Wednesday, December 15, 2010
As I go through the days of my life, I tend to think I will remember everything important that happens, and that I might even remember the not so important things. Now as I sit here trying to sum up the year, I find that I have forgotten a LOT! That's why I need to make this blog a priority, so that I can remember the important, and not so important, things in my life!
Thinking back over 2010, there was, of course, good and bad. I lost two special cousins this year. They were both named Richard. The first Richard, Richard Johnson, passed away in March. Richard had been in a wheelchair for probably 25 years or more. I always saw him with a smile on his face and he didn't seem to let his paralysis defeat him! He did however contract an illness from a blood transfusion and that was what ultimately killed him. It was a very sad time, but I believe Richard is in heaven now and I look forward to seeing him walk and run some day!
The second Richard, Rick Reynolds, left us very unexpectantly this summer. I saw Rick in July at our family reunion. It had been several years since I had seen him, so I'm very thankful for that last opportunity. Rick was in a car accident in August and hit a tree. He was killed on impact. He was such a talented and fun-loving man. He is missed by so many!
One thing I remember about 2010, was that it was an extremely hot summer! Hotter than any I've experienced here in Virginia! It was so hot that most days we didn't even want to go to the pool because the water wasn't even cool enough to be refreshing! Now, here in December, it's so cold that we could probably ice skate on the pool if it had water in it! :)
I didn't lose the weight I wanted to lose in 2010...probably gained about 5 lbs instead. :( Hopefully 2011 will be a better year to get focused and lose weight. I did, however, walk/jog in a 5K in October! It was mostly walk, but I DID IT and I FINISHED! Beth walked it with me and I so appreciated her company!
In June we went to the annual homeschool conference. We went as a family this year and thoroughly enjoyed our time away. We stayed near Neal's sister, Janet, so we were able to spend time with her as well. It was a fun weekend!
We had a great trip to Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky in June/July. My brother, Darrell, celebrated his 50th birthday on June 25th. We were able to go celebrate with him, so that was a special treat! We also were able to spend time with my brother, Robert and his family, and my aunt Alberta. At the end of the trip we went through Kentucky to go to my family reunion. It was so nice to see aunts, uncles and cousins that I hadn't seen in a long time! After the reunion, we went about an hour and a half away to spend the night with my mom's sister. That was a sweet visit, too!
August brought our annual camping trip with friends. Although it rained, we still had a great time! We had great hopes of camping once more this year, but it did not happen.
In September, Neal's cousin Ruthie and her mom, Mary Beth came for a week. We had such a nice visit. We went on a couple of walks together, went up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, went to the D-Day Memorial, and to Colonial Williamsburg. I loved spending time with Ruthie and Mary Beth...I wish they lived closer!
September also brought Myrtle Beach! Mom, Beth, Ben and I went to the beach for a few days. It rained every day, but we still had fun! Well, I take that back, it didn't rain on the day we left. :P We were blessed with a beautiful sunrise that morning and Ben and I took a quick morning walk on the beach before we had to leave. Ben and I also went for a walk on the beach at night. That was fun!
October brought the women's conference from church. It was a good time of relaxation and refreshment in the Word.
November brought a round of birthdays: Neal, Ben, Mom and Beth. Ben became a teenager! I can't believe both of my children are teenagers now. Beth turned 16! Wow! It's hard to believe that my kids are getting that old!
Now December is upon us and it's been busy, busy, busy! The kids had their Christmas cantata at church, we had a 90th birthday party for Neal's grandpa, Beth started working, Neal and I had a fun date night while the kids went to the youth Christmas party, and Mom and I went to Colonial Williamsburg for two days. Now to enjoy the rest of the month and celebrate in our Savior's birth!
God bless each of you as you celebrate Christ's birth this holiday season!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
I used to make menus weekly, but for about the past year I've failed to do so. I started back last week, and thought it would be fun to start blogging my menus. I love the blog "I'm an Organizing Junkie" and on Mondays, she hosts Menu Plan Monday.
