Thursday, March 29
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule, and to guide.
Saint Peter, patron saint against fevers, pray for me!
Saint Monica, patron saint of mothers, pray for me!
Blessed Virgin, my mother, pray for me!
Lord Jesus, please grant me the strength to care for my girls today and tomorrow. If it be Your divine will, please allow me to recover quickly.
Wednesday, March 28
Tuesday, March 27
Ah, the wonders of sanctifying grace!
Sunday, March 25
This post at Mary Meets Dolly, what with all the Christian denominations that want to use unborn human beings as fodder for research, made me want to send the people in charge of those denominations a bunch of these:
Friday, March 23
Thursday, March 22
We sat down to watch Narnia and eat lunch. I figured we were done with school since they were both coughing and feeling crummy. Both girls registered fevers of 100. Nothing to take medicine for, but they are still not up to par today.
Little Girl took two nibbles out of her sandwich, Big Girl had none. I put them both in bags in the fridge for later consumption (I'm nothing if not optimistic), and the girls lay on the couches to watch the rest of the movie. We all kind of drift off, and at the end of the movie, both girls look as if they've been hit by a truck. Plus, now they are both quite flushed.
Over 101. Both of them. Little Girl's actually registered at near 102.
Okay, so they've just had cough syrup, but now out comes the Motrin stuff (well, Wal Mart's version of it). Both get a dose and head off to bed for a good nap. Big Girl woke up about 15 minutes ago, still looking flushed, but it's been an hour and a half since I left her in bed. Little Girl is still out. I've found that while they will both rest well when they are sick, Little Girl likes to really sleep off an illness. When she's feeling puny, she is just completely out of it.
If this isn't better by morning, we won't be going to co-op. Ah, well. Such is life.
But trust me, I'm not complaining. The only thing I question is the signing class because it ties me down more than anything else that I do. But I enjoy the class, and I really like the results. (Not much is cuter than watching the tiny hands of a one year old while she's signing.)
Probably the best thing lately is the new directions for the Respect Life Committee at our parish. It's been kind of inactive for a while, mostly due to the busy, busy lives of the two wonderful women who were heading it up. I had big plans, but the meetings we've started to have monthly have resulted in even bigger ones. Thanks be to God for the wonderful members of the committee! I could do none of what is being done without them (and especially without God's graces)! One of the most amazing things about my being the chair of the committee is that I am not a natural leader. I am really much more comfortable to follow someone else's lead, and so this whole business of being in charge of something aside from my family is quite new. Anything I do right (or successfully) is absolutely because of God's graces. There is no other explanation for it. I've also taken to praying for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's intercessions.
Recently, the Respect Life Committee of [our parish] has undergone some changes. First, A***, who has led the group for some time, stepped down as chair. I stepped up in her place, though A*** has been kind enough to give me guidance on how to proceed as chair. Next, we began meeting on the second Monday of each month. It might seem like that’s too often, but I what we have envisioned for our group to do requires meetings on a regular basis. What I’d like to do for you here is outline what we’ve been up to, as well as what we are planning on doing in the future.
The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as "good news" to the people of every age and culture.
-Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (1)
Earlier this year, our parish was contacted by a woman whose teenaged daughter had just discovered she was pregnant. The girl had already been to Planned Parenthood, where she was advised to have an abortion. Thank God, she did not go through with it, but her mother explained that there wasn’t enough money for the family to get some of the basic necessities to provide for the child. Would we be able to help out with getting some of the most expensive items – namely a crib and some maternity clothes? Through some very generous donations, we were able to purchase a crib and a gift certificate to Motherhood (a store specializing in maternity clothes). We also made suggestions on where to go for further help with baby clothes and more. As I type this, the young girl and her boyfriend are driving back home with the crib. The family is extremely grateful, and has even promised to donate the crib back to the parish once it is no longer needed.
And this brings us to what the Respect Life Committee would like to be able to do in the future.
Our committee has come up with the idea to be on the ready to assist women who might find themselves in a crisis pregnancy. Maybe the woman in question is unmarried. Maybe she is married, but she and her husband are having financial trouble and aren’t sure how they’ll make it when the baby comes along. Whatever the problem, it is part of our call as Catholic Christians to do what we can to help her. Pope John Paul II, writing in Evangelium Vitae, said:
Every Christian community, with a renewed sense of responsibility, must continue to write this history [of charity] through various kinds of pastoral and social activity. To this end, appropriate and effective programmes of support for new life must be implemented, with special closeness to mothers who, even without the help of the father, are not afraid to bring their child into the world and to raise it. (87)
For the past year, we have been giving assistance to Commonwealth Catholic Charities by having quarterly baby showers. This important program assists Catholic Charities in supplying baby clothes and diapers to women in crisis pregnancy as well as to some of their foster children. This program won’t be ending, but we’ve felt called to do more to assist families in need. To this end, Respect Life is planning on building up and maintaining a regular supply of layettes and cribs to be loaned out to those in need. The plan is to include in the layettes diapers and clothes – in graduating sizes from newborn up for both boys and girls – and to have sets for winter and summer in order to meet the needs of someone no matter what the season. The only request we would make is for the clothes and cribs to be gently used so that they might be returned to the parish and used again by a new family.
