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Archive for the ‘The Value of Human Life’ Category

I Woke up early, but I’m a little later than usual getting these up!

Fri Feb 1

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Spring scene out the window
Sharing the wonder of the Mass, The Greatest Miracle, with the kids
The baby’s fascination with the egg carton toy
my boys with the complete alphabet train all set up
a disco lamp
when I got lost driving, God leading me back to the way I know
Driving home, into the sun
streetlights against a sunset sky

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A night out at the bowling alley
A run in with an old friend
A Speed bowling match with DH

Watching our 3 year old clean up through his sobs whatever he could find in the clean living room
How a little toy and a 2 minute you tube video made it all better

Sat Feb 2
Grace even in the storm (Grace in the storm – in that moment, there at the fridge etc – I still could trust, I still knew you had a plan and part of me could still trust, and I wasn’t alone. I didn’t reach for your hand, I couldn’t, but still you held me. )
mutual humility and partnership
Seeing real changes in my husband, fruits of my prayers
Permission to try homeschooling for a year

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A night of women and fellowship
Being right there, part of the story – the moment when someone asked God into her life for the first time
Finding my new faith plaque hung up by the kids bed
Opening my mass readings booklet to discover the feast that falls on this special day – God showing off

Sun Feb 3
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An awakening deep in my heart; Realizing deep down after all these years I still want and need a Daddy
-Awe at DH’s words – ‘the long arm of the Lord’ -God who is this man and what have you done with my husband!!?

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-my little look alike angel wearing my mom’s glasses
-an indian feast for brunch
Fluffy flakes falling soft into mom’s back yard
One boy holding the other’s hand, to help him feel better while his foot hurts
snow covered trees at the entrance to our park
A glimpse of the astonishing: magestic beauty – a great owl sitting in the tree just up from our house

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The imprint from the outdoor plug in the snow
Snow peaks lit by the colored railing lights
Finally seeing our house all lit with Christmas lights and candles in the windows
my new faith plaque hung up on the nail over the kids bed

Mon Feb 4
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Snow spattered on the fence
-your grace, providence – continuing to bring order out of our clutter
Little boys watching over their brother’s shoulder as he practiced writing
Your grace to call me to rest; to go have fun with my family in the snow
the baby with sock mitts
shovel sled
Fortified dome of snow (fort)
My oldest helping his baby brother make the sign of the cross

Tues Feb 5

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Possibly finding a way to finally motivate the boys to clean up quickly in the morning
A window of white
Cut and paste with the kids
2 dinosaurs on boats

our snow fort (J)
My star wars shirt (T)
My best friend encouraging me and holding me accountable

-the God-given ability to multitask – with DH’s help cooking, prepping dinner, movie night and confession, and truly being able to give sufficient attention to each

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A table fit for medieval heroes
Shiny metal cups
Homemade quesedillas -Delicious and easy
Tortillas with chicken and cheese on a plate speared with a sword
The taste of brass and rich creamy chocolate milk
a hearty ‘CHEERS’

-that my drive to church is uneventful
Sudden warmth in my cold hands during group rosary before the tabernacle
Single tear – at your passion – because there was no other way (for us to be with Him) ( ‘ someone has to die, you or me’) and He loved us that much, so as to go that far to be with us! Accept His love.

-the availability of weeknight confession
–that through God’s providence in timing, I went past the accident before the officers arrived – and thus was not caught in the line of traffic and made late
– an inspiration of the Holy Spirit, a simple way to pray daily for my kids: 3 hail mary’s for faith hope and love, one for each child.
puss in boots dancing to the end credits
shadows silhouette on top of the cabinet door
the red angel lit by the archway lights
a frost flower on my kitchen window

Wed Feb 6
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Frost flower by day
a pattern of tiny droplets of water frozen on the front door glass
Love gifts – Marriage wisdom from Ann
Watching my oldest create the car of his dreams on the doodle card, complete with fast wheels and flames out the back

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God’s orchestration – plans – joing CCO for mass and the Q and A with the theologian
A parking space close by
49 min on the meter
Promise of a powerful weekend with God – an upcoming retreat entirely on evangelization!
Theological discussion
Catching up with an old school friend and her family after about 13 years (over a decade later)
Theological thoughts continuing to churn around in my brain
Watching the world go by with a theological mindset – seeing every person in a new light
People watching through God’s eyes – seeing each one and their relationship to God, seeing them as God sees them – a soul/person with hopes and dreams and wonderful talents to make the world a better place.
The surprise arrival of a friend at the food court

