Friday, May 29

Seven Quickies: Sacrament Edition

I am writing this Quick Takes a day early ... no, two days early!  But my thanks to Jen, who might not even see this, since I'm going to be WAY to busy to actually post the link at her place!  LOL!

Here goes!  

  1. It's here!  My baby girl is going to receive her First Holy Communion on Sunday!!  I cannot tell you how completely happy this makes me!  In fact, I walked into Mass last Sunday, saw that three children were receiving at that Mass, and promptly started crying.  "It's not even the right week, and I'm a mess!" I sniffled to Travel Man.  Little Girl just glowed happiness at her classmates as they received the Body and Blood of Christ.  She, too, is happy.  Happy for them, happy for herself.  It's almost here!  Sunday, 9:00 Mass, here in southwest Virginia.  And have we got FAMILY coming in!  If the visiting priest (our pastor is going to be away this weekend) is available, I'll have as many as 25 people here - at my house - for brunch.  Wow.  But all of the grandparents will be here, plus my own Nana, plus Travel Man's brother (and his wife and son), plus our friends from Northern Virginia and their five kids, plus another family we've invited over.  It's going to be quite crowded.

  2. While this whole event is making me insanely happy, I feel a twinge of sadness, too.  At this time, and unless God changes this by leading us more strongly towards adoption, I will not have any more First Communions to look forward to.  Once again, I find myself having to forcefully remind myself that I have been forgiven for that sin.  If God can't remember, why is it that I can't forget?

  3. It's been a crazy couple of weeks around here.  My dishwasher died last September, and we hadn't fixed it, and rather than pay for someone to do that for me, I decided to ditch it and ask Travel Man to put in those cabinets.  They are BEAUTIFUL!  (No, I haven't posted pictures yet.  Maybe next week.)  But while he was installing them, fixing the counter heights (don't ask), etc., he noticed something that I hadn't been complaining about much.  The kitchen sink was leaking, and making a HUGE mess underneath.  Nasty mess.  Disgusting mess.  So he said, "Call a plumber and get someone out here to fix it.  And while the plumber's here, see if they might be able to figure out why there isn't enough hot water to wash all the dishes or take two showers in a row."  (Or fill my garden tub, by the way.)

    So I did.  I called a plumber, and he came yesterday.  Looked under the sink, poked around by the (20 year old, barely working on one heating element and thermostat) hot water heater, and gave me an estimate.  (Yikes, what an estimate!)  New pipes, new water heater, and this morning, Travel Man took a shower and I washed dishes - at the same time - and we didn't run out of hot water.  <

    For five years, I've wanted to use that big Jacuzzi garden tub and haven't been able to fill it up.  Now I can, and I promise you that it's going to be used.  SOON.

  4. We've gotten a bit of a heads-up that Travel Man might not be such a traveling man, which eliminates the need for the company to provide him with a car.  Thus, we've saved our tax return money and some extra to buy a car.  While working down that debt.  (We can see the end of the tunnel!)  When I called with the estimate, we knew we could afford it, even if it puts our car savings back a couple of months.  But we could do it - and pay cash.  We could not have done this a year ago.  Two years ago, my girls wanted to take a homeschool workshop on American Girls books.  I had to come up with $20 for them to take the class.  I had trouble doing THAT.  And yet I laid out cash for a plumber to put in all that work for me.  Mind you, we'll have to work hard to put some money back to save up again for that car (which, thank God, we don't need to get immediately!), but the main point is that it was there.  Travel Man works with a guy who gave us Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book, just when we needed it most, and that book has changed our life.  I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  If you are having financial problems, even if you think you're beyond hope, you need to read that book and get on the TMT plan.  If you stick with it, it will work.  And it's simple.  But you have to be ready for an honest assessment of your finances, as painful as that might seem.  Think of it like ripping off a band-aid.  But as bad-off as our family was at the beginning of 2008, we haven't touched a credit card (except to shred them) since January 2008.  

