Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Baptism and a Birthday

Another backdated post.

Saturday, June 29th, we held worship at Mt. Olive. I ran home for a hasty lunch. Then I drove off to Nazareth where we celebrated the Baptism of Oliver M.

Oliver's great-grandma was celebrating her 90th Birthday this weekend also.

Sunday morning we had worship at St. Petri, Oak Park, and Nazareth.

After worship at Nazareth was Clara P.'s 90th birthday party. Lots of folk at Nazareth today. Wonderful time.

Congratulations, Clara and Oliver. God bless you both.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hilda and some normalcy

Normalcy is when your family is together making all the noise and mayhem they usually do. Donna craves the piano. I hope she sticks to it.

Of course I managed to forget a load of towels in the washing machine. Drat! I wanted them to be done when Mary got home. Now they stink and have to be bleached and rewashed. Bad dad.

Muriel dropped off some rhubarb sauce and a birthday cake for Mary when Mary was gone.

When Mary got back we took the cake out of the freezer and celebrated her birthday again. Thank you, Muriel.

Alyssa helped me clean the office. And guess what. I found a $100 check to me. I guess it pays to clean the office once in a while.

Thanks Alyssa. I should ask you what your percentage is.

The kids like parties, and they like cake. So it wasn't hard to convince them to sing Happy Birthday to mom one more time.

It's Red Lake County Fair time so all the kids were working on their projects.

I did some visits, Mary dropped off the kids' projects at the fair in Oklee.

Wed. evening Stephany S. called. Her mother, Hilda S. had died in a car crash. I went over to see Stephany, Dean, Larry and Mary at their Mom's home.

The funeral was set for July 1st.

While the kids have said it's been hot, the truth is that we have had a very cool spring and early summer. They're just so used to the cold temperatures that 80 degrees seems hot.

This didn't come through really as good as I'd hoped. But we've had some tremendously beautiful sunsets this past couple of weeks.

Please keep Hilda S.'s family in your prayers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mary and Donna come home

So, I went to Fargo to pick up Mary and Donna. Remember the axiom, "anything that can go wrong, will"?

Mary wasn't on her flight. Neither was Donna. Well, at least they are still together.

I waited a long time. Then I finally went from the loading area into paid parking and found out that they had been bumped from an overbooked flight.

They might be on the next one in 2 hours, or the following in 5 hours, or come in at five minutes to 11pm (10 hours from now.)

I drove around Fargo to eat up some time.

They were on the next flight.

I was glad.

The kids had made a "Welcome Home Mom" sign on the garage door.

Donna was really glad to see daddy.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

While Mom's Away

Mary and Donna were to come back on the 23rd. When I got home from dropping her off the kids had set up a slip-and-slide in the front yard.

Thursday evening Jeremy, Matt, and I went to Firearms class. I taught. Matt just wanted to come along for fun. Louisa and Elsie took care of the rest at home, and they did a good job.

On the way to class I found out that Juell C. had been admitted to the hospital with heart problems. I stopped by to check in on him. He seemed to be doing fairly well, and would probably be released the next day. The problem is Congestive Heart. And Juell was released Friday evening.

Friday evening at supper I had to run to Grand Forks to the hospital. Edwin O. was having a heart attack. The doctors were able to prevent a full blown heart attack. Edwin would probably be in hospital for the next day or two. He did get home on Sunday (I think it was).

Saturday we had worship at Mt. Olive with Sat. School. Sunday three worship services.

After the last service the 8 kids and I went to the Pennington Sportsmens' Club for range day in Jeremy's firearms class.

Jeremy did well.

Louisa, Matt, Elsie, and the rest did well at finding things to do while I taught. But when I took a picutre, Louisa tried to look bored to death. Teenage girls!

But the kids, the students, and their folks enjoyed the meal. Another member of one of my congregations, Noah B., was in the class this session. His family and ours are practically a happy extended family when it comes to spending time together. And I'm glad of that.

We got home after a long day. Tired kids. Tired Dad. Bedtime was pretty easy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rake, Hoe, and Pike

Saturday and Sunday we held worship at Mt. Olive and Oak Park. It was a combined worship service at Oak Park for three of the congregations in our Parish. The youth group, their families and some volunteers put on a good Fathers' Day brunch.

