Thursday, November 05, 2009

Prayer Request

My mother has struggled with congestive heart failure and COPD for the past decade. We just learned today that she had a 9 by 13 mm cancerous tumor on her lung. We'll learn soon of her options. In the meantime, say a prayer and think a happy thought.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blue Mass

Today was the annual Blue Mass at our church, recognizing the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women in law enforcement, EMS, and fire department.

The bagpipes and the memorial of the fallen were touching. After mass was a luncheon. The boy scouts cooked and served jambalaya. There were also finger sandwiches, a cheese tray, desserts.

For the kids, there was a DEA helicopter on the field behind the church, a SWAT truck, and a fire truck.

So little to offer to those who sacrifice their lives everyday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rant of the Day

I've heard of banks that charge extra feels if the customer actually wants to go inside the bank and talk to a teller. They justify it by saying that it costs more to service the in-person customer than the ATM or online banking customer (presumably because of the teller's salary). Still, I think it's a load of crock.

I believe that in the interest of good customer service, some things should be free (which isn't really free, but humor me).

That's why I was annoyed to see a sign in a doctor's office stating that they now charge $10 for any form requiring a doctor's signature. Camp forms, sports forms. Yep, $10 each. I get that it takes someone time to pull the file, check the info and hand it to the doctor to sign. But seeing as I, with help from my instance company, paid for an office visit/physical. Why charge extra for sharing that info (via a form)? To me, it's poor customer relations.

Monday, October 05, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ladies, have you had a mammogram in the past year? If not, and you're of the recommended age, why not make your appointment now? Done properly, it's not really painful. A tad uncomfortable perhaps, but it only lasts a moment.

I had my mammogram today. The mood lighting and soft music didn't really enhance the experience. Add a glass of wine or some dark chocolate and we'll talk. Come on, this is "second base" we're talking about!

Anyway, I'm properly positioned between the two plates and holding on to the handle as asked (what is this - a ride on Space Mountain?!). As the radiologist steps behind the monitor to snap the picture, she says, "okay, hold still now." Excuse me? Where could I possibly go?

I'm just saying....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

His Magnetic Personality

He's seven and a half - well beyond the age of "knowing better." Yet Son #3 managed to swallow a magnetic rock several weeks ago. He was never the kid who put foreign objects in his mouth, even as a baby, but lo and behold, this time he did.

A couple of phone calls to our pediatrician and the local emergency room confirmed what we suspected. Since it was only one magnet and no other metal was involved, we just had to wait it out - pun intended. We were on high alert all week but no sign of the magnet. Not exactly something you can ask the school nurse to monitor, y'know?

After a week our doctor recommended an xray to be sure the magnet passed. That's not something you want to discover during an MRI years down the road. Xray showed all was clear.

I guess this means I can no longer threaten to stick him to the side of the refrigerator if he misbehaves.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I Haven't Forgotten About You...

I'm still here. I just haven't been blogging on my personal blog lately. My handcrafted jewelry business has been doing well lately (yay!), plus I've been keep busy at my part time job at the law office. Dear Hubby and I managed to take the kids to the beach for a few days, and now we're getting ready for school, which starts a week from today.

Once things settle down, I hope to get back to blogging at least a few times a week. Thanks for hanging in there!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy 14th Birthday, Son #1

Happy Birthday, Son #1! He has really impressed me with his sense of responsibility this summer as he looks after his younger brothers and ensures the chores are done before I get home from my part-time job.

I do miss our really, really late nights watching TV together (until 3 am or later). Since I work Monday - Friday, I just can't keep the same hours that we did last summer. We're both night-owls.

The photo above was taken last year at Boy Scout camp. It's one of my favorites. Dear Hubby and I took him out to dinner at the restaurant of his choosing (Olive Garden). Pasta with marinara sauce, and a whole lot of breadsticks.

If you're interested in reading his birth story, click here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday, Son #2

Today is Son #2's 12th birthday. Just like last year, he's spending his birthday at Boy Scout camp in the mountains of northern Georgia. Earlier today, I received the call that he's feeling a little under the weather and running a fever of 101. There's a medic tent - doctors and nurses - at camp, but they recommended the 45+ minute drive into town to visit the ER as a precaution.

