Thursday, December 24, 2009


Thank you all for your prayers and support!

The Greatest Gift of All

The Nativity by Duccio di Buon Insegna, 1308-11
National Gallery, Washington

May God grant you and your family abundant blessings 
this day and throughout the New Year. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Silly Haiku Wednesday: Crunch Time

Crunch Time

(photo courtesy of

Almonds and cashews.
This is what “crunch” means to me!
Daily snack attack.

Oh! You meant Christmas?
Gifts are wrapped. The table’s set.
Prepared for Christ’s birth.

(original painting by Michael D. O'Brien: The Nativity)

For more Haiku hijinks, please visit Jen over at You Know...that Blog?

The basics:

Haiku is simple! 
It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively 
(a great way to use your fingers!)

Join the fun!

On A Serious Note

What is going on this week? I mean seriously. I was on my way to a meeting at work last night around 6:00pm. I was startled by someone darting across the 2 lane highway at rush hour. I slowed way down because I noticed another person along the side of the road. Not 5 seconds later I came upon someone lying in the middle of the road. SOMEONE HAD JUST BEEN STRUCK BY A CAR. I pulled my car into the turn lane and turned on my flashers (leaving the right lane for through traffic). I jumped out shouting "Don't move her!" Fortunately, a nurse was on the scene already stabilizing her head and neck. We both just kept talking smoothly and calmly to her while awaiting police and medics. She was a young thing...not over 18 years old. Her body was broken, lying twisted in the road way. The only way she could communicate was by moaning. We kept her focus during what seemed like a terribly long wait. My heart was breaking for the woman that struck her...she was in hysterics. It was already terribly dark at that time and with what I witnessed just a few seconds earlier I can thoroughly understand the saying: "There, but for the Grace of God, go I". I wish I knew the name of that nurse. She was phenomenal and, I do believe, this girl child's guardian angel.

Larry Update

I just received an email from my sister Carrie. She wasn't able to "talk yet" but has asked that I come to Topeka. I am in the process of making arrangements to leave. I'll continue to keep you updated as I can, but please, please, please...keep those prayers and good thoughts coming! God's love be with you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We Need a Christmas Miracle

I have not been able to reach Carrie (cell phones are not allowed in the Critical Care Unit) but I was able to speak with my other sister, Becky. She has given me the following update:

It was during the bronchoscopy procedure that Larry had the major bleed and coded.

He was "down" for 20 minutes.

They were able to stabilize him so that they could perform surgery to cauterize the artery causing the bleeding.

Larry was participating in a clinical trial and this type of bleed is a rare complication of the experimental medication he was on.

He survived the surgery but is unresponsive. They fear brain damage. I do not know any results of CT scans/MRI's or what the neurologist's findings are.

So what this means is that we are now praying for a Christmas miracle. Thank you all for being with me and my family as we deal with the crisis at hand. God bless you all.

Tuesday Tidbits-December 22, 2009

Larry Update

I have not heard back from my sister regarding Larry. I plan to call her this morning around 8:00 am. I will post updates as soon as I hear anything.  I am praying that no news is good news.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your prayers, good thoughts and encouragement. It really means a lot to me but even more to Carrie and her family.  God is so good! Want to hear something? It was while my children and I were praying a rosary that we received the call that Larry was stabilized!


Daisy Update

We are going to have to play it by ear. As my husband put it, "Who are we going to steal from to pay for the surgeries?" He's right. We can't steal from the kids' college education fund, nor from our retirement (both of which took big hits when the economy nosedived). We just used our home equity line of credit to purchase Mr. Sister's used car so going further in debt is not an option. My insurance rates at work are going to eat up half my salary and with the implementation of the health care reform looking imminent those rates will be taxed so even more money will be stolen taken out of my paycheck. I'd like to get on full time at work so I could work extra hours to pay for the surgery, however there is currently a hiring freeze and no hours to be had. It pains me greatly that we cannot justify surgery at this time. We are going to do our best to keep her as comfortable as possible with medication.


Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I entered a giveaway over at Mommy Madness. (you HAVE to go visit her! You won't be sorry). Anyway...I won! I can't wait to add that ever styling Travel Channel t-shirt to my wardrobe! Thank you Christine!


A Sign That you Blog Too Much...

