Friday, December 28, 2007

He's Gone Back

Yesterday was our last day with Adam. After going to morning Mass and having a holy hour, Adam packed his bags and left for the long drive to Norfolk. Everyone was sad to see him leave. He only had a week at home. But we were all greatful to God for the time that He gave us to spend with Adam.
Please pray for our sailor and our soldier while they are out doing their duty and defending our freedoms.

A New Christmas Story Part 1

What follows is the first installment of a Christmas story written by my second son Ryan who is currently stationed in Afghanistan. He posted it on his Xanga site. I think it is very good (of course I would, I'm his mother.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007
A Christmas Story: I always fell like writing a Christmas story around Christmas, and this year I did. We got in from a mission to a strange FOB, and I went and sat down at the computer for about three hours and finished this. I wrote it several years ago in Korea, and then it was lost in a computer crash. Lately I started it again, saving it on so that I would be able to access it no matter which FOB I was at. I finished it, but it is too long to post all at once, so I will post it serially. Hope you like it.

Margaret's Christmas Present

"Grandpa, tell me again, how old our house is," the little girl asked.
"I'm sure I've told you many, many times before, my Dear," the old man said, smiling fondly.
"Yes, but tell me again," she pleaded, her brown curls turning gold in the firelight and her eyes turned up to him in the look that he could not possibly have resisted.
"Well, Margaret, it is nearly a hundred years old."
The little girl wrinkled her nose as she tried to comprehend such a vast expanse of time. She knelt at her grandfather's feet, marching her tin soldiers across the lap of his dressing gown, and the old man thought, for the millionth time, that she looked more like an angel than a human girl.
"That's even before you were little, Grandpa."
"Yes, a great deal before that." He laughed a little.
"And you had to wear a dress when you were a little boy?"
"All little boys did back then."
"I can't imagine you as a little boy. Did you wear glasses?"
"No, I didn't wear glasses until I was getting old and my eyesight started to go."
"And these are your toy soldiers." It was more of a statement than a question. She knew very well that they were his toy soldiers. She pushed a miniature cannon up over the mountain of one of his knees and marched a rifleman without a bayonet up the other.
"Yes, I molded and painted them when I was a boy. Your mother and her brothers used to play with them as well."
"But Mama liked the dollhouse best, right? The one you made for her when she was my age?"
"That's right."
"And the china Angel Doll with the blue eyes?"
"That very one," the old man nodded, tears filling his eyes. He wished his daughter could be here now.
"Now Mama's with the real angels, right Grandpa?"
"That is true, my Dear."
"I wrote Papa a letter yesterday," she said. "Do you think he will come home for Christmas?"
The old man frowned. He wished he were young and strong again so he could go to Manhattan and knock some sense into his son-in-law. He didn't like the way she continued to write to him, no matter how many times she was disappointed when he never replied or came home. "I don't know, little one. But even if he doesn't we will be happy together, won't we?"
Margaret sat back, curling her bare feet under her and leaning back against her grandfather's leg. She chewed on her lip, her little face sad with a sadness that had no business anywhere near an eight year old girl. "But he will come this year, Grandpa, I know he will."
The old man cursed his age and wished he could reach down and pick her up, set her on his lap and hold her close as he used to when she was smaller and he was stronger. Back then a man got out and did what he could to fix the problems that were hurting his loved ones. Now, crippled, consumptive and useless, he reached down with one paper thin hand to ruffle the curls on her head. She hugged his leg and said nothing.
"All right then, young Missy. It's time for bed," Martha the ancient housekeeper/nurse/confidant bustled into the room. She was nearly as old as the old man, but instead of age weakening her and withering her away it had merely sharpened, pinched, shriveled and wrinkled her until she was a dry, tough, bright little woman with a needle sharp eye and tongue and a heart the size of the ocean.
The little girl quickly put her toy soldiers in their box in the china cupboard, and ran over to her grandpa, tiny white feet twinkling under her nightgown as she jumped up and put her arms around his neck. He wrapped his arms around her and held her smooth fresh face against his old, gray, wrinkled one. "Bless me, Grandpa," she whispered.
He kissed the top of her head and prayed:
"Angels of God, I pray you keep,
Your watch over her, and guard her sleep,
Through the night be beside her, and gently guide her,
Through beautiful dreams of quiet and peace.
Let silence enfold her and day's clamor cease.
If nightmares should wake her, then do not forsake her.
Let your love be around her, may it fill and surround her.
Ward off the devils that trouble the night,
And hold her and bless her, until morning's light."
"Does Mama like it when you pray her prayer over me?" Margaret asked.
"Of course she does. I blessed her with that prayer when she was in her cradle, and now I bless you with it. She is watching over you every bit as much as the angels."
"That she is, to be sure, Missy." Martha unfolded her arms and clapped her hands. "Now kiss your Grandpa goodnight and it's off to bed with you."
"Goodnight, Grandpa," Margaret kissed him lightly on the cheek and ran to Martha. She put her hand in the housekeeper's and allowed the old woman to lead her away to bed. The old man watched after her until she was out of sight, and then breathed a sigh. Tomorrow he would write another letter to Tom and try to reason him into coming home. He doubted it would do any good, but it was all he could do.
