Tuesday, July 31, 2007

LISTEN to my latest radio segment with Teresa Tomeo

If you have a minute, listen to the latest radio segment, "Slipping Into Summer Mode: Let's Not Forget About the Prayer" with Teresa Tomeo on "Catholic Connection" at our monthly "Mom's Corner" on Ave Maria Radio by clicking here.

Tips on Tuesday

Because it's summer and pets can get overheated in the sunshine, they often (cats and dogs) seek the shelter of the shade if they are outside. Oftentimes they will lie under a car or other vehicle, usually right behind the tires. I know two families who sadly lost their beloved pets by running over them. Imagine their pain (both owner and pet). The pet is usually asleep when the driver backs up over them so there was no time for the pet to escape danger. I know this is a sad subject but if by its mention it can help to save an animal's life by making us more aware of looking beneath our vehicles at all times before we proceed, then it's worth mentioning.

Of course, we know that small children should never be left unattended so that they won't be in danger of moving vehicles. I have heard the heart wrenching stories about children being run over by their own loved ones. I'm sorry to put this image in your mind. But, we must also be aware that even when the little ones are accounted for and well supervised by ourselves, there are other children in other home situations, perhaps not being monitored appropriately. Additionally, older children whom we feel are mature enough to watch out for themselves when it comes to moving vehicles in a parking lot or driveway may act spontaneously to chase a basketball flying in the wrong direction or may be running or darting (during a chase or game) in the direction of the moving vehicle without thinking. There are many reasons that even a mature older child may not think quickly enough to preserve his or her own safety or the safety of one's friend or sibling.

Please watch out and be aware of what's going on at all times when operating your vehicle especially when backing up when you may not have perfect visibility.

Monday, July 30, 2007

This is me doing a happy dance...

Me doing a happy dance because I just finished my book! (except I hope my facial expressions don't look this scary!)

Catholic Carnival

Go on over to Living Catholicism to see the recent Catholic Carnival.

New one tomorrow at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering.

Quick update on Bryant

Bryant, the eighteen year old hiker who was critically hurt recently in a hiking accident is in stable condition. His spirits the other day when my son visited him were as good as can be expected for a young man in a body brace, recovering from surgery still with many broken bones, lying in a hospital bed at a hospital that is a good distance from his home.

Bryant has a long way to go, however we are so thankful for every bit of his progress, most especially that he survived his fall from the cliff. Please continue your prayers for this young man and his family. Bryant lost his father just last year because of a stroke. We can only imagine what his mother is going through.

Thank you so very much for your prayers!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A matter of geography or virtue?

I love this quote from Fulton J. Sheen:

"There are many who excuse themselves, saying that if they were in other circumstances they would be much more patient. This is a grave mistake, for it assumes that virtue is a matter of geography, and not of moral effort. It makes little difference where we are; it all depends on what we are thinking about."

I often talk about the same thing in my books and my talks. We may think that the reason why we cannot act in a more virtuous manner is because we are enduring an insurmountable circumstance, suffering, or situation. "Of course" we tell ourselves that if we were in another situation, related to someone else, had a more virtuous spouse, or a more kindly boss, we would certainly act differently. Who are we fooling?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Words to ponder from three Teresas today...

"We shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God; for, beholding His greatness, we realize our own littleness; His purity shows us our foulness; and by meditating upon His humility we find how very far we are from being humble."-St. Teresa of Avila

"My whole strength lies in prayer and sacrifice, these are my invincible arms; they can move hearts far better than words. I know it by experience."-St. Therese of Lisieux

"Jesus loves you tenderly, you are precious to Him. Turn to Jesus with great trust and allow yourself to be loved by Him. The past belongs to His mercy, the future to His providence, and the present to His love."-Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Friday, July 27, 2007

Calling all skywatchers...

Meteor Shower

The Delta Aquarid meteor shower will peak before dawn July 28. All but the brightest meteors will be washed out, however, by light from the moon. You could try watching in the hour-long window after the moon sets and before twilight brightens the sky. In dark skies, this meteor shower usually produces about 20 meteors per hour. Read more here.

Review on "Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be"

Posted on Amazon.Com

A Worthy Companion for the Journey, July 20, 2007
By Patrice Fagnant "www.spiritualwoman.net" (Springfield, MA)

Even before I had conceived my first child, I had searched for a book on the spirituality of pregnancy. I knew I wanted that time in my life to be prayer filled. I knew it would be a time of tremendous change and possibility and I wanted God to be at the center of it all. "Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine-Month Novena for Mothers To Be" by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle is a fitting companion for the journey of pregnancy.

