Thursday, September 25, 2014

No Secret that Once Upon a Time is Frozen

Once Upon a Time…. there were two sisters.
Frozen comes to Once Upon a Time season 4

One of these sisters took her children to see Frozen.
The other did not and could not understand why everyone kept singing “Let it Go” all the time.
And then on the Once Upon a Time season 3 finale, Emma and Hook returned from the Enchanted Forest of the past with an unexpected stowaway in Rumplestiltskin’s urn; a woman in a shimmering blue dress magically emerged with ice crystals shooting from her fingertips. 
The first sister squealed. 
The second sister sighed…. and reluctantly borrowed the Frozen movie DVD.

Now she “gets it.”
We’re both looking forward to the Season 4 return of ABC’s Once Upon a Time with their new 11-episode arc incorporating characters from the movie Frozen. The Anna and Elsa story will likely be told in the standard OUAT format that see-saws between present-day Storybrooke and flashbacks to the pre-curse Enchanted Forest.

#Frozen is Coming to #OnceUponATime

We're curious how the Frozen characters will interact with our OUAT heroes, but the really exciting element is how will the show’s writers employ their classic “What If…” twist? Show creator Eddy Kitsis is already on record saying that Anna, “ a sunny hopeful woman who always sees the good in people, but what happens when she meets Rumplestiltskin, the devil? We’ll reveal a whole new side of Anna’s personality.”
Coming to the show are Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven, Prince Hans (with his 12 brothers), and Pabbie the Troll King.
But no Olaf?! Maybe Kristoff finally told him what happens to snow in summmmerrrr!!!!!!
Another character appearing is supposed to be the Snow Queen, whose Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale inspired the Frozen movie. There's no spoilers about how she will be integrated into show, but I have read the original fairy tale and have a few ideas.
Secrets of Once Upon a Time Podcast by SQPN
If you want to know our predictions or what we think about Once Upon a Time, be sure to subscribe to the weekly SQPN podcast Secrets of Once Upon a Time on iTunes. Hosted by Fr. Roderick, David, Deborah, Inge, Lisa and I, the podcast brings together our eclectic group to identify themes, hidden Mickey's (visual references to all-things Disney), examine another layer of the show through discussion, and make crazy predictions about the direction of the story.  

Can't wait for the Sunday premiere either?  Check out the extended trailer for the season 4 premiere of Once Upon a Time.  

Don't forget to watch Sunday night at 8/7central on ABC, then tune in later in the week to the Secrets of Once Upon a Time podcast on iTunes to hear us discuss the episode.  

What's your prediction for Sunday night and this first part of Once Upon a Time Season 4?  


Monday, September 22, 2014

Planning a Catholic Women's Retreat

Planning a Catholic Women's Retreat
For years, I have desired and prayed about a ladies' retreat at my parish.  A retreat for women to getaway for a weekend, grow closer to Christ and enjoy fellowship with each other. I'm very, very excited to say that we are now finally in the planning stages for our first Catholic Ladies' Retreat for St. Angela Merici!!!

We have organized a team of women who represent many of the different seasons of life for women in our parish and we've begun sharing our own experiences, brainstorming, praying and discussing.

When discussing the package Catholic retreats that exist or those that we've attended, we decided to create one from the ground up to fit the identity of our parish.  St. Angela Merici in Missouri City is still in the "young" stages of a parish, but no longer a small parish.  Since our first mass in summer of 2008, we have grown to over 1300 households.  It's been quite an explosion that means we no longer all know each other or even run into each other with four large masses in a weekend.  The parish is "young" with lots and lots of children and families, but we want to target all the women in our parish with an inclusive event.  We have stay at home moms, working moms, empty nesters, professional single women, divorced women, young adults, widowers, etc...  But the one thing we all have in common - We are all called to be Daughters of God.

To create an inclusive Catholic women's retreat from the ground up, we've identified our three main goals...

1. Create a women's retreat for all women in our parish, no matter their season in life or marital status.  Everyone is welcome.

2.  Create a place where women can meet Jesus and grow in their faith, even though we are all in different places on our faith journey.

3.  Create a community where women can enjoy fellowship and connect with each other as daughters of God.

Catholic Women's Retreat St. Angela Merici ParishThose are big goals to meet in a first year event.  After going around and around with scripture and ideas for sessions we kept coming back to Daughters of God and Proverbs 31.  At that point, many of the big pieces fell into place.

Our flyer and theme then naturally flowed from Proverbs 31 and the idea that We are Called to be a Daughter of God.

We have a reservation at an archdiocesan retreat center, begun collecting emails from interested women and presented the retreat to the parish.

Some of the big early stuff is done (or started), but now there are so many details to work through in order to schedule sessions, open registration and finalize plans.

