Wednesday, April 30

Can Someone Explain This?

The Orlando Magic were the three-seed in the East. Third best record in the Eastern Conference. They've beat both Boston and Detroit this season.

In the first round of the playoffs, they played sixth-seeded Toronto. (The Raptors, not the Barneys - they've changed their logo a little and he looks more deadly than cuddly.) Deadly-looking or not, Orlando is the ONLY team in the East who is finished with their series. Beat the Raptors in five games. Win, win, loss, win, win.

So can someone please explain THIS headline from the AP?

Underdog Magic get to rest up for Round 2 (AP) - 23 hours ago

How exactly is the three-seed the underdog? Really.

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Gone But Not Forgotten

These flowers are gone from the crab apple tree, but not forgotten.

The Girls' Shirts

They loved them, and the shirts were a big hit at soccer practice.

(Interestingly enough, the mothers I talked to didn't know it was Pro Life T-Shirt Day yesterday. hmph. Odd.)

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Tuesday, April 29

It's My Birthday Today!

Today is also American Life League's Sixth Annual National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day.

I made the girls some shirts for the occasion. (Well, as I type this, I have actually only printed the transfers. I'll finish them shortly.) Here's a look at them both. These show front and back panels (with ALL's message on the back). And, yes, those are their sonograms. Big Girl's is on top.

In case you were wondering where in the world I've been (come on, you know you have), I've been very busy with working lately. I couldn't post for hours early, and needed to pick up my twenty where I could. Since I kind of wanted today off, I am working Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Mix in with that dance class Monday night, soccer practice today, story time at the library Wednesday, and co-op on Friday. Yikes!

Anyway, be sure to wear your Pro-Life T-Shirts today. If you don't have one, you can make one, too. Want more information? Click the big button below.

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If I Was Going to Ask for a Materialistic Present...

...I'd ask for this. I do wish we could spend $100 on something so frivolous. But we are on the Dave Ramsey plan, and we are gazelles.

I will just keep saying that to myself as I take call after call this week from people buying the refurbished iPods at their new, lower price. I will not get a new iPod because I am a gazelle.

I am a gazelle.

I am a gazelle.

I am a gazelle.

I am a gazelle.

I am a gazelle.

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Thursday, April 24

Two Sides to Every Story

Big Girl is playing goalie in her soccer game tomorrow. This is her first time playing that position. To get ready, she's having Little Girl try to score on her in the front yard. After their first practice as such, they each came to me separately to tell me how it went. Here's a rough approximation of what was said:

Big Girl: When we were practicing, Little Girl hardly scored on me at all! I stopped her almost every time!

me: Wow! That's fantastic! Great job!


Little Girl: When we were practicing, I scored on Big Girl three whole times!!

me: Wow, sweetie! I'm so proud of you! Great work!


At first, I thought that these stories didn't really line up with each other. One story told of the fantastic goalie, the other of the amazing scoring player. Then I realized that it's all a matter of perspective; to Big Girl, stopping almost every shot is her goal - to Little Girl, making a goal on her big sister is what she dreams of. Each girl felt she had accomplished her goal. Both girls were thrilled with the result.

There are definitely lessons to be learned here. For one, the things we see in life are greatly dependent on our perspective. For example, what passes for poverty in America would be considered outrageous wealth in a third-world country. How poor is someone, really, if they have shelter and food, but no cell phone? Or if you don't have money for cable or satellite in your house?

I remember clearly the day Soccer Dad and I went to Dunn River Falls in Jamaica on our honeymoon. We were supposed to ride a bus from Montego Bay to Ochos Rios, which is normally just about an hour. However, there is a town in between the two, right on the road, which at the time we were there had not had fresh water for two or three months. (Apparently, the local government had something to do with shutting it off.) So they were rioting. Big time. Like, burning cars in the street kind of riots.

Needless to say, our bus was turned around. So we wound up making a four hour journey through the mountains of Jamaica to go from Montego Bay to Ochos Rios. While I remember the climb up the Falls, I remember even more the domiciles we saw on our way through the mountains. I saw families living in shacks smaller than my shed - and in worse shape, too. I saw patched-together homes with cardboard and castaway sheet metal tacked on to keep the rain out. I saw abject poverty such as I'd never witnessed outside of Sally Struthers' commercials.

I looked at my new husband and said, "I will never complain about our home. Ever."

Yes, there are times when I complain about whatever corner-cutting the previous owner did and the many non-code things that keep being discovered in our home that the inspector seemed to have missed somehow. But I don't complain about the house. We live in a veritable mansion. Three bedrooms, two and a half baths. Kitchen, family room, living room. Hot water. Heat in the winter (including a gas fireplace), A/C in the summer. A POOL, for cryin' out loud! We're so blessed it's completely ridiculous!

When I see people complaining because they don't have one luxury or another, I feel kind of bad for them. I've seen people who really lack in the basics, and I can't complain about my home. It's fantastic!

Do you see yourself as blessed, too?

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Wednesday, April 23

Sure, I Taught Her That...

Yesterday, I fielded a call from someone in California who was looking for a store. I didn't know where the city she called from was, so I wound up Googling to find that she lives near LA. I was telling my friend that I didn't really know California geography well. "I can never remember if LA is in the north or south of the state," I laughed.

At that moment, Big Girl walked in the room and announced, "Mom, LA is in the southern part of California."


I told my friend on the phone about her comment, then added, "And I always get confused about if LA and San Francisco are near each other, too."

"No, Mom," Big Girl put in again, "San Francisco is in the north of California." To demonstrate, she pointed at an invisible map in the air. "San Francisco is here, Los Angeles is here."

I burst out laughing and asked, "How on EARTH do you know that?"

"I like to read my atlas." Then she looked at me as if to say, "Why don't YOU know that?"

Honestly, I just love the way they can't stop reading everything in the house. Today, Big Girl was out of books and we hadn't been to the library yet, so she picked up a copy of The Scarlet Pimpernell and started perusing it during lunch.

She's a bit annoyed that I won't read Tom Sawyer except for when Little Girl is in dance class, too. Thank goodness I'm signing her up for Summer classes! We'll get an hour in each week then!

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Never Trust the Government

If they don't get your money from you one way, they'll get it from you another.

Let me tell you a story about taxes in Virginia. Up until this year, we were assessed a $20 fee for a decal that we had to stick on our cars proving we'd payed our county taxes. These are personal property taxes - the bill that taxes me every year for the pleasure of owning a vehicle that I paid sales tax on when I bought it. Yes, that's right, kids. In Virginia you pay sales tax on a car, then pay taxes on it every year you own it. So in spite of the fact that I paid nearly $600 in sales tax on that minivan, had I not sold it, I'd be paying another $162.38 in taxes on it again. As it is, I'll pay a prorated amount for January 1 through April 3, when I sold it.