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baby sitting and bouncing on the step
her little baby gumming the pop bottle lid
a home win and a shootout
A whole world of fluffy flakes falling quiet outside the parkade

Thurs Feb 7
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Finding everything I was looking for for valentine’s day
– finding baby’s socks put away in his drawer (wrong drawer but still so cute)

Finally sharing my wonderful news
Your faithfulness

TY God for making farmers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMpZ0TGjbWE

Being part of a real-world example of the power of the HS in our lives
everything falling into place, a simple formula for holiness and walking in the spirit: Choose and ask.
delicious muffins

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Tue May 22

Capture daily life on May 15th 2012 – On this one single day we ask you to pick up your camera and help us photograph daily life. What is close to you? What matters to you? We will connect your images to images from all around the world, creating a unique online experience where photographs will be shared, compared and explored. Your view on life will be preserved to inspire generations to come.

The contest made me pick only 10 of the 700 something photos I took on May 15th. I went with the ones that said the most about me and what I wanted to share with the world.

 

1. Home-Food-Breakfast-My breakfast

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–A plain English muffin with just butter and scrambled eggs without any salt or pepper because on Tuesdays I leave out the seasoning in my food as a way of fasting for my husband’s salvation– 9:15am

Tags: Plate, scrambled eggs, English muffin, margarine, fasting

 

2. Connections-Identity-Faith

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–Afternoon Prayer-These are the prayers I pray every day for my husband and his soul.
“Praying for our husbands is the greatest gift we can give them, but it can also be our greatest challenge if our spouse isn’t a believer. Remember, just because our husbands do not embrace our faith in Jesus Christ and claim it as their own doesn’t mean that God can’t work in their lives on a daily basis. Our prayers for these men are vital to their future as well as our own.”
http://www.winninghimwithoutwords.com/ —4:15 pm

Tags: Photograph, husband, prayers, prayertime

 

3. Connectons-Leisure-Outdoors

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– My husband Charles putting his mountain bike on the car to go for an evening ride with some friends. They go downhill riding together a few times a week. 5:45pm

Who? husband
Tags: Bike, mountain bike, car, Toyota Yaris, man

 

4. Connections-Generations-Younger

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– My 5 month old son has been getting into the crawl position for a week or more. Every time I put him on the floor he desperately tries to crawl. I think he wants to keep up with his 2 older brothers. – 4pm

Tags: Baby, huggies wipes, green rug

 

5. Home-Treasure

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– Toys- To my boys (almost 4 and 2 1/2) the toys in this bucket are the current treasure… They’re going through a CARS phase right now and the other toys are just lucky to share the bucket with them. 2:45pm

Tags: Cars, Pixar CARS, Lightning McQueen, Fin McMissile, Francesco Bernoulli, Chick Hicks, Luigi, pigs, bucket, knight, toy man, toys, hand, train table

 

6. Connections-Conflict

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– Activism – A selection of pro-life pamphlets that will be going out to local mailboxes. One of the biggest battles of our time is the abortion debate. In Canada we have a law (Section 223 of the Criminal Code) stating that the unborn are not human beings until they have proceeded entirely from the mother’s womb. This means that even if the little toe of the baby remains in the birth canal, it is still not considered a human being and can be killed with no consequences whatsoever.

Mother Teresa summed it up perfectly:“The second we allow ourselves to become the arbiters of who is human and who isn’t, this is the calamitous yet inevitable end. Once you say all human life is not sacred, the rest is just drawing random lines in the sand.” 2:30pm

Tags: Pamphlets, pro-life, pro-life pamphlets, activism, 180 movie, silent no more, dvd

 

7. Connections-Identity-Faith

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– My Easter display in my bedroom, still up weeks after Easter Sunday. In the Catholic Faith, Easter lasts until Pentecost, which this year is May 27th. 2:00pm

Tags: Cross, crucifix, prayer booklet, candle, cards

 

8. Connections– Elements and Nature-Urban Nature

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– Ants search for food on my kitchen counter on a hot day in Nova Scotia 3:00pm

Tags: Ants, recipe box, kitchen, kitchen counter, red bowl, grape stem

 

9. Home-Treasure

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– This Mexican crucifix is one of my favorite items. My Mother-in-Law brought it back for me when they went on a cruise a few years back. It is different from a traditional crucifix because the cross beam is missing from one side and Jesus’ arm makes the 4th point. Since my Mother-In-Law doesn’t really share my faith I thought it was such a thoughtful gift, which is why it’s so special to me. 6:45pm

