Thursday, February 26, 2009

Allen passed his testing on Thursday. He now has a stripe on his Orange belt. We are so proud of him!
It was painful to watch Allen during his sparring routine. He had a stuffy nose and could barely breathe...and he had to wear a mouthpiece that cut off his oxygen supply. But he braved through!

He did it! This was the back kick...hard to do. Next time he has to do this kick in the air!
Tonight our church is hosting a Fireproof evening with a free spaghetti dinner and movie. Guess who is cooking the spaghetti dinner?!
So last night we precooked all the spaghetti, sliced all the bread...

...and added meat to the sauce, and put it back in the jars. I studied several websites about cooking for 100 people, and they all recommended precooking the pasta. Now that it's done, I'm so glad I did. It was a hot job! Besides that, my Viking range has 10x more BTUs than the church's stoves, so the job went pretty quickly.

For the past 9 years, I have been meaning to plant asparagus in my garden, but I always wait until March to go seed shopping...and miss out on the asparagus plants. I prefer to get my bulk seeds at Southern States. Good prices and good quality. When was the last time you got that?!

I bought 30 packages that have 8 roots each. We have a 4 acre field that I hate to mow, so this spring my goal is to expand my garden a bunch. This should be a good start!

I also bought one package of horseradish roots that I plan to plant in a half barrel. Horseradish will take over your garden if you're not careful, so hopefully it will be contained in the barrel. If you'd like some this summer, stop by!

I also bought 32 packages of gladiolus at the dollar store. There are 6 bulbs in a package. Walmart sells these 6/$3.99. The dollar store bulbs are much healthier.
This morning I experimented with my sourdough biscuits. I forgot to set out my batter overnight, so I made it this morning. Yuk. Even though everyone else in my family liked them, I think they were hockey pucks.

Mike is off to the farmer's market to get strawberries for tonight's strawberry shortcake. I am giving my children the day off from heavy chores because I know they will be working hard tonight. Just feeding the pets. Sarah is in charge of the free childcare tonight, so she is busy organizing who will be babysitting who...forty-eight children!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Is this a happy child or what?! While Maggie was at Physical Therapy doing her painful exercises (across the hall), we had fun seeing how out-of-shape we are when it comes to bowling.
We had two teams...the blonds (Ruthie and Lizzie) and the brunettes (Anna and Allen). The blonds won by a long shot.
Part of the fun of bowling, is watching the cartoons on the screen.
It was over too quickly. The only sad thing is that the price has doubled. The discount time is from 10 am (opening) until 1 pm. Shoes cost $2 and games cost $1.75. That's a lot...especially for being a military operation. It makes me wonder what the cost is in town.
When we left, the worker gave each child a printout of their individual scores. I think these are wonderful! Each child can see which pins are his weakest, how many strikes and spares he got, and what his average is. Very nice!
I had some canned peaches leftover from church, so I chopped them up and added them to our oatmeal. Delicious! I even added the lite syrup, so no one needed to add any additional sweetener. Definitely a hit in this family.
After bowling, we dropped Maggie off at her Occupational Therapy appt, then went to Joann's Fabrics to use our 50% off coupons. Since everything was already 30% off, we could only use our coupons on the patriotic fabrics. Very disappointing. I wanted to show you this Debbie Mumms fabric called Family Reunion. Beautiful colors. It sells for $6.99/yard. Unfortunately, as is becoming more and more common, there were white bleach spots throughout the whole bolt. Price goes up but quality goes down. It's just not the cowboy way!
Since Maggie's appt lasted 1-3/4 hours, we had plenty of time to window shop. We went to Marshalls and had fun browsing through the housewares dept. I found this bread bin that got my curiousity.
Here's a better picture. This is called a Typhoon Capsule Bread Bin. I couldn't tell if this is for bread dough to rise in, or to store baked bread. Now that I've had a chance to look it up online, I know that this is a bread storage bin.
While learning about bread bins, I found some others to show you. I like this Spode bin best.
How about this modern bin?
This bin appeals to me because it looks big. I usually have a loaf of bread, some rolls, and miscellaneous bread leftover, so I'd want a large bin.
One last bread bin, this is a retro red bin.
This set has bins for cakes, pasta, utensils, crackers, etc. Not my style, but pretty to look at.

Today we have been busy. Mainly cleaning, but also doing little fix-it jobs. This week the weather will be cold, but no snow. I am trying to be thankful for that since I hate to be driving around in snow. But I sure could use a whopper snowstorm that shuts the town down.

I made a huge pot of chicken noodle soup this morning, and we've been eating it all day long. It's my best chicken noodle soup ever. Warm soup, warm heart, and now....warmest blessings ~ Kathie

Friday, February 20, 2009

This past Wednesday was our day to cook for Grandad's church, so several times I handed my camera to my children and said, "Take pictures for my blog." Wouldn't you know it...I have 24 pictures now...all of darling Abby! Isn't she cute as a button?!

