Monday, November 30, 2009

Update and Prayer Request

Last week was busy, but fun. Ram's parents made it home safely yesterday. I have also been working on a Christmas present so I didn't get a blog post written yesterday. I received my free Christmas cards and they look really nice. I don't know when they came, because FedEx left them at the church. We only did school a few days last week so there isn't a lot to report on school. I'm afraid December will be the same-just a few days of school each week, with lots of Christmas activities. The Lambs have a Christmas party for ECFE already tomorrow night!
DakotaPam needs our prayers for her husband, church, and twin girls she is pregnant with. You can read the specifics to pray for here. She is a blog friend that I've met in real life. I'm afraid we are going to hear more similar stories with the economy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Not a typical Thanksgiving weekend post

About the middle of October, so about a month ago, I bought myself a new pair of khaki pants. I spent a long time in the fitting room and found a pair that was acceptable to me, but not the best fitting pants I have ever bought. They were a bigger size than I would have liked, but I figured this was because I had 3 Lambs. This was the first pair of pants (with the exception of 2 pairs of jeans) that I had bought since before I was pregnant with Lamb 1. Ram would prefer that I don't ever wear pants, but it does get cold here and we do activities with the Lambs that would be much easier in pants than a skirt. I know that Angie wears skirts all the time, and maybe some day I will get to that point, but I'm not there yet. Since it had been so long since I bought a pair of pants, I didn't think I could do it over the internet, I needed to try them on.
My mom said she could never lose weight when she was nursing. I've been pregnant or nursing or both since June of 2003 so I really didn't know what she was talking about. I obviously wasn't one of those women that LOSES weight while nursing, but I figured I was just maintaining a weight. I did notice that I've had less of an appetite than when I was nursing, but I thought that was because I was sick recently and hadn't quite recovered.
Maybe you can tell where this post is pants that I bought a month ago are TOO BIG! (Even after eating Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers too!) The combination of being sick earlier this month and Lamb 3 completely weaning and I lost a few lbs. But what I can't believe is those pants that fit well just ONE MONTH ago are too big. I am tall and I hate pants shopping more than any other kind of shopping. I can't believe I have to do this all over again. Ram tells me that I don't have to, I can just wear skirts, but I want to own ONE pair of dress pants and one pair of jeans that fit. Big sigh from me here. I don't expect you to have pity on me, I just wanted to type out my frustration.
I'll go finish my appointment with a turkey carcass (HT: Indiana Jane for that terminology) and worry about new pants another day.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Coconut Oil and Black Friday

My mom asked me a few months ago about using coconut oil. Rebellious Pastor's Wife had an excellent post on coconut oil today. I used to use Spectrum because we could get it at the grocery 1 1/2 hours away. Then I changed to LouAna from Walmart because it was so much cheaper. But I have not been happy with LouAna, especially for baking. I was thinking of going back to Spectrum but I may try Tropical Traditions now. Also, read the comments on this post because it has some more information.

Today Ram's parents left about 11:30am to begin their drive home. We had turkey sandwiches before they left. The Lambs "needed" their train track rebuilt before they left. They were only here a few days, but we had a nice dinner on Tuesday, church and a potluck on Wednesday night, and of course Thanksgiving dinner. Ram's dad organized my 30,000 (that is not an exaggeration!) e-mails since 2006. Amazing how much faster our computer runs now! He did a few other tasks on our computer and also fixed the Lambs easel and replaced batteries in a few toys. My dad has become the fix-it grandpa so the Lambs expect Ram's dad to also fix toys too. We also took a lot of pictures, especially so I could practice with his nice camera.

After they left we headed over to SD to the town about 20 miles away from us. We went to Farm and Fleet looking for an idea what Lamb 2 wanted for Christmas. He was no help but Lamb 1 had several ideas of what he wanted, but we already have Lamb 1's present. We bought each of the Lambs a small Schleich animal there so they got one thing today. Then I went to Hallmark and the drug store while Ram and the Lambs stayed in the car and played with their new animals. Melissa and Doug toys were 40% off at the drug store but I didn't see anything to buy for them. Hallmark had some good sales and I bought a few items at both stores. Then we went to a store called Alco and bought a few more items on sale, but still no ideas from Lamb 2. We went to the bank and to the local grocery store (great sales there too).
We definitely didn't get up early to shop, nor did we go to a bigger town or city with the big sales. But the salespeople in the stores we went to all had stories. One customer drove 1 1/2 hours and was there real early to go to Menards and found the exact same product locally when she got home for the exact same price. Another saw something too expensive in the town 1 1/2 hours away and didn't buy it and saw it cheaper in the local town.
We were pretty tired from this last week and the Lambs didn't have rest time, so we skipped the town 15 miles away parade and local stores open houses with lots of treats tonight. I didn't feel like fighting the mud outside our house and it was getting colder too. We put the Lambs to bed early. Ram is writing his sermon for a funeral tomorrow. I can't believe it will be December in just a few more days!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

A few weeks ago Grandma sent these Pilgrim hats (and also turkey hats) and the Lambs couldn't wait until it was time to wear them. Finally our Thanksgiving dinner arrived and they could wear them. Lamb 3 wouldn't even try his hat on. Lamb 1 and 2 ate their whole dinner with their hats on.
For Thanksgiving, Ram's parents came on Tuesday. They already have to leave tomorrow but we had a nice few days with them.
For Thanksgiving dinner, we invited our babysitter, Graceann and her family. We had to eat at two tables to fit all of us. We kept the menu pretty simple and also pretty traditional. Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole (Ram's parents picked it up at Costco on the way here-it was fully of sugar and very good!), cranberry (from a can), bean salad (leftover from church potluck last night), and homemade dinner rolls. For dessert there was Swedish apple pie (thanks Pam for the recipe!), pumpkin pie (my non dairy recipe with orange juice instead of milk), and pecan pie. We started eating pie on Tuesday so there was not very much pecan pie left by dinner tonight! We had much time to chat tonight with everyone. Ram's parents will eat breakfast and leave about noon tomorrow.
Lamb 1 and 2 wore their hats because it was their idea!
Lamb 1 and 2 with Toby. Toby took a little while to warm up to us and Lamb 3 never warmed up to them. Lamb 1 and 2 were all too eager to play with another "baby".

