Monday, December 29, 2008

Inge and Mary home

Inge came home today. Johnny saw her, ran, bouncing down the hall and around the corner. "Dad! Dad! Have you seen Inge yet? She's awesome."

John is the self-inverted child on the right in the photo.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Inge Kathryn

We finally figured out a name for our new girl.

I know that some will say "Wow! That's really Norwegian!" Only, Kathryn (Mary's sister) probably isn't Norwegian (at least as far as I know). Though my ancestors Ingeborg and Inga were very much Norwegian. However, Kathy, I think you'd make a good Norwegian.

And I really like this photo of you and Iver.

There are 14 new photos in the album. One is of Ruby C's Christmas lights, and two are with the Staffords visiting Mary and Inge.

And here's a video from today.

Jeremy says that any more children we have must be named with a number, "Eleven" or "Twelve" et cetera.

I want to thank Wayne, Randy, and Jared for reading the sermon today and for leading the congregations through Prime.

Donna didn't let me go to bed until 3:00am this morning. I was a bit wiped out, what with the birth and Donna always asking for "Momma." I spent some time today with Mary and Inge. The Staffords dropped by for a visit. It's their wedding anniversary today. Many happy returns to you both.

We found out that Anju (18 months old) likes my really spicy Kimchi--though she took too big a bite and it got a bit hot for her all at one time.

Mary and Inge come home sometime tomorrow (God willing). Thank you everyone.

A second video of the new baby

We Got Baby, Yeah!

There has been quite a bit going on in our lives. 4 congregations at Christmas, each with their own programs, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services, plus the regular weekend services. In these last 7 days I've had 4 different sermons and 10 worship services.

And, we've been expecting our 10th child.

So what do I write about tonight? Lots of things. I've got church in the morning at three different congregations, and we've just had our 10th child. So let's start with the Sauerkraut.

I like Sandor Katz' approach. For this batch I did some whole leaf and some chopped: Cabbage, water, salt, and some mesquite seasoning. We opened some on Christmas eve. Yum.

Mary and the baby are at the hospital in Fosston. Both are doing very well. What's next? I'm at home getting this post done, Donna is crying, but she'll go back to sleep soon. Next is beurre noisette-browned butter. Also very YUM.

Christmas Eve morning I tried to teach Matthew how to replace a bathroom faucet. This was marginally successful. ... Donna was still crying. Evidently the older kids forgot to change her diaper. She wet through. Change, check Stella. She's ok. The kids put a diaper on her. Donna is settling down now.

I changed our new baby before I came home tonight. Funny, I feel very happy about that simple act.

My parents came to our house for Christmas Eve. Jeremy is now home until school starts again in January. Despite the economic times, we had a bountiful gift-giving season. Thank you everyone.

I was able to hold, nestle and cuddle with our new baby. She was born at 8:54pm Saturday night. 7 pounds 9 ounces. Still, no name yet.

We've been rabbit hunting for the past week or so. Louisa spotted this cotton tail by Andy and Karen's. We got it. Louisa helped me skin it. Tonight I started baking it. I had marinated it in some brine from Mary's pickled carrots and baked it in the juice and fat left over from some bacon and hamburgers we had last week.

Just before supper Mary said "We need to get to the hospital."

We left the older kids in charge. I grabbed one bite of the rabbit. YUM!!!

Here's the new girl. More pictures here.

We thank God for a quick and healthy birth for Mary and for the baby.

Clara, I'm sorry we had to leave so quickly during your birthday supper. Here's your present, a sister sharing your birthday!

Now, if only we can think of a name for her...

Hmm. Donna is still crying off and on. Good night.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Who's Dat

No baby yet. Fourth Christmas program done. Nazareth canceled. Oak Park went fine. The weather cleared up

Now we'll see how the night goes.

Who are these people?

This one was code named "Uncle Zeke".

Now, who is this with frizzy hair?

Morning Service Cancelled, no baby yet...

This one is for the grandparents. Stella didn't keep her curlers in. Sophie, Clara, and Louisa will work to keep them in until just before the program. Elsie is going for the wavy look with the braids.

