Monday, March 30, 2009

This past Saturday evening we went to LaPlata to hear the Southern Mix Barbershop chorus sing. It was a wonderful time. Since Mike was a member of this chorus for 8 years, it was like seeing family.
Anna has been keeping busy piecing these quilt blocks out of purple fabrics. For some reason, my camera has distorted the purples a little. I can't wait to see how Anna uses these in a quilt!

My busy week last week ended with a busy weekend. We had the Barbershop concert on Saturday, then I spent all night Saturday night in the emergency room with Ruthie. When it rains it pours. Ruthie had a tick in her ear that I just couldn't get out. I tried irrigating it, but no luck. I felt a little better that the ER Doctor was just as perplexed. (She actually asked me what I thought she should do!! I told her I only knew what I read on the internet, and she told me that was what she was gonna do!) So tomorrow we have an appt with an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor.

Poor Ruthie's ear is raw from so many nurses and doctors all trying to help her out. BTW, Tick season is in full swing, so lookout...and for those copperheads who are shedding their old skin...which makes them blind but fiesty for a few days.
These crocks are my latest find at the thrift shop. Cost me $1 each. I think I will leave the piggies on. I usually get out my paint remover for projects like this, but I like these little piggies. The big crock is a gallon, the smaller a quart.Well, the time has come. Every spring when I put away this snowman that Mrs. Bonnie gave me five years ago for helping her with Sunday School, my children all boohoo me. But today I declared that spring is here, so I washed Mr. Snowman and put him away. No more snowstorms. No more gummy bears.
Mike's brother, Glenn, has come over twice for dinner this week after helping Mike with a project. Glenn is just as easy as Mike when it comes to eating ~ anything with sourdough rolls!

I haven't gotten much done thanks to extra mothering. Hopefully I will be able to tackle some projects soon. Especially quilting. Take a peek at my friend, Deb's quilt projects here at Mountain Musings.

Monday is over. Now I can enjoy my week. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This morning I took Ruthie to the Navy's Medical Clinic on base to get some pictures...x-ray pictures! On Monday morning after violin lessons, Ruthie was running downhill on an asphalt road (wearing crocs) and fell. She got lots of scrapes and bruises, and kept holding her left wrist. She didn't cry but said her scrapes sure stung.
For two days Ruthie kept icepacks on her wrist and kept her arm in a sling. This morning she said she was still in pain, so off to the clinic. Sure enough, it's broken. This is our family's first cast.

Going to the clinic was fun. We got to see Crystal and Xavier like we always do (we couldn't plan it if we tried!). The Lieutenant wrapped Ruthie's arm in a temporary cast, then made an appt with the local orthopedics Dr for a permanent cast.
The nice part of this whole deal is that Mike took us out to lunch! (Anna was with us since she had a chiropractor appt.) We chose Ruby Tuesdays. This is Mike's Chicken Chili.

And this is my salsa plate. Yes...the guacamole is a funny color green/brown. The last time I had this dish it was very fresh. Today it tasted and looked old...but still good. While we were eating at Ruby Tuesday's, my Dad went and picked up Sarah, Maggie, Allen, and Lizzie, and took them to a Mexican restaurant in Leonardtown. He even had Natalie and darling Abby meet them there. Boo hoo!

So this afternoon I am one grateful Momma:
~ Thankful to be able to afford medical care
~ Thankful for my Dad to take care of my children (even though they would've been fine by themselves, it sure made them feel loved)
~ Thankful that Ruthie's break wasn't a bad break

I'm also thankful that a special nurse at Pax River, "Miss Virginia," found a way to squeeze Ruthie in when there were no appts available, thus saving us hours of waiting in the ER of the local hospital.

Two years ago, Ruthie had a bunch of warts on her hands, so our Dr gave her a prescription for Tagamet, which is used to stimulate the immune system. Well, the dosage he gave her was wrong, so she ended up overstimulating her immune system. So everytime Ruthie ate the slightest bit of dairy or egg, or even got a headcold, she ended up in the hospital. She stayed in the hospital four times in four months, until the medicine wore off.

