Saturday, January 30, 2010

A site for almost every woman I know

I found a blog/site (it has way more info than most blogs) that is for almost every woman I know. Here's their blurb:

The Apostolate of Hannah's Tears

"We offer prayer support and comfort to the brokenhearted who suffer the pains of infertility at any stage of life, difficult pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, the loss of a child and the adoption process. This apostolate intercedes for Catholic doctors, nurses, and their supportive personnel. We also serve as a vehicle of education in the proper channels of Catholic fertility practices as well as offering information resources to those seeking adoption and fertility care. © 2008-2010"

I don't think I know very many women who have not suffered from infertility and/or miscarriages at one time or another. This site provides much needed comfort and information so that we women don't have to feel alone in these issues.

The website is:

Have a Blessed Sunday!

This is taken from You can go to their site and vote to have this ad run during the Super Bowl.

"Radical pro-abortion groups want to sack a life-affirming ad from Focus on the Family from appearing in the Super Bowl.

The ad focuses on football star Tim Tebow and the courage of his mother who was told by doctors to abort a child that would become a Heisman Trophy winner.

It’s time to take a stand and stop anti-life and anti-Christian radicals from taking control of our airwaves.

Last year, NBC sacked a Super Bowl ad by Let’s not let this happen again. Urge CBS to stand behind its decision and allow Focus on the Family to tell this inspirational story about a football star.

Sign the petition at "

You've probably seen this, but this is an ad that was not allowed to run during the Super Bowl Last Year. Watch the whole thing. It's really incredible considering most Catholics don't even support Obama, yet we would never in a million years condone his abortion!! But his own people would have. hmmmm...something not right with this picture..

Friday, January 29, 2010

Foto Friday

Is that baby girl standing, you ask? Is that Liam on skates? Oh yeah, these are the real deal folks. No photo shopping here. Impressive, I know. Analee is perfecting her standing technique and getting ready to walk any day now. Liam tried on a pair of skates and hated it. This is one of the few shots I got before he wanted to take them off. I'm surprised since the boy loves everything else on wheels!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Giant Leap for the Prolife Movement

Here is a link to a blog I follow called Catholic Fire. She's so pro life and informative on all things pro life. Here in Virginia, and two other states, a new law is being voted on Jan. 13 which will give personhood to unborn babies. Having personhood status, as I understand it, gives the unborn babies rights- the right to freedom of speech, the right to bare arms- the right to LIVE! Seriously though, this is a giant leap for the prolife movement and it will hopefully lead to the end of abortions. Sometimes it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel in the culture of death that we live in, but this is really a pretty bright light! I am hopeful and this news made me joyful :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's Up Wednesday

I almost forgot to do this!

This Wednesday, what's up with...

Clay Rosaries: This morning dropped off my first Fredericksburg rosary for a mom who is in my mom's group at church. Thanks, Sue- and thanks Barb for referring Sue!

Me: Can't wait to spend QT some time with my hubby tonight and discuss our parenting book.

Kids:Liam loves his new Kettler trike we found on Craigslist. He rode around the driveway this morning while I made some beads. Analee has discovered if she screams like a banshee, she usually gets what she wants.

Husband: Brewing his second batch of beer- a stout made with 8 shots of espresso. His first batch turned out surprisingly well. It was enjoyed by all his friends too.

Book I'm Reading: Ch. 2 Parenting with Grace--The Catholic Parent's Guide to Raising Almost Perfect Children by Dr. Popcak.

What's in the oven: Chocolate Chip cookies made with whole wheat, oatmeal, and ground flax seed. I hope they're good- the first batch just came out!

What's on my mind: Calling my sister. and saying, "for the Honor and Glory of God" after all I do. I think that if I cannot say that while I am doing something- it's not for God's Glory,and why do it? Like Eating too many chocolate chip cookies- I don't think that's going to give God honor and glory- so I'll try not to do it- try is the key word.

What's up and coming: Our weekend! which starts when Eric wakes up today and ends when he goes back to work Friday night. Strange, huh?

Best thing that happened to me today: getting glorious hugs from everyone in my family. They are the best huggers ever.

