Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Blog Break

Occasionally, real life gets so filled with blessings and fun that I am unable to find my way to the computer for days on end. Anticipating Eric's graduation this weekend and the attendant events and parties, I know I'm going to be too busy to blog. Please join me in praying for all those who graduate this month as they embark on life's many adventures. May their lives be filled with happiness and may the study and work they undertake bring glory to God, who blesses us all so greatly!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Remembering to Ask

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

I just did it again – I wasted time and energy stressing out over a problem that could have been resolved easily had I taken the time to ask for help.

My part-time job as parish webmaster for my Church involves keeping our web site updated on a regular basis. Last evening, I received a request from my supervisor that something be placed on the site. In an attempt to be responsive to her request, I made the needed change and went to upload the site to our server. I was met with the equivalent of a computerized door slamming in my face – no upload, no error message, no explanation. I’ve worked on the site long enough to know that something was wrong and needed to be fixed, and that the situation was beyond my capabilities. The smart and efficient move at that point would have been to pause, contact customer service at the hosting company, and wait for their reply. However, in my bullheadedness, I tried several work-around solutions, none of which worked. After putting my sons to bed, I tried again and was again denied access. I went to bed later in the evening, annoyed that I had not completed my supervisor’s request and concerned about the problem, but still without calling customer service. I awoke early this morning, tried again, and was met with the same problem. The third time proved to be a charm – I was frustrated enough to pick up the phone and dial the 800 number. With one call and a fifteen minute delay, the problem was resolved quickly and effectively. The site was updated immediately. Had I called customer service last night, I probably would have gotten a full night’s sleep.

I share this experience because it parallels trials we all sometimes face as parents, and as people. I’m embarrassed to share the number of times I’ve obsessed about a problem before taking time to pause in prayer. I know that quiet time spent in prayer, every day, is a crucial component to my life. I know in my mind that when I’m confronted with a situation seemingly beyond the scope of my own control, my first reaction should be to turn my heart to God. And yet, all too frequently, I charge ahead and try to sort things out for myself. I neglect to ask for divine intervention for the guidance and wisdom I need to choose the correct path. In doing so, I make a difficult situation even worse.

Someone I greatly admire recently shared with me that she asks her children on a regular basis, “What would you like for me to pray for today?” She listens to their replies and takes their intentions with her to her time spent in Adoration. She pauses in the midst of whatever they may be doing and prays right then with the child. She prays the Rosary aloud with or in the company of her children, remembering their special intentions. I borrowed her line this week with one of my boys and was astounded by the list of prayers needed that he shared with me. Why had I waited this long to ask him? I don’t have the answer to that, but I do know that I’ll be asking him regularly from now on, and will also be asking him to pray for me.

Forgetting or neglecting to ask for help can extend beyond our prayer lives. On multiple occasions, I’ve declined an offer of help from a friend when I really could have used it. From opportunities to car pool to offers to babysit, I’ve turned down chances to allow people who love me to help me. “It’s ok,” I share confidently, “I can handle it all myself.” Nine times out of ten, I do handle it all alone. What I remember on that tenth time when I allow myself to ask, or to accept an offer of help, is that there is grace present in both asking for help and in receiving help. If we are always the one who gives to our loved ones, we never allow them to be the givers. If we take great joy in helping others, we should remember that they might too enjoy helping us every once in a while!

As a person and as a mother, I am challenging myself to remember to ask. Both routinely and spontaneously, I need to turn to my Father in heaven, who loves me so greatly, and to ask Him for the grace to live each day to its best and for His ultimate mercy in my life. Next time that server goes down or I’m worried about how to get two children to two separate locations at the same time, I will remind myself that I’m never alone and that I don’t always have to do it all myself.

For Today

Today's Readings

Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.

Psalm 138

Today's Saint - St. John Baptist Rossi: Despite suffering from illness himself, St. John worked with all his strength to serve the poor, the ill and the homeless. He was known as a great confessor and sought after for parish missions.

