31 October 2008

30 October 2008

I figured this out!

Ever since Michael was big enough to figure out how to turn the DVD player on and off (which was a long time ago), the world of exercise has been turned off. I used to have a gym membership, but the only time I could go was 5 AM, and I am just not that much of a morning person. In the interest of our budget, we cancelled it. I have a ton of work out videos from when I was newly married. I actually would get up at 4:30 AM and work out before heading in to work (not sure how I did that!). The problem now was that as soon as I would put one in, Michael was sure to turn off the TV or DVD player. Going walking wasn't an option for him either as he won't get in a stroller. If I have to walk at his pace, it's no workout.

A couple of months ago, my mother-in-law bought me Wii Fit. I was excited, but not. You see, this wonderful tool weighs you. on carpet (because my living room is carpeted!). (You DO know that a scale will weigh you heavier on carpet-don't believe me, try it!). It also gives you a BMI (yuck), and changes your Mii (the virtual version of you) to look like, well, you. After I set it up, I was not in the mood to see Mii everyday. Plus, there was the Michael factor. Would he turn this off?

So, this morning, I braved it. The overweight Mii and Michael. Know what happened? Michael was MESMERIZED! ("Do it again, Mama!") I actually got a good workout in! And as you do more, it unlocks more activities! I love Wii Fit! I. am. hooked.

One side note, I ran today. It wasn't too bad, but I have ALWAYS hated running (bad memories of 12 minute runs in high school). Syd, I still don't know how you do it!

29 October 2008

Associations Again

The LA Times apparently has a video of Obama at a dinner for Rashid Khalidi who was spokesperson for the PLO (1976-82) when it was known as a terrorist organization. The dinner was a send-off in 2003 when Khalidi was going to teach at Columbia.

Again, I am questioning why people are not looking at his associations. Again, I am questioning why we can't see the tape. Look, I understand that the journalist made a deal to not release the tape with the person who offered it up. In order to hold onto integrity, I understand that you don't divulge a source, but to not release the tape is so wrong.

I am asking people to look at Obama's character. There are just too many shady people that he associates with. If you haven't heard about the story, here is the article. Below is a video about the story.


The studying continues...

Yesterday, I was quizzing Peter for his Social Studies test. He had a review sheet that they had worked on in groups. I was looking it over before we started. I asked him, "Peter, who settled El Paso, Texas?" His response, "You know, Nate, Nate of Americans." I looked at his paper and it did indeed say Nate of Amerikans. (He also told me who in his group came up with that one, but that student will remain anonymous-there are moms from our school who read our blog.) Still, not catching on ( I am very slow!), I went to the book. Then it hit me. El Paso was settled by Native Americans! He is well aware of the correct answer, now.

27 October 2008

The Life of a Third Grader

My oldest, Peter, is in third grade. This year has been kind of an eye opener for me-and I say that even as a teacher. The work is more challenging, and there is a more of it. This week is going to be a killer.

You see, first quarter ends on Friday. I understand that the teachers want to get certain grades in before Friday. With that in mind, Peter has a Math test tomorrow, a Social Studies test Wednesday, a Science test Thursday and the usual Spelling test Friday. He also has a project for Social Studies due on Thursday.

One thing that has struck me this year is that I need to work with Peter on his studying skills. I came to this realization last month with the first Science test. I helped him study every night for a week. With so many tests this week, that plan will not be an option.

He still has two more pages left on his project. It is a booklet about the community he lives in. Tomorrow after school, we will be driving around taking pictures of interesting things in our town. And then the studying will begin. Thank goodness soccer is over!

Lemon Pie Recipe

Therese over at Aussie Coffee Shop made a request for the Lemon Pie Recipe that I made last week. The recipe can be found at this link. I didn't want to post it her because I know nothing about copyright infringement. It is a really easy recipe! Enjoy!

25 October 2008

A Request from Fr. Corapi

A Call for a Rosary NovenaBy Fr. John Corapi
www.fathercorapi.com

Among the most important titles we have in the Catholic Church for the Blessed Virgin Mary are Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary. These titles can be traced back to one of the most decisive times in the history of the world and Christendom. The Battle of Lepanto took place on October 7 (date of feast of Our Lady of Rosary), 1571. This proved to be the most crucial battle for the Christian forces against the radical Muslim navy of Turkey. Pope Pius V led a procession around St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City praying the Rosary. He showed true pastoral leadership in recognizing the danger posed to Christendom by the radical Muslim forces, and in using the means necessary to defeat it. Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons, and this more than anything was a battle that had its origins in the spiritual order—a true battle between good and evil.

