Saturday, January 31, 2009

Water Saving Tip

After my friend Heather's urging to post some of the little tricks I have, I have decided I'll try to post these as I can think of them. Maybe I'll think of a catchy name and have it be a repeat "segment." Anyhow, this is a little tip I followed to save water and money. (Note the picture to the right is from the web and is not my toilet.) Fill a milk jug or pop bottle with stones and place it in your toilet tank to displace water. That way when you flush and the tank refills it doesn't refill with as much water as when empty. And honestly your typical flush doesn't need even half the water that comes out. One of my toilets has a slender tank so I used a half gallon, but my other toilets fit a full gallon. I know Sam's and BJ's have those slender gallon milk containers, so at some point I'll replace my half gallon jug with one of those to make that toilet more efficient. This is a cheap and quick thing you can do insead of buying a newer more efficient toilet. However, do not use bricks that will decay in the tank and cause plumbing problems over time. Here is a little You Tube video showing you how.

Candlemas

Februay 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation, often called Candlemas, which commemorates the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the presentation of Christ in the temple, which took place 40 days after his birth as Jewish law required. In honor of this feat you may bring candles to your church to be blessed. A tradition to celebrate this feast is to light all the candles in your house in one room and say this Candlemas prayer together as a family.

Catholic Collect for the Feast of the Presentation All-powerful Father, Christ Your Son became man for usand was presented in the temple. May he free our hearts from sin and bring us into your presence. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen.

"Ave Maria" on Britain's American Idol

Someone sent me this video of a 12 year old girl singing "Ave Maria" on Britain's version of American Idol called "Britain's Got Talent." She is amazing and it is wonderful to listen to her. What I think is the best also is the footage of all the people listening in the room. It's almost like you can see the Holy Spirit in the room, entering all their hearts. Well, that was just my take on it. And if you watch the reviews of the judges, even Simon was amazed. Hopefully we can buy her cd someday and she will continue to sing beautiful songs like "Ave Maria." Ave Maria for X-mas - video powered by Metacafe

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad Sacked by NBC

Below is copied article from National Catholic Register "Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad Sacked" NBC has refused to air CatholicVote.org’s new pro-life ad during its broadcast of this Sunday’s Super Bowl game. According to a Jan. 29 press release from CatholicVote.org, “After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told CatholicVote.org late yesterday that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving ‘political candidates or issues.’” Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, said in the press release, “There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years. We congratulate Barack Obama on becoming the first African-American President. And we simply ask people to imagine the potential of each human life.” The 30-second ad has no graphic content nor even any direct references to abortion. It features an ultrasound image of a baby in the womb and images of Barack Obama, along with a narration describing how the president’s mother chose to give birth to him and nurtured him as a single mother after his Kenyan-born father left the family, allowing Obama to grow up to become the nation’s first African-American president. The pro-life ad can be viewed here at CatholicVote.org’s website, as well as here and here at the Daily Blog’s earlier posts regarding the ad. It was released Jan. 19 by CatholicVote.org, timed to coincide with Obama’s inauguration the next day. It immediately became one of YouTube’s most watched videos after it was posted on the Internet. The ad was broadcast on the Black Entertainment Television in Chicago during its Jan. 21 coverage of the presidential inauguration. In a Jan. 27 interview, Burch told the Daily Blog that NBC officials had just told him that their legal department had decided the pro-life ad was suitable for airing during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast after watching the CatholicVote.org video. Burch, who is also president of the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy, told the Daily Blog that a NBC official said to him about the ad, “I’m neither pro-life nor pro-choice, but this is the best pro-life ad I’ve ever seen.” The Daily Blog has contacted NBC for comment about the corporation’s subsequent decision to refuse to air CatholicVote.org’s pro-life ad and is awaiting a reply. Burch said in the Jan. 29 CatholicVote.org press release that a double standard appears to have been applied against the pro-life ad. Burch noted that an animal-rights ad submitted by PETA for airing on this year’s Super Bowl broadcast was rejected for excessive sexual content, not for its advocacy of a political issue. Said Burch, “NBC claims it doesn’t allow advocacy ads, but that’s not true. They were willing to air an ad by PETA if they would simply tone down the sexual suggestiveness. Our ad is far less provocative and hardly controversial by comparison.” Added Burch, “The purpose of our new ad is to spread a message of hope about the potential of every human life, including the life of Barack Obama.” I previously posted this captivating ad but here it is again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bookmarks for a Book Loving Saint

Tomorrow is the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who was a great scholar and now given the distinctive title of Doctor of the Church. In honor of this scholarly man, we will read an extra book or two. We have a pretty busy day tomorrow, so we did our little craft for the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas today. We made ribbon bookmarks. I cut ribbon to between 12 to 14 inches long with a v bias cut at one end. Reese glued buttons of various sizes onto one end of each ribbon. Then we left them out to dry. Tomorrow we can start using them with the edges of each ribbon extending out of the ends of a book. Reese made one for me, one for his dad and one for his Granny. If my two year old can do this craft then almost any child two or older can. It is also very quick and minimally messy. I just used ribbon and buttons I happen to have around the house.

