Thursday, October 30, 2014

Preschool Halloween Parties

Jane and Walt's preschool classes had their Halloween parties this week.  The cuteness was killin' me!  All of those little preschoolers running into school in their was too much!

This year, Jane is Lambie from the show Doc McStuffins this year.  I love her cute little costume!  So soft and cuddly!

Lambie is 4!
Walking in to preschool
Sweet big sister Jane opened up her treat bag the second we got home from preschool, and she started divvying out the goods to her little brothers.  "Here, Walt, this one's for you!  Oh, Harry, you better not have that one.  You'll probably choke!  Here, you can have the bag to tear up!  You like to tear things up, don't you?"  She's such a sweetie to those brothers!
Walt (aka "Sully" from Monsters Inc.) had his preschool Halloween party this morning.  He was PUMPED!  "I'm gonna roar at everyone!"
Snacktime at the Halloween party
Decorating treat bags.  The sweet moms in charge of the Halloween party let Jane decorate some paper with stickers, too.  So fun!
Watching the fun with Jane & Harry while Walt's buddies played games
Jane stayed busy with the stickers
So proud of her creations!  Harry wanted to escape and play with the big kids soooooo badly!
Thumbs up, Sully!
Closing out the party with story time
Now that the school parties are over, we're anxiously awaiting Halloween so that we can go trick-or-treating!  The kids CAN'T WAIT to visit all of our neighbors' houses!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Creighton's Cacophony for Social Justice

Creighton University, a Catholic institution, has decided to begin extending benefits to same-sex spouses of university employees.  The proponents of this move are painting it as a civil rights victory, a matter of social justice, and a win for progress.

Kate Howard of the Omaha World Herald interviewed and quoted professors from Creighton's theology department for her column on Creighton's decision.  I think these lines illustrate Creighton's view on the matter: 
Gail Risch, an adjunct faculty member who teaches the theology of Christian marriage at Creighton, said offering benefits is not a conflict with church teachings because it’s not a theological issue. 
“Providing benefits is clearly a matter of respecting the dignity of the person, and the dignity of a person is not based on one’s sexual orientation,” Risch said.
Of course the same-sex attracted have dignity!  Everyone has dignity!  The Catholic Church has no interest in assigning or removing dignity because it has no power to do so.  Instead, the Catholic Church is saying that those in same-sex relationships are not married.  It follows then that those who are not married in the eyes of the Church should not receive marriage benefits from Catholic institutions.  

Today, so-called "same-sex marriage" is illegal in Nebraska, and Creighton aims to extend marriage benefits to university employees' spouses who have attempted marriage in states where "same-sex marriage" is legal.  Even if "same-sex marriage" became legalized everywhere, this would not change Catholic Teaching on marriage.  In the future event the government would try to force Catholic institutions to provide marriage benefits to same-sex couples, Catholic institutions would have a moral obligation to disobey the government.  Providing marriage benefits to same-sex couples amounts to what we call "material cooperation with evil."  In other words, the Church would be providing money to something that the Church finds morally wrong.  It is a great scandal to the Catholic Church that Creighton's president, Rev. Timothy Lannon, S.J., has decided to disobey Archbishop George J. Lucas' wishes that Creighton uphold the Church's definition of marriage by extension of the University's marriage benefits policy.  
Rev. Timothy Lannon, S.J. President of Creighton University
We should be wary when we see a Catholic institution go rogue in the name of "social justice."  Catholic Teaching and social justice are not at odds with one another.  As Archbishop Lucas points out, a Catholic institution of higher education should be a pioneer in uniting the two together.  Instead, Creighton is choosing to pit social justice against the Catholic Church, demonizing the Church's teaching on marriage and the faithful who uphold it.  Below is Archbishop George J. Lucas' response to Rev. Timothy Lannon's decision:
“I am disappointed in Father Lannon's announcement that Creighton University will extend healthcare benefits to same-sex spouses of employees who have attempted marriage in states where this practice is legal. I disagree with the decision. Despite Father Lannon's claim that this is not a statement of approval of same-sex marriages, this is precisely the message that the University is giving. I am dismayed that the recommendation of the University Benefits Committee is thought to supersede divine law regarding marriage. There is no tension between Catholic teaching and social justice. Both are grounded in the same truths about the nature of the human person, the complementarity of man and woman and the meaning of human life and love. When we experience tension in ensuring respect and just treatment for all persons, including those with same-sex attraction, we have a right to expect a Catholic university to help us see a just path forward, rooted in faith and founded on the rich Catholic intellectual tradition. Creighton has failed to fulfill this expectation in this expansion of benefits.”  (Emphasis mine.)  
Thank you, Archbishop Lucas, for upholding Church Teaching and for serving as a steadfast shepherd.  

