Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Anna's home!! Charmaine and I drove down Friday and picked Anna up Saturday morning. We got home that night around 10:30 pm. (1400 miles.) Anna has about 200 pictures of Camp BIMI on her camera, so tonight I will browse through and take you on a tour. Right now I am off to violin lessons and three appts.
But first I will share with you some new foods I found for folks who are allergic to dairy and eggs. Wendys has three new chicken dishes! They are expensive ($4.50) but filling. The three choices are Bold Buffalo, Honey BBQ, and my favorite, Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken...yummy! I must say, the Asian Chicken is spicy, especially if you dip your chicken pieces in the sauce that is loaded with hot pepper seeds. But Wendy's brewed iced tea is perfect for balancing the heat.

I would have preferred putting the chicken on top of a salad, but then it becomes a pricey meal. Maybe you and a friend could get side salads and split the chicken. But be sure to try it!

I'm not big into candy bars because I don't prefer chocolate much, but after years of being unable to eat any candy bars...this was a real treat! Chewy caramel with lots of! Make sure you get the dark chocolate version, not the milk chocolate.

Enjoy the new week. Mike is taking off for most of it, so we have plans for a day trip as well as lots of chores. I'll keep you posted.

Many blessings ~ Kathie
"I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" Psalm 34:4. This was my promise verse yesterday.

Yesterday I took Maggie to Walter Reed for her doctor's appt. We were both nervous. Just getting a parking space took 20 minutes...and we were fearful that the doctor wouldn't be there (that's been known to happen). The good thing about military medicine is that there is a rule about not waiting more than 20 minutes in the waiting room. Nice rule!

The doctor looked at all of Maggie's latest round of MRIs and scans, and she has made us hopeful. Of course, Maggie has a new order for additional MRIs. But we are thankful that things seem to be going forward now. Thank you for all your prayers. The difference in Maggie's emotional well-being is wonderful!
This past week we got two free lawnmowers! Meet Billy and Nanny, our new goats. (I warned you before about our original names!)
My children have fallen in love with them...especially now that Sarah has trained them to walk when told. Wish I could've seen that training! Now they whine every time the girls walk out the door hoping to go for a walk.This past winter I bought this candlestick for 25 cents at the thrift shop. I had fun spraypainting it white. I had envisioned it sitting on my kitchen table with all my white chairs...but that was before I decided not to paint my chairs. Oh well. It was still fun to do. Here's a close-up.
I finally bought 8 chairs at the flea market and thrift shops. Each person has his/her favorite chair, so it's nice. But you can see how my new candlestick doesn't really fit.

Yesterday I received this free stereo system from I had been wanting a turntable to play my records, so this is perfect! Allen set it up for came with two large speakers, a receiver, a cd player, a two-tape cassette player, and a radio. Now that the thrift shops are overloaded with LPs, they are selling them for a dime apiece. (VHS tapes and LPs have become the bane of every thrift shop around!)

Almost everyday I spend a lot of time in my car waiting for Maggie while she is at her appts. I almost always listen to our local Sword of the Lord station, 88.1. And almost everyday I hear a song that I try to find the music to. But when I call the station, they tell me the song comes from a very old LP (think '50s and '60s!). So I've decided to take advantage of the LP overload and find some golden oldies! (Besides that, I have 6 Sons of the Pioneers LPs!)
I also found this autoharp. Twenty dollars was a stretch for me, but we'd shopped for one before and really wanted one. Besides that, this autoharp is an Oscar Schmidt, a name I know well from our ukuleles. It's a name you can trust.

Today is an easy day. Laundry, mending, sewing and cleaning. Most of all, just being here for my children. I have hardly seen them this week. Ruthie is really suffering from my being gone. She knows I leave in two days to pick Anna up in TN.

Oops ~ speaking of Ruthie...she just called me for lunch. She made her specialty...chicken and dumplings. If the smell is any indicator, this is gonna be a tasty lunch!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thursday afternoon we packed our van and left at midnight for Chattanooga, TN. Anna is attending BIMI (Baptist International Missions Inc) for a week-long missions camp. Anna has been praying about attending this camp for a long time, so she was really excited!

When we woke up Saturday morning, Anna's eye was swollen thanks to poison oak! So off to the UrgenCare clinic where she got a shot of steroids, and prescription for prednisol, claritan, benedryl, and hydrocortisone. That oughtta do the trick!

This is the first year I have sent one of my children off to camp...alone. I am having a rough time of it, so needless to say, I am in a prayerful mood.I enjoyed the 10-hour drive through the mountains of VA and TN. We got to Chattanooga around 2 pm on Friday so we could go to the Creative Discovery Museum for a couple hours. My children had a good time, but I think they were a little old for it. I had been to the children's science museum in San Diego, so I thought I knew what to expect. The San Diego museum is definitely for the older child.
The favorite part of the whole museum is this waterway exhibit. The children are able to build locks to move boats. My favorite part of the museum are the music rooms with different instruments. Some of the instruments are real, some made up, like the blue squeezy thing above. Allen enjoyed the steel drum. There are a series of tunnels that showed different underground animals. There were real exhibits of scorpions, snakes, etc. Lizzie enjoyed playing all the different xylophones. This player piano was also a favorite.
I got a laugh out of my childrens' desire to play with the rotary dial phone.

