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Showing posts from November, 2009

Those Little Moments: Silent Night

After a crazy, family filled, turkey fest long weekend that included both my husband and I being sick, I was strangely looking forward to school starting again.  Hopefully, it bringing a sense of normalcy back to our lives during the busy season. Never would I have imagined we would have a peaceful, wonderful moment in the chaos of after school dinner time activity.  Each of the kids was working on homework or drawing while I was working on preparing dinner. Since we had gotten the Christmas storage boxes out of the garage, we were in the mood to put in our first Christmas CD of the season. All of a sudden, I looked up and smiled.  Everyone was content, dinner was going fine and Silent Night came over the radio speakers. For a few moments, we had complete peace and beauty in our house. Hearing the words to that song in the moment filled me with awe as to what is truly coming as we come to the end of Advent.  It was a special moment for our family - a little light of peace and cal

Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789] By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thank

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol Movie poster This weekend my husband and I took our daughters, age 10 and 7, to see the new animated 3-D Christmas Carol movie starring Jim Carrey . My family (husband and daughters) are most familiar with A Christmas Carol from watching the 1999 Patrick Stewart version annually. When my husband and I were dating, we had the audio cassette of Stewart's one-man show , and listened to it regularly during the holidays. About a week ago, we started reading the original Charles Dickens story aloud after dinner as our family book. So it was a happy surprise to our daughters when we pulled up at the theater and received our 3D glasses. The experience that follows is mixed. Visually, the action is impressive and at times stunning. While the characters appear a bit oddly porportioned, their facial expressions and "acting" are dead on and you almost, nearly , forget you're watching animation. I worried that Jim Carrey, as Scrooge, would

Update on the Senate Health Care Reform Vote

  To clarify my post yesterday on the Senate Health Care Bill - the vote today, Saturday, is a vote for Cloture, not on the actual passage of the bill.  But, the vote for cloture today is the actual deciding vote on this bill.  Harry Reid needs 60 votes for cloture, to move the bill forward towards a vote for passage, but he only needs 51 votes to pass the bill.  He most definitely has the 51 votes to pass the bill, so the only way to put the breaks on this monstrosity is for the Senate to fall short of the 60 votes for cloture tonight. A recent study on cloture votes vs bill passage shows bills that passed cloture also go on to pass the Senate at a rate of 97.6% since 1999. This vote will allow several moderate Democrats the opportunity to vote for the bill before they vote against the bill - an "out" for their reelection in tight states. A vote for Cloture is a vote for the Health Care Reform Bill!

Important Health Care Reform Bill Vote Tomorrow in Senate

I encourage everyone to read all 2,074 pages of the Senate Health Care Reform bill if you have the time. It is predicted it would take 34 hours to read this bill not including the required time necessary to understand and analyze it. I personally don’t have the time to read this monstrosity of legislative language, so I look to various places that I trust for analysis.  And then I seek several other sources to verify the accuracy of the information in the first sources. The truly terrifying part is how this entire process has been rushed.  Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid unveiled his new bill on Wednesday and plans for a vote in the Senate on Saturday.  There is no disagreement, that he is expecting our Senators to vote on a bill they have not read and have not publicly debated. While most Americans want to see some sort of health care reform, I must ask you, is this really the reform you were expecting?  Are you confident that creating a new government bureaucracy will control

Running the Marathon of Life

Once again, Lisa and I spent the weekend in San Antonio. Our husbands, sister-in-law, and two of their siblings ran Sunday in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon . We brought our five children up on Saturday night to cheer them on. As over 30,000 runners took to the streets of San Antonio early Sunday morning, we staked out our first viewing area at mile 2, Alamo Plaza. The wheelchair marathoners started first, arms bulging as they spun their chairs, legs absent or tucked tightly into place. The Kenyans and other favored front-runners led a long steady seemingly never-ending stream of runners of all ages that passed by for over an hour. Running is a solitary sport; the average marathoner races not against others, but against himself, striving to find his limit and go farther. This internal struggle about pushing yourself, telling your body it can keep going--my husband says that’s where you find faith. At the Runners Expo the day before the marathon, he found himself drawn to a booth f

