Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Winner Is:

And the winner is......

And that would be you, Leslie!

Congratulations!

Thank you all for entering!

Original Post:



"...so many people in the secular culture don't pay much attention to the devil, despite the fact that his existence and the existence of the whole demonic realm is an absolute biblical certainty and a major doctrine of the Christian faith. They simply don't "get" him."
And that was me. And if it's you, I highly recommend reading, The Invisible World, by Anthony DeStefano. Even if it's not you, I personally think you will love the book.



Through the ten chapters of the book you will come to know the invisible good and what to watch for in the invisible warfare. The one who works hard to pull us away from our ever loving, merciful God.

Mr DeStefano states this in the first chapter: "Once you're armed with a kind of certitude, three things will naturally happen: (1) It will be easier for you to act in sync with your moral beliefs; (2) your life will be much fuller, richer and more exciting than you ever imagined possible; and (3) no amount of suffering - physical, mental, or emotional - will ever be able to destroy the profound inner sense of peace that you'll experience on a daily basis." That's a pretty strong statement, and I can say after reading the book and a number of personal experience that happened just following the book (no coincidence, I am sure), it's true.

I found it very easy to understand each point the author was making and enjoyed the stories he added from his own life to illustrate further. Some of the stories reminded me of my own childhood, such as the time he had to call his Dad when his car broke down on a dark street. Actually, the story reminds me my every day when I try to go it alone, until I realize that I do need to rely on, to call upon, my heavenly Father.

I loved how each chapter flowed right into the next. Most especially this hit home with me, "If we can't even resist, having that extra piece of cake for dessert, how can we ever have hope to combat such overwhelming forces [Invisible Warfare]?" This segwayed to Invisible Grace, my favorite chapter. And this is his answer, Divine grace. "Grace at its deepest level, isn't just help from God - it's God himself."

The book is meaty, yet, a quick read. You will come away with a stronger relationship with the Holy Spirit, a better understanding of suffering, as well as how to see the invisible.

The Invisible World is a part of The Catholic Summer Reading Program and you can purchase it from Aquinas & More or Amazon.com.

AND....

Mr. (although, he perfers I drop the Mr.) DeStefano has given me the opportunity to give a book away to one of you lucky readers. What do you have to do??

  • Leave a comment
If you want more than one chance to win do one of more of the following:
  • Tweet this giveaway
  • Facebook this giveaway
  • Blog this giveaway
That's a chance of four entries per person, you decide your own odds!

I will pick a winner on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 July 27, 2011. It has now been extended!

I guarantee you'll love the book!

God Bless!

Tina

I also wrote this review of The Invisible World for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Quickest Ever 7 Takes

A quick quick Seven Takes:

{1}
I jinxed myself in saying that my kids have been sleeping in until around 9:00 AM.  They haven't once since last week. 

{2}
I am a little nervous today.  Our priest is coming over to bless the house and stay for dinner.  Hoping he doesn't get a bad mo jo feeling.  I think he could.  Seriously.  And I am now wondering if I Adam shouldn't be making burgers. {I just told Karley Fr. Tony is coming for dinner.  She asked if he was going to go back to heaven when he was done eating here.}

{3}
Sophie has been showing interest in potty training.  More like she's interested in wiping herself.  I have to be careful of this.  Just think about that for a second.  I am not ready to potty train her.  I'd rather be able to be home when we do it.  At least for a couple of days.  Maybe next week when...

{4}
My sister and her girls come.  They will be here all next week.  So super excited!

{5}
I love my family.  I am so in love with each member of my family.

{6}
I got my haircut a few weeks ago.  Love having it shorter!  It's my old haircut.

{7}
Miss our family vacation.  I want another one.  I will have to post pictures soon.  I know I keep saying that, what I really need to do is make a book for Sophie before her birthday. 

Enjoy your weekend!

PS...I got labels to mail a letter to Ryan James! So excited.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our New Journey with CFCA

I had considered going to the local church two blocks from our house because I knew our regular priest was going to be gone and the visiting priest was going to be appealing to us.  I even asked my husband if he would want to check out the new priest here in town.  I deferred to Adam's judgement and we went to our regular church fifteen minutes away.  This decision will impact our lives for a long time, and not just ours.

