Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This Mother's Rosary

Tonight I had the wonderful pleasure of attending our first official Parish wide weekly Rosary. I hope that this ministry is well-received. If tonight is any indication, this should be a wonderful addition to St. Anthony's many ministries. The best part was seeing so many teens there. Amazing! (as my teen says so often).

As I was praying I had a few thoughts about how to work a full rosary into my daily life. I can usually manage a decade, but sometimes, even that is put to the back of my mind once I get involved in my day. I know, I know, bad homeschooling mommy! I do know the benefits of this beautiful devotion, and I have been really trying this Lenten season to incorporate in into my daily life.

Here were a few thoughts that came to me during my time in prayer tonight.

If I wake up and say the beginning prayers of the rosary before I even get out of bed, ie, The Apostle's Creed, the 1st Our Father, the 1st 3 Hail Marys (for the intentions of our Holy Father and for the virtues of faith, hope and love), and then the Glory Be, I've already got the Rosary started for the day.

A dear friend of mine suggested to his wife, and she shared with me, that if we just say one decade at different points in the day, we will get the whole rosary completed. So, if I say one as I am dressing, that's the 1st decade. Simple.

2nd decade - dressing the baby - he loves to hear prayers!

3rd decade - with the children after my first student has finished his lesson.

4th decade - as I lay nursing the baby before his nap.

5th decade - as I run in the evening.

The best part, the first 4 are finished before lunch time!

I have always tried to offer each decade to a certain intention

1st - my husband
2nd - my children
3rd - my god children, those I have sponsored for confirmation and my students
4th - my extended family and friends
5th - the unborn, the deceased

Tonight, I had a thought to offer up a name for each and every bead that I prayed upon. It was overwhelming the number of names that popped up. I filled every single bead with a name of someone whom I have promised to pray for. I think that I will do this each and every Wednesday night at the church. I can concentrate longer and harder without distractions within the church so this was a perfect opportunity to practice this.

If you live in the area, I highly encourage you to attend St A's for the Wednesday night devotion. It is a beautiful experience.

For those of you who live far, and who may not be regular at this devotion, I encourage you to try praying just a decade a day. You love for this prayer will grow and I suspect the peace in your life will astound you.


There are two Peter Rabbits in our home. And we love both, but can anyone tell me why Beatrix Potter and Thornton W Burgess both have Peter Rabbit? I know that Mr. Burgess wrote about Peter in 1910 and Ms. Potter in 1902. Did they know about one another? Did He pick up where she left off and only adopt one of her characters? Or was it just a strange coincidence?

I'll be so grateful for any insight to offer to Fish! Inquiring minds want to know, after all.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On the subject of the BIG FIND!!

Amen to Fr. Fox. Fr. Fox is one of those guys I would love to sit and chat with over a great cup of coffee!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

His father's son

Any of you who know my husband will see the resemblance here. It's not necessarily the physical resemblance, but the mop-like, step before we let you try the vacuum, resemblance I am referring to. click the link if you have no idea what I am talking about...

Latest update

If you've been following my "rant" on the Govenor's mandate, you may be interested in this article from The Chronicle.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

No true Christianity without the Cross. Our Lord's Cross is a source of peace and joy.

There is no such thing as a Christianity without the Cross, designed for soft and pusillanimous Christians with no sense of sacrifice.

One of the clearest symptoms of lukewarmness having entered into a soul is precisely such an abandoning of the Cross, a contempt for little mortifications, a scorning of anything that in some way involves sacrifice and self-denial.

-taken from In Conversation with God; vol 2.

Our Bishops speak

The Church, in Her wisdom, has issued a statement regarding Gov. Perry's actions regarding the HPV vaccine.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

Create in me a pure heart, O Lord; put a steadfast spirit within me.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Lenten Season Begins

I've been trying to listen to what God is calling me to sacrifice this Lenten season and I think I have heard Him over the last few days fairly clearly.

