Friday, October 30, 2009

More Modest Costumes PLEASE!!!!!

I had a hard time this year when it came to costume shopping.... Every store I went into at least 90% of the girls costumes were all skimpy and trashy and pretty slutty to say the least. I have noticed that there is a mindset in young women today when it comes to costumes. The majority of us seem to think that Halloween is one of those holidays when it is ok to dress as slutty as possible and get away with it... That is just not me. I looked at those costumes, and tried on the less sluttier ones and I still felt too bare. I think it is because I am so used to trying to dress modestly no matter where I go. I wish more young women cared about dressing modestly everyday, including Halloween... I know a number of girls who think and feel the way I do about having a hard time finding a decent costume to wear for Halloween.
In the past few weeks I brainstormed about different costumes because I could not find a decent one to buy. I thought about dressing up as a pig with wings and being the swine flu. I thought about taking an empty box of cereal and a card board knife and sticking the knife into the cereal box and calling myself a cereal killer, but I passed on that idea as well. I thought about being a hippy, a beauty pageant queen, a military person... but none of them was what I really wanted to do... Yesterday, I walked into one last costume store and finally found an incredably modest costume... it was supposed to be a goth vampire, but I didn't like that idea at all, so I turned it into a little red riding hood costume instead.
I just wish costume shops would invest in more modest costumes for those of us who do not feel comfortable letting everything just hang out... That's my little rant for the night, and now I am off to go get ready for a fun night with an old friend... :)


Just for some fun... Happy Halloween week-end. Have fun, but be smart and stay safe. :)

- by Mary Jane Carr

Witches flying past on broomsticks,
Black cats leaping here and there,
White-robed spooks on every corner,
Mournful moaning in the air,

Goblins peering out of windows,
Spirit-things that rap and run-
But don't be scared-it's just October,
Having one last hour of fun!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A few of my favorite quotes.....

I think that next to the book "Pride and Prejudice," every guy should read at least one Nicholas Sparks book if he really wants to understand what a woman wants from a man... my personal favorite book of his is a tie "The Guardian" and his most popular, "The Notebook" He's also famous for "A Walk to Remember" and "A Message In A Bottle." Most recently another one of his books was turned into a movie, "Nights in Rodanthe," but that was my least favorite book of his so far. Why do I feel the need to write about this author tonight? I think it is mostly because I was looking up quotes of his to put into my quote book, and while looking through the many websites dedicated to him I could not help but be even more touched by his work... My sisters and I like to joke around about his relationship with his wife. I think whoever was lucky enough to marry him is probably a very happy woman, but then we could have it all wrong... I don't really think we could be too wrong though, because I just can't believe that a man that can write such beautiful stories with such moving passages in them could not be a romantic himself... Anyway, some of my most favorite quotes by him are:

"I am nothing special of this I am sure. I am just a common man with common thoughts. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, that has always been enough."
~The Notebook~

"Dusk is an illusion because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are, there cannot be one without the other, yet they cannot exist at the same time. 'How would it feel,' I remember wondering, 'to be always together, yet forever apart."
~The Notebook~

"Poetry she thought, wasn't written to be analyzed, it was meant to inspire without reason, to touch without understanding."
~The Notebook~

"Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can't control, one that overwhelmes logic and common sense, That's what it was like for me. I didn't plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, LOVE like that has happened only once, and that's why every moment we spent together has been seared in my memory. I'll never forget a single moment of it."
~The Notebook~

"Dreams are always crushing when they don't come true. But it's the simple dreams that are often the most painful because they seem so personal, so reasonable, so attainable. You're always close enough to touch, but never quite close enough to hold and it's enough to break your heart."
~Three Weeks With My Brother~

"And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. But most of all, I learned that life is about sitting on benches next to ancient creeks with my hand on her knee, and sometimes, on good days, for falling in love."
~The Notebook~

"The hurt began to fade and it was easier to just let go. At least I thought it was. But in every boy I met over the next few years, I found myself looking for you, and when the feelings got too strong, I'd write you a letter. But I never sent them, in fear of what I might find. By then, you'd gone on with your life and I didn't want to think about you loving someone else. I wanted to remember us like we were that Summer. I don't want to ever forget that."
~The Notebook~

"There was something inside her that longed to be desired, to be cared for and protected, to be listened to and accepted without judgement. To be loved."
~The Rescue~

"It is the possiblity that keeps me going... and though you may call me a dreamer or a fool or any other thing. I believe that anything is possible."
~The Notebook~

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"holy hour" All Souls Day reflection

