Thursday, April 26, 2007

More Stuff to Believe In

I don't believe in superstars, organic food, and foreign cars.
I don't believe the price of gold, the certainty of growing old,
That right is right and left is wrong, that north and south can't get along,
That east is east and west is west, and being first is always best.
But I believe in love. I believe in babies. I believe in mom and dad and I believe in you.

I don't believe that heaven waits for only those who congregate.
I like to think of God as love. He's down below He's up above.
He's watchin' people everywhere. He knows who does and doesn't care
And I'm an ordinary man. Sometimes I wonder who I am
But I believe in love. I believe in music. I believe in magic and I believe in you.

Well I know with all my certainty what's going on with you and me is a good thing.
It's true I believe in you
Well I don't believe virginity is as common as it used to be,
In working days and sleeping nights, that black is black and white is white,
That Superman and Robin Hood are still alive in Hollywood,
That gasoline's in short supply the rising cost of gettin' by
But I believe in love. I believe in old folks. I believe in children and I believe in you

Hat tip: only the best singer/songwriter in the WORLD!

Monday, April 23, 2007

St. Thomas, Pray For Me

Things I believe in:
1. God
2. The Trinity
3. The One, Holy, and Apostolic Church (etc.)
4. The Love of and for My Family
5. The Love I have for All of God's Creation

Things I Just Can't Buy:
1. Most (if not all) "apparitions"
2. Visions of Mary in toast, chocolate, the clouds, etc.
3. The (so-called) Catholic Charismatic Movement
4. Those Creepy Dudes Who Pretend They "Sense" Dead People
5. Faith Healers
6. A House With A Self-Cleaning Bathroom-WAY too expensive!
(heehee, okay, I had to lighten it up a little with that last one...That would be AWESOME, though, wouldn't it?)

Okay, knowing this...Am I so bad? Am I just a rotten, non-believer for not buying a word they're saying when people come to my church and tell my fellow parishioners that they receive special messages from God and whoever else up there? I was wondering today why Father allows people like that to come to our church and I realized that he allows all kinds of "devotions" like the rosary, veneration of a picture of Mary (our lady of Guadalupe copy), and all kinds of special days and little ceremonies that aren't necessary to the faith. I suppose they are good things if they keep people involved in church and make them holier and closer to God,, I don't even know where I'm going with this one. I guess I just wish the Fathers would explain devotions and let people know that some of these things are kind of questionable and that it's not necessary to believe everything that comes down the pipe, just because the event was held in our church and got his approval. Oh, who am I kidding? I wish he would just say, "the emperor has no clothes!" and expose some of these charlatans for who they really are. There. I've said it. Unless you can prove me wrong without a doubt, I ain't backing down. Beware the wolves in sheep's clothing is all I'm sayin'.
Also, what's the deal with people always gasping that their rosaries and medals turn gold as validation that something miraculous is happening during these "events"? Am I just a cynical bi--- for snickering behind my hand and thinking, "suckers!" every time someone claims that they knew someone that that happened to? Have you ever had this happen to you for real? Is there even the remotest chance that this phenomenon could have been explained by a chemical reaction with the usually cheap metal that the rosaries are made of? I always thought that I would be REALLY impressed if one of those glow-in-the-dark, plastic rosaries turned gold. How come you never hear of THAT happening? Hmmmm?
In our adoration chapel there is a huge, beautiful painting of Thomas putting his whole hand in the wound in Jesus' side and his face registering belief. I always considered Thomas my patron (although it should be St. Francis since I was born on his feast day...but I really don't have a love of animals so...different story, different post) and always thought he got a bad rap with the whole "doubting Thomas" thingy. See, Jesus says, "Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed." aha, right there! He doesn't say, "So you are NOT blessed, Thomas!" He merely points out the fact that people will be blessed if they, say...only HEAR about Jesus and believe. Alright, if you don't buy that one...then how come people who need to have "signs" or "visions" need them at all? I know, I know, now all of you apparition chasers are going to start praying that some miraculous event happens to me to assist me in my "unbelief". Don't bother. I already listed all the things I do believe in at the beginning of the post. That's enough for me and for the Church. I like silver better than gold, anyway. It's much shinier, and a whole, lot tougher.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Warning! Huge Nerdalert

So happy am I. Known it, I always have!

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

A venerated sage with vast power and knowledge, you gently guide forces around you while serving as a champion of the light.

