Friday, May 28, 2010

I hope this summer doesn't fly by as quickly as spring did! My mints are doing well. Every time someone walks past them, they release the most delicious smells! The top mint is chocolate mint, the bottom is orange mint. Maggie plans to dehydrate as much of them as she can.
My hydrangeas are doing really well this year. They are almost ready to turn blue. Walmart had a closeout on hydrangeas last week, so I bought the last 6 plants. I am waiting for hubby to till a certain area so I can get them in the ground. Hopefully my bil's tiller will arrive tomorrow.
We finally got the pool assembled last night and ran the water all night and today. It's filled now...but dirty. Tomorrow I'm hoping I will be able to withstand the 68 degree temps to vacuum it.
Remember the growpots I blogged about? I am so thrilled with them! I was late in ordering the growpots, so I ended up ordering my strawberry plants online from Since it was the end of the season, I bought 250 plants for $12, with shipping it was $18...but the plants arrived 2 days later! Next year I will buy another 12 growpots, but will plant something different in the top pots, probably beans.
On Thursday I had to go to the local feedyard to get some hay. It is an old order mennonite store. As I was leaving, I encountered 6 peacocks. It was hard to drive, find my camera and focus, then snap a pic...on a camera that then ran out of batteries. Just then the peacock displayed his beautiful array of feathers. I'll definitely try to get a picture of them again.

We have been busy in the kitchen today. Lizzie and Maggie made lots of homemade ice cream for Sunday's fellowship dinner. On Wednesday, I went to the Farmer's Market and brought home a half-bushel of delicious blueberries, a half-bushel of peaches, and 2 flats of strawberries. It took Lizzie and me a long time to slice and store everything...but now we have a packed refrigerator. I love summertime eating! (...and winter time, and fall time, and spring time!)

For my family, I don't know if you have been keeping up with cousin Ned, but he underwent open heart surgery this past week. Things were rough at first but now Ned is back to his old self. PTL

Hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend. Let me know what you are doing. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, May 10, 2010

Silly children. They are enjoying a video before bedtime. Actually, we are waiting for a man to come buy 15 raspberry 10:15 pm! He works at the local airport until 10 pm. That's an additional $30 for the camp jar. We have Anna's camp paid for, now we're saving for the gas for the 12-hour trip. But I am weary and want to crawl into bed!
Today I took Maggie up to Walter Reed Army Hospital (or whatever WRAMC stands for) for a checkup. The doctor is very pleased. Maggie is doing much better...but was disappointed that the dr didn't do an accupuncture treatment. Even though the pain is nothing like she's used to, after 5's annoying.

Afterwards we stopped at the large thrift shop outside Andrews Air Force Base and bought three things. Maggie bought an IKEA flowerpot for $1. I bought the above 2-quart pitcher for $7.
I also bought this unusual cast iron pan for $5. How unusual is it? I couldn't find another one on the internet! The only words printed on the bottom are "Made in the U.S.A." and 74 H. Anyone know anything about this pan?! I have never seen a cornstick pan with the handle on the side like this one, nor have I ever seen an 8-stick cornstick pan. Very rare.
The amish children are finished with school for the year. I will miss seeing them playing at recess.
One more question for my readers. Does anyone do worm composting? If so, what model composter do you have? I like the idea of keeping my worms in the kitchen (I know...I couldn't believe it either). According to the many reviews on Amazon, if done properly, there are no smells or escaping worms.
I also like this "Can-o-Worms" model. Most of the models got good reviews...which makes it hard to choose. Our family produces a lot of compost in the summer, so I would like to know if one of these models could handle that much. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Today was a cool day...temps didn't hit 60. Tomorrow's high will be 54. What happened to spring? So glad I didn't plant tomatoes yet.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day/Twins' Birthday

My twins turned 14 today. Where did the years go?! After much deliberation, they finally chose a root beer cake. Maggie, Lizzie, and Allen made it. I didn't think I'd like it, but I have to was delicious. My parents came over for dinner after morning church, so it was an enjoyable day. Hubby is in California for a week or so, so he was with us via phone.
Allen opened one of his gifts that I bought a month ago...and out fell Anna's gift! (Anna's birthday was last month.) I bought these buttons during Joann's Fabric's 50% off sale and tossed them up on the shelf in my closet and promptly forgot about them. Oh well.
Aren't these adorable?!
Here's the last set. I think these would look cute on sunflower fabric.
Our family had a terrible time trying to find a gift for Lizzie. She is the most contented girl I know. Just let her have her goats and she's set for life. We took her to Walmart and Michaels...but nothing struck her fancy. We finally decided on a gift that made her eyes sparkle...a trip to Tractor Supply in Waldorf. Hopefully we will get there sometime this week.

