"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, December 30, 2010

After The Storm

after the storm .. our front yard
Had a wild snow storm roll through yesterday .. in the midst the kids decided to blaze a sledding trail in the front yard.  Today was picture perfect .. with a cherry on top :) 

Waiting to ring in the new year tomorrow night at home.  It's cold .. and the best place is inside by the stove.  Christmas has come and gone .. and it's almost time to put the decorations away for another year.  Today was spent getting up early to make homemade cinnamon rolls to enjoy with friends, sledding, taking care of car maintenance, and fixing a nice pot roast dinner for my family.   Nothing profound .. simple everyday life .. ebb and flow stuff.  Still resting up from last summer's garden and enjoying the produce put away for winter.  My life speaks volumes of 'homebody' .. and that suits me just fine. 

I hope to get back to blogging more regularly once the new year rolls around.  Been hit or miss of late with Christmas and company.  Enjoy New Year's Eve .. be safe.
sledding .. oh what fun


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Week

... finds the Mac home making preparation for the coming celebration of the remembrance of Christ's birth.  Often times this gets lost in the secular world .. but as Christians .. it is foremost in our home.  I've done some baking, more decorating, and cleaning.  We will have a houseful this weekend.  Our oldest daughter and her family will be staying overnight on Christmas Eve.  Christmas day will find 12 people at our dinner table including family and friends. 

Today the weather was in the low 40F's .. clear skies .. this tempted me to do a load of laundry to hang outside ... just because :)  too bad it all got washed yesterday .. it may be quite a long time before another spring day happens this winter.

Nathan is home from school this week.  He continues to amaze me with the progress he's making.  currently he is working on bathing skills AND learning how to cope when other people laugh out loud (LOL).  This has been a tight rope walk until now.  I can honestly say that life is more typical in our home with his new self control capabilities .. can I get a big AMEN!?

Cookies have been baked.  Most of the grocery and gift shopping is done.  Mr. Mac has been the gift wrapper extraordinaire again.  It's nice to have someone help with the extra work Christmas brings. 

Chocolate Brownie Drop Cookies
Have a blessed day.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pleased As Punch

Finding what motivates Nathan seems to be the key to his success that he's currently experiencing.  Now that sounds like it (the motivation) would work for anybody .. and why didn't I think of it in the first place? .. humm .. not quite so easy to unlock a child that displays autistic traits .. easier said than done.  But, this is just the ticket .. along with a fantastic therapist that has brainy ideas and challenges me to think outside the box.  His latest adventure .. taking a bath and having Nathan doing most of the work .. (soon to be all of the process).  Just how are we motivating him?  Well .. little pennies to be earned for staying focused.  Pennies have helped him transition from eating in his room to now regularly enjoying meals at the dining room table with the whole family.   They have also been used to have him go shopping and staying by my side .. even when walking down the toy isle or frozen food section (favorite places he used to get side tracked and take off to visit ALONE).  Last night we started on the bathing skills.  A simple back brush with a puffy scrubber end .. seems so simple why didn't I think of it first ... was his to begin using; a better choice than a washcloth with his delayed small motor skills.  You can see from the after picture how proud he is .. even combing his own hair.  Little steps .. to big success.  Next stop ... transitioning to using a shower.  I have no fear of Nathan lagging behind any longer.  Praising God always!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

More Than Able

Nathan Springing To Life
This past week found Mr. Mac and myself attending a meeting at Nathan's school with his teacher.  At times I have no idea what he's capable of doing .. because when he gets home from school, it's time for him to unwind .. have some quiet time .. dance .. watch a movie.  He rarely gives me more than a nod when I ask how his day at school went.  OK is his word of choice.  OK can mean he had a good day or a bad day.  OK and NO are sometimes interchangeable with Nathan.  Short answers do not always answer questions.  At one point during the meeting we stepped into the classroom where Nathan was studying.  There he sat with a few other children at a computer desk ... wearing a headset ... and surfing the web.  Now, I had no idea he could 'surf the web' .. but there he sat .. surfing the web.  He is mainstreamed in P.E. and is excelling ... and now sits in a circle for reading .. taking turns .. practicing moving his finger under the line of words the other children are reading.  Last month we ate out at a restaurant that had white butcher paper on the table as a covering .. crayons were provided for amusement .. so I started writing out simple words ... family names .. and Nathan was reading them.  I am witnessing a miracle in my child's progress.  He is developing good coping skills and losing some of the 'fright/flight' antics that once dominated his behavior.  Being in crowds is less frightening .. he's growing up ALL AT ONCE right before my eyes ... Praise The Lord!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks

... the day after.

