Happy Mother’s Day Message

I was pondering not putting this message on the blog, but I guess…. First off, I messed up the scriptures when I went to put the message together. I was in II Peter rather than I Peter as the lectionary suggested. Next I may have talked about my own family in ways that might not be appealing to all. Fortunately I tend to go off script, so what is here was not exactly what they heard. Let’s just say we had a jovial time again this morning and most of it was because I shared the truth about my own life. May you find some spark of truth and a real message in this, mixed up as it might be.

The scriptures for today were listed as: Acts 7:55-60, I Peter 2:1-10 (actually based it on II Peter 2:1-10) and John 14:1-14. Our title was, “Honoring Mothers.”

Let’s just start with what to me was the obvious oxymoron here today. When I opened up the desk calendar in the office and looked at the lectionary suggestions, I was a little stunned. I don’t understand fully how the powers that be don’t do some coordinating between the secular calendar year and the scriptures of the lectionary. This is Mother’s Day for goodness sakes and the scripture lessons somehow don’t seem to have anything at all to do with anything about honoring your mother. The verses in the gospel of John are more likely to be something you would hear at a funeral, and the writings in I Peter are instructions to tell Christians how to keep away from those who would lead you astray and the story in Acts is just too gruesome to even think about. Stephen who was not even one of the inner circle of disciples in his zeal to share the story of Christ ends up as the first martyr when a mob stones him while Saul AKA Paul watches in approval.

Actually, one of the first times I ever used the John 14 verses at a funeral was at Verna Schock’s, and I thought I was going to NOT like the one daughter-in-law very much. I wanted to read verses 1-6 or even to 7, but she told me I had to stop at verse 3. Interestingly as I was checking the “sermon seeds” in my email for this week, the write-up mentioned that too many people take this passage and only focus on verse 6. So, it got me to looking at the whole thing, especially the opening a bit closer. And there it is in the opening three verses, we hear those final words, the final instructions that Jesus is giving to his disciples before he leaves them, and here is where we can begin to realize the thread between these stories and this celebration of mothers.

First off before we go any further with this, let’s just stop and remember that in some of our past discussions, I have noticed that our wider church is more likely to set today as a celebration of the family, not just the mothers. Personally, I am ok with having a day for Mothers and another for Fathers. It gives a second opportunity for children to be guilted into remembering all the things their parents have ever done for them. I mean really in some homes everyday is children’s day. I am pretty sure if you check with my oldest two daughters that was not the case at our house, at least not where I was involved. But on the other hand they will be sure to tell you that things changed when the third one came along. Let me just say the jury is still out on how things will work for them with their children. For now I am noticing that there is little to no grown up television or movies to be seen when you enter their homes, and even Jessica has started checking in with cartoon channels while she is feeding and rocking one of the twins. Not so much at Grandma’s house.

One more personal note then I will get back to the lessons from the scriptures. This past Thursday I found a pair of matching coffee mugs that I just had to buy for those two “slighted” daughters. The writing on the side said, “Sometimes when I open my mouth, my mother comes out.” I believe they will notice that more and more as they age, whether they like it or not, many of us have been there for me it is more and more each day.

So what is the thread of Motherhood and mothers that comes from these scripture lessons. The one in second Peter could almost be compared to a mother lecturing her teenager as he or she is walking out the door. Last night was prom in Linton and we drove up to watch grand march. We attended somewhat because my niece Elisabeth was in it since her boyfriend is from there, and we also went as coaches just to let them know we are aware of where they are and that we are thinking of them. There were no lectures in practice on Friday, but plenty on Monday when they had their Jr/Sr banquet and that is sometimes reason for concern.

Some people might think that children/teenagers should be allowed to make their own decisions and especially their own mistakes. I would rather go along with the words of Peter as he spoke to the early Christians telling them about the false teachers that will try to infiltrate them, and how God was not so lenient with the angels who rose up against heaven, and even the story about the days of Noah and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Yes, God is a loving God, but as Peter points out, those incidences of rebellion and disregard for God’s laws were not tolerated. And we probably all know well that Mothers, too have their limits, and when they set them it is with the safety and well being of their children in mind.