As Cooper O'Boyle writes, "Motherhood is truly a lofty and blessed vocation. By responding to life with a generous `yes,' you have entered into a partnership with God, cooperating to bring a new soul into this world. What could possibly be more worthwhile than this?" Perhaps as in no other time in life, pregnancy makes you aware of the passage of time. You measure your life by the number of weeks along you are. Each month's progress is marked by visits to your doctor or midwife. Cooper O'Boyle has divided her book into nine sections as well, one for each month, and one for each part of the novena.

Each month includes scriptural excerpts, personal reflections, information on what is happening with your baby, and appropriate prayers for that month. There is also space for you to write your reflections on that month. Each month is meant to be read and used independently as you pass through that month. Some of the prayers are repeated in more than one month.

As in all of Cooper O'Boyle's writings, she is strongly pro stay-at-home mother which might make her readings less palatable for those who either must work or choose to work after her baby is born. That is unfortunate, because she has much to offer in terms of helping one's pregnancy be an occasion for spiritual growth. Also, Cooper O'Boyle speaks only positively about the pregnancy experience. While an amazing time, pregnancy is often also difficult, both physically and emotionally for the woman involved. It might have been helpful to explore those aspects of pregnancy and offer them up in prayer as well.

Despite these criticisms, "Prayerfully Expecting" is a very good book. It encourages a pregnant woman to focus on more than just the physical changes. It is an invitation to prayer and reflection and that is always a welcome call.

Thank you very much, Patrice for your review on Amazon. As a note to the potential reader of this book, I'd like you to know that I feel this book is meant for all Moms, not just stay-at-home Moms. I'll be the first to recommend that a mother should stay with her children as much as she can, but I will never judge a mother needing employment outside the home because of a real need. Life speeds by and I like to encourage mothers to relish in the time with children and their family life before it slips away and they may regret that they weren't there for those very important years, as well as your children missing out.

Also, addressing another "criticism" from the reviewer regarding me not talking about the negative aspects of pregnancy in this book, I feel I did mention many of the physical and emotional ups and downs. Additionally, I like to stay positive and give hope to mothers. I wrote this hopeful book while on complete bed rest due to serious complications where my doctor told me that my baby would not make it much past 10 weeks in the uterus. I prayed and hoped and followed doctor's orders to stay still. Thanks be to God, my daughter survived the pregnancy and is now 16 years old! I have also suffered from three miscarriages. So, I know that pregnancy can be tough. But, we women are tough, right? And God gives us the strength to endure whatever it is that will be. We have to have hope and pass that hope and positive message to all mothers.

God bless!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Update on Bryant who was in hiking accident

My son, Joseph visited Bryant yesterday at the hospital. Bryant is in a body brace and in fairly good spirits. Joseph said that Bryant was going to have surgery on his broken jaw yesterday evening. He was just out of the Intensive Care Unit which is good news and means that his brain contusions are manageable now at this point. He has a long road ahead of him and prayers are very much appreciated. Thank you.

Review on "Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers"

Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Company, Oct, 05)

Review By M. Mccormack (Sandown, NH United States)

A couple of weeks ago, I did a review for Donna Marie's book Heart of Motherhood. And then I picked up this gem & started to read it. What a WONDERFUL book for the busy Catholic mother! The chapters are short & divided by topic but they aren't your standard "chapters" either. Each has a few prayers, specific quotes from Pope John Paul II, Blessed Mother Teresa about the topic and then ends w/a "think about it" sort of reflection to keep the mind & heart focused on the truth about our vocation as mothers. Definitely one for every Catholic mother's collection and easy to dive in & read over & over & over again. This is going to be another of Donna Marie's books that I give as a gift, too! Do yourself a favor & get this one!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hiking accident update

I would like to be able to post an update later today or tonight about Bryant's condition. My son, Joseph will be visiting him at the hospital today.

The Loveliness of Summer Reading Fair

Go on over to Sarah's at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering to read her beautiful post about summer reading which is a compilation of submissions about the subject. You'll get a little taste of a variety of summer reading sentiments. Summer is fleeting...go enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

August plans

Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight is planning ahead for August which is actually right around the corner!

She says, "I've been poring over old journals and seasonal idea books, brainstorming some themes and plans for the upcoming months. I really love this time of year - it's still summer and yet there's that hint of a new season just around the corner ...

With the buzz and bustle of fall not too far off - the time is ripe for enjoying the most of what's left of summer! I am working on a list for the rest of the year, but for now, I'll share what I've jotted down for the month of August - which begins next week!"

Go check out her Themes and plans for August!

'The Loveliness of Summer Reading Fair"

"The Loveliness of Summer Reading"--just the thought of it makes me feel warm and cozy, as if I were already snuggled up with a good book, nestled in a hammock in my back yard. The sunshine is streaming through the leaves and the branches overhead making dancing light patterns on my book, warming my arms and legs as my eyes race over the words on the pages. My hammock is gently swaying; my leg hanging over the side - pushing off at times to keep me going. The breeze teases the pages, threatening to turn them faster than I. Ahh, summer days and summer reading -what fun, what comfort!

