Sunday, October 31, 2010

Babies, babies, babies!

I have been having lots of fun with babies lately. I love having babies in my life! All three of my brothers have babies now. Simba has darling Abigail (2), Mike has beautiful Kat (above!), and now Floyd has a new grandbaby, Zoe. I got to spend a couple hours last Sunday holding baby Kat. She is so content to be held. (And I learned that it's not good to talk while someone is taking your picture...makes you look angry:-)
I know this picture has nothing to do with babies but I wanted to remember to post it. Allen made Mexican Wedding cookies for us...yummy!
Anna made a baby quilt for Zoe this past week.

Here's the back.

I tried to get a closeup so you could see the fabrics. The colors are distorted but you can see the prints.
Here's Zoe's proud Papa. Zoe is another very contented baby.
This past Saturday, Zoe's extended family and friends got together at a local pizza restaurant for a fun baby shower.
I was proud of the grandparents for letting my daughters and me hold Zoe for a long time. Thanks!!
Do we look happy?!

Yummy cake made by Zoe's great aunt.
Darling Abigail was a little overwhelmed by all the noise and people. The party started at naptime, so she was very sleepy. After a while she discovered the toys and all was well. She also liked the balloons.
After the shower, we went to my friend Lynn's home. Lynn's sister was my roomate at BJU. I am so glad to have Lynn back in my life. We enjoyed ourselves so much...and stayed too late. (Sorry, Lynn. I had no idea it was that late!) My children keep commenting on how delicious the food was. Lynn sent me the recipes, so I'll have to make them to show you.

Lynn is a naturopath and has a wealth of information on healthy living. I enjoyed seeing her home and learning about some of their habits. (Her hubby Al makes all the sprouts!) Thanks for a lovely evening, Lynn and Al.

Today I experimented with my sourdough and made a Sourdough Sweet Potato Pie. It was good enough to eat...but needs some tweaking. I'll keep trying before posting a recipe.
My Christmas cactus is getting ready to bloom in a big way! My friend, Adina, gave this plant to me. It's very healthy and one of my favorites.

Well, we stayed home from church tonight because everyone is very tired and sleepy. We ate dinner, took a walk in the woods, played pinochle, and now we're going to watch a dvd...then get to bed early. I am so thankful we don't have any close neighbors and therefore don't have to deal with Halloween.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What a long, busy week. I'm so glad it's Friday! Yesterday Allen successfully passed his Tang Soo Do test and received his second black stripe on his green belt. Hurray! The next test is a belt. I hope his uniform lasts long sure is fraying on the edges. Good job, Allen. I sure enjoyed watching the impressive.
Before I forget, this is the picture of the second candlelabra that I sanded and painted. I'm very pleased with the results.
Last Sunday we had BJU evangelist Mike Shrock come and preach at the morning and evening services. Very good sermons.
Mr. Shrock plays the trumpet very well. He and our assistant Pastor, Nathan, did a beautiful duet.
After the evening service, all the youth went downstairs to the gym to play indoor soccer. It was hard to pictures of moving people. This is Lizzie.
This is Allen playing goalie.
And this is Anna. They LOVE to play indoor soccer!
This past week we velcroed the outside panels onto our canopy and had some fun.
Allen built a pyramid stove out of bricks. It worked really nicely. Our canopy has a screened opening in the middle of the ceiling so you can use a firepit inside.
Can you see the flame? This stove put out a lot of heat...and that was before the cold weather came. It was a little too warm and windy. After awhile it got smokey because the wind was very strong.
Here's a peak into the oven. Unfortunately, Ruthie stayed in the tent when it got smokey, so she's been suffering from her asthma ever since. No fun. Next time we will make sure there is no smoke.
Maggie found two sets of now and then photos. This is Lizzie at 4 years old and 14 years old.
These pictures were taken the same years. What a photo!

The weather has turned very cold all of a sudden. Almost blustery.

Everyone has been busy in the sewing room, so tomorrow I will be sure to take some pictures. There's something about cold weather that inspires us to sew.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today we drove 40 minutes away to LaPlata so Lizzie could play in the Music Teacher's Association's Baroque Recital. You can go here to see the pictures from last year's recital and for an explanation of the church's history. My pictures are out of order...and blogger no longer allows us to easily move them around. At the end of the recital, the Southern Maryland Flute Choir played two pieces. I enjoyed hearing all four different flutes...piccalo, flute, alto flute, and bass flute. The bass flute is really unique. The 2nd woman from the left is playing it. (They left so quickly after playing that I didn't get a chance to get a closeup picture.)
Lizzie played her piece on the harpsichord. She didn't want me to embarrass her by having her pose for a picture...and I couldn't get a good picture from my pew.
One of the music teachers played this pipe organ. I love pipe organ. My mother and aunt both played the real pipe organ in the Methodist church when I was growing up. There is just no comparison between a pipe organ and an electronic one. There were so many children signed up to play today that there ended up being 4 recitals at noon, 1,2, and 3 pm!
Yesterday I sanded the fireplace candlelabra (and the smaller one), then this morning I spray painted them. I painted several coats letting it dry 30 minutes between each coat. I am so pleased! I forgot to take a picture of the smaller candlestick, so I'll do that tomorrow.
Last summer I asked the Lord to bless us with a large screen tv so we could have guests over to watch good dvds. As usual, the Lord answered my prayer. We have one each floor. They were all free from PTL!
Last night our family watched this dvd from Vision Forum. This is a Ken Ham film. Very good information. Ken's premise is that most children have already left the faith by the time they are in Junior High or High school...sometimes even Elementary School. Ken tells why in this dvd. Ken's message is urgent for parents to hear. Ken also did a great job convincing us that we need to go to the new Creation Museum!

Hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend. Our weather is cool but invigorating. My hubby and children are getting lots of work done outside. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, October 21, 2010

While we were in Florida, Sarah had this picture printed of Anna. I love this pose, especially in the black and white. Walmart has such a good deal on printing pictures...fifteen cents a piece...and you can have them printed in less than an hour. Much better than paying the high cost of photo paper and ink for your printer!
My cosmos are looking beautiful now that we've had some rain. I took this picture from the porch...a good distance away...but it was raining and I didn't want to get wet. Next year I would like to plant a second cosmos garden using the autumn colors of golds and oranges. The cosmos also like the cold evenings.
My geraniums did terribly this year. I planted them in two half-barrels with good soil, but I must not have watered them enough.
Since "agro pots" is one of the ten most popular keywords that people use to find my blog, I thought I'd show an updated picture. I noticed the mennonites are selling strawberry plants now. Mr. Zimmerman said this is the perfect time for planting them.
On Tuesday, I bought this candlelabra at the thrift shop for $3. I want to spray paint it a flat black. It was just minutes before closing time when I paid for it. The clerk asked me if I would also like the candlelabra below:
I asked her how much and she said the magic! She said it was in the way and she wanted it gone. This is actually a bad looks really nice with 9 red pillar candles on it. I have always wanted one of these for my fireplace but they are expensive. Today I scrubbed away all the peeling paint. Tomorrow I will try sanding it and then spraying it flat black. I'll let you see the end result. If it turns out nicely enough, I may save it for a Christmas gift.
On Tuesday morning, we babysat darling Abigail while Sarah went to a class at the local college. As usual, we had a good time.
Two weeks ago, I made some sourdough fry bread. It was delicious! I got the recipe from a cowboy cookbook (another thrift shop find) and this is the first recipe I made. I'm not crazy about doughnuts, but this fry bread sure was good. Next time I'd like to leave out the sugar and add masa harina to try and mimic a fry bread taco. This is an easy recipe.
A friend of mine posted this picture on facebook. She took this picture in a store. Cute saying!

This past week I bought two dvds during Vision Forum's sale. I watched this dvd by myself to preview it for my family. I watched it while lying in bed. When I sat up, I felt the tears rolling down my face. I then realized how much I was moved by the message. When my family watched it the next night, they immediately wanted to show it to all their homeschool friends. Yes, the message is that good.

We are going to choose a Friday evening and invite as many homeschooled teens (and their families) as possible. If you are a local friend, we invite you to join us. If not, please order this dvd from Vision Forum and watch this with your family.

Tomorrow I am hoping to go see my new niece for the first time. Yes, she's almost a month old and I still haven't made it over there. I can barely wait!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Florida Trip

This past week our family went to Florida to visit Grandma and Grandpa, as well as attend a wedding for some dear friends. We had a wonderful time.

No, our family doesn't take good pictures. It also doesn't help that we had no idea when the camera was snapping the pictures...and the sun was glaring. Oh well. We will look back on this picture and remember the fun we had.

The Dollar Store had sunglasses, so I bought a bunch since we keep wearing them out...and Allen inadvertantly leaned over and let his glasses slide off his head into the Gulf. I call these sunglasses "Alien Glasses"...for obvious reasons. Lizzie and Allen caught catfish, so Mike filleted them and we ate them for dinner. Does Lizzie look proud or what?!
My children enjoyed fishing off Grandpa's bulkhead. Just like our last FL vacation, hotdogs work better than shrimp for bait.
My children also went on many boatrides. (I went on two.) The weather was perfect, low humidity and low temps.
Grandma had the yard looking wonderful, as usual.
I like her palm trees.
My children found lots of sharks' teeth...I think 300+ in all. Maggie found some huge teeth, larger than a quarter. I will try to find a picture of them on her camera...but her camera has 700 pictures on it.
Grandma's pool was beautiful but cold...75 degrees. The gulf was 80 degrees. Guess where we chose to swim?!
I like the lanai to keep the bugs out.
This is Grandpa working on his daily puzzle. Some of the clues were hard! But he always finished it by the end of the day...just as my own grandmother used to do.
I still can't get used to the idea that our children can take hundreds of pictures...and immediately see the results. I kept thinking of how pictures and cameras were so expensive when I was growing up.
Two nights in a row we ate dinner, then hurried out the door to ride the boat over to Don Pedro Island so my children could take pictures of the sunset on the beach.
Allen got to steer the boat most of the time. He enjoyed learning to park it next to the piers.
The views are beautiful. On one of the rides when our boat made a wake, the dolphins kept jumping up in the waves. There are many manatees here.
My children enjoy Don Pedro Island the most. It's only a 5-minute ride from Grandma's home. These are my sunset pictures taken with my $40 camera:

The island has many seashells. Maggie found some unique shells as well as a starfish.
Everyone looked funny with their cameras trying to zero in on shells.

