Sunday, October 6, 2013

Homeschool Drama

The other day, my MIL took Emma out for awhile, so I could unpack in peace (BTW, the new house is wonderful, but things have been NUTS!!). When she brought her back, she made a big deal about how they had met some kids for her to play with. My MIL does not get homeschooling at ALL. She must have said 5 or 6 times something along the lines of "(fill in the blank) when Emma starts school...". Each time, I said "she's already in school." Finally, I just ignored her, at the risk of saying something I'd need to go to Confession for. ;-)

So, anyway, I thought when Emma's Drama Camp came around, I would invite my MIL to the performance, so she could see how many kids Emma plays with (and that was actually a small sample, as we have other friends too). Well, when my MIL arrived, she commented on how MANY kids there were, running around. I said yes, this is our homeschool group that we do stuff with (I wanted to point out that I'm not the outcast freak she thought I was, and that I do indeed "socialize" the child). That of course, prompted a debate about homeschool vs. public school vs. Catholic school. Thankfully, the husband of one of my friends was right next to me, and he took her on. Quite successfully too. We told her about Common Core, and how God isn't allowed in public school anymore. We talked about testing, and all kinds of stuff. I think we maybe started to sway her a little. If that didn't totally take, then maybe Emma's birthday party will. The same family she debated with will be there. :-)

Drama Camp was awesome!!! The kids had so much FUN! They did the Gingerbread Cookie, and the kids decided what character to be, they painted the sets, one of them even did the face painting. Then at the show, they sold tickets and had a bake sale for charity. It was wonderful, and the rain even held off long enough for the show and dinner afterwards!

Emma was a pug puppy, and her line was "You look delicious, I want to eat you! Woof woof!" She belted it out, so everyone could hear, then after the kids all took a bow, Emma, who had been stuck behind some bigger kids, came to the front, and struck a pose. That's my girl! It was so great, she's already decided she's going back next year! :-D

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Meant to Be!

We got the house! We are all so excited! The new house has five bedrooms, and three bathrooms. One bedroom and bathroom are on the first floor, so my mom can have her own space, including keeping her current living room set in the new living room. Our living room set will go upstairs in the giant loft/family room. Most of the bedrooms are huge, and all have walk-in closets. The walk-in closet in the master bedroom is big enough for a crib and changing table (seriously!)! It's also already fenced in, so we can just put the dog(s?) outside without worry, and the back of the property is right against the community tennis courts, basketball court, volleyball, pool, and playground. There's also a baseball diamond, pond, and soccer field just down the road. The garage is huge, and has plenty of space for Mark's woodworking tools. We couldn't ask for a more perfect place for the entire family. Plus, it's not too far from our current neighbors to come play, and even closer to some of my other friends. :-)

                      2094 Lawrin Ct, Indianapolis, IN 46234

Chocolate Chip hadn't yet seen the new house, so we went there today, to show her, and to measure spaces for moving in. When we arrived, one of our new neighbors from across the cul-de-sac was outside, spraying weeds. As we were getting out of the car, our realtor was talking to her. She said her name was Marilyn (seemed very nice, friendly, and out-going). She said that when she moved in in 2008, she didn't know anybody, and now she feels like everybody in the neighborhood is family! I about got goose bumps! From the time I was in fifth grade, until I got married, we lived across from a fabulous elderly lady named Marilyn. She was very friendly, sweet, out-going, and was always outside in the summer time, doing things in the yard. She didn't have any children, and we soon adopted her as family. She came to call my kids her "Greats" (great-grandchildren), and we loved her as a mother/grandmother/great-grandmother. We eventually even took care of her, and my mother served as her Power-of-Attorney. To find out that our new neighbor across the street was a lady named Marilyn (from the look of it, probably my mom's age, or a little older), was like a sign from above that we did the right thing in buying this house. As of right now, we're planning on closing on the new house mid-October. Of course, Emma's birthday is October 9, and she wants her party in the new house, so we'll see.

It's all very exciting! Housewarming party in the near future...stay tuned for details!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013


House hunting with three very different adults is definitely not fun or case you wondered. I'm a city girl, but laid back, tend to go with the flow. Mark is a country boy (or at least, thinks he is), and it has to at least seem to him like it's his idea. My mom is very OCD, anal, very type A, which made her a wonderful nurse, but historically hard for me to live with. Try putting those three personalities together and go house hunting! If I loved it, he hated it, if he loved it, it was the west side of Danville, or the southeast side of Indianapolis. If mom loved it...nevermind. Mom didn't love anything.

We all found a beautiful home in Brownsburg acceptable, but Mark didn't think he'd fit in. I had all but given into the fact that between Mark and my mom, what I wanted wasn't happening, and I would just deal with whatever. Turned out it had an accepted offer anyway.

Well, we finally found a house we all love. I love the location, and the huge walk-in closets (the master bedroom's closet is big enough for a crib and changing table - no joke!). Mom loves the first floor bedroom and full bath. Mark loves the area, and yard. Even the girls love it. The heavens opened, and the angels are singing! We just have to sell mom's condo, which went on the market on Monday, and get out of this house without a problem...before somebody else finds our new house as wonderful as we did.

