Tuesday, November 25, 2014

He Proposes with a Twist

      Spencer's proposal was both humorous and romantic--which is a perfect reflection of the style of his personality! Meggar might deny it, but she likes being teased a little.  That's because she grew up coping with Captain and three little brothers! (smile)
     So the proposal story starts with flowers being delivered on Friday morning (nice), and a dinner date at a sushi restaurant (very nice). Meggar was a little suspicious because sushi is her favorite and not her beloved's. No proposal at the restaurant though.
     Next, they went to the restored Moolah Theatre, which features vintage decor and cocktails for movie goers and a bowling alley too. It was here they had previously celebrated their dating anniversary and where Spencer had said "I love you" for the first time. No proposal on the loveseat though.
     On the way back, they strolled through the City Gardens, but there was no proposal near the sculptures nor the flowers either!
     But the icing on the cake came in the car when Spencer quipped, "You didn't think I was going to propose tonight, did you?!"
     They agreed to call it an early night and watch their favorite series on NetFlix. Meggar was snuggling up in a blanket with the TV remote, and Spencer said he wanted to get something to drink. Then he called from the kitchen for some assistance. When Megan walked in, she saw dozens of tea lights and Spencer down on one knee with "the box."
     He said something sweet which she doesn't quite remember.
     She said, "Yes!"
     They called and woke us up on the east coast.
     They called his parents, too.
     Then they called Meg's roommate, who had been asked to stay away from the apartment until the surprise was accomplished.
     Happily. Ever. After.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Here Comes the ....

With great joy, we announce the engagement of our only daughter!
Megan and Spencer
(Few titles will ever make me feel as special as this one: Mother of the Bride)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Election Night

Another change of living in a new state is understanding their politics. Although Delaware did not have any important races, I was still able to work on election night. I was a reporting agent for Reuters. They launched a nationwide effort to collect voting results as the polls closed with agents covering all counties (well almost all counties). I got paid, and I got press credentials!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

End of October

Each Sunday in October, it hit me. I saw the crosses and lingered over many memories from my former life (before Delaware). This was the first year that I didn't "do" anything for Respect Life month. For the past 14 years, my family and I have installed crosses at one (or more) Catholic churches.
Displays like this one and others I see around Wilmington.
Before that, I organized long processionals with all ages bearing a red rose up to the altar.
Before that, I walked my pregnant belly and toddler Meggar up to the front for a pro-life voting announcement at the end of mass.
Before that, I prayed the rosary for the first time at a PP clinic all four Saturdays.
Before that, I volunteered at Birthright in Manhattan.
Before that, I read Judie Brown's newsletters detailing the Roe v. Wade decision.
(From what I remember, that was the beginning of Respect Life month by the USCCB 40 years ago.)
I am not sure what God is doing at this stage of my life, but I guess He wanted someone else to "do" this work.

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's a Hockey Thing

First win in September
Leaving for practice in Maryland
Top 15 in Points within USPHL
Starting over with a new hockey club this year is nothing new for my twins: their 7th team in 10 seasons. And it is never easy to be in a new league. Sniper and Playmaker have high hopes and are working hard for the Skipjacks in Baltimore. They love the coaching staff, the abundant ice time, and the workout facilities (former practice rink/weight room for Washington Capitals NHL).
"Skipjacks U16" Teammates

But injuries have kept their bench short and led to very few wins. Not that winning is everything, but it can be an important part of the mental game after a few weeks. Today they called and said the team is finally gelling! They are playing back in Boston for the Beantown Classic and have won their first three games handily! The twins are dominating the offense, setting up their line mates, and racking up their own points, too. Sniper had a hat trick today. Playmaker works so hard as the starting center, plus he fills in at defense because of other injured players. I'm glad they got a taste of success today, but I wish we could be there to watch. Last year, we were lucky enough to stay the whole week with Cousin Laurie and Tom--and enjoyed feasts at Aunt Jean and Paul's.
 #25 on Bus Trip

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Second Year at College

Dorito is sometimes lost in the middle of our family, but he's never forgotten.
He is having a busy semester back at K-State. This week he is working overtime as the Homecoming Chairman for Phi Kappa Theta. They are paired with Gamma-Phi and Sig-Ep (which is good and bad, respectively, so you get the drift). His leadership skills are being stretched as he tries to motivate the 34 members of his small fraternity to do their part. This week, he also has a big Accounting Project due.
He likes to look the part. Sporting his new suit for formal dinners. And his new glasses.

