Friday, November 22, 2013

Checking in before Thanksgiving

It is 10:00pm and we're waiting for our turn to go spend time with God in Adoration (we have the 11:00-midnight hour). We're leaving for the States tomorrow morning, so will be missing the ending of the 24 hour prayer vigil, the festival of Cristo Rey on Sunday, including the ending of the Year of Faith, and Padre's last mass before he leaves for 3 months on a very exciting assignment. We said our good-byes to Padre earlier this evening, put together the list of all the things our Mexican friends asked us to get for them up in the States where prices are cheaper, and are ready to go first thing in the morning. The truck is already loaded up and all we have to do is get up, have breakfast, Bible reading, and prayer, and hit the road.

It takes us 3 days to drive the Baja peninsula. We love the drive and want to savor it, so we do about 7 or 8 hours a day. Our last night will be in Tecate so we can get in the long line at the border crossing early in the morning. Then, another 6 hours to get to Santa Barbara. The part between San Diego and Santa Barbara is our least favorite part. Mexico is so beautiful, and there's a wonderful wine growing area just before Tecate (el Valle de Guadalupe) which looks just like Napa or Sonoma County did 75 years ago. Then it's the blasted, endless new tract communities on the east side of the mountains (we refuse to go through the L.A. basin). But eventually we'll end up in lovely Santa Barbara with our whole family - YAY!

One thing I love about California - the one in the U.S. - is all the spanish place names. I have a book buried in a box in our storage unit that tells the background of each place name in California - not only what it means, but why it was named that. The title is "California's Spanish Place Names". It's worth checking out, especially for you all who live there. I'm talking to you, Micaela and Valerie and Kendra and Tia!

Many years ago a meat shop opened in Fort Bragg, on the coast north of Mendocino, called Roundman's Smokehouse. When my mother was alive she would buy a smoked turkey from there every Thanksgiving and send it to our son's house in Santa Barbara where we all gathered (except for her - she refused to participate in large family gatherings). She died in 2011 and now it's my turn to be the turkey provider. This is really worth ordering; they'll ship the turkey to you, and the meat is SO tender and SO delicious!

We have missed having Thanksgiving with the whole family for a few years. While my mom was alive, my younger son and his wife, with whom she lived, didn't want to leave her alone. And last year something got in the way - I don't remember what. So I'm looking forward to being with the whole gang again. I'm also happy because we can help our Mexican friends out by getting the special items that they asked for. Most gringos, when they go north, have a long list of things they want to bring back for themselves. Now that we are well and truly settled in (i.e. the Pirate has no more room in his workshop for any more big machines) we don't really have anything that we're longing for from the States. It's so nice to be shopping for other people rather than ourselves.

It's about time to go to Adoration, so I'll wrap up with one last link. I just found another blogger here in Todos Santos. She and her husband just moved here a few months ago and I haven't had a chance to meet her in person, but her blog has great photos of our area and useful tips for people who might be thinking of living here. Her name is Casey and her blog is The Wanderlust Diaries. Check it out!

And to remind myself of what I'm missing while I'm gone, here's the view from our house.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week Ending 16 noviembre

I'm joining with Wanda et al over at her blog, Reinventing Mother, for

We had a very satisfying weekend. It started on Friday in the late afternoon when I was returning with the ministry team from the small farming communities we serve. The largest mountain near us (at 7000ft) was wrapped in clouds, both above and below its peak, and as we were zooming down the freeway I had to try to take a photo - it was SO beautiful, and the full moon was in view as well!

Mountains and sky, O bless the Lord; to Him be highest glory and praise forever!

Great news: I finally finished my modesty top!

Notice my right arm? That's the one that is still recovering from rotator cuff injuries from power knitting. I can now lift it this high! YAY!

I made more mistakes with this project than any other that I've ever done (I'm pretty perfectionistic!) but happily they don't show. I'm learning to relax about things and not allow the small details to take over my perspective.

Saturday the Pirate and I drove out to Las Matanzas, one of the small communities I visit every week with the team. I wanted the Pirate to see this beautiful area.

The area is one of farms and ranches. I'm not sure what crops they grow in these large fields, although we've seen sage (the herb) being grown under shade cloth on one of the farms.