Tonight I was able to go to "holy hour." I have not been able to attend one all semester and I have really missed it... Tonight we talked about all souls day... We talked about the way the church celebrates this feast day. Each of us went around the room and talked a little bit about a close family member or friend that has passed on and then we talked about one thing we all would do everyday in the month of November to help us keep that family member close to us. During the discussion I decided to talk a little bit about my grandpa Morgan....
My grandpa Morgan passed away when I was fifteen years, so about seven years ago now, from cancer... The things I remember most about him is that he was a fisherman. He loved to fish. It was his favorite thing to do. I remember how he would have us grand kids pose in pictures next to the fish he caught on his trips... I never was into fishing, but I did go a few times with him to spend time with him.
My grandpa was also a poet. He loved poetry and wrote it a lot. He was also proud that a lot of his children and grandchildren were pretty good at writing poetry too; a gift that I somehow did not catch onto sadly. He even compiled a book of our family's poetry and had it published. He donated a copy of it to the Monroe County Library, but I do not really know how, or even if, it was popular or not.
I also remember how he liked to call me his "piano girl." I remember one particular day my grandpa wanted to take me to a piano recital because he knew I was into anything having to do with the piano. Now, getting in the car with my grandpa was always an adventure which is why my mother very rarely let us kids get in the car while he drove. She did let me go with him that day. I can't tell you the names of the songs that were played or even the name of the person that played the piano. I just remember how special I felt because he went out of his way to do something he knew I liked to spend time with me. That is one of my favorite memories with my grandpa.
I have to admit that the times I think about my grandpa are now too few and too far between each other. There are so many inside jokes I hadn't thought about in so long that this exercise helped bring back. I sometimes wonder if I made him proud to be my grandpa....

A quick thought for the day

"Effective communication is not about what you say but what people hear!"

I need to be reminded of this quite often....

Have a nice day everyone!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

"You Set Me Free"

A few years ago my family hosted a youth group night at our house. The theme for that particular meeting was finding Christ through mainstream music. We were supposed to send one of the youth group leaders the lyrics to two songs that had in someway touched our lives and brought us closer to God. I chose the songs, "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts and "You Set Me Free" by Michelle Branch to use for that night. The reason I chose the song below is because it helped play a huge role in my really falling in love with my faith... you can read more about that if you click here. It was on the ride home after that amazing week-end when this song happened to come on the radio. It was the first song that played after our group had finished praying a rosary and the lyrics hit me in a way that it hadn't hit me before. It pretty much explained exactly how I was feeling at that moment and I remember holding back tears that were fighting their way out because I didn't want people to see me crying and ask me why I was crying... I didn't really want to let people know how that hit me at the time. It was just too personal. Anyway, the lyrics to the song are below.

"You Set Me Free"
Michelle Branch

Can't you see?
There's a feeling that's come over me
Close my eyes
You're the only one that leaves me completely breathless

No need to wonder why
Sometimes a gift like this you can't deny

'Cause I wanted to fly,
so you gave me your wings
And time held its breath so I could see, yeah
And you set me free

There's a will
There's a way
Sometimes words just can't explain
This is real
I'm afraid
I guess this time there's just no hiding, fighting
You make me restless

You're in my heart
The only light that shines
there in the dark

'Cause I wanted to fly,
so you gave me your wings
And time held its breath so I could see, yeah
And you set me free

When I was alone
You came around
When I was down
You pulled me through
And there's nothing that
I wouldn't do for you

'Cause I wanted to fly,
so you gave me your wings
And time held its breath so I could see, yeah
And you set me free

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jesus and Mary are the new Adam and Eve

This evening I attended an all Catholic college student bible study. It was kind of small tonight... there were only five of us. It was very informal being the first time we met. We spent most of the evening talking about what we would want to study, well at least that was the plan... Instead we got on topics like theology of the body and the second creation story (but only because they found out I had never read it before.... I've always kind of skipped that one after reading the first one...), we also talked about cremation and how our souls are supposed to reunite with our bodies after death... just random topics like that.
While talking about the creation story the "leader" had us turn to the first chapter of John. He showed us how John used the format of the creation story to show even more about how Jesus and Mary are the new Adam and Eve... It was very interesting. Especially when the verse that goes along with the sixth day of creation happens to be right before he does his first miracle. He looks right at Mary and says "woman" just like how in Genesis it states that God made " woman." I don't know. It was something I never really thought about before. It is very cool to me.... Below I put the two different passages, the creation story and the first chapter of John if you want to read it for yourselves to compare the two.

Creation story
Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.
1 Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation. At the time when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens--
while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil,
but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground--
2 the LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.
3 Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.
4 A river rises in Eden to water the garden; beyond there it divides and becomes four branches.
The name of the first is the Pishon; it is the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
The gold of that land is excellent; bdellium and lapis lazuli are also there.
The name of the second river is the Gihon; it is the one that winds all through the land of Cush.
The name of the third river is the Tigris; it is the one that flows east of Asshur. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.
The LORD God gave man this order: "You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden
except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die."
The LORD God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him."
So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.
So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man,
5 the man said: "This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken."
6 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.
The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.
John 1-2

