Sunday, October 30, 2011

Watch The Greater Good Here

An unforgettable film. Watch it HERE  for free!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Next Project..Boo-Yah!

I can see it now, Christmas morning, we all stumbled out to the family room gazing at the shining tree with gifts just waiting to be opened. The moment comes, when Don opens his long awaited gift.....crocheted shorts. Aaahhhhhhh... I can imagine the loving admiring gaze these beauts would produce. I'm thinking of making them green and brown instead, what do you think? Oh, and I don't know how to crochet...YET! Butt, with these as my inspiration, there's just no stoppin' me!!

To Do No Harm

Doctors take an oath "to do no harm." I wonder how many live up to that oath?
 I have been having some health concerns, nothing serious, but nonetheless bothersome. Based on one of my symptoms, the doc ordered a series of testing. One of the tests was a ct scan with contrast. I just had a regular ct scan last month in correlation to the same symptom. The procedure was scheduled for next Monday. I began to wonder about the risks of radiation and did a little online research about ct scans.

What I found shocked me. Ct scans with contrast expose a person to 10 years worth of radiation and carry a moderate risk of causing cancer. This information was from the FDA website, so it's doubtful it's embellished in anyway. WHAT???? I knew there was exposure to radiation, of course, but I didn't realize that carried "a moderate risk" of causing cancer. Why didn't the doc tell me about the risk??? I have already had 2 of these with not 1 mention of side cancer!?!?! Even though I always ask a myriad of questions, this 1 small detail was omitted.

Don't get me wrong, there are some AWESOME docs out there.....but they all need to tell their patients about the risks of the testing they do. It seems like it's just "standard procedure" to do a whole line-up of tests without a second thought.

I talked to the nurse and asked if what the test was looking for could be as serious as cancer. She told me that the test could identify cancer. I reminded her that my other testing came back non-malignant. She said although that was indeed a very good sign, there is still a possibility of a mass or something. I told her that the unknown possibility of that verses the VERY REAL risk of cancer is not something I was willing to risk.

Then her tone changed, "Debra, I'm sure doc wouldn't have ordered this testing unless he felt it was necessary." I responded, "You told me yourself that this is part of the standard routine." She said, "Yes, but on down the line, if you came down with something that the test could have shown, that would be unfortunate." I replied, "Yes, or I could come down with cancer from the testing." She laughed, "I guess that's true." I didn't think it was very funny.

The other 2 ct scans I had done were inconclusive. So 2 exposures to a moderate risk of cancer and nothing to show for it.

Do I have a point in telling you about this? Yes, please be very careful and ask a thousand questions and don't forget that the tests themselves sometimes carry a heavy price. Only we can make the appropriate decisions for our health care and I by no means am suggesting that you shouldn't have a ct scan, but make sure it's worth the risk.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


A couple of nice things happened this week that were a pick-me-up to Don and I. In an effort to put an end to my pity party, we are counting our blessings instead.
I received this free makeup bag along with several free samples and a coupon booklet from Target.
Isn't it so cute!!

Don told me the other day(while I was stressed about finances) that he thought it would be nice to get some pavers to go around the landscaping in the front yard. I told him that first we needed to build our emergency fund back up. I was looking at the free stuff on Craigslist and saw that someone was renovating the landscaping in their yard and was throwing these away. We are really happy with the way they look, not fancy, but just right for us.

Ironically, we had just enough, with a few to spare, to go around the entire area in the front yard.
God is so very, very good and we are both very thankful for all of His blessings and the trials make the blessings all the sweeter.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Toddler Mayhem

Slow to Anger

At Mass this morning, the homily was usual, but something else struck me right to the heart.

It was near the end of Mass and we were singing "Loving and Forgiving". The line that struck me was,
"Loving and forgiving are you Oh Lord, slow to anger, rich in kindness, loving and forgiving are you."

I thought about my actions lately with my kids. I have been quick to anger, rich in temper, complaining and griping way too much! Oh, I have all sorts of excuses, stress, not feeling well, stress, fighting littles, PMS, whiny kids, oh yeah, and stress. I tell my kids all the time, "We can't control what happens to us for the most part, but we can control how we react." Do as I say, not as I do! I really needed that reminder this morning.

