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?