1 In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him.
4 What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men;
5 and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it.
6 A man came, sent by God. His name was John.
7 He came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, so that everyone might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, he was to bear witness to the light.
9 The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone; he was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognise him.
11 He came to his own and his own people did not accept him.
12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name
13 who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself.
14 The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John witnesses to him. He proclaims: 'This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.'
16 Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received -- one gift replacing another,
17 for the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.
19 This was the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?'
20 He declared, he did not deny but declared, 'I am not the Christ.'
21 So they asked, 'Then are you Elijah?' He replied, 'I am not.' 'Are you the Prophet?' He answered, 'No.'
22 So they said to him, 'Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?'
23 So he said, 'I am, as Isaiah prophesied: A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord. Make his paths straight!'
24 Now those who had been sent were Pharisees,
25 and they put this question to him, 'Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the Prophet?'
26 John answered them, 'I baptise with water; but standing among you -- unknown to you-
27 is the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandal.'
28 This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.
29 The next day, he saw Jesus coming towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
30 It was of him that I said, "Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me."
31 I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptise with water was so that he might be revealed to Israel.'
32 And John declared, 'I saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven and rest on him.
33 I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptise with the Holy Spirit."
34 I have seen and I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.'
35 The next day as John stood there again with two of his disciples, Jesus went past,
36 and John looked towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God.'
37 And the two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
38 Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, 'What do you want?' They answered, 'Rabbi' -- which means Teacher -- 'where do you live?'
39 He replied, 'Come and see'; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour.
40 One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.
41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and say to him, 'We have found the Messiah' -- which means the Christ-
42 and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, 'You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas' -- which means Rock.
43 The next day, after Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, 'Follow me.'
44 Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.'
46 Nathanael said to him, 'From Nazareth? Can anything good come from that place?' Philip replied, 'Come and see.'
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, 'There, truly, is an Israelite in whom there is no deception.'
48 Nathanael asked, 'How do you know me?' Jesus replied, 'Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.'
49 Nathanael answered, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.'
50 Jesus replied, 'You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You are going to see greater things than that.'
51 And then he added, 'In all truth I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending over the Son of man.'

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there,
2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited.
3 And they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the feast had all been used, and the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.'
4 Jesus said, 'Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not come yet.'

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Taking Jesus to the streets'" here at home. :)

October 23, 2009

‘Taking Jesus to the streets’: Eucharistic procession on IU campus draws breadth of participants

Indiana University students Alicia Munchel, 20, left, and Kayleen Glaser, 19, take part in the eucharistic procession on the Bloomington campus on Oct. 14. Members of the Knights of Columbus also were among those who took part. Despite the rain and cold weather, nearly 100 people participated in the prayerful gathering. (Photo by Kamilla Benko)

Indiana University students Alicia Munchel, 20, left, and Kayleen Glaser, 19, take part in the eucharistic procession on the Bloomington campus on Oct. 14. Members of the Knights of Columbus also were among those who took part. Despite the rain and cold weather, nearly 100 people participated in the prayerful gathering. (Photo by Kamilla Benko)

By Kamilla Benko (Special to The Criterion)

BLOOMINGTON—Homecoming week at Indiana University is traditionally a time for football and friends. But for some students, Oct. 14 was set aside for a different kind of homecoming.

“This whole semester, we are focusing on the Eucharist,” said Liz Whitmore, a 19-year-old sophomore at IU and member of the Student Life Team, which plans all the events for students at St. Paul’s Catholic Center in Bloomington.

“We are taking Jesus to the streets,” she added.

Hoping to promote a deeper understanding of the Eucharist, Whitmore suggested that the team organize a eucharistic procession—a solemn, prayerful walk of the faithful led by the clergy, who carry the Blessed Sacrament displayed in a monstrance to stir devotion, give thanks and ask for God’s help.

The Student Life Team contacted Bloomington-area parishes and invited members of the Catholic community to join them for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Oct. 14 during IU’s homecoming week. Despite rain that day, nearly 100 people attended the procession, which was led by Father Michael Fritsch, the pastor of St. John the Apostle Parish in Bloomington. (See a photo gallery from this event)

Participants included Indiana University students, members of the Knights of Columbus, and parishioners from St. Paul, St. John and St. Charles Borromeo parishes.

“I thought it was a tremendous way to become a more visible presence on campus,” said Dominican Father Stan Drongowski, the associate pastor of St. Paul Catholic Center.

Monica Siefker, a member of St. John the Apostle Parish and an IU graduate, said she felt God’s presence during the procession. Sharing the experience with her six children and her husband, Dale, on the campus where the couple met was an indescribable joy, she said.

“That night was a true homecoming!” she said.

Siefker said her children, who range in age from 4 to 15, were thrilled to be a part of the procession.

“I heard the words ‘awesome’ and ‘beautiful’ several times on our drive home,” she said. “They all agreed, ‘We need to do this again!’ ”

Organizers hope that the eucharistic procession will become an annual event.

“I was overwhelmed by the breadth of participation,” Father Stan said. “I am so excited for the Catholic students here at St. Paul to have such a relationship with the Church.” †

Thursday, October 22, 2009

my heart-to-heart....

There is something about when I go out a stare up at the night sky full of countless stars. Whenever I feel overwhelmed about things in my life I like to go out at night and just stare up at the night sky. Tonight I did just that. I feel so small in comparison to the universe while looking up into that night sky. In my heart I know without a doubt there has to be a God who is in control of everything. I do not understand how people believe that this world happened with just a big bang that came out of no where and boom we are now here for no particular reason other then to exist and die. How people believe there was no God that caused all of creation to be I do not understand...
As far as the whole creationism vs. evolution theories go, I believe that God is the all-time creator. Now how he chose to create us I am not sure... I don't really believe us humans came from apes really, but there are obvious signs of evolution around... take a frog or a butterfly... metamorphosis happens daily with those animals. I have never really had strong convictions about how God created us, I just believe that He was in charge of it all. I don't think we happened here by chance...
Why that topic came on here.... I do not know. I was not really thinking about heading into that direction about evolution. That is more of my father's thing to talk about...
Anyway, so tonight I did a little bit of stargazing and contemplating and talking to God about lots and lost of different things going on in my life. There are things in my life that have happened and I am still not sure about why He let them happen in the way they did, and where He is wanting me to go with my life.... I vented quite a bit to God about work and some other things that have been hard to deal with... After having my "heart to heart" chat with God I just laid on top of my car in silence in my front driveway where no one knew I was and closed my eyes and told God that I am ready for whatever sign He wants to send me. I do not expect a "sign" to come right away... but I did enjoy sitting outside in the silence trusting God heard me and knowing that He will send me that "sign" about my life at just the right moment. I have to just be patient enough to wait for it to come....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"my own mental tug-of-war game...."

