Monday, January 31, 2005


We have been on a little movie kick at our house in the last four days.

Emma and I watched An Affair to Remember late Thursday night.
It's a charming movie really. Cary Grant and Debra Kerr just glow.

And well to hear these lines again...

Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories...

Oh, it's nobody's fault but my own! I was looking up... it was the nearest thing to heaven! You were there...

An Affair to Remember (1957) --- A very good year :o)


Then Patrick, Emma and I watched The Village. First time for all of us.

This movie has an interesting premise. Interesting motives.

Dumb people.

I'm sorry. No matter what kind of oath you take YOU DO NOT SEND THE BLIND GIRL ON THE MISSION.

This just aggravated me to no end!

These folks were also naive--completely ignorant about the nature of sin.
Did anyone else think of that?


Then we watched Dodgeball.

Funny, crude, sophomoric gags.

Just what we expected.

Better then Zoolander.


And last night I watched a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie called The Magic of Ordinary Days.

This is the best made for television movie I think I have ever seen. It was quiet and interesting and tender and sweet.

The themes are family and love.

The Magic of Ordinary Days is the very best kind of love story.


I'm not sure if Hallmark releases it's movies to DVD or videotape for renting. But if they do, I recommend The Magic of Ordinary Days to all of you.

Have you watched anything worth recommending lately?

Encourage one another,

****Beware--The Village Spoilers in the Comments box******

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Romans 8:35

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Just as it is written,

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I am just thinking of how in the scheme of history how light my suffering and persecution have been. I have indeed been greatly distressed from time to time. But it has been momentary and light, in comparison.

But I still have the promise that is offered at the end of the verse. And I love that promise.

Nothing will ever separate me from the love of God.

He is a 'God who is there.'

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged."
--Deut. 31:8

Encourage one another,

Saturday, January 29, 2005

She Knits!

Katie asked if I would teach her to knit yesterday. I said, "no, you are too little."
Today she asked if I would teach her to knit.
"O.k.---we will give it a try."

She must have her mother's hands...
cause she is knitting!

She hops a little after each stitch and I fear she will lose her stitches.
But she is very thrilled and proud.
And so am I!!!

Tis a red letter day here at Quiet Life :o)
Esther's Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound ground beef
2 16 oz. cans Hunts tomato sauce
1 small tomato paste
1 can whole tomatoes (with their juice)
bay leaves
salt and pepper

Finely chop some onion. Add onion to ground beef and cook. Salt and pepper the beef.
Spoon off extra grease. Add sauce, paste and whole tomatoes. Add 1 cup of water especially if you plan on letting this simmer for many hours.
Sprinkle oregano and basil over the top of the sauce. Probably less than a tablespoon each. Add two bay leaves, @ a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 t. pepper and a tablespoon of sugar. (This cuts the acid)

Cook for about two to three hours.

We usually had spaghetti noodles and they are my husbands favorite. I am fond of mostacolli. Don't ask me why. No reason :o)


The amazing always fitting capris!

Size 6 mo- 12 mo---Isn't that strange.

Enjoy your blessings! Have a great weekend!


Friday, January 28, 2005

Friday Five:food memories

List five foods that remind you of home or your childhood.

1. Spaghetti. I remember watching our mother make spaghetti(sauce). I would help her braise the beef and she showed me how she seasoned it. A sprinkle of basil, a larger sprinkle of oregano and two bay leaves, salt and pepper. My husband will not eat spaghetti sauce out of a jar, he likes mine :o)

2. Sandwiches. Our mother made the best sandwiches! I'll let my sisters tell you what was so great about them :o)

3. Oatmeal. Must have butter, sugar and milk.

4. French Toast. Our mother stood and cooked heaps of this while all seven of us ate and ate and ate. "Esther please sit down!"
I like it with butter and powdered sugar and syrup.

5. Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy! The best meal ever! The roast beef was sliced very thin and the gravy was dark brown. I do not know how to make this meal and restaurant gravy is never as good as our mother's!
A swimming pool filled with gravy is my ambrosia!

Many thanks to Suzanne for sending this idea for the Friday Five.
Looks like fun!

Encourage one another and try not to drool on your keyboard,

Thursday, January 27, 2005

A Good Thing times 31

I was intrigued by Samantha's list of 31 things I don't understand.
For a few days, I wondered about my own list. And it just didn't fit me.
I couldn't come up with many.

But I still felt like making a list today.

Very Good Things
Not in any particular order.

