I invite you to sign The Manhattan Declaration

The Manhattan Declaration

Theodore's Memorial Video

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Various comments:

Please pray for the Bishop of Saginaw, MI, who underwent surgery recently. Pray for a speedy recovery. I saw this informationon another blog, and knowing how blessed the Diocese of Saginaw is with this new bishop, I wanted to enlist your prayers for him.

At the request of my wife, there is now another blog attached to my name. It is rather like the Duck Stalking Scorpion blog in that it is supposed to be technical in nature rather than full of pictures of Beanie Babies. See it HERE.

Handkerchief Count, Day 12(Day 11 was missed)


2 handkerchief used by me over the past 2 days.

0 new clean handkerchief in the sock drawer.


Note the trend: no return of the handkerchiefs.

Gonzo Mysticism

This is the first in a series of commentaries on books on my recommended reading list. This is not a complete review of the book.

One of my most memorable Muppet characters is that of the Great Gonzo. He appears to be some sort of bird of prey such as a vulture. When he is first introduced in the Muppet Movie, he explains to the main characters(Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear) that he is following his dream to be a movie star. He plans on breaking into movies by going to Bombay, India. When asked about going to Hollywood instead, he replies that 'getting rich and famous in Hollywood was just doing it the easy way.'

This scene kept coming to my mind as I read Charles de Foucauld, a biography by Jean-Jacques Antier. More about the Foucauld/Gonzo connection later.

The situation in India’s movie industry has improved since The Muppet Movie was made, but we will ignore that for argument’s sake.

Briefly, Charles de Foucauld was born into a wealthy French family, lost both his parents at a young age, and descended into atheism and debauchery. As a young man, he joined the French army and served with distinction. He traveled extensively in Africa and the Middle East, writing books about his discoveries. Through the grace of God and the help of a few holy souls, he came back to the Faith. He eventually became a monk in the Sahara desert, and died there at the hands of the Muslims he had come to serve and convert.

This is an extremely simplified summary of the life of a holy man. I read this book because of my own experience with Charles de Foucauld. Years ago, I had a spiritual advisor, a priest, who gave me a prayer that Foucauld had composed. I was facing a lot of challenges at the time, and the priest told me that the prayer was written by a man who never converted a soul. I think his point was that, in the eyes of the world, both Foucald and I would be considered failures, but God sees things differently.

Here is the prayer:

My Father,
I abandon myself to you.
Make of me what you will.

Whatever you make of me,
I thank you.
I am ready for everything
I accept everything.

Provided that your will be done in me,
In all your creatures.
I desire nothing else, Lord.

I put my soul into your hands,
I give it to you, Lord,
With all the love in my heart,
Because I love you,
And because it is for me a need of love
To give myself,
To put myself in your hands unreservedly,
With infinite trust.

For You are my Father.

I love this prayer, and keep it on my PDA so that I can read it any time. The abandonment of self to God is a constant challenge in one who is so attached to the world, so any encouragement or inspiration can help.

I thought of Gonzo while reading this book because Foucauld seemed to be following the most difficult path to sanctity. In his spiritual journey he briefly joined several monasteries, finding each one not austere enough for his preference. He then became a monk, and even there wanted to live in the most austere surroundings. Like Gonzo, he did not want to take it easy, so he moved to one of the most desolate areas of the Sahara.

One incident bothered me more than the others. For a while, Foucauld was living in a hermitage near an oasis in the Sahara. This oasis was a center of trade, and had a French military outpost nearby. He was very busy, tending to the spiritual as well as physical needs of travelers as well as the soldiers. He was so busy that he found it difficult to lead a life of solitude and prayer, and this was one of the reasons he moved on. In my opinion, he was leaving a place where he could serve God as a shepherd to the large number of people who sought him out. He appears to have wasted his gifts by seeking an isolated place to serve God. I wonder what would have happened if Foucauld had stayed out of the Sahara.

To answer my own question, I suspect he would not be where he is today, Blessed Charles de Foucauld. I also suspect that I would have never discovered him and his spirituality, which has been at times a great consolation to me.

Blessed Charles de Foucauld:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Bad Marketing Strategy

I just got this note from a religious order which will remain nameless, and I am flustered.

Recall that this is STILL the month where we pray for the souls of the Faithful Departed in order to relieve some of their temporal punishment while they are in Purgatory. The common ways to make restitution for the souls in Purgatory are to pray, fast, and give alms.

Now think about that last activity. A common way that people can offer prayers and give alms is to make donations to various religious orders (or the local parish) and have a Mass offered for the Faithful Departed. By doing this, we on earth can help the souls in Purgatory, and when they get to Heaven they can in turn pray for us.

Now if you were a member of a religious order which sent out cards which could be filled out to have Masses said for the Faithful Departed, and if you do this with the assumption that the donations that come in can assist your order financially, WHY WOULD YOU PUT IN A POEM LIKE THIS WITH THE CARD?

Safely Home

I am home in Heaven, dear ones;
Oh, so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.

