Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Music

The "Fiddlers Three" played twice over the weekend: first was an outdoor concert for the Woodson Chapel. Great crowd and good picnic food. We also listened to "Benjamin Jackson" band. Their second gig was for the Savannah United Methodist Church, which held a MOPS kick-off luncheon.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Special Dessert

Tracy could easily run her own gourmet restaurant, but that would mean she would have to quit her job in food & nutrition. Here's the elaborate dessert she presented at the end of her 4-course meal Sunday night. It tasted as elegant as it looked.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Grandma's Saint Name

Tuesday was Grandma Judy's birthday and also the feast of Saint Louis of France. His life is a wonderful example of a leader who ensured justice for the poor, so I emailed the story to Meggar and Grandma Judy. In all these years, I never put 2 and 2 together... my mother's middle name is Louise -- of course! She says the parish priest was good about encouraging new parents to follow the Catholic tradition of naming your child after the saint whose feast day they are born on. Meggar's French class was just studying the masculine and feminine spellings of names, too!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Club and a Movie

Last week, my book club met to discuss "The Secret Life of Bees," and tonight we watched the movie. Our group talked a bit about their own Mothers, depression, bees, and the variety of honey-themed recipes. Excellent book. The movie is appropriately a tear-jerker. Queen Latifa is perfect as "August" with her august personality and gentle matriarchy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Starting School

Our eldest is a SENIOR??!*#?!
She knows the routine, and is expected to keep it all written on the pink destop calendar. The new pink word magnets are for encouragement -- or sarcasm, which Meggar claims is "the spice of life."
Ninth Grade -- another one starts high school. Dorito is diving into Kolbe Academy honors courses and classical literature with a good attitude.
Polar Bear is ready for 6th grade and hopes I won't cut his hair too often so he can look "cool." He is the first one who can spell easily, like his Mother.
Winger likes following instructions and getting done with his school work as quickly as possible.
St. Thomas More, patron of our Home School, pray for us.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hockey Try-outs

Dorito was chosen for the Bantam "A" travel team with Line Creek Saints. He earned the nick-name "Big 15" and is truly the biggest player on the team. This is his first time to make the travel squad, and he is excited.

Polar Bear and Winger are also thrilled with their offer to play on the Pee Wee "AA" team at Pepsi Stars. This will be their third year to play Pee Wee travel, and all they are worried about it choosing new numbers for their hockey jerseys.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Napa Valley

Captain and I stayed with the wineries we already know we like: Praeger, Peju, St. Clement, and Hagafen. We bought plenty to restock our wine cabinet and share with friends. At mealtimes, it was fun to try new vintages and new restaurants. The French place was almost too fancy. The best lunch was on the patio at St. Clement. Our cheese and baguette was perfect with their wine and the view!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Funky Shoes

These are Meggar's new shoes from Paris. Captain called them
"funky." You can just barely see the pink stripe around the lower edge in this photo, but the pink is essential to her wardrobe. Plus they are comfortable with *very* soft insoles.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Captain's Birthday

Number 44-and all he wants is a rain guage. No kidding. It's probably the only tool he doesn't own. Dorito was awarded one at Nodaway Valley Bank yesterday when he opened his checking account! (We love that Bank!) I gave it to Captain myself, when I flew out to California this evening. I was enrolling Meggar in a college class and praying for my flight to be slow in boarding. What do you know? It was delayed an hour for mechanical difficulties (blame it on the Lourdes water that Meggar gave me). I missed the first connection in Denver, but still made it to San Francisco by 9:00 pm for a fancy dinner at "Coi." They feature a tasting menu with 11 courses. Complex flavors + exotic presentation = mind-boggling meal.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Food Movie is Tasty Treat

Meggar invited me to the movies! So, I invited Dee! Meggar had already read "Julie & Julia" and was eager to see the French sites and movie sets. I love Meryl Streep in anything, and I am a devoted blogger. Dee is a gourmet chef and went with me to see Ina Garten last year. So it was a recipe for success. We LOVED it! My recommendation is to have the ingredients thawed and ready for "Beef Bourguignon" as soon as you get home from the movie. Now I have to choose between Julia's recipe and Ina's.

