Saturday, February 28, 2009

List of 100

I saw this list of 100 things on another blog and thought it would be fun to do. It will interesting to see how many things I can add come this time next year. You just bold the things that you have already done.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans
4. Visited Hawaii and danced on a lava cliff with the roar of the Pacific below
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not illBold
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (In college I was paid to be a stand in for a moving that never made it)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (seen a whale on the Alaskan Cruise, but not whale watching)
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (not proud of this one)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (not proud of this one either)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (only the ones in my foot like 230 times)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (really want this one)
81. Visited the Vatican (and this one)
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (so many times in my youth with the pro life movement)
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve (nothing passionate just casual)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ever been in the hospital

I liked this list when I first saw it because there are things that I have not done but might some day. I changed number 3. It was about singing, no one wants me to do that anyway. After having just done it I think every one should experience a Mardi Gras parade for them selves in New Orleans. I need to thank my husband for making so many of these happen!

Friday, February 27, 2009

More thoughts on the Fallen Priest

I recently wrote about a Fallen Priest and stated my connections to this man and his organizations. I have been asked many times over in private emails for more of my story. I am sorry but I am still very leery to share more details in this public manner. I am eager to listen if you need to talk, though.

Imagine my shock when I answered the phone yesterday to a call looking for donations for the Legion. UGH! I tried to remain civil. What I heard the caller describe as the attributes of the seminary were not all factual. At first I wanted to argue with her, I wanted to tell what I knew to be true, and I wanted to convince her to leave RC and stop making these calls. I didn't hang up but I knew that I must be charitable for her to hear a word I said. Before I got one word in she stated the wonderful gifts that the Legion has given to the Church. I started to choke as I held back my laugh. I couldn't listen anymore.

"I am sorry, please stop this sales pitch, I . . ." At this time the individual responded to assure me that this wasn't a sales pitch. I apologized and explained that I realized she had no intention of selling me anything just beg for my hard earned money. "I support the seminarians through my contributions to the diocese. Considering that I left Regnum Christi 3 years ago because I believe RC and the Legion to be evil in nature, I confess to be a tad surprised that you called ME asking for money. I pray that you and the rest of the members will remain close to Christ in spite of the movement. I pledge to not send you a dime but to continue my ardent prayer for your soul." CLICK (She ended the call not me.)

I wonder if that finally got me off the list. It isn't the first call, email, snail mail, postcard etc I have received over the past 3 years. I really thought they would stop now that the financial misgivings are coming out. Maybe that is in fact why they called. Their big donors are running for the hills so they are now returning to us little people.

Why I left:

This article sums up many of the legal type issues that I saw and questioned. It is very well done and I only wish all Bishops were this good at leading their flocks.

One of the first things that bothered me was the treatment and lawsuit of the family that created the idea for Familia. My understanding is that they also wrote the original books and questions used in Familia. After a nasty lawsuit RC added more RC leading material to theie versions of the books. The authors retained to legal right to sell the same books as they had before under a different name. They have since created more options at this web site:

The story of the legal struggle is here:

To all my RC friends:
I am still your sister in Christ, even though I am not still "in" RC. Please call me, email me, or stop by if you need to talk. I have been there. It hurts but it will be OK. If I can help, please let me.
In Prayer, Shannon

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

High School Musical 3

Our family is not one of those that avoids all the latest trends. We do try to keep them in balance. I remember way back when we first started to homeschool we had a fear that we would end up too weird and different from our peers. I understand the good and bad with that.

We are very different from our peers in many way. One thing that we have worked very hard on this the idea that we are called to "be in world but not of the world!" That being said we do watch the Disney Channel. Some of the shows are very cute. We try very hard to keep the balance of watching and enjoying the shows but not falling into idolizing the characters.

We have had many good memories celebrating the latest Disney Movie. The ones made for the Disney Channel are pretty clever. They don't seam to fall into that mold of parents being dead or stupid. They are usually clever, fun and family orientated. We watch them all together and often interject our complaints or concerns as we watch them.

