Thursday, June 20, 2013

Father Kapaun Day

On the first Sunday in June, we went on a pilgrimage to St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen, KS.  Pilsen is the hometown of Fr. Emil Kapaun, a priest who was an Army Chaplain in World War II and the Korean War.  He was captured during the Korean War because he would not leave the wounded, and he and his fellow soldiers were taken to a Chinese prison camp, where they lived in horrid conditions.  Fr. Kapaun kept up the morale of his fellow soldiers, helping them in countless ways both physical and spiritual.  The Chinese soldiers feared and hated him, and when Fr. Kapaun finally became sick, they took him away and left him to die.  He has been declared a Servant of God, and his cause for Beatification is underway at this time.  He has just this year finally received a Congressional Medal of Honor.  Every year his hometown parish hosts Fr. Kapaun Day, celebrating his life and death, and always working to promote his path to Sainthood.  It was really crowded in the church  Thank goodness, we arrived 30 minutes early.

A very pretty, old-fashioned church.  We enjoyed that!

After Mass, a few people spoke, among them Ray Kapaun, Fr. Kapaun's nephew.  He presented the Medal of Honor to the parish.  Afterwards, we went up to see it.
Our family with the Medal of Honor.

Off to the side in the back of the church.

We then went down to the church basement for a ham dinner.  The kids actually ate quite a bit!  There were a lot of Fr. Kapaun pictures all around the room, which were interesting to look at while we were waiting in line. 

The statue below is of Fr. Kapaun assisting a wounded soldier on the march to the prison camp.  He had saved this soldier's life by stopping an enemy soldier from executing him because he couldn't walk.
A nice family photo.

Checking out the statue up close.

The kids in the grotto nearby.

Boys were getting silly.

A neat metal silhouette out by the road.

Anthony exploring.

St. John Nepomucene Church.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Rest of May

In the middle of May, we went to the First Holy Communion of Dan's niece.  During the Mass, the tornado sirens went off twice, so it was quite exciting and memorable.  Thank goodness, no actual tornado! 

Isabella, Olivia, Anne, and Catherine.

The kids were all happy to see Grandma.

Dan with his nephew, Balthaser.

Dan's brother's family with Fr. Sam Pinkerton.

Catherine has been working on Science, even after we were all done with the rest of school.  It is nice because she can focus on it more.  
Catherine with her lentil "forest," that she grew from lentils we got at the grocery store.

One evening an airplane began to swoop down low over our property and then fly just over the trees to the north, then make a big loop around and come again, each time moving a bit more west.  It was a cropduster working on a field across the road to the north of us.  The kids loved watching the airplane and it was like having our own private air show!  Here's a short video of one of the passes the pilot made over our house:

 One day, all of a sudden, I realized I wasn't sure where Anthony was.  After a search, this is where we found him:
Time for a snooze.

A picture of our grotto, with the irises blooming in front and the roses behind:

 Now, with kids in the picture:

 The kids playing at the playhouse:

Anne and Anthony:

At the end of May, I took a few pictures of a storm that was rapidly approaching.
From the front yard.

From the deck.

After the storm, it was all clear and sunny:
Hanging out on the railing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Miscellaneous May Happenings

A while ago, we began listening to The Chronicles of Narnia on CD in the car as we drove to various places and events.  This is our second time listening to the series.  While we were listening to The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the second book in the series, we heard about Edmond finding his way into Narnia and about his encounter with the White Witch.  Dominic then asked, "What is Turkish Delight?" (Turkish Delight plays a role in Edmond's treachery.)  I said I wasn't sure, but I thought it was some kind of candy.  Not long after that day, we were in the library and I happened upon a book called Cook-A-Book: Reading Activities for Grades Pre-K to 6 .  It was chock full of recipes that were out of or related to all sorts of children's books.  As I leafed through, a page opened up to Turkish Delight!  So of course I had to check out the book, and this was our attempt at making it:
The cooking part done, we had to wait for it to cool and set.

The topping of powdered sugar.

Turkish Delight is suppose to be a gelled type of candy, but as you can see, ours did not get firm enough, so we used it as an apple dip.  It was delicious!
I found that there are many different ways of making Turkish Delight, and various flavorings.  We made ours with raspberry flavoring.  I do not feel compelled to perfect the making of this delicacy at this time.  Maybe I'll try it again should we listen to the Narnia books again.

A few weeks after Biscuit, our new dog, showed up at our house, Dan made her a doghouse out of leftover materials he had in the shed. 
The kids checked out the new doghouse.

Biscuit liked her new house.

We must have some pictures of the chickens.  These are from early May.
All three of these are Iowa Blues. 

The Rhode Island Reds enjoy the large chicken pen.

Anthony does some "work" on the chicken pen door.

Speaking of Anthony, here is something silly he kept doing for a while, especially when he got in trouble:
Maybe he thought it would get him out of trouble?

Speaking of Anthony some more, he loves to play with Biscuit.  She likes Anthony too, and will put up with a lot from him. 
He likes to put her leash on...

...and sit with her in the lounge chair on the deck.

Boy and dog.
They are nearly the same size.

And finally, here is the last project of the art class that Catherine, Dominic, and Anne took over the spring semester.  They made pandas out of clay and on the last day, brought them home, where we baked them in the oven.
Three very different pandas.  Also a clay stick-horse (Catherine) and a ball for the pandas to play with (Anne).

Thursday, June 6, 2013

May Garden Photos

This was the first thing harvested from our garden, on May 1st:

Also in early May, the girls spent some time transplanting the swiss chard into a raised bed.
Catherine scoops one out...

...and sets it into place.

Anne's turn.

They filled up this whole raised bed with the swiss chard.

All smiles.

And dirty hands!

These next two pictures are from the end of May.  So far, we have harvested lots of asparagus, some rhubarb, swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, rocket salad (aka arugula), radishes, turnips (from thinning the row), snow peas, and a few beets (just to taste them).
Anthony checks out the main garden.

The raised beds, with the tomatoes, onions, and okra behind them.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Prairie Rose Western Days

On May 3rd, I took the kids on a Field Trip to the Prairie Rose Western Days, which was located about 10 minutes from our house.  The Prairie Rose regularly hosts Chuckwagon Suppers, with wagon rides, all-you-can-eat supper, and live music, but the Western Days have a lot of other cowboy entertainment and education.  Notice I said it was MAY 3RD, and the kids were wearing their winter coats!!!

The first thing we did was ride on ponies!

Anthony loved it!  He had the cutest little pony to ride.

Of course the girls loved it, too.  They are very horse-crazy.  Here is Anne.




Waiting for the wagon ride.

Here come the wagons!

All aboard!

We rode right behind the horses.
We ate our picnic lunch inside! 

This man showed the kids how he takes care of the horse's hooves.

Rifle shooting.  Catherine got to shoot it, but I had to help her.

Axe throwing!  Little Anne threw the axe at a target, as did Dominic and Catherine.  And me!  Supposedly, I had to throw it first to show the kids.  I even hit the target.

Exploring inside the tepee.

This man told the kids all about chuckwagon cooking.

Catherine, Dominic, Joseph, and Anne with Anthony behind.

By mid-afternoon, it had warmed up to about 50 degrees, so the kids got hot!

We spent part of our time inside, where there were different presentations.  One was about raptors, by the Great Plains Nature Center.  Another was about the Home on the Range, the cabin in Kansas where our state song was written.  We also got to see some bee hives and hear all about honey.  We had a great day!