Today we have a similar spiritual battle in progress—a battle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, truth and lies, life and death. If we do not soon stop the genocide of abortion in the United States, we shall run the course of all those that prove by their actions that they are enemies of God—total collapse, economic, social, and national. The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation.

God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable formal teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English.

A single abortion is homicide. The more than 48,000,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade in the United States constitute genocide by definition. The group singled out for death—unwanted, unborn children.No other issue, not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion.

I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well‐formed Catholic conscience.

Please copy, email, link and distribute this article freely.

God Bless You
Fr. John Corapi

24 October 2008

Last of the Lemons!


Today I used up the last of the lemons on our tree by making a lemon supreme pie (yes, it is like the one at Baker's Square). Pastry shell, cream cheese filling, lemon filling and then more cream cheese filling on top. It is Andy's favorite! See how the lemon peeks out? YUM!

I am king of the castle! F x 4





These boys of mine each want to be king of the castle!
You have a few more years for that, boys!

Check out more Friday Fun at Candid Carrie!

23 October 2008

Oh What A Night!

When I gave up teaching after Peter was born, I did a stint as a medical receptionist in my pediatrician's office in the evenings. I worked there for not quite 2 years until Drew was born. I noticed that about 4-6 weeks into the school year, the office would be packed with colds, stomach flu, ear infections. When my kids started school, it came as no surprise that around October one of them would have a cold.

Well, this year we made it until almost the end of 1st quarter. Drew came home coughing yesterday. I wasn't sure at that point whether he was sick or if it was his allergies. We went about the afternoon with the usual schedule of snack and homework.

Then, at dinner, as I had gotten up to go to the counter for something, I hear Andy jump up. I asked him what was going on-Michael threw up. Oh man, here we go. In retrospect, I don't think he was sick. I think he may have gagged on something (my boys have hyper gag reflexes!).

All seemed OK, but Drew. That cough. We got everyone in bed, and I was about to go to bed myself. Then I heard it. The barking. Yep. Croup. I called the doctor to see if I should take him in because Drew is my boy who gets into coughing jags and can't stop. Drew is my boy who coughs until he throws up (which he did). She said to try the shower and if it didn't help, to take him in. The shower helped enough to get him a little comfortable. We set him up in the recliner in their room so he'd be upright. I laid on his bed.

He coughed through the night but got some sleep. He's still barky. I think he may need an inhaler again. We will be off to the doctor later this morning for that. Oh yeah, I already had an appointment for Peter. Soccer has been causing him knee pain. Here we go!

22 October 2008

Totally Random

I just realized I can type without looking at the keys...Big deal, I know, but you have to understand that I was too busy in high school with advanced classes and vocal classes to bother to take typing. I was just surprised to discover this today! Sorry for the mundane post, but I was excited...

Musings

I have to say that I have been posting these videos because they state the case for the election so much better than I can. The post I am writing right now has been turning around in my head for about 3 weeks. I am hoping that I can do it justice.

I have spent a lot of time on my blog stating the case for pro-life. I don't think that I need to say much more here than to say that the sanctity of life is in danger right now. As a Catholic, I cannot in good conscience vote for a pro-abortion, pro-infanticide candidate. Obama voted 4 times against the Born Alive Act which would protect babies born alive after an abortion. This IS infanticide. He has promised to sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act. I cannot condone this act. There is no reason to kill a baby at any point in a pregnancy. John McCain has been consistently pro-life.

Many people are worried about the economy. I am too. The Republicans are the only ones in recent years to give us a tax cut, and I am not among the wealthy. With Obama's economic plan, a family making $42,000 per year would have their taxes go up. People who do not pay taxes would get refunds every year-who would pay for it? We would!

This country's defense would be at risk as well under an Obama Presidency. Whether you are for or against the war in Iraq, we cannot pull out now. The surge did work. We need to finish what was started. John McCain has the experience to do this.

On the issue of health care, I do not want socialized health care. We would all be in long lines just to get our children in for a routine check-up.

As I have said, many others can say these things better than I can. I am asking you check out this link. It is filled with Obama's own words and records. Please take a look and give it some thought. I am praying for hearts to change.

21 October 2008

He's at it again!

One of my new favorite conservatives is out with a new video. Check it out...he makes a lot of sense-if you are willing to keep an open mind!