One of my favorites is the Luck of the Irish staring Ryan Merriman. He has also starred in a few of my other favorites as well. Cute kid and a good young actor. Kyle Johnson, (Ryan Merriman) a popular basketball player in high school who has never known about his heritage, one dayrealizes that someone has stolen his lucky gold coin. Strange things start to happen to Kyle, his ears become pointed, his hair starts turning orange, and he starts to become shorter. Kyle then returns home one day to find that his mom has shrunk to six inches. The truth is then revealed to Kyle, Kyle's family is made up of Leprechauns. Kyle is only half leprechaun, since his dad is from Cleveland, Ohio.

We have spent many a Friday in anticipation of the next movie. I danced
around the room with Pooker while pregnant with Moogie watching Zenon. We have great family memories with these movies. Often is is pizza night/party
night. We start earlier in the day making sure the living room is clean. It
must be clean top to bottom so that we can move the furniture to dance,
scream, jump or whatever the movie might require. Boy we have so much fun
getting into it. Dad plays right along even though it isn't his favorite
type of movie. I have so enjoyed watching this silly tradition grow over the
years. We would never watch a movie unless everyone was home. With Pookers
active schedule we have had to record and postpone our fun. never for long.
Pooker has made sure that she is off of work in time. We have invited
friends over sometimes and other time it is just us.

I know this is silly but we really do love this family time. We have all been
overworked and stressed with our school loads lately. So this past Tuesday we
decided to have an impromptu showing of the new High School Musical. The first 2
we watched at home with pizza and friends. Pooker and Goobers saw number 3 in
the theaters last fall with each other and had a blast. The rest of us waited
until it came out on DVD. The big release was this past Tuesday 2-17. The
clothes were not finished but it didn't stop us.

We were too crunched for time to celebrate in our normal fashion. When Pooker got home from work we made tacos. We ate and cleaned up as fast as we could and then sat down to enjoy HSM3 as a family. I can not say that the movie was wonderful but the time together certainly was. I love my family and our silly traditions. I love that Pooker in college, Goober in High School, Bear and Sugar in Middle School, Moogie and Pickle in Grade school, Princess in Kindergarten, Bagel in pre-school and Jumba still running around as a baby all sat down together. They watched this movie as a family. Talked about it as a family. Danced as a family. And debated who was cuter Zac or Corbin?!?!

I love my family and I love that Disney (even with all of its many faults) has provided us with the opportunities to enjoy time with each other. I pray that you family has the same silly traditions that bring you close and help you bond. I know in my heart that this a taste of heaven. I doubt Disney will have movies showing there but that feeling of being united has got to be the main theme.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Park time with Friends!

We got a call on Thursday afternoon that asked if we had any free time that afternoon. Friends were at the park in our neighborhood and thought they would just see if we could play. I was able to take the younger kiddos up for a little relaxation time. We only had about an hour and a half. It would never have worked if we had planned. As it turned out it was the perfect way to spend a small part of the afternoon.

Please remember this family in your prayers. My dear friend N. just found out that she has some difficult medical decisions to make. Pray for her and all Breast Cancer patients. Click here for her story.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Neighborhood Valentine Soda Shoppe

This yearly tradition is so cool. We live in an older, well established neighborhood. I love the silly things that we do each year. These silly traditions of parades, parties and swim team are what have really brought us together as a neighborhood. The generations share with each other. I think this year was extra special. We survived 10 days without power and grew close as a group (after Hurricane Ike).
Mom was off at a swim team meeting while dad and the kiddos got to visit the Soda Shoppe. I must share the great pictures that J got. I really do wish I could have been with them.

Goobers and Sugar

Moogie and Princess with their neighbor friend.

After the ice cream they headed outside to play in the park and the pond.

Evin Jumba wants to get in on the act. Pooker took very good care of him before and after he was soaked.
I know that all the kiddos love Sundays because they get to spend some time with Pooker. She is so busy with her college classes and work that we seeing her all the time but rarely get to hang out with her. By Saturday random children ask if the next day is the day that Pooker just has homework but doesn't have to go to school or work. They miss her. I am really glad that she is giving us a transition year. We get to practice with her being gone but she is still close.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

An Early Valentine Exchange

The BOL kiddos at the Valentine Exchange!

