Saturday, October 24, 2009

Moving!

The Skillman's are moving - to a family blog ;-)

http://lovetruthandskillmans.blogspot.com/

There are not posts yet, but Joe is working on it - - - - but the format is similar... same links and sidebar information, plus a few extras.

It is still under construction, but mostly done.

See you over there! Now I just have to work on linking my years of posts from this blog to the new one. Don't want to waste all that information.

Does anyone know how to do that?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Lady of the Rosary

Individually, we have prayed the Rosary every day for a few years, and for two and a half months (since we were married), we have been praying it together sometime after dinner and before bed. What a blessing! We hope to do this for the rest of our lives and make it an important family tradition. It might need to be modified a bit when there are tiny people running around. :-)


“All the supreme teachers, the popes, have been unanimous in proclaiming that the devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Rosary are the hope and
salvation of the world in our evil and dangerous era.
They have endeavored, by word and example, to bring
the faithful more closely to Jesus Christ in the
Most Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady’s Rosary.”
From The Eucharist and the Rosary:
The Power to Change the World

More on...the FEAST of Our Lady of Victory (the Rosary)

To commemorate the victory of the Christian Armada over the Turks on Oct 7, 1571, Pope Pius V introduced the Feast of Our Lady of Victory. Christian Europe had been at risk of being conquered by the Ottoman Empire (Muslim). The year leading up to the battle had been declared the Year of the Rosary. At the beginning of that year, each mariner of the Holy League was given a rosary and instructed to pray it daily. The rosary also served to unite the contentious factions of the Holy League during the year of its formation and proved equally important for getting the Holy League to the battle as winning the battle. When faced with unfavorable wind at the onset of the battle, the men picked up their rosaries and began praying. Miraculously the winds shifted and served to be a key factor in the ensuing victory.
The Feast's name was changed in 1969 to “Our Lady of the Rosary” and it is now a mandatory memorial. It is now attached to and starts Respect For Life Month.

Many complain that the Mass and Rosary are repetitious. However, the “repetition” of the Mass and Rosary alike can work a slow but deep transformation of one's heart. One could also point out that repetition is not necessarily a sign of a lack of imagination. It may be sheer exuberant pleasure that makes us repeat an activity. G. K. Chesterton argued that repetition is a characteristic of the vitality of children. They like the same stories, the same words, time and time again, not because they are bored and unimaginative but because they delight in life.


Chesterton wrote:
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead, for grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes each daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg."

Pray the Rosary. Pray the Mass.
Exult in the monotony. Transform your heart.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Day Late - St. Francis

October 4th is the Feast of St. Francis. yesterday it was trumped by Sunday, because Jesus is a little more important. However, the Feast of St. Francis is a great day for me and Joe. Both of us have a great love for St. Francis and St. Claire, (of which the long story will come in another post) and it is the one year anniversary of the day we were engaged (outside of our favorite Adoration chapel with a statue of St. Francis)!

I still receive daily Eucharistic emails, and this was the email on the Feast of St. Francis.

"I beg you to show every reverence and honor possible
to the most holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom all things in heaven and on earth
are set at peace and are reconciled to Almighty God.
Let us love God and adore Him
and offer Him praises by day and by night."

St Francis of Assisi
b.1181 d.1226

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

Ste Francis, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Little Flower

St. Therese of Lisieux (The Little Flower), born Therese Martin, was a young French girl, passionately in love with Jesus Christ, who became a Discalced Carmelite nun at age fifteen and died of tuberculosis at age twenty-four in a monastery in Lisieux, France.

Therese experienced extraordinary breakthroughs in what is possible in a human being's relationship with God and with other humans. Since her death, she has fascinated countless people. Her memoir, "Story of a Soul," became the religious bestseller of the 20th century. Countless miracles have been attributed to her intercession. She was canonized in 1925 and, in 1997, named a Doctor of the Church. She is often called the "Little Flower."

"My mission: to make God loved, will begin after my death. I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will send a shower of roses."

"Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be - and becoming that person."

"Let us see life as it really is... It is a moment between two eternities..."

"To Call God my Father and to Know myself His Child, that is Heaven to me ..."

I highly recommend reading this.


St. Therese, pray for us, that we may be

simple, humble, and love Christ with a child-like faith.

Amen

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mapping Out Our Nations Sin

The link below is to a posting on Faith and Family Live - It is a study of our nations sin.

What’s your hometown’s sin of choice?

A team from Kansas State has mapped out our nation’s hot spots for the 7 deadly sins by plotting per-capita statistics of things like violent crime, STDs, and numbers of fast food restaurants.

Some might question the “science” of these findings, but the maps sure are an interesting way of looking at our country’s regions.