Good link? Thanks, MujerLatina, for this link: -Why I am Catholic blog is very interactive and provides good discussion.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Uber Healthy Muffins

Liam and I made some uber healthy muffins today that were so moist and delicious, that I thought I'd be kind and share the recipe with you :)

This if from The Essentials of Eating Well Cookbook

Blueberry-Maple Muffins

1/3 c. ground flax seed
1 c. whole-wheat flour
3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 c. pure maple syrup (I used regular)
1 c. buttermilk (I used plain fat free yogurt instead)
1/4 c. canola oil
2 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. blueberries (I used frozen- just rinse well or the blueberry muffins will really be blue!)
Sugar for topping

Oven temp: 400 degrees
Mix dry ingredients minus sugar. In separate bowl, whisk eggs and maple syrup, then add other wet ingredients and mix well. Gently combine wet and dry ingredients until moistened. Fold in blueberries.

the only thing that went wrong was that I used paper liners and the muffins stuck to them. Anyone know why or what I should have done?

Now you can enjoy the banished breakfast food guilt free! Enjoy-we are!

Monday, January 25, 2010

*Saved* from a Case of the Mondays

Today I thought I would have a horrible case of the Mondays, but the nice warm weather God gave us today made for a fun filled day. Liam and I were able to spend a good amount of time outside while Analee slept. I poked holes in beads and he rode his bike. Then we had some wonderful free entertainment provided by the utility company. They drained the fire hydrant and Liam had a front row seat. I'm convinced the best things in life are free!

Never a Good Sign

It's life's little things that make me chuckle :)

It's never a good sign when:

Your toddler says, "This is a fun ride!!" while you are driving.

You announce that your New Year's Resolution is to be a better housekeeper and no one disagrees.

You ask your husband whether or not he'd like the new recipe you tried for dinner another time, and he doesn't respond.

Your baby (who shoves everything in her mouth including anything she finds on the floor) will not put that same new recipe in her mouth.

Your priest tells you after you confess your sins that you've made a "good confession".

Your toddler says, "just don't come in my bedroom" while he is supposed to be taking a nap.

Your husband says, "I need..." and your child finishes the sentence with "sleep."

Being able to laugh at yourself now and then-- now that's a GOOD sign!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Great Equalizer

After reading my parenting book last night, I am reminded of the most important element of parenting, the most important element of marriage, the most important element of our faith, the most important thing in this world and the next. It's love. Sounds so simple, but love is really all we need to be good parents, all we need to be good husbands and wives, and all we need to go to heaven. All the good advice in the world amounts to nothing if we don't inject love first and foremost.
St. Therese said, "Even the most brilliant deeds, done without love, amount to nothing." Love is the great equalizer. The absence of love, lowers the greatest deeds to nothing, and the smallest deeds done with great love, elevates them to the heavens. I think about times when I have done something really great, and looking back, it was really just a waste of time because I did it without love. Or the times I have done something so insignificant as wiping the snot off my child's nose and because it was done with great love, it was worth more than feeding a million homeless people without love in my heart.
Of course, this is nothing new and we have all heard this a million times, but it is important to keep reminding ourselves of it. It is so easy to get caught up in our own selfish desires even when it seems we are doing really great things for other people. For Example, I could simply be feeding my ego while feeding a million homeless people, or I could be lessening my feelings of insecurity while taking my children out to expensive piano lessons, or I could be thinking of only success and money while working extra hours to make money for my family. A big one for me, is doing things out of duty instead of out of love. Oh, the mounting pile of "duties" I have! Everything from being a good house keeper, to being a good mother, to being a good catholic can all be seen as duties. And can all be done with little to no self donation. Self Donation is the buzz word of the new millennium for Catholics. Since the word 'love' can be so warped and brought to the same low level as a fondness for pizza, for example, self donation is the new word to describe what we are really talking here. Self donation is the kind of love that Jesus gave on the cross and it's the kind of love we are required to give to God and all on earth. Just like it sounds- it's the love that gives of oneself. If we do not really sacrifice anything of ourselves by our love, it is not self donating. If we only give our excess and not of our need, it's not self donating. If it doesn't hurt at times to love Jesus, and to love our neighbors, it's not self donating. This is the kind of love St. Paul talks about in Corinthians:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

