Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween and a 40% sale on My Grafico on my Blog

so I stole this from pintrest...if it disappears in a day or two, know that my theft has been found out. I am going to argue that I was just caught up in the spirit of the season, but not sure how far that will take me...

halloween burlap bunting_step9b.jpg

I suppose that may be the problem with Halloween...we always push the envelope. In the case of Halloween, I am not sure what exactly the point was supposed to be in the first place...

We first decided we don't want to trick-or-treat because, frankly, we don't let the kids eat packaged poison. Then decided, we may look unfriendly, but do we want to be nice at the expense of our neighbors children eating more packaged poison supplied by us. In a last minute attack of conscious, we bought 120 Halloween pencils after which we will turn off the lights and eat organic popcorn...really. This is my biggest worry today.

After a weekend when I learned that the little boy who first brought us face to face with the local drug culture by stashing a tote in our attic wall filled with hundreds of small baggies of oregano (yes, the KPD is still chuckling about that one...) is sitting in a local hospital on life-support because of a gun wound inflicted by the father of the child he was holding up after breaking into their home. A day after my son was given by his religious ed teacher, the saints book of her son who had committed suicide last month. I understand that he was upset by a lot of things...I am guessing he is involved in local drug scene. I have spent much time learning about it through my own children's friends and their own involvement with it. I think I will have a very special night with my baby girls while daddy takes the older kids to their brother's last football game. After we hand out the last pencil and turn off the porch light, the girls and I will be praying a rosary for everyone who is celebrating or mourning or hoping...the spirit of the season.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Random Musings and some give-aways...

So, I am not blogging on the scriptures today. I am not entirely sure why, but I am strapped for time and have guilt if I don't stay with the agenda. Then I thought, hey, my one subscriber joined when I posted scrapbook pages and if she is still here she is disappointed anyway, so I will just post :o) I am not completely giving up the format. I like that it always gives me something to say even when I can't think of anything else. Also, there are going to be changes in my life...there always are in Murphy-ville.

Another reason was my trip last week to PA. Since the onset of my multiple sclerosis and possibly just old-age, I don't travel so well anymore. And I was really busy last weekend. I tried to see as many people as I could and suck as much out of each interaction as I could. It felt so good. I miss my old life. I lovelovelove TX. The weather, the beauty, the convenience of city life. But I miss my old life. Even on a day, a week before Halloween and I am reading about 12 degree nights and snow already...I still do. I have tried to remind myself about all the trees that block the light and SAD and down days when I was lonely anyway because no one could leave home for days on end. But it doesn't help. I sat with a beautiful baby girl, held her on my lap and gazed at her mom who, yesterday, was also a baby girl. She lived across the street from us. She and her sisters, one older and one younger, were a huge part of the backdrop of our lives. I sat with her and her mom and her beautiful baby and we laughed about old times. We both posted about the visit on facebook and the third mom who was part of our three house cluster but also moved away chimed in. Its not like I lost all my friends by moving. They are still there, but there is something special about going to the store and running into old friends. Friends who I have know forever and their parents and kids too...and aunts and uncles. I know, it can be claustrophobic, but I miss it all. So I am praying that God shows us where He would really like us to be.

On top of all of that, we are also praying for discernment about the kids education. I know that I have praised the public school system and have had count downs for the end of summer vacation. Heck, I was almost thrown out of our elementary school at the beginning of the school year for doing my happy dance of joy. But I really feel that I am being called to homeschool...I would appreciate prayers there as well. And some thoughts if you homeschool yourself or if you don't. Input is good...someone said to me today that we hear God in the words of the people we talk to. Talk to me...

And in the mean time...some links to share. Enjoy!

Give-aways to enter:
Picky Palate
great recipe for pumpkin ice cream glazed donuts and a give-away for a Wilton donut pan for 10 readers...I love this site and the donuts look great...super way to wave good-bye to fall.

Pennies and Blessings
Chance to win  Veggie Tales new Christmas story and a CD of Christmas music...HOHOHO!!!