This year, the requirement to display such a sticker was lifted. But get a load of this, found on the back of my tax bill.

The requirement to display vehicle decals has been eliminated in the County of Roanoke. There is, however, an annual non-prorated, non-refundable Vehicle Licensing Fee (VLF) that must be paid on every motor vehicle, trailer, and semitrailer normally garaged, stored, or parked in the County. A transfer of the fee is allowed for $1.00 when a vehicle is disposed of and replaced by another vehicle within a 60 day period. Application for the transfer of the fee should be made to the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office.

The fee, which I'll be paying instead of the now-discontinued decal fee?


And, get this: since it's non-prorated, I'll pay the FULL FEE on the van I sold in April.

Pardon my French, but government generally sucks.

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I certified today! Hooray!

Everyone do the dance with me now!

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Tuesday, April 22


I saw this quiz at Amy's place. I took it twice, though, since I take chocolate AND peppermint in my coffee. The answer was the same either way. Too bad we can't click multiples for that last question.

What Your Latte Says About You

You are easygoing and pretty simple to please. You don't put up a fuss... ever.

You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to buckle down and be serious.

You have a good deal of energy, but you pace yourself. You never burn out too fast.

You're addicted to caffeine. There's no denying it.

You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You're occasionally playful, but you find it hard to be carefree.

You are deep and thoughtful, but you are never withdrawn.

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Shift Number Two

Oh, I am so glad to be done with that shift!

At least I got to take phone calls, though. And I think I did okay. We'll see if anyone was listening to me and has feedback for me.

WHEW! Two more days to go.

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Monday, April 21

Travel Man is on the Move

He's got two posts up tonight, including pictures and video!

Go check it out! (Really, very impressive pictures tonight!)

Tell him hello while you're there!

It Must Be Husband Appreciation Night

The Anchoress loves her husband as much as I love mine. And says a lot of the things I'd say about dearest Travel Man if I were half as eloquent.

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Idolatry and Catholics

I just love when Red Neck Woman goes on a tirade like this. It's fun to read, and I love when I get to read along and nod my head vigorously in agreement.

If you aren't sure what kind of tirade I mean, check this out:

Here's a hint to all of you Protestants who want to see me leave the Roman Catholic Church. You would be so much more effective if you worked at changing my mind about something that we AGREE that I am doing, rather than wasting your time convincing me that I am doing something that I am not and telling me to stop doing that thing I am not doing to begin with. (If you have a glass of wine that last sentence will make sense.) If you want to get me to leave the Roman Catholic Church stop picking at the edges of what I believe in and YANK THE RUG out from under me and you can start by focusing on the things that I freely admit doing.

I worship Jesus in the Eucharist.

And as hideously offensive as sites likethisare, at least they get it! Let's take the trivial stuff off of the table. I believe that in the Eucharist there is no longer bread and wine but Jesus present Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. I WORSHIP Jesus in the Eucharist. When I am alone in the Adoration chapel, I remove my shoes (holy ground), I cover myself, and I prostrate myself on the ground and worship my Lord. If I am guilty of idolatry it is THERE and not over some picture. I know that if the Roman Catholic Church is wrong about the Real Presence I am guilty of the worst idolatry and anything I have done in relationship to a statue or a picture will pale in comparision. If I am going to hell for idolatry it will be because I believe Jesus, my Lord, my Sin Sacrifice, my Shepherd is truly present in the Eucharist and worship Him there and the Roman Catholic Church was wrong about that.


I strongly recommend reading her entire post, which is excellent apologetics. As always.

Rant on, RNW!

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Best. Husband. Ever.

Soccer Dad has once again donned his Travel Man costume and has taken off: this time to upstate New York. He'll give you the details ASAP along with pictures he took yesterday.

Today, I sent him an email pleading for prayers. I was absolutely freaking out when it was time to log in to do my first real phone calls for Apple. I knew he wasn't really going to look at them immediately, but since God is outside of time, I knew the prayers would be efficatious anyway.

Well, about three o'clock or so, I heard the phone ring and knew it was Travel Man. (He gets special rings on both the home and cell phones.) His class was taking a break, and he wanted to see how things went for me.

Again, I tell you, I have the BEST. HUSBAND. EVER.

You can try to argue, but you'll never convince me otherwise.

I love my husband.

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Well, I was on for two hours, but no calls came through.

Another day to sweat it out...

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Sunday, April 20

Saint Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death, Pray for Us

I have actually known this for a few days (since Thursday?), but since my grandma hadn't been told yet, I had to hold off putting it on my blog since she has a bookmark for it.

This is the most recent update from my family in Texas. My mother forwarded this to me, so it is her "piecing together" below.


Howdy, everyone.

How do I write this note? I guess I just start...

We are home from the hospital. Our oncologist said that B****'s latest health turn, especially the blood clots in her lungs, is a real setback to her health and to her ability to withstand further cancer treatment. He recommended focusing on making her as comfortable as possible.

We will be assisted in this regard by Hospice ************. We have heard wonderful things about them and from our experience so far the compliments are well-deserved. B**** is not in any pain but she is usually very tired and so she spends the better part of the day snoozing. She's on oxygen and, along with other medication, is now receiving daily injections of Lovenox to prevent formation of further blood clots.

We were not given an an estimate as to the possible time line of the hospice phase. God, I hate euphemisms, but they sometimes hurt less than calling a spade a spade.

Until my next health update, I just want you all to know how much we treasure each and every one of you. Your love and your prayers and support for all of us through this whole experience have been like uplifting air currents, supporting our wings when we find ourselves sinking under the physical, mental, and emotional weight. How do people deal with such illnesses without faith, family, and friends? I don't know, but I do know that we are blessed to have all three.

God bless you all. Hug and kiss one another. No matter what else is going on, it's a wonderful day when you're in the company of those you love.

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

************** Part Two.. about visiting... This was a separate email, but I have combined them. ************

Hi, all.

In order to minimize tiring B****** out and adding to her stress level, we hope that those of you who would like to visit us soon will try to keep your visit with B****** relatively brief. As it is now, much of her day is spent asleep. I think that visits that exceed an afternoon or maybe the better part of the day would be too taxing for her.

Also, I think it would be better for her and for you if visits were "intimate", i.e., without too many visitors at a time. For those of you who would like to travel in two's, I think that would be fine, but if we have a crowd here I think it'll just wear her out. Besides, I would think that you would like your time together to be intimate, to allow you to reminisce and share your love without an audience. To help accomplish this, I've asked S*** and K**** [ed: oldest son and his wife] to act as the primary points of contact in order to coordinate who's visiting when. Their contact info is:

S**** phone: ***-***-****
K**** phone: ***-***-****

S***** email:
K***** email:

For those of you who would like to grab a hotel room locally, I'm sure that S&K can assist in your selection if your Internet search leaves you with more choices than you can figure out. I think the best "local" places to stay are in the ****** area. Our mailing address says "******" but ******* is an old, small town that's on the decline. ******* is about 30 min away from our home.

