Wednesday, May 31, 2006


So what were you doing when you were twenty-four?

Here's what I was doing when I was twenty-four!

I was giving birth to this boy...who is twenty-four years old today!

First great joy of my life :o)

Happy Birthday Patrick!

You made it...another year. Keep up the good work.

We love you, we are proud of you, wash those towels, have a fun time tonight, be good...

and be always coming home.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I took the plunge at the pool yesterday.
Katie was delighted.

We live in an unfriendly place.
Not one child said hello or was interested in playing with Katie. (either day at the pool)
Katie is learning the social graces of Wisconsin. She has stopped going up to other children asking them if they would like to play. She has learned.

And this is very sad to her momma.

Katie did, however, sing "Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener" at the Sing the Jingle, Be a Star Auditions.

She bravely stepped up the the mic, with the warm wind blowing and the big people looking on, and quietly sang her song.

In a week we should be able to view her audition on the internet. I'll post it when we can see it :o)

It was the exact Wienermobile that my sister Cindy rode in last month.

It's license plate is 'Yummy'.

Watch for it in your neighborhood. Ya can't miss it!

Encourage one another,

Monday, May 29, 2006

I have signed up for the Summer Reading Challenge 2006!

Just a few more days to sign up if you are interested.
Do so here.

I have chosen books from Semicolon's list of 63 Best Fiction Books.

Crunchy Cons by Ron Dreher I have heard so much about this book! I've read a few chapters and am finding it good reading.

The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock Recommended by two great readers:Semicolon and MamaT.

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell Don't know why...just thought it would be a nice read.

Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse I hear Wodehouse is very funny.

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser My sister Sue read this in high school and told me the whole story. I then saw the movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift called A Place in the Sun. Such Drama.
I have placed An American Tragedy at the end of the summer... I want to recover from The Picture of Dorian Grey before I enter the mind of another troubled young man.

Maybe I will force Emma to listen to me read Seventeenth Summer...
It is her 17th summer, ya know :o)
I'll let you know...perhaps I will read her the 'good parts version'.


In other news...

I have completed the two weeks of the Fat Flush and lost 14 pounds.

I will follow the diet suggested in the book for Phase Two. (That means I get to add one piece of whole wheat bread a day (or starchy veggie)) Yippee!

I will not continue drinking the cranwater as it makes me gag.

I can't say I see a difference in my physical appearance, but I am very pleased to be on the road to better health and the possibility of swimming with the children some day in the future, wearing something other than my black skirt and black pants, and not being so self-conscious about my weight. :o) (I am too ashamed to wear a swimsuit or even shorts)

For those of you just starting the Fat Flush;

You can do it! It's a great plan and it works if you follow the rules.
Two weeks is over before you know it!

My 30 year love affair with Diet Dr. Pepper is a thing of the past.

My husband said that the garbage men will think I have died because there is not a bag of crushed Diet Dr. Pepper cans waiting at the curb to be recycled.

It's pretty remarkable how I don't miss it at all!


Memorial Day blessings to you and your loved ones!

Encourage one another,

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.
~Eleanor Powell

Weekend blessings!

Encourage one another,

Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Feast

How old were you when you got your first credit card?

When was the last time you felt out of place?

Did you have a curfew when you were a teenager? If so, what time did you have to be home?

Main Course
Name a person from history with whom you feel you have something in common.

When you read a newspaper, which section do you go for first?


I have found some wonderful dieting inspiration here.
Thanks, Elena, I followed a link from your blog :o)


Big Weekend here....

Melinda (Matthew's girlfriend) arrived in the middle of the night( She left at 8:00pm from Omaha. Ugh. I remember the days when I drove like that! Crazy kids.)

They miss one another so much!

Our nephew is graduating from High School, the homeschool graduation is tonight also, and all of Patrick's family will be in town. We will have Uncle Paulie with us for Saturday night...good thing he doesn't mind the couch.

A very full house.


Emma finished reading Vanity Fair last week so we started watching the BBC version yesterday. Like I said before, I like it very much, except for the loud carnival music.


I remember the oddest thing about graduation was the mortarboard! Do you wear it down on your forehead like a widows peak or do you wear it pushed back and lodged with pins???

If you have a graduation picture of yourself...please post it!
I don't! But I'd sure like to see yours!!!

Leave us a note if you post your pic!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yes, I am still knitting...

Albeit slowly....very slowly.

The yarn for Janie's socks is scrumptious! Janie is the mom who will host Emma when she goes to England. From what I hear, it is still rainy and cold in Manchester. A pair of wool socks might come in handy.

