6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.



Outside my window... I see the boys laughing and yelling like crazy people, running around the yard "shooting" each other with "guns".  Jaibrian is playing with Macy and is absolutely filthy in her white coat and tan pants.  

I am thinking...that I don't know how to write a book.  I've had at least...I kid you least 20 people tell me I should write a book but I just don't know what to write about.  My mom says I should write a parenting book while others say I should write about becoming Catholic.

But then I'd have to get it all approved by the Catholic "book people" or have the parenting one read and approved by some psychoanalyst. *sigh*  I don't know if (1) people would buy a book written by another homeschooling, foster, adoptive mom or (2) if people care one tiny bit about what I think about converting. 

I am thankful for... my friends.  Stacy, Heather, Jen, Trish, and Jen again have really helped me this past year.  They rock.  Really, I can't believe how blessed I am to have such strong, loving women in my life to lift my spirits . 

From the kitchen...I smell nothing.  My crockpot broke.  I guess it will be baked chicken and rice tonight. 

I am wearing...a blute t-shirt, faded blue jeans, my tennis shoes with my orthopedics for my flat feet...thanks mom...and socks.

I am creating...a Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free family menu that appeals to our crew and a grocery list to compliment said menu.
I am going... to Michigan's Adventure Amusement park on our Family Vacation this year. It is Vinze's turn to pick the family vacation. Kazz picked Gatlinburg TN, Brise picked Indiana Beach and now it's Vinze's turn. He got a few brochures in the mail from the eastern United States and checked them all out. He decided that if he can't stay in a Hotel right on Time Square in New York City to watch the ball drop on New Year's Eve, (that costs like $35,000 for our family to stay at that hotel for a few days during that time) then he wants to go to "that Michigan Adventure Park that he saw on that one brochure."  Well, Brian and I thought that sounded just peachy. 

I am reading... does grading papers count. I'm grading lots of homeschool work.

I am hoping...that the Easter Vigil goes well this weekend.  We are "becoming  Catholic" and it's kind of a big deal I suppose, though I really feel like we are "just" continuing our walk with Christ.  Somehow, I think this may feel more powerful after it's all done, but truly, I'm feeling pretty calm about it all.  I am looking forward to taking communion (Eucharist) and just continuing to raise our children to love Jesus. It feels just plain normal to, not a big change.  I wonder if that's odd?

I am hearing... the dishwasher swish-swish, the kids playing out side.

Around the house... I see our new couch, new bench, new tv, new floor rug and an astonishing amount of folded clean clothes that I need to put away. I really do like the homey feel of clothes laying about, though.  I don't know why.

One of my favorite things... Red Tootsie Roll Lollipops

The pictures I am sharing are...  The plate and screws that are in my left leg, Brian and Jaibrian napping on a Sunday afternoon, The snow fort Vinze, Daxx and Kole built this winter, our dog Macy "wearing" Daxx's coat...because Daxx thought Macy was cold.


TWEEZERS? Oh...maybe not.

Picture of Shed from last year
Friday was a nice warm day here in Michigan.  The kids were outside running around and riding bikes, having a great time just being kids.  It was one of those spring days that put a spring in your step and a song in your heart. 

Vinze had headed up a squad to clean out the old shed so they could have a fort, of sorts. It took hours to sweep, wipe and pitch the shed into cleanliness, but they were diligent and the work paid off. .

The shed began to sparkle as much as an old shed can.  The old ratty rug now looked like a cool mat under the fold out table and the plexi-glass windows glistened in the sunlight.

As the day wore on, Vinze realized that he could go garbage picking on Tuesday nights to find old bike parts.  He decided that he want's to use the shed to make bikes.....just like Kazz used to do.  That set the tide in motion to hang old bike tires, round up tools and begin making space for the parts he hopes to find this week.

The day was beautiful.  The kids were busy and happy, which meant that I was busy and happy inside the house too.  As the hours wore on, I heard Vinze, through the back door, yell in to see if he could build Macy a dog-house with the old wood he found in the shed.  I gave my permission and he set off to design the humble abode.

It wasn't long before I heard the back door open again.  I was folding clothes and pitching garbage out as Vinze's voice rang through the house once again.

"Hey Mom?!"

"What buddy?"

"Can you get this out of my finger?"

'hmm...tweezers...where are they...' came my thought.  'but, what's up with this? He doesn't ask for my help often...'

"Sure, buddy." I answered, "Let me see."

He walked through the kitchen, rounded the corner of the dining room and placed his hand out to show me his predicament. At first, I thought he was holding a screw, but then, I realized...Ouch!!  

I tried to pull it out, but it was stuck pretty tight, with the threads placed firmly under the skin.  I tried again to pull, gently, but as I felt the pressure of the threads raise his skin up, it dawned on me that they may actually be inside a tendon or vein or some other vessel unknown to me.

I then proclaimed that we must go to the emergency room....much to Vinnie's dismay.  He turned white.  Those poor little Italian cheeks had lost their red glow.

We arrived at the emergency room and asked the women at the front desk if we should be there or go to an urgent care somewhere.  They took one look at his finger and declared that we were in the right place.  We were shuffled right back to admittance.  The 3 male doctors all came in to ooh and ahhh over the injury.  They were all smiles. Many tales of old injuries and cool little-boy-antics were passed around the room.

Vinze was not amused. They asked him how this happened.  He explained that he was sitting on the ground, building the dog house but had to get up to grab something.  He placed his hands behind him, to quickly push off the ground and the screw popped into his finger in a snap. 

They ordered an x-ray...with much fanfare about how Vinze would have something to show his buddies. I declared that it didn't look that deep and wondered, aloud, if they could just pull the thing out.  They were "concerned" that he may have hit bone.  There was a "great need" to see the thing inside the finger....  They explained that he would get a shot to numb the finger when they pulled it out and then left the room.

Vinze was getting queasy.  I was a little annoyed with the male fraternity feel of this situation, though I did think it was a bit cool that he would get to leave with the x-ray in hand.   His little soul was aching with the knowledge that shots and more screw jiggling of the finger were coming his way.

We waited.

After about 15 minutes a calm physician entered the room.  She saw Vinze's white little face, and asked the nurse if there had been x-rays ordered for this injury.  The nurse nodded.  The Doctor looked at my unamused face, smiled and said, Let me take a look. She noted that it was just in the fat pad and began to gently maneuver the metal screw to pop each rung out one by one, side to side, until the object was out.

Vinze squinted and scowled, but was quite stoic.  He held very still while she pulled. The finger looked a bit odd as the skin stretched up and the pointed end of the metal screw pressed this way and that, against the inside skin of his finger during the extraction. Then, it was over.

"Do you want this?"  She asked.
"I never want to see it again." Came Vinze's reply.

And with that, it was trashed.

After 3 minutes of washing, lots of talk about letting the wound heal and a prescription for antibiotic, we were out of there and home in time for dinner.  WITHOUT pain shots, x-rays or gnashing of thanks to the frat brigade.



Brian and I attended an absolutely breathtaking performance of Les Miserables at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit this month. I cried like a baby...dripping tears, black mascara running down my face, sobbing.  I have seen Les Miz three times. It is my favorite production of all time.  If it were offered in our neck of the woods every year, I would be there...every year.

All of that said, I noticed something in the production, this time that caught me a bit off guard. Jean Valjean, walked through the dark woods to find the dead Fantine's daughter.  In one blissful moment, he found sweet, little Cosette, crying by the spilled bucket of water. Poor little Cosette, miserable, had been forced to do hard labor for the people who are "caring for her." She looked up, sweetly, at Jean Valjean with glistening eyes as he reached down to help her.

Valjean's heart ached, as he realized how she has been living all these years.  He held her in his arms, made promises of a better life, a more secure future and then they embraced, as adoptive father and daughter.

There were a few sighs of sweetness radiating through the audience. People viewing the scene were thrilled and hopeful for Cosette, knowing that now she will be safe and happy. Some in the audience may have been thinking back to the days when their children were young.  They may have envisioned times of playing ball, watching recitals or fishing by the pond.

Brian and I, however, had a different reaction.  As we watched small Cosette move her heavy water bucket aside and run to Jean Valjean to be safe in his embrace....we both made that squishy "what-in-the-world?" face and turned to look at each other.  As we glanced back toward the stage, Jean Valjean proceeded to present his new child with a dolly and a brand new coat. She was so very thankful and returned his hug with smiles and generous love.

Brian groaned a little in disgust as I rolled my eyes.

Brian and I heard the precious sighs of relaxation and happiness from audience members but for us, this scene sent us reeling back to reality in one big jolt.   We watched absurdity play out in front of us on the stage and had to hold back the powerful urge to stand up and say, "Heyyyy there people. Here's a note for future reference. It just don't happen like that." (said in my Kentucky-southern-making-a-stern-point accent)

"Saving" a child just does not "go" like that. It's just not going to happen. Here's the reality check.

Cosette would have been emotionally stunted, scarred and unable to return love.  She would not have been so quick to embrace this strange man in front of her.  She may have given the new coat back to him and explained that hers is just fine.  Her fast embrace and bonding moment would not have come so easily and frankly, may not have ever come at all. And that dolly he gave her?  Forget it.  That doll would have reminded her of all the dolls and toys she lost when her mother left.  That doll would have reminded her of all the dolls and toys she was unable to get through the years.  THAT doll would not have been THOSE dolls!

Reality.  It truly does suck.

Children who grow up in chaotic lifestyles rarely have the capacity to "give."  Even a hug or smile is often too much to share.  Taking a foster child to a "fun place" like Disney World, a McDonald's Play Place or even to a movie theater may have horrific side effects.  Yes, I am talking extreme melt-down, crying, can't cope with this stuff, kind of side effects.

It's only human nature to want to give foster children the experiences that thrilled us as children, but they cannot even handle the love that we show by washing their clothes and giving them their very own bed to sleep in.  This is usually very new to them. Most foster children need to get used to normalcy before they can even begin to understand how to process joy, excitement and mutual bonding.  They need to process day to day life like living in a clean home, eating on a more normal schedule, eating good food every day, having clean clothing to choose from daily, riding in a vehicle that doesn't break down, watching parents clean the home, helping to do household chores, living in an environment without fighting, yelling, chaos....

This is all ABNORMAL for them. They don't know how to adjust and it's difficult for them to figure out where they "fit" in this new environment. 

This lifestyle takes months and sometimes years to get used to.  Sadly, they often feel like they are not "good enough" to deserve this kind of life, because they know that their "real" family is still living their "old" life. They often hold guilt for living this new life.

Jean Valjean would have been in for a rude awakening.  Cosette would have rejected his hug.  She would have hidden food under her mattress and in her pillowcase.  She would have told him that the filthy coat she was wearing was just fine....because it was Hers!

Living the reality is not easy.  Watching Les Miz no longer makes my heart sing during those "precious" moments because those precious moments do not happen....and don't even get me STARTED on Annie and "Daddy Warbucks!"

Reality?  Well, Reality is MUCH more like Huckleberry Finn. Yep. Good Old Huck is the poster boy for foster children in my mind.  Running away, wearing his own dirty, holey, clothes, rejecting shoes and suits, refusing to bathe, refusing to go to school and refusing to obey most any rule...yep, he is the reality.  THAT is the normal routine.  If you can handle Huck, Please Click Here. He needs you.

And for the record... when you do get that first real hug and see that soul exchange of attachment in their is worth every challenge.




Love Carries

Nine months belonged to someone else, As she chose life for you
I held you tightly in my heart, Prayed for the souls of two 

Nine months and then the years passed by, The love for you, it grew
Sight unseen, my heart, it burst, God’s timing, it came due

I would have pushed so very hard, I would have pushed for you
But God saw greater labor still, Through time, to wait for you

Love gave you life, Love got you here, Love carried you through time
Love built this family, step by step,
You, love, were worth the climb 
Shelly Bannister-Mabe


Kazz, Dad, Judge, Brian, Me, Brisan, Mom, Daxx, Kole, Jaibrian,Vinze
I woke up this morning, stretched, rubbed my eyes and thought: 
Did that happen?

Yesterday was surreal. From the generous hugs and love of our family and friends, to the absolutely precious heart of the judge, to the kids spunky friends having a calm, loving, excited time with our family; everything went absolutely perfectly.

I would not change one thing that happened yesterday.

I woke up at 4:45 am....(well, I might change that part)....and could NOT go back to sleep, so Brian ran out to grab some Big Boy Breakfasts while I got the coffee brewing.  After breakfast and much moaning and groaning from the boys as they tried to wake, we all ate, got dressed and piled into the van.  Brise and Kazz rode with Grandma and Grandpa to the family-changing event. 
Kole, Brian, Daxx, Me, Dad, Judge, Brise, Mom, Kazz, Vinze

We arrived at the courthouse in the rain.  The parking was easy-peasy.  We filed out of the van and began the familiar walk to the court building, to appear before the same judge that finalized Vinze, Daxx and Kole's adoption.  Has it really been 5 years since we finalized the boys' adoption?
As we rode up in the elevator to the 3rd floor, I took a deep breath, looked around and almost pinched myself.  Look at this family.  Can anyone be this blessed?

The doors opened and we saw the smiling face of our adoption worker, Emiline.  The next time the doors opened we were met with bunches of hugs and kisses from family and friends.  We invited a bit more people than we were supposed to, but who cares. LOL

As we all piled into the closed court hearing, the judge looked at the crowd and then at Brian and me.  I decided to let the judge know that there were a lot of adopted children in that crowd of people.  "Oh Really?!" Came the reply. 

He then directed the parents and kids to sit in the jury box. They now had front row seats!  He was chomping at the bit to talk more about this crew of on-looking, jury box kids, but there was business to take care of, so the case began.

Ian, Simon, Patrick, Stephen, Vinze, James, Paul, Daxx, Kole, Abby, Rachel, Jaibrian, Liza
Jaibrian sat between Brian and me at the defendants table. while Vinze chose a seat next to me.  He later told me that the room and judge are just like he remembered from his own adoption. 

Brian and I were sworn in.  We were asked a series of important questions.  Do you wish to adopt Jaibrian?  Do you understand that you will have the responsibility for her moral and religious upbringing?  As I thought about the specific loved ones who were watching in the jury, the weight of that question hit me.  My parents, who raised me to Love and Serve Christ were seated there as witnesses.  Jeff, Jennifer and Stacy, all of whom I've prayed with, worshiped with, and shared our lives with...were witnesses. 

Jaibrian squeezed my fingers.
Brian and I answered the Judge's question succinctly. 

The State's attorney stood and began his proclamation.  He read our file, told a bit about our past history, explained that we are a homeschooling family and then declared that the State of Michigan Highly Recommends the adoption of Jaibrian to Brian and Shelly. He emphasized the "highly."  I liked that.  Our adoption worker followed suit with her recommendation. 
As the judge made his ruling he smiled.  "I rule for the adoption of Jaibrian to Brian and Shelly who have the ability...the Proven ability I will care for this child."  

I smiled and cried at the same time. There is something about the weight of their words and their distinct belief in our ability as parents that bear down on my psyche; Weight that pushes us on to be better, learn better, and do better.

After the proclamation, applause and congratulations, the judge turned his attention to the jury box.  Each person told their name and relationship to Jaibrian.  He then asked all of the adopted children to raise their hands. A sea of hands shot up.  Seven children out of 14 were adopted.  The officials of the court gasped and applauded.

Conversations ensued.  Pictures were taken and Simon,.....who was adopted in that same court room, officiated by the same judge years earlier.... got to sit in the Judges seat and bang the gavel. 

The day was breathtaking.  These children will never forget this day and the bond that they all share...birth and adopted children alike...will last forever. 

It was an exhausting, whirlwind of a day, and beautiful. The Mongolian BBQ after party and Ice Cream Cake put an exclamation point on the festivities as the sun went down.

Somehow, it must have been a dream, though I know it was very real. God has seen fit to bless our family with Jaibrian.  Her arrival marks the beginning of our new family life and the end of our foster parenting journey.  We are turning a new chapter in our lives and embracing it.  What will tomorrow bring?  Wow...what will it bring...



Reminder:  This blog is printed into hardcover books for my children.  I talk about personal beliefs, religion, parenting, and memories so my kids will have these words to read after I'm dead and gone.  This blog is a family legacy made for my children. It is what it is.

Kids, by now, it is well known that our family is "converting" to the Catholic religion.  I put the word 'converting' in quotes because I don't feel like we're doing anything more astounding than if we were switching from Baptist to Methodist. Know that your dad and mom are all about unity between all Christians. If people are serving Christ, they are your brother and sister in Christ, regardless of the name on their church door.  It's just not all that different unless their church is asking them to worship someone other than Christ Jesus. Now, with all that said, "converting" we are, and it's been quite the interesting social adventure, to say the least.   

During this "conversion," there have been times when some of our friends and well-meaning acquaintances have asked questions that literally cause me to chuckle.  I chuckle because I used to ask the same questions while trying to evangelize to Catholics. I don't get upset, and neither should you.  These people love us and are coming from a sincere place in their hearts...sometimes even when they are forceful and seem angry.  I often feel a sense of calm knowing from where the inquiry comes.  Their questions and statements are valid, so it's important for you to know WHY we are Catholic. 

I've decided to highlight one of the more forceful points of view so you know what you will undoubtedly deal with in the future if you haven't already.  We can't stop the barrage that some of the "meaner" people wage, but we can surely defend against it, if they become irate.  Usually, that is not the case.  Usually, people are sweet and truly want to know what we are thinking, but sometimes the following is what you will get. 

The following happens to deal with one of my pet peeves if you will.  It deals with misconceptions and downright ignorance that some "theologians" preach about Catholic teachings.  In order to cut to the chase, I've decided to highlight a statement made by a very, misguided man named John F. McArthur Jr.  

"Mr." McArthur Jr. is a well known Evangelical Pastor...quite wealthy if I'm not mistaken...who spouts, in offensive ways, about the Catholic religion. It is my hope to show the extreme ignorance that some popular, paid "theologians" spew, so my children, you will know fact from fiction.  Yes, even "popular" preachers can dispense hatred toward our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  I want to highlight this example here so that, hopefully, you will not be like sheep following MAN but instead, sheep following CHRIST JESUS. 

It didn't take me long to pick a passage to highlight from "Mr." McArthur's rants.  He's so full of crap...I'm sorry but he is...that I could have highlighted his page blindfolded and found errors in his "understanding" of the Catholic Doctrine.  His speech is dangerous because it causes division among Christians. He causes friction and is NOT a peacekeeper. 

Yes. He's full of crap.

Side Note:   This man is condemning an entire Christian Religion. In contrast, Catholics won't even say that they THEMSELVES are "saved" because they humbly leave that to be said by Christ Himself on judgment day.  Most Catholics will humbly say that they "have hope in their salvation" in order to be reverent in front of God.  Though they know they are saved..."because hope does not disappoint" Romans 5:5... they still will not announce their salvation before Jesus does.  If they won't say they are saved, you can imagine how difficult it would be for a practicing Catholic to tell someone that they are going to Hell. You'll be hard-pressed to find one. 

The following passage is a snippet from one of his "Sermons."  I encourage my Catholic friends to read it with a bottle of Mylanta by your side.  The misrepresentations and outright lies will cause indigestion.
"There's a lot that could be said about Roman Catholic theology. We could expose its errors, which are numerous; we could talk about its sources of revelation or divine truth that are outside the pages of scripture, or we could talk about the (1) corruption of the mass. We could talk about the idea that (2) Mary is the co-redemptrix which, of course, is really a blasphemous concept. We could talk about the idea that God is a tough guy, and (3) if anybody wants grace out of God, it's only Jesus who could get it from Him; (4) but you can't expect to go to Jesus because He's pretty tough himself, so (5) you need to go to Mary, because nobody can resist his mother. And so she'll talk to Him and he'll talk to the father, and Mary will get you what you need, or (6) some saint. We could talk a lot about those things; concepts of (7) purgatory, concepts of the (8) sinlessness of Mary, (9) the virgin birth of Mary, a lot of things about Catholic theology that we could speak about; most notably their erroneous (10) doctrine of justification, which cuts people off from the kingdom of God...."

I will stop there. 

I would like to note that this is the Second full paragraph of a 17 Page presentation. In this one paragraph, I found 10 full out falsehoods and/or inflammatory accusations about Catholic Teachings.  I will try my best to address each of the 10 in quick fashion.  I will link to outside sources for further reading so that this post does not become a book.

1. Corruption Of The Mass:  Some people "think" that Catholics "re-sacrifice" Christ every time they take the Eucharist. (communion)   This could NOT be further from the truth.  When partaking of the Eucharist (Communion) every Saturday (the Sabbath) or Sunday (The Lord’s Day), Catholics believe we are actually transcending time...well, Christ is transcending time to come to us.  Catholics are actually partaking of the last supper in remembrance of Jesus until His return to earth. Catholics are not "re-sacrificing" Him.  They are accepting His one sacrifice and doing it until he comes back, just as Jesus asked us to do. (Luke 22)

To sum up: Catholics believe that Christ saw each and every person on earth when He took the sins of the world onto Him during his crucifixion and that He offers himself to us through communion, sacramentally, to strengthen us...through time...until He comes again. The best way I know to explain this is that Jesus royal blood flows through a Catholic's veins both spiritually, through repentance and faith believing AND physically by partaking of the last supper each and every church service. (mass)  They believe Jesus is handing them the “bread/wine” through time. (CCC 1323)

2. Mary Co-Redemptrix:  Catholics want to adore Mary and give her a place of honor in their lives because they are afraid they will offend Jesus if they don't acknowledge His Mother. (Luke 1:42 & Luke 1:48) 

They know that we are to honor our mother and father in Christ so, if Jesus was fully God and He was fully man on this earth also...making him our God AND our brother "in Christ"...we should Honor Our Mother in Christ. She IS Jesus' Mother chosen by God. She conceived him from the Holy Spirit, she was THERE when Jesus was born, she raised Him and she watched Him die. She was at the foot of the cross agonizing. A Catholic can't comprehend NOT honoring her.

The issue for Protestants is that we don't ever, ever talk to anyone but Jesus. We see any chatter between ourselves and someone in Heaven as worship. Catholics, however, talk with their brothers and sisters in Christ in Heaven all the time. They read Hebrews 11 thru 12:1 and believe that when we die, we can be part of the cloud of witnesses.  Though our bodies died on earth, our spirit is alive and still able to worship Christ and pray for our fellow brothers and sisters.  To Catholics, asking one of the cloud of witnesses to pray for them is no different than asking our friends on earth to pray for us.  Catholics recognize the huge difference between honor and worship. They worship Christ. They honor Mary.

Side Note: Some sects of the world do put Mary in a position of worship, but this is NOT what the Catholic Church teaches. As with any religion, you will find people who go a bit "off-track" from the actual teaching of their religion. There is even a sect of Catholics who want the church to change their teaching so Mary can also forgive sins.  BUT! that is NOT what the church teaches and has been denied by council after council when anyone has tried to bring this to the table. Mary Worship is NOT something that is in the Catholic doctrine....though she is highly looked up to for her unique relationship with Christ.  There are words that are used for Mary that cause Protestants to bulk...
Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.....and there HAVE been some people, and even some leaders of the Catholic Church to call her the Co-Redemptrix...weird name sounds like some sort of warlock or whatever to me..  In the context that these terms are used, the leaders of the church are meaning that she served as Christ's mother and was there at all of the important times in His life when His work with Salvation was taking place. That is to say that Mary helped HIM do HIS work for our salvation AS HIS MOTHER.  THAT is the "Co" part of their equation.  She is NOT the person who saves sins and her work is not what saves us, but she was THERE...right beside Him... for all of it.  In "that" way they are using those terms. They are using words to honor her role in helping Christ on earth while he completed His task.  They do NOT mean that she can or ever will forgive our sins...but that she helped Jesus fulfill His work so that our sins could be saved by His one sacrifice. 

I personally think they should not use the term "co-redemptrix" because it causes great confusion and could be dangerous if some uneducated people come to believe that she is a savior. 

3. If anybody wants grace out of God, it's only Jesus who could get it from Him:  Yes.  Catholics teach that The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God. (CCC 233) Grace comes from Jesus who died for our sins. (CCC 445) Only through Him can we come to the Father. (CCC 434)  He actually got that one right. 

4. But you can't expect to go to Jesus because He's pretty tough himself:  That is absolutely false.  Catholics pray to Jesus all the time.  They pray to him for forgiveness, for healing, for anything at all.  It may interest some people to know that even when a Catholic is in a confessional, they pray to Jesus alone for forgiveness using "the act of Contrition" which is like the sinner's prayer that Protestants use.  

5. Quote: You need to go to Mary, because nobody can resist his mother. And so she'll talk to Him and he'll talk to the father, and Mary will get you what you need... Again, Mary is not worshiped.  She is Jesus' mother, so many people ask her to pray FOR them.  A person can be Catholic and never talk to Mary one time.  There are Catholics who were born Catholic and have never talked to her once. 

 6.  ...or some saint:  Again, cloud of witnesses.  They are thought to still be part of the family of God after they die and so we can ask them to pray FOR us. 

7.  concepts of purgatory:  The history of Purgatory dates back before Jesus was here on earth. Click Here for some History.  Basically, Catholics believe that when a person dies, they will have the true knowledge that "God Is a Consuming Fire" (Hebrews 12:29)  It is at that time that the soul will go through Judgment day. Catholics believe that the person/soul will find out where they are going right then.  They either go to Heaven "in the Fire of God's Love", Hell "in the Fire of God's punishment" or "walk through fire"...(Purgatory) be purified by the Fire of Gods purgation....before they enter Heaven. Read a LOT more HERE

Purgatory is a completely foreign concept to Protestants. I can safely say that most Protestants have never read the writings of the Early Church leaders...(the leaders of the Churches right after Christ's resurrection)…before The King James Version of the Bible was even compiled.  That's true for me anyway. I didn’t even know there were records about how churches were run before the Bible was compiled and what-not.  The idea that it was "common knowledge" that there could be a "walk of fire" has never been presented to most Protestants.  This is why we cannot understand how we would "Need" a "Walk of Fire" if Jesus has saved us and forgiven us from our sins.

Here’s The "Rub": there is often talk among Protestants about what happens if we are about to have a car wreck or if our heart suddenly stops beating and we don't have time to pray for forgiveness....knowing that we all sin every day.   We all "assume" that we are forgiven because of Jesus' Precious Grace....however....we do have this nagging knowledge that "NO" sin will enter into Heaven. (ack!)  This is the place that ties that little psychological dance into a nice bow for me.  I understand the "need" for “a walk of fire” in "that" circumstance....though I still believe Jesus blood covers every sin...but we still pray for forgiveness every can see the circle of never-ending thought there.

Side Note: I "think" that the big issue with Purgatory is that many Protestants, "think" Catholics are trying to "pray people out of Hell."  We don't think of Purgatory at all so to us, it's hell...not a walk of fire.  We also "think" that Catholics assume they will automatically get to go to either Heaven or Purgatory just because they are Catholic.  We "think" that Catholics believe they are safe from hell right after their infant baptism.   Which, my Protestant friends, is NOT the case...And...If a person is going to hell, purgatory is NOT a stop on that trip. So, you know...we can stop thinking that now. ;o)

8.  concepts of the sinlessness of Mary:  This is true.  The Catholic teaching is that Adam and Eve were sent to earth sinless.  When they sinned, they "ruined" everything.   We see in Genesis 3:15 the first mention of Mary.  We can see Mary, the “woman”; the Mother of the Messiah.  At that point, GOD put "a condition of enmity" between her and Satan.  God himself placed that condition between her and Satan...because He can do that.  Mary’s victory over Satan would not have been perfect if she had ever been under Satan’s dominion. Consequently, she must have entered this world without the stain of original sin, like Adam and Eve, due to God's command and promise to Satan in Genesis. BUT only because GOD allowed it to be so for Jesus sake. 
For Example: Just think of the Ark of the Covenant.  People could not even touch it or they would die!
Mary CARRIED Jesus in her womb!  

Mary was not "perfect" in herself, because there was no perfect human on not one!  She was human BUT God put enmity between her and Satan ALLOWING her to be sinless FOR Jesus sake and Jesus WAS her savior! (Luke 1:46) She was NOT a "perfect human" on her own or by herself. That's impossible.  She also needed Jesus as her savior.  The Catholic Teachings go something like this:  The early Fathers of the church...before the Bible was "made" and before printing presses were invented....passed on Jesus' teachings by mouth.  They said orally that “the knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, The Virgin Mary loosened by her faith” (Lumen Gentium 56).  That teaching was highlighted in Mary being the New Eve sent by God; prophesied by God Himself in Genesis.

9. the virgin birth of Mary: The Catholic Church has no official teaching on whether or not the Virgin Mary had a virgin conception and virgin birth.  I have no idea where he got this. The Catholic Church is a huge, worldwide religion.  He probably found a small sect of the world that teaches this and pounced on it.  If so, shame on him.

 10.  doctrine of justification, which cuts people off from the kingdom of God:

First things First...

Anathema: This word became popular during the Reformation.  During this turbulent time, the Catholic Church found it necessary to let people know exactly their teachings about certain key points of doctrine.  Those people who did not believe in those specific points were "Anathema."  That word means "SET APART FROM."  In this instance, it meant, "not Catholic" or "set apart from our religion."  Some people of that day "thought" that if a person wasn't Catholic, well, then they must be damned to hell.  So "Anathema" also came to mean "damned" to some people.  However, in reality, the Church Leaders were not damning people to hell.  They were actually saying; “if you don't believe this, then you are ‘not Catholic.’” 

JUSTIFICATION:   The Catholic Church does not teach "Grace by works."  Here is a snippet about "getting saved" that is written in their teachings...It's from the Council of Trent. 

" is justified by faith and freely, those words are to be understood in that sense which the perpetual consent of the Catholic Church hath held and expressed; to wit, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all Justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come unto the fellowship of His son: but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification-whether faith or works-merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace"CHAPTER VIII. In what manner it is to be understood, that the impious is justified by faith, and gratuitously.

Guess what, Mr. McArthur! 
Catholics are saved by Grace through Faith!  

They do, however, emphasize KEEPING salvation and NOT turning away from Christ.  In doing so, they encourage Faith, Hope and Charity. They encourage church attendance, taking the Eucharist (communion) and basically LIVING the LIFE of a Christian and having a full prayer life so that we may stay strong in Christ. The teachings warn against "vain confidence" in our own "doing" for our salvation.  We need to be aware of our imperfections and know that we cannot fully know all of God's plans thus we need to be humble and strive daily in our Christianity. Chapter XI: But no one, how much soever justified, ought to think himself exempt from the observance of the commandments;

If being saved by "works" means praying for forgiveness, getting baptized, living for Christ and adhering to His Commandments, attending Church, taking communion and following Christ's teachings...then Yes; Catholics are proudly guilty of such preaching.....And so are most Protestants.  (By the fruit of our work we shall be known.*Matt. 7:17 )


Perception - Perspective
The Title of Mr. McArthur's sermon sparks interest in the Priest scandal.  The Catholic Church is huge, which makes it a large, easy target to tear down.  With over 44,000 Protestant churches, the scandals that arise in those communities affect only that one building, but because the Catholic Church is so vast, the horrible incidents that occurred have stained the Church.  Thinking adults know that The Church IS its congregation. The congregation and God's Grace will mend this community.

The leaders who perpetrated those heinous acts are finally coming to light and paying the consequences.  Sadly, their human frailties and sins have charred the whole of the Catholic community.  Mr. McArthur takes advantage of that limp and is trying to kick the church community when it's down. I don't like it and I won't address it further, except to say, Please keep praying for the victims and those in the Catholic Church who will work to strengthen the innocent leaders and the congregant revival.

On the issue of doctrine, I think we can all see that both sides of the Isle are guilty of spouting views that encourage, what I call "Cheap Grace."  Some Protestants preach “Grace Alone” while some Catholics preach "Works Alone."  The truth, however, is that most of us believe in Grace backed by the Fruit of our Works. (Matt: 7: 21-28) 

We will never be "good enough" to go to Heaven, but by accepting, loving, and following Christ, we will be able to get there.  By practicing His teachings and striving to fulfill His plan in our lives, we can have hope in our Salvation.  Let Our Souls Rejoice when God announces it on that Joyous day! 

In the end, we all want to hear...."Well done my good and faithful servant."  

We can't hear those words spoken if we don't "DO" something down here. What have we done?   Let us all Pray and find what God wants for our lives because faith without works IS dead (James. 2:24) yet not of our own works are we saved, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2)  Pray to God that we may weave both premises into our lives.

So, let's answer the question.  Why are we Catholic?  
Because the Catholic Church has the fullness of the Eucharist; The communion that Jesus handed down through do until He comes again. We aren't "better than" Protestants or "more saved" and we certainly aren't worse or less saved either.  We just get to take the Eucharist. Your mom and dad need that...and so do you. It's as simple as that...and as important as that. 
More from your mother here...