Friday, February 29

Lenten Friday: Flounder with Lemon, Parsley, and Bread Crumbs

This is from WW Italian cookbook (Simply the Best Italian), and is not that difficult to make. it also doesn't take all that long to make, in case you're in a rush. The book suggess that if you're using fresh fish (I used frozen flounder fillets), you can use sole, red snapper, catfish, or trout if you can't get flounder. This makes four servings.
Flounder with Lemon, Parsley, and Bread Crumbs
  • 4 (1/4 pound) flounder or sole fillets
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • Lemon wedges and flat leaf parsley sprigs (I did not garnish with these. So sue me.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Place the fillets, skin-side down, in the baking dish. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, then brush each fillet with 1 teaspoon of oil.
  2. Mix the bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle over the fillets. Bake until the fillets re just opaque in the center, 10-12 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with minced parsley and garnished with the lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.

Per serving:

  • 170 Calories
  • 6 g total fat
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 51 mg cholesterol
  • 278 mg sodium
  • 6 g total carbohydrate
  • 1 g dietary fiber
  • 21 g protien
  • 45 mg calcium
  • Points per serving: 4

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Various Conversations

Last night at dinner:

Big Girl: What can you use to fix broken vegetables?

me: I don't know. What?

Big Girl: Tomato paste!

This morning, as I finished showering off Little Girl:

me: (Looking at her feet, trying to find the source of the light "thunking" sound I hear.) What are you doing with your toes? Are you snapping your toes??

Little Girl: Yes! I can do that! (Big grin as she continues snapping her toes.) Maybe I can be on "America's Most Interesting People!"

(Note: We don't watch any of those shows with submitted videos because I have an aversion to watching people get hurt or almost get hurt. So I'm not completely sure where she got this idea from.)

[image sources: tomatoes: here; toes: actual picture of my feet and Little Girl's feet taken in Myrtle Beach, SC, last October]

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Dopey Quizzes

When I ought to be getting breakfast and school underway.

First up, the puctuation personality quiz. I've been intrigued, and, except for the leadership thing, this is pretty close to me.

You Are a Colon

You are very orderly and fact driven.

You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.

You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.

You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.

Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.

(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)

You excel in: Leadership positions

You get along best with: The Semi-Colon

I wouldn't say that I'm "brilliant," though. LOL! I wonder if Soccer Dad is a semicolon. (Hint, hint, honey.)

Thought I'd also take this one, even though I knew the results would be like this. I'm sure I know which Soccer Dad would be, too.

You Are 20% Extrovert, 80% Introvert

You are quite reserved

You aren't afraid of social situations...

But you very much prefer to go it alone

And why not? You're your own best friend!

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Black Market

Idiom Shortage Leaves Nation All Sewed Up In Horse Pies

The Onion

Idiom Shortage Leaves Nation All Sewed Up In Horse Pies

WASHINGTON—Authorities expect the shortage to subside by April, but until then, urge citizens to skip shy the rickshaw until the flypaper marigolds can waterfall.

I've been discussing idioms with the girls a bit lately, so this just cracked me up.

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Thursday, February 28

Sticky Sweet Love

As Soccer Dad and I hugged, the girls squeezed between us to join in.

me: Double-decker sandwich!

Little Girl: Big Girl is the peanut butter and I'm the jelly!!

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Wednesday, February 27

Catholic Blog Awards

I haven't mentioned it before now, but there is still time to nominate your favorite Catholic blogs for an award.

Go here for details. (Some of my favorite blogs have been nominated! Yay!)

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Catholic Carnival Time Again!

I totally missed the call for submissions! d'oh!

But it's not too late to enjoy the Catholic Carnival, being hosting this week at Adam's Ale (with that great picture of then-Cardinal Ratzinger with a big tankard of the stuff). There are too many goodies to try to pull out one or two to share with you, so just head over and look at them all!

Don't forget that you, too, can participate! Head here for the nifty online form to submit articles.

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Books: Reviews are Overdue!

I feel badly because I promised to review two books. I need to write up a proper review of the first, which I should have done before Christmas, but was a bit distracted just after I finished it. The second is overdue, but I am, believe it or not, still working through In the Shadow of Our Lady.

The book is beautiful and wonderful, but because I've been developing such a devotion to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (aka Mother Teresa), I am loathe to rush to finish. I am savoring the book, pausing after each reading of it to ponder it. It is so rich and full of goodness, despite its small size.

I will be finishing that book as soon as I can, since it is definitely not fair that I haven't reviewed it yet!

Watch this space in the near future for the actual reviews.

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Blogroll Highlight: The Charcoal Fire

I haven't highlighted a specific blog (save the Travel Man blog) in a while, and I wanted to point out an excellent site called The Charcoal Fire. Kevin has such fascinating articles there, and they are definitely theologically deep at times. (Check out his recent musings on forgiveness and the parable of the king who forgave the servant's debts.)

Today, though, while catching up, I read a really cool story about how his life was saved by an abcessed tooth. Really! I'll give you a sample, but you just click on over and read the rest for yourself:

... Several doctors had informed my mother that because of her fertility cycles she would never have children. My Dad knew that before he married her, but he loved her and it wasn't a problem for him. Plus, he didn't believe the doctors anyway. But after not conceiving in their first year of marriage, my mother decided to see her OB/GYN about the condition. At the office, they administered a pregnancy blood test, and if it turned out to be negative, the doctor recommended an injection to stimulate ovulation and assist in conception. However, if the shot were to unknowingly follow conception, it would likely cause a miscarriage.

So after a few days, the doctor's office called my mom to let them know that the test was negative, and to ask her to come in and receive the injection. But unbeknownst to both my mother and the doctors, I was there. My mom says she felt hesitant to receive the shot for some reason. So, my little life seemed to be in peril. ...

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Medical Bills


I just got another bill for the emergency hospital stay I had just prior to Christmas, and it was a bit higher than the first one I got, though I do admit that it is better than it would be without insurace. I was shocked to find out that our out-of-pocket maximum had gone up to $3000 per individual/$9000 family! Yikes! Last time I was in the hospital (for Little Girl's birth), it was $1000 individual/$3000 family. So when I got out of the hospital, I thought I'd see what the deal was going to be. Imagine my shock that, despite the rising price of the premiums for the same number of people, we had more to pay out of pocket!! Holy cow!

