Pistol Packin' Presbytera

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

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Blueberry Picking with Grandma

Marina has patiently waited an entire year to go blueberry picking again. This is the 3rd year we have gone with my friend Jean and her children. This year it was hot, hot, hot but the blueberry crop was plentiful!! Here are the mighty workers. Naomi is another blueberry lover and is the most diligent picker! It is Theodore's first blueberry picking trip. Last fall he went apple picking with us so all the way to the berry farm he told me how excited he was to go pick apples again.
Here is the objective. Isn't it a lovely blueberry bush? The owner of the farm does not spray the bushes so we are free to eat as many as we want as we are picking. I think I ate more than I picked.

So that the birds do not eat all these luscious berries, there is a net over all the bushes. We lift the net to get close to the berries.

Two of the mighty workers are tuckered out and the buckets are hardly full. They enjoy taking a break which quickly turns into "we're done". They continue to insist they love picking blueberries. Soon we have picked all that we want and have a lovely lunch at my friends home. We then head home and begin our berry baking : )

My helpers contributed to making the muffins. Theodore by asking "Why are you doing that Grandma?" and Marina by practicing cracking eggs into a bowl. They both are very good at adding the flour mixture and topping the muffins with cinnamon sugar.

Our end product....soon to be distributed to my mother in law, Marina's great grandmother and Theodore's family. My dear husband and I are eating low carb meals so the muffins (and their wonderful smell) will soon leave our kitchen. We will stay with straight blueberries. With the smell still lingering in the house, my salivary glands are dripping....almost as much as these muffins!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What I Knit on My Summer Vacation

This entry could be subtitled What a difference a yarn makes ! When we recently traveled to KY for vacation, the weather was brutally hot. I don't endure hot very well so I was exceedingly grateful that our cabin was air conditioned : ) I went on one cave tour at Mammoth Cave Park but I had ample opportunity to sit and knit. It was the perfect project in my cabin with no TV, radio or computer to blog!!
I am working on dish cloths and all of these patterns can be found here You'll notice that several are purple and it is not because I like purple; it is that my niece who is getting married has a favorite color and it's purple. Of course the heart dishcloth is for her. I am putting several into a bag along with some Dawn dishwashing soap. I am also knitting some dishcloths for the daughter of a friend who is getting married and also as gifts for a prize basket.

The pattern in this dishcloth is a horizontal zigzag but it is hardly visible with the variations in color in the yarn. It is still a pretty dishcloth but the next one shows the pattern so much better.

Here is the same pattern in a solid color. The zigzags are very apparent here.

This pattern has descending triangles and I knit this one on the way home. The pattern repeats every 6 rows and I discovered that I could knit the 6 rows in 40 miles going ???MPH : ) It's difficult to make out the triangles.

Here is the same pattern in a solid color and the triangles jump out at you.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hair and Barely There!

Meet Vinnie, my beautician for the last 10 years. She was the only one who knew and she would never tell : ) She is also the one who told me after many years of coloring my hair that it was not covering as well now because more than 50% is gray. Vinnie is brutal sometimes : ). Her real name is Vincenzia and is a LEGAL immigrant from Italy. In the past years, we have shared births, deaths, disappointments, our individual trips, the thrill of Vinnie getting her citizenship, traded good authors and now Vinnie is telling me about the medical terminology classes she is taking. What???? Why would MY beautician need medical terminology? I fear a change is coming down the road for me and I'm not a happy camper.

This past week, we had occasion to get together with the Greek side of our family. It was my sister-in-law Donna's 50th birthday celebration. This is a picture of 3/5's of the male offspring. Notice anything in common?

The other 2/5's is in denial so they did not get their heads together for this picture: ) None of them have any need for Vinnie!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Catechesis for July 16, 2006 5th Sunday after Trinity

Begin with Luther’s Morning Prayer
Recite the Books of the Bible Moses wrote the Pentateuch – first five books. The next 12 books are books of history recording God’s love to His people through the years.

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

Review 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
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior. I Timothy 2: 1-3

Review To Husbands
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. I Peter 3:7

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 5th Sunday after Trinity. What do you think next Sunday will be called?

