Friday, April 30, 2010

A Giveaway at A Broken Fortress

I would love to win the giveaway over at Allison's blog!

The winner of this giveaway gets to pick their favorite bracelet from one of these three. I love them all, but I think the blue pearl is my favorite!

I love giveaways!

Baby Dies Two Days After Abortion

This article is heartbreaking...
"...The UK Telegraph reported April 28 that in the town of Rossano, Italy, a 22 week-old baby boy was aborted alive, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached and left alone to die. 20 hours later, he was discovered by a priest who went to pray beside his body and noticed that the baby was moving and breathing. Doctors then had the baby taken to a neighboring hospital to be cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit, where he ultimately died, nearly two days after being ripped from his mother's womb and discarded like trash.

His mother decided to end his life because prenatal scans suggested he was disabled. Suggested. Possibly disabled; declared unworthy to live. He was murdered by heartless animals wearing lab coats, who have medical degrees hung in frames on their office walls. He was handed over to death by the one who was entrusted by God with his care, and he was killed and thrown away by those who take an oath to "first do no harm..."

Continue reading.
I can't even find words to respond to this evil.

How can anyone think that ending an innocent, defenseless life, could possibly be a "right?"

(Photo from

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I've Been Working On: Necklaces!

I have been keeping my hands extra busy these last few days. The reason? Necklaces!

I love making rosaries and bracelets, but these last few days while I've been waiting for my next order of cross and rosary centers to come in, I've been hooked on making necklaces (thankfully the crosses arrived yesterday, because I have a line of rosaries without crosses and centers just waiting to be put together and I didn't want to make too many more because I was just getting more and more impatient for my order to arrive!).

Here's what I've come up with so far:

They aren't all posted on my store yet, because I was having so much fun making them, but most of them are. I've almost finished a new favorite with a very simple medal of Mary inside of a silver rose.

Now I have to run and go back to setting up for tomorrow's yard sale... I've been trying to figure out a price for my snowboard (it's a carbon racing board with step in bindings) and found out that it's officially a "vintage" board because it's from the 1990s. I'm feeling old this morning... although that could also be the ten pound baby (she must be that big! really!) that's insisting on sitting in the breach position right below my ribs.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Maggie Rose's Baptismal Gown

I haven't done much baby shopping this time around because, with a not yet two year old daughter, we pretty much have everything we need (we have been stocking up on diapers!). I finally bought three little Maggie outfits at Costco and two little outfits at Walmart and so have now spend a whooping $30 on Maggie's wardrobe. Last night though, I finally splurged (after talking it over with Paul the night before and made the one big purchase I'll be making before Maggie's born (I'm not counting the kind of big purchase of a new crib mattress since Sadie is sleeping on the old one in her toddler bed.

Maggie's very own Baptismal Gown.

I always wanted to buy each of children there own (I know it's not the tradition!) because I wanted to have them framed afterwards in shadow boxes that would hang in our house and then get passed on to each child when they were grown (I had a friend who's parents had there's framed and I loved it!).

I discovered One Small Child when I was pregnant with Sadie and that's where her gown came from. The slips can be embroidered and we've gotten a Shamrock, the baby's name and the date of the baptism on each one. Sadie wore the Virginia and now Maggie will wear the Lydia.

Here are pictures of Maggie's from the website:

Proofreading and a Busy Week (and an Origen Quote!)

We are in the midst of a very busy week. This weekend Paul has his last two classes for the year and will be handing in two twenty page papers. I just finished proofreading the first, which was on Origen and my brain, usually tired from sleep deprivation, is a little tired from editing. However I did manage to find an Origen quote that I liked and wanted to share here:
“For I am of opinion that there is a certain limit to the powers of human nature, although there may be a Paul, of whom it is said, “He is a chosen vessel unto Me;” or a Peter, against whom the gates of hell do not prevail; or a Moses, the friend of God: yet not one of them could sustain, without destruction to himself, the whole simultaneous assault of these opposing powers, unless indeed the might of Him alone were to work in him, who said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

-Origen; De Principiis, Vol. 1, 32.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Adventures in Nap Time...

Sadie is having a bit of a struggle with her sleep patterns. I think she may be going through a growth spurt, or maybe she’s just exhausted because the weather’s been nicer so she’s been doing a lot of running around outside.

Whatever the reason, we have had a tough couple of days.

Sadie usually wakes up at 6:30 on the dot each morning, takes a nap from 1:30-3:00pm each day and then falls asleep at 7:30 at night.

This arrangement had worked well for us for quite a while.

Suddenly though, she’s exhausted by 10:30am. The other day on the way home from morning Mass she even fell asleep and didn’t wake up until halfway through lunch. Unfortunately, even the early nap didn’t seem to be enough, and she was very cranky by bedtime (and I didn’t really want to put her down before her bedtime, because every time I’ve tried that she’s ended up wide awake and ready to play at 4am).

Is she suddenly back to two naps a day again (I’m going to try it out and see if it works)?

She even slept this morning until 7:15, which is very late for the princess bunny.

As we work out her new sleep schedule, things have been pretty cranky around here. And she’s frustrated with Mommy for not figuring out what’s going to work next more quickly…

Tomorrow I think I’ll try out two naps again and hope that it works. Otherwise we might have a few more days with the grumpy little princess storming around the house.

Daily Dose of Cuteness: The Princess Bunny Ballerina... Part II

Sadie's usually pretty good at Mass...

She's been going since she was eight days old and she knows supposed to be sit quietly....

She even pays attention for the most part... we sit in the front so she can see everything perfectly and that usually works really well.

We went yesterday and the day before though and it was definitely something of a trial to keep the tiny Princess Bunny quiet. I'm really hoping that this is not a new trend. Today's Daily Dose of Cuteness shows how Sadie passed out on the way home (three hours before nap time) because she was so tired from battling Mommy and Daddy who, for some reason, insisted that she be quiet...

Yesterday she did have a moment of cuteness when Father said "let us begin" and she shouted from the front row "Yay!" but after that she decided it was fun to pinch Mommy (where did that come from?!?!?!) and make sounds like a baby chipmunk chattering away. Daddy had to take her to the back twice and before this week, that hasn't happened in ages!

Paul gets to come with us to Mass this morning too (his new daytime schedule is really working out nicely!) and we're all hoping everything goes smoothly... and that it's not another attack of the Wild Princess Bunny!

The Pill Linked to AIDS

I was actually pretty surprised when I read this article this morning, not because there's a connection between the two, but because the findings say that hormonal contraceptives speed up the replication of the virus. I can't say I'm surprised that I haven't see much about the results of these studies in the news and I don't expect they'll start reporting on it anytime soon. The pill and depo shots are placed on a pedestal in our culture because of the "freedom" that they offer and suggesting that it might not be a great idea to pump hormones into your body for decades won't be a popular one. After all, we should all be able to do whatever we want without consequences, right?