    I just might kiss that guy who gave us that book.  I cannot thank him enough.

  5. Ever take things more personally than you should?  Like, you're busy, you know other people are, too, but when you don't hear from someone in a while, you start to think you've done something wrong?  You know what I've learned?  Mostly, you've done nothing, and they aren't upset with you.  

    Just busy.  Chill out, already!

  6. Our Great Adventure Bible Study is going really well.  When we read Numbers for the last unit (this week - tonight, as a matter of fact - we are studying Joshua), I was reminded about this post from Jen's blog.  When the Israelites arrived near the Promised Land, Moses sent one man from each tribe to scope things out.  They came back, and only two of them trusted God enough that they knew they could overcome the people in the land.  The other ten spread fear throughout the camps, and the people lost hope in God.  They started losing faith that He would deliver their enemies to them.  And so they balked at going in.  In response to this, God told them that they obviously needed a longer time-out (a year a Sinai wasn't enough, apparently), and that they now couldn't enter the Promised Land until 40 years had passed.  That they would die in the desert, just as they feared and continued to lament.  ("Why did God lead us out here?  To die in the desert?")  This, naturally, prompted the Israelites to act like children who have just been told that they are going to have their toys thrown out if they don't pick them up.  When we finally get in there with the trash bag, suddenly there is an urgency.  "I'll pick up!  Here, look!!  Don't touch that!  I've got it!!!"  But it's too late.  The Israelites went off to battle, while Moses warned them not to because God would not be with them now.  Slaughter.  Then they wandered for 40 years (one year for each day of reconnoissance), where they had to learn to trust God for their provisions.  Mind you, we're no better than this, but there you go.

    Anyway, this whole lesson for the Israelites was one in trust.  Do not fear!  The Lord loves you, and He is with you!  He will provide for you!!  Look, he knows you're hungry, and He gives you bread from Heaven.  He sees you are thirsty, and water comes from the rock.  God loves you.  

    Do not fear!

  7. As always, I want to finish with a video for you.  This is especially for my Little Girl.  Enjoy!  Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, May 27


Thank you to everyone who prayed for Travel Man's grandmother.  She came through surgery fine, and is on her way home today for her six to seven week recovery there.  She is back on solid food again (after a few days with an NG tube), and, God willing, she'll make a complete recovery.

Thank you again for praying for her!

Wednesday, May 20

Urgent Prayer Request!!

Travel Man's grandmother (who is 90) is undergoing surgery today to remove a tumor. Please pray for her, her family (including her 90 year old husband!), and her surgical team.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Tuesday, May 19

Thoughts on ND

Just how far back did Notre Dame's honorary degree for President Obama set back the Catholic Church's work to establish a Culture of Life in America?

How seriously will pro-abortion politicians take us (meaning Pro Life Catholics) now that Notre Dame has said that it's okay to be pro-abortion as long as you're in favor of universal healthcare and taxing the rich?

I think we'll be dismissed, and this will only serve to work to break down proper obedience within the Church.  The valedictorian of Notre Dame said - on video - that it's fine to honor President Obama because of his stances on the poor, health care, etc.  We can ignore the whole killing unborn (and newly born through botched abortion) thing.  Or that he wants to distribute birth control on our dime.  Or pay for abortions with tax money.  Or prevent doctors, nurses, and pharmacists from following their consciences and refusing to give birth control or perform abortions.

Never mind that stuff.  He's for free healthcare!

This act will cause others to think that following the direction of one's bishop is optional.  That it's not a contradiction for a Catholic institution to honor someone who is stridently pro-abortion.  I think this will further damage souls in that they will ignore the Church's plea to live chastely and to treasure life.

Notre Dame's decision affects more than graduation day.  And that's why it's a scandal.

Sunday, May 17

Quick Notes on a Busy Weekend

Two quick things:

  1. We did a small renovation in our kitchen, and I'm planning on posting pictures because I just so dang proud of my husband for doing this job for me.  It turned out great, and he worked within some pretty irritating limitations to give me a better space (and more useful) in our kitchen.  He's my hero.  He truly lives up to his Knighthood status.

