Sunday, November 18, 2012

George Washington's Original Thanksgiving Proclamation

I just wrote a bit about George Washington's Original Thanksgiving Proclamation on My Catholic Tea Party Hippie Blog here      I seem to be posting more over there than here, given the current political climate. It would be nice if y'all could follow me over there :)

Anyway-- reading GW's original Thanksgiving Proclamation is a great tradition.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Catholic Church Teaching on Meditation

Recently, my son had people telling him meditation was sinful. I decided to make sure he understood that it is not sinful to meditate -- on Christ, to visualize Jesus in a room, or visualize Him with you.... it is not sinful to meditate on the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary... we even use the word Meditate in the final prayer... "Grant we beseech thee, that by meditating on these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary that we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise through Christ Our Lord."

Meditation is prayer-- many saints were contemplative and meditated.

We've used visualization techniques when praying at the hospital before procedures quite a bit....

So, here you go.....

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2705 Meditation is above all a quest. The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking. The required attentiveness is difficult to sustain. We are usually helped by books, and Christians do not want for them: the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts of the day or season, writings of the spiritual fathers, works of spirituality, the great book of creation, and that of history the page on which the "today" of God is written.
2706 To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality. To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: "Lord, what do you want me to do?"
2707 There are as many and varied methods of meditation as there are spiritual masters. Christians owe it to themselves to develop the desire to meditate regularly, lest they come to resemble the three first kinds of soil in the parable of the sower.5 But a method is only a guide; the important thing is to advance, with the Holy Spirit, along the one way of prayer: Christ Jesus.
2708 Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him.
2709 What is contemplative prayer? St. Teresa answers: "Contemplative prayer [oracion mental] in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us."6 Contemplative prayer seeks him "whom my soul loves."7 It is Jesus, and in him, the Father. We seek him, because to desire him is always the beginning of love, and we seek him in that pure faith which causes us to be born of him and to live in him. In this inner prayer we can still meditate, but our attention is fixed on the Lord himself.
2710 The choice of the time and duration of the prayer arises from a determined will, revealing the secrets of the heart. One does not undertake contemplative prayer only when one has the time: one makes time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and dryness one may encounter. One cannot always meditate, but one can always enter into inner prayer, independently of the conditions of health, work, or emotional state. The heart is the place of this quest and encounter, in poverty and in faith.
2711 Entering into contemplative prayer is like entering into the Eucharistic liturgy: we "gather up:" the heart, recollect our whole being under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, abide in the dwelling place of the Lord which we are, awaken our faith in order to enter into the presence of him who awaits us. We let our masks fall and turn our hearts back to the Lord who loves us, so as to hand ourselves over to him as an offering to be purified and transformed.
2712 Contemplative prayer is the prayer of the child of God, of the forgiven sinner who agrees to welcome the love by which he is loved and who wants to respond to it by loving even more.8 But he knows that the love he is returning is poured out by the Spirit in his heart, for everything is grace from God. Contemplative prayer is the poor and humble surrender to the loving will of the Father in ever deeper union with his beloved Son.
2713 Contemplative prayer is the simplest expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gift, a grace; it can be accepted only in humility and poverty. Contemplative prayer is a covenant relationship established by God within our hearts.9 Contemplative prayer is a communion in which the Holy Trinity conforms man, the image of God, "to his likeness."
2714 Contemplative prayer is also the pre-eminently intense time of prayer. In it the Father strengthens our inner being with power through his Spirit "that Christ may dwell in [our] hearts through faith" and we may be "grounded in love."10
2715 Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus. "I look at him and he looks at me": this is what a certain peasant of Ars in the time of his holy curé used to say while praying before the tabernacle. This focus on Jesus is a renunciation of self. His gaze purifies our heart; the light of the countenance of Jesus illumines the eyes of our heart and teaches us to see everything in the light of his truth and his compassion for all men. Contemplation also turns its gaze on the mysteries of the life of Christ. Thus it learns the "interior knowledge of our Lord," the more to love him and follow him.11
2716 Contemplative prayer is hearing the Word of God. Far from being passive, such attentiveness is the obedience of faith, the unconditional acceptance of a servant, and the loving commitment of a child. It participates in the "Yes" of the Son become servant and the Fiat of God's lowly handmaid.
2717 Contemplative prayer is silence, the "symbol of the world to come"12 or "silent love."13 Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the "outer" man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus.
2718 Contemplative prayer is a union with the prayer of Christ insofar as it makes us participate in his mystery. The mystery of Christ is celebrated by the Church in the Eucharist, and the Holy Spirit makes it come alive in contemplative prayer so that our charity will manifest it in our acts.
2719 Contemplative prayer is a communion of love bearing Life for the multitude, to the extent that it consents to abide in the night of faith. The Paschal night of the Resurrection passes through the night of the agony and the tomb - the three intense moments of the Hour of Jesus which his Spirit (and not "the flesh [which] is weak") brings to life in prayer. We must be willing to "keep watch with [him] one hour."14
2720 The Church invites the faithful to regular prayer: daily prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours, Sunday Eucharist, the feasts of the liturgical year.
2721 The Christian tradition comprises three major expressions of the life of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplative prayer. They have in common the recollection of the heart.
2722 Vocal prayer, founded on the union of body and soul in human nature, associates the body with the interior prayer of the heart, following Christ's example of praying to his Father and teaching the Our Father to his disciples.
2723 Meditation is a prayerful quest engaging thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. Its goal is to make our own in faith the subject considered, by confronting it with the reality of our own life.
2724 Contemplative prayer is the simple expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the extent that it makes us share in his mystery.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stand Up For Religious Freedom