It doesn't matter that reality doesn't actually work like that...
"The science is settled"
Contraceptive pill linked to AIDS

FRONT ROYAL, VA /Christian Newswire/ -- According to Joan Robinson, a researcher at the Population Research Institute, studies show that there is a strong scientific link between hormonal contraceptives and a woman's risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

According to Robinson, more than 50 medical studies to date have investigated a link between hormonal contraceptive use and HIV/AIDS infection. "The science is settled," Robinson says. "Hormonal contraceptives -- the oral pill and Depo-Provera -- increase almost all known risk factors for HIV, from upping a woman's risk of infection, to increasing the replication of the HIV virus, to speeding the debilitating and deadly progression of the disease."

This scientific consensus has received almost no publicity to date, Robinson continues, because of strong economic and ideological forces that push the pill.

Read the entire article here.

Edited to Add:

Here are a few articles that offer more information-

The Pill's Deadly Affair with HIV/AIDS-This gives a lot more information from the studies and has footnotes with links.
And here the Population Research Institutes Version (with their sources too)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Full of Grace Black Pearl Rosary Giveaway

Here's another Full of Grace Rosary Giveaway!

This Rosary is 28 inches around and made with black glass beads and hand twisted wire.

I've also decided on the next giveaway! It will be a strand of my sacrifice beads! I just got in the order of miraculous medals that I've been waiting for (although I'm now waiting less patiently on the crosses that I ordered first... I'm starting to worry that they got lost between Canada and California!) and so I'd better get to work!

To enter in the giveaway leave your email address so that I can contact you in the comment section.

For three extra entries become a follower and let me know that you'd like the three extra entries in the comment section! Or if you're already a follower just leave a note in the comments saying that you'd like the three "follower" extra entries.

Lastly you can get another five entries if you blog about the giveaway and let me know!

I'll draw the winner on Sunday, May 2nd after 12 pm Pacific Time so make sure you enter by then. And don't worry if you don't win! I plan on doing three more giveaways in the next couple of months!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Full of Grace St. Gerard Rosary Bracelet Giveaway: And the Winner is...

And the winner of the Full of Grace Creations St. Gerard Rosary Bracelet Giveaway is....

Congratulations simplecycle07 on your win! Just let me know which of the colors you'd like me to make the bracelet (white, off white, black or grey glass pearl or silver plated brass and I'll get it made and have it in the mail right away!

And for everyone who entered and didn't win, I will be posting another drawing tomorrow that will run until Sunday. I just have to decide what it's going to be for tonight...

Head Covering of the Week

I love snoods. I love how they look and I love how they stay in place when tiny hands are desperately trying to rip them off of my head!

I periodically will give the chapel veil another try, only to have Sadie remind me five minutes into Mass of the reason that I made the switch in the first place when she rips the veil off my head, hair pins and all and places it on her own (even when I bring her her very own veil!). And someday in the far off future, when there are no little hands grabbing at my hair, I'll be able to master wearing the chapel veil, problem free, through an entire Mass.

But for the next few years I'll probably be leaning more towards wearing snoods for the most part (and sometimes hats, although Sadie gets pretty obsessed with the brim of my hats too... but at least hats don't involve pins!).

I love the site that this snood is from and I love this twist on the traditional way of wearing a snood!

Snoods have the additional benefit of keeping your hair out of the way while your going about your day! They really are very practical!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Full of Grace St. Gerard Rosary Bracelet Giveaway Reminder!

I just thought I'd post a reminder to anyone who wants to enter tomorrow's giveaway! It'll be tomorrow afternoon, so there's just a little time left!

Home Sweet Home: Safe For Now...

I grew up in a small town, in a rural county. When I was young it was common knowledge that the county sheriff was incredibly corrupt. We knew someone that he’d threatened. And everyone in the county heard the stories about how he’d been pulled over, yet again, so drunk that he could hardly stand, and then driven home without any sort of record being filed. In some places stories like that might have stayed a secret, but in a very rural county it only takes one person telling a family member about the little scandal from that night’s shift and by morning the story would have likely spread to the furthest reaches of the county.

I learned one lesson though, at a very young age: It’s hard to feel safe when the people who are in power are downright scary.

We realized early on when we moved to our current home that we were blessed with a good sheriff, who cares about the people of our county and respects and upholds the law. Law enforcement here may be limited in their successes because of the size of the county and the scarcity of resources, but they haven’t been hindered by the corruption that I grew up with.

Unfortunately, our sheriff is going to retire this summer… and we can no longer be sure that the person who follows him will care much for justice or truth.

There are three candidates in the race for sheriff.

When we heard the name of one of them it sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite put a face with the name. I asked Paul and after thinking for a moment he said “isn’t that the guy that writes all those crazy letters to the editor?” I thought for a moment. He was right. The name matched the name of the man who seemed to be in a perpetual feud with someone or another, writing long-winded rants on a weekly basis. He’s also announced in the local paper, in this week’s section on the candidates and their views, that he won’t go after drug related crimes (even involving meth, which is a major problem here too) because it’s a “victimless crime.” He’s also announced that he supports the legalization of pot, but that it absolutely should not be taxed…

He isn’t the scary option though.

There’s another candidate that takes that title and the stories I’ve heard, from people that I trust, are enough to cause my ulcer to flare up (after surviving the first trimester without needing the assistance of an internist!).

A tiny sliver from one of the stories includes these facts: He managed to delay one man’s hearing for a trial for three years (while he sat in jail) and at the end of the three years most of the charges were dropped. He was then found not guilty of the remaining charges. In our county you apparently do not have the right to a speedy trial (during that time the man’s family spent $150k on lawyers trying to get things moving) if the people in power decide that they don’t like you (unfortunately this candidate’s already a part of the “justice” system in our town).

It’s even common knowledge that he worked to get a mother’s records sealed in a court case (that still hasn’t been settled) that would involve sending two children (ages 4 and 6) back to a mother who six separate evaluations (or at least that was the last count I heard… it could well have gone up by now) said was a danger to the children’s lives. This drive to return the children to their mentally ill, drug-using mother the result of a personal vendetta he’s created (through his own very questionable actions) against the children’s current guardians, that shows his frightening disregard for what’s best for even the innocent when he’s trying to hurt someone that he doesn’t like (I’ll ask for prayers for these little ones too, because the situation that they could be put back into is very, very frightening).

It’s also become common knowledge that he and his friends have been threatening anyone who puts up an opposing candidates signs. One man called the campaign office of the other lead candidate and told them to come and get the sign he had requested the day before. He was so frightened when they showed up to get the sign, that he was stuttering and kept repeating that he’d been stupid to put up the sign in the first place, that he “just hadn’t been thinking.”

Even the newspaper (that I used to work for pre-baby days) has failed to run any of the letters that have been sent in that support the third candidate. They have run lots of glowing letters about this particular man though.

