Friday, September 20, 2013

7 QT: Fall Baking, Bracelet Making, Gender Guessing, and Pope Francis

I love me some Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Muffins, but they contain a day's worth of fat and calories, so I made some from scratch instead.  They were very yummy, everyone in my family gobbled them up and we were even able to bring some to a friend who is battling cancer right now.  The recipe is here, I made 24 muffins instead of the bread, omitted the nuts (I do not like nuts in my baked goods) and added a simple glaze (of confectionery sugar and milk and vanilla) once the muffins were completely cooled.
Because nothing says "You're gonna beat cancer's behind!" than pumpkin muffins.
We were gifted some apples from the baby's nanny's cousin's garden (did you catch all that?) and so when life hands me apples, I make Swedish Apple Pie.  Because even more than I do not like nuts in my muffins, I do not like pie crust.  Swedish Apple Pie  is the easiest thing to make, and you just pour the "crust" over the apples and it becomes this delicious combination of apple crisp and apple pie.  We have this at every Thanksgiving dinner in our family, but it's easy enough to whip up an a weekday too.  The recipe I use is like this one, I just add cinnamon to the apple slices, and make sure to pile the apple slices high in the pan because they always cook down a lot.
Tasted even better than it smelled, which is really saying something.
Speaking of beating cancer, have you read Nella's blog?  She is a mom of six who was diagnosed with cancer right after finding out she was pregnant with her 6th baby.  Go give her some love and prayers.

John-Paul made this one for me.  I apologize for my pale and freckly Irish skin.

My kids are like totally obsessed with making these weave bracelets right now.  All of them, from my 10 year old boy to my 5 year old girl are having fun with these. I really wish we had bought them a kit over the summer, since it would have given us zero moments of the I'm-Bored-Whinies.  Go get your kids some if you want some peace and quiet. Kit here (just one per family is enough), and extra supplies here (maybe one per kid?).

The other day, I realized my thighs were getting a lot bigger.
I excitedly told this to Phil, who looked at me like "Why are you so happy that your legs are getting fatter when every other day of your life you would cry about this same discovery?"
Seeing his confusion, I said "My thighs are getting bigger and my behind is getting bigger and that means I must be having a girl!"
Then added, "Or it means all those Reese's peanut butter cup cravings are finally catching up to me."
And I got sad again.

My poor husband tore his rotator cuff.  He did it while playing frisbee and throwing himself all over the field like he's still 19 and the best player at FUS (oh yes he was!).  At first he just said he hurt his shoulder and I had no sympathy for him because I always tell him he needs to play differently now that he's older, and take it easy so he doesn't get hurt.  But does he listen to me?  Of course not.  Unfortunately the competitive streak runs on both sides of our family.  Anyway, by a couple of days after the injury, he couldn't even move his arm and he made an appointment to see the doctor.  I started to feel really sorry for him.  Phil is not the typical guy who gets a man-cold and is useless for days.  That's more my gig.  

So if he's making an appointment, he's pretty much in terrible pain and/or dying.  The doctor thinks it's a partial tear and gave him some anti-inflammatory drugs, and Phil felt like a new man the first day on those bad boys.  Medicine and good doctors are such a blessing.

So much Pope Francis hoopla, eh?  Some clips from the interview (source):

On himself

Yes, perhaps I can say that I am a bit astute, that I can adapt to circumstances, but it is also true that I am a bit naïve. Yes, but the best summary, the one that comes more from the inside and I feel most true is this: I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.

On homosexuality

During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

On abortion

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

On the vow of chastity

Religious men and women are prophets. They are those who have chosen a following of Jesus that imitates his life in obedience to the Father, poverty, community life and chastity. In this sense, the vows cannot end up being caricatures; otherwise, for example, community life becomes hell, and chastity becomes a way of life for unfruitful bachelors. The vow of chastity must be a vow of fruitfulness.

On women in the church

Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops. I say this because we must not confuse the function with the dignity. We must therefore investigate further the role of women in the church. We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman.

On the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)

The Society of Jesus is an institution in tension, always fundamentally in tension. A Jesuit is a person who is not centered in himself. The Society itself also looks to a center outside itself; its center is Christ and his church. … But it is difficult to speak of the Society. When you express too much, you run the risk of being misunderstood. The Society of Jesus can be described only in narrative form. Only in narrative form do you discern, not in a philosophical or theological explanation, which allows you rather to discuss.