Yesterday found the Mac family at home celebrating many blessing.  Food, warmth of home, family, friends. We had a bounty of goodness served up at the table.  Reflecting at prayer time .. each person gave a short offering of thanks for what they were most grateful for.  I had to give a BIG shout of thanks for the progress Nathan has made:  He is developing the skills to EAT in the dining room at the table with the whole noisy lot of what is his family.  Just a few weeks ago, this was only a dream. Now, he regularly eats with us.  I'm praising the Lord and saying AMEN!  Thanking the dedicated work his therapist is doing ... we call here the miracle worker!!  Next on the list of miracles:  Haircuts, baths, and trimming toe nails.  Hey, with God in control, we have success!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Starting Off The Holidays

... with a BANG!

Sunday afternoon found us at a rare concert (rare as in I don't usually go to concerts;)  .. the Trans Siberian Orchestra was playing in Spokane, Washington.  The performance was OUTSTANDING!  If you haven't been to one of their shows, be sure to catch them if they are performing near you.  Picture Beethoven on crack ... and you've got a good idea of the energy, sound, fireworks,  flames and snow to kick it up a notch.  Thank you Patrick for the early Christmas present.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 08, 2010

Our Day, Plus 30 Years

 Old Irish Blessing:

May God be with you and bless you
May you see your children's children
May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in Blessings
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward

Today marks our thirtieth wedding anniversary.  We've been celebrating all weekend.  First with a lovely dinner out on the town Saturday, an overnight get-a-way, Sunday brunch  ... and dinner with our family last night.  

Mr. & Mrs. Mac - On This Our Wedding Day, 11/8/1980

Mr. & Mrs. Mac - 2010
With all of that merry making .. I'll return to my Monday night football widow status.  Mr. Mac has been enjoying a week of vacation time at home.  Rainy weather and a cold front moving in this week should make for a final end to the summer season. 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

Oh So Pretty!

Gr-gr Grandma Minni's parlor lamp .. waiting for a good dusting!
It finally arrived!  My heirloom parlor lamp.  It's been years of patient waiting .. trying to figure out how to ship it safely from St. Louis to North Idaho without breakage.  Great-great grandma's lamp is finally resting in safety atop my dresser.  Although my dad claimed it to be from the Civil War era, from a bit of research (on-line) last night, I peg it from the 1880's to about 1901.  Thank you, my friend and neighbor (Cathy K) for bringing this heirloom home to roost!

The lamp is painted with chrysanthemums.  Funny .. not remembering what floral pattern was on the lamp nor the color scheme .. I'd say my bedroom was designed with it in mind.  We even have chrysanthemums on the bathroom curtains and upholstered dressing stool.   Please, Lord, don't let my family members be the ones to break it ... AMEN!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ...

Jake and the pumpkin caper looking for a green one.

This one isn't green ... but it will do ;)

Imagination at play!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fruit Of The Spirit

photo by Mrs. Mac
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."  Galatians 5:22-26

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Scarf Sisters Reunion - Day Three

On Sunday I loaded up the gals into the 'tour bus' (my old van;) and we headed out of town ... final destination .. to tread ever so quickly into and out of the state of Montana ... just to say 'We Were There' ;)  Sister Deb wants to visit all fifty states ... so with this trip, she was able to check off three. 

Scarf Sisters at the Greenbriar Inn, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
We started the day with a beautiful and delicious brunch at the Greenbriar Inn.  A lovely brick home built in 1908 that serves dinner, brunch, and is a B&B.  The food was so good, and the interior of the home right up my alley .. vintage!

