I invite you to sign The Manhattan Declaration

The Manhattan Declaration

Theodore's Memorial Video

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year, Happy Birthday, and...

...not much else to say. Right now a lot of my creativity is taken up by writing the annual Dadwithnoisykids newsletter as well as writing some other important works.

But we took some time out to celebrate the 14th birthday of Noisykid #4 yesterday. After going to Mass, we went to dinner at a steakhouse(his choice) and after looking at the prices I had to advise the other children on what was permitted and what was not. The Birthday Boy could pick anything on the menu. The other children told me the breadsticks were especially tender last night.

We went to a hunting/camping/fishing/boating store afterwards where I was inundated with children who wanted more 'stuff.' "Wasn't Christmas just last week?" I asked. They all assured me that the cost would be taken out of the balance I owe them for various odd jobs around the house. My children may forget to do their chores, but they never forget the debt I owe them.

Of course I had to return to work today to get back to earning money to pay for all this....

Anyways, here are the two saints we selected as Noisykid #4's patron saints. The one below is St. Louis-Marie de Montfort. I love his books on the Blessed Mother and the Rosary. He wanted to be a missionary to the North American Indians, but God had something else in mind.




Then there is this guy, Bartholomew. He is also known as Nathaniel. He was referred to by Christ as the 'man without guile.' If you read further along the passage which describes the first meeting between Jesus and Bartholomew, you probably wonder what he was doing under the tree, too.

Just paying the 'coffee tax,' I suppose....

Bartholomew was skinned alive, and is an example of how those who follow Christ must shed all earthly attachments, sometimes one's skin, for Our Lord.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Two Memorials



Today we recall the 7th anniversary of Fr. John Hardon, S.J. Please pray for the repose of the soul of this holy priest. While I have my opinion as to where he is, the Church has only declared him 'Servant of God.' So I will continue to pray for the repose of his soul; if he doesn't need them, I am sure he can put them to good use.

Fr. Hardon was a spiritual advisor to the Missionaries of Charity, and celebrated the private funeral Mass for Mother Theresa. His last assignment was in Detroit, and he used to counsel some families we knew. I used to tease my wife that I wish we had enough marital discord to need Fr. Hardon's advice. She didn't think it was funny....she still doesn't.


We used Fr. Hardon's name for one of the Noisykids. We hope that we can raise our children up to become holy men and women.


Yesterday was the Feast of the Holy Innocents. We named the first child we lost after the Holy Innocents: Anastasia Innocent Dadwithnoisykids. We pray to the Innocents daily.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Frustration

After spending days trying to upload another video from the piano recital, I FINALLY got this one landed. Noisykid #4 plays what I believe is Mozart's 'Fur Elise':




Old folks from Michigan may remember this music from the Highland Appliance commercial where the boy records his practicing this song on a REEL-TO-REEL player and then sneaking off to play outside.

Then there is this one of Noisykid #8 which we recorded after the recital - we were having issues with the camera:




I couldn't find the Highland Appliance commercial I mentioned, but here is another one. Pretty creative:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Open Letter from Our Lady of Guadalupe to North America

These people are dancing in my honor!
Dear Children:

It is I, Mother of Our Lord and Savior - and my precious Son - Jesus Christ, who am writing you today. You all know me by many names, many titiles which have been bestowed upon me by the prophets, the Angels, Saints, and Holy Mother Church. Today I wish to address you by the title 'Our Lady of Guadalupe.'

Why? Well, it is to remind you that while I am mother to all mankind - recall what my Son said to St. John while He hung upon the Cross - in a very special way I am the patroness of North America when I am using the title of the Virgin of Guadalupe. December 12th is the day set aside to honor me, and yet I did not see many of you remembering me - or, more importantly, MY SON - on that day. Some parishes had celebrations honoring me, but they tended to be those churches with a large number of Mexican parishioners. Good for them, but I am patroness of ALL of North America - not just that part of it below the Rio Grande. I want to see all of my children in this continent turning toward my Son with love and prayers, and I stand ready to add my prayers and intercessions to yours. I want to see all the many ethnic groups of the United States and Canada remembering me as someone who wishes to intercede for them - even the Irish!


By the way, I checked with St. Jane Frances de Chantel, whose feast day is also on December 12, and she denied getting a host of prayers and intercessions from North America.


I have another reason for writing to you. Next week, on January 1, I am honored with the title of Mother of God. This is a day for you to come to Mass and receive my Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. This is a day to consider that Our Lord and Master of the Universe humbled Himself to become the Child of one of his creatures - me. So rather than spending the day in front of the television - you know Michigan will choke in any 'Bowl' game - take the time to worship and adore my Son by acknowledging me as the Mother of God.


I look forward to seeing you.


With tenderest regards,


Your Mother Mary

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feast of St. Stephen


"St. Stephen was stoned, dude!" was the comment of a classmate of mine in high school one day. We all laughed, because this young man was named Stephen, and this particular Stephen was fond of using various substances to generate euphoria and who knows what other kinds of feelings. It is not so funny now, looking back almost thirty years on this incident.

But I digress. Stephen is a family name. St. Stephen was the first martyr, and an example to all of us of the kind of courage we must have in living our Faith - even to the point of death.

St. Stephen also is a good example of how a tremendous good can come out of evil - through Divine Providence. If you recall, the folks who were stoning Stephen left their coats with one Saul, who was observing and approving their activities. Saul went on to have his own personal experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus which led to his conversion. Saul, renamed Paul, became the greatest Apostle to the Gentiles.

Someone once said that the blood of the martyrs would foster many vocations. St. Stephen's life and death would be a good example of this.

PRAYER: Found at this site

St. Stephen's Day Night Prayers
Leading the great saints who radiate from the Christ-Child is St. Stephen, whose feast is December 26. First of the martyrs, he was stoned by the Jews because he courageously proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah. His name signifies the crowned. In a day like ours, when hatred of enemies floods the minds of children, the soldier-saint Stephen, who loved his enemies, is an excellent model for them and for us.
On St. Stephen's Day our night prayers at the crib are varied in this fashion from the previous night prayers:

Father:
Christ, the New-born, today crowned blessed Stephen.

All:
Come, let us adore Him.

Mother:
Stephen, full of grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people.

All:
Thanks be to God.

Father:
You crowned him with glory and honor, O Lord.

All:
You have given him rule over the works of Your hands.

Father:
Let us pray. Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that we may imitate him whose memory we celebrate, so as to learn to love even our enemies; because we now solemnize his martyrdom who knew how to pray even for his persecutors to our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth forever. Alleluia.