My thoughts turn to my childhood and running into the kitchen to find my Mom at the sink washing dishes and me so eager to tell her what had just happened in my newest Nancy Drew mystery book. In my excitement, I could hardly get the words out properly! My Mom continued to wash and I picked up a towel to dry, babbling on and on about my heroine, Nancy the sleuth and her newest mystery to solve or code to decipher. I wonder now if my Mom was as interested in my book as I was, but she always made me feel as though she was interested in me telling it all to her.

Those were the days, ones I vividly remember. The summers of childhood were long and hot and my life was carefree. Lots of books to read, my horse to care for and ride into the lake - adventures to live. Sometimes I would sit all by myself on our hill, with nature all around me, taking it all in with a book on my lap and the luxury of time in my pocket.

Flash forward - here I am writing a post about the "Loveliness of Summer Reading" while my summer thus far is all about writing a book--not about reading a book. With deadlines to fulfil, time seems like a luxury meant for others right now, not for me. I'm not sure when I will be able to pause to enjoy the fun of a good book. But I can encourage everyone else to grab onto this fleeting time and enjoy it. For myself - I can always reminisce and dream of it, looking forward to next summer! :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Update on boys in hiking accident

I heard from Tyler's mother, Sue and she recounted the scenario after talking to her son, Tyler who was hiking with Bryant. Sue said, "All Tyler saw was Bryant's head disappearing behind some trees, and he was gone. After realizing what had happened, he knew that he had to get down there to see how he was...and knew he had to act quickly. He told Jeff to go get help, [so there was another boy hiking, too that I wasn't aware of] as there was no cell phone service, and started to scale down the cliff. There was not much to hold onto, and he could not get an answer from Bryant, so he kept on going. Half way down he lost his grip and tumbled about 60 feet down the rocky ledge, ending up near Bryant, who was quietly moaning...but alive, Thank God! He waited there with him for well over an hour until Jeff and the troopers arrived. He had to wade across the river to get out, and walk the 2 miles out. He is pretty scraped up, and has a concussion...but thankfully, that is it! They airlifted him to Waterbury, and Bryant to New Haven. It was over 3 hours before they finally got Bryant out."

Sue also said that Tyler went up to the hospital to see Bryant along with Bryant's girlfriend and feels optimistic. The doctors have to keep a close watch on Bryant's bleeding brain which means they have to hold off on surgery until they can get that under control.

Tyler's Mom, Sue is very appreciative of all of your prayers and says, "Keep up the prayers...I'm sure that the fact that Rich and I were in front of the Blessed Sacrament on Friday night is what kept Tyler from being more seriously injured." Sue and her husband, Rich were chaperones at the Steubenville retreat over the week end when all of this happened.

Thank you everyone for your prayers for the whole situation. I am sure that Bryant is certainly far from being "out of the woods' right now. He is in very critical condition but we are hopeful and praying for God's healing power for everyone involved. Tyler could of course use prayers, as well. Prayers are needed and are so appreciated. God bless you all!

Botulism outbreak

Castleberry has recalled more than 90 types of canned chili, beef stew, corned beef hash, dog food and other meat products in the last week due to possible botulism poisoning.

WASHINGTON (July 22) - A Georgia meat processor on Saturday expanded its recall of canned meat products that may be connected to a botulism outbreak.

The following brands are affected:

Best Yet
Big Y
Black Rock
Bunker Hill
Cattle Drive
Food Club
Food Lion
Great Value
Morton House
Natural Balance dog food
Piggly Wiggly
Southern Home
Steak N Shake
Thrifty Maid
Triple Bar
Value Time

Please read the article here.

I can't get that boy out of my mind...

I just can't get that boy out of my mind...thinking about the extent of his injuries and the pain he must be in - and that's a good thing that he won't leave my mind - it prods me to constant prayers for him and his buddy.

The little bit of an update that I have for you...Bryant (who is 18, my son, Joseph's friend, and fellow band member) is still in critical condition after his hiking accident - thank God he is alive! The other boy, Tyler is fine, I hear. Thank You, dear Lord!

Here's what I heard happened - The two boys were hiking at a hiking park. Bryant went ahead of his buddy, Tyler. When Tyler caught up to where he thought Bryant would be he couldn't find him and looked around. A rock had become lose under Bryant's foot and he fell hundreds of feet. Tyler heard Bryant's groans from below. Tyler had to scale down sharp rocks for hundreds of feet to get to Bryant. He tumbled most of the way down. After checking on Bryant and talking with him briefly, he hiked the hill to get to a telephone and call for help. They were both flown by Life Star helicopters to two hospitals.

