Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NaBloPoMo X2

WooHoo, I did it again! Two months in a row, writing a blog entry every day.

NaBloPoMo is short for National Blog Posting Month. I don't know when it started. But for me, it started February 1st of '09. And thus far, I've written a blog entry every day since then.

I've had a very busy, very productive day. And I'd love to tell you all about it. But it's nearly midnight and I'm tired...and I need to get this (very minimal) entry posted before midnight. So, I'll tell you all about today TOMORROW! I promise!

Hope all is well for you and yours!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Starfish Hugs

When Jeff was 5 or 6, I was dating a man named Thom. Thom had several aquariums in his apartment and Jeff was completely fascinated by them, especially the saltwater tanks. He would stand and watch them swim around for what seemed like hours. Thom and I would watch a movie or a football game, but Jeff was more interested in 'talking' to the fish.

One night, after a long shift of watching Thom's two starfish slowly climb up the side of the aquarium just to release their grip and float to the bottom in a heap, Jeff comes up to Thom and says, "Hold your hand like this."

Once Thom did that, Jeff did the same thing, bringing their hands together until the palms were touching.

Then Jeff bent his fingers until he was holding Thom's hand; Thom did the same.

Then Jeff said, "I think this is how starfish would hug." We've been giving starfish hugs ever since.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Two Under Two. Whew!: The Support-Our-Troops Giveaway!

Two Under Two. Whew!: The Support-Our-Troops Giveaway!

This beautiful blogger supports our troops and is asking us to do the same just by commenting on her blog about why you support our troops. This is the comment I posted on her blog:

YOU are an angel!

I support our troops because I used to be in the Air Force. I never served in a war zone, but I knew plenty of people who did. Each of my mom's five brothers, plus her father, served in the military, during WWII, in Korea, and in Vietnam. My dad's two brothers were also in the military. My brother served. My sister and her husband served. And my brother-in-law served. My cousin just returned from a tour in Iraq just before Thanksgiving.

Fortunately, my family is a HUGE supporter of the troops. So, we all received lots of love and encouragement from home during our tours of duty. But I know that there are many... hundreds, probably thousands... who don't have that luxury.

God bless you for reaching out to them!

I'm a pseudo-knitter!

At one of our recent Relay for Life meetings, one of the ladies mentioned a fund-raising event that I wanted to help out with. She said that there is a basketball game at our local high school every year in January between the coaching staff and the players (either boys or girls, I can't remember which). Anyway, all proceeds go towards cancer research charities.

She suggested that we make pink and purple knitted hats to sell. We have nearly a year to be making these hats using the Knifty Knitter hoops. I think she got the idea from one of our elementary schools, where 80+ students and teaching assistants use their indoor recesses to
make hats for Hats of Love. The article is a couple of years old. But it's really kinda cool; you should check it out.

My point? I picked up my knitting hoops just a week ago, curious if I could actually do it. And I have already finished two hats! One is basic purple and has a brim so that it already looks like the end has been folded up. And the other is done is a variegated purple in a little heavier yarn. It doesn't have a brim, so it curls slightly at the ends. I think it needs a ball on top. Otherwise, I LOVE them. So, easy. And just TOO cute. I could make a couple dozen of them between now and January.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Humor for the Day

My very favorite clean joke...

Q. What did the zero say to the eight?

A. Nice belt!

I love that!

I like this one too...

There was an old man sitting on his porch watching the rain fall. Pretty soon the water was coming over the porch and into the house.

The old man was still sitting there when a rescue boat came and the people on board said, "You can't stay here you have to come with us."

The old man replied, "No, God will save me." So the boat left.

A little while later the water was up to the second floor, and another rescue boat came, and again told the old man he had to come with them. The old man again replied, "God will save me." So the boat left him again.

An hour later the water was up to the roof and a third rescue boat approached the old man, and tried to get him to come with them. Again the old man refused to leave stating that, "God will save him." So the boat left him again.

Soon after, the man drowns and goes to heaven, and when he sees God he asks him, "Why didn't you save me?"

God replied, "I tried. I sent three boats after you!"

This one made me laugh...

A mother is reading a book to her 3 year old daughter.

Mother: "What does the cow say?"

Child: "Moo!"

Mother: "Great! What does the cat say?"

Child: "Meow."

Mother: "Oh, you're so smart! What does the frog say?"

The wide-eyed little 3 year-old looks up at her mother and in her deepest voice replies, "Bud."

