Sunday, June 19, 2011

This summer, Maggie auditioned to be in our local summerstock musical called The Music Man. Since Maggie turned 21 this year, she knew it would be her last chance to join. We were thrilled that she got the part of Alma Hix, one of the Pickalittle Ladies. She is having a lot of fun. Sarah made a commitment to taking her and picking her up from her practices, M-F. Thanks, Sarah. According to our county's website, the annual summerstock show draws 400-500 attendees each performance. Wow!

If you'd like to make plans to see the musical, the dates are from 7/22 to 7/31. I can't find any definite times online...but will let you know when they become available. We usually take our family to the cheaper Sunday matinee.

This week, Anna served us a Nepali meal and taught us how to eat with our fingers.

She's a natural! She also learned to eat with chopsticks. This meal was hard to eat with your fingers because we didn't use a sticky rice. That would've let all the ingredients stick together.

Anna also wore her Nepali traditional dress. It has pants that are worn underneath...since Nepali women spend a lot of time sitting cross-legged.

My children like the finger utensil idea. We had rice, lentil soup, and curried chicken. Delicious!

Lizzie made this sign for Anna's homecoming. It says, Anna's treefort in least that's what Lizzie says. Great woodburning!

My friend, Lynn, is in the process of moving, so she gave me her porch furniture. The fabric part needed replacing, so I enjoyed the challenge of sewing up new seats. I was sooo was hard to make the first cut on $20/yard fabric! (Fortunately it was on sale for 50% off...but still!) I love the way it turned out...but I never want to try it again. I am thankful that I bought fabric with lines since that made it easy to cut everything square. I even had enough leftover to make two small pillows for the glider. So Lynn...whenever you get your new deck built, your furniture is ready and waiting!
I bought a fascinating book at the thrift shop this week called Little Charley Ross. Charley was America's first kidnap for ransom victim. I googled Charley Brewster Ross and learned his story is still popular.

My sister in law, Cecilia, sent me an email this week telling me about a large croc that was found in our nearby Patuxent River. Wow!

How funny is this?

Today was a nice Father's Day. Pastor gave a good sermon outlining the ABCs of fathering: affection, behavior (set an example) and coming alongside. On the way home, my children gave their father an A++ on each of the points. How nice is that?!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, June 18, 2011

She's home!

Anna got home from her missions trip to Southeast Asia around 1:30 am last Sunday morning. I stayed up until 2:30 talking with her...but the rest of our family stayed up until 5:30. We were useless the next day! We've spent the week hearing all her fascinating stories. What a wonderful experience. So glad to have you back, Anna. The first thing we noticed about her were her ribs...she'd lost a lot of weight that wasn't extra!

This morning, Allen, Anna, and I went driving through amish country to buy our chicken/turkey feed at Stoltzfus' Feed mill. I never get tired of the country life!

Allen did his weekly beehive inspections and is very pleased.

This week Allen had his first voice lesson with Audrey. So far Audrey has worked her magic on our oldest four our whole family is excited about this! We love Audrey and her love for the Lord. As I am typing this, I can hear Allen practicing in the music room below. Sounds good!

Two years ago, I bought this stoneware pitcher for 75 cents at the thrift shop. The main reason I bought it is because it had a sticker on the bottom that read East Texas Pottery. I also love stoneware and spongeware, so it came home with me.

Last week I went to a different thrift shop...and found this matching chip and dip dish for $2! I had to buy it since it matched...and was cheap. The chip and dip dish is unique in size...kind of I'm trying to decide what to serve in it. The dip bowl is glued to the chip bowl. So far I'm thinking shrimp and cocktail sauce. What do you think? I was also thinking M&Ms in the large part and peanuts in the small part.

This week I made chili rellenos...something I haven't made in years. I used california and poblano peppers (very mild) and goat colby cheese. I put the cheese in the seeded peppers; then I whipped 4 duck egg whites, then folded in 1/4 cup of flour. I think I also folded in a few tablespoons of ricemilk. When I dipped the peppers into the whites mixture, the batter was thick and clung to the peppers. I then deep fried the peppers for about 3 minutes each. Delicious! Everyone loved them.

Ruthie sewed this pillow for Ellen, our friend in GA. The fabrics are all camera distorted the colors. Ruthie had fun sewing this on her treadle machine.

We had a few days respite from the 90+ heat. It was wonderful to work outside again and enjoy our porch. Today begins another week of intense heat. We've spent the week catching up on Anna while she had to wash everything by hand...all her cosmetics, souvenirs, etc. Travelling to a 3rd world country sure requires a lot of caution.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Friday, June 10, 2011

We've owned many ducks over the past 10 years but we've never had a snuggler. We finally have one. Milkshake is a black mallard and I love the way he snuggles up to Lizzie's neck.