Now of the three passages we read today, I think the text in John is the easiest to relate to the actions and the love of a mother. This chapter is part of that long narrative in John about the final night Jesus is with the disciples before he is betrayed and arrested. Chapter 13 begins with Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, then there is the last supper and in this chapter Jesus tells his disciples that he is going back to his father’s house to prepare a place for them. What a wonderful promise. He was going back to his home, to get a place ready for them and then he promises to return again to bring them to that house to live with him. Now it didn’t happen immediately and not all at once, but in their order each of the disciples was welcomed home to the place that was prepared just for them. And the great thing about this story is that it is meant for each of us in just that same way.

Let’s stop and think about this for a minute. How many of us have gotten our homes ready for someone to come and stay? At our place it becomes a major operation, especially at this time of year when the dust has piled so high on some of the shelves that I can write my name in them, then there are the dust bunnies who are big enough and old enough to be named and demand pet beds, and we won’t even discuss the windows. My mother used to tell me she always knew my house because it was the only one on the block whose windows were not washed.

We will likely have all the children at our place for a short time in June and I am already getting nervous about how we will get everyone into a room let alone into a bed that isn’t piled high with junk. I have to admit that my grand plan to eliminate some of the clutter from the house around the time of Lent fell by the way side after the first bag went out the door. Hopefully this summer there will be a little more cooperation from my hoarder self on this business of letting go.

Considering the sort of preparation we as humans go through to invite someone to a stay over visit, or the act of helping someone move into a new or different home, it is sort of hard to consider Christ telling us that he is going to prepare a place for us to live. This really doesn’t strike me as God’s work, to provide a home for us, yet that is what Jesus promises. “If it were not so, would I have told you…” If we as human parents stress and fuss and work to provide a place for our children to come to stay or even help them to find a spot to live, how much more do you suppose Christ has worked to provide a home for us, a place for us to join him in paradise?

Now the story from Acts almost seems like it should just be ignored in this discussion about honoring our mothers. How can we possibly see any sort of nurturing, mothering, loving story in this horrible account of a group of people turning into a mob that stones a man to death, and what about the man who stands quietly by holding their coats and allows them to do it? The horror of it just seems too much to even think about. The thread here comes from the words of Stephen as he is being stoned when he looks to the heavens and prays, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” His final words were much like those of Jesus who in his final words said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This is the same sort of love that mothers have for their children.

OK, yes there are times when we want to shake our fist and give them the Peanuts gang version of Lucy, “I will give you five reasons” and there are those exceptions of mothers who are more involved with things that are harmful–alcohol and drug abuse and such, but when you think of a loving and a caring, nurturing mother, you hear the same sort of words that Jesus and Stephen used in forgiving the mobs.

Mothers and fathers both want what is best for their children. They want a life that is better than the one they had, but the best that any of us can give our children is the story of Christ’s love for us. I am sure we would all agree that the best we can do for our children is not just to give them our love, but to give them the opportunity to share in God’s love.

And if any of you have not had a call or a card or a notice from someone today, let me say to all of you Happy Mother’s Day from me. In looking up the word mother I found such definitions as a woman exercising control, influence or authority, someone who is the origin, source or protector, to that I would add someone who nurtures or cares for another, regardless of gender. As I look around our congregation, I see, so many examples of ways we act as those descriptions for each other and it doesn’t matter our gender. Maybe that is who we are as a congregation, maybe that is what it means to be the church for each other. As we leave today on this beautiful Mothers’ Day, let’s remember to be that person who loves others just as Jesus did. And let’s reach out to others as our mothers would reach out to us. Amen!

Happy Mother’s Day Message

This is the printed version of the message that I shared this morning. I will have to say what the I delivered was likely a bit different. At one point I had to find myself in the script to get back on track. At any rate this is the jest of what was said. The scriptures used were: I John 5:1-6 and John 15:9-17. The title was “Are You My Mother?”

First off before we get too far down the line here, I want to acknowledge that today is Mother’s Day. This is traditionally the day we honor our mother and mothers everywhere. Last year we spent time talking about the origin of this day, and I am not going to reiterate that. I do want to address being upset with myself today. I had all these grand plans to have a plant or flower or something to share with you, but illness and cold weather and such put a little monkey wrench into my plans. I still plan to share a few things, but it might have to wait a week or perhaps two before I can bring any plants. I am just glad that services weren’t cancelled because of snow. If you were listening to the weather forecasts the past few days, you might have dug out the snow scoops and boots and put the snow blower in front of the mower in the shed.

