Sunday, June 30, 2013

Welcome Our New Pastor

We were so impressed with his demeanor at mass: clearly spoken homily, moving conversion story, and God's persistent call to the priesthood. But it was icing on the Catholic cake to witness his friendliness and pleasant manner with everyone during the coffee-and-doughnut-social-time.
Welcome Father Adam Haake!
He was trained at North American College in Rome, ordained one year ago, and is now serving two parishes in St. Joseph.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Another Trip to St. Louis

I spent three days this week in St. Louis with Meggar. She had the four Mackie children 24/7 while their mom was out of town, and I went to lend a helping hand. Good thing I did! Together we managed to cook and clean plus go to the pool every day, but not much else. On Thursday, we took everyone to Magic House on behalf of the Downs Syndrome Guild. Fun museum--with many upgrades since we were there last. We enjoyed the storytelling and music making areas!
Then on Friday, their grandparents came to take them for the weekend. (Whew!) Meggar and I certainly enjoyed our bit of alone time. We went to Trader Joe's and a couple shoe stores (cute finds). We went to a flea market at a Catholic Church (good finds). We made chicken fajitas and talked to the endocrinologist where Meggar was referred. He thinks her thyroid is still swollen (though less than before) and ordered a sonogram for next week. Then I drove home last night with my book on tape.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Who is the Tapper?!

Just when I thought it couldn't get any more exciting this summer.... Thursday's tapping ceremony was performed by ONE Tribesman and his name was Keeper of the Sacred Bundle "Hunts Buffalo." Right--our own Colton Zirkle from Troop 216--the mentor of Polar Bear and the winner of the prestigious Hornaday Award. Colton chose my guys as torch bearers plus other Troop 216 tribesman who always attend the tapping fire. Prairie Spirit, Swift Spirit, and Northern Spirit were so pumped up to stand on the hillside and light the way for their friend!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Flowering in the Garden

Summer is late because spring was late.
My bushes are all filled out and the perennials are showing their stuff.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Humor in the Midst of a Long Week

Captain sent me this message: It is true that he himself was reprimanded for looking out the window during grade school...
Flying is still the best part of his week. But in addition to taking 1/2 the trips like the other pilots do, he also must handle all the hiring, firing, approving bills for the hangar, reporting to the CFO and CEO, monitoring nine employees in his department, and making sure nothing falls through the cracks in terms of expense reports, rental cars, hotels, FAA compliance, and work performance of the staff. Wish it was always "clear blue and 22" Captain!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Turning 18 and Labeled as Adult

The first thing Dorito did at 6 a.m. this morning was move to a different cabin. Adults in Boy Scouts of America cannot tent with youth. He "officially" became an adult at midnight, so Dorito moved all his things to the bunk house (where he will finish living the remaining weeks at Camp Geiger with 14 other staffers). At 10 a.m., we arrived at the pool house with a cookie cake. It was a perfect break between classes, but I'm sure it didn't last long.
The staff gave him a bear hug. Andrew made him a purple and white lanyard to go with his purple and white survivor bracelet. Meggar gave him purple shorts from H&M store and purple shoe laces. Winger is making him an "EMAW" beaded band. Polar Bear made leather cuffs for Mic-o-Say which he sewed himself on my sewing machine. And we gifted Dorito with a manly dresser box (handmade by Sandalwood in St. Joseph).

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Farewell to our Friend & Pastor

Tis the season. Father Matthew Benjamin is being transferred tomorrow. We had a great homily from him again this morning about mercy, and we know in our hearts that he deserves a "promotion" to a bigger parish with a Catholic school.
Although it was small gathering of three families, the going-away luncheon at our house was positive and upbeat. We feel so blessed by his example of holiness, his honest approach, and his wisdom during this past year and a half.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Birthday Party by the Pool

Good buddies for Dorito...
We squeezed in a birthday celebration during the 24 hours each week that Dorito comes home from Camp Geiger. He was too tired to stay up past 10 pm, but the pool was lively with talking and joking all evening.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Advancement Night for Mic-o-Say

