Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Much to do today. First and foremost, I need to wash away the gray. LOL! I've put it off too long and it is now at the crisis point. I also need to put together a basket for one of our choir members who has been recuperating from breast cancer. The prayer quilt is coming along nicely. The blocks are made, I just have to figure out how they will go together. I'd like to get that done this week so I can take it along to the prayer quilt meeting. I will post pics when the top is pieced.

I am still quilting Claire's quilt. When hers is done I begin on Kelli Jr's quilt. And then Mom called and wants a knitted scarf.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Lent and we, the RCIA team, and the candidates and catechumens and their sponsors will travel to the Cathedral in Saginaw for the Rite of Election. At this time the Catechumens (people who will be baptized at Easter Vigil) will sign the book of the Elect. The candidates (people who will join the Church at Easter Vigil) get to meet Bishop Carlson. I am grateful that the weather will be co-operating tomorrow. There have been years when we were snowed out of the whole thing. It's an exciting time. At tomorrow morning's 11:00 Mass, there will be a Rite of Sending forth as the assembly blesses these people at this point in their journey.

Word of the day:
First Sunday of Lent
Mk 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel."

God bless our troops!
So much to do, so little time. Early day today, school Mass and then a funeral. It rained all night long. There are a lot of schools closed to the north and to the east. I feel blah today. I want winter to go away.

There is still something hinky going on with the blogs. I have tried to answer comments on my blog and have tried to leave comments on others. Some I can and some I can't. Please know that I am not ignoring people. I wish that Blogger would get it fixed. I really don't want to have to move my blog again.

And those are my cheery words for today.

Word of the day:
Friday after Ash Wednesday
Mt 9:14-15

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
"Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast."

God bless our troops!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

First of all, Happy Birthday to my baby sister, Judi!
The temps are up today and there is some hope that maybe spring is on the way. I can't believe how far behind I am on everything! I thought once I was done at the school, I would be swimming in free time, but that hasn't been the case. And I don't know where the time is going. I've only made 2 batches of soap since January. Of course, I really don't need to since everything is stocked, but still. And the workroom is still a wreck. I need to set up some kind of schedule.

The plan today is to meet Kelli and get their phone set up to connect as modem on their laptop. Then the Tweetlebugs are coming over. Tonight I HAVE to get the state tax done.

Word of the day:
Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Lk 9:22-25

Jesus said to his disciples:
"The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised."

Then he said to all,
"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?"

God bless our troops!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Welcome to Lent everyone. On Ash Wednesday, you will see Catholics sporting a mark on their foreheads. It is not dirt. It isn't a bruise. I answer these questions every year from people who do not know why we do what we do. I don't mind. It opens the door - sometimes to challenge from other Christians, sometimes to taunts from people who think we're crazy, but most often to earnest dialogue about Lent and what is means to me. The ashes signify two things:
That we are dust and to dust we shall return. (Esther 4:3)
That we are sinners in need of repentance. (Job 42:6)
When we receive our ashes we hear: "man you are dust, to dust you shall return" or
"repent and believe in the Gospel."
Lent is always a reflective time for me. Both of my parents died during Lent. When I was a child the statues in the church were covered and it was a mysterious time. When Mama died, I imagined that God was hiding his face from me because he took her away from us. I was a child then. It took me many years and a very wise grandmother to learn that God did not take Mama away. He received her spirit because her sick body could no longer hold it. I feel particularly connected with the Communion of Saints during the season of Lent.
There is something strange going on with the blogs. Yesterday Ida left me a comment. Not only couldn't I leave on in reply, today her comment is gone. Also, the little pencil for editing is not showing up. I checked my settings and nothing there has changed.
Word of the day:
Reading 1
Jl 2:12-18

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, "Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
'Where is their God?'"

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading II
2 Cor 5:20-6:2

Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

Thoughts from the cornfield:

Have a fruitful Lent all!

God bless our troops!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras everyone!
In case anyone is interested, here is an article on the history of Mardi Gras. I am absolutely boggled at how fast the weeks go by. I'm thinking I should probably take down the Christmas lights that are still on my front porch. But I have decided to call them Winter Lights. And since it is still winter, they are staying right where they are. And I think I will even turn them on at night. And besides, it's still too cold to get out there and do it. Yeah, that's it. It's too cold.