God Bless! :-)


Sunday, August 4, 2013


A couple of days ago, I posted my rant, and then a few minutes later, I posted about changes. The really weird part is that only my first post appears now, even though, that night I saw both of them...

Anyway, there have obviously been a lot of changes in our family over the last few months, and we are looking at even more coming our way. The most exciting change happened two days ago, when 4 1/2 year old Emma lost her first tooth! She was so scared and worried about it, that she wouldn't let anybody pull it, and she wouldn't pull it, so it finally got so loose, that it just fell out when she was talking! As you can see in the picture, she was obviously a little freaked out at first, but then she got very excited about the Tooth Fairy. That afternoon, I looked on Pinterest to find cute stuff to do for the Tooth Fairy, and found an adorable printable letter from the Tooth Fairy, and a receipt for the tooth, and the idea to put glitter glue (or glitter hairspray, but I didn't have any of that) on a dollar. She was so cute that next morning! She stapled her receipt to her paper, just like they do at the doctor's office (can you tell she comes to a lot of my mom's appointments with us?), and even showed it to the dog!

Then she asked me to Google how the Tooth Fairy gets in her room. Did you know that the Tooth Fairy has her own website? It has the story of how she became the Tooth Fairy, and the answers to just about any question a kid could have about it.

Another change is that a couple weeks ago, I had morning sickness, was exhausted, the whole shebang - felt as pregnant as could be...turned out to just be a raging case of PMS (sorry, TMI), but during that time, I found out that my husband is definitely okay with having another baby. This is very big, and great news! I have wanted another baby for a long time now, but until recently, he has not been on board with that idea. However, since my mom moved into our baby room, we have no space (unless it was a girl, and then she could just bunk with the other two, but since that is not guaranteed, we need a bigger house). Hence, the house hunting. I'm actively trying now, paying more attention to what my body tells me, so here's hoping! I don't get pregnant easily, so a prayer or two would be nice, too.

Also, we finally finished getting my mom's condo ready to show yesterday, even vacuumed! It wasn't as stressful and upsetting as I thought it would be, so that's good. I think it's because I know that Mark is okay with another baby anyway, and we're looking for a bigger house (he finally got over his temper-tantrum, and we've all found one in Brownsburg that we like). I think most of my being upset was that I felt like it was my mom or another baby, and I had chosen my mom, so the baby thing was gone forever. Now, we have a plan, and it'll be okay, still having another one.

One last (not as happy) change, is that they don't think my mom has MS anymore. They think it's a genetic disorder (one of two, actually) - either Tay Sachs or Niemann-Pick. Both are found most commonly in Ashkenazi Jewish people, and both of my mom's parents were Ashkenazi Jews. When I was pregnant, they tested me to see if I am a carrier for Tay Sachs, and I am. My dad (we're pretty sure) was descended from Western Europeans (England, France), so I could only have become a carrier for Tay Sachs from my mom's side. 1 in 27 Ashkenazi Jews are at least carriers. I don't know the stats for Niemann-Pick offhand, but it also runs in higher numbers in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. Both diseases are very rare for adults to get, but it is possible. Neither one has a prevention or treatment. Niemann-Pick is a death sentence, Tay Sachs is bad too, but doesn't have an expiration date. She had a blood test on Friday to check for these things, and we haven't heard back yet. She keeps asking me if she's positive, and that's what she has, if I'll get tested too. I've decided that unless and until there is some kind of prevention, or treatment for it, I don't want to know. I don't want to spend my next 30 years or so, knowing I have it, and wondering when it will strike. I would rather live my life without that added stress and fear.

As awful and scary, as both of these new possibilities are, they both fit what's been happening very well...they both start with a psychotic break, or extreme depression (depressive break, I think it's called), and then go on to mimic MS. At the beginning of this nightmare, my mom attempted suicide. Her grandfather, interestingly enough, committed suicide at 62 (her age), but was loving and sweet, and fine before that. We wonder now, if he had one of those diseases too, and if he had survived his attempt, if he would have gone on to have similar symptoms to her. We don't know much about her dad's side, as most of them were killed in concentration camps. Her mom's side got out a generation before that, and so they had time to scatter - there's a branch of red-headed Romm's in Israel, a branch of Rom's in Russia still (I think), and then the Rome's in the US.

Anyway, like I said, a lot of changes. Prayers are always welcome.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rant and Rave

Okay, I try really hard, usually, to not complain about stuff, but I just have to let off some steam here. My husband, my mom and I started looking at getting a bigger house recently, so we would have the space to put another baby, should we be blessed with another. My husband found one about triple the size, with a giant fenced in yard on the west side of Danville that he is totally in love with. Last night, we all said we could go look at it. Then, my mom thought about it some more, and decided she doesn't want to live out that far from our support people, and from home care companies, etc. After she explained her reasons to me, it made sense, and so I told my husband, who basically threw a temper tantrum like a two-year old, and said it was the west side of Danville or nothing, and if we can't get that house, then we aren't moving.


Yes, seriously. After I pointed out to him, that he was acting like a two-year old, and that marriage is about communication and compromise (never mind the fact that we aren't even close to being READY to move), he calmed down some, and said maybe we could just take a break from looking for awhile. He said that he was just overwhelmed and trying to get bills caught up, and figure out how to do the repairs we would have to do before we could move, etc., etc., etc. I told him that if he would ever TALK to me about stuff, we could figure it out together, how to do it, and maybe he wouldn't be so overwhelmed. I told him he isn't an island, and that I'm here. I did also mention the fact that him being so mad over something so stupid was making me mad. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that last part, or the part about him acting like a two-year old. Oops. Then again, it was all true.

