Friday, April 30, 2010

7 Quick Takes in the Great Outdoors

Even with this weeks hectic schedule, we managed to find a litte time to spend outdoors.



Even a slimy pond can possess a certain beauty; you just have to know what you're looking for. In Moe's case, it's frogs and fish and water striders.




The laurels are getting ready to bloom!


Today officially marks the end of the Great Outdoor Challenge. Thanks to Lisa at 5 Orange Potatoes for hosting! She may continue the challenge on a once-a-week basis (that's much more realistic for me), so stay tuned! With warm weather finally here, I know we'll all be outdoors a lot, and I'll plan on taking lots of pictures of our adventures in God's creation.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Praise for Miracles and Blessings Great and Small

God is so awesome!

In my last post, I asked for prayers for a construction worker who was injured at our parish. We found out yesterday that when he fell from the roof, he landed on a piece of steel rebar protruding from the ground, and was impaled from his hip to his chest. Miraculously, none of the man's vital organs were damaged, and he is expected to recover. If that isn't a miracle, I don't know what one is. Praise God! He's not out of the woods yet, so please keep him in your prayers.

Praise God for the Sacrament of Reconciliation!

Praise God for the gift of the Priesthood, and for all of the faithful men who have answered the call to this most noble of vocations. I am thankful to all of the priests who have touched my life over these fourteen years since I became a Catholic. In this time of persecution for the Church, our priests need our prayers more than ever.

Was it coincidence when we bought our house over twelve years ago, that it happened to be on the market when we needed to find something quickly? Was it coincidence that it had been for sale for several years, and the asking price was within our budget? And that it happened to be in a place which has lots of big trees and a lake (albeit a small, man-made one)? Every day for more than twelve years, we've been able to walk outside--even look out our windows--and witness scenes like this:

It's no wonder Curly wants to become a marine biologist, and Moe a zoologist. (Larry has been here the longest, and he wants to be a computer programmer.) We praise God for putting us in this beautiful spot. Even when thunderstorms and heavy snows knock down trees; even in the fall when there are endless leaves to rake.

Praise God for:

Herbs ready to plant

Local organic grass-fed burgers cooked on the grill

and the joy of catching critters.

I'm in! Are you?

The photos today are a mixture of ones we took this past Friday, Saturday, and today (Sunday) on our daily outdoor adventures.

I've posted almost every day this week. Next week I think I'll plan on publishing fewer blog posts--even though we'll keep exploring our environment, taking photos of God's creation, and sharing them with you. I'm hoping to catch up on some reading and-- just maybe-- finish the story of my conversion to the Catholic faith.

Have a blessed week, everyone!

Friday, April 23, 2010

7 Quick Takes: Odds and Ends and Outdoor Fun


Last Friday in my Seven Quick Takes post, I showed you some pictures of what the inside of our church looks like while it is going through some renovations. There is work being done on the outside as well, and they're expanding a house to convert it into the rectory. Today a construction worker fell from a roof and was badly hurt. He is expected to survive, but may lose a lung. Please pray for him.


I'm FINALLY almost ready to start reading this book:

It's Miracles: Healing for a Broken World, written by Father Stefan Starzynski, a priest who was assigned to our church for several years; and Chris Grzasko, a good friend of Father Stefan's who attends our parish. He's already been on EWTN radio to talk about the book, and he'll be on The Catholic Channel on Sirius/XM on May 11 (which just HAPPENS to be his birthday!) I believe he'll be talking to Gus Lloyd on his Seize the Day program; when I get more details I'll be sure to give them to you here. Meanwhile, you can order the book from just about any bookstore; here is the link to Amazon.
You can follow Father Stefan on Twitter here, and be sure to check out his website!
All proceeds from Miracles: Healing for a Broken World will be donated to the Paul Stefan Home for Unwed Mothers.


It's Kids Say the Darndest Things Friday over at Lucy's Mystical Rose blog, so here's my little story for this week. The other day I heard Larry, who is thirteen, say this to Moe, who is nine: "When I was YOUR age..."

Thirteen-year-old boys know EVERYTHING.

Lucy's story is much better than mine. Check it out!


