Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We certainly did...which is why I haven't posted anything for more than a week. We had my three brothers and their families, Mom and Dad, and a neighbor. The fellowship was wonderful. So was the food. We made lots of pies: 2 blueberries, 2 pumpkin, 2 pecans and an apple spice cake. I tried substituting sourdough starter for the eggs in my pecan pie and it actually worked! Of course, Darling Abby was the star of the show again. She's getting too big too quickly. We just want to savor each moment with her.
One of our friends from church is making a quilt for her daughter's 15th birthday, so we were asked to contribute a 12" block. This is what we came up with.
On Friday after Thanksgiving, my cousin Susan and her boyfriend came to visit for two days. We had so much fun.
My children had fun taking Susan and John around the property. Susan held the bunnies,
and Allen showed them his hole he's been digging. I'm not sure what the reason is behind this hole, but Allen sure is proud of it. John was brave and jumped in the deepest part which came up to his head.
The first Saturday after Thanksgiving is the opening of Deer Hunting season around here, so John got up early with Allen and Mike. They found this "buck rub" fence nearby. I was expecting a much bigger tree and got a good laugh when I saw this measly sapling. No, no one shot anything...yet.
One last big event this past week was Ruthie's new violin. Mike's parents were given this violin, so they gave it to Ruthie. It was in terrible shape. So Ruthie's violin teacher took it to a restorer who performed a miracle! My only regret is that I didn't take a "before" picture. It is estimated to be 100 years old.
Not only is this violin now a beauty physically, but the tone is superb!

Our family is having the old folks from church this Friday, so along with lots of cleaning, we've been busy preparing songs and skits. We also have a Christmas piano recital to practice for, as well as special music for church. So there always seems to be someone practicing. I love it!

Our local weather website released the snowfall expectations for this winter. We are in the 11-16" section. Bring it on!
Today we went to the Farmer's Market in Charlotte Hall and bought a bushel of naval oranges ($20) and these huge cabbages (3/$1). We had already eaten a dozen oranges when I took this picture. For dinner I sauteed an onion and half a cabbage, then mixed with rice. It was delicious with a little soy sauce.

We spent a lot of time this past week being thankful for all that we have. Our salvation through Jesus Christ, our family, our health, our wonderful home, our church, our religious freedom, hubby's good job, etc. The list is endless.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lizzie and Anna had a piano recital on Saturday evening. What made this recital special was that every piece was played by ensembles. Lizzie and Anna played together. Mike took pictures on the video camera, but I forgot to get one on my digital camera. So here they are practicing. The name of their piece is "Yankee Doodle Variations," and it is an upbeat, fun song. Well done, girls! One night last week we were coming home late, and an animal darted across our dirt road. We followed it and took this picture. All we could see were the two yellow eyes. It wasn't until we got home and saw this picture that we realized it was a cat.

Last Wednesday when we helped Dad cook for his church, we got to have a lot of fun with Darling Abby, my niece. My brother, Floyd, especially had fun with her. Here she is checking out Floyd's beard. This same beard made each of my children deathly afraid of Floyd for years. They would scream if he even smiled at them! So these pictures are especially dear.
I have never baked bread in stoneware before, so when I found this pan at the thrift shop, I bought it. As usual, when I went to pay for it, the cashier marked it down from $5 to $2. I must look poor or something because I seem to get charged less and less...not that I mind!


Anyhow, I loved the way it made the bread crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. If you live close and would like to borrow this pan, let me know. You may borrow it for a few weeks, no need to worry about returning it quickly.

Today I learned about a Bible Bee that is similiar to a Spelling Bee, but will test Bible memorization instead. What a wonderful idea! If you'd like to learn more about it, click here for the Bible Bee website. If you'd like to find the closest bee in your area, click here. If you sign up, I'd love to know.

Tonight I am weary, but I'm glad I forced myself to write a post. All I did was violin lessons, piano lessons, chiropractor, return something to the store, and shopping...but I'm done in! How do working Moms do it?! We had an easy dinner (BLTs) so at least my kitchen is clean.


I was feeling sad that I forgot to pray for Maggie while she was at her accupuncture appt, but PTL, she had an easy time of it! Usually it is excruciating for her. Hopefully this is good news.

