Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mystery of Harry Potter - Amazon Review

I did finish the book The Mystery of Harry Potter, A Catholic Family Guide by Nancy Carpentier Brown. Actually I finished it several days ago, but I hadn't had time to blog about it yet. The book was everything I had hoped for, and more.

You are welcome to read my short review at Amazon.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Catholic Family Expo Homeschool Day

Attending the homeschool day of the Catholic Family Expo was a real treat!

There were so many different talks being given at any one time that it was difficult to decide which one to attend. However, tapes were being made of each talk. I see that in the near future there will be order forms for the tapes (or CDs). (You can find information on this here.) So even if you don't live here or otherwise couldn't attend, you can hear the talks that you might be interested in.

But if you see that my name was on the program among the people talking about special needs, you won't want to order just to hear me give a talk, because I didn't give a speech, only a wee little introduction of myself (with a "you can do it" conclusion). If you do have a student with special needs, you might want to hear Tamar Hugoboom's inspiring, spiritual talk about teaching our children who have special needs.

As for me, I've thought about getting that tape, but I'm a bit afraid that if I hear myself, I will never speak in public again. But it was worth the anguished shyness to be there - rubbing shoulders with others who have been there too.

It was uplifting just to be there all day among all these wonderful people!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Hearts Homeschooling Library

I'd like to encourage you to drop on over to Happy Hearts Homeschooling Library to find links to lots of free online books in the public domain. The beauty of seeing it at Alexandra's library blog is that you don't just look at dry lists. She hand-picks a book to feature in each post, and gives us a picture of the book cover, too. Enjoy.


Today I am preparing for the homeschooling special needs session at the Catholic Family Expo's homeschool day that will be held in Baltimore tomorrow…er, would you believe trying to balance my checkbook? Hopefully, this won’t take too much longer. (How long does it take you to balance your checkbook? An hour? A day? Overnight? Two days and getting anxiety that this process will never end?)

Please pray for me. For tomorrow. For today…

Blogging will undoubtedly be light to none from now until at least Friday morning.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

McDowell Rehabilitation Center

Where Paul will be going soon! I'm sooo happy that this is beginning to come together. I am not a patient person by nature... And I know that a person who is blind can lead a normal, full, happy, independent life. But when it first happens, well, there is more than a little training needed. And since we're talking about an adult - living in another state - I can't exactly homeschool here! (Not to speak of the fact that I'm not a blindness professional.)

The following is taken from the McDowell Center's website:
"The purpose of the Charles W. McDowell Center is to empower individuals who are blind and visually impaired to achieve greater education outcomes, become more effective in the workplace and enjoy participation in community life. The training opportunities at the Charles W. McDowell Center are designed to promote independence, family education, problem solving techniques, and employability which assists individuals in achieving their highest potential in career and personal goals. Derrick Cox, Manager of the McDowell Rehabilitation Center"

Monday, June 25, 2007

Catholic Family Expo in Baltimore

If you live in or near Baltimore, it's not too late to register for the Catholic Family Expo in Baltimore on June 28th to July 1st. You can save $10 by registering online, or you can get your tickets at the event, which is held at the convention center. There are various prices, depending on what events you plan to attend.

Thursday will be Home Educators' Day at the conference, with speeches, workshops, and NACHE used book sale.

If you're a Catholic homeschooler living in the Baltimore area, and you have a child with special needs, you're invited to come join us on Thursday, the 28th at 3 p.m. in Room 321, where we will be discussing "Happy Homeschooling With All Kinds of Disabilities: Learn What Works!"

Note added later: If you just wandered onto my blog and don't know me, my specific experience with homeschooling a student with special needs is with a visually impaired son who became legally blind at the age of nine and is now fourteen.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My New Car is My Old Car

Do you remember that I was car-hunting? Since the transmission was bad on my minivan (pictured), I felt I needed a car that could be more dependable...a car that I could take on the freeway. I only wanted to spend around three thousand dollars on this purchase, but optimistically I started my search.

