Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

Give Me Five Monday

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Give Me 5 Monday logo

Give Me Five memorable things you have done before.

  • I was blessed to be with my daughter during her labor and delivery of granddaughter Claire this past Saturday.
  • I did lots of hiking along the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon in the day.
  • I saved my daughter Rebecca’s life when she was little, using the Heimlich maneuver.
  • When in high school, our band was selected to march at Disneyland.
  • When I was in high school, I was on an overnight hike at Yosemite National Park. We strung up our pack of food, but bears got it anyway. The bear knew how to open the canned milk with its claws!

    Hostess Becca says this about the meme:

    The ‘Give Me Five’ Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here’s how it works. Each week, I will put out a random topic from my list of topics and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back here! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences. It doesn’t have to be in any order of importance unless otherwise specified.
    Sign up for weekly reminder emails @

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, July 6th, 2009


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…July 6, 2009

Outside my Window…We had a soaking rain on this cool day. I don’t think the temp even got up to 60!

I am thinking…I won’t get the refrigerator cleaned this evening after all. I’ve run out of ‘oomph’.

From the learning rooms…I want to learn more about Ernest Shackleton, so have checked out The Mammoth Book of Explorers, edited by John Keay. The book includes first-hand accounts by the explorers.

I am thankful for…the Lord keeping my husband and four of the children safe Saturday evening as they were traveling to see the firework display in town. A vehicle sped past them, going the wrong way on the freeway. The young man who was driving that vehicle was killed shortly thereafter, and the freeway was closed for a couple hours.

From the kitchen…I baked some gingerbread this evening. Such a chilly, damp evening seemed to call for this typical autumn dessert.

I am wearing…my denim skirt and striped orange sweater top.

I am reading…(just finished reading) A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson. This love story/historical fiction is set mainly in Austria in the years just prior to and during World War II. The author writes accurately and with much feeling for this time period, as she lived through it.

I am hoping…to read friends’ blogs. It seems I’ve been spending more time on Facebook, and less time blogging. Also, I did get lots done today in my real world, which gives me lots of satisfaction, but not lots of online time.

I am creating…a cleaner house. Today I cleaned and organized the storage closet in the laundry room. This closet becomes a ‘catch-all’ after a while, so I lose track of what’s in there. I know now that I have three Costco-sized refill bottles of liquid hand soap!

I am hearing…my husband sorting paperwork in the office. He’s finding some great memorabilia of the early days of his business.

Around the house…Seth and Debra are having fun setting up a Sims game. They really made the characters look like each member of our family. I’m going to enjoy peeking at their progress from time to time.

One of my favorite things…is the sense of accomplishment that comes when a good dinner has been prepared and enjoyed, the kitchen is clean once again, and it’s time to wind down before bed.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…There are lots of appointments in town this week. We’ll be busy!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…


This is a view of Mt.Baker from Cypress Island where Rick and our oldest son went sailing last Thursday and Friday.

cypress island map

They camped on Pelican Beach. See it on the map?


Driftwood on the beach

pelican beach on cypress island

Pelican Beach on Cypress Island in the San Juan Island system

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Please visit Grandmother Wren to sign Mr. Linky if you are continuing with Simple Woman’s Daybook for the summer. Thanks!

Ode to a Cook Book

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

My daughter Laura took some photos of our Thanksgiving preparations, including this of one of my old cook books, an insert included many years ago in our local newspaper. The recipe I was turned to, for Broccoli Salad, is one I know by heart, but I just enjoy getting out the old cook book. Laura remarked on how browned with age the pages are, so I got to thinking about why I love the old book, and wrote a Tanka about it:

Worn and discolored

Pages of this old cook book

Remind me of meals

Prepared with love, served with joy.

Precious mem’ries tucked within.

Photostory Friday, Just Barely

Friday, November 21st, 2008

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I almost didn’t get to publish a post this windy evening. The power went off at about 8:30 this evening, along with our water. When I called Puget Sound Energy to record the outage, the recorded message let me know that power was off in scattered areas over a four-county area. It sounded serious to us, so after a brief time spent playing Pente by some and reading by lantern-light by others, we all decided to go to bed.

Just as I was about to turn off the lantern, I noticed a glow from downstairs; sure enough, the power was back on. That meant just one thing: I could still publish a blog post tonight!

My plan for today was to publish this 78 to 80 year old photo of my mom and her brother for Photostory Friday, so I’ll go with that. This photo was taken probably between 1928 to 1930, in Phoenix, Arizona. Don’t my mom and her brother look cute, two happy kids playing together?

