Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yarn Along

Life is full speed ahead over here and the thing that keeps me calm is knitting. It is my stress reliever. The kids have started ballet and drama. That takes up three afternoons. The crock pot will be seeing action again after a long summer hiatus. It also means I have more time to knit while sitting and waiting for their classes to end. Peter has a 50/50 chance of falling asleep on the way to his sibling's activities, and if he does, then I have uninterrupted knitting time. If he doesn't, I try to bring something to hold his interest for at least part of the time.

I am currently working on three projects. A little white mouse. A soft, squishy, baby blanket. A pretty purple shawl. The baby blanket currently goes everywhere with me. I have the pattern memorized, and it is the one I need to finish first. The mouse sits on my desk, staring at me, waiting for me to make the rest of him. The shawl is for me, so it gets the least attention right now.

 I am currently reading "Don Camillo Takes the Devil by the Tail" by Giovanni Guareschi. I highly recommend this series about Don Camillo. Easy to read and most entertaining.

Joining Ginny, as usual.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


It rained for a week. Well, maybe not the whole time, but basically, it has been rainy, cloudy, gray, and gloomy all this week. While I was waiting it out indoors, fall arrived. I noticed it yesterday when the sun finally pushed through the clouds and I went to the park with the kids. Little yellow leaves were dotting the trees. The air felt different. Fall.

Today, on our morning walk to get some milk, eggs, and butter, a spiderweb caught my eye as we were walking out the door, which made me run back inside to grab the camera. Carefully observing God's beauty always makes me feel better. It is a sort of soul therapy. Maybe you could use some too? Take a look!

Yesterday was not a good day for her. She walked in front of someone swinging, she fell off the monkey bars, landing on her face, and the tears were many and the wails were slightly ear-splitting. She finally laid herself out on the play equipment and sobbed "Poor, sad me"! This morning found her in a similar mood.

They tend to walk ahead of me and the little ones, chatting about who knows what.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tripsdrill Birthday

Yesterday, Therese turned 5. She is the end of the "birthday season" and we can now return to our normal eating habits! We had been thinking of going to Legoland to celebrate the three birthdays, but the mere thought of driving for four hours was a huge deterrent to the adult population of our group. Looking for something closer in, I looked up the Technic Museum. We have been to the one in Speyer, but there is a second one in Sinsheim that happens to have two supersonic jets on the roof that you can explore. There was a ticket option to add Tripsdrill to the package. I had no idea what it even was, so I clicked on the link. It was an amusement park set up like a town in the 1800's. It was a lot closer. We skipped Speyer and spent the day at Tripsdrill. We had a great day.

We arrived at lunchtime. Keeping everyone occupied with the drink coasters.

Concentration is required.

I get this look a lot lately.


Come on Dad! Let's go!!

There is a slide inside the windmill. You ride down on a burlap sack.

The birthday girl got in free!

Ice cream! Yum!

These were called "wobbly bikes". The wheels were offset on some. On others, the pedals were attached to the rear wheel and the rear wheel turned, while the front wheel was stationary.

"When will we get to the roller coasters?"

Clearly, the ducks are a bigger hit with the little kids.

The Germans are smart. This play area is located just outside the entrance to the roller coasters. Peter hung out here while Tony and I took turns riding with the older kids. Even Therese was tall enough to ride.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Yesterday, we went the vigil Mass. I have been on my own this past week while Tony did his tuba thing in Switzerland. There was an acquaintance there who started chatting with me after Mass as I waited for Jack to finish up his duties as Altar Server. Until last night, we have always just made small talk, but for some reason, which I believe was the Holy Spirit, she told me that I am doing a good job, that no one is perfect, that it is all right to "mess up" sometimes. Out of the blue, I tell you!

Then I went to the Commissary to get our groceries for the week. Tony called to check in while we were going up and down the aisles, checking things off the list. Peter was crying and crying because he was tired and hungry. All of a sudden, Tony stopped telling me his story and said, "I love you for being so patient with all that crying going on. You are doing a great job". Peter eventually perked up after letting him eat an entire package of dried mangoes while getting the rest of items we needed. As I was checking out, the cashier observed our little family throwing things onto the conveyor with some amusement. She then looked me in the eye and asked with all sincerity, "How do you do it?" Without thinking, I replied, "With God's grace", to which she gave an emphatic "Amen!"  I tell you, I could feel God in all those exchanges. It led me back to the words of the priest tonight...

My heart has been heavy with worry and angst about so much lately, and I know that is not how God wants me to live. I have been searching for the "right" answers, but I haven't just sat with the one person who has the answers. Jesus. The priest in the confessional gently reminded me that anything that causes confusion is not from God. That I should place my focus on keeping my soul in a state of grace and helping my family to do the same. The rest of it I need to place in Jesus' hands.

The state of affairs in the world and the news lately have played a great part in that worry. I watched a movie this week while Tony was away titled "A Man Called Peter". It is the biography of a Protestant preacher named Peter Marshall. It was a beautiful movie, but the sermon about the dignity of women has been in my mind and heart all week. So much so that I feel compelled to share part of it with you here.

The emancipation of womanhood began with Christianity, and it ends with Christianity. It had its beginning one night nineteen hundred years ago when there came to a woman named Mary a vision and a message from heaven. She saw the rifted clouds of glory and the hidden battlements of heaven. She heard an angelic annunciation of the almost incredible news that she, of all the women on earth...of all the Marys in history...was to be the only one who should ever wear entwined the red rose of maternity and the white rose of virginity. It was told her--and all Keepers of the Springs know how such messages come--that she should be the mother of the Savior of the world.

It was nineteen hundred years ago "when Jesus Himself a baby deigned to be and bathed in baby tears His deity"...and on that night, when that tiny Child lay in the straw of Bethlehem, began the emancipation of womanhood.

When He grew up and began to teach the way of life, He ushered woman into a new place in human relations. He accorded her a new dignity and crowned her with a new glory, so that wherever the Christian evangel has gone for nineteen centuries, the daughters of Mary have been respected, revered, remembered, and loved, f or men have recognized that womanhood is a sacred and a noble thing, that women are of finer clay...are more in touch with the angels of God and have the noblest function that life affords. Wherever Christianity has spread, for nineteen hundred years men have bowed and adored.

It remained for the twentieth century, in the name of progress, in the name of tolerance, in the name of broadmindedness, in the name of freedom, to pull her down from her throne and try to make her like a man.

She wanted equality. For nineteen hundred years she had not been equal--she had been superior. But now, they said, she wanted equality, and in order to obtain it, she had to step down. And so it is, that in the name of broadminded tolerance, a man's vices have now become a woman's.
Twentieth-century tolerance has won for woman the right to become intoxicated, the right to have an alcoholic breath, the right to smoke, to work like a man to act like a man--for is she not man's equal? Today they call it "progress"...but tomorrow,oh, you Keepers of the Springs, they must be made to see that it is not progress.

No nation has ever made any progress in a downward direction. No people ever became great by lowering their standards. No people ever became good by adopting a looser morality. It is not progress when the moral tone is lower than it was. It is not progress when purity is not as sweet. It is not progress when womanhood has lost its fragrance. Whatever else it is, it is not progress!

If you want to read the sermon in its entirety, go here. But really, watch the movie!

There is a very cute three year old that needs me to play Sneaky, Snacky, Squirrel with him. Right now. So I must say good-bye!