Monday, January 31, 2011

one week Washington DC

 Here are just a few of the kids that stayed overnight on the floor, in the lower level of the national shrine.

  One of the many altars, Mother of Good Counsel
---a personal favorite. :)

 a champion of the pro life movement

 Here are a few shots from around the rest of the shrine~

                                                  a beautiful wall of glass in the crypt

The main church


The Grand Exterior and famous dome

now-we had to get to where the march was being held, which required riding the Metro--which promptly broke. We got off a stop or so early and walked/trotted the rest of the way. It was one way to keep warm!

          When we got there, here is where we waited till the March itself began~behind the rally stage. 

                                                Father Pavone -on the left.



  For being such a recognized figure throughout the world, he is a very accessible, approachable guy.


         Hey,  Brother Leo!

Here a  few shots of the march, not taken by us, but to give you an idea of what was next~

We were there in the sea of black signs, toward the left.  This was at the head of the march and it continued at this volume for *hours.* The estimates were in the 350,000 range. Plus,it was in the 20's that day. Anybody see it on the evening news? No, I thought not. Oh, yes, NPR did a little coverage. They showed a close up angle shot, blocking out the masses in the background, of all seven counter protesters. hmm. I won't post it here, but it's all over if you want to see it. hrmph.

                         Here's our group, Silent no More Awareness. We're there somewhere :)

Then we reached the steps of the Supreme Court, and about 100 women and men, one by one got up and gave their post abortion testimonies. I was allowed to go fourth, as our bus was leaving in about 30 minutes...

everyone in that huge group listened so attentively and was so supportive~ it was a grace filled event.

Many thanks to Bob for getting what pictures he could. Between the crowd, holding a sign, having either gloves or cold fingers, he did pretty well!

Also, I still ask if you would please keep our daughter and family in your prayers. I may not be able to blog and interact with you all as much, but I do appreciate my blog-friends and your prayers mean a lot to us.

~thanks, God Bless you!~


Saturday, January 29, 2011

prayer request

Sorry I have not been able to post~ first was the sick, then one of my daughters had a serious medical emergency, requiring rushing her to the ER two days in a row.

I ask your prayers for her, and going into the near future. We are all shaken up, and she especially.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

too sick to see straight

 I am sick. This is how I feel. Sick.

I am promising here that I will *ASAP* be out with a post about the March for Life. We got only a few pictures, as it was hard maneuvering our signs AND a camera with our frozen fingers and/or gloves. But I will tell you all about it. Just as soon as I feel semi human again. Semi is really all I ever feel anyways. The only reason I can write this is because all my medicine is at it's peak effectiveness right now. In about 15 minutes I will be back to the misery.

But I miss my blog-life, and my blog-friends!

Okay, that all I can do. Back to bed.

Friday, January 21, 2011

heavy as a hundred bowling balls

There is a lot to pray for in our world right now. I guess that is always a true statement, but you probably know what I mean. Sometimes I really feel the weight. The state of our country, the many situations in my own family that I carry around in my heart continually, the grave situations of some of our blog-friends right now...I just walk around saying the name of Jesus all day long.

 Bob and I are going to the March for Life on Monday. I am going to be one of the Silent No More group that walks with my "I regret my abortion" sign. Then on the steps of the Supreme Court, we will give our short testimonies, one by one. ( I recently got my hair cut, and joked with the hairdresser about trying to look decent for the you tube videos that inevitably come out after). See,  I just have to find humor somewhere, or the heaviness might crush us all!

Really, I ask for your prayer support for my family. There is always that line of doing/praying and trusting, that changes all the time, and I have a hard time keeping up.
Also for our trip to DC on Monday, and for all who are on the front lines of this battle. That the world would recognize the fifty million lost lives, and those who are planning to have their babies join that statistic.

Lord Jesus, look on us with mercy, and help us find our way.

Friday, January 14, 2011

clones, icicles, a chandelier, and France

1. Melissa and I were blessed to go and see Les Miserables at the Academy of Music this week. Courtesy of my husband who has been an usher there for 30 years. It was my third time seeing the show, and it is my favorite. The story is beautiful. After I saw it the first time, I went and got the book, by Victor Hugo, and read it--all 475,294,505 pages. (It was one thick book). And liberally peppered with French italics. Fortunately, I took three years of high school French. If you think that helped you would be wrong. But I did get the gist occasionally. The story was worth it, though. I am still amazed that anyone could fit all that into a musical (all dialogue is sung) and convey it well. I was a little distracted by thinking that the actor who played Jean Valjean looked a lot like Juan Williams, from my vantage point, anyway. It made me think I may be watching too much Fox News.