Apparently there was another scout from different state that came down with flu-like symptoms on Sunday, so I think the medical folks wanted to be extra cautious. (The other scout - and his troop - are segregated away from the rest of the kids).

It's a bummer to be sick on your birthday, but especially when you're missing all the fun camp activities. Fortunately all the cultures came back negative and Son #2 was allowed to leave.

The two adults (troop dads) who took Son #2 to the Emergency Room also took him to a barbecue restaurant. A nice change from the camp mess hall. Probably as big a treat for the dads. Also in attendance was Son #2's best friend (his dad was one of the leaders to accompanied him to the hospital). As you can see from the photo below, he's obviously feeling much better.

That's probably the world's most expensive ice cream sundae. ;-)

He returns home Saturday evening. We'll celebrate his birthday then and take him to his favorite Japanese restaurant for a late dinner. I sent a little gift up with one of the dads who's attending. The rest of the goodies will have to wait until Saturday.

I miss him a lot. He's a very affectionate kid - even at this age (I'd better enjoy it while it lasts, I'm told). He's blessed with a great sense of humor. If you're interested in reading his birth story, click here.

* photos taken with cell phone and emailed to me. A nice treat for me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baseball Season Is Over

Baseball season is officially over, at least for our family. Son #3 (age 7, pictured above) played his final game tonight. His team, the Marlins, did well. They won the last nine games in a row and finished either first place or second. His age group doesn't have a tournament.

Son #2 (age 11) also had a great season. His team, the Astros, finished second for the season. They do have a single-elimination tournament but unfortunately he'll miss it. The tournament starts Saturday but Son #2 leaves for Boy Scout camp that very morning. Here's hoping the Astros will go all the way and win the championship.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I Hug a Little Longer & Squeeze a Little Harder

As I mentioned in my last post, Son #3, age 7, spent a glorious week at Cub Scout Day Camp. Each day, he took the 40 minute trip to the country to a property filled with woods, hiking trails, lakes. He enjoyed BB guns, archery, slingshots, nature centers, crafts, swimming on the beach at one of the lakes – all well supervised. I’d pick up Son #3 and he’d chatter all the way home about the wonderful time he had that day.

Across town another mother was preparing her 7 year old son for sports camp (a different camp, closer in town). She too expected her child to have a glorious week. Her afternoon ended up vastly different from mine. Rather than being regaled with stories of her child’s adventures during the car ride home, she was summoned to the emergency room of our local hospital. Her son had been involved in a swimming accident. During supervised swim time, he somehow slipped to the bottom of the pool unnoticed for who knows how long. To the counselors, it probably seemed only a moment. For the young boy, it proved too long. He was stabilized and transported to the Childrens’ Hospital in the city. A couple of days later, he was declared brain dead (kept on life support so that he can provide the gift of life to recipients of his organs – the ultimate gift).

This young boy, and especially his mother, have been on my mind all week. I cannot imagine the horror of what the family is going through. Although I don’t know them personally, our paths must have crossed many times. In the days since his death, I’ve learned that his family attends our church, the boy attended my son’s school (perhaps in the same grade). He played baseball in the same 7 year old league at our local recreation district park. Certainly if they never met at school, he and my son have faced each other across the baseball diamond.

Aside from the legacy of life this young boy leaves behind through organ donation, he leaves another legacy of sorts. Because of his family’s heartbreak, I hug a little longer and squeeze a little harder.

I wanted Son #3 to take a nap yesterday so I decided to lay down with him. Normally, I’d wait until he dozed off then I’d leave the room to tend to some chore or task that I thought I needed to be completed. Yesterday, though, I stayed the full two hours and simply watched him sleep – thankful for the time that I have with him. I’ll bet the other boy’s mother would give almost anything to have one more similar moment with her precious son.