I love this beautiful glimpse into the past, but it gets me thinking about life’s brevity. At one time they were carefree children, living like there was no tomorrow, but now both of these folks are very feeble and elderly. Many of their contemporaries have preceded them in death.

Perhaps because I’m tired, THAT thought reminds me of some beautiful song lyrics by Joni Mitchell to her song, ‘The Circle Game’ which speak eloquently of life’s seasons:

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star
Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, when you’re older, must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and dawn
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
>From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him,
Take your time, it won’t be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and dawn
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
>From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur
coming true
There’ll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through.
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look behind
>From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Wordful Wednesday – Baby Me

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Today I took our daughter Debra in to get stitches above her right eyebrow, for an injury she received during P.E. Yes, I did take before and after pictures (using my new cell phone camera for the first time!). No, I won’t use those pics for Wordful Wednesday. All of us were quite interested in the pictures, but I don’t imagine you would be.

Now, I don’t know if you will be interested in this picture either, but it comes with a little story.

This photo is of me when I was 1-1/2 years old. The cute little dress I’m wearing was made by my Grandma Schmitz, my paternal grandmother, who was a wonderful seamstress. This photo was taken at her home, I see, as I recognize the pillow on the couch, which she also made.

I don’t really have any memories going that far back in my childhood, but I do have lots of later memories of my grandmother and her home.

  1. Her home was a busy home. I remember she was often baking bread when we came for a visit.
  2. All of our big family get-togethers were at her home. And the food – oh, it was so good! With Thanksgiving coming up, I call to mind that she would serve a variety of pies, such as apple, pumpkin, mincemeat, and pineapple, for the Thanksgiving meal dessert.
  3. Even though she was busy doing projects such as baking, her home was always neat and clean. I recall the bathrooms smelling of Dial soap.
  4. My Grandma lived in Phoenix, Arizona, and had her own date palm trees in her yard. She knew how to hand pollinate those trees, and how to harvest and process the dates. Someday soon I’ll share her excellent recipe for Date Bread.
  5. My Grandma taught me how to properly iron a man’s dress shirt. I’m so glad that isn’t necessary too often anymore!

Well, that’s a little beginning of my reminiscence about Grandma Schmitz. I must quickly post this, as I’m supposed to go to Book Club this evening. Adios!


Thirteen things I enjoy about being a mom

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Thirteen things I enjoy about being a mom:

  1. During the time when I was expecting the baby (I had nine babies, in case you want to know), I did all the usual things to benefit my unborn child such as eating healthfully, getting enough exercise, and thinking calm thoughts. I prayed for my baby. And – I wondered: Who are you? What kind of person will you be? So, one of my favorite things was meeting my baby as soon as the baby was born.

  1. Back in ‘the baby days’, I enjoyed nursing my babies. Not only was it nutritionally good for them, I think it was emotionally a good bonding thing to be held close and snuggly.
  2. I enjoyed helping my children learn how to behave in various settings, and how to obey cheerfully without an ongoing conflict of wills.
  3. I enjoyed setting up a rich learning environment for the children. We had lots of art supplies, books, dress-up clothes, board games, etc.

  1. I enjoyed noticing the particular talents of each child, and providing opportunities for the development of those talents.
  2. I enjoy seeing the children take responsibility for their own learning, and developing their particular talents.
  3. I enjoyed reading to my children, even for a couple hours at a time if they were really into the book we were reading. (This is something I really miss; now everyone reads his or her own book.)

  1. I enjoy preparing nutritious food for the children.
  2. I also enjoy seeing the children successfully fend for themselves in the kitchen now that they are older. I especially like seeing them make treats for one another, such as smoothies and pancakes.

  1. I enjoy playing games with my children, though this doesn’t happen too often during the busy soccer, track, or basketball seasons.
  2. I enjoy conversing with my children.
  3. I enjoy learning from my children. I called my oldest son for political advice recently, for example. He often fixes bloggy problems for me as well.
  4. I enjoy going out for coffee, shopping, to the library, or whatever, with my children. They are great folks, and I love being with them.

Sunday Musings

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

This was an unusual Sunday for us.

It all began about 35 years ago, when my husband was greatly blessed by some recorded sermons preached by the Rev. Terence Atkinson. The sound quality was poor in those recordings, but the content was Biblical and helpful to a young Christian.