Memorize: Explain the Table of Duties & vocation Let each his lesson learn with care, and all the household well shall fare Explain that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. He loves her and her response is the response of obedience (faith)

To Husbands
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Col. 3:19

To Wives
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Eph 5:22

Explain, read and enact the Gospel lesson: Luke 5: 1 - 11 Jesus sits down and teaches the Word of God. The Word of God is the net which catches the fish. It may not seem logical to use the Word of God instead of modern marketing techniques but assurance is found in the WORD and the promises attached to it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Morning Coffee

Starbucks Coffee

Bunn Coffeemaker

My cup from the homeschool retreat

Does it get any better than this? Well, I guess it would be better if I had my sweetheart here to imbibe with me but that is not our normal morning schedule. I am up and out of here by 7 am to exercise at the same place I had my rehab after knee surgery. I usually tweek his toes then and he gets up and heads for the office. The office is any restaurant which does not have background music, makes decent coffee and allows him to open us his laptop and work on sermons. I usually get my morning coffee sweetened with a morning kiss around 11 a.m. Next week, while on vacation, we will drink our coffee together.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Feed My Lambs Retreat Part 5

There were lots of opportunity for fun at the retreat. While some of the moms were sewing and the one grandma was knitting, Nancy N taught Marina to cross stitch with plastic canvas. She doesn't look too proud of her work, does she?

The children also had a craft on the first day. They painted/decorated hats which dried that night and several wore their creations throughout the camp. The camp was on a lake and much time was spent swimming, canoeing, riding paddleboats, pontoon riding, playing in the sand and of course, shuffleboard.

Here are several people doing what we do best -- sitting, relaxing and talking : )

The first evening we built a campfire, cooked s'mores and had a hymn sing. I was prepared for mosquitoes being by the lake so I used the bug spray before going down to the lake. The breeze was so steady that not a bug could have landed. The second evening, I did not use bug spray and of course, the bugs were hovering and biting. Ruth was prepared and took care of that annoying problem because she brought her bug spray to the campfire. Here is a picture of the dock and several people relaxing.

The 3rd evening was our Talent/Untalent show and it was fantastic. It was held in the retreat center. The first picture is of Glorianne, Bethany and Daniel singing A Short Song

Marina played Roller Coaster from memory. She learned it for an NCRLoop retreat we had at the sem in May. Most of the talent was of the funny nature -- you'll have to ask the Mumme family how to cheaply clean the ears of your entire family. The Timmermans regaled us with A Mighty Fortress played on beer bottles filled with different amounts of liquid to give different pitches.

Here is Julee signing Via Dola Rosa and it was quite moving!

I finish these posts about the retreat with the best picture I took and the most central to our time together.

Feed My Lambs Retreat Part 4

Traveling to and fro....or in the neighborhood, a journey of about 800 miles. Here are the children near the beginning of our drive. They are smiling. That is because they do not know that we are about to hit Chicago traffic on I-80 on a holiday weekend : ) My friend and fellow Looper, Ruth and her children picked my granddaughter and me up in the morning on July 1st. We traveled west for almost 180 miles and decided to have lunch at the first rest area in IN. While we're chomping down our packed lunch, I looked up and thought "Boy does that man look like my son Nick, wait a minute, it is Nick"! It was very odd to see Nick and Naomi at the rest area but it was a fitting way to begin this trip! They were on their way to South Bend to visit Sandy, another Looper...also Naomi's mom.

We stayed Saturday night in Bensenville IL which is Ruth's old stomping ground. Sunday morning found us at Zion Lutheran Church worshipping with other LCMSers using TLH. It was wonderful to travel and feel at home singing the liturgy in another place. I took many pictures which I will use on this blog in the future. Thank God for digital cameras!

Ruth was excited to take us to one of her favorite restaurants, Our Kitchen in Elmhurst so that I too could have the opportunity to taste a Baked Apple Pancake. Even though I've been eating a low carb diet, this was too good to pass up having a slice. So I didn't : )

Traveling west on I-90 we came to an area I thought I recognized as being Melody P's exit. I called her on my cell and told her we were in the neighborhood and asked if we could stop by. She was very gracious to invite us over. They had recently returned from taking a vacation out west. John showed us pictures of their trip and it was very odd for these OH Loopers to be sitting at a Looper table in IL, looking at pictures of Looper Jenn from NV visiting Looper Wendy in WY. We asked for directions back to I-90 and those directions just happened to go right by Susan G's home. I called again to let them know we were in the neighborhood and they invited us to stop by. We hadn't even arrived at the retreat yet but we were enjoying seeing Loopers. At this point, I'm sure Ruth wondered how many numbers I had in my cell phone : ) We left Susan's house about the time we expected to arrive at our next overnight.

