Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Top 10 Apple iPod Touch Apps for English and Language Arts Teachers

The Top 10 Apple iPod Touch Apps for English and Language Arts Teachers

Check out these free apps! We already have a few of them, but some are apps I had not seen or heard about. Fun stuff!

Picture of the Day

Letter Raed in Many Catholic Churches Yesterday

It wasn't read in our church, but I've heard from many friends who said itvwasvread, or portions were read in their churches. A few even commented that their homily was on the same subject.
We need to pray and fast. Obama must be stopped.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Judge Stops Obama Admin From Silencing Pro-Life Activist | LifeNews.com

Judge Stops Obama Admin From Silencing Pro-Life Activist | LifeNews.com

Obama keeps losing in court.......you'd think being a lawyer and teaching constitutional law, he might be a better judge of things.

Obama and the Catholic vote - TheHill.com

Obama and the Catholic vote - TheHill.com

I did not vote for Obama. I'm pretty shocked that Obama is attacking the Catholic Church in an elections year, but it might pull Catholics together in opposition to Obama, which, in my opinion, is a good thing. Obama needs to be defeated.

Let the Quiet Children Come to Me?

I often wonder if "quiet" is a word many Catholics insert into Jesus' words when He says, "Let the children come to me." He didn't qualify that statement with "quiet", "well-behaved" or "mute".  Our parish instituted a new policy last year sometime.  Announcements about disruptive children being brought out were being made every week along with announcements about the "training room".  We eventually began a nursery at one Mass.  Note: this is not a teaching of the Catholic Church, it is a policy of our local parish.  One I hope will change. Here is a good article on the subject: For Crying Out Loud

Not long after the policy went into effect, the priest asked a woman to take her child out during the homily.  I was shocked, as the child was not being noisy.  He was moving around a bit, sure, but 3 year olds do that. I complained.  Then, the policy changed to making awkward pauses during the Mass for any noise or disruption. It has evolved into an atmosphere of complete intolerance for any noise, good or bad - from children. Adults talking during Mass goes without any punishment at all.  I call the pauses and the asking people to leave Mass punishments.

Yesterday, this policy escalated into a new level of intolerance.  Not only was Mass paused, but several parishioners, including an adult parishioner serving up on the altar, stared down a family whose baby cooed, babbled and made a few grunting noises.  This baby was not crying.  I was sitting directly behind this family with their precious children. Two well behaved toddlers and a baby in a car carrier. Really? A baby coos and people feel it is okay to turn their heads and stare them down?  I'd never seen this family at Mass before and I hope they were not scared away.   I was shocked by their actions and found it ironic that the man on the altar and one other parishioner staring had often disturbed me and my family with their conversations during the homily and even the Consecration! 

I am opposed to cry rooms, training rooms and nurseries.  We do not raise Catholic children by keeping them out of the church. We raise Catholic children by having them celebrate the Mass with us in the actual church and teaching them proper behavior and reverence.

My letter to the parish council (I just emailed it to them all):

Dear Parish Council,

The quiet baby policy has now escalated to an unacceptable level of intolerance.  I’ve addressed each of these issues with Father XXX in the past, and have decided that it is best to inform the council of my thoughts regarding this matter.  I find it quite ironic that those who stare down families whose babies coo or babble are often the ones who have disturbed me and my family with their endless chatter during Mass (even during the homily and Consecration!). I suggest adding announcements for restless, talkative adults.  Perhaps suggest that the training room is there for them, as well.

Yesterday, there was a family directly in front of me with a baby and two young sons.  Very well behaved young sons, I might add.  The baby DID NOT cry during Mass. They baby cooed and babbled.  I was embarrassed by the level of intolerance shown by my fellow parishioners, including one adult male serving up on the altar.  At one point, the man on the altar stared at this family for at least one entire minute.  I was horrified—he was standing sideways and adjusted his head so as to give them the “evil eye” when all their baby was doing was making a few coos and babbles. 

