Friday, December 21, 2007


That night when in Judean skies the mystic star dispensed its light,
a blind man moved in his sleep- and dreamed that He had sight.
That night when shepherds heard the song of hosts angelic choiring near,
a deaf man stirred in slumber’s spell- and dreamed that he could hear.
That night when in the cattle stall slept child and mother cheek by jowl,
a cripple turned his twisted limbs- and dreamed that he was whole.
That night when o'er the newborn babe the tender Mary rose to lean,
a loathsome leper smiled in sleep- and dreamed that he was clean.
That night when to a mother's breast the little King was held secure,
a harlot slept in happy sleep- and dreamed that she was pure.
That night when in the manger lay the sanctified who came to save,
 a man moved in the sleep of death- and dreamed there was no grave.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Who made this print?

Any animal trackers out there who would like to tell me what animal made these prints?  This was taken along the Payette River in the mountains not too far from Boise, ID in late Oct.

At first my husband thought this was possibly two feet together of a smaller animal  that made this impression.  But when I showed him the prints in the mud of the next picture and how they are the same size as this one and the spread between them, he thought maybe his initial hunch of a smaller animal was incorrect.

You can see two prints in this shot, one at the bottom, middle.  The next print is 3/4 to the top, center.  These prints were right in line w/ the first shot.

Anyone want to take a stab at what animal had passed by not too far ahead of us?

12 Days of Christmas

Someone on the FIAR Message Boards posted this today.  It's so good, I had to share it.  Make sure you turn off the Christmas songs on the right side of the blog.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas 1997


This Christmas was our first Christmas in Ohio and our first Christmas as parents.

Our first born was just two months old for her first Christmas.  I don't think she remembers much about this particular holiday.

The tree for this year was special in the way we brought it home.  The neighborhood we lived in had a Catholic school that backed into it.  This school would sell Christmas trees out of their parking lot as a fund raiser.  I had always romanticized the movies where you see the main characters walking to the Christmas lot and carrying their trees home.  They look so happy and blissful.   I had the bright idea that this Christmas, instead of driving over to the tree lot, let's just walk.

Getting to the tree lot wasn't a problem at all.  We bundled our munchkin up, layered warm clothes on ourselves and headed out to the lot.  Once we picked our tree, purchased it and wrapped it up, we began the process of walking home.

It wasn't anything like what I saw in the movies.  I think the actors must have someone helping them.   It was cold, cold, cold and the tree was heavy and wet.  I was holding our munchkin while Mark carried, dragged the tree home.  I finally bent down and picked up the one end holding onto Munchkin w/ the other arm, just to get home faster!

Once we were home, I did my things with the lights (I'll spare you reiterating my "love" for lights), decorated the tree and swore we would never walk to a tree lot again! LOL

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My 6 yo's joke

Why did they name the scooters, Razor's?

Because they make sharp turns.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gabriel Appears to Mary


My 10 year old drew this picture this evening before bed.  She said she especially likes how Mary is startled and dropped the food when the angel appears. LOL

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Tree 1995

This Christmas tree story tells the tale of our first Christmas as a married couple.

The Year of the 'Nexus' Christmas

Not only did December 1995 mark our first year of being a married couple, it also marked our last year living in Washington state.  Mark was finishing his residency at UW and had accepted a Fellowship position at UVA in Charlottesville, VA.  We wanted to make this Christmas extra special as we celebrated as newlyweds and began the hard process of saying goodbye to our treasured friends.  We decided a Christmas party would be a nice way to accomplish both goals.

Our apartment had these wonderful windows on either side of our fireplace, along with a large window over by the dining area.  Our apartment was positioned on the back corner of the complex and our balcony overlooked a grassy area and the tallest fir trees I have ever seen.  It was beautiful. 

Greenery in Seattle was plentiful and cheap.  At Fred Meyer's you could purchase fir garland for something like 10 cents a yard.  We bought enough fresh greenery to drape around our windows, fireplace mantle and the balcony railings, in back and out front by the stairs.  I also lined the stairs (outdoors of course) leading up to our apartment with luminaries.

We hung our two stockings on the mantle along w/ some other Christmas decorations, put a log in the fireplace, lit all the candles and log.  It was beautiful.

For our party, we sent out invitations to our closest friends and prepared a feast for them.  I don't remember everything that we made, but we made a lot of yummy food, and nothing was left.  I also prepared stockings for all of our guests.  I filled them with homemade bread and freezer jam, mittens and other goodies especially picked for each individual.  I laid all the stockings out, with care, awaiting the arrival of our guests.