One thought on staying locally... the only times it's hard to get hotel rooms in the **********[nearby college] area are during home football game weekends and during graduation. The [college] website says that graduation will be held from May 8-10. If you try to stay locally over that weekend you will find a reduced selection of hotel rooms and probably higher prices. I'm not saying you should not come then, but you should start checking for available rooms now if that weekend works best for you.

Let me/S****/K**** know if you have any questions.

Love, B*********


I ask you once again, dear friends, to please pray for my family. I feel as though I've asked again and again, but I just know that they need prayers. My aunt is the fourth of six children, the only girl in her family. My father prayed to the Blessed Virgin for a sister the very year she was born. My grandmother delighted in her only daughter, who was named for her in deference to my grandfather's wishes. (I actually named Big Girl the name my grandmother wanted for my aunt, and her middle name is that of my grandmother and aunt.) Her big brothers loved on her and her little brothers looked up to her. I named her my "uncle," thinking that since Daddy had all brothers (save this one sister) and Mommy had all sisters, Daddy's siblings must be uncles as Mommy's are aunts. Though I figured out the truth by the time I was six, she loved being "uncle" so much that she requested that I call her by that name. "Okay, as long as you know you're really my aunt," I said. To this day, she is my Uncle Aunt, and my children and my sister's children all call her uncle, too. (This unusual name was the cause of some very interesting conversations, such as the time when my father called my college dorm and left a message that my uncle had a baby boy; my roommate had no sense of humor and just didn't get it, even after the explanation.) My aunt just turned 53 this December after welcoming her first grandchild into the world in September. This is so difficult for their family, too. Two sons still live at home and are in the local Catholic high school.

Please keep them all in your prayers.

Thank you and God bless you.

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The Holy Father in New York

What a lovely Mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral! I was in tears many times, and the sight of the lovely young sisters filling the church with our wonderful priests and deacons was just beautiful!

(Forgive the commericial at first, but here is a video of a portion of the Holy Father's homily.)

The only thing that bugged me was the Secret Service's insistence on manhandling the faithful who merely want to kiss Peter's ring. I understand that they want to keep the pope safe, but everyone there went through heavier-than-usual security just to get inside (you always have to get your bags checked now at Saint Patrick's Cathedral). I just don't see the need to shove Missionaries of Charity back so they cannot honor the pope by kissing his hand.

Oh, but if you stayed tuned to EWTN, you had the chance to see a beautiful young nun fall to her knees in front of the pope as he went to her, spoke with her, and blessed her. The smile on her face was just plain ear-to-ear! (And who can blame her!)

Then, last night, the Holy Father went to Saint Joseph's Seminary and met with and blessed disabled and retarded children and their caretakers (many of them, parents). As he entered, he went to each and every child and blessed them, touching their faces gently as he prayed over each of them. When some of the children presented him with a painting, they went up to him for another blessing, and then one girl just reached out and hugged him! It was so beautiful, and he gently hugged her (and her friend who decided to join in). Heartwarming seems to be the most appropriate word here. And before he left them, the pope asked them all to please pray for him because he so needs our prayers. His humility never ceases to amaze me.

This morning, as the Holy Father met with those who had lost loved ones at Ground Zero, I watched as he talked with each of those present, one at a time. His face was etched with compassion and concern. Clearly, he grieves for these people. His pastoral care is so evident. His love for everyone he meets is clear. And when I see him in situations like at the seminary with those children and there at Ground Zero, I actually cease to see him. Instead, I see the One who has chosen him to lead the Church here on Earth.

Today, as the Holy Father met those men and women whose loved ones rest at the bottom of the pit now called Ground Zero, I saw the face of Christ.

The Masses are really beautiful, and they are the center of our lives as Christians, but if you want to see what the pope is like, if you want to see Catholicism in action, try to catch the encore presentations of each of these events. (I have the EWTN schedule at this post.) It is here that you see what a Catholic looks like. It is here that you see Christianity at its finest. It is here that you see the Holy Father disappearing and Christ shining through him.

May the Lord God bless and keep the Holy Father. May His face shine upon him and give him peace.


[image credits: homily video, Pope Benedict XVI blessed child in her mother's arms, Holy Father with disabled children, at Ground Zero]

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Saturday, April 19

And Totally Tubular, Too

"Everyone's cool in Star Wars because everyone's TOTALLY AWESOME!"

-Little Girl, as she gets ready to play Lego Star Wars on the X-Box

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I needed an 85% to pass my final. I had one shot to do it right.

Halfway through my test, my browser closed on me!

But I started again and attained a 96%!

Certification phone calls start Monday morning.

Thank you, Saint Clare, for your prayers!

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Happy Anniversary, Holy Father!

Today marks the third year since the Holy Spirit guided the conclave to choose Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to be our papa, Pope Benedict XVI.

My posts from that week are here. Posts about the conclave and election begin with the second-from-bottom item. And, when the pope was selected, I was blogging live. :)

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More Tears

He called himself a "poor" sucessor to the great Saint Peter. He asked for our prayers. He said repeatedly how weak he was and how "poor" he was in spirit.

His humility completely moved me.

Gracious Lord, thank You for our beautiful, wonderful, humble Holy Father!

Also, I love that his homily taught through the architecture of the cathedral. (There really are reasons they were built that way!)

Thank You, Lord, for our Teacher Pope! What a blessing!!

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Friday, April 18

Mega Church

What does it say about "mega churches" when the pope can draw a congregation of 46,000 in one city, then turn around and do it again a few days later with a totally different set of people, and they had to turn away more than 200,000 of the faithful who wanted tickets for one or the other Mass? I think we're the original mega Church. ;)

It's cool to be Catholic. ;)

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Papal Mass, Part Two

Musical Selections for Yankee Stadium Mass (via First Things):

Entrance of concelebrants
  • Symphony No. 9 in D minor – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
  • II. Molto vivace

Entrance of the Holy Father

  • Hymnus Pontificius – Charles Gounod, arr. Alberico Vitalini
  • Dixit from Vesperae Solennes de Confessore – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Music for Mass

  • Jesus is Risen/ Cristo Jesús Resucitó – arr. John Rutter
  • Tu es Petrus – Dom Lorenzo Perosi
  • Kyrie, from Litany of the Saints - adapt. Richard Proulx
  • Gloria, from Missa O Magnum Mysterium – Tomás Luis da Victoria
  • Psalm – Dr. Jennifer Pascual
  • Alleluia (VICTORY) - arr. Wm. Glenn Osborne
  • Credo III
  • Trilingual Intercessions – Michael Hay, orch. Wm. Glenn Osborne
  • How Lovely is thy Dwelling Place – Johannes Brahms
  • Sanctus from German Mass – Franz Schubert, adapt. Richard Proulx
  • Christ Has Died/ Amen - Franz Schubert, adapt. Richard Proulx
  • Agnus Dei from Missa O Magnum Mysterium – Tomás Luis da Victoria
  • Panis Angelicus – Cesár Franck, Marcello Giordani, Tenor, Metropolitan Opera
  • Sicut Cervus – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
  • Ave Verum – Alexandre Guilmant, orch. Deborah Jamini
  • Amén. El Cuerpo de Cristo - John Schiavonne, orch. Carl Maultsby
  • Let Us Break Bread Together – arr. Carl Maultsby
  • This is the Feast – Richard Hillert, arr. Richard Kidd
  • Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee/ Jubilosos te Adoramos – from Hymn to Joy Fantasy – Bruce Saylor
  • Symphony No. 9 in D minor – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • IV. Presto

Sure to bring a smile to the face of the Holy Father. We'll have to make sure we watch this, as well. I'll be interested to see how this kind of arrangement of musical selections will do with so many thousands of people in a baseball stadium.

