Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, 7:25 this morning...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pictures of Boston

Downtown Boston Skyline
This building was the seat of Massachussetts government and many historical events happened here, incliding the Boston Massacre on its front lawn, and the reading of the Declaration of Independence just14 days after it had been signed.  (I think this picture is actually the back side.)
Revolutionary War artifacts, in the Old State House.
A statue of Benjamin Franklin, Boston was his hometown.
The Old North Church, from whose 14 story steeple Paul Revere was signaled to tell the colonists, "the Brittish are coming!"  You know the story!
Statue of Paul Revere.  We were so unfortunate to get there after the church and other special buildings on the Freedom Trail were already closed.  Behind the statue is a courtyard lined with plaques of historical information.  If I remember right, America's first school was built in that area.(?)
The USS Constitution, the oldest ship still sea worthy.
A residential street on the north side of downtown.  There are 2-3-4 story buildings everywhere, all are very old, and they are filled with apartments, some quite large, I am guessing.  We noticed the streets are extremely clean.  No garbage blowing around these streets!  The narrow roads (not wide enough for traffic) are another indication of their age!
This is the view from our hotel window.  Not bad for an industrial area!  The oil tankers come to this area to unload into huge "bins"(??? I'm from Iowa, I don't actually know what they're called!).

Sadly, we never made it to Bunker Hill.  Our walk was long, my feet had blisters, and it was getting dark.  We were a little nervous about finding our way back to a train station and it was hard to tell by the train map what streets the stops were at from where we were.
We had a beautiful flight home this morning: NO turbulence, sunshine, it was AWESOME to get close to home and actually identify the towns and roads below us!  We couldn't see our house, as they fly directly over it.  (We knew that- we see them all the time!)  We could even see the pavement at the end of our gravel road!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Boston, Mass.

By God's divine intervention and appointment, Dallas and I are in Boston, Mass for a real estate class.  Like, what are the chances we could find people to watch 5 kids for 5 days, get the most timely flights out here, the most accommodating and least expensive hotel in the area, and then get a Christian POWERHOUSE teacher!!  As he introduced himslef this morning, it hit me just how Sovereign the Lord is in our lives!

Thursday morning we got up at 3:30 a.m. for our 6:00 flight.  Everything went so smoothly (except the turbulance all the way to Chicago!)  We arrived in Boston on time and had the afternoon to do the Freedom Walk.  (Which I HIGHLY recommend for anyone ever visiting Boston!)  The walk is free, and we bought a $7 guide book.

Yesterday we toured downtown Boston.  We saw the site of the Boston Masacre and our original "Capitol" building (The Old State House,)  Massachusseett's original state building (INCREDIBLE ARCHITECTURE!!)  Paul Revere's home and statue.  "The Old North Church" where someone hung a light in the bell tower to notify Paul Revere that the British were coming.  It is SO TALL!  It is hard to believe the architecture of that time, when they didn't have heavy equipment or seemingly the means of doint that!  We saw the USS Constitution and we could see the Bunker Hill monument, but were too tired to go there.  It is a walking tour and they said it was 2-1/2 miles but it sure seemed farther!  (I have the blisters on my feet to prove it!)  There are so many things to see and the wonderful smells of all the restaurants.  It was a BEAUTIFUL mid 60's day with sunshine, and downtown where the buildings are so close there is no wind so it was nice and warm there. 

It was so neat to look down the alleys.  The buildings are so old that the "streets" between some of the 3-4 story apartment buildings aren't wide enough for cars, so they are like really wide sidewalks.  Some are barely wide enough and are one-way.  It was weird, we'd be walking along and there would be an open door and if you looked in, you were looking at someone's kitchen!  One dould easily look out their window and watch someone else in their 2nd story kitchen!  I wasn't sure if they were really narrow 3-story houses, or if each level was an apartment, but only 2-3 feet from the street!  We are enjoying the Harbour, we can see a small inlet of it from our hotel room. 

I HATE FLYING!!!  It has been 16 years since I went to Honduras and that had been my only time.  I almost got sick between Chicago and Boston.  They gave me a Sprite and I sipped on it the last 1/2 of the trip... that saved me!  (Whew!)  Once we came out of the clouds and could see ground, we were horrified to see SNOW EVERYWHERE!!!  But when we landed the captains said it was 61* in Boston. (YEAH!)  The east coast was "dumped" on last weekend, still homes without power.

When I get home I will add pictures. (I am writing this on the hotel computer.)