It's not like we're going to move somewhere he hates, just like we aren't going to move somewhere I hate. We have time to find the perfect house. We aren't in a hurry, and he needs to get over it! Even if I were to get pregnant now, we would have 9 months until there was a baby who needed space, and even after that, about the first year, it would probably sleep with us anyway. That's close to two years minimum before we would need a bigger place. Plenty of time to find the perfect house. So, if you wouldn't mind saying a prayer for my sanity, his patience, another baby, and the perfect house, that would be awesome!!!

Okay, rant over. Thanks for listening(?)...reading(?)...whatever.



Sunday, July 7, 2013

We have a diagnosis...Yay?

Well, I took my mom to the eye doctor last week (July 1, my 7th wedding anniversary), and he said that while she doesn't have the optic nerve damage that patients with more advanced MS have, she has all the other symptoms. He couldn't "diagnose" her as having MS, because there are not visible lesions, but he's the kind of doctor who would only mention it as a possibility if he was 200% sure that's what it is. He told her that a new glasses prescription would give her a 50/50 chance of being able to read and watch TV again. So, we ordered them. He also told her that her vision would never be good enough for her to drive again, so she is permanently living in our our baby room. I had a really hard time with the idea for a day or two, but I'm doing better now. Actually, that night, as I was fighting the tears at the thought of being done having babies (I had been so hoping for at least one more), and getting ready to go on a date with my husband, he looked at me, and asked me what was wrong. He knew by this time what had happened. I asked him if he was really taking this that much better than I was. He said he had assumed this was permanent when she moved in. I thought I had too, but I guess a big part of me had been hoping against hope that she would get better enough to go back to her condo.

As far as the options that were left, of conditions my mom could have - ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) or Muscular Dystrophy, MS is probably the best option. People with MS live long lives, and have long periods of time where they are stable.

I still will never go back to using artificial birth control, or consent to sterilization, so we are still leaving the possibility of more children entirely up to God - not even using NFP (let me tell you, that is taking more faith and trust than I knew was possible), and my mom knows that it is still a possibility. I don't know what we would do (space-wise) with another baby, but we would figure something out.

On a side note, we met the new priest yesterday. While the verdict is still out on him, we invited him over for lunch or dinner next Saturday (my husband okayed this - first time we've had a priest for lunch or dinner), so Chocolate Chip can get to know him before she has to go into the confessional, or has the chance to be intimidated or scared by him (he's a pretty big guy). I think I'll make an appointment with him later to get ideas on how to deal with everything, but don't want to totally overwhelm him. After all, he's one priest who is replacing two priests. He's gonna have a lot to do.

I think that's enough rambling for one night. I better get some sleep...I'm supposed to work 11 hours tomorrow...

God Bless,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tribute to an AMAZING Priest!

Yesterday, at Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis, we said goodbye to the only priest I've ever truly felt really close to. Father Magiera celebrated his last Mass with us yesterday morning. Usually, weekday Masses have smaller attendance. Yesterday, the church was nearly full, with 12 altar boys serving one last time with him. I've really liked other priests before, but Father Magiera really FELT like a father. Perhaps it was his age (about a week and a half older than my mom), or his no-nonsense attitude, or the fact that he knew so much, and was SO very smart (he's fluent in several languages, and speaks several more).

When you first meet him, he can seem a little harsh, and odd, but once you get to know him better, you realize, that he KNOWS Church teaching, and isn't afraid to tell anyone what is right and what is wrong. He also knows the history behind liturgical traditions, and is very interesting. To hear him talk about liturgy, and Church teaching, you would never guess that he's only been a priest for 8 years. When he was a young boy, growing up before Vatican II, he wanted to be a priest. Then, when Vatican II came along, and all kinds of things changed litugically, he lost his desire to be a priest. So, he went into theater, becoming a very successful opera singer (click here for pictures, and a great article in the Criterion about him). Then, when he rediscovered the Traditional Latin Mass, his desire for the priesthood returned. You have not lived, until you have heard him sing the Latin Mass. His "Ite missa est" will always be one of my favorite sounds.
During the last month and a half, when he was so busy wrapping things up here, and preparing to move to Arkansas (yes, Arkansas), he took the time to visit my mom in the hospital twice, and a couple times at home. Chocolate Chip was especially upset by the news of his leaving. She asked yesterday morning before Mass, just to clarify that indeed, Arkansas was just too far to travel on a Sunday morning for Mass (from Indiana). After Mass yesterday, he tearfully said goodbye to us all before he went to leave. Chocolate Chip ran to give him a big hug as he was getting to his car. I wish I had thought to bring a camera, or at least my phone. It was so sweet.
I have not met our new priest yet, Father McCarthy, but I have heard nothing but good things about him. Still, as with all big transitions, this will sting for a while, but with time, I expect to look back at the memory of Father Magiera with fondness, and the sadness will fade.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Trying to be trusting...