All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in Heaven at last.

Did you wonder I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh! But Jesus’ love illumined
Every dark and fearful glade.

And he came Himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread;
And with Jesus’ arm to lean on,
Could I have one doubt or dread?

Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still:
Try to look beyond earth’s shadows,
Pray to trust our Father’s Will.

There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remaineth –
You shall rest in Jesus’ land.

When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you Home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
Oh, the joy to see you come!


If I knew who wrote this I would record it here. They are probably too embarrassed.

The poem states that the deceased is in Heaven already. This would eliminate the need for the Masses said for one’s deceased relatives. If there is no need to pray for the souls in Purgatory(probably empty by now), then there would be no reason to send money to the order!

So I will stop sending my checks.

Please, after I die, find an order that will not suggest that I am kicking back in an easy chair by the pool outside of God’s mansion.

Instead, find an order or a priest that will remember me in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Thanksgiving Day Data Analysis

Here are some preliminary findings from Thanksgiving Day Dinner:

Meat: No preference when comparing the two borracho turkeys. One was roasted in a wine/chipotle medley and Rudy's Rub. The other was seasoned with a beer/poultry seasoning medley a la 'beer can' chicken. The gravy was declared a tremendous success.

Cornbread stuffing was a big hit, and will probably replace the old standby bread stuffing.

Corn casserole with jalapenos will probably return next time, replacing the jalapeno-free casserole. By golly, we are Texans, and we will have jalapenos with every meal!

Green bean casserole will be made with cream of mushroom soup.

Mashed potatoes, onion dill bread, and the desserts will continue. The pumpkin pie recipe may change to the new one.

Wine will be selected by Auntie Ofnoisykids, NOT dadwithnoisykids.

Sparkling cider will remain as the main beverage.

Ketchup will be discreetly placed in a decorative bowl on the table.



1 handkerchief used by me today.

0 new clean handkerchief in the sock drawer.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Possible Explanation for a Missing Cat

Maybe the coyotes did not get this one:

This evening, I had an interesting converstion with a rediology technician who acquired a cat about 4-6 months ago. It seems that one day he found one, not yet full grown, in one of the hospital parking structures. It was an orange tabby, similar in color to the one in the center of the above picture.

The more I heard, the more it reminded me of a day when my oldest son and I went for a Sunday afternoon drive/driving lesson in my car, better known from animal strikes as 'The Aardvark.' As we rolled down the driveway, I could hear frantic 'meow' -ing coming from the back of the car. We stopped and got out to look. Now, in the past, I had seen one of the kittens - an orange tabby - climb up onto the spare tire of the Aardvark; the spare tire happens to be attached to the underside of the frame at the back of the car. I know from experience that there is a little bit of room between the frame and the top of the tire - certainly enough for a kitten. I assumed that a kitten was up there and wanted to get off before we left, but I was not about to stick my hand up in the space to grab what was probably a terrified kitten. So we drove on; I did not hear any more meowing.

The next day, I drove to work - about thirty miles.

We never saw the kitten again.

I have no way of proving it, but it seems as if this story has too many coincidences for the cat to be one of our lost kittens.

It sounds as if he has found a good home.

I can only wonder what has happened to the kittens lounging on the drive shaft of the Big Blue!





Monday, November 27, 2006


First go check out the Procession pictures on the Semper Fi website


1 handkerchief used by me today.

0 new clean handkerchief in the sock drawer.


Sunday, November 26, 2006


Sunday. A day to make sure all Noisykids have a handkerchief.


6 handkerchiefs used by the boys and me today.

0 new clean handkerchief in the sock drawer


It brings to mind a song:

"Where have all the hankies gone?
long time passing...
Where have all the hankies gone?
long time ago.

Where have all the hankies gone?
Gone for Noisykids, everyone.

When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?"

Thank you, Joan Baez.

Yetzt auf Deutsch:

Sag mir wo die hankies sind?
Wo sind sie geblieben?
Sag mir wo die hankies sind?
Bist du nicht froh?

Sag mir wo die hankies sind?
Mit den Noisykid Nasen.

Wie sagt mann 'ever learn?'
Wie sagt mann 'ever learn?'

In 1972 bin Ich in der Schweiz gewohnen, und meinem Deutsche Sprache is nicht sehr gut. Verzeiung.

Christ the King Procession

These are pictures from the Christ the King procession after the Novus Ordo Latin Mass at St. William the Confessor Catholic Church, Greenville, Texas. There are probably more better pictures at the Semper Fi Catholic Forum.

I had to run a Noisykid to the bathroom, so by the time we came out of church, the first decade of the Rosary was done, and the procession was on the move. My 5-year old Noisykid and I ran around the other side of the block to get some pictures of the procession as it came to the second station. I was glad to have the sun to my back.

Here are the altar boys, complete with Crucifix and incense coming down the street. Somewhere in the pictures you will find the Roman Sacristan and Histor the Wise.

Here are the young women of the Sodality group following the altar boys and preceding the Most Blessed Sacrament which is under the canopy.

