Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Haven Heartbeats

I am feeling so spacy.......I am not even sure if I can make a complete thought......I expect this post may go in many different directions....or maybe not. We will know when it is completed. There are a few posts in my head that I want to commit to the blog...but I cannot get focused for the moment.

Since I am having to wait around for Maddelyn's 50 minute class at the college, spending the time blogging is a good use of my time, since I will not do it at home......much. You may have noticed.

So, let's see...where to start.

Anne has a pray request for all of us. Two of her friends at the college, siblings.....just found out that their mother is dying of cancer......"if chemo goes well, she could have five years." Anne's heart is broken for them.

Oh, blank mind.

Another friend needs prayers, as she and her husband discern how and when to sell their home and to purchase another one. You know who you are. :)

Garrett is in his last year of Majors in the baseball world. I took him to practice yesterday.....left him there with a teammate and parent...only to have him call me an hour later stating practice had been cancelled. What??? I checked the schedule. Oh, Sorry, Garrett.......there was NO practice scheduled. Not till Wednesday.

We have a bit of a dilemma with baseball and the play he is in.......practice and rehearsal overlap by 30 minutes....and Garrett is only in the play in that last half hour. I pray the coach is understanding.

Today Malachy begins tee ball practice. While I am not very found of tee ball.......I am SO glad to be done with Pee Wee Tee ball.......that can really get my patience. We only do tee ball because it is so exciting for the boys to be playing ball......and they are at a disadvantage in minors if they had never played tee ball. So, there you go.

Last week I got a phone call from Shawna saying, "I have a 'full circle' story for you." It turns out that her husband Jacob, who was coached by David, Marty's brother, and by Marty as the assistant, when he was 14 years old.......will now be coaching, Malachy, Marty's son. Malachy is so happy to be on Abraham's team. And so happy to have Jacob for a coach. So is Marty, in fact.

I put Malachy to bed early last night....for him....and he awakened before first light, at 6:45am...the first words out of his mouth were: What time is practice? :)

Maybe his late bedtimes ARE better........for me anyway. :) I like having quiet mornings.......plus......when he awakens before me.......he just keeps chatting at me...not conducive to a few more minutes of rest.

I am getting happier with my new camera...which is good...because it is now mine...and too late to take back. :) There are so many new settings on the camera...it is going to take awhile to figure it all out. Oh! I almost forgot! I bought it at a private camera store.......and they offer a complimentary class on how to use the camera......I need to look into that. And, if it works out just right....maybe I can invite myself for tea, Gloria? I have YET to find a way to stop in your town....I am always passing through or have an all-day commitment. I need to go see Anne, too. It has been way too long. She is Garrett's godmother.

I have to go switch cell phone services this week......or next. So, I end up with a new phone, whether I want it or not. I am not fond of change that is not of my choosing. :) Our local cell phone company will be no more...but will be an ATT dealer. So, we get to pay more each moth now, for less service. BUT, since my family in Nevada all have ATT.....all phone calls will be free to them and vice versa. So, maybe we will get our money's worth.

Ski/board season is almost up here. Looks like closing day is April 12th. I hope to take the kids up there this Thursday afternoon. And, then maybe next Thursday and then maybe the last weekend. We had a family pass this year...it was cheaper than individual passes. We got it paid off last week....so, all the rest is our extra.

Marty took all of the kids up last Saturday. They had a blast. Marty got all of the equipment for AJ, Anne's friend from San Diego, and then gave him boarding lessons on the bunny hill for a moment.......and then AJ took off.........boarding pretty much the whole park on his first day of boarding.ever. He even went down the face for his last run. The kids are very amused by this.

My time is almost up.......what to say? What to say?

I was supposed to work today.......but they cut me.

I found a good book to read for Passiontide: The Family and the Cross. Or, is it The Cross and the Family? Ah, well. It is a very short, very meaty book. PERFECT topic for the last two weeks of Lent.