Dear God, I need strength today - strength to know and to do your will. Thank you for the example provided to me by St. John Baptist Rossi, who looked beyond his own difficulties and found the strength and the perseverance to serve those less fortunate. Amen

Monday, May 22, 2006

Counting Backwards

I just dropped Eric at school for the big 8th grade field trip to Magic Mountain. Things have progressed to the stage that most 8th grade parents simply slow the SUV to a crawl while their teenagers jump from the car, anxious to join their buddies. Heaven forbid that a Mom like me actually pull into a parking stall and walk her son to the bus, and don't even think about asking for a hug!

Eric is on the countdown, with five more days left of 8th grade. It's a week that will bring fun memories with special friends. At one of my favorite blogs, Mike St. Pierre's Notebook, Mike has his own take on Counting Backwards, which is what got me started thinking about the whole topic. Mike looks at it from the perspective of good time management and being prepared for what lies ahead. I think that is what Eric's doing this week too - savoring the fun, but anticipating that next leg of his path toward adulthood. Today, his schedule is filled with roller coasters and buddies - just as it should be for an 8th grader! I'm going to try following Mike's advice for Counting Backwards this week to help myself juggle my way through the priorities of a busy week of work and family duties. Counting backwards should help me to find the time to stop and smell the roses that this week is sure to bring!

For Today

Today's Readings

When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

Today's Saint - St. Rita of Cascia: Despite her early wishes to enter the convent, St. Rita followed her parents' will for her and married young. Her husband was an evil man who frequently mistreated her, but St. Rita had the courage of her convictions and continued to pray and to receive the sacraments. After his death and the death of her two sons, she joined the Augustinians and was known for a life of prayer and devotion to Christ.

Lord, help me to seek you everywhere today and to be strengthened by your Advocate, the Holy Spirit. I ask a special prayer today for men and women who are doing their best to raise their children in your Faith by themselves. Please give all parents the strength and courage we need to lead our children to a relationship with you. Amen.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Things that made me smile today...

All before 8:00 -

* Being woken up by an 11 year old with a smile on his face who's trying very hard to be quiet

* Having an educated breakfast table discussion with two boys about a certain movie and why it can be dangerous for those who know nothing about the Bible (it's interesting to hear their opinions)

* Watching a boy play with a stick in the driveway for twenty minutes and realizing he woke himself up early just so he'd have time to do it

* Deciding to not fold laundry and instead heading into the music room and playing a duet of the fiddle tune "Cripple Creek", accompanied by a fourteen year old on electric guitar (who will sit and play fiddle tunes with aging mother even though she's really bad and has to keep starting over)

* Listening to two boys sing "Bohemian Rhapsody" all the way to school at the top of their lungs

* Hugs and kisses in the parking lot from both boys (I think the days for that are numbered!)

If I accomplish nothing else today, it's already been a fabulous day! Thank you God, for the little moments that fill my life and for the blessing of my children, who teach me something new and precious every day.

For Today

Today's Readings

This I command you: love one another.

Today's Saint - St. Ives (Yves), one of the patron saints of lawyers, known for his service to others. From the USCCB web site:

Saint Ives, from a town near Treguier in Brittany, France, a priest, who preserved justice without respect for personages, fostered harmony, defended the causes of orphans, widows, and the poor for the love of Christ and received these same unfortunate ones in his own house.

Father in heaven, help me today to love as Jesus called me to love - let me follow the example of St. Ives and look for ways to better love and serve the poor and needy, especially those most in need of love and compassion. Thank you for the blessings of this day!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sticking to What We Know Is Right

Everyday, I learn new lessons in parenting and I pray for the strength and guidance to make the right decisions in the loving and leading of my children.

Last night, we were sitting out by the pool (yes, it's already swimming weather here in 97 degree Fresno!) and Eric (son #1, and the one who'd make a great lawyer) said, "Mom, I have three questions for you".

"OK, bring them on!"

