Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's inside?

I always find it funny what other's perceptions of things are compared to what they *really* are.
An incident yesterday made me ponder that in depth.

I was outside on the side of the house, which is generally hidden from the street. I heard some teenage boys ride/skateboard by. To my suprise one of the boys pointed at the house and shouted out "That is a half million dollar house!" ( say what?? :) "Yeah- it has SEVEN bedrooms!"

How on earth he got any of this information, I don't know. I'd never seen any of them before. I don't think the house was ever priced at half million and we certainly didn't pay that for it. It does have 6 bedrooms ( I guess 7 technically, if you count the one I just fixed up in the basement....but that just happened a week ago) Tim uses one for an office, though.

I nearly ran in the house to tell everyone what I just heard. We all got a chuckle. Yes, there are some nice things about out house that I lose sight of since there are also A LOT of not so nice things. Certainly so many things that most people would be less than impressed with. :)

I don't even think it looks all that great from the outside. God knows, I try, but there really isn't anything impressive out there. Half dead potted plants, crumbling stairs I've tried to tile, but a few keep falling off, weeds creeping up through the mulch, bikes, strollers, and other miscellaneous laying about on the lawn. Grass that needs cutting. You know the drill. I guess the size ( which also isn't obviously evident from the front) could give some interest.

Well, it all made me think of how we look at people/things/ etc from the outside and make snap judgements. We don't always see what is inside.........good OR bad, we just form our perceptions from what we see at first glance or what we think we see at first glance.
I don't know, maybe that young man got his information from someone else and so he views our house through those lenses. He misses the *junk* because he is stuck on what he has heard, what he thinks he knows.
I think that can go both ways. We can often miss the shine because we are stuck on what we have heard/observed that is bad. But that never gives the whole picture.

As I have been studying the colonial period and many of the lives of our founding fathers I am struck at how some of these men ( and women) who did the most amazing things in politics or philosophy or any number of things were studies in contradictions. Often many other things fell apart in their lives....overwhelming debt, infidelity, out of control tempers, pettiness, rocky relationships. Some of their children died as hopeless alcoholics, some made bad marriages and lived in poverty, some became president just like them! We tend to think because someone has so much together in one area of their life, that it is necessarily so in all the others. Sometimes that is true, but I think it is rare. Most people have their strengths and weaknesses, and of course, no one is perfect.

So, I hope these lessons I am learning will help me have a more reasoned view of humanity. To give me pause when I want to judge, to reign me in when I want to idolize.

No, my house is not a half million, suburban palace, but it is filled with *my treasures*. Baby giggles, 3 yo explosion sounds, Redwall on cd for the middle boys, teens practicing guitar ( or playing guitar hero :) and even our little, quiet mouse , Naomi, fills it with her gentle presence.
I wouldn't have it any other way.

Simple Woman’s Daybook for July 28, 2008

Don’t forget to stop by Peggy’s for all the links entered in this week’s Simple Woman’s Daybook.

For Today..... cleaning and organizing. Zoo tonight ( members only night with free train rides :)

Outside my Window… Bright and sunshine-y. Lovely.

I am thinking…..still about school stuff. I'd love to get started on a small scale next week.

I am thankful for…a gaggle of healthy, happy kids.

From the kitchen…tried a new recipe last night. Campfire hash.......basically the hashbrown/sausage and egg casserole we all love but cooked in a pan on the stove. It was a hit. Much better for the summer so we don't have to heat up our oven ( which only works on and off anyway :) Strawberry freezer jam was made on Sunday...didn't set well, but the flavor was divine.

I am creating…..lesson plans, and a more organized living space, hopefully.

I am going…..to the zoo tonight, homeschool mtg tomorrow, kids have art classes Thurs/Fri. The graduation party was a lot of fun!

I am wearing…khaki shorts, green t shirt, black slides.

I am reading…Exiles

I am hoping…a health issue will be resolved.

