Saturday, April 18, 2015

7-Quick Takes

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Join the other Quicktakers at This Ain't the Lyceum.

1. It's been a year and a half now since I went completely grain free. I've learned a lot and I really don't miss eating bread or breaded things that much. The only time it's an issue for me is when I have to serve a pasta dish for my runners who need a lot of carbs for energy before big races. Then I usually just eat the topping that I have prepared (meatballs or chicken in a tomato sauce) without the pasta.

I easily dropped over 40 pounds when I started eating this way, my ulcerative colitis cleared up without medication, and as an unexpected benefit, all of my eczema cleared completely up and the skin that I thought would always be rough and depigmented, is now completely normal!

There were two books that helped me greatly in this journey



and


It's not a lifestyle that I would have picked for myself - I always loved breads and cakes and cookies - but the science behind it makes sense and I am slowly going to win the rest of my family over in this coming year.

2. That all said, my weight loss did stall before reaching my ideal body weight, and in fact even went up a little (because it is possible to eat too many of the good foods too!)  So for a while I'm following the instructions in this book and limiting carbs.



It's odd to me because since my early 20s I've been limiting fat - drinking skim milk, cutting the skin off of chicken etc.

and now I can eat that stuff, and in reading labels I skip over the fat information over to the number of carbs.  I'm having to relearn all of that too!

3.
It's finally spring!  and that means soccer season.
Gabe reffing
Gabe is reffing the little kids in our homeschool league and thoroughly enjoying it.

Izzy soccer April 18
Izzy is playing with the high school kids, although the boys don't really seem to let her have a chance to play much.

4.
Watching Rosie play is like watching a jumping bean - she's got so much energy!
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5. Jimmy Kimmel produced this stupid video to encourage people to vaccinate their children. 

Here's what I think about that:

  • The video uses doctors exclusively to make the point that vaccines are safe.  However, there are health care professionals including doctors who don't believe that vaccinations are as safe as they are touted. 
  • There is not one mention of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund, run by the National Health and Human Services Department. It was created for children damaged by vaccines.  
  • Cussing at people is probably not the best way to persuade them to your point of view.
  • Most of the people who decide not to vaccinate or to delay vaccinations have not done so lightly. Degrading, mocking, or otherwise trying to disparage parents who are thoughtfully trying to make the best decisions for their families, also will probably not win people over to your side. 

Likewise - antivax people didn't do themselves any favors by tweeting ad hominem attacks back at Jimmy Kimmel.


6.
SHEILA
Last week one of my heroes, Shiela Kitzinger passed away at age 87. When I became disillusioned with my first birth experience and started to glean information about natural birth, hers were the books I read first. She made me see that birth was a natural process and not a medical disaster waiting to  happen. She blessed many women and families with her calm manner and straightforward manner. She will be missed.





7.
This week, in Michigan, it was reported that Democratic Lawmaker, State Rep Stephanie Chang, is planning to introduce legislation to require all home-schooling parents to register their home schooled children including names, ages, addresses and school district with the state.

Why?

Because this woman, Mitchelle Blair, told authorities that she was homeschooling her children AFTER they found their bodies shoved into the family freezer.

Spunky Braun of Spunky Homeschool had this on her Facebook page and I added a comment. A few hours later, she posted this.


Best comment of the week award goes to Elena LaVictoire "I think we should register folks with freezers!" Brilliant! It's not homeschooling it's the freezer!
Posted by Karen Spunky Braun on Saturday, April 18, 2015

BTW, Michigan already has homeschooling laws - how about enforcing them?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Simple Women



Outside my window...


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I am thinking...
about Calvin moving away on Saturday.

On Friday each of us took turns helping him to get his stuff loaded. Sam helped move the washer and dryer, Noah moved book cases and boxes, I moved boxes from the bedrooms to the landing and then vacuumed (lifting was out of the question for me last week for medical reasons) and eventually Gabe and Mr. Pete came by at night along with Cousin Paul, Izzy, Rosie and my new goddaughter T. But his future in-laws did a TON of the work and the loading. They were a brilliant crew.

Calvin's move

I did pretty well emotionally. A couple of my mom friends  asked me how I was doing - so I guess a little bit of grief when your child moves away is kind of expected and normal.