Much of the time during the days was geared toward finishing our garden.

We finished off the potatoes, some herbs, cabbage and broccoli.

The sun gets up so early (around 4:30 or 5am) and I can't really sleep later than the light. (though, Mary might disagree some days)

The kids were all excited when the crop duster did the field next to the parsonage.

Mary was getting ready to go to Denver. Last Spring she called her friend, Kristi, to let her know that one of their favorite authors was having a book signing in Littleton. Kristi said she had ample frequent flier miles, would Mary want to come to the signing?

So Wednesday, June 18, I dropped Mary and Donna off at the Fargo Airport.

It took Jeremy and me more time to drive home than it took Mary and Donna to get to Denver. You'll have to check Mary's blog at the left column when she posts about her trip.

So for the next five days it was me and 8 children.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mary's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Louisa made the cake. After our Friday the 13th celebration for my wife, Mary and I went out with a couple of friends to the Lantern (a restaurant in Thief River Falls) There we saw Glen and Linda H.

Our friends who helped us celebrate were Jaime and Laura D.

I think Mary had a good time. I'm really glad to have been able to celebrate her birthday these last 19 years.

I love you, Mary.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cold, wet week

There has been no shortage of cold wet weather up here. I had to take a photo of blue sky while I could get it. The photo lasts longer.

So, it's a real struggle to plant our garden in the mud and rain.

It also makes us all a bit stir-crazy, being bottled up in the house like it's winter.

My thanks to Al Gore for this global warming. I just wish that I didn't have to use my furnace in June to keep the temperature above 50 degrees in the house at night.

And it's been an interesting Spring for seeing wildlife. The cold and wet has changed the places where the animals are willing to roam.

These Sandhill Cranes were just 20 feet off our yard in Greg's field. They yelled at me when I took the photo. But they were loud, but they weren't in any hurry to go away.

Sunday I developed a migraine during the last two services. 2 Advil, 2 Tylenol, do your job, Joe, and quit whining.

Regarding the wildlife, the jackrabbits are quite active right now; as are the jackalope and the antler-rats (white tail deer). The white tail deer is called an Antler-rat because it's over abundant and--like the rats of the Bubonic Plague, they are spreading Bovine TB in our area. Yes, they are a beautiful animal, and they are a wonderful food source. But driving home last night I counted about 3 dozen out by the road in 24 miles.

This week I've been teaching Firearms Safety classes to a new batch of kids. My son, Jeremy, is taking this particular course. It's fun to have him as a student in a context other than homeschool or confirmation class.

I have to mention that my son, John (4 1/2yo) loves to be terrified by spiders. I'm not sure if he's really scared of them, or if he just likes the feeling and attention he gets from being scared of them.

Well, this one got him good. We do have some larger spiders in our area. But this was big enough for John. (get the ear-plugs out)

As we see more wild-life, we'll take photos (if we can).

Coming home from Firearms Safety class last night, after we dropped Noah off at his house, Jeremy and I saw a black bear next to the road by the woods near Noah's place.

Cool! Not really big, probably under 300 pounds. But we let Noah's family know so they could spread the word to their neighbors.

Thursday noon and afternoon I had a meeting in Fertile, Minnesota.

Jeremy had an impression to do. This is in the spirit of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Here Jeremy is a tall live dude.

Friday the 13th, Mary's birthday. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Weekend Worship and Visits

I've been writing devotions for the Grygla paper during the month of June. It's kind of ironic, but a reader of this blog mentioned that he had seen my rail anvil and offered me a real anvil if I'd be willing to pick it up and make something for the owner. "You bet!"

Friday I had sermon prep and Mary and I had to go to town. Saturday I had worship at Mt. Olive with Saturday School. I went to Bemidji, saw shut-ins there, stopped by Pr. Stafford's on the way home to pick up a paper of mine that I asked him to critique.

Made for a long day.

I wonder if I can get some of those bricks from the old Bemidji High School demolition.

Sunday we had worship at St. Petri, Oak Park, and Nazareth. I got home a bit late with discussions with members after service at Nazareth.

I've started making home made soda pop this past couple of weeks. The first batch was dandelion. I mentioned that in a previous post. The kids liked it. I took some to Audrey's birthday party, and they all seemed to like it too.

