Saturday, May 28, 2011

Last night we had 26 folks over to watch the latest DVD from Bob Jones University called Milltown Pride. Everyone I talked to said they enjoyed the film. I don't particularly enjoy baseball, but I did like the movie. If you live locally (or even sort of locally) and would like to borrow my copy, let me know and I will get it to you.

We turned our living room into a movie theater for the night. We are so thankful for that large screen tv that was given to us from! Hubby had to spend $7 at Radio Shack for parts...and now it works like a dream. I sure had a wonderful evening.

For those of you who stayed late and wonder why I disappeared...! Around 10:30 pm I went upstairs to get some nosedrops. I decided to lie down for a minute so the nosedrops would work faster...and that's the last thing I remember...until I woke up at 1:30 am!! I couldn't believe it! I was still fully dressed. Oh well.

My lettuce garden is doing well. I love fresh lettuce.

Our potatoes are doing very well...and we are trying to be faithful with watering. These hot days have sure come upon us with a vengeance!

Ten years ago, a mennonite friend gave me a bunch of these flowers. I forget what they are called. When they died, I tossed them under a tree. Each year they come back. I love them!

Lizzie made this fence out of saplings she found on our property. I'm not sure what she has planted next to it, but I love the look of it.

I'm not sure if this video will work or's an experiment. It's only a few seconds long, and it shows the inside of Allen's hive. Very busy bees!

I hope you are keeping cool and enjoying your garden. Thank you for your emails that keep me up to date in your life. Many blessings ~ Kathie

PS ~ I forgot to mention...This morning my hubby and I went to the amish farmer's market outside the Charlotte Hall Library on route 5. What a nice place! Homemade soft ice cream, lots of fresh flowers, eggs, produce, honey, plants, baked items, etc. Everything was nice and clean. I noticed the customers were a friendly bunch as well. There is fresh beeswax as well as jars of bee pollen...and at great prices. Some of the items were expensive (cherry tomatoes were very expensive at $3.50 a little basketful) and some were cheap (4 sweet potato plants for $1). So pick a cool Saturday and enjoy your visit. (Across the street is my all-time favorite antiques store!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wow, I have lots of catching up to do. I've actually tried blogging a few times but our computer had issues. It still takes a while to upload pictures...but I think they're all here now.

We said goodbye to Anna 1-1/2 weeks ago. I thought my heart would break. I still look for her to share something with her and then remember she's gone...even though I am praying for her constantly. We are supposed to get email updates every Friday...but the team leader misspelled our email address, so we missed out for 4 days. Finally the mission board called us and got the correct address. The team is doing well...but only getting 5 hours of sleep each night. That saddens me to think that they are in a third world country and not using the one easy defense to protect their immune systems. Another thing to pray for...!

I've got lots of pictures, so I'll start with these. The folks at church will appreciate these two pictures. These 4 boys are close friends, and the 3 white belt brothers just started Tang Soo Do class this Tuesday. (Allen is the green belt.)

It's a pretty good size class now. Exciting!Since all of our cars had major troubles this spring, we made the smart decision to rent a car to take Anna to the Atlanta airport where we dropped her off for her missions trip. With Mike's military id, the price is very low. Both Mike and I had to have major work done on our cars; then Maggie's car that we use often had the electrical system fail; and of course, we totaled Anna's truck when we hit the deer. But now my car is up and running smoothly...even though it just turned 200k miles.

Packed to the gills. Mike, Anna, Lizzie, and Ruthie drove Anna down. They stayed with our good friends Ellen and Chris. Anna said she received some great tips from Ellen...since they are frequent world travellers. Thank you, E&C...the girls enjoyed their time with you, as always.

Have kleenex, will travel.

Here's a few pictures from the twins' birthday dinner. I got a picture of Grandad's hand, too.

I can't remember what we had for dinner but I'm sure it was good.

The cake, however, was a flop. Usually I love Maggie's flops (which are rare) but I couldn't eat the cake. Everyone else loved it. Oh well.

Anna's birthday cake was not only delicious, it was beautiful!

This slide is part of a surprise for Anna. We got the slide from A local church was giving away the steps...but not the slide. That's okay for us...we are going to sink it in the ground a few feet...and lean it against the doorway of Anna's treehouse. No more balancing acts on the skinny ramp! My Dad and his friend Harry were in town with Dad's truck and trailer, so they drove by the church and picked up the steps and brought them home. Thanks so much, Dad. I can't wait for Anna to see it!

