Saturday, November 22, 2008

Join me in my new blog home!

Hi everyone! Join us over at the newly redesigned for my blog, podcast, and more great content for Catholic families:

I'm hoping that you will find the new site easy to use and that you will comment regularly to help keep me motivated! Thanks for your ongoing support - I'm hoping the end result will be a happy new home for all of us! Lisa

Friday, November 21, 2008

Free Catholic Bible Study DVD for Year of St. Paul

I'm so happy to share with you the great news that our friends at the Come and See Catholic Bible Study series have made another generous offer for our readers.

Take a look at my interview with series co-author Laurie Manhardt to find out how you can obtain a free DVD to help you begin your study of their new "Acts and Letters" bible study book.

As a side note, I've posted this interview over at the "currently under construction new site". Please know that this site is far from being ready for prime time, but I'm going to start posting content there so that it will be packed with great stuff once it's up and fully functional. The links and navigation don't work yet, so don't bother clicking on the sidebar links, but you can read all of Laurie's great thoughts on getting started with your own Catholic Bible study devotion! You can also leave a comment on the new site if you'd like to help me get started with testing our system.

My Favorite New Catholic Calendar!

This month, I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of the calendar that will grace my office walls in 2009 - The Beauty of Grace 2009 Calendar of Indulgences from Bridegroom Press.

I’m thrilled to help spread the word about this particular product, since it is so much more than simply a way to keep track of appointments. First, a physical description of the calendar: it’s a heavy duty 12 x 12 calendar with lovely artwork from Murals by Jericho. The photos that grace each month’s page are absolutely lovely images that will look great in any room.

More importantly though, the content of this calendar far exceeds any I’ve ever seen - you could almost call this calendar a reference book. In fact, I know that the calendar will be hung very close to my desk, since I will be taking it down regularly to refer to the various features it offers. These include:

Lists all the indulgenced works of the Church on a month-at-a-glance basis,
Highlights the twenty-two special days when a partial indulgence becomes plenary to honor a day,
Color-codes the indulgences for easy identification
Has scholarly notes on the history of indulgences,
Contains the conditions for earning both partial and plenary indulgences,
Gives the complete text of over a dozen different indulgenced prayers,
Carries weekly reminders for Friday fasts and Saturday confession
Provides the Scriptural supports for one dozen different apologetics topics:

o The Eucharist
o Marian dogma and doctrines
o Redemptive suffering
o The divinity of Christ
o Apostolic succession
o The problems with contraception
o Reconciliation
o Purgatory
o Indulgences
o Divinization
o Church authority
o Catholic baptismal teaching

I’ve learned so much from this calendar already on the topic of indulgences, and I’m certain that my spiritual life will be enhanced throughout all of 2009 through the regular performing of indulgences in my own life.

I’ll be looking for opportunities to share these with you throughout the year. But if I were you, I’d head over to The Catholic Company today and purchase two - one for you and one as a gift for a special friend. The Beauty of Grace Calendar of Indulgences is the type of gift that keeps on giving!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Beauty of Grace Calendar of Indulgences 2009 Wall Calendar.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jesus loves him...

Adam 11/20/08

Catholic Moments #79 - Bryan Murdaugh and Catholic Charities

This week, we share two interviews. Jody Hudson of Catholic Charities of Fresno helps us learn what we, as families, can do to reach out to the poor and needy in our communities. We also meet Bryan Murdaugh, a talented Catholic Dad, youth minister and musician. Deacon Tom Fox shares a reflection on being of service to others. Be sure to enter this month's contest - your chance to win two adorable Christmas Bracelets. To enter, email with “Christmas Bracelets Giveaway” in the subject line and be sure to include your complete mailing address. Enter by November 30, 2008. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Catholic Charities USA
Bryan Murdaugh
The Catholic Company
Lisa's Facebook Profile, Plurk, Twitter
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #79

Subscribe to the feed | Subscribe with iTunes

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Catholic Charities Named Top Provider of Social Services

I was so happy to read the headline today that confirmed what we already know - Catholic Charities USA is the top provider of social services according to Charity Navigator.

This morning, I headed downtown to our local Catholic Charities agency for an interview with Jody Hudson, who heads the agency's food bank, thrift store and many other important areas of community outreach.  I'm looking forward to sharing that interview on the next episode of Catholic Moments, but I wanted to share this article with you to remind each of you that the work we do to support Catholic Charities is reaching many lives.  At the Catholic Business and Professionals breakfast I attended last week, our local executive director of Catholic Charities stated that with a five dollar donation, Catholic Charities can purchase twenty boxes of cereal!  What a wonderful reminder that every little bit helps when it comes to feeding the poor and hungry.

