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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Summertime Sonnet by Nikolai Brelinsky

 



This is an original work written by my 17yo son. With the end of summer fast approaching (too fast as far as I am concerned), I thought his sonnet was a perfect reminder to slow down and enjoy the last days of the season.


Sipping a glass of lemonade outside
The proud screen-door hinges standing open wide
Porch swing swaying lazily, doing its chore
A couple basks in the season they adore

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Little Reminder That Life is Good

When my older boys were little I made Halloween costumes (from sewing Buzz Lightyear to creating a bull out of a cardboard box), threw themed birthday parties (Veggie Tales and Sea Creatures), paper-mached a pinata (that turned out to be nearly indestructible), and baked birthday cakes (a school bus). Eight kiddos later and I sometimes feel a bit of guilt because my crafty skills are more often constrained by time.

Lately, I have to admit I feel downright aggravated with myself.

Monday, August 18, 2014

On Saturday's Chore List: Telling Lies; Exposing the Truth About the Anti-life Protesters

Imagine you are a scared teenager who has just discovered you are pregnant by a boyfriend who adamantly tells you he's not interested in raising his child. Maybe you're a single woman whose married boyfriend finally admits he has no intention of leaving his wife and helping raise his child. Perhaps, you are too poor to take care of the kids you already have and you feel overwhelmed by the thought of having another. Or you trusted your contraceptives to make your sex life sterile and now you're shocked to find out they didn't work.

You have cried, begged, bartered, and agonized. Your situation feels hopeless and all that you can think of is wanting it all to go away.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My Morning At the Abortion Clinic

Hilarious” that's the adjective used to describe the pro-aborts' signs in front of a local abortion mill. A couple has made it their weekend chore to mock Christian pro-lifers and chronicle their efforts on a blog. Their dedication to confrontation merited them some viral exposure from a writer who found the couple's signs (that state things like “I like turtles” and 'Hail Santa”) to be side-achingly hysterical. The coverage inspired a fellow parishioner to post the article on facebook along with a call to offer a counter-balance to the situation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Super Simple, Shadow Box Baby Shower Gift

It's baby time around these parts for a number of my beautiful friends. So, it was an extra special treat to be invited to a baby shower recently. Of course, I wanted to find the perfect gift to honor the expectant little one. Then, I remembered the unique gift we received from my youngest child's godparents and I used that as my inspiration.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Life of Adoration - my guest post for Deacon Ian's blog

Pieter van Aelst, 16th century
A friend of mine, who just happens to be a deacon on his way to becoming a Catholic priest, began a blog to help his readers grow closer to Christ through prayer. His writings include a thorough explanation of a particular type of prayer called Lectio Divina (which I'd highly recommend learning more about). He asked some friends to share their personal prayer testimonies from the focus of how do you pray, what is your relationship with the Trinity and have you ever had an intense 
prayer experience

Here's my story:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why Our Family Never Misses A Meal (our favorite recipes included)

Please, pass the mashed potatoes and don't hog the gravy.”

Some of my best memories revolved around the dinner table. With nine (or more) of us gathered around, I learned the value of keeping your elbows off the table and your manners minded. Poor Aunt Amy, the only lefty in the crowd, always got assigned to the end seat to keep her from poking her neighbor. And it became the running joke to stick dear Aunt Kathy with the bum-chair (the one that was missing a few screws -that's the chair was missing screws, not the aunt!)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hope Didn't Die With the Baby, Dimitri's Legacy


Nineteen years ago today, when I was twenty-four and my husband twenty-six, we made a mad dash to the midwife Annie's office. The hot southern July sun was just beginning to heat up the air and the morning traffic rush was under way. My concentration was centered inward (in a kind of hypnotic state), but I remember distinctly watching the cars moving outside the window. Feeling my face contort now and again, I wondered if anyone could see me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Is The Building That Cried Out To God

This is the building.
This is the building we used to drive a half an hour to get to.
This is the building that we used to park our big, pro-life stickered van in front of.
This is the building that drew us down to our knees.
This is the building which beckoned us to pray.
This is the building where I encountered my first real taste of venomous words (shouted at my children and me).
This is the building that reduced me to tears.
This is the building where babies were slaughtered, ripped, suctioned and incinerated.
This is the building where women went in whole and came out broken.
This is the building that cried out to God.


God heard the cries.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stepping Through Our Doors To Minister to Those On The Outside

With a ten month old at hip, I'd taken up my usual place at the rear of the sanctuary so as to distance my noise-maker from the attentive audience. It was Pentecost Sunday, the Church's birthday, and Monsignor was traversing the aisles between pews. A pine branch in place of the aspergillum, he was dotting his parishioners with holy water blessings.

He seemed to take an extra long time, weaving through the maze of pews, all the while dipping and flicking that broken, wet branch. Just when I thought he'd direct his path towards me, he turned again done another row. Of course, paying attention to the details and taking extra care in sacred matters wasn't surprising, this was Monsignor Williams after all. And while not exactly as dismissive of time as St. Pio of Pietrecina (who was known to celebrate three hour long Masses), he wasn't in the habit of curtailing the Lord's Holy Sacrifice in order to satisfy forty-five minute man-made quotas either.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Delicious Veggies On The Grill via Chef Cheapo's Sous Chef

My 17 year old son, Nikolai, helped Mr. B (aka Dad) cook up some truly delicious grilled veggies this week and he jotted down the simple recipes. Grilling brought out the vegetables' sweetness and gave them each a nice, tender texture. They make a lovely compliment to burgers, chicken, or fish or you could just enjoy them as the main course.

Today is the perfect summer day here in Brelinskyville.
Iced sweet tea, lemonade, fresh cookies, and dad fired up the grill.
mmmm...

So let me get right to the point.
Here's some epic recipes for grilled veggies!
Mostly they involve prepping the veggies, seasoning them, and tossing them on the grill.
There are simple and taste amazing.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Did You Hear The Whippoorwill? Protecting Our Senses

Did you hear that bird last night?” The question rolled off the tongues of sleepy, eye rubbing pilgrims as they made their way down the hill toward the breakfast line. Talk of the noisy whippoorwill would not only rattle around the chow line, but it was the hot topic dominating the men's mid-morning break-out session.

The bridled bird sang away the full-mooned night. Bellowing its repetitive chirps across the old Craig Springs resort, nestled in a Virginia mountain side. Its constant calling broke the country silence and caused more than a couple of travelers to lie wide-eyed in their bunks fantasizing about clever and violent ways to end the bird's seemingly relentless serenade.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Supporting Creativity - Log Your Vote

Elizabeth & Tim #557
While meandering around the hallways at the national Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Home School conference, I was approached by an agent (of sorts). She was working the crowd, handing out 3X5 fliers. Her sincerity and warm smile hooked me, so I listened to her case. She was soliciting votes for her son, who is trying to win a scholarship contest.

He and his friend are participating in the Duck Tape Stuck at Prom contest and so they created these incredibly original outfits from Duck Tape and soda can pop tops. Accepting the little handmade flier, I promised to do my best to get the word out and promote her son's endeavor on the blog.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Picturing Parties, Peacocks & the Perfect Beach Day

Just another week in Brelinskyville I say. And by that I mean: traveling to celebrate our first graduate, hosting 86 of the world's most awesome party guests, a stray peacock, field tripping to the beach and an extra blessing to count.

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