Friday, September 28, 2007

My own personal pilgrimage

Here I am, sitting in Carter Lobby of Covenant College. I have eaten in the Great Hall. I have been to Chorale rehearsal. I went to chapel. I think I've been in most of the new buildings here.
I've walked until my feet are sore!

I brought Philip here to visit the campus. He's only a junior, but it's not too early to start thinking about college, and this is one college he'd like to think about. He seemed to really like it, as soon as he saw the fabulous view. He's also made contact with most of the students here that he's known before: Lianne, Elizabeth, Sam & Max. It's been fun to see these "kids" again - they're not kids anymore!

I sat in on a Shakespeare class today and enjoyed being on the receiving end of a little literary instruction for once! How nice! If it weren't #1 prohibitively expensive, and #2 thoroughly impractical at the time, I wouldn't mind going back for a PhD, if it meant I could teach college classes instead of high school. I do enjoy my high school teaching, but college teachers seem to escape much of the unpleasant baggage that the high school teacher has to bear. I listened to him teaching, and I thought, "I could do that." I wish.

Almost dinner time. I've really enjoyed my day here. I hope Philip has too! It would be nice for Adam and me to visit here again (can you say B&B with a view?). I imagine it will all boil down to the terrifying bottom line: can we afford it?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dear Tooth Fairy

Julia lost 2 teeth in one day! I'm not the tooth-yanking type of mommy, so her teacher pulled the first one. She did the second. We place teeth in a nice bowl for the Tooth Fairy to pick up. Her note says: "Dear Fairy, Could you pay me quarters? Love, Julia Please sign name."

Here's a nice pic of Lacey that Philip took.

Close-up of the stones on the patio we're laying.

Dogwood tree, I believe. Philip doesn't take pictures of people.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Shoe love

Yesterday Anna asked me if I would take her shoe shopping. She had some money to spend from babysitting. Shoe shopping, for us, is a trip to Rack Room Shoes, because they have CHEAP (and I do mean cheap) shoes. Sometimes they even beat a good resale shop. But they also have some really weird shoes, and you have to be choosy. So...we went.

She was pickier than I. She did finally find a lovely pair of fallish shoes - covered toe and heel. They must about 3 1/2 inches high, which makes her a whopping 5' 3 1/2'', I suppose. They are really pretty. I'd post pictures of all the shoes, but Philip took the camera (well, technically speaking, it IS his camera), so I can't.

I did say, all the shoes. She bought one pair; I bought 4. Please understand, the ones I bought we only $5 a pair. What a great sale!!! The summer shoes were on sale, of course. My favorite brand of shoe is Aersoles. They must be the most comfortable shoe out there. They NEVER make my feet ache. I found a pair of those, plain black soles, about 2", with broad, white band across the foot. And a cute pair of sandals with gold straps, tied in a "knot" on the top of the foot. I've found that metallic shoes go with everything. And a silly little pair of pink sequined flats, just for fun. And a pair of shoes for Julia. They are bright pink, slip-on mocassins, if you can imagine.

When I get the camera back, I'll post pictures. I do LOVE shoes.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Miss Mama

Adam got a call this morning from his mother. His grandmother, "Miss Mama," died early this morning. She was 92, I believe. She was a sweet, lovely, gentle, amazing woman. She'd been through many difficulties in her long life, but maintained a kind, generous spirit. In the past weeks, Gloria said she had stopped eating much. She will be greatly missed. She was the children's last living great-grandparent, and I am so grateful that God allowed them to have her with them for so many years, and that they will all remember her.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

And now for today's shot

Whoops. Here's a little shot of Anna, as we ate s'mores.

Now. Here's our latest project. This is the spot where the swimming pool was. And will be again next summer, Lord willing. We bought some sand (all they had was gray). So, no, that's NOT concrete. And we have various flat stones all over the yard. The previous owner seemed to like to hide them in the oddest places. I doubt we have enough to cover the whole circle, but we'll come up with something. But I gave it a nice start today, right?
Adam's bread oven still sits over there. He needs some long, cool days, and more time. He has neither. When it's all done, we'll have a round patio affair, next to our bread oven. Give us a few years.
Anna finished her homework, and decided to read a book. She's working on a 1 1/2 page essay for me, and a 5 page research paper for me too. Poor thing.

Outdoors at last

Well, we did this again.

And it involved quite a bit of this. I discovered that old, stale, shriveled marshmallows work just fine.

Philip claimed that the s'mores he made that night were the 2 best he'd ever created.

There she is.

Peter waited until we all left, and then went back out and read his book by the fire.

Monday, September 17, 2007

What I wish...

Here's the last pile of tests to grade. It's been a long weekend.

This kind of grading requires lots of chocolate. This is my personal favorite.

I'd rather be playing this,

Or lounging on the couch, in fuzzy socks, looking through this,

Or sitting on the patio on this fine fall evening. Don't those chairs look like they need company?

I'd better get off this blog, and get to work, if I'm ever gonna get out on that patio!

Friday, September 14, 2007


Rain. It has been so long since we had a good rain, it felt foreign to me. Sitting in class today, when the rain increased, and thundered in volume on the roof, the teenagers sighed and turned around to see it. I think it's been months since we had anything more than a 5-minute rain.

It could rain for a week and not be enough for me.

I have a cold, and I do not handle illness well. I become incapacitated.

Still, the old tests won't go away, and I must get them graded. I don't usually fall this far behind.

