Saturday, December 31, 2005

So-long 2005

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;
All things are passing;
God never changeth;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Who God possesseth
In nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth.

That shall be my prayer for this year;
The first and the last lines challenge me the most.

I am thankful for a year full of many wonderful small things....
and nothing horrible.

That's a good year to me. :o)

Just one of the many, wonderful small things :o)

Encourage one another,

Friday, December 30, 2005

Carrie at Mommybrain has posted a doozy of a New Years Meme....

I have chosen just five questions for that list to play with today.

1. What kept you sane this year?

2. What was the best book you read?

3. What was your favorite TV show?

4. Who was the best new person you met?

5. Tell us a valuable life lesson.

Big doin's around here lately.
Matthew's girlfriend (yep, I'm gonna call her that)has come to visit and will stay with us for four days. She is a very sweet girl and is easy to be around.
We took her to the big Booshay family Christmas dinner and gift exchange last night. Everyone was very sweet...but it is still a little daunting for a moderately shy girl to walk into our loud family gatherings :o)
She did beautifully.

We played Sports "Screen it!" It was very fun.

Bring on the movie and television versions!!!

Emma will head North today for her yearly New Years gathering. This has become a great tradition for Emma and her friends! The Yates' open their house and the kids come from all over. I would love to be a fly on the wall for this one!!!
Last year they filmed 'The Lord of the Rings'....for days.
I can't imagine the silliness!

I'm was starting to enjoy The Count of Monte Cristo...because I thought I thought I knew who was who....
but now I have some Villeforts mixed up. I thought Villefort was murdered by Benettio...who is the Villefort that the Count is now speaking with???
It's all very confusing to me.
I must buy Cliff Notes soon!

I am on page five hundred and fifty now.
Almost half way.

It really is an interesting story. If only I weren't so daft!

Looking forward to your Friday Five answers :o)

Encourage one another,

p.s. Everyone is still asleep. (Well except for Emma and her Dad who are off working) It is so quiet here.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Seen and heard in Sandy's comment box.

I once heard a wise man say that raising our children is about bringing them to love the standard, not chafe against it. If there are lots of rules and no joy, they will run hard in the opposite direction.
~Carol in Oregon

I have often wondered why children rebel. Especially children from families that are trying so hard to do the right thing.

But joyfully living 'the standard' instead of joylessly following a long list of rules sounds to be an excellent step in the right direction.

Of course there is sin, and personalities, and circumstances, and environment to consider....but so much of that we have no control over. But, joyfully living 'the standard'...yes! That's it! That is how I want to live.

Sounds like a perfect New Years Resolution!

Encourage one another,

Carol...can you think of the 'wise man's' name?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Knowing God means a great deal more than just knowing about Him.
It means walking with Him, talking with Him, living with and for Him.
~Elisabeth Elliot

"Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in Him.
By this we know that we are in Him."
1 John 2:5

Hinds' Feet for High Places is an allegory which tells of Much-Afraid's
journey to knowing God and His love.

If you are finding your journey difficult, you might be encouraged by this book.
(It was a blessing to me when it was given to me on my 40th birthday.)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

On the needles

Yes, the yarn is called Neapolitan.
Like the ice cream, of course.

Isn't it delicious!

I prefer the woolish kind to the creamy kind :o)


Matthew is feeling a little bit better. The swelling around his eyes has gone away and he looks more like himself. He also says that his swollen lymph nodes are getting smaller and less sore.

He has been resting...except for a trip to Lambeau Field on Christmas Day. I am pushing liquids and we are adding Echinacea and Astragalus to his drinks several times a day.

Continue to pray...if you don't mind.
Thank you :o)

Is everyone just cleaning and picking up all day?

It seems to be all I between the movie watching and cooking and knitting...

Encourage one another,

Monday, December 26, 2005

Birthday Cake Part II

I'm not much at decorating birthday cakes...

but I happen to love how this one looks :o)

The frosting is my sister's recipe. It is called Twinkie Frosting.

3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 c. veg. oil
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar, veg. oil, short., and butter.
Mix at high for 5 minutes.
Add egg white and vanilla.
Beat 3 more minutes.

Cindy frosts a white cake with this frosting thus the Twinkie name.
I frosted a chocolate I guess it was more like a Suzy Q :o)

Movies watched since Christmas eve...

Cinderella Man
On Golden Pond
Sky High

All good.

Cinderella Man was a little too depressing and slow for the first hour.
And really all I wanted was for them to move out of that horrid hovel.
Visions of Angela Ashes danced in my head.

The boxing matches were too long for me too...thank goodness I had some gorgeous yarn to knit on!

I'll show you the sock I am knitting....

Encourage one another,

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas to all

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul, and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today;
Ox and ass before Him bow; and He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Six kisses when you wake...

Six candles on your cake!

Happy Birthday Katie!

I love you to infinity and back plus one.

Illustration by the wonderful Linnea

A Christmas Meme

1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
Sometimes hot chocolate....sometimes apple cider....
I don't drink many hot drinks.
I wonder how Diet Dr. Pepper would taste hot?
I'm guessing....gross.

2. Turkey or Ham?
Turkey. As long as I have lots of gravy to go on it :o)

3. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree?
Real tree. A must.

4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
Very few. One very nice wreath :o)
A Christmasy flag.
Sometimes a few lights on shrubs.

5. Snowball fights or sleddin'?

7. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
I would prefer an outdoor Oakbrook to an inside mall.

8. Favorite Christmas song?
I like most hymns sung in the Christmas season. Big loud singing by a whole church!
Songs that everyone remembers, loves and delights in singing.

10. How do you feel about Christmas movies?
Love 'em.

11. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
I prefer to wait until just a few days before Christmas.

12. Stockings before or after presents?

13. Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them?
Very....very....rarely do we get carolers!!!

14. Go to someone else's house or they come to you?
In-laws come to our house on Christmas Eve.
My sister-in-law has us over sometime during the Christmas break.

15. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when?
We listen to Linus read it.
Perhaps we should read it today.

16. What do you do after presents and dinner?
Watch television...usually sports...
I look around for a movie to watch.

17. What is your favorite holiday smell?
Fresh winter air.

18. Ice skating or walking around the mall?
I hate walking around the mall.
I wish I could skate like I use to.

19. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?
We do the relative exchange on Christmas Eve.
Family presents in the morning.

20. Favorite Christmas memory?
When Katie was born...and we came home on Christmas morning.

21. Favorite Part about winter?
How pretty it looks.
Sleeping with the window open and having a cold face and warm bod.

22. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?

Yes. The last misletoe I remember was in Wheaton ( in the 70's)....and I'll bet my sister Cindy kissed me under it. She was probably being sweet and silly!
Which she usually is :o)

We have company coming tonight...
I have gifts to wrap, food to prepare, a cake to bake, a house to clean, a song to sing....

I better get this party started :o)

Happy Christmas Eve day to you all!


Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Friday Five

Why do we give gifts at Christmas?
Is it because the Wise Men brought the Christ child gifts?
Or is it because God sent his son as a gift to the world?
Or does the gift giving have non-religious roots?

