Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Ideas

Christmas Ideas that will bring more meaning to your Christmas season.  Click the title above to read more.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: The Least Among You

The Least Among You

If you are a person who only likes to watch movies that sweep you along from one intense moment to the next, making you sit on the edge of your seat, then this movie is not for you. If you are a person who only likes movies that end with the boy getting the girl, this movie is not for you either. This is not a sci-fi thriller, not a futuristic fantasy, not a western nor a documentary. This is a movie that examines what it is that makes us humans. It is a look back at a history of our nation that some would like to forget and others still live. It is a soul-searching drama that makes you “feel”, and makes you want the main character to excel. It is “inspired” by a true story.

But what exactly does that mean, “inspired” by a true story. Movies inspired by or based on true stories often contain only the barest hint of the truth behind the story. Often, Hollywood takes true stories and use artistic license to shape and form the story into something that will sell without worrying too much about the truth until they have wandered so far from the real story that it is almost unrecognizable as the reality it is based on. I wondered about this movie given this fact. How “true” was this story?

Fortunately, the DVD has special features that answer that question fairly well. The main character in real life has a different name then in the movie. But much of the story…the “core” of this drama, is indeed true-to-life. In view of this fact, I found this movie to be well worth the viewing and would recommend it to my family and friends with the disclaimer that it is a real-life drama.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review: Saint Francis by Robert West

Around the first of August, I received the book “Saint Francis” written by Robert West, from BookSneeze , with the agreement that I would read and review this book on my blog. Then I was hit by the tsunamis we call life and was swept along in other currents. I am finally able to fulfill my commintment to BookSneeze, albeit, a bit late.

Why did I select this book from those available to read and review? I’m not Catholic, and so reading about a Saint may seem an unusual choice. I have always heard of Saint Francis being referred to as the “Patron Saint of Animals”. I am an admitted animal lover, and this is where my interest in this man was piqued. As I read pages and pages about this man’s life, I began to despair of learning why he is called the Patron Saint of Animals. Finally near the end of the book, this aspect of the man is addressed on a few pages.

Much of what West writes in this biography is conjecture or story-has-it type of things rather than confirmed fact. This is because of necessity due to the fact that Francis lived in the late 1100’s to 1226. It would be impossible to write about a person living that long ago and have documented facts to support the writing. The author did a good job of informing the reader when actual fact is being written and when possible facts are used. Still, it remains a question of whether this book should be considered a non-fictional or fictional recounting of this life.

Saint Francis was born to an affluent family of that time. He wore the best of clothes, partied and indulged in many of the worldly pleasures of that time. At about the age of 20, he was imprisoned during battle and fell deathly ill. It was miraculous that he survived. This seems to be the turning point in his life.

After this time, he forsook his life of ease and gaiety to embrace a life of continual poverty. Some may say that he was “touched by God” while others will declare that the illness had left him “touched” in the head. Yet, miracles happened that attest to the divinity of his actions. Either way, I admire this about the man: he didn’t just talk the talk, but in every aspect of his life, he walked the walk. He was apparently a very humble man, albeit he was a founder and leader of his followers known as the Franciscans. All who followed him were expected to give up their riches and embrace a simple and impoverished life. After a time, there were many who did become followers and members of the Franciscans. For some it was too much to ask that they abandon every comfort in life to become penniless beggars and live a life of abject poverty. Speaking for myself, I can say that if Saint Francis’ chosen path of poverty is the key to the heavenly gates, I’m not sure I could obtain said key. Would I give up my laptop, my shower, my assured daily bread and go out and live as a beggar, not knowing from where my next meal would come? I don’t know that I could do that, even if I believed with all my heart that I was called of God to do so. Indeed, some would say it would be a crazy choice, yet, I admire that St. Francis felt called to do this and so did it. No questions…no turning back. Could I follow his lead?…no. Do I admire his ability to do this?…absolutely.

Was this book worth reading? Yes. I am glad I learned more about this amazing man, even though I would probably dub him the Patron Saint of the Poor rather than the Patron Saint of Animals, at least based on this book.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I can't help myself.  I just have to post about the newest member of our family, Aubrey Allette LaVoy.  Here she is:

Does she look like a little angel, or what?  Anyway, in the hospital while she was being held, she would smile in her sleep.  Now I know that nurses and doctors will tell you that she is smiling because she has gas.  But I mean, come often do you smile if you have gas pains?  Hmmm????  Here is what my mom always said: "When a baby smiles in their sleep, it is because the angels are whispering to them."  I always loved my mom's explanation better then the medical experts.  First of all, when you have gas pains, or any other pain for that matter, you don't smile.  You grimace.  A smile is not the same as a grimace.  And new born babies do grimace as well as smile.  So if they are having gas pains, wouldn't they grimace?  That sounds logical to me.

And second, new born babies just came from God and from living with the angels.  It would be hard for the angels to let go of someone as beautiful as Aubrey, don't you think?

Anyway, when Aubrey smiles, I like to think it is because the angels are whispering to her. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Have You Ever Wondered?


Why do you love me, Lord?
And why, even then
Did you love me enough
To come walk among men?

Why would you do it, Lord?
Why would you die?
Why suffer so greatly
For one such as I?