I have no way to end this post other than to offer prayers to this other family and ask that you do the same. And to remind you that life is fleeting and precious. Take that extra moment to listen more carefully, hug a little longer, squeeze a little tighter, laugh a little louder.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Busy Week

Son #3, age 7, has been attending Cub Scout Day Camp all week. It means waking an hour plus earlier and driving into the country. I'm not a morning person, but he had a blast! Archery, BB guns, arts, crafts, swimming, hiking - he loved it all.

As for me, I planned to volunteer at camp this year but because I made two trips to the Washington, DC area in the past month to visit my mother, I didn't feel right taking off yet another week of work. Especially since the person I share my job with is leaving (see last post).

This week I managed to put in extra hours, which worked out well because it's a more direct route from my office to the location of the camp, rather than from my house. My problem is that although I managed to make Son #3 lunch and slather him in sunscreen each morning, I more or less forgot to make my own lunch. I completely raided my Boss/Friend's candy stash (I owe him a bag of Hershey's minis). Bite-sized chocolate bars and Diet Coke will only carry one so far. When I crash in the late afternoon, it isn't pretty.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Was Supposed to Be Part of the Solution....

I mentioned back in March (click here for previous blog post) that I returned to work part-time at a friend's legal practice. A old college friend called one morning, waking me from my mid-morning nap, and offered me a job at his law firm answering phones, light clerical work, etc.

The hours were great (9 am to noon), the atomosphere relaxed so I said yes. The entire reason he called me was because he had an admin person working for him 2+ years that he really liked, but that she had issues and couldn't make it to work on time. The idea was that if she couldn't make it to work for 9 a.m., then I'd work 9 to noon and she'd come in for the afternoon shift. A win-win situation, right?

Except....she had trouble coming in by noon. It seems that no matter what time she's expected in, she arrives at least two hours later. This isn't a lazy person, mind you. Far from it. Very nice, very detail oriented. She just has some personal issues that need to be addressed.

My friend/boss made the tough decision to let her go yesterday. So instead of being the 'backup to answer phones in the morning,' I'm now the 'replacement.' And I'm not sure how I feel.

I like the work, but I'm not immune to the fact that this other woman was only a phone call away to answer my questions. Plus, while I don't mind increasing my hours a bit come autumn when the kids return to school, I don't really want to put in extra hours during the summer when the kids are at home. He's looking to see if any college-age students might be interested in summer afternoon work. (Can party at night, sleep late, work noon to five - occasionally later --- sounds pretty good.)

As for me, I don't want to be a full time admin assistant. Been there, done that. I lack the proper attitude for it. Besides, I'm a full time mom, part time jewelry designer/entrepreneur (humor me). I don't want secretarial work to become that big a portion of my life and crowd out any of the other parts.

And so it goes...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Busy Couple of Weeks

My mother is doing better. We found a really nice facility where she's receiving in-patient physical and occupational therapy in order to regain her strength. She's scheduled to be discharged on Thursday but will still received physical therapy at her home for a bit longer. No word on when she'll be able to return to work. Just taking it day by day.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Prayers for My Mom

Sorry, I've been out of touch. I just returned from Washington, DC where I was visiting my mother, who has been ill. She was hospitalized the Monday after Easter with pneumonia. During the 12 days she spent in the hospital, they didn't have her up and walking at all (to regain her strength).

She was released a week ago Saturday (the day I arrived). By her third day home, it was apparent that she really wasn't ready to be released straight to home. She's back in the hospital now and will be going to a short-term in-patient rehab program soon.

It's difficult because she's always been very independent (works full time, lives alone). But there's no reason to think that she won't be able to return to her former level of activity after she rebuilds her strength and stamina.

Still, say a little prayer for a speedy recovery.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Save the Tooth Fairy a Second Trip, Will Ya?

Son #3 had two front loose teeth (uppers). He bravely pulled one by himself. So proud until he looked in the mirror and saw....blood. He opted not to pull the second tooth which has since shifted leaving a sizable gap on each side.

