Friday, December 31, 2004

Final Friday Five of 2004

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?

2. What was your biggest disappointment?

3. What do you hope the new year brings?

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

We have come around to my least favorite holiday :o)
It is better for me not to even think about what we are suppose to be doing on New Years (having tons of fun) because I am usually in my pajamas by seven.

All the great expectations that go with New Years Eve only serve to make it the loneliest night of the year.

So perhaps I will skip it all together :o)

So long 2004...

It was a very good year...

Encourage one another,

Thursday, December 30, 2004

My favorites

Every once in a while I go back a re-read my blog. I plan to save the whole year on disk or CD or whatever works. It will be my diary of 2004, complete with pictures.

The comments disappear after a few months with blogger...but perhaps there is a way to get them back.

I tried, but do not understand how to send you to specific dates/blogs so if you are interested in reading some of my favorite entries I will give you the month and date and you will have to page down to the date.

convenient, huh?

I liked rereading;
January 16th and 24th,
February 3 and 4,
March 22 and 27,
April 1 and 8 and 27 and 30
and May 3,10,11,26.

That's all for now. I'm sorry my method is antiquated.

I hope you enjoy the posts I've selected.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Poetry:Dorothy Aldis

Winter Coats

In October, when they know
That very soon there will be snow,

Cows and horses, sheep and goats
Start to grow their winter coats.

Each year they grow them, fine and new
(And fitting very nicely too),
But with no buttons to undo,

Nor pockets for a handkerchief.
And so they have to snort and sniff.

Day-Time Moon

In the morning
When the sun
Is shining down
On every one,
It's very strange
To see the moon,
Large and like
A pale balloon,
Drifting over
Roof and tree
Without one star
For company...


The fenceposts wear marshmallow hats
On a snowy day;
Bushes in their night gowns
Are kneeling down to pray-
And all the trees have silver skirts
And want to dance away.

Who is your favorite writer of poetry for children?


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Encouragement for Large Families

I would like to encourage the ladies with large families to visit the Vision Forum blog today.

Beall Phillips wrote a thoughtful and beautiful letter to a critic.

You might also enjoy her letter if you have wondered why some families delight in their very large families.

Click here.
Three out of four

Off went the Christmas cards yesterday afternoon. Enclosed was this family photo.
All of the big kids have such great expressions...Katie is not looking her best...
but, honestly, perfection is not always achievable in the family photo. Well perfection and sanity...or perfection and a quiet and gentle spirit.

So here is an imperfect picture of my children taken by their imperfect mother with a gentle spirit. And perhaps that is why the big kids all have pleasant expressions...


Thank you for your comments in yesterdays comment box. I have been enlightened, encouraged, entertained, educated and blessed by the comments I have received over the past year.

Thank You All.

Encourage one another,

Monday, December 27, 2004


I read an interesting article last night on the value of blogging.
It is written by a very respected and learned man, R.C. Sproul Jr.
Here's the link to his article.

Two quotes from the article;

"Books change people's lives. Blogs change people's moments."

"I'm just reminding me, and perhaps a few dozen of my friends, that real life is real."

Yes, yes, proper perspective is always a good thing.

The main reason I started keeping a blog was this;

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

And even if I don't think I have much to teach and know that there are women much more qualified than I...the Bible verse says to 'just do it'. I decided not to wait until I thought I was holy enough or lovely enough or pure enough.

In this, the year of the blog, I have grown closer to my sisters, made new friends, and shared my favorite quotes and scriptures and poems and songs and experiences. And in turn, the same have been shared with me.

For me, the moments have been well spent.

And to tell you the truth, it changed me.
I resolved to stop complaining in 2004.
I have a way to go (especially when driving) but I have come a long way.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing"

I am going to work on the arguing part next year, really!

So, is there value to this pursuit?
I have to say, for me, yes.
The Bible says to encourage one another.
And I hope to do this very small way.

Even just for a moment.

Encourage one another,

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Fun times

Katie's big sibs oblige her with a boisterous game of Hungry, Hungry Hippo!

And I was worried she wouldn't have anyone to play with!


I cooked an amazing beef tenderloin for dinner last night. We only have this meal once a year, so I forget how to make it from year to year. Last year I called my sister Nancy for the cooking times...this year I called sister Sue. I will post the recipe on my recipe page this share and for safe keeping :o)

I also used Knorr's Bernaise sauce mix. It is great. Just as good as in a restaurant! Yum!

