Saturday, May 31, 2008

Genetic Counseling...

My Doctor's office called me on Thursday afternoon to tell me that my "testing" results came back as having a possibility of having a Downs baby. I told her that I had already been informed by my doctor when I saw him last week. She was very nice, but said she was calling to follow up and to see if I was interested in making an appointment to have "genetic counseling". The reason being that I could meet with a counselor and we could look more closely in to our (my husband and my) gene pools and determine if our "numbers" looked any "better" for the baby from that perspective....

I thanked her for the offer, but declined, as it wasn't really going to make a difference as to whether or not we had the baby. That we were sure that whatever the outcome, all of this was in God's control, anyway, and we would accept His will for our lives. But as I hung up the phone, it just, quite honestly, stuck with me... I don't know if they consciously realize how much these sorts of conversations can affect a mother to be... I mean, really... As much as I hate to admit it, it really has freaked me out a bit...

In my four previous pregnancies I have never had this type of testing before, that I know of... So I don't know if my "numbers" would have shown the same for any of them, or not, and I have 4, fairly healthy children... but now, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking, "what if?..." I mean, I know, because of my age that I was already at a higher risk... but it's not like I was going to... I don't know if I should say "worry" or "stress" but, maybe "think" about it so much.... But it does seem to have put a bit of weight on my mind that I wish wasn't there... Had I never been told, the thoughts probably would not weigh so heavily... I mean, after all, my chances of having a normal, healthy baby are still greater than not...
Some days I already feel so overwhelmed, and tired and like I just don't know how much more I can handle... What if I have a special needs baby?... What if I have a baby that will demand, by no fault of its own, more of my time and attention and possibly more money for medical needs?.... We have known and both worked with special needs children in our jobs (hubby and I). And we have alwasy been so moved and impressed at how families work together for the good of the child and how a special needs child can so often bring unexpected love and benefits to a family that were never expected... But, how will this affect the rest of my kids? My marriage? I know it's all in God's hands... In my mind I KNOW this... I really do... but I am human, and I am weak... Only in Christ am I strong...

Thank God for Fr. John... He really was the voice of Christ for me, today... I was blessed in going to confession this morning. We actually went to another parish first, but confessions had been cancelled because they were having first communion mass for a group of kids... So we ended up at our regular parish with Fr. John a couple of hours later. A permanent deacon for over 25 years, a biological father of 12 children of his own, a widower and now ordained priest for the past 5 years... I normally go to confession "in the box" because I have found it to be less "distracting" and able to focus, but for reasons not in my control, I had to go face to face. Fr. John greeted me warmly and I sat before him, closed my eyes and bowed my head. I told him that it had been WAY too long since my last confession and gave my list.... including my lack of trust and fear for the health of my baby within... Good ole Fr. John, father of 12, husband for many years, knew EXACTLY where I was coming from... he knew EXACTLY what to say to me... He told me that he and his beloved wife had been where I was at and they knew... That was enough to ease my mind... He told me that in the midst of my daily jobs to take time to remember the Holy Family, and to pray... when I feel overwhelmed and like no one is helping me or even noticing then, instead of dwelling on "where are they?" "why aren't they here, helping?" to ask God when I'm doing the dishes, "Lord, make my soul as clean as this dish..." when doing the laundry, "Lord, refresh my soul as these clothes..." yup... as simple as it was, it was what I needed to hear...

So, after making my act of contrition and Fr. giving me my penance and then placing his wise and shaking hands on my head for absolution, I wiped my tears and managed a smile, thanking him. But before I left he asked if I would mind if he touched my stomach.... The tears welled up again, as I nodded "yes" and he placed his hand on my belly and gave me and the baby another blessing.... I guess that's all the "counseling" I need, for now.... : )

Friday, May 30, 2008

Schooooools Out for Summer!

