Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Walk on the Beach

We enjoyed the mild weather and spent some time gathering shells and critters at the beach today.

 Winger had to help Polar Bear get on and off… his crutches are helping take the weight off but his right leg is compensating and has become so tensed up that it is nearly 2-inches shorter than the injured left leg now.
The twins also enjoyed the tree swing that Tom hung out back.  Better than trick-or-treating!! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Down By the Sea-port

Paul is such a good golfer that he won two tournaments this summer, and he made his first hole-in-one! The twins were impressed. We were the lucky recipients of his first-place prize: 4 tickets to the Mystic Seaport (valued at $100).
This 1840s village features 50 some buildings and ships, with docents in period attire. Perfect for the four of us! We learned about rope making, below-deck bunks, chronometers, and half-clipper hulls. In fact, we learned the fastest ship of the day was built in Mystic, Connecticut, in 1859 and made a record trip to California in just 89 days. (This was one of the reasons that the Pony Express was founded=89-day mail service is just annoying). It was fun for me to see their one-room schoolhouse, chapel, and printery. The training vessel for young cabin boys is now used for Boy Scout overnights. Polar Bear rented a wheel chair for most of the day so we could get around quicker.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Staying on Course

Jack is the older of the second cousins in Connecticut. He ran a junior high cross country race today.
 He didn't want his photo taken by his mom.Paul taking Jack home while Laurie shuttled Alyssa to dance.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Staying at the Beach

My cousin lives in a house on Giant's Neck Beach. Laurie and Tom have added a sunroom and deck--making a perfect view for watching the tides, boats, and changing leaves. It's very peaceful and quiet here. Here we are with Alyssa on the deck.
Of course, Aunt Jean made TONS of food for supper. And Paul talked about the Red Sox v. Cardinals games of the World Series.
Jean is the wife of my deceased godfather, Norman Leonard. She has always kept in touch with me through the years and is giving to everyone!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Paying for One Hockey Player

I told the parents that this was ridiculous -- driving all this way, paying for hotels and tournament fees, plus eating out -- for only one hockey player!

(We all wish Polar Bear could play. Even Winger! But his MRI showed a large hematoma requiring some rest and healing.)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Real Old Ironsides

The teacher in me is focused on field trips this week during our vacation. I wanted to see the Boston Tea Party ships and museum, and I especially wanted to go to Boston Commons and see where the "Make Way for Ducklings" book is set. (I love the living books and authentic documents we study from K-12 with a classical curriculum.) But an even higher priority was to see the U.S.S. Constitution, which is still docked in the Boston Harbor. Perhaps it is even better known by its nickname, Old Ironsides. Part of our homeschool program is poetry recitation so when I was designing the curriculum for the PX One-Room Schoolhouse, we chose the poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes about Old Ironsides, mainly because someone donated a large, old print of this first ship commissioned by Gen. Washington in early days of USA. We felt so historic stepping aboard the frigate we had studied!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Watching Even More Hockey

The hockey schools are so close, you can throw a rock and hit seaveral of them... Not quite, but it feels overwhelming to have this many choices nearby. I called Merrimack, Boston College, and then settled on the Holy Cross v. Quinnipiac game (they had the cheapest ticket prices at $4 per student). Lots of our teammates joined in the Friday night "field trip," too! Boston traffic was thick, but Quinnipiac took second in the Frozen Four last year, so everyone was excited to see their offense. Captain noticed they have twins on their first line and Power Play (one plays center and one plays left wing just like our twins do.) I noticed they had long hockey hair (called "flow" by the teens) compared to the clean-cut fellas from the Catholic college. Polar Bear liked the purple helmets and purple gloves of Holy Cross. Winger was quick to point out the priest at the game. Small rink so we stood on the glass and had a great view! Holy Cross scored the first two goals, but lost 2-4.

Cousins Come Watch Hockey

My Connecticut cousin brought her son to the hockey game today! We are only 2 hours away, and Laurie let Jack (age 11) skip school to come along. Happily, Winger scored the first goal for the Thunder team, which was exciting. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the only goal and they lost. They have played well enough in first three games to advance to quarter-finals tomorrow.
We will get to see the rest of the family as we are staying at Laurie's house for the entire week. Can't wait to see their new addition on the beach house and to see her continued genealogy research (I brought more old, family photos to add to her collection).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hip Injury

Polar Bear crashed into the wall at Saturday's out-of-town practice and kept playing. He tied to practice on Sunday with the pain but fell down and then the coach knew it was bad.  Lots of ice, intensive physical therapy treatments (twice a day) but still bruised and tight. X-rays showed nothing was broken, but he is disappointed he's not enough better for the Boston tournament this weekend. He's on crutches as we begin our second day on the road to finish the 20-hour drive.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Job Offer

Spencer is so pleased -- he received and accepted a great job offer with Rubin-Brown Accounting Firm in St. Louis. We think he might be the first of all Truman grads to secure a future contract!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Looking Forward to Winter...

