Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gathering The Moments

August has seemed quieter since we didn't take any road trips this month at all.  We really just hung out at home and got a good month of school under our belts!  

The month began with losing Tommy, Joseph's younger brother. The memorial service was special.  Their mom Susanna has posted an amazingly open post on her blog that is worth reading.

 Kyle turned nine this month and we started school!  So happy to have 19 days finished already!

 All four of my girls were baptized this month.

 Our church gave Emma a going away party, and took the time to pray over her.

 We've had amazing weather for August, with the a/c off much of the time!  Unheard of for August!

 Kamryn and I had a sleep over and we attended a wonderful wedding!

The month seemed calm and slow, in spite of the big life events of this month.  I'm thankful for all the memories this month.

Thanks Cheryl for hosting us again this month.  I love Gathering the Moments, and if you do why don't you join us?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Look What I Found On My Husband's Phone

These are Kyle's glasses.  The kids often take photos with Tim's phone, so I assume these are their work, maybe even Kyle himself.

All I can say is with a boy, you never know what you're going to get!

Happy Friday Friends!

Waterlogue App Again

I've been having some fun with this great app. 

 I really like how this turned out.  Sometimes the faces aren't great on this app, but these turned out fine.  

 The chapel ruin at the Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh, Scotland August 2013.  
Tea cups drying after they've been scalded.  This was a photo I took the day after our Christmas tea last December.  I love the way this one looks, too!

This app is so fun to use.  It is now available for the iPad as well!

Do you have and use this app?  I am wondering how they would work as a digital upload to have them printed on a canvas.  They could be great Christmas photos!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's Nearly Time

to bid our girl farewell, and leave her at her school, but not yet.

Emma is in her last week of work.  Just four more days, then a week to pack, and we head out on a week of vacation in Williamsburg.  Then we take her to her school.

She is excited and so am I, believe it or not.  She is going to be stretched and challenged and matured in these next two years.  God has been doing beautiful things in her life and that is only going to continue.

I will definitely cry some tears, but with texting, and FaceTime, I think we can connect each week.  

She has an adventurous spirit and is so much fun to hang around with.

I definitely will miss my girl, but I wouldn't hold her back from what God has for her for anything.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So I've Decided

to give Trim Healthy Mama at try.

We've been eating well for years now - a lot of organic food, good local produce, raw milk.  But I realize now that I also had tons of carbs in my diet, and yet didn't feel like Adkins was the way to go.

I've been seeing a lot about Trim Healthy Mama online, there are a ton of recipes on Pinterest, and I joined the group on Facebook as well.

When we were in Florida, I found out that  a friend of my sister in laws, a gal I know as well, who reads my blog, but rarely comments, a great cook was doing THM and since January had lost about 50 pounds.  That is what spurred my looking into it more.

Like I said I joined the FB group, and bought the book.  I decided to take the plunge.  I have significant weight to lose, and this has given me hope that I can eat well, many of the things I already eat, just not mixing carbs and fats, and using Stevia and Erythritol (which is a sugar alcohol and is the what the sweetener Truvia is) instead of honey or evaporated cane sugar, to eat lower carb wraps etc.  I believe that this can work for me.

The other night I made tacos.  I could have everything that we use for tacos, so I just made my tacos with carb balance tortillas and regular tortillas for the family.  That is easy.  

Right now I am in the learning process still - What makes up an S (satisfying meal) and what makes an E (energizing meal), when to do a Fuel Pull etc…

I will keep you updated.  I'd appreciate your prayers, as the Lord may bring me to your mind.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Goin' To The Chapel

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We were privileged, last evening, to attend the wedding of a young woman and a young man whom we have known for many years.  The bride Emily, her sister Elizabeth, and Lindsay and Emma have been BFFs for many, many years.  These girls are so dear to us.  The groom is the son of Becky of Hospitality Lane.  

The wedding was at a lovely location called the Eicher Arts Center, in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.

 The historic building is very small, so the ceremony was outdoors, on the loveliest evening we've had in a weeks.

 Everything about this wedding was personal.  The bride planned it all and it really reflected their style.

 I caught the groomsmen praying for the groom before the service.

 Mama of the groom, and the papa following behind.  Oh, and my 'papa' in the red shirt.

 The lovely Mother of the Bride.  My friend Belinda and her husband Carl have given two daughters in marriage this year!  One in May and this one in August!

Chelsea, sister of the groom.              Becca, sister of the bride.              Elizabeth, sister of the bride.

 Sisters and bridesmaids.  The brides two cousins were also bridesmaids.

 Here comes the bride!

On a side note, aren't the flowers unique and beautiful?  The bride has studied horticulture and works at a greenhouse.  She knew exactly the flowers she wanted, and also incorporated succulents.  My friends Susan (who did the flowers for Lindsay's wedding) did the flowers for this wedding, too!

 Everything was so personal.  The pastor is Emily's family's pastor and also their family was part of the homeschool group we used to be a part of.  There was history there with so many of the guests too, so it was a true family wedding.

 Beautiful part of the service with the parents, grandparents, and pastors of the bride and groom coming up for some silent prayer time to bless the couple.  At one point the bride was looking up at her groom, and he reached out and gently wiped tears from her face.  It was a very tender, sweet moment.

 The Kiss!

 The building is an historic house built around 1734.  It is small inside.  They squeezed 109 guests inside!  Thankfully this location has a great covered porch that was used for the food, which was amazing, provided by our friends, Tom and Vivien Law of The Laws of BBQ.  I've never had such amazing chicken!

 Close up of the flowers on the head table.

 The wood center pieces were cut by the Best Man.

 This was how they did the place cards for each guest.

These wooden trenchers were made by the brides 15 year old brother!