This year, he is also balancing a job: working part-time as a house boy at the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house on Mondays and Wednesdays for supper.

And he attends all the football games, of course!
Here's his SnapChat from the front row at the 50-yard-line a couple weeks back. The ICAT section is first come, first served so he likes to get there early.

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Own Birthday Party

I got up at the usual hour for making breakfast and going to tutor.
But I wore a new dress (gift from fashionable-minimalist-Kristen).
And I texted two friends to say that I was officially giving up on Job Application #5 (not complaining, but trying to move forward in a positive way by being open to other possibilities that Divine Mercy was sure to show me next).
Then the director from said job called me just before lunch hour and offered me the position!
So I had a very happy lunch back home with my crew.
I will work with an international student organization doing public relations (newsletter and website) plus recruiting host families and conducting support programs and field trips for all involved. 
Sounds like God has a plan. He is good. All the time.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Circle of Life

Meggar's new life in St. Louis seems to be going in fits and starts. This week brought the sad news of the death of Spencer's grandfather, Ollie Rusch, after just one day in Hospice Care. His 94-year's presence among a close-knit family was evidenced at the wake and rosary today. Funeral services will be held tomorrow at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on the feast day of St. Louis (seems appropriate).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Being in Your Right Mind

Today is National Left-handed Day!
Hat tip to Dorito/Rowdy Gentleman who writes left-handed! And is coordinated enough to play sports right-handed!
And kudos to Sniper and Playmaker, who shoot left-handed in hockey!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Off to the Philmont Scout Ranch

Some young men I know boarded the Amtrack last Friday in Kansas City bound for Cimmaron. They have been planning this High Adventure for nearly two years. They have chosen to backpack 83 miles in 10 days in the mountains of New Mexico carrying all their supplies (replenishing water and food at stations along the way).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

500 days of Papacy

Pope Francis ate lunch in the workers' cafeteria to celebrate his 500th day at the Vatican. Despite his enormous responsibilities, he displays a humble demeanor in all instances.
The media celebrated by publishing Pope Francis' list of
10 Keys to Happiness:
1. Follow the Roman motto: Live and let live.
2. Give oneself to others.
3. Move quietly.
(I couldn't resist the pun in there for relocating, but Francis clarified he was referring to a peaceful stream and advocating kindness in a calm approach to daily life.)
4. Play with children. (He also emphasized building up the culture through leisure, reading, and art.)
5. Spend Sundays with family. (Playing with children can be repeated here.)
6. Help young people find employment and the dignity of work/service.
7. Practice good stewardship with nature.
8. Forget the negatives.
9. Respect others who think differently. (Forgetting the negative can be repeated here.)
10. Actively seek peace.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wedding Anniversary

Twenty-four years ago, we said "for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health..."

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Wheels

Have you seen the Progressive commercials? I suppose everyone knows Flo with the blue headband. I love the quirky humor of those TV ads. And Meggar loves the customer service she has received from Progressive. They have provided her a rental car, quick estimate for her claim, and rapid turn-around on her settlement check. The buy-out amount was more than fair for her Ford Explorer Sport, which already had 170,000+ miles. It served her well for all six years of high school and college. But looking for a used car on the spur of the moment proved difficult. On top of all the insurance phone calls, there was a rush of looking in the paper and driving around to dealerships. She enlisted the help of Sniper and Playmaker (who love researching cars on the internet), and Captain (who has plenty of used car experience from the days when his dad operated a used car lot). She also had support from Spencer, who happened to be in St. Louis for his 3rd exam in the CPA testing process, and accompanied her to several car lots and Craigslist hopefuls.
In the end, she chose a white Saturn Vue with low mileage, plenty of hauling space for wedding events, and a sun roof.

