Monday, November 29, 2010

Young Marriage (at CMO)

I have not been posting much of late, as I have been exceedingly busy. It is that time of year where Mommies have lots to do. Catholic Mothers Online ran another of my posts today, my topic was young marriage. Do stop over there and take a looksee! Feel free to leave comments either here or there, I love to hear from you.

I hope all the US readers had a blessed Thanksgiving! Though we had a few vehicle glitches, we did manage to make it to where we were heading for Thanksgiving, and I was surrounded by my six baby loves, as well as my father, sister, and her family. It was a lovely day, made possible through the help of friends when it seemed that the cars in my life conspired to keep me stranded at home.

And now, Advent is upon us. May God bless you as you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fearless Friday, On Saturday

Ah, it is Saturday and I am just getting to this. Well, better late than never!

Today I would like to remember some friends (in no particular order) with medical needs:

1. Sweet Mary who is battling cancer. This is her first blog.

2. Jen who is a momma and is undergoing treatments as well.

3. Debbie who is battling stomach cancer.

4. A young man, J, who is a heart transplant recipient, having his annual 'roto-rooter' cath done to check for any signs of rejection. His cath is on the 17th, please remember him and his family in your prayers. He will be 20 years old in December.

5. Baby Anna, who is now out of the hospital after staying in about 3 weeks for what was expected to be about 5 days. She is doing well, settling back into her family routine, at home. Thanks be to God.

I know this prayer is small, but it is the only way I could get it on here. If I did it right, you should be able to click on it and it will enlarge for you.

Also, prayers for young people. In particular:

1. A college student discerning next year's plan.

2. A teen with a new driver's permit.

3. A young girl who is suffering with anxiety.

4. A young man in some minor legal trouble assigned to work community service hours.

5. The confirmation students as they prepare to become soldiers of Christ.

6. All who are preparing for Sacraments such as Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, Marriage, or who are discerning a vocation.

And, because I have read 3 books recently, where the main characters were immigrants or dealing with discrimination of some sort due to their immigration, I would like to pray for all of the immigrants who are trying to adjust to life in their new homeland (hopefully legally!!)

Lastly, because it is Native American month, I would like to pray for all Native American people. Especially those who still suffer under discrimination, live in squalor, or are suffering on reservations. This is definitely a black mark on our American history, and we should do what we can through prayer, alms, charity, and any assistance we can offer.

O God, who, among the many marvels of Your Grace in the New World, did cause to blossom on the banks of the Mohawk and of the St. Lawrence, the pure and tender Lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, grant we beseech You, the favor we beg through her intercession, that this Young Lover of Jesus and of His Cross may soon be counted among the Saints of Holy Mother Church, and that our hearts may be enkindled with a stronger desire to imitate her innocence and faith. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.

God bless, and feel free to add your prayers into the comments. You are always in my prayers. This post is linked to Angie's Fearless Friday over at Free Spirit Haven.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fearless Friday: Holy Souls Edition

November being the month of the dead, I'm going to take today and pray for the Holy Souls.

For an explanation of this Catholic practice, please go here. You can also read more here.

If you would like anyone remembered here, please add their names to the comments.

I wish to remember the souls of all the faithful departed, and in a special way:

*my mother, Kathleen

*Mary Katherine

*Irene and William

*Frank and Thelma

*Frank and Mary

*Mary and Doug

*Helen and Hal



and all those unnamed in my heart and yours today. Again, feel free to list names in the comments section.
UPDATE: Carol left these names in the comment box, to be added to our list of prayers:

Joining with you in praying for the holy souls.

Some of my deceased loved ones:







God bless!

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in Peace.

UPDATE: Sweet Mary left this in my comments box today, I wanted to bring it up to the main post:

I'm on a loaner computer since my computer has been totally fried by that virus.
Is it too late to ask for prayers for
1. Bennett family - we've been hit by the bill tsunnami, and are overwhelmed.

2. Matthew that he finds a job, and the job is in his field

3. Peace of Mind for me, every so often I am overwhelmed by my future

4. Michael and his broken arm, that it heal correctly and well.


This post is linked to Fearless Friday.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Great Health Information

This is news to me! Go see what our friend Michel has to say about Coconut oil for weight loss over at the Health and Fitness Fairy!!

And check out this video from Dr. Mercola:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fearless Friday: Cancer Prayers

It is Friday, and you know what that means! It is a day where I join Angie and everyone else in Prayer.

This week I would like to pray for cancer victims and their families. Cancer is a devastating illness. Emotionally, spiritually, physically devastating, and it can be devastating to relationships.

As always I remember Sweet Mary.

This week I add the memory of my mother, who was physically devastated by cancer 5 years ago. Today would have been her 66th birthday if she survived. Her name was Kathleen.

I also add my dear friend, Debbie. This week she was diagnosed with esophageal and stomach cancer. She has a 36 cm tumor in her stomach. Please pray for her. She is a mommy, and a caregiver for her elderly father. She is only 51 years young.

Click on the pic for a link to the prayer and the source of the pic.

O great St. Peregrine, you have been called "The Mighty," "The Wonder-Worker," because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you. (Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick for whom you are praying) Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.