Both the woodstove and fireplace are going, so we are warm and toasty. So much to be thankful for. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What a busy week. Lessons, appts, shopping, etc. This was our week to help my Dad cook for his church. Then we had family portraits taken for our church directory. Ugh! Our family does not take a good picture! Our appt for getting our pictures taken was 9:20 pm on Thursday evening. Of course, it was 10 pm by the time we actually posed. But there were lots of folks at church, so we had fun yapping with everyone.This morning I decided to see how eBay sales are doing. Many of you know that for seven years, I used to sell precut quilt kits on eBay. I stopped last April because we were leaving to go to Texas for 6 weeks. I haven't found the time yet to start up again. It didn't help that eBay (nicknamed Feebay) raised their fees again.


The above picture shows a set of pink squares that are 2" each. The starting bid is $2.25 for 90 of them. Back in April, these sets would start at 99 cents and bid up to $3 or $4. This morning I was shocked at the lack of bidding. I always say that eBay is the best gauge of our economy. If that's true...yikes!

I put "log cabin" in the search engine and came up with this kit for $29.99. It's a 60" square. That's a fair price.
I really liked this kit until I found out that the $16.99 only covers the 10 dog pictures. You have to supply the rest of the fabrics. I would like to do something similiar to this, but using horse pictures and brown fabrics.
It was heartwarming to see longtime seller "emasond" from Virginia still selling. She has some of the nicest blocks. When a buyer asked me to make a quilt in flannels, I declined but passed the offer to emasond. She also declined but replied with the friendliest email.
One last picture. Here's a quilt kit called Daisy Lane. It is selling for $24. Probably not a bad price, but coming from Canada means high shipping. Clicking on the pictures will take you to the individual auction pages.

My conclusion is that I chose a good time to take a break from eBay. If eBay truly is a reflection of our economy, we must be in another depression!

Last night we had Uncle Norm for dinner. Then Dad came over and we all sat around the fireplace with a huge fire roaring. It was toasty!

Enjoy your weekend. We are having blustery weather (for Maryland, that is). I can hear my Wyoming friend laughing!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Go You Chicken Fat Go!

When I was in first grade, my entire school would start off the day doing an exercise routine called, "Chicken Fat." This is a catchy tune sung by Robert Preston (of The Music Man) that lasts for 6 minutes. A few years ago, I was wondering if the music still existed, so I googled it. I wasn't the only child who remembered shouting, "Go you chicken fat, go!"
I learned that President Kennedy was concerned about the climbing obesity rates for our nation, so he commissioned this song/exercise for America's schoolchildren.
My children enjoy the exercise as much as I did. To hear the song, click here. To read the lyrics, click here.


Have fun! Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hubby made it home safely from FL, but the next day he and Maggie went to the clinic and came home with antibiotics. Mike has a touch of pneumonia, and Maggie has had a terrible sore throat for a week.


We decided we would show our love to our church family by staying home from church on Sunday. We really needed the rest and recuperation. Today I took Anna to the clinic because of her weeklong sore throat, so now she, too, is on antibiotics. So don't come near us!


Actually, the rest of us are doing well today. Mike and Allen went and got a trailer of free firewood, so bring on the snow!
Last week I got my November 15/22 issue of World Magazine in the mail. I had to read and reread this quote from Tom Moran, a Democratic Congressman. I couldn't believe this man is for real! This quote comes from his campaign speech in which he criticized the GOPs "antipathy to the means of redistributing the wealth." Incredible and socialist. This week I also got my Winter issue of Creative Ideas for Home and Garden. This is a complimentary magazine from Lowes Home Center. I always enjoy these magazines. The projects are usually priced reasonably, and relatively easy to do. I think this Snowflake Wreath looks nice, especially since you can keep it all winter.
I especially like the step by step pictures. See the candle centerpiece?
The pictures make this project look so simple. I would prefer to make this using an antique red. I saw lots of nicely-colored candles and votives in the Dollar Store today, so this project has real possibilities for Christmas gifts.
I'm not crazy about this idea with the individual cheese boards, but I noticed that this is becoming a trend. I've also seen individual boards that have been soaked in water, then grilled with fish or chicken. Yes, the board went right on the grill!
One last sample to show you. The editors in this magazine are famous for taking everyday items and using them completely different as decorations. I also like that there is a cost estimate listed. If you don't get this magazine, go to Lowes (or online) and ask about getting on the mailing list. Then be sure to check on eBay for Lowes Coupons (or some other website). Have fun!

