Monday, April 30, 2007

Cute Words Heard.....

....while fishing yesterday.

Grace - sigh This was such a good day.

Lee - That there is what I call catching and not fishing.

Lou - hmmm I just wish everything in my tackle box was pink like my crappie nibbles.

Ray - bite? bite, mama? (not yet, just watch your bobber).....bite? bite, bite mama?

Fishing for Fun

We went to the river (Wisconsin River) to fish today. Had fun watching all the boats and other people catching fish. But we were skunked. Hardly even a nibble. We packed up, headed to the cemetery to visit Grandma's grave and then got an icecream cone. Just for the record:

  • Vanilla - dad, Ray, Lou

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup - Grace, mom

  • Blue Moon - Lee

In the evening we all took our poles out to the reservoir to do some more fishing. And fish we caught. Within seconds of casting DH caught a crappie. Then it was Lee with a crappie. I ran back in to get the camera, since the action was good; I could hardly keep up with baiting Lou and Ray's poles, taking pictures, untwisting lines. My head was spinning from all the, look mom's.

There's the whole gang. It was getting dark before we headed in. DH had to clean fish by the light of the patio. We kept 5 crappies, 5 perch and 1 bluegill. Tonight's supper - fish fry, yum! I did get a couple moments to snap pictures of other things I found interesting. Enjoy.

The ripples are in the sand, created by the wind blowing all day.

The killdeer nest. It's a ground nest that gets a lot of disturbances. She had four eggs, then two were missing for awhile. Now she's back up to five.

The catkins in the foreground are from a birch tree. The flowering tree in the background is a service berry.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Patches....what a cute name for a kitten. Today their are no kittens in my life, only Bondex patches. I buy these knee patches by the case at Wal-mart. I should have stock in the Bondex company; I buy so many. Boys play hard; they push tractors, slide into home base, get down on their knees to look close into the pond. And for some reason the knees are the first to go. The hole starts small, just a thin spot in the jeans. Gradually the threads break, the pant can't hang on anymore, it's a hole. I don't always catch the hole when it's small. I launder them, fold them, place them in the boy's pile. The hole goes unnoticed. The pants are worn again, this time by a new rollerblader. After a couple of falls the hole can't be missed. The hole has turned into a three inch "gash". Again I launder them, this time noticing the need for a patch, but I fold them and return them to the pile to be put away. I don't have time this week to patch them, I'm out of patches anyway. Finally threads are actually hanging from the hole. Some are three inches long. It appears that more of the pant is torn than together. I cannot ignore it any longer. I must repair the pants. I must put "patches" on the list. I must make a trip to Wal-mart (blah!). I must get out the iron and ironing board and repair those holes. Today was that day. I patched three pair of pants. I didn't want to. Get out the supplies, keep the littles away from the hot iron, line up the patches just so. Not a big deal. But it takes some time; time I'd rather spend reading or baking or heaven forbid lounging. But now it's done and I feel good. My boys can play in relatively decent looking clothes again.

(Notice the patches on top of patches, far left jeans)

(Notice I haven't fixed the camera date stamp, yet)

While ironing on patches, I got to thinking, this is a whole lot like sin and confession. Sin starts small - a judgement here, a gossip there. It happens so easily, so unnoticed. After months of this behavior the sin can't be laundered and ignored anymore. It needs a serious patch. The kind of patch where you check the bulletin to see what time confessions are heard, you write it on the fridge calendar in red ink, you plan all week making sure nothing gets in the way of 4:00 p.m. Saturday. There's the usual preparations, examining your conscience, maybe even writing a few things down (if I'm going to confession, might as well make it a good one). The patch, well it's not something you can buy at Wal-mart. God, with his Fatherly love for us, wraps his arms around me and squeezes. I've been patched. My sins have been forgiven. Although, it's not over yet; I still have to put away that iron and ironing board. Penance will give me the chance to make wrongs right, the chance to be aware of the grace offered by the patch, the chance to allow myself to play hard again. My holes are patched; I'm like new again. Praise be to God!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Worldly Kids