This post is linked to Fearless Friday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rednesday: Halloween Edition

We went to a Halloween show last Saturday night, to benefit the Cerebral Palsy Center. What fun it was!! We knew two of the performers. The show was primarily a chorus singing oldies tunes, changed up a bit for the theme. The kids laughed through the whole show. We were given the tickets as a gift, and it was a fun time. Even the oldest made it to the show! This guy was guarding the door. No one was getting in without a ticket!! :)
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fearless Friday: A parent's heart

As a parent, I have found the most difficult times in my life have been when my children are sick. Thankfully, for most of us, even serious illnesses in our children end up just a memory down the road. But when you are going through something really difficult, at that time it is the most frightening thing in the world, seeing your baby (no matter how old) helpless. Today I would like to pray for all those mommies and daddies who are struggling with their own fears while trying to keep a brave face up for their children. And of course, I would like to pray for the children who struggle with the illnesses which have their parents tied up in knots.

In particular, today:

1. Anna, 14 months old, who has an annular pancreas, and had corrective surgery on the 20th. She is still in the hospital. Go see her parents' blog and leave them some love and prayers.

2. Affectionately called Monster by his mother on her blog, is a young man who has endured so much in his 19 years. He is doing well now, and they are adjusting to a "new normal" as she calls it. Prayers for the family.

3. Mary Katherine, the baby I spoke of here, and her family. While she is not sick, she has left a hole in the hearts of her family. They do not have a blog, so I have no link to offer aside from the one where I spoke of how she touched me. Please remember this family, and their sweet baby, in your prayers.

Also, a parent's heart suffers when they are the one with the illness.

1. I remember speaking with someone who was only an acquaintance of mine a few years ago. Always a health and fitness nut, she was surprised to learn she had developed lung cancer. I do not know her story, I do not know if she had any unusual exposure, or if she had been a smoker herself, though my impression was she had not been. What I do know is she shared with me how sad she was that her girls were "older, but still very young." At the time her daughter and mine were in the early high school years, and she had one daughter in college. She knew she would not see either girl graduate from their current schools, grow to be married, meet her grandchildren, grow old with her husband. She passed away about two years ago, and her words have stayed with me. Please remember Midge in your prayers today.

2. Sweet Mary. She has two blogs: Mary Bennett and The Big C-Catholic, Cancer, Cured.
She is a mother, wife, and she is waging a full war against cancer. She has been struggling but keeps up a brave face for all of us, I think she does not tell us all she is going through, therefore, we must pray harder for her mommy's heart, her health, and her full recovery. Please stop by and visit her, strengthen her with your prayers.

And for those not mentioned here, or not known to me, please remember all the parents suffering, in one way or another, with health issues. Whether it be their own, or their child's illness, a parent always worries about the effects on the health of their child (ren).

At times like these, when a parent's heart is worried, I turn to the Blessed Mother for comfort. Who, better than she, understands the suffering of a momma's heart? She who lost her only son, raised him knowing what his obligations were, and still did as she was asked by Our Lord. She knows the suffering of a parent all too well, therefore, I fly to her protection when the parent in me is needing comfort and reassurance.

Prayer in Honor of the Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Most holy and afflicted Virgin,
Queen of Martyrs,
you stood beneath the cross,
witnessing the agony of your dying Son.
Look with a mother's tenderness and pity on me,
who kneel before you.
I venerate your sorrows
and I place my requests
with filial confidence
in the sanctuary of your wounded heart.

Present them, I beseech you,
on my behalf to Jesus Christ,
through the merits of His own most sacred passion and
together with your sufferings obtain the granting of my petition.
To whom shall I have recourse in my wants and miseries
if not to you, Mother of Mercy?
You have drunk so deeply of the chalice of your Son,
you can compassionate our sorrows.

Holy Mather, your soul was pierced
by a sword of sorrow
at the sight of the passion of your Divine Son.
Intercede for me and obtain for me from our Lord

(State your intention here....)

it it be for His honor and glory,
and for my good.


This post is linked with Fearless Friday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How can anyone doubt there is a God after reading this story?

Newborn Saved from Dumpster by Man who Later Finds Out He's the Father

Obviously, God has plans for both Daddy and baby.

H/T to ProWoman ProLife

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

20 Years of Wedded Bliss!

It has not always been perfect, but the sum total of all of our years together is 20 years of wedded bliss.

10-20-10 = 20 years for my husband and me.

This is 10-20-90

Isn't the church beautiful? I regret that the ugly (and long since removed) chandelier blocks the view of the breathtaking stained glass window. I tried to find it online but could not.

This is in the limosine after the Mass, before pictures.

Notice the red bouquet?

I wanted all red, but my Mom said it was too dramatic for a bride to carry all red.

Too dramatic? I can laugh now...

This picture is on the steps of the chapel at Vassar College.

We were not married there, but it was walking distance from the church.

We did not walk, however, we took the limo.

Back to dramatic...

The extra-long cathedral train was pretty dramatic.
As was the head gear! Look at that 1990 poof!
And the sleeves? Maybe we should not discuss the sleeves from 1990!
Oh, how I loved that dress!
To tell the truth, I still do!

And this, this is my beautiful Mommy, wearing her very dramatic, red corsage!

We lost her 5 years ago on 11-20-2005

When this picture was taken, she was one year older than I am today.

One year from now I hope to look half this good!

Happy anniversary to the other half of my heart, my soulmate.

I pray God blesses us with at least another 20 more!

This post is linked to Rednesday. The perfect day for my anniversary as I love all things RED. My love of red should be obvious, after viewing my bridal bouquet!! Happy Rednesday!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Unplanned break

What a crazy week that was! Last week was so crazy I did not even get any posts up, not even for Fearless Friday!

The Oldest needed some scholarship papers filled out, I had some personal papers to gather and file, a class I had to take, company to entertain, my outside jobs to do, homeschooling, my classes, multiple places to run with the children, and a little one who has had a bit of a health crisis. In the midst of last week, this....

...which is exactly the pot I have, and creates the coffee from heaven (I am absolutely certain God has a French press)...