 I only cried twice.  Once, the day before Easter when Calvin said he was going to come over a lot during the week before he left and I told him not to, because I thought it would be easier.  When he started to argue with me and I tried to explain how I felt, the cracks began to show. By the time I hung up I was in full blown "I-can't-stop-sobbing" mode.  Noah came over and gave me a hug, which I appreciated. At least Calvin didn't hear the worst of that.

I was in control of my emotions while helping him actually pack up.  It reminded me in a way of a funeral for a close loved one, in that you're so busy with the preparations you don't have time to be really, really sad or even cry until it's over.

And that's what happened to me. The next day I was at the library, sitting in the Children's Section, waiting for Rosie, who was attending her Little Flowers meeting. I was texting my future-daughter-in-law about the Knights of Columbus coming to help Calvin unpack. I told Sarah the Knights were coming and indeed she had even talked with them.

Then a thought from somewhere came to me and I felt compelled to ask Sarah to reminded Calvin that his Grandpa Calvin had been a Knight, and his Grand Uncle Calvin had also been a Knight - and that maybe they were pulling strings from heaven to make this happen so that Calvin would have help unpacking his things.

I was sitting there texting this with tears running down my face, trying to stifle sobs from sneaking out. I'm sure I scared some of the little children who were innocently sitting in the kids section. Their young mothers quietly steered their tots to another section of the library and I remained mostly alone.

I am thankful...
for the Knights of Columbus from St. Mark's Parish in Charlotte NC. They really stepped up at the last moment to welcome a stranger into their community.  They helped him unload his trailer into the new apartment.

calvins move 2

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Hebrews 13:2  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.


Calvin is no angel- but he would make a great potential Knight and I hope he  pays that forward once he gets settled.



I am Pondering...
how in the world this wedding is going to get pulled together with the bride living in one city and the groom in another?

Also thinking it might be time to get serious about this. 

In the kitchen...
Turkey Salad!  and some kind of Turkey and pasta dish for Tuesday when Noah runs.

I am wearing...
Black yoga pants and a blue short-sleeved sweater.


I am going...
  • to walk or work out every day but Thursday and include some pelvic floor strengthening exercises. 
  • move my spring cleaning to the classroom and office again. 
From the Learning Rooms...
  Noah working on: 

Izzy working on:
·       Geometry.
·       American History - Reading autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. 
·       American Literature-





  • Moby Dick

·       Also continuing Diane Craft reading program, spelling and writing.
·       Biology with the co-op and at home - A first semester - working on presentaton about Richard III. 
·       American Sign Language.   
·       Art class.

Izzy and Noah working on A Noble Experiment for civics. 


Rosie working on:
·       Math
·       Reading - Matilda Bones!


·       Spelling
·       Map skills
·       History and
·       Astronomy with the co-op.
·       Also bible and vocal music with the co-op.
·       Private piano and art

One of my favorite things...
Gabe and family in front of the TARDIS.
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So happy that he passed the GED.  Now on to bigger and better things!

I am hoping to ...
  • Get lots of flute practice done.
  • Organizing my office and the classroom.
  • Get a budget and time table together on our new real estate venture.

I am looking forward to...

a couple of track meets, and closing on our new property. 

A quote to share...
OK this was last week's quote, but I like it and it fits my mood. So I'm re-running it.
 I could have never said goodbye to you if we had not said that last rosary. Our Lady sure came through at the right time. I just didn't want you to drive away crying. But the flood gates opened up later, when I went to straighten up your room. But I said to myself, this will never do. She has not gone away forever, she will be back to see us from time to time.
I just want to tell you what a precious child you were to me. From the day you were born, you seemed to understand

My Grandmother to my mother after her wedding in 1958.
 A picture to share...

 I love to watch her fly!
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy of Jesus Pictures, Images and Photos

From How to Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday

During the Mass of canonization of St. Faustina on April 30, 2000, the year of the Great Jubilee, Pope John Paul II proclaimed: "It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church, will be called Divine Mercy Sunday." The readings on that Sunday are always about mercy, trust and the forgiveness of sins.

