Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baptism Collage





I found this frame at a thrift store for $3.99. The individual glass panes were smudged and dirty but a little glass cleaner took care of that.




A 4 x6 picture from each of the kids' baptisms, and a prayer card of each of their respective patron saints.




 Double-sided tape and 4x6 photo paper to make a nice backdrop for the prayer cards.





Voila! A baptism collage!
(The patron saints are St. Mary, St. Joseph, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and the archangel Gabriel)



(Please ignore the horrific peach walls that make everything look hideously orange.)

[Addendum: While I was finishing up this post, I was nursing Gabriel. He started kicking and managed to hit the keyboard and somehow publish this post! Baby's first blog entry??]

Friday, July 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - July 27, 2012




Gabriel was 8 months old yesterday, so these quick takes are (mostly) all about him!

--- 1 ---

Houston, we have a TOOTH! Finally poked through on Monday. He's been sleeping better as a result, thank goodness.

--- 2 ---

Milk coma! He looks like my grandfather in this picture.

--- 3 ---

He's army crawling allllllllllll over now, and finds every piece of trash and small object he can.

--- 4 ---

I love kissing those chubby cheeks!

--- 5 ---

He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks when he gets excited.

--- 6 ---

My eldest and my youngest. They love each other so much!

--- 7 ---

This was posted in my workplace's break room earlier this week, responsible party unknown.
It cracks me up every time!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!








Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stop Calling Me "Anti-Gay"

I love gay people. I really do. I think people with same-sex attraction of any type are human beings made in the image and likeness of God with inherent worth, dignity, and value. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

However, according to the MSM and many people on my FB feed, I'm anti-gay and homophobic.

Why?

I happen to support traditional marriage. My reasons are both secular and religious.

A liberal Facebook friend made the following comment after I defended my hometown newspaper for refusing to print same-sex marriage announcements, given that same-sex marriage is illegal in North Dakota:



The name-calling comment, by the way, is due to a previous commenter who had called me a "close-minded asshole."



Anyway, she's "never know me to be mean," yet apparently she thinks I'm close-minded and anti-gay - despite all evidence to the contrary! I don't suppose it's ever occurred to her to think for herself and come to the conclusion that I'm NOT anti-gay, and I find it appalling when people are mean, cruel, or violent toward those who identify as gay? (For example, I abhor the Westboro Baptist Church and all their disgusting acts of hatred.)

Here's the thing: it's possible to be opposed to a specific behavior or mindset without hating the person who commits that behavior or holds that mindset. For example, I have a relative, one I love very, very much, who committed adultery. I HATE that act of adultery. In fact, I despise it. But I still love my relative with all my heart and always will.

I don't hate gay people. I consider same-sex acts to be sinful, yes, and it makes me sad when people commit sin. However, I also recognize that people have free will and that includes the free will to commit sin, or to reject my beliefs and live as they please. But I am not bound to conform to their beliefs just as they are not bound to conform to mine, so I refuse to reject Truth in order to make people happy -- because ultimately tolerance is not a Christian virtue, and condoning what I believe to be sin would be a hateful act because I'd be showing utter disregard and contempt for that person's immortal soul.

The Anchoress said it better than I can:
The truth is, one can be a Christian and still be sympathetic to some parts of the so-called “gay agenda” without signing on in toto. One can disagree on the issue of gay marriage — based on scripture, or thousands of years of tradition, or on natural law — without actually hating anyone. But the right to principled opposition is being erased, quickly, and the press is doing all it can to help erase it. We are losing the right to say, “I don’t think the same way you do; my opinions are different.” That matters, a lot.

This is our mainstream press — the people charged with the public trust — and it has moved beyond advocacy and into “search and destroy” mode.

This is not about being “right” or “wrong” on an issue. This is about menacing and bullying people into conforming or paying the price. It’s about the bastardization of the word “tolerace” in our society, to the point where the word no longer means “live and let live” or “let people be who they are”; the word has become distorted in a very unhealthy way. Someone’s a bigot? Let him be a bigot; like it or not, a man is entitled to his damn bigotry. Someone’s a curmudgeon? Let him be a curmudgeon. Someone’s a misogynist (or, conversely, a male-hater?) let them be! People are entitled to be who they are — just as a church is entitled to be what it is — free of government compulsion to be what they are not. We cannot “make” people be more loving. We cannot “legislate” kindness. A bigot, or a hater (of any sort) will eventually find himself standing alone, will have to figure things out for himself. Or, not.
I think all human beings have inherent worth, dignity, and value, regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, sexual behavior, or any other characteristic. Any unjust discrimination in their regard is to be avoided.