We'll be having another Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally in Winston-Salem, NC on Saturday, October 20, 2012.

We have some great speakers already lined up, including Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.  Come out and Join us at the Hiram H Ward Federal Building at 251 N Main St. in downtown Winston-Salem.

Faith Moving Forward

Yesterday was a hard day. Starting IGG infusions again means J really hasn't been healed as we always hope and pray. As we get back into a life of infusion pumps, sharps containers and more medical supplies, we just have to have faith and offer it all up to Him, trusting that He is with us and will use these trials for His glory. As parents, we beg God to give us the grace and strength to help J see Him in all of his trials. J is a typical teen who hates anything medical-- especially being hooked up to a pump for a few hours each week. My first prayer each day for my children is that they love God above all else. I know if they do this, everything else will fall into place. Lord, give J the grace and strength to continue to love you above all else through all of his trials. 

I keep thinking to myself today, "Faith isn't what you do when everything is going's what you do when you face trials."  It is easy to have faith when everything is just fine.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Holding On Is Hard

One of the hardest things about having kids with rare diseases is holding on to your faith and trust in God when the world keeps reaffirming that your kids really are sick. We pray for healing and hope that God will answer our prayers.... that hope keeps us going. Holding on to that hope is difficult int he face of constant infections and all that SDS and Mito brings into our lives.

I am certainly thankful for the daily miracles and the fact that things aren't worse. We've met so many kids on our journey who have it worse than our boys or who have died.. I often wonder why God hasn't chosen to heal our friends, either.  Knowing that He can heal all of these children, but has not chosen to do so is hard to accept sometimes. *sighs*  I do believe that God's will is perfect and that He has a plan, but sometimes, I admit, I want Him to choose my plan instead. You know the plan where I'm just a homeschooling soccer mom who bakes cookies and drives her kids to sporting events.

J will be starting IGG again. I KNOW he needs it. All of his doctors agree.  We did infusions for 9 1/2 years and trialed off for the past year. It's been a rough year. Infection after infection. I'm sick of the hospital, doctors and antibiotics.  High doses of heavy duty antibiotics.  It sounds crazy to say, "My son is on a daily antibiotic and two more to fight an active infection," doesn't it?  We had all been hoping that God had healed him and he no longer needed IGG.

Sitting in the doctor's office today was surreal.  I'd been begging God all week to somehow make it stop.  Earlier this week, it was hard to hear that five doctors agree as the doctor said, "He's going back on and we are never trialing off again!"  I held out hope that somehow everyone was misrepresenting what the immunologist REALLY meant.... so I thought there was a possibility we'd get there and he would disagree with the other four doctors and the disaster would be averted..  IGG is a blood product.  It is fairly safe, but with blood products there is always a risk of infection. The risk is there, no matter how small it might be.

I'm not a saint. In fact,  I've been telling God all week that He has confused me with Mother Teresa or some other saint. I've asked him why J and not S.  S takes things in stride while J has such a hard time.  Yes, we always offer it up and try to count our blessings. Today, I'm still in shock that my child really has a disease and needs IGG.  I guess my hopes for healing have been dashed by the fact that we're restarting infusions. We'll begin again to morrow and continue to pray for healing, if it is His will.  Every once in a while, we just need to have our moment of saddness.  Living with chronic illness is difficult. Having God with us makes it easier to bear this trial.  We'll gt through this with His grace.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

13 Year Reunion

We recently went back to San Antonio for the first time in 13 years.  I was able to visit Thomas' grave for the first time since we left Texas in 1999.  Visiting his grave was easy compared to leaving Texas again.  In many ways, I have healed since he died in my womb....but a mother's heart can never be fully healed. Well, at least not until we get to heaven. I know we will meet all of our little ones again.

I was overcome with emotion when we left Texas... I don't know when we will ever go back. The thought that I may have to wait 13 years to visit his grave again made my heart hurt. I don't know why it did. I know where he is.... his body is buried in San Antonio, but his soul is not there, so I shouldn't worry about leaving his grave behind, should I?

I had lost the photo I took of his grave before leaving 13 years ago. This visit gave me a chance to snap a few more pictures:    

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bubba in Alabama

Stopped at a gas station in Alabama, I see Bubba pointing and smiling. I strike up a conversation, he tells me he loves the ride and I asked if I could snap a photo. His friend was on the fence saying he thought Romney was going to take away our guns. I told him about the U.N. Small Arms treaty Obama and Hilary support. I got the conversation started, now I hope he becomes engaged and does his research.