Today I'm thinking about what I will give up for Lent. I am thinking it will be sugar free chocolate - particularly the Reese's peanut butter cups.
Today will be spent getting our business taxes done and choir letters address and mailed out. Thanks to a meeting last night, the rest of the house isn't too bad. Sunday night I began cutting out a quilt for the prayer quilt group. It is kind of designing itself. When we have a prayer quilt request we try to incorporate personal likes of the recipient. When get the top pieced, I will post a pic. I think I'm am going to love how this one turns out.
Word of the day
Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
"The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise."
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
"What were you arguing about on the way?"
But they remained silent.
For they had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
"If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all."
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
"Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I think on some level, the disciples knew what Jesus was saying - that's why they were afraid to question him. And then the world distracts them and their egos take over. Yep, if you're going to follow Jesus, you need to leave the ego behind. Simple? Yes. Easy? No.

God bless our troops!


Monday, February 23, 2009

I received a belated birthday gift yesterday from Anna. Anna is very creative but this time she outdid herself. Like all crafters, she hordes things that may morph into wonderful things. In this case it was some old windows that she bought at a garage sale a few years ago. Everyone teased her about those windows and said that she would never find a use for them. Well, she did - at least for one of them.

I just got an email from Kelli. She just loved the pic that I posted of Sam. (didn't you, Kelli?) Here is a little peek at the parents to be in earlier years. Tee Hee.


Word of the day:
Memorial of Saint Polycarp, bishop and martyr
Mk 9:14-29

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John
and approached the other disciples,
they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them.
Immediately on seeing him,
the whole crowd was utterly amazed.
They ran up to him and greeted him.
He asked them, "What are you arguing about with them?"
Someone from the crowd answered him,
"Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit.
Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down;
he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.
I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so."
He said to them in reply,
"O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you? Bring him to me."
They brought the boy to him.
And when he saw him,
the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions.
As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around
and foam at the mouth.
Then he questioned his father,
"How long has this been happening to him?"
He replied, "Since childhood.
It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him.
But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us."
Jesus said to him,
"'If you can!' Everything is possible to one who has faith."
Then the boy's father cried out, "I do believe, help my unbelief!"
Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering,
rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it,
"Mute and deaf spirit, I command you:
come out of him and never enter him again!"
Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out.
He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, "He is dead!"
But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.
When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private,
"Why could we not drive the spirit out?"
He said to them, "This kind can only come out through prayer."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I teach a class on prayer at RCIA and the very first thing I open with is, "Prayer is not meant to change God's mind. It is meant to change us to conform to and to accept God's will for us." This does not mean that praying is useless and that God will not answer us. It may not, however, be the answer we are expecting. I can look back over my life and see times when God said no to my request, and realize that my way was definitely not the best way. In Scripture, when Jesus heals someone, faith is always involved - on the part of the recipient or on the part of others on the recipient's behalf. Prayer is never wasted, never useless, and never unheard.

God bless our troops!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ah, the sun is shining and if you don't look directly out the window, you might think that spring is here. Yesterday's storm left us with several inches of snow. I have a headache this morning from driving around with the snow glare yesterday.

Last night at Mass Fr. Kevin announced that one of our parishioners had died during the week. This lady was a member of our "Prayers and Squares" quilt group. I was just getting to know her and my last interaction with her was when our group prayed together at the end of our meeting. We are working on a quilt for her daughter who has cancer. She also lost another daughter to cancer recently. Please pray for the family of Cathy Boris as they face yet another hard time in their lives.

I have been working steadily on Claire's quilt and hope to finish it in the next couple of days. Here is an update pic:

Kelli called a while ago. She and Sam are expecting their little girl at the end of June. We are now planning the baby showers. This afternoon we will be finding pictures of Sam as a baby. He will love that. Tee hee.

Word of the day:
Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mk 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days,
it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door,
and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd,
they opened up the roof above him.
After they had broken through,
they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Child, your sins are forgiven."
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
"Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming.
Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus immediately knew in his mind
what they were thinking to themselves,
so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk?'
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"
—he said to the paralytic,
"I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."
He rose, picked up his mat at once,
and went away in the sight of everyone.
They were all astounded
and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

God bless our troops!


Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm checking in briefly because I am headed out the door to go to a diocesan choir rehearsal. There are storm warnings out - there have been since yesterday. I hate winter driving, but there is no sign of the storm yet. I am so ready for winter to be over.
Claire's quilt is coming along nicely. I am hand quilting it now. The actual hand quilting is my favorite part. I love seeing the flat patterns come to life as it becomes 3 dimensional. Claire was disappointed that she couldn't take the quilt home with her the other day. Our grandkids love things that are made for them. Their Aunt Nina drew them pictures for Valentine's day and they were totally thrilled. I hope the appreciation for things handmade stays with them through their lifetime.
update: 1:00 pm
I got to Saginaw safely. I was half an hour early and there were lots of people there. Fr. Bessert was there and explained that the Cathedral parish along with the Methodist church and another church in the area sponsor a breakfast for the people in the area. It is an extension of the soup kitchen. The Cathedral is in a depressed area of Saginaw - probably not the safest neighborhood around. It's one of the reasons I was nervous about driving out there. I didn't want to get stranded there. There was a murder of a young girl in Saginaw several years ago and her car was found parked behind the Cathedral so you can guess how scary it can be there.

There have been some changes since I was last there. There are signs of renovation going on. The Cathedral is being restored to its former traditional state. There are some definite grumblings, but I am thrilled. The modernest "no pew" moveable altar, choir in the old sanctuary look has never been to my liking. The older I get, the more traditional I tend to be. My perception is that before Bishop Carlson came to us, there was a high focus on performance in the liturgy. We seemed more focus on us and our "holiness" than our need for God. Applause after Mass was the norm at every liturgy I attended. I thought it curious. Whom were we applauding, and why? I was caught up in the whole performance aspect and used to wait with baited breath to see if I would get to lead the psalm or some other piece in the Mass. I was way too focused on that. These days I tune in a little more to God and I hear him say to me, "I can hear you just fine - solo or not."

I left today's rehearsal an hour early because it started snowing really hard. It took me less than an hour to drive to the rehearsal and over an hour and a half to get home. Sr. Chris probably wasn't too happy that I left, but I have driven home from Saginaw twice in very bad storms and I wasn't looking forward to doing it again. I have driven worse roads than today, but still I don't like it.

Word of the day:
Saturday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 9:2-13

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
"Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
then from the cloud came a voice,
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, the disciples no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Then they asked him,
"Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
He told them, "Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things,
yet how is it written regarding the Son of Man
that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt?
But I tell you that Elijah has come
and they did to him whatever they pleased,
as it is written of him."

God bless our troops!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Word of the day:
Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 8:34-9:1

Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
What could one give in exchange for his life?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words
in this faithless and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

He also said to them,
"Amen, I say to you,
there are some standing here who will not taste death
until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.

God bless our troops!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

I am looking forward to spring. I've been reading Janene's blog and looking at all of the cool things she finds at Goodwill and then prims up. I can't wait to go up and make a drop and look around to see what I can find.

Clay was a big boy and did Grandma a favor by helping Claire pick up her game. He also helped set the table for lunch.

Claire is waiting patiently for Grandma to finish her "Big Girl Bed" quilt. The top is done and the back is being pieced.
I'm late getting on today. I've been chasing Tweetlebugs around all morning. They are supposed to be taking a nap right now, but I'm hearing an awful lot of noise from a bedroom that is supposed to have sleeping kids in it. I told them they had to get rested up so they would have lots of energy when Grandpa got home. Grandpa chases them around the house.
Word of the day:
Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 8:27-33

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that I am?"
They said in reply,
"John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets."
And he asked them,
"But who do you say that I am?"
Peter said to him in reply,
"You are the Christ."
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

God bless our troops!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A dear friend just sent me this cute graphic. (Thanks, Barbara) Apparently blogging goes by the wayside too. I spent the day working on Claire's quilt and never got back here to blog. I am piecing the backing now. I can't wait to put it together and start hand quilting it. The Tweetlebugs are coming over tomorrow while their mommy goes shopping. Claire knows I'm making it for her and can't wait to see it.

