Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scenes from our home

Today, the weather was warm again and beautiful. The kids were outside and Mikey unexpectedly jumped up on our pony, Misty.
Here's a sunset view from the front porch and a photo of the Christendom College chapel from the side yard.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snow Flurries

Brrrr!! It's already getting cold here and tonight and tomorrow there is a forecast of snow flurries. No one around here can remember any snow in October. This is kind of exciting but maybe a foretaste of a long, cold winter?
The kids have been wanting more snow. We've not had much snow in our first 2 winters here. Over the weekend, we visited an apple farm and got a bushel of delicious apples. It was in the 70's on Sunday!


These aren't my photos and I can't figure out how to shrink them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Blooper

So tonight I made Shepherd's Pie for dinner. I thought it was going to turn out great. It looked good.

I went to serve it up at the table and.."What in the World???" I hit something hard. It was my mini wooden cutting board! What?! How did THAT happen??

I guess I thought it was underneath the glass casserole dish when I put the meat in.

I am either 1. needing glasses or 2. needing more sleep, or 3? We all had a good laugh anyway.

Sorry, no photo...just take the kids' word for it. They'll never let me live this down so I guess I'll just put it out there :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sarah Palin

Thank you, Sarah Palin!

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says families with specials-needs children will have a friend in the White House if the Republican ticket is elected.
Palin says she and presidential candidate John McCain will increase federal educational funding for families with children with special needs and help families get the most up-to-date treatment information.
Palin's son Trig was born with Down syndrome about six months ago. She says she's long been an advocate for supporting special-needs families.
Palin outlined a plan for government support Friday during an appearance with special-needs families in suburban Pittsburgh.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beautiful Marie

We have been praying for this precious family and little girl. It must be so terrible to lose a child but how beautiful is their faith which can carry them through. They also had another daughter, Monica, who died from a brain tumor when she was only three years old.
Marie Francesca Teresa
is now with God.
Last Sunday began such a bizarre chain of events. Our five-year old, Marie, somehow aspirated a bead. She was resuscitated at church and then again in transport to the hospital. She was then life-flighted to Children’s Hospital where she was lovingly cared for all week. Medically, everything possible was done. Spiritually, heaven was stormed with everyone’s beautiful prayers. But God had other plans for Marie. Her loving little heart stopped at 12:10pm today.
Selfishly, we all wanted Marie to stay with us. But we must rejoice in knowing that our ultimate goal for Marie is met. It is a terrible thing to lose a young child, but in a strange way very peaceful. We know for sure that this pure spirit is with God. The rest of us are left to struggle and fall in this valley of tears, without that same guarantee. So for us as family and friends, we hope this will make us work a little harder to live good and holy lives, so that one day we can all be united.
Although with God there are no accidents, we believe Marie’s has caused us all to stop and drop to our knees, focusing on what is truly important in life. As most parents do, we put so much energy into things of this world - sports, school, entertainment etc…Yet how much time do we spend praying and teaching devotionals? Are we really preparing our children and ourselves for heaven? Because all else is meaningless if our ultimate goal of eternal life is not met. This has prompted so many of us to reconnect with God, giving up our petty and sinful ways.
We have already had many miracles this week, involving the salvation of souls. What could be more important than the transformation of lives? All the prayers have not been wasted, especially all the wonderful prayers of you children. Our Lord will use them to do great things in the souls of others. Some may be obvious, but many will be hidden in the souls of each of us. Remember kids to use Marie in your prayers. She is now your very own saint in heaven!
The outpouring from all of you has been overwhelming and very touching. This is truly what is meant by the mystical body of Christ. Here on earth, we so often ask one another to pray for us. How much more powerful are the prayers of our loved ones in heaven as they behold the face of God? This is the communion of saints. Mary, Mother of Jesus, Blessed Mother Teresa, Monica, and now Marie - Pray for Us! I whispered so many of your names in Marie’s ear last night, asking her to take each of you and place you in the tender heart of Jesus.
On the feast of St. Therese, just two weeks ago, when tucking the girls into bed, there was talk of growing up, becoming a nun or getting married. Marie began to get very anxious, as she often did, about not wanting to grow up. If she’d had her way, she would have crawled back into the womb long ago. She spent the first two years of her life in my lap with her thumb in her mouth. So, the conversation continued with Marie insisting she never wanted to get older. I told her, “when you were four you didn’t want to be five, but now you like being five.” In her worried way, she frantically insisted, “but I always just want to be five, I want to stay five forever and ever.” You got your way little one. For all eternity you’ll be perpetually, perfectly five!
We realize Marie was probably peeking into heaven all week. And no matter how hard we pleaded, she could not pull herself away from the beauty and awesomeness of heaven. Can we blame her? At one point I cried out to Monica to send her home. I could almost hear her voice saying, “she already is”. (see photos of this beautiful child)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Morning Routine