Fr. Paul Weinberger is holding the Monstrance holding The Most Blessed Sacrament. The men of the Knights of Columbus are tending to the canopy. Note the altar boys who walked backwards, incensing Our Lord the whole way.

There were four stations outside of church and on the church grounds, for the first four decades of the Rosary and for Benediction. While walking to each station, The Roman Sacristan led hymns in Latin, and children covered (lightly) the path with flower petals. The final decade and Benediction took place in the church.

Afterwards, a group did an elaborate Mexican dance which I believe is called Matachina. It is a very elaborate dance where the dancers move to the rhythm of two drums. Apparently the movements correspond to words of a prayer. They were performing the dance when we showed up for Mass, and it reminded me of Carlos Santana's live album Moonflower. There was a drum solo on that album which sounded similar to the music of the Matachina. Fr. Weinberger is in the right foreground. I think the girl with the red bow in the center foreground is one of my beloved Noisykids.

After a late lunch(pizza) and visiting with friends, we left for the day. We had not planned to stay, but since my wife felt up to it, we stayed the day.

As we left, the Roman Sacristan noticed Mr. Moose on the dashboard. He noticed a similar beard style they both shared:

Notice that Mr. Moose is covering his chest. That is because he is hiding a tatoo he got when he was a younger moose. It is the name of a business he was associated with at the time. Now because of that youthful indiscretion he has to be careful to 'cover up.' This is especially hard when one considers that mooses usually don't wear clothes.

Now my baby Noisykid is having her own procession, holding aloft a broom and singing 'alleluia.'

Beautiful Statue


I have removed the picture I had here. It was disrepectful to Our Lord, especially on the Feast of Jesus Christ the King. During Mass today, it struck me just how inappropriate it was to exhibit this picture on my blog, and so I am removing it at the earliest possible time.
Today, my wife attended Mass with us, despite feeling under the weather yesterday. It was such a joy to celebrate the Eucharist with her, and lately my appreciation for wife has increased tremendously. The only reason I have my wife is through the love and generosity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the King, and to return anything to Him other than love and respect just smacks of ingratitude. Reparations will be made.

Check out this one the Missionaries of Charity were given:

You can tell which statue is real by the stigmata, the crown of thorns around the heart and the pierced heart.



5 handkerchiefs used by the boys and me today.

0 new clean handkerchief in the sock drawer


Saturday, November 25, 2006

In Praise of a Large Family

This morning, Auntie Ofnoisykids took most of the noisykids to visit 'Amish World,' a theme park where one can live like the Amish for a day. It is located near Waco. Not surprising.

Wife of dadwithnoisykids, dadwithnoisykids, and three of the noisykids - the 15-year old eldest daughter, the 14-year old boy, and the 14-month sweet baby girl - stayed behind. The reason why is not important. What was very interesting to observe is how the baby reacted when most of her playmates left. She actually grabbed her 3-year old brother(closest in age to her) and dragged him back into the house. It is not surprising that the 3-year old did not fight her, because the children always seem to be extra patient and giving to the baby of the family.

After the other noisykids left, the baby suddenly found she had a new thing to deal with that she had seldom experienced: boredom. Her closest siblings were gone, and playing with Mom and Dad just didn't cut it. We would take turns playing with her on the floor, but we could tell she was not as interested in playing with us.

For a while she took a nap with Mom, but after that, she was up looking for her siblings again. She missed her two older sisters closer in age to her(9- and 7- years old) and her immediate older brothers(6- and 5- and 3- year old).

I have said this before, and I will say it again: one of the greatest gifts we have given to our children is the gift of siblings. This is not just with my youngest daughter. I have noticed it with my sons, especially how they will sit back and relax at the end of dinner and just enjoy talking about whatever rather than start cleaning up the dishes. It is heartwarming, and always brings a bit of a lump to my throat as I repeatedly tell them to get a move on and clean up the kitchen.


Feeling the need for a prayer? My friend the Roman Sacristan has a great one for this season of materialisticism. He just broke 6,000 hits - congratulations!

I just broke 2,000 - someone from Portugal was randomly skating along when he landed on my blog. He or she will have a shopping cart to fill with all the items he or she can collect in 5 minutes in the Gift Shop - when he or she appears at the home of the Scorpion Stalking Duck Blogsite to claim the prize.

He or she has twenty more minutes.

Tomorrow some of the boys and I have to cut some grass. We took pictures last time:



1 handkerchief given to my baby girl to see what she would do with it. She wiped her mouth and wiped the floor with it, and then left it there.

0 new clean handkerchief in the sock drawer


Wife of dadwithnoisykids thought it would be more interesting to see what the noisykids would do with the handkerchiefs. Since most of them spent the day at an amusement park called 'Amish World' outside of Waco, I could only try out one handkerchief yesterday.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Late Thanksgiving Day Wishes

The Scorpions wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, but they were late.