       Okay, so we have some test results back on my mom, but still no diagnosis. We know some things that it definitely is not: it is NOT a brain tumor, or Myasthenia Gravis, or a stroke. From her neck, upwards has been thoroughly checked for all kinds of stuff. If it is MS, it's not above her neck. We've seen so many doctors in the past month, I've lost track, and mom has been to the hospital 3 times since May 13 (only admitted twice though, the most recent one they just gave her some steroids, and that helped enough for her to come back home). The two top runners right now, as far as I know are still MS, but also now Muscular Dystrophy. I was talking to a friend/neighbor yesterday, and she was telling me that about 5 years ago, her grandmother was diagnosed with a very rare type of Muscular Dystrophy just before Christmas, and that by April 1 (just over 3 months later), she was gone. Her grandmother's symptoms sounded a lot like my mom's sypmtoms, and hers obviously was a fast progression too. Just over a month ago, my mom was functional, working full-time, and low on energy, and a bit clumsy, but fine. Today, as I type this, her hands and toes are curling in, so that she has to have splints to keep her hands straight, has frequent muscle spasms so strong, that her torso jerks around, which does nothing for the terrible balance she has these days. Her legs, and now hands have started getting mottled (indicating poor circulation), and her breathing is sometimes affected (when she's not on steroids, or a strong enough dose of steroids). Oh yeah, and she's diabetic, so the doctors don't want to just keep her on steroids because they mess with blood sugars! We see another new specialist on Monday, who is supposed to be the BEST diagnostician in the area.

       In the meantime, I've been hoping for months, maybe longer to become pregnant again, and have another baby. Now, I know why I haven't. God knew this was coming, and that I would need the time, energy, and space for my mom. If we had another baby, or if I was pregnant, I don't know what would have happened to my mom, or how I would be able to take care of her as much as I am. I'm the only family she has in this, or surrounding states, and the only brother she's on good terms with, lives in Georgia, with his own family, and his own issues, and can barely find time to even call her. As much as I would adore having another child, I thank God, that we didn't. Not even using NFP (Natural Family Planning) since at least September last year, babies, or the lack thereof, have been totally, and completely, in God's hands.

      Last Saturday, a very good, holy man at our parish, who is a good friend of ours, was trying to give my mom some hope and faith, which she sorely needed. He was telling her that God always gives us what we need, exactly when we need it, and not a moment sooner. In the 10 minutes right before we REALLY need it, when we just THINK we need it, we tend to worry, fuss, and panic, but if we just hold on, have faith, and trust in God, we will get it exactly when we need it the most. I've been turning to that thought a lot lately. He also told us a good story about Mother Angelica (the nun that started EWTN, the Catholic network - 89.1 FM in the Indianapolis area, and also on TV - that radio station changed my life!). He said that one time, Mother Angelica needed a new satellite dish for EWTN to get off the ground, but she didn't have the money. She called the satellite people, had them come out, set it up, and agreed to pay when they got there. When the satellite installation person came, the sisters went to the chapel where she was praying, and told her that the person was there to install the dish. Mother Angelica turned back to the tabernacle, and said "Jesus, your satellite is here, we really need the money for it now". Moments later, the phone rang, and a person she had never before met, or even talked to, was calling from his yacht to make a donation, the size of which, exactly matched what she needed for the dish!

       He was so right! Catholic Charities provided a lift chair (for FREE!!!) for us, so that my mom can go up and down the stairs, without me having to drag her, or carry her (really, not exaggerating...). The day before they came to install it, I was helping her up the stairs, and we were two or three steps from the top, when she had a muscle spasm and started to jerk backwards. Talk about scary! We made it safely, but that was the last time she had to walk up the stairs. God does indeed provide what we need, EXACTLY when we need it.

      So, I'm trying to keep the faith, and trust in God, but I have to admit, I'm scared. Especially, after learning about that Muscular Dystrophy... Since my dad died when I was 13, it's only been me and my mom (I'm an only child), and we are super-close. I can't imagine how I'm gonna get through whatever's coming. I'm trying to keep up my prayer life, but when I DO have time to pray, I find myself distracted, and just going through the motions. I hope God understands, and that I'll have the grace to get back to it soon, without being distracted. I also wish I could talk to a friend about all this, but I'm never without my mom and/or the kids these days, at least until late at night, and then I feel like it's too late to call most of my friends. Feeling kind of alone...

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Pictures!

With everything that's been happening with my mom, I totally forgot to check and see if the professional pictures of Chocolate Chip recieving her First Communion ever came in. They did! So exciting. You won't believe how beautiful these are!

Chocolate Chip being escorted to the altar by her adopted godfather
(she was baptized before I converted)

Ascending to the altar

Recieving Our Lord for the first time!
          Aren't they gorgeous?! It's still such a joy to have both her, and my mom recieve the Eucharist with me at Mass now. I can't wait until it's Emma's turn. I wonder how young they're allowed to recieve? She's already willing to go to confession (not that she's been - I jokingly asked her once while I was waiting in line, if she wanted to go too, and she said yes, and tried to get in line. LOL), but we should probably wait just a bit longer. ;-)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chocolate ice cream and sangria can fix anything!

As I sit here finishing some chocolate ice cream, with my empty glass of sangria in front of me, it's hard to believe everything that's happened, and that it's only been 2 weeks.