I feel as though God has been sending me a message lately... not that he doesn't try to send me messages daily, but I feel he has been more persistent in trying to gain my attention the past few days. I have been praying a lot to him about different things the past few weeks, mostly about my job. Yesterday, after one of the times I sat down and prayed to him about it I went on facebook and received this message....

"Teresa got a message that on this day, God wants her to know.... that tonight you can turn your worries to God, and have a good night's sleep. You've been worrying too much about the future lately. So tonight, go ahead, put your faith in God, and just have a peaceful evening and a restful sleep."

I do not really know how to take this message other then believing that God did want me to read it... especially after praying to him and letting him know I was worried about the future... It was a close moment that I was grateful for...

Today during Mass, Father talked about the importance of being patient about how God wants to let us in on His plans for our path. It was something I needed to hear yet again. I may not understand the whole deal with possibly losing my job, but if I do then obviously it is because God is ready for me to move on from there to something better... what that something may be I do not know, and I guess that's where the worrier in me wants to come out.

I admit I can be a worrier with some things, and I need to learn to just leave it all in God's hands. In a way that is kind of scary for me, but if I really believe God has the best things planned out for me then I really should not be scared. I guess that is the mental tug-of-war that goes through my mind when I start to worry about something, but I suppose that is only human.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Acceptance... that is one thing I always have to work on doing. I struggle with acceptance, especially when it comes to change. Me and change do not go well together. It is funny how when everything goes my way I do not have a problem with change... it's only when the unexpected (as in not what I planned) happens that I have trouble accepting what God has sent my way... Anyway, I found this poem, and felt like sharing.

Acceptance by Robert Frost
When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened. Birds, at least must know
It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
One bird begins to close a faded eye;
Or overtaken too far from his nest,
Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe!
Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night bee too dark for me to see
Into the future. Let what will be, be.'

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm back up and running

Thank God I am 100% better. I am sorry I have not posted a thing all week-end. I have been busy catching up on so many things that I let go while being sick. Studying for mid-terms, homework, cleaning, running errands... etc. Saturday was very much my "catch-up" day. Nothing too fun, just nice to finally be up and running all the way. I even bought myself a cheep cell phone, which I have been needing to do for quite some time.
Today was much more fun in some ways. We had our youth Mass today which was very nice. I enjoyed some pizza and fellowship with a number of friends who told me I "dropped off the radar" this past week... I guess they missed the memo that I was down with the swine flu. I was pretty much out for a few days and did not totally think to make sure all my friends knew... but I figured if they cared that much about me they'd call and see what's up.
After that I had a meeting for the retreat I am helping to plan.... I had to leave early, which didn't bother me too much considering the meeting had gone on for nearly 2 hours when I finally left. I felt kind of bad for the people who did not get to leave early. It was fun to see my friends from that particular group though. I feel awful because I do not get to see them nearly enough, so part of the reason I was so happy to help out with the retreat this year was because I knew I would be able to see them.
After the meeting I had a delicious dinner at T.G.I. Friday's with some friends. It was a fun time with a few good memories I will be keeping for a good laugh every so often. I ended the day at our parish renewal this evening. We had our largest group turn-out, which was nice for the final night of the event. It was on the topic of the sacraments. It was a good time.
Now I am off for some more mid-term studying...I think this will be a late night.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How it all went....

Since I could not make it to the Eucharistic procession last night I have been "bugging" friends on facebook for details about it, and here are some of the things I heard.... Thank goodness everything went off so well! :)

Loralee: Oh no!! Get better sooooooon :)
The procession was AWESOME! We had WAY more people than anticipated, and kept printing out more and more programs. We began with Adoration, then sang a song on the way out, followed by alternating rosary decades and songs (Latin & English) during the procession. But we finished about halfway around the block, so then one of the friars started the Chaplet and we sang a few more songs on the way back to the church. We concluded with Benediction and the reception!
What was really awesome was the way people just stopped and watched as we went by - it was quite majestic with the Knights of Columbus and everything. We had candles and flashlights to see the words by and the Eucharist was illuminated throughout the procession......wish you could have been there!

Me: yep... I've been sick with it now for about five days. Trust me, if it weren't for the swine flu there was no way I would have missed it for the world! How many people? Do you have pictures? Did Kyle come down with some other seminarians??? How did other people react?
Ania: like almost a hundred i think :). the criterion came so there will be pictures and my mom took some. and yes kyle came down with two seminarians. :) yay people asked a lot a question. i'll tell you all about it when you get better!