We didn't have many folks for dinner because of the rainy and cold weather. Our menu was chicken...chicken noodle soup (a real hit), chicken salad sandwiches, baked chicken, green beans and potatoes, grilled cheese sandwiches, hotdogs and fries, spiral sliced ham, salad, fresh fruit and pies for dessert. Yummy!
Maggie's Occupational Therapy appts take about 1-1/2 hours, three times a week, so I have lots of time to sit and read, knit, or go to the nearby Dollar Store (in San Souci Plaza, for you local folks). Today I bought this pack of cleaning wipes for leather furniture. It works wonderfully! My only hesitation is that there are no ingredients listed on the package...just a warning to wash hands well after using...and made in China. Yikes. Next time I will wear plastic gloves and only wipe the back of my sofas where it gets dusty...and no one touches.My other purchase was a tube of Breck's Lavender Bedtime Baby Cream. I have always had normal/dry skin and hair, but now that I am middle-aged, I have dry skin and hair. No fun! For the past 2 years I have been diligently trying every lotion available. My problem area is my feet. Even though I never go barefoot anymore, I still have dry skin on my feet.

But this Baby Cream lotion has kept my feet soft and smooth for a week now. I love it! My only concern is that even though the #1 ingredient is water, the #2 ingredient is mineral oil...a petroleum product. Yuk! I've tried staying away from any petroleum products, so this is disappointing. But am I willing to give up my nice soft feet? What a dilemna!
Some other products I have tried and liked are the udderly smooth lotions. These are water based, but I have to reapply these lotions regularly.
I have also tried and liked many of the Burt's Bees products. They are sticky after applying, but it does work...for a time. I especially like their lip gloss.

I also need to mention that there is some concern about the Lavender Oil in the Breck's lotion may be a source of estrogen. The homework for all this stuff never ends! (Added later: I learned that this lotion does not use Oil of Lavender that has estrogen, but merely a lavender fragrance. All clear!)

We are off to take Maggie to her physical therapy appt on base. Since the bowling alley is in the same building (the drill hall), it is only right and fitting that the rest of us go bowling! Then we are off to occupational therapy. Today Maggie will be getting an ultrasound as part of her therapy. Something new everyday!

We will take my camera and try to come up with a more interesting post than dry feet:-)

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Well, another week has passed with no posts. It certainly wasn't because I was lazy! Maggie had 7 drs. appts. Whew! This picture shows Maggie inside Johns Hopkins hospital, standing next to a wonderful display of early radiation techniques. (The Radiation Department is on the way to the Pain Management Department.) I thought it was fascinating.

Maggie had a spinal block done, this time on her left side. So now both sides have been tested with negative results. The doctor wasn't disappointed, however, since this closes the door for certain diagnoses. It's like playing detective, trying to find the cause of my daughter's pain.
The bad part about these trips to JH, in addition to Maggie's getting an iv and the risks of getting spinal blocks, is that they take up a whole day! The good part is that we stopped at Maggie's favorite Japanese restaurant in Waldorf called Kodori Japanese and Korean Restaurant. This was my first time, but I'm hooked!
This picture should be first since these were the little appetizers. The first picture shows the main meal. This is the tempura shrimp dish which costs about $8. I think that is a steal. I know that 9 veggie sushi costs $6 in the grocery stores down here. But the restaurant dish had more than that, plus all the extras. Did I mention the fresh taste?!
Maggie also had three physical therapy appts and 3 occupational therapy appts. Unfortunately the appts were two hours apart, so not close enough to make it worth coming home. To pass the time, we did a lot of driving around, looking at the scenery. This picture was taken on base overlooking the Patuxent River to Calvert Cliffs. It was windy most of the week, as you can see by the whitecaps.
While we were still on base, we stopped and watched a fascinating show of power between four vultures and this falcon (?). Does anyone know if this is a falcon? Whatever he was, he certainly wasn't willing to give up his meal to the vultures. He finally got angry and walked over and flapped his wings at the vultures at which time they flew away.
On the way home we picked up my 13 year old neighbor and drove her home. Taylor makes the 1-1/2 mile walk everyday, to and from school. Taylor's family sells horses, so I stopped and took a picture of this friendly horse. I always enjoy seeing the horses riding past our home.
On Friday evening, Maggie, Lizzie, and I went to a Pampered Chef's party at my friend, Heather's, home. It was a fun, relaxing time. Heather's home was lovely and perfectly suited to a kitchen-type party.
It was so good to watch Maggie enjoy herself at the party. She was in so much pain but figured it was better to be in pain and enjoying the party then sitting at home feeling lonely in pain. I agree! Maggie loved these flowers that were the centerpiece. Now I know what to get for Maggie's upcoming birthday! (Heather got these at McKay's.)
Maggie and Lizzie enjoyed this pear cake. It has no dairy but does have eggs. Both girls said it was very tasty. If you'd like the recipe, let me know and I will get it for you. (It is in the current Pampered Chef cookbook.)
The feature dish of the evening was this cheeseburger ring. I forgot to take a picture of it fresh from the oven ~ it makes a wonderful presentation. I didn't know the hot stoneware can go straight from oven to tray. Pampered Chef has several styles of these beautiful trays.
Last but not least, was Valentine's Day on Saturday. Mike gave me these lovely red roses. Mike and Allen both made dinner for the girls, complete with china and crystal. It was wonderful!
The menu was delicious...homemade sourdough rolls, shrimp, crab and chicken stirfry with asparagus, cranberry fruit mold, and rice. For dessert we had cookies and italian ice.
Here we are. I learned to take candlelight pictures using the "night" setting.
So we've been busy, but also enjoying each other. Maggie and I are leaving in a few minutes to spend the afternoon at Walter Reed Army Hospital for her accupuncture appointment. I sure miss my babies while I'm gone.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our friend, Mrs. Elaine, who underwent surgery this morning for colon cancer. Our prayer is that the cancer hasn't spread to the lymph nodes.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cowboy Style Evangelism

