Archive for November, 2007

The Beginning of the Christmas Season

November 26, 2007

We don’t put up a Christmas tree until a day or two before Christmas.  We do all we can to celebrate Advent first.  However, if we wait until the real “Christmas Season,” which is the days after Christmas, we would miss everything.  In the town that I grew up in, the town tree was lit on Thanksgiving evening and it was a much anticipated event every year.  I don’t know of any tree lightings here, and didn’t in the last place we lived in either.  But, last year the children and I went to the Huntsville Botanical Garden to see their “Galaxy of Lights.”  It was quite impressive and I wished Joe was with us.   Yesterday, for our Sunday drive, we went there.  Once again, it was quite a show!  Joe was very impressed as well.  There are patriotic displays, Santas, snow, dinosaurs, animals, nursury rhymes, and much more all in lights!  If you are in the area, it is well worth a visit.  All the children loved it.

Today…

November 24, 2007

This morning MaryEllen got sick to her stomach.  While lying like a zombie on the couch, what was James doing?  He was reading to her and trying to make her feel better.  How sweet is that?

 On another note, it has been sleeting here today.  What’s up with that?  I thought this was suppse to be the south!  The low temperature on our weather station this morning was 20!  Something tells me we may be in for a cold winter.

Another Thanksgiving Blessing

November 22, 2007

From Ruth at Just Another Day in Paradise.

Happy Thanksgiving 2007

November 22, 2007

I would like to wish you all a Blessed Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be greatful for.

 We started the day off with Mass, always a good start.  We saw lots of people we knew.  It is starting to feel like home around here.  Although I can’t get used to Mrs. R.’s new haircut!  It looks nice, but so different.  I can’t believe what a few curls can do! 

We came home and I started cooking.  The children really wanted a turkey, so I got one for them and in case Uncle Tom made it here.  But he didn’t.   MaryEllen was upset that he wouldn’t be here.  I told her he would be having dinner at Aunt Mary Lou’s.  She then started to cry and said, “We’re not going to see Aunt Mary Lou either?”  “Not today,” I told her.  Sometimes I wish my children had the extended family at Thanksgiving like I used to have.  Actually, it wasn’t so much extended, but all my brothers and sisters and then their spouses and children.  But, being the youngest, there were always plenty of people around.  So, all that got me thinking about all of them and the things that I am so greatful about each one. 

 Sue – My Godmother and John’s Godmother… helped instill a love of learning in myself and my boys.

Lee – My Godfather and so good to me when I was little.

Joe – Helped instill a love and respect of nature and the outdoors.  And the gourmet chef who could make squirrel and rabbit taste just like chicken!

Ann – Making cookies on black Friday when Jim and Mike were little.  I still remember that fun, and those horses we saw that one day!

Mary Lou – Everyone’s favorite sister, who keeps us all connected.   What can I say?  I could do a whole post on her alone.  She is always up to something fun and always so giving.

Steve – Love the boat rides.

Tom – Well, if it wasn’t for Tom, I would not have any neices at all!  Also we would not be living in TN.  He is lots of fun, too!

Marie – Keeps everyone on thier toes!

I still pray for you all everynight.  I never could fall asleep without saying that prayer with everyone’s names.   Anyone else still do that?

Also, now my immediate family.  My loving and capeable husband who is so good to all of us.  He is a jack of all trades and never ceases to amaze me with his knowledge, problem solving ability, and the work he accomplishes around the house.

John – My Football and War Between the States encyclopedia!  John loves to read. 

Kevin – The artist!  He is so good to his little sisters, getting them involved in a nice gentle way with anything he is doing, even when they can be pests.

James – My saw-carver.  He has been making boats out of wood with his saw.  He must have that love, inherited from his grandfather and great-grandfather who loved to be on boats.  

MaryEllen – Who has such a joyful way, so excited and happy in all she does.  She is our other artist.

Charlotte – Our little cuddle bug.  She is the sweetest child.