Off to church!

Encourage one another,

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Blessings

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.
Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Five candles on your cake,
Five kisses when you wake!

Look who's five! It is a very long wait for your birthday when you are four and five and six! But her big day is here...and our Katie has had her morning kisses already.

She came to us in a dramatic way and has proven to be a little drama queen ever since. To be honest, she is dramatic in very sweet and funny ways.

I was 42 when I had her and my husband was 46. We had a senior in high school, a freshman in high school and a fifth grader. The only thing I have ever worried about was that she would not have a close relationship with her older siblings. My fears were unnecessary. She loves her big brothers and sister and they adore her too.

So our little caboose is five and I look forward to what she will become in the next year...five is gettin' pretty old :o)


Here is an old Christmas song that is not sung very much anymore. But
I remember singing it and found it in the old Lutheran Hymnal.
This was written in Latin in the 14th Century. Isn't that amazing!

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!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

From Cyberhymnal "Words: Heinrich Suso (?-1366); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale in Car­ols for Christ­mas­tide (Lon­don: 1853). Folk­lore has it that Suso, hear­ing an­gels sing these words, joined them in a dance of wor­ship."

Hum....well I don't know about that...I'm not big on folklore...but if you click on the word cyberhymnal above you can listen and remember and sing along if you like :o)

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas Eve day!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

We all had a wonderful time visiting up North. I barely noticed the cold due to the warmth of good, true, long time friends.

While we were gone..

1. Dear Hubby made himself fresh noodles for his left over spaghetti. (oh yeah, he worked ten hours too)

2. Young Matthew found the gift he has been looking for, for Katie.
Katie wants a Chi-chi-chi-chia pet. (this is how she says it...just like the commercial on television) It turns out that Matthew always wanted a chia pet too. But his mean mother never bought him one.
(His mean mother's a toy that lasts, like a puzzle or brio train)
But Matthew has been a good worker this year and he has money...and this Christmas he is the happy shopper...and being the sensitive kid that he is(deep down where we don't usually see it) he wanted Katie to have what he never had...the amazing chia pet.

3. Many wonderful readers filled the comments 'box' with interesting, thoughtful responses to my 'improper pride' query.
Thank you. I do think I understand what Lizzy meant now.


The packages have been arriving daily from all over the country from my siblings. (how do you like that...siblings :o) We have received a beautiful wreath, brownies, See's chocolate, a Harry and David gift box, a box of yummy snacks, and some fun seasonal gifts from Sue. We have not opened the main box because I don't think it is food...but this fun prize was placed on top...

As I have mentioned before...squinting at ones Christmas tree is very nice. But these magical glasses make every light a colorful star.

I even braved the freezing temps to see what our street would look like.
It looks very sparkly.

Fun gift Sue. I will insist all of the Boucher's try them on when they come over for Christmas Eve :o)

Many thanks to all...the wreath is hung and the food is being enjoyed...daily!

I hope you are all enjoying yourselves...and not stressing too much.
It is a beautiful thing in God's eyes.


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

On the road again...

I will be driving Emma's friend, Marie, to her home today(in Menominee Michigan), visiting with friends and bringing my brother-in-law Paulie back to Madison for Christmas.

So in my absence, I have a question for you readers and watchers of Pride and Prejudice to ponder.

At the very end of the book and the movie, Elizabeth's father is discussing Mr. Darcy's attributes with his daughter Lizzy;

``Have you any other objection,'' said Elizabeth, ``than your belief of my indifference?''

``None at all. We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him.''

``I do, I do like him,'' she replied, with tears in her eyes, ``I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable. You do not know what he really is; then pray do not pain me by speaking of him in such terms.''

Here is my question, and excuse me for being dense, but I won't know the answer if I don't ask...

When Elizabeth says "Indeed he has no improper pride." What exactly does she mean?

Is she saying, 'yes, he is proud", 'no, he is not proud', or perhaps 'the pride that he has is proper.'

In the movie she says this line with a very sweet tone which leads me to believe she is not saying he is proud...

Ah well...

Discuss amongst yourselves while I am away...

I look forward to being educated when I return home :o)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Thank you for sharing what you are reading. Even the real bits i.e. recipes, sale flyers, and blogs. I guess a few days before Christmas is an odd time to ask that question.

Oh well...I read every night before I turn the light whether it's five minutes or an hour...I always read a little.