We are "officially" done with our school year... Yea! Okay, technically, we will continue with some math, reading and writing through the summer, but the pressure is off for this school year... this last week wasn't easy. We have dealt with the "battle of the barf" all week, starting with the oldest, last Saturday morning, the baby on Sunday-Monday, #2 on Tuesday, #3 all night long on Tuesday-Wednesday, Hubby came home Wednesday evening and tossed his cookies, and the baby, again, early Thursday morning and in the middle of the night last night... I have seen enough of my children's insides to last a lifetime, seriously.... No one is eating today... if I can help it... and me? well, at this point in pregnancy I am pretty much pukey ALL of the time, so I really couldn't tell what is normal, and what might be flu, at this point...

I could deal MUCH better if they were sick during the day when I'm awake and can take care of them, but in the middle of the night, when I'm half asleep... it ain't pretty... My mother, God BLESS her!! had mercy on us yesterday and came and took ALL of the laundry home to her house to wash for me... 'course, now I have to re-wash what the baby projectiled on last night... I hope every one's done for good, this time... Please say a prayer for us, and for our health. We meet with our resource teacher this afternoon to turn in our work and all of our books, etc... and I'd really like to get to confessions this weekend... it's been WAY too long... Thanks!

Falcon Update

Well the preserve called me back yesterday evening to tell us that the little male kestrel that we rescued was about a year old. He had broken his leg just above the knee, which wasn't very good news. This is a difficult place to heal.... but, the bird was splinted and doing okay for the time being. In the wild, it would be unable to survive without the use of that leg, so we did the right thing by taking it in. Ultimately they would like to have the bird fully recover and return it to the wild, but if not, I'm hoping that they will be able to keep it in captivity there at the zoo. It is an educational facility with lots of kids visiting year round. The kids would be thrilled to go back out and see their little "friend" again...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bird Watching

My sister came by this morning with a half of watermelon leftover from her weekend bbq to give us, and the kids took her out back to show her their chickens. Right there, next to the cage was what looked like a small hawk. We had already found a couple of baby doves, and a baby blue jay in the back yard, that all had been "kicked" from their nests, learning to fly over the past 3 or so weeks. The doves did just fine, but the poor little jay bird didn't make it... But this new little guy was CLEARLY in a different class and really beautiful!

I wasn't really certain what was wrong with the bird, other than it barely moved as we gathered around to look at it, and it seemed like it might be injured. So, we scooped it up in a box and called our local zoo/wildlife preserve. We took the bird out to the preserve and learned that it was an American Kestrel Falcon. Also known as a "Sparrow Hawk". My guess is that it possibly came from the HUGE overgrown palm trees that our next door neighbor has, but still not sure what could have been wrong with it, unless it injured something falling from the nest. There really weren't any visible injuries, other than it never tried to hop or get away, and kind of fell over when we got it in the box. Poor little guy... After we left it at the preserve they said we could call back and check on it. I hope it is able to survive... What a great end of year science project for the kids! : )

Saturday, May 24, 2008

ABC - vs - NFP

Paul, over at Thoughts of a Regular Guy has brought to my attention some great commercials, playing off the creativity of the PC -vs- MAC commercials. "Contraceptive" and "NFP" go head to head! They do a great job in pointing out that the two methods are just NOT the same! Check 'em out!