May God show us all how to love the way He first loved. Amen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Family Missionaries

Today I am thinking of my sister, Christina (16), and my Dad who are traveling to Antigua, Guatemala. They are going to volunteer on different projects for Common Hope. I'm praying for safe travels and a fruitful trip for them and all the people in their group. I wish I had a picture of one of my trips to Guatemala to share, but that was before digital cameras were popular. My Dad has gone on a mission trip almost every year for the past 15 years (give or take one). All of my siblings have taken turns going with him and last year, my Mom went alone. I even took a Spanish immersion class there with my brother, Tom and one of my friends. Antigua, Guatemala is not only one of the most beautiful places I've been, it is also one of joy even among the poorest people. It is impossible to visit such a place and not come back with a better perspective on life. The people of Guatemala have a tremendous amount of gratitude to God and a great faith that God will provide for all their needs. God Bless your travels, Dad and Christina!

Foto Friday

When Life Gives You Lemons....
...Eat them up! They are so cute, I could just eat them up!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

What's Up Wednesday

Here's a fun new thing I'm going to do on Wednesdays. I'll follow the script every week so I don't have to reinvent the wheel.

This Wednesday, what's up with...

Clay Rosaries: finishing up an order to send out to a wonderful Pro Life woman and her daughter who is making her First Holy Communion. What an honor for me!

Me: Thankful for my Sister in Law, Rhonda who never fails to surprise me with the warmth, kindness and care she gives to all her relatives.

Kids: Just got back from the library where Liam really enjoys story time

Husband: Making his own beer (for the past four weeks) He's opening his first bottle up tonight. He's nervous. I remain skeptical.

Book I'm Reading: Parenting with Grace--The Catholic Parent's Guide to Raising Almost Perfect Children by Dr. Popcak. Interesting so far...Attachment Parenting...not sure about this...hope the rest of the book doesn't talk about it as much as the first chapter.

What's for Dinner: Roast Chicken with roasted vegetables. Soooo easy- my mother in law showed me this fail proof way of roasting chicken. Generously sprinkle Season All on a roaster chicken with a pop up timer. Pop in oven. Wait for timer to pop up and enjoy a juicy chicken seasoned to perfection.

What's on my mind: Haiti and all the poor people who are so displaced and uncared for. Makes me feel so helpless. Must pray!

What's up and coming: A birthday party for my sweet baby girl who is turning one! Liam can't stop talking about his cousins and Mom Mom and Popi who are coming. I am looking forward to making my first homemade cake. I even watched a video on how to do it on Martha

Best thing that happened to me today: Sleeping in until 8:00am! What a treat- thank you kids for that!!

Best Link I've Seen Lately: Lisa Hendley's Blog on Haiti. It has a nice prayer, and link to donate to CRS for Haiti.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shaving Fun

Disclaimer: Liam is playing with his toy razor set he got for Christmas
Here's my "No Word Wednesday" on a Thursday. I like that, it's catchy. I think it will be my new thing. Look for for more 'No Word Wednesdays on a Thursday' posts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Reality Check

Sometimes when reading some one's blog- or really anything someone has written on the Internet, it's easy to get a misunderstanding of the blogger, or the intent of the content. I am here to let you know that in case you ever thought I had more knowledge than I do I have- I don't. It' quite easy to write something that sounds intelligent when you have the resources of Google, websites, dictionary and books at your fingertips and an unlimited amount of time to concisely formulate your opinion. If you have ever had a conversation with me, you would know that I am not so eloquent in speech and probably sound stupid most of the time.
Also, if you have ever thought that I am holier than I am, my husband and kids will tell you, I am not. I can also vouch for this. As will my confessor. OK, so most people who know me really well will let you know that I am really just a big sinner who is trying the best she can.
Lastly in case you think that I am more beautiful than I really am (wishful thinking on my part) here is a morning shot of me complete with my double chin. now you can lol all you want :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cabbage- the new leafy green

I'm always looking for new recipes- especially vegetable recipes that I can make on the cheap and on the fly. While at the grocery store, I was looking for lettuce, when I noticed cabbage for only 40 cents a pound! So, I've decided to take on this vegetable and see what I can make of it's eco friendly leaves. I've made one recipe so far, and three more are on the way. Thanks to Martha Stewart, I am looking forward to making pork stuffed cabbage, creamed cabbage, and this recipe below--not all on the same night!.

