Archive for May, 2008

May Snap Shots

May 19, 2008

We had another May crowning, this one with our Catholic Homeschool group in the Huntsville area. 

   James spent some time making invitations for his First Communion with a little help from Illuminated Ink and Mom. 

Kevin, the reptile hunter was at it again.  James knocked on the window and asked me to come to the door.  Kevin was standing there with the snake and said, “Um, can you get a picture, Mom?” 

Heard in the car as we were looking for a certain road… 
James: “That ain’t it.”
Mom: Not saying anything but thinking about James’s poor English and how my Mother would have corrected any of us for that word.
James: (Before I had a chance to say anything) “I mean, that isn’t it. … Sometimes I like to speak with a Southern accent. But, I think ain’t is the only word I know in Southern.”

Mom has been in a creative mood lately thanks to a lovely blog mentioning a really neat magazine that I had to check out. (I cannot wait to play with felting, especially with the children.  If you have any old sweaters, please send them my way!!!  Thank  you!)  This morning I finished a dress that I started 3 years ago for MaryEllen. It is not the greatest work, but Charlotte really liked it and MaryEllen kept saying how pretty it is and begging me to make her one.
  And here’s a close up of our little Charlotte…

The second project that I found time to work on is the start of a dress, again started about 3 years ago.  This is my very first attempt at smocking and embroidery.  After taking this picture, I learned a very valuable lesson about smocking dresses.  If you are going to add embroidery, do it after you block the smocking for the pattern.  Now all that embroidery has to come out.  Two good things about that.  1.  It was really good practice and 2. it will give me plenty to do while listening to EWTN at night! 

 Last, but certainly not least, are the shirts that Mom sent me as mentioned in the previous post.  Thanks again, Mom.     And the belly shot.  Yesterday I officially hit the 6 month mark.  Today I officially hit the 27 week mark, which marks the beginning of the 3rd trimester. 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

May 19, 2008

Today is my Mom’s 81st Birthday.  I hope you have a lovely week up north and enjoy all the Naval Academy has to offer this week.

Thank you also for the lovely shirts you sent.  I have been trying to post pictures of them all afternoon, but to no avail.  Hopefully before you go home they will be up.

God bless you, Mom.  We love you!

Prayers for a Family

May 12, 2008

Please pray for a local family here.  Elgin, the husband and dad was killed Sunday night in a head-on car crash.  He leaves behind his wife of 33 years, Josephine, some adult children, two daughters still at home, and some grandchildren.  Thank you.

Stink Bug at 4:25 a.m.

May 12, 2008

Did you ever wake up with something crawling on your forehead?  Well, this morning it was a stink bug.  Where did he come from?  What a way to wake up.  The heartburn/acid reflux was too bad to go back to bed.  I got up and made ume-sho-kuzu tea (I posted the recipe a few months back) and that seems to be helping.  Now I’m here at the computer, printing out today’s assignments and blogging. 

On Thursday I went around and took some pictures of the different creatures and plants around here to post here and haven’t done it yet.  Perhaps today.  Friday was our Contenders meeting.  The children (Contenders and Keepers) worked on manners and ediquite.  On Saturday it was down to Huntsville for alter boy training, Costco, and the library.  A few weeks ago I picked out a Bill Nye video.  Since Mom picked it out no one wanted to watch it because it must be boring.  But when it was played all children were glued and now they all ask to get another one when at the library.  Yesterday (Sunday) was the Latin Mass and James made his First Confession.  He’ll make his First Communion on May 25.  If you are in the area, you are welcome to come.  There will be a reception to follow.  This morning is Mass and then on to Uncle Tom’s for breakfast.  Yeah!  Everyone enjoys it when he is in town.

Now, here are some of the pictures I took to put here the other day…

The flowers are blooming…

Marigolds of many shapes and sizes


The beautiful white rose bush is in bloom

The bushes around the front porch are beautiful and pink

In the garden…

On Saturday night we had severe thunderstorms (but the tornadoes stayed south of us.  Praise God!)  Some cooler weather came in which I’m hoping will help the kale, beets, and radishes because it was really getting hot.  Yesterday the high was about 67 and today it is suppose to be lower 70s before reaching 80 tomorrow.  Here is the start of beets, kale, and the strawberry patch (complete with ant hill)…


The horses are happy to be back in the bigger pasture.  We had moved them to the lower pasture so Joe could fix the fence part that was washed away during the heavy rain.  The lower pasture fence comes up to the front yard and it was really neat having them there too.  But they do seem to enjoy having a larger running space and the barn.