I think next year we'll do the same craft but I'll take Reese to the craft store to pick out more creative and fun buttons and ribbon. These would also make nice gifts for birthdays or Christmas for family members.

I Heart Donuts

We did a practice run of some homemade heart shaped donuts we are going to make a Valentine's tradition. They are so easy to make so I wanted to share so everyone can enjoy the yumminess.

Here is what you need: - biscuit dough - ready to use or from scratch
- small heart-shaped cookie cutter or you can use a circle of any kind for traditional round shape (a medicine cup that came from cough syrup would work)
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup cooking oil - vegetable or canola
- tongs
- paper towels
- cinnamon and sugar mix and/or powdered sugar
Open the biscuit can and spread all the rolls out. Then using your cutter, press out a donut hole right in the middle. Then get your pan on medium heat with 1/4 - 1/2 cup oil. Depending on how many you make, you will need more oil. You want enough oil to cover half of the donut when cooking. Place 3-4 doughy donuts into the pan and leave until the bottom is golden brown (2-3 minutes). Don't do anything else but watch these, as they cook fast and don't want them to burn. Then turn them over and cook another minute or so. Using tongs, place the cooked donut on paper towels to drain and cool slightly. Then get your pan on medium heat with 1/4 - 1/2 cup oil. Depending on how many you make, you will need more oil. You want enough oil to cover half of the donut when cooking. Now place the donuts on a plate and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar too. I think for Valentine's Day we'll put chocolate icing and Valentine's sprinkles on ours too.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pope Benedict on You Tube, really

The Pope has gone digital. He now will have daily You Tube postings. Check it out. http://www.youtube.com/vatican

Blueberry Freezing and Storage

I told a couple people I would post this so here is how I freeze and store my blueberries for use all year. They are much better this way than bagged store bought frozen blueberries. We picked a gallon at an organic blueberry farm in the NC mountains last summer and they lasted a few months for us. Also whenever they are on sale, I buy an enormous amount. We make blueberry pancakes almost every Sunday morning and we eat them all throughout the week too, so we use a lot. Blueberries are so healthy and tasty, why not eat the all the time.
After washing them and letting air dry, I lay them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper in a single layer so no blueberries are on top of each other. Then simply freeze for a day or overnight. Then I bag them in sandwich size freezer bags. It couldn't be easier. You can defrost a whole bag to use or pour a few out to defrost in a bowl or just eat frozen (my son's favorite). They don't have those icicles attached to them or the mushy consistency when you do it this way so they taste so fresh. I have kept them for as long as 6 months, but they may keep for even longer. I have never defrosted and refrozen so I can't say whether that would work. I have also never done this with other berries but I may try this summer. It does work with grapes very well. Frozen grapes are a sugary yummy treat too.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Prayers for those marching today

Our prayers are with all of those at the March for Life today. Also in our prayers are the hearts of all those who don't yet see the truth of what abortion is, especially those with the political power to end the muder of millions of unborn innocent children.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, we turn to you who are the protectress of unborn children and ask that you intercede for us, so that we may more firmly resolve to join you in protecting all human life. Let our prayers be united to your perpetual motherly intercession on behalf of those whose lives are threatened, be they in the womb of their mother, on the bed of infirmity, or in the latter years of their life. May our prayers also be coupled with peaceful action which witnesses to the goodness and dignity of all human life, so that our firmness of purpose may give courage to those who are fearful and bring light to those who are blinded by sin. Encourage those who will be involved in the March for Life; help them to walk closely with God and to give voice to the cry of the oppressed, in order to remind out nation of its commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people. O Virgin Mother of God, present our petitions to your Son and ask Him to bless us with abundant life. Amen.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

L.O.V.E Craft

Here is a neat craft for Valentine's Day and yummy too using some left over candy canes. You can make love letters or hearts of love.