My heart is rejoicing with this couple who have been interested in each other since they were young teens.  They didn't see each other for several years, and then last October, the groom broke his collarbone (jumping a bonfire at his 21st birthday), and Emily and her sister Elizabeth brought him get well goodies.  A few weeks later Mike and Emily were an item once again, and everyone knew it was for good!  We wish them many, many years of happiness and joy!

Thank you for including us in your special day!

P.S. - I didn't get a photo of the cakes which were delicious and made by Becky the mother of the groom.  3 different flavored cakes, white buttercream frosting in a simple swirl design which were displayed on wood cake stands similar to this -

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sleep Over

One of the challenges, if I can call it that, of having my granddaughter living with us, is that I don't always get one on one Grandma/grandchild time with her.

Last night, I invited her to "sleep over" with me in my bed.  While Tim read to our kids (he is reading the Return of the King) before he went to work, Kamryn and I headed to my room to watch something together.  We ate popcorn, and enjoyed Princess and the Popstar, and then Blue's Clues.

Then she and I snuggled in with her five stuffed animals and went to sleep.  Well, she wiggled, and jiggled for a while, but it wasn't too long before she was asleep.

It was fun, and I need to remember to take the time for just she and I.  

Love that girlie so!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Have You Seen This?

                                                                        Link Here

This is a pretty great list of links to recipes of things to make instead of buying them.   We already make some things that we used to pay someone else to make for us.  Growing up and into my adulthood it never occurred to me that I could just make it myself! 

My interest in this kind of thing started in missionary training when I realized I could make my own 'cream of' soups, and in more recent years we've started to make our own laundry detergent, ranch dressing, mayonnaise, toothpaste, household cleaners, fly spray for horses.  We do it not only to save on the budget but also because we don't want the harmful chemicals that are in many of these items that are commercially made.

Here is a link to my post that shares my laundry detergent recipe.

Do you make any items that you used to purchase?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Garden: Mid-August

I headed outside tonight around eight o'clock when Kyle said, "Mom!  Come look outside!  Everything is orange!"

 He was right.  The sun setting reflected on the clouds gave an orange glow to the evening.

I decided to take some photos of the garden here in mid to late August.

First, this metal sign I found for outside the kitchen door may have been prophetic.   We have recently discovered that we have not two roosters, but four!  Can you believe it?  They are starting to get a bit fussy with each other, so three of them need to go.  We may try to sell them.

 It also means less hens.  I was looking forward to having twelve laying hens but it looks as if we will only have ten.  They don't all lay everyday so we will only get about 8 eggs a day.  That seems like a lot until you realize that it's not enough to make scrambled eggs for 6 people or a quintuple batch of pancakes on a Sunday night. I may have to start buying eggs again from the Amish farm that is GMO free on the grains they feed to their chickens.

 This is Obedient Plant or as some call it, Disobedient Plant as it can be invasive.  During the day these flowers are covered with pollinators.  The color in the sky is casting a weird glow in my photos!

 Aren't they lovely close up?  They are an August blooming plant.  Down the driveway toward the front walkway, and the garden looks a bit peaked.  We have had wonderful weather and no drought conditions, it is just the time of year.  The Echinacea has been pollinated and they are now making seed.  I leave them, bedraggled though they are, because the finches love the seed heads!

 See how amazing my hydrangea is on the right?  That is all new growth, so next year the flowers should be amazing.  I have learned my lesson that if Winter is anything like last year, this plant will be wrapped well!

 Do you see that empty spot on the right here in the photo above?  Look at the photo below.

I came home the other day and saw a lot of dirt on my walkway.  I immediately thought the chickens had been in the garden again, but on further investigation it was Rachel's dog, Sadie.  Naughty dog!  She's been laying out here.

We've had a few tomatoes finally ripen, but we've had something eating the tomatoes.  Tim thought it was the chickens but I haven't seen them down there for a while.  Well, it's always something, and we learn something new every year.

How are your gardens growing this August?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cottage Cooking: Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Today we started back with our home economics class, we began working on knitting, and our friends were staying to dinner because we needed to plan our trip to Williamsburg.

With my niece Kaitlin here and our friend Denny, I needed to feed 13 people and so I planned to make this dish, though I had never made it before.

To make things a bit easier, my friend Jen brought store bought biscuits to use as the dumplings.

I have no photos but here is what I did.

Boil chicken breasts until done.  I put them in my KitchenAid mixer to shred them, then took steamed mixed veggies and tossed both in the crockpot, or in this case two crock pots.  I then made homemade cream of chicken soup using a rue and milk, and I add Better Than Bouillon organic chicken soup base as flavoring.  

When it thickened I added it to the chicken and veggies, and Jen added the biscuits into the mixture and we turned on the crock pots and put the lids on.  The biscuits were done when we were ready to eat.  

It was easy and delicious!  This could easily be made and instead of serving with dumplings, you could serve it over rice, or noodles.  I love these kinds of crowd pleasing meals.  They are healthy and satisfying.

I hope you enjoy this meal.  Let me know if you make it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Special Weekend

Saturday was the memorial service for Joseph's younger brother Tommy.  He lived with his family for over a year, and packed a lifetime of living into that year.  When he was in the orphanage he basically lived in a crib.  Tommy was 17 years old and this photo was taken this summer.  

Sunday was a going away party for Emma, at our church.
 She will be attending weddings the next two Sundays before heading on vacation then school, so this was the only Sunday to do it.
 Aren't they beauties?  Fun, precious girls who look awfully cute in their glasses!

It was very precious to have some of the men and women of the church pray for Emma.  She knows that she is dearly loved and appreciated.  

She'll be missed.


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...