"Raising Souls"

"Raising Souls"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

7 1/2 Month Baby Bump

I'm not sure posting a pic every two weeks does much. However, since I started so late, if I did one every month... I'd have two pictures!

I finally broke down and bought my first pair of maternity jeans (not shown) last week. They leave a LOT to be desired and are not quite my usual style or taste but constantly trying to keep pants on my waste and chasing Augustine was leaving me feeling more like a punk kid who can't keep his pants on his hips. So maternity jeans it is.

I will actually be posting 8 month pictures on SATURDAY (in like 3 days!). WOW! While I am still feeling great I am SO excited to meet this little darling girl who has been so gentle to her mommy this pregnancy. I'm hoping she will be as easy as she has been in the womb... but I don't have too much longer to find out! Hurray!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hangin' and Eatin'

What day is it??

--FRIDAY??? Oh, yeah...

Since Jeremy and I have to work weekends often because of the Theatre biz we on rare occasions try to take it easy during the week instead to make up for much needed lost family time. This week was one of those weeks and it has been WONDERFUL!!

Augustine loves his Daddy and I love having family time. The more we don't have family time the more I treasure the time we do get together. The last couple days we've taken family walks to the post office (yes, Augustine walks instead of sits in the stroller) and the weather has been lovely. It has really been a great week. So that is why my days are all confused!

I keep my meal plans on the fridge but I enjoy organizing them on this blog too... it helps me think things through...

So here goes:

Thursday: Ham, Green Beans and Jeremy's AMAZING secret recipe Mashed Potatoes
Friday/Saturday: Sausage and Peppers Pasta Dish
Sunday: Cowboy Stew

Next week:

Monday: Mock Chow Mein
Tuesday: Taco Salad
Wednesday (Ash Wed.): Fish Sticks and Tator Tots

Then Augustine and I are heading to Wisconsin Land to spend some time with my family and see my new nephew, Adam Michael! Hurray! Augustine can't stop talking about the "chickies" and "Grandpa" he is going to see. Jeremy, is on his own with food... Hmmm... I suppose I should stock up on his staples. Rice packets and tator tots!

My experiment with spending no grocery money for a week went great and I hope to do it again! FYI- -For all those penny pinchers out there-- Rainbow Foods has ground turkey on sale for $1 per pound and its STOCK UP TIME for me! :-)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day

I LOVE Valentine's Day!

Growing up it was a family holiday and involved a beautifully decorated breakfast table filled with pink hearts, candy, and Valentines. My mom always made the most delicious cinnamon rolls or (my favorite) Monkey Bread. We sat around the table taking turns reading each others heartfelt valentine cards/notes... it left a warm wonderful love for the feast day.

Its really more of a family thing than a "lovie-dovie" thing for me. This year has been no different as Jeremy and I continue our own traditions and special memories. Jeremy does an amazing job of making the day special. This year he stayed up until 6am building me my new desk and doing all the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Inside my beautiful new black armour desk was a lovely card and candy as well as hearts and notes throughout the house. He knows how to make it special!

Augustine was so excited to see the new desk and treats. I thought he would jump out of his skin when I said he could have one of my Reese's Hearts for breakfast! I wanted to take a picture but Augustine was too excited there was no way...

I then prepared my valentine for Jeremy which has become an annual thing now... It's a big poster board card that has a message that uses candy bars. I made it for him last year and he said he would love it every year. (I write a new message each year.) Augustine helped with the coloring and even made a couple of his own little valentines for "Dadda."

Gosh I love these two cutie pies!

I made Monkey Bread

for breakfast and it was a fabulous day that even included a 2 hr nap. Call me lame but I really enjoy my naps! Then a neighbor family watched Augustine while Jeremy and I went out for a fabulous "splurge" dinner out at Bucca de Beppos. It was a terrific day and I sure do LOVE to celebrate what gives me so much joy in my life!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Edith Stein - A personal review/reflection

Edith Stein...

I have to say I did not know a lot about Edith Stein prior to us putting on this show at The Open Window Theatre. I had only read bits and pieces on her reflections of the dignity of women - and I was so inspired! She truly is a beautiful saint and woman to look up too! I love strong and intelligent woman that reveal true femininity, and she does just this!