Emma leaves four weeks from TODAY!


I do not like The Picture of Dorian Grey. I really don't like entering a world without redemption. I will's not so long...but man, I much prefer to read books that lift my spirit rather than drag it down.

I am too simple and emotional for these sorts of books.


Yeah Taylor. I'm glad he won. He is a talented and interesting performer.

Look how pretty Katherine is. She was very sweet and gracious. She wins too :o)


The Fat Flush is still going great.
I feel well. I am eating well.

How's this for lunch

Tomatoes (cut up)
Cucumbers (cut up)
Onions (chopped up)

Apple cider vinegar (at least 1 Tbs.)
Flaxseed oil (One Tbs)

This is the most delicious salad I can think of!

In a few weeks. I will add Feta cheese to that salad, and will be in salad heaven :o)

It will be in the 80's here today.

Time to buy the little plastic swimming pool for Katie.
(This is a yearly tradition :o)

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, May 24, 2006's one of those mornings.

I am out of words.

Shocking I know!

But I still wanted to send you a little beauty.

Here is the ceiling at the Hotel Bellagio in Las Vegas.


Encourage one another,


Tuesday, May 23, 2006


If you had to choose your own epitaph of seven words or less (besides your name and dates), what would it be?

This is really Jackie Gleason's grave stone;

I'm going to think a while on my epitaph. But as soon as I think of one I'll post it in the comments!

Famous Epitaphs

Encourage one another,

Monday, May 22, 2006

Famous last lines

K: He is coming back!

M: I never doubted it for a minute.

(crying, hugging a guitar, in the rain)

M: I love you, Elliot!

This movie was one of my favorites. It is oddly, never shown on television. I was able to get a DVD from the library and we watched it last week.

I'm not quite a in love with it anymore. It was, oh, what's the word, stagey, unreal, overly clever. (Still not the word I'm looking for)

Some movies hold up so well...then others are so dated.
It's very interesting to me.


The girls had a wonderful time at the prom.
Lots of dancing and eating and fun times.


Katie can blow a bubble with bubble gum.

She is quite good at it.

But, I am not looking forward to gum in her hair :o(

It's bound to happen, isn't it?


I have lost 11 pounds in my first week on the Fat Flush Plan.

The effectiveness of this eating plan is a shock to me.

I will continue with the 'boot camp' phase for one more week and then implement
Phase 2.


Buy the way,
any recipes for the perfect soft boiled egg.

I want the yolk runny. I have yet to accomplish this!

I start the eggs in cold water, when the water comes to a boil I start timing.
2 minutes 15 seconds was still a bit too long. Today I will try 1 min. 50 sec.

Do you have a method of soft boiled eggs?

Hope you had a great weekend.
We finally had some sunshine and boy, that is nice for the spirits :o)

Encourage one another,

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Homeschool Prom 2006

Emily, Emma and Kathryn....the three amigos

Marie and Emma....the best of childhood friends

My favorite photo!

Sis' Sue's darling boys and husband ready for their prom in Missouri last week!

I like this shot!

I'm sure there was a lot of laughter :o)

Since the girls got home so late, I haven't spoken with them yet...
I can't wait to hear all about it!!!

Have a great weekend, all!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Friday Five

Five things my mother taught me.

1. My mother taught me how to love my children.
2. She taught me to make spaghetti and gravy.
3. She taught me to appreciate music.
4. She taught me to make her coffee in the morning so it would be ready when she woke up to drive us to school.
5. She taught me that it is joyous to be a mom.

Thanks LB!

Fat Flush report

I am feeling almost normal.
I wish I could have a bagel. (In fact, I crave a bagel much more than I crave a pop)
I have lost seven pounds since Monday.
It makes me almost gag to drink the cran-water.
Stevia is a good thing.
The Whey protein powder and flax oil are not bad, really.
I do not have diarrhea.
I am not starving.

So far so good.


The homeschool prom is tonight. Emma will with go with her girlfriends. Her dear friend Marie, from up north, came to town for the dance, (She was asked by one of Emma's guy friends)

It's all about hair and makeup and fingernails and dresses today....

So fun :o)

I wish we could have gone to the prom with our girlfriends....
It would have been so much more fun than going with those boys I didn't really care a hoot about. I just went because they asked....and well...who wants to miss a big party and the chance to dress up!

Anyway....I will post pictures tomorrow of the gorgeous girls in their finery!

This is a night they will always remember :o)

Looking forward to reading your comments today....I think this is a really great(and inspirational) Friday Five!

Encourage one another,
The Verb Meme.

From Laney

I AM: Thankful

I SAID: This computer is just a fad.