Congrats to Catholic Charities USA and all of those who work and volunteer to carry out Christ's message of care and compassion.

Catholic Charities USA Named Top Provider of Social Services by Charity Navigator, Ranked #2 Overall in NonProfit Times Top 100 - MarketWatch

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Work of God

computer simulation of multiverseI haven't had time yet to read the entire article, but my good buddy Gerard Faucheux wrote in last week to recommend this article in Discover magazine which addresses the origins of life.  And while you're checking it out, listen to some of Gerard's songs here - one of my favorites is "How Can You Think of Me?"

Science's Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory | Cosmology | DISCOVER Magazine

Spend some time with Donna-Marie

Now Released!In case you missed it last week, you can listen in here to Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle's appearance on Teresa Tomeo's show.  It's always so fun to listen in when the two of them are together!

Embracing Motherhood: Listen Here to Yesterday's "Mom's Corner" show

Book Walk! Your Chance to Win

ChristmasmosaiccoverjpgOur good friend Cay Gibson is hosting a book giveaway over at her lovely blog!  All you need to do is head over and comment for your chance to win two of Cay's wonderful books!  Easy as pie (or cake...!)

Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks: I Smell Something Baking

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why These Games Scare Me...

This article from CERC and the National Post are the reason I hate war related video games - thankfully, my boys seem too interested playing various instruments to pay much attention to them, but this tragic story of a 15 year old obsessed with Call of Duty 4 raises huge red flags for me.  I am praying for his parents, who surely thought they were doing the right thing by confiscating his game console. 

A Canadian teenager has been found dead after running away from home when his parents confiscated his Xbox gaming machine. Brandon Crisp, 15, was obsessed with the online Xbox 360 game Call of Duty 4, in which several participants in different locations fight wars alongside a squadron of others -- with whom they communicate over the internet using headphones and speakers. During the three-week search for the boy his mother said that the game was “his life right now”; she had taken the gaming system away numerous times.

Internet addiction expert Louise Nadeau, a psychologist at the Universite de Montreal, said that as a teenager her mother had accused her of being “a slave to TV”. “There’s something around being 13, 14 or 15 that kids find it easier to live through a screen,” she said. But internet games made it easier to lose touch with real life: “Our world becomes more and more foreign.” Nadeau added: “Addiction sets in when one feels responsible for what happens in the on-line world.”

Microsoft, the company that sells Xbox, offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the boy, and “grudgingly co-operated with police who sought IP addresses” of those who played with Brandon, according to the Post. Future Shop, a chain of stores selling games, was launching a new Xbox game, Gears of War 2, at the time Brandon’s body was found. The chain cancelled parties outside its stores in Toronto and Vancouver out of respect for the Crisp family.
MercatorNet | Family Edge | Canadian Boy Lived In An Online World

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Catholic Moments #78 - Traci Matheu

Our guest this week is Traci Matheu, Catholic mom, speaker and author of A Survivor from the Lost Generation of Catholics on the importance of building a foundation of faith in our families. Deacon Tom Fox shares a reflection on the topic of Loneliness. Be sure to enter this month's contest - your chance to win two adorable Christmas Bracelets. To enter, email with “Christmas Bracelets Giveaway” in the subject line and be sure to include your complete mailing address. Enter by November 30, 2008. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Traci Matheu
Paul's Men Podcast
Amazing Hero Art
The Catholic Company
Lisa's Facebook Profile, Plurk, Twitter
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #78

Subscribe to the feed | Subscribe with iTunes

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In the Mood!

I had to share this picture and video from Eric's big concert last weekend.

In the video of the Jazz Band from University High School, Eric is the cool cat in the shades. What a blessing to watch your child do something they love so much - you can see the big smile on his face in the video. He was having a blast.

During the course of the evening, Eric played with the wind ensemble, the Orchestra and the Jazz Band. One of the highlights of the night was the finale, where all 405 students from University High School took the stage to perform together. It was amazing!

Change can be a difficult thing, especially for mothers. When Eric decided to transfer high schools, I will admit I had a lot of fear and trepidation about the move. But watching him this weekend and seeing the sheer joy that he had being among his peers and making such lovely music, I am convinced we made the right decision. It's been a big change in the past year going from football pads to a tuxedo, but I'd say Eric is doing just fine with the transition!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Bracelets Giveway

I'm thrilled to announce our latest giveaway - your chance to win two adorable Christmas bracelets from the wonderful On This Day Designs.