Nazareth canceled church this morning. Visibility is down to 1/2 mile from time to time. The wind is 15-30 mph. And we have a lot of loose snow floating around. The long narrow road to Nazareth, the one with the deep ditches and the farms right up next to the road, is impassible.

Mary kind of feels like today might be the day. She felt that way last night too. And last Thanksgiving. I'll have to call Jared to see if he'd be willing to read the sermon today at OP if necessary.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2nd Program, still storming

Second Christmas program and the weather is still pretty bad. Tonight we had Christmas catechization at St. Petri with Briley, Levi, and Whitney.

Another excellent job! The snow was worse near Oak Park. North of Goodridge it was not too bad, unless there was a farm right next to the highway.

After the Christmas services we usually have gift opening and a meal. Each congregation does this. What happens is that I write up a program with music, Scripture, and Catechism. Then each congregation adapts it to fit the number of children they have and the abilities of their children. So,--at Mt. Olive--Anna, Chantelle, and Katie had memorized about 1/2 of what I had written up for the program memorized. Chantelle and Katie are 8 years old. Anna is 7. They've only been going to Saturday School for three years now.

At St. Petri, Briley and Whitney (both in Confirmation class) along with little Levi had all of the program memorized with some additional hymns. Nazareth will have it's program in the morning (God willing the roads are open). They are doing a different program. The sunday school there is only on its second year in this generation of children. The oldest kids are 9 years old. Oak Park's program is slated for tomorrow afternoon. Sometime we hope to have a baby, too.

No baby yet, just another Storm

4 to 7 inches of fluffy snow on the ground in most places this morning.When the wind comes it will be impossible to go anywhere. But this morning we had our Christmas Catechization at Mt. Olive.

Mary's still waiting.

Mt. Olive was warm inside. The food in the entry made me hungry during the service.

Anna, Chantelle, and Katie did a wonderful job presenting the Birth of Christ according to Luke 2, and the Nature and Power of Baptism. Great job, girls. And a wonderful job singing.

Lots of people in church today for the Catechization. At Mt. Olive there are 6 pews on the South side and 5 on the North. Each pew can hold 4 to 5 adults. Trail's population is 63. We had almost 30 people in church. How many other congregations can say that half the city attended services?

Last year and the year before it was Mt. Olive that grew the most in size in our parish--if you go by percentages. This year it's Nazareth.

Well, we're in a Winter Storm Warning. St. Petri has their Christmas service scheduled for tonight. We'll see.

Oh, incidentally, I have three couples going through pre-marital counseling at this time. Please keep us all in your prayers, and thank God that the young people still value God's Word on marriage and family.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

About the Bat

Linda got it. We are now back in a Bat free zone.

'Tis the time, and the season

The kids put the tree up the first week of December. Louisa and I strung lights around the dining room and kitchen.
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Scenes from the past couple days

Louisa's Nativity set. Mary's excellent stuffed squash. A great sunrise. And the hoar frost from this morning.

Tonight there's supposed to be a blizzard.
St. Petri is cancelled.
Nazareth program postponed until next week, church weather permitting.
Oak Park hasn't contacted me yet.
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The Baby is due any time so...

I hope I learned enough with the previous births.

Statement as of 4:03 AM CST on December 13, 2008

... Blizzard Warning in effect from 6 PM this evening to 6 am CST

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks has issued a Blizzard
Warning... which is in effect from 6 PM this evening to 6 am CST
Monday. The blizzard watch is no longer in effect.

Light snow will develop today mainly over northern North Dakota
into far northwest Minnesota. Snow will become more widespread and
heavier tonight into Sunday with the snow ending Sunday night or
early Monday. Temperatures will be dangerously cold during this
event with temperatures falling to below zero in most areas
tonight and remaining below zero on Sunday. Winds will be
northeast and increase to 25 to 35 mph tonight and become
northerly at 25 to 40 mph with higher gusts on Sunday. These wind
combined with temperatures will produce wind chills in the 25 to
40 below zero range Sunday. Total snowfall from this event will be
in the 6 to 8 inch range with locally higher amounts

Visibilities overnight into Sunday night will be very poor with
near zero visibilities likely in open country and even greatly
reduced visibilities inside the cities.