I especially like the fact that the map for pride is an aggregate of the other six maps “because pride is the root of all sin.”


http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/blog/mapping_out_sin

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Feast of the Archangels


"O, angelic spirits, who guard our tabernacles, wherein
lies the adorable treasure of the Holy Eucharist,
defend it from profanation and preserve it for our love."
St Josemaria Escriva


"Michael and his Angels battled against the dragon...
Satan, the seducer of the whole world, was driven out."

A Sermon of Pope Saint Gregory
From the Third Nocturne of Matins of the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel

We speak of nine orders of Angels, because we know, by the testimony of Holy Scripture, that there are the following: Angels, Archangels, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Dominations, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. It must be realized that "Angel" is the name of their office, not of their nature. For the holy Spirits of the heavenly homeland are always Spirits, but they cannot always be called Angels; they are Angels only when they are announcing something. Those who announce less important things are called Angels, and those who announce the highest things are called Archangels. And so not any Angel but the Archangel Gabriel was sent to Mary; for this ministry, it was fitting to have the highest Angel, since he was to announce the greatest news of all. These Archangels are also given special names to describe their particular virtue. For Michael means "Who is like to God?" Gabriel means "Strength of God," and Raphael "Medicine of God."

Whenever something is to be done needing great power, Michael is sent forth so that from his action and his name we may understand that no one can do what God can do. Hence that old enemy who through pride desired to be like God is shown at the end of the world, left to his own strength and about to undergo the final punishment, as destined to fight with Michael the Archangel, as John says, "There was a battle with Michael the Archangel." Similarly, Gabriel was sent to Mary; he who is called "Strength of God" came to announce Him who deigned to appear in humility to conquer the powers of the air. And Raphael is interpreted, as we said, "Medicine of God," for when he touched the eyes of Tobias to do the work of healing, he dispelled the "night of his blindness."

St Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael, pray for us
and defend us in battle!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday's are my favorite!

With my current schedule, I am totally free on Monday's. This is such a blessings! I use the time to do household things that I would have normally done on the weekend. [Though Sunday I did clean a little because Joe was around to help ;-) ]

Just to give you a peek into my Monday, here is how it goes:

6:00-8:00 (depending on the day): Wake up and change the sheets. I am a fanatic about changing the sheets every week, and clean sheets are one of my favorite things EVER. However, folding the sheets in another story. Our big king bed can be quite the challenge. So usually, even thought we have 3 sets, I wash, and then put back on the same ones. That leaves the bed unmade for a few hours, which I don't love - but can handle. ;-)

Then I make some coffee and get to work reading blogs, checking email, responding, reading news stories, etc. Because Monday's are more laid back in the morning, I usually get to take more prayer time as well.

Finish any laundry left over from last week. Usually I try to do a load or 2 during the week to keep the work load down. I realize that with only 2 people, we don't produce a lot of dirty clothes, but someday there will be more little people joining us who make a lot of laundry, and it is good to have a little routine now to fall back on.

Clean. Not too hard with our 2 bed/2 bath home, and I keep that to a minimum by picking up and tidying things all week long.

Meal plan and grocery shop. Joe did the meal planning this week and next (We try to do 2 weeks at a time) which was great! It isn't everything I would have picked, but I love that he wanted to help plan and of course picked all his favorite meals (lots of meat and potatoes, especially on October 4th - our engagement anniversary and the feast of St. Francis - "Let the meat hang from the walls!".

Now I just have to head to Freddy's to get all the goods.

I try to be home from the store around 11:00 (won't happen today), wash the produce, put everything away and then busy myself with other tasks.

Today I need to run some errands aside from the grocery store (Macy's and Target), finish a sewing project I am working on, (put the sheets back on the bed), head to my mom's to drop off stuff for her garage sale next week (If you are around, come check it out, there are lots of great things!) and prep some dinners for this week. There are also some family business things I need to get done - bill paying schedule, paper filing system (for being an organizer myself, I still haven't mastered paper management the way I hope to someday). Maybe there is something on this website that Lindsey blogged about today- Organizing Junkie

On my list of fun things to do, I also need to write my dear friend Sr. Cora Marie (used to be Kathy Webb) a letter. All last year I wrote her once a week, but this year she can't receive mail except for her feast day, Christmas and Easter. So I have been writing once a month.

I hope you all have a productive Monday! Let me know if you have tip for paper order too! PLEASE!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pretty darm proud of myself!

Proud in a good way ;-)
Look what I made today ....


Since we have glass doors in both our bathrooms and I wanted to add some color, but without a shower curtain, that is hard. The above color is in Joe's bathroom ;-)


We got the dining room furniture a few weeks ago and hung the curtains last week. Joe provided the flowers ;-)

I made the bedroom curtains today, and the 2 cute pillows to match with the extra fabric. Now the room seems complete to me. Hooray! I love the neutral color of our bedding which made for any color to be the accent. We picked blue and painted one wall that color and the curtains are blue too.

