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Saturday, December 29, 2012

lessons for boys

i saw this on face book and i really like it.

20 things a mom should tell her son....

 1.  play a sport... it will teach you to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble.
 2.  you will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don't take something away from her that you can't give back.
 3.  use careful aim when you pee.  someone has to clean that up, you know.
 4.  save money when you're young because you're going to need it someday.
 5.  let me introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom.  now please go use them.
 6.  pray and be a spiritual leader.
 7.  don't ever be a bully and don't ever start a fight, but, if someone clocks you, please defend yourself.
 8.  your knowledge and education are things no one can take away from you.
 9.  treat women kindly. forever is a long time to live alone.  it's even longer with someone who hates your guts.
10.  take pride in your appearance.
11.  be strong and tender at the same time.
12.  women can do everything you can do.  this includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3am.
13.  'yes, ma'am' and ' yes, sir' still go a long way.
14.  they are called private parts for a reason.  they are private.  do not scratch them in public.
15.  peer pressure is a scary thing.  be a good leader and others will follow.
16.  bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.
17.  it is better to be kind than to be right.
18.  a sense of humor goes a long way in the healing process.
19.  choose your spouse wisely.  my daughter in law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.
20.  remember to call your mother because i might be missing you.

(personal note....#20 is so very important)

my boys are grown now.
i'm tickled with the men they are becoming.
handsome, kind, hardworking, funny and family oriented.
as i look back, i realize, in some ways, it's harder to mother boys because you have never been one.
you have no experience to go on.
you can love them with all you've got, show them a woman's perspective, and pray A LOT.
with any luck, it works out.

and, i must add......especially #20
my 2 wonderful boys.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012......

Clinton Square skating
Christmas dinner
 our family enjoyed a nice Christmas.
kelly and jeff came from n.j., jimmy was home from BU, my sister janey came up from pennsylvania and john and emily joined us for part of the time.
we went skating in clinton square, played cards and board games and ate WAY TOO MUCH.
at midnight on Christmas eve, we gathered around the tree and opened gifts.
we are a very fortunate bunch, for sure.
my favorite part was the nice words murray said about our family and me.
there have been times when i've felt my efforts were taken for granted and valued very little.
 hearing him recognize the part i have played in our family really warmed my heart.
with all the changes our family is going through, i feel so lucky to have murray to hang onto through it all.

murray & me
I love you, murray!

Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.
-- Barbara Bush

i appreciate your comments....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Midnight Sledding w/ Tootsie

tootsie and jeff arrived yesterday.
they had a rough traffic trip, but they finally got here.
safe & sound.

we ate chicken tacos amd played games...
but around 11pm, we got a bit bored.

with a bit of coaxing, we convinced murray into taking us over the the local high school for some midnight sledding.
(who am i kidding, murray can never say 'no' to tootsie)

t'was fun!

i appreciate your comments....

Friday, December 21, 2012


i happened upon this quote this morning,
and i sent it to kelly and john today.
and i really hope they read it cause it really is true.

"Why is it that people get married?
Because we need a witness to our lives.
There are a billion people on the planet.
What does any one life mean?
But, in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything.
The good things...
The bad things...
The terrible things...
The mundane things...
All of it...
All the time...
You're saying...
Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.  
Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will witness it."
                                     from the movie...Shall We Dance

i hope they will be good listeners and witnesses.
and i hope their partners are the same.

cause i love them.

and just because i can't post a picture of kelly in her wedding dress until she gets married, i will post a picture of a recent long arm job.
thank God for my quilts.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Johnny O

I am angry. Over the last fifty years, our country has waged a war on moral excellence. We have diminished the achievements of those who exemplify moral excellence in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the business world, and instead have become a nation that celebrates mediocrity and entitlement. We no longer speak of God in government or schools, for fear of offending the sensibilities of anyone who does not believe. Many people refuse to accept the existence of a higher ethical code, the universal, other worldly morality that for thousands of years has been a guiding force for humanity. We have forsaken standards, and become a nation of rules. Even worse, the voices of morality have been drowned out by the talking heads who tell us that we are wrong to believe in God, and disrespectful to display our belief in something greater then us. This is not my America.

The tragedy in Sandy Hook has rightfully heightened the call for additional gun control in this country. That being said, we are once again losing sight of the real issue here: laws do not change behavior as much as high standards and moral imperatives do. Laws compel behavior, but they do not change attitudes or they way people see right and wrong. Laws are there to be tested, amended, and eventually broken by those who do not feel that the rules apply to them. Our nation has become a nation of laws, and our populace has an ever increasing number of people who preach that rules are not applicable when they are inconvenient, uncomfortable, and not self serving.