Would you like to share five gifts that Jesus has given you?

Mine would be...

The gift of my faith.
The gift of family.
The gift of health.
The gift of salvation.
The gift of friends.

Who could ask for anything more?

Encourage one another,

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Winding Wool

She'd bring to me a skein of wool
And beg me to hold out my hands;
so on my pipe I cease to pull
And watch her twine the shining strands
Into a ball so snug and neat,
Perchance a pair of socks to knit
To comfort my unworthy feet,
Or pullover my girth to fit.

As to the winding I would sway,
A poem in my head would sing,
And I would watch in dreamy way
The bright yarn swiftly slendering.
The best I liked were coloured strands
I let my pensive pipe grow cool . . .
Two active and two passive hands,
So busy wining shining wool.

Alas! Two of those hands are cold,
And in these days of wrath and wrong,
I am so wearyful and old,
I wonder if I've lived too long.
So in my loneliness I sit
And dream of sweet domestic rule . . .
When gentle women used to knit,
And men were happy winding wool.

~Robert William Service

A fish tail lace scarf

For me this scarf is the Monte Cristo of knitting.
Slow, detailed, a little confusing, but very much worth pursuing.

How are your Christmas preparations coming?

Is that list getting shorter? Are you able to rest yet?
Are you able to reflect yet?

Are you yearning for some Peace on Earth?

Shall we all sit in a circle and sing...

Dona Nobis Pacem, Pacem.
Dooooooona, Nooobis, Paaaaaacem.

a. Dona nobis pacem, pacem.
Dona nobis pacem.
b. Dona nobis pacem.
Dona nobis pacem.
c. Dona nobis pacem.
Dona nobis pacem.

Translated, "Give us peace," this
traditional Latin hymn may be sung
as a canon. A new voice starts
when the preceding voice reaches
the next section.

Listen here.

There, that was nice :o)

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ho Ho Yummy Yo

Ho Ho Ho

I love this time of year.

I love it so.

All of my siblings live far away...
So, in the last few weeks, a Christmas package has arrived almost every day.
Plus it is Katie's birthday on the 24th!
Plus I have been buying myself a little yarn...

It's like......Christmas!

Yesterday we received a big plain white box.

Katie stood next to me as I sawed at the tape with a kitchen knife.

The small gift card dropped to the table. Ah, it's from Nancy.

I flipped open the box tops to find a large spiral cut ham.

Oh. This will be nice to have on Christmas Eve, I thought.

"Huh" said Katie. "Why would she send us a ham?"
"Does she think we are poor?"

"No, honey. She doesn't think we're poor."
"This is a very nice ham from a very nice place. I'm sure it is delicious!"

It reminded me of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
When the wise men (Herdmans) brought their food-basket ham to the Christ Child instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

When we finish reading the book, I think Katie will think of ham as a very lovely gift :o)

I do :o)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Thank you very much for your prayers for Matthew.

He is indeed sick. He has mono.

I picked Matthew up in Des Moines on Sunday (Patrick Jr. met us there so I didn't have to drive all the way to Omaha) and man, he looked wiped!

He was mostly worried about the little lumps on his neck and one on his back. And, well, the fact that he is exhausted and has night sweats...

So he agreed to go to the doctor.

Yesterday we headed to the pediatrician. (It was odd to go to the pediatrition with a big strappin' boy. He is almost 21! But the receptionists assured me that it was fine for Matthew to be there. They said, it is not uncommon for people to stay with their pediatrition until they are out of college.)

They checked for strep. Nope.
Bloodtest. Yes.

Definitely Mono.

"Drink fluids and rest."

Isn't it surprising that there is not a drug to kill virus' yet?
I find it surprising.

So you might think Matthew is resting away. Drinking his organic Apple Juice.

You might think that!?!

But, no.

He went on a trip to visit some friends in the Northwoods.
The big basketball game reunion is tonight and he was NOT going to miss it.


There comes a time when children don't do what you tell them.
It is a challenging time.

I usually don't boss my college boys. They are making decisions for themselves now.

I know I am right. I know I should be honored.

I know I am not in control.

Like I said, challenging.

This is why I am so thankful for my faith in God.

When I don't have any control over things....or people....

I am glad I can entrust my things or people to Him....

To His capable, loving, trustworthy hands.

It's all I can do, sometimes.

At what age do you stop 'forcing' your children to do things?
How did you determine this age?

Encourage one another,

Monday, December 19, 2005

Why we do it


True love is but a humble, low-born thing,
And hath its food served up in earthenware;
It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand,
Through the everydayness of this work-day world...

Help me, O Lord, to serve
with a gentle and gracious attitude.


Encourage one another,

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Well Done

Well I worried about Katie's wiggliness for nothing.
(which is usually the way with worry)

Our homeschool group climbed to the very tip top of the Overture Center, found our comfy seats, and settled in for the two hour show.

Katie was quiet and still and seemed to be enjoying it.

And then it was over.

And I asked her, "What was your favorite part?"

"When it was over."

Perhaps she was worn out by using every bit of her self control to sit so nicely.
Or perhaps it went on a little long for one so young.
Or perhaps her tummy was distracting her.

All I know is that she was glad it was over!

But, she said she would still like to be in the Nutcracker.
Because..."They get the movements...and we just sit around, not talking"


". . . for it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself."

Encourage one another,

Friday, December 16, 2005

You may think that because we live in Wisconsin, it snows like this all of the time.
Well...since we have lived in Southern Wisconsin we have had such mild winters, we have not even had snow on Christmas.

Not this year!

Wednesday we had fine, dry snow all day long.
And yesterday the snow came down in giant clumps.

Entertainment, Quiet Life Style.

This kind of snow also gives the girls in this family reason for exercise and fresh air.

And you see, Patrick's favorite thing is a shoveled driveway. He's crazy about it.
It's not food.


The way to this man's heart is through a shovel.
(Or Rug Dr. as I learned this week)


We are going to see the Nutcracker today!!!

I can't wait!

Emma and I went to the Nutcracker in Seattle about ten years ago. (We went with Janice! It was fabulous!)
At the time the Seattle Nutcracker sets were designed by Maurice Sendak.
It was very different and beautiful.

Friday Five

Do you like going to the ballet?
Have you see the Nutcracker?
Would you want to be in the Nutcracker?
Do you have a nutcracker at your house? And do you use it?
Do you think Katie will sit quietly through the whole thing?

Better get going! We are going to the 'school performance' of the Nutcracker.
So we will go this morning! Neat huh?

Encourage one another,

P.S. Matthew (our 20 year old son) is not feeling well at all. He had a fever all week and has swollen glands. Seeing that he is at college it's hard for me to do anything but suggest he see a Dr. and pray.
Would you join in praying me for Matthew's health today?

Thank you so much.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Go and see....

A most beautiful Holy Family

My sister Sue asks in the comments;

What is your favorite ornament on your tree and why?

