Sunday, May 31, 2009

Just to Clarify My Position...

As news of the murder of an infamous abortion practitioner hit the internet today, many, many pro-life groups, blogs, and leaders condemned this act of cowardice. It has set back the hard work of so many credible people.

I am hoping, as I write this, that the killer turns out to be somebody who is just totally outside the circle of rational, hard-working pro-life people. This is not the behavior of someone who values life from conception to natural death, obviously.

George Tiller was easy to vilify, he did heinous things to innocent people, but he has an eternal soul. That is the saddest thing of all. This killer took away Tiller's chance to change his heart, ask forgiveness, and possibly become a force for good in the battle against abortion.

Bernard Nathanson is one example of a doctor who was a leader in the abortion industry and finally saw the work he was doing for what it was. He has done SO much for the pro-life movement. People believe him.
The people who have done the most awful things need the most time!

We will pray for the pro-life movement, for the souls of all those involved, and for the soul of George Tiller. We are pro-life, it's what we do.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's Not Happy Birthday...It's Better!

Happy Birthday Dear Laura!!

Happy Birthday to my oldest daughter, Laura Marie!!

Laura, you are the first, and you made Mommyhood look easy! You had to establish my learning curve.
You have the all the firsts in the family and there are many. They are all exciting, but scary too, because we never know if we are making the best decisions, as parents, until we can look back.
I was blest with wonderful, forgiving kids!
It is so wonderful seeing your children grow up and I am so proud of the woman that you have become.

I am so blest to have my daughters as very good friends. Now they have daughters and we can share mommy stories and thoughts. What a gift!

Happy Birthday Laura!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Interesting Article

Profound shift in kind of families who are home schooling their children

Parents who home-school children increasingly are white, wealthy and well-educated — and their numbers have nearly doubled in a decade, a new federal government report says.

What else has nearly doubled? The percentage of girls who are home-schooled. They now outnumber home-schooled girls by a wide margin.

As of spring 2007, an estimated 1.5 million, or 2.9% of all school-age children in the USA, were home-schooled, up from 1.7% in 1999.

The new figures come from the U.S. Department of Education, which found that 36% of parents said their most important reason for home schooling was to provide "religious or moral instruction"; 21% cited concerns about school environment. Only 17% cited "dissatisfaction with academic instruction."

Perhaps most significant: The ratio of home-schooled boys to girls has shifted significantly. In 1999, it was 49% boys, 51% girls. Now boys account for only 42%; 58% are girls.

That may well be a result of parents who are fed up with mean-girl behavior in schools, says Henry Cate, who along with his wife home-schools their three daughters in Santa Clara, Calif. "It's just pushing some parents over the edge," says Cate, who writes the blog Why Homeschool.

Home schooling has grown most sharply for higher-income families. In 1999, 63.6% of home-schooling families earned less than $50,000. Now 60.0% earn more than $50,000.

Cate says many highly educated, high-income parents are "probably people who are a little bit more comfortable in taking risks" in choosing a college or line of work. "The attributes that facilitate that might also facilitate them being more comfortable with home-schooling."

Among the other findings:

•3.9% of white families home-school, up from 2% in 1999.

•6.8% of college-educated parents home-school, up from 4.9% in 1999.

Michelle Blimes home-schools her three daughters in Orem, Utah. Initially it was for academics, and now she sees social benefits. "They should be able to enjoy playing and being kids before being thrown into the teen culture," Blimes says.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There's Something Funny Here...

Yes, it's late and I am tired, and no, I have not been drinking, but I did spend three hours at rehearsal listening to the same songs over and over through the door.

Anyway, The New York Times frequently makes me laugh. Not because they are trying to be funny, but they are so full of themselves that they will probably be pontificating from under a bridge somewhere after the bankruptcy proceedings are over.
Some people just don't know when to stop.
I find that funny.

THIS post from Creative Minority Report, is a perfect illustration. The NYT has really outdone itself.
Most Unintentionally Funny Piece of the Day

Matthew Archbold is very funny, and quite intentionally.

If you have time, "The Goodes" might just be worth checking out, if only for the chance to drive the ratings up a bit.

