Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mom On A Media Mission

Christie Thein is a Mom On A Media Mission.  She wants to change a culture by teaching people how to change their media choices.  Instead of secular movies, books, CDs and music, Christie is teaching parents (and kids) how to find good Christian alternatives. 

Christie is the mama on the far right

The key word here is good.  The mom has spent hours and hours finding high quality media that you and your family will enjoy.  

Below are her 'Top Ten' lists to help you get started.  Want more?  Just email her at and she'll send you more recommendations. 

Also contact Christie and invite her to run a 'Mom on A Media Mission' workshop with the parents, teachers, and/or catechists in your school or parish. She will empower them to choose good media in their homes and classrooms.  

Christie can speak with youth groups and students as well.  

Top Ten Christian Artists to check out for the teens
(purchase through itunes)

Artist/Album                             Song

Toby Mac                            Me Without You
(Eye On It)
Britt Nicole                         Amazing Life
Group 1 Crew                    Freq Dat
Thousand Foot Krutch   Be Somebody
( The End Is Where We 
Family Force Five             Cray Button
(Cray Button)   
KJ-52                                   Brand New Day
Owl City                              Shooting Star
(Shooting Star)
Skillet                                   Monster
Anthem Lights                   Outta My Mind
(Anthem Lights)
Switchfoot                           Dare You To Move
(The Best Yet)

Great radio station online to check out!!

Ten Christian Artists for Moms

1.)  Chris Tomlin (A staple in every house)
2.)  Matthew West
3.)  Casting Crowns
4.)  Brandon Heath
5.)  Chris August
                                                      6.)  Jeremy Camp
                                                      7.)  Sanctus Real
                                                      8.)  The Afters
                                                      9.)  Tenth Avenue North
                                                     10.)  Matt Maher

Ten great youtube videos to check out

1.)  Britt Nicole
The Lost Get Found
Britt Nicole is great for all ages!  Kids love her. 

2.)  Brandon Heath
Give Me Your Eyes
Give Me Your Eyes is amazing, I pray that He will give us His eyes so that we may see the world as He sees it. The Light In Me is a great teaching video for your kids.  There is a boy whose friends are not making good choices and he is faced with a choice.  You put the light in me….

3.)  Casting Crowns
Just  Another Birthday
Slow Fade
Casting Crown has so many videos with great messages.  Just another birthday is a good video for your teenagers to watch. American Dream and Slow Fade for couples.

4.)  Chris August
Powerful song on forgiveness, check out the story  behind the video

5.)  Josh Wilson

6.)  Lecrae
Powerful video on  our example to our children

7.)  Lifehouse
Video that portrays our youth getting romanced into the many temptations that life offers.

8.)  Matthew West

9.)  Sanctus Real
Lead Me   Must watch for all couples

10.)  The Afters
Light Up The Sky 

Top Ten Movies to Watch

1.)  Facing the Giants
A great movie to watch with the entire family, this football movie is an underdog story you don’t want to miss.

2.)  Soul Surfer
Soul Surfer is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again, through her sheer determination and unwavering faith.

4.)  October Baby
As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before she can utter her first lines, Hannah collapses in front of the stunned audience. After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah's difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she then learns from her parents: she was actually adopted ... after a failed abortion attempt. Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah turns for support to Jason, her oldest friend. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his group of friends on a Spring Break road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past ... and find hope for her unknown future.

5.)  Courageous
Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they are confident and focused, standing up to the worst the streets can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge they’re ill prepared to tackle: fatherhood. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering.

 6.)  Mighty Macs
From the inspiring true story comes the tale of one woman who just wanted to make a difference and wound up making history! When Coach Cathy Rush (Carla Gugino, Mr. Popper's Penguins) arrives at tiny Immaculata College, the women’s basketball team has no budget, no uniforms and no gym. Refusing to give up, Cathy finds help from a young nun named Sister Sunday.

7.)  Letters to God
A boozing postal worker finds his life turned upside down by a boy struggling with cancer. Young Tyler Doherty (Tanner Maguire) faces his cancer with a strong spirit and good humor, and maintains his faith by writing letters to God--letters that the neighborhood's new mailman, Brady McDaniels (Jeffrey Johnson), doesn't know how to handle.

