Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday and Thursday were so busy for me that last night I asked the girls to go do one of my favorite things...sit on my Mother's Day Glider (as we call it) out in the woods. Balm to my soul. This picture is misleading because it was pitch black outside. We had sweatpants under our clothes, and mittens and hats, so we were able to stay out for 45 minutes until we got cold.

The quietness was just what I needed. We were led to sing, How Great Thou Art. There were only a few stars out.
We have a little playhouse that gets toasty with one lantern burning, so we've decided to fix up the inside for more outings. (Besides, my glider only seats 3.)
Yesterday at the thrift shop, I bought this lamp for $3 for a Christmas gift for Allen. However, I asked him to make sure it worked. We were so fascinated by it that we have yet to put it away. For you local folks, the thrift shops are full nowadays.
I love the way this lamp lights up a dark room.
I'll show you a few of the things we did Tues and Wed in addition to the usual lessons and appts. This is Maggie getting her traction treatment at Physical Therapy on base. She spends 15 minutes on this, then 15 minutes with a warm pad wrapped around her neck.
When we went to get our allergy shots, we met Sir Earl in the navy clinic. Sir Earl was visiting the children in daycare. He had a magnificent voice.
On Tuesday, Dad took Maggie and Anna to spend the day with him. They visited dear Abby and Natalie. Abby's latest funny moment is when anyone is holding her. She laughs and coos...but if Natalie speaks, Abby gets a serious look on her face and turns her head until she finds Momma. I can just imagine.
They all went to check on "the boys" who are still working on their new house. They've built this floorplan many times.
Of course, they went to El Charro Grande for lunch. Each person gets a large meal so they have extras to bring home to their siblings and Momma. Yummy! Both of these plates are considered to be one meal! Fajitas on the first plate...
...and beans and guacamole on the second plate. FYI, no guacamole ever makes it to the doggy bag:-) This lunch entree with beef and chicken is $8, or $10 if you add shrimp.
Here they are. Mike met them for lunch, so he took this picture.
On Wednesday morning, Lizzie and I went over to the home of my friend, Heather, to help her unload the truck from Frankferd Farms Foods. This is a health food company that delivers food to our co-op. We take turns unloading each month.
This is the sign on the side of their truck.
Anyhow, I always enjoy driving over to Heather's home because of the scenic countryside.
There are barns and farmhouses.
And this is a B&B called the Victorian Candle. It has 8 rooms for rent.
Click on the picture, or here to see their webpage. If you'd like to see what the individual rooms look like, click on "rooms" on the left side of the webpage. Very interesting. I like the Rose Room best.

Maggie had 5 great days in a row this past week, but now she is feeling pain again. She was supposed to have a treatment this week, but there were no available appts. Monday she has her next appt.

We will be busy today getting ready for our bonfire. We have to move a table and a bunch of chairs. The menu is the same for bonfires all over the country...hotdogs, beans and marshmallows, along with hot chocolate, tea and coffee.

Enjoy your weekend. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our trees are finally starting to turn colors. I always enjoy this time of year.
This year for Christmas gifts, I have finally convinced my sister in law that we need to give homemade/cheap gifts. My sil loves to shop, especially for my five daughters. But the economy is affecting everyone, so now is a good time to economize. But what to make?

I collect worn out jeans from to make quilt squares. I saved the pockets with the hopes of maybe sewing them onto a finished quilt or some other creative idea. But this morning I had a rare moment and came up with the idea to turn these pockets into denim coasters! What do you think? I will back them with blue navy fabric with batting between. I have a huge trashbag full of batting scraps, so I can thin out that bag too. If you have any tips or additional suggestions, please let me know. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Actually, this afternoon while I was sewing patches onto Allen's uniform, I managed to break my good computerized Viking machine, and messed up Anna's machine as well. Hubby reminded me today that my good, top of the line Viking is 23 years old. Yikes! Where did the time go?
This past week I picked up one of these squirrel feeders at the thrift shop for 30 cents. Then I went to the Henyard and got a bag of dried corn ears. Allen and Mike put it up this weekend.
Now I'm waiting for my first squirrel. I've only seen one in my yard in 8 years, so I'm curious if this feeder will draw them out.
Our local Walmart has these small purse-size Bibles for $10.22...a great deal! It is very hard to find KJV Bibles around here. My children have all requested one, so I buy them whenever I see them. Walmart only gets them in groups of two. The best part is that the words are large print...not the tiny print you can barely read.