This one made me do the Betty Rubble giggle...

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine they lay down for the night, and went to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend awake. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars."

"What does that tell you?" Holmes questioned.

Watson pondered for a minute. "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. "Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent."

Friday, March 27, 2009

I love working for SAIC.

On Feb 3, 2009, SAIC turned 40 years old. Just a few weeks after that, we hit $10 billion in revenue. I have been an SAIC employee for exactly four years.

I work for the IT & Data Services Division (Crane)
of the Warfare Systems & Integrated Solutions Operation (Bloomfield)
of the Defense & Maritime Solutions Business Unit (McLean, VA)
of the Defense Solutions Group (McLean, VA)
of the Technology Services Company
of SAIC.

I had to look that up. I wouldn't have been able to just kick that off the top of my head. When people ask, I tell them that I'm a defense contractor, working for SAIC and supporting the Navy at Crane.

I love being an SAIC employee. I make good money. I have great benefits. And I really enjoy my job. In fact, my government branch manager mentioned to me earlier this week that there was a Financial Systems Analyst government position posted on Crane's website that was open to the public, if I wanted to apply for it. I asked her if it was in our department. (I just moved into her department three months ago. So, either she's looking to get rid of me or she's impressed with my work. I hope it's the latter.) She said that the position was NOT in our department. I politely explained to her that I'm perfectly happy being an SAIC contractor and would rather stay in a happy environment where I enjoy my work...than move simply to be a government employee.

And I meant it.

Today was my Friday off. I work an extra hour most days just to have every other Friday off. But even though I was off today, I headed to the Crane Tech Park to attend a town hall meeting where our group president was speaking. Her name is Deb Alderson. She and our business unit president flew in from McLean, VA last night. I was very impressed not only by what she had to say, but also in her manner of presenting it.

She reminded us that in our last fiscal year, we won every contract that we re-competed. EVERY ONE. In the last eight years, we've gone from just over 100 employees to over 1,000. In the last year, we've increased our numbers, both in number of people and in dollars earned. In fact, our operation raised the numbers for our business unit.
She told us that she was genuinely impressed that we were thriving in this current economy, but also proud. Who would have thought that our little Crane operation would have such a dramatic impact on SAIC managers at corporate. Pretty cool, huh?

Just as impressive, she personally greeted everyone that attended the reception before her presentation. She remembered the name of every person that asked her a question. And she spoke, in specifics... numbers, names of people and projects, etc... for nearly an hour without any notes.

I truly enjoyed her visit and her presentation. And I'm even more proud to be working for this company.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Favorite Pictures

I have a few pictures that I've received in various emails over time that I just love. They make me smile. So today, I'm sharing them with you... because I felt like smiling! I hope they make you smile too. Enjoy!
You are the strangest cat I have ever seen.

You are my bestest friend in the whole world!

I HATE babysitting!

Don't cry little ducky. You're not ugly.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy Name...

Dear Jesus, please take care of my friend Billy. He's the best dog-walker and stick-thrower I've ever known.

Who's the new guy? Looks kinda rough.

I said, stop talking. It's my turn to talk now. You, be quiet!

On your feet, airman! The feet are supposed to go down.

I don't know what it is, but I just have to touch it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Local Fire Hydrant

I'm fighting tiredness today. And let me tell you why. Now I hope you're sitting down because this is just too funny to me. Or maybe it's just really funny because I'm really tired and things tend to be really funny (or really frustrating) when I'm really tired. Really! So, bear with me.

I'm oh, so very tired because my son woke me up at 1:30 in the morning. He didn't just sneak in, tap me on the shoulder, and quietly say my name. Oh, no, my friends. He swings my door open and yells, "MOM!"

I sit upright with my eyes opened wide (though still seeing nothing), and reply, "What?!" in a loud whisper.

He says, and I quote, "I think the fire hydrant across the street just exploded." Yeah, you can read it again. But you read it right the first time.

At first, I thought it was just a dream and that I was simply imagining this strange conversation. But then he says, "MOM! Did you HEAR me?!"

And I reply, "Of course I heard you; give me a second to wake up." But what I was THINKING was, one... who cares? And two... what the heck do you want ME to do about it? But I said neither of these things out loud; Jeff was in panic mode, for heaven's sake. By not exhibiting an appropriate amount of fear and panic myself, I would have hurt the boy's feelings. Do you know what it looks like when an 18-year-old boy's feelings are hurt? It's not worth it.