Another glass door in my bathroom---- We have brown and light teal towels in there, so I made some curtains to match the teal color. I think it makes it look very nice. Just how I imagined. I do like the style I picked for Joe's bathroom a little better.

Seven Things I love ...

Tagged by Cheri over at As the Family Goes.... Thanks!

Seven Things I LOVE!

1) Joe! Being married to Joe. Talking about how cool it is to finally be married. Be watching a movie or cleaning the house or driving somewhere and saying .... "ummm We are married!" It still doesn't get old and is so fun.

2) Though I miss Minnesota and our friends there very much - I LOVE being in Washington and seeing either my family or Joe's family every weekend. We have been having a great time doing little adventures around the state. Last weekend, we went to Zillah and went to 3 different wineries.

3) Reading about and learning things I never knew. As I mentioned in a previous post I have been reading Beautiful Boy. It is a book writen by a father about his son who is addicted to drugs and they cycles of heartaches he and the rest of his family go through. I am facinated by this whole other world that I had no idea about.... The book is honest and thoughtful. The father is a writer for the New York Times and is very eloquent in his heartfelt love and deep suffering as he watches his son destroy his life. Everyone knows about suffering and heartache - David Sheff makes his come alive on the page. He isn't a man of faith, but slowly comes to see God as necessary.

4) Lazy mornings, hot coffee, catching up on good prayer time, reading books and blogs and new recipes to make for the week.

5) Being crafty. I made 2 sets of curtains and feel so accomplished.

6) Thinking about, talking about, praying about, and trying to make real long term goals or ideas. There are so many things we want to see, do, experience, try ..... It is fun to dream, and to make a reality.

7) New friends, old friends, catching up, getting to know, and loving people where they are at.

You are supposed to tag 7 people, some I would tag have already been tagged .... but check out their posts and new people can participate!
Kristine, Carrie, Laura, Sarah D, Janelle, Amelia

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook


For Today... Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Outside my window...clear skies and very chilly. Fall is almost here!

I am thinking... I got up a little too early today and don't have much to show for it - haha!

I am thankful for... being unpacked and settled in. Everything has a place.

From the school room... Joe started teaching yesterday. Looks like he has a great group of middle school students this year!

From the kitchen... Meals are planned for the next 2 weeks, and I am off to the store this morning. BBQ Chicken with pepper-jack cheese, baked potatoes, and broccoli tonight.

I am wearing... uh-oh. Still in my PJ's - about to get ready for the day ;-)

I am creating... my first Daybook entry and a long over-do post.

I am going... to get ready and go to the grocery store. Then off to visit my friend Kristine.

I am reading... Beautiful Boy by David Sheff and Joe is still reading me the Harry Potter books!

I am hoping... I can get everything crossed my list today (and a little more)

I am hearing... The washing machine doing some hard work on sheets and towels.

Around the house... It feels great to have everything put away, furniture in its place and things in order. Our daily routine has begun.....

One of my favorite things... The smell of clean laundry, and the 1st night of sleeping in fresh sheets. It's the little things!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Jack's retirement party on Friday, clearing out the attic with my mom to get ready for the garage sale, and enjoy the extended weekend!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Nothing like great girl-friends! This is a picture from the day before the wedding. We went to Seattle and were tourists for the day. I just love remembering how all our best friend were in town for such a fun week and to be a part of our big day! Thank you!



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Much needed post - in the "7 quick takes" format

It's been one month since the big day, and I have been so overwhelmed with stuff to post about that I just don't post at all. Silly, I know, but true. I will do this post in the "7 Quick Takes" style, even though it isn't Friday, over at Conversion Diary , just to keep my head from spinning.....

1) We had a great wedding! I hope you got to see Casey's great pictures (the previous post links you to his website). He did such a wonderful job capturing the day from beginning to end! He was such a trooper and arrived at my house at 6:40am the day of the wedding, and could be seen at 10:45pm leaving the reception after a long night of dancing and pictures. Thank you, Casey.

Also, the whole day's details will come in another post, but it truly was the best day ( and week ) of my life. Everything people say is true ..... It is just magic. Everything went off without a hitch. The only thing that we weren't too happy with ( and by WE, I mean my mom and I, Joe had no opinion ) were the flowers. We wanted something much different than what we got. But, my mom went to the florist and spoke to them about her unhappiness, and got a nice chunk of change in return. Our best friends were in town for the big day and we had a whole week of fun. Joe and I commented we need to do it every year - not get "re-married" because that is impossible, but have a great big party for everyone to come to!
(Most of our friends at my parents house Thursday before the wedding)

2) Mexico was ---- too good for words! I will make another complete post about it in the future, but here are some pictures. We were at a great resort (RIU Palace), all inclusive, on the beach, lots of pools, yummy drinks, food, snorkeling, para sailing, outback tours .... you name it, we did it.