Summer Reading at MommyLife!

Well, Barbara has offered up quite a challenge for this summer's reading.
The "MommyLife Book Club" is going to be reading "Les Miserables" and I have decided that I will finally give the whole book my best effort.

I have my Great-Grandmother Clare's copy.

It is over one hundred years old,

and I have only read through it enough to delve into the main characters and some of the settings. I have never read it cover to cover, though I have tried. I have read another, simpler, and very much abridged version.
It is truly my favorite story of all time and I hope I can get through the whole book, AND comment on it. We shall see.
At any rate, I will enjoy the company on the journey.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Real Mommy...

Anyone can become a mother, but to be someone's Mommy, you have to give them everything, starting with life.
This young lady could have just become a mother, and she could have made the decision to end her motherhood, with the tragic news of little Faith's condition. Instead, she chose to become a Mommy and love her little girl for all the time they had, and into the next life.

Read Her Story Here...and keep her in your prayers. She is one Grace-filled woman.

H/T to CMR

The Entertainer...

So we were thinking that Bosco should make himself useful, somehow. And what with that gorgeous tux, what better than a little feline tickling of the ivories?

As you can see, Bosco was not amused. Bustopher Jones he is not.

I say that with as much as he eats, and as much space as he takes up snoring all over the house, we are entitled to as much entertainment as we can get out of him one way or another.

A Floral Moment

I had to get out and get pictures of what is blooming in the yard before it's all gone.
It's such a short time for the Peonies. I wait for this week every spring...

They are so beautiful but they are already so full that soon they will be gone.

My Irises bloomed while Mom was here and she got a very nice picture for me. I would have missed them in all the activity, so I really appreciated that.

John has started some sweet peas in the back.

They can grow up the little arbor and we can enjoy them later in the summer.
I don't know exactly what this is, but they are spreading all over the flower beds and beyond.
I put it in because it is a butterfly flower and boy, does it get huge!

There will be more planting in the works, because John and I have plans for the box in the back that used to be a sandbox.
We have to get going on that.

Summer is going to be busy, so it will be so nice to have the yard to relax in.

Memorial Day

The Sentinel At the Gates
Alumni et Patriae Asto C John Puzzo 2002

Without the Standing Sentinel, and ever must there be.
Without the Standing Sentinel, not one could long live free.

I know they're all still out there, together evermore,

From Continental Army, Or maybe long before,
When the 1st American casualty,
fell on these now ancient shores.

They wear tri corner hats, coonskin caps and kepis,
wide brimmed cowboy hats, steel helmets and berets,

But just the same, They belong to us.
It is from us they came.

Through mists of time and place,
They've come to stand and wait
for those to come, and come they will,

To the Sentinels at the gates.

They wait…They wait.
One day they'll welcome me.

For once I was with them,
and privileged that to be

a soldier for my country,
that's the best to say of me.

Father, son, husband, brother,
Important things these are,
But to stand with men of honor,
Is a better thing by far.

For without such men of honor,
ready to give their most,
what father, son, or brother,
would be left with any hope,

That there would even be tomorrow, for this Nation proud.

Lest men as these we find, fit my Country for a shroud.
Yes there they all are waiting, they're all together now
from every war and conflict, shot and shell they found.
At peace eternal wait they now,

On holy, hallowed ground.

How can we ever thank them, these selfless angels past?

But thanks are unimportant,
unless we dedicate
our every waking moment

To the sentinels at the gate.

For there they stand awating,
watching how well we do.

Will we let slip away,
That which they loved so well
Their full measured honored duty,
Will we so cheaply sell?

Yes there they stand awating, they're all together now,

They know some soldier stands at ready
and he will show them how.

Then they'll welcome him, as they all once were called:

"Brother, home my brother,
See your name upon the wall."

"You have done what was your duty,
The load you proudly bare"

"Is left to them to carry,
Those others, over there."

"So take your place beside us, hang your cap upon the tree,"

"And wait not long you Sentinel, In time you too will see,
Another coming to the gates,
That others will live free."

Without you Standing Sentinel, and ever must you be.
Without you Standing Sentinel, not one would long live free.