I don't support traditional marriage or oppose same-sex marriage because I hate gay people; I support traditional marriage and oppose same-sex marriage because traditional marriage is a cornerstone of society established for the purpose of raising children in a stable family unit. This definition has come under attack by no-fault divorce, contraception, and abortion; our culture has attempted for years to redefine it into nothing more then "two [or more] people [or buildings, or animals, or abstract concepts, or father/daughter couples] who love each other and want to commit for an indefinite period of time" -- in other words, to render it virtually meaningless and unrecognizable.

Yes, I fully condemn people like Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian who make a mockery out of traditional marriage as well -- but who can blame them, given the attempt to redefine marriage that has been carried out since the sexual revolution? They were never raised to know what marriage is or what it is supposed to be.

I'm also furious about the smear job against Chick-Fil-A that's being perpetuated by the MSM. For example, Boston mayor Thomas Menino said,  "If they [Chick-Fil-A] need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult - unless they open up their policies."

WHAT POLICIES? Chick-Fil-A has no policies regarding gay people. They don't refuse to hire or serve those who identify as gay. So what policies are Menino referring to?

Chick-Fil-A's founder, Dan Cathy, stands for traditional marriage and donates to groups that also stand for traditional marriage, but "standing for traditional marriage" is NOT synonymous with "homophobia" no matter how much the MSM wants you to think so. Please, people, quit drinking the liberal Kool-Aid and THINK!

And don't get me STARTED on how the vast majority of those I know who are in favor of same-sex "marriage" are also pro-"choice." The logic is bizarre. I'm "anti-gay" because I stand for traditional marriage as a basic cornerstone of society, as it has been, historically, for thousands of years (in pagan societies as well as Jewish and Christian ones), but they get all up in arms when I point out that they favor denying actual human rights to innocent human beings.  I think that that it's a crime to murder the unborn, and I think it's morally wrong to unjustly discriminate against those who identify as gay. Unlikely as it is, if science were to discover a "gay gene" that was able to be diagnosed prenatally, I would also oppose the abortion of unborn children on the basis of their sexual orientation. Yet I'M the alleged bigot?

So do me a favor, any liberal who is reading this, and stop calling me "anti-gay." Disagree with me all you want, but have the courtesy to disagree with what I actually believe instead of what you think I believe.

I don't see how I can be "anti-gay" when I believe that all people, gay or straight, are human beings with intrinsic worth, dignity, and value, and I've yet to encounter a single person who can explain to me -- using LOGIC AND REASON, not just pure emotion -- how that belief is hateful and homophobic.

If anyone believes they can, then please, feel free to try.

Friday, July 20, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - July 20, 2012

--- 1 ---

Prayers for all the people affected by the shooting in Colorado today.

--- 2 ---

In happier news, I have a new nephew! Collin's brother Corey & my SIL Ramona had their second son this morning. His name is Bryce William and he is 9lbs, 4oz. There's a pic on FB and he's a cutie! He also shares a birthday with my sister. :)

--- 3 ---

Sorry if these Quick Takes are rather disjointed, bordering on incoherent. Gabriel has not been sleeping well lately. He apparently didn't nap at all yesterday, so I was hoping he'd sleep well last night. Alas, 'twas not to be. He was fussy and cranky and woke up at 11pm and 1:30am (and didn't go back to sleep very easily). I think it's teething-related. I'm so tired.

--- 4 ---

I made Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken for supper last night and it truly was amazing. I wish I'd remembered to bring some leftovers for lunch today.

--- 5 ---

iusenfp.com is up! Check it out!

--- 6 ---

The new job is going well. I think I'll be able to start working from home a day or two per week starting in August. I really hope so - I could use the extra sleep.

--- 7 ---

Check out the Auction for Pasha happening today! Lots of great things to bid on!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Great news!

Look who made it onto the My Family Found Me page at Reece's Rainbow!



It's Steven!

Thank you, God! Thank you for your prayers, St. Stephen & St. Joseph!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Control

The big news last month was that Patheos atheist blogger Leah Libresco had moved her blog to the Catholic portal and was beginning RCIA. I've read Leah's blog on and off for the last few years, and of course I couldn't tear myself away from the comboxes. One commenter, Donalbain, said the following (emphasis mine):
While I wish you well in your religious choice, I cannot support the Catholic Portal on Patheos while it is headed by the vile, hateful Anchoress writer. I think you will be a horrible fit for that group of people, who seem to blog about nothing else other than how gay people and women who control their own bodies are evil. Good luck and I hope being a Catholic makes you happy, and I hope that you can prod a change in the Catholic Portal, but for me, this is the end of reading your blog.
I offered him $100 if he could provide a direct quote where a Patheos Catholic blogger said that "gay people and women who control their own bodies are evil," but he never responded so I guess he couldn't find one.

