Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy!

It’s been a busy time around here!

For the past couple of months I’ve been knee-deep in sewing costumes for the “Children’s Choir” in our local theater’s production of The Sound of Music.  That has “morphed” in my being the “go-to” person for all costume issues!  It’s been fun, but it’s a lot of work and I’ve been so very busy!  I felt like I didn’t have very much time with SuperSoldier when he was home on leave because nearly every spare moment (and more than a few “not spare” moments, too!) was spent in front of the sewing machine!  The costumes turned out to be rather cute (simple, but cute ~ 18 dirndls and 4 lederhosen) and the other issues have been numerous, but not too numerous.


Recently I had to design a bishop’s mitre because the costume company sent something ridiculous!  Truth be told, Maria and the Captain are married by a Cardinal in the play (not sure about in real life) but the costume company’s attempt at a cardinal’s headdress was just so poor!  I did the “theater thing” and made the mitre instead because the audience would recognize the mitre. Recognizability is more important than accuracy in this case.

This weekend is the last weekend of performances.  My “last” costume issue will be to sew some long sleeves on a wedding gown for Maria today.  The costume rental company sent a gown, but it simply does not fit and we have been having a horrible time getting the actress in the costume.  It’s a very “quick change” and we’ve had injuries.  Think bloody costumes and messy stages!  Blech.  The costume has other problems besides fit, too.

This busy-ness has kept me from really celebrating “Cake Week”.  It kept us from starting school when we planned to (yes, not a huge deal since we, as homeschoolers, set our own calendar.) And it’s keeping me from feeling like I can be fully engaged at home.  I think there is truth in that feeling but I also think that it proves that my definition of “fully engaged” needs to change a bit.  The girls (and possibly TheBoy now!  He may audition for Miracle on 34th Street… auditions are next week) will stay involved in theater.  They love it.  As long as they are participating in shows, I will be there to help.  I wish I’d been more involved in the beginning of this theater adventure, but I’m here now!  I think that my own (and my family’s) expectations of me need to transform.  We need to figure out new ways of doing things and maybe accept new standards.  The problem I’m having is figuring out what goes, what stays, and what simply gets rearranged.

In addition to my new commitment to being more involved in the kids’ theater stuff, we’ve added a few things this year.  Right now we have physical therapy for TheBoy.  That shouldn’t last much longer, but it is a twice a week commitment.  The girls are taking a Latin class once a week.  The classes are being taught by fellow homeschooling moms.  “Liesl” (aka TheMadHatter) [thinks she] wants to join a debate class/club which will meet weekly.  The girls are taking a sewing class twice a month.  Liesl also wanted to be involved in the parish Confirmation class.  She isn’t looking for the religious ed aspect (though expects she may learn something!) as much as becoming a part of the group that she will be being confirmed with.  Oh, and did I mention that I am sponsoring a friend of SuperSoldier’s in RCIA this year?

So, yet again, I find that I am working on making things work.  Household routines.  School things.  Volunteer opportunities.  These things all need to work and that is going to take some work!

To start working on the making it all work, I’ve wiped out my iCal files and I’m going to try to start fresh.  I need to rely more on that calendar to keep things straight.  I need to take a look at the minimums again and build from there.  It’s all so confusing.  I never appreciated how simple my life was before!  My hat’s off to all of you who have lived this kind of busy life for years.  I never really understood how much you put into so many things!  You give me courage and hope that I can find a balance and make it all work.

I just have a few other things on my mind:

First, Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs.  Your creative genius will be missed.

Second, how ‘bout them Packers?!  4-0! w00t!

Third, yesterday was SgtSoldier’s and QueenofHearts’ birthday.  They turned 26 and 18.  Man.  How did that happen?!

Fourth, I really need a haircut, but I’m not sure cutting my long hair is a good idea when I know my life has just gotten busier and will likely continue to be busy.  I don’t think I have time to mess with my hair now (ponytail!)… what on earth will I do if I actually have to try to style it?  Still… I’m ready for most of this hair to be GONE.

Finally, we seem to be solidly out of the 100°+ weather now.  We even got a little rain!  Whew.

Posted in Brain Spill, Family, Home Education, Our Catholic Family Life, Packers!!, Theater | 2 Comments


Preseason is here!

