Saturday, June 28, 2008

12 Wonderful Years...

Years ago You took two selfish, self-centered people
and taught us to put You
at the center of our hearts and marriage.
You taught us to take our problems to You first,
then each other.
You taught us the delight of putting our
mate's needs over our own.
You taught us to serve one another in love.
Your taught us that sharing disappointments and pain
was another side of sharing our love.
We have experienced the sweetness
that together we're stronger than either one alone.
From the wellsprings of my heart,
thank You, Lord.

A Very Good Question...

Now here's a question that begs to be answered.
Anyone? Anyone?

A very Good Question...

Friday, June 27, 2008


Well, we went to doctor today and Brendan does, indeed have Strep. He is on an antibiotic and should be fine in a day or two. This leads me to the conclusion that Tim and John probably both have Strep too. I looked it up on the internet, because the doctor wasn't worried and of course I have to have something to worry about, and there were several entries there about Rheumatic Fever, which occurs every so often in people who have untreated Strep. I think I am going to ask the doc for a course of antibiotics for John. I know doctors are much more conservative about prescribing them because of all the resistant bugs out there, and John has totally recovered. Hmmm...
Suzanne, what would you do?
Anyway, I have been here, at home with many germs and boys and Veggies, and I just wanted to treat anyone who cares to a little of what we have been experiencing. Watch...If you dare....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Who Said Life was Fair?

I should post a nice long blog about all the things we have been doing with ourselves this week, but I'm afraid there's not much to put into it.
Sunday was nice, we got up to the pool and the boys had a nice long swim.
But all of life is not Sun and Fun, is it?

Monday morning John and Tim woke up with sore throats and fevers, and it's just been a long week at home.
We were supposed to go to the movies and see "The Pirates who Don't Do Anything". It was a free movie and it sounded fun. We never watch the Veggies any more. Well, John felt so rotten that I went down to the library and got out all the Veggie movies that we hadn't seen, (there are quite a few) just to make him laugh. Don't know where I had gotten the idea that he had gotten too old for them, I'm still entertained! We don't spend a whole lot of time in front of the screens, so this was diverting. The other big treat for sickies is that they are allowed to play their DS games in the house, which is an activity that is usually reserved for the car or appointments. They love to play inside because they can play "wireless" against each other. It does help them pass the time.

Brendan gave me quite a scare this evening with his version of the bug. He has had it since Wednesday, and he is really not a complainer, so I figured that he was just going to have the same symptoms as John and it would go about the same way. I had been checking his temp today off and on, but somewhere between about 2 and 6, his fever went up to 105.8!
Scared me to death! He looked ok, and he wasn't lethargic, so we got him into a lukewarm bath and I called the doctor. She said to overlap Motrin and Tylenol and keep him cool. The fever went down pretty quickly, but I am still a bundle of nerves. I am probably going to take him in for a strep test tomorrow, although Tim thinks that the sore throat isn't nearly that bad, and John has come through it without complications. It just hangs on for so long!
I am waiting to see if Paul is coming down with it.

So summer is going to have to wait. No swimming this week!
We'll see how the weekend goes...
We were supposed to go out Saturday for our Anniversary but I think, considering the circumstances, we may have to postpone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Suggestions...

I have started lining up my summer entertainment and I just wanted to post about a couple of titles.

Our Book Study group has chosen "Mistaken Identity", an amazing story about two girls who were in a horrible accident and were mistaken for each other. You may have seen it in the news. The story is really a testimony of the Faith of two families and the way they were lifted up and carried through a really traumatic, life changing experience. It is available at the library, but I put in the link so that you can get more info on the story. I couldn't put it down!

