Friday, May 31, 2013

Graduation Mass

The Catholic homeschoolers had a mass for graduating seniors!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Essentials

We bought Dorito some extra swim trunks for his lifeguarding job.
And we ordered new gloves for the twins. Winger and Polar Bear were known for their red gloves on the Russell Stover team (but those leather palms are worn to shreds now). Look at the fancy TPH gloves that say "Thunder" on the bands.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Math Placement

Dorito finally completed all the math placement tests for K-State. The Calculus exam froze in the middle and by the time the college called him back, it was timed out. So he had to start over with a new set of problems. It was like taking 1.5 Calc placement tests. He got more than half correct! Plus he had to take their College Algebra placement test. He answered nearly all those questions correctly. The advisor called and said he could be in Math 220: Calc I for the fall semester! Hooray!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tooth Aches

Poor Meggar has had some headaches ever since her root canal was done in October during fall break. I took her back over Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, spring break, and no one could find the trouble. Sometimes it was hot and cold sensitive and sometimes it was bite sensitive, but rather hit-and-miss on the symptoms on different days of the week. She was in the most pain ever over the Memorial Day weekend. An emergency x-ray showed infection in the root canal and possibility of needing another root canal! Not easy to deal with when our dental insurance covers the western side of the state, and she is living on the eastern side of the state. More antibiotics until she is back home in a couple of weeks for repair work.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Club and Conversion

Conversion is at the center of the story of Saint Augustine's Confessions. So I am nervous that my book club will be discussing it tomorrow--particularly since half of the women are not Catholic. Yet it was chosen because it's regarded as a classic pillar of Western Civilization. I love the straight-forward nature of the book, and I have read it multiple times with my high school juniors. It starts with a great message for them about peer pressure (in the pear tree theft). And St. Augustine talks about friendship, death, fidelity, and honoring his mother. For his time, he was brilliantly educated, well connected at Court, and becomes humble. He was a sinner, like St. Paul, who resisted the true God for years. He was so restless for answers, but thought he was better than the "average Joe." Not until he heard the preaching of St. Ambrose did he start to see the light. Another reason we need good preachers in our post-modern age of skepticism and secularism.
"Thou hast formed us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Family Ties

Captain didn't realize his great grandparents were also buried at St. Joseph of the Valley cemetery. We visited their grave, too, near the front by the very first cross.
Anna and Eugene Chmidling were not immigrants, but lived all their lives in Leavenworth County.  Gr. Don also told us how to find their house (which we drove by on the way home). We learned that Anna was a twin, but no one remembers about her sister. Their son Leo changed the spelling to Schmidling, but Don said he was not allowed to ask his father why he made that decision. Interesting family secrets legends. Perhaps his sister Wilma will have more information (she is the historian in the family). That's my summer goal.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wedding Bells

We played another outdoor wedding complete with Pachabel's Canon in D and Bouree by Bach for the daughter of our banker.
Then we played more classical music for the outdoor cocktail hour. My sons looked so formal, and they did really well with the wind and the sunset in their faces.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day for Schmidlings

We will try to visit the graves in Easton, Kan. sometime this weekend. We will decorate the grave of our infant son Kendall, alongside  Gr. Gr. Leo (who served in WWI). There's also Maurice Sr. and Vincent (both served in WWII). There are few Schmidling men left -- so I thought it would be a good time to post the recent photo of Captain with his cousin Craig (actually his dad and Dale are the cousins). Luckily, they both have sons to carry on the family name ... and to continue the KSU tradition. I guess I like this photo so much because I like unity.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Another Vote for Boy Scouts

Today was another vote regarding homosexual membership in Boy Scouts of America. Dorito wore his Eagle Scout pin to witness in public while at Worlds of Fun, and of course we all prayed during our rosary yesterday. At noon today, I held fast to the Psalm from today's readings -- it was quite appropriate.

Psalms 1:1-
Blessed the man who follows not
The counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
Nor sits in the company of the insolent,

But delights in the law of the LORD
And meditates on his law day and night.
He is like a tree
Planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
And whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.

Not so, the wicked, not so;
They are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
But the way of the wicked vanishes.

