Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas music: the dark side

As a counterpoint to the last post I shall now complain about my most-despised Christmas song ever. It is, of course, "The Christmas Shoes". (Yes, I know I already complained about "The Christmas Song". But that song is NOTHING compared to "The Christmas Shoes".)

Isn't this song awful? But I bet it made you cry anyway. That's just part of it's evil power. What I want to know is, what kind of shoes did he buy? Nike trainers? Bejeweled flip-flops? Thigh-high black leather stiletto boots? Really, can you picture ANY shoes that would be appropriate for this poor, bed-ridden woman? She is DYING, people! Who cares about a pair of silly shoes?
And, for the record, should I suddenly acquire a terminal illness, I'll take a pair of these:
...since, being bed-ridden and all, it won't matter that I probably can't walk in them.

Until then, these are on the top of my list:

Christmas music meme

I've been tagged by Wendy at Zoom Times!

If you were trapped on a desert island and it was Christmas and all you had was a small generator, Christmas lights for your coconut tree, an endless supply of Christmas cookies and eggnog, your CD player and 6 Christmas CDs , which 6 albums would you want them to be? If you can find Amazon links, we can listen to snippets...

My answers:

Okay, before I give answers, I need to tell you that we really don't own very much Christmas music, and I'm not familiar with CDs we don't own! Most of what we have we picked up on clearance after checking to be sure that it was all (or at least mostly) religious music and did not include "The Christmas Song", which I hate. (Sorry.) I prefer the traditional stuff mostly. Oh, and I don't like instrumental stuff, I want words!

So, what I'm trying to say here is that I don't know if these are my favorites, but this is what we've got!

1. The Gregg Smith Singers - I have no idea who these people are. Nice CD, though. Covers most of the "basics".
2. Traditional Sounds of Christmas - this is a boxed set that has 3 CDs. I think one of them is instrumental, so we only listen to the other 2.
3. Bing Crosby's White Christmas - we actually have 2 CDs with this title, with different songs. I haven't listened much to either to tell you which is better, but they both seem nice.

That's pretty much it. We listen to the radio a lot, because there are stations around here that play nothin' but Christmas music from Black Friday to Christmas, so we do get more variety, we just don't own it. Anyway, I would like to expand our collection, so here are some things I'd LIKE to have - any suggestions on these would be most welcome!

4. a Gregorian chant CD
5. something with "Sing We Now of Christmas" which I love even more now that I finally heard the whole thing, thanks to Heath, and no thanks to Michael W. Smith.
6. something with more obscure traditional songs from different cultures

And you know what else I would LOVE? An Advent CD. With songs like O Come, O Come Emmanuel and The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns and stuff like that. Does one of those exist???

Okay, I think I totally destroyed that meme with my lameness, but I'll try to pick up the pieces here and tag a few folks:

Heath and Shannon (I expect to hear from both of you!)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Do you think he has low self-esteem?

While snipping the tags off the new Christmas washclothes I bought at Sears...

ME: Look! Now you can use these to wash your little face!

SAMUEL: You mean my little cute face?

I'm an all-or-nothing kind of gal.

I like having a nice seasonal picture up there on my header, but unfortunately, it comes with the crushing responsibility of having to change it. The fall leaves weren't exactly current anymore, as I look out my window at all the snow. I thought about changing the page colors, too, to a lovely purple Advent theme, but then I'd have to change it to pink in two weeks and then back to purple, and then to white and gold, and then I'd have the dilemma of going back to my familiar ol' blue or to green during OT, or maybe I could use the blue for Marian holidays, oooooh and green for St. Patrick's Day, and I could put up pictures of the Saints on their Feast Days and relevant novena prayers, and, and...

I think I'll stick with blue. For now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

I think I missed a couple of weeks. Things have been a little busy around here. I suppose it will only get worse, since it's that time of year.

You can see all of this week's posts if you go and visit Peggy!

For Today...

Outside my Window... it is cold! And we have been having snow flurries, which Samuel thinks is great. He wants a gigantic snowstorm and was quite disappointed when I told him it wasn't going to stick.

I am thinking... about Christmas. We've already made a good dent in our shopping, and I think almost everything else is planned and just needs to be ordered. I really wanted to get this out of the way early this year so that we can relax and really enjoy Advent for once - it always seems to fly by.