Bubba in Alabama:

Start the Conversation

We received a warm welcome at the Peach stand in South Carolina. The guy working at the stand was a teacher and said he could get in trouble if he took a picture with old Bessie. What a bummer! Maybe that's why our country is so messed up. People are too afraid to get the conversation started. The only way to get this nation back on track is to talk about the issues. Conservatives have been bullied into silence while liberals have no fear. They teach their liberal ideology on our schools and don't think twice about it.

The next exit up, we stopped at a Starbucks. I'm not sure our vehicle was well received! No one said a word. Two men sitting at an outside table drinking coffee gave us all some strange looks, but who knows for sure what they were thinking.

It was a great start to the day. Here are a few people who told us they really liked our ride.

Let's Roll!

Before we ever left K'ville, we'd already had people honking. I'm loving free speech right now. I can see November from my Suburban right now.

We met a friend outside the pharmacy, where she gave me an extra magnet for the back. It says,"I know Freedom works!" Sean says we need an American flag to wave. I think he is right and I see modifications ahead.

It's been fun so far. A Marine passes us and gave us a thumbs up. Semper Fi! We've been feeling the love.

Here is a picture of my friend (her blog is called The Mouth from the South) with our Suburban and a close up of the new magnet.

Posting this from a Chick-fil-A where we received a warm welcome from a gentleman with a thumbs up,"Alright! Passed you on the road!" or something close.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Road Trip!

We will be heading out on a road trip.  (My oldest can't make it....)  If you'd like to follow along and find out how people across this country react to our fabulously decked out Suburban, you can follow on the Catholic Tea Party Hippie Blog.  I explained our road trip here: Road Trip!

Why We Homeschool

I just wrote a post about Why We Homeschool on my Catholic Tea Party Hippie blog, if you are interested. It contains a few links you might enjoy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Flag on the Play

I like to look at life through the lens of football. After 13 years of homeschooling, I've finally accepted that we fall into the category of year-round homeschooling. Try as I might, we end up working in the summer.   I jinxed myself this last Sunday.  I posted on Facebook that I was SO excited about making it a week without a doctor's visit. I was looking forward to a week of nothing but school! It has been so long since we've had a week without any appointments.

The next day, I said, "Flag on the play! Celebrating in the end zone. Penalty will be assessed on the kick off." We had no scheduled appointments this week or next.  Woke up Monday morning excited about the week ahead, and then POOF, the yellow flag was dropped. J came to me with another infected toe. I couldn't believe it!

It wasn't the toe we've been battling for the last 6 months. It was the toe that had an abscess under the nail last August.  My heart sank, because I had wanted to believe the immunologist when he told me not to worry about skin infections -- it wouldn't happen on Bactrim.  The doctor started him on an antibiotic and called the podiatrist who is going to try a different procedure on this toe (it has already had a minor surgical procedure done)

We're back in the end zone celebrating again.  Sometimes,  it is all a matter of perspective. It's a toe. We all have crosses to carry.... I'll be the old lady in the nursing home talking about "the toe".

Monday, July 16, 2012

Catholic Tea Party Hippie

Be sure to check out my new blog: Catholic Tea Party Hippie  and like the Catholic Tea Party Facebook Page, too  :0)   I'm trying to keep my political posts there and homeschool daily life posts here.  I need to write, but so many issues and too little time! 

Rosetta Stone Spanish Homeschool Version

I finally caved and purchased the Rosetta Stone Homeschool version for Independent Study through Seton. Barnes and Noble had a great sale on Rosetta Stone this weekend (may still be on sale), I got it cheaper than the sale on the RS website.

So far, it is pretty amazing!  I think this will give me a huge sense of relief that the kids can REALLY work on their own and learn the language.  Just using a workbook and some time here and there from dad wasn't successful.  That is what Seton offers.  We would talk to Manuel on the phone. A lot.

The RS website says each level is one academic year, if you are wondering. I've already completed two lessons and may learn Spanish with my people.  I just have to break my French habits.... I took French in high school and college and keep slipping in my Spanish pronunciations!

Submitted the Independent Study paperwork and we are ready to go.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Victory 2012

My oldest is doing an internship at the local GOP headquarters this election cycle. Yesterday, there was an event with Senators Burr and Portman.

I like the way my son looks Portman in the eye when he greets him.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Is It Summer Yet!?

We finished the toe drama and J started running a 102.5 fever this week.  Many people who know our family often forget that fever for a kid who caths means a trip to the doctor. Fever for a kid who has neutropenia and neutrophil chemotaxis issues, means a trip to the doctor. We don't have the luxury to blow off a fever. He is on the mend... bad cough and congestion, but getting better. Here's hoping we have a healthy summer!

