Category Archives: Being Italian

Photo Album From Our “Cousins Family Reunion” in NJ


We haven’t been back up to NJ in a number of years…

So a cousins reunion was planned…

Somehow, we’re the old folks in the family now…

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Flying to NJ!!

Spirit Airlines to Atlantic City!!

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Pretty hassle-free, I must say…

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Cousin Phyllis’ house in Lavallette!

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Out for dinner…

For some good NJ Italian Sicilian Pizza!!

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Sea Side Beach and Boardwalk…

Still under construction after Hurricane Sandy!!

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Great memories of the Jersey Shore!!!

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All new rides!

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They still have Casey’s favorite Boardwalk games!!

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Time to sit and chat on Phyllis’ front porch!!

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And to walk and take photos on the Lavallette Beach!

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Floridians, feel blessed…

New Jerseyans have to pay to get on their beaches!

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Walked to Ortley Beach…

The beach was packed…

High Season…

Weather: cloudy 72 to 82 degrees…


The beautiful weather in NJ spoiled me…

When I came back to FL…

I couldn’t breathe!!!

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Beautiful sand dunes!!

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Phyllis and I at Bayside Cafe for lunch!!


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Later, watched the sunset over Barnegat Bay!!

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On Friday, July 18th…

I conducted a grave site Memorial Service for  my Mom…

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I read beautiful letters from my brothers, Joe & John…

George & Phyllis spoke lovingly of Mom…

Casey prayed at the end…

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I read Mom’s favorite Bible passage…

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

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We can be glad and rejoice…

Because of the blessings of grace, peace, pardon…

Righteousness, and salvation…

That we have through Christ…

And the everlasting Gospel. 

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   Psalm 118:23 

“This is the LORD’S doing;

It is marvelous in our eyes.” 

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Delight!  Be Full!  Be Glad!  Have Joy!  Rejoice!

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Tina sang, “Worthy Is The Lamb”


Psalm 118:1

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;

His love endures forever.”

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Cousins Family Reunion…

Hilton Garden Inn in Lakewood, NJ…

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Cathy, Mary Kate, Connor, & Scott

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Ron, Judi, Deanna, & Nunzio

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Judi, Courtney, & Ellie

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Cathy, Mary Kate, Casey, Scott, Dave, Kyle, Tina, Me, & Celeste

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Casey, Tina, Mary Kate, Phyllis, & Connor

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Courtney, Dave, Scott, & Cathy

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Pt. Pleasant Boardwalk!

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Brings back sooo many memories!

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Wall to wall people on the beach!!

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Lively place!!

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Tina & Denine

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Rick, Alycia, & Kyle 

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Dave, Ellie, Courtney, Celeste, & Patty

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Jennifer, and twins:  Maggie and Cate

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Alice, Denine, George, John, Ron, Carol, Celeste, Phyllis, Casey, Rick, Deanna

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Maggie, Ellie, & Cate…

The three princesses that I just got to meet this weekend!!

Psalm 103:17

“But from everlasting to everlasting

the LORD’s love is with those who fear Him,

and His righteousness with their children’s children–

To those who keep His covenant

And remember His precepts to do them.”

This is something we can hold on to…

We can have life and love in our hearts…

Joy and gladness in our souls…

Because the Lord is our salvation!


Is 65 The New 45??? Gee, I Hope So!!


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Happy Birthday To Me!!

I recently celebrated a BIG Birthday!

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                                            (Me with Sandy and Elle!)

And I now get to show my golden Medicare “ticket” everywhere..

But, now that I’m “mature,”  I forget to do it!!

Hubby’s already on it, so I know it’s fine…

I’ll get used to it!

We already had good insurance…

Thanks to the NJ Public Schools…

My plan after college was to get married,

Teach for two years,

Have 4 kids…


But, since my son took 14 years to arrive! 