20 October 2008

Authentic Feminism

I have asked in the past for you to check out Hope Alexander's blog, Reflections of Hope. I am asking you to go over there to read her musings on what feminism means. Feminism is not about a woman's right to choose. To quote Hope, "True feminism celebrates the essence of woman and seeks to appreciate and work in accordance with her nature." Please check out this thoughtful piece!

School Pictures!

As long as I was posting, I thought I would add the boys school pictures.
I thought they turned out well this year!

Drew, age 5.


Peter, age 8.
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What a stinker!


Truly-root canal would have been more fun! Saturday we had to go have pictures taken for my in-laws anniversary. My mother-in-law asked for a portrait of her 5 grandchildren together-this is easier than my side of the family which has 25 grandchildren, but it was still a feat nonetheless. My sister-in-law drove in with her two kids. We had an 8 year-old, 2 five year olds, and 2 three year olds, and it is my little Michael who was the problem child (the other 3 year old is a girl-enough said!).
So we arrive at the studio, and are ushered into a small room. The photographer starts to pose the kids-can I say here that they don't get paid enough? The first round goes off fine, then she tries another pose. Michael decided he was done. I threatened time out, Andy threatened no pizza for dinner. He wanted this huge pumpkin that was on a shelf. So we did the next shot with him sitting on a pumpkin. In the end, this was the one we went with (when I get the email link, I will post the picture). We have a huge plastic pumpkin in the picture.
I also wanted to try to get Michael's 3 year old shots done as well as a picture of just my 3 boys to use as a Christmas card photo. Although he was really naughty for the individual shots (he threw the pumpkin, and then tried to play chase behind the backdrop), she got a ton of really cute pictures! He is such a little stinker!
The picture of just my 3 boys? Never happened. We'll end up doing something ourselves probably on Thanksgiving.
As we were waiting for our photos, my sister-in-law said, "well, you could come back for the Christmas shot." Umm, no...I think I'll pass!

17 October 2008

16 October 2008

How can I argue with that?

So, I am sitting and trying to get some work accomplished. This week has been a blur between my online teaching job in the evenings, and scoring essays for the most recent SATs. I have been fighting a migraine all day, and it has been a LONG afternoon. School is out, homework is done, and I have just pulled an apple pie out of the oven.

As I half-heartedly sat down to read what feels like the millionth essay, I heard Drew chanting, "Dirty underwear, dirty underwear!" I asked him to stop. He looked at me and changes to, "Fly on the wall, fly on the wall!" (Annoying Miley Cyrus song-thanks to my niece, Meghan!). Again, I asked him to stop. One last time, he looked at me and said, 'I'm John McCain and I approve this message!" He knew I wouldn't make him stop that one!

Gone to Africa!


My friend, Evy, has left on her journey to Africa. This trip has been planned for a really long time, and I am glad that she finally is going. Please keep her in your prayers over the next month as she is among the refugees in Central Africa. Be safe, Evy!

15 October 2008

13 October 2008

I am worried...



Is this not cause for concern?

Busy Morning


I took Michael for a real haircut this morning. I am so glad I did. Normally I buzz his hair myself and he screams and cries. The lady was wonderful! He sat patiently, and was rewarded with a sucker when we were done. My hubby is going to say it is too short, but I love it!

Then we ran to the grocery store to pick up odds and ends. Grocery shopping is so much easier with just one child! Gas prices are really coming down around here ($2.85 per gallon), so I am hoping it will be reflected in groceries a bit as well. On the way out of the store, I asked Michael is he was ready. Creepy, middle-aged grocery bagger man replied, "I'm ready!" EWW! GROSS!

Odds and Ends



We were treated to a visit from my brother. Sal this weekend! He came in to see my nephew play football mainly, but then he also came to see my boys play soccer. This meant a lot to me, because of my siblings, he is the other soccer parent in the bunch of us. Drew scored a couple of goals, and Peter did pretty well as goalie. Michael, well, I think we only had to run onto the field to get him about 3 times!



I have had questions about the rally! We went to see McCain and Palin late last week. I went with friends, but took Peter with me to show him some history. We were in line for about 2 hours which meant we were seated behind the media! It didn't matter, though, because it just felt really good to be surrounded by people who want the same thing!



I would like to say that I got pictures of John McCain and Sarah Palin, but couldn't. I tried taking pictures of them from the big screens that were up in the overflow area, but Andy said that, well, they looked like I took them from a TV. Oh well!

12 October 2008

I needed this...

Sorry I haven't been around much. It is SAT reading time, so I have been super busy. I went to a McCain/Palin rally last week, and I promise my thoughts are coming soon, but for now, enjoy!


10 October 2008

Look at his character...