All:
Alleluia.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Another Performance by a Noisy Kid

Another Noisy Kid sends his Christmas greetings to you in song:



I couldn't resist.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Special Christmas Wish in Song - UPDATE

The wireless internet is down again. I am sending this via my blackberry, but I really wanted to include a youtube video of the tune that goes with this song. I shall do that later.... LIKE NOW



This song is called "I want a Positive Pregnancy Test for Christmas," and is based on the tune for "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas."

HERE IS THE VIDEO WITH THE TUNE IN IT




Enjoy. Merry Christmas.





I want a positive pregnancy test for Christmas

Only a positive pregnancy test will do

No false alarms

I want morning sickness

All that I like are cute maternity dresses



I want to conceive twin baby girls for Christmas

If not, I know twin baby boys will do

Skip the iPod

Or a new Mustang

Raising up children of God is my favorite thang



I can see me now on Christmas morning

waiting in a chair

Oh what joy and what surprise

When I open up my eyes and see a little plus sign showing there



I want to raise up another child for Jesus

That's what my vocation calls me to

Use NFP

Detect ovulation

But only to participate in the gift of God's Creation!



(Musical interlude)



People say we're nuts, with overpopulation

But we know that there's lots of room up in Heaven



(Musical interlude)



There's lots of room, remodel the garage

God always provides, you get the message!



I can see me now on Christmas morning

waiting in a chair

Oh what joy and what surprise

When I open up my eyes and see a little plus sign showing there



I want a positive pregnancy test for Christmas

Only a positive pregnancy test will do

No false alarms

I want morning sickness

All that I like are cute maternity dresses

And cute maternity dresses like me too!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Piano Recital - Noisykid #6

Here is Noisykid #6 playing Carol of the Bells at a piano recital on December 16, 2007:

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Very Billy Christmas - UPDATE


Found at this place, I am happy to bring you what will surely be a tradition in your family as it is in mine:

Update: I removed the video because it always took forever to load. Go to the blog above to see the video.
12.26.2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lead, Kindly Light - Prayer #5 of the 1001


Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th' encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home --
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene -- one step enough for me.


I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that Thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.



So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile


John Henry Newman
Why I chose this prayer:
This prayer was first introduced to me by my confessor. In the course of discussing my faults and sins, I mentioned how I was faced with a major decision and that I was unsure of the way to go. Father quoted the line in the first stanza about 'one step enough for me' and recommended that I pray that God would show me the 'next step' to take rather than show me the whole trip. There are many times since then that I have just prayed to know what to do next, and it is wonderful to include this prayer in the list of '100 Prayers You Should Say Before You Die.'

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Piano Recital

From the piano recital on Sunday. This is Noisykid #7, Daughter #2, 10 years old. The song is called 'Night Train.'


More Prayers You Should Say Before You Die: #2, #3 and #4

#2. "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

#3. "Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen."

#4. "Hail Mary, full of Grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death. Amen."

On another note............................

Take a look at this video of a home-schooling family.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Check out this contest:


The Crescat has a contest for the ugliest vestments. You will laugh, cry.




The above vestment was featured in the movie Manos, the Hands of Fate, which attained its fame after being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kittens for Christmas!

We need to add to the stock of cats we have on our property. I shall be picking up a few of these exotic kittens later this week.



No, these are not Noisykids in the picture.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

1001 Prayers You Should Pray Before You Die - Number 1

(This is the first of a series of prayers you should say before you die)

Prayer to God the Father


+ In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Jesus says in Saint John's Gospel: "Whatever you ask the Father in My Name, it will be granted to you."(Jn 16:23). With full confidence in the Truth of Jesus, I turn in Prayer to You, God my Father.
God the Father, in the Name of Jesus, send me the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, come into my Life - from the tips of my toes to the top of my head.
Holy Spirit come into my very being. Holy Spirit come into every part of me.

Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my thoughts, my mind, my will, and my imagination.
Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my emotions, my feelings, my senses, and my appetites.
Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my desires, my inclinations, my actions, and my reflexes.

Holy Spirit I ask You to come into every part of my memory.

Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my habits, my attractions, my tendencies, and my convictions.
Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my impulses, my dispositions, my moods, & my outlook on life.
Holy Spirit I ask You to come into every part of me and "whatever" You find in me that is not in complete accord with Your Divine Plan for me, then I totally surrender it all to You, Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, please take it all away and in its place, fill me with Your Divine Presence.

AREAS OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Holy Spirit, come into ALL of the areas concerning my personal development.
Holy Spirit, come into my physical development.
Holy Spirit, come into my spiritual development.
Holy Spirit, come into my emotional development.
Holy Spirit, come into my social development.
Holy Spirit, come into my intellectual development.
Holy Spirit, come into my moral development.
Holy Spirit come into every aspect of my personal development and should You find me in any of these areas at a level of development "lower" than where it is proper that I should be, then
Holy Spirit, in Your Great Charity, by tomorrow, please raise me up to the next level.

DOUBLES
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my hunger and thirst for Holiness.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my hunger and thirst for Prayer.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my Faith, Hope and Charity.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my patience.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my confidence and trust in Divine Providence.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my love and appreciation for the Blessed Virgin Mary and for
her beautiful Prayer which is the Most Holy Rosary.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my desire to live the 10 Commandments
and renew this desire in me with every beat of my heart.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my spirit of generosity and self-sacrifice
so that I may more perfectly imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my ability to look at other people O-N-L-Y as you see them.
Allow lust to have no part of me.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my desire and my ability to forgive my enemies and persecutors.
Each day urge me to pray that these people will be blessed abundantly by being led to the Truth.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, allow me to pray this Prayer twice as well tomorrow as I am praying it today.

Holy Spirit, come into my Prayer Life and by tomorrow, double my sensitivity to Your
Divine Guidance.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my love for Jesus' Presence in the 7 Sacraments.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my desire to know You and to love You and to serve You until I draw
my last breath.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my ability to examine my conscience so that I may always recognize my own, personal sins. Each day double my ability to forgive others out of love for You.
Holy Spirit, give me the desire to receive often the Divine Mercy of Jesus. Help me and my family
to go to the Sacrament of Confession regularly – every week or two weeks or three weeks or as often as necessary.
Holy Spirit, guard me from ever displeasing You through mortal sin. Each day double my
distaste even for venial sin.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my ability to center my life on Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my love for our Lord in the Eucharist - in Holy Communion.
Holy Spirit, grant me daily progress in meditation on the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ
In order to prepare the spiritual foundation for the Prayer of contemplation.
Holy Spirit, come into my Prayer life and by tomorrow, double my desire for the Prayer "at the
Feet of Jesus"- which is the Prayer of Contemplation.
Holy Spirit, come into my many distractions in personal Prayer. Give me the confidence and self-assurance to know that You will always guide me through every distraction in Prayer back to You and back to my Prayer. Do not allow me to give in to the many distractions in Prayer
but allow me to see them now as opportunities for a deeper Faith in You.
Holy Spirit, strengthen my resolve. Each day double my resolve to do Your Will - ALWAYS above my own will.