A trip to North Idaho wouldn't be complete without a visit to the oldest building in the state.  That being the Mission Of The Sacred Heart in Cataldo.  Built between 1850-1853 by Catholic Jesuit missionaries and members of the Coeur d'Alene tribe, it has a feeling of rich history blending religious traditions of the white men with that of the native.

Mission Of The Sacred Heart, Cataldo, Idaho

Parrish House .. next to the mission

Parrish House Parlor

Parrish House Kitchen

Wooden Urn at Mission

Inside the Mission

A Black Robe worn by Jesuit Missionary
The afternoon was spent having authentic BBQ at the Smoke House in downtown Wallace, ID .. and a little shopping for silver jewelry (Wallace is in the Silver Capital of the world).  Sister Cheryl was a brave soul standing on the spot (in the middle of the street) dubbed 'The Center of the Universe' ... There is much more to see in this area ... but not enough hours in the day.  I think the sisters need to come back for a longer stay one of these days :)

Sisters At the Center Of The Universe :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Weekend Not Soon Forgotten

Scarf sister style!  We finally met for a reunion.  It was with regret that more could not attend in person, but I know many were with us in heart and spirit.  Can I just say BLESSED!  That is the overwhelming feeling after the fact.  God ordered such a perfect weekend:  good weather, safe travel, good food, conversation, Bible study, and a lasting friendship between gals that were once strangers and now friends.  Amen!  God is good.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting Ready For The Scarf Sisters


This coming weekend ... a long awaited gathering is scheduled to take place with some of my dear blog sisters ... otherwise known as 'The Scarf Sisters' ... we have been meeting online for years .. and are taking the plunge.  Will be posting more over at my other blog titled (what else;), The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Scarf. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On Making Dates

with hubby!

Over the course of the summer, Mr. Mac and I have been setting aside one day a week ... when our son, Nathan, is in school or camp ... and our grandson, Jacob, is not being watched by 'granny' .. to get out and explore the greater area that we call home.  We have to time our outings around the school bus schedule, but even so, that gives us until 3:30 PM, which is long enough to even head out of town.  So far we've taken a bike ride exploring downtown Coeur d'Alene, a tour of a silver mine, shopping at thrift stores, kayaking in a beautiful bay, exploring area parks and malls ... and always grabbing a bite to eat at a local eatery ... which is the hardest part for me due to food allergies.  Next week ... is quite local with a bike ride around our own dear little lake .. no need for a car ride ... and lunch will be in a picnic basket at our choosing along the shore.  Making time to keep our marriage alive is of great value!  Parenting at our age is lasting forever ... and the prospects of having a empty nest are zilch!  Parenting our special needs teenager .. is actually getting easier ... but we need to recharge our batteries for sanity's sake. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nathan ... Waking Up To The Beat Of The Drum

Most days find our son, Nathan, somewhat apprehensive and shy.  That is ... until ... he turns on some music and starts dancing (spinning) .. non stop until he either wears himself out ... or I purposely 'unplug' him.   Sometimes it's a struggle for the rest of the family to 'endure' another playing of 'Little GTO' ... or ... surfin' 60's music, or The Monster Mash, as he can listen to the same selection over and over.  Thank goodness when we built our home I had six inch walls stuffed with insulation and solid wood doors put on the bedroom doorways lest his bedroom would be moved to the basement ;)  On the bright side .. Nathan often sings along with the music ... helping him to practice his speech.  My once un-intelligibly voiced son is starting to string three and four word sentences together.  Music ... soothes the savage beast (so I've heard) ... and brings out the best in Nathan.  Normally, loud noise sets him off in a tizzy ... but not so with music .. to him it's a white noise pleasure.  BTW ... I have to frequently change the furniture placement so as not to wear a hole in the carpet.