  2. I saw this For Better or for Worse cartoon today (you know Lynn Johnston has gone back to the beginning, tweaking her strip as she goes through the growing up years again), and this cartoon just made me smile.  Once, we took Big Girl to Disney World, and she lagged behind a few moments in line.  We'd just noticed she wasn't with us when we heard her kind of cry out a little - a sort of gasp! - and looked back to notice that she'd hugged the legs of a man in shorts nearly identical to Travel Man's that day.  Right shorts, wrong daddy.  :)

Have a blessed Sunday.

Friday, May 15

Seven Quickies

Thanks to Jen for hosting, as usual.  :)

  1. I had a really nice Mother's Day.  We went to Mass, the girls went to CCD while Travel Man and I went to get coffee together, and then we spent some time tidying up a disaster area near where I work.  After that, we ran a couple errands, came home for dinner (Travel Man made Pastitsio for me!), and read some Romeo and Juliet.  It was wonderful.  Oh, yes.  Then we settled down for some basketball.  There were no huge presents (except for the cleaning up and the dinner), and the girls made cards for me that morning.  But it was just splendid.  Couldn't have asked for much more, to tell the truth.

  2. I discovered, much to my chagrin, that the reason Virginia had not issued us the refund due to us was because I had been paying my business taxes incorrectly.  Seems I'm a Pass Through Entity and don't need to pay taxes as a corporation (only as an individual).  So that money I paid last year for those purposes was claimed incorrectly on our taxes. Yes, I can have it back, but only after filing some immense paperwork and requesting that it be moved to our personal taxes instead.  No, the state did not inform me of this.  I called and bugged them to see what was going on and why we hadn't gotten the refund on the tax returns I mailed on March 2.  I did this phone call business on May 13.  If I hadn't called, they probably would have never sent the money, which ticks me off.  But I at least know what I have to do, I printed off the fifteen or so pages of forms and instructions to take care of it, and I know that once they receive it, it will take either about a month to get my money back, or I will be calling them incessantly until I get it, which I predict will be more like six months.  Seriously, I have no faith at all in the government, and especially the thieving tax divisions of said government.

  3. Little Girl is signed up for ballet for the Summer.  She'll have six weeks of it, and then this Fall, she'll be in ballet only.  She really has great potential (according to her instructors) for ballet, and we've gone that route because (a) the dance moves are more modest - there is precious little chest-shaking that goes on in Swan Lake - and (b) the costumes are more modest.  (Do you detect a theme here?)  

    Dance is a wonderful thing for Little Girl.  It has really helped her self-esteem and her poise.  On the other hand, I've found that there are less desirable things attached to this activity, too.  I discussed earlier in the week about our struggle with mean girls, and you can read about that in full there, but what I'm learning as a mom - and especially as a homeschooling mom - is that I can protect her from only so much and for only so long.  It's my job to shelter her from things she isn't ready for in life, but it's also my job to prepare her to deal with struggles and different kinds of people.  We're walking a very delicate line, and it can be precarious, but walk it we must.  One thing I must also guard is her sweet nature; she is almost always more interested in pleasing others than herself.  This kind of selflessness is admirable, and it's especially admirable in children.  It's like a natural state for her.  I sometimes have to flat-out tell the child to tell me what she wants, and I even went so far as to say to her that when someone asks what she would like, she needs to be honest about it rather than guess what that person wants.  Only time will tell if I'm handling it correctly, but with God's help, I am confident I'll help her keep her selflessness without allowing her to be taken advantage of.