Add personal intentions

And finally, Holy Spirit, I ask You to be a guard for me - a sentinel to watch over me today while I am awake or semi-conscious, even when I am asleep.
Holy Spirit I know with Faith that these requests have already been granted because Jesus has
said: "Whatever you ask the Father in My Name it will be granted to you."
I have asked all of these things of You, God my Father, in the Name of Jesus, through the intercession of the Holy Spirit.+In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Rev. Paul L. Weinberger, Pastor, St. William Church/Our Lady of Fatima
Greenville, TX 75401, May 13, 2004, Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Oratory Scene One

Past open Tabernacle's door
A cross, on it Our Savior.
His head is bowed, and knees are bent,
evidence that his life is spent.

But there beyond the cross I see
Infant Jesus and Our Lady.
She sits at ease, composed, at peace
while Jesus plays upon her knees,

stares at the cross and says to me,
"that place is where I long to be."

SMD
12.09.2007
Featherock Retreat Center
Schulenburg, Texas
www.featherock.org

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ein Flug Nach Vorn


If my German is correct, that means 'a flight forward.'

Tonight I shall be starting a silent retreat at Featherock(http://www.featherock.org/). I shall keep the intentions of visitors to this blog in my prayers.

But of course I must continue to pray for one of our family's greatest intention, and incorporate it into a little 'Bad Poetry:'

Another Midnight Prayer

Heavenly Father,
hear my plea, though it is from
a selfish man's heart.

Grant us the blessing
of another child, for with
the great joy it would give us
- once again cooperate
in the act of creation
- it would also get me that
wonderful warmth that only
pregnant women generate
and resulting in lower
heating, electricity
bills in this cold north Texas
winter where my feet are froze
As I lie in bed.

Even a selfish
man's prayers are answered if it
is the Will of God.

SMD
12.04.2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Good meditation on materialism during Advent


Our friend Bridget posted some thoughts on 'stuff' on this blog HERE. We have the honor of being friends of Bridget's parents as well, and they are wonderful people who live simple lives full of charity. It is always a joy to see them.

Wifeofdadwithnoisykids pointed out that Bridget gave us the idea to only give our children 3 presents. We have done that for years and have not noticed any complaints.

One of the presents for the boys is pictured above. It was the last one at Costco and was listed at 40% of full price. One of my reasons for getting the boys this thing is so they can burn up some of their energy with it. That is also why I like going on walks with them at night - it also gives us a chance to talk about things.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

And So Advent Begins....



From today's Office of the Readings, the first chapter of the prophet Isaiah:

The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Isaiah kicks some backsides here:


Listen, you heavens; earth, attend
for the Lord is speaking,
‘I reared sons, I brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.

The ox knows its owner
and the ass its master’s crib,
Israel knows nothing,
my people understands nothing.’
A sinful nation, a people weighed down with guilt,
a breed of wrong-doers, perverted sons.

They have abandoned the Lord, despised the Holy One of Israel,
they have turned away from him.
Where shall I strike you next,
since you heap one betrayal on another?
The whole head is sick, the whole heart grown faint;
from the sole of the foot to the head there is not a sound spot:
wounds, bruises, open sores
not dressed, not bandaged,not soothed with oil.

Your land is desolate, your towns burnt down,
your fields-- strangers lay them waste before your eyes;
all is desolation, as after the fall of Sodom.

The daughter of Zion is left
like a shanty in a vineyard,
like a shed in a melon patch,
like a besieged city.
Had the Lord not left us a few survivors,
we should be like Sodom,
we should now be like Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the command of our God,
you people of Gomorrah.

Here he takes the gloves off:

‘What are your endless sacrifices to me?
says the Lord.
I am sick of holocausts of rams
and the fat of calves.
The blood of bulls and of goats revolts me.
When you come to present yourselves before me,
who asked you to trample over my courts?
Bring me your worthless offerings no more,
the smoke of them fills me with disgust.
New Moons, sabbaths, assemblies--I cannot endure festival and solemnity.
Your New Moons and your pilgrimages
I hate with all my soul.
They lie heavy on me,
I am tired of bearing them.
When you stretch out your hands
I turn my eyes away.
You may multiply your prayers,
I shall not listen.


How often are my prayers and sacrifices an offense to God?



Your hands are covered with blood,
wash, make yourselves clean.
‘Take your wrong-doing out of my sight.
Cease to do evil.
Learn to do good,
search for justice,
help the oppressed,
be just to the orphan,
plead for the widow.
‘Come now, let us talk this over, says the Lord.
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’




Is it any wonder that some of the prophets were killed off? But then again, that's what they were there for: to preach and teach, and correct. Certainly Isaiah was not politically correct in this reading. Every priest and bishop should be prepared to die for his flock - whether that death is one of red martyrdom(rare in our country) or white martyrdom, where




This is a good way to start Advent: to recall our sins, start penance, and prepare internally for Our Lord.




This week I am off work, even though I have to spend two days working on continuing medical education and next weekend on retreat. Be that as it may, I resolve to waste as little time this week as I find myself with my wife and children. This will be my offering this week. Wifeofdadwithnoisykids will be the temporal judge of this...




Saturday, December 01, 2007

In your charity of prayers...

This is the type of helicopter I flew in, an Augusta 109:


...please pray for the repose of the souls of three colleagues of mine who died on this day, December 1, 1994. They were the crew of an aeromedical transport team in a helicopter which crashed in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


The next day I was scheduled to fly.


There has not been a day since that I have not thought about my friends who died. In addition, it makes me pause to consider how I have wasted so much of my time on this earth. What was a tremendous wake up call has in so many ways been neglected by me over the past 13 years.


I have been blessed with the privilege of remaining 'in the game' to know, love, and serve God on earth, particularly in my vocation as husband and father. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and a dozen living children who are mine to serve, and the privilege of caring for the sick as my means of providing for my family.