Won't you post a picture on your blog or describe it in the comments?
Purdy Please?

Last year I posted a picture of my favorite ornament.

My children always prefer their 'babies first Christmas' ornaments.

Katie does not have one. She was born, unexpectedly on Dec. 24th 1999. By the time I thought of it....all of the babies first Christmas ornaments were long gone from the store.

Perhaps I should search around ebay or have one specially made for her :o)


Do you need a new recipe for hash brown potatoes?

Janie posted one yesterday morning...and well....I made it already.
And. Wow! Is it good!

Hash Brown Potato casserole

1 32 oz frozen hash browns
1 stick butter, melted
½ cup finely chopped onions
½ cup mayonnaise
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cornflakes, crushed

Combine frozen potatoes, ½ of the melted butter, mayonnaise, onion, soup, sour cream, and cheese. Mix well and pour into a greased casserole.

Stir the remaining butter with cornflakes and sprinkle on top.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 50 minutes.

I hope you don't mind my posting your recipe over here.
Just trying to make it easier for the folks :o)

Oh, and by the way, this wacky Cheesehead, accidently put in two cups of cheddar cheese, instead of one. Ooops. Didn't hurt it a bit :o)

Hey...those might be nice with some friend eggs.


Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Three nights in a row I have read The Count of Monte Cristo...and I have no idea who the author is talking about. But I plod along gathering information and hoping it will come to me. Who is Morcerf? I have a vague recollection of that name...but who is it?

Last night I go back 300 pages and look for the name. I look for the men that Cristo hates...Danglars, Villefort, Fernand.
No Morcerf.

So this morning I visit my trusty information place.


Internet movie data base.

Yes. I visit a movie site. Because here is where I know I can find the movie of The Count of Monte Cristo and a list of the characters.
Here is where my cultural literacy begins and pretty much ends.

And there it is. Fernand Mondego, Count of Morcerf

Ah yes,
Fernand, the man who loves Mercedes, the man who sends the Count to prison, has become the Count of Morcerf.

Now I remember.

Thank you internet movie data base!


And so The Amazing Race Family Edition comes to an end.

Man, those editors really worked it at the very end.

If you didn't see the finale. The Linz family raced to the million dollars just seconds ahead of the Bransens. looked like seconds. In fact, it looked like the Bransens would win. But actually, the Linz family won by a few minutes.
It was the closest final leg I have ever seen.

The final task was putting a giant puzzle together. I loved this.
It was a map of South, Central and North America.

The Bransens and the Linz families got to the map almost at the same time.
It was exciting.

(Katie and I have done some of her 100 piece puzzles so many times...I ask her if we can time ourselves. Play beat the clock with the she says, she doesn't like to do that. She would rather enjoy the puzzle.)

Good for her :o)

Here is an online place the state game. Place the States
It's a good one!

~actual size

Ho Ho!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The carpet in the living room is dry.
And I was able to carry the little tree in all by myself.
Do you see how small the space if for a tree?

We lost a bit in order to fit it in the stand...

So it is even smaller than even I thought it would be.

I don't think I will put my Muffy Angel on top. She will look like King Kong.

Wouldn't it be funny to put a blue blanket around the bottom of the tree this year?

Okay...enough about our wee tree.

The carpets look very nice. They were filthy and I had my work cut out for me.
So glad it's done...and remind me on June 15th to do it all over again.

That would be the smart thing to do.
Don't you think?

Onward and upward....

We've got so much time and so little to do.
Reverse that.

(We watched Willie Wonka last night, can you tell?)

I have a nice hardy list of things to do today.
Better get started :o)

Thank you for so many complimentary comments yesterday! Reading them brought me cheer amid the buckets of dirty water and trips to Madison.


Encourage one another,

p.s. Have you ever peeked at your Christmas presents prior to receiving them?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Merry Christmas Everyone!

We made a quick trip out to a tree farm yesterday. We chose a little tree, Patrick chopped it down and Katie got to spend a little time in the glorious snowy sunlight with her old folks.

And most importantly, she had the perfect opportunity to model a precious hat I just finished knitting in the morning!

I truly think it is the cutest hat I have ever seen. It thrills the nostalgic side of me. It belongs in Miracle on 34th St. doesn't it?

And that picot edging...well it is soooooo pretty and perfect :o)

Here is what it looks like lying flat.

Everything Old is New Again
Child's Bonnet
Cascade Yarn
Design by Amy E. Anderson

That is my first tassel.
It took a few tries...and I am not sure if it will hold.
But it is a tassel.


Just a few comments about the Survivor last night.

Yeah! Danni.

But, man, what is with the collagen filled lips? She was so beautiful without those puffed up, fake lips. Give me a break :o(

Do you really think Stephanie thought people would forgive her for stabbing them in the back? Get a clue girl. They all were furious with you.

Rafe, Rafe. Rafe. Don't tell the girl she is free to vote for whoever she wants....and then hold it against her when she doesn't take you.

I actually thought the jury was too kind to Stephanie.
Three people in a row took her on special rewards with them...
and she voted against them at the next council.
Bad form.
Bad strategy.


Today I will be cleaning carpets. Very needy.
Tomorrow we will put up our little tree.
Wait till you see how small it is!

Oh, and by the way...

I have only purchased ONE Christmas gift so far.

I'll think about that tomorrow.

What are you doing today?

Encourage one another,

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Tending to your marriage

The news comes in from near and far...
Marriages are crumbling. Husbands leave. Wives give up.
Children mourn.

It is just about as painful as it gets.

So what can be keep our own marriages strong and to encourage other women.

Be aware.
Remember your promises.
Pray for your our marriage and your family and friends marriages.
Teach the younger women to love their husbands.
Share the good parts. ( I am always so encouraged when I read loving words spoken about a marriage or husband/wife)

Learn to love. Like God loves us.
Undeserved love. Unconditional love.
I happen to think this is what life is all about.
Your marriage is your classroom to learn this lesson.

Teach your children about this kind of love.
Host a Bible study and learn about this kind of love.

And Forgive

Study what it means to forgive.

It's all of those bitter roots that grow and destroy a marriage bit by bit.

Work hard to forgive and weed out all of those bitter roots.

Get together with other women and share this information.

We can not control others...but we can ask the Holy Spirit to do some convicting.

Be willing to listen.
Be bold enough to pray with a hurting sister....or sister in law...or friend.
Teach them about Biblical forgiveness and love.

Pretty standard stuff that seems to get lost in the weeds.

But why do we forgive and love?

Because God tells us to forgive and love.

It is obedience to God to learn to forgive and love.

No promises for results.

It's just the way to live. The way that would honor God.

Here are some books that I have read and Bible studies I would recommend for your personal study or for a study with friends.

The Bible
The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Loving Your Husband by Cynthia Heald
The Other Side of the Garden by Virginia Fugate
Becoming a Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald
Marriage tapes/CDs/DVD by Larry Wright of Abundant Life Ministries

I have one or two more books that come to mind right now...but I have to run.
Christmas Pageant Practice :o)

I'm sorry this is a bit scattered.
It was on my heart and now I don't have time to proof it too well.
But I am not going to let that stop me from sharing something this important.