Last week the signs of this other candidate filled half the shop windows in town. A few days after I noticed the signs, a friend told me that the scary candidate (for lack of a better word to describe him) had gone from business to business having a talk with the shop owners who had made that “mistake.”

Today my dad pointed out that all of the signs were gone. Considering the daily stories that have come out about all the people who have been threatened by this candidate (and his friends) I can hardly believe that the signs are all down because everyone has suddenly decided that he’s a great guy… of course that’s just a supposition that I’ve come up with…

Still, I would be willing to bet quite a bit that the signs are down because people are afraid.

The man hasn’t even been elected and already the friendly, safe feel of our community has changed.

I am praying nightly that he never is elected.

There is a third candidate that will also be in my prayers. I’m praying that he wins and that we have another handful or years with a good, honest man heading our sheriff’s department, in spite of the smear campaign that’s been launched by the opposition.

The alternative is very frightening.

In fact, it’s so frightening that I haven’t used any of the candidates names in this post… my regular readers know me well enough to know that I don’t usually censor myself… but after a lot of thought I realized that if I were to use the names I would be putting my family at risk and at this point I’m really not sure what this man is capable of. In fact, I was hesitant to write about this at all… but since writing is how I deal with frustrations, in the end my need to vent about this won out…

More Time Outs!

We had yet another funny time out the other day.

Sadie had another incident that involved pushing a cat (Delilah, of course, because she’s the only cat that’s brave enough to spend a significant amount of time with Sadie) off of the ottoman in the middle of the living room. She knows that this is a major no-no.

So she wasn’t surprised when Nani and I both said “no” at the same time, as Delilah fled across the room, and I followed it with, “Sadie, go to the time out corner. You know you don’t push cats. It’s time for a time out.”

Sadie turned, walked across the room and walked over to the hallway corner. I was sitting in a chair in the living room and decided I would give something new a try. The time out corner was just out of site from where I was sitting, but I could hear Sadie walk to it and sit down. When she sat down I started to count. I got to six before I heard Sadie stand up and start to walk back into the room. She proceeded to walk over to me, grab my hand and lead me back over to the time out corner. Then she dropped my hand and sat down, content as I stood behind her and counted to ten. Then she got up and went back out to play.

She giggled through most of the time out though… and seems to think that being sentenced to a time out is pretty hilarious…

I have a feeling she’s going to be able to count to twenty pretty soon… she hears those numbers so frequently…

Doctor's Visit #6-28 Weeks- Part 2

The doctor’s appointment today went by very quickly. After the hour and a half drive that it took to get into the City the appointment lasted all of two minutes (at least we only waited for about fifteen minutes from the time we walked into the door until we saw the doctor though!).

My blood pressure was low again (Yay! And the headaches have been few and far between lately) and everything was normal. The doctor said that Maggie is the “perfect” size. She also said that the largest baby she’s ever delivered was around 10 ½ lbs. Upon hearing that answer Paul seemed to get a little competitive and now appears to be hoping for some sort of a record…

I, however, would be thrilled with a 7 lb. baby! It would be much easier on my back… I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I would be thrilled if it did!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Daily Dose of Cuteness: The Princess Bunny Ballerina

Doctor's Visit #6-28 Weeks- Part 1

I just have time for a quick post before we head into the City for the 28 week doctor's appointment. Sadie wasn't thrilled about getting right up this morning, because instead of climbing into bed for a cuddle, we went straight out to have breakfast. To make up for this change in scheduling I have already spent some time in the tent we set up downstairs for Sadie, while she glared at everyone else who dared to say "good morning" to her (it looked like she wanted to tell Daddy that she didn't see much that was "good" about it).

After today we go to twice a month appointments. I can't believe we're already that close to the end! It certainly goes by more quickly when you're distracted and entertained by a toddler. Last time around I was counting the days. This time I wouldn't even know how far along I was if I didn't have the widgets on the side of my blog, and frankly, even with those I sometimes have a hard time remembering how many weeks we are. Time flies when you're having fun!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

28 Weeks!

And here's one from the latest batch of pictures taken. Maggie's head is currently wedged right up underneath my rib cage and I'm wondering how much bigger I can possibly get in the next two months. I'm also no longer resenting the hospital policy of no VBACs (as much at least). I really feel like Maggie is a lot bigger than Sadie was (at 9lbs 4 oz, 22 inches she wasn't exactly dainty) and so that's helping me be a bit more accepting of the C-Section.

27 Weeks

I'm playing catch up with my weekly picture updates. Here's a picture we took a couple of weeks ago (at 27 weeks) that shows the bump pretty well. I have to say, when I tell people how far along I am they act like I'm crazy and that I just must not know that I'm 9 months pregnant and about to pop.

Time Out!

Sadie was having a little bit of a hard time being gentle with the kitties today. After one particularly rough moment that involved Sadie pushing Delilah off of the ottoman in the middle of the living room, Nani told Sadie that she was going to have a time out. Sadie got up and walked out of the room over to the corner in the hallway where she has her time outs, sat in the corner, folded her hands in her lap and then waited for Nani to follow her in and count to ten.

A while later she was frustrated about something and swung at me (she’s been so frustrated about talking lately that she’s been having her terrible two tantrums early). I told her that if she did it again she was going to have to have a time out. She stopped mid tantrum, got up and walked out of the room again and gave herself a time out. When I followed her I found her sitting in the corner giggling.

She doesn’t seem to mind the time outs, but they do seem to give her a chance to calm down.

Sacrifice Beads and A Little Extra Motivation

I love sacrifice beads!

Two weeks ago if you'd asked me what they were I would have given you a blank look. Then I received an email on etsy asking if I could make some. So I googled it and up came a site that explained what they were and how to make them. And after some failed tries because the materials I were using weren't working (finding a flexible cord that could fit twice through the beads I had took some time) I had a set of sacrifice beads and began carrying them in my pocket to see how sturdy they were.

I must admit, I have a rather competitive personality and these days I'm the most competitive with myself. Having that little string of beads in my pocket brought out a new drive to, for lack of a better description, be good.

My husband would probably agree that I can be a little... snappy... when I have pregnancy hormones coursing through my veins (particularly in the first and third trimesters). Having a giant baby whose head is already bumping into my rib cage and whose feet are right above my bladder has not put me in the best of moods.

This last week though when I've found myself feeling short tempered I've taken a deep breath... and thought about the beads in my pocket. Several times when I was wearing a dress without pockets and didn't have the beads with me, I just imagined sliding a bead over rather than saying the thing I'd been thinking, or pushing the point I'd been making and trying to make the other person see my point of view. And it's getting easier. After only a week when I hear something that annoys me or someone says something mean, I actually have to keep from smiling, because I'm reaching into my pocket to slide a bead over...

Good deeds mean a bead slides over too.

It really can be motivating.

Sacrifice beads can also be used as a kind of pocket rosary, with one Our Father bead separated from the ten Hail Mary beads. When you pull the ten smaller sacrifice beads they slide up the row and stay in place until you pull them back again.