Heidi, Toby, Lamb 3, and Ewe. Would you believe Toby is just a few weeks older than Lamb 3? Toby is pretty much potty trained and about 7 more lbs than Lamb 3. Lamb 3 has a while to go for both of those!

The whole gang thanks to Ram's dad's nice camera with a timer and a tripod! He even let me practice with his camera this week to get an idea what I want as our camera is slowly dying.
Front row: Heidi, Graceann, and Lamb 1
Back row: Dennis, Toby, Lamb 2, Ewe, Ram, Lamb 3, Ram's mom and dad

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


November 25

National Tie One on Day (see yesterday's post for more details-I tied an apron on and baked dinner rolls, pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies for Thanksgiving and cinnamon rolls and pumpkin cookies to deliver to a friend for NTOoD)

Lamb 2 turns 3 1/2

Ram's 6 1/2 year anniversary of ordination into the holy ministry (Wow-we've lived here 6 1/2 years!)

Ewe's baptismal anniversary!
36 years ago today, my parents brought me to the font at St. Luke's Lutheran church in Itasca, IL where the pastor baptized me in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Gracious Lord, we give thanks that in Holy Baptism we receive forgiveness of sins, deliverance from death and the devil, and eternal salvation. On this baptismal anniversary, bless me continually by Your Word and Spirit that I may faithfully keep the covenant into which I have been called, boldly confess my Savior, and finally share with all Your saints the joys of eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen (LSB page 310)

We asked the choir to sing this hymn for Lamb 1's baptism (they have TLH and only the choir has LSB). It started a new "tradition" at the church that the choir sings this hymn for the few baptisms our church has had since we have lived here.

Go, My children, with My blessing, Never alone.
Waking, sleeping, I am with you; You are My own.
In My love's baptismal river I have made you Mine forever.
Go, My children, with My blessing-You are My own. (LSB 922:1)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

National Tie One on Day

Tomorrow is National Tie One on Day! I know who I am going to write an encouraging note to and possibly share a plate of homemade cookies with too. I'm going to do it a little early because we are going to be busy with family tomorrow. But I do plan to wear an apron several times this week while I'm baking and getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner.
A few years ago one of our churches had a guest night that the theme was aprons. They decorated all the tables with aprons for your dish soap that we were able to take home. Several women modeled aprons of all kinds. They read some poems about aprons. It was an enjoyable evening.
My interest in aprons started that guest night. We had already cleaned out my grandma's house and it was too late to get one of the hundreds of aprons that she had. Before caterers for weddings, it was an honor to help serve at a friend's wedding reception and the gals that served wore matching aprons that they were able to keep. My grandma had several of these from having 2 daughters. I wish I would have taken more when I was offered them. I did get a few of my grandma's aprons. Ram's grandma gave me a few more. Then we visited Ram's Great Uncle Del and he gave me a few of Great Aunt Trudy's aprons. Then the last time we visited Great Uncle Del, his home health nurse encouraged me to take some more aprons. With Aunt Trudy gone, no one wants those aprons except me.
Then Angie recommended The Apron Book. I enjoyed reading more and learning more about aprons.
On Sunday Ram was my photographer to model some of my aprons. I have more that aren't pictured here! Unfortunately I got aprons but didn't always pay attention who they were from. I think I have them correct here-maybe my mom can correct me if I'm wrong on some of these. Aunt Trudy and Ram's grandma were much shorter than I am. Some of the ties are not long enough on those!

I think this apron belonged to my grandma. I wore it for my Halloween costume this year. I was a "housemother". One lady complimented my apron!
I think this was also my grandma's.

Another of my grandma's.

Another of my grandma's

This was Aunt Trudy's. I think it is pretty with the decoration on top. I didn't quite get it on straight in my fast modeling/photography session.

Aunt Trudy's. This would be great for an every day apron, but there aren't any pockets. Maybe some day I'll add pockets.

Aunt Trudy's. Lamb 2 is modeling the apron that I like him to wear when he helps me bake. He always makes a big mess. We bought this apron. Lamb 1 is modeling an apron that is actually meant for gardening that we got free from some promotion. He wears this one for baking because he doesn't get as messy. I guess we'll have to buy an apron for Lamb 3 soon.

My apron looks like a candy striper! Another of Aunt Trudy's. The Lambs switched aprons for the photo.

Aunt Trudy's.

Aunt Trudy's. I think this one is beautiful!

Aunt Trudy's. Says Portugal on it.

Aunt Trudy's.

Aunt Trudy's.

Aunt Trudy's.

One of my students gave me this Vera Bradley apron for a present. After that, Vera Bradley didn't sell aprons at their annual sale in Fort Wayne very often. I was glad to get this one. I wear it often when I wear an apron. Ram likes me to wear aprons and I'm getting better at wearing them!

This one was Ram's Grandma's. I think she was glad to pass it on to her "granddaughter".
Now, go participate in National Tie One on Day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthday celebrations

Lamb 2 turns 3 1/2 on November 25. We celebrated a few days early because we will be busy with Thanksgiving. I had a terrible time getting him to not smile (look mad) for a photo. This was the best one out of several that we took. I'm happy that at 3 1/2 (actually before this) he completely day time potty trained. He is also doing very well in homeschool.
Since I was sick on my birthday, we celebrated later. We went out to eat for my free birthday dinner on Nov. 15. Ram got my roses during Caring Rose Week ($10+2 cans of food=12 roses). Our babysitter helped the Lambs make chocolate cupcakes so I didn't have to bake my own cake.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ninth (again) Week of School Report

We actually are on week 11 or something like that, but because of sickness we only had a few days of school the 9th and 10th week, so I decided this was week 9.
First, Ram did this post on his blog. I asked him who Aldus Huxley was. He told me that was like asking who C.S. Lewis was. Blog readers-do you know who Aldus Huxley was? Am I the only culturally illiterate one here? I'm thinking that Ram is more knowledgeable about stuff like this.