Pray for marriages!

Encourage one another,

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Feast

Name something you'll miss about 2005.

What is one thought that went through your mind today?

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how compassionate would you say you are?

Main Course
If you could invent something, what would it be?

Do you prefer salty snacks or sweet treats?

~Jessie Wilcox Smith

Is anyone watching Survivor?
I tell ya...the back stabbing is monumental.
Next week will be full of surprises.
I can't wait!


The little grocery store in town hands out coloring pages for the children. They stick the completed artwork on the window at the store.
Katie has colored pages before. She thinks she is going to win the prize.

I happen to lack the 'get tough' gene.

I don't like when the children lose a game.
When they enter a stupid coloring contest and don't win.

I know that many lessons are learned from losing.

But I just don't like it, one bit.

So to answer the compassion question.

I'm nearly a ten.

Encourage one another,

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What's blogging ever done for you?

It's given me loads of laughs!

See Wendy interview Vickie

Given me something to think about.

Should church ever be cancelled on a Sunday?

You'll never cry alone

People to pray for.


Patterns to knit and yarn to buy

button hole bag pattern

Not buy as much as drool over

And a community of women I'm so thankful to know.

Here are a few questions from the Question of the Day gal;

What do you think of tip jars on blogs? You know, the "Donate Here" button? Do you ever give anything?

Which song is the most over played Christmas song?

Which of the seven dwarfs personifies you the best -- Dopey, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Grumpy, Happy , or Doc?

See ya in the comments!

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

~Robert Lewis Stevenson

A warm smile on a frosty day.

Do you remember wearing tights when you were little?
I would guess ours were wool...because they itched so...

I sent Katie outside yesterday to follow a bunny trail.
She stayed out unusually long; half an hour :o)

She tells me she played, just played.

It's a start.

Camy called the other day and I asked her how long her children played outside.
She said, "Until I let them in."

She is one smart momma :o)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Today is the last day to vote for The Blogs of Beauty.
Vote here


Last night PBS was running a special on John Denver.
I wouldn't call myself a big fact I only have his Christmas album.
But I enjoyed hearing many of his songs again.

The song you must hear tho is Aspen Glow...


I'm a folkie. No doubt about it.

Aspen Glow is on the Rocky Mountain Christmas CD/Album.


Do you have a great chocolate cookie recipe?

I made a recipe that I found on the Droste' cocoa box yesterday. They were just okay.
I think I'd like a little chocolate frosting on the cookie too.



Heard in church this weekend...

How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure...

I will not boast in anything: no gifts, no power, no wisdom,
But I will boast in Jesus Christ: His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart--his wounds have paid my ransom.
~Stuart Townsend~

I may just have to make Emma learn this one on the guitar so we can sing it together.

Think Judds.


By the way...they have a very nice Christmas Album too.

At Christmas it seems my musical tastes get all country-fied.
The Judds, Kenny and Dolly, John Denver, Kathy Maetea...
what's with that???

Off to search for my Christmas tapes.
Yeah, tapes.

Happy Tuesday! Happy Listening!

Encourage one another,

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Ghosts of Winter Past

Once upon a time I lived in hilly, pine tree covered Wausau, Wisconsin.
Every day at noon I would head over to the ice rink at the fair grounds to skate.
Typically four or five skaters would be there; a mother and a child, a young man skating figures, an elderly gentleman and me.

The young man showed me how to skate a figure eight. I learned to use the edges on my skates.
Harley, the elderly man, taught me to skate the waltz. The waltz is skated much faster than you would imagine and very close to your partner.

Stroke, swing, inside edge, loop.
Stroke, turn, outside edge, glide.

I was nervous and scared and worked very hard to keep up with Harley's speed and steps.

I loved it so much.

It was possibly the coolest thing I have ever done.

Quite a few years ago I asked my family this question at the dinner table;
If you could do in anything in the world and not fail, what would it be?

All of us chose something athletic. (football, soccer, golf and skating)

Ask your families. I wonder if you will have more philanthropic folks around your table. he he he

Encourage one another,

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I almost always cry at the end of a play.
Not because the play was sad. But I cry tears of joy for the participants.
I happy because something they worked on so hard has gone so well.
These are my most embarrassing tears...cause they don't seem to fit.

"Why are you crying?"

"Well...everyone did so well...sniff....wipe...."

Embarrassing I tell ya.

The Flame Christmas concert went off beautifully last night.
The little children were darling! They performed "A Backward Christmas Story"
I am always awed by small children who are brave enough to sing solos!
I do not have any solo singers in my family....yet.
Katie wiggled so much I thought I would lose my mind.

Emma's choir came out and sang beautifully.
Quietly but beautifully.
Is it my ears or the church we were in?

Patrick, Katie and I came right home. We three were tired.
Katie from wiggling. Me from holding a wiggler.
And Patrick from a long day of work.

Emma went to Perkins with loads of friends and parents.
She said they filled up the place.

(This group of homeschoolers is single handedly going to dispel the rumors that homeschoolers are anti-social!)

I waited for Emma to come home...and started watching an old black and white movie with Bette Davis and Charles Boyer.

Can you guess what it's a famous movie, that I have never seen.
Bette is a nanny.

Yes. It was All This and Heaven Too.
It was good enough to keep me up til 2:00!

Charles Boyer says something very romantic in the death-bed scene...and I goggled like crazy to find it for you, but I'm not finding it.

So you are just going to have to watch all 140 minutes of it :o)

One funny thing:
There is a little boy, about five.
He has a southern accent.
The movie is in France.

Katie has choir practice this morning...I guess I getter get ready for that.
She is in a little Christmas program with her friend Leoni. Very exciting.
I have a little job too. Line coach.

Wishing you a song-filled weekend!


Friday, December 02, 2005

GOOD Morning!

One of our blog-sistahs has the best news ever.
Go over to Janie's blog and read her wonderful homecoming story!
Take some tissues, you're going to need 'em.

(I can't seem to stop crying.)

Friday Feast

How often are you sick?

If you were to have a painting done of you alone, what would you want the background to be?

Describe your voice.

Main Course
What is something you would like to do, but you're afraid of the risk(s)?

What was the last television show you watched?

I planned to go to bed last night around 10:00. The Count of Monte Cristo has drawn me in and I was looking forward to an hour or so of quiet reading.
But then I checked the blogs one last time...
and before I knew it, it was 10:45.
And as I walked past the seemed to whisper to me...
Oprah is on David Letterman tonight.

Now this may not be a real big deal to me and you...
But Dave has been begging Oprah to come on his show for 16 years.

I had to tune in to see how Dave would handle having Oprah on his show.

Well...I know most of you don't care...but it was fun and I'm glad I remembered...
and that is the last thing I saw on television.

And well...I ended up reading Elisabeth Elliot's Keep a Quiet Heart...
She says we need to reach out and be Spiritual Mother's to the younger women. (see. Titus 2:3-5)
And when I read that I think about how she is my Spiritual Mother.