Would you share with us a few things about your retreat experience?  If you haven't been on one, there are still a couple of questions to help us out.
  • What is your favorite thing that happens at a weekend retreat?
  • What convinced you to attend a weekend women's retreat?  (and if you haven't yet, what would seal the deal?)
  • What type of swag (gifts, goodies) do you enjoy receiving at an event? Any favorite, must haves?
  • What makes a retreat special for you?
  • Do you have a favorite scripture verse or Saint quote that is great for women's groups?

We are very excited and feel blessed to have this opportunity to bring the women of our parish together to grow as daughters of God.   Will you pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our team in creating a retreat that brings the women of our parish together in community and closer to Jesus Christ?

Thank you for your feedback!  I've created a Pinterest Board for the retreat if you want to follow along with our planning.

Follow Of Sound Mind & Spirit's board Catholic Women's Retreat on Pinterest.

Friday, September 19, 2014

We Have Strong Role Models for Marriage

16 years ago today I married my best friend.  I know, I know, it sounds like a Hallmark card. But just look at that cute picture of the young us.  We were happy in love with a whole future of married life in front of us.

 Brian likes to say that we didn't know what we were getting into back then.  We were young and starry-eyed.  But I really think we both had a good idea of what marriage held for us.  He and I each had strong role models for marriage growing up.

Each of our parents demonstrated with their own marriages that marriage was really for better and for worse.  By observing our own parents through the years, we knew there were easy times for a married couple and then times when marriage was hard work.  But in the end, persevering through the hard times made the good times even sweeter.
My parents celebrated 47 years of marriage in January

Brian's parents celebrated their Golden 50th Anniversary in June

Today, on our 16th wedding anniversary, we would like to honor our parents.  

Thank You Mom and Dad & Mom and Dad for being great role models for Brian and I to look up to as we've journeyed through married life together.  In this day and age, it is truly a blessing for each of us to have parents who continue to show us and our children the joy that married life can bring to a family.   

7 Quick Takes - September

7 quick takes at Of Sound Mind and Spirit
I've been thinking of writing again, sketching out ideas in my notebook, and struggling to find time - make time - choose to sit down at the computer after 10 p.m. to actually organize and compose my thoughts. I started writing this 7 Quick Takes last week, week before last, two weeks ago, whenever it was....but was interrupted and couldn't finish.