1. Math U See Geometry
2. Sisters
3. Pride and Prejudice
4. Diet Dr. Pepper
5. Neil Young's Greatest Hits CD
6. Woolen Clogs
7. Above freezing temps
8. Homemade polar fleece blankets
9. Potato Soup
10. Laughing
11. Singing
12. Praying
13. Longaberger baskets
14. The Well Trained Mind books
15. Alpaca yarn
16. Kisses
17. A reliable car
18. Harmony--musical and otherwise
19. Giving
20. Hand-me downs
21. Remembering
22. Pretty smiles
23. Hearing thank-you
24. Enstrom's toffee
25. Jeopardy
26. Tiaramasu at The Great Dane
27. Comments from YOU, yes, you!
28. Gateway to Joy by Elisabeth Elliot
29. Handmade quilts
30. Dry roads
31. Patrick's work ethic

Okay. I'm not going to fuss over that list.
It's just what it is....for today.

I encourage you to think about all of the good things you have been blessed with.
Sometimes the good is overshadowed by the stresses of our busy lives...but they are there, right under our noses.


That was a little peck on your cheek :o)

--Little Seamstress by Jessie Wilcox-Smith (another very good thing)

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

May you learn from my mistake.

On Friday January 7th I received a phone call from my husband explaining that the President of our bank just called. Mr. T. called to ask if we had been writing checks, large checks, or if we had lost our checkbook.

Patrick called me and asked me to look in my purse for our checkbook.

I did. It was there. So was my driver's license.
Someone must be forging checks.


I put my coat on and went to the bank. I am a take care of it right now kind of gal.

The bookkeeper pulled out a stack of about twelve checks that had my name forged at the bottom and our routing number and our address at the top.

These were not my checks. These were fake checks with fake ink made on a computer with all of our information.

This first batch of checks totaled over $3000.00.

It was very creepy to look at all of the shopping this woman had done--in my name!
Her signature was nothing like mine.
But boy could she shop!!! Toys R Us, Sams, Walmart, Target, jewelry stores, motor parts, Panera Bread (yeah...she's going out to eat and I'm staying home pinching pennies!) and on and on!!!

Yup...she's got a Sam's card in my name. I don't even have a stupid Sam's card!

So my mind was awhirl. How did this woman get our checking information? Was it the internet? Did she work at a store and lift my check?

So the next morning, Patrick and I go into the bank and start signing Forgery Affidavit forms. We have to sign our names four times for each bad check. These are then notarized.

The police have been called.
And we should be hearing from them soon because this crime is a felony.

Let me stop here to tell the best part of this story. The bookkeeper was so on the ball that she noticed these bad checks before they paid out one penny.
She knew our account well enough to, first of all, know that we never bounced a check AND we usually only spend $10 to $50 at a time.

Had we had money in our account (ha ha ha) the bank would have paid out all of that money and we would have had to wait and hope to get it back.

So bless Mary! Our Law and Order lovin' bookkeeper at our little small town bank :o)

In an attempt to keep this short and readable I will cut to the chase.

The creepy male crook is in custody!!!
The total forged checks for us alone was $10,006.00
Thirty Nine checks with our names on them! Ick.
The woman has a Washington State driver's license with my name, a fake number, address and her picture!
The police finally assigned an officer to the case on Monday the 24th. Brother!
The checks were written between Dec.31st and Jan. 9th.
We are getting mean letters from creditors all over the United States and have a lot of leg work to do to clear our credit :o(

The male criminal, who is in custody, looks like Charles Manson.
The police officer who came to talk with us showed us the pictures,
"Here's you." He said. We laughed so hard.
The woman, who looks a little like me, is on the lamb.
Crook #1 is not giving her up!

I discovered that five checks I wrote on Dec. 27th never arrived at their intended location.

We have come to believe that checks I put in our mail box were stolen.
Our mail box is at the end of our driveway.
I have been told one should never put outgoing mail in one's mailbox.


That's the big lesson here. Don't put your mail in your mailbox.
Seems like everyone knew this except me.

Target is the store that cared the most and worked to solve this crime. They caught the crook while he was buying more pre-paid phones at their store.

The police in our little town were too busy to take our case for over two weeks, and only took it on because I went to the police station and nagged ( in a very sweet way, mind you) the Lt.

And well, Madison had already caught the crook.

I feel badly for all of the merchants who took the bad checks.
They must come up with better methods to spot fake checks.
The ink was easily detectable as being fake. The ink ran if a drip of water touched it.

That's the behind the scenes look at our Quiet Life.

That's why I have been signing my name Miz Booshay lately. A little less of my real name on the world wide web is a good idea for now.

One funny...the woman crook spent $500 at Victoria's Secret.