I believe that if God intends for us to be of influence at all to anyone...
He has to do all of the work. We just need to be open to it. Willing to be used by Him if the opportunity presents itself. Willing to meet with or listen to or pray for the younger women. It's not something one can force. And to be honest it isn't something we ever feel ready to do.
But God can do it. He can put people together.
It takes time and prayer and patience.
And willingness.
If it is meant to be...God will work out the details.

May God Bless our Elisabeth.

(And I say 'our' because I know so many other women feel the same way as I do about Elisabeth.)

I can't believe it is Friday already...
Emma's big Christmas Concert is tonight.
Can't wait to hear the beautiful music!
I better end this because I need to bake cookies for the reception following the concert...and they need them this morning. ( I can mix and bake the Neiman Marcus cookies in 1/2 hour. Speedy huh?)

Encourage one another,

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Warm Hands

My favorite mitts.
Vintage Pattern
Size One DP's
Sunshine Yarns by Dani
The yarn is called Watermelon...but it looked like Christmas to me :o)

Playing around a little...

I used the same sock weight yarn and the same needles as for the mittens above with a free baby sock pattern.

These are just the right size to be an ornament.

I'm delighted with this teeney sock!


Yesterday at Walgreens I bought some Jergen's lotion. On the bottle it said, "Original Cherry-Almond Scent'

I sniffed.

It was.

I love that smell.

This is the lotion we grew up with.

This morning...

Katie: Mommy, can I put some of this lotion on?
Me: Sure
Katie: umm
Me: Doesn't it smell good? It reminds me of my mom.
Katie: She smelled this good?
Me: *grin* Yes, she did.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sallie over at Two Talent Living is having a blog contest.

Quiet Life is a finalist in two categories.

Sallie listed all of the blogs that were nominated along with the finalists.
This is quite a list! (I can not imagine making all of those links!) And I will be visiting many new blogs in the days to come!

So thank you for the nominations...whoever you are.
Voting ends Dec. 6th.

(I have some things to say about the categories I was nominated in....


And....I was tagged with the Seven Meme.
Of course, I altered it a little.
I am not tagging anyone.
Anyone who is interested in doing this...may do it :o)

Seven things to do before I die:

1. Work with the poor or with orphans in a mission setting
2. Go with Emma to the places we have studied
3. Enlarge my list of Classic's read
4. See our boys happily married to Godly women and our girls married to Godly men
5. Read the whole Bible
6. Lose the weight I gained with Katie
7. Live

Seven things I cannot do:

1. Lose weight since I had Katie
2. Control other people or circumstances
3. Imagine eating sushi or calamari
4. Clean enough (this is more a won't)
5. Imagine heaven
6. Memorize well
7. Lie

Seven things that attract me to my husband:

1. He loves me
2. He is passionate
3. He is a hard worker
4. He takes care of us
5. He is generous
6. He is growing in the Lord
7. He loves our children

Seven things I say most often:

1. I love you
2. You are so funny
3. Oh!
4. Emma
5. Katie
6. Wait
7. As soon as I finish this row

Seven books (or a series of books) I love:

1. Where the Red Fern Grows
2. The Princess Bride
3. To Kill A Mockingbird
4. Stepping Heavenward
5. Keep a Quiet Heart
6. A Prayer for Owen Meany
7. Seventeenth Summer

Seven Movies IÂ’d Watch Over and Over Again:

1. Pride and Prejudice
2. White Christmas
3. Sense and Sensibility
4. You've Got Mail
5. The Princess Bride
6. Parenthood
7. To Kill A Mockingbird

I sometimes prefer watching a movie the third and fourth time...even better than the first time through. It's like the 'Knots on a Counting Rope' book. You hear the story over and over until you know it by heart. There is something very comforting about that. Don't you think?

Katie is requesting I type in ''
She's been watching tv while I've been typing.
She often comes to me with web pages to find.

Kids these days :o)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

One of the very first entries I wrote for this blog was about how knitting takes courage.

Today I will share my belief that God created knitting in order to humble us.

You see, even tho I have been knitting most of my life, the idea of learning a new technique from a book is beyond me.

You see the hat above?

Where I joined the colors you will see gaps and knots (in the back) and messiness.

I am humbled by the my inability to understand the written explanation.

Set me next to someone who can show me...I am much more likely to understand.

So all of you beginning knitters out there. I understand.


I came to a good part of The Count of Monte Cristo last night. Edmond and Abbe' have meet. Abbe' has helped Edmond figure out why he was sent to jail without a trial by asking excellent, thoughtful questions. Edmond's innocence unravels as he realizes what has been done to him and by whom.


How about that green grass in the above picture?
It has been covered with white two times already this fall. But our strange weather has brought it back to green. Today the green is dusted with white again.



I am almost done with my fabulous mittens.
I hope the hat was my piece of knitting humble pie for the week.

Have mercy!

Encourage one another

Monday, November 28, 2005


I got a Christmas picture this weekend.
It is not perfect.
I don't coordinate outfits anymore.
I don't take two rolls of film anymore.

I've gotten soft.

Katie is highly distractible so being the photographer for this bunch is a character builder. My husband walks around behind me ( sticking out his tongue and acting very juvenile) and I yell at him to get away!

This takes all the self-control I can muster.

I had enough self-control for eight photos this year.

This photo is my favorite of the big kids.
Katie's the blooper.
So we will not be using this particular photo.

I'll share the real photo closer to Christmas :o)

Do you send a Christmas photo?
Have you ever done a clever set-up?

How about posting one of your favorite Christmas pictures on your blog today (or soon, at least :o)

I'd like that :o)

Let me know if you post!

Encourage one another,

Saturday, November 26, 2005

You never met a more naive girl in your life than the girl I was 25 years ago today.
I knew nothing of sacrifice.
Nothing about forgiveness.
Nothing about giving.
Nothing about self-control.
Nothing about trusting God.
Nothing about love.

I was so unprepared for marriage.

And we are.

I had a dream. A dream of a husband and children.
That dream has come true.

That dream has come true because of you, dear husband.

Looks like we made it.

Looks like we made it
Look how far we've come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we'd get there someday

They said, "I bet they'll never make it"
But just look at us holding on
We're still together still going strong

Ain't nothin' better
We beat the odds together
I'm glad we didn't listen
Look at what we would be missin'

(You're still the one)
You're still the one I run to
The one that I belong to
You're still the one I want for life
(You're still the one)
You're still the one that I love
The only one I dream of
You're still the one I kiss goodnight

I'm so glad we made it
Look how far we've come my baby

Yeah...Sappy Shania Twain song...

I say it's our song.

Patrick isn't the type to pick a song, to be our song.
And I'm sure it wouldn't be a Shania Twain song...
he is more an Eagles or Rolling Stones kinda guy.

We may be about as different as two people can be...

But, what we do have in common is a deep sense of commitment, ability to forgive, love of our children, and abiding love for one another.

And laughter.