I hope you are enjoying your preparations for the holiday season. Let me know what ideas you have for inexpensive or homemade gifts. My children are practicing their Christmas music, so we're already in the spirit! And today we saw our first Christmas decorations, other than the stores. In our family, we regularly talk about the true reason for the season, the birth of Christ, so it's not hard for us to remember.


Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, November 13, 2008

All week I have been unable to download pictures onto my blog. I don't know why. But now that hubby is home, I have no problems! Oh well. This is Grandma, Grandpa and Glen (not in that order) at a rest stop. They drove straight through to FL, but stopped every two hours so Grandpa could walk a 1/4 mile to keep the circulation going in his legs.
The next morning they got right to work. Here's Mike cutting/pruning. He said they did a lot of work everyday.
Mike's brother, Dwight, showed up on Tuesday. He drove down from his home in Ocala, FL. He brought his chain saw.
This is the tree that had to come down.
I'm impressed! Just wish Grandma could have this brush hauled to my burnpile. Grandma sure loves her boys. They're good boys, too! Mike is an instructor at the navy's Test Pilot School, Dwight is a surgeon, and Glenn is a software analyst. They have a sister, Donna, who lives in Phoenix, AZ.
Mike enjoyed Grandma's meals. Lots of salads and seafood.
He also like Grandma's grilled sweet potatoes. She sliced them really thin and sprinkled them with this Everglades seasoning:
Mike liked it so much he brought home a bottle. I know why he liked it....look at the seasonings: salt, spices, MSG, garlic, onion, sugar and papain. I didn't realize companies are still using MSG. Thought we knew better. Yes...it is delicious.
While I was at the Everglades Seasonings website, I found this Cactus Dust that I think would be tasty, but I don't want to add the MSG to my diet. Of course, I can't do a FL post without showing you a FL alligator! On the last day, Grandpa took the boys golfing. This alligator was in the golf course pond. The boys took turns petting it, *smile*.


So Mike is home. He suffered through the same headcold that we have been suffering through. When I went to pick Mike and Glen at the airport, it was raining, and stop and go traffic for much of the way. Somewhere south of Glen Burnie, I wasn't aware that I was going through an intersection, and I ran a red light. There were so many lights everywhere from trucks and buildings, and the rain magnified everything. But when I saw the huge camera flash, I looked up and saw the red light. Oh well. My first time in 31 years of driving. I'm just thankful I didn't hurt anyone.


Mike and the twins are off to hunt since today is Youth Hunting Day. The ground is wet from a rainy week and the wind is blowing hard.


Have a restful weekend. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This weekend we had a wonderful visit from Grandma and Grandpa who drove up from FL. Grandma brought a huge box of fabrics, patterns, etc. Lizzie found this cheater fabric and quickly turned it into a cute quilt. She tied it with black floss, and sewed the binding on the edges. (Lizzie looks so much like her Aunt Donna, Mike's sister, in this picture.)
Grandma spent hours playing games with the children. What a champ!
Grandpa felt right at home doing crossword puzzles, a hobby we share.
I recently found these pictures of my twins playing dressup at our friends' home in FL. My children still talk about the wonderful dressup clothes Maureen has.
Even Anna got in on the fun!
Mike and his brother, Glenn, drove their parents back down to FL and will stay there until Friday evening. Their other brother, Dwight, will join them tomorrow. Grandma has a long list of things for them to do this week. Today they cut trees, fixed a screen, etc. They had scallops for dinner...nice reward!

Mike said he'll email some pictures tomorrow, so I'll post a few here. I betcha there are gonna be some pictures of those boys playing on Grandpa's boat!
We spent the evening loafing around the toasty fire. We brought down the VCR and watched videos. Normally we would sit around playing our ukes, but we are all suffering from a headcold. Again!

See the huge log in the fireplace? I call that an "all day log." I love those kind! That way I only have to feed little logs on either side. Sure keeps our home toasty.

Hope you are all keeping warm as well. I know hubby is in 82 degree temps in FL. Many blessings ~ Kathie