Homeschooling isn't as glamorous as one might think.  I'm ready for a break and my people have yet to complete their schoolwork for the year.  I enjoy summer because it means I can turn on the radio, TV or talk on the phone.  During school hours, I can't do anything because it is a distraction.  I really have no life.  Even with high school kids, I have to keep an eagle on them all day long. If I get up, they end up goofing off (most of the time).

Of course, they all have lots of things they want to do.... but can't.  I'm hoping they will finish up in a few weeks and we can have the rest of the summer off! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Catholic Tea Party Hippie

I've started a new blog -- it is currently under construction, but you can read a few posts I have over there. Catholic Tea Party Hippie    Hopefully by next week, I will have the perfect Catholic, hippie, patriotic theme going on!  I finally posted there about our protest when Joe Biden was in town. You can read it and see protest pictures here.

Having this blog and the other will allow me to separate my political posts and protest activities.  Though, some certainly crossover into the Catholic Homeschooling topic, too.

I hope you'll take a peek when you get a chance.  After two protests in one week, I thought having a Catholic Tea Party Hippie blog was perfect for me.  We've got a slow week here with no protests and only two doctor appointments for the boys this week.  The boys are still working on painting their bathroom, a project that seems like it will never be complete.  The toe drama seems to be over for now, so life is good.   We have a chance to recover from the two week fight against an insurance glitch... finally think we have Js catheters covered once again.

My house is recovering from a week of protests.  We had visitors over the weekend and I had warned them that the house was in post-protest distress.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm A Tea Party Hippie

It is official. This week, I attended two protests, one of which I organized. I am a hippie. Wednesday, we went to protest Vice President Joe Biden as he spoke here in Winston-Salem and Friday, I organized a Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally at the Hiram H Ward Federal Building downtown. I've already posted the videos of the speakers for the Religious Freedom rally and I will write separately about my adventures with Joe Biden.

Today, I am confessing.  

I am a Tea Party Hippie. I rarely wear make-up, love long skirts and beads. I don't advocate free love, however. I prefer that people pay for their own love and their own contraception. It isn't right for others to violate my conscience by forcing me to pay for that which I am morally opposed. As I have told many, many people, this is not a fight I asked for, that the Catholic Church asked for, but we are not backing down from this fight.

Until Obama's HHS mandate, I didn't go around speaking about practicing the "no birth control" part of my Catholic faith. Many people did not know we have never used birth control because they see that we only  have three boys. What they can't see when they observe our family is that we have 19 souls in heaven. We've lost 18 pregnancies in our 19 years of marriage, and folks can't see our family waiting for us in heaven. When people find out about our losses, they are usually quite perplexed as to why we didn't start using birth control so as to stop being open to life and potential losses. We believe that God can perform miracles -- even after so many losses.

I want to be like my friend Joyce (read her blog: Mouth From the South) when I grow up.  In the 60s, she stayed home raising her family and now that she is in her 60s, she attends one protest a week.  I've always voted, was in the military and sometimes worked at the polls.  No more.  Since President Obama's election, I have been to more protests than I can count. November is coming and this Tea Party Hippie will be protesting, spreading the word to others and voting.  We cannot allow our government to take away our freedom. Are you in?

Fr. Lucas Rossi- "Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally", Winston-Salem, NC

Pastor Larry Phillips- "Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally", Winston-Salem, NC

Joyce Krawiec - "Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally", Winston-Salem, NC

Steve Wiles- "Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally", Winston-Salem, NC

Verne Hill Speaks at the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally June 8, Winston-Salem, NC

Major Dave Speaks at the Religious Freedom Rally June 8

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sean's Shuttle

Sean likes to paint. He is going to make an oil painting of the space shuttle. Here's his drawing on canvas:

Mom's Art Night

Last night, I met some friends at Brian's art studio for a painting class. Swirls were the theme. Swirled trees. I'll probably add some more to this in the future.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Michael J. Fox Admits Embryonic Stem Cells Likely Won't Cure Him |

Michael J. Fox Admits Embryonic Stem Cells Likely Won't Cure Him |

Adult stems cells have cured diseases-- bone marrow transplants are stem cell transplants.  There isn't one known cure from embryonic stem cells-- however, we do have reports that they have caused cancers.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom

Fortnight for Freedom

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.
Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to defend our most cherished freedom.
The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Anonymous Pastor

It is funny how some people will say anything when they think they are anonymous. As many of my readers know, I am coordinating another Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally on June 8, 2012. I've been putting up flyers and sending out notices.

Today, I received a nasty anonymous email response. I Googled the email address and found that it belonged to a local church. Interesting, right? I thought it was interesting that someone from a church would be so angered by our Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally that they would write several paragraphs and over 700 words to "tell me where to go".

I decided to call the church (the website says it is an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral) to find out who had written the email. The pastor answered the phone. I would have loved to be a fly on his wall (with a camera) when I told him of the nasty email coming from the church email address and then asked, "Do you know who sent the email?" Total silence.  I continued and said it really was a bit overkill to send such a long, nasty email in response to a simple notice about the rally. He fessed up to sending the email.  We talked for a few minutes.