God has held us up and shown us the way.
At least that's the way I look at it :o)

And I think we are getting the hang of it.

Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century. ~Mark Twain

Never feel remorse for what you have thought about your wife; she has thought much worse things about you. ~Jean Rostand, Le Mariage, 1927

Twenty-five years later I am not naive anymore.
I know something about sacrifice.
and forgiveness.
and giving.
and self-control.
and trusting God.
and love.

True Love takes on a much less naive and romantic bent when one looks up the word for 'true'.

Consistent with fact or reality; not false or erroneous.
Real; genuine. See Synonyms at authentic.
Reliable; accurate.
Faithful, as to a friend, vow, or cause; loyal.
Sincerely felt or expressed; unfeigned: true grief.

Love forever true.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Life is just like that.


and the Beast.

Or as little curly haired Emma would have said it, "Booty and the Geist"


Do you ever have the tendency to focus on the bad things that happen...and those 'bad' things get so big, they kind of over shadow the good things?

As I have been sitting here this morning thinking about what I want to say...only the nagging little bad things from yesterday kept coming to mind;
unkind comments and burnt stuffing to name two.

But then I thought I will make a list of beautiful things and a list of beastly things...and I remembered all of the good things about our Thanksgiving day.

The Beautiful Things

The boys are home.
Matthew has a hair cut and a shave.
Patrick Jr. laughs outloud, a lot, when he watches television.
Patrick Sr. had someone to talk sports with.
Emma asked if I needed help. (a little late...but she asked on her own)
Our children and the cousins all went bowling after dinner.
We are healthy.
Matthew loves thanksgiving dinner. He is fun to cook for.
The Pumpkin pies and cheesecake were well liked.
Hubby has a job...and I am privileged to stay home with the children.

See...lots and lots of good stuff.

Too many good things to even consider the small beasties.

So there will be no list of Beasties.

Who needs it anyway.

No wonder God is always telling us to renew our minds...and caste our be thankful...

He's a pretty smart Guy.

Have you ever noticed the holidays give us unlimited ways to improve our character?
On to Christmas....

Encourage one another,

(By the way....I forgot the stuffing in the stove. I think it cooked about two hours.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

We Thank Thee

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky;
For pleasant shade of branches high;
For fragrant air and cooling breeze;
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

~~Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

O Lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!

~~William Shakespeare 1564-1616

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Man....that illustration sure says a lot about our culture doesn't it?
It's brilliant, isn't it?


I am going to make a cheesecake for Thanksgiving, along with two pumpkin pies.
I know that sounds like a weird thing to make but both Emma and Patrick Jr. have mentioned that they love cheesecake so I will make one for them.

I am going to use a recipe I found here
I saw a show on the Food Network about Cheesecakes and this recipe stood out as the one to make. It uses a strange ingredient. Cottage Cheese. I think this may create a lighter cheesecake than the ones found in New York.
Cross your culinary fingers for me :o)


A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations.

~Psalm 100

Encourage one another,

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Online treasure

In searching the internet for pictures for the blog last night I came across The Baldwin Project.
I have been to this site before...a long time ago.

Below is a link to just one of the many online classics for children.
Thank you Baldwin Project :o)

Story of the Pilgrims

I noticed on Sandy's page yesterday that she had nice, big, cloth napkins on her Thanksgiving table.
(Your table looked very warm and inviting, Sandy)

Do you prefer cloth napkins?

I know, I do.

I have a few very old white napkins...and I can probably round up six. But it might be time for some new ones.

Where can one purchase those nice, big, restaurant-style napkins?


I made my first pumpkin pie on Sunday night. I used a store bought pie crust and whipped up the custardy insides from scratch. It turned out very well ( although it took ten minutes less than the called for time) Pumpkin pie is a family favorite so I am happy to know how to make it. It was super easy!

If you don't already have a pumpkin pie recipe and you would like one, let me know in the comments and I will post the one I made.

I sure like Thanksgiving!

Encourage one another,

Monday, November 21, 2005

Harvest Home

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home:
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied:
Come to God's own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God's own field,
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade, and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear:
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day
All offenses purge away;
Give His angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come
To Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin;
There, forever purified,
In Thy presence to abide:
Come, with all Thine angels, come,
Raise the glorious harvest home.

~~Henry Alford, 1810-1871

Harvest Home and We Gather Together are my favorite Thanksgiving hymns.
We sang them in church and at school.

We had a wonderful Music class in Wheaton. It wasn't choir, it was Music class.
We sat in desks, in rows, and stood with our Music books and sang. We did not sing in parts. We may have sung in rounds from time to time.

We sang traditional songs.

I remember singing songs from Sound of Music, National Anthems, Thanksgiving songs and A Bicycle Built for Two (turn of the century songs).

That class is a very vague memory.
But the songs remain.
And I still love them.

Music is a magical thing.


Go over and visit Linda's scrapbook page.
I love to see how people express their creativity.
Linda's scrapbook pages are amazing.


This week we wait for Wednesday when the boys will come home.
The excitement in my heart is building.

Janie's daughter is out of Iraq and heading home to her family and her country after a year of difficult and dangerous service. Janie has had to be so brave this past year. I personally think it would be too much for me to bare to have my child in constant peril for so long. I know absolutely that I could not do it without God's tremendous comfort. It would be a time when I knew for sure that God was doing all the work...and I would be carried by Him. Cause that's the only way I could handle such stress.

A very special Thanksgiving to Janie and her family.
Emily is on her way home...Emily is on her way home.
To God be the Glory
Great things He hath done.


So tell us about your stuffing/dressing.
We do not use corn bread here in the North.
But it seems pretty popular on the cooking channel.
I love stuffing....and I am the only one who eats it in my family. Isn't that sad.
Mrs. Boucher loved my stuffing. I miss that about her.

Encourage one another,

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Yesterday was so fun jumping back and forth between Janet's blog and mine!
I was thrilled she received so many welcoming comments!
Thank you for visiting and encouraging her!

I never doubted it for a minute :o)


Emma went to a costume party last night.
She dressed in her regular clothes and we pinned a black shoe box on her back.
That's it.
She won most creative costume.

Can you guess what she was?

I'll answer in the comments.


I made Janet's delicious soup last night. I tried two new things with that recipe; Italian sausage and fresh spinach.
Both were easy to use and quite tasty.


Katie is sleeping in her own bed and feeling better.
She still cringes when I say the word 'smoke'...
But she is learning how to deal with her fears and for that I am very thankful!

Emma is having much more success with her Algebra 2/Dive Cd's. I mentioned at the beginning of the year that she was struggling. She seems to have settled into her Algebra routine and is not having any trouble understanding the material!

I think she was just adjusting to serious study after a summer off.

Good to know.

Well...I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thanksgiving and our 25th Anniversary are just around the corner!
Time flies!

Encourage one another,

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Feast

When do you feel impatient?

How many times in your life have you had a broken heart?

Name a book you would like to see made into a movie.

Main Course
If you could thank one teacher for what they taught you, who would it be and what would you thank them for?