One problem we are running into for this production written by Arthur Giron is that people attending the performance (specifically those who are Catholic or know her story) are expecting an actual biography of her life. While this performance DOES provide important biographical elements to her story it focuses rather on Edith's personal SPIRITUAL biography. There ARE some fictional characters in place to help portray what she had to deal with in her time.

The main fictional character, Carl Heinz, is a Nazi soldier who is supposed to be a culmination of evil represented in the Nazi party. Nazi's not only attacked Jews in WWII but many others as well, including Catholics and the Catholic Church. (We address some of these attacks in our drama on Pope John Paul II as well.) Convents were closed and turned into dance halls, nuns and priests were used in scientific experiments, tortured, and murdered. With that in mind the character of Carl Heinz is not historical specifically to Edith Stein but he was a very real threat to her, the nuns, and her people. As his character he is intrigued by Edith's intellectual strengths and is attracted to her purity/beauty in a twisted and evil way. As he also represents Edith's probable struggle to - Love her enemy- as we are called to as Christians, as well as her journey through the dark night of the soul. He is, in a way, a sort of demonic attack on Edith. As Nazism was very demonic in many ways itself.

Throughout the play, as I mentioned, she struggles to truly love (as Christ loves) all people including the Nazi soldiers, especially Carl Heinz, who is mentally torturing and tormenting her (and more literally her family, friends, and Jewish people). At the end before her final vows she goes to wash Carl Heinz's feet... the symbolism is so beautiful because of what Christ did at the last supper. This part of the play is not to be taken as a literal example of what Edith would have done or even been allowed to do by her superiors. Edith did not actually, leave her cloistered life for a period of time to literally wash the feet of her enemy. It is meant to be symbolic place she reaches towards loving her enemy. I felt the need to emphasize this because there has been some concern over this issue among Catholics.

The beauty of the arts and theatre is that many levels and depths of a story can be displayed in one artistic work at once. I encourage those who come to see the play to keep all this in mind. Although there is a very evil character that plays a lead role-- representing the large role Nazi's DID play in WWII... goodness, beauty, AND truth do prevail in this production of Edith Stein.

Edith is portrayed in an extremely beautiful way and the playwright really captures her spirit and sainthood. While the play is based on a Catholic Saint the story compels and touches people of all different backgrounds.

After opening night Jeremy and I were greeting a couple people who attended the show and one said, "I am a bona fide Christian and he (referring to her friend) is a bona fide Atheist and we both loved the show... it was very non-preachy and so well done." Later the Atheist friend said to Jeremy that the ending scene left him breathless, something he had not had happen to him at a performance in a long long time. We were blessed by these comments and we have received many other great comments and feedback from a Catholic Professor from St. Thomas as well as our other supporters and also brand new patrons to the theatre.

I really encourage you to come and see this production.  To admire and acknowledge a great Saint and to be inspired by her life, faith and virtue. The play, while being a drama, has several funny and light hearted characters that also help bring balance to the show.

Get your tickets TODAY online at Open Window Theatre and enjoy this tremendous production!

***Pictures to be posted soon!***

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Edith Stein Production - OPENS TONIGHT!

Edith Stein" by Arthur Giron

Directed by Joshua Campbell
***FREE Desserts and Wine on opening night*** 

Minneapolis Minn., February 9th, 2012"Edith Stein" is a stirring and passionate drama that has played to standing room only audiences throughout the United States. Set within the context of a controversial Catholic convent that was established outside the gates of Auschwitz in the 1980s, this play takes us back to Germany during the years following the First World War up until 1942. Based on the true story of Edith Stein who was martyred at Auschwitz, this is a gripping play about the power of faith, family, religious tolerance, mutual respect, and the remarkable triumph of the human spirit against all odds. Edith was a prominent female Jewish intellectual in Germany during the lead up to Hitler's reign of terror. A doctor of philosophy turned atheist and a Medal of Valor recipient during World War I, Edith Stein eventually converted to Catholic-Christianity and left her worldly pursuits behind in order to devote her life to prayer for the Jewish people and her nation in the midst of the Nazi horrors. In 1942 Edith was arrested and subsequently gassed to death at Auschwitz as a result of her Jewish ancestry and her unwillingness to compromise with evil or put others at risk. This play tells the story of her heroic struggle with and stand against the greatest of evils, depicted by a fictional Nazi official. (Two act play w/ intermission. Approx. runtime 110min. Produced by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.)