The first thing the Fr. Dennis said was, "Hello, my name is Fr. Dennis and I'm here to appeal to you today".  I appreciated that.  Straight  up, no frills, we need you.  I'm listening.  He talked about children living in Guatemala and the conditions.  {I have become familiar with what people in Guatemala face from Ann's Compassion Trip.}  As Fr. Dennis was explaining and appealing I was hearing God speak to me, telling me this was the donating I was looking for.  A cause like no other. 

In a whispered voice I ask my husband if we can do this.  I offer to use the money I make from the few haircuts I do.  We easily agree.

After church Fr. Dennis has a box full of brochures each one featuring a picture of a child or adult with need.  There were many.  For some reason (Providence) my hands scooped his brochure.

I read, asked a few questions and then I pulled out a few more.  I had thought that it would be a good idea to pick a boy around Henry's age.  I set three folders out, he picked the same one I already looked at.

Meet Ryan James, our new friend from the Philippines.


On our way home we read more about Ryan James.  He is one of six children, hasn't started school yet, (I am guessing now that he is sponsored he will be able to begin school), doesn't speak English (Fr. Dennis said he will more than likely learn English in school), and loves singing and playing.  I read on, his mother works, then I wonder why his father doesn't work.  He's deceased.  I cry all the way home. 

Thank you God for putting this young boy and is family in our path.

I eagerly await the letters we will get from Ryan James.  I am excited for us to write him letters, send photos and watch him learn and grow.  Henry, Karley & Sophie are going to make a piggy bank for Ryan James to donate money they earn.   They will also join me in letter writing or at this age picture making.

We are sponsoring Ryan James through Christian Foundation for Children & Aging.  Here is a blurb from from their website:

We sponsor children, youth and the aging from all faiths and strive to be a tranquil presence in their lives. When we create a true exchange of cultures, understanding and love as equals we are alleviating not just material poverty but are also creating the bonds of lasting peace and unity among people of diverse faiths and backgrounds.


I look forward to sharing our journey with Ryan James and CFCA with you.

God Bless!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Counting Resumes:

I start, I love it, and then for some reason or another, it ends, or fades.  I want to pick back up, even though I am not sure where to start.  This becomes half the battle.  I've been counting here and there but mostly I haven't.  I know this because the pages are not inked and the post editor tells me the last entry was in March.

I miss it because it really does help slow time, or at the very least, capture the moment.  And the photos, they need to go with the words of thanks.  However it's done, once a week list, once a day list, once a month list, it must be captured.  So we don't forget or that my memory isn't all about the chores, the times I mess up, the things left undone.  It's so I can see God's grace all around me, all the time.

In somewhat randomness, my thanks to God:

*Henry walking to the front during collection {kids bring their own envelopes up to the priest} to give Fr Tony S a faith band to give to Jesus.  Henry said Fr Tony asked him if he wanted to take it home and he said he did not because he has more at home 
*Afternoon dropping off old baby items
*Afternoon with Sophie
*Knowing big kids got to see their first movie at the theater {Cars 2}
*Adam was able to have a fun afternoon with big kids
*Prayer formation decisions
*Talking to my Dad on the phone
*Learning something new about his childhood
*Simplifying
*Kids who play well together
*Mary's Yes
*Morning coffee
*Catching up slowly
*Spiritual Direction
*Trusting friend who watched kids
*Painting project completed in one day
*Husband who will do dishes {he never has a problem with this & will do them whenever I am gone} so I can finish painting project
*Perfect weather for Zoo day
*Splash Pad



*Celebrating Henry's Feast Day
*Singing Happy Feast Day
*Having friends over for dinner
*Special dessert
*Impromptu paint selection
*Kids who do well running errands
*Kids who love CatChat
*Listening to husband's wisdom
*CFCA
*Becoming a sponsor
*Having the message brought to our church
*Parade
*Papa


*Parade


*Friends to join us for the parade
*Ability to squeak a 5K run in without any training in months
*Family at the finish line
*Friends cheering along the way
*Henry running the 1/2 mile kiddie run


*Picking up fresh (feathers on the ground fresh) free range, organic chickens
*Birthday Party
*Kiddie Parade



*Friends over for lunch after kiddie  parade
*Viewing fireworks from our front lawn
*Having friends old & new come to our house for fireworks
*Mosquito nets on the garage doors
*Gram & nieces coming for a visit
*Gram giving me afternoon off
*Solo Costco runs
*Date night with husband
*Free babysitter
*Cousins who love to play together
*Old {8} playing with young {almost 2}
*Mom who folds laundry, makes dinner, plays, & weeds


Someday soon March, I'll circle back with you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Seven Quick Takes

I'm hopping back in for another Seven Quick Takes this week.  I had dreamed of entering two posts that I so want to talk about, but I'll have to save that for another day.

