So if you are still wired the way you began, you are given in a wholly emotional way in response to that kind of give and take.

She then goes on to explain how this effects the way you dress.

Dressing for success for your whole life means dressing with the confident knowledge of your true value. If we cannot take our sexuality for granted, our style shouldn't either. Our style is about who we are and the kinds of relationships we have. If we shouldn't give ourselves sexually to just anyone, our style must facilitate this. This quality, that is, the refinement that protects our sexuality from the eyes and minds of just anybody, is called modesty....

[Modesty] is a positive paradigm for fashion choices; not a strain of fashion removed from the mainstream. It blends. It's real and works for real women and promotes our material well being as well as (and even more importantly) our dignity. It can be fashion-forward and will work in anyone's personal style -- even the trendiest.

I love that part because I enjoy fashion but I am often dismayed to see that it has been co-opted by immodest styles -- to the point that I wonder if I should just shun all fashion out of hand. But I think our job as women is to nudge fashion in the modest direction. There will always be bad stuff out there, but our goal is to promote what is good and ignore what is bad in fashion.

There is, of course, more.

But the blog is excellent! Check them out!

"What Percent of the Rosary is Gospel?" and Other Questions

Red Neck Woman. Such a name makes you want to sing. Today, she tackles the Rosary, and explains why, even though we have ten Hail Mary's for each Our Father, it's not Mary-worship.

Super-duper post! Thumbs up! Gold star! Move to the head of the class! Stickers all around!

(See how public school teaching warped my brain?)

Here's a sampling:

... The origins of the practice are traced to the early days of the church when very devout religious (monks, priests, nuns) made it a practice to recite all 150 Psalms daily. Many laypeople wanted to imitate that practice but memorizing all 150 Psalms without being able to afford a copy of them, much less find the time to say them daily was simply beyond reach. What evolved was the practice of saying simple prayers 150 times instead…usually the “Our Father” or a “Hail Mary”. In order to keep track, rocks or stones were placed in one pocket and moved to the other throughout the day as the prayers were said. Eventually, this lead to the knotting of cords, or stringing of beads and of course, some figured out that one needn’t have all 150 on a cord just say 10 (a decade) 15 times etc. Things from other sources also converged to make the Rosary what it is today as well. Many theologians, particularly in the Middle Ages believed that each of the 150 Psalms was reflective of particular events in the life of Jesus and his mother. So underlying the discipline of saying all 150 Psalms daily was the idea that it was a meditation on the life of Jesus and the path to Salvation. Now tie in St. Dominic, who was a primary figure in fighting some of the heresies that were particularly troublesome in the late 12th century and early 13th century. He had a vision that one of the ways to strengthen the church against these heresies was to teach people to meditate on the life of Jesus and his mother so what was once just an underlying idea became the principal idea. ...

Hands Half-Full or Half-Empty?

Kristen of Small Treasures wrote a post about an encounter at the beach, where she'd taken an afternoon to relax with her two beautiful girls.

Gianna and Madeleine were building sand castles with their shovels and buckets, and as is typical of my little ones they made their fun known to all around them with loud shouts of exaltation, running in circles around me and dancing. Enjoying the sunshine, sipping on lemonade and being spectator to the happy, living miracles before me, I had not a care in the world. Not, that is, until I was approached by a beautiful thirty-something woman who had been enjoying her day on a lounge chair in front of us.

This pretty lady kindly commented, "Your daughters are darling. You have your hands full over here, don't you?" to which I responded the way I always do when I receive this compliment, "Not as full as I'd like." Most of the time people smile at me and go on about their business. But this woman seemed to want more.

In her own words she expressed her astonishment at my wanting more children, and proceeded to explain that she and her husband had a two year old girl at home, and they were "done" having children. I was even more saddened to learn that her daughter was home with a nanny while she took a day off her job to spend alone at the beach. She explained that one was enough because she had given up her freedom already, and the demands of young children seemed enslaving to her. I held back my tears tightly enough that she wouldn't be alarmed by my reaction.

I've experienced the same kind of attitude. Recently, I sat at a meeting at my part-time job with the other women - all mothers - who all expressed that they could not wait until summer camps started once school let out. "School lets out on June 6; I'll be dying for summer camp to begin by the 8th!"

"Oh, God, I'll be dying by the second!"