The first car I found that was even worth going to look at was a '93, just like mine; but it turned out to be a midget car and we have teen sons, one of whom is 6 feet tall. Besides that, something occurred to me: If I bought a car - and its transmission went bad, then where would I be?
While these thoughts danced in my head, I came across a blog post where Leticia of Cause of Our Joy shares wisdom from her mother. She said that while we have something, we should care for it, fix it when it's broken. She wasn't referring only to old cars (I think you'd enjoy that post), but when I read "old cars", something clicked in my head, something that had slowly been coming together.
So I called my brother-in-law Mark, an Aamco Transmissions shop owner in Saugus, California, to consult with him. He put me in touch with the Catonsville, Maryland Aamco Transmissions shop. And they took very good care of me and my car!
In turn, the car took very good care of my menfolk this weekend, who drove from Baltimore to Northern Kentucky, and back again. Over twenty hours of driving, lots of mountainous terrain, with long and winding hills, and no problem. Thank you, Mark, for referring us to the Catonsville Aamco. Thank you, Mike and John and Dean and all the mechanics whose names I don't know. Thank you, God, for giving us back our "Old Reliable" car.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Scott Hahn to Come to Cincinnati

Mark your calendars if you are in the Ohio Valley and would like to hear Scott Hahn speak. A speaking engagement is being planned by the NKU Newman Club for October 8 at 7 p.m. in the NKU Regents Hall.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Getting Paul Home

For anyone who's been following the adventure of getting Paul home, they are now back in Northen Kentucky. They drove him back today (they being the Baltimore part of the family). I can't believe that we couldn't fly for four whole days! (Couldn't fly as "stand-by" relatives of an employee, that is)

For anyone in Cincinnati, I'm sorry but this is just a "flying" trip: drive out, spend a quick night in a motel, and drive back. And if you noticed the "they", yes, that doesn't include me.

Remember the jury duty? Well, last night they told me to call at noon today. So I stayed behind. I called at 12:15, but no message. So I drove over to the court house to find they don't need jurors right now, but will summon us again, probably within 60 days. (At least now I know where it is, where the parking is, etc.). I said, "And I missed a family trip for this." (Yes, I said that aloud. I've become much more vocal than I used to be.) But you know what? I think I needed some quiet time. Time to wash the dishes (go ahead, laugh; I'm glad I stayed home from a trip so I could wash the dishes?). I needed time to "regroup".

And now I'm going to get off the computer so I can go relax. Hmm, can anyone tell me the meaning of that word "relax", so I can do it?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Mytery of Harry Potter - Book Review

I’ve now had the joy of reading the first chapter of Nancy Brown’s new book about Harry Potter, where I found so much wisdom packed into just those first pages.

Nancy discusses the why’s and how’s of helping our children read and learn from the Harry Potter books. She shares with us her own initial concern about the series, and how she decided to read the books with her children. She makes suggestions to help us decide how old our particular child should be before reading the books.

Nancy purposely “gives away as little of the plot as possible” in case you haven’t already read the books. And she tells us about the author’s classical background, interests, and what Christian church she belongs to.

All of this is only chapter one! And I’m only giving you a hint of what is in that chapter. I’ve peeked at the other chapters and can’t wait to read them more fully.

This book promises to be one that – like the Harry books themselves – you can read lightly if you don’t have the time and energy for deeper thinking…and then, when you have more time (or less distraction), you can go back and read it again, and understand it at another level.

I look forward to reading the rest of the book…and then reading it again!


Flying is something I used to enjoy. Well, all of it except the part about being up in the air, stuck in an airplane, way above the ground. You laugh. (I hope.) But there's lots more to love about it. Being able to get where you want to go quickly and meet your loved ones, or enjoy a vacation with spouse or family. Seeing lots of people. Seeing lots of happy people. Seeing lots of happy people excitedly meeting their loved ones. (Is this starting to sound like Dick and Jane?). Being served a well-balanced meal on the plane, served on a tray complete with plate and silverware. (You can tell my flying days go back a ways.)

Flying as a parent of an airline employee is something I used to enjoy. Stand-by travel can be a fun adventure if you don't have a pressing engagement. When you can't get to your destination city, sometimes you can fly to another city and then fly in to yours from there (I've been "in" cities where I've never set foot outside the airport buildings). My daughter has worked for airlines for about five of the past seven years or so. I've flitted around to get where I wanted to go, but I've never been stuck overnight. Family members have spent the night in an airport but never longer than that.