I must say that after 9 weeks, I think we are doing well where I would like Lamb 1 to be in kindergarten. I've never taught kindergarten before or homeschooled before and we've had a lot of sickness this fall. Lamb 2 is also doing remarkably well for only 3 years old-picking up most of what Lamb 1 is learning. Lamb 3 is also listening to most of our homeschool time. When we read aloud he has to sit right in the middle and pushes until he gets in just the right spot to see the pictures and listen. Lamb 1 and 2 don't like to share Mama's lap for this so it makes quite a scene until we are all situated so that everyone is happy. Here's what we accomplished this week.
Math: We finished lesson 5 and are almost done with lesson 6. Lesson 6 has them write their numbers to 100 and also write counting by 10s. When I taught Saxon first and second grade math as a teacher, they rarely had to write all the numbers up to 100 and never had to write it for a whole week. So it impresses me that he is doing this in kindergarten. At the first couple lessons this week, I was getting so frustrated with working with Lamb 1. He started daydreaming or worried about his brothers doing something else or started doodling on other parts of the paper...After 2 days of frustration, I decided to leave the math worksheet out on his desk so when he woke up that was the first thing he saw. Our morning routine is get up and go to the bathroom, put on clean underwear, have one piece of Halloween candy, and then play quietly until Ram and Ewe get up and get breakfast for everyone. After I put the worksheet out the night before, Lamb 1 got up and wrote his numbers to 100 before I even woke up. He saved some of the review parts for after I got up, but it saved a lot of time and especially frustration on MY part this way. I plan to continue this for the remaining lessons that he writes to 100. I know in MUS you can go on without doing all the worksheets if they get the concept. Lamb 1 CAN write his numbers to 100. I think the daily practice is good for him though.
Handwriting: We skipped around this week, wrote Bb and November and Happy Thanksgiving. I need to plan to get back to letters of the alphabet to be sure he really knows how to correctly write all the letters.
Reading: We skipped Five in a Row this week because I want to spend more time on quilts from The Rag Coat. We will skip it again this week with Thanksgiving. Then we'll spend the week after Thanksgiving finishing The Rag Coat and begin a new book the second week of December. We read several My Book House stories. One was the story of the turtle who could not stop talking. The geese offered to give him a ride if he held on to a stick and warned him he could not talk. Of course he was tempted and talked and fell to the ground. Afterwards I asked the Lambs what they thought of that story. I was concerned they might be worried about the turtle falling. Lamb 1 answered, "Good story." I guess I don't need to be concerned about stories like that! We began memorizing Psalm 23 and are more than 1/2 way through. I used a picture book by Gennady Spirin for this. Lamb 1 and 2 are both doing very well memorizing this. We read some other poems. We read some books about Thanksgiving and books about the body like "Why Do We Sleep?"
Phonics: We finished all the letters of the alphabet in The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. Lamb 1 begged to do just a few more lessons. At this point last year (the first time through TOPGtTR) after a few of the beginning reading lessons, Lamb 1 hit a brick wall. We took the summer off and started over this fall. This time he has a much better base of the vowel and consonant sounds. We went on to the first reading lesson and he couldn't help himself to peek at the next lessons. It begins with reading "an" and then "at" and then words that rhyme with an and at. Lamb 1 easily read all those words and begged for more. I think we are very close to it being too difficult for Lamb 2 now, but he knows his vowels and consonants well and he might surprise me. The Lambs recite their vowels and consonants before they go to sleep-it must be fun to say the rhymes! This is exciting to me that Lamb 1 is doing so well this time. I'm also glad that we finished (and learned well this time) the vowels and consonants after one quarter of school.
Religion: For Bible stories we have been using the CPH Sunday School posters. My dad has bought us all the sets so far. We just realized the most recent set was a repeat of previous ones. Anyway, this week we completed and reviewed the first set of posters-what would be done in one quarter of Sunday School. I did it this way so they would have different lessons in homeschool than they have in Sunday School. Because of sickness we went very slow and in our schedule if we run out of time, Bible story is usually the first that doesn't get done. We still finished the first set of posters this quarter of school. We reviewed the previous lessons every time so the Lambs know the stories of creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham, Jacob, etc. well. We began Zechariah this week too.
I found out that the hymn for Thanksgiving that I chose was not one that Ram picked for Thanksgiving at our churches. Because of miscommunication (I like to tell him one hymn to pick that I want the Lambs to learn), I didn't work on any hymns with the Lambs this week. Hopefully they won't notice that we don't sing the hymn we began earlier this month at church. I will pick an Advent hymn and we'll begin learning that soon. We'll work on a Thanksgiving hymn next year.
We fit in catechism every day this week. I found it works well to play the Sing the Faith CD while we drive-to haircuts and to pick up our babysitter etc. We worked on the 6th commandment this week. Our memory verse for Sunday School was Psalm 86:6.
For several months we have had 4 table prayers posted (from the catechism) and Lamb 1 and 2 take turns picking one at meals. They like to pick the longest one best! But sometimes they pick another one. Lamb 1 showed that he knew "Lord God heavenly Father, bless us and these Your gifts which we receive from Your bountiful goodness, through Jesus Christ, our Lord." by heart. Not to be outdone, Lamb 2 then recited the same prayer by heart. We praised them. This is significant to me because they can't read yet, but we continued to recite one of those 4 prayers daily. Ram and I were the only ones to say it at the beginning and they joined in a little as they learned them. We continued and because we were working on 4 prayers, it took a few months, but they learned it from JUST reciting them daily. We didn't "work" on memorizing them.
Latin: We did lesson 5 and I've "caught" the Lambs reciting Latin on their own at other times of the day too.
Music: We've been listening to classical music more often, especially during tea time. I hope to do more with music (begin learning to read music notes) in January.
Art: The only art we did this week was painting at ECFE.