{1}
My Littles have been sleeping in.  By sleeping in I mean until almost 9 AM!  It's been a treat for me.  I'm almost looking for things to do quietly in the morning, almost.  Yesterday we brought Gizmo to the vet and I had to wake them up at 8:00 and carried them to the car pj's and all.

{2}
Since yesterday day was a rainy day, so I decided I would paint the playroom.  I got it all done in one day, which was totally amazing.  I had fear if it didn't all get done yesterday it would loom on and on and my gusto would be gone and there it would sit.  Thankfully when MacGyver got home he washed up the dishes so I could finish the painting.  It's a warm brown and I so love it.  MacGyver is going to build a wall of shelves this weekend (I hope) and then the toys and books will be moved back in. 

{3}
We will be sorting and simplifying once again.  This will be perfect since next week is going to be really really hot here.  I feel relief when we purge things from our house.  I love organzing and simplifying and it seems like a never ending process.

{4}
We did manage to get to the zoo this week.  The day was amazing!  The kids loved the splash pad.  Couldn't have been a nicer day and the timing was perfect due to the rise in heat for the next week.  Does it sound like I have something against 90 + degree weather?  Well, I kind of do.



{5}
A few months ago we decided to move all the kids in one room and make Sophie's room a playroom.  There were two primary reasons for this.  1.  To make the kids more of a trio instead of a double and single in their play and interactions.  2. To move the toys out of the bedroom and make a playroom in efforts to keep things tidy and contained.  It may sound like a lot to have all three in one room but really it works quite well.  Sophie transitioned to a "big girl bed" quite well and they don't come out any more than they previously did, which thankfully for us, isn't very much at all.  I have fond memories of sharing a room with my sister and think they will too.  Eventually, Henry's situation will change but at almost 2, 3 & 4 this works.

{6}
We have fallen in love with audio CD's.  The kids are loving CatChat these days.  It warms my heart to hear Karley, for instance, singing songs about Jesus at The Home Depot.  I've been enjoying listening to Kimblery Hahn discussing A Mother's Rule of Life.  I listen when I am alone in the car and it is bearing fruit.  I now want to re-read A Mother's Rule of Life to see how much more I can gleam from it.

{7}
Did you see this ABC Primetime's Beyond Belief?  I made sure I was awake enough to catch it as the piece did include Our Lady of Good Help.  From a beauty stand point...it was much much more beautiful in person.  I suppose it would help to post pictures to show you what I mean.


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Invisible World ~ Book Review & Giveaway!

"...so many people in the secular culture don't pay much attention to the devil, despite the fact that his existence and the existence of the whole demonic realm is an absolute biblical certainty and a major doctrine of the Christian faith.  They simply don't "get" him."
And that was me.  And if it's you, I highly recommend reading, The Invisible World, by Anthony DeStefano.  Even if it's not you, I personally think you will love the book. 



Through the ten chapters of the book you will come to know the invisible good and what to watch for in the invisible warfare.  The one who works hard to pull us away from our ever loving, merciful God.

Mr DeStefano states this in the first chapter:  "Once you're armed with a kind of certitude, three things will naturally happen: (1) It will be easier for you to act in sync with your moral beliefs; (2) your life will be much fuller, richer and more exciting than you ever imagined possible; and (3) no amount of suffering - physical, mental, or emotional - will ever be able to destroy the profound inner sense of peace that you'll experience on a daily basis."  That's a pretty strong statement, and I can say after reading the book and a number of personal experience that happened just following the book (no coincidence, I am sure), it's true. 