I am amazed at the amount of laundry I am faced with each and every day. I do so much of it, and there is always so much more to do. I complain about it. I despise it. I wish it would go away. The truth of the matter is, if I didn't have these wonderful children, I wouldn't have this laundry. I remember listening to Kimberly Hahn's talk about laundry. She recalled that she was folding a particular shirt one day. One that had been through several of her children. Oh, how she disliked the fact that it seemed like she was doing the same thing day in and day out (laundry) and how many times over the past few years she must have washed, dried, and folded that shirt. She suddenly realized what a blessing that this was.

I can relate to this as well. Yes, I will be doing laundry for the rest of my life. I can thank God for the clothes that he blesses my family with. I should be thankful that I have many children to wash clothes for. I could look upon each item and wonder how much longer they will get to wear it before they outgrow it and become older, become adults.

So, one of my Lenten sacrifices will be, NO COMPLAINING ABOUT LAUNDRY. I don't even know if this sacrifice is doable. Well, I know it definately isn't doable without His grace, so I am adding in a consistent time in my day for my rosary. Lem wants to do this with me, as does Foo. I think between the two of them, I might just make it.

I have several other sacrifices, but the most important are the ones that pertain to family. I am giving up shouting/stressing at the kids. I really don't YELL anymore, but my tone of voice can be quite unpleasant at times. I hope to focus on slowing down enough to hear my tone before I open my mouth. The look of my children's face when I am not as patient as I should be with them is enough to make anyone cry. It makes me cry.

I am slowing down in my mind enough to count my blessings. To spend that extra 2 minutes listening to their ideas, drawing pictures with them, playing a game with them, showing them that they truly are my VOCATION, not a burden. They are my reason for living.

Simplicity, humility. These are the virtues I need to refresh in my life. I stumble horribly each and every day as a mother and as a wife. My prayer is that I can one day be the mother these children deserve, if only for an hour.

They are the path to holiness. They are my reason for being. They are Christ to me.

Vaccine Update

Dirtrunner was kind enough to share this with me tonight. I think the article says it all.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Am I ready?

Lent begins this Wednesday. Am I ready? I have mentioned before that Lent is probably my most favorite of all the Liturgical seasons. By the time we reach this part of the year, I am ready for the spiritual renewal. Truly, I should be ready at all times, but somehow, I get caught up in the busy-ness of life and let things of the most importance (like prayer and corporal works) get relaxed. Of course, then I wonder why, oh why, do I feel so far from Christ.

So here we are, a sort of "new year's" with resolutions of what we will sacrifice, what we will commit to. I have a list of things I'd love to accomplish, as usual, way TOO much. So I will pray earnestly for what GOD wants me to accomplish this season and let Him guide me in my decisions.

Check out this blog for a Lenten journey experience.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The world according to Fish

After a few hours of driving around this morning,

Fish: Mom, when are we going to the doctor?!

Mom: Why, Fish?

Fish: Because I'm sick!

Mom: You're sick? What's wrong, honey?

Fish: I'm HOME SICK!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Topic Revisited

ANtonia was kind enough to take the time to comment on a previous post of mine. I felt that her comment had some very good information in it and wanted to post it in a more prominent manner so that more of you would see it. I do have a few comments that will be highlighted within her text.

Thanks for an interesting post (I was directed to it by Laura!)

As way of introduction, I am a Catholic medical student (in my 5th yr of med school) living in England. I can't comment on the insurance company issue (because I have no idea about the situation in America!), but I'd like to just say a few words about some of the medical issues you raised in your post (which I do know something about!) Fantastic! We need more Catholic Doctors in this world!!

Ms. Ferrar is correct when she says that, in order to be of any use on a population level, the HPV vaccination would have to be given to young girls (say from age 13). In Texas, 6th grade girls can be as young as 10 years old.

The reason being is that once someone gets infected with the virus the vaccination is of no use whatsoever.

