Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Tumbleweeds, Voles, & Saints

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine.

I’ll bet you don’t have these.

IMG_0791.jpg
Check out these mammoth tumbleweeds.

While I’ve been busy unpacking the house, the children have been busy chasing tumbleweeds.  Then they like to stack them along the trees rows to provide further protection from the wind and enemies, who might be seeking to destroy their forts.

IMG_0795.jpg
The wall of tumbleweeds extends down the lilac row to the left.

While our new home does not have the quantity of trees that the old place offered, the children are still satisfied with its meager three rows of lilac, ash, and ponderosa pine.  We’ll plant more in the spring.

Some of you may be wondering how Strider is adjusting to his new home?  Well, this morning, he caught and ate three voles.

IMG_0800.jpg
Here he is with Vole #2.

He likes to drag them up to the back deck and wait at the patio door for us to see.  Then he eats them.  The children love this.  And I call it Biology Class.

Yesterday was All Saints Day.  My children dressed up for it.

IMG_0806.jpg
I’m not really sure what saints they are.  I think there’s a couple Benedictine monks.  Maybe a discalced hermit?  And a knight-saint – Saint Louis King of France?

And lastly, I offer an article that David Clayton wrote earlier this week.  I appreciate his points about Satan and Halloween.  (I suppose because we have chosen to keep our eye on All Saint’s Day and not Halloween too.)  There is an especially poignant quotation from a Russian Orthodox Bishop that I encourage you to read.  Here’s part of it:

Can you honestly think—you who gaze at and touch the holy icons in your home and in our temples, and know that the saints are present with you, and that you are drawn into their holy lives—that to be willingly surrounded by images of the demons (however childish and infantile their representation) will not also affect your heart, and your children’s hearts, and draw them closer to powers that none would call holy?

Click HERE for the whole article.

Finally, remember to pray for the dead today on All Souls Day.  And listen to Mozart’s Requiem.  It’s a Mass for the dead, which would originally have been composed for the Extraordinary Form.  It’s beautiful.

800px-Wolfgang-amadeus-mozart_1.jpg
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791
Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Snowing Already?!

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine.

1. Dear Readers, I just want to let you know that it snowed here the other day.  Yep.  Those of you living in warmer climates, eat your hearts out.

1024px-Young_steer_after_blizzard_-_NOAA.jpg
It wasn’t as bad as this photo from Wikimedia Commons, but this is how I felt.

2.  So, in honor of the first snow day, our household blasted Christmas music.  I know that some of you may consider this as near heretical behavior, but I ask you, what else ought one to do when it snows in the beginning of October?  I can’t play Louis Armstrong’s When You’re Smiling, because I ain’t smiling.  But I can play It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Bing Crosby, because it is.

3.  We took the children down to South Dakota, where it’s supposed to be warmer, to visit my parents.  They’re in the middle of harvesting soy beans and corn.  It’s a lot of fun riding around in combines.

IMG_0728
Here are some of my children standing in the corn, waiting for their combine ride.
IMG_0732.jpg
My dad and the children.

4.  We also took the children to Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Sioux Falls.  Ever been there?  No?  It’s beautiful, especially if you attend the 9:15 am Mass when the Men’s Schola chants.  Be.You.Ti.Full.

494px-St._Joseph_Cathedral_Sioux_Falls_25.jpg
Cathedral of St. Joseph.  Now this is how you build a church.  Click HERE for more photos.

5.  We’re still moving and getting closer to The Day.  Next week we should close on our house and move into a new one.  Some of you may be wondering if it’s been a difficult last few months?  The answer is, yes.  For one thing, I haven’t had access to all my stuff for a good four weeks, as we’ve been packing.  Just where did I put that book on St. Dominic that my daughter needs for a speech?  Oh yes, I remember, in a box…

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Back to School!

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine:

  1. We’re back into another academic year.  Two of our children are attending a Catholic Montessori School, three are being homeschooled, and the remaining toddler and baby are just. plain. busy.  How do I get it all done?
  2. With a lot of grace and a Good Schedule.  I haven’t quite finished tweaking my new schedule, but when I do, I’ll put it out there for you glance at.  Sometimes it helpful to see what other mothers are doing.
  3. I saw my first weasel the other day.  It was running across our backyard and made for a group of pine trees.  The thing that really stood out was it’s black-tipped tail.  I wish I could have snapped a picture of it.
Mustela_frenata_new.jpg
Here’s a picture I found on Wikimedia Commons.  Note the black-tipped tail.  The one we saw was about as big as our cat, Strider.