Two weeks ago, yesterday, I took Emma to the dentist for a regular check-up. We discovered she has her first loose tooth, and went around the corner to my mom's office to show her and say hi. A few short hours later, I was following my mom's ambulance to the hospital with Emma in the backseat, complaining how far it was. I just kept thinking that it was good that they hadn't put the sirens on. When we finally were allowed to see her, she was barely conscious, and even less understandable. The priest at the hospital, while very sweet, was from Nigeria, and also barely understandable. I was losing it!

My mom spent about 3 days in ICU, and 2 days in a regular unit. This all started on Monday (we almost lost her that night). That Thursday, when I saw her (I went every day, thanks to my many wonderful friends who babysat for me, as kids under 14 weren't allowed), she was very scared about going back to living alone. I went home, and gave my husband three choices: 1) I move in with my mom 2) my mom moves in with us 3) we sell both homes and get a duplex or home with an in-law suite. We decided she would move in with us. We would have at least until Sunday to get ready. We would clean out the playroom, making it back into a bedroom, and move her bed, dresser, and a few other things into it.

While I was visiting her on Friday, the doctor released her!!! Well, we obviously weren't ready, so she went home to her house that night until Sunday afternoon while we got her room ready. By dinnertime on Sunday, she was all moved in and unpacked, thanks to a good friend who came to help us.

Now that she's been here a week, my head is still spinning. We're still waiting for test results to get a diagnosis, so we can better understand her condition, and what the future may hold. At this point, we still don't know if this arrangement will be forever, or if she can go back to her condo at some point. The top choices that the doctors are looking at are: a tumor on her brain that's affecting her balance (that could be removed and she could get back to normal), or Parkinson's, or MS, or Myesthenia Gravis. We see her regular doctor tomorrow, and the specialist a week from today.

Today I took her to physical therapy, where we discovered that her entire left side is much weaker than her right side. Then, we went from there, to a yard sale, where I got an actual school desk for Emma to use for kindergarten this year (homeschool) for $20! From there, we met another good friend of mine, and Emma's godmother, who took Emma for me for the afternoon for our other appointments (I have the best friends!). We went to Catholic Charities, and got hooked up with all kinds of resources, including a possible chair lift to help mom with the stairs, very inexpensive counseling, and caregiver services for me (including a free massage!). We were probably there about 3 hours total. Then, we met with a disability lawyer to get that process going, as my mom will most likely not be working again.

After all of that, I'm getting very impatient to get a new normal going, and some of this craziness to ease. Long story short, chocolate ice cream and sangria can help fix all kinds of things!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Communion!

This past Sunday, my oldest daughter, Chocolate Chip, celebrated her First Holy Communion! It was such a beautiful day! Even though it was a bit cloudy and rainy outside, the sun was truly shining inside the parish. She chose to recieve for the first time in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (proud mama right here), and it was such a joy to watch her stay totally on track and focused during the entire Mass. There was an actual photographer there to take pictures of her actually receiving Our Lord for the first time (still waiting to get those), but I did get a few pictures of her before with my camera.
Before the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue
(before Mass)

Before Our Lady of Guadalupe statue
(also before Mass)

Very excited - almost time!
Processing in

About to recieve the Eucharist for the first time!

Chewing :-)

She is the first to receive her Brown Scapular!
It was a very exciting time that I will always cherish. May all the children who receive their First Holy Communion always approach the Eucharist with the same joy and excitement as they had that day!
(Emma took this picture of her Sissy)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cleaning Fairy...

This last weekend, the priest at our parish was telling the First Communion kids (including Chocolate Chip) that sloth is one of the 7 deadly sins, and that an example of sloth is not putting your dirty clothes in the hamper (go, Father!). I admit, that while I was going to explain this to Emma, as well, I haven't done it yet. That said, the Cleaning Fairy (my alter ego), and her friend the Laundry Fairy (my other alter ego) were at my house just now, gathering up stray books on the floor, and tiny clothes from Emma. But, wait...there was also a decent amount of Chocolate Chip's things scattered about - including her First Communion dress, and sweater on her bed where the cats could lay on them and get cat hair all over. *sigh* I guess we'll need a refresher on that whole sloth speech...

Although, it isn't the dirty clothes on the floor that bothers me. It's the clean clothes mixed in (on the floor) with the dirty clothes - mainly from Chocolate Chip. When deciding what to wear, she often takes something out of her drawer, for whatever reason it is then rejected, and tossed onto the floor among the dirty clothes. I come in later, not knowing what isn't dirty, or trying to remember what I've seen on a body recently. I've tried explaining that it creates more laundry when she does that, and that the Laundry Fairy doesn't appreciate it. It doesn't seem to matter much. But, like a friend once said, "when a mountain of laundry has you down or overwhelmed, just thank God you have a family who needs you to do it". So, I'll just thank God a bit more, I guess.


Monday, April 22, 2013

My Summer Look!

I got my hair cut on Friday (which Emma did NOT approve of). I was very excited, and had the image in my mind of how it would look. I ended up a little dissapointed. Here's what it was supposed to look like (except still brown):
Cute, right?