The vaccination works by preventing the virus from ever infecting the person's cells. But if you already have it, then it's too late.

As most women in America already have the virus (60% of sexually active american women are infected), it is not really of any use, on a population level, to encourage older women to get the vaccination (e.g. the teachers). Those numbers are staggering and scary. I wonder what the incidence is in men. Since 60% of women do not get cervical cancer in this country, I am assuming that somehow the human body is able to fight off this infection on some level. Of course of the many strands of HPV that are out there, this vaccine claims to only protect against 4 of them.

If the vaccination is going to be of any benefit in preventing people getting the HPV virus
then it has to be given to people who don't yet have it....and so that's why younger girls are the main targets.

I totally 100% agree with you, the level of promiscuity in the world is dispicable, and the young age at which people engage in sexual relations is horrific. Abstainance programs should be fully implemented and encouraged in schools.
And yes, it does seem somewhat insulting that they are automatically assuming that noone can 'control their urges' and refrain from promiscuous sexual activity, but from their point of view noone can! (if you look at society as a whole) I strongly believe that this line of thought is directly related to the demoralization of human life that began when we legalized abortion and accepted birth control into our society as "rights" and "choices" that have only led us down the path to where we find ourselves today.

Secondly, there is no need to wait 10 years to see if the vaccination is effective at preventing gynaecological cancers caused by the HPV virus.

The clinical trials which were done on this vaccination before it became commercially avaliable followed women for about 2 years after they were given the vaccine.

The research found that not a single woman who recieved the vaccination got a genital wart or precancerous lesion or cancer itself. Could it be possible that these women were not exposed to the virus? I think it would be hard to find a study group or focus group that could purposely expose willing participants to HPV in efforts of determining the efficacy of the vaccine. And I also would like to know the longer term effects of the vaccine on those who have yet to be born. Remember, abortions weren't harmful to women and now there are studies indicating that this is not true. There is a link between breast cancer and abortion. This was discovered many years after the procedure was made legal.

This is pretty amazing, when compared to compared to women in the non-vaccinated cohort, a significant proportion whom did develop genital warts, precancerous or cancerous lesions.
(both groups of women, vaccinated or not, had the same level of exposure to sexual risk factors.)

Although some may say that it takes '10 years' for fully invasive cancer to be present, genital warts or precancerous areas are detectable within months of exposure, and so the fact that that none one of the vaccinated group ever developed these is pretty un-arguable evidence for the effectivess of this vaccination in that regard.

(But a single vaccination does only have a half-life of about 4.5 years, so one or two booster shots would be necessary for life-long immunity).

Also, it wasn't just one study that was done; many many clinical trials in different countries have been carried out, all with similar results (i.e. all showing a 0% rate of warts, pre-cancer or cancer in vaccinated individuals).

Finally, I totally agree with you that it is very very dishonest and terrible of doctors not to tell their patients that the HPV virus is a sexually transmitted disease.
It used to get me very frustrated when I saw young woman after young woman after young woman (all in their early-20s) coming in because they were found to have pre-cancer on their smear tests, and were HPV positive....and the doctors NEVER told them of their HPV status, or that it was a STD. (not that it would've made any difference anyway, once you're infected you can't get rid of it).

But yeh, HPV is not like measles, and the marketing for this vaccination should not portray it as such because that is just dishonest. Also, if what I have been hearing from America is true (i.e. that some schools are making it mandatory for girls to be vaccinated), well that is absolutely terrible and unacceptable. Texas has made it mandatory, or rather the Govenor has, and that is what has caused my greatest concern. Parental rights are being removed from parents each day. This is another example of just that.

anyway, just my 2 cents!
Thanks for an interesting post!