Bryant is in Intensive Care. He has three brain contusions, a broken hip, two broken legs, his hand are broken, most or all of his ribs, something wrong with his spine, and I'm not sure what else. Bryant lost his father suddenly last year because of a stroke. I know that Bryant's Mom is devastated right now. I will surely keep you all posted and appreciate your prayers. Let's storm Heaven for Bryant's healing and whatever else it is that God is doing with him and his family and loved ones.

Thanks so much for your prayers.

God bless,


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Speaking of "Embracing Motherhood," please pray for two boys hurt in a hiking accident

I can only imagine the fear, grief, worry and pain that these two mothers feel right now about their sons who fell off a cliff in a hiking accident last night. I just got word today that my son, Joseph's friend, Bryant and his buddy were critically hurt in a hiking accident yesterday. My son, Joseph is on a retreat at the moment and got word about the accident and needless to say, many prayers are being said at the retreat for the victims.

My heart is going out to the boys. One of them - my son's friend is lying in intensive care with two broken legs, two broken hands, most or all of his ribs broken, and I'm sure more bones, as well. I don't know for sure, but I think miraculously, he didn't break his neck. I heard that he fell hundreds of feet after the rock under his foot gave way and he went down. One of the hikers had to hike a good distance to get to a phone to call for help. Bryant remained conscious while his buddy sought help. Two helicopters were used to get the boys to two hospitals. Please pray for them. I'm sorry that my details are sketchy, but this is what I have right now.

Words to ponder...

How do you like these words from St. Francis de Sales? He said, "The state of marriage is one that requires more virtue and constancy than any other. It is a perpetual exercise in mortification." Do these words ring true with you? Yes, marriage is beautiful, joyful and loving but it also requires much work which will bring spouses closer together and may indeed result in much spiritual growth as an added benefit! :)

I believe that St. Francis de Sales speaks of the necessity of utilizing the graces that we have access to in the Sacrament of marriage to truly live the vocation of sanctification of oneself and one's spouse.

Are we mortifying ourselves today in the sense that we are dying to ourselves for the sake of our marriage? Are we giving selflessly? This is a resolve we need to renew and reflect upon often, I believe.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Blessed Mother Mary and Motherhood

How can the Virgin Mother of God, the first disciple, a member of the Holy Family, and the Mother of the Church also be my mother? How does the Blessed Mother's life affect mine? How can a simple mother like me aspire to imitate such an amazing mother?

When we think about Mary, we may recall instances in her life that we have learned which illustrate her gentleness, humility, holiness, and her selflessness. Images from our Catholic tradition and what we have learned from Scripture may come to mind. We are reminded of Mary as a little faithful Jewish girl praying with her people in Palestine for the coming of the Messiah, fulfilling God's promises. Mary also prayed for the restoration of Jerusalem as the gathering place of the chosen people. Mary was familiar with Isaiah's words that a virgin would conceive and bear a child called Immanuel — "God with us." Throughout her faithful prayers, however, Mary never imagined that she would be that virgin.

A Faithful and Generous Heart

We certainly recall the momentous occasion when the Angel Gabriel visited Mary when she was a teenager, announcing to her that she would become Jesus' mother (Luke 1:26-39). Because of her humility, Mary found it difficult to believe that it was she, a simple girl, who was chosen by God. When Mary took that blessing to her heart she responded with her courageous "yes" to God. Her determination and generous heart sent her shortly afterwards on a three day journey, on foot, pregnant and by herself, to help her cousin Elizabeth who was much older and also expecting a child. Joseph stayed behind with his work. Scripture tells us that Mary "went in haste to a Judean town in the hill country" (Luke 1:39). We can be sure that Mary prayed and reflected all throughout her journey, while the blessedness of Jesus dwelled within her. After Elizabeth's baby leaped in her womb upon Mary's arrival, the two women embraced. Elizabeth praised Mary for her great faith, and Mary responded with the words of the Magnificat, glorifying God's holiness, justice and mercy (Luke 1:46-55). She humbly expressed that all generations will call her blessed because of the great things the Lord had done in her (Luke 1:48-49).

Perhaps as we think about Mary, we may envision Joseph leading his beloved Mary on a donkey searching for a place for Mary to give birth to Jesus. In their simplicity of traveling mode, Mary was jostled around on the donkey's back, praying to be able to fulfill her mission and bring forth her Son, the Redeemer of the world. We know that the innkeeper turned the holy parents away. Joseph and Mary proceeded in haste to the stable in Bethlehem where soon afterwards Jesus' infant cries were comforted at His mother's breast as Joseph looked on, praising God. Jesus, who is our King and Savior was paradoxically born into poverty, resting in a wooden manger of hay, hardly what is expected for a King's birth. Angels sent simple shepherds to Mary and Joseph to see their holy baby. Mary "treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19)

Through the hidden years, we can imagine Mary teaching Jesus on her knee in the warmth of their humble home. As Jesus grew, Mary surely encouraged her Son to help Joseph in his trade as a carpenter. Mary's faith deepened in the cenacle of prayer that she fostered in the heart of her home, caring for her Son within their Holy Family. She must have shared with him about the Angel's words to her, about His birth in Bethlehem, and Simeon's prophesy.