My husband said.
"I wish"

Be wiser than me :o)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Absolutely Beautiful

The temperature was in the high 30's and it felt like heaven.
The sun was so warm there was barely a chill.
Katie and I tagged along with Emma's friends for a little sledding. Katie pooped out quickly. She spotted some children playing at a swingset, um...playstructure, and she thought it looked like more fun.
I have to say that in 24 years of living in Wisconsin this is the first time I have been to a playground in the snowy winter.

Here is how a pair of little mohair mittens look after making a snow angel :o)


The following is shamelessly lifted right off of Kate's page at Under the Sky.

"For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutritional health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION:Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you."

That cracks me up! My mind is a whirl with all of the differing weight loss solutions. It's crazy really.

Habla Espanol?
Un poco.

May the sun shine warmly on your face today.

Monday, January 24, 2005

bits and pieces

Read Staggerford by Jon Hassler last week which is a very big favorite of MamaT. I liked it very much and I am still thinking about the characters. They were very engaging and funny and complex. MamaT knows this book like I know the Princess Bride. She and her sister call each other with 'Agatha' moments. Isn't it great to find a character that you truly love in a book?


My condolences to the Carson family and to my sister Cindy. Cindy was the Johnny Carson fan in our family. I remember her falling asleep with the television on in her room when she was in middle school. I think he kept her company at a tender and lonely time in her life.

(Cindy, I really do not mean to make you cry in front of all of your kindergarten)

Cindy was a renegade of sorts. She took over our brothers room and donned it with a little television. Made her own little space. I remember thinking she was very independent to move from our bedroom into her own...all on her own.
And watching television into the night on a school night. Well...that's bold. :o)

I'll be thinking of you Cindy as they eulogize Mr. Carson. I will remember how much you liked him. And cry when Bette sings to him.


Emma's indoor soccer team won their first game on Saturday!!!
They won 25-6. After a while the crowd starts cheering quietly and then not at all for the goals. Two things contributed to the win, in my opinion, their goalie was having a really bad day and our team started passing, very well.


Emma and I stayed up talking until 1:30 last night.
She is such a blessing to me.
I don't deserve such a daughter.


Matthew is unreachable by phone. He went back to college last week. We tried many, many times to call him. I know he is fine. We just like to know how everything is going.

(Hey Matthew, if you read this, leave us a little message in the comments! Pretty please)
He is a blessing too.


I look forward to a nice full week of school.
Katie and I are reading Pippi Longstocking. I'm not sure if I think Pippi is too sassy.
We dug out the Into the Woods audiotape and we are playing it in the car. Katie gets so excited to listen and tries to sing all the words. And boy are there a lot of's Sondheim!

I'm off to greet another week.

Thanks for keeping me company!

Encourage one another,

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Sing and Pray

If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He'll give thee strength, whate'er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days;
Who trusts in God's unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can prove.

Obey, thou restless heart, be still
And wait in cheerful hope, content
To take whate'er His gracious will,
His all discerning love, hath sent;
Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

Sing, pray, and swerve not from His ways;
But do thine own part faithfully.
Trust His rich promises of grace,
So shall they be fulfilled in thee.
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.

-Georg Neumark, trans. by Catherine Winkworth

Encourage one another,

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Elsie is a very happy cow, isn't she?

Thank you all for your interesting, funny, tender and honest comments.
I love learning more about you all and getting to visit with you in this strange and wonderful medium.

Last night, I was speaking to our oldest son on the telephone and I asked if he had read the blog lately and told him that there were 40 comments. He said he read it at the library the other day while he was checking his email. (His computer blew up-threw sparks and everything!)

Me: I can't believe that 150 people come and read the blog. I can't imagine why they come.
Patrick Jr: Well, there are 150 people just like you out there.
Me: That sounds about right.


Katie and I had an interesting conversation in the car yesterday. We had just left the home of a former neighbor. This neighbor provides daycare in her home and she asks Katie and I to come over and visit on days when Emma is busy and she has children Katie's age at her house.
Katie had a wonderful time. One sweet little girl told Katie that when she had her birthday, she would invite Katie to the party. Well, this is just beyond thrilling to my Katie. As we head out the door, I ask K. "When is you birthday?" "May 9th" she says.

Yikes! That is a forever wait for Katie. (And any five year old, I imagine)

So as we are driving along Katie pouts, "I wish it was May." Boo hoo...long face.

I, in my gentle, motherly, lecturing tone say, "Now Katie dear, you just had a wonderful time with you friends. You need to be happy that you got to have such a good time. Let's not complain and mope and wish for more. Think about the fun you had today!"

and then I went on and on...

"For a very long time I have lived far away from everyone in my family. And it makes me sad. I wish I could live by my sisters. But, ya know, I have to be happy where I am. No moping or pouting or wishing. I'm just thankful for my wonderful family, right here."

