Monday, June 27, 2011

Room Redo!

When our kids visit, we can count on two things.  First, that we all enjoy their company and second, that we'll be redoing a room.  Last Christmas it was our family room.  This summer, it is Mary's bedroom.
Here are some before photos:

And now for some afters:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Goofy Kids

When I was downloading pictures from Mary's birthday, I found these.  Oh, those two!  You can see Mary's opinion.  She is at the sarcastic, I'm not amused age.  Meghan and Peter are, quite obviously, beyond that!

Let the Birthday Season Begin!!!

In our family Peter and Tom have birthdays all to themselves.  All of us girls, though, celebrate ours within a 6 week time span.  I open the season on the 16th.  Liz's new husband actually beats me (but we don't count him, he's a boy after all.)  Just kidding.

Then Liz has her birthday on the 18th (maybe we shouldn't count her anymore .. how does that work once they marry???)

Mary's was last night!  She informed her Dad during his call yesterday morning that she wasn't exactly 15, yet.  Not until 9:30 in the evening, since she was born in California, and not until 6:30 pm.

The next two birthdays of our season are in July.  Kate will be with us in Nevada, and we'll have to surprise her (unless she actually read's my blog) with a cake while we are there since she'll be back solo in Houston for her real birthday.

Meghan makes the end of the season with her "Christmas in July" date.

Enjoy these birthday pictures.  My cake, as I always request is a cheesecake.  Meghan made it from scratch this year, and those strawberries on top are from our backyard.

Mary's cake was a joint effort between Peter (baker) and Meghan (decorator).  Saturday we'll do something special so Tom can be included.

My Travelin' Husband

Tom is on the road again this week.  Each spring we outline what we would like to do on the house.  And then... the travel schedule begins to unfold.  This is from his trip three weeks ago to northern British Columbia.

I completely understand, since the two projects are located very far north, that he needs to spend most of his summer traveling.

This week he has been to Yellowknife, NWT and is in Vancouver today.  His phone call last night from the Edmonton airport informed me that the week after we return from our vacation to Nevada he is heading north to Yellowknife.  That will be twice in July, plus squeezing in some more back to the states.

So much for those plans.  Maybe next year!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Last Sunday I had a private view of what temptation is.  This involves a lovely little girl, about 7 or 8.  She was seated between her mom and dad in the very front pew.  In our parish the front pews have lucite holders with extra offertory envelopes, and in the particular one someone had provided two pens.

This little girl is very well behaved.  We have seen this family often at Mass, and know they are good people.  That is why it struck me that this is an explanation of how temptations tempt us.

Usually when I think about temptations it involves thinking about, or considering doing something that is obviously sinful.  With the grace of God, usually I can avoid those.  This little girl, however, drove home to me how even things that aren't sinful are moments of temptation.

Okay, at one point during Mass, I believe it was during the intercessory prayer when we were all standing, the girl noticed that little box holding not just paper, but a pen right in front of her.  First she slowly withdrew one pen, nudged her Dad and showed it to him.  He looked down, nodded, and drew his attention back to the Mass.  Next I could see her holding the pen, and practically could see that pull of "should I" or "shouldn't I" whirling in her brain.  She meekly placed the pen against the envelope and marked one of the little boxes on front.  Then she slid the pen back into the holder.

All was good, until she noticed that there was a second pen.  She pulled it out, again nudged her Dad to show it to him.  He looked down again, acknowledged that she had found a pen, then looked back up.  This time she held the pen in both hands, and again was struggling.  I'm sure she was wondering if that pen worked as well as the first one.  So, slowly she turned the pen around, then marked yet one more little box on the paper envelope.  But, the temptation was too much.  So she quickly marked several other random checks, and then reluctantly slid the pen back into place.

The next point in Mass when we stood, I could see her hand hovering again close to the plastic box.  But she then had not just her Dad, but her Mom next to her.  And she resisted.

There are times when I get those temptations.  For instance, one of my big weaknesses involves playing games on the computer.  Things like Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, Nonograms, Kakuro ... things involving logic and chance.  It can easily eat away so much time, and yet, the temptation to play just one more round is overwhelming.

It would be easy to just push the chair away, and attend to something more useful (like ironing shirts, moving laundry, or even reading a good book.)  But still the ease of playing the games, the little thrill when I solve one of them quickly, or the desire to figure out a particularly difficult puzzle draws me in.

I hope you are better at mastering your temptations.  And I ask your prayers and thoughts that I can get a handle in my own.  My little friend last Sunday is young and her artwork is understandable.  But me?  Well, I do need to get busy with the important tasks, give my brain a rest, and rejoin the real world.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Graduation!

Okay, here is a picture of our graduate!  Kate was so happy to complete her BA in Drama.  She graduated Cum Laude.  We are very proud of her!

Here are some more snapshots from graduation day:

Tom, Ray (his Dad), and me with the video camera.

The Honorable James A. Baker, III delivering the commencement address.  
Excellent speech about greatness and honor.

Peter with Kate

Kate receiving her hood.

Dr. Ivany, President of UST, presenting Kate with her diploma.

Kate and Mary (with her new haircut)

Meghan, me and Tom.