The story of sacrifice beads begins with the story of Saint Therese of Lisieux. As a chlid The Little Flower, along with her sisters, used a little string of beads to count their gifts of "little sacrifices" which they did out of love for God. They carried their beads with them in their pockets.

Saint Therese's "Little Way" is well known. She drew closer to God through small acts in her day to day life, saying:
“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Weather Vanes, Buckets and Tractors

Sadie is currently playing with her red tractor. Her obsession with all things tractor began months ago (around the time she was able to walk around outside and see Grumpa on his tractor) and doesn’t look as if it’s going to end any time soon. This morning Grumpa won extra points by wearing his red tractor t-shirt. Sadie was quick to spot it and had to run over to show Grumpa that she’d noticed the tractor and that she loved it.

Her interest in weather vane continues, but she’s added to it and now is very excited about looking at pictures of buckets. This is also a result of reading barn books (because apparently when I pointed her interest out to Nani she said that it had started with the Big Red Barn book upstairs) and I first noticed it this morning when she kept turning her nursery rhyme book to the Jack and Jill page and then to the front page, which also has a miniature Jack and Jill. She points out the bucket picture again and again, while I repeat, “bucket,” “bucket.”

She can also tell you that the sound that every bird makes is “bwak, bwak, bwak, bwak” (like a chicken). Every non-bird animal says “moooooooo,” which also happens to be the word for “moon.”

And the other very cute phrase that Sadie likes to say?


The Gabriel Project

"If you will have your baby, this parish will help you in every way."

These words were posted by the pastor of St. Michael Parish in Houston in 1973 and began to Gabriel Project, which developed throughout Corpus Christi and Galveston- Houston in the early nineties and has since spread throughout the entire country.

The parish community announces that they see in the creation of each child a fresh expression of God’s unfailing love and their commitment to offer assistance to pregnant mothers in need. They make this message known on a “Sign of Hope” placed in front of their church along with an expression of outreach – PREGNANT? NEED HELP? - and a toll-free phone number. When a call for help is received, the phone line volunteer contacts the parish coordinator at the nearest participating church to where the caller lives. The coordinator contacts the caller and makes an initial assessment of her situation. A parish volunteer (“Angel”) is assigned the responsibility for ongoing contact with the mother throughout her pregnancy and somewhat beyond. An initial meeting is arranged to further assess her needs. The parish community responds with love by providing spiritual, emotional, and material support to help meet those needs. Through prayer and action the parish community assures the mother that she has their love and the love of Christ.
The Gabriel Project's assistance can also include, friendship and emotional support, pastoral care and counseling, transportation, prenatal care, baby items, education, employment, housing, adoption and financial assistance.

I frequently find myself writing negative things about the direction certain parts of California seem to be headed in, so it's always nice to find something positive.

Archbishop Goerge Niederauer is encouraging pastors in his archdiocese to support the project, noting in a letter back in January that the Gabriel Project answers the call of the USCCB in their "Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities," which aims at developing or adopting "a parish-based ministry to pregnant women and their children."

It would be wonderful to see this continuing to spread across California, an alternative to the sort of "help" that groups like Planned Parenthood are so determined to use tax payer dollars to offer.

(picture from the Gabriel Project's website)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sadie Sleeps!

Sadie slept through the night last night in her big girl bed! I put her down a little before eight and she showed up standing next to my bed staring at me and making little puppy whimpering sounds some time around 6. Ten whole hours of toddler sleep!

I'm really hoping it lasts! We switched over to Pull Ups two nights ago, because the normal diapers were no longer working at night and I'm not sure how the switch is contributing to her suddenly sounder sleep, but there does seem to be a connection. She went from waking up five to eight times a night, to waking up three times a night two nights ago, to sleeping through the night last night! That's really quick progress and it makes me love Sadie's new little pink princess Pull Ups (which she's quite thrilled with too because of the whole pink princess aspect of them).

I remember that third trimester sleep usually isn't the best... but I'll take all the sleep that I can get these days! Sleeping from ten to six last night was a dream come true!

I Take Back All the Worries I Had About Pull Ups!

We are on Day #3 of night time Pull-Ups and I have to take back all the worries that I had about the night time switch. Sadie has not had a diaper leak for two consecutive nights AND it seems that she's actually sleeping better! She slept through the night last night for the first time in months (and I think it was the third time in her entire life).

Amazingly, I also slept through the night last night (and I can honestly say that it was the first time I'd slept through the night since some time during the third trimester when I was pregnant with her... which would put it at sometime around two years ago). I feel so rested this morning!

I want to thank everyone who had advice and ideas on the whole situation! Reading the comments section really did make me feel better.

The way her size 6s currently fit is kind of strange. They're okay when she's standing up. And they're okay when she's sleeping during nap time (which seems to usually be on her side). But at bed time she flips over onto her stomach as soon as I put her down and they just don't work for very long when she's laying that way.

She is kind of tall and skinny for her age (we went to our WIC appointment yesterday and while she only weighed in at 30.6 lbs she was 35 inches tall) so I think the fit at the top of the diaper just may not be tight enough to work when she's lying down. Now that she's weaned and running around like crazy her little milk belly is almost gone (although she eats a ton of food... six times a day!) and I think that's also contributing the diaper fit.

The shape of the 3T-4T Pull Ups fits perfectly though and I was very relieved to learn that some of the brands do actually have pull tabs. Sadie is excited because the new diapers are pink with princesses!

I do think volume was another problem (although she doesn't really drink anything after dinner) but the Pull Ups seem to be handling that too (probably because they are designed for older kids). Sadie does usually drink a couple of sippy cups of milk after she wakes up from her nap between three and four, and while nap time is four whole hours away that's really the only time she drinks a lot all at once (there are always sippies lying around, but after dinner we go straight up for bath time).

So I am relieved by the way the Pull Ups are working out! They are much easier than I imagined when I was busy worrying earlier this week! What a relief!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Full of Grace St. Gerard Rosary Bracelet Giveaway!

It's Monday morning and that means that it's time for another Full of Grace Giveaway (this is the second of the four I have planned)! The winner of this giveaway will win a Saint Gerard Rosary Bracelet in your choice of Ecru (off white) glass pearl, grey glass pearl, black glass pearl, or white glass pearl. Saint Gerard is the patron Saint of Motherhood, especially pregnant women and unborn children. Here's an example of one of my Saint Gerard Rosary Bracelets that's in the shop.

To enter in the giveaway leave your email address so that I can contact you in the comment section.

For three extra entries become a follower and let me know that you'd like the three extra entries in the comment section! Or if you're already a follower just leave a note in the comments saying that you'd like the three "follower" extra entries.

Lastly you can get another five entries if you blog about the giveaway and let me know!