8.)  To Save a Life (high school + up) (PG-13)
 A powerful film about suicide, faith, and the power of one person, to make a difference in the lives of many.

9.)  Fireproof
Fireproof has a strong agenda: stay married, lead an honest life, and let your faith in a higher power help guide you.

10.)  The Perfect Game
From the director of Angels in the Outfield comes the incredible true story of the underdog foreign Little League team who inspired two nations.

Top Ten Books that helped me grow in my faith

1.)  The Better Part (A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer)
This book contains the Four Gospels and beautiful meditations from the perspective of Christ the Lord, Christ the Teacher, Christ the Friend and Christ in My Life.  This was a huge instrument for me.  My family started reading the Gospel each morning and doing the meditation during Advent.  I discovered this through a prayer group (an off shoot of our Moms group) Martha & Mary.  We would get together once a week and read the Gospel for the day and talk about how it pertained to our own lives.

2.)  One Bread One Body (from the Presentation Ministries)
A Daily Devotional is essential.  I love One Bread One Body.  The Word Among Us is amazing as well!  They give you all the readings for the day and a meditation.  There are also stories in this little book.  There are many other great Catholic daily readings.

To receive the daily readings click this link, or you can send a donation to receive the One Bread One Body book.

To add your e-mail address to this list go to

3.)  Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly
Reading the Seven Pillars helped me to understand the value of our Catholic Faith.  The Seven Pillars were unfolding in front of me.  “Our Lives Change When Our Habits Change.”  ~Matthew Kelly  My habits were changing and I was suddenly hungry to learn more.

4.)  Sticky Situations (365 Devotions for Kids and Families.)  This is a wonderful Christian book.  They give you a moral dilemma each day and then a scripture to look up and read.  This is a great tool to use as a family.  We started reading this at Advent as well.  It is also good for classrooms.  Give one to your teacher as a gift.

5.)  Noise by Teresa Tomeo
Noise gives the readers spiritual direction on how to make use of the media with our faith front and center.  It is so important to be informed of what your children are watching, reading and listening to…
The media is the welcomed stranger we allow into our homes with no hesitation.  We would not leave our children alone with a stranger, so why do we leave our children alone for hours with this stranger (the media)???

6.)  Extreme Makeover by Teresa Tomeo
Our self-image as American women is being distorted by pop culture.  Packed with statistics and testimonies, Extreme Makeover uncovers the beautiful teachings of the Catholic Church. 

7.)  The next author has three books that are a must.   
The Ten Habits of a Happy Mother
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters  
Boys Should Be Boys
I have two boys and bought the Strong Fathers Strong Daughter book for my brother and I read it before I gave it to him.  It gave me a lot of insight to my upbringing and my relationship with my own father.  The Habits of a Happy Mother we are using as a format for our Moms group this year.  Boys Should be Boys was alarming.  We need to be aware of the impact that the media plays on our sons and also our husbands.   

8.)  I’m Not Being Fed by Jeff Cavins
Cavins explores the reasons why many Catholics do not understand and appreciate the Holy Eucharist-and why some have left the Church, saying that they simply weren’t being “fed” and that they longed for a relationship with Jesus.  (I have come to realize how important it is to live our faith every day.  It is not just a Sunday visit but a way of life.

9.)  My Other Self by Clarence Enzler
After my fire started losing its spark my spiritual director gave me this amazing book.  I was challenged to read a little and then meditate on what jumps out at me.  I had been feeling very dry in my prayers at the time and in the book it says, “When you receive fruit from prayer that is God’s gift to you and when you are in a period of dryness and you continue even when your flesh does not feel like it that is your gift to God.”  If you are looking to dig deeper, this is the book for you.

10.)  Our Lady of Kibeho by Immaculee Ilibagiza
I had heard of the 1994 genocide.  This book brought it to life in a way I cannot even explain.  A story on forgiveness, this book left me with a heavy heart for those I had not forgiven.  It was healing and eye opening to what is happening in our culture in the present.  Our Lady of Kibeho became this first and only Vatican-approved Marian site in all of Africa.  But the story still remains largely unknown.  This book will touch your heart.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Freezer Meal Exchange idea

Guest Post by Jenetta Padilla, Dickinson, ND

A Moms’ Freezer Meal Exchange has been a tremendous help in my busy schedule.  It has been so simple.