The Money Circle...

What Are We Stimulating?

The stimulus will do nothing for the economy, but it will advance the cause of statism.

By Mark Steyn

I was in Vermont the other day and made the mistake of picking up the local paper. Impressively, it contained a quarter-page ad, a rare sight these days. The rest of the page was made up by in-house promotions for the advertising department’s special offer on yard-sale announcements, etc. But the one real advertisement was from something called SEVCA. SEVCA is a “non-profit agency,” just like the New York Times, General Motors, and the State of California. And it stands for “South-Eastern Vermont Community Action.”

Why, they’re “community organizers,” just like the president! The designated “anti-poverty agency” is taking out quarter-page ads in every local paper is because they’re “seeking applicants for several positions funded in full or part by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA)” — that’s the “stimulus” to you and me. Isn’t it great to see those bazillions of stimulus dollars already out there stimulating the economy? Creating lots of new jobs at SEVCA, in order to fulfill the president’s promise to “create or keep” 2.5 million jobs. At SEVCA, he’s not just keeping all the existing ones, but creating new ones, too. Of the eight new positions advertised, the first is:

“ARRA Projects Coordinator.”

Gotcha. So the first new job created by the stimulus is a job “coordinating” other programs funded by the stimulus. What’s next?

read the rest here

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pool Time!

Well the Chesapeake Swim Club opened this weekend.
The weather is so perfect for swimming and the boys had a blast yesterday and this afternoon. I have no doubt that we will be there again tomorrow, if the weather holds. Both John and Brendan breezed through the test. Paul wanted to wait and take it next time. He got really cold.

Ah, summer...nothing like it....

Paul was lovin' the goofy hair.

Brendan and his "monster goggles"

John going off the board, I couldn't get one of him diving.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's a Beautiful Friday...

Of course the biggest reason is because it is Friday. We love the end of the week.
We also love Fridays at the end of the school year.
We finished up our Science book today!!! Now we just have a bunch of experiments to do next week and sometime this summer we are going to visit some caves. The boys have done some really nice work for Science this year. Their projects are colorful and informative, and they are now enjoying looking back at what they have learned.
John is also very interested in Botany. He wants to investigate all kinds of plants and how they grow. This is the perfect season for it. We have to go out and plant his Sweet Peas. He started them in the little peat pots and they are about 4 inches tall!

We are going to play a game for Math today. John "invented" it. The boys have been studying geometric transformations and John came up with a game using triangles that will teach them to use the different terms to move each player's pieces around.
We will be doing Math for quite a while yet. We have quite a few lessons, but it's not so bad when the other subjects start wrapping up.

John also built a glider out of k'nex and grocery bags. It really flies!
Brendan just finished up the book he was reading for History. He is wondering why historical figures, Pocahontas in this case, always had to die horrible deaths. I know this is not the case, but that's just something that he has been thinking about. He has to finish his Geography notebook.
He has been mapping a couple of states each week and he is doing a really nice job!
I don't think he likes it much, but it has been a good exercise.

He did build a really cool crane out of Legos on his lunch break. He does like that!

Another nice thing about today is that there is nothing on the calendar, and that is so rare these days!
I want to get out and mow the lawn, and I need to do some housework, but it's just a quiet day.
Tim is doing OK. Not great. He is really tired and he says that his pain doesn't seem to be getting much better, which is not good. Usually, by the end of the first week, he is feeling much better. We are watching things and since there is no fever, and the site looks like it is healing, we are going to wait a while before we call the doc. I just hate seeing Tim feeling so lousy. It's not like him, that's for sure.

The weekend is going to be all Oliver!
Paul has rehearsal tomorrow from 5:00 to 9:00 and then Sunday from 2:00 to 7:00!
Good thing he loves it so much. I can't imagine dragging him up there so often and for so long if he didn't. We have to go out and find him some "urchin" shoes. They provide all the costumes and props and everything, but they didn't have his size. The woman who is doing the costumes must be a saint! It is a huge job!

I am off to help Brendan with the last bit of school and get the school room cleaned up for the weekend. YEA!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let's all Plead the Tenth!