Oddly enough, once he was no longer anonymous, he later sent another short email and signed his name. The second email wasn't so sour. No apology, but certainly not nasty as his first email had been.

Here are a few quotes from the email that I'd like to address:

  • "Folks like you created this monster, rallies like this show how stupid and gullible the mooing masses are. The sky is not falling and everyone's freedom is not in peril because some underprivileged person gets birth control. The earth will probably thank that person for not bringing more and more children into the world and overtaxing the resources. Get a life and stay out of mine."
  •   "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's. Jesus Christ spoke these words. Wake up and heed them and butt out of other people's business. Your own sins are enough to keep you occupied."

  • "If the government is sticking its nose in church business it's because mis-guided people are trying to make America a Theocracy, you kind of like the Taliban, only a Christian version." 

  • "I'm not a person that goes to meetings and checks my brain at the door. I'm not one of the mooing masses that the Republicans are trying to win over."

  •  "Quit trying to force your opinions on everyone. Live and let live. I'm as patriotic as the next person, but I'm not stupid enough to swallow this bull and believe my religion is under attack because someone gets birth control." 

Folks like me created this monster? Right. Those of us who want limited, constitutional government, created a bigger government with the extended power to force religious people and religious institutions to cover abortion drugs and contraception. Even atheists should have the right to purchase insurance that doesn't violate their moral convictions. . If Joe Smith, atheist, is opposed to abortion and owns a company, he should be able to purchase insurance for his employees in the marketplace that doesn't violate his beliefs. The HHS mandate forces him to purchase insurance that covers abortion drugs like Ella and Plan B. Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Baptists and Atheists are all affected and lose the freedom to choose insurance plans that fit their moral values.

Because I am the coordinator of this rally, I'm obviously part of the mooing masses and I am stupid. Right. Because I believe differently than he does, I'm obviously stupid and a gullible follower. This comes from a pastor? Isn't that amazing!?  Oh, wait, he didn't know I would figure out who he was, so he went ahead and let me have it. Character is what you do when no one is watching or doesn't know who you are. He was much nicer once his cover was blown. I have a simple philosophy: if I can't put my name to it, I shouldn't say or do it.

Will the earth really thank a person for not having more children and overtaxing the resources? The pill contaminates ground water with synthetic hormones (see links at the bottom of this post), increases a woman's risk of cervical and breast cancer and many women end up pregnant while on the pill. The fail rate is the reason Planned Parenthood pushes birth control pills. PP knows eventually, the sexually active woman on the pill will end up being pregnant and will come to them for an abortion. Cha Ching. PP makes lots of money as the largest abortion provider in America. Breast cancer and cervical cancer require expensive resources to treat and cure the disease. Does forcing people to provide the pill really keep people from overtaxing resources?

Get a life and stay out of mine!?  I'm not IN your life. As a pastor, surely he gets notices of many, many community events. I didn't do anything more than notify him of the rally. I didn't say anything bad would happen if he didn't participate. If he had not sent me a ranting, nasty email, I would never have spoken to him or emailed him again. I even told him that a simple, " I'm not interested in participating," would have been a response more fitting of a pastor.

Yes, Jesus did say that. I wonder if this pastor ever thought of the HHS mandate in this light. Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, but what to God what is God's, yep .... Jesus said that. Since when does Caesar have the right to force people to cover abortion drugs and contraception against their conscience and moral convictions? We aren't talking about paying taxes for roads or for national defense. We are talking about forcing people to pay for the murder of innocent babies. Even the pill is an abortifacient! Ella and Plan B are clear: they kill babies. Give to God what is God's? Exactly! By protesting forced abortion coverage, we are living the Gospel of Life and doing God's work. By standing up for our conscience rights protected by the first amendment, we not only stand up for God-given life from conception until natural death, we are defending our brothers and sisters in Christ. We defend those without a voice. Jesus was also clear when He told us to love our neighbor, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned....So forth and so on. This pastor may have a theology degree, but he certainly misses the mark on this one. He also told me on the phone that no one in his parish would ever have an abortion. I'm glad he is so confident. However, if they take the pill......... Hmmm.... I didn't bring that point up.

Yes, I have my own sins. Don't we all? My sins won't keep me from standing up for what is right and just. This rally isn't about my own sinfulness, it is about religious freedom for all people.

Next up.... Theocracy? um... Jews, Muslims and Atheists are also protesting this HHS mandate. If this mandate stands, it will be more like a theocracy, one in which a government, devoid of God, forces us all to render everything to Caesar, including our moral convictions and religious beliefs. No one is trying to keep women from having access to birth control. No one is trying to make it illegal for doctors to write contraception prescriptions or to make it illegal for pharmacies and free clinics to dispense it. What we ARE trying to do is to keep our conscience protections. No person or government has the right to force individuals or religious groups to violate their own consciences by paying for abortion drugs and contraception. Period. It is unconstitutional.

We are like the Taliban because we want people to have the freedom to purchase these items ($9 a month without insurance at Target) and also want people to have the freedom not to participate in paying for and providing things that violate their own conscience? Right.  I'm sure the Taliban cares about freedom.