Our local Wendy's is having a 99 cent sale on their Crispy Chicken Sandwiches, so tonight we splurged and bought 8 for dinner. I figured it costs me $8-10 for a meal anyhow, so it was nice to let someone else do the cooking. Cleanup was a breeze! (Please don't remind me of the lack of nutrition:-)

Tomorrow is Wednesday already. Wow. Time flies when you're busy.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, October 27, 2008

It took 3 coats, but my chimney is now white! I like it more than I thought I would. Perfect! Above shows the before...and here's the after picture. Ready for trim, then flooring. Can hardly wait!
Last night after evening services, we went down to the gym for a surprise party for Terri. It was a lot of fun.
There were two cakes, chocolate and vanilla. Yummy! Terri is one of those women who do a lot of serving behind the scenes, so she rarely gets recognized for all that she does. But we sure do appreciate her! Thanks, Terri.
This weekend Lizzie was looking for her duck and found her under the porch...laying on a nest of eggs!
Fifteen eggs! Wowee! Since we weren't sure how long they'd been there, we put them in the compost pile. Any eggs that we get now will be fresh. Too bad most of us are allergic to eggs. Since the two ducks that got eaten by the fox were drakes, these are unfertilized eggs. For some reason, I am the only one around here saying, "This is a good thing!"Allen and Lizzie were so glad to catch JJ to give her some love.
Lizzie said she was only able to catch JJ as the duck was flying away...she grabbed onto the duck's feet! Wish I could've seen it.
This is the story of The Three Happy Hunters. Pictures by Lizzie. There once were three Happy Hunters who went hunting with their Pastor's muzzleloader.
Boy were they ever excited! They waited, and waited, and waited!
Five minutes later, one of the Happy Hunters was out cold from boredom! I always did wonder what happens on those hunting trips. It started to rain very hard, so the Happy Hunters' Momma picked them up in the van and took them home to their warm, dry home. The end.
I've been trying to find cheap recipes to make. This weekend I made my own version of Cream of Green Pea Soup. I used 1 lb of split green peas, cooked them til soft, blended them with my handheld blender, added 3 tblp instant potato flakes, thinned with a little ricemilk, then ate. Yummy! I figure each serving cost 11 cents. Not bad!
We've invited a few families over for a bonfire on Friday evening, so we are watching the weather closely. Looks like a far.

Maggie says she is starting to feel better. She thinks the accupuncture treatment may be working. Unfortunately she only gets them once every two weeks (recommended for once a week, but there just are no openings available).
I can hardly wait to see the twinkle return to Maggie's eyes.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Allen's Tang Soo Do teacher sent us this picture of Allen breaking a board with a front kick. We watched another student do a run and jump kick to break his board. Our family enjoyed watching the whole testing process.

Today our Pastor gave a sermon called, "The Transformed Life." He used Saul of Tarsus as his text (Acts 9). I'm sure I wasn't the only person doing a lot of soul searching this morning.

I read this "inspirational humor" today and thought it was funny:

A Temperance Sermon
A minister was completing a temperance sermon. With great emphasis he said, “If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.”
With even greater emphasis he said, “And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.”
And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said, “And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.”
Sermon complete, he sat down.
The song leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, nearly laughing, “For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365, “Shall We Gather at the River.”

Have a restful Sunday. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Introducing our Yellow Belt champ!

Allen's big day finally came, and on Thursday, he successfully completed his testing and became a yellow belt in Tang Soo Do. What a happy lad! These are Allen's teachers, Mr. Nicolas (left) and Senior Master Miller (right), whom he loves dearly. The name of the school is Miller's Tang Soo Do Institute (MTSDI).
Allen has the most wonderful classmates. In TSD, the more advanced students teach the younger students, which means everyone in Allen's class had a chance to teach him. Allen's classmate, Dylan (red belt), also tested that day. It was amazing to see the difference that Dylan's 3 years of study makes! His power and energy were impressive.

