Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kitchen Tip

I was freezing 14 lbs of pears today and I learned this on the internet. Use a potato peeler to peel pears. It works great!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ram update

Monday we had a whirlwind trip. First to Saint Cloud (3 hours) for dentist appointments for the boys and then Ram visited a member in the hospital there that had a heart attack. His family was shocked to see Ram, but we were already going to the dentist. Then we drove to Rochester (about 3 more hours) and stayed at a hotel right by Mayo.
Ram had an 8am Tuesday appointment. We found Mayo to be large but many people available to help. We saw the scan that was taken last week and the mass is huge-you can't even see the kidney. They will not know if it is cancerous until it is removed. It doesn't matter if it is cancerous or not, it needs to be removed and the treatment either way is to remove it and watch it, watch it closer if it is cancer. There is no radiation or chemo that is helpful for this kind of kidney cancer. We had the impression that the doctor thinks it is benign, but he won't know for sure until he is in there. The biopsy will be done after it is removed. Most likely that kidney will be removed too. The doctor was leaving Tuesday night for a conference so the surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday. Ram's parents were waiting for their airplane yesterday when we called and told them the schedule change. Ram's dad had quite a time changing everything (flights, hotels, etc.) but they are staying in ID this week and will fly out next week.
I felt much better after talking to the doctor. The first specialist Ram saw normally sees people in their 60s and older so Ram was a little challenging for him. I was so glad to see a doctor at Mayo that regularly sees all ages. We are now at a point where we pray and trust the doctor to make good decisions once he opens Ram up.
We had to take the boys with us to the appointment yesterday morning and they were tired and grouchy. The doctor actually said their playing with cars (and they were becoming quite loud at that point) didn't bother him. It sounded like he's seen worse in the office. It was a relief that he wasn't annoyed that we brought them. We were not leaving our boys at home even if we could have found a babysitter when we were 5 hours one way away.
Ram will have a 6 week recovery time and he may be able to go back to visiting members and confirmation class, but he probably won't be able to handle 3 services at our tri-parish Sunday mornings for that whole time. Ram will preach this Sunday and then Ewe's dad is coming to preach after that. It's handy having a retired pastor in the family!
Thank you for all your prayers. This surgery will be major, but things could have been a lot worse. We have a lot to thank God for today and we're praying that on Tuesday we have even more to praise God about.
Next week I may not have very much computer time, but I will try to post to my blog first before e-mails, so check here for updates.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


"Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace."

This quote is from the Compline service. Ram and I did Compline over the phone at least twice a week while we were engaged and he was on vicarage for a year. We ended our wedding reception with Compline.
I once saw a wall hanging of this quote and I would have loved to purchase it, but it was way out of my price range. If we ever own our own home, I would like to paint this quote in my bedroom.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 1 Photos

Lamb 2 washing tomatoes from our garden

Lamb 1 and 2 painting apple trees

Playing firefighter after school one day (almost every day)

Lamb 2 and Ram at new playground

Lamb 3 at new playground

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week 1 Report

We did manage to have 5 days of school. We had already finished school on Thursday when we had to go 1 1/2 hours away with Ram to the doctor. We did half our school subjects on Friday and the other half on Saturday in order to give Ewe time to prepare for next week. It was definitely difficult to get back to school early this week but things went smoothly by the end of the week. We are off to such a good beginning that I'm sorry we'll have to cancel school next week and for who knows how long. Here's what we did accomplish last week:
Bible: Memorized Genesis 1:31, began learning the hymn Feed Thy Children God most Holy, Reviewed 1-7 Commandments-they know 1-2 well-we'll keep working on the others, did these Bible stories using CPH posters-Jacob's Family, Esau Forgives Jacob, Joseph and His Brothers, Joseph's Troubles, Joseph Feeds Egypt.
Math: Lamb 1 finished MUS lesson 26 and began lesson 27. Lamb 2 did more in his dot to dot book.
Reading: Read Aloud 4 Enid Blyton stories and the Ox-Cart Man. Lamb 1 reviewed some lessons from Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading that we had done before, Lamb 2 began at lesson 1 in OPGtTR. The Lambs began listening to an audio version of Wheel on the School.
Spelling: Lamb 1 began the spelling part of Writing Road to Reading. These words were his first words this week- me, do, and, go, at, on, a, it, is, she, can, see, run, so, the, in. He was surprised that he knew many of these words already. He begged me to teach him some words about his fish tank so we also practiced these words- fish, tank, rocks, castle, bridge. I caught him spelling this sentence on the refrigerator with magnets after we had finished school one day- "She can see a castle." We are both enjoying spelling as I am pleased he is doing so well on WRTR and he is happy to learn some more challenging words that he needs to know to write stories.
History/Geography: We learned the continent song and read some of From Sea to Shining Sea-Paul Revere's Ride and Yankee Doodle.
Science: We looked for Uranus in the sky, did some gardening, learned the Planet Song, and read the next National Geographic Kids.
Art: We painted apple trees. Since we attended ECFE and had a babysitter that painted with us in the past, this was my first experience painting with the Lambs. We all had a lot of fun and they turned out great.
Games: I am trying to keep track of the games that the Lambs play as so many are good for teaching math and other skills. I also want to know what is being played often in our house and what should be reminded to get out and play again. This week I let them choose, next time I will offer more suggestions. We do have a game time each afternoon before rest time. Here is what they chose: Bingo several times, Picnic Game, Slapjack, Zingo, a little dominoes, Go Fish.
Socialization: The boys all went grocery shopping with me and were very good helpers. The clerk couldn't believe I trusted all 3 to each carry a dozen eggs. Our early childhood group had a play time at the new playground that we attended. We also attended a parade in the town 15 miles away.
Ewe began reading: School Can Wait by Moore and Good Wives by Alcott.
What we didn't do this first week: We didn't memorize a poem or do handwriting with the exception of Lamb 2 working on his tracing book. We'll add these in later, but I believe we were off to a good start this week. I had also hoped to begin potty training Lamb 3, but that is going to be postponed for awhile. Ram was gone the beginning of the week at pastor's conference and the end of the week has been very busy preparing for next week.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our dear Synodical President...