This became a long post. Whew! It just shows that we did A LOT in homeschool this week. We also fit in a lot of extra activities. On Tuesday the Lambs got haircuts and we had ECFE. The ECFE theme was the 5 Senses. On Wednesday our babysitter came and it was nice enough to go to the park for a long time. On Thursday, Ram took the Lambs to the farm to get eggs. On Friday the Lambs chose a prize from the bank (hooray for small town banks!) for their deposits in their savings account. Lamb 1 has been playing lots of Legos with his new prize.
I did quite a bit of cleaning this week too. I still have a lot left to do before Ram's parents get here on Tuesday. I will be busy after the Lambs go to bed tonight and tomorrow. I still have more cleaning and lots of baking that I want to do. I am still recovering from being sick-I was weak for a long time after this round of the flu. But it is amazing to me when I just work a little every day, how much I can accomplish. It has definitely been slow and steady cleaning this time. It took me a few days but I did clean off my dining room table so we can eat there. It was a big mountain of paperwork and broken toys etc. It is depressing to vacuum with all the mud that is being brought in from the city sewer project. I also had to clean the bathrooms and kitchen well after all our sickness. I also cleaned up the basement-many toys all over and junk to throw out too.
I don't know how much school we will accomplish this week with Ram's parents visiting and Thanksgiving, but we'll try to fit in at least a little this week!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Free photo cards

I'm a little afraid to post twice in one day because I want people to read my first post today, but this deal was so good that I needed to post it today.
I can't tell if the deal expires TODAY or if it is good through November 30. I ordered my 50 free ones last night at about midnight-I was afraid it might be really busy during the day time. It seems too good to be true. I haven't received the cards to know for sure that it works, but I just ordered the 50 free 4x8 cards. We have been sick so I didn't have time to take a "Christmas photo" of the boys yet so I used a family photo from this summer. The preview looked really nice. I figured even if it doesn't work, it was completely free so I'm not out anything except the time it took me to create the card. You can do any kind of photo card, but Christmas cards were perfect for this time of year. We send over 100 Christmas cards every year, so this won't be enough, but to get 1/2 free is wonderful!
Click here to see about this deal.

HT: Esther

No more babies at our house

Lamb 3 decided to wean himself from his bedtime nursing this week. He just decided he didn't want to nurse any more. There's still a little milk in there if he changes his mind in the next few days, but I think he is done nursing.
Lamb 1 weaned himself at about 18 months when I was pregnant with Lamb 2. Lamb 2 weaned when he was almost 16 months when I was pregnant with Lamb 3. Lamb 3 is 19 1/2 months and I know I am not pregnant. He was down to just nursing before bedtime. Last week when he was getting teeth he nursed a little longer at bedtime. I didn't know how I was going to wean him since I wasn't pregnant, but he just decided to be done. I think he wants to play with his brothers those last few minutes before bed and that wins over nursing.
This is the first time I haven't been pregnant or nursing or both since June of 2003. Ram says he knows how to remedy that problem.... I haven't been away overnight from Lamb 3 yet. Maybe I'll have a chance now. Maybe I'll go bra shopping soon too.
Lamb 3 also got his first haircut this week. He cried the whole time, but I didn't want him to have long hair like a girl any longer. I dressed him in green and yellow last week and everyone thought he was a girl. My Lambs always get hair pretty late and need their first haircuts pretty late too.
After Lamb 3 got his last teeth, he's been much more cooperative eating everything too. He was a very picky eater until recently. A few nights ago he ate a bowl of homemade vegetable soup. I fed it all to him, without picking out anything.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Ram's Dad's Mom turns 89 today! Since my grandparents are all in heaven now, it is extra special that we still have one of Ram's grandmas and one of his grandpas. She is a great grandma, she even sent me chocolate for my birthday! This photo was taken in October of 2008 with Lamb 3. We are hoping to go visit her again in CA next fall. They are still in their own home. It is difficult for her to see, but other than that she is healthy. We love you, Great Grandma!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Lambs wake up call for me today

The Lambs came in a few times this morning asking if they could get out the Lincoln Logs and questions like that while Ram and I slept in a little. When Lamb 3 woke up I sent him to play with his brothers. I must have been sleeping harder than I thought, because I had no idea they were in the basement longer than bringing the Lincoln Logs up.
The Lambs were playing quietly beside our bed. I opened up my eyes and Lamb 3 was using two toilet cleaning brushes like canes. I freaked out because I just used one of those brushes to clean the toilet on Monday. I'm sure there was still cleaning stuff on it. We washed Lamb 3's hands and face, just in case, but as far as we could tell, he was just walking with them, didn't put them near his body.
Lamb 2 reported that he had to go to the bathroom while they were in the basement and that is when Lamb 3 got the brushes. I keep the cleaning supplies up high, but I kept the brushes in the bathroom downstairs where the Lambs rarely go. I need to find a new place to keep the brushes now!
Lamb 2 also reported that Lamb 3 took those brushes in the living room and I could tell he took them across the dirty clothes that came down the laundry chute, up the steps, down the hallway, and in our bedroom. As far as I can tell, no damage was done. I'm not sure if bleach spots will show up later on our carpet? We already have one bleach spot on the carpet in the hallway from when my old cleaning lady did that. This is a time that I hate living in a parsonage-you never know what young children will do. It's so much worse when the house doesn't belong to you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly report and cloth diapers

The Lambs got healthy much earlier than I did. Lamb 3 seemed to have a runny nose hang on and wasn't eating as well as normal. I finally realized he got 4 molars and skipped the teeth inbetween so I didn't notice he was getting teeth. I finally felt well enough to have school yesterday (Saturday). Ram went the 1 1/2 hours to go shopping without us on Friday. I gave him a list and he did well-even got a turkey for 39 cents/lb. I won't have our weekly school report this week because we only had one day of school last week. We went out to eat for my birthday dinner tonight.
I have been working on an album for each of the Lambs with their photos that we have had taken professionally (usually Sears). I'm happy to report that I got all 3 albums caught up. I'm not sure if we'll be able to fit in photos in December or if we'll wait until January, but then I'll have another set of photos to add. It is so nice to have those albums caught up for now!
This week coming up I rescheduled their haircuts and Lamb 3 is also going to get his first haircut. I plan to clean the house well after we have all been sick and to get ready for Ram's parents to visit for Thanksgiving. I also plan to do some baking to get ready for Thanksgiving. I hope to be able to do a whole full week of school because I know after Thanksgiving life will get busy here until January.
I have a cloth diaper question for you blog readers. I have gone through cycles since Lamb 3 has been born. I use cloth diapers for awhile, then get lazy and use paper, then Lamb 3 gets diaper rash from the disposables, then I'm motivated to go back to cloth. I have nice cloth diapers so I don't want to spend any more money on that. My problem is the diaper covers leak. I don't know if Lamb 3 needs a different size or a different kind, but what I have is not working. What kind of diaper covers do you recommend and where do you buy them? I don't want to get all in ones-the diapers I have are good. When Ram's dad saw that I was using cloth with Lamb 3 he was surprised both that cloth costs so much (compared to what was available when he had children) AND that we would use cloth when we have the convenience of disposable available that he didn't have. I would really like to get better covers-partly to prove to Ram's dad that cloth does work, but mostly because Lamb 3 is allergic to disposables (and yes, I've tried every brand of disposables before I gave up and decided to try cloth). Plus, I would like to get my money's worth out of the cloth diapers I already have. I appreciate any advice you have.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sissy!