First we drove down to the end of the road, to the community of Meliton. There are always lots of cattle (from the ranchos) along the side of the road, so you have to be careful in driving, since you never know when you'll meet up with a cow crossing the road.

This is the entrance to Meliton. The town reminds us of some of the small farming communities of (Alta) California.

There is a large aquifer fed by the nearby mountains which is how this area gets its water. The mountains get more annual rain than Seattle, so the water supply is generous.

Matanzas isn't really a town. There is an area where the chapel, the school and the "House of Health" (where the visiting doctor does exams) are located. There is a small grocery store about 2 miles away, near the road to Meliton (which is much bigger, maybe 500 people).

This is a typical fence around these parts.

After our return from our drive, I decided to make some sweet potato brownies to use up the last of the sweet potatoes that the Pirate had harvested several weeks ago. There was no flour in the recipe since I have a gluten sensitivity. I put a bunch of chocolate bits and pecans in them and they turned out quite tasty!

I won't be doing a Week Ending post next week since we'll be on the road, driving 1250 miles to Santa Barbara, California for Thanksgiving with the family. I hope your Thanksgiving is as wonderful as ours promises to be!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Five Favorites - November 12

I'm joining the Five Favorites linkup at Hallie's blog Moxie Wife today because I was recently thinking about the things I have in my house which were given to me by people who are important to me, and I realized that I have 5 favorites among them.


I got these from a former client and current friend, Marie. She was moving from her charming home with a beautiful rose garden to senior housing closer to downtown, and she asked me if I wanted these chairs. They are Old Hickory, and I had longed to have chairs just like these for, oh, 15 years, but I couldn't justify the cost. When we moved to Mexico I realized that the chairs would fit in perfectly down here - they look very much like the chairs made in the traditional way by rancheros here. The table was made by the Pirate; the chairs and the table look perfect together, don't you think?


When I was involved in the professional world I had a lot of friends/colleagues who lived far away from me. The Pirate and I became very close friends with a couple, both financial planners, who lived at the exact opposite end of the country from us. For years while we still lived in the States we made it a point to get together (separate from any conferences that we attended) at least once a year. One of those times they took us to a lovely little village outside of Atlanta, where we found a shop with this cross for sale. It was my birthday, and my friend Elizabeth could see that I had fallen in love with it as soon as I saw it, so she got it for me. Now it hangs over our fireplace and I get to think of her every day when I see it. I miss you, EJ!


Our "home base" in the States is Mendocino. Like Todos Santos, where we live now, it is known as an "art colony" (whatever that means). We have a number of friends there who are professional artists, and of course we have collected examples of their work over the years. Rosemary is one of my oldest friends (over 40 years) and I have always loved her work. I have more of her paintings than I do of any other artist (except for my own!). This painting is by far my favorite of all the art pieces we have, and now that we live surrounded by desert, it is even more meaningful to me. I have it hanging on the wall opposite our bed and it's the first thing I see when I wake up. My heart sings just looking at those colors!


This snowflake was made by my daughter-in-law, Rhonda, when the whole family came to visit for Christmas 2011. She teaches art at a private school in Santa Barbara, and her creativity shows itself in everything she does. One day while they were visiting, we were all just hanging around, and she busied herself by making this huge snowflake. It's still hanging right by the front door.


These earrings were given to me by my paternal grandmother, Mimmie (nee Anna Terrell). She gave me 3 pairs, one of which I gave to my college roommate when she served as my maid of honor. Another pair is stored somewhere (I hope I can eventually find them). These earrings were hers when she was young 100 years ago. She used to write to me regularly, and she always signed her letters "devotedly, Mimmie". I'm sure that she prayed regularly for me from the time I was born which is no doubt one of the primary reasons I'm a christian today. Sorry the photo is so blurry; my camera doesn't do so well with closeups.

Take a few minutes and click over to Hallie's blog to see what favorites other people have to share this week.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week Ending 9 de noviembre

It's time for another episode of Week Ending, brought to you by the lovely Wanda at Reinventing Mother!

Friday morning I was watering around the house and I heard some noise on the other side of the fence. I looked through, and here's what I found:

This was part of a larger group which roams around our neighborhood. These are not wild horses, but around here animals have freedom to roam in their search for food. It's the same thing with cattle and goats. Since stock owners don't have the means to put up fences or buy food for them, the animals have traditionally been allowed to go where they will; it's simply an accepted part of life in rural Baja Sur.