 

4.  My twin boys love serving the Traditional Latin Mass.  Last Sunday I snapped a shot of them holding the torches during the Eucharistic Prayer.  (I know, I know, I should have been praying and not grabbing my phone.  But this just isn’t something one gets to see every day.  In fact, most people never get to see a TLM around here.)

IMG_0677.jpg
My boys are the two in the middle.  The beautiful thing about this Mass is the amount of boys wanting to serve.  You can’t see them, but there are three other servers kneeling in choir.

5.  Our house finally sold!  If everything goes well – inspection, etc. – we’ll be moving in October.  We’re very excited about this, as we found a beautiful place to move to that will fit our large family and our large van.  Miracle.

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Biology 101, Firemen, and Donuts

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine:

  1. Yesterday we caught Strider as he was finishing up his breakfast.  So we don’t know what he actually killed.
IMG_0667.jpg
Here he is.  Just a blood spot and a tail left.

I guess he doesn’t like eating tails.  So we had a little Biology 101.  What rodent has a white tail?  It looks a little thicker than a mouse or vole, but what?  A rat?  Doesn’t that tail look a little short for a rat?  We don’t know.

2.  Then there’s this, which we almost missed.

IMG_0672.jpg
I am sorry the quality is poor.  It’s the upper teeth and snout of whatever poor creature fell into Strider’s path.  Yuck.  Just yuck.

3.  Remember that Ditch Fire we had a week or so ago?  Well, the Fire Chief invited the boys out to the station for a private tour.  So I asked my father-in-law to take them, and he did.  They all loved it.

Resized_20180810_093339_9124.jpg
These firemen are awesome.  They put all their gear on just for the boys.

They even let the boys get in their trucks and spray their hoses.

Resized952018081095092005952871.jpg

Resized952018081095094131956439.jpg
Grandpa was secretly jealous of this part.  He wanted to spray the hose too.

4.  Someone drove by and knocked our mailbox over.  Bummer.

5.  It was the Feast of the Assumption last Wednesday.  So after Mass, we went to the local donut shop and ate donuts.  Besides the normal kinds of donuts, they had oreo cookie donuts with chunks of oreos on the frosting and donuts made to taste like snickers candy bars.  The animal cracker donuts with pink frosting were a hit among my girls.

 

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Ham, Again?

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine.

  1. Someone once gave me a good piece of advice: Never, ever talk about or show pictures of bowel movements on your blog.  Now, this is sound advice, and I had every intention of following it.  Until this happened:
IMG_0594.jpg
Yes, that is poop running down her leg.  She apparently doesn’t mind and is having a good time.

2.  When my 4-month-old did this, I had two choices:  1.)  I could sit down and cry.  Oh, the agony of cleaning up this mess!  Or, 2.)  Go, get the other children, and show them just what their baby sister did and have a good laugh.

I did the latter.  This is real life, after all, and it’s messy.  (The older children thought it was hilarious, until I had them scrubbing onesies and seat holders.)

3.  Someone else also gave me another really good piece of advice:  Never, ever share stories or pictures of your children that could potentially embarrass them when they are older.  Mea culpa.

4.  Sometimes on this blog I show pictures of what I’ve cooked for dinner.  This week, I’m not going to show you because we had ham three nights this week.  Yep.  Baked ham the first night.  Bean and ham soup the second night.  And noodles and ham the third night.  We’re out of ham now.  Maybe we’ll have hot dogs tomorrow night.

5.  I’m rereading G. K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man.  Here’s a sample:

“The very fact that a bird can get as far as building a nest, and cannot get any farther, proves that he has not* a mind as a man has a mind...But suppose our abstract onlooker saw one of the birds begin to build as men build.  Suppose in an incredibly short space of time there were seven styles of architecture for one style of nest.  Suppose the bird carefully selected forked twigs and pointed leaves to express the piercing style of Gothic…Suppose the bird made little clay statues of birds…”

His point is that we’re different than the animals – gloriously different, in that we create.