God Bless

Antonia, I really do appreciate your information and have learned from it. I hope that I am not sounding like I do not agree with vaccinations or even vaccinating against possible cancer, because I am not. I want to see information. Information that proves or disproves my concerns. If that can not be given to me, then how can this possibly be made mandatory? We all know that cigarette smoking is cancer causing and not just for the smoker. Many others die from 2nd hand smoke every year. Many children develop life long allergies, asthma and other illnesses from this "habit" of others, yet when local law authorities attempt to pass legislation to protect the children and non-smokers, it has a hard time passing. Thankfully more public places are adopting this into their business practices. But if Govenor Perry can tell me that I MUST vaccinate my child against HPV, why can't he dictate that a parent can't smoke in their home?

A random post

I came across a wonderful little blog today by way of Rebecca's blog, Starry Sky Ranch.

In her blog, she did a post on beautiful red accents that grace her home. Well, one look around here, and I had to admit, I have quite a few myself! To think just a few short years ago I was afraid to do anything in color and stuck mainly with white. If I was feeling very brazen, I might try off-white!!

But, alas, I have hit my forties, so there are no-holds barred now!! Here is a glimpse into my red accents. It is such a happy color, but to be honest, I never realized how very much I like it!!

Here is where it all started... Red cabinets as seen in a decorating magazine. The walls are a soft yellow and these cabinets are antiqued to make them look well-loved. We probably could have skipped the antiquing part of it...

I recovered our very old cushions to energize our family room a bit. Now they sit in our computer/living room as we invested in some newer, but not red couches.

Here I removed the standard, dreaded, vertical blinds and replaced them with these cheerfully red curtains from Ikea.

I feel so cozy in our bedroom. My husband picked this out for me as a Christmas gifts a few years ago.

What dog isn't complete without her red collar?

A chair given to us by a dear neighbor, Annie, who passed away a few years back.

Our shower curtain, with matching rugs of course!

Upon my front door

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How Sweet!

Yes, today is the day of love. The day we express to our loved ones how very much we cherish them. Truth be told, we should do this every day, but being the forgetful beings that we are, we need a reminder once in awhile to say those things we want to to those we sometimes take for granted.

What better way to say, "I love you" than to bring a new life into the world on Valentine's Day.

Many years ago, a wonderful woman did just that. She brought wonderful Mr. M into the world and through a series of events, he was brought into our lives.

We love you Mr. M, and we wish you the happiest of birthdays ever.

Monday, February 12, 2007

On a lighter note...

literally... Boo loves The Sound of Music. Yes, we've ventured off from Phantom (though it's never far away) and we've entered Austria, vicariously through the von Trapp Family.

We caught Boo this morning singing...

"Adieu, adieu, to you and you, and you...." And the best part is when he hits the high notes for "goooood byyyyyyyeeeee, gooooooood byyyyyyye, gooooooooooood byyyyyyyyyyeeee!"

We were taken back last week when we found him sitting in laundry baskets watching the Sound of Music.

so I gave in and gave to OK to bring home a dreaded bean bag chair. (I swore I would never have one of these)

Today, we found Boo in a "traditional male" pose, much to my dismay...

At least he likes spaghetti!

More on the HPV Vaccine

Thanks to Laurathecrazymama
(don't ya just love her name?!) She posted a link to this MSNBC report which discusses the two sides of the HPV vaccine that was just made mandatory in Texas. You can read my original rant here, if you choose.

Some of my concerns where confirmed by this report.

1. This is about money. Ms. Ferrar made a statement that this law NEEDED to be passed as a mandate so that insurance companies will cover the injections as will Medicaid and CHIP. I hate to break the news to you, Ms. Ferrar, but just because something is legal and mandated does not mean it will be covered by insurance or tax-dollars. I think Gov. Perry is hoping that this is the case so that his bed-fellow, Merck can collect their precious dollars at our young daughters' expense. Insurance companies WILL typically cover PROVEN medical treatments that will benefit their claimants.

