Friday, August 30, 2013

The Boy Can Sing

(I will add links and photos when I have my computer and not just an iPad)
Apparently, Dorito learned some frat songs quickly. He posted a YouTube video on Facebook from the Serenade Saturday, when they went from one sorority house to another. It was likely on Bid Day when there were more freshmen girls to impress! He is the one on the far end doing the motions at the table with red Solo cups.
He is one of 9 associate pledges and there are 19 actives also living in the Phi Kappa Theta house. A grandmotherly-type cook named Janice makes meals that Dorito says are "Awesome!" Every guy has to take his turn on KP with the automatic dishwasher. And their new house mom still has an on-campus job during the day and hangs around before and after supper.
Wednesday nights are formal meals, and the associates have to wear a shirt and tie all day on campus. There is a nice photo on Facebook of Dorito and his pledge class.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It Seems Appropriate

We live in close quarters, so the twins get on each other's nerves. But today we landed upon a solution for math that worked like a charm--seriously! They listen to the DIVE CD for Saxon Algebra II together, and complete the practice problems on their own dry erase boards (that was last year's solution that only helped for awhile). Then they do the homework assignment. There's a bit of a race going as to who can finish first (despite bathroom and drink breaks) and who can get the better score. Which leads to accusations of peeking/cheating. Which leads to yelling and wrestling. I don't worry too much about the wrestling. I have three sons. And I saw this with my three brothers. But when the fighting takes away too much time from school and leads to bad character habits, then I get irritated. So today I assigned Polar Bear the odd-numbed problems, and Winger had to do the even-numbered problems. This way they couldn't cheat. They could ask me questions without giving away the solution to their dumber twin brother. And I could congratulate them when they answered something difficult correctly (like factoring negative exponents). There were high 5s, whoops, and cele's. Winger was especially pumped to get #30 correct--the final problem looms larger than life, I guess.
   Tonight we also went to hear Mike Fisher talk about his Christian faith. He is Asst. Captain for the Nashville Predators, and has a book about living as a Christian in the NHL. But more interesting to the twins is how he met, courted, and married Carrie Underwood. The twins were disappointed she didn't come for the autograph signing portion of the evening!
   This week they also threw hay for the family we are staying with: 600 bales! And more to come this afternoon, I'm told.  It's good for them to work off their energy in the hot sun rather than in my tiny classroom with one rickety card table.
   My favorite part of the week is reading Shakespeare. We take turns being the various characters and Polar Bear ended up being Romeo, while Winger was Friar Laurence.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Raffle Tickets

The new hockey team is having a cash sweepstakes and each player has to sell 30 tickets. That means the Schmid twins need to sell 60. We were feeling good to have 40 sold last week, which means we ar doing better than our teammates. But yesterday was the deadline. We need 5 more! The deadline has been extended to Friday, so there's still time to make a tax-deductible donations of $25 to Thunder Hockey -- and you have a chance of winning $5,000 or $2,000 or $1,500 or five lesser cash prizes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I can't believe I'm missing book club tonight. Such a pity to be 600-something miles away when they are discussing the Edge of the Universe! Meggar and I enjoyed the book on tape in 2010, and laughed out loud many times at the British references and humor. Sorry gals! You know I would be there if I could.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Another Event Planning Job

Meggar was in charge of the Greek Interest BBQ tonight on the campus quad. She ordered 500 hamburgers, 500 hotdogs, chips, drinks, and 300 s'mores. She told us that she ran out of food by 6:30 pm, so I would say that was a success. Luckily, Spencer helped her with the grilling (one grill needed charcoal which takes a bit more time than the propane grill). Some of his Phi Kap friends stopped by to help tease him pass the time, so I think he enjoyed himself. Meggar brought in one band and one DJ, who took songs requests from the crowd. She held a free raffle (one of the prizes was a Kindle). And she arranged four laptops so new girls could get registered for Recruitment on the spot. Her committee helped with setting up of tables, chairs, food and beachy souvenirs. They all worked the crowd by answering questions about sorority life at Truman, and they promised to keep their Greek affiliations a secret, which is why Meggar changed her name and photo on Facebook (and David and Dale were pretty confused for a week or so). She called me and sounded elated but exhausted from being on her feet from 2:00-8:00. Now it's back to real life and classes. Recruitment starts after Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Temporary Housing