Friday, October 14, 2011


The title describes how I have been feeling for the past month+.  Starting homeschooling without much organization, always feeling like I haven't had enough sleep {because I really don't}, dealing with the issues that go along with having elderly parents, starting a new home business- with all the fears, expenses & new things to learn that go along with THAT,  Hubby working extra hours, a constant backache, the repentant prodigal son who is stuck in Texas indefinitely{and very homesick, I might add!}, my 91-year-old dad {whom we thought was saved for close to 60 years} says now that the Bible is not true and he just can't believe it, and don't forget the two-year-old and her campaign to gain full control of the house- particularly her MOTHER....  I believe it all adds up to a nervous breakdown!!!

My Pastor's wife likes to share the verse, "when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2  This verse has meant a lot to me these last several weeks.  Whenever I start feeling like crawling in a hole is the only solution, I remember this verse.  It is really the only relief I have.  I go to the Rock and He refreshes me and fills me with His love.  He gives comfort and peace.  I am so thankful for my relationship with my Savior.  I don't know how an unbeliever could get through all this stress.

"Thank You, Father, for the love and strength which only YOU can give!  I am so thankful for what You have done for me on the cross, and in my life.  Help me to just lean on You all the time!"

P.S.  I do have a few pictures to share, but the computer is not accepting my memory card... *sigh* just one more thing...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Review: The True Story of Noah's Ark

I haven't done this before, but I have found a fascinating book about creation that I just had to mention!  It is required reading for our new history curriculum {Simply Charolette Mason's Genesis through Deuteronomy}.  It has fabulous, detailed art work and it even has a CD that reads the story and has sound effects!  It is written by Tom Dooley, Illustrated by Bill Looney and published by Master Books.

Front cover
The construction of the ark
The animals coming to the ark
A pull-out picture of what the inside of the ark might look like

A book every Christian home should have to teach children about creation and Noah's ark!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Good-bye, Summer, 2011

After two weeks of our 2011-2012 homeschooling year, I thought it might be time to get back for an update.  The summer seemed so fast, but it didn't seem very productive.  I was pretty lazy this summer!  Normally I do as much cleaning and getting together with friends as possible.  Not this year.  I am not sure where the summer went!  I finally went to the doctor in August to ask (AGAIN!)  "Why am I so tired?!"  After a few questions, my doctor signed me up for a sleep study.  He thinks I have sleep apnea!  He scheduled me to do a home test.  The first test was just an oxygen sensor.  I didn't think it would be too big of a deal, but it was pretty tight on my finger and woke me up with my finger throbbing.  I slept terrible so I kept it another night and did it again before I sent it back.  I thought I was done, but another company called me and sent more equipment for another night.  I had to strap a device around my chest, use a nasal candula, and a finger moniter.  THis finger monitor wasn't as tight as the first.  I slept fairly well that time and sent it back the next day.  I don't know the results yet, but Doc. said that if sleep apnea is the problem, a c-pap machine will work wonders and I should feel more rested after the first night.  Hopefully I will find out the results next week.

Next I went to a new chiropractor and had x-rays and scans done.  I was shocked to find that my spine has developed a slight curve between my rib cage and my sacrum.  No wonder my lower back hurts so much!!!  YIKES!!!  Of course this chiropractor can "correct" the problem.  We'll see.  I have been going to chiropractors for years....

My garden has kept me slightly busy, too.  I have had plenty of zucchini and am finally getting a good crop of green beans.  {We haven't had enough beans to freeze in several years, so I am pretty happy about that!}  I have started digging potatoes, but will leave the rest for Dallas & the kids.  My mom-in-law gives us corn every year from a farmer up north.  I see no need to plant it if she is going to give it to me!!  We're set for another year.

"Tom & Huck" just having a little backyard fun on a REALLY hot day!

August 22 was our big day to start school.  Despite the disorganization of the basement {where our schooling area is}  we do have a small area reserved for schooling.  I have accepted too many people's "cast-offs" that I never ended up using.  It is going to the dump!  As our basement fills with stuff, it gets harder to fight off dampness.  A lot of things are going!! I have a goal of filling the garbage can twice each week.  It is actually harder than I thought it would be.  I hate having to make a decision of what to do with stuff!  We are sort-of doing a half-week this week because Dallas will be home.  We normally plan NO SCHOOL when he has a vacation, but he planned it so close to the beginning of the school year, I didn't feel I could cancel altogether.