Lots of laughter from the other moms, but I couldn't believe what I was hearing. No one has more than two children. No one WANTS more than their two. "My hands are full already - I couldn't possibly handle having more than what I've already got!"

At least their children weren't there to hear it, as was the child of a woman who had come in for a class at the center. She lamented about how hard it was just with the ones she had and she definitely wouldn't want any more. This was said in front of her preschool daughter.

I'm constantly amazed by this attitude, and some of it even seems competitive. It's like they all need to one-up each other in how much they detest having to spend any more than the minimum required amount of time with their own children. Between that and the constant materialism, I've come to appreciate my homeschool group even more. There, children are all blessings (even if some of the moms were jealous when my girls went away for a week with my parents at the same time as Hubby went away on a business trip). No one complains, though, that they "have to" spend time with their kids. Every one of them gets to spend all day with them as they educate their families. The biggest problem I have around them is that I get the baby blues sometimes because I can't have more children.

But at this part-time job I've had, I constantly find myself biting my tongue about how they view their kids.

From now on, I'm using Kristen's line when people comment that my hands are full:

"Not as full as I'd like them to be."

And that's the truth.

Monday, May 14

Humor for Monday

A Sunday school teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible: Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Rick was excited about the task, but he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Rickey was very nervous.

When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know."

Friday, May 11

Our Lady of Fatima

Okay, I lied. I wanted to put up this one post because Sunday, May 13, is the anniversary of the first appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal.


Off for the Weekend

I'm off for the weekend now, but I wanted to wish my readers who are moms a very happy Mother's Day.

Click here to see a Mother's Day e-card.

Thursday, May 10

Memes! Memes! Memes!

Stacey tagged me for a meme of ten things about me. At the same time, Nancy tagged me for a meme of eight things about me. For each meme, I am supposed to list said things and then tag the same number of people for the meme. I am SO not going to come up with 18 things about me AND 18 people to tag. I seriously do not have that many friends. I can probably come up with the stuff about me, though. I'll tell you what. Here are the ten. If you feel compelled, consider yourself tagged, and you can leave a link to your post in the com boxes. I only have something like six people who read this blog, so I will be stumped to come up with ten people who will all respond. ;)

Okay, ten things about me. (Hopefully this will not be too repititious of the other memes I've done that are similar to this one.)

1. I auditioned for the United States Navy Band. Twice. I thought it was my destiny to be a professional musician. God had other plans for my vocation, as you can see. :) (I played piano, in case you were wondering.)

2. When I was a small girl, I thought about becoming a nun. I told my mother this when I was small, and no one discouraged me about it. I think I realized, though, that I was not meant to be one. At least not now. Maybe I'll be like Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. There are times when I feel stressed out by life and wonder how nice it must be to be cloistered and get to do nothing but pray all day and go to adoration. And sing! I love to hear Mother Angelica's sisters singing.

3. In spite of my thoughts about entering religious life, when I fell away from regular Confession, I slid off into the habit of doing things that I look back on and cringe about. My language, my manner of dressing, the music I listened to... Sometimes, I am so upset that I just can't listen to some of my old records or CD's any more. (What WILL I do with all those Prince albums?)

4. I am getting gray hair. Little white hairs are all over the place. Hubby does not see them. When he looks at me, he's said, I look just like I did the day I married him. However, I am beginning to notice them more and more. I have begun to wonder what my tolerance level will be for the little white hairs. Oh, and they are not like my other hair. They are more wirey.

5. I think I'm becoming addicted to coffee. About a year ago, I'd have an occasional cup. Now, it's a daily thing, practically. Today is the first day in more than a week that I didn't have at least one cup. Guess what I'm giving up for Lent next year?

6. I am a procrastinator, which is a nice way of saying I have a real problem with Sloth. Okay, not with the joy thing, but definitely sloth in the way of just lazing around when I know I have work to do. I am definitely a lazy person, or at least I have a strong tendancy for it. But when I get out!

7. Again with the beverages...I used to hate beer. I thought it was like swill, only worse. Now, I have discovered that it isn't BEER that I hate; it's Miller beer that I hate. My dad drinks Miller, and I have recently discovered that what I like is a beer with some FLAVOR to it. If I had discovered Sam Adams in college, I think I'd be the biggest lush around. Old Fezziwig ROCKS!