Dorito advanced from Tom Tom Beater to Runner!! He didn't know if this would be this week or not, but it happened very late on Thursday night. The twins gave me as much of the secret information as possible. They come home after midnight from Micosay Ceremonies and sleep til late morning. (Hence my belated photos.) Mostly they are happy for Dorito to be able to stop chanting. He was already quite horse from teaching swimming lessons all day and drum chanting several evenings at Camp. Here is their proud regalia photo before ceremonies:
Dorito wears four feathers in his headband since it is his 4th year in the tribe. Obviously it is the second year for Polar Bear (left) and Winger (right). 
Last week, the twins worked really hard to finish their back bustles so they could also advance. Tyler Ruiz and Mr. Tim Zirkle helped with the construction know-how. 
Here is Prairie Spirit's back plate with a carved out and painted wheat stalks in the center.
Swift Spirit has an orange and blue pattern and a winged foot on the back plate. Very cool.

Everything at Camp Geiger is about "belonging"--and my guys are drawn to the "Geiger Reservation" for Wednesday night dancing, Thursday night tapping, and Friday night advancement ceremonies EVERY WEEK for six weeks. I had to smile when I saw the new sign at the front gate.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Egg Custard Pie

Our new friends in Nashville treated us to their Southern hospitality. The Bolsters have a lovely home--right next to Scott Hartnell (!)--built in 1912. Best of all was the creme-brulee-tasting dessert. Here is Alice's recipe:
Egg Custard Pie
5 whole eggs
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 c. whole milk
1/2 t. salt
1. Beat eggs well then gradually add sugar.
2. Beat in vanilla and salt then add cream and milk.
3. Mix on high speed for 1 minute.
4. Pour into unbaked pie shell.
5. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
6. Bake 350' F for 40-45 minutes. Careful not to overbake.
(Mini tarts can bake for 10 minutes.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hockey Showcase in Nashville

The twins worked their tails off. From eight in the morning until eight at night.
The Elite Edge hockey camp in Nashville was mandatory for all TPH Thunder players, and these past four days gave us a chance to meet more teammates and parents. It was also a showcase for the Junior teams (pre-college-league) from all over the nation. That's where my twins hope to land in the future, so this was full-tilt excitement. In between ice times, the 12 teams (with 20 players each) rotated through fitness stations, team-building exercises, conditioning competitions, and information sessions.
They heard from former players in the NCAA, scouts from the USHL, and the league commissioner of the NAHL. They played their tails off too. Luckily, both my boys were on the same team. Their white squad won the Championship game today for their age division. Pretty fun to win 6-3, 7-2, 11-2, and 12-3.
Plus Ben was named to the All-Star Team (top six out of 80) by Bauer. We know that Winger actually had more hustle, but his twin scored more goals, so it's understandable. Overall, we were impressed with the whole program as it was handled so professionally from start to finish. More than once, I heard people complimenting the fact that my twins were "putting on a show" the way they created offense and set up goals by passing to each other! Their coaches for the week were from Youngstown State University and Yale University and made them truly excited to strive for their future through strength, skill, and scholarship.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day with Her

I hated to be gone for Father's Day. But I was on the road with the twins (it's always for hockey). And Captain is staying home since he has to work this week. But I gave him some nice presents:
* cologne, which I learned is called "Seven" though the name looked like Pi to me, which seemed perfect for my college sweetheart since I was a Pi Phi gal;
* houndstooth sport coat, which was just the right brand, and size, and also a bargain on eBay -- so I splurged and bought a designer shirt and this
tie as well;

* time with Meggar. This was really a gift from her. She had lots of time with me in May so it was special to see she what she could do with a little daddy-daughter time. On Saturday, they took Spencer and Dorito to Oklahoma Joe's for BBQ. He admitted it was the best he has ever tasted! They took some take-out over to Grandpa Don, too.
This morning, Meggar treated her Dad to a big breakfast by the pool (what he loves) and the conventional soap-on-a-rope (what every dad "loves").
They also spent time at the Jowler Creek Winery. I heard they had plenty of time to joke, tell stories, and talk about important and not-so-important things over wine and cheese. Did you know that Dads like to hear the scoop as much as Moms?! Fabulous. We all find Spencer fitting comfortably into this "picture." He is living in St. Louis this summer with his parents and spoiling Meggar with date nights, co-ed volleyball games, and a listening ear for those stressful days of nannying four little ones.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happier than a Geico Commercial