...made me feel like this:

when this happened:

So, how did I deal with this unplanned break? I took to my bed and dealt with the flutterings of my poor nerves.

Don't I wish I could be Mrs. Bennett for a day and indulge my poor nerves?

Instead, I consumed camp coffee while I handled all of my real-life stress. Not the least of which is my broken coffee press. Sadly, as hubbins has only gotten one pay check, this is not in the budget to replace just yet. Maybe next week.

Sooo, if I want coffee with the family, we have camp coffee. And my son is getting fairly good at making this concoction. While it pales in comparison to my press, it is consumable and it will keep my veins pumping with their daily dose of caffeine!

And in case you would like to try camp coffee too (insert snickering sounds):


You think the cowboys look like that because of their hard life on the trail. Well, I am here to tell you, it is because of their coffee! Click on the photo to go to anyjazz65, the flicker user who took the photo.

Method: Remove boiling water from heat and add ground coffee. Let sit until grounds sink to the bottom, then carefully scoop out coffee with a dipper and pour in your cup. A steady hand can keep from stirring up the grounds, which I can assure you - you do NOT want in your cup. Variations: adding a spot of cold fresh water to the sitting pot helps the grinds sink faster, as does tapping the side of the pot with a spoon.

Taste: Pretty good, considering the low-tech brewing method.

Pros: A good method for serving multiple people at once, if you have a large enough saucepan or kettle.

Cons: Long wait time for the grounds to sink. Messy to clean up. Very easy to get a mouthful of grounds. There's also a lot of wasted coffee in the bottom of the pot.

And, just so you do not feel too badly for me, my son did find in the recesses of the cabinet, a long ago forgotten single cup press. If I get really desperate for coffee during the day, he makes me a cup at a time!! He is a good boy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fearless Friday

Today I am thankful for my husband's first paycheck in 15 months!

We are so blessed, we are going to make a special dinner tonight, and maybe we will even make a cake.

Or, better yet, Mom's famous banana cream pie!

Note: This is not my pie, rather an image found on an internet search!

A Prayer for Fathers:

St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary,
you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty. You supported the holy
family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect those who
trustingly come to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their
hopes. They look to you because they know you will understand and protect them.
You too knew trial, labor and weariness. But amid the worries of material life
your soul was full of deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with
God's Son entrusted to you and with Mary, his tender Mother. Assure those you
protect that they do not labor alone. Teach them to find Jesus near them and to
watch over him faithfully as you have done.

Pope John XXIII

Today I pray for all fathers and workers.

When I went to link to Fearless Friday, I saw the hostess, Angie put this up:

Also could you please pray for Randy.

He has the opportunity of working somewhere that could literally change our lives in so many ways.

Please pray for my sons Randan and Asher.

Please pray for Shaneah.

Please pray for me.

I don't want to go into details about anything.

God is into details and knows what is best.

So that is ALL that I ask my beloved ones (for that is what you are to me..LOVE), for God's will to be done in our lives. His will and His alone.....

Blessings and know that God calls you to my thoughts and prayers.....(sometimes by name..other times He brings to my mind no name, but a need)

If you would like to add your intentions, leave a comment with your prayer
request, I would be honored to pray for you. If you would rather email me
privately, my address is in the sidebar.

This post is linked with Fearless Friday. Stop by, pray for her intentions too, and let Angie know that Lily sent you :).

Rednesday: The Card House Edition

Boo's special project this week has been perfecting his building skills, making a "House of Cards" Notice, they are red cards!!

He is getting quite serious here:

Ahh, there's a smile!

And his first assistant is Dexter, from Dexter's Wildlife fame:

This post has been linked to Rednesday at It's a Very Cherry World.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Making Your Home a Haven

So much more than prettiness and decluttering, homes need peace. Your home should be a haven of happiness, and for the most part, I think it is. I think everyone enjoys being home, and finds it relatively stress free. But then there are those days...

See the post Women Living Well put up, and join the linky if you want to take the challenge. She describes two types of women, and challenges you to make your home more of a haven. It is so easy. She suggests getting a large candle, and every time you notice it flickering, you should pray for peace in your home, and pray for you to be the best you can be. What a fabulous way to remember to pray without ceasing!

Are you in?

Weekend Fun!

The Oldest came home with her special guy, and so we did something fun!

Look at our all-black-halloweenie-cat looking at those Jack-o-lanterns! The Big Guy thought it would be funny to make a victimized and puking pumpkin, hence the knife sticking out on top.

L to R, top row: The Big Guy, Boo (we think this looks like a transformer), Tiger.

It is a bit early for carving the pumpkins, but we may not get The Oldest here again before the end of the month, so we went ahead and carved.

This lovely pie was made by Tiger and Hubbins using the recipe The Oldest developed herself. I heard a rumor that the Big Guy helped with peeling the apples, which were picked off our tree. They made this pie while I was at work Saturday morning. For dinner we had chicken marsala, ravioli, green beans almondine, and one of my vegetarian's (The Oldest) favorite veggies, rutabaga.

Other things the kids did when their sister came home: They all rode their bikes to a local cemetary, over 200 years old, to see the tombstones for The Oldest's anthropology assignment. It seems she needs to collect data from headstones of graves over 100 years old. She is to measure, take photos, note the art work, and make observations. All of this data will be shared with the anthropology students in her class, and then they will all be writing term papers where they will discuss how views of the afterlife have changed in the US. Interesting.