When I was at Shawna's yesterday, I tried one of those EMERGEN-C vitamin powders. It certainly increased my energy. And, my energy was so low that I was actually laying down on the bench in her kitchen because I was so tired. I want to try them again to see if there is a consistency. I cannot take multi-vitamin pills....maybe having this powder daily can make up for it. Micki, my co-worker and friend, has been drinking these about 3-4 in the afternoon when she hits that afternoon lag in our 12 hour shift. She has been encouraging me to try them. She is trying to avoid the coffee in the afternoon.....and I won't do the coffee.....so......I put it on Marty's next shopping list!

Well, that's it for my chatterings....got to go meet Maddelyn. She does not like it when I am late. :)

Blessings and love on this lovely day that God gave to you and me!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

I am SO blessed!!!

I am so happy! I love God so much. And tomorrow He comes to me, in Holy Communion. I am so excited! My heart is so full of love, it is overflowing. This anticipation brings me such joy. And, first confession.....then Mass, with the Holy Eucharist.......followed by the opportunity to sit with Jesus.

Everyone else goes in to the parish potluck.......and I always stay behind in the chapel.

To adore.....

To beg forgiveness.....

To petition....

To give thanks.......

To praise......

To just sit and listen......

I offer up prayers for each of my family members by name.

And, I always light two candles before I leave, for some special intentions.

I love Mass. I love receiving Our Lord. I love my Catholic Faith.

I am so blessed.

Act of Adoration and Thanksgiving

for the Benefits Accrued from the Incarnation

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,behold us prostrate in Thy divine presence. We humble ourselves profoundly and beg of Thee the forgiveness of our sins.I. We adore Thee, Almighty Father, and with hearts overflowing we thank Thee that Thou hast given us Thy Divine Son Jesus to be our Redeemer, and that He hath bequeathed Himself to us in the most august Eucharist even to the end of the world, revealing unto us the wondrous love of His Heart in this mystery of faith and love.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

II. O Word of God, dear Jesus our Redeemer, we adore Thee and with hearts over-flowing we thank Thee for having taken human flesh upon Thee and become for our redemption both Priest and Victim in the sacrifice of the Cross, a sacrifice which, through the exceeding love of Thy Sacred Heart, Thou dost renew upon our altars at every moment. O High Priest, O Divine Victim, give us the grace to honour Thy holy sacrifice in the most adorable Eucharist with the homage of Mary most holy and of all Thy holy Church, triumphant, suffering and militant. We offer ourselves wholly to Thee; of Thine infinite goodness and mercy do Thou accept our offering, unite it to Thine own and grant us Thy blessing.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

III. O Divine Spirit the Paraclete, we adore Thee and with hearts overflowing we give Thee thanks that Thou hast, with such great love for us, wrought the ineffable blessing of the Incarnation of the Word of God, a blessing which is being continually extended and enlarged in the most august Sacrament of the Eucharist. Ah, by this adorable mystery of the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, do Thou grant unto us and all poor sinners Thy holy grace. Pour forth Thy holy gifts upon us and upon all redeemed souls, and in an especial manner upon the visible Head of the Church, the supreme Roman Pontiff, upon all Cardinals, Bishops and Pastors of souls, upon priests and all other ministers of Thy sanctuary. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

My favorite two weeks in the Liturgical Year start tomorrow......that could be part of my joy, too. I love Lent.......and I love the last two weeks.

More about praying here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Hearts' Haven daybook 2009

My daybook is back.........but only sporadically!

And, whenever I feel like it......maybe not even on a Monday. :)

I said I would not allow myself to post a daybook till my 2008 Christmas newsletter was completed. I finished it up a few weeks ago...and I may actually get it mailed out...that will remain to be seen.

In the meantime......

Outside My Window............actually, outside the ski park windows........a day of clouds of various shades of gray...from dark to almost white......about 44*....I can see an occasional patch of blue sky. Oh, the sun has made it through some clouds because the snow hurts my eyes when I look out. And Mount Shasta has a most unusual and interesting blanket of lenticular clouds over it, in the shape of the mountain. I also see Malachy & Matthew skiing toward the lodge...and about 25 people of various sizes on the bunny hill.