I gave Lizzie this LP record for her birthday. Randy and Roberta play the parts of Randy and Betsy on The Virginian...a favorite series of ours. We've been enjoying listening to this while working in the sewing room. Yesterday we got Season 4 in the mail...and we watched the episode where Betsy gets married and leaves...leaving behind a sad Randy. It nearly broke our hearts! Betsy also left the series. We will miss her.

Here's Anna's cake. We have lots of peppermint and violets growing in our yard. Maggie crystallized them. Yummy!! Yesterday Maggie pureed some watermelon in a blender, then added peppermint leaves and club soda. It was soooo good! Truly refreshing.

Lizzie was pleased to find a green snake. She loves these snakes and finds one each spring/summer.

This has been a busy spring. I guess we're all favorite 3 blogs to read have also been absent from blogging.

I am doing a first this weekend...chinchilla babysitting! A friend from church needs me to feed the chinchillas and fish, and water her garden. We are still in a rain deficit, so everything needs watering.

Hope you are having a good spring as well. There are many world happenings that make us wonder if the end of the world is near. Tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes, flooding. It is hard to see such suffering, even though these are opportunities for witness.

While we are having 90 temps, my friend in OR is having snowstorm after snowstorm. I'd rather have our heat.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Swarm of Wild Bees

On Sunday afternoon, while we were cleaning up from dinner, Anna looked out the kitchen window and saw a huge swarm of bees in the field. This was the first time we had ever seen a swarm. It wasn't like a dark cloud...just hundreds of bees all buzzing together. We followed to see where they landed.

In spite of what you see in the movies, bees are not dangerous when they swarm. They are actually quite docile because they have no brood or hive to protect.

Of course...they landed high up in a tree! My neighbor was hoping they would land on a branch so we could easily cut the branch off...but instead, they landed as you can see in the photo. Allen and Maggie quickly checked their hives to see if these were their bees...but their hives were doing well. These are rare wild bees!

Allen set up some spare parts to make a temporary hive.

This is my neighbor, Chip, who grew up on a waterfront farm nearby. Chip knows everything about everything. He was a big help catching the bees. Chip was a hive hunter when he was a teen. The soft brush in his hand is what we used to brush the bees into the bucket to bring the them down. We were impressed that Chip didn't wear a bee suit. The smoker was on standby...but we didn't need it.

Maggie, Lizzie, and Allen took turns brushing the bees into the bucket and bringing them down to introduce them to the new hive.

Yes, they were up pretty high. Even though my hubby has his pilot's license, he has a fear of heights...and was more than happy to let his children climb the tree.

Here's a closeup. We hope to send a sample to the Maryland Bee Inspector to determine the strain of bee. (Our bees are all Italian bees.)

Steady there!

The aliens set up the beehive.

Everyone follows the queen bee's scent to the new hive. So fascinating!

So that is the story of our exciting weekend. It was the perfect Mother's Day gift. Now we would like to lure more hives into bait hives. We figure this new hive probably divided off another hive that got too we'd like to find the original hive.

So once again, I am thankful to live on 23 acres in the woods where so many wild things happen! Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy 15th Birthday to the Twins!

Life sure did change when our twins were born. We went from being a "normal" family to a "large" family overnight. Many people would stop me and ask if they were all mine. I don't think of us as a large family. I have to say, I am always thinking that 6 children is such a perfect size family.

I have lots of pictures of the twins sleeping. Two reasons...they hardly ever slept at the same time, and it was the only time I could grab a camera! Oh how busy we were.

I made all the girls matching dresses for Easter. Those of you who know Ruthie have probably seen her wear one of these dresses every year of her life:-) Now that she's eleven, she has finally worn out the last of the dresses.

All my babies enjoyed riding the lawnmower with Mike and me.

The time sure did fly.

Such sweeties. They've always been very affectionate with each other. I enjoy seeing that.

I'm not sure which is funnier...Lizzie's expression or the blood on her foot. I wish I could remember what this was all about. That was a favorite dress for Lizzie and Ruthie.

Can you see the lack of sleep in his eyes?!

I wish I would've seen this picture to add to Anna's birthday post. I found many pictures of Anna snuggling the twins. I do remember that Lizzie was suffering from a kidney infection when this picture was taken. It was sweet the way Anna made sure Lizzie kept drinking fluids.

