Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dinner for 25.....uh.oh.



My brother told me the other day that he had volunteered to bring drinks to the cast of his daughter's play. In fact, he'd bring several days' supply of drinks. It turned out to be 22 two-liter bottles of pop. Now my brother is a widower and I told him how impressed I was that he, a single parent, had volunteered to do so much.

Then I thought about the fact that I had volunteered to bring a meal to the cast of my children's play--- the whole meal. They will eat after their last run-through and before the opening night.

I don't know what I was thinking.

But, the good news is that I made sure I had a commitment from Jim and Mary to help me. They didn't have school today and the three of us worked a good four hours this morning (including some shopping). We made two big pans of lasagna. We bought some pre-made salad and will add some cucumbers and croutons to it. I made a batch of brownies last night and they made another today. And we bought a big bag of rolls at Sam's Club. Mary and Jim were a huge help and the whole thing was really fun for me. (I guess that's what I was thinking. I love doing this kind of thing.)

The play is The Crucible. Jim is a judge and Mary is one of the young people who engaged in witchcraft. The shows are this weekend so there will be no trick-or-treating for these two. But Mary will be a witch for Halloween. teehee

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Those Prolific Snapdragons!!! The volunteers!!


Some of you are probably thinking, "Oh no, she's going to go on and on about those snapdragons again." Well.....you're right. Consider yourself warned.

I love these things!!! From the time they started growing out of the rock (pictured above) until they reseeded themselves the next year and started growing again around the rock....(pictured below) I have loved these little snapdragons.


Here they are, hanging on in the freezing cold of last year.....


And here they are again this year, after a couple of light frosts, still going strong and even having migrated to several parts of the garden.

On the far right there is another bunch growing against the wall, about three feet away from the first bunch. There is another one seemingly randomly having placed itself next to the sidewalk.



Here is another in the middle of the alyssum.

Here and there, on both sides of the walkway these little flowers continue to flourish, all on a "volunteer basis." My friend Patti used that expression the other day for flowers that have reseeded themselves and delight us without any work on our part. I like it.

They are the little volunteers. After all, this is how most of nature reproduces itself. I should not be surprised how it happens in my garden too.

Not surprised, but delighted nonetheless. God is good. Always.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Birthday Pix



Below: Mike, my oldest, after hearing that John is twenty. "No Way. You can't be twenty!!!" I think he really meant it.

At 25 He's just getting the first taste of years flying by.



Aren't these guys just too cool? One thirty-six years older than the other.


He had to have Michigan jacket now that John is a student there. (present from John, of course:-)



Monday, October 26, 2009

Birthday Buddies

We celebrated two birthdays this weekend. My third born and my husband Mike share the same birthday.

Creative Liz agreed to decorate the cake. She had never done one all by herself before and I gave her free reign. She worked really hard on it.

John has been a die hard Michigan fan since he found out what football was. So a block "M" design was sure to be a winner.

She did a great job, I thought.
And I had that rare pleasure now of having all my children at the dinner table at the same time. Only three still live at home and Mike lives in Indiana so it was a special treat. I can't believe I have only three teenagers now and three children in their twenties.

And here are the birthday boys, Dad wearing his new Michigan jacket given to him by his birthday-mate.

We had a fun time. I'm going to post more pictures later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's with President Obama's inability to make a decision?

I don't understand why President Obama does not seem to be able to make a decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Now I'm not a military person. I have never studied military science......but I have played Risk, OK? It seems to me that numbers are important. If General McChrystal says he need more troops what on Earth is Obama waiting for? Why is he leaving our troops currently there vulnerable? If you think the war in Afghanistan is important, send them what they need, for heaven's sakes!!!! If you don't want to win that war (which I think would be a mistake) then bring them all home!! The worst thing to do is to leave them over there without the numbers they need.
I have heard the administration say that there are other ways to look at the situation. Really. Other opinions held by generals on the ground in the middle of the conflict?

Here's what former vice president Cheney said about this yesterday as reported in CBSnews.com:
"The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger," the former vice president said. "It's time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity."
Amen. I would love to hear the opinions of you military families out there.
May the Lord protect our troops everywhere and especially in Afghanistan.

Update on Zach

Yesterday I received the following text message from Zach (who will become my son-in-law next August).

Text: No surgery. Ligaments are rebounding quite nicely actually. Still got a cast on but it's semi-removable. Praise God.

My reply: Woohoo!! God is good.

Zach's reply to me: All the time

Amen!!!

Thank you all for your prayers!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Substitute Teaching

Today I substitute taught the fifth grade.

These are the same kids who were second graders three years ago when I was the second grade teacher's aide.