I found it very easy to understand each point the author was making and enjoyed the stories he added from his own life to illustrate further. Some of the stories reminded me of my own childhood, such as the time he had to call his Dad when his car broke down on a dark street. Actually, the story reminds me my every day when I try to go it alone, until I realize that I do need to rely on, to call upon, my heavenly Father.

I loved how each chapter flowed right into the next. Most especially this hit home with me, "If we can't even resist, having that extra piece of cake for dessert, how can we ever have hope to combat such overwhelming forces [Invisible Warfare]?" This segwayed to Invisible Grace, my favorite chapter. And this is his answer, Divine grace. "Grace at its deepest level, isn't just help from God - it's God himself."

The book is meaty, yet, a quick read. You will come away with a stronger relationship with the Holy Spirit, a better understanding of suffering, as well as how to see the invisible.

The Invisible World is a part of The Catholic Summer Reading Program and you can purchase it from Aquinas & More or Amazon.com.

AND....

Mr. (although, he perfers I drop the Mr.) DeStefano has given me the opportunity to give a book away to one of you lucky readers.  What do you have to do??

  • Leave a comment
If you want more than one chance to win do one of more of the following:
  • Tweet this giveaway
  • Facebook this giveaway
  • Blog this giveaway
That's a chance of four entries per person, you decide your own odds! 

I will pick a winner on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 July 27, 2011.  It has now been extended!

I guarantee you'll love the book!

God Bless!

Tina

I also wrote this review of The Invisible World for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Quick Seven Takes

It's been forever and ever since I've participated in Seven Quick Takes and it seems like forever since I've blogged.  So much has been going on with our family, I haven't had the time.  Here goes:
{1}
We took our first ever week long family vacation.  We pulled our camper out to the Badlands of South Dakota, with an overnight stop in the Sioux Falls area on the way out.  Everything went very, very smoothly, even the 10 hour ride home.  Adam and I were simply amazed at how well the kids, ages two(almost), three and four, did strapped in car seats for most of the day.  We went Saturday to Saturday and had friends join us on Tuesday.  I will post pictures next week. 



{2}
This weekend is our local townie days.  We are having our annual party tonight for all the kiddos to watch the fireworks from our front yard.  We are very blessed to have fireworks here and then on Sunday the parade goes right past our house.  Tomorrow morning the 5k & 10k end at our driveway, not to mention all the other activities that will be at the park across the street.  Oh, and am supposed to run the 5k tomorrow.  That might be a challenge seeing as I haven't logged any miles since March.

{3}
My Mom brought my nieces down to visit our kids a couple of days this week.  That was a blessing for sure!  Earlier in the week I wondered how I was going to get all this stuff done for our party and then my Mom called and said they were coming.  AWESOME!  She helped me with so many different things.  Allowed me to run to Costco solo, folded laundry, made supper, watched kids, played with kids, allowed for Adam & I to go on a date, weeded our playground & patio, took care of dogs, watered flowers, cooked some more, ran to the store and I'm sure I'm forgetting something.  All in less than 48 hours.  Needless to say, I was overjoyed to have her and sad for her to leave!  Thanks Mom, you're the best!



{4}
The week before we left on vacation Henry spent the mornings at Vacation Bible School.  He had a blast learning all about how much Jesus loves him.  It has been great to see the Holy Spirit running through him.  I am ever so thankful!



{5}
Sophie is learning to say new words every day.  She has had trouble say words with "p" and "s" in them.  No doubt why she refers to herself as "me".  Like, "me do it".  Yes, I hear that a lot!  She tries and tries to keep up with Henry & Karley but often likes to hang out with me.  I love it.  And she loves bike helmets, bike not required.



{6}
About six weeks ago Karley started to become sick.  After three trips to the doctor (I actually wondered if the clinic was going to think I had Munchausen by Proxy) in a about four weeks time, we discovered she had mono.  It's a long story about how we got to the final diagnosis but it's good to understand what was making my little girl to punky. 



{7}
I had an absolute wonderful time traveling to Green Bay, WI to see Our Lady of Good Help Apparition site with my friend Mrs. S.  I can't even begin to explain how wonderful it was.  More on this as well.  But if you'd like to see a little of what the Apparition site is like NBC is airing a piece on it on Wednesday, July 13 at 9PM CST.  I hope they are kind as it really is a beautiful place.



Have a blessed weekend!