Anyway, I cried tears of joy when I got my first bill for the CT-scan I needed. $187 after insurance. When we got the next bill, I wanted to cry for other reasons. I had three shots of phenegran in an IV because I couldn't stop vomitting (that it worked should have been a clue that I wasn't pregnant). The first was $150! But each additional was $300. You know that stupid pulse oximeter they stick on your finger? $25. Seriously? And the ER visit - just getting seen - was $450.

Mind you, the insurace paid some of it. They paid a little more than half (though I thought I had an 80/20 plan until I hit the out-of-pocket), so my portion is $569.

I still haven't gotten my bill for the actual hospital room. I can't wait. /sarcasm

I was thinking before Just how bad can it be? Two nights, an NG tube and pump, a popsicle, and two cups of broth. But now I'm not so sure. I think it could be pretty ugly.

We did start the Dave Ramsey plan, though. But I am loathe to touch that emergency fund because the next bill is bound to be higher, and I think we'll need it then.

God, I hope we sell our minivan soon. We really could use the lack of debt and the profit from it to cover these bills for my stupid intestines and my stupid scar tissue from my stupid tubal ligation.


[image information and source]

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Tuesday, February 26

Fake "Family-Friendly"

I've been reading children's books lately in an effort to screen things for Big Girl. Well, probably for Little Girl, too, but she's not finished with nearly every book in the house, as Big Girl is.

Some books are famous - they've been made into movies - and these are among the ones Big Girl would like to read. Though she hasn't seen either one, she wants to read (and see) both Harriet the Spy and Bridge to Terebithia. I insisted on reading both before letting her loose on either for a good reason: Shilo. Yes, the book about the boy and a dog.

I did not screen Shilo and regret it now. The boy in the book thinks a man is mistreating his dogs, and he becomes attached to one of the new dogs who keeps running away. The boy decides he's going to somehow get the dog away from his master and keep him. He wants to buy him (man paid $40 for the dog), but what happens is that the boy hides the dog after he finds him out again. Then he proceeds to cover up that he's got the dog. Let's count the problems here:
  • covetting
  • lying
  • stealing
  • more lying
  • disobeying parents

And in the end, he gets to keep the dog, in spite of the fact that because of him, the dog was attacked. It's a wreck, and my explanations to Big Girl about why I didn't like the book (which I read when we watched the movie) only brought her to tears. She can't understand why it's so bad. "It's FICTION!" she continues to cry to me. Yes, but when I realized that the movie and the book were so similar, I was sorry I let her read it. The role model in the book breaks several big Commandments, and is rewarded in the end!

And so I was trepidatious about Harriet and Terebithia, despite both being considered great children's literature.

I have now nixed Harriet the Spy. Harriet spies on her friends and various people in town - sneaking all over, hiding in bushes - and then writes about them in her notebooks. The girl is absolutely fanatical about routine and about the notebooks. She is, quite simply, addicted to the notebooks. Her obsession is revealed after the contents of her writing is discovered by her friends, who discover that she's been writing mean-spirited things about them all. They keep her notebook, and the next morning, she leaves early for school so she can buy a new one and continue writing. She cannot function without the notebooks. (It's actually very sad.) She is sorry, but not for hurting anyone, and not for spying on people, and certainly not for writing such nasty things. She is only sorry that people looked insider her notebook when it said "PRIVATE" on the front cover. She is actually angry and feels that it's not her fault that everyone is hurt by her actions and words. In the first section of the book, she has a nursemaid who winds up leaving to get married. She is heartbroken, as the nurse (Ole Golly) was like a mother to her. When Harriet's world is crashing down around her, her parents try contacting Golly to get her to talk to Harriet about what has happened. Golly tells her that she must always be true to herself. Sometimes, she tells her, people will get hurt by the truth, so she has to decide if she wants to apologize or just tell a lie. Small lies are good if they spare people's feelings. (I kid you not, it says this.) Now, Golly tells Harriet, use your spying to write stories because you wanted to be a writer.

Harriet winds up being rewarded in the end for her dispicable actions. (What is to be expected in a book where God is not mentioned even once? What is there to regret if you only tell the truth? Who cares if it's only opinions and not necessarily the truth?) Harriet winds up being the editor of her grade's page of the school newspaper. She starts using her spying to tell stories (still mean-spirited) about people in town that she has been sneaking around on. Everyone loves her stories for the paper, her friends accept her back without question (or apologies or even Golly's other suggestion: lies), and all is well.

Harriet is a spoiled brat who is mean and nasty. Harriet does not change her ways. Harriet is rewarded for being a spoiled brat who is mean and nasty.

Great message.

Then Terebithia, which I really wanted to read a LOT. First of all, the story is beautiful. Really, really lovely. I actually cried - make that sobbed - at the end of the book. But the reason I'm now trepidatious about this book is the language. There were multiple uses of "hell", "damn", and the Lord's name in vain (which is actually a bit mild, as in "Lord!", but I know will bother Big Girl a bit). And let's not forget the use of the term "bitchin'", as in "they start bitchin' at you for breaking crayons." These are completely unnecessary, and it is a real shame for them to be in there. That said, the book is definitely for a more mature child - probably upper elementary at the earliest, if you can stand the language - because of the death of a character in the book. (Which explains my sobbing last night.) I want to watch the movie before I decide about the book. I might - maybe - read it to the girls in preparation for watching the movie, as long as the language is a bit more tame in the film. I know Walden Media will have stuck to the book closely, in spite of the girl looking wrong, because that is just what they do. But, again, I was caught off-guard by the language, and I'm glad that I decided to preview the book first.

One more thing. Our family movie this weekend (did you think I'd forgotten?) was The Rookie with Dennis Quaid. What a really wonderful film! The story (a true one) was really inspirational, and everyone loved it.

I have two problems with it, though. (Gosh, I look like a real complainer here, eh?) The Rookie is rated G. Yet in one of the early scenes, we are treated to an ass-grab - CLOSE UP! Holy cow, I don't do that to my husband near the kids, why on earth do I need them to see that filling the entire TV screen???!!!??? And there were a few "damns" and "hells" in there, too. People, this movie is rated G, and I felt like I should have screened it first. It's completely unfair that such material is in a G-rated film. Can't I watch anything with my children without being assaulted by inappropriate material any more?? Why should I have to screen a movie that is for "General Audiences" to be sure I don't get a full-screen shot of someone's butt being grabbed (right at the crotch, mind you!)???? I dang-near fell off the couch, I was so shocked!