And if the book is especially comes down from the bedroom and I tote it around and read it all during the day.

Katie and the Trinity

I discuss the Trinity with Katie often. She is trying to sort out when we say Jesus and when we say God and 'is the baby Jesus, God?' After a few times of discussing this, she understands, I think.

They are One.

I have only mentioned the Holy Spirit to her once. But I'm not going to push it on her. If she can accept that God has two parts...I'm sure she will accept the Third.

Have you ever heard of the Kool-aid object lesson for the Trinity?

Kool-aid in the pitcher looks like it is just one thing. Kool-aid.

Showing a child how Kool-aid is made, with one part sugar and one part water and one part Kool-aid mix is a very good easy way to explain this.


Who remembers this?

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
won't you please to put a penny in the old man's hat;
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha'penny then God bless you!

Encourage one another,
You are all such an encouragement to me.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Checked out.

Ambra asked her readers to share what they were reading on Friday. It's been a while since I asked that same question...

So whatcha reading? What's on that nightstand?
Here's my list;

Expecting Adam:A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic by Martha Beck
Jane Austen by Claire Tomalin
Miniatures & Morals by Peter Leithart
The Other Wise Man by Van Dyke/Pamela Kennedy
The Pat Conroy Cookbook

It's a good lineup...


Homeschooling a High Schooler

A most often asked question I hear when it comes to homeschooling a high school age child is 'How do you teach all of subjects...the math!, the sciences!...

I have always taken a one year at a time approach. I knew the time would come when I would have to reach out and ask for help.

We have reached out in three subjects this year.

Firstly, Geometry. I choose Math U See Geometry. This was a leap of faith. I wanted a geometry program that utilized DVD's and straightforward workpages.
I found this program at a homeschool convention last spring.
Emma is understanding and doing very well.

Secondly, Chemistry. I 'happened' upon a young woman who teaches our local high schoolers Biology and Chemistry in her home. Mrs. Beck is a brilliant, friendly, gentle teacher. Class is held on Tuesdays for 2 1/2 hours. The six girls work on experiments during this time. They are using the Apologia Chemistry book and the girls in the class also get together and work on assignments together.
Emma is doing very well in this class...and I am happy to see her have success in a class where I am not the only judge of her abilities.
Very good experience!

She is also taking an English course from The Potter's School. This is an on-line class. (I was trying a bit of everything :o) This class is going well. Emma does find sitting at the computer for this class a bit long and boring. My main intention for this class was to have Emma's essays graded by someone who knew what to look for in a 10th grade paper. This we have found, but I am not sure that it is beneficial enough to take another on-line class.
Mild success.

So there you have it. I have always thought Emma a wonderful student. She is diligent and straightforward. I am so pleased to see her do well in her new experiences. Her new courses have pushed her harder than her mother usually does and she has stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park in most cases.
Very good indeed!

Ahem...speaking of diligent...Emma has a friend visiting from out of town. Marie arrived last night and the girls thought to watch part of Pride and Prejudice at around 11:00pm. Well, I heard them quietly coming to bed at about 4:00 am....
me thinks they watched the whole thing :o)

Encourage one another...and tell me what you are reading,

Sunday, December 19, 2004

"Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?"

In the show a Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown is searching for the true meaning of the holiday amidst all of the commercialism. His friend Linus puts it all in perfect perspective with his speech, right out of Luke;

"And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid ... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord."
"And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men."

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." - Linus Van Pelt

-Luke 2: 8-14

Glory to God in the Highest!


Saturday, December 18, 2004

I don't care what people say...
Rock and Roll is here to stay...

Emma in her dad's letter Jacket and her mother's cashmere sweater...
While she is not big on dressing up...we just happen to have some fiftyish clothing articles around the house for her to wear to the 1950's inspired birthday she attended last night!

I told Emma I wore that sweater with a peter pan collar.

Even tho I was only born in the 50's...I have always been fond of the music and clothing styles of the day. Our cheerleading uniform included a pair of saddle shoes and a high pony tail.

During my middle school and high school days we had sock hops and 50's inspired festivities. I don't know if this was common all across the country or just in Wheaton, Illinois. But it does seem styles and trends come back around every twenty-five years or so. As in the 70's inspired clothing of late. yuck...It was ugly then...and it's ugly now. Do you think the eighties mullet hairstyle will come back? How about big shoulder pads! Let's hope not :o)


First semester school overview set for Monday. It's been a busy and productive semester for Emma. Tune in next week :o)


Are you wishing people Merry Christmas yet?