They are especially thankful for a working microwave oven, so that they can make a delicacy they like to call Gummi Bear Soup:


Gummi Bears, preferably genuine Haribo - accept no substitute!
Microwave-safe plate

1. Place Gummi Bears strategically around the edge of the plate.

2. Be creative with a pattern of Gummi Bears on the inside of the plate.

3. Microwave on HIGH for 15 to 45 seconds, or until all gummi bears are melted and fused.

4. Cool for 1 minute.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Happy Holidays, from the Scorpions to Y'ALL!!!

More recipes available at the Gift Shop!

Another Recommended Reading

I recommend this series of books(7) for all who are interested in spiritual formation:

In Conversation with God

by Francis Fernandez

Here is a link to see more about the book.

Every day has a chapter which invariably uses the readings from Mass as the starting point. As seems to be the custom of nearly any meditation or sermon that I have ever heard from a priest of Opus Dei, the Blessed Mother is mentioned in the closing paragraph as a model for the virtues discussed in the essay.

Quotes from the writings of St. Josemaria Escriva are plentiful, but so are quotes from the Bible and other spiritual writings.

It is similar to this book, only different.

DISCLAIMER: dadwithnoisykids does not receive any monetary compensation from the above blog. He is not a member of Opus Dei, nor has he read or seen the Da Vinci Code. He once read a copy of another book by Dan Brown before throwing it out because it was offensive to the person of the Holy Father and anyone else with more than a grain of common sense.



1 handkerchief used in the usual and customary way

0 new clean handkerchief in the sock drawer


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thank you, Blessed Miguel Pro

Here is a picture of Blessed Miguel Pro, a Jesuit priest who was executed in Mexico in 1921. He requested a moment to pray before being executed, then he kissed his crucifix, stood facing the firing squad without a blindfold, and held his arms up as if he were being crucified.


(Long live Christ the King!)

He shouted. What a gutsy priest!

The Mexican government recorded the execution, I think as a lesson to others, so there are a series of pictures of the events during and after the execution. Some of them are quite graphic. Instead of deterring the faithful in Mexico, it appeared that his death galvanized the Catholic faith in Mexico.

We love Blessed Miguel Pro so much that we used 'Miguel Pro' for our youngest son's middle name.

One of the greatest things about the Catholic Church is how 'catholic' it truly is. Here we are, a family of mainly Irish(56%!!!), French, Italian and Hungarian descent, living in Texas, and yet our children are named after men and women from Africa, the Holy Land, France, Poland, Portugal, even Detroit! Wherever the Faith has spread, people like Miguel Pro, or Maximilian Kolbe, or St. Therese of Liseaux have stood with Christ and given their lives for Him.

And then we name a Noisykid after them!

Pray for God to bless us with more Noisykids



1 handkerchief in my briefcase used for a napkin at dinner.

1 more clean handkerchief in the sock drawer


Despite this blog entry.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

At the Gift Shop,

Spring is just around the corner!
While most of the world is preparing for a long, cold winter, the Gift Shop is getting ready for Spring! Spring! Spring!
We just got a shipment of picnic cloths, ready for a Sunday afternoon party in the park, a camping trip, or whatever outdoor activity that floats your boat!
These are handmade, 100% cotton, ready to hold whatever goodies you put in your picnic basket.
Imported. Colors available: White, Weiss, Blanc

Prayer request

In your prayers, please remember to pray for the repose of the soul of John F. Kennedy, who was killed in Dallas, TX. On November 22, 1963.

Usually I take the freeway to work, but if I hear of a traffic jam, I will take to the side streets of Dallas to avoid the delay. It wasn't until recently that I realized that my detour took me right over the spot where he was shot.

When I drive by the spot, I try to remember to pray for him, his wife, and the others who were forever affected by this act of violence.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006



1 handkerchief went to the hospital with us in my briefcase. Still there.

1 handkerchief in my back pocket used when I sneezed while holding flowers and overseeing my student driver on the way home.

I anticipated the need for extra handkerchiefs at the hospital - I always expect the worst.

2 more clean handkerchiefs in the sock drawer


I can't explain this blog entry.

Thank you for your prayers!

Wife of dadwithnoisykids had a procedure under general anesthesia today, and she is recovering at home now.

The procedure went well, and we thank God for His mercy and kindness to us.

Now I ask you to join us in praying for more Noisykids!

I got another opportunity to start an I.V. on my wife, which is always fun. Here is another example of the joy of being married to a doctor.

The anesthetic setup may have looked like this:

Like Father, Like Son....THINK ABOUT IT!

I invite you to see how the oldest Noisykid can blog here.
He is the handsome young man on the left. I am the well-nourished man on the right


Great for a workout at the gym, or just lounging around on a Sunday morning reading the Sunday comics, you will always look cool and feel comfortable in our 100% Cotton genuine handmade Hankie Sweats.

One size fits most. Hurry, there are only 35 remaining, and they are leaving the store like HOTCAKES!



1 handkerchief went to work with me and still is neat and clean in my

1 handkerchief given to my wife at Mass

0 Clean handkerchiefs in the sock drawer


Sunday, November 19, 2006


Yesterday I started with 36 new handkerchiefs. I will chronicle the fate of these over the next 36 days.

