St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Reflecting on economics and the state of things...

Interesting, after I responded to another friend's blog with a comment regarding my heartfelt thoughts regarding the Olympics in China, and those persons evicted from their homes for the sake of an Olympic park, coupled with the Democratic Convention, and the issues we are hearing over and over and know about firsthand (food prices, gas prices, joblessness), I come across this meditation at my Eucharistic Adoration holy hour:

(From In Conversation with God, Twenty-First Week Ordinary Time; Tuesday)

Pg 472, volume 4, section 77.3
"..The Church's Magisterium reminds us that the world of economics ought not to be thought of as independent and autonomous, but as subject to the overriding principles of social justice which correct the defects and shortcomings of the economic order by making allowance for the dignity of the human person [cf Pius XI, Quadragesimo anno, 15 June 1931,37]

..Social justice requires also that workers' living conditions are not left to the mercy of the market forces, as if their labour were merely merchandise to be bought and sold; [John Paul II, Sollicitudo rei socialis, 30 Dec 1987,34]; and one of the principal occupations of the State and of employers must be this: to give work to everyone [John Paul II, Address in Morumbi Stadium, 3 July 1980], as unemployment is one of the greatest evils that can afflict a country and is the cause of many other harmful consequences for individuals, for families and for society itself."

My mind particularly focused on:..
.."making allowance for the dignity of the human person" and that last statement...
..."unemployment is one of the greatest evils that can afflict a country...."

Dignity of the human person, ....I will remind my son of this passage as he studies Advanced Government and Economics this year, and uses Quadragesimo anno with his other texts.

So much to think about and consider this election. So much to pray about deeply and thoughtfully regarding our country and the world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

School Year Traditions: Schultuete

This wonderful German custom has surfaced again at some of my favorite blogspots. Praying for Grace has a post on it, and I pulled up my post from a couple years ago to re-publish. I guess it's that time of year approaching: the first day of school.

My friend Cay over at Cay's Cajun Cottage has a neat idea to share. To visit, click on this title: Schultuete: A New School-Year Tradition.

In the meantime, here's a brief explanation and picture from the Wikipedia. (Cay has much better pictures with her children :)

The "Schultüte" (or in English The School Cone [even though the word "Tüte" translates more as bag]; alternative spelling: Schultuete) is a paper (and later plastic) bag in particular.

When children in Germany set off for their first day in school upon entering grade, their parents and/or grandparents present them with a big cardboard cone, prettily decorated and filled with toys, chocolate, candies, school supplies, and various other goodies. It is given to children to make this anxiously awaited first day of school a little bit sweeter. (For more on this follow the LINK).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

Courage, my sons, Don't you see that we are leaving on a mission? They pay our fare in the bargain. What a piece of good luck! The thing to do now is to pray well in order to win as many souls as possible. Let us, then, tell the Blessed Virgin that we are content, and that she can do with us anything she wishes.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe

Feast of the Assumption, upcoming

What a great message as the upcoming feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Virgin Mary’s Assumption near; from Fr. Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International. Follow the LINK to the Spirit & Life section.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pro-Life Action League response

For my readers who were wondering also. I am pleased (and I love this organization).

Dear Denise,

Thanks for writing.

The American Girl boycott ended December 26, 2005, when American Girl formally concluded its program in connection with the pro-abortion group Girls Inc. We have kept an eye on American Girl since then and find nothing in their activities to object to at this time.

That said, however, let me put in a plug for the Life of Faith dolls. These dolls came to light during our boycott of American Girl, when we were searching for alternatives.

They're every bit as nice as American Girl dolls -- perhaps even nicer. And each of them comes with a story book written from a Christian perspective, and with a tiny Bible, with one verse from each book.

So, you can shop at American Girl with a clear conscience -- in fact, if you do so, I encourage you to write the company and thank them for no longer donating to Girls Inc. But you might also want to take a look at Life of Faith:

Thanks again for writing. Please let us know if you ever have any further questions.

Yours for Life,

John Jansen
Generations for Life
Youth Outreach of the Pro-Life Action League
(773) 777-2900

Cartooning anyone?

Today my husband and oldest son are spending time in Columbus at OSU's Cartoon Research Library. There is an exhibit of Bone by Jeff Smith currently on display. They are staying with my brother in law in that area, and also visiting an Aunt who lives there as well. This is so exciting for our son (the artist), as he also is meeting with Roy Doty who is near that area as well. Mr. Doty asked that Doug bring samples of his artwork.

This weekend brings a wedding for one of my nephews, as well as my husband's birthday. Things just keep moving along....

We will be formally starting school in September when we get up to full speed. I feel little pressure to start much before our local district starts. Homeschooling is efficient with that one-on-one tutorship quality which enables us to get our school year accomplished in about 32 weeks. I want the children to enjoy a full summer off (and mom too). Homeschooling through high school has been very rewarding and energetic with two high schoolers on board, but getting our oldest student ready for college this year is an exciting challenge of both work and joy.

Keep us in your prayers!