My husband and I have already decided we would no longer attend Mass at this parish if we have any more children.  No matter how wonderful, generous or brilliant the other parishioners are, they can never make up for the torment, embarrassment and torture parents must go through when their baby is cooing and babbling.  A crying child seems to be an unforgivable sin. If we are truly a pro-life people, we would be filled with joy when we heard the voices of children. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.”  He didn’t qualify that statement with “quiet”, “well-behaved” or “mute”.  Perhaps, the noise of children are the prayers God enjoys most.

Crying babies are a completely different matter, and not the point of my letter.  We do not agree with cry rooms, training rooms or nurseries.  We do not raise Catholic children by keeping them out of the church. We raise Catholic children by having them celebrate the Mass with us in the actual church and teaching them proper behavior and reverence. Children are not perfect, just as adults are not perfect.  I personally am more irritated by adults who talk during Mass than any child who babbles or even cries. If you are going to punish families with pausing the Mass, evil looks and announcements, you need to treat the adult offenders accordingly.  I am utterly disgusted by the treatment this precious family received on Sunday.  I’ve not liked the policy from the very beginning, have voiced my opinion on the matter and believe, we, as a parish, have finally crossed the line.

One last note—while I do not care about the change in Mass times, I find it quite ironic that you expect parents to make their children behave inside the church, but do not require it outside the church. Isn’t is a bit ridiculous to be changing the Mass times when all that would be required would be to make parents be responsible for their own children? How about a few announcements about that?

If interested, here is a link to an article called “For Crying Out Loud”  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/01/for-crying-out-loud-a-pastors-message-to-parents/

Pattie Curran

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quote of the Day

As I head to Mass, I am going to reflect upon this quote (below my ramblings), pray for Obama and his administration, pray for the Supreme Court to reach the proper ruling on this attack of religious freedom and pray for our nation. I believe our nation is headed in the wrong direction and we need to pray, pray, pray and vote pro-life and pro-religious freedom (i.e. not vote for Obama). These attacks on religious freedoms cannot stand.  The last attack by the Obama administration was tossed out by a unanimous (that's all 9 justices) decision of the Supreme Court.  Obama and his administration wanted to force churches to ordain men and women-- the Supreme Court stopped him and upheld religious freedom.

"The Catholic Church defends religious liberty, including freedom of conscience, for everyone. The Amish do not carry health insurance. The government respects their principles. Christian Scientists want to heal by prayer alone, and the new health-care reform law respects that. Quakers and others object to killing even in wartime, and the government respects that principle for conscientious objectors."

"By its decision, the Obama administration has failed to show the same respect for the consciences of Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease. This latest erosion of our first freedom should make all Americans pause. When the government tampers with a freedom so fundamental to the life of our nation, one shudders to think what lies ahead."

- Cardinal-Elect Dolan of NY

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blank Note

Threw this together tonight: 

Unity KOM Sketch Challenge

I made this for the January KOM Challenge at Unity. Another Mito Awareness card.

The Pope and Bishops Speak about the Conscience Laws (or lack thereof)

What the Holy Father and others are saying about conscience protections

The Obama Administration has opened another can of worms. They failed to realize that Catholic American Patriots will not stand by and allow a tyrannical government to attack our Catholic Faith. The Pope spoke the day before the ruling by HHS to force the Catholic Church to cover birth control and abortion drugs. Archbishop Dolan also had a great response to the HHS ruling. Excerpts can be seen at the above link.

I am willing to defend my faith-- with my life. America was founded by the blood of patriots who realized that religious freedom must be protected.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Does it Say......

When a US President is a lawyer and taught Constitutional law and his agenda of religious persecution is unanimously rejected by all 9 Supreme Court Justices? Yes, there is something fundamentally wrong our colleges and universities. It says that he is part of the problem.

I'm just a state college graduate. No Ivy League for me. Yet, I can read the First Amendment and it seems clear to me: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Mr. Obama, you already lost on trying to force churches to ordain men and women. The court unanimously said you were WRONG. On the issue of forcing the Catholic Church to cover and dispense birth control and abortion drugs, even the Washington Post is on our side. That really says a lot -- Once again you are wrong and will receive a fail. Obamacare is a fail. It needs to be repealed. Those of us on the right kept telling people this would happen, that the government would mandate and dictate our freedoms away once Obamacare passed.

