I did such a crafty thing! And trust me, this is unusual. I'm just not one of those creative, artsy, crafty moms.
But, this time, I was! I had picked some lavender from my herb garden earlier this summer, and hung it up to dry in my kitchen.
Now, by my standards, just that alone qualifies as something incredibly cool. I've grown lavender for years and just never got around to actually, you know, picking it and using it or anything.
But this year I did. And then last week, I went to WalMart (go ahead and tell me I'm bad, but I actually like WalMart, because they always have whatever I need, and cheap. If that makes me bad, well, I'm sorry... but I'm still going to shop there unless the Pope tells me it's against faith or morals to do so.)
Anyway, I went to WalMart and bought some pink netting, and some pale violet ribbon, and came home and made these cute little sachets for my three daughters to put in their dresser drawers.
I wish I'd picked more lavendar. Maybe next year.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I did such a crafty thing! And trust me, this is unusual. I'm just not one of those creative, artsy, crafty moms.
That's what doctors and nurses are.
My dad was, by all rights, a dead man walking. He had blockages of 100%, 95%, and 90%. He had atrial fibrillation which put him at great risk for a stroke. He had a very weak, slow heart rate. Really, it was amazing that he was alive, much less going to the grocery store, blowing leaves off the lawn, and volunteering at St. Joseph's Hospital across town from where they live -- all of which he'd done in the previous few days.
If he hadn't gone in last week with the mild chest pain he was having, he very well might have had a massive heart attack or stroke and died. But, he's alive and getting better today because of the cardiologists and heart rhythm doctors and cardio surgeons and the nurses and therapists and respiratory technicians and lab techs and all the rest of St. Francis Hospital.
They cheated Death out of his next victim, and we are all very grateful.
My dad is doing pretty well. Every day he has fewer lines and IV's and things attached to him, which is how I measure progress. I could tell today that he was a little bit stronger and looked a bit healthier than even just yesterday. So that's good.
He does have a little bit of ICU syndrome: seeing things that aren't there and sometimes being a little loopy. My favorite was when he asked, "Say, what's with those chickens and roosters dancing across the wall over there?" Whoa, dude, that's quite a hallucination!
Anyway, I explained to him about his eyes playing tricks on him due to the surgery and the meds, and he was OK with that. So the next time, he said, "Well, this may be my eyes playing tricks on me, but what's with that big black animal up on the top shelf over there?" "Well, Dad, let's hope that's your eyes playing tricks on you!"
Of course, it's not really his eyes playing tricks on him; it's his brain playing tricks on him. What an incredibly amazing and complicated thing the brain is. A little extra pressure from the heart-lung bypass machine during surgery, and the nerves in the brain start doing all kinds of wacky things. They call it "pump brain".
After spending so much time in the ICU, and seeing all the miraculous things they can do for really sick people, I started thinking, gee, maybe I would have enjoyed a career in medicine.
HA! Who am I kidding? I would alternately freak out and then be grossed out. I could never, never handle it.
But thank God that there are so many wonderful people who can handle it.
Monday, October 29, 2007
My dad's mother was 100% Irish: Regina Ennis. Her husband was 100% German: Julius Mueller.
When they married, both sides were scandalized. A mixed marriage! German! Irish! Horrors!
They got over it. My grandparents had a good life together, and had three sons. All of their sons, of course, were half Irish and half German.
Then my dad married my mom, who is almost 100% German, though she claims a few ancestors from the Alsace-Lorraine region, which would add a little French blood into the mix.
So here I am, 25% Irish and 75% German.
What does that mean, that particular blend of nationalities? It means that I'm just Irish enough to enjoy a good cry, even to the point of going on a crying bender and getting completely sentimental and sappy over just about anything -- but German enough to feel utterly disgusted by it afterwards.
All of this is by way of explaining the weird thing that happened with this blog, which I know some of you noticed. I wrote that post on Friday about my dad in an Irish mood. A few minutes later, my German self emerged to say, "Ach! Such sentimental sop! For shame!" And I deleted the post.
Too late! Google, faster than light, nosier than a spying neighbor, and able to blab the news to the entire world in the blink of a pixel, had already grabbed that post and put it out onto the feeds.