The Tooth Fairy will be racking up frequent flier miles for sure!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

Not sure how I missed this, but I was browsing the internet aroung 7:50 p.m. tonight when I came across the news headline for Earth Hour. What is Earth Hour? It's a worldwide movement in which we un-plug, turn out the lights, whatever, for one hour this evening - 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The beauty of it is you're supposed to do this at 8:30 p.m. in whatever time zone you're living in. No complicated calculating, 'well, it's 4:30 p.m. there, so...." Simple. Turn off your lights at 8:30.

We spent a nice hour by candlelight just talking. No background noise, no distractions. That in itself was wonderful, but it was especially nice knowing that we were in the excellent company of:

The Vatican
Big Ben in London
The Eiffel Tower
The Capitol Dome in Washington DC
The GW Bridge in N.Y.
The Sydney Opera House
The Pyramids
plus a few billion Earth-conscious folks.

To learn more, visit

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I've Been a Bad, Bad Blogger....

(hangs head in shame)

All's well here. I'm just adapting to my new schedule. I work 9 to noon Monday - Friday. You wouldn't think three measly hours a day would disrupt my routine (or lack thereof) but I'm having a tough time getting other things (mostly minor stuff) done.

Perhaps I'm still adjusting to my new sleep and wake cycle. Before taking the job, I'd go to bed around 12:30 - 1:30 a.m. At 6:30 in the morning, I'd roll out of bed, get dressed and bring Son #2 to his bus stop. (Dear Hubby, who has to wake earlier for work, would get Son #2 up and feed him breakfast.) Then I'd wake and feed Sons #1 and #3.

But now ... it's not enough to be merely awake. Apparently being showered, dressed and coherent is considered a "plus" in the workforce. Go figure.

Seriously, though, I'm enjoying the job. The work is fairly interesting, the people are nice, the atmosphere is relaxed -- not 'bunny slippers relaxed' but still... Not a bad gig to come out of 'retirement' for.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Betrayal! That's what my brain *screamed* to me on my drive into my first day into work. I've been a stay-home mom for just over seven years now. But now I'm going back to work, part time. Yet, I feel like I'm betraying my children. Never mind that I'm only working three hours a day or so - hours that the kids are in school. I get off of work a full three hours earlier than my first child arrives home from school.

I worked Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (with a minimum 35 minute commute both ways) when Son #1 and Son #2 were very young. This is no where near as intensive as that. So why do I feel like pooh? And yet, I feel an odd sense of accomplishment (as in, I spent three hours in a law firm and didn't screw anything up).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Re-entering the Workforce

I love being a stay-home mom, but since Son #3 started school last year, I find I have a little too much free time on my hands. It seems the more time I have, the less focus I have. It's so easy to nap my day away. (cue violins)

This morning, I was lounging around - okay, napping - when I received a call from an old college buddy who now has a small law practice. He's looking for part-time admin help. He already has someone for the afternoon, but she cannot seem to work in the morning, so we'll do a job-sharing.

So, I'll work from 9 am to noon on Monday through Friday. That will leave my afternoons free and I'll still be home to greet my boys after school. On days when the kids are out of school and I don't have alternate care, my oldest son is old enought to keep an eye on his younger brothers. Not a perfect situation, but for 3 hours in the morning, they'll be fine.

The pay would be about the same as if I substituted at the schools, but the work is steadier. I plan to save for the photo-refractive eye surgery (assuming I work up the courage). Beyond that, I'll put the money in our savings account and forget about it.

I start tomorrow. It's a pretty casual office, very relaxed atmosphere. Plus it will be nice to have recent work experience on my resume, rather than the 7+ year unemployment gap. I'm feeling a bit melancholy, but I keep reminding myself it's only 3 hours, it's only 3 hours.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Aliases Part IV

Those of you following my blog for a while now, know that Son #3 (age 6) has a penchant for wanting to change his name.

