Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Trial Run

As I stated in my previous post, I have been giving a lot of thought as to what changes I want to make with my blog. I am still mulling it over. One of the ideas I came up with was to somehow try to get a discussion going amongst my readers about their thoughts or opinions regarding certain issues - and not all the issues will be in relation to parenting, but most of them will be related to morality. I have decided to give this format a trial run to see how it goes. One of these "issues" came to light on my recent trip to Michigan, and so I'd like to ask you what your opinions are, and then after all is said and done, I will explain my point of view and what circumstances led me to ask you about it.

So, this topic is certainly one that I get asked quite frequently as a professional, and I have discussed it with my girls as well. It's definitely an emotionally-charged issue, so I am asking you to keep this civil if you disagree with each other. I'm a firm believer that you can still be gracious even when disagreeing.

The question is - should parents of teenage girls put them on birth control pills or provide them with other forms of "protection" to reduce the chances of pregnancy and/or contracting an STD? If so, why; and if not, why not?

The floor is open for discussion. . .

Monday, June 26, 2006

We made a quick trip up to Michigan for a family reunion this weekend. A wonderful time was had by all - except our family dog who's been sick for the past couple of days (I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say that it's not fun calling up the front desk to ask for new sheets at 11:00 at night). This reunion was for my husband's side of the family, which is large in number. My side of the family will have a reunion in August in Michigan, and it will be much smaller.

So much has been going on here, and I don't know exactly where or how to begin.

My oldest signed up for all of her college classes for the full year. This was lots of fun to do. We received notice that she received a scholarship from a state level agency which caters to the needs of people with kidney disease (which is where her lupus did most of its' damage), and the scholarship will be awarded to her tomorrow evening at their annual reception! Then, we received a check in the mail from another non-profit organization which serves nurses with disabilities! We are SO grateful to these agencies, and to the Lord for answering our prayers. There are still two more scholarships for which she has applied, and we should hear within the next two months as to whether or not she will receive any additional financial aid.

My youngest was so busy last week with working on the program for the family reunion. She did 8 seperate family trees, typed up the schedule of activities, and composed a tribute to the deceased members of the family. It turned out beautifully! She is very talented in that regard.

My hubby's birthday was last Saturday while we were at the reunion. It was so neat for him to be able to celebrate it with his parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins!

I've spent some time thinking about how I want this blog to proceed from now on. I'm still finalizing my plans, and there won't be any major changes, but just a couple of different things that I want to try. I'll let you know more after the 4th of July.

I still have about 10 days off from work yet, so I am looking forward to relaxing for a couple of days before tackling my paperwork from my practice. It just never seems to end, but if I don't do it, then I don't get paid!

I also wanted to let you know that I did receive the name of the person about whom I'll be paying tribute to for the 9/11 blog. I requested a fireman's name because my dad was a fireman, so this will add an even deeper meaning to my post. I hope all of you will consider doing this - I noticed a couple of my other blogging buddies are going to do it, too.

Gotta go and tend to a sick doggy. . .

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

2996 Remembered

2996 is a tribute to 9/11. On the fifth anniversary of this tragedy, volunteer bloggers will pay tribute to the victims by posting about a particular victim. Please visit to get more details about this honorable venture.

Thanks to Julie at for the heads up on this.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

First of all, I would like to wish all of you dads out there a very Happy Father's Day. All of you bear such huge burdens and responsibilities on your shoulders every day - and believe me, all of us women- wives and daughters - appreciate all that you do so much. We don't say it often enough, but believe me, we are very grateful!

My husband and I and our girls went to Mass this morning with his mom and dad. It was also his dad's birthday today. The priest said a special prayer for all fathers, and I must have had a wistful look on my face because my oldest daughter leaned over and asked me why I looked so sad. I explained that it was because I was thinking of my dad, who has been gone now for over eighteen years.

My dad was a hard-working guy - he was a firemen and a bricklayer. He raised the six of us on a meager income and a huge heart. He had a devilish grin and a sense of humor that was sometimes a bit raunchy. He loved my mom until the day he died, even though she had died 20 years before he did. My dad was the typical Irish bloke, who loved to tell stories and drink beer. While he only went up to the eighth grade in school, he was extremely intelligent in many ways. His love of life was infectious. I was his "baby girl" all the way - and I knew I could wrap him around my little finger whenever I wanted something special (like a hug or his forgiveness).

I am sure I've just described a lot of the fathers out there - who would give of themselves endlessly. Thanks, Dad, for all that you gave to me. And thanks to my father-in-law, who has been like a second dad to me. And many thanks to my husband, who is my kids' dad - the best dad around! And endless thanks to my Heavenly Father - who has given me so much.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Just a quick note to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. My situation has improved (prayer does work!), but it's tenuous, at best. I'll post more later.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Prayers Please

There is a lot going on within my little family right now, so I am asking all of you to please keep us in your prayers. I am asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance and strength to do what is needed to help us through this period. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

School is Out!

Today is DQ's last day of finals - so, summer vacation has now begun! It's been an exhausting week for her - she had two finals on Monday, three yesterday, and two today. She's looking forward to laying on the porch swing this afternoon, reading a good book until the relaxation takes over and she falls asleep. TP's summer vacation started a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday was her first day at her new job. She starts her other job tomorrow. She'll be one busy girl this summer!