Encourage one another,

Friday, December 17, 2004

Name-game Friday Five

I love naming things...well actually not things...people and pets.
I do not name cars or any other machines...but I do think it is clever when people do this...


1. Are you happy with your name? If not, what would you name yourself?
2. If you had twins, a boy and a girl, what would you name them?
3. Tell us some of your pets names.
4. Do you think your name affects your personality?
5. What do you think inspires you to like a name?

THE ornament made by our mother. Esther Jean.

Sue and Cindy...I'll bet you have not seen this in a long time! Do you remember making ornaments with mom around the kitchen table in Elmhurst? I'll bet you were too little Cindy.

This is the ornament that means to most to me when I take it out of the box every Christmas. It was made with our mother's is priceless.

Encourage one another,
Donna Elsie Booba

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

You are Claire Huxtable!
Clair Huxtable: You are Claire Huxtable from The
Cosby Show. You have high expectations for your
children, just like you have high expectations
for yourself. You've probably got your own life
and your own career, but nothing is more fun
than spending time with your family. You may be
a professional woman, but you enjoy getting
silly with the kids sometimes.

You want good kids, but you also want them to be
successful, smart individuals who can speak
their minds as long as they do so
respectfully. While you enjoy being the kind of
mom that your kids can come to with a problem,
you are not afraid to set them straight when
they're acting badly. When it comes to
discipline, you try treat your kids like
adults, talking calmly and coolly. And that's
ultimately why they're going to grow up with
such unwavering respect for you as both a
mother and a successful person.

Which TV Mom are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Well...I'll agree with about half of that assessment :o)
My high expectations for my children are matters of the heart...not career.

Calm and cool...that's about 50% of the time too.

I can be quite dramatic. Where do you think Katie got her flair for the dramatic :o)

Oh yes, speaking of dramatic. Last night was the Awana Christmas program. The director picked very nice songs for the children to sing. When Katie knew the words (which isn't all of the time) she sang very loud!

Too funny!

God is so good to give her old parents this funny little girl who delights and embarrasses us with her antics!

Moo, moo...baa, baa....hee haw...
Baby Jesus, we love you!

Encourage one another,

What television mother are you most like?
And who did they forget?
The Pat Conroy Cookbook

If you like to read...I know you do.

and you like to cook...a sure thing.

Then you are going to love Pat Conroy's new cookbook!

Pat Conroy is the author of The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides and Beach Music. If you have read any of his books you can tell he loves food. One of the things I remember about both The Prince of Tides and Beach Music are food descriptions and restaurant descriptions.

Who can forget Lila whipping up hash for her violent, demanding husband with a can of dog food?

The autobiographical essays at the beginning of each chapter are very interesting and funny.

I am reading out loud already to my family from this cookbook...

you know it must be good :o)

When Conroy was young he would catch fish and bring them home to his mother,

"My mother could not have been more upset if I had brought roadkill newly scraped off a highway into her kitchen. Perhaps Peg Conroy carried some bad experience with a fish into her adult life, like a bone lodged in her throat."


"There is joy in the preparation of food that we share and try to spread around to those we love. Now we will try to spread the source of this joy to you. Suzanne is the great workhorse and beauty behind the recipes in this book. I provide the hot air and sense of story."

Long, long, ago

One of my roommates at Hillsdale college was a very sweet girl named Kathy. We have lost touch (which is really too bad) but I have two wonderful reminders of her. Her carrot cake recipe and her recipe for butterballs.


1 pound butter
1 cup confectionery sugar


3 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 cups chopped nuts

Shape into one inch balls. Place on ungreased pans.
Bake about 10 min. at 350 degrees.
While still warm roll in powdered sugar.

I will be making these today.

Wish you were here. Wouldn't that be nice?

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Blast from the past!

I grew up in the Chicago area...and as you know...I like to watch television.
When I was young I watched WGN. In fact, we had four channels. ABC, NBC, CBS and my favorite WGN. There was a lot of children's programming on WGN. I'm sure you have heard of Bozo the Clown. He is probably the most famous Chicago Television personality. Bozo was our Howdy Doody. (Howdy Doody was before my time) But I wasn't a big fan of Bozo although I really liked to watch THE GRAND PRIZE GAME. (I'll teach you how to play at the end of this post)

I was especially fond of Ray Rayner and Family Classics. Family Classics was a movie show which was on Sunday Afternoon. Family Classics played movies like Lassie and Heidi and A Christmas Carol. This is how I became a movie lover...not going to the theater...watching Family Classics.

