Pistol Packin' Presbytera

Presbytera, in the Greek culture, is the wife of the Father, or parish priest.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Promise and Some of My Blessings

After the rain comes the rainbow. What a physical sign of God's goodness. Do you think of His promise when you see the rainbow or do you simply see light being bent? The weather has been unusual recently with cool temps even at the end of June. Since I am usually warm, I am appreciating the less than normal temperatures. This picture was taken outside of our house.

In the last post, I talked about what a blessing my daughters-in-law are to me. Here is a picture of both of them with their youngest. Danylle is on the right and you can see Dean. Naomi is on the left but you can't see Saranita because she is still being knit in her mother's womb : )

Dils, Sils, and Mils

Early this month several members of the family got together at my sister in laws house. Hence the title Dils (daughters-in-law), Sils (sisters-in-law) and Mils (mothers-in-law). It was a chance for some estrogen to flow, cousins to see each other and 2nd cousins to play together. Here they are before we ate lunch.

This is a picture of my niece Jaime and her look alike daughter Maime. They came from the distant land of Aurora.

My niece Susan who hails from Cincinnati is holding shy Julia Rose. Susan is actually the reason we all got together. Since she was in town for a few days it was a great time to see each other and solidify the bonds of family.

Here is a picture of 2nd cousins, Marina, Benjamin and Theodore. They are digging into the pile of toys. They look like they landed in playmate heaven, don't they?

I was struck once again how strong the bonds of family are. I held Jaime in my arms when she was a baby and now I can hold her baby in my arms. That's a lot of years sharing memories, meals, movies and disagreeing over many things : ) Still the bond remains.

I'm blessed beyond measure with my 2 daughters-in-law. They are blessing me by being the answer to my prayer for Christian women to love and support my sons in their life's journey.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Out to Lunch at the Tradesman

My sweetie took me out to lunch today at the Tradesman Tavern in Parma. They have been working on this new enterprise for quite some time and we finally caught it at a time when it was not too crowded, smoky or loud. What a treat this lunch was for us!

This tavern is beautiful from top to bottom. Here is the gorgeous carving which is perched above the bar. The next picture is of the Terrazzo floor motif which surrounds the bar. It looks like a Ukrainian design which would not be unheard of in Parma : )

Along one wall is a mural depicting the various trades in the area...hence the name of the tavern Tradesman Tavern. When I initially looked at the mural I saw all these men and thought how apropos for Parma that they would not be politically correct and have women as steel workers etc. I commented the same to the waitress and she pointed out that there was indeed a woman in it. Can you see her? If you didn't find her, I will write another post later with her picture close up.

The exciting reason that we were eating out is that the painters are at our home today to finish the painting of the living room and dining room in 3 shades of blue. The house is being overpowered with paint smell and the kitchen is not able to be used because.....they also will finish painting my purple kitchen. I will post pictures when I can.

Monday, June 26, 2006

More Chicago & WI comments

So how slow was the Dan Ryan expressway when I went through Chicago? Slow enough that I found my camera in my purse, opened the window and took this picture. It is a little blurry perhaps because I was traveling at 5 m.p.h. and didn't know how to change the setting for a speed picture : )

To avoid the Friday afternoon non-rush rush hour in Chicago, I stayed in Milwaukee and saw a delightful movie Lake House. The critics may have dismissed it but I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy love story. It was old fashioned in that there were no sex scenes and most of the movie built up to one lovely kiss. I was silently urging Keanu Reeves to go ahead and kiss her already : ) I liked the movie so much, I saw it again the next week in VA. There are inconsistencies in the movie but if you just enjoy the fantasy, I think it will delight you too.

On the way back, I stopped at an Olive Garden restaurant and had supper and did some more knitting while waiting for the traffic to dump out of the south end of Chicago. It was a bit lonely eating in a restaurant by myself but I talked to dh on the phone. He of course wanted to know if any guy tried to pick me up....I love that man! He looks at me through the eyes of love.

When I got through Chicago and went to get on the Skyway Bridge, I was shocked to see that they moved the bridge exit from the right lane to the left lane. I refused to believe the signs which told me to get in the left lane (I thought -- what do they know, I've been this way often, and it exits to the right). When I finally could see the ramp and not just read the signs, I quickly moved across all the lanes and exited on the left. I am Lutheran to the core -- 'we've always done it this way".