I'll draw the winner on Sunday, April 25th after 12 pm Pacific Time so make sure you enter by then. And don't worry if you don't win! I plan on doing two more giveaways in the next couple of weeks!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Full of Grace Rosary Giveaway: And the Winner is...

We're back from Mass and done with lunch and now that I've done the drawing it's time to announce the winner of the first Full of Grace Rosary giveaway!

I did the drawing the old fashioned way:

And the winner is...

Tiffany, who blogs over at one of my favorite blogs Life of a Catholic Librarian!

Congratulations Tiffany! As soon as you email me your information I'll get your rosary shipped!

My email is

A new giveaway will be posted tomorrow!

The Smurf Shoes (and other things that are just too small!)

We found a pair of tennis shoes that I wore to kindergarten the other day while sorting through boxes of stuff for the garage sale. Back in the day they were one of my absolute favorite things to wear. They are pink and white saddle shoes with a little blue Smurfette on the side. I was styling.

Yet we knew with one look that they wouldn’t work for Sadie… they’re already too small. While her size 9 shoes are looking a little big on her still, her size 8s are already a little too small. We’ll be searching for a shoe that actually fits later this week!

I also ran across a shirt that I got when we visited Hawaii. I was in first grade when I wore it as a normal sized t-shirt. I put it on Sadie last week and while it was a tiny bit longer than her other shirts, it was still well above her knees (actually it probably came down about half way across her diaper).

And I can completely forget putting her in a shirt that says 2T or 3T or 4T if it’s from one of those boxes. I guess sizes must have changed over the past twenty five years… they are just too tiny for our one year old! In today’s sizes she wears a 3T.

I have a feeling she’s going to be taller than me when she grows up… and I’m not too short at 5’5”.

They Don't Make Diapers in that Size...

I’m fighting a losing battle these days, and it’s all because of the diaper making companies, who refuse to admit that a child can be larger than a size six diaper and still be a “baby.” I’ve been putting off buying pull-ups, because at just under 21 months I have a very quick toddler who shows no interest in using her little princess potty as anything other than a step for climbing.

I’ve also been worried about the practicality of pull-ups. When it’s time for a diaper change I have a tiny person who sprints around the house trying to avoid me (and it’s not exactly easy to catch her now that I’m feeling gigantic and am rather slow moving). I don’t think that tossing something that doesn’t to have easy to pull tabs into the equation is going to make life easier.

Lastly I’m a bit nervous because I’ve always thoughts of Pull Ups as diapers that were used to catch “accidents.” Will they really work as well for a baby who is using them as a diaper?

So far the diapers are still working during the day (and will hopefully continue to work for a bit longer) but they are no longer working for more than an hour or two at night.

I even looked at cloth diapers in one of the baby catalogs we receive, but their XL size was way smaller than Sadie’s weight (she was three feet tall last time I measured and while I’m not convinced our scale is accurate, she repeatedly measured 43 lbs the last time she stood on it). Besides with our water shortage issues here, and with silt and mud pumping up out of the well for the majority of the year, upping the amount of laundry would hardly be a popular idea here.

All these reasons combined explain why this morning after Mass I’ll be trekking over to CVS to examine their night-time Pull-Ups. Sadie is wearing a 3T these days with most of her 2T clothes being too small.

I imagine we’re not too far away from potty training, and she is very interested in the book we read together on using, but it’s also not something I want to push with all the other changes that are going on (weaning, moving as soon as a spot opens up, and the new baby arriving before too long).

Now if she’s still not interested after she’s turned two, I might have to bring home that Potty-Elmo she always giggles at when we go to Target… and start buying every “use the potty” book that I find…

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Last Chance to Enter Full of Grace Rosary Giveaway!

Just a quick reminder for anyone who hasn't entered the giveaway yet but wants to, the drawing is tomorrow afternoon!

If you still want to enter click here and leave your information in the comment box before time runs out!

On Monday a new giveaway will be up!

Weather Vanes!

Sadie is more than a little obsessed with weather vanes. And it’s all because of her “Big Red Barn” book. One of the pages towards the front of the book says: “and on every barn is a weather vane of course, a golden flying horse.”

We read this book pretty much every night before bedtime when Sadie was tiny and she still looks at it most nights before bath time. She’s taken that particular sentence quite literally. Every barn is supposed to have a weather vane. Every barn.

Sadie has pointed out weather vanes for a long time. There’s a weather vane with an eagle on it at the local grocery store and she points to him every time we go shopping. It’s only recently that she’s starting demanding we notice buildings without weather vanes so we can observe what they don’t have.

Then she started obsessing over her barn puzzle. It has a red barn in the center that is surrounded by animals. And that red barn does not have a weather vane. Last week this caused hysterics. Sadie pointed it out to each of us, with increasing urgency until she was having a full out tantrum every time she saw it. The logical solution was to hide the puzzle, but Sadie would look for it. Finally Nani took a permanent marker and drew on a little stick figure weather vane. Sadie saw it and pointed (and actually seemed a little disappointed that she didn’t have a weather vane-less barn to point to anymore) and the tantrums finally stopped.

Luckily Sadie’s Wonder Pet School House has a big yellow weather vane. The Fischer Price barn she got for her first Christmas, however, doesn’t. This has been the latest drama. Right now there’s a red barn with a pink pig sitting on top of it sitting next to me. Yesterday Sadie has placed “Mater” the tow truck from Cars on the barn for most of the day. These are two of her favorite stand in weather vanes.

A few days ago she started going through her books and pointing out the top of every single building. She’s quite insistent. She’ll keep pointing and squealing until someone says “no weather vane.” And then she’ll get a happy little smile, turn the page and start over, pointing to the next building (or if there’s no building she points to the top of the page) and insisting that someone notice that there’s no weather vane there.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Cat Scratch

If you ask Sadie where the kitty scratched her she can show you instantly. She flips her little hand over and shows anyone who will look the tiny line that runs across the back of her wrist. It's less than an inch long, but she enjoys pointing it out, as it is one of her bigger "ouchies."

She's lucky that it isn't bigger.

Delilah is the cat version of a saint. Sadie spends all day climbing on her and following her around. I would feel a little more sympathy for Delilah, however, if when Sadie wasn't following her around the house, she would stop following Sadie. The attachment between them definitely seems to be mutual (which is completely beyond me since Sadie doesn't quite have "gentle" down yet, although we talk about it about three dozen times a day). The other cats are much better at staying out of Sadie's reach (mostly). Delilah doesn't even want to.

I rescue Delilah a few dozen times a day. And because I'm not exactly quick these days, I miss a number of cat rescues. And I have thought, every now and then, that Sadie has deserved a scratch or two. For the most part though, Delilah refuses to defend herself from Sadie's "cuddles."

