Sunday, March 31, 2013

He is Risen! Alleluia!

Photo taken by Lamb 1

Photo taken by Lamb 2

Photo taken by Lamb 3

More about Holy Week to be posted later. Time for Lamb 3's birthday supper now.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Life is sure not boring

When I hear people make the comment that they could never be a SAHM or a home school mom because they would be bored, I just can't understand that. Here's a few of the things that we did just yesterday and today.
*Ram took yesterday off instead of his usual day, Friday, due to Good Friday. The Lambs helped him plant two cherry trees in our back yard.
*We did school yesterday and today. Lamb 1 was glad to complete his first writing assignment in Draw and Write Through History Greece and Rome and is looking forward to doing his first drawing assignment tomorrow. Lamb 3 joined us for school both days as his preschool is on spring break this week. He is such an eager worker that I have to stay on my toes to keep him busy the whole time Lamb 1 and 2 are working. We will do school tomorrow and take off the rest of this week and early next week for Holy Week and Lamb 3's birthday.
*The Lambs got caught up on writing thank you notes for Lamb 1's birthday and some other random things that they received/did recently. That meant that I had to write notes to enclose with their notes and address those envelopes.
*Made the Lambs practice a little extra before piano lessons as they didn't practice much last week. Took them to piano lessons and read to/worked with the other two Lambs during one hour worth of lessons for two Lambs.
*Took Lambs to Great Harvest Bread Company to get a free loaf of bread with a coupon, deliver a thank you note for the preschool field trip.
*Planned out science for the next few years for homeschool-Lamb 1 will be a little behind where I would like him to be as moving messed up my plans for homeschool the last couple of years. Pulled books from our home library on the next topic I planned.
*Pulled a bunch of "baby books" from our home library shelves, am reading through the pile slowly with Lamb 3 as I'm not sure we ever read some of these classics with him as Lamb 1 and 2 had outgrown them. Lamb 1 and 2 are listening while I read to Lamb 3. Sadly going through them after reading them one more time and deciding what to give away and what to pack up for my grandchildren.
*Made a pile of all our Easter books, ready to read to the Lambs next week after Easter.
*Made cut out cross cookies for an event at church on Saturday.
*Planted a plant that the piano teacher gave them last week and I finally put it in a bigger pot. I hope it didn't die while it was waiting on me.
*Ram cooked dinner and we both did dishes both nights.
*Tried on a bunch of clothes I was given and filled a few bags with what I don't want, hung the rest up in my closet. Eventually I'll need to clean out my closet and get rid of more, but this was the first go through.
*Ordered some surprises for the Sunday School kids to be given to them on Good Shepherd Sunday-of course had to buy a few more things while I was at CBD.COM.
*Made up some goodie bags for Lamb 3 to share with his preschool classmates on his birthday and also talked to Lamb 3/planned what book to read to his class on his birthday.
*Planned with the inlaws when they will visit for the Lambs and Ram's birthday and when we will visit them for other holidays this year. Between our schedule at church, Ram's schedule, and his dad not being retired, this was work to coordinate.
*Enforced our new family rule of 1 1/2 hours max of TV on. Each Lamb gets to pick 1/2 hour. It only took 1/2 a day for the negotiating between the Lambs to begin-also the scrambling to turn the TV off immediately after their show was done so they didn't waste their time on the next show so they could save enough time to watch Wild Kratts. New rule says no TV on Sunday for the Lambs, that's Ewe's TV night since Call the Midwife begins on Sunday night.

Hopefully I will have time to blog more about some of what I listed here with photos. Do you see why I never blog everything that I want to? I'm too busy doing all this...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Taxes Part 1

If I did my math right according to the info that the our tax preparer gave us, today is the first day that Ram worked in 2013 that he begins to make money. Up until this date all his paychecks went to pay taxes. That doesn't even count sales tax and other taxes. Thank goodness we can make estimated payments throughout the year. I wish that all people had to send a check in quarterly instead of having it deducted from their paychecks. It might make a difference for people voting if they had to do the painful act of writing a check out instead of just having it deducted and never seeing that money. Plus those that get refunds are usually just getting money refunded that the government held onto all year out of their paychecks, not truly getting a "bonus" of money.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lamb underwear

Lamb 3 was the first of my Lambs to consistently keep his bed dry all night. He actually kept his Pullup dry for the last several months, but it was only about a month ago that we let him wear underwear to bed. The other two don't stay dry so we didn't see the signs that Lamb 3 could. He just put the Pullup on at bedtime copying what his brothers did.