I'm not one of those people who checks my brain at the door, either. I really don't know anyone who is like that. Is it even humanly possible to do such a thing? Oh, wait.... I get it, you were implying that I'm stupid again and that I can't think for myself...I MUST be part of the mooing masses if I dare stand up for religious liberty. Right. Such a nice sentiment coming from a pastor. I've never read the part of the Gospel where Jesus tells the disciples to go out and insult the flock.

Finally,I wasn't trying to shove my opinion down your throat. I sent out notices to all local churches about the rally. I didn't tell you anything would happen if you didn't support the rally, I simply let you know when, where, why..... And again, you insult me by saying you aren't stupid enough to swallow this bull about your religion being under attack. Brilliant words coming from a pastor. My religion is under attack. Your religion may not be under attack. If your conscience is not violated by being forced to cover abortion drugs and contraception, then certainly, this rally is not for you!  I am proud to be a practicing Catholic. I'm proud to stand with my bishops, my pastor and with the Catholic Church.

I hope our short conversation today was enlightening for you and that you might come to see reality a bit better. Just because I disagree with you, doesn't mean I'm stupid. Just because you disagree with me doesn't mean you are stupid or less patriotic. I'm not sure where you got the idea from, but nowhere in my notice about the rally did I say anything about the opposition. We are all created in the image and likeness of God and I hope the next time you email someone anonymously you'll pause before hitting send. I hope the next time you are angered by a notice of a local event you'll respond in love and with charity. I'm shocked that any pastor would respond with such venom.


The Pill Kills

Birth Control Harming State's salmon

Friday, May 18, 2012


We found lots of dead jellyfish on the beach. We want to figure out why they are all missing their tentacles. One of my boys suggested dissection, so I took out my knife and we examined a few. You know you are a homeschooler when your children see dead jellyfish and suggest dissection.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Infection Update

The toe drama continued last week. We've been battling J's toe infection for over 4 months. We saw the pediatrician who felt we might need IV antibiotics and sent us to the hem/onc clinic to see the hem who is also an infectious disease doctor.  He felt we could increase the Cipro dose to 750 mg BID from 500mg BID and continue the Bactrim.  Here's hoping it works. So far, there may be slight improvement.  We also started doing Betadine soaks instead of Epsom salt, Vinegar or antibacterial soap soaks. 

It was a wild week!  I'm praising God that we did not have to be admitted.  God is good!

S has finished Biology and History for the year!  J has finished Science and M is working hard in all subjects.  It really was hard to get work done last week while we spent each day at the hospital or doctor's office.  We saw immunology and did further work up... and are considering daily Bactrim.

Maybe I'll get back in the grove and start blogging a bit more. I've been spending my spare time preparing for our upcoming Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally. 

Low Gluten Hosts

What does a Catholic person do if they are allergic to wheat or if they have an autoimmune condition like Celiac?  Can they receive Holy Communion? The Benedictine Sisters make a low gluten altar bread that can be used in the Catholic Church. On their website, they explain the process they went through to find an altar bread that would work for Celiacs and still be acceptable for use by the Church.  The hosts must contain wheat in order for it to be valid in the Catholic Church.

I have friends who have gluten intolerance (not celiac) who have used the low-gluten wafers for years and have done fine.  I've ordered some to try out. Of course, those of us with wheat problems can receive the blood-- Jesus is present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in both the consecrated bread and wine. I'm going to try one with my Epi-pen close by.

I've recently had problems after receiving Holy Communion.  I have a known allergy to wheat and up until recently had no problem receiving Holy Communion.  In the early 90s, I had a severe anaphylactic reaction and back then, no one thought it could be the wheat I'd eaten.  I now know better! The first time it happened, I broke out into hives within 30 minutes of receiving. The next morning, it happened again and I felt like my throat was closing up.  A week on steroids and life is normal again. I also made sure my Epi-pen isn't out of date. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012


The Hawks had their last game yesterday. Sean was starting pitcher and pitched for 4 1/2 innings.

My favorite pictures of the day:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

God, Healthcare and Our Week

Thanks for the comments on my recent post.  To sum it up for those who might have been confused, I am not saying we are not to help our brothers and sisters.  Jesus didn't tell us to give our money to the government and let the government take care of people-- He told us to do it.  It is not the responsibility of government.  Again, that doesn't mean our church shouldn't be helping the poor, or that we should not be helping the poor.  I do not believe Jesus told us to put a gun to someone's head to steal the money (taxes) -- He wants us to give it freely.

The problem with government healthcare is that when government becomes involved, the government decides what is and is not covered. Children die.  We know children who have died because Medicaid refused to allow them to go to another state for treatment.  Obamacare will do the same. When people who lack faith (Sebilius, Pelosi, Reid), they force those of us who do have faith to do things we are morally opposed to-- HHS mandate. They decide that abortion is covered and our tax dollars fund these murders.