Unfortunately, the outcome of the vote is not as prudent as I was hoping BSA would be. The twins are convinced that since they earned their Eagle Award under the old values, they can still be proud to wear it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Part Two - Girls Weekend Away

While the boys were off to Atlanta for golf and hockey, I spent the whole 4-day weekend with Meggar in St. Louis. Girly time! We poked around in an antique store, bought some bargains at the consignment Scholar Shop, browsed wedding magazines for her internship, cooked together, watched a movie, read books, and talked a bunch. On Saturday, I was the "Assistant Intern" for simply & forever --helping with an outdoor wedding for 300 guests. We arrived at 10 a.m. to begin setting up the 31 tables, 300 folding chairs, blue table cloths, napkins, centerpieces, candles, cards, potted plants, grand piano, ice cream bar, and lanterns. No one predicted the 80-degree temperatures (ugh). It was very beautiful. Meggar helped the bride stay calm and cool, and moved the violin trio to a shady spot, and stole me a cupcake before dinner time :-) She is going to be a great event planner in her own right!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Weekend Away

We left early on Thursday morning for a secret destination, but now that we are back I can spill the beans about attending the TPH Hockey tryouts in Atlanta, Georgia. Our first stop was not a surprise: lunch in St. Louis with Meggar and Spencer. We enjoyed sandwiches at a very authentic "Mom's Deli" and sat at the outdoor picnic tables. Then Captain and our three sons were off on their "man-cation." First, they played golf at Gateway National Golf Links (it was "really beautiful" according to Winger and you can see the Arch in the background).
Dorito had the low score of the four-some!
Next day, they golfed in Atlanta at the Bobby Jones Golf Course. Again, Dorito won the low score of the group! He was so-ooooooo happy about it, too (until he got home and realized he left his 8-iron on some putting green ... it was not turned into lost-and-found as of Monday).
Hockey tryouts went really, although the twins played on separate squads for the four scrimmages. They had some fun confusing their teammates about which twin was which. Plus Polar Bear found someone to chirp with! Winger met a boy whose Dad is an official for the NHL games (wow!) and Dorito shuttled them back and forth to restaurants during breaks so Captain could keep an eye on ALL the games/competition. In the end, they were picked! And TPH was their top choice, so it's a true cause for celebration. We had back-up plans for Phoenix or Milwaukee or Denver or nothing.... We talked the whole way home--13 hours!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Graduation Gifts

I made these little gifts for the other seniors. Lots of graduates celebrating!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Comments Over Tea

We needed to catch up before the next round of finals, so my friend Constance came over for tea this afternoon. The pool is open, but we chose to sit inside instead. We nibbled on Bischoff cookies and sipped Irish Breakfast Tea. I certainly enjoyed the little break. We analyzed motherhood, medical issues, and music concerts. We reflected on the next book club selection: Confessions by St. Augustine. I'm obviously looking forward to summer -- as soon as all our school work is completed.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Last Day of High School

Breakfast at 7:00 a.m. Three eggs (in a variety of ways). Last time for Dorito. He headed off to his last 3-hour robotics class at Hillyard Technical Center. He has been looking forward to this final day and is taking Krispy Kremes to celebrate! (tomorrow I will sleep in)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tough to be a Teenage Boy

First the bad news:
My boys have had more than a couple of tough experiences lately. But they are learning to take the high road. We used the famous verse of encouragement from Matthew 5:11-12 -- 
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Good job, boys!
Today, they focused on an episode of "Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout?" which they discovered on YouTube. Sometimes reality TV can be fortifying.
And there is some more good news:
Dorito was called and invited to join the staff of Camp Geiger for this summer. What a dream come true! (They needed more staffers who were age 18 and older, and Dorito's birthday is about a month away.) He will work as a lifeguard and get seven weeks of free room and board plus $600 in addition to the amount of PRESTIGE given to all staffers. Not huge wages, but the fact he won't be eating at my table is noteworthy. Good job, son!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

We had supper with the Schmidling girls: Sherry, me, Denise, Gr. Elizabeth, Kathy, and Lindsey (Patty's daughter who just graduated).
For Mother's Day I also received chocolate-covered strawberries, big hugs, a nap, batch of Morel mushrooms, sweet Twitter messages from hockey boys, and a long phone call from Meggar. Wonderful!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Internship with Wedding Planner

Meggar had her first wedding today! She is the intern for a wedding planning duo in St. Louis while one partner is on maternity leave. Today's young couple had met at a library -- so books were their
decorating theme for the reception tables.
She sent me a photo of the cute cake topper -- complete with Jane Austen and Harry Potter.

Name of Business: Simply & Forever

Friday, May 10, 2013

Busy Days

This week, we spent time with family and graduates -- six parties in all, including Connor Schmidling (a future K-Stater).
Then there were also three shows for "The Fiddlers Three" including the Altar Society Mother-Daughter Supper at St. James, the Kendallwood Hospice Memorial Service, and the YWCA Women of Excellence Reception (where we saw honorees Molly, Holly, Sydney, and Kappy.)
Winger worked pretty hard at physical therapy, extending his injured/bent elbow from 38' to 22' to 12' to 8' on just one week. He was thrilled to return to hockey practice and go full out.
Lastly, the twins and I taught Pony School for 22 homeschoolers from Mound City all day today.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cause It's the Cup!