First Day of School

We organized our school desks and books for the coming year, does that count as a day of "schooling"? The twins traded seats from last year and sharpened their pencils. I am resigned to taking the phonics and cursive charts off the wall as everyone has "grown up" now. Dorito upgraded to a high-school desk calendar and syllabus. He also followed our family tradition and opened his own checking account this afternoon. It comes with a debit card, a sure sign of power to any teen. It's his money from his lawn-mowing, violin teaching, and hockey refereeing. Meggar chose her elective credits herself, and I think she feels more in control of her senior year. She is waiting to hear back from the college French department whether she can dual enroll for the fall. She promises that Domitille will help her practice conversations over the Skype telephone every week.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Penny Log

Today, I found a nickel on the sidewalk as I went to buy the Sunday paper. It reminds me "In God We Trust" like always. So glad that Meggar is home safe and sound. She brought us a coin from the Lourdes Grotto, too.

Meggar's Homecoming

"Found Meggar. Funky shoes," was the happy text from Captain at the KCI airport. She did have funky French tennis shoes on. (photo to follow) They cost her 40 Euros! But they are stylish and comfy. Her homecoming started with a Festival Burger, which is a secret recipe of hamburger mixed with pork sausage, apples, and onions--then fried to perfection. Meggar said she was in American heaven eating it. They don't have fast food in France, only slow food. We all stayed up until midnight looking at her souvenirs, crammed into every square inch of both suitcases. We're glad she is home.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Feast of the Assumption

Also known as the Dormition of the Theotokos, today we celebrate the death and assumption into heaven of Mary the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven.

The week was also the saint days of Maximilian Kolbe (pictured) and St. Theresa Benedicta, both of whom died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz for their Catholic witness. Our homeschool curriculum is dedicated to St. Kolbe, and we ask for his prayers for the upcoming school year.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Writing to Congress

"The backlash isn't fabricated, and those expressing vocal opposition are not 'un-American.' The more the American people learn about the Democrats' health care bill, the less they like it." --From House Minority Leader John Boehner Given they are home on summer recess, I wrote to my representative and two senators this morning. It's heartening to know so many others are also genuinely concerned.

Stewartsville Fall Festival

A great way to end the summer--with The Fiddlers Three!
These young musicians played shakers and harmonica for the "Red Haired Boy" hoe down.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bon Jour, Sister

Her flight was delayed coming out of Paris, so we are changing plans for her arrival at KCI tonight. Coincidentally, she was seated by Domi's cousins on the same flight back to Chicago! She had met them at the wedding in Krakow. They have two daughters, age 15 and 11. Leah speaks very good English, Meggar said. And they plan to meet up this winter during a hockey tournament.

Hear the Report

Meggar is due to return this evening, and I thought you might like to see this article in the August issue of iTeenKC about her and Domitille. You can read it here on pg 4. Megan feels very blessed to have made such a good friend this summer.
---- also ----
*Pictures of Paris:
*Stories of my Summer Exchange*

You are invited to come and hear about Meggar’s trip
on Sunday evening, August 23
starting at 7:00 pm
at the Pony Express Museum
French cookies and refreshments will be served

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Letter to a Hockey Sister

Dear Meggar,
I know you are coming home tomorrow and Mom is getting sentimental. I need to let you in on might need to stay a little longer while I repair and repaint your room. The boys and I decided while you were gone we would turn your room into a ice rink. Wow, never did I think the electric bills would be so high keeping that ice from melting! Reid only complained once about the wasps. David was always concerned about the ongoing slush and Ben just made sure he looked good with his long curly hair. Ahh, the memories with Megan away on her trip to France.

Seriously, we miss you too. I hope you see that our love for you is in our rules. We only want the best in your future and I know your senior year will be one of many great memories. See you soon.
P.S. I moved those old records on your wall just slightly to cover up the puck holes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Visit from a Hummingbird

It's wasn't clear to me until I took this photo, but I was visited by a Sphinx humming- bird moth just about sundown. It clearly likes the sweetness of my tuber roses by the back porch.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Best Friend's Birthday

Dorito was happy to stop in for the birthday party at Owen's house on Sunday. Big number 7 for his best buddy.