I just kept on teaching…

And, as my sister-in-law advised,

“Stay in teaching long enough to get all the benefits you deserve!!”

So, I stayed!

After 26 years, I retired…

One kid, a pension, and my health insurance…

God is good!

Because of so many years…

Of being blessed with God’s wisdom…

My years of experience…

And my mistakes…

(Thank you for “redos,” Lord!)

I’m such a wealth of information! 


So, what do you want to know about???

Growing up in a constantly fast-talking Italian family…

With lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins???

So much fun going to church together…

Everyone talking at the same time…

Very loudly!!

With lots and lots of food!!!

Growing up Pentecostal???

Lots of “You can’t do that!”

But, lots of faith, love, and strong trust in God, too!!

I learned to teach my son about all the things we can do in Christ!

And the joy we experience!

Growing up with an older brother???

“Stitches” in my side as he walked too fast on our way to school…

Joe always said my younger brother, John, and I had “piercing voices!”

Growing up with a younger brother???

Who, as I mentioned in another post……have-any-gauze/

Slashed my lip with a snow shovel…

While  we were shoveling snow in NJ…

When I was in 6th grade!

But, we never wanted to be apart!

Praying for a sister???

My Mom was 38…

I had to have a sister…

Having two brothers was just too much…

I was eleven when Tina was born!

She went everywhere with me!

So special to me to this day!!


God answers prayers!

Wanting to be a teacher since the first grade???

My cousin, Phyllis, who was three years older…

Lived next door…

And was always the teacher…

 I was the best student there ever was!


Long term dating…

Too early, too intense…

I would not recommend it today!!

College and  Master’s  Education???

Let me just say…

The tassel is definitely worth the hassle…

Do your homework…

Get an education!!!

Then, ask God to give you a job you’re passionate about!

First Marriage???

Moved to Texas to live with my older brother and his wife…

Married two and a half years…


Came home to NJ!


Low, low point…

Feels like someone took a photo of the two of you…

Tore  it in two…

And ripped your heart out…

You’re deeply changed…

I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone!

Second Marriage

To my high school sweetheart…

Thirty-seven years…

Through the best of the best…

And the worst of the worst…

 The key is to go through it…


That’s what marriage is all about…

Even when “LOVE” is strong…

  But, “LIKE” is not!!



I am difficult to live with…

More than just sometimes!!

Good quote on Facebook:
“In every marriage more than a week old,
there are grounds for divorce…
the trick is to find, and continue to find,
the grounds for marriage!!” 
Thank you, Jesus!
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Ten years of Infertility???

Why me?

All my cousins and friends had kids…

But, God turned my attitude to…

“Why not me?”

And I received a miracle gift from God!

It was totally worth the huge cost and effort…

Of in-vitro…

To have our son!!!

Thank God for insurance!

Coming back to God???

Spent twenty years doing “my own thing!”

But could not fathom…

Raising my son without faith…

He loved Jesus…

Going to church…

Lively worship music…

And Veggie Tales…

And he led me back to Jesus!

Raising a great kid???

What a ministry…

To pour Jesus into your child!!!

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Yes, they’ll be trials…

But, always accept the Lord’s…



So sad to lose loved ones…

But, we can celebrate their life…

Because of our Hope of Heaven…

And say, “See you soon!”


We do our best…

So remember…

Your parents did their best, too!!


Don’t hold onto grudges…


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Friends and family???

While you can’t pick your family…

You can love, encourage, and minister to the family that God gave you!


Chose wisely and love deeply!

Siberian Huskies???

Only God could make such a beautiful face…

My Crazy, Precious Little Girl…

Is lots of work…

And brings, oh, so much joy!!

See her Birthday post!

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Seeing through God’s eyes???

Is beautiful…

And difficult…

Be prepared to listen…

Be prepared to obey!


Faith is better than no faith…

Our relationship with Jesus  is everything!

Being retired???

Not HAVING to work is soooo good…

Retirement with a pension is the best!