On being a Jesuit

Three things in particular struck me about the Society: the missionary spirit, community and discipline. And this is strange, because I am a really, really undisciplined person. But their discipline, the way they manage their time—these things struck me so much.
And then a thing that is really important for me: community. I was always looking for a community. I did not see myself as a priest on my own. The papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace is not luxurious … It is big and spacious, but the entrance is really tight. People can come only in dribs and drabs, and I cannot live without people. I need to live my life with others.

On his style of authority

My style of government as a Jesuit at the beginning had many faults. That was a difficult time for the Society: an entire generation of Jesuits had disappeared.
Because of this I found myself provincial when I was still very young. I was only 36 years old. That was crazy. I had to deal with difficult situations, and I made my decisions abruptly and by myself. Yes, but I must add one thing: when I entrust something to someone, I totally trust that person. He or she must make a really big mistake before I rebuke that person.
But despite this, eventually people get tired of authoritarianism. … To be sure, I have never been like Blessed Imelda [a goody-goody], but I have never been a right-winger. It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems.

On the church as a healer

The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle."I see clearly that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars!

On the Second Vatican Council reforms

Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture. Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation.
Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today – which was typical of Vatican II – is absolutely irreversible.

On uncertainty and God

Yes, in this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions -that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself.
The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble. Uncertainty is in every true discernment that is open to finding confirmation in spiritual consolation.
Part of me is all "You need to clearly state the Church's teachings and call on Catholics to follow them faithfully."  And then the other part of me is like "The way to win followers is through a loving example."  I don't think he's saying anything wrong, and I'm glad that so many non-Catholics are paying attention to what he's saying, but I don't like the way some people are taking his remarks to another level and saying that the Church is changing her position.  Like them, for example:

All in all, I'm just glad I'm not the Pope.  

Have a great Fall Weekend everybody!!


  1. I feel the same way regarding #7. At first I was like "Pope Francis we need to to not sugar coat because people are twisting your words!". Then after a little thought, I changed my position to "Pope Francis, you're awesome. People need to quit twisting your words!".

    If growing thigh and butt mean a girl, then what do growing thighs and shrinking butt mean!? Am I having a cat???? Likely.

    Those muffins look soooooooooooooo drool worthy!

  2. yes the pope stuff is starting to irk me. for everything you just said. surely these statements must be taken out of context or something? but the one about abortion really bothers me! i mean how can you not talk about these issues constantly? I feel like the size of my family for instance is me living my beliefs on abortion all the time. How can you not talk about it all the time in some way ? I feel like I am living poster for pro life...and feel all people should be all the time. even if you have only 1 child or no children--i still feel you should be living pro-life or talking pro-life or being pro-life all the time. So I don't understand what he is saying. and no wonder pro-choice people love that statement. So easily misconstrued.

  3. I love the "don't try to understand women" meme. Too funny! That whole take, really, because I was all "she's happy her thighs are getting bigger?!?" then got the baby thing, and yeah. I get it. :) Also super frustrated at the twisting of Pope Francis's words to make it suit a political agenda. I do love the Papa so much! The devil do what he do and he do it well, I suppose. We just gotta let Jesus do what he do 'cause well, he wins! :)

  4. those rolls look amazing! i hope those big thighs mean it is a girl, it is a big possibility! how much longer until we get to find out???

  5. *sigh* I feel you on the last take. I know he means well and he is faithful to the teaching of the Church, but I don't think he realizes how much confussion his statements have the potential of creating.

  6. Fist pump to another person who hates nuts in or on baked goods!

    I have a big butt and bug thighs and no baby..sigh!

  7. I went through totally the same process you did on number 6. And I really think we've ended up at the right place. And a Pope saying this is NOT new!

    Here's what Pope Benedict XVI said in 2006:
    "I remember, when I used go to Germany in the 1980s and '90s, that I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems.

    If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith - a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us.

    In this perspective I would now like to continue by completing last Tuesday's reflections and to stress once again: what matters above all is to tend one's personal relationship with God, with that God who revealed himself to us in Christ."

    Exactly the same right? But pope Francis says it any everyone LOSES THEIR MINDS. We can't blame him for that.

  8. We must be twins... hate nuts in my baked goods; love pumpkin anything; could take or leave pie crust - I'd rather just eat the filling. LOVE me some fruit crisp!! Any chance you're "meh" about meat on your pizza...?! I love meat, but not so much on pizza. Can't wait to check out those recipes.

  9. How great was it to sit and read this this morning? Thanks for posting the quotes by El Papa.
    Love all that food and the recipes look awesome. I can't wait to try the swedish crisp.
    I'm so sorry that Phil got hurt! Oh boys... will they ever learn?
    Your blog is a true joy to read!


Talk to me...