Little Lou (who's 5 1/2) has a Polly Pocket cell phone (flip phone style). She plays with it all day, hanging it on her waistband answering important calls, making emergency calls when necessary. Last night she asked me, "Mom, do you have a cell phone?" I replied with, "Of course honey, I keep it in the van." She retorted with, "No mom, a real cell phone.....like a teenager cell phone." I just had to chuckle. My phone is from the stone age. It's big, too heavy to carry in my purse and definitely not one I would whip out for checkout lane conversation. Kids are so observant of the world. I've even heard my older daughter talk about getting a RAZR phone. I had to look it up on-line just so I could identify one if need be. Now I have to wonder, will Lou, eventually, think her mom was frugal and wise for not upgrading her cell phone every time a new one came out? Will Lou, eventually, think her mom was confident and strong because she didn't need to flash around the latest technology to be cool? Or will Lou, eventually, think her mom was totally not with the times, totally unadjusted to society, dare I say not with it, out of the loop?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Today's Details

-normal morning routine, including checking traps for Grace and Lee
-Saxon Math with Grace and Lee
-Lou and Ray "cooked" with Play-doh
-Grace and Ray did spelling and did their Friday spelling test
-I loaded and ran dishwasher, did laundry and checked emails during any free second
-Grace and Lee wrote and illustrated in journals; I edited; they corrected
-walked to the mailbox and here is what we saw/did

Lee found the missing half of his minnow trap and pulled it out of the reservoir with stick
Lou found two pieces of dried bone
We talked about all the trees we saw, I used words such as conifers, deciduous, pine, spruce
Everyone pointed out differences they saw in various trees
We used the tree key to correctly identify white pine and red pine
Skipped about 30 flat sandstone rocks
Watched one goose fly overhead
Lee checked on his secret spot
Grace climbed a tree
We got to the mailbox too late to
mail our letters, but did get fun mail none the less

-Made lunch, leftover brat patties, leftover pork chops and sauerkraut, bread, carrot sticks, cheese curds

-Ray napped
-I read a few blogs
-Grace and Lee went with dad to check out a cousin's new home
-I had a tea party with Lou (Felicity style, "Thank you I shall take no tea")

-Waited for the neighbor (2 miles as the crow flies) to bring back our dog

-Called a friend and placed an order for a kitten (Arrival: mid-June)

-Ray woke up, Lou and Ray played with marbles

-I blogged (and it's only 4:00 p.m.)

(Sorry for the choppy style, blogger won't let me get rid of the haphazard double spacing)

Bird Sightings Update

Here is the original list of birds.

Latest sightings:

Farm chickens (I see them from my kitchen window everyday)
Wild Turkey (alive and dead)
Black-capped chickadee
Northern water thrush

Arbor Day

Today is Arbor Day. The day set aside to plant a tree. My grandparents have a row of spruce trees in their side yard, thanks to all the grandchildren. Living in an apartment, as a child, I needed somewhere to plant all those Arbor Day seedlings. So every year, the weekend after Arbor Day I would plant another tree in the row. Now those trees are 12-30 feet tall and create a nice wind block and a nice reminder to me of time spent with my grandparents. For more information about Arbor Day: state tree, projects, check out their website.

Our plan for the day is to take a walk around the yard and then head for the woods. We'll look at the bark, the shape, the new buds, the placement of buds on the twig. Of course, I'll take along A Key to the Woody Plants of Minnesota by Brother Charles Severin, FSC. Yes, I live in Wisconsin, but this book works well for the entire Northern Midwest. We will use this book to key out trees we do not know. If you are unfamiliar with dichotomous keys check out this website. Basically a dichotomous key gives you two options for characteristics. You look at the specimen, decide which option is true and then go to the next set of characteristics. Each time you get closer and closer to the actual name of the specimen (tree in this case).

