Saturday, May 19, 2012

 We got to talk to Anna this morning on Skype...and then we chatted again on facebook.  Yesterday marks the one month until she returns.  Hurray! We are both homesick for each other.  What beautiful smiles!  This picture was taken on Anna's 19th birthday.  Anna says Sheri is definitely ready for baby #7 to be born. 
 This is Anna with her missionary family.  They are playing Settlers of Catan.  Evidently this is a popular game. Thanks for the pictures, Sheri.
 My pole beans are doing well on the hanging planter...on the north side of our home.
My fenugreek and lemongrass are doing very well.  I also planted cilantro, many kinds of peppers, and lots of lettuces.
 My lone jalepeno far. 
 The hummingbirds are all over.  Welcome back!  I miss them over the winter. 
 Today I drove my dad all over amish country in search of onion sets.  Yes, it's late for them but we finally bought a pound each of red, white, and yellow onions.  Also bought 50# of yukon seed potatoes for only $18.  I had to take a picture of the honeybee hives for Allen.  This farm is off Woodburn Road called Westham Produce Supply (37808 Westham Lane).
 Speaking of honeybees...Allen built a small observation hive and placed in on the porch.
 I enjoy watching the busyness of it all.  Ranger the cat is quite curious with it...and loves to poke his nose in the entrance. 
 Abigail came over for the first time in a long time this week.  She was ecstatic to see Maggie and said, "Maggie...we cook?!  We cook?  Please, Maggie, let's cook!"  There was nothing Maggie could do but smile and say okay.  Fortunately, I had a bag of herbed dough from Trader Joes, and Abigail picked up my shopping list and assumed it was a recipe.  All they needed was lots of flour!
 Ranger accidentally got locked out of the garage last night, so he slept on a bit of rug I was airing out.  Once he saw us he had quite a bit to say about sleeping out!
 This past Sunday was Mother's Day...a huge event around here!  It felt like a double Christmas!  I received the most wonderful cards.  Ruthie gave me a molcajete to make guacamole.  She knew how much I like the molcajetes at the mexican restaurant.  Thanks, Ruthie.
 Since Maggie and I both wanted a marble slab, they gave me a large one.  I love the color!  Thanks, everyone.  Now for some serious candy and fondant making!  I also received a cd in the mail from my friend, Lynn.  It's in my car...where I've been enjoying it all week.  Thanks, Lynn.
 I was able to find a fantastic deal on organic tomato powder on eBay this week.  I've been shopping for it for awhile so I can make tomato/basil bread using Panera Bread's recipe. 
 Our town has a new store called Ollies.  It is a huge discount store that has a wonderful book section...especially for cookbooks and Christian books.  I bought this $70 cooking reference book for $15.  It has great step-by-step pictures.  I bought some more for birthday I'll have to wait to post those.
 Anna, these last two pictures are for you.  I completely organized the two bookshelves in the music room.  I even labeled all the shelves.  It will be nicer when we move all  your bedroom furniture back upstairs! (Anna ~ You won't recognize the white bookshelf.  The brown shelf broke so I got the white one from freecyle to use until we build stronger shelves in the closet.)

This was an exhausting week for me, so next week I am being selfish about keeping Friday free.  It'll make Wednesday extra hard, but hopefully I will thank myself.

The weather this spring has been just perfect.  Even now the evenings are still in the 50s...too cold to swim.  But I love this.  Such lovely breezes.
Here's a picture of my latest knitted dishcloth.  I love these colors.  I also like the way the colors changed at the right time:-)

Enjoy your weekend.  Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, May 14, 2012

 This week we said our goodbyes to a young friend who died unexpectedly.  It helps to know she loved the Lord but it was still painful to see her siblings and parents in such pain.  However, we did enjoy seeing her 20 or so nieces and nephews who came from NY and SD.  I'm thankful you touched so many lives, Lydia.
 We talked to Anna on Skype before leaving for the funeral.  She said the Africans are curious about her braces.  Even the missionary has made some funny comments on the braces:  When Anna was slow to understand his joke, Matt said, "What, is the reception a little slow in the braces today?"  Since my 3 brothers and I all wore braces, I know most every braces joke.

Anna said she found some Masala Tea in Africa...and of course it got my I found it easily on Amazon!  I think Anna said it is quite spicy.
 Anna also had fun telling me about riding to town on a boda-boda.  She said it was hysterical trying to hold on to her package with one hand, and using her other hand to hold on to the boda-boda!  I can only imagine.  I found this picture on wikipedia and it gives you a good idea how funny that must have been.  Anna has one more week before her hosts pack up and go to the city for a conference...and to have their baby.  Exciting! 
 Anna ~ I'm sorry you missed this at our library.  The Lexington Park branch library had an emphasis on quilting.  The librarians made all the quilts shown above.  Every time I go to pick up library books that my daughters have special-ordered, the librarians always look to see if we have any new or exciting quilt books.  I love it! 
 Sarah brought home a flat of strawberries and a bunch of lemons from the farmer's Lizzie made this delicious strawberry lemonade.  Not overly sweet...nice and thirst quenching.  Thanks, girls!
 Our church had their annual chili contest last month, and Kyle won first place!  He didn't follow a recipe but I had him write down what he could remember of it. 
 As always, when I went to taste his chili, it was all gone!
 For some reason there were no tables set up, so it was fun watching the little children eating chili on upholstered chairs:-)  I enjoyed the evening of fellowship. 
 This is definitely the year of the duck egg for us!  My sister in law, Natalie, sent us some wonderful duck eggs from her parents' farm!! 
 The egg on the left is from Natalie, the middle egg is from the amish farm, and the little white egg on the right is a store-bought jumbo chicken egg.  This gives you an idea of the size.
 I am so glad I didn't give away my antique cast iron egg holder! 
 Lizzie and Allen helped Mike do some welding recently.  Welding is one of the "50 Things Every Boy Should Learn" items. 
 They were welding the car ramp stands that had bent over the years. 
 Now Allen and Lizzie can change the oil in the cars.
World's best welding teacher! 