Ministering to others???


Teaching others keeps you on your toes!

Keep on going for God!!

Eternal Life???

1 Timothy 4:8

“For physical training is of some value,

but godliness has value for all things,

holding promise for both the present life

and the life to come.”



Family Christmas Photos!!


Hey Everyone!

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Merry Christmas!

Welcome to our home!!

We’ll be in Longboat Key at the beach for Christmas to relax…

It’s been a busy “work/school/drama team, etc.” year so far!!

Here are some photos of Casey as Santa in our Christmas drama on Sunday at our church!!

He’s not in the “Ho!  Ho! Ho!  Jolly Santa” character, yet!

Oh, that’s better!!  Ha!


He had to learn the real meaning of Christmas…


Through the song…

“This Is Christmas”

By Kutless

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What is Christmas?!?”

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It’s all about a Savior wrapped in a manger!!

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What is Christmas??? 

Without Christ??

Also, some photos of our Pre-Christmas Italian Dinner…

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Hubby stirring the huge pot of sauce, meatballs, and boiled eggs I made!!

Yes, boiled eggs!

My Mom put everything in our sauce!!

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Dig in!!!

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And…add lots of Parmesan/Romano Cheese!!!

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Come on in and join us!!

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Don’t forget the Crazy Siberian!!!!

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Since we’ll be away on Christmas Day…

We opened presents early!!

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When did sneakers become toys?!?!

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Let’s read the Christmas story!!!

Luke 2

“…For unto you is born this day in the city of David

a Saviour,

which is Christ the Lord.

 And this shall be a sign unto you;

Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel

a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth Peace, Good Will toward men…

 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds…

 And the shepherds returned, glorifying

and praising God

for all the things that they had heard and seen,

as it was told unto them….”

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The doggie wants to hear, too!!!

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Praying you and your family have a…



Very Blessed and Merry Christmas



And a…



Healthy and Happy New Year!!



Love!  Love!  Love!!



God Bless!!



From All Of Us!!



From Our House to Yours!



Love, Mom, Dad, Son, Dog, and Snake!!!



We’re Italians!!! We Don’t Know Any Different…Or Any Better Way, To Live!


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I received this e-mail recently, I love it! 

(author unknown…)

Here’s The Difference Between Us…

AMERICAN KIDS:  Move out when they’re 18 with the full support of their parents.

ITALIAN KIDS:  Move out when they’re 28, having saved enough money for a house,and are two weeks away from getting married….. unless there’s room in the basement for the newlyweds.

AMERICAN KIDS:  When their Mom visits them, she brings a Bundt cake, you have coffee, and chat.
ITALIAN KIDS:  When their Mom visits them, she brings 3 days worth of food, begins to tidy up, dust, do the laundry, and rearrange the furniture.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Their dads always call before they come over to visit them, and it’s usually only on special occasions.

ITALIAN KIDS:  Are not at all fazed when their dads show up, unannounced, on a Saturday morning at 8:00 am, and start pruning the fruit trees. If there are no fruit trees, he’ll plant some.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Always pay retail, and look in the Yellow Pages when they need to have something done.

ITALIAN KIDS:  Call their dad or uncle, and ask for another dad’s, or uncle’s, phone number to get it done.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Will come over for cake and coffee, and get only cake and coffee. No more.
ITALIAN KIDS:  Will come over for cake and coffee, and get antipasto, a pasta dish, a choice of two meats, salad, bread, a cannoli, fruit, and espresso.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Will greet you with “Hello” or “Hi.”
ITALIAN KIDS:  Will give you a big hug, a kiss on your cheek, and a pat on your back.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Have never seen you cry.
ITALIAN KIDS:  Cry with you.

AMERICAN KIDS:  Eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on soft mushy white bread.
ITALIAN KIDS:  Eat Genoa Salami and Provolone sandwiches on crusty Italian bread (for breakfast).