I am hearing..Ella playing with her *WIggles* drum Gotta love those Wiggles tunes :)

Around the house…organizing everything!!! Noah is working on patching up all the holes in the drywall ( and there are quite a few! Why do we live in houses that have drywall or carpet? :)

One of my favorite things…being out in the country ( as we were on Sunday). So good for the soul.

A few plans for the rest of the week…finishing school stuff. A must.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…Naomi is really impressing me with her photography skills lately! She has an eye for it! A few of her recent shots.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Simple Woman’s Daybook for July 21, 2008

Don’t forget to stop by Peggy’s for all the links entered in this week’s Simple Woman’s Daybook.

For Today..... Thinking about what I/we should do. The cooler weather makes for so many opportunities! :)

Outside my Window… Still dark.

I am thinking…..school, school and more school. I guess it is that time of year!

I am thankful for…sudafed, this time of year I always get so clogged up. July, especially. ?

From the kitchen…tostadas on Monday, meatballs Tues, hamburgers, Wed, homemade Chicken Noodle soup, tonight, tomorrow?

I am creating…..lesson plans, school schedules and the like

I am going…maybe to the lake again, another graduation party on Sunday ( this has been THE year for high school graduations!!! :) Other than that I am sticking close to home because I get so much more done that way.

I am wearing…my brown pajama shorts and a blue, brown and khaki striped blouse. I guess I was so tired last night I forgot to put on a t-shirt! ( and flip flops, of course!)

I am reading…All The Presidents Children, mostly.

I am hoping…a health issue will be resolved.

I am hearing…SILENCE! :)

Around the house…organizing everything!!!

One of my favorite things…being organized.

A few plans for the rest of the week…Church, library, park and mu-cha-chas grocery shopping

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…our 4th of July table--blurry?

Monday, July 14, 2008


Poor little Ella. Number 10. I can't exactly use that excuse because I have been bad at doing "baby books" since #7 or so. Ah well- she is 18 months now working on 19. She walks, she talks, she sings, she is still nursing, she eats well, she is a daredevil, she has a temper ( must be the red-hair, that is what everyone says, anyway ;) she is a tough cookie ( must be all those brothers) she is a joy and a delight. She has a fabulous smile, she is a snuggler and loves to be held and gives the best hugs. She can say all her siblings names except Manny comes out as "Mimi". She also says; shoes (loves em!...her mother's daughter :), eat, seat, sit, pizza, bye bye, I don't know, NO!, mine, daddy, papa, num a num ( her word for nursing) night night, sleep, feet, mouth, and my favorite......mom-meeeeeeeeeeeeee! She counts 1, 2, free, _____( can't say 4) 5.

anyway, she has a good volcabulary. It freaks us out at times because the boys usually have stayed silent ( after Al) until they were 3 :) She hums "Go to sleep, go to sleep" "Larry Boy" and "Where is my hairbrush?" I call her my *little dolly* because I have more fun dressing her even if it is just the most basic of apparel. All the shades of pink, purple, coral, peach.....colors I am rediscovering :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, George~!!!!

George turns 10 years old today!
He was the *baby* for longest ( so far :) and continues to be universally adore by his siblings. It doesn't hurt that he is a good little soul and is always concerned about doing the right thing.
His impending birth ushered us into the land of 15 passenger vans :) ( being #7). We purchased our first one the very night before his birth and I rode to the hospital in it the next morning.

I guess on a bittersweet note, we always remember that Grandpa and Irene were married the day before George was born and that was the reason we didn't make it up to Michigan to witness it.
They would have been married 10 years this year had Dad not passed away.

Happy, Happy Birthday our dear young man!


We are always equal to what we undertake with resolution. It is part of the American character
to consider nothing as desperate; to surmount every difficulty by resolution and contrivance.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Retiring from the popular noise, I seek
This unfrequented place to find some ease,
Ease to the body some, none to the mind
From restless thoughts, that like a deadly swarm
Of Hornets arm'd, no sooner found alone,
But rush upon me thronging, and present
Times pas, what once I was, and what am now.

