Thursday, October 30, 2008

Feasting Season Looms

Someone searched on the phrase "what does enough is as good as a feast mean?" With the many food laden holidays in our near future, I'll take a moment to refresh my memory.

Enough is as good as a feast. Here's the point: Does the first bite taste as good as the last? Usually the first bite taste best, or the last bite tastes the same. Not better. Feasting, or over eating does not add to the flavor of the meal. In the end, you feel worse for having eaten too much.

Enough is as good as a feast. Eat just enough. Until you are full. Not over full. That feeling is as good as, or better, than feasting. In the end you feel better than be stuffed!

Enough is as good as a feast. How do you know when is enough? God created us to know. When you eat, listen for a small sigh. That's when you now you are actually full, but not stuffed to the gills. Small reflection here: I used to think that sigh meant I calmed down enough to really begin eating! I would wait until I was starving to eat, then begin eating, sigh and think, ok, now enjoy your meal. Boy, was I wrong.

Enough is as good as a feast. After several poor eating habit weeks, I will try again to face the onslaught of candy, cupcakes, cookies, and treats with renewed self control. Try to really enjoy the first few bites of each item, and offer up the rest.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween? No, Christmas!

The local chapter of the ARC hosts a Festival of Trees fundraiser and competition every year. Businesses sponsor trees, other groups decorate them and then the trees are sent to homes, the hospital or other locations for the holiday season. So much fun!
The Medicine Shoppe sponsors a tree every year, which then graces the home of my aunt. This year, our local homeschool group is decorating the tree!

Our theme is "O Holy Night", with lots of angels made from seashells and lots of star garland to light the night!

Old Christmas cards are transformed into ornaments to portray the Holy Night.

Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men!


Not so many photos of this surgery. After three weeks of fighting off an ear infection, thrush and that nasty bacterial diaper rash, I was just hoping Holly and I would be up for the post-op recovery. And to be honest, she was so swollen after this surgery, really I don't want to remember that.

I tried to get a decent picture with Daddy, but Holly kept moving in front of him! All I have are pictures Daddy obscured by smiling baby!

Last note, while we were waiting for the surgery to begin in June, the soft palate repair, I thought I had dressed appropriately, tried to look presentable for the long day ahead. But somehow I missed the mark that day. Complete strangers approached to ask if I needed help. Even the chaplain came to offer prayers and consolation. Always happy for the extra prayers, but knew I was looking even worse than I felt. So this time I tried a little harder not to look so worn out and stressed. You almost can't see the circles under my eyes!

I know, priority issues, who cares what I look like? Holly was having surgery!

More Cookies!

My parents run The Medicine Shoppe here in town. To help promote their business, I made these trays using those frosting sheets. These are mint-iced shortbread and mint striped shortbread. I hope it does build up goodwill!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Simply Sugar Cookies

This has got to be my all time favorite cookie idea EVER! If you are so inclined to use the computer, print a dozen of your favorite fall scenes on plain white paper. Card stock works best. I added "Thank You" to a few pictures. The pictures need to be about 2 inches round. And the pictures need to fit inside an 8x10 square on the page.
A regular sheet of paper is 8 1/2 x 11. Once you print it, you trim it to 8x10. Like a portrait. Take that to your local grocery store. Harris Teeter and Wal-Mart will do this, Food Lion, maybe. Ask them to print the picture on an icing sheet, like the ones they make for cakes.
The sheet is about $6-8 depending on where you go. Bring the sheet home, bake your cookies, have icing ready. Cut each picture into rounds, ice cookie, and apply picture! I added a chocolate circle for the edge, you could make it neater than me, I bet!
Custom, personalized cookies make a great gift. And if you need more than one tray, just include a few printed cookies, along with several plain iced or even chocolate chip. Yum!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm with Bob

His name's not Joe, but my brother-in-law makes a fine point: When my time comes and God judges me for all my actions in life, there will be many things on my plate. I don't need to pile on my voting record.

Just a few great thoughts from a very great thinker: G.K. Chesterton

"What is quaintly called Birth Control . . . is in fact, of course, a scheme for preventing birth in order to escape control."

"Normal and real birth control is called self control."

"Birth Control is a name given to a succession of different expedients by which it is possible to filch the pleasure belonging to a natural process while violently and unnaturally thwarting the process itself."

"We can always convict such people of sentimentalism by their weakness for euphemism. The phrase they use is always softened and suited for journalistic appeals. They talk of free love when they mean something quite different, better defined as free lust. But being sentimentalists they feel bound to simper and coo over the word "love." They insist on talking about Birth Control when they mean less birth and no control. We could smash them to atoms, if we could be as indecent in our language as they are immoral in their conclusions."

There are many issues being raised as Very Important for this election, the economy, taxes, gas prices, and war. My two cents is that if you are never born, then the rest doesn't matter does it?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Have to Go Through It

What is the hard palate repair surgery and recovery like? Just like this bear hunt.

Can't go over it.

Can't go under it.

You have to go through it.

There are some things you just have to wade through. This is one of those times. Holly is a strong willed little one. But thanks be to God, I am stronger willed than her. Even though, she doesn't want to drink anything at the moment, I know she has to and will keep offering yummy choices. Like chocolate Silk, since she can't have ice cream or yogurt!

