Wednesday, December 28, 2011

For the Feast Day of the Holy Innocents

For today's remembrance of the Holy Innocents, I have a blog post up at Catholic Sistas called Protectors of Life or Threat??  Come on over and visit.  If you like what you read, please consider sharing with others via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or other social media.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day and is still enjoying the Christmas Season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 33


The boys are doing really well!  They had a doctor appointment earlier this month, 6 month well visit.  They are both progressing well and are very close together in all their measurements.

Peter, 6.5 months
Peter weighed 15 pounds and 4.8 ounces, 10th percentile for his age.  He is also 26 inches long, which is in the 25th percentile.  Pretty good!  I'm pretty sure his stats at his earlier appointments were all in the 5th-10th percentile ranges.  His head is 43 and a half centimeters, which is in the 50th-75th percentile range. Oh my!!  He definitely gets his head size from my side of the family!

Ethan, 6.5 months
Ethan weighed 15 pounds and 5.2 ounces.  Basically the same, only four tenths of a difference from his brother.  Obviously he's in the same percentile range as Peter.  Length-wise he's 25 and a quarter inches, only 3/4 of an inch smaller and yet that puts him in the 5th percentile.  It's amazing what a difference of less than an inch does.  His head is exactly the same as Peter's.  My boys have big heads.  That does not surprise me in the least.  


Just before Thanksgiving we bought a mini-van.  When we did we did not trade in Hubby's car.  Instead he decided to sell it himself.  He had some leads that didn't work out so finally he put it up on Craig's List.  Within the first 24 hours we had several inquiries.  He made arrangements with someone to come check out the car last Sunday.  Just before they came over, he went to move the car into the driveway and it wouldn't start!  We've never had an issue with the car.  Never!!  He figured it was the battery and told the person who showed up to look at it that he would replace it and let them know so they could come test drive it later.  I was convinced that they wouldn't be back.  But Hubby replaced the battery that day, the potential buyers came back, test drove it, made an offer, and we made the deal!  Monday Hubby took care of the paperwork and when I got home from work that evening the car was gone.  Yay!!

We were so excited to once again sell something on Craig's List quickly!!  Maybe we should put the house on there!


Speaking of selling the house, our Christmas decorations are minimal this year.  And since we're also traveling south for Christmas we decided not to put the tree up.  However, we have a faux ficus tree in our bedroom that became a temporary alternate Christmas tree while I was wrapping gifts:

2011's temporary "Christmas" Tree


The boys got out a lot this week.  The bank and the mall with Dad on Monday and then a few parties, errands, and visits with me the rest of the week.  And I should note here that we are finally getting on a nap schedule!!  So with all the trips we have done this week, I've been trying to be in the car when they are tired since they fall asleep anyway.  It makes it easy.  Wednesday worked great!!  When they started getting tired and were ready for a morning nap, I got them in the car and we headed out to my in-law's.  We got there a little over an hour later with two well-rested babies and just in time for lunch.  They were great for a couple hours, got to eat, and then when afternoon nap time approached we headed back home.  It was perfect!


I had a girl's night out on Wednesday evening.  It was one of the best ever.  And the reason why??  One word: chocolate!!  We met at a friend's house.  Our meal was small, just a simple salad, some meatballs, and goat cheese and pita bread.  It was all yummy.  Oh, and wine, of course!!  But the main part of our gathering was really dessert: chocolate fondue.  We had marshmallows, fruit, pretzels, angel food cake, and some little cookies.  Our hostess's husband also made some chocolate Oreo truffles for us that were amazing.  Chocolate, wine, and good friends!  Doesn't get much better than that.


I must take a moment to share something serious.

Last week a friend of a friend decided to abort her 20 week baby after a prenatal test showed the baby had Downs Syndrome.  Many, many, MANY friends prayed all weekend for this mom and her baby.  She originally had an appointment last Friday that was cancelled because she was too far along; she was rescheduled for Monday.  She had offers from friends to pay her medical bills and many offers from people willing to adopt the baby.  Lots of prayers went up over the weekend, no word Monday, more prays from countless people, still no update Tuesday ... we all continued praying that she didn't go through with it.  Wednesday we finally got an update.  It was not good news.  Please pray for this mother: she needs prayers as she is in the hospital now with excessive bleeding.  And continued prayers for her as the emotional impact hits her later.

Today about 90% of babies diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted.  Unfortunately, the tests are not 100% conclusive.  I discovered from friends as we all prayed for this girl that many of them had been given Downs diagnoses for their babies only to have the baby born without Downs.  Downs children can live very joyful, healthy lives and bring lots of joy to those around them.  There is also a very long wait list of parents waiting to adopt Downs Syndrome babies.  Abortion is never the answer, it just ends the life of an innocent child.