The fourth time Ruthie was in the hospital, I had taken her to the clinic on base, but they couldn't control her wheezing. Ruthie and I took our third ambulance ride over to the hospital. Two weeks later, when going back to the clinic for a followup appt, one of the Drs hugged Ruthie and started crying. He told me that when he had put Ruthie in the ambulance that day, he did not think she would make it to the hospital. He grabbed two other nurses that he knew were Christians, and they prayed until they got the news that Ruthie had arrived at the hospital (8 minutes later).

As this Dr was telling me this, he had tears streaming down his face. I had no idea how ill my baby had been...thankfully. I had been more concerned about the ambulance going the speed of heat!

So Ruthie is well-known in our clinic and in the ER.

One other thing, today I was told that I am known for being a Mom who only takes her children to the clinic if they are very sick or hurt. I don't know if that is a compliment or not...but I am thankful that my reputation got us an appt!

Hope your day was not as dramatic. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, March 23, 2009

Last night after evening church service, I sauteed some of these sweet potato fries for dinner. Yummy! I'm not crazy about sweet potatoes, but I really liked these. And they hardly took long to cook. For you local folks, you can buy a huge bag of these fries at BJs. And one serving gives you your full day's worth of Vitamin A.
On Saturday I read this book that I bought for 10 cents at the thrift shop. It is by no means a Christian book, it's just that I enjoy real-life stories. This memoir was written by a woman when she was 80 years old. Her family kept asking her questions about their family history, so this was her way of once and for all telling everything she knew. I was very impressed.

I am fortunate that both of my parents have their families "documented." My father's cousin earned her Master's degree tracing the entire Allen Graham family line back to Scotland. She wrote a wonderful paperback complete with pictures. Each of us got a copy. On my mother's side, my uncle traced the Kellenburger family back to wherever? Only the 13 children and 33 grandchildren got copies. I am a great-grandchild, so I need to copy my mother's copy:-)
Anyhow, I would like to someday start my own written journal for my children. I guess I'll have to keep it secret until the end of my life so that my children won't disown me for being such a rebel in my earlier years!
I'm off to violin lessons, then piano and voice. Hope you had an enjoyable weekend. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Whew! That's about all I can say about yesterday's monthly cookout at Saysf. This was by far the hardest meal we have ever helped my Dad cook. The good thing is that we are all unanimous about never doing breakfast again! Here we are at Ruby Tuesday for lunch. I forgot to take a picture of my was delicious! I got an appetizer for my meal called Guacamole Plate. It was a huge amount (enough for Maggie and me) and it was delicious. Do I daresay it was as good as Rositas in Texas?!

I was bemoaning the fact that I forgot to take a picture of my guacamole, so Mike said he'd take me back to get one. I'll definitely take him up on that!

We used 4 crockpot/slowcookers yesterday. Couldn't have done it without them. I googled "cooking breakfast for 100 people" and got some ideas from that. I remembered from my days as a camp cook that you don't let scrambled eggs touch any aluminum or they'll turn green. Well, the website said nonstick would be okay. Wrong! We kept the eggs warm in a nonstick slowcooker...and they turned green. But they all got eaten...but I did hear a lot of "Oh good! Green eggs and ham!" I had to take this picture of Mike because this is what he did in college...cooked breakfast for his fraternity. I am so glad I brought my pancake dispenser...kept everything nice and clean.The only sad thing about yesterday was that Darling Abby wasn't able to come. Her Momma said they would only come if Darling took a nap. Oops...I bet Darling gets that from hanging around our family!My brother Floyd always has impeccable timing. He showed up just in time to eat! We served scrambled eggs, ham, scrapple, bacon, sausages, pancakes, waffles, english muffins, bagels, sourdough biscuits, hashbrown potatoes, gravy (looked yummy!), fruit salad, and...chicken noodle soup (don't ask).
I saw Floyd eat several platefuls. Floyd is the only 45 year old man I know who still has to eat to keep his weight up. Can you imagine! Do you like this wagon wheel coffee table? The camp that I worked at for 10 years is having a fundraiser and selling off some of the founder's memorabilia on eBay. The auctions start on Monday. I think the horseshoes are wonderful! Check River Valley Ranch's website for more info.

