Monday, June 29, 2009

And now it's really history


I must admit, following my refresher course in Exuberance of Youth 101 last week, I am in awe of all the young mothers who take it in stride every day.

After I returned granddaughter #1 to her family last Wednesday, I received a plea for scrapbook tutoring for granddaughter #2. She arrived on Friday, loaded with papers, glue and expectations. The book needed to be complete by Saturday night.

We worked... I mean we worked hard!

Because it's for 4-H, she did all the work... I just pointed, cut and suggested possibilities.

When we needed a break, Emma went straight to her first love...

One break was spent outside breathing in some fresh air. Emma found and picked the final mulberries. During another break, she made a velvety smooth mulberry sauce for ice cream. Yummo!

No, we didn't finish the scrapbook. She went home with three pages of raw materials - and lots of experience. Judging from the finished part of the book, she'll do just fine.

Right now, I sit in my quiet house and renew my vow to pray for all of you who live with exuberant children. It is a fine calling.

Teach them Jesus.

Jesus said... Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God... and He took them up in His arms, and put His hands upon them, and blessed them. Mark 10:14 and 16

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And now it's history...

Already the whirlwind visit is over. This afternoon my little bundle of energy rejoined her family.

This was Day 2:

the kooky moments...

(Note: When the mulberry trees are really loaded, you can open the bag wide and wait!)

project times...

and the grand finale! The light show at the Cascades.

Today's reuniting with mommy and siblings happened in a twinkling - arms outstretched, feet moving so fast I don't think they touched the ground!

I should have had my camera ready.

Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; show forth from day to day His salvation. First Chronicles 16:23

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The adventure begins

I had forgotten how many things could be packed into one day... every moment an adventure.

Today, my little buddy and I

- picked (and ate) the first sugar snap pea

- picked cherries

- bravely tasted a pepperoncini pepper

- mastered the rotary cutter

- practiced stitching with the sewing machine and made a shoulder bag that was used on the shopping trip that topped off the day!

I had more pictures, but Blogger said we did too many things. Don't worry though - we'll be back tomorrow!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (Allison told me today that this is her favorite verse)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The week that was

Oh... how I have missed blogging!

But while I haven't been posting, so much has been happening.
  • Painting the walls of my craft/work/sewing room. No pictures. It's almost finished - one wall left to go.
  • Haircut day - yay!
  • Company yesterday and today. This morning the men and boys went fishing while "us girls" toured the Strawberry Festival downtown. (Highlight was a man with an accordion who also yodeled. Oh yeah - and lunch.)
  • All the regular stuff that everyone does - lawn mowing, laundry, dishes, cooking, blah, blah, blah...

Tomorrow night we have another visitor coming. Another one of our granddaughters is coming to spend a few days. Such big plans we have... sewing and crafting and mod-podging and talking and loving...

I can't wait!

Pictures next time. :>)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


It is a thrilling thing to be an onlooker - watching a granddaughter make public her profession of faith with baptism. That was our privilege last Sunday.

The picture is fuzzy, but her testimony was clear and sure. It was a wonderful moment indeed.

If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

Friday, June 12, 2009

Going Dutch

I am not dutch. It wasn't until I married into a dutch family that I learned how serious they are when they say If you're not dutch, you're not much. (I guess my dear husband was either a rebel or very brave, because he married me anyway.)

On Wednesday, I discovered that my many years of marriage have shown me just a tip of the "Van/De" iceberg. My sister took our mother and me to Pella, Iowa, where we spent a few hours immersed in dutch culture.

We had lunch in a tea room. We shopped Franklin Street to music provided by the glockenspiel that performs only four times each day.

We bought Pella (made) meat sticks at the local meat market. We visited the bakery and bought at least one of almost everything.

My sister is a great tour guide. Thanks, Beth.

The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy. Psalm 147:11

Monday, June 8, 2009

Easy pizza

I am not a consistently good cook (note the careful placement of the word "consistently"). But trying to satisfy 5 always hungry kids kept me alert for food that was quick, filling and easy on the budget. This pizza recipe did all three.

Over the years, things like multi-grain crusts and fancier cheeses found their way onto the pans, but I'll share the original recipe as written and you can tweak it to your own liking.

"Easy-As-A-Mix Pizza"

1 Pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Cooked ground beef or bulk pork sausage, or sliced pepperoni
Shredded mozzarella cheese or grated Parmesan cheese

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in flour, oil, sugar, and salt; beat about 25 strokes. Cover and let rest about 5 minutes while preparing sauce.
Stir together tomato sauce, tomato paste, and seasonings. Divide dough in half; with greased fingers, spread each half very thinly on a greased 15x10x1 jelly roll pan. Cover with sauce. Add desired meat and cheese. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Makes 2.
For a crisper crust - prebake crust for 8-10 minutes; then add sauce and toppers. Bake 10 minutes more.

Note the tomato stains, creases and tape
The recipe is old... the memory of all those hungry kids, gathered around the dining room table filling up on homemade pizza, is like yesterday. Sweet precious times.

I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. Psalm 37:25

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Good deeds - cold feet

It's an annual event. A group at our church holds a "Good Deeds" auction as a fun excuse for donating money to help our young families send their kids to camp.

Everyone gets into the action - the kids offer car washes, babysitting, yard work. Adults promise things like baking pies, making dinners, sewing, providing dinner music. One year a bidding "war" shot the price of a pie to $80. It is always a fun evening - for a good cause.

So... here I am - wondering how I can participate. I seriously thought about contributing a promissory note - I promise not to bake a pie/cookies/cake for you for the next year. That could possibly raise a lot of money, but it seems a bit negative.

I decided to do what I know I can do - make note cards.

As I put the finishing touches on the last cards tonight, I got cold feet. It is one thing for me to use my cards... it is an entirely different ball game to think anyone will pay $$ for these for any reason other than pity. (We can't just let her stuff sit there without a bid!)

I don't know... that promissory note is starting to look really good.

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gourmet lemons

I have an experiment going... Preserved Lemons with North African Spices. These lovely jars of color require 4-6 weeks of rest after packing, so at the moment they are decorating my kitchen. June 30 is the "due date".

Fortunately, Penzey's had every spice I needed.

The lemons have one task while they "rest" - to sit and soak up all the flavors in the jar. My job is to "give them a good shake every once in a while to remind them that (I am) waiting." (a quote from the recipe)

And yet... there are questions buzzing like little gnats around the edges of my mind. Questions like - At the end of the 4-6 weeks, will I know whether of not they are rotten? Who will take that first taste?

I'll keep you posted.

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. Lamentations 3:24

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sales and sights

I spent some time travelling with my dearly beloved last week. He took me places (that I would never venture on my own) where there were things to behold, places to visit, stuff to buy.

I shopped in a high-end clothes store, a dying thrift store and a "back alley sale". I brought home $492 worth of clothes for $42, a roll of wallpaper for 75 cents and these colorful treasures...

It still paddles!

Oooo - the colors!
There was one odd sight... something you don't expect to see when you are shopping for a professional to prepare your taxes. We stopped in a small (and I mean small!) town and parked right in front of this office...

Tell me honestly... do you want to face an IRS auditor when your taxes were done by "Luck, H---- & Assoc. CPA"? Suddenly, H&R Block sounds so safe!

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7