It was so cold at home because of a chilly wind....but there is barely any wind up here....go figure. This weekend will bring us into the 60*s....yes...YES!!! In fact, of the ten forecast...there are only three days in the 5o*s.and the rest all in the 60*s. Better get Marty to put up the clothesline.

I am thinking.........this is so cool. I am sitting in the lodge at the ski park, warm, sipping my Stash Chai Spice Tea, still hot from the thermos...writing on the computer...because our Verizon Internet cell service can go wherever we want to go...as long as we have "bars".....and there are FOUR here! We only have 2-3 at home.

I am ALSO thinking......boys and girls.....girls and boys.......when your girls are "so good" (a quote from a young man)...it actually makes them more attractive to the guys. Please pray for all of our young people.

There is a young fella here who has a crush on Sarah.......it is amusing. And, thankfully, we do not see him much. Oh......looks there are TWO fellas. They said goodbye to her: "Well, see you next year, if you are still here." :)

I am thankful for.............my husband........I appreciate the way he takes care of us......working hard, taking care of the finances.....doing our taxes. Driving the kids when I need help.

And, our great and excellent local charter school. A few weeks ago, there was an "open house" with the WASC.....the accreditation people. We have great teachers and lots of great parents. And, the director is awesome. She is our facilitator and our friend, too. My kids were excited to set up a table of some of their recent projects and successes. They mingled well with the accreditation folks and the teachers. Anne and a friend came and shared their experiences as recent graduates of the charter school.

From the kitchen.........wow.....it is one of those days where I actually planned ahead AND took care of it! Last night I set out all of the ingredients and this morning I put black bean chili in the crock pot so it will be ready at the end of our day away from home. And, if there is time....I will bake some of Tasha Tudor's cornbread.......mmmm? Have you tried it yet??? It is the best!

Oh, hey look! I found a copy of the recipe on someone's blog! And, she just happens to be a scrapbooker, too! :) I will have to look around her blog. :) It is in Tasha Tudor's cookbook...... which I do not own. I only own a copy of the page with the cornbread. :)

If you do try the recipe.....and I say you all should.....please come back and tell me what you think! If you have had chili at my house........you may have already had it before.

I am wearing........a black knit skirt and a striped cotton shirt.....and leggings, of course.....got to stay warm! Of course!

I am creating........not sure I can think of anything........my next scrapbook? Chaos?

I am going..........to get a good night's sleep...one of these nights!!! I am. Tonight would be a good start since I may be working tomorrow. (so far...I am on call)

I am reading.........75 Year Round Hikes in Northern California by Marc J. Soares......I am SO anxious to "get well" (heal from the asthmatic symptoms) and get out there and explore some of these new places that are not too far away. I am also reading Those Who Love by Irving Stone. This is a re-read........I first read it the week Malachy was born, while I sat around nursing all day. I loved it then.......and I love it now. The local newspaper, too.

I also read in a day.....Bloomability by Sharon Creech I cannot vouch for any of her other novels......but for a modern day junior novel....this was kind of fun. Since the main character is an American who ends up going to school in Switzerland....I borrowed it from the library. Matthew read it, too and did not mind it.......I am going to have the girls read it also. Do not take this as a direct recommendation. If you ever think you want your kid to read it....just read it first to see if it matches what you want your kids to read. I probably would not have handed it Anne at 13...but the other girls are "older" than Anne at 13 and more "exposed" to the world....and it is sweet. I think they will enjoy it enough. The setting is in the part of Switzerland that Matthew is going to...and possibly the same town area. Oh, and I am reading The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Jester aloud to the boys while I walk on the treadmill. It is word and number fun......I loved it when I was in 5th Grade. I won it in Mrs. Tansy's class.......one of my favorite teachers.......she loved literature.

I am hoping.........the remedy the homeopathic nurse practitioner found for me cures these asthmatic symptoms. I took it last Sunday/Monday.....so far, no improvements.....but no adverse effects either.....I was scared after last summer! Constitutional remedies sometimes need some time...but at least I have something on board! I feel more peace about when I feel like I cannot breathe.

I am hearing.........LOTS of conversation going on......it sounds like a ski lodge!