Dorito told us on Family Night that he is absolutely loving his time on Camp Geiger staff. He said, "It feels like I never want to leave this place." He works at the pool for the mile swim at 6:00 a.m. two out of the four eligible mornings each week. Plus he teaches two groups for swimming merit badge. And he has to help give swim tests to all the boys on Sunday afternoon to determine if they are allowed in the deep end any time during the week. He told us how he had to save two boys this week: one could not swim at all though he had bragged he could, and one boy just got panicked because when he jumped in the deep end he went a lot deeper than he expected! The life of a lifeguard ...

Plus Dorito is in the Geico Commercials! (sorry my photo didn't come out clear enough). Last night at Campfire, he wore his western gingham shirt and played his mandolin for three spoofs on the Geico Commercial which starts out: "Are you happy saving 15% or more on car insurance?" except they said: "Are you happy at Camp Geiger?" We LOVED it, and Lucas said he laughed hardest at the middle one where Dorito quips: "Happier than Tony Sasso with an interpreter!" Tony is the Austrailian camp director :-)
Just for fun... we like the Geico commercial with Niklaus Backstrom shooting 15 goals in 15 seconds! Awesome!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Scenes from Camp Fire

Wednesday night, all families are invited to bring a picnic to camp and see their Scout(s). The twins wanted Chipotle so Dorito went along with it. And I took strawberry shortcakes for our dessert. The campfire is lit about 7:45 pm and the council ring is the "stage" for Scout songs, skits, and silliness. 
Starting with the staff.
Here is Dorito meeting up with former staffer Alexander just before 
Dorito went to the coveted spot for the entrance procession--wearing his sunglasses.

Dancing around the campfire are Winger and Polar Bear featured for "fancy dance." Happy, Happy, Happy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Scenes from Camp

Father Benjamin volunteered to say Mass for the first week crew at Camp Geiger. Out of 300 campers, about 40 came for mass according to my boys. Polar Bear did the readings (nice).
Also, Winger sent me another photo - here is Dorito with sunglasses doing more "staff stuff."
I spent the day reading magazines, newspapers, having a nap, and drinking a little something with my supper.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Twins Have Left the House

I am completely alone for the next three or four days. Captain is on an 8-day trip, Meggar is interning in St. Louis, Dorito started Camp Staff yesterday, and the twins left for Boy Scout Camp this afternoon. It's never happened like this before. I might even have caffeinated tea to celebrate!
(I'm certainly not going to force myself to do anything as difficult as writing about our decision to leave BSA right after camping season. The new "gay youth" rule doesn't take effect until January 1, but we will be leaving before then. On principle. Not fear.)
Here's the staff photo. (Dorito is fourth from the left; much taller than short Rosenak on the right side of him.)
Staff is a BIG, BIG deal. You have to have a 20-year medicine man father to get in. But the need for a lifeguard and the fact we have a pool helps! Winger told him, "Don't let this change who you are." Meaning don't get too big for your britches. But we are talking about Dorito, who is the humblest and most kind person I've ever met. I'm so glad he gets this honor of all the little guys looking up to him.
Here's the Troop 216 photo. The twins are middle row and serve as Troop Guides for the "first years," and they will have their hands full--making sure tents are clean, flaps are down durint the rain, they find all six classes on the first day, dress in Class A uniforms for meals, and have fun with the water balloon war, etc.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Breakfast Buffet

For the third year in a row, I was in charge of the breakfast buffet for approximately 150 people at the Kansas City Catholic Homeschool Conference. First, make very early morning drive to Overland Park. Second, start the coffee brewing. (Captain collects coffee packets from his hotel travels to "donate" to the cause). Third, set out 10 dozen bagels donated by Panera--who doesn't love their French Toast bagels? Then, add my homemade cinnamon rolls, banana bread, pumpkin bread, and lemon poppyseed muffins. Lastly, set out healthy options of fruit, gluten-free muffins (from Jodi), and hard-boiled eggs. Complete catering success.
In exchange, my mileage and registration are free for the Conference. I enjoyed seeing the veteran homeschool moms, listening to the 6+1 writing coach, and discovering a new CouponGal.