Well, I went in, all set. I had looked online at the official Pantene rules for donating hair, and it was supposed to be 8 inches. I had 9 I wanted to cut off. Well, the girl insisted that it had to be 10 inches for Locks of Love (a totally different organization), and didn't collect it for me, because I only had 9 inches. Then, she gets finished, and it doesn't look like the picture. Yeah, it's cute, and I can have it fixed when it grows out a little, but it wasn't what I had envisioned.

So, I was talking to a friend at church yesterday about it, and she was telling me a very interesting theory she has, that made a lot of sense. She said that she thinks women are always upset about their looks because of Original Sin. She pointed out that all women have something they wish they could change about themselves: their hair isn't right, their waist is too big, chest is too small, whatever. Right after the Fall, God told woman that her desire would be for her husband. Perhaps an effect of that is woman's displeasure with herself. A feeling of lacking in some way, that comes out in our obsession with how we look. Or, maybe it comes from a deep longing for God that we can't quite recognize because of the Fall. Whatever the reason, I think we can all agree, it stinks. One more reason to look forward to Heaven, where things like big hips, uncooperative hair, and flabby arms will no longer matter, and even better, will finally be seen as God sees us: utterly perfect for who we are supposed to be, and look, just as He created us.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kermit Gosnell, Round 2

The Twitter campaign was a HUGE success! Some of the mainstream media have started covering the trial, and letting people know how horrible, disgusting, and just downright dangerous his clinic and practices were. However, the people that organized the "TweetFest" are concerned that if we back off of the media, that they will stop covering the trial. This is extremely important, that they keep covering it, and letting people know how horrible this is. It could get a good number of people who "would never get an abortion, but want to keep it legal for others to have that choice" to consider just how awful abortion really is, and maybe get them thinking about how violently these babies died, and if they had been just a few inches up the birth canal, it would have been perfectly legal and socially acceptable.

Therefore, we are going to be having another "TweetFest" on Wednesday, this week. If you already have Twitter, please consider joining us. If you don't have Twitter, please consider joining it (for free, very easy to join), even if you only plan on using it for things like this. As a full-time mom and housewife, who works outside of the house part-time, I know how busy life gets, and how hard it can be to be as active in the pro-life movement as we would like to be. Using Twitter and/or Facebook to get the word out, is so easy, and so effective! I can do it while the kids are eating lunch, napping, playing outside, whatever. It doesn't require me to go alongside a busy street with a 4 yr old and pray in front of an abortion clinic. I don't have to organize some massive movement, I just spend a couple of seconds on my phone or computer throughout the day, as often as I can. Any help is greatly appreciated. If you decide to participate, please remember to use the hashtag #Gosnell in your tweets (this allows the relevant tweets to be counted and polled). Once again, if you are on Facebook, there is a page where you can find all kinds of information, pictures to share, and already written tweets that you can copy and paste (or you can write your own)!

Even just changing your profile picture on Twitter/Facebook to this or this would help spread awareness about this trial.

God Bless!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Kermit Gosnell

If you've been on Facebook or Twitter today, you've probably been seeing the name Kermit Gosnell a LOT. For those that don't know who he is, or what it's all about, here's why all of Social Media is buzzing with his name:

Kermit Gosnell is a late-term abortionist in Pennsylvania. He has murdered at least 7 newborns (born alive) by "snipping" their spinal cords, separating the brain from the body, essentially beheading the children. There has also been at least one mother die from his "care". He is currently on trial for these charges (click here for the timeline).

His clinic is/was so filthy, and disgusting, that it has been nicknamed the "House of Horrors". Blood everywhere, severed feet of babies in jars, bags of waste tossed about, just horrible. The whole reason for the social media campaign today, is that the media has blacked out this story, and coverage of his trial completely. The goal is to let as many people as possible know that "back-alley" abortions still take place, sometimes forced (see video), and to do the job that network news stations refuse to do. If this is the first you've heard of it today, it's not too late to help. Even if you aren't on Facebook or Twitter, you can spread the word via email, or just talking to your circle of friends about it. Be disgusted, be horrified, but please do not be silent.

If you do use Twitter, please tweet with the hashtag #Gosnell.

If you are on Facebook, you can go here to get ideas and more information.

God Bless, and please pray for the conversion of all abortionists.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Skirts, skirts, skirts!

I recently went to a class on modesty at my parish that was very interesting, and eye-opening. We were given a book at this class called "Dressing with Dignity" by Colleen Hammond. I admit that while I love to read, it generally takes me months to get through a book these days. I read this one in just a couple of hours. In this book it talks about the different fashions of women throughout history, and what the different popes at the time said about them. We were also given CDs with talks about modesty. One of the things that struck me the most on the CD was this: men are the physically stronger sex, and should always use that strength to take care of women, never use that to harm or dominate them. Likewise, women are the spiritually stronger sex, and should always use that to help men, who are weaker and more prone to temptation than we are.
The biggest thing I took away from the book (which was also on the CD), was that when a woman wears pants, a man's eye tends to follow the line of her pants all the way up to her bottom in the back, or her crotch in the front! Since learning these things, I have stopped wearing pants completely, except around the house, in front of only my husband. Of course, I really only had two skirts that were long enough (one of them wasn't quite long enough, but close, so I added a ruffle to the bottom), and not enough money to give myself a makeover. So, I have taken my favorite pairs of pants, and turned them into super-cute skirts! It was hard to rip apart my first and favorite pair of jeans, but once I got over it, I haven't looked back.
After just a few days of wearing skirts, I put on one of my favorite pairs of jeans to get an idea of where to cut them to make the skirt, and couldn't believe I'd thought they were so comfortable before! They felt so tight, and they weren't even leggings! It was crazy! I really enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it. It also gave guidelines for dressing modestly, and a list of stores and websites at the back of the book where you can find modest clothes to buy.
I think in my upcoming posts, I'll give instructions and pictures on how to turn pants into skirts in case you want to make some for yourself.
God Bless!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'm 3 years old now!

