Sunday, October 21, 2012

Miss Curious

I took my godson Christopher to Rice Park recently for a photo shoot.

He's entrusted me with the important task of taking his Senior pictures.

I don't know what's more scary.

The fact that he trusts me behind the camera or that he is 18 and graduating from high school in the Spring.


Anyway, my daughters tagged along on one of our photo sessions and I caught this one in a usual pose for her.

"Whatcha reading?", she often asks.

She's curious and a good reader.

I think she found a kindred spirit of sorts in downtown that afternoon..

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ted Talk for Kids

Watched this last night with the girls - digital storytelling.

It's fun!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A New Phase of Life

We're off to pursue the Good, the True and the Beautiful at Trinity School at River Ridge.

It's a new Mother/Daughter (and whole family) adventure!

We are in for hard work, serious study, enjoyment of a rich curriculum and relishing in the company of friends and faculty committed to the school's mission.

Trinity's Mission Statement

The mission of Trinity School is to impart basic ordered knowledge about the world and to train students in basic intellectual skills and qualities of mind so that they might be of use to God in the wise care and governance of his creation and in the building of his kingdom. We accomplish this by establishing a culture marked by the discovery of truth, the practice of goodness, the creation of beauty and the development of intellectual and aesthetic habits of mind. Trinity School is a community of learners characterized by the rigorous exploration of reality, the free and disciplined exchange of ideas, and active participation in the fine arts. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Special Day

These two got to spend about 20 precious minutes together last Sunday.

It was the second time they shared a birthday and Father's Day.

It first happened 11 years ago.

I wonder when it will happen again?

I'll check the internets and the google.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Sister's Baby

I have a sister.

She had a baby.

She's a wonderful mom.

I mean, just look at that gentle touch. 

Okay, she was trying desperately to show me the little one's dimple by stroking her cheek.  But, still.

She's a wonderful mom.

You can just tell.

Congrats and Happy Mother's Day, Sis! (One Week Belated)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Trunk

I created a little adventure for myself last week. I needed to run an errand to Stillwater.  I know, twist my arm. The town is super cute and on a sunny day is really hard to leave. But I had a lunch date at Punch Pizza and was motivated enough to leave the little paradise for the big city to enjoy some wonderful food and good company.

Anyway, I had a few minutes to kill while waiting for Staples Mill Brewery to open. We have a monthly growler re-fill arrangement with the brewery and I wanted to fill it this month to bless my husband and our friends meeting that night to play 500.  I ducked into an antique shop and happened upon this trunk.

I was smitten.

It is just a trunk, I know.

But the color, the size and the price were perfect.

I have had my eye out for a trunk for the basement to store blankets in the summer. It is one of those items that I told myself would eventually come along, if not years down the road. I was willing to be patient and wait for the right one.

Well, I had found it.

One problem.

This trunk was locked and would not succumb to normal methods of un-locking, namely, a key.

It was just stuck in this position.

A very nice older gentleman tried for some time to open the thing. He had a key ring with maybe 40 keys on it and tried every one.

He called over the owner of the trunk who went through a series of screw drivers and small tools to try to pry the thing open.

My anticipation grew with each try.

What was in this thing anyway?

A body?  No, that's too gruesome to think about.

A love letter?

An old newspaper?

A quilt?



My imagination loved entertaining the possibilities.

But, to no avail.

In the shop we were not able to discover the trunk's secret.

I bought the trunk anyway and got five bucks knocked off the price for the trouble.

I said thanks, loaded it in the back of the van and made my way back to the city with the hope of opening this treasure one way or another and finally discovering its secret.

After my lunch date, I gathered these simple tools.

I pried that lock open in a couple good whacks, breathed deeply, with hope and anticipation and peered inside.

No body.

No letters.

No newspapers.

No money.

Just an empty trunk.

With a funny musty smell.

Oh well, the adventure was worth the trouble.

I love the trunk. Got a great deal. And use it for storage already.

Some adventures are just too fun to pass up.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

One Yard Wonder

It's that time of year again!  The gardening season is upon us.

This morning during our early morning chat and catch up time, I informed my husband that for Mother's Day I would just like to work outside and tidy up the yard and begin planting.  I'm just itching to get out there and put some substantial time into our yard and garden.

Last year, I made this.

I used the pattern and instructions from this book, One-Yard Wonders. Find it here on

So far, I have followed several of the pattens in this book and found them fairly easy to follow. While I haven't done much sewing in the last few months, over the course of the last two years, I have used this book and others to build my sewing skills and create items to use and give away.

The book now has a sequel available, with another 101 One-Yard Projects to make.

This gardening apron is a favorite.

I made one first for myself as practice, then made another to give away to a friend for her birthday.  Hers turned out much better!

Mine works though.

It has lots of pockets!  It holds the necessary small gardening items and tools. It reduces the number of trips I make to and from the garage or the amount of time spent searching for a packet of seeds, marker, etc.

I imagine when I am digging in the garden, I'm quite the sight in my shabby overalls, apron, and floppy hat (which is now a staple in the dress up bin since the girls discovered Jane Austen). Gardening keeps me humble.

