Monthly Archives: July 2010

Beautiful World

It’s a beautiful world

Why don’t we honor it

The sun is shining

Sit and feel its warmth

The wind blows by

Feel the Spirit within

Stars shine twinkling bright

See the faith deep within

Clouds shift in the sky

Move them imaginative

Rain falls form the sky

Let is cleanse the soul

Trees stand strong

Root yourself like them

Animals fill the silence

Take in the simplicity

Live your life to the fullest

Down to earth inspiration

Don’t hide what was here

A God inspired beautiful world

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Posted by on July 29, 2010 in Creative Corner


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Friends are Angels sent from God

True friends in life never come and go.  They may argue, they may fight, but they are there.  I would never trade those true friends of mine for anything!   In the past couple of days I got to hang out with a couple of cool people.  Seeing my friends and relaxing was the best thing for me, esspecially when home.

Sunday night, I was laying in bed just finishing up on my computer when at 11pm my phone rang.  Shocked that someone called me, let alone at 11pm, I answer it.  It was Fr. Tom!  I was definitely excited to hear from him and get an opportunity to see him.  Monday morning, I got to his sister’s place around nine.  We had mass in the living room and then just sat around the table talking and eating some breakfast.  It was so good.  It also made me think a lot.  The faith in the family, just by sight, was amazing.  There were six kids in the family and all were wonderful.  I was kind of in awe of them.  Of course, I did only see them for a morning!  Regardless, it was good to go there and see Fr. Tom with his family.  I loved my morning.

Last night, Tuesday night, I got to see Nicole for the first time in a year!  Let me tell you, I was really excited to go over to her house and hang out!  We watching “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” because she had not seen it and ballroom dancing is amazing, so this is a good dancing movie.  While doing that we played Sequence.  I mean come on, who can not love that game, it is great!  After, we just hung out and talked.  It was so good to just catch up with each other and hear how life is going.  Nicole asked me a lot of about next year going into formation.  I was glad she asked about it because I really wanted to share.  Of course I was smiling while talking about it!  While we continued to talk about it, we made dinner.  I should say, Nicole did dinner but keep it on the record, I offered to help!  It was a good dinner; we had teriyaki chicken and rice in tortillas.  We of course, wanted to bake something, so we then looked through some cookie recipes.  The idea popped in my head to make Nutella cookies.  After finding a good recipe, we headed to the store to pick up some Nutella.  With some added m&ms, the cookies were great!  With the cookies done and the time getting late, we popped in one more movie, a funny one to end the night, “RV.”  Before we ended the night we resolved to meet up one more time before we both head out.  It was simply amazing to hang out!

Friends, true friends, are the most amazing!  Never let them go.  The past two days were wonderful and I want them again!  Peace everyone.  Remember, smile always because it is contagious!

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Posted by on July 28, 2010 in Inner Reflection


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Where Did It Go?

Where have the words gone

The beauty that flows to paper

Lost in the unsettled mess

That here surrounds me now

Passion sits still deep within

Suffocated by the world here

Seeking its way out to blossom

Potential from God given me

When did we give permission

Letting the world take from us

The soul that makes who I am

I long for freedom to be me

If only my words weren’t gone

The beauty in me shared

Unsettled mess thus be clean

And the Spirit of God surround

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Posted by on July 25, 2010 in Creative Corner, Inner Reflection


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Longing for Rich Soil

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.  Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.  And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Matthew 13:1-13

This was the bible passage my table had on my TEC (HV 55) retreat for parable skits.  It has always stood to me for different reasons at different points in life.  The explanation that Jesus gives explains that that each seed dropped on the ground correlates to how someone lives in there faith and excitement they have.

For me at times, each time the seed stands as representative of me and my faith.  The different ground types are the situations that I find myself in.  When at the retreat center, I found myself in rich soil more often that I have ever been in rich soil in ages.  Now, where I am at now, rich soil is not as common.  It is hard to find the rich soil when you are so far away from that which makes one feel most enriched.  How do you find that place of enrichment?

While the seed of my faith have been planted in rich soil, I have always felt that there is better field of soil for me out there.  That the flowers grow bigger and more beautiful then they are.  This is not to say that I should enter formation, but rather through being in formation and God-willingly continuing in that life, I should attain the greater and more beautiful in a the rich soil of Christ’s love.

With this being said, I request prayers as I transition from my time at the retreat center to starting the first day of the rest of my life when I fly out to the Salesians.  Thank you!  Peace!