Here's the whole gang, wandering down toward the corner of our road.

Saturday is the day when I do food prep for the week. In my case, that means cooking up a large pot of rice, another large pot of beans, a chicken, and anything else that takes my fancy. Then, during the week, I have the fixings ready for any number of tasty meals.

This is part of the result from this Saturday's cook-a-thon: chicken, rice, and a small amount of nopalitos (cactus pads).

I do my Saturday cooking outside on the wood stove. It's much more convenient to cook multiple pots of things on the wood stove than on a gas or electric stove.

I used about half of the beans I had been soaking to make a pot of Frijoles Borrachos (drunken beans). This is a very simple recipe and could easily be done in a slow cooker. The following amounts serve 3.

* Meats: I used ham bits, half a kosher hot dog, and a handful of pork rinds (a great addition, BTW!) However, any meat will do.
* A chopped onion
* 2 large cloves of garlic, diced
* 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
* 2 jalapeƱo chiles, seeds removed & diced
* 1 bottle of beer
* 1/2 lb of soaked dried beans (any kind is fine), or 2-3 cans of beans
* water as needed
* if you want the beans to have a smoky flavor, you can add some Liquid Smoke
* I added nopalitos to this pot (those long green things)
If you are using bacon or other meat with fat in it, put that in the pot first & cook until the fat has been rendered. Add the rest of the meat and cook until its flavor is starting to intensify, maybe 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes and chiles and cook for another 5 minutes until softened. Add the beans and the beer; cover and put on a SLOW simmer. The amount of time for cooking depends on the kind of beans you're using, so if you're not sure how long it should take, check after 45 minutes, although it could take up to twice as long. Add a bit of water when necessary - not too much, because this isn't soup! Of course, with canned beans, the total cooking time will be much shorter. Once the beans are soft (but not mushy), if the pot has too much liquid, leave the lid off and turn the heat up a bit until the liquid is almost all gone (if you can push the contents to the side and see the bottom of the pot, you're there). This is a very tasty version of beans, and even better the next day.

Other than that, the only notable thing that I did this weekend was work on my crocheted top. I didn't finish it, as I had hoped, because when I'm reading and crocheting at the same time I slow WAYYY down. But I should be done by today to tomorrow.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A simple woman's daybook for November

I know, I'm a bit late on this linkup but I got mixed up on what day the linkup starts every month. Ah well, there's always next month to get my act together! Please check out the rest of the linkers at A Simple Woman's Daybook as well.


Outside my window…I am sitting on our terrazzo (covered patio) looking out at the Pacific Ocean, which is about a mile away. Our house is on a hill, so we have a perfect view for watching pangas (small fishing boats) and whales go by. The warm breeze which is so common to our hill is blowing gently, causing the leaves of the palm leaves to dance.

I am hearing…the sound of the breeze in the leaves of our palapa (palm leaf roof) and in the ferns that surround me on our terrazzo.

I am thinking…about how satisfying it is to encourage others. It makes my day when an opportunity arises to do that.

I am thankful…for being retired…for the gift of living in small-town Mexico with its family- and God-friendly culture…for a faith community that has accepted us as family, even though we're extranjeros.

In the kitchen…my husband is doing something on the computer. We'll be getting something from a taqueria to eat in mid-afternoon for the main meal of the day today, since I leave at 4:00 to go with a ministry team to one of the small farming communities nearby and do the mass there. Then it's back to our town just in time to make it to mass at the main church, and after that the asamblea de Renovacion (prayer and praise meeting). my husband is on the music team that plays both for mass and for the praise meeting afterward, and we don't generally get home until 9:30 or so, which is why we eat early on Fridays!

I am wearing…a light green cami, light cotton loose-fittin pants (dark green and dark blue pattern), and a dark blue cotton jacketish thing - short sleeved - which I call a modesty top.

I am creating…a "modesty top" in fuchsia colored fingering weight yarn (crocheted). Almost done, thank goodness! I wear a lot of modesty tops because I don't want to simply wear cami's and we're still having "cami weather" here.

I am going…to every group in the church this coming week to get signups for the 27 hour prayer vigil we're having on November 22nd and 23rd, to mark the end of the Year of Faith that started October 12, 2012. Catholic churches throughout the world have been focusing for the past year on understanding what it means to live out our faith in Jesus and His sacrifice for us.

