Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Very Happy Halloween!

Well, we decided, after all these year of staying in on Halloween, that we would try Trick or Treating over in Bayview Estates with the Hoppels this year.

Our friends, the Andrews, were also there, and the kids had so much fun!

John got to go off with three of the older kids, and that really made his night!
He has actually had a four-star weekend.
He got to play chess with his friends on Friday night. Chess and pizza is a winning combination.
Then last night the youth group got together with some of the other kids for a barn dance at the school hall.

Anyway, today was just so much fun.
We spent the early part of the day here getting the yard cleaned up and Tim finished the fence!

The boys and I raked up piles of leaves and Maggie ran through them.

They buried each other and the pictures are rather disturbing...but it WAS Halloween.

Then Lilly/Minnie Mouse came by to Trick or Treat and show off her costume. What a cutie!
Nina and Johnny gifted us with an interesting character...

Then the boys got into their costumes.
John was "The Shadow".

Brendan was a Ninja.

Paul was a Magician.

We got to the Hoppels and I got lots of pictures.

The kids did a LOT of Trick or Treating.
Won't be needing to buy any candy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Love Autumn, Winter....No

I love this time of year.
It has been an amazing couple of weeks, as far as the weather goes. It has been so warm, almost TOO warm, and the air has just been delicious!
It's so FALL!

I love the colors, the cooking, the raking, the cleaning up the yard, and getting school into a routine. I love looking forward to the holidays, and thinking about decorating.

OK now for the things I don't love so much.
Like the COLD. I am really getting crankier about being cold every winter.
I love snow, don't get me wrong, but doggone it, if it's going to be 30 degrees out there, it should be snowy. It should be white and sparkly and pristine. There is nothing nice or fun about a cold, gray, frozen day.
Don't like the high heating bills. Nope. I am spoiled after a summer of NOT having to order heating oil, and I dread calling to get it every six weeks. It's outrageous.
I am not a big fan of the LONG nights. I like walking Maggie and seeing the sights. It's going to be cold and dark for a lot of those walks.

So, I am a huge fan of Autumn, but I am a winter whiner.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Now That's Class...

I Laughed so hard I cried...

Sharron Angle Sends Flowers, Thank You Note to Joy Behar

Tags: Nev.

No one can accuse Team Angle of not having a healthy sense of humor.

In response to Joy Behar’s vicious remarks on The View, the Angle campaign sent a lovely flower arrangement with a note enclosed.

“Joy, Raised $150,000 online yesterday. Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Sharron Angle”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good Shepherd Youth For Life!!

Wow. Last night was AWESOME!
The whole day yesterday was just amazing.

Our fearless youth group leader, and my dear friend, Paula Hoppel, was inspired to put together a pro-life rally for the youth of the area.
It was a huge project and we were so blest to be a part of it.

Yesterday we went to Mass, as usual. Adoration began immediately after, and so many people from our parish were there to pray for LIFE and the success of the rally.
John and I went over to the school to set up, since the banner was my project, and then we went to Adoration. I think that this wonderful time in front of the Blessed Sacrament was not only the most precious part of my day, but it was the key to how smooth and productive the evening was.

After Adoration, John and went back over to the school to see how things were progressing.
There was food and lots of help! We finished what needed doing and started getting some of our project done.

Our part of the event was the Banner activity. This banner will be carried by the Youth in the "March for Life", in DC in January.
The idea was to have each person that wanted to participate put a handprint on the banner. Within each hand print is a small hand, representing the baby that each person will spiritually adopt and pray for for nine months.
I got the banner ready and we started by printing the hands of the kids who were helping out.

Around five we headed back to the church for Benediction and a very nice service.

We got back just as people started arriving, and at first it looked like a rather thin crowd, but as the music, played by Mathias Andrulewitz and his band, warmed the crowd, we saw the chairs filling up, and soon we had to get out more chairs.

This was billed as a youth event, but I saw all ages. Moms and dads, babies, teens and several of our older folk. Everyone turned out for LIFE and it was beautiful.

After the introduction, there was a performance by the Mime Troup "Silent Witness".
They bring life contemporary Christian music, and it was very good.

Then there was the testimony of the director of the Bel Air Birthright center.
It was beautiful, and her story and mine are almost identical. What a blessing it was to hear the story of another mom in a crisis pregnancy that chose life. I talked with her afterward and showed her pictures of the grandbabies. We both agreed that we were saved by the Grace of God from a lifetime of regret. Where would I be without my precious girls?