By the words "the whole message," the Holy Father was referring to the strict connection between the "Easter Mystery of the Redemption" -- the suffering, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, followed by the sending of the Holy Spirit -- and this Feast of Divine Mercy, on the Octave Day of Easter. This feast adds so much more meaning to the Easter celebrations. It was Jesus, Himself who asked for it to be celebrated on this particular Sunday following Easter.

There has been much confusion as to how this feast is to be celebrated. To know how to celebrate the Feast, one must only look at the two decrees that were issued by the Holy See and the words of Our Lord in the diary of St. Faustina, which the Church has accepted, as reliable and worthy of belief.




The first decree which established the Feast states that the normal readings for that Sunday are always to be used. They are already perfect as they are and reflect what the Image of Divine Mercy portrays.

The second decree is for the plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday that was issued on June 29, 2002. This decree also states what the specific duties of Priests are to be: "Inform the parishioners, hear confessions, and lead the prayers. The indulgence decree also asks Priests to gently encourage the Faithful to practice works of charity or mercy as often as they can, following the example of Christ."

The words of Our Lord in the diary are very clear, He said, "I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. By means of the Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it." (Diary 341, 570) The Image should be placed in the church so that everyone can see it, perhaps in the sanctuary area and at all the masses on that day so that everyone may venerate and know about it.

Our Lord also said, "I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of Mine towards souls of sinners. Tell My priests that hardened sinners will repent on hearing their words when they speak about My unfathomable mercy, about the compassion I have for them in My Heart. To priests who proclaim and extol My mercy, I will give wondrous power; I will anoint their words and touch the hearts of those to whom they will speak." (Diary, 50, 1521) Easter Sunday is the best time to proclaim God’s mercy.

Our Lord Jesus said, "The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.... Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy." (699) The plenary indulgence that was issued for Divine Mercy Sunday does not change the promises of Our Lord. Rather it provides the Church's highest mark of approval and endorsement and gives souls more time to go to Confession.


Our Lord also said, "The first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy....I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me." (Diary, 742) It is clear that Our Lord wants mercy to be shown to others and this can be done by telling everyone about the special promise of the total forgiveness of sins and punishment that He has graciously given to us.
In the Holy Father's homilies, he often refers to the words of Our Lord that are found in the diary. In his homily on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2001 in Rome he said, "It is the appropriate and incisive answer that God wanted to offer to the questions and expectations of human beings in our time, marked by terrible tragedies. Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.'' He often quotes Our Lord by starting with "Jesus said to St. Faustina." He spoke of the Image of The Divine Mercy saying "The two rays, according to what Jesus Himself told her, denote blood and water. The blood recalls the sacrifice of Golgotha and the mystery of the Eucharist: the water makes us think of Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Spirit."

So as we can see, the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday is quite simple, in fact, outside of having an image of The Divine Mercy in the church to venerate, there really isn’t anything else to do on that day itself. It is Jesus Himself that does all the work on that day. Most of the energy should be focused on getting people to come back Church on Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus will do the rest. All that we need to do is to tell everyone about the plenary indulgence and urge them to go to Confession. We cannot forget that Easter Sunday is the best time for us to talk about mercy, because the churches are so full.


The following "General remarks on Indulgences" from Gift of the Indulgence summarizes the usual conditions given in the Church's law (cf. Apostolic Penitentiary, Prot. N. 39/05/I):
1. This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (can. 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471): "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints".
2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works ..... [in this case, those granted for the Feast of Mercy]
3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed. [i.e. one must be a Catholic, not excommunicated or in schism.]
4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
—have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
—have sacramentally confessed their sins;
—receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);
—pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
5. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope's intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an "Our Father" and a "Hail Mary" are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father's intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.
6. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).
7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Divine Mercy Day 9 The Lukewarm Christian





Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:


"These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy."


In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:


"On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls."

I have a nephew who reasoned his way out of Christianity, and a dear friend who lives in a family of faith, but cannot seem to make that leap herself.  So I pray today's novena with them in mind as a special intention.


Are you a lukewarm Christian? from Reasons for Hope on Vimeo.


"Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know Me,

I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.

Friday, April 10, 2015

7-Quick Takes

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Join the other Quicktakers at This Ain't the Lyceum.

1. When I first started dating Mr. Pete, he and his friends co-owned a 1948 DeSoto.  They kept it parked at Mr. Pete's sister's garage for a long time.  It also spent some time behind the barn at my family's farm.