Anyway as much disappointment as I feel about not having things to pass out today, I will just have to settle for being thankful that we are all here and not under two feet of snow or hiding in a storm shelter because we have been hit by a tornado as some in the southern part of the US were earlier this week. [There was a tornado in a small town in South Dakota this morning. The only details I know is that only 9 people were

Are You My Mother? is the name of a children’s book by Dr. Seuss. I used it this past winter with a second grader who was having a tough time pronouncing some of his short “o” sounds. I am sure many of you have heard it or read it a few times to a child or grandchild or niece or nephew or some little one. It is the story of the little bird who falls out of his nest and gets lost. He begins to realize that he needs his mother to return home, and starts asking every animal and thing if they are his mother. My favorite is when he asks the large piece of equipment and his answer is a snort. Yet it is that large scoop that ends up picking him up and gently placing him back into his nest so that he is there when his mother comes home to check up on him and feed him.

In looking at some of the dictionary definitions of mother, I found what I expected, and a few interesting things. When I looked at “mother” in the verb form, I found the expected: To give birth to. To care for or protect someone like a mother. Acting as or providing parental stock, used without gender. And—To give rise to.

In the noun definitions there were: A female parent; an old or elderly woman; or—A woman in authority, the superior of a religious community of women; And then there was the adjective form which was: Something of extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale. I guess that is like the mother lode as is used in describing the best of a mine or such. Perhaps a really good mother should be described in that sense.

I was interested in the verb definition about the providing parental stock and used without reference to gender. In some of our more modern writings and liturgies and such, we see that reference used with the term God. Coming from the Patriarchal Western Civilization background, we are so used to God as the Father figure that we are shocked to think of God as our mother, but when we think of the qualities we admire about a good mother why wouldn’t we want to think of our God as being a mother of us all.

Certainly we think of God as our creator, and how were we made without our mother? It was our mother who gave birth to each of us. Without a mother none of us would be here biologically. Yet we all know that not all mothers give birth, and not all people who hold the qualities of a mother are biological mothers themselves. Many people are able to mother without ever having children of their own bodies. I personally think of my aunt and my sister. Neither of them had children, yet my aunt has always been like the second mother to all of us, and my own daughters look to my youngest sister as their extra mother. She has always been more than just an aunt. We all know people like that either in our own families or as friends.

Another quality of a mother is that they can do things, fix things. I know Fathers are like that too, but it was brought home to me in a very interesting way this past week. It was Thursday and we were in Ellendale. It wasn’t the warmest day, and though as coaches, we were wearing our winter coats, many of the athletes were running around with blankets draped over them. Two girls came up to me late in the day and needed help. They had one of those tie blankets draped over the two of them and in order to keep it on better, they had tied some of the fringes together.

Riley was the verbal one and as they came running, she said, “Mrs. Haak, Mrs. Haak you have to help us. You have to untie these fringes, so we can get out of this thing. You can do it Mrs. Haak. You are a mother and mothers can do anything.” They had been running around trying to figure out how to get out of the blanket and literally decided they needed one of the coaches who is a mother because no one else was getting the knot out.” It really wasn’t that tough, and I had them out in time to time the next race.

I will have to say that is the part of working with young people who I enjoy the most. Yesterday when I was sitting in bed all day sipping hot lemon and honey trying to get my voice back enough to be here today, I was missing the time with those who huddle around you asking for silly things like untying their blankets, or even the serious things like why does my leg hurt here and, yes, even the whining things of Why do I have to run that last race. I guess those are all mothering things, and as annoying as some might be on occasion, they all make it worth the effort.

And part of that whole business is another quality of a good mother and that is the ability to nurture. Nurturing is something that we all do for each other at different times. I feel so blessed to have so many of you in my life at this time for all the nurturing and teaching and guiding you have been doing for me. For this I want to thank you, today on Mother’s Day.