Joe was busy working on the weather station…

Did I mention that Fancy had kittens?  There are three this year.  Since they have been moved up from the barn the children want to be with them all the time!  Poor things.


Well, I hope you got more sleep than I did and have a wonderful day!

Tag…I’m it?

May 9, 2008

Well, my dear friend Laurie tagged me a while back. Since I am up waiting for the jeans to dry, I’ll go ahead and post this now before it doesn’t get done!

Please forgive me for typos as it is late, I am tired, and I can’t seem to copy the rules from Laurie’s blog.  Here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules.
2) List ten things you love about your husband.
3) Tag people and link their blogs at the end of the post.
4) Let the people know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

OK, here goes….(as the dryer beeps!)

1. He is my best friend and confidant.
2. He is a wonderful provider for us.
3. He is a wonderful father and loves his children.
4. He tries to follow the will of God.
5. Tall, dark, and handsome!
6. He is a jack of all trades and master of many.
7. He can find solutions to problems that I never would, (very good, logical brain!)
8. He is a great childbirth coach (when he isn’t sleeping!)
9. He is manly.
10. He is an excellent judge of character.
11. He plows the fields.

I could go on and on…but I’ll spare you all.  I thank God every day for my husband.

I’ll tag Jennifer (if she can find the time with a new baby!) and Ruth.


RIP “Uncle Pete”

May 9, 2008

Francis “Pete” Latham passed away this morning around 3:09 am. I’m told it was a very peaceful death. He was a War War II veteran and had been suffering for a while. He was Joe’s Mom’s cousin, but very much like an uncle to us. Please join us in praying for the repose of his soul, for his wife, Brenda, and for his 3 sons and his whole family. My his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace. Amen.

Article on Modesty

May 9, 2008

My friend Mary Ellen has written a pertinent article on modesty that can be found here.  Enjoy!

Radishes Today

May 7, 2008

Today the radishes were planted. 

There are two rows of Daikon, a Japanese white long radish that resembles a carrot.  These radishes are really, really good for digestion.  They have a peppery taste when raw and a sweet taste when cooked.  I love to eat them in miso soup.(Photo from

In the next row of the garden are Pink Beauties.  The picture of these radishes looked so girly and cute when I saw it, they reminded me of my daughters.  I thought they would especially love those.   Here is a description of it from my favorite seed catalog (Baker’s Creek Heirloom seeds).   (photo from

For the next row we have German Giants.  Once again, my heritage played a role in selecting this radish.  (We have a lot of German blood in us.)  This radish is said to tolerate drout like conditions, which I am hoping don’t happen this year, but just in case!  Also they can get pretty big and not split, have a  mild flavor and don’t get woody.  They grew well for us last year. (Photo from

 The last variety that are planted (for now) are Cherry Belle radishes from Pinetree Seeds.  They are advertised as a southern performer and the name reminds me of Southern Belles, which I would love to be some day.  It is said these radishes are round and brilliant red.  They keep crisp in the fridge and have a lovely, mild flavor. (photo from

The red radishes we get are usually used for quick pickles or pressed salads.  Our favorite thing to pickle with is Umeobeshi Vinegar.  Umeobeshi vinegar is made from a Japanese plum and is very medicinal.  They are good for digestion and digestive problems such as indigestion and heartburn.  Pressed salads can be made with a variety of veggies.  Our favorites are radishes, red onions, bok choy, and sometimes grated carrots.  These vegetables are cut as thin as possible and placed in a bowl.  Then some Umeobeshi vinegar is added.  After that the salad is kneeded together gently.  Next a plate or bowl is placed in and a weight (like a gallon jug of rice syrup) is placed in that and the salad is pressed.  After is sits for a period of time (whenever the rest of the meal is completed), the juice is drained and the pressed salad is ready to be eaten.  Delicious! 

For later this summer and early fall we have Watermelon radish seeds that we’ll plant.  (They are officially called Chinese Red Meat.)  We discovered these lovely radishes this past winter and can’t wait to grow some.  We were even more pleased to see that Baker Creek Heirloom seeds offered them this year!  They tend to be large, have red insides with a layer of green surrounding the red, and some white on the outside.  They give salads such color in the cooler weather. 