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Two Opposing Views

Father Trigilio was at the papal Mass (in vestments, mind you) in DC.

The altar was prepared according to the liturgical prescriptions of His Holiness with a conspicuous crucifix and seven candles on it. Everything was done REVERENTLY and PROPERLY according to the rubrics. The Ordinary Form of the Roman Missal was celebrated with full solemnity. Hopefully, bishops and priests across the USA will duplicate Pope Benedict's attention to lex orandi, lex credendi. No liturgical abuses, no aberrations and no nonsense. Imagine, if this took place in EVERY cathedral and every parish in the world? We would have to build new seminaries and noviates. And this is precisely B16's plan. The more people SEE and EXPERIENCE the proper reverence demanded by the Ordinary and the Extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite, the more they will mutually reinforce in each expression the organic and intrinsic need to identify the SACRED. The HOLY and Sacred mysteries of our faith deserve nothing less than our full, complete, active and conscious participation. This can only be done REVERENTLY and of course PROPERLY (in accord with the rubrics). Off-the-cuff, spontantaneous and innovative machinations have no place in divine worship.

Father Nuehaus watched it from EWTN's studio. (And I've got problems with Father Nuehaus talking over the pope and complaining during Mass, you know.)

In the response to our EWTN coverage, we received hundreds of complaints about the over-the-top stretch to be multicultural, along with some complaints by those were offended by our mentioning it. It’s hard to win on this score. And I have to remind myself that even mild criticisms of the way the Holy Father’s visit is being handled are taken amiss by people for whom even the chance to see the pope from a distance is one of the great moments of their lives. When over the years one has been present at papal events beyond numbering, one inevitably develops a measure of critical distance in which even mildly critical comments can clash with the intense piety of many of the Catholic faithful. Anything short of all-Wow!-all-the-time is taken as a sign of insufficient enthusiasm. Raymond Arroyo and I have multiple opportunities to remind one another of this dynamic.

Please take the time to read both, though. It's important that, when discussing the Mass, we don't all jump on the music as if that was the entirety of the Mass. Whether or not you liked (or could bear) the music, the rest of Mass was reverent. The faithful were, by and large, doing what they were supposed to. Let's not be like the mainstream media, St. Blog Parishioners, and nitpick and pull out the ten minutes of stuff we don't like in order to ignore the rest of the happenings.

Don't ignore the plank, folks.

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The Holy Father's Got the Awards...

...and The Crescat's got the list of winners!

Go see who's won the Cannonball Catholic Blogger Awards! (The sidebar item will go away by dinnertime tonight, but the link I've provided has the permanent post, along with the picture of the Holy Father giving out the awards.)

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One More, Then Bed

I love his smile.

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Panis Angelicus

I have no problem whatsoever with the arrangement. (I read someone's comment somewhere that it wasn't very good. Nitpicking, I think. It was blessed relief after the other Communion music and quite condusive for prayer.) I was SOBBING by the end of this during Mass. And the Holy Father's beautiful smile made me cry all the more. He looked so happy right then. for the end, there...

Yes, boys and girls, take note. THAT is how you greet the Holy Father!

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just ...


I can't believe the tone of this article, as well as the misleading ways things are presented. And I love the snide "octagenerian" comment, too.


But...perusing some other articles...

What about this? Is this to make Catholics look just idiotic, or what?

The congregation drank Coke, munched on peanuts and applauded during spectacular moments. The scent of pizza wafted through the upper decks as Benedict prepared communion.


Serves me right for reading secular coverage - especially from post-Christian societies - about the Holy Father's visit.

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Thursday, April 17

My Initial Thoughts on the Papal Mass

First, I have to say that I love our Holy Father! I love being Catholic! Thank You, Lord, for making me so!

The Holy Father's homily was absolutely beautiful. (My girls were a bit confused, as his accent is heavy and it is not one they're familiar with right now. Polish and Lebanese and Irish, yes. Germanic, no.) I love that he pointed us all back in the direction of Christ, called us ALL (Catholics and Protestants alike) to conversion. Warned us of the dangers of our increasingly secular society. God bless our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI! Thank You, Holy Spirit, for choosing him!

The man who sang "Panis Angelicus" (who knelt before the Holy Father and passionately kissed his ring) was inspirational. I sobbed throughout the song. It is one of my favorite pieces, and I wish I were able to hear it more often. To hear it at Mass, after receiving the Eucharist (even though we could only make a Spiritual Communion today) - ah! (Latin lyrics here, English translation here.) [Addendum: As I was getting ready to post this, I was searching for a picture of the man who sang so beautifully for the Holy Father and who greeted him with such reverence. It was Placido Domingo. I knew he had to be professional - it was so sublime to listen to him sing - but I honestly had no idea. I was, quite literally, in tears by the end, and continued to sob for the rest of Mass. Thank you, Placido, for that beautiful gift for the Holy Father and for the rest of us.]

I'm sad to say that I think that might have been the first piece of music that the Holy Father recognized. *sigh* I was really hoping that they would take into consideration the many writings (and lectures and discussions) the Holy Father has given us about the beauty of ancient music, Gregorian Chant, and Latin in the Liturgy. (They actually did not do the Agnus Dei correctly, finishing with "miserere nobis" instead of "dona nobis pacem.") Until "Panis Angelicus," there was no music that was any older than, say, about 45 years or so. And at one point, my six year old said, "It sounds like a carnival." The only time I actually felt compelled to mute the sound completely (aside from at Communion, when, as Big Girl put it, "The music is too jumpy,") was during the Responsorial Psalm. Why anyone would write Psalm 93 ("Lord, send out Your Spirit and renew the face of the earth") to diminished chords (kind of like a double-minor chord) is beyond me. It was bone-jarring, and at one point (just before muting it) I thought, "Oh, poor Holy Father. He can't mute them!"