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Posted by on July 23, 2010 in Inner Reflection


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NJ to MN: The Final Day

Getting up this morning was the usual getting up of course.  The sad thing was when we went to eat the complimentary breakfast, there was no waffle maker.  The show must go on!  Anyways, we headed out for our first destination, Hannibal, MO.

In Hannibal was the birthplace of Samuel Clements (aka Mark Twain) and some places from his childhood that inspired his writings.  It was interesting to see.  We did not do any guided tours, but just looked around the place.  Here are some pictures from the town.

On our drive, we ended up going along the Mississippi and had to stop and take a couple awesome photos.  The first time we stopped to try and take photos, there was an infestation of these flying bug things.  We then moved on and stopped at the next chance provided to us.

Our final stop of visiting somewhere was in Nauvoo, IL.  Here we stopped at the Joseph Smith Historic site.  Here is a bit from the brochure.

In 1839, early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — called “Mormons” — established this place of peace and beauty on a great bend in the Mississippi.  And then they were forced to leave.

Today Nauvoo is one of America’s premier historic communities.  It has been designated a National Historic Landmark District.  Many of the early homes, shops and public buildings have been restored or rebuilt and are open for guided tours.

Leaving there, we headed out for about a 6-7 hour drive to get from there to home in Richfield.  We stopped for gas and such as one would have to do.  Needing a pee break, we stopped at a rest stop place just before leaving Iowa into Minnesota.  Here is what it looked like.

The journey was long but good.  We saw a lot of things and did some cool things.  This ends my travel log for this journey, but of course the posting will go on as things happen in life.  🙂  Stayed tuned for videos, poems, random posts and more!  Thanks for following.  Peace!

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Posted by on July 17, 2010 in Photos, Travels


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NJ to MN: Day 6

Today our destination took us to our first stop in St. Louis, MO.  Our time getting up this morning was in the Eastern Time Zone, but within 20 minutes of leaving, we had switched into Central Time Zone therefore we gained another hour.  Morning went as it has been, which is good for being tired when waking up!

We first stopped at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.  It was an amazing piece of art, made of all mosaics.  It is one of the largest collections of mosaics in the world, created by 20 different artists and covering 83,000 square feet. Here are some of the pictures from inside!

Now of course, we have to have pictures of the outside as well.  🙂

Leaving the Cathedral Basilica, we headed towards the Gateway Arch.  The line to going there was a wait, but in the end it was well worth it.  There are little words to describe the experience, so pictures will be my main communication today as you may have noticed.

That was really cool to do, that is for sure!  Would I do it again?  Sure.  🙂  When we were done with that, we hit the road again and drove until we landed where we are now.  We are staying in a Holiday Inn Express in Hannibal, MO for the night.  Tomorrow our adventure takes us to learn about Mark Twain.  It shall be fun!

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Posted by on July 16, 2010 in Photos, Travels


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NJ to MN: Day 5

Wow…this day again consisted of a lot of driving.  We made one combination of stops today.  The morning ran as usual, heading out on the road not long until we hit our stop around Dresden, Ohio.  We first went to the welcome center and walked around town some.

We then went on to the Longaberger Homestead.  Mom was definately sure that we had to go to this, and I decided to go with it as well.  When we first walked into the Homestead, we of course had ot take a picture in a baskt, then one down either side.

Of course, you have to get a close up of the basket of apples because it looks pretty sweet

We headed to a small building to make a flower from teh wood used in making the baskets.  It was pretty cool and I am quite a fan of my flower.  Here we are making our flowers and with them when we were done.

When were done making the flowers, we headed over the factory and warehouse.  There we took a tour of the plant, even seeing things we were not supposed to see like baskets coming out at Christmas (it was a cool looking one!) and the sliver of a peek to a room where they design baskets (though you could not see in).  The tour was neat and it was only five dollars a person.  After the tour we wandered the shopping area in the factory before we did the awesome thing of the day.  We made our own baskets!  🙂  Of course, we had a little help and such.  Here are some pictures of us making them and with them afterwards.

I was back and forth on making a basket because I was not sure what I could use it for.  The start of the day was me looking at small ones to use, but I waited to see what was to come.  I ended up convincing mom that see should do it, which in turn meant convincing myself to do one.  It was well worth it and I like my basket.  When we left there, we headed out.  On our way out and back on the road again, we stopped at the headquarters for the Longaberger Baskets.

From then, we drove straight until we hit the hotel.  On the drive it was raining a good amount.  The funny part was that to the left of us was a lot of rain.  To the right of us you saw this.