The point is, I am excited for this weekend, praying for dry weather, and looking forward to future sewing projects to enhance my life and bless those around me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More Marcel


I used to have a sister. Someone gave her a balloon. 

Hee Hee

Another good one.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Marcel The Shell


Watch the above when you've had a long day and need a good laugh

When you want to laugh so much it gives your abs a workout, and it counts for your ab workout for the day

When you want to satisfy your curiosity about what the life of a shell is really like

When need a de-stresser for your daughter who is stressing about homework yet to be completed

When you need some fun and cheap entertainment for a few minutes

It's family friendly too.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Now a Mrs.

And that makes four of us.

(Hey, how did she get as tall as me?)

We danced, we clapped for the happy couple, we caught up with family we hadn't seen in ages, we celebrated the Lord's day, and topped off dinner with hand crafted cupcakes.

A gorgeous and joyful wedding celebration!

Following are my favorite shots, from the first moment they saw each other to the final moments at their reception - no clinking glasses here, they kissed for us only when a guest made a donation towards Erik's nephew's medical expenses - clever, touching, self-less, and effective!


Life in a Month

Well, I have started 4 blog entries in the past month, all good ideas and things I want to write about, but no time to edit or flesh them out.  This is all random, but it's the best I can do for now with Ben out of town and Saturday morning chores looming before we head to Girls of Praise - three different groups starting and ending at three different times.

We have had quite a month!  Highlights include the birth of Baby George; 3 days celebrating O'Reilly-ness with my lady cousins (there are 52 grandchildren of my generation, 26 guys and 26 gals, 18 of whom were together for a weekend, not a bad showing); 4 glorious days in South Bend with friends (dunes again did not disappoint); the official welcome of brother Erik to our family (I think MC and Erik are perhaps one of the most joyful couples I know); hosting our first overnight guests (John and Megan) ever in this house and loving the late night happy hours just getting to know them better; watching and praying that my first tulips withstand the freezing temperatures (they have and look beautiful, at least the ones in the front, not sure what happened in the back yard); another successful Easter timpano accompanied by wonderful guests and conversation and of course really good wine (provided by Julie and Beth who have a knack for pairing wine and food); and just experiencing another amazing Ferber wedding with lots of hospitality and family time, games, meals, cleaning, conversation, work, honoring, play, dancing and laughter all in the mix.  It is a blessed whirlwind of joy and love when we all get together.

Hard things to swallow too in this month: cancer discovered in a good friend; financial realities forcing hard thinking about the role and purpose of homemaking; decisions to make regarding education, controversial elements over shadowing the good in school; and then some...

Off to work now. There are some dandelions out there in the yard who in about 10 minutes won't know what hit them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Farewell to "Winter"

It didn't look or feel much like Winter this year.

On the one hand we were  blessed to contend with very few soggy mittens and early morning shoveling parties with the neighbors.  On the other hand, we didn't have to contend with soggy mittens and early morning shoveling parties with the neighbors.  I missed  "Where's my hat?", "My snowpants are too short", "These boots leak" and "Hey, Mary, how's it goin'?"

There was a certain charm of the season missing.

And a certain kind of adventure too.

Sometime this past Fall, I promised my beloved that when we built our igloo this year, I would be the first to sleep in it over night.  I think he almost fell out of his chair. It may have been during a game of 500 and he lost concentration for a hand or two, he was so thrilled.  And I meant it. I really would have been delighted to sleep in the igloo and live to tell about it.  If my kids can do it, I can do it.

But, it was not to be.

It pretty much went like this.  "It's snowing, kids."

Kids don all the gear. Run outside.

Snow melts 20 minutes later.

Kids run back in, don rain boots.

Kids scour the yard and house for buckets.

Kids line up buckets under Shellee's garage eave and catch water falling from the roof.

Kids check water in the morning and notice it froze.

Kids check water after school and notice it is again water.

Literally, that was pretty much it.

There were a few skiing outings.  And they went something like this.  "Hey it just snowed  0.5 inches.  Quick, grab your skiis and boots."  Then it was once around the golf course.  Back just as snow is melting.  The report did come back from our littlest gal that her attempt to go down hill was sooooo much fun.

There were a few skating outings.  They were spontaneous as well and sometimes required a call ahead to the rink.  "How's the ice?"  It was just an on again off again relationship with that rink.

One glorious skating outing was one that our area in POP gathered for. It was 26 degrees, sunny, no wind, just as pleasant as can be.  For the first time ever, I watched my agile husband play hockey. My friend Marilyn and I marveled at all the years we had been married to our spouse and neither of us had even seen him play.  That was way cool. A pick up game of hockey is right up there with kick the can (like we used to play back in the day).

There were no sledding outings this Winter. Not a one that I can remember.  But you know, we are still a little gun shy over here in regards to sledding.  Sad to say, but its true.

There were more kite flying outings than there were sledding excursions.  We flew kites on Christmas Day. That was awesome. But weird.

So, Farewell Winter.  It's been intersting.  Hello S P R I N G !!

And Honey, I promise to keep my promise. Next year, when the igloo is built, with all of the snow we are due, I'm in.  For the whole night.

Here are some of our Winter highlights in pictures with some of Christmas thrown in.