So, I ask him what makes him think that the fire hydrant exploded. (I'm telling you, just typing that makes me laugh out loud!) He said that he heard a big boom and now the hydrant is just spewing water all over the place. I get up to look out the window and sure enough, torrents of water are being shot out of the fire hydrant. The spray is only going about 12 feet above the ground, but it was hitting ground about 20-25 feet away. Pretty impressive, really.

You know what else I saw? Another fire hydrant doing the exact same thing, only to someone else's lawn. And up the street, next to yet another fire hydrant, there's one of those white trucks with the yellow spinning light on the top. You know, one of those 'city workers'.

I calmly explained to Jeff that I was pretty sure that they were just flushing out the hydrants. And they probably chose to do it in the middle of the night to prevent hundreds of people from feeling the panic and fear that Jeff unfortunately had to suffer through. (If he'd just go to bed at a decent hour, he could have missed the whole thing just like I almost did!)

Under my breath, I thanked Jeff for keeping me apprised of the local fire hydrant maintenance plan and (unsuccessfully) tried going back to sleep.

Tonight, I'm locking my door!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Today on my way to work, I was listening to Thy Word Network. One of the news bites stated that the University of Notre Dame is awarding President Barack Obama an honorary Doctorate and has asked him to be their commencement speaker.


The last time I checked, Notre Dame was a Catholic institution. And I checked TODAY. Now, I admit that I don't know everything there is to know about Catholic Doctrine, but I've been a Catholic my whole life and there are a few things that I know for sure.

The Catholic church teaches that life is to be created and taken away by God alone, that life is precious and is to be protected.

On the opposite end of the that spectrum, President Obama is a staunch supporter of abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

I realize that's only one issue. But as far as the Church is concerned, it's a pretty big one...maybe the biggest one.

So for me, that begs the question, why on earth would a Catholic university reward President Obama with an honorary degree and ask him to speak to their newest graduating class? Surely there are other qualified candidates that also happen to be more in line with our most basic, fundamental teachings?

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Okay, I know that money is one of the biggest stresses in life. It wreaks havoc on marriages and businesses, communities and governments. But in the last few days, I've seen some strange headlines...due mostly to our economic times. Keep in mind, except for the last article, I haven't read these articles. I skimmed a couple, but I was just too 'thrown' by the titles to really delve into them.

More Women Going from Jobless to Topless
How sad is this? Unemployed members of the fairer sex are sacrificing their bodies, their self-respect, and their moral fiber for the almighty dollar.

With the Economy Down, Vasectomy Rates Are Up
Couples...I'm assuming it's not just the men...are deciding to take matters into their own hands with respect to the creation of life. I mean, they always had the power to make things happen or not. But in increasing numbers, they're doing what they can to guarantee that they're not blessed with another mouth to feed.

AIG Bonus Outrage Has Employees Living in Fear
Okay, now I'm as outraged as the next person that a company that received more than $100B in bail-out funds turns around had rewards those same managers that couldn't save their own butts more than $160M in bonuses. That's like someone who can't pay their electric bill using their tax return to buy a new car. But the fact that otherwise rational people would stalk these people and threaten them is a scary, scary scenario.

In New Dilemma, Banks Cite Two Paths to Disaster
Option one, don't take the bail-out funds and probably go belly up.

Option two, take the bail-out funds and get stuck with the government's rules for how to do business, which many feel limit them too much to allow them to succeed in the real world. Everyone is so quick to push separation of church and state. I think they need to preach about the separation of the banks and state. But that's just me.

Weekly Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected
Who on earth expected LESS jobless claims?! I don't even read these articles, but if I was a betting woman, I would have bet on this one.

Ada vs. Wall Street
And then I thought we were going to get a home-grown, old-fashioned tutorial in how to dig in when the going gets tough from a sweet, old lady. Instead, her story starts with how she filed for bankruptcy and was forgiven all of her debt. I'm not saying that bankruptcy is such a bad thing. I just didn't get the warm-fuzzy, inspirational message I expected from this one. But kudos to Ada, nonetheless, for making it on a shoestring post-bankruptcy.

I'm published!

Okay, don't get too excited. It's just a silly quiz on FaceBook. And there's NO talent criteria for being published. Anyone who can follow the instructions for creating a quiz can have it published. But still, it's kinda cool knowing that it could be seen by lots and lots of people.

So, this is what I wrote. Enjoy!

What does your guy see in you?