I am wondering........how I am going to accomplish so much in so little time. Can Matthew really get his “to-do” list done???? Around the house.........well, I got us cleaned up enough that I am trying to maintain….....before I can truly declutter and paint and all of that….I am wondering if June may be a good time for starting that??? :) As for my clutter spot......I finally cleared my dresser off…..and now, I need to do so again……..sigh.

The younger girls and I have it all planned out......once Matthew and Anne are gone.....their stuff will be gone, too...as well as all of the busy-ness their age brings to our family......and we will purge and organize the entire house. Do you think it will take years??? :) And, now that we know they will both be here through early/mid August.....I am going to get started in June! I do not want until August to get going on Operation DeClutter.

Now Showing………..we just finished the HBO John Adams miniseries, borrowed from Netflix. My opinion follows below. We also have watched two renditions of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”.........this was his last opera. I also saw “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” which I was surprised to find was well-made......I will not share it with my kids because of the "adult" themes.......but it SO resembled my growing up time that I could really appreciate these girls and their struggles....oh, and I like the way they handle the fact of one losing her innocence: "It was just as wonderful as I thought it would be......so, why do I feel so empty." "The Gazebo” with Glenn Ford & Debbie Reynolds…1958……..VERY funny! And, one of our family’s favorites! It is the play the kids are performing this spring......with Anne as the director and Matthew in the lead. Their last big hurrah. We also watched a couple of very old musicals for an assignment the kids had in voice class: New Moon and The Merry Widow both starring Jeanette MacDonald. In The Merry Widow you can also find a debonair Maurice Chevalier. And Nelson Eddy is in New Moon. Both musicals were sweet and funny. Clare.....if you have not yet seen these......I think you will love them!

I was not thrilled with the miniseries. I hated this portrayal of John Adams. They spent so much effort on so many negative aspects of his life......when there were so many good and amazing things that he accomplished. Yes, I know he was generally considered "unliked and obnoxious"...I have seen "1776" the musical, often enough to know that. :) But...he was a wonderful thinker...a wonderful writer......a loved husband.....and yes, he made some mistakes......including in his parenting......but, can we give the guy a break all these years later? I think I would rather watch "An American Experience" about John than this. So, there you have, my thoughts.......well, only some of them, for what they are worth. Oh, and my kids aged 7, 12, 13, 16, and 18 were unhappy with this movie as well......and they LOVE historical movies. The 18 yo quit watching after three episodes. And we only finished because we wanted to finish what we had started. And, it is NOT for all ages.....there are a few scenes we had to fast forward through or look away.

In the schoolroom......... For the three youngers: chicken-egg life cycle…..thought we would re-do a study we did 6 years ago……since we are set to get new chickens. We also have been reading LOTS of books about chickens are "starring" chickens. Listening and learning about Mozart. The last time I did a formal study of Mozart…...these three were too young, or not born yet, to appreciate. Beethoven next? Bach? Bach it is! We are listening to old copies of Classical Kids that Anne & Matthew enjoyed way.back.when.......supplementing with library books....and Netflix......and five Mozart CDs in the stereo at all times. Math moves forward for all........looks like the two younger girls are going to take up sewing with Patty. Maddelyn starts next week. And, whatever else we are doing...but I do not feel like writing right now. :)

One of my favorite things.........being up early in the morning...all alone....watching the sun rise. Too bad I feel like falling asleep by ten am. :/

Signs of the seasons......warmer days in the forecast. Buds on trees. More bird noise every morning. No fire tonight.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...........

Friday.........Either I will be on call......or I will be working.

Saturday......Still trying to decide. I think there will be some skiing going on.....with Marty, too........as the season winds up in a few weeks.
Sunday.........Mass & potluck.......Sarah & Matthew are working with some other homeschoolers making a WWII movie. Anne has to work at the college for a show.
Monday ........, piano for three middle kids, voice at college for three, play rehearsal, baseball for Garrett....now that the practice season has started today. Yes, I will now be MORE busy. Oh and I am taking Garrett & Malachy and a couple of Maria's kids to see a acrobatic/juggling show at the college.