From the learning rooms... Oregon Trail! Although apparently we need to get started on a history timeline to put things in perspective.

I am thankful for... warmth. A working furnace, a toasty little space heater, warm clothes, hot tea, hot food, a hot bath... these will be my refuge for the next 4 months.

From the kitchen... dh is working (again) so I'll make Samuel and I some pasta to go with the leftover sauce from last week. And I think I'll bake something. I don't know what yet, just something...

I am wearing... long johns, blue jeans, burgundy knit shirt, wool socks, slippers, and a gray fleece robe. I am COLD, people!

I am reading... the Anne of Green Gables series, including Chronicles of Avonlea and More Chronicles of Avonlea. With all the political mess, this has been a nice escape, and I had never read the Chronicles before, despite the fact that I've had them for a couple of years now. LMM was kind of obsessed with the idea of lovers who are kept apart for 20 years and then finally get together. It makes for a nice sappy ending, if you don't think about it too much, but I can't help but think of how many years they wasted! And now they'll never have a family! I know, I know, they are FICTIONAL, but it still bothers me.

I am hoping... and praying that FOCA does not happen.

I am creating... order. I hope.

I am hearing... Samuel making bizarre noises. So, business as usual.

Around the house... it is kinda messy in here. Gotta do something about that.

One of my favorite things... eating pizza in the basement while we watch a movie together. Lately it's been a BBC series on Africa that we got from Netflix (another of my favorite things).

A few plans for the rest of the week... Samuel and I are going to the last week of a museum program on Wednesdays. I'd like to set up a playdate, since it seems like we haven't seen any of our friends lately. Got a bit more shopping to do... other than that we will just try to stay warm. Well, I will. He thinks it's fun to ride his bike in this weather.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

up a tree

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pa! I lost my laptop in the stampede and it got trampled! Guess we'll have to get a new one at the next trading post.

We got Samuel the Oregon Trail computer game. It's fancier than the one that we played way back in 1986, as you can well imagine, but it's the same premise and Samuel has had fun playing it. It came with this bumper sticker, which I love:

Samuel looked at it and wanted to know why the picture looked funny. I explained to him that all computer pictures used to look like that, thinking that he would make the connection to when dh and I told him that we used to play the game when we were kids. Instead, he thought we were talking about an even earlier time:

"So, like when they had the wagons?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

post-election humor

This is the funniest thing I've seen in quite a while...

HT: Heath, who I would be happy to teach how to embed YouTube videos. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

can't sleep, sharing a link

Jennifer at Conversion Diary asks an important question:

"What litmus test could you offer that would apply to all places and all times as a way for a person to look around themselves with completely clear eyes, piercing through even the thickest fog of self-delusion and widespread cultural acceptance, and see that they are surrounded by grave evil?"

Go and read the answer.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

we can never give up

Prayer to End Abortion
Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all,
Through Christ our Lord.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

God help us

You probably don't want to watch this with young children around. It is very difficult to watch, but I hope that you will.

HT: Creative Minority Report

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cherry Apple Crisp

My family has been making apple crisp for a looooong time. It's a very simple recipe - we don't usually put anything in the filling except apples, maybe a bit of lemon juice (although I usually forget that) and occasionally a drizzle of honey (because the recipe is officially called Honey Apple Crisp - but we almost always skip the honey, too). The topping is just flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter.

Then I decided to try the Country Pear Cherry Crisp from the Better Homes and Gardens baking book. It has a granola topping. Well, we really like our topping, so we made their filling with our topping, and it was pretty good. But, we really like apples better than pears, and it's often easier to find good apples around my birthday, which is when I always request this, so here is the latest variation. I think it's a keeper!

Cherry Apple Crisp

1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter

Mix the flour, brown sugar, and salt, and then cut in the butter. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375, then start the filling.

1 16-ounce can of tart pitted cherries, water pack (NOT cherry pie filling!)
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar (I have only used 1/3, but maybe you want more if you have very tart apples)
4 large apples, peeled and sliced - you want these fairly thin
2-3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest (optional)

Dump the cherries with juice into your casserole dish - I used a 2 1/2 quart. Mix in the sugar and let that sit and dissolve while you peel and slice the apples. Mix the apple slices, flour, cinnamon, and orange zest into the cherries, getting it all evenly distributed. Sprinkle on the topping, and then bake for about 40 minutes, or until filling bubbles, apples are tender, and topping is browned. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. If you're the type of person who likes ice cream over warm baked goods (and I am not) this would be good with some vanilla or even butter pecan.

