Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy 12th Birthday, Ruthie!

 My baby turned twelve yesterday.  My how time flies.  Ruthie was born 4 weeks prematurely in a 16" snowstorm.  This year we have the windows open to let in the 65 degree weather.  Only in Maryland! 
 Maggie, Anna, Sarah, Ruthie (l to r) and I went to Red Robin for dinner.  The food was delicious.  This restaurant is friendly for folks with food allergies.  You can see the thick loose leaf binder in front of Maggie.  The foods are listed according to allergies.  Maggie and I split a chicken and spinach wrap.  Ruthie had grilled chicken on a stick, and Anna had the Teriyaki Chicken Burger wrapped in lettuce.  Sarah had chicken tenders.  All the meals came with bottomless french fries that we enjoyed too much.

(Mike, Allen and Lizzie didn't come because they had a ham radio meeting.)
 Here's my 2-week progress on Allen's lettuce.  I think they look weak and need nutrients. 
 Ruthie chose a western themed birthday cake, as usual.  Lizzie made the cake and did the icing.
 Make a wish! 
 We ate the cake with Vanilla tofutti ice cream. 
 We're making headway on our baby clothes for carenet.  We ended up washing 24 loads.  I washed them at home and then took them to the local laundromat to dry them.  (I have 2 washers but no dryers.) 
 Ruthie loves all the cute clothes.  Anna has taken over sorting the clothes into piles according to Season, Sex, and Size.  Whew!  I think that's the hard part!  We return the clothes on Thursday...and I will be glad to have my living room back to order.  
Our family watched two good Henry Fonda films this week.  We got both dvds, The Ox-bow Incident and The Tin Star from the library.  Both were family friendly with no foul language.    
 Last week we were so busy that I kept telling myself I had to keep my focus on Sunday when everything would be over.  On Friday we took Anna and Lizzie to Walter Reed for doctor appointments.  We left around 10 am and returned home around 7 pm.  Long day!
 Anna has been busy sewing and quilting.  She has a nice blog to feature her sewing projects.  Take a look!
Anna got up bright and early this morning to work on her treefort.  She loves warm weather.
 One of our friends from church sewed this beautiful tablecloth for me for Christmas.  I love it!  Mitzi sews curtains, tablecloths and upholstery for a living.  We lovingly call Mitzi and her hubby Tom, Mitzi and Fritzi. Thanks so much, both of you.  I've always enjoyed the pastoral scenes on toile.
 On Saturday evening, our church hosted a showing of Courageous for men and their sons.  My daughters had been baking all week to provide the cookies.  I heard someone say there were about 50 who came.  It was a chilly evening since no one remembered to preheat the building.  I took the above picture because it warmed my heart when I walked into the kitchen and saw that my good friend Bonnie had set everything out to make sure we didn't forget anything.  Thanks, Bonnie! 
The W-- ladies offered to help us serve.  The evening ended up being simple to take care of, so we ladies retreated to the toasty Teen room during the film.  Thanks for coming and helping!

This past Tuesday I made brisket and sourdough dinner rolls for dinner.  The next night Ruthie cut up the leftovers for fajitas that were delicious.  
Tuesday evenings is when Allen's banjo teacher comes to dinner.  Afterwards my five youngest take off to visit Meemaw and Grandad while we visit with Banjo Man.  We enjoy these evenings.
Abigail came over for the day on Wednesday.  She loved helping Maggie bake.  She also had fun running around with The Cousins.     
Guess who got worn out from everything?!

Right now everyone is busy baking for Ruthie's little birthday tea party tomorrow.  She has invited her 3 closest friends to come for the afternoon.  Maggie sewed up a fancy dress and I sewed the buttons on...but the dress didn't fit.  Neither one of us has the heart to sew another.

I've enjoyed this week immensely...I got to stay home today!  We thought we were going to get lots of rain, so we filled up the front and back porches with firewood...but so far we've dodged all the storms.  That's how it usually works!

Enjoy your weekend.  Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, January 19, 2012

 I took a peek at to see how things were.  I was pleasantly surprised. Not one bad photo.  I really like the above's how I feel.  I've been doing a pinterest experiment that seems to work:  when you go to the website, you will see this at the top:

                            Everything ~ Video ~ Popular ~ Gifts

Click on Popular...and the nasty stuff should not appear.  Stay away from Everything! 
 I brought home a carload of clothes to be cleaned and sorted for our local ministry.  If any of my local friends have toddler-size clothes, that is a need right now.  We have plenty of newborn and infant sizes. 
In early January, my children and I took a trip to Cobb Island...about 45 minutes from us.  (This is just north of the MD/VA bridge.)  I've always wanted to visit this area, so when my children said they had cabin fever, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. 
 I tried to see if there was any historical significance to the island...but all I could find was this milestone in radio history. 
As you can imagine...the scenery was breathtaking.  I also enjoyed driving through the miles and miles of farmland to get to the island.  Beautiful!
 I was amazed that the only church on the island is a Baptist church...Cobb Island Baptist Church.  (And this is Catholic territory!)  I wrote to the Pastor of this church to see what kind of music (Baptist Hymnal) and what version of the Bible (KJV) they use for their Sunday morning services.  Our family hopes to go back and visit them on a warmer Sunday. 
 The island is small (.4982 square miles) and has two seafood restaurants and a little market.   