July 3rd and it is the day we are scheduled to arrive at the retreat but we have more miles to drive. Ruth is doing all the driving and I am knitting. I was able to complete one dishcloth on my way to camp. Here are the children at our last eating stop before camp. They are in a quandry. We are at Baker's Square and they are trying to decide which kind of pie to have for dessert. When you eat at Baker's Square, you decide dessert first and then order your meal accordingly.

We tried to visit more Loopers, Lisa and David on our way to camp but they weren't home when I called to say we were in the neighborhood : ) We visited them on our way home.
David had just been installed as Pastor at his church. They had stopped at our house the week before on their way to Turtle Lake so I thought it only right to stop at their house on my way back to OH!

This is one of the pictures on our return trip. We saw this unusual rock formation on our way north but we drove by it before I could whip out my camera. We noted the area and Ruth stopped on our way home so I could get this shot across the highway. We don't see anything like this in OH.

Our drive on Thursday was very long but we were determined to make it home in 2 days instead of our leisurely three on the way there. Not to despair, we also visited another Looper on our way home. When we made it over the Skyway bridge, I realized that we would be near Sandy R's about lunch time. I just happened to have her number so I called her and told her we were in the neighborhood......you can imagine what happened after that ! Thanks Sandy for a great low carb lunch!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Feed My Lambs Retreat Part 3

What did moms do at the retreat other than attend chapel? Part of the mom's time together was spent crafting...we entered our second childhood and enjoyed making a little booklet for sticky notes. We had fun (at least some of us) stamping the outside, adding ribbon and gluing it all together.

Here is a picture of my completed item. I had the advantage of attending many of my friend Debbie's stamp camps. I think I may use this idea again soon. As Amy says, you can never have too many post it notes. I tried to make mine patriotic since we were in the week of July 4th. After completing it, I think it looks more Dixie than patriotic. I guess those who live in the South would say they were one and the same thing : )

Here are some more pictures of moms working on the craft.

The moms had time together to talk about homeschooling and curriculum choices. One of the moms shared her expertise on how hand sewing was done in the 1800's. Another mom clued us in on what freezer cooking is and how she does it.

Of course, if you're talking moms and get togethers, you have to include chocolate! I actually met one mom who didn't like chocolate. Wow! I was/am speechless : )

Feed My Lambs Retreat Part 2

Who was at the retreat? Here are some pictures.....

OK so I forgot to take a picture of the license plate from OH. Silly me : )

Feed My Lambs Retreat Part 1

What a wonderful retreat we had. Last year, I was one of the organizers and it was my first retreat. I have to say I enjoyed this retreat much more than the last : ) There was a warm welcome at the retreat center for all of us.

Traveling for 2 + days to get there, we timed our arrival before the organizers got there : ) Julee and family were there (having traveled the greatest distance) to greet us though. Dale was quite disappointed that my dh wasn't there. Dh does not like to travel outside of his zipcode and Luther Point Bible Camp was definitely not in our zipcode. Here is a picture of the organizers, Glenda and Amy, at the end of the retreat -- notice the tired looks and the BIG smiles??? They did such a fantastic job!!

What would a retreat be without chapel? I guess it would just be camp. The chapel was surrounded by these lovely flowers. Of course, the truly lovely part was singing/praying Matins and Vespers each day. We were blessed to be accompanied by Melanie. The first services were contemporary services....just kidding, Melanie played the piano for the first vespers and matins. She then discovered that the pipe organ was a working pipe organ so the rest of the services were traditional. Thanks to the pastors who hauled TLH's to camp for us.

Here's a picture of the chapel before it got filled with people. We had great catechesis from Rev. Tausz, Rev. Brynestad and Rev. Mumme. I am amazed that at the age of 55 I can still sit at the feet of pastors and learn so much. The teachings were based on the narratives of David and Saul. The pastors showed us how David points to the Greater David. I could go on and on but suggest that if you want to hear edifying lessons like we heard, come to the retreat next year : )

Before we left the camp, the director of the camp took a group shot of us. Can you find Marina and Grandma? I don't know if all made it to the picture but there were 75 of at the retreat. More later....