took time to e-mail Ram last night. He suggested that Ram read F. C. S. D. 11:48ff. If you know what that stands for then I know you are LCMS! Ram read it aloud to me and Rev. Harrison was correct, that passage is gold. Thank you, Rev. Harrison, for your concern and prayers, they mean a lot to us.
Updated: Ram says I need a translation for non-Lutherans: Book of Concord-Formula Concord Solid Declaration. I don't know if that helped any, but I tried!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pastors aren't supposed to get sick

The few times that I've been sick since I became a Mama, we've always joked that "Mamas don't have time to get sick".

As we get ready to go to Mayo next week, it's clear to me that pastors aren't supposed to get sick either. All the area pastors have offered to do hospital visits for Ram if necessary while he recovers. One even went 3 hours away today to visit someone for Ram. The church members have told Ram to get healthy and they would survive while he is gone-not to worry about his work as a pastor as there are other area pastors to cover for him-just worry about getting healthy. Many friends and family and churches all over the United States are praying for Ram.

Ram spent most of today visiting people and he will have to prepare for this Sunday's services and he also has a funeral committal service tomorrow. But then he trusts the area pastors to help him until he recovers and returns to his pastoral duties.

Ram has visited many people as pastor and now he is going to be the patient. I am going to be the spouse instead of the one sending cards and checking to see how the patient is. One Looper told me about a pastor she knew in Rochester, a member told us a good LCMS church near Mayo, and another Looper told me a pastor 1/2 hour away from Mayo that we actually knew a little. So we now have pastors to contact to help us when Ram is on the opposite side of the bed in the hospital room.

*More prayer requests-that we are able to complete everything we need to get done here before we leave-it's difficult when we don't know when we will return. Pray for my wisdom in what to pack for our trip. I have garden veggies to freeze plus everything else that needs to be done after our vacation earlier this month that I put off until we returned home. Plus everything that also needs to be done before a regular vacation like cleaning out the refrigerator. Pray that the boys help while we prepare for next week too.

Thank you for all your prayers and e-mails and comments. Everyone has been as helpful as possible no matter how many miles are between us!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Huge Prayer Request-Interruption in Vacation posting

It may be awhile before I return to posting about our fall vacation.

Ram went for a physical in June and his blood work was abnormal. The doctors kept thinking they finally found what was wrong, but their assumptions were always not quite right. Ram met with two doctors today and they finally found what was wrong. He has a mass growing on his kidney that has a very good chance of being cancer. They will not know for sure if it is cancer until he has the mass removed. Ram will go to Mayo next week to meet with a specialist and there is a very good chance that a few days later he will have this surgery. There will be about 6 weeks recovery time. We don't have a laptop or a smart phone and I don't do Facebook, so I have no idea when I will be able to post, but I will try to keep you updated.