Margaret was the only child in that old house. It was not a mansion by any means, but it was big for a town house and full of odd rooms that didn't seem to belong. The little girl was raised by her Grandfather, though in reality Martha did most of the raising. The Old Man would have spoiled her if it hadn't been for the housekeeper's stern and often heavy hand. The other two men on the place, James Marsh the manservant and his son Dick the part time groundskeeper, worshipped the little girl and would likewise have spoiled her. They considered her a little angel, and thought that Martha was much too hard on her, since she was after all as sweet a little girl as ever you saw. The housekeeper only told them they were big soft ones and kept at it. Despite her prickly appearance she loved the little girl like her own daughter. She had never married and she poured out her missed maternity on Margaret. She loved the little girl, far too much to let her be spoiled. So it was the housekeeper who saw to it that she went to school and made friends, rather than stay at home with the private tutors her father would gladly have provided. It was Martha who gave her daily chores to do and saw to it that she did them and did them well, and kept James and Dick from helping her at them. It was Martha who shooed her out of the house to play out of doors instead of sitting and reading all day as the little girl would gladly have done. And it was the old housekeeper with her worn leather bound Bible and Book of Common Prayer under one clawlike arm and Margaret's hand in the surprisingly gentle hold of the other, who marched the little girl to Church every sunday. The little girl was a pensive child who thought deeply and often non-plussed the old lady with her questions, the answers to which could not be found in the catechism. Many was the time she thanked her stars that she was a second cousin some few times removed from the Episcopal minister. Whenever her small store of knowledge ran out, she fell back on her inexhaustible and childlike faith until she could consult with the elderly reverend gentleman. The two of them would laugh or shake their heads in amazement at the little girl's innocence and perspicacity, and then the Reverend would give his thoughts, and the old lady would take her new found wisdom back to feed Margaret's curiosity. So, while Margaret loved her Grandfather best of all living people in the world, Martha was the closest thing to a mother she had ever known, and she loved the old lady from her prickly attitude all the way to her warm, boundless heart.
It was Martha's doing that Margaret was not a solitary child. Fearing that she would come to be lonely and knowing that she needed companions of her own age, she saw to it that the little girl met the families of a few good neighbors who had little girls her age. The house was always open to any of her friends, after she had done her chores, and sometimes, on very rare and memorable occasions, Martha even unbent the rule about not eating except at meal times and allowed the children to have a cookie or one of her famous tarts.
It was a thursday, a few weeks before Christmas, and Margaret and two of her friends, Annie and Jessica, were playing tag in the back yard, which was of a very decent size, an acre and a half. They were so intent on their game, running back and forth and shouting, that they didn't notice at first that they were not alone. It was Jessica who saw him first. She had made it to "safe" which was at the corner of the old stable. Pausing to catch her breath she looked out to the hedgerow that separated the yard from the moor. At a break in the hedge there was a gate and standing at the gate, leaning over it with a casual air, was a boy.
He was older than any of the girls, he looked to be about twelve or thirteen. He was scrawny and tall with carrot red hair and freckles startlingly bright against his pale skin. His toes were sticking out of his boots and his clothes were raggedy, and he was supremely dirty. The girls stared at him in horrified fascination, never having imagined that any human creature could look so disreputable. He stared right back with an air of casual superiority, but there was a keen, interested look about him.
"Who are you?" Margaret queried. It was, after all, her yard and it fell to her to do the honors.
"Perry," the boy answered laconically.
"Perry who?" Annie asked.
"Just Perry," he replied.
"You don't have a last name?"
"Stanton," he supplied, "That's my old man's name."
"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Stanton," Margaret bobbed politely. "I'm Margaret St. James, and this is Annie and Jessica Farmer."
"You're a bit swell, aren't you," the boy remarked with a grin. "I ain't 'Mr. Stanton' I'm Perry."
"Do you live around here, Perry," Margaret asked.
"Naw, just passing through. On my way to the city, see?"
"Are you lost then?" Annie asked, innocently. "The train stop is on the other end of town."
"Not taking the train."
"Do your parents have an automobile?" Jessica asked.
The boy laughed scornfully. "Don't have no parents."
"No parents?" the three girls gasped together.
"Well, least no mother. She run off when I was a kid, and Dad's in prison, so he ain't much help. He isn't driving no automobiles, that's for sure."
"So you're practically an orphan," Margaret said.
"If you like," he shrugged cheerfully.
"Does that mean you live at an orphanage?"
Just then, Dick, the groundskeeper came around the corner of the house with a garden rake over his shoulder. "Here, you be off. Don't be bothering these young ladies, or I'll give you something to take with you."
The boy jumped back and laughed impudently before darting off across the fields.
"He wasn't bothering us, Dick," Margaret protested.
"Oh, he isn't the right sort to be around you, Missy Margaret, not the right sort at all. His sort would steal the pennies off a dead man's eyes."
"But how do you know?" she asked.
"Missy Margaret, you're too young and innocent to know about such likes. Just let him go and don't worry about it." He went off whistling about his work.