<--this is Lawrence Clayton, who did an excellent portrayal of Jean Valjean, above, with Andrew Varela, who played Inspector Javert.
                                                                  Juan Williams

                                               and come to think of it, Larry Elder, too!

Well, however many clones he may have, he was good.

This is where we were sitting, lovely box seats. This was the backdrop before the show. At the right lower corner, it says "victor hugo" in that Les Mis. script. It looks like it says "victor hugs."   Who knows, maybe he did?

I found out that this newer staging of the play used backdrops painted by the author. I did notice a few other updates. Some were really good, like the sewer tunnels, and the suicide scene, both used moving graphics that were very well done.  The Thenardier's Inn scene got a little TOO bawdy, though,and had tasteless elements. Seems every show is throwing in stuff like this. It's like that movie you love, always having to have that one gratuitous scene. Well, folks, this musical was doing didn't need the help, really.

 Here is the famous chandelier in the Academy. It's HUGE. It was kind of right in front of us, and gets raised and lowered during intermissions. Bob knows a bunch of facts about it, from giving tours there. All I remember is that it got all taken apart and shipped overseas, I think France? to be cleaned. Wow, more France today. It made Melissa a little nervous. But then again, so does crossing streets.

                  In this picture it looks like it's got little dangly lights. Maybe that's why she was put off.

Looking up from where we sat, there is the guy holding up the ceiling. I wanted to get a zoomed in pic, but my camera wasn't cooperating. If you squint just right you can see him. He's gold.
Somewhere between the giant chandelier on a rope and the roof being supported by a big gold guy, yeah I guess the Academy can seem a bit chancey.

But all the wonderful singing and acting helped distract us.

                                                          Hooray for Les Mis!
oh and the Thenardier character looked a lot like a happy version of Sweeney Todd....uh oh, here I go again...


One last thing. Malaika and I were walking down the street and saw this. We thought it was cool.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

current events

Mine are probably a little different than what you were thinking you would find when you saw the title.

If you watch any TV news, it's been all Arizona All the Time, and for me, too much sadness and political craziness to watch and talk about 24/7. I just can't. So while I continue to check in on the progress (very heartened to hear that Gabrielle Giffords is beginning to breathe on her own and is not having increases in her brain swelling) of this tragedy, I also continue my own rather strange trajectory. Here is a list.

1. Read through the book, Unbound, by Neal Lozano. First reading~it is about deliverance prayer. I will be going through some of it with my spiritual director. I trust him, and he has assessed the book as "mostly sound", so whatever parts we adopt, I am guessing, will be the good parts.

2. I started a Zumba class today. If you are not familiar with Zumba, here is a snippet:

~and if you watched even a tiny fraction of that, and know me even a little bit, you can now get up off the floor, slap yourself across the face and go get a drink of water.  MY Zumba class is held at a Jewish fitness center, in the daytime, and is attended by some very sweet ladies. (does that make it Jewmba?, nah.) I am one of the youngsters. Since my middle is the thickest part of me, it is hard to tell if it is doing all those wiggly things the right way. If I get really good, or really deceived that I am good, maybe someday I will post a video of me doing Zumba. (snort.)

3. Hopefully, tomorrow will be Taking Down the Christmas Tree and Decorations Day. we'll see. If everybody is home for a snow day, it might be too trafficky in the living room. It is a job I do best in solitude. But the tree is refusing water, and I am afraid to light the candles.

4. The bus we thought was going to be our ride to the DC March for Life may not be going after all, so we will have to catch up with Father Tom, the Capuchin priest that takes a school bus of his students there. He offers a few pretty reasonable seats for people like us. (You know, stragglers).
We bounce along with a gaggle of pleasant children. Oh, yes, they're Chinese, so when they laugh it sounds kind of cute, and they're not as loud as your average Philadelphia school student. But the overall sound of them all talking is something different to behold.

I don't know if I will be giving my testimony on the Supreme Court steps this year. It all depends on whatever bus we go on, and when it leaves DC.

