Monday, April 23, 2007


Congratulations to my nephew, Benjamen, who was baptized this Saturday evening. And he didn't cry, fuss, or whine at all -- not bad for 6 months. Big brother Isaac (Age 6) just loved the smell of little Ben's tiny little, fuzzy head after the baby had been anointed with the Holy Oil. Too cute.  : )

Congratulations also to my youngest sister and her new husband as well. Saw them last night at the baptism and they both seem happy to be newly married.

God Bless!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Congratulations Craig W.!

Congratulations to Craig W., of Oregon. Craig made his First Holy Communion Easter Weekend. Craig is 7 years old, and the son of a dear friend of mine, dating all the way back to my high school years in England.

May God Bless and Guide you Craig as you continue to grow and learn in faith. How wonderful that you now share in the mystery of the Eucharist and can participate more fully in the mass.

We are proud of you (as are your parents I am sure! : ).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Raising Children: "Ahah!" Moments ...

You always wonder if you are raising your kids the right way. Am I teaching them the right things? Am I too strict? Am I not strict enough? The list of wonders and worries can go on and on. It is a tough job raising kids and it is one of the most important jobs in the world --in my opinion. You are setting the stage for who they will be for rest of their lives. No pressure right?

Well I am trying to raise smart, savvy, loving and compassionate children. I don't want my kids to just be good followers, who just go along with the crowd. I want them to question the world around them, to seek answers and understanding, and to be amazed by the wonderful world in which we live. I want them to see how they, and the decisions and choices that they make, impact the world. I don't want my children to just blindly accept the information that they are given. Granted, this approach to parenting makes my job as a parent a bit harder: I can't just say "I'm the parent, now do as I say period." all the time and that's the final word. I reserve this for special circumstances. And as they grow and mature, I have to adjust my parenting style. So it is an ongoing process.

While parenting is a tough job: you do occasionally have moments where you can actually see the "fruits of your labor" in the words and actions of your children. I had one of these just the other day.

My children's school has its big annual fund raising event in April. They have items donated from school families, individuals, and businesses to auction off at a big dinner event. They also sell all kinds of raffle and other tickets. One of the tickets that they were selling this year was a "free dress" pass -- this is our first year at the school, so I don't know if they've done this in previous years. Anyway, the school has a required uniform dress code everyday and they only allow a few dress free (less than 10 total) days for the entire school year. So a "free dress" day is a big deal for the kids.

The tickets for a free dress pass were selling for $5.00 a piece. When I asked my oldest about purchasing a ticket she expressed her concern that many students attend the school on need-based scholarship and have large families. She was concerned that these students would not have the means to purchase a free dress pass and that they might feel left out on the "free dress" day. So she questioned whether it was right to sell the free dress passes and she did not want to buy one for this reason. She talked her sisters out of biuying one too.

Talk about an "Ahah!" moment! I was so proud of my daughter. I guess that some of what I'm doing is helping to shape a wonderful human being after all. Praise God! So even though you don't always get immediate feedback parents: hang in there! You're doing a great job! And in an unsuspecting moment you're sure to see some glimmer of hope just like I did.

"Shut Up!"

And no, I'm not talking about "Shut up!" meaning the new slang for "No Way!" ...

The biggest challenge of motherhood for me is finding enough of me to go around and keeping a balance between the needs of everyone and everything else, while still maintaining a little bit of an identity for just me -- things I do just for me ... which, as of late, is virtually nothing.

At times, the balancing act, can be just overwhelming -- especially when I am sick -- and all of the balls that I'm juggling get dropped and scatter, but with the grace of God I get through the hard times and am able to enjoy the good times when they come around again. And sometimes, the good is mixed right in with the bad ... the two are not mutually exclusive I've come to learn.

As I get older, I realize that these "good times" can pass right by, unnoticed and untouched, if you don't take the time to slow down and just enjoy the moment -- even if, at times, you wish that some of the hard moments would just fly by.

A friend of mine sent me a commentary on the process of aging and our changing perception of the passing of time as we age. The piece is by George Carlin?. It is a funny piece, but so true. I'll share it with you when I locate it again (see end of entry).

But I have a question for other moms out there: how do you handle relentless fighting among siblings? It has gotten really bad for my family lately, especially when I am driving. I mean, I have come to dread picking the kids up at school at the end of the day. They haven't seen each other all day and the first thing they do is get into the car and tear into one another? Where is this coming from?

The only way I seem to be able to get a word in edge-wise is use the commonly-used kid terminology of:"Shut Up!" Sounds terrible right? That's just what I used to think too until confronted with sheer and utter exasperation while driving -- and more importantly trying to drive safely which is hard to do when you are trying to referee an argument(s) and going on an average of 2-3 sleep hours each night.

"Shut Up!" gets their attention and it works -- probably because they are so surprised to hear it coming from Mom, who has previously told them that is wrong to say. I realize that "Shut Up!" isn't the best solution and only a short term solution at that. I need to come up with something better! Any suggestions?

I couldn not find my friend's email, so I looked on Google. Here's What Google had to say about the commentary on aging and our perceptions of time as we age:

"Thoughts on Aging from Comedian George Carlin-Fiction!

Summary of the eRumor: A humorous commentary on aging with some thoughtful suggestion about how to keep a youthful perspective while growing older and said to have been created by comedian George Carlin.

The Truth: We've not found any evidence that this is from George Carlin. It is a combination of two different collections of sayings about aging that have been put together and credited to him. They've circulated since late in 2003.The first one is all over the Internet without attribution and ends with the phrase "I'm one hundred and a half!"

The next one, titled "How to Stay Young" is also circulated widely by itself and is usually attributed to George Carlin, but we have not been able to find where it really came from.

Updated 6/9/06
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:


George Carlin's Views on Aging Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to Get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so Excited about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key. You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump To the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey,you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . you Become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!! But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you Sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed? You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone. But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would! So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60. You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92." Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!" May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!! "

Funny (big smile : )- )! But so true? What stage are you at?

For more info please see: