Monday, May 31, 2010

Wonderful Weekend - Full Heart

We had a wonderful weekend full of activity! Friends who moved away from the area five years ago came for a wedding and stayed with us for almost 4 days. We had a house full of 17 people all-together and we LOVED it! George and their second-youngest son have been good friends for a long time and so they really enjoyed being together. They were so much fun and such a blessing to us.  Friday the guys spent time doing yard work even rota-tilling a spot for my garden (a hard job with our rocky soil) and helping out in any way they could. My kitchen cupboards were washed down and our high chair which had gunk in every nook and cranny is now shiny and clean again. We had good late night talks and were on the receiving end of much helpful advice from people who have "been there" and we can see the fruit in their children. The boys (they have six ages 4 - 18) all played frisbee, laser tag (with nerf guns) and stayed up longer than they ever have then camped out in our motorhome. A once in a lifetime few days for them.

Saturday our Pastor's oldest son got married and I cried my way through. John and I used to babysit for their children and so it is strange to see him now old enough to begin a family of his own. Oh my! George told John later on that when it comes time for him to get married maybe they should put me in some room in the back that has a window to watch. :)- But it was a beautiful God-honoring wedding and how wonderful to see young love and and how their faces light up at the sight of each other, helping us to put a little spark back in our own relationship. (Not that it was dead or anything but you know -- we all need a little something to remind us now and again).

Yesterday we celebrated my Grandpa's 90th birthday! He sees it as just another day but to us it is a milestone of years spent in service to our Lord. He is a gentle and quiet spoken man. A man of prayer. It was wonderful to honor him in that way. Someone told him maybe he'd have another 30 years and he said, "I don't want that many!" That was a comfort to me to know that if and when I reach that age that maybe I won't cling to the things of this world so tightly but will be ready to see my Savior just as my Grandpa is. What a special man!

Today we said goodbye to our dear friends and wondered what we will do with ourselves now that the house is "quiet". But we are making plans to visit them at the end of the summer. Thankfully we did have a family picnic here today and that helped to perk up the kids spirits (and ours as well for that matter). We enjoyed beautiful weather and a good time with family. Today we had our veterans, my two Grandpa's and my Uncle, sit around the table and discuss their memories of war while my sister recorded it. It was over an hour and was so interesting to hear. It is also so good for the children to hear and I am glad we will have it on a DVD to watch and remember.

[caption id="attachment_782302" align="aligncenter" width="214" caption="Tank shooting a water balloon with a sling shot"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_782303" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Trying to catch balloons"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_782289" align="aligncenter" width="212" caption="My Grandpas - WWII Veterens"][/caption]

My heart is full and overflowing that tears just flow as I reflect on our weekend. I am so thankful for many people in my life and how God has blessed us over and again more than we ever deserve.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blog Changes

If you are wondering why my blog looks very different without my header, etc. it is because Homeschoolblogger has upgraded their system. I am excited about that as it should make blogging a bit more user friendly. But as I need to get used to a new system and how things work I may not have it looking like "my blog" for a bit.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mason House of Fine Dining

Last week Monday John and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary! We planned to go out to eat on the weekend but I couldn't let the day go by without doing something special. I thought it would be fun to make our dinning room into a restaurant and the children would serve. They really liked the idea and being that a couple of my children are very like-minded to me they took off with it. A curtain was hung to divide the kitchen from the dinning room. The dinning room was cleaned, the table had nice linens and candles were set out. George decided to wear his suitcoat and the others followed and wore nicer clothes  -- although a couple still were barefoot.  :)-

George was the host with his sidekick, Missy Blue. He set a stool near the front door with a fake guest list and made a waiting area with our two-seater chair. I had all of the food made and set out on the counter and showed them how to plate it before-hand. I reminded them of the various jobs in a restaurant and they decided who would do what from bringing out the rolls, taking our order, filling our glass, etc.

John arrived home and he started laughing the minute he walked through the door. George asked for a reservation and of course John had fun with that giving fake names the whole time causing everyone else to burst out laughing. He was asked to be seated in the waiting area and Re-Pete brought out a dress shirt as our restaurant required nicer attire. :) I sat in the dinning room and they brought John to "our table". Pete told us the special for the evening which was Braised Sirloin Tips on a bed of rice and steamed broccoli. Tank brought out our rolls and made sure the basket was filled the rest of the meal. The food was plated well, although the portion size was a little on the small side but that was okay.


At times we had interruptions from Seppy and Lincoln and quite a bit of noise going on in the kitchen to which the older boys kept peeking through the curtain apologizing for the noise and turned up the music instead.  We enjoyed one of John's favorite desserts of Chocolate Eclaire Torte and Noah had sprinkled the plates and top of the dessert with powdered sugar and cocoa powder which was a nice touch.