From now on, I think I'm going to have to stick to movies made before 1960 for family movie night. At least Pollyanna and Mary Poppins didn't have innuendos and ass-grabbing. Neither did Briggadoon. Yes, we'll be looking for old musicals for next week. Or maybe Charlie Chaplin. It's getting harder and harder for me to trust that a family film is really that.

And, as far as books go, I'll be looking into getting For the Love of Literature by Maureen Wittmann as soon as possible. I need some help in getting decent books that protect my girls' innocence and still challenge them.

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Sunday, February 24

Update from Texas

As I mentioned earlier in the week, our family needed prayers. The special intention was for (is for) my aunt and uncle in Texas. I received an "unofficial" update, which had not been passed on to the rest of the family yet (especially my grandmother), and I didn't want to post it until I knew my grandma heard the news. (While I don't think she comes by the blog much at all, it is bookmarked on her computer, so if she did click by, I didn't want her to see the news here.)

Here is the latest update from my family in Texas. Thank you for praying for them, and thank you for continuing to pray for them.


Howdy, all.

We had our visit to MD Anderson this past Tuesday, as scheduled. The news on the recent MRI was not great and so we are going to change to a different therapy. The doctor reported that the tumor has grown and has crossed the midline of the brain. Previously, it had been on the right side and now it has entered the left side as well.

The doc said there was no reason to continue the Temodar/Accutane chemo protocol that we've been following for the past two months since it did not seem to have affected the tumor. He suggested following a chemo/antibody therapy that was used in one of their clinical trials (experiments) that was recently completed. He said that it showed very promising results...

As it stands now, B****** will start this therapy in the upcoming week. It's administered by infusion once every two weeks. We don't know whether it'll be done as an outpatient at the hospital or in the cancer clinic. It just depends upon what the doc learns as opposed to how things are reimbursed. He is almost positive that BC/BS will not pay for this because it's still considered "experimental". I believe the $$ lingo is that it's considered to be "off-label" use. Interestingly, today's paper reported that the antibody medicine, Avastin, was just approved by the FDA for use in breast cancer cases. It had previously been approved for use in colon and lung cancer.

After three of these once-every-two-week treatments we will have another MRI and then go back to MD Anderson so that they can determine whether it has been effective.

All in all, not tremendous news. I sometimes feel as if we were on a roller coaster, and on some days it seems that there are more lows than highs. Still, we're enjoying every day. We cherish one another's company and every moment we spend together. We are so grateful for everyone's support and prayers. We are blessed to have a healthy little grandson who seems to have invented the smile and we thank God every day that our sons K**** and C**** are surrounded by such wonderful people at St. ********* High School. There are lots of good things going on and we focus on them rather than on B******'s illness. We're just moving forward with this new treatment. We'll also be attending a healing ministry at our church in a couple of days. Healing comes in all sorts - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual - and we're asking for whatever we can receive.

Thanks for all the offers of assistance, the thoughts, and the prayers. Today is a good day, so go hug and kiss your loved ones. Make the world a better place.

Love, B*****, B*******, and the boys


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Friday, February 22

Would Saint Patrick Celebrate? (Multiple Updates)

There seems to be a lot of hubbub about Saint Patrick's Day falling during Holy Week. "It's not fair!" whine the people who want parties. "We shouldn't have to stop celebrating just because it's Holy Week!"

Excuse me, people, but aren't you placing your emphasis on the wrong person here? There's Someone who is the focus of Holy Week, and Saint Patrick would be among the first to say it ain't him.

And as far as the dispensations for corned beef when it falls on a Friday (it's always during Lent), that's a total crock, too.

Instead of placating people and allowing them to do stuff that just might offend the Lord, why not take a moment and educate folks on why we don't celebrate saints during Holy Week. (Saint Joseph, patron and protector of the Church, has had his day moved to the 15th this year.) We don't celebrate saints that week because our focus is on CHRIST! Christ Jesus, Who suffered and died a grusome death for us in the first Holy Week. Christ Jesus, Who is Lord of lords. Christ Jesus, the One who pleads for us at the right hand of the Father.

Saint Patrick would be embarrassed by this kind of fuss, people. He'd wonder what on earth we were doing eating meat at ALL during Lent. Or eggs or dairy. Why aren't you fasting throughout Lent? would probably be a question he'd ask. Where is your penance?

I'm Irish, too. My great-grandfather came here from Ireland, so I'm third-generation from him. But this idea that "I'm Irish ... I have to celebrate" is just ridiculous.

Wouldn't it be lovely if the bishops who are giving dispensations for festivities during Holy Week would, instead, take the time to discuss with their flock the meaning of Holy Week and why we aren't supposed to celebrate anyone but Christ that week?

And people wonder why Protestants get confused about our love of saints. Misplaced, this is. It's taking Saint Patrick out of his proper place and elevating him.

[images from EWTN]


  • Jay has more on it (along with his own witty comments) here.
  • Ironic Catholic has some comments on the same article here.

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Lenten Friday Recipe: Broiled Polenta with Ratatouille

(Note on Thursday: I'm putting this up early, but post-dated, for Friday. This way, if you want to shop for the ingredients and make it tomorrow, you can.)

I first made this one Friday last Summer because they girls wanted to know what ratatouille was after seeing the movie of the same name. I had no idea, but found this in one of my Weight Watchers cookbooks, and it wasn't too difficult. It's time-intensive because you have to chop everything up, but it was kind of neat to make it. Plus, it was yummy! It makes a nice meatless Friday dish.

Broiled Polenta with Ratatouille

3 points per serving, makes 6 servings

(Note from book: For a more substantial meal, stir in two 15-ounce cans rinsed and drained kidney beans or chickpeas into the ratatouille during the last 5 minutes of cooking. 1/2 cup of the beans will and 1 point per serving.)

