Links and Things to Check Out

I have a to-do list which is 2 years long.  Meaning that I have things on there that I was supposed to have “done” 2 years ago.  LOL!  That sounds about right!

So, instead of keeping them in there to rot, I figure that some of them — especially links to websites that I want to check out or reference or just have on hand — I will instead post here. That way, I won’t lose track of them, you guys can check out what could be neat sites or information, and perhaps write me back with your impressions. 🙂 Win-win-win!

Some of them, I haven’t taken a look at in a while, so hopefully I’ll remember why I stuck them on my to-do list….

1. Exploring YouCat: This is a course guiding you through the new catechism for Catholic youth.

2. National Catholic Bioethics Center: always a favorite! Someday, perhaps, I might be working here. 🙂

3. The Sacred Page: “Blogging and Podcasting about Catholic Biblical Theology”

4. Sojourners: Faith in Action for Social Justice (I don’t remember how I got tweaked onto this site, so I’ll put a note of caution here. I’m not sure what their leanings are, or if they are orthodox Catholic, etc.)

5. Supreme Court ObamaCare Oral Arguments: Information & Resources

6. Fr. John Riccardo: One of our parishioners put together this resource list for Fr. John, listing his many recordings in both chronological and topical organization.

7. Communion processions offers opportunity to teach reverence: This is an article written by Archbishop Charles Chaput. The link is just to this one article, but I would also take a look around the site for more of his writings. He is well worth the read.

8. Blessings for Non-Communicants: This is an article from Zenit.

9. Bishop Flores’ Blog: He was an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit, but now is in Brownsville, TX. He’s awesome. I would definitely recommend that you check out his blog. 🙂

10. 5 Ways to Get Review Copies of Books: ‘Nuff said. 🙂

11. Saint Basil’s Keys to Spiritual Growth: A 12 Step Plan for Everyone

12. World Priest Day: Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests. They have some good information on this site. Our priests can always use our prayers! The next day is June 7, 2013.

13. Manilla: Free Online Account and Bill Organizer

14. American Bioethics Advisory Commission: This site gives links to many different articles on the topic of personhood.

15. Gay brains structured like those of the opposite sex: I must have gotten a question from someone regarding this to look up this article. I haven’t read it yet and don’t know how credible the author is. Forgive me for being slow in responding, Whoever Asked This Question of Me….

16. Hitchcock Family Genealogy: I *still* have a TON of people to add to my family tree. Send me information if you have any. 🙂 I’m pretty sure at this point that the majority of the population of the U.S. is related to me in some way….

17. Blog post on Thomas Marshall: He’s in the family tree… somwhere….

18. Sermon 185: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Ways of Prayer

19. Video clip: How do we know we are encountering God?

20. The Name of Jonah: I found this website when doing homework for my Bible study. It had a lot of stuff on Jonah, so I decided to bookmark it for future reference. 🙂

And…. That should keep you busy for a little while, at least! 🙂

Fun at the Zoo Boo!

Sorry, everyone…. I’ve been quite sick lately, so EVERYTHING has fallen off my plate. Pretty sure I dropped the plate, too. I’ll try and catch up, if I ever get better. 🙂

Krystin invited me to the Zoo Boo with her family. It was so cute to see Evie as a bee, especially when she would tell us that a bee says, “Buzz!” Dad Jerad was quite the trooper, carrying his little girl most of the way. It’s always awesome to be around parents as excited and involved as Krystin and Jerad. 🙂

It was raining on the way over, but by the time we parked, the rain had stopped and we could see some blue sky peeking in:
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The Detroit Zoo had set up a short walking course dotted with candy stations manned by Zoo personnel in various Halloween costumes. Along the way, we got to look at tons of carved pumpkins and other visual delights.
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Look at the cute Kutler family! Ready to get CANDY! 🙂
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Evie-Bee getting ready to get candy at the first stop:
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She looks a little unsure, but Daddy’s right there to keep her safe!
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Then, she took off running!
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We found a maze made of hay bales and chased Mommy through that.
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On the way to MORE CANDY, Mommy and Daddy helped their little bee fly!
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Treat Station #2
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Oh, Look! Another bee!
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And a Snowman Pumpkin!
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They didn’t seem to be as interested in looking at all of the pumpkin sculptures on the side of the walkway — at least not as much as I was. 🙂 These things were CUTE!!!
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Okay, this one was kind of freaky…
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Cheezing for the picture:
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A family stroll:
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The Toy Story characters were there…
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Getting a family picture…
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The Reptile House was set up like a Haunted House of sorts. Really, they need to get creepier?!?
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Now, it was starting to get dark, but we were still able to take a look at the camels and deer.
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See how Daddy picks his Evie-Bee up?! 🙂
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Mommy and Daddy leading Evie to the next candy station:
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Glow sticks — sold for a King’s ransom. Needless to say, we didn’t buy any.
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Aww! Polar Bear Pumpkins!
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I like this picture:
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They needed to have this drink station more in the middle of the walk, not the end….
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Zebra and Giraffe and Elephant Pumpkins!
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Yay! This was a fun Zoo Boo!
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The penguins watched us leave….
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Goodnight, Zoo!
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7 Quick Takes: Gangnam Style!