1 handkerchief given to son who sneezed, or rather erupted during Mass.

3 clean handkerchiefs found in clean sock drawer.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Got A Round Tuit!

Today I finally got a 'round tuit,' better known as 'around to it.'

I must explain. For years I have been talking about going and helping the Missionaries of Charity in Dallas, only I never got 'around to it.' I even mention it in this blog where I recall meeting Mother Theresa.

All that changed last night when our Padre asked if we could go and help at the Missionaries of Charity. I had no choice, since my plans were to spend the day mowing, fixing tractors, and doing other manly things. When a nun asks for help, the only answer is 'yes, sister.'

So this morning four of my biggest Male Noisykids and I showed up at the house. After a few minutes of introduction and prayer in the chapel, we helped sort food for distribution next week. Each bag was filled with rice, pinto beans, flour tortilla shells, potatoes, onions, cabbage, vegetable oil, and various canned goods. This took most of the morning. It gave me a lot to think about, especially because I am always encouraging the Noisykids to get used to eating simple foods, particularly rice and beans:

"Get used to rice and beans, children,
for one day you may be a graduate student,
or married to a graduate student!"

Whenever I make dinner, it usually includes rice and beans; preferably only rice and beans. The result of this is that all I have to do is mention that I will be cooking, and the kitchen is immediately full of children rushing to get SOMETHING ready for dinner.

But I digress. After packaging the food, one of the sisters asked the children to pick up the beans and rice grains on the ground - the same ones the birds were swooping down to collect. After collecting half a cup full of rice and beans, the sister told us that she was going to wash off this collection and that would be for their meal. She then went on to tell the children(and us adults as well) how impoverished the people of Haiti are, and how much they suffer from malnutrition. She only mentioned this to compare it with the people of Dallas, who would sometimes throw out any of the donated goods which they did not want. Sister told us it would make her cry to think of the waste in our country and the poverty in another land.

All this was rather sobering. I had planned to go out to lunch with the boys afterwards, but all I could think of was the leftovers at home that needed to be eaten. I felt like offering up the opportunity to dine with my sons.

My wife made sure we did not totally miss out on a bit of male bonding, as we went shopping for clothes to complete their winter wardrobe. Several of the boys got pants, shirts, and heavy coats. I bought 36 handkerchiefs - yes 36, because all the ones we had before are gone.

Perhaps somewhere there are a whole bunch of beanie babies wearing permanent press togas and loincloths.....

Going to the Missionaries of Charity is good for two reasons: one is to do some corporal work of mercy, and frankly I don't do enough of that. I sometimes think of tending to my family as a corporal work of mercy, but being the dadwithnoisykids is part of my vocation. You might say that I do a perfect job of raising my children that I still have only done what was expected of me. What is needed is for me to do more than expected.

The other reason for helping the sisters is to expose my children to another type of religious vocation. While I do not have some plan to farm all my children off to the convent or the
monastery(where would I park my Winnebago if they all did that?) I still want them to see a lot of different religious vocations so that they can make an informed decision. I also want them to see happy religious, ones who are relying on Divine Providence to provide for all their needs. The Missionaries certainly are happy, and it was a joy to be with them.

The one sister also spoke to my sons about a vocation to the priesthood. This was also good for them to hear about it from someone not related to them.

It is late,and I must go to bed. Before I do that, I will look for some of the meteors they say are dropping on us tonight. Perhaps I will catch one.

What Is Your Accent?

The Roman Sacristan had this on his blog. These are my results. This goes along with a man born in California to two Philadelphia natives, raised in southeastern Michigan, and now living in Texas for the last ten years. Of course, some of the Texas-born Noisykids say I have a funny accent:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Northeast
The South
The Midland
North Central
The West
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

"St. Elizabeth of the Hungry"

Friday was the Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, better known to our family as St. Elizabeth of the Hungry. My seven year old daughter who refers to her by this misnomer made her first Confession on St. Elizabeth's feast day.

We actually named her middle name after St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, but since she was able to talk, our seven year old has been praying to the Queen of Hungary.

It is such a wonderful thing to see one of my children receive one of the Sacraments, especially one which can revive and strengthen her soul.

After yesterday's blog, I found it fitting that tonight's evening prayer included Psalm 127:

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord,
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of a man
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Of course I still need to raise them, and that responsibility keeps me humble and drives me to my knees in prayer often.

My six year old son wanted to make HIS first confession as soon as he saw his sister go into the confessional.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Commentary on Married Love and the Gift of Life

I just read over Married Love and the Gift of Life, which was published by the National Council of Catholic Bishops.

The emphasis seems to be on finding a morally acceptable way to limit the number of children in marriage. The reasons for not using contraceptives in marriage are given, and they are very good, but there is little mention on relying on Divine Providence in this extremely important decision. The only mention I could find of generous openness to life is in the same sentence where they mention the need for limiting the number of children:

The Church teaches that a couple may generously decide to have a large family, or may for serious reasons choose not to have more children for the time being or even for an indefinite period (Humanae Vitae, no. 10).

