Yesterday afternoon a friend of the family came by for a visit. She’s the head librarian of one of the high schools in the area. She’s also brilliant, interesting and highly creative. She had some things she wanted to share with the kids. The topic of the day’s study?


The history of salt in Michigan.

Yes, I said salt.

All I can say is – here is truly a kindred spirit. Barb may work for the public school system but she is obviously a homeschooler at heart. Who else would come over with books, websites, three different samples and a passion for such an obscure subject matter?

salt samples

Salt anyone?

Rachel and Daniel were attentive students of our impromptu salt study. David and Sarah joined us for the salt sampling. We looked at maps of Michigan, traced the Niagara escarpment, and talked about salt mining in Michigan. Fascinating.

barb and the kids

Rachel and Daniel pose with all of their salt study materials.

Later the conversation moved to parenting, family and the book of Job, among other things. The children had long since abandoned us. I guess salt is more interesting than listening to grownups reminsce even if it is accompanied by amusing tales and wise advice. I couldn’t help but reflect on the richness of spending time with friends who have been in your life for years and years.

Memories, stories, laughter and tears all wrapped up in the history of a friendship.

And in the end, of course, there’s always salt. As the scriptures say,

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

Project 365 – Day 281

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Random Wedding Pictures & Computer Fussing

Okay, why is it that all the computers in the house work fine with the new wireless connectivity except mine??? Are there mischievous blogging imps sneaking around, trying to keep me off line? All I want to do is blog away happily. Is that asking too much? Well, I would like to be able to get my e-mail, write a few back here and there, read all the blogs I’ve been missing over the vacation and comment excessively. My requests are simple. Really.

the family gathers

We’re going to the chapel for a wedding! The cousins and I pose with Aunt Stephanie and Aunt Kate.

I have to be careful, though. If I’m very vocal about my complaints, my mother will hand me a piece of paper and tell me to try to remember those ancient days before they had things like google and the internet and blogging. Gasp. I suppose they also developed film and mailed the doubles away to friends and family. I hope there aren’t any children reading this. The shock might be too great for them.

mamie and the girls

Mom sits in a pew with Rachel and Sarah, looking oh so coordinated and lovely.

In the midst of my hardships, I’m hobbling along as best I can. It’s important to keep the readers happy and I’m willing to do what it takes. Right now it takes some creativity, a USB memory key and access to another computer.

chase and uncle dan

Cousin Chase and Uncle Dan flash big grins for the camera.

I’m here for you all. Don’t despair. I won’t even mention the tragedy that happened tonight when Dad and I took the children to a fantastic park nearby and I, horror of all horrors, forgot my camera. Sigh. It didn’t help that my father kept saying, “Boy, this would be a perfect blog picture,” as the kids ran up and down the grassy knolls, oohed and ahhed over baby ducks and took turns on the zip line.

rachel and emily

Rachel gets a hug from her new aunt, the gorgeous bride herself.

We won’t even talk about it. I’ll stick to stunning wedding pictures, since wedding is a really special day and that’s why people look for the best mens wedding ring collection for using in this special day. Much more satisfying than any old baby ducks. Sniff. Thankfully, most people will skim over my fussing, not really bothering to read the blog itself, and just enjoy the happy family shots.

jenn and sarah

Sarah and Aunt Jenn pose for one last picture before the day ends.

Until next time. May you be surrounded by friends and family who love you and computers that blog along speedily.

Project 365 – Day 174

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Heading off for a wedding…

So many pictures, so little time to blog. These posts will be frightfully out of order, I’m afraid. Ah, we do the best we can.

Thursday we drove to Lake Michigan, picking up the groom on the way.

phil's pensive look

What is Phil thinking? Deep groom-like thoughts?

It was an unexpected gift to have some uninterrupted time with Philip. Okay, there were 5 children in the van so it was hardly a quiet drive. We managed to get a smile out of Phil.

phil smiles

Just mention Emily and Phil lights up.