So, as I have done for the past few years on this day, and as I should be doing every day, I resolve to become a better steward of the many gifts God has given me. If I remember nothing else from the deaths of my colleagues, I should keep in mind that death may come when I least expect it, rushing at me just as the earth rushed up to meet my friends who fell from the sky.
May the souls of Richard, Janice, and Terry, and all the faithful departed, rest in peace.
St. Joseph of Cupertino, pray for us.


See last year's post if you are interested HERE

New Holiday

Food for thought for this Advent:



Hat tip to Ted, one of my Air Force colleagues.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pre-Advent Meditation

This past weekend was lived without the benefit of the internet.



Sorry, Al Gore.



Having my two year old daughter read a book to ME was far more enjoyable than the best article on the web.



I read an article in First Things, which I shall try to link here(well, part of the article - you have to subscribe to read the whole thing). The author, Joseph Bottum, discusses how the secular holidays have overtaken the Holy Days that are near them. There is no better example of this than Christmas, and here in Dallas Christmas music has been playing nonstop on one radio station since November 1st.



Mr. Bottum makes the argument that all of this hoopla takes all the enjoyment out of the actual celebration. For too many people, by the time Christmas arrives, they are ready for it to be over. These are likely the ones who have their Christmas tree down at the end of the driveway on the night of December 25. Unfortunately we Catholics run the risk of getting tired of Christmas even before it has started.



So I propose that this Advent I will try to keep Advent faithfully, in order to try to create some of that longing for Christ our Savior in my heart - the kind that is expressed in the readings at Mass and in the Liturgy of the Hours. Advent is time to feel the longing that the Prophets had, and that we have lost by taking Our Savior for granted.



Practically speaking this means that Scorpion Stalking Duck will refrain from those frivolous videos which I loved so much. Instead, I shall try to publish serious spiritual pieces.



But don't hold your breath....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


We are busy preparing for our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. Rather than Tur-Duc-Hen, we thought we'd try this delicious bird. Note that Cookie Monster religiously follows his diet.

Giant Scorpion - Prehistoric proof

Here is an article on a large scorpion which could have easily taken out a duck:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21906979/from/ET/

Monday, November 19, 2007

Advertisment Timeout

Here is an advertisement from a hospital where I once had privileges:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bloggian Hiatus

Life has been too busy for blogging. I have not had a weekend off since October - getting called in if not already in-house - and no vacation since May. I wouldn't consider two days off to care for my wife after the miscarriage to be a vacation.

But enough whining.

Recently Wifeofdadwithnoisykids went to see a movie which looks at the life of one of the more famous science fiction/horror movie actors. Apparently, this man was friends with a woman who was contemplating abortion after getting pregnant. This actor(who was not the father of the child) entreated her to let the child live, and he promised to raise the child as his own. This is how the story goes, and he ends up caring for the child; the mother makes occasional visits, but the real story is about the relationship between the actor and the child. The actor's name was Bela Lugosi, and the movie is called 'Bela.'

If you get a chance to see it, I encourage you to do so.

Now back to the salt mines....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day Number 2

Today we begin day number 2 without the Aardvark.

November Victor Delta, better known as the Aardvark, started making funny squeaking sounds on Saturday night as I took the kids to a youth group meeting.

Being far more knowledgable about cars, my children assured me it was nothing. I did not think so; in fact, I got the feeling it was going to be an expensive squeak.

For now, I get to drive the nicer, newer car to work.

Yesterday was my older brother's birthday. He is a diocesan priest over on the East coast. He truly is living a life of the person of Christ, as he has suffered for his parish. He has been beaten, robbed at knifepoint, and had other sorrows given to him, yet he keeps up his work. God bless you, big brother!

Pray for him and all priests and religious, that they may remain faithful to their vows and stay close to Our Lord.

Blogging has been limited due to a very busy schedule. On top of all that is going on in the Noisykid household, I went and bought a BLACKBERRY! I am trying to learn how to use it, and I have to edit the 57 pages of contacts that were on the old PDA/Cell phone.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Veteran's Day

I am a veteran myself, and I thank God for the opportunities which opened up to me by my time in the United States Air Force. Today I used those skills by working most of the day at the hospital.

I cannot complain, considering the many veterans who are not here to enjoy life on earth.

Thank God for all those who gave their lives for our freedom.

I am reminded of a quote from Richard Adams' book Watership Down, where the sacrifices of our elders, specifically in time of war, are quickly forgotten. It is too late for me to look it up.

Perhaps tomorrow.

(formerly Major) Dadwithnoisykids

Friday, November 09, 2007

#451: Pope St. Leo the Great

Today we consider the wonderful saint, Pope St. Leo the Great, whose feast day is tomorrow, November 10. Pope St. Leo accomplished many things in his life, thanks to the Grace of God, but I did not start this blog to talk about that. Instead I want to tell you about the contribution this man, this saint, made to the fashion world.

You see, at one time it was customary to adorn one's hat or helmet with various decorations which were unique to the wearer. In the case of Atilla the Hun, he loved to wear a rubber chicken on his helmet. He even went so far as to demand that all of his conquests had to wear one as well.

This all ended when Atilla the Hun met Pope St. Leo outside the gates of Rome. Not only did St. Leo dissuade him from attacking the city, but he also reprimanded Atilla for wearing a rubber chicken. Below is a picture of the historic meeting and St. Leo's scolding:



Here is a detail of Atilla's headdress, proving that rubber chickens were in use even in the 500's:



Thanks to Pope St. Leo, rubber chickens never caught on in the fashion world; otherwise I may have had a hat like this one:



Fashion is multi-species, so the following pictures show what might have happened if rubber chickens became popular:











Thank you, Pope St. Leo!

Pope St. Leo the Great, PRAY FOR US!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Post #450: Blackberries, Anyone?

Treo 270
Treo 300
Visor Edge, with cover on left.
Treo 600 and 650 - not sure which is which. I think the 650 is on the right.


Looking over my career as a Geek, I have always had an electronic organizer at my side.




From the 32K Casio Organizer(which is the same size as my PDA with a 1G memory card in it) as an intern.




Then there was something by Sharp, which had a screaming 256K of memory.




Then there was the thing I found in the Air Force Base Exchange, which had 2MB of memory. It also had the original mobile Word and Excel functions which were not really compatible with the computer version. It could only synchronize with one computer - a tremendous example of fidelity in this world gone mad.