Two days ago, however, I was too slow getting across the room and it resulted (finally) in Sadie's tiny scratch. Sadie was sitting on the couch next to Delilah. She was being very gentle (which is why I'd let my guard down). She'd given Delilah a few hugs, when suddenly, mid hug, she leaned too far forward and fell of the couch. And of course, she brought Delilah with her. Delilah was unharmed and Sadie didn't make a sound. But then she noticed the tiny scratch on her wrist and for the last two days has been showing everyone her ouchie.

They're inseparable again though. I'm just hoping Sadie really gets the hang of the whole "gentle" idea soon!

A Sadie and Mommy Day!

We went over our alloted internet usages (which is baffling because no one was on the computer when we supposedly were using it) which means that we've been pretty much cut off from the internet for over 24 hours (when you're over the megabytes allowed on satellite internet, which is something like 120 a day, they slow the connection down so that it's slower than dial up and most pages won't load at all). Thankfully, the 24 hours is over. I really admire all of you who gave up online time totally and completely for Lent!

Sadie has so much energy! I am constantly amazed! Our day today went something like this:

3am- I hear Paul wake up and leave for his long drive down to school.

6:30am- Sadie wakes up and is ready to go! We meet Nani in the kitchen and Sadie greedily grabs her glass of milk and starts to gulp. We go into Nani and Grumpa's living room to watch the morning news. Sadie is a cuddle bug.

7:00am- I run upstairs to get cleaned up and dressed for the day. Sadie and Nani have breakfast.

7:30am- Nani gets ready to take Gigi into town for physical therapy. Sadie and I play and watch Chugginton (a show about trains) and then Curious George (her absolute favorite show in the entire world).

9:00am- Sadie and I sit in the hallway and read board books. She sits still and listens for forty minutes, occasionally grabbing the tractor book and asking me to name the tractors by pointing and squealing.

9:40am- We got into the dining room and pull out the coloring books. Sadie sits in her big girl chair (booster seat) and colors, while I work on the design for a new necklace on my drawing pad.

10:00am- We go upstairs and I work on cleaning the sewing/crafting room, which is piled with knitting and sewing projects. I sort through the pile of fabric scraps and throw out the tiny ones and put the others in a bag to make quilts with. Sadie is thrilled to be in this room because I've been keeping her out of it because it was so messy and reacquaints herself with the toys that are in there.

10:40am- Nani gets home. Sadie has a snack.

11:00am- Sadie, Nani and I head outside for a nature walk. We walk one lap (which is a third of a mile) and stop at the river before heading over to the round pen where Grumpa is lunging Sadie's favorite horse (Blackie). At the river we get to see a river otter and a duck! After watching Grumpa work with Blackie and giving Blackie snuggles (Sadie giggles hysterically when he sniffs her) we decide to get a few more wiggles out and walk another lap.

Nani goes to check on Nini and Gigi and Sadie and I head out on another walk. Halfway around the loop Sadie sees a Killdeer (a little bird that nests on the ground) that is looking for food and chases it, while I chase her. The bird takes off after about twenty feet of running and Sadie runs over to the tree it landed in. I convince her to continue the walk by promising to stop and look at the pink ribbon on the BLM land marker at the bottom of the property. That sends her racing off because usually I hurry her past the ribbon. By now Grumpa is working with Starr so we stop again and watch, before deciding to walk one final lap (a full mile altogether). Before we leave a bald eagle flies over low enough that we can get a clear look at him.

On lap number three the killdeer sees us coming and takes off right away. We stop one last time when we get around the loop and watch Grumpa working with Sammy. Nani and Sadie stay and watch for a few more minutes while I head back to the house to make lunch.

12:30pm- We have "tuni sandwiches" (tuna, with a few additions, on the new thin wheat bread buns I found at Costco, with american cheese melted on it) and oranges. This is a Sadie favorite.

1:00pm- Sadie gets the last of her wiggles out and her eyes are finally starting to get sleepy. I read her Sesame Street Easter book twice before we head upstairs.

1:30pm- Sadie falls asleep. I head downstairs. This is usually my crafting time, but today it becomes my bill paying time. I realize that I haven't balanced my checkbook in a little too long, but thankfully it balances! Then it's on to check emails and internet stuff and write a blog post.

And that's only half a Sadie day!

The rest of the day will include Sadie waking up, going on another walk and playing outside (as long as the threatening clouds that were to the south earlier in the day don't bring rain this afternoon), finishing up some laundry, having dinner, giving Sadie her bath and explaining over and over again why her toy Fischer Price Barn does not have a weather vane when one of her books says that every barn is supposed to have one (this has caused major tantrums in the past).

Opps! Nap time is over! I have to run!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mayor of Dunsmuir wants to erect pot garden in the center of town...

While I've always thought of whatever place that I currently live in as my "hometown", the little town in the background of the picture on the left is "where I'm from." I lived there from the ages of 7-18, longer than I've lived anywhere else so far.

The empty lot in the background used to be a large building full of shops. It's in the center of downtown and I remember obsessing over one of the shops when I was seven, because they had a display of large stuffed unicorns in the front window. While I was still obsessing over the unicorns (and lobbying for one of them!) the entire building burned to the ground. This lot has stood empty in the middle of historic downtown Dunsmuir since that day.

It won't be empty for long though, if the mayor has anything to say about it.

Mayor Peter Arth owns the lot and is asking Dunsmuir's city council for a permit that would allow him to lease the three lots to a cannabis collective that would erect greenhouses and grow "medicinal marijuana" right in the center of downtown.

This development has placed Dunsmuir in the spotlight and you can read some of the articles that are out there here:


If you read the comments in the Record Searchlight, the majority of people (who are motivated enough to comment anyways) seem to be thrilled with the idea.

I could write a few dozen blog entries about my views on this subject and the people who commented would instantly label me "ignorant" and "uninformed." It isn't trendy in much of Northern California to be against the legalization of marijuana.

One of the most popular arguments I hear is that "it's from God."

Fortunately that type of logic is easily torn apart. A lot of things are "from God" that would be very damaging to the human body. If you use the "it's from God" argument than cocaine and heroin should be fine too. Or how about arsenic?

It may not be the popular Californian view, but having seen friends destroy their lives with pot (literally...) I can't see the drug as "harmless."

I have to say that I started out with an unfair bias. I remember seeing articles about joggers who had had their knee caps blown off because the path they were on was too near a pot growers garden and the grower had set booby traps. And there were grocery stores in the county I lived in for the first seven years of my life where you could periodically run into men with machine guns who were in picking up supplies before they headed back to guard the gardens.

I don't buy into the belief that "legalizing marijuana would end all that" either. I don't think the folks that I know that are growers are going to suddenly decide they want to share their profits with Uncle Sam. The cartels that have moved into the North State aren't going to like that idea either.

The immediate drawback Dunsmuir will see, however, will be the smell. I live on property next to growers. The smell carries the quarter mile from their house to ours and it smells like a skunk sprayed for most of autumn and then periodically through out the rest of the year. It is truly disgusting to live with day in and day out.

