Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, August 31, 2015

Just A Few Photos

These are unedited, but I thought I'd show you just a few photos from the kids' photo shoot with Lindsay.

Our goal with the photos was to show a bit of their personalities and their interests at this stage in each of their lives.  Can you tell what those interests are?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

What We Did On Saturday

We now are at 6 days and counting until the wedding!  

Emma and Vinnie have arrived, and the projects are getting knocked off the list.  Of course, not all the projects are necessary for the wedding, but it is a good motivator to get projects done that we've wanted to do for some time.

This play gym had seen better days.  Rachel and Sarah dismantled it!

 I trimmed a lot of tree branches that were hanging down too low, and or were dead.  Kyle loaded them all into the back of the truck, then the play gym wood was loaded and taken to our burn pile.  It'll get burned in a week or so.

 This other play gym is in fine shape.  It's nearly 30 years old, made by our neighbor for his own son and given to us nearly 10 years ago.  The play house was here when we moved in and we've always wanted to do something with it.  It was just low on the priority list. See that weird roof overhang in front?  That's gone!

Tim and I leveled it and then he and Sarah tore the shingles off. 

 Tim put some rubberized belting on instead.  It's white and looks good.  I'm going to paint it this week with some leftover outdoor paint and then I'll take some 'after' photos!

This guy worked hard with being our gopher, hauling tree branches, and other 10 year old boy work.  

I mowed the property, we'll do it one more time before Friday.  Kyle will mow the riding arena this week, as that is where we are going to park the cars.

I also finished the table centerpieces yesterday!  Now to just finish beading Kay's veil, buy the desserts for the reception, and put together the bridal flowers.  

It'll be Saturday before we know it!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Photo Shoot

Lindsay is doing a photo shoot for me today.  I asked her to take the kids pictures as this was the big birthday year!  They are 16, 13, and 10!  This is also Rachel's senior year.  Lindsay will take her photos tomorrow.

Today is all about Sarah and Kyle.  

 They have moved outside and the lighting will be really great today.

Can't wait to see them all and of course, I'll be sure to share!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

To The Rescue!

The last two days, I have been busy doing school, running the household, driving Rachel to work and picking her up (late - 11:30pm), visiting with my parents, Oh, and rescuing Tim!

Monday afternoon, just as Rachel and I were pulling back into the driveway from a quick trip to the gas station for fuel for the riding mower, I got a call asking how soon could I get to a certain location.  This place is about 40 minutes away and it was around 2:30, and Tim had a 3:00 inspection.  And he had locked the keys in the van.  "We'll leave right away!"

This meant a quick change out of my mowing clothes, Rachel grabbing her uniform for work and we ran out the door!  On the way, Tim called to say that his 3:00 appointment cancelled for the day, so there was no hurry.  That was nice but we did have to hurry because I had to get Rachel to work at 5:00.  

Everything worked out perfectly, I got her there with time to spare!

Yesterday, I got a similar call in the afternoon.  This time the van wouldn't start!  But he was at his third inspection site for the day, but could I come and give him a jump? He wasn't certain it was the battery - he was leaning toward it being the starter, but we'd start there.

Now, as nothing is ever just straightforward here, my Mom was here for the day and was waiting for my dad.  She agreed to take Kyle and Sarah to her house (as I didn't know when Tim and I would be done) and I would pick them up on my way home.  Rachel changed into her uniform quickly, and I was going to take her to Lindsay, who was going to take her to work for me.  

Oh, and did I mention that the jumper cables were in Tim's truck (not work vehicle) and that he had loaned it to his friend who is preparing to auction his home and move to a retirement community?  He'd had the truck for a week, no problem because I was driving his VW Jetta in exchange.  But Tim needed me to bring the truck, so Rachel and I again headed out to get the truck, drop her at Lindsay's and then I'd be on my way.  

Rachel drove and I checked the map app to see where I was headed to meet Tim.  Turns out I'd be going past Rachel's workplace, so we stopped and exchanged vehicles, stopped quickly to tell Lindsay that I'd just take Rachel, dropped Rachel at work, and headed out to meet Tim.

Are you still with me?  Are you on the edge of your seat with excitement yet?

Anyway, it was a lovely day, and I was reminded again of how beautiful Pennsylvania is.  I arrived and as he was finishing his last inspection for the day.  We tried to jump the vehicle but that wasn't it, so we headed out to borrow a jack and lifts from our friends who live in the area.  Then went by the auto parts store for a starter, back to the job site to replace the starter.

Several things I am thankful for.  

1. Tim has the knowledge and skill to work on our vehicles.

2. He had all the tools he needed with him.

3.  The seller of the home, owned a pizza and sub shop, and brought Tim a giant hoagie!  We split it for our dinner!

4. The house is unoccupied.

5.  The realtor that showed up to show the house to clients mentioned a unique property just down the street, and said we had to see it!

Its like a Disney castle at the end of the road!  This wasn't the best angle to see it from but the best I could do.

I hope he doesn't need to be rescued today, because I have to take Rachel to cello, then I really must finish beading Kay's veil, I have some ribbon and beads to add to the flower girl basket and ring bearer pillow, some silk flowers to buy, school to do.

 I'm grateful for family that helps out.  The kids had fun playing wii at my parents house, and hanging out.  Tim and I visited for a while, I cleaned up the kitchen (my mom had fed the kids dinner), then Tim took the kids home and I stayed a few more hours before picking Rachel up from work at 11:30.  I certainly hope she won't be on this closing schedule for ever!  