At Christmastime, WGN ran a few 'music videos'. I think they showed them during the Ray Rayner show...but they also ran them at commercial time. They were Suzy Snowflake, Hardrock, Coco and Joe, and Frosty the Snowman. They were special, musical movie shorts that were a delight to me.

And Guess What?

I found them on the internet!!!

Go and visit Lisa's Web World-Chicagoland Memories

If you grew up in Chicago, I know these videos will take you back!

Your teens might be interested to see how far the entertainment world has come since the 50's and 60's. It is really astonishing that we were fascinated by these little musical dittys.

Compare them to the Incredibles and Shrek and The Lord of the Rings.

What a difference a generation makes.


The Grand Prize Game is played with one ball and five or six buckets. Place the buckets in a straight line. Stand in front of the first bucket. Toss a ball or bean bag into the first bucket, then the second, then the third...if you can make it to the final bucket, you're the winner.

Isn't that fun...and easy.


It was good to be a little girl in the 60's. For me it was carefree and innocent.

"Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Look at her tumblin' down
Bringing joy to every girl and boy
Suzy's come to town"

Encourage one another,

Monday, December 13, 2004

Heavenly song

Because we have a digital camera, I let Katie take it around the house and photograph anything she wants. She, of course, loves to take pictures of her mommy...but I was not especially camera ready yesterday afternoon. After a few requests,(a.k.a. begging, pleading, nagging) I finally gave in...

Me: Alright, you may take my picture.


Katie looks at the viewfinder and hands the camera to me.

Katie: Is there a double chin?

Emma and I look at Katie with astonishment. And laugh. Hard.

*No photo to follow :o)

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
e e cummings (1894 - 1962)

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.
Lord Byron (1788 - 1828)


Saturday afternoon, the homeschool choir performed an encore at the state capitol.
This is a beautiful place to have an encore. Wisconsin's state capitol is very large and ornate. It's worth a visit. Anyway...the quiet songs get a bit lost in the huge marble building, but a little boy sang a solo of Silent Night that was pitch perfect and clear and his sweet voice rang through the giant building in such a glorious way it brought me to tears.

And the instruments, especially the violin, sounded clear and true.

The high school choir sang a few of the songs that had some umph to them...and they sounded great! In the end the audience (and anyone walking around the capitol...just visiting) is invited to sing Silent Night along with the choir.
This is a very nice tradition with the homeschool choir. While the audience sings Silent Night the choir sings Peace on Earth.

Hearing the words, "Christ the Savior is born....Christ the Savior is born" sung in the Wisconsin state Capitol building is, well, remarkable and stunning and very moving.

The building did not collapse.

I sat in that building filled with sound....hoping that souls would be touched.

Ah does that to you doesn't it?

Encourage one another,

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Christmas Everywhere

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine,
Christmas in lands of the palm-tree and vine,
Christmas where snow peaks stand solemn and white,
Christmas where cornfields stand sunny and bright.
Christmas where children are hopeful and gay,
Christmas where old men are patient and gray,
Christmas where peace, like a dove in his flight,
Broods o'er brave men in the thick of the fight;
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!

For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all;
No palace too great, no cottage too small.

-Phillips Brooks

So simple and so true.
My favorite kind of poetry.

Encourage one another,

Saturday, December 11, 2004


Oooooo...I am so excited.

This is my first hat. It is a very cool hat for many reasons.

1. It is made from baby alpaca yarn. This is incredibly soft and stretchy.

2. I have not knitted anything for Matthew since he was a baby.

3. The pattern is very easy and very free. Find it at Wendy Knits.

4. The yarn is a gift from Janet for my birthday :o) She sent me a gift certificate to Patternworks. Aren't I a lucky girl!

5. I love patterns that use just one skein of yarn!

I'm so glad I have such a willing, pretty model to work with!

(There. I am not fixing that sentence. Does it drive you nuts to see that preposition at the end? We once discussed this grammar phenomenon on the Well Trained Mind boards. I think we decided it was a decidedly Midwesten way of speaking. And while it is incorrect-Never End a Sentence with a Preposition-I
feel fake switching it around.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
How's that for a rabbit trail?)