After that there was more music and we had a lot of people add their hands and prayers to the banner effort.

Another mom got up and told us the story of her amazing son, Blain, a young man with a vocation of love. He was born with Down's Syndrome, and he has blest the world in so many amazing ways just by being the beautiful creation he is!

The next person on the program was Cecelia Grace Sugarman. She is a very, very talented young songwriter, who wrote a song to enter a prolife contest. She sang it for us, along with some other songs she has written. Amazing!! She has a beautiful voice. The video here has the words.
Seeing her live was so special. She has lots of other songs linked here too.

God has given us some tremendous momentum with this event, and we are very grateful!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Maggie, Queen of the Backyard...

So I found out that if Maggie had to survive in the woods among a pack of wild dogs, and her life depended on how fast she could finish off a kill, bones and all, she would probably be the chubbiest of the bunch.

I bought her a HUGE bone when we went to the Tractor Supply store to get wire for the fence.
It was a real monster. She polished off about half of it, and I do mean polished. Ingested. Which is probably not a good thing. I am keeping an eye on her, but man, it's crazy that she can even do that. I had no idea that she could pulverize something that quickly. So far she seems none the worse for it.

The wire is going up and the gates are done.
I was going to do the wire, but apparently that is a skill that has been lost somewhere between living on the farm, and living in suburbia.
I had the wire, the staples, the hammer, and it seemed like no problem to start stretching the wire and tacking it to the rails.
I couldn't get anything to work right.
I can't hold the staples and hit anything but my fingers. I can't hold the staples at all! I don't know what I've lost, vision, eye-hand coordination, strength, or a combination of all of that, but whatever it is, it's gone. It's a tough deal when you realize that you really can't do something that you used to do so easily. Tough.
John was very sweet about it though. He said "Well, you are great at making dinner, and lots of other things."
I guess in the scheme of things, not being able to hammer staples into rails is probably not a skill I would need that often anyway. Still....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who is Preying on YOUR Daughter?

About the film

BloodMoney is a documentary film narrated by Dr. Alveda King, which exposes the truth behind the Abortion Industry from the Pro Life perspective.

The film examines the history of abortion in America. From the inception of Planned Parenthood and the profitability of abortion clinics, to Roe v. Wade, to the denial of when life begins, the fight to save the lives of innocent babies, and the devastating effects it has had on the women that have exercised this "choice".

Monday, October 18, 2010

History Lesson

When we were in Williamsburg, Paul wanted a quill pen and ink. We already had a well. So today for history, he found out what it was like to be an author in years gone by....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Maggie's Gonna Have Fun!

Tim got one of the gates done and so we are still making progress on the fence.
I bought a roll of wire and I also worked on getting the chain link fence down so that we can "gift" it to someone else. Put it on Craig's list and I already have two takers. As soon as I get the yard cleaned up a bit, I will take pictures.
Maggie is going to love running all over the yard. She is already having a ball when we are out there. She just loves to run!
It will be so nice to have a place for her to get some exercise when we can't get out for a walk. She is learning to fetch and sit. That is a great help. I was getting kind of tired of having to play tug for every stick that I throw for her. Now I throw it, she gets it, brings it back, sits, lets me take it and waits for me to throw it again. It seems to calm her somehow. She just smiles and wiggles as she brings it to me, because she knows how happy I am with her.

Friday, October 15, 2010

SUCH a Blessing!!

Yes, we went to Williamsburg.
We left on Wednesday afternoon and got home late last night, but the BEST thing about the whole trip, and the reason we went, was that FINALLY, after years and years, I got to see my dear friend Ann in Williamsburg!!
This is a place that Ann has been wanting to visit in a big way.
It happened that they were on this side of the country and Ann just couldn't leave without seeing it. So she sent me a message saying that they were going, and wondering if there was any way that we could meet them. There wasn't anyway that we were missing it!
Tim was even able to get the time off work.
We got in at around 6:00 after a miraculously smooth drive through DC, and met the Waltenburgs at the hotel. We found a FABULOUS Asian buffet that we all enjoyed so much!!
The next morning we had breakfast and headed off to the town of Colonial Williamsburg.
The weather was supposed to be awful, but with some fervent prayer, we were blest with a rather nice day.
We saw so many wonderful things and heard from docents and even The Marquis de Lafayette.

The boys were so great the whole time. It is just a pleasure to do these things with them.

They participated in the discussions and asked questions and saw and heard so many great things.
Seeing Pat and Ann enjoying themselves so much was the best part.