And that’s that.

In a time when the contraceptive culture is so prevalent in our society, the bishops have sent out a letter which essentially shows the flock the way to using ‘the only type of birth control approved by the Catholic Church’ – this is the way natural family planning was described to us in our NFP course.

Granted, there are couples whom I know who used NFP, and by using it came to a richer understanding of the gifts of children, but they appear to be in the minority. What we have seen more often are couples who are beyond child-bearing years and now regret limiting the number of children they had. While the number of couples I know in this situation would never make for a scientific study, their thoughts do give one pause.

This letter also strikes a chord in our own life, as I consider that perhaps we are reaching the end of our child-bearing years (there are a LOT of people I know who would like to hear that!). I know that one day there will be no more Noisykids on the way, and the thought saddens me.

I will end with a real-life story and an answer to a question Joee Blogs asked in a comment to this blog(actually it is THIS BLOG! MEA CULPA) a while ago. My wife was upset that I never gave him a straight answer. But first a little story:

When I was a resident in anesthesiology, I informed my residency director that I would not anesthetize patients for sterilization procedures or abortions. His response was to the effect that after nine kids, some people just need to stop. I then told him that my wife is the tenth child, and I am forever grateful that my in-laws didn’t ‘stop’ after nine.

The fruits of letting God decide how many children He gives us has been more than I would have ever imagined. My part of it has been to work hard to do whatever is necessary to provide for my family. In this area, God has also been more that generous. We have twelve children, eight sons and four daughters, and we pray for God to bless us with more.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Surgical Success

Last week, my five year old Noisykids had surgery to correct a lazy eye. It appears that it was a success, and now we expect him to be a more productive and efficient in all that he does.

The surgery is rather fascinating, as certain muscles that control eye movement are repositioned to realign the direction the eyes are pointed. The eyeball has several muscles that originate in the back of the eye socket, and then attach to the side of the eyeball. When one muscle contracts, or pulls, the eye moves in that direction. The muscles can work together to make the eye roll around in its socket – one of the things my children learn to do at an early age whenever I talk to them.

Another way to picture the eye muscles is to imagine the eyeball is suspended in a series of slings, which are the muscles, and tension on any sling or muscle will cause the eye to turn.
So the surgeon either shortens or lengthens the muscle so that the eye points straight.

All of this brings up another part of the anatomy that is sometimes associated with the word lazy: the lazy backside. While I have no evidence that the backside has a series of muscles that move it like the eyeball, there must be some sort of ‘sling’ involved. I offer the following quote as proof. It was something my father used to say to my brothers (I was always the good boy) when they were being lazy:

"If you don’t get over here and [Insert Chore Here] right this minute, you’re going to end up with your backside in a sling"

That usually motivated my brothers. I also have to say that my Father really did say 'backside.' He had much better control over his speech than this son.

Thank you for your prayers for my little Noisykid.

Please pray for my wife who will have surgery next week.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Mr. Hedgehog.

Probe the mind of a Rubber Chicken!

Use of the observation Deck is an additional charge.

As beautiful from aft as from astern!

Have a Duck for Dinner!

You catch it or kill it,

I stew it or grill it!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Father Brother of Mine!

Today is the birthday of one of my older brothers, Fr. Brotherofdadwithnoisykids. He is a parish priest in Virginia.

It is a tremendous blessing for my wife and children and I to have a priest in the family. We know that he is praying for us, and our sons have the opportunity to see a priest up close and to have a better understanding of the vocation to the priesthood.

Father gets the opportunity to see original sin in progress, as my children go through the ordinary events of the day. He also gets to see just how much his nieces and nephews resemble his brother. I have to mention, though, that I was always the quiet and introspective child, while HE was referred to as the wildman. It is funny how things have ended up...

I am confident we give him a lot of inspiration for sermons.

He introduced me to the Divine Office....look where it has led me:

Please pray for all priests, especially for my brother on his birthday. And please pray for more men to heed the call to serve God at the altar. Let's add a few more statues to this collection:

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thoughts on Veterans' Day

Today I pray for all the Veterans, especially those who died in the service of our country.
I am also a Veteran. For 13 years, 9 as a reservist and 4 on active duty, I 'wore the Devil's braids,' as Kipling referred to it in one of his stories(On Greenhow Hill).
Some of the service and rank insignia are pictured above, along with my old flight jacket. The flight suit is long gone - probably wouldn't fit around my belly - and the camouflage uniforms were stripped of rank and handed on to my children and nephews. The flying boots are still mine as well.
There is also a braid, or ribbon, which I inexplicably received the week after I separated from the Air Force. I found out it was for service, for a job well done. It seems kind of inappropriate, since my work was to show up every day, and take care of whatever patients I had as my assignment. That could be a premature baby born of some dependent overseas, or an active duty marine, or a retiree, or an esteemed member of the San Antonio 'gun and knife club.' All I did was take care of them. For me, the biggest danger was negotiating traffic to and from work.
It seems like something unworthy of an award, especially seeing what our troops are experiencing in the Middle East, and reading the accounts of much older veterans who served in WW I, WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam. All they did was get up every day and do their assigned duty, just like I did - only some of them did not come back.

