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Showing posts from February, 2011

God's Call is Sometimes a Surprise

I am the oldest of three children. My sister has three children. My brother has three children. I have two. Over the past five or six years, people have asked me if I planned to have another baby. Because I have two daughters, the question is most often phrased as, “Are you going to try for a boy.” Over the past five or six years, I’ve answered no. I have a long list of reasons: We like having two girls. There’s no guarantee we’d have a boy. We couldn’t afford daycare for three. I’d have to quit my job. We can’t afford for me to quit my job. I’m out of shape. And as the years crept by I added another excuse, I’m too old. Although after my sister had baby number 3 and I watched them play and grow together I reminisced about my own childhood with two siblings. And as my brother and his wife began having their children, I considered it again. I’d watch my own daughters interact and occasionally feel that someone was missing from our family. Then I’d remind myself of all my reasons

God's Gift to Our Family

Three years ago today, our father had a major heart attack while at our ranch in rural central Texas.   Thankfully, our uncle was with him and managed to get him to the county hospital on those dirt roads faster than anyone has dared driving on them before.   Miraculously, when he arrived the local doctors immediately implemented a brand-new, grant funded, emergency Life Flight specifically created to transfer rural heart attack patients directly to a cardiac surgeon in downtown Austin.   Before the rest of our family even left the Houston area, Dad was in the air. We later learned that Dad nearly didn’t survive the journey. Without that program in place, we very well might have lost him. It was a Sunday.   Brian and I were at the house preparing lunch for the kids when Mom called.   It was one of those phone calls where you immediately know something is wrong.   I remember just sitting on the couch afterwards, not knowing what to do and feeling completely lost.   Shelly and her fa

Moral Battle in Wisconsin

I began to write this morning about the situation in Wisconsin that is echoing across the country.  While I was writing, Thomas Peters, of American Papist , posted his piece on the Wisconsin protests over at CatholicVote.org .  After reading his column, I stopped writing.  Thomas hit the nail on the head.  He covers almost all the points I was set to make.  So rather than reinvent the wheel, I direct you to read his excellent coverage and analysis of the Wisconsin union protests.   In Wisconsin, a preview of moral battles to come, and why we need all hands on deck  "Americans deserve elected officials who practice prudence, responsibility and selflessness. Governor Walker and the Senators who chose to do their job this week in Wisconsin are such men and women."

Sharing Valentine's Day with Kids

Happy Valentine's Day! Saint Valentine Puppet I am thrilled to be sharing Valentine's Day with my Faith Formation class of 3rd graders this afternoon.  While planning our lesson I discovered a great website called Catholic Icing .  She has an amazing number of arts and crafts, food creations and feast day celebration ideas to share our Catholic faith with children and within our family.  This site is perfect for those looking to incorporate a little fun and creativity into our family's faith life.  I'm using three of her great Valentine's Day ideas in my lesson today.  First, the kids will make Saint Valentine puppets from paper bags.  How adorable!   The kids in my class love to craft and it gives me a great opportunity to introduce Valentine's Day as much more than a just secular holiday. While they are making their puppets, they will learn a bit about at least one of the St. Valentines from the 3rd century . When you check out these puppet

CPAC 2011 Speakers

This week political Conservatives from all 50 states gather in DC for the annual CPAC - Conservative Political Action Conference sponsored by The American Conservative Union .  One of the great things about CPAC is the streaming video online of their speakers. You can check the schedule to see who is speaking now and the rest of the day.  If you missed some of the big names who spoke yesterday or earlier today, they have the CPAC 2011 speeches archived online and easy to view.   Much of the talk around the speakers at CPAC is of course on GOP Presidential hopefuls.  Many of potential contenders are speaking and tonight the more than 11,000 conference attendees will cast their vote in a GOP Presidential straw poll.  The results of the straw poll, which should be released early Saturday, will put the Presidential spotlight on one Conservative extremely early in the 2012 election cycle.   Of the speakers at CPAC 2011 , there are a few of my favorite conservatives such as Paul Ryan an