Articles of interest:

Nest of Posies
Pinning it all and planning my menu for the weekend...maybe if the food is fun, they won't be so disappointed that we aren't having lots of candy!!
hey, its an apple (from

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heard on the Web...

I disappeared again...this time to go visit my grandma for her 99th birthday and a bit early for my baby brothers bday...I missed them. Hoping some of these links are still good!! enjoy!

Inspired to Action
With the holiday season on us, this is a great reminder. It can always be so hard to find a balance between being your best and giving others you best :o)

Pancakes and Frenchfries
Even if this wasn't the BEST blog name and she wasn't based out of the DFW Metroplex, I would have still subscribed to her feed just for this amazing really can't take it with you.

Homestead Revival
Having just spent a weekend back in PA where the snow will begin flying any second now and Hurricane season still underway here in TX, I thought this article on creating a three day emergency food stash was timely!!

Give Away's
  • Ask Anna is having a great giveaway for Purse Bling...very cool purse organizers. I am putting this on my Christmas list and purchasing for disorganized sisters everywhere...don't read my blog!! And ohmygoodness, the have purse hooks. My husband will be in christmas planning heaven. Making me happy and soving his woes all in one fel(t) sweep ;o) Check them's the link.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Best of Blogville and a Giveaway

Sorry I have been missing in action. Some problems with the big kids, a school holiday, and extra homework have kept me from posting as with a big family...

Using repetition and song to teach children
I use this and it almost adults love to remind me still..."you reap what you sow." course not always in the spirit with which it was intended!! But you should hear my "hanging up my backpack song..." Can't wait till it hits the airway!!

Raising Olives
Eating good food on a budget. I wouldn't say that this is a frugal options, but many of her ideas are. It is just so much good information. We have to get the best possible options because feeding our 11 children without processed foods is a hard prospect and we don't want all our financial resources to go to feeding the kids :o) I was only able to read a little bit, but they really do get filled faster this way and eat less overall. She always has tremendous information.  There are links to three other moms talking on the same subject. I am saving it here so I can read it later, too!

Keeper of the Home
Real food desserts and a chance to win a cookbook. I have to say my attempts at just making desserts from scratch with altered ingredients has not been successful and the holidays coming up, I need to find some recipes. If you are interested...

Eighteen 25
OK, if you have a girl and are taking her trick or treating and you can sew, even a little, you MUST see this cutest little tote bag.

Brooke McGlothlin
A wonderful writer, Brooke has been sharing lately about her thoughts on her recent miscarriage. She announced the pregnancy on her blog and has been sharing since she learned the baby died and how she and her family are coping with the news. This is an inspiring post for anyone who has wondered, "why?" when God answered our prayers in surprising ways.

Musings of a (recovering) Strong Black Woman
Talks about why MSG is so bad for us...eye-opening...

Women Living Well
Directions for making your own carmel apples...Happy Fall!!

Kitchen Stewardship
Very interesting article regarding vaccines. Even more interesting follow-up conversations from readers. Topic I have become very untested in with all of the controversy about Gardasil. What do you think?

And finally, my giveaway part of today's post---send me an idea of what to call my Best of Blogville Post each week...I need a catchy name. Also, subscribe to my blog in a reader or by email. There are links on it and I will feel less lonely if I have some reader!! Do those two things and on Monday b-4 noon, I will pick a random winner to win $15 towards going to see Courageous. I still haven't been able to take Shawn to see it and I want to support them in some way...everything I hear is still so positive!!
Have a great weekend and hope to be more regular next week :o)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

its raining in tx!!