Just to watch more "Downton Abbey" on PBS, of course. Luckily I will have some tea to keep me cosy, too. Thanks for the birthday present from my best girlfriend!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Let There Be...

God is who He says He is.
God can do what he says He can do.
Therefore, my hope is based on the certitude that God is faithful.
"Hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (Romans 5:5)
Father Baker gave an excellent meditation after mass today about the virtue of hope. He tied in harmoniously with the Communion Antiphon (Psalm 33:18):
"Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, to deliver their souls from death and give them life in the time of famine."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

After All, It's Fall

The folks in Tennessee start celebrating autumn right after Sept. 22. I'm surprised since y'all don't even have fall temperatures yet! Jesse got this recipe from his mom and now it's a family favorite:
Holman's Pumpkin Coffee Cake
3-1/2 c. flour
3 c. sugar
1-1/2 t. salt
2 t. soda
1-1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg                   
Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Make a hole in the center, beat together:
4 eggs
1 c. oil
1 can pumpkin
1 t. vanilla
Combine all together to make stiff batter. Add nuts after mixing:
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
Pour into a 13x0" pan (or divide between two 8-inch or 9-inch pans).
2 c. brown sugar
2 tp. cinnamon
2/3 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
Bake at 330' F for 45 min to 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean from center.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Bible Study on Campus

Meggar told me about her evangelization efforts a couple of weeks ago. I'm happy to brag here about the work of the Holy Spirit on her campus. For He deserves all the glory. Meggar did many good things to mentor/guide the AGD girls during her sophomore and junior year as the Vice President of Member Development. She organized study partners, sisterhood bonding, STD speaker, Thanksgiving potluck, etc. etc. But one of her unfinished goals was to compile the times of church services with a list of the girls who already attend there, so that new members could make the college transition on Sundays more easily. We know "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," and Meggar still wanted to finish her spiritual "to do" list even though she is no longer the VP of MD. She began this semester by mentioning the All-Greek Bible Study which was starting up again. She had attended all last semester and really enjoyed it but was the only AGD there. Meggar spoke up and encouraged girls to attend *with* her, and right away one AGD came to tell her she would go to it. Six more girls texted her in the following day that they were also interested! By Wednesday night, there were 16 sorority sisters who came to the first Bible Study. With a total audience of about 30, Meggar was pleasantly overwhelmed by the AGD participation! The following week there were at least 12 AGDs who came to the Bible Study again, and once again they comprised at least half of the group in attendance. This was so encouraging to hear, as I am afraid that the college environment is overly secularized.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Government Shutdown Affects Philly

We tried to visit the historic sites in Philadelphia, even though they are currently closed for the government shutdown. There is still a great feeling to be on the "outside looking in" at famous places from the Revolutionary War period. Here we are at Washington Park, Liberty Bell, and Benjamin Franklin's gravesite. We look up to Benjamin and George, wherever we can "meet" them and study more about them. We saw re-enactors, geo-cachers, and the important places filmed in the "National Treasure" movie too.

Now a 13-hour drive back to Nashville.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Columbus Day Hockey

We had our final game of the Super Series this morning. It went down to a shoot-out and Winger scored! Unfortunately Polar Bear missed in the 3-shots allowed, but yesterday his shoot-out goal was the 3rd one and went in to win the game! Exciting hockey all around. I even got a few good photos.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hockey in Philly

Heck of a drive. Luckily Captain is a good navigator around D.C. in the rain.
The twins were excited to face their rival Belle Tire from Detroit, who beat them last month in overtime. It was our only loss so far. Today they played like a machine. Polar Bear had the goal to tie the game in 3rd period. Thunder managed to score in overtime and win! The whole team went out to EAT steak dinner to celebrate.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Church Musings

Oldest to Youngest...
*Meggar was here for the funeral so Spencer called her after mass to say how he hates going without her because her good singing covers up his "bad voice," and the people in front of him turned around and gave him a dirty look. His dry humor is so appreciated among my boys!
*Dorito told us how he goes to Sunday mass every week with Josh (senior) and Eric (sophomore -pledge dad) at the Newman Center. Afterward they try to find the cheapest dinners in town. I heard Dairy Queen has a $5 special on double cheeseburger with fries, drink, and ice cream cone!
*Twins went to first HAWC group this week and wish it were more frequent than twice a month. HAWC stands for Honesty, Accuntability, Willingness, and Chastity in the Fraternus organization. These groups are only for the high school boys to facilitate discipleship through mentoring. Jimmy and Adam are cool 20-somethings who invented Bosco Ball, loved my sweet green beans, and are on fire with the Holy Spirit. Winger opens up easily so the meeting must have been super because Polar Bear also wanted to share what was on his heart concerning patience!
We are blessed.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Is The Day the Lord Has Made

Psalms 98:1-2
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.