So all in all, the big picture for me is I hope I will not need any deliverance prayer from Zumba.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

unplanned webcast-Abby Johnson reveals details of her conversion

On January 11, 2011, former Planned Parenthood
director and 2008 "employee of the year" Abby Johnson
will FINALLY be able to reveal all the secrets from
behind the closed doors of the abortion business ...
and why she left to join the pro-life movement!
After winning the legal battle against a massive
Planned Parenthood lawsuit and restraining order --
which was intended to silence her -- Abby is finally
able to blow the whistle on her former employer and
reveal ALL the shocking details of her conversion.
Abby's entire story has never been revealed publicly
On Tuesday, January 11, Abby's story will be released
to the world in a landmark book, UNPLANNED, published
jointly by Tyndale House, Focus on the Family, and
Ignatius Press. It's going to be huge!
One night before -- on Monday, January 10, at 9 PM
Eastern (8 PM Central, 7 PM Mountain, 6 PM Pacific) 
-- YOU are invited to join Abby for a live webcast
"sneak preview" of the no-holds-barred revelations
which fill the pages of her book. I'll be on it!
Join me on the FREE online event at: 
During the webcast, you will discover ...
 * What initially attracted Abby to volunteer and 
   then work for Planned Parenthood -- America's
   largest abortion chain -- even after being raised 
   in a faithful Christian home
 * The hidden personal secret that Abby had kept 
   buried for years
 * The shocking discovery that suddenly caused Abby 
   to question everything Planned Parenthood had told
   her over eight years
 * Planned Parenthood's confidential plans to expand 
   its biggest money-maker -- abortion -- all across
 * The abortion industry's furious reaction when Abby 
   decided to quit her job and join local and 
   national pro-life efforts
 * What Abby's court battle brought to light about 
   Planned Parenthood's REAL agenda
 * The single most effective way to reduce Planned 
   Parenthood's abortion business and change the
   hearts and minds of clinic workers
You won't want to miss this eye-opening webcast!
The announcement about this event is being sent to
hundreds of thousands of people around the world, and
there is limited space available. 
To grab your spot before the webcast is filled up,
register to attend NOW, before it's too late: 
For Life,
P.S.- When you register for the webcast, they'll also
send you the first chapter of Abby's breakthrough
book -- for FREE! You'll be among the very first to
peek inside the pages of the book the abortion
industry tried to stop. Get chapter one now at: 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

a mother's January first

Another January first! My fiftieth one on this earth.I will not have my fiftieth birthday until July, but I have been here for fifty January firsts. It's an interesting place to be.

                                                                                                                                                                  I don't feel old, I still think in terms of what I am going to be when I grow up. On one hand, I have lots and lots of things I want to do, and on another, I am already sad when the house is too empty. I kind of wander around and call whatever kid I think is available to talk. Usually Meghann; she is kind enough to just tell me about the minutia of her day (with great panache), and help me feel connected to her and her sweet little family in a way that staves off the awful emptiness with which my season of life is threatening me.

But it's not empty nest time yet~only sort of a transitional period. One day there will be roughly seventeen people in the house, the next, everybody has somewhere to go. Weird.

Two of the girls are applying for college, but until we know where they end up, we won't know if they will live home or at school. But that time will be another chapter in the growing pains of our family. (mostly mine). As much as I can think of things I would like to tackle, or take up again, my role as a mother is such a large part of who I am, that I am going to have to really work at having that kind of mothering, the every day kind, drop into the background. Of course I am hoping that there will be other grandchildren to love and help out with, as much as I am able.  Poor Kaden will only be able to withstand so much Nonnie-doting.

I am beginning a book called Unbound, by Neal Lozano, as prescribed by my spiritual director. I have read a few chapters so far. I think I see some work on the horizon. Please pray for me!
I also am attempting to tackle a few neglected areas, such as the dentist (~shiver~) and a physical that I know is going to lead to other "routine " tests for a woman of a certain age. :P :P :P Anyone who knows me will know that I am only doing these things out of a sense of duty to try and stay healthy for my family. I will take anybody else to the doctor or dentist...but I try to steer clear myself.

Thankfully, at this moment, there are five kids sprawled around the living room watching a movie, and the dinner table tonight was full, for our traditional New Year's kielbasa and sauerkraut. So, if anything, I will be shouting down the steps for quiet, and to ask if anybody locked the door, and not to forget to turn off the lights. whew!