8. I am a pretty good cook. I used to have a few dishes that I would make, and when I started Weight Watchers, I started to branch out and become more adventurous. When my sister got pregnant with her third daughter, she gave - er, LOANED - me her WW cookbooks, and I hardly can stand to part with them now. I have been trying to buy replacements for her, or for me, so that I can still use them. And most of the time, I am a decent judge of how a recipe will turn out (even without pictures). There have only been a few times when everyone took a bite or two and said, "YUCK!" I am glad for that.

9. Staying with the cooking, I have started to bake bread more and more often. I like doing it, even though it takes a lot of time to do it all the old-fashioned way. (I have no bread machine.) I found a recipe for wheat bread that might not be low fat, but the girls both will eat it and it doesn't call for me to use a food processor (earth to Weight Watchers: not everyone has one so please put alternate directions!) or other appliance that I don't have.

10. I nearly always have to have something near me to read. If I have nothing else, I've been known to read cereal boxes. When Hubby and I were DINKS, we toured Montecello and loved that Jefferson had books in every room. And he would read several at once. He just left a book where he was reading it, and when he went back to that room, he'd pick it back up again. Our home is a lot like that now. Books are everywhere, and all of us tend to read a couple at a time. Yes, even the girls are known to have a longer book that they are reading, plus a shorter chapter book, plus whatever picture books catch their fancies during the day. I have to put my foot down when we go to the library and not let them take out two dozen books at a time! (It's not like we have nothing for them to read around here, trust me!)

Like I said, I can't come up with that many people. If the spirit moves you, leave a link in the combox!
The Anchoress, in a lengthy (and excellent) post on class and class warfare, brings up something interesting about "honoring the poor" by stripping churches of the beautiful art and expensive chalices and ciboria:

I have a cousin who is a priest. He has worked in some absolute hellholes and he’s also rubbed elbows with the very privileged. He notes that it’s only the very rich who want to strip down churches into bare halls, or who want to serve Communion in wicker baskets because “that honors the poor.” The poor don’t really appreciate the wealthier folks deciding what “honors” them, he tells me. Condescension, for example, doesn’t do it.

My cousin says that truly poor folks he has ministered to are the ones who want beautiful churches, and they recoil at the idea of serving Communion - the banquet of the Lord - in baskets instead of something finer. The “something finer” used at mass isnot the “insult to the poor” the rich believe - rather it’s a promise of hope, a promise that everyone is in the game, not just some, that nothings is withheld from anyone. It is a reason to work, to become educated, to pursue the thing for which one senses one has been born, which is never “simply to be a nothing.”

I think that really sums it up nicely. Our parish has glass pattons (not really pattons, but very wide-mouthed bowls), glass "chalices" (except for the main one, which is gold), and a ciborum which is made of wood. We did upgrade our tabernacle when a local parish went back to using the tabernacle behind the altar (it's a landmark and was built more than a hundred years ago in all its gothic glory). They gave our parish the one they'd been using in the coat closet - I mean adoration room - when they'd taken our Lord out of the marble one in the sanctuary. (This "room" was about the size of a janitor's closet and was not even in the church; it was in the hallway around the bend, and any time we visited for Sunday Mass, we'd practically trip people as we all genuflected when we got to the wall outside the room. No one else seemed to ever genuflect there.) So, anyway, we now have this beautiful tabernacle, but our altar, ambo, etc. are all wood. We do have a stained glass fund now, though, which gives us great hope. Many have been the Sunday that Hubby and I gaze at the plain glass above the altar and dream of which saints can go there. And I daydream about having enough funds to buy several chalices and ciboria so that we can have really nice things for holding the Body and Blood of our Savior.

Beauty Everywhere

Someone pointed out Regina Doman's blog, which I like very much because of the way she highlights the hidden beauty in her home. I started looking for beauty in my home, too. I was making a dish that required "stoplight peppers" and noticed how very pretty the tops were when I cut them off.


Hubby comes home tonight! I'm so happy! His plane will land around 11 p.m., so that means I've only got 5 1/2 hours before I can do this:

I have added maternity shirts to my shop! This white one has a message on the back, as well.

There are also coffee mugs and bumper stickers with this same message.

Thanks in advance for browsing my shop.

Oooh! Carnies!

