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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011






















Saints and Souls and Angels...Oh My!

(Originally posted last November)

One of the most common misconceptions I hear regarding the Catholic faith is the differentiation among Saints, Angels and Souls.  I have too often heard someone proclaim that a deceased relative is in Heaven, or even worse, that they are an Angel in Heaven. 

 I also know many people who get confused as to why we pray to/for people that have died.  Here's an elementary explanation (the kind my faith are built upon!) of why Catholics do what they do on All Saints Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd).

SAINTS:
These are real people who have lived on Earth and died, and are confirmed to be in Heaven.

Some of these people led wonderful, holy lives and served God faithfully.  Others were party animals and led sinful lives, but at some point had a great conversion and led others to do the same.  A few were even martyrs...literally giving their lives for Christ.  Saints are human.

They become saints through an incredibly long and thorough process in the Church, which you can read about here.  Although many more people are probably in Heaven (and therefore also saints), these are the ones that we know for sure.

ANGELS:
An angel is a Heavenly being created by God.

A human being can not become an angel as much as an orange can not become an apple.  Not possible.  If you die and go to Heaven, you're a saint, not an angel.

Just like saints, we can pray to the angels for their intercession.  We can ask them to ask God for help.  In a big company, you might not go directly to the President to ask a favor, but first ask his secretary, the Vice President, or his close co-workers.  Then let them approach the Big Guy on your behalf.  Same with God, get it?

SOULS:
Without getting too theological (because I'm not) a human is composed of a body and a soul.  Our bodies die and our souls live forever.  On All Souls Day, we pray for all the humans who have died, that their souls may have eternal life in Heaven.

While we would love to think that Grandma is in Heaven, God has told us not to judge.  That means we should not condemn anyone to Hell nor should we put them on a pedestal in Heaven.  We must continuously pray for their soul.  What an injustice it is to categorize someone as a saint in Heaven and therefore no longer pray for their soul.  They need our prayers, as one day we will need the prayers of the faithful.

So on Nov. 2, we pray for all the Souls...that one day they will become Saints (remembered on Nov. 1) and live with all the Angels (remembered on Sep. 29) in Heaven :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm thinking...

...of doing something radical this November.  

This thought came to me while I was doing side planks in my Toning class at the gym.  I was telling myself (for the millionth time) that I was going to eat right from now on.  Those planks were super hard to do, and I was envisioning how much easier they would become if I could lose ten pounds for good.  Then I went home and ate leftover pizza and some fun-size twix for lunch. 

Then I realized that it was almost November, and November starts with a "No" and maybe I could use the month to curb some of my addictions by telling myself "No" to a different addiction each week.  

So, my NO-vember Diet will be: 

Week One: NO sugar (my biggest vice).
Week Two: NO snacking after dinner (that's when I tend to consume most of my daily calories).
Week Three: NO "fake" food (nothing artificial or prepackaged).
Week Four: NO salt (I tend to substitute salty snacks when I can't eat sweets). 

I'll try to keep you posted on what helps and what is impossible to live without :)

And I'm sure I'll be counting the days until December....

Friday, October 28, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Volume 12


1) Somebody turned 3 months old this week!

2) That same somebody discovered his love for the exersaucer.  But as for the monkey... well he's not quite sure about him yet: 





3) Sickness has struck the house again.  Phil's cough is coming back, Maggie had pneumonia, Eamon has a cold, and J-P and Andrew have sore throats.  Last winter we were so lucky to avoid illnesses.  This year, we're going to be known as the sick-house I'm afraid.

4) My two month membership to Weigh Watchers is over.  I have been eating like a crazy woman.  I don't want to talk about it.

5) Speaking of eating, there are some foods I eat that really cause Xander to be fussy.  I've had to cut out broccoli, cauliflower, beans, onions, peppers, and anything spicy or with garlic.  It's hard for me to eat healthy when I can't eat a lot of veggies and beans, because I normally eat at least one thing on that list every day.  But on the bright side, I've been nursing him for three months!  He gets one bottle of formula each day with the babysitter, but other than that, it's pretty much all.me.all.the.time. 

6) Phil finally used his Father's Day present this past week.  He went and got an hour long massage.  He said it felt great but he was morally questioning if anyone besides his wife should be touching him.  I told him if there's ever a next time, I will require a man to do the massage.  He said, "Then there won't be a next time!"  But he does make a good point...is it morally acceptable to get a massage?  I've had a couple in my life and they were all done by women.  I would never let a man massage me.  So, should women massage men?