I hate to complain. Honestly, I do. But that musical selection was just poor. It was very jarring at times, and those diminished chords have no place in a Mass! One thing that I've always felt about them - right from the time I learned about them in music classes and piano lessons - is that they sound awful. Not awful as in they can never sound right musically, but awful in the sense that they sound - well, I'll just put it out plain and simple - devilish. Demonic. I'm sorry, I am talking about the composition used for our Responsorial Psalm, but it was just awful and made me feel kind of creepy inside. That's why I finally muted it and apologized to the girls. If you hear a recording of it, or if you heard it on television today, please let me know if you agree. I honestly think that diminished settings of music are depressing and just ... off. And in all my life, I never thought I'd hear it in a Mass setting. I've always felt they sounded kind of evil because they are dissonant. They don't flow. They are definitely not uplifting.

The only other thing that really bugged me was the absolute slavishness to multiculturalism. Instead of worshipping as one Church, I felt very divided and separate from the Mass at times. With each petition in the Intentions being in a different language, I just plain couldn't understand what was being said! I just felt as though it was much more divisive than anything at Mass ought to be, and focused on all the neat-o kinds of people there rather than Christ, who was about to become Present on the altar!

However, nitpicking aside, understand this:

The miracle - the jaw-dropping, amazing, utterly fantastic miracle - happened again.

Jesus Christ became present - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity - on the altar.

He was Present. He was there. Once again, He came to us.

We who are full of failings. We who are sinful and prideful and complaining. We who are totally and completely undeserving.

Christ came to us.

Christ, our Hope and Salvation!
Christ, our Lord and God!
Christ, our Shepherd and High Priest!

We must never lose sight of the fact that this is what the Mass is for, what it is about. The Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives as Christians! The Center of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! No matter what the musical selections might be, no matter how the petitions are presented, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity become Man, is physically present on the altar during Mass. And we enter Heaven's never-ending worship of God when we assist at Mass.

Remember that Christ was there.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming.
Thank You, Father in Heaven, for the gift of Your Son.
Thank You, Holy Spirit, for guiding our Church - YOUR Church - throughout time.

Thank You, God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - for bringing our Holy Father Benedict to us safely and allowing us to learn from him and be with him. May his journey in our country be safe, and may it bring the spiritual fruits that we all so desperately need. Glory be to God now and forever, amen.

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Get Thee in Front of a TV!

Hey, Mass begins in less than an hour! You can watch on EWTN (there's also streaming video at their site - just click that link and look under the "Television" tab at the top of the page for live TV) or listen on the radio (Sirius and, apparently, XM, too). Here's your chance to watch or hear a papal Mass!

Hurry up! And you don't even have to fast for an hour because you aren't receiving Holy Communion. So you can even drink a cup of coffee while you pray.

How often can you get blessed by the POPE? (Yes, if you are watching live and he has the intent to bless those watching TV or listening to the radio - and do you doubt that he does? - you will be blessed by the Holy Father.)

[image credits - popemobile, Holy Father at Mass]

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A Different Mac vs. PC

My friend told me about this article last Saturday, and I came across it suddenly today. It's actually from 1994 - so I guess it's old, though I hate to think what that says about me. ;)

I admit that I haven't read the entire thing yet, but it's printed out and ready to go.

Of course, the fact that the Holy Father has an iPod should tell us something, eh?

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Deo Gratias!

Starting to drink this today. (Mixed with Starbuck's Breakfast Blend today, solo tomorrow!

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Tuesday, April 15

How to be good at basketball

Big Girl likes playing basketball. I'm not sure she's ready to practice as much as Pistol Pete did...

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Another Update

I'd barely gotten one update up, and now I've got another. Please continue to pray for my aunt. Thank you.


Howdy, all.

I have mixed news to report today. When I asked B***'s oncologist, Dr. J***, how to summarize the current status he said that she was “hanging in there”.

Her fever went away for a couple of days but was back this morning. On Sunday they performed an ultrasound and cat scan, and found one blood clot in her left leg and two in her lungs. At that point she was put on medication to reduce clotting.

Dr. J*** said that the lung clots themselves can cause fever but that B**** is a prime candidate for both infection and clots because of the cancer treatment’s effect on her blood, so we can’t rule out the infection.

Her oxygen saturation has been low. They’re giving her oxygen via a plastic tube that squirts it into her nose, but they’ve had to increase the oxygen flow rate a couple of times to keep the saturation level above 90%. That could be from either clots or infection.

There is a possibility that she has a type of pneumonia that is sometimes found on people who’ve been on steroids. The only way to determine this for sure is to snake a probe down into her lungs and “wash out” a lobe, but this would be risky for someone in B***'s condition. Dr. J*** thinks the lung guys would not want to do it; he may decide to just embark on the treatment, in case it’s the cause of the problem. I think he wants to hold off on making this decision for a day or so, just to see how she’s doing tomorrow.

Mentally, she seems to be half way between sleep and being awake. This could be medication or something else. Dr. J*** doesn’t think it’s a matter of the tumor having suddenly grown, but it may be related to a recent reduction in her steroid level. To deal with this possibility, her steroid level is being increased starting today.

On the plus side, she’s been getting lots of sleep. Also, her white blood cell count is coming back, having increased from 0.8 (where it sat for a few days) to 1.2 this morning. If the problem is an infection, hopefully the increase in her immune system will work in concert with the antibiotics she’s been getting to knock it out.

That’s it for now. I will keep you posted as things develop, or even if they stay the same. Love one another.


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Soccer Practice vs. Holy Father

I JUST realized that Big Girl's soccer practice interferes with my papal watching. We are supposed to be across town for a 4:15 practice, and they actually want us early today.


Well, we might be a little later than they want us to be. We're going to watch the Holy Father land, by golly. I've been waiting a long time for this moment!

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Holy Father's Schedule: Beginning TODAY!

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is arriving today. Coverage begins with his 3:30 arrival, but I'd tune in early.

And skip the stupid news stations. Watch it on EWTN if you can. Then at least you know you won't have to deal with dissenting priests and such who give the usual talking points about how young people don't actually believe what the Holy Father teaches us. (And in case you didn't know, the pope only teaches what Christ teaches us. He doesn't have personal opinions on things floating around much. When he says, "No contraception, no abortion, love your enemies, pray for the conversion of the Islamic terrorists" and all, he's giving us the same message as Christ Himself would give. That's his job.)