This made enough for about 6 medium servings - enough for our family of three for last night and tonight. (It reheats well in the oven.)

If you need more, you can use 6 apples instead of 4, and increase the topping by 50%. (So, 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cups brown sugar, etc.) Everything else can stay the same, you just won't have quite as many cherries in each dish. You'll obviously need a bigger casserole too.

This is definitely one of my new favorite desserts, and will probably be my birthday treat for a long time!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

You can see all of this week's posts if you go and visit Peggy!

For Today...

Outside my Window... a dreary, overcast fall day. Indian summer is over, and fall is here to stay. Now I just wish the leaves would catch up. I am seeing way too much green for this time of year!

I am thinking... that winter will be here before we know it. Fall never seems to last long enough.

From the learning rooms... we are plugging away at Samuel's "Little Stories for Little Folks" books. I know, I know, not very unschool-y. But he actually enjoys it and it is helping him to feel more confident in trying to read things that are unfamiliar to him. Plus, it makes dh feel better.

I am thankful for... life. We should never take it for granted.

From the kitchen... dh is working (I think I only ever do this on nights when dh is working) so probably leftover pasta with alfredo and broccoli for dinner. And, if I get my act together, a cherry apple crisp for when he comes home.

I am wearing... blue jeans, a green T-shirt with 3/4 sleeves, gray socks and navy slippers.

I am reading... more about politics online. I should really stop, as it just gets me mad, but...

I am hoping... and praying for a miracle.

I am creating... a scarf. Still. Someday I'll finish it. Really.

I am hearing... the muted sound of Samuel playing with his friends outside.

Around the house... it is cold in here! And it is going to stay cold until some time in May... that's 7 months from now! Better break out the blankets and sweaters!

One of my favorite things... hot drinks. Coffee, tea, cider, cocoa. I'll need lots to get me through.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Samuel and I are going to a museum program on Wednesday and then we will hopefully get to see a friend from out-of-town. Other than that, we'll probably start staying indoors more, reading more, and trying to keep warm!

No picture this week, I haven't used the camera for a while. The one I can't get out of my mind is over at the top of my sidebar.

pray for Michael

Thursday, October 09, 2008

not that I am bitter...


Yep, I need to get a couple of those T-shirts for my husband and me. You see, we've made very little money during our nine years of marriage, since he works for the Church. However, that was a sacrifice we were quite willing to make. So, we did our best to be responsible with the money we had. We saved, were frugal, and did without. We rarely bought any of the extras that most people take for granted. We bought a house, but it was a house we could afford: half a duplex in a small town 30 minutes away from where dh works. Sure, we wanted to live closer. And have a nicer house, as opposed to old military housing. And not share a wall with people who scream at each other and don't mow their lawn - ever. But we didn't have the money to do that, SO WE DIDN'T. All this time, we thought that we were being responsible, and using our money wisely. How silly of us. Apparently, we'd have been better off blowing money we didn't have and buying our dream house in a nice neighborhood within walking distance of dh's work, because thanks to stupid politicians, those people may not only get their fancy houses, they won't even have to pay the money that they owe for them. No, it's my husband and I - who only this year will even make enough money to have to pay federal taxes - who will be helping to pay for their irresponsibility.

Yes, I know that there are some people who can't pay their mortgage not because they were irresponsible, but due to a genuine crisis. Yes, I think they should be helped, but by the community, not the government. As for the average greedy Americans who bought McMansions they couldn't afford, maybe you should sell it and try living within your means. There are some duplexes for sale in my neighborhood if you'd like to move to the real world.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I guess he's not a morning person either.

This morning we had to get up early to drive dh to work so that Samuel and I could take the car to visit Grandma and Grandpa. As I came into the bedroom after my shower and flipped the light on, Samuel moaned, "Noooooooo," and dove under the covers. I stood in front of the closet and mused, "What should Mama wear today?" He replied, "Something she can put on with the light off."

Monday, October 06, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

You can see all of this week's posts if you go and visit Peggy!

