Saturday, May 31, 2008

I can see!

Ellie has now joined her sister, Dad, and Mom in the "four-eyes" category. We knew at last summer's eye doctor's appointment that her eyes were on the decline and would most likely need a pair of glasses this year. At her normal doctor's yearly check-up two weeks ago, she couldn't even read the second line of the eye chart. Ooops. I think the nurse and the doctor weren't quite sure why I hadn't noticed before.

Like me when I first got my glasses, if she would have been old enough to drive, she wouldn't be able to have a license. And on the way home she commented on all sorts of things she didn't know existed.

"I can see the lilacs, not just a blob of color."
"I can read the signs."
"I can see the individual old stalks in the field."
"Hey, that man just caught a fish! He is holding it right now. I would've never seen that before."

With her new short hair cut (not as much cut off as her big sister, but went from shoulder length to this) and her cute glasses, she is another darling daughter.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Spy

A game for all of you, inspired by my friend Susan who was organizing her own roll top desk about two weeks ago. May yours my friend never get like this:

But now, have fun playing everyone and let me know how you well you did:
I spy a basket, 2 light bulbs, the game Set, and Glenda on a piano. A box of pictures, dust, David in a clerical, swim caps, and a yellow post it note. I spy folded dish cloths, a box of offering envelopes, a feather duster, beads, paper clip holder, 2 decks of cards, and a ship.

Look real close and you can also see a gold watch, some rubber bands, the game Pit, and a pair of glasses; a necklace, a digital video cassette, a ball of string and the word Apollo.


Our darling daughter has had long hair for a long, long, time. But not anymore. This past Tuesday she donated about 12 inches to Locks of Love, and now she looks so darling. Of course I didn't think about the camera until too late to get an immediate before and during shot. But here she is from last fall.

And here she is now:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Are You Registered?

In three weeks the 15th annual Symposium on Catechesis begins. We're registered, are you? Need to know more? Go here and read about this year's conference on "The Sanctity of Life."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Because I think it is funny

Wendy and her Lost Boys posted this for her fellow pw's. Well, I'm one and I thought it was really funny and I liked the original song too. So go on over and watch this video, especially if you're a pw.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Some of it describes me, some doesn't

I saw this over at Laura's and thought I'd try. Funny thing - I'm currently wearing my Betula Birkenstock flip-flops I bought at Sam's Club last year. They are the pair I wear all summer long.

You Are Flip Flops

You are laid back and very friendly.

Cheery and sunny in disposition, you usually have something to smile about.

Style is important to you, as long as you can stay casual.

It takes a lot to get you to dress up!

You are a loyal and true person, though you can be a bit of a flake.

You tend to "play hooky" and blow off responsibilities a lot more than most people.

You should live: By the beach

You should work: At a casual up and coming company

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What's for Lunch?

I hate days like today. David is at a circuit meeting so he won't be here for lunch, which means I always find myself not having a clue what to fix for lunch. I don't really want to cook, but there is no bread (still rising), there are no leftovers (had that for supper last night), I feel guilty eating the corn dogs (David likes them too, and if we eat them now, there won't be enough for another meal). Kids don't seem to think that fasting is the way to go. I suppose I'll simply make a big pot of mac-n-cheese and we'll finish up the fresh fruit (grocery shopping day is tomorrow).

This happens every time David isn't here for a meal. If he didn't come home every day for lunch, my poor kids would most likely eat nothing but pb&j's for lunch. Why do I find it so hard to fix something decent for my 5 children when Dad isn't here?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Homeschoolers on Vacation

One thing homeschooling has done for me is that I am always looking for educational types of things to do when we travel. This past week wasn't any different. Near where we stayed is a small town which has some really neat shops, one being a nice toy store. Having all of Tuesday afternoon free, David and I took the kids who had saved their money and dreamed of new Playmobil. After obtaining some of their desires and lightening their pocketbooks, we walked next door to a small store which sells Jerry Raedeke prints. We own three of his prints. One very similar to this, was a wedding gift from David's brothers and sister (a family tradition), and the other two are a matching set, hand water-colored drawings of a male and female cardinal which we purchased three years ago from this same store when only David and I attended this annual Pastor's conference. This is Mr. Raedeke's home base and sometimes he is in the store, and lo and behold the day we stopped he was there and we were able to visit with him.