Here's the schedule:

Radio Coverage

LIVE (90:00) Tue Apr 15 3:30 PM
Tue Apr 15 8 PM Encore

Wed Apr 16 10 AM
Wed Apr 16 9 PM Encore

LIVE (2 1/2 hrs) Wed Apr 16 5:00 PM

LIVE (2 1/2 hrs) Thu Apr 17 9:30 AM

LIVE (90:00) Thu Apr 17 4:30 PM

LIVE (90:00) Thu Apr 17 6 PM

LIVE (1 hr) Fri Apr 18 9:30 AM

LIVE (90:00) Fri Apr 18 10:30 AM
Fri Apr 18 8 PM Encore

LIVE (2 hrs) Fri Apr 18 5:00 PM

LIVE (3 Hrs) Sat Apr 19 9 AM
Sat Apr 19 8 PM Encore

(90 min) Sat Apr 19 1 PM

LIVE (2 ½ Hours) Sat Apr 19 4 PM

LIVE (90:00) Sun Apr 20 9 AM
Sun Apr 20 11AM Encore

LIVE (3hrs) Sun Apr 20 2 PM

LIVE (1 hr) Sun Apr 20 7:30 PM

Television Coverage

Pope Benedict XVI arrives at Andrews Air Force Base and is greeted by President and Mrs. Bush, local dignitaries of the Church, and the apostolic nuncio.
Tuesday, April 15, 3:30PM Eastern
Encore April 15, 8PM; April 16, 4AM


Pope Benedict XVI is received by President and Mrs. Bush at a White House welcoming ceremony, followed by a private meeting between the President and the Pope, and the dignitaries of the two states.
Wednesday, April 16, 10:00 AM Eastern
Encore April 16, 2PM & 9PM.

Pope Benedict XVI gathers with the bishops of the United States for a prayer service and address at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
Wednesday, April 16, 5:00 PM Eastern
Encore April 16, 11:30PM. April 17, 4AM

Pope Benedict XVI offers Mass at the new Nationals Park in Washington D.C.
Thursday, April 17, 9:30 AM Eastern
Encore April 17, 1PM; April 18, 12AM

Pope Benedict XVI will address hundreds of Catholic University heads and diocesan superintendents on the importance Catholic education at the Catholic University of America.
Thursday, April 17, 4:30 PM Eastern
Encore April 17, 9PM; April 18, 5AM

Pope Benedict XVI meets with representatives of various religions for a prayer service at the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington D.C.
Thursday, April 17, 6:00 PM
Encore April 17, 10:30PM; April 18, 6:30AM

Arrival at JFK International Airport.
Friday, April 18, 9:30 AM
Encore April 18, 4:00 PM and April 19, 1 AM

Pope Benedict XVI will address the United Nations, after an early morning flight to New York.
Friday, April 18, 10:30 AM
Encore April 18, 2:30 PM and 8PM; April 19, 2AM

Visit to Park East Synagogue and prayer service with leaders from other Christian denominations at St. Joseph's, founded by German Catholics, in Manhattan.
Friday, April 18, 5:00 PM
Encore April 18, 9:30PM. April 19, 3:30AM

Mass for priests, deacons and members of religious orders at St. Patrick's Cathedral in the heart of New York City.
Saturday, April 19, 9:00 AM
Encore April 20, 1PM and 11PM

Pope Benedict XVI meets with thousands of young people from around the country; the event includes a rally/prayer service and a speech from the Pope.
Saturday, April 19, 4:00 PM
Encore April 19, 8PM; April 20, 4AM

Pope Benedict XVI visits the former World Trade Center site known as Ground Zero in New York City.
Sunday, April 20, 9:00 AM
Encore April 20, 11AM; April 21, 1AM

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Holy Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York bringing his historic U.S. visit to a close.
Sunday, April 20, 2:00 PM
Encore April 20, 10 PM

Pope Benedict XVI leaves the US.
Sunday, April 20, 7:30 PM
Encore April 21, 2:30AM

All Times US Eastern

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~Class is nearly over, homework had lightened up, and now I need to do roleplaying calls with class members for two hours each day so I can get familiar enough with the system that I don't freak out and mess up next week. (Next week is certification week on the phone - real customers placing real orders.) I am a wreck about it.

~Big Girl's soccer team is having team pictures today (God willing, if the weather holds out). I found this out last night at 8:45 p.m. Her shirt is in the laundry right now. And then I'll have to wash it again by Friday. That goes great with the above-mentioned item, huh?

~I feel like I need to be cloistered with all the prayers I've been asked to send up. (And I am happy to pray for everyone, mind you!) For instance:

  • Today, my friend is back in court with her husband, who is pushing for custody. And making her go to work to support him. And putting their heretofore homeschooled children in public school. I am praying that the judge can make a right decision, for God's will, and that God's will be that my friend retain custody of her children. Oh, and that the children are protected in body, mind, and soul during this horrible ordeal.

  • Another friend is buying her first home this week, and has asked for prayers that all goes well. Her husband has been working like mad since they moved here, and he's got a bad cold. It'd be nice if he wasn't sick when the start actually moving at the end of the week!

  • Another friend is entering the third year since she and her husband started adoption proceedings. Their son is in Guatamala, and we all pray that he will be allowed to come home (meaning here) soon. (I've seen pictures - what a cutie!)

  • Another of my friends has asked for prayers for her unborn baby, who doesn't seem to be doing well. I have been praying fervently for her child, especially since she lost a baby last summer. Lord, please allow the baby to grow healthy and to live with her family here on earth!

  • Of course, there's my aunt, whose tumor has shrunk a little but who is now running a high fever and has a respiratory infection. (Yikes!)

  • And then there's the usual stuff: that Soccer Dad is safe when he transforms to Travel Man on Sunday morning in the wee hours, that the girls are safe at their activities, that I am able to accomplish what I need to in this class while still performing my duties as a wife and mother, etc. Plus those prayers for the Holy Father: that he is safe during his journey here to America, that the Church listens - really listens - to him and heeds his message. (And that includes me, my friends.)

Sometimes I see the attraction of cloistered life: time to pray for everyone, give each prayer the time it deserves, and really focus on God. I know that God called me to be a wife and mother, but that stop-all-things-and-pray is so attractive. If I could just discipline myself to do this in my own life (like some people have done)...

~On a lighter note, though, I finally got word of my high school reunion. (20 years!) Toms River High School South's graduating class of 1988 will be having a reunion on November 29. (Hooray!) I'm relatively sure I will need to work for Apple on Black Friday, so it's probably going to be a very quick trip up and back for the reunion. I'll be sure to make time this summer to visit with my Nana (same town) this summer and go swimming at IBSP while I'm there.

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News from Texas: A Mix

My aunt and uncle sent out updates late last week, but I was just swamped with family activities and classwork and haven't posted updates yet. I got two from Texas and one note from my uncle (my father's babiest brother), who lives in Maryland. The Maryland post came in the middle, so I'll post all three in chronological order for you.

Again, I thank you all for praying for my family. This has been really hard on everyone, and the prayers lift up my aunt and uncle and my grandmother (especially).


Howdy, all.

This will be short because I'm pretty pooped but also because the latest info can be captured in relatively few words.

