Monday, November 12, 2018

Lessons learned in Ashland

These last few days have been a little more than crazy for me. I had the  opportunity to visit a family that I used to babysit for --they moved up to Ashland at the end of the summer. And, best of all, I got to babysit for them again, as the parents went on an overnight trip to a wedding. This was my first time babysitting over night. I live in Brooklyn, so Ashland is 5 hours away. Ashland is on Lake Superior. I did this 5 hour babysitting trip between 2 other babysitting bookends--9-12 on Thursday, and came home in time on Sunday for babysitting (3:30-7). Yes, I will admit, that I am a little insane. So here is a little run down of the last few days + lessons learned.

Wednesday Afternoon:
I babysat the old neighbor's of the family in Ashland. They had a baby girl born the day before (a home birth) so I got the meet her.
I left their house and went to Mrs KBL's. I explained to her how she won't see me for a few days. We flipped through new pictures that one of her sons sent her. We said a rosary (I have got to get better at the Apostle's Creed!!). Then we were looking pictures in her room and just being friends. We are the strangest pair. After about an hour of our great time together I peeled myself away since I still had to pack. Man, goodbyes are hard. (this was our third "long" break of not seeing each other.)

Thursday Morning:
I went to mass and then babysat like normal and my sister brought my youngest brother and sister. We left Madison just before 1 with a 5 hour drive ahead of us.



 I had never driven more than an hour straight before, and I really didn't know what was ahead of me. I had my spotify all loaded up with even more songs. And I did a lot of eating and listened to music the whole way there. We were really jamming out. We took 2 stops. The farther north we got the more snow we encountered. I recognized some of the towns from going Rabbit/hare hunting with my dad.  We made it to the house just after 6. There was a lot of excitement when we entered the door. we got the grand tour of the house--it was so big and beautiful. It took me a few hours to get oriented to the structure of the house. They had new things in this house that wasn't at their other house. One thing I was excited to discover was this picture because Mrs KBL has the same one on her mantle.




Friday Morning:
the older kids went to school and their parents left with the baby. While the kids were at school, my siblings and their kid #4 went out to adventure around Ashland. Our Grandpa (Dad's dad) grew up in Ashland but we had never been there before--I had never been that far North.  We went to the Lake, 2 cemeteries and drove around town for a little.



It snowed most of our trip there. The kids came home from school, and the craziness began. I was watching 6 kids (my sister-11, my brother-9, their girls- 8 and 9, their boys-4 and  6.) We busied ourselves with lots of things--dance parties, playing outside, going to Kwik Trip, a Baltimore Catechism quiz, playing games, going to the play room at the library, perlor beads & such. It was crazy. I felt a little insane.
My limits became obvious early on--like I have endurance for 9 hours of babysitting, I had a headache on Saturday and I realized that I need to find something to do when I have a headache so that I am not so out of commission when I have a headache, you don't actually get a full night of sleep when babysitting overnight....
I learned more "large family logistics". 


6 kids!


 (Friday night we did an early dinner, clean up, and a rosary; then I let them watch a movie. I snapped this picture real quick before I ran upstairs to shower.)

Friday night I was so proud of myself--After the kids went to bed I wanted to wait downstairs for about 10 minutes before going up to bed myself. I thought for a minute or so of what to do. I heard the ding that the dishwasher was done running--I love dishwashers so, I lived my most glamorous life, at 8:56 I started unloading the dishwasher for the next day.

Their parents came home just before 6 on Saturday. We all had a big, loud, joyous dinner. Then we  all went to a real, authentic Native American Pow Wow at the high school. It was really fun.Back at the house, we said our rosary and sent the kids to bed. Then, their  mom and I stayed up until 12:20 just sitting and talking. This was extremely late for me but I am so glad that she and I had that time together.
I learned so much about her/her family/her marriage, Mrs KBL (who is her godmother), the Latin mass, recent church history, the SSPX, St Therese's, and lots of other things.

Sunday Morning:
we woke up and went to mass with them at our Lady of the Lake church. It was a pretty and a not pretty church at the same time. Right after mass, we jumped back in the car for the 5 hour trip home. the pressure was on to get back home since I had to babysit at 3:30.The ride home was more snow filled than the way there. And it was just mentally harder for me than the ride up. I got the kids home at 3:08, checked on the steers and was back on the road to babysit. I babysat from 3:30-7. Everyone wanted to know about my trip but I could only stand around for so long--I hadn't seen Mrs KBL in 4 days!!