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 Ya Gotta Love Us!!!

Don’t miss out…

Go visit an Italian today!!

Once we meet…

You’ll never  be a stranger…

You’re part of our family now, and…


God Bless!

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“A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed

on the anvil of everyday living.”  ~ Chuck Swindoll

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Ephesians 1:5

“God decided in advance

to adopt us into His own family

by bringing us to Himself

through Jesus Christ.

This is what He wanted to do,

and it gave Him great pleasure.”

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Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 18 

“These commandments that I give you today

are to be on your hearts.

Impress them on your children.

Talk about them when you sit at home

and when you walk along the road,

when you lie down

and when you get up.

Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight,

so that it may go well with you

and you may go in

and take over the good land

the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,

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“La Mia Famiglia”


An Italian get-away this past weekend…

At my cousin’s house on the east coast of FL…

A reunion with our cousin from NJ!

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One big, happy family…

Filled with…

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Our fathers were brothers…

Raised by our Italian Grandma…


We all lived near each other in NJ…

Played together…

And went to church together…

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There’s definitely a family resemblance…

But, I’ve noticed lately that…

We tend to favor our Mothers in appearance!

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We felt like we were at a “5 Star” Bed and Breakfast!!

While talking about our…

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In our Lord!

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And cousin-in-laws…

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The beautiful scenery brings…

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And family teasing from our cousin from Oklahoma…

Who before he married my cousin…

He had called…


In a can…

Italian food!!!!

Oh, horror!

We’ve since changed his mind…

And now he says…


Whenever he talks to us!!

Good boy!

So funny!!

Let’s add my son to the merry mix!!

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Our very special hostess!!!

Such a blessing!!

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She cooks, she cleans, she’s sweet…

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My son wants to adopt her!!

I do, too!!

She makes us want to…

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And be together!

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To do what Italians do best…


While everyone’s talking at the same time!!

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Let’s cook and discuss!!


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The blessing of family!!!

La Mia Famiglia!

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All together in one place again!!

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One beautiful place!

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We don’t want to leave!!

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Come join us!!

Additional signs should say…





1 Corinthians13:7

“Love bears all things,

believes all things,

hopes all things,

endures all things.”

“I Hope So…”


Easter Service at Sacred Heart!

Okay, let me set the scene for you.  It’s Easter Sunday.  My son and I taught Kids Church at our church at 9 am.  We’re very Pentecostal!  My husband is Catholic.  So on Christmas Eve and on Easter Sunday, my son and I become “C and E” Catholics, so we can go as a family to Dad’s church with him.

Perhaps not ideal.  Or, even what I pray for.  But it is what it is!!

Anyway, I know Easter Service is going to be super packed at the Catholic church, so I want to get there as soon as we can, when my son and I get home from our church.  We wore regular church clothes, instead of our Kids Church t-shirts and jeans, as we usually would, just to save time.  But, I let my son wear his black and white Converse sneakers with his black pants, because, well, who cares, right???

Anyway, my husband insists our kid come inside, and change his sneakers, and so, we got to his church right before 11 am, instead of at 10:30 am, like I planned.  There might have been a shot at getting a seat at 10:30 am, but “No Way” at 11 am!!  It’s a huge, beautiful church, just rebuilt after the hurricane! 

But, folks, this is Easter Sunday…Resurrection Day!  Amen!  And Hallelujah!!

We walk in through crowds, upon crowds, of people.  I see a friend and she says, “No seats!!!”  Since the usher just gave her husband the last seat, because he had just had surgery, and wouldn’t be able to stand for an hour and a half.

I can’t either!

So we head back outside…

Walk around to the other door…

Into the overflow room!!

The overflow room has overflowed!

  People have overflowed out into the vestibule…

And onto the outside walkway…

And well into the parking lot!

So we decided to stay in the vestibule, ’cause I saw a little 2″ window sill, that I mistakenly thought I could rest on.  But, at second glance, I saw that it was way too small for my behind!

What was I thinking?

Also, I had worn my really cute, little, tiny heels, since I figured,

“Hey, I’m not working and standing all day, right? 

I’ll be sitting, won’t I?” 


My mind is racing.

How to find a way to sit down…


I ask the usher if there are any folding chairs? “No!”  My husband goes to the Annex Building to look.  “No!” 

Then I spy a door to a kitchen, and just inside, is a little mahogany step stool!

I sneak in when the usher isn’t looking, and grab it!

Nice Christian move, huh?!?!?

I sat rather uncomfortably on this stool for the entire service,  I couldn’t even see the priest.  I peeked around the blob of people in front of me.  He was miles away, but I saw that he had white hair.  We had settled right next to the bathrooms, where people were coming and going, and flushing!  Not really conducive to worshiping!

But, with their great sound system, and I could hear every word the priest said!

All the hassle was worth it, because of the sermon I heard preached to the Catholics!!

After awhile everyone calmed down to stand in their chosen spots, and the ceremony began.    They even sang “Celebrate, Jesus, Celebrate”

Which I loved!  Real hand clapping music!  Amen!

The priest was talking about what Jesus did for us on the Cross…

“It’s Finished, Nothing Else Needs To Be Done!”


He helps them recite their profession of faith and belief in Jesus Christ, etc.

While I’m not Catholic, my Mom’s older sister was a nun, I was raised in a Catholic town in NJ, and basically there were a hand-full of us non-Catholic Italians in our town-most of whom were related to us!!

So, if you have any questions, please go to Rebecca Hamilton’s blog called Public Catholic, at:

For more precise explanations of Catholic doctrines.  Her blog is awesome!

Finally, the priest got to the sermon part, and said…

“I Hope So!”

My ears perk up from my crouched position on that tiny, hard, little bench! 

This is a phrase I’ve heard from my husband, since we met in high school!

Question:  “Are you going to Heaven?”

Answer:  “I hope so!”

“Where did you learn that answer?” I asked him…

Now, my husband knows a lot of Bible…thank you Catechism classes!

“I was taught,” he said,

“That the only person who is assured of going to Heaven, is the one thief on the Cross,  who said,

“Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.”

Jesus answered him,

“I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.”

Luke 23:42-43

  “That’s the only one?”  I ask.

“Where’s our Blessed Hope, then?”

“Not to know if you’re on your way to Heaven, or not…’til when?” 

“‘Til after you die????”

I never got it!

And I never heard a sermon at my husband’s church addressing it…

‘Til this Easter!!!! 

I was so excited! 

We Pentecostals are like that!  Ha!

When the Holy Spirit reveals something…

Remember what happened in Acts Chapter 2!!

Good thing I didn’t have far to fall,

‘Cause I was about ready to fall off my stool!!! 

I’m poking my husband, as the priest is saying, 

“You know, we’re the only religion, that when asked if we’re going to Heaven…

We say,’We hope so!’ 

And, we’re the only religion that has a place called ‘Purgatory!’ 

Where is that, anyway???” 

That’s another doctrine I couldn’t understand, either… 

“No!”  he said, “Believe in Jesus as your Savior!” 

Then, the priest adds, 

“Also, don’t be so grouchy, Jesus wasn’t grouchy, and He died on a Cross for us, so we could go to Heaven!!”

This priest preached to a packed audience of Catholics, and friends, the sermon I’ve been praying my husband would hear for years and years. 

“Did you hear that?”  I ask my husband.

He said, “No, I couldn’t hear a thing, you were talking so much!!” 

Dear Holy Spirit, please reach out and open his ears!!


I was made to love You!

Jesus, I repent…

I’m following You…

I’m serving You in Confidence…

So Daddy, I’m on my way!

“For by grace you have been saved through faith.