It's quiet here tonight. Sarah went to the circus with Abigail, Mike took the 4 dancers to their Appalachian Clogging class, and Ruthie is waiting for me to snuggle and read. We will celebrate the twins' birthday dinner on Wednesday with Meemaw and Grandad.

These past few months have been incredible for us as Anna prepares to leave this week for her missions trip. There were so many tasks to be done, things to be bought, things to be signed, etc. We are amazed at the way God provided the funds entirely through private donations. No churches or organizations, just friends and family who wanted to further the gospel by investing in Anna's trip. Thank you so much. Many of the gifts were given sacrificially. As parents, we are excited to see what the Lord is doing in Anna's life. I have a feeling this trip will be life changing for her. PTL

I have already learned that 99% of a missions trip is prayer. I find myself praying all the time. Even though I haven't met any of the other members of the team, I have been praying for them, their health, their support, and their spiritual growth. It's wonderful to be a part of the team!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lizzie and Maggie are constantly in the kitchen cooking. A month ago I came home and saw some delicious-looking brownies on the I ate one. "Mom!" they shouted, "those are treats we made for the bunnies!" Oh well.

The next week I came home and saw a bowl of white icing that smelled like coconut. Yummy! I only tried a little bit. "Mom!" they shouted, "that is our homemade shampoo!"

So when I saw the sign that said Do Not Eat...I asked first...and I'm so glad. These little treats are homemade bath salts!
When we woke up on Saturday morning, Ruthie came rushing in to tell us there was a little car out front and a big truck out back. Oh my! We wondered what was up...until I remembered that my nephew had called to ask permission to hunt turkey on our property. This is my brother, Mike.

I'm glad they visited with us after the hunt. No turkeys though. This is my nephew, Dustin.
Later on Saturday morning, we went to church for our annual Ladies' Tea. It was so nice. The tables were set up by different volunteers. I think the above table was set by Joyce. I enjoyed seeing all the different styles. I will post a bunch here for those of you who googled Ideas For Tablesettings:

Christy set her table using her Grandmother Nonie's green glass dishes. I really liked these dishes, especially the unique teacups. (Christy really likes these dishes too and hopes one day they will be hers!)

The two Asian tables set by Carmen were really beautiful. (I accidentally deleted several pictures here.)
I sat with my friend Charmaine, who set this table. Those beautiful plates are actually Corelle! Of course, we shared our stories of dropping Corelle and watching it smash to smithereens. I forgot to ask if the centerpiece doily is handmade. Sure is beautiful.

My friend Bonnie set this table. Just lovely.

The verse for this year's tea was Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Even though the morning started off with the smoke alarm being set off, it was still a very enjoyable time. (Maggie was disappointed no handsome firemen arrived to turn off the alarm ~ family joke.)

Oops...almost forgot to show you Sarah's table! When Sarah asked to borrow some cowgirl stuff to decorate a table, I thought she was crazy! But somehow she was able to pull it off. This is funny because Sarah is my only child who is not crazy about all things western. We were so pleased that Natalie and Darling Abigail came. Lots of crayons and coloring pictures were provided for the little girls. The Ladies' Fellowship always thinks of everything.
We had a good size group!
There was a funny skit.
Joyce sang her song, "Even in the valleys, God is Good. " Joyce knows all too well about being in the valleys since she watched her second husband go home to heaven this year. Her daughter, Robin, is always telling folks about how strong her mother's faith is.
My daughers sang their two songs. Even Sarah got to sing up front...but it sure wasn't planned! The speaker asked her to come up front to lead the song, "Create in me a clean heart."
We were also thrilled that Maggie's occupational therapist, Melanie, and her children were able to come. All the children were so well behaved this year. Thank you Ladies' Fellowship for a wonderful morning of memories.
We came home and took naps. Later that evening, Mike, Lizzie and I drove out to the rural countryside and had a deer run into us. Mike was driving Anna's truck. No one was hurt but we sure felt badly for Anna's truck that she enjoys so much.
Fortunately the deer was killed instantly. (That is not blood near his mouth...that is tar on the road.) The sad thing is, the deer looked perfect lying on the road. Poor little guy, see his antlers? That is our first ever being hit by a deer.

We are getting many little chores done and enjoying the spring weather that has been absolutely gorgeous...but we do need rain.

Many blessings ~ Kathie