Ride for Ryan

Dorito went to the biggest birthday party I've ever seen for someone he's never met. Every year, the Consolver family hosts a "Ride for Ryan" to honor their son, who died at age 24 in a motorcycle accident. Ryan had been a student at Hillyard Vo-tech and graduated college in Construction, so his family uses the event to raise money for scholarships.
Dorito was one of several winners--they have given 100 scholarships in the first six years. He made time to go to the event to thank Ryan's mom. They have a loving family as you can tell from their website. It shows how a Christian family can react positively to carrying their cross in life.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Ghost Dancer

We took a field trip to see the new exhibit at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. The advertisement promised Native American paintings based on the Battle of Wounded Knee. Artist John Thein was there to meet patrons and discuss his work. What a nice professor from Creighton--and very talented! Gave us a chance to discuss history and Indian life, and later to paint our own "masterpieces." Here is his painting:
And our attempts:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

First K-State Grandchild

I don't know who is going to have a better time at K-State football games: Dorito or his Grandpa Gerald. Today was enrollment for my future freshman. He was so excited (despite my 5:30 am wake-up call). He came home with three T-shirts, Willie Wildcat beer glass, free coupons for Chick-fil-A in the Union, sunglass straps, mints, pens, and a class schedule that we love
Official Student
It was also fun for me to get to see Lesley Schneider Woodard from Student Senate '87. And I had a book on tape for the 5 hours of drive time. Need to get the K-tag fixed though before more road trips.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sherlock Holmes Continues

I really enjoyed myself when book club selected Sherlock Holmes and "The Hound of Baskerville" for our March meeting. I was keen to continue with these mysteries, so I have begun "The Sign of the Four" for our family's read aloud time.
We try to do reading after lunch during the school year, but for the summer we are scheduling it only on Monday afternoons and inviting Eli to join us. Eli is from our Scout troop, was homeshooled, and has some special needs. But he has become our friend in a short time! He likes puzzles, is good at spelling, and sometimes talks a little louder than necessary. But he is good with irony and humor. Plus he knows the history of some things even before we complete the Google search.
I also try to do an enrichment project like cooking, art, music, or a science experiement each Monday. Even I can't wait to find out where the "buried treasure" was hidden, whodunnit, and then watch the movie! Don't tell them how much they are learning--or that it is just like book club.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Kitchen Time

Captain is at the hospital with his dad. The twins are sleeping in. I am enjoying the sweet smell of peonies in my kitchen (I received four from a neighbor since mine from Constance won't bloom until next year!) I'm using the quiet morning to make a triple batch of banana bread for the Conference Breakfast this weekend.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Feast of Corpus Christi

This is a remarkable feast day--celebrating the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ. There are so many reasons that Catholics believe in transubstantiation (the changing of bread and wine into the ACTUAL sacrifice of Calvary), but here is another confirmation of that belief.

A modern day miracle, which involved Pope Francis, has been confirmed in Buenos Aires from the time before he became the Pope.  And here is a You Tube interview of the scientist who investigated!

*The Miracle*

In 1996 in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Argentina, when the present
Pope Francis was Auxiliary Bishop under Cardinal Quarracino, an amazing
eucharistic miracle took place. He himself had it photographed and
investigated and the results are astonishing.

At seven o’clock in the evening on August 18, 1996, Fr. Alejandro Pezet was
saying Holy Mass at a Catholic church in the commercial center of Buenos
Aires . As he was finishing distributing Holy Communion, a woman came up to
tell him that she had found a discarded host on a candleholder at the back
of the church. On going to the spot indicated, Fr. Alejandro saw the
defiled Host. Since he was unable to consume it, he placed it in a
container of water and put it away in the tabernacle of the chapel of the
Blessed Sacrament.