7) The kids had a Trunk-or-Treat with their school tonight.  They have a prayer service in the church (led by the third grade) then go out to the parking lot and trick-or-treat from car to car.  Hence "trunk-or-treat".  It's great cause it's safe and you can hit a ton of cars in a short period of time.

Our group included two Spidermen:

A princess ballerina:

St. Sebastian (John-Paul is in 3rd grade and had to dress as the saint assigned to him).  
St. Sebastian was killed with arrows, hence J-P pretending to be martyred!




Have a wonderful and spooooky weekend everybody!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

GIVEAWAY!!

It's time to start thinking about Christmas cards!  I know it's only October, but by the time you get the perfect photo(s), design your cards, order them, and then mail them...well, Christmas will be over if you don't act soon! 

We love using Shutterfly for all our cards, such as last year's Christmas card:


Alexander's birth announcement:
and family greeting cards:
So of course I've been shopping around through Shutterfly's Christmas cards this year.  I love the ones with multiple photos in case you can't get a great family picture:


Aren't these cards so cute?



But if we can get a somewhat respectable group photo, I think this one is perfect considering we just had a new addition this year:


So which cards will you choose?  What's that?  You want some free cards?  My my, you are pushy...but ask and you shall receive!

Two of my readers will receive 25 free cards from Shutterfly!  That's right, it's a GIVEAWAY!! 
You can enter twice:
1) Become a follower (if you're not already), and leave me a comment telling me you are one.
2) Leave me a comment telling me your favorite holiday tradition.

I will randomly pick the two winners on Sunday, November 6th, 2011 at noon, so submit your entries by then.  Thanks for playing!


Monday, October 24, 2011

For Your Entertainment

(Please excuse my annoying voice. Ugh)

Friday, October 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday - Volume 11


1)
It's official.  I'm a soccer mom.  Not only because we have been living at the soccer fields every Saturday morning (and Wed and Fri afternoons) but also because I think this is the sport my boys will excel at.  They've got the speed and the aggression passion for it.  Plus, it will keep them away from football, which I will not allow them to play.  Neither that nor ice hockey.  I want my kids to have unbroken limbs and a mouth full of teeth...thank you very much.

2) 
Andrew went to the doctor for his physical and she told him he has sensitive eyes.  So he has taken to wearing his sunglasses every time we go outside.  It just ups his already sky-high coolness factor ;)

3)

I already asked the fashion blogger herself, but does anyone else have a recommendation for a nice brand of boots?  I love the look of tall boots with leggings and a skirt or dress.  However, all the ones I have tried on have been too loose in my calf area or ankle area.  

4)
My good bloggy buddy, Cari, is asking for people to participate with this:
This Sunday, I wanted to do a "Sunday Across the Blogosphere" thing (really, I'm not in love with that title. Someone come up with something better). What it would look like is this:

1. You agree to participate, because you love things like this.
2. I assign you an hour in the day.
3. At some point during that hour, you take a picture. It can be posed or candid, of people or object, whatever. The only unifying theme is that the picture be something that in some manner represents some aspect of your life.
4. You process the picture however you want, then email it to me, along with the time taken, location taken, and any description you want included
5. I make a blog post (probably Monday) that has the pictures in order, along with links back to your blog.
6. You ask some of your bloggy friends to participate, too, so I can get more than 12 hours of the day covered.
If you're interested (I'm participating too!), just leave her a comment on her blog here.

5)
My little sister had surgery this week, and thanks be to God she is home now resting.  Please say a prayer for a speedy recovery!!

6)
A joke for you all.  Please don't take offense to this one, because my mom told it to me which makes it even more funny!

One day in the hospital, two little boys were lying on stretchers next to each other outside of the operating room. The first boy leans over and asks, "What are you in for?"
"I'm here to get my tonsils out and I'm nervous," the second boy says.
The first kid says, "You've got nothing to worry about! I had that done when I was four. They put you to sleep and when you wake up they give you lots of ice cream and
Jell-O. It's a breeze!"
"Well what are you here for?" the second kid asks.
"A circumcision." The first kid replies woefully.
The second kid says "Good luck! I had that done when I was born and I couldn't walk for a year!"

7)
This week at work, I heard three students getting into trouble.  One for her short uniform skirt (they made her put on a long one from the closet), one for her unusual haircut (half was shaved off), and one for the way she was talking to her mother on the phone.  I gotta tell you, I LOVE being at a school that is so disciplined!!

Have a great weekend everyone!