I haven't remembered to post the links lately, but this week's Catholic Carnival is up and running! Take a spin on the midway rides with your Mom this weekend.

(I actually used to live very close to that parish, and my own parish was once a mission from St. Mary Mag's.)


There's been a lot of discussion (to put it in the best light possible) about the conversion of Dr. Francis Beckwith, and I haven't really got a lot to say about it. I'm happy that another person has come home to the Church that was founded by Christ, but everything else is really his (and his family's) business. I'm sorry that he was "outed" by someone who is none-too-pleased with his decision to return to his Catholic faith, and I have mixed feelings about all the attention he received before I saw anything from him on the topic.

Anyway, I read part of an interview with him today at Ignatius Scoop, and I really loved this quote from him. If I had a quote journal like some bloggers I know, I'd add this to it. :)

The Catholic Church frames the Christian life as one in which you must exercise virtue—not because virtue saves you, but because that's the way God's grace gets manifested. As an evangelical, even when I talked about sanctification and wanted to practice it, it seemed as if I didn't have a good enough incentive to do so. Now there's a kind of theological framework, and it doesn't say my salvation depends on me, but it says my virtue counts for something. It's important to allow the grace of God to be exercised through your actions. The evangelical emphasis on the moral life forms my Catholic practice with an added incentive. That was liberating to me.

Yeah...what he said!

Wednesday, May 9

Converts from Islam

I was wondering about saints to whom I could go for intercessory prayer in relation to Muslims converting to Christianity. So I did a search at the Patron Saint site (very helpful site, you know).

These are the saints I came up with.



Born to Muslim parents. She and her mother converted to Christianity - Flora was raised Christian, her brother Muslim. She was often abused at home for her faith. She took a private vow of chastity, and ministered to Christian prisoners. When her parents announced an arranged marriage to an Islamic man, Flora and her Christian friend Mary ran away, briefly hiding with the home of Flora's sister. The sister, however, feared being accused of harboring Christians, and threw the two out. Her brother publicly betrayed her to the Islamic authorities. She was imprisoned and scourged for her faith, escaped, was recaptured, and martyred.


tortured and beheaded by Moors in 851 or 856 (sources vary on the year)



Also known as

Grace; Zaida



Daughter of Almanzor, Muslim caliph of Lerida, Catalonia. Sister of Saint Bernard and Saint Mary. Convert, brought to the faith by her brother Bernard. The three tried to convert their brother Almanzor, who turned them over to Moorish authorities. Martyr.


at Lerida, Catalonia as Zaida




Also known as

Grace; Zaida



Daughter of Almanzor, Muslim caliph of Lerida, Catalonia. Sister of Saint Bernard and Saint Grace. Convert, brought to the faith by her brother Bernard. The three tried to convert their brother Almanzor, who turned them over to Moorish authorities. Martyr.


at Lerida, Catalonia as Zoraida



Also known as




Son of Almanzor, Muslim caliph of Lerida, Catalonia. Brother of Saint Mary and Saint Grace. Convert. Benedictine Cistercian monk at Poblet, taking the name Bernard. With his sisters, he tried to convert his brother Almanzor, who turned them over to Moorish authorities. Martyr.
at Lerida, Catalonia as Achmed
Also known as
Abo of Tblisi; Abo of Tibileli
Grew up Muslim. Perfumer to Nerses, the prince of Kartli, a region of eastern Georgia. As a young adult he became convinced of the truth of Christianity, but was afraid to convert openly as Georgia was under Muslim rule. For political reasons, his prince had to seek shelter in Khazaria north of the Caspian Sea, an area free of Muslim control; Abo and 300 other members of the court accompanied him, and Abo was baptized there. The prince and his party returned to Tblisi in 782, and for a few years Abo lived quietly as a "closet" Christian. However, in 786 he was exposed as a Christian, and tried for being a renegade from Islam. He confessed his faith at trial, was imprisoned, and martyred.
8th century at Baghdad, Iraq
beheaded 6 January 786 at Tblisi, Georgia; his body was burned on the edge of cliff, and his bones thrown off a bridge into the Kura River; his biographer, a contemporary named John Sabanisidze, swears a pillar of light was seen rising from the water the next day

Additional Information

Life of Abo [russian]
I think I'll be talking to some new-found family members soon. :)

Speaking of Flowers...