  4. Big Girl's soccer team is 2-2 now.  She is doing very well in the new environment, staying in position (rather than the scrum that the 6-8 soccer teams tend to work with) and passing to other team-mates.  She's enjoying herself, too, though she's a bit wary of getting socked in the head by a soccer ball again.  Apparently, it doesn't feel particularly good when someone kicks a ball into your head.  Go figure. ;)

  5. Our parish just found out that we'll be getting a new pastor in July.  I don't know him (not that it makes much difference), but I know a couple of things about him.  He's from the Tidewater area of Virginia (which is clean across the state!), and he's been ordained for about 2 years.  Travel Man and I hope he's one of those "John Paul Priests" who loves orthodoxy and such.  Not that we expect him to come change everything - or want him to. We'll see what happens.  One thing we do know is that our parish is going to be clustered.  Five parishes nearby will share four pastors.  We knew this was coming, as the Richmond Diocese has been struggling with having enough priests for all its parishes.  For our parish, it might mean one less Mass per weekend (one Saturday and one Sunday).  It's fine.  Christ will come.  We are blessed that we have a pastor!  We're not exactly a bustling city here, and I know that there have been far worse shortages than this.  Remember how our pioneer ancestors had no priests and sometimes went more than a month without Mass and the Holy Eucharist!?  We are blessed, indeed, that we can attend Mass daily if we wish.  God has blessed us, indeed!

  6. This weekend is the graduation for Notre Dame, where the Catholic university will honor our president with a degree and the opportunity to give a commencement speech.  Needless to say, I'm deeply disappointed that they've decided to honor him in this way.  President Obama is the most stridently pro-abortion president ever, and for a Catholic college to give him an honorary degree does damage to our Church.  It implies that we don't mind so much that he's so in favor of abortion and embryonic stem cell research, or that he cut off funding for adult stem cell research and abstinence education, or that he allows our tax money to be spent overseas on abortions, or that he began funding of UNFPA (who assists China with their one-child policy), or that every Catholic he chooses for a position in his administration works to further abortion rights.  This situation at Notre Dame is quite sad, and more than anything - more than protests or "circuses" or petitions - both Notre Dame (meaning Father Jenkins and the board of trustees) and President Obama need our prayers.  Pray for our Catholic colleges to retain (or regain!) their Catholic identity.  Pray for the conversion of the President.  Pray that the Culture of Life will triumph in this life!  And while you're praying, don't forget to pray for all those harmed by abortion - mothers, fathers, grandparents.

  7.  Again, I'll leave you with something fun from YouTube.  We all need some levity, right?

Tuesday, May 12


Never, ever have I wished so badly that an NBA player gets leveled.  It's so very un-Christian of me.  

And yet, when I see Rondo, I just want someone to just TAKE. HIM. OUT.

Want to flop and fake a foul while playing dirty against us?  Let me show you a REAL foul.

See?  Very un-Christian.  He makes me so MAD!  And no matter how dirty he plays (or any of Boston's players, for that matter), he doesn't get suspended.  Hip check a player so hard he winds up in the locker room getting stitched up?  No suspension.  Later in the same game, grab another player by the arm and hurl him into the scorers' table?  No suspension.  More dirty play against Orlando (though no stitches or throwing involved)?  No suspension.  Perkins throws a forearm into the throat of an Orlando player?  No suspension.

Do they have to decapitate someone to get suspended or something?  

Monday, May 11

To What Degree?

When I tell people I homeschool, most are supportive, even if their reaction includes a "I could never!" comment.  Occasionally, though, someone questions that I am sheltering my girls.  My reaction these days to that rare instance is, "You bet your bippy!  It's my job to shelter them!"

I do shelter them, unapologetically, from things that might do damage to their souls: immoral or amoral lessons in sex ed, exposure to media (including books) that Travel Man and I deem to be inappropriate, ideas about family that are in opposition to our faith, and even history skewed against the truth about the Church.  To some degree, I am also sheltering them from the trials and travails that they might encounter in the clique-ish school culture.

And I say "to some degree" because I know that as long as we are involved in extracurricular activities (and we are), they'll encounter some of that anyway.