Its raining...a slow, steady, soaking rain. Not really a big deal anywhere else right now, except maybe if you live in the Horn of Africa. Texas is experiencing its most severe drought in more than 100 years. I think everyone is very relieved by this rain...hope it is the beginning of a new trend in our weather. I guess I can't really say everyone, though. I know for a fact that there is one very sad little boy here in North Texas...he and his buds. Today was to have been his birthday party. Very exciting stuff, too. A paintball extravaganza and running around in the woods...a young man's dream day. I got the call while I was off getting children to religious ed classes and was not very happy to have to break the news to Nick, who has been looking forward to this for weeks. "Sorry, bud...Shane's mom decided to cancel on account of weather..." Oh, why does it always have to rain when I have something fun to do...

Well, Mr. Nick, did you have anything fun to do yesterday. Or the day before that. Or maybe anytime between today and last spring, which is the last time I seem to remember it raining. But I get it...when we have something planned and we are really looking forward to it, if something, even much needed rain gets in the way, it can be really disappointing.

In today's gospel, Jesus tells us another parable; one about a king giving a wedding banquet for his son.

Matthew 22:1–14
Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other slaves, saying, 'Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.' 5But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.' 10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.11But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?' And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14For many are called, but few are chosen."

In Jesus' parable, the king wanted everything to be amazing for his sons' wedding banquet. In this case, the guest were the one's who chose not to come. As disappointing as it is when something like weather keeps people away, have you ever been on the other side. Having a party and no one shows up :o( Last spring, we chose, unwisely, to have our 6 year old's birthday party on the weekend after the last day of school. Never will do that again. And I am not sure I will ever forgive the parents who chose to blow it off (yes, I will...I will even go confess my forgiveness, but that's not the point of this story!!) She didn't notice. 5 children showed up and we played games and had a great time. But I was mad! How could they just blow it off. I totally get the king. His son just wanted to wed his bride and probably wouldn't have even noticed. But the disrespect...the casual disregard for the king and his feelings. Yeah, there would be gnashing of teeth all right.

Each week God prepares a banquet for us in honor of His son. How many of us easily blow it off or don't bother attending because we don't feel like it. He put a lot of time into planning it. He wants everything to be just right. If we do go, are we prepared with the gift of our preparation? Are we wearing our finest clothes? Are we just crossing a task off our to-do list? Why would we not appreciate the wonderful gift he gives us each week? And we wonder why when many are called, few are chosen...

Friday, October 7, 2011

my "lost" boys...

So we are having some difficulties with our oldest child. My son, who gave up going to Mass almost a year ago, not because he doesn't believe in God, but because he doesn't trust the people who organize our religion...asked me if he could attend mass with me this morning. I was shocked, but happy. Without his permission, though I did warn him...I have been praying that God would force him to his knees. He is playing around on the edge of the law and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. What I warned him was, "I am going to Mass to pray that whatever illegal substance you put in your body from now on makes you violently ill...not just you, but you and your little brother!!" I meant it in the best possible way. But really what I prayed was, "Lord, these boys know you, but don't believe that you are relevant...Please show them that they are not as smart as they think they are. Let them know that only in you and through you will good things come." It just came out the other way...

My lost boys and how I try to remember them in my mind so I don't wish them harm!!

But isn't that the only thing we want them to know. I could not even hope to raise 11 children on my own. I don't mean that Shawn doesn't help. He is an amazing father with endless energy. Even with all we have going on, I never though we could do it alone. Parenting is hard. Before I even spoke to Shawn about trying to adopt the last seven, I had some talks with God and that passage kept coming back. That and the one I keep on my blog signature...the will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you. I took it to heart and it has kept me going. Our last adoption was not easy and Shawn and I were prepared at every step to call it off if it seemed that God did not wish for us to do this. So many times I was so beaten down and discouraged I would have gladly walked away. At one point, I think I was seriously depressed. But I realize now that that is just lack of faith. I was never expected to do this on my own. God has His hand on this and I all I need to do is "show up." So I will do my best and know that God will fix the rest if I am faithful and obedient.