You're pretty sure you know what you like about him. But do you wonder what he likes about you? Is it your smile? Your sense of humor? Maybe it’s your ability to change a tire without getting a run in your hose.

What was the last thing your guy said to you?

  1. Can I borrow your algebra notes?
  2. Hey, nice sweater!
  3. I want you to meet my friend Bob.
  4. Can I borrow a couple of bucks?
Where was your last date?

  1. Art museum
  2. Dance club
  3. Coffee house
  4. Car dealership
What was the last gift you received from a guy?

  1. A book of poetry
  2. Intimate apparel
  3. A gag gift
  4. His and Hers matching jewelry
How often does your guy call you?

  1. 1-2 times a week
  2. Every night before bedtime
  3. Never, you always call him
  4. 1-2 times a day
What pet name does your guy call you?

  1. Genius
  2. Gorgeous
  3. Sport
  4. Moneybags
What color does your guy call his favorite?

  1. Purple
  2. Blue
  3. Yellow or Orange
  4. Green

The Results

If you answered mostly 1's:
Face it. He loves your mind. He buys you books. He lets you do his homework. You know all the perfect places to study for that next test. He only calls you when he can’t pronounce the words. If on the off chance he has a great mind, then you occasionally discuss current events. But otherwise, he’s taking advantage of your ability to get him through next semester.

If you answered mostly 2's:
Congratulations, he loves your body. He has no idea what your last name is but he knows every curve, every wiggle, and every jiggle. He doesn’t even care that your shoulders hold up your perfectly good head. He loves to watch you move and even imagines your body doing anything from running down the beach to sleeping during the Super Bowl.

If you answered mostly 3's:
Wow! He loves your personality. Perhaps, he thinks you are kind and generous. Maybe he loves it that you speak your mind. It could be that he enjoys your silly stories about your past. He doesn’t think you’re the brightest bulb on the tree. And he doesn’t expect you to ever be prettier than you are today. He just likes it that you can make him laugh.

If you answered mostly 4's:
Brace yourself, honey…He loves your money. You could have 11 fingers. You could be three feet tall and three feet around. He doesn’t see any of that. You could be brilliant, talented, or Miss America beautiful. None of that matters to this guy. He loves your paycheck, your trust fund, your stock portfolio. If you don’t believe me, ask him how he feels about pre-nuptial agreements.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

For Such a Time as This

Eph 2:10 "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago".

This (the title above) was the theme for the Walk to Emmaus weekend this weekend. There's also a song by the same name, by Wayne Watson. Their scripture is listed just under the picture. Speaking of... is that not the most beautiful picture you've ever seen? Who among us hasn't wanted to be at the foot of Jesus? It was done by Greg Olsen and is called 'Forgiven'.

I served dinner tonight. It was beautiful. It always is. I got to see my beautiful friend, Lacy. And I was surprised to see my friend Alicia. We've known for nearly a year that Lacy was going on the Walk, but I had no idea that I'd get to see Alicia. What a blessing that was! And there was another lady from my church there, Marjorie. She's 85 and is such a spark of life. Her daughters were there as well. So many friends went down to wish them all well. It was like half of our home town was there. It was a really good time.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What, no ticket?

So, do you remember this post about Jeff getting his first traffic ticket? Or this one about dealing with insurance? I thought I blogged about Jeff officially being told that he couldn’t drive my car as long as it’s insured by State Farm, but I can’t find it, so I’m guessing I didn’t. But know that in December, Jeff and I both had to go to the State Farm office and sign documents stating that we understood that nothing would be covered if Jeff had an accident in my car and I could very well lose my insurance with them.

Moving on…

Here we are five months later and we’ve still heard nothing from Daviess County concerning Jeff’s ticket. I’ve never paid a fine. We’ve never gone to court. We didn’t sign up for or pay for the diversion program. Nothing.

So, as I’m doing Jeff’s taxes and my taxes, Jeff’s FAFSA, and his housing paperwork for school, it crossed my mind that perhaps I should follow up on this ticket. So, I called the Daviess County courthouse. I talked to four different people, including the person responsible for juvenile records that are ‘locked up’. There is no record of this citation anywhere. After about 24 hours of searching, they suggested that I call the Sheriff’s Office and leave a message with the officer that ticketed Jeff. So, I’ve done that. I haven’t heard back from him, but I expect to.