*My emphasis.

 

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Pull-ups & Kiddie Pools

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine:

  1. The boys have been doing daily pull-ups on the swing set.  The other day, they challenged me to a contest to see who could do more.  I lost.  I mean, I lost big time.  I couldn’t even do one.  They made me start from a dead hang, and I couldn’t even pull myself up halfway.
IMG_0556.jpg
The twins can do six.  I was impressed.

2.  Speaking of pull-ups and other impossible things, apparently it’s impossible for my children not to put things in their mouths.  Do you remember how my son swallowed a penny a few weeks ago?  Well, my 2-year-old girl decided to do that too.

But now that I have experience with the matter, I’ll have you know that I completely kept my cool.  I observed her for a whole five minutes before I gave up.  The first minute she cried.  The second minute she started wriggling around again.   The third minute she was off playing.  And the final two minutes I just watched her from afar.  She’s fine.

3.  It’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

4.  Since the temperature rose above 80 degrees the other day, I thought I’d check out the kids’ pool in the backyard.  (This is what you do, when you live nowhere near anything cool, like an ocean.)

IMG_0530.jpg
It was a bit tricky trying to float on their little floaties, but I managed.  Does my neck look red?*

The children were so excited that I was joining them that they even promised to not splash me so that I could read.

And what was I reading?  Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate.  Mitford was one of Evelyn Waugh’s friends.  He even proofread her stuff for her.  But this book was marginal.  Waugh is a wayyyy better writer.  (If you’re looking for a good book to read this summer, pick up Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited.)

Notice the brown water in the pool?  Yuck, huh?  But that’s just because the sandbox is a few feet away, not because, well, you know.

5.  The prairie roses are in full blown.  They are the best smelling flower in the whole wide world.  They also happen to be our State Flower.

IMG_0549.jpg
The children keep a fresh supply for me on the table.
*I’m afraid that floating around in the kids’ pool makes me a Red Neck, if you know what I mean.

 

Flashback Friday

FF: Wherein Kim Loses Her Mind Showing Her House

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine:

  1. I had a lovely time cleaning and showing my house all week.  Not.
  2. Right before a showing, Child #5 “accidentally” dumped a pot of dirt all over her bedroom floor, in the carpet.  But did she clean it up?  Or come tell me about it?  Oh no.  Rather, she just shut her bedroom door and hopped into the van, ready to leave, happy as a lark.  I, however, always do a last minute walk-through to check for such things as unflushed toilets (happens every time), holes in the walls (just once, thank the Lord), or in this case, pots of dirt flung all over the place.  I am sorry to say, that I did not handle this situation very well.  I yelled.
  3. Selling houses is not for the weak.  One must buck up.  And spend extra time in the confessional.
  4. The following is a picture of me leaving my house.
IMG_0368.jpg
Notice my red lipstick?  And my curled hair?  These things are so necessary when one is stressed out.  See my 7 kids in the back?  No?

5.  Well, it’s not snowing outside.  This is good!

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Buying, Selling, & Fishing

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine.

  1. We enrolled two of our children in a Catholic, Montessori school for next year.  (I’ll still be homeschooling three of the seven children.)
  2. As this particular school is 30 minutes away, and we’re growing out of our house quite literally, we’ve decided to move.  (This decision was not made in a week, but over the course of this last year.)
  3. This is a terrible process – the buying and selling of houses.  Keeping mine clean for showings?  Ha!
  4. Child #4 was playing outside the other day, and he noticed a car slowly driving by, checking our place out.  This car drove by a few times, and this child decided that that was enough.  So, he stuck his tongue out, put his hands up to his ears, and gave a little sass to the driver.  The car didn’t drive by again.  And didn’t buy our house either.
  5. I have the best father-in-law in the world.  He took the children fishing.  The boys on one day.  The girls the next.  They had a blast, cruising up and down the Missouri River, catching walleye – 17 total.  We love eating walleye, by the way.

Resized_20180516_092327_5783.jpg

The following paragraph is the caption for the above photo.  This little girl is my talker.  I asked her about this photo, and she’s still talking to me, right now.  Even while I type this.    She doesn’t quit!