I used to get very sad every time my children yell this at me...sorry you are sad (tired...need a sitter, etc...) but its your own fault. I don't despair anymore. I know that I am following God's will. Now they just tell me that God doesn't talk to me. Yeah...but have you talked to Him lately? Since I have become obedient to the Mass I have seen God moving. Same with the Rosary. Like my children, I didn't think that a lot of Catholic Traditions were really relevant, but I can see that they are. I am going to begin praying the rosary with my little kids each night, inviting the older ones, but not insisting. What are we going to pray end to abortion...that their brothers become violently ill if they drink? Maybe a little of all of that. But mostly, I think we are going to pray for peace in our home and becoming a family who loves each other...

Sunday's Second reading from
Philippians 4: 12 - 14, 19 - 20

12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.
13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen

Father, I cannot do this on your own. You asked me to take on these children. Please show me the rules of how to raise them in Your book. I am tired of reading the opinions of others. I need your word...and your stregnth. You have promised me that You have everything I need...amen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why I Will End Up in the Dung Pit...

All those really good qualities we look for in a good, christian woman...I am the opposite of them. I have no patience. I feel disgust more often than I feel love, and I get mad, mad, mad way more often than I am supposed to. I really want to sell a book or a song, or my new favorite rap :o) to make a million dollars so my wonderful, long-suffering husband can stay home and take care of my beautiful children the way they deserve to be cared for. They need Martha, but even Mary would be a step-up. They got Holly...

Last night my son who I raved about in my last post was doing his homework and in a rare quiet moment, tried to share with me..."Hey mom, we learned a little bit about Martin Luther King in school today." A great, black man, a man whose name I gave to the only child I was privledged to name, and what do I say. I tell my son, a boy who is as equally likely to be a sports giant as one of God's Holy priests...he has my blessing where ever he can give more Glory to God...I tell him, "James, he was an amazing man who did a tremendous amount for the black people. But he ruined his witness by being continually unfaithful to his wife...When you are in position to be a witness and role model to people, don't ruin your witness. Run from sexual sin like Joseph..." To my 9 year old son I said this. Thought he was going to swallow his tongue. No, why can't I just be a mom...

The problem with my angst comes from watching my children suffer in this world. I tell them I only want them to gain Heaven, but there could be a lot of living between now and then. And we aren't faring so well in the real world. I have spent all of my parenting years living in a bubble...not white not black. Just those Murphy's with all the kids. The white community is kind...quick to send clothes in case there is need and more than once an unexpected package of food left on the doorstep. Kindness that is appreciated more for the fact that it is offered than because of a need. Often it is grudging...the neighbor who complains that we have brought down the property value and builds a trellis to cut the noise "from the street." Worse still is the black community reaction...the guardian ad litum who felt it would be better for the children to be split up in foster care than raised by white parents...really, and catholic. He was an altar boy...No, we don't think so.

The black community...that is the main source of my anger today. I sent two, not one, but two, scathing letters today to the black radio station in Dallas. Yes, they play disgusting rap music, but I try and tolerate it as long as I can in the mornings. When the kids realize they are listening to EWTN they move it to K-104.5 Dallas. I don't complain so much because it is usually pretty amusing. The djays are intelligent and often funny and its for a few minutes. This morning they were talking about a race for the cure. Susan B. Koman again...they really have set themselves up as the face of breast cancer. But they have not taken into account this angry black woman...and I have declared myself this as of today. If a housewife with 11 kids can stumble across the information, a radio station that has at least 3 people in charge of events could do a google search and find it. I don't have time to dot my i's and cross my t's...they can. Koman is sending money to Planned Parenthood which has a eugenic agenda and wants to kill black babies. Do you see the problem? I didn't expect to hear from the white ladies who are running the Play for a Cure Event in our school district. We have loved it...the two rival high schools in our district, Keller and Central have their grudge match and everyone, including the players wear pink and sing Kum Bye Ah. Its very successful and they raise lots of money, but Koman must disassociate from Planned Parenthood. Aside from the babies, abortion is linked to breast cancer. It makes no sense...send the money elsewhere. But no, I didn't expect a response. But a black radio station, supporting black artists, and earning revenue from the black community...their kids. My kids...