Tuesday........I am scheduled to work.

Wednesday.......see Monday...but no piano or show. I have to be at work at 7am for a mock crash c-section code........ugh.

Thursday..........violin for Maddelyn........take a ski day?

Special prayer requests on my mind this week.......for the play the kids are doing......for Sabine's little Michaelman.....for a serious issue that desperately needs resolving........for special private intentions. In thanksgiving for my friend Todd to find a job!

St. Gerard's List..........all new list as the following have all delivered healthy babies and all is well:
Stacy, Sherry, Lissa, Alice, Bridget, Gloria (a different one!) That's boy, girl, boy, boy, girl, boy.

New moms due: local friends, Louise, Victoria & Tonia, who is a co-worker and the only Catholic I know at work besides one doctor.....kind of funny in a Catholic hospital.....oh, I guess the sisters are Catholic, too. :) And, then, my other friends who live somewhere else: Erica & Suzanne, Gloria's sister. All but Tonia are over 40...I think that is cool.

I am currently scrapbooking...........I got a bunch done over Christmas vacation......scrapping at my dad's and with my friend Su........and at least once a month a good four hour stretch. I have caught up all the way to Anne's birth....which means, I am now only 20 years and 6 months behind.

Here is picture thought I am sharing........

This is me at age 4 or 5 years.

I feel like I may have posted it before...but I cannot remember and I am not going to check.

Have a blessed day!

Love, Chari

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Born Outside a Medical Facility"

So, I was a good mom and we took care of Matthew's passport in a timely manner, online so it was typed nicely.......and we mailed it the next morning, in January, on our way to go to the Bay Area for his Rotary Youth Exchange interview. The website said it would be about three weeks.

Three weeks rolled around, and there was an envelope from the State Department. "It's here!" I thought.


It was from the State Dept.....but it was a letter. Not a passport.

And, paraphrasing, here is what the letter said:

Due to the fact that you born outside of a medical facility, we require further information to prove you are indeed a citizen of the US.


So, if you are born at home, in a county in a state of the US......and have a birth certificate to prove it.......it is not enough? The birth certificate is the same as everyone else's in this county. And, even though the said birth certificate and the passport paperwork state that your parents were born in Kentucky and California, they still cannot be sure you are a US citizen???

Come on......

So, in the same letter, they asked for a combination of original documents to further prove our case.

Here were the choices:

Vaccination record......shoot, we don't vaccinate. So, no proof here.

Early school records.......aw, man.......we homeschool.....this will not work.

Medical records from the first year of life.........well, we do not "do" doctors unless we truly need them.....so, while I did take him in at two weeks for a breathing issue........it was the only visit that year.......and, wouldn't you know, after 18 years.........they shredded it a very.long.time.ago.

Alien registration cards of the parents........we obviously cannot provide these.

Border crossing cards for parents........see one above.

That left only one piece of paper we could provide......

Church record with date & place of birth..........


Matthew was baptized at two weeks of age......so, we had ONE piece of proof.

But, of course, they wanted a combination of proof.

Since we belonged to a local charter school.......I was able to find the earliest form I could find.........and we sent that also, though it was by no means, an early school record.

I also sent a letter requesting information about why the original application and birth certificate were not enough......but they have not responded to my letter, though they have returned all of our original documents.....and......finally......sent the ...........



And, later I realized something funny.......and this is SO a generalization, so don't be offended, but, the majority of...

homebirthing, non-vaccinating, homeschooling, doctor-avoiding folks I know...usually do not go to church...and therefore would not even have a church record. Golly!


So, now....I am guessing it is time to update on Matthew's plans for the near future......but, that will have to take another blog post. And, you know how slow I am about that. :)

Have a lovely day!

I am going to do the best I can to have a lovely day.......what with back-to-back chauffeuring all.the.day.long!

First I am sitting here waiting for Maddelyn to get out of her music fundamentals class......and then I rush home, have lunch, and take Matthew & Sarah for dentist appts in the town two towns north of us.....and then I rush Matthew back to German class..........go home........go back and get him....and then rush off to teach childbirth classes.......followed by at least one more hour of work on the computer for work. Can I just say: I just want to stay home???