What is your favorite kind of pie?

Show us your quilts!

Kim has requested we show her our quilts.
(I met Kim by following her link in my comments! We have a lot in common!)

This one turned out just how I wanted it to look....and I love it for that. It was also my most difficult quilt to piece.

This is Emma's baby quilt. I loved the bunny fabric for my little girly.
You know how I love yarn....I love fabric just as much :o)


Someone else you can finally visit is....drumroll please....

Just Janet

Yep! That's our little Janet. My sweet baby sister!
She set up a blog so that she could comment at certain other blogs...

And well, I nagged her to post something. And she finally did!

She says she will not be posting often..but I spied a soup recipe over there this morning!

Please go and say hello to Janet and leave her a comment! Perhaps this will encourage her to share more of her wit, wisdom...and food!

Well....that's all folks!
See ya in the comments!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I'm as corny as Kansas in August,
High as a flag on the Fourth of July!
If you'll excuse an expression I use,

I'm in love, I'm in love,
I'm in love, I'm in love,
I'm in love with a wonderful yarn!

This is sock yarn and was meant for socks...but well the ankle was the size of my wrist so that solved that. Tis now a mitten.

I have sworn off variegated hand-dyed yarns since they pool in Oh such weird ways...and that does not suit my personality.
But hand-dyed self-striping yarn...there you have my true love.

I give to you and you give to me,
True love, true love.
So on and on it'll always be,
True love, true love.
For you and I
Have a guardian angel on high,
With nothin' to do.
But to give to you and to give to me,
Love forever true.

Okay....there you have two musical quotes....
It is very easy...
What movies are the above songs from?


Janet will post the answer to the "To Kill A Mockingbird" question in the comments today. (Okay, Janet :o)


Now about the new Pride and Prejudice movie.
I was NOT going to see it.
BUT...I have now heard two glowing reviews from two people I respect. Diane from
Circle of Quiet
and Emily from my sign language class. Both women have seen the magnificent BBC production...and still enjoyed the new version very much.

So go we must! Emma and I will find a theater and go this weekend!

Tell us if you have seen the movie and what you thought of it!
Please :o)

And speaking of sign language. I taught the girls The Lord's Prayer and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer yesterday. Very fun!

Encourage one another,

And thank you for the wonderful comments!
I enjoy every one!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Do you know what I just love?
I love when my children read a book I recommend, and love it too.

(And I love when they love a movie that I love too :o)

Emma is currently reading "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. This is not a masterpiece of fiction. But I thought it was interesting historical fiction and remember really liking it...oh say...12 years ago.
And how do I know she is loving it? She totes it around the house and reads it at every spare moment. Just like me :o)
Many books stay up on the nightstand; where they are read dutifully, every night.
But a book that makes it out of the bedroom. That's a keeper.

I borrowed "The Count of Monte Cristo" from the library yesterday. I have decided it is time to read this hefty tome. I have read quite a bit of fluff lately and I have enjoyed it, but my sister Janet's enthusiasm over reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" has given me a little literary push. (I love when my sisters read a book that I love too :o)

You see Janet has never read "To Kill A Mockingbird" before and she loved it so much and thinks it was the best book she has ever read. And, you know, it is great fun discussing a classic.

And maybe that is the key to a classic. That it is well written and it has ideas.

Fluff is not discussed well. A classic is.

And maybe that is why "Angela's Ashes" is a classic. Because even though I hated that book...I hated it because it caused me such anguish. And I am still thinking about it and discussing it.

A book club would be fun wouldn't it?
I know I would love it.
I know I could just read books with Emma and discuss them, but I have a hard time coming up with the questions.
I like those thoughtful kinds of questions.

(I'm starting to feel like Winnie the Pooh :o)

In "To Kill A Mockingbird", was the mockingbird, Jem, Boo or Tom?
(Janet, was there a fourth name?)

Now that is a good question. I like thinking about it.

I think I need a literary do over.

Anyone want to read The Count of Monte Cristo with me?

I am going to savor it.

Did I ever tell you I was a late bloomer?

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We are here.
We are here.
We are heeeerrrrreeee.


For the last few days we have been in Omaha visiting Patrick and Matthew.
And I just can't announce it on this blog when all of us are going to be away from the house.
I am sorry to worry you :o(

Perhaps we need a code.
My sister Sue thinks I need to figure out how to set up automatic blogging for the days I am away.

I'm not sure what to do.

But it was pretty sweet that both Janet and Sue called last night to check in with me.

Both of the boys are doing very well.

We have not been to Omaha since Patrick graduated from college a year and a half ago. So we got to see his apartment. It was much cleaner than I thought it would be :o) Patrick is filling out a little. I think he must weigh over 150 now :o)

Matthew's room at college (Grace University) is messy. The only thing that indicates that he lives there is his down quilt and his Packer football helmet.
Matthew's appearance is also very messy. He is not cutting his hair AND he says his dorm is celebrating "No shave November." I hope they have an "All shave December."

Knowing Matthew tho, now that he knows his hairiness bothers me....he will never shave again. And really...I don't have a big problem with long hair on men. He just looks messy.

We did meet Matthew's girlfriend Melinda over the weekend. She is a very sweet girl and I liked her right away. She spent much of the weekend with us. She comments here at the I have gotten to know her a little over the last few months. Matthew is extremely private so it's a good thing that Melinda is friendly and open.
I think she would have remained his secret if I wasn't so nosey tho.

Matthew and Katie

Windy Football Game

This is Dodge St. They are constructing a highway right over the existing street.

I found this facinating!

We stayed at the Old Market Embassy Suites. We like it there. The hotel is right across from the old section of Omaha. There are brick streets and old brick buildings. They hang twinkly lights from some of the buildings and there are many stores in which to shop.

We however did not shop.

We went to the High School State football game.
We went out to eat at a Japanese restaurant. (Where they cook right in front of you.
It was entertaining and the food was very good.)
We went to a big mega church where they have people directing parking traffic.
We walked around a big mall.
Patrick, Emma and Katie swam a bit.
The men went to a sports bar to watch the Packers beat the Falcons.
We walked around Old Market.

Just regular stuff.

I just can't believe the boys are gone...
I wish I could make them live nearby...
But you can't make 'em do stuff when they are older...

So don't let you children leave your side, ever.
Cause they might not come back.

Wait. That doesn't work, does it.

Too bad.

I wish.....

Encourage one another,

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Feast

If someone made a statue of you, in which pose would you like to be?

Name something that you don't believe?

Name something satisfying about your work.

Main Course
What was the last excuse you made, and why did you need to make it?

Complete this sentence: I wonder why _________________.


Emma taught Katie to tie her shoes yesterday. It was very sweet to listen in on it.
They hit a little snag...and I offered some advice and encouragement...and soon Katie was tying away.


Katie may be becoming a perfectionist...but Emma is becoming silly!

These girls always have a blast with my digital camera!

Do you remember what you were like at 16?

I remember like it was yesterday!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Do you remember last January when our identity was stolen? When ten-thousand dollars was written on our checks?