Read my entire article at Catholic Exchange today.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Our contest winner for "Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers!"

Our winner was selected from among many, many entries to Embracing Motherhood's first book give away contest! Drum roll, please...Our winner is Lisa LaLonde from Texas!! Congratulations, Lisa!! I have your address and will send your book out to you today! I hope you enjoy it. Thank you to the person who nominated her and thank you to everyone for entering themselves and loved ones to the contest.

This was so much fun, I am going to run another contest soon. Stay tuned for details. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Review of The Heart of Motherhood

The Heart of Motherhood: Finding Holiness in the Catholic Home
WRITTEN BY Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
Review by Lorraine Williams that appeared in "Catholic Insight" a Canadian magazine

The search for a meaningful present for a daughter, granddaughter, relative or friend can be daunting. However, the good news is the search is ended with this delightful and deceptively simple book. How often does a reviewer get to read a book by an author whose writings have been endorsed both by our late Pope John Paul II and blessed Mother Teresa? Yet Cooper O’Boyle, a Lay Missionary of Charity, was able to obtain their blessing on her works when she submitted portions of her manuscript for their comments. Her devotion both to the Holy Father and to Mother Teresa shines through the pages of her book.

Just what is it that Cooper O’Boyle is trying to tell us? Her reflections on mothering are really applications of St. Theresa’s (The Little Flower) Little Way---the offering to God of every single moment of the chaos, rewards, sufferings, satisfactions, joys and disappointments experienced in the average home where parents are raising children. And it is evident from the narration that Cooper O’ Boyle knows all about it. This is a young wife and mother raising five children and having to content with the influence of the outside world on what she describes as her personal “domestic church.”

She first of all challenges modern parenting myths. “Remember that we are parents, not the best friends” of our children. This means that one is always ready to be open and listen to them, but must always “hold tight to our values and teachings of the truth about God … We have the immediate duty to instill the proper teachings into our children.” She adds a cautionary note---we are not to water those truths down!

Throughout this book, the author reminds mothers to turn to Mary when days are difficult. She quotes from the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity---”Indeed, while leading a life common to us, one filled with family concerns and labours, Mary was always intimately united in Christ, furthering the work of the Saviour.” She quotes from saints such as Bernadine of Siena and Louis de Montfort who remind us that “Mary’s holy feet crushed the head of the Serpent.” Thus Satan can never have power over us if we pray. By inculcating our children with a love for the recitation of the Rosary, we can be assured of Mary’s help in times of temptation. She is the best role model a mother can have.

Cooper O’Boyle warns that prayer with children should never be forced to the point where they turn against it. This delicate balance requires judiciousness and patience on the part of the parents.

The text is sprinkled with quotes from Bless Mother Teresa. One that informs the author---and the reader---about how Mary models to us the concept of selfless love is the episode when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth: “Our Lady, the most beautiful of all women, the greatest, the humblest, the most holy, the moment she felt she was full of grace, full of Jesus, went in haste---and here she is a model to all women---by sharing immediately what she had received.” Thus, the author points out, is how God has fashioned a woman’s heart---to be nurturing and giving.

Cooper O’Boyle stresses the need for personal and family prayer. It is in this way that the family can become a “holy family” unto its own. Again she quotes Blessed Teresa as to how to turn action into prayer. “Love cannot remain by itself---it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service. How do we put the love for God into action? By being faithful to our family, to the duties that God has entrusted to us.” Was there ever sounder advice? Establishing the routine of making a Morning Offering every day transforms our actions into prayer. As Cooper O’Boyle puts it, “our life becomes a prayer.”

Helping our children individually realize the enormity of God’s love for us is accomplished one person at a time. Blessed Teresa is again an example for mothers, as she extended loving hands and a selfless heart to each person she met. Very seldom did she address mass crowds.

The chapter dealing with Family Prayer is very beautiful. It talks about the importance of children seeing their mother and father at prayer. “By praying with and in front of our children, from an early age we will lay down a very important foundation that ill remain with them throughout life.” This complements Cooper O’Boyle’s belief that establishing Family Nights once a week will lead to the fulfillment of Pope John Paul’s sentiment that “if the family is the place where children first encounter the world, the family must be for children the first school of peace.”

This little book is sprinkled with concrete suggestions as to how to foster all the above virtues that build one’s personal “domestic church.” There is also realistic attention paid to the fact that we all can experience the “splinters of the Cross” in our role as parents. Again, faith and love will carry us through these moments of trial and suffering.