This is why some of you were puzzled to see the post on your RSS feed or Google reader or whatever, but then when you clicked through to the blog, it wasn't there.
So I gave up and put it back out there on the blog.
But whatever you do, if you know me and my folks, please do not read that to my parents. They both are pretty darn German, you know.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Dad came through the surgery with flying colors, according to the doc and the nurses.
He still is on the ventilator but doing all the breathing on his own; they are just waiting to make sure all the indicators are "go" for taking the tube out.
Today was more peaceful than I'd guessed it would be (probably because of all the prayers being sent up by everyone we know). We were concerned, but not overly anxious, and fortunately everything went very smoothly.
So we'll take it a day at a time.
And thank you to everyone who prayed for my dad!
Friday, October 26, 2007
My dad is in intensive care.
He went to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon with some mild chest pain. Yesterday they did a heart catheterization... and almost lost him. His blood was so thinned from anti-clot medication that he need two transfusions and emergency surgery to close up the artery.
When I visited him yesterday after he came out of surgery, he wasn't doing too well, but gradually started to seem more like himself.
So much so, in fact, that when a nurse came in to do a procedure that makes my husband squirm just to think about it, so I won't even mention it here except to say that it has to do with not being able to get up to go to the bathroom to pee, my dad started cracking jokes with her. I'm not kidding. He launched into what we in the family refer to as "The Chocolate Chip Cookies" joke, as opposed to one of his other favorites which is the "Don't Mess With Aunt Sue When She's Been Drinking" joke.
Yep, that's my dad! And that's when I knew he was feeling pretty darn good.
But even if he was feeling pretty good, it turns out his heart isn't in such great shape. First they thought it was just atrial fibrillation, but the cath showed major blockage. So, tomorrow he goes in for the gold standard in heart surgery: A triple or quadruple bypass.
Today we talked with the doctors, anesthesiologist, nurse clinician, and other nurses. Today we spent time with Dad, and laughed and talked and reminisced. Today I took my kids down to see him, and his eyes lit up and he proudly introduced his grandchildren (four of the nine) to the nurse.
Today I remembered how many times I've told my Dad I love him, and that he's been a wonderful dad to me. Today I remembered how he taught me to be responsible, and charitable, and generous to the Church and the poor, and to work hard, and be faithful to your vows and your commitments, and to volunteer, and to always be there for your family. So I knew that today, I didn't have to try to tell him all those things, because I did. He knows.
Tomorrow my mom and brothers and I will wait in the limbo otherwise known as the Surgery Waiting Room. We'll go to the chapel and pray a rosary. We'll get coffee and breakfast and talk. We'll try not to imagine the worst. We'll wait and hope that the doctor will eventually come out and say "all went well".
I remember a few years ago: we were all together, walking away from a restaurant, I believe, and I saw my parents walking together a few yards ahead of me. I realized with a shock how small they were getting; my dad bent over a bit, leaning on his cane, my mom always so tiny but now even tinier. They seemed to be just shrinking, I thought, until one day they would simply disappear...
But, to paraphrase Scarlett O'Hara, I can't think about that now. So, tonight I'll try to keep the laundry going here, make some meals and run some small errands, tuck the kids into bed, and get some sleep.
Then tomorrow I'll get up before dawn and go to the hospital, kiss my dad and tell him I love him one more time ... and then hope and pray that I will be able to tell him that again before the week is over.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
....but with the leaves off the birch tree, we discover a huge paper wasp nest!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
A trip to the Swart Pumpkin Farm this afternoon was quite successful.
We all hiked to the garden in the far corner of the backyard -- a grueling trip of 30, maybe 40 paces (the little ones and I pretended to be on a jouncy, bouncy hay wagon, much to the chagrin of my teens and their friends who happened to be over) -- and picked not one, not two, not three... but FIVE beautiful pumpkins!
This was our best pumpkin harvest ever. But, I thought, too bad that we didn't have six -- one for each person in the family.
Then, later in the afternoon, I went alone to the garden to do some fall cleanup work, and what did I find but another pumpkin! It had been hiding in the hedge around the garden perimeter.
Let the carving begin!
I still have two kids who are shorter than I am.
I can still kiss the tops of their heads.