  • 8 sun-dried tomoato halves (not packed in oil)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (3/4-pound) eggplant, unpeeled and cubed
  • 1 (1/2-pound) zucchini, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 (16-ounce) tube refrigerated polenta
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in warm water to cover until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain, discarding the liquid, then chop the tomatoes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a nonstick Dutch oven. Swirl in the oil, then add the onion and garlic. Saute until golden, about 7 minues. Add the eggplant, zucchini, green and red bell peppers, tomatoes, sugar, salt, ground pepper, and the chopped sun-dried tomoatoes; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are softened and the flavores are developed, about 30 minutes. Stir in the basil during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Cut the polenta into 12 crosswise slices, arrange on the baking sheet. Sprinkel with the cheese and broil 5 inches from the heat until hot and the cheese is golden, about 4 mintues.

  4. Serve the ratatouille with the broiled polenta rounds.

Per serving (generous 1 cup ratatoille and 2 polenta rounds):

  • 156 calories
  • 4 g total fat
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 3 mg cholesterol
  • 634 mg sodium
  • 26 g total carbohydrate
  • 5 g dietary fiber
  • 6 g protien
  • 120 mg calcium

[image source]

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Thursday, February 21

Another New Poll

I've got a new poll up on the main page of the blog. Stop by and vote some time during the next week.


If your priest does something you disagree with or don't understand, do you talk to him about it?

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"Every Day is a Bad Hair Day"

I saw this on the news this morning, and I wanted to show the girls. Then I decided ... Hey! This is too good not to share with you, dear readers!

Behold! The 2007 International Beard and Moustache Championships! (They just had the 2008 one, and I'm looking for the video for that, too.)

Time has some pictures of the event, too. (All pictures below are from Time magazine's site.)

The girls especially liked some of the crazier styles:

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Watch as Our Hero Leaps Into Action!

Soccer Dad has been on missions as Travel Man recently. He's got a couple of new posts up now, and he'll have a ton of them in March.

Stay tuned to find out what happens next to our favorite super hero ...

Travel Man!!!

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Please Pray

*sigh* I feel like I'm just one prayer request after another.

Please keep a special intention in your prayers today for my family. I'll update as soon as I can, but for now, I'm keeping the exact intention to myself. Probably tonight or tomorrow for the reason. Thanks.

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Wednesday, February 20

Catholic Carnival

The Catholic Carnival is here again. Go to A Third Way for the whole thing. There are lots of interesting reflections on books and movies, as well as the Cross and fasting and prayer.

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Tuesday, February 19

Do You Break Lenten Fast? Poll Closed

The question was:

Do you break your Lenten fast on Sundays?

Here are our results:

No! I'm strict about Lent.
10 (47%)

Yes, it makes the sacrifice that much harder the rest of the time.
6 (28%)

You're allowed to do that??
4 (19%)

I don't give up anything for Lent.
0 (0%)

What's Lent?
0 (0%)

Oh, my goodness! Is it already Lent?!?
1 (4%)

Total votes: 21

Wow! I have 21 people who read the blog! Or, someone googled Lent, found the question, and voted in a one-time-only stop here. ;)

And nearly everyone else sticks to the fast on Sundays, too. Neat-o!

I'll think up a new question and post another poll soon.

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U-G-L-Y! You Ain't Got No Alibi!

While I'm ranting, could someone tell me who the genius is that came up with the uniforms for the NBA All Star Game?

Whoever it was ought to be taken out back and shot. Or at least fired. It was the most confusing game to try to watch.

I'd rather everyone wear his own uniform in home or away colors than the horrible unis they had on Sunday.

Oh, did you miss it? Let me show you what I'm talking about:

As you can see, the front isn't too bad. Blue for East, White for West.

But can you see the backs a little here?

Here's a better view of the backs. White for East, Gold for West.

So if you have a guy from the East facing away from the camera and a guy from the West facing towards the camera, they are both in white.

Brilliant, eh?


Whoever thought that up should be fired from the costume department.

[all images from]

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How does anyone expect things to change if you don't make an effort? If someone does something wrong, how can he stop doing it, or even know there are people it has bothered, if no one says anything??

It only makes it more difficult for the people who try to change things if no one else speaks up.

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Request for Prayer

Please keep our family in your prayers as I prepare to write to our bishop about something that is sure to make waves.

Thank you.

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Under "Ironic" in the Dictionary

While looking for a picture of Saint Joseph with Jesus in the workshop, I came across a picture in black and white. It doesn't quite fit my purpose, but I found it interesting that the picture, linked from SSPX-Africa, was being used on an Episcopal Church's site, posted there by the female pastor of the church!

See it all here.

The URL for the picture is:

I wonder how the SSPX people feel about a priestess in the Episcopal Church using a picture they have up on their site. LOL!

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"A Great Addition to an Easter Basket"

“Bratz Kidz Fairy Tales” Comes to DVD Feb. 26!

February 5th, 2008 by Julie Kent in Children, Movie News, Animation, Dvd, Movies

Coming to DVD on February 26th is “Bratz Kidz Fairy Tales” from Lionsgate Family Entertainment. The full-length CGI-animated feature includes all your favorite Bratz characters, including Cloe, Sasha, Yasmin, and Jade, who get zapped into Fairy Tale Land and star as Rapunzel, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella all together in one big movie!
The Bratz girls in this film are shown in their younger years, as they discover that “happily ever after” is no easy task - unless of course you have the help of your BFF’s there to get through the classic tales.

This is a great DVD for girls of all ages, especially with all of its fabulous extras including three sing-alongs and two fairy tale games. With Easter coming early this year, it could also make a great addition to an Easter basket. [ed: emphasis mine]

Seriously? Child prostitutes in the Easter basket?

And when did Easter become another holiday for buying presents? Did I miss that memo somewhere? I thought that Easter was about (a) Christ rising from the dead, and (b) if you do it, looking for eggs and chocolate bunnies.

I mean, the eggs and bunnies are a stretch as it is. I heard a priest talk about how the egg (as his parents explained it) is a symbol of the stone at the tomb of Christ. And the bunny, forever having offspring, is a symbol of life.

But how can you work in little girls dressed like whores into the Easter story???

Related posts:

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New Update from Texas (With Prayer Request)

My uncle wrote to the family again with another update on my aunt. His email is below. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for receiving test results today.


Howdy, all.