To be continued....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Adam is Coming Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He's coming home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His ship got into port and he is in his car and driving home as we speak. We haven't seen Adam since April when we drove down to Norfolk to see his ship dock after being out to sea for 6 months. He hasn't been home since his Grandfather's funeral in September 2006.

Everyone here is very excited. Almost as excited as his mother is. We are doing everything except killing the fatted calf for him. (only because we don't have one)
What a wonderful Christmas this is going to be. The only other thing I want for Christmas I can't have so I guess I am very contented.
God is truly good. Thanks be to God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas and the Spoiled? Youngest Child?

Here is something to contemplate, the youngest child and how to raise him without spoiling? him. My oldest have commented at various times that I am getting soft and that Matthew is spoiled. That I am not as firm with him as I was with them. Maybe, maybe not. I don't know. I know that personality wise he is a totally different child and that age wise I am a different person. (does that make sense?)

Anyway, last night I had reason to think about all of this as we went door to door on our street and through the town delivering plates of cookies and Christmas treats to neighbors and friends. It was icy out so Doug wouldn't let Mary-Kate or I get out at several houses. So the plan was for the two of them to trade off going to the door and leaving the plate, say a few words and wish the family a Merry Christmas. Matthew was reluctant to say the least. His first comment was that he was only going to the houses of the people that he knows. Well he knew everyone on the list so that was a useless comment. Then he was only going to the houses of those that he chose. Well, he was being a brat, may I say about the whole thing, when we made the first stop at the home of an old lady down the street. Her husband has recently been put into a nursing home. All of my boys have taken care of her in some way since she moved in down the road. From helping with the building of her house to taking care of her lawn and gardens they have done for her for all the years that she has lived in this house. Well we made Matthew go to her door because he is currently her "man of all work" since he is the only boy left at home. She had tears in her eyes when she came to the door, as she usually does. She was so thankful for the attention and the caring that the plate of cookies represented. When Matthew came back to the car he no longer made any comments about where he would go and wouldn't go. He accompanied his father to all the doors and even expressed a bit of disappointment over the houses where no one was at home.
So, maybe I am not as firm, maybe not. But my spoiled? youngest is learning important lessons that will carry him through life and I hope that the sight of this dear old lady with tears of gratitude in her eyes will stay with him for all his life. You can watch movies with touching plots and important lessons but these things are best taught with experience. I think that Matthew is more differently raised than spoiled. I think that he is benefitting from more maturity on my part that his siblings didn't enjoy and for this I am sorry.
For this reason I will continue providing Matthew with experiences like he had last evening to build his character and make him the kind of person that God expects him to be.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This and That

Santa Dad spent some of Sunday decking the halls of our home in preparation for Christmas and the homecoming of two of our sons. Then Ryan called and so we had to stop everything and talk to him. What a treat.
Dad sure looks pleased. But he has a tendancy to hog the phone!!!!!!
Then in preparation for the neighbors coming over Mary-Kate changed the everyday display so that they would feel special. She added some pictures of the neighbor kids and the other neighbors horses.
While the neighbor kids where over they decorated gingerbread men. Good job girls.
They did such a good job that the men had to sample the treats. (Don't worry about the mistakes, they will dispose of them too!!!!)