Back in the saddle again

OK, I'm back after 2 trips and a dead motherboard : (

June 13th I left for the Concordia Catechetical Symposium in Sussex WI. The trip was wonderful...drove through Chicago with the air conditioning on and singing along with Garth Brooks at the top of my lungs. Anyone who sits next to me in church knows that singing at top voice comes easily : ) I noticed my dear granddaughter singing in church at full voice...perhaps it's genetic or it could be she learned it from singing next to me. Anyway, the trip to Sussex was wonderful even though it involved driving on the Dan Ryan expressway. There is even a website to help you through Chicago -- perfect if you happen to be traveling with a computer : )

I got to see friends that I only get to see at this Symposium. I also knitted 3 washcloths while I was there. I am so thankful that I learned how to do that before I went on this trip. I took no pictures and took no notes but I did order the audio recording of the presentation so if anyone wants to borrow them....get in line! All 6 presenters were Lutheran church growth enthusiasts; between the 6 men there were 36 children (32 of whom were male offspring). Now that's church growth!!

I arrived back in Cleveland on Saturday the 17th and greeted my dh with a van which was covered in bugs, out of gas and desperately needed an oil change. He did that running around while I washed clothes. I intended on posting to this blog then but my motherboard died and there was no posting/reading/responding going on for Presbytera : (

I'll tell you about the next trip I took in the next post....I do have to accomplish some things today!

Catechesis for June 25 2006 2nd Sunday after Trinity

Begin with Luther’s Morning Prayer
Books of the Bible (Moses wrote the Pentateuch- first 5 books)

Review What the Hearers Owe Their Pastors.
The Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should receive their living from the Gospel. I Cor 9:14
Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Gal 6:6-7

We ask you brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
I Thess. 5:12-13

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Heb. 13:17

New Lesson This is the Trinity season. It is the non-festival part of the church year. The color on the altar is green because this is considered ordinary time – the time of growth. It is the longest part of the church year. This Sunday is the 2nd Sunday after Trinity. What do you think next Sunday will be called? Today is also the 476th anniversary of the presentation of the Augsburg Confession. We are still confessing that today. Explain the Lutheran Confessions.

Memorize: Explain the Table of Duties & vocation
Let each his lesson learn with care, and all the household well shall fare.

Of Citizens
Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Matt 22:21

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men; whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. I Peter 2:13-14

Explain, read and enact the Gospel lesson: Luke 14: 16-24 (The Jews were the original ones invited into the kingdom but when they rejected, Jesus went out into the highways and byways and found the crippled, the blind and the lame -- that’s us) Notice that it is God who seeks us and finds us…I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him…

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Catechesis for Trinity Sunday

Catechesis Class June 11, 2006 Trinity Sunday

Begin with Luther’s Morning Prayer
Books of the Bible

Review What the Hearers Owe Their Pastors.
The Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should receive their living from the Gospel. I Cor 9:14
Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Gal 6:6-7

New Lesson Today is Trinity Sunday which is the only part of the church year which is name after a doctrine (teaching) rather than an event. Other than the event of Reformation, all the rest of the Sundays deal with the life of Christ and the Church. See if the children can identify which “events” these recount --Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Transfiguration, Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost. Trinity Sunday is white since it is a festival Sunday; it will be white next Sunday also since it is the octave of the festival. The color on the altar during the Trinity season is green because this is considered ordinary time – the time of growth. It is the longest part of the church year.

On Trinity Sunday we usually say the Athanasian Creed. (pg 53 of the hymnal) Tell about the heresy of Arius and the Nicene Creed and then St Athanasius lived during the next century and has this creed named after him. Explain catholic as universal. Point out the parts of the liturgy which highlight the Trinity (invocation, confession, Gloria Patri , the end of the Gloria, Kyrie, Creed, Sanctus, benediction.

Memorize: Explain the Table of Duties & vocation
Let each his lesson learn with care, and all the household well shall fare.

We ask you brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. I Thess. 5:12-13

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Heb. 13:17

Explain, read and enact the Gospel lesson: John 3:1-15 (it speaks of all three persons of the Trinity)

Sing TLH 249 (point out composer Luther, text from Isaiah, meaning of Sabaoth, how many Holy is God?)