Is when you start dreaming about your blog buddies. Last night I had a dream about Lee. You all know Lee...she's the Queen over at Headaches, Hotflashes, and Hormones.  Anyway, in my dream we were playing Scrabble in the bathroom of my childhood home. I was embarrassed because the place was a mess! She was so proud of herself because she was able to lay all 7 of her tiles down to spell "takeout". Unfortunately she spelled it T-A-K-I-D-O-T.  She wasn't happy at all with me when I challenged her and pointed out the missing "U".  I didn't dare tell her about the "I" in place of the "E". Yikes! Please remind me to never make Lee mad! :o)


On that note I have to get started on the day. Please forgive me if I don't respond to individual commentary this week. I believe there's a major holiday approaching and I am about to enter The Panic Zone! Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009



They have since stabilized him but found him to be full of blood; in his abdomen and in his lungs. His good lung had collapsed. He is now back in surgery where they hope to find the source of the bleed. I beg any and all prayers and thoughts of good will be sent his way. Please add some prayers for Carrie (my sister) while you're at it.

Thank you and God bless!

The News is Not Good

Daisy has bilateral torn ACL's. Which means she will require surgery to both legs over the course of 3-4 months. I don't know what we're going to do. There are 3 surgical options (actually only 2 viable options) They want to do surgery as soon as possible (one leg at a time).

I guess a big family conference is in order.

Monday Musings-December 21, 2009

Dear Carolina Panthers,

How do I love thee? Let me count the way: YOU BEAT BRET FAVRE AND THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS! How amazing and awesome is that? I am so, so happy to have stayed up and watched this phenomenal feat!  Although there is no hope for the playoffs I can now say with pride, "There's always next year!" Thank you for that glimmer of hope.


Mrs. Sister


Congratulations Luis!

My friend, Luis, over at Muddy Runner, just ran his 1st ever 20 mile run. That is a remarkable feat. Please go check out his blog and offer him your kudos!


Remember when I was the Cook of the Week over at All Recipes last month? Apparrantly word got out at work. They made a poster board with my photo on it, displayed it at the coffee shop, and handed out free samples of my milkshake recipe: "Don't Knock it Until You Try It". How fun was that! I had people coming up to me all weekend commenting on that shake. Be sure to check out the link and seriously, don't knock it until you try it!


Monday Awards Show!

From Holly over at 504 Main  (Remarkable Reader)

Isn't it beautiful? Holly has a remarkable website with lots of interesting ideas and crafts for this time of year. Well worth checking out. I will pass this award on to Tugce at Boulevard of Broken Dreams. There is always a wonderful affirmation or beautiful quotation on her blog. Her blog leaves me feeling better for just having visited. Please visit her and let her know you stopped by!

From Lee over at Headaches, Hotflashes and Hormones (Light my Fire)

Go visit Lee and give her some bloggy love as she deals with some difficult issues this holiday season. There are no rules to this award (THANK GOODNESS). If you are on my reading list, consider yourself worthy of this award. Grab it, take it and do what you will with it!

From Nicole over at Tattoos and Teething Rings (Thanks a Bunch)

You have to go visit my dear friend Tats! She is interesting, unique, loyal and a wee bit crazy too! I love her dearly and am so thankful to grab this thank you from her. Again, no rules so I'll make up my own. If you comment on my blog post, feel free to grab this thank you and display it on your home turf!


Today I take Daisy in for her surgical consult. Wish us well and let's hope surgery is unnecessary! On the plus side of all this, I purchased for her an orthopedic dog bed and she is now fully an indoor dog! :o) 

Take care and have a wonderful Monday. I will try to show up periodically throughout the week but if I am MIA please forgive me. Christmas and family comes first this week! Thanks for understanding and God bless you all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sacred Sunday: Prepare the Way

A video on Advent produced by the older children of a family belonging to our homeschool coop. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weekend Rerun: A Claymation Christmas

This is a repeat of a post originally posted on December 22, 2008. I love the Claymation Christmas special. This is my favorite from the show. Gotta love those camels! Enjoy and have a great day while I slave away at work!

Friday, December 18, 2009

You Snoop, You Lose!

My son decided to snoop in his sister's room the other day. He found the stash of Christmas gifts she was going to give him. He invaded her privacy and thus, there were consequences. All gifts but one were returned to the store. The other gift, something he truly coveted (a Nintendo Power 2010 Calendar with stickers, posters and so much more) I wrapped for his best friend next door. Bethany, meanwhile went out and got him something else which I cannot divulge because my kids read my blog.

Anyway, the next morning he woke up really early and wrote her this letter. It's priceless. I've instructed Bethany to keep it always as it demonstrates true sibling love. Have a peek:

It reads: Dear Bethany, Sorry for going into your room yesterday. 
Since I feel so bad about it I made you breakfast and $4! 
I hope you're not mad at me anymore. 
Sorry for doing that, Paul. 
Note: I got that money from the tooth fairy 
so to me it's worth more than $4

Do you believe? 
(Tooth Fairy, Santa, Easter Bunny) 
Because I believe! :o)

So what was breakfast? Toast, made by warming 2 slices of bread in the microwave, covered in maple syrup. It's the thought that counts. 