So, right before we got the where we planned to stop, a little light came on my dashboard.  You want to know what they light was? It was the gas empty light!  Ha, well…my car made it a few miles until we hit the next exit and we went straight to the closest gas station.  After filling up and scolding ourselves for not realizing the gas meter, we headed out for about twenty minutes to our distination.  Tonight we have landed ourselves at a Best Western in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Today is Thurday, or at least for about 40 more minutes.  Tomorrow after a very short time, maybe even ten minutes, we switch back into central time zone, which will be weird for me.  The plan is to arrive home late on Saturday.  I do have a meeting to go to, which means I should start working on the talk/meditation…yay!  More tomorrow!

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Posted by on July 15, 2010 in Photos, Travels


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NJ to MN: Day 4

Since Mom fell asleep before I did, the alarm was just set to go off at 7:40.  As with yesterday morning, mom was up and showered then so was I.  We ate breakfast, finished washing up, and then packed to head out on the road.  Most of the drive today consisted of going through the Allegheny Mountains.  What a drive that was!  I am so glad that I was driving and not riding because I may have not made it.  We did not do a whole lot of things, but more driving than anything.  We did do another driving tour, this time of covered bridges along with a gravity defying experience, and some great views to stop at.  Here are some pictures.

The drive at the beginning of the day.

Claycomb Covered Bridge

Snook’s Covered Bridge

Dr. Kniseley Covered Bridge

Ryot Covered Bridge

Cuppett Covered Bridge

Colvin Covered Bridge

Turner’s Covered Bridge

Herline Covered Bridge

Some other pictures from the day.

Pretty much, other than those things, the day was driving.  Oh yes, how could I forget!?  We defied gravity.  Here is the jist.  We went to the location, put the car in neutral, and we went backwards up the hill.  Here is a video.

Tell me that is strange and weird or what?  It was pretty sweet.  So, moving on…we drove for a distance until we landed where we are at now…Cambridge, Ohio.

Tonight we ate at a place called The Forum.  It was pretty good.  We had this onion thing and bacon pizza.  It was definitely good.  When we got back we spent about twenty minutes in the pool relaxing and such.  That was nice little swim.  Now, once again, we are sitting in the hotel room with me posting this, then some pictures on facebook, and watching TV.  Stay tuned for more!


Posted by on July 14, 2010 in Photos, Travels, Videos


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NJ to MN: Day 3

What a day!  It consisted of driving, walking, eating and…well, that is what it was!  The alarm went off at 7:30 this morning.  Mom got up after a couple hits on the snooze and sometime after she got out of the shower, I was up to join her for breakfast.  There were biscuits!  Anyways, once we were all washed up, packed and ready to go, we headed out West on 30 to continue the journey.  It was a generally cloudy day, though there was some sun here and there.  The theme of the day, by the way, is free free free!

Our goal was to get into York, PA and do some of the things that the city had to offer there for attractions and tours.  The first stop was at Wolfgang Chocolate Factory.  I am going to by saying that over this trip so far, we really do not come across anything that easily when on the hunt.  That being said, once we found the place, it was a good tour.

The tour was amazing, we got to go in the factory, basically standing next to the people working there.  It was pretty cool.  Not many factories actually do that anymore when you tour.  You had to take off all jewelery and cover all hair.   That being the hair on your head, face, and arms.  Tee-shirts and shoes required.  Wear gloves if you have a ring on or nail polish.  They really want to make sure you don’t drop anything in the chocolate and candies and cookies.  It was simple and amazing.  When we were done, there was a warehouse sale with discounted goods as well as a mini sampling!  Yay sale sweets!  Ten dollars for a decent amount of sweets, who can say that is bad at all!?  When we were done purchasing, we took a picture of the old tins that things were served in.

After the Wolfgang Chocolate tour and purchasing, we went off to go find the Snyder Factory.  We did a tour that took us above the plant were we could look through windows in order to see the things that were going on.  It was neat to see where things go and how things are done.  Did you know?  The small chips get put in the small bags and the big chips get put in the big bags!  When we were done, we each got two mini sample bags of pretzels.  They are yum.  It was a good tour as well.

Leaving the York area, we went towards Gettysburg yet unsure of whether we would stop or not. The first thing that we did was find a place to eat so we could figure out what to do.  We ate at another diner, Lincoln’s Diner.  It was another good place to eat, I approve.

We ended up stopping and taking the auto tour on our own.  It took somewhere around 2-3 hours to do.  Here I have some of the stops that we took, those that I have pictures for.  First up are some pictures at the Eternal Light Peace Memorials.

This following picture is from the North Carolina Memorial.  I like how this was constructed.

The next stop was at the Virgina Memorial.  The picture is a little dark, according to mom.

We took a few pictures off a look-out tower, but here I will just post the one of mom and me.