It isn't anyone's responsibility to take care of our medical bills.  Have we had people help?  Certainly. But we did not ask, demand or beg.  It is a blessing when people want to help.  I believe that God is involved in our lives through the people who have helped us.  God calls them to help, not the government. 

We've had a very crazy week.   The toe infection rages on. Ended up at the ped with her calling the hem/onc who is also an infectious disease doctor.  She was very concerned because after a week on Cipro (and 6 weeks on Clindamycin) the toe looked the same to her.  We went for an x-ray to see if the infection had spread to the bone. It was good, so we didn't have to cart ourselves to the hem/onc clinic.  In addition to the Cipro, we have added Bactrim. If the toe is not better when we see her on Wednesday, it is off to the hem/onc clinic that day.

Here I thought we had a few weeks with nothing medical going on.  We went to the GI clinic yesterday.  It went well.  They were running behind and we sat around the hospital for a bit. Very thankful for electronic devices.

Monday, I recheck my retinal hemorrhage.  It was most likely just a fluke.  I'm already lamenting the fact that I do not have the time for me to have doctor appointments! I'm praying really hard that the rally on June 8th is a success. I already have the federal permit, but the police permit has not arrived. The Sgt said it shouldn't be a problem last month, but has ignored my recent contact.  Pray!  The marriage rally had trouble getting permits, so I wonder if there is something going on there?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Another Catholic Conversation

Funny Catholic conversation.
J: I wonder how many languages the Pope speaks
Dad: I bet he speaks a few
J: Do you think he knows Latin?
After the Pope conversation, J wonders what Latin he (J) knows. So we talk about the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). He replies, "OH! THAT is what we've been singing! I always sing, "On this day....."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday Conversation

Conversations only heard in Catholic households: J: But Good Friday isn't a Holy Day of obligation. Me: It IS the day Jesus died on the cross for us. You are going. J: But it takes too long! Me: I'm sure He thought that, too. J: Okay, okay........

Stations of the Cross

Behold the Wood of the Cross

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Mr. Obama said that it would be unprecedented for the Supreme Court to rule any portion of Obamacare unconstitutional.  Where did he go to law school again? Does the president have access to the internet?

I did a quick search and found this information--

The US Supreme Court has declared a total of 1,315 laws (as of 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available; the database may be updated in 2012) unconstitutional using the process of judicial review.

The first time the Court declared a federal law unconstitutional was in Chief Justice John Marshall's opinion for Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137 (1803), in which he asserted Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional because it extended to the Supreme Court an act of original jurisdiction not explicitly granted by the Constitution.

Unconstitutional and Preempted Laws 1789-2002
According to the GPO (Government Printing Office Database):

1789-2002 Acts of Congress Held as Unconstitutional..............................158

1789-2002 State Statutes held unconstitutional......................................935

1789-2002 City Ordinances held unconstitutional....................................222

1789-2002 State and City laws preempted by Federal laws.......................224

Total State, Local and Federal Laws Declared Unconstitutional................1,315

Total State and Local Law Preempted by Federal Laws..............................224

Total Laws Overturned, all governments..............................................1,539

Newt Gingrich to Speak in Greensboro, NC

On Saturday, April 14 at 1:30pm, Newt Gingrich will be speaking at the ProsperiTea Rally in Greensboro.  Governmental Plaza in Downtown Greensboro. 

For more information click here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Braces off!

Last week both S&J had their bottom braces removed and this week it is the top!  Exciting stuff!  Look at that beautiful smile! I'll add S's photo after we get back tomorrow.  The boys also had hair cuts today, so imagine this picture with shorter hair!  :o)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hawks Baseball

I think we are halfway through the season. Sean has been playing first base, pitching and a bit of outfield.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Peace Out

I love this new beetle bug car stamp!  Too cute.  I made these cards today. I stamped "Peace Out" on the license plate.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Interesting Gas Station Encounter

Today has been an eventful day on the political front.  First a reader comment about me published in the Winston-Salem Journal and an interesting gas station encounter.   I brought my middle son to the orthodontist this morning and we stopped for gas on our way back home.  As you can see, my suburban is a work of art and a definite conversation starter.

The gas station attendant was an elderly gentleman and he said to me, "I'm surprised your window hasn't been shot out with that sign on it."   He was friendly enough.  I had to laugh because, really, if you had a choice between the window or the back of my car, which would you say made a better target?

I think he may have been conservative because he seemed to like some of my bumper stickers.  I just thought it was an interesting encounter. The Winston-Salem Journal called to verify my sending in a letter in response, so maybe it will be published tomorrow.  I'm sure it will open me up for more attacks.  It's okay-- I'm a big conservative girl.  I can handle the heat. Heck, I do drive around in this white suburban, after all.

Card Break

Between doctor visits, political rallies and homeschooling, I fit in a bit of crafting!  I made these cards for a friend whose children are receiving First Holy Communion and Confirmation this year:

Another Liberal Attack

Ah... it is okay, I'm a big girl conservative, so I can take it. In fact, their attacks are compliments to me.