And I'm sure that will do wonders for the struggling little mountain town I grew up in, whose main industry is tourism. Tourists love visiting a town that stinks (again, literally...).

photo by Andreas Fuhrmann in the Record Searchlight

Timeouts are Fun?!?!

Sadie isn’t phased by timeouts. In fact, she actually seems to think they’re kind of fun. Yesterday, however, was the first day where she did something naughty, moments after I’d told her not to and then turned and gave me her hand and led me over to the corner in the front hall where she has her time outs. She sat down facing out and then scooted around on her bum until she was facing the wall and proceeded to sit still, giggling and playing with her toes.

For some reason sitting still for twenty seconds in the corner just doesn’t seem like it’s a punishment when the little person who is supposed to be learning not to do something spends the entire time giggling. And she can find any reason to giggle during timeout.

Other than the timeout (or maybe including it, since Sadie doesn’t seem to mind them), Sadie had a pretty fun day. She went to Turtle Bay with Nani and Grumpa while I had my one-hour glucose test and then, after she gave Daddy a tour of Turtle Bay and introduced him to the fish and turtles, we headed over to Chuck E. Cheese. Of course, she was so tired from all the playing that she wasn’t the best little shopper in the world afterwards and after only two stores we called it a day.

Maggie’s little legs have gotten quite long and are already fitting up under my ribs. I think she’s going to be tall too, like her daddy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Daily Dose of Cuteness: Mommy's Little Helper

The other day Nani and I were trying to get a cute picture of Sadie with one of my rosaries. She realized right away what we were trying to do and became completely wild, then as soon as I gave up trying to get her to smile she stopped and stood in front of the camera like this--->

No Naps! No Naps!

I felt a little bit like I was missing the punch line of a joke last night. But while I may not have understood what was so funny, Sadie definitely got it.

It was nap time and Sadie was putting up quite a struggle to keep from falling asleep. She was very tired and had the little exhausted line that she gets on her lower eyelids when she’s very, very sleepy, but she just didn’t want to close her eyes and was intent on doing everything that she could to stay awake. Her strategy began with pointing to a book on the dresser that she never wants to read during nap time (we read it before bedtime every night) and demanding that I read it before she would go to sleep. Until last week (when she started having a tantrum if I read it before nap time) we read it before nap and bedtime, so I gave in and she giggled while I read.

When I put the book down Sadie was determined to find a way to get me to play so that she wouldn’t have to go to sleep. She finally created her own little game and became quite the little chatter box as she played. It went something like this:

Sadie would lift her hand up and push my head to the right side so that I was looking away from her. In a loud voice she would say “A-ga!” After about two seconds she would push my head back so that I was looking right at he and would say “Ba!” (which happens to be her new favorite word for pretty much everything). Then she would giggle hysterically like she’d just told a hilarious joke. And then she’d start again, pushing my face away and saying “A-ga!”

It actually ended up taking me 40 minutes to get Sadie to go to sleep, by which time I was wondering if yesterday was going to be one of those rare days where she completely refuses to take a nap and instead storms around the house in a grouchy tired funk until bedtime. Thankfully an hour and a half later she was her usual cheerful self, zooming around the downstairs at Nani’s house trying to help with dinner.

In other news I am feeling giant already! I measured my waist last night and it is already 41 inches. I believe I got up to 42 inches with Sadie and I still have thirteen weeks to go. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that Maggie, who was measuring big at the ultrasound and at the last doctor’s appointment, may be even bigger than Sadie was if we go the entire forty weeks. And that’s just hard to imagine.

I have to say that I never felt nervous holding Sadie because she was such a big baby. When I would see other babies they would look so delicate and tiny, but at 22 inches and 9 lbs 4 oz she was just so big!

I am starting to wonder if this is going to be a ten pounder!

More Saint Quotes!

I love reading saint quotes. A while back a friend on facebook posted this link and I love going through the quotes on the Saint Quotes site. However I found these quotes while cruising around the internet this morning while I was posting a few more rosary bracelets on my shop (I was looking for saint quotes that matched the medals on the rosaries I'd made). And I just had to share a few of my favorites with you:

"You cannot please both God and the world at the same time, They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions."

-- St. John Vianney

"No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire. Do not talk about Jesus Christ as long as you love this world."

--St Ignatius of Antioch

"Christ said, "I am the Truth"; he did not say "I am the custom.""

-- St. Toribio

"It is better to be the child of God than king of the whole world."

-- St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Monday, April 12, 2010

Full of Grace Rosary Giveaway

I'm so excited to have my shop up and running (at least partially, I'll be busy loading more pieces on for a few more days!) and in honor of the Grand Opening of Full of Grace Creations I'm doing a rosary giveaway.
This rosary measures 6 inches from the bottom of the Celtic Crucifix to the top of the Miraculous Medal and is 27 1/2 inches around.

The beads are grey glass pearls.

This is one of the first rosaries I designed and made and I'm thrilled to give it away as part of the opening.

To enter in the giveaway leave your email address so that I can contact you in the comment section.

For three extra entries become a follower and let me know that you'd like the three extra entries in the comment section! Or if you're already a follower just leave a note in the comments saying that you'd like the three "follower" extra entries.

Lastly you can get another five entries if you blog about the giveaway and let me know!

I'll draw the winner on Sunday, April 18th after 12 pm Pacific Time so make sure you enter by then. And don't worry if you don't win! I plan on doing three more giveaways in the next couple of months!

What I've Been Working On...

These last few days my focus has been on one specific project. Each time Sadie has gone down for a nap or gone to sleep I've gone racing around the house trying to fit as many projects in as possible before her little eyes fluttered open again. Now last time at this point in the pregnancy I would have been "nesting." This time what I've been so busy preparing for has been a little different:

The opening of my Etsy Shop!

Some of you may remember that I mentioned my plan to open an Etsy shop earlier this year.

I've been hard at work making rosaries and rosary bracelets and other jewelry and last week I finally decided that my shop, Full of Grace Creations, was ready to open. This weekend was spent getting all the technical stuff done (registering email names, getting ready to accept paypal, and actually reading all the terms and conditions of service over on etsy) and taking pictures of my rosaries. Finally last night I got to the point where I was ready to start listing! So far I've only listed one rosary (I have a box with another dozen or so waiting to be put up during nap time today). And I will also be putting up a rosary giveaway on this blog!

So check back later today and it should be up.

And if you want to check out Full of Grace Creations here's a link to my shop and here's a link to my first listing! More to come very soon!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quote of the Day: Sunday, April 11, 2010

'Obedience is mission: "I have come into this world to do the will of my Father, who has sent me." Where there is no obedience, there is no virtue; where there is no virtue there is no good; where good is wanting, there is no love, there is no God; where God is not, there is no Heaven.'

St. Padre Pio

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Getting Rid of the Extra Stuff

Our family has decided to participate in the local "County Wide Garage Sale" that is coming up at the end of this month and I have to say that it feels good to be getting rid of so much stuff (I think we'll end up donating a lot when it's over... it's just going to be nice to see it all disappear and hopefully go somewhere where it's being used).