This was just cool, so here is a picture.

Here is the Minnesota Monument that we saw by the Pennsylvania Memorial.

And then of course…the Pennsylvania Memorial.

The next photos are from the cemetery.  First is where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.  The next is a memorial for the address.

Along with these places, we saw much more and took many many more photos.  These are the cool ones that I thought you would like to say.  There are a couple observation tours we went up and many memorials we stopped at.  It was a good tour, though I do not remember a lot of what I read or saw.

After done with all that, we drove about 30 minutes further West on 30 to come to our hotel.  It had started to rain and we had to find a hotel to go see if they had space for us.  We have ended up at a Day’s Inn that we pasted and then after finding nothing else, turned around to come back to.  Driving through the town was not my favorite thing, that is for sure.  Since we ate late, around 3 or just before that, we were not hungry, even when we pulled into the hotel into the 8pm hour.  So, this is what our options were for dinner tonight due to our lack of hungry.

Anyways, we now are watching some TV and handing out.  Who knows when we fall asleep and who knows what the next day will bring.  Peace!

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Posted by on July 13, 2010 in Photos, Travels


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NJ to MN: Day 2

Snaps for getting to sleep past eight!  We got up this morning around 8:20 to go down for the complimentary breakfast which of course was pretty good with the waffle maker.  No shower or anything before, just go and eat then wash up.  Really, who needs to look good in order to eat at the hotel breakfast buffet!?  Anyways, the waffles were good and the shower was refreshing.

The first thing we did was head from the hotel (in Lancaster more or less) to this town called Intercourse.  We stopped in this little village of shops within the town named Kitchen Kettle Village.  There are 42 shops, restaurants & lodging there.  It was pretty cool to walk around and we left with a couple things.  Our first purchase was that of some canned goods like jams, curds, peanut butter, and sauce for barbecuing.  They are yummy that is for sure!  Being that the bag was kind of heavy, we had to bring it back to the car so we could keep looking around!

We went to a bunch more random shops and a gallery.  The art was pretty cool.  There was a woodwork store that had furniture and other little nic-nacs that would be awesome to have if I had money, need for them, and a place to put them.  Mom wanted to look in the yarn store, which turned out not to be what she had expected.  One of the places we stopped by that was pretty cool was a quilt store.  I loved all the quilts there!  Of course, they a a ton of money considering they are all hand done, taking so much time to complete.  They were simply amazing.  We also went to a second shop that had quilts, but it also has a lot more than that too.  Mom found this ornament that she really liked and ended up getting while there.

When we were done at the shops there, we went off to go find Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy rides.  The ride we took was horse drawn wagon on a Farm Tour.  It was interesting to see an Amish Farm and learn some things about the people.  Our guide grew up Brethren but never was baptized in the church when it came time for that choice to be made.  The Mennonites broke off from the Brethren and the Amish broke off from the Mennonites.  Amish don’t use any electricity, but rather propane and other such fuels.  When we stopped at the farm, a boy and girl were selling their home-made cookies, lemonade, root-beer and other items on a small table.  After anyone who wanted to had made their purchases from the kids, we headed back to where we started.

Leaving there, Mom and I were both hungry.  We found another diner, DJ’s Diner.  It was a 50’s place and it had very good food.  The mozzarella sticks were definitely a hit to me.  Yum yum.  Diner’s are certainly fun to go to, especially because they are local.

After our late lunch, we headed off to our next location.  We watch a video about and took a tour of Ehprata Cloister in Lancaster.   It was a very interesting thing to learn about.  This guy from Germany spent time in half a dozen different religious groups.  In the end he headed up his own group of celibate people, as well as some householders.  To put in all the information would be a lot, but I will share with you some pictures.

All in all, that tour and the time to wander ourselves was cool.  There was some interesting information that was share.  I am glad that I have a brochure so I can remember what I learned and saw there.

When were done, we headed back to the hotel.  It was around 5pm when we got back.  Since we had ate a later lunch, neither of us was really hungry for anything.   Mom looked up somethings on the map and in her AAA books.  I laid down for a little because I was tired.  It was not until 7:30 that we headed out to eat.  Tonight we went chain restaurant and ate at Applebees.  Of course, we broke down and got the Triple Chocolate Meltdown after our meals.  It was really good, as always.

If you want to see more pictures and you happen to be friends with me on Facebook, I am adding them as we go and there are more than that which I show here.  Since mom has the better camera and such, they come from her.  Stay posted, we have yet to know where we will end the day tomorrow (aka Tuesday)!

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Posted by on July 12, 2010 in Photos, Travels


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