But there is one other picture of Mother’s that I want to bring up. It is a darker story. It is the sadness involved when mothers are not able to provide for their children as they would like or as perhaps we are able to do. Something I keep hearing about on the television advertising is a “day” that is being added to our calendar this year called Red Nose Day. Apparently later this month some of the celebrities are putting on an event where they will all wear red clown noses and entertain us in an effort to wipe out childhood hunger. Our local ministers association works to help out those in need in our area, and the Mobile Food Pantry which we promote helps, and there is a fund also through the ministers association that helps with school lunches to cover what the free and reduced costs can’t provide. But as mothers and mothering/nurturing people it should sadden us to know that in our modern era, we still have those in need.

This brings me to the table in the back of the room. Our ability to nurture is also related to the collection we take today and next Sunday. This is our annual drive  for the blankets for Church World Services. As I mentioned earlier, there is an extra appeal this year for the blanket relief because of the earthquake in Nepal where so many people lost their lives or everything they had. Making donations for blankets is the least we can do to help out those who do not have all that they need let alone what they want or would like.

Not everyone is able to be the loving generous giving sort of mothers that we perhaps have known or have had or have been. I know that some of us have known some times that weren’t always easy, but nothing like what some face on a daily basis.

And this brings me to the scriptures that we find in the book of John today. In this passage Jesus is leaving instructions for his disciples. Jesus is teaching them and giving them last words much like a mother would do for her children as she is leaving for a time. In his instructions, the main point is that they love each other. What better thanks can children give to their mother than to get along with each other, to love one another? Boy what a tough thing that is to do at times. Many of us understand the issues of sibling rivalry, and rivalry was certainly a factor among the disciples at some points. Jesus says that is not what he wants, and not what he expects. He tells them to love each other as he loved them, enough to lay down their lives for each other.

Now we can certainly understand a mother loving her children enough that she would do anything for them. I am sure anyone of us would have done anything to save one of our children from any type of harm that we could think of. How many of us spent sleepless nights when they were young and sick, or teenaged and out and about, or any number of things as they get older and life happens. Jesus wants us to have that sort of love for each other as Christians. When we follow his lead it isn’t so hard to participate in a blanket Sunday giving or any other sort of thing we are asked to do. May we go this week with the idea of being a loving, caring, nurturing, fixing creature of God who mothers those around us in the love that Jesus asks us to share. Amen!

Mother’s Day sermon.

The following message was given on Sunday, May 11 at St. Paul’s UCC in Eureka. Scripture used were John 10:1-10, I Peter 2:19-25, and Acts 2:42-47

Mother’s Day

Many of you may already know that, I grew up on a farm in the area. It is about 11 miles north and west of here as the crow flies. My father operated it as, according to the Haak definition of a farm, as an “Old MacDonald” farm, meaning he had and did a little of everything. He was mainly a small grain farmer, but also put up hay and silage and raised animals. Here is where the Old MacDonald term comes in. We had every sort of farm animals on our farm except goats and, well I guess as some sheep ranchers might have, there were no lamas either.

My parents raised cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens and a few ducks and geese every so often. We even had some horses, but they were not used for anything useful. We just had them. My mother loved this time of year. It was when the new crop was born, and though my father much preferred dealing with a sow and her litter, building one type of crate after another to keep the piglets safe, my mother and I loved walking through the pastures in the yard and checking out the new baby calves and lambs.

It seems there was nothing more exciting for us in the growing up years than when we got to have a bottle lamb. Those were few and far between because my parents believed that animal mothers do a better job than human children, but oh how fun it was to try to hold that bottle and not let that lamb head bump your side while you figured out what was the least sloppy way to get that milk into the lamb. They were cute and cuddly, but demanding and smelly and at the same time, and they were my favorite animal on the farm because I knew we raised them for the wool and not for slaughter. At least I believed that to be true.

My parents weren’t always sheep owners. I think the last of the sheep happened the year that my father left a small hay stack in their area one day too long. They kept eating around it and around it, and one afternoon when we returned home from a trip to town, the stack had collapsed and the flock appeared much smaller than normal. My parents dug frantically to save what they could of the sheep buried under the pile, but many either suffocated or had their necks broken, and sadly among the dead was my little black-faced pet, Lamby.