...for two years I had my Asiatic Lilies planted under two trees near the road. Each year, most of them were eaten off by Bambi and his lot. (Mmmmm...venison...)

So, last year I decided I'd plant daffodils where the lilies have been and move the lilies to a spot next to the house, behind our small soon-to-be-drained pond and our small statue of Mary. (Mary, who will need to be painted and really needs a little house.)

Anyway, the results have been great! Deer don't like daffodils, so they all bloomed just fine. However, I noticed a couple weeks ago that I missed exactly two lilies, and today I noticed that they are suddenly shorter than they were a few days ago. But the ones near the house are flourishing, which makes me glad! I'll move the other two lilies (maybe I'll try when I am planting the phlox and forsythia that just came the other day), and this fall I'll get a couple of boxes of grape hyacinth bulbs to naturalize throughout the lawn. Thank goodness that Sam's Club has those big boxes for such a good price. After the chipmunk ate every one of my specially-ordered-from-Holland crocus bulbs I decided to forget trying to get the bestest bulbs possible and settled on getting ones that wouldn't be so dear to replace.

Other goings on in the gardens (which are getting completely over-run by dandelions - why are they so dang numerous this year when we dug so many up last year??) are the beautiful irises. They have started to open, and the ones we moved two years ago have recovered nicely this year to form a big, tall bunch under the window near the computer. Last fall, as Hubby built a slide tower for the girls, he also dug out the base of the hill next to the ladder and created a small garden area. When we felt it was safe to move them, we dug up about 1/3 of the irises next to our driveway and moved them into this new garden. They are all coming up nicely, and I expect them to be even better next Spring when they've had a chance to fully recover from the move to the back yard. In a few years, they'll make so many more new ones that I expect the garden next to the slide will be just stunning!

My roses are also doing pretty well. I've managed not to kill them, which makes me happy. I had such poor luck in my Florida garden that I was sure I had a brown thumb. Turns out that I wasn't taking into account that when you plant stuff near the base of a block-construction house, you have to take into account that the soil's acidity will be affected by the concrete. I wasn't fertilizing things properly, that's all! Hooray! (Hooray, I mean, because I am not a failure in the garden - just inexperienced.) The blooms can't be too far off. There's so much new growth on the bushes that I hardly know what to think of it!

And, lastly, my lilacs. I know they are a few years from being really beautiful, but I was heartened to see these blooms, tiny as they are, on one branch. More buds are on the bushes, and I must look into how to prune them properly so that they get nice and bushy and huge. And with lots of flowers. Yes. Lilacs are some of my favorites, and one of the first things I said when we knew we'd be moving here was, "Oh! I can get lilac bushes!" I bought these two years ago as (I think) two-year plants. In any case, they were only about 18 inches to two feet high. I really did nothing but water them in really well with a drip line when I planted them. I haven't pruned them back at all so far.

Bringing Flowers to the Fairest

This afternoon I made the crown we will use to crown the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday. I do hope it looks okay to people who are not me. I tried to choose flowers that symbolized our Blessed Mother: white for her purity, blue for her virginity, and red for her motherhood. (Blue and red were the colors for virginity and motherhood, respectively, in ancient Palestine.)

Here's a look at what I did. Please let me know what you think by leaving comments in the com boxes. (And be gentle if you think it looks bad. I'm kind of sensitive.)

The following two pictures are of the underside of the crown, which I tried to hide with wide ribbon that has wire down the sides. Hopefully, the mass of tangled wires that holds on the red and blue flowers won't be as noticable this way. :) The white flowers were all a part of the wreath that I bought, as were most of the leaves that you see. I figured that I'm not that artistically inclined, so I should start with a base that is mostly-done.

Like I said, I really am curious as to what it looks like to other people, and though I do want you to be honest, please be gentle if you want to criticize. And if you do have ideas on how to improve it a bit, then please pass that on.

Thanks, all!

Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel, Piety, Fortitude, Fear of the Lord

Five parishes came together at my own parish last night for a Confirmation Mass with Bishop DiLorenzo. The church was packed, and I actually had to park at the Baptist Church next door! I sat at the very back of the church (I am not related to a single person being Confirmed, nor was I sponsoring someone), and even from there I could see the impressive shiner that His Excellency was sporting. ;)

The homily was excellent - the bishop talked much about doing the right thing. He talked about how we expect that other people do the right thing. When he went to the hospital for falling on his face, he was glad the doctor had done the right thing in medical school and not skipped the class on what to do in his situation. When you fly to Hawaii from California, you trust that the person who runs the GPS or who installed the GPS in the satellite did the right thing and paid attention to what was being done because you've got nothing but water all around for 5,000 miles. We, too, must do the right thing.