I am wondering…how to deepen my ties with my grandchildren, all of whom live over 1000 miles from me. I'm moving forward on this, and expecting more insight from God as I go along.

I am reading…"The Cloud of Unknowing", a christian classic by an unknown author written several hundred years ago. It's about the ultimate mystery of God that we must face - the reality that rightly causes us to fall on our faces before Him in awe. This is a path that few christians are willing to go down; it's too terrifying, really. But it is a true aspect of Almighty God, who though for our sakes He has clothed Himself in the aspect of a lamb, yet is still a lion - and not a tame one at that.

I am hoping…that I'll be able to have the prayer vigil sign-ups completed by the time our priest gets back from taking the catechists on a pilgrimage to mainland Mexico, a week from now.

I am looking forward to…being with our whole family for Thanksgiving in lovely Santa Barbara, California.

I am learning…(WAYYY too slowly) how to keep from automatically thinking that my opinions are the TRUTH.

Around the house…are the plants I love, each one lovingly planted by me since we built our house 4 years ago. I just picked some figs yesterday from our single fig plant - I need to plant more, because I want more figs!

I am pondering…why our culture elevates "multitasking" to a virtue. It robs us of peace and clarity and all it provides in return is (presumably) productivity. But what benefit does more productivity offer? It's a hamster wheel, my friends!

A favorite quote for today…"For you were called to freedom, brethren" (Gal. 5:13). So says St. Paul in the letter to the Galatians. God calls us to freedom. But instead of being given to us instantaneously and in full measure, this freedom is built up progressively and patiently day by day, by being faithful to God's calls. - Father Jacques Philippe, "Called to Life"

One of my favorite things…is our Pope:

A few plans for the rest of the week: Since it's Friday, my plans are focused on the weekend. Doing laundry, watering the plants, working on my crocheting project, extended time for prayer, and whatever surprises present themselves.

A peek into my day…here's where I'm sitting:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Thousand Generations

Why did I name this blog "A Thousand Generations"?

I was raised by a single mom who was an atheist (my dad died when I was a baby). I had virtually no contact with either my mom's or my dad's family, since we lived in California and they all lived east of the Mississippi. When I was in my 40's I finally developed relationships with the children of my dad's only sibling (I have never met the children of my mother's sisters). One of them invited me to a family reunion in Louisiana, in the town where my paternal grandmother was raised and where her extended family still lives.

It is a large family, since they are Catholic, and at that reunion I learned about their history. My great-grandparents came to the United States from Ireland as a result of the potato famine. They entered through New Orleans, which at the time was the only other port of entry for immigrants besides Ellis Island. There were nine children in the family, one of the younger ones being my grandmother, who was born in 1888. This was all new information for me; I had thought that this side of my family was cajun (french roots), since most of the people in that area of Louisiana were. But I didn't really absorb the implications of this family history; since I hadn't met any of these people in my family, it seemed more like learning about a random family, not my family.

A couple of years later, while I was attending a professional conference, I was getting ready to go to dinner and when I looked in the mirror it was as though I saw myself for the first time. "Oh my God, I'm IRISH!" I thought, and it was so obvious - LOTS of freckles and reddish brown hair. I suddenly remembered that everyone had told me that I looked like my aunt, who as I realized now, was 1/2 Irish. I realized that being 1/4 Irish, I could actually qualify for an Irish passport!

Something else presented itself as I considered this new revelation about who I am. I had always been fascinated by Catholicism. I had never been around my Catholic relatives, and I had never been to church at all (atheist mother, remember), but I had always felt a mysterious draw to Catholicism. It wasn't until at least 15 years later that my husband and I actually entered the Catholic Church, but the closer we got to it, the more I wondered whether somehow it was embedded in my genes.

A thousand generations. I'm sure that I have many ancestors on my dad's side who prayed for the generations after them, who raised their children to know and rely on God with the confidence that their children would do the same.

A thousand generations. Our children, and all their children, count themselves among the redeemed and follow Him with their whole hearts.

A thousand generations. Even though my mom was an atheist, my dad's parents were committed christians, as their parents had been before them, and theirs before them, stretching back for generations. And God honored their love for Him by leading me into an environment in which I could learn about Him and learn to follow Him with my whole heart.