I love this class. They are the cutest, sweetest kids and I know them pretty well.

It really helps to know all the kids' names when you're substituting.

So the day went pretty well. As always, I leave the school with a renewed admiration for the teachers who do this every day. I am totally exhausted. I don't know how they do it.

Now I'm sitting in the kitchen trying to be invisible while John teaches piano in the living room. Fortunately I have my laptop here :-)

Hope all is well with all of you out there.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stadium Cleanup---brrrrrr


Yup, we cleaned the Michigan Stadium again this past week.

This time we did it with only 216 people or so. Usually we have between 300 and 400.

Fortunately, there was not as much garbage. The game was not one of the high profile games and I guess attendance was down. Or maybe it was so obvious Michigan was going to win that people left before they had finished eating. Also, it was so cold that there were fewer cold drink cups and water bottles.

Perhaps you're wondering why you are seeing pictures of a sauna in this post about cleaning the stadium. We have a sauna in our basement. My husband built it some time ago and it's great when you're feeling cold. (It's great anytime, really.)

And we were SO COLD when we got home. It was about 35 degrees out which was OK while you're working hard in the sun.

But after that....it was really cold.

I usually where a swim suit or towel wrap in the sauna. But today? Today Liz and I were so chilled we called home to ask that it be turned on in advance. When we got home we went directly in there.

Nice! I love that heat, especially when I'm feeling really chilled. It's still early in the winter season. We're getting cold more easily than we will later in the year.

Anyway, we were able to warm up nicely. Then we took HOT showers. (We never shower before stadium clean-up. You have to get that garbage feel off you when you get home.)


Can you tell that cleaning the stadium is not something that comes naturally to me? Teehee. A little recovery time helps a lot.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zach is Hurt.

I know. I disappeared for a week. I just. didn't. feel. like. writing. You know? I was busy. It was hard to get to it. And I really didn't feel like making it a priority.

But. I'm back. And I'm in a better mood.

This past weekend I went to see my future son-in-law play rugby.

Zach is somewhere in this pileup.


Zach is an awesome rugby player. And, like most rugby players, he's strong as an ox.

We went to watch him play this past weekend. Rugby is a very interesting game. It's very rough, very much a guys-game, if you know what I mean. And because Zach is a skilled player it's fun to watch him play because he makes good plays and does a lot for the team. And....,I understand...., he does not mind hearing me scream, "Go Zach!!!! Yeah!" I can't keep my mouth shut at sports events where family members (or soon to be family members) are playing.

Zach was home schooled through high school and started playing with this team when he was just 17. Therefore, he has long been referred to by his team members as "Homeskool." (That's how they spell it. ) They don't call him Zach. So Zach's mom said, "Call him 'homeskool.'" That's how eveybody knows him. LOL

Well, at one point in the game we saw Zach off to the sidelines on his knees clutching his arm. Now this is such a rough sport that pain must just be expected. So at first I didn't think much of it. Then I noticed his face. He was grimacing, looking up, leaning his head back, looking down, obviously in a lot of pain. I said to myself. Something must be broken. Zach barely feels pain he's so tough. It seemed like he was like that for maybe a minute before the trainer came over. As he walked off the field my daughter went over to see what was up. Seconds later Zach walks over to his mom and me with a look that showed he was obviously in excruciating pain.

The base of his thumb was indented into his hand and the top was curved in an unnatural direction looking like an "S." Colette just said, "Oh boy. We're going to the hospital." I followed with Mary and Liz and Zach's younger brother and sister.

Turned out it was a severe dislocation, possibly with tendon or other soft tissue damage. Before they were able to get it back in place we were given the ominous news that an artery was occluded and that they HAD to get it freed up. After more than one attempt it was finally put back in place and the artery freed by the orthopedist. What a relief!!! Especially for him!!

So.... here's my prayer request. The hand and arm is now in a splint and he's to keep it immobile for a week. Then he will see the doctor again. Zach really does not want to have surgery on his hand. Will you pray that there is no damage that can't heal on its own? That he can recover from this without surgery?

Thank you!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Homecoming!!!!!


This weekend was homecoming at our high school. Thankfully, there is no longer the expectation that those who go to homecoming go with "a date." It makes so much more sense to let anyone come with whomever they like or even come alone. Mary went with a group of her girlfriends and had a fun time dressing up!

Big sister Anne came over and worked on her hair.

Whoa. She's no little girl any more, that's for sure.

Anne's masterpiece hairdo...

Anne presenting Mary to the rest of us in the kitchen and gesturing for her to turn around.