Three years ago on April 3, I was baptized, entered into the Catholic Church, and became a child of God. It was by far, one of the best days of my life!

Me getting baptized, with my sponsor standing behind me (woman on the left),
my husband behind her, and my mom beside them (face behind the water pitcher).
Looking back, it amazes me how far God has brought me in the last few years. Four years ago, I was one of those non-denominational Christians who went to church at Christmas and Easter. Occasionally, if we had nothing better to do, and the mood struck on a Sunday, we might go to church besides those two days, but nothing consistent.
Then, one day, four summers ago, I was driving home, and happened to stop at a stoplight around the corner from my house. The car in front of me had a bumper sticker for 89.1 FM, Catholic Radio Indy (the local EWTN radio station). I don't remember seeing the name of the radio station on the bumper sticker, just the number. I have never again seen that same bumper sticker. Anyway, I tuned into the station, and started listening. Before long, I heard my first Mass on the radio. I knew right away, that I needed to find out more about this Catholic thing. I often drove past a Catholic parish on the way to my mom's house, so one day, I stopped in to ask for more information. Next thing you know, I'd signed up for RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), and was on my way to being Catholic. I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was going to join the Church, before I told anybody about it, even my mom and my husband. For the first few months, I just told both of them that I was going to a Bible study (not completely untrue - we frequently talked about the Bible, and where the Church got certain things from). Then, when I was sure, I told my mom. At first, she couldn't understand why I would want to be Catholic. I explained to her that it was like the Jewish part of her heritage, and the Christian part of my dad's heritage had merged and created the Catholic Church. I was home, and I was NOT leaving. We went together many times to talk to the director of religious education, where my mom would ask questions that I just wasn't knowledgeable enough to answer yet. When I told my husband, he didn't understand, but was supportive.  
Fast forward to three years later, and I am not only Catholic, but I'm so excited about my Faith, and am always trying to be a better Catholic. Any time somebody questions my Faith, or tries to attack the Catholic Church, it leads me to do more research to answer them, and every time, I fall even deeper in love with the Church that Jesus gave us. We are all called to be saints, and we can't do that if we just sit on the couch and relax. We always have to keep going, and keep trying to be better people, Christians, Catholics, if we want to get to Heaven. Being a saint takes more than going to Mass on Sundays. You have to LIVE your faith, every day. For those that already do, great! Keep it up! For those who could do more, just try it. I'm sure you can do it. You won't regret the extra effort, I'm sure. :-)
Save a soul, get an EWTN bumper sticker! You never know who you will touch with it, and who they will later touch. Because of that bumper sticker on a stranger's car, I'm now Catholic, raising my children Catholic, my mom is Catholic, and hopefully, someday my husband will be Catholic too. That's a minimum of four souls touched (not counting my husband yet), not including the souls that we will touch, or have already touched, that we don't know about, and the chain reaction of the souls that they will later touch, etc. It's so easy to get one, and think of the eternal reward, for just driving around with one silly little bumper sticker! When I'm in the car now, EWTN is pretty much all I listen to, except when the kids want princess songs or something. :-) I love it, and am always learning more!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why I veil at Mass

Last fall, I joined a new parish, and for the first time as a Catholic, I saw women of all ages wearing veils at Mass. Not just old ladies, but young women, teenagers, and even little girls would wear veils when attending Mass. Before I found my new parish, I thought that old women wearing doilies on their heads was a quaint custom that they had done before Vatican II, that they just grew up doing before women were more fully appreciated. When I discovered young girls veiling, I decided to look into it, to see what it was all about. I could not have been more wrong. There are several reasons to veil in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (not just at Mass). The first reason I discovered, is that women are sacred, much more than men, and the Church has always veiled sacred things. For example, in the Old Testament, the Holy of Holies was veiled, in our Church the tabernacle is often veiled, behind that veil, is the Body of Christ, which is veiled behind the accidents of bread and wine, and women are living tabernacles, because we have the ability to carry another life within us. When we are pregnant, the Hand of God is active within us, forming the child in the womb.

 Another reason, is that it is an act of humility. When you are in the presence of an earthly king, you do certain things to show that you recognize their power and authority. So, when we are in the presence of the King of Kings, we should do even more. For example, when men go into a church, they should take off their hats, revealing their balding heads, which is an act of humility. Likewise, a woman's hair is her glory, and should be covered, to show humility.

It also shows our longing to be the bride of Jesus when He enters into our bodies in the Eucharist.

Finally, it is a physical reminder of where we are, and Who we're with. I find it helps me to concentrate more fully on Jesus and the Mass when I veil.

