Friday, September 28, 2007

A meal success

A couple of things.

I must share a great dinner success I had last night. After a day I compare to bathing cats, I took my 3 oldest daughters shopping to find black pants and black shoes they need for an upcoming concert. I was hoping to find these items in such a style so that the girls would actually wear them again. This is where the bathing cats part comes in. One of my daughters is very slim, and also very sensitively aware. So things must fit perfectly, or they drive her crazy. And very few things fit her perfectly. *Sigh*

We found a shoe she loved, but alas, not in her size, but a store across town had them, off we drove, only to find the perfect shoe had silver on it and was unqualified for the concert requirements. *Sigh*

I'll sum up...

After 4 stores and finally purchasing nearly everything we needed (plus a few other sweet finds) at the THRIFT STORE, we got home dangerously close to dinner time. I had the foresight to have my oldest son throw some frozen chicken (boneless, skinless) thighs in the oven. They were almost done when I got home, so I pulled out a frozen pie crust, pulled out some frozen, diced onions and peppers (one of my all time favorite finds at our local grocery), and then chopped up the chicken when it was done. I put the pie crust in a pie plate, threw in the chopped up chicken, threw in the onion/peppers mixture, spread a can of cream of chicken soup over the top, and put a bag of FROZEN California mix veggies on top. Put on the top crust and baked until golden. IT WAS DELICIOUS! The kids requested that I make it again today, which I won't, but woo-hoo, what a simple solution to a busy day. I also made pasta with butter, olive oil, garlic and Italian cheese to go with the chicken pie. This was such an inexpensive, quick and tasty meal, I could barely believe it myself.

As an aside, our second full week of school is going well. My eldest is using Seton for 9th grade (which is a HUGE switch for me, philosophically speaking), but so far, so good, and the objectives of him being independent and structured are being met.

And the saga continues, with eternal consequences...

Back to the Pl*nned P*renthood scandal in Our Town.

There has been ample proof that the zoning and permitting process was handled fraudulently. Today we are waiting for the report to be released from the state's attorney regarding any criminality in these proceedings.

Beyond that, apparently the entire decision rests with our mayor. This does not make me hopeful as he has $$ connections with big politician in Chicago and some rather famously pro-abortions politicians from IL (one of whom is running for President).

I actually feel sorry for our mayor. Reminds me of Pontius Pilate. To keep political peace, he can't go up against PP, a major political force, and yet to allow them to stay will go against his own city's ordinances and the will of his own city's citizens.

Now, the blood of all the people killed here and all the women wounded here could be ON HIS HANDS. I pray he does the right thing. What a burden of death and destruction for one man to have to carry around! Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another milestone...

Well, it finally happened. I never really believed it would.

We are completely finished with diapers in our house.

For 14 years and 2 months and 20 days, we have had one or more children in diapers.

Now, my three year old daughter is sitting on my bed, caressing her new "underwears", and thrilled beyond measure with the little stars and elephants and pink puppies that will now be flashing us instead of the princess pull-ups we have been seeing for a little while now.

I had fully expected to have another little one by now, but apparently God has other ideas. So, despite the wistful feeling I get about that, the end of diapers (for now?) is something I am actually happy about.

And she was the easiest potty trainee yet. One day she started pooping on the potty, out of the blue, about 5 months ago. One that was out of the way, I frankly didn't care how long she used pull ups for potty.

Then, a week ago, I noticed day after day, and morning after morning of dry pull ups. I pulled out a few pairs of panties for her and she has kept them dry the entire week, except for one unfortunate incident when she was terrified of the public toilet. We'll have to work on that.

Anyway, such is my life. Huzzah to pink puppies and purple elephant underwear!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Explaining Purgatory to Children

I was over at Sphere of Influence and saw this discussion of Purgatory and explaining it to children. It just so happens I had the very same conversation with my children and a neighbor child just this morning. I left this comment on her blog, but wanted to share it to get you input. My understanding of Purgatory has been affected by the Eastern Christian tradition that explains purgatory as Theosis - becoming like God (a-la St. Paul). Anyway, here is my comment. Any feedback would be appreciated!

For my younger children, I explain purgatory like this:

When you are wounded by sin, it leaves a mark on you. This doesn't mean your are not forgiven, but you may not be entirely healed of the wound. That is why you can fall into that sin again and again, and be forgiven again and again, and yet still have an "attachment" to the sin.

We can be completely healed in this life of the wound, but it takes complete abandonment to God to do so and let Him heal you. Often, due to our fallen natures, we do not COMPLETELY abandon ourselves to His healing grace.

When we die, and even if we have been completely forgiven, we may still have the wound of sin on us. We will find ourselves in God's very presence, we will see His utter perfection and Love and Mercy, and then look upon ourselves and see our own imperfections.