I love this dress. She borrowed it from Anne who wore it to a high school dance. It's simple, elegant and pretty modest, much better than most of what's in the stores these days.


And... presenting Jim--- homecoming prince!


In the past I had always wondered if it's really necessary to do the whole homecoming king/queen/court thing in high schools. After all, don't the popular kids get their own reward without putting a crown on them?

Then, to her utter surprise, my daughter Anne was voted homecoming queen of her high school in 2003. It was such fun to see her so validated by her peers.

Then, this year, our Jim had the delightful surprise of being voted to the homecoming court. He was one of the princes. We were so excited for him!!! Kind-hearted, sweet, humble Jim !!! I guess his classmates have also noticed what a good guy he is!

As a mom, it is just so special to see one's children honored by their peers. It means so much to the kids. I just hope that all the students know how special they are, regardless of who gets voted what. It's God's regard that matters, after all, and we know how he feels about every one of us.

Here is Jim with one of the princesses, someone he happened to go to grade school with too.


Jim with all his sisters and future brother-in-law Zach. They were all sweet enough to come to the assembly with me to watch.

LOL. Yup, he's a fighting Irishman. And he's always been a prince in our book.

It was a really busy but very fun weekend.

Friday, October 09, 2009

So President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Like the innocent child in the fairy tale one wants to yell, "But the emperor has no clothes!!!"

Nuf said??!!??

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Life Chain!!! You have to stand up for the truth.

This is where we were on Sunday. (Actually, this is across the street from where we were.)

We've had a life chain in Ann Arbor every year for a number of years. Keep in mind that Ann Arbor is a very wacky, radical, liberal community. (Although I have to say I love it anyway, but not for that reason.) Our City Council once declared Ann Arbor a "Zone of Reproductive Freedom." It said that if abortion were ever declared illegal in Michigan, it would still be legal in Ann Arbor. It was stupid. It was embarrassing. It was like the Hash Bash kids that just can't seem to grow up.

Anyway, we always get yelled at and given obscene gestures during the Life Chain.

We also get a lot of friendly beeping, waving, and thumbs up signs. This year I thought the positives were much more frequent than the negatives. I was pleasantly surprised.


This was my favorite sign across the street. Can you read it? It says, "Don't support abortion with your vote. VOTE PRO-LIFE!" I love it. The people holding it are a good family from our church. My Liz is between two friends. She has the darker sign saying, "Pregnant Women Need Support, Not Abortion."


And sweet Mary on my side of the street. She's been coming to these life chains since she was a baby.
May the day come when we no longer need to do this. May people come to realize what a horrible offense abortion is against God. May life once again be recognized as the sacred gift from God that it is. Lord have mercy!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Jim is an Adult!!!

Jimbo is 18!!! Holy Moley.

I have come to the astonishing realization that I now have only two children who can't vote!!!!

The good news is there's another pro-life voter out there now. Wooohooo!


Jim is an awesome kid, if I do say so myself. He is kind and generous and very mature for his age. A real blessing to our family. He's applying to colleges right now with the intent to study theology and philosophy. Prayers for God's will in this area would be greatly appreciated!!!

Happy Birthday Jim!!!! (a couple days late!) We all love you a whole bunch!!!!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The arrest of Roman Polanski

I have been shocked to hear of the number of people protesting that Roman Polanski should not be prosecuted for the rape of a thirteen year old girl some thirty years ago.

Sorry if this has already been thoroughly discussed on the Internet.

The girl, who is now of course, a woman has forgiven him and would like the charges dropped. I don't see what that has to do with it. Who would want to relive such an experience? She was drugged and raped at the age of thirteen. In fact, I sympathize with what I'm sure is her horror at the thought of having to even talk about it again now.

But there is a larger question here. A question of justice. What kind of society dismisses such a horrible offense simply because the perpetrator managed to avoid prosecution for a long time? What kind of message is sent to pedophiles when a child rapist is excused because of the amount of time that has passed or because he is well respected in his field? He should be prosecuted and sent to jail for a very long time, in my opinion.

He's a child rapist, for heaven's sakes. Do you think the passage of time erased the wound to his victim's heart and soul? I am absolutely horrified that there are people defending this guy.

The French Culture Minister is reported in the L.A. times as saying,
"In the same way that there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America that has just shown its face."
A scary America, huh? Like the America that believes in principles of right and wrong? Like the America that thinks that abuse of children should never be excused? What's scary to me is that people could actually sympathize with someone who committed a crime of this magnitude. Now that's scary. Really scary.

Should Roman Polanski be prosecuted? Of course he should. What person with a conscience would think otherwise. Is there anyone reading this who disagrees???