Friday, November 10, 2006

31 Years ago today....

On November 10, 1975, The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sank with all hands in Lake

In Michigan, this song was so prevalent as I was growing up there that it
seemed to be a requirement that one know the lyrics before getting a
driver's license.

From what I have read, the Great Lakes pose a challenge to sailors because a
ship can't just go around some of these storms. If they did, they would run
out of Lake.

Gordon Lightfoot wrote and sang this ballad:

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin'.
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya.
At Seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good t'know ya
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
May have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'.
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!

There is another version of the song by a country/western singer where he
reads the names of the crewmen, with each name followed by the ringing of a
bell. It is a rather somber end to the song.

Please remember to pray for the repose of all the souls of the Faithful
Departed on this Friday.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Encouraging Words

Whenever I think the challenges of life are getting overwhelming, I am reminded of a quote from the play A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt. The play is about St. Thomas More and the events surrounding his fall from a place of influence in the court of Henry VIII and his subsequent martyrdom.

I do not know if the words are St. Thomas More's, or if Robert Bolt wrote them. From the little reading of St. Thomas that I have done, they sound like they are his own. I don't think Mr. Bolt would have written them - I am not really fond of some of his works.

Anyway, here is the quote:

God made the angels to show Him splendour – as He made the animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity.

But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind! If He suffers us to fall to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand to our tackle as best we can, and yes…then we may clamour like champions…if we have the spittle for it.

And no doubt it delights God to see splendour where he only looked for complexity.

But it’s God’s part, not our own, to bring ourselves to that extremity!

Our natural business lies in escaping….

I think that this means that there are times that God really wants to see us struggle, to use the gifts that he gave us, to accomplish whatever task He sets in front of us. He wants to see 'splendour' from us in all of our actions and thoughts.

My American English spell checker is going nuts with the English spelling of some of these words.

Have a Fabulous Freaky Friday.
No meat today. It's the only day I crave meat.

Twenty years Ago This Month...

..I met this wonderful nun in Washington, D.C. My face is obliterated not to protect my privacy as much as it is for modesty. I am extremely handsome, in all humility, and women find me irresistable. It is a cross I must bear. This was also during my phase of life when I dyed my hair black. But the key person in the picture is Mother Theresa of Calcutta.

I had just been accepted to medical school, and I asked Mother Theresa to pray for me. She said she would, and invited me to Calcutta.

I never got to Calcutta. My spiritual advisor at the time pointed out that there may be a greater physical poverty in India, but that my 'Calcutta' may be to stay in a place with a greater amount of spiritual poverty; namely, the good old U.S. of A. (especially after yesterday's election results).

Perhaps one of the girls will one day join her order, or one of the boys will help her order out. They have a house in Dallas, and we plan on going some time and helping them. Time is so short these days.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

New in the Gift Shop

In a year where someone decided to trash the World's biggest holiday with some anti-Halloween Blog, we are forced to start the Christmas Season a little early here at the Gift Shop. We are slashing through turkeys to give you this unique Non-denominational Nativity Scene:

What everyone wants this Holiday Season!!

What could inspire more thoughts of the Religious and Devout than a blessed trinity of singers composed of Two Penguins and a Polar Bear?

You will be drawn to thoughts of the divine as the polar bear and penguins regale you with their own versions of the classic Christmas songs, such as 'Rockin' around the Christmas Tree' and many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Due to poor Halloween Sales, we are reducing prices on all our stock, passing the savings on to you, and hoping to stay in business 'til the end of the year. Three thousand of these units are in stock, so you better HURRY!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's Potty Time!

I sent a version of this yesterday via e-mail, but it never arrived. With a puff of electrons, it was gone.

The last several weeks have been relentlessly wearing on the dadwithnoisykids family.

Both professional and personal challenges have marched up to us, growing larger and more insurmountable as they come closer. Some have been accomplished, others seem to have just walked over us.

And through it all, we have been battling a cold which seems to grip my wife and me like a terrier, not letting go for anything. I can only imagine this is what is feels like after having tonsils removed. It hurts to swallow, to talk, to try to yell.

Only drooling feels okay.

So, in the midst of all this, some member of the family decided it was time the three year old noisykid learned to 'potty train.'

Three year old BOY noisykid. The one who inspired the pseudonym 'dadwithnoisykids' during a temper tantrum at Mass that started after the first reading and ended with the recessional hymn. Factor in a 20 minute minimum homily. (Father's homilies are quite long - but very good. You can listen to them here.)