The screen did not survive a textbook falling on it as I worked in my office one night on call.




I got a Palm Something, with 8 MB of memory. I learned graffitti.




I got a bigger Palm, and gave my oldest brother the old one. Wifeofdadwithnoisykids realized there was a trend here but could not work out an intervention.




I switched to Handspring and got a Visor Edge. This has to be my favorite PDA of all. Aluminum case. It looked more like a cigarette case. "Cigarette, Mr. Dadwithnoisykids?" Histor the Wise is using it right now.




One day as I drove along, juggling a cell phone in one hand and the Edge in the other, trying to order pizza for pickup, I realized I had a problem. I needed to integrate my PDA with my cell phone.




Our babysitter, who was in the passenger seat at the time, realized I had a problem, too.




"Look out for that concrete post!"




She never rode in a car with me again, even after I got the Handspring Treo 270.




Big.




Clunky.




The company which serviced the 270 didn't cover us out in the boondocks south of Dallas.




The Treo 300 followed.




Then came the Treo 600.




Then came the Treo 650.




Wifeofdadwithnoisykids was still concerned, but knew that the business would allow a new PDA every other year.




I was enabled.




Then one day I noticed that there was another Windows based PDA which seemed to be taking over the palm-based operating system.




I got the XV-6700, which looks more like a vanilla ice cream bar. A QWERTY keyboard slides out to the side, and it has internet access. Now I could get onto websites and look at postage sized pictures of things going on.




Better yet, I could take pictures of things and upload them to my blog. I was never out of touch with my people.




Then, over the weekend, I spent too much time at a cell phone store, waiting for the children's cell phone to get replaced. I noticed that all cell phones have in effect become more than just cell phones. Nowadays all the phones have music and video options; in short, they have ceased to be tools and are instead entertainment centers that fit in your pocket(or purse). I was disappointed, knowing that one day my vanilla ice cream sandwich would melt, or dive into a toilet, and I would need to replace it.




Then I started looking at those really dorky Blackberries....

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Look at Current Medical Issues:


Imagine if you shot your dog, intending to kill it, and it did not die. Then imagine that when it lived you celebrated its life - ignoring the fact that you tried to shoot it.

Forget about imagining. Forget about dogs:

Here is the link, but I recommend reading the story below instead - too many distractions for men on the sidebar:



We're twinseparable! Happy with his brother, the boy who refused to die
By LUCY LAING

They say twins share a strong bond - but the one between Gabriel and Ieuan Jones was unbreakable. NOTE: GABRIEL IS ON THE RIGHT IN THE PICTURE ABOVE.

When doctors found that Gabriel was weaker than his brother, with an enlarged heart,and believed he was going to die in the womb, his mother Rebecca Jones had to make a heartbreaking decision.

Doctors told her his death could cause his twin brother to die too before they were born, and that it would be better to end Gabriel's suffering sooner rather than later.

Mrs Jones decided to let doctors operate to terminate Gabriel's life.

Firstly they tried to sever his umbilical cord to cut off his blood supply, but the cord was too strong.

They then cut Mrs Jones's placenta in half so that when Gabriel died, it would not affect his twin brother.

But after the operation which was meant to end his life, tiny Gabriel had other ideas.

Although he weighed less than a pound, he put up such a fight for survival that doctors called him Rocky.

Astonishingly, he managed to carry on living in his mother's womb for another five weeks - until the babies were delivered by caesarean section.

Now he and Ieuan are back at home in Stoke - and are so close they are always holding each other's hand.

Mrs Jones, 35, a financial adviser whose husband Mark, 36, is a car salesman, said: "It really is a miracle. Doctors carried out an operation to let Gabriel die - yet he hung on.

"It was unbelievable."

"When I felt him kicking madly the morning after the operation, I suddenly knew that he was going to hang on.

"The doctors couldn't believe it when they could still hear his heartbeat the next morning."

Rebecca Jones: 'It's a miracle'

Mrs Jones learned she was expecting twins when she was ten weeks pregnant. She said: "When they told us we were over the moon."

But at her 20-week scan, doctors had some devastating news. One of the boys was half the size of his brother.

They didn't know what was causing it, but somehow he wasn't getting enough nutrients.

Then doctors said his heart was three times normal size and it was likely he would have a heart attack or a stroke in the womb.

Mrs Jones said: "They told us that if he died, it could be life threatening for his brother.

"We had to decide whether to end his life and let his brother live, or risk them both."

They said it would be impossible to keep him alive afterwards as he was so poorly.

It would be kinder to let him die in the womb with his brother by his side than to die alone after being born.

"That made my mind up for me. I wanted the best thing for him."

At Birmingham Women's Hospital, when Mrs Jones was 25 weeks pregnant, doctors tried to sever Gabriel's umbilical cord to cut off his blood supply and allow him to die.

But the cord was too thick, and they could not cut through it.

As a last resort they divided Mrs Jones's placenta so that when Gabriel died, it would allow Ieuan to survive. Mrs Jones said: "I put my hands on my stomach thinking of Gabriel. It was devastating. I had said my goodbyes."

But the next morning Mrs Jones felt Gabriel kicking. A scan showed his heart was still beating. She said: "No one could quite believe it."

Gabriel hung on, and his enlarged heart started to reduce in size. He also gained weight.

Mrs Jones said: "They thought it may be because the placenta had been divided. Inadvertently, it had evened out the distribution of nutrition between them, allowing Gabriel to survive.'

When Mrs Jones reached 31 weeks doctors carried out a caesarian to deliver the twins. Ieuan weighed 3lb 8oz and Gabriel 1lb 15oz. Both were kept in hospital, but since going home they have thrived. At seven months, Ieuan weighs 15lb and Gabriel 12lb 6oz.

Mrs Jones said: "The boys are so healthy, they have huge appetites too. Ieuan is the noisy one, while Gabriel is always laughing, it's like he's just so happy to be here.

"There is such a strong bond between them.

"They are always holding hands and if one cries, the other reaches out to comfort him."