The Stanley Cup play-offs began last week for the National Hockey League. Good thing the games are in the evenings or we wouldn't be able to get any school work done. Their "Blues" shirts are put on for each game as our three boys crowd into Buffalo Wild Wings. (That's the only place with the premium channel since our Game Center subscription expired after regular season.) The amount of Twitter messages coming from their three cell phones has increased 400% -- yet they are seated next to each other at the table?! It is thrilling to see them eat, sleep, and dream about hockey.
Last week, we had traveled to Kirksville to hear Meggar's junior piano recital. First thing after the concert, they were peppering Spencer with questions about the Blues goalie, the shoot-out, and the post-season trading of players! *Sheesh* Don't they know that music is the priority?!?
Two days ago, I found out the Schmids were the last ones to leave BWW at closing time--near midnight--and were 3 of only 5 customers watching NHL! (We don't exactly live in hockey country.) Captain tells me it it is alright to bend the rules a little bit--cause it's #TheCup!
Tonight, the Blues were knocked out of the bracket by the L.A. Kings (last year's champions). The Detroit Redwings are still in play. The Sedin twins are also hoping their Vancouver team has a chance.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Friends and Family

Many friends and relatives joined us this weekend to celebrate with Dorito. How special that all four grandparents could come to his recital or the open house! And many cousins! It is a wonderful feeling to share your happiness with those who are closest to you. Despite the windy/rainy weather, we had plenty of good food and fun conversations.
Here's the violin cake we served (Winger was my proud baking assistant).
Dorito received two memorable engineering gifts -- a dial caliper from a Ford Motor engineer and an antique drafting set from his Leonard grandparents. Treasures for many years!
There was also a pair of purple headphones, purple bath towels, and a purple KSU portfolio to help him enjoy the next few years!
Dorito made the rounds by talking to everyone all afternoon. It felt nice to see him laugh over lunch with several friends from Scouting (the most important times from high school). And he has become better friends with some of the homeschool seniors whom he hardly knew before this year. The "in crowd" might have left him out, but he rather enjoyed some of the others (who were also left out), and he was truly blessed by those friendships!
The programs from last night's violin recital were on the display table all day. And people wrote well wishes in the matching booklet. Like Mr Brown said (he was our emcee at the recital) music is a special gift of the heart. I've been truly lucky this weekend (after 16 years of homeschooling) to see the contented look on the faces of my children (who played beautifully together).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Graduation for Dorito

With a rose, diploma, hugs, and then
"K - S - U" on stage --
Dorito was graduated from homeschool!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Senior Violin Recital

What a lovely concert! (with a K-State bow tie) Dorito performed five songs from Suzuki Books 4-7, showing his span of music lessons in his high school years. Not many teens continue with music through high school, so we were especially proud of his efforts. Everyone enjoyed the four violin concertos plus the "Ave Maria." (That latter piece was a tear jerker.)
Then for the grand finale, he performed with his teacher (Nick Jarrett) and his twin brothers with a Vivaldi "Concerto for Four Violins." All three movements! Magnificent!!
Meggar was the accompanist for all the songs! She rushed home from college and did an amazing job. Dorito had very little rehearsal time with his sister, but she made every piece flow smoothly.
The setting was an historic 1880s church downtown, and the staff at First Christian were so accomodating and helpful to us. We hosted nearly 70 people for the reception afterwards. Catering done by Lesa's Company. I mean that Lesa and her family were company at my house and I put them to work prepping the food! We hired the cupcakes from a homeschool girl in five flavors: red velvet, lemon, coconut, key lime, and purple chocolate swirl for the future K-State student.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Awards Night at Vo-Tech

We were so proud of Dorito's recognition at the Hillyard Vocational-Technical School award ceremony. First he was honored for volunteering as an Ambassador (medal and shirt) during both years. Then he received a "Passport" award for high GPA and attendance. Next, he was named the Outstanding Student of the Year for the Electronics /Robotics course!! We were surprised that his teacher singled him out for this plaque from amongst 20 students in the morning and afternoon sessions.  The criterion were skills, attitude, and leadership. (He is happy that his picture will hang in the front trophy case all next year.)
Last of all, Dorito was awarded the "Ride for Ryan" Consolver Scholarship of $1,000. This was the second largest award he was eligible to apply for and a huge honor!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Finals Week

Dorito is studying hard with three college finals this week. His schedule is crammed along with the extra violin rehearsals and a graduation practice on the stage.