When everyone came we ate, drank, chatted, laughed and played games.  It was an incredible evening of cozy friendship. 

One of the couples that came, we also would go to the movies with often.  We had recently been to see Star Trek Generations with them, in which "The Nexus" played a huge role in the film.  Our friends told us they felt like they had walked into the Nexus.  If you haven't seen this particular movie, The Nexus is a place where your hearts desires are met and you live your life in this place that doesn't really exist but everything about it feels like it is real.  The pull for the Nexus is strong and once you enter the Nexus, you have no desire to leave.

Our camera's flash was broken so I had asked a couple of my friends to bring their camera's along to take some pictures.  Two of our friends did indeed bring their cameras, but the pictures didn't turn out.  It confirmed our belief that we had entered, if not the Nexus, than some other place that couldn't be captured in film.  It was a place that can only live on in our memories.



Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmases Past


Ah, ChristmasTrees. 

I love the sparkling lights and colorful decorations of Christmas trees.  As I was reading the story on my friend Jen's blog the other day of their experiences with their first live Christmas tree, it brought back memories of trees I've had from Christmases past.  I thought I'd share some of my trees with you all and the stories that accompany them.  Isn't it funny that Christmas Trees have a way of marking time and each one has a story to tell?

Here's my first story to share with you. 

The year of my Chubby & Tubby Christmas tree

The year was 1993.  I lived alone in an apartment in the Ballard area of Seattle, WA.  Seattle is an expensive city and my paycheck was small, so I budgeted my money carefully. 

There was this all purpose/hardware type store on Aurora Avenue  Every area has an Aurora Avenue.  It's typically a street that's part of a State Highway system that has since been by-passed by Interstates.  The businesses along these routes tend to cater to specific needs.  You'll see lot after lot of used car sales with their ribbons flapping in the breeze.  Businesses in non-descript low buildings that, unless you care to look at the sign, you have no idea of what their purpose is or who works behind the closed doors.  Billboards that dwarf the long line of single story buildings that was the main-stay of the city years long since past.  Along such a street in Seattle, there stood Chubby & Tubby.  A mish mosh store of odds and ends.  They sold all sorts of things, cheap.

Christmas at Chubby & Tubby's was no different.  They brought out bows and ribbons, lights and electrical cords, ornaments and stockings.  All sorts of Christmasey decorations, including, fresh cut Christmas Trees. 

Imagine my delight when I first heard about the $5.00 Chubby & Tubby Christmas Tree.  I drove my little car over to the store and looked through their assortment of trees.  After looking through the various sizes (they sold more than just the $5.00 trees) I picked out my tree.  My $5.00 Christmas tree.  Someone had purchased a saw, at Chubby & Tubby of course, and in true Christmas spirit, helped me cut the end off and wrap my tree up.  Because, at $5.00 a tree, Chubby & Tubby wasn't offering any help. :-)  After paying for my tree, and the worlds smallest tree stand, I shoved my little tree into my trunk, tied down the back and headed back to set my little tree up in my apartment.

One of my biggest problems with Christmas tree decorating is the lights.  It's a problem because I'm anal about them.  I cannot put the lights on and have cords showing.  It bugs me beyond reason and sanity.  When I put lights on a tree, I'm wrapping every branch, in and out, in and out until the entire tree is covered in lights, my arms are scratched from the needles and my mood has gone from Christmas cheer to Christmas gloom.  But once it's done and I plug in the cord(s), oh bliss.  The glow of the Christmas tree's lights melt away the frustration of placing the lights just so.  Fortunately, with this tree, the branches are so sparse, weaving the lights in and out was easily achieved without too many scratches. 

At first, as you can see in the picture, I decorated w/ lights and a box of candy canes, later in the week, I received a box from my Mom that contained all my Christmas decorations and ornaments from home.  I spent that night decorating my little Christmas tree with all my memories from home. 

So that is the story of my Chubby & Tubby Christmas tree.  A little Charlie Brown Christmas tree that truly did transform to something quite special in the end.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Little boys and their pockets


My little guy has discovered his pockets.  What a joy and adventure they are for him.  The first time he came walking up to me with both hands in his pockets, he had the biggest grin on his face.  Since that initial discovery, he's learned that he can put other things into his pockets besides his hands.  Mothers of boys can attest, when wash day comes, it's with trepidation as you reach your hand into your sons pockets.  So far I haven't found any snakes, frogs or lizards.  I've found rocks, dirt, grass, lettuce and the latest discovery, the missing tortilla.