My oldest teenage daughter couldn't wait till my second-oldest teen daughter got home the other day -- so they could talk.
My youngest daughter can cheer any of us up in a heartbeat with her silliness.
My older two tell me all about what's going on in their lives. Well, as far as I know, anyway.
My younger two still have lives that I know I know everything about.
My husband and I can go out to dinner and know that the kids will have a wonderful time together while we're gone.
My husband and I can go out to dinner and have a wonderful time together.
We all still go to sleep and wake up in the same house.
We all woke up this morning.
What more could I possibly ask for?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Now I look forward to reading Mrs. Brown's adaptation of some Father Brown stories to my younger kids. It's being printed now and is available for pre-orders, which Nancy will even autograph if you like.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
We've been studying geography and maps lately.
In the process, we learned the latitude and longitude of our own city, discovering that it lies at approximately 42N and 88W -- which we realized is very close to the halfway point from Equator to North Pole, and between East and West in longtitude. How cool is that!? (OK, no big deal, except when you're studying geography.)
Then, of course, we had to find out which city in Wisconsin was right smack dab in the center, at 45N and 90W. And now we know: it's Poniatowski, "named for the last king of Poland in the late 1700's" according to the town's own website.
Here's the home page for the very cool and quirky site that I found via the Google search linked above: The Degree Confluence Project. Their goal is to have people visit every single confluence point (the intersection of latitude and longitude) all around the world. They've made exceptions for the poles and some parts of the oceans, but there are still over 11,000 points that can be visited.
Unfortunately, all of Wisconsin's 19 points of confluence have already been visited. Too bad, because the kids and I could have spent just about
seven oops, about 12 minutes driving to the confluence of 43N and 88W to document it. We've probably driven past it dozens of times without realizing its significance!
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. G. K. Chesterton
Monday, October 15, 2007
My friend Ana... by the way, color me green with envy because she lives in South Dakota, a state that I am inordinately fond of considering I've only been there twice... but it's so beautiful .... the endless vistas, the rolling hills, the roads straight as a plumb line from east to west, the sky that goes on forever... the enormous, empty loneliness and yet the sense of being intimately connected to past, present, and future... the other-worldly Badlands and the gloriously green and pine-scented Black Hills... the history, the cowboys, the Lakota... the great and terrible battles fought... the dust storms and blizzards, testing body and soul...
.... where was I again?
Oh yes! Ana! Anyway, she had a post yesterday about unusual deliveries from UPS, which makes me want to play "Can You Top This?"
Here's my entry for weird UPS delivery:
1) A package containing a flatworm, crayfish, a frog, and a fish
2) Another containing a cow eye, cow heart, and fetal pig
3) A third package containing... you have to know by now ... dissection tools.
My delivery was far more disgusting than Ana's. All in all, I'd rather have gotten Ana's. I'd really hoped to get through all my years as a homeschool mom without ever having to turn my kitchen into a gross anatomy lab -- and I do mean gross. But with a daughter who absolutely loves science, and is taking Advanced Biology this year, I had no choice.
So what's YOUR most unusual UPS delivery?
Saturday, October 13, 2007
He won the "Britain's Got Talent" show. (Yes, I know it took me awhile to find this out; I think it happened last June). I had a few minutes today between soccer games, so I played the clip below again, and then followed the links to related clips. He won! I'm so glad for him.
This is so funny. I just got done with my critique of HP 7 in the previous post, picked up the book again, started reading... and was proven WRONG immediately!
The first thing that happened was that the trio wasn't able to use a spell to get out of a sticky spot -- just after I'd griped that they were always able to save themselves with some new incantation -- and they were unexpectedly rescued by a stranger.
Of course, the stranger turns out to be Aberforth, who has all kinds of interesting information to share with them.
Another cool thing: John Granger has said that Harry = spirit or will, Hermione = brains or mind, and Ron = body. So, I'm reading just now, and Ron suddenly comes up with a very wrong-headed conclusion, leading Aberforth to say drily, "Brains like that, you could be a Death Eater, son." (pg. 560, hard cover). And what does Ron say? "Oh. Yeah... well, I'm hungry!" and his stomach grumbles.