A thousand generations. A generation is usually considered to be 20 years. Twenty thousand years - we are responsible to ensure that the generations who succeed us have a living faith to pass on to many more beyond them. But in my family, I see the thread of faith having passed on for many generations, and that gives me confidence that far into the future my descendants will be followers of the God who loves us so fervently that He gave us the gift of Himself that we might be united with Him forever.

Our faithful God keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments. (Deut 7:8-10)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week Ending el Dia de los muertos (Nov.2)

I'm linking up with Wanda at Reinventing Mother for

Since I did a whole separate post on El Dia de los Muertos, I won't get into any of that here, which ends up making this post pretty bland. The great news is that I've been able to pick up my crocheting project once again, after having to ignore it for a couple of months due to my rotator cuff problem. However, I actually finished the left front and am partway through the right front, so I'm nearly done!

One of the things that I do every weekend is catch up on reading the many blogs that I follow, and write a post or two. This works well for me, although I think that my viewers might be happier to have posts spaced out over the week instead of bunched up on Sunday and Monday. As Wanda indicated in her post a few days ago, it's hard to find one's "blog voice", and I believe it's hard for many of us to find the rhythm of writing posts that works best with our real lives as well.

Meanwhile, have you all found the following blogs yet? These are new-to-me and I'm so happy to have found them! They are really lovely people!
Kelly at A Mom for Life
Valerie at Hand-Maid with Love
It's worth reading all the back posts on these blogs - great stuff!
And I'm happy to see that Rakhi at Pitter Patter Diaries is back from her blogging hiatus. Her posts are consistently insightful.

I also spent quite a lot of time in the evenings watching various talks by Peter Kreeft via YouTube. Here's a favorite:

but really, anything of his is excellent.

That's all for now, folks! There are more Week Ending stories over at Wanda's (click on the icon at the top of this post).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

El Dia de los Muertos

Micaela at California to Korea and Back Again requested a post on el Dia de los Muertos from your reporter here on the scene in beautiful small-town Todos Santos, Mexico. Yup, this is the town named for the Solemnity of All Saints' Day. So what were All Saints and All Souls Days like here?

Actually, let's start with the evening of October 31st, which of course in the States is a BIG DEAL, too much driven by BIG MARKETING to get consumers to buy lots of stuff. Happily, the bloggers I follow who have actual children manage to get the spirit of this event right in that they approach it the way it was done when I was a child (mas o menos 60 years ago). Keep it simple; keep it fun; don't turn it into an adult bacchanal.

Todos Santos is a small town of about 5000 people. Although there is a gringo community here, it's just that - a separate community within the town, and a small proportion of the total. And on top of that, most gringo homes are quite a distance from the established barrios where the locals live. We live in a barrio that is mostly locals, with a smattering of gringos.

So...this town is not as infected with American culture as, say Cabo San Lucas. Nobody makes jack-o-lanterns, nobody decorates their houses with seasonally appropriate things. Although there are a few children who try to go trick-or-treating, they really don't have much encouragement since it isn't a part of the traditional Mexican culture. We have had a few children come by our house, without costumes, shouting "Halloween!", hoping for candy. Not very many, however. And there are no community festivals or kids' parties to celebrate Halloween or an equivalent. No importa, they've got a more meaningful event to look forward to. The big event for Mexicans happens on November 2nd...but I'll get to that in a bit.

You'd think that November 1st, being All Saints' Day and a day of obligation, the church would be packed for mass. Nope - in fact, there were very few people there for mass (unusual). My hunch is that they stay at home to hang out with family members who come from other places to take part in the events of All Souls' Day, although I haven't had the chance to ask anybody about this yet. Anyway, a lot of people are going to have to go to confession for having missed a holy day of obligation!

So now we get to the REAL event around here: All Souls' Day - el Dia de los Muertos. We have two panteones (cemeteries) in our town: the old one, which is full, and the new one.

This is the old panteon, which is on a steep hillside accessible only by an almost impassible single lane dirt road.

This is the new panteon, which is in a flat area of town (a rarity!).

