Sunday, January 29, 2012

St. Thomas Aquinas

Well, that didn't take long! I didn't even make it through January before I forgot to post my thoughts from Mass! :)

BUT, rather than just giving up entirely (which is my usual modus operandi), I'll play a bit of catch up here, back dating it, and move forward.

January 29th was the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of my Church, and patron saint of students everywhere. I know just the basics of this saint, I've been fearful of learning more because I know that there is soooo much depth to what this Doctor of the Church has written. I found this bit interesting-
(from the Catholic Encyclopedia)
It is not surprising to read in the biographies of St. Thomas that he was frequently abstracted and in ecstasy. Towards the end of his life the ecstasies became more frequent. On one occasion, at Naples in 1273, after he had completed his treatise on the Eucharist, three of the brethren saw him lifted in ecstasy, and they heard a voice proceeding from the crucifix on the altar, saying "Thou hast written well of me, Thomas; what reward wilt thou have?" Thomas replied, "None other than Thyself, Lord" (Prümmer, op. cit., p. 38). Similar declarations are said to have been made at Orvieto and at Paris.
On 6 December, 1273, he laid aside his pen and would write no more. That day he experienced an unusually long ecstasy during Mass; what was revealed to him we can only surmise from his reply to Father Reginald, who urged him to continue his writings: "I can do no more. Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to be of little value" (modica, Prümmer, op. cit., p. 43).

All that he had written, all that is still being 'unpacked' and learned generation after generation, and it was like dust to him. The mysteries revealed, and the ones left for us to ponder.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Project 12 in 2012

I really enjoyed my Project 12 last year, it's what kept me scrapping, and the feedback I received from the wonderful folks at kept me motivated to do more!

This year I created a template to use for the Project 12 pages, and I'll use them as 'Chapter' headers in my annual book. Some months, like January may not have many other pages, so having the template page with an overview of the month is handy. It also gave me the opportunity to scrap a couple of pics that I likely wouldn't have otherwise.
The story behind Brian's pants is amusing and eye-rolling. He got the blue corduroy trousers in 2004. I don't recall now if they were new or a hand me down pair from a friend. All I remember is that Brian LOVED them. They were his favorite pair of pants, and by the time I left for Ft. Bragg in the summer of 2005 they were already well worn. When I saw Brian in 2007 for his AIT graduation, I picked him up from his barracks and he was wearing the blue cords...Today, when I was keeping he and Share company while they sorted through stuff in their storage unit, he unearthed them again. We laughed about them, and with just a hint of sadness they went in the throw away pile.

It was a fun moment, and every day moment, and one I'm glad I included in this page.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Scrapping

Since we've not done much so far this month that's been photoworthy (I tried to get Aaryk to let me document replacing the garbage disposal, but he just gave me THAT look!), I've been taking on challenges from Stuff to Scrap and TheStudio. Here's a couple I've done in the last few days~

 Determination was the Word of the Week challenge for week 3, and the week 4 challenge of the week was to use a kit you got sometime in the first 1/2 of your scrapping life. Since I've been scrapping on the computer since 2000, that took some doing to find! :)
With any of these challenges, if I'm not scrapping current events I try to go back and find things I've not used on pages before. Right now, I'm on the hunt for something to use on a page for the current word of the week, Lovely.

Mass Thoughts on the Fly

I wanted to try posting this from my phone on the way home from Mass. Please pardon any typos!
In the homily today Deacon Jason talked about how at our baptism God installs in each of us a GPS preprogrammed with the best most direct route to get home to heaven. Unfortunately, how many times in our lives do we hear that GPS saying, "Recalculating"? We know the way, but sometimes we forget where we're going. Sometimes there are obstacles in our path that require lengthy detours. But it's important to remember that there is nowhere in this world that God's GPS can't help us find our way home, and that this world is NOT the end of the story for us!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blast from the Past- 1995

October 1995. Halloween was still a big deal to us, and we had our first Dead Man's Party. A themed costume party where you had to come as something or some one dead. It was quite the evening!

This was the first Halloween that when we did our crawl down Mill Avenue we 'counted Crows'. If memory serves, there were over 20 (but Aaryk's was the best!).

We also held a costume contest at All About Books & Comics that year-

Look at those glasses! And Aaryk was practically blind because he wouldn't wear his with the costume! That was an interesting evening all right!