I guess I thought as we had more children, I would become more patient and loving. I'm sad to say, I think I've failed to learn those virtues! It's not that the Good Lord hasn't given me ample opportunity!
I want to be that happy family in our Christmas pictures...I really do!

I have a dream...maybe a lofty one...but nonetheless...a dream. I want to become a saint, maybe not a great one, I'd be happy to be the one that has to camp outside of the gates of heaven and live in a long as I'm in the general vicinity. I also wish my whole family and all my friends...and oh heck, all of humanity to become saints. 

Proverbs 23:18 tells us,"Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off." 
...And so,with this hope, once again, I will try....

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Catholic Art Saturday/Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel in Wichita

 If you have ever visited a sick family member or friend at St. Francis hospital,
perhaps you've visited the chapel to pray, and you have seen the magnificent work of art of the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows. Click HERE to see a multitude of photos and explanations of the pieces located inside the chapel. The chapel itself is hidden away inside the hospital.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Waiting for Relief

I have heard there is a light at the end of the tunnel....even if you can't remotely catch a glimpse of it.

While it has been a wonderful blessing to have Don on vacation for the past 2 weeks, it certainly hasn't been a vacation! The plan was to paint the house the first week, and have some family fun the next week. The few damp and rainy days combined with the windy ones, prevented our start and the crazy amount of scraping and caulking have extended that plan into this's Thursday night and we still only have 1 side of the house painted...can you guess which one??? Yep..the front. The other sides are at least almost ready and since we have a sprayer, it will go fast once we can have a non-windy day.

Ok, on to the title of this post. A few weeks ago, the air conditioner broke down and then 2 days ago the fridge completely shut down, an unexpected trip to the ER(for me, Dr. thought I had a kidney stone..but it's not that, so they are doing more testing), we got a bill from the dentist and found out our dental insurance coverage has changed...ugh... and now the dryer is hanging on by a thread. So family fun week didn't really happen. We did take the kids to Chuck E. Cheese using a coupon one day and we have been to the park a few times and we have caught a few episodes of House Hunters on Hulu.....not exactly the Hilton Head Island vacation that we originally planned. But still, it's been nice to be together and I am thankful for all the blessings we do have.

Dave Ramsey says, "Problems give us the ability to hang on and that ability changes who we are. When our character is permanently molded by the trials, we are stronger and the end result is hope."

 It just feels like we are taking 1 step forward and 3 or 4 steps back.
We have had to use our emergency fund...which I am so glad that we have. We are just praying for some relief. I do realize we are very blessed and I know our problems are NOTHING compared to what so many people go through, I just needed to relieve some stress...sometimes it helps to write it all down....and I am trying to get to that end result...hope.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Fresh Facade

House Before

House After

Before the house was painted white with white trim and navy blue shutters. The house hadn't been painted for quite awhile, the paint was chipping and in some place the siding was showing through.
After, we painted the house Ashen, the trim is painted Stone Grey, and accents including the shutters are a crisp black. All paint is from Porter Paints. We qualified for a free paint program because of our location. We still had to pay for 1/3 of it due to the size of our house, but all the paint was purchased at wholesale...which significantly lowered our portion.

 A few of the details that really help crisp-up the overall look of the house include:
Painting the previously painted(white) garage door handles black.
 Repainting the mailbox, adding a new porch light fixture...the previous one was too tall for the space and it was nearly impossible to remove the top to replace the light bulb.
 I've had this little topiary for years and the base was painted white, I really think it  helps pull the look together to repaint it black.
 We repainted the columns and porch post and light.

I love the way the original house number goes so well with all the new changes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Changing Stations

Having cut out tv several years ago, I thought we were doing better as far as limiting our exposure to inappropriate media.

I noticed however, that when I got into the car and turned on the radio to the "Buzz", the same old inappropriate stuff was floating through the car. I even heard my kids singing to, "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. Ok, this is clearly not how things should be!

Many of the songs I "liked" were really inappropriate and horrible to expose my children to...and myself! How could I let this happen?? What was I thinking?? The fact was, I wasn't thinking at all...I was just drifting off and tuning out the kids.

I was taking my kids to lunch in the summer along with a neighbor girl, who asked me what station we were listening to. I told her and she said that sometimes they play songs with bad messages. God bless her!

