Unless otherwise specified, all writing here on my blog is my own original work. If you refer to something I've written here, please be sure to give me proper credit.

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED: Please don't let that deter you from commenting, though. I LOVE to read your thoughts! I only ask that you keep it clean & respectful.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm Stepping into the Political Fray (2nd post today)

Like many other bloggers (Colleen from Thoughts on Grace & Judy from Benmakesten), I normally tend to steer clear of politics here on my blog. However, there is a GREAT threat to Americans, esp. Catholics, right now & I cannot in good conscience remain silent.

Recently, the Obama administration announced through the US Department of Health & Human Services that almost all employers would be required (forced) to provide health care services that include sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, & contraception to their employees. It will be written into their policies & employees will be forced to buy the coverage. This includes Catholic hospitals, schools/universities, charities & more. Their reasoning for taking away our religious rights & for not allowing an exemption is that all these institutions provide care/education for anyone, not just Catholics.

As Catholic Charities USA's president, the Rev. Larry Snyder, notes, even Jesus and His disciples would not qualify for the exemption in that case, because they were committed to serve those of other faiths. (from Archbishop Timothy Dolan's article in The Wall Street Journal - You can read his full article HERE.)
THIS IS HORRIBLY WRONG! We, as Catholics & many others, have fought (& continue to fight) to save human lives, NOT provide access to the prevention & murder of innocent babies in the womb. The loss of respect for the sanctity of life is growing more each day & I fear for the future.

It is a violation of our religious freedom stated in the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Also in The Wall Street Journal article, Archbishop Dolan said:
The Catholic Church defends religious liberty, including freedom of conscience, for everyone. The Amish do not carry health insurance. The government respects their principles. Christian Scientists want to heal by prayer alone, and the new health-care reform law respects that. Quakers and others object to killing even in wartime, and the government respects that principle for conscientious objectors. By its decision, the Obama administration has failed to show the same respect for the consciences of Catholics and others who object to treating pregnancy as a disease. (see link above for the complete article)
I hope & pray that Catholics across America will join the fight against this bill. Strike that...I hope & pray that EVERYONE across America will join the fight. After all, ALL life is precious!

* Above all else...PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
* Spread the word & let our nation's leaders know that we WILL NOT STAND for this.
* Contact your congressmen & state representatives.
* Write to your local newspaper.
* Become an informed citizen.

For more information, you can click on the following links:
US Conference of Catholic Bishops
- links include background, what's new, & advocacy work
Bishop Campbell's Letter to the Columbus Diocese - letter by our local bishop to our diocese churches & similar to other bishops' letters to their churches across the country

Tuesday's Ten - Favorite Contemporary Christian Songs

I listen to a wide variety of musical styles, depending on the mood I may be in. I love country, Broadway/movie soundtracks, classical, 80s rock, traditional Catholic hymns, & so much more. Typically, though, I'm usually tuned into the local Contemporary Christian station. I find so many wonderful, uplifting songs there...plus, I don't have to worry about making sure the munchkins aren't hearing anything inappropriate.

For today, I thought I'd share some of my favorite Contemporary Christian songs. I'm not linking to YouTube for these, but I'm sure you can find all of them there. As with most of my Tuesday's Ten lists, this is not in any particular order.

Above All by Michael W. Smith - This was the first song that really got me hooked on our local radio station.

On My Knees by Jaci Valesquez - Such a powerful young voice singing such a powerful song!

Blessings by Laura Story - This one brings tears to my eyes, esp. lately.

Slow Fade by Casting Crowns - This song was in the movie Fireproof.

Never Alone by Barlow Girls - a very comforting song, esp. when you feel like there's no one there for you

Lose My Soul by Toby Mac - a fun song w/ a great message

El Shaddai by Amy Grant

By Heart by Point of Grace - They have many great songs & you can't go wrong w/ any of them, but this is one of my favorites.

Joseph's Song by Michael Card - This Christmas song is sung from Joseph's point of view.

Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood - This is one of those crossover songs that bridges the gap between country & Christian music.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday's Fare - New Orleans Beef & Bourbon

This is a recipe HelpfulGrammy used to make when I was younger. The flavor & tenderness of the beef is just incredible & delicious! I made it a couple of weeks ago & it was a hit.