But right now I can't get Paul home! When I went to get him, I knew that I have to report for jury duty on Friday morning (IF my number comes up when I call in on Thursday evening...tonight, that is). So I figured, well, if I plan to take him back on Tuesday the 19th, that allows a little margin for error. Tuesday, thunder storms and pretty full planes. So we didn't go, and it turns out it's good as there were cancellations. Wednesday, well, I suppose they had to make up for the cancellations, so Wednesday, once again, we look into how the flights look and we might as well just not bother to drive to the airport. I going to fly out of town, on stand-by, when I have to (maybe) report for jury duty in the morning? So Ed said he'll take Friday off and take him back then. But Paul is ready to go back home, so he said he is willing to fly alone on Thursday. Last night it looked like that might work. This morning, no way. And Friday isn't looking so good, either.

So, we just might be driving Paul back over the weekend. Shh, I haven't told the kids here yet; only told Paul privately. (They don't bother to read my blog.). So I used to like to fly. Well, hmm, my neighbor and my youngest son, each independently, told me that the problem is probably the fact that school is letting out for the summer. And I thought I was a "planner"...

New subject! Speaking of flying, Nancy Brown at Flying Stars has written a terrific book called The Mystery of Harry Potter, a Catholic Family Guide. I received my copy in yesterday's mail! I can't wait to read it. I've read little nuggets here and there already, and it looks every bit as good as I had anticipated. I will give it a post of its own as soon as I read a little more, so I have something worthwhile to say about it besides that I like it and am excited.

If I don't post for a few days, you'll know that I'm flying...maybe flying around the house getting ready for a long drive; probably ten hours one way, spend one night, and ten hours back again. (And ten hours is the mapquest time, not allowing for stops, of which I am fond.)

I hope you all have a great weekend, and please keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Prayers to Saint Therese

I think St. Therese is trying to tell me something! Within the past week I've had two different emails, one from a dear friend who is an extended family member and the other from a young dear friend from the past. Each of these emails was about an incident in my past in which that person had prayed to St. Therese. Two different eras in my life, two different needs, two different people, quite possibly two different novenas. But both to the same saint and both received a sign that their prayers were being answered (as indeed they were), and both told me about it this week, within a few days of one another.

There is a novena that I used to say every month to St. Therese that is very simple. You say 24 Glory Be's "in thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity for all the favors bestowed upon St. Therese during the 24 years of her life on earth". (For those who aren't Catholic, by "Glory Be's", I mean "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen." And a "novena" is a prayer said every day for a definite period of time, most often for nine days in a row.) Some say this particular novena from the 9th to the 17th of each month. I hope to re-establish that habit, but for now, I've begun today!

There are also other beautiful prayers to St. Therese. This site has three different novenas to St. Therese, printed on a lovely background with a photo of St. Therese and a border of roses. You can pick the novena that best suits you...or your mood. I have added this prayer site to my list of "Catholic Prayers on the Net" in my sidebar, so that you'll be able to find it any time you'd like.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Books or Blogs?

Since I'm "taking the day off", I've been browsing blogs and websites today...and gently tweaking the sidebar of my own blog...thinking of a major revamp but not sure how I'd go about it.

I see that my blog posts are too long! Hmm, but you knew that, didn't you? I'm probably the only one who doesn't seem to know that. I always like to give you your click's worth. And I always think that more is better. Perhaps I should be writing books instead of blogs.

So what kind of book should I write? Any ideas?

Travel...and the Vatican

Thunderstorms were being predicted for today, both here in Maryland and there in Kentucky, so I decided we would stay here another day, and fly tomorrow. For anyone who may be jealous that I can just hop in a plane and fly whenever I want, well, yes, I do very much appreciate what I have...and I thank God and my daughter many times. But it might not be quite as good as you might think, either. If flying is uncertain, flying stand-by is triply so (I didn't think "quadruply" had a good sound to it or else I would have used it). Of course, that also means that I have lots of adventures to tell from the five years or so that I've had a daughter working for airlines. But right now I've had enough adventure for awhile, including the trip last week (I may tell about that one some day. Oh, no, I'm not forgetting that I told you; but I only told it from one angle, not from the angle of diversions and delays.). So, for my part, I'm trying to avoid adventure this time, by keeping my weather eye out. The rest is up to God's "decisions"...