On Saturday there were two masses, one at each cemetery (usually there is only one mass on Saturday, at the main church). All the families go out to the cemetery for the day to place new flowers on graves and do maintenance work on the family plots. There is an empty lot in town where artificial flower arrangements can be purchased; in fact, it's the same empty lot where you can buy an artificial christmas tree in December (real trees aren't available here in the desert). So, people buy new artificial flower arrangements and head out to the family tomb with brooms and buckets of paint, lay out a picnic on the tables and chairs they've brought, turn on the car radio for some music, and have a grand time bonding as families, both with the living and with those who have gone on.
In connection with el Dia de los Muertos, our town has a unique event which is actually emblematic of what is happening in a less visible way within all the local families. There is one family, the Salgados, who have a family reunion at this time every year here in Todos Santos. I spoke with one of the Salgado padres today and he said that generally there are about 300 of them who come to the family reunion. About 30 of the family members still live in Todos Santos and the rest live elsewhere, principally in La Paz (about an hour away). Each branch of the family (the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-granchildren of the original family patriarch) wears a different colored polo shirt, and they have a parade down one of the main streets of town.

You can see 4 of the 6 branches here: the blue, the navy, the red and the yellow (there were also green and white). They had a band playing at the front of the parade - quite festive!

So, in our small town, el Dia de los Muertos turns out to be a sweet time of families gathering and celebrating their "familyness" much as Thanksgiving is in the States. I suspect that this is the way it was throughout most of Mexico in times past, without even all the skeleton dolls and cookies that America is led to understand are the main elements of the event. There is one main element here: the family. That's what the day is about for most Mexicans. Of course, that's not what you see if you look for pictures of it, or watch news clips, because "familyness" isn't exciting. It's better than that: it's sharing and honoring life together.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

3 Reasons - November 2013

It's time to collect my thoughts and come up with 3 of the MANY reasons that I love Catholicism, and link up with Micaela at California to Korea and Back.

In keeping with All Saints' Day, I'm going to share 3 of my favorite saints with you. The first is my patron saint, Santa Rosa de Lima. As I think I've mentioned before, I did not choose her; she chose me, and for quite awhile I wasn't interested in returning the favor. She is the patron saint of the Philippines (where I was born), the patron saint of the state of California, where I lived for 60 years, the patron saint of gardeners (of which I am one), the patron saint of needleworkers (of which I am one), and Santa Rosa, California is the diocesan seat of the diocese where Mendocino, our home town, is.

What I have had a hard time with is understanding her practice of extreme mortification. I didn't really want to have a relationship with someone so weird! But recently two things have changed my heart. One is her crown of flowers, which she always wore to hide the silver crown of thorns that she wore underneath as a penance. I came to see that I need to put on "a crown of flowers" if I am suffering in any way or in the throes of extended prayer for a serious issue. Santa Rosa's crown of flowers is a powerful image to remind me to be aware of how I'm coming across to others.

The second thing that happened to change my heart was that the other day while at adoration I was reflecting on the many instances in which pride has caused me to fall, and it seemed that Santa Rosa showed me that pride was her besetting sin as well. That's why she engaged in the mortifying practices, and I suddenly understood what would cause someone to do that, because at that moment I had been so upset at pride's influence in my life that I was wanting to strike out at it with the same force. I am thankful that I live in a time when extreme mortification is seen as inappropriate, but that wasn't the case in Santa Rosa's time.

On to Saint number 2: Anna Maria Taigi. Although she is officially only a Blessed, the fact that her body is incorrupt after over 175 years seems to me evidence enough of her holiness. She was the first saint I was led to for prayer support in some things that I was dealing with when I first came into the Catholic Church. If you want to know her story just click on the link. I found her prayer support to be very helpful, and her life to be a great example of humility (goodness knows I can use all the role models and support I can get for that!).

The last saint that I am grateful for today is another person who is in the process to be declared a saint: Solanus Casey. I only recently read his story in the AMAZING book, "Nothing Short of a Miracle", an absolutely REQUIRED read. What a wonderful man! I want his humility! Oh to be a doorkeeper in the house of God...he's someone I know that I have a lot to learn from, and if you know his story, you'll know that he is someone who not only had his prayers answered while he was here on earth, but now that he's in heaven, his prayers are continuing to produce miracles.

What a blessing to have these elder brothers and sisters to learn from and receive support from! Thank you, Father, for adopting us into Your FAMILY!

PS - don't forget to hop on over to Micaela's blog to read more wonderful things about the Catholic Church!