Home Sweet Home in Central New York

We had two days of snow and ice and the school kids had a snow day and here we are with nice clean snow to cover all the dirt and grime from the summer and fall.
Lupus likes to nip at the snow and bark at it when it comes sliding off the steel roof of the pig barn.
It was so good to get outside yesterday and take a walk around the farm. With the wind chill it wasn't long, though before I had to go back inside and have a cup of hot chocolate and wrap up in a warm quilt.
Mary-Kate and Lupus and I made a visit to the pigs to see how they are doing. We have piglets due on Christmas day. Everyone in the pig barn is growing well. They are warm and snug.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Carrying on a Family Tradition

Yesterday I made the doughs for the nut roll that my family enjoys for Christmas each year. Ever since I was a little girl my father has been making this treat for us for Christmas. This is the only time of the year that we have it. I think that is what makes it so special.
Since I have to rest my back Matthew and Doug have gotten in on the act. After supper they got the table cleaned up, rolled up their sleeves, and got to work. Choose your rolling pin and sprinkle that flower on the table and get to work.
Matthew is even dressed for the job. A lot of flour flew but they soon got the hang of what they were doing and then they got serious.
Here are the first rolls ready to go into the oven. They sure will taste good on Christmas morning when we get up and have breakfast.
Thank you Daddy for a lovely and tasty tradition. I love you.

Christmas Cookies

These cookies were made by yours truly. Now for those who know me well, know that I don't make cookies. I have brought up my children with the notion that only grandmothers make cookies. I make bread, by hand, without a bread machine. (I'm kind of famous in our little neck of the woods for my homemade bread). I cook. When were a working farm I cooked three times a day. My spaghetti sauce has won blue ribbons more than once. But cookies I do not make.
But yesterday I thought that I would make a batch of cookies. I have been laying around here for three weeks with this bad back and I am tired of laying around. Beware of me when I am bored.
Fortunately I think that I have gotten the cookie urge out and I will go back to something that I know.
Tomorrow I have to make white bread and oatmeal molasses bread. The sausage bread is in the oven now. Mary-Kate and Matthew have made all kinds of other cookies so we are all ready for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Winter Wonderland

Here is the result of last weeks snow storm.

Monday to Thursday it snowed and snowed and it really is beautiful even if it is cold and difficult to drive in.

On Thursday morning I was wondering where Matthew was. I thought that he was taking a little long about doing his chores.

These are the pictures I took of him out my bedroom window. He was only enjoying the snow as any 16 year-old would.

I didn't call him back in but let him enjoy the snow and have a little fun.

The fun thing about all of this is that he didn't even know that I was taking his picture.

Our place really looks good in snow. All of the mud piles are covered up and the leftover debris from the fire is covered. It makes me feel like I don't quite have to face things for awhile.

I think God sends us snow to make things pristine to remind us that's what our souls are supposed to be like.

My Advent Table

My children, the two who are left at home, think that our diningroom table is so beautiful they think that I should put it on the blog.

Here is the nativity that Mary-Kate bought for me this summer after her surgery. She is the best daughter. How many daughters would buy their mother a gift to thank them for taking care of them after their surgery.

Then I borrowed a friends idea and changed our Advent wreath. It's smaller on our table and it looks much more natural.

Paired up with the snowflake table cloth and dishes we have a very festive dinner table.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Sewing

Matthew has been doing a little sewing for Chirstmas. He made this lovely skirt and vest for his sister. All I did was lay in my bed and advise him. She is going to be very happy when she opens this gift.

Right now he is working on his gift for his older brother. He is getting to be very good with his sewing machine.

We have also been working on hats, mittens, and scarves for the giving tree at St. Josephs. They are collecting for the needy in the area to keep them warm.

We went to the local facric store and bought some remnants of fleece and have been making different combinations of hats, scarves, and mittens. It has been fun.

All I have left to do is sew the pom poms on the hats and then we can drop everything in the basket at the front of the church.