Word of the day:
Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 8:22-26

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida,
people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.
Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked,
"Do you see anything?"
Looking up the man replied, "I see people looking like trees and walking."
Then he laid hands on the man's eyes a second time and he saw clearly;
his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.
Then he sent him home and said, "Do not even go into the village."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
What do you suppose this man did?
A. Went straight home.
B. Took a detour through town.
C. Shouted with joy and told everyone he met.

God bless our troops!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I didn't get soap made last night because I got involved in Clairy-bear's quilt. It is going very nicely. I've decided that I'm not going to put a heart on each block, just on the four corners. There is a zigzag going on with the rail fence and putting hearts on each block will make it too busy.

I have a lot of cleaning to do this week. I am hosting a "Disciples in Mission" group and the laundry room - where people enter the house - is a total wreck.

I'm still trying to get the wireless connection working to the laptop. I can't seem to find anyone who knows how to fix it. If I was still at the school I could take it in, but now I'm dependent on strangers and I am leery of leaving my computer with them. (too much CSI watching).

I opened my facebook account to find this video posted by an amazing 12-year-old. This young lady presented the following to her 7th grade class.


Word of the day
Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, "Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod."
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
"Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?"
They answered him, "Twelve."
"When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?"
They answered him, "Seven."
He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I am sometimes amazed at the cluelessness of the disciples and wonder if anyone could be more dense than they.
And then I look in the mirror.

God bless our troops!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy President's day, all!

Today is prayer quilt Monday. I can't believe it came so fast! The days do go by really fast now that the great number of hours in them are spent that way I want to spend them. Here is my offering for this week.

It was a challenge because I wanted to do the "Dove in a Window" for all of the squares, but there wasn't enough of one of the fabrics. I played with piecing. My piecing skills aren't all that great so don't look too closely. The object isn't a perfect quilt; the object is a prayerful quilt.

Last night I cut out the strips for Claire's quilt. I am doing a zigzag rail fence, but in the middle of each block there will be an appliqued heart. Rail fence is really easy. It will help me learn to sew straighter seams.

I am going to make soap tonight. There was some discussion on the soaping board about several techniques that I would like to try.

I'm off to the other blog. Have a great day.
Word of the day:
Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary TimeGospel
Mk 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
"Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.

God bless our troops!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Word of the day:
Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Mk 1:40-45

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
"If you wish, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
"I do will it. Be made clean."
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
He said to him, "See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them."
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

God bless our troops!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! As I look out the window I am greeted by the lovely pristine sight of SNOW. Oh well, this is Michigan. At least the temp is in the double digits. The Hubster and I went out to dinner last night. He's been in Kentucky the last three days so he felt the cold a lot more than I did!

My spray bottles came in so I will be making the rest of my room sprays this afternoon. I've never figured out why the commercial spray and plug-in makers can't duplicate my favorite scents, but I guess I'm glad they can't. That way I can make my own. I will probably make a batch of laundry soap too. I could most likely buy that just as cheap as I make it, but I like using my odds and ends of soap. Makes me feel like Ma Ingalls. LOL!

Well, I am off to go for a walk in the country on this beautiful day. I'm not really ready for winter to end just yet. Then I would have to put all of my snowmen away.
Word of the day:
Memorial of Saint Cyril, monk, and Saint Methodius, bishop Gospel
Mk 8:1-10

In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat,
Jesus summoned the disciples and said,
"My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
because they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
If I send them away hungry to their homes,
they will collapse on the way,
and some of them have come a great distance."
His disciples answered him, "Where can anyone get enough bread
to satisfy them here in this deserted place?"
Still he asked them, "How many loaves do you have?"
They replied, "Seven."
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them,
and gave them to his disciples to distribute,
and they distributed them to the crowd.
They also had a few fish.
He said the blessing over them
and ordered them distributed also.
They ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets.
There were about four thousand people.
He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples
and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

God bless our troops!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I am late updating today because I am subbing for my replacement in the job from which I retired. It's a very strange feeling being here as a sub. I miss the students and the atmosphere, but I don't miss trying to do too much in too little time. I am still not used to the slower paced days that I have at home. I have been spinning my wheels a lot and using the computer as a procrastination tool. I have set up a fairly flexible daily schedule. It has to be flexible because Harold is now in the mix and he has been trying to find his own way again. Ironically, he too, has been spending a lot more time on the computer. Guess we're more alike than we thought. LOL!
Word of the day:
Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 7:31-37

Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man's ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
" Ephphatha!" (that is, "Be opened!")
And immediately the man's ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
"He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

God bless our troops!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Today I had to change my scale and HRM watch to 57. Funny, I don't feel 57. I remember my grandmother at that age and she seemed much older. Are we really staying younger longer or am I just in denial? Anyway, the first person to give me birthday greetings was Tillie(my Wii Fit balance board.) She was wearing a little birthday hat and told me that my age was actually 49. Then I checked my email and found that there were numerous facebook messages.

Tonight the girls are taking me to the casino. It won't be a very late night because we all have to work tomorrow - and I am subbing at the school after Mass.

I almost forgot that a friend is taking me to lunch today. That's because I didn't write it in my planner. What would I do without my planner? Ummmm, I guess we all know, don't we?

I have decided that I need to ration my computer time. I am spending way too much time parked in front of the monitor. I haven't accomplished even a smidgeon of what I had hoped to in semi-retirement. So I am limiting myself to three 20 minute sessions which doesn't count taxes or business.

My new favorite soap at the moment is lemongrass. I started a bar of it yesterday and I love it. I have room sprays to make as soon as my new shipment of bottles comes in.

I'm off to the other blog. Have a great day.
Word of the day:
Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 7:31-37

Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man's ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
" Ephphatha!" (that is, "Be opened!")
And immediately the man's ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
"He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

God bless our troops!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's another foggy day here in mid-Michigan. It's 44 degrees, but that won't last long. The predicted high for today is 32. I guess that explains the fog. I am slowly making progress on the dungeon - oops, my workroom. I have started sorting things into areas. I really do need more lighting down there, though.
I'm waiting on word from Kelli as to whether I can share the baby news.
Okay, she just emailed me. The new little Moeggenborg due to arrive in late June is a (drumroll here)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx A GIRL!

We do not have any word on names yet. Clay was hoping for one of each so he's a little disappointed. Kelli and Sam are not revealing any names yet. There have to be some surprises. LOL!
Let's see what's on tap for today:
Clean out fridge (We are in that Flylady zone this week)
Work on taxes (ugh)
Finish piecing the prayer quilt
Put weekend folders together
Shop for girlie fabric for a baby quilt!!!! - fun fun fun
Continue working on the dungeon - ooops, workroom
Word of the day:
Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 7:14-23

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them,
"Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile."

When he got home away from the crowd
his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them,
"Are even you likewise without understanding?
Do you not realize that everything
that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach
and passes out into the latrine?"
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
"But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
From within the man, from his heart,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile."

God bless our troops!


Tuesday, Februray 10, 2009

Sometimes blessings come disguised as bad news. I went to the doctor yesterday, and as I surmised from my conversation with the nurse when I set up the appointment, I am pre-diabetic. I wrote about this in my "Loser" blog, but I am also writing about it here. For years I have been hypoglycemic and, one day at a time, I put off doing what I needed to do. I would start the day with the best of intentions, but by evening I would convince myself that at my age it didn't matter if I was fat. (Of course during the day, when I was around people, it mattered a lot.) But I guess vanity isn't enough of a motivator for me. I guess I have to be staring disease in the face to get my act together. When the nurse called to tell me to set up an appointment, I decided then and there to get started and not wait for the doctor to make it official. I immediately went back to Atkins. It is always what I felt best on. And even when I switched to other plans, they were always pretty much like Atkins maintenance. I have been back on plan since last Thursday and except for moments of panic where I want to jump ship, I have felt really good. The thing about this diagnosis is that it gives me the strength to ride out the times when I'm tempted to let a slip turn into and all out binge (and there never was any middle ground there.)

So yes, I am greatful for this second chance to get it together. I thank God that if I have to have health issues, they are ones that can be managed by diet and exercise.
Today we find out if Sam and Kelli are having a girl or a boy. I will not post the results here until given permission to do so. :)

Word of the day:
Memorial of Saint Scholastica, virgin
Mk 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
"Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?"
He responded,
"Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition."
He went on to say,
"How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
'If someone says to father or mother,
"Any support you might have had from me is qorban"'
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things."