Tags: Crucifix, jesus, Mexican crucifix, hook

 

10. Technology – to connect

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-This is the homepage of Spiritually Unequal Marriage, a ministry dedicated to helping Christians thrive in their marriages to non-believing spouses who don’t share their faith. Since starting this ministry, these women have discovered there are a lot more people in mismatched marriages than they ever thought and people in this situation often feel very lonely, so this place to connect with others in the same situation is really a life-line for many. I am just one of them. 5:30 pm

Tags: Computer screen, monitor, website, Spiritually Unequal Marriage, blog, desk

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May 18

-1- Routine: Rest.

The kids have been going through a particularly mischievous/drive-mummy-and-daddy-crazy phase the last week or so. Since having one bad sleep a few nights ago I’ve been feeling tired and run down and haven’t been able to get back to feeling in control. Rest is something I have been craving.

I came across this post by Kathi Lipp, on creating routine when your life is anything but. Since I’ve been big on the routine thing, and my life is just a little crazy on a daily basis, I was totally drawn to it. It stressed the importance of making time for prayer, exercise and love, all of which I had heard expressed before. But there was one more: Quiet time.

I’ve known probably ever since I’ve had kids just how much I need quiet space in my head just to think etc, time free from crying and whining and interruptions, but of course when I’m home with 3 little boys, my life is anything but. As long as they’re around I usually can’t have more than 2 or 3 minutes uninterrupted, and it’s hard enough to find time to pray etc as it is. So the thought of additional time where I could be left alone, maybe even take a nap; I don’t even try unless I really need it.

Then I read this:

‘Quiet Time: Whether I’m crazed at home or on the road, I need to have a little quite time. Research shows that if you can take a nap, even for 20 minutes, it’s the best thing you can do for your health, productivity, and energy. Even if you don’t sleep, just resting will help your day.’

On my tired days I tend to sit at the computer and try to be productive there, with varying degrees of success. The thought that even laying down for 20 or 30 minutes on the couch make a difference convinced me to give it a try. I was having a particularly tired day so I unplugged from the computer and the world as much as possible, and just lay on the couch and rested. I was actually there about an hour but when I got up I did feel less tired; basically, it was just enough to help me make it through to the end of the day. I think I tired it yesterday too, but the kids were still interrupting and it wasn’t so effective, but I’m still going to keep this one in mind.

-2- Faith notes..

‘Lord, I see with new insight Your mighty love for this man.’ —- If he was the only person on earth Jesus still would have come and died for him.

‘Lord, You are not only the redeemer of our lives, but also the redeemer of our circumstances.’ – Redeemer! When I said yes to God, I had no idea all that He had for me, I was just happy that death would not be the end!

From Impact’s First Cornerstone

Our Priest spoke about God and his relationship to us etc, highlighting a passage from the Lord of the Rings:

“What wonderous days are these when myth and legend spring forth fromt he turf before our very eyes?”

The people knew all the stories, they just never expected it them to turn out to be true!

In the same way, mankind knew the story of the promised Messiah, they just never thought they’d see it happen! The same is true today. We need to get people to rediscover the message. ‘Things have been forgotten that should not have been forgotten.’ This is not a judgement, it’s the truth.

Everyone knows the story, but mankind just doesn’t stop to consider the fact that it might really be true! It seems a legend to us, we say it’s just a story. But, what if it isn’t? What if God really is REAL?”

-On Sunday we ended up at St Benedict’s for another of their stewardship commitment campaigns: This time, a Stewardship of Treasure. ‘In stewardship we see the abundance of gifts instead of the scarcity. God will not be outdone in generosity!’ ‘We’re asking you to increase your weekly gift by just 1%. Then, if God doesn’t give you more blessings, more love, more joy, more peace, more graces, I’ll personally give you your money back,’ the speaker boldly proclaimed.

I felt challenged, so we talked it over and decided we could make the increase. I’ve been a little ashamed of how little we as a household were giving and I am so glad we made the decision to give more. It’s far from a tithe, but in a spiritually divided home it is a huge blessing.

-(This is family but still)

Fighting the Homework Battle – From Focus on the Family Minute
Try setting a regular learning time for youre whole family.
Find out how much time your oldest shoud be spending on homework then set aside that amount of time for the entire family to use for quiet study. No tv, loud music or video games etc, just concentrated learning time. Mom and dad can work on bills, read or do other admin tasks, preschoolers can look at books, or color and do crafts etc. The point is, everyone’s involved every night.