Question Number One - "Can I still go the dance at Sacred Heart on Friday night?" (Background - Sacred Heart is a local Catholic school who has invited other junior high students to their end of the year dance. I initially thought it was a great idea, but it is now scheduled for the night before the Catholic high school's big Math test to determine placement in honors classes for next year.)

Mom's Silent Gut Instinct - No way, you're going to be taking a test in the morning that could determine your academic path for the next four years. I want you tucked into bed by 9:00 pm, dreaming of algebraic equations.

Mom's Response - "OK, Eric, you can go but I'm going to be picking you up early, by 9:15 so that you get a good night's sleep before your test."

Question Number Two - "The guys are going to the movies after school on Friday. Can I go?"

Mom's Initial Response - "OK sweetie. Adam's got fencing so I need to work out ride stuff, but it should be ok."

Mom's Secondary Query - "What are you seeing?" (I know, this should have been the very first question, but I was dazed by the heat and temporarily off my game.)

Son's Sheepish Response - "XYZ" (Insert name of controversial blockbuster film opening at theaters this weekend and the source of great public outcry)

Mom's Final Word on Question #2 - "Nope, you're not seeing "XYZ" on Friday. Thanks for asking, and I will consider other movie options, but you're not seeing that movie." (Thankfully we have a long standing rule about seeing PG13 movies that haven't been pre-screened by a parent).

Question #3 - "Are you sure I still can't go see the XYZ (insert name of outrageous punk band) concert in August?" (Apparently, he's in the mood to debate!).

Mom's (Repeated) Response - "Yes, I'm sure you won't be going to that concert." (Delivered calmly, despite the fact that this particularly topic has been discussed numerous times in the past month.) "But thanks for asking again."

Son's Response - "Why?"

Mom's Comeback - "For the same reasons Dad and I gave you last week when we discussed this topic."

Son's Response - "OK. Do we have any bacon?"

Mom's Response - "Yes, I bought some today!!!" (Finally, a question I can answer affirmatively!)

I've come to accept that parenting this particularly child involves a little give and take, and much negotiation. He will follow rules set for him, but feels better about the following when he's participated in a discussion about the thinking behind them and had his say about the fairness of the rule.

This particular child, owing to his temperament, will question his limits. He will test the waters, wanting to tread out into the deeper ones without supervision. He is, by nature, an adventurer. He is on the verge of new horizons, and anxious to run out and explore them. He wants to live life to its fullest, to try new things, and to be the best he can be.

At times like last night's poolside chat, I think about how much easier it would be to be like "everybody else's parents". The ones who drop the kids off at the multiplex theater on the weekend, unsupervised, and pick them up three hours later. The ones who don't have a "bedtime" and allow their kids to talk on the phone or IM as late as they want. The ones who accompany their kids to punk rock concerts because they think it's cool.

The funny thing is, I think most of my son's friends parents are more like me. Who is "everybody else"? Most of my son's peers have the same limits placed on them by parents who share our same moral framework for parenting. I think "everybody else" is a fictional group of kids, used to pressure parents into going against what they know in their heart and soul is right.

I'm pretty sure that my teenage son is convinced that if he just asks me enough times, the water-torture method of wearing me down will result in the response he desires. His problem is that I can be so bull-headed about some things.

I know he's going to keep asking, and keep pushing those limits. I'm still learning about parenting in this new phase of life, still praying every day for the strength and wisdom to help him along life's path.

Current strategy: pray lots, keep making time for our chats, and keep lots of bacon in the house.

For Today

Today's Readings

“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love."

Today's Saint - Pope John I; Also celebrating a feast day today is Eric IX of Sweden, considered Patron of Sweden but never formally canonized.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Today in Catholic History

On May 17, 1934 the Ave Maria Grotto at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, AL was dedicated. This is on my list of places to visit someday. From the website of the grotto:

The Ave Maria Grotto, known throughout the world as "Jerusalem in Miniature", is a beautifully landscaped, four-acre park designed to provide a natural setting for the 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and shrines of the world. The masterpieces of stone and concrete are the lifetime work of Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey. Begun as a hobby, with various materials he could find, and infinite patience and a remarkable sense of symmetry and proportion, Brother Joseph re-created some of the greatest edifices of all time.