My Latest Doctors Appointment

Well, I returned to my doctor yesterday afternoon. My blood pressure had been running okay, between 128-132 over 77-80, so not too bad. But when I went in yesterday, after I signed in I was called across the hallway to the "billing department". Right away, I get a little funny feeling... You see, before I even SAW the doctor I had called our insurance about maternity coverage and was told that I was covered 100% for all maternity costs, minus the $100 deductible. But when I went in for my ultra sound a couple of weeks ago, was told I needed to pay my $80 co-pay before I saw the doctor. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, ultra-sounds are considered "extra" and fall under our 80%/20% category... whatever... thanks for letting me know... But! she told me then, all OTHER appointments with my doctor are included in my 100% coverage. Anyway, I go across the hall to see the billing lady...
And there, she places before me a breakdown of the "projected costs" of my maternity care (around $4400 for a vaginal delivery) and my "estimated" 20% that will be due BEFORE I go for delivery.... whoa!! Wait-a-minute!! So, I told her what my insurance had told me, not once but TWICE, over the phone, plus what the billing lady told me a couple of weeks ago when I went to have the ultra sound. So, she calls the insurance who does some checking and comes back to say that "yes" I'm covered 100% for "in-patient care"... okay, I said... what does that mean?... She explains that THAT means that I am covered 100% when I am IN THE HOSPITAL having the baby.... *BUZZ!!* --wrong answer, try again... So, she returns to the insurance people who do some more checking. A few minutes later she returns again and tells me, yes, I was right... I AM covered 100% for all maternity costs, EXCEPT ultra-sounds, which are considered "extra"... whatever... She then nonchalantly tosses the bill she had before me in the scrap box next to her desk and tells me "thank you. you can go : ) "
Great, lady, I'm thinkin'.... I already have blood pressure issues and NOW you want to send me back across the hall to see my doctor and have my blood pressure taken.... great... thanks... *sigh*... My BP turned out to be 140/78, but the nurse and doctor had a nice little chuckle when I told them what had happened only a few minutes earlier... I wonder how many more times I will have this happen?....
The rest of the appointment went pretty standard. It turns out that the finger prick test that I took along with the ultra sound came back with some "out of range" numbers, or something and that, basically, means that, combined with my age, puts me at an even higher risk for having a Downs baby... a 20% chance is what I was told... My doctor remains hopeful and optimistic, assuring me that my chances of having a healthy baby is still very good. The only way to diagnose "for sure" would be to have an amnio, but he felt that the risk was too high. If the baby is fine, I risk possibly miscarrying, due to the invasiveness of the amnio... and a definitive diagnosis wouldn't make a difference to us anyway. It wouldn't change whether or not we chose to have this baby... so... We continue to pray and trust in God's plan for our family... Not always easy, but we are confident that He won't hand us anything that we can't handle with His Love and Grace.
At his recommendation we will have another ultra sound July 3rd to check again on the baby's progress, and check all measurements, etc... He said that a lot more can be told by then, so that is what we will do... Any and all prayers offered for us and our baby are appreciated. God Bless!

College Graduation

Congratulations to my beautiful niece and God-daughter, a recent graduate from Cal State University Stanislaus and recipient of the "Outstanding Undergraduate Student in the Child Development Department" award! Her dream is to follow and do God's will in using her newly certificated gifts and talents to help those in most need. Most especially children.... Having already traveled overseas three times previous, she would love to return and continue this work, but is patiently waiting on His lead and directions. May God continue to bless her in her endeavors! I'm so proud of her!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The WRONG Way to have your stomach stapled...

So, about 6:15 this evening, # 4 comes in to our room where I was talking with her dad and she's fussing and sort of coughing and gagging. I motion for her to come to me and see that she has something in her mouth... I squished her cheeks in and told her to "spit it out" and tried to pry her little teeth apart and was finally able to fish not one, but TWO regular sized staple- staples out of her mouth. *GASP!* So I let her go and she fusses a little further and seems to maybe have another still in her mouth so I go back in. She coughed, bit my finger and then swallowed. Then she smiled at me, crawled off the bed and went on her merry way.... *ARGH!!*

I call the 24 hour nurse for our insurance, and she, of course tells me to err on the side of caution and take her to the urgent care. So! Here it is dinner time, I have a hungry husband and 4 VERY hungry kids and I have to take the baby to the Urgent Care.... And, no, of course I couldn't give HER anything to eat or drink until I could find out for sure if there was a staple stuck in her....

From the moment we walked in to the ER, #4 is waving "hi" to anyone that looks her way, smiling and laughing, clowning around as everyone says what a "Beautiful baby" she is, while I'm trying to remain calm and NOT think about a possible impending surgery to remove the tiny piece of wire stuck in her throat or windpipe.... The happiness just continued with the doctor and nurses in the urgent care, where she was treated as royalty, complete with all she could ask for Dora stickers. She had them all crackin' up... The x-ray tech was SO impressed with how cooperative she was, and I told him that that was because "the last guy she followed around in here gave her stickers" : ) so guess what she got MORE of?...

Thankfully, about 20 minutes later the Doctor returned saying that there was "no trace" of any staple anywhere. There could possibly be something mixed up in her stomach, but he didn't see anything, and a metal staple would definitely show up. Then he told me that IF she did swallow one and it was in her stomach, than she would most probably just pass it sometime in the next 24 hours... Just keep an eye out for any discomfort and watch her diaper output... Sheesh...