Monday, December 3, 2007


A recent conversation with a friend who is concerned about another friends (are you still with me?) son who seeks to marry a young lady who the family considers to be wholly inappropriate simply because the father didn't pick her out for the boy and because they didn't go through what the family considers to be an appropriate "type" of courtship. I have reflected on their views and my own on this matter. I disagree with the family on this matter (not about the girl, I have never met her, but on the steps that the couple has taken.) Doug and I have always taught our children to pray for their potential spouse since they were very little. Also that any kind of exclusive dating before they were in a position to engage the heart of anyone and to be married was a possible sinful act. That of course applies mostly to our five sons. Our daughter on the other hand has been taught to guard and protect her heart, mind, soul, and most especially her body as a precious gift that belongs only to the man that God has picked out for her to marry. (if that is the vocation that He has intended for her) Therefore she is to be friend to all and friendly to none until God shows to her the one that He intends to be her life partner. In the meantime her father and her brothers are her greatest champions and protectors.
Anyway, I digress in the intention of this post. In my reflection, which I have a lot of time for while on bedrest. I am reminded of the poem that my son Ryan wrote for the woman that God may send to him someday for his wife.

Where are You?

To be a better man in great and small.
To become each day more worthy of you;
That I might have something to giv, when I give my all,
To be each day more true.

And each time I have failed, been less than I could,
I have failed more than only me.
If I do not do what He wishes I would,
I become what you would not want me to be.

But I try again, and yet again, to be all that I can,
As I will try all my life.
If I can best myself I will be a man,
And someday worthy of you, my wife.

For your sake I try to do His will,
You, unmerited gift from God above.
I do not know you yet I love you still,
Enough to wait for you, my love.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Who's Your Inner European?

Your Inner European is Russian!

Mysterious and exotic.
You've got a great balance of danger and allure.

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day in central New York. Sunny, windy and cool.

Ian had a perfect day for digging. It was even dry which is unusual for this time of year. Of course the motto for the weather in New York is if you don't like it just wait awhile.

In the evening last night the clouds rolled in and they brought with them some of the white stuff.

The wind picked up and we had some snowfall. We now have a winter storm warning in affect until 5:00 pm tomorrow. They are talking another 3-6 inches.

For those of us who are native New Yorkers snow is a four letter word. I am sure glad that Doug had the Durango to take to work this morning rather than our old farm truck. Some of those hills can be brutal. Now I only have to pray for Ian who is in Binghamton for the weekend at drill. His truck is only a two-wheel drive. Of course he assures me that he is fine and he can drive through anything. (oh, to be young and invincable again)

My Son At His Happiest

Yesterday Ian was in his element. The men from Green Acres Backhoe Service came with their ram to help drill under the road so that we can put power and water in the barn across the road.

They got all set up and then went to town drilling the fifty feet under the road from the barn side to the house side of the road. The machine that they used was very loud but effective. It took them only an hour to do the whole job.

First they got into the ditch on the far side of the road and inserted the ram into the dirt and turned the machine on. It's kind of funny. They started seven feet down on that side and ended up four feet down on this side.

Here is the hose sticking out of the ground with the ram in somewhere under the road.

Here is the ram sticking out of the ground on the house side of the road. Once it was through they threaded a hose through that they will use to hold the power line and another hose that will carry the water through.

After they got done and left Ian had lunch and quickly got digging along the driveway to the road so that they could access the power and water from the basement.

What a kind and loving brother he is, he tried very hard not to disturb his sisters newly planted bulbs. He even managed not to disturb my rocks. (one is chained to a tree in the front yard so that it doesn't tip into the ditch)

Sometime this week they will get the power and water hooked up and the barn wired then Matthew doesn't have to use the generator to do chores.

Reflections on Advent

I have been reading and praying a lot lately about Advent. I have a lot of time on my hands right now since I'm supposed to be off my feet resting my back. (But that's another story and not worth telling. Just pray that my sanity and my family survive this whole resting thing.)
Anyway, about Advent, everyone that I talk to and every thing that I read is focused on avoiding the "commercialism" and "worldliness" of the rest of society. All around me I see others trying to make Christmas more sacred and more focused on it's true meaning. But very few talk about the blessed season that leads up to the celebration. As with any party or celebration there is a period of preparation that comes before. As any host or hostess knows, before throwing a party or any gathering, much planning and reflection goes into the party before she even takes the first step in executing the preparations.
Advent should be thought of in the same way. Week by week we should not only prepare ourselves materially but spiritually for the celebration that comes at the beginning of the season. Many people also make the mistake of thinking of Christmas as the end of the Advent season when it is actually the beginning of its own season.
I recently visited a blog sight of a woman who publishes excellent resources for Catholic homeschoolers and she broke the season of Advent down in an interesting way. If I may take quote her here.
week one: decoration and preparation
week two: giving and the symbolism of Santa Claus and reality of St. Nick
week three: family, Hannukah (because Jesus was Jewish and we don't want to forget
week four: nativity, angels, epiphany