Prayer requests:
*Ram to get healthy
*Doctors to do what is best for Ram
*Ewe to navigate Mayo (we have had a few church members there, but we have never been there)
*Lambs to survive being out of their routine, we don't even know what is happening to prepare them, plus they are Papa's boys
*safe travel
*all four of our parents may be coming to help-safe travel for them and if they do come that the details will work out for them to come
*that this surgery is the end of Ram's medical adventures for now

Thank you, Jesus, for:
*I am thankful they found this before it spread to other parts of Ram's body.
*The first diagnosis Ram was given earlier this summer said that Ram would need to take a pill for the rest of his life that is not usually given to someone as young as him and could cause birth defects. We are hoping that our family size is not done yet, so we prayed that there was a different pill he could take or the doctor would find another answer. We had no idea his diagnosis would take this turn when we prayed.
*I am thankful that we began doctoring about a year ago with a new doctor that was very careful and kept ordering new tests and sending Ram to different specialists until she got to the bottom of this. I'm not sure an average doctor would have even done a blood test on hemoglobin on a 35 year old in the first place. That abnormal number started all this earlier this summer. We have always liked our new doctor, now we love her!
*I am thankful that Ram came back early from our vacation so he had a doctor's appointment while we were still gone where they discovered this answer.
*I am thankful that we live in the same state as Mayo and have been given the gift of a doctor that does this surgery as his specialty. (I won't complain of how far from Mayo we live though!)
*I am thankful that my dad can come help Ram with preaching while Ram recovers.
*I am thankful that we homeschool so we can deal with this without worrying about getting Lamb 1 to school daily.
*I am thankful for church members that have been understanding at this time.
*I am thankful we bought the CD titled Hymns of Comfort and Hope to listen to now.
*I am thankful for health insurance.
*I am thankful that our youngest is 2 1/2 when we are dealing with this now-it would be a lot more difficult with a breastfeeding infant.
*I am thankful that Jesus is the healer of all disease and he is with us always in all troubles here on earth.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Vacation Day 3 (Sept. 7)

Lamb 1 and 2 stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's house for lunch. Ram and Ewe's sister, Hannah, and Lamb 3 went to a Cuban restaurant for sandwiches. Ewe met her friend Nancy during her lunch hour for lunch. Nancy and Ewe became friends as single gals at church. Since then she has married and has one son a little older than Lamb 1. They homeschool, have a big garden, try to eat healthy, etc. so we had lots to discuss over lunch. She gave me a bag of clothes that her son had outgrown. Lamb 1 and 2 love undershirts and boys can never have too many pants and jeans as they continually make holes in pants. Lamb 1 is already wearing one pair of jeans and I expect the others to fit him in the next year. Thank you Nancy, for thinking of us and sharing the clothes! The lunch hour went quickly before Nancy had to get back to work. We'll have to do lunch again next time we go to Fort Wayne.

Then we stopped to visit/get haircuts at my old hairdresser's shop. She did my hair for my wedding. I had her check the boys' latest haircuts to see how I did. She fixed up Ram's and Lamb 2's a little, Lamb 1 and 3 wouldn't let her touch their heads because that is not their regular hairdresser!

Lamb 3 played while Lamb 2 got his hair cut. I couldn't resist including these two cute photos.

After hair cuts we were near Meijer so we did a little shopping. I loved shopping at Meijer for produce especially but being able to get everything at one place was also nice too. I bought a couple of items that I knew were at Meijer that are more difficult to find here (unless I buy them on the internet). Yes, I packed them with everything else to go home!

We stopped and got Lee's chicken (yum!) and met some friends at a new park (by Parkview North for Fort Wayne natives). Andrew and Suzanne moved to Fort Wayne right after our last visit to Fort Wayne 2 years ago. I knew them from college. The last time I saw them was at their wedding which I believe was 10 years ago. They have two children- Lillia is 3, Micah is 7 months. It was fun to see them with children. It was a little difficult to chat with our kids all going different directions on the playground, especially since Ram and I were outnumbered by one child. It was a very windy night too.

Lillia and Lamb 2

Ram took a bunch of photos and this is actually the one that turned out best. My Lambs did not want to quit playing to take a picture. We knew the sun wasn't right for this photo, but Lamb 1 agreed to have his photo taken here so that is where we had it. It was a fun evening even if the photos don't show it! The playground and park were such a nice area.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall Vacation Day 1-2

Ram left Sunday afternoon for pastor's conference and returned home this afternoon.  We had our first school day yesterday. The Lambs did not act like themselves while Ram was gone. I also attempted to get caught up on dishes and laundry and mail and put things away after our trip. Needless to say I didn't start blogging about our trip until the Lambs went to bed tonight!

