Showing posts from February, 2015

A Breath of Fresh Air

We went for a little drive the other day.  It might have been more than just a little drive.  But we started up in the business of crowded peopleville, and ended up in the refreshing quiet of the mountains.  The air was clean and clear and tasted wonderful

We stopped and walked down a dirt road to see a dream.  We've been having this dream for a while, but I'm not sure if it is the right time for it to come true.

We spent a while poking about and looking at the adventure.  We learned that even though we have two coats and two jackets for the twins, three of the four will be lost at any given time and one of the twins will have to wear his sister's pink jacket.
We learned that velvet princess dresses and cockle burs don't mix very well.
We learned that dreams come with big costs.
And we remembered that we love being in the mountains.  And we remembered that God made an awesomely beautiful planet.
We'll have to think about those dreams for a while.


I was helping put on a women's conference a few weeks ago, and it wasn't too bad.  I am so much more comfortable working with a group of men than a group of women, but it turned out better than I thought it would.  It's probably because I didn't sign up for the decorating committee, because the frou-frou might make me a little bit crazy.  I designed the invitations and the program, and I think they turned out pretty well.  
Then they wanted some chalkboard signs, so I thought it might be fun to learn how to do that.  It's pretty popular right now, and it wasn't too hard.  
I designed the page in Word using wordart. Not hard.  I printed it out, drew lines on the page with a ruler and pencil.  I just divided the page into four parts across (half, then half again), and eight parts down, since the chalkboards were roughly twice as long as they were tall.  I drew lines on the chalkboard to divide it up the same way, and did the old fourth-grade method of transferri…

Happy Birthday, Eddie!

Here he is, the birthday boy, with his snazzy new haircut.  Like you can tell.  But it looks great, maybe just because I look at his face and the way I love him more than I look at his hair.  He wanted pizza and chocolate cake for dinner, so that's what he got.  Even if I had to dump cocoa powder into a yellow cake mix to make it.  That's ok.  The look on Georgie's face when he stole the cocoa powder spoon to lick it off was worth every moment of cooking!

Eddie, I love you to the moon and back.  You were a ray of sunshine just when your daddy and I needed it.  You still are.  Happy twelfth birthday!  Twelfth.  Don't look at that word too long or it will mess you up.  Twelvth?  Will you tie your tongue in knots if you try to pronounce "L-V-TH" too many times in a row?  Quit it.
Twelve things I love about Eddie: He is so kind.  He sees times when he can jump in and help that many others don't notice.He is so thorough at cleaning the kitchen!  I love his nig…

Mission Monday

From South Africa:

This week has been really crazy with all the random weather that we have been having. We will wake up in the morning with almost perfect weather, and then by noon it is absolutely horrible. Then on the other hand, if we wake up and it is cloudy, then by about noon it clears up and it is a hot and humid day for the rest of the day. So the weather has been crazy and makes it crazy right in the middle of the work day. But it has been fun.

Then on Sunday (at church), we had a third hour combined and we went in with the youth, and they were talking about seminary and how important it is. People here don't realize just how important it is for the kids to be going. So it was cool to see the parents realize it and to have them fired up about seminary as well. This week has been awesome! I can't wait to see what happens this week!

From Madagascar:

Then we got on the wrong bus and ended up stuck in traffic far from home for two hours. That was poopy. Upside to that is…

Dane It!

A conversation this morning:
Georgie:  Mommy, can I play with the sticks and the little silver balls? (a set of Magnetix that is not always out because of all the small pieces that keep getting lost)
Me:  Yes, dear.  Just make your bed first.
Georgie:  (running into the other room where Freddie was laying on his stomach on the floor, reading a book) Freddie!  Mom says we can always play with the sticks and silver balls if we make our bed!
Me:  You need to make your bed every morning, before you play with anything.
Georgie:  What?  (hanging his head and stomping out of the room)  Oh, dane it!
I'm not sure what the Danes ever did to him to make him profane them that way.  But a few minutes later, he came up and triumphantly proclaimed that he had made his bed and that it was easy.  Good for you, buddy.  Good for you.

Happy Birthday, Eddie!