1 winner receives two fun Christmas bracelets from On This Day Designs

How to Enter: To enter, email with “Christmas Bracelets Giveaway” in the subject line and be sure to include your complete mailing address. Enter by November 30, 2008

About the Product: Two wonderful cute stretchy bracelets to help commemorate the Christmas season: one has a tiny ceramic St. Nicholas with the words "St. Nick pray for us". It's the perfect reminder for a child that St. Nicholas is the true Santa. A wonderful gift to place in a child's shoe on December 6, the feast of St. Nicholas. The second bracelet celebrates the birth of our Lord Jesus. It's the perfect gift for a child to help remind them why we celebrate Christmas with such joy. Just the right size for a stocking stuffer! This giveaway is sponsored by On This Day Designs

Make Multiplication Magnificent

Multiplication Tables DungeonThanks to Vikki for sharing the heads up about a great tool for teachers and parents called "Timez Attack".  It's a great video game that will help your kids learn to love multiplication. 

I remember hearing this game mentioned on the Rosary Army and Greg and Jennifer gave it great reviews.  There is a free Base Version available online to teach your child 2s through 12s and to give you a chance to preview the product.

You can check out the game at  I really wish this tool had been available when my boys were learning multiplication!  If you've used Timez Attack, I'd love to hear your comments!

Multiplication Tables - Flash Player Installation

Workout Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents

I'm getting caught up on a whole bunch of backed up email today, so expect a few blog posts to be coming your way! With Nana here, I've been too busy having fun to blog!

One of my favorite daily emails comes from - this email today seemed to be a good one to share here:

Workout Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents

When you're running a household that includes young children and teens, it can be hard to get away for a workout.

If you're desperate for fitness but can't seem to find the time, all you need is some planning and a little creativity. Here are some tips for parents with children and teens:

1. Exercise with your kids. If your kids are old enough, let them bike while you run or rollerblade. Hiking makes for a fun family activity that keeps everyone shape. Or, create a fitness course in the backyard, complete with jump rope, jumping jacks, and pushup stations.

2. Purchase some exercise videos. Yoga, Pilates, low-impact aerobics, and kickboxing can all be done on your living room floor with little or no equipment. Before you buy, rent a few from your local video store or check them out from the library to see which ones you like.

3. Improvise. If you miss your aerobics class because of a marathon naptime, pop in an exercise video or do lunges in the backyard with the baby monitor hooked to your pants. Don't stress if you don't get that perfect workout in every time. With exercise, doing some is always better than doing none.

4. Most importantly, put exercise on your "to-do" list. Make it a priority. If that means getting up an hour early for a run, then set the alarm and go for it. You'll benefit in countless ways, plus you'll be a happier, more peaceful parent for your kids.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Catholic Moments #77 - Weight Issues and An Attitude of Gratitude

This week, Lisa shares double the fun with two interviews: Ruby Gettinger is the star of "Ruby", a new television show that chronicles her lifelong battle with morbid obesity. Sue Lundquist is the author of the I'm Thankful journal, a tool for helping our families build an attitude of thankfulness. Deacon Tom Fox shares a stirring reflection entitled "The Struggle of Parenting" filled with encouraging words for parents. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Sue Lundquist - I'm Thankful website, I'm Thankful Journal
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
The Catholic Company
Lisa's Facebook Profile, Plurk, Twitter
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #77

Subscribe to the feed | Subscribe with iTunes

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Mommy and Me

Nana arrives today! I always love welcoming my mom to town, despite the fact that somehow I am traditionally running around the night before she arrives, trying to make my home look halfway decent.

Her guest room adjoins my office, and is frequently the "spill over" space for all of my projects, books waiting to be reviewed, items to be donated and anything else that doesn't have a home. So on the eve of her arrival, I can usually be found moving stacks around, sorting, dusting and cleaning. It makes me happy to do these otherwise hated tasks in anticipation of her arrival though, because I want everything to be just right when she gets here (or at least not as chaotic as it usually is!)

So last night, I was running back and forth between cleaning and watching the events of the evening unfold. I thought John McCain's speech was very gracious, and I'm going to follow the marching orders he gave us in his words of concession:

"join me in not just congratulating [Obama], but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited."
As for the election of our new President Obama, I was inspired watching the crowds in Grant Park listen to his speech. I found the following section of his remarks to be the ones that will spur me to action:
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Coincidentally, after I voted and dropped Adam off at school yesterday, I found myself at Catholic Charities delivering our canned goods. Lined up in front of the door were families, desperate for the single free sack of food they receive from the organization. The reality of their situation tore at my heart as I recognized the broad cross section of folks there - no stereotypes, just people just like you and me who are feeling the weight of these tough times. It made me ask myself what I am doing personally, daily, to respond to Jesus' call to feed the hungry and to clothe the naked. I hope we can all respond to President Obama's call to "look after not only ourselves but each other" in as many little ways as possible. I hope that these can be words that not only inspire, but that more importantly motivate us to real action.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Have I RSVP'd? today's gospel passage, in the Parable of the Great Feast, Jesus shares the story of a master who threw a great dinner and invited many.  Unfortunately, when the time came, those who were invited came up with convenient excuses why they could not answer the call - "I'm too busy" or "My spouse won't let me" are modern ways to paraphrase the lame excuses given. 