Take off the plastic on your candy canes. It doesn’t matter if these break from opening, as they need to be all different sizes anyway. Place the candy cane pieces onto a tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Put the tray into a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes. Shape them (be careful, hot) right out of the oven into letters or hearts. They are movable for a minute or two. You can put them back into the oven if you need to reshape them again. Some letters kept breaking, so you can just use them as lines and form the letters that way as well.
The hearts will look really cute as decorations hanging up with red ribbon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jane Roe speaks out against her own "victory"

View this pro-life ad featuring Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" in "Roe v. Wade." http://www.virtuemedia.org/norma.htm

Monday, January 19, 2009

Life: Imagine the Potential

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to live the liturgy on a normal day?

I ask myself this question quite a bit. Between working part-time and trying to relax and enjoy this time of life with my young children on my days off, attending mass daily or even multiple times a week is just not practical for us right now. Maybe that is something I can change in the future, so I often think of ways to bring our faith into our day in a simple way on a day that is just normal, not a feast day or a special liturgical season like Advent or Lent. This same topic was brought up on a forum I frequent and the responses gave me some good suggestions I thought I would share.

- do the readings from Mass at home (I don't think my young children would understand but maybe they would just get used to me reading it out loud every day and find comfort in that until they are old enough to appreciate it. I think I will start this one tomorrow. I have my homepage on my computer set to my blog and I mos days read teh readings to myself at some point during the day, but now I will make it a point to read it out loud to Pumpkin daily in the morning over breakfast.)
- follow the Church's recommendation for the Dedications of the Month and Days. For each month and day have a set prayer that you pray (this may take some time and creativity that I'll put on the back burner for mow. I have a tendency to overdo things when I want to make a change and then nothing sticks. I am vowing this year to try to keep my life simple)
- praying a morning offering and the Angelus and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours (this will take dedication, but I think I can do this. I may start wearing my running watch for potty training timing purposes, so I may just add a timer to remind me of these prayers also.)
- I also came across this simple and beautiful "schedule" of daily and weekly prayer that be the perfect one to emulate and combine all of the above.
I would love for anyone who wants (if anyone even reads this) to share how they or their family prays.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hail Mary: Gentle Woman

This musical version of Hail Mary is beautiful. I hope you find it aspeaceful as I do. http://www.spiritandsong.com/musicondemand/songs/1529

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Novena to Stop FOCA

Sorry I have been absent. I have just been enjoying the holidays with my family. Here is information about the Novea to stop FOCA which starts today. Novena to Stop FOCA Brothers and sisters, please read and please participate in prayer and fasting.The novena starts today, Sunday, January 11th. Please, I beg you to get as many prayer warriors involved in this novena as possible. If you are opposed to abortion then there is bad news on the horizon.For those of you who do not know, the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is set to be signed if congress passes it on January 21-22 of 2009. The FOCA is the next sick chapter in the book of abortion.If made a law then all limitations on abortion will be lifted which will result in the following: 1) All hospitals, including Catholic hospitals will be required to perform abortions upon request. If this happens Bishops vow to close down all Catholic hospitals, more then 30% of all hospitals in the United States. 2) Partial birth abortions would be legal and have no limitations. 3) All U.S. tax payers would be funding abortions. 4) Parental notification will no longer be required. 5) The number of abortions will increase by a minimum of 100,000 annually. Perhaps most importantly the government will now have control in the issue of abortion. This could result in a future amendment that would force women by law to have abortions in certain situations (rape, down syndrome babies, etc) and could even regulate how many children women are allowed to have. Needless to say this information is disturbing, but sadly true. As Catholics, as Christians, as anyone who is against the needless killing of innocent children, we must stand as one. We must stop this horrific act before it becomes a law. The Plan: To say a novena (9 days of prayer) along with fasting starting on January 11th. For Catholics, the prayer of choice will be the Rosary with intentions to stop the FOCA.For non Catholics I encourage you to pray your strongest prayers with the same intentions, also for nine consecutive days. The hope is that this will branch and blossom as to become a global effort with maximum impact. We have very little time so we all must act fast. Just do three things: 1) Pass this letter to 5 or more people 2) Do it in three days or less 3) Start the novena on January 11th and pray for nine consecutive days. (please also fast for at least two days during the novena) Remember that with God all things are possible and the power of prayer is undeniable. If you are against the senseless killing of defenseless children then the time is now to do something about it! Novena Prayer: Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,and for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son.I am ready to do my part in ending abortion!Today I commit myself never to be silent,never to be passive,never to be forgetful of the unborn.I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement (if the Lord places this on your heart),and never to stop defending life until all my brothers and sisters are protected,and our nation once again becomesa nation with liberty and justice Not just for some, but for all.Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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