"Do you understand what I mean."

"Yes," says Katie. "Don't always wish for more."

It seems some lessons we learn all of our lives.

Encourage one another,

Friday, January 21, 2005

Friday Five:factoids

Share, if you will, five things about yourself that not everyone knows.

1. I get car sick.
2. I was called Donna Elsie Booba as a baby. I was a small baby and quickly chubbed up. I think I looked like a Buddha hence the Booba.
3. My father's mother is named Elsie.
4. My mothers best friend, Audrey, still called me Donna Elsie Booba as an adult.
5. I never liked to tell my middle name because it was the name of a cow.

Also, if you are feeling creative and helpful, please send me an idea for the Friday Five. I am very open to suggestions :o)

I'm outta time this morning.
I'll check in this afternoon to read the comments.
They're bound to be entertaining.
And don't let that intimidate husband says I am easily amused.
He's right.

Encourage one another,

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Is any one else a slow reader?

Any tips on picking up my speed?

Bad hair day.

Three weeks of Ch-ch-ch-chia growth.
Those little tiny seeds sure had a lot of umph in 'em.


With a three, and an eight,
And a loop and a ring;
Where Mary glides,
The lake will sing!
Out in the mist,
I hear her now.
Under the frost
Of the willow-bough.
Easily sailing,
Light and fleet,
With the song of the lake,
Beneath her feet.

-Herbert Asquith

I can hear the soft crunching of the skates. Can you?
What an excellent descriptive poem.

When Emma was young she ran across the wood floor with a pair of clunky shoes and exclaimed, "My feet are making the song of the cowboys."
I wrote it down on a slip of was worth remembering.

My sister Cindy has often suggested writing down the cute, funny, sweet things our children say. I'd tell her a story on the phone and she'd say,
"Did you write it down?"

It's a very good idea. You'll be glad you did.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Vintage Knits

1980 was a very good year for knitting. I had just graduated from college and was living on my own for the first time. I can remember sitting on the floor in my bedroom with my back against the bed in front of a little color television and knitting. I was very, very productive.

About thirteen years later my sister Nancy sent me a package. When I opened it I found the maroon sweater coat that I knit for her daughter so many years ago. She wanted me to have it for Emma to wear!

Oh my goodness! I made this! I hardly remembered it!
How wonderful that Nancy had saved it all those years and passed it on the Emma.
Nancy: "Of course, I always save the things you make!"

Who knew that I would have another little girl to wear this sweet coat.

It is holding up very well. I mended the moth eaten holes this fall and it is not very noticeable. I picked a cute style...and the yarn is not piling...perhaps it will adorn another little girl some day.

Wooden buttons.

Pleats and seed stitch on the yoke. I can't believe I did this!

Here is a sweater I knit for Janet when she was a Senior in High School.
I think I sent it to Janet without buttons and she had to fend for herself.

Emma is going through a preppy stage and this sweater suits her...for now.
I love seeing it on her.

That's it for Show and Tell.

Now get knitting :o)

Encourage one another,

p.s. Many years I did not knit a thing. I learned to quilt and that was all encompassing.

I'll show you my quilts some day.

Oh yes...I like to cross stitch and needlepoint too. I have a very funny needlepoint story. Can you imagine that?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Happy Heart

WE often make our duties harder by thinking them hard. We dwell on the things we do not like till they grow before our eyes, and, at last, perhaps shut out heaven itself. But this is not following our Master, and He, we may be sure, will value little the obedience of a discontented heart. The moment we see that anything to be done is a plain duty, we must resolutely trample out every rising impulse of discontent. We must not merely prevent our discontent from interfering, with the duty itself; we must not merely prevent it from breaking out into murmuring; we must get rid of the discontent itself. Cheerfulness in the service of Christ is one of the first requisites to make that service Christian.


Even tho the above is a bit gruff and bossy, I still like it.
It has the 'Get over it', 'Snap out of it', kick in the pants that I sometimes need.
Once swallowed up in the pity party, woe is me attitude it can be tricky to shake off. But it is possible to change our own attitudes. And it doesn't have to take days.

How can we be cheerful?

By being thankful. By examining your 'rights'. By studying the character of God.

Or a swift kick in the pants from old Mr. Temple.

Encourage one another,

Monday, January 17, 2005


It's award season again! Emma and I sat down to watch the fashion show that is the Golden Globes. Since I know many of you are not television watchers, I will tell you that the Golden Globes are awards given out by the Foriegn Press. Both television and movies are included.

And the winner is...

this dress.