 Well, I certainly rambled there, but I think it is worth posting. 

Food?  Joe complimented me on the food and could not believe that it was all healthy.  The gravy was the only thing that was not made from scratch.  Kevin made the biscuits today.  I made 4 pumpkin pies last night.  Other than those things already mentioned we had turkey (organic free-range), pressed salad with some nuts, broccoli, sweet potato melt (with sweet potatoes from our garden!), millet and garbanzo bean stuffing, and home made cranberry sauce!  Yum!  One little commenter exclaimed, “This is the best dinner of my whole life!”  Now, what do we do with all the leftovers?

 To adorn the table, we had a table cloth!  That is a big deal around here.  I have always been afraid that the littles would grab ahold and pull.  But, that did not happen (yet!)  We even had the candles decorated with Thanksgiving-y type of candle rings on the table, new placemats with a harvest look, and fancy harvest paper plates and napkins.   

For decorations we had many.  Thanks to watching my good friend Maddie over the years display all the children’s art work over the years, we now do the same thing.  We also save any cards that we have been sent over the years and put them up.  It is a neat reminder of different people and of the children at different ages. 

So, even though we did not have any company, it was still quite a celebration and feast here today.  Now, if only the girls were a little older so I had some company in the kitchen!  But, not too fast, I know they’ll only be this age once, and I am so greatful to be able to enjoy them now!

 We hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving too!

What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?

November 20, 2007

This was just too funny not to post.  What kind of Thanksgiving are you?  Thanks to Candice for this little quiz.


You Are The Stuffing


You’re complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.

People miss you if you’re gone – but they’re not sure why.

What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?

A Day in the Life…

November 20, 2007

Before we went to the services for the old Bishop, we had a sort of relaxing day.  The children went out to play in the dirt hole lovingly referred to as Camp John.  A while later MaryEllen comes in the house with a toy front end loaded bucket filled with dirt.  She was absolutely beaming and could not talk fast enough.  She informed me that in that dirt there were two worms that she caught.  “There’s Mrs. Worm and Mr. Worm and I’m going to keep them and save them for fishing!”   A little while later she came and showed me the worms without the dirt.  She was quite upset when I told her they could not stay in the house.  “But I want to keep them for fishing,” she said.  I told her that she would have to put them back out in the dirt and dig them up again in the spring.  When she asked why I tol her that they would not live in her until next spring when we could go fishing again.  Her reply, “Not even in the refrigerator?” 

A little later on we sat down for some reading.  I was reminded that it is only 2 days until Thanksgiving!  So I thought we better get some Thanksgiving reading in.   Between what was on our shelf and what we gathered from the library a few weeks ago, we had quite a bit. 

Some selections from the Library:

Homeplace by Ann Shelby
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Thanksgiving Treat by Catherine Stock

From our Shelves:

Christopher’s Harvest Time by Elsa Beskow
My First Thanksgiving by Tomie dePaola
The Story of the Pilgrims by Katherine Ross
How Many Days to America? by Eve Bunting
The First Thanksgiving by Jean Craighead George
And last, but certainly not least..
Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin 

We have a few more Thanksgiving titles on the shelf that we may get to tomorrow or the next day.

After all that reading everyone was hungry.  I went to the kitchen to find that it was time we needed to start getting ready to leave!  So, I made peanutbutter crackers and sent the boys in for showers.  At one point, Kevin came to me and wanted to know what time the Annunciation started.    He got his mysteries mixed up!  (If you don’t already know, Catholics pray the Rosary.  It is all based on the Bible.  The “Joyful” mysteries have to do with Mary, the Mother of God.  We concentrate on the Annunciation (when the angel Gabrial appreared to Mary), the Visitation (when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth), the Birth of Jesus, the Presentation (when Jesus as a baby is taken to the temple and presented), and the finding of Jesus in the Temple (when Jesus stayed behind to talk to the leaders of the temple.)) 

After all of that, we managed to get our “Sunday best” on and got to the church on time! 