It's also been kind of interesting to see how much my life has changed these last few years, because some of the things I'm selling I would never have even imagined giving up a relatively short time ago. My garage sale list includes:

An Al Merrick Surf Board (complete with car rack)
A Carbon Racing Snowboard with bindings
Skis and Ski Boots
Martial Arts Equipment and Weapons
Rock Climbing Gear
Barely Worn Soccer Cleats
A Skate Board
A Wet Suite and Wet Suite Boots (if I can find the missing boot)

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are boxes of dolls and books and clothing (I'm guessing lots of those will end up being donated). There's even quite a bit of furniture and a half dozen fish tanks from my time working in an aquarium warehouse.

We're getting rid of lots of stuff! When I think of the traveling that we're probably going to be doing over the course of the next few years before we're able to settle down in one place, it gets easier and easier to part with our belongings.

And for some reason I just don't see myself grabbing a surf board and plunging into the Pacific anytime soon. Or hurtling down a mountain on a racing board (or climbing up a mountain either!).

A Quote from Holy Thursday Chrism Mass

"I am always struck by the passage in the Acts of the Apostles which recounts that after the Apostles had been whipped by order of the Sanhedrin, they "rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name of Jesus" (Acts 5:41). Anyone who loves is ready to suffer for the beloved and for the sake of his love, and in this way he experiences a deeper joy. The joy of the martyrs was stronger than the torments inflicted on them."

-Pope Benedict XVI at Holy Thursday Chrism Mass

Bishop James Conley Defends the Pope

Bishop James Conley has a good article titled, In Defense of the Pope, over at First Things. Here are a few excerpts:
"...Sexual abuse of children cries to heaven for justice. It violates everything that is good and holy. It mocks everything Christ said in the gospels. Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to the innocence of a little child. And for a Catholic priest to commit a crime and a sin like this is profoundly evil..."

"...It's certainly true that some Catholic priests perpetrated this evil on the innocent in years past. And too many Catholic bishops ignored or failed to grasp the gravity of this crime in addressing the problem. These men are gravely accountable to God for their actions.

But no other community or institution has examined itself on this painful issue as rigorously as the Catholic Church. No other group has put into place zero tolerance policies for sexual abuse and created safe environment programs like the Catholic Church in America, to the point where the Church is one of the most secure environments anywhere for children and young people.

And no person has done more to rid the Church of the evil of sexual abuse than the current successor of St. Peter, Benedict XVI. As archbishop of Munich thirty years ago, then as the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now as the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict has always been dedicated to his responsibilities of purifying the Church in this area..."

"...No other world religious leader, Jewish, Muslim or other, would be treated in this way. Contempt for the Catholic Church—and don't be fooled; the contempt is directed not just at Church leaders, but at ordinary believers as well—no matter how vulgar or bitter, is the last acceptable prejudice. Why? Because the Catholic Church is one of the few remaining voices that speaks effectively against the moral confusion of our day. The Catholic faith does not and will not bless the damaging moral path some people now seem to prefer..."

"...Discipleship involves suffering. But suffering does accomplish a powerfully good thing: It clarifies who is willing to suffer for Christ's Church and her mission, and who is not."

Read the entire article here.

A Quote of the Day: Scandals and Spiritual Suicide

"Those who commit these types of scandals are guility of the spiritual equivalent of murder, but I am here among you to prevent something far worst for you. While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal- who allow scandals to destroy faith- are guilty of spiritual suicide."
-Saint Francis de Sales

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Catholic Church And Why I Will Always Be Catholic

The Church of Saint Peter's Primacy stands on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. Next to it, stands this statue.

A few years ago I sat under the tree in the picture and was fortunate enough to participate in a beautiful Mass.

Since that time, this place has stood out in my mind, along with a few others (like Gethsemane and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre).

There are many people out there who are experiencing their own personal crisis' because of the recent media attention that the Church has received. Some are faithful Catholics. Others would have you believe that they are (I found this particular article to be especially disgusting!).

I have felt the same heartbreak that the rest of you have, but I have not for a moment began to doubt the authority of the Church. You see, the verse that drew me Home to the Church, and the verse that is the reason that this particular place stands out so vividly, still exists. Besides, I couldn't really believe in the authority of the Bible without believing in the authority of the Church, which selected the books of the Bible during various early councils.

This was and still is, my favorite Bible Verse:

Matthew 16: 14-28
And Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.

From that time Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again. And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee. Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.

Amen I say to you, there are some of them that stand here, that shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
To doubt the authority of the Church that Jesus founded would be to doubt his own words. And that is something that I will not do. So as always, my study of scripture keeps me firmly within Christ's Church on Earth.

Yes, there will be scandals. Men make mistakes. We have free will. Matthew 18: 7 says:
Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.
This knowledge that did not keep Jesus from founding his Church. He knew that men would fall and that men are imperfect. He knew that Peter would deny him three times. And yet He still founded his Church in this imperfect world to lead the way and teach the truth so that those who sought Him would not be lost.

Because I couldn't find my own pictures this morning (they're all still on disks) today's photo credit goes to this site on flicker.

Two Great Evils: Using One Tragedy to Distract us from Another

I should be asleep right now and I know that I'm going to regret not going to bed earlier at 2 am when Sadie can't sleep (she's been sick the last few days and has been having a real problem sleeping between 2 am and 6 am). Yet instead of sleeping I've been surfing the internet. I was looking for a different verse (Matthew 16) for a blog post I've been thinking about writing, when I was struck by these words. I've read them many times, but tonight, in light of the recent attacks on the Church (and particularly the Pope) they stood out.
Matthew 10: 16-34

Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And you shall be brought before governors, and before kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles: But when they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.

The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.

And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come.

The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?

Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows.

Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.

Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword…

The guilty should be punished. Yet instead of seeking justice, the media in the US, led by the New York Times, is making a great tragedy (the abuse of children) even greater by deceiving the public in an attempt to slander innocent men. I firmly believe this is all being done in an attempt to distract the public from the very unpopular healthcare bill that just past and the other great tragedy that is taking place and that can not be forgotten: that the bill will absolutely pay for the slaughter of innocent, unborn children.

That's why after 30 years these stories suddenly seem so urgent to the mainstream media and have to take up a large portion of the nightly news (which otherwise would be devoted to the unrest caused by the bill). It's also why they've ignored all the positive statistics and stories about the work that has been done to protect innocent children. They are using the abuse of children to ensure that more life's will be destroyed.

I can't think of many things that are more evil in this world.

There are people in this world who will do absolutely anything to ensure that the evil "rights" that have flourished in the U.S. in the past decades will remain untouched. And since they don't care about murdering babies I guess we shouldn't be surprised that they don't have a problem slandering innocent men in an attempt to discredit them.