While on the bike ride they stopped at a creek and Bananas, our resident naturalist, demonstrated her advanced frog catching skills. They came back with all sorts of stories about the changes in the creek since the rain of last week. The Oldest brought her a specimen box with gadgets. She absolutely had to try them all out! I think the Oldest and the City Boy were impressed with her skills!

Here she is, eyeing her catch:

She got it, on the first try!

Ick and eww, but what fun for a kid!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Profile: The Health and Fitness Fairy

I love to read about other bloggers, we all come from such varied backgrounds! Therefore, a while back, when I came across a blogger who profiled her 100th follower, I decided to do the same thing.

Without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to the Health and Fitness Fairy, my 100th follower. Isn't she lovely? Her name is Michel.

These are two of her blog buttons. Click them to visit her blogs, and tell her Lily sent you.



I sent her an email interview, here are the questions and her answers:

1. When did you start blogging, and what prompted you to blog?

I started blogging in 2008 at the same time I started my internet and home business. I never thought in a million years I would enjoy it so much, nor did I think in a million years I would learn so much from other Mom Bloggers! Although my business does well, my heart is really into looking after my blogs and adding material that is useful, fresh, and user friendly.

2. I see you have more than one blog, can you tell us a little about them?
I have 3 blogs. The Parent Fairy, Health and Fitness Fairy, and The Kissable Kitchen. Each of these blogs, although in very different niches, evolves around the same concept which is using healthy, natural solutions.

The Parent Fairy offers advice on how to tackle the ups and downs of parenting using healthy, helpful solutions as well as how to tackle the issues of getting kids to eat healthy even when their parents are not there to guide them. You can even learn how to incorporate vegetables into your kids treats without them ever knowing they are there.

Health and Fitness Fairy tackles child, adult and pet health solutions to assist in obtaining and sustaining a healthy way of life. I am an avid believer that when a person learns to incorporate a healthy way of eating they will not need to diet for weight loss. Health and Fitness Fairy also offers information on natural beauty aids and how to use them as well as how to keep your pet healthy, including a natural diet and pet wellness tips.

The Kissable Kitchen offers healthy cooking solutions and recipes that support the vitamins and nutrition the body needs each day. All the recipes are tried and tested by myself, family and friends before I post them. Some of the recipes are my own, some are recipes I have taken and manipulated them to add a healthy vibe and remove unhealthy vibes. I love to cook and so does my six year old and I have found that this has had a huge impact on her ability to try different foods and eat foods that many other kids would not go near.

3 How long were you a dancer? What style of dance did you perform and where? Are you still involved in the dance industry, perhaps through teaching?

I studied ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and Spanish a child. From the age of 6 to 17 my life revolved around dance, dieting, and stretching to obtain all the necessary perfections dance requires. I studied with many dance theatres with the main one being Le Studio in Pasadena where I performed the Nutcracker every Christmas with Pasadena Dance Theatre, amongst many other performances. In the 1980’s I did several music videos as well as several episodes of the TV series Fame. It was my mom’s dream for me to major in dance at university but I took my major to a business level.

4. Your profile says you are an entrepreneur and a mother. What business are you in, and how many children do you have?

Presently I am a work at home mom, with a 6 year old and a 20 year old. I run an internet business through my blogs and I have a home based business making healthy snacks for kids including lunch box items and party treats. Although both of my businesses do quite well, I started them to share what I have learned over the years when it comes to health, fitness, raising kids and incorporating a healthy way of life for myself, my family and our dogs.

5. Is there anything else you would like the readers of Never Fading Wood to know about you?

Although I am a health nut I am really not that much of a nutter about it. I don’t believe in cutting out everything that is not healthy but rather finding a balance. One would think that having been a dancer for so many years, exercise would come as easy as signing my name. Wrong! When I quit dance from burn out, exercise was the furthest thing from my mind and so was eating healthy. I had been doing all that since the age of 6. However, 6 years ago I would have said how very much I hate exercise. Now I will tell you that I can’t be without it. It is a struggle to find the time and sometimes, even though I like it, it is a struggle to get started each morning. However, a simple routine of starting out just 3 times a week will find you wondering why on earth you didn’t do this before. The benefits of regular exercise really are there!

I do not believe in dieting and certainly NOT diet pills of any kind. Rather, following a healthy eating plan (and this does not mean weight watcher meals or diet meals that do not satisfy a person’s hunger) where you learn to eat the foods that nutritiously fuel the body and mind. At the same time being physically active with whatever suits you. Eat, think and breath healthy and the thinness we all struggle for will naturally come.

To all you bloggers out there thanks so much for sharing and caring and for your willingness to be open and honest with your trials and tribulations in life. For sharing the good and the not so good, and for being upstanding bloggers. My businesses would not be where they are today without the help and assistance, not from the internet marketing community but from the mom blogger communities – this is where I gained the most insight, expertise, and value.

What a lovely blogger! I am glad you were follower number 100, I have really enjoyed getting to know you better, and will definitely keep track of your blogs :) I invite you all to go visit and to follow Michel's work. It is obvious she loves what she does, and I'm looking forward to trying her tips and recipes!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Award Time!

Well, I am very far behind!! CMash Loves to Read gave me this award ages ago, and I am just getting around to picking it up now...thank you! Cheryl hosted Tuesday Table Talk for a while, which I enjoyed quite a bit. She has a lovely blog with lots of good books to read on it! Stop by and tell her Lily sent you!

Now for the criteria:
To accept the award you must link back and thank the person who gave you the Life is Good award and answer the 10 questions and pass it along to 6 other blogs :)

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
I do blog anonymously and I am happy doing so. I made the decision to blog, and I do not want my ramblings to have any effect on the lives of my husband (professionally) or of my children. I was glad for this decision when my husband ended up unemployed. A google search of his name by potential employers would not have resulted in finding my blog!