For example:

1 leaves less than 5 mm wide -go to number 2
1 leaves more than 5 mm wide -go to number 22

The weather forecast calls for a high of 65 and partly sunny. Looks like a great day to get outside observing trees.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Math Help

We use Saxon Math, which I happen to love. It's sequential, thorough and just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes, though, the Fact Sheets are only presented three times, which for one of my children is not enough. I found a great resource for designing and printing custom math worksheets. When you get to the linked page of The Teacher's Corner just click on Basic Math Worksheets. Then enter in the high and low numbers you want. For example today I wanted to generate subtraction worksheets. I wanted the top number to be between 7 and 17; I wanted the bottom number between 1 and 9. Then I clicked on generate and instantly I had a worksheet ready to go. Print. Closeout that window and click on generate again and a new worksheet with the same limits is on your screen. I've found this to be much quicker and easier than trying to plan ahead and copy at Staples. Besides the Saxon Fact Tests are copyrighted.

Laundry Pleasures

Making a mad dash through Wal-Mart, I grabbed Purex Lavender from the endcap. It was only $2.87, much cheaper than my usual pick, Tide Free. I was in a hurry and it was at my fingertips. What a pleasant surprise I found that day. The laundry soap smells just lovely in the bottle. And even lovlier on my clothing as I fold it warm from the dryer.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Day with Friends

I read Elizabeth's post on friendship yesterday and thought how desperately I need to connect with some friends again. Not just a quick phone call or parking lot visit, but a real visit. One where we talk and laugh and maybe even cry a little (happy tears, of course). Well today just so happened to be one of those days. See, last night at 9:15 p.m. I called a homeschooling friend and invited her and her daughter to see Beauty and the Beast, put on by one of the area highschools. They are not morning people, but with a little convincing and mentioning that the set was purchased from the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in Minneapolis she agreed to think about attending the 9:30 a.m. show. How happy I was to get a phone call at 8:15 saying, "we're going". To make a long story short we attended the musical, which lasted until 12:05 p.m., went to a park to eat cold pizza leftover from last night's fun. I planned ahead and took a little extra in case they wanted to come along to the park. Indeed they did! We ate cold pizza and cold grapes in the cold windy shelter of the park. After the kids ate and played we spontaneously drove to Culver's for a cold ice cream cone to celebrate our friends' birthday. Then we finally parted ways at 1:45 p.m.. They went home to get ready for overnight guests and we headed off to the post office and to violin. Friends make cold days feel warm.

It's A Pizza Party

I checked out March of the Penguins from the library last week. The week was crazy with turkey hunting and company, so finally we had a relatively free evening to schedule a pizza party and movie night. I took Grace to violin yesterday evening, picked up Little Ceasar's pizza and crazy bread and headed home. The blankets were laid on the floor, the movie was ready in the dvd player and plates and napkins were waiting to be piled high with pizza. Once settled in, Lee started to the movie. Now, I had heard conflicting opinions about March of the Penguins. One mother told me her kids cried through the entire movie. Another told me it was down right boring and a waste of time. A couple of moms said it was interesting, but no one said it was the best way to spend a Tuesday evening. Maybe it was the pizza in my growling stomach. Maybe it was the peacefulness of sitting and eating next to DH without anyone whining about the meal. Maybe it was the cuddle time with Lou under the faux fur blanket. Maybe it was......THAT IT WAS A FABULOUS MOVIE. I don't know, but I loved the movie. We all loved the movie. Yes there was death. Yes, there was starvation. Yes, there were predators. Yes, there were extreme conditions. Nature is beautiful. However, at the very same time nature is violent, ugly, devastating.

Being a hunting, chicken raising, country family, we encounter both sides of nature. On a warm spring morning we crank open the kitchen window and listen to a large array of birds singing "good morning" to us. We watch the bald eagles fly overhead. We hear the spring peepers calling loudly on warm spring evenings. We also thank God for the meat provided to us by the hunted deer. We thank God when our chickens make it to the six pound mark; butchering time is near. We watch as that beautiful eagle swoops down to grab its prey.

Back to the movie; I thought the cinematography was stunning. The details of the penguin mating season were unbelievable. How cool is it that the male and female penguins meet up on the same day, sometimes in the same hour at the same place year after year. Not for just the past 10 years, but for the past thousands of years. How beautiful is the courtship. How undeniably awesome are the sacrifices each in the pair make to ensure survival of their baby. I came away from the movie with renewed splendor in how awesome our God is and how perfectly He created all of nature.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

St. Joseph's Feast Day

May 1 is the Feast Day for St. Joseph the Workman. I ordered a small statue last week in hopes of receiving it by May 1. I plan to have the kids make a centerpiece for the table by placing St. Joseph in the center and then placing tools around him. Dh is quite a workman, so it will be easy for the kids to identify with St. Joseph. He's also the patron saint of China; we read about him and colored a coloring page while studying China a while back.