This was never so painfully obvious to me as it was a little more than two weeks ago, when I was getting Little Girl ready for dance lessons.  It seems that the day before, some boys at Sunday school laughed because she doesn't have "Summer vacation."  In other words, we school all the time, taking breaks when we need to for mental health or for family vacations or, in the case of the end of this month, for family celebrations.  But try explaining that to second graders.  All Little Girl knew is that her tender little heart was hurt by their laughter.  And then, something that had been bothering her for some time came to a head as I went to pull her hair up for dance.

She started to cry.  About dance class.  "I don't really want to go any more.  I think I want to stop dance after the recital!" she wailed.

This is a child who will not cannot stop dancing.  I practically have to strap her to a chair for meals, she's in motion so much!  And she wants to quit?!?

A little inquiry on my part revealed that she was dealing with "mean girls" in her class.  Girls who laughed when others fell down.  Girls who wouldn't talk to her.  Girls who didn't ask if she was okay when she fell.  Girls who made fun of her for wearing tights from a Winnie-the-Pooh dance from last year - tights!!  Girls who were getting clique-ish.  

This was new, mind you.  The class dynamics changed when a few new girls joined the dance studio.  Before this year, she had no problems like this; all the girls got along, they all talked and laughed together, and there were no little groups sneering at others' mistakes.  (They all enjoyed the Winnie-the-Pooh dance, too, including the very plain beige tights.)

This is a struggle for me.  I want to protect her.  I want to kick butt and take names - of the mothers who let their little girls act this way, mind you.  I want to lecture the girls and make them cringe.  I even think about switching dance schools to protect her from these girls.

But that wouldn't change a thing, and it would potentially damage her character.  Running off to another school won't protect her; mean girls are everywhere.  (I never even took dance, and I encountered them!)  Kicking butt and taking names won't help, because then the mothers and I won't even get along, and that would probably only feed into the problem in the long run.

So we talked and I got specifics.  And I asked her, "What do you want me to do for you?"

"I want you to talk to the teacher for me.  I might start crying again if I talk to her."

"When, honey?"


I gulped.  I HATE confrontation, but this is important to take care of.  "When today?  Before class or after class?"

"Before, please."

So I had about fifteen minutes to craft my part of the discussion.  Little did she know how nervous I was to bring it up, but I was glad that she said something.  She almost never complains about anything.  So for this to come up at all means that it's been bothering her for quite some time.  (Almost the whole school year, it turns out.)

When I pulled the instructor aside, she acknowledged that it had been slowly escalating, and the idea of Little Girl quitting was horrible to her.  "She's too good to let those girls push her out.  I'm not losing her!"  She's known Little Girl for three years now, and knows how shy and sensitive she is.  So she spoke to the class - without revealing who it was - about respecting others and not being mean.  

Even though it didn't help Little Girl suddenly have the old camaraderie back again, she felt better that someone would be looking out for that kind of behavior.  

I know I can't shelter her from this.  I can limit it, for sure, but there are mean girls everywhere.  Another school would have different mean girls.  If she left dance forever and started something else, there'd be mean girls there, too.  Not everyone can be "homeschooled Catholic girls like me," which was Little Girl's wish.  But until she learns how to deal with situations like this, it's my job, too, to step in and help her.  We'll work on dealing a little at a time, but I'm not ready to throw her to the wolves.  I'm not ready to let her work it out on her own.  And she's not ready, either.

So, yes.  I shelter my girls.  You bet your bippy!

But I'm teaching them how to go out into the world, too.  And when it's time, they'll be ready for it.

"That Was a Bit Like the Spanish Inquisition!"

At the end of Mass yesterday, our pastor was making announcements, and said, "July 1, you will be having a new pastor.  Father K. will be coming here from the Tidewater area, and I will be going to Parish X in this area.  We will also begin clustering at that time, with four priests pastoring five parishes in the area."

I knew the clustering was coming, but was surprised by the announcement that Father R. would be leaving.  It was a bit unexpected.