We went to early service on Sept. 5. While Ram did two more services I tried to finish packing the car and pack a lunch etc. with lots of "help" from the Lambs. I also was trying to use up a few things in the fridge, do dishes, sweep the floor-all the things that needed to be done before I left for two weeks. Ram finished all the services the same time as we were leaving-it is about a half hour drive to the country church. I depend on Ram to watch the boys that last hour before we leave for a trip. We accomplished everything and met Ram at the country church. We gave Ram his lunch, thankfully he had taken clothes to change into with him. We drove two cars to the Twin Cities.
The town that Lamb 1 was born in was a good stopping place for bathroom breaks and a little run around time. It happened to be Lamb 1's 6 1/2 birthday so we took photos of him there (2 photos above).
We stopped at Costco and filled both cars with gas and bought a few groceries for the week. We did this stop because we knew Costco was closed on Labor Day. Our car was really packed full especially after adding a few more Costco size groceries. We ate at Don Pablos and then dropped Ram's car off at the airport. We made it to Tomah, WI before we decided to crash for the night at a hotel. I would have liked to have gone a little farther on Sunday, but considering everything we had done that morning, (Ram 3 services) (me up and everyone ready for early service and then rush to get everything done before noon) I was glad we made it as far as we did the first day.
The second day (Sept. 6-Labor Day) we drove through Chicago and really had an easy drive through Chicago. It must have been the holiday. We had quite a bit of driving to do the second day and many stops for the Lambs made it even longer. I had wanted to stop at a high school friend's house but she was in Fort Wayne visiting friends when I called her from the road, and she would have driven home (1 hour from Fort Wayne) by the time I arrived in Fort Wayne. We changed our plans and I saw her later in the trip. We met Ewe's parents and sister at Cracker Barrel in Fort Wayne for supper that evening. It was great to sit together for a meal and see everyone. Overall the Lambs did really well both days of driving. We got to my parents and unloaded EVERYTHING from the car.
We did a lot during our vacation! I will try to post about day 3 soon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First day of Sunday School this year

My 3 Lambs shaking hands after church

This morning was the first day of Sunday School for Lamb 1 and 2 this year. We were gone last week and the materials weren't here yet then so it worked out well. Lamb 1 and 2 are in a class with one other boy and they are doing CPH lower grade materials. We are going to have to work on handwriting and cutting with a scissors in homeschool with especially Lamb 2 if they are going to do these materials. There is one third grade girl in a class by herself with her parents as teachers. Lamb 3 and one other little girl are not old enough for Sunday School yet. That is our small church Sunday School.

The Lambs did well in church this morning. We sat in the front and it was Matins Sunday which made the service a little shorter. All 3 Lambs did fairly well standing when it was time to stand, sitting when it was time to sit, listening when it was time to listen, singing when it was time to sing. The last hymn was "I am Jesus Little Lamb" and they did really well singing that. It has been awhile since all 3 Lambs were allowed to shake hands after church. We enjoyed seeing everyone at our country church after we attended the church next door for most Sundays this summer.

My brain is bursting with ideas to post about our vacation, conversations I had with friends on vacation, going to the Carole Joy Seid seminar yesterday, the installation service in Saint Louis, starting homeschool tomorrow, etc. Some of the people we saw on vacation are anxious to see how the photos turned out. I'm still unpacking from our trip, trying to get caught up on mail and e-mail, paying bills, dealing with the produce that grew in our garden while we were gone, getting organized for homeschool, etc. It will be a very slow posting, but I promise I'll eventually post about our trip-even if it takes me until December!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Home again

We were gone for nearly two weeks to Fort Wayne, Saint Louis, back to IN, and drive home. I have lots post about our trip. We had a great time and didn't rest much on our vacation, but we saw lots of family and friends-some of whom I hadn't seen since our wedding in 2001. We were also able to spend time with my sister before she goes to South Korea for a year. We were able to shop at a used bookstore and go to the zoo in Fort Wayne too.
Today I tried to unpack and do a little laundry. I was able to do laundry at my mom's so I didn't have much to do when I got back besides Ram's laundry that he made after he came back last Saturday night.
Tomorrow I am going to a Carole Joy Seid seminar. I enjoyed her seminar last May so I'm looking forward to it. Plus I get to have lots of time to myself in the car to listen to my music and think without 3 little Lambs.
Next week we hope to begin homeschool after summer break, Ram has a conference to go to, I hope to begin potty training Lamb 3, and there is a lot to catch up on here after being gone two weeks. In there some time I hope to post about our trip.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Installation Service