We got awesome news today during our visit to MD Anderson in Houston. B****'s most recent MRI (yesterday) shows that the tumor has gotten smaller. The combination of chemo + antibodies has affected the tumor's efforts to develop blood vessels, and it looks like it's shrinking. She has had one "cycle" of the combined drugs (3 infusions, two weeks apart, administered in ******* [ed: their home town]) and will start the next cycle this coming Monday. B***** says that going in for the treatment this coming Monday will be very easy, now that we know that it's effective.

Every day is a gift from God, but today is one that calls for more celebration and thanks than usual. Miracles come in many forms, and we may be receiving one now.

Love one another.

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



I am B*******'s brother.

I would like to share a story with everyone from Wednesday morning.

I was traveling for work in Connecticut and went to breakfast at the Marriott hotel. After being seated I noticed four priests seated to my left, I said good morning. I then said grace and my morning prayer before opening my e-mails from the previous day. I immediately notice B****'s e-mail with an update on my sisters health. I started praying for good news. At the same time I also overheard the priests talking about examples and miracles with the power of prayer.

After this I started reading B****'s e-mail and when I got to the last line (Everyday is a gift from God, but today is one that calls for more celebration and thanks than usual. Miracles come in many forms, and we may be receiving one now.) one of the priests said "Miracles come in many ways. and prayer is the most comforting and important."

I started to get emotional and interrupt the priest breakfast and told them about my sister and the e-mail I was reading. I let them read B****'s words and they thanked me for sharing the news. they all said another prayer for my sister.

Two of the priest were visiting from the Philippines and one gave me a card with his photo on the front titled "Prayer for Healing". He asked me to keep it and I thanked him and read the card. My wife suggested I share this experience with my family. Please accept my apologizes if I have offended anyone with hitting reply to all. I just feel that everyone praying for my sisters health is family to me. I have scanned and attached the card from the priest.

Thank you all for your support and prayers for my sister, B****..

Believe in Miracles..



Back on the roller coaster. B**** has a neutropenic fever and is in the hospital (St. **** Hospital in ********* [ed: their home town]) receiving antibiotics. She started running a slight fever late yesterday afternoon and I took her to the ER on the advice of the people at MD Anderson. The chemo has knocked her white blood cell count (and platelets) way down, so she doesn't have a strong immune system at this time. That's what the antibiotics are for, to take care of the infection (seems to be respiratory).

I will keep you all posted as time permits. Along with antiobiotics she needs rest, so I'll ask you to resist the temptation to call. Also, hold off on the flowers. The oncology ward tries to limit exposure to ??? so I think sending things for the room doesn't work too well. Let's hold off on that until she's OK and back at home, OK?

Keep those prayers coming.

Love, B****


It's Carnival Time Again!

EBeth is hosting the carnival this week. The focus seems to be a visit by someone ... who could it be ... ?

Oh, yeah.


(Have I mentioned that I'm excited?)



I haven't really participated in the carnival, save that music video, since I started my class. However, by next week, my schedule will have lightened up a bit, so I'll (hopefully) be able to post something. (Not that I'm intregal to the process, mind you, I just like participating.) And this carnival looks amazing!! Be sure to go by and check out the offerings, including posts on finding the Lord in mundane jobs, dangerous prayers, and one called "The Mad Celtic Poet Warrior Priest." (With a title like that, who can resist??) Oh yeah, and get your information on the papal visit at Mary's Aggies. (I love that name, and wonder if any of them know my cousin and his wife, who are both students at A&M.) In case they missed something, you can also see Catholic Fire for more information on the visit. (Thanks, Jean!)

Do YOU want to participate in the Carnival? Check out the handy-dandy online form on my sidebar for information.

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Monday, April 14

Why I'm Happy to Live in Southwest Virginia, Reason #1

I'm so glad we don't live near Orlando any more.

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Funny? Only if you're a Sox stooge on ESPN.(BTW, if you go to the YouTube site, I apologize for the language.) And the "I didn't do anything bad" stuff ... they had to DIG THROUGH THE CONCRETE to get it out! Dude, uncool. VERY uncool.

Here's a shot of the Yankees Universe shirt. (Proceeds of the sale of these shirts go to charity. Details here, from whence I snagged the picture.)

And, by the way, just because we dropped 2 out of 3 doesn't mean the Sox have our number this year. Jeter's out with an injury right now, Posada hasn't been catching (and the Sox scored one run that they wouldn't have if Posada had been able to throw), and - come on, folks - it's still April. There's plenty of time.

Just wait, Red Sox. You'll get yours.

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As seen at The Anchoress' site.


BTW, I haven't actually had many (most?) of these, but I used to work in restaurants with bars. So I had to know my drinks.

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Two more days!!!!!

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Friday, April 11

I'm Sorry...So Sorry...

I'm so sorry...

How sorry are you??

I'm so sorry, I can't even get ten votes as Sorriest Excuse for a Catholic Blog.

And I'm so underappreciated, I can't get more than five votes in that category, either.

If I get the fewest votes in "Underappreciated," do I actually win?

Head over to Crescat and vote for me! :)

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Playing on Blogger

Blogger has a "Blogger Draft" that you can play with and add neat-o widgets. I added a few on the sidebar, and one includes sports' scores, whic makes it convenient for the Soccer Family, who actually really enjoy all sports except soccer and hockey. (Of course, we love to watch Big Girl play! But hers is the only soccer team we like.)

Anyhoo...the widgets are fun, and if you stop by the blog (come out of the Bloglines!), please comment and let me know what you think.


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Stupid Court Tricks

What kind of judicial system does Virginia have when fidelity is done last of all in a divorce proceeding and they decide custody and child support FIRST? This means an abusive spouse, or an addicted spouse, or an unfaithful spouse can wind up with custody of the children while the one who was abused or put up with the addictions or was left behind without monetary support has to suffer even more as well as lose the children to the unfaithful spouse! What total rot that is!!

Please pray for my friend and her children - they are going to court again next week, and things are very, very tense. And please pray that her husband has a conversion and a change of heart. He needs prayers quite desperately, and praying for him is one of the hardest things to do right now.

Saint Monica, pray for us!
Saint Rita, pray for us!
Saint Jude, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, pray for us!
Saint Michael the Archangel, protect us!

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Seven Random Facts Meme

Heidi tagged me! (I'm so excited!) I'm short on time today, so let's get started.

Here are the rules:

  • 1. When tagged place the name and URL on your blog.
  • 2. Post rules on your blog.
  • 3. Write 7 non-important things/habit/quirks about yourself.
  • 4. Name 7 of your favorite blogs.
  • 5. Send an email/comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged.