Portia de Rossi's dress was elegant. The shirring at the top was shiny like silk and pearls rested around her hips. Neither show up in the picture. But my sister Cindy and I ohhed and ahhed when she showed off her dress.

You may be wondering if Cindy lives nearby...nope...we were watching the red carpet together on the phone! It was a blast!

Portia has her hair in a plain pony tail with a black elastic band. (Cindy noticed this detail) We wonder what she was thinking?

My favorite part of the show last night; thank you speeches given by Jamie Foxx for playing Ray Charles and Terri Hatcher for Desperate Housewives.
Both speeches were funny and touching and I cried both times!

Nobody said anything political which was nice...cause when they do I cringe...and change the channel.

Here is a woman wearing a dress that is exactly like one that Princess Diana wore at Cannes.(film festival)

When she walked past the camera I said to Emma, "That is Princess Diana's dress!"
A few moments later the woman wearing the dress explained that she had a copy of the dress made by the same dress maker who made Diana's.

Now... how do I know all about Diana's dresses...
Well, I loved Princess Diana as did my sister Cindy...and that is why I called tell her about this dress!

Diana was our pretty, pretty, Princess.
We just really loved her. That's all.


Emma and I made yummy nachos for the big show, just like a Super Bowl party...for girls :o)

And if you could see what we were wearing you would just shake you heads in wonder!


Sunday, January 16, 2005

David Horwarth
The Year of the Conquest

"Even the weather was improving. For a long time, England had been wetter and colder than it normally is, but it was entering a phase which lasted two centuries when the summers were unusually warm and sunny and the winters mild. Crops flourished, and men and cattle throve. Most of the English were still very poor, but most of the comforts they lacked were things they had never heard of."

The idea that time would be measured in centuries is not American. Our society is right here, right now, all about us.
We do not have millenniums to look back on (counrty-wise) in which to reflect. And even if our country was thousands of years old instead of just hundreds of years old, I'm not sure it is our nature to take to long view.

Which makes me wonder about the ability to see things from God's perspective.

The longest view of all.

Eternity, I believe it is real. Very real and very true.

But to live my life with all of my emotions and thoughts and attitudes clearing focused on eternity is much more difficult.

Do you have a way to keep your perspective eternal?


Saturday, January 15, 2005

Best of Blogs;wrapping it up

My favorite part about the Best of Blogs contest was finding this website.

The proprietor of Hello yarn spins glorious yarn. I go over there and drool at the photos. Look at this!

If I were a clever blogger, that photo would be in the background of my blog. But alas, I am not a very clever blogger so you will have to use your imaginations :o)


Winter Time

Late lies the wintery 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 Louis Stevenson

This is the perfect poem for a January day in Wisconsin; it is below zero this morning. Burrr.....
I shall stay in the house as long as possible.

Matthew will be leaving this afternoon and driving to Nebraska.
If you are so inclined, please pray for his safe travels.

Wasn't that fun writing our lists yesterday!
I loved reading them. Thanks!

You are all very encouraging :o)

Friday, January 14, 2005

Friday Five: Things you would like to do some day

Be specific. Don't say travel. Say where. Please :o)

The important thing about lists is
that you make one.
It's true it can be long and you might not complete it.
But the important thing about lists,
is that you make one.

See The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown

"The important thing about rain is/ that it is wet./ It falls out of the sky,/ and it sounds like rain,/ and makes things shiny,/ and it does not taste like anything,/ and is the color of air./ But the important thing about rain is that it is wet."

I like to make up my own.
Samantha has her limericks
A little 'important thing' ditty plays in my head.
I may have read that little book one too many times :o)

I look forward to reading all of the fantastic things you have on your lists :o)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Show me your desk!

Last year I tried to rouse up interest in 'show me you fridge'...
I had a few takers :o)

This time around I'm wondering, what does blogging look like from your point of view?

Does anyone else remember the old Saturday Night Live gag, Show us your guns?
A truck drove down a quiet suburban town and announced over a loud-speaker Show us your guns

Well, I remember it being funny...and in the spirit of SNL, I announce,

Show us your desks!

If you want to participate, post your photo (wherever) leave a comment with a link to your site and I'll be right over :o)

And by the way...
Hello and Welcome to all of the many new visitors who are stopping by...I assume due to the Bob Awards. It's a little freaky to see the numbers at GoStats.
Two weeks ago, an average of 80 unique visitors came by each day.
Today Quiet Life had 164 unique visitors. Yikes....that is a lot!

Thanks for stopping by!
You're always welcome.

And to the regulars...
You're the greatest :o)

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Philippians 4:8

Encourage one another,

What to make?