Birds We've Seen....

.....over the past week or so.

Red-winged blackbirds
Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal
Chipping Sparrow
Blue Jay
Red-breasted robbin
Canadian geese
Sandhill cranes
Great blue heron
Swallows (kind?)
Mallard ducks

The Bad, The Good

THE BAD - The first ant of the season was walking in our mud room.
THE GOOD - The ground is warming, definitely a sign of spring.

THE BAD - I made a terrible vegetable cheese soup for supper.
THE GOOD - We all had room for an ice cream cone.

THE GOOD - DH has the sprinklers all up and running for the growing season.
THE BAD - Frost watch is looming over his head. Tonight's low: 40 F (no frost watch)

THE GOOD - Ray played happily with scissors, paper and two markers while I did math with Grace and Lee.
THE BAD - Yellow snippets of paper are strewn about the house.

THE GOOD - Several species of birds are visiting the bird feeder, making nature study so easy.
THE BAD - I can not keep the feeder filled.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Looking Forward To

On the way home from grandma's, Lee announced his list of things he's looking forward to.
  1. Monday morning when I can check my traps.
  2. Monday at noon because grandpa said I could come down and sweep his garage.
  3. Wednesday afternoon because Uncle Dan said I could shoot his 410 shotgun.

Reminder to myself: Look forward to the simple life.

Today at Church

Today Father game a compelling sermon. He just came off of a retreat week and boy was he engergized! The phrase that stuck out in my mind is this:

(when told to or know you need to do something important)...do it by the
end of the week or before you die, whichever comes first

He went on to talk about the now in our life. Yesterday happened. Tomorrow is the future, which you have no idea if it will come. The now is what is important. Make the most of it. Do now the things of importance. The now is the time when we can make a difference.

Hail Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of
our death. Amen.

What am I doing now? Is it important? Is it holy? If tomorrow never comes will it have made a difference? Just food for thought. I'm still thinking about the sermon.

When Was the Last Time I..........

When was the last time I ...

1. kissed someone? Just as I tucked in my kids for bed I kissed each one of them and they kissed back

2. drank coffee? Probably two months ago. I have to be in the right mood and very cold. With wood heat I am rarely cold enough inside to want to drink hot drinks.

3. read a book? Currently I am reading the Elm Creek Quilts Sampler by Jennifer Chiaverini. I also read a board book version of I Spy to Ray earlier today.

4. cursed? In my mind probably a couple of times today. I don't let them slip out very often.

5. had a nightmare? Just Friday night. We caught a wolf in a large cage type trap and didn't know what to do because a bus load of kids and two priests were due to our farm in just a couple of minutes. Then I woke up.

6. checked your email? Just a few minutes ago.

7. had a crush? I've been crushing on my husband since I first saw him, September 6, 1995 at 6:00 a.m. in the parking lot of our alma mater.

8. drove a car? I drove to my grandparents today for a visit. DH drove us all home.

9. rode a roller coaster? About 15 years ago.

10. took a nap? Everyday for 11 days when I was sick with the campylobacter infection. It started on Holy Thursday and ended 11 days later.

11. went to the movies? DH and I saw Wild Hogs just about a month ago.

12. drank alcohol? I drank white wine with my honey one evening about a month ago.

13. went to a party? Just last night. My dear friend turned 40 so a group of us girls went out for dinner. Dinner lasted 3 entire hours. We had a blast.

14. said “I love you?" About a 1/2 hours ago when I tucked in the kids.

15. cooked a meal? Saturday morning breakfast was fried eggs and pancakes.

16. exercised? Yesterday Lou and Ray and I went for a bike ride. It was the first of the year for me.

I tag anyone reading this. Leave your blog address in the comments so I can link to you.