See sheep are not the smartest animal on a farm. They are easily led one way or another. They play follow the leader automatically and intensely. On the positive side of this is the fact that if the sheep get out of the pen all you have to do is find a leader and get that one going in the right direction, and the rest pretty much follow along. Pigs don’t do that. We always joked that my brother got his running ability because it was his job to chase the pigs back into their pens when he was a youngster, and I mean from about age five on.

Sheep though, go astray as easily as they are led back to their shelter. And the other part that my parents struggled with is the idea that when a sheep is sick and lays down, it is nearly impossible to get them well and back on their feet again. Of course my stories are over 40 years old, so I am sure veterinary medicine has advanced considerably since then, but I do believe sheep are still good followers, which might explain why the metaphor in scripture is always sheep.

Jesus is the Shepherd, and we are the sheep. We could chalk this symbol up to the fact that sheep were the animals most raised in Biblical times, or it might just be that we are most like sheep. I don’t have that answer today. Perhaps when I start looking into classes, I will find something to give me those sorts of answers. I have to wonder, is sheep the metaphor because we are led as easily as a flock of sheep? I have no answer now, but tuck that thought away for a bit.

John tells us that Jesus said he was the Good Shepherd, and we are his flock. We are the sheep of his charge, and he cares for us the way a shepherd takes care of his sheep. He looks for us when we are lost and he digs us out from under whatever falls on us as quickly as he finds us. We are his to watch over and nurture and protect.

It occurred to me as I was thinking about Jesus as the Shepherd and us as the sheep that a good shepherd takes care of his flock much like a good mother looks after her children. A mother is more than the person who gives birth to you. I would prefer to say that a mother is the one who gives you your life. And mothers have been doing that from the beginning of creation. A good mother also provides for a child not just in terms of food and clothing and shelter, but in terms of nurturing with love and affection and comfort, and perhaps most importantly by giving them the skills to grow up and learn to stand on their own.

I know in many ways that was the most important thing I learned from my mother was how to be myself. She did that by example far more than by telling me anything. In fact my sisters and I loved how our mother would tell us to be good wives by keeping a well-organized home, doing such things as cleaning and cooking and laundry, while she took jobs outside of the house in such jobs as: clerking and accounting at livestock barns, managing roofing and insulating crews and later owning her own business. We learned by watching not by listening.

At this point I took a bit of a side track and don’t remember it exactly, but I described how the livestock barns were not set up to be a straight walk or fancy stairs from the audience area to the area where the workers such as the auctioneer and the clerk and the person weighing the cattle sit to conduct the sale. No, they have to climb over the rails, walk through the ring full of animal droppings then finally get to their desks. My mother did this each week even the Friday before giving birth to my youngest sister on Saturday morning. We really learned by example, not by listening.

A good mother also teaches her family the Christian values that they need to get themselves through the darkest hours. And here is what I mean by saying that Jesus as a Shepherd is like a good mother. Today’s scripture lectionary also includes Psalm 23, and that is why we read it as the Call to Worship. All the things that this Psalm says about how the Lord leads us, relate to how a mother cares for a child by giving him or her comfort and protection in tough times.

Today people all over our country are celebrating Mother’s Day. I found some historical information on this holiday, and I would like to share it with you. I found this article on (national geographic.com). It was written by Brian Handwerk and Updated May 8, 2014. I don’t understand how to do links, so if you want to read the whole thing search the site with Mother’s Day and the author and you get right to it. This is what a little of the beginning says:

The holiday has more somber roots: It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace. And when the holiday went commercial, its greatest champion, Anna Jarvis, gave everything to fight it, dying penniless and broken in a sanitarium.

It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women’s organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis—Anna’s mother—held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination, according to historian Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865.

In the postwar years Jarvis and other women organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes. Julia Ward Howe, for one—best known as the composer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”—issued a widely read “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870, calling for women to take an active political role in promoting peace.

Around the same time, Jarvis had initiated a Mother’s Friendship Day for Union and Confederate loyalists across her state. But it was her daughter Anna who was most responsible for what we call Mother’s Day—and who would spend most of her later life fighting what it had become. [Meaning the commercialization of the day.] She wanted it to be “Mother’s Day,” Not “Mothers’ Day”

Anna Jarvis never had children of her own, but the 1905 death of her own mother inspired her to organize the first Mother’s Day observances in 1908.  The article goes on to say that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the holiday.