We got home around 3 am Sunday morning. Thanks to a lemonade disaster, my only clean dress got dirty, so we didn't make it to church. I slept in until 11 am!

This Friday I will be going back down to pick up Anna. Hopefully I will be able to talk my friend, Charmaine, into making the trip with me. I won't bore her with a trip to the science museum...but I will beg her to stop at the log cabin models for a walk-through!

I hope everyone is in summer mode and enjoying a relaxing schedule. Our deer certainly are...they ate our remaining tomato plants. Anna had worked so hard on the garden.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy 22nd Birthday, Sarah!

Happy Birthday, Sarah. Boy did I goof! I thought today was the 15th...not the 16th. Oh well. It was hard to find any pictures of Sarah by herself. Here she is with Maggie when they are 5 and 2. Maggie and Sarah have always been close friends. I sure enjoyed sewing all their matching outfits.Sarah always loved it when new babies came. Here she is holding Maggie when she was just a few weeks old.

And she's always been a nurturer. Here she is trying to rock Anna asleep. I couldn't find any pictures of her with the twins even though I know we have many.
Here she is when she was twelve years old, holding newborn Ruthie. Sarah had a lot of responsiblities piled on her during this time. We had just moved into our new home that didn't have heat, just a fireplace, and no kitchen sink, dishwasher, or clothes dryer. Just 16 inches of snow outside. And our refrigerator died...but we just kept everything in the garage. Sarah kept the house warm and our children fed while Mike and I were with my midwife.

When Ruthie was 4 weeks old, she had life-saving surgery, and Sarah again had to keep things running. My parents came but soon left because Sarah had everything under control. Thank you again, Sarah.
This is the second teen picture. Sarah used to go to an annual teen banquet with her best friend, Rebekah. Sarah enjoys dressing up and socializing. She made her dress.
Here's a picture with Sarah, Maggie, and Anna. Still no twins. In fact, I could only find two pictures of Sarah as a teen, so there is probably a second memory bin somewhere. I'll find them for next year's birthday post.
Anna made Sarah this beautiful black and white quilt, just as Sarah requested. It is 108" square. Sarah loves it. Mike gave her a strand of pearls, and Lizzie and I gave her a blow dryer.

Sarah and Maggie went out for a birthday dinner with their church friends. Anna, Lizzie, and Ruthie went with Grandad for the afternoon to babysit darling Abigail. And Maggie and I went for dental checkups. We also did Maggie's occupational therapy and Allen's Tang Soo Do. So now I am weary and headed for relaxation. I am behind in my emails, so please don't think I've died...I am just behind. It is hard to reply to emails when running from place to place.

I have been reading the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah is the prophet who was the weeping prophet because he despaired of his people and their disregard for God's law. I wonder what it was like to be there when Jeremiah threw down the clay pot, breaking it to pieces. "This is what your life is like when you don't follow God's law," he told his people. Even though we don't have to follow any laws to be saved, there are still biblical principles to follow. Is your life a broken pot?

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, June 15, 2009

This past Saturday we celebrated my niece's first birthday. Anna pieced this beautiful kite quilt for her. The kite string is yarn that Anna zig-zagged to sew it on. What a clever idea! Anna made her own pattern but got the idea from another quilter.This is the birthday girl! Darling Abby was passed around to everyone and she took it all in stride. Boy did we like that! Simba smoked a bunch of different meats to see how Dad's smoker worked. Yummy! The ribs were our favorite. I even smoked my sourdough rolls and they were good. Simba also took a Bobby Flay idea and made grilled potato salad. The recipe included grilled red potatoes, grilled onions, grilled bacon, and, unlike Bobby, ranch dressing. Everyone liked it a bunch. (Our family used italian dressing and it was good!)
I bought a new Black and Decker Countertop Convection Toaster from BJs this week. (My first toaster lasted 20 years, my second lasted 6 years.) I am very pleased...I can toast 12 slices of sourdough bread at one time!
We harvested some of our potatoes last night...and found no snakes!
These ladies are keeping our garden free of pests...except for the tomato-loving deer. It is heartbreaking to see our tomato plants chopped in half.

Yesterday we visited an independent, fundamental baptist church that is only 20 minutes away. The visit restored our faith in what baptist churches should be immodesty but lots of Biblical music. And to top it off...the pastor was not ashamed to say they are fundamentalists! And I got to talk to Lynn, whose sister was my roommate at BJU. It's a small world.