 That really got me to thinking about where we were going....or trying to get to. If anything interferes with our journey home, we need to get rid of it, turn it off, or change the station. We now listen to K-Love...99.1 and there are plenty of other Christian. classical, and wholesome stations to listen to HERE.

We are made in the image of God, what would He listen to? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shoebox Sam

I was given this book in exchange for my review.

I didn't expect much more than a fun story to read to my boys, but I was very wrong.

Shoebox Sam leads an ordinary life in a most extraordinary way.
Through his shoe store, he gives to poor,  feeds the hungry, gives shelter to the weary, and he makes sacrifices without so much as blinking an eye.
Two children, Jesse and Delia, assist him in his store every Saturday.
They learn how giving is better than receiving and they all really do stop and smell the roses.

This book shows us all how to live and have the heart of Christ everyday.
Loving and giving gives us true happiness.
I was moved to tears while reading, I could hardly is that moving!

This is a must read!
I loved this book!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Helmet on Straight

K-State Sports Extra (My brother, Doug shared this with me...thanks Doug!)
Klein: A Snapshot of the Total Package
Oct. 11, 2011
By Mark Janssen
Bill Snyder recently said of quarterback Collin Klein, "He's an awfully good young person. You'd like for all of your players to walk out the door with what Collin walked in the door with."
Loveland High School is where Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein played his Colorado prep football, but as for his schooling, that took place in the Klein home where his lone instructor was his mother, Kelly.
Yes, Klein, an accounting and finance major, is a product of the Klein home schooling system.
"It's something mom and dad prayed about, and then made the decision," said Klein. "I went to regular preschool, and as mom tells the story, they gave God one more year to make sure about the right thing to do and I attended regular kindergarten. But from that point on I was home schooled."
Through the years, Klein said, "I didn't feel like I missed anything. I had tons of great friendships with kids that went to private or public schools, plus those that were home-schooled. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything in the world."
While learning all about reading, writing and arithmetic, Klein said the greatest result from his home schooling background was developing a bond with his mother, younger brother Kyle, who is a defensive end on the K-State team, plus his dad, Doug.
Asked on the Catbacker tour this summer what kind of girl he wanted to date, Klein responded by saying, "Someone just like my mom, but younger."
He would add, "Kyle and dad are literally my best friends. Home schooling allowed us to build a family relationship, plus we had the ability to study the Bible within our home schooling curriculum and have a music studies part of our education. It really has provided a lot of neat opportunities."
Early-day memories of his father, who is a mortgage broker, include being his "... right-hand man when I know I was a bigger pain than help. He let me help do office file work, which is how I learned about alphabetical order. Dad was always so supportive, but never pushed athletics. He wanted the desire and want to come from me, but he was always there to help me do what I wanted to do."
Throughout his career, including today, Klein wears a No. 7 on his jersey, which goes back to his admiration of his father, who wore No. 7 when he played for Fort Lewis College in Durango.
Once his prep career started at Loveland High, Klein would mosey on over to the school around 2:30 for the start of weights and prepare for practice.
"It wasn't a problem at all, and I always felt accepted because I was around my friends," said Klein. "I came in and worked as hard as I could to earn their trust and respect."
With his 6-5, 226-pound size, Klein was more of a basketball player in high school when he had scholarship offers from Northern Colorado, Portland State and Northern Arizona. In fact, he didn't even start playing football until his ninth-grade year.
"I always wanted to play, and did play in the backyard, but I think the idea was to wait until I was older to prevent injuries and prevent from burning out too early," said Klein, who also excelled in baseball as a pitcher and catcher.
 Klein is accomplished with the piano, mandolin and violin. Talents, he says, "God has given me the ability and desire to play sports and play music. I am very grateful to be a good steward of the gifts he has given me. That's more rewarding than any individual successes or achievements. I enjoy everything from classical, to ragtime piano, to fiddle, to country. (Laughing) I didn't listen to country until I moved here and had a roommate that played it all the time."
No, the clean-cut Klein doesn't have a tattoo like so many of his teammates, nor will he ever have one.
Laughing, Klein said, "I would never get one for two reasons. One, it's one of mom's rules, and two, I'm trying to honor God with the body he has given me and I don't want to tarnish his image. I don't hold it against the guys that do have them, but I never would."
While the NFL is certainly a goal, it falls only on Klein's secondary bucket list: "My dream is to honor God in whatever I do. If that is with football through the abilities he has given me, then that would be great. But I don't want to look too far ahead and miss a current opportunity with teammates and family."
Growing up in Loveland, which is just a short drive to Boulder, Colo., Klein was not recruited by the Buffaloes, but he said, "That was OK. I'm not one to hold a grudge toward anyone. I understood at the time that it would all turn out for the best, and it has."
It has at K-State where he was recruited by Ron Prince, and then had coach Snyder enter his life: "The man has such a competitive drive and never settling for anything but the best. He is constantly trying to get better, plus he cares about the people around him whether it's the players or individuals in the community. No one cares about this program the way he does. He's just an amazing person and an amazing coach."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Children's Adoration