We will then ask for some time to "cleaned up" if you will, to get ready for the banquet feast, because until we were in God's presence, we did not know that we weren't dressed quite appropriately. Purgatory is the state our souls are in to complete our healing and "purging", if you will, of our attachments and wounds.

It is like taking a hot shower, scrubbing behind our ears, and getting as perfect and Christ-like as He made us able to be.

Sort of like in the Wizard of Oz movie, when Dorothy and her gang had to get all fancied up before they could go in the presence of the Wizard.

The pain of Purgatory, I think, will be the distance from God, especially after experiencing His presence for a while while we examine ourselves after death (I often think of the Samaritan woman at the well, and how being in Christ's presence made her able to see herself as she really was).

To know where we want to be, to know all the times you could have abandoned yourself to His healing grace and didn't, to wait until we can be with Him again, excruciating longing for the Beloved. However, great anticipation and excitement, and of course, certainty of our eternity with God.

Usually, these talks inspire the kids to try as hard as they can to abandon themselves to the merciful healing of God's love, which can't be bad, right? =) It is that very abandonment and love that makes the heroes of our faith, the ones that could leave everything and follow Him. And I don't think too many of those folks needed much cleaning up before the feast.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

And the battle continues...

Just though I would give you a little update, as well as asking for continued prayers. Today, PP and the City are in Federal Court to decide if PP must stay closed until the city's investigation is complete. Things are really heating up.

We found out today that the city is video taping all our protests and prayer vigils, so they can have evidence against us if any laws are broken. As far as I know, standing on a sidewalk and praying isn't against the law, but how frightening that we are being threatened in this way. This gives me confidence that we are doing the right thing!

"Blessed are you when they shall revile you and persecute you, untruly for my sake, for yours in the kingdom of heaven."

Nothing builds the momentum of a protest like oppression. I hope the city keeps this in mind as they proceed!

Anyway, once the court case today is over, then the city must conclude it's investigation, it must be reviewed by the state's attorney, and then we'll see what we are dealing with.

If you are able, consider donating to the Pro-life Action League. This fight is costing them much, and since no one anticipates this to be over any time soon, they are going to need more resources to fight the Goliath of PP.

For further updates, check out Families Against Planned Parenthood. You may even hear about this on your local news, as this has now gone national.

Again, more than anything, it is prayer and fasting that helps. Please consider adding our cause to your list of intentions. Thank you!!

Monday, September 17, 2007


The P*anned P*renthood Clinic WILL NOT OPEN TOMORROW!! There will be another hearing on Thursday in Federal Court, so that doesn't mean it will never open (nor does it mean it will ever open), but, bottom line PP stays closed another 2-3 days past it's scheduled opening. Woo-Hoo!!

The non-stop praying has had an effect. Even if this is the only delay, it would not have happened without the protests, prayer vigils and non-stop, round the clock praying that has gone on. Thanks for all your prayers, and keep it up!

Friday, September 14, 2007

From my inbox...

patjrsmom sent me this in response to my last post. I thought it was lovely, and would like to share it. Thanks!

Wilderness Faith
The Holy Spirit initiated a season in Jesus’ life in which he would endure testing and temptation. At times, the Spirit will also lead us into the wilderness to endure a time of trial. It may be a wilderness of loneliness, illness, misunderstanding, poverty, failure, or doubt. Whatever the case, we can take courage from this crucial episode in Jesus’ life. For Jesus’ wilderness experience actually prepared him for his public ministry. The miracles, the preaching, the healings would all characterize the most tremendous ministry the world had ever seen. But not before Jesus engaged in a fierce and terrible spiritual combat.
If you find yourself in the wilderness, perhaps you should be encouraged. God may be preparing you for a time of greater fruitfulness and joy. Such times often do not emerge without a struggle. That struggle may involve facing your own sinfulness and lack of faith. Your enemy wants to convince you that God has abandoned you and that you are good for nothing. In this kind of desert, remember to cling to God. Just as Jesus prayed and fasted, keeping in vital communion with his Father, make sure that you are holding fast to God. You can’t possibly face evil on your own and win. But with patience and faith you can emerge stronger and more hopeful than before.
At times you will be tempted to escape the wilderness. If you’re lonely, you might find yourself rationalizing an unhealthy relationship. If you’re anxious about the future, you might become obsessed with finding ways to protect yourself and your family from financial hardship. If you haven’t been able to bear children, you might be tempted to try medical treatments you believe to be unethical in order to conceive. Whatever your temptations, resist the enemy and ask God for the strength to go on.
There will be an end to your wilderness. That will be a time of rejoicing, a time of moving once again in power and confidence, a time of blessing as God continues to fulfill his purpose for your life.
-Ann Spangler

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


My goodness, but I am whelmed around here (which means I am about that far from being overwhelmed). School has been in session and that means getting up earlier ( not my favorite) meal planning (which I should always do but usually don't) choir rehearsals two nights a week, yada, yada, yada. Add that to the on going activity at the abortion clinic in town, and the fact that I am sick again, for like the forth time in so many weeks, and I just barely have time to think, let alone blog. But, a few things have crossed my mind...