Greetings from the ************ family. Once again, it's been a while since I've written with news on B*******'s health status. For the most part that's because there's been little to report - she has been continuing pill-based chemo at home, with few side effects. She has had little if any nausea, which has been great. She's had some itchiness and dry skin, which are side effects of one of the chemo medicines (Accutane). We take care of these with Benadryl and moisturizing lotion.

She has regained the weight she'd lost following the initial radiation/chemo phase. There is a little swelling in her left foot, and we are trying to minimize this by keeping her feet elevated whenever possible. It's usually possible, so this really amounts to almost all the time, exceptions being trips to town, etc.

We have not been back to MD Anderson since December. At that time, the doc (Dr. Y) had us set up an appointment two months in the future. He also began backing off the level of steroids (Decadron) that had been prescribed for her. I've learned that steroids have all sorts of strange side effects, one of which is development of a round face. B******* went from having a thin face to having a very round one, which didn't please her. The doc has dropped her steroid level twice since that visit. We're told going cold-turkey on steroids is a fatal mistake, so the level has gradually dropped from 8 to 6 to 4 mg/day. Change is hard to see on a daily basis because the decrease, like the increase in facial swelling, is gradual. Still, her face is slowly returning to normal.

She had an MRI performed at St. ******** Hospital on Friday. Tomorrow (Monday) we'll have her blood drawn for a number of tests the doc requested, and on Tuesday we'll leave VERY early for a 0900 AM appointment with him at MD Anderson.

So, how are things going with her, now that all these details have been recorded? I really don't know. She generally feels OK, although she's usually tired. I am anxious about the Tuesday appointment. Just as it's hard to discern day-to-changes in B*****'s facial swelling, it's hard for me to say whether her illness is progressing. I try to be perpetually upbeat with her, but part of me is worried and not optimistic. I hope that's just the anxiety of the upcoming visit getting to me.

We will know more on Tuesday. And on that note, we would all (including the boys) appreciate being remembered in your prayers the next couple of days. I'm praying for healing and I'm praying in thanksgiving for all the wonderful blessings we've received. I'm also praying for the strength to continue dealing with this illness. It's hard on all of us and will continue to be tough, no matter what the doc tells us on Tuesday. We have a little “suffering” of our own to contemplate as we go through this Lenten season.

Blessings to all of you,
B***, B******, and the boys


Once again, I thank you for keeping them in your prayers.

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Monday, February 18


I am getting myself ready to incorporate and become one of those faceless people who answer the phone when you call a company (like Apple,, &c.). I'll be working through a company who will put me in touch with clients, which makes it good because I won't have to call anyone up (if I'm in sales). They'll call me.

In preparation for this, I needed to free up space on my hard drive. I have a decent-sized drive, but when we got iPods, it suddenly wasn't big enough. My drive had less than 10 gig left on it, and I need at least 10 gig for this job. So I bought an external hard drive and have been moving pictures and iTunes and music onto it. (The drive is 500G, which would have seemed immense to the point of ridiculousness just a few years ago. It will be virtually empty when I'm finished moving for today, but I'm sure we'll be able to fill it up with movies, music, and more.)

Once I moved things, I wound up with ...

... oh, excuse me, I'm still moving pictures. My bad. LOL!

I can't wait to rip all my CD's onto the drive and put them up for sale on eBay. Imagine! All those CD's will likely fit into a device the size of a paperback copy of Shogun!!

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Don't Forget to Vote!

Today is the last day you can vote in the Lenten Sacrifice/Sunday Break poll.

Just a reminder. :)

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Aw, Man!

As seen at Amy's blog. I am totally bummed that I'm not Pam! :(

Maybe Soccer Dad will take this quiz later on. This is, after all, his favorite show.

Okay, I retook it, and this is what I came up with the second time:

I think it was the book question. I'd bring the Bible, though if I could have a second, Lord of the Rings would be it. Ah, well.

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Apologetics Help Needed, Please!!

(Update: I am leaving this at the top of the blog for a few days to keep it in view for those who visit the actual blog rather than read through an aggregator.)

I am debating someone about the priesthood right now. Several points were brought up (by me) first, but only one point was rebutted. The points I brought up were question and answer sessions during Mass, whether the Church would ever allow women to be ordained, and the ministerial priesthood in the early Church (as in, did it exist or not). Only the last point was rebutted, and I am HIGHLY skeptical of the answer and sources, especially since "McBrian, Richard" is one of them.

Other sources are Joseph Martos (Doors to the Sacred), Kenan Osborne ("A History of the Orained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church"), and a report by the Pontifical Biblical Commission from 1976, the translation of which can be found in Origins (and was cited by - shudder - the WomenPriests group online). I think it's the report they did on whether or not the Bible definitively excludes women from the priesthood. (Of course, being Catholic, we should know better than to use sola Scriptura to defend a position, right?)

The person I'm debating this with is a Catholic, by the way. Just wanted to be clear about that. When I wrote, I quoted papal documents and the Catechism to support that women will never be ordained. But I didn't quote specific sources on the fact that Jesus gave us the priesthood, that the Apostles were the first priests, etc. I mean, it's a basic Catechism lesson in my girls' books! I learned it in the second grade!

However, I need help with finding resources to rebut this new line of argument, and I am turning to you, dear readers. (Passing this on to people who can help would be great, too!)

I'll give you the exact respose I received (aside from the email to which it was attached, which reveals who the person is). I'm trying to be vague about this to keep identities secret, but I'd really like to be able to answer these questions. (I'll be looking in my Catechism and Compendium today between school and baking.)