But wait...could it be
That perhaps you see me
Not so much as I am
But as what I could be?

If this is so,
And my heart says it's true,
I've a long way to go, Lord,
To be worthy of you.

But if you walk there with me
Perhaps, by and by,
I can be worth it...
I will try.  I will try.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Thought This Memorial Day

Freedom is not free. Today I am so thankful for all our fallen heroes who have made and kept our country a land of liberty. God bless American, and God bless all our troops.

Friday, May 21, 2010

ABC Gift Cards...Save, Save, Save

Just had to share a WONDERFUL site I found recently. This site is called ABC Gift Cards. Why is this site so cool?

On ABC GC, you can buy, sell or trade gift cards at a discount. Did you ever get a gift card to a place you would probably never use? No problem...log into ABC GC and sell it, or trade it for a gift card to a place you would like to use.

Thinking of giving/sending a gift card to someone? Before you pay full price, log in to ABC GC and see if there is a card for the same place available. Why? You will get it at a discount price.

Check out this cool site. You can even subscribe to stores where you would most likely use/buy gift cards and get notified when said cards are available. Now how can that be a bad thing?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oklahoma Humor

On our trip to Tennessee, we drove through Oklahoma on Hwy 40, and in the Eastern part of the state was a huge, HUGE lake called Eufaula Lake. It was a huge body of water and the highway went over it, making the lake dominate both sides of the highway.

It wasn’t what I would call a pretty lake…it was the same red color as the soil in Oklahoma…a terra cotta color…and that made it look really muddy. I wondered if there were any fish in that lake, and if so, who would want to eat them. In my mind I imagine the fish would taste like Oklahoma dirt!

Just on the eastern side of the bridge we saw a sign that said “Alahtahwatah Road”. That totally cracked me up. We certainly had just passed a lot of water!

Apparently if you wanna live in Oklahoma, ya gotta have a sense of humor!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Don’t Fear Death, but I Fear Dying

I think if we were given the choice of how we would like to leave this world, we we all choose to go to sleep one night and just not wake up the next morning. Anyway, that is what I would choose.

You see, I don’t fear death because death is really a new life…a new beginning…in eternity. But dying, now that is another story all together. I am afraid of dying in a prolonged, painful manner. That is what bothers me about dying.

With the coming of Easter have come thoughts of the Savior’s death, and of his dying. I think even Jesus would rather have had a painless death. “…O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…” Yet, even as he faced the torment that was ahead of him if the Father’s plan were to be carried out, he continued in prayer, “: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)

Because Christ was willing to go through with the plan, he suffered agonizing pain…such suffering that we cannot possibly truly grasp it all in our feeble understanding. There are no words for what Christ went through for us. Even the term “excruciating” cannot completely describe what he went through.

I believe he could have chosen to not endure what he did; that he might have indeed decided humankind wasn’t worth his sacrifice; that he could have chosen to one night just go to sleep and not wake up the next morning. But this would never have fulfilled justice for all sinners, and we would all be lost.

I am so thankful for a Savior who decided to complete his mission on earth by willingly sacrificing his all on our behalf. And in the end, this is really what Easter is all about.

Sunday, March 28, 2010




A couple of weekends ago I went to my 5 year-old grandson's soccor game.  I love to go watch how much he and his teammates have learned up to this second season.  In the beginning, most of them would become distracted by something, like a butterfly, and stand on the field watching the butterfly rather than the ball.  This season, I can see them attempt to turn the ball, to stop the opposing team's goal, and even to try to take the ball from the other team.  Yep!  They have come a long way!

But this last game I went to, my grandson suddenly had to go to the bathroom.  His coach sent in a replacment player and off he went.  When he came back, he gave his mom a bouquest of dandelions, then took the last dandelion in his hand and gave it to me.  I was so touched by the sweetness of his presentations.  They were dandelions, okay, but at that moment they couldn't have been more beautiful or more precious than a bouquet of orchids.  I admit that I carried my treasured bloom to my car when the game was over, even though it had already started to wilt. 

And so, you see, a weed is not always a weed.  Sometimes a weed can be one of the beautiful things of life that make living really worth it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gifts of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:8- For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9- To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10- To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

I have been pondering the gifts of the spirit, especially the gift of healing.  There have been so many, many times in my life that I wished the gift of healing was my spiritual gift.  As I have seen the physical suffering of others, I wish I could take from them their suffering.  Not just my own family members, but certainly and especially my own family members.  Then I remember that sometimes our suffering is for our own good...that God in his infinite wisdom has a plan, and perhaps the suffering we encounter throughout our lives is actually part of that plan.  Who am I to know what good could come from such suffering?  And if I could remove one's suffering, would I be interfering with that perfect plan that God has for that individual?

As my husband's health deteriorates with age, and his suffering increases, I long to relieve that suffering.  It's hard to see one hurt and believe it could be for the good of that individual.  And yet, I have come to the conclusion that were I able to heal, I would want to heal all suffering without thought of any blessings said suffering could bring the sufferer.

So, instead of the gift of healing, perhaps I need the gift of strength to watch the suffering of others and the gift to be satisfied to do what small things I, as a mere human being, can do to comfort those who suffer.