"Saint Anthony: The Miracle Worker"

As ya'll all know I have been at home sick and spending most of my time either sleeping, reading, or watching tv... Today, my mom decided to turn on the movie "Saint Anthony: The Miracle Worker." St. Anthony happens to be one of my favorite saints, but I never really knew that much about his life. I just knew that if I lost something he would be the one to help me find it.... I have to say that although the movie is in Italian and you have to read the subtitles, I enjoyed learning more about this saint... There are some very interesting things that happened in his life which I was surprised about..... If you want to watch a good movie, I suggest this one!

This is the first feature length dramatic film on the life of St. Anthony of Padua, one of the most popular saints in Christian history, and one who is even revered by Muslim and Hindu communities. Shot on location in Italy with top-notch acting and glorious cinematography, this film tells the story of his amazing and adventurous life from his youth to his death at a young age. Born into a Portuguese noble family in 1195, Anthony defied his father's wishes to become a knight and, instead, followed the call of God to become a humble monk. He eventually joined the Franciscans and was a follower of St. Francis of Assisi. Anthony became renowned for his powerful preaching and his miracles that won countless souls for Christ. This film tells of his travels through Italy, his mission to Morocco, and his meeting with St. Francis. It beautifully portrays the power of his preaching, the holiness of his life given completely to Christ, his love for the poor, and the wonders of his miracles. Worn out and sick from his dedication and zeal, Anthony died at the age of 36 in Padua shortly after working his last great miracle. Soon after his death he was canonized a saint by Pope Gregory IX., DVD Video Movie - 95 min., Please Note: In Italian with English Subtitles

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is so not cool.......

I'm feeling much better then yesterday... spent most of my day yesterday asleep in bed. I also no longer have a fever, but every part of my body still aches terribly. I guess the main thing that I hate about having this flu is that the Eucharistic procession that I have been looking forward to for the past month is happening this evening and I have decided not to go. I do not want to make myself worse considering I do not have health insurance, plus I do not want to potentially make others sick by being around them tonight. This is really hard for me because there are going to be some people there who I have been looking forward to seeing, but there is a reason I got sick at this time. I guess I'll be staying home tonight and praying here for everything to go nicely. It's all I can do... Please keep those who are going to the procession in your prayers as well. I am sure they would greatly appreciate it! I think I may take one more day off of work to make sure I am really ready to go back without potentially getting myself sick again because I went back to work earlier then I should...
I think the strangest thing about me being sick this time is that I really have not wanted to eat anything... for those that know me, not wanting to eat is a sign of me being really sick. Even with strep throat I still get extremely hungry, but I've had to pretty much force myself to eat this time... the only time I don't want to eat something is when I am sick with a stomach virus, but that's understandable...
I am now going to go lay back down because I don't have much more energy for anything else at the moment.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stay Healthy!!!

The past few days I have felt like I was getting a cold... It wasn't until yesterday when I found out a co-worker of mine had come down with the swine flu virus did I think anything of the swine flu... I was in not wanting to believe I had come down with the swine flu, but this morning when I woke up (I slept through my alarm...) my head was pounding, everything ached all over, I went through phases of being hot and cold, and just did not want to move. I found out I had a 100.7 temp, so I called in sick and made an appointment with my doctor. By the time my appointment came around my temp rose to 101 even and my doctor said she had no doubt that I had the swine flu... So for those of you who haven't looked much into the flu symptoms I thought I would post them on my blog. Better to be safe then sorry I always say......

Although the name 'swine flu' brings up a lot of extra fear and worry, it is important to note that swine flu is just an influenza A H1N1 virus.

That means that it is just another type of flu virus, just like that causes our typical seasonal flu symptoms. The big difference is that the current swine influenza A (H1N1) virus new and most of us don't have any immunity to it. That is what made it so easy for it to become a pandemic virus (have the ability to cause a global outbreak), because it could easily spread from person-to-person.

After a summer of declining flu cases, swine flu cases are on the rise as kids are going to back to school, as you can see on this swine flu map.

Swine Flu Symptoms

According to the CDC, like seasonal flu, symptoms of swine flu infections can include:

  • fever, which is usually high, but unlike seasonal flu, is sometimes absent
  • cough
  • runny nose or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme
  • diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes, but more commonly seen than with seasonal flu

Signs of a more serious swine flu infection might include pneumonia and respiratory failure.

If your child has symptoms of swine flu, you should avoid other people and call your pediatrician who might do a rapid flu test to see if he has an influenza A infection. Further testing can then be done to see if it is a swine flu infection. (Samples can be sent to local and state health departments and the CDC for confirmation of swine flu, especially if a child is in the hospital.)

Swine Flu High Risk Groups

With regular seasonal flu, infants and the elderly are usually thought to be most at risk for serious infections, in addition to people with chronic medical problems. Swine flu high risk groups, people who are thought to be at risk for serious, life-threatening infections, are a little different and can include:

  • pregnant women
  • people with chronic medical problems, such as chronic lung disease, like asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and immunosuppression
  • children and adults with obesity

Serious Swine Flu Symptoms

More serious symptoms that would indicate that a child with swine flu would need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Think I Have Finally Decided....

On which two songs I will use for my retreat talk about prayer.... I have mentioned before I am giving a talk at a high school retreat. With the talks we are supposed to choose two different songs that will help the teenagers focus on the topic of our talk. It took me awhile to figure out which ones I would use, but after much prayer I am pretty sure these will be it. I have some time to change them if I find another song even more better to use, but these two seem the best so far...

by Martina McBride

You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin'
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great
But sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This world's gone crazy
It's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
In a moment they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway

God is great
But sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
Yea - I do it anyway

You can pour your soul out singing
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yea, sing it anyway
Yeah, yeah!