Please read this article by Charles Krauthammer about Barack Obama and his associations. I think it is important!

08 October 2008

Indulge Me...

I have been feeling very disheartened in the past week or so because of the election. I remember feeling this way both in 1992 and 1996. I walked around with this feeling in the pit of my stomach fearful of what the outcome of the election would be. I do take my stance on faith and politics personally. I am not sure how a person-liberal or conservative-could not. I care about my country, I love my country. I am saddened and scared at the thought of what might occur in this country dependent on the outcome of the election, specifically if the Democrats win.

I want to thank those of you who have been so supportive of my speaking out in this forum. And to those of you who have either clicked off the page, chosen not to comment, or left a less than flattering comment, that is OK too. We are blessed to live in a land with freedom of speech.

I found this video posted on another blog. I am not sure who this man is, but wow, he gets the picture! What is interesting is that he is from a family of liberals but has the courage to make his case for the conservative movement. Enjoy!

07 October 2008

Food for Thought

+JMJ+ has posted some videos from Fr. Corapi about the upcoming election. While he does not endorse a candidate by name, these reflections provide some important food for thought. I urge you to take the time to watch them. I decided to post them here because they are that good. Fr. Corapi also has an amazing life story, so you can check out his website here.




06 October 2008

Baking Day

This...

became this...


Andy and I invested in a Meyer lemon tree 2 years ago. It was tiny!
Last year, we had two lemons (we shouldn't have had any).
This year, we had 8.
We could have had more, but by cutting back some of the blossoms, we should get better tasting, jucier fruit, and
next year even more fruit!
I love lemons!
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05 October 2008

I have a confession to make...

I hate Halloween. There. I said it. I have never liked the holiday, not even when I was little. My sister and I have talked about it. My parents weren't big on it. By the time I came around, I was walked down our block by whichever sibling of mine could be dragged into taking me.


As a mom, I put on a brave face every year. My boys usually have pretty good costumes, and we go all out on trick or treating. I am a little late this year, but I have begun the costume hunt. Peter wants to be a football player, and Drew wants to be Pikachu from Pokemon. Sounds simple, right? NOPE!


Every Pikachu costume online is out of stock. I have been placed on the we'll let you know if we get them list-I am not optimistic! I looked on eBay. Basically, unless I want to pay $170 for it, I am out of luck. I told Andy we could do it if we could get a yellow sweatsuit or footie pajamas. Oh, I live in a dream world...yellow is not an "in" color this year. At this point, I am not sure what I am going to do!


Then we move onto Peter. I know that JCPenney has football costumes every year. They have them and they are reasonable. Guess what? They are out-of-stock on both the Packers and the Badgers. Again, what's a girl to do?


Oh, and notice the absence of a costume for Michael. I was in Dallas last Halloween for my college reunion. I left with all of the boys' costumes ready-Peter was a doctor, Drew was Scooby Doo, and Michael was supposed to be a honey pot. Michael threw a fit, and so Andy dressed him in street clothes and dabbed red on his nose and cheeks. He calls that a clown-tell me what you think...
Assuming that he won't dress up this year, Andy wants to do the same thing...I want to throw him in his striped overalls and get a train engineer hat...Andy says he won't wear the hat.
Are you starting to see why I hate Halloween?

01 October 2008

Musings...Changes

Life is full of peaks and valleys. I can see it in friendships. I can see it in my kids. I can see it in my faith. I have been a practicing Catholic my entire life, and am very happy to be one. I love my faith. I am saddened to see anyone, especially people I love, fall away from that faith. I have seen family members and friends leave the Church, sometimes very vocally, sometimes not, but when they leave, it fills me with sadness.



I notice in my life that my faith will hit these points where it is like I am hitting a wall. I get these reminders that I am not doing enough. I feel like I am getting that message with my blog. Slowly, but surely, I feel like I am being asked to do more. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy writing about my family and about the general rants and ravings I have going on, and those won't stop, but I feel like I am being called to write more things of substance. My faith and my beliefs are such an important part of who I am, and I feel like I need to write about that.



I think what worries me is that I feel like I have made friends out here in the blogosphere, but by cutting off this part of me, I am not being honest about myself. That is my fear. I can see it when I post about political or pro-life issues. I don't have as many comments. The silence speaks volumes. That being said, I feel that I need to share these things from time to time.



