Friday, October 31, 2014

Number Seven celebrates

She will do a solo next week on Brookings Got Talent, and... She just found out she made it to Junior Honor Choir! She has been a happy part-time student at school and getting more involved in some extra curricular activities as well!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meeting Jennifer Fulwiler

Last Saturday Husband, Number Six and I traveled 50 minutes north to Watertown, SD to hear Jennifer Fulwiler speak. If the reader remembers, Husband and I both read and greatly enjoyed her recent book, Something Other than God.  

The talk she gave--to a large audience--was basically the story of the book again. Hearing it told by her, however, was far from an experience of repetition. She speaks in an engaging, intelligent manner, and the packed-full room was enraptured by her story for well over an hour! It was like having a great, well-loved book come alive! If you haven't read the book, both Husband and I highly recommend it!

Of course I took the opportunity for a couple of pictures...

With the delightful author and mother of six! 

And with good Fr, Rutten, Diocesan Vocations Director and friend
Why do I recommend the book? Here's my review on Amazon:

I just finished the new auto biography by Jennifer Fulwiler, and loved it. The FedEx truck dropped it off in the middle of the day and I haven't been able to put it down.
The book is friendly and funny. It's never preachy or arrogant. She comes across as a wonderful, amusing, sincere and humble person. Even when she describes her first prayers, she is funny, light, and yet the whole scene is true and genuine as prayer can be.
She tells the story of going from completely ignorant of everything and anything Christian--and being sort of proud of that--to someone who allows herself to wonder, "could this be true?", to a very well-read, authentic Catholic--to the point of risking her life to live her new-found Church's teachings.
Jennifer is likable. I love auto biographies and biographies but, well, the subjects are not all likable. I read a while ago a biography of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and one of Picasso, and I discovered men I neither liked nor respected. But even a conversion biography is not always likable. I respected Dorothy Day in The Long Loneliness, but I can't say I liked her. Jennifer, on the contrary, is like someone with whom you want to have a coffee, or a Margarita, and talk and laugh together!
The book is written as a novel, chapters beginning in wonderfully told vignettes, their story so interesting and well-written, and so very good. A story of sincere people who, through life's difficulties, and despite of them, look for Love, Goodnesss, and Truth. And find them, because as the book reminds us, if you sincerely look for these, you find them.
This is a good book. There is so much discussion of what makes a book good. This is one. A book that tells a great story, and so well, entertains, delivers the best closing you ever ask of a story--a true happy ending--, and leaves you a better person.
The best part? Probably her apologizing to her Mother, all that took for that step, and finding, in the mystery of asking for forgiveness, the Peace she never dreamed existed. I so loved that. But there were also so many other good parts. The whole book was excellent! I want to read it again!
Last but not least, we purchased a second copy (as our first one has been lent away...) and had it signed!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

At the local Veterans Memorial

On Sunday Number Four and I stopped at this memorial here in town. We had driven by before, but never took the time to see it. It is simple, but dignified, and well-kept. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New post on the Braga Family Blog

I feel like I have been editing these for so long! Many of the photos needed a little digital restoring, which I enjoy doing.  I post a few favorites below, the whole post is at

I want to make my little horse dress again for future grandchildren! 

A visit to the Museum of Art in Rio with our many cousins. 

My musician brother Eduardo and I. We spent so much time growing up together...
He was smart and sensitive then, and still is today! 

I remember this. Isn't it amazing? I was 3! The stool with my name on it was my first "special" item I have a memory of, and I had it for years and years.

In the new home my parents built. The Sacred Heart wasn't even hung on the wall yet! 

At Sitio da Vovo', our grandmother's acreage in the mountains we spent every summer!

Friday, October 24, 2014

On the treadmill

I just got off my treadmill. The very fact that we own one is already highly accidental--it was a discard from friends who bought a new, better, less hiccup-y one than this one. I said 'I'll take it', before actually believing I'd ever get on it. Last winter the girls and I got on it sporadically. It was pitiful for me. I'd drag through 15 minutes and I would maybe get to .6 miles.

Since a couple of weeks ago, I have joined WW and a Facebook fitness/weight challenge group with like-minded Catholic moms. You know it's a Catholic group when we can actually earn points for sacrifices we make--which probably takes away any heavenly rewards from said sacrifices, :-) 

So I've been on it. I decided this time I'd measure time and not distance--I need to walk for 45 minutes a day to get my daily points! And I also discovered that the little garage window next to it faces South, and the green space by the townhouse. Even in these cool fall temps I've opened it a couple of times! 

I've discovered I have an extensive list of films I have never watched--mostly French romantic comedies recommended by my little sis, the one at the Abbey in Germany. No one in this house would want to watch them with me. So I've watched "The Widow of St Pierre" and "The Untouchable" and now a delightful film with an older Michael Cain where he is a retired professor in Paris. I've also been watching the many video-lectures for my online class on the Writings of Laura Ingalls.

Anyway, I've been doing my 45 minutes in installments as I can't do it all at once... but today, engrossed in the film, I kept going, and going... until I was way past a mile! I confess, I had tears in my eyes. Ah ah ah, this is nothing for most people but it was huge for me! I am determined to fit into a nice pretty dress for Number Three's wedding... his photo with beautiful fiancee Emily is on the fridge to inspire me... Wish me luck!! 

Update October 26: yesterday I did the 45 minutes stretch all in one session for the first time!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I was chatting with sister Margo and we were both remembering yesterday's saint--the first feast day of Saint John Paul II--and when our family sang in the 1000 voices choir behind the altar at his I million + people mass in Aparecida, Brazil, in 1980... What an unforgettable event for us!