Friday, April 20, 2007

This Is My Father's World

The title of this post is also the title of a song I love dearly. It pops into my head every now and then and especially this time of year when the windows are open (finally) and I hear the breeze and the birds singly so sweetly.
This is my Father's world.
And to my listening ears,
All nature sings,
And round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world.
I rest me in the thought,
Of rocks and trees,
Of skies and seas,
His hand the wonders wrought.
When Grace, my oldest, was just a baby of about 3 months I purchased this book for her for Christmas. It's one of those books with the buttons off to the side. You push the button and the song plays. I would sing these songs to her all the time. The book is almost unrecognizeable by now. We've had to tape it so many times. But it still remains a favorite, now for my toddler. The words above are taken from one of the songs in the book. While singing to Ray this morning it seemed to fit perfectly with this time of year and all the talk at By Sun and Candlelight. Just check out Dawn's blog and read the Nature posts and comments, too.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Last Day of Gym Class

In January, 12 weeks sounded like such a long time. Do I really want to commit to a weekly gym class? Baby Ray will have to nap on the run. We'll have to eat lunch early in order to get to the Y on time. The kids begged to sign-up, so hesitantly I wrote a check for $150.00 for three kids to attend Homeschool Gym Class. Today was the last class and boy am I sad. The kids loved Mr. Jason and had a blast playing kickball, basketball, using stretch bands, running races, swimming and playing in the Adventure Center. But, that's only half of the reason why I will miss gym class. I will miss my 1:00 Thursday date with three moms for our weekly walk and talk session. When it was -10 degrees F, we bundled up, when the wind was blowing fiercely, we wrapped our faces with scarves, when it started to drizzle, we just picked up our pace. And finally today when it was about 62 degrees F, we walked and talked like never before. See for 12 weeks us four moms walked as fast as we could and talked even faster about painting our bedrooms, what's for dinner, new jackets, reluctant readers, Bunko, spring break trips, thrift store shopping, wonders of having teenagers, wonders of having babies, husbands looking for new jobs, wives not wanting to move. I'm sad my 12 week commitment has come to an end. But blessed for the lovely talks we had. And like any good homeschooling mom we made plans to picnic in two weeks.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sun Made All the Difference

Morning started out chilly, however, the sun popped out and warmed the day quite nicely. Without checking I'd say it got as high as 60 degrees F. The animals were fed and school was started by 8:45 a.m. I worked with Lou first; we continued listening for the beginning and middle sounds in words. The beginning letters are a breeze; the middle vowels are definitely more difficult for her to hear and then to recognize. Grace and Lee worked on their journals, Catholic Spellers and Saxon Math. Ray set wooden puzzles and played with Duplos. The work was done so quickly and efficiently we had plenty of unhurried time to write out Lee's First Holy Communion invitations. He had so much fun stamping and addressing the envelopes and placing an Easter sticker on each envelope. We jotted down a few notes about food for the luncheon and then headed outside.

Between the five of us there were walkers, bikers, rollerbladers and stroller riders. We made our way to the mailbox; the cold breeze off the reservoir made my arm hairs stand up, but once we hit the blacktop the heat radiating from it warmed us from the feet up. And the sun beating down on the blacktop warmed us from the head down. The trees all around gave a reprieve from the wind. Ray and I strolled along looking for exciting bits of nature. Through the eyes of a 2 1/2 year old everything is exciting. The dry, crunchy oak leaves were so special that we each had to collect a handful. The orange white pine needles being held hostage by the grass alongside the road had to be "raked" out onto the road so we could see how long the pine needles were. The dead log floating in the ditch water, well we just had to stop and gaze for awhile.

Lee did point out a millipede, which was extremely exciting. Last summer we searched under rotting logs and decaying leaves for a week hoping to find a millipede. Other cool things did turn up but no millipedes. Today we watched the millipede; the highlight was putting sticks and pine needles in its way and watching as it effortlessly moved over each item. As it made its way back to the grassy roadside we continued on for home singing and smiling and holding hands and loving every moment in the sun.