Monday, June 30, 2014

What Would You Do for Free?

There is a new Krispy Kreme donut store opening tomorrow about a stone's throw from the New Castle County Airport. And since we only live 4 minutes from that...
My three guys are camping out to be among the first 100 people in line!
(Won't @MilesEvans22 be jealous?!)
EACH wins one dozen donuts per month for a year!
The line could officially start forming at 3:00 pm, so I checked it out around 4:30 pm (when I got off work) and there were only 26 people so far. They were psyched about the idea! Captain helped pack them a cooler, and I made a quick dinner. Martin C offered lawn chairs and wanted to join them. They arrived at just after 6:30 pm and secured slots #34-37.  But they have to campout all night. Dorito says this is just like a No-Sleep-Thursday-Night at Camp Geiger. They have plenty of technology in tow and #KrispyKreme has free wifi.

Penn's Place Has Music

Happy to report that the live music scene is alive and well in our little subdivision historic neighborhood. Penn's Place is the original hotel where William Penn spent the first night after he landed on this continent. Now converted to a Cafe and tiny shoppes, Esther books musicians to play each Saturday in summer on her veranda. Very simple. Very relaxing. The "Acoustic Jam" duo could really deliver the 60s and 70s greatest hits. Captain and I hummed along. We enjoyed our evening mostly because we met more locals: namely Millie and Bob who own the "Oak Knoll Books."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Calligraphy Class

Meggar is taking a calligraphy class with Heather in St. Louis this summer. They have really enjoyed the first few sessions, and are hoping this parlays into a wedding component for future clients. She said she was surprised how much practice is required!
It helps pass the time while her boyfriend is away at college studying for the CPA exams.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Folding Napkins

My guys are working another wedding this weekend at the Cavalier Country Club in Wilmington, DE. They receive freshly laundered tuxedo shirts and vests to wear with their black pants and black ties (very formal). I'm happy they have learned a thing or two about receptions and guests:
(Dorito not pictured)
how to fold fancy napkins, proper placement of dessert forks and salad forks, mannerly strolling through the veranda with "butlered" hors de'ouvres, as well as fully tearing down the buffet room to reset it with 10-tops or 8-tops, skirting, and overlays for the next day. Attention to detail is part of having a good work ethic.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Value of Work

Josemaria Escriva had a lot to say about the dignity of work and why we should strive to be aligned with God's purposefulness for everyone and everything.  I've been working hard (tiny pun) at remembering to say a novena these nine days leading up to the saint's feast day (which is today).
Starting with an email at 6:00 am (!) and an afternoon request for an interview as well as job secrets have all came our direction TODAY. Whether it is good news or just another step forward, I am twitching with eagerness to see how things will develop. I offer a profound Japanese bow to the Holy One in heaven who has whispered in my ear this day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Tutoring

I have seven students that I am working with over the summer for tutoring of math and/or English. It totals nearly 30 hours with commuting to homes and libraries for sessions. I love the flexibility of the "Back to Basics" company, which does out-sourcing for schools and colleges as well as private families looking for SAT prep or subject enricement. Kuddos to my family: Dorito helps me grade pre-Calc and statistics problems, the twins help me by grocery shopping and running errands, and Captain helps with making dinner -- which has become an even greater focal point of the day that we all look forward to.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Birthday Boy Starts 20th Year

Dorito had a "date" with Captain and I over the weekend at a micro-brewery on the river. But today is the "real" birthday so we tried to make it fun, too. Twitter messages, T-shirt, and telling stories about when he was a baby. He was always a good boy. Now he's a good young man. #RowdyGentleman