I've written before about how the Catholic Church does not teach that gay people are evil -- quite the contrary, in fact. But my mind boggles at the notion that he believes the Church teaches that "women who control their own bodies are evil" -- not just because he's wrong, but because he believes women can control their own bodies at all. Heck, if I could control my own body, I'd eat at In 'N' Out Burger three times a day (with Ben & Jerry's at snack time) and still look like this:


Sadly, my body refuses to conform to my desire to be a size 6 while eating junk food. I think Donalbain has confused a woman's ability to control her choices with a woman's (alleged) ability to control her body.

I can choose to take action or I can choose inaction, but I have no control over how those actions affect my body. I have the information gleaned from my use of NFP, and a very educated guess about if I'm in the fertile or infertile phase of my cycle, but once I've made the choice to have sex, what happens next is out of my hands. The sperm will seek an egg without my input.

I could try to ingest carcinogens to try and prevent an egg from being released, but it could happen anyway. I could tell my husband to put a barrier between us to prevent his sperm from entering my body, but I can't control if that barrier tears or breaks or just doesn't work.

That's why all birth control has a failure rate.  The "control" it provides is an illusion. My only real control is involved in the choices I make. If I choose to have sex, then I might get pregnant, no matter how many measures I take to try and prevent pregnancy. If I choose not to have sex, then I won't get pregnant no matter how many measures I take to try and become pregnant. If I choose to have sex with the intention of becoming pregnant, there's no guarantee that will happen, either, no matter how many measures I take to that end.

I can make healthy, sensible choices regarding my diet, medication, herbal supplements, etc., but ultimately I can't will myself to ovulate, nor can I will conception (or non-conception).

Abortion is indeed control, but in that it is an attack by the powerful on the weaker. A woman "controls" her body by killing the child she created as a result of her own choice (or, in the case of rape/incest, the child that was created when a rapist decided to unjustly exert control over his victim).

It's inherently unjust and evil to "control" another human being by ending their life just because you are the stronger one, which is why the Church teaches that it is a sin to exert that control over the weakest and most vulnerable among us.

In short, the Catholic Church teaches that women can only control their choices, not their bodies, and that women should make those choices in accordance with the moral law. Ultimately, however, even the Catholic Church cannot control the choices that women make, nor does She try. She only asks that those of us who profess her faith adhere to Her teachings. (I'm looking at you, Melinda Gates.) Frankly, I don't think that's too much to ask.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Two Cooking Successes!

I just had to share.

1. We are out of cereal so I made pancakes from scratch for the kids this morning. I used this recipe from Food.com and they were amazing. Light, fluffy, and so easy to make, with common ingredients I already had on hand! The kids gobbled them up and asked for more.

I didn't take a picture of the ones I made, but they looked identical to this picture from Food.com
2. Collin slept in due to a headache, but when he got up he was ravenous. He wanted to go out and get something to eat, but I offered to cook for him instead. He requested pancakes, bacon, and eggs over hard.

Due to using the stove to make the eggs and pancakes, I decided to try baking the bacon in the oven. It turned out to be the BEST bacon I'd ever tasted! Moist and crisp and delicious. I followed these instructions and the bacon turned out marvelous. Best of all, there was very little mess, and it was so easy! I'm definitely using the oven to make bacon from now on.

Friday, July 6, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - July 6, 2012



--- 1 ---

My dad is gone, and we are missing him!


We had a really fun week; I can't believe how fast it went!

--- 2 ---

Last weekend we went to the Grand Canyon. We'd all been there once before but Dad wanted to see it again, so off we went.



--- 3 ---

The next day, we went to an arts & crafts fair in Prescott, AZ. It was so much fun! We picked up some nice things, including this handmade sign that I immediately hung in our foyer:


I was also amused by this one:


--- 4 ---

On Monday, I had my first day at my new job! It went very well. Lots of great people, and I have a very nice new space in which to work. The highlight, for me, was seeing the outdoor eating area at my new office. It has a fish pond. Yes, a fish pond, with koi fish and even a turtle named Thomas!


Plus, I have my own (underground) parking space!

It was a very good day. If anyone's interested, here's the official press release from my new employer regarding the acquisition from my old company.

--- 5 ---

Collin had to work on Tuesday, so the kids and my dad and I went out thrift store shopping (my dad's favorite thing to do). I found some nice things, including a picture frame I have some big plans for (more on that next week, perhaps...).

--- 6 ---

On the Fourth of July, it RAINED! I was so happy! That sounds weird, but it's been quite a while since we last saw rain in our area so it was very welcome. The rain cleared up by mid-afternoon and we were able to keep our annual Fourth tradition of going to a minor league baseball game at Surprise Stadium (and seeing the fireworks display afterwards). Gabriel was quite impressed:


--- 7 ---

On Thursday we went to a movie that I liked very much:



Afterwards we played a round of miniature golf, which would have been a lot more fun without an active toddler and a teething infant in tow - but we still had a good time.

Whew, what a week! I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!