He also attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Richard B, who was his den chief.

Missouri Celebrates Statehood

On this day in 1821, Missouri became the 24th state of the Union.
Happy 188th Birthday to us!
Salus populi suprema ex esto.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Photo from Idaho

Captain spent time in Idaho last week, with a rare and wonderful opportunity to meet up with his cousin Mike at the Sulfur Creek Ranch. Mike is also a jet pilot, and we probably haven't seen him since his wedding in 1996 or so. They met for an early breakfast and flew into the backcountry in Mike's Cessna 182. Captain said, "I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this morning’s flight! He convinced me to never sell my 182… what a great airplane. We went into places so pristine, and only accessible by grass landing strips."

Mike now serves as the director of aviation for the State of Idaho, enjoying the chance to spend more time with his wife and three children. They also shared news about their parents... "The article in Rudder Flutter brought me to a new understanding of what your dad endured during his Air Force career. I never knew the full details of his capture and never realized he was so close to death," Captain reported via email. "You must be proud and honored to have him as your father! I’m anxious to share his story with my family. I want them to appreciate the sacrifices which our parent’s generation sacrificed for our country. I hope in the future we can post some ski photos from McCall sharing the slopes with the Pape family."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Captain Had a Long Week

It started off with a trip to Urgent Care for stitches only 2 hours before his departure. Captain was putting away the hockey nets when it sliced over the top of his shoe and big toe. He now holds the family record for "Most Stitches"--and of course, it was a Hockey-related accident! I think he toughed it out because it happened at an ice rink. He managed to get his dress shoes on and fly the jet, but then his foot swelled overnight. Didn't get much sleep for a couple of nights. We sent comforting emails and text messages. Tomorrow is the ninth and final day of this trip, so we are all looking forward to pampering him when he gets home.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Finding a French Bakery

After Winger's eye appointment at the Plaza and the bad news about his worsening lazy eye condition, we drove through Westport looking for the French bakery that Dee had recommended. Napolean's lived up to its fine reputation! We ate his Brioche and Cream Cheese Croissants on the spot. Meggar will love going there--she gets back from France next week.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Staining Job

The early morning shade is perfect for staining the hot tub. Brendan helped with the top edge, and the twins did the base.
Dorito did the vertical pieces.
A little back
ground music.... jokes.... and one hour later, it was finished!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meggar Goes to Lourdes

I called and found Meggar at "home." We had a nice phone conversation over the computer. She went to Lourdes early today! It is a 2-hour's drive away, and the whole family went along with cousin John (who is Claire's brother). They visited all three churches and the grotto, despite the crowds and the heat. Meggar was surprised how the grounds are the size of Worlds of Fun! She bought holy water bottles and said she spent her last Euro...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Feast of St. John Vianney

Today is the "birthday into heaven" of Saint John Vianney, the French pastor from Ars. He also was chosen by Pope Benedict as the model for this "Year of the Priest." My family was able to complete the requirements for the Plenary Indulgence, as my boys are serving at weekday mass all this week. What a joy to be able to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his death and pray for the holy work of priests in America, France, and around the world.

It is also the birthday of President Barack Obama, whose conversion remains in our prayers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Runners Get Ready

Cousin Brendan is staying here all week. Here, he and Reid are stretching out for a 3-mile run to get ready for high school sports next week. Polar Bear and Winger decided bikes were an easier way to keep pace.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gospel Reflections

I couldn't help but think that Jesus was talking to the First Democrats in today's Gospel. They wanted another free lunch!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mic-o-Say Dancer

Dorito danced for the first time at Mic-o-Say with his own costume. Thanks to Alexander and Dave for the pointers on costume construction.

He is spending this weekend at Camp Geiger on staff for Cub Scout Resident's Camp. The theme was "Pony Express Rides Again" so the Fiddlers Three performed some 1860s songs around the campfire. (Do you think Wife passed for Meggar? It was dark.)