This idea is an exciting one, but it’s also one that is not able to be done without funds. Our parish’s budget simply does not have the funds to complete this kind of program. And so, the Respect Life Committee will be conducting various fundraisers in order to build up this program for assisting families. Our first fundraiser will be for Mother’s Day; we’re having a tea for mothers and daughters that will finish up with a May crowning. This is something we’re hoping to be able to do on an annual basis, so as to make a new tradition for the women in our parish. Men, don’t feel left out! We’re looking to do something special for fathers and sons near Saint Joseph’s feast day next year!
This is only one of the many wonderful ideas our members have come up with. Watch the bulletin for information on more of the upcoming events for Respect Life at [our parish]. And, as always, feel free to come to a meeting! They are open to everyone, and we’d be glad to have you!
Tuesday, March 20
Friday, March 16
The judge criticized the NJ law and lamented the fact that it upholds the rights of parents to home-school their children without interference from the government. Implying that children being educated by their parents are unsupervised, the judge stated, "This is shocking to the court. In this day and age where we seek to protect children from harm and sexual predators, so many children are left unsupervised."
The judge continued, "In today's threatening world, where we seek to protect children from abuse, not just physical, but also educational abuse, how can we not monitor the educational welfare of all our children?" He then gave the case of a recently found starving child locked "in a putrid bedroom" as an example of what happens when home-schooled children are not "registered and supervised."
Thursday, March 15
Head on over and read what the good father has to say.
"Although most area Catholic churches follow the modern practice of using altar girls, a Norwalk parish recently reverted to a traditional boys-only policy and started a program for girls teaching them to sew, cook and arrange flowers for the altar.
The Rev. Greg Markey, pastor of St. Mary Church in Norwalk for three years, said he made the change to help deal with the shortage of priests. Girls who were altar servers before the change was announced last year were permitted to continue.
More than 20 girls have signed up for the Handmaids of the Altar since the program began in October. They help with the sacristy, creating baptism robes and altar linen. For their first project, the girls raised $175 selling cookies they baked".
Oh, how wonderful! It would be wonderful if this was immitated all over the place. God certainly calls each of us to serve Him in some way, but our gifts and talents are different, and the call to boys (and men) is going to be different than the call to girls (and women). As the good pastor said himself, "Certainly the spirit of the society in which we live will not accept this. Yet this has nothing to do with equal rights. Men and women are equal in the eyes of God, and each has different gifts which should be allowed to develop in their proper environment."
The full article, complete with complaints from FutureChurch and feminists, can be found here.
Wednesday, March 14
Tuesday, March 13
Monday, March 12
During one of the episodes they squeezed in before breakfast, the announcer said, "We will have a special collection for Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy."
What Hubby heard was, "We will have a special intention for Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy."
Saturday, March 10
Wednesday, March 7
These two are the views from our unit (two bedroom, two baths, living/dining area, full kitchen).
This is the view of the pools from our balcony.
From the pool area, our room is way up there! Ours was the second floor from the top, third balcony over. Keep in mind that the purple wall separates one balcony from the next, so ours was in the second set of balconies, left side.
Big Girl and Little Girl with their cousin, watching a movie on the TV's on the tour bus at KSC. Little Girl is sitting with Big Cousin.
This one was taken to show the size of the VAB. Notice the water tower between the two grey doors.
The last few pictures are on our last night in Daytona. It was a pretty clear night, and the moon was full. The following night, we'd be blessed to watch a lunar eclipse on our way home. Our last hour's drive was directly towards the eclipse! Too bad I couldn't get a decent picture of it.
Tuesday, March 6
One of the categories we got was "At the Ocean." I asked for it to be repeated so that I was sure I understood it (Little Girl isn't always perfectly clear when she speaks), so Little Girl clarified it for me, saying, "At the Ocean. Like Japan."
1. Where/How did you meet? We met when we worked together at Maison Blanche, a department store. He worked in electronics, and I worked as a "floater," which basically meant that I was in whatever department needed help that day. I worked one shift with him, during which he insisted on calling me "honey" in spite of my repeated requests that he not do so. (I had a boyfriend.) When he wouldn't remember, I, in my oh-so-nice ways that I had at the time, threatened his ability to have children in the future. Wisely, he stopped. To this day he does not call my honey. (ha!)