Let's all remember to pray for the eleven workers who are still missing from the oil rig explosion. I think it's pretty much been determined that they did not survive. One of my Twitter "peeps," Jill, tweeted that her father is afraid that one of the victims was a friend of his, but didn't know for sure since they haven't released the names yet.


Outdoor Fun: On Wednesday, it rained most of the day, but the sun came out in the afternoon.

Moe and I decided to take our dog for a walk by the lake.

When Moe sat down to throw some rocks into the water,

...of course the ducks and the goose assumed he was feeding them and came over to check it out.

When they saw this ferocious beast staring at them,

they quickly retreated.


On Thursday we decided to take a detour on the way home from school and hunt for a geocache. While we were searching, we looked up to find it staring back at us!

Curly signed the logbook,

while Moe examined these little red critters. I can never remember their official name; we used to call them "p**s-ants."

(For more about geocaching, go to

Back home, Moe took it upon himself to try and rid this puddle of all mosquito larvae.


Today is the Feast of St. George. I don't know much about him, but he seems to be a saint we can all turn to this day and age. St. George was a soldier in the Roman army under the pagan Emporer Diocletian, and when he refused to renounce his Christian faith, he was martyred. Legend has it that he once killed a dragon who was about to devour a maiden offered as a sacrifice; the story illustrates George's willingness to stand against evil to defend Christ and His Church. Today there are many who would sell out their faith to the Culture of Death. How many purported Catholics try to twist Church teaching to justify abortion? Our culture now sacrifices its children to the dragon of "choice." Let's all try to be like St. George and stand up for the Truth. Perhaps together and with the Holy Spirit's guidance, we can slay the dragon of death and anti-Catholicism before it wounds the Church any more than it already has.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday (kinda sorta) the Outdoor Challenge Edition

I've never done the (Almost) "Wordless Wednesday" meme, so welcome to Sharon's FIRST Outdoor Challenge Edition!

Yesterday it was an early dinner out on the deck,

...then a stroll around an algae-filled pond by the flag football fields.

We were blessed to be serenaded by a red-winged blackbird.

Today it's raining. It might be our most challenging day for outdoor fun yet!

I'm in! Are you?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Glorious Mysteries for Life, and Outdoor Challenge!

My friend Judi's official time in the Boston Marathon: 4:09:51. Way to go!

Mystical Rose Design has a great meme on their blog: Pro-Life Tuesdays. Last fall I posted some of the pro-life mysteries from Priest's for Life's website, but I never got around to posting the Glorious Mysteries. I thought today would be a good day to post them (even though Tuesday is normally for the Sorrowful Mysteries--but we can pray any set of mystery any day of the week, right?)


Christ is risen! By his Resurrection, He has destroyed the power of death, and therefore the power of abortion. The outcome of the battle for life has already been decided: Life is victorious! Let us pray that all pro lifers will spread this victory to every segment of our society.


By ascending to His throne, Christ takes our human nature, given to us in the womb, to the heights of Heaven. He shows us that human beings are made to be raised to Heaven, not thrown in the garbage. Let us pray that the world may learn this truth and reject abortion.


The Holy Spirit is our advocate. He pleads our cause, for we cannot save ourselves. We pray that He will make us advocates for the babies, who cannot speak or write or vote or protest or even pray.


The Blessed Virgin Mary was taken body and soul into Heaven because she is the Mother of God. Mother and child are united. The assumption reminds us that they belong together. We pray that society will see that it cannot love women while killing their children, and cannot save children without helping their mothers. We pray that people will be touched by the pro-life question, "Why can't we love them both?"


Mary is the Queen of the Universe. The Church teaches that she is the greatest creature, second only to God Himself. The Church defends the dignity of women. We pray that people will understand that to be pro-life means to be pro-woman, and that to be pro-woman demands that we be pro-life.

Yesterday after school I schlepped Larry to his flag football game, and Curly and Moe to Tae Kwon Do; then we all went over to church where I teach Religious Education every Monday. Not a whole lot of time for outdoor fun, but we were able to grab a sub from Wawa and have a quick picnic at the edge of the practice field before Larry's game. It felt good to relax and enjoy the sunshine for a few minutes,

and to admire the splashes of color in the parking lot landscaping.
I'm in! Are you?
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