Actually, potty training is rather easy. All it takes is twenty pairs of pants, twenty pairs of underpants, twenty pairs of socks, and as many pairs of shoes or sandals you can scrounge from the 'old shoe' box. Have some task or reading material available while you sit and wait for results. Have someone watch the child all the time; the first moment he gets a far-away look in his eyes, sweep him up and sit him on the throne.

Have a plumbers helper available after he runs a roll of toilet paper down the drain.

Buy enough 'bribe' or 'reward' candy/toys to give when success eventually occurs. Prizes are given in proportion to the magnitude of the results, if you know what I mean.

Today it occurred to me one reason why this November has been one big kick in the rear end: This is the month we pray for the repose of the souls in Purgatory. So God has given me a tremendous gift - one which I could have been offering up for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. It almost makes me cry when I think of how I could have turned this annoying cold into a Divine Gift. So I have started anew today, trying to remember the poor souls any time I don't feel well.

But seriously....
Please remember my five year old son who will undergo surgery tomorrow. Thank you and God bless you.

There are other things happening which are worth blogging about, but so often I have been faced with the choice of blogging or sleeping. Sleeping has been winning out lately, so for the three of you who regularly read this, please accept my apologies and look for more interesting reading in the future.

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's Potty Time!

The past few weeks have been relentlessly wearing. Our whole family has
been battling a bad cold, with Mom and I being the last ones to catch it.
Right now I imagine my throat feels like that of someone who had their
tonsils removed.

It feels better to drool.....

Sooooo, on top of multiple personal and professional hurdles which seem to
grow the closer they are to us, somebody or somebodies decided to add one
more thing to the 'personal' list.

The three year old boy is potty training.

This is the child, by the way, who gave me the idea of calling myself
'dadwithnoisykids,' after one extremely long temper tantrum during Mass
which lasted from the first reading until after praying to Saint Michael
right before the recessional hymn.

Potty training for us is actually quite simple. All you need are 20 pairs
of clean underwear, 20 pairs of clean pants, 20 pairs of socks, several
pairs of shoes, and enough 'bribe' or 'reward' candy necessary to keep him
on the throne until something happens.

Rewards are given in proportion to the results documented. Enough said.

For the few of you who read this, please remember my 5 year old son who will
have eye muscle surgery on Wednesday. He received part of the Anointing of
the Sick - he refused the chrism oil.

Also remember my wife who will need surgery in a few weeks.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Special Morning Offering Prayers When I am Sick

Three prayers I say in the morning when I am sick:

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
Through whom God's Love
commits me here
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light,
to guard,
to rule,
and to guide.

Oh Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day
For all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart,
In union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
For all the intentions of the Holy Father,
For the conversion of sinners, the salvation of souls, and in thanksgiving for all my gifts.

Heavenly Father, knowing as You do that I am sick, and that my first thought when I woke up was 'how soon can I go back to bed,' I humbly beseech You to hasten the day to that time when I can once again lay my head against the pillow, drink quarts of hot tea with too much sugar, have a gallon of orange juice all to myself, and try to eat a little.
You know that when I finally pass out, neglecting my daily Rosary, Night Prayers, and an act of contrition, that I do so out of sloth, and not because it really hurts too much. Forgive me.
You also know that I do not work well with others when I do not feel well, so I humbly beseech you to keep all those difficult people away from me, until that time when I can treat them in a more charitable manner.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


"I am doing everything in my power to make sure my name dies out."

This was said to one of my sisters-in-law by a woman who objected to our having so many children.

My sister-in-law pointed out that there are some countries where the native population is in decline.

She told the author of this quote that the dadwithnoisykids family was "just making sure that the family name does not die out."

Of course, Lord, if you call them ALL to a consecrated celibate life, I will gladly accept your will!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Curious Picture of Pope St. Leo the Great

This has been a busy week, with calls, illnesses, canceled surgery, and lying in bed at home praying for a speedy recovery from the common cold.

During a moment of lucidity, I came across the picture below of Pope St. Leo the Great. Look at the man in left center, bowing to the Pope. What is that thing on his head?

Granted the copy/scan/upload has taken some of the details from it, but I thought(and so did the members of my family) it looked like a rubber chicken on the man's head. On further inspection, it appears as if Pope St. Leo the Great as well as the angel behind him are staring at it as well. Perhaps their conversation would go something like this:

Angel: "Leo, Leo, what is that thing on that guy's head?"

Leo: "It looks like a rubber chicken."

Angel: "That is impossible. Rubber will not be invented for centuries."

Leo: "Then perhaps it is a REAL chicken."

Angel: "Don't trust anyone with a chicken, real or rubber, on his head, Leo."

It is probably a dragon of some sort, but for someone feeling under the weather, it gave me a few minutes of mirth.

Prayer of Ingratitude, Part 2

Thank you, Lord for ruining my plans
That took so long to set
But I will continue on my way
I haven't quit just yet

We scheduled, cancelled, begged and prayed
Even did a little pleading
But you sweetly stopped us in our tracks
And gave us what we're needing

I'll never know why you did this, Lord
But I know one thing is true
The things I want pale before
What I need and get from You

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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