Then he tied all of this in with how the Holy Spirit, given to them anew in Confirmation, would help them in life to do the right thing. Some gifts will help them to discern what is right, others will help them to know what is right, others will give them the strength to do it when no one else is. It was wonderful, and I am tempted to write to him and ask if he has an outline of the homily so I can use it with my girls when we get more in depth with the Sacraments.

I think, though, one of my favorite parts was when he discussed Fear of the Lord. This is not an irrational or paranoid fear. It is really a fear of losing that unique, one-of-a-kind relationship that we have with the Creator of the Universe. We should all fear that. Which is why it's important to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us so that we may do what is right. After all, Jesus said in the Gospel reading that if you want to be a part of Him, you must keep His commandments.

Tuesday, May 8

May Crowning

The Respect Life Committee (RLC) at our parish is having a fundraiser this weekend. It's a Mother-Daughter Tea in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it will culminate in a May Crowning. Since we've been at our parish - this is now our fourth summer here - we haven't had one, and our music/liturgical director told me that she'd wanted to have one for a while but was too overwhelmed with her regular duties to try to organize it. (We are a small parish with only one priest, so much of the duties that our other parish assigned to the priests fall to the layity here.)

So, I've been directing and organizing the tea, and today I realized that we are really, really going to pull it off. Thank you all who prayed for the ticket sales we had this past weekend. We sold thirty tickets over the weekend, and might have a few more sold to my homeschool co op.

God is so good!

Since I'm kind of procrastinating here on what I'm supposed to be doing (baking cookies for the Confirmation reception tonight - our bishop is at our parish!), I thought I'd kind of let you in on what will be happening.

We'll be having coffee, tea, and lemonade to drink. Teapots will be at each table with hot water in them for people to pour for themselves. We'll have various teas out at each table and we'll start off the food servings with small fruit cups. After that, we'll serve a choice of small quiches or finger sandwiches. To finish up, we'll serve something sweet: little cakes, cookies, or brownies. (I'm guessing this will be the most popular part.) During this time, while everyone is snacking, we'll have discussions at each table on how the Blessed Virgin is the perfect example for women - she is our role model! After we have a chance to snack and talk, we'll wrap up with a short ceremony and go outside to crown the big statue of Mary that stands outside of our social hall.

I still have to make the crown and do the shopping.

But, really, it's all coming together. And I'm so pleased!

Thank You, God, for allowing us to honor Your mother! May what we do help bring people closer to her and, as a result of that devotion, also draw them closer to You. Alleluia! Amen!

All's Quiet on the Homefront

Hubby is away. The girls are on vacation with my parents. I am alone until Thursday night, when Hubby comes back and I pick him up at the airport.

I have a lot to do to finish getting ready for the tea, but I am king of lonely. It's very, very quiet here. When I went to Wal Mart yesterday, I checked out in record time and didn't have to tell anyone to put the gum down because we have some or to stop running or stop mauling your sister or even yes, we are going to have a snack when we get home.

I really like being a mommy, you know. And I miss my family.

Monday, May 7

Blocked in China

Both of my blogs are blocked in China. Test to see if yours is, too.

Humor for Monday

I got this joke from Good, Clean Funnies.

A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan, in which a man was beaten, robbed, and left for dead. She described the situation in vivid detail so her students would catch the drama. Then she asked the class, "If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?"

A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, "I think I'd throw up."

Friday, May 4

Blogroll Highlight: Questions on Sola Scriptura & Other Musings

Red Neck Woman's blog is AMAZING. And I came across this post today that is worth reading and following all the links. Here's a sampling:

...If Jesus meant for the church to be sola scriptura, why did He not explicitly say so? Why did He not write a book? Why did He say He was going to found a Church on Peter instead of a book? Why is there not explicit instruction from Jesus with regard to the place of Sacred Scripture as the sole rule of faith? Sacred Scripture itself says scripture is beneficial for teaching, reproof etc but it never says that ONLY scripture is appropriate for those things.