.ps Yes, after 5 days of post palate repair, I do look like Mr. Rosen in the video, slightly unkempt and in need of a hot bath: -) But Holly drank 2 ounces straight from her bottle this morning with just a little resistance! Success.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Its a Hard Knock Life

Sometimes the knocks aren't quite so hard. Holly's hard palate repair is behind us. Now we wait. And look and wait. I've checked stitches three times since Wednesday to make sure they are still there. Silly me. Like me shining a flashlight in her mouth will make the stitches stronger.

The hard palate repair went well. The extra reflux medicine, Zantac, did its job beautifully. As a result, Holly needed less pain medicine than after the other surgeries. All good.

The unexpected things are these: The day after the surgery Holly had a hard time keeping down her formula or pedialyte. I have chalked that up to another unexpected thing, a massive amount of drainage from her nose. If I didn't know she just had surgery I would think this was one nasty head cold or sinus allergy.

And the final thing I didn't really expect, but was prepared for, Holly began yesterday to reject her bottle. Today she is drinking from a sippy cup with little problem. Maybe tomorrow I will offer the bottle again. Who would have ever thought I would be sad about those troublesome Habermans making an early departure?

As far as I can tell from all I have been told or read, this surgery is supposed to be the hardest to recover from. Glad the surgery is behind and we are on day 3 of her recovery. I'll post another time about what is working for post surgery feeding tips.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Holly's Next Surgery

This Wednesday, please join our prayers for Holly's hard palate repair. That the closure will hold, no holes, that the extra reflux medicine will make a difference.

I have often wondered about this verse from Romans 5:3

"Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope,
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us."

Do I have "the right stuff", to encounter affliction and have that encounter produce endurance. And should I outlast the affliction, would it in the end give me hope?

Well, after this past month of trying to heal Holly's diaper infection (no mere rash), I may not have the endurance of a Marine, but I am beginning to understand this verse a little better.

I still have HOPE. What I wanted was a week or two of blissful, healthy, happy baby days before this surgery. But what we have ended up with is a few moments here and there, a little victory one day, a set back on another. And now, just days before upsetting the whole apple cart, I believe that, yes, affliction can produce hope. I have not given up yet.

Jesus, I still trust in You.

Shifting Sand

So many thoughts I have wanted to post this weekend, about our economy, St. Francis' feast day, the Life Chain on Sunday and of course Holly's looming surgery (this Wednesday).

But, of course, Pope Benedict XVI says everything the best:

Pope criticises pursuit of wealth

The Pope says God's word is the only veritable reality to build on. The global financial crisis is proof that the pursuit of money and success is pointless, Pope Benedict XVI has told a meeting of bishops in Rome. The head of the Roman Catholic Church said that the disappearance of money as banks collapsed showed that wealth meant "nothing".

The Pope said that people should instead base their lives on God's word. Those who think that "concrete things we can touch are the surest reality" are deceiving themselves, he said.

The crisis in the financial industry has seen billions of dollars wiped off the value of shares, and a number of seemingly untouchable banking institutions have been taken over, nationalised, or have collapsed.

Speaking to the bishops assembled at the Vatican, Pope Benedict said those who seek "success, career or money are building on sand". When he opened the Synod on Sunday, the Pope attacked modern culture, saying that "nations once rich in faith and vocations are losing their own identity under the harmful and destructive influence of a certain modern culture".

Elections are coming up in the US, how can you protect our nation, "once rich in faith and vocations"? Vote for LIFE. To learn more read here and here.

God, please remove the scales from the eyes of our citizens. Show us the Truth. Amen.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Future and A Hope

Happy Anniversary Lee!
I love this picture the most. We look so confident, young and hopeful.
Not too shabby after 15 years!
Still looking hopeful!

A Little Homeschool Business

Just three years ago, when Lee and I decided we would homeschool, I knew I could not go this alone. Neither should you! There are lots of great ways to get support, online or in person.

The first thing I did was join our local homeschool association. This group organizes many educational and fun opportnities to participate in. Like a PE class (that I would never ever do on my own :-), a spelling bee, talent show, and group testing.

Actually, the very first thing that happened was arranged by God. He managed a meeting between me and a long ago friend from our church. By long ago, I mean 8th grade. A friend from our junior high youth group. Yvonne and I enjoyed our little reunion meeting. But more importantly, I learned about the Catholic Homeschool Coop that she participated in!

I knew that our faith would have to be an important part of our school. And that I would want my children to get the chance to know other Catholic homeschoolers. What a great opportunity! So we joined the coop, before I had even registered our school with the state!

What a great place to be, for all of us! We attend Mass and classes, enjoy some outdoor play time and Mom time. We celebrate Catholic holidays and things that make our faith part of our lives. All very good things!

And now the Catholic homeschool community is growing. If you live in the Forsythe County area, check out this site also! Two moms are joining with Holy Family Catholic Church to provide weekly homeschool enrichment session in Clemmons.

To help spread the word, here are a few key search terms, people may be using to find a local group: Clemmons Catholic Homechool, Winston Salem Catholic Homeschool, Mocksville Catholic Homeschool, Salisbury Catholic Homeschool, Lexington Catholic Homeschool