3) Another wedding - My dear friend Sara Primera was married to Josh Davila 2 weeks after our wedding. I went down to Texas, without Joe, and was a bridesmaid for Sara. It was nice to see a few other NET people and old friends. I also danced the night away (kind of) with Ernie - he is one of "my people" and taught me how to dance like a real Mexican. Now I need to teach Joe.
Keep Sara and Josh in your prayers as they begin their lives together!

4) Joe and I went to Woodland Park Zoo, the Sequim Game Farm, and my parents beach house in Wenatchee/Chelan. I would say we are living up our "pre-retirement" (in the next post) quite nicely.

5) We have been calling this stage in our life, "pre-retirement" - being a teacher, Joe has the summer off, and I am still looking for a job for the time being and thinking about how to start organizing here - until then, we are just 2 young retired people. It has been great!

6) Harry Potter - Joe loves Harry Potter, I never got into it. So, for the past few days, Joe has been reading me Harry Potter - we are on book 4 (he said the 1st 3 weren't worth the effort) and I have seen the movies already. My love language, if it exists, is being read to. Maybe that goes under the "quality time" category, but I really think it is something totally different.

7) Joe got a job! We are very excited about that. We probably should have been a little more "nervous" about picking up and moving home the week before the wedding, without job, and no time to look for them either. But we trusted in God's providence and knew something would happen. Well, within a week of being home from Mexico, Joe had a few offers and the best one was at the school closest to our home! The Lord is so faithful and we trusted He would provide. As always, He did! Mr. Skillman will be teaching at St. Patrick's in Tacoma - Middle School Science.

More posting to come. 1st things 1st - get new married life organized.

God bless!

The Skillman's

p.s. Soon (or maybe not so soon) I will be making the move to this place: http://theskillmans.blogspot.com/

It is still unnamed and hasn't been used, but I think our new life as one needs a new blog as one ;-) I will keep you posted.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wedding Picture Link

I finally put the LINK up - sorry about just positing the website - but I am sure you all figured it out.

check out some great pictures Casey made into a slide show!

More to come!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I am in awe

Currently, I live across the street from a HUGE nursery. Spring time is the best because of all the blooming flowers! It is an oasis. Going on walks is something I truly enjoy, and walking through and around the nursery makes it even better.

Recently, I was walking by and saw a flower that was totally new to me - never in my life had I seen it and thought I had missed out on a true piece of beauty. I walked into the nursery and described the flower that took my breath away, and they immediately knew what it was - and Allium! (I described it to them as a big purple "dandelion" when they are white and fluffy.)

My mom has quite the green thumb, so I gave her a call to see if these grow in Washington, and THEY DO! You can guess what I will be doing in the fall - - - planting my Allium bulbs (They are a "plant in the Fall, grow in the Spring" flower).

Each night around 8:00 pm when the heat and humidity have almost worn off, I head out for a walk around the nursery and marvel in the beauty of the Allium (and all other flowers, too)






Monday, June 22, 2009

Cathedral of St. Paul - New National Shrine

Not that anyone needs another excuse to come to Minnesota - (what many people around here call "God's Country") - but now the Cathedral of St. Paul has been established as a National Shrine!

As the Year of St. Paul draws to a close on June 29, the Cathedral of St. Paul announced its new designation as National Shrine of the Apostle Paul.

The Cathedral is among about 100 U.S. Catholic churches that have been honored with the designation — and it’s the only one dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle, said Msgr. Anthony Sherman, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Divine Worship.

The designation comes from the Holy See and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the request of Archbishop John Nienstedt.

The title ‘shrine’ recognizes the Cathedral’s national importance and designates it as a pilgrimage destination for groups from across the United States, said Father Joseph Johnson, the Cathedral’s rector.

The Cathedral began the application process when the Year of St. Paul was announced, Father Johnson said. He felt the Cathedral had a particular responsibility to heed the jubilee year’s call to greater devotion to the Apostle Paul.

He also thinks the national shrine designation honors the vision of the Cathedral’s founder, Father Lucien Galtier, the first priest to establish a parish in the area in 1840. Because of his devotion to the saint, he named the log chapel he built after St. Paul, which led to the name of the city. “Father Galtier looked to the person of Paul when he arrived in this wilderness, and it’s interesting that now the universal church has said we’re all going to do that,” Father Johnson said.

Because of the shrine designation, the Cathedral will continue some of the programming it began during the jubilee year, including its First Saturday series, which featured speakers, prayer and reflection. It already offers several weekly tours.The new shrine has also established the Archconfraternity of the Apostle Paul to help people feel connected to the shrine, Father Johnson said.