My sister is 29 today! Yes, we are 7 years and 7 days apart. She's eligible if you have any good LCMS boys for her! We love you, Aunt Hannah!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Our engagement

Last week, on November 6, it was our 9th anniversary of engagement. I was too sick to post this then. I did want to post our engagement story.
Ram came over to my house the night before my birthday. He had one of my friends take me away for about an hour. When I returned he had cooked supper for us. If I remember right, he made pork and steamed broccoli. He had borrowed a few items like a vase for flowers from a seminary couple and gone grocery shopping for the food. He figured out where everything was in my kitchen and cooked. After we ate, he took me in my bedroom. He had put roses on my bed and then he gave me my ring. I love my ring! The engagement ring is one diamond and the wedding ring is three small diamonds. I was so excited that I never really gave Ram a chance to ask the question that night. He got down on his knee and asked me the next week when he had the ring resized. I didn't do much teaching at school the next day because I had to show off my ring to everyone! We managed to keep our engagement a secret for a week until we went to tell my sister in person. Ram left for vicarage a few weeks later so we were apart for a year before our wedding.
I love you Ram, and I'm so glad you asked me to marry you 9 years ago!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

College (CUW vs. RF)

Last week on Loopers, there was a discussion about going to college. I was too sick to join in the conversation then so I thought I would post my story on my blog. I am not posting this story to brag, but I'm hoping it may help the Looper that originally asked the college question.
I studied very hard in school so I had very good grades. I was ranked 3rd in my class in high school until my final semester when I took calculus and physics (yes, I took these for fun!) dropped me to 5th in my class. I did not do fantastic on my ACT or SAT, but my class rank was enough for some colleges to notice. Ball State offered me a full ride of tuition. I didn't want to go there because it had the reputation of being a party school. Looking back, maybe I should have commuted from home and gone to school for free for a year or two.
My parents gave me a lot of freedom for college choice. Basically the only school I wasn't allowed to go to was Valpo because it's not Lutheran!
I applied for a lot of scholarships when I was in high school. I got a lot of small ($500) scholarships which all added up. I did best at ones like American Legion and local ones even though local was the second largest town in Indiana. If I remembered the deadline and applied each year of school, they would usually give me money each year too, even though it was only advertised for high school seniors. These local groups usually have money to give away but people don't apply for it or meet the deadline or have a nice typed letter or whatever reason.
I had gone to Art of Music camp at Concordia, River Forest a few summers while I was in high school. After this I had a fantasy view of Concordia, RF. I really wanted to go there. I wanted to be within walking distance of the city and sightsee Chicago and be part of their great Wind Ensemble and be part of their social life that I saw a small part of those summers at music camp. When the financial aid package came, RF gave me almost nothing. There was no way my parents could afford that kind of tuition.
My dad had worked out a family vacation while I was in high school so we had a tour of Concordia Wisconsin. It was ok, but not my dream school like RF. Right away 1/2 the tuition was paid with an academic scholarship and there were other small scholarships. The problem was it was 6 hours away from home and no one from our area, hardly anyone from our state went there. But the fact that I never had to go outside in the winter was very appealing. The buildings are all connected (dorms, cafeteria, chapel, library, classrooms, everything!)
It was embarrassing at the high school honors banquets to have no idea where I was going to college. Even on graduation day I still didn't know. The first born in me sat down and ran the numbers one more time a few days after graduation. It was obvious that financially CUW would work, RF no way. I tried calling RF and pleading with their financial aid office with not one more penny of success. I called CUW and told them I would be attending there in the fall. I returned a phone call to RF and told them I would be going to CUW and why.
A couple of days later, who should call but RF! How much did CUW give you? Would you still come to RF if we matched CUW? I was furious. I had just called a few days before and tried to work with them without any success. I told them no, I had already agreed to CUW.
It ended up that there were only 6 people from the entire state of Indiana that went to CUW when I was a freshman. I was the only flute in the wind ensemble when I was a freshman. I have no idea if I would have been good enough to even audition for the RF Wind Ensemble. The CUW band director talked a couple of other girls into coming to concerts a few times a year but for most of the year I was the entire flute section! The band director promised me we would go on tour before I graduated. We went to both New Orleans and Atlanta on tours before I graduated.
Financially, after scholarships, it was cheaper my freshman year of college to pay tuition and room and board than what my parents had paid the previous year for my Lutheran high school tuition. That is when I knew I had made the right decision to go to CUW.
My sophomore and junior years cost a little more as some scholarships were one time scholarships. My parents paid my tuition/room and board after scholarships for my first 3 years of college. I was on my own for my senior year because by that point they needed to also pay for my sister's Lutheran high school tuition. By this point college tuition had risen since my freshman year. Plus there were extra expenses of student teaching and graduation. The problem is that the financial aid office doesn't understand at all when your parents have been paying for you and now they won't. I got a very small student loan and had to scramble in my meager savings and do extra babysitting etc. to come up with the rest by the time it was due. I even remember I owed some the last semester and they warned me several times that I wouldn't get my diploma unless it was paid. Thankfully I paid everything on time and got out in 4 years! And I easily paid back my very small school loan the first year after I graduated.
Anyway, I had great friends and I'm really glad that I went to CUW. I'm afraid that I might have been disappointed if I would have picked RF because of my expectations for RF. I know I would have graduated with a lot of debt if I would have chosen RF. For several years after I graduated from college, it seemed like all the RF grads that I met were complete snobs. It didn't matter if it was someone from the Seminary or someone that I taught with or a friend of a friend, they were snobs. One is the only girl I've ever met that knew so much about engagement/wedding rings without actually wearing one on her finger. The way she talked the ring was much more important than the guy! I tried very hard to not stereotype RF grads, but it just kept happening! I am so thankful that recently I have met a few RF grads that are not like that. I can think of two regular blog readers that are RF grads!
I don't know if anything in this blog post will help the Looper that asked the question, but it has been fun for me to write out my memories. I guess the biggest point I want to make is just because you think as a high school student that you know the perfect school for you, it may not end up to be the perfect school for you. God truly did have the perfect school picked for me and it wasn't the one I thought it was.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sickness Update