I sing
I dream
I love anyway

"I Lay It Down"
by Matt Maher

Everything I am, everything I long to be
I lay it down at Your feet
Everything I am, everything I long to be
I lay it down at Your feet

I lay it down, I lay it down
I lay it down at Your feet
I lay it down, I lay it down
I lay it down at Your feet

Everything I am, everything I long to be
I lay it down at Your feet
Everything I am, everything I long to be
I lay it down at Your feet

I lay it down, I lay it down
I lay it down at Your feet
I lay it down, I lay it down
I lay it down

Oh, Pearl of greatest price
No act of sacrifice
Can match the gift of life
I find within Your gaze

Oh, what a sweet exchange
I die to rise again
Lifted up from the grave
Into Your hands of grace

Oh, Pearl of greatest price
No act of sacrifice
Can match the gift of life
I find within Your gaze

Oh, what a sweet exchange
I die to rise again
Lifted up from the grave
Into Your hands of grace

I lay it down, I lay it down
I lay it down at Your feet
I lay it down, I lay it down
I lay it down at Your feet

I lay it down, I lay it down
I lay it down at Your feet
I lay it down, lay it down
Lay it down at Your feet

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Taking the pill will most likely mess with attraction of the opposite sex....

This really does not surprise me....

Study Shows Birth Control Influences Mate Choice

By Stephanie Jacob

Can taking birth control pills influence who you’re attracted to and who is attracted to you? New literature published in the journal "Trends in Ecology and Evolution" suggests just that.

Women who are ovulating are said to prefer more manly men -- those with more masculine facial features, a competitive nature and fewer genetic similarities to their own -- than when they are not ovulating, according to background information in the study.

And men have been found to be more attracted to women during the time of the month when they are ovulating and most fertile.

Women who take the pill, however, don’t experience the mid-cycle change, hormonally, and are more consistently in a state that mimics pregnancy.

“The use of the pill by women, by changing her mate preferences, might induce women to mate with otherwise less-preferred partners, which might have important consequences for mate choice and reproductive outcomes,” Alexandra Alvergne, Ph.D., lead author of the study, told

The pill’s influence on reproduction is of particular interest to the study authors. “The ultimate outstanding evolutionary question concerns whether the use of oral contraceptives when making decisions can have long-term consequences on the ability of couples to reproduce,” Virpi Lumma, Ph.D., co-author of the study, said.

Past animal studies have shown that genetically similar mates have a harder time producing offspring, and the offspring they do produce are, in turn, less fertile, according to ABC News.

But other experts downplay the significance of those findings. “In the human world, infertility from genetic similarity has not been found to be true, even though people have suspected it,” William Hurd, M.D., a fertility expert at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, told ABC News. “Doctors tried for years -- they thought that recurrent miscarriages were related to genetic similarity, but they couldn’t find an example.”

Hurd also points out that the study doesn’t talk about trends in mate selection, but only about preferences.

“Probably the biggest change in my lifetime is how people meet each other: online and using programs that match them for compatibility,” he said. “That’s probably going to have a massive effect on how people end up dating and ultimately reproducing. Just because you like someone with a square jaw in the middle of your cycle probably doesn’t affect who you end up with.”

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What's Work Without Passion???

I recently had a conversation with another woman that works in the same building as me. I never really have talked much to this woman before, but I have seen her almost everyday while on my way to do my usual job of washing the dishes. She asked me if I was in college and what I was majoring in, so I told her that I am majoring in early childhood education. She looked at me and said, "You know you're gonna be poor for the rest of your life, right?" I looked at her sort of surprised she was being so frank with me considering I really have hardly said anything to her but hello every now and then when I pass her in the hall. I told her that I was well aware that pre-school teachers do not make much money, but I wasn't really looking for the best paying job. I told her that teaching kids is what I love to do and I would rather do something I really love to do everyday and be poor for the rest of my life then spend my days rich but dreading going to work everyday because I wouldn't have the passion for what I was doing to make the money. I think to really enjoy something you have to have passion for it. What's life without passion? It would be very boring and depressing in a way to do something you have to do without the passion to drive me to do my very best.
So what do I really love about my job? Why am I so happy to go to work everyday? The kids. I love those kids. I love kids in general. They are excited to learn and at the age I am working with, three year olds, there is so much going on cognitively with them. It is exciting to watch and see their minds working as they are trying to master something they have been working on for weeks to figure out. It is enjoyable to see the moment when that light bulb switches on in their minds and they finally get it. I love knowing that these children trust me to take care of them when they hurt themselves. I love coming into work every morning and immediately being encircled by children all waiting for their usual morning hug from Miss Resa. I enjoy cuddling with them when they just feel the need to be held in someone's lap. I really love helping them learn the basic skills like going to the rest room, how to treat their friends in the right way, learning how to be a good sport when things do not necessarily go their way. Those types of things help with how they will treat others when they are older. I also get excited when I teach them new concepts and they get what I am teaching them... Sometimes I do not think people realize that play happens to be the best way for young children to learn. Some parents need to see some sort of "paper work" to prove that their child is learning something, when the best learning they have at that age really is while they are playing with each other. Knowing that I am helping to "form" the minds of the future generation is an exciting and challenging thing to think about, so I take my job very seriously. Teaching young kids is what I have passion for, and so I do not mind being poor in exchange for all I get to and all the love I receive for anything.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!!