Members serve as the spiritual apostolate of the National Shrine of the Apostle

Paul in five particular ways:
- Greater devotion to St. Paul and his intercession.
- Study of and reflection on the Pauline epistles in the New Testament.
- Practice of corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
- Commitment to evangelization, especially in everyday encounters
- Connection with the spiritual life at the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul.


Last week, as a going away present, my co-workers and I all went on a tour of the Cathedral, something we have "always wanted to do", but never got around to. When you live in a particular city, I have noticed you often don't do the "touristy" things associated with that region. I have been to the Cathedral - perhaps hundreds of time - for Mass or other events, but never had a complete understanding of what each window, or fresco or marble stone meant or came from.

The experience was truly memorable. We spent time in each side chapel honoring the saints and learning about what went into building their chapel. Each marble slab in the side chapels came from the country of origin for the Saint. The stained glass windows and "rose windows" are priceless, yet at the time when the cathedral was constructed, they were a few thousand dollars. Unbelievable.

I will admit that the Connemara Marble from Ireland (the picture in the link does not do it justice) from St. Patrick's side chapel was the most radiant and beautiful of them all.

All in all, I highly recommend an organized tour of the Cathedral, it has given me a much greater and renewed sense of wonder and awe for this building men erected in honor of our good and loving God.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Body of Christ

Solemnity
of Corpus Christi
The Most Holy
Body and Blood of Christ


"The Eucharist is the ‘treasure’ of the Church, the precious heritage that her Lord has left to her. And the Church preserves it with the greatest care, celebrating it daily in holy Mass, adoring it in churches and chapels, administering it to the sick, and as viaticum to those who are on their last journey . . . .
" (
Pope Benedict XVI)

As Cardinal Ratzinger, in his book titled, God Is Near Us,
our future Holy Father wrote:

Communion and adoration do not stand side by side, or even in opposition, but are indivisibly one. For communicating means entering into fellowship. Communicating with Christ means having fellowship with Him.

That is why Communion and contemplation belong together: a person cannot communicate with another person without knowing him. He must be open for him, see him, and hear him. Love or friendship always carries within it an impulse of reverence, of adoration. Communicating with Christ therefore demands that we gaze on Him, allow Him to gaze on us, listen to Him, get to know Him. Adoration is simply the personal aspect of Communion. We cannot communicate sacramentally without doing it personally.

Sacramental Communion becomes empty, and finally a judgment for us, unless it is repeatedly completed by us personally. The saying of the Lord in the book of Revelation is valid not only for the end times: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My Voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him and he with Me’ (3:20). This is at the same time a description of the most profound content of Eucharistic piety. True Communion can happen only if we hear the Voice of the Lord, if we answer and open the door. ‘Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and… [let] our adoration never cease’ (Dominicæ Cenæ).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lexington and Nashville to visit my favorite Sister, Kathy.

Here are some pictures of my trip to see one of my favorite people in the whole world -
Sr. Katherine (soon to receive a new name!)



Bye Bye Kathy!

When you give your life to Jesus, He takes good care of you, check out the castle they live in.

More of the castle ...

And still more....

Marian garden at the cemetery.

More cemetery garden....

Lovely Holy Family statue at the 'vent (that's what I call the convent!)

Hanging out in Kentucky.

Sr. Katherine relearning how to use a cell phone.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Here are my Eight

Tagged by Kristine - this is fun.


8 Things I am looking forward to:

1) Getting married to Joe in 39 days. Enough said!2) Swing dancing for REAL, after 6 weeks - - well, 12 weeks of lessons really, we are dancing at a real swing club! Hope we are as good as we think we are.
3) Monica and Jordan's wedding, which was actually Friday night.
4) Lounging on a rainy day in St. Paul. Feels just like home.
5) Having some of my best "NET" and Minnesota friends come in to town this July to hang out before the wedding. Only a few have ever been to the Pacific Northwest.
6) Organizing our home. I am already looking forward to unpacking (1st I have to pack though) in our home together, finding places for everything, and making our home a warm, peaceful and welcoming place.
7) The feeling of having everything checked off the wedding list - - - - I've got a little ways to go.
8) Having more time in the morning to do things. I am at my best in the morning, and now that the sun is out SO EARLY, I wake up earlier, giving me more time to do all kinds of things around here.