All the Lambs are feeling better and Ram never got sick this round. Ram took Lamb 1 and 2 to ECFE this afternoon. It was his first time taking the boys to ECFE.
Ram made me go to the doctor because I still wasn't better after one week. The doctor agreed that I should be better from regular flu by now. She put me on antibiotics to hopefully help my cough and also help my possible ear infection. I had so much wax that she couldn't actually see my ear drum. In the old days (aka when I was a child) they would clean all that wax out. Now they don't want to disturb the possible ear infection nor risk putting a hole in the ear drum. I have memories of the pain of cleaning out the wax so I was happy we didn't have to do that today.
I took Lamb 3 with me to the doctor because he had not been without a fever for 24 hours so I didn't want to send him to ECFE. It made Ram's job to go to ECFE much easier without Lamb 3. Lamb 3 was scared of my nurse and doctor and afraid they were going to check on him.
This has all been more complicated because our previous doctor got burned out and moved away. It is difficult to be a doctor in this rural area. So we chose to go to a closer town with several doctors but one brand new female doctor. Our previous doctors since we moved here were all Asian. This new doctor graduated from high school when I graduated from college so she is just a few years younger than me. She grew up in this area and wanted to come home. I am hoping that we can stick with her as our doctor for awhile. It was a little strange going to the doctor today and not having to pay such close attention to her accent. I liked hearing English!

Homeschooling our Lambs

I have been sick and had extra time to think this last week. One thought is how guilty I feel that we have been sick and not accomplished very much in homeschooling since September. Then I look at blogs like this and try really hard not to compare myself to that. Unlike that blog, I don't keep any records except for writing my weekly blog report. Then Melrose made this comment. I think a big part of my problem is I am coming from a former Lutheran teacher viewpoint. Add to that, the school that I taught at taught classical Lutheran education.
We are still basically following our schedule that I made earlier this year. We try each morning to begin with Luther's Morning Prayer, say our Bible verse for the week (it's amazing how fast they learn it when you say it 3 times daily-that's all there is to it!), and write on the calendar (Lamb 1 checks the temperature, Lamb 2 checks what the weather looks like outside) and we record major events that we did the day before. When I announce it is time to begin, Lamb 3 is usually the first one to assemble and fold his hands ready to say Luther's Morning Prayer! Lamb 3 can't talk yet, but he "tells" us if we forget this important part of his daily routine.
Then I do math and handwriting with just Lamb 1. Lamb 2 and 3 play while I work with Lamb 1. Then we all sit in my big chair together and read lots together. Sometimes Lamb 3 also joins us, sometimes he goes off on his own and plays. We do Five in a Row now, read from My Book House, read poetry, and recite poetry. I'm getting ready to work on memorizing some Psalms with them for the poetry time after we worked on Robert Louis Stevenson poems for the first quarter. Then we do one lesson from The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. Lamb 1 and 2 are doing this together. It works well to take turns sitting on Mama's lap for reading.
At this point they are in desperate need of playing OUTSIDE. Even if it's raining unless it truly is too cold or they are sick like recently, I "throw" them outside while I work on lunch. Sometimes they go with Ram to the post office.
After lunch they have chore time. They are responsible for putting away the silverware, emptying the recycling, and a few other chores. Then they have rest time. Lamb 1 doesn't sleep, but he is forced to have an hour by himself which gives me a much needed break. I know some homeschool mothers that work alone with older children now but I'm not at that point yet.
Then we have tea time. During tea time (sometimes while the tea is brewing, sometimes while they are eating) we listen to the Prima Latina CD. Then I read the Bible story to them. Then we sing the hymn that we are working on. Again, they learn the hymns really fast if we work on them daily. The last thing we do is listen to the Sing the Faith CD. I allow them to dance and sing during this as long as they are reciting the catechism. The motivation to do Latin and religion at this time of the day is when we are done, then they are free to play until near bedtime. I choose one bedtime story either history or science that I read to both of them together.
It took one quarter for us to get to this point to know what would work for us. I'm sure there will be much more working with the schedule and adding in more.
Melrose, I hope this answered your question. For my other readers, I've never met Melrose and I don't know much more about her other than she is another pastor's wife.
As homeschoolers, we always want to add more and more and more. But sometimes I need to relax and remember that my oldest Lamb is 5 1/2. There will be plenty of time to do First Language Lessons and Story of the World and Apologia Science and my list could go on and on. I think the best for Lamb 1 right now is to balance what we do in school with still giving him a chance to play. When I was teaching at the Lutheran school, the first graders I taught had been forced to grow up and no longer had time to play any more by the time they did the whole school day and then homework and then supper and then ready for the next day. Thank you Melrose, for giving me a chance to think through this again.
Baby steps: first get all healthy again, then get back to homeschooling until we take a long Christmas vacation. Then after Epiphany we'll get back into homeschooling and hopefully even add in a little more to the homeschool schedule.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Prayers for Stellan

If I understood MckMama's posts, there was only a 20% chance of what they were going to try with baby Stellan's heart would work during an ablation that was supposed to be scheduled tomorrow. Stellan almost died this morning before they moved the surgery time up to today.
Another doctor threw out a wild idea that worked and Stellan is SVT FREE now! Prince Charming missed his flight and won't be there until later. Stellan is not out of the woods yet, he needs more prayers as he recovers.
Praise God for the miracle the doctors were able to accomplish today with Stellan!
You can read the whole story here. Warning: You might want to have tissues handy before you read this!

Illness in children vs. adults

I was sick a lot as a child. I had tubes in my ears twice because of ear infections. I finally had my tonsils out when I was a freshman in high school after many rounds of strep throat. I lost count how many times I drank that yucky pink amoxicillan.
I have two vivid memories of being sick as a child.
1. I am a perfectionist. What I hated the most about being sick was I didn't have the energy to clean up my room. I laid in bed thinking-if I just felt well enough to pick up the dirty dishes (usually tea and toast that my mom delivered to me) and pick up the dirty tissues, this room would look SO much better... Sometimes my mom would "rescue" me and come do these little tasks for me and I would immediately feel better even if I didn't get better immediately.