We're doing a Winterim at school this year - a tiny, intense set of classes between the 2 semesters. Each faculty member teaches only one class. I'll be teaching a creative writing class for 2 1/2 weeks. Doesn't that sound nice? I'm thinking about having the students come to the house, and we can all sit around the fireplace in January, read poetry and short stories, and write stuff. I'm hoping my reputation for being a hard-as-nails teacher scares off all but the 4 girls in the high school who REALLY love creative writing. Then...we 5 can sip hot cocoa and have a lovely time!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tired puppies

Here's Adam's step-counting number, at 6:00 this evening. Almost 35,000 steps for today! So, he took his tired puppies to the shoe store and...

Got himself some relief!

Here's the poor puppies. The rest of him is asleep on the couch too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

This is me; is that you?

Sorry, couldn't resist. That's how Adam used to answer the phone when we first got married. Another habit I cured him of.

So, I have graded about 10 of the 53 Theses and Outlines I received today from students. No photos today, folks - you'll just have to IMAGINE the agony I'm going through with the piles of essays.

But, I promised to give you a list of the music we're singing in the Mitchell College Community Chorus, so here it is:
The Friendly Beasts, Scholz
E'en so, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come, Manz (my favorite)
Carol of Joy, Zgodava
Beautiful Savior, Christiansen
Irving Berlin Christmas medly
Children, Go Where I Send Thee, Hayes (killer accompaniment, as usual with him)
Alleluia, Manuel
Angel's Carol, Rutter
Jazz Gloria, Sleeth (does EVERYBODY do this one?)
Joy to the World, Kuykendall
Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Vaughan Williams
Jingle Bells, Willcocks

Nice pieces. And we're doing a pick-up Messiah sing too.

Must go.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Just a Sunday afternoon

A big brother is a handy thing to have.

Julia is picking out a Christmas carol - silly girl!

She decided on a puzzle instead - Angelina Ballerina.

Adam made us home-made gyros for supper today - you know, those Greek sandwiches. He likes all things Greek. He also made us chocolate malts, a staple at our house.

And a very happy birthday greeting to my Daddy - who is a young 79 today!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Too pooped to post!

Actually, it wasn't that bad of a week. Only 4 days of work - how can I complain? I now have: about 50 summer reading essays to grade, 53 other essays to grade, 19 or so other writing assignments, and I'm giving tests to all my students on Monday - essay tests. The parents always screech: "Teach to them write! Make them write! They must learn to write!"

Have you heard of the depression that people experience when winter lasts too long, when it drags into March? Well, THAT'S exactly how I feel right now. I dislike summer, always have. But when it lasts into September, relentless heat, 94 degrees and you feel it baking you in waves from the pavement - then I can barely stand it. I want to scream, "Change that weather pattern!" The meteorologists know we feel this way, and they place a sharp weather shift on the forecast, hovering mysteriously and permanently about 5 days away. It's as impossible to catch as your shadow.

What will we be studying in literature class after these upcoming tests, you ask? We'll move on to the Middle Ages and dear Mr. Chaucer, to Sophocles and sad Oedipus, his king, and to some American fiction at last. Those Americans had to win their revolution, evidently, before they could entertain themselves with writing any stories down.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Elvis inspired

I was sitting in my classroom, grading, when I turned on my I-tunes and heard Elvis with a fun little beat. It made me think of Mexican, which immediately made me hungry. I haven't had good Mexican at a restaurant in a long time.

So, we went here!

We took the kids too. They almost never get to go out to eat. Anna says it's yummy!

But she can never eat it all.

Peter polished off his plate.

Picky little Julia only had plain nachos.

I did take a shot of Adam, but he looked so grumpy I couldn't post it! Plus a very-fuzzy picture of Philip.

Pavarotti and D. James Kennedy both died. Isn't it interesting to visualize them both getting to heaven at the same time? I'm jealous of Kennedy. I'd love to arrive with Pavarotti. What a voice!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Singin' again!

Hi folks - tonight I went to the first community chorus rehearsal for this fall. I'm not singing in my church choir right now, because I became the accompanist back in June. So... my voice has been put on the shelf. Tonight I got to take it down again. It's not a huge group, and it's pretty informal, but I think it'll be good, and a good break for me once a week. We're doing some nice pieces, some Willcocks, some Mark Hayes -- I'll list it here another time.

Busy day. Adam didn't get back from C.C. practice until after 5:00. Hotdogs. Rushed evening. School work. Same old grind.

Julia fixed her act in school, and now Peter is being naughty. One of his teachers was lighting into him in the hallway today. I was sitting in the staff workroom, hearing every word. The teacher said, "Now, Peter, you have 2 parents who both work here..." I interjected, "And one of them is listening to every word!" Peter doesn't stand a chance, poor kid!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Bye bye, pool

See the big, round space where our pool used to be? See the flying blur that is Peter, as he pole-vaults across my view?

To reward the boys for their hard work, in taking down the pool, Adam made cinnamon rolls.

Julia thinks they look pretty good.

I prefer them with milk.

After my trip to the manicure place, I invested in some new fingernail polish. Here's one new color. My last attempt was a botched job. This one looks better. A little blurry in the picture...but my pants are in focus!

Sunday, September 2, 2007


A fun evening with marshmallows.

Some like them golden; some like them flaming.

Anna finally decided to stop painting her nails and join us.

Isn't it pretty?

Julia, getting sleepy.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Fall's coming!

Breakfast this morning. From scratch. Real butter. Don't you want some?

Last of the garden tomatoes. We left so many hanging on the vines, rotting. Too busy and too hot these last weeks.

Last batch of spaghetti sauce.

I've been wanting one of these for SO LONG! I must be a very primitive human because I love to stare at fire, and at water. Won't this be great this fall, on crisp evenings? Philip wants to fire it up for marshmallows. That'll be the next blog!