Please include this mother (because she is a mother whether she accepts that or not) in your prayers.  And please also pray for the little baby girl who is now in Heaven embraced by our Blessed Mother and surrounded by the Father's love.


Finally, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  I hope you get to spend the holiday with loved ones.  I would like to invite anyone who has not been to church in a while, who has fallen away from their Catholic faith, or who has never attended a Catholic Mass and is interested in Catholicism to come to Mass on Christmas.  The Midnight Mass is wonderful, but if it isn't feasible for you most churches will have several Christmas Eve Masses and will offer at least one or more Masses on Christmas Day.  To find out what Mass times are available at a Catholic Church near you go to  

And if you have been away from the Church for a while, I invite you to give it a try again and make the steps to come back as a regular attendee.  You can find a whole bunch of resources to help you in your journey back home to the Church at

May your celebration of the birth of Our Lord and Savior be a joyful one.  Merry Christmas!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[Almost] Wordless Wednesday

 Here's what we started in mid-November:

We're still working on it.

(Ethan pictured)

A Cherished Life

It was sad when , after announcing they were expecting their 20th child, the Duggar family received so much criticism.  All children are children of God, from the moment of their conception, and thus their life should be cherished and celebrated.  Why should a family that chooses to welcome however many children God sends to them be so criticized?  It's just sad.

My friend Colleen wrote a very articulate article on this topic in November at Catholic Sistas.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

Recently, the Duggars lost the baby they were so excited to welcome into their family.  They will be having a memorial service today for the the baby that they named Jubilee Shalom.

This is a family that truly cherishes life!!  Life at all stages.

It's a beautiful thing.

I was so pleased to see that they would be honoring their baby in this way.  Not only that, but it's being reported nationally that they named the baby and are having this memorial service.

Although I find practices like this common in my Catholic circles, I know miscarriage and pregnancy loss is still very much a private and hushed topic in our society overall.  The idea of naming a baby that was lost so early is still a foreign concept to the general population.

I hope the many critics of the Duggars will think twice before they criticize them again.  It is extremely painful to go through a loss, regardless of how many children you have.  A life is a life is a life.  The Duggar family knows this better than most people.

Being a mom of three babies already in heaven, I sympathize with the Duggars; my heart breaks for them right now.  But I also hope that this loss will have a positive impact on those many critics.  I hope the critics will see how precious this little life was.  I hope they will see how special this child, little Jubilee, is to be given a name and thus an identity.  I hope they regret being so critical of a family which has done nothing but love and cherish each child God has put into their care.

And I hope that by naming this child and having a service in remembrance of her that people everywhere will  begin to come to accept this as normal in recognizing a life lost due to miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

Can you imagine how different our world would be if the naming and recognition of all children who die before they are born into this world was more readily accepted??  Think about that!

I have been lucky, I am surrounded by a community that has been nothing but supportive of my family as we struggled through three pregnancy losses.  In thinking about what the Duggars are going through at this time and what they are doing today, I couldn't help but reflect on the burial service we had for our daughter Brigit Ann just a year and a half ago.

I pray that the Duggars will find peace through their suffering and that they will cherish this opportunity to say goodbye to their precious child.  I also pray that others' hearts will be softened by the witness of the Duggar family.

Jubilee Shalom, you were most certainly a cherished life.  I pray that your short life will have a positive impact on our fallen world.  May you rest peacefully in the presence of Our Almighty Father and be comforted in the arms of our Blessed Mother.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Wreath Link-up

Sarah over at Snoring Scholar asked for Advent wreath pictures.  So here's ours:

I took this just before we sat down for dinner on Monday night, as you can see if you look closely at the very bottom of the picture.  Next to the wreath, stuck in the napkin holder is the Magnificat Advent reflections book which, with two small babies around, we almost never get around to reading.

You may also notice that the candles aren't purple.  The day I went out to buy them I forgot to pick some up while I was at our local Catholic book store.  That happens to me a lot when I'm there!  Why?  Because I always run into someone I know, start talking, and then can't remember everything I intended to get.  I remembered later, by which time I was on the opposite side of town running errands.  So I ran into Michael's and burgundy candles were the best I could find.  At least I found a pink one for Guadate Sunday.

By the way, burgundy and pink were our wedding colors!  So it's all good.

I love our Irish wreath with the Celtic crosses on the candle holders and the other Celtic details.  My married name is very German, very different from my maiden name, so now I love incorporating as much Irish stuff into our family as I can.  Around St. Patrick's Day my husband even makes Irish soda bread now using my grandmother's recipe and my Our Lady of Knock rosary now sits on my husband's side of the bed for him to use when we say a rosary at night (which hasn't happened in a loooooooong time!).  Infiltration at it's best!

Happy Advent to everyone!