I still am a perfectionist. Imagine how much these thoughts are magnified when the Lambs are also sick today. I sit on my chair and think-if I only had energy to pick up the toys that we didn't get picked up on Tuesday before we got sick, if only I had the energy to pick up the dirty tissues, if only I had the energy to do the dishes, this room would look SO much better... Thankfully Ram is not sick this time so he is able to rescue me a little bit from these thoughts like my mom used to do for me! I haven't been down to my laundry room since Tuesday and I refuse to go down there until I'm better.

2. My other memory is it seemed like I was always sick on the most beautiful weather days when I was a child. I hated being stuck inside when I could hear kids playing outside and hear people mowing the grass etc.

This feeling was magnified hundreds of times for me last week. It rained or snowed 27 out of 31 days in October. When we were sick we finally had some nice sunny days and some of the days were even in the 50s. I almost cried every time I had to answer one of them that we couldn't go outside while we were sick. We didn't take very many Halloween costume photos because of the cold rainy weather. It would have been the perfect opportunity to take photos last week but we were too sick.

I don't know which is more difficult, being the sick child or the sick adult? What do you think? One of my friends said she always feels bad when the mom is sick because then who takes care of mom? Thankfully Ram stayed healthy so he took care of us.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ninth Week of School Report

I had planned on doing a little report card at this point because we have finished 9 weeks of school. That will need to wait until next week.
Monday was probably the worst day of school we have had so far this year. I couldn't figure out why the Lambs were so uncooperative and why I had no patience for them not paying attention. We were able to finish all the subjects but many tears and time outs happened before that. The real icing on the cake was Lamb 2 wrote on our sofa. Lamb 3 is talking enough to know it wasn't Lamb 3. Lamb 1 was eliminated because not only would he not do that, but he's always honest. So it was Lamb 2. Any ideas how to get a sofa clean? He said it was pencil but it is so dark that I think it is also pen.
Tuesday was a little better because we had the motivation that the babysitter was coming. We completed all our subjects before she came.
Wednesday through Friday we were all too sick to have school. Monday made more sense on Wednesday. We were beginning to get sick on Monday! Lamb 1 and 2 were reciting their phonics before bed on Friday night. I think they missed having school, don't you? Lamb 1 especially missed math.
Saturday was my birthday and even if I felt better I declared that we aren't having school on important holidays including our family birthdays.
Before we got sick we accomplished a little.
We worked on math a little. I went back to the beginning with Lamb 1 to work on handwriting. We worked on Aa. He has picked up some bad habits which I'm hoping to break before they get worse. For phonics we did r. We worked on the commandments some more and began memorizing the hymn We Praise You O God, Redeemer Creator. We did more Bible stories about Isaac, Jacob and Esau. We read more science books on fall topics like leaves and pumpkins. We continued The Rag Coat and will also work on it next week. We read from My Book House, also read The Ugly Ducking and Peter Rabbit and recited the R.L. Stevenson poems we had been working on. We continued to work on Latin. The Lambs did play doh with their babysitter on Tuesday. There was no ECFE this week. Hopefully we will all be healthy enough to have a regular week of school this week!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's my birthday...

and I'll cry if I want would cry too if this happened to you!

This is definitely NOT the post that I planned to be posting today! In this photo I had a 104 degree temperature. I was freezing! I put a hat on and Lamb 2 asked me where I was going. He was really puzzled when I answered "bed".

It didn't help that earlier in the week Lamb 2 asked me if I was going to die after my birthday (he was serious). After I had answered that question to his satisfaction then he asked me if 36 was REALLY OLD. I didn't know how to answer the second question. Come on, I'm ONLY 1 1/2 years older than Ram, but having my 3 year old ask these questions did not make me happy.

I'm too sick to go out to eat for my birthday and I have no taste buds because of my cold so I don't care to have Ram cook me something special. Our church didn't have communion on All Saints Day so I was looking forward to church with communion this week. We're not all going to be better in time for church on Sunday. We were scheduled to take the Lambs for Christmas photos on Monday (which really ends up being MY present to scrapbook) and they have too red of noses to go.

The good news is that the UPS man was kind enough to walk through the mud to deliver the 33 lb box of birthday presents that my MIL sent. Ram's grandma sent a big box of chocolate to be enjoyed after I feel better. (Isn't that the greatest grandma to send CHOCOLATE?) The restaurant that we go to honors the free birthday meal all month during your birthday. The Lambs practiced singing Happy Birthday tonight so they'll be ready in the morning. I'm married to a pastor so I can still have communion. We rescheduled the Christmas photos for later in the week and hopefully we'll all be well enough to go then.

On second thought, I won't cry, I'll be thankful for my blessings, especially for my Ram and my Lambs.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ram's cooking class

Last night Ram attended a Vietnamese cooking class. He blogged about it here.

I was glad that he was the one that planned on attending because I was too sick to go. I was feeling a little bit better so I was able to put the boys to bed by myself and eat leftovers when he got home. I was glad he didn't have to miss it because we were sick.

Ram said one of the women that attended was married to a man that served in Vietnam. He never wants to eat Vietnamese type food again in his life. This was a good opportunity for her to get to eat yummy food although she didn't dare take leftovers home like most of the other ones that attended.

At first it seemed like an expensive class ($35). But Ram was able to eat there and brought home leftovers for me to eat and the boys to try a little the next day. He got the recipes so we can make it again for a special occasion. And many of the ingredients are not found at our local grocery store. It would cost more than the class fee for our family to go out to eat.

My mom attended a Chinese cooking class when I was a child. All while I was growing up a few times a year she cooked from those recipes. We still request her to cook Chinese when we actually get home. I think we may start a new tradition to cook Vietnamese a few times a year now.