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Big Wreck

She was not on her cell phone. Nor speeding. She was, however, on her way to the wedding rehearsal on Friday for her "Mr & Mrs" client. Luckily she had left extra early. A woman tried to cut through two lanes, but didn't allow enough time. The car beside Meggar was blocking her view of the on-coming car, and the collision was big enough that air bags went off! Fortunately, Meggar wasn't hurt badly. And her Ford Explorer Sport was heavy enough to mostly sustain that kind of impact, but it's likely totaled from the damages. Happily, this mini SUV has survived six years with  our daughter--through high school and college--including damage sustained from flying hockey pucks and a lightning storm. She navigated by getting a ride from Spencer's mom, borrowed car for the rest of the wedding weekend, rental car for weekday job as nanny, filing police reports, calling in insurance claim... everything in the "adult" world takes phone calls, follow-up, and TIME.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Big Wedding

Meggar has a few butterflies this week. This is the weekend of her "big" wedding: 250 guests at large Catholic Church and fancy reception at largest hotel in downtown St. Louis. Total budget for the bride is pushing six figures. Meggar signed up this bride, and five others, through her advertising promotion on the website of "The Knot" magazine in early spring! What a great start for her Mr. & Mrs. Wedding Events.
Today was the planners' conference at the fancy hotel. Twelve vendors and managers met in their board room, and Meggar said everything went smoothly. (I can tell she likes the pressure of so many details on a grand schedule.)
She already accomplished a small wedding through her friends at "Le Bouquet" in early June. We are watching for photos as they become available on her website.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Weekends are for Fun

Everyone with Facebook has already seen that Sniper got a haircut finally. On Father's Day.
Playmaker was braver, giving up his "hockey hair" for the recital of his big sister. He said he wanted a different look, and it definitely makes them both look so much older.
 Dorito is taking a summer vacation from shaving.
 In Delaware they call it "Separation Day" and celebrate with parade, free concert, colonial games, food vendors, and fireworks. Back home we call it "Flag Day" on June 14 (which is easy to remember as that is Aunt Denise's birthday).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

As Promised...

Congratulations to our first college grad!
I ordered this photo from the event photographer--
best $10 I spent all four years!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

100 Days After Heart Surgery

Captain can hardly believe it has been 100 days since his heart procedure. The reality seems to surprise him every morning when he wakes up.  And me, too. The tremendous amount of change is so overwhelming that I have felt unable to write my usually-cheerful blog.
But something happened this weekend to change that slightly. Erik Compton happened. My four guys have been glued to the US Open, and they are cheering for Compton's steady progress on a very tough course. I have been glued to the personality profiles between shots. Compton is very humble, but I can read between the lines how difficult a time he and his family have had for 25 years. It is hard to put into words a brush with death. Let alone two heart transplants. Emotional and mental struggles don't easily fit into sound bites. I'm sure marketing scripts are already being written about Compton's comeback to PGA victory after viral cardiomyopathy. For this Father's Day, I am touched that he will be invited to the Masters now and other things he never even dreamed of. And he will have a positive platform for educating others about the symptoms that Captain still faces (headaches, shortness of breath, feeling crummy, lack of energy, etc.).
We celebrated Father's Day with grilled steaks and wine and golf on TV--just as grateful as we feel every day that we have been graced with another day of being all together. On this Feast of the Holy Trimity, I am mindful of the fellowship of God and our part with God, and the intentional focus on the present moment of my husband and the father of my children.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Final Note -- Part Three

The recital was a graduation requirement for Meggar, but truly a joy for her own family to share it with her. The party afterwards was a fitting tribute for her closest friends and for a few special friends and relatives who could make it. I knew it was too far away for many more who wanted to attend. Meggar is planning to send a recording of her piano pieces by mail to those who would like that memento.
Captain gave a few words of wisdom and a beautiful meal grace. I got to tell a humorous story to poke fun at her from the first semester's piano recital.
Guests: Gr. Judy and Gr. Gerald came from Wichita,
Gr. Elizabeth came from Colorado with Aunt Kathy and Uncle Terry,
Bill and Constance (from Jane Austen Book Club),
Alison (from church & her confirmation sponsor),
and Alpha Gamma Delta (members and alumnae).
*Credits to Playmaker for being the event photographer.
Not pictured: Heidi (from Pony Express Museum)
and Spencer (the boyfriend) and parents.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Final Note--Part Two