On a different travel note, according to my Yahoo news the Vatican has just come out with a document about, interestingly, driving. You can read about it here.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Tomorrow I journey back to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky to accompany Paul home. I would appreciate any prayers for a safe trip. I'm hoping also that we can get on the early flight so we might be able to meet son Joe for an early lunch before he has to be back to Lexington to work.

A different type of journey that I wanted to share with you is Heather's continued journey. For those who don't know, Heather is a young mother who is on a journey through dealing with a brain tumor. Today's post struck home. Perhaps you, too, might find it inspiring. You can read it here.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Although my father has been affected by a stroke and dementia, I can still hear the friendliness of his spirit over the phone when I call him from across the country.

I remember going on trips, with my Dad sitting in the driver's seat, the bulwark; not that he was particularly large, though to me as a child he was...but what I felt was that I could always depend on him. There was nothing I could fear with my father there.

I remember going to restaurants or to the lumber yard and my father's friendliness with everyone he encountered, always trying to get those around him to smile and be a little happier.

I remember his insistence on my learning independence. He gave me a sizable allowance with which to buy everything from candy to toothpaste, movies to pencils, but I must first put ten percent in church and ten percent in savings. I must budget my money. And I shouldn't borrow money from him "just until we get home" because I should always carry my purse.

But I also remember his generosity, surprising me with an English racing bike for one birthday. And when I had grown up (sort of) and moved away, and was riding my little motorcycle for transportation, I remember his getting together with my mom to drive from Washington to California to bring me a car as a gift.

I remember as a mother of six active children (five of them boys) that the best vacation was going to visit Dad, who had raised two quiet girls and was living alone and yet would open his home to our happily noisy family. And during the day we could go off to visit Vancouver Lake, or go shopping or whatever we wanted to do, and when we came home, a delicious dinner would be cooking.

Thank you, dear Lord, for fathers, and bless them.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


When things happen, do you ever wonder why? Do you ever ask God why? This had not been my habit. My non-nonsense reaction to the crosses of life has often been that "This is life". God allows. That's the way it goes.

I also tended to think it was morally wrong to ask why. But perhaps I've become more honest with myself. Yes, I have asked "Why?" this time. Not rebelliously...well, at least not angrily, but just kind of wondering, you know, like a child asking his Father, just wanting to know.

But every time that I look at my newly-blind son and even begin to ask "why", I have this thought. It's not something I think out carefully and come to this conclusion; it's just there, the answer popping into my head after the question pops into my head. The answer is: "To give glory to God." And it's accompanied by a peaceful feeling, a feeling that we don't have to figure out the "how" -- how will this give glory to God. We don't have to know that. God doesn't need our clumsy attempts at "leading" Him, only our cooperation with Him and, most of all, our love.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More about the Trip to pick up Paul

Having had my son Peter become legally blind (and somewhat worse than legally blind), five years ago, I thought I could handle it happening to another one. Actually, I'm getting ahead of myself. It would be more true to say that during those five years since Peter first lost his vision, it had been unthinkable that it should happen to anyone else. We simply refused to entertain the possibility - until Paul called that January day, six months ago, with blurry vision. I was shocked and shaken. But his good attitude rubbed off on me. I told myself that if he could handle it so well, so could I. I told myself that I'd been through this before, so I could handle it now. And I threw myself into my blog. It was an outlet, something I could do...and something I could control. When Peter had lost his vision, I could throw myself into helping him learn all that he needed in order to adapt. Not so with someone who's an adult and lives in another state. There wasn't much I could do but pray. I couldn't even hug him across all those miles.

Paul's attitude did a lot to help the rest of us, as he was so faith-filled about it. His first words to me after he got the diagnosis were a serious but cheerful, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord." That doesn't mean, of course, that he doesn't have an occasional difficult moment or day. That doesn't mean that he doesn't ever get bored or frustrated because of all the things he can't do any more (like drive or see the t.v.) and all the things he can't do yet (like use the computer or read a book).