The snow in combination with the cold will make it very dangerous
for travel. This storm has the potential to be life threatening
if you are caught outdoors in it. Take the proper precautions now
to prepare for this major winter storm... and delay travel plans if

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds
and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout
conditions... making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If
you must travel... have a winter survival kit with you. If you get
stranded... stay with your vehicle.

After Mary read this she told me: "Joe, I'd feel better having the baby at home than in a ditch in the middle of a blizzard trying to get to the hospital."

I'd agree.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

getting behind again

There are certain times of the year that are just not amenable to blogging. Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter are two main times. Another time is when we have a baby due sometime soon. And then there is the time when Mary checks out some really intense DVD like the BBC "Pride and Prejudice" or "24".

A lot has gone on since the last posting. Edwin O. has gone to the Hospital ICU and back home. He did not have a heart attack. Somehow the test results that placed him in the ICU were fouled up. I've done several shut-in visits three home/family visits, held Wed. School, Church (4x) and Saturday School.

I took Matt and John hunting rabbits today. We didn't get anything.

I also had a bunch of sugar water boil over and burn today. I was getting it ready to feed some yeast in one of my wine batches. Thank you, Matt, for helping me clean up.

I was feeling pretty bad about wasting the sugar and causing the smoke in the house. And tonight the kids brought me a book to read to them.

The book was Arthur Yorinks's The Flying Latke.

Michael, I imitated your Brooklyn accent when I read to the kids. I was laughing so hard I was crying when I read this book to the kids. "Buick!" "Ford!!!"

"That's My Latke!!"

Unless you are familiar with New Jersey/New York or East Coast Jewish families, you may not appreciate this book.

Watching Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" might help a bit. But you really have to know the terminology and family culture of New York and New Jersey Jewish families to get the humor of the book.

But then, there are plenty of Catholic and Lutheran families just like the one in the book.

Well, like I said, I read this to the kids in my friend Michael's accent. But I had to stop lots of times because I was laughing so hard.

It was a good stress reliever for a different kind of day. Matt had two fillings. John, Matt, and I went to Fosston for the Dentist and to get haircuts. Matt picked up some things for Christmas gifts.

Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) takes place Dec. 21-28 this year. It's enough for me that Jesus celebrated this holiday. I enjoyed the book, probably too much. Thanks: Michael, David, Mark, Chaya, Menahem, Juli, Koby, Vina, Sarah and many others for making me part of your life. Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Three Excuses

It's been a long time since i've posted. I have three excuses.

Excuse 1: It was my Birthday this weekend.
My parents and my eldest son came up for Thanksgiving. We celebrated the state's holiday and they threw a birthday party for me.

Four candles on one side. Two candles on the other.

I'm not 24.

I passed that age back in seminary.

What you cant see in these photos is that I'm wearing my Dobak pants.

Why, because "Excuse #2" my left sciatic nerve hurt.

My family gave me a special shirt that signifies that I am a certified DNR Fire Arms Safety Instructor. It's the Cabela's Classic II Right-Hand Shooting Shirt in the tan and sage colors.

The pain was really bad Saturday morning. Mom, Dad and Jeremy went to church with me at Mt. Olive. They left for their place after church. I went home and felt sorry for myself.

I called several chiropractors but none were in their offices.

Sunday was worse. Three services, and tears were coming from my eyes.

On Monday I got into the Chiropractor. Dr. Gabe asked me what was going on. He popped two spots on my back, and my pain was almost gone.

The problem: I still had 70 plus miles to drive home doing shut-in visits. I was pretty sore by the time I got home but was feeling much better in the afternoon.

Throughout the week I've been pretty good, tonight I decided that I should go in again in the morning.

Third Excuse: Mary checked out the second season of 24 from the library and we've been watching them during the evenings since Sunday--that is, during the times when I normally would write my posts. Sorry.

I keep thinking, What would Jack Bauer Do?

Well, as a TV hero he probably wont get sciatica. That's just not cool. So I'll stop whining here.