God bless our troops!


It's a foggy day here in mid-Michigan. The temp is 22 degrees. It's been so cold this winter that 22 sounds wonderful. Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 50s - the joys of living in mid-Michigan. It's like Forest Gump said about the chocolates.

Today is Monday, so that means bills, laundry, and soapmaking. I really need to get downstairs and do an inventory. I keep saying I'm going to do it, but then it never happens. I was going to make a batch of Honey, Oats & Milk soap, but then I found a box of it on a shelf.

I should make some candles too. Melisa said I need a chocolate scent. I have a couple in mind, but they'll have to wait for now. We don't know what supplies we'll need for the Maple Syrup Festival so I don't want to spend that at the moment.

This week's Flylady zone is the kitchen. I have to admit that I have been slacking off on the shiny sink thing and as a result, everything else has suffered also.
Word of the day:
Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Mk 6:53-56

After making the crossing to the other side of the sea,
Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret
and tied up there.
As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him.
They scurried about the surrounding country
and began to bring in the sick on mats
to wherever they heard he was.
Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak;
and as many as touched it were healed.

God bless our troops!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Word of the day:
Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mk 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left
and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, "Everyone is looking for you."
He told them, "Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come."
So he went into their synagogues,
preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I commented on this reading a few weeks ago when it appeared in the weekday readings. At our staff meetings we always talk about the upcoming Gospel reading for Sunday. Immediately the women home in on "Then the fever left her and she waited on them," with the remark "isn't that just like a man." What? It doesn't say the men told her to wait on them. Could it just be that maybe Peter's mother-in-law was healed so completely that she was able to resume her daily work immediately? I guess it's all in how you view things. My grandmother loved taking care of people. I can see her in this passage. Upon being healed, she would lead you to the kitchen for homemade ravioli. Let's lighten up, people, and quit looking for offense behind every door.

God bless our troops!


Saturday, February 9, 2009

Never made it to the blogs yesterday. It was just one of those days that kind of got away from me. I mostly puttered - avoiding the task of cleaning because there is so much to be done. But as Flylady says, "babystep." Actually, I did do some zone work. Our laundryroom also serves as an office of sorts. I keep my music files and paper in there. Paperwork is my biggest challenge in my job at the church. Playing Mass is the easy part, the joy, but the ensuing paperwork gets away from me every now and then. Oh, let's be honest, my files are a mess. This week our zone was the entryway - well, our laundryroom is also the entryway to our house so that's where I spend some time yesterday. I did make headway on my music files. I got the Mass settings and psalms sorted and organized. Now I am slogging my way through boxes of music that has to be filed. Once I get it set up, it should be easier since I have a little more time. But then tiime isn't always the problem, is it? I get sidetracked with things I'd rather be doing. For example, yesterday I decided that I wanted to make some of those scented coasters.

I need to tweak the process, and this one isn't finished off yet, but it smells yummy!

Word of the day:
Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 6:30-34

The Apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
"Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.

When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Jesus knew the importance of taking time to re-group. Taking care of oneself is not a selfish act. We need time for renewal if we are to continue to be able to serve others. He has given us example.

God bless our troops!


Thursday, February 5, 2009 - Happy Birthday Justin and Gary

Good afternoon, Campers.
Today's entry is late because I had a staff meeting this morning. We met at St. Joe's in St. Louis. Staff meetings are a challenge for me because I suspect that I am the only conservative in the room. I get tired of hearing about the evils of Capitalism and how we are such a greedy, selfish country. We are so selfish that our best and brightest and their families make countless sacrifices to serve in our military. We are so greedy that we send aide to those in need in our country and to other countries around the world. And how dare those capitalist companies insist on making a profit just so that they can employ people who in turn pay taxes (unlike some of our prominent politicians) and spend their money which in turn fuels the economy. And then there are those who tithe 10 percent of their income (in addition to what the government confiscates in order to "help the poor" with pork barrel social programs) to fund the work of Christ on earth. I don't understand this hatred for our country that some want to spew. It's hard to keep my mouth shut and I don't usually succeed. This doesn't earn me many brownie points, but at this stage of life, I am not interested in brownie points.