At the conclusion of the book, the author reminds mothers (and all parents) that “When we draw our dying breath in this earthly life, we will not be judged by how many projects we completed, how far up the ladder we managed to climb, or how many careers we succeeded at; rather we will be judged only and explicitly by how we loved.”

Though this book in parts seems repetitious, it is never tedious or condescending. It reiterates truths that need to be heard over and over, because mothering can be so all-consuming at times, that one can lose touch with its spiritual side. Another helpful component of the book’s structure is that each of its ten chapters ends with prayers echoing the theme of that chapter. As a mother of five, I’m grateful for this book, because even though my children are grown and out of the house, I can still apply the principles so clearly delineated here.

My friend, Roxane's website

I encourage you to visit my friend Roxane's website. Roxane is a children's author living in the Midwest of the US. Her books are lovely and her story is sweet!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chaldea's Art Show

My artist daughter, Chaldea recently had an art exhibit called "Trees and Buildings." It was of an art theme she had been working on which consisted of various trees and buildings from places she had visited or lived.

I was admiring the Lemon Tree picture on the wall at the exhibit to the right of Chaldea. It was really my favorite because it seemed like a "happy" picture. Well, my daughter Chaldea surprised me one day recently and brought me her "Lemon Tree" and now it is proudly displayed on my kitchen wall!

Monday, July 16, 2007

What a privilege!

Just kidding! It's a photo of me at the Book Expo in NYC in early June standing near a cardboard cut out of Pope Benedict at the Crossroad Publishing booth! Got ya for a second there, didn't I?!

There's still time to win a book!

There's still time to win a book! I am running a contest here at Embracing Motherhood to give away a copy of my book, Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers to a deserving Mom, GrandMom, Godmother or stepmother! So get your entries in by sending them to DMCooperOboyle(at)aol(dot)com. You may nominate three deserving people, including yourself! So come on, nominate!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

"Mom's Corner" radio segment tomorrow!

Hello Moms and Grandmoms and Caregivers!

Is there an issue you would like me to address in my segment tomorrow morning with Teresa Tomeo regarding "Slipping into Summer Mode: Let's Not Forget About the Prayer!"?

Now is your chance to send me a comment today or tonight and/or to call in to the show. Details are in the post below regarding the link to listen to the show on Ave Maria Radio Live. The show will air at 9:10 AM Eastern time on Monday morning.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Informative article by Heidi Hess Saxton about "Abuse-Proofing" your children

The ABCs of Abuse-Proofing Your Children
By Heidi Hess Saxton

"After my article on the HPV vaccine was published on CE, the director of teen ministry at my parish got in touch with me, and we began a series of thoughtful yet matter-of-fact exchanges about the best way to keep young Catholic women from experiencing life-long consequences due to what are often immature impulses. Two scenarios that we touched upon hit especially close to home for me: sexual assault (including "date rape") and domestic violence — the seeds of which are often sewn early in the relationship.

In the article that follows, I tell the story of "Karen." Though names have been changed, her story is true. It is my hope and prayer that parents reading this will be inspired to talk with their children — particularly their daughters — about staying safe..." Read her entire article at Catholic Exchange.

Prayers again for my children

About a week ago I asked for payers for my children who were flying to "the other side of the world." I am asking again for prayers for their safe return. They will be flying home tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 8:00 AM EASTERN time.

Thank you so very much.
God bless!

Book contest and Radio Show with Teresa Tomeo

A couple of things today...

Don't forget about the contest! "What contest?" you ask. Check out the details here for Embracing Motherhood's first book contest! You can nominate up to three people including yourself to win a copy of my book, Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers!

Also, this Monday, July 16th, I will be on another segment of my "Mom's Corner" with Teresa Tomeo on her "Catholic Connection" show on Ave Maria Radio! It will be at 9:10 AM EASTERN time and the topic will be "Slipping into Summer Mode: Let's not Forget About the Prayer." We will discuss strategies to keep focused on the importance of prayer in our lives throughout every season. What kinds of things can we do with our kids this summer that involve prayer? You can listen in LIVE at this link and you may also CALL IN!

Teresa Tomeo is a great radio host an author of the new book, Noise in which she exposes the noise in the mass media that has infiltrated our lives. Teresa gives us her "insider's" knowledge about the harm being done to unsuspecting families AND she also gives us a great plan of action, too.

Teresa's radio show, "Catholic Connection" discusses all Catholic issues. If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to the show, please check it out. You may even learn something new about your faith, in addition you will feel a camaraderie. It's a very informative show and Teresa is very charming. :)

So, don't forget to tune in on Monday, July 16th at 9:10 AM EASTERN time. Listen in and feel free to CALL IN! I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I met two expectant mothers with multiple unborn babies!