New Orleans Beef & Bourbon
3 lb. pot roast
salt & pepper to taste
2 celery chunks
1/3 c. bourbon
2 cans (10 1/2 oz) condensed chicken gumbo soup

Sprinkle pot roast w/ salt & pepper; put into Crockpot. Add remaining ingredients. Cover & cook on High 9-10 hours or on Low 16-18 hours. Remove meat, slice, & keep warm. Skim off excess fat from top of juices. Spoon juices over meat to serve w/ rice or potatoes & a salad. Makes 6-8 servings.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Small Successes

Sherry, at Chocolate for Your Brain, hosts Small Successes each Thursday. Check it out to see others' successes & share your own. Recognizing the small things we accomplish each week helps us realize that even when it doesn't seem like it, we are getting things done!

1) When I went into the boys' bedroom Mon. morning to open their curtains, I was greeted w/ that unpleasant scent of boy sweat! It never ceases to amaze me how much the boys can sweat at night, even when it's very cold. So, I stripped all three of their beds to wash their sheets & comforters. While those were in the washer, I used a fabric spray on their beds & the curtains. Now, it smells quite nice in there!

2) Also, on Mon., I decided to go through the boys' dresser drawers & closet. I took out clothes that don't fit anymore, refolded/hung up messed up clothing, & put everything neatly away. Now...how long will that last?

3) Tuesday called for a cleaning out of The Princess' dresser drawers & closet. The timing was perfect because my parents' church is holding their annual donation drive. I gave HelpfulGrammy two bags of clothes, two boxes of toys, & a grocery bag of plastic hangers.

Last Week's Goal...W
ork on front room storage; Start a new recipe meme for Fridays & call it "Friday's Fare." (I started the new meme. Hopefully the recipes will come in handy for some of you. Still didn't get to the front room.)

This Week's Goal...Once again, front room storage!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings

My dear blogging friend, Judy, over at A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings, hosts this meme every Wednesday. Simply list five things (or a prayer or any thoughts) for which you are truly thankful this week. Voicing my thanks helps put my life in perspective & realize that, no matter how bad things might be, there is still MUCH good surrounding me.

1) I took The Archangel to a new doctor yesterday. While it's still too early to tell how things will turn out, I will say that I'm thankful the initial appt. went well.

2) I'm thankful for the warmer weather we had on Monday. The munchkins have been a bit stir-crazy lately, so I sent them outside & they spent most of the day out there.

3) I know I've said this before, but I'm thankful for our local Goodwill store. I found a great two piece skirt suit w/ matching scarf for $5.99 to wear to my cousin's wedding next month. It looks like it's never been worn & I'm very pleased w/ the way it fits me. Casinodad also found some clothes for work.

4) I'm thankful for the many prayers of our Catholic Faith...for any situation one may be going through or for any special devotion one may have. At times, my prayers are spoken from my heart, yet there are other times when I just can't come up w/ something to say & know that I can rely on many wonderful prayers out there.

5) I'm thankful a potentially stressful situation that arose on Friday evening worked out quickly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lovin' My Husband (2nd post today)

Yea! Judy has started a new meme! As she says, "In a world where people are always griping and complaining and the 'norm' for women's get-togethers seems to be to 'down' the husbands, we have taken the reins in an effort to do the opposite: BUILD UP THE MEN WE LOVE!"

So here I am to do just that...sharing about my dear hubby, Casinodad. If you'd like to participate, share about your husband: 3 ways you've been blessed by him, what makes you love him so, pictures, stories, anything! Then, go to Judy's meme blog to link up!

1) He's so compassionate! One of the MANY things that drew me to him was his caring & sensitivity. He shows great empathy for others & whatever problems they're facing. People know that when they go to him w/ a problem, he WILL listen!

2) I've found so much encouragement & inspiration when it comes to my faith life. He's a very prayerful person. Growing up, we only prayed at dinner time or big celebration meals. Casinodad prays for all meals, including snacks, & I have seen that devotion rub off onto the munchkins.

3) He is a wonderful father. I love to see him interact w/ the munchkins & to see their excitement when he walks in the door every evening.