Over the years, he's requested that we call him:

1) Obi Wan Kenobi (kinda catchy, but doesn't go with our last name)
2) Chester (um, no)
3) Michael (okay, not bad once he dropped the "Jackson")
4) Ovento Burrito (what the heck????)
5) Christopher (not bad)
6) Nicholas (still not bad)
7) Logan. Nickname: Lo. He actually said that.
8) Pettiman (again, what the heck?)

and most recently,

9) Inigo Montoya (as in Mandy Patinkin's character in the movie, The Princess Bride)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I've posted in the past about our concerns about Son #1's growth. To recap, click the following links:

In a nutshell, Son #1 is 13 and a half years old and in the bottom 3rd percentile for height/weight. His doctor recommended at a bone age xray test (according to the most recent test, Son's bone are about a year 'younger' than his actual age - this is especially true considering that Son #1 is losing baby teeth at a much slower rate than his 2-year younger brother.

Son #1 had a growth hormone stimulation test - which he passed with a D minus (anything below a 10.0 is generally covered by insurance, Son #1 scored 10.4).

In the past several months, Son #1 has taken an appetite stimulant, plus had two protein shakes a day. His weight is 71 lbs, his height 57+ inches. Although still in the third percentile, this represents a significant *increase* in growth velocity (growth rate). At this point, the pediatric endocrinologist feels that Son #1's issues are related to how his body processes calories, rather than an actual growth hormone deficiency.

This is good news in that Son #1 might expect to grow to a more average male height (say 5'5" to 5'8") than previously thought...without medical intervention (i.e. daily hormone injections).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Positively Lovely Day...

There's a tradition in Dear Hubby's family. We get together for cake and ice cream (and usually a meal) to celebrate birthdays. I'll admit that when we were dating - in our early 20s - it seemed a little strange to stop by his family's home for cake and ice cream. Now, I accept it. It's a tradition. It's just what we do. It's the way we roll.

We're getting into the busy season. A month ago, we celebrated B-I-L (brother-in-law) #5's birthday. Last weekend was my father-in-law's party. Today was Son #3's and my party. Next week is B-I-L #3's party. In April, we'll celebrate B-I-L #1's, #4's, and S-I-L #4's. You get the idea....

Today, we gathered at my father-in-law's house (F-I-L). We ordered 6 pizzas from Dominoes, made a pitcher of daiquiris, had cake (chocolate cake with chocolate icing) for me, plus a chocolate chip cookie cake (for Son #3). Ice cream, too - chocolate, naturally.

We unwrapped gifts. Star Wars toys and Power Rangers for Son #3, Vera Bradley desk set (sticky notes, file folders, memo holders, etc.) and several Barnes & Noble gift cards for me. (Merry, if you're reading this, call or email me. B&N Cafe is calling....).

I don't recall a lot of traditions in my childhood - that's not a complaint, so much as it is a fact. There's much more predictability with Dear Hubby's family. I'm sure the time will come where the boys think it's weird to go to their Grandpa's house for cake and ice cream when they'd rather be off gallavanting with friends. My hope is that eventually they, and their wives, will come to accept - nay, embrace - that this is the way our clan rolls. :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Son #3!

February 18 was Son #3's birthday. The Baby is 7. I can hardly believe it. I posted his birth story a couple years ago on his birthday. If you're interested in reading it, click here.

He's quite the character. Every once in a while, out of the blue, he'll want to change his name. I've been keeping a running tally on my blog and it looks like this:

1) Obi Wan Kenobi (kinda catchy, but doesn't go with our last name)
2) Chester (um, no)
3) Michael (okay, not bad once he dropped the "Jackson")
4) Ovento Burrito (what the heck????)
5) Christopher (not bad)
6) Nicholas (still not bad)
7) Logan. Nickname: Lo. He actually said that.
8) Pettiman (again, what the heck?)

Have I mentioned that he's the most stubborn person I've ever met? That single-minded determination will serve him well as he grows up, but it's positively maddening at dinner time. Fortunately there's a fix for that:

(Kidding. That's a photo from our Disney trip two years ago.)

He sometimes wears my perfume to school. Of my three boys, he's my first to need surgery (outpatient adenoidectomy - still a big deal to a mom), and sutures (busted his chin open).