2. The question was asked why the injection isn't given to older women/girls, like the teachers instead of the 6th grade girls. Ms. Ferrar's reply was very telling. She reports that these injections must be given before women are sexually active, so 6th grade is a great time to do so because they are going in for other shots anyway. (read between the lines here... go in and get shots, how many really ask what shots their child is receiving and if they do, they are told, these are mandatory.) Never mind how insulting this comment is to women out there who do choose to refrain from sexual activity. Oh, that is right, I remember now, I can't possibly control my "urges". I've been told that since I was in grade school. It's only human nature.

3. Another question arose for me after watching this clip. Ms. Ferrar states that HPV must incubate for 10 years before it becomes cancerous. If this is true, than how in the world could this vaccine have possibly been thoroughly tested? It was allowed on the market 7 months ago after testing on only 1400 girls. What exactly did they test? Reactions? There is no possible way Merck could know that this vaccine will prevent cervical cancer 10 years from now. Even their own insert states that they do not know how effective the shot will be nor for how long. But they now have an entire state of guinea pigs to try it out on. She states that the CDC, the FDA, and groups of physicians, including the AAP approve of this vaccine. I do believe that there have been other instances of medications being "approved" by these entities and then withdrawn from the market because of the dangers they posed.

I pray that my fears for our girls do not come true with this vaccine. Truth is, if it is proven to be effective, I would be first in line to have my daughters vaccinated. Proof. That's all I need. Proof. Proof that this vaccine will not sterilize my daughters. Proof that there are no birth defects caused by it. Proof that it does not cause other forms of cancer or diseases like heart disease, etc. I don't find any proof for any of these concerns and until I do, I will stand against this vaccine. I recommend you consider this as well.

The Birthday Parties

Because one is never enough around here...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Happy Birthday, Lem!

Today this little young lady makes the leap from 8 to 9. A few days ago, she exercised her growing independence by having 8 inches of hair cut off and donated to Locks of Love. I was so proud, yet so sad. I feared that the hair cut would make her look more grown-up. I feared she would lose some of her sweet innocence. I feared I would lose my baby girl.

Well, she does look more grown-up, and more beautiful. She did NOT, however, lose any of her sweetness nor her innocence. And I can't say that I've lost my baby girl, but I am gaining a wonderful, loving, precious, lovely young lady, that I call daughter, who once upon a time (ok, not that long ago) was my baby girl. Honestly, she'll always be my baby girl, who am I kidding?!

Happy birthday, Lem, my sweet. May God always keep you precious in His sights. I know I will.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Before I start on this rant, I will make this disclaimer. I do not think that anyone should ever have to suffer any form of cancer, cervical or otherwise. I am not of the belief that receiving Gardasil will encourage promiscuity in my children.

I am deeply concerned with the recent decision of Gov. Perry to completely usurp the traditional means by which we pass laws in Texas and order an executive mandate that all girls reaching the age of 6th grade MUST be vaccinated against HPV.

Last I checked, we lived in a country, a state, where parents are deemed responsible for their children. If we neglect our duties as parents, we are to be punished, and rightfully so.

I also recall that we lived in a country of choice. Too many choices, some might say, but choices that are free for us to make.

Whether or not you are the parent who supports vaccines or who does not, this mandate by Gov. Perry can not be seen as anything other than a poor decision on his part.

My husband and I made the decision long ago to vaccinate our children with the recommended vaccines made to us by our pediatrician. We have experienced problems along the way from some of the vaccines, however, my husband and I, along with our doctor, discuss these concerns and most often decide to vaccinate if the health benefits outweigh the possible risks. I respect that others do not feel this way and that they may choose to do something totally different. And because of where we live, they, as well as I, have the freedom to make these choices.

I could oppose this vaccine on religious or moral grounds. However, I don't know the church teaching on it at this time. Aside from the insinuation that providing this vaccine to 11 year old girls will somehow promote promiscuity is a hard sell in my mind. Most 11 year old girls won't inquire as to what each vaccine that she receives does. Therefore, if she doesn't know that she has received Gardasil, she won't know that she is protected against a WHOPPING 4 strains of cervical cancer, which COULD be caused by having close physical contact with someone who is infected. I know alot of pro-family groups may cling to the promiscuity aspect of this but they must consider this.

