Tuesday, August 30, 2011


It was a year ago that I wrote to say that David's brother, wife, and their three daughters moved to our town.  We have really enjoyed them living just a mile down the road.  Hannah and Ellie babysit quite regularly for their cousins, the cousins come here to play, or my younger three go there to play.  Michele and I talk to each other almost daily, and it is so nice to have them sitting behind us each Sunday for worship.  I especially like that little Emily wants to sit with me after her parents and I have been at the communion rail.  What fun to hold a little two year old girl on my lap once again.  David is affectionately known as "Uncle Pastor" by his nieces, and we both light up with the squeals of greetings from the three girls whenever they see us.

This week we will see more family move to our town.  David and Matt's parents will be moving into an apartment from their farm.  I can't really imagine what it must be like for them.  Edgar and Myrna have lived on that farm their whole marred life, 48 years.  It is where they raised their children, provided for their family, greeted their grown children and spouses and grandchildren, not too mention the many, many memories.

It has been a big chore for them to downsize and all of us (their five kids plus spouses) have helped as much as we can.  Everything has either been sold, boxed to give away, or boxed to move.  We're all going to miss the farm.

Here we all are gathered together at their 45th wedding anniversary in 2009:

Grandpa and Grandma,  Five Kids, Five Spouses, Twenty Grandchildren

Grandpa and Grandma and their five children

Here are the oldest granddaughters who spent a couple of nights together last summer:
Hannah is the photographer
The house where we all have many fond memories.

My first memory was my visit with David over Thanksgiving Break our junior year of college.

His sister Mary and husband Sam were there as were his brother Mark and wife Beth, his brother Paul and girlfriend (who were also fellow CURF students), and younger brother Matt who was still at home.  It was cold, and it snowed, and there was a blizzard.

I remember calling my mom and telling her, "I'm so cold.  I have on long underwear, two pairs of socks, several shirts, and a sweatshirt.  I can't believe how cold it is.  And the wind whips by the windows at night making an eerie sound.  There is frost on the inside of the wall!  It is cold at night, but they have this wonderful quilt lined with an old woolen army blanket on the bed, and I snuggle down under it to stay warm at night."

That was a fun time.  My first experience of Minnesota and a blizzard.  We had a blast hiking in the snow, taking pictures, and while inside, chatting and playing games.  That was the first of many, many memories from the farm.

We're all sad that those memories are now nearing the end.  But the farm will always remain a special place in our hearts.
The Barn - How does it remain standing?

What we all think of when we think of the farm: The barn, Grandpa's truck, tractor, and the machine shed

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

C D Iddy Biddy Wangs

Lately I've been on a chicken wing craze.  My friend Ruth told me about the ones she buys from Sam's club that just need to be heated in the oven.  I bought them and we all loved them.  Then I wanted to try some and add my own spices.

So I went to Penzeys.  And I bought their newest blend:

WOW.  It was delicious.  But we wanted some salt and more flavor.  So tonight I added some soy sauce first and then a little more than 3 Tbsp of Forward to about 30 wings.  David grilled them, and we all gobbled them there delicious wangs.

Monday, August 22, 2011

2 Hymns and Part of the Liturgy

Hannah played in church this past Sunday.  She had been asked by the organist and they worked together splitting up what Hannah would be most comfortable playing.  Here's the rundown for those who would like to know:

Opening Hymn: Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (LSB 940)
Closing Hymn: Christ is Our Conerstone (LSB 912)
Divine Service Setting Four: Alleluia and Verse, Offertory, the Sanctus and Agnus Dei

I'm not sure anyone in the first service even knew she was playing.  In the second, I think people might have suspected because she wasn't sitting with us (we always sit in the front) and yet she came and communed.

She would tell you that she made some mistakes.  I would tell you that yes she did, but not nearly that noticeable.  Overall she did great and she is looking forward to playing some hymns in the upcoming weeks as well.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Note To Self

Dear Glenda,

Please remember that the days of August being a month where we won't be bothered is gone.  Please remember therefore, that trying to start the school year this month to get a good jump on things doesn't always help, but instead, gives a feeling of always being behind, which by starting early was the exact feeling to be avoided.

Remember that Hannah and Ellie will work more hours at the campground this month then June and July combined.  Remember that neighborhood kids will be knocking on doors in order to play as much as possible before they head back to their own schools day after Labor Day.  Remember that all good plans succumb to life.