The weather was wonderful today. I think it was in the mid-70's and just to die for. Not at all hot and very comfortable. I am not writing this to upset any of you Northerners but it was a good day. Don't get too jealous it will be hotter than "you know where" in just a few weeks. We need to enjoy the good weather while it last.

We got to spend part of the day at the park with our Catholic Homeschool Group.
We had a huge Valentine exchange in honor of the St. Valentine.
The little ones so enjoy sharing their special notes with their friends.
Even Jumba got into the action.

We are so lucky to have such good friends.

We feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group of people. We pray that you also have a group of good friends to share Valentine's Day with.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Fallen Priest

Years ago I joined a religious movement in the church. I later left that movement. I realized that there were too many falsehoods to overlook. I lost many dear friends when I left the movement. I guess that some people are to afraid to know the truth. Often they would rather be mad at the messenger than the message. I will not go into my personal details here. It is also very hard for me to keep my emotions out of it. I can suffice it to say that I believe this group to be a water downed version of a cult and that I am a better Catholic out of this movement.

My experiences could have made me bitter and even angry at my Catholic upbringing (it has for many.) My formation before meeting this group was too good and that did not happen to me. I add my time in as life experiences. God allowed me to grow close to these people for a reason. I pray for all my sisters and brothers in Christ, especially those still entangled in the mess of this movement.

I fear many will fall when the new realization hits them. I hit a depression and it lasted about 6 months. I wasn't even in the movement that long. My depression wasn't medical or extreme. My husband and I just knew that I was overwhelmed with a sadness that I had to fight my way through. I am so worried that those who continue to ignore the reality that this movement was founded by a "not-so-wonderful" priest will have a hard time this week. I worry that many will become depressed and lost as the news sinks in.

We were instructed to believe the fallen man was a living saint by those in leadership within the movement. When you allow yourself to be fed this kind of false information from a group that also tells you that they are your source for true Catholic information your sense of judgment becomes warped. I have seen people base their lives, their children's education, their marriages, their money and every part of their soul into the hands of those within the movement. What happens to these trusting souls when they realize that the founder wasn't so wonderful and not at all saintly.

I don't know. I think denial will be the first step. Then the rest will follow like a set of dominoes. The realization will hit each at different times. Each will feel like someone close has died. Then anger at themselves and then the priest. I pray that all of these people will come to God with their pain, anger and sadness. God loved this fallen man just as he loves all others. It is not our place to judge the priest. It is our place to continue to love and honor God no matter what other humans do.

It has taken me a long time to let go of my anger, hurt and sadness. It has taken me time to rebuild my life away from the movement. It takes time to build friendships. It takes time to forgive, move one and try to be here for those that need to talk. To my friends that might read this, please know that I am here if you need to talk. Please keep praying and don't loose hope. Know that I love each of you and will continue to pray, as I have each day, for you and your families.

Often while in this group we were instructed to not believe what we read in the news about this fallen priest. We were told to "consider the source". My husband even lost a dear friend when they argued over the topic of the "source". In fact many Catholic publications have the same source, Zenit news, which happens to be a subsidiary to the movement. So these sources never published the bad stuff about their founder. Why would they? They didn't believe the stories. Here are the links to a few of their own sources that now admit the news.

Now some wording from outside sources.

Other blogs about news:

I will end with a link that at first surprised me. After some thought I realized it is exactly what should be done. I have often gone to a certain source to find out what the latest legal issues were with this movement. I expected to find a little bit of "I told you so" attitude there yesterday when I looked. Instead I found true Christian Charity. There is no news posted, not one articles about the current situation. This site lists names of people that you can contact if you are overwhelmed by sadness because of the movement. Nothing but true charity for those hurt. I also pray for these victims every day and I am so humbled by their charity.

To all my RC friends: I am still your sister in Christ, even though I am not still "in" RC. Please call me, email me, or stop by if you need to talk. I have been there. It hurts but it will be OK. If I can help, please let me. In Prayer, Shannon