"Doctors tried to break their bond in the womb, but they just proved it couldn't be broken."
Commentary: It appears as if the parent is downplaying the fact that she wanted her infant killed. Dying in the womb next to one's twin or after birth results in the same thing: a dead baby. Perhaps they regret what they have done, but the article does not give any indication of this.
This was probably a case of twin-twin transfusion, where one baby was acting as the 'pump' for both of them. It seems as if this could be used as a means to treat twin-twin transfusions.
Since I seem to be on a medical journal rant at present, read this article which demonstrates how evidence based medicine does not work in some cases. In this case, the study was about parachutes:
HERE IS THE LINK. This sidebar is less distracting for men.
Here is the article:
Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials
Gordon C S Smith, professor1, Jill P Pell, consultant2

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, 2 Department of Public Health, Greater Glasgow NHS Board, Glasgow G3 8YU
Correspondence to: G C S Smith gcss2@cam.ac.uk


Abstract
Objectives: To determine whether parachutes are effective in preventing major trauma related to gravitational challenge.
Design: Systematic review of randomised controlled trials.
Data sources: Medline, Web of Science, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases; appropriate internet sites and citation lists.
Study selection: Studies showing the effects of using a parachute during free fall.
Main outcome measure: Death or major trauma, defined as an injury severity score > 15.
Results: We were unable to identify any randomised controlled trials of parachute intervention.
Conclusions: As with many interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. We think that everyone might benefit if the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine organised and participated in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute.

Introduction
The parachute is used in recreational, voluntary sector, and military settings to reduce the risk of orthopaedic, head, and soft tissue injury after gravitational challenge, typically in the context of jumping from an aircraft. The perception that parachutes are a successful intervention is based largely on anecdotal evidence. Observational data have shown that their use is associated with morbidity and mortality, due to both failure of the intervention1 2 and iatrogenic complications.3 In addition, "natural history" studies of free fall indicate that failure to take or deploy a parachute does not inevitably result in an adverse outcome.4 We therefore undertook a systematic review of randomised controlled trials of parachutes.

Methods
Literature search: We conducted the review in accordance with the QUOROM (quality of reporting of meta-analyses) guidelines.5 We searched for randomised controlled trials of parachute use on Medline, Web of Science, Embase, the Cochrane Library, appropriate internet sites, and citation lists. Search words employed were "parachute" and "trial." We imposed no language restriction and included any studies that entailed jumping from a height greater than 100 metres. The accepted intervention was a fabric device, secured by strings to a harness worn by the participant and released (either automatically or manually) during free fall with the purpose of limiting the rate of descent. We excluded studies that had no control group.

Definition of outcomes: The major outcomes studied were death or major trauma, defined as an injury severity score greater than 15.6

Meta-analysis: Our statistical apprach was to assess outcomes in parachute and control groups by odds ratios and quantified the precision of estimates by 95% confidence intervals. We chose the Mantel-Haenszel test to assess heterogeneity, and sensitivity and subgroup analyses and fixed effects weighted regression techniques to explore causes of heterogeneity. We selected a funnel plot to assess publication bias visually and Egger's and Begg's tests to test it quantitatively. Stata software, version 7.0, was the tool for all statistical analyses.

Results
Our search strategy did not find any randomised controlled trials of the parachute.

Discussion
Evidence based pride and observational prejudiceIt is a truth universally acknowledged that a medical intervention justified by observational data must be in want of verification through a randomised controlled trial. Observational studies have been tainted by accusations of data dredging, confounding, and bias.7 For example, observational studies showed lower rates of ischaemic heart disease among women using hormone replacement therapy, and these data were interpreted as advocating hormone replacement for healthy women, women with established ischaemic heart disease, and women with risk factors for ischaemic heart disease.8 However, randomised controlled trials showed that hormone replacement therapy actually increased the risk of ischaemic heart disease,9 indicating that the apparent protective effects seen in observational studies were due to bias. Cases such as this one show that medical interventions based solely on observational data should be carefully scrutinised, and the parachute is no exception.

Natural history of gravitational challenge: The effectiveness of an intervention has to be judged relative to non-intervention. Understanding the natural history of free fall is therefore imperative. If failure to use a parachute were associated with 100% mortality then any survival associated with its use might be considered evidence of effectiveness. However, an adverse outcome after free fall is by no means inevitable. Survival has been reported after gravitation challenges of more than 10 000 metres (33 000 feet).4 In addition, the use of parachutes is itself associated with morbidity and mortality.1-3 10 This is in part due to failure of the intervention. However, as with all interventions, parachutes are also associated with iatrogenic complications.3 Therefore, studies are required to calculate the balance of risks and benefits of parachute use.

The parachute and the healthy cohort effect: One of the major weaknesses of observational data is the possibility of bias, including selection bias and reporting bias, which can be obviated largely by using randomised controlled trials. The relevance to parachute use is that individuals jumping from aircraft without the help of a parachute are likely to have a high prevalence of pre-existing psychiatric morbidity. Individuals who use parachutes are likely to have less psychiatric morbidity and may also differ in key demographic factors, such as income and cigarette use. It follows, therefore, that the apparent protective effect of parachutes may be merely an example of the "healthy cohort" effect. Observational studies typically use multivariate analytical approaches, using maximum likelihood based modelling methods to try to adjust estimates of relative risk for these biases. Distasteful as these statistical adjustments are for the cognoscenti of evidence based medicine, no such analyses exist for assessing the presumed effects of the parachute.

The medicalisation of free fall: It is often said that doctors are interfering monsters obsessed with disease and power, who will not be satisfied until they control every aspect of our lives (Journal of Social Science, pick a volume). It might be argued that the pressure exerted on individuals to use parachutes is yet another example of a natural, life enhancing experience being turned into a situation of fear and dependency. The widespread use of the parachute may just be another example of doctors' obsession with disease prevention and their misplaced belief in unproved technology to provide effective protection against occasional adverse events.

What is already known about this topic
1. Parachutes are widely used to prevent death and major injury after gravitational challenge
2. Parachute use is associated with adverse effects due to failure of the intervention and iatrogenic injury
3. Studies of free fall do not show 100% mortality
What this study adds
1. No randomised controlled trials of parachute use have been undertaken
2. The basis for parachute use is purely observational, and its apparent efficacy could potentially be explained by a "healthy cohort" effect
3. Individuals who insist that all interventions need to be validated by a randomised controlled trial need to come down to earth with a bump
Parachutes and the military industrial complex: However sinister doctors may be, there are powers at large that are even more evil. The parachute industry has earned billions of dollars for vast multinational corporations whose profits depend on belief in the efficacy of their product. One would hardly expect these vast commercial concerns to have the bravery to test their product in the setting of a randomised controlled trial. Moreover, industry sponsored trials are more likely to conclude in favour of their commercial product,11 and it is unclear whether the results of such industry sponsored trials are reliable.
A call to (broken) arms: Only two options exist. The first is that we accept that, under exceptional circumstances, common sense might be applied when considering the potential risks and benefits of interventions. The second is that we continue our quest for the holy grail of exclusively evidence based interventions and preclude parachute use outside the context of a properly conducted trial. The dependency we have created in our population may make recruitment of the unenlightened masses to such a trial difficult. If so, we feel assured that those who advocate evidence based medicine and criticise use of interventions that lack an evidence base will not hesitate to demonstrate their commitment by volunteering for a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial.
Contributors: GCSS had the original idea. JPP tried to talk him out of it. JPP did the first literature search but GCSS lost it. GCSS drafted the manuscript but JPP deleted all the best jokes. GCSS is the guarantor, and JPP says it serves him right.
Funding: None.
Competing interests: None declared.
Ethical approval: Not required.
References