I just can't help but keep thinking "WHY a staple?? It's not like it's shiny, or smooth or colorful.... it's a sharp, poky STAPLE!!! WHY would you put THAT in your mouth and suck on it??!!" I'm telling you... parenting is NOT for sissies... Thank you, Jesus, for keeping my little 'stink-pie' safe, though... Lord knows I had my Blessed Mother on the job from the get-go... I could forgo any more "emergency" trips for awhile, now....

Answered Prayer, Angels and Miracles...

Just in case anyone was wondering.... God DOES answer prayer, Angels DO exist and Miracles STILL happen. I know... God is AWESOME!!

The Differance

Not being too much of a "political" type of person, I thought that this pretty well explained things so that even I could understand... God have MERCY on us!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Movie Night

Okay, well I watched two movies this last weekend. The first was a MAJOR chick-flick, called "P.S. I Love You". It was a cute movie... in between all the crying... Honestly, it was sweet, but man, I cried every other five minutes! Not a movie to watch when you are already suffering from sinus headache! And I'm sure the extra prego-hormones didn't help me any, but if you are in a mood to just sit and watch a "Cry" love-story, movie, this is it.

I also watched "Juno". It wasn't "Bella", that's for sure... but absolutely more edgy... The pro-life/pro-adoption message was definitely in the fore front, though, and I enjoyed that. I think it gives a good message for other young teens that find themselves in similar situations. I really liked the young girl that played Juno, Ellen Page. She was pretty cute... And there was also an underlying message, I think, of how damaging divorce can be to kids, and the long lasting affects of that. Anyway, for what it's worth, there's my movie critiques! : )

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Our Chicken Farm

Well, Daddy and the boys finally got around to completing their chicken coop this last weekend. Woo-hoo!! Mom was ecstatic to get the smelly little critters out of the house! I am convinced that they look MUCH cuter outside! : ) Anyway, I think the boys did a fine job on their construction and the chickens seem to be having a grand ole time scratching around in their new home. The boys take great delight in catching bugs to throw in and watching the chicks go to town! They are MORE than anxious to have them start laying eggs, but I don't think that will be for a few months, yet. In the mean-time, we're going to sit back and wait to see which will be hens, and which will be roosters.... : )

Bella on DVD

Well, I finally had the chance to see the movie Bella, when I rented it from Netflix this last weekend. A beautiful story, just as I had heard that it was. If you haven't seen it yet, it is very much worth it! If you have seen it already, then now is your opportunity to go out and get a copy of your own to add to your collection! The "three amigos" behind this great movie happen to be personal friends of my nieces and nephew. And having met one of the three, I have to say that his heart was nothing but pure and sincere in their efforts to return the movie theaters to good wholesome family values. The movie Bella was a great start in the right direction, showing a return to great family values with emphasis on the value of each and every human life, without being overly 'preachy' yet showing how precious and valuable life can be and how we all intermingle with one another's lives. Nothing too "in your face", but just that there are good people and good families with good values still left in this world. If you were like me, and haven't seen the movie yet, get out and rent or buy your own copy, today! You can click on the above picture to order it on line.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our Newest Addition...

Well, here he/she is... I finally got around to scanning the one picture I got from my first tri-mester ultra sound last week... Recommended by my doctor because of my, ahem, "age".... You can see the baby laying on his/her side with the little legs crossed at one end and the head at the other. Only about 3 inches long... just fascinates me... Anyway, everything checked out fine. I met with the specialist and I am about 14 weeks, now, so, God willing, everything going as planned, perhaps I'll be ripe by the end of October. Sorry, kids, I'm busy for Halloween! : ) (I haven't told them yet...)
Measurements and everything checked out fine. The one picture I WISH that I could have gotten was when the baby raised it's little arm and you could see the hand and each little finger, almost waving at me! and, of course, I could see the heart beat... I tell ya, even the plain old 2-D ultra sounds never cease to amaze me... I will go back at about 20 weeks for another check, and the specialist also recommends the AFP screening test, because, again, of my, ahem, "age"... I don't know, though. I was already set to decline it. I haven't had one for the last two babies, because I have heard of "false positive" readings, and it's not like it will change my mind about having the baby, anyway. The doctors like it so that we can be prepared, "just in case", but part of me thinks I don't need anything more to worry about right now... and if I get a false positive reading, well... I don't know... Anyway, any stories anyone would like to share?... I go back for a regular appointment with my doctor next Friday.