I remember going to homecoming riding in it and literally watching the road beneath us, because there was no floor!

Good times!

Eventually the friends grew up, and the car was sold.

This spring, one of the co-owners and good friend, sent this very special birthday card to Mr. Pete - and we loved it!
March 2015 033

March 2015 034

2. Calvin and Sarah are having decorative bottles as center pieces at their wedding.  Izzy had been diligently painting each one of them.
Painting center pieces for her brother's wedding
One thing I have learned about my daughter, she can be very focused and single-minded.  She cranks out four or five of these bottles per hour, and they're beautiful!

3. When I was a little girl, I was in awe of my grandmother's super powers of being able to take an absolute mess and bring beauty and order to it!

Izzy has that same power and determination.  When she moved into her bedroom last year, she inherited a closet that had been stuffed with all kinds of things for decades!  It was the kind of closet that you kept the light out of and slammed the door tight so that nothing would get out of it.

Well, she tackled that closet this week and got it all cleaned out. She even ripped out the carpet herself and then Murphy's Oil Soaped the wood floor.  She threw away a ton of stuff too.

Sometimes, I'm just in awe of her!

4. Her demolition and cleaning skills are going to come in handy too because, Mr. Pete and I finally took the leap and bought a little house to fix up and try to flip!!  It's kind of scary but I think between us and our older kids, we have enough muscle and talent to make this a nice little house for some lucky family.  Stay tuned for rehab pictures!

5.
Very proud of my diocese tonight!   To avoid something like this, the bishop has made a strict morality clause mandatory in the Catholic High Schools in the diocese!

  Diocese of Cleveland adds Morality Clause.
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Teachers at the five high schools run by the Cleveland Catholic diocese have agreed to sign the same expanded and detailed "morality clause" that elementary school teachers had to sign a year ago.
The new rules, outlined in the recently signed contract between the diocese and the Cleveland High School and Academy Lay Teachers Association (CHALTA), say a teacher can be fired for "certain speech or actions that are considered to be contrary to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church."
Among the banned behaviors the contract spells out:
-       "Publicly supporting abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, surrogate parenthood, direct sterilization, or so-called homosexual or same-sex marriage or unions."
-       Having an abortion or helping another person have one.
-       Sex outside of marriage or living together without being married.
-       Viewing pornography or sharing any material, by email or texts, that is "lewd, indecent, sexually suggestive, or pornographic."
-       Unlawful use of drugs
In addition, teachers are now called "teacher-ministers" in the contract, a title that gives the church greater say over behavior.
In a letter to the teachers, Bishop Richard Lennon tells them that Catholic schools need to be "authentically Catholic" in every way.

6. I am very impressed with Suzanne Somers, and not just because at age 68, she is taking a turn on Dancing with the Stars!

I like the fact that as a lay woman, she is asking questions and not just accepting the standard medical answers as proven science - because many times it's NOT proven science!





She's just my idea of a good health care consumer - someone who takes responsibility for her own health care and uses medical doctors as resources, without abdicating her health to them. I think that's very brave.

7.
My heart is breaking just a little bit tonight. Tomorrow morning my first born is moving 7 hours away to start his new job as a paramedic.
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I'm very proud of him and I hope that he finds the fulfillment of his vocation that he is searching for. I also hope that after he marries this summer, that he and his wife will settle in and have a happy home life.


But as his mom, I'm still a little hurt and broken by it. I'm allowed.

This is the hard part of motherhood - the arms that were made to hold and nurture, have to open wide and let go. That starts when they become toddlers, and continues until they leave the home. But leaving with such a wide distance just seems to unnatural to me.

I'm grieving - for the fantasies I had of my children being close. No impromptu Sunday dinners, or birthday parties, or get togethers. No sitting around the fire in the summer time. And when the family does get together, someone else will be missing.  Theirs will be the grandchildren that get a card and a check, but won't really know who we are - not really. There will be visits. But it will never be the same.

It's just going to take me some time to wrap my head around it. Not an easy thing to do for a gal with deep-seated abandonment issues anyway - but I'll manage.

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Divine Mercy Day 8




Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:

In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:


"On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls."


November - Remembering our beloved dead

 

Eighth Day
"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.













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