-3- I’ve been editing wedding photos and learning a lot in the process!

The wedding was lovely. We had great weather, it was a beautiful ceremony and everyone had a nice time. Although they had one other person taking photos, I too took a lot of pictures. And I understand if the bride favors the other ones, but I still wanted to take phtoos myself: for practice and for my own memories. On Monday I spent a good chunck of time sorting through them and editing the good ones. Although the big windows were beautiful, they made for a real issue with backlighting. It was a little frustrating trying to take nice shots and a lot of them seemed like they weren’t coming out at all.

However, as I worked to make every good shot as nice and professional looking as possible I discovered something: I’m amazed at what a difference making a photo much brighter does… I used to add some highlight till the photo looked nice, and then I was scared to brighten it any more as I thought it would make the light spots wash out. I know highlight adds depth but I never knew how much! I can make the photo so much better than I used to, when I’m brave enough to highlight more… I’m really pleased with this one 🙂

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One other thing I learned only after the fact reflecting back on what the other photographer said – if your shots to light raise the f number – that doesn’t mean lower it!!!! It DOES make a difference. I found this out when I tried the auto settings at the farm on mothers day to see how it handled bright sunlight! She told me the right hing to do and I was just stupid and applied it backwards!!! So yes, if your photos are too bright, raise the aperture!

-4- !!!

On Wednesday I watched the baby as he purposefully moved for toys. He wasn’t just rolling around, but moving… purposefully…FORWARDS! Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

It all started when I noticed him push a toy further away, almost on purpose. Then I watched as he purposefully got into the crawl position and carefully made himself fall forward – thus reaching it. He did this several times… Boy does he have my stubborn streak! The focus and determination is so cute but agh! He’s going to be crawling before he can even sit up!!!!!

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Here he is pictured just days before, still rather mobile and actively exploring his world

-5- Photo – aday! – Tuesday May 15. (www.aday.org)

The big world-wide capture the world in a day project was tuesday. Check out some of these first submissions: http://www.aday.org/news/2012-05-16/first-pictures.
It’s pretty cool, the last one especially made me smile 🙂

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In Sweden, Valter Turesson was caught by his dad Roger Turesson wolfing a snack while installing Diablo 3 just after its eagerly awaited release at midnight.

It was interesting how shooting for the project affected me. First it gave me the added impetus to wash the dishes as I was taking pictures of my kitchen sink and shelf. And secondly, it helped make sure I stayed focused on the Lord – and His plans for my day, as I do the project. I wanted to be sure I captured what HE wanted me to submit. Shooting for the project also upped the importance of making time for God, for example – praying for my husband. This is a crucial thing to my day and something I feel deep in my heart, so I knew I wanted to include it, but in order to take a photo of it, I had to be sure to actually take the time and say the prayers – in capturing my life I want honesty not a lie – so if I was going to photograph it, then I had to live it! It was interesting the project helped me to stay focused on what’s really important, amid the daily ups and downs.

-6- Last week I took the kids and I took our lenten money to Birthright on our way to the March for Life. At the march we ran into some friends which turned out to be an even bigger blessing as they stayed with me while I was without my keys. Also, a janitor looking man came back out of the building holding them, saying the nun at the desk told him a young lady had left them upstairs and had been looking for them. There’s no nuns in that building. He may have come from the Catholic center next door (though I never saw him go by) but my friend thought it may have been my guardian angel 🙂

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One of the first things the kids did when they came into the office was picked up the little model baby.
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My oldest is tucking the baby back into it’s case for a nap.
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The obligatory handing over the check shot 🙂
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-7- This week we had a teddy bear picnic for movie night. I made teddy bear pancakes like these for the kids, and I had some leftover chicken and sausage rolls. I also had fresh strawberries in the fridge, so I brought those out too. Yum! Then we watched the Yogi Bear movie.
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1. I feel so behind on everything… I did get caught up on a few posts this week, but I still have to put together my Easter one, and the house not so much! It’s been rather busy, and I’m later getting these up because I had a funeral yesterday and I’m having to write them this morning, you know instead of emptying the dishwasher. As ususal, I will be back with photos and some more info on some of the posts, but it probably won’t be today!

2. This past week has really been a time of reflection for me. Please bear with me while I try to express just some of it.