Thanks Brother Joseph! I hope to see your Ave Maria Grotto some day!

Source: America's Great (and not so great) Catholic Moments by Thomas J. Craughwell

For Today

Today's Readings

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

Today's Saint - St. Pascal BaylonOf humble origins, St. Paschal followed his call in life and became a lay brother/doorkeeper for the Franciscan community in the 1500s. He was known for his tremendous devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. He is the patron of shepherds and of Eucharistic congresses.

Heavenly Father, help me to look at my life today and see opportunities to bear fruit for you. Let me see the example of St. Pascal, who in his own simple way, was your light to others in his world. Please help me to recognize that all of my little ways, done in love for you, are my prayer to you. Thank you for the blessings of this day!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Erin and Evan!!!

Dear Erin and Evan,

I know we've been celebrating all month and that you don't officially share a birthday, but I thought I'd write a note to the two of you together, as that's how I think of you in my heart during the month of May.

I need to take a moment to tell you how much you mean to me and how very much I love you!

The two of you are much alike in many ways - you love to travel, whether it's to the lake, or to Paris. Your smiles and your personalities light up the room! You look really cute in your PJs! You love a clean kitchen, and one of you is an excellent sweeper! Most of all, you are excellent listeners. One of you will pause in the midst of important legal transactions to take a call from a Fresno housewife. The other listens so closely that he repeats the last word of every sentence, so you always know in your heart he's heard what you have to say!

To Erin, you are sister and friend forever. I never cease to be amazed at your energy, your prowess, your intelligence, the depth of your emotions, and the totality with which you share all that you have with those around you.

To Evan, you are my sunshine and you never cease to make me smile. I love how you remember everything that happens, how you put your nativity scene action figures in just the right place when you read your bible. I love how you are so talkative and expressive. I love you because you are the miracle that turned my best friend into a mommy!

To my two favorite redheads, I hope your celebration lasts all month - you deserve all the happiness in the world!

With love and moose smoochies, L.

Putting On A Show!

When we were growing up, my siblings and I loved to put on shows. We would drag the record player into the living room, set my Mom on the Avacado Green couch, and dance around the shag carpeting to the tunes of the Monkees, the Patridge Family or whatever else we had on hand. By my Mom's reaction, you would have thought she was witnessing a Broadway musical. She never said, "That's cute kids, but I need to go check my email..."

We didn't do too many puppet shows, but for those who are puppet show fans, we've got a great new resource at! Lisa M. has incredibly shared her scripts for over twenty wonderful Catholic puppet shows. You can find them here in their new home at the Catholic Mom Puppet Show Ministry. I'm picturing rooms full of CCD kids putting on these shows, and also Moms across the country watching them performed in their own homes.

For Today

Today's Readings

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

Today's Saint - St. Dymphna, patron of those suffering from mental and nervous afflictions; martyred at fifteen and known for her purity of spirit.

Blessed God, we pray today through the intercession of St. Dymphna for all those lives touched by mental illness. Bring healing and comfort to the suffering and strength to their caregivers. Also, for those whose lives are filled with stress and anxiety, let us hold St. Dymphna as a model of strength as we follow her example of purity of heart. Our Lady of Fatima, we pray also for peace in our world. Amen.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Great Gift for You or Someone Special

Catholic artist and mom Melissa Dayton has made her lovely piece "Escort to God" available in poster format. As a special gift to readers, Melissa is offering a incredible 50% off discount on the already very reasonable price ($16.95 normally, less than $8.50 with discount!). This offer is available through the end of May.