This was posted by Patrick Archbold on CMR.
I wholeheartedly agree and so I am sharing it with you.

Dear Federal Government,
Please stop spending. Please stop regulating. Please stop nationalizing. Please stop greening. Please don't make California's problem my problem. I respectfully remind you that you have not been delegated authority to do much of what you are doing. Please stop. You have given us a patients Bill of Rights. You have given us a Credit Card Bill of Rights. You have given us a mortgage holders Bill of Rights. But you do not have authority to convey any of these so called "rights." I know this because I have read the actual Bill of Rights. So...

WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, members of the productive class are demonstrably treated as enemies of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, The Federal Government has become an enemy of life by funding the destruction of innocent human beings; and

WHEREAS, The Federal Government has become an agent of militant secularism which incessantly mocks Christian simplicity calling it folly, nonsense, or extremism; and

WHEREAS, The Chief Executive uses his skill with language to cloud by senseless questions and elaborate arguments the axioms of the law and the precepts of morality so that no "principle at all, however holy, authentic, ancient, and certain it may be, will remain free of censure, criticism, false interpretations, modification and delimitation by man." ; and

WHEREAS, Many federal laws are directly in violation of the Constitution of the United States and the Law of God; and

WHEREAS, that since according to the 10th amendment to the Constitution "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," and I being a person who has delegated no such authority and who lives in a State that has delegated no such authority;

Therefore be it

RESOLVED that I am determined to assert my unalienable rights, all of them, whatever it takes. The right to life, for everyone. The right to liberty - free from unreasonable government interference. The right to pursue my happiness which in this context means the right to property for me and my children free from the spending and taxing abuses of a federal government operating beyond its mandate and without properly delegated authority. And if you don't like it — I do not care. I plead the 10th.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This is SO Great!

An old couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic and spotted a
piano. They've been married for 62 years and he'll be 90 this year.

Yes, He is Listening...

Several weeks ago I was praying at Mass.

Life was getting so crazy and I had been feeling like I was so focused on everything that had to be done and all that I was committed to, that I wasn't being at all the wife to Tim that I want to be. I was praying that God would give me a better appreciation of my marriage and my husband.

So, just let me give you a little advice. If you are in front of Jesus at Mass, and you ask Him for something, think about what you are really saying...He WILL answer.
A couple of days later, Tim calls from the doctor's office. I didn't know he had made an appointment.
I knew he had been having trouble with a hernia... again...
These just seem to plague him about every two years, and he gets them fixed and life goes on.
What I didn't know was that he had some other, more serious, concerns. He hadn't wanted to worry me and so hadn't told me about what was going on.
So, when he called from the Surgeon's office to tell me that he had a date for a hernia repair and a colonoscopy, I was a little worried. When he finally told me why the colonoscopy had been ordered, I was very worried.
And when I worry, I don't just get a little uptight. God knows how I am. He knows what I think about when I am worried. He knows that I imagine the worst. That I think about what life would be like in the worst case. He knows that I can't think about much else and that I become very aware of every detail of the object of my concern. This situation fit His purposes perfectly.

So for about two weeks, I was waiting for news. I did a lot of thinking and a lot of praying and I really got a chance to examine my loves, obligations and priorities. I had been so wrapped up in obligations and what needed to be done to fulfill them. Loves, especially my Love, tend to be willing to take a back seat to obligations. Tim is never whiny and never complains when I over commit and then freak out and unload all my frustrations. He has been incredibly patient with me and all my "stuff" this past year. Meetings, work, phone calls, etc. He gives and gives, and I just keep forging ahead.
I got lost in those details. Around all the "stuff" I kept thinking that this wasn't how I wanted my marriage to be, but there was no definite point at which I was called to rein in the outside activities and look critically at myself as a spouse. I'm not saying we were in trouble. I would have noticed that. I'm saying that I was giving a lot of attention to all the squeaky wheels and Tim, who is never squeaky, was getting way too little.

The surgery went well. The colonoscopy was also a source of good news. Apparently, the issues that could have been caused by something scary are probably the result of a medication that has some rather odd side effects. Tim is very sore and moving very slowly, but he is moving. It would be good to figure out how to avoid another hernia, so we will work on that.