H/T Amy Caroline

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

I want to be an artist, like my sister Anna. She chose studio art as her major, fully knowing how she could quite possibly be wasting four years of her life plus tens of thousands of dollars. I'm SO glad she did. It was NOT a waste and I'm SO proud of her! She is so driven to perfection that she couldn't possibly fail at anything she tries. I'm not like that, but I understand why she is and I admire her so much for it. Lest you should think that she's some kind of type 'A', OCD freak girl, I have to tell you that she has such a fine balance. She has many true friends and a love of family that can't be matched. Take this small tour of her art exhibit and you will see why I am just glowing with pride for my sister!
We had a nice trip this weekend. Winona area is so beautiful it's no wonder it inspires so many artsy folk to attend school there or settle there. Katrina (sis), Gabby, Paulina, my Trina, Analise, Mari, and I all went in Katrina's Suburban and the trip down there was great (DVD player, naptime). My mom, aunt, brother and family were also there along with two of my nieces (with my mom) and we all stayed in the same hotel so we got to do some swimming and visiting. Mostly we were looking forward to Anna's show. I wish I had had more time to view things and hobnob with her instructors, friends, and employers but I'm so glad we went. The girls had a nice time (except for the ride home, NOT naptime, beautiful day outside, sick of being in the car). It made me glad to be home, but it made me feel so good about Anna's choice of college (I would love for Trina to go there someday, it seems like a good match for her. She's a lot like Anna) and her future. She just called me today with a potential plan for summer...ALASKA! She would be working in a resort near one of the art centers of the state. It would be a perfect life for her and seems like a miracle opportunity! Please pray for God's will for Anna's future and that she stays safe so far away from us. I'll share some pictures from the weekend. Let me know if you have any questions or any requests for commissions from my artist sister, Anna.
Anna(blk dress)and friends
Grant (model for the painting behind them)& Anna

"Why is it so quiet in the bathroom?" (Lucy at the hotel)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monster Post Pending...

I will be posting about our trip to Winona for Anna's senior show that we went to this weekend and it will be a doozy, but right now I gotta do laundry and school the kids. It's gonna be 70 today with sun so we'll probably go out a lot today...come back soon and check out the post. I'll have lots of pictures and a video of her art. It's AMAZING!

Sneak Peak...My favorite piece:

P.S. Those are Trina's eyes from a pic I took this weekend outside of St. Mary's U (Anna's school). Aren't they beautiful!?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's No "Dude, Where's My Car?" But It Might Be Pretty Good

I'm always on the lookout for some good entertainment that won't make me need to wash my eyes out with soap after I'm done watching it! Check out this official website of the movie, "Bella" which won the people's choice award at the Toronto Film Festival.

Hat Tip: One of my favorite bloggers, American Papist posted about it a while ago and tuned me into this. If it ever goes into wide release, I think it will be a hit!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Village Can't Have 'Em, Yet

Watch this video and tell me what you think.

I'm not "anti-anything that's not home school". I appreciate what the public schools are trying to do in our community. I appreciate teachers of most stripes and parents who can't or don't think they can home school their children. Saying that, I think about all of these things (in the video) when I wonder if I'm doing the right thing by my children by homeschooling them. My main goal in schooling our children ourselves is to raise them in the faith and to get to Heaven the best way I know how. I don't have extra thousands to send them to the finest Catholic schools around here, so homeschooling it is! There is about as much support for homeschooling as there is for any other school choice nowadays. I really never get flack for it. When I say, "I home school" after someone asks me what grades my kids are in, etc., I always get a positive reaction (usually followed by some comment like, "I always wanted to do that, but I never could!", or, "My neighbor home schools, that's really neat!", or, "Wow, I give you a lot of credit!" or some discussion on why I do it which at least gets a negative person really thinking about school choice and freedom to choose the forms of education we all should have.) So when I watched this video, I thought about how a person who sends their kids to school would view it. I know people who send their kids to school but have the scenes depicted in it at their homes (when their children are home) despite the fact that they don't home school. I know people who don't home school that care very deeply about their children's faith and foster that faith so much that they are bound to "turn out okay" despite the negative influences they might encounter in school. I also know families that, once their children reach high school, it's a little different story and the negative influences seep in despite the parent's best influence and intentions.

Like I said, let me know what you think!

Monday, April 09, 2007

I Don't Mean to Brag But..., who am I kidding? LOOK at these people! They are so, darn CUTE!