 A friend alerted me to a reader letter in our local liberal rag, the Winston-Salem Journal. Rick Mashburn writes:


 Pattie Curran? Hmmm. The name rings a bell. Isn't she the mom with the teen sons who got ambushed at the opera by the twiggy thing bent in the shape of a lady-part ("Opera patron unhappy with art," March 16)? But wait. There's a person named Pattie Curran who organized a protest and spoke to the media in opposition to insurance coverage for reproductive healthcare ("Rally scheduled to protest birth control rules," March 20). That's the same Pattie Curran. Hmmm. But wouldn't that mean she had political objections to the lady-part art, since its title clearly makes a comment on the current reproductive healthcare controversy? Which in turn would mean that she was not completely honest in her argument for placing notification on the art? Hmm. Seems like maybe it was the art that got ambushed."

 I wrote a short response and submitted it to the paper (will follow these comments). Where do these liberals live? So, I can't have a political opinion? Really? Sadly, he heard what he wanted to hear and not what I actually said. While I do not agree with the political sentiment or any of the political sentiments expressed in ANY of the art displayed that evening, the messages themselves needed no parental notification. It was the display of a V that was over the top for student night.   If a right wing conservative (note the opera had no right leaning art) had an art piece of a V displayed at the opera, my response would have been the same.

I told ALL the reporters and even the opera director himself that I was very political and that I had no problem with them posting their political art all over-- remember folks, I didn't even ask that the piece be removed. Just asked that they give parental notification, just as they do for sex education in schools. Once again, I have been honest about my political leanings. I am far right and not embarrassed to share that fact. However, I am able to articulate my points without the use of vulgarity.  Not wanting to see porn is not a political statement.  Even some of my far left-leaning friends wrote letters objecting to the art being displayed without parental notification.

My letter to the paper (we'll see if it gets published!):

 "Love the "Ambushed" reader comment. Do liberals ever listen or do they only hear what they want to hear? 1) The political comments at the opera did not bother me AT ALL.... they have the right to express their political views even when I disagree 2) They have the right to display a V at their opera, I didn't say they should remove it 3) PARENTAL notification is required for SEX EDUCATION-- should not the opera have given parental notification? 4) "Ambushed" letter writer, Rick Mashburn, you get an A plus for being so astute in your observations. Yes, I am the same Pattie Curran. Notice at the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally WE stood up for our first amendment rights using our first amendment rights WITHOUT any vulgarity. Men, women and children were protesting that day and there was not a single display of objectionable material or art. Imagine that-- we can articulate our positions without objectifying women. What a novel idea! Pattie Curran"

Good gravy. Liberals need to get a grip. Yes, I am conservative and disagree with the entire message of the art-- note that I didn't mention the pro-homosexuality piece or the Obama piece-- who cares if I agree or disagree with the message. Like I've said over and over-- even at ADULT night, my reaction would have been different. It was not appropriate for the Piedmont Opera to display a V on Student Night without parental notification. For this Mr. Mashburn to say I wasn't honest is unconscionable. I told everyone exactly where I stood and even told the opera director himself that it wasn't the pro-Obama message that was the problem. It was the vulgarity and the art I considered porn being displayed on Student night. Can you imagine what the left would do if Rush Limbaugh displayed Vs at one of his events to get his political points across? Oh, right, there's always that double standard-- they can do it, but the right can't. Darn... always gets in the way..... that we have a sense of decorum and have moral convictions.

Official Video for the Nationwide Religious Freedom Rallies

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wake Forest Hosts NC Tea Party Debates

Watch live this evening at:

Fr. John's Speech at the Indianapolis Rally

Obama was right.... before he was wrong

Refuting Obama's 99%

This past week has been exciting, crazy and fun. I had the audacity to say that the Winston-Salem Journal was a liberal rag this week.... it upset one of the reporters and he sent me a message. I replied, "Any paper who quotes Obama for statistics on Women's health issues is a liberal rag." I invited him to debate the topic in public, he declined. Why not explain why you think I am wrong in public? I am not afraid and I have a backbone. I stick to my claim that the Winston-Salem Journal is a liberal rag. Here is a nice article refuting the paper's claim and Obama's claim that 99% of women have used contraception. The CDC says Obama is wrong. Why didn't the Winston-Salem Journal do a bit of research before quoting Obama's false statistic? It seems to me that 99% would be high given the population of UNDERAGE women..... but the CDC says 13.9% have never had sex. Obama clearly doesn't know what he is talking about. A point the paper and Obama seem to miss is this: it DOESN'T matter what percentage of women do or don't use contraception! The Catholic Church has always taught that contraception is wrong, and therefore, it does not matter. The Catholic Church should never be forced to pay for something it proclaims to be morally wrong. Keep in mind that the Catholic Church allows for and covers birth control pills used to treat DISEASE. We are not afraid of this battle. We will fight to stop the HHS mandate and to repeal Obamacare. Here comes the Catholic Church.

Test of Fire: Election 2012