This cute boy has a birthday coming up.  I can't believe he will be 12!  Wowza.

Here is his birthday list:

Bunny or a parakeet
iPod or a phone
Motorized go-cart
X Box

That's all for the top of his list.  The rest of his list includes things like candy, Legos (and not Legos because you can't buy but a tiny set with a bunch of money anymore.  Oh, for the good old days when we liked Legos but everyone else didn't!), a play date at the local trampoline play place, electronics, rubber band guns, outside toys, and a million dollars.  No problemo.  Just let me clean out the sofa cushions and we'll be all set.

Love this boy.  I'd better go give him a haircut so he will let me take his picture.

Mission Monday

I asked the boys how their clothes were holding out, since I don't want them to be nekkid.  Or wear holy socks.

I guess South Africa is hard on socks, or maybe he's walking a lot!  They were J.C. Penney socks and I guess they aren't made to hold up to missionary work.  "I'm doing fine except for socks. BTW, the clothes here are a ton cheaper, and I can see them before I get them, so just do the same thing (put money in his account) and drop it in and let me know, and I'll go get them. I'm fine with shirts ( I have 8, and I have two full suits, so I think I'm good there. One of them is in the mission home right now, and they are taking care of it for me. And I also need more shoes. I'm going to go and get some soon, maybe today, so that will be good."

It's too warm in Madagascar for a suit, and he just had one tailor made anyway, so he's fine there. "I never wear a suit... so yes, I'm good on suits. Plus when I want a new one …

Happy Valentine's Day

What a happy day!  Sometimes.  In college I wore black to commemorate the day, but now I have more people to love - and less time to worry about myself - so I like the day much more.
I got little treats for each of the kids, but nothing Pinterest-worthy.  Love doesn't show up on Pinterest very well, anyway.  Trent surprised me with a giant bouquet of roses and lillies!  It was gorgeous and smells so good.  I love walking around the corner where the vase stands and just breathing it all in.  
Angel made (ok, I made) little books to give all of her classmates.  She loves nothing more than folding a piece of paper in half a few times, stapling one side, and trimming the edges to make a little book to write in.  So we made Valentine books with heart-printed paper for all her little friends.
Eddie made a Valentine Death Star to put his valentines into.  Out of cardboard and duct tape.  That morning.  I guess that is about what a sixth grade boy thinks of The Day of Love.

At the End of a Driveway

I was walking home the other day and noticed a little boy standing at the end of his driveway.  His head was down and his shoulders slumped sadly.  Just as soon as I saw him there, a car whipped around the corner, screeched to a halt in front of him, and he scrambled in.  The car was gone again before I could really think.  So I thought about it the rest of the way home.

The first bell at the elementary school had already rung, so I can see why they were in such a hurry.  But the house was a scant block away from the school, so it's not like it was a long distance to go.  Laughing to myself, I imagined the hectic morning that must have erupted at that house.  I can imagine it well because we've had mornings like that.  Someone had a science fair project to finish up, or forgot to do their math homework, or we couldn't find the library book that was due today or there were no socks in my drawer or we were all slow this morning or Mom just got up late...  Yeah, it happens.

Face This Way

We go for walks nearly every day.  I walk to school with Eddie and Angel, and I walk back to the school at lunchtime to pick her up.  In addition, I like to make sure my dad gets some exercise, so we wander about the neighborhood for a bit with him.

Today was beautiful.  Somehow I want to think that it is still February, but it sure looks like spring outside.  We didn't even take our jackets with us as we stepped out into the sunshine (for here, that means it must have been at least 50 degrees.  Floridans would be freezing).  Not a single cloud!  Robins!  Lots of spring bird sounds!  I haven't yet seen the flowers trying to poke up, but I'm sure it won't be long.