Shredded Sauteed Cabbage

If you're sure you dislike cabbage, try this quick dish. The vegetable retains some texture and has none of that sulfury taste and mushiness of cabbage that has been improperly cooked. This also makes a great snack or breakfast when served with a couple of fried eggs on top.

From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn. (c)2009, Lucinda Scala Quinn. Mikkel Vang, photographer. Used by permission of Artisan Books,


Serves 6 to 8

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 small head of green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 10 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for serving


  1. Heat a 14-inch skillet over medium-high heat, and then add the oil and onion. Saute to soften the onion slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato, ginger if using, and red-pepper flakes. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cabbage and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir to combine. Cover, and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally as the cabbage begins to collapse. Add a little water, 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed if the cabbage becomes too dry. (This depends on the moisture level of the cabbage. You don't want it too wet.) Cook for approximately 13 minutes, or until the cabbage is just tender. Salt to taste and serve.
From Martha Stewart Living, December 2009

A New Years Visit

The Harkins' were blessed with a very nice visit from my brother Tom, his wife, JoAnn, and my brother Robert. They stayed for almost a week and spent the time touring around Fredericksburg, DC and, of course, visiting with their favorite kin ;) Liam misses them already. Can't wait for our visit to MN in February when we get to see them again!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

On the Seventh Day

Today I was thinking about the first book of the bible where it says that God rested. "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. " (Gen: 2:1-3) Have you ever wondered why God needed to rest? Really- Why does God need to rest at all? I was struck by this thought. Since it does seem silly that God needs anything- it had to be written in the bible for our sake- not just to document a nice little snooze.

Tomorrow is the seventh day of the week and according to the Ten Commandments, I am supposed so REST. I'll let you in on a little secret- I am terrible at keeping this commandment. I do want to be better at it, but it remains a short coming of mine. But while thinking about the thought that if God rested on Sunday and blessed it as a holy day- who am I to think that I need to keep working on this day of rest?

I resolve that tomorrow, I will refrain from unnecessary work, and make more time for rest and prayer. After all, who am I to say I don't need a rest from the business of life when God himself took a day off? I've heard that if you take Sunday off from unnecessary work that God blesses your work week that much more so you will never miss that day you took off. Well, here goes a leap of faith!

Have a wonderful, blessed, and restful Sunday!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mary, the Mother of God

Today is the Octave of Christmas, and appropriately, the feast day of Mary, the Mother of God. I was going to spend some time doing an intelligent blog, but for several reasons, I only can manage a couple of short humble thoughts on the subject.
Several years ago, when I nannied for a very nice Methodist family, the four year old boy asked his mother who God's mommy was. He said that God had to have a mommy. She was baffled and couldn't supply an answer. It seemed so logical to a young child who personified God in a way only an innocent child can that no one can be with out a mother, yet to the mother who only viewed Mary as a nice women who had Jesus, and nothing special, she couldn't get to the thought that this women could possibly be who her son wanted to know about. So, the next day, she presented the situation to me and asked me what I thought. I fumbled as I always do when presented with an opportunity to share my faith, and threw out (without any good explanation)-- Mary. Without say it in so many words, she dismissed my silly "Catholic crazy talk", and that was the end of the that. I often think about that conversation and what I should have said and how I should have eloquently explained it. If I had the opportunity to go back in time, I would have explained that since Jesus is God, and Jesus had a mother, then God also has a mother, and her name is Mary. And doesn't that simple thought really bridge the gap between the protestant view of Mary as just some random women who had Jesus, and our Catholic reverence toward the Blessed Virgin?
God did have a mother- and so do we. Jesus calls us brothers and sisters, as we have the same Father and Mother. How blessed are we!