Here's hoping we have a lot of fun with Daddy this week, it is his last vacation week until after Christmas.  He has some single vacation days left, but this is the last full week.  We are really hoping to make it count!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Birthdays

 For Tyler's 22nd birthday, {July 25} I made him brownies... from scratch!  I  Dallas had ZERO faith in me and thought that there was NO WAY my brownies from scratch would be fit to eat.  He was wrong.  They were fantastic!  Tyler worked on his birthday. {Welcom to adulthood. ;-)}

Mary turned 5 on July 26.  The last year or so we take the party to Grandma & Grandpa Dale because they really want to see the kids on their birthdays and can't travel.  Grandma made the cake, Corah & I decorated it.
 On July 29 Mary got to have her first  friend party.  Of course, when a girl turns 5, she loves princesses!  So we had a princess party.  Above is the guests with Mary in the middle.
 This was the princess dance competition.  The girl in the middle by the piano {Eden} won!

 Party time!  A chocolate princess cake {of course}.

Princess Mary Elisabeth

For Dallas' birthday on August 2nd, I made him a big breakfast with an omlet & French toast. Banana cream pie was in place of a cake and we celebrated before  he left for work.

We have so many birthdays in a row, it is hard to do each one justice, but we try to make them special, anyway.  Sorry, guys, but the princess party was by far my favorite!  What girl {of any age} doesn't enjoy a little royal treatment once in a while?!

The Queen 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Family Camp 2011

Getting ready for camp this year was not normal.  It was the same week we lost Molly.  I was feeling very tired and depressed.  We really didn't have the money to PAY for our camp week, so we had a decision to make about whether or not we would cancel.  I kept putting it off..... long story short, the LORD provided and we went to camp.  I had 24 hours to pack 5 people for camp. (Two were already at a camp so I didn't have to pack much for them.)  Dallas got off early that day so he was able to get the mowing done and other stuff to prepare to go.  I had a "rough" list to follow otherwise, I didn't have a clue where to start!  I had been on an emotional roller coaster that morning: worried, disappointed, shocked, and joyful... my head was spinning!

Somehow we managed to be ready to leave home around noon on Saturday.  We drove seperate, picked up the kids from our friends' who had picked them up from camp, then went on from there. {With a couple of detours, but never mind...} We had an amazing week at camp!  Despite the 117 degree heat index, God blessed us SOOOOO much!  He did a wonderful work in our family and we are just so thankful that it worked out for us to go!  I was even able to sleep more at camp than I normally do at home.  Of course there wasn't as much to do at night like at home.  No dishes, no computer.....  Here are some pictures to show some of our fun:

With that heat, the pool was a must... EVERY day!
Leah's mode of transportation
 Joseph's first time on the climbing wall
Corah, way at the top!
 Peter & Leah at the carnival on the last day.
There was a "Cowboy" theme.
 Mary and her friend.
Our new, 2011 family portrait!

That last picture was taken on a permanent "building front" in the basement of the dining hall {Jensen}.  When they finished the basement, they used an old barn someone had donated, so all the walls have faded barn wood.  It looks amazing! 
Corah and friends playing games in the basement of Jensen. 
You can sort-of see in the background that they aren't totally finished with the basement.  There is a coffee shop, the snack shack, an indoor roller hockey rink which separates into three very nice, large classrooms for the little kids.  The incompleted area will be the camp store.
 Wednesday, family game night, the cowboy version of Bingo-- "Ye-Haw!"
We aren't in this picture, but its a good view of the basement of Jensen and the new snack shack.
 Family devotions
Couple devotions

We just had such a nice time, and it was so clear to us that God really wanted us there!  We are so thankful to Him for making the way clear for us to get there, then to work on us while we were there!

Coming soon..... summer birthdays.....

July, 2011

Wow, it has been a long time since I updated my life story via blog!  Part of the reason was that our internet provider wasn't doing a very good job... :-(  some of the problem was just busyness! 

Well, I guess I should start with the 4th of July.  It was a great day we spend with family!  We went to my hometown and watched the parade with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and her husband, son, and cousin, and the rest of the Clarke County population.  It was a beautiful day and a good time together.  My niece, Jenny has been in the military since 2001 so we just haven't seen much of her in the last several years.  It has been nice to have her stationed relatively close to home. (Missouri)

Next was take the kids (Corah & Joseph) to camp.  This was Joe's first year, so I was excited to take them up there, with a few friends, too.  Joe was a little overwhelmed with being trapped in a minivan with 4 girls, but survived, none-the-less.  Next year there is potential for a couple of BOYS to go, too, so maybe it won't be such "torchure". ;-)

The next day, we had a family tragedy!  Our 13-year-old dog, Molly followed Dallas & Peter on a walk to the river -about one mile- on a very hot, humid, still day.  She happily tagged along WAY behind without them knowing.  They were at the river "checking it out" for a while when Molly came over the hill, barked once, as if to day, "Ok, you're safe." and headed back home.  Don't ask me how she made it home but she collapsed in front of the garage door and never got up again.  She died during the night.  It was a terrible feeling to go to bed that night knowing that she would be "gone" in the morning.  Here is her "Obituary":