Do you children ask you throughout the day, 'what's for dinner?'.
I have one son who might not say anything to me all day except, 'What's for dinner?'
Well, I guess that is not really true. But if he were a State and he had a motto, that would be it!

Yesterday I just couldn't think of what to make that did not consist of noodles or ground beef ( or as I like to call it hamburger meat).

So Matthew and I sat and played Jeopardy from 4:30-5:00.
I won.
The answer to final Jeopardy was 1066. (I happened to have a book sitting to my left, that I just picked up at the library for Emma called 1066 by David Howarth.)
And when Alec asked 'In what year did England have three Kings?', I pointed to the little, unread book at my side and said, 'I'll bet this is one of the years.'

I was right and none of the other contestants got it :o)
Pays to homeschool.
Well, ha, pays when you are playing Jeopardy at home against your son.

When Jeopardy ends, Matthew says, 'What's for dinner?'

Me:How about some potato soup? Do you like it with the bacon?

Matthew:Yes, that's the best part.

Me:Ok, you run to the store and get some bacon, I'll start the soup.

Potato Soup

6 potatoes
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 carrot (shredded)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 c. water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
salt, pepper
2 c. milk
1/3 c. flour
cheese (real cheese or 4-8 pieces of American cheese slices)
bacon (as much as you like)
a little sour cream on top

Boil veggies in the water until soft with the bouillon. Add 1 2/3 cups of milk and make a paste out of the other 1/3 cup of milk and flour. (I don't always do the flour thickening)
Add cheese and bacon. Heat through.
Sour cream and chopped scallions are yummy plopped and sprinkled on top too.

Yes, I have posted this before (last January) but it is not on my recipe blog yet and lots of you were not reading last January and, well, it is so good and easy, it bears repeating.

Speaking of bears

To hold up; support.
To carry from one place to another; transport.
To carry in the mind; harbor: bear a grudge.
To transmit at large; relate: bearing glad tidings.
To have as a visible characteristic: bore a scar on the left arm.
To have as a quality; exhibit: “A thousand different shapes it bears” (Abraham Cowley).
To carry (oneself) in a specified way; conduct: She bore herself with dignity.
To be accountable for; assume: bearing heavy responsibilities.
To have a tolerance for; endure: couldn't bear his lying.
To call for; warrant: This case bears investigation.
To give birth to: bore six children in five years.
To produce; yield: plants bearing flowers.
To offer; render: I will bear witness to the deed.
To move by or as if by steady pressure; push: “boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (F. Scott Fitzgerald).

I wasn't sure if I had spelled it correctly, so I looked it up at
and it is spelled bears not bares and well, look at all of those examples.

Who knew :o)

The daft girl bears insults unawares.

Encourage one another,

I forgot to tell you, we watched Pieces of April last night.
It was a very original movie with interesting characters. The acting is good and the script is very good. It's funny and sad and sweet. We all liked it. (Matthew, Emma and me)

There is one s*xual situation (mostly clothed) and swear words. Always check if you are concerned with content.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Character Building

The Tigers played a very talented team last night. They lost 8-1. It was hard work. Our goalies must have stopped 80 shots on goal. Yikes!

We are a new team and almost all of the players are playing indoor soccer for the first time. It is much quicker than outdoor. It takes some adjusting.

But it is never easy to be beat, to be outplayed.

Here is the comment I heard from one wise 16 year old girl.

"We want to play the really good teams. That's how we'll learn and get better."

One must work very hard to play well.
-Miz Booshay

One must use a different camera to photograph indoor soccer.
-Miz Booshay

Encourage one another,

Monday, January 10, 2005

One Skein!

Who would have thought that little ball of yarn could make another whole mitten. Not me.

Knitting can be very exciting!


Back to life, back to reality

A full, real week of school, with all the fixin's that is!

This time of year I look over the materials and adjust the time spent on each subject. Everything except Latin looks fine. Even though Emma spends 45 minutes on her Henle Latin four days a week, she will need to increase her pace.
We only 'do school' for nine months but if need be Emma will be a Latin scholar in the summer too.

Emma also has a very full week of playing indoor soccer. Four games in eight days!
Indoor soccer is really fun and fast.

I'll see if I can take a few pictures tonight.

Off to make a bagel with butter for my little Katie...
I'll have one with cream cheese and olives.

Time for my Dr. Pepper.

Encourage one another,

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Staci shared this quote earlier in the week.

From Pensees by Blaise Pascal:

Men despise religion; they hate it and are afraid that it may be true. In order to cure them of this attitude, we must begin by showing them that religion is not contrary to reason; that it is venerable and awaken a feeling of respect for it.