I go to Curves and workout M, W and F. at 7:30 A.M. The people there are fun and I enjoy the workout.
The machines are computerized now and they give you feedback on how you can improve your workout, etc. I haven't lost much weight yet but I've lost inches. How does that work?
It doesn't really matter but I'm feeling better just exercising regularly.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Frost

These are photos taken from our house. It's been frosty in the mornings already!
We took a drive down Skyline Drive to see the fall colors yesterday. It was beautiful. There are always lots of people at this time of the year coming to see the vistas and the colors. The photos I took there didn't do it justice so I'll have to go again soon and try again.
P.S. Julia is sitting on Misty, the Shetland pony. See if you can find Bonny, the cow, in one of the pictures :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I love my little lovey boy!

Amish Schoolhouse

We drove down this driveway to visit an Amish farm and saw this little one room schoolhouse. I think the teacher's horse and buggy are here in the photo. The children either walk to school or ride on scooters.
We went to this goat milk farm a few times to buy the best goat's milk ever. Later, we went to another farm and looked up to see a buggy full of children waving at us. I was so happy! It was the family from the goat farm who recognized us :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stayin' Alive!

I'll have to remember this if I ever need to do CPR :)

CHICAGO — "Stayin' Alive" might be more true to its name than the Bee Gees ever could have guessed: At 103 beats per minute, the old disco song has almost the perfect rhythm to help jump-start a stopped heart.
And in a small but intriguing study from the University of Illinois medical school, doctors and students maintained close to the ideal number of chest compressions doing CPR while listening to the catchy, sung-in-falsetto tune from the 1977 movie "Saturday Night Fever."
The American Heart Association recommends 100 chest compressions per minute, far more than most people realize, study author Dr. David Matlock of the school's Peoria, Ill., campus said Thursday.
And while CPR can triple cardiac arrest survival rates when properly performed, many people hesitate to do it because they're not sure about keeping the proper rhythm, Matlock said.
He found that "Stayin' Alive," which has a way of getting stuck in your head anyway, can help with that.
His study involved 15 students and doctors and had two parts. First they did CPR on mannequins while listening to the song on iPods. They were asked to time chest compressions with the song's beat.
Five weeks later, they did the same drill without the music but were told to think of the song while doing compressions.
The average number of compressions the first time was 109 per minute; the second time it was 113. That's more than recommended, but Matlock said that when it comes to trying to revive a stopped heart, a few extra compressions per minute is better than too few.
"It drove them and motivated them to keep up the rate, which is the most important thing," he said.
The study showed the song helped people who already know how to do CPR, and the results were promising enough to warrant larger, more definitive studies with real patients or untrained people, Matlock said.
He plans to present his findings at an American College of Emergency Physicians meeting in Chicago this month.
It turns out the American Heart Association has been using the song as a training tip for CPR instructors for about two years. They learned of it from a physician "who sort of hit upon this as a training tool," said association spokesman Dr. Vinay Nadkarni of the University of Pennsylvania.
He said he was not aware of any previous studies that tested the song.
But Nadkarni said he has seen "Stayin' Alive" work wonders in classes where students were having trouble keeping the right beat while practicing on mannequins. When he turned on the song, "all of a sudden, within just a few seconds, they get it right on the dot."
"I don't know how the Bee Gees knew this," Nadkarni said. "They probably didn't. But they just hit upon this natural rhythm that was very catchy, very popular, that helps us do the right thing."
Dr. Matthew Gilbert, a 28-year-old medical resident, was among participants in the University of Illinois study this past spring. Since then, he said, he has revived real patients by keeping the song in his head while doing CPR.
Gilbert said he was surprised the song worked as well as it did.
"I was a little worried because I've been told that I have a complete lack of rhythm," he said. Also, Gilbert said he's not really a disco fan.
He does happen to like a certain Queen song with a similar beat.
"I heard a rumor that 'Another One Bites the Dust' works also, but it didn't seem quite as appropriate," Gilbert said.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Goat Toy

I was driving by the railroad track and eyed something I wanted for the goats. When I stopped and asked the guys if I could have it and they told me a man was just by asking about it. I was about to get disappointed when I realised they were talking about my husband! Bless his heart, he went and picked it up (not easy, it was heavy!) and placed it in the animal yard. Wow! This was just what I wanted and it was free! So far, only the kids (mine) are playing with it.
P.S. Michael is building a barn and I'm thrilled :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Golden Comets