Today is my parents wedding anniversary. They have been married for thirty-seven years today. They have seen much hardship through their marriage. They started off poor and had to work hard together to get what they have now. They took in two of my older cousins when my mother's sister died and helped raise them as best they could. They had to go through sadness while trying hard for seven long years before finally having my sister.They've had to go through a lot of emotional stuff with my older brother. Not having much money in the first place to help him when he needed a liver transplant, and even after all their hard work raising money for him the still ended up having to bury a very sick son must have been really hard to go through. They had to fight the addiction of alcohol together. While my dad was working on himself to get clean and sober my mom was busy with two daughters of her own.... my sister and I. They ended up having two more kids and worked hard to give us what we have now. They are both very involved with the church and try to help out in any way they can. They helped my older sister raise her three children in a way since my sister and her boys lived at home with us for a large part of their lives. Even now they worry about all of us and just want to make sure we live the best way we can. To me after all they have gone through in those thirty-seven years they have truly taught me what real love is. I hope to find a man that is as good to me as my father is to my mother. I pray to have a relationship as great as my parents.
Most people I randomly run into know me as "Danny and Suzanne's daughter." Sometimes I feel as though I wish people would not think highly of who I am because of who my parents are, because I want to be thought highly of by what I do and the way I do it, not because I am their daughter. As I think about everything they have gone through together I realize that I am very proud to be their daughter and feel very blessed that God wanted them to be my parents.

This is so heartbreaking...

Little Soldier Girl "Didn't Want to Let Go"

Four-year old Paige didn't want to say goodbye to her daddy before he was shipped off to Iraq

Updated 12:34 PM EDT, Wed, Oct 7, 2009


Abby Bennethum

A family photo that shows a little girl beside her father and his fellow soldiers in uniform as they prepare to go to war has resonated well beyond the tight knit Bennethum clan.

Four-year-old Paige Bennethum really, really didn't want her daddy to go to Iraq.

So much so, that when Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Brett Bennethum lined up in formation at his deployment this July, she couldn't let go.

No one had the heart to pull her away.

The commanding officer allowed Paige to say goodbye as her dad prepared to ship off from Fort Dix.

Paige's mom Abby captured the moment with her camera and her aunt passed the image along to a Berks County, Pa. newspaper.

"I’ve had strangers looking me up online, sending me messages that they are touched by it ... offering a lot of support," Abby Bennethum told NBCPhiladelphia.

The picture took on a life of its own online this week. Abby says that suddenly, people were knocking on her door. "Literally overnight, there's all these people that just want to do anything they can," she says. Though she says her husband hasn't seen any stories about his family yet, he expects to.

For her part, Paige still remembers how she felt that day in July. Looking at the picture of herself – her dad now overseas – Paige remembers, "I didn't want to let go of him."

She calls the work he does transporting supplies across the Iraqi border, "just nice."

But that doesn't change her feelings.

"I just miss my dad right now," she says.

Sgt. Bennethum, 30, is expected home next July. Until then, Paige plans to help her mom take care of her little sister and a new baby that's on the way.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"For These Times"

I was listening to a Martina McBride cd last night while trying to fall asleep. Sometimes I do that, turn music on because having it quietly in the background helps me sleep better than pure silence. Some people have to sleep with fans on, well I guess music is kind of like my "fan." Anyway I had just turned off the light when the song below came on. It really did make me think about my own job. There are so many different kids that come into the daycare. Some have had some very sad backgrounds before they started coming to St. Charles, parents abandoning them with their grandparents, watching parents go through a divorce, but too young to really understand the reasoning behind their parents splitting up..... other things like that. The nice thing about working at St. Charles is that the families who put their children at the daycare are the one's that are very involved and caring and affectionate with their kids. They want what's best for them. For the kids who had it rough before coming to the daycare we can tell by how they act that they've had it rough. They need a little bit more patience and attention from us teachers, and this song helped remind me that what I really need for my job is a "a heart full of tender mercy and arms I will open wide." It's the least I can do to help make these kids lives a little bit better by making their time spend in my classroom a happy and safe place for them to fall.

For These Times lyrics
Martina McBride

In these times in which we live
Where the worst of what we live
Is laid out for all the world on the front page
And the sound of someone's heartbreak
Is a soundbite at the news break
With a close shot of the tears rollin' down their face
Blessed be the child who turns a loving eye
And stops to pray
For these times in which we live

In these most uncertain hours
Where the balance of power
Is a fight that is fought every day
And freedom is a word
Some cry out and some whisper
And some are just too quick to give away
Blessed be the one who stands by the one
On the battle line
For these times in which we live

Well give me a heart full of tender mercy
And arms I will open wide

For these times in which we live
Seems like the only answer is
Givin' up on findin' one at all
And we hide behind unsure
Pull the blinds and lock the doors
And hang a pleasant picture on the wall
Blessed is the believer who knows love is our redeemer
And the only breath of life
For these times in which we live

Well give me a heart full of tender mercy
And arms I will open wide
Yeah give me words full of loving kindness
And hands ready to hold up a light
For these times in which we live
For these times in which we live

"Rader cornerback believes he was penalized for praying after a touchdown..."