I'm finding Granger to be much more right than wrong about the meaning of these books, though I understand he didn't do so well at predictions. But hey, we all know that humans usually mess up on predicting the future, right? I mean, look at me: I can't even predict whether I'm going to like the book I'm reading or not!
This post mostly has my HP-loving friends in mind. My daughters are getting tired of my incessant need to discuss every book with them, and so YOU, dear readers -- both of you -- are the oh-so-lucky beneficiaries of this obsession.
No more posts today; we have hours and hours of soccer to
sit through enjoy today. Time to get the troops rolling here.
As I've mentioned, we got a very late start reading Harry Potter for a variety of reasons, including the very bad press the books got from Christian sources, and the fact that when the first book was published, our oldest was just 8. A dear friend (Hello, D!) gave us a copy of the book back then, and I started reading it aloud -- but honestly, kind of lost interest half way through. I just didn't think it was that great.
Fast forward to this summer and things changed. It wasn't until I got to the end of the second book that I was really captivated by the story, but after that, I was completely hooked.
Zip ahead again, to right now, and I'm having flashbacks to my first experience with Harry Potter. At first I thought I was reading this last book slowly so I could savor ir. Now I'm starting to realize that I'm reading it slowly because I'm getting a little weary of it. Harry is careening from one terrifying action scene to another, dragging various friends, goblins, and elves and magical objects along with him. It's starting to feel like the grand finale of a fireworks show -- BAM! CRASH! POP! BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM!!! -- and I'm showing signs of thrill overload.
The other thing is that I'm getting a little cynical about the magical plot devices; in every new terrifying situation, one of the threesome (Harry, Hermione, or Ron) will come up with some brand-new, custom-designed spell that's just what they need. I guess what I'm saying is that my suspension of disbelief has been strained to the limit.
But I do like the storyline of this book -- that they're in exodus, hiding and running from the Death Eaters, on their final quest to defeat Voldemort -- and I am really enjoying the symbolism of the situations they get into (for example, Bellatrix's vault turning into a kind of gold-filled hell).
So it's not that I don't like the book, but it's not going to be my favorite, I'm pretty sure.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Somebody tagged me for a meme.
It was Michele, who I know in "real life". She was a vendor at our conference; I use the lovely Catholic Woman's Planner that she sells.
Without any further ado:
Here’s a fun quiz made up especially for bloggers. The rules are easy. Just post the quiz on your blog and answer the questions, then pass it on to five other bloggers, and link to them in your post. Be sure to link back to the one who sent it to you.
1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo? Novus Ordo - at a very traditional and reverent parish.
2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there? N/A.
3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be? Plain Vanilla Catholic. I believe everything that the Church teaches, do my best to live it out, and do not belong to any specific groups within the Church (i.e. Opus Dei, Schoenstatt, Regnum Christi, etc. They're all great ... but I just have never felt called to any of them.)
4. Are you a comment junkie? Is there a blogger alive who doesn't love a comment or two?
On every post?
Every couple hours?
Seriously, I'm just happy to find out, as I did yesterday, that there are a few people who stop by here. On purpose, that is. So a comment every so often is way more than I expect. But of course, it's very nice, otherwise blogging can be sort of like talking to yourself, or the wall, whichever is more interesting.
5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on? If I can remember where I left the comment -- which is only about half the time.
6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog? No. If I can't log in for some reason, I at least put my initials.
7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on? Hmmmm. I don't know. I always was tickled when anyone put me on their blogroll. These days, I mostly blog because a) it's a nice way for my husband to see what we're doing in homeschool, b) it's like a big party and I don't want to be a wallflower, and c) it's just so much fun, playing with the widgets and memes and ideas and photos and all the rest of it. It's not about the fame and fortune, that's for sure.
8. Which blog is the first one you check? Well, before I signed up for Google Reader, I probably would have said Studeo, St. Fiacre's Garden, or Flying Stars (in whatever random order occurred to me). That's because these are bloggers who I also happen to know in "real life". But now, it's just whichever blog has an update.
9. Have you met any other bloggers in person? Yes, in addition to the friends I mentioned above, and Michele who tagged me, there's my brother (who, like me, pretty much dropped out of blogging, but I hope he comes back), plus Ana and Maureen and ... well, I know I'm going to forget someone, but at least I got to have a little link-o-rama there. Oh, yes, there were a few of the Wisconsin political bloggers... but that will be fodder for another blog post....