Recently while at a book signing event I met two expectant mothers who just happened to be at the Barnes & Noble store where I was signing copies of my newest book, Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be. One of the women, Martha is expecting FOUR babies! That's right, quadruplets! I thought that was pretty amazing! The other woman, Carolina (pronounced Caroleena) is expecting twins! Needless to say, it was very exciting to sign books for the two expectant Moms and to give them blessed Miraculous Medals and wish them well. :)

Please keep Martha and Carolina and their families in your prayers, if you don't mind.

Thanks so much and God bless!

New review on The Heart of Motherhood

The Heart of Motherhood

Excellent & Beautiful book for all Catholic Mothers, July 11, 2007

By M. Mccormack (Sandown, NH United States)

I’ve read MANY books about being Catholic, being a Mom & being a Catholic Mom…but none of them have touched my heart & mind the way this one did. It was SO common sense about how to weave our Catholicity into our daily lives when there are children at our feet before 5 AM (when it’s near impossible to get up before them to pray…even if we really, really want to) and at night, we just pass out, not fall asleep. I read this book twice, have MUCH highlighting throughout & even bought a 2nd copy to give to my sil for her birthday this past Feb. Being a Mom can seem to be a thankless job, being a stay-at-home mom is less than respected in today’s society and being a Catholic Mom in the truest sense of the word, can be rougher than anything else I could imagine. Using the practical wisdom in this book helped me to see that even though I can’t physically be on my knees in prayer, my heart can be bowed down & focused on Our Lord all day, everyday, keeping my focus on the true Heart of (Catholic) Motherhood.


Thank you, Mary!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Catholic Carnival for July 10, 2007

Welcome to the July 10, 2007 edition of Catholic carnival. Thank you to all of you who have contributed! This is my first time hosting and being new to this - I had planned on having a "Summer Mothering" theme but of course, I welcome all topics. :) I'm sharing a bit of my garden with all of you, too for your enjoyment. Summertime is a great time of year. Hopefully we are all finding some time, however small - to be with our families and loved ones to refresh, renew, and RELAX!

We begin with Suzanne Temple of Blessed Among Men who shares her "rule of six" or "Six Things to Include in My Children's Summer Days" which she says "includes meaningful or disciplined work, healthy and imaginative play, beauty (art and music and nature), good books, prayer, and discussion." Visit her "flowerful" summer post here.

Jaime Gregory at her blog Life Happens tells us about her Summer School plans gearing up for her homeschooling to officially begin in September for her two children. She shares, "Kids are learning every day; we are just helping them along!"

Barb at SFO Mom recounts a summer evening experience and calls it How To Make Your Mom Cry.

Karen Edmisten discusses how Mr. Potato Head went along with her family on their Camping trip! Be sure to read her post for a good chuckle!

Heidi H. Saxton at her blog Mommy Monsters Inc. said, "How did Moses cross the Red Sea? (march, march)
Did he swim? No, no. (swing arms like windmills)
Did he sail? No, no. (did they even have pontoons on the Red Sea? I don't know.)
Did he fly? No, no, no, no! (make like a bird)
Did he run? No, no. (Well, maybe a bit when Pharaoh was chasing him.)..." What in the world is she talking about? Vacation Bible school, that's what! Read her post The Art of "Momfullness."

Athanasius tells us at 50 Days After "St Paul wrote that men should love their wives as Jesus Christ loves the Church." He explains how he more fully understood these words after he got married. Read his post As Christ Loves the Church here.

"What did you do for your marriage today?" Jay of Living Catholicism asks us. He talks about the new campaign launched by the USCCB (Catholic Bishops) that he "can really get behind: What did you do for your marriage today?" Jay feels that it is a great campaign to help any man or woman to become a better spouse.

On a lighthearted note and focusing on the joys of summer, Sarah at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering is taking a look at just how indoctrinated her daughter is becoming to life out in the boonies. She says, "So, just in case YOU were wondering how you could tell if your children have the same malady..." Take a look at her summertime list to help you "identify just when that fairy princess has turned farm girl on you!" Read Sarah's post You're Raising a Farm Girl When..." for a look at the lighter side of summer on a farm.

Cehwiedel from Kicking Over My Traces tells us in Shadow Christians in the Modern World that everyday Catholics need to reach out and share the Gospel.

Heart, Mind and Strength offers us a reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday 7/6 (including mention of the Church as “mother”) in Three Names for the Church

Catholic Matriarch in My Domestic Church offers us "In addition to prayer, here are a few suggestions to keep your teen
drivers safe," in
Driving Home a Few Points

Catholic Matriarch in My Domestic Church also tells us "Our Catholic view of marriage should be different than that of the
secular world. Refocusing on marriage as a vocation will sanctify our
marriages and our families." in Marriage is not the Purview of the HR Department.