Hallelujah! Sing to God a brand-new song,
      praise him in the company of all who love him.
   Let all Israel celebrate their Sovereign Creator,
      Zion's children exult in their King.
   Let them praise his name in dance;
      strike up the band and make great music!
   And why? Because God delights in his people,
      festoons plain folk with salvation garlands! 
Psalm 149:1-4 The Message Bible

Thank you, Dr. Boucher for exploring this topic with the many families you have helped to think outside of the box in the physical and occupational therapy areas of your expertise.  To read more, visit her site, Therextras and follow her third annual blog carnival coming soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Closing In On Autumn

Today I plan on making my last run out to the local u-pick farm to get food to store away for the coming winter.  The days are sitting pretty at about 78-80 degrees this week with nights in the 40's (F).  In the winter, 40's would feel like a nice summer day.  In the summer, 40 degree temps feel cold.  The past month has been spent busily in the kitchen canning and freezing garden produce.  A lot of work .. but a $ and time saver during the cold weather. 

Hubby and I have made dates for one day each week during September and October. Our bikes have been fine tuned and have been getting some use as well.  He put his name in a drawing at the library and won two tickets for a lake cruise which took place last Friday evening.  Everyone aboard had won similar tickets ... so the boat was full of 'readers' and book club fans.  Mostly silver haired folks with great life stories to share.

With the cooler nights it's time to start feathering the nest with extra bedding, and hanging a few sweaters in the front closet for cool morning walks.   What's going on in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Blessed Routine

 ... has been reestablished!  With the start (albeit rocky) of the school year this morning, Nathan is back in his routine ... which means my time is more predictable.   After the school bus got a mixed signal this AM by not picking him up at the bus stop, and Mr. Mac had to drive him to school, the ride home was just as 'exciting' when a rock hit a side bus window and another bus had to come to complete the transportation. 

Mr. Mac got a call from the library that his name was drawn for two free lake cruise tickets this Friday ... with a guest speaker aboard telling about the history of our area lake.  Wow ... an actual date .. if I can find a sitter.  All's well that ends well!


Photo:  Nathan and his teacher, first day of school 9/7/2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Off To The Fair

We talked Nathan in to going to the fair yesterday :)  Since he's been receiving 'intense' development therapy, it's been a little easier getting out and about with him.  The highlight was having him walk through the horse barn.  (OK ... I bribed him with a few pennies ... he's saving up 70 so he can 'purchase' an outing to the bowling alley.)

Aaah ... the sights and smells of the fair.  Fried food galore.  Even deep fried pickles.  I was not tempted to try one ... have you ever eaten a deep fried pickle?  Who thinks up food like this??????

My favorite part was walking through the quilt exhibit.  There were so many beauties displayed.  I'm working on finishing up a hand pieced quilt top that my(dearly departed) grandmother started.  There are enough complete squares to make a full size bed quilt.  She must have started the pieces in the 1960's from scraps of fabric she saved.   It will be so special to sleep under the cover knowing she hand stitched the pieces.  Her son, my dad, will enjoy using it when he returns for his annual visit next summer. (Mums the word mom if you read this post.)  Inside the quilt barn were some ladies spinning wool yarn.  Since I have been mastering so many new/old skills the past few years, I'm looking for something to work on this winter so just might take up spinning ... it looks so relaxing.

Did you get out to a fair this summer?  If so, what is your favorite part?  Rides, food, exhibits?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Savoring The Last Bit

... of summer. 

Already the leaves on our maple trees are starting to be tinged with yellow and flame red.  Hints of cooler temperatures can be felt upon the daytime breeze ... and the nights .. well, they are getting chilly.  School starts once again the day after Labor Day ... and then I can begin my LONG rest.  It happens each year.  Look forward to spring (which bypassed us this year) ... then work like a dog all summer ... and slide right into the restful mode that autumn ushers in.  We are predicted to have a snowy winter this year.  Each season is a welcome change from the one that just passed.  We are still busy storing away food for the colder months ahead.  Our freezers are full and the storage pantry should be overflowing in the weeks to come.  The cycle will begin once again ... Life goes on.  Ebb and flow.  The cricket will have its swan song soon enough ... then the quiet peace will return as our little area settles in for a long winter's nap, once again devoid of summer's tourists.

Photo credit:  Carl Larsson, Apple Harvest