After the 4:30 piano recital, we hosted a reception for Meggar at the Kirksville Country Club. Our black tables were topped with antique cake stands, black pianos, and vintage sheet music which was folded into fans by Carey Leonard's three crafty girls: Barbara, Hannah, and Rebecca. Each pedestal was accented by yellow and black ribbons.
Out front we placed a table for gifts, which twinkled with white lights and more black and yellow accents. I hope everyone signed the guest book with well wishes. Megan received lots of flowers, pair of wine glasses painted with piano keys, a set of teapot book ends, a Mozart action figure, and a blue window with "Mr & Mrs Wedding Events" vinyl logo.
The appetizer table greeted guests (about 30) by the open bar as they arrived (and Carey's girls had a few nibbles during the decorating time).
The buffet table was decked out with classic colors, and...
it was loaded with my famous lasagna and sweet green beans, homemade bread sticks, and a wonderful Italian salad provided by Spencer's mom (complete with artichokes, olives, and roasted red peppers).
Dessert was a variation on a "coffee and donuts" theme--this is an inside joke with Truman AGDs. The twins helped me load up baby donut skewers and melted chocolate fondue. There was also rum cake, whipped cream, and Donut House coffee.
Hannah sampled the homemade lemonade, which surely tasted better since there was a yellow-striped straw in her cup.
I was happy when Terry asked me how to use the Keurig machine so he could stay awake for the drive back home. Overall, it was a yummy event, which is absolutely the best way to celebrate a special occasion!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Final Note - Part One

It could not have been more perfect. The graduation recital, that is. (Pity about the weather, as he British would say. There were heavy showers and high winds beforehand, but luckily no one was injured while travelling to Kirksville, Mo.) Our entire family had all been anticipating this day for weeks! It would be a culmination for Megan of her eight semesters of classical piano study. It also would be the degree completion for the first grandchild. And a "passport" that she has been longing for that enables her to take that final step into the "real world." And it was most importantly a celebration, mixed with some emotion as the rest of our family would be moving to Delaware the next day.
The auditorium seats were full with 60-odd friends and relatives coming to Truman State (between 3- and 6-hours' drive for some of the audience). Megan played tremendously well, and I'm not just saying that because I'm her mother! Megan's progression through the years is more evident to me as I've attended her recitals. And I was so proud to listen as she played more difficult pieces for this final semester. It is a testament to her diligent practice schedule, which is often behind the scenes away from family and friends. The head of the piano department and her studio professor both exclaimed their pleasure after her splendid performance.
The first Beethoven Sonata featured three movements (much like his "Inventions" that she was continually memorizing in high school). I love listening to the variations of Beethoven. And luckily, no one clapped in between the first Allegro and the Scherzo. She was so poised as her fingers fairly flew.
Her program next included a Debussy piece, which SHOULD be on the soundtrack of the next "Jane Austen" film or Masterpiece Classic. Beautiful tinkling notes that put me in mind of a spring afternoon tea party in the garden.
Finally, she played a Chopin Nocturne, in honor of Margie Cameron-Jarrett (her high school piano teacher). The way she gently struck the final two notes in perfect unison was enchanting, and the audience seemed reluctant to break the spell.
(More posts to follow soon with photos of the dress, the programme, the Country Club reception, and party-goers.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Happiness Medicine

Throughout the past 12 months, Captain kept noticing that I was calmer and happier and remarked on it. My regular blood work showed that it was true in the sense that my need for thyroid medicine was less and less. I had been on the SAME dose for 9 years, but this year I've worked my way down to half a dose every day. I think that is significant and says something about my stress levels. Life was still quite busy and full of challenges, but a seven-month adventure to Nashville was good for me.
Today, I am happy because I'll be picking up Captain from the airport for his weekend visit after being separated for two weeks.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Who is the Rowdy Gentleman?