8 Things I did Yesterday:

1) Went to work and covered the front desk for Vicky who was away on the interview weekend.
2) Took a half day at work in order to drive up to Moorhead/Fargo for Monica and Jordan's wedding.
3) Played fun car games and had good conversation for 4 hours in the car on our way to the wedding.
4) Witnessed a beautiful ceremony with lovely music, homily, and people I love.
5) Congratulated Joe on his 1st last day of being a teacher! The kids were so cute when they said goodbye, wanting to take his picture with them, etc. etc.
6) Danced the night away at the reception. I will say we NET folks certainly closed the place down, we decided not to leave until the very LAST song, and we made good on that. 1:00 am came and we danced our way to the van to drive back to St. Paul.
7) Tried to sleep on the 4 hour trip back to St. Paul, switching positions every 5 minutes.
8) Watched the sunrise as we drove down I-94 thinking - "I have been up for 24 hours, Why can't I sleep!!!!!" Needless to say, as soon as my head hit the pillow of my bed, I was OUT - only for 3 hours though. Joe and I had out last NFP class at 10:00 am

8 Things I wish I could Do:

1) I know how to knit, now it is time to crochet
2) Learn how to be a really good gardener
3) Run a marathon without having to do all the training
4) Fly a plane
5) A back flip
6) Focus long enough to have deep meditation during prayer
7) Take a small cat-nap each day around 2:00 pm
8) Focus on one things at once. I am notoriously thinking about the next things that needs to get done . . .

8 Shows I watch: (note: My roomie and I do not have a TV, but I find ways to watch a few things)
1) House - sometimes I don't like the subject matter, but MOST of the time, I LOVE IT!
2) The Little Couple (a new show about little people)
3) John and Kate Plus 8 (but not often)
4) Man verses Wild
5) 24 (It is like a drug)

That's about it.

Now I will tag : Sarah, Laura, Janelle!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Soon

Update coming soon on my visit to see Sr. Katherine and all the fun happenings of this week!

Friday, May 22, 2009

7 Quick Takes - Volume 2

The 7 Quick Takes are perfect for a Friday post!

1. Tomorrow, at 5:30 am, I take off to Lexington Kentucky to visit one of my best friends in the whole world. We have spend almost a whole year apart as she lives out her vocation as a religious sister with the Nashville Dominicans.

Sister Katherine is one of quite a few of my friends who have joined, or will be joining a religious order/become a diocesan priest. She will receive her habit and new name around August. My heart holds so much love and joy for her! I will post more when I get back.

2. Tonight = homemade pizza recipe I got here. I made the 1st part ahead of time - the dough and backing the Parmesan cheese on the crust, so all I need to do tonight is pop it in the oven! Top it off with some Caesar salad and root bear floats, and we have ourselves a great Friday dinner! As lunch time is quickly approaching in the Midwest, I am already looking forward to dinner.

3. Now that our employers know, and I think most everyone else does as well, Joe and I will be returning to the great state of Washington to being our married lives together. I will have a whole other post dedicated to this, but as it is Quick Take Friday - now is not the time. We will be headed that way the 1st or 2nd week of July, just in time for our July 18th wedding!

4. Hip Hip Hooray to my mom! She has been SO on the ball with the wedding! I can honestly say it has been stress free - well, mostly ;-) I am so thankful for her and her planning skills!

5. It is not too late to start the Novena to the Holy Spirit,
Or any novena really! 9 days between now and Pentecost - Happy Birthday Catholic Church!

6. What happened to all the hype about Swine Flu - I mean H1N1? All of a sudden there is nothing else about it. Don't get me wrong, I am still washing my hands and all surfaces as often as I see water, soap and disinfectant, but where did it go? I checked a few websites, and it is still around - All I know is that Joe and I are still going to Mexico on July 20th - hopefully we stay free of H1N1.


7. Recently, I can't get enough of Jodi Picoult! Her writing style is phenomenal and the books (fiction novels) really capture my interest. As Joe and I drove to La Crosse about a month ago, I read Typically, each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the main characters. I have read 3 in the last 2 months and am hooked! I am reading Handle With Care now:

When Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe’s daughter, Willow, is born with severe osteogenesis imperfecta, they are devastated – she will suffer hundreds of broken bones as she grows, a lifetime of pain. As the family struggles to make ends meet to cover Willow’s medical expenses, Charlotte thinks she has found an answer. If she files a wrongful birth lawsuit against her ob/gyn for not telling her in advance that her child would be born severely disabled, the monetary payouts might ensure a lifetime of care for Willow. But it means that Charlotte has to get up in a court of law and say in public that she would have terminated the pregnancy if she’d known about the disability in advance – words that her husband can’t abide, that Willow will hear, and that Charlotte cannot reconcile. And the ob/gyn she’s suing isn’t just her physician – it’s her best friend.

Handle With Care explores the knotty tangle of medical ethics and personal morality. When faced with the reality of a fetus who will be disabled, at which point should an OB counsel termination? Should a parent have the right to make that choice? How disabled is TOO disabled? And as a parent, how far would you go to take care of someone you love? Would you alienate the rest of your family? Would you be willing to lie to your friends, to your spouse, to a court? And perhaps most difficult of all – would you admit to yourself that you might not actually be lying?