2.Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
I don't really consider myself stubborn. Then again, I may be, but I live with a few people that redefine the term "stubborn" every day. Therefore, living in that setting, I just cannot call myself stubborn. (That character trait is found on my husband's side!!)
3.What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
Someone I like, overall, who could stand to lose a few pounds.
4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
Iced Tea
5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Read, blog, crochet, sew, needlepoint, play games with my kids.
6.Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
I'm pretty happy with my life the way it is. I would love to take all the kids to Disney. We did that when some were too little to remember, and I was carrying my youngest. I would love them all to go again.
7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?
I was fairly popular, did many different things, actually chose social activities over academics, and still managed to do well in school.
8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see? The birth of my first child.
So many, birth and death, both very poignant events.
9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
I do share a lot of myself (another reason I'm glad to remain anonymous).
10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Read, definitely read. I will chat in person, but less so on the phone. I'm not a phone person.

To pass this award on, I wanted to recognize blogs that, in my mind, epitomize "Life is Good", as the award is named:

Spotlight Saturday

Between the Lines

This week I have chosen to highlight a new-to-me blog: Sacrificial Diet.

This blog is written by Angela, who also writes Free Spirit Haven, the blog that sponsors "Fearless Friday."

Angela has gone from (I think) 245 lbs, down to 110 lbs. But she has done so without dieting, but by utilising the tools given to us through the Catholic Church, tools often forgotten. She has utilized, prayer, fasting, and sacrifice.

Fasting is something I believe in, something I have been able to do, successfully. But I have never applied it to lose weight. I have used it for many other goals, but not for weight loss. DUH! Light bulb moment here. Fasting through prayer, sacrifice, penance, to lose weight. Through regular, disciplined (not willy-nilly) fasting, Angela has acheived a tremendous weight loss, and improvement in her health and emotional/spiritual well-being.

One of the things I just love about Angela is the fact that she tells it like it is. If it is on her mind, in her heart, she shares it on her blogs. She doesn't hide, she shares her struggles, and you can comiserate and draw strength from it. You know you aren't alone.

Go to her blog, leave her comments, learn from her triumph over food. She is an inspiration, and she has done it while staying true to herself, putting God first. How awesome is that?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Over 40? Me too!!


The Blessing of Being Busy!

Busy is a blessing. Therefore I must be very blessed! I am grateful for this blessing indeed.

This week my husband has worked Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, all night. 12 hour shifts. Wednesday he had an 8 hour shift, again at night. Thursday he had no job to go to. Friday he has his 8 hour night shift. Then Saturdays starts four 12-hour shifts. Busy is indeed a good thing.

My children, God bless them, have been busy spreading joy and happiness through handmade cards wishing people well. Through their handy work they have managed to soothe some feathers that hubby and I did not realize we had ruffled!!

I have been busy making meals for people who needed them, this week. Therefore, our school schedule suffered a bit. But life lessons? Living the beatitudes. How can that be topped?

We were blessed with a bountiful apple season, as I posted last.

We have an income and all the goodness that comes from being able to provide for our family.

I still have two part-time jobs, but with my husband working, I have been able to cut back on hours, spend more time at home, and resume my classes. My schedule is brutal: Up between 5 and 7 a.m, whatever I can manage. School starts at 8:30 a.m. for the children. School, meals, laundry, cleaning, etc. Then I start my school work, classes from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Brutal, but I am not complaining. No idle hands. This craziness shall pass.

We are busy, we are happy. God is good.

Today I wish to pray for, and remember all those who want to be busy, employed according to their vocation, and are unable to do that work. For whatever reason, God puts us through trials and often times we do not know why that is. Sometimes God allows us to see the good which comes from our trials, other times, we just do not know. That is where the faith comes in.

For those who are unemployed, for those who cannot work at their profession, for those who are unable to fulfill their vocation in life, I pray for an ease to their suffering. I pray for God to accept their sacrifices and their offerings, showering His blessings upon their intentions.

I pray for my children and for yours. I pray for their faith to grow.

Please feel free to add your intentions in the comments section, or to send me an email at thorns dot lily at gmail dot com and I will be glad to pray for your intentions as well.

This post is linked to Fearless Friday over at Free Spirit Haven and Sweet P's.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Lord's Bounty: Apples!

We are blessed to have two apple trees, a small grapevine, a small blackberry bush, and a pear tree that we inherited when we bought our home several years ago. The pear tree, grape vine and berry bushes tend to feed the birds before us, though we do scramble for a few pickings. This year was especially bountiful, our one little blackberry bush gave us berries daily for a couple of weeks. We were able to rescue a few grapes from the birdies.
But our apple trees, despite a mishap with one of them in a storm early this year, have provided us with the best apples thusfar.

The bounty:

Organic, unsprayed, untreated. Less beautiful than store bought, but just as delicious, and FRESH PICKED! In our own yard!
Still more to pick:

What a gift! Yesterday I made one of my favorites, apple crisp. I love Betty Crocker recipes, especially the older ones. This is the recipe I've always used.

4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cream or Ice cream, if desired

1.Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
2.Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.
3.Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream.
Makes 6 servings

I do adjust this recipe for size. We generally fill a 9X13 pan to heaping with the apples, then double the topping. We gave away a huge pan of apple crisp, saved one for ourselves. We had the crisp for dessert after dinner last night, and then again this morning: The breakfast of champions!

This post is linked to Rednesday at It's a Very Cherry World

Monday, September 27, 2010

Faith vs. Fear During Adversity: Catholic Mothers Online

My first post for Catholic Mothers Online is running today. The title above is a link to the site, directly to the article.

