Tuesday, February 27, 2018


We were driving to one of G's classes when I glanced east and saw...snow covered peaks!  As K said, "where ARE we?"  The temptation to see more, to touch was great - it is so seldom that we can see snow from home, even at a distance.  I traveled to a satellite campus that afternoon and at the last minute girls decided to come along too.  When I found myself with extra time before my next student meeting, we drove south as far as we could on beautiful, remote roads that we hoped would lead closer to the snow.  We got closer, just not quite there... but it was a fun attempt and beautiful diversion.  (These photos were taken at about 3PM after a day of sun, so don't reflect the amount of snow that we saw - albeit at a greater distance - earlier in the day.)  We also saw beautiful rolling green hills, lots of blossoms, and gorgeous hills and valleys that we'd never seen before.  Who knew!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Community of Prayer

We lost a dear friend yesterday and I am at a loss for words.  He collapsed suddenly and apparently as a result of an infection and over about ten days of attempted medical interventions, his body just began to shut down.  Losing Jay is hard to process.

During this time, I felt deep gratitude for prayer connections.  I barely slept the night after we were notified that he had been taken off of support and put on palliative care.  When I did doze, I'd wake to begin another rosary, groggily reaching through concern and grief to familiar words, repeated with love, hope, and comfort.  Around the Bay Area and across the country, friends were doing the same; others gathered at the hospital to be even closer.

The prayer connection was tangible.  The beauty of that union, of feeling a part of a community of prayer warriors similarly engaged in such acts of love, felt powerful and sustaining.  It was an agonizing and sacred night, feeling the connection of participating with so many others in intentional acts of love and reverence so that the final hours of his journey were imbued with the solicitude of shared faith in a connection to the eternal God.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Basketball Rose Ceremonies

This was lovely and totally new to me. Each school celebrated their Varsity team's last home game with a rose ceremony, playing "Pomp and Circumstance" while calling each player's name.  The player then gave the rose that they received to their mom.  The ceremony took very little time, but the music and the commemorative effort reminded me that these kids won't be playing again together and that they are all off to high school soon.  Too bad; it is thrilling to hear the announcers when they chant each kids' name, especially after a basket.  "That was K from IHM, Number 52!"

Great games this weekend, too.  K had three games among her two leagues and they won all; G had one and won that one too.  I missed pictures because I was driving between one and the other, unfortunately, but I made it for the rose ceremonies, at least!

Friday, February 23, 2018

So You Wanna Build a Snowman?

Our neighbors went skiing this week and brought back... snow!  It's been cold, so the little guy did last through the night.  But by the end of the next day, all that was left was this sad face...

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Working with "geoboards."  I (almost) liked geometry myself - it seemed more tangible than other forms of math.  But I think I would have liked it more, understood it better, with a teacher and materials like these!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Pet Sitting

In this case, not the girls' business, but the "sharing our love" type because Ahwahnee and Tenaya came to stay for ten days  We love having Ahwahnee because she is so very affectionate and we like Tenaya so much that we dug until we found earthworms, since that is apparently the only thing she will eat.  (Temperamental turtle; who knew!)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday

We all ended up with "ashes light," but it was a great Mass and - surprise! - the girls opted for a full Mass on this NOT-Holy-Day-of-Obligation over just getting ashes at another venue. Maybe it was K's basketball team in the choir, smiling and waving at her. :-)

As I geekily keep repeating, we couldn't have VaLENTine's Day this year without Lent!  Hee, hee, ho, ho, ha, ha!  We did a combo instead:  fasting in the morning until after Mass, then a slice of special Valentine's cheesecake with Grandpa in the evening.  (He came over to help with carpooling as they had to be in different locations at the same time while I had to get to work; thanks, Dad!)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


I'm more pleased with most of the girls' classes this term; they are finally getting into things that really challenge them academically.  Just a few photo examples of some of their classes:

Chemistry.  Not just making the crystals, but really
learning the elements, bonds, etc.  
Genetics.  Looks like toys and fruit, but the learning
is fairly complicated and challenging.

Geometry, taught by a teacher who really "gets" it
and is helping to apply hand-on understanding that is leading (I hope)
to a real deep grasp of the discipline's principles.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

History Through Innovations: 1950s

That one pink splash on the center right?  A bougainvillea petal; love it!
Part of a project was to create a propaganda-type design, so G used it as an opportunity to market "Three Cool Friends Cookies, Cakes, and Pies," a timely endeavor with baseball season approaching.  She created the design and then learned how to imprint it on a shirt, then made one for herself and one for her sister.  In the end, a bit crooked, but fabulous nonetheless.  Such a great class...

Friday, February 2, 2018

DNA - Self Extraction

An experiment in DNA extraction for K's genetics class homework.  Who knew this would work?  We followed the directions at the Live Science web site.