-An insight -This sounds straightforward right now, but this really struck me at the time: the human condition – our concern for others well being, our crusades for human rights, our pain when someone hurts us, our need to feel loved – it is precisely because we are made in God’s image! We as humans are made to give and receive love. It’s what we were created for!

-Reflecting on the moment: I have all these blessings in my life (how did I get so blessed? I have a cute caring husband, I have not one but 3 beautiful boys!), but more than that, I have a life through which to enjoy them! God Himself gave LIFE to me. God gave me a body. He gave me eyes to see the beauty of His creation all around me, ears to hear beauty in music and in nature, and a soul to feel, to love and to be loved! Wow.

-God works all things for my good. Just as I was about to finally read the breakthrough living post I’d been saving for a quiet moment, I was reminded of my own little breakthrough recently, through the spiritual warfare actually, just how much I put my trust in God and how it eclipses any doubts even further. Spiritual warfare, just the idea of encountering evil spirits, is something I find pretty scary, and having had a few clear brushes with it in the last few weeks, I’ve found myself feeling rather nervous about it all. And yet, this means I need to trust God and seek his protection and remember He’s already won the war. After all, I’ve said to my best friend a few times since the faith study, ‘if you believe in evil, why don’t you believe in the cure?’ and those words came back to me that I need to apply them myself. Now is the time when I believe in evil in a new way – The fear is there in the pit of my soul every evening since the warfare started to manifest a few nights ago. Now is the time I need to believe and put all my trust in the cure! – This evil is real, but God is real too, and he’s already won! This led to the added breakthrough when I realized how God is using the spiritual warfare I’m experiencing, the opposition, to strengthen my faith and my dependence on Him ! Wow, that is powerful!

-I looked up the meaning of a couple passages from my recent bible reading and discovered something really interesting. Luke 23: 29 “For behold, the days are coming when they will say, `Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!” This passage has puzzled me, why would that be a good thing, unless maybe the ones without children would have it easier at the end of the world/escaping persecution etc. I discovered it actually prophecies abortion. I had never thought of it this way before, but it’s so obvious. I had wondered why would it be good to have never conceived? It is not the church that is the ‘they’ but the culture! This seems to be the only interpretation that makes sense.

-The funeral service yesterday was really beautiful. Even though I loved Nancy, I didn’t feel sad. The service was so celebratory, celebrating her love of life, that it was actually uplifting. That and I felt that though she never spoke about it that I recall, that she knew and walked with the Lord.

The minister’s reflection was excellent. I summarize:

“When one more person dies too young to this terrible disease – cancer, we have to remember that the first heart to break, is God’s. There are only two ways to live this life: to see nothing as a miracle, or to see everything is a miracle. So even though it’s hard sometimes, we still have to live with our hearts open. How do you live with an open heart? You shout out your anger to God, that it might come back to you as love. When your heart is open, you are open to that grief being replaced by new life, being replaced with hope.”

“Lord, take Nancy. Take her to places only You can imagine.”

I felt that all who were involved with the service really captured her spirit, even the minister. Backstage before every show, led by Nancy we would recite the Storyteller’s Creed. The minister picked up on this, and added a few of his own ‘I Believe’ statements:

I believe that she shone for 53 years of mischief and playing and drama. I believe that her divine light now shines though each one of you who loved her. I believe it will shine in you when you’re 75.

Lord, have mercy on her beautiful soul and welcome her into your heavenly kingdom. Be with her family, her friends that were with her up to when she died, comfort them and let them know your presence during this difficult time.

-Then on my way home I picked up my first ever hitchhiker! I saw him there and as I read his sign ‘please’ my heart stirred. God put it on my heart to pick him up. Picking up a hitchiker was something I’d never done, but I didn’t have an ‘uh oh this is a bad idea’ feeling, just basic human nervousness and fear of the unknown, so I prayed for the HS to make it clear and for the courage to do what I was SURE he was asking me to do. I passed the closest exit aswhile I was still processing everything, so I had to turn around and come back to get him, but I did. And he was still there. And then his reaction when he saw the car visibly stopping was worth it all, it was like he’d just scored the winning touchdown, he was so happy. He’d been standing out there for almost 2 hours. I beleive he wasther jsut for me to pick him up.

I am in awe of how much God can do with a willing heart in a span of about 2 hours!

– Lastly, there was my trip to the throneroom, to pray for my husband.