Our new pastor was ordained about two years ago, and I cannot - cannot - remember his last name or his current parish assignment.  :-P

But please keep all parishes involved in your prayers.  I'm sure God knows what He's doing through our bishop (and I actually am not upset about any of this), but the transition might be difficult for some people, especially the children who have only known Father R. at our parish.  (He's been here more than five years, at the least, because he was here when we arrived in 2004.)  My girls are a little saddened by this news, but are hopeful that our new priest might not have an accent!  (LOL!)  More on the accent stuff later.  

Friday, May 8

Seven Quickies: Late-Day Edition

Jennifer hosts, I participate (though a bit late today).

  1. First and foremost, I have a very important request.  Travel Man's grandmother (Grammy), who (God willing) will be 90 in October, has been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her intestines.  She has consented to have surgery on May 20.  Please pray for her, for Paw Paw (Travel Man's nearly-90 grandfather), and for the surgeon.  Keep the rest of us in prayer, too, while you're at it, but mostly for her.  We love her dearly, and would like it if God let her stay with us a little longer.  She is just the dearest woman, and I know you'd love her, too, if you met her.  

  2. Travel Man's schedule is slowing down soon (hooray!), and he'll be a less-traveled man for a time.  The girls and I are looking forward to this, and I, for one, will be glad to really sleep on a regular basis.  I tend not to sleep as well when he's not here.  EWTN keeps me company, and the nuns' prayers help a lot, but still...  It'll be really nice to have him home more.  

  3. There are just over 3 weeks until Little Girl's First Holy Communion.  She asked to receive it on May 31 so that her grandparents could see her perform in her dance recital on May 30.  She is extremely happy about the idea that she'll have 17 of her family and friends here to watch.  Usually, it's just the three of us watching her, and she's dreamt of ways to get her grandparents (and my Nana, too!) here for her annual show!  She is in four numbers.  This is something that, before Christmas, terrified her.  How can she be expected to remember them all??  But now, she's relaxed and happy about it.  She missed two classes last month due to illnesses, but is caught up with the rest of the class now.  If she's nervous at all, it doesn't show.  I'm amazed and impressed with her.

  4. Speaking of amazed and impressed, Big Girl has really adjusted well to playing with the older kids at soccer.  She is getting used to the hard work involved, and she is learning to lose with grace, too.  Last week, the team suffered its first loss to a team that was filled with "really big girls; they all looked like they were 15!"  But she's there to have fun, so Big Girl wasn't pouty about it at all.  Disappointed, yes (and that's natural and expected!), but bad sportsmanship was not a part of her day.  

  5. The sun is finally out here, after days of rain, and I think I've got enough of it to mow.  However, we've got a soccer game tonight, and I'm working 4:30 to 5:00 before it.  I don't know that I've got time to mow today.  The grass is practically up to the kids' knees again.  Bleh.  

  6. Speaking of things to pray about, we will now take a break from my Seven Quickies to bring you this message from the Cardinal Newman Society and Father John Corappi:

  7. I don't have anything else, really, so how about a video to watch?  Here ya' go, for your Mother's Day viewing pleasure:

Wednesday, May 6

Tuesday, May 5

Catholic Manhood

I swear, most of why I want Travel Man to be Fourth Degree is to get him in that regalia!  I *love* the regalia!

Plus, when he gets the sword, I get a pointy princess hat from Disney world.  I kid you not.  I've been waiting for-EVER to get one!  :D

Love, love, love the Knights of Columbus!  I could go on forever about the good they do, and how much they promote true manhood and devotion to the Lord (and His Church) and to family.  

Notre Dame's Response (Students, That Is)

I am sure I can find it if I look, but anyone who knows the time of graduation (and perhaps the time the president is to speak), please leave it in the com boxes.  I'd like to be sure to pray a Rosary while he's speaking.