In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the invitation for the installation service for our new LCMS president, (Pastor Harrison) and the other LCMS officers. The service will be broadcast live. The organist will be Michael Hollman, the organist that played for Ram and my wedding. Hollman tried unsuccessfully to have the installation in Fort Wayne, but it will be in Saint Louis.  It will be a special treat for all who attend or watch it live.
The LCMS website has also been updated here and Rev. Harrison blogged about his first day here. I must admit that when several of my friends blogged about their first day of school or first day of homeschool, at first I thought they were talking about Rev. Harrison's first day on September 1! At least my friend Jan blogged on September 1 about her husband being quoted in the Lutheran Witness here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

American Girl Dolls

When I was in college one of the families that I babysat for asked me to go along with them to babysit the baby while they went to the huge annual American Girl sale with their two daughters. I looked at a catalog then. They ended up not being able to go so I didn't go.
Since I have boys I haven't paid any attention to American Girl dolls since then. Yesterday we received a catalog-I don't know why we were on that mailing list. I noticed they are discontinuing Felicity (1774) and they have a new doll called Julie (1974). I have a problem with Julie for several reasons. A doll that is younger than ME is not a historical doll. Julie is from San Francisco. Her parents' divorce and a move to a new school change her life. She discovers the best way to cope with change is to make a few changes of your own. I wouldn't want my daughter to read a set of books set in the 1970's when she could be reading books set in other historical time periods. Just looking at her "moral" in the catalog makes me want to discourage my daughter from reading books about Julie.
I have always liked Molly (1944) and at least they aren't discontinuing her yet. Molly is set in WWII where families supported the war effort by growing victory gardens. Her dad goes off to war. She discovers doing your part isn't always easy but it's the right thing to do. I would much rather have my daughter read a set of books about Molly or Felicity or Rebecca (1914) or Kit (1934) and learn some history while reading instead of read the history of the 1970s. Molly's "moral" in the catalog is much better than Julie's moral.
I don't have any girls so I don't have to deal with this. If we ever have a girl I wouldn't be surprised if they discontinued Molly by that time and have a doll from the 1980's.

Friday, September 3, 2010

End of summer

     "Truly, we had had a delectable summer; and, having had it, it was ours forever. The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts. They may rob us of our future and embitter our present, but our past they may not touch. With all its laughter and delight and glamour it is our eternal possession."
     "Nevertheless, we all felt a little of the sadness of the waning year. There was a distinct weight on our spirits until Felicity took us into the pantry and stayed us with apple tarts and comforted us with cream. Then we brightened up. It was really a very decent world after all."

     "Our summer was over. It had been a beautiful one. We had known the sweetness of common joys, ...  We had had brotherhood with wind and star, with books and tales, and hearth fires of autumn. Ours had been the little, loving tasks of every day, blithe companionship, shared thoughts, and adventuring. Rich were we in the memory of those opulent months that had gone from us-richer than we then knew or suspected. And before us was the dream of spring. It is always safe to dream of spring. For it is sure to come; and if it be not just as we have pictured it, it will be infinitely sweeter."

From The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Small Lutheran World

I sent a card to my friend from college, Joelle, in Idaho. Her postman noticed the return address and asked her if it was family that sent it to her. Turns out he grew up in our small town and moved away when he was a teenager in 1959. He didn't go to one of the churches in our tri-parish, but he went to the Lutheran church in the town about 11 miles away.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ewe's new glasses

I wore glasses in middle school because I often had headaches. I outgrew that and I didn't wear glasses in high school. When I had my physical for college, I needed glasses. I wore glasses for all of college and when I was teaching in the classroom. It was easier to wear them all the time than to take them on and off.
When I was pregnant I felt like I was blind for most of the pregnancy. There was no point to getting new glasses when you are pregnant. Since I stayed home and was just doing tasks around the house, I rarely wore my glasses. I was surprised 4 years ago that the eye doctor said I could pass my driving test without glasses. I had worn glasses for driving since 1992. He said after several pregnancies that women often have improved eyesight. The last 4 years I hardly ever wore glasses. When I had my most recent check up he said I could still pass the driving test without glasses, but he would recommend glasses for driving at night or driving in a big city to see the signs better.
I hardly ever drive at night or in a big city so I wasn't going to get new glasses. Then I realized I will be doing quite a bit of driving for our fall vacation. So I ordered new lenses for my old frames.
Our health insurance has nice vision coverage. I had a $25 co-payment and the insurance paid for the basic lenses. I chose an anti-glare coating because I will be using these for night time driving. My new lenses cost me $100. I think it will be worth it even though I don't wear them often.
I don't even want to think about that getting old part where this prescription may not last me 4 more years... nor do I want to think about the eye doctor's saying that he expects Lamb 1 will need glasses at his next check up in the spring.