"The Mom's" Winner...

Well, we made third runner-up, but that's okay! I think she got a great picture for her winner! The two faces of what looks like grandpop and grandbaby together were just priceless! Go ahead and check them out! Who knows, my picture may still get a chance to show up on her set!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Could MY girls be on TV?

The Mom, over at the blog Shoved to Them has announced a photo contest for a "family-ish" picture to place on the set she will be sitting on in Cincinnatti for a National Pro-Life TV program. I have to admit that her blog has become one of my favorites to check out, because for some reason, I can just relate... : ) I absolutely choked on my macaroni the other day after reading about her recent conversation with her 2 year old! So, even if I don't win the contest, I know my girls are still beautiful, and I still enjoy reading "a day in the life" from one who seems to be a great mom, that doesn't take herself too seriously, yet loves who she is! You should check her out!

The Final Three...

Well, here it is. With Jason Castro gone, American Idol is down to the final three. I have been saying for several weeks, now that it would come down to the two Davids (Cook and Archuleta). So, is there anyone that thinks that Syeshia will stay in for the final two? I like the girl. I think she's cute as a bug and sings nice. But she has been on the "chopping block" more than any other contestant, I think... Heck, I was sure that Brooke White was gonna move on but Syeshia somehow managed to hang in! Anyway, I guess we'll see how tonight goes... As for the boys, I like them both, but I think that David Cook has a bit of an edge. He just seems more mature and perhaps a little better prepared to handle the "fan-damonium" than David A. David A has a great voice... I've loved him from the start. But he always seems, almost scared, before and after his performances... Bless his little heart! Either way, I know they will each have fantastic careers ahead of them! As anyone that's watched Idol as I have, knows, you don't necessarily have to be the "winner" to get the top 10 record deals... Can you say "Daughtrey"?...

Duggers Announce #18!

Wow! these people put me to shame! While much of the secular world still wants to cry about over population and saving the earth, the Duggers continue to trust God entirely with their "family planning" and are now expecting their 18th little "blessing"... And the really fantastic thing is that as much as people want to role their eyes at such a large family, the Duggers continue to CONTRIBUTE to society by faith and example, living entirely debt-free, as law abiding, tax paying, environmentally conscious Americans. No welfare, no government assistance. Not only that, but they are raising 17, soon to be 18, new citizens that will help US in the long run.... With so many people concerned with overpopulation, no one stopped to think with so few descendants, who would take care of the elderly when they were no longer able to work?... I guess that's why so many liberals now want to jump on the "euthanasia" band wagon... Can't take care of them, kill 'em... Backward thinking at it's best... No. I think the Duggers got it right... Is there any question that Jim-Bob and Michelle will be taken care of in their retirement years?... May God continue to bless the Duggers and their family! And I thank God for their example in living out God's plan for their life and family! Watch for their new up coming television special on Discovery Health.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Happy "belated" Mother's Day to You All!

I spent my weekend battling the head cold from h-e-double- l. Between being hunched over a pan of boiling water to loosen the gunk in my head, hunched over the sink rinsing the gunk from my head and hunched over the porcelain bowl tossing my cookies, it wasn't much of a day... I didn't even get the chance to make my mom a mother's day card, like I usually do... So, maybe I can take this opportunity where my head seems a little clearer, to pay tribute to the beautiful woman I call "Mom" and let you all know how special she is to me...