“Told through multiple points of view, this suspenseful story explores questions of medical ethics and personal choice, pinpointing the fragile and delicate fault lines that span out from personal tragedy and disability.”
—Kirkus Reviews

As summer approaches and you have a little more leisure time - read a Jodi Picoult book! It is really worth it.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Pray for all our veterans, those who have fallen, and also for those who are with us - protecting and serving. They are more brave that we will ever realize.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Novena to the Holy Spirit

Join the faithful nationally and around the world for the Church’s annual Pentecost novena, taking place this year from Ascension Thursday, May 21, to the Eve of Pentecost, May 30. This novena will be offered for the renewal, restoration and reawakening of our nation as well as for our President. Please add your personal intentions as well.

The Novena to the Holy Spirit

The novena to the Holy Spirit is the Church's only novena that was divinely ordered and it's the only one the Church officially prescribes. Jesus told the Apostles, "wait for 'the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'" (Acts 1:4)

So the Apostles went back to the city and to the upper room. There they "devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and his brothers." The fruit of that prayer was the Holy Spirit, God sharing His very nature with us. The Holy Spirit empowered the Apostles to go forth and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the entire known world and to even not be afraid to shed their blood if that was necessary.Every year, the Church keeps that same novena between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost. And God still keeps His promise and continues to send the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke, "If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (11:13)

Let's take this opportunity to ask Him for the Holy Spirit - for a new Pentecost to carry out the New Evangelization which Pope John Paul the Great called for. We desperately need that evangelization in our country as polls begin to document the loss of faith.

The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT--To be recited daily during the Novena

On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT--
To be recited daily during the Novena

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
The Novena begins on the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension, Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, even if the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to the 7th Sunday.

FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension or Friday of 6th Week of Easter)

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

The Holy Spirit
Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared--sin· Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."

Prayer
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SECOND DAY (Saturday of 6th Week of Easter)

Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!

The Gift of Fear
The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."

Prayer
Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

THIRD DAY (7th Sunday of Easter or transferred Ascension)

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.

The Gift of Piety
The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.

Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

FOURTH DAY (Monday, 7th Week of Easter)

Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe.
The Gift of Fortitude By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."

Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

FIFTH DAY (Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter)

Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!

The Gift of Knowledge
The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."

Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.
Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SIXTH DAY (Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter)

If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn'd to ill.

The Gift of Understanding
Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion BY faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God."

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.
Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SEVENTH DAY (Thursday, 7th Week of Easter)

Heal our wounds--our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away.

The Gift of Counsel
The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.
Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

EIGHTH DAY (Friday, 7th Week of Easter)

Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom
Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written "all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.
Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

NINTH DAY (Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost)

Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

Prayer
Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Dynamics of Celibacy - an article

Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)

Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 04, Number 18 Friday, May 15, 2009

The Dynamics of Celibacy

Some recent high-profile priest scandals have put celibacy back in the limelight as a topic for the pagan world to rage about, but rarely will you hear what the Catholic Church actually teaches about it. I hope that the following insights will be a short-course in the dynamics of a marvelous life of grace: namely, celibate chastity. The world needs to hear “the other side” of the story.
Number One: Celibacy is a gift to the world, not a rule imposed by the Church on a few seemingly-abnormal men. Celibacy initiates men into a life of spiritual fatherhood in a strikingly positive way for others.

We are called “father” for a reason: we bring spiritual life to our people through the sacred mysteries which we handle, and they are drawn into a spiritual family thereby. A truly dedicated priest has thousands of spiritual children who sometimes make immense demands on him—I often wish I had only seven children like my father! In an age where men have massively renounced their sacred duty to generate, protect and nurture families, there are myriads of selfless, celibate men sacrificing themselves in a truly manly way for the sake of God’s family and, indeed, even for the sake of many individual families. The fact that some priests fail at it does not make the gift of celibacy anything less than a true blessing; in fact, its failures force us to reflect more deeply on its quiet successes.

It’s hypocritical to think that we should throw away the gift of celibacy (i.e., make it “optional”) based upon a miniscule percentage of failures of its practitioners. We don’t say the same thing about the much higher percentage of failures in marriage. Should we allow polygamy just because some married men can’t stick to one woman? This is the time to reaffirm the genuine beauty and value of celibacy, not change this immense gift to us.

Number two: Celibacy is the personal renunciation of the legitimate goods of marriage and family as a fruitful sacrifice for the kingdom of God. The astonishment of this generation that a perfectly normal, red-blooded male could make that particular sacrifice is exactly the point of celibacy. The world needs to know that there are some men walking around who are not bound either by the expectations of society or by the terms of our fleshly human nature. They are bound by only one concern; that of a kingdom that is not of this world, and they are willing to sacrifice everything for it.