Robin Williams - My family was saddened to learn about Robin William's death. After reading several stories about his suffering, I felt inspired to write. While trying to be sensitive to my friends' feelings in commenting about my personal experiences, I put a lot of thought into what I said. Apparently I really struck a chord, because two people challenged my opinion and experiences, calling me ignorant and stating "there is no hope" for people suffering with severe depression. One person actually defriended me for sharing my personal feelings and experiences on my personal blog. In writing that post, I wasn't trying to influence anyone's beliefs or opinions, I just felt inspired to share my thoughts.  Often my friends write things I strongly disagree with; however, I recognize that not everything they share requires a challenging or disapproving comment or response. It's enough to acknowledge their perspective born out of their own experiences. It's not my place to change their beliefs, only to offer my own perspective from my own experiences in a non-confrontational way. Sadly, that was not the case with my Robin Williams post. 
Joan of Arcadia  -  This summer I introduced my tween/teen daughters to season one of the 2003-2004 television series Joan of Arcadia. For those not familiar with it, God appears in various personas to our main character, 16 year old Joan Girardi, giving her assignments that make no sense to her, but produce ripple effects across the community. We haven't finished watching the first season, but I'm struck by how much truth I hear in the dialogue that facilitates some interesting conversations with my daughters as they absorb and analyze the content.  The first time I watched the show, my daughters were preschool age and I hadn't embarked on my personal re-engagement with my faith. Watching this summer, I'm struck by how faithful "God's position" relates to the Catholic catechism, so I looked up the show's creator - Barbara Hall. Surprisingly, (or not) she is Catholic, and at the time she created the show, she was a recent convert and the show reflects her own faith journey, questions, challenges, etc. about God in the various views of each character.  I could probably write a lengthy blog post about this show.
Books and People - Just before summer, a woman we've known through softball invited me to join a neighborhood book club. Serendipitously, the book they were reading for the next meeting was one I was currently listening to via audio during my commute. (The First Phone Call From Heaven.) Though I haven't attended all of the meetings or even read all of the books, I'm enjoying the opportunity to learn more about and from a very diverse group of women. Most of these women are internationally traveled. In fact, I might be the only native Texan. Several of us have daughters about the same age - I suspect most of them know each other from the local elementary school - and three of the moms have daughters playing softball with my daughter. In the beginning I felt very uncomfortable, but I'm learning to relax and find a balance in my conversation offerings. In addition to the above, we've read Crazy Rich Asians (loved it!), Glass Castle: A Memoir (couldn't read it), The Tiger's Wife (unfulfilling) and Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker (had to force myself to finish it.) September's book is Reconstructing Amelia (easy read).
Working Moms - Lisa attended the Edel Gathering in Austin this summer. Although I couldn't go, I read through the "Who's Attending" roll call with interest, noticing how the majority of attendees appeared to be SAHM bloggers. Whenever I identified a working mom, I'd zip Lisa a message saying - make sure you meet this person for me. After the Edel meeting, Lisa sent me information about a new Facebook group for Catholic Working Moms. What a blessing. (I wish I'd thought of it!) New moms, older moms, moms who work part-time, full-time, or during the school year with summers off. Moms who love their jobs and careers; moms who pray for the opportunity to become a SAHM.  Every possible experience is shared and prayed over by a group of women who understand and affirm one another.  In reading their experiences, my own anxiety or stress is lessened and I offer up prayers for their challenges.
Back to School Supplies - School is back in session and with it the routine, schedules, and school supply lists. I miss the elementary years when you pre-ordered the PTO packet of required supplies. Even if you didn't, you had the list in May and did your supply shopping a few weeks before school actually started. With one in high school and one in middle school, we don't know what supplies they will need until the first week of school. Each class sends home a syllabus (or URL) that you, the parent, are required to read, print, sign, and return to school. The syllabus includes the supplies list and/or fee. 
Teachers and Technology - The same technology that makes it possible for us to stay connected to our employers 24-hours a day has permeated our schools. I have one daughter in high school and another in middle school. They each have seven classes (14 total) and every teacher maintains a website. The high school offers a “staff” page that links to each teacher's webpage, but the middle school isn’t so organized. You’d better bookmark those URLs because they're not easy to find again. To find out about homework, students are required to check in daily with numerous websites that vary by teacher for each class. Edmodo seems to be the primary website where teachers upload documents, post assignments, and require students to answer questions through a social media styled interface. The music department uses Charms, an electronic way of recording your practice time and printing off sheet music. Essays are only allowed to be submitted through And of course, we couldn’t live without constant text messaging on Remind 101. All students are required to have an email and no flash drives are allowed, although the school provides a "Gaggle" account. Trying to keep up with it all makes my head hurt, but it's all in a day's (home)work for my daughters.
ACTS Retreat - When Lisa and I went to our first CNMC in San Antonio, we met the couple behind Real Men Pray the Rosary, a non-profit ministry promoting faith, family, and community. David Calvillo spoke very excitedly about the ACTS retreat and its influence on his life. Although Lisa and I had never heard of ACTS retreat, when I was serving on Pastoral Council a  year or two later, the first ACTS retreat was offered to my parish. All the women on Council signed up, but my baby was due at the time and I couldn't attend. Each time the ACTS retreat was offered, a conflict prevented me from joining. Last week, a colleague who knows I've wanted to attend, brought me her parish's registration form and even though the weekend isn't ideal (scheduling conflicts) everything suddenly seemed to open up for me to attend and everyone encouraged me to sign up. So I did! And I'm cautiously excited at what might happen in two weeks when I finally get to go on my ACTS retreat.  (I'll let you know!)

- Shelly

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Listen to Catholic Radio in Houston

Support Houston Catholic Radio, KSHJ 1430 AM
Support Houston Catholic Radio 1430 AM
The Guadalupe Radio Network has brought Catholic Radio to Houston.  KSHJ 1430 AM reaches over 5 million people in the metro Houston area.

Since Houston Catholic radio is still relatively new in the area, they need your help getting the word out, praying for their mission and supporting them financially, if possible.  

KSHJ 1430 am serves the people of the Houston metro area and the Catholic Church with the best inspiring, educational and faith filled Catholic programming available.  The mission of the Guadalupe Radio Network is to assist in drawing all people to the knowledge and love of Jesus and His Church through the medium of Catholic Radio, in full accord with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. You can tune in throughout the week to hear the best of EWTN radio  and live Catholic programming.  

This week, the Guadalupe Radio Network is hosting their fall Share-A-Thon to raise awareness about their 21 Catholic radio stations in Texas, New Mexico and Washington DC.   They are seeking an Army of Angels to help support this Catholic radio network.  

If you can help, please call 800-476-3311 or visit the GRN Share-A-Thon website for giving levels and to donate online.  

Will you take a moment to help us spread the word about Houston Catholic Radio and the rest of the Guadalupe Radio Network?  

We invite you to pin the image above on Pinterest, share on Facebook, tweet or call a friend to ask them to pray for the success of the network and their share-a-thon.  Tune into 1430 am on your radio dial, listen online at or through the TuneIn Radio app on your phone or other device.  

My absolute favorite thing from 1430 AM is at 3 pm everyday.  1430 AM plays a beautiful version of the Divine Mercy Chaplet in song from EWTN at the hour of mercy.  Many days I find myself sitting in the kids' school carpool line praying and singing along with the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Today, when I pray at 3 pm, I'll be praying for the continued success and support of Houston Catholic Radio.   Will you join me?



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