So, here’s my deal… I wouldn’t be surprised if there no longer is a ticket (that it was thrown out or lost in the shuffle). That means that Jeff doesn’t actually have a reckless driving ticket on his record. IF that is true…and it’s a big IF, I agree…but IF that’s true, would State Farm still have a reason for NOT insuring Jeff? Just so I’ve included all information, there was a minor claim as an outcome of the original incident. No one was injured and my car went unscathed, but the Ford Bronco that ran into the old, weak fence got a new bumper out of it.

What Jeff really needs is to practice driving a car. He desperately needs more experience. But since he can’t drive my car, he hasn’t been getting it. He hasn’t driven at all since the second week in December. He’s now 18, will be leaving my home in a matter of months to go to college, wants to get himself a car, and has hardly driven in his lifetime.

Personally, I’d feel better if we could spend a couple of months with him behind the wheel of MY car with ME in the passenger seat. But right now, the only way to make that happen is for me to leave State Farm (after 18-19 years) and go with someone else who WILL insure my son. If this ticket doesn’t exist and State Farm refuses to reinstate Jeff on my policy, that may very well be what happens.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If the Suit Fits...

I've been meaning to mention this for two weeks now and keep forgetting. So, please excuse the old news.

During basketball Sectional week, the kids dress up each day according to a theme. Well, Tuesday (our game day), the kids were wearing suits. Most of them were wearing large jackets with the sleeves rolled up that they purchased from the local St. Vincent de Paul or pulled out of their father's closets. They didn't look like they were headed to a wedding or anything. But they were wearing pieces/parts of suits, nonetheless.

Jeff is 18 and is a senior. (I just felt the need to mention that in this post.) I don't know why it even crossed his mind to try it, but he decided that he'd try on the only men's suit in our house. It happened to be the one that we purchased new and had fitted for him...for his 8th grade graduation.

I couldn't believe it! It actually still FIT him!

He's grown a little in the last four years. The waist was a little tighter. In fact, that was the first time in a LONG time that I've seen Jeff's waistband at his waist instead of around his hips! That made the length a little short...but just a little really. And he had to be careful with his range of motion so as to not rip the sleeves off. But he wore it...ALL DAY...with the zipper zipped and the buttons buttoned.

Under the jacket, he wore his bright yellow FAN shirt. He topped off the ensemble with a black LHS baseball cap...worn with the bill to the rear...and a pair of black and white Sketchers.

Jeff looked pretty good...but unfortunately, L'tee lost that one. With any luck, Jeff's future 'spirit weeks' will be as an IUS Grenadier!

And hopefully, he eventually outgrows that suit!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

By any other name...

It's St. Patrick's Day! I don't know about you, but it seems to me like EVERYONE wants to be Irish.

I got the following from About.com.

Ireland was one of the first countries to adopt hereditary surnames, many of which were devised during the reign of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland, who fell defending Ireland from the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014AD. Many of these names began as patronyms to define a son from his father or grandson from his grandfather. Thus, the reason for the common prefixes found on Irish surnames. Mac, sometimes written Mc, is the Gaelic word for "son" and was attached to the father's name or trade. O is a word all by itself, signifying "grandson" when attached to a grandfather's name or trade. The apostrophe that usually follows the O actually comes from a misunderstanding by English-speaking clerks in Elizabethan time, who interpreted it as a form of the word "of." Another common Irish prefix, Fritz, derives from the French word fils, also meaning "son."

Does your family carry one of these 50 common Irish surnames.

YES! In Ireland, whose population is about 1.36% of that of the US, Doyle is in the list of 50 most common surnames. (In the US, it's the 419th most common last name, according to the US Census Bureau.)

The name comes from dubh ghall, the "dark foreigner," and is thought to be Norse in origin. In the province of Ulster they were known as Mac Dubghaill (MacDowell and MacDuggall). The greatest concentration of Doyles is in Leinster, Roscommon, Wexford and Wicklow.

And I didn't even make an effort to wear green today.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What's that Dinosaur Doin'?

When Jeff was almost two, we drove to southern Indiana to visit family. All of my brothers and sisters were in town for Christmas. One evening, we were all sitting in my parents' living room, just talking and catching up. My sister Jill was recording much of it on her new camcorder. And Jeff was sitting next to my brother Alan, looking at a book. At one point, he says, "What's that dinosaur doin'?"

Because everyone was talking and laughing, no one heard him...but it's on tape. Eventually, he repeats, "What's that dinosaur doin'?"

While panning the room with the camera, Jill notices that Jeff is trying to get someone's attention. So, she keeps recording him pointing at a picture in his book and asking, "What's that dinosaur doin'?" Every time he asks the question, he gets a little more insistent.