He knew of our small town as some relatives settled this area. We had told the children that this store was where we had purchased the cardinal prints and that our Loon print was also painted by this man. They thought it was neat that they were able to meet him and see much more of his work. Nathan really wanted us to purchase another hand water-colored bird print - a goldfinch, but sorry buddy, not this time around.

Wednesday on the way home from the conference we made a stop at the history museum which is not far from our state capital (a neat place we've toured twice already).

This week is the sesquicentennial of our state and one of the original 25 copies of the Declaration of Independence was on display. Perfect - we are in the middle of the American Revolution in history and read about the Declaration last week. We stopped and saw it and had a photo-op by the display outside where the real copy was being looked over by many.

On the night of July 4th, 1776 after the Declaration had been approved by 12 of 13 colonies, the Philadelphia printer, John Dunlap was ordered by Mr. John Hancock, the Continental Congress President, to print broadside copies of the document which he and Charles Thomson, the Secretary, had signed. It is thought that about 200 broadsides were printed and distributed and today only 25 remain.

The copy we saw (pictured above - yes this is it, we could take non-flash pictures) was discovered in 1989 by a man who purchased a $4 painting at a flea market because he liked the frame. In the back of the frame was this copy and it auctioned for $8 million in 2000. This is the only copy of the Declaration of Independence that travels for display.

In another nearby case there was a copy of the 1774 Quebec Act enacted by King George III which affected land in our state, (You can read more about it here.) and was part of the acts called the Intolerable Acts by colonists which lead up to the Revolution.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon until closing visiting the various other displays in the history museum. One exhibit was all about various weather, one was on travel, one on the years before statehood, and there were others we didn't have time to see. But that is okay, we bought a family pass this year so that we can go back again and again. Plus the pass allows us free or discounted admission to 26 other historical places throughout the state plus some in other parts of the country. Our goal is to see as many as we can in our own state in the coming year.

Pastor's Conference - Fun for the Family at Least

Earlier this week, David had a pastor's conference for both LCMS districts in the state at a resort up north. It is quite spendy to stay on site, and David doesn't like to go alone. So this year, we went with, staying in a hotel with a water park. That way, the kids and I had fun, while David sat and listened to the various sessions, coming back to join us when he could.

We splurged and stayed in a family suite room. It had a bunk bed room with two bunks and tv, a second bedroom with a king bed and tv, and the third room with a pull-out couch, tv, table, small refrigerator, microwave, and a tiny sink. This allowed everyone in the family to have their own bed, we ate all our meals in the room (from sandwiches to pizza to tv dinners), plus had snacks for those afternoon munchies. Things we normally never have - individual yogurts and pudding, microwave popcorn which made it a treat for the children.

I forgot to take pictures of the room, but I did take pictures of the fun at the water park. It had one tube slide and one body slide, a lazy river,

and an area for basketball and other water fun.

There was a separate area for spraying water at each other, climbing up to the bridge and sliding down smaller sides. Other LCMS wives who had smaller children especially enjoyed this spot.

David's brother Mark, also an LCMS pastor and his family stayed in the hotel. Therefore the cousins were able to play together which made it more fun for all.

Here they are in birth order from back right to left: Melinda, Cora, Hannah, Ellie
Front right to left: Emma, Nathan, Will, Abby, Sam

And since our kids our older, Mark and Beth show how us adults were able to stay warm and enjoy..... the hottub!

The waterslides were lots of fun too!
Mark and Cora:
Beth and Emma:
Cora and Hannah:

Melinda and Ellie:
Abby enjoyed going through the waterfall:



Yes we had lots of fun and the kids are already asking when we will go back. Our answer, "At the very earliest, next year." But for now it is back home, refreshed and ready to get back to the daily grind of chores, school, etc.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The Church in the Meadow:

It is in the middle of the countryside of Germany near Neuschwanstein Castle. We had a brief stop to visit this church after visiting Newuschwanstein on our way to Munich. It was a cold day, and being a very big, stone church, it was quite cold inside too.

The inside was quite over-the-top I thought. Very, very ornate and busy, everything was painted, even the ceiling. I didn't even desire to take any pictures as this was my least favorite church in Germany. (Here is my favorite church.) This picture (above) of the outside was taken by my brother-in-law. But if you want to see a picture of the inside then pull out your current Gottesdienst issue (Trinity 2008). The cover picture is from the inside of the Wieskirche.

What? You don't subscribe to Gottesdienst? Then go here, and and do so. If you can't wait that long, then find someone who does subscribe and borrow their issue. Besides the beautiful cover art, the articles on the inside are absolutely superb. I always learn a thing or two from them.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Elephant's Child wrote about loving windmills. I thought she might like to see this picture.