Weather forecast is a little bit warmer each day until Sunday when it just might storm. God is good!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


The most interesting thing happened today. While at the Wisconsin Firefighter's Memorial today, this mom noticed the oddest thing. Her nine year old daughter's legs were (gasp) shaved. How could this be? Who could of shaved them for her? Who would of made her do such a horrific thing? Well, come to think of it, when I shaved my legs this morning I noticed my (should be) nearly full shaving cream was just about empty. We homeschool and she hasn't slept over or visited any friends for a while, except for at the horse stable. It's highly unlikely that anyone over there would of convinced her to do this while grooming horses. I had to admit to myself that my child is not perfect. She planted this seed into her head and ran with it. She shaved her legs by herself by her own accord right here in my house while I was probably washing her supper dishes or her horse hair covered barn clothes or straightening her boots in the porch or picking up her forgotten ruler from under the dining room table. I'm shocked yet at the same time not surprised. We've worked hard at keeping our children "young" in spirit. But, her 10 year old friend shaves (so she says), the sale flyers are all around with pictures of young girls looking like teens, people around us encourage (much to my dismay) her to act older, she looks up to her pre-teen and teenage cousins. What is a mother to do?

Of course, the moment I noticed her legs she noticed me noticing and turned beet red. I called her aside and her first words to me were not, "I'm sorry" but this:

After you talk about my punishment with dad will you just write it out on paper what I can't do and for how long and put it on my desk. Of course my answer was no we will talk about this in person. The biggest problem in my eyes is the fact that she thought she needed to go behind my back to do something that "everybody else is doing". Where is her loyalty to our family and its rules? Where is her character? Where is her ability to be the fish swimming against the current? doing what is right despite the group?

The consequences will make her life unbearable for a while. Well, she'll think it's unbearable and I'll know it could be much worse. She'll have to deal with the hair growing back, possibly darker than the "clear blonde" it was in the first place. We'll all survive this first of hopefully not too many growing pains.

Honey Picante Burritos

1/3 c. med Picante sauce (I use salsa if that's what I have)
1/4 c. honey
2 T. spicy brown mustard
2 T. Worstershire sauce
1/2 t. minced garlic (the kind in a jar is easy)
1/4 t. cumin
2 c. diced cooked turkey (16 oz. pkg of Farmland cubed turkey breast)

Mix all ingredients and simmer until hot. Serve on pita bread, tortillas, hard shells or just over rice. We like to add lettuce, cheese, black olives and sour cream. The combination of ingredients makes this a sweet and spicy, YUMMY entree.

Serve with: rice, fruit and milk to drink

It's easy and we all like it!
It's what's for dinner.

Monday, April 16, 2007

School Details

I began reading to Lee from a book titled, Jesus, Come to Me. He is preparing for his First Holy Communion; the pastoral associate at church gave us the book to help prepare. Today's subject was about believing without seeing. How appropriate since yesterday's gospel was about Doubting Thomas. Lee even remembered the gospel reading and was able to relate that to today's reading in the new book. I worked on letter sounds and rhyming words with Lou (who desperately wants to learn to read, NOW). Grace read horse encyclopedias to Ray all morning. He just kept pointing and yelling, "horsey, horsey". Grace and Lee both did math and then planted a couple of bean seeds. They placed one container in the dark and the other in the sunniest window. They will measure the growth and plot the info on a graph throughout the next couple of weeks. Lou and Ray went outside to swing and play on the sandpile while Grace and Lee did Spelling. I quizzed them on today's words and then they headed outside to load up the 4-wheeler with their traps. Spring trapping season is in full gear now and they plan to control the population on the cranberry marsh. After lunch, Ray napped, the kids made grandpa's birthday banner and I went to town to pick up a few things. Dad continued laying out pipe. Once home it was back to setting traps for the older two, while Ray and Lou helped with washing fruit and taking things to the van.

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

My father-in-law shares his birthday with Pope Benedict XVI. Today the kitchen was bustling with activity as we prepared food for his special birthday dinner. I made potato salad, prepared a cheese and sausage tray and a fruit tray. Fresh pineapple, green grapes and whole ripe strawberries make a beautiful combination for a fruit platter. Lee requested the same fruit for his First Communion lunch. The evening was nice and as usual conversation turned towards the past. A few of the memories even brought tears to my father-in-law's eyes. Once home, DH commented about the tears and the reminiscing and felt bad about it happening. I remarked that talked about memories shouldn't always be the happy ones. Why not ask our elders to share some of the difficult stories? Not so they cry or have a miserable evening, but to share their real life with us. The real stories that make us who we are. We are a result of the trials and successes of our relatives' past. Then ask about their early birthdays, funny things they did with their siblings as children, what they bought with their first $1.00.