To order your own copy of "Escort to God", visit Pearls of Grace Fine Art and select "Poster" under the "Select Size" button. The coupon code for this offer is 752404. A special thank you to Melissa Dayton for this generous sharing of spirit and light.

To read my interview with Melissa and learn more about her incredible work, click here.

For Today

Today's Readings

“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

Today's Saint - St. Isidore, the Farmer

God, through the intercession of St. Isidore, the holy Farmer, grant that we may overcome all feelings of pride. May we always serve You with that humility which pleases You, through his merits and example.
Catholic Online

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.

As I sat in Mass this morning listening to these words from today's second reading, my thoughts turned to my mom, the world's best mother.

Growing up as the oldest of five children, I vastly underappreciated my mother. In fact, until I had my own children, I think I was a bit of a Daddy's girl. But all that changed pretty quickly after I held Eric for the first time.

There's something about taking on the vocation of motherhood that gives you an unimaginable appreciation for and respect of your own mother. My mom was, indeed, the best - and she continues to be to this day! She was a wonderful role model of all a committed and loving wife should be. In good times and in bad, she loved my Daddy with a love that has remained constant and unwavering, and in a way that was evident to each of us. To this day, I love to watch my parents together, especially when they're dancing!

As a mother, she made countless sacrifices to benefit us, but you'd never have known it. Not once did I ever imagine that she might rather be doing something more exciting than endless loads of laundry or finding creative recipes for hamburger. She never complained about driving the way I do - she just did it (and for five of us, as opposed to my two!). Gracefully, and with wit, she raised five of us who went on to full and happy lives. All of her children graduated from college, and all have emulated our parents' loving relationships by finding our own soul mates. We are raising our own children in the faith she so lovingly taught us with the words she instilled in our souls even before we were old enough to say them for ourselves.

As a mother myself, one of my mantras has become "WWMD?" What would mom do? More often then not, when faced with a parenting challenge, she is the first expert I consult. Like today's soccer moms, she carries a cell phone 24/7 to be on call for parenting emergencies that arise. But instead of a sick second grader needing to be picked up, she consults with her grown daughters and sons on everything from potty training to teenage relationships to the recipe for Impossible Pie.

I'm lucky, I have a mom and a best friend all rolled into one. If a day goes by where I'm unable to speak with her by phone, I tuck the memories of that day into my mind to share with her as soon as I can. She loves me enough to tell me straight up when I'm obsessing over something stupid. She marvels with me at my children's accomplishments and helps me to keep their shortcomings in perspective. She comes to my rescue, both physically and emotionally, sometimes even before I can recognize that I need her help.

Like an object lesson for those to whom John spoke in today's epistle, my mom's love is obvious not only in her words, but especially in her deeds and actions. She is the epitome of all I think a mother should be - if I can do 2/5ths of what she does in my life as a mom, I will consider myself a success in life.

Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you! Thank you for the gift of life and for the love you've showered on us. I love you more than I'll ever be able to say! L.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Rites of Passage

Since Eric was a first grader at St. Anthony's School, I've anticipated the tears I would shed on the day of his 8th grade Balloon Mass.

At our school, like many others, there are wonderful traditions. One of them is the annual Farewell Mass, referred to at our house at the "Balloon Mass".

The tradition goes like this: each fall, shortly after school begins, the 8th graders welcome the new first graders to our school with a special Welcome Mass. At the conclusion of Mass, the 8th graders meet up with their first graders buddies, present them with a balloon, and process hand-in-hand from the sanctuary. First grade mothers, having anticipated for years the day their child would attend this first school mass, tussle for the perfect photo opportunity. The students process to Mary's Garden, where the blue and gold balloons are released.