For Today...

Outside my Window... twilight is fading. I do love autumn, but the shorter days are not my favorite part.

I am thinking... that I want to enjoy every last bit of fall before the real cold sets in.

From the learning rooms... Samuel was fascinated by an orb spider who took up residence near our front door. We got to watch it reweave its web each night and catch insects. It reminded him of Shelob and now he is watching Lord of the Rings.

I am thankful for... the lovely weekend we just spent with my family. We went to the Best of Missouri Market at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. There are so many interesting vendors there, and lots of things to taste - Samuel's favorite part. :)

From the kitchen... dh is working tonight, so something quick and easy... eggs and toast! Scrambled eggs with buttered toast for Samuel, and eggs fried in bread with a hole cut in the middle for me.

I am wearing... blue jeans and a pink T-shirt.

I am reading... Facebook. Yep, just joined. It has been fun to see what everyone's been up to.

I am hoping... to have the will to resist wasting too much time on Facebook.

I am creating... fall crafts. Whoever posted about The Crafty Crow on 4Real: thank you! What a fun website. I made this acorn necklace, which Samuel loves.

look what I made!

And, I am going to try the waxed leaves once we have a better selection here in the next week or two.

I am hearing... the theme of Rohan. (I told you Samuel is watching LOTR!)

Around the house... need to finish putting up the fall decor!

One of my favorite things... a crescent moon on a clear night. (It's not so clear tonight, but last night as we were driving home, it was beautiful.)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... going to visit Grandma and Grandpa tomorrow. Other than that, I just want to get back to a routine, or what passes for one in this house.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

crunchin' the leaves

Took a walk a few days ago, and Samuel kept straying into the gutter to crunch the leaves that had accumulated there. We don't have too many yet, but there will be lots more to come!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Feast of the Hunter's Moon!

We went to the Feast of the Hunter's Moon on Saturday and Sunday. It was awesome! If Fort Ouiatenon in West Lafayette, Indiana is a reasonable driving distance for you, then you really must plan to go next year.

We got to see craftspeople at work, like this cooper.

Feast of the Hunter's Moon: a cooper at work

We watched Native American dance.
Feast of the Hunter's Moon: Native American dance

We saw artisans' wares, like this beautifully dyed yarn.

Feast of the Hunter's Moon: a spinner's wares

We watched a musket competition.

Feast of the Hunter's Moon: a musket competition

We watched various fife and drum corps give demonstrations.

Feast of the Hunters' Moon: fife and drum demonstration

We got to learn some forgotten skills, like cross-cut sawing.

Feast of the Hunters' Moon: learning to use a cross-cut saw

We watched a cannon demonstration. (The picture is fuzzy due to the shock wave from the cannon firing!)

Feast of the Hunters' Moon: cannon demonstration

We got to watch the massed fife and drum corps perform.

Feast of the Hunters' Moon: massed fife and drum performance

We watched some country dancing.
Feast of the Hunters' Moon: a country dance

We watched the British battle the French!

Feast of the Hunters' Moon: a battle

Feast of the Hunters' Moon: a battle

We ate LOTS of delicious food, all cooked over wood fires like these. (Samuel's favorites were the forfar bridies and apple dumplings.)
Feast of the Hunters' Moon: food cooked over wood fires

We saw all the campsites where people were living just like they did in the 1700's.

Feast of the Hunters' Moon: campsite

And we got in the spirit ourselves!
Feast of the Hunters' Moon: all dressed up

Next Feast is October 10-11, 2009 - hope to see you there!

note to self: always bring the camera

On Friday, we decided to go for a walk in the woods. Since I forgot the camera, of course we saw lots of cool stuff! In our short walk, we spied 5 deer, 2 of whom we were able to observe for quite a while from less than 15 feet away, a really weird looking spider, and a toad, which peed all over dh's hand when he picked it up. Samuel learned a very valuable lesson: always let Daddy pick up the toad. As we were hiking down the trail, Samuel said, "Now this is my idea of a good time!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Save the Liturgy!