Today, Freddie and Georgie wanted to go for a walk with me and Opa.  We walked up the street, loving the warmth of the sun on our shoulders.  After a few minutes, we noticed our shadows.  We waved at ourselves and made funny shapes with our legs.  They tried to step on my shadow and I dodged back and forth to …

Mission Monday

From South Africa:

In other news, here is a story that happened yesterday. We got a dvd referral for a guy named Mxabisi (yes it has clicks), but his short name is Bobby. So we went over to his house and found out that we had seen the guy before. He is a car guard (somebody that watches the cars while you go shopping) at Buco (kinda like Home Depot, African Style). Oh, and he only has one leg, and he stands and watches cars all day long, making only cents every once in a while. But anyway, we go over and give him the dvd, and then he starts going off about something in Xhosa, and then talks a little, then rambles, and then all of the sudden, he is just like, "Thanks for coming, I'm busy right now, I'll see you later". And the weird thing is that it was so abrupt. So it caught Elder Weber and I off guard and we just had to leave and hope for the best. We will see him later this week and talk to him and see how he is doing. Yup, missionaries in SA get shot down at the …

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is what's for dinner.  I'm not sure where the original recipe came from, since we have been eating this for a very long time.  We have modified and easy-fied it over the years, because we like it easy, and this is what it looks like now.

This is not really what our casserole looks like, because we have neither orange plates nor perfectly-places sprigs of rosemary.  Ours is always gone before I can take a picture of it.   But this is the general idea.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
makes one panful - enough to feed our family of 10 if we have a big salad and a bowl of cooked veggies to go with it.

2 onions
3 cloves garlic
5-6 chicken breasts (I think - depending on how many we have and how hungry everyone is)

Chop onions and mince garlic.  Saute in oil.  Or bacon drippings.  Chop chicken into the bite-size that you most like to bite, and cook with onions and garlic.  Season to taste.  Today we went with a simple cumin, salt and pepper.  Other days I'm more in the mood for pou…

The Used Bread Store

Well, I guess it's not really a used bread store.  I just call it that.  It's really the bread reject store.  Some people call it the day-old bread store, although we all know that the bread there is a bit more than just a day old.  Even my bread, homemade without preservatives, lasts more than one day.  I digress.

We have a store in town - most towns have one - which sells bread that is too old to sell at the regular store.  Every day, the bread trucks take the new bread from the bakery to the grocery store, scoop up the too-old bread still on the shelves, and take it to the used bread store.  There, you can buy bread for really cheap.  And usually packaged muffins and snack cakes and chips and the like.  After a while, it's too old to even sell at the too-old store, and they throw it out.  Or they give it to farmers for free as animal feed.

Last fall, Trent heard about this deplorable waste of good food, and went down to the old bread store to see if he really could get …

Bread Helpers

This morning, I found a great new bread recipe.  My bread has been turning out really well lately, but I have no idea what the recipe is.  I just start adding things and have anxiety about what else should go in it, add some more things.  Maybe I should just go with it, since the bread is good, but it stresses me out to not know what I am doing.  Especially since it occasionally bombs.  The boys take sandwiches from home every day for their lunch, so I need to have reliable bread (or Trent might go to the used bread store and buy some.  What?  I haven't written about that?  I should.).

So here is the new recipe, from Deals to Meals.  I will add in my modifications.  Doesn't it look good?  Hopefully this will work.

Step 1.  Grind flour.  Lug the wheat grinder out of the laundry room, then go back and lug the mixer into the kitchen as well.  Be smart this time, since you are wearing dark clothing and you are about to work with flour.  Grab your apron.  Pour in wheat and grind. …

Mission Monday

What?  It's February?  How did that happen?  I'm still not relegated to 2015, either.  Moving along...

From South Africa:

Well, this is the end of the crazy eight week transfer! And... I'm staying in Port Alfred with Elder Weber! It is awesome!!! I love serving with him. In other news, all of our lessons have been in the double digits again!! 53 lessons this week, which left us very busy and crazy insane running around like chickens with our heads chopped off. But it has been very great to see the progress of the branch.

From Madagascar:

Thursday we ate rice with boiled squash leaves at an investigator's house. Delicious. When we showed up [to church on Sunday], 40 people were there. However, by the time the sacrament was over, we were up to 113, so that was pretty scary!!! That's called fotoana gasy, or Malagasy time! Then, the second counselor in the branch presidency tried to give me a talk. Bad news... I can't, sorry... (*Spoiler alert*) I'm leaving thi…