Each spring, we hold the Farewell Mass outside in Mary's Garden. The 8th graders are the guests of honor. By this point in their academic journey, the first graders have become proficient readers and are responsible for proclaiming the readings, intercessory prayers and special words of care and blessing for the 8th graders. At the end of Mass, each first grader presents a balloon to his or her beloved buddy and the students again process hand in hand out of Mass. The 8th graders then gather together and sing a farewell song. As the blue and gold balloons are released into the heavens, the students exchange hugs and sometimes even a tear or two. Eighth grade moms jockey for position, trying to get the perfect angle without being too embarrassing to their teenagers. Moms juggle the digital camera, the video camera, and the wadded up tissues we've consumed during this sentimental moment.

Today was Eric's special Balloon Mass, the one I've been waiting for since first grade. In the past few years, as I watched other graduating 8th graders participate in the ritual, I've shed a few tears of joy and thanksgiving for being part of such a wonderful community. I always thought that there would be many more tears when I watched my own 8th grader release his balloon. But today, I surprised myself. Yes, I'll admit to a few tears, but mostly I felt proud and extremely happy for Eric. He has had a wonderful time in elementary school. But like that balloon, he's destined for greater journeys.

One day recently, we were all standing in the kitchen and Eric jokingly said to Greg and I, "My confidence is at an all time high." Wow, what a thing to hear from a fourteen year old! I remember, at that age, feeling incredibly unsure of my position in the world. High school, for me, was something to be feared - new territory with many new people to meet and lots of uncertainty. But when I look at Eric, I realize he's ready. He's benefited so greatly from being part of a loving and spirit-filled elementary school community, but like his balloon, he's ready to soar, and now's the time.

The next few weeks will hold more special traditions as the 8th graders slowly march towards graduation. There will be parties, trips, awards ceremonies and more. I'm sure I'll need more tissues along the way as I watch my son move into the next phase of his life. Today, as I watched Eric's balloon grow smaller and smaller in the sky, I said a silent prayer for Eric, and one for Greg and I - that he will enjoy the journey before him and that we will have the strength and grace to help him prepare himself for all that lies ahead.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What Do You Just For You?

I just got home from doing something really fun, just for me! A few years ago, in a quasi mid life crisis moment, I decided I wanted to learn to play the violin. At that time, I was already forty - much too old to consider a future career as a virtuoso, but I took on the challenge. I've always loved fiddle music, so I decided that I'd focus on basic violin with an emphasis on fiddle.

Since that time, various events have conspired against my becoming the next member of the Dixie Chicks. I have been through four teachers (that's a whole new blog entry in itself), breaking up with my last teacher well over a year ago.

Somehow, this week, I decided to pick back up the bow. I haven't played in a very long time, as it always seems like there's something more important or productive I should be doing. We moms tend to do that a lot, with our lives so busy serving other people and working. Playing my violin is something I do just for one else derives any benefit from it, so I've tended to just not do it.

But, the point is, I love playing. I sound really bad (practicing is a great way to get boys to go play outside), but I don't care. I'll probably never get anywhere beyond playing for my own pleasure, but I've decided now that that's reason enough to play.

So today, I had my first lesson with my new teacher. From the first time I met him, I thought he'd be a great teacher - his name is Patrick! I think that's a good omen.
Taking lessons is good for me, as it encourages me to take time to play and practice.

What do you love to do, just for you? Have you done it lately? We can make all the excuses we want, but the truth is that most of us can find an extra thirty minutes somewhere in our days to do something we love: to write, to take a walk, to garden just for the joy of it, to write a letter, to call a girlfriend, or even just to take a bath! I challenge you today to do something you love, just for you!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New Articles

Our Mother's Day celebration is off to a great start over at - take a look to view some recent articles, gift ideas, poetry and more. I'm still looking for contest entries so that someone can win Lisa Barker's wonderful book. Remember, your entry can be as brief as one sentence. All names who comment here or email me will be entered.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Share a Story, Win a Book

Hi Friends! Mother's Day is one of my favorite holidays, but not for selfish reasons. In my family growing up, my Daddy always made a HUGE celebration for the world's greatest Mom (and now Nana!) on Mother's Day. We would make my mom breakfast in bed and all five kids would snuggle with her (and probably eat most of her food). It's a precious memory from my childhood.