We have been looking for ways for Ram to get out in the community and also be able to do non-church related events. This was a perfect opportunity. Our rural area doesn't do activities like this very often-mainly community education classes are things like baking holiday cookies. We will be looking to see next fall which country the home ec. teacher teaches another class and hopefully Ram can attend again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Regular flu

Ram and I usually get regular flu shots. We had planned to not give the Lambs flu shots this year. Ram got his regular flu shot. I had H1N1 while they were giving regular flu shots locally. So I never got a regular flu shot this year.
On Tuesday Lamb 2 was coughing a little. On Wednesday all 3 Lambs and Ewe woke up with temperatures and coughs.
On Thursday Lamb 2 got up and was so tired that he almost fell asleep while he was eating breakfast. So Ram brought Lamb 2 to lay next to me in bed. We were dozing off and on for about a 1/2 hour when Lamb 2 really scared me. He started shouting "I want to go home" over and over and then he started shaking and then suddenly he closed his eyes and was quiet. I still don't know what that was about. A minor seizure? A nightmare? Just chills from the fever? Just disoriented because he was in our bed instead of his own bed?
I had Ram take him to the doctor to get checked out. By the time they got to the doctor his fever had broken (finally) and the doctor said it was just the regular flu. It made sense that we were all sick but Ram hadn't gotten this sickness because he had the regular flu shot.
The doctor was more concerned about Lamb 3 even though we didn't bring him in because of his age. She wants us to call her back this afternoon with an update on the Lambs. Lamb 1 has a cough but hasn't ever had a high temperature this round. She left it up to us to make a decision whether to give them antiviral medicine.
I have been able to sleep most of today with at least one Lamb sleeping in the bed with me. Lamb 1 and 2 are taking rest time now but I'm not sure either one of them will really sleep. Lamb 3 just wants to be held even if he's awake. My fever is not quite so high now so I feel a little better.
Ram had Ladies Aid this afternoon and then he is taking a community education class tonight. I'm hoping he still gets to go and he can blog about that tomorrow. It's a good thing I feel a little better because I'm on my own for bedtime tonight.
I did not plan to be blogging about sickness again this month! I just want us to all get healthy. I'm so glad we homeschool because Lamb 1 would have missed a lot of kindergarten this year from sickness. We have just not had school on days that I was too sick to teach. We actually did a little extra school when they were sick with colds in October because they were too sick to play but I wasn't sick so we read aloud some extra.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fever, cough, and runny noses...again

All 3 Lambs and Ewe woke up with fevers and coughs. Some of the Lambs also have very runny noses. So far, Ram still feels fine. Yesterday our babysitter came and Lamb 2 was coughing a little. I hope we didn't make her sick. There was no ECFE yesterday because of election day (crazy because we didn't even have anything to vote about so no elections for our small town). I was able to get a lot accomplished while the babysitter was here when we didn't have to take her home early because of ECFE! I got a lot of little projects accomplished.
Ram only had one thing on the calendar today-to teach the school kids released time. He is still going to go because he feels fine. Thankfully he didn't have people scheduled to visit today. I'm grateful he will be home most of the day because I don't feel well enough to take care of the Lambs all day!
We had scheduled to get their hair cut tomorrow and go for well visit checkups at the doctor and get Christmas photos taken on Monday. I know we have to cancel haircuts (we go to a friend's house and after haircuts they play with her homeschooled children). So we also have to cancel photos if they don't have haircuts first. We'll see if the checkups end up being well visit or sick ones.
So we had H1N1 in September, the Lambs had colds in October, and now the Lambs and Ewe are sick in November. I really hope this sick once a month pattern does not continue all winter! We actually take vitamins, the Lambs take cod liver oil, eat pretty healthy, and rarely go out besides church and ECFE. After each of the sicknesses I cleaned really well, changed sheets, etc. and even recently mopped the floor (which never gets done!). I don't know what else we can do to be proactive.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eighth Week of School

Here's what we accomplished this week:
Math: Worked on MUS lesson 5. The concept here is adding 1 to a number.
Handwriting: Lamb 1 practiced writing his first and last name and October some more. He is improving. I got organized and printed off some more handwriting papers for him to use in November.
Phonics: We reviewed vowels and the consonants we did before. We learned the consonants m, n, p, and qu.
Religion: Memorized Hebrews 13:6 (for Sunday School), worked on memorizing the fourth and fifth commandments and the hymn For All the Saints. The boys only had one week to learn For All the Saints after we had worked on A Mighty Fortress is Our God. They did not do quite as well this week as they did the week before. We did more Bible stories about Abraham and Isaac.
Science: We read more science books on fall topics like leaves and pumpkins. Lamb 1 is getting tired of these, Lamb 2 is still learning from them.
Reading: We started The Rag Coat. This is too long of a book for Lamb 2 to sit and pay attention. I plan to do some extra activities with quilts with this book so we will spend 2 weeks on it. Read a few stories from My Book House and a few poems, recited the R.L. Stevenson poems we had been working on.
Latin: Worked on Lesson 4 and 5 from Prima Latina.
Art: Painting with babysitter on Tuesday.On Tuesday our babysitter came and we had ECFE so we didn't do school. The ECFE theme was bodies/food. All 3 Lambs enjoyed having their bodies traced on large paper. We brought them home and we plan to cut them out and color them.

We had a very busy, but fun weekend. On Friday evening we went trick or treating at the neighboring town's businesses. You don't realize how many local businesses there are until you walk down the whole street on a windy night! The Lambs came home with overflowing buckets and we even had to carry them for them at the end. Then we ate at the our insurance agent's customer appreciation dinner. We had a nice supper of pork sandwiches. On Saturday we went to the open house for the veterinarian's new building. She is one of our church members. The building was so nice with boarding for cats/dogs, animal hospital, exam rooms, laboratory, and even a drive through drop off large animals part. She served a hot dog/hamburger lunch and had lots of Halloween activities/treats for the kids. She loved the Lambs costumes. Then we went trick or treating to a few church members homes in the same town as the vet and then also in our town. With them working on our town sewer system, we couldn't go to everyone that we usually go to. We were glad we went in the afternoon instead of going through the muddy streets at night. Saturday evening we had brats and sauerkraut. Sunday we had church and then Ram took Lamb 1 to a concert over in SD. Lamb 1 enjoyed having time with Ram and the other Lambs enjoyed playing together without Lamb 1.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day 2009

In memory of those saints that are on our mind today and every day-in no particular order:

Richard, Ethel, Willmar, Margaret, Charles, Pauline, Alfred, Alma, Arthur, Frieda, Louis, Joshua, Timothy, Walter, Lena, Edwin, and Agnes.

and especially those saints that went to be with Jesus in the last year:

Alice and Harrison.

Come quickly Lord Jesus, so that we no longer feebly struggle and we can join them in shining glory. Help us to fight as the saints who nobly fought. We want to win with them the victor's crown of gold. Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.