I remember my summer vacations so well when I was growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan. The days seemed endless, and the bay beckoned us on a daily basis to refresh ourselves by taking a dip in it's cool waters. My friends and I would lay out in the sun for hours, and we'd get wonderful tans which by now have left wrinkles on our faces. The relaxing sounds of the waves gently lapping the shore line would often lull us into a dreamless state of consciousness, and it is there that I would often find comfort and peace. Even to this day, when I am feeling particulary stressed, I close my eyes and hear the sounds of the bay, and I can begin to feel relaxed again by the calming effects of the water.

I have given much thought as to what I'd like to do with the girls this summer - the last official summer together as a family before TP heads off to start her life as a college student. I decided to not plan anything, and see where life takes us over the next couple of months. We need some "down time" as a family, after all the stress of the past couple of years. We need to feel some sense of normaly again. We need the calming effects of God's presence in our daily lives, strengthening our bonds with Him and each other once again, before we get ready for the next stage of our family life. One of the places we will plan on visiting this summer will be my home town, where we shall spend some time on the shores of Lake Michigan. The girls love it there as much as I do, and they welcome the refreshment and relaxation of the water. I envision a time when they take their own children to those very shores, and pass on stories of their childhood memories to their kids.

Summer isn't endless, but memories are. I hope each of you have a wonderful summer of making memories!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pomp and Circumstance

This week has flown by, and I apologize for not posting sooner. But, I have had time to reflect and ponder over the changes which are happening right now in my little family, causing me to experience such a wide range of emotions. I am at a better place now - God has shown me in many ways how He is in control and how much He truly loves me.

I hope what I am about to write doesn't sound like bragging - I just want you to know all of the awards which TP received for this past year. These were presented at the Awards Ceremony on the Thursday before Graduation. She received a Certificate of Honor from her school for maintaining a cummulative average of 90.00 or above for all four years of high school; the State Board of Education Award of Merit for her academic achievement and overall character; the President's Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement (signed by President Bush!!); an Exemplary Conduct Award, and her Third Year Academic Pin. She has been in Who's Who Among American High School Students for 4 years, National Honor Society for her Junior and Senior Year, The United State Achievement Academy All-American Scholarship Awards Program, and The National Society of High School Scholars.
She was given her gold sash to wear around her neck in recognition of graduating with honors. The awards ceremony itself was very touching - I think I cried more there than at the actual graduation ceremony because I kept on thinking "How did this kid do all this, even though she's been sick for the past two years"? She also received the President's Scholar Award from her college, where she received the highest financial scholarship possible based on your academics. A pleasant surprise came from a local scholarship from a medical clinic, who gave her $250.00 towards her tuition.

Sunday was a very special day. We had a Mass said for my Mom at 7:30a.m as it would have been her birthday that day. The girls and I participated in the Mass - DQ was a server, and TP and I were lectors. After Mass, we had a nice brunch with family before heading off to school for the graduation. My husband's folks came for the graduation, as did one of his brothers. My sister and her husband and daughter came, bringing my mom's best friend, who has been like a second mom to me. So, we had a houseful - full of love and laughter and some tears.

Graduation was at 1:00p.m., but we arrived early enough to get front row seats. Mind you, there were only 12 graduates in her class, so the gym wasn't exactly overcrowded. The bagpipes started to play, signalling the arrival of graduates, and they processed in behind all the dignatiries and teachers. We had a wonderful speaker this year - Brigadier General Frank Bruno, who actually graduated from this particular high school!!! His speech was timely and wonderful and inspiring - and he received a stading ovation when he was done.

TP had tears in her eyes during most of the ceremony. She kept on glancing down at me, and then that would get us started all over again. She looked so poised and self-confident - and ready to take on the world!!! After graduation was done, there was a party next door in the activity center. Each family had a table set up to honor their graduates' achievements over the years - it was fun to look at all the pictures and read about the other kids. This get-together lasted until 6:00, and then there was a small dance for just the graduates afterwards until 9:00.

Monday was the "Open House", and we had a lot of friends who came to help us celebrate. It was such a heartwarming experience to see all of these people come on a holiday weekend to just wish TP all the best and to congratulate her on her achievements. It was tinged with some sadness as a close family friend has just lost his father to Alzheimer's on Sunday, and he stopped in for just a quick visit. He was obviously grieving, and so he didn't want to stay very long.

Tuesday morning brought our goodbye's to family members who had travelled here, and DQ had to go back to school. TP went back to bed, and I spent a good hour crying in my bedroom. I think it was a very healing kind of cry. The letting go of all the fears and anxieties over the past two years when she had been so gravely ill and we prayed to get her to this day. The letting go of that "little girl" who loved to snuggle and hear me tell her made-up stories. The letting go of that portion of my youth when the kids were young and I was needed in different ways in which I am needed now. The letting go and letting God open me up for the next stage of my life. In all honesty, I never thought I'd get to the point where I'd be able to let go as much as I have. I know I still have a way to go yet, but God has pulled me through all of these "little deaths" to a place of peace and acceptance.

I will post pictures as soon as I can get some help from my daughters on the process. In the meantime, please check out my graduation letter to my daugher at Darlene's e-zine: This June's issue is absolutely wonderful!

And thank you, all, for your prayers and support. I'm blessed to have you in my life!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

No Words Yet. . .

My family and I will be going out of state today for a funeral.

I apologize for not posting about my daughter's graduation yet. . . It was very special, but I just don't have the words yet to describe it all. I'm still feeling a bit numb, if that makes any sense.