We used to be a nation of standards and righteousness. We used to speak of things such as liberty, freedom, and justice. We used to celebrate love, commitment, hard work, compassion, integrity, and humility, characteristics that all humans can, and should aspire to. They do not require government assistance, or money, or power. They just require the belief in something greater then ourselves, and a less ego-centric view of life.

A nation of high moral standards takes care of its poor, its downtrodden, and lends a helping hand to those who need one. It protects its’ children, the environment, and all people. It promotes freedom, liberty and justice because they are virtuous, and not because it is required to do so by laws and rules. A nation of standards sets the bar high for all of its citizens, and demands selflessness, not selfishness.

American exceptionalism arose from the creation of a nation that adhered to Judeo Christian standards, and not an abundance of secular rules. Our nation of standards was not, nor has ever been perfect. We became a model for the world because of what we aspired to be, and what we committed to become. Now we have lost our way. We have traded standards for rules. We have traded aspiration for compliance. We have stopped serving others, and focused on serving ourselves first.

More laws and stricter gun control will not prevent future Sandy Hooks, but they are ways for our politicians and leaders to pretend they are doing something. It is far easier for them to throw money and media at the symptoms of our moral decline then it is to strike at the underlying causes of sin and a collapse of our value system. Why? Because a focus on values would shine the light upon the putrid behavior of many of our so called leaders, the very men and women who are supposed to personify what is best about America, and not what is worst. A focus on moral imperatives exposes the values of a country that has become so corrupted by wealth, power and greatness that we no longer remember how we or why we became great. Do we really believe that our leaders - many of whom on a daily basis put party above country, and their own quest for reelection and power before the long term security and prosperity of our nation - are going to prevent the next Sandy Hook with a few new laws?

Instead, we need to begin the change at home. Our kids need parents, not additional best friends. We need to demand more of ourselves, and expect less from our government. We need more religion in our lives, not less. We need to pay more attention to our moral imperatives, and less to our secular platitudes. We need higher standards, and fewer rules. Sure we can reduce the amount of bullets in a magazine, or the accessibility of semi-automatic weapons, but if we want real change, we need people to say “These things are right, and these things are wrong, and its time to take a stand.”

I believe in American greatness, and the ability of our nation to once again be a symbol for enduring righteousness and a moral barometer for the world. I believe in the capacity of the American people to change ourselves, and change our country. I believe that we can prevent more Sandy Hook’s, and turn that incredible sadness into a moment that defines who we are as a country. This does not require acts of Congress; it requires acts of kindness, and generosity, and compassion. It requires us to hug our kids tighter, and be better parents. It asks us to attend religious services, and admit that there are moral imperatives for which we should aspire to. We can change ourselves, and that will bring about far greater change then any new laws can.

And what to do when we are confronted by the secularists, who claim that there is no moral authority, and that we should not impose our beliefs on others? Well, first we can respect their beliefs, for they are entitled to them. Then, we can look them in the eye and tell them, “I’m sorry you feel that way, because that is not my America.”

Friday, December 14, 2012

New Life

today started out joyously.
with the long awaited arrival of stella kate...
stella kate & her irresistible big brother, nicolas aloysius

how did this day go so wrong?
how do you comprehend the violence?
the loss of so many innocent children and their teachers?

you can't...
all you can do is pray for those who have lost so much....
and hold those you love close....
and make sure they know you love them.

and be grateful for joyful moments like stella kate & nico...

welcome stella kate...
i can't wait to meet you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Santa Lucia Day!

look who God gave me 26 years ago today....

John Patrick!!!

a baby brother then...

a big brother later...

a sweetie...
a silly one...

an athlete

a scholar

and so much more!
a piece of my heart.
my very own superhero.
my happy camper.
my helper.
my friend.
my number one son.
a joy in my life.

a boy who has grown into a man before my eyes.
a man i am so proud to call my son.

i hope you can always feel how very much i love you.


*i love you everyday*


Sunday, December 9, 2012

missing mom

today is a special day.
a day of happiness and sadness.
6 years ago today, i was privileged to be present with my mom when she left this earth.
she waited 3 long days for me to arrive, and i will never forget how she reached out to me just before she passed.
what an act of love.
a beautiful gift, so full of a mother's love.
by far, the best gift i have ever received.
that was mom.
through all of life's struggles, she remained dedicated to her family and full of her faith in God.

was she perfect?
was she just as she should be?

i love you, mom.
and i miss you EVERY SINGLE DAY.