Now this is an interesting and useful way of breaking down Advent and very useful. And I believe that she uses this breakdown for her new book Christmas Mosiac which I have ordered but have not used yet. And my purpose here is not a criticism of this woman or her book because I think she is quite talented. But rather my own analysis of Advent and a reordering of my familys observance of the season since my children are older and the counting down thing is no longer appropriate.
Then in my reflection I read in my recent Magnificat their treatment of Advent and a light went on in my head. If I may quote (and please forgive the length of the quote but I think that those who have hung on this long will find it all as enlightening as I did) "Advent is like this. We know our heart is waiting for someone in whom we will ding all the fulfillment and meaning we lack in our life. But Christmas does not happen instantaneously. Gradually, we are untroduced and come to know the One who comes to save us from our fragility. The Advent journey is that sequence of graced "confirmations" that readies us for the One who the night before he dies, will call us "Friend."
"These confirmations appear in the Scriptures that lead up to the Christmas manger. On the first Sunday of Advent, the prophet Isaiah promises that the Word of the Lord will come forth from Jerusalem so that "he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths." In speaking this way, Isaiah shows how much he knows our need. He realizes that we will respond to someone who comes into our life with something significant to say-someone who understands our predicament of being confused at times, sorely in need of education... someone who recognizes how lost and aimless we are when deprived of a sure path to follow. If such a One truly is coming, then, yes, we will respond-we will give him our attention."
There is more of course but I need not quote it all here. Suffice it to say it got me to thinking that Advent is similar to Lent in the reverse. While Lent is more a penitential season and yes we should be making penances during Advent, it should be more a season of increasing rejoices for lack of a better way to say it. Building up to the greatest rejoice of all, the birth of Our Lord on Christmas. But the rejoices should not be to our benefit but for others.
So this is what I have proposed for my family. Instead of an Advent calendar where we open the door each day and read the bible verse and count down the days until Christmas, wonderful things to do but I think that we have all outgrown these activities. Instead we should be counting up, counting our increased activities to benefit our fellow man and laying them before the babe as a gift for Him on His birthday. We are now looking for things to do to help others in our community and in our family to count our way up to the birth of Our Lord.
Because of our little setbacks this year we have already promised not to give each other gifts but still the sacrifice can be made to give gifts to others in the form of the giving tree at church. Plans are being made to make homemade gifts for certain charities in the community. Other things have been suggested by my children of things that we can do not only with money (which I consider easy and impersonal) but also with our time and of ourselves. And to steal another idea of a friend we are fashioning each act into a chain which will grace our Christmas tree this year. Not only will this benefit those around us but the hope is that we will build up treasure in heaven.
Then when the real celebration starts we will have made such preparation that we will be worthy to host the Lord of Lords and King of Kings into not only our hearts but also into our home.

What's Your Personality Type

You Are An ISTJ

The Duty Fulfiller

You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.
You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knittings.
Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.
Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.

In love, you are loyal and honest. If you commit yourself to someone, then you're fully committed.
For you, love is something that happens naturally. And you don't need romantic gestures to feel loved.

At work, you remember details well and are happy to take on any responsibility.
You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.

How you see yourself: Decisive, stable, and dependable

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, conservative, and egotistical

Saturday, November 24, 2007

New Life

When we were selling the rest of our livestock, Mary-Kate shed some tears about selling off the few calves that were left, especially the ones that had been born since the fire. So her father (the man with the marshmallow center) decided to keep those six calves and a nurse cow. Yesterday the nurse cow had a calf. Mary-Kate has been in her element since then. She has been taking good care of the calf. Teaching it how to drink and checking to make sure it is warm enough. She has even milked the cow by hand to make sure that she was all milked out. I don't know what she is going to do on Monday when she has to go to school. Never has a calf had such good care. Is this what kind of mother she is going to be?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mary-Kate's Hair

Mary-Kate recently decided that she wanted to get her hair highlighted. So we took a trip to the salon and told Jen what she wanted and left Mary-Kate in her capable hands. One hour later there she was with hair that was lighter (slightly) and beautifully coiffed.

Now, if you are a Kraeger male you ask why get your hair highlighted and why mess with the color that Godgave you in the first place anyway? How about because she wants to? Because she wants to see what it would look like.
Will she do it again? I don't know but if she wants to it's all right with me. I think that soon she will out grow the bother and the smell soon enough. In the mean time I think that she looks lovely and she chose her color wisely.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Save A Turkey Eat Mashed Potatoes

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Oridnary, comforting, and more than a little predictable
You're the glue that holds everyone together.