The Morel family is loaning us their guest cottage for a couple of weeks. They live on their family's farm just 10 miles outside of Nashville. They converted a detached garage making one bedroom, one bathroom, kitchenette, and living room. Small but perfect for the twins and I. We have started 10th grade homeschooling on the card table and drive in for daily practice and workouts. Plus a visit to the library and grocery store... We hope God will bring more answers in the NEAR future. This is certainly a time of patience and seeking His will.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sending Them Off

Don't blink, everyone said. I didn't. But the time still went too fast. Dorito was all packed and loaded yesterday. I hugged him and cried just a little. Enough for me to show how deeply I love him and yet not too much to make him embarrassed. Today, he and Captain are playing golf in Manhattan and then moving into the fraternity tomorrow. Probably better if I'm not there. Instead, I was on the road with the twins. We left at 6:05 a.m. in  order to get to Nashville in time for 4:30 hockey practice. It gave me a lot of time to think and pray. And I read this article in the Washington Post which Alison forwarded. "Eighteen years is not enough." Please excuse me while I'm brooding.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Napa Valley Photos

Meggar refashioned this 1970s dress from Gr. Judith.

Brix let us tour their garden and vineyard where the ingredients are used daily.
Late night chocolates and games at Old World Inn B&B.

We found a new winery and Cab that we all liked!

French food at Bistro Jeanty.

Princess bed for both rooms at Old World Inn B&B.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Captain's Birthday

The kids surprised their dad! They thought of something he didn't have - and could use - and bought it with their own money! He was very pleased with the Jabra Extreme2 Bluetooth headset :-)  We also had lunch with his mom plus an open house, so I'll have to make the birthday cake tomorrow.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Read the Wine List

We tried different wineries this time -- luckily Meggar's friend made appointments for us through her boss at the wine distributorship. Lots of enjoyment at:
*Heitz Cellars
*Folie a Deaux (Ménage a Trois)
*Grgich Hills
*Frog's Leap
*Ehlers Estate
*Mumm (Champagne)

and different restaurants in the Napa area:
•Bistro Jeanty (French)
*Goose and Gander (St Helena)

Then we took the two college girls to our favorites:
*Prater Port Works with $1 bills covering walls of tasting room,
*St Clement for picnic lunch with a view and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc,
*Brix Restaurant (amazing salted caramel ice cream sandwiches), and
•Peet's Coffee (Captain's top list).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Napa Valley is all about drinking wine and relaxing. The weather is even refreshing (no humidity). My husband and I are here with Princess Meggar and Princess Lois on a birthday/anniversary celebration mission for four days.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Embrace the Change

The twins threw a going-away party for Dorito. Change is thick in the air. Some days we are excited, and some days we feel uncertain. But I am glad to see my kids supporting each other throughout the transitions. Twenty-some teens were coming and going from my kitchen to the back yard buffet to the pool to the hot tub and the fire pit and back. Luckily, Meggar was here and helped me set out lots of food. Then we snuck off for some shopping and errands. We checked off Spencer's birthday gift, a wedding present for far-away friends, sales, coupons, and general girly jobs. I like to make progress even though lately I am the least powerful in terms of everyone's future path. I always strive to help each member of my family get through life without learning things the hard way... as every mother hopes to prepare her children and cushion the blows that come from the real world. But we do not have all the power we want. Late that night, I said my prayers and asked the Lord to specifically help me reflect on the positive since I was feeling so powerless. Many times during the last three months we were side-swiped, or we felt the earth was quaking under our feet, or heard only bad news and found unexpected twists and turns in our path. I did not blog about these episodes -- for I wanted to stay strong and allow the Lord to accomplish His timing. Clearly it wouldn't help for me to complain. And in return, I heard maturity in my kids' voices. And confidence for going forward. This is the change I am most grateful for.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Last Haircut

I gave Dorito a trim around the back, neck, and sideburns. And some advice about college. I also love to talk to him when he eats. His appetite is never-ending: he ate the last piece of homemade blackberry pie with ice cream and several cinnamon rolls which I had made over the weekend while he was gone. His last camp session wrapped up on Sunday morning. He's tired and tired of camp food. I understand that and did my best to welcome him home. We don't have many days left with this sweet son.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Girlfriends

