Monday, September 29, 2008

Great Article on the Catholism and (Homo)Sexuality

I recently came across this transcript from a speech by the Bishop of Sacramento to the National Association of Diocesan Gay and Lesbian Ministries. Read it if you can spare a few minutes.

I particularly like his line that sex is not love but rather an expression of love. A great article on a touchy topic.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thanks, Nana!

Thank you, Nana, for our little gifts in the mail. It was such a treat to open the big, white package that you sent for us. How blessed we are to have such a loving and considerate Nana in our lives.
Much love,
Madge and Pita

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fashion Designer in the Making?

Madge really enjoys her magnetic dressing doll from Nana. This is what she put on her the other day. When you are lacking in proper hat ware, know that an upside down scarf will suffice. Be chic and switch up your shoes.


...sharing a wardrobe.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weekend Continued

After Mt. Vernon we enjoyed a quiet afternoon. Maddy, Caleb and Pita had some fun playing on the bed after a nap. Caleb called me into the room to show me Maddy's little silhouette idea: she wanted Pita and herself to sit back-to-back. After dinner, we enjoyed a little of The Bee, lent to us by a friend, and then sleep for girls. While Caleb put Madge down, I was able to get some little treats made for us: banana pancakes. Where is JJ when we need him? Sunday was just as enjoyable with early morning "Coppees" and morning Mass. Madge fell asleep during Mass, so no afternoon nap was needed before we headed to a Mexican bakery for a few pastries to take to the park. After that we arrived home to grab a bite to eat before hearing a Jazz band play Swing. It was so awesome to listen to such a talented band, and wonderful songs like "In the Mood" and "Chatanooga Choo-Choo" as well as "Misty." Were you sending down the songs from Heaven, Gram Dolan, and, Grandpa Mahler? You sure were on our minds that day, and your dancing soul, Gram, was in Maddy's little toes. She was bobbing up and down listening to those beats. After a beautiful day out, we enjoyed an evening at home and topped the night off with the making of funnel cakes.

A Mt. Vernon Saturday

We enjoyed a beautiful weekend together, which started by a trip to Mt. Vernon, located about 20 minutes from us. It was a crisp, sunny Saturday, perfect for a walk along the vast grounds of Mt. Vernon. We sat at the back of the big house and looked out in the distance to the beautiful Potomac as Maddy talked about birthday cake, and continually wished me happy birthday...a few weeks away. Thanks, Madge.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I can't think of a witty title for this entry...

A sweet and slightly sacrilegious moment. Family allergies have been up for Madge, Pita, and me with the onset of fall temperatures. So, last night we were saying the rosary. We told Madge to go and blow her nose. After wiping her own nose, Madge went over to wipe the nose of our little Blessed Mother statue (which is about 10 in tall). I didn't realize that the Blessed Mother must have had a runny nose as well. Pretty cute. Do I hear psychologists thinking "transference"?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Can Say, Hi!"

Just listen!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beautiful Girl

Although these are just a "few" of the many pictures there are of Pita from her couple of months in this world, here they are. There are more to come!