 I invited other moms with busy schedules to join me.  Now each month I take an evening to make ten of one meal, either in 9x13 pans or in gallon freezer bags, and I freeze them (unbaked).  My boys get a kick out of helping me.  Then on the first Sundays at 7:30 PM, the ten of us meet at my house and exchange meals (along with their recipes).  We’ve been set with a huge variety such enchiladas, pizza pasta, taco soup, you name it.  One mom’s favorite aspect is having less dishes to do.  And we ALL appreciate meals ready to just thaw and bake.

Since my family has small eaters, I refreeze half for another day and they help us out even longer.  On months when a mom is expecting, we let her opt out and someone delivers the nine meals to her door.  We have one mom happy to be a substitute if a mom needs to opt out for some reason.  I highly recommend this to every busy mom!  And coordinating it is simple!  Go for it J.  Enjoy and may it bless you as much as it’s blessing me.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We Choose Virtues Black Friday Sale

Guest Post by Jenetta Padilla

My boys, ages 6 & 4, have been enjoying the “We Choose Virtues” parenting cards, flashcards, and coloring pages.  They have whole-heartedly been enjoying the character stories (told on the parenting cards), remembering the definitions of the virtues, coloring the pictures, and more, continuing to ask for more.  I just found out that you can save 30% on your entire shopping cart on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!  I highly recommend these so would have wanted someone to share them with me.  My very only complaint was the price although I’ve still been very glad I got them…no regrets.  They are great quality and have been completely worth it, yet this link will save you 30% which is even more awesome, so I thought I’d pass it on!     


Then enter FRIDAY30 on Friday or MODAY30 on Monday.  (The code said MODAY, yet if it doesn’t work, try MONDAY.)

(If you miss the above deals, you can still click the link above and enter VIRTUE15 and receive 15% off your order.)

If you choose to order these for your family, I hope you enjoy them as much as we are.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Supporting our Priests

 Our Catholic Moms group met yesterday 
and we explored one of our greatest treasures of our Catholic Faith, 
our priests. 

Fr. Andrew came to lead us in an opening prayer.  He also blessed our rosaries and  medals, etc.

While doing some planning for the meeting, I discovered some interesting facts:

  • The Sacrament of Holy Orders, like the Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Confirmation, can only be received once for each level of ordination. Once a man has been ordained, he is spiritually changed, which is the origin of the saying, "Once a priest, always a priest." He can be dispensed of his obligations as a priest (or even forbidden to act as a priest); but he remains a priest forever.

  • No surprise but still interesting...while the Catholic population is increasing, the number of ordained priests is decreasing.  In addition, the number of parishes without a pastor is on the rise as well - over 3000 parishes in the US at present.  This is a hard reminder that without our priests, we have no one to administer the Sacraments.  And without our priests,  we have no Mass.

  • St. Margaret of Scotland, mother of 4, sacrificed her life for priests.  These words of condemnation below were spoken on Tuesday, March 15, 1586, in the Court of York, as Judge Clinch condemned to death Margaret Middleton Clitherow, a 33-year-old Yorkshire housewife who was pregnant with her fourth child. Her crime was sheltering Roman priests who were "traitors and seducers of the queen's subjects. This was here sentence: “You must return from whence you came, and there, in the lowest part of the prison, be stripped naked, laid down, your back on the ground, and as much weight laid upon you as you are able to bear, and so to continue for three days without meat or drink, and on the third day to be pressed to death, your hands and feet tied to posts, and a sharp stone under your back.” Click here for the full article.

  • Because of the role of the mother of a priest in her son’s vocation and formation the tradition of honoring her at the first mass of her son arose.  The newly ordained presents to his mother the maniturgium.  (The manutergium (from the Latin manu+tergium = hand towel) was a long cloth that was wrapped around the hands of the newly ordained priest after the Bishop anointed his hands with the sacred Chrism (oil))

According to tradition the maniturgium is placed around the hands of the mother of a priest as she lies in the coffin.  When she arrives to the gates of heaven she is escorted directly to our Lord.  Our Lord says to the woman – “I have given you life, what have you given to me?”  She hands him the maniturgium and responds, “I have given you my son as a priest.”  At this Jesus grants her entry into paradise. Click here for the full article.