“For Jarvis it was a day where you’d go home to spend time with your mother and thank her for all that she did,” West Virginia Wesleyan’s Antolini, who wrote “Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Defense of Her Mother’s Day” as her Ph.D. dissertation, said in an interview.

“It wasn’t to celebrate all mothers. It was to celebrate the best mother you’ve ever known—your mother—as a son or a daughter.” That’s why Jarvis stressed the singular “Mother’s Day,” rather than the plural “Mothers’ Day,” Antolini explained.

Here I want to thank the author Brian H for a great and interesting article and hopefully he understands I am not trying to steal, just promote his writing.

Wow! Isn’t it interesting how some events can be basically side-swiped and turned into a completely different thing than what you plan it to be? I knew before I checked into it that Mother’s Day wasn’t a church holiday, though we observe it on a Sunday. But I never knew it was started so many years before it was officially declared a holiday, or that it was part of a movement to help our country come back together after the long and hard struggle of the Civil War. I did know, though, that it was about honoring your own mother, not mothers in general. And I hope that is what we are able to do today whether they are with us in the pews or if they have gone on ahead to be with their own mother.

Perhaps it is hard for some of us to think of Jesus the Shepherd in terms of a mother figure. Those of us with some old-fashioned or traditional values only want to think of God as the Father, yet everywhere we look in the scriptures we see the compassion and the nurturing and the caring that our culture attributes to a mother’s love. Maybe it isn’t so much what we hear as what we see in the example put before us. Now as we close today, I would like to share a little story I found recently in a book I received from one of my daughters several years ago. Though it is not Exactly what I might say to my own three daughters, it is a pretty close fit.

At this point I read a great excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul. It was written as if a mother was talking to her three children and kept saying she loved each one best. It was a great humorous piece to take away the somber, but it was also quite true to realize that as a mother you do love each one best and each one just as dearly as you love all of them. I guess that is how God loves us. For me it was nice to have the opening to talk about God as our mother and not just our father. God is everything to us at all times. I guess that is what omnipotence is all about. Hope you enjoyed even though it is so very long.


Happy Mother’s Day to me….

I just had to show off what my family gave me for Mother’s Day. It is a little iPad mini. I was so surprised when I opened it that I didn’t even know how to react. Apparently Jessica took a video of me opening it and posted it on Facebook. She said it was pay  back for all the times I wrote about her in the Prairie Pioneer under Lines from LuCinda. Boy do I have news for her now. Not only is there such a thing as payback, but they have invented pay it forward. I will be paying her forward in my blog and on Sunday mornings from the pulpit. How she enjoys. By the way, thanks for the mini. (Jessica had it all wrapped and inside a toaster box; to make me believe that is what it was, really who does that. It is going to be just right, as soon as I get it figured out.

Great burnt orange cover. Paulina is the expert at ordering covers.

Great burnt orange cover. Paulina is the expert at ordering covers.

One screen of the mini. Just so Roger doesn't take any Selfies with it.

One screen of the mini. Just so Roger doesn’t take any Selfies with it.

Countdown to Graduation Five Days Left

Paulina gave me this garden decoration for Mother's Day. I have gotten so many frogs over the years, it is now a family joke.

Paulina gave me this garden decoration for Mother’s Day. I have gotten so many frogs over the years, it is now a family joke.

It occurred to me that there is less than a week left until Paulina graduates from high school, five days to be exact. In just five days there will be no more worry about tests or papers or worksheets or quizzes, at least not until she heads off to college. As much as college was difficult on its own, to me it was better because mostly the classes were what I chose to learn. I hope she will find the same.

One of Paulina's medals earned this year.

One of Paulina’s medals earned this year.

It is also a countdown to the end of the track season. Tomorrow (postponed from today) is the Last Chance meet in Hazen and on Saturday we have the Regional in Bismarck. Those are the last two meets that anyone can qualify for the State Meet on the following weekend. So far we have NO one from the team qualified. Usually you have someone by this time, but with the weather this year things are really strange for most teams.

My box of organized ribbons and medals to hand out.

My box of organized ribbons and medals to hand out.