10. What are you reading?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I know, everybody else read it last summer, but we came late to the HP party.)
The Eumenides, by Aeschylus. (I know, everybody else read it 2500 years ago, but we're late to the Dead Greek Playwrights party, too.)
OK, now I tag: Ana (oh, rats, she already got this one), Diana, Nancy, Alicia, and another friend whose blog I just discovered today: Margaret. Feel free to pretend you never saw this tag if you aren't in the mood for a meme.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
That's because we are using a book called "Voyages in English", a reprint of a very, very old text book, when a 'gay umbrella' was just a pretty one, and a 'gay party' was just a happy one.
My 5th and 3rd graders are very innocent, thank God, so I can read the text as written without getting any sniggering from them about the many repetitions of 'gay' as an adjective. But I'll bet this text could never be used in a typical classroom today, and that's a shame.
Ha, like anybody actually reads this blog and will respond to my plea for help.
But, on the off chance that someone does stumble over here and sees this post, please tell me how I can change the little comment form message! I changed it a couple weeks ago, to say "other moms taking a coffee break", and now want to change it again (because I realized that not everyone who used to comment on this blog was a mom, of course)... and it won't let me change it! I went to the same place... Settings, Comments, Comment Form Message... but it doesn't change.
So, help me, please! .... help me ..... help me..... help ... me........
UPDATE: Thanks to Love2Learn Mom for helping me out. Gosh, I was so SURE I went back to the same place to change it, but obviously, I didn't. This is sad. At one point, I knew lots about blogging. Guess that's what dropping out of the blogosphere for more than a year does to you!
Sunday, October 07, 2007
She always said to not expect praise for just doing what you were supposed to do.
And that's pretty much what Our Lord told his disciples in yesterday's Gospel. First, they said, "Lord, increase our faith", and he replied: "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,you would say to this mulberry tree,'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you."
I believe the contrapositive would then be, "If you can't make that tree uproot itself into the ocean, then you don't have faith even as big as a mustard seed."
Certainly, Jesus was using hyperbole. But still, this tells me how incredibly small my faith is; trees definitely don't uproot themselves on my command.
But in this Gospel, Jesus seems to be saying that it doesn't matter. We don't need faith so powerful that we could make trees jump up and down at our command; we don't need to make His creation serve us. The only thing we must do is to serve and obey Our Lord. If we keep on faithfully serving, obeying, forgiving, and loving, then that is faith enough. We don't need more faith; we just need to live out the faith that we do have.
And then, Jesus says, we oughtn't to expect all kinds of rewards and accolades just for doing what we should.
Just like my mom always told me.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Well, to me, it was cool. I love when stuff like this happens; one of those great coincidences that you just know is not blind coincidence at all.
Here's the deal: Two separate streams of reading and learning converged in a very neat way today.
First stream: This summer, we finally decided to start reading Harry Potter. We'd successfully avoided the books and movies for all these years because we were trying to be prudent about what our children were reading, since we'd heard how eeeeeeevil the HP books were.
But this summer, thanks to Nancy Brown and other Catholics saying that the books were actually good, perhaps akin to Lewis's Narnia books or the science fiction of J.P. Tolkien, we decided to let our teens read them. I, too, started reading, and it was at the end of the second book that I decided these books were not just good, but great. (It was that transcendently beautiful scene with the Phoenix at the end of Chamber of Secrets that convinced me.)
The girls, of course, finished the books long before I did (they being teens with plenty of time to do nothing but read for hours on end, and me being a mom with stretches of, say, five minutes at a time), and I have only just started the 7th book. But ever since I started reading them, I've been driving the girls nuts by searching them out in the house to say, "Oh wow, did you see THIS cool bit of mythology that Rowling worked into the plot??" or, apropos of nothing, "Oh, this is so cool, look at this SYMBOLISM!" Stuff like that.
The second stream: We've been studying Greek drama. According to our syllabus, we were supposed to read just the first play of Aechylus's trilogy (Agamemnon), then move on to some other works. However, a mistake in the syllabus meant that we didn't have the correct edition that included those other works, so we decided to just go on reading the trilogy: The Libation Bearers, and then Eumenides. We finished yesterday.