Samson Agonistes

Simple Women's Daybook

Simple Woman’s Daybook for July 14, 2008

Don’t forget to stop by Peggy’s for all the links entered in this week’s Simple Woman’s Daybook.

For Today..... I am furiously trying to clean since a heat wave is on the way. With no central air, the heat zaps the life out of us most of the time :)

Outside my Window… A bright, sunny day and about 80 degrees. My favorite summer weather. I've got some ideas for sprucing up the backyard, and it is cleaner than it has been.

I am thinking…a lot about plans to do up a basement bedroom. I've got so many ideas and fun things to decorate it with.

I am thankful for…that we live near beautiful lakes....and now a beautiful park.

From the kitchen…the oven felt like working today so I made an apple crumb pie ( George's request for his belated birthday dinner, he wanted to wait until brothers arrived home) blueberry muffins and chicken linquine. I got bananas out to make banana bread, but didn't get to it. I also made a marinade for our steaks, but that didn't involve the oven. ;)

I am creating…gosh- more pillows, a chair cover, a bookcase cover ( to cover a cheap bookcase). A chair pad cover.

I am going…to VBS this week, a graduation party and....that'll do it ;) We also took a walk/bike ride ( depending on the person) to our new park today and went to the lake (Huron) yesterday.

I am wearing…khaki bermudas, a coral and white ( with a thin stripe of aqua) polo and aqua thongs ( on my feet, that is).

I am reading…"The No-S Diet" ( another on my research list of eating plans....or maybe instead of saying research I mean that the more books I can find on the subject the longer I can put off actually trying to lose weight and eat better ;). "Thomas Jefferson's Women" "All the President's Children" "White House Families".

I am hoping…for a resolution to an issue this week and time to go to a new oratory I found nearby.

I am hearing…Ratatouille on tv, Ella chatting and singing.

Around the house…the laundry room is done but for a few knick knacks I want to hang on the wall! If I could only get the upstairs cleaned and the family room needs a total overhaul...although I don't see that happening this week. Maybe.

One of my favorite things…sitting on the beach and reading.

A few plans for the rest of the week…sewing, maybe I can start painting the basement, cleaning,

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Then and now............

My parents took us to the restaurant our wedding reception was held at for our 25th.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Goin' to the zoo, zoo, zoo.....how about you, you,you? You can come too, too, too....we're goin' to the zoo--oo-ooo!

and where is Aunt Nita???

Ball cap mishap

I'm not really sure why I wear ball caps. They don't look particularly attractive on me as my husband and sons will attest to. :) I have such a dislike for having hair touching my face I will stoop to any low to keep it off of it. (For instance, my hair looks much better down and framing my face but I ALWAYS wear it pulled back in a clip or pony tail).

This being the case I am always on the lookout for a cute new cap to wear on *those* bad hair days. Or when I need something to keep the sun away from my face.

Since I buy most of my attire at thrift stores, this is where I usually find my stock. One time I was perusing the hat department to find a brown one, since I have several brown pieces in my wardrobe....and I, of course, must match. I was delighted to find a sturdy one with a benign "X" on it. I wore it a few times before one of my sons said "Mom, why are you wearing an *X* games hat??"

Nothing wrong with the *X* games, of course, if you are into that kind of thing......but a 43 year old mom wearing one? Alas, no Sk8tr girl, am I.

My next foible ( see above picture) was find a navy blue one with the words *St Pauli Girl* on it. Being a Catholic, I was excited to find one with what I thought was the logo for a Catholic School or Church. I have never heard of a St Pauli, but hey-- I am always learning new things about my beloved faith.

Well, today Naomi and I were out to lunch and looking over the beverage menu only to find one of the selections was "St Pauli" beer.

I don't have anything against beer, either ( except I hate the taste of the stuff).....
still, I think it might send the wrong message. Mother of 10 sporting a beer logo hat.
Ha HA ha

Streams of consciousness from a mother of 10 who usually can't collect her thoughts and finds commas a nuisance.