I'm still involved in all the same activities. I am still over committed, but I know now that I have to scale back. I know that God listened to me, and now I have to listen to Him.
I either have to be less concerned with the details of my various outside activities, or I have to pass them on to someone else. It's so true that we need to be the most focused on the things that are put into our lives to get us to Heaven. Tim was put in my life as a helpmate and a gift. Our marriage is Sacramental. The other things that want my attention are secondary to my family and even the most worthy of my outside concerns is not to be put above my family relationships.
This has been driven home to me over and over in homilies, confession, things I read and now, finally in what could have been a life changing event. There isn't time to say "I'll get to that later". I am blest that there is going to be a later. I know people who don't get one. Now is the time to take hold of the blessing of life together and make the most of it.
I also need to fill up the time we do have in richer and more positive ways. Like more time praying together.
Life will always get in the way of what's important, until we run out of it and we realize that what we thought life was was really just "stuff" and what Life really is, well, it's a who, not a what.

May is Mary's Month!

H/T to Amy Wellborn and co.

Monday, May 18, 2009

More "Hamlet"

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Hamlet - A Homeschool Play

We were very honored to have been able to attend, and participate in, a wonderful presentation of Shakespeare's "Hamlet", presented by on of the co-ops in our group and adapted and directed by my friend Paula Hoppel.

She had lots of help!

There were many hands that went into making this production so memorable.

The kids who played all the parts were just amazing! I don't know how many lines our "Hamlet" memorized, but it was almost the whole play, and it was Shakespeare's own words!
The kids carried the message perfectly and the whole plot came through perfectly, even the humor!
I was amazed.
John got to be the backstage hand and he loved it! It was his job to make sure that everything was set up and all the props were in the right place. He did great!
He loved it too! Paula and Lisa Tellup were very patient coaches.

This was hopefully one of many plays to come!

Some Pictures

At the Concord Point Lighthouse...

Paul before Mass...

A Day at the Park...

A Happy Couple!
Grandpa, Grandma and Lilly...

Lucy and "Papa"

Jen, Lucy and Lilly...

A contented Brendan with Grandpa...

John fishing...

Lucy's 2nd Birthday party!

Party guessing games...

Friday, May 15, 2009

No Way...Really?

Obama Says U.S. Long-Term Debt Load ‘Unsustainable’ (Update2)

By Roger Runningen and Hans Nichols

May 14 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending “unsustainable,” warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries.

“We can’t keep on just borrowing from China,” Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, outside Albuquerque. “We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.”

Holders of U.S. debt will eventually “get tired” of buying it, causing interest rates on everything from auto loans to home mortgages to increase, Obama said. “It will have a dampening effect on our economy.”

Ummm.... Barry, the economy is so damp we're drowning here....

So what exactly are you saying?

I have a couple of guesses and they both involve raising the tax rate until the dead are filing again. But I could be wrong...

Monday, May 11, 2009

A few Pictures

Here are a few pictures from the past few days.
I have to get my mom's card from her camera and put her pictures on my computer, then I can share some nice pics of everyone during this visit

We are really enjoying having them here.

I just wanted to post a few things that have been going on around here.

John has been building a model of an airliner. He chose one that requires glue and paint. No snap-togethers, this time. He has getton most of it painted, and I will get more pictures as it progresses.

We have so many things blooming out around the house! I just love all the flowers! We are planning some changes to a couple of areas in the yard. I'll update on that later.

Paul took part in the May crowning ceremony at Good Shepherd yesterday. It was wonderful.
The kids processed in behind the Knights in their full regalia. Father Jay followed the kids and they were all singing. Father Jay has a beautiful voice and he honored Mary by singing "Ave Maria" after communion. It was beautiful.
We all went outside and the May Crowning ceremony was lovely.
There was a reception, but we were unable to attend because I had to pick Lilly up and take her home. She had fun playing around the house and puttering around the yard wearing Brendan's helmet.
Cute Kid.

Mom and Dad headed up to Frostburg today to see the Cooke household and Laura. Lucy and Molly will come down with them tomorrow. Should be a great week!