God is on our side, Obama. God is bigger than the Obama Administration.

Obama Picks Fight with Catholics

Monday, January 23, 2012

Live, Laugh, Love

This is what I've been working on today: 

I found this sketch design on-line at Sweet Shop:

March for Life

A news report from yesterday reports 400,000 marchers last year. EWTN reports that 500,00 showed up this year. This video is a wonderful story-- an abortion survivor tells her story. She says she is living proof that it isn't just a choice.  

Occupy Washington, DC - March for Life

 The Obama Administration's recent decision wants to force the Catholic Church to also cover abortion drugs (the day after pill, etc) in its insurance plans and at its hospitals. On this anniversary of Roe v Wade, let us commit to protect all life and defend the Constitutional values this country was founded upon. Without Life, there can be NO liberty or pursuit of happiness. 

I'm proud of my oldest son, who will soon be 18.  He and a friend took a bus to Washington, DC for the March for life.  Here is a picture from this past year, that I just love. The heart has "choose" written all over the inside.He, and many, many others are Occupying Washington, DC today and defending life!  God bless

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Work in Progress

I found this sketch challenge at the Sweet Shop blog (click on image to visit the blog) and I want to make a card using the sketch.  If you check out their blog, you'll see several cute examples with this sketch design. I hope I can come up with something as cute!

All Things Considered

I've never been angry with a president of the United States and his Administration. Never. There is a first time for everything. I was in the military and can say that I was really not that fond of Clinton. I remember living in California during the Carter years, the long gas lines.....and I never felt anger.

I suppose, this is really the first time I have felt religious persecution. I am Catholic and the Obama Administration is blatantly attacking the Catholic Church. They are blatantly violating our First Amendment Rights. Forcing the Catholic Church to cover birth control, something that it finds to be morally objectionable, is against the Constitution. Oh, wait, we're supposed to be happy because he is giving the Church a year to comply. Read one article here: BHO Birth Control

What is next? Will the Amish be forced to buy into the new plan and pay social security? Will the Quakers be forced to sign up for the selective service draft? The BHO administration defines a tax exempt religious organization as one whose employees and clients are 100% that religion. So, the Catholic Church helps the poor-- no matter their religion. So will they force the Catholic Church to shut down its hospitals and stop caring for the poor because they service people of all faiths, creeds, sexual orientation, race or gender?

Time will tell. All things considered, the 2012 election is a battle and this picture sums up how I feel:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Newt Blasts John King

Newt did an excellent job last night.  He defended everyone on the stage.  The media bias is sickening.  If he were a Democrat, they wouldn't be asking the questions, saying that it was his personal life. I don't condone Newts sins, but at the same time, he has confessed (he has said he has asked God for forgiveness and I assume he means in confession since he is Catholic) and says he is a changed man.  I've had many discussions with people about Newt. St. Paul was a murderer, St. Augustine had children out of wedlock..... even our founding fathers had their transgressions. I am not in the business of judging a man's conversion to God or his heart.

What Ron Paul Wants

I read a great article in the WSJ today on What Ron Paul Wants. I agree with the article. Ron Paul makes me nervous. Not only does his pro-life record match the 50% of Harry Reid's, I think he uses "states' rights" as a cop out.

What about the Mann Act that prohibits crossing state lines selling sex? Is Mr. Paul fighting to get that repealed?If Mr. Paul is pro-life, hew would support a Constitutional Amendment ban abortion.  Without Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not possible. Our founding fathers were clear that we all had the unalienable right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

States' rights is a valid argument, but we must realize that we live in an America where States' Rights have been watered down and where a Federal Government has often overstepped its bounds. We do need to work on giving rights back to the states, but we also need to protect the number one unalienable right, too. The right to life.  The Roe v Wade decision made abortion a federal issue and now we must work to defend life at the state AND federal level.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

From Pearl harbor to Hiroshima

I love books! As I am fond of telling people, my husband doesn't worry if I tell him I am going shopping for clothes, but panics if I tell him I am going to the book store.  Interactive books are even better.  From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima: The War in the Pacific is an excellent book for kids (and adults!).  We've had fun not only reading the pages, but pulling out the replicas of original telegrams and even the notes of President Roosevelt's address to Congress. 

