Thursday, April 11, 2019

Movie review: Unplanned

PSA: Go see this movie! It will open your eyes! Tell your friends! Have a nice day.

I am pleased to hear how well Unplanned is doing in theaters; number 4 the last I heard. I seriously recommend this movie for everybody. With that being said I wanted to express my take-aways from this movie.

Cheryl, who preceded Abby as director, said 3 different things that really stood out to me about the mentality of the management of Planned Parenthood. Here they are:

1. She pulls Abby aside and tells her about how fast food burger chains break even on burgers and actually make their money on fries and soda. Then informs Abby that abortion is PP's "fries & soda". Wow, not only are these babies "clumps of cells" in their eyes, but they are nothing more than a side order.

2. I believe this was in the same conversation, but at one time this woman gave a basic rundown of all Abby's possessions and said abortion had paid for all of it. Think about that.

3. In the scene where a young girl was still bleeding after her abortion, Abby was stopped from calling an ambulance by Cheryl and was told they don't do that to keep good public relations. Thankfully, the doctor on hand stopped the bleeding, but they really risk a patient's life for good PR?!

Unplanned also shows both ends of the spectrum for Pro-Lifers. In the early part of the movie, we see a man who is the textbook definition for what not to say to a woman going into Planned Parenthood. He automatically assumed it was for an abortion, did not portray the love of God he was preaching, and he pretty much blamed her for getting pregnant. Contrast him to Shawn and His wife. His wife first connects with Abby, never being judgmental, but just there. Abby is eventually seen smiling when conversing with her and then eventually being helped by her once her eyes were opened. This is how every Pro-Lifer needs to act.

I hope I am not contradicting myself with the above statement, but I can't imagine how brainwashed the PP employees are. They kill babies everyday, yet throw Abby a baby shower in the building. They are acknowledging this baby as a baby solely because Abby is. How contradictory is that?

The workers are pushing or "Counseling" these girls to have an abortion and smiling as they do it. Abby had two abortion experiences, surgical and the pill, so how does it not translate to what she tells these girls?

The scene where a girl and her father comes in; the father is forcing the abortion and Abby parrots the support. Then when she has her medical emergency Abby has acknowledge she would be lying to the father about his daughter's condition and does it anyway because it's "her job".

I know when a movie is "based on a true story", it means somethings where altered or made up completely. I fear to find out what was altered or made up in this movie. I hope it is just the details of Abby's personal life because Abby knows what it is like to work for PP and why would any of that be altered or made up? I was shocked to see how graphic the abortion Abby assisted was, as well as her chemical abortion, so I can see why it is rated R. However, still sticking to my recommendation of this movie.

Monday, April 1, 2019

My China Trip (Part 2)

March 30

The first stop on this day’s itinerary was Tiananmen Square; known for the infamous “tank man” and the pro-democracy protests. This was our first run in with swarming street vendors trying to make a buck. To be honest, there was nothing there to really admire, except for the architecture of the buildings around the area. We did see a building in the process of being remodeled, which was interesting. Then we saw the famous painting of Emperor Mao; and just recently discovered the gentleman in the photo appears to be taking a selfie with it. At the time Beijing was preparing for the 2008 Olympics and so we saw a countdown clock on display. Next we moved on to the Forbidden City, which was once home to Chinese Emperors; we learned about them as well as their customs. 

Later on the day we boarded the bus and headed for the Great Wall. The Wall is not flat, it follows the hills and mountains so while walking it you will experience flat parts, elevated steps and steep steps. It is still amazing to this day to think I actually walked on the Great Wall, that’s a bucket list item there. If it weren’t for the limited time we were allotted there, I don’t know how far I would’ve gone; yet after three guard towers, I, and the few others I was with, decided to turn around and head back down. I was amazing to stand at the bottom and look up, then be up higher and look down. I remember the tour guide joking about not falling over one side, or dropping your camera because that side was Mongolia, and good luck if it happens. On the ride back to the hotel we passed by the site where the Olympic Stadium was being built.

During the time on the bus, Adam told us the expression for going to the bathroom is “singing a song”; although wouldn’t explain why it is. He then told us of two funny instances which were bathroom related. The first of which was of a female tour guide whose adopted Western name was synonymous with “butt” and had to have a tourist tell her that. Second, Adam was leading a group, either they were all British, or had a British couple on it. Either way, this British man told him he had to “spend a penny”. Adam responded, confused, that there were shops where they were going so no problem. The man thinks specified he meant he had to go to the bathroom. So there’s some potty humor for you all.  In all seriousness though, your “toilet” is a hole in the ground; unless you are handicapped, then they have the toilets we use in the west.