TheMadHatter suggested we have eggs for dinner… THESE eggs:

We are ready for the game!



P.S.  It stayed under 100° today!!! w00t!  It only got to about 95° 🙂

Posted in Football!, Packers!! | 3 Comments

The Annual (or is it Perpetual?) “Great Book Shift”

It’s that time again.  Time for the “Great Book Shift”.  It’s time to pack up the books we wont’ be using and pull out the ones we need for another year.  This event is coinciding with a front room change.  The formal dining room in our house has never been a formal dining room for us.  We’ve used it as a bookstore, a school room, a play room, but not for eating.  Now it is going to become a kind of “sitting and knitting” room.


I’m pretty overwhelmed with this project.  We’ve already moved TheBoy’s toys out and up to his room (we had a major room shift after TheQueenofHearts moved out.)  TheBoy is now in “the big room” and has plenty of space for all of his toys, 2 beds (for sleepovers, you know!) dressers and bookcases and a good-sized train table.  Now I’m pulling books from the shelves in the newly arrange sitting room.  I’m trying to sort them into piles of ‘put-away’, ‘reshelf’, ‘move upstairs’, and ‘why the heck do we even have this book?’.  OVERWHELMING!  On top of that, a few toys have made their way back into this room (old habits, I think.)


This is what I’m facing this morning.


Hopefully one day soon I can show you a picture of it all nice and neat. Hopefully.


MilkyWhite and TheMadHatter auditioned for The Sound of Music last night.  They both got callbacks.  It was pretty funny to me that while I was sitting in the theater waiting for TheMadHatter to finish the vocals part of the audition, I received a phone call letting me know that MilkyWhite had a callback!  I’ve never learned of a callback before leaving the audition before!  They have to go in tonight.  The ladies at the auditions told me that TheQueenofHearts auditioned Sunday night.  I have no idea of her status.  Last I heard, she wasn’t going to audition because she didn’t think she would have the time for it, but I guess she really wants to do The Sound of Music and will make the time.


Last Friday, TheMadHatter got her learner’s permit.  She’s doing very well behind the wheel already!  She handles my Suburban nicely, though like most new drivers, she prefers her dad’s smaller car!

Last week, TheBoy had his long-leg cast removed.  On 1 July he was playing on a trampoline and ended up with a buckle fracture at the top of his tibia.  *sigh*  Poor little guy still isn’t walking right.  He says his heel hurts him.  If it doesn’t work itself out this week, I’m going to have to bring him back to the Orthopedic clinic and figure out what’s going on.  After four weeks with a cast on, the poor boy still can’t go out and run.  😦

I can’t let this entry get published without a little complaint about the heat… IT’S HOT HERE!  All of July was 100° F or more (Average high for a town about an hour from here was 103°F.  It was hotter here.)  I took this picture last week AT 6:15PM!!   (I want to say it was maybe Thursday??  There is no efix data available, so I can’t check.)  The stat experts tell us this is the hottest summer in at least 30 years.

this is the actual temp, NOT the heat index. It's going to be about the same today, they tell us.


I’m still working on Christmas knitting, though I learned that one of my gifts is a bust.  The recipient saw me working on it and criticized the color.  Apparently green won’t work.  Teens!  I suppose that one of the other kids wouldn’t mind an extra sweater.


Gariníon said, “Grandma”!!!!!  It was just the cutest, sweetest thing!!!!!  She’s such a sweet girl.  I can’t believe she’s almost 15 months old already!  ACK!


I am praying for those in the UK who are affected by the riots.  It just seems so unbelieveable.  Mum6, you are especially in my prayers.


Well, I think this effort to avoid my work update you all has come to an end.  Maybe it won’t be quite so long next time, eh?


p.s.  It’s August… do you know how your NFL team is doing? 🙂


Posted in Brain Spill, Mom Blog Stew | 12 Comments

Mom Blog Stew

Today is the 236th birthday of the US Army!  It’s also Flag Day!

God bless America and its Soldiers ~ past, present, and future. Thank you to all of you for all you have ever done or ever will do.

And Happy Birthday to our flag!

Flag Day images

SuperSoldier also informed me that today is the day they say ‘good bye’ to the black beret for “everyone”

and ‘hello, again’ to the patrol cap!  I, for one, am glad for it.