Mason House of Fine Dining was so much fun and we all enjoyed it! I think this may need to become a new tradition and then down the road I will no longer need to cook the meal as I know my boys will be the ones preparing. Looking forward to many more celebrations and making memories along the way.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mmmm Monday -- Berry Sauce

We had college students overnight Saturday as we try to do at least once a month. I tried a new recipe for breakfast. It was Berry French Toast Bake which was good but the thing that I really liked about it was the Berry Sauce. I typically make some type of berry syrup when we have pancakes even though I do have some traditionalists here that will only eat maple. While this is similar to what I normally make I think the orange juice really helps to enhance the flavor of the berries. This will now become my pancake topping of choice.


1/2 cup sugar (I use a little less as I always try to decrease the sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
2 T. orange juice (I used more -- maybe 1/3 cup?)
1 cup frozen unsweetened mixed berries
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

Stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in orange juice until smooth. Stir in mixed berries; heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook about 4 minutes, still stirring, or until slightly thickened; remove from heat. Just before serving, stir in the strawberries. Serve warm.

It was good the next day too and is also good cold.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I am reading the book Passionate Housewives Desperate for God and have been so encouraged in my role as wife and mother. Here is a favorite quote on this Mother's Day when I want to honor my Mom.

The truth is that biblical motherhood doesn't mean we're promised postcard-perfect days where we lounge together with our little ones on the porch swing with white starched dresses sipping lemonade and singing in harmony. Homegrown children take a lot of hard work -- and sometimes "it ain't pretty." Other times, it's breathtaking. Biblical motherhood means sacrifice, selfless love, and faithful dedication.

Thank You Mom for selflessly giving of yourself to us! I LOVE YOU!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The perfect Mothers Day

I read an article by Barbara Rainey this week that very much summed up what I have been feeling about Mother's Day. I had been going back and forth in my mind this week having conversations with myself about the upcoming day to honor Mothers. (Do you have conversations with yourself too?) It really isn't a favorite day for me. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being a Mommy! There is no job I'd rather do.

But don't you think we have a preconceived idea of what the day should be for me? My husband should buy me a plant for the garden and know my taste without me having to tell him; the children should have made their homemade cards with sweet endearments. They should be obedient all day and I shouldn't have to deal with any discipline issues. Today is the day my husband deals with everything and I sit back and am pampered. Right! Sure, some of those things did indeed happen but maybe not exactly how I wanted. And then it can become more prideful in what I think I deserve and might even lead to a bad attitude.

For me, I have given up the ideas of a perfect Mothers Day. Instead I have been focusing on the little ways I am honored in my role as Mommy each and every day. My little ones wrapping their arms around me for a hug and whispering "I love you!". My boys who maybe 8 but still want to be as close to me as possible and willingly put their hand in mine while shopping. Children vying for the spot on the couch next to me. Or my oldest offering to help clean the kitchen when I am overwhelmed. Those are the moments that I cherish. Not forced, but done out of geniune love and honor for me -- their Mommy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Animal update

**Update -- We took Lincoln to the vet yesterday and at 14 weeks he weighs 33 lbs -- the same weight as Seppy! Put Missy Blue on the scale too and she weighs two pounds less. He is growing fast and will be a big dog, which is what we wanted. It is funny though, as being a labrador that is from show lines he looks different than a typical lab. Our vet has not seen a dog like him before and keeps thinking he must have a mix of something like a bulldog in him as he has a big head. But no, he is a purebred and what the breed originally looked like rather than the more lean and lanky we often see.

While I have a few things I have in mind to blog about, time is lacking so I'll save those for another day. Instead, I'll update you on the animals around here.

Lincoln has adjusted so well to being a part of our family. He is now 14 weeks old and is growing so big! He is such a sweetheart and mellow for the most part. He thankfully has slept through the night since the first week we brought him home, although he does wake between 5 - 6 a.m. usually by 5:30 a.m. so I am up a lot earlier than normal (John leaves the house at 5 a.m.) but it is becoming routine for me and I am actually even enjoying it. I love to see the sunrise when I take Lincoln out and smell the fresh morning breeze. I love that I have so much quiet uninterrupted time in the Word which I have so needed. Here is our lovable puppy with Seppy, who is finally enjoying playing with "my puppy" --

You may remember that a year ago a few cats showed up and we ended up keeping them outside and then the Mama had two litters of kittens that summer which was quite an ordeal. In the end we kept three kittens. Two of the original cats are no longer with us. So, we have 4 cats who are very friendly and hang around much of the time on our porch. They are outdoors but have shelter in a garage during the winter. They are very handy for keeping down the mice population, although they have also taken to birds this spring. :( So here is a picture of the three kittens (Butterscotch, Twix, and Blackie) who are now all fixed so that we don't end up with any more kittens!


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