Next we must show that it is gracious, make good men wish that it were true; and then prove that it is true.

Venerable, because of its profound knowledge of human nature.

Gracious, because it holds out the promise of true good.

I like that very much...
but I don't think it is my job to prove that it is true.

Do you?


Saturday, January 08, 2005

Daddy Fell into the Pond
a poem by Alfred Noyes

Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And then there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed!" Click!

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft,
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.
Oh, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
Daddy Fell into the pond!

Dust of Snow a poem by Robert Frost


The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.


Thank you for the excellent comments yesterday. I will be printing them out. It's a keeper :o) Two movies and three books are now on hold at the library!

I will try to drink a glass of water today, give my husband a big smooch, and continue reading thru Job.

I hope you found something to read or watch or encourage or inspire you!


p.s. Isn't daft a great word?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Friday Five;the recommendations.

Just supposin'

1. I want to see a great movie this weekend. What should I see?
2. I want to read a fantastic 'page-turner'. What shall I read?
3. I want to be a better wife. What's your advice?
4. I want to study the Bible. Where do I start?
5. I want to lose weight. What works for you?

Here is a very good recipe, on loan from Weight Watchers and my friend Ann :o)

White Chocolate Cranberry Loaf

1 box white cake mix
3/4 C. flour
1 tsp orange peel
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 cup white chocolate chips

Grease two loaf pans and set oven at 350.
Mix cake mix, flour and orange peel. Add wet ingredients. Fold in cranberries and chips.

Bake @ One hour.

One slice of bread is 4 points. Which means about 200 calories.

Ann added walnuts. This is very nice.

I have prepared this recipe twice. It was better the first time because I had an orange and used the orange peel. (Ya know how you always wonder if skipping a simple little ingredient like that matters? Well, I noticed that the loaf was less tasty without the orange peel.)

One more thing, the cranberries sunk to the bottom the first time so the second batch I set some extra berries on top of the loaf just before baking. It seemed to do the trick :o)

The important thing about this bread is that it is very tasty.
It's true that it is light. And you will meet sweet and tart there too.
But the important thing about this bread is that it is tasty.

Don't forget the Friday Five!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Smells like snow!

No, really. I just opened the front door to take a look at the snow accumulation over the night,and I took in a breath, and it smells just like snow. It's a very nice smell. Have you ever noticed?

Some people notice things around them. Like the birds and the clouds and the smells.
Others are very focused on what they are doing to notice and miss it all together.

My mother was a pointer out of the beauty of the earth.

"Children do you hear the geese?" she would holler up the stairs.

"Girls, look, there are ducks in the pool!"

These were precious to her and important enough to share with all of us.
I can clearly see where a desire to share my delight in the world around me comes from. I'm glad she passed this trait down to me. Cause besides enjoying little things in nature and life, I remember her when I do.

"Katie, come here and smell the snow."


Yesterday, on my visits around the blogs I was informed that it was de-lurking day.

Lurkers are people who read blogs but never leave comments. There are a lot of lurkers.

I could never just lurk. I feel compelled to comment.
Just call me Chatty Cathy...

Even tho I missed the big celebration (and who would know the difference if I declared today the official delurking day) I still wanted to show you the funny buttons.

So introduce yourself if you'd like.
You are more interesting than you think :o

Or just step outside and smell the snow...that would make me happy too!


Encourage one another,

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


'Words of love so soft and tender'

That's it. More than anything, words of love get me every time.
It must not be easy to do because I hear much too little of it.
Words of love for our children come easily don't they. But why are words of love for our husbands so few?

Here is part of an article written by Janet Dahl. She is the wife of a very silly radio DJ in Chicago. She has a spot on Steve's website called Janet's Planet where she writes about her family. She often writes words of love to her husband.
She has inspired me to be more appreciative and less critical of my husband just by reading her article.

For the occasion of Steve's 50th birthday, Janet writes;

"We have blundered through a few bad times, and a zillion good ones. He has given me a life that few people can dream of: rich with my 3 sons, my home, my security and our love. He still makes me laugh, and he still touches my heart with his unexpected kindnesses. He lets me see him raw: when he is mad, or sad, or even frightened, he is brave enough to let me know. He never lets me down, and he works constantly to keep us all from harm... He is not just a gift, mind you- he is also a full time job."
"And so as he struggles with his weight, and over-thinks almost everything he does, and worries about everything in the universe, I am there to encourage and calm him. And when he is a goof-nut, I am able to tease him into reform. When he is really out of line, the teacher Janet can ration out a lesson and punishment. Mostly, I love him –not unconditionally- but endlessly. That is my renewable gift for him. It is not for the birthday, but for every day, because that is how love works."

