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

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. 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

Friday, November 7, 2008

Imagine my panic when I saw this hurricane show up on the map! It looks like it's headed straight for my beloved Padre Island (Texas). So I checked the 5-day Estimated Path chart:
Hurricane Paloma is expected to head straight to sea. Yippee! To think it is November!
Yesterday Maggie had two appointments in town that were close enough that we had to stay in town. But they were far enough apart that we had some time for window shopping. We had wondered what happened to the quaint little shop in Lexington Park where Sarah used to buy Beanie Babies for her friends.

The Beanie Baby shop is gone, but in its place is this new shop called The Dragonflies that sells "fine and unique gifts." Yes, they are unique...but wonderfully different.

The shop is located across from base on 235 (between the 1st and 2nd gates). So the next time you are in town, be sure to leave some time to enjoy this shop.

I got permission to take some pictures but boy are they awful. Hopefully you can get a sense of what the objects are. This is a glass bowl that looks like it is made by layering strips of colored glass. It has a nice texture to it. I wish I had taken a picture of the artist so I could give credit.
There was this unique pitcher with small glasses hanging off it. I had to get up my nerve to ask what it was. The woman in the shop explained that it is a pitcher (think carafe), and the small glasses are for sipping wine. I don't drink wine, but I thought it was a unique idea. I know my Ruthie would love to fill it with herbal tea and sip that!
There were many wood items (jewelry boxes, spoons, etc) that are handmade by a local woodworker named Leon Russell. He is located in Callaway. The spoons were sanded to an unbelievable smoothness. The prices were reasonable as far as specialty shops go. The woman in the shop was very friendly and informative. Thanks so much! (FYI, this is NOT the store to take your young children who haven't been trained not to touch.)
I took this picture of our local gas station (Wawa) at $2.39, but when we came home it was already $2.35. Dad paid just over $2 in Virginia but saw a $1.89. Wish our stocks were doing as well:-) Yesterday I had a small catastrophe. See my hubby vacuuming the refrigerator? You won't believe what I did.
I went to put away my sourdough crock and my little pinky finger got a twitch and caused me to drop the crock onto the bottom shelf that is made of tempered glass. Well, it hit in the right way because the shelf smashed into smithereens and ended up in the veggie drawer underneath. Can you believe?!
I think it must have been obvious that I was tired and weary and close to tears because Mike took over right away while I washed my groceries. The sourdough starter had gotten on everything on the shelf and in the drawer. Fortunately I barely had any food in the reefer. Sarah immediately grabbed the camera because she liked my cucumbers drying on the rack. Oh well.
So if you ever wonder if those shelves can bust...yes they can. BTW, I've never had my finger twitch like that before!

Enjoy your weekend. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sarah is still busy crocheting. She made this cute little sweater for her friend Hannah's dog, Colby. Isn't he adorable? I got this picture off Sarah's blog. Now Sarah has Lizzie crocheting too. She's working on an afghan. I'll get a picture of that soon. Of course, Ruthie is still crocheting something new everyday. Such fun! This week I was washing my Courthouse Steps quilt that I made in 1985, and I noticed it is really starting to fade. It's only a matter of time before it starts fraying. That's quilts are meant to be used.
This closeup shows the fading more. I bought this fabric while we were living in San Francisco. I paid 4 yards for $1! That was a great deal then...the usual sale being 2 or 3 yards for $1.
I made the Courthouse Steps quilt using the Lap Quilting method that was popularized by Georgia Bonesteel on PBS back in the 80s. Georgia is still going strong. Her website is selling all her books for cheap (4/$30). She also has a nice blog that is worth looking at.
Mike sent home these pictures that someone at work had given him. I think they were taken by the Boy Scouts of America as a warning. Try to find the copperhead in the above picture.
Here's the answer. Did you get it? I didn't. I have to admit...usually I am the last person to see them, even here on our property.

We suffered through a virus this weekend that included a tummyache and headache. Everyone but Lizzie and Mike got far. I think we are past it though.

Sarah has gotten three of my children involved in Nanowrimo. Surely you know what that is? National Novel Writing Month. Ruthie signed up for 1000 words, and the twins signed up for 10,000 words. They have one month to write it. I don't know how many words Sarah herself has signed up for, but she writes so much already. She even got her homeschool class to sign up. Take a look!

My inlaws are coming this weekend, so we are trying to do some extra cleaning...but we have more than the usual appts this week, so it's been hard.

Many blessings ~ Kathie