I found this a little bit disturbing....

Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:16 pm EDT

Raiders cornerback thinks he was flagged because of his religion

An Oakland Raiders cornerback claims he was penalized on Sunday for making a religious display while celebrating an interception.

After picking off a Matt Schaub(notes) pass in the end zone, Oakland Raiders cornerback Chris Johnson celebrated by dropping to his knees and raising his arms in triumph. He was instantly flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration.

Johnson later complained that he was whistled for thanking God:

"I'm just getting on my knees giving my respect to God. I don't see how that's a personal foul or anything like that."

He actually stated exactly why it's a personal foul in the first sentence and the reasoning has nothing to do with religion. A rule instituted in 2006 prohibits NFL players from celebrating in the end zone by "going to the ground to celebrate a touchdown or using the ball as a prop." The instant Johnson fell to his knees he violated the rule. After he did that, Johnson could have read scripture, done a silent prayer or helped an old lady across the street and it wouldn't have mattered. (And, incidentally, it looks a lot more like Johnson is asking the heavens to praise him, rather than the other way around.)

So, there is no religion controversy here (despite attempts to start one by some Bay Area bloggers), but there is still an issue, namely that the NFL's touchdown celebration rules are inconsistently enforced and completely hypocritical.

It's not OK for Johnson to go to the ground in celebration/prayer after an interception, but Jared Allen(notes) can fall to his knees during his lame sack dance? And the Lambeau Leap is fine, but players can't coordinate a touchdown high five? And what's the difference if a player raises his arms in triumph while on a knee but not while standing on two feet?

I'm loathe to defend a guy who obnoxiously celebrates an interception in a game in which his team is down by 13 points, but Johnson is correct in that there's no reason getting on his knees should be a personal foul. But it's not the fault of the official who flagged him, it's the fault of the NFL owners who voted three years ago to restrict celebrations.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting Theoretical While Watching House

I am a huge fan of the show House. Tonight's episode was very interesting. In it there was an African dictator that became extremely sick and came to America to find a cure for his illness. The interesting thing about this whole show was watching how the characters were dealing with trying to save one man's life, because by saving his life it would most likely help kill thousands of other innocent people through genocide by that dictator. It brought up a point a good point. Is it okay to kill one man to save thousands of others?
After watching that episode I have become somewhat very confused. Part of me feels like it is okay to kill a person to save thousands of others, but then another part of me totally disagrees with that. I mean do I think it is okay to kill a doctor that does abortions even though he is helping to kill thousands of innocent lives? It is all very confusing to me because I do not think it is right to kill an abortionist, so I suppose it is not okay to kill a dictator threatening genocide either. Then again I go through this inner battle with myself because isn't one death more preferred to losing thousands of innocent lives? It is a very fine line right there and I am thankful that the story in House was obviously something I hope I'd never have to encounter because I am not sure how I would act myself...

Differences of Christianity, Judaism, and Islamic beliefs

Last night at my parish we had a speaker come and talk a little bit about the history and communication between the Church and Muslims. I found the talk interesting, but I felt as though I did not get enough information about all the different differences between what us Christians believe and what the Muslims believe. I know that all three religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Muslims all believe in God, but other than that there are quite a few differences in all three religious beliefs. I found the chart below somewhat helpful in learning more about where all three religions stand on certain important points in the faith.

Comparison of Religious Beliefs

type of theism
strict monotheism
strict monotheism
Trinitarian monotheism
ultimate reality
one God
one God
one God
names of God
Allah (Arabic for God)
Yahweh, Elohim
Yahweh, the Holy Trinity
other spiritual beings
angels, demons, jinn
angels and demons
angels and demons
revered humans
prophets, imams (especially in Shia)
saints, church fathers
identity of Jesus
true prophet of God, whose message has been corrupted
false prophet
Son of God, God incarnate, savior of the world
birth of Jesus
virgin birth
normal birth
virgin birth
death of Jesus
did not die, but ascended into heaven during crucifixion
death by crucifixion
death by crucifixion
resurrection of Jesus
second coming of Jesus
divine revelation
through Muhammad, recorded in Qur'an
through Prophets, recorded in Bible
through Prophets and Jesus (as God Himself), recorded in Bible
view of sacred text
inspired, literal word of God, inerrant in original languages
views vary
inspired, some believe inerrant in original languages
human nature
equal ability to do good or evil
two equal impulses, one good and one bad
"original sin" inherited from Adam - tendency towards evil
means of salvation
correct belief, good deeds, Five Pillars
belief in God, good deeds
correct belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (some Protestants emphasize faith alone)
God's role in salvation
divine revelation and forgiveness
predestination, various forms of grace
good afterlife
eternal paradise
views vary: either heaven or no afterlife
eternal heaven
bad afterlife
eternal hell
views vary: either eternal Gehenna, reincarnation, or no afterlife
eternal hell, temporary purgatory (Catholicism)
view of fellow Abrahamic religions
Jews and Christians are respected as "People of the Book," but they have wrong beliefs and only partial revelation.
Islam and Christianity are false interpretations and extensions of Judaism.
Judaism is a true religion, but with incomplete revelation. Islam is a false religion.