The summer is slowly coming along.  The kids are still finishing up school work.  *sigh*  I’ve gotten next year’s lesson plans for MilkyWhite completed and I’ve (barely) started on TheMadHatter’s.

TheMadHatter is really enjoying working for the W family.  She babysits 2 – 3 times a week for them.

MilkyWhite is looking for something to do.  I have offered/suggested things for her, but they are not the “it” she is looking for.  The theater is not having any workshops this summer (only Missoula, which my kids don’t care for) so we’re just not finding “it”.

TheBoy has an 8ft pool on the porch that he is enjoying daily, but that’s about it for him, too.

Chief spent the weekend getting our sprinkler system fixed.  It’s not 100% yet as he needs to replace the actual sprinkler heads, but it is better than nothing.  Poor guy, though.  Weekend of hard work leading into a week of hard work.


Me?  I’m still knitting as often as I can.  I’m working on a sock just now.  (i’m about 25% of the way done with another Christmas sweater, but it’s boring work, so I put it down in favor of the socks for a little while.)

On My iPod!

I downloaded a new book yesterday.  It’s another Youth Fiction title.  So far, so good, though getting introduced to all of the characters is taking quite a while.  I think I’ve only “met” 4 of the 7 main characters so far in about 3 hours of listening (which takes more “actual time” as I have to rewind because of the normal interruptions during the day.)  The title of the book is Curse of the Spider King: The Berinfell Prophecies Series – Book One  This is a series, so if I continue to enjoy it, I will purchase the other books, but what then?  (The reason I mainly choose youth fiction is that there is usually no bad language and most of the time the moral situations are not vile or raunchy.  I just don’t enjoy foul language or “adult” situations.)


I’m starting to get a bit giddy again!  We’re halfway through June already!  In just a couple of months, the preseason will start!  w00t!

If I liked ice cream, I’d be all over this stuff!

Well, if I could get it in Texas, anyway!

How are Y’all??

Posted in Mom Blog Stew | 5 Comments

Camp “W”

Our homeschool group had it’s second “Camp W” last Friday.  We passed last time (we just don’t camp!) but decided it could be fun to go out for a few hours to play.  It was (we still didn’t camp!)  The “W” family is kind enough to host our large group for this.  There was good food, good friends and good fun!  I didn’t get to see the kids play most of the games, but play they did.  Football, tug-o-war, paintball range and, of course, swimming!

TheBoy actually enjoyed his first swimming lesson, courtesy of Dr C.  TheBoy thinks he’s hot stuff now!

MilkyWhite and TheMadHatter enjoyed the pool, too, of course!

Everyone had fun!

Even our beloved Fr. R came for a while.

MissV and Dr. C brought their “portable bar”…  And our dear friend, KC enjoyed the fruits of their labors! (of course, plenty of other folks did, too… I just get to pick on KC here!  🙂 )



Here is a photo of my friend “R”.  She and I, we have stuff in common… grown kids plus youngers still at home….  and we both are interested in getting our CHL (I’ll let you figure that out… I’ll just quote “R” and say, “Homeschool moms aim high (and shoot straight!) )

R's son was a Ranger when he was in the Army. My son hopes to be one!


Hope you’ve had a good weekend, too!

Posted in Family, Friends | 7 Comments

For Karen…

A few shots for my friend, Karen, who is looking for a new camera. This is the 80, Karen! All on standard, auto settings.

Outside, evening, no flash (on the porch)




outside, no flash, dog moved


inside, with flash


inside, near a window, no lights on in the room



Posted in Friends, Photos | 1 Comment

I Want To…

I want to.  I really do.  I miss my blog.  I miss your blog.  I really want to get back to them.  It’s just so hard!

Life if going about at a whirlwind pace, but I think it’s more my noticing than anything changing.  Whenever I think, “I should post on my blog,” I find I have nothing to say!

I guess I can give a general update of the things going on around here, at least…

Everyone is doing well.  Babies have been born (my brother in law and his wife were blessed with their first grandchild exactly one year from the day we were blessed with ours!  They have a granddaughter, too), theater has happened, nasty job situations (for TheQueenofHearts) have resolved…

TheMadHatter and the TheQueenofHearts are going to a formal, Masquerade Sweet Sixteen party for a friend (I can’t believe how much we’re spending so they can go to a birthday party!  Alas, homeschooled girls ~ this is their “prom” experience!)