The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Was It A Typo?

Here is a recent article I enjoyed from Typo Magazine based upon an intersection near Cosby, MO. Those of us transplanted to Missouri have often wondered about the alphabetical listing of state highways... which gets more confusing with OO and MM and GG. Below is a just another legend about the imaginative book written by Baum in 1900.
This photo may seem like a trifling literary coincidence until you know the rest of the story.... E.Y. Harburg, the writer of the song "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," had a great aunt who lived in Cosby during his childhood. He visited her every summer and many adventures in the field surrounding her farmhouse. Still, you might not be blamed for thinking that it was just happenstance for Cosby to sit at the intersection of OZ. If you look at the original version of the song, Harburg mentions the town by name several times. Hollywood producers and later historians were baffled by the lyrics, until you are pointed to where the changes in the song were made and then you can detect the mentioning of the author's beloved home-away-from-home.
"If ever, oh ever, a wiz there was, the Wizard of Oz is one, be Cosby Cosby Cosby Cosby Cosby 'cause... because of the wonderful things he does."

Monday, October 7, 2013

40 Days for Life

We see in the Bible many references to waiting 40 days: Noah in the ark, Israelites going to the Promised Land, and Jesus fasting in the desert. This is the model used by the organization "40 Days for Life" to prayerfully witness at abortion clinics. It has been miraculously successful during the past six years. Right now, in 306 cities,
people are praying (from Sept. 25-Nov. 3), and we decided to join the Nashville effort at the Planned Parenthood clinic this Monday morning. We teamed up with Jimmy M. and the Morel boys at 8:00 a.m. for an hour of group prayer. There is not a rush of protestors at that early hour - early in the week - so we were glad the seven of us had planned to meet then. The quiet morning air and the strength of trusting in the Lord made for an energizing start to our own week.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Family Day in Phi Kap Way

Captain is with the twins in Chicago for hockey, so Meggar and I drove over to visit Dorito at K-State. It was Family Day for the Phi Kappa Theta house, and they showed us a very good time. We met the housemom and cook at lunch, then toured the study rooms, dressing rooms, and sleeping dorm. Everything was tidy and in good shape. Several families went bowling at Little Apple Lanes, and afterward watched the K-State football game on the new flat screen TV (which the dads installed as our parent's club gift). Later we attended mass at the Newman Center and ate dinner at Kite's Bar & Grill. Dorito knows about their con queso dip! He also introduced us to his pledge dad Eric (and we saw his collection of hockey jerseys).
Overall, it was a really great visit!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Another Francis

I wanted to write more about Pope Francis and poverty on this Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. But we heard the good news that Jodi had a baby boy this morning (6 lb. 14 oz. at 6 a.m.) He is their 5th son and 7th child, and they named him Francis! ...gotta love traditional Catholic families! Here's a Prayer for Peace for Dorito and Captain!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

When Your Teacher Dies

We had a sad phone call from our violin teacher, Nick. He said his mother was moving into Hospice House on Tuesday. She was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of the summer (we had no idea), and it spread more quickly than they imagined. His mom was Meggar's piano teacher in high school and had a significant impact on the course of Meggar's ife. Margie was young, only 60 years old. She had not smoked since 1982, and was in fine health until August. The twins and I went to KC at noon today to visit, but she had died this morning! Captain was already heading back with Meggar from college, too (it was too stormy for him to pick her up in his plane). We are all greatly saddened for the family she left behind (Nick and Lindsay are expecting a baby in March), and the students who will miss her joyful personality. Meggar talked about the summer we took Margie and her husband Gary out to the French Restaurant for Bastille Day... And how Margie made her record a song 30 times before submitting it for the Truman State piano auditions! Meggar and I will attend the visitation and funeral service on Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Another Mystery on PBS

Captain and I watched the three episodes of "Foyle's War" this week. They are free throughout October on the PBS Masterpiece website. What a brain-bender, complete with political intrigue from the start of the Cold War and a British detective who's admired for his moral certitude. How fun to watch Michael Kitchens, whom I loved in "Out of Africa" and "Enchanted April."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Old Friends

The twins went to Homeschool Choir both Tuesdays that we were home, just to see their friends. They also hung out with Andrea's running group (Polar Bear got a blister), and with Justin at Central High's Homecoming game. They also visited the Scout troop. Tomorrow they are having lunch with Jarret (hockey friend), and taking Eli out for Happy Hour at Sonic. Staying connected is a good thing.