Isaiah, mighty seer, in days of old The Lord of all in spirit did behold
High on a lofty throne , in splendor bright, With flowing train that filled the Temple quite. Above the throne were stately seraphim; Six wings had they, these messengers of Him. With twain they veiled their faces as was meet, With twain in rev’rent awe they hid their feet, And with the other twain aloft they soared, One to the other called and praised the Lord: “Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth! Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth! Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth! Behold, His glory filleth all the earth!” The beams and lintels trembled at the cry, And clouds of smoke enwrapped the throne on high.

Safety Forces Street Fair

We were heading for the range today when our son called to say that he was working at a Street Fair and did we want to stop by. We were happy to oblige; happy to see our son at work! Not only did we see him but also met some other friends. The first picture is an old family friend. Nicky is a lovely Greek woman who works many hours for the area's Police Community Relations group. You can see her hard at work. We also met friends, Dan and Barb who are auxiliary police officers. Passing out balloons and information on a summer program at the nearby church were our friend Diane and her son Kyle.


What is a street fair without a clown? Nothing! I was not surprised to see one of the officers dressed up as a clown so I left to go get my grandchildren. I was struck with the thought I have now become my father. When we were young, my dad would take the four of us (without seatbelts) in the back of the car for a ride. We never knew where we were going but we did know it would be good -- maybe a 45 mile drive (before freeways) to get an ice cream cone -- maybe a visit to a Maple Festival. After I had children, my dad would call and arrange a meeting which now included the children. Things had changed though because now I knew the destination...even if my children didn't. My dad has been dead for over 10 years and now my children are grown with children of their own, but, the tradition continues.

Happy Anniversary Nick and Naomi

A year ago they were just returning from their honeymoon and here's what they look like one year later. The only things missing are the tux, the gown and veil and some hair. The smiles are just as great as they were a year ago.

Because of our schedules, we were not able to celebrate on their anniversary so we opted for a dinner at the Olive Garden several days later. It was much cooler for that dinner than it was for their reception.

So many happy memories and years to make more memories : )

Friday, June 09, 2006

Out of Chaos, Order, sort of...

One of my goals this summer, OK, not a goal but a promise I made to my husband was to straighten the basement. I figure a basement should be a catch-all for things which don't fit in the living part of the house. My dear one has other ideas and since he works in the basement and looks at the disorder I have created, I will admit he has a point : )

He built these shelves for me so that I could organize the overflowing homeschool books and paraphernalia* schooling entails. Wasn't that sweet? He built them for me about 6 months ago and as you can see, I didn't treat his gift very sweetly. Yesterday (only 1 week into summer vacation) I got the opportunity to do some organizing and now my shelves look like this.

Taking a good look at this, I just realized that I have room for a whole lot more books : ) Hmmm. I did transfer some books from upstairs which I used when I was homeschooling Nick in high school. I reasoned that since my granddaughters are just now going into 3rd grade, I won't need those books for awhile. Looks like I can cull the upstairs shelves a little more.

I love accomplishing items on my list! Today I am on item 5 out of 9. I'm off to see how much more I can get done today.

* I had to look up the spelling of paraphernalia. I had no clue it contained the letter r. I also learned that it comes from Latin & Greek and literally means "a bride's possessions beyond her dower".

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Underwear Assault

Yesterday I had the occasion to be out and about during the afternoon when students were walking home from school. It was a warm day and no one was wearing a coat. Some guys were not even wearing shirts. And then the assault to my eyes happened -- several were displaying the top 3 inches of their underwear for all to see. Didn't their moms teach them that underwear was meant to be worn UNDER clothes???? I was tempted to get out of the vehicle and give them a lecture but caught myself, just in time! I am practicing not being mom to the world : )

I have no pictures to illustrate -- aren't you glad? I decided not to spread the eye-assault around. Perhaps I should travel with several belts and pass them around...No! No! No! I will not be mom to the world.

I remember being in 5th grade and wearing a bra for the first time. I made certain that part of the strap showed because I was soooo proud of being at the point where I had to wear bras. Silly girl. Do you think these boys have just discovered underwear and are proudly displaying the fact that they now wear underwear? Silly boys.