I am not a fan of older folks. I clam up, I don't know what to say and I definitely don't know how to joke around with them. My 55 year old mother just moved into a Veteran's Home and I am having to face my fear of the elderly head on. She loves the people and wants to introduce me to them, wants me to sit and chat with them. I am uneasy, but getting used to it.

Recently I picked up the book by Jennifer Chiaverini, An Elm Creeks Quilt Sampler. Three novels all wrapped in one hard cover, it is the stories of many women (and their men). The women are of all different ages, yet they find a way to be friends and respect each other. The stories have made a deep impression on me. I want to talk with my mom about her story. I want to ask her the important questions so that I may begin to really know her as a woman, not just my mother. I want to talk to those old folks at the Veterans Home. I want to know their story. I've realized that a few good questions is all that's needed. I won't have to clam up, just listen as they reveal their story.

Back to the birthday. The kids all made grandpa a Happy Birthday banner that we taped to his cabinet door. They all pitched in and drew smiley faces, hearts, balloons and 4-wheelers. We took him a couple of bottles of red wine.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Divine Mercy Sunday

We attended Mass at a different church because we needed more time this morning to get ready due to it being turkey hunting season. The church had beautiful guitar music and lots of it. Although I was disappointed no one sang along except for a handful of us. What a surprise to the kids when Father stood up and announced that their would be an Easter Egg Hunt after church on the playground. The kids could hardly sit still anticipating the filled eggs. Turns out 800 eggs were distributed throughout the playground and field. Bags were handed out and it began. The kids were wild; running everywhere, laughing, screaching with excitement. What fun! Then we stopped for a quick taco lunch and got home just in time for Grace to change into barn clothes. She was picked up at 1:30 and won't be home until 5:00. Lee has a friend over for a couple of hours; Lou went turkey hunting with dad; Ray is napping. I spent a good hour reading from the Elm Creek Quilts Sampler by Jennifer Chiaverini (highly reccommended). The sun is out so I hope to take advantage of it a little bit before I need to start in with dinner plans.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


This afternoon the sun shone in the dining room window as if it were calling me to sit at the table. But what should I do? I've basically sat for 10 days and my hands and eyes are tired of that. I pulled out the forgotten sewing machine and hemmed Grace's pants and started fixing her Easter dress. The original plan called for adjusting the shoulder seams on Holy Thursday, but since that was the beginning to the end nothing happened. And since we were not able to attend Easter Mass, there was no need for an Easter dress, but now we are all anxiously awaiting our chance to shine for Jesus. Next Sunday I'll have all the flaws worked out of the Easter outfits and we'll march into church as proud as can be.

Public Love Nuts

Yes, you read that correctly. DH and I were called "public love nuts" by 8 year old Lee. After 10 days of diarrhea, tender skin, aching muscles, shivering shoulders and sweating armpits I am feeling much better, not perfect, but definitely better. Lou had on the tunes and the beat of the music just made me lean over and kiss my honey. Just a simple, dry peck on the lips. After a few of these innocent kisses and lots of "eeeuuuwwww's" from the peanut gallery, Lee piped in with this latest comment. Public love nuts - now is that a compliment? I couldn't tell, but I did love being called a "love nut". Makes me feel like a newlywed again.


I was lost, but now am found. March was lost to card playing, quilting and school. Without TV my computer time also came to a screeching halt. I just didn't have any uninterrupted blogging time. (Excuse #1)

I became severely ill on Holy Thursday morning; it continued through Easter and all week. I am at about 50% right now. Yesterday the results finally came in and I have a bacterial infection caused by campylobacter. According to the Center for Disease Control the illness will run its course in 10 days or less. Well today is day 10; I am significantly better, but the diarrhea continues. (Excuse #2)