A young woman may decide to wait until marriage to share that level of intimacy with another person. Unfortunately, the man she decides to marry may have not been as strong, and may in fact have been intimate with others. Therefore, even after marriage, she could be exposed to this virus. The real clincher with HPV is that one not need to have intercourse to contract it. Just close physical contact from the belly down. In theory, even a virgin could develop HPV. This would make a great argument for the vaccine.

I do oppose this vaccine for other reasons.

1. It has not been proven to be effective on very many strains of cervical cancer. Only 4 out of over 100 strands of this virus could be prevented with this vaccine, again IF it is effective. If you end up with cervical cancer, do you really care which strand of HPV you developed it from?

2. The proponents of this vaccine have thrown numbers at us in efforts to "make us aware" of the epidemic that cervical cancer has become... Every year, according to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of these, sadly, 3,900 women die. While I do not think that even one life lost to this disease is a good thing, let's compare another virus that is more lethal. Influenza.

According to a vaccine awareness site that I visited, 114,000 people are hospitalized each year from the flu. Many more suffer this virus and lose many days of work and or school while trying to heal up curled up in bed with a cup of soup and lots of OTC medications. This site states that of the 114,000 hospitalizations, 36,000 will die. There is a vaccine available for this horrible virus. A virus that kills 90% of people infected over the age of 65. A virus that kills many babies. A virus that in 1919, killed 21 million people world wide. 500,000 Americans.

So, yes, a vaccine is available. And around September, you are reminded to get your flu shot. But are you MANDATED to do so? Some of my family members did receive the flu shot this year. Guess what. We still had the flu travel through our home. The reason? The flu vaccine doesn't cover every strain of the flu. Hmmm.... sound familiar?

Why not legislate against cigarette smoking. Ban it. Take away all cigarettes. We KNOW it causes cancer. Many forms of cancer. More people die from smoking every year. Why haven't you mandated the prohibition of cigarettes? Oh, yeah, tobacco companies are making money.

My question for Mr. Perry is this. Why, dear sir, was this so important to you that you took away the rights of all parents to make medical decisions for their daughters? I can only come to one conclusion. Money. Money for Merck. Money for you. Merck has increased their lobbying expenditures from 125,000 to 250,000! Merck charges 360.00 for each vaccine given. That is a nice little lump sum for Merck, isn't it. 360 X tons of little 11 year old girls = big profits. This site estimates that if this was a national mandate, Merck stands to make 700 million dollars! And what about those who cannot afford your mandate? The state will provide it? In other words, the people of Texas will pay for it.

And let us not forget. Merck has only had this vaccine on the market since July of 2006. That's 7 months, folks. How much research has been done on this vaccine? Or maybe this is a way to get more numbers in? Remember VIOXX? Yes, Merck made that as well.

For more information, check out this website.

And while you are at it, Mr. Perry, please find out why I am helping ExxonMobil rake in 36.5 BILLION dollars in profits this past year, while I am cutting every cent I can so I can feed my family.

Where does a conservative mom vote now?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Thank you but no thanks...

I am not sure what is going on in Gov. Perry's mind, but I am horrified at the idea that the state can force this upon my daughters.

Dear Govenor,
I am opting out. Thank you.

Candlemas/Groundhog Day

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow today. Winter is done! we hope...


Barbara guessed correctly! She was the first to answer, so, my gift to her is this. I will offer my daily prayers on her behalf tomorrow.

Google is a wonderful thing, isn't it!?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Riddle Me This

What occurs every year on October 23rd at 6:02 am?

Winner will receive a fantastic the virtual sense.

Quiz provided by my lovely future Chemist, Bean.