Lots to catch up on. Memorial Day was very lowkey. We had just family for an indoor picnic.

As much as Abigail loves having Sarah for a nanny, she loves her Mommy even more. I love seeing her snuggle her Momma.

Catching up on each others' lives.

Grandaddy enjoying his Grandkiddies, as he calls them. Abigail turns three tomorrow!

Usually by the time Memorial Day comes around, I am tired of hotdogs and hamburgers. This year I was actually looking forward to them...until I saw my brother Simba's BBQ pork and seasoned beef!! The pork disappeared quickly but I liked the beef better. Thanks, Simba.

Floyd showed up with his family...including his grandbaby Zoe who impressed everyone with her walking 7-1/2 months! Four of mine walked at 8 months, so Cecilia had fun showing off for me.

Gotta show Meemaw holding baby Kat.

Abigail loved the pool. She is such a fish! I have been amazed that our little pool has kept a steady 80 degrees...until the 100 degrees hit this week. Bath water now.

Lizzie had a hard time getting her turn with baby Kat...but her persistence paid off!

Is she adorable or what?!! Such a smiley baby.
Aunt Jean and Uncle Ron showed up after everyone left. They drive up from Sterling, VA, so they have a good excuse. Aunt Jean's latest quilted wallhanging. Beautiful.

Allen passed his red belt test with flying colors! We are so proud, Allen. It's a good thing he gets a new uniform...his green uniform is shredding!

Allen's 51 chickens are doing wonderfully, even in this heat. He only lost one chicken in the beginning. Almost time to visit the amish butcher.

The chickens are located along my driveway. I enjoy driving by and stopping to chat with the roosters who are learning to say "Cockadoodledoo!" They finally have it nailed this week.

I thought I liked the white chickens of years' past...until I saw these brown chickens. So gentle and beautiful.

Mike took Anna's steps over to install on her treehouse.

Supervisor. Hard work.

Mike had to dig 3 or 4 feet to bury the excess stairs. We didn't realize how tall the stairs are.

These are the old steps that required a balancing act. I think Anna will love the new stairs.

Lately we've been eating meals that have been thrown together at the last minute. But this was a delicious meal. Maggie and Lizzie made the asian-flavored fish that they grilled. For the cauliflower, Maggie sprayed oil, sprinkled salt and pepper, then grilled. It was delicious! I quickly chopped up the veggie salad and added a can of chili beans and wishbone Italian dressing. It felt good to eat a balanced meal!

My peach trees were laden with almost fully ripe peaches. I knew if we left them on the tree, the coons and squirrels would get them.

So Lizzie picked a 5 gallon bucketful.

Yesterday Lizzie helped me can 9 pints of peach jam. Yummy! Note to self: Next time you make sure to set some sourdough biscuits the night before!

My friend, Susan, gave me this beautiful purple petunia that is doing great...even in this heat. I have some yellow French marigolds planted also. Thanks, Susan.

Last week when we went to the farmer's market, Allen talked me into buying three turkeys from the amish. I thought $12 a turkey was steep but Allen said that is a good price. Evidently the mortality rate is terrible for the older, cheaper turkeys.

I am so glad we bought these guys. They are personable and sweet...even the one who keeps escaping. They coo like my mourning doves.
Ruthie was determined to get a picture of her duck. Buttercup is definitely NOT a snuggler!

This morning, Anna arrived back in the USA from her missions trip to Nepal and Cambodia. She will have a day+ of debriefing and catching up on sleep. I can barely wait to hold her in my arms.

Mike and the twins left early this morning to drive to Atlanta to pick Anna up. We were supposed to go as a family, but my car broke down again yesterday. Same problem as last week, so hubby is disappointed that the $200 in car parts that he replaced were obviously not the problem. So he was able to rent a car ($86 for 3 days!) to make the trip. Breaking down in the 100+ degree heat also made us realize how dangerous it would be for Ruthie to make the trip. The heat and humidity would've aggravated her asthma had we broken down on the way. When Mike and the twins left this morning, she cried herself to sleep. She has a terrible case of cabin fever.

Just a note for the sake of my diary. When our good friends, Tom and Jenn, found out about our car, they offered us their brand new Suburban! We had already picked up our rental car but we sure appreciated their thoughtfulness. Maggie and I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, "Don't let the car fool you...our treasure is in heaven." I hope to find that sticker someday...and I'm gonna put it on Tom's bumper! There aren't many folks in this world who would lend their brand new "Texas cadillac" to someone to put 1200 miles on! But if you knew Tom and wouldn't be surprised.

Many blessings ~ Kathie