How Grateful I Am

I don't think I have said this enough: You are amazing. I look over all that you do for our family, and I love you. I look at you, and I love you. You clean, you cook, you care for your girls (me included) not just because that needs to be done, but because you love them; you love us. You want to be a better dad and husband, and you take concrete steps to achieve that end. How grateful I am to have you.I love your little ways. When you dress Madge you don't just pick out any old thing, you put an adorable and sometimes eclectic outfit together for her, and I love it. When you do anything, you do it with all that you have. You make the little things silly and fun. "Siddy, Dad!" as Madge would say. You are my knight. I was recently looking over the scrapbook of our dating days and engagement months and re-read words that you continue to say to me on a daily basis. That is just you. You are constant in what you do, and I thank you for that. Thank you for: supporting me in my life's dream-job of being our girls' mom, for being my awesome coach and dear love when I was so blessed to experience the laboring of our girlies into this world with God's grace. I remember looking into your eyes during labor and seeing so much hope , encouragement, and happiness in your eyes. I thanked God in those moments for the gift of marriage, for the gift of a true friend, my sweet spouse. Thank you for loving me. You are not only beautiful on the outside, but you are so much more inside. Yes, sometimes I do think you are too good to be true. God has truly blessed me. I don't understand God's wisdom...or humor, but thank you for being my life partner. You are so sweet, gentle and creative. You are also the first to admit your faults, and how humbling that is for me. Keep teaching me. I'm learning. Your love for me is endless and so are the sweet ways you show it. I remember your telling me that you loved me early on in our relationship and at that moment I felt God's love through you. I know your are His instrument of grace to me. You help me to change and grow in order to get closer to the One we both long to be closest to. You are beautiful. We miss you, and we cannot wait until you are home. There are 6 arms just waiting to hug you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Four Years

Caleb, Four years later, and it seems like yesterday that we were ascending the stairs of the bell tower at The National Shrine. It was a day that would change our lives forever. I remember leaving school that day after a long day of teaching and being so happy that no cars had blocked me in at the school parking lot so that I was on-time to meet you at the Shrine for our four o'clock (or so) appointment to check out the bell tower. Little did I know you had so much more planned than just a "look" at the Tower. How well you planned that afternoon, which you specifically marked on the calendar, so as to have our engagement day be on the special feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and Grandpa Young's anniversary into eternal life. I was amazed at the other planning you had done in asking John to play photographer on the roof of Gibbons Hall from which he captured the first moments of our engagement. I remember looking out over the city of DC and CUA, and then turning back around to find you on one knee, holding my hand and speaking so gently. Your words were beautiful and unforgettable. I love you and thank you for sharing your life with me, and now with our two girls. I cannot, for a moment, imagine life without you, journeying at my side. You are my dearest and best friend, and I look forward to every day with you, walking hand-in-hand on our way home to heaven, together.Here's for you
(Photo credit: Thanks, John, for helping us with these photographic memories.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beautiful Boy

Today (September 14, Australian time) is Nick's 4th birthday-FOURTH! Four years have passed, little man, and I can tell you the exact spot where I was when your Mom called me to say that you just entered the world. I can specifically remember sitting down to my computer the minutes after Mommy told me that she and Daddy were having you, and writing a whole letter to you, and then going to my classes and being on top of the world. I wanted to shout the news I had just learned. Fast forward 4 years and you have grown, grown not only in physical strength and attributes, but also in my, our hearts. We love you dearly, and you have felt like my very own baby since the moment I knew you were in existence. May you always leave a wholesome mark wherever God may have you trod, and may you always know just how much you are loved, today, tomorrow, and always. Happy birthday, beautiful boy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Sometimes there is no need to use words when getting a point across-- like this perfect and beautiful babe.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

In The Blog World

...things move fast. Yesterday I was reading Elizabeth Foss's blog in which she wrote this about a certain couple:
"I am reading ... . the blog of Stephanie Nielsen, a young mom in Arizona. The blog is just beautiful--full of life and love and utter joy in family. Stephanie has four young children and her love for them glows through every post. She clearly adores her husband and isn't shy about telling the world so. Last month, she and her husband were critically injured in a private plane accident. While they fight for their lives in Arizona, Stephanie's sister Courtney--who just had her first baby--has taken the children into her own home in Utah, where she, her husband, and the rest of Stephanie's siblings are loving them and heroically holding onto Stephanie's vision of family life. Courtney is blogging her experiences. I have found such inspiration between the two of them, and more than enough fodder for prayer."