Public Thank You Brings Me Hope

I like to read the comments section of news articles on the web. I find it interesting to see what other people think after reading the same article. Usually I find myself saddened by all the vile hate that is spewed at people who disagree with each other. Are people that hateful and upset with their own lives that they feel the need to say such horrific things to each other? Or is it the relative anonymity of the internet that allows people to shake off the mantel of civility? Are we doomed to continue this great divide until the fabric of our society is threatened? Today I was sent the link to a blog post on HillBuzz written by a self described, “bunch of gay Hillary guys in Boystown, Chicago.” Not a blog I have ever read or heard of, but I was drawn in by the title of the article, Thank you former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush . What I found there moved me deeply. These men have written a wonderful tribute to the former President and First Lad

For their Service

This morning, we join our country honoring friends, neighbors, colleagues, and strangers who selflessly served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally designated to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918. The US legislature modified the holiday to include American Veterans of all wars in 1954 at the urging of veterans service organizations. Yesterday morning on a local radio program, the host extolled the sacrifices made by our veterans in their services to our country. As he continued, my mind wandered to a recent CCE lesson on the lives of Saints – how they sacrificed their own comfort, and sometimes their lives, for God. In a similar manner, so too have our soldiers given up their own comforts, and sometimes their lives, for our country. For us, that we might enjoy the freedoms we too often take for granted. On this Veterans Day, please take a

Those Little Moments: God's Beauty

On the way home last week, after an intense rainstorm, the kids and I saw this rainbow. It was awe-inspiring to see this rainbow stretch across the sky with both ends visible from start to finish.  Every Roy G Biv color stood out vividly, and at one point we could even see a double arch in the sky. Seeing this perfect rainbow initiated a lively conversation in the car, with the kids discussing everything from what causes a rainbow to is there really a pot of gold? From there, we discussed Noah and the rainbow God sent as his promise. Can we imagine that rainbow that appeared to Noah; would it have been as full and bright as this one, or more brilliant? Even on an ordinary day, God reminds us that He is with us everywhere.

Serving

Yesterday, on the anniversary of her baptism, my older daughter participated in the Mass as an Altar Server for the first time. As one of four servers, she assisted the Liturgy of the Eucharist. She and an older boy, the veteran, processed down the aisle with the priest and others; she helped to receive the gifts, held the bowl and towel as Fr. Mathew washed his hands, and stood proudly to receive communion with the other servers and Eucharistic Ministers. She didn’t fidget or look bored, but responded and sang in the appropriate places. She behaved like a very mature young lady. Words cannot express how proud I felt watching her participate. My mother drove an hour to attend our morning Mass and see her oldest granddaughter. I wish I’d been able to take a picture of them together, with my daughter in the alb. Growing up, Lisa and I often heard Mom wistfully comment how much she wished she could be an altar server, and she said it again more than once this morning. I don’t remembe

New Pathways

Last month, Lisa and I mused on how we could get to know our priests better . As it turns out God had an answer. Within days of writing that post, I was speaking to a woman about something PTA-elementary school related when she expressed her surprise that I wasn’t at a Pastoral Council information meeting the past Sunday. I had received a letter from our church the week before, but didn't read it. I only glanced at the envelope before putting it in my workbag with other documents for later review, and then completely forgot. That letter turned out to be an official invitation to go through our parish Discernment process for Pastoral Council. After discussing the topic with my husband, I attended the second information meeting. During the meeting, I became cautiously excited about this opportunity to serve. It seemed as though God was opening a door and revealing a new path. I considered how various events in my life over this past year may have been given to me in preparation for

Locked Out is a Message from God

Rushing to leave the house quickly to pick up my youngest from preschool, I ran out into the garage and pulled my house door shut behind me. Right as the door went “click”; I realized I’d left my keys on the kitchen counter. Oops. We have never kept a key hidden on the property because I am just too paranoid for that and have never gotten around to giving one to a neighbor like at our old house. Thankfully, I had my phone with me, so I made a couple of calls and arranged for my mom to pick up Birdie and come unlock my house. I hung up and suddenly realized I had an hour to kill outside by myself with nothing in particular to do. It was a strange feeling to suddenly have nowhere to go, no one with me and nothing to accomplish. I remembered my magazines I keep in the car for carpool and took them around to my front porch to sit. In the two years we’ve lived in this house, I have never once sat in my big wicker chairs decorating our wraparound porch. Very sad, I know, but I did