Boys, always an adventure.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The one that got away

I've been meaning to post this since my last entry.  Later that same day I was cleaning up the kitchen and glanced outside, same view as the computer, and saw the lone survivor of my four year olds maurading ways.

What a brave girl!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Let me try to paint a picture for you

As I sit here on my computer, if I look to my left, I have a perfect view of our backyard swingset.   I'm watching my 5 children enjoy their time in the cool breeze (ok it's really a wind but breeze just sounds much more poetic) after a long record breaking heat wave.  The grass has perked up to a beautiful green hue and the leaves are rustling in the eucylaptus tree that  hangs over the swing set. 

Doesn't that sound peaceful?

Now, keep that mental image in your mind. 

As I happily watch my little cherubims at play, I can't help notice my 4 yo, who happens to be a boy (just in case you might have forgotten that point).  He's up in the fort portion of the swingset merrily playing w/ a stuffed animal and a stick.  I can hear him talking but I can't quite make out what he's saying, besides it being something loud.  That, in and of itself, is not unusual as he says everything very LOUD.  As I watch him a little longer, I notice the stuffed animal is being held very lovingly over the cross piece of the fort.   The stick, which I'm guessing this time is being used as a sword, is being employed as an incentive to the stuffed animal to defy the laws of gravity. 

After much showmanship and loud gesturing, the stuffed animal goes flying from its previous perilous perch and lands somewhere in the yard.  To which the aforementioned 4 year old revels in glee.  Blackbeard himself would have been proud to witness the atrocities that befell that little stuffed cat and my sons delight in inflicting such sorrow.

In the meantime, my three girls were pushing their baby brother in his swing or quietly swinging themselves without a pirate or hostage in sight.

Which leaves me with one question, what are those, who don't believe in gender differences, thinking? 

Friday, November 9, 2007



Time for another Greek tale:


as narrated & illustrated by E., age 10


Callisto was a really beautiful girl. She had a son, and everyone who knew her would stare at her beauty. But Juno, who was a goddess, was jealous of her (Juno was not so pretty herself).


Juno Turning Callisto into a Bear

So Juno turned Callisto into a bear and said, "I have taken away that beauty with which you have captivated my husband!" and she left.  Callisto, although she was a bear, was afraid of the other bears. She hated to sleep in caves like the other bears.  One day, her son was out walking, and saw his mother, but he thought she was just another bear.  He almost shot her!  Callisto almost hugged him, but she stopped herself!

Callisto and Her Son are put into the Sky

Just then, Jupiter, Juno's husband, grabbed Callisto and her son and put them into the sky as the Big bear and the Little bear.  Juno was so mad that Callisto had been honored that she ran to the ocean, to ask Oceanus and Tethys not to let the two constellations go into the ocean. Being in the sky was an honor, but being in the ocean cleaned them, and Juno did not let them be cleaned.  So Callisto and her son whirl around at the top of the sky, and never sink into the ocean.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bookstore buys

Last night after dinner we ran to the bookstore.  I was looking for a few, specific Thanksgiving titles, which I had no luck finding.  Just ordered them from Amazon and pray they will arrive before our bookclub at the end of the month.

Instead of bringing home Thanksgiving books, I did bring home some books I'd been mulling over for the past few years.  These are the books I purchased:

Kids in the Syndrome Mix

The Out-of-Sync Child has Fun

love & logic for kids with special needs

The Gift of Dyslexia

All cats have Asperger Syndrome

And on a lighter note:

101 Places You Gotta See Before You're 12

I think the book titles are fairly self-explanatory so I don't need to give details as to what they are about.  Can you tell what areas I'm trying to work on, again?

I don't know why God chose me to be the mother to several kids with a "Syndrome Mix".   I laugh to myself when my mother and one of my sisters tell me how easy I have it because my wonderful husband helps out so much.  I do have a wonderful husband who does help out a lot.  What they miss in my "easy" life is what life is actually like, day to day, parenting and teaching these precious blessings God, for what ever reason, chose me to parent.  If I didn't have a wonderful husband, I probably would have lost it a long time ago and I don't mean my patience, that I lose on a regular basis. LOL

So, I will read my new books that will, hopefully, help me gain some more insight into the brains of my children who think very differently than I.  I will read them with the hope that I will become a better parent and teacher as I unravel the twists and turns of Aspergers, Sensory issues, Tourettes, Dyslexia and Obsessive Compulsive disorders.

Now back to my easy life.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cephalus and Procris

My daughter is reading through Bullfinch's Mythology book for part of her school work.  Right now, we're in the Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes.  I like the way this book presents the material, so far, for her age.  It's not watered down but it's not as graphic as I know Greek Mythology stories can be.  It's a good balance. 