Brother Leopold d'Yve CSJ at Holy Savior

Have you heard of Children's Eucharistic Adoration?
"Children's Eucharistic Adoration is leading the children into the mystery of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist following the words of wisdom of Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI."
Quote from Children of Hope 's website.

I have been blessed to help with and lead Children's Adoration for 8 years. It's one of the greatest blessings I have known.

Father Antoine Thomas explains: "Over the years I have heard many reasons why parents hesitate to bring young children before the Eucharist each week to adore Jesus. Among these reasons are that they are too young to sit still, or that they won't understand what is happening. Some feel that it is hard enough to get them to be attentive at Mass, and if they add another hour on Sunday, how can they expect them to behave?
Well, I remind them that Jesus Himself told us, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them; for to such belong the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 19:14) And, that our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has made this request, “I urge priests, religious and lay people to continue and redouble their efforts to teach the younger generations the meaning and value of Eucharistic adoration and devotion.” (from the Vatican, 28 May, 1996) So, how else can we respond than to bring children to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus!

After many years of leading Holy Hours for children, I can tell you the benefits are numerous for both children and their families:
1. Children who previously had only the weekly experience of Mass, discover that the Host is actually the person of Jesus, mysteriously hidden.
2. They develop a greater interest in the mysteries of our Faith and the liturgy of the Mass.
3. They understand—more than other children of their age who have not experienced Eucharistic Adoration—the relationship between the gift of the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross out of love for mankind.
4. They become much more aware of the various degrees of sin and seem very eager to receive the sacrament of Confession often.
5. Families accompanying their children witness a growing desire for peace and forgiveness within the family.
When children become friends with Jesus, by spending time with Him, do they not become living signs of faith in Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist for those who doubt, and therefore also become wonderful signs of hope for those who despair in finding God on earth?"
How to start Eucharistic Adoration at your parish.
Here are a few steps to help you get started:
-Ask your pastor if he would agree to watch the video on children's adoration.

-Discuss with him who can lead the Holy Hours

-Pray for help to know a good time for the children's Holy Hour in your parish

-Advertise in your bulletin and parish paper

-Put some posters up around your parish

-Address the Mother's Group if you have one, and don't forget the home-schooling families

-See if you can send home an invitation with the school children

When you begin the hours you will want to be prepared. General norms for the worship of the Eucharist are found in Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, published by Catholic Book Publishing Co., © 1976. It is important that those who plan a children's Holy Hour be familiar with the teachings and rubrics of this ritual text. You can use the manual that we have prepared or design your own format.Click Here.

Bishop Conley of Denver says, ""I am very pleased to know that thousands of children have been led into Eucharistic adoration, in Catholic schools and parishes in the past few years, through the help of the Brothers of St. John. I encourage the ministry of "Children of Hope" and I heartily recommend it to my brother bishops in their dioceses, as an apostolate of hope for children and parents, as well as catechists and priests." -Bishop James Conley

If you have any questions, comments, thoughts, or suggestions, I welcome you to leave a comment.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Free Online Metronome!!

Our digital metronome broke and it wasn't in the budget to replace it. Jonah searched online and found the perfect solution, an online metronome.
This got me to thinkin'....what else am I missing out on?? Is there anything you have found an affordable solution to??

Saturday, October 1, 2011

CGS and Tomie Depaola

Tomie DePaola donated these 25 original signed prints for a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd fundraising campaign.
Two of my favorites!! CGS and Tomie!!