Today we said good-bye to our very dear and faithful, ever-present

After 13 years of love, devotion and service, we will sure miss her!
If we were gardening, mowing, plowing snow, playing, sledding, walking, sitting, whatever, werever, she was there.
Molly: January 1998 - July 12, 2011
I was truly amazed how hard it was to say goodbye to this dog!  It really made me sympathetic toward someone who lost a really special person.  I even was depressed for quite some time!  Sometimes I still think I hear her heavy breathing when I first walk out the back door.  She will truly be missed around here!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer: Organize, Relax, Play

I didn't post anything last week because it didn't seem like we did anything!  After the painting adventure, I went straight for organization.... in a laxadazy way. {Is that a work? I guess it is now!}  We worked on the girls' room last week, plus the usual stuff {laundry, cooking, trying to keep up}.  So far the kids are keeping their "new" rooms rather tidy!  Every morning we have a race: BOYS AGAINST GIRLS!  Most days it is very close.  They stakes are high {Hershey's Kisses} and they are doing a great job!  This week my focus was BATHROOM DRAWERS.  Each bathroom has 6 drawers.  The worst two were mine, of course.  I threw away old beauty products, gave away a few extra hairbrushes, and made some stuff that was formerly on the counter in a basket to fit in a drawer.  Now I have all the miscillaneous "littles" to deal with.  You know, parts of who-knows-what {and if I throw it away, as soon as the trash man drives away, I will figure out what it went to and wish I hadn't thrown it!}Oh, and how many pencils and pens does one need in the BATHROOM????  {Blame it on homeschooling!}  I know I should be getting more done each day, but it is my summer break, too, right?!

On Sunday, June 26 was the annual Dale Family Reunion.  I didn't honestly expect anyone to show up to "nowhere" Iowa, but we actually had a great turn-out!  All of my {living} siblings were there and several of my nieces and nephews and their kids.  There was LOADS of food and so many people I couldn't talk to everyone!  I guess that's a good thing!  My Mom started the reunion journal in 1968.  it is fun to read through the years and remember the good ol' days {and miss all those who have gone before us}.  My dad was the middle button of 11 children.  He has been the oldest for quite some time and the two youngest are still living and one other aunt by marriage.
{top} My Dad with my niece Jenny who drove up from Sedaia, MO
{second} My Dad with My nephew Nick and his new girlfriend, Teresa
{below} My niece Tina with daughter Elisabeth and boyfriend Mike
Yesterday Dallas got off work before noon, so we met  him in Des Moines and went to the Iowa Historical Building.  This is the Mammoth display, very impressive! {HUGE!!}
There was a lot on display this time which I had never seen before!  We used to go every year or so and see the same stuff, it was worth the wait!
This is just one example of the MANY taxidermy displays that are set up at theIowa Historical Building.  Each animal is given a number and each display has a list, naming each animal and sometimes even the age of the animal.  Some of these animals were stuffed in the 1920's!

The Grant Wood display at the Iowa Historical Building ;-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 12-18

Well, this week we mainly did one thing.  Paint.  This is Corah & Mary & Leah's wall before.  We had never painted in the 11 years since our home was built.  I am not much of a DIY (do-it-yourself) but I actually did most of this.  It went a lot better, however, because Dallas was on vacation so he was home to help!  Corah helped with painting the furniture.

 Grafitti: "Joseph ZADER" ;-)
This was our growth chart.  I  copied it onto a long piece of rolled paper.

Monday we moved furniture and stuffed a lot of things in the closet.  The girls slept on their mattresses in the living room for 3 nights.

We painted the walls, the bed, and a bookshelf.
the  bookshelf

TA-DA!!!  The finished product!  Isn't it cute?!  I NEVER would have picked these colors, but the girls love it!  Notice, Leah is in the bottom bunk.  {That means Mom & Dad get their own room for the first time since.... I don't know, its been a while!;-)}  Oh, and I might add that it really looks like this, too.  I didn't have to shove stuff out of the view of the camera or anything! {And if you believe that, I have some ocean front property for sale down in Arizona...}  Ha-ha!
Let's see, what else did we do this week?  Dallas & the boys fished... a lot! {While the paint was drying, of course!}  We went to the drive-in movie Friday night, "The Green Lantern" and "Kung Fu Panda 2".  The kids had their last homeschool softball game with a picnic on Saturday.
{Ain't he cute!}