There's never a dull moment (and rarely a quiet one) with this one.

Happy Birthday, Love!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I've been tagged...and so have YOU!

I've been tagged by Cheese and Chocolate! And... the rules are to tell 7 things about yourself and then tag 7 others. So here we go.

1. Without glasses, I am waaaaayyyyyyyy beyond legally blind. I am 24 substitute-teaching days away from having enough money to pay for laser surgery. Oh, my current vision is in the 20/450 range. Loosely translated, what the average person can see at 450 feet, I can see clearly at 20 feet. "Mountain? What mountain?"

2. According to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) psychometic test, I am either an INTJ or an ISTJ. Not many people have two scores, but I scored equally between the N (intuitive) and S (using the 5 senses) when making decisions.

3. My handwriting changes with my mood -- sometimes dramatically.

4. If stranded on a deserted island with only one food group, it would be chocolate.

5. My birthday is next week. I still spoil and paper myself, even if no one else does.

6. I generally rather blend in with the background and observe people than call attention to myself. It's an unfortunate trait for someone who creates, and wants to sell, jewelry.

7. I would love to visit the Tuscan region in Italy.

Now to the tagging part. If you want to play along, please do and drop me a comment so I can check it out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

((( sigh )))

One son won't wear deodorant unless I stand outside the bathroom door and insist. Even then, I'm only assuming he's spraying it on his underarms and not into the air.

My other son has developed a liking for my perfume. Awww, how sweet, you're thinking. Um, but he's wearing it. That's right. My soon-to-be -seven year old has taken to wearing "Burberry Brit."

Finally, my middle son asked me to buy him a G-string. Fortunately, he was referring to his guitar.

.....and how was YOUR week?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Final Resting Place (Hopefully Waaaayyyyy in the Future)

I feel like such a responsible grown up. Today Dear Hubby and I purchased a burial plot. No, we’re not anticipating using it in the near future. This just seemed like a natural extension of my New Year’s Resolution: to get our estate – tiny that it is – in order.

Dear Hubby and I are open to the idea of cremation, and since one plot will accommodate two urns or one urn plus a traditional casket, we purchased a single plot. (Roman Catholics aren’t supposed to have their ashes scattered.) We figure if we can stand being around each other after 19 years of marriage, what’s eternity?

The cemetery is located at a religious community. It’s very simple and well-kept. It’s a pretty small place. The section where our plot is located is new. We selected a spot right near the new row of red maple trees, not far from the statue of Mary, Mother of Jesus.

Don’t get me wrong: I hope it’s many decades before anyone will be moving in. But it’s a relief to get this out of the way. Does it sound morbid? I think it’s just my nature: I’m a planner. It’s also the first piece of real estate I’ve purchased that won’t decrease in value (kidding).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just a Little Update...

It's been a while since I've posted, so I thought I'd give a little update. I've been spending the past week reading the second encyclical assigned by Dear Hubby's Social Justice instructor (this one is a shorter one written by Pope Pius __).

I also finally mastered the beaded ball that I mentioned a couple of months ago on my other blog. I've also been teaching myself to make bird nest pendants out of sterling silver wire (photo to come).

Because starting a diet on January 1st is such a cliche, I decided to join Weight Watchers (again) this past Friday. I joined in March 2007, hit an 8 month plateau and more of less gave up. So here I go again.

Today I attended Son #1 IEP meeting (Individualized Education Plan) today. At this point, it's more or less a formality. He'll continue with speech therapy twice a week next year, as he has since pre-K. Two of his instructors mentioned that Son #1 seems to engage in 'higher order' thinking than the average person. I think that's edu-speak for 'too smart for his own good.' Truthfully, though, he does operate on a different level.

Son #2 came home today and informed me that a certain little girl we know (very sweet) asked him to "go out." At this age (eleven), 'going out' is generally limited to hanging out at school and saying you have a girlfriend or boyfriend. Trying to keep my cool, I casually asked him how he responded and he said that he told her he'd think about it, because he wanted to 'bounce it off' of me. Awww..... We took the opportunity to discuss what it means to be honest, treat people with respect, not blabbing details to friends, etc. After he left the room, I curled up in the fetal position and chanted 'not my baby, not my baby..." Just kidding. Mama's playing it cool.