I was Mom's "surprise" child. She was 40 years old and her #4 child was 5. "Surprise!" #5 (me) was on her way.... Born just a couple of weeks before Mom's 41st birthday... I'd like to say that I was Mom's most perfect child, but, gosh, it's Mother's Day, and well... Even I can't say that with a straight face... : ] But this I do know... I WAS and still am, the "baby".... With three older sisters that barely let me touch the floor and a big brother that was rumored to have threatened to run away if my parents brought home ANOTHER girl.... I made the perfect "rag doll", "bean bag" and "princess". One of my older sisters just LAUGHS out loud when she hears me tell my older sons "Do YOU LIKE to hear her scream?!" when they are teasing their little sisters...

"You sound JUST like Mom did with us!" She tells me, "We used to look at each other when she'd ask that and wanted to answer, 'well, yes, mom... that's the game..." : ]

Oh, but regardless of the chaos that comes with raising 5 children, Mom was always the glue that calmly held us together through it all... She has taught me so much about being a Mom. Mom was the calm in the storm. Her Faith, unshakable... She made sure, not only did we get to Mass, but also to confessions on a regular basis. Her example was to turn to your Faith in all things, and God will see us through. So devoted to Our Blessed Mother, she taught me that there could be no better example for leading us to and keeping us close to Jesus. She taught me that there was no better example of being a "Mom"... Mom taught us our Faith not only by teaching us our prayers, but more so by her own life's example. I know that because SHE was able to raise 5 kids successfully in her "not so young" years, that there's hope for me!

And to this day, I remain one of her biggest fans... The love of my father's life, he taught us to love and honor and respect her all the days of our lives. I hope and pray that my children will be able to look to me one day as I do my own mother. Though I have to admit, even though Mom is a very small woman, those are some pretty BIG shoes to fill... I love you, Mom! A very Happy, though belated, Mother's Day to you!

What Is UP with This Baby?!

Sheesh! #4 is still in our room. She sleeps in her own crib, but it is still in our room. Now, #1 was over a year old before he was sleeping through the night. And that was AFTER I put him in his own room. I chalked it up to my being a new parent and not really knowing what I was doing. When #2 came along I was feeling much more confident in my parenting skills and had him sleeping through after a couple of months. #3? Well, she was DREAM!! She was sleeping through after the first couple of WEEKS! So I figured #4 would be a piece of cake! I was on a roll!! "Not so" said God, from His throne on high... (wah-wah-waaaahhhhh...)

SIGH-- #4, now 20 months old, has only been sleeping through the night consistently for the past couple of months... Suffice it to say, I have been ELATED with the "sleep-through" nights. Well, except for the middle of the night bathroom break that this current pregnancy is causing... (funny, God...) Anyway, for the last TWO nights, #4 seems to think that this sleeping soundly through the night thing is HIGHLY overrated, and has decided that "power sleeping" in short increments through the night, is the way to go... HA! "Not so" says the crabby, sleepy mommy from her comfy bed a few feet away... Unfortunately, #4 has a stubborn streak (hhhmmm... wonder where she gets that?...) and tried several different times, between the hours of 1 and 3am, to stand in her crib, blanket in hand, grunting at me to get up and get her. "Lay down!" was my response, at which point she would fall down, screaming in to her blanket for several minutes before quieting down again for a few minutes before her next attempt. I either fell back to sleep too soundly to hear any further attempts, or she finally gave up... Either way, it was a l o n g night... Pray for me... this has GOT to stop... I am SO tired....

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Here We Go Again...There is NO SUCH THING as a "Woman's Priesthood"!

Ugh! Does anyone else get as annoyed as I do, when these so called "progressive Catholics" start babbling about God treating all his children equal and therefore, in so many words, the Church needs to 'lighten up' and allow women to be ordained to the priesthood? THAT would just solve ALL of our problems, right?... Sorry, doesn't hold well for THIS woman... Surely, God loves ALL of his children, individually, equally, and unconditionally. But he also created man and woman. If He wanted us to do EVERYTHING "the same" wouldn't He have been clever enough to MAKE us all the "same"?...

