Catherine’s Column #3

By: Catherine Amaris Munoz

“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To Him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” ~1 Peter 5: 5, 7, & 10-11

Hi, fellow home-schooling teens!! My name is Catherine Munoz. I am a homeschooler from Monrovia, California, USA. I am in the 12th grade. This is my third column for the “Homeschooling Teen e-zine”, and I am excited to share more columns with you all in the future!

I always enjoy writing these monthly columns, not only for my own enjoyment but, hopefully, for the enjoyment of others as well. I was unable to write one for the month of June. Despite the busyness and complexity of this month, I still wanted to be sure that I wrote a column, even if only to share this following story with you.

This past month has been especially trialing for my family and I. On Sunday, June 5th, my mom experienced a mini-stroke here at our home. TIA (or Transient Ischemic Attack) is the medical term for it. As you can probably imagine, it was very difficult to have to watch her momentarily slip out of awareness. It was not only I who witnessed this: it was also my other two sisters (ages 20 and 27), and my niece and nephew (ages 6 and 7). At first, she seemed to be fine: going about with her Sunday as she usually does. Upon leaving Sunday mass, she seemed unusually exhausted. She lied on the couch, asking for some water and a saltine cracker for the nausea, all the while remaining calm: for our sake. We are standing around her, with nothing to do but pray and wonder what is happening. She’s feeling nauseous, dizzy, forgetful, and tired, all at the same time. Her right hand, which was holding the saltine cracker, suddenly goes limp. As we realize something is seriously wrong, and she looks up at us, we know she doesn’t know what just occurred. My oldest sister rushed her to the emergency room, where she received immediate attention and care. She was back at home with us after being treated in the hospital for three days. We are continuing to watch over her at this time, as we are aware that she is now 10-times more likely to experience a full-stroke, now that she has had TIA occur. That Sunday morning seemed to be like any other: we always make attending Sunday mass a priority. What I believe is so amazing is that, just prior to her stroke, we had celebrated mass at our church, Holy Angels. She feels that if she hadn’t received communion that day, she may not have made it through… I think she may be right. A stroke can occur to anyone, of any age, at any time. I thought this story might help you, as it helped me, to realize just how fragile life is, and how each day should be treasured and lived as though it is your last. I thank God everyday for helping my mom, and my family to get through that unexpected trial.

July’s Music Corner:

This month’s featured Christian music artists are:

“Superchick” & “Abandon”

Superchick is an American Christian pop/rock band. Their fifth-released album titled, “Rock What You Got” (2008), is my favorite of their albums. On there, you’ll find fun songs like, “Alive, “Rock What You Got,” “Hey, Hey,” “Cross The Line,” and for one with more serious lyrics, “Crawl.” Many find comparison and similarity in Superchick’s rock-sound to popular music artists and bands like No Doubt and Avril Lavigne. Some celebrities you may know who also follow Superchick are: Audrina Patridge, from MTV’s The Hills, Demi Lovato, from Disney’s Camp Rock, American auto racing driver, Danica Patrick, and Taylor Momsen from The CW’s hit show Gossip Girl. Their music has been featured in well-known movies and shows like: Disney’s Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Disney’s Ice Princess, Legally Blonde 1 & 2, Nancy Drew, & MTV’s The Hills, just to name a few! If you like rock, I believe you’ll like the way Superchick “rocks what they’ve got”!

Abandon is a pop/rock band, which also happens to be Christian. Lead vocalist, Josh Engler, has had his voice and his band’s style be compared to that of Brandon Flowers from the popular band, The Killers. One of my favorites by Abandon is, “Feel It In Your Heart,” which is a single-release song. Also, check out some of their other songs: “New Years Day,” “Safe In Your Arms,” and “Your Love Lifts Me Up.” Their brand new album was just released this year of 2011, called, “Control.” Check out Abandon for yourself!

July’s Movie Review: “Transformers 3” (2011)

I recently watched the newly released movie, Transformers 3. Being that the new Chevy Camaro is one of my favorite cars, I fell in love with the yellow Camaro Transformer within the movie: Bumblebee. The other autos showcased in the movie were also breathtaking, and, alone, were worth the ticket price. As in the other two previous Transformers movies, Shia Labeouf is the main star. Also, the well-known actor, John Malkovich, played a good and humorous role in the movie, and turned out to be one of my favorite characters! One of the morals I observed in the movie is how a civilization will surely be brought to ruins if it is not dealt with in a fair manner: free from lies and deception. Being that the Homeschooling Teen e-zine is based upon a Christian foundation and upon Christian morals, I find it fitting for me to include that, within the movie, there were some innuendos and scenes that I found to be completely unnecessary. But, all in all, I found Transformers 3 to be very intriguing and entertaining, with its non-stop action and several great laughs along the way! For an even more exciting experience, see Transformers 3 in 3-D or IMAX 3-D, although it was still fun to watch it as I did: without glasses.

July’s Recipe: “Light-As-Air Lemon Cake”

Above photo provided by

“A lemon-lover’s delight, this delicious and easy-to-make cake has been made (and enjoyed) several times, over the past few months! It tastes even better the next day, when the lemon-glaze has completely soaked in, so you may want to bake ahead! And, as if you needed another incentive to make it, it’s practically GUILT-FREE!”

Makes one loaf cake.

Estimated total time required: Preparation- 20 minutes; Baking time- 50-60 minutes.

What you’ll need:

For cake:

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (regular, low-fat, or nonfat)

1 cup sugar

1 whole large egg + 3 large egg whites

2 teaspoons (approx. 2 lemons’) grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup vegetable oil

For glaze:

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

*Tip before baking*: “The delicious glaze soaks-in completely by the following day. This recipe can be made in a loaf pan, tube pan, or decorative fluted pan. Definitely, watch the cake after the 50-minute mark: my oven cooked it in 52 minutes.” =oD


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour your cake pan.

2. Measure flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl: whisk until combined. In large bowl, mix yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.

3. Add dry ingredients into the wet ones and (with a spatula,) slowly blend together, without over-mixing. Fold oil into the batter until incorporated.

4. Pour batter into pan, smooth top, and bake for about 50-60 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center no-longer comes out wet). When done, allow to cool in pan 10 minutes. Prepare glaze, and drizzle on warm (not hot!) cake while on a baking rack over a sheet pan. Enjoy!

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