Mari gives the BEST kisses! They are really sloppy, open mouthed, and come with the sound of, "ahhhhhh"!

Here is what Niklaus looked like after a hard afternoon of Easter egg hunting in Mom and Dad's backyard!

My nephew, Johnny was a blur across the living room.

My niece, Lexi with her bucket o' eggs.

The Boys (can I ever get them with straight faces?)

The Girls

Baby Sofia on her first Easter

I have lots of other great pictures but these were some of the better ones. We had a lovely day with everyone but we missed Grandma Mary who is recovering from hip surgery at home. Everyone else made it, though, even Trine's family who were pretty much all throwing up yesterday. My Trina threw up when she was getting to bed.
"Mom, nevernevernever ever get that strawberry cheesecake from Schwanns ever again!"

I won't, but I gotta say, after hanging out with Trine all week, I don't think it was the cheesecake that did it!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

First Friday (on Saturday...again...oops)

First Friday shouldn't be that hard for me to remember. I was doing all the Good Friday stuff yesterday and even thought to blog several times about this but never got around to it. I have rehearsal for the Easter Vigil this morning in an hour so I don't have much time to reflect but I'll direct you to an article that I saw in That Paper That I Get Which I Hate which actually had a really nice article for a change. It reminded me of me and my sisters kind of. It's really quite lovely.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Holy (moly what a) Week!

I can't wait until the Good Fri. service at our church. It's always so somber and serious. I've been trying to contain my excitement as it doesn't really seem appropriate, does it? Just like saying, "Happy Ash Wednesday!"..."Happy Good Friday!" just doesn't seem right at all. But that's kind of how I feel. I get all jazzied up when I think that Good Friday means it's not long until the Easter Vigil when my candidate will be in full communion with the Church, Easter is here and we can actually say, "HAPPY EASTER!" and it doesn't sound funny!

Tonight (Thurs.) at church one of my cousins said, "Have a Happy Easter" and I responded as they were walking out, "Happy Easter!" and immediately thought of how inappropriate that sounded. Right behind me, behind the soundproof glass in the sanctuary, hundreds of people were still in adoration in the dark. They were praying and being with the Lord in a special way until midnight while I was jiggling my niece and waiting for my sis to fetch the car because it was COLD and windy tonight. They were waiting and praying and I was loudly exclaiming, "Happy Easter!" like an idiot. I know that if I would have had the disclaimer, "Have a..." it would have been completely fine as I may not see her until after Easter, but just blurting it out like that made me sound as if I was celebrating before the big Mass tonight, Father was talking about how the Eucharist is an eternal event linking us to Heaven so I was thinking that maybe, since Jesus is eternal (was, is, always will be kind of deal) and He transcends our whole "linear time plane" thingy...just maybe I could have even said, "Merry Christmas!" and that would have been a-okay! No? Alrighty, I'm just trying stuff out here. It really has been a trying Holy Week. Butch hurt his back and can't work. I'm stressing over bills and a non-existent school schedule. The weather has been horrible and we can't really get outside because of the wind and rain and Butch needing the car to go to the Dr.. I went to adoration and fell asleep about 3 times instead of praying on overdrive like I should have been about Butch's pain and the kids needing extra attention and instead I'm letting them play Nintendo and veg out in front of the boob tube.

I'm freaking out here, people!
And yet, I'm still excited about celebrating my candidate's first Easter as a full-fledged Catholic, getting dressed up and looking spring-ish even though it's 20 degrees outside, the Easter egg hunt for the kids at mom and dad's, and celebrating our Lord's Resurrection because of his great love for us (of course!)!

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm learning that even in the face of sorrow, there is always hope. Which is the message every year in the signs that God gives us in spring, but apparently needs to beat me over the head with since I only just got the message this year. Thanks, God, you can go ahead and consider "message sent", 'kay?

Please pray for our family and HAVE A HAPPY EASTER! But first, have a really junky Good Friday (sorry, I couldn't resist, heehee)!

Public Service Announcement

I have seen a lot of these lately and it is NOT funny. This is a very serious issue that I believe we need to deal with head-on. Folks, if you see this in your neighborhood you need to take immediate action and confront the perpetrator either in a direct manner, or in a subtle, anonymous email, or snarky blog post. All I'm sayin' is this has GOT to stop. We are not asking for a drastic change, but at least you need to try something new or THIS may happen to you.

H/T (for the youtube vid.) MTTSM