Monday, May 4

William Shatner's First Reaction to the Star Trek Trailer

I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this movie!  But this peek at Shatner's first look at the new Star Trek's trailer (obviously shot some time ago) is really neat.  You've seen the trailer, just watch his face as much as possible.

Sunday, May 3

I was saddened to hear that Jack Kemp died. He is the reason I'm a conservative. May his soul rest in peace.

Friday, May 1

Seven Quickies

Hosted by
Jen!  (And if you haven't already done so, add her to your reading list!)

Now.  I meant that.  Go and come back quick.

Okay!  Seven Quickies!

  1. I'm writing this ahead of time, as Travel Man and I are going to a Kaaaaaniggits State Convention all weekend.  Alone.  heh.

    The girls are staying with friends while we're away, and they get to go to a First Communion!  Hooray!!  Little Girl can dream of the end of the month when she finally receives the Body of Christ for the very first time!  In the meantime, Travel Man will be going to meetings and banquets and so will I.  He's excited, I'm nervous about being alone with strangers.  I'm trying not to think about it, but perhaps my blogging instead of packing right now is part of my dread of facing strangers and being expected to be friendly.  I'll have to have extra support from my Guardian Angel, for sure!

  2. Wednesday was my birthday (I'm now 39), and it was a lovely day in spite of working most of it.  The girls gave me a beautiful new Rosary (pics coming later, I promise!) and Travel Man got me a case for it.  He also gave me iLife '09 for the iMac.  I don't wait to have to wait to install it, but wait I must.  I'm VERY VERY EXCITED about it, though.  iWork has some nice updates, but I'm WAAAAY more excited about facial detection and geotagging support and video stabilization for my movies.  WHOO HOO!  I'll work on something and post it eventually.

  3. I've never had them before, but I've suddenly developed Spring allergies that are keeping me inside as much as humanly possible.  I'm sending up a request for rain, please, to deaden some of the Yellow Death Dustthat is floating around.  It's amazing how quickly it gets to me!  Since I didn't know it would do this, I didn't start taking Zyrtec until it was a bit late to do a lot.  I'll know better next year, though.

  4. We got a compost bin!  Now we've got this lovely mix going, and between that and the fact that Wal-Mart has put up recycling bins at our neighborhood store, our garbage has decreased a BUNCH!  While I wasn't willing to drive more than 5 miles with recycling in my car, I am willing to toss it in the back and drop it off at the Wal-Mart that is on the way to church.  (And where I shop a bunch, too!)  I feel better recycling again, since this is one thing I missed from our time in the Orlando area, where the county recycled and picked it all up from my curb.  The county still picks this up, but Wal-Mart gave up part of their parking for it, so huzzah!

  5. I have decided to stop fighting dandelions, too.  Let me tell you: when the neighbors on either side of you don't put down dandelion killer, it won't help when you do it.  Three years of it, and they came back SO strong last year that I just threw up my hands!  "They won't die!" I cried.  But no matter.  They ARE pretty, and the girls love to blow the seeds around.  (Which is part of why I have so many mixed in with my lilies, tulips, and crocuses.)  And since they're tough to kill, they'll flourish, too.  So I've embraced the dandelion.  They are scattered about my lawn, they are growing like mad in my flower beds, and they'll stay as far as I'm concerned.  Bonus: the bunnies hop in our yard more often now.

  6. I met a priest named Father Emil Cook, founder of Mission Honduras.  His mission is amazing, and Mission Honduras finds itself expanding, getting ready right now to go to Sierra Leon!  They are already in three countries, including Liberia, and could use help.  If you have anything you can give, I strongly - VERY strongly - recommend helping Father Emil.  His mission has helped break the cycle of poverty and ignorance for families, and these families are, in turn, reaching out to help others.  It's a beautiful thing.  Please consider helping Mission Honduras if you can.

  7. How about something fun to watch, just to round things off today?  I know this has been all over the place, but it was so cute, and worth it when I finally watched.  The kids loved it, even if they didn't really recognize Pong.

Who are your heros?


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