My youngest is doing a research paper on Pearl Harbor this year, so we purchased this book for his studies.  I really like how it is a simplified version of each campaign in the Pacific, setting up very nicely how Japan came to attack the United States at Pearl Harbor and finishing with each of the battles in the Pacific. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My First Lemon Blossom!

I've had my lemon tree for almost a complete year and I am so happy to see my first lemon blossom!   This is a Meyer lemon tree and I can't wait to taste the fruit.

I love lemons, can you tell?  If you want to know more about lemons, I have info on my cooking blog- www.pattieskitchen.blogspot.com

Geaux Tigers!

This is what I found when I walked past my oldest son's room this morning.  The shirts he has not washed all season long:

I wondered, for a moment, "Is he throwing them away or going to put them in the wash?"  He's worn these shirts for every game this Season and wouldn't let me wash them.  He's learned that lucky charms don't work.  Even with the defeat at the National Championship, LSU still had a great season.  13-1 is nothing to scoff at.  They were undefeated in the conference, won the SEC championship and only lost one game this season.  Like Les said in this video interview, "They accomplished a lot this season."   It hurts to go out the way they did in the last contest, but over all-- it was an amazing season, Tigers.  Les' post game interview

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Latest in Politics

Santorum won Iowa.  I consider it a win. If Romney, who has been campaigning for President for 5 plus years can't pull off winning by more than 8 votes, it is a win for Santorum.  Now that he did so well in Iowa, the attacks have begun.  Santorum's Catholicism Attacked  is an article I read this morning.  As I read it, I thought, "Of course they are going to attack his Catholicism."  They won't attack any other religion, but they WILL attack Catholicism"  Where are the people attacking Romney and Huntsman's Mormonism?

McCain endorsed Romney the other night and we had a good laugh. I'm not sure that helps Romney.  McCain attacked Romney's flip-flopping on many things, but was particularly hard on his pro-choice-pro-life flip-flopping.  I had to wonder why McCain didn't endorse a candidate with pro-life views, like Santorum or Newt. Oh, that's right, he is a moderate, so of course he'd endorse the MA moderate in the race.  In my opinion, Romney is a liberal. MA conservative = liberal in my book.

I'd love to see a Gingrich/Santorum ticket.  I like them both.  Romney's dirty politics and negative ads turn me off. His not being a true conservative turn me off. I'm hoping the Republican establishment doesn't nominate him just because he is an establishment Republican that they feel has the best chance to win. There are many of us out here who believe the only way to beat Obama in the next election is to run a true conservative against him.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Elements, moles and equations, oh MY!

We've been working on Chemistry with fervor the last few days. It has been nice having time away from doctor's visits! We can put forth 100% of our energy toward school, well, after everyone got over the cold they shared, they have put forth about 95% effort into school! ~smile~

My favorite Chemistry curriculum is Friendly Chemistry, in case you're just dying to know.  We are not using it in high school, but used it in middle school as a foundation for high school chemistry.  It could certainly be used by high school students, though. It covers the topics very well and make it very easy to understand the concepts. In fact, we used it as a reference a few times the last few days. We also like the videos at Khan Academy - check them out!  They are free.  Their videos cover topics in all school subjects and we've found the biology and chemistry tutorial videos to be quite helpful. Of course, we love our chemistry set, too.

Yesterday, we were going over Avogadro's number and figuring out problems using it and I kept thinking of Avocados. The names sounds similar. I couldn't help it.   Today, we balanced more equations than I care to admit, just to be sure the oldest truly understood the concept.  I'll be dreaming of equations in my sleep.  Which brings me to my next point.