Sarah, as usual, found gifts that were fantastic. Allen, Ruthie and Lizzie just loved these mini archeological dig kits.
We gave Lizzie this cookbook...wonderful photos.

Maggie gave Lizzie pink and blue dusting sugar that she found in the clearance section at Joann's Fabrics.
Allen loved this book I bought on Amazon. My family enjoys these kinds of books. I don't know who got these for the twins, but they sure are nice photos.
Of course, we knew Lizzie would like this horse patch.
I bought Allen this terrarium from Michaels. I had no idea they were still a big deal! I was googling terrariums and found lots of ideas for plants. I will have fun taking Allen to the greenhouse for plants.
Sarah gave me a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers. I placed a bowl of water in the coffeepot. I sure enjoy flowers! Thanks, Sarah.
One last gift. I gave Allen a Jerky kit. He loved it. Didn't take him long to mix up a batch and get it on the dehydrator.
We fried a little test patty and it was delicious. This batch will be finished tomorrow morning. I'm guessing they won't last for long!
Anna told us she really enjoys her socks from Auntie Leslie and Uncle Mike. It's even nice that they match her pajama dress!

So we had a wonderful weekend. We got lots of work done and had lots of fun. The weather has turned cool for a few days, so I hope to get all my outside weeding and planting done...before the humidity drives me inside.

Pastor preached a good sermon this morning. I am always amazed when I think of Hannah's promise to God that if He would bless her with a son, she would return the son to Him. The footnotes in my Bible say that Samuel was probably between 2 and 3 years old when Hannah gave him to Eli. I cannot imagine giving any of "my" babies up. Yes, they are God's children, lent to me for a time.

Happy Mother's Day. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sons of the Pioneers 75th Anniversary

This post will probably bore most of you, but since this blog is my family diary of sorts, I'll go ahead and post it. The original Sons of the Pioneers (I'm talking the 1933 group) is probably my all-time favorite singing group. The harmony is impeccable.

Whenever I mention that I listen to the Sons of the Pioneers, I always let people know that this is Western in cowboy music...NOT country/western music. Western music is about the land, the cows, the cowboy life. One thing I seems like most western music fans are born-again Christians. PTL!
In 1994 the SOTP celebrated their 60th anniversary in Tucson, AZ. We bought the VHS (they didn't have DVDs at the time). We were shocked/disappointed at the electrical instruments and the addition of a keyboard. But it was wonderful to see Dale Evans, Roy Rogers, and their son Dusty. The emphasis of the whole video was on the history of the SOTP.

Our family enjoyed several of the songs on this video...Singing the songs of the sons of the pioneers, Last of the silver screen cowboys, Ode to Roy Rogers, etc.

One note: If you intend to buy this video, do not buy the vhs. The first time you watch this video, you will want to watch every minute of it; however, after the first time, you will find yourself fast forwarding to the easy feat with dvd.

When the SOTP celebrated their 75th anniversary, we didn't hesitate to buy the dvd. We were thrilled with the music! The return to the original accoustic sound is heart-warming. Of course, the music is still first-rate. The only disappointing thing was the lack of any SOTP history. It was merely a recording of a recent concert.
There is an excellent book called Hear My Song, written by Ken Griffis. It gets updated every decade or so. My copy is 15 years old. It contains wonderful history, pictures, biographies, etc. I was sad to read that Ken Griffis passed away recently.

The SOTP are the longest performing group of any kind. During the 60s and 70s, the popularity of western music waned, and it was hard to find an audience. Thankfully, western music is alive and well now...and thriving!