Michael has fixed up the chicken tractor and ordered our chicks. The 15 Golden Comets will be arriving sometime soon and the kids are all looking forward to baby chicks. Golden Coments lay brown eggs, lay during the winter and lay earlier than most chickens. I'm looking forward to fresh eggs! Yum :) Thank you, Michael!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rufous Hummingbirds

I just found the following info. on a birder's blog in Wash. D.C.. This is exciting (for me)! We aren't too far from Wash. D.C. (45 minutes drive or so) Maybe some of those lost rufous hummingbirds could make their way over here. I saw them in California. Beeeautiful! Maybe I'll put the hummingbird feeders back up! The last day I saw a Ruby-Throated here was Sept. 30th.

For most of the year, the ruby-throated hummingbird is the only hummingbird that is likely to be found in the Mid-Atlantic, or in eastern North America generally. It is our only breeding hummingbird. In the late fall and early winter, some western hummingbirds pass through this area and may even spend the winter if food is available. The most likely to appear is the rufous hummingbird. Other western hummingbirds that have been recorded in D.C. and Maryland include .... A few years ago, black-chinned and rufous hummingbirds at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building caused quite a stir among DC birders. Most western hummingbirds that winter along the east coast are immatures that took too much of an easterly route on their flight south, so identification of winter hummingbirds can be tricky.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tufted Titmouse

Today we went to the annual Festival of the Leaves. The colors are changing here and it is a beautiful, warm day. The parade was great with a pro-life float from our church. This is such a great town to live in!

These are the birds that I've been seeing at my feeders recently. They are so cute with their big eyes and little tufted top. They take a seed and quickly fly off and eat it nearby.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Irish Dancers

This is the 2nd year of Irish dance lessons for Becca and Julia. They did really well last year and the audience loved them on St. Patrick's Day. We have the classes at our home with a wonderful teacher, Jessica.

This reminds me of California when we had the art classes at our house. We always had a lot of fun and bunches of kids running around. The weather was beautiful here today lending itself to lots of outdoor play for all the kids that came over for Irish dance class.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More Tasha Tudor

One of the things that I enjoyed about Tasha Tudor was her sense of humor. She had a dry wit that was just funny to me.
I'm not a gardener by any means but would like to think that someday I could have a vegetable or flower and herb garden.
In her garden was a large compost pile fueled by goat manure. She had said “My compost pile is marvelous. It looks like Mount Everest,” “I don’t spray anything. You could call me an organic gardener. You know, if you plant enough, you’ll have enough of most things. A few worms in an apple never hurt anybody—it’s good protein.”
Another tidbit from Tasha:
“Nowadays, people are so jeezled up. If they took some chamomile tea and spent more time rocking on the porch in the evening listening to the liquid song of the hermit thrush, they might enjoy life more.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tasha Tudor

Tasha Tudor was a big fan of Nubian goats. When asked why she was so healthy, she said it was because of goat's milk and gardening.

We found a Nubian buck for the goats! I hope to have Nubian kids in the spring. He lives nearby and will come by for a visit soon. This will hopefully give us the kids in mid March. They are so cute and fun to watch. A friend of mine told me that watching baby goats is a cure for depression. I believe it! They really lift the spirits :)

Monday, October 6, 2008


I have been wanting goats for sometime now and my goaty dream came true! Rebecca found them on Craig's list and we went down on Saturday (feast day of St. Francis of Assisi) to pick them up. It turned out the family is Catholic and they know some friends of ours. It was an amazing find!

We are so happy with these beautiful goats. We plan to have them bred and then milk them in the spring. The dark one is "SweetTart" and the reddish one was named "Kentucky" which may be changed to "Assisi" or "Sisi" for short.

Mikey has been doing well with the goats too. He giggles when they lick his hand and he likes to pet them.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Eastern Bluebirds

The bluebirds were some of the first birds I saw when we arrived in Virginia. A nice welcome! This last spring, I had a pair of bluebirds successfully raise a family in my bluebird house.

I've been seeing quite a few bluebirds in the neighborhood lately. I love their beautiful blue colors against the fall leaves. I'm so enjoying the fall weather here! It's cool , crisp and clear. So pretty.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Guardian Angels

I can think of many times my guardian angel has helped me and my children. I'm sure there are so many times when we were helped and didn't even know it. Thank you, Lord, for giving us angels to be with us here on earth. Amen.