Eventually, Jill raises her voice to say, "Will someone answer him?"

My brother Alan, looks at Jeff and says, "What?"

So, Jeff says again, "What's that DINOSAUR doin'?"

To which Alan replies, "That's not a dinosaur!"

Maybe you had to be there, but it was so funny, we all laughed for like ten minutes.

Jeff was looking at a Disney book where Mickey Mouse is dressed like the Sorcerer and is making the brooms dance. Apparently, something about it reminded Jeff of a dinosaur. He was just sure it was a dinosaur, though he couldn't figure out what that silly dinosaur was doing.

I honestly can't remember if Jeff thought Mickey in the Sorcerer's hat looked like a dinosaur or if it was the dancing brooms that looked like the dinosaur. All I know is that Jeff asked the question several times in hopes of getting an answer and all he got was, "That's not a dinosaur!"

It was hilarious. We still talk about that and laugh.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stations of the Cross

If you've ever walked into a Catholic church, you know that there are numbered pictures or plaques on the wall, depicting the story of the the Passion. This is to aid a specific prayer that we do, called the Stations of the Cross.

(From Wikipedia)
Stations of the Cross is also referred to as the Way of the Cross, Via Crucis (in Latin), or sometimes the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows. It refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. The tradition as chapel devotion began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period. It may be done at any time, but is most commonly done during the Season of Lent, especially on Good Friday and on Friday evenings during Lent. The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death.

Paintings by Ken Cooke.

This particular wording for the Stations of the Cross is from Catholic Online.

(repeated before every station)
Leader: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
All: Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

1. Jesus is condemned to death.
Jesus, you stand all alone before Pilate. Nobody speaks up for you. Nobody helps defend you. You devoted your entire life to helping others, listening to the smallest ones, caring for those who were ignored by others. They don't seem to remember that as they prepare to put you to death.

As a child, sometimes I feel alone. Sometimes I feel that others don't stand up for me and defend me when I am afraid. Sometimes I don't feel like I am treated fairly, especially if I am scolded or corrected.

As an adult, sometimes I feel abandoned and afraid as well. Sometimes I too, feel like I am treated unfairly or blamed for things unfairly. I have a hard time when people criticize me at home or at work.

Help me be grateful for what you did for me. Help me to accept criticism and unfairness as you did, and not complain. Help me pray for those who have hurt me.

My Jesus, often have I signed the death warrant by my sins; save me by Thy death from that eternal death which I have so often deserved.

2. Jesus takes up His cross.
Jesus, as you accepted your cross, you knew you would carry it to your death on Calvary. You knew it wouldn't be easy, but you accepted it and carried it just the same.

As a child, sometimes I don't like the problems that come my way. Sometimes I try to get others to take care of them or solve them for me. Sometimes I become upset and crabby when I'm asked to do even the smallest thing to help others.

As an adult I sometimes feel like I'm not appreciated. Sometimes I feel as if I accept more responsibility that I need to. I can feel sorry for myself, even though the crosses others carry are much larger than my own. In my self-pity, I don't reach out to help.

My Jesus, Who by Thine own will didst take on Thee the most heavy cross I made for Thee by my sins, oh, make me feel their heavy weight, and weep for them ever while I live.

3. Jesus falls for the first time.
Jesus, the cross you have been carrying is very heavy. You are becoming weak and almost ready to faint, and you fall down. Nobody seems to want to help you. The soldiers are interested in getting home, so they yell at you and try to get you up and moving again.

As a child, sometimes I start to do something, but then get tired of it. I hurry to get finished and sometimes don't do my work well. Sometimes I don't pay attention to what I should be doing. When things get hard for me, sometimes I give up.

As an adult, I sometimes put things off. I give up too easily, and sometimes don't do my work as well as I know I can.

My Jesus, the heavy burden of my sins is on Thee, and bears Thee down beneath the cross. I loathe them, I detest them; I call on Thee to pardon them; may Thy grace aid me never more to commit them.

4. Jesus meets His mother Mary.
Jesus, you feel so alone with all those people yelling and screaming at you. You don't like the words they are saying about you, and you look for a friendly face in the crowd. You see your mother. She can't make the hurting stop, but it helps to see that she is on your side, that she is suffering with you. She does understand and care.

As a child, sometimes I feel like too many things are going on. Sometimes other kids pick on me and call me names. I need to look around me for a friendly face, and for the help I need. I need to share my troubles with those who truly care about me.

