September 8, 2011

View Sept 2004

For several years, Kaitlin, Brianna and Emma (when she got older) published a monthly news paper called "View".  The goal was to get the girls to write with a purpose.  The purpose was to keep in touch with family and friends who were scattered all over the world.  They printed about 25 copies each month and sold subscriptions for the cost of annual postage.

Editions featured family news, creative writing and all sorts of other good stuff.  Eventually, other family members and friends submitted articles to include in the newsletter.  Cousin Brandon even drew a comic strip to add to various issues.

When the girls ran into printer problems in 2007 they stopped writing.  For some time, family and friends would ask if the girls were going to start writing again.  But a little printer glitch proved to be unfixable and that was the end of View.  Over the years people have often commented on the girls newsletter and how much they enjoyed it.  To which we always said, "We liked putting it together."

Eventually, View became our blogs, which keeps us in touch with those we love and gives the girls a purpose to write.

We unearthed some editions when cleaning out the school room closet a few weeks ago.  We laughed and remembered our way through several years of their publication.  Over the weekend, I was looking for some file on my computer, when I came across a folder with lots of issues.  We read through them briefly and ended up printing them out for the younger kids to read.  It was decided, this fall, with some help from the girls, the boys will be reviving View.  I am excited to see what they can come up with.

In the meantime, I came across this one article from September of 2004.  Since the girls didn't know how to type or use the Publishing software, in the beginning, it was my job to type up each issue after they had written it out long hand.  I have vivid memories of sitting up all night on June 10th 2005, while in labor with Samuel and typing up the next issue.  I became known as the official editor.  As such, each month the girls would ask me to write a column for the back page of View entitled, "A Note From Mama".  Sometimes I was assigned a topic and other times it was just whatever came to my mind.  This one seemed so appropriate to the season, I thought I would post it here on my blog.

"A Note From Mama"

Every spring as the weather begins to warm and our world turns green again, I look forward to the summer and all the simple pleasures it brings. What is more restful than sitting outside in the early morning quiet when the dew is still on the ground or watching the stars while the crickets sing in the evening. I love the long carefree days filled with uneventful but oh so memorable activities. Each summer begins with the anticipation of grasping a few more moments of childhood for myself as I run and play and relax in the sun with my little (and not so little anymore) children.

"By the Numbers"

This summer we took two road trips totaling 1500 miles and 28 hours in the suburban. I took about 600 photographs and scrap booked none. I hosted three parties. I started reading five books and finished none. I made twelve trips to the recycling center and typed three issues of View. I spent about sixty hours pushing babies on swings and almost as many pushing them around the swimming pool in floaties.

I ate fifty sand pies and fifty sand cookies. Let’s not forget the countless hours shampooing sand out of three little heads of hair. (Just the same, I usually found some sand in my bed later that night.)

 I served up twenty-four watermelons, twelve cartons of Edy’s grand light ice cream, and bushels upon bushels of peaches, plums tomatoes and nectarines.

I can’t begin to count how many trips I made from the kitchen to the back yard carrying trays of goodies for picnics under the big tree.  I’ve come to realize, anything tastes good under that tree. Be it a sandwich, hot dog, box of crackers or a carrot that Aedan sucked on, dragged in to the sandbox and then stuck in my mouth.

 I dug up two flowers beds and planted a butterfly bush. With the help of my good husband and knowledgeable daughters I planted an herb garden filled with basil, thyme, oregano, lavender and sage. I grew six banana pepper plants that dad gave me. I rarely saw the fruit, however. Not because there wasn’t much. There were about a hundred, I would guess. But, each day we liked to walk through the herbs. As we did this Nathaniel, Emma and Aedan would grab a few each and munch as we continued our trek around the yard. Sometimes they would snitch herbs to taste, too, if there weren’t enough peppers to satisfy them. You would think they had found a garden full of lollipops or chocolate bars the way they carried on about those little leaves and peppers! Even if we weren’t eating herbs, though, each child had to stop to rub every plant so as to smell the wonderful scent. They are very good at naming the plants now.

For all these beds, with the help of my little ones and Nathaniel's wagon, we spread forty bags of mulch. I just love the look and smell of fresh mulch.

 In the name of self improvement, I took three classes with the girls and we helped two families move.

In the name of home improvement, I learned how to hang wallpaper, found linens for the master bedroom and after a year and a half I can call that room finished!

We visited Frederick’s city parks and one amusement park. We went to two fireworks displays and two carnivals.

To encourage my little scientists we raised five tadpoles that Brandon found in his swimming pool. Only one remains. The children named them after themselves and were so eager to see whose would turn into a frog first. They read book after book about raising frogs. Emma’s was the first to grow it’s legs. It turns out that they were toads.

Here’s a hint from the voice of experience. Never let your kids name anything they can kill after themselves. Emma’s was not only the first to grow legs but also the first to die. That left us with the dilemma of trying to figure out how to break the news to her without leaving her emotionally scarred for life. To our cage was added two salamanders (named Buddy and Sally), grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, moths, cicadas and other things we never could identify with any certainty. We became very good at catching things and even better at killing them. All that remains in the tank now is the littlest toad, who is so very cute, named Nathaniel.

Now that September is here I face the same melancholy that comes every year as the days shorten. I am always faced with such an array of emotions. I reminisce on all that we’ve done. I lament all that we didn’t do. I mourn the loss of early morning sunrises and late evening sunsets. The loss of afternoons spent under a tree keeping cool with a good book and my lovely girls. As dusk comes sooner an end comes to picnics for dinner when it’s too hot to cook.

What else do I see? God’s love and mercy. True to our God He takes nothing without giving something else in return. We trade in swimsuits for sweaters, sandals for new clogs, sand for crunchy leaves, flower gardens and herbs for pumpkins and apples, noodles and floaties for new school supplies and textbooks and long summer nights outdoors give way to cozy evenings around the wood stove. Best of all we hold close to our hearts the hope and promise of the next summer to come.

-By Mama From View September 2004


  1. Beautiful, I am just coming into Spring and Summer here and this is so inspiring. I need to make a list of all the "best" things to do.

    Best wishes
    Jen in Oz

  2. Hi Mrs. Kat! I'm blogger friends with your daughter Brianna. :)
    I absolutely love your blog!!! I was reading a few archived posts, and they are so wonderful!! :D You have such a strong faith, and your children so sweet!!! I wish I had as many siblings as Nana does! ;)

    Great post, it reminded me of when my cousin, sister and I tried to make a Newspaper when we were little. It didn't get far....though my cousin and I did make a wonderful post about the Summer Olympics that year! :) Complete with pictures!
    Wonderful post, I'm looking forward to more!! :D

    Love in Him,
    Jedi~Chick <3