Love, Chari

Monday, March 23, 2009

Haven Heartbeats

I suppose I could actually do a daybook today......being up so early.......but I doubt I have time for that right now.

Last night I took the first dose of the constitutional remedy that my new homeopathic practitioner prescribed. This morning I took the second dose. Please pray this is enough to help heal my lungs.

I lay awake from about 5am to 6:45am, when I finally got out of bed. My mind was racing and racing and racing....mostly with Matthew's TO-DO List over the next few months, especially for April....and then I moved on to Maddelyn's list. Usually when I awaken this early and just lay there.....my mind is peaceful....and often I hear God talking to me. This morning was unusual....and slightly stressful. I wondered if it was the remedy causing this...and am reminded to keep a journal of any changes, so I can report my progress, or lack of, to the practitioner.

I finally got up.......found a few coals in the woodstove and threw a log on, to take the morning chill away. I took a few photos of the sliver of the moon with my new camera, to see what it could do. I have it set on the sunrise/sunset setting....awaiting the sunrise.......almost here...but it does not look to be brilliant. Always another morning, I suppose. Oh, as I was snapping away at the moon.....a pair of sandhill cranes flew overhead, and into my viewfinder....but the photo is a bit blurry. I love sandhill cranes...they are my favorite bird, I think. :)

Yesterday morning, we awakened to snow on the ground.....then we had sun for about 6 hours....and then the clouds and snow came back. It was dusk.....and the view from my window was like being on the inside of a snow globe.

The next few weeks....shall I make that months?...are so busy.....sigh....and then......we will have a "new" normal.......

Here comes the sun....it is spectacular, of course...but not photo-spectacular. Yet. I am just so happy to see the sun!!!

Garrett was so pleased to receive his Star Wars Lego sets for his birthday! He had his heart set on ONE set...and if I had been the one shopping, that is all he would have got. But....I sent his father to find it....who is not used to this kind of shopping...and, he took his time, did his research and brought Garrett home, not one, but FIVE different sets! Needless to say, Garrett is pleased as punch........and Malachy is not too far behind.

These is a funny smell in here......almost like yeast bread rising.......I am thinking it is those overripe bananas. Better make them into a protein shake for Marty, if it is not too late! Though...now I cannot stop thinking of fresh baked bread.....I am not sure I have time to do that today........but, who knows...

I am reading an old favorite book: THOSE WHO LOVE by Irving Stone. It is the John Adams story....from Abigail's point of view. I read it the week Malachy was born....and have been thinking about reading it again for a few years. I am reading THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH by Norton Juster aloud to the little boys, when I am on the treadmill. I first read this to myself back when I was 12 years old.........I got the book from Mrs. Tansy, one of my three fifth grade teachers......she was so wonderful! I loved the book then...I love it more now. There are so many plays on words and word phrases that I may actually understand better now. The boys are loving it......but I am sure some of the word humor is over their 12 yo and 7 yo heads.

I finally got Malachy's First Holy Communion notebook started. He loves doing this kind of thing. Gloria also got hers started for her girls, too, while they were here last week. They will be back up in less than two weeks, to stay at our house while John has "boys' ski weekend." We look forward to seeing them.......even though Marty, Matthew and I will have to go down to Sacramento area for a whole day of Rotary Youth Exchange preparation. Right now Malachy is working on the second page, doing copywork of The Apostles' Creed. I thought he would balk at such long copywork...but he sat down amidst friends visiting and got it started. I will have him work on it some more today....probably while I am on the treadmill.

Charlotte, 3 & Clementine, 6
Gloria & John's youngest girls

Almost time to wake everyone.........so hard to do......but after all of my racing thoughts this morning.......they need to get their lives going as of today!!! :)

I pray I can make it cheerfully through my day, with my shortened sleep!

Have a blessed day!



Sunday, March 22, 2009


In celebration of the purchase of my new camera, I will, over the course of the next few posts, share a photo journal of the recent, quick excursion we just took during the college kids' Spring Break to Eureka, California.