With this post I'm not asking for advice on bedwetting-we have tried going back and forth with Lamb 1 and 2 with underwear for a few months and doing lots of laundry and going back to Goodnites or the cloth Pullups I bought on Etsy. This was the advice from our pediatrician in MN. We regularly go to the chiropractor. We try to limit drinks after dinner. We have lots of nightlights and their bedroom is close to their bathroom. But the problem is that our new house does not have a clothes line so I hate to wash sheets here. Both Ram and I wet the bed until we were almost teenagers and Lamb 1 sleeps soundly and I think he will be just like Ram and I. Lamb 2 might be trained earlier, but he's not consistent yet.

Unfortunately right before we decided to let Lamb 3 wear underwear to bed, Costco had a sale and I bought a whole case of Pullups in Lamb 3's small size. He'll be 5 soon but he wears size 2T Pullups. I opened that case and put it in their closet. Today I asked the preschool director if she would like them. She said she didn't care if they had Cars theme, she would use some for her twin girls and the rest would be great for emergencies at our church preschool or even in the nursery.

Of course letting Lamb 3 wear underwear to bed caused problems for his brothers. So I said when they showed me 3 dry Goodnites in a row they could wear underwear to bed too. Neither of them has accomplished this. There were tears at first, but now everyone is used to it.

The funniest part was the first night Lamb 3 took a bath after he began wearing underwear to bed, after bath he put a Pullup on. He had put his dirty clothes including underwear in the laundry room so he couldn't see what else to do besides put on a Pullup. The next bath night I reminded him to put on clean underwear after bath. His face lit up with a grin and said, oh, then I don't have to change my underwear in the morning do I? Sorry, you'll have to put on clean underwear in the morning too!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Paleo feast

We have gotten into the routine of picking up our Bountiful Baskets every other Saturday morning and Saturday and Sunday suppers are feasts with all our new produce. This is what we had Saturday night. Mashed cauliflower, asparagus, and elk with a topping that Ram modified a recipe of apples, oranges, and onions.
We had extra asparagus because Ram volunteered at Bountiful Baskets and I hope to make asparagus soup yet this week. The cauliflower, asparagus, apples, and oranges were from our Basket. The elk was from a friend that we visited on our way home from vacation last summer. We ate some of the elk that they gave us right away and this one was still in the freezer. I'm trying to make more room in my freezer for the chicken I bought from Zaycon that will be delivered tomorrow.
The weather was nice enough to eat outside on the picnic table on our patio where we could listen to our new wind chimes that were a present from my secret pal.
We're not eating all of our meals paleo, but we are headed in that direction, and when Ram cooks a meal like this eating paleo is wonderful!

Monday, March 18, 2013


Look what Ram picked at church and brought home for me last week!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Concordia Portland Wind Ensemble

Thank goodness I don't need to write an "obituary" about a friend today after the last two days. On Thursday night we went downtown and ate at a pizza place where the Lambs were able to make their own pizza and watch it being baked.

Ram and I shared a salad and a gluten free pizza. Dessert for the Lambs was choice of freshly baked peanut butter or chocolate chip cookie. Of course Ram and I had to break the gluten free diet and have a peanut butter cookie too! I figured it wasn't so bad since we had gf crust.
Then we walked down to the Egyptian Theatre. We are happy spring weather is here for walking downtown. We had not been there before so it was fun to see the old theatre with Egyptian art. 

(Photo taken by Ram's cell phone-sorry for the quality.)
We went to hear Concordia Portland's Wind Ensemble. After the first piece Lamb 3 asked if we could come listen to them every day! The theatre was not crowded so we allowed the Lambs to stand by their seats and to march in place during the Sousa march. After their experience with the Beethoven concert a few weeks ago, they liked this concert much better-both the music and the length and that it wasn't crowded. Their Wind Ensemble was just organized in 2008 so they are definitely in the building the program phase. It reminded me when I was a freshman at CUW. I was familiar with the director from when I went to Art of Music Camp at River Forest. He came to Portland by way of River Forest, Hong Kong, and Seward. Their wind ensemble has about 30 members.

Afterwards we attended the reception at Concordia Law School. Lamb 2 kept asking when we would leave for the wedding reception. Unfortunately the concert was not well attended, this is a busy time of year for everyone. Which meant that there were mountains of peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies for the Lambs to try to tackle. Ram and I broke the gluten free diet a second time to have another cookie. The Lambs liked that they got to stay up late that night too.

