Saturday, February 28, 2009

Go Pope Benedict!

I've always been a news buff. However, recently it has become more than just a passing thing. I've become obsessed with it. Hours of Fox News Channel and C-Span watching all the debates on the House and Senate floors. Especially now that we have a president that frightens me! As a Lenten penance I've drastically cut back on my news watching.

The decision to do this came about when Jacob recently discussed with me something he had read in his catechism studies. It said you should not become overly obsessed with politics unless it makes a difference in your soul obtaining heaven. Wow! When he discussed this with me I must say he was very respectful and not preachy.

So, even though I've cut way back on the amount of time I watch The Fox New Channel this lent. (In hopes it becomes the routine even after.) I have allowed myself to stay abreast on the Freedom of Choice Act and any news pertaining to Abortion. Which lead me to read this article:

Thank you Pope Benedict!! You are a righteous man and I only pray she heads your words.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Relay for Life

It is amazing how many people a person can know in a lifetime. It is even more amazing to realize how many of those people have had cancer.

One of the American Cancer Society's largest income provider/fund raiser is the Relay for Life. Who doesn't know of one in their area? Who hasn't contributed or participated in a Relay for Life? Although I have contributed/supported in the past, this year will be my first time participating.

Only a week after my father's diagnosis with lung cancer our parish announced they wanted to put together a team for the local Relay for Life. Do you think maybe God was telling me something? I joined and recruited 2 other friends to join also.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daffodils and Grass

Today started out a little nippy, but sunny. So Mike got right to work on the yard.

A couple from church brought us two large mounds of dirt filled with daffodil bulbs. We had discussed with them our quandary over the landscaping and they wanted to help ease our pain. That was the project Mike set out to accomplish this morning, with a little help. Separate the bulbs from the mound of clay/dirt and get them planted.

We also took a ride "up town" to buy some grass seed. A 50 lb bag "should get us started"? Yes, only started Mike said.

It is now the end of the day, the temp. is in the 60s, I'm cooking dinner on the grill as I write and we have daffodils and grass planted.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Our Lives Have Been Changed

Where to begin...I haven't blogged in over a week.

On Thursday, February 12, we received word that my father has cancer. What a blow! It turned my families world on it's side. This is a 76 year old man who other than having to take high blood pressure and cholesterol pills has been the picture of health. He has always lived his life like nothing would ever effect him and in return I guess the rest of us did too.

My brother Joe and his wife had this past week off and Mike's schedule was a short week so they drove to our house last Saturday, 2/14. I then went with them to Florida on Sunday. While Mike took over the mommy duties here at home we helped mom and dad in Florida. We drove them to appointments, and made new ones, made phone calls to insurance companies, and hunted down x-rays and cat scan disks. We were also there to listen and support emotionally as dad slowly accepted his prognosis.

This week, him and mom are alone, but have 7 scheduled doctor appointments or procedures to keep them busy. I'm sure with 5 kids and 16 grand kids, who all love them very much, the empty house won't happen too often.

So, our lives have all changed, but we are a hearty bunch. We all have a strong faith and prayer life that mom and dad have instilled in us all. I'm confident we will get through this battle together.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sometimes, it sounds so sweet.

The pizza dough for dinner is rising on the counter. The cookies are baked and dishes are washed. The laundry is washed, folded and put away. And a cake is baking in the oven for an event at church tomorrow. So, I decided to sit and do some knitting.

When...Mike announces he wants to take a ride and do some exploring. I just didn't feel like it. He took all three kids with him and I'm now enjoying a QUIET house. I'm sure I wouldn't be able to handle this on a permanent or regular basis, but sometimes it is nice. I shouldn't feel guilty about that. Right? I love being a stay-at-home mom, who also home schools, and I'm not even tempted or inclined to change it. But, I have to believe that even a saint like the Mother Mary herself must have felt blessed when she was awarded a moment of silence.

Don't you think?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is it really patience?

We have a serious up hill climb (no pun intended living where we do) with regard to our landscaping. When I say, "we" I meant mostly Mike, because you know I would rather spend my free time knitting. There is the learning curve on how to work with this orange clay they consider to be dirt in this part of Virginia, to factor into the process as well.

As I've mentioned on my blog before, Mike has the skill and determination to get most anything accomplished. If there is one thing I've learned being married for nearly 22 years it is just stay out of his way during the process. However, as he has aged he seems to have developed more patience while working. See all the help he gets:

Don't you just love the dress and those fireman's boots?