Eureka is one of our favorite places to visit. My 87, almost 88, year-old Grandma lives there....and we always take day trips while we visit...to give Great-Grandma a break from all of our noise and bodies (we take up a lot of space in a small house!)...and we have a our favorite haunts. We have so many favorite spots...that we have to neglect some of them, some of the time. We NEVER neglect our favorite used bookstore, though!

On to the photo show.........

Our favorite book store........

Various views of Old Town......

We shop at this St. Vincent's thrift store......

There is a pier to walk and enjoy......we had no time for it this visit.....

We love this store.....full of Celtic items and other fun stuff, including jewelry, swords, shoes and clothing. Anne purchased a journal on this visit.

In the center of Old Town is a gazebo and fountain.
Malachy wandering.....

The six kids of Our Hearts' Haven......

Malachy 7, Anne 20, Garrett 12, Matthew 18, Maddelyn 13, Sarah 16

There is another used bookstore....very cool set-up.....but there was always a grumpy man in there....who never seemed pleased to see me and my six children over the last two decades.....I noticed right away the energy had changed. NEW OWNERS!!! And, he is a pleasant man! Anne bought a book.......Matthew scored big.......13 books for 13 dollars.......and I found a copy of Whittier's poems for only a dollar.

It has been 20 years now since my one visit to Ireland. I still miss it so. I always step inside this store to touch, feel, smell Ireland. I cannot afford anything in this store......but everything is so lovely.

It took me over a week to decide if I like my new camera......all of the photos were downloaded to Anne's laptop....and the pictures all felt lacking........especially in color. They look so much better on my computer.
To enjoy Anne's point of view......click here.
Have a blessed day!
With love & prayers,

Saturday, March 21, 2009

There's a birthday here today!!

Happy, happy Birthday to Garrett!!!

Garrett has the BESTest smile in the family. When he was a baby.......strangers used to mention his smile as they walked by. These photos don't show the smile as well as they could....but the above photo gives you a hint. he is swimming in Robynn's pool, in Lancaster, in September of '08.

Visiting Willa in the Sierras, last July.

Swing dancing with Maddelyn at Willa's in July, '08.

On a Disneyland ride in September '08.

Swimming in a nasty, smelly reservoir in Oregon, Summer '08.

Camping, Summer '08.

On the dock, at a reservoir in the Sierras, with Willa, July '08.

Second from the left, front row....Garrett with his basketball team, Winter '09.

Garrett & little brother Malachy, at The Getty Villa, in Malibu California, Sept '08.

Garrett & friend Nathaniel at soccer camp, July '08.

Garrett & his papa, admiring Crater Lake National Park, August '08.

Today he is 12 years old!!
He does not know this........but his father is going to the big city south of us, to pick up a surprise for him.
Garrett has been saving his money and trying to figure out ways to earn more......so he could purchase a Lego Star Wars set. He has been focused on this idea for about 6 months.......he will be VERY surprised!
Happy day, dear boy!!!
Love, your family

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Winter of 2008......

...in pictures.

I only have a "lost & found" camera with thirteen pictures, but we have been using it, just to record that "we were here" until the new camera is chosen and purchased.

Here is our season, soon to end this month.

Sarah snowboarding, with the ever-present view of Mount Shasta

Maddelyn skiis

Snow, trees, sky.....at the ski park

Different angle

We had a very intersting storm in February, where the wind blew the snow drifts different than usual. Below are pictures to prove this point.

This view was taken outside my front door, from the level of a mouse

Another view out the front door.

Those are my chimes, a gift from Marty...they make beautiful Gregorian music in the wind storms. Lovely.

So, the girls room window looked like this. Usually it is because snow sticks to the window. This time, it was because the snow piled up in front of their window. Anne wrote that she was "living in a snow globe" :)

The boys room windows had just a bit less in front of the window.

A little color this winter, from a castle Malachy worked hard to build.

The Honda is almost missing under the snow drifts.

The view on the side of the garage.
The little building is our school room.....the rest belongs to the neighbors.