It was an enjoyable evening and Ram gave his business card to them and said that our church would be happy to host any music groups that come by this way again. We were some of few that attended that were not taking a few students home for the night.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Goodbye, "Grandpa" Henry

When I wrote my post about my friend Sharon yesterday, I did not realize that it was also the day of a funeral for another member of the same church. Pastor Punke is in our prayers as he does these two funerals.
Henry and Lucille were members of the church where I began teaching. Lucille was friends with my grandma and my grandma's sisters. They were friendly with all the teachers and field workers for the Seminary and their families at our church.
Henry and Lucille are the best example of an older Christian barren couple that I have ever seen. They never had any children, but their "adopted" children and grandchildren were their nieces and nephews and friends from church. They have friends all over the country and probably all over the world that were former teachers and field workers and pastors for their church. His obituary mentioned his surviving relatives including his godchildren. They often talked to me about how they met and their early days of marriage and Lucille always mentioned how good Henry was to her all their days of married life. It was clear they were both thankful to God that they found each other.
Lucille worked until they were married and he had a very good job so she stopped working. Until her health slowed her down recently she volunteered at all sorts of jobs and both of them volunteered a lot at church. They supported our school so much- helping any way they could and being at every dinner or fundraiser that we had. We could always count on their support-just knowing that they supported and prayed for our teachers and students meant so much.
When I purchased my first home as a single woman, Henry often stopped by to check on me. He would open his trunk to all sorts of things that he thought I needed at my house. He eventually filled my tool box with all the tools he thought I should have, before he brought these all I had was a couple of screwdrivers. He brought me stuff to put down my toilet once a month to keep it in good working order. I still try to do that because Henry told me to. He took lots of used oil that was in the garage at my house from the previous owner to be disposed of. I never knew when he was coming or what he would get in his mind to bring to me. He never said much, but he was a great listener.
Both of my grandpas died before I was born. I had "adopted" grandmas from the many churches we attended and a couple of great uncles that were close to me, but no "adopted" grandpas. It is interesting to me that my first "adopted" grandpa was Henry, when I was old enough to live on my own. That was probably when I needed a grandpa the most. Later God provided Ram's grandpas for me and church members in MN to be "adopted" grandpas for the Lambs.
Last summer I was able to visit them in their "new" home in an assisted living apartment. They had lived all their years as a married couple in their home and it was very difficult for them to sell and move to an apartment. Their biggest fear was moving when they had no children to help them. It was time for them to move as both of them were declining in health. God provided and people from church and nieces and nephews helped them to get all settled in. I am so glad that I visited them last summer.
Henry went to be with Jesus on Monday and the funeral was yesterday. I don't know how long they were married, I would guess they were a couple for over 50 years. This is going to be difficult for Lucille and we keep her in our prayers.

Jesus lives! And now is death
But the gate of life immortal;
This shall calm my trembling breath
When I pass its gloomy portal.
Faith shall cry, as fails each sense;
Jesus is my confidence!
LSB 490:5

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Goodbye, Sharon

My friend, Sharon Krause, went to be with Jesus yesterday after a long battle with a brain tumor. When I first began teaching she taught preschool at our school. That job turned into preschool director and director of before and after school care. Then she switched to school secretary. She was sad to leave the teaching job, but knew her talents could be used as school secretary. Our headmaster came the same time as I did and the headmaster and Sharon were the only ones still there when I left 6 1/2 years later, all the other teachers left for different jobs.
She was the best preschool teacher I have ever seen. She totally "got" what we were trying to do with classical Lutheran education even though she often did not get to go to the training that the older grade teachers went to. She did her best to give them a foundation in preschool so when the other teachers got them in later grades they were ready. She taught them how to hold a pencil and write their letters and learn their phonics sounds. She taught them about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington and other history. She had pets in the classroom to teach them science. The preschool students that stayed all day (there was daycare for those that wanted it) were the best behaved in the cafeteria for lunch. She did this all lovingly and freely gave hugs to those inner city kids when they needed it.
She knew how to run the before and after school care too. Along with her husband and son they got a chess team going for our school. She kept the kids busy while they were in her room, not just waste time until parents picked them up.
She was also the best school secretary I've ever seen. She definitely was not on the clock 9-5, she put in many more hours all year. If one of my students was sick she would drop everything to call the parents. She didn't have much money, but she knew how to give "treats" to all the teachers which were things she could do for us or make us, not things we could buy. She dealt with students, parents, teachers, and pastors all at the same time.
When my dad was in a car accident she took the message, waited until school was out so I wasn't in front of the students, and then came directly and talked to me calmly and told me I needed to keep myself together and directly leave to pick up my dad. My dad was fine, but if she hadn't given me the message calmly I wouldn't have been so calm.
After she had the brain tumor I tried to make sure I saw her on each visit to Fort Wayne. One of the first visits I wasn't sure how she would be after many treatments. She tried to stay cheerful even though the drugs caused nausea and lack of appetite. She spoke slowly, but reminded me to do things like "Ask Lamb 1 if he would like to wear the red shirt or the green shirt" to teach him the colors. She helped me remember how to sing a song I knew she sang with her class. She was teaching the next generation (my Lambs) even while she was recovering from treatments.
At our last visit last summer, she reminded me that her doctor had told her it wasn't a question of if her brain tumor would return, just a question of when. I told her to use her remaining time to enjoy her new grandson. I am so thankful that we made the long drive to Fort Wayne last summer and that I was able to see her one more time.
At our school we had a tradition for when teachers left (mostly at the end of the school year for those that did not return the next school year). All the students would gather around the teacher and sing this hymn together that the students had memorized. I know this seems like an odd choice to put here in an "obituary". She left school the last time in an ambulance right before her brain tumor diagnosis. She never had the students gather around her and sing this. This is our prayer so that we can see her again some day too. We only sang verse 1 during this tradition, but I will include verse 3 too.

Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word; 
Curb those who by deceit or sword
Would wrest the kingdom from Your Son
And bring to naught all He has done. 

O Comforter of priceless worth, 
Send peace and unity on earth;
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life. Amen.
LSB 655:1,3 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Local? Weather

Tonight we were watching the local ID news. Just before they showed local weather, they showed pictures of the snow in Stevens County, MN. We didn't live in Stevens County when we lived in MN, but that is the county that Lamb 2 and 3 were born in. Then they talked about the local forecast predicted for this week. We are supposed to have 69 degrees on Wednesday. It was so strange to see the part of the country that we used to live in and the new place we live in at the same time.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


I downloaded and deleted from my camera pictures from Christmas yesterday. I didn't realize how busy we've been until I realized I hadn't even looked at pictures from Christmas until March.  We have been so busy at church since Christmas. It's exciting to be part of an active growing church and preschool, but time demanding.

Here is a list of some of what we did in just February-beginning of March.

  • Cleaned out my scrapbook supplies and donated some unopened items (especially pink or girly stickers!) to the scrapbook night that was a fundraiser for the youth group
  • Made a dessert and attended that scrapbook night with my friend Joelle
  • Cleaned the house and had company-friends from Thailand/then cleaned up the toys again after they left :)
  • Ewe's annual checkup for her thyroid
  • Planned and did a special art project with the Sunday School before Lent began
  • Made orange marmalade
  • Attended extra church meetings planning preschool classes for next year (Ewe) and trying to hire a church secretary (Ram)
  • Had our stove looked at before the warranty ran out
  • Had piano tuned
  • Lamb 3 began speech once a week after public school meetings to set that up
  • Lamb 3 had his ears checked again-hearing and fluid in ear good now
  • Ate at IHOP free pancake day
  • Ate at Fuddruckers free hamburger day
  • Attended Philharmonic's Beethoven's 1st and 9th symphony concert
  • Made fruit salad for Voter's Meeting
  • Made Valentines for Lamb 3's class and cut out heart cookies
  • Ram did his first funeral at the church since we've been here-lots of visits to the man before he died too
  • Did some supplemental lesson planning for the preschool for a week to go with the bakery field trip I had suggested-attended bakery field trip too
  • Preschool fundraiser night-got donations from a few businesses, helped set up, shredded 25 lbs of chicken, baked cookies shaped like sombreros, baked chocolate raspberry ganache pie, helped clean up, attended
  • Ram's parents visited for a few days to celebrate Lamb 1's birthday
  • Celebrated Lamb 1's birthday with our family
  • Made dessert for most of the Lent suppers
  • Had both cars serviced, Toyota recall taken care of (had to go several times because of scheduling, but finally done with that), both cars air emissions checked
  • LWML luncheon today-made table favors, made fruit salad, helped set up and clean up, wrapped gift for secret pal
  • Made treats for church Fellowship Time tomorrow
  • Got together the info we need for taxes and mailed it to our tax lady
Beginning tomorrow after church, we have "free" time on the calendar again! We were sick last week but I'm hoping we are all healthy next week to visit my nearest in distance Looper. We are now back to a regular routine of homeschool, speech for 2 Lambs, piano lessons for 2 Lambs, and church (Sunday and Wednesdays during Lent). It feels so good to not have taxes, preschool fundraiser night, or LWML luncheon table favors on my to do list any more! Ram will still be very busy until Holy Week but it's nice that I can now focus on getting back to the routine and try to get some order back to our house again.
I am hoping to blog about many of the activities I listed here and include photos in my "free" time next week. First I plan to relax tomorrow afternoon!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, Lamb 1!

He asked for pumpkin spice cake. I doubled a recipe for paleo pumpkin spice cake I found on the Internet and it turned out well. The frosting was not paleo, but I wasn't willing to risk a whole paleo cake for his birthday. Perhaps for one of the next boys birthdays. The "9" was pumpkin spice.

(Happy Birthday is in his new piano book so he sightread this for us.)

The Lego City Mine is already put together. :)

Lamb 1 Age 9 birthday:
Grandma and Grandpa came and celebrated on 3/2/13
Restaurant choice with Grandma and Grandpa: Tucanos Brazilian Grill
Breakfast: French Toast and bacon
Lunch: Tuna Noodle Salad with raisins
Snack: Costco Chicago popcorn (cheese and carmel popcorn)
Supper: (celebrated 3/3/13 with family)
Goulash and pumpkin spice cake and pineapple juice