How lovely is that?

"Mostly, I love him –not unconditionally- but endlessly. That is my renewable gift for him. It is not for the birthday, but for every day, because that is how love works."

I think our husbands need to hear this sort of thing, don't you?

Thank you, Janet Dahl. Your example has been a welcome reminder and encouragement to me :o)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


As you see, after much fiddling with the needle size and pattern, I have knit ONE Koigu mitten. Did you take a peek? What glorious colors! Take one more gander at the photo you see the smallish ball of yarn that I have left?

I do not think I'm a gonna make it.

At this point the tightwad in me makes an appearance and I start to do the math.
Would I go to the store and spend $25 on a pair of mittens? Probably not.

Oooo I just thought of a monetary loop hole! Janet paid for the first ball of Koigu! Yippee! So if I need another skein, and it does look as tho I might, I can rationalize that this pair of mittens ONLY cost $15.

There I feel so much better now.

And here is the Cha-cha-cha-chia pet.
Growing very nicely isn't it? I finally let Katie touch it yesterday.
Interesting observation about the Chia pet. The 'grass' is growing toward the light in a very noticeable way.

Matthew has been away for all the chia excitement. :o(


Katie and I did not leave the house yesterday. We cleaned and read and cooked and watched t.v.
I use a chart for cleaning that I downloaded called Motivated Moms.
This little list truly motivates me and Katie has fun coming back to the list and asking,
"What's next?"

I wasn't kidding when I said I lived a quiet life.

Monday, January 03, 2005

More for Me

I like egg salad. I have developed a recipe that is just right, in my eyes.
No one else will eat it. Our children don't like mayonnaise. If they put anything on their sandwich it will be a bit of butter. (They get their simple tastes from their father.

Not like mayonnaise! Well, I never!

Since I was cooking for myself yesterday afternoon I made my wonderful egg salad to eat all by myself.

3 hard boiled eggs
a big blob of mayo (Hellmans)
a stalk of celery, chopped
4 olives, sliced
Lawry's salt
a little pepper

Katie ate a hard boiled egg. I offered her a taste of my salad. No thank you!
Patrick Sr. took a look and informed me that egg and mayo are all he needs.

So I ate it right out of the bowl. No need for a bun. No need for a leaf of lettuce.
Just right out of the bowl. Like Jethro Bodine :o)

And as our dear mother always said, "More for me!"


Less is Best

Yesterday I undecorated the Christmas tree and sent it out to the curb. Katie did not like this at all.

"Can't we keep it?"
"Can't we keep it in the garage?"

It is very pretty to have a tree in the house...but it makes me feel squished.


Don't you just love a clutter free room? A bare counter? A cleared table?

So pretty.

I don't need to decorate to be happy with my home.

I just need to declutter it :o)

Encourage one another,

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Very Quiet Life

We are getting a taste of a different season of life.

We are in the busy child-rearing, homeschooling season right now. I barely think of what to do for myself. And that is perfectly fine right now. If I go anywhere it is for the children. All the money is spent on the children. This is real life for so many of us.

But in the last week, Patrick went back to Nebraska and Matthew and Emma are both visiting friends up North and we are home alone with Katie.

We are getting a view of life with an Only.

When Katie goes to bed at night, my husband and I are alone.

It is very quiet.

This season is wide open to possibilities.

And no doubt I will fill my time with interesting books and quilts and socks and television (let's be honest) but for now I am thankful for little Katie, our sweet, funny, energetic caboose.

Cause I really do like her company. And I can't wait for the big kids to come home.

Cause life is just better when they are around.

I spy the empty nest...and I wonder how I can fill the nest all over again.

I do so love this busy, child-rearing, homeschooling, season of life.

Encourage one another,

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy 2005

I knew I was nominated (by dear blog-sistah Linda) but today I noticed that I was a finalist.
And then thoughtful MFS sent me the button below. MFS aka Mental Mulitvitamin is nominated in the literary/book blog category.

You can click right on that big ole BOB button and vote for this blog. That is, if you think I am worthy :o)


Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.
Leonardo da Vinci

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Walk boldly and wisely...There is a hand that will help thee on.
-Philip James Bailey

When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.
Helen Keller

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison

Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.
-Cinderella's Mother


This is just my favorite so I will post it again for the New Year.

Let nothing disturb thee,
Let nothing affright thee.
All things are passing.
God never changes.
Patience gains all things.
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.

-St. Theresa of Avila


Dear Lord,
Thank you for the gift of new year.
Help me to live it in a way that will bring you glory.
For without you I can do nothing.
Yet I am full of hope for you promise to be with me every step of the way.