Another view of the almost missing Honda.

Two snow shovelers.......Matthew & Garrett......shoveled for four days.

There is often a wave on the south side of our house. Notice almost NO snow on the ground outside my bedroom window. The wave is about 4 feet high.

Same "happy" shovelers.

Kids all over the country are excited for snow days!
The kids at Our Hearts' Haven KNOW it is nothing to be excited about........it creates LOTS of work. :)

Well, truthfully.........they love the snow, the way it looks, the way it covers the slopes for skiing and boarding......but, it is a huge commitment to keep things cleared. Boy is Matthew going to be missed next winter. :) Especially since Marty has not needed to go on the roof for two seasons now........that will end in 2010.

Behind the house, the snow blocks the boys' window. This was an unusual drift for us.

Now you see behind the garage.....and the girls' window is blocked as well. The drift on the roof was different. It usually is not as tall, unless we get 8 feet.

More drifts behind the house. Some of the drifts were 8-10 feet........it was crazy. It kind of looked like peaks of whipping cream. BIG ones!

More drifts & peaks.

More......see how close to the roofline for that drift.

Another angle.....notice less snow on the ground.

Four foot drift on the roof.........waiting for Matthew to remove.

Even the old blue beast........Suburban........invited drifts.

Drift directly up close is the Honda from the front. There is our porch.

The boys dug a tunnel when they cleared the snow from behind the garage.

Another angle of the tunnel.........I hit my head hard lifting it too soon!

The tunnel actually had a cave in the side.......the dogs thought this was clever. :)

Ten-foot drift below, four-feet above..........Matthew starting to remove it.

Wider angle of all

Sadie standing while I dug out a path to the school room..........she was acting strange that day.......and kept right behind me.

Matthew up on top.......knocked out another 4-foot drift from above.


For some reason, Matthew purposely dumped snow on the tunnel!

The man-child.............well, he is 18 years old....I guess he is a man?

We sure are going to miss him!

Malachy worked hard to create a new friend all by himself. The snowman kit we got handed down from Shawna came in handy! Of course, the supplies were at risk from dogs who like to chew things.

Close-up....that's a fake carrot! I like how the hat chin-tie gives him a smiling face!

Looking for the tennis ball in the deep snow. :)

Work & play, side by side.

Malachy taking advantage of the ten feet!

At the bottom.

It's HARD work up there!

Close-up of Matthew working

Hey! I am taller than the roof!

In the down direction.

The next day, the bare-er spots melted enough for a nap.

Garrett took these dog photos........and woke them up here.

This was two days later........after more snow.

We can barely see the old blue beast.

What Garrett, Matthew and Malachy look like after three days of shoveling............one more came the next day!

Those storms above were in February.........a few days ago, already in March, I think.......we had one of those beautiful, perfect snowfalls.......whereby the snow came straight down, no wind, accumulating fast and furious. The snow was so light and soft. Reminded Marty & I of our Tahoe days. We used to go for late night walks in these kind of storms. These photos below are from that storm.

The flakes are falling.

The picnic table.....during the storm...this fell in about three hours.

The morning after........I was up before the sun rose.....as usual.

The morning after......our apple tree.....and orchard.

The view of the back of thr property.......orchard, berries, swingset & fort.

The view to the south, from my bedroom.

The view in the front of our house.

The picnic table the next morning.

The photos below were taken yesterday...........on the way to and at the ski park.

The view as you drive by on the freeway.

Mount Shasta, in her glory

A different angle of Mt. Shasta....as you climb up to the ski park.

As you drive upward, and come around a curve, there it is......glorious!

The "Face" of Douglas, a run at the ski park.

You can see Mount Lassen from the ski park parking lot.

The kids tell me the views from the tops of the runs and lifts are simply breathtaking.

Another take on Mount Lassen, another volcano in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The ski park from the west end of the parking lot.

I was walking by and this little tree sticking out of the snow caught my eye.

It was only about 2 feet tall..........and had a great background!

I love taking different angles of Mount Shasta........especially in different seasons.

I am ready now......SPRING, let's go!

Love & blessings!