Sunday Night:
I got to Mrs KBL's at 7:45 and she was SO excited to see me. It was amazing! I told her all about everything that happened and I heard all the new goings on at her apartment. (her caregiver has gone from a Walmart lover to a St Vinnys lover) It was a joy filled time.

Its 10:30am on Monday and I am still exhausted from all of that. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

It's November:: podcasts, steers & the liturgical year.

How is it November already?!

This week I discovered the SSPX podcast. It's just called "SSPX Podcast". It isn't obnoxiously SSPX although some episodes are more society minded and you'd need some knowledge on this to actually get something out of the episode. So far I have learned about the eastern church, epilepsy and impediments to the priesthood and I listened to some society specific episodes for fun. I like the "Ask Father" episodes. The usual priest from Australia is so smart! I like the voices of the moderator and the Australian priest. Some of the older episodes which are sermons from other priests I don't love (especially the voices).  The podcasts are about a half hour long each and I have been learning a lot from them. I am listening to the latest one right now.
I have also started listening to "The Punch Bowl" podcast. It's my cousin's cousin, so basically my cousin in our world. She reviews wedding registries. It's hilarious!!!
I used to (like last year) listen to podcasts all the time--the Fountain of Carrots one and Among the Lilies, and a few others (like homeschool ones). But I got super bored of Fountain of Carrots. And I kind of gave up on podcasts all together. Plus, there was no real good way of organizing them. BUT, now that I have an iPhone I am now using apple podcasts and I am enjoying using this app to organize my podcasts. Life is good, when you're organized.
For music, I'm still using Spotify and YouTube like I always have. I added more songs to Spotify. I've been listening to Louis Prima again as well as the Beatles and other fun songs.

We have the Badger Classic Kickoff Steer & Heifer prospect show coming up. I've got to get a little bit more serious about practicing with the steers and pick which one I want to show. I realize that in other years I would have picked my steer a little faster than I am, but it is a little tricky when both of your steers are completely black and don't have anything big to set them apart from  each other. I also still haven't memorized their ear tags.
The steers are still doing amazing and they are fabulous eaters and easy to halter.

I've been reading a bunch of liturgical living books. I finished flipping through Catholic Mosaic and Monday's with Mary and they are both keepers. I am currently on The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland. It's okay.
Our family has been going to the cemetery to say prayers the last few days like we always do. Last night we saw a family there that I know but they didn't recognize so that was kind of funny.
Today, at low mass, Fr mentioned that it is customary in the extraordinary form to say the All Souls Day mass for three days after it (or something like that). So it was kind of fun to have another Requiem mass. Plus, I was wondering why there were three masses listed for All Souls Day.
For All Souls Day I went to this mass. Here is my picture from the day.  It was a super lovely mass! So many priests! I loved all the black color--vestments, altar cloths and candle sticks. And I like this thing that was there. I think it's super cool.
On All Souls Day itself I went to the cemetery three times (2 different cemeteries).
I am working on getting my advent plans together-I am trying to make a little booklet for that. And I am gathering things for Advent. I can't believe its already November and this year is almost over! (And, now I'm almost 21!)

Nov 2017-Nov 2018

I was recently inspired by this post to write a little reflection on the last year. Like Emma, I too have experienced a wide range of changes and I thought it would be fun to highlight some. Many of these were "surprises" like who would have expected this? but mostly the end of age 19 and age 20 has been great for me! I have learned, among MANY other things, that God's plans are ALWAYS better than mine. I say things like "I never knew...." or "who would have thought....?" a lot.  I have learned a lot this year and have had many new experiences.
In no particular order....

Some time last fall, I watched My Cousin Vinny for the first time. That was life changing. I am not sure why I did not think of watching that any sooner? This has now become my all time favorite movie ever. I also discovered Seinfeld to be actually funny, and my favorite is "Is Any One here a Marine Biologist?". my comedy side has really come out strong in the last year!

We went to Italy!! I do need to write more about Italy here but there is some written under this label. Italy was great! (I met someone recently who told me that she didn't like Italy/being in Italy. I do not understand how this is possible. How can you not like Italy?)