More later.

Monday, January 19, 2009

First Day of School (sort of)

As I mentioned in my last post, Dear Hubby has been accepted in to the diaconate program (i.e., studying to be a deacon) with the Archdiocese. Wives are "strongly encouraged to attend and participate" in classes. This past Saturday, we attended the first of our classes: social justice and theology.

Social Justice is the one taught by the "tough" instructor. Ex-military, retired attorney - he uses the 'Socratic method' much like that used in law school. Lots of class participation, students are expected to have the answers, or at least the reasoning to defend one's ideas. To say I'm out of my element is an understatement, yet I thoroughly enjoyed it. Perhaps it was because of I really have nothing to lose, other than my dignity. :-)

Our first assignment - given at the orientation retreat last Sunday - was to read and be prepared to discuss Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life) - all 167 pages of it. In six days.

Classes meet every two weeks, but each session alternates. So next time (Jan. 31), we'll study Spirituality and attend a workshop. The following class (Feb. 14) will be our second Social Justice/Theology class. I joked with my husband that since we essentially have four weeks until the next class, the instructor will assign four books to read. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Journey of a Thousand Miles....

It's said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. My husband and I are embarking on a new journey. One, regardless of its final outcome, will undoubtedly result in countless blessings.

It's something I've held close to my heart for quite some time, but here it's time to share: Dear Hubby and I are Roman Catholic. He since birth, I since 2000. Around the time of my conversion (which I can truthfully say had little to do with him, but rather was the result of my own spiritual quest - more on that another time)...anyway, around the time of my conversion, Dear Hubby (DH for short) expressed interest in the permanent diaconate program. At the time, he and our children were rather young, so it's something he put on the proverbial 'back burner.'

What's the permanent diaconate? In the Roman Catholic Church, there is an ordained position called 'deacons.' Deacons can do some things that a priest can (baptize babies, officiate at weddings, proclaim the Gospel at mass). However, there are things a deacon cannot do (consecrate the Holy Eucharist, absolution of sins, for example).

For the past year, DH and I have been discerning whether he is being called to this vocation. We attended meetings every three weeks to learn more about the process, prayerfully contemplated, completed an extensive application, participated in several personal interviews, and submitted to a background check (criminal and financial).

We received the letter from the Archbishop just before Christmas that DH was among two dozen men accepted into the formation program. If he completes 4 years of study, he can apply for ordination in December 2012. It's going to be a long, challenging, exhausting, exhilarating journey. I'll keep you posted....

Keep our family - and that of the other 23 men accepted into formation - in your prayers.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Beast on A&E

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a Patrick Swayze fan. I loved, loved, loved 'Dirty Dancing' ("Nobody puts Baby in the corner."), cried during "Ghost," scratched my head at "Red Dawn," and cringed during "Roadhouse." So it was with a heavy heard that I learned about his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Throughout filming of his new A&E series, The Beast, he's been undergoing treatment for cancer. I've been watching the previews and in my opinion, he looks thin, but otherwise well. I can't help but wishing the best for him and his wife of many years. He's one of those actors who always brings a smile to my face. (Perhaps it's because for a few years he stood nearly life sized, along side Jennifer Grey, in the corner of my bedroom - thanks to Tommy at the video store who scored me an extra large movie display.)

Anyway, I'll be watching the premiere on January 15th. Here's a link to A&E's website, if you're interested: The Beast on A&E.

Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite movie/movie star.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!

Just a quick post to wish you all a safe and happy new year!

I've been blogging long enough (since mid 2005) to realize that I'm terrible at keeping New Year's Resolutions. But here they are ... again.

1) lose weight - this has been on my list since 1993
2) exercise at least twice a week. Obviously I should exercise more often than twice a week, but even that is an improvement over what I do now.
3) take at least one art related class in 2009.
4) journal/blog at least 3 times a week.