It almost makes me long for winter coats again.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Birthday Bash for my Honey

Here's the birthday boy taking a break in between shots at the pool table. He actually celebrated his birthday for an octave + 3 days this year. This was taken on the 9th day of the celebration. We gathered at the Boneyard (restaurant/bar) with family and friends to hear our friend's band Running in Circles
We missed their first gig because I was out of town and we will miss the next gig because I will be out of town. It was a real treat being a "groupie" -- something which I haven't done since college.

Our family was there to join in the celebration and it was a joy to be able to celebrate with our sons and our daughters-in-law. Equipped with earplugs, we even enjoyed the loud music. The earplugs filtered it to the level where it was enjoyable : )

I love to dance and was glad to have the opportunity to do so. My dear husband has been reluctant to dance in the past but 2 things have changed his attitude. I nicely pointed out that dancing with me was included in our wedding vows, although never audibly so : ) On Feb 23rd in 1973, he promised to be my dance partner for the rest of my life....at least that's what I heard! Before I had my knee replacements, it was painful for me to stand, let alone dance. When the privilege of dancing with me was taken away from him, he desired it all the more and hasn't missed an opportunity to dance with me since. Sigh....I wish there were a dance club we could go to regularly.

Iron It Out

Does anybody iron anymore? Someone must iron because I recently purchased the 3rd iron of my married life and the choices were daunting. They have so many makes and models... someone must be doing it!

Yesterday as I was ironing my dear husband's shirts, I also mused about how long I've been ironing. I am estimating the years at somewhere close to 5 decades! I was the youngest of 4 and the only girl. It was my job to iron shirts for Sundays for my dad and brothers. White shirts for Sundays weren't the only shirts to iron because we are talking pre-permanent press. I ironed some pretty nifty plaid shirts back then : )

Of course, I didn't begin on shirts. I cut my "iron" teeth on handkerchiefs. This was the pre-Kleenix age. There was always a stack of kerchiefs on the end of the ironing board! I always felt a sense of accomplishment taking a basket of ironing and turning it into crisp looking shirts hanging on their hangers and a towering stack of handkerchiefs. It was a challenge to neatly iron the scrolled G on my dad's hankie. G for Gary/Gus/Gerhardt.

In addition to being before permanent press and before disposable tissue, my initial ironing days were before steam puffing it's way through the iron. There were steam irons in existence but we didn't own one. First I had to dampen the clothes. At the end of the ironing board sat a 16 oz glass Pepsi bottle with a sprinkle cap on it. The tricky part was ironing without causing the bottle to tip over : )

My ironing yesterday also included dinner napkins so, of course, my musings led me to ask, "Does anyone use napkins anymore?"

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Catechesis for Pentecost Sunday

Catechesis Class June 4, 2006 Pentecost Sunday

Begin with Luther’s Morning Prayer Books of the Bible

Review What is Confession? Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven. What sins should we confess? Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even those we are not aware of, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer; but before the pastor we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in our hearts. Which are these? Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments: Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker? Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy? Have you been hot-tempered, rude, or quarrelsome? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm?
What is the Office of the Keys? The Office of the Keys is that special authority which Christ has given to His church on earth to forgive the sins of the repentant sinners, but to withhold forgiveness from the unrepentant as long as they do not repent. Where is this written? This is what St. John the Evangelist writes in chapter twenty: The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:22-23 What do you believe according to these words? I believe that when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they exclude openly unrepentant sinners from the Christian congregation and absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain , even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us himself.

New Lesson Today is Pentecost which is fifty days after Easter. (Pentateuch/5 books of law). Also called WhitSunday because the newly baptized wore white (early church baptized on Easter, Pentecost etc not every Sunday). The color on the altar is red because the Holy Spirit came to the disciples (the faithful few who were waiting) and the visible sign was a tongue of fire (red). It is today that God delivered what He had promised – the Spirit of Truth, the Counselor, the Holy Spirit. We are able to believe today because the Holy Ghost has called us by the Gospel.

