The Best Mother’s Day Gift

My two daughters Jete’ and Renée gave me a wonderful Mother’s Day gift of a retreat “The Final Battle,” at Our Lady of Hope in Osyka, Mississippi. The retreat leader was Father Miles Walsh, who was masterful in laying out the message of Fatima and its meaning for the world today!

The retreat center is beautiful! You are greeted by the Blessed Mother carrying her unborn child, Jesus, the savior of our World! Right away you know this will be a special time of reflection and study on the most prophetic of modern apparitions and it’s urgent call to conversion, prayer, and penance!

I met so many wonderful people at the retreat. These are three ladies that I grew close to Jean, Cathy, and Iris, with Father Walsh. He came over to explain the question that Mary remained a Virgin all her life and Jesus had no brothers. A questions that confuse people.

The artwork throughout the retreat center is spectacular! All were painted by the same artist from Medjugorje. These are present in the dining area where we had morning, lunch and evening meals. You definitely did not go hungry and these meals were cooked and served by a staff of wonderful holy men and women who love and know God! You can learn a lot from speaking with them!

The grounds have wonderful with art that is still being created. the first set of statues when complete will be the twelve Apostles. The second photograph is the (1st Station of the Cross) Christ is condemned to death. The third photograph is the 12th station, when finished it will depict Christ crucified along side the two thieves.

This is not one of the pieces of Art from (Our Lady of Hope) however I wanted to use it to reveal the main message from Fatima:

“Pray the rosary every day in honor of Our Lady to obtain peace in the world…for she alone can save it” (The Blessed Mother on July 13, 1917).

“Our Lady of Fatima asks us to become devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. “Jesus wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it” (The Blessed Mother on June 13, 1917).

“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often whenever you make a sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the ofenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary” (The Blessed Mother on June 13, 1917).

“Pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them” (The Blessed Mother on August 19, 1917).

In the first of these angelic apparitions, in the spring of 1916, the angel taught the children this prayer: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love thee! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love thee.”

In the third of the angelic apparitions, in the autumn of 1916 the angel gives holy Communion to the three children and teaches them this prayer: “Most Holy Trinity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most precious body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences whereby he is offended. And through the infinite merits of his most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

Our mother Mary ask us to pray the Rosary for our world which so badly needs it. I pray the Rosary every day. I can’t leave my home without saying the Rosary and making the sign of the Cross! It brings me peace, it bring me happiness, it brings me hope. If you don’t know how to pray the Rosary go to u-tube and pray with Father Mike Schmitz or Mark Wahberg or Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus in the Chosen. It will change your life! It will change the world! Pray for the world, for your family, for your friends, for those who have no one to pray for them. Pray for me and I’ll be praying for you. Let’s all walk with Jesus! Let me hear from you!

Ascension of the Lord

The feast of the Ascension is celebrated on the 40th day after Jesus Resurrection. It was celebrated today, the sixth Thursday after Easter. Ascension also celebrates the passing of the Holy Spirit from Jesus to his followers for early Christians to carry on his work.

In the meditation of the Day in the Magnificat, Saint Josemaria Escriva, a Spanish Priest writes about the Ascension. “Many things have happened since our Lord was born in Bethlehem. We have thought of him in the manger, worshipped by the shepherds and the Magi, we have contemplated those long years of unpretentious work in Nazareth; we have gone with him all through the land of Palestine, as he preached the kingdom of God to men and went about doing good to all. and later on, during the days of his passion, we have suffered on seeing him accused and ill-treated and crucified. Then, sorrow gave way to joy and light of the resurrection. What a clear and firm foundation for our faith! But perhaps, like the apostles in those days, we are still weak, and on the day of the Ascension we ask Christ: Lord will you at this time restore the Kingdom of Israel? (Acts 1:6). Is it now that we can expect all our perplexity and all our weakness to vanish forever?

Like the apostles, we remain partly perplexed and partly saddened at his departure. I am move when I think that, in an excess of love, he has remained with us, even when he has gone away. He has gone to heaven, and at the same time he gives himself to us as our nourishment in the Sacred Host…If we have leaned to contemplate the mystery of Christ, if we make an effort to see him clearly, we will realize that now we can come very near Jesus too, in body and soul. We can be with him in the Bread and in the Word, receiving the nourishment of the Eucharist and knowing and fulfilling all that he came to teach us, as we meet and deal with him in our prayer. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him. He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. But he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.

These are not mere promises. They are something real. the essence of a true life, the life of grace that leads us to deal with God personally and directly. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, as I also have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These words Jesus said at the Last Supper are the introduction to the day of the Ascension. Christ knew that he had to go away because, in a mysterious way that we cannot fully understand, after the Ascension a new outpour of God’s love would bring the presence of the third Person of the Blessed Trinity…He sends us the Holy Spirit, who directs and sanctifies our souls.

The Ascension is a three day procession, which includes the carrying of banners and torches which symbolize Christ’s journey to the Mount of Olives and entry into heaven. The church has received permission from the Vatican to celebrate the Ascension on Sunday instead of Holy Thursday.

This Sunday, May 21st will be “The Ascension of the Lord” and a Holy day of Obligation!

Birthday Treasures

I had my eighty fifth birthday on April 7th. My first celebration was with my son Duke and my beautiful granddaughter Anita. We went to Mass at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in New Orleans then brunch at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. Anita was home from Wake Forest where she is a sophomore studying Political Science.

My second celebration was in Mandeville at my oldest daughter Jete’ and son-in-law Tommy’s home. It was so much fun having so many grand children in town to help celebrate. Starting on the top row from left to right: Parker who is in flight training in Pensacola Beach, Tommy, Bailey and Max who have my two great grandchildren Shepard and Lorelei, Kosta, Katy’s boyfriend who is in graduate school at Tulane for Architecture, Christian who was home from Denver, Jete’, who did such a great party full of surprises, Renée and Craig who also helped put on the celebration, Whitney, who is married to Parker and they will be having my third great-grand child in August, Me and Katy home from New York.

I have blogged about so many wonderful events in the lives of my children and grandchildren in the past however I have been rather quiet for about a year and a half. Nothing is wrong, I just took a break and have been spending an enormous amount of time taking an introspective look at myself and my life choices. Becoming more aware that the world was not meeting my needs, that I needed more spirituality in my life.

It’s been a great journey that’s taken me to a farm in Poplarville, Mississippi where I lived with my youngest daughter Renée and son-in-law Craig for about a year, to New Orleans. While living in Poplarville I searched for a church from Bay Saint Louis, Slidell, to Hattiesburg. I finally discovering St. Fabian Catholic church and Father Tommy Conway in Hattiesburg, one hour away from the farm. The distance didn’t bother me because I couldn’t wait to attend church every Sunday and the drive was beautiful and peaceful, I was riding with God!

I moved to New Orleans and am living with my son. I now attend Saint Joseph Catholic church on Tulane avenue in the downtown area of the city. This church was built in 1892 and is one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the city. Father Tom Stehlik is a fabulous priest, the congregation is warm and welcoming and involved in a very big way in community outreach. I go to daily Mass as well as on Sundays. I have finally found what I have been looking for and my life is finally becoming real and meaningful. It is filled with the warmth from the rays of sunlight that travels from our Holy Father and brings Peace. The rays of light that you see reflected in this picture filling my heart with love!

My treasures are this earthly family and friends that I love and have blogged about for all these years and and my faith. I am in my eighty fifth year, I feel blessed! I am still here to witness a third generation of an incredible earthly family and now my spiritual Godly family.

A few of the grandchildren were missing from my celebration, Ryan, Claire, Gunner, and Dennis. They couldn’t be here in person but I was able to hear from them, which made this time the special event it was meant to be! Whitney and Parker will be giving us a bundle of joy in August. I can’t wait! I predict a boy.

My life is filled today with Love and Faith, there is nothing better!

Psalm 69

The way we come to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (1Jn 3:16)

Love demands a high price but pays an immeasurable dividend. Jesus wept the tears of suffering humanity and, weeping transformed them into water of life. These waters, flowing from his wounded side, wash away all the tears that stain the face of a sorrowing world.

Family and Friends

Summer family fun with Max, Shep, Bailey, Christian, Clair, Katy, Kosta, and (in the pool )Lorelei

It was a wonderful Summer day at Bailey and Max’s home. Claire was home from Medical school in Shreveport and Kosta & katy were home from their jobs with architecture firms in the Big Apple. Kosta getting ready to move to New Orleans for graduate school at Tulane for his masters in Architecture. Christian had moved home from her business marketing job in Colorado. It was a celebration of gathering the family together and love was in the air!

Shepard and Lorelei were the entertainment of the day! Shep, as we call him will be two years old in November and Lorelei will be one, also in November. My two great grandchildren are the apple of my eye and my great Joy!

This will be our last get together until Thanksgiving. We missed having Ryan & Lauryn, and Jake with us this time. Ryan and Lauryn are working on driverless trucks in Pittsburg, and Jake is in his medical residency in South Dakota. Also missing is Gunner who is in New York having art openings for his work and curating art show for other artist. He will be going to Germany for an art residency next month. Anita was back in college at Wake Forest and Dennis is in his Sophomore year at De La Salle in New Orleans. That makes up my nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and my grandchildren’s significant others. I am blessed!

The memories we make with our family is everything!

from Right to left Kate, Ginger, Margaret, Myra, me

I moved to Poplarville, Mississippi about two years ago with my daughter Reneé and her husband Craig. Poplarville is a very special town. The population is 2,894 and it hosts an annual Blueberry Jubilee every year. It’s the county seat of Pearl River County. Poplarville has rolling hills and beautiful lakes and lots of people have weekend homes here.

Ginger is the lady wearing the “American Heart” shirt. It is very appropriate because I call her “Poplarville’s Ambassador.” I think Ginger know almost everyone that lives in Poplarville. She is a retired school teacher and can’t go anywhere that people don’t come over to speak with her. She took me under her wing and introduced me to all these ladies, two of which were not able to join us, Joan and Ann. Joan worked for Disney and National Geographic before returning to Poplarville to take care of her mother and brother. She started the Historic Society and the Poplarville Museum. She actually received volunteer of the year award in 2013 for starting the Museum. Ann is a retired school teacher and now an instructor at the Pearl River College in Poplarville. Kate in the white shirt is an international attorney working for the World Bank. Margaret in the green striped shirt was a secretary and book keeper for the Poplarville school system, she actually did everything. She is also a talented pianist and organist.

Myra and I are sitting together. Myra owned the only bed and breakfast in Poplarville. She also was a nurse at St.Tammany hospital and has a beautiful voice. She went to college on a voice scholarship. I owned a business for eleven years and retired two years ago. Now I enjoy life with family and friends!

This group of friends inspire me. They are talented, kind, generous, and supportive. They are all involved in the community and make it a very special place to live. Poplarville, I know, thanks God for having them!

Good friends are like stars you don’t always see them but you know they are there!

Gunner Graduates from Stanford

Gunner standing in front of Hoover Tower on graduation day

Stanford has a beautiful campus and one of the most iconic structures is the Hoover Tower. Hoover Tower is a 285 feet structure on the campus of Stanford University in Stanford, California. The tower houses the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, an archive collection founded by Herbert Hoover before he became President of the United States.

Gunner is standing in front of the Stanford Memorial Church which is at the center of the campus, and is the University’s architectural crown jewel. It was one of the earliest, and is still among the most prominent, interdenominational churches in the West. Jane Stanford built the church as a memorial to her husband, Leland. Together, Senator and Mrs. Stanford had constructed the University as a memorial to their son, Leland, Jr. Memorial Church seats 1,200 in a general admission format.

In the bottom three pictures of Gunner and his friends (from left to right) Nicko, Brian, Gunner, Terrell are standing in the Main Quad.

The 17-acre Main Quadrangle is the oldest part of campus and the hallmark of Stanford University. Renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed this architecturally innovative set of connected buildings.

The cornerstone of the Quad was laid on May 14, 1887, which would have marked Leland Stanford Jr.’s 19th birthday.

click on picture to see Gunner lined up for commencement

Gunner standing in line waiting to receive his diploma! Gunner says his four year at Stanford were incredible due to all the fantastic life long friends he made. Gunner loved the opportunity he had to learn, as well as teach art classes. He loved the camaraderie with fraternity brothers at Phi Kappa Psi. He received a minor degree in computer science engineering, which was indeed a challenge. It proved to be an intellectual pursuit that complimented his fine arts degree.

Click on picture to see Gunner get his diploma

Gunner received his diploma for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art Practice with Honors, with a minor in Computer Science. He also received the Raina Giese Award in Painting from the Art Studio faculty. Gunner received his Diploma from one of his favorite professors, Jonathan Calm. Professor Calm is from Brooklyn, New York.

Gunner’s family had a great time at the graduation! The California weather did not disappoint and the exuberant atmosphere will be remembered as a perfect day!

At Stanford I spent time hanging out with friends, studying, and painting in my studio. Every weekend there was an event to go to: formals, special dinners, and hikes. With all the available opportunities it could be easy to feel over whelmed trying to deciding what to do. My best memories came from chill hangouts with close friends.

The four year I spent at Stanford were fantastic! I can’t wait to see what the future unfolds, and whatever it is I’ll be ready to rock and roll!

A Magical Wedding

Whitney and Parker

Whitney Marr and Parker Maloney met in 2017 at Ole Miss! Parker was attending a party when Whitney and friends arrived home across the street. Parker knew one of the young ladies and walked across the street to chat. He decided it would be good to offer to cook them one of his favorite meals, then later decided to offer his home to Whitney and a friend, while he was out of town, because they needed a dog friendly home for a weekend.

It appeared that Parker was not finished impressing. It was Whitney he had his eye on! He asked her out on a first date to enjoy a four course meal with wine paring at “Grits.” Grits offers this special event every quarter and Whitney was very impressed that he brought her there on their first date. I wonder if there was magic in the air in 2017 as well?

Reneè, Whitney, Karen

Whitney was a beautiful bride! Her dress was simple and elegant. Her mother Karen and soon to be mother-in-law Reneé helped with finishes touches. It was a formal wedding which was Parker’s request and orchids were not only he decorating theme but were the centerpiece of Whitney’s bouquet. It was just heavenly!

Craig, Parker’s Dad salutes Parker who is now an officer in the Navy

Parker is in Flight school in Pensacola. The city of Pensacola has been referred to as “The Cradle of Naval Aviation”. Naval Air Station Pensacola was the first Naval Air Station commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1914. Tens of thousands naval aviators have received their training there, including John H. Glenn, USMC, who became the first American to orbit the earth in 1962, and Neil Armstrong, who became the first man to set foot on the moon in 1969. The Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, is stationed there as well. Parker and Whitney will be stationed there until Parker receives a new command at the end of this year.

Whitney and Parker’s Family Photo

Pensacola is the oldest Spanish Settlement in Florida. It celebrated it’s 450th birthday in 2009. Palafox Street, known as the gateway to Pensacola and the core artery of the downtown community, has deep roots in the city’s rich past.

This very special wedding took place throughout the unique downtown community. The wedding held in Old Christ Church which serves as a beacon for downtown’s historic districts and as an anchor for Historic Pensacola Village. The rehearsal dinner and reception were within walking distance or an uber ride away from all events.

Some of Whitney’s Guests were:

Some of Parker’s Guests were:

The band was the best I have heard in years; not that I go dancing these days. I’ll Let you decide what everyone thought. Check out the photo’s

Sometimes it is difficult to describe an event because words simply cannot capture the

Beauty, Joy, Happiness, and Excitement of it all.

Sometimes it’s best to let the pictures tell the story.

What do you think?

Did the “Good Times roll” at this magical wedding.



Thanksgiving at Grayton Beach

This year 2021 was the second year for Thanksgiving at Tommy and Jete’s home in Grayton Beach, Florida. Grayton Beach is a quaint beach town away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger, brighter new areas of Santa Rosa Beach. The pace is slower and more relaxed and is a throwback to the way Florida beaches used to be. This year Jeté and Tommy hosted 30 guests!

Setting up for the dinner started early in the morning with the decorating staff Ryan, Lauren, Katy, Kosta, Claire, and Tommy. All the furniture that belonged on the porch was moved to the outside yard area which created this beautiful and intimate dining experience!

Tommy masterminded the design of the back yard area to be included in the scheme of the evening and to be enjoyed by the guest.

Parker’s Charcuterie Tray was a hit at the cocktail hour. He is getting to be known for his designs! Maybe this can be a sideline business during his Navy Flight training in Pensacola.

Thanksgiving guests! I wasn’t able to capture all of the guest individually but these I did and they certainly add to the flavor of this Blog in a big way!

Sheppy had the time of his life and was royally entertained before his daddy flew in from Austin and said, “Bailey and I can not stand to be away from Shep any longer” and father and son boarded the airplane back to Austin.

The last celebration we had was the “Bonfire Beach Party” Saturday night. We watched The Auburn vs Alabama football game on the beach and at Terri and Marshall condo. The young people held out on the beach the longest but regardless of the cold beach or warmth of the condo it was hard to say goodbye to this incredible group of people.

Gunner and Ryan join me in saying the Crosbys did an incredible job of hosting the 2021 Thanksgiving party! They could not have pulled it off in such a grand fashion without their dearest friends and family: Terri and Marshall, Tami and Les, Les, Sr., Renée and Craig, Sandi and Walt, Mike, Dawn and Erin, and me (Mimi).

All the siblings and significant others added the flare to the day: Ryan, Katy, Claire, Lauren, Kosta, Parker, Christian, Gunner, Ben, Elle, Heath, Kobi, Brelan, Brooke, Andrew, and the star of Thanksgivng “Sheppy”.

Gunner Shooting for the Stars

We wondered what this cute little boy was going to be when he grew up. I don’t think any of us would have thought he would be an artist Extraordinaire! No one in our family was an artist even though some were writers, inventors, dancers, musicians. There were many artistically inclined people in our family.

Gunner started carrying around a pencil when he was around three years old and he doodled on paper all the time. When he got to elementary school the teachers started comment on his talent for drawing and when he graduated from high school he was on his way to becoming a really talented artist and Art became his passion.

Stanford became the University of his choice and there in not one thing that he doesn’t love about going to school there. He loves his classes, his art studio, the fraternity, the art dorm he’s in charge of this year, the art classes he is able to teach, the art shows he is able to put on, the football games, his friends, Just everything!

Gunner has different sides to his personality. He likes to look inside himself to find ideas for his art. He told me once he doesn’t run out of ideas, he has a head full of them. He’s serious about his art, he gets to know his teachers especially those who he admires because of their art philosophy. He has no fear about creating art he just goes about creating, maybe that’s why he is always happy and comfortable in his own skin, so to speak. Gunner is most joyful when he is creating and loves to tell you about his art. But seriously I have never seen Gunner in a bad mood! Maybe we should all be artist? Pablo Picasso said ” Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”. I don’t think Gunner will ever have this problem!

Gunner organized and curated a “1-night-only exhibition welcoming new and returning students to Stanford’s visual arts scene”. He will be following up this project by curating another open call exhibition next quarter. He hopes to encourages all artists to submit their works, and he hopes that the entire Stanford community will come see the show.

Matthew Kelly said, “Wherever you are and wherever you feel called to go, whatever you are doing and whatever you feel called to do next, choose something today that moves you in the direction of your dreams”. This quote sums up Gunner better than anything I could say about him because Gunner’s every decision moves him in the direction of his dream. His dream is to be an artist and to help others become an artist as well. He hasn’t even graduated and he’s accomplishing his dream as he moves forward. What a blessing to always be living your dream!

Gunner will graduate this coming May. I hope all your ambitions come true Gunner and that you never forget how to dream!

Claire attends Medical School

This blog will be a little different from the others because Claire is now a freshman at LSU Medical School in Shreveport, Louisiana and she says “I hardly has time to breathe.” So I’m going through all the pictures of Claire that I love and building my story around them. Claire is thoughtful, studious and serious. She loves knowledge and loves to study. When she graduates I want to be her 1st patient because I know she will be a perspicacious physician from day one.

Claire is also a ham! This is the side of her personality that makes me smile when I think of Claire. Her laughter is warm hearted and joyous and is one of her best attributes.

Claire is with her twin Katy and her brother Ryan. They love being home on holidays together. We’ll all be together for Thanksgiving along with their significant other, Katy with Kosta, Ryan with Lauren, and Claire with Jake!

Claire and Jake are both medical students. Jake will be graduating this May and hoping to get an internship in Louisiana close to Claire. They both want to be Primary Care Doctors. Jake wants to specialize in Sports Medicine and Claire is thinking about Dermatology.

Claire and me

I love this beautiful grand-daughter. She’s my buddy at Sunday Mass. She’s always checking my face for peach fuzz and Clogged Pores. She always wants to drive me home when she thinks I had too much wine even though I was only going 1/2 mile away. She looks after me! She and Jake will be the doctors to see because they are both dedicated to excellence. Good luck to both of you!

Anita attends Wake Forest


Anita is my last grand-daughter to attend college! Her dad and I visited her at Wake Forest University this past weekend and she is loving it. It seems her favorite building is the library. She says if she’s not in class she’s studying in the library! Anita is driven by excellence in everything she does. She is a gifted student with an independent spirit. She also has an extraordinary talent for dance and acting.

Anita says she heads for the coffee shop for the best cup of Java on campus then finds a nook to study by herself or a reading room to study with friends! The library is very close to her dorm so she can pop over anytime day or night when she feels like studying, up until 1am at night.

Wake Forest is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Winston was named for Major Joseph Winston, a Revolutionary war hero. In 1910 Winston grew to three times the size of Salem due to wagons, a railroad, and Tobacco so they consolidated the two towns. Salem was founded by the Moravians in 1766. It was the quieter of the twin cities and the Moravians named it after the Hebrew word for peace, “Salem.” Winston-Salem was a town built on tobacco and is often referred to as the “Camel City” after the world-famous cigarette brand created by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

Duke and I met Anita in her dorm in the “William Poteat House” and we met one of best friends Claire. After a brief visit Anita took us to tour the campus which is very impressive.

Wake Forest is also known as Deactown named by a 1924 graduate who referred to the football team as “Demon Deacons,” because of their “devilish” play and fighting spirit. Their mascot is a Demon Deacon and their colors are black and gold! The students can walk down a trail to “Reynola Village” to shop and have a bite to eat in one of the restaurants! According to U.S. News & World Report Wake Forest is one of the top 30 National Universities for the 25th consecutive year and is ranked #28 in National Universities.

Anita and Gerald

Duke, Anita’s dad, took us to dinner along with her cousin Gerald. We had a good time listening to stories about their life at Wake Forest. They were both going back to the library to finish studying when we brought them back to campus. Mothers and Dads don’t have to worry about these two, they have it together!


Anita is going to major in Politics and International Affairs and Minor in Sociology and Communications. I bet you will also find her taking part in the Theatre. Oh a hummingbird just hovered by the window of my office where I’m writing about this special grand-daughter of mine. I looked up the biblical meaning of hummingbirds and it related to the bird’s ability to spread joy and playfulness. Folklore also suggest that they bring joy and good luck, so this is my wish for you Anita, the hummingbird said it for me!