On April 25th, local columnist and proclaimed Catholic, Valerie Shultz wrote an article for our area newspaper entitled: Is there Hope for our Pope? One Catholic's Plea. Amongst other things that I objected to in Ms. Shultz's article, What I found most offending was her continued reference to "We women". I for one AM a woman, but in no way, do I agree with her point of view. I will quote only part of her original article here (emphasis mine):

I want the pope to know that we women, who largely take care of the daily business of church, are becoming weary of hoping that the men will come around. We know that Jesus sees us as equal to men in devotion and capability, but we know that the hierarchy of the earthly church of Jesus does not.
We are tired of being denied one of the sacraments because we lack male sex organs, (egads! did she have to say that ?!) and we are even more tired of scandals brought on by those same unruly organs. (By the way, no, "we" are not... not THIS "we"...What I AM tired of is this same old pointless argument, but that will be addressed further down...) It seems to many of us that the critical shortage of priests might be alleviated by admitting the possibility of priestly vocation in the hearts of the roughly 50 percent of Catholics who are not male.
(Uh, no... Heck, I have 'issues' with girl-altar boys...)

-SIGH- Okay, Ms. Schultz... Among other things, let's not mention that males are not the ONLY ones out there committing scandal with children... have you seen the news on the many female teachers lately that have been arrested for such?... But I digress... At this point I would like to refer to my TERRIFIC sister and her AWESOME CATHOLIC response to Ms. Schultz in her 'Letter to the Editor' that appeared in today's same paper. Short, sweet and to the point... I am SO PROUD of her!! Oh that MORE Catholics could go out and do more of the same evangelizing and be unafraid to speak TRUTH!

Columnist Unclear On Faith
The Bakersfield Californian Tuesday, May 6 2008 7:05 PM
Last Updated: Tuesday,
May 6 2008 7:08 PM

It saddens me to know that someone so intelligent, well-read and well-educated as columnist Valerie Schultz could be so lacking in knowledge of the faith she calls her own.

If only she would read the documents of the Catholic Church, she would see that it is not Pope Benedict's doing that we still have an all-male priesthood. It is apparent that she has not read nor studied the teachings of Pope Benedict, nor the teachings of Pope John Paul II, and I venture to say she has not thoughtfully read the Scriptures, either.

I have to wonder if she's even bothered to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which details the most fundamental teachings of the church with supporting documents. The sacraments were all instituted by Jesus Christ and are not subject to change, even by the pope. Jesus Christ himself ordained 12 men to proclaim his teachings and protect his sacraments. He was not being misogynistic, nor was he bound by the social mores of the day. Jesus was God and is God. He neither changes nor has an end and the sacraments he instituted are likewise unchangeable. The question of an all-male priesthood was settled over
2,000 years ago by Jesus Christ when he established his church. That is a fact that can not be changed by anyone or anything, not even American public opinion.

And, as for Ms. Schultz, well, by her own admission at the end of her original article, "I believe that the pope is the vicar of Christ on earth, but I am, like many Americans, a reluctant papist. I pray to God to strengthen my own insufficient and sometimes confused faith." I will pray for her, too...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Month of Mary...

"Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing;

You reign now in splendor with Jesus our King.

Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria.

Ave, Ave, Maria!"

I can't hardly attend a noon Mass without wanting to burst out with this song at the recessional...: ) Fr. Harris ended every daily noon mass with this song. God rest his soul, he made it known how important our Blessed Mother was to him and his vocation, and made sure that we made her a part of our own, as well...

I love all the traditional Marian practices that so many parishes tend to push aside. Fortunately, at our parish they do still do the traditional "May crowning", where the new first communion students come back the following week and process in, all carrying flowers , with a special crown of flowers to place on the statue of Mary. It amazes me still how other Christian faiths want to discount Mary as so "non-important", when she was the actual vessel that brought Jesus to us! I guess I, as a mother, just turn to her in so many instances as the perfect example of wife, mother and follower of Jesus. Her role was by no means an easy one to bear. From the moment she learned that she would bear the Christ Child, still not living with her spouse, to the agonizing walk to Golgotha, watching her Son bear the sins of many, knowing that this was what it was all for. Trusting in God's plan, no matter the cost.... She is the ultimate example and the ultimate guide to bring us ever closer to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We could all have something to gain by taking time this month to get to know our Blessed Mother better. Pull out those rosary beads and spend some time contemplating the relationship of Jesus and His/our Mother... As any good mother, she won't steer you wrong...