I've been wanting to put that image on my blog for a while now, and there's nothing like attending a horrendous liturgy to inspire you. I attended Mass (if indeed it was a valid Mass, I'm still not entirely sure) in my sister's new hometown last Sunday, and it was quite the experience. It would take too long to detail all the ways in which the Mass was illicit and in poor taste, so I'll just share what stands out the most at the moment. After the Agnus Dei, the copious EMEs swarmed the altar and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the priest (who was wearing an alb that only reached his knees, khakis, brown shoes, a stole, and no chasuble). Instead of elevating the Host to proclaim "This is the Lamb of God", he opted to leave Jesus lying on the altar with his hands resting on either side. Then he handed out the (glass) bowls and chalices to the EMEs and they all headed off to distribute communion. None of them, including the priest, had received yet. After receiving, I watched them closely, because I had not been able to locate the tabernacle upon entering the church, and I thought that surely they would have to approach it at some point and clue me into its location. Nope, after everyone else had received communion, they returned to the altar and unceremoniously finished off what was left. After Mass, I asked the mother of the only other family who had bothered to kneel at any point in the Mass just where on earth the tabernacle was. She didn't know what a tabernacle was. After I explained, she said, "Oh, yeah, I think I've seen those, I think I know what you're talking about. I don't think I've ever seen one here."

At least we were there last week, and not the next, because this coming Sunday the parishoners have been invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets - and animals!!! - for an outdoor Mass where their pets will be blessed! Of course, then we at least would have known immediately to run for the hills. Although, in retrospect, when Samuel leaned over and said, "Mama, that lady is plugging in her guitar," maybe I should have taken the hint.

Simple Woman's Daybook

I am waaaaay late this week. Ah, well, probably won't be the last time. You can see all of this week's posts if you go and visit Peggy!

For Today...

Outside my Window... we are having an Indian Summer here. It hasn't quite decided to be Autumn yet.

I am thinking... this weekend is going to be awesome, because we are going to the Feast of the Hunter's Moon! If you are anywhere within driving distance of West Lafayette, Indiana, you should really go sometime.

From the learning rooms... Still having fun with the math workbook (how weird is that?) Samuel also had fun last night with some brain-teaser-type puzzles in a book that I had when I was a child. The ones he was working on were things involving making shapes with matchsticks, and then moving a set quantity to alter the shape in a certain way. After seeing all the different ways that you can solve a problem on, he was rather surprised that the puzzles in the book had only one right answer!

I am thankful for... lots of friends for Samuel to play with in this neighborhood. He's out there right now with several of his buddies. I think it will be hard for him when the weather is colder and the days shorter and he won't be able to see his friends when they get home from his school. The wait until they are home is already interminable to him.

From the kitchen... dh is working again tonight. Dinner will be... I have no idea. But lest you think I am a total slacker, let me assure you that I have made two new dishes in the last week which have already been requested again: shepherd's pie and tamale pie. These are so easy and good - why didn't I ever make these before???

I am wearing... khaki capris, teal striped T-shirt, bare feet

I am reading... still working on How Children Learn, by John Holt. Most of my reading time has been reading political stuff online.

I am creating... a scarf. I've been working on the silly thing for a year now! I put it aside for a looong time when I was having pain in my hands and wrists, and what was supposed to be a short break turned into months. I finally remembered it and have picked it up again, so far with no pain other than getting used to using my knitting muscles again.

I am hearing... Rich Mullins' "The Jesus Record"

Around the house... remember that apple butter I was making? You're supposed to make applesauce first and then cook it down. So far, I haven't gotten past the applesauce part. The first batch had too much water. Well, no big deal, I'll just put less in the rest and it'll cook down eventually. So the second batch, I put less water... too much less water... and burned it! ("Too much less"? Does that even make sense? Oh, you know what I mean.) Will try again tonight or tomorrow.

One of my favorite things... apple butter on a warm muffin... hey, I can dream, can't I?

A few plans for the rest of the week... get out the fall decor! The weather isn't quite there yet, but I'm not waiting any longer!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

my new shoes

Got my new shoes! They aren't quite broken in yet, but I think they'll be as comfy as they are cute after a few more days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Air Show!

Like any other child growing up in the Air Force, I have been to a LOT of air shows. Now we get to share this family tradition with Samuel!

Here he is next to one of the tanker planes. (Sorry, I don't remember the official names of most of these aircraft!) He liked these "flying gas stations".