As an adult I sometimes feel overwhelmed by many things. Life is so competitive, and I worry so much about my future and those who have some control over it. I need to remember that being an adult does not mean having to solve every problem all by myself. I need to look around me for a friendly face, for the help I need.

Jesus most suffering, Mary Mother most sorrowful, if, by my sins, I caused you pain and anguish in the past, by God's assisting grace it shall be so no more; rather be you my love henceforth till death.

5. Simon of Cyrene helps to carry the cross.
Jesus, the soldiers are becoming impatient. This is taking longer than they wanted it to. They are afraid you won't make it to the hill where you will be crucified. As you grow weaker, they grab a man out of the crowd and make him help carry your cross. He was just watching what was happening, but all of a sudden he is helping you carry your cross.

As a child, sometimes I see people who need my help. Sometimes I pretend not to hear when my parents call me. I disappear when I know others could use my help.

As an adult, sometimes I try to do as little as I can and still get by. Others might need my help, but I ignore their needs. Even when I'm asked to help, I sometimes claim to be too busy.

My Jesus, blest, thrice blest was he who aided Thee to bear the cross. Blest too shall I be if I aid Thee to bear the cross, by patiently bowing my neck to the crosses Thou shalt send me during life. My Jesus, give me grace to do so.

6. Veronica wipes Jesus' face.
Jesus, suddenly a woman comes out of the crowd. Her name is Veronica. You can see how she cares for you as she takes a cloth and begins to wipe the blood and sweat from your face. She can't do much, but she offers what little help she can.

As a child, sometimes I know someone could use a little help and understanding. They may be picked on or teased by others, or just sad or lonely. Sometimes I feel bad that others don't step in to help, but I don't help either.

As an adult, I notice the needs around me. Sometimes my own family members crave my attention, and I don't even seem to notice. Sometimes a co-worker, friend, or family member could use help or understanding, but I don't reach out to help lest I be criticized, or that they demand more of me than I'd like to give.

My tender Jesus, Who didst deign to print Thy sacred face upon the cloth with which Veronica wiped the sweat from off Thy brow, print in my soul deep, I pray Thee, the lasting memory of Thy bitter pains.

7. Jesus falls the second time.
This is the second time you have fallen on the road. As the cross grows heavier and heavier it becomes more difficult to get up. But you continue to struggle and try until you're up and walking again. You don't give up.

As a child, sometimes things get me down. Others seem to find things easier to do or to learn. Each time I fail, I find it harder to keep trying.

As an adult, sometimes I think I should know more than I do. I become impatient with myself and find it hard to believe in myself when I fail. It is easy to despair over small things, and sometimes I do. Help me when things seem difficult for me. Even when it's hard, help me get up and keep trying as you did.

Help me do my best without comparing myself with others.

My Jesus, often have I sinned and often, by sin, beaten Thee to the ground beneath the cross. Help me to use the efficacious means of grace that I may never fall again.

8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
Jesus, as you carry your cross you see a group of women along the road. As you pass by you see they are sad. You stop to spend a moment with them, to offer them some encouragement. Although you are have been abandoned by your friends and are in pain, you stop and try to help them.

As a child, sometimes I think a lot about myself. I think about what I want and would like people to spend their lives pleasing me.

As an adult, sometimes I act like a child. I become so absorbed in myself and what I'd like that I forget about the needs of others. I take them for granted, and often ignore their needs.

Help me think more about others. Help me remembers that others have problems, too. Help me respond to them even when I'm busy or preoccupied with my own problems.

My Jesus, Who didst comfort the pious women of Jerusalem who wept to see Thee bruised and torn, comfort my soul with Thy tender pity, for in Thy pity lies my trust. May my heart ever answer Thine.

9. Jesus falls the third time.
Jesus, your journey has been long. You fall again, beneath your cross. You know your journey is coming to an end. You struggle and struggle. You get up and keep going.

As a child, sometimes I fail time and time again. I find it hard to get along with my sisters and brothers, sometimes I'm not honest, sometimes I'm lazy. I'm tempted to stop trying. It's just too hard sometimes.

As an adult, I often feel I should have conquered my weaknesses by now. I become discouraged when I'm confronted by the same problems over and over again. Sometimes I get weary. When I have health problems, I can become discouraged and depressed.

Help me think of the cross you carried. Help me continue to hope that I can make the changes in my life I need to. You didn't give up. I can have the strength to get up again as well.