Community. Family and/or a faith community are vital for healthy spiritual lives. We all know how loneliness can be one of the crosses in life, even when we are surrounded by others. Spiritually speaking, Catherine Doehrty from Madonna House, says loneliness is a desert, and we can derive the same spiritual benefit as the Desert Monks if we use our loneliness wisely. But even the Desert Monks come together for feast days, and reconnect with their community. We all need companionship in our loneliness, and without it, the loneliness could be more harmful than useful.

Offering hospitality is also a vital part of a spiritual life. Even in loneliness, giving others a comfortable place to be, offering them simple but good food and allowing others to find the ability to relax and enjoy each others' company takes the biting sting out of loneliness, if for no other reason that the desert dweller is thinking about something else for a while.

There are particular temptations when one is in the desert of loneliness, mimicking the temptations Christ underwent in the desert.

"Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him: "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to turn into bread."

The desire to make something to soothe the hunger of loneliness out of something else (any old addiction will do) will immediately come to mind when one is suffering from the ache of loneliness. Just as a hungry Christ was tempted to turn stones into bread, we are tempted to soothe ourselves with something, anything, even self destructive addictions if it would only relieve our loneliness.

"Next the devil took him to the holy city, set him upon the parapet of the temple, and said, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. Scripture has it, 'He will bid his angels take care of you; with their hands they will support you that you may never stumble on a stone.'"

Another temptation is to be reckless with our spiritual lives during a painful spell of loneliness. If the soul is convinced he is too sad to pray, too desolate to put himself in the presence if God, too alone to find communion with the Church, that is akin to falling for the temptation to throw oneself off the temple, for surely God will save us. Of course, in loneliness, God is really already there right with us. Of course He is big enough to be put to the test, but our spiritual lives often are not in good enough condition to be put to the test, and to do so is only giving in to an infernal temptation.

"The devil then took him to a lofty mountain peak and displayed before him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, promising, "All these will I bestow on you if you prostrate yourself in homage before me."

Often the desire for more importance and power raises its ugly head during times of intense loneliness. One can come to wish for more recognition, respect, or approval from others, thinking that then the loneliness will lose its grip. Again, this is a lie and a temptation, because the desire for recognition, respect and approval is counter to true love. Love, to really love, it to be concerned with the beloved. True love is sacrificial in nature, and getting glory in this world works against sacrifice as quickly as anything I know.

So then, what is the answer to loneliness? I would follow the example of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta. How was it she was able to live in the desert of loneliness all those years, and yet be so obviously joyful (not happy, mind you, joyful.) How is it that she spent her life loving, and yet being lonely? She used the desert to grow her faith, to grow her joy and to grow her trust. Or shall I say God used her sacrifice of love, mercy, compassion to turn the sands of the desert of loneliness into the most fertile soil, where Bl. Teresa's faith, joy and trust grew to sustain her, until she was able leave the desert and attend the banquet feast for all eternity with her Beloved.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Well, I finally have the gifts addressed and ready to go, EXCEPT, embarrassingly, I need Aileen and Heidi's addresses. (It's embarrassing, because they are my relatives, and I don't have their addresses). So, ladies, please e-mail me your addresses, okay!

Last night we had a candlelight prayer vigil at the prospective abortion clinic. There is still a chance it will not open. Keep praying as the battle is intensifying.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Metanoia is a Greek word meaning a change of mind. A radical revision and transformation of our whole mental process. That change of mind is something whereby God takes center place in our consciousness, in our awareness, and in our minds.

I feel this occurring in me lately. I have begged God for a new heart many times, and now I feel it opening up, and it is painful. But I see people in an entirely new way, and in this loving way I am beginning to get a glimpse of the possibility of how God sees all of us. Mind you, I am only seeing glimpse. And it is causing great disturbance in my emotions and my relationships. I can not tolerate nasty words and feelings, and yet I can not control them in myself, let alone in all the people I encounter. And yet I can feel the wounding they cause, I can tell the damage they are doing, I see the decay that follows the hurtful and selfish words and actions. And what to do? I feel like I love everyone, and they just can not comprehend it. They don't believe it, and some plain old don't care. I want to be a peacemaker, a meek and loving peacemaker, and yet I fear rejection, hostility and criticism. I feel Our Lord is molding me for some work, and in preparing me, he is stripping away all my defenses, and now I am standing naked, vulnerable and tender. Now what?

Monday, September 03, 2007

another view of our youth rally

Here is a video, rather than a slide show, that really shows the size of the crowd. I was so very, very encouraged to see what kind of wonderful, activated youth we have in our community.

youth rally footage

Video of the Youth rally. h/t to patjrsmom.

Next, a candle light vigil on Friday evening, after a day of prayer and fasting called by the bishop of Joliet. Keep praying!