Photo Caption:

“Mom, you should have seen what this fish looked like inside!  It was all red and black and yellow and grayish.  It didn’t feel gross, but slimy.  Mom, you should have seen it’s teeth.  They were really sharp.  And I got to see sacks of eggs.  They were redish and pinkish.  Like birds.  And Mom, you have to put little fish on your hook.  Grandpa had to do mine, because I didn’t know how.  But Mom, you have to have those little fish to catch a big fish.  And I drank a Dr. Pepper – a whole can!  And I dipped my toes in the river, but it was cold.  Mom, do you know that your rod bends when you get a fish on it?”

Resized_20180516_135430_5015.jpg
The big girls with their catch.  They were thankful that grandpa cut them up, even though he did make them help a little.
Resized_20180515_114917_8966.jpg
The three boys taking a break from fishing.
Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Cross Ranch State Park

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine.

  1. My penny-swallowing, car-jumping acrobatic son is doing well, as you can see from the photo below.  Thank you to everyone who expressed concern!   (For those of you who missed the drama, click HERE for the details.)
IMG_0411.jpg
Double thumbs up, y’all.  Life is worth living.

2.  Last Sunday we took the children to Cross Ranch State Park.  (Click HERE for  their website.)  It’s in the middle of nowhere, off of a gravel road, and on the Missouri River.  It’s gorgeous, and it’s peaceful.  They’ve got beautiful hiking trails of all lengths – anywhere from a mile to 10 or more.  We did about a 2-mile loop.

3.  Once my husband and I went by ourselves and did the 9 or so mile loop through the bottomland, cottonwood forest.  Man, were we sore!  This was back in the day when we were crazy and had already ran a couple of miles in the morning and then thought, gee, let’s go hike another 10.  Not doing that again!

4.  So anyway, back to last Sunday.  The children loved every minute of it.  And we only had two ticks on us.  I was a bit surprised about the ticks, as it seemed awfully early for them, but I can handle just two.

5.  We didn’t see any crocus flowers yet, which was disappointing, as they typically grow in abundance up on the Upper Ma-ak-oti Trail.  In fact, we didn’t see any green plants, yet.  No bugs either.  Just ticks.

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday – Swallowing Pennies & Ponytails

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine:

1. Is it Earth Day yet?  I don’t even know when Earth Day is, but my children picked up trash along the ditches the other day.  They said that they were bored.  So I gave them something to do.  (You’d think that they’d learn not to vocalize such things as boredom.)

IMG_0405.jpg
Here they are with their trash.

2. My son swallowed a penny.  This was exciting for a minute or two, as I contemplated rushing to the Emergency Room.  But as he was not choking, and only mildly uncomfortable, I decided to call a dear friend, who’s daughter a year or so ago swallowed a nickel.  And as her daughter didn’t have any problems, and the nickel eventually passed through her system, I decided to wait and see how things would turn out for my son.

About 4 minutes after the initial hysteria, he was running around and eating Cheerios and torturing his sisters.  So I concluded that he’d be fine.  By the way, this is the same son who decided it was a good idea to jump off the roof of the car to the garage landing and missed.  (If you’re wondering, he’s the guy in the green short-sleeved shirt in the photo above.)

3.  There was a great Barn Razing in South Dakota, as my family tore down the old barn.  This is the same barn in which my dad had egg fights with his brother.  And shot pigeons and rats in too.

0410181608.jpg
There she goes.

And gone.

IMG_7056 2.jpg

4.  Ever wonder about ponytails?  I was thinking about this the other day, while putting a ponytail in my daughter’s hair.  What a funny name.  I mean, we named a hair style after the rear end of a horse?  I’ve never done the research, but this is interesting stuff.  It’s like when your hair is really, really messy, and we say, “Your hair looks like a rat’s nest.”  Now that makes sense.  Or, “Your room is like a pig sty.”  Ok.  But a ponytail?  Why not a Cascading Waterfall?  That’s sounds more elegant.

And then there are pigtails…I don’t even know what to think about that.

5.  Some of you may be wondering how Strider’s doing?  He’s well, as you can see from the photo.

DSCF0890.jpg
Strider.  King of Cats.