I first started veiling just after this last Christmas. At first, I felt awkward and embarrased when I would go to daily Mass at other parishes, where I would be the only one veiling. I even went to one parish where people were staring, pointing, and whispering about it. Finally, I decided that God had called me to veil for a reason, and that was just between us. If people thought I was weird or crazy because I wanted to humble myself before God, then that was their problem. I still sometimes have twinges of awkardness now, when I go to Mass at different places, but mostly I'm fine with it. I like to think that when I veil at other places, it will remind others around me who may point or stare, that we are in the presence of God, and that maybe they should try to be more reverent too. Of course, I'm not saying that I'm perfect, or that I never get distracted at Mass. Even when I get to go to Mass without kids (very rarely), my ADD frequently gets the better of me, and I start looking around, or thinking of other things. But then, my veil catches my eye, or it starts to slip, or itch, and I remember to focus my body and soul back on God.

So, that's why I've started (and will forever more) veil in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Maybe you will think about it, pray about it, and start veiling too! Give it a try, I think you will soon see the beauty in it too. And, if you want a nice veil, I got my first one at (I think the average price on there was about $25 plus shipping). I really like mine, but I love the way the one I made for my mom came out. (See my first post, "Welcome!") Let me know if you want me to make one for you!

I also love how my veil now smells forever like incense! :-D

Sunday, March 31, 2013

"I see Jesus!"

Driving home from our annual Easter party, and 4 yr old Emma screams "I see Jesus!" My husband and I start looking around to see what she's talking about. My husband says "That cross over there?". Emma says, "No, in the sky!". At this point, my heart skips a beat, wondering if He's really coming back, thinking that Easter would be a cool time to come back. Then I realize she's talking about a hole in the clouds. She then goes on to explain to us how the hole in the clouds means Jesus is coming, because He's gonna come from the clouds, and He's alive. For that moment, I was so impressed and proud of her, that she's so excited, and always looking for Jesus. Then she dismembers her cheap Barbie doll she got in her Easter basket, sticks her thumb in its torso, and says, "Look! It's a thumb hat!". Sigh...

Anyway, I was thinking about how kids tend to be more active about watching for Jesus. When Chocolate Chip was 4, my Jewish grandmother died, and we were at the gravesite, with the rabbi, orthodox Jews, and my Israeli ordained rabbi uncle all standing around. Chocolate Chip looks down into the empty grave and says, very loudly, "Where's Jesus and Cookie Bird?!". Cookie Bird was the name of her parakeet that had died earlier that year. To explain where great-grandma went, we told her she was going to Heaven to be with Jesus and Cookie Bird (this was about 3 years before I converted). Well, great-grandma was in this box, that was going into this big hole, so that must be where Jesus and Cookie Bird were too, right? I love the innocence and faith that kids have. They always are watching, and actively waiting for Jesus. Isn't that beautiful?


My Mom, the Catholic!

Well, after three years of waiting, hoping, and praying, my mother entered fully into the Church last night at Easter Vigil, and recieved her first Holy Communion! It was the most beautiful Mass I've ever been to! If you ever have the opportunity to go to an Easter Vigil Mass in the Extraordinary Form, you really should. All of the symbolism, and reverence was just breathtaking. We started off the Mass for about the first hour and a half with just the light from handheld candles, then at the Gloria, the statues were all uncovered, the lights came on, the bells rang, incense filled the air, it was amazing!

Believe it or not, this was the best picture I got of her Confirmation.

Here's my mother recieving her first Holy Communion while wearing the veil I made for her.
I wish I could have gotten a better picture of her Confirmation, but it was really dark, and my phone doesn't have a flash. I thought they would have someone to take pictures, so I didn't think to bring something with a flash. It was still a beautiful, amazing night, and I'm so happy that I'm not the only Catholic in my family anymore. God is Good! Happy Easter!!!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Welcome to my first blog, and please welcome my mom who is joining the Church tonight at the Easter Vigil! I have been praying for her conversion since I entered the Church myself, 3 years ago. For that reason, I have gotten/made her 3 presents, one for each year I've been praying for her. The first present I got her was a crucifix from Jerusalem (she was raised Jewish, and her patron saint is Edith Stein, a Jewish convert who was killed by the Nazi's). The second present I got for her was a holy water font for her house that has a picture of the Eucharist on it, and the third (and final) present, was a chapel veil that I made for her to wear at Easter Vigil (and afterwards, of course).

This is "Chocolate Chip" (10), modeling the veil for me!
I think it came out really well, and am considering starting a veil-making business because of it! Here are a couple of close-up pictures:
This is the side view, to show the border better.

Here's a picture to show the embellishment on the back.
I can't wait to see my mom recieve her first Holy Communion tonight, while wearing it!
As for me, like I mentioned, I am a convert to the Faith. I am married to a very nice man, who is technically Christian, but not Catholic (yet). I have two daughters, "Chocolate Chip" (10), and "Emma" (4 1/2). I look forward to sharing stories, and all kinds of fun things with you!

 If you want to buy a veil, I just set up this PayPal account. To start off with, I'm just offering the basic triangular chapel veil. However, if you want another shape, or a different color than those listed below, just let me know. I'm sure I can come up with something.