Over the months, Paul and Mary and Joe have all said that they thought Paul's vision has become worse than Peter's. We here in Baltimore thought they might possibly be wrong, or more accurately: "surely they are mistaken". After all, Peter was so much younger and probably adapted more quickly. It will just take time for Paul to be able to do as well as Peter. Various members of the family have had many a telephone debate on this topic. Perhaps it was optimism on our part or just a refusal to accept what we didn't want.

Yesterday Mary picked me up from the Cincinnati airport and took me to the house where our absolutely wonderful friends are hosting Paul like a member of the family. Paul came down to the kitchen and looked at me. But he didn't, really. Over these past years I've been around a lot of blind people and I knew as soon as I saw the unseeing look in Paul's eyes that his vision is, indeed, worse than Peter's. I'm not saying he is totally blind; he isn't. And please pray with us that he can keep what vision he has. I've found that however little vision someone has, that little bit is still something they treasure. Well, when I saw him I wasn't shocked (as I had feared I might be), just sorry. And maybe part of the reason that it didn't hit me as hard as I had feared, once again, was his attitude. He looked - how shall I say? - perfectly comfortable with who he is. And that, after all, is very important. At last I could hug him! And he's so grown up; even his hugs are more grown up, more comfortable with who he is than when we moved away nearly a year ago.

We had a few hours until time to catch our flight back to Baltimore, and Mary, bless her heart, hauled us all over town at my whims. As we went shopping, I told Paul that Carla had taught me that if I'm guiding a cane user, the cane user should use the cane in his or her right hand and take my right arm. I said laughingly, "Of course, I won't be able to hear you if you talk," (being totally deaf in my right ear). He said, "I can use my left hand for my cane." I said, "Are you ambidextrous?" Mary said, "He is now." I felt a little guilty about "making" him use his left hand for his cane, especially since he's only been learning the cane for a very short time; but hey, it seemed to work out okay for us.

As we maneuvered through airports, sometimes I gave Paul my left arm and sometimes my right. I certainly kept him on his toes, with him trying to figure out where I was and where to put his cane, and my sometimes walking off without him, expecting him to just follow me as Peter would. We had some good laughs over that.

Our first crisis was when we came to an escalator...but it wasn't his crisis, it was mine. "Paul, we're coming to an escalator," I said with panic in my voice. He didn't undertand my concern, so I added, "I have a phobia of escalators," (especially down escalators). He hadn't known. I had always used escalators in spite of my phobia; I still do. "But", I explained to him, "if I had a baby with me, I always either took the elevator or handed the baby off to someone else. I can't let you take my arm and guide you on an escalator," I said, with rising panic at the very thought. He accepted the fact that I wouldn't guide him on the escalator and reassured me that with his cane he would know when he reached the bottom, so I guided him to the rail. He did fine, and after that, whenever we had an escalator, I didn't hesitate. I just helped him to the rail, dealt with my own interior struggle, and we were on.

And I suppose that experience helped prepare me for the fact that we were flying on a commuter plane, the kind where you walk outside and up a narrow, steep staircase onto the plane. When it came time to get off the plane, I was ahead of him and looked down that staircase in concern. The rails seemed to me to be in all the wrong places. We both had backpacks, I had my purse, he had his cane, and I have poor balance and bifocals, and there, looming before us was this down staircase. An employee looked up at me and asked, "Would you like us to get a lift?" Oh no, no way. First of all, they don't know that Paul is new to being blind, and I don't want them to think blind people are helpless. Secondly, all I need is for someone to think I can't do something and I will prove them wrong. Thirdly, I'm very afraid of this lift idea, and fourthly, what a huge delay that would be. All those thoughts swiftly and subconsciously came together in the space of a millisecond, but I think that the main feeling was a thought of Peter and what he would answer in that situation. I'm ashamed to say I didn't even consult Paul. I just processed all those thoughts in that millisecond of time and answered confidently, "No thank you; he can do it!" And as the man took my backpack, I guided Paul's hand to the rail. No problem at all. (Please understand, as you read this, that this was less a problem of my confidence in what someone who's newly blind can do as my own personal phobia of going down anything.)