Mass Reflections

Last week's readings didn't give me an 'Aha' moment, but it did give me a thought to ponder. I drove out to Mesa early last Sunday to pick up my friend Alicia. I listened to Mass on the way out to get her and during the homily the priest talked about this passage from John 1:35-39-

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God."
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
"What are you looking for?"
They said to him, "Rabbi" - which translated means Teacher -,
"where are you staying?"
He said to them, "Come, and you will see."
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.

What's so special about the time? The priest mentioned that the disciples noted the time as being important. It doesn't say anything about it being the Sabbath, or some other reason that the time would be important. It was important to the disciples because that was the moment they found Christ. 
Now, I know to my protestant friends and family this is kind of a 'well duh' moment. As protestants we almost all know the moment we 'accepted Jesus into our hearts'. Cradle Catholics don't have that experience in the same way. Born into the family of faith in baptism as infants, it's easy to forget the milestones and moments when one encounters Christ for the first time. But, where protestants have one central prominent 'meeting' with Christ, Catholics are blessed with many such times.

First communion, first reconciliation, and confirmation are all milestone encounters with Christ. Catholics tend to honor and remember those times differently than protestants, with celebrations and family gatherings (and hopefully with good, solid catechesis).

We also encounter Christ in a very real way every time we go to Mass. Not just in the 'where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am too' way, and not just in his Word (although both of these are very important ways we meet Christ), but in his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist.

Each of these personal encounters with Christ is worthy of remembering. His Word, His Real Presence, His Church, all these are designed to set our hearts on fire for Him and to bring us closer to Him.

Remember them all with as much intensity as the first disciples did, as we did when we accepted Christ, and when we took our first communions.

January's Progressive Scrap

I really love doing the Progressive Scrap over at TheStudio. January's PS used the Winter Wonderland Mega Kit and was just so much fun.
Here's my final page-

I hated having to reuse a photo I'd already scrapped, but I couldn't find any winter ones I wanted to use. I need to get busy scanning again and get the 80's and 90's on my computer! :)

I made a QP for the challenge as well, it's available here- Kyrie's QPs

I have several other pages I've worked on the last few days, I'll get them up as soon as I can. I've been working on older (okay, 90's isn't THAT old) pics for a change of pace since we haven't really done anything photo worthy this month! :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blast from the Past! 1988

Here's Brian and I getting ready to fly to Arizona for the first time. Saying goodbye to my folks was rough, I didn't know when I would see them again, and other than college I'd never lived more than 30 minutes away from them.

It was a sad farewell and the start of the grand AZ adventure!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday night posting- Epiphany

Well, I had really intended on posting about mass last week MUCH earlier in the week! It's been a crazy time at work with the beginning of the semester, and I've not have much time to breathe, let alone sit and think and put pixels to screen.

I did however take a picture at mass last week of what I wanted to write about so I wouldn't forget! It was the opening thoughts in the missalette from Living Liturgy. It read-

The Magi come from the East sincerely searching for "the newborn king of the Jews" following the signs given them by God. Like the magi, we too must diligently search for Christ, following God's signs. Even when we seem to lose sight of the star and the way forward is longer clear, even when evil forces seek to thwart our search, we can trust that God never leaves us in darkness but always leads us to the Light.

It 's so easy to forget, in the darkness, that even when I cannot see the way God IS still guiding me towards the light. All I have to do is to keep moving. I still may bump into a wall or two, or trip over things unseen, but I am only truly lost when I give up and quit trying. I know that eventually, like a man lost underground in enormous caverns who finds his way out by touch alone inching his way along, if I remain faithful God will lead me into the light. I will be bumped and bruised and look a fright, but He WILL bring me Home.


Aaryk's sister Julie came over with her two little ones today and Cody was just too cute. He asked Aaryk why he was wearing a blue hat. Without missing a beat Aaryk told him it was a pirate hat. That made Cody laugh so I asked him if he wanted a pirate hat of his own. I found another bandana and he and Aaryk spent a good deal of the afternoon 'arrr'ing at each other!
Kit: No Pirates Allowed BTB, parts used from- Hornbuckle Designs, Designs by Tracy, AW Design, eqrAveziur, Designs by Angel, A-liya's Designs, Brandi WHite Designs, Bon Scrapatit, Alejas Designs, Color with Caryn, Armina Designs, and Scraps by Mara
Font: Blackadder

I created the page for the Word of the Week challenge over at Stuff to Scrap. The word this week was Humor!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Creative Market

I don't' know a whole lot about this yet, but this could be a very cool resource. Sort of an Etsy site for digital stuff!