Here is what we are planning on having this week:
Sunday (we had this yesterday): Ranch Turkey Bacon Wraps
Monday: Spaghetti Pie and sauteed summer squash with onions, mushrooms and garlic
Tuesday: Oriental Salad with Chicken
Wednesday: Taco Soup and Cornbread
Thursday: Baked Tilapia (I just use Grill Mates Salmon seasoning), Greek Salad and Cowboy Caviar
Friday: Homemade Pizza and salad
Saturday: Pork Ribs (cooked in crockpot and add barbecue sauce), sauteed squash and oven-baked red potatoes
Sunday, June 20, 2010
We had a great time today with Neal celebrating Father's Day!
Beth made Neal scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms, feta cheese, chives and dill. That's one of his favorite breakfasts. We went to church and afterward we went to Arby's for lunch. We had a buy one combo meal for Dad and get one free coupon. :) So we enjoyed roast beef sandwiches and then Jamocha Shakes for dessert.
After lunch, we went driving around a part of our town we'd never been before (well, Neal had been when he was a kid, but probably not for 30 years or more). We ended up going down a one lane gravel road. I was driving and those kind of roads always scare me a bit. I'm always afraid I'll meet someone and have to back up and then drive off the road. Crazy! We didn't meet anyone and saw some beautiful scenery!
Then we went to a car show that was in town at our old church. It was fun seeing the cars and also running into old friends. The car show was more fun than I anticipated. They did something called a burnout where they throw water on the pavement near the rear wheels and then the car stays in place for several seconds spinning its' wheels. Then it takes off really fast. Several of the cars blew smoke and were extremely loud. I know it may sound crazy, but it was so much fun watching those cars! The picture above is of a 2008 Corvette. Most of the cars were old (at least much older than 2008). My favorite car there was a beautiful red Studebaker. It ended up winning Best Car in Show.
After the car show we came home and rested a bit and then Beth and I made one of Neal's favorite meals: Spicy Curry Chicken and Cous Cous. Beth actually made most of it, I just helped by getting out spices. While she cooked, I made a blueberry sauce to put over the cheesecake (pie) I made this morning. The pie was so easy and so good. Here's the recipe:
2 packages of low fat cream cheese
1 8 oz container of lite cool whip
1/2 cup Splenda (or sugar)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
Cream together the cream cheese, cool whip, and lemon juice until smooth, then add your sweetener and vanilla and mix well. Spoon into regular size graham cracker crust and refrigerate. I made a blueberry sauce to put over it...about 3 or 4 cups of frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup of honey, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and just enough water to make the sauce. Cook for a while until berries soften and let cool. It was really good!
I think Neal had a nice day and it was fun to wait on him for a change! :) He's such a wonderful husband to me and father to our children!
"Thank you, Lord, for bringing Neal into my life 20 years ago!"
Monday, June 7, 2010
The wedding was beautiful, although it was very hot! (in the 90's with no air-conditioning in the reception hall). The wedding was outside and it was gorgeous! Here are a few pictures from the wedding:
I cannot take credit for this next picture (wish I could since it's better than mine!). My daughter Beth took this and I thought it was so pretty I wanted to share it on here, as well!
If you would like to see more beautiful picture, click here: Sky Watch Friday!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Some Endings:The 2009/2010 school year at the Dogwood Academy is coming to a close! Tomorrow is the last day of school! WooHoo!!! The pool opens on Saturday and we have at least 2 1/2 months to enjoy the summer vacation!
The school year went well this year. We stayed on track better than any other year so far! It was a very encouraging year as a teacher, and I believe the kids felt good about it, too. It was a very difficult year for Beth...her first year of high school; however, she did an outstanding job and I'm very proud of her hard work!