My Jesus, by all the bitter woes Thou didst endure when for the third time the heavy cross bowed Thee to the earth, never, I beseech Thee, let me fall again into sin. Ah, my Jesus, rather let me die than ever offend Thee again.

10. Jesus is stripped of His garments.
The soldiers notice you have something of value. They remove your cloak and throw dice for it. Your wounds are torn open once again. Some of the people in the crowd make fun of you. They tease you and challenge you to perform a miracle for them to see. They're not aware that you'll perform the greatest miracle of all!

As a child, sometimes I'm tempted to repeat stories I know are unclean and disrespectful. I sometimes try to act grown up by using crude and bad words.

As an adult, sometimes I repeat stories that are disrespectful of others. I can entertain thoughts that are not clean. Sometimes I give the young people around me a bad example to follow.

Help me to keep myself pure and clean. Help me say things that build up the people around me. Help me overcome worldly desires that I may become more like Jesus. Help me set a good example for others to follow.

My Jesus, stripped of Thy garments and drenched with gall, strip me of love for things of earth, and make me loathe all that savors of the world and sin.

11. Jesus is nailed to the cross.
You are stretched out on the cross you have carried so far. The soldiers take big nails and drive them into your hands and feet. You feel abandoned by the people you loved so much. People seem to have gone mad. You have done nothing but good, yet they drive nails through your hands and feet.

As a child, sometimes I hurt others. Sometimes I join with friends and decide not to like another. We gang up against another and cause them hurt and pain. Sometimes I say or do hurtful things to my brothers and sisters. I can wonder what they'd think about themselves if they believed everything I told them about themselves.

As and adult, sometimes I discriminate against others. Even without thinking, I judge others because of their color, intelligence, income level or name. I forget that I am to live as a brother or sister to all people. Sometimes I use harsh words when I speak to my children and family members. I can find it easy to look for something that isn't very important and make it very important.

Help me look again at the people around me. Help me see the hurt and pain I have caused in others. Be with me to help me make amends for the harm I have done.

My Jesus, by Thine agony when the cruel nails pierced Thy tender hands and feet and fixed them to the cross, make me crucify my flesh by Christian penance.

12. Jesus dies on the cross.
As Jesus hung on the cross, he forgave the soldiers who had crucified him, and prayed for his mother and friends. Jesus wanted all of us to be able to live forever with God, so he gave all he had for us.

Jesus, let me take a few moments now to consider your love for me. Help me thank you for your willingness to go to your death for me. Help me express my love for you!

My Jesus, three hours didst Thou hang in agony, and then die for me; let me die before I sin, and if I live, live for Thy love and faithful service.

13. Jesus' body is removed from the cross.
Jesus, how brutally you were put to death. How gently your are taken from the cross. Your suffering and pain are ended, and you are put in the lap of your mother. The dirt and blood are wiped away. You are treated with love.

As a child, sometimes I treat others better when they're sad or in pain. When somebody dies, I become very gentle and kind. I notice the good and kind things people say about those who have died.

As an adult, I seem to be kinder when someone dies. If only I could learn to see the good things about them while they were alive. If only I would tell those around me how much I love them, while I still have the opportunity to do so.
Help me look for the good in those around me, especially those I love the most.

Help me live this day as if it were the last. Help me become a more gentle and loving person through my greater appreciation for those around me.

O Mary, Mother most sorrowful, the sword of grief pierced thy soul when thou didst see Jesus lying lifeless on thy bosom; obtain for me hatred of sin because sin slew thy Son and wounded thine own heart, and grace to live a Christian life and save my soul.

14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.
Jesus, your body is prepared for burial. Joseph gave you his own tomb. He laid your body there and rolled a large stone in front of it, then went home. What a sad day it has been for so many people.

As a child, sometimes I try to keep everything for myself. I find it hard to share my things with my brothers or sisters and with my friends.

As an adult, I can be selfish too. I can accumulate things and keep them for myself. I try to make sure I have what I want before I share what I have with anybody else.

Help me think of Joseph of Arimathea, who risked his own life as he accepted Jesus' body for burial. Help me think of how Joseph loved Jesus so much that he gave him his own tomb.

My Jesus, beside Thy body in the tomb I, too, would lie dead; but if I live, let it be for Thee, so as one day to enjoy with Thee in heaven the fruits of Thy passion and Thy bitter death.

Closing: Pray the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. Amen.