Sr. Master Miller has a blog that makes for good reading. Take a look at
Yesterday we got a lot of cleaning and painting done around our home. This is Mike in our bedroom getting ready to paint the brick chimney. I decided to paint the chimney because our bedroom is a typical farmhouse bedroom with mostly whites. Because the chimney is a big, bold statement, it is a drama point. I think it will fade nicely into the background once it is white. I will show you an after picture.

I really surprised my family when I announced my decision to paint the chimney white. I normally don't like painted brick. But we are getting ready to have hardwood flooring installed in the entire upstairs, so I knew this would be the best time to paint. While Mike painted upstairs (we all took turns helping him), I was downstairs cleaning out my pantry. Fortunately, for my pride's sake, I forgot to take a before picture:-)
Now that it's clean, welcome to my pantry. The picture says, "Give Thanks." We enjoy having this pantry. Many times we will go in here for private discussions. It's a nice size, 22x5'.
This is the right side. We call the wood shelves on the right the Broom Closet because we intended to put a door on it and store our broom in there. I forgot to tell my brother until after he had installed the shelves. Now I'm glad to have the shelves instead. (Our home was built by my brothers.)
And this is to the left. I keep my juicer in the blue bin down below. Anything that I hadn't used in one year got sent to my amish friend or the thrift shop. To the far left, behind the wall, is a dead space that is 4x4'. Someday when we are bored, we hope to punch a door through the wall and make the space a telephone booth. It was originally supposed to be a dumbwaiter...but the cost ($1500 at the time) seemed ridiculous.

I enjoy having the steel shelving on wheels. Yesterday I rolled the shelves out to vacuum and wash the floor. What a breeze!

Today we are putting the second coat of paint on the chimney. Mike and Allen got up at the crack of dawn to go hunting but they didn't see anything. I would like for them to take care of the same three deer who keep my orchard trimmed every evening but the orchard is too close to our home to be legal. Of course!

Have a profitable weekend. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, October 23, 2008

While Dad was in Texas, he got to go fishing a lot with his friend, Randy. Dad brought home this picture of his prize trout. The local Tacklebox store took this picture and posted it on their bulletin board. They gave Dad a copy for bragging rights. Too bad we weren't there to eat it!
Yesterday was our Wednesday to help Dad cook dinner for his church. Dad cooked a whole pig outside in his smoker. It was a 140 lb piglet! I thought for sure that would barely feed 95 people, but we still brought home enough meat to fill 5 1-gallon baggies. I've got it in my freezer. I keep telling everyone we're having pork taquitas for Thanksgiving dinner. They all laugh...but I may have the last laugh yet! (Picture shows my sis-in-law Natalie with darling Abby, Dad, and Uncle Norm.)
Yesterday before church, I made two apple pies on the spur of the moment.
I used Maggie's pie topper cut out thing and liked it. I thought it would dry out the apples that were exposed, but not so. The funny thing about the pies yesterday is that I only had them half baked when it was time to leave. So I turned off the oven but left the pies in. When I dashed back home 2 hours later, the pie plates were still too warm to touch, so I got hot mitts and took them out of the oven. I got many compliments on these pies. Several people said it was the best apple pie they'd eaten! So you never know about these things:-)
It was a breeze to transport my pies in these pie carriers from Walmart.I also like the vent holes in the top since my pies were still warm when I covered them.
I used this Apple Bake Seasoning from Watkins that my friend, Bonnie, had given me. Yummy!
This is the beginning of the line coming through. This is when my Dad, brother, children and I all sit down and breathe a deep sigh of relief.

I'm off to take Maggie to therapy. Lizzie has been doing violin and piano with Ruthie. What a help that is.

Tomorrow night is our last warm night (relatively) and then the nights dip into the 30s for awhile. I read today that it's been 22 days since we've had any measurable precipitation. It's dry!

Many blessings ~ Kathie