You are going to love this pattern!

This beautiful pattern can be found at
It is so very Sense and Sensibility.
I do think it is the prettiest sweater I have ever seen!

Get knitting :o)

Encourage one another,

Friday, December 10, 2004

Festive Friday Five

Katie, Emma and I decorated today. The girls really love bringing out all of the pretty Muffys, Santas, and the Nativity set.

So here are a few questions that came to mind this week...

1.What is your favorite decoration to take out to display?

2. Done shopping yet?

3. What do you do on Christmas Eve?

4. Tell us about the weirdest appetizer you remember eating or serving? I have to ask this cause we have a doozy!

5. Share your best childhood Christmas memory, please.

This is my favorite decoration to bring out every year. Imagine my delight when I took this picture and spotted an additional Mary and Joseph. Katie's precious touch.

I need to toss some greenery around to make it look a bit nicer. And not so bare.


Our wonderful quaterback is being even more wonderful off the field.
Brett Favre's wife is being treated for cancer and is currently going through treatment. Brett shaved his head today so that Deanna will not be alone with a bald head. Click here to read more about this man and his wife, and to see his new 'do'.


Thank you for your prayers. I know God hears.
I imagine the prayers going up to God from all over the world. It reminds me of the beginning of It's a Wonderful Life.

"Series of shots of various streets and buildings in the town of
Bedford Falls, somewhere in New York State. The streets are
deserted, and snow is falling.

It is Christmas Eve. Over the above scenes we hear voices

I owe everything to George Bailey. Help him, dear Father.

Joseph, Jesus and Mary. Help my friend Mr. Bailey.

Help my son George tonight.

He never thinks about himself, God; that's why he's in trouble.

George is a good guy. Give him a break, God.

I love him, dear Lord. Watch over him tonight.

Please, God. Something's the matter with Daddy.

Please bring Daddy back.

CAMERA PULLS UP from the Bailey home and travels up through the
sky until it is above the falling snow and moving slowly toward a
firmament full of stars. As the camera stops we hear the
following heavenly voices talking, and as each voice is heard,
one of the stars twinkles brightly:

Hello, Joseph, trouble?

Looks like we'll have to send someone down –– a lot of people are
asking for help for a man named George Bailey."

That's how I imagine your prayers today.

Bless you all,

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Christ with Us

"Building our homes on Christ is not some pious idea that has nothing to do with real, everyday problems, fears, and troubles. We do not have to do with an imaginary Jesus. He is actually there! Christians through the ages have found that the Rock is real, a firm foothold. The bible is bursting with promises and practical instruction. But we won't find our how it all works in real life unless:
1. We actually believe it is true.
2. We learn to live it every day and night of the week, rather than leaving it for the Sunday-in-church part of our lives.
3. We start actually living in relationship with God through His Son Jesus in a choice made once and then lived out on a day-by-day basis. He becomes the "always there" and best person in life.
4. We listen to God in His word-not inventing our own ideas about how to go about living life.
5. We obey His directions.

It seems harder and harder today for people to realize that in order to be rooted people who bear fruit, they must accept limitations....

For all of us. The Lord promises extra help when we call on Him in weakness, failure, and need. Homes need God's help to survive."

-Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, For the Family's Sake

I would like to add, we all need God's help to survive.

It is not an easy, carefree, perfect life for anyone.

Without the knowledge of God's love for me and understanding my role as His child, I would be desperate, terrified and alone.

But I am not. I cling to Him and trust Him and cast my cares upon Him.

Thy fate is the common fate of all; Into each life some rain must fall.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"If you have been raised up with Christ,
keep seeking the things above, where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above,
not on the things that are on earth."
Col 3:1,2

I have an unspoken prayer request for our family.
If you feel led to pray, I thank you in advance.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Bloom where you are planted

"A young mother asked how on earth she is to learn to love the Lord, grow in grace, and be truly holy in the midst of general chaos-hard work, very limited means, little chance for fellowship, and her own children disobeying, screaming, and fighting.

It is tempting to imagine that, given a different lot in life, circumstances other than those in which we find ourselves, we would make much greater strides in holiness. The truth is that the place where we are is God's schoolroom, not somewhere else.
Here we may be conformed to the likeness of Christ."