Well, Sarah is on spring vacation this week, but it's been a hard working week for her...early morning meeting, working, teaching at homeschool co-op, etc. I thought she would sleep in this morning, but she woke up and took all my children down to the naval base for bowling. Wow! I have the whole house to myself.

I have both washing machines humming, both dishwashers filled and running, 4 loads of laundry pegged outside, the robot is vacuuming the music room, and I'm taking a break with this post. I am looking out over our field and I'm anxious to get busy planting seed potatoes and asparagus. Soon!

On the way home from church last night, we listened to David Jeremiah on the radio. Dr. Jeremiah has been preaching a series on biblical prophecy for awhile now. Fascinating stuff!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This past week I was reading a cake blog and read about a Root Beer Cake. Wow! I love root beer (especially birch beer!), so I kept the idea of making a sourdough root beer cake in the back of my brain. So when I was in the Dollar Store yesterday and saw this 11" tall bottle of root beer soda, I grabbed it.
I googled "root beer cake recipe" and came up with several really good recipes to try. I saved the recipes to try when I have the time. But at the I found this recipe for Black Cow Caramel Sauce that uses 2 cups of rootbeer. Since it was fast and simple, I tried it this morning. Since I have to make everything dairy and egg free, I used Fleischmann's Unsalted (must be unsalted...the salted version has whey) margarine, and Silk Creamer (original flavor). This is what the end result looks like...not much to look at...but delicious! I can tell that this sauce would be a lot creamier with the casein of cow's milk. But this will definitely be a keeper recipe.
We ate our sauce over Tofutti's Vanilla Ice Cream and loved it. Sorry the lighting is bad. But do give this recipe and website a try.

We are off to help Granddaddy cook dinner for his church. Tonight's menu? Breakfast! Yikes. It's gonna be a tricky meal for sure.

Enjoy this midweek day. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Daddy's home!! We sent our beloved Daddy to California two weeks ago...and he came back as Santa. We call him Porky, which is supposed to be short for Porcupine...but for some reason, Mike doesn't appreciate that nickname!

Actually, the story behind the goatee is this: My hubby, who doesn't have a rebellious bone in his entire participating in a rebel cause. Someone at work made a comment about the goatee of one of the teachers, so all the guys are now sporting goatees. When Mike goes to work tomorrow, he will get his picture taken, then shave the goatee. (Yes, it's all in fun.) Mike arrived home Saturday an empty house! The rest of us were off yardsaling. I've only gone yardsaling once or twice in my life years ago, so this was a new thing for me/us. We got a long list from our local website, then took off. We went to two church sales and two home sales.The church sales were laughable as far as prices. At the first church I bought filters, fabric, and a cute little stoneware vase for 50 cents. Maggie bought a new purse and wallet for $1, and Allen bought a pocketknife for 50 cents. Those are our kind of prices! At the second church, we helped them out buying a lot more. The round wood you see is 1-1/4" thick and makes a great trivet.

We didn't buy anything at the two home yardsales because of the steep prices. But we sure enjoyed driving into the countryside. When we arrived at this out-of-the-way home, the horses and goats came up to us.