As we waited for the plane, we talked, and I discovered that Paul is not only anxious to learn how to use adaptive technology (i.e. get back on the computer), but that he would love to learn Braille too. We had a nice conversation with a lady who was waiting for the same flight. She and I happened to go to the restroom at the same time, so I briefly told her our story, how Paul had only begun losing his vision a few months ago. Later on, after the flight, she and I were once again together, buying food, and she told me how well he is doing for his vision loss having happened so recently. Ah, praise of our child is always music to a mother's ears, isn't it?

We did have a lot of good laughs. Once I took Paul to the men's room and being restless, I forgot to wait outside the hallway to the doorway, and instead paced my way into that hallway, where a man walked in, turned on his heel and began to walk away quickly. I called him back, informing him with a chuckle that he hadn't made a mistake. I said, "I'm waiting for someone who is a cane user." I then asked myself why I said that? Why "cane user"? Why not someone who is blind? I really don't know. Maybe because someone once told me that someone was "a braille user". It felt less like labeling, and more like focusing on the strength. And believe me, cane use is a strength, as I saw on every staircase and (deep breath) escalator.

And Paul is our strength, too, in many ways. Yesterday we had a tornado warning; one was sighted about eight miles away, heading in our direction. We went to the most interior part of the apartment, but first I grabbed my flashlight. Being deaf in one ear, I don't do well in the dark...and if a tornado should hit, I wanted to be prepared. Paul grabbed his... cane? Nope, his rosary beads. Well, I grabbed his cane, because if a tornado should hit, I wouldn't want him to be without it. (By the way, I'm not phobic about everything. I just like to be a good girl scout and "be prepared".) So, we got settled in and I asked Paul to lead us in the Rosary. He led us with so much devotion; not because he lost his vision, by the way, but because he's Paul. And then we were done and the danger had passed, and he led the boys in playing animal, vegetable or mineral.

As he sleeps in, I look at him and forget that he's blind...and then I remember, and I wonder if he ever wishes he could wake up and find that it was just a bad dream. But I don't ask him that question. That, I think, is just my own thought, my own adjustment that I am struggling to make as I am able to spend a little time with him at last. For him, the waking up from a bad dream will be learning how to adapt. He has his books on CD. Now he's begun learning his cane use. When he can learn how to use computers, and hopefully at some point learn Braille, and learn all those adaptive techniques, his life will be as full as ever. Life does go on. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. And the Lord gives again in mysterious ways.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Paul's Visit

Son Paul is here from northern Kentucky for a week's visit (I hope he's sleeping peacefully in spite of my typing). I got up yesterday morning at 4:45 a.m. to fly out there to accompany him back here. The moment I saw him I knew the answer to the much-debated family question of "Is his vision really worse than Peter's?" (My opinion is an unfortunate but resounding yes.) But he is his usual cheerful, humorous, and friendly self.

Everyone was so excited to see him, and we look forward to a great week.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Healthy Snacks for a Healthy Diet

Have you ever been out driving, maybe for a doctor appointment or other long errand, and needed a snack? Since I have a tendency to low blood sugar, there have been times in my life when I knew I better eat something before I drove much further...for the safety of everyone around me. So I would stop into a grocery store. Now, when blood sugar is dropping, it's a little hard sometimes to figure out what to eat. You only want one. You can't cook it. You don't want too much sugar.

In case there is anyone who ever has a similar puzzle...or just wants to have a pick-me-up that's not too high in fat, sugar and calories, I wanted to share with you three recent ideas that I found, when I wasn't "under the blood sugar", that would provide a good snack any time, but especially when I am out and about and feel that fuzzy-headed feeling.

The first one is Special K Bars. They are cereal bars and come with a slight flavor of chocolate, strawberry or chocolate. I think I figured the cost per bar at around 5o cents. Total fat is 1.5 grams, saturated fat 1 gram, sugar 9 grams, protein 1 gram, calories 90.

Another is YoCrunch flavored yogurt with toppings in a little cup attached to the top, which costs about 99 cents where I live. Too expensive for a daily food item but great for something to pick up the blood sugar when one finds a need. (It's a good idea to keep plastic spoons in the car.) The strawberry yogurt with granola has: fat 2 grams, saturated fat 1 gram, sugar 27 grams, protein 6 grams, calories 190. The blueberry yogurt with Grapenuts (TM) has: fat 1.5 grams, saturated fat 1 gram, sugars 25 grams, calories 190. I don't know if this particular yogurt is available everywhere, but other yogurts can usually be found in individual sizes, too.