I finished my third year of raising steers and have started my fourth year. Last year we had a Simmental and this year we are back to Gelbviehs. Last year I showed a beef heifer for the first time. This was our first year in 3, maybe 4 years, of raising pigs where we didn't have any deaths. So our year with pigs was a complete success. Through our kittens, and our vet, I discovered the cuterebra parasite and I had the delight (at the time, misfortune) of pulling one out of a kitten myself. Go me!

I have really discovered the Latin Mass this year through books, daily low mass, my missal, the SSPX, Fr. Peter Lee's first mass.... Ever since my early/mid teens I have wanted to "get more into" the Latin Mass especially with more exposure and this year I think I have really done it! On the same note, my attitude towards the SSPX has made a full turn around and has really grown.
And, in the spring/summer I did my "quest for recent church history" through priests, books and talking to other people.

Jerry Coniker died. I really truly thought that I would be able to spend more time with him  before he died. My Grandpa Bruno turned 80! To my mom's chagrin I am turning more and more into her dad. I usually go to bed at 8:30pm now. I went to Door County for the first time as well as the shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Very nice places each, I'll be back. My art knowledge/interest has blossomed. This Devotion  has blossomed in my life. Liturgical Living continues to make a climb in my life. I bought my first 2 cars this year. My book collection has exploded. I've been using Spotify. I bought my first iPhone and I love it. I have met many different people and become involved in many different families. I kind of feel like I know everyone now. I still dream of India and adopting Indian Children. I still babysit. a lot. I still read. a lot. I still write. a lot. I discovered Catholic Schoolhouse, and the importance of memory work.  I still love Charlotte Mason and Maria Montessori.

I started "more official" teaching in the Spring for some weeks and in the Fall for some weeks. Good times!

I met this lovely Mrs KBL on 2/25/18. I have written about her some already. I have entered a whole new world with her that I never knew I would, but I am so glad that I have. This world includes constant in-home caregivers, Hoyer lifts, catheters, so much confusion,  MS, dementia and just a whole mess of things. These would be the "negative" things. But knowing her, has also included learning many great lessons (as well as practical lessons I didn't think I'd learn like steering a power wheelchair, putting  a jacket on her & such)  , Fiji, (who would have thought?) constant adventures, and lots of fun moments to savor. So many great experiences! I can't really explain it. I'm living the life, that's for sure! Life is good. (This was an unplanned relationship that has now become the best thing in my life)

There is still so much to reflect on.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Liturgical Living:: All Saints Day Complete & All Souls Day Plans

All Saints Day:
Today was a pretty ordinary day with feeding steers, organizing, homework and babysitting.
A few days ago I wrote out an "All Saints" list in my notebook.
I know that last year I did some "pump up" writing/reflections on the day but it is 10:30 pm now and I haven't done any writing like that yet today so It probably won't happen....
I went to 7am Low Mass, this was my first All Saints Day Latin Mass in my life so that was exciting. I took some notes before Mass and during the sermon of course. It was early in the morning and there is only so much writing you can do while half awake.
I did a bunch of liturgical year organizing and sorting around so I have some "improved" displays out.
I've been listening to Don William's "Come Early Morning" on repeat all day. Although I don't think this song is really about heaven or anything like that...I've been especially reflecting on the words, "Come Early Morning, I'll be home and satisfied". This song has really been the highlight of my liturgical living today for some reason. Really the whole song is great. Maybe I will take the time to write some reflections on this song....
I read several chapters from With the Church Volume II by Mother Mary Loyola--there were a bunch of chapters for today. I took notes but nothing grand.
Later on, I'll be sure to do my usual nightly litany of the saints. 
I did want to go gaze upon some relics and bless myself with them but that didn't happen....maybe tomorrow I will do that. (I don't own any relics in reliquaries myself but I do have a rosary that was touched to Jerry Coniker after he died and a book that he gave me....)

