September 26, 2007

The Basic Difference

This summarizes the difference between Merry (right) and Pippin (left)... how they eat an oatmeal bar with chocolate on top really puts things into perspective! All I could think of was the old jingle "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't."

September 24, 2007

Prayers for Peggy

Note Update 9/26: Peggy is home from the hospital! Deo Gratias! Please spare a prayer of thanksgiving!

Please spare a prayer for a college friend of mine, Peggy, (who married Aragorn's cousin!). She is having complications after having her 8th baby.

Most Blessed Trinity, I, Your child, thank You for all the gifts and privileges which You granted to St. Gerard, especially for those virtues with which You adorned him on earth and the glory which You now impart to him in heaven. Accomplish Your work, Oh Lord, so that Your kingdom may come about on earth. Through his merits, in union with those of Jesus and Mary, grant me the grace for which I ask.... (Mention your request)
And you, my powerful intercessor, St. Gerard, always so ready to help those who have recourse to you, pray for me. Come before the throne of Divine Mercy and do not leave without being heard. To you I confide this important and urgent affair.... Graciously take my cause in hand and do not let me end this novena without having experienced in some way the effects of your intercession. Amen.

September 15, 2007

Big Boy Beds

Our crib has been, shall we say, very well loved! We bought it used 11+ years ago before Sam was born. 8 babies later it is on it's last legs... tie-wraps (same said tie-wraps used to handcuff criminals) ring a bell? I found a crib on Freecycle and while I was picking it up they asked if we'd want a twin bed frame. Certainly! Eventually it'll be another set of bunkbeds but for now this was just perfect. The next day Merry and I went to go get his big boy twin bed mattress. Obviously he is giddy with delight over his new big boy bed. We'll need to work on a bit of color coordination!

Pippin climbed out of his crib a few weeks ago so we've kept the side rail down on his crib. But with Merry giving up his toddler bed, we moved Pippin to his big boy bed rather than setting up the "new" crib.
He didn't stay awake long enough to get giddy.
The sad part was that I simply couldn't part with that crib, dead as it is! I'm hoping the slats can be used to make either a play pen or something. Silly me.

Our Stick Family

Create your own at Our Stick Family

September 14, 2007

Nature Walk

Somewhat across the road from our house is a public hunting grounds with some hiking trails. Amazingly this is the first time we had gone on one of the trails as a family.

Galadriel enjoys toting Pippin in the backpack... of course it doesn't last all that long, even a skinny-mini like Pippin gets a bit heavy.

Merry being his usual loveable self. As you can see the mosquitos love him too!
Of course this is a rather easy hiking trail... just our style.

We were able to take a picture of our house from up on the trail.

This is the local landscaping. Over-population at it's finest!

Merry scoping out a milkweed pod.

One of many beautiful patterns in nature.

Of course the highlight is the fluff inside.... just helping nature along a bit.
Eowyn among the grasses.

The crowd that took the more leisurely pace.

It's almost like having a twin.

Eowyn Turns 9

Eowyn is our September Baby and she turned 9. This is the last of the birthday-of-the-month club in our house for 2007, though I'm sure we'll find ample excuses to make dessert again... and again! It is a pretty poor excuse for cake decorating job but that just isn't our forte... we are all about tasty rather than good taste in the picturesque!


One would think this was the first time we had ever seen turkeys in our yard but the children were thrilled as if they were turkeys laying golden eggs. By the squealing, I thought someone had found gold. "Can we take a picture?" Of course. "Oh Mommy! Will you put this on the blog?" Of course.

September 8, 2007

Nativity of Our Lady

Andrea di Bartolo
Today, September 8th, we celebrate the birth of Our Blessed Mother, pure and sinless since God first created her.

To celebrate we had a formal dinner we call "High Tea". We had my SILs recipe for Chicken Mushroom Lasagna, Homemade Vanilla Pudding, Cucumbers with Cream Cheese with Chives and Scallions on bread and Angelfood cake with whip cream and strawberries. We aren't actually tea drinkers so I made my friend's Cranberry Hot "Tea". We still need to work on our presentation of the set up of the table as I notice that some of the knives and such are on the wrong side of the plates! But that's where we are at with helpers and the children really enjoyed setting up the table. We are normally way further laid back. I had to chuckle when my 11 year old said "How do we hold these cups?" The tea cups have fancy curling handles which aren't the most comfortable to hold when you are used to tupperware! We did think of Almazo Wilder's father and wonder what a messy job it must have been to be drinking out of the saucer! No one attempt to try that.

Our New Puppy Charlie

We saw an ad on Freecycle for a 7m old puppy. He is supposedly a cross of some sort between a Golden Retriever and an Australian Shepherd. Chocolate Charlie doesn't look the least bit golden that is for sure!

Of course this is hardly a puppy in my eyes, he's huge but skinny.

Isn't he a pretty color?

He's very calm and child-friendly.

Hutch Plus

We had been keeping our eyes open for a hutch. We found one recently on Craigslist. The hutch itself was very reasonable and like new... actually newer than anything else we have in our house to be sure! However, this wasn't any old ordinary find

The hutch came with a set of China for 16 people including Dinner Plates, Salad Plates (or Soup Bowl, they are a deep dish type), Dessert Plate, Tea Cups, Saucers and Napkin Rings as well as a set of 24 lead crystal goblets.

This is a close up of the print, cute blue flowers and greenery, the edges of the dinnerware is edged in silver.

In addition to the China, they included 6 decanters full of booze... We are about 345 degrees less interested in alcohol than casual drinkers but aren't they pretty just the same?

This is the print of the China we received as a wedding gift.