Memorize: Explain the Table of Duties & vocation Let each his lesson learn with care, and all the household well shall fare. What the Hearers Owe Their Pastors.
The Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should receive their living from the Gospel. I Cor 9:14
Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Gal 6:6-7

Explain, read and enact the Gospel lesson: John 14:23-31 Explain read & enact Acts 2:1-13

Sing TLH 229
Holy Spirit, hear us on this sacred day; Come to us with blessing, come with us to stay.
Come as once Thou camest to the faithful few patiently awaiting Jesus’ promise true.
Up to heav’n ascending, Our dear Lord has gone; Yet His little children Leaves He not alone.
To His blessed promise Now in faith we cling. Comforter most holy, Spread o’er us Thy wing.
Lighten Thou our darkness, Be Thyself our Light; Strengthen Thou our weakness, Spirit of all might.
Spirit of Adoption, Make us overflow With Thy sevenfold blessing And in grace to grow.
Into Christ baptized, grant that we may be Day and night, dear Spirit, Perfected by Thee.

It's A Family Affair

Pistol Packin' Presbytera had the opportunity to go to the range again and this time it was a family affair. In addition to my dear husband, my two sons and their wives and our grandchildren were also at the range. Here are 2 pictures of me and the boys having some fun.

Before September 11th, I never would have imagined shooting with my guys. I thought it was the vocation of men to defend our home and my person. I preferred to practice the traditional womanly arts at home. 9/11/01 changed my world forever. My husband travels to minister to the FBI during times of crisis. He was gone immediately after 9/11 and I was left home. It concerned him greatly that he was not here to protect me and encouraged me to learn to shoot. I entered the range reluctantly but once I took a course and began practicing I really began to enjoy shooting very much. It is a sport to me yet at the same time I am developing the skills I need to defend myself. I AM an awesome shot : )

Today we also took my friend Rosemary to shoot. It was her first time and she enjoyed herself also.
I'm thinking that the next time we ask her if she wants to go shooting with us, her answer will be an enthusiastic YES!

Friday, June 02, 2006

A new member of the family

Here is a picture of the newest member of my cat family. I wanted to learn how to knit this summer so yesterday I went to my neighborhood Michael's to buy some 100% cotton yarn to make a dish cloth. Before I even got in the store, this cat jumped out at me and pleaded for me to give him a good home where he would be loved. How could I say no to such a needy fellow? He joins the other 200 or so cats I already have and is quite happy to be living here!

I did actually go into the store and was quite pleased that they had purple cotton to make a dish cloth. Thanks to Marie N I had a website which gave me instructions and illustrated what I needed to know. I bought the yarn, went home and dove right in. I finished with my project today and had quite a lot of fun doing it. I learned how to cast on, knit, add a stitch, decrease a stitch and finally how to bind off. I noticed there was one error in it but since this was my first and just for me, I decided not to take it out. It was a real struggle for me. Everytime I'd see the mistake, I would remind myself that no one is perfect : )

It was a great day for the 1st day of summer vacation. In addition to knitting my first item, I went with my husband to a confessional study on private confession and absolution. What a fantastic way to start the summer!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Today was the last day of official school at St. Barbara's Academy for the 2005-6 school year. Sometimes our school looks like this when math sheets are being done...

Sometimes our school looks like this when we pledge allegiance, study the Bible and catechism, sing hymns or just read books like Lily is doing.

Sometimes our school even goes on the road, especially for physical education class. This class is one of my students' favorites : )

Since this was our last day for awhile, we cleaned out the lockers. OK, we didn't actually clean out lockers; we actually cleaned off the shelf where we store some of the workbooks etc. We finished up an art project (weaving a pot holder) thanks to Uncle Nick. Then we took dear old Grandpa out to lunch for his birthday. We treated him to lunch at the Hot Dog Diner. Nothing is too good for the Dean of Students at St. Barbara's Academy : )

50% of our student population will spend the summer in Arizona with her other Grandma. The other 50% will spend her time with her grandmas here. The Head Mistress of SBA is planning on learning how to knit, cleaning out the basement, putting 10 years worth of pictures into albums and getting to my stack of reading. What would summer be without travel??? Williamsburg with my dil, Naomi, Feed My Lambs Retreat with Marina and my friend Ruth & children and then dh and I will go spelunking in KY.

Or perhaps I'll just spend the summer blogging.