So while we most often read sad news about the SOTP...the recent death of longtime member Dale Warren (more than 55 years!), and the closing of the Roy Rogers is wonderful to know the next generation is enjoying the sounds of a century ago.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Story of a Momma and Her Raspberries

There once was a Momma who loved to eat red raspberries, but they were too expensive to buy. So she bought 6 Heritage Red Raspberry plants from Stark Bros. Her hubby prepared the garden, and her children helped her plant them. All throughout the summer, her children would bring her handfuls of raspberries to eat. They were delicious!

The next summer, there were no longer 6 raspberry plants...there were many! So the Momma's children dug up the additional plants and transplanted them into another row. All throughout the summer, her children would again bring her handfuls of raspberries to eat. They were delicious!

Every summer, the same thing would happen: more plants would come up than the previous year, and the Momma's children would transplant them.
One day, in the year 2010, the Momma's third daughter, Anna, decided she wanted to return to her favorite camp in TN, for Camp Bimi II Missions Camp. So the Momma had an idea. She posted ads for raspberry plants, $2 each. At first, a few people bought 10 or less plants. The Momma was generous, always giving people a lot more than they paid for. She wanted to be a blessing to these folks.

One day, a young Momma who lives on a farm, came by and bought 40 plants. The family was thrilled! Several days later, the young Momma wrote and said the plants were doing very well...but that she needed many more plants. She wanted to come back and buy 100 plants!

And that is the wonderful story of how Anna received much more money than was needed to go to Camp Bimi II. (BTW, it was always Anna who led the children in weeding and transplanting the raspberries.) So while we read in our Bibles about Jesus turning water into wine many years ago, we rejoice that God was able to turn $12 worth of raspberry plants into $309 for camp! Praise God!

The Christian life sure is an exciting life!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear blogging I've missed you! To say I've been busy is an understatement. More like hectic! But a good hectic. It would probably be easier for me to list what I haven't done. I've been busy weeding, planting, sewing, mending, cleaning, baking, visiting, and teaching. We visited with my inlaws who were up from FL, we celebrated a birthday, we went to a craft show, we fixed a meal for 25 people, we laughed, we talked, we enjoyed being alive.

Right now it is noon, and so far the day has turned out completely different from what I expected. Darling Abigail is sick, so her Mommy came home to comfort her. So that meant Sarah had the day off! Homeschooling came to an abrupt end, and Sarah took Allen, Ruthie, and Maggie to Washington DC to visit the museums. Anna and Lizzie packed their backpacks and headed to the woods for lunch over a campfire. I have already had two showers today thanks to getting a lot of gardening done. I feel so good about that!
I took this picture of Abigail last week. My children had donned their bee outfits for a hive inspection, and I guess Abigail was impressed with their veiled hats. Anyhow, she picked up this hamper and wore it on her head for a good bit of the morning. I have to does have the same look!

Lizzie and Maggie made Anna's request for her birthday cake. My sweet Anna turned 17 last week...I don't know what happened to 16.
Added later: Heather asked what was under the icing (see comments) so I added this picture of the inside. As soon as Maggie comes home, I will find out what recipe she used to make this Poppyseed cake. It was as good as it looks!
This past Sunday we went to Anna and Maggie's voice recital. What a blessing. It was extra special because both sets of grandparents were in town and were able to come.
When my children were born, I asked the Lord to give them the gift of singing. Obviously he has answered my prayer. All six children sing well. Sarah stopped voice lessons a couple months ago because she was too busy. Lizzie is hoping to start this summer. Allen has to wait until his voice changes.
Look what I found at Giant for $6.99! Deliciously sweet.
I also bought 10 ears of corn at Giant...and I'm sad to say that I couldn't tell they weren't local! They were on sale for 10/$5 and worth every cent.
While Grandma and Grandpa were here, we went to Mike's brother's home for dinner and boat rides. Auntie Denise made her famous oven-roasted asparagus. It was very delicious...and whetted our appetite for more. So I bought 4 lbs and made it for dinner this week. Corn on the cob, watermelon, and asparagus...can you tell we're anxious for summer eating?!

While the house is quiet, I'm going to head down to the basement for some dedicated sewing. Ruthie and I will be homebound soon if I don't make us some dresses!

Many blessings ~ Kathie