March 31

This day we visited the Beijing Zoo, which is smaller than the Cincinnati Zoo. They had some interesting animals, including panda bears. And that’s all I have to say about that; unintentional “Forest Gump” reference. Next stop was the Temple of Heaven, where we again got hassled by street vendors. It was here the Emperors would pray for a good harvest. We were told about the “Clapping stones” which were stones line up in a row and you stood on a stone and if you clapped it echoed the same number of times as the stone you were on; meaning if you stood in the first stone, it echoed once. If you were on the second stone, it echoed twice, and so on.

After that we had lunch and then departed for the Silk Market, which is quite the shopping experience, even beating out Black Friday. I am not a haggler, so obviously you haggle here and I was looking to buy some wooden dolls and the woman I was haggling with just about freaked out at my initial low ball offer. She started to tell me how fine the wood was and all this stuff; we eventually reached an agreement. We closed out the day by stopping by the Beijing Hard Rock Café.

Next time: We leave Beijing and head for a week long stay in Nanning

Motherhood (Katie)

A few words on Motherhood...
I never believed I would ever be a mom; yet I prayed faithfully that I would eventually become one. God answered my prayers, even though we had troubles along the way. Isn’t it amazing how God gave women the ability to carry children in their wombs and then bring life into this world? We sacrifice so much for 9 months like our body and certain foods, all for this little precious gift. It is also amazing to think how God has entrusted my husband and I with their lives; it is our duty to bringing them up to be faithful Catholic women. Every day I see God’s face in their faces; like He is right there with me. It is through loving and caring for my daughters that I can see how God loves and cares for us. Jesus says that there is no greater love than someone who lays down their life for others. I will give my life for my daughters if I need to. I pray it never has to happen, yet I will gladly do it if needed.

Right now I can’t imagine my life without my daughters. There were stressful and worrisome times, but it was all worth it. Motherhood is messy. Motherhood is seeing your child’s face every morning when they wake up. Motherhood is unexpected hugs and kisses. Life can be messy, and I may not have it all together, but right now I have it all. It's a wonderful blessing! I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

My China Trip Part 1 (Jordan)

In my Senior year of high school, I had the privilege of going to China as a part of a local vocational school's program. I was in a two year Business Professionals of America business class and in the final weeks of my Junior year, the announcement for this trip to China was made. I was critical of it and though "Oh yeah, mom and dad will go for that!". When I told them about it they were excited and  basically said "Why wouldn't you go on it?!". So long story short, I applied and was accepted! Then began the daunting process of learning about the trip and packing for it, updating the necessary vaccinations; and there were even visits to a local Chinese restaurant and General Electric plant. This trip was a mixture of sightseeing, and experiencing Chinese school & business.

Now that the boring backstory is out of the way, on to the trip. I will spread this out over a series of entries, as I have 3 weeks to cover. There will be times I will break into the story for some present day look-back commentary as this trip was over a decade ago. And finally, all names will be changed to respect privacy. With out further ado...

March 28 & 29

There were two schools going, mine referred to as "F" and the other I'll refer to as "E". We all gathered together at the airport in Cincinnati and ended up being delayed an hour for our flight to Chicago due to the weather. Then once we switched over in Chicago, we were bound for Beijing. The flight was around 13.5 hours long and it was on a double decker plane; to which a teacher joked about there was still no leg room. Outside talking, playing games, sleeping, or whatever we could find to pass the time, we took in some good scenic views of the ice around the Arctic Circle, Russia & Mongolia.

Finally, we landed in Beijing and upon leaving the airport, I experienced the surreal sensation of stepping on to foreign soil for the first time; I could not believe I was in another country. We met our tour guide Adam and gave us the background of Beijing as we rode in the tour bus. Our tour guide name was Adam because the Chinese will adopt Western names to help Westerners. 

We arrived at our first stop, the Quanjude Peking Duck restaurant. It was a neat place, and we sat down at circular tables. There was a lazy susan in the middle of the table with other dishes on it, and you spin it around to get what you want instead of having to ask someone to pass it. We ate duck and other dishes that I can't remember what they were. The chefs actually stood table side and would carve the duck in front of you.

After we ate, Adam led us through the streets to a tea house where we watched a kind of variety show. There were musical groups, rappers, battle dancers, shadow puppeteers, and a kung fu show. It was the end of a long day and we finally checked into our 5-star hotel, the Xi Yuan Hotel. I was paired up a classmate Charlie; we ended up rooming together the entire trip.

COMMENTARY: It was funny. I had never flown before this trip except for a small trip around the area I lived. My parents were planning a vacation to Arizona to be my real first flight. However, I came home from school that one day after our vacation was planned and announced I was going to China. My mom thought it was funny how it worked out that my first real flight was going to be overseas.