All Souls Day:
On Deck for tomorrow-
-Reading from With the Church volume II
-making a list of all the souls in purgatory who I regularly pray for (almost every time I go to mass) & remember them all
-a trip to/through the cemetery in town. We probably won't get out of the car while there. but the idea is that we will whip through there on our way to Mass. Maybe I'll hit the cemetery where our last baby is buried on my own....
-High Mass at Night
-some writing
-reading my new liturgical living books 

Liturgical Year Shelf Improvements


I recently got a $200 Amazon gift card and was sure to spend it all at once. My purchases have been arriving. I got 2 white veils-an infinity one and a "regular" one. I think I'll keep the infinity one but not the regular because I don't love the color and It has a rounded edge (not a triangle edge). I've been wanting to arrange my Liturgical year "reference" books and my religious art books (although not all of them) in the same place, but not on my desk as my desk is getting to cluttered. Of the books shown I already had: Art through Faith, Signs and Symbols in Christian Art, Saints A Year in Faith and Art, my Missal (Angelus Press), To Whom Shall We Go?, the red booklet missal,  With the Church Volume 2, The Catholic All Year Compendium, the Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices and A Year with God. My new books are: Monday's With Mary, Catholic Mosaic and the Year & our Children. I haven't started to look at these books very much yet but I expect to this weekend. The pile in the front is what is in my little bag for mass but I am washing that bag now so everything is sitting there--Jesus Make Me Worthy, Rosaries, veils, a rosary card, Pieta book, The Sacred Heart and Mine in Holy Communion & St Raphael booklet. In the white binder are: liturgical calendar printouts (I have 5 or 6 in there + my tan books calendar on top of my cube shelf), mysteries of the rosary card, rosary art prints (new), various litanies and printed prayers (my favorites are always in there and some rotate with the liturgical year), some religious art, pages about my favorite nun and the Conikers, and a page of Mother Teresa. I used to use a clipboard on my desk as a place to display rotating religious art but now I have been using the cover of this binder and keep all of the extras in the back. My missal, little black bag and binder usually live on my desk so I don't know how long they will stay there since they don't really need shelf space and I use them so much. But it might be nice to have a place to store them.
Next to my cube shelf I have a bin/basket with past liturgical calendars, Lenten books, With the Church Volume 1, my Holy cards, other litanies and printables, more religious art books,my box of colored pencils, catholic coloring books, coloring pages, other religious goods (mostly things from my Grandma that I don't want to get rid of but don't want out). I also have a Latin Mass Children's Missal (new), a new book for Christmas and my next tan books calendar. These are "future" things. The Latin Mass Children's Missal I will start in Advent, the Christmas books is for Christmas, and the Calendar is for next year (although there is some overlap with this year). Also, for next year I think I will still printout several liturgical calendars that I find online when they become available.
On top of my cube shelf I have some new medals out on display that I bought a few weeks ago, some holy cards are out, a stack of books/magazines for reading with Mrs KBL-I want all of those option in one place, and I moved this stack of prayerbooks from my desk to their (I took my light up picture out to make room): Mother Love prayerbook, Sacred Heart Book, Rural Life Prayerbook, Christian Prayer and my book from/by Jerry Coniker. To be completely honest I hardly ever use these prayerbooks anymore (I used to with great frequently) but I don't want them sitting in a box or under my desk.
My cube shelf is a 2X2 shelf. The bottom two shelves contain all of my written in notebooks labeled by date (I fill a notebook about every 10 days so these two shelves are about to overflow) and the top right contains my courtship books, dating books, NFP books, spiritual motherhood for priests/seminarians booklets, Theology of the body books, "womanhood" books, the love languages, "self help" and advice books, temperaments books and such. It's it not the neatest shelf, but I want all of those books in one place. This cube shelf is basically an extension of my desk.
The rest  of my books--saints books, art books, agriculture books, nature books, catechism books, Charlotte Mason books and the rest of the homeschool curriculum live under my desk. It's not a particularly organized sight.
I still have some more new things coming in the mail this week and the next. With $200, I was able to get quite a bit.

Happy All Saints Day!

Monday, October 22, 2018

10/22/18 Daybook

Amidst lots of babysitting, teaching (2nd & 3rd grade), my own family life, and spending time with/taking of Mrs KBL (all things I LOVE doing & am very grateful for), here is a bigger picture update of sorts...

Thinking about--- With another birthday in the family today I am wondering how is it possible that 3 of us kids are adults?!?! When we reached the 5 teenages milestone, that felt like a midlife crisis or something. But, this...I don't really know what it feels like. Sometimes its hard to imagine siblings getting older....
Recently our family was invited over for dinner at our brother's wrestling coach's house. We were all there. And to be honest, besides Sunday dinners, I don't remember the last meal we were all at together, or the last thing we all rode in the van together to.
Times have changed from our youth!