I WANT: To be a good mother.

I WISH: For three more wishes, of course!

I HATE: Waiting.

I MISS: So many people!

I FEAR: Personal poverty.

I HEAR: The clicking of keys.

I WONDER: Why kids rebel.

I REGRET: That I gained so much weight since High School.

I DANCE: All of the time.

I SING: All of the time

I CRY: When I am happy.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: Positive.

I MADE: Schwanns Roast Beef and Mashed potatoes for dinner. I drank a smoothie with Whey.

I WRITE: From the heart.

I CONFUSE: Myself.

I NEED: Conversation.

I SHOULD: Clean the house.

I START: My day blogging.

I FINISH: My day plucking little hairs from my chin.

I BELIEVE: Grey's Anatomy is the best drama on television!

I KNOW: That my girls love me.

I CAN: Remember really trivial things.

I CAN'T: Imagine what heaven is like.

I SEE: A glass of cran-water with psyllium and stevia and a straw.

I BLOG: For me and you.

I READ: Every day.

I AM AROUSED BY: Never-mind

I FIND: Items right after I have purchased a new one.

I LIKE: Sock Yarn

I LOVE: Being with friends and family.

Phew....that was a doozy!


Hooray for the Hippies!

They did it with goofiness, brains, kindness, a little brawn, and style!


Encourage one another,

(If any of the categories tickle your fancy, feel free to share in the comments.
Feel free to take the meme to your own blog, if you would like :o)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What a day I had yesterday....just after posting the encouraging words from Martha headache hit...and just after I ate breakfast and had my midmorning snack of a hard boiled egg...the nausea hit.

I haven't felt that ill since I had morning sickness with the children or my bowel obstruction.

So now I know....

Caffeine withdrawal is real.

CBSnews on Caffeine withdrawal

I am one of the unlucky few to experience these lovely side effects;

"Flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and stiffness."

I laid down between one and three and then I hung in there until 8:00.

Hopefully the worst is over. (Four days seems to be the magic number....but I could get lucky :o)

Day Three.

How about a joke? Do you know a little joke?

Here is my joke.
The only one I know.

Why is Cinderella such a bad football player?

Answer in the comment box.

Encourage one another,
I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other with us in our minds, wherever we go.
~Martha Washington

(The girls are listening to Shine by the Newsboys as they jump for fun!)

make ´em wonder what you´ve got
make ´em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
let it shine before all men
let´em see good works, and then
let ´em glorify the Lord

Encourage one another,

Monday, May 15, 2006

Do I tell...or do I not tell....

So, I am starting something today that will be foremost in all my I should blog about it, right? But I feel like a cyber-copy-cat a little so I was not going to tell about it....

But, I know I will be thinking about it A LOT.

So here goes...

I am starting a Fat Flush diet this morning.

My sister Janet did a Fast a few weeks ago and was delighted with the results.

Bud, since I have some scar tissue issues from previous surgeries I didn't feel I could go on a liquid diet. But, the other day at the library I picked up a book called The Fat Flush Diet. This diet includes protein and veggies and fruit so I felt it might be a better fit for me.

Now, if what this author says is true, I have kind of a lazy liver from all of the caffeine and other toxins. She says one of the major symptoms of a 'fat liver' is carrying a lot of weight around the tummy. Which I do.

My last try at Weight Watchers was so difficult and disappointing, I pretty much gave up after 25 weeks and only twelve pounds lost.

Perhaps my liver is compromised by the caffeine and other stresses.

It's worth a try.

I'm ready to try.

So, Phase I is two weeks long.

The most difficult part will be cutting out the Diet Dr. Pepper.
I'm afraid my four/five a day habit has not been a very healthy choice.

So in the words of a famous fattie....

"Awaaaay we go!"


Bummer about Terry NOT winning Survivor, huh?

Danielle's word was worthless. I'm so glad she did not win.

Once Terry lost ..... I lost interest....


But Grey's Anatomy proved to be the most dramatic, heart-stopping show of the night!!!

The two part finale ends tonight and I can't wait to see how the writer's handle this episode.

I think last night was the best cliffhanger I have ever seen! Terrible and exciting all at the same time.

The acting between Denny and Izzy is remarkable.

Don't die Denny!


Matthew's home! Hooray!

We have redecorating to do today! We will be putting the bunk beds in Emma's room and moving the twin bed into Katie's room. This way Matthew doesn't have to share with Katie. This should work out just fine...if we can get the bunkbeds apart.

Emma bought and wore a shirt that said "I love Mom" yesterday.

It was her gift to me.