That evening Aunt Kate (my mom’s twin sister), Uncle Jerry (Kate’s dh), and Aunt Stephanie (my mom’s older sister) all flew in. We also met up with my brother Thom and Doug, a good friend of the family. We all went out to dinner. “Thank you, Aunt Stephanie, for a delicious meal!!!”

phil and doug

Phil and Doug

The next day we played in the sand and enjoyed our new digs. It’s certainly different being the family of the groom (ie sit around and relax all day, show up at the appointed time) versus the bride (decorate the reception hall, teach breathing techniques to the bride and bridesmaids, tie up little bundles of sweets for the reception tables, panic over last minute details, etc). I certainly don’t remember any time to relax on the weekend of my wedding. Maybe that’s just because I was the bride. I’m sure my brothers weren’t fretting and stressing during that time. Now that I think about it, they were probably sitting around relaxing and waiting until it was time to show up for the wedding. Hmmm.

Far be it for me to imply that the activities surrounding the wedding are boring but look at these little guys.

david restschase sleeps

I think the playing and relaxing at the beach wore David and Chaseton out.

The rehearsal dinner was delicious. We filled up three long tables with family and friends. I met Emily’s mother and aunt. She has a lovely family. The kids are so excited to have a new aunt. They adore Jenn (Thom’s wife) and figure Emily will surely be as wonderful.

the girls

The girls – Kathy, Emily, Rachel, Tahlia, Sarah and Aydia – pose for a picture.

Phil was a gracious host and went around, speaking to all of the well-wishers. We, of course, snagged him for a picture.

Phil is loved up!

Chase grabs Phil for a hug while Mom and Dan smile pretty.

More details to follow. It has been a lovely, lovely vacation and the wedding was perfect!

Project 365 – Days 172 & 173

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Beach Babes

Sarah and Aydia (my brother Dan’s youngest) have become as thick as thieves, kindred spirits, bosom buddies, best friends forever, and most definitely Beach Babes.

heading for the waves

Heading into the water.

Yesterday the wind blew across the lake and produced some nice waves for our swimmers. Sarah and Aydia discovered the thrill of jumping into the waves. They played and played and laughed hysterically in the “big waves.” I think they went almost 3 feet into the lake, holding hands the entire time.


Sarah and Aydia hit the waves.

Aydia, probably one of the most expressive 4 year olds I’ve ever met, told me:

“Aunt Kathy, today was the funnest day ever! Me and Sarah played in the waves and screamed and screamed.”

going again

“Come on, let’s do it again!”

Ah, to be four and enjoy the “funnest day ever.” Sounds good to me.

Project 365 – Day 176

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Vacationing Away

We’re having a wonderful, wonderful time. I think I’ve taken something like 700 pictures since we arrived in Michigan. Not to fear, gentle reader, I won’t be posting them all. :)

Although it’s tempting.

We’re staying in an incredible log cabin on Lake Michigan. The owners are friends of my parents and graciously kept this week free for our family’s vacation. Wow!! It’s gorgeous! There are about 40 steps down to the lake. The beach is perfect – sandy and warm with nary a person (or even boat) in sight. I’m still a bit in shock that we are situated in such a gorgeous spot for our vacation.

beach time

The kids have found a large rock down a little bit into the water. It has provided hours of “King of the Rock” fun.

A Huge, Sloppy, Thank You to the D’s for opening their home to us this week!!!!!!!

The only downside to this little piece of paradise is the utter lack of connectivity. No e-mail, no dial-up, no cell phone coverage, no high speed internet. I’m dying here. I knew blogging was an addiction but I didn’t realize how ugly withdrawal would look.

There’s the twitch of my mouse finger, rooting around for something to click.
The glazed look in my eyes as I stare at the screen that isn’t there.
Sentences that go half written in my mind but are never blogged.
Waking up in the night mumbling something about “unmoderated comments.”

It isn’t pretty.

Thankfully we got word that the library in town has wireless internet that you can access outside the building. This evening we drove down, grabbed some fried chicken at the local market and did some computer work.

Ahhh, it’s glorious.

Unfortunately I have 8 children here (my own five and my brother Dan’s three) who have a limited amount of patience for computing time (no matter how happy I look and the cookies that I hand out).

kayak time

Our hosts have two kayaks that are available for our use. The big kids have all tried it.

I’m trying to get an access number so I can connect via dial-up at the house.

Glad to be blogging again. Recharged!

Project 365 – Day 173

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