We were very blessed at our Moms meeting to hear Marian Lauricella speak.  Marian is the mother of our new priest, Fr. Andrew.

You can listen to her talk here. (13 min)

We also discussed ways that we, as mothers, can support our Catholic priests.

  • Pray for them.  As Father John Hardon, S.J., once said, “praying and offering God sacrifices for the priesthood are indispensably important,” because “there is no Catholic Church without the priesthood.”

O Jesus, Eternal Priest, look down with love upon Thy priests. Fill them with burning zeal for the conversion of sinners. Keep them within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart. Keep unstained their anointed hands. which daily touch Thy Sacred Body. Keep unsullied their lips purpled with Thy precious Blood. Keep pure and unearthly their hearts sealed with the sublime marks of Thy glorious Priesthood. Let Thy holy love protect them from the world's contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister on earth be one day their joy and consolation in heaven. Amen.

  • Say thank you. Now more than ever, in these difficult times, “the world needs heroes,” as the New York Archdiocese's Office of Vocations puts it.  Our police and firemen are considered heroes when they save lives.  Why not also think of our priests that way when they do so much to save souls?

  • Encourage your family to speak to Father after Mass.  This is a great opportunity to let your kids, especially, get to know your local priests.  Our boys love to give Father Bob a high-five and talk about the Buffalo Bills as we leave the church.  

  • Invite Father to your home for dinner or for a party, especially after your child is baptized or receives any of the Sacraments.  Priests are real people with real feelings.  They appreciate being invited.  They enjoy conversation. They like to laugh. And they probably like a good home-cooked meal like the rest of us.

  • When talking with your children about their vocation, remember to mention the priesthood as an option.  A good friend of mine has been encouraging this vocation with his boys since they were little, and now as a young teen one of the boys will often tell his dad that he wants to be a bishop one day.  Ever since hearing this I’ve started encouraging my boys as well.  Whenever we are talking about ‘what they want to be when they grow’ up, our kids say things like fireman or football player.  But now I’m always quick to add “or maybe a priest!”.  

On a different note, we had a lot of fun talking about doing what God calls us to do. Check out this must-see video called "The Hairbrush" (8 min).

Also, we all took stockings home and our families are going to stuff them with stocking-stuffers for the kids of Summit Life Outreach.

And some decorated Advent wreaths...

And finally, our closing song reminding us to be the feet and hands of Christ in our own homes and in the world...


"The Lost Get Found" by Britt Nicole - great musician for your teens, too!

(Also check out this video which is the story behind the song above)

What a blessing to spend a few hours with almost 30 amazing moms!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mary's Birthday Craft Idea - Sacrifice Chain for Mary

Great idea from Holy Heroes.  Our family is going to make a Sacrafice Chain this week and then put it around a birthday cake next Saturday.

Craft: Sacrifice Chain
Mary’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks, on September 8. One of the best birthday presents you can give to her would be prayers and sacrifice. Mary is often asking for this because our prayers and sacrifices can help us and other souls get to Heaven. To prepare for her birthday, why not make a sacrifice chain?
Cut up many strips of colorful construction paper, and keep them together, along with a stapler or tape. Each time you do a sacrifice, take one of the strips of paper and turn it into a link on the chain. You don’t tell everyone else what the sacrifice is! Keep it between you and our Blessed Mother.
See how long the chain can get by Mary’s birthday, and then use it to decorate for a birthday party for Mary!
Paper Chain

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

St. Gianna Center For Women's Health And FertilityCare

Diane M. Hale, RN, CFCE, Center Director
Diane M. Hale RN, CFCE
St. Gianna’s Center for Women’s Health and FertilityCare is a non-profit entity and provides women and couples with professional instruction on how to plan their families naturally. The Creighton Model, along with instruction and care from one of the Center’s physicians, are the basis of our treatments.