And here are my seven random facts, in no particular order:

  1. I did not drink - nay, I did not even like coffee until we went to Alexandria, Virginia, in November 2006. I could stomach a little coffee if I had a pound of sugar in a typically-sized cup, but I normally didn't like it. But I had discovered that I liked Starbuck's Frappacinos - does anyone else remember that Dana Carvey stand-up thing about them? - and so when we were getting ready to go to the Metro the first morning on vacation, Soccer Dad told me to go into Starbuck's with him for coffee. "All I like is Frappacino, and it's cold," I complained. "Try a mocha. Hey, they've got the hot Peppermint Mochas - like the special Frappacinos you like!" It was like drinking a warm thin mint cookie! I now drink close to half a pot a day, and more lately, in spite of the Lenten fast from it. (I need to be awake for class until midnight!)
  2. I hate coconut. Detest it. Well, unless it's in a drink with pineapple (which I also hate) and rum. Somehow the three together isn't too bad. ;) But, anyway, back to coconut. We were walking through Sam's the other day, and Soccer Dad saw a coconut cake, and at the same time as I was saying, "That looks repulsive!" he cooed, "Oh, that cake looks so delicious!" I smiled and said that if he gets a lot of coconut-loving friends to come over, I'd learn to bake a coconut cake. (Maybe I'll surprise him with coconut cookies one of these days.)
  3. Except for the fact that they're crowding my tulips at the moment, I actually don't mind dandelions all that much. Let's face it - they grow without much prompting, they are pretty, they're fun to blow seeds from, and you just plain can't kill them. When I was a girl, our neighbors' yard had nary a dandelion in it, but ours had lots. We had actually bought the house from said neighbors because the gentleman's father had lived there until he passed away. And that father was part of the reason we had dandelions; he liked dandelion wine! LOL! So even though Mom and Dad did put down weed killer, Mr. Lacatena's father's dadelions were with us to the end. Honestly, I think I will just give up trying to get rid of them. Already, my lawn is dotted with them.
  4. I cannot seem to keep my desk clean. I'll clean it up so I can see the top of it, and then it seems to be just as bad within two days. It's very frustrating, and I'm hoping that once I'm finished with my online class, I'll be able to get it cleaned off again. But I have a serious problem with being a pilot lately. Pile it here, pile it there.
  5. Life seems to have come to a screeching halt because of that class. School has been very light, with concentration only on religious education and Greek Mythology. I do admit, though, that Big Girl wrote a wonderful essay on the children resulting from the marriage of Gaea and Pontus, bringing the line to Triton. And Little Girl did her best to do the same with the much-more-difficult line of Gaea and Unranus (including the children of Cronus and Zeus). We'll probably read some stories today, and school will be more normal once I'm finished with my class next Friday. In spite of the fact that we do some kind of schooling year-round, I feel incredibly guilty about this. Never mind that they are ahead of their peers in a lot of ways. Guilt reigns!
  6. I have been dreaming about computers and technical specifications for Apples for more than two weeks. Last night, I dreamt that I had to start taking phone calls, but that I was using my VOIP headset instead of the one for my phone, and then my times were changed and put off for a week. (Think I might be nervous?) Interestingly enough, I actually have been able to understand the material better after these dreams, though I cannot remember much specific about them.
  7. I go through periods of cravings where I cannot get enough of something, and then I burn out on it. It's very strange. Right now, I'm very into Tomato Basil Wheat Thins. I'll scarf down a box in two or three days, then finish off my regular box (they are good to snack on during my class), and go off and buy more. I cannot figure this out. I think I've got an addictive personality or something. But I haven't burned out on the Tomato Basils yet. I'm sure it's coming, and when that happens, I'll look back and wonder what was that about?

Okay, tagging time! It's hard to pick seven favorite bloggers, but I'll try (and I hope I'm not tagging someone who's already done this):

Now I'm off to see what the popsies are up to.

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Thursday, April 10


Yes, I know there are a lot of dandelions. The girls blew lots of seeds in there last summer.

But check out the gorgeous tulips!!

Our crab apple tree ...

This thing actually buzzes at this time of year. Can you see why?

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Big Girl's first soccer game was cancelled last Friday, and I was grateful. Even though her fever broke Wednesday night and she didn't run one all day Thursday, I was nervous about her running up and down the field on Friday. So when the county cancelled all activities on its fields Friday afternoon, I breathed a sigh of relief.

This past Tuesday, when she normally would have had a practice, the team played a makeup game. Big Girl played in the entire game, and was WAY tired, but also was REALLY fantastic!

Their team had an advantage in the first half in that the other team was missing a few kids who were running late, and so we were able to make substitutions while they were not. But the substitutions, I think, did not make too much difference.

Big Girl's team has two boys and nine girls. And Big Girl is the oldest on the team, too! (She'll be ten just around the end of the Fall season, which will be her last with this age group.) One boy is very sweet, but when he started playing about a year ago, he had to really learn to stay on his feet. He liked to slide, like in baseball. So I'll call him Slider Boy. The other boy is only eight, but is very tall. (I thought he was closer to Big Girl's age, and we wondered how he hadn't moved up yet, since boys must move up when they are nine while girls can stay until they are ten.) I'll call him Andre (like the Giant - ha ha! - he's as gentle, too). There's also a girl who is new to the team, and she's teeny tiny, but - WOW! - what defense! She's unafraid of all the bigger kids, too! She's Firecracker - little and powerful. Then there are the Powerful Katrinka twins - who are actually not twins, but are sisters. They are the coach's daughters, and are both also very teeny. Neither of them are shrinking violets, either. Katrinka 1 and Katrinka 2. There are, of course, other players, as well, but these are our key players for the week.

Slider Boy and Firecracker both helped out on defense by keeping the ball away from the goalie as much as possible (did I mention that Goalie Girl was awesome, too, in her first season as such?). They did a great job of getting it back into the other side of the field, closer to the opponents' goal. Once over there, Big Girl helped get the ball closer to the goal, and Andre and the two Katrinkas all got within shooting distance. Andre scored the first goal, then Katrinka 1 scored another, and Andre scored another, too. All in the first half! It was really an intense game, and at one point, Slider Boy gave a mighty kick and sent a ball straight into another boy's stomach! Oh! The poor kid! His father hugged him while he wailed and wailed - it practically hurt my stomach when it happened - and after a goal was scored, the boy sat on the ground with his dad (the coach) until he could breathe again. Poor boy! (He did wind up being okay, by the way.)

At the half, we were up 3-0, and the kids were pumped! Big Girl collapsed into a chair and guzzled water and scarfed down some grapes to recharge.

During the halftime break, the missing players from the other team all arrived and subsequently played in the second half. AH! Much better! There was one more goal - scored on us - in the game, and plenty of back-and-forth action and competition.

And so Big Girl's team is 1-0 so far this season - a better start than last year - with another game on Friday evening. Instead of my original plan of tuna casserole Friday, I've decided we need to stop for a pizza on the way home. MUCH easier. I just wish fried chicken was meatless! LOL! I have a hankerin' for some KFC. (Actually, I have a hankerin' for some Roy Rogers' chicken, but there aren't any here - phooey!)

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