Samuel at the airshow

Here's what my dad used to fly:

hey, there's what Granddaddy used to fly

Here he is giving Samuel his first flying lesson:

here's how you work the controls...
now it's Samuel's turn to fly

Here's what my cousin Jason flies:

Cousin Jason flies these

Samuel's not sure about keeping track of all of those controls!

Cousin Jason has to keep track of all these controls???

But he gives it a try anyway.

look out below!

We got to watch several flight demonstrations while we looked at the static displays, including a B-52 bomber, another tanker, a bi-plane with a wing walker, an F-15, and a WWII plane. Then came the main attraction, the Thunderbirds! I tried to take pictures, but it was cloudy, so there is not a good contrast between the jets and the sky, and, well, they fly fast! Most of my pictures are blurred, and that's if I managed to catch them in the frame at all! I did get this one of all six Thunderbirds in formation.


In addition to my dad (retired) and my cousin (active), dh's parents were both in the Air Force, and his brother currently is. We are definitely an Air Force family!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

always listening

When we started praying the election novena before bed at night, I thought we ought to explain to Samuel what it's all about. We hadn't really talked to him about the election, although dh and I have discussed it at length in his presence. So, I was telling Samuel that there are two men running for President, and soon we'll all vote on who we think will be the best one, and he said, "Well, I know which one we're NOT supposed to vote for."

"Oh, really? Which one?"


"Yep, that's right."

"I think I know the name of the other one, too... McCain?"

"Yes. How did you know that?"

"I'm very good at listening, you know."

Very good indeed, except when he's being told what chores need to be done. He apparently learned not only their names, but our opinions as well: there's the Bad One, and the Other One. That pretty much sums it up for me!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

I have been seeing these posts around the blogosphere for some time, and there is something so appealing about these simple reflections. So, I'm a little late, but decided to join the party anyway.

You can see all of this week's posts if you go and visit Peggy!

For Today...
Outside my Window... I know that the harvest moon is there, but I can't see it for all the clouds. :(

I am thinking... that I am so very ready for Autumn!

From the learning rooms... Shawn and Samuel have been doing a math workbook together, since Samuel has been asking us for more math problems.

I am thankful for... a new cell phone, finally!

From the kitchen... dh was not home for dinner, so I indulged Samuel by letting him have parmesan couscous for dinner.

I am wearing... a blue patterned skirt and purple long-sleeved T-shirt.

I am reading... How Children Learn, by John Holt.

I am creating... apple butter. I've never made it before. I'll let you know how it turns out!

I am hearing... They Might Be Giants. :)

Around the house... I finally got caught up on dishes, but managed to break a bowl and a glass (dropped the bowl onto the glass). Oh, well, two less things to wash later.

One of my favorite things... a hot cup of tea on a cool, overcast afternoon.

A few plans for the rest of the week... get this house cleaned up. We are leaving dh all by his lonesome this weekend, and I don't want him to feel like he should spend his time cleaning while we are gone. Except the guinea pig cage. That's all him.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

pumpkin family
Samuel painted this little family of pumpkins that we got at Curtis Orchard. Don't they look nice on our table?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

maybe it's good that I forgot the camera

Yesterday was very busy for us. We only have one reliable vehicle at the moment, and it's not even ours. (Three cheers for in-laws who live very close and don't care if you borrow their van for, um, forever!) So, we had to drive daddy to work if we wanted to go anywhere, and we certainly had places to go! After dropping him off, we went to Pontious Farm and spent the morning picking raspberries. I love picking there - it is very addictive. I always see one more ripe cluster that I just can't resist. We picked three pounds, not counting what Samuel ate off the bushes, which was considerable. I paid for four, in the hopes of compensating. When we were done, we were a filthy mess, as things were fairly damp. Samuel looked like he'd been wading in mud puddles up halfway up to his knees. Not to mention the raspberry juice smeared all over his face. We saw lots of cool insects there. While not certified, Pontious Farm uses organic practices, so there's no lack of nature buzzing about you as you pick. We had fun watching the honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies, and grasshoppers. (Well, Samuel liked the grasshoppers. I could do without those.) We also saw a huge black and yellow orb spider.