Alison got a few friends together for a going-away party for me. Even though I still don't know when I am going nor how far away.... We all enjoyed warm and witty conversations about anything and everything! I love when chicks have glasses to clink together and no one to get to school the next day.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bigger Fish to Fry

Captain made his smallest catch of recent years, but assured us he still had a blast. It's a man-cave dream-vacation for those with testosterone to spare. The company took its usual fishing trip to Canada this week. The VPs leave customs and then take a float plane to regions farther north while the pilots stay at Kanora on the border. It came a week earlier than usual. It normally falls next week on Captain's birthday (and now the boys are asking what we will do for Dad's birthday). We all sat around the table hearing his fishing stories this morning. Captain hired the same fishing guide: John Monteith, for the 13th year in a row. He was also the guide for the Schmidling boys on their 2011 fishing/golfing trip, so they like to ask about his wife, his business with hockey celebrities, and his newest boat. John's wife is better after her bicycle accident, he was recently out with Jonathan Toews and Mike Richards, and he traded up to a 21-foot Lund. There's always a shore lunch, supper on the grill (aka steaks), and whiskey at bedtime. I'd say that's a good-enough "gift."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Counting Down the Days

Dorito is excited for college. All the textbooks have been ordered. The alcohol awareness test was passed. New shoes were bought. Four more Wildcat T-shirts were purchased bringing the total to eight!
But the twins and I are getting very sentimental. We are going to feel the upcoming separation acutely--probably for the whole semester. Winger even said how they want to spend every minute with Dorito these last two weeks before he leaves for K-State.
All total, Dorito has been gone 62 days this summer.  He has one last camp: NYLT concluded this weekend. And he just got back from Pow Wow. I wish I had a new photo since his crew cut. He finally told us the story about roasting and eating a wild hog during Venture Crew's trip to Beaver Lake last week. Whoa!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Making Music in Nashville

The twins stayed on the same line for the starting weekend of Thunder Hockey Training Camp. They wanted to make things happen during drills and show their stuff. I know they were probably a little nervous to be "new" and only 15 on a team of 15/16. But they told me how "cool" and welcoming their teammates were. Two also play golf! Some of those boys are HUGE by comparison. But my twins have other assets: they are smart on the ice, and this wasn't about checking or hitting drills yet; plus they are strong with their upper body from cross-training all spring. Polar Bear even felt like prior conditioning* helped him prevent further injury to his internal right oblique muscle. (relief) *plug for Spine and Sport Physical Therapy
The whole hockey team stayed at the rink 24/7 from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. Yep, they took cots and sleeping bags for "bonding time" with all the guys. Let's just say there was some talking in their sleep and before their sleep.
Besides looking at rentals, I went to two concerts over the weekend. Well, I was in Nashville after all. But they were the-free-type, not the purchase-tickets-type. First came a trip to The Coffeehouse in a hipster locale near the Downtown Square in Franklin (quite close to our future church and future hockey rink). I listened to original compositions by Luke Bellet, accompanied by Michael Bellet. It was so endearing to hear the song he wrote about his brothers (seven of them) and the song her wrote for his sister (only one girl). He is a good friend of the organizer of the second concert. On Sunday, we stopped by the Morel Farm for another "Love Good Music" event with Jimmy Mitchell and friends. Over 200 people showed up (his biggest back yard event to date), so it resulted in a great potluck and opportunity to meet Catholic homeschoolers. The twins were thrilled to meet so many in the "Connect" teen group!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Steps to Adult Life

While we were gone, Dorito established a Kansas checking account with a debit card at Commerce Bank. Of course, he selected the purple pattern for the card. He also did his own back-to-school shopping. He bought purple Bermuda shorts, purple shoe laces for his tennis shoes, and 4 Wildcat T-Shirts he found at the Mall. Guess he will have to finish procrastinating on those last few graduation thank-yous now. The twins are certainly going to miss their big brother (who leaves for college in less than two weeks). They are spending all day everyday with him!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bike trip to Arkansas

Dorito is still doing a Staff Job. But this week he is with the Venture Crew. They went to Arkansas. They are biking around Beaver Lake. Plus camping, canoeing, and having general good time outdoors.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

First Place

Meggar and Spencer's co-ed volleyball team won their league this week! I hear the Championship T-shirts are on the way :-) maybe high school club volleyball has paid off?!