The folks at this log home held their yardsale throughout their home. What a wonderful treat to see the inside with all their antiques, etc. They are moving, so most of the beautiful furnishings were for sale.
After the yardsales, we went to the St. Mary's County Fairgrounds for the annual booksale. Wow! Each building held a different category of books: childrens, fiction, nonfiction, etc. It was wonderful! We came home with a stack of books and magazines that cost us $11. Not bad at all! We also got to see some old friends, so it was a nice time.
This week Allen finally decided to sell his K'nex on eBay...until he brought them upstairs and started playing with them again! So much for that! He made this hummer that has a motor and works great.
While I was gone all day for Maggie's appts, I left my children this cupcake tray full of 12 different pastas, beans and grains so they could glue them like mosaics. Here are the beautiful results:
Yes, more cactus and horses...a common theme around here!
Isn't this nice? My children loved doing it and asked to do it again. I like cheap art projects.

This week I listened to an inspiring sermon on the radio that had to do with praying. The preacher told us we needed to add more adoration to our prayers. I was very convicted. The rest of the week I've been carrying the James 5:16b in my heart ~ "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." I googled this verse and found this good sermon.

Enjoy your Sunday rest. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Friday, March 13, 2009

I know I've written about the upcoming Bible Bee this September, but I found out recently that the awards are pretty substantial...$100K for first prize! This could pay for 4 years of college and a few missions trips. Click here for the list of awards, then go sign up!

Maggie is having a terrible week with pain. Her therapist isn't sure what is causing it...either her new accupuncturist or the ultrasound treatments. Nevertheless, the only thing that gives her relief are hot compresses. Since it was taking too long to heat our homemade rice-filled tube socks in the oven, I decided to buy a microwave oven. So I let my request be known to the Lord, then went to the thrift shop and bought the perfect small microwave for $10. Thank you, Lord!

I haven't had a microwave for years...for two reasons. First, I hate giving up my countertop or pantry space, and secondly, because of the growing concerns of eating microwaved foods. Click here for more info on the dangers of eating microwaved foods. This is one of hundreds of websites. There is a reason why there is a growing number of children with asthma, autism, and food allergies.

My great aunt Sarah embroidered this lovely picture for my Sarah when she was born. Unfortunately, because there was no glass to protect it, this picture got quite dirty over the past 21 years. I tried to take this cloth to three dry cleaners but no one would touch it. Then I studied several websites online that made it sound easy. I followed the directions, and sure enough, when it came out of the solution, it looked beautifully clean; however, when it dried, it bled. I am so disappointed. Fortunately, Sarah says that's okay, it just adds to the vintage appeal. Oh well. I will now put a piece of glass in the frame.

Last Monday, I was driving down the highway and saw a huge pile of boxes and toys stacked up with a sign saying free. It was leftovers from a huge yardsale. At first I passed by...then I did a u-turn! I was able to find 16 pairs of denim jeans!! The past two evenings I relaxed while cutting out all the useable parts including the pockets. So much fun! Now I have a large stack to cut squares, diamonds and strips for quilting and weaving. What a treat!

Anyone need a camcorder? The folks at are selling this one worth $650 for $160! We've bought a dozen things from this website and never been disappointed.

When I was a child, my Dad had to travel often for work. He usually tried to come home for weekends, but not always. I don't ever remember him calling home. If he did, it was short and sweet...and he only talked to Mom. Long distance was expensive, not for chatting on about daily events.

So it always amazes me to watch today's children keep in touch with their Daddies via email. All throughout the day they are chatting away with him.

One of our family's favorite Bonanza episodes is when Ben Cartwright comes home from a long trip and Hoss meets him at the stagecoach.
"How are things?" Ben asks.
"Oh fine, Pa. Burned the barn down, but everything's fine."
"Just kidding, Pa."

Anyhow, when my children found out their Daddy was being delayed in California this weekend, they decided to let him know how needed he was here in Maryland. (BTW, the reason for Mike being delayed is because his navy jet is broken, so his students aren't getting their flying accomplished. Back here in Maryland, broken navy jets is also way too typical.)