Listening to lately--- I'm still loving Spotify and I'm still LOVING my brother's beats. I added a bunch of classics to my playlist this weekend such as, "It's Tricky",  "Take Me back to Tulsa, I'm too young to marry", "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" and "Jump Around". Still enjoying all of my old favorites as well! My YouTube playlist continues to get lots of use during the school day.

Currently Reading--- The Catholic All Year Compendium! It's really good! (I bought it at the Holy Family Bookstore in Kenosha Wi. I also bought a handful of medals and Holy cards). Last week, read "Off the Hook" by Tim O'Malley. He recently spoke at UW Madison's "Newman Center" so I bought his book there. I found the beginning to be a little vulgar, but the middle was really good. I picked up some inspiring and thought provoking quotes on love (in the general sense) so I am glad that I read it. I am also reading How Now Shall We Live? I am about 60 pages in. I am not sure if I will finish this one. Next, I hope to read "Loss and Gain".

Excited about--- I put in a request to the Tridentine Mass Society of Madison (diocesan Latin masses) for a Mass to be said on the night of 11/28 (the feast of St Catherine Laboure). (this is the saint who Mrs KBL is named after/her patron Saint. I was thinking and thinking of how we can celebrate this day with her. Innovative me came up with a spectacular idea!)  My wish has been granted! (This is so crazy exciting!! This is going to be such a treat!) A Low Mass will be said at 6:30pm on that night (I can see it now--her and I sitting in the very front on the left). I couldn't be happier! I am extremely excited for this event on so many levels! It's going to be AMAZING!
My car is still working out very well!
Having steers again! These are the most gentle, calmest steers ever. And they LOVE grain! They are so eager!! I've got HIGH HOPES for these two to hit 1500lbs!! but, really, I'm happily back to feeding steers. We got hay yesterday, so that is also exciting.

I am wearing--- I went to 7AM low mass today, so this is the outfit I picked out last night: black shirt and long black skirt--nothing extravagant in this department. Also, I am wearing a miraculous medal.

Clipboard picture on my desk: Still savoring my "Sophie's squash" inspired image. 

The Liturgical Year--- I printed off some more calendars (I have 5 liturgical calendars now). As I have already stated, I am excited for the feast of St Catherine Laboure. I am also looking forward to the upcoming feast of St Raphael. I am still super impressed with the Restored Traditions art prints. I really want to make some purchases from this website, but to be completely honest, I don't fully "get" how this website works...
Today, on the new calendar, it is the feast of Pope John Paul II. Last year on this day we had a family funeral in Kenosha and I did some nice copywork on the way down. Today I don't have anything special planned for this feast but may come up with something of some sort before the day ends. We'll see what happens between now and then.

Charlotte Mason---I've had a renewed eagerness for memory work. I am still keeping with copywork/commonplacing, lots of reading and lots of notetaking.

Today I went to 7am Low Mass, have been working on school, made a quick trek to Mrs KBL's, and am now back to doing school work. It's a rare day that I am not babysitting or teaching, so for excitement I am trying arm & hammer deodorant again. In about an hour it will be time to feed steers and on deck for tonight: a trip to Mrs KBL's (I hope it will be better than earlier today!) Life is good!


Friday, October 19, 2018

Year 4 Steers!


Yesterday, I rushed home from teaching and visiting, just in time for our two new steers to arrive. (I didn't exactly make it on time as the truck/trailer was already backed down the driveway).

They're here and they're plenty big! (625lbs and 700lbs) They are both percentage Gelbvieh. (and I think percentage Angus as well).  It feels pretty good to be ripping open grain bags and using my red bucket again. :)
We have this little pen that we built for the first steers we had 2 years ago. This pen was basically destroyed by those steers with their big escape. Since then  we have used the pasture, but I thought we should try this pen again. 
Mostly, I'm hoping for no escapes this year. 




This guy has to get better at taking pictures with me. ;)

We haven't named them yet and I still need to memorize their ear tags to remember which is which.

This is now my 4th year raising beef steers, so we'll see what these guys will teach me. :) Wish me luck!