I made a batch of Cream Soda. That's just finishing up now. And, man, is it good. I put up a batch of Rootbeer. It should be ready by Mary's birthday.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Two Birthdays: Jeremy and Audrey

June 6 was Jeremy's Birthday!

Mary made a pineapple upsidedown cake for him. It was a normal cake so I couldn't eat it. But I don't like canned pineapple anyway. Besides, the dinner was so good I didn't need to add any more calories.

After the lunch we had gift opening.

Among the gifts we gave him, Jeremy received Marcus Luttrell's book Lone Survivor. Get this book and read it. See what kind of people are really in the military and who it is that defends us as Americans. I know that Mr. Luttrell will probably never read this post. But I thank him and all his men and all those who have served and are serving in the US military for the freedom we have today. Get the book and read it.

In the afternoon we went over to celebrate Audrey's birthday.

Laura had their house decorated much more appropriately for the festivities than we did in our house.

The kids enjoyed each other's company and fun through the late afternoon and evening.

Mary and I enjoyed the company and conversation of Laura's sister, Kenya P. and Jaime's brother, Terry.

Of course, the food was great. You worry about too much, Laura. I had plenty to eat, even with my celiac disease. It was a great evening.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Partial Day off

Thursday was a kind-of day off. I still had to do sermon prep for a while. In the afternoon Mary and I went for a walk on a DNR plot near Senator LeRoy A. Stumpf's place. He has a vineyard there: Two Fools Vineyard.

But we didn't pay a visit to him. Instead we enjoyed a walk in the wild on this DNR hunting ground.

While we were there we found some anthills bigger than us.

I just saw the new Indian Jones movie with Matt and Elsie. I didn't get the heebee-geebees during the ant scenes. So I had Mary pose by one anthill. When we were getting into the car we noticed that we had dozens of woodticks crawling all over each of us. Now I had the heebee-geebees. It took several days to stop reacting to each tickle.

During VBS week Mary made butter.

This was her first time at trying to do this. We have a Kitchen-Aid mixer that did the work. Let me tell you, if you romanticize about the "Good Old Days" just try making butter by hand--without electricity. We buy good, organic, raw milk. We skim about a pint of cream off each gallon. And it is good.

But to whip that cream into It takes a long time. The taste is wonderful. But I'm glad we've got electrical tools to do the work.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Vacation Bible School

I want to thank the teachers; Ione, Laura, Alison; the helpers; Dawn, Mary, Tami and others; the parents; and the children for a wonderful Vacation Bible School (VBS).

This week we held three full days of VBS focusing on Taking up the Cross by the grace of God given to us through Baptism.

Alison and Dawn did great work with the kids in their crafts.

We started at 9:00am with devotion. 9:30 was a lesson or craft period (depending on which grade). At 10:30 those with lessons went to craft and those with craft to lesson.

At 11:30 we had dinner prayer, lunch and recess. At 1:00 we gathered for worship and hymn singing. 1:30 we held the next lesson for all levels. 2:30 we had closing devotion until 3pm.

There were a lot of great projects for the kids. And they seemed to appreciate and understand the lessons in Taking up the Cross through Baptism very well.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Circuit #8 Lay Meeting in Audubon

Mom and Dad went home sometime Sunday morning. I had worship at St. Petri, Oak Park, and Nazareth.

When I got home after Nazareth we had a quick dinner and packed up to go to Audubon. That city is about 100 miles away.

Today was the general meeting of the Northern Minnesota Circuit of the E.L.S. (Circuit #8).

The guest speaker was Dr. David Menton. from the Creation research group called Answers in Genesis.

His presentation was titled "Implications of Evolutionists: Should the Christian Make Peace with Darwin?” His answer to the question was basically "No!" The answer is based on the fact that acceptance of Darwinian Evolution contradicts the Scriptural Doctrine of Original Sin.

After the presentation there was a question and answer period that was very useful.

Then we all settled down to a Norwegian Lutheran tradition: The potluck.

"Potluck" means that the families (understand "women from the local congregation") prepared a dinner in some systematic way that was delicious for everyone who attended.

On the way home I got a nice photo of the Sioux Oil company building in (I think) Callaway, Minnesota.

Vacation Bible School starts in the morning-Monday June 2 through 4th.

More next post.