Here is the response:

It would be erroneous on our part to assume that the presently existing model of priesthood was the norm for ministry in the first century A.D. Though there is sometimes confusion in this matter, it really cannot be proven historically that ordained priesthood was a part of the Christian experience at that period of time. “The earliest Christian community contained a variety of ministries, but priesthood was not one of them.”[1]

The early Christian community used different names for their ministries, but none of them was specifically designated to describe the Christian priesthood of any individual. The Jesus priesthood described in the letter to the Hebrews (written by an unknown Christian) should be “understood in the light of the Old Testament.”[2] This is very easily explainable, knowing that the priesthood Jesus and his followers knew was the Jewish temple priesthood, which was quite different from today’s Catholic priesthood. “The Early Church did not use the liturgical or sacred title of “priest” [in Greek, hiereus; in Hebrew, cohen] for Church ministers. Even though this title was readily available, it was evidently shunned by the early Church for designation of its ministries. In the New Testament only the Jewish priests, Jesus [and only in Hebrews] and all of the baptized are called: hiereus.”[3]

Some of the New Testament names of ministry are: Apostle, The Twelve, Prophet, Teacher, Diakonoi (could be applied to women; the Greek is masculine, as well)[4], Father, Servant, Episcopes, Overseer, Presbyteros, Evangelist, etc. “If we look at the Pauline material, which is the oldest written material (but not the oldest in tradition), we find that there is scant attention to either episcopos or diakonos and absolutely none to presbyter.”[5] Let us just pause for a minute to explain some of the ministry names used in the New Testament, since today they tend to mean something different:
  • Episcopes – probably of Greek-Christian origin signifying a title of office, oversight task. Men who performed the function of oversight were called episcopos: governor, officer, building inspector, director, temple inspector.
  • Presbyteros– probably of Jewish-Christian origin signifying the leaders in the great families and clans of the Jewish nation. This particular title goes back to the times of the patriarchs. “The term, presbyter, as used in the Jewish world, did not include liturgical functions. It was not “priestly” in its connotation. It was rather leadership and service to the community that marked one as an elder.”[6]
  • Diakonoi (Deacon) – served the internal needs of the community. If they were women they should be like men¾respectable, discreet, and reliable[7] (1 Timothy 3:8-13; Romans 16:1). “According to the witness of the New Testament, especially the Pauline epistles, women are associated with the different charismatic ministries (diaconies) of the Church (1 Cor 12, 4; I Tim 3, 11, cf.8); prophecy, service, probably even apostolate…without, nevertheless, being of the Twelve. They have a place in the liturgy at least as prophetesses (1 Cor 11,4).”[8]

There was no ordination rite, as we understand it today, that we can find in the New Testament (either for men or for women), but the priesthood we know today is a combination of different roles and ministries that we find in the New Testament. “It is not even clear, for example, that anyone in particular was commissioned to preside over the Eucharist in the beginning. Paul never mentions that he presided. In fact, he seems to have been little involved in the administration of sacraments (1 Corinthians 1:14-15). There is no explicit mention that any of the Apostles presided over the Eucharist. Indeed, there is no compelling evidence that they presided when they were present, or that a chain of ordination from Apostle to bishop to priest was required for presiding. Someone must have presided, of course, and those who did so presided with the approval of the community.”[9]

Before the end of the first century, some Christian writers likened Jesus’ death on the cross to a priestly sacrifice, and since then we can see a slow development of the priesthood idea in the Christian circles. It was not until the third century that those presiding over Eucharistic celebrations were perceived as priestly ministers. It was not until the patristic and middle ages that almost all those engaged in the official church ministries had to be priests. “Significantly, not until the year 1208 is there an official declaration that priestly ordination is necessary to celebrate the Eucharist (Innocent III, Profession of Faith Prescribed to the Waldensians), and then, more solemnly, by the Council of Florence (1439) and the Council of Trent (1563).”[10]

This, however, is beyond the scope of this short essay.

[1] Martos, Joseph. Doors to the Sacred. P. 400
[2] McBrian, Richard. Catholiscism. P. 799.
[3] Osborne, Kenan. A History of the Ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. P. 83
[4] Osborne, Kenan. A History of the Ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. P. 43.
[5] Osborne, Kenan. A History of the Ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. P. 44.
[6] Osborne, Kenan. A History of the Ordained Ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. P. 47.
[7] Martos, Joseph. Doors to the Sacred. P. 406.
[8] The Pontifical Biblical Commission. English translation of this report can be found in Origins, v.6 (July 1, 1976) pp. 92-96.
[9] McBrian, Richard. Catholiscism. P. 801-802.
[10] McBrian, Richard. Catholiscism. P. 803.


None of this seems exactly right. It's as though it's clouded and geared, not towards discovering the truth (or Truth), but towards proving something already believed. I feel as though the purpose is to confuse rather than to enlighten.

To make something clear about my views on this, I'd like to add that I did, at one time, believe that women ought to be ordained, did not understand the difference between the ministerial priesthood and the layity's priesthood, and gradually did research to learn more about my faith. I have been educated quite a bit by Catholic Answers' site (for all ten years they've been there, believe it or not!). I try very hard to stick with those who don't dissent because I've learned that you can't be Catholic and refuse to accept the authority of the Church. (Not a good Catholic, anyway.) I also have learned a lot at the knee of Mother Angelica and her wonderful ministry. But I want to make it clear that oftentimes, when I searched for answers on something the Church teaches, I had to come to the hard truth that I wasn't in line with the Church. I sought to understand the teaching, and I seek daily to assent to Holy Mother Church. My own opinion hasn't anything to do with what I need to assent to. (Just ask me some time about my struggles with the death penalty!)

Help is appreciated, especially with understanding who these sources are, and, perhaps, where this essay came from, as I also suspect it is not his own. (Just a suspicion, and I'd be glad to admit I'm wrong if I am!)

Thank you in advance.

Sunday, February 17

Lenten Sudays: Family Movie, Second Sunday

This weekend, we watched Surf's Up, a cute movie about a penguin who only wants to be a surfer. What really made it cute was that it was done like a documentary. It was really what sold the movie, as far as I was concerned.

There is one complaint I have, though. This movie was rated PG for "mild language and some rude humor."

The mild language was completely gratuitous, too. "Sucks" could have easily been "stunk", "crap" could have easily been "garbage" or "junk", and - the coup de gras - "pecker face" (I kid you not!!) could have been just about ANYTHING else!

Earth to Hollywood:

Normal parents don't want their children exposed to language like that. Normal parents don't allow their kids to use "sucks" and "crap", and they certainly don't let them call people "pecker face"!!!

And the rude humor (farts, belches, peeing on the sea urchin sting) is not necessary, either. Yeah, I know kids laugh, but why appeal to the most base humor all the time? Is it possible to make a movie without these kinds of jokes for once? They used to make movies like that, you know. There was not one farting joke in Singin' in the Rain, and yet it's one of my children's favorite movies. There wasn't a single belch in Pollyanna, but my girls thought that was a great movie. In The Music Man (the original), there wasn't a single curse word. But my girls danced around singing "A Hundred and One Trombones" for days after we watched it.