School is s l u g g i s h !!! We will be working in the summer months.  *sigh*  I really look forward to not worrying about it in the summer.  Just doesn’t always work out.  Oh, well.  I am beginning lesson plans for next year.  Fun, fun, fun!

TheMadHatter has a summer job which she will begin next week.  She is going to be a nanny for a friend for the summer.  It will be 3 days a week.  Great opportunity for her. She’s really looking forward to it.  She is working for such a nice family!



Didi Knits...and so do I!

Me?  I’m knitting.  Trying to get Christmas knitting finished.  I have 3 gifts completed and I’m working on a fourth.  The fifth is already planned, so I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied.  (Rugrats via Netflix is pretty popular around here these days!)


Two of our godsons were Confirmed last Sunday!  They were seated apart, so we could only really see the older one after he received the sacrament.  HIS SMILE WAS PRICELESS!  I wish I could have been in two places at once, though!

Surprise on Mother’s Day!


Yarn swifts. Excellent tools for knitters!

Mother’s Day was lovely and I received some GREAT gifts!  Most of the kids chipped in and purchased two yarn swifts for me.  I’ve been wanting them forever.  They also gave me an electric yarn ball winder.  I’m still learning how to use it properly so I can get the tension right, but I like it!

SuperSoldier had already ordered flowers for me (lovely!)    We had a good dinner and just had a relaxed day.


Summer has arrived (we hit 100°F a couple of days ago!) I’m quite glad.  The a/c has been topped off with freon and we’re ready!

My mind is already occupied with next year’s elections.  They are so, so important!  My fellow Americans, GET INFORMED!


Those are some highlights.  Sorry it’s so sketchy.  Hoping I’ll be back again soon!

Posted in Brain Spill | 9 Comments

Happy Birthday!!!

One year ago today, our dear little Gariníon was born! I can’t believe she’s a year old.

Happy birthday, baby girl! Grandma loves you!!!

Gariníon and daddy at Disney

Posted in Celebrations, Family, Gariníon | 14 Comments

Six Years Ago Today

Our beloved John Paul II entered eternity. Our loss is heaven’s gain!

1 May 2011, Divine Mercy Sunday, John Paul II will be Beatified. How awesome!  (I know that there is a French nun who is the recipient of the “official” miracle for his cause and beatification, but I believe I received his first miracle!  How’s that for cheeky?)


John Paul the Great, Pray for us!



Burdens and Books…

So much for my plans to spend more time on this blog again!

I received a text from a friend last night asking if I was alright.  I’d been quiet lately.  Yes, I am well.  Trying to stay busy.  Wanting to focus more on the things that demand require deserve my time and attention.  Not really succeeding, but trying.  Sort of… when I wasn’t too distracted.

I am alright.  I really am, but there are things on my mind.  Things I think so much about that I’d like to not think so much about… and yet I must.  I miss my sons, my daughter-in-law, my grandbaby.  One family member is struggling and in an emotional funk.  Sometimes I think it’s serious and I worry.  Other times I think it’s part of the human condition and will pass, if they have eyes to see.  Another family member is frustrated beyond belief about the day-to-day workings of our household… or is that “not-workings”?  Another family member is exhausted.  Yet another is just kind of in a holding pattern, observing many of these things and being unsure about everything.  And then there’s me.  I feel overwhelmed.  I know, I believe, and I trust and that is why I can honestly say I’m alright, but I am overwhelmed, too.

I find it exhausting and nearly impossible to pray for these things so close to me.  I have no problem praying for friends, even strangers, but when it comes to this, I sit.  I stew.  I fret.  I try to do all of these things with our Lord, but I don’t really pray.  I know it “counts” in some way, but …

All of this has worn on me.  I can’t precisely describe how.

A bit ago, I promised a review of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.  I’d thought about it a lot, but couldn’t quite put everything together.  One thing that I found difficult in reading that book was Ann’s writing style.  It is beautiful writing, but for me, the beauty of the writing, the words, the “poe-prose” is distracting.  I really prefer plain writing.  It may be because my imagination is weak and not terribly visual. The message kept getting lost.  Purchasing the audiobook helped a lot.  Hearing Ann read it, with the tones and inflections you can’t always catch in writing, made a big difference for me.