The trivial round, the common task,
Will furnish all we ought to ask-
Room to deny ourselves, as road
To bring us daily nearer to God.
(John Keble)

-taken from Secure in the Everlasting Arms by Elisabeth Elliot.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Baking Bread

Oh my goodness...this morning I found, in my email, photos sent from Janet.
And what do you think she is doing in these photos? She is posing in front of five loaves of homemade bread! You thought I was going to say 'in front of her five children, didn't you?' Nope. Beautiful loaves of homemade bread and a bright and shiny Bosch and Nurtimill.

Since I can not get Janet's picture to post, check her out at
Kim's site!

How lucky can you get? Gifts from her hubby!

I have been wanting to grind my own grain and make fresh bread for many years now. The Bread Beckers is just one source of great homebaking information...and they will tell you every illness can be cured with freshly ground grains! (well, maybe not every :o) Sue Becker is very enthusiastic.

So now we all need Janet's recipe don't we!
And stories of her baking beginnings.
Come on Janet. I will be watching the comments (as it is too early to call Arizona)
for your baking anecdotes.

All bakers are welcome to jump into the conversation.
Even if you are only a baker in your dreams :o)
Let's talk homemade bread today!

Encourage one another,

Monday, December 06, 2004

Heavy Plate of Dough

Here is a cookie that tastes best when cooked and iced.
Katie and her Daddy mixed this dough Saturday evening. It sat in the fridge all night...

Baking commenced on Sunday to the delight of all.

Patrick does not know his way around our kitchen very well and didn't think to look for the clear butter flavoring. Next time the icing will be white :o)

None of us care.

I encouraged Patrick to take cookies to work. His fellow employees will get to share in his yummy cookies and get to know more about their boss/co-worker. The personal touch never hurts?

***I can not share this recipe. Sorry


Emma and I went shopping a little yesterday afternoon.
Emma picked out some clothes for Christmas gifts, I purchased slippers for Patrick (which I hear he has already tried on) and bought Christmas cards. I'm glad Emma came with me...I have raised a true bargain shopper!

She also has a good eye for makeup, so I tried on lipstick and she told me what looked the best on me. I keep saying that I am going to start wearing lipstick. Just a little color for my thin lips. Emma wrote down the color we thought looked best and I hope to find it under the tree on Christmas morning.

Me trying on lipstick is almost as funny as my husband trying on hats.

Almost :o)

The important thing about lipstick is that it is red.
It is shiny and bright,
and makes your lips stand out.
But the important thing about lipstick is that it is red.

see The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown

I think if I wear lipstick, everyone will look at me and say.

Look! Donna is wearing lipstick!

Emma says this is not true. I know she is right.


Did anyone see Family Man last night on the telly?
It made me cry. I sure like Tea Leoni. (She was the wife/mother in the movie)
She says to her husband, "I choose us."


Happy Monday!

Encourage one another,

Sunday, December 05, 2004


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,
Baring its tender feet to every roughness,
Yet letting not one heart-beat go astray
From beauty's law of plainness and content-
A simple, fireside thing, whose quiet smile
Can warm earth's poorest hovel to a home.
-James Russell Lowell

***Noel mentioned in the comments that this painting was not is the rest of the story.
First Steps by Vincent Van Gogh

Encourage one another,

Saturday, December 04, 2004

I only have eyes for you :o)

The Flame homeschool choir.

Emma was waaaay in the back row but I had a perfect view of her face from where I was sitting. This made me very happy :o)
I told Emma I was so glad to be able to see her and asked her if she could see her father...

"No I could not see dad...but I could see you, and you were smiling."

That's me...sitting there, proud and happy as can be.

The choir and teachers worked very hard all fall. The students were challenged by pieces of music that were from all over the world. The boys sang Pengyou Ting a traditional Chinese melody. Very Unique! One of my favorites was Natufurahi Siku Ya Leo. It is a traditional Taita folk melody. The lyrics were a tongue twister for Emma...But the choir sang it perfectly and it gave me a special thrill knowing how difficult it was to learn.

They also sand a song called A Winter Carol. The notes in the program say that it is Canada's first Christmas carol.
Do you know this song, dear Canadians? It was very pretty and had some Native Indian words.

So our very busy week is over! Didn't do as many days of school as I had hoped.
Now next week we have Christmas Caroling at Four Winds Nursing home on Thursday afternoon and Patrick and I will host a Christmas Open House for our homeschool group on Friday. We chose five houses to host these parties last summer! I volunteered. We very rarely have parties!

Ya wanna come? I really don't know if anyone will show up.