Here's a little secret: Dorito loves Twitter.
He found a couple of clever sites that he can relate to and then he retweets the wittiest phrases.
@TotalFratMove is a play on the "preppy" stereotype of fraternity men and their thoughts about life
@RowdyGentleman takes adages and rewords them to show his advantage
Total Frat Move is claiming that even Jesus went Greek: Alpha Omega.
Total Frat Move is taking credit where credit is actually due to a pledge.
Rowdy Gentleman likes to go golfing, but he leaves after nine holes if the cart girl isn't good looking.
As a kid, Rowdy Gentleman recalls taking his own putter to the mini-golf course.
So you can see why I have to apologize and explain to people in line at the post office why I am bursting out with laughter. "Sorry, I'm reading Tweets on my phone!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Doing Their Bit of the Chores

I have been putting the twins to work in Missouri so that our house stays appealing to potential buyers. They have mowed twice, trimmed bushes, spread fertilizer, and sprayed edges for dandelions. Yesterday they were very helpful as I wanted to split hostas. We have also spent three afternoons cleaning oak leaves from under bushes, behind pool furniture, and along the fence line. Today they stained the worn patches on the front and east sides of the house. Tomorrow we vacuum the pool and clean the cover. It's almost enough to make me swear off home ownership.
As a reward, the guys are headed to Buffalo Wild Wings to see game 3 (or 4?) of the series between the Blackhawks and the Blues. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Final Parties

Spencer won the "Crown Royal" award at AGD Formal. I think Meggar may have the longest-standing relationship in the sorority... But it's also a worthy crown, since he is such a good fella.
So far, I'm out of the family pool since I bet they would get engaged in March.
St. Patty's Day

Monday, April 21, 2014

The True Meaning of Easter

We didn't get a family Easter photo yesterday.
But we prayed together over the phone.
And we are striving for unity though separated by great distance.
I still made Easter eggs (just four) and set a pretty table--staying flexible for the meal time to work into the meshed schedules. Ham and potatoes, spring peas, bread, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
Meggar was in St. Louis for client interviews, apartment hunting, and a business event.
Dorito spent most of his weekend studying.
He attended Easter Vigil in Kansas City at Ascension parish, where his pledge brother, Daniel, was baptized and confirmed into the Catholic Church. I heard that Daniel was pleased to have so many Phi Kaps there for support and was grinning the whole time! His parents, however, did not attend. I don't think they are against religion, but were not interested enough to attend. I sent up extra prayers for Daniel.
Sniper and Playmaker got home mid-day from playing hockey in Chicago, that makes them tired but happy. (Oops-leaving so early they forgot their suits in the hotel closet.)

Captain went to a sunrise service and later ate dinner with a homeschool family in Delaware.
Luckily, I talked to a few friends on the phone and that reminded me of God's blessings.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is Risen Indeed

Everyone loves to sing "Alleluia" and "Jesus Christ is Risen Today."
I played the old organ at St. Mary's for early mass this Easter morning, since they needed a substitute musician. I also was eager to see their newly painted church interior. It's a beautiful update from the 70s foam green and accentuates the statues, dome, and side altars more appropriately. On Easter, I appreciate the extra chanted parts of the mass, especially with a priest who has a good voice like Fr. Haake!
The best homily, however, was when I went with the twins to a later service. Fr. Jambon talked about the historical facts of the resurrection. There are writings from Caesar and Jewish historians that a figure named Jesus was killed and laid in the tomb, and later his tomb was found empty. This is substantiated by the customs of the day. Romans were great conquerers, but also superstitious of the 'gods.' Therefore it was entirely forbidden to touch, move, or open any gravesite (even of your enemies). And the Jews and Pharisees were not going to steal the body, not on the Sabbath, not after they asked for the crucifixion. Furthermore, the apostles were not going to steal Jesus' body since they were still in shock from having denied the Lord and watching his death put an end to their expectations for the future. Doubtless, they could not have conjured a "Mission Impossible" in just 70 hours. Frankly there were too many guards at the tomb. Then Mary Magdalen comes before dawn and discovers the empty tomb. I can imagine the chaos afterward.
"For they did not yet understand the Scripture 
that he had to rise from the dead."(John 20:9)
God's plan is not always what we expect.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Testing the First Group