Therefore, maybe next year try starting the school year in June or July and take the month of August off.  Pretend like that will be the solution and just don't think about the fact that those months always include VBS, CCA Symposium, and Higher Things.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Advice for Homeschoolers

Yes, I have the audacity to think I know something worth sharing.  But starting on my tenth year, I do think I have learned some things along the way.  This is one that I wish I had known and figured out a long time ago.

Curriculum doesn't teach your child, you do.

Go ahead and listen to those who have used Saxon Math or Singapore Math or Math-U-See, or another Math program.  Pick one you think will work for your teaching style.  Because YOU must do the teaching.  None of the above will be the perfect math curriculum for all of your children.  YOU will have to adapt it and TEACH it to the way they understand.

Go ahead and listen to those who have used The Writing Road to Reading, or Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Phonics Pathways, or Explore the Code, or another reading/phonics program.  Pick one you think will work for your teaching style.  Because YOU must do the teaching.  None of these are the perfect program for all of your children.  YOU have to learn and adapt it and TEACH it to your son and daughter, to the fast learner, and to the slow learner.

Go ahead and listen to those who have used Story of the World, or Veritas Press History Cards, or Tapestry of Grace, or Sonlight, or any other History program.  Pick one you think will work best for you because YOU must do the teaching.  None of the above will be the perfect history curriculum for all of your children.  YOU will have to adapt it and TEACH it to the way they understand.

I know that if you're just starting out on this journey, you're thinking what I thought, "I don't have any idea what my style is."  So just pick the best thing you can at this moment and TEACH it to your child.  All of the programs that are sold in the myriad of homeschool catalogs have the same goal, to give information in an orderly fashion in order to pass a body of knowledge on to another.  There are differences in the philosophy and the order of teaching, and you will need to take that into consideration.  But try really hard to not be wowed or wooed into thinking that if I would have just bought that program over this one, everything would be much better.  It won't.  Trust me.  I know.

I was easily wooed and wowed and fell for the marketing of the other program with its glossy pages and shiny pictures and happy children who knew all their facts and understood everything with the first page.  But it didn't work that way for me, and I'm sure it won't for you either.  That program has its own not-so-great aspects. Because curriculum doesn't teach your child, you do.

Take comfort in this my homeschool friend.  You teach your child.  The curriculum you choose helps you do this.  Allow this knowledge to help you, not hold you hostage to the fear of "what if."  Pick your curriculum to the best of your ability and teach it to your child.  You'll learn, the child will learn, and you'll look back over this journey and see that this is true;

Curriculum doesn't teach your child, you do.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

No Pictures, Just Words

I went away with my husband for three days and four nights and I didn't take a camera.  If I would have, I then could have put the picture of David and I with Todd Wilken right here:

but instead you'll have to imagine the fun David and I had visiting the Issues Etc. studio, having a tour, and visiting for a short time.  They were kind and generous and gave us each a coffee mug, t-shirt, pen, and BBQ sauce. If you're on Facebook, you can go to the Issues Etc. page and see the picture they took of us while visiting, otherwise just imagine our three smiling faces.

If I would have taken my camera I could have also taken pictures of Our Lady of the Snows retreat center where we participated in the wonderful Grand Reunion for Doxology.  Or I could have placed the picture of Ewe, Beth (another Looper I finally got to meet in person), and I here:

Or I could have taken a picture of the new friends I met: Emily, Emily, Emily, Rebecca, Andrea, Rachel, Connie, Evelyn, Melinda, Susan, Laura, Karen, Brenda, Esther, Lisa, or Pam.  But instead of pictures, I just chatted away with these ladies as we got to know each other and helped each other in this life we all know as "Mrs. Pastor".

Finally, I could have taken a picture of David and his cousin sitting on a bench outside Ted Drewes on Sunday afternoon.  But instead I'll simply let you know that the custard was delicious, the sun was hot, as was the temperature (101 degrees F), and the humidity was high (think glasses immediately fogging upon stepping outside).  Despite the muggy, hot St. Louis weather, we were thrilled to visit with Johanna, even if it was for just a short time, not to mention finally trying this famous custard, although I still think Kopp's is my favorite.

And even though I didn't bring my camera, I don't really regret it.  It was nice to just go, visit, enjoy, and not lug the thing around.  It was freeing to just be and not try to capture every moment for future pictorial record.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Blogging Seems So Trite

And I haven't had anything to say.  Busy with life right now.  Rearranging furniture, de-cluttering the schoolroom, planning for the upcoming year, visits with friends and family, time at the pool, helping family prepare for a move, and many other things so that blogging has taken a backseat.  I'll catch the blogging bug again soon, but for now, I need to keep going with life.