Or maybe it is a combination of the fresh mountain air with a few beers that helps with the patience:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Field Trip

One of the many colleges in this area of Virginia is, Sweet Briar College, the campus is gorgeous, and the public is free to roam and enjoy it's splendor. The lake, and hiking/biking trails are only a couple of the features the campus offers.

The weather has been exceptional the past few days, and today was perfect weather for a field trip. The kids and I got together with another Catholic home school family and headed for the Sweet Briar Campus. The mom of the other family is actually an alumni of the college, so she headed the expedition.

We walked the trails. Visited the riding stables and watched a riding lesson. Then when we went to the fine arts building a professor allowed us to sit in on a opera class. The girls are preparing for their show in May "The Pirates of Penzance".

Haley of course now wants to go there when she is ready, most likely for the riding opportunities. Jacob wishes he could go, because it is an all girls school.

Looking forward to capitalizing on this little gem again in the future.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

In February?

Mike's work schedule is a little awkward, but we are adjusting to it. He works 12 hour shifts Saturday - Monday. Therefore, the kids and I have adjusted our school schedule to be the same as his, allowing us more time to do things as a family when he is off of work. Also, while everyone else is in school and work! Our Friday has become like most people's Sunday and Saturday has turned into a Monday.

Yesterday was expected to be a warm sunny day, so we packed a lunch and headed off without any real plan, just off to explore our small corner of Virginia. We quickly discovered that it wasn't warming up too quickly when we came upon the Blue Ridge Parkway. They close the Parkway down for the winter, but we were able to park and walk it. The views were awesome and the sun felt warm. There also seemed to be a little more snow than we had at home.

Looking forward to going back when the Parkway is open!

After some more exploring and realizing there isn't too much to do in February no matter where you live we headed back home. Faith spotted some picnic tables that are set up on part of the Appalachian trail, not too far from home, so we stopped to have our packed lunch. It wasn't too cold in the sun. Mike even walked the trail for a little. (Very little!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Simple Gift

I finished the cutest little knitted head band. Here is a photo of it.

I spotted the pattern on Ravelry about a month ago and knew I wanted to give it try. Then last week my sister Suzanne was telling me about my niece Renee who is at school in Rhode Island and is fed up with the cold weather. So, I made it with her in mind. Thought I would send it to her to help her get through the last few weeks of New England cold.

(Pretty sure Renee doesn't have time to read my blog, so the surprise to her should be safe.)

For those knitters out there, the pattern is called Quant by Star Athena. The yarn is James C. Brett - Marble. It worked up super fast and would make a quick easy gift.

Monday, February 2, 2009

On Groundhog Day - 52 years ago

Today Mom and Dad celebrate their 52nd Wedding Anniversary. Congratulations to you Mom and Dad, and Happy Anniversary!

It is a wonderful tribute, not only to your love for each other, but for your belief in God and love of your family. I love you both very much.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Near and Dear to My Heart

"Freedom of Choice Act" Do you know what that is? It is the bill which "declares that it is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child; terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability; or terminate a pregnancy after viability when necessary to protect her life or her health."

In short it is a bill that pro-choice advocates in Congress are trying to pass making it a federal law that every woman would have the right to an abortion. It would no longer be a state by state law but a federally mandated law. No matter how long the woman has been pregnant, no matter her age a parent wouldn't have to be notified. Even if the baby was born alive during the abortion, a doctor would not be allowed to save the child. It is more than scary the things that are in this proposed bill.

When President Bush, a pro-life president, was in office the bill never made it past the house floor. There was no point in trying to pass it because President Bush would have Vetoed it without hesitation. However, now that Mr. Obama is president, to quote him, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do."

Some people think I'm absolutely crazy when I tell them the first thing I look at in a potential candidate running for any office, is if they are pro life. Some people don't look at this first and that is their freedom of "choice". However, I pray that people realize the effects of their vote after the fact.

I pray long and hard that this bill never becomes a law, because it will be pretty near impossible to over turn it once it happens. And I can't even imagine the COUNTLESS lives that will be lost or the woman that may be hurt long term from it if it happens.

I ask everyone, who may read this post and agrees in the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, to be vigilant in knowing how your senators and representative will vote when this bill comes before them. And if necessary tell them how you feel by calling or writing them.