This is one of those times. I want to share a post I wrote last December. It speaks about me and it speaks about the pro-life issue. The reason I am re-posting this is because we are in another election year, and this is an important issue. Here it is:

Quite often I am pegged in the six pack (I admit sometimes I am the one who does the pegging) as the misfit, as the conservative one, the one who doesn't think the way everyone else does. I decided it is time to do some musings on what makes me, well, me.

When we decided to do some writing and see what we came up with, I did give some thought to how it is that the six of us have remained friends for so long when, quite often, in many ways, we are drastically different. I have always said that women are their own worst enemy. I truly believe this to be the case. Women are critical about everything: how we look, what we believe in, working mom vs. stay-at-home mom, breast-feeder vs. bottle-feeder just to name a few. I had never really thought I was so different as a female growing up, even in those difficult teen years. It was when I had just graduated from college that I really began to feel the pressure of how different we, as women, can be...

The year was 1992. I had just graduated from the University of Dallas, a very conservative Catholic school. I had spent most of my college years involved being involved in college politics. I was a member of College Republicans, Crusaders for Life, as well as co-chair of Young Conservatives of Texas, UD chapter. I went out praying in front of abortion clinics, even marched at the pro-life rally in D.C. in 1991 on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It was an incredible experience, and I was surrounded by people, including many strong women who felt just like me. Then I came home after graduation and reconnected with my high school friends, and I discovered how it feels when people, particularly women, don't believe in what you do.

1992 was an election year. Bush (41) was up for re-election. A relative unknown named Bill Clinton was seeking the presidency as well. I was at dinner with friends, and the election came up. I said I was voting for Bush. It never occurred to me that these women I had known for so many years (8 at the time) could possibly vote any differently. "How can you not be voting pro-life?" I asked. (I do realize that this is not the only issue, but this was and is still a big one for me) "You're a woman! How can you not be pro-choice?" was the response I received. I was absolutely dumbfounded...how could this be? Why don't they think the way I do? How can I change their mind? How can they be my friends?

You see, I used to take politics very personally. I used to feel slighted if someone didn't feel the way I do. I came to realize that I would live a very anxiety ridden life if I continued to feel this way. I do, at this point in my life, feel both compelled and not at all apologetic for my beliefs. So, it is at this point that I can explain why I am not pro-abortion, but instead 100% pro-life. I am putting it all here in black and white for you to read. Not to start an argument, but to help explain who I am and what I believe.

I do believe that life begins at conception, that God gives each of us a soul from the moment that little sperm hooks up with an egg. That is the core of my belief, and because of it I feel there is no possible reason to end that life. There is always another option. There have been many experiences in my life that have solidified this thought for me.

When I was in college, I was diagnosed as rupturing ovarian cysts. This was very painful, but the more important issue was that there was a possibility that I could not have children due to the scarring that would occur from this. I would stand outside of abortion clinics on Saturday mornings praying the rosary for the women who would go there that day that they would have a change of heart. I knew that there were other women who definitely could not have children and would love the opportunity to adopt the baby they were carrying.

In my senior year of college, I decided to look at the abortion issue from another dimension. I was a psychology major and had to write a thesis on a given topic. I set out to study the psychological effect abortion has on a woman. This was a year long project that involved interviewing women who had had an abortion. These women suffered for years with the guilt of what they had done. Many turned to drugs and alcohol and hit rock bottom. It wasn't until they had gone through intensive counseling that they could deal with their pain. To me, this is one of the biggest disservices that the women's movement has done. They tell you it is your body, your choice, but they don't tell you you're going to feel like crap emotionally for a very long time, if not forever. A couple of years ago, I actually had a friend tell me about her abortion 20 years after she had it and about how bad she still felt. In the end, I never felt it was her choice, but one her parents and boyfriend foisted upon her.

Last, and probably most importantly, I think that becoming a mother made me pro-life in a way that no other experience could. I love these new commercials by the Veritas Society with the very early pictures of babies in the womb. I don't think I can begin to describe in words how carrying a baby makes me feel, but I will try. I, as a woman, as a mother, have been given such a special privilege to not only create life (with the help of God and my husband :) ), but to feel that baby develop and grow inside me. There is nothing like seeing the heart beat at that very early ultrasound, or even better, hearing it! There is nothing like feeling the baby kick for the first time. We are so blessed as women to be able to do this important job of carrying, and developing that new life in-utero. It is so special and so important that I do firmly believe that to end that life is not only detrimental to the baby, but also to the woman. There is always another option!So, ladies, this is where my entry ends. I was finally able to answer the question posed to me 15 years ago.

These are my beliefs, and I am proud of them. I also feel secure enough in myself and in our friendship to be able to explain to you.