Texas Sonogram Bill Passes First Hurdle

The Texas Senate heard testimony yesterday on Texas Senate Bill 16, commonly known as the Texas Sonogram Bill.  Filed by Houston area Senator Dan Patrick , this bill requires a woman to receive a sonogram at least 24 hours before an abortion procedure, to view the sonogram images, for the fetal development to be described during the ultrasound and to hear the baby’s heartbeat.   The intent of this bill is to ensure women are receiving full and accurate medical information on their pregnancy before giving informed consent to an abortion.  This bill will require a woman to receive an ultrasound and have the right to view it.  The  D irector of Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region, Dr. Scott Spear, testified, “Standard care already includes performing an ultrasound.”  However, women testified they were not permitted to view their ultrasound or strongly encouraged to not watch the sonogram before their abortion. Opponents to the bill say the Texas Legislature is attempting

Free Ultrasounds/Sonograms Outside Houston Abortion SuperCenter

The Houston Coalition for Life is now operating a Mobile Crisis Pregnancy Unit (MCPU) offering free ultrasounds and sonograms to abortion vulnerable women in front of Planned Parenthood of Houston's Abortion Supercenter .  With the addition of the MCPU, staffers and volunteers at  Houston Coalition for Life will have the opportunity to lovingly provide choices and information to women and girls who feel they are left without a choice other than abortion. When Planned Parenthood of Houston, now Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, unveiled the location for   the largest abortion facility in the United States and Western Hemisphere a few years ago, the Houston Coalition for Life investigated locations close by for a new Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC).  Finding no available locations for a CPC, Houston Coalition for Life, a pro-life non-profit organization dedicated to ending abortions in Houston through peaceful and legal means, started fundraising for the first Mobile Crisis Pregnancy U

John 3:16 - A Message of Hope

A message of hope. That's what one organization aspired to bring to over a hundred million football fans across the world. For years the phrase "John 3:16" has been seen at various NFL and college football games, displayed by fans on signs in the endzone, and on players shoes, ankle tape, sweatbands, and tattoos. When Tim Tebow wore it in his eye black at the Jan 2009 championship game, the phrase became the number one Google search for the evening. Surprisingly, many fans don't know what John 3:16 means or represents. To encourage fans to discover the meaning of the message, LookUp316 created a national commercial to air during Super Bowl XLV. Though the commercial does not contain any direct or audible reference God or Christ, Fox Sports rejected it on the basis that it contained "religious doctrine." In a world obsessed with getting ahead, splurging, and overindulgence, we laughingly watch and rate Super Bowl commercials that poke fun at our desire

Planned Parenthood Demonstrates Pattern of Abuse Toward Women

On Tuesday, February 1, 2011 the pro-life youth group Live Action released a stunning undercover video showing a Planned Parenthood Director offering assistance to an alleged pimp of a underage sex trafficking ring.   In the video below, the Director advises the pimp how to circumvent state abortion laws to obtain abortions for girls as young as 15.   At first, Planned Parenthood defended their director, calling the edited video a hoax.  In response, Live Action publicly released the unedited full-length video, which had been provided to various state and federal law enforcement officers, including the FBI and US Attorney General Eric Holder.  The next day Planned Parenthood fired the director.  Two days later on February 3, 2011, Live Action released a second undercover video showing another Planned Parenthood Director, this time in Richmond, Virginia, also offering assistance to an alleged underage sex trafficking ring.  She also advised the alleged pimp how to get abortions in v

Obamacare Ruled Unconsitutional and Void

Judge Roger Vinson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida ruled yesterday that the individual mandate in ObamaCare, formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is unconstitutional.    This case, brought by 26 states, 2 individual citizens and the National Federation of Independent Business , is the second federal lawsuit brought against Obamacare to have found the individual mandate unconstitutional. The 78-page order thoroughly reviewed the history, intent and case law of the Commerce Clause, which was the Administration’s Constitutional basis for the Act.   Judge Vinson’s stated, " Never before has Congress required that everyone buy a product from a private company (essentially for life) just for being alive and residing in the United States." He went on to write, addressing the Administration’s fallback reliance on the Necessary and Proper clause; “If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to eng