The St. Gianna Center treats and manages many problems related to reproductive health.  The following are examples of problems for which  assistance and treatment is offered:
  • Irregular and/or painful menstrual cycles
  • PMS
  • Postpartum depression
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Infertility, miscarriages, and prior premature births 
Debra Gramlich, MD Medical Director
For More Information go to:  

Below is an interview with the Medical Director, Dr. Debra Gramlich and Center Director, Diane Hale of the St. Gianna Center located in Clearwater FL. The St. Gianna Center serves all women and couples seeking to learn natural family planning or seeking assistance with problems related to reproduced health.

Click on the video below to learn more.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom- How to bring it home

Since President Obama announced his health care plan, there has been quite a big stir about Religious Freedom. Basically the proposed plan will require every employer, including religious groups and organizations  to provide and pay for sterilization and contraceptives. Sterilization and contraceptives have always been morally objectionable by the Roman Catholic Church because they separate the procreative act from the act of marriage. Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience.

What do we mean by religious liberty?
Religious liberty is the first liberty granted to us by God and protected in the First Amendment to our Constitution. It includes more than our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It also encompasses our ability to contribute freely to the common good of all Americans.

religious-liberty-home-masthead-image-thumbnailWhat is the First Amendment?

The First Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights states the following: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Our Catholic Bishops are courageously leading us right now in a "Fortnight for Freedom." This is a time from June 21 through July 4, Independence Day when ALL people who want our country to remain a place of freedom are praying, studying, fasting and taking action.

So how can we bring, what might seem like a big political thing, home in our families? Here are 5 ways:

1. Pray
This is easy to do with children of any ages. 
  • Pray the Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty each morning or evening, or at meal time depending when everyone is together.
  •  Pray through the beautiful Litany for Liberty. This can be interactive with 2 groups within the family, one leading, one responding. 
  • Use the Prayer Card and prayers for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe and of St. Thomas More

2. Study
The bishops have compiled study material from Vatican II document Dignitatis Humanae. These reflections are a brief one page reading, reflection and questions for discussion. These can be read by the head of the house with the spouse and children listening and the answering as they are able.

3. Learn
 In the last several months there have been some fantastic speeches on the topic. You don't have to be a history or political science major to read through what the Pope, Bishops and laymen have written on the topic. Challenge your teens to read through one and give their comments. CLICK HERE for Speeches.

A simple way to learn more about the topics surrounding religious liberty is to listen to the story of what happened in Mexico in the early 1920s when their religious freedom was taken away, CLICK HERE for a FREE MP3 by Patrick Madrid, or CLICK HERE to order a CD for just $3.50

See the new movie in theaters: For Greater Glory on the same topic. Please note, movie is rated R

4. Take Action
If you are a registered voter, write to congressmen and senators to support the Respect of Rights of Conscience Act that will ensure respect for religious liberty and conscience rights of all participants in our nation's health care system. Click Here for an email draft you can send to your senators and US representatives.

Stand UP for Religious Freedom is a series of Rallies around the US. We have had 2 of them here in St. Pete so far, March 23 and June 8. These are peaceful protests where people of all ages come and hold a sign and pray. The kids can join the adults in this-even the babies in strollers!
Stay informed on the next rally date by visiting

5. Get to know the great Saints who stood their ground.
St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More were beheaded just weeks apart in the summer of 1535. They are men who preferred death rather than betray their consciences and opposed their King when he tried to use his power over the doctrines of the church.
St. John Fischer was a priest appointed tutor for the young Prince Henry. In 1504 he became bishop of Rochester, England and Chancellor of Cambridge University. He wrote eight books against heresy, and Prince Henry, now King Henry VIII, was his friend.
St. Thomas More was a scholar, lawyer, author and a married man with four children. He too was favored by King Henry VIII and was appointed Chancellor of England, a position second only to the King in importance.
More’s home was deeply spiritual, but also filled with joy, music, and laughter. One time he brought home a monkey to amuse the children! If we are tempted to be rigorous or somber we need remember More's monkey!”
The trouble began in 1527 when Henry wished to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon for failing to produce a male heir. Fischer said that they had a valid marriage which angered the king. Later when Henry claimed to be the official head of the Church in England both Fisher and More opposed him.
Fisher was beheaded June 22 and More July 6. More’s famous words before his death are “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” These saints give us the good example to stand up to the secular powers when they contradict the church.