Sunday, September 30, 2007

District Band Contest...


Waiting for the Memorial Band to perform, Neil, Ainsley and Lindsey did some art work of their own.


video


Much to my chagrin, my attempt at taking movies of the Memorial High School's performance at the District Band Contest Saturday was not very good. I had never used my digital camera to take extensive movies before and so did not set it up very well. There is another chance, though for me to redeem myself as the band did advance to regional competition in INDY in two weeks. In the meantime I will see if I can perfect the skill and maybe get better pictures to share with you.

We had a great time at any rate. We took Ainsley and Lindsey with us and they were a joy. They seemed to really enjoy all the band performances and Ainsley even gave a "YaHoo!" after Memorial completed its competition.

A funny aside of the afternoon came when Ainsley was standing next to me watching another of the bands perform when she broke into song herself. She had heard the song early that day before we came to pick them up for the trip...she was singing, "Bye, bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry..." Her rendition was really very good, even if it was out of context from the band performing. She was singing it again as we left Wendy's after dinner. She said, "This is my favorite song today." Was so glad we got to share in it.

OH!! When I told the girls we needed to be still for a few minutes while I read the map so we wouldn't get lost. Lindsey said, "You mean like Grandpa did on the way to MT?" Laugh!!!!! Oh my goodness. Didn't think they would remember that but I guess Grandpa now has a legacy, at least two of his grandchildren will never forget.

******~~~******

Thanks Be To God!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Women Who Influenced Who I Am

"The Lady from Dublin"
Sketched by Wiliam Breault, S.J.


Though I can give most of the credit for this to my mother, The Aunts, and Pat, for who I am. I realized that I have overlooked a few who had a relevant impact on my life. I have not reflected of late on the religious women who also shaped who I am. It has only come to mind when I read a response on Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin on Sister Julie's blog.

My life has been visited by women in the religious life through the Sisters of St. Joseph, who taught me in 1st and 2nd grade at St. Mary's School. Then, the Sisters of Loretto for my religious education there after. But the greatest impact has come from two communities. The Sisters of Providence, in the person Sr. Dorothy Rasche whose ministry has been to the poor and those in prison. She has been a model of perseverance and quiet listening with a touch of gentle persistence.

The other community is the Sisters of Mercy. For three years of my life they taught, nurtured, and gave example to me. The school of nursing was place where the purpose, first of all, was to teach the students to care for the sick and dying. But in that education, you became immersed in the work of Christ. No one says to you "You are doing Christ's work." It is understood. Compassion, sensitivity, and love are the focus of the education. The skill could be learned. But for many of us the others had to be acquired. The innate value of human life was stressed above all. "God made us, we have value."

And so it is that I'd would personally like to thank Sr. Julie. Because of her Blog "A Nun's Life" (see The Blarney Corner) that I have been called to reflect on the wealth I have gained by these women who have touched my life.

I must also share with you a short story about how I came to find the book about Catherine McAuley's life. While on retreat at St. Meinrad last February I went into a small library on our floor and found the book The Lady from Dublin by William Breault, S.J. Knowing I could not have time to read it there I was able to find it on, yes, Amazon.com. It's a short biography of her life and sthe trip the author takes in Dublin tracing her history. His sketches are also grand. Let me know if you wish to borrow it. Catherine was a grand lady.

Share, if you would, stories of women who have had an impact on your life as you grew and matured.

<*><*><*>

For all the Ladies in my life I say,
Thanks be to God!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Peace in the Family



Caught this picture before I left for work on Friday morning. Thought it was funny because I never see Sam and Duchess together much less in the same room. Funny, too, because when I'm gone all day long, they just might be spending more time together than I think they do. They must not like each other, you know, the cat-and-dog thing. Well, here they are and there is peace in the family.

Wow! I'm grateful for family. It is my ever present treasure. That gift from God that keeps me connected to Him. Yep! Reflecting on all in the family and the differences He has brought to this "community" by their membership in it, I can only be grateful endlessly for these blessings.

~~~~~*~*~~~~~

Thanks BE to GOD!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It's That Time of the Year...

IT'S FALL! And...


For the first time in YEARS Ron and I went to a Marching Band Invitational. My how times have changed. The last time we were at a marching band event was when Wes was a sophomore in high school. I guess that would be in 1989? It was a lot of work then...but, my, it seems with the addition of sound systems, et. al. the work is multiplied.

I must tell you that I was in awe of the talent and skill of those who marched. I was struck, too, by the dedication of those who planned, choreographed, and worked (maybe "toiled" is a better word) so that the performances were presented with beauty and grace. I personally know from working with the North Knox band that this is not an easy task and though it all appears to work out front, without those behind the scenes, mainly family and friends, it just won't work. And to think that this is not the work of a few weeks, but the work of all for the entire year! For as one year ends, plans for next year have already begun. Whew!!!

I think Psalm 98 speaks to this. It is clear that there is value in "Sing[ing] a new song to the Lord" and each time, whether we are aware of it of not, we should be glad of the opportunities to witness His work again in all things. Yesterday I was able to see it and today I can rejoice in the memory.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth,
break into song, sing praise.
Sing praise to the Lord with the harp;
with the harp and melodious song,
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
shout with joy to the King, the Lord.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell there.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with joy,
Before the Lord who comes...

Psalm 98:3-8

~~~~~~~
Thanks be to God!!
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

One Simple Offering...

From A Catholic Woman's Book of Days, by Amy Welborn.

"Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh."
~Luke 6:21~
~~~*~~~
Those images will never leave us. We sat, stunned in front of our televisions, seeing the unthinkable happen over and over again in the footage replayed and the images were seared into our souls.

One plane, then another. Still more. Buildings in flames, then, unbelievably, collapsing. A hell of flames and choking dust and debris. Worst of all, bodies falling. Our imaginations not allowing us to stop picturing the mothers clutching their babies, teachers holding fast to their young students; nor could we stop hearing the brave calls home with last words of love.

To believe that one day all this weeping could ever be overwhelmed by joy would require answering a radical and some might say bizarre, promise.

Jesus knows the weeping. And nevertheless, he promises.

~~~*~~~

Lord, today we pray for all victims of violence over the past year. We pray for peace.

***
Thanks be to God.

Monday, September 10, 2007

As luck would have it...

Friday noc as we were traveling to INDY my Camry stopped running. Yep, on I-70 at 9:00 p.m. with a puff of smoke and a head of steam we came to a stop along the side of the highway. I have to boast a little about our insurance company, USAA. They were right on top of it. We had a tow truck there in about 45 minutes and Wes picked us up at Ron's (AAA-rated) Repair shop. Of course, the shop was not open on Saturday so we rented a car to get home. It's not my Camry, but it did get us home.

Well, Ron spoke to someone at Ron's and he told Ron that the water pump went our and so the engine had to be replaced. So, the Camry is getting a new engine and I am going to have to do some savings adjustments as we will be dipping into our "Ireland Trip" fund to pay for it. But, the good news is that the engine comes with a 100,000 miles warranty. We have gotten such good results from the shops we have had USAA refer us to that I feel certain that this one is no different. I'd like to say we were in good hands with USAA.

GOD is GOOD...all the time. And you can call it the "luck of the Irish" if you like.

~~~~~~~

Thanks be to God!!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Finished Product


It is beautiful. Do you remember how awful it looked in the beginning? Well, here it is all done. Ron has worked diligently with the help of Roy to make the room look so lovely. Thanks to Laura. We had the pictures hung with her eye for structure and continuity. Today though Ron and Roy are putting in the treads for the stairs. This is much more precise then I thought it would be and of course, unlike yesterday when the weather temperature was glorious, it is hotter than Hades here today...I am so grateful for all that Ron has done. He not only removed all the wallpaper, but also painted the walls and ceiling as well. He was the one that put up all the new baseboards and moldings around all the doors...all the way down the hall. And the fruits of his labors are so beautiful. Please note all the pictures are not yet on the piano. That will require some arranging on my part.

Thanks be to God!!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Stewardship

This article was in this months issue of Ligorian Magazine I found it to be a valuable lesson on what I place value. It is short and a good reflection if you are willing to take the time to reflect on what or in whom you place value. The title of the article is the "$ale-vation of Our Souls" by Father Byron Miller of New Orleans.

An economics textbook I used in college noted that money captivates people. It is the only commodity that has no value in and of itself--it will not feed, clothe, shelter, or entertain us. It has value only when we use it. . .

The wise, stammering old Benedictine monk in the best-selling book Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul by Tony Hendra says, "P-p-possessions are the extension of the self, you see. . .The more possessions, the less likely will be your release from the p-p-prison. in our community, property is forbidden because it gets in the way of love and trust between its members. if every man had his own private property, the community would just be a collection of individual p-p-prisons, wouldn't it?"

Have we become a collection of individuals in prison with cable television and Internet access in each cell? The christian community know detachment from possession is the "Get Out of Jail Free" card that releases us from the imprisonment. . .Hard earned riches and even those won rather freely are worthy blessing from God. In theory, no harm comes from owning things or from the pleasure derived from their ownership.

Then why did Christ freely adopt poverty and simplicity when, as the Son of God, he could have easily chosen a more lavish lifestyle? Christ associated with those who had means, but his message called them to use their means for a greater end. The rich man in the parable is not condemned because of his wealth nor because he dressed and ate well. (See Lk 16:19-31.) When John Paul II visited New York City in October, 1979, he stressed that the rich man was condemned because he ignored the beggar, Lazarus: Christ does not condemn the mere possession of material good, but he does have harsh words for those who use their possessions selfishly without caring about their neighbor who lacks life's necessities. In essence, the Pope was saying that those who know how to detach themselves from their possessions and their power so as to put them at the service of the needy are blessed.

Christ commands us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strenght; that we should also love with our pocketbooks is implied. The second commandment is to love others as much as we love ourselves. (See Jn 13:34.) Love of God and others becomes two side of the same coin, for when we love one another God dwells in us and God's love within us is perfected. (See 1 Jn 4:12) Those who adhere to Christ's commandment of love "are not far from the kingdom of God" (Mk 12:34). Conversely, love of mammon over God takes us away from the reign of God, as demonstrated by the young man who "went away grieving, for he had many possessions." (Mk10:22).

*****

Enough said! Thanks be to God.


Light Reading



As I have been reading a lot this summer, and much of it thought provoking, and with Bible Study beginning in earnest again this week, I find myself rereading the book Bumping Into God By Dominic Grassi. It is thought provoking, but it is a book of individual stories that allows one to put it down and not have to read again the two pages before because you have forgotten where you were interrupted. It's personal and causes one to consider those places you have "bumped into God." So, maybe, give it a try.

~~~

In gratitude for time to read I say,
"Thanks be to GOD"