I watched "Becoming Jane" , a sweet and reasonably believable movie about the early life of Jane Austen. One of the things that I found interesting is that Anne Hathaway says that she has read everything by Jane Austen and wrote her senior thesis on some aspect of her life. An appropriate casting choice. If you are a Jane Austen fan, I strongly recommend it. The bonus material is great too!
Here's more...
Like Molière, which was released in theaters around the same time, Becoming Jane isn't a conventional biopic. Instead, Julian Jarrold (White Teeth) expands on events from Jane Austen's life that may have shaped her fiction. To his credit, he doesn't stray too far from the facts. In 1795, 20-year-old Jane (Anne Hathaway with believable British accent) is an aspiring author. Her parents (Julie Walters and James Cromwell) married for love, and money is tight. They hope to see their youngest daughter make a more lucrative match, and there's a besotted local, Mr. Wisley (Laurence Fox, son of actor James Fox), who would be happy to oblige. Unfortunately, Jane isn't interested. Then, she meets brash law student Tom (The Last King of Scotland's James McAvoy), while he's staying with relatives in rural Hampshire. As in many Austen novels, it isn't love at first sight--but rather irritation. Just as affection begins to bloom, Tom has to return to London, and Wisley, whose financial prospects are superior, proposes. To complicate matters, Tom's uncle (Ian Richardson in his final performance) disapproves of the outspoken young lady just as much as Wisley's aunt (Maggie Smith, lending the proceedings some subtle humor). Had Austen penned the script, Tom and Wisley would be combined into one person, but life doesn't work that way--and nor does Becoming Jane. Though Jarrold's effort may not be as swoon-worthy as Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice, it remains true to the spirit of the author's work. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

I am reading "Main Street", by Sinclair Lewis, again after many years. It was one of my favorites when I took Lit. and I wanted to read it again now that I have been around the block! I am really getting a kick out of it. The way he's great.

I am just enjoying having some time to read while the boys swim.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Ten year old, a Conference, and a Festival

I am about ready to fall into bed so this is going to be quick.

The last few days have been so busy, but a good busy.

Thursday was John's 10th birthday. I would say I can't believe he is ten, but he looks like he is twelve, so I guess I'm kind of prepared. When your son says your shoes are too small for him, you have to figure he is growing up.
He had a great day and I am very proud of the nice kid that he is turning into. He is so responsible and reliable.

Yesterday I went to DC with a few friends to the "Immaculate Heart of Mary" Homeschool Conference. It was really a great day! Great company and a chance to browse and compare materials. I am happy to say that I think I have bought almost all my books for next Fall. I still have to get Paul a new Math book. That publisher doesn't go to that conference. And I think I am going to put a year of Earth Science in between Astronomy and Botany. It just seems to make sense. My friend Chrisie has a text that I was very impressed with and I think we will be able to get together once a month or so to do an activity. That should be nice for the boys.
I did a LOT of comparison shopping yesterday and I ended up with mostly Seton English materials, which is so funny because I used them when I started the girls! The Spelling and English books are just too good. They have changed the Spelling book dramatically. It is so much better. The English workbooks are excellent too.
We will still do Abeka and Saxon math, Faith and Life, and the History programs that I have been using.

Today was the annual Strawberry Festival at Good Shepherd, or most of it.
Paula and Maria Hoppel and I manned the craft table, and I think the kids enjoyed it.
They loved making buttons and Foam craft projects. The beading was popular as well.
The turnout looked good. The Knights had their food booth and Tim said at one point they were selling hamburgers and hot dogs as fast as they could grill them. The boys just ran all over the place doing all the kids activities. It was all fun and games until about 6:00 when someone came running through and said to get all the kids stuff put away because we were under a severe thunderstorm watch and there were supposed to be high winds and hail. We scrambled to get everything put away and then I grabbed the boys just as the weather hit. The wind and rain kicked up and Tim stayed behind to help take down the tents. It was over pretty fast, considering, but Tim said at one point the lightning was hitting all around. So I guess everything came to an abrupt end. I hope they made enough money.

Well, I am going to hit the sack.
I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A New Take on an old Song...

This is such a neat perspective.
I love the way the video points out the real source of Love!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Different Approach!

Here is something that Mom and Dad and I are collaborating on in an effort to advertise the Farm.
It's a Freewebs website, we are calling it Buy The Farm, for now, and I am adding things to it daily. We want to get the Journal going and I have lots more pictures to add, but if anyone wants to check it out and bookmark it, feel free!
You never know who you might be able to share it with!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

All Good Things...

Well, we are home again.
We had a wonderful week! The House was gorgeous, the beach was spectacular, the weather was perfect, and the time together as a family was precious.