P.S.  Bethany refused the money, much to Paul's relief

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

My Top 10 All Time Favorite Christmas Songs

10. We Three Kings
9.    I'll Be Home for Christmas
8.   Joy to the World
7.   Breath of Heaven
6.   Oh Come All Ye Faithful
5.   It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
4.   All is Well
3.   Veni Veni Emmanuel
2.   Silent Night
and, drum roll please
1.   The First Noel

So, what are your favorite carols? And what about that carol that hits every raw nerve? For me it's, hands down, Paul McCartney's Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time. It's insipid, it's repetitive and down right annoying! 

What's on Your Christmas Wish List (besides World Peace)?

From Mr. Sister:

A Kitchen Aid mixer, preferably the Artisan model in a really funky color, or

A Carolina Panther jersey in Carolina blue

Not, I repeat NOT, a radio...the gift that keeps on giving. I should know. I've received one 3 times within the past several years. The last two times the past two years! Honey, you know I love you but please listen to me. Just because I liked a gift the 1st time I received it does not give you license to keep getting me the same thing! 

From the kids:

A Snuggy and/or fuzzy slippers (Perfect to counteract my Raynoud's during the cold winter months!)

A Little Clarification on The Housewives of OC

Regarding yesterday's haiku:  I do not DVR this show. I couldn't even tell you what time it is on. But I will tell you that if I am channel surfing and come across it I stop surfing and watch. I don't know why.. It draws me in every single time. I do feel like I need to wash my brain with some soap afterwards to rid my mind of the trash I just witnessed. 

Daisy Update

Daisy woke up yesterday morning unable to bear weight on her right hind leg. It got worse as the day progressed. I ended up taking her to the veterinarian. We discovered she has a torn ACL that will require surgery. We will go in for a surgical consult to see what all of our options are. In the meantime I have her on an anti-inflammatory and a pain medication, in addition to increasing her arthritis medication to twice daily. God bless her. She's the sweetest dog and doesn't deserve to be going through these health issues. This is quite heartbreaking to see her in pain as I love her so very much. 

What's not to love? A girl and her "kong"!

A Final Note

I probably won't be able to respond to commentary today. I really have to sit down and write the annual Christmas letter and get the cards sent out. I also promised Munchie Boy that I would make a Christmas stocking for Daisy. I've procrastinated long enough. Make it a good day everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Silly Haiku Wednesday: Guilty Pleasure

photo courtesy of Google search: 

Guilty Pleasures

Zinfandel, Bordeaux,
Cabernet and Pinot Noir.
Nectar of the gods.

Sweet dark chocolate.
Private stash, hidden away.
My little secret!

Housewives of O.C.
Why am I drawn to this trash?
Like watching train wreck.

Guilty pleasures dwell
in feelings they deliver.
Is it worth all that?

For more Haiku hijinks, please visit Jen over at You Know...that Blog?

Join the fun!

The basics:

Haiku is simple! 
It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively 
(a great way to use your fingers!)

Lastly, there is a really cool giveaway over at Weezer's Haven. You have to check it out!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits-December 15, 2009

A Conversation With My Son:

Munchie Boy: "My arms still hurt from my swim meet."
Me: "That's because you tried really hard to do your best."
M.B.: "Well, I am the walrus, coo coo ca choo! And you know what that means?"
Me: "No, what?"
M.B. "That means you're the Egg Man."
Me: *speechless*
Then we both broke out in a fit of laughter!


Do you all remember my post about my brother-in-law, Larry? His surgery went well and he is now undergoing his first of 3 rounds of chemotherapy. That, however, is not going so well (fever, chills, fatigue, etc.) If you are so inclined I'd like to ask you all to offer up a prayer or a sacrifice in his honor today. Thanks.


Sticker Shock

I finally mailed all the Christmas packages yesterday. That, plus stamps for the Christmas cards (that I have yet to write and address), cost almost $50. Yikes!


A Conversation with Mr. Sister:

Me:  "I'd love a Kitchen Aid for Christmas."
Mr. Sister: "What are you going to do with a Kitchen Aid?"
Me: "Cook, bake, you name it."
Mr. Sister: "You don't bake, now!"
Me: "Well, I would if I had a Kitchen Aid!"


And now, for your listening and viewing pleasure: The Charlotte Children's Choir performing All is Well on December 13, 2009. (My daughter is 2nd from left, top row) Enjoy!