So the master turned and extended his invitation to those who wouldn't have exactly been the first on his guest list, casting the net ever wider and swearing that the first invited guests would never taste a morsel of the fabulous dinner.

Every day, Jesus invites me to the heavenly feast of eternal salvation and to true Communion with God in the Eucharist.  How often do I make up excuses to avoid answering his invitation?  I want to go to the feast - but have I RSVP'd to Jesus lately that being with Him and replying to his call is my top priority?

Also today, we celebrate St. Charles Borromeo, the patron saint of bishops, seminarians, catechists, and catechumens.  Let's pray today for the shepherds of our Church and for those of us who learn from them - may our hearts be open to hear their teachings and to answer Jesus' invitation to the great feast!

USCCB - (NAB) - November 4, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Serving without Repayment

I think Jesus might have been speaking to moms as well as Pharisees in today's readings when he said to those gathered:

“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

How many times a day do we find ourselves serving those in our lives and wondering if they notice it or why they don't thank us?  If I'm being honest with myself, I have to admit to those small feelings of not being appreciated that bubble over into big feelings at times.  But today's readings should be validation for any mom that we are called to truly serve our families, to give them our very best, and to do so humbly.  In fact, in today's first reading today we hear:

"Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also everyone for those of others."

Most of us moms will never be missionaries, saints, or doctors of the Church.  But we're so very lucky that every day we have the opportunity in our own homes to respond directly to Jesus' call and to do so for the people we love most in this world. 

Lord, grant me the attitude today to serve my family humbly and, in doing so, to show you my love.

USCCB - (NAB) - November 3, 2008

Shopping Reminder

As we enter the Christmas shopping season, I hope you will consider making your online purchases through Please look for the links at or on the right sidebar here at the blog - your purchases at and The Catholic Company help pay the expenses for this site and enable me to keep dedicating my time to it. Thanks, as always, for your support and prayers!

Catholic Gifts at The Catholic Company

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Does Praise Add Pressure?

I'd love to know what you think about this article entitled Want to build your child's self-esteem from the fabulous CERC website. It's premise is that we, as parents, need to be very careful about the way we give feedback to our children to assure that we do not set them up for disappointment or low self-esteem if they do not measure up to all they think we want for them to be.

I fear I've fallen short a bit in this area, as one who's pretty regular at praising her sons for their accomplishments. The article suggests a more refined praise paradigm:

Praise, then and now


You're brilliant.
You're a great hockey player.
You're smart.
You're so talented.
You're a great colourer.
You're a good artist.


I really like the way you tried all different ways and found one that worked.
I'm really happy for you -- you worked really hard on the ice today.
I like the way you took on a hard task. I like the way you stuck to it.
You're stretching yourself. You're trying new things.
I like the way you used colours.
That drawing makes me happy. Tell me about it.

So what do you think? I'm fairly certain our parents praised us regularly, and I don't think my self-esteem didn't suffer too greatly.

p.s. Is anyone aware of the trend towards "potty-training parties" mentioned at the end of the article? I must have missed that one!

Book Resource:

Happy All Saints Day!'s readings remind us of the importance of living a life of purity, a life aimed at our ultimate goal - to someday see the face of God in heaven. We have such a vast number of saints who have gone before us, giving us wonderful examples of how to live this life towards that end.

I love it that our saints come in so many shapes and sizes: priests and popes, moms and daughters. Each of the saints walked his or her own path to sainthood, and some stumbled and fell along those paths just as you and I do. Knowing that, and knowing Christ's perfect love for me, helps me to pick myself up and continue my own journey on the many days when I fall so short of being all that the beatitudes call us to be.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”

USCCB - (NAB) - November 1, 2008

To Teach for November

My favorite resource from the USCCB, To Teach, is now available for November and December.  The online magazine offers suggestions for principals, teachers, and parents to bring faith into our homes and classrooms.  I love many of their suggestions for November and know you will too!

To Teach November 2008