There are all kind of houses on the island...from tiny cabins to large brick homes.  I thought this was a different sort of house.  I was surprised to learn there are 1166 people who live on the island.  That's a lot!  We only saw a few folks when we went...but we could imagine the bustle of the summertime crowd.

If you want a fun one-day trip, we highly recommend this area.  We drove up and down all the little roads we could find.  We drove home through LaPlata and saw two large thrift shops that we'd like to return to someday. 

This week has flown by.  Our family watched the Courageous movie on dvd last night.  It was every bit as good as everyone has said. 

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

 This past December, I took my 5 youngest for a morning out on the town.  First we met Sarah and Abigail at the thrift shop in Charlotte Hall.
 Abigail loved the big bin of Beanie Babies.
 Abigail loves animals, especially stuffed animals, so this was a thrill for her.
 Every day when Abigail takes her afternoon nap, she surrounds herself with lots of stuffed animals...and we laugh about how she can glance at her collection and know in an instant if one of her beloved animals is missing!  Heaven forbid!
 We were all standing around watching her...with fear for the moment when we had to tell her it was time to put the animals back so we could leave.
 But then we told her Grandaddy was meeting us at Burger King...and she quickly returned the animals to the bin.  Voila!
 Meemaw couldn't come, just Grandad.  It was our first blustery day of the winter.
 Smile for the camera, Abigail!
 On December 2nd, we had our annual dinner with the XYZers from church.  (Stands for Xtra Years of Zest.)  I knew I was going to forget to take pictures, so I took one before everyone came.  We only had 16 folks come this year.   
Anna made her famous teacakes.  The theme for this year was, "It's a Cowboy Southern Maryland Christmas."  We had lots of fun putting on the 35 minute "operetta" afterwards.  If you want a copy of the dvd, let me know and I will get one to you. 

I was nervous about this year's food because my oven wasn't working.  I borrowed my Dad's huge smoker, and we served carne asada shish kabobs.  All the women enjoyed the veggie shish kabobs.  (That's an artichoke?!)  Mike fixed my oven the night before, so we were able to bake our sourdough dinner rolls after all.   
Here's the performance.  We hope to have another XYZer event this summer since we heard a lot of them say they wished they'd known it was going to be a Western event so they could've dressed western.  We'll have to have a real hoedown!
I miss the Christmas season and sitting in front of our fireplace with the Christmas lights on.  My children slept outside under the stars on Christmas eve.  Now they are waiting for a snowy night so they can wake up and brush off the snow.  They also have plans to sleep under a tarp some rainy night.  Never a dull moment.  
Mike is working late tonight, so dinner is every man for himself.  I made a skillet full of Tandori chicken...a family I know there will be no leftovers.  One good thing about being busy...the time sure does fly!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

"Hast thou not known?  Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding.  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:  But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
 ~ Isaiah 40:28-31 (KJV)

Monday, January 16, 2012

 Our amish friend gave us the bad news that there would be no more duck eggs this season...not until spring.  So I decided to make Rachael Ray's Pepperoni Puffs with the last remaining egg.  I followed the recipe...but next time I would add the fresh basil to the puffs...not the pizza sauce.  These were so delicious!  (And they freeze well too!)
 Do you think she likes them?! 
 We enjoyed having hubby home for Martin Luther King Day.  My children have enjoyed playing this game a lot.  It's called Tetrus.  (Maggie stole it from Cody in the Christmas Chinese Auction.  She has felt terrible about that ever since!)
 Mike took the week between Christmas and New Years for vacation.  He spent a lot of time outside digging up stubborn tree stumps.  He also did something special for Anna.
 Remember Anna's treefort that got smushed by Hurricane Irene?  Well, Anna really wanted to save her heavy duty steel steps...but they were buried under some heavy trees.  So they went on a mission to see what could be done.
 Anna was afraid the steps were bent in half. 
I was afraid for what our tree man calls "a widow maker"! 
They followed the directions of Mr. Tree Man and pulled the tree while Mike was cutting it.  That didn't work so they abandoned the rope and Mike cut the tree away with no problems.
 Then they had to dig the stairs out of the ground.  (We used to be so proud of how we had reinforced the stairs by burying them 4 feet deep!)  

And they're out!  Mike had to do a little straightening, but I think they look perfect!  Hurray!
There's nothing sweeter than doing something for an appreciative child.
They spent the rest of that cold afternoon moving logs and preparing to build treeforts.
Then home to play Tetrus again!
It always takes Anna longer to warm up than the rest of the family. 
Allen planted cilantro, basil and lettuce in his Aerogarden a few days ago.  He wants me to document the progress.

Mike and I are home alone today...something I still can't get used to!  We're going out in a few minutes to stack the woodpile again.  We are going through much wood on these cold nights.  Very thankful for toasty fireplaces and free firewood!

Many blessings ~ Kathie