Laura and Andrew were so generous with so many things.
Andrew bought the boys a great kite!
We flew it on the beach and they have plans to take it to a park.
Laura bought me a lighthouse puzzle. I haven't put it together yet, but I will soon.
Andrew took John out for an afternoon of fishing and bought lures for all the boys.
Laura took us all down to the beach and we did family photographs. It will be the perfect thing to make a "vacation" book.
It was so nice to have the time together with the Cooke family. We don't see them nearly enough.
Lucy just kept us all laughing all week.

Still, I am very glad to be home.
There are so many things that you appreciate so much more when you have been away.
Our house is not fancy. It's rather worn around the edges. There are things we make do with.
There is no beach.
Still I learned to love it even more while we were gone. Some of the things I am thankful for:
No dishwasher. I know, inexplicable. It's just me.
No TV!! There was a TV in every room in the vacation house. The boys had a great time watching Animal Planet when it was allowed, but they also spent a lot of time playing, swimming, reading, and talking. I'm so glad they like to do all those things.
A/C window units. I was freezing most of the time we were inside. It was so nice to get back to our house where we have cool spots and warmer spots.

I would like a beach...

It was just a great time away and we hope to do it again next year. We will have to see who would like to join us...

Here are a few more pictures of the last couple of days:Brendan helping Andrew launch his new trick kite.

Andrew and Paul racing in the peewee grand prix.

John, a very serious driver.

And Brendan in his own race.

John's sandcastle.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Wright stuff and missing colonists...

Tried to post this last night...

Day two... the tourist chronicles.

This morning we decided to make a day of it and do all of our sightseeing.
We knew we wanted to see Kill Devil Hill and the Wright Bros. flight memorial, and I had been wanting to go down to Roanoke Island and see the site of the "Lost Colony". Since driving on the Outer Banks is rather a chore (everything is on one road and the speed limits are...low) we thought we would just head South and do it all in one day.

The Wright Brothers exhibit is really something. This is a piece of the original plane that they flew. It was carried to the moon on one of the Apollo missions. The boys loved seeing the visitors center and the markers that mark the flights. That was really neat. It was kind of a long walk though, and when we turned around and I told them that we were going to walk up the hill to the monument, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the younger two. They did make it, however and Brendan's legs did NOT fall off, as he had predicted they would.

The view from Kill Devil Hill is just gorgeous! There is so much to see.
Lucy is such a little trooper.

After we had seen all that there was to see there, we went to lunch and then down to the site of the first English settlement
at Roanoke Island. You can read more about that here. Needless to say, the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the whole colony leaves the site with an air of mystery, but not a lot to see. The Elizabethan Gardens were put there to mark the place where the colony was.
It is a fascinating story.

After we left Roanoke we came back up North to Corolla and had dinner. Laura made wonderful Chicken Enchiladas!
Then everyone went down to the beach so that Andrew could try out his new kite and the boys could fly the one that they got from Andrew and Laura. It flies like a dream!

Now we are all getting sleepy and I have to get up early. Tomorrow is my day to cook.
I'll post a few more pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

We're havin' fun now!

Oh, we lost our internet last night and I couldn't post this so here it is.

What a great day, and what a Blest one.
We had sun, fun and a wonderful Mass to top it all off!

The boys were up and swimming early this morning. The pool was a bit chilly but they didn't care!
They are totally into this vacation thing!

We headed to the beach at about 10:30 and there was practically no one there. The boys and Lucy and Ben played in the surf and sand and collected shells until we had to come home for lunch. We must have gone through a can of sunscreen! We were keeping an eye on the waves because the tide was coming in and if there's anything I have learned from growing up near the water, it's "never turn your back on the waves". Andrew did. He got his...

After lunch the boys had another swim in the pool. Lucy went in and loved it! She is going to be a little fish! The boys were dunking each other and Tim and splashing everyone. It's a good thing everyone here is so patient!

Dinner was wonderful! Lou Miller made a ham and all the trimmings. We all have to cook one dinner and one breakfast this week. We told her she set the bar pretty high the first night!

After dinner The Merkel's headed down to Kitty Hawk to go to Mass. We got caught in a really wild storm. I was getting a little concerned because we hadn't found the church and the roads appeared to be flooding. We found the right street and turned the corner and the church rose out of the storm. Wow! I was never so Thankful! Mass was wonderful and Fr Walsh is a very nice man. He is familiar with Havre de Grace and knows Fr Paul Henry.

So that is the end of our first day of vacation.

So now we are winding down.