 Where was Joe through all of this?  At the VA dentist getting two teeth pulled!  Ouch!  He’s doing OK though. 

RIP Bishop Niedergeses

November 20, 2007

Today was the funeral and burial of our beloved old Bishop.  Bishop Niedergeses was the 9th Bishop of Nashville from 1975-1992.  One of the many little blessings that God granted us for moving here was that we had several opportunities to meet him.  John and Kevin got to serve at his Masses a few times when Bishop would come to visit his family.

 The old bishop grew up in the town that we attend Mass in.  Most of his family still live there.  This morning his funeral Mass was in Nashville.  This afternoon there was visitation at our church, a short ceremony that was done before transporting him to his final resting place.  The children watched as the casket was lowered.  It was an experience I’m sure they won’t soon forget. 

 Please pray for the repose of the soul of this good man and for his many family members who are left to grieve. 

Vaccinations and Parental Rights

November 19, 2007

Whether you do or don’t vaccinate your children, no matter what your stand is on it, shouldn’t the choice be yours, the parent?  Well, in Maryland they are threatening to do away with parental rights there.  If they are able to do this, what will be next?  You can help with grassroot efforts.  To find out how, visit this site and read more. 

Tis’ the Season…For Hayrides!

November 15, 2007

Ride on!

First we visited the local “pumpkin patch” which is really a farm. They have a corn maze, lots of animals, and a wonderful play area.  The chidren really enjoy it.  When Charlotte saw the pigs she said, “look at the doggies!”  They also had a little play display called ” From farm to Market” in the barn.  Part of that was a little store section set up that you see in one of the pictures.  On a different day, we got together with some friends and had a nice long hay ride all over their land.   Autumn is just so beautiful here.   (You can click on the pictures to enlarge.)

hayride1.jpg   hayride2.jpg   hayride3.jpg

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 By the way, we have been trying to think of a name for our place.  In Virginia our place was called “Serenity Ridge.”  The more children we had, the more funny the name was to me.  Here we just hadn’t come up with anything that we both could agree on.  Since Joe and our neighbor were cutting walnut trees off the ridge and we had a bumper crop of walnuts all over the place, Joe thought Walnut Ridge would be appropriate.  His friend Daniel added “Farm” to the end of the name for us.  So, there you have it…Walnut Ridge Farm.  Here is a picture of Walnut Ridge Farm in the Autumn…

homestead33.jpg  This picture was taken teh other day when it wasn’t very sunny.  I just wanted to get the Bradford pears turing that red color.  Perhaps I’ll try again tomorrow if it is sunny out. 

Thirty Five and Still Alive!

November 15, 2007

Anyone who has lost a baby knows that it is a sheer miracle that any are born.  Anyone who has or knows a child with a serious illness knows that every day is a blessing.  So, it is a miracle that I am here!  Last month I turned 35!  I’d like to take a minute to say thanks to Mom and Dad who were pro life all those years!  Even back 35 years ago, 9 children was somewhat of an oddity.  I would also like to thank God.  I am so greatful for the life He has given me and for my dearest Husband and wonderful children.  We are so blessed.

 We had a little dinner with (who else?) the Gabbetts.  At Mass that morning John asked Fr. B. if he would like to come for dinner.  He did!  It was a real treat to have him over for my birthday.  We had a lovely meal together and topped it off with strawberry cous-cous cake.  Father had to get back and left.  Just when we thought the party was over, there was a knock at the door.  Who could it be?  My favorite brother with a “real” cake with 35 candles on it!  What a guy.  (We didn’t even know he was in town.) Now you know who the BEST brother in the world is!  (Of course, my children think he is the BEST uncle!)  So, in case you missed the festivities, here are some pictures.  (You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

birthday-1.jpg   birthday2.jpg   birthday-3.jpg

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Thanks to everyone who sent cards, called, and wished me well.  Your continuted prayers and love are so appreciated.  God bless!