If Jesus meant for Sacred Scripture to be the sole rule of faith, why did He not instruct the Apostles to immediately begin recording the gospels and establishing a canon? If if He did instruct them that way, why did they not do it? Why weren't the gospels written right away to provide that rule of faith for the earliest Christian? If sola scriptura was meant to be the sole rule of faith how did the early Christians do it with neither a complete copy of Sacred Scriptures or an undisputed canon? Sola Scriptura was simply NOT POSSIBLE until at least the 4th century. ...

Be sure to go read it all. Then poke around the rest of her site and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2

What about socialization?

I saw this at Knit Together with Love (Amy's new site), and thought it was great. I'm only giving you a peek at it, and you'll have to go to her site to read the rest. :)

What about socialization?

Two women meet at a playground, where their children are swinging and playing ball. The women are sitting on a bench watching. Eventually, they begin to talk.

W1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts -- helps me keep track of them.

W2: (Smiles) I'm Terri. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do you come here a lot?

W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to the library.

W2: Wow. Where do you find the time?

W1: We home school, so we do it during the day most of the time.

W2: Some of my neighbours home school, but I send my kids to public school.

W1: How do you do it?

W2: It's not easy. I go to all the PTO meetings and work with the kids every day after school and stay real involved.

W1: But what about socialization? Aren't you worried about them being cooped up all day with kids their own ages, never getting the opportunity for natural relationships?

...You know you want to read the rest.

Beautiful Poem

I saw this at My Domestic Church, and I thought it was beautiful. It's for Catholic parents who have lost a baby.

Our Baby Saint
by Collette Wilson

Do you settle in the Queen's arms so sweet?
Does she rock you and sing you to a gentle sleep?

Is your cradle close by her precious throne?
Does she make certain that you are never alone?

Does He ever put His crown on your head?
Do you kneel and kiss the Sacred Wounds that once bled?

Do you whisper kindly to Father dear
To take care of your parents so "they may come here?"

Does Saint Joseph kiss your fair little hand?
And tell you the miseries of this far off land?

Do you say lots of prayers for all the lost souls?
Do you always rejoice when the bell for Mass tolls?

Do angels fly you on their blessed wings?
Do you love to listen to the hymns that they sing?

Do you hold brown cloth for Saint Simon Stock?
Do you assist Saint Francis in tending the flock?

Do you and Saint Therese gather flowers?
Can you listen to Saint Anselm for hours and hours?

Does Saint Anne teach you all that we believe?
Do you help Dominic with rosaries to weave?

Does Saint Paul unveil all Heaven's glories?
Does Saint John Bosco tell you all the saints' stories?

Do you play with Saint Peter's keys of gold?
And share all the mysteries there are to be told?

Did you know my dear daughter, that you are missed?
Do you know how we had planned to do all of this?

And yes we know too that this is God's plan
So that we could have a Heavenly helping hand.

Yet in our hearts we will not be complete
Until the moment that we at Heaven's gate meet

For that moment to come we all must pray
When we hold you in our arms nevermore to stray!

So until the day when God brings us there
It helps to picture you and all the Heavenly care.


For non-Catholics reading this, you can learn more about all of these saints (and more) at this site.

Kids' Humor

Big Girl made up a new joke last night and told me during a break at soccer.

Q: What kind of vegetable makes the best dinner guest?

A: Aspara-guest!

Little Girl, though, has been feeling left out of the "Mommy-Tells-My-Jokes-on-Her-Blog" fad that's going on. I promised her I'd get one of her jokes she told on here. So here is a joke that she remembered from My Friend Magazine. (When you're five, it's a big accomplishment to remember jokes and tell them correctly!)

Q: What is the holiest kind of bird?

A: A Cardinal!

Tuesday, May 1

Prayer Request

Our Respect Life Committee is having a Mother-Daughter Tea/May Crowning on May 12. We must presell tickets so we have a headcount and can buy the stuff we need for the tea.

So far, I have sold tickets to my family and my friend and her daughter.

This weekend is our second attempt at ticket sales, and our last chance to sell them.

Please pray for the success of this event so that we will not have so much trouble holding it again next year.

For details on what the Respect Life Committee been up to at our parish, you can read this old post from March.

I thank you in advance for your prayers.
Who are your heros?


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