"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." (St. John Paul the Great)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Part II - Just Like the Big School Kids

(Pretty proud of herself. And check out that dimple!)

Wordless Wednesday with a Poem

O beautiful rainbow; -- all woven of light!
There's not in thy tissue one shadow of night;

Heaven surely is open when thou dost appear.
And, bending thee above, the angels draw near,

And sing, -- "The rainbow! the rainbow!
The smile of God is here."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who Needs Toys?

When The Boy was about The Baby's age, we were right in the thick of graduate school, before teaching assistantships and fellowships, and we were strapped for cash.

We wanted the kids to know something about the giving part of Christmas, too, however, so we took them to a dollar store and let them each spend a dollar or two picking out a gift for each sibling and Dad and Mom.

One of the best gifts one of the girls picked out for her little brother was a package of poker chips and some disposable tupperware. We cut a slit in the lid of the tupperware. The Boy spent hours putting the poker chips through the slit.

His sister now loves playing with it just as much as he did.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Northeast South Dakota Celtic Faire and Games

The girls and I spent the weekend at the Northeast South Dakota Celtic Faire and Games in Aberdeen.

It was our first official "girls only" weekend.

(A new friend offered to rescue The Boy from a long weekend of watching his sisters dance -- he enjoys watching them, but not all weekend. And he had much more fun shooting a BB gun for the first time, going to a football game, picking apples, losing another tooth, and doing other boy things with other boys. Thanks so much, S family!)

It was a chilly weekend, but our cabin was cozy.

And The Girls had a great time seeing some of their friends from the Twin Cities, swimming with them ...

... and performing with them.

It was a fun weekend.

But we're starting the week off a little bit tired.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010



Last night my DH came home to one very. frazzled. Mamma.

He inquired as to my day.

I said, quite emphatically, "The attitudes around here SUCK!"

He burst out laughing.

Why would that be?

Hasty Pudding

But for supper Grandma made hasty pudding.
She stood by the stove, sifting the yellow corn meal from her fingers into a kettle of boiling, salted water. She stirred the water all the time with a big wooden spoon, and sifted in the meal until the kettle was full of a thick, yellow, bubbling mass. Then she set it on the back of the stove where it would cook slowly....
Then Uncle George came with a smaller bucket of syrup, and everybody ate the hot hasty pudding with maple syrup for supper.
(from Little House in the Big Woods)
We had it after supper.

Fath'r and I went down to camp
Along with Captain Goodin',
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty puddin'.

Can you tell who liked it?

And who didn't?

Even with loads of maple syrup.

Must be a texture thing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Triumph of the Cross


When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

(Isaac Watts)

Sunday, September 12, 2010


So much to report, so little time .... This post started as a Quick Takes, but then Friday got away from me, and Saturday, and ... so here's five things to start your new week.

-- 1 --
First Week of School

We completed our first week of school Friday (yippee!). Other than everyone being tired (very. tired.), everything went superbly. Our schedule this year allows ample time for almost everything (or so it appears after the first week). This is due to the fact that I planned the schedule consciously trying to avoid feeling rushed all the time and having to say the words "hurry up!" I had to allow an extraordinary amount of extra time for The Boy to get his behind out of bed and his morning chores (few that they are) done, and the same in the evening for his shower and evening chores. Man, if I had a nickel for every time I asked him to do the same things ... over and over and over. I don't know how a kid can get so distracted by anything and everything. If you have a child like this I would appreciate any helpful insights you are willing to share. I don't know if he's being defiant or he's over tired or he's just a six year old boy. Some days I feel as though if I don't follow him around all day he wouldn't get anything done at all (which I could do, except for the fact that I have three other children to supervise as well!).

Here's a little peak at our Monday-Thursday schedule this year (Fridays are different as they involve Mass together in the morning followed by a field trip).

[click to enlarge]

-- 2 --

Seriously, the longer I live in this house, the more I desire a home in the country. So ... I think we're changing our focus in our housing search. We'll see what happens. This week alone, I enjoyed sharing my morning prayer time with a great horned owl.


I loved watching the white-tailed deer from the back deck and running across the driveway when I arrived home one evening.


What I didn't like so much was the fact that the bread for one of our science experiments disappeared off my kitchen counter (!) two nights in a row.


Yes, he's cute, but not. in. my. kitchen!

-- 3 --
The Baby's Language Boom

I love it when my babies get to the parroting stage, when they try to repeat everything you say to them. The Baby is so polite. She's always saying thank you now. She also tells me when she has "poo-poos" -- by saying the words while grabbing her diaper. But, to melt a Momma's heart -- she started saying "La oooo" this week (baby-speak for "Love you").

(Oh, and she also really likes her new crayons.)

-- 4 --
The Feast of The Nativity of Mary

On this special feast day, the kids made artist trading cards honoring our Blessed Mother.

We also had a great little birthday party on Wednesday evening. Our guests included Father James Shea, the president of the University of Mary, Miss Kathleen Crane, the director of the University's new Rome campus, Dr. Joseph Stuart, a new hire at the University, teaching in history and Catholic Studies, and Miss Barbara Frank, the Outreach Director for the new Bismarck First Choice Clinic -- exciting things are happening around here! We shared a wonderful meal and, of course, a decade of the rosary and lemon blueberry birthday cake, inspired by Jessica at Catholic Cuisine.

-- 5 --
First Official Field Trips

I know I reported that our trip last weekend was our first field trip of the year, but Friday was our first official Friday morning field trip -- we're going to try to do this every Friday as the weather permits -- I've found it really helps to get out of the house once in a while!

We visited the North Dakota Heritage Center.

We specifically went to visit their collection of pioneer photographs and artifacts, related to our studies in The Prairie Primer. But the kids also enjoyed the Dakota Kids area, where they rode horses and built their own cars.

In the afternoon, we attended a faculty percussion recital at the University. In the picture below, the kids are watching Mr. Lucas Bernier play a piece entitled The Anvil Chorus, in which he played, among other things, some random pipes he bought at a hardware store and his mother's frying pan! I preferred Strange Meeting, played on the marimba.

Hmmm ... more to share ... but my DH just got home, the kitchen sink is calling, and you're probably tired of reading this anyway.

Have a good week!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three Things

First, for those of you who have been eagerly awaiting the answers to the questions in last Wednesday's post, I apologize. Deciding at the last minute to go camping kinda threw my schedule off. As a keen observer noticed, the pictures were taken in one "heck of a garage," owned by "a great hunter" and, truly, "a great man." In fact, this garage is the meeting place for the Young Adults of Bismarck. We were listening to a great talk by a great priest and having some great fellowship time. in a garage. surrounded by deer antlers. How great is that? (Incidentally, the owner of this garage also provided the venison for our supper last night -- we were inaugurating the school year with a pioneer meal, since our curriculum this year is based on the Little House series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Thanks much, J! It was delicious!)

Second, we started our school year yesterday -- yes, Labor Day. I know it's a national holiday and all, but, really, it couldn't have been better. Daddy joined us for Mass and brunch, which was wonderful in itself, but the readings also struck me as very appropriate for a beginning-of-the-school-year Mass -- the Psalm response, especially, echoed in my ears all day and became my prayer for our year -- "Give success to the work of our hands, Lord."

Finally, today was our first full day of school. Among other things we studied density and made butter, which we ate on homemade bread with our soup this evening. I had to share pictures of all the shaking and smacking going on!

All that work for the little butter we ended up with ...
the kids decided they'd rather go to Sam's Club.

Even The Baby helped!

the finished products

("Better than the stuff from the store, Mom!")

But they'd still rather buy it than spend a whole afternoon shaking jars!