Sometimes for her narrations she likes to draw the scene, then tell me what happened using her picture as a guide.  For this story, I encouraged her to draw a few more pictures to tell the whole story.  She did a great job so I thought I'd share them here. 

If you're unfamiliar with the story of Cephalus and Procris (I was) here's a quick recap. 

Cephalus, who was very handsome and loved sports, was out and caught the eye of Aurora.  She instantly fell in love with him and wanted him to marry her.  Cephalus, however, was madly in love with his lovely wife, Procris and told Aurora "No."  This angered Aurora and she told Cephalus, as she let him go, that he would rue the day he ever set eyes on Procris. 

Aurora dismissing Cephalus with displeasure

Procris was favored by the goddess Diana.  Diana had given Procris a hunting dog and javelin that would never miss it's mark.  Procris, in return, gave these presents to her husband, Cephalus. 

Cephalus would go out hunting, alone, and when he was fatigued, he'd sit down in the shade to rest.  He would talk to the breeze that cooled and comforted him.  Someone happened to be walking by one day when he was talking to the breeze and mistook him to be talking to another women.  This person immediately went and told Procris, who wouldn't believe it until she heard it with her own ears. 

Cephalus talking to the breeze 

So, Procris hides in the bushes and waits for her beloved husband who happens along at that time.  He lays down and once again talks to the breeze sending up thanks for the comfort he is receiving.  Procris hearing her husband talking thus, thinks he is indeed talking to another woman and makes a noise.  Cephalus thinks the noise he hears in the bushes is an animal so he throws his javelin, which never misses it's mark, at the noise.  His aim is true and in true Greek tragedy style, his beloved wife is struck w/ a deadly blow. 

Procris is hit by Cephalus' Javelin

As he cradles her in his arms, grief stricken, she begs him to not marry "that odious breeze".  To which Cephalus now understanding what she is saying explains to her there was no other woman.  The breeze is just that, the breeze.  Procris dies in his arms content knowing that her husband loved her and was faithful.

So ends another fun Greek Mythology story. :)  I could actually see this as a Shakespeare play.  Of course, for all I know, it is a Shakespeare play. LOL

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Remember that little girl

Remember that little girl I posted pictures of eating her watermelon at the beginning of October?  Well, here's some of the work that same two year old, now 8, produces.


This is a search and find.  She'd like to know if you can find the following items:

  • three butterflies

  • fish

  • apple blossoms

  • pollen

  • scorpion

  • two baby tucans

  • monkey

  • banana

  • sun

  • feeding frenzy

  • two snakes

  • two girls

  • jaquar

  • birds flying

It's been one month since I last posted

October always does that to me.  We had a busy month, oldest turned 10, we celebrated our 12th anniversary and we traveled to Boise.  Ever since we were first married, we talked about how Boise would be a place we'd like to live, even though we'd never been there before.

So, after 12 years of talkin' 'bout it, we went and we loved it. 

Boise Skyline

Capital Building

Thunder Mountain Railway

Train ride

to the Pumpkin Patch

Showing off their haul

Fall in Boise!

Park along the Boise River

In the mountains along the Payette River

Campground along the Payette River

Monday, October 1, 2007

With Gusto

Don't you just love how kids just go for it?  This is my now 8 year old when she was about 2.




Sunday, September 30, 2007

My oldest wants to be a writer and illustrator when she gets older.  You can often find her throughout the day with some writing/drawing instrument in her hand.   One of her favorite mediums lately has been on the computer.  She loves to type and mess around creating pictures.  She has asked me about publishing stories and I told her a good way to start is by "publishing" them for others to see in things like our homeschool groups student newsletter for practice.  I told her it's a good way to hone her craft before asking people to pay for it.

She created the following and asked if I'd put it on my blog.  She wants her own blog where she can share her creations.   While looking over my shoulder at a 10 year olds blog I was looking at today said, "Maybe I can start a blog for my birthday."  She turns 10 in 22 days.  Dh and I have 22 days in which to decide, should we let her or shouldn't we. LOL  So, until we relent and let her have her own blog, I've told her I'll gladly post what she'd like to share. 

Friday, September 28, 2007

A taste of Fall

I love this picture of my oldest when she was just turning one.  She was such a little pumpkin herself.  So teeny tiny.  She called pumpkins pumpums and loved rolling them around.  This picture was taken at one of the  farms around where we lived in Ohio.    Tomorrow, I will hunt for my fall pictures and scan them.  Hayrides, bonfires, smores, pumpkins, apples, ahhh.  Fall in the midwest is the best!