This week Mike and I had "His and Hers" gum surgery.  I guess we've entered a new season in our lives.  It's been a week of broth and mashed potatoes.  I wondered what the guy at Taco Bell must've thought when we ordered 2 sides of refried beans as our lunch!  (I hope this isn't too much info for a blog...but I know in a few years I will wonder what year we had the surgery.)

Our funny story today comes from Adina, our violin teacher.  Adina says that Clara has added our family to their family's geneology:  Clara says, "Ruthie isn't here; Lizzie isn't here; Jocelyn isn't here; etc, naming all her many cousins."  That's okay, Clara, we do feel like family!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Poem from Maggie

Mom you do so much for me
Every single day.
The way you serve and love me
In so many countless ways.

If I were to keep a record,
Oh, to even try!
The paper would not last at all,
The ink would soon run dry.

You spend hours caring for me,
Giving up your time.
But you always persevere,
An example I can find.

You comfort me when you're not there,
Just by knowing that you care.
You're both a friend and mother
And that's what I'm most thankful for.

When I need to let off steam
You understand the most.
You put up with my nasty bark
When my bite is just a boast.

You listen when I need an ear,
You're there when I need a hug.
You understand my problems,
And help when I feel insecure.

You're a shoulder to cry on,
Someone to laugh with.
You're there when I need uplifting,
You're there to tell me the truth.

You're my friend and encourager,
My example and chauffeur.
You listen and you understand,
You helped me to grow to who I am.

You're many things,
You're like no other,
But most of all,
You are my mother.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Sweet 16 to the twins!

 Happy birthday, Allen and Lizzie!  My how time flies. 
 This year their birthday fell on a busy Wednesday.  Lizzie and I did not get home from guitar lesson until almost 7 o' we invited Meemaw and  Grandad over for cake and ice dinner.
 We found the Cherry Chocolate Chip and the Vanilla ice creams at Trader Joes.  The soy yogurt is really...
...homemade chocolate ice cream made from coconut milk.  Lizzie and Maggie made it.  Yummy!  Rich chocolate flavor.
 Lizzie and Maggie made their birthday cake...lemon poppyseed.  A twin favorite.
 This morning Maggie and Allen brought in two large bowls of honey...the first this season. 
 The honey is delicious...and a great color!
 The next few pictures are for our homesick Anna.  She loves Africa and her time there...but she's still homesick.  So that is our prayer for her this week. 

Our porch is falling apart on all four sides.  Not good!  We don't know what is causing it.  The insurance man came out as well as two builders...but we still don't know what is causing it.  One theory is that the wood shrunk since this was the first wood that the feds required to be arsenic-free.  Another theory is that the lack of arsenic made the screws corrode.  Who knows!
 Ranger the cat has a pet salamander.
 And these are Allen's chickens.  They are already much bigger with all their feathers.
 Have to include a few pictures of painting.  Here's Lizzie,
 and Daddy...wait!  wrong picture.
 Here's Daddy.  So you see, Anna, we are getting some painting done!  And you can also see that Daddy no longer needs crutches...just the boot...which is now speckled with white paint.
 Maggie and Lizzie are still working on the perfect gluten-free bread recipe.  They use many different flours and ingredients.  I like the sorghum flour...mainly because one cup has 95 grams of calcium! 
On Wednesday, I took Maggie, Lizzie and Ruthie to the acupuncturist.  Lizzie took these beautiful flowers for Dr. Hebron.  They are from my rhododendron bush that is in full bloom.  I took the first picture in the elevator.  Lately we have been standing in the elevator talking...and usually a minute passes before we realize the elevator isn't moving...because we forget to press the floor button! 

BTW ~ Lizzie and Ruthie go to the acupuncturist for sinus congestion caused by allergies...and it works wonderfully!  Thank you Dr. Hebron!  PTL
 Last week I bought these from the Pine View Amish grocery in Mechanicsville.  The left is dehydrated green beans (that are now gone) and the sunflower seeds are honey roasted.  Delicious!
 I snapped this picture of Lizzie going to babysit Clara.  She took puzzles, a baby animal book, and playdough.  She's all prepared!
 Sarah made lemon chicken for us on Tuesday.  It was as pretty as it was delicious.  I especially liked the capers. Thanks, Sarah.
 Lizzie experimented with a banana cake recipe.  I really liked this cake!

Last week when Banjo Man came to dinner, he brought his Mom.  We loved her!  She is as down to earth as her son.  We thoroughly enjoyed having her and hope she comes often. 

When Banjo Man came this week he brought this wonderful western ceramic from his mother!  She did all the painting on it.  I love it!  This picture does not do it justice...the colors are magnificent.  Thanks, Banjo Mom!

Today we are homebound waiting for Allen's fingerlings to appear by Fedex.  He has 25 baby tilapia due to arrive before 4:30 pm.  The fish were supposed to arrive yesterday, so we are disappointed that we had to give up our bowling trip today to wait for the long-delayed fish.  We ordered the fish more than a month I hope we aren't waiting around for another delay!

The nights are still cool (50s) so we are holding off on putting up the pool.  Grandaddy's inground pool is still 70 degrees...before last night's rain.  This is unusual for us.

We miss you, Anna, but it keeps us praying for you.  Here are a few verses for comfort.  I know you aren't being afflicted, but they are still comforting, since He is the God of all comfort:   
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. ~ 2 Cor 1:3-7
Many blessings ~ Kathie