Captain sat in with a class of seven other pilots this week. He will help teach the next group. Long days plus additional studying each night. Today was their closed-book exam to qualify for the type rating. Captain also had to take the test, since it's been a while since he trained on the Westwind. About 2:00, he called and reported he scored 100%. Just like riding a bicycle... I'm so PROUD of him!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Surrounded by Divine Mercy on Good Friday

The origin of "Divine Mercy" comes from Good Friday the centurion who peirced Our Lord's side with a lance. And immediately blood and water gushed forth. An eye witness has testified to this fact so you will know that it is true. He knows he is telling the truth, and he testifies so that you may also believe.
"O blood and water 
which poured forth 
from the Heart of Jesus
as a fount of mercy for us,
I trust in Thee."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

This day became my favorite one of the Church calendar when I was in a London bookshop and found a paperback called "Maundy Thursday." I just liked the antique-sounding word. The definition most nearly means "mandate," which I only learned this year. It is a French word, mandé, and it relates to John 13:14 and the words spoken by Jesus to his disciples after washing their feet at the Last Supper:
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him."
Many churches continue the tradition today. The dictionary states: "There will be washing of the feet of the poor or distributing alms to the poor in connection with the maundy ceremony."
The Catholic Church used the long version of this Gospel passage tonight, and I'm always shocked each year at Our Lord's humility. Even slaves were not made to wash another man's fee. Truly we must all take a servant's heart and be willing to meet the needs of others whom the Holy Spirit guides onto our path.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Video of Diversity

Bill Cosby would agree that Dorito is definitely a Wild Cat!
Here is the You Tube video of his step team!
He is shown far left in the still shot... then
watch the video at :34 and :36 where he is the second from left on front row...
Go to 1:05 to see the Wildcat Steppers!
Dorito ends up in the back row (far left) seen for 3 seconds.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

When the Finale is Final

Of course you don't want to move away when you are 16. I understand their feelings, having moved when I was 8 and 13 and 14. The twins attended tonight's Grand Finale of the Homeschool Co-op in St. Joseph knowing it was time to say good-bye to their friends. The process is difficult and fraught with emotion for the ones leaving, who have to put it into words. And you cannot predict how your friends will take the news. I am proud of the courage of my twins, and I wish I could manufacture good news every day to make their futures seem sunny.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sebelius Resigns

Last week, Kathleen Sebelius resigned from ObamaCare. I was a little surprised, but I shouldn't have been. The Secretary of Health and Human Services stepped down the day after the enrollment period ended (which had been pushed back so many times in order to reach a respectable number) some three-and-a-half-years into the project. Sebelius was overdue for walking away from the whole disaster. I have covered the native Kansan before, since she is one of the figures left from my political days in Topeka in the early 90s. We are glad to be making our last COBRA payment of $1700 and joining the group medical insurance provided at Captain's new job.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

This is Holy Week

Palm Sunday
I must keep my eyes fixed on the passion of Jesus
and his Passion.
Then Jesus said to His disciples,
"If anyone wishes to come after Me,
he must deny his very self,
take up his cross,
and follow Me."
(Matthew 16:24)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Step Right Up

The black fraternity at K-State reached out to the entire Greek community and asked other members to try out for the first-ever "step show" team. The Phi Kaps had already worked on Homecoming with the Phi Beta Sigmas and knew they were cool guys. Besides that, Dorito has a philosophy of "getting his money's worth" during his freshman year by participating in absolutely-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink. So he tried out (of course), and he made the team (of course). He loves dancing (ever since that ballroom class with Hannah Mason in high school before prom).
What I didn't know was the amount of time he devoted to the preparation. They practiced three days a week for the past 7-8 weeks. What an impressive show they put on! All I know how to do is stomp my foot when I'm upset but this was totally choreographed rhythms and steps that created its own "music." Even Willie the Wildcat made an impromptu addition to the Wildcat Steppers part of the show. Other teams came from OU, KU, and U of Minnesota and were serious talented.
The competition was a Phi Beta Sigma fundraiser for scholarships, and Dorito had a large group of supporters: there were 19 of the 32 guys from his own fraternity, plus 5 girl friends and 3 moms. So he raised more than $120 alone, and the Forum Hall was sold out.