Belmont PJ Jr, Taylor KF, Mason KT, Shawen SB, Polly DW Jr, Klemme WR. Incidence, epidemiology, and occupational outcomes of thoracolumbar fractures among US Army aviators. J Trauma 2001;50: 855-61.[ISI][Medline]
Bricknell MC, Craig SC. Military parachuting injuries: a literature review. Occup Med (Lond) 1999;49: 17-26.
Lasczkowski G, Hasenfuss S, Verhoff M, Weiler G. An unusual airplane crash—deadly life saver. Unintentional activation of an automated reserve opening device causing airplane accident. Forensic Sci Int 2002;125: 250-3.[CrossRef][ISI][Medline]
Highest fall survived without a parachute. In: Cunningham A. Guinness world records 2002. London: Guinness World Records, 2002.
Moher D, Cook DJ, Eastwood S, Olkin I, Rennie D, Stroup DF, for the QUOROM Group. Improving the quality of reports of meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials: the QUOROM statement. Lancet 1999;354: 1896-1900.[CrossRef][ISI][Medline]
Lossius HM, Langhelle A, Reide E, Pillgram-Larsen J, Lossius TA, Laake P, et al. Reporting data following major trauma and analysing factors associated with outcome using the new Utstein style recommendations. Resuscitation 2001;50: 263-72.[CrossRef][ISI][Medline]
Davey Smith G, Ebrahim S. Data dredging, bias, or confounding. BMJ 2002;325: 1437-8.[Free Full Text]
Pines A, Mijatovic V, van der Mooren MJ, Kenemans P. Hormone replacement therapy and cardioprotection: basic concepts and clinical considerations. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1997;71: 193-7.[CrossRef][ISI][Medline]
Rossouw JE, Anderson GL, Prentice RL, LaCroix AZ, Kooperberg C, Stefanick ML, et al. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2002;288: 321-33.[Abstract/Free Full Text]
Lee CT, Williams P, Hadden WA. Parachuting for charity: is it worth the money? A 5-year audit of parachute injuries in Tayside and the cost to the NHS. Injury 1999;30: 283-7.[CrossRef][ISI][Medline]
Lexchin J, Bero LA, Djulbegovic B, Clark O. Pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and research outcome and quality: systematic review. BMJ 2003;326: 1167-70.[Abstract/Free Full Text]

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Midnight Prayers

It seems ironic that
serving those I love
means separation
for long stretches.
As if my pledge
willingly exiled me
from the one
I could not live without.

Such thoughts occur,
waking from dreams of
engine failures and
screaming passengers.

Gazing at her in sleep
I realize how little I pray
for the one who holds
my heart in her hands.
She needs God's grace
for heroic virtue
is required just to
live with such a man

Never mind caring
for children who reflect
some of his goodness
and features.

So I silently pray
for my precious love
not that she improve
- I don' see how -
but that she continue
to love this often absent
but always imperfect
husband and father.

And loving our children
the greatest blessing
of the union of our hearts
and lives.

In the light of day
far from her side
too busy to call
I pray for her again
that she receive
graces she needs
and one thing she wants
is one more soul

To love and cherish
another child who reflects
some of my goodness
and features.

SMD
11.04.2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Insomnia


There is a special type of suffering that I experience when I am post-call.

After working until 2 in the morning, and being woken up at 6:45 by my relief, I walked out to my car.

I left all the windows open and searched for some snappy music on the radio.

At that moment every radio station in Dallas started playing nothing but Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow.

Neil.

Barry.


Neil.


Barry.


UB-40 singing songs of Neil Diamond.


Barry.

I had to slap myself to keep on the road.

If only they had played this song, my favorite Neil Diamond song:





Dig that hair.
No polyesters were killed to make this video.


This would have gotten me going, too:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All Saints Day, YES!

Halloween, NO.

We do not celebrate a secular holiday which is fast becoming a diabolical festival of sorts.

We save all our fun and frolic for ALL SAINTS DAY, November 1.

Still, there are some funny things about Halloween. Here is a comic about some of the scariest costumes this season, and which features a sketch of us when we had a small family:


Yep, that's us in the top right corner. This sketch would have been from 1998. Note the military haircut(I was serving in the Air Force at the time) and seven children on the ground and one on the way.

While this is rather offensive to those of us who are open to life, it still cracks me up. It is sometimes good to laugh at one's self, and to see how the world sees us. The world sees excess carbon entering the atmosphere, a landfill stuffed with diapers, and more people likely to vote Pro-Life. I see my beautiful wife and I surrounded by our wonderful children.

My wife took some of the older children to see a movie called Bella. I heard it was good, so I gave my permission - provided they bring back all the licorice gumdrops they can find on the floor. While they are out, I will do some shopping.

Here is the first MUST HAVE ITEM for the season:



We strive to incorporate our favorite monkey into all of our family's celebrations.

That picture reminded me of my favorite Curious George story, which I reviewed here.

"Doctor's Wives Have Glamorous Lives"

Monday, October 29, 2007

Perchance to Dream, Part I

"Congratulations!"

The words startled me, as they came from a man who appeared to look just like me.

"Congratulations, dadwithnoisykids!"

I was in a room with a window on one side and a door on the opposite wall. The window looked out over a well-manicured lawn, and the trees cast long shadows from what appeared to be a setting sun. It looked as if it were the end of a warm October day.

The room itself was sparsely appointed, with a small table and two chairs. One of the chairs was occupied by what appeared to be my double, and he bade me to sit down.

"Who are you? Where am I?" I said.

"You are dreaming, and I am your guardian angel." he said, "and to prove it, permit me to tell you something you once said to yourself when you were all alone."

He mentioned something I had almost forgotten, that I had said while driving in a car years ago.