Jelly Mom columnist and author Lisa Barker has graciously offered to donate one of her fabulous books Just Because Your Kids Drive You Insane Doesn't Mean You Are a Bad Parent! as the prize for a fun contest this week at

To enter, simply submit a special memory related to Mother's Day, a gift idea, a recipe, a tribute to your own Mom, or anything else related to Mother's Day. You can either submit your thoughts as a comment on the Catholic Mom Moments blog, or email them to me at -

The names of all who submit will be entered into a drawing and on Monday, May 15 I will randomly select the winner of Lisa's fabulous book. Good luck and enjoy sharing! Lisa

Friday, May 05, 2006

Answers to "What I've Been Up To"!

OK, some of you have figured them out, but here's an extremely brief travelogue of my recent odyssey.

Photo #1 - Las Vegas (no, not the real Venice!) - We spent a few days at the new Wynn Hotel in Vegas, living in the lap of luxury

Photo #2 - Yosemite - We are fortunate enough to live with waterfalls practically in our backyard. This photo was taken on a day when Eric and I discovered a new and fairly hidden hiking trail about 50 minutes from our front door. The majesty of the waterfalls this year is indescribable - God's creation leaves me speechless at times like this. It was an incredible day, with two incredible boys! (Mom shared a few "stay away from the ledge" nags during the course of this otherwise lovely hike).

Photo #3 - The Walnut Room, Marshall Fields, Chicago - Nana and I surprised Erin for her 40th birthday (ok, so we were a few days early....). We both flew to Chicago and we really did fake my little sister out! It was a wonderful trip. If you've never been to Chicago in the spring, plan a visit - the weather is lovely and the tulips are awash in color. More on the suprise and my slightly aging sister soon.

Photo #4 - Notre Dame!!! Ok, this one should have been simple. I attended this year's Alumni Senate in the shadow of the dome. I felt like an elderly alumna when I asked two young coeds to take my picture in front of the dome! I hope to share more on this fantastic conference soon.

I think I'm home now for a while and ready to get caught up and back on track. I was greeted at the airport by two handsome young men bearing a spring bouquet and one slightly bedraggled husband who'd been minding the store in my absence! It's wonderful to travel, but there's no place like home!!!

Meet Sharmane!

I've just posted my new interview with an incredibly talented Catholic Mom, Sharmane Adams, over at the new "blog" for dealing with music, books and more. Read my interview with Sharmane and feel free to comment on her great music with this new format. I love Sharmane's latest CD, and know you will too!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Great New Columns

Just posted over this morning at! Check them out!

The Mother is the Heart of the Domestic Church by Donna–Marie Cooper O’Boyle

Teaching Moments - 24 Gold Coins in a Day

Top Ten Dental Health Mistakes Of Women Over 35 by Michele Howe

Oversize Emoting Not a Tiny Problem by Marybeth Hicks

A Lesson about Courage by Susan Handle Terbay

Trying to Determine "Needs" vs. "Wants" by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

What Can I Say? by Heidi Hess Saxton

The Great And Naked Houdini & His Assistant by Lisa Barker

A Boy, A Man, A Mom by Pat Gohn


What I've Been Up To!

Hey guys! I'm breaking my own personal rule about posting pictures of myself to give you some sense of why I've been so delinquent in my blogging for the past two weeks. Here are some scenes from my recent activities. Can you name the places?

I'll post the correct answers tomorrow.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Missing In Action

For those checking in here who are concerned that I've fallen into a black hole, don't worry! I don't have time for a complete update, but I'm alive and well and just too busy to blog! Since Easter Sunday, I've been on a whirlwind travel schedule - I plan to log on Wednesday, when I will finally be back home, and offer a complete update on all of my recent activities. I've been suffering from an intermittent internet connnection in the various places I've been of late, which is perhaps a good thing! Some time to refresh and revitalize is always a good thing.

Signing off for now...see you Wednesday!