Each child is different.  My two youngest seem to remember chemistry from middle school, while my oldest seems to have dumped it all from his memory! How can it be that the two children in my house NOT taking chemistry are yelling out the answers and the one who IS currently enrolled in chemistry sits with a blank stare?  Followed by one of the other two saying, "Dude! Mom has gone over this with us every year since we were in fifth grade!"   I just have to laugh.  Ask my oldest about  politics, the US Presidents, the Catholic faith or the NFL and he seems to remember everything. He seems to do well in the things that interest him.  Isn't that true for us all to some degree? 

We'll wake up tomorrow, say a prayer and hope he's retained enough to pass the test! ~smile~  I'm sure he'll do just fine. I know he can balance equations!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cupid's Facebook Page

My youngest son got a BIG idea from a friend.  He decided to create a page on Facebook for Cupid. I told him that it was okay as long as he was sure to watch his grammar!  He says Valentine is jealous and needs her own page, too.  Right.  I'm using the creation of a page for Valentine as an incentive to finish his school work today. 

It really is stupid how cute Cupid is.  I posted a badge to the left (scroll down) and you'll see she isn't just an ordinary cat.  It might be fun to imagine what life is like through her eyes.  An experiment in English. Maybe this project will help my youngest gain command over the English language.... or, perhaps, I'll escape reality and help him out.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Saint Companion for 2012

A friend of mine has been picking a saint companion for the last few years, and I decided to give it a try.  What is a saint companion? A saint companion is a saint you pick at the beginning of the year and journey with throughout the year -- you grow in faith as you learn about your chosen saint. You also ask this saint to help you and to pray for you throughout the year.   Here is a saint generator  you might like to give a whirl:  Saint's Name Generator

My friend picked a saint for me.  Bl. Mother Teresa will be my companion for 2012.  I really like this idea and can't wait to learn more about one of my favorite people. I'm betting Mother Teresa will be able to help me in many areas of my life!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blessed Oils

Until this afternoon after Mass, I had never really given much thought to blessed oil and all the rules surrounding its use. I knew blessed oil was different than Holy Oils and that lay Catholics cannot anoint people. Now I know the rest of the story!

We've used St. Joseph's oil  in the past (oil that burns in the lamp under the statue of St. Joseph in St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal) and blessed oil that is in our wedding crucifix.  Hubby's dad was healed through the intercession of Bl. Brother Andre and this has always given us a special affection for Bl. Brother Andre. His parents brought oil back for us on their last trip to Montreal many, many years ago. 

St. Joseph's oil was special to us, too. We  passed  along what we had left about 3 years ago to a lady who was battling cancer.  I remember using the St. Joseph's oil when we lost our fourth pregnancy.  Of course, the night before, we did not know the baby was dead. We prayed the rosary when I started having "complications" and I remember Chris getting out the St. Joseph's Oil and blessing me with it as he prayed over me.  We continued to pray and hope for the best. Followed doctor's orders and the next day, we found Thomas' heart was no longer beating. They induced labor and he was given a conditional baptism by the pathologist with the Holy Water I brought from home. She used the prayer from my Mother's manual and everything (Our priest at the time refused to come out to the hospital).  I'll never forget her tears and her hugging us after she'd given him a conditional baptism.  I really think the blessed oil, the Holy Water and all of our sacramentals gave us blessings we needed to get through those long days.

Last year, a  friend gave me some scented blessing oil that had not been blessed.  It smells like church because it is Frankincense and Myrrh scented. Absolutely lovely. Or yummy, both words describe it well.   This oil sat by my door for at least a year, until today because I am so forgetful.

After Mass, I asked Father to bless the oil and he looked perplexed as he asked me, "What is it?"  I said, "Scented oil for blessing."  I forget exactly what he said, but he didn't want to bless it.  He mentioned something about people being confused between a blessing and anointing of the sick.  I asked him if it was wrong to bless someone with oil and told him my boys know the difference between the Anointing of the Sick and a blessing.  I was confused by his response because we'd blessed our children and each other with oil before. Certainly not a common practice, but we'd done it at certain "special" times.  I started to walk away and he had second thoughts, I guess, because he grabbed my hand and blessed the oil. 