(Hard to believe they are all between 11-15 years old!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Musings-December 14, 2009

Dear Carolina Panthers,

(Shaking head sadly)

I really enjoyed the 1st quarter. That's about all I can say without tearing up. Sorry.

Your lugubrious (look it up!) fan,

Mrs. Sister

P.S. I know it wasn't all your fault. Pretty Boy Brady and the Patriots had the refs on their side with some very unusual and questionable calls. Seriously. "2 men in motion"? Not once but twice? And a pass interference when the player was no where near the receiver? 


We Have a Winner!

Corrie from Just Because My Pickle Talks was selected as the recipient of the Jonas Brother's bag giveaway by my very own random generator...

aka Munchie Boy.

Congrats Corrie. The package will be mailed out to you today. Oh, and I'm really sorry Luis. I guess your perfect track record remains intact.


Do You Know Who These People Are?

You should. Let me give you a hint.

I was fortunate to happen upon a book signing this past Saturday. I'm so glad I did. These people were amazing. Just read their inscriptions:

"Life is Good", Larry Snodgrass, Seat 15-F
"Love every day and be prepared!" Eileen Shleffar, 13-D
"Live life to its fullest!" Dan Vinton, 15-E
Frieda Muscatell, 8-E (no inscription)
"Believe in miracles!" Pam Seagle, 12-A
"All it takes is a wing and a prayer!" Laurie Crane, 9-D
"Celebrate Miracles!" Tracey Allen Wolsko, 26-B

I was in tears listening to how their lives have changed over the past year. It's as if God had other plans for all of them. I feel blessed to have been at the right place at the right time to encounter these beautiful people.


You Love Me...You Really Love Me!

More bling headed my way this past week.

One Lovely Blog Award from AJ at  Simple Sweet Inspiration

Heartfelt Blogger and Kreativ Blogger from Betty over at Cut and Dry.

Circle of Friends award from Corrie at Just Because my Pickle Talks...

Happy 101 from Holly and Charisse at Life, Laugh, Latte.

I really like how Holly and Charisse handed out their awards so I will do the same. In the spirit of the season I've decided to select the following NEW blogs (well, fairly new to me) to receive the award of their choice from the above list! Let's see...5 awards x 5 nominees = 20. Have fun choosing and sharing the love!

And I don't want to forget to reciprocate I'd like the blogs that awarded me to pick out their own, too:

Oh, that's only 14? Well then, I award my old friend, Katie, from Katie's Korner, the Happy 101 award for all of her recent cookie activities, but most especially for making my very favorite cookie of all time: Snickerdoodles. And the Happy 101 also goes to Michelle over at The Domestic Mama. Her blog will leave you drooling every time. And the Circle of Friends Award goes to This Stop Willoughby, Tattoos and Teething Rings, Yesterday's Tomorrow and Who Has the Thyme for being with me since the very beginning! 

Now I must take my leave. Make it a wonderful day everyone!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sacred Sunday-The "Bow-Tides"

Top of Form
Bottom of Form
True story.

I had just moved to the South and was working evening shift at a hospital. We were all at dinner when Rosie (name changed to protect the ignorant) began talking about a beautiful sermon her pastor had given in her thick, back country, Southern drawl. “What was it about?” we all asked. “Oh, it was about the bow-tides.” “Bow-tides? What the heck are bow-tides?” we inquired. “You know, the Sermon on the Mount.”  Dear friends, she meant the BEATITUDES! 

In any case, I was thinking about this story when I woke up this morning. I really didn’t have a Sacred Sunday post in mind so I took it to mean that this was to be my blog topic of the day: an introduction to the 8 beatitudes Jesus spoke on at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. See Matthew 5:3-10

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. 

Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. 

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. 

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 

Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God

Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

The following comes directly from New Advent at

First beatitude

The word poor seems to represent an Aramaic 'ányâ (Hebrew 'anî), bent down, afflicted, miserable, poor; while meek is rather a synonym from the same root, 'ánwan (Hebrew 'ánaw), bending oneself down, humble, meek, gentle. Some scholars would attach to the former word also the sense of humility; others think of "beggars before God" humbly acknowledging their need of Divine help. But the opposition of "rich" (Luke 6:24) points especially to the common and obvious meaning, which, however, ought not to be confined to economical need and distress, but may comprehend the whole of the painful condition of the poor: their low estate, their social dependence, their defenseless exposure to injustice from the rich and the mighty. Besides the Lord's blessing, the promise of the heavenly kingdom is not bestowed on the actual external condition of such poverty. The blessed ones are the poor "in spirit", who by their free will are ready to bear for God's sake this painful and humble condition, even though at present they be actually rich and happy; while on the other hand, the really poor man may fall short of this poverty "in spirit"