The convergence of the streams happened today. (Oh, isn't this just so cool?!?) I open "Deathly Hallows" to find this incription:
The Libation BearersThe Libation Bearers!! and Harry Potter!! Imagine my excitement. (Yes, I do get really excited about stuff like this!) Of course, I immediately ran over to my oldest daughter, in the family room: "Here, listen to this! Does it sound familiar?!?" She, thoughfully, "Ummm, I think it's.... Aeschylus!" "Yes, yes, isn't that cool!!" A smile, a somewhat surprised look, which I took to mean, "Wow, so maybe reading these dusty old Greek playwrights is more 21st century than I thought..." Next, run upstairs, repeat scenario with second eldest. Same reaction, which again I took to mean, "Hmmmm, if J.K. Rowling studied the classics and read Aeschylus, maybe it's not hopelessly dopey that I'm doing that, too."
Oh, the torment bred in the race,
the grinding scream of death and the stroke that hits the vein,
the haemorrhage none can staunch,
the grief, the curse no man can bear.
But there is a cure in the house and not outside it,
no, not from others but from them,
their bloody strife.
We sing to you, dark gods beneath the earth.
Now hear, you blissful powers underground—
answer the call, send help.
Bless the children, give them triumph now.
—Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers
For me, that's a very cool thing.
It's these handy doodads:
I love these things! I never had much luck with regular bookmarks, as they just tend to fall out and get lost. But these little tabs ... being made by the Post It note folks at 3-M, of course ... STICK.
In my 13 years of homeschoolings, I never cease to be amazed at how it's sometimes the littlest things that make the day go more smoothly. Like having pencils by the gross, a couple of electric pencil sharpeners, a little waste basket for each room where we do school... and now I can't live without these colorful little sticky tabs.
I have them all over the house in lots of colors because we use them to mark:
- the current math page
- the page we're supposed to get to by the end of the week (in a different color)
- the page we hope to get to by the end of first quarter (yet another color)
- the current page in the Greek drama we're reading aloud
- different sections of notebooks
- different sections of looseleaf binders
- paragraphs in a paper that need revising
They have cool little dispensers for them, too, but I can't find a photo of the one we have. I think they must have discontinued it. Which is a shame, because it sort of looks like the cone of a rocket ship, but in a rounded-off pyramidal shape, in shades of aquamarine and bright white. Each side dispenses two different colors of the skinny flags. It makes quite a design statment, though I'm not really sure what it's saying.
I also love the history of Post It notes. It's become part of the lore of American ingenuity, serendipity in discovery, and dare I say, "stick-to-it-ivness" (ha!), as Dr. Silver of 3-M discovered the glue in 1968, but it took five more years before a colleague, Art Fry, came up with a use for it, and it wasn't until 1980 that Post It notes were rolled out across the entire country.
There's your little snippet of American office supplies history for the day. And you probably won't be too excited about that, unless you are, like me, an office supplies nut.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
We're going to do "Mapping the World by Heart" this year, and as a little warmup I'm using some colorful, blank U.S. maps I found at American Science and Surplus. I bought just a single pad of 50 blank maps at my local store, but the online store has them bundled with a 30-sheet pack of filled-in maps.
Anyway, this morning during homeroom: POP QUIZ! The kids had to complete as much of the US map as they could, from memory. State names were the minimum requirement; bonus points for capitals, lakes, rivers, mountains, neighboring countries and bodies of water. They did pretty well! And so did Mom (whew), although my 8 yo daughter was tickled to point out that I'd inadvertantly swapped New Mexico and Arizona.
Anyway, it's just a warmup. By the end of this year they'll have to draw the whole country free-hand and fill in everything listed above. At least, that's my hope.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
It's just before dawn; all the children are still asleep in their beds. Oh, thank you, Lord, for the gift of having all of them still at home, safe and sound, under our roof. They're healthy, they're home. I know it won't last forever, and that makes this moment so poignant. So thank you, Lord, for both the blessing of having these children, still in our care, peacefully sleeping in their beds... and thank you for the gift of knowing what a blessing this is.