"Inspiring." - Northern California Jewish Bulletin "Magnificent theatre." - Valley News Dispatch Presented by the Open Window Theatre, a new 100 seat black box studio theatre in Minneapolis located just a few blocks north of the Basilica of St. Mary near the downtown Hennepin Theatre District. The Open Window Theatre is a non-union professional theatre featuring an intimate and memorable theatre-going experience. Find out more at: www.openwindowtheatre.org

DATES: February 9, 11 & 12; 16-19; 23-26
SHOW TIMES: 7:30pm Thursdays – Saturdays with an additional 2:00pm matinee on Saturday, Feb. 11th. All Sundays @ 2:00pm. (No performance on Feb. 10th). Post-show Q&A discussions are scheduled for opening night, Feb. 9th, as well as Saturday afternoon, Feb. 11th and Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19th.
LOCATION: Open Window Theatre, 1313 Chestnut Ave. #102, Minneapolis 55403 in the Metropolis Minneapolis Building. Free parking is available in the lots off of Linden Ave. W and 15th Street N
TICKETS: $12 - $22 with discounts for groups, advance tickets, students, seniors and children

Available at: www.openwindowtheatre.org or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at: 1-800-838-3006

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu w/o Money

Ok, so whenever we are about to open a show money gets really tight. Tis the eb and flow of production expenses prior to ticket sales. Anyway, so I have a challenge for myself. Money spending freeze means eating out of the freezer and pantry this week. Since I haven't gone shopping for pretty much a week already it might be a challenge, no it will be. I will get milk and eggs and basics...but I'm going to try and not buy anything else and use up things in the freezer and pantry. I already pulled out some pears I froze this summer and added Tastefully Simple's Mulling Spice and it is, oh so YUMMY!

I read this blog where this girl and her "guy" (in NY City no less) spends only $30 per week on groceries. They eat REALLY healthy and, to be honest, kind of in small amounts, but very gourmet and its kind of intriguing. This girl actually spends precious little groceries money on fresh limes and herbs. That would not feed my family - no way - but its fun to read and very frugal and not wasteful! Anyway...

I went through the pantry and freezer (notice I did not say fridge as there is not much to find there) to take a full account of what I can scrounge up and here is the menu for the week:

Monday: Pea Soup and Grilled Cheese/Meat Sandwiches
Tuesday: Egg, Rice, and Broccoli Ham Bake
Wednesday: Mock Chow Mien
Thursday: Chicken Fried Rice with Edammame
Friday: Out
Saturday: French Meat Pie
Sunday: Pancakes w/Homemade Rhubarb Sauce and Whipped Cream

I will probably not stick to certain meals on certain days as I flow with the whims of my cooking desires and appetite but here goes nothing to no shopping! Its actually a pretty decent and different menu considering... I have to thank Our Lady of Lourdes for the frozen French meat pie and my mom for the Pea Soup (although I rather dislike Pea Soup Jeremy says he likes it.)

Happy eating!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

7 Month Bump and Update

...and this is baby bump for month 7...

(Notice the cutie pie in the mirror, the little short one in the white onesie, he wanted in on the picture and pretty much stole the show. :-)

This picture was taken less then 10 minutes from him.... hurling, tossing his "cookies"... you get the point... We have spent the last couple days recovering and he seems to be back to his normal silly self plus a cough. His latest cute word/phrase is "more?" "more please?"... he says it in a very sweet gentle question style way... It's not that demanding - "More!" You usually get from kids. It's definitely a question. Subtext: "What do you think if I had a little more mom?" So darn cute!

Gianna is spending her time being VERY VERY active and keeping me awake many a night. She is quite the mover and shaker and is already practicing her dance moves. I look forward to teaching my little "couple" to Ballroom Dance as soon as I can - Oh, how cute! :-)

Besides the sleepless nights, I have been feeling REALLY good. Praise God!

My next post is going to be on our upcoming show Edith Stein-- THIS SHOW IS GOING TO BE AMAZING! I know I always kind of say that but, wow, we have some really rock solid actors in this show and the story is incredibly inspiring and moving.

Oh, yeah and in preparation for my Glucose test tomorrow (take 2 since I threw the 2 hr one up - ug) I am eating freshly made cookies. If I do have gestational diabetes I am going to be going through MAJOR sugar withdrawal. (I don't think I have GD but my doctor seems concerned because I have had a big baby.)