Here's the letter:


We're all so sad to hear you're not coming home tomorrow.

You'd better bring home some more socks, Maggie's using all of yours for rice bags, and while you're at it, get some more latex gloves, mommy and I have been using them for the paint remover, and by the way since I fried the extention strip you could get that too, and some more yarn to go with that loom you're bringing home, ollie says hi (woof woof) and says you'd better get a new bed, yours is just too crowded already.

We also found out that your tractor goes backward when you put it in reverse, it also doesn't go sideways when the bucket is all the way up, you might want to get some orange paint when you go to walmart for the white paint for your Honda, it's okay, just a scratch, we can't wait for you to get back, we're hoping you can smooth the neighbors over, they seemed to get really upset after we sunk the go kart in the road mud (thats how the tractor got broken) oh yeah, we also sold the BMW, and it only cost us 40 bucks (mom said it was a steal).

We set up the pool in the basement and we're having lots of fun...but the ceiling is kinda sagging...but worth the fun. The pipes leaked all over your desk but the water is contained to your area. Maggie's honeybees got delivered early, but don't worry, they love your closet. We duct taped under the door. Allen's fishtank burst, so they're in the tub.

We didn't take Lizzie to the hospital after that close shave with the tree, but we are down two fruit trees and some raspberry bushes, Lizzie's been really wild on the dirt bike, now we have to find another pole to put our birdhouse on, speaking of birds, mom said you had some extra glass (if you don't you could bring some home) we had a huge wood pecker run into our window, now there's a big hole, we covered it up with duct tape so it will hold until you get back.
well, will save the rest of the problems until you get home,

love you,

all the kids

Lizzie made these tasty blueberry muffins this morning to go with our oatmeal. They are so delicious!

We woke up to heavy snowfall, but now there isn't a flake in sight. Just yesterday I was driving by my amish neighbors in their fields, and thinking spring was almost here. Not so!

My children are practicing their special music for church on Easter. Sounds beautiful. This time I will be sure to get a good recording to post here on my blog.

Keep warm, think spring. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, March 9, 2009

Anna has been sibling-sitting for me a lot lately while I take Maggie to all her dr appts, so I wanted to bless her in some small way. Since Anna is very faithful with her Bible reading and quiet time, I wanted to give her something that would be an encouragement to her in that area. I spent a few days researching prayer journals and Bible study journals. I ended up buying the above Praying Through the Bible from CBD (Christian Book Distributors). This is what the inside pages look like. I really like this book. CBD offers almost a hundred choices, so take a look. I recommend using CBD because they offer the most convenient "look inside" feature so you can know exactly what you are buying.
I also bought this Prayer journal, but both of us agree we don't like the setup:
Sorry the pictures look washed out. Anyhow, there are many free journals online. I bought the above journals because I wanted something small that Anna could keep with her Bible.
My favorite of the free online prayer journals is this one from Free Christian Printables. Plain and simple.
The website Hem of His Garment has several other choices as well as a Bible Study journal.
Here's one last choice to show you. Just click on the pictures to go to the accompanying website. I kept a detailed prayer journal in high school. I threw it away during a spring cleaning...something I have regretted ever since.
I also blessed Anna with two of these floor heaters by Feature Comforts. I bought these for $15 from a nearby woman who had listed them on What a treat! Our sewing room is a converted cellar in our basement, so it is cold! That is great in the summer...but hard on the toes in the winter. So I placed one of these heaters under the sewing table, and the other one under the desk. Anna just came up and said the heaters worked wonderfully and she now has toasty toes! Thank you Lord!

If anyone has any ideas or comments on keeping a prayer journal, and/or a Bible study journal, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Here in southern Maryland, we are finishing up four days of beautifully warm weather...but it is about to come to an end. Back to more typical temps in the 40s and 50s (30s at night). My daffodils are blooming...but no pictures because my ducks eat them first.

Enjoy your week. Many blessings ~ Kathie