I left that job after a short time, and we didn't catch up again until we took a physics class together (God's idea - I didn't know about the sign language class that was offered at the same time). He approached me after the second class and re-introduced himself. Not necessary. I remembered him, commented on his new glasses, etc. We became best friends (though his motives were not the same as mine - he wanted to marry me, and I still had the boyfriend in NJ), we hung out all the time, we went out to eat and to see movies several times a week. Always Dutch, mind you. Eventually, God put down my usual 2x4 and picked up the 6x6. I realized that I was in love with this guy. I broke up with the boyfriend, analyzed myself nearly to death, and accepted Hubby's offer for him to "take better care of me than J*** does." (First, though, I made him suffer for nearly a week.) Within about four days, I knew that his idea about marrying each other was a good one. :)
2. How long have you known each other? This August it will be 18 years. Is that right? Wow. Almost half my life. *happy sigh*
3. How long after you met did you start dating? 15 months. Unless you count all of those non-dates that suspiciously looked like dates. Then it's only a year.
4. How long did you date before you were engaged? 2 years. As a matter of fact, he proposed for our anniversary. But we'd been unofficially engaged for about a month or two. I had the dress, we'd booked the hall for the reception, and we'd already reserved the church.
5. How long was your engagement? 9 months. My grandmother said something about having a baby in between. It was a really strange comment. LOL!
6. How long have you been married? 13 1/2 years as of this last Saint Valentine's Day
7. What is your anniversary? August 14th
8. How many people came to your wedding reception? Oh, my goodness! I don't remember! I think we invited about 120.
9. What kind of cake did you serve? Chocolate cake with butter cream icing. Little daisies made of icing all over it, my bouquet and the bridesmaids' bouquets all around it on the table (more daisies). It was FABULOUS!!!
10. Where was your wedding? Wedding at Church of the Nativity, Lake Mary, FL. Reception at the American Legion in Sanford, FL.
11. What did you serve for your meal? Prime rib. I didn't get to eat much of it, though, since I hadn't eaten enough and was a bit nauseous during most of the reception.
12. How many people were in your bridal party? 3 bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen, a flower girl and a ring bearer.
13. Are you still friends with them all? No, we've lost touch with two of the groomsmen. Bridesmaids are 3-0, and the children were my cousins.
14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony? Almost, but he was fortunately saved by his fit of laughter during our vows. (See picture below.)
15. Most special moment of your wedding day? Receiving the ring. Knowing at the end that I was finally married to Hubby. Oh, but I think the tops is the look on his face when he saw me, just before everyone stood up. He gasped, then settled into this amazing smile. I LOVE Hubby's smile!!
16. Any funny moments? Well, it's only partly funny, I guess. While I was in the bathroom trying not to throw up, Hubby's father, who was never at a loss for words, worriedly went up to my dad. "Is Christine okay?" he asked. Dad, who had actually just had someone check on me, said, "I don't know. I think it's your son's problem now. She was fine when I gave her to him a couple hours ago!" He then walked off, leaving my father-in-law speechless. I was fine eventually, and even ate a little of the prime rib. Oh, and cake. mmmmmm....chocolate cake!
17. Any big disasters? Only that bout of nausea. But it wasn't too bad, and the photographer stayed on - without charge! - until I felt better and he finished the shots he wanted to do.
18. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Montego Bay, Jamaica! (Sandals ROCKS!)
19. How long were you gone? 6 days
20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? I would have eaten a peanut butter sandwich before getting dressed, even if the photographer had to wait. (He was 30 minutes earlier than he said he'd be!)
21. What side of the bed do you sleep on? As you look at the bed, I'm on the right. Though on vacations, I sometimes sleep on the opposite side. And we've switched sides since we got married, too.
22. What size is your bed? Queen
23. Greatest strength as a couple? We are best of friends. And because I started out as being just friends with Hubby, I never feel a need to put on some kind of act for him. I have never felt a tremendous need that he never see me without makeup or perfect hair, and I know that he loves me for who I am because I've never hidden the real me from him. Plus, we genuinely like to hang out together. He's so much fun, and we make each other laugh.
24. Greatest challenge as a couple? Ummm...I'll have to think about that. Maybe it's money. Like, we both kind of like spending it.
25. Who literally pays the bills? Me.
26. What is your song? "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack. (And I think that Celine Dion's version is AWFUL!! BLECH!)
27. What did you dance your first dance to? A slow dance? At the wedding, I think. Other dancing did occur at Pleasure Island, but I will not be sharing any more details on that.
28. Describe your wedding dress. Floor-length with big, poofy sleeves. Fitted bodice, large poofy skirt with a bow on the back. Chapel-length train, chapel-length veil. (See pictures for a better detail.)
29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? Mostly daisies, but with a few white roses in there to match the boutonnieres of the men.
(note: That last picture is of my Father-Daughter dance)
30. Are your wedding bands engraved? What do they say? Nope, no engraving. We actually have channels in our bands, so there is only the back side of it. And it's a good thing we didn't, since I had my rings stretched when I gained weight after each girl, then cut back down when I lost it all.
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