I loved it :o)

Encourage one another,

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Dust first or Vacuum first?

I never could remember!
Probably because it's just not that important to me ;o)

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, the one's who can remember the rules....and the one's who can't.

(The little girl in the picture is signing, "I don't know".

he he he)

Happy Day!


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Friday Feast

Who makes your favorite shoes?

What are 3 things you would like to put in a time capsule?

Name something you are 100% sure of.

Main Course
What is something you do to calm yourself when you're stressed or upset?

If you could receive an invitation to any important event, what would you like it to be?


Some of you may relate to this article by Rabbi Boteach. I know many women who have be criticized for their large families. Rabbi Boteach knows how you feel.

Contempt for large families


And how about those stinkers over at Survivor!

So who made fire the quickest?
Who will be the final two?

Sunday night is the finale!

Go Terry!!!

Shouldn't the best player in the history of Survivor...WIN!!!

Encourage one another,

p.s. The heater is running in our house....isn't it May 12?
I am so tickled by the dancing dude that I just want to leave that up....forever.

Silly huh?

Make sure you check it out on the Wednesday post.


But seriously, the viewpoint/worldview in The Picture of Dorian Grey is so different from anything I have ever read ...I am very intrigued.

What will be the consequences to such radical thinking?

Susan Wise Bauer teaches that when we read, we should ask;
What do the character's want?
Is it true?

I wonder what will happen to the characters who make such an idol of youth?

I guess I can just look around at our culture and see the answer to that.

William Goldman jests about this very topic in The Princess Bride.

In his countdown to the most beautiful woman in the world (who is Buttercup)
he lists the women who came before her.

He tells of Adela's plight;

Well of course I'll always be sensitive, she thought, and I'll always be rich, but I don't quite see how I'm going to manage to always be young. And when I'm not young, how am I going to stay perfect? And if I'm not perfect, well, what else is there? What indeed? Adela furrowed her brow in desperate thought. It was the first time in her life her brow had ever to furrow, and Adela gasped when she realized what she had done, horrified that she had somehow damaged it, perhaps permanently. She rushed back to her mirror and spent the morning, and although she managed to convince herself that she was still quite as perfect as ever, there was no question that she was not quite as happy as she had been.
She began to fret.
The first worry lines appeared within a fortnight; the first wrinkles within a month, and before the year was out, creases abounded.

...ah...the meaning of life....

When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age. ~Victor Hugo

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Encourage one another.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I can't stop watching this!!!

50 years of dance with Judson Laipply

Here are my amazing Sockapaloooza socks, all the way from Denmark!

They couldn't be more special to me!

I was hoping for pink....I was dreaming of lace...

They are perfect!

And the fact that they were knit by the talented Lene from Denmark seriously couldn't have been better!

I'm sure most of you remember that I am 50% Danish. My grandmother, who taught me to knit, lived in Denmark until she was about 16.

And the stamps on the package....beautiful artwork by Constantin Hansen.
(Carl Christian Constantin Hansen)

My grandpa was named Carl Hansen.

How about that?

Thank you Lene!
Thank you Alison!

I love my socks :o)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Last week I made blueberry muffins from scratch. They were just so-so.

Yesterday I made the Duncan Hines muffins you see above.

Very very tasty!

Sometimes the already prepared items just taste better!

"So moistfully good, you always come back for more!"

What are your favorite packaged foods?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Recently read....

"But how little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their passions were stronger than their virtue, she could easily conjecture."

~Elizabeth Bennet on Lydia and Wickham

Well put, don't you think?

Again, as in so many other things in life, the balance must be found.

Elizabeth's sister Mary has only virtue and well, she is a bit of a bore.

I think about this very thing often as it pertains to my children...and their future husbands and wives.

I very much understand how those passions can blind the younguns' to the importance of those virtues that will be so important in the years to come.

The Jane Austen books and movies have become a teaching tool for me.

Who is the better choice?

Wickham with his smooth ways or proud Mr. Darcy?
Flashy Willoughby or serious Brandon?

It is clear as can be by the end of the stories.

I can only hope and pray our children will chose wisely.

Thank goodness we don't have any Lydia's about the house....

so far!

Encourage one another,

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Phew...One down...

You would think this Communications major would not have a problem speaking in front of a crowd...but I do.

I get nervous and I forget the words.

I am a talker. A long talker.
In a small group setting.

But in front of a crowd I would much rather not speak.

I like being a part of the choir. Never a soloist.

So last night my 6-8 grade sign language class had a short performance at the Choir concert. They were all cool as cucumbers....I was a ditz.