Monday is my day to run from violin lessons to voice lessons to piano lessons to occupational therapy, to errands, and then home. So I am off and running.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tonight was Ruthie's first violin recital. She played Jesus Loves Me and did a wonderful job! Lizzie played two pieces, Vivaldi's Concerto in A Minor and Pachelbel's Canon in D. Those are two long pieces...and she gave an excellent performance. I accompanied both girls...and boy did I have to practice for that Vivaldi piece. Yikes! Sorry we didn't get a picture of Lizzie.
Many times when I take Maggie to her appts in town, I have to hang around for several hours. Oftentimes I will go to the Checkers drivein and buy a large, unsweetened iced tea. The same girl has been at the window each time...until a month ago when she gave birth to her 7th child! So I found out her phone number and took her a meal. Above is the lasagne. My kitchen smelled so good while it was baking!
Of course, I made a batch of sourdough rolls to go with it.
And chocolate brownies...
And Allen made fruit salad. Anna also made a baby quilt using blue fabrics but I deleted the picture accidentally. We had a fun time seeing the new baby, and meeting his six siblings. What a nice family. We sure enjoy helping folks like them!
On the way home, we saw a bunch of fire trucks and ambulances tending to a man lying on the ground. A block away we noticed more firemen blocking off a large parking lot, so we figured a helicopter was on the way. We were right!
We pulled over (along with many other folks) and watched the exciting drama.
Since there were no vehicles anywhere near the victim, we think he may have gotten hit by a car while walking. I checked the website for the fire department, but they tend to take a week to post stories and pictures.
The guy must have been pretty badly hurt because there was a lot of commotion in and out of the ambulance. Finally he got loaded and away it flew. It was pretty exciting to be so close to the whole thing.

We are hoping to get a lot of chores done tomorrow before we go to Abigail's birthday party. Anna is madly sewing Abigail's gift. I will be sure to post a picture tomorrow.

We sure had a lot of fun at the violin recital. Not only were the performances stunning, but it was fun catching up with everybody since last year's recital. I am very thankful that God has given my daughters their gift of music. What a blessing.

Enjoy your Saturday. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer is here! Ruthie is enjoying the summer. She has goggles on because she was playing airsoft guns and forgot to take off the goggles. Ruthie won't be completely off this summer since she is still behind in her reading. But that only takes an hour each day, so she feels free as a bird.
Yesterday I was supposed to take Maggie to Walter Reed for her accupuncture appt, but when we got to Waldorf, Mike called to let us know he was finished flying and could take her. So we just had to wait at Maggie's favorite asian restaurant. These little appetizers are so tasty and delicious.
This is the main course...tempura shrimp sushi. Neither one of us could finish our meal, so I was able to take a nice lunch home for my children. Allen's second batch of chicks are doing well...sort of. We lost two. When I went to pick them up at the post office, the building was very cold. I actually started shivvering. Not good for baby chicks who are supposed to be kept at 95 degrees.
The company where we bought our chicks gives you a choice to get one free exotic chick with each order, so we decided to accept. Isn't he different?! We call him Poof because the fur on his head poofs up.
In addition to our two dead chicks, we have one with a sore foot. It looks like he may have sliced his foot on the cardboard container. Trying to keep a bandage on this chick is very hard!
Remember Buttermilk, Ruthie's little mallard?
Look at her now! We stopped fighting the fact that Buttermilk wanted to be raised with the chickens, so she thinks she is indeed a chicken. Once a day, Lizzie brings Buttermilk over to the pond so she can swim. Otherwise, you will find Buttermilk milling about in the garden with the chickens.
Buttermilk is still very friendly and loves to be held. Why do we always end up with the strange pets?!Speaking of strange pets, Lizzie's muscovy, JJ is still very lonely now that Moab has wandered off.
Alongside my garage I have these beautiful tiger lilies that are just starting to bloom. They look okay from a distance, but if you look up close...
You will see that the ducks have matted down all the lilies closest to the garage. There are many eggs there, too.
Anna's squash is almost ready for picking. Yippee! We love squash. Today, Anna and Maggie are with shopping with my Dad. Saturday is Abigail's first birthday party, so Grandad is hosting it. Should be fun!
I have been cleaning out my pictures and deleting the blurry ones. I found these two of my thrift shop quilt. I bought this baby quilt at SMILES in Calvert County.
Here's a closup of one block. I paid $1 for this beauty! The backing is made of flannel. I think this pattern is called the sunflower.

So we are keeping busy. Mike is working very hard these two weeks teaching short courses at TPS. Our lawn is overgrown because our four lawn mowers are all broken...and not easy fixes. Hopefully that will change this weekend.

So far our summer has been all about thunderstorms and humidity...typical Maryland. But we are ever thankful for the rain.

Many blessings ~ Kathie