3. In my searching I discovered an excellent article that spells out a lot of my problems with abortion. If you don’t share this point of view, you probably won’t like it, but I share it anyway: http://www.catholicbible101.com/abortion.htm

If you do share this point of view, consider signing this petition: http://www.lifecanada.org/services/petitions/petition-in-support-of-motion-312

There is another particularly compelling read on this site, a memo from the Devil. It dictates numerous tactics of the devil to capture human souls. Some of my readers will find this kind of talk rather crazy, but I’ve had brushes with the spirits myself and I believe it’s very real. You don’t have to look far to see the existence of evil in our world. After reading a number of the entries in the memo, I’m convinced that human beings really do sell their souls to the devil – only they don’t realize it because they’re only investing in some particular earthly good. It’s scary. So much of the things in the somewhat fictional memo are bang on. I share this with you my diverse readers simply because I care about you.

4. Check out this story about the dangerous abortion agenda:

A young lady was at the UN as part of a special program. At a special pro-life gathering, “the ambassador of Iran came by with his wife and he began to reveal to us how he was feeling the pressure from other ambassadors, especially the US to carry the abortion agenda in his nation. He did not believe in abortion, he did not want that in his nation. But what happens is other ambassadors or even the UN will threaten to withhold funding unless they incorporate, enlist, instate pro-abortion laws into their country.”

The UN is bullying other nations into becoming pro-abortion!

You can hear a lot more of her story here:

5. I’m pretty sure I have invented the best breakfast ever. (I make this claim based on overall success in multiple categories including: taste, nutrition and easy of preparation). It’s very quick to make, balanced, filling, fairly healthy and tastes sinfully delicious. It’s a yogurt sundae. This idea itself is not new, but the ones I make exceed the basic. To make this breakfast: Put yogurt in bowl. Top with fresh fruit (might have to chop it). Stir the fruit in. Top with the cereal and I use the thick greek yogurt (more fattening I suppose but it makes a much better sundae), fresh fruit and a basic crunchy flake cereal with nuts.

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I’ve come up with 3 delicious variations so far: Lemon Blueberry: lemon yogurt with blueberries, Tropical: coconut yogurt with a basic fruit cup (peaches, pears and pineapple) and some toasted coconut, and Chocolate Strawberry: Mocha yogurt with fresh strawberries. All 3 taste incredible, cover all 4 food groups and take no time at all to make! Between that and bread pudding, breakfasts have finally gotten a lot easier.

I also made a chocolate bread pudding this week. It’s really more of a dessert, but I had it for breakfast anyway 😉
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6. This week I learned there was a built-in light meter on my camera! (Thanks to a dear friend!) I thought it was unnecessarily tricky trying to get the exposure right on manual, who knew there was a built in light-measuring tool!

Also, the Social Parents have started a special photography meetup where we get together with our kids, take pictures of them and discuss tips and techniques etc. We had our first one on Tuesday, but I hope this is just the beginning!

“I was thinking it would be great to plan meetups with other Mom’s maybe an hour on a bi-weekly basis to take photos and learn a little more about the art. We can take photos of our babies while they play, we can take them for a stroller ride on one of Dartmouth’s great trails and practice our landscape photography skills, we can also get together for playdates to talk technique and review our shots from a previous date, … the options are endless.”

This was the plan:

“As a first meetup I thought we could go to a park with a soft surface tennis court, bring some balls of all sizes and let the kids play while we try to get some fun shots. I’m suggesting a tennis court because it is an enclosed outdoor space with a soft surface; good light, soft for crawling or getting down to capture a different angle, and none of our little subjects can wander off on us.”

Instead, the tennis court was taken, so we just sat around the playground instead.

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7. This week we had a last-minute movie night. It got moved around a bit and on wed when DH said he actually wasn’t going biking that night, we decided to make that night movie night. We discussed and chose a movie in the afternoon.

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Then I put this creation together to fit the theme, out of what we had on hand and what I felt like eating. This was the result:

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Not a bad resemblance… especially for last minute!
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I usually spend a couple days brainstorming ideas for the menu, so it was pretty fun to throw this one together so well on short notice!
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Also, 2 links

How to be a Good Mom on a Bad Day: http://inspiredtoaction.com/2012/04/how-to-be-a-good-mom-on-a-bad-day/

The Creed:

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April 23

I listened to an excellent Focus on the Family Broadcast recently, on engaging the culture (aka politics and everything society and Christians disagree on).
Part 1 can be found here: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/popups/media_player.aspx?MediaId={4B004E00-DB3E-4BBC-82C7-F0D0B007955F}

Jim Garlow spoke about how we can and should engage the culture on political issues, but how we must always do it in a spirit of love:

“We don’t compromise 1 inch on our values, but we reach out in compassion and love, nonetheless.