As I sat at mass this morning and listened to the gospel about Mary and Martha...I thought about next Sunday's readings from Isaiah. And yesterdays...they all say the same thing. Why didn't I see that before. Praising God is most important. Doing is necessary as well...just don't make an idol out of what you are doing...

Kiki at the Southlake Life Chain...we were asked to be respectful of the public and prayerful, not angry...words to live by...

Father, I am so angry. I know that my children need instruction and information, but they also need basic care and love. Please help me to turn off that need in me to have my voice heard and my issues addressed. The most important thing is that I point to You and then take care of business. Help me to keep my priorities straight...amen.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Player of the Game

In our family, invariably someone has something going on Saturday...Saturday School, birthday party, community service. Usually Shawn ends up taking the majority of the children to all the football games and I take the overflow kids to wherever they need to be. This weekend the overflow children actually had a same time game at a different field. And we were in charge of after game Gatorade's...Being a last minute decision, we only had time to drop James at his game only a few minutes late from the hour early required by his team. By now I am in full-blown football mode--there is a reason why I don't usually do football detail. I head to Wal-mart and with only a quick passing nostalgia, passed the beer and thanked the good Lord that I just had Gatorade's and not snack, red 40 be damned and picked up 2 packs. Ran home, grabbed a cooler, some ice, and Matt. Ran him back to town, picked up some friends and drove them all to his friends house.  Remembering the girls didn't have lunch I pull into the Qt. By now I barely remember what whole food is, and I don't even bat an eyelash when they ask for Juicy Drop Pops...or Poison on a stick as I like to call it. Some special Italian recipes snack mix for mom and a water (i didn't completely lose my mind) and we are back to the game with a half left to go. Struggling under the weight of my Gatorade I am near death when I reach our seats. I stagger into a seat next to 3 shreks, a donkey, some old play dough, and left-over snacks that are attracting bees. Not to worry, I won't be there long...2 bathroom breaks later, I get to see my boy snatch the ball and take it for a run that is stopped just at the end zone and is so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes...So that is why Shawn ignores my pleas to let the boys pare down their schedules.

I am forced after we win the game to stand at the end of the field, hand out luke warm Gatorade's while offering to sign autographs along with my explanation of how James comes by his skills from my side of the family. He has been named player of the game, again. Oh Lord, is that why you did not allow me to bear children. Then the glory obviously cannot be mine, even while I try to wrestle it away from you. Is that why there are so many reminders in Your book about how the people of Israel were always so quick to forget Your glory. It is soooo easy to try and claim it while we are basking in it.

On the way home, I tried to forget the missing papers and reminded myself it was me who insisted to Shawn that we need a tutor for James and Tink; they are struggling academically and can not get by on sports--school has to come first. I handed him an extra red dye 40 container and said, "So James, did you know that whoever plays for JoPa gets to be Mommy's favorite?" Big Wink.

Sunday's gospel is from Matthew. Another parable about a vineyard. In this, Jesus tells how the farmer planted the vineyard and hired tenants to care for it. When it was time for the harvest, he sent servants to collect the fruit. The tenants beat and mistreated the servants. The house owner sent more with the same results. Finally he sent his son. The tenants decided to kill the heir so the vineyard would be theirs. Jesus asks what they think the homeowner will do to the tenants. He said "Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it." I tell my kids every day that the most important thing to their father and I is that they get into heaven. Grades, honors, the way they treat each other and us is secondary to their relationship with our heavenly father. It is just so hard in the middle of the glory to remember who's field it is...

Heavenly Father, you sent Your Son here to die for us. While you must have been so very proud of all He accomplished on Earth, You did not let Him claim the Glory that was rightly His. Instead, You sat  quietly by while He died a horrible death for our sins. Thank-you, for loving us so much though we do nothing to deserve it. And please help us to sit back while you claim any glory for anything we or our children accomplish. It is only through you that we can do anything at all and it is only for you that we even try...amen.