It was really nice to spend time with Ian as well, but I think he would have had more fun at Busch Gardens.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lilly's Ride!

Lilly went down to the Graw Festival with us today, since John was going to be walking ponies.
Lilly was all about the ponies, and as soon as they were ready, she was up and riding!

I think she may be a natural....

What John Is Doing

John has been volunteering at a local stable where they do therapeutic riding. Today this stable was giving free rides at a festival downtown and he was asked to lead the ponies. The pony he is leading is "Nina". She is his usual charge. I am so proud of the way he handles her!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 8, 2010

Planned Un-Parenthood

For those planning to be parents, the thoughts of pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and the first OB appointment, are exciting and hold the untold joy and promise of embracing life.
For budding families, parenthood is a step on the path to fulfillment.

For those not planning to be parents, yet finding themselves to be, all of these things can be strange pieces of a world that is traveled in a fog. These things seem to signal an end, not a beginning. Perhaps an end to a college education, or an end to a relationship. This world is navigated with trepidation and uncertainty. Desperation can make the offer to "make this go away" sound very enticing to someone with few resources and little hope.

Today we prayed at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Wilmington, DE.
It was a busy morning in the death business.
As I was praying, the name of this organization just struck me as so ironic.
The young people were going into this place as parents, and going out "un-parents".
The other "reproductive services" are just as disingenuous. Contraception isn't about parenthood. It's about keeping parenthood at bay.
When you make an appointment at this clinic for a "service", you are not planning to become a parent.
The neighborhoods in which these clinics prey, are not places where the living is easy.
Margaret Sanger would be proud. Her seek and destroy mission lives on. The poor and the weak are being snuffed out by the millions.


Today I also saw the first picture of the next precious person coming into our lives.
Today I saw a BABY in the womb of my own precious daughter. This baby is a miracle, a person, already known and loved by a Father in Heaven and now anxiously anticipated by a family that can't possibly know how much love and joy they will share in the years to come. That's Grace. That's embracing the greatest gift a human being can receive, another human being.

Planned. By the One who planned the Universe.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blessings and Boys...

The last few days have been busy, but very enjoyable.

Saturday was great for two reasons.
I got to attend a Regional Organizing Conference, which was very inspiring and educational.
I came back ready to get to work on bringing remote services to Sappari Solutions.
I am going to start working with clients using the computer and phone.
I did some test work with some of my dear, and very patient, friends a while back. It went very well, and now we are ready to implement the system.

The other great thing that happened was that Tim came home after two solid weeks of travel. Life is just not what it ought to be when he has to be gone. We all miss him so much! It was so nice to get everyone back under the same roof and get life back to the way it should be.
The boys had been visiting with friends and they had such a great time, but they were so happy to see their dad!

Yesterday Tim finished all the posts and rails on the fence, and now we just have to put up the wire and gates. Maggie is going to have so much fun in that yard! It has been raining for days now, and the yard is a mess, so she will have to wait for things to dry out a bit.

Today is the feast of St Francis of Assisi, and the Parish blessing of the animals. We haven't gone before, because Bosco is not all that accommodating when it comes to traveling, but Maggie, on the other hand just loves a great adventure.
She was so excited to see all the other dogs, and the kids at the school! She got her blessing and then we went over to visit Junior, Fr Jay's Golden Retriever. Junior LOVES to play! It was too rainy out to let them play outside, so they did their best inside.
They really did play nice. I was very proud of Maggie today.

The boys started Tae Kwon Do tonight. Aberdeen parks and rec hosts it at the middle school and it is just about impossible to beat. The class is small, they meet three days a week, and it's only 35.00 per month for all three boys!!
They did really well and I really like the teachers. It seems like they will be able to start in where they are and not really have too much catching up to do. Brendan took it for a session a couple of years ago and he still remembers the stances.

Now I have to go work on my class for Wednesday. I am going to teach "Right-Sizing Your Home", which started out as a class for Seniors who are moving from the family home into another living situation. We changed it to meet the needs of a different group, though, because there have been quite a few students in our last few classes that have been downsizing in all different stages of life and situations. We offer advice as to how to sort and purge belongings that have accumulated in a large living space over many years. It can be really heartrending for older people who have to move due to health or just because they can't maintain a home as they had in the past. It is difficult for anyone to make that kind of change.

I am really enjoying my work, at home, with the boy's school progress, and in the homes of our clients. I am really hoping that homeschool consulting and organizing will take off.
What a great combination!