I am disheartened because I feel that my portion of the team (mid-distance and distance runners) have gone backwards from the first meet. Not every one of my group has done that, but the majority has. I blame it on the intense meet schedule that didn’t allow us time to work between meets. We also took some in between days off because of the intense schedule. Add to that the fact that a sinus infection went through the group and you have a mess. I blame the illness on the first meet that was extremely cold, like 30 degrees farenheit. The last two races we let all of the athletes run in sweats because it was so cold.

Anyway, back to the graduation, with the track meet moved to Wednesday, it cuts me a day of items to get ready. James ordered the meat yesterday. The meat market here will do up the meat, cook it flavor it and put it in a roaster for us to pick up on Sunday at a specific time. I love that plan!! I will order the cake and the buns from the bakery today. I wanted to do it a month ago, but they said wait until the week of the graduation. Wild!

I am hoping that we can do the little mints tonight. My sister Kathy talked of doing it, but I know she has plenty to do, so maybe if we run to Herreid tonight, we can get that finished up and stick them in a freezer. We really do need to go to Herreid because I have plates and cups and plastic cutlery stored there, and I need a count to see what we need to add. I am also picking up the punch bowl. Paulina is afraid that will get broken, but we are using it. What good do things like that do you if they stay in the cup board forever.

Today, Paulina and I will go scope out the community center that we are using for the event. I have been in it for several events, but have never seriously looked at how we would want to set it up. I am so happy that it worked out for us to use that place. I can’t imaging having to clean out the garage here and try to find tables and chairs for everyone to sit if we hosted it at home. Well, I will quit for now, again leaving you with a few photos to update you on life around here.

Below is an update on some plants I am trying to grow and what I did for my daughter, Victoria on Mother’s Day. I was a mother and helped her with the blanket she was giving to her husband for his birthday, which was the next day. Jaxon spoiled the surprise. Apparently when Nate got home from work, Jaxon asked something to the effect of, “Papa did you get your blanket? Your birthday present one.” I guess at age three, he might not understand about surprises, but then again, I have a feeling he may just do what he wants most of his life.

Baby Christmas cactus and some fruit seed that I planted long ago.

Baby Christmas cactus and some fruit seed that I planted long ago.

First part of fleece blanket.

First part of fleece blanket.

Back of fleece blanket. This thing is about 9' by 7'. It must be monster sized.

Back of fleece blanket. This thing is about 9′ by 7′. It must be monster sized.

I actually started called Victoria Fiona when we were making it.


Today or shall I say, this has been a week/month of losses. On Sunday we went to Herreid to work in the garden and such. Interesting that all of my sisters decided we needed to be there on Mother’s Day. Adie hosted most of us for lunch. We went back to my place and Melissa and Adie and Aunt Glenda were hanging out in the yard and at our mother’s place. She has been gone for two years, but for some reason we were drawn there for Mother’s Day, yet none of us talked about it. It just sort of was.

I didn’t go in the house. I have been fighting a cold/sinus infection since Saturday morning when we went to Eureka to that track meet, and it was really cold and my hair was wet. I know that doctors say that a wet head can’t make you sick. All I can say is I wish someone would tell my throat that rule.

Anyway, it seems that I misplaced my new CD’s when we were there. I hope they are in the house there, but I have no idea. This comes after my track chair was damaged by a shot put at the last home meet. I would say this started a few weeks back when I lost my two glasses cleaners. I have searched my house up and down for those, but to no avail.

As disheartening as any of those things seem, nothing compares to the loss that my aunt found out about today. Her cat was run over. She talked about it being missing, but didn’t really know what happened until today. This is the cat who when given away to a farmer with a batch of kittens, left the kittens at the farm and walked back to town in the dead of winter. She lost a tip of her ear, but found her way home. Glenda said she just had a batch of kittens, but no one knew where she hid them. The neighbor girl ran her over Stinkpot with a vehicle. Why can’t teenagers pay attention to what they are doing? This is why we need to be careful when we drive.

One other point that my mother used to note was, if you can’t control your vehicle when a pet runs in front of you, what do you do when a child runs into the street? Yes, it is sad that a cat was run over. I feel so bad for that cat, and for those kittens that surely have died of starvation by now. I hope that teen thinks about her driving, and starts paying better attention before the next thing she hits is a child.

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