It's not difficult to figure out what we want, if anyone in Hollywood would bother to pay attention. We want something wholesome, without the cursing, without the innuendos (yes, Surf's Up had those, too), without the bathroom humor. We want a good story (not another re-hash of Cinderella, please). We want something that, for once, we don't have to glance at each other over the children's heads and make the What Was That?? face at each other. There are two studios that we feel that we can trust: Pixar and Walden Media.

Overall, movies are going the way television has gone: offering little to nothing for families. Last week, we were a "Neilson Family", and I had the opportunity to write comments in the back of our nearly-empty diaries. I basically said that there is nothing for families anymore. I can't turn on the TV in front of the children during the evenings - even the "family hour" - for fear of them seeing or hearing something that will be seared into their impressionable minds. Even when watching sports, we have to turn off commercials - even at 2 in the afternoon - because they are for frightening shows, R-rated movies, "M" for Mature video games, and worse. Heck, we couldn't even watch the actual pre-game show for the Super Bowl because Jimmy Kimmel had some vile and immoral garbage on. (I think it might have been his review of the parties for the Super Bowl, including the Playboy party and the Victoria's Secret party.) (Oh, and can someone tell me why Kimmel even has a show? Talk about a lack of talent!)

Even kids' channels are filled with awful programming. Disrespect, rudeness, bathroom humor, and the like are the regular fare for most shows on Disney and Nickelodian. I can't (or, rather, won't) let the girls watch much of anything on either channel - SpongeBob and Kim Possible are about it.


Even though, overall, I liked the movie, it would have been better without the inappropriate elements. So, listen up, Hollywood. Stop striving for the PG rating for families, and start striving for G.

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Saturday, February 16

Sadly, I See This All the Time Around Here

From Catholic World News:

Priests becoming too worldly, Vatican prelate says

Rome, Feb. 15, 2008 ( - The prefect of the Congregation for Religious has lamented that many Catholic priests are neglecting their duties under the pressure of conforming to secular culture.

In a February 14 interview with the Italian ANSA news agency, Cardinal Franc Rode said that priests today tend to be less obedient to the Church and more responsive to the world. He cited reluctance to wear clerical dress as a symptom of this trend. ...

I see this all the time around where I live. Priests don't wear their clericals in the office (and occasionally not while saying Mass, either). They don't wear them outside the office. They don't live in rectories, instead living in apartments - alone. It is all so different from what I'm used to. Growing up, there was a convent and rectory at my parish. The two parishes I attended in Florida both had rectories where the priests lived together. I saw one priest from our last parish at a car wash in shorts and a T-shirt - the only time I ever saw him wear anything but clericals. It was the first time I'd seen a priest not wearing a collar. I was about 29 or 30 at the time. Now it's more common for me to see them without.


You can read the rest here.

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Friday, February 15

Today's Favorite LOL's

First was this set of LOLCats. Very sweet!

Then there was this, which made me laugh SOOO hard!

More here.

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Recipe for Lent - Second Friday

Here's another recipe to try out for Lenten Fridays. Despite the fancy-sounding name of this recipe, it's actually quite easy to make, and it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. I haven't made it in a while, so I don't have a picture of it. I might try making it next week with flounder instead of tilapia. (The recipe, from Weight Watchers, mentions that if you can't find tilapia, another mild white fish will do, and specifically mentions that flounder is another good choice.) If you're counting points with WW, this meal has 5 points, and this recipe has 4 servings to it.

Pan-Fried Tilapia with White Wine and Capers

  • 1/4 cup white wine, dry
  • 1/4 cup tomato(es), seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 pound raw tilapia, 4 6-ounce pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 spray cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons light butter
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium lemon, cut in wedges (optional)


  1. Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk; set aside.
  2. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper. Dredge fillets lightly in flour, and coat both sides of fillets with cooking spray.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fillets; cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; turn fillets, and cook 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove from pan.
  4. Add wine mixture to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stire in butter until melted. Spoon wine mixture over fillets; sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 2 tablespoons sauce).

Just typing that out makes me want to eat it again. This week is tuna casserole, but I'll bet I can get this cooked up for next week! Dee-lish-us!

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Thursday, February 14


My children will be on vacation with my parents when this comes out. (Check out the trailer at the official site!)

I smell a date coming!

(Hat tip: Dom)

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Been baking again. Made some Cappuccino cookies, for which I will post a recipe if anyone wants it.

The cookies can be made with sprinkles around the edges or dipped in chocolate. (They are log-cookies, meaning you make a log of dough and refrigerate it before cutting them into slices.) I did it half-and-half, then made the chocolate-dipped ones half semi-sweet chocolate and half white chocolate.

(Update: Here's the recipe, anyway.)

Cappuccino Cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

  • 2 cups packed brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon rum extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • chocolate sprinkles or melted semisweet and/or white chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add brown sugar; beat until well blended.

  2. Heat milk in small saucepan over low heat; add coffee granules, stirring to dissolve. Add milk mixture, eggs, rum extract, and vanilla to butter mixture. Beat at medium speed until well blended.

  3. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed after each addition until blended.

  4. Shape dough into 2 logs, about 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long. (Dough will be soft; sprinkle lightly with flour if too sticky to handle.)

  5. Roll logs in choclate sprinkles, if desired, coating evenly (1/3 cup sprinkles per roll). Or leave rolls plain and dip cookies in melted chocolate after baking. Wrap each log in plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease cookie sheets. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. (Keep unbaked rolls and sliced cookes chilled until ready to bake.)

  7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Dip plain cookies in melted semisweet or white chocolate, if desired. Store in airtight container.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

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Library Book Sales

While leaving the library last night, I noticed a C.S. Lewis book on the table (ten cents), so I went back to get it. (It's The Weight of Glory.) Then I noticed this other book on the table right under it.

I bought it so I could have the pleasure of destroying it, thereby protecting people from the lies of Jack Chick.

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A Love Letter from "That Guy"

You know that commercial out for Valentine's Day that has a man writing his own card - in calligraphy - expressing his undying love for his sweetheart? And the commercial says, "If you're not that guy ..." (insert pitch to spend ungodly amounts of money here).