… I’d really like to know you and I’d like you to know me. I disagree with x, y z, I’m not comfortable with our government paying for this, can we talk about that? How do people like you view people like me? I really want to know, if it weren’t for this issue I think we could be great friends.

… Whatever I have to say, I say it with a smile on my face, meekness in my heart and a smile in my eyes. ”

He mentioned an especially helpful perspective: ‘We don’t have to win, Jesus can take care of that Himself. We don’t have to fight His battles.’ It’s important to build bridges and relationships with those who might be most hostile to the things we have to stand for – ‘we need to be salt and light! Not expressing anger because they are not living how we want them to live’

I guess for me right now it boils down to how we present our message – we’re supposed to be light and life, not strict and unforgiving! I don’t want to be one of those people that cause others to say : ‘I would have been a Christian if I’d ever met one.’ Certainly, it seems a better approach to preach to the dignity of all life, especially the unborn, rather than to the condemnation of all things abortion-related.

So, rather than write a condemning statement like: ‘ it is never ok to kill another human being no matter how young, under developed, or useful they may or may not be, period’, I want to strive to write life-affirming statements instead. I don’t think I’ve been hostile but I could speak the truth with a LOT more humility. I am firm and sometimes I can even be somewhat confrontational, so, to anyone I may have hurt or been anything less than Christ-like to when speaking out against abortion, I am sorry, and I hope to do better in the future.

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After the last post on the subject I did send a follow up email to Public Health which it seemed they never replied to. However, somehow when I was looking up the email I had sent I saw that the reply had snuck in unnoticed, and she did have a little helpful advice, as she did say it should be a possibility to get the vaccine through the pharmacy with a prescription. So, I’d been meaning and meaning to get to the pharmacy to discuss my options, but it kept not happening for a while. (When you’re home all day with 3 kids and no car, it’s hard to get these things done and when evenings are busy and you’re always tired, it’s easy to let it slide. So I did a little – as DH pointed out he might as well just go for his 4 month check up at this point. ) Then last night, armed with a stack of pro-life letters to mail, I finally made it out to deal with this.

I stopped outside and prayed first, as the magnitude of what I was about to do finally hit me. I now had to stand up for this truth in the world etc IN PERSON. It takes a lot of courage to go up agaisnt the world and the established status quo and before it had just been over the phone/email. I prayed for God’s wisdom, for the words to say (and I rehearsed them under my breath) and I prayed for the Holy Spirit to be with me and give me courage. Then I took a deep breath and walked into the store and back to the pharmacy counter.

I said my little speiel and the pharmacist went and got her superior and I asked again, ‘I’m wondering whether I’d be able, with a prescription, to get ahold of an alternative infant vaccine to the pentacel.’

I answered her simple questions and eventually she told me she’d have to call me back the next day when she could call the company etc. Before I left though, she asked me, “just out of curiosity, obviously you’ve done quiet a bit of research on vaccines and you know what you want for your child etc, but why did you not want to use the pentacel???”

There it was, but I was prepared enough to put together my reply: ‘Because it contains the aborted fetal cell line.’

And she didn’t suddenly look down on me or anything upon hearing my response. It seems she thought this was a perfectly legitimate reason to seek an alternative. It was like she just got it. She seemed to completely respect, almost agree with my opinion. And she has been very helpful since, calling back with extra information at my request.

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The verdict is YES, I can get ahold of an ethical alternative vaccine – but we will have to pay for it, and it comes 5 doses at a time. (Which is not so bad since I can easily use two of them myself.. but then it dpeends how long it keeps for…)

So.. I will probably be ordering a few shots of the ethical infant vaccine for – 2/4/6 months (the dtap 5 in one combo shot. ) in the near future. I may have some extras if anyone around here has children in that age range and would be interested… Just let me know 🙂

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Here we go, Quick Takes up on Friday morning. More to come, especially the related photos!

1. Look who’s back! 👿
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2. For a little over a week now I have been praying almost daily for my husband, and not just a quick one or two sentences, but a series of prayers that cover his protection, salvation and his role as husband and father. It feels like a pow-wow with God, working together to accomplish what we both want: for my husband to come to faith. Through these prayers, God softens my heart for my husband. He shows me areas where I need to change and He helps me find ways that I can love my husband today.