Monday, August 11, 2008

St. Clare of Assisi

"Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me".
St. Clare of Assisi

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Fine Art

My friend Esther has some beautiful work posted at her blog showcasing Fra Angelico (my favorite!) To visit her, head to: Fine Art Friday - Fra Angelico

The "Great" Depression & American Girl

I realize this is old news, but sometimes old news is worthy of a refresher. In this case, it saddens me to even think of it. Maybe something has changed since the American Girl teams with Girls, Inc. story surfaced in 2005. Why am I even thinking of this? Well, because I found myself pulling our "Kit" American Girl books off the shelf recently to share The Great Depression era with our children. They are just that well written and documented. We love the stories, the facts, the authentic photos of that time. It made me realize how much we have loved American Girl in this home (with one daughter), and how sad it is that they have gone and done it -- you know, say it isn't so....they've teamed with a pro-abortion organization.

But, what we own is before the fact, and for the reason, while we don't currently buy into American Girl any longer, it doesn't change that we already own and have enjoyed lots of their products in this home. With tough economic times at hand, it was such a good reminder to the children (and myself) as to what "really tough times" were as we read Kit's (fictional) but all too true life of the '30's. And Grandma is living proof of the documentation as she looks at the photos and reads the captions of that era confirming reality; she reminds us of how carefully they used things to the last drop, did without a lot, and those things that could be used over and over and over and over and over again, were. How wasteful we really have become. With costs rising for food and household items (like laundry detergent, cleansars, you name it) I'm reminded to shop more carefully and use everything more carefully and to the last drop. I've curbed my own wants (that sometimes I think (I think) are my needs, when really I can do without much of what I think I somehow must have to run my life on. Ok, coffee might be the exception :) BUT, I'm not spending big bucks on coffee, that's for sure.

So, recently I've been deeply reflecting on how to discipline ourselves more and teach our children what many learned during the era of the Great Depression. Our home, built in 1925, is a constant reminder. I can imagine the family that built this home, resided here their whole lives, getting by on this same street (dirt then), in this same home (with an old model car in the driveway). While I don't by any means feel we are destitute, I do take more care in stretching my husband's hard earned money and with the hard economic times looming, it can be a challenging spiritual and practical pursuit of discipline and sacrifice.

Ok, back to the beginning, regarding American Girl. What a shame. While doing research for this little post I answered my own question: no, nothing has changed since 2005. I found more, updated for 2008 (see this). I'm really depressed, and no pun intended. How fragile the line of respect for human life and dignity seems to be anymore that it reaches even to those levels so innocent.


Update: Oops, I posted a link in my comments, however I don't think it's working. So I'll just post the entirety of the information here:

American Girl Tries to Restore Image, Pro-Life Group Declares Victory ^ December 14, 2005

Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 12:22:54 PM by Diago

American Girl Tries to Restore Image, Pro-Life Group Declares Victory

To: National Desk

Contact: Ann Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, 773-777-2900, 312-965-1030 cell,

CHICAGO, Dec. 14 /Christian Wire Service/ -- "American Girl is trying to restore its wholesome image with pro-life families," said Ann Scheidler, executive director of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. "Their efforts at damage control show how effective our protest and boycott have been."

"In contrast to American Girl's affiliation with pro-abortion Girls Inc, they have just launched a major ad campaign, designed to protect girls from growing up too fast," said Scheidler. "The sudden about-face is clearly a response to our boycott of American Girl during the Christmas shopping season."

The "Save Girlhood" ad campaign, the first ad campaign in the company's history, seeks to preserve girls' innocence and suggests wholesome, fun activities for girls and their parents. The campaign includes a new website,

"The 'I Can' bracelet project which funded Girls Inc. abruptly comes to an end December 26," said Scheidler. "This new 'Save Girlhood' project proves that consumers can demand integrity from a company by refusing to buy its products when it betrays its consumers' trust."

"The League's boycott and the pickets have been highly successful. We are happy that American Girl is trying to win back our confidence. But we continue to be watchful," said Scheidler.

The Pro-Life Action League called for a boycott of American Girl on November 1, to continue through the Christmas shopping season. The League held pickets at American Girl Place in Chicago on November 25 and December 3, and at American Girl Place on Fifth Avenue in New York on December 10.

American Girl began de-emphasizing the "I Can" project within days of the League's first press release decrying the link with Girls Inc. Bath and Body Works, the only other outlet for purchasing the "I Can" bracelet, quit the project in late November. The League has distributed thousands of "You have betrayed our trust" brochures.

The Pro-Life Action League is the nation's largest activist pro-life organization. For further information please see

P.S. I'm going to contact Pro-Life Action League for information on American Girl's status currently. This article does sound encouraging!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I applaud President Bush for speaking out (in China) about their human rights (or lack thereof), while there for the Olympics. I would have been gravely disappointed had he gone and not mentioned this.

That China could evict 1.5 million of their own people from living quarters to build the Olympic Park is absolutely horrendous. And that mere mention of this is fleeting in the news and just spoken as "fact" -- as if no one is outraged about this? We should all be ashamed.

Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us.

Friday, August 01, 2008

"This little light of mine..."

Okay, Mike, isn't that suppose to read: Denise and I? :-)

VBS: Mike and I leading campfire songs.

Space Case ;)

Okay, my husband just wants to be sure I'm posting valuable and useful information to my blog readers, so I accepted a contribution from him. Follow the link: Free Space Invaders.

Firefly Watch

This summer our son Michael joined with some of his neighborhood friends to report their backyards as habitats for firefly research. He was concerned that the fireflys are decreasing in number and apparently he isn't alone. You can help the Museum of Science do a study by registering and reporting your information. Follow the link: Firefly Watch.

Image courtesy of: Cirrus