I had to say a few words before we started our sign language demo and was scary.

After my speech I stepped off stage and turned my back to the crowd and led the students in three sign lang. pieces.

They signed;

John 3:16
As we come to school today (poem)
God Bless America (song)

They did great! They are such smart and respectful students!

And the interesting thing to me was that these same students had their concert after the intermission and many of them had speaking parts and solos and staging and songs to sing....
Man our little sign performances was so basic compared to the short play they all performed....

And I was worried about them getting onto the risers....and speaking a few lines.

But I do have a new hairdo!!!

Yes, two years after my last hair cut....I got a hair cut and some highlights yesterday.

When I am unhappy with my hair...I just pull it in a ponytail and forget it...really!

But I think I like this cut and this length...and the highlights are pretty good...but a little light. Katie thought I dyed my hair grey!!!!

That's nice to come home to, I tell ya!

"Why is your hair grey?"

"It's not grey....I'm trying to hide the grey...Does it really look grey???"

Gotta get the girl some glasses!'s a photo.

Here's wishing you all a sunny spring day!

Encourage one another,

p.s. The 3-5 grade sign lang. class will preform next Friday so I get to practice my public speaking some more :o)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday Feast

From which country(s) are some (or all) of your ancestors?

How would you describe your sneeze?

What is the last thing you cleaned?

Main Course
Who made the strongest first impression on you?

Name one thing you want to accomplish in your lifetime.


Some inspiring words from the Bible study I am working on.

Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He has kept you hitherto,-do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and, when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms...The same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you tomorrow, and every day. Either He will shield you for suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
~Francis de Sales (1567-1655)

I, of course, would prefer the shielding from suffering to the unfailing strength to bear it. (Cause I'm really a big baby)

But how many times has God shielded me from suffering....and I don't even know it???

Probably daily.



Katie had her dance recital yesterday afternoon.
Here, the class preforms the Mexican Hat Dance.


Mrs. Mast poses with little Katie

Mrs. Mast is such a lovely young teacher. Besides being the perfect ballerina, she treats the children beautifully and handles her class with sweetness blended with knowledge!

(be sure to click on the pictures to see a larger photograph)

Don't forget to answer to questions :o)

Encourage one another,


Thursday, May 04, 2006

obligations and deadlines...
but not much inspiration...

Who ya gonna call?

Thankfulness, that's who.

The cure for all sorts of blues.

Things to be thankful for....

Emma's fantastic group of friends

Katie's storybook ballet




Encourage one another,

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I took a little break from reading Pride and Prejudice last night.
(Because I forgot to tote it upstairs with me at bedtime)

And picked up The Portrait of Dorian Grey.

I was pleased to spot a famous quote within the first few pages.

Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship,
and it is far the best ending for one.
--Oscar Wilde

Just ten pages into the book and I am impressed with Wilde's writing and sense of humor. I have never read anything by him before, I've only seen his play "The Importance of Being Earnest."

I must finish Pride and Prejudice first tho! It's my new reading policy. One book at a time.

Pride and Prejudice would be a much more enjoyable book if I didn't know almost every bit of it by heart.

But I shall persevere.

So many books....

I have got to pick up the pace!


Are you enjoying what you are reading now?
Anything special on deck?

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sockapaloooza send off!

Today is the day that the socks for the Sockaplaoooza are sent to their new owners.

It was fun to be in a swap!

Did you know I will be getting a pair in the mail too!
So exciting!


After I am finished kniting my pink and green Trekking xxl socks,
I will knit a pair of socks for Janie (the mom of the family that Emma is going to visit) Janie mentioned recently in an email that she was still chilled to the bone.
Don't you think some woolen socks are in order?

Here is the yarn that came in the mail yesterday.
Isn't the mail great?

Sunshiney Yarn goodness!

Glorious yarn on a dandelion free yard!

I think it's all the years on a golf course that make my husband love a lush lawn.
I like it too.

Katie seems to have had a change of heart about dandelions lately.

(sitting in the car on the way past a baseball field)

"Look at all those dandelions! Technically, they're weeds" states Katie.

"I think they are pretty". I said.

Question of the Day

Do you cut your sandwiches? Do you always cut them a certain way?

Encourage one another,


Monday, May 01, 2006

It's been a long time...but finally a movie I can recommend to the whole family;

Akeelah and the Bee

It's smart, sweet, joyous and touching!
Highly Recommended.

Official Akeelah and the Bee Website

Another very cool thing I spotted this weekend

Eagle in her Nest

And for tradition sake...

Tra la,
It's May!

Look closely.
Where was this picture taken?

Encourage one another,