The presence in society of men who make this sacrifice is profoundly challenging to a culture that wants to reduce everything in life to the pleasure principle. Such a total renunciation is truly counter cultural: it’s like choosing to live with a permanent wound in the heart that never heals but out of which flow “rivers of living water” (Jn 7:38) that heal countless others. Celibacy is not easy for anyone to live, in fact, it is a constant death to self; but it is enormously life-giving to others, and the Church has not lost sight of that for two thousand years.

Number three: vows are vows. Married men make vows and so do priests. A vow is a promise before God of fidelity to a particular person or state in life. From a spiritual point of view a vow in marriage has the same significance as a vow of celibate chastity: it is permanently binding on the individual and requires total fidelity. We all know that vows are broken by weak and fallible men, but we also know and have seen that vows can be repaired, sins repented of, amends made and forgiveness granted to those who have offended others. Who of us does not depend in some way on the Mercy of God and those we have hurt when we have fallen? The return to fidelity breaks our pride and chastens our passions. What we must never do is make excuses or justify our compromises with pop cultural moral relativism. For example, the fact of “falling in love” with someone is no more an excuse to abandon the celibate priesthood than it is to abandon a wife and family for another woman. I have known many married men who have had that experience and then, in a more rational moment, picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and returned to fidelity—sometimes at a great cost.

Thankfully God gave us a rational will, in addition to our lower passions, so that we have something other than whimsical feelings to govern our actions. Fidelity is always possible for those who desire to return to their deepest commitments.Well, although a short article on celibacy is not enough to explain such a beautiful mystery, it is just enough to witness to a very dynamic way of life whose adherents have given life to millions throughout the centuries. In this time of great secular challenge to our faith, let us pray for the celibate men and women who have served us so well in this life and especially for those who are still trying to return to fidelity.

Sincerely,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International

Friday, May 8, 2009

7 Quick Takes ... Vol. 1


1. After 2, 6 week sessions of dance class with Joe - there was a little "skills test" on Monday night, and they also made it into a fun competition --- well, guess who got 1st place (tied with another couple)? Uh huh, Joe and Anna. It was fun. Our prize .... a box of Charleston Chews - how appropriate.

2. Memorial Day Weekend is quickly approaching - and that means going to Kentucky to visit my dear dear friend, Sr. Katherine! Kathy joined the Nashville Dominicans (go check out the website!) last August and after almost a year, she has a home visit. I will be spending the weekend with her and her family - enjoying every moment we have! Kathy is SO beautiful and I can't wait to hear stories and rejoice together in what the Lord has done in our lives.
3. What on my mind today you ask? How about the fact that Joe and I are getting married in 70 days! Reading the Psalms in reverse order has been a very fruitful way to count down the day - and put some purpose into counting down - not just wishing the days away.

4. This weekend is very busy and exciting - Not only are we going to a yummy Mediterranean restaurant tonight, tomorrow I get to hang out (babysit) with some of my favorite kids! And Sunday, Joe and I are going to a Mariner's game - well, a Twin's game ----- a Mariner's verses Twins game ---- who do we cheer for? Sunday night, Megan and I are having dinner with 2 other girls from our NET team who both live in MN - so fun!

5. Last night, today, and tomorrow I will be boxing up light weight bulky things as Joe and I prepare to move home - Those things can be easily and cheaply shipped back to WA, and I will get them out before Monday when postage goes up! Take that USPS!

6. Praise the Lord - He can not be outdone in generosity. Lately He has really been surprising me with how generous He is - and why should I be surprised. One quick story - I am selling my car - my dad had one, which is now mine, so instead of Joe and I driving both our cars back to WA, I will sell mine here. On the fly about a month ago, we told our NFP teacher how we are selling my car, and she pretty much said - "We will buy it" - This weekend, the car will be theirs. I am so thankful that the Lord has turned what could be a stressful situiation, trying to sell a car, and pack up our lives, into a very blessed and "easy" situiation. Thank you, Jesus! I will miss my little "Big Red" as I call her. She has been the best little car for me over the years.

7. Dove Dark Chocolates are my favorite sweet treat - today, the little "promise" inside the wrapper was "Believe the best in others!" Indeed I will, thank you Dove!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

3 Crosses Retreat Center

This past weekend, Joe and I, along with our great friend, Megan and Mikey, took Friday off and went to 3 Crosses Retreat Center in Cannon Falls. Gary and Barb have transformed their own home into a beautiful retreat center/get away for anyone who wants to come. Megan, Mikey and I were 1st exposed to this place while we were on a team together for NET Ministiries. They are such beautiful people - and while they live in their home (the retreat center) they also work to maintain the grounds, prayer gardens, and welcoming environment of this Christ-centered place. The 4 of us decided, though we will not live near each other, to return to this place with our growing families routinely, to enjoy God's creation in the place where we feel so at home. Here are some pictures.

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Joe helping me down from a tree.


Totem Poll shot





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