"Okay, I said that. But how do I know you are my angel? Why do you look so scarred and scratched?" I noticed as I spoke to him that he was covered with scars; most were small, but a few were huge. This man had seen a lot of punishment in his life.

"These are the scars I bore in your place. Here is where you would have been shot had someone not stopped you from riding down that street. Here are the scars which held the pins that would have held your forearm bones together after countless car wrecks you escaped." I can't show you the internal scars, but they are there. I just recently lost the yellow color of my skin from jaundice."

"Jaundice?"

"Hepatitis B. Wear gloves at work, please. Sit down, too. You're straining my neck."

"Why did you say congratulations?"

"I wanted to congratulate on winning the lottery!"

"As far as I know, I did not win the lottery."

"Well, dadwithnoisykids, you did and you didn't. No, you did not buy a lottery ticket with the winning numbers. But yes, over the course of your life you will earn what amounts to a small fortune. So rejoice! You won the lottery!"

"I don't understand. Why are you telling me this?"

"Let me remind you of a mental exercise which you occasionally make - and," here he grinned, "I gave to you in a moment of inspiration:

"How many times have you asked yourself what you would do if you won the lottery? Remember the times when work was slow, and you worried about providing for your family? Remember how you promised yourself that you would slow down and take more time with your wife and children - if you won the lottery?"

"Well, it is time to realize that you have, in effect, won the lottery. And so it is time to make good with your promise to yourself to take better care of your family. Especially that wife of yours. Wow, what a woman. The Blessed Mother really likes her! You are holding the life of such a wonderful woman in your hands. And your children are such a blessing and joy to the world. Even your teenagers!"

"So dadwithnoisykids, I am here to tell you to start living now in a way to fulfill the promise you made. It's not too late-"

He stopped, seemed to look down at his hands, and then up to me, stopping to stare into my eyes.

"I have to go soon. There is one more thing I want to tell you, and God has permitted me to tell you this. You need to make a general confession, a good one, unlike your usual two-minute confession."

"Don't delay this or you will BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP -"

I swung my arm at him, striking the snooze button on my alarm clock. 5:15 a.m.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Note from the Doctor


We got a note from our obstetrician today, which included this Mass card and the prayer below. What a good man he is. He is an NFP-only obstetrician. He and others like him are listed at the website for One More Soul.



I know several NFP-only obstetricians, and most started their careers in practices where they prescribing contraceptives. Over time, they came around to see what they were doing was wrong, and after much outpouring of grace, they changed their practices. One would think that the economic implications would be devastating for a physician to make such a radical change in their practices. This has not been the case. Most are doing BETTER than before! Granted, this is not the reason for adopting the teachings of the Magisterium into one's practice, but it is a good thing, a consolation for here on earth.



It strikes me as ironic that ever since our NFP-only obstetrician started his practice here that we have had only one child - and that one was delivered by his partner(they are working on him!). Well, we are working on that.



Here is the prayer. We will be remembered in daily Mass by the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception





Eternal God and Almighty Father,



hear this prayer for the soul of my child,



and for all the little souls You have called from this earth.


Open wide the gates of Your Kingdom and lead them to the


beautiful place You have prepared for them in Your house of faith in Heaven.


Let the light of Your love embrace them.


Send your trusted angels to guard them.


Give them joy and peace forever.

Be with me as I mourn my child, and with all parents


whose daughters and sons have passed from this life to the next.


Our consolation is in knowing that our children will never be


separated from us for they dwell within our hearts and Yours.


We believe that what is seen is transitory, and what is unseen lasts forever.

by Stephanie Wilcox-Hughes

From the Association of Marian Helpers.
www.marian.org



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Way To Go, Maggie!

St. Margaret Clitherow is one of our favorite saints.

She refused to give up her faith, and suffered martyrdom by being crushed to death - slowly.

October 25th is the day we celebrate the Forty Martyrs of England.

St. Margaret Clitherow, pray for us.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Deep Thoughts From Little People


Quote from my two year old daughter, while mentioning her intentions during morning prayers. As she was saying them, most of which were unintelligible, one of the older children started laughing in the back seat of the van. My youngest daughter turned around and started yelling, "It's NOT FUNNY!"


Same daughter, different day. We were trying to encourage her to wear ribbons in her hair. One of her older brothers offered to help her put the ribbon in her hair. She said, "No, [brother], you are a boy. You can't do it."


In reference to the video featured here, my six year old son said that he liked the sickness Mom has when she is pregnant, but not the sickness that he gets. That makes him sad....


Me too.


Then there is the oldest son who ran an errand to the bike shop to get some repairs done. He called us to tell us that he needed to put some money down for the repairs. Only he didn't say it that way. Instead, he called us and yelled into the phone, "Mom, you gotta get down here and bail me out! Right now!"


Some of the last words one wants to hear...all he needed was a deposit.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Thoughts


First,

Thanks to the many people who have been praying for us after Mrs. Dadwithnoisykids' miscarriage. This has been a trying time for us, but also a pouring out of grace for us.

Second,

I have been reading Marriage: A Path to Sanctity by Javier Abad and Eugenio Fenoy(2nd Edition). It is a great book, even for a man who is married almost 19 years.

Here is a good quote from the beginning of the book:

"Getting married means giving half your soul to your spouse and receiving the other's half in return. If both halves complement each other, what heaven it shall be! But if they do not, what hell shall be suffered! For whereas before we had two complete lives, now we have two broken and shattered halves. Let those in love therefore take careful stock of the soul they surrender as well as of the soul surrendered to them."
- Severo Catalina

Good advice, especially as I foresee the Noisykids starting along the vocation trail in the next few years.

Watching the video below, I don't think these folks have the right idea, except the girl does have a good book as a guide: The ABCs of Choosing a Good Husband, by Stephen Wood . Everything goes a bit too fast:








Another reason to avoid Steubenville.



Third,

Thoughts While Looking Upon A Dying Girl


She lay there
labored breathing fast
eyes shut tight


No model
for the hospital
fundraiser


Cute no more
the hair and blush gone
tight skin pale


Cushingoid
hiding the young girl
who still is


Three months past
since I last saw her
once again


Her options
less than once before
still fighting


More pleasing
to God than my smug
lukewarm soul


Jesus died
for the two of us
remember this


Afterwards
finding her mother
on a bench


Her cigarette
smoldering away
falls to earth


I told her
she is doing well
and she sleeps


Not today will
she earn the title
of train wreck

SMD
10.21.2007

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."
Amen.

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