My husband heard ‘through the grapevine’ that the Rev. Atkinson would be preaching this Sunday, at a church just an hour northwest of us! Having never met him in person, he just had to avail himself of this opportunity.

Into the van we all piled. We crossed the Canadian border without a hassle, and proceeded on our way. But then – I wish one of us had had a camera along – the rain pounded down. There was so much water bouncing off the road that visibility was about like that during a heavy fog. I’m paranoid about hydroplaning, too, so it was a bit of a nerve-wracking trip.

We arrived a wee bit late, but safely, and slipped quietly into the church.

Rev. Atkinson looked to be in his mid-eighties. He was of solemn demeanor, but cheery in conversation later. Yes; the sermon was very good, understandable, Biblical and edifying. I am glad all of us had the opportunity to meet this long-laboring servant of God.

For me, it was encouraging to see a very elderly man so full of fervor for God, not sunken in contemplation of the losses of old age.

For my husband, it was kind of like finally meeting an author or statesman you have admired from afar for many years. A once-in-a-lifetime thing.

Very special.


Photostory Friday – Diaper Duty

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

In this photo, taken about 16 years ago, our twin daughters, Sarah and Laura, are about seven years old. Off camera to the left is our oldest child, 9 years old at that time, and Debra sitting on the cushion, about two years old. The girls are stacking cloth diapers for baby Rebecca, who is child number seven. That’s right; when my oldest child was 9 years old, we had seven children, and I must say, though we were all busy, we enjoyed ourselves very much.

I am full of a tumble of thoughts, wishing I could explain in very few words (so as not to bore you) exactly what it was like, and why the children were helpful, obedient, creative and kind to one another. It took a lot of planning, persistence and hard work on my husband and my parts to accomplish this, and yet we enjoyed the children ever so much.

I am especially thankful that these “little people years” were home school years. Our schedule was unhurried. There was plenty of time for adequate sleep, for doing animal chores, for helping around the house, for playing outside, and for reading books together.

Here is a link to a little something I wrote when I first began blogging that explains some of my thoughts about interacting with the children. Here are some of my thoughts on encouraging creativity in children. As long as I’m at it, here are some things I appreciate about my family.



Ten on Tuesday – Favorite Bands from the Past

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Would you like to play Ten on Tuesday?

10 Bands/Artists That Remind Me of High School:

  • The Beatles (when they were young!)
  • The Moody Blues
  • The Mamas and the Papas
  • Carole King
  • Peter, Paul, and Mary
  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • Joan Baez
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Glenn Campbell (Think “Gentle On My Mind”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, and “Wichita Lineman”.)
  • The Beach Boys

Ten on Tuesday – 10 Things That Scare Me

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

The prompt this week for Ten on Tuesday

What are ten things that scare you/freak you out?

This is a really interesting prompt to me, because at one point in my life, I was very much a “scared-y cat.” As a child, I was afraid of:

  • The monster that lived under my bed. I could jump into bed from quite a distance so it wouldn’t have opportunity to grab me by my ankles.
  • The space creatures that could come in through shut windows to pull off my fingernails. A little school mate told me this story, and I believed her. I kept my curtains clothes pinned shut at night, thinking that if the malevolent creatures couldn’t see me, they would be less likely to bother me.
  • Any smoke in the sky. My mom said that as a child I was terribly frightened by a TV show about a house fire. I can’t think of any other reason for this fear.
  • Of course, I was afraid of the dark. I slept with a little light on in my room.
  • Mysterious, unexplainable noises in the nighttime could really get my heart pounding.
  • I sometimes had nightmares in which something unknown “tickled” me; I could feel this, and it really bothered me until I could wake up. Sometimes I feared going to sleep for dread of having this dream, or other bad dreams.
  • I was (and still am) afraid of heights. I become dizzy and feel as if I’m going to fall over the edge.
  • I was afraid of swimming in deep water, though I enjoy that now. I think that was connected with fear of heights. Fear of depths?
  • I was afraid to go upside-down, such as occurs in doing a somersault. I eventually overcame this fear, but still retained the sensation of “falling up” into the sky when I would do somersaults.
  • I was afraid of dying a bloody, violent death at the hands of a murderer. What a kid I was!

I am thankful to the Lord that He kept me safe throughout my fear-filled childhood, brought me to faith in Him when I was a young adult, and that He continues to care for me in this dangerous world. By His grace, my life is no longer ruled by fear. I rest in Him.

“Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” – Matthew 6:33,34.