Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring has sprung

I'm too busy to post today, so you'll have to take a look at my cutie boys on the grounds of our church.

I don't either.

The boys and I were in the car on our way to church, when I had yet another sudden urge to ask my boys a question about Lent:

Me: Boys,what is the color we associate with the season of Lent?

Nick: Red

Me: (shocked that Nick did not know the answer) Nick. It's purple. Purple is the color of suffering, and during Lent we focus on Jesus and His suffering on the cross. Right?

After a long pause a small voice in the peanut gallery in the back of the car responded.

Gus: I don't like to suffer.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Barbie Joan

Every year I organize an event I call "Saint Night" for the youth program. The various faith development classes create displays and informative games honoring three select saints a year. This year's saints are Don Bosco, Joan of Arc and Giorgio Frassati. The goal of the saint night is to educate the young people and adults of our parish on how "human" these saints were and how, though flawed, they stayed true to the gospels and lived a life of heroic virtue and faith. It hopefully helps participants relate to these great men and women so that they can see a common element in the lives of the saint with their own. These displays are presented to parents and youth at a large gathering in the gym and is made all the more enticing with everyone bringing a dish to share for a potluck celebration.

The culminating event of the evening is a presentation created by my Junior High Youth Council. In the past, we've performed a play on the life of one of our saints on the school stage. But with the rise of technology and the relative ease of creating movies with video recorders, we have raised the bar by creating an actual film of the saint’s life. The youth council members serve as the actors, the church provides the environment for filming, our caring and sharing center provides the costumes, I served as the organizer and producer and my husband serves as the writer, camera man and editor of the film. (He does a great job although it takes a lot of time.) The saint we decided to tell the story of was Joan of Arc. We researched her life, obtained the actual transcripts of her trial, and filmed her story in an eclectic fashion focusing most of the film on her trial. Now, the youth council was adamant that a burning scene should occur. They felt that since they could not burn a real person, an effigy of one would be really good...almost better than the real thing. HA!

Me: "What do you all want to burn in effigy?"

Youth Council Members (sinisterly): A Barbie!

Me: A Barbie? That looks like Joan of Arc?

Youth Council: Yeah!

So. A Barbie.

Well, we finished filming all the scenes except for the final scene depicting the burning of Joan. We decided to film the scene from our home since we had most of the supplies there. Now, keep in mind that I have young sons. Curious young sons that were very interested in this Barbie burning since they have zero love for such a "useless" toy, but a great love for fire. As we set up the backyard with a stake and enough leaves for smoke, anticipation grew throughout the house. Jack, Gus and Nick were chattering to themselves about the Barbie burning. A couple of youth council kids came over to witness the event. I was sifting through my cabinets for vegetable oil (to douse her in) and matches, and Chris was preparing the camera for the one chance to get it right. In no time we were all gathered at the stake for the burning. The set was quiet. As Chris lit the first match, Gus had a question:

Dad, do all families burn Barbies?

At that point the set burst out in laughter and our noble cameraman stopped the tape. Take Two!!

(I hope to post thel film on the blog through U-Tube, but I need to get permission of parents first.)

Here are some pictures of the filming.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Almost, but not quite right.

After watching a touching movie about a couple having trouble conceiving a child, I overhear Nick and Gus discussing the whole problem:

Gus: Why can't they have babies?

Nick: (impatient) Because! He does not have enough fertilizer!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Jack and Gus were pleased to discover that I bought our first batch of sidewalk chalk today. It's surely a sign that Spring is on the way and that there will be many days in the sun drawing and playing. The boys asked to go outside and play with the chalk on our driveway. I, of course, took advantage of their offer to leave me in peace, and was happy to see them off. After awhile of silence, I decided that I'd better check on what they were doing. As I walked outside, I found a some beautiful chalk art on my driveway... Keep in mind that our driveway is on a steep grade so the whole neighborhood gets to see their art..a neighborhood filled with many, many, non-church going families. Well, if they suspected we were fanatics before, they'll surely know we are now. Isn't that great? Childhood evangelization at its most innocent.!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Conversion Story

Here's a beautiful, and quite humble story of a couple's conversioninto the church. May it be a reminder of the treasure we have in Christ this Lent.