This  exchange made me research things. This was a policy I came across that made me feel much better. (I couldn't find one specific to our diocese online):


No permission is necessary for the private use of blessed oil by individuals to bless themselves or members of their families.

The faculty is granted to pastors and priest-chaplains to give permission for lay ministers to use blessed oil for ministry to the sick in their parish or institution.

When blessed oil is used in the ministry of healing care must be taken to avoid any confusion with the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, which may be celebrated only by a priest. The minister should always make it clear that the blessing is in no way regarded as the sacrament of the sick. A lay minister may not perform anointings either with the oil of the sick or with any unblessed oil.

Blessed oil, used as a sacramental, must be blessed by a priest or deacon using a distinct formula of blessing (Book of Blessings, chapter 59).

A prayer must always accompany the application of the blessed oil since sacramentals achieve their effects through the Church’s intercession (Book of Blessings, #10; Sacrosanctum Concilium, #60).
Blessed oil may be used by a designated lay minister at the conclusion of the Order for the Blessing of the Sick (Book of Blessings, chapter 2), or likewise, at the conclusion of the rite of a visit to the sick (Pastoral Care of the Sick, chapters 1 and 2), provided that the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister are followed.

Bless Yous

What a crazy week this has been.  It started off with a member of our parish saying one of the rudest things that has ever been said to us and ended with a fabulous opportunity to learn more about my faith. We strive to be authentic Catholics. We fail. A lot.  We battle the same sins daily and strive to do better.  We have a lot of what we call "Bless Yous" each and every day.

On the illness front, Sean has had 6 headaches in 8 days and my oldest caught a nasty bug from a friend and spread it to his youngest brother. The first day of 2012 started off with illness.  Here's hoping we can avoid any trips to the doctor or hospital before we have our neurology appointment!  Sean helped to decorate the church for Christmas in spite of having a headache.  He managed to have a good Christmas while battling a headache, too.  If you saw him at church, you'd never know. He is naturally quiet, so it isn't always apparent that he is in pain.

I have to remind myself that some people do not understand and will never understand life with chronically ill kids. They may not put together the number of times any particular child is not present at Mass with our family or even realize they are there battling pain.  I'm putting this comment into my "rudest things said by a church member at church" file.  This tops Church Lady telling me it was a blessing and a curse to know our family and later sending me a letter in the mail saying satan has a hold on me.  Lovely things people say, huh?  This is the part of being Catholic folks might not write about often - the bless yous we encounter on a daily basis. Okay, so church lady was really quite a bless you, but this one......

Just before midnight Mass, a man put his hand on Chris and when Chris asked what he needed, what he could do, the man replied, "Oh, I don't need you, I need someone who will actually do something and not just push their children on us."  He ignored my asking twice, "What do you mean push our children on you?'  Bless you.  That is what we say to people who say or do rude, strange things.  Bless you.  I spent most of Mass thinking bad thoughts about this man (mostly when I heard his voice).  I've gone to confession.... still don't have my question answered.  How do we not judge those who judge us?   Especially when we let these things slide, never cause a problem and go about our merry way.  This is the same man who called our house three times to tell our family the boys should not serve so much.  THEN pulled my oldest aside after Mass one day to tell him he was too old to altar serve.  Bless you. 

If you haven't figured out what a "Bless You" is, it is anything that someone does that is odd, of, strange, rude or otherwise and you can't think of anything nice to say about the person or the action.  We just say, "Bless You".  It goes hand in hand with the old saying, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  

I've been praying and reflecting and I truly hope that I have never said anything so rude to anyone.  I'm not perfect, so there but for the grace of God go I.  I still have no idea what he meant by that statement and I still know we are not the most active members in our parish.  We try to help where we are able. I could psychoanalyze this until the cows come home and never have my answer. Is he upset that my boys serve at funerals and we don't participate?  It could be any of a million things!

More about the fabulous opportunity in a bit.  Not quite a bless you, but something I found interesting along this journey of trying to live a truly Catholic life.