And this is not your own doing;

it is the gift of God,

not a result of works,

so that no one may boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9  ESV

“For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only Son,

that whoever believes in him should not perish

but have eternal life.”

John 3:16  ESV

“And there is salvation in no one else,

for there is no other name under heaven given among men

by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12  ESV

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Is This Asking Too Much!?!?


Photos by JC

We had a great, calm, fun-filled Thanksgiving Dinner at our friend’s house this year…

But I’m remembering other Holidays, Vacations, and Special Occasions of ours in the past…

So, in anticipation of the upcoming Merry Christmas get-togethers…

I feel the need to vent!!

I like “NICE” on Holidays,  Vacations, and Special Occasions!!!

I want EVERYONE to be NICE…

Talk NICE!

And to be on their BEST Behavior!!

Why get together if everyone is going to “air their dirty laundry…”

Be grouchy…




Intolerant of others’ routines…



Arrive late…

Or leave early…

Mope around…

Be moody…

Create tension…

For goodness sake…

Don’t make me thank God every day..

That I don’t have to live with you…

And, if I do live with you…

Don’t make me thank God every day…

That I have you to go to places with…

But, that I can go by myself,  if I want to…

Please everyone…

Make me want to spend time with you…

Make me happy to see you!

To BE with you!

“Put yourself under…”

As one of my family members used to say…

When I was a young adult…



Above yourself!!

Before yourself!

This equals:



In that order!

A Holiday, Vacation, or Special Occasion…

Is supposed to be NICE…






It’s not a time for “BLAH” as usual…



Or, your opportunity to bark at people…

 And, not the time for ranting about your least favorite things…

But, it IS about being with your most favorite people!!

In this special way…

At this special time…

To enjoy this special moment…


Laughing, loving, and sharing…

Talk about controversial issues over coffee on a normal day…

Rehash heated family issues with a trusted counselor…

Not at the dinner table!

It makes me nauseous…

Or makes me have “agita” as we Italians say!  Ha!

Interesting fact from “The Word Detective”…


“‘Agita’ is not a standard Italian word, and linguists are not certain where came it from.  One possible source is the Italian word “agitare’ (‘to agitate’ or “‘to trouble”‘, which in turn came from the Latin ‘agitare,’ which meant ‘to stir up.’  To be ‘agitato’ in Italy is to be very excited, and a musical score marked ‘agitato’ is intended to be played at a frenzied pace.  But it’s also possible that the source is ‘acido’ (pronounced ‘AH-chee-do’), Italian for ‘stomach acid,’ which then possibly became ‘agita’ (‘AH-jih-ta’) over time. Whatever the source, ‘agita’ seems to have arrived in New York with Italian immigrants around the turn of the century, and has been in constant use, especially in places like New York City, ever since.”

See what I mean??

Be NICE while driving to see family and friends…

Or, while spending time with others…



Enjoy the quality time together….

Life is so short!!

Too short to be hostile…

Let it go!!

BE Nice!

I don’t want “AGITA!!”

With my Holidays!

Is This Asking Too Much??

Dear Family, Why I Write…


In an Italian family it’s a way of talking without being constantly interrupted!  Ha!

These photos were taken at my Mom’s 90th Birthday Celebration!!

I miss her now that she’s celebrating all her days in Heaven with Jesus…

I love my BIG, crazy Italian Family…

Everyone should have one…

Adopt one if necessary!

Me, Mom, and my Sister…

My Son, my younger Brother, and his Wife…

My Husband and my Cousin’s Husband (who’s from Oklahoma, and he says we say, “SAAAAAUCE!”)

Everyone’s talking and taking photos of each other…at the same time!

Family photo, but my older Brother couldn’t make the trip to FL 😦

My Mom and her precious Grandson!

Family photo with my dear Cousin (My super prayer partner!)

Our family’s really close, we all grew up going to church together…

My Mom loved to talk!!!!


Everyone does in our family!

We miss you, Mommy!