Next entry: Tiananmen Square, The Imperial & Forbidden City, the Beijing Zoo and the Silk Market

Monday, March 18, 2019

Book Review: My First Interactive Mass Book for Catholic Kids

This book will walk your child through the parts of the Mass with the prayers and sayings word for word and is accompanied with visually appealing pictures. This book is interactive by the means of two sets of removable pieces. The first set is the different colors of priestly vestments; to which I wish the colors and Church seasons were connected. The second set is for the readings; your child will be shown the two responses: “Thanks be to God” and “Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!”. The next page is a very neat display of items that can be found in the Church; so they can learn what everything is called. It ends with a basic idea of the Eucharist, however, kids are encouraged to pay more attention to what is going on because this is where God connects with us on the most personal level that can be had.

If you lose any pieces, do not worry! There are more in the back of the book! Katie was really drawn to this book and wanted to have it for our daughter to have to follow along at Mass. However, she was hesitant about the pages and if our daughter would tear it up. I turned a page in the back that had the spare pieces, so I attempted to rip the top and it ripped like a regular piece of paper.

Overall, this is a great book, and I highly recommend it to anyone! We are sure our daughter will enjoy it!
Follow the link below to get your own copy! My First Interactive Mass Book

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

It's A Darn Shame

I am one of the unfortunate men who get to suffer through The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I do not care for these shows but Katie loves them. So it is surprising me that I am actually blogging about The Bachelor! Buckle your seatbelts folks...

It is no secret that this season's bachelor, Colton, is a virgin. That is all this season seems to center around; will Colton lose his virginity? They made this into one huge spectacle. Various girls made references to this fact in their introductions to Colton; and the host, Chris Harrison, has pushed the question relentlessly throughout this season. That is a dang shame!

What happened to the times when a virgin was held in high regard? Now they are put on a pedestal, not to be admired, but to be ridiculed; and the viewers are eating this up! This country has lost the dignity of the human person, human sexuality and the sanctity of marriage. We need to return to these three things because it is out of control!

Props to Colton, who took all this in stride; although I don't agree with what he had revealed as the season progressed. If I were Colton, any girl trying a virginity pick up line, would be escorted back to the limo, or shown the door as the season progressed.

Sorry for the rant here, but this has been building up and since the finale was the past two nights, it was reignited.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Lets Talk About Lent

“This is what I want you to do. I want you to go out and buy the largest box of Esther Price Chocolates. And every day during Lent I want you to eat one piece; because giving up chocolate is for babies”. These are paraphrased words from a homily given by one of my parish’s priests. A stern looking elderly man who doesn’t mince words.

Lent is just right around the corner and I thought I would delve into what Lent is all about and the Biblical aspects behind it. Shout out to my awesome friend Angie who helped point me in the right direction! The following comes from Dr. Brant Pitre.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and runs through Easter Sunday, and it emulates the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.  As paragraph 540 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: 
Jesus' temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him. This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning." By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert. (

Joel 2: 12-18: Here God is calling for a removal from a life of sin to repentance and to return to Him. And it calls the whole community together for a public display of penance. 

On Ash Wednesday we receive ashes on our foreheads which acts as a reminder of our mortality; "Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return." (Genesis 3:19). It also calls to repentance and to return to God; as above referenced in Joel. Ashes are also seen being used in Job 42:6: "Therefore I disown what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes". Daniel 9:3, "I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes".

From then on we proceed through Lent focusing on prayer, fasting and giving alms, which draws reference to Matthew 6:1-6 & 16-18. Here Jesus tells us to perform these acts in private; as opposed to doing them to be noticed by others. The Catechism further affirms in paragraph 1438: "The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works)". (

I am bad in 2 of these areas during Lent. I got the fasting part down since we are only required to fast with one big meal and 2 smaller meals, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; while abstaining from meat on Fridays. It is prayer and almsgiving where I struggle. I don't pray as much as I should any time of the year; but during Lent it is only at meals, bedtime, Mass, Easter Triduum, and Stations of the Cross. Perhaps this Lent I can pray more, and daily. I also struggle with almsgiving as of lately, perhaps this Lent, I can give a little something.

Lent is also a time where we are encourage to give something up, or add something else to our daily routine. Going back to the quote opening this post, it has stuck with me because it is true. When I was younger, I gave up candy, soda, sweets, all the stuff that is important to a young child. Now, as an adult, I need to give up something important to adults. For the past few years I have given up Facebook. I first heard of this idea years ago and I scoffed at it. However, after realizing how much time I do spend on Facebook, it was not such a bad idea. I also try to read something to help me focus on Good Friday, then to Easter Sunday.

I hope this was as informative to you as it was me; whereas when I was growing up I just participated in Lent because it was that time of year. Now, I actively participate in it and now have a little knowledge as to why we do this as Catholics. Please pray for me that I may put this new information and self-realization to great use this Lent; which by the way, starts March 6.

Click the link to see the video which gave me this wonderful insight and more.

Movie review: Unplanned

PSA: Go see this movie! It will open your eyes! Tell your friends! Have a nice day. I am pleased to hear how well Unplanned is doing in ...