You can sign up now, and when it goes live you get $5 in credit...I'll be curious to see what that will buy! :)

Anyway, here's a link (cuz you get MORE credits if you refer people!)- Creative Market

And they told two friends...and so on, and so on....

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Purpose Driven Puppy

Kit: Rainbow Bridge Charity Collab from Stuff to Scrap
Font: Blue Highway Linocut
I plan on making 2012 the year I learn to take good pictures of the dogs. I really like this one of Angel, and used it in the Word of the Week challenge at Stuff to Scrap.

First New Page of 2012!

Kit: January Use it or Lose it- Scraps by Andrea
Font: Amazone BT 
I created this page for the Use it or Lose it challenge on Stuff to Scrap. I took this photo-
used the smart brush and added a duotone sepia layer. I then changed the opacity to 50% and duplicated the layer. Using the Alt key to subtract from the selection, I 'unselected' the flag and dad's bandana. It gives a faded look with just a couple little pops of color.

I then changed the overlay layer from this-
to the blue tone it is above by changing it's blending to Exclusion. That was a happy accident. I didn't like the 'dried blood' look that it gave my LO, so I was fiddling with Overlay and Soft Light. I still had it selected and scrolled my mouse. I hit upon the Exclusion blend mode and loved that it matched dad's shirt!

Mary, Mother of God

One of my resolutions this year is to dig deeper into my faith. Since I have named my blog, "The Catholic Scrapper", I think I should live up to both aspects of that title!

So, hopefully weekly...definitely periodically, I will be posting my thoughts on the readings from Mass, the Bible Study I currently doing, and other such stuff as crosses my mind.

Last Sunday we celebrated the feast of Mary, Mother of God.

I remember when Mom was visiting us in Maryland and we all went to the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington DC. There was an exhibit at the time of art on the theme of Mary, Mother of God. I was concerned that Mom would have some of the 'typical protestant' objections to that title, but I was wrong. She understood that Mary's title of Mother of God was a reflection of who Jesus is, not putting Mary up as part of the Trinity.

This year, during the readings I was reminded of another way we can see Mary as our mother as well.

The second reading, from Galatians 4:4-7

When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law,
to ransom those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, "Abba, Father!"
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.

This passage talks about us, being adopted as sons of God, and the proof of that is the Holy Spirit in our hearts. But the passage starts with talking about God sending His Son, born of a woman.

It ties together so nicely the themes of adoption, heirs, and our Mother. Heirs to the Kingdom of God, and children of Mary as well.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Closing out 2011

Boxing Day we had friends over for games and had a great time-

Then we took the kids home, because on Tuesday Kristin came in for a visit! She spent the rest of the week with us, in and amongst visiting friends and family in the area.

New Year's Eve we fondued, Alicia came over and joined us for a while, and we played Zombie Fluxx and watched movies-

It was a great way to ring in the new year, and now we're off and running in 2012~

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas part two!

The kids came over for Christmas Eve and we had a delightful time.

Christmas morning we all went to Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas and then they went off to Schreiber's for the day.

We relaxed and had a quiet rest of the day until the kids came back, and then we had friends over to help us celebrate Boxing Day!


Well, I'm very nearly done with ALL the pics from 2011! I have a handful more to go for Boxing Day and New Year's Eve, but that's all (yippee!).

Here's how our Christmas went-

It began in West Chicago during my Thanksgiving trip with the Water's Edge Bible Church Annual Christmas Tea:

I got to spend some time with one of my best friends, Ellen while I was there too:

After I got home, there were a number of challenges of at TheStudio that I participated in, including:

This was my Quick Page from the 12 Days of Christmas progressive scrap. If you like it, you can download it here-
and this one, that took some explaining, so I'll just link to the post-
I have so much fun with the various challenges, and I look forward to doing more of them in 2012!
(next post, the ACTUAL Christmas pages!)