Here is what I think is a neat article on Asians eating giant radishes.

Here is an article about growing radishes.

In the Garden Today, May 6, 2008

May 6, 2008

I finished planting the 3rd bean tee-pee.  As I was finishing, Kevin, the reptile hunter, moved a piece of wood and found this…

  It is the biggest Black Widow Spider I have ever seen.  I didn’t get to see the red hourglass on her underside, but I didn’t have to.  You just know these things when you see them.  Fortunately they are not aggressive.  Here is a picture of some of her with a match box car.  The black widows that I have seen in the past have been about 1/2 the size of this one. 


The Last Part of April & Beginning of May

May 6, 2008

One Thursday a few weeks ago the children and I took a ride to Chattanooga.  We were there to see the War Between the States sites.  We spent too much time lost, but we did manage to find the picnic place and the Craven house.   We never did find the visitor’s center there, but that’s OK as it was closed for renovations.  We walked part of a trail and saw a lot of monuments.  There was also a huge rock that you’ll see in the pictures.


We spent the rest of the day at Chickamauga Battlefield in Georgia.  They had the best gun collection!   We need to go back and spend a few days there.  They had cannons just outside the visitor center.  The boys were especially to see a Napoleon cannon up close!

After that, we went out to eat and then to the wonderful McKay’s Used book store.  I could not figure out why they were closing an hour early.  When I asked, the man said it was 9:00 pm.  “Oh, does that mean we are in Eastern time?”  Yes, it did and I didn’t know it until then!

On the following Saturday we were in Huntsville for Alter boy training and were planning to meet some friends there that afternoon.  We had some time to spare so we went to the library.  Still more time to spare, so we went to the Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville.  Our guide was very knowledgeable and had served in some of these tanks.  I felt the trip was well worth the money.  We only took 1 picture…

This past Friday we went on our annual home school retreat to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament.  We took a picture by the St. Joseph statue in the courtyard.

 Just to let you know, John cracked up laughing after the picture was taken because of his expression for the picture!  Oh, those boys!

One day the girls were playing with their dolls and books on the school room floor.  Then I heard them say they wanted to go out and play.  “But you can stay in here and read,” they said to their dolls. 

This past Sunday was our May crowning.   The statue of Mary is located too high up on the wall, so the girls put flowers in the vase in honor of our Blessed Mother.  It was so sweet!


In the Garden…

We have our boarder of marigolds and hot peppers planted, or should I say re-planted.  The first bunch got hit with frost which was not fore-casted until a few hours after I planted them!  Ugh!  But, they look lovely and will hopefully keep those deer away.  The strawberries from last year are started to bear fruit.  Charlotte and I shared the first ripe one of the season yesterday.  Oh, they are delicious!  Yeah!  The only obstacle there is there is a rather large ant hill right there.  That strawberry yesterday helped overcome some of my fear of the ants getting all the strawberries before the humans got to them.  (Ants in Tennessee are not like ants in New Jersey or Virginia!  These ones bite!  But, I’ll save that for another post.)

The kale and beets are growing slowly but surely and I worry that it may be too hot already for them.  We might need to put up some shading.  It is well into the 80s and suppose to be that way for the next 10 days or so.  We shall see.  We also have some Royal Burgundy Bush Beans that are coming up nicely.

Yesterday the boys put up some poles resembling tee-pees and I planted Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans around two of the groups.  I’ll get the last one this evening.  I also started several plants yesterday so that when they are put in the garden I can tell them apart from the weeds.  I hope to start some flower seeds soon as well. 

The pumpkin patch is still questionable at this point.  I feel as if I should be out there planting it, but it hasn’t been plowed yet (as if Joe doesn’t have enough to do around here!)  The horse now occupy the places where they were last year and where I though of putting them this year.  So, I’m leaving it up to Joe.  They might do well in the upper pasture, but I have a hard time imagining me climbing up there every day when I am even bigger with baby, but it would be good exercise.

Last but Not Least…

My growing belly for Mary Lou.  I told Joe to take a picture of my skinny side, but I don’t think there is one of those left.  This picture was taken today officially at 25 weeks and 1 day.