We had brought a picnic lunch, so we ate there as the first raindrops of the day began, and then we headed off to the mall. Picked up dh's contacts, got Samuel some new socks, and browsed the kitchen store. They had a display of Halloween items up - skull candy dishes, pumpkin linens, severed finger cheese knives, etc. It was quite possibly the first time in history that a mother had to drag her seven year old out of a kitchen store instead of the other way around.

Went shoe shopping, which was slightly embarassing, because did I mention how dirty we got berry picking? Especially our feet? And I was wearing sandals? Ugh. But I did find these.

Then we went to meet some out-of-town friends and some in-town friends at the local nature center. (Decided not to meet at the park due to the rain - wouldn't want to get wet and dirty!) The kids played inside for a while, and then wanted to go out, and since the rain had stopped, the moms agreed. Kids proceeded to play in the woods and get even dirtier. And wetter. (Hence the title of this post.)

Went to meet dh for dinner. Walked to Chipotle, and Samuel could not ride on dh's shoulders like usual because his feet were so muddy he would have gotten dh's shirt all dirty and dh still had work to do. Hung out at the Newman Center while dh ran the RCIA program. Went to 9pm Mass, where I was very grateful that they keep the lights low so that no one noticed how dirty my son was. Wished that I was one of those moms who is foresighted enough to bring extra clothes on days like this. Went home and collapsed!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

today's science lesson

Any guesses on tomorrow's geography lesson???

I heard that she tortures kittens

There's a great summary (and subsequent de-bunking) of all the Palin rumors here. Honestly, people, what happened to integrity in journalism? It's sad when the New York Times has the credibility of the National Enquirer.

HT: The Common Room

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Most. Addictive. Website. EVER!!!

Dh and I were actually arguing over whose turn it was last night.

You've been warned!

I've been awarded!

Aww, thanks Jennifer! Now I get to bestow the award on my top ten favorite blogs. Hmm, only ten??? Well, I will do my best! I am guessing that most of you, when seeing that I've nominated you, will say, "Thanks! Um, who are you?" I am not so great about leaving comments on people's blogs, unfortunately. I tend to lurk. But I've been reading all of these for a long time, so I guess it's about time I let you know how much I appreciate you!

Alice, at Cottage Blessings. She is such an inspiration when it comes to living the liturgical year, and her craft ideas and liturgical teas are simply amazing!

Cindy at PuppyKisses. I love hearing about unschooling families who are farther along on their journey than we are - this glimpse into what our future holds is very inspiring!

Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight. I love how she appreciates every little detail of nature - she has inspired me to notice all the little changes throughout the year.

The DHM and family at the Common Room. Have you ever wished for a family of experienced homeschoolers to move in next door to you? People you could have afternoon tea with, and just soak up their wisdom? This is that family.

Emily at Free Range Ramblings. A mama after my own heart: crunchy and unschool-y. :)

Leonie at Living Without School. Leonie has got to be the coolest mom in Australia!

Karen Edmisten. Two words: Ramona stories! (Plus, she shares my love of chocolate and coffee!)

MacBeth at MacBeth's Opinion. Another role model for sharing the love of nature!

Wendy at Zoom Times. You can always count on the Zoomlians to liven up your day with their neverending creativity!

And finally, one more that isn't a blog exactly... my friend Kate's photostream! Check out her hilarious photos and beautiful cake creations! Seriously, you have to see her photo for today - awesome!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

summer rain

And you thought he got wet in the puddle.

and you thought he got wet in the puddle

It's not often that we get a nice, warm rain with no accompanying thunder and lightning, so we have to take advantage of it!

playing in the rain
playing in the rain

playing in the rain

playing in the rain

trying to catch the rain in a glass

nice view of the missing teeth!

a butterfly is born

First, I finally got a picture of the chrysalis so that you can see the gold accents. Still not the best quality - but better than nothing.


Next, a picture just before it hatched. The green fades to transparency the day before so that you can see the butterfly within.

almost ready!

And here it is newly hatched! This one is a girl - you can tell because her black "veins" are thinner and she lacks a pair of black spots on her rear wings.

newly hatched!

Here is another view - her wings are still dark and damp.

different view

In this photo, the wings are drier, lighter, and you can see the the inner pair has more fully extended.

drying out

After I took this photo, we carried her outside on the stick which we stuck in our whiskey barrel planter near some flowers. She rested in the sunshine for a couple of hours before flying away!