The good thing about hosting the party is I will clean the house and declutter and decorate for Christmas! One week from today our house will look festive and clean. Now THAT is something to look forward to :o)

Oh, my hubby is going to make cookies today! He (we) owned a bakery for 17 years and his iced cookies are the only thing he has figured out how to make at home. I think he makes 1/16 a batch.

We are so happy he has figured this out! They are wonderful cookies and are such a delicious reminder of Boucher's Bakery!

I'll take a picture of them for you!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Friday Five-All Skate :o)

When you were a child...

1. What did you want to be when you grew up and why?

2. Who was your favorite person to do things with (excluding your parents)?

3. Did you love school or did you hate it?

4. Was your family close?

5. Did you share a bedroom?

My sister Sue and I shared a bedroom when we were in grade school. Actually, until the twins were born (Janice and Janet) when I was nine and Sue was ten. It's funny the memories that really stick with you.

I remember climbing on my dresser drawers and the whole dresser crashing down on top of me.

I remember our mother reading Dr. Seuss to us on the bed. And laughing cause the words were hard to say.

I remember that Sue and I would lie on our beds, hang upside down and try to make one another laugh. Our hair looked so funny upside down and we said really bad words, like do-do.

And I remember Sue and I being sent to adjoining bedrooms because we were fighting. Then we whispered to one another through the keep one another company and gripe about our punishment.

I remember lavender walls and bedspreads with small bouquets of purple flowers.

What do you remember?


p.s. All skate is a roller skating term. After only boys skating and only girls skating they announcer would call out ALL SKATE. After three weeks of questions for married folks, I am happy to call out All Skate :o)

Last night I went along with the girls to Awana. I was asked to teach Silent Night to the children in Sign Language for their Christmas program. They did so great.
It looks very pretty.

Later in the evening I signed along to the reading of Henry Van Dyke's The Other Wise Man. It went well, but I was glad there wasn't a deaf person there to see all of my mistakes :o) My fingerspelling is slow so words like Bethlehem were signed Be....m and Jeruselam was signed J....m.

chuckle chuckle

Do you know this story?

This book is the retelling of the Van Dyke story by Pamela Kennedy.

The fourth wise man sets off to find the Son of God with three gems. He is to meet up with the other three wise men. Along the way he must give away the jewels to save the lives of three strangers. After 33 years of searching he feels he has failed.
As he lay dying he hears these words,

"Artaban you have been a good and faithful servant. I was hungry and you fed me. I was naked and you brought me clothes. I was in prison and you visited me."

"Not so, Lord," whispered Artaban. "When did I do all these things for you?"

And the voice answered, "Whenever you helped one of my people in need, you helped me."


This book is a wonderful read a loud. My Aunt Sunnie sent it to me about ten years ago. Here is the inscription on the inside;

Dear Donna, Patrick, Patrick, Matthew and Emma,
I used to read this story to my children every Christmas Eve and now I read it to my Grandchildren.
And I still cry.

With my love,
Aunt Sunnie


Tradition is a very good thing :o)

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Pays to read all the parts of the quiz before posting it.
Yikes! Sorry 'bout that!

Don't ask Alex Trebek to throw a party!

Ken Jennings finally lost on Jeopardy last night. You have never seen a less enthusiastic send off in your life.

Alex: Oh, well it was going to happen sometime. Bye.

Come On! A few balloons, a little confetti, a kind word of 'thanks' for raising your show's rating 22 points.

Well the show has never been flashy...and they are not starting now!

So long, Kenny, you were brilliant!

Read all about Ken's grand accomplishment here


Would you like some cheese with your whine?

I have been placed in the position of being a chair of a costume committee. I said, 'no'...but it turns out that I am the only one to do this job.
So after grumbling and complaining about it(only to my family and one friend)...I realized that many times we are asked to serve where we don't want to serve...And we just have to suck it up and do it as unto the Lord.

'suck it up' is not in the Bible, is it?

It is no surprise to God, right?
The ladies I am working with are all very sweet and lovely.
And everything is coming together very, very nicely.
It could have been a lot harder.

I really should be ashamed to have forgotten all of this in the midst of my little temper tantrum.

Even tho I did not want to do this job, ultimately I believe God gave me this job to do.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of the Lord."

Just a little spiritual reality check for this week!

As Elisabeth Elliot says, even if it is washing a toilet, do it as Unto the Lord :o)

Whiner no more,