This is intended to be an update to that posting. Go read here first, then continue.
Fear is debilitating. With fear you make bad decisions. With fear you forget what is really important, trust in God, the love of family, health.

Growing up, when things were tough, I remember people saying, "Well, at least we have a roof over our head." What we faced was no job, no roof. How do you get a roof over your heads when you lose the one you have to foreclosure and you have no job to provide security for a landlord? Where. Do. You. Go. ?

This is what we faced. Thankfully, just after writing that article, my husband was blessed with a job. A really, really good job, with state benefits, better than we had hoped for. It is also a secure job, one on the research and development end of the nanotechnology field, a joint venture of universities, manufacturers, and researchers. It is cutting edge in a growth industry (keep buying all those electronics, and keep demanding they make things smaller) therefore he will not have to worry about another plant closure.

I called the mortgage company moments after he accepted the job offer. The girl I talked with in the foreclosure department told me she would send a HAMP package out to us immediately. It would be sent FEDEX and we would have it within 10 business days. This was 17 days (not business days) before our auction date. We were hopeful. I contacted legal aid in our state and asked questions. Everything seemed to be going along on a positive note.

Seven days (not business days) before our auction, I called our mortgage company and asked where our package was. "Who told you we would send the package out?" Uh-oh, I gave the name. "Well, she needs to be retrained. She gave you false hope. She never should have promised you a work-out package. Once a sale date is assigned, the only thing that will stop it is full payment of the arrears." What? We are X months behind. My husband has not worked in over 13 months. We have no money! "Yes, M'am. I am very sorry she gave you false hope. She will need to be retrained. That was not fair. I apologize."

We lost two weeks on FALSE HOPE! Omigosh! I spent that afternoon making plans.

Plan A: Expensive. Going with a private firm, who makes no promises, and who will represent us and try to renegotiate for us.

Plan B: Also expensive. Bankruptcy. Will stop the sale, no promises for continuation of the stoppage. Buys time.

We went with plan B. Because of his job, we can reorganize and save the house. It is very expensive because we will be paying back what we owe, not having anything forgiven. But we were not looking for a free ride. We just wanted to stay home. We would have paid our mortgage if we could have. We are glad to pay the extra money now, and stay put.

There are so many other effects to my husband's job loss, in bad economic times. This is the most personal information I have ever given on my blog. I did so because maybe someone else will feel less alone. Also, to remind myself to "Keep the faith" because I almost lost it there for a while. And lastly, I share this story, so if you find yourself in this situation, you can be forewarned of how the mortgage companies operate. Do not take them on their word.

God did provide. Not in my timeframe but His. I told my story to a friend at work, an emigrant from the Middle East, who is a Christian. When I told him of how we received word less than 24 hours before our auction time, he said, "God wanted you to increase your faith. He must have felt you needed to." Wow, a lightbulb moment.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wildthorn: A Review

Last week, I told you that this is one book you cannot judge by its cover, and I still hold to that. It is not a bodice-ripper; it is not a classical romance. It is not even your typical, expected storyline for the time period in which it is set (186o's maybe?). It is so far out of the usual that if I tell you too much it will spoil it.

This much I will say:

1. It was shocking. What happened to this girl, at age 17, because she had most inconvenient aspirations (to be a doctor like her father) is unfathomable.

2. It was shocking. What happened to her once she was institutionalized is unmentionable. Out of the realm of my imagination and experience, thankfully.

3. It was shocking, how falling in love helped her to escape. How does one in her situation find someone to love, and how does it free her? Figuratively? Psychologically? Logistically? I don't want to spoil it for you.

4. It was shocking. Who falls in love with an institutionalized patient living in the conditions our heroine finds herself? Totally unexpected.

Would I have read this if I knew half of the things that shocked me, ahead of time? Probably not. Would I have missed out if I had not read this book? Definitely, although it was a VERY difficult book to read. At least for me, but I could not put it down. Does it belong as a YA book? Good question, I'm not sure. There is a population of teens (older) who may benefit from reading it, and as a librarian, I'm glad to know the content so I can recommend it to the right demographic. I would say it is more for the older teen/college age/adult population. But that is just my opinion.

I have my theories as to why that picture was used on the cover, because I couldn't figure it out. I think it represents the constraints put on women through out history, and after reflecting a few days upon the book, the cover makes so much more sense. But, once again, I shall disappoint you, and not go into more detail as this is a new release and not enough people have read it yet.
One group that may want to consider themselves forewarned about the content is a group I belong to: conservative Christian women. Does this mean they should not read it? Personal preference, it is not what I would have wanted to read, it is not generally the type of book I would ever knowingly pick up, but it is worth reading if you can accept that you will be shocked, the content is tough, and some themes are for a more mature audience.
This post is linked to It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Spotlight Saturday

Between the Lines

This week I wanted to spotlight one of my favorite blogs to visit. Moderate Means.

She is a frugal blogger, mother of two children, a dieter, and exerciser, and a parent of a juvenile diabetic. She is also going to classes with her husband to be foster parents. She owns a business, and she is funny. Every post has a bit of humor, which always makes me smile. Drop by and visit. Tell her Lily sent you :). You will be glad you stopped by, and have another blog to add to your list of favorites!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

fearless friday

Today I am praying for all students everywhere. These first few weeks of the new school year are always a time of adjustment.

Praying for Sweet Mary, and my friend Jen, and all others with health concerns.

Praying for the G family as they start to settle back into a life without their baby Mary Katherine.