Soccer Dad and I saw it last night, and I said, "You don't have to be either of those guys. Just get me a card and get Dollar Tree chocolate boxes for your girls."

This morning, my darling husband woke me up as he was leaving and presented me with this:

Someone at his office had Valentine's Day card materials at her desk and offered to let everyone make Valentines for their sweeties, so Soccer Dad took advantage and made three cards. (The girls don't have theirs yet.)

So it turns out that he is that guy! :)

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What is Love?

Looking for some nice reading on the meaning of love this Valentine's Day?

How about this?

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Exactly fourteen and one half years ago today, I married the most wonderful man on earth.

Happy Valentine's Day, sweetheart!

Pictures explained:

  1. Nathan (the future Soccer Dad) sees me in my wedding dress for the first time as he stands at the altar.

  2. The ring exchange.

  3. Our first dance.

  4. A more recent picture of us, from Christmas 2006.

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Wednesday, February 13

Beautiful Love Stories for Valentine's Day

Found via CNS News Hub:

For me to celebrate my 83rd anniversary, I'd have to live past my 106th birthday. Of course, I really want to live to see the Tricentenial of America, and if I do, both events will be the same year.

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Taken after an ice storm. None of this was dripping at the time, and I thought it looked just like a fringed table cloth.

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Tuesday, February 12

Squishy, Lovey Carnival ...

... or, a Lenten Reflection Catholic Carnival.

Join EBeth, who celebrates her 15th anniversary this week, at the Catholic Carnival this week!

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New Poll on the Sidebar!

Okay, time for a new poll. This one will be up for a week. The big question is:

Do you break your Lenten fast on Sundays?

Come on over and vote, you Blogline readers!

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Monday, February 11

Ash Wednesday Poll Closed!

The poll has closed. And it was a close vote! The question was:

Did you hear "Ashes" at Mass on Ash Wednesday this year?

And I had 6 votes for "yes" and 5 votes for "no." (I was one of the "yes" votes.)

I'll put up a new poll shortly, so keep an eye out for an announcement, then stop by and take part!

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Lenten Sundays: Family Movie, Week One

Available from Ignatius Press.

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Love Those Mannings!

This is the funniest commercial featuring back-to-back Super Bowl MVP Quarterbacks I've ever seen.

That's a lot of qualifications, but I really think this commercial is hysterical. I especially love Olivia Manning clapping happily as Archie hides his face in shame.

"This is our life. It's what we do." ROFL!

And here's the theme song.

Great graphics, huh? ;)

Honestly, I can't get enough of the Mannings. They're so funny.

Here they are, touring the ESPN Digital Center:

You'll have to click through on this, but it's very cute. Peyton interviews his baby brother just after he is picked nubmer one in the draft.

And, if for no other reason but to watch the looks on the Patriots' fans' faces (the ones who were taunting Eli at the beginning of the drive), the final Giants drive, flimed at the Super Bowl. (I'm sure this won't stay up long, since I'm not completely sure it's legal to videotape the game while you're there.) The big TD comes in at 3:23.

Last one, I promise. Peyton gives a pep talk for the dads stuck driving the minivan around.

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Friday, February 8

Emergency Prayers Needed!

Pray! Pray for Joel and Christina and their family!


Don't forget the Ash Wednesday Poll on the sidebar! :) I know I have at least six or seven readers and only two of you have voted so far.

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Two Recipes: One Especially for Lent

I know that Lent can sometimes mean the same thing every Friday. But if your parish doesn't have a Fish Fry, do you really want fish sticks every week? I decided to try to share a recipe each Friday during Lent for anyone who wants to try something new or different. Since I keep meatless Fridays in general, I've been trying to build up my repetoir so it's not always the same two things.

This week is a basic recipe and a typical family meal, but it's been skinnied down by Weight Watchers. You'll need about 20 minutes of prep time (most things can be done while the noodles are cooking) and 30 minutes of cooking time.

I've served this Tuna Casserole to my girls under the names of "Nemo Noodles" and "Sponge Bob Casserole" when they were reluctant to eat "Tuna Casserole." They aren't fans of tuna sandwiches, but if I don't make this often enough, they ask for it to be put on the menu! I also occasionally substitute shells for egg noodles, and I always leave out the thyme. I liked it with the thyme, but no one else did - especially the girls!

If you're counting WW points, this one is 6 points per serving.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • 12 oz. uncooked egg noodles
  • 12 oz. water-packed tuna fish, drained
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 16 oz. fat-free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard (also good: honey mustard)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, or reduced-fat Swiss (the Swiss is oh-so-creamy!!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions without added fat or salt. Drain and transfet to a large bowl. Fold in tuna, mushrooms, and peas
  3. Whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper together in a seperate bowl; fold into noodle mixture. Transfer to a 4-quart casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake until top is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Yields about 1 cup per serving.


This is not a recipe that tastes low-fat, and is a staple for us during Lent. It's a really fantastic taste, and after using the Jack cheese for years, I finally bought Swiss (even though it wasn't low-fat) and won't go back now. It makes the whole dish smooth and creamy! My kids get seconds and thirds of this one!

And for those of you not giving up chocolate for Lent, I give you a most delicious recipe! You could make these for Valentines, if you wanted.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (from The Cookie Bible)


  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ butter flavored Crisco stick or ½ cup butter flavor Crisco
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup finely chopped peanuts
  • 36 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped (an entire package)
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips


  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Place sheets of foil on countertop for cooling cookies.
  2. Combine chocolate chips and chocolate squares in microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave at 50% power (medium). Stir after 2 minutes. Repeat until smooth (or melt on rangetop in small saucepan over very low heat.)
  3. Combine sugar and ½ cup shorting in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until blended and crumbly. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then salt and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add chocolate slowly. Mix until well blended. Stir in flour and baking soda with spoon until well blended. Shape dough into 1 ¼ inch balls. Roll in nuts. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Press peanut butter cup into center of each cookie immediately. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove coolies to foil to cool completely.
  5. Place peanut butter chips in heavy resealable sandwich bag. Seal. Microwave at 50% power (medium). Knead bag after 1 minute. Repeat until smooth (or melt by placing bag in hot water). Cut tiny (really, really tiny) tip off corner of bag. Squeeze out and drizzle over cookies.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

[image source - I forgot to take pictures of my own!]

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