Wasn't this a lovely find? We will use the new China to celebrate Our Lady's Birthday.

Relish and Apples

Homemade sweet pickle relish is so delicious! I highly recommend the Zyliss Food Chopper.

Sweet pickle relish finished.

An elderly farmer sells delicious apples at our local farmer's market. We have many apples on our property but they are "jelly" apples. I've made several batches of apple jelly and many more to go as there are heaps and piles of apples around here. If our grapes are good this year we will also be making grape jelly.

Blue Heron

This Blue Heron spent a couple days standing by the side of the road right across from our lower field. We tried on several occasions to get a picture as it really was a neat bird. This was the best I could get. He doesn't seem to care for his picture being taken.


I think the only person I know who solved the sock problem is JRR Tolkein, he was wise enough to put nice leathery soles and furry tops on the hobbits' feet. Anyone else have a solution? Not only do socks multiply in singletons, those socks that do manage to mate properly fade differently in the wash. Absolutely unbelievable... it is just about as creative as the perfectly timed stoplights in IL where you get the pleasure of stopping at every single light.

Pig Roast

This fun day began with a Solemn High Mass with Deacon and Sub-Deacon. It was beautiful.
Following Mass was a lovely procession. We were really blessed as Fr. Avis, newly ordained said the Mass, so for us it was a "First Mass" though I am still kicking myself for not asking for his First Blessing.

After Mass there was a terrific pig roast.... not our pig!
A talented family played Irish music.

The little boy did a bit of Irish jigging or step dancing. Eleanor was watching. At some point Pippin must have been watching as ever since this day he's been doing some kind of funny little steppy-dance.

Fr. Avis

Visiting with friends
The day was really enjoyable and the pig tasted so good!

September 7, 2007

Adventures of Pig-Pig

I would be remiss in mentioning one of our most interesting adventures this summer, the Adventures of Pig-pig.

Aragorn went to an animal auction hoping to find some good beef since our cattle count for eating-readiness was pretty scant. Instead of bringing home the beef he brought home what they say was a pig. This pig weighing in at a mere 75 lbs (what should have been about 200 pounds) cost us 2c per pound. So for $1.50, we received quite the adventure. And I might add, I had never in my life seen a skinny pig or a pig with long lanky legs.

I have a friend who resorted to naming their family's fine eating after various names like "Pork Chop" and "Bacon" and other such "Remember I will be on your plate eventually, do not get too attached to me" type names. So as I tried to think of a name, Aragorn blurted out "Lean Cuisine" so Lean Cuisine he was for a very short while.

Lean Cuisine's name soon changed when he began his wild antics. This pig was an escape artist. His first escapes began with rootin' away under the edges of the shed. We had heard once that pigs don't jump, however, this is a mere wives tale as this pig jumped... or perhaps flew afterall he did have rather large floppy ears.

As you can see we did not have a short fence to keep this pig in.
Every day we would go down and visit him, usually a couple times a day and I kid not, he was NEVER in his pen! He had either crawled under the edge of the building or climbed/jumped/flew (?) over the fence! But Aragorn simply would go out to the top of the little hill and start calling "Pig-pig....pig-pig pig-pig, herrrre pig-pig" and suddenly the snorting would begin (by the pig that is, not Aragorn) off in the distance and along comes what was formerly Lean Cuisine and now simply "Pig-pig" afterall if you have a pig who comes when he's called, you'll stick with that!

One evening I actually got to witness this affair. Per usual Pig-pig was not in the pen. I asked how on earth we would get him, let alone get him into the cornered off area of the pen inside the shed. I just stood there as Aragorn called "pig-pig" and the pig came trotting along but everytime Sam and I would stop, so would the pig. He would only go in if we ALL went into the pen. There is nothing like being pushed around by a pig! So in the building goes Sam and me followed by Pig-pig. Aragorn bent the bottom of his pen fencing up to keep Pig-pig contained. However, if you can believe this, the pig went snorting around the edge of the pen until he found a slightly raised part and then squeezed right under.

I kid you not when I say that this pig even went so far as to bite the fencing and bend it back creating a nice even square for him to hop on through. There really can't possibly be anything more humbling than being outwitted by a pig.

The boys had the job of bringing the slop buckets down to Pig-pig. One fine day I look out and see that Frodo is racing at top speed bellering at the top of his lungs with Pig-pig racing right at his heals. It was such a funny sight I had to run and grab my camera first and get a few shots.

Then I ran back for my phone to call Aragorn to find out what I was suppose to do with a pig on my front yard.

With a pig, that is, who found the front yard quite comfortable.

It was quite a hot day but I'm still not sure why he chose to lie down next to the shovel...
I will admit I did think he was a bit cute that day.

Pippin thought this the neatest thing.

Thinking Pig-Pig was a bit warm, we turned on the sprinkler which he went in under and enjoyed.
So what became of Pig-pig? There were several more adventures and visits from Pig-pig (about 2 weeks-worth) til we finally had the fencing up about 5 feet and had 3 weeks of peace. Then one day, one very hotter than hot day, I might add, the boys did not return from bringing down the slop buckets. Naturally my mind was racing... thinking the worst of course. Finally I drove down, the boys weren't there. I drove back up and the boys had just gotten back to the house via the path across the field. Pig-pig had *flown* out of the pen... (remember pigs don't jump say the old wives). So we head back down to the other end of the property and wrestle with this pig. Said pig had no desire to ever go back in his pen. After 1/2 hour in dripping sweat I called it quits.... but sadly we never saw Pig-pig again. So, if you see a lanky pig that flies.... email me.