After the meeting, as a reward for keeping my mouth shut at least a couple of times when I wanted to spout off, I went exploring some the shops and antique malls that I never had a chance to visit while I was working two jobs.

Word of the day:
Memorial of Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr
Mk 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick
—no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
"Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them."
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

God bless our troops!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Okay, I have to share some sad news here. I never thought it would happen in this household, but it has. My husband has become an internet junkie. His drug of choice? Blog reading and Facebook. We really have to get our wireless connection working or one of us is going down.
My buddy Clayton is coming over this morning for a while. I think we'll move his crafting cart down to the basement so that he can work down there while I make a batch of candles. I am itching to make a batch of Cappuccino Candles - complete with white foam on top. I've never made 2-color candles before so I am really excited about trying these. I will post a pic later.
Word of the day
Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Mk 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, "Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?"
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house."
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I find it interesting that the faith most often portrayed in the Gospels doesn't seem to come from those closest to Jesus.

God bless our troops!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm beginning to see some headway on our taxes. I have entered receipts through May. Today my goal is to get through June and July.
I haven't made any soap or candles in a while. I need to work downstairs for a bit taking inventory and seeing what needs to be done. When I retired, I envisioned myself spending my days making soap and candles, and quilting. It hasn't quite worked out that way.

I also need to finish the laundry that didn't get finished yesterday. Those are my goals for today.

Word of the day:
Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
"My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live."
He went off with him
and a large crowd followed him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured."
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
But his disciples said to him,
"You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, Who touched me?"
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."

While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said,
"Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?"
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
"Do not be afraid; just have faith."
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
"Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep."
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child's father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum"
which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.

Thoughts from the cornfield:

Jesus' healings never operate in a vacuum. Faith is always required in some way - either on the part of the one being healed or by someone on their behalf. We are all connected - we are all in communion.

God bless our troops!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Ground Hog's Day! According to the news, the Groundhog has seen his shadow. You couldn't tell that by looking out the window here. So, the legend says that we have 6 more weeks of winter instead of an early spring. 6 more weeks of winter puts us at March 16. Now, in Michigan, March 16 IS an early spring. Maybe that's why we don't host the Groundhog.

Today is Prayer Quilt day. I didn't get as much done as I had hoped. I have run out of one of the colors of scrap so I am going to have to re-think the pattern. At church we have a big cupboard that houses all of the fabric that people have donated. Maybe I'll be able to find something there. I can see that I am going to have to be much less picky and choose much simpler patterns if I am going to be of much use to the group.
Hmmmmm, I decided to check the internet for some simple patterns and found this site:

Free Quilt Patterns

I think I'll be visiting that quite a bit. :)
Word of the day:
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
"Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel."
The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

God bless our troops!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

We had a staff meeting at church last week and a couple of people were raving about a book called "The Shack." I've been hearing about the book here and there and was curious. Anna has the book and lent it to me last night. I am in the middle. Apparently I am not seeing what others are seeing. Years ago, I read a book called "Conversations with God" by Neale Donald Walsh. The plot line was different but the form and message were basically the same - only "Conversations" was a much better read.

I had a hard time getting into "The Shack" because the author used so many adjectives that it distracted me from what he was trying to say. I found myself skimming over paragraph after paragraph of ornate descriptions of people, places, and things. At times it seemed that the author was more intent on being cutesy and cool rather than conveying a message. And there are some things in the message that I find a bit disturbing.

The hype around "The Shack" has me baffled. It smacks a little too much of "Jesus is my Co-pilot." (Yes, I know the response to that, but you get what I mean.) If one wants to explore and enhance his relationship with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, there are better books out there. CS Lewis' books are marvelous - well written and theologically sound - beginning with Narnia and moving through his non-fiction books. (The Screwtape Letters is a favorite of mine.) And then, of course, there is always the actual Word of God. Nothing like going straight to the Source. :)
Word of the day:
Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Mk 1:21-28

Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"
Jesus rebuked him and said,
"Quiet! Come out of him!"
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
"What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him."
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Isn't it interesting that the demons knew Jesus better than the people around him . . . better than we do. Getting to know Jesus definitely saps Satan's power, now, doesn't it.

God bless our troops!