One of my family's favorite topics to read/write/talk about is cowboys. (You don't say!) The code of the cowboy is similiar to the same biblical principles that we teach our children. I tried finding Roy Roger's cowboy code, but couldn't, but I did find Gene Autry's:

A cowboy must never take unfair advantage of an enemy.
He must never go back on his word, or (betray) a trust confided in him.
He must always tell the truth.
He must always be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.
He must not possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
He must help people in distress.
He must be a good worker.
He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.
He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
The Cowboy is a patriot.

Two weeks ago, our church down in Corpus Christi had John Wayne as their special speaker for the day. You didn't know he was an evangelist?! Actually, most people know that John Wayne the actor died in 1979. John Wayne the evangelist is actually Gene Howard, impersonator. My parents enjoyed the services...and my mother is no John Wayne fan. Many folks came to know the Lord as the result of these services.
These are some pictures taken of Gene Howard at a Ron Paul fundraiser. Mr. Howard lives in Texas, but travels much of the time. He has been known to do commercials on tv and radio since he also sounds like John Wayne. One of his ads for used cars went like this, "Okay pilgrims...let's line 'em up and move 'em out!" Wish I could've seen it.

Even though there are many John Wayne movies that are too worldly to watch, and his lifestyle wasn't godly, the cowboy image he portrayed is a wonderful draw for many folks. We went to a cowboy church while we were in Texas, and the pastor said that many cowboys are turned off by the formality of churches, but will come to the informal cowboy churches. What a ministry. If you'd like to attend a cowboy church, just google it to find one in your area. (We have several within a few hours' drive of here.) There are thousands nationally.
There are two other cowboy ministries I'd like to tell you about. My favorite is the Cowboy Camp ministry of Bible Truths to Live By. Lee Homoki has a wonderful ministry to families.
Lee Homoki is the son of the late Nevada Steve Homoki (pictured on right in the 60s), who was an evangelist who came to our camp every year. Lee's camps are located in PA, SD, MO, and MI. I would sure like to go to his annual Family Cowboy Bible Conference this August.
One last ministry that I have never been able to hear in person, but they look like they have a great ministry. This ministry is probably the closest thing you will get to Roy Rogers.

Look at those beautiful palominos! Unfortunately, the music on their website has a strong beat, but other than that, the music sounds like Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.

I am busy this week escorting Maggie around to her different drs appts. She has been given some exercises that are going to cause her pain for the first 2 weeks. That's nothing new for her. Each new doctor gives her more opportunities to share her faith and give out tracts. This morning her doctor remarked that she never seems angry about being in such chronic pain. So Maggie shared with her what the Lord is doing in her life in spite of the pain, and then gave her a gospel tract. Someday when Maggie has her hands back, I'll let her share with you her story. This past week I read a good book by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. called "God at Work." It was so compelling I read it in two sittings. Now I want to go back and read it again to absorb his many profound points. Let me give you the rundown on the back of the book:

When you understand it properly, the doctrine of vocation--"doing everything for God's glory"--is not a platitude or an outdated notion. The principle that we vaguely apply to our lives and our work is actually the key to Christian ethics, to influencing our culture for Christ, and to infusing our ordinary, everyday lives with the presence of God. For when we realize that the "mundane" activities that consume most of our time are "God's hiding places," our perspective changes.

Culture expert Gene Veith unpacks the biblical, Reformation teaching about the doctrine of vocation, emphasizing not what we should specifically do with our time or what careers we are called to, but what God does in and through our callings--even within the home. In each task He has given us--in our workplaces and families, our churches and society--God Himself is at work. Veith guides you to discover God's purpose and calling in those seemingly ordinary areas by providing you with a spiritual framework for thinking about such issues and for acting upon them with a changed perspective.


Normally I offer to give my books away after I've read them, but I really want to keep this book around for a long while. I'd also like my children to read it. But if you can't afford one, let me know and I will get you a copy. I got mine at the thrift shop, so I will keep looking for more copies.

I hope and pray the Lord is working in your life. Many blessings ~ Kathie