— 1 —

I have jumped on the Gangnam Style bandwagon! I’m not exactly sure what it is about the song that I like.  Certainly the upbeat music is a major part of it.  Perhaps I like the fact that I can basically sing gibberish and pretend that I know how to sing in Korean.  No one is going to know the difference anyway, right?  🙂  I think, too, the part of me which is not yet conformed to Christ likes the fact that Oppa Gangnam Style, when sung, sounds like Open Condom Style, so I can get away with being a little rebellious without actually doing anything “wrong.”  🙂  That’s living on the edge, right there.  Sometimes it’s hard to contain my bada&& self.  LOL!  So, when you pass me entering or exiting the church parking lot and I seem to be dancing in my seat flashing gang signs, I’m just driving/worshipping/shopping/etc. Gangnam Style!  Join me, and we can start a flash mob.  A Gangnam Style flash mob after Mass.  🙂  We need a priest in vestments to lead this…

— 2 —

I don’t trust my priest.  Especially lately, when I ask him how he’s doing and he says, “Good.”  See, I know that answer.  That and “Fine,” are ones that I own.  Neither one of them mean what they seem to mean superficially.  What it really means is either, “Not great, but I don’t want to go into it,” or “Nothing’s changed,” or “Crappy, but not worth complaining about,” or something like this.  Sometimes, he’ll call me on it and ask, “Really?”, so I decided to return the favor and asked him, “Good – enh?  Good – great?  or??”  He replied, “Tired.  Like you.”  Which is a very dangerous statement, indeed!  “Like me” can mean anything from slight discomfort to pits of Hell suffering.  I hope he didn’t actually mean ‘like me.’  I think we will have to find new words.  One which I’ve become increasingly enamoured of  is “craptastic.”  I think that sums things up nicely.  🙂

— 3 —

Firestarters’ Bonfire is tonight! And after the week I’ve had, I’m really looking forward to some S’mores!

— 4 —

Last night sucked! Just thought I’d share that.  I was all set to go to Bible Study.  I had finished my questions for the week and everything.  But everything conspired against me.  First, for whatever reason, traffic was horrible.  Apparently there was an accident on the highway which had everything stopped up for miles.  By the time I got up to the crash site, I didn’t see anything, so I can’t verify that there was actually a reason for the delay, although my GPS promised me that it was due to a crash.  As I’m writing this, I realize that I forgot to pray for the people involved in the accident.  I usually try to.  But by this time, I was not feeling well at all and wasn’t so much sitting in the driver’s seat, but slouching with one elbow on the window ledge trying to hold my brain inside my skull.  I was pretty sure from the headache that it was trying to swell and escape, and I had at least an hour’s drive ahead of me.  By time I got off the exit for my house, I just wanted to sleep.  I knew that I should eat something, but didn’t want to cook and didn’t have an appetite for any of the 1 billion fast food options in the mile radius of my house.  I ended up picking one, and then tried to eat it while laying prone on the couch, with some Bewitched reruns playing on the TV for company.  I had to cut both activities short and jump into bed.  Blessedly, I was able to fall asleep.  Being unconscious was so much better than being awake.

— 5 —

I’m dismayed to look at the clock and realize that I have 2.5 more hours at work.  Why?  Because I feel horrible again and don’t think I can make it another few hours, plus be able to drive home.  😦  Does anyone want to take me in for the night?

— 6 —

I am too sick and tired to finish my 7 quick takes with meaningful, exciting words.  So, I will fill it with pictures instead.
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— 7 —

Yep!
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That about sums it up!  🙂

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!

Hungry?