Well, today we were all set to go to the Dane County courthouse to answer the D.A.'s questions. The court date was set for Tuesday Nov. 15.

Last night we received a call from the D.A.'s assistant informing us that Old What's Her Name has taken the plea. She does not want to go to trial and is taking whatever they have to offer. Which I don't know yet. (Cause I was listening to a message on the machine and not LIVE)

I do hope she has to serve SOME time.
Can you imagine causing so much havoc for so many and stealing from so many others...and not going to jail?

I would have liked going the trial. We would have had to testify.
Bong. Bong.

I could have taken Old What's Her Name her mail.
Her Sam's club card is almost expired. You know, the one with my name and address on it.
Bong. Bong.

I could have gone up to the Target Rep and asked them if I could now write checks in their store that they can see, I am a different person than Old What's Her Name.

Bong. Bong.

I coulda been a contenda. I coulda been somebody.
Oops. Wrong Show.

It woulda been interesting and a little exciting.
Ah well.


Did anyone else see the Steve Martin special on PBS last night?
Oh was it good! Steve was receiving The Mark Twain Humor Award for comedy at the Kennedy Center. Tom Hanks, Martin Short, Dave Barry and Larry David were especially funny in honoring Martin. Diane Keaton sang "The Way You Look Tonight." It was simply lovely.

Interested in reading more about the show? Read here.


I am using The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading by Jesse Wise with Katie this fall. Last night at dinner Katie started singing one of the little songs from the book.

Old McDonald had a farm
And on this farm he had an /a/
What an /a/, /a/, here...

(You get the drift:short vowel sounds)

I am very happy with this program for Katie. It fits her quite well.


So that's my life.
Still Quiet.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


The wind is gusting so hard it is making the doors rattle and the house crackle.
Did I tell you we have a very noisy house? We have vinyl siding and that stuff creaks, peeps and squeaks. I have wondered if there are mice or bats in the walls due to all of the squeaking. Weird.
Who knew?

Thank you for all of the great advice about vacuums and nightmares.

Katie jumped and startled only once last night...and so did I :o)
She did not need any comforting by that was nice that she wasn't too frightened.
Neither of us remember our scary dreams this morning.

We are memorizing "I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone O lord make me dwell in safety."

I have ordered Miss Spider's Tea Party, Miss Spider's Wedding...and two other Miss Spider books from the library.

We talked and prayed and talked some more about it last night...

I think the spray bottle is a clever and great idea...I just didn't get around to that one yet :o)

About the vacuums...

I still don't know how one would empty the Dyson. Do you dump the dirt and dust right from the machine into the garbage can?

(I have a bagless machine and do not like the dust floating everywhere when I empty the canister....and scrape at the little filters. Ew. It is much messier than a paper vacuum bag. for me.)

So come on Dyson owners, fess up.
What's the scoop?


Here are socks made from the yarn Sister Sue sent me for my birthday.
Aren't they fun! I decided, on purpose, not to match them. There is enough yarn left to make at least one more pair of socks. We really like this style of sock in our house (the anklet) and they are pretty quick to knit.
Which I like :o)
Emma especially likes I am sure we will be sharing them :o)

Opal Yarn
Size Two needles


And speaking of anklets.

The first day of school in Wheaton (I was in 5th grade) I was informed by Janet Bitterman that,
"We do not wear anklets, we wear knee socks!"

I was so embarrassed, and kinda surprised that someone could be so snooty to me.
When I got home I told my mom...
And she bought me some knee socks.

Thanks Mom :o)

You never know what your children will remember about you, what they will appreciate.

Encourage one another,


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

This and That

Sally left this comment over the weekend;

Would you ask your readers about what vacuum they have, and if they like it?!? Mine died, and I need to go buy a new one. My husband wants to get a Dyson, but they are $$ and I don't know anyone who has one. I'd love to hear what the general public thinks! Thanks, Sally

Can you help Sally out?
Leave a comment.

I have had terrible luck with appliances. Especially vacuums. So I can not give any advice.


I need a little advice on handling nightmares.

Katie has been sleeping with me because of a frightening movie she saw a month ago...and last night she had a scary dream about spiders. This is her recurring dream and she just told me the spider is always sitting on her stomach. So when she wakes up, she sits up and looks for the spider. For a long time.
Last night, I was quite daft.
Couldn't form words, I was so sleepy.
After mumbling, 'It's just a dream...there are no spiders'
And after about five more minutes of fretting,
I sent her to her bedroom to sleep.
I heard a little whimpering but she managed to make it until 'the first number on the clock is a seven.'

I usually say a prayer with her, but last night I was too sleepy to think of it.

Any other ideas to handle these middle of the night fears?


So vacuums and nightmares. What do you think?

Encourage one another,

Monday, November 07, 2005

Dear Friends,

Two weeks ago, for a whole week, I had a difficult time blogging. Nothing horrible was happening, I just felt blah.

I gave it some thought, said a little prayer, and continued on.

And then Julie D. posted her Frappr map and I decided to copy her :o)

That little map has been such a blessing and joy to me. I love seeing your faces and reading your too kind comments.

I find it amazing that people are touched by what I have to share.
It's humbling.

It's hard for me to accept such praise, since this blog is just the 'good parts version' of me.

When I hear a compliment I think...'if they only knew how messy my counter is...
when I last vacuumed the stairs....if they only knew...

...and yesterday, I 'dropped the basket' just before leaving for church. (I couldn't find some important papers and basically lost my temper (my mind)) I acted like the big ole sinner that I am.

For shame :o(

But I suppose many of you are just like me.

Trying...Praying...Succeeding....Failing...Asking for forgiveness...

Dropping your baskets,
And picking them back up again.

May this place encourage you to live all of it... joyfully!
It's the only way :o)

Thank you all for cheering me along.


Fish Teens at the Ronald McDonald House

Our willing workers.

Striking a pose.

Katie had a Princess birthday party to attend Sunday afternoon. She wore her Princess outfit for two days straight :o)

Encourage one another. Again.


Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
~Habakkuk 3:17-18

p.s. I am not fishing for compliments. That would only embarrass me :o)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

1923 New Hampshire
Gathering Leaves
by Robert Frost

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.

Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
The harvest shall stop?

Poem submitted by Lynn in Wi.


Sandy at Maple Grove has written an encouraging post about homeschooling through high school...
Homeschooling through high school


I wish we could still burn our leaves in the street.
There is so much right about burning your own leaves.
No plastic bags. No waste. No gigantic, gas guzzling, labor intensive refuse truck.
Just a pleasant, aromatic, quiet burn.

Things have gotten too complicated, haven't they?


Today is our (homeschool teens) Ronald McDonald House service project. I am really looking forward to this opportunity. We are serving; Chicken casserole (with biscuits on top), tossed salad, rolls and desserts.

The hard part is done, the organizing.

Can't wait to get started :o)

Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
~Martin Luther King Jr.

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men,
~Ephesians 6:7

Have a great weekend!

Encourage one another,