"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)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself; but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have done all things Himself, but it has been His will to bring about His purposes by the beings He has created. We are all created to His glory—we are created to do His will. I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God's counsels, in God's world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his—if, indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—still He knows what He is about.

O Adonai, O Ruler of Israel, Thou that guidest Joseph like a flock, O Emmanuel, O Sapientia, I give myself to Thee. I trust Thee wholly. Thou art wiser than I—more loving to me than I myself. Deign to fulfill Thy high purposes in me whatever they be—work in and through me. I am born to serve Thee, to be Thine, to be Thy instrument. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see—I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used.

Blessed John Henry Newman

Today is my birthday.

I thank God for my life. I thank Him for my faith. I thank Him for the many blessings he has bestowed on me in Christ -- my husband, my children, my friends. I renew my commitment to serve Him with my life and ask for His continued guidance and strength.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Today I am celebrating eleven years of marriage to the most wonderful man ever. I love you, Sweetie!

(sorry -- photo of a photo)

Grandpa and Grandma are visiting.

We went to Taco Bell for lunch yesterday and then stopped at the mall. I don't like going to the mall with the kids -- too much yucky stuff to see, too much consumerism to hear -- "I want .... I need...." Ugh!

We then went for a walk in the woods -- much better.

But we forgot The Baby's shoes in the car. She didn't mind hiking barefoot on the warm leaves -- really, she enjoyed it, despite the look on her face in this picture -- that's from the sun in her eyes.

The Boy climbed on the giant old cottonwoods down by the river.

Grandma got worn out.

The Baby thought Miss Sunshine's Doggie looked thirsty when we got back and shared her milk with him. I thought this was the cutest thing ever.

And she and her oldest sister had fun playing with her sister's shoes -- this Baby loves shoes (she's constantly asking me to put them on, or take them off and put other ones on, or bringing someone else's shoes to me).

She also loves hats, and "pretties" -- those are what you put in your hair . These are the new ones she got yesterday and carried around all day.

I love the quotes my friend Karina submitted to go with my leaf pile photos so much that I have to share them with you. Go check them out and enjoy!

Last night, we went out for drinks and appetizers with my in-laws, and the kids stayed home and watched a movie. We found a great new restaurant when we went out last week, and went there again. If you're ever visiting Bismarck, check it out. "The antiques, pictures and fireplaces have been collected from travels throughout Europe and the United States. The bar is from an old saloon in Montana, the chandelier is from Spain and the stain glass windows are from the old Methodist church here in Bismarck."

Grandpa and Grandma took the older kids back to the pumpkin patch. The Baby is taking a nap (or supposed to be -- I hear her downstairs talking to her animals). My DH is working -- always. And now so am I.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - One More

(Kind of) Wordless Wednesday - Take 1, Take 2, ... Take 19

Did I mention one of my favorite things is kids and leaf piles?

(Comments submitted by my friend, Karina --
from The Baby's point of view. Enjoy!)

take one
"So, Joe, check this out ... I figured out how to snap my fingers."

take two
"What do you think? It seems a little sunnier over there; it's a little cool here in the shade. Would over there have been better?"

take three
"Okay, here in the shady leaf pile is fine, I guess. I'll give you a sort of smile here,
but let's get this done so we can get back in the sunshine."

take four
"You know, the leaves are very cool. I mean, hey! look at these ones right here."

take five
"For goodness sake, Joe, I didn't mean to totally distract you with the leaf observation.
Come on, Joe, Mom wants us to look and smile."

take six
"All right -- I will distance myself from the distracted boy and smile....
Right here, all of us girls... Smiling!!!"

take seven
"Okay. Again, with Joe this time... SMILING!!!"

take eight
"So, that's good then. We're done, right? Is that a squirrel over there? What is that?"

take nine
"Fine, we can do one more. I'm smiling! We are all looking!!! This one is good... right?"

take ten
"Katie, what do you mean you are ready for another one?"

take eleven
"Okay, here we are, in the leaves, having fun, all looking at the camera!!!
Trying not to look forced... but okay, here it is... LAST SMILE!!!"

take twelve
"You are kidding me, right? You want us to do it again? This needs to be done people."

take thirteen
"I will just find my own happy place. Leaves are good... I am fine...
We are bound to be done soon, right?"

take fourteen
"In my distraction, I think I missed something.
Wait, hey, I don't think I get the joke -- what is sooo funny?"

take fifteen
"Fine, don't tell me. I'll figure it out...the littlest is always the last to get the joke!!! Uuggh!"

take sixteen
"Emily, come on, tell me -- what is the joke?"

take seventeen
"Katie, will you tell me?"

take eighteen
"Fine, I'll smile anyway, even though I don't get it!"

take nineteen
"Oh, look, Joe says its over!
Thank goodness because I'm ready to go right over and play over there in the sunshine now."

Which one is your favorite?

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Daybook - October 11, 2010

Outside my windows... it has been an absolutely glorious fall.

crisp misty mornings

balmy backyard afternoons

picture perfect sunsets

I am listening to... some great new music we bought last weekend -- Pioneer Dance Tunes of the Far West.

I am thinking... about the house across the street from us that is for sale and wondering how we can win the lottery without playing.

I am thankful for... three less poopy diapers since September 23 -- and she's only nineteen months old!

I am hoping and praying... that the Osterbauer family has a great trip to Europe and Mommy Osterbauer's cold goes away. like yesterday.

From the kitchen... the smells of fall -- homemade applesauce in the crock pot, a slow cooking pork roast, onion bread in the bread maker, chili on the stove -- anything to make the house smell warm and cozy for an extended period of time -- that's what we're eating lately.

the schoolroom... everyone is enjoying The Prairie Primer. Our latest project? We're all (including The Boy) learning how to knit.

I am creating... homemade vanilla extract. I went to a mom's night out gathering last Thursday evening -- what a great group of women! We shared wine and snacks and made homemade vanilla extract to give as Christmas gifts (or to keep for myself), complete with gift tags and beaded bottle toppers. I haven't had a crafty girls night in eons and had a very enjoyable evening.

I am reading... The Tale of Despereaux (for the first time!).

Noticing that ... I love North Dakota.

Around the house...
the fall decorations are coming out.

One of my favorite things... kids and leaf piles.

Pondering these words ... "If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers." (Maya Angelou)

A few plans for the rest of the week: put the rest of the fall decorations out, clean off my desk and pay bills, enjoy the company of my in-laws, arriving Wednesday evening for the weekend, celebrate eleven years of marriage to the most wonderful man ever.

Some picture-thoughts I am sharing: the girls' new best friend -- Major.

For more daybooks, visit here.