Jen at Daughter of the King enthusiastically tells us that "She is Here! Who's here? Our Lady of Perpetual Help that's Who! Jen says, "Things change when a family, a community, or a person living alone, begin to live under the compassionate gaze of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. By accepting the icon of the Mother of God into our homes, we accept Her also into our hearts and so fulfill what is written concerning Saint John, the Beloved Disciple of the Lord: "And from that hour, the disciple took Her to his own (John 19:27)." Read her post here.

Seminarian Matthew at A Catholic Life offers a discussion of Communion in the Hand, extraordinary ministers, and altar servers at his post Mission: Restore Eucharistic Reverence.

Loni at Finding Joy in the Morning talks about her "Summer Mothering." She tells us, "We have been taking walks, having picnics, going to parks, visiting a petting zoo, and enjoying the outdoors..." Take a look at her beautiful photos and read more about their family's "goals of having fun, doing more family things. Laughing more..."

Minnesota Mom, Margaret in her post So Much Summer; So Little Time discusses "the ambitious, wistful longings we all have heading into this allegedly more relaxed season" (My sentiments precisely, Margaret! As a matter of fact, I'd love to be sitting on that bench right about now! We DO have to MAKE time to rest this summer).

LLM at
Catholic Mom's Journey
talks about, "Swimming, ice cream, vacations. Images of summer time. It is a delightful time of the year and definitely different for our family than the rest of the year" in her post Summer Fun!

Lisa Hendey of Catholic Mom.Com is in love with summer! She says, "At my kids’ school, I’m notorious among the parents, the teachers and the students for one thing: I LOVE SUMMER!

I’m the mom who is grinning ear to ear on the last day of school. I’m also the mom with a tummy ache and tears in her eyes on the first morning back to school. The reality is, I love having my boys at home. I love seeing their sleepy heads rise at 9:27 (they’re growing teens – they sleep in!). I love watching them cook lunch at 11:30 and again at 2:46, and having them ask me at 4:49 what we’re having for dinner. I love the sound of their guitars, their games, and their laughter together. I love midnight dips in the pool and going out for ice cream after a late movie. I love camping with my family – sitting around a campfire telling stories or listening to them play their instruments. I love it all!...

Lisa continues, "Summer around our home is a way of life. We decided long ago to leave schedule camps and summer school to other families. We try to keep things as unscheduled as possible (in an effort to balance out the rest of our overly scheduled year!). We look for opportunities for family fun. This weekend, for example, we went to a free Shakespeare in the park performance Friday evening and a Celtic jam session on Sunday afternoon. My boys do school work over the summer (reading, math and writing) in an effort to keep minds and skills sharp. Their summer writing journals have become precious mementos – souvenirs of special times in special places.

With my boys turning sixteen and thirteen in September, I have a sense of the fleeting passage of time. This summer I find myself acutely aware that in a few short years my boys will have moved on to the next phase of life, and that I too will find my life changed. But for now, I do my best to savor each special moment as a summer mother!"

Barb SFO Mom shares a letter she wrote to her daughter on the feast of Maria Goretti. Read it here at her post.

Revolt in the Dessert offers a post in which we are told, "If we desire Peace, then we must somehow surpass the brokenness of the present..." Go take a look at Revolt in the Dessert.

Tom O'Toole presents Live Rich or Die: Al Gore and the God of Global Warming posted at Fighting Irish Thomas. Go take a look.

Jean Marie from Catholic Fire gives us an explanation of this feast day, the promises that accompany it, the benefits (via indulgences) entailed in wearing the Carmelite scapular, and the novena, which is already in progress.
Visit her post at Catholic Fire.

Ana of Ana Braga-Henebry's Journal offers us a very nice summer post. She talks about her family, her garden and her Stations of The Cross project. She says,"We pray as a family every night. When company is here, we invite them to participate in our prayer time with us. It is always a wonderful way to close the day, because much conversation ensues and often dots are connected."

Hope from Mothers of Many Saints lets us in on her secret about the "work before us that will bring us and our children to holiness and to heaven," in her post The Work of God.

Alice at Cottage Blessings offers us Patrick and the Homeless Woman: A Ride on a Cable Car a heartfelt story about "summer mothering" in a new city. Be sure to read it.

Watch this beautiful and peaceful You Tube, "Silence is Everything." by Sandy Carlson. Let's see if we can find a bit of silence here and there this summer in which to pause and hear our Lord whisper to our souls.

Thanks for visiting! I hope you had an enjoyable time! :) Remember to put some time aside with your family and friends in which to PAUSE so that you may ENJOY, RENEW and REFRESH!

I'm leaving you with one more piece of something TRULY beautiful to watch before you leave...a short and stunning video, "Beauty in it's Time" created by my very talented friend, Sandy Carlson of Writing in Faith. I know you will love it!

God bless your summer days!

, .