Second beatitude

Inasmuch as poverty is a state of humble subjection, the "poor in spirit", come near to the "meek", the subject of the second blessing. The anawim, they who humbly and meekly bend themselves down before God and man, shall "inherit the land" and possess their inheritance in peace. This is a phrase taken from Psalm 36:11, where it refers to the Promised Land of Israel, but here in the words of Christ, it is of course but a symbol of the Kingdom of Heaven, the spiritual realm of the Messiah. Not a few interpreters, however, understand "the earth". But they overlook the original meaning of Psalm 36:11, and unless, by a far-fetched expedient, they take the earth also to be a symbol of the Messianic kingdom, it will be hard to explain the possession of the earth in a satisfactory way.

Third beatitude

The "mourning" in the Third Beatitude is in Luke (6:25) opposed to laughter and similar frivolous worldly joy. Motives of mourning are not to be drawn from the miseries of a life of poverty, abjection, and subjection, which are the very blessings of verse 3, but rather from those miseries from which the pious man is suffering in himself and in others, and most of all the tremendous might of evil throughout the world. To such mourners the Lord Jesus carries the comfort of the heavenly kingdom, "the consolation of Israel" (Luke 2:25) foretold by the prophets, and especially by the Book of Consolation of Isaias (11-16). Even the later Jews knew the Messiah by the name of Menahhem, Consoler. These three blessings, poverty, abjection, and subjection are a commendation of what nowadays are called the passive virtuesabstinence and endurance, and the Eighth Beatitude (verse 10) leads us back again to the teaching.

Fourth beatitude

The others, however, demand a more active behaviour. First of all, "hunger and thirst" after justice: a strong and continuous desire of progress in religious and moral perfection, the reward of which will be the very fulfillment of the desire, the continuous growth in holiness.

Fifth beatitude

From this interior desire a further step should be taken to acting to the works of "mercy", corporal and spiritual. Through these the merciful will obtain the Divine mercy of the Messianic kingdom, in this life and in the final judgment. The wonderful fertility of the Church in works and institutions of corporal and spiritual mercy of every kind shows the prophetical sense, not to say the creative power, of this simple word of the Divine Teacher.

Sixth beatitude

According to biblical terminology, "cleanness of heart" (verse 8) cannot exclusively be found in interior chastity, nor even, as many scholars propose, in a general purity of conscience, as opposed to the Levitical, or legal, purity required by the Scribes and Pharisees. At least the proper place of such a blessing does not seem to be between mercy (verse 7) and peacemaking (verse 9), nor after the apparently more far-reaching virtue of hunger and thirst after justice. But frequently in the Old and New Testaments (Genesis 20:5Job 33:3Psalms 23:4 (24:4) and 72:1 (73:1)1 Timothy 1:52 Timothy 2:22) the "pure heart" is the simple and sincere good intention, the "single eye" of Matthew 6:22, and thus opposed to the unavowed by-ends of the Pharisees (Matthew 6:1-616-187:1523:5-7, 14) This "single eye" or "pure heart" is most of all required in the works of mercy(verse 7) and zeal (verse 9) in behalf of one's neighbor. And it stands to reason that the blessing, promised to this continuous looking for God's glory, should consist of the supernatural "seeing" of God Himself, the last aim and end of the heavenly kingdom in its completion.

Seventh beatitude

The "peacemakers" (verse 9) are those who not only live in peace with others but moreover do their best to preserve peace and friendship among mankind and between God and man, and to restore it when it has been disturbed. It is on account of this godly work, "an imitating of God's love of man" as St. Gregory of Nyssa styles it, that they shall be called the sons of God, "children of your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:45).

Eighth beatitude

When after all this the pious disciples of Christ are repaid with ingratitude and even "persecution" (verse 10) it will be but a new blessing, "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
So, by an inclusion, not uncommon in biblical poetry, the last blessing goes back to the first and the second. The pious, whose sentiments and desires whose works and sufferings are held up before us, shall be blessed and happy by their share in the Messianic kingdom, here and hereafter. And viewed in the intermediate verses seem to express, in partial images of the one endless beatitude, the same possession of the Messianic salvation. The eight conditions required constitute the fundamental law of the kingdom, the very pith and marrow of Christian perfection. For its depth and breadth of thought, and its practical bearing on Christian life, the passage may be put on a level with the Decalogue in the Old, and the Lord's Prayer in the New Testament, and it surpassed both in its poetical beauty of structure.


Related Posts with Thumbnails