Even as we were riding away, the sunset was breath-taking.
By the time we got back it was completely dark.

On Friday morning, we packed up and headed north to Clearwater, Florida, to attend the wedding of our friends from San Diego. Larry was our Pastor in San Diego where we lived from 1985-1989. Bonnie, his wife, was 2-year-old Sarah's favorite person at church. She called her Mrs. Bon Bon. Six years ago we went to Florida for their son Iain's wedding. Now it's Alicia's turn.

We stayed at McDill Air Force Base. The Air Force always has the nicest accommodations for families. Our suite had two bedrooms, a living room...
...and a kitchen. You can tell everything looks nice and new. Definitely clean. It cost us $41 a night. Can't beat that!
All our wedding clothes were wrinkled and had to be ironed. We were proud that Allen can iron his own clothes!
Here's the happy couple. Alicia and John met on eHarmony...something that is becoming common in our circles. Alicia said that when she typed "full-time Christian service" into the qualifications, John was the first person to appear. They both seem very happy. John will continue teaching math courses at the same local Christian school where Alicia will be the Librarian.

Alicia and John are a rare couple who see the playful side of life. It is nice to see that Alicia has finally met her match when it comes to humor!

Larry had the honor of marrying them. This wedding was very unique. Only Alicia could pull off such a wedding. For a half hour before the wedding, the accomplished pianist played songs such as When You Wish Upon A Star, Someday My Prince Will Come, and other Disney favorites. That prepared us for the tone of the wedding.

In this picture, Larry was singing Sunrise, Sunset. It was very well done. Here are the poignant words:

Sunrise, Sunset (from Fiddler on the Roof)

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember getting older,
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he get to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another
Day by day.

They look so natural together
Just like two newlyweds should be.
Is there a canopy in store for me?

Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset.
Swiftly fly the years.
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears.
The groomsmen walked/ran down the aisle to a tune from Star Wars. Then the bride walked down the aisle to the tune, "Zippadee doo dah, zippadee ay, My oh my what a wonderful day!" It was so typically Alicia! At the end when the couple was married, John grabbed his brown hat and off they went down the aisle. Everyone laughed.

Even though there were many light-hearted moments, there were also some very emotional moments as well. Just a delightful mix of humor and traditional.

While the wedding party was busy getting pictures taken, everyone else ate slices of cake. The cake was already sliced and waiting on the tables. These three cakes were for decoration. Alicia went out of her way to make her guests comfortable. No one had to wait for anything. Very thoughtful. My children were delighted to find bowls of colorful skittles (since the cake had dairy and eggs). I enjoyed the delicious tea.
Instead of flowers, Alicia opted for pinwheels. There were pinwheels everywhere at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. Definitely a children's kind of wedding! I am so glad our family was able to be at the wedding. Now that Iain's family is living in nearby VA, we hope to keep in touch more often. Thanks for a wonderful week, everyone!

We came home to a busy week. Tonight I had green beans and butternut squash in the oven, and fingerling potatoes in the wok (with fresh basil and mustard greens!) before I discovered a huge roast in my refrigerator! Evidently my Dad dropped it off this afternoon. So we ended up eating a huge dinner. Thanks, Dad.

Fortunately our music lessons were all canceled this week, since no one practiced while we were in FL, so I am slowly getting laundry washed, pegged, and put away. Slowly is the operative word!

Hope you had a good week as well. I am looking forward to catching up on my favorite blogs and answering emails. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Added later: Sometimes I get so caught up in posting pictures that I forget to write some important notes. About the wedding...the rehearsal dinner the night before was a semi-formal affair of probably 150 people or so. The most wonderful thing about the wedding was that both Alicia and John are from Christian families. John's parents had been praying for his future wife since before he was born. What a way to welcome Alicia into their family!! Do you think she feels loved?!

Both Dads took turns with the microphone, introducing their families. We then did the fun game of Who's the oldest, Who came the furthest for the wedding, Who had the largest family (us!), Who was married the longest, etc.

During the wedding ceremony, Larry (bride's father), asked all the married couples to hold each other's hands. Then he reminded us of the institution of marriage and all that it's meant to be. It was a perfect message.

My final observation was this: As with funerals, marriages are just so wonderful when it's a Christian wedding. Especially when both families have a long history of loving the Lord. It made such an impression on me that I've started praying for my children's future mates and families. Yes, families. You really do marry the whole family.

Thank you, Larry, for giving us much to think about. We have broadened our vision for our family. PTL