Monday, March 12, 2007

virtual DNA

Chicken run

My family loves to eat chicken and I do too. Only problem is, I can't stand touching raw chicken. It feels too much like human flesh with all the muscles, skin and bones. If I'm really lucky (sarcasm), I get the privilege to view and pull out the remnants of a chicken feather still stuck in a raw fryer just purchased. Ewh. Bleck. Double Ewh. What kind of mother am I that I want to pewk when I handle chicken? Now, when I was a little girl, I would watch my mom masterfully handle a whole fryer, cut it up, break the leg bones, and turn it into a delicious dish that everyone would consume with gusto. She made it look so easy. I naturally thought that I would have the same talent when I grew up...that I would make the same kinds of delicious meals like my mom, but am somewhat ashamed to admit that I. DON'T.

In the early years of my marriage, I always purchased a large fryer from the chicken case. Why not? They were cheap. My mom and grandma always had a large stock of them in the deep freeze. They fed many guests and, well, heck? Who does not like chicken? Over time, I tried to master the skill of cutting up chicken, but I ended up using too many dull blades, spent too much time slicing through tough bone, or risking losing a finger or two. So I stopped buying raw chicken fryers and evolved to purchasing cut up pieces of chicken. That worked for a while. But the pieces were cut so large, that they were difficult to cook and I found it hard to determine if they were cooked thoroughly. Even so, because of budgetary issues, I continued to purchase the larger pieces of chicken (with bone included) until...well..until...I became pregnant. That was the straw that broke the camels back.

After five pregnancies where I was green for the first four months, just the thought of raw chicken would get me up off the couch to dry heave in the toilet. (Not a pretty sight.) After my last two pregnancies, I realized that I needed to narrow the kind of chicken I would purchase so that I did not have to handle any "skin". I no longer buy chicken with the skin/bone, I only buy boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins that are frozen and tend to be "buy one get one free" at least once a month at my grocery store. I stock up on those! But last night, I was given a gift from GOD! I visited my grocery store late in the evening to get a few things for the kids’ lunchboxes. As I passed through the deli section, I spied those yummy, cooked, rotisserie chicken fryers...on sale!! Since it was the end of the day, the chicken fryers (did I mention that they are already seasoned?) were $3 off the regular $6 price!! There were only 6 chickens left....and I bought all 6! These guys are great for chicken potpie, spaghetti, in stews or soups! YUM! I get to skip the time consuming step of cutting, baking and cleaning up raw chicken juice and the kids get some really juicy chicken that they consume with gusto!

What is for dinner tonight? How can I resist making this easy meal?

How my husband feels all the time

While I was away conducting youth ministry events last night, Chris stayed home and proceeded to entertain Henry in a new way: he looked for a U-Tube film that might entertain him. What he found was this adorable baby from Germany that has a very happy heart. Henry was not too impressed, but Chris certainly enjoyed this child. Hope he makes you smile!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fasting to Feasting

Lent is a time for fasting but also a season for joyous feasting!
During Lent, the Church calls on us to fast from certain things and feast on others.

For example:
Fast from judging others...feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences...feast on the unity of life.

Fast from apparent darkness...feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness...feast on God's healing power.
Fast from words that pollute...feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from discontent...feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger...feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism...feast on optimism.

Fast from worry...feast on divine order.
Fast from complaining...feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives...feast on affirmatives.

Fast from unrelenting pressures...feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility...feast on nonresistance.
Fast from bitterness...feast on forgiveness.

Fast from self concern...feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety...feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement...feast on hope.

Fast from facts that depress...feast on truths that up lift.
Fast from lethargy...feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion...feast on truth.

Fast from thoughts that weaken...feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from shadows of sorrow...feast on sunlight of serenity.
Fast from idle gossip...feast on purposeful silence.

(Reflection obtained from

You know she must be the mother of five..

When she decides to take her baby for a walk and upon realizing she cannot find a blanket to wrap him in, she settles for her older son's baseball t-shirt. (All names withheld to protect the innocent.)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Multi-use cookies

I made some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies for the boys as their after school snack today. A perfect snack for a blustery winter day. Jack and Gus busted through the door just as I was taking them out of the oven. After a few minutes of cooling, I announced that the boys could each have two warm cookies to eat. Gus picked up his two cookies and immediately placed them on his cheeks. I was intrigued at his behavior as I watched him rub the big, warm, cookies on his face. With Gus, you never know WHAT the child is thinking, so it was with tentative questioning that I asked:

Me: Gus! Why do you have the cookies on your cheeks?

Gus: (perfect child logic) To keep them warm Mom!

Of course! I should have figured that. What better way to warm your cheeks but with warm, delicious cookies! Lesson learned.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

JP II Relics available if you hurry!!

You can get your own personal relic (a piece of one of the white cassocks JPII wore) from the Rome diocesan office today. All you have to do is email them or fax them with your request by going