Put It To Work 3

Put It To Work

It’s another Monday morning, so it’s time for Put It To Work, our weekly opportunity to swap prayer intentions.  As I wrote last week, the goal is to actively unite our intentions to the cross for one another, putting the prayer intentions “to work”–especially in times of suffering (no matter how small).
My intentions this week:
  • That Brittany Maynard will change her decision to end her life on November 1
  • That our GodTeens will come to know and love Jesus
  • That Jane and Walt’s second go around with swimming lessons goes well
  • That I will keep working on patience with kids & words of affirmation toward Philip
What about you?  What prayer intentions can I start “putting to work” for you this week?  I’ll add them to my prayer journal and bring them with me to my prayer time throughout the week.
Thank you for praying for us!  You’re in my prayers this week, too!

Friday, October 24, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Because it's easier than putting together a real post!)

7 Quick Takes Friday
7 Quick Takes Friday
I haven't done one of these in a long time.  7 Quick Takes (hosted by Jen Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary) is a quick post with 7 quick takes on anything.  Here's a random photo recap of the week with a few miscellaneous items:
-  1  -
Harry got his first haircut this week.  He didn't have much hair to begin with, so it was more like a trim of a few wisps of hair.  He was not a fan!  It was an afterthought after Jane and Walt got their haircuts.  I nearly missed photographing the moment since it wasn't planned.  Fortunately, Philip got me to capture this milestone.  The life of the third-born!  
Harry's First Haircut
Harry's First Haircut

-  2  -
Walt is sooooooooooo into letters these days.  He pulled this "W" out of our LeapFrog Letter Factory toy.  He carries it around the house with him and has insisted on sleeping with it a few nights this week.  If he can't find it, we hear, "Where is my W?!"  Walt loves W so much that he insists every M must be confused and turns them the other way. 
"W" is for Walter
"W" is for Walter

-  3  -
I got to spend an hour in adoration on Monday.  It was oh-so-glorious!  It was a gorgeous evening, so I got to walk to the church.  It's pretty tough to beat some quiet time with the Lord.  Thank you to all of you who sent me your prayer intentions.  I'm putting 'em to work as best I can!  Please keep putting my intentions to work, too!
Silent Sanctuary
Silent Sanctuary

-  4  -
Philip snapped this pic of the kids at bathtime the other night.  It makes me giggle every time I see it.  These moments are dwindling since the kids keep asking for showers!

-  5  -
Someone posted this picture to Facebook, and I had to share it.  The woman who posted it said that these were her grandmother's hospital discharge instructions from 62 years ago.  You've gotta read these!  My, how times have changed! 
Discharge Instructions From 62 Years Ago
Discharge Instructions From 62 Years Ago 

-  6  -
We're having our family's photos taken on Sunday.  I am so thrilled that the forecast looks great and that the leaves have held on.  Don't get any crazy ideas about something Pinterest worthy, though!  We're just hoping to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time.  I'm most excited to snap a few of just me and Philip at the end.  We haven't had a professional photo of just the two of us taken since our wedding day!  

-  7  -
These two are best buddies these days.  Aren't they so sweet?
Harry & Monty
Harry & Monty
Hope you have a great weekend!  Head over to Conversion Diary to read other 7 Quick Take posts!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Abusing Girls to Fight for Women

These issues should be important to everyone in this country, and we should all be working to stop them:
  • pay inequality for women
  • rape & violence toward women
  • physical objectification of women
There is no denying the sad truth that women are used and abused in this country.

Unfortunately, some adults also think it's okay to use and abuse young girls for the greater glory of another "f" word-- feminism. produced a video called, "F-Bombs For Feminism: Potty-Mouthed Princesses Use Bad Word for Good Cause."

FUNdamentalfbombfbomb copy

FCKH8's idea behind the video seems to be this:  They got a group of young girls ages 6-13.  They did their hair and make-up and put them in fancy princess dresses.  Then, they coached them to deliver lines from a script designed for shock factor.  Not only do the girls deliver as many f-bombs as possible, they rattle off serious issues (pay inequality, rape & violence of women, physical objectification of women) using adult language.  "..and start teaching boys not to f--king rape!"  FCKH8 wants us to think that we should be less offended by little princesses with potty mouths and more offended by the issues the girls are talking about.

Certainly, it's fantastic to raise awareness about these big issues, but let's not abuse little girls to fight for women.

The video ends with two adult women wearing a FCKH8 t-shirt that says, "Girls just want to have FUN-damental rights."

Here's the video.  Keep a bucket nearby in case you feel the urge to vomit.