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I know that this time spent in prayer for him is really going to strengthen my marriage! For one prayer is always powerful, but more than that, this time spent praying so tenderly for my husband in the afternoon before he comes home is keeping my heart soft towards him. My heart is in a great place when he comes home, ready to love and care for him. I think it’s also helping me to be more forgiving of him, and even to extend mercy. I have found myself ready to truly forgive even when I’m feeling frustrated or when I’ve been hurt, so long as I get a proper apology.

In addition, I’ve also added in some favorite prayers from the thanksgiving section of the Miracle Hour resulting in a powerful 30 minute pow-wow with God, that will also strengthen my relationship with Him, as I get to speak my heart to Him each day as well! And when I’ve finished the divine mercy I’m thinking about adding 1 or 2 sections of the Miracle Hour each day to my afternoon prayer time. It is such a good booklet and I’m really missing praying it. And I also realized a great way to deal with my frustration with my husband – when I feel he is being unreasonable, what better approach than to pray about it. And that he would change? Not that he would do exactly what I want, but that he would love me better-AND vice versa.

Lord, let my husband love me like Christ loved the church and Father, help me to love him as Christ loved the church.

You can find the basic prayers here, and they’re good even if your husband is a believer: Praying for your Husband

3. The Defend Life conference was very good. I was pleased with the wide range of abortion issues that were covered. I found there to be lots of useful information; I already knew most of it but for other pro-lifers who hadn’t read as much etc, it was very informative, helping to fill in some of the gaps as to why abortion has become such a complex issue. Complex yes, because there are so many different ways it has pushed its ideology into our culture and impacted our lives. And yet, the issue of abortion is infinitely simple: the young, underdeveloped and even those who are seen as adding nothing to society, are infinitely valuable as human beings and as worthy of the right to life as any one of us.

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+Defend life notes

I realize not all my readers share this conviction, but if you do and you want to help out, there is a great campaign in Canada right now. (and last I heard there was one in the states too, this one spurred off it.) It’s called Letters 4 Life.

On a related note, this is sad but true: http://www.lifenews.com/2012/04/05/pro-abortion-pregnancy-discrimination-rises-in-the-workplace/

4. This week I’ve started giving the baby a rice cracker now and then. I’m pretty sure he’s not getting enough to eat with my middle son nursing every hour when he goes to the potty. As a reuslt he’s not sleeping through the night, though he has done it a couple times. I read a few months ago that they actually want you to start babies on food at 4 months instead of 6. Looking it up, the article has since been amended so I will bring it up with the doctor next time, but he doesn’t really like formula, or bottles for that matter. Sometimes we can get him to take one, and other times he just screams.
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He’s also a very smiley content baby, they’ve all been pretty content but he’s extremely smiley. He also rolls all over the floor now. My mom reminded me how active I said he was in utero, and that we’re probably looking at a really active kid. Should be interesting 🙂
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5. Thanks to Catholic icing, we had divine mercy sundaes after Sunday brunch. They weren’t quite as pretty but I bet they were every bit as tasty: 2 kinds of ice cream, relatively real whipped cream (from a can but it’s nothing like cool whip) and colored sugar spirnkles! I realized after checking in at the site that I did forget to put on the cherries though! We’ll just have to have them again next year… 😛
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6. For this take I’m just sharing a couple links.

I stumbled on a series of romantic courtship novels. When I’m in the mood to read a light summer fiction I think one of these could be great 🙂
http://heroinesofthefaith.blogspot.ca/2012/03/courtship-novels-regal-reading-list.html

Also, 2 new lent ideas for next year:
http://www.fisheaters.com/15prayersofstbridget.html
http://www.theencouraginghome.com/2012/03/23/resurrection-garden/

7. And somehow I guess I’ve had to much to write about beause I kept missing sharing our movie themes. We watched Cars 2, Kermit-The Swamp Years and Baby Geniuses:

I finally gave i and let them watch the CARS sequel that they’d been interested in since they got ‘new cars’ figures for Christmas. DMIL told him all the names from the book and my big kid knew all the characters without ever seeing the movie! I had been reluctant due to the reviews that say the movie had lost the hometown feel opting instead for a worldy, action plot. However, after watching it overall I was pleasantly surprised. It was a nifty little spy film, made with cars. It had all the great atention to detail that Pixar is known for, and wonderful new characters, so even though it was nothing like Radiator Springs, the film still held it’s own with the original 🙂

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