Eucharisteo.  Thanksgiving.  Gratitude.  Seeing God in all things.  This is the basic theme of her book.  This is the transforming point in her life.  Probably in many lives.  Maybe even mine.

I have this little “issue” with following, though.  A “list” ~ a writing out of 1,000 gifts ~ seems destined to become something of a “fad” in my skeptical mind ~ and perhaps it already is one for many people.  I don’t want to jump on a fad.  I don’t want to be a “copy-cat”.  Silly, no?  Yes.  Lately, though, I have had the thought that it is only a fad if I do it for the wrong reason (everybody’s doing it) and if I don’t allow a transformation to come.  I don’t know that starting a list would be a major key to some sort of transformation in me, but what if it was?

After working through that, I then remembered that it is my birthright as a Catholic to celebrate Euchristeo fuller than full because I have the Eucharist… the full and total Thanksgiving in Christ and His Eternal, On-going, Complete sacrifice, found on every altar, every hour of every day.  I have the Real Presence of Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.   Eucharisteo is my birthright and ought to be the very center of my life.  Perhaps living a more deliberate Eucharisteo outside of the Mass, in every single moment that God Himself gives me, is the key to facing the nitty-gritty burdens and stresses, worries and troubles of daily life.  Perhaps one way to try to do that is to deliberately choose to make a list and not let it be a “fad”.  Afterall, what harm could come from it?

I think I will try it.  It’s not an obligation, but I will accept it as a challenge from me and about me.  I put it in Our Lord’s hands and ask Him to use it as a means of grace ~or not.

Ann Voskamp’s book gets a thumbs up from me.  It is good.  Even considering that I would desire more plain, less beautiful writing, it is a good book and it has the power, I believe, to help many people.

To my friend who checked in on me last night:  Thank you.  I really am well.  I am very grateful for your friendship and your concern.  You rock, Girlie!

Posted in Books, Brain Spill, Family, Friends, Me | 17 Comments

Prayers, please

Please pray for “SillyBall”.  She went to training with SuperSoldier last year and was assigned to a post near us.  SuperSoldier brought her by when he was here last summer and she quickly became a part of the family.  She’s become as a daughter to Chief and me and as a big sister to the kids here at home.  We just love her.

She recently deployed, as did her boyfriend.  Please keep them (and all of our military) in your prayers.  Boyfriend’s father recently (very recently) passed away.  I know it is going to be so difficult to be so far away and to deploy under these trying circumstances.



SillyBall and Boyfriend


Glad to have a chance to say goodbye

Be safe, SillyBall.  We miss you.  We’re proud of you!

Posted in Deployment, Military Life, SillyBall | 3 Comments

more superbowl memories…

Posted in Celebrations, Football!, Friends, Packers!! | 3 Comments

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOT!!!!


Because I know you’re dying to see what was on my tv last night, here are some pictures of my screen:

And for all of my Steelers fan friends:

It was a great game.  Pittsburgh made the Pack earn it… but earn it we did!

And, be glad you weren’t here…

This is the "consequence" for talkin' smack in this house and then not being able to back it up! i sure hope one of the pics the others took turned out better than this one!


I am so, so, so glad that Donald Driver got his ring.  I just wish he’d been able to play longer.  Woodson and Shields, too.  But even without them, they did it!


I’m torn between agreeing that Rodgers deserved the MVP and thinking that Jennings did!!!!


And now, as pathetic as it is, I am sad.   Football season is over for months and months! *sniff*

Posted in Football!, Packers!! | 5 Comments

GO, PACK, GO!!!!

Here we go!!!!  w00t!


Posted in Football!, Packers!! | 2 Comments

It starts!

Two years in a row! I think it’s supposed to snow tonight and into tomorrow.  One to three inches. I hope for the kids’ sake it’s three. For myself, not so much.

I love my Packers, but they could have left this in Green Bay!

Off to knit some mittens!


Sent from my i P h o n e 3G S
Cuz I’m cool like that
But not cool enough for the i P h o n e 4