When I'm feeling like eating chips, I try to talk myself into a little bag of pretzels. The small bag controls serving size and the pretzels are lower in just about everything than the chips...although pretty high in salt. Utz brand 1 oz. bag (for 25 cents at our local supermarket) has: fat 1 gram, saturated fat 0 grams, sugar 1 gram, protein 2 grams, calories 110.
Hope someone may find something here helpful.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sixty Years as a Priest

Today, on the feast of Corpus Christi, we celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of Fr. Casimir Peterson. This wonderful priest, who offers the Tridentine Latin Mass at St. Alphonsus church, processes to the altar with a smile on his face and still climbs the spiral staircase into the pulpit to give his sermons. After Mass, the pastor Msgr. Bastress read the letters of congratulation to Fr. Peterson from the Cardinal, as well as from the governor, the mayor, the city council, senators and others in government. Fr. Peterson had a few words to say afterward, commenting pleasantly that he hadn't expected to be congratulated but simply to be thanking God.

Note re: Picture: The church is not dark, as it appears here, at least on my computer, with my photography. Also, just for disclosure...I took this picture a few months back, not today. But, at any rate, isn't it a beautiful church!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Does Anyone Know Who Wrote This?

I stumbled across this prayer today while going through papers. (That's right; I'm still not through the papers, although I'm getting real close!). I just had to take a break to share it with you here. But I so wish I knew who originally wrote it, because if there's one thing I really don't like, it's not giving credit where credit is due (and getting permission when permission should be had). Although I've also seen this prayer in email forwards, this one is typed up on a prayer card from a company. Yet it has no author mentioned, nor does it say "Author Unknown," or "copyright" or anything else. So, with a bit of trepidation, I go forward. If anyone out there is the author, please excuse me for reprinting it and come forward and give me permission? (smile).

Dear God,
So far today,
I've done all right.
I haven't gossiped,
and I haven't lost my temper.
I hadn't been grumpy,
nasty or selfish.
But in a few
minutes, God,
I'm going to
get out of bed,
and that is when
I'm going to need a lot of help.

I just love it! Do you?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Enter the Raffle

Have you heard about Danielle Bean's raffle for St. Gianna's Maternity Home? Her generous donor friends have offered 52 awe-inspiring gifts to those who purchase winning raffle tickets, which are offered at $5.00 each.

In last evening's post, Danielle announced that $4,000 has been raised for the home so far...this in just a few days' time.

The drawing will be held on Tuesday, June 12, so it's not too late if you'd like to join the fun and contribute.

Note: If you contribute to the raffle, be sure to leave a comment for Danielle below her post, telling her how many raffle tickets you purchased, so she can put your name in the drawing. And be sure to leave her your email address. I noticed that most of us forgot to leave the email address, and I'm afraid she's going to be one busy lady trying to track people down.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Prayer to Saint Helena

Saint Helena, who searched for and found the wood of the true Cross on which Christ died, help us to find the cross of Christ by patiently accepting the crosses that come our way in life.

Saint Helena, who built hospitals, orphanages, and homes for elderly people, remind us often of Christ’s words, “What you do to the least of mine, you do to Me.”

Saint Helena, Mother of Constantine the Great, and Empress of Rome, lead us to the Holy Empress of heaven and earth, and teach us to be trusting children of our Blessed Mother.

Saint Helena, a convert to Christianity, intercede for the conversion of those who do not have Faith, and pray for us to grow in ours. Amen.

Originally written about 1971
Revised and copyrighted 2007
By Margaret Mary Myers

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Show Must Go On

I've been thinking all day that I need to offer you some tidbit of information or news. It hasn't been one of those days when topics pop gloriously into my head, or even when I can do justice to any great news from other blogs that I may want to pass on to you. But, as I said in the title, the show must go on...

So...not wanting to disappoint you with no news at all, I will give you my "news in process".

1) I am hoping to fly out to Kentucky soon and accompany son Paul back here for a visit! For those who don't know, my daughter works for an airline, so my flying back and forth won't drain our resources. And for those who don't know, Paul is a 22 year old college student who lost his vision unexpectedly in January. He's learning cane travel, and general orientation and mobility, but at this early time it will undoubtedly be more comfortable for him to have a sighted guide (me) in an airport.