Ben finished 6th grade and is now moving on to "middle school." I can't believe my youngest child is going to be a teenager this year! Time sure does fly by! Ben finished Awana last night. Awana is a program at our church for ages preschool-6th grade. Ben received the Timothy Award last night, which is the highest award a 6th grader can receive for completing all of the Bible memory books. I'm so proud of him!
Some New Beginnings:
My best friend's daughter, Heather, is getting married next weekend (June 5th). She asked me to make her wedding cake and she picked out a beautiful cherry blossom cake. I haven't made a wedding cake in about 13 years, so I hope I can do a good job. I practiced a bit and here is my practice cake:
New Beginning #2: Chickens!
Last weekend, both of Neal's sisters came in for a visit. We had a big dinner on Saturday night, talked and played games. It was great spending time with Neal's family!
We had our end of year homeschool banquet last week. This is Ben receiving his certificate. Each year we choose something in particular we want to honor our children for. This year Ben's certificate was for "New Endeavors -- Construction and Child Care." He's been helping his daddy with the chicken coop and he's been helping me with childcare and he'll be working with kids this summer at church.
Beth received her award for "New Horizons -- Guitar, Dissections, Counseling and College Courses". She started learning the guitar this year, she did four dissections (worm, frog, fish and crayfish) in Biology, she'll be working as a camp counselor this summer, and she is taking three Bible classes (I'm taking them too, at a local Bible institute) for college credit.
Well, that's the latest for us here in Virginia! More later...
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
We're winding up our school year. Only three weeks left after this week! Woo Hoo! We're all excited for summer break! This has been one of our best school years yet. I'm really looking forward to next year though and trying some new things with the kids. Beth is going to be getting into reading classics more next year, and she's very excited about that. We're also going to be doing an Astronomy unit study as a family. It will last about a year and we will learn a lot about God's creation in the sky...sun, moon and stars!
I'm preparing to make a wedding cake for my best friend's daughter, Heather. She's getting married June 5th and I get the privilege of making her a cherry blossom wedding cake. It has been almost 14 years since I've made a wedding cake, so I'm quite nervous. I made several of Heather's birthday cakes throughout her life, so it will be fun to make a cake for such an exciting milestone!
We're getting chickens! We're in the process of fixing up the chicken coop (I'll have to post pictures later) and they are supposed to ship the chicks out on my birthday, May 19th. We're getting 15 chicks -- 5 Welsummers, 5 Delawares and 5 Blue Andalusians. It will take several months, but I'm looking forward to our first eggs!
Bread baking is still a constant in our house. I've been grinding my own wheat and baking my own bread for three years now. It has been such a positive addition to our family's menu. I make sandwich rolls and blueberry muffins every week. Additionally, I make a loaf of bread here and there and other types of muffins. Sandwich roll and blueberry muffins are a staple in our house though. :)
Beth and I are winding up our first semester in the Bible Institute we're attending. We started in January and are really enjoying it. In total, it includes 6 semesters of Old Testament, New Testament and Theology. At the end of the three years, we will receive a diploma and will have 18 college credits that will transfer to our local university. If Beth decides to go there, she will have most, if not all, of her Bible classes that she needs. I'm learning so much and have truly enjoyed this new adventure!
We're planning a trip to Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky this summer. My brother, Darrell, will be turning 50, and we will be there to help celebrate! We'll also be able to visit my other brother Robert, and his family, my aunt Alberta, and hopefully some friends. Then we'll go to Kentucky for a family reunion. I'm looking forward to seeing cousins I haven't seen in years!
Ben is playing soccer this spring. He is having lots of fun and learning a lot. So far they've won both of their games.
The garden is producing already! We've eaten fresh spinach, asparagus and strawberries. There is nothing like grilled asparagus! We eat it like french fries. It's sooo good!
Cinco de Mayo is today! To celebrate, in our non-Mexican home, we will be eating chicken enchiladas tonight with guacamole, chips and salsa. Yum!
Well, that's some of what's going on around here. I'm hoping to be a bit more faithful to my blog now. :)