I am so thankful though that I am available to help Tim as needed, as well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's A Beautiful Morning

Here is a look at the backyard on this beautiful morning.  The cicadas are singing loudly today.

We've been working hard on getting the property tidy and organized for the wedding.  I love having a looming deadline like this - we are really motivated to get stuff done!  (not that we don't normally take care of the property but as I've said before this spring and summer have been unusual for us with Tim starting his own business)

I took a few photos yesterday afternoon as I was finishing the mowing.

 This is the riding arena with the barn in the background.

 Some of these fence posts need to be replaced.  They've been in the ground nearly 8 years.

We are going to park cars in the arena for the wedding.  There is a big 12 foot gate on this street side of the arena area.  Emma's boyfriend Vinnie is a professional valet and will be handling the parking of the cars!

 Hi, Sandy girl!

 Potting up some red and white annuals.  This is no easy task as most places have gotten rid of any remaining annuals to make way for fall mums and other plants.  Not sure how the red geraniums are going to do for another week and a half!

 My beautiful hydrangea.  I need to decide where this beauty is going!

 With so much to do and so little time, I had Sarah and Rachel finish  a project for me yesterday.  Remember when I spray painted a few chairs early in the summer or late spring in that beautiful Sea Glass color?  Well, it didn't hold up very well.  So I bought a different kind of paint for plastics and this color is called Lagoon.  I sprayed a chair a month ago and since it held up well, we decided to go with this color.  

The chairs look great, and Sarah got the opportunity to do something she'd never done before!

Enjoy your day friends!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

12 More Days

Until the wedding!

I changed the chalk board message tonight!

Today, the guys in the wedding party went to get their tux's ordered, so we are one step closer to being ready!

Kamryn goes to church with us and was excited telling everyone that her Mommy and Daddy are getting married in 'two days!'  We had to remind her it's 'two weeks!'  She is so excited!

While at lunch with friends today she was being a big grumpy so I decided to take some photos with her and the kids jumped in on it too!

Weird angle on me but the kids are so cute I couldn't resist showing you.

Emma will be home at the end of the week, bringing Vinnie with her!  We are excited about that, and then next Wednesday Tim's mom and sister arrive!  

We still having flowers to get, and desserts for the reception to buy, but it will all come together beautifully, and it will be a special time for us all.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Is Waning

It's been a memorable one.  We've worked hard, we've played, went swimming, enjoyed a visit from California family, Tim's mom came to spend two weeks with us, we enjoyed a visit from Emma and Vinnie, and have planned a wedding.

The weather here has been very hot and humid the last week or so, but we are having nice weather right now.  I am beginning to see changes in some trees that are early September changers; leaves on the ground, a bit of color change here and there.  Real autumn weather is five weeks away, but the signs of seasonal change has begun.  

I started making a few autumn wreaths yesterday.  I've had a few ideas in mind and wanted to try them out.  I am interested in selling them.  

 I was looking for a vintage, neutral look here.  It's very different than my usual style!

I think this ribbon from Costco is so pretty, too!

What do you think?

Are you noticing that the seasons are about to change?  What are the signs where you live?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Work Lunches

With Tim working his own business now, we have changed what we send along for his lunch.  He used to have a typical half hour lunch in a lunch room.  He loved to take left overs and heat them up to eat.  He rarely took a sandwich.

Now with doing the inspections, he is on the move continually and only gets a 'break' when he's headed to the next inspection.  So he has requested food that he can eat while driving, and that won't drop all over his clothes!

He's been loving the sandwiches that I have been making for him, and wants to keep those coming.

 Really good Italian bread, mayo, dijon mustard, lean turkey breast, cheddar cheese, and romaine lettuce.

 Yesterday I sent a baggie full of homegrown grape tomatoes.  They are tasty and easy to pop in your mouth so no mess.  Today I packed sweet potato chips!  

For breakfast, I sometimes make an egg sandwich, but mostly during these hot days, I have been making him protein shakes.  It's healthy and cool, and they taste amazing.  So far I've made him chocolate/peanut butter, frosted lemonade, strawberry and like today a mixed berry shake.

Here is how I make them.
 A scoop of unsweetened, vanilla flavored whey protein, a 1/4 rounded teaspoon of Glucomannan. (This helps thicken it as well as provides fiber)

 About a 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, a tsp vanilla, and a tbsp of organic stevia.

 Then the berries.  I get these at Costco.  Lots of great antioxidants in berries.

 Coconut milk, protein powder, vanilla, Glucomannan, and sweetener.

 In go the berries

 Then to blend.

 My Ninja is awesome!  Less than 30 seconds to a nice, cold, thick shake!

With the heat Tim also needs to stay hydrated, he is sweating a lot and needs fluids.  So I use fruit teas, that we brew here, and I add raw honey to it while its hot.  Then we add lots of ice in a drink cooler and he has a nice tasty drink for the day!
Yesterday, it was so hot and he did an extra inspection, so he ended up having to buy Gatorade to drink.  

Over the winter, when he has some other types of work, he will be able to take a break and perhaps do something different for lunch.  But for now these work for him.  

Delicious home made food and drinks.

He's a happy man.


  We are finally getting some blue skies with real clouds, and sunshine! I took sometime with Kyle and Kamryn's help to set up the deck ...