2) My minivan is in the Aamco transmission-hospital getting "all better"!

Please pray for both these people. Oh yeah, my van isn't a person, is it? And I tell the kids they get all their silliness from their Dad. Somewhere along the line they figured out that wasn't really true.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Mystery of Harry Potter

Catholic homeschool mother and G. K. Chesterton expert Nancy Brown has written a book about the Harry Potter series. The Mystery of Harry Potter will be an answer to prayer for those of us who would like to explain to our concerned Catholic friends that the books can actually be beneficial to our children rather than something to be feared, but haven’t quite known how to explain that.

Besides pointing out Catholic themes and symbolism found within the Harry Potter series, Mrs. Brown will also provide teachers with a discussion guide at the end of the book.

I have pre-ordered my copy of The Mystery of Harry Potter. I'm waiting excitedly for it to come out later this month.

If you - like I - can't wait to get your order in, you have two options. If you want your book autographed, you can order it at Nancy's blog, Flying Stars. If you do want an autograph, be sure to send her an email, letting her know that.

Or you can simply order the book directly from the publisher, Our Sunday Visitor.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Three Weeks and Still Growing

Or should I title it "Joy in the Little Things"?
After three weeks, the original blossom is long-gone and there is new growth. Funny how it changed from orange to yellow! (Yes, it is partly lighting; I took this picture in full sunlight. But it really is yellow with a little orange undertone, whereas before it was more orange.)

If you missed the history of my inexperienced gardening "skills", and this plant, here are the posts:

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Man finds different world after 19 years' coma

Don't you just love these "woke up from a coma" stories!

Then and Now

Ed and me. Then and now. Not entirely sure when "then" was, as the photo is undated (I'm guessing around 20 years ago). "Now" was this past December. The fuzziness in the older (younger) picture is because I took a picture of a framed picture with the glass on. At the end of August, we will be celebrating 30 happy years together.

Friday, June 01, 2007

I.D. Cards for Kids

If you homeschool...and your family has a Home School Legal Defense membership, you can make student i.d. cards for your students of any age. You go to the HSLDA members homepage and sign in. Click on "Get Your Membership Cards Here". You will see parent i.d. cards (useful for getting teacher discounts at some stores), followed by a form where you can fill in your children's names and birthdates. Once your children's cards are created, you can print them and cut them out.

Next I cut out a small picture of the child, glue or tape it to the blank space in the center of the card, and then laminate the card with clear contact paper (what you use to line the cupboards in the kitchen). You can even put special information on the back of the card before laminating it, such as your own name and phone number and any special medical needs. Having my children carry these in their wallets gives me a little extra peace of mind, as well as enabling them to get student discounts.

For older children, preparing to take the S.A.T., P.S.A.T., or A.C.T. tests, you can usually get a state-issued i.d. card wherever driver's licenses are issued. In my experience these have been available for ages 14 and older. The cost varies widely by state. In our previous state, I think it was about ten dollars. Here, I think it is closer to $50.

When your child gets a state-issued i.d. - as with getting a driver's permit or license - he will probably need one or two pieces of mail to prove his residence (as well as probably needing a birth certificate). For one of the pieces of mail, if you've moved to a new state or for any other reason he doesn't have a library card, you can have him apply for a library card and ask the library staff to mail it to him rather than hand it to him.

Note added a bit later: I just updated my kids' cards and want to give you a few pointers in case you try to make these yourself the way I suggested, using the HSLDA i.d. card. After printing out the card, I cut it down as trim as I could get it without cutting any of the print. I then used my photo software to make a picture that's 0.8 inches tall, and printed it "actual size". I rolled a small piece of tape to attach it to the center of the card. Then I cut a 3 x 5 index card to fit the back of the i.d. card, wrote parental phone numbers and medical information on it, and attached it with rolled tape. Next came the clear contact paper on each side. Be sure there is a little plastic (contact paper) overlapping the card or else it won't be sealed. I allow plenty of contact paper and then carefully cut it down after it's all put together. If you'd like to do this, I hope it works well for you and you're as happy with it as I am.