We had pre-planned to order lunch today, and sent Tracy out to pick up our Applebee’s order. I know, you’re used to having this blog be full of my exciting adventures. But sometimes, eating is as exciting as it gets! 🙂

I had the Berry Spinach Salad:
Berry/Spinach Salad
which was *delicious*! Raspberry vinigrette was super-yum. The only thing I would have changed would be to sub the bleu cheese for feta.

I also had the Classic Clubhouse Grille sandwich:
Clubhouse Grille Sandwich
It was okay, but I’ve had better sandwiches.

So, what did you have for lunch today? 🙂

What Are You Doing for the Year of Faith?

Year of Faith

Today marks the beginning of the Year of Faith! It runs from 10/11/12 to 11/24/13. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, as well as the 20 year anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict offered Mass this morning for the Year of Faith and NBC News has some great pictures of the Mass posted.

The USCCB also has a great website with information and materials to help us grow in faith during this year. They state that during this year, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism so that we may deepen our knowledge of the faith.

There is also plenary indulgences available during the Year of Faith. Here are the details on it:

(A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location.

(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.

(C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, … in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form.

(D) On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.”

Given the call to Catholics, I found a website that will send you a portion of the Catechism, I think every day, so that you can read through it completely within the year. You can sign up to participate in this here.

In addition, I want to use this time to really grow in my faith. Fr. John gave a talk yesterday on prayer and emphasized that our prayer should be a wrestling with God. After all, how am I going to conform my will to His if I am not willing to bend it to fit the mould more closely? Conforming my will is going to cost me. If I’m not grappling with something, then maybe I’m not really growing. Perhaps, if it is easy, I am only superficially accepting of God’s Truths. I’m really going to have to change things if I want to have a deeper relationship with the Lord. But what relationship is more worth fighting for? And it is a fight. I fight that I will be having with myself. As I try to move from where I am to where I want to be.

I know that this year I will be adding things and changing things in my life to try and draw closer to God. I am the type of person who likes to say, “I will do this once a week/month, etc.,” but I don’t think that setting a schedule is going to help me. Too often, I miss a “deadline” for one reason or another and use that as an excuse to give up on the whole project. So, I’m not going to do that. I will introduce new things as they come to me, and as I feel that God wants me to. And I ask you, my friends, to help hold me accountable. To hold each other accountable in whatever it is that we decide to do to grow in our faith this year. If I leave things just up to me, I’ll probably let myself off the hook sometimes. 🙂

So, let’s fight this battle together. I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine!

God bless your fight and your journey!

Happy Anniversary, Uganda!

Uganda  Pader

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Uganda’s independence from the U.K.

Why do I know this?

This weekend, our parish was visited by Msgr. John Baptist Ssebayigga from St. Kizito’s parish in Uganda, which is one of our sister parishes. He gave a lovely homily at all the the Masses, reminding and calling us to support each other, not just materially, but in prayer. It may be difficult to remember a people so far away. They may become abstract, remote. Having him visit us makes them present to us and reinvigorates us to our commitment. As, I’m sure, the stories that he will return with will reinvigorate his parish in their support of us.

According to Wikipedia, Christians make up the majority of the Ugandan population, with the majority of Christians being Catholics. St. Kizito Parish is named after St. Kizito, the youngest (at 13 years) of the Martyrs of Uganda — burned alive in 1886.

One of the goals that Msgr. shared with us for St. Kizito’s is the construction of a youth center, so that the kids have a safe place to go, and a new parish house, so that they can house more priests to serve the large Catholic population.

To emphasize the things that we have in common, he noted that while we have the Great Lakes, they have the Great Lake: Lake Victoria, which is the second largest freshwater lake in the world — second only to our Lake Superior. 🙂

boat on lake victoria

Stunning Sunrise

This morning, I’m struggling to compensate for how much pain I’m in, so I have cute clothes on, hair arranged, make-up on, got an iced chai at Starbucks and blasted happy music all the way in to work. God apparently went along with this plan, because He gave me an amazing sunrise to watch. I mean, just LOOK at these colors!

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The photo is grainy and stuff, but when you are merging from one highway to another and working with a point-n-shoot…. 🙂

Here’s another “lovely” shot…

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And here’s an “action shot,” taken over my shoulder out the window. 🙂

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Finally, I pulled into the parking lot of a nearby hotel and walked as close as I could to the highway to get a clear shot.
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I’ll give you some more shots, so you can enjoy it, too. This is straight out of the camera — no edits.

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This is also straight out of the camera, but I started playing with some of the color settings. 🙂

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Hope you have a blessed day!