What is FCKH8, anyway?'s "about" section says: is a for-profit T-shirt company with an activist heart and a passionate social change mission: arming thousands of people with pro-LGBT equality, anti-racism and anti-sexism T-shirts that act as “mini-billboards” for change.
FUNdamentalIn case you had any doubt after watching the video, a for-profit t-shirt company does not have little girls' best interests at heart.  Their goal is to shock us with a disgusting video to get as many shares as possible so that we will buy their "mini-billboards."  What happens in the two-and-a-half minute video is child abuse.  Period.  Abusing young girls is not the way to teach this generation or the next how to respect women.  FCKH8's use and abuse of young girls as a means to their end of promoting misguided "feminism" to sell some t-shirts is shameful and disgusting.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Abandoning Baby Books

Did/do you make baby books for your children?  Or, are you like me?

I started a book for Jane before she was born, and I filled it with every last detail.

Then, I got pregnant with Walt when Jane was six months old.

To the back burner with you, baby books!

I finished Jane's first year of life in scrapbooks, and I made it to nearly 6 months for Walt.  After that, the books abruptly ended!  Harry (gulp) doesn't even HAVE one!

I continue to blog to keep archiving what we're up to, I love looking through previous Facebook posts with their quotes or funny things that they've done, and we have an OBSCENE amount of digital photos.

Jane was asking about what it was like when I was teaching while pregnant with her.  I told her we could look at her baby book.  That turned into Walt wanting to look at his (lame, half-incomplete) baby book.  They loooooooooooved it!  

Good news: Walt didn't even notice that his abruptly ended at six months.  I know that will all change someday soon, so now is the time to act!  

Looking at baby books together at the kitchen table
Resolution: It's time to get with the twenty-first century and actually come through with my promise to create digital photo books.  The time-consuming baby books aren't working anymore.  It's time to let go of what's not working and embrace that digital photo books are better than none at all.  Perhaps adding my own captions will help me to let go of self-imposed silly mommy guilt for not making baby books.  

Shutterfly, I *WILL* be placing an order before Christmas!  Just waiting for a great coupon to come along...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Moment Residency Became Worth It

Last Saturday, Philip and I had the opportunity to attend Hearts of Hope, a fundraiser for Midwest Heart Connection, an organization dedicated to supporting families with children that have congenital heart disease.  

Unfortunately, the only picture I have from the evening is from the sports bar where we went after the event to watch the Husker game!  GO BIG RED!  Someday, I'll become a good blogger and learn to photograph the things I write about.
Our family became linked with Midwest Heart Connection when our nephew, Patrick, was born with pulmonary atresia and a VSD.  Thanks to the dedicated staff at Omaha Children's Hospital and the support of Midwest Heart Connection, Patrick continues to flourish and keep us all on our toes as a healthy young boy should!  Like the rest of the children in this tearjerker video, Patrick's heart is a work of art!

The evening started off with a cocktail hour and silent auction.  As Philip and I made our way around the room, it became obvious that he knew the Children's Hospital staff in attendance--and they remembered him.  He was on the receiving end of a bunch of warm hugs, handshakes, and questions about what he has been up to since finishing residency.  (As a pediatric resident in Omaha, most of his time was spent at the Children's Hospital, so he got to know the staff very well.)  It was endearing to hear the various doctors and nurses say how much they've missed him and tell him that they send as many Lincoln patients his way as they can.  

As we approached our table for the evening, the young couple seated there immediately stood up.  The wife beamed at Philip and gave him a big hug.  The husband gave him a strong handshake.  Philip introduced me to the couple, and the wife gave me a big hug.  "Phil took care of our baby when she was born two-and-a-half years ago.  We had no idea what was going to happen, and Phil took such great care of her.  He really helped us to get through that time."  We had a great time visiting over dinner, and I learned that their little girl is doing great today.  Throughout the rest of his residency, the family had several hospital stays.  Whether or not their baby was his patient during their stay, Philip always made it a point to stop by and check in when he saw their name on the admission list.   

At the end of the evening when we were saying goodbye, the wife gave me another bear hug.  While Philip and the husband were exchanging goodbyes, she said to me, "I am so glad Phil is a pediatrician.  His patients are so lucky to have him!  He is going to make such a difference in all of those families' lives."  

I put my hands on her shoulders and said, "Oh, you have no idea how much your words mean to me!  Residency was a long haul, and there were several times when I thought, 'Why are we doing this?!'  Tonight, after meeting you and your husband and hearing your story, I know that this is why we did it. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for telling me how much Philip means to your family.  I know he loves his job, and getting to meet you has made all of the long hours so worth it."  I let them know that their daughter is in our prayers and told them to take good care.  

As we left the parking lot, I squeezed Philip's hand and told him, "I am so proud of you.  Thank you for taking such good care of their family, and not just their precious baby.  Tonight has made all of those crazy years of residency so worth it.  Now, I'm so glad that you get to be a pediatrician.  It's so special that you get to walk families through all of the stages of their child's development and care for the whole family along the way."

He squeezed my hand back with a cute little tear in his eye, "Thank you.  That means a lot to me."