After reading that (above), I was led to this. Tonight I went back there and was led to this. I was attracted to this couple for a simple reason: they are so in love with one another. Together they have created a little family of 4 kids. Together, Christian and Stephanie are fighting for their lives. Please pray for them. You can read more about their tragic experience here.
If you want to see more about this dynamic woman and her family, go to and look through videos (September 9) for the one titled "Injured Blogger Inspires Support."
Stephanie absolutely loves being a mom and making life beautiful and of the moment. I love seeing other moms cherish the sweet gifts they have been given and enjoy the precious moments that they, that we all get as moms. So often there are complaints about the kids or how hard a day was. Every job has its ups and downs, but there is no job in which you are constantly repaid in LOVE. Thank you, God, for this sweet job. I'm glad I don't ever have to retire.

Every time I read something about one person and then see the outpour of love and support from thousands (in this case, thousands--or more-- across the world, it makes me realize all the more just what one life does. Just doing one's daily duties and loving every moment of them, not because they are flashy, but because God's will is bigger than our own and He has a plan and purpose for the littlest, most mundane things (in the world's eyes) in every day life. In relation to just that, here is a good read.

Please pray for this family

Please keep this family in your prayers.The grandpa (father-in-law to the blogger) suddenly died yesterday (September 8th) while trying to save his 20 year-old son from drowning, but gave up his life in the process. The funeral is at a parish near us.


This looks like a fantastic view.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy to you!

Happy birthday, Blessed Mama! Or as Maddy would say, "Happy to you! Happy cake!"
Thank you for your constant love and direction. We're so glad your Mom said "Yes" to your sweet life.

Happy Grandparents' Day!

Dear Mimi and Pa-Pa & Meema and Beeba,
Happy Grandparents' Day! We love you so much and are happy to have such loving grandparents in our young lives. We hope that you always know how much joy you give us and how much we appreciate your love, attention, and activity in our little lives. Although we are small, we feel every bit of your love. Thanks for giving it.
Lots of hugs from your girlies,
Maddy and Pita

Her first broken bone

About 2 weeks ago, Madge fell out of bed in the middle of the night, and it wasn't until later-- after a night of intermittent crying--that morning, about 8am when we awoke, that we realized something wasn't right. Whenever Pita is awake, Madge is there. Not this time, though. She was as still as could be on the pillow and didn't budge to run down the hall for her morning "sake" (protein shake). Long story short, after a trip to the dr. then the ER for x-rays that morning, we were made certain that she broke her collar bone on her right side--her dominant side. Maybe it won't be the only "hard working" side she'll have when it gets better (4 weeks in a wrap/sling), because she has been doing EVERYTHING with her little left hand (maybe ambidextrous after it all?). She is perseverant about doing it all, with some moments of "Help, please," and it is awesome to see her persistence. After 2 weeks like this, this is reality for her, and she goes on with her days as though nothing is wrong, until she bangs into the ground because of not having the balance to catch herself as quickly as she could if both arms were in reach to break her fall. She's had quite a few falls since her initial one that started her imbalance, but it really hasn't slowed her down; only the ground that keeps getting in the way.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

No sane-chew. I got it.

A couple of nights ago, there was a little lady in the laundry room/pantry-- a very small spot to say the least. Caleb was asking Maddy if there was something that she needed and if he could help her. The space is so small you may wonder why someone is squeezing in there. So, Caleb asked Maddy: "Can I help you?" She confidently and politely responded, "No sane-chew. I got it." Wow! She was taking care of "it" all right. Madge didn't need help because this is what she was (or thought she was) getting.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Novena Before The Election

It's a less than nine weeks until Election Day. Thanks to this blog for this novena.

O God, we acknowledge you today as Lord,
Not only of individuals, but of nations and governments.

We thank you for the privilege
Of being able to organize ourselves politically
And of knowing that political loyalty
Does not have to mean disloyalty to you.

We thank you for your law,
Which our Founding Fathers acknowledged
And recognized as higher than any human law.

We thank you for the opportunity that this election year puts before us,
To exercise our solemn duty not only to vote,
But to influence countless others to vote,
And to vote correctly.