On Monday, August 26, upon opening the tabernacle, he saw to his amazement
that the Host had turned into a bloody substance. He informed Bishop Jorge
Bergoglio(Now Pope Francis, Auxillary Bishop that time), who gave
instructions that the Host be professionally photographed. The photos were
taken on September 6. They clearly show that the Host, which had become a
fragment of bloodied flesh, had grown significantly in size. For several
years the Host remained in the tabernacle, the whole affair being kept a
strict secret. Since the Host suffered no visible decomposition, Cardinal
Bergoglio(Who became Archbishop by that time) decided to have it
scientifically analyzed.

On October 5, 1999, in the presence of the Cardinal’s representatives, Dr.
Castanon took a sample of the bloody fragment and sent it to New York for
analysis. Since he did not wish to prejudice the study, he purposely did
not inform the team of scientists of its provenance(the source of sample
was kept secret to the scientists).

One of these scientists was Dr. Frederic Zugiba, the well-known
cardiologist and forensic pathologist. He determined that the analyzed
substance was real flesh and blood containing human DNA. Zugiba testified
that, “the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the
wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. This muscle is responsible
for the contraction of the heart. It should be borne in mind that the left
cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is
in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of white blood
cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was
taken. It is my contention that the heart was alive, since white blood
cells die outside a living organism. They require a living organism to
sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when
the sample was taken. What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated
the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe
stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.”

Two Australians, journalist Mike Willesee and lawyer Ron Tesoriero,
witnessed these tests. Knowing where sample had come from, they were
dumbfounded by Dr. Zugiba’s testimony. Mike Willesee asked the scientist
how long the white blood cells would have remained alive if they had come
from a piece of human tissue, which had been kept in water. They would have
ceased to exist in a matter of minutes, Dr. Zugiba replied. The journalist
then told the doctor that the source of the sample had first been kept in
ordinary water for a month and then for another three years in a container
of distilled water; only then had the sample been taken for analysis. Dr.
Zugiba’s was at a loss to account for this fact. There was no way of
explaining it scientifically, he stated.

Also, Dr. Zugibe passionately asked, “You have to explain one thing to me,
if this sample came from a person who was dead, then how could it be that
as I was examining it the cells of the sample were moving and beating? If
this heart comes from someone who died in 1996, how can it still be alive?

Then did Mike Willesee inform Dr. Zugiba that the analyzed sample came from
a consecrated Host (white, unleavened bread) that had mysteriously turned
into bloody human flesh. Amazed by this information, Dr. Zugiba replied,
“How and why a consecrated Host would change its character and become
living human flesh and blood will remain an inexplicable mystery to
science—a mystery totally beyond her competence.”

Then Doctor Ricardo Castanon Gomez arranged to have the lab reports from
the Buenos Aires miracle compared to the lab reports from the Lanciano
miracle, again without revealing the origin of the test samples. The
experts making the comparison concluded that the two lab reports must have
originated from test samples obtained from the same person. They further
reported that both samples revealed an “AB” positive blood type. They are
all characteristic of a man who was born and lived in the Middle East

Only faith in the extraordinary action of a God provides the reasonable
answer—faith in a God, who wants to make us aware that He is truly present
in the mystery of the Eucharist.

The Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires is an extraordinary sign attested
to by science. Through it Jesus desires to arouse in us a lively faith in
His real presence in the Eucharist. He reminds us that His presence is
real, and not symbolic. Only with the eyes of faith do we see Him under
appearance of the consecrated bread and wine. We do not see Him with our
bodily eyes, since He is present in His glorified humanity. In the
Eucharist Jesus sees and loves us and desires to save us.

(Archbishop Bergoglio became a Cardinal in 2001, and since this miracle was published
by the time he became a Cardinal, that's why he is addressed as Cardinal in this post.)