I was standing at the Wartburg Castle overlooking Erfurt, windmills in the distance, and beautiful fall colors in the surrounding forest.

I'm not sure you get the full effect in this picture, but I sure remember it as one of the most breathtaking views.

I think you would have loved seeing the windmills too Elephant's Child.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Yee Haw! Fiddle-dee great!

Last fall Hannah began violin lessons. It was convenient (only 6 miles south) and cheap ($8/half hour lesson). I wasn't always happy with Mrs. Stangler, I thought that she didn't challenge Hannah, but I also doubted this as I have no violin background. All was hunky-dory after the month of December off, I thought we would have some great days to learn from January all through May. But I was wrong.

Lo and behold, she only teaches through Easter, and since that was early this year, we were done with lessons Holy Week with the recital the week after. Yes my doubts were surfacing again, and David and I thought we might need to look for another teacher. Then this became reality at the recital when Mrs. Stangler announced her retirement.

But lucky for us only a couple of days before while at the bank, the ladies mentioned another violin teacher right here in town! After making contact, we were invited to her student's spring recital. Hannah and I attended - wow they were very good. So arrangements were made and today was Hannah's first lesson with Ms. Bohlman.

Ms. Bohlman will challenge Hannah. She is a Suzuki teacher and has been playing since she was 3 years old (also learned via the Suzuki method). She plays in the symphony and also plays in a bluegrass band. She is quite "hands on" and was helping Hannah with better form in her hands and feet, yet always in a very uplifting, teaching way, not degrading.

We'll continue through May and with several lessons this summer. So now we have a very good teacher, who is in town (8 blocks away), and is still cheap ($65/month which includes a weekly lesson and a weekly group lesson).

Yes, we are thanking God who blessed us with this opportunity! I may grumble and complain about small town life, but really, I need to remember how blessed I am living in this small town.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Mary Kay

If you live in WI, IL, or IN and use Mary Kay or would like to learn about its products and try some via a skin class, please consider my sister. She has been selling for MK for some years and working at Verizon. But Verizon let her go last week and she is trying really, really hard to make a go now at only selling Mary Kay. She is willing to drive, to come to your home to meet with you only or you and a group of friends. Her goal is to tell 100 woman about Mary Kay before the end of May.

Contact her @ or through her MK website:

Please help if you can!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

History can be interesting and depressing

Our church will celebrate its one hundredth anniversary next year. As I've been working on confirmation pictures, David and I noticed that on the altar there use to be a cross with the body of Christ along with two brass candelabras (one with three candles sitting on each side) and David asked some people were they might be. "Well they must be around here somewhere" was the response. Curious to find out where that "somewhere" is, David has been doing some searching.

First, he looked using our digital video camera suspended on a pole to look in the cabinet which is behind the altar. This cabinet is actually the bottom of the altar, but since the altar sits next to the wall, it was too small a space to physically get in and look. What did he find? Nothing.

Second, he has looked through all the various closets. He's found offering envelopes from 1995 and old 35 films and oodles of Bible Study books, Sunday School materials, and even glass from a couple of doors, but no altar cross or brass candelabras.

Tonight he took a flashlight and went into the attic. But the only thing he found was blown insulation. Bummer.

Would they really have thrown the altar cross and candelabras which had adorned the altar for many, many years away? Did someone (a previous pastor? laymen?) take them for whatever reason? Are they in some one's barn or garage and attic and they have forgotten all about them? Or worse yet, did they have it in their garage and then get rid of it because it was taking up space? Will we ever find out the answer?

Too bad as the cross on the altar now doesn't have the body of Christ, and boy it sure would be nice to have the old one. But the altar at least has the statue of Christ in the "blessing pose," so I focus on it during various parts of the service.

The other shocking thing to us was how long this congregation has been without the common cup. When my husband was called here five years ago, he began again offering it along with the individual cups. Our impression was that the common cup hadn't been offered in about 20 years except on Confirmation Sunday and then only to the confirmands. But as we were talking with some people about the missing cross and candelabras, it came out in conversation that the common cup hasn't been offered in almost 50 years! Really? Can that be? I'm not sure I believe that yet, it just doesn't seem possible.

If it is true than the chalice David has been using these past 5 years is at least 50 years old. I think that is nice, to be communing out of the same chalice as fellow saints have in this same place, whom I don't know, but whom I once again will one day worship with in heaven.