Lord, we pray that your people may be awakened.
Let them realize that while politics is not their salvation,
Their response to you requires that they be politically active.

Awaken your people to know that they are not called to be a sect fleeing the world
But rather a community of faith renewing the world.

Awaken them that the same hands lifted up to you in prayer
Are the hands that pull the lever in the voting booth;
That the same eyes that read your Word
Are the eyes that read the names on the ballot,
And that they do not cease to be Christians
When they enter the voting booth.

Awaken your people to a commitment to justice
To the sanctity of marriage and the family,
To the dignity of each individual human life,
And to the truth that human rights begin when human lives begin,
And not one moment later.

Lord, we rejoice today
That we are citizens of your kingdom.

May that make us all the more committed
To being faithful citizens on earth.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy 2 Months, Beautiful Girl!

Pita, you are 2 months old (July 1-Sept.1), and you are our sweet little gem. You have brought us so much joy and made me stop and think, "What was our life like before you?" Thank you for your smiles and squeaks. They are art pieces and music in our home. As one nurse told me during your blood work one day, "She is going to do great things." We agree, and you know what? You already have.

Just one month ago you were born, born into eternal life with the sacrament of Baptism. What a beautiful celebration it was in the evening of August 1st. On this evening, Friday evening, we attended 6:30pm Mass at St. Sebastian parish in Michigan, and your Aunty Mimi and Beeba played guitar and sang. Aunty Mimi played and sang solo, "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever," as I requested shortly before Mass. She did a super job. Deacon Charles baptized you, and he did such a wonderful job during his homily in explaining the sacrament and the responsibility we have as parents and the duty and call of this sacrament to your spiritual parents, Uncle Dan and Aunty Miriam. The whole evening was beautiful and simple, just like you, sweet girl. Although so many of your family members could not attend and come in from all over the globe, they were praying for you and we know will continue to as you go forth in this world with a shining light. Speaking of "shining lights," when Deacon Charles gave your baptismal candle to us and stated that the candle is a symbol of your faith, Madge saw the light and thought she had a particular duty: the duty to blow it out! That she did! What a silly sister you have, methodical no doubt, though. She loves you so much. On your baptismal day, you wore the dress that Maddy wore on her baptismal day, August 5, 2006. The gown was made especially for our family when Daddy, Mommy, and Maddy (then, in Mommy's tummy) were living in Beijing, China. Mommy and Daddy chose the material and lace, and a Chinese seamstress fashioned it simply in a few days' time. It came out just as we desired: beautiful and simple. May those two characteristics always be descriptions of your faith in Jesus, who loves you dearly and says, "Now you are mine twice: First I made you; then I bought you back!"(Chosen and Cherished, p.11). Following your baptism, we returned to Meema and Beeba's house where we celebrated with ice cream sundaes and banana splits. A dear friend, Mickey, sang a very special song for you too.

Isaiah 43: 1-4, 6-7
But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush [a] and Seba in your stead.

4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.

5-7"So don't be afraid: I'm with you.
I'll round up all your scattered children,
pull them in from east and west.
I'll send orders north and south:
'Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
yes, personally formed and made each one."

Happy 30th!

"Today" (Australian time: September 4th) is my sister Kate's 30th birthday. I can't hardly believe the big 30 is here. We really can start playing the "Golden Years." Kate, we love you. Thanks, (Mom and Dad) for your life and all the giving that you have done throughout yours. Our prayer is that you will be blessed with God's love and guidance as you journey onwards, with the knowledge that you are loved by Him, and so many family members and friends. God bless this birthday and all of your new year!

Mainstream Medicine Questioning Efficacy of Vaccines...

A NYTimes article casts serious doubt on the efficacy of the flu vaccine in recipients over the age of 70. While the article is limited in scope (only pertaining to one vaccine and one select group), it minimally demonstrates that mainstream public health experts are NOT unanimously in favor of vaccines and that, if anything, they should be used judiciously on an ad hoc basis.