Praying for the jobless, and for Angie's family.

Praying for the government officials who could do so much if they put their priorities in the right place.

Thanking God for my husband's job, I do not ever think I will take employment for granted again.

Thanking God for the health of my family.

Thanking God for my home, that we could keep it.

Praising God for this beautiful day.

Praising God for my friends.

Praising God for my beautiful children who bring me joy every single day of my life.

Please join in the prayers. This post is linked to Fearless Friday and Sweet Peas

Another Olive Fan!

A little while back I reviewed Olive Kitteridge, a book I loved. Here is another fan, from The Betty and Boo Chronicles. Thanks for the mention, Melissa! I thought I would take the opportunity to recommend the book a second time, go read this book! Right now! Go on! What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Earring giveaway at Sweet Mary's blog

Sweet Mary has her first giveaway!! A pair of diamond (esque) earrings!!

Go check it out, and tell her Lily sent you :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Good Thief Review

I just finished this book on Friday last. I'm very slowed down in my reading due to life and homeschooling at the moment. I'm not a real Gothic reader, but fans of the genre would enjoy this book.

This is the story of Ren, an orphan boy who is missing a hand. He was raised in a Catholic orphanage and has a good moral foundation. He knows right from wrong, but has some bad habits, such as his talent for theivery, which is the result of growing up an orphan.

When he is adopted by Benjamin, who claims to be his brother, Ren is hoping for home-cooked meals and a mother's love. He instead finds a con man who gets him involved in things like grave robbing and conning people leaving churches, gathering their sympathy for the one-handed orphan boy.

The story takes an unexpected and jolting (for me, not a huge fan of the genre) twist in the second half of the book. There was a snippet of foreshadowing which had me wondering early on, but there were enough turns to throw me off the scent until I was sucker punched for my distraction!

I think gothic fans, even YA gothic fans will love this book. I enjoyed it and could not put it down despite my distaste for some of it. It is not for everyone. The descriptions of the grave robbing were rather graphic, as well as a few other passages describing someone's breath, appearances, smells, and a factory accident. What kept me reading? I thought it was really well written. I may not have enjoyed the descriptions, but Tinti brought me there. I could smell that breath, and I was in the room for the accident. Well done in that respect.

If gothic is your thing, give it a go. It is worth a read. This book (for those of you who are interested) is one chosen by my husband, because another reviewer compared the writing to Dickens! Again, not a book I would have chosen, but enjoyed it while reading. And, thusfar, there is no sequel ;0)

Currently reading:

All I will say about this one, until it is finished, is you cannot judge a book by its cover! This is not a bodice-ripper romance as the cover seems to bring to mind. It is a newly-released book that I asked the librarian to get for me. She is anxiously waiting for me to return it so she can read it herself. And we are both self-proclaimed loathers of the bodice-ripper storyline.

This post has been linked to "It is Monday, What Are You Reading" at Book Journey.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hop hop hop

Book Blogger Hop

This week we are supposed to highlight blogs we love. Well there are just so many! I recently spotlighted Indigo Impression a sweet blogger who really ought to post more often, and MaryBennett who is a favorite for her writing and reviews. I often mention Happy Hearts at Home who is a favorite for all her useful links and information, especially about homeschooling on a budget. Other favorites, far from a complete list and in no particular order:
Moderate Means: Budget tips, frugal living, living with diabetes, etc.
Catholic Mothers Online: A blog where you can meet other Catholic Mothers who blog. I write for this blog, my first post will be appearing at the end of the month.
The House on Lavender Hill: Someone I know in real life, who has a beautiful family, can always make me laugh, and who has a lovely home which is highlighted on her blog.
Pen and Paper: A very funny Brit, who has a witty blog, and never ceases to entertain, amuse and surprise.
Living It Up in Bankrupt California:A very talented artist and blogger, married to another very talented artist, with a couple of beautiful girls!
Free Spirit Haven: A real prayer warrior who is a bargain hunter as well!
Crochet Me Crazy: Someone who is talented in all areas of her life. I really admire this blogger!
Brocante Home: A blog I have followed for years for everything housekeeping and lovely!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fearless Friday: Hope

Thanks be to God this week has been full of hope for us.

1. My husband started his job this week, after 14 months and 2 days of unemployment. And it is just in the nick of time. And his job is only 30 miles from home. Before his unemployment, his commute was over 90 miles each way. He needed to refill his gas tank every two days. Now he will be able to go all week on a tank of gas! And the job has state benefits. He is thrilled because he has never worked anywhere that the benefits were nearly so good.

2. Also on Monday I met with an attorney and figured out how to save our home from the foreclosure auction which was scheduled for today. It will not be easy, but it can be done. It is being done, we are able to stay in our home and I am so grateful for that blessing. I love this home, my children love it here. We live in a beautiful place with caring and wonderful neighbors. I am so glad we can stay. Did I say "Thanks be to God for my husband's job" yet? Well, thanks be to God for my husband's job!!!

3. We started home school this week. While it was not without its glitches, it went well. I am pleased.


1. Please remember all of the unemployed still out there looking for jobs, and in a special way remember our hostess' husband, who has suffered through an extended period of unemployment, only to get a job that was downsized, and he is now unemployed yet again.

2. Please remember those who are sick, suffering with long-term illness, and those who care for them.

3. Please remember Sweet Mary, the G family, my auntie, and all others who need extra prayers for illness and suffering this week.

We ask for these things in faith, through Christ our Lord.


This post is linked to Fearless Friday and Sweet P's Prayer

Please visit their postings and pray for all the intentions in the blogosphere! Also, if you have any intentions to add you can send me an email or add it into the comments below. May God bless you all, I pray for my readers and their intentions every day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dinner, Routines, and a New School Year!

I should have taken a picture!!

I made tilapia tonight! So what is the big deal you say? Well, since hubbins has been laid off, I have not really cooked. I was on vacation from domestic duties because I was working several part-time jobs and taking classes. Therefore, my husband took over the cooking and cleaning. I appreciated it, but I am glad to have the jobs back (I'm much fussier and more regimented). That being said, I'm still in vacation mode, lol. It has been a tough week getting back into the swing of things.

I already posted about Monday. Now, the rest of the week has been recovering from hubbins running things for the last 14 months. Plus, I've been doing a huge reorganization of our school supplies, and I debuted a new organizational system for our homeschool this year. We needed a fresh approach!

It has been tough. I have insisted that the children start maintaining their chores up to MY standards! We started with their rooms, and inspections were supposed to have started already, but I gave them an extra week to get into form. All those months of Daddy-standards are making meeting Mommy's a bit rough. But I have faith that we can overcome this, they are excited Daddy is back to work and our future is brighter.

Monday being scratched from the list, Tuesday and Wednesday we had left-overs. Today I had to cook. I made Garlic Alfredo Tilapia, served over rice, with farm-fresh-picked-by-my-children green beans. It was delicious, and even the non-fish eater (self-proclaimed) and the one who has not quite decided about fish loved it! Since it was such a hit, I thought I would share, and I'm sorry, I should have taken pictures.

Garlic Alfredo Tilapia
4 tilapia fillets
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. Creole seasoning
3 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Alfredo sauce
Preheat oven to 425º. Brush tilapia with oil, season with Creole seasoning to taste, place in 9x13 baking dish. Bake until no longer translucent and fish flakes easily with a fork (about 10 minutes). Melt butter, stir in garlic until it mellows, stir in Alfredo sauce and simmer. Keep warm until fish is ready. Pour over fish to serve.
MY variation:
I made my own Alfredo sauce, adding extra garlic to the recipe. I also made brown rice. I removed the fish from the baking dish, put the rice into that dish, placed the fish atop the rice, and poured the sauce over it. Served with long, steamed, fresh green beans, the plates looked nice, and everyone gobbled it up! It was also rather inexpensive, and they want me to make it again!! A winner on all fronts!
On the menu for tomorrow: Yellow Squash Patties (maybe) and Chicken with Thyme and Garlic Sauce. Both are new recipes as Daddy liked to make the same things over and over and we need a bit of a change. Note: That is not a complaint, we are grateful for his efforts around here and loved EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of the time he was home. We are just having fun breaking out of the routines we've had for a while now! Ever want to break out like that?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I have had a super-dee-duper-dee-busy week already, and it is what? Tuesday? Yes, it is only Tuesday! Well, it is only going to get busier, I fear.

First: Updates!

Yesterday's funeral Mass was beautiful, awe-inspiring, sad and joyful all rolled into one. I've never been to a newborn's funeral before, and it was a whole other level of sadness with incredible joy also in the mix. You see, this is where my Catholic faith just seems to blow me away. Through all the sadness and tears, the priest managed to bring joy and hope to all present. This sweet baby, Mary Katherine, was born on Our Blessed Mother's birthday last week. The priest talked about how perfect that was, as Mary carried Our Savior knowing he would be sacrificed to God. My friend carried her baby knowing she would have to give her back immediately. Yet, she gave that child the only life she could. That baby survived in her womb, lived in God's grace, fulfilled God's plan for her life, because her family was willing to make that painful sacrifice, and give her back to the Lord on the day she was born. The priest talked about having an advocate in Heaven now. What a comforting thought. That baby is still part of our Church, just not the Church Militant.

But for all that hope and joy through the tears, when the lone pall bearer, the baby's father, carried that tiny casket out of the church, I was never so filled with admiration and such complete grief simultaneously. It was a beautiful, poignant, and tear-filled memory that will stay with me always, and brings me to tears just to remember. Please pray for Mary-Katherine, and her family.

#2: Husband's job went well the first day. Praying the second, third, and all the rest go as well.

#3: My meeting yesterday went very well, and though I cried through the beginning part (it was immediately following the funeral) we managed to bring some hope for the future to our family. Thanks be to God for this tremendous gift.

What lies ahead:

Today is the first day of school here. It is a bit off kilter. I'm not fully prepared, but prepared enough to begin. By week's end I hope to have hit my stride, therefore all things blogger must be second, third, or perhaps even 4th priority.

I have a blog award I am thrilled to have received, last week, and I have not had the chance to do the post and accept yet. To Cheryl, who awarded me, I thank you and the post is coming, though maybe not until next week at this point.

Off to wake the troops who were scheduled to be up 30 minutes ago! So much for the first day running on schedule...

Monday, September 13, 2010

All Sorts of Emotional

This picture was taken by The Oldest when we went with friends to the Bridge of Flowers.

Today is the day my husband starts his full-time job, after 14 weeks and 2 days of unemployment. And he found a very good job which should be secure and stable for a long time to come. Thanks be to God for that.

Today is also the day that we go to a funeral for a newborn baby, the one I have been mentioning in my Fearless Friday posts. Mary Catherine was born last week, and as the family had been